Thursday, April 22, 2010

A busy, busy week

Hello world!  I am here and feeling refreshed.  After a relatively hectic week at work, I am relieved that tomorrow is Friday and I had a really great run with team ELK today.

Our goal was to set out for 5 miles, which is the longest we will have run together.  Aided by Helga (the cruel trainer AKA my Garmin), we took off for our run.  The first mile, we talked, giggled and it flew by (12:31).  The second mile, we started to seperate a little as our paces varied, and I focused on lengthening my strides, powered through my "point of death" and felt great (11:51).  We decided to walk at 2.5 miles and walk until 3 miles (15:02).  The 3rd mile was slow, but we ran and talked and laughed (to the point where I thought I might have to stop running because I was doubled over so much--seriously, I love these girls) (13:32).  Finally, the last mile, we seperated out. Its fairly hilly and I prefer to power up a hill  fairly fast, instead of take it at a steady pace, and I pulled ahead, finishing my last mile in 11:21.  Sweet last mile, but I think its a sign that I really should be running faster throughout my runs and working on my speed because I can handle it as much as I think I might die. 

The husband went out with me on Tuesday to run intervals.  We decided on .10 sprints, .10 walking (I was pushing for .05 walks, but he was not feeling it).  He thought it was a good workout for him and more interesting than just running, but I felt bored.  I just never got to the happy place I get when I just run. Its certainly helpful that I do these runs, but I have a hard time talking myself into them.

The Broad Street Run is only 10 days away and I really want to improve on my ten-mile time.  I am curious though; I had planned on a long (12 miles) on Sunday (Katye--NCR at 9:30???), but should I do it a week before a race??  I hear a lot about tapering, but honestly, is that something I should think about doing since I don't even run that fast?  It probably seems like a dumb question, but I really unsure of what to do!

How is April almost over?  Does it not seem like this whole year is flying by?!?

I hope you all have a great night?!  What are you excited for this weekend?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My new training partner

Wednesday I took my first run since the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler with Team ELK. Honestly, I was expecting the worst; aching muscles, pain, etc.  Imagine my suprise when I went out and had a GREAT run.  I felt perfect.  My body just wanted to go and the four miles flew by.  Our run was over at 4 miles, but I felt like I could have gone another 2 or 4.  It was such a great feeling!!!  I pushed my speed (for a slow poke it was nothing super fast--but faster than my normal pace), lengthened my stride and focused on my breathing.  It was a wonderful run to come back to!  Thursday was more of the same, but a shorter run!  Team ELK was comprised of some very weary people from our work schedules and vegging out sounded better than running (though we all felt better after running)!

Yesterday, the husband and I made a trip to the golf store (his favorite store) which is conviently located next to Road Runner Sports (my favorite store).  I was on the prowl for some sunglasses I could run in and was hoping to just get a garmin while I was there (with a 20% off coupon on top of my VIP discount).  After much thought, we decided on to Garmin 405CX and let me tell you, I wish I had this bad boy ages ago. 

I went out Saturday afternoon for a quick 4 miles (had a tee time at 4) to test drive the Garmin and my new super cute Brooks Adrenaline shoes (my feet are sooo happy to be in these babies).  I was impressed with accuracy of the GPS and knowing what my heart rate and pace was at any time.  I still need to play with it a bit more, but I am so glad we decided to purchase it.  My husband's idea was that we would share it.  Honestly, he may have to buy one for himself; I am not sure I want let my new training partner out of my sight.  I am just curious though; does anyone else have random people come up to them when they are running???  Yesterday, in my last mile, I was running (ok, shuffling) and some guy on a bike said something to the effect of "great job" (I had my ear buds in) and gave me a big thumbs up.  I appreciate the encouragement, but it was kind of random, but its happened to me a few times in my longer runs. 

Today, I had hoped to get a good 12 miles into and FINALLY meet Katye, but work has been crazy busy and I had to go in for about 5 hours.  By the time I got home, and found some motivation (being at work for 5 hours on a Sunday will do that to you) I was running short on time, especially since I needed to finish up a 5 paper so I decided to focus on 6 good miles instead.  It was tough, but I managed to get my six miles in an hour and 15 minutes.  I know its not super speedy for your speed demons out there, but for me, that was averaging just over 12 minute miles for the entire run, which is an improvement--a huge improvement in fact.  Its runs like that that make me feel like this running thing is going places!!

Another crazy week is about to start.  I can't believe that I will be graduating in 4 weeks.  I only have three weeks of actual school work left and I am so excited to take about 2 months off before I start prepping for the CPA Exam. 

