Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 36 - On the Rocks!

Brrr...can you feel that? So I wasn't exactly "frozen" this morning....but at 45 degrees I was definitely chilled "on the rocks"! And I gotta say.... I love it! I could see my breath as I was running and there was a definite chill in the air. I felt fantastic this morning. The dingo and I pulled out 5 miles no problem. Felt great. The pain in my quads is essentially gone. My right, outer calf felt pretty tight, but it loosened up as the run went on. I was able to stay under my goal of 9:50/mile, with the exception of the first mile. I know I'm still snail-paced....but that only means room for improvement, right?! I even felt pretty good yesterday. A sign of progress, I hope! Tomorrow we'll do 8 miles. I kind of like that for the next 5 weeks, the week day mileage stays the same. 5 - 8 - 5 + the weekend long run. I can't believe M-day is 6 weeks away. I hope I can keep feeling good!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 35 - Success!

Holy Cow...we did 16.6 miles today and I'm alive to write about it. I really did have a lot of fear going into today's run. I just wasn't sure I could do it. I'm full of self-doubt these days! But, I went to bed early last night (asleep by 10:00pm), got up around 5:20am to start the usual routine: Roctane GU, immodium, body glide, get dressed, 2 puffs on inhaler, watch set with time/distance/pace alerts, potty, SPI belt/amphipod filled, weather check. Before I knew it my sister was at my house and it was go time! We headed out into uncharted territory for us (aka a new route). I decided I like running in the dark. The time/miles pass so quickly. We had settled into a good pace and before I knew it G had beeped at 2 miles. Shortly thereafter we see a dog get hit by a sad! The dog looked just like my beloved dingo and whined/cried just like him too. The dog sped off and we never did catch up with him. I guess he was okay?? At 45 minutes or so we stopped to take our first GU, potty, and re-fill water bottles. We did a couple of 1 mile laps around a local park. It was nice to run on a freshly paved trail and have the park to ourselves! At the 8-mile mark I was still feeling good, but 8 more miles just seemed like such a long way to go. It was daylight by now and we were starting to see more and more runners out. That always helps me (mentally) to stay focused and get back on track. We stopped again around 90 minutes to take our second GU. The last 45 minutes had flown by! It didn't seem like it could possibly be time to re-fuel again! But, we were almost at 10 miles...and the home stretch was in sight. My sister and I talked the whole time. There wasn't any long periods of silence...always a good indicator of how I'm feeling! We decided to forgo our 3rd GU stop, seeing as we had less than 3 miles to finish. I knew at this point that today was going to be a successful run! We finished the last few miles easily and when G beeped at 16 miles we decided to keep going. We were about .75 mile away from my house, which would have been a nice cool-down walk, but we were both time-crunched and decided to keep running. I slowed down significantly (we were going uphill) and let my sister run ahead. When I hit "stop" on G, it showed a distance of 16.62 miles. Awesome!! I walked the last block home and was greeted by my hubby and kids. They're always so proud of me...and supportive. Hubby got me some water and allowed me to use him as balance as I stretched.
I hobbled up the steps, took 800 mg of ibuprofen and took a much needed shower. Hubby brought one of the 22 pound bags of ice upstairs and I filled the tub with the ice and cold water, after my shower. In an effort to speed things along and pass the time, I brought my make-up bag, deoderant, etc into the tub with me and got ready while soaking. I also had a very curious 4 year old for "assistance". He really wanted to get in, but every time he'd touch his toe to the water he'd shriek and go running away! As an aside - I would never advocate letting my child get in an ice bath...I knew he'd never do it! He won't even hold his boo boo bunny to his bumps/bruises! Anyway, I stayed in for 18 minutes and then I just couldn't take it anymore. I think getting out was worse than getting in. My feet just hurt so badly. I probably shivered for the next hour.
I grabbed my breakfast, another glass of water, my lunch for later that day and was out the door. I got to work around 10:oo am....not too bad! I don't think the exhaustion has set in...but I bet by the time I get to church and am responsible for 15+ 3 year olds, I'll be feeling it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 34 - Lead Foot

I wish I could say my splits were so speedy yesterday that I had a lead foot...but instead I felt tired, sluggish and like my legs were made of lead! Little bit of a difference. I felt decent the entire run though and didn't have one thing continually nag me.

This weekend (and every one for the next few weeks) will be a personal distance best! 16 miles. Strangely enough, I'm kind of excited for it. Last week's 14-miler really gave me some much-needed confidence. I'm hoping with appropriate rest, hydration, and nutrition I can have another good run. Tomorrow's going to be a loooong day. We set out on our run around 6:00am. Come home, shower/ice bath (I plan on getting the bags of ice tonight to put in our chest freezer), and then head to work to do the job of otherwise 2 or 3 dietitians. From there I have duty in the 3 Year Olds room at church. That is, if my legs haven't fallen off or I've become incapacitated by then! At least I have a "rest" running day on Sunday. I have a feeling I'm going to need it. Ugh....the anxiety is building as I type this. Must re-direct that energy!