What are you guys excited for during the week?? 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Quickie

I am taking a quick study break, but I wanted to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who left such wonderful comments on my CB10 Miler post.  I appreciate it all and it's so encouraging.  I am trying to not beat myself up over my time and recognize that the distance (and finishing) was the more important part and your encouraging words were so helpful in getting over that!!

Tomorrow is a running of Team ELK and we are going to push it.  I am looking to increase my speed and cut some time off my next 10 miler (in three weeks) and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things!

Hope you all have a great night!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

10 Miles is FAR!!

I did it--I ran 10 miles in under a 14 minute mile pace and avoided the sweeper bus (would take runners to the finish if they could not finish fast enough)!

The weekend started out long.  I drove from my office to my brothers house on Friday to be closer to DC for the weekend.  The 50 minute drive took 2 hours and 25 minutes. I was exhausted, but excited to see the little people (niece and nephews) and it always lifts my heart that they are so excited to see me!

Saturday, I headed into DC to pick up my race packet and expected long lines at the expo.  The only long lines I saw were at the metro to get downtown.  Luckily, I was able to bypass most of the lines, and got into DC relatively easily.  The bib pickup was easy and quick.

Saturday night, I met Kristen to give her the two bibs from friends of mine who were unable to run the race.  It was a brief meeting, as it was late, but she is super sweet and I was glad to meet her after exchanging a lot of emails (and she killed the race!!  Awesome job!!).

I laid out my outfit, pinned on my bib and got ready for bed, where I tossed, and turned and woke up about every hour.  I was soooo nervous.  I woke up at 5 and got ready for the race.  I gave myself some time to dink around, eat a bagel and by 6 I was out the door.

I made it to the race about 20 minutes prior to the start, checked my bag and got into the corral.  And we waited, waited, and waited some more.  I took some pictures, but sadly, my phone met my kitchen sink last night and is dead =( .  Finally, we were off and it just was wonderful.  DC is probably my favorite place in the WORLD and the race took a wonderful route.  I got caught up in all the excitement and started out way too fast (for me) and felt it at the end of a mile.  I slowed down to take it easy, and ran into Kristen at about 2.5 miles.  I let the speed demon take off, ate a few sport beans and kept plugging away, enjoying the scenery and getting compliments on my socks (neon green and yellow knee highs a la TMB), outfit, and was interviewed on video by two guys on a motorcycle (seriously, I was about 5 miles in--what the heck were they thinking?).  Did I mention it was a beautiful day?  Clear, sunny and a comfortable temperature.

Around mile 5, my hip started to bug me.  Not terribly, but consistent, so I took a second to stretch my legs and try and working it out.  After that, I just kept going, with a combination of walking and running, which served me well and the hip well because I noticed it went away at mile 7. The last mile, I tried to push myself hard, even powering up a hill and just going.  I crossed the finish line feeling super proud of myself!

I finished the race at about watch stopped working and I thought I was around 2:05 :(, but no matter---I was still under a 14 minute mile and I did finish, which was important.  Hey, I even PR'ed (even if it was by default since I had no other 10 miler times).  I am super glad I did the race, regardless of how nervous I was and the disappointment I had with my time and recognizing I was not really prepared.  I think that with the Broad Street Run in 4 weeks, I have an idea of how I want to train differently, and I really hope to kill my Cherry Blossom time and get under 2 hours on this race!

Congrats to all the speed demons out there who ran super fast.  I hope to be as speedy as you guys some day!

Today is a rest day; I even took the day off of work!  I am working on stretching; I might taking a light jog and just try to recover.  I am hobbling like an old woman right now, but it was so worth it.  I loved this race, as hard as it was for me.  Its an accomplishment, and it makes me giddy to know I finished!  Now, I am super really motivated to get faster and better!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It has been a while

Hi there. Remember me?? I kind of disappeared off the face of the (blog) world for a while. The last week has been overwhelmingly busy and I had to prioritize. Unfortunately, the blog was on the bottom of my list. Fear not, bloggers, my training did not make it to the bottom of my list. In fact, after my husband, work, and school work, training made the list and has been in full force even if I had to skip my long run over the past weekend. Honestly, I was not sure if my hip could handle it. I am a bit disappointed, but I figured my body could deal with some rest for a weekend. I did nothing but locked myself in the house to work on 4 major projects that are all due SATURDAY (well, I did some reading on my back porch for a couple of hours). 3 down, one left to wrap up—I need a break!  I also decided to give up soda and its been a tough few days--i usually depend on that caffeine for energy (coffee is an AM thing) at night to keep my attention on my schoolwork!

On to the hip—I had my appointment on Monday and the good news is they did not see any fractures on the x-rays and after poking and prodding (ouch) and bending my leg in various directions, the doctor was about 95% sure it was bursitis. The bad news(sort of—its probably unnecessary at this point)—she would not give me a cortisone shot without having an MRI to make sure it’s not a stress fracture. I have an MRI scheduled tomorrow and a follow up with my doctor immediately after—but she has told me I am ok to run on Sunday! The best news though is that with rest and a healthy use of Aleeve, my hip pain has subsided every day, even with running!!

Team ELK (my two running buddies---our names start with an E, L, and K) had our inaugural run yesterday and tackled just less than 4 miles. Sure, a small amount of walking may have been involved, but each one of us is at various points in our training, so we are trying to get to a comfortable pace. Tonight will be the second running of the ELKs and I am so looking forward to it. I think it helps my training since I am somewhat competitive!!

In three short days, we will have run the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race. It’s so hard to believe its almost here!! I am just a big ole’ bundle of nerves thinking about it right now. Good luck to all those running, especially Katye, TMB, Kristen, her friend Gewn and good luck to Jamie on the 5k! Kick some tail, enjoy the race and I can’t wait to hear about all of your experiences and personal records!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Single Digits

Last night, I had my first run in since my 10.5 miles on Sunday. After discussing my injury, options, and what I should ask my orthopedist on Monday, my father in law suggested naproxen (Aleeve) instead of Advil for the pain and inflammation, I finally felt the pain was manageable enough to take a jog with a friend from work.

We headed out to the BWI Trail and only planned for a couple of miles, which worked well with the suggestions from my father in law and was good for my friend since she was just starting to run again. We ran at a conversational pace (I have never tried to carry on a conversation while running since I run solo) and it was so nice to have a leisurely run. I usually just do training runs, and while I enjoy that, it was nice to take it easy and just enjoy being outside (75 and sunny) and the company. We took a couple of walking breaks because of my hip (grrrr) but it was good run to ease back into it after a few days off.

I am excited because I have training buddies now! My friend and her husband are both signed up for the Army Ten Miler (approximately 1500 spots remaining—they are going fast registration is now closed! 30,000 spots filled in TWO DAYS) so we have planned to go for runs to various trails twice during the week, maybe once on the weekends. Some other girls from work might be joining us during our weekly runs, which is really exciting too!! Even better news; my husband is planning on running with me on his free nights from class during the week (husband works full time during the day and attends law school at night) and on the weekends!! I am excited to start getting all these people together to do something that I really love.

I am hoping to get to Charm City Run this afternoon to get a gait analysis and look at some new shoes. Hopefully, Katye and I can finally meet up and go out for a test run in my new shoes!

There are only 9 days until the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. We are getting into the single digits now and I am so excited and nervous at the same time! The extended weather forecast looks awesome for race day so keep your fingers crossed for the 66* and partial cloudy day.

Hope you all get to enjoy some beautiful weather this weekend and get some good runs in!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  Its a beautiful day here in the Baltimore area and I am stuck in an office.  Boooo to that.  Luckily, the week is wrapping up and the weekend is looking to be fabulous!  I am going on a run after work with a lady from my office building.  She is just easing back into running, but I have convinced her to sign up for a few races with me already!

2.  I have signed up for some more races. 
  • June 6-Zoom Annapolis 10K.  My goal for this race is to get my 10K about an hour.  I am no speed demon, so this is high hopes for this slow poke!
  • October 24th--Army Ten Miler (registration just opened today with a capacity of 30,000 runners; as of two seconds ago, there were only 7500 spots left--last year it sold out in 4 days!  If you want to run this race, I recommend registering now!).  I want to kick tail in this race and cut down my 10 miler time.  I am shooting for a 1:40, but would be giddy with a 1:35.  Again, for a slow poke like me, that is something major!
I have a huge gap for my summer, but I figure there is some time to figure out what I want to do.  If you know of some good races in the Baltimore/DC area, let me know; I have some free weeks to fill!

3.  I only have 45 days until graduation, which really only means about 38 days of class work left.  FINALLY.  Working full time and taking a full course load over the last two years has been exhausting, but its almost done and will payoff full time.  Next up: trying to sit for the CPA right away (I have all the credits and meet all the requirements) since its changing at the end of this year.  YIKES! 

Happy Thursday to everyone!!