Carbo-loading tonight is homemade chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes and green beans. Mmm...Mmmm! I splurged earlier today with the kids and got some ice cream, while we were at Young's Jersey Dairy. It's so hard to pass up fresh, homemade ice cream! I hope I don't regret it tomorrow on the run! The kids had a blast feeding the goats and seeing all the other farm animals. The trip almost didn't happen when I thought I had "broke" the car. Thanks to a very helpful 2-year old and a know-nothing-about-cars Mom...I had gotten the 4Runner out of gear and was stuck at a stop sign in a very busy shopping center. Luckily after about 20 minutes of directing traffic around our car and entertaining 2 kids, two nice gentleman came up to help. Right as they came up to help, my hubby arrives. Figures. And why was I at the shopping center where my favorite running store is? Picking up some much needed GUs and a LED light to put on while running in the dark. I also plan on decking out the Dingo in some much-needed night time (or early morning really) gear. I'm not taking any more chances! Soon to come will be a Road ID. Lastly, I officially registered for the USAF Half Marathon. I hate that by waiting to sign up I had to fork over $75... but what can you do?! Wish me luck for tomorow!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Running Safety

This was the image on our local newspaper's front page yesterday. Here's the article that followed:
BEAVERCREEK — The death of Michelle Hale, the 44-year-old runner who was hit by a vehicle and died during an early morning run Monday, Aug. 24, has sent tremors through the running community.
“The running community is a very close-knit group,” said Jim Gross, the Montgomery County Health Commissioner and an avid runner. “Whenever anything tragic like this happens, the entire fraternity of runners is affected, whether you know the runner or not.”
Hale, of Beavercreek, was jogging northbound across Dayton-Xenia Road from the bike trail to Stedman Lane at about 6:25 a.m. when she was hit by a westbound vehicle, Beavercreek Police said. She was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Beavercreek police have spoken to the Beavercreek man whose vehicle hit Hale, and they are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact police at (937) 426-1225.
No charges have been filed, and the crash remains under investigation.
Hale was a secretary in the deterrence and nuclear integration office of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to a press release. She had been employed at the base for four months.
She also had a Web page revolving around the hobby of crafting at
On the page, she described herself as “a marathon running Wife, Mom, ‘Bella,’ craft lover and more!”
She also wrote about her husband, two daughters and a grandson, and said she was training for her third Air Force Marathon, to be held at Wright-Patterson next month.
Gross said his heart goes out to the victim’s family and friends. But he said the tragedy is also a time to emphasize how important it is for exercise enthusiasts “to take safety very seriously.”
“Anytime you are exercising, running or cycling, you need to do whatever you can so you are visible,” he said.
Jeff McPherson, president of the Ohio River Road Runners Club, said Hale had participated in a number of local races over the past year. He said her death will impact the running community.
“Obviously, it touches everybody, since we’re out there on the road so much,” he said.
Staff Writers Tom Beyerlein and Jeremy Kelley contributed to this report.
I went to her blog and got chills as she talked about training for her 3rd marathon and carrying her grandson across the finish line. It's just so sad....
So what do you all do to help keep you safe out there on the roads? I have to admit that I don't usually take any precautions....but that needs to change!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 33 - Clarity and Self-Loathing

It's amazing what a good night's sleep, 600 mg ibuprofen and perfect running weather can do. I think I got 8 hours of sleep last night and woke up to mid-50's temperature with low humidity. My quads also felt pretty good. The dingo and I set out for 7 miles this morning. I decided to get really crazy and 1)not map out my route beforehand and 2) not run in our usual Tuesday neighborhood. It was nice for a change of scenery, but I found myself looking at G way too often to figure out how far I'd gone. We ended up going 7.3 miles and the dingo kept up great. His longest distance with me is 10 miles, so he should be fine for the remainder of our week-day training runs. He stays at home for our long-runs! I wore my new UA compression shorts for the second time (first time was on the last LR). I love them! They fit perfectly and are so comfy. Bye-bye chaffing! I'm beginning to wonder if my new Balega socks are contributing to the pain in the balls of my feet and now I have a few blisters. I've never gotten blisters before. I may switch back to my Smartwool for runs over 6 miles. It could just very well be the increased mileage!! Another downer is the fact that somehow I've managed to gain 10 pounds in the past 3 months. I can't even explain how sad this makes maybe I really am just destined to be fat the rest of my life. I'm working my butt off, and while I don't eat great 100% of the time, I don't eat horribly either. It's just really frustrating. So I'm back to counting WW points. Unlike the last time I used WW though, I WILL be eating my exercise points! Even if I could lose 5 pounds before the marathon, I'll be happy. I just can't be this tub-o-lard pounding down the street! And with that self-loathing, it's time to shower and get on with my day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Days 32 & 33 - Exhausted

I'm happy to report that my 14-miler on Saturday went fanstastic! I was really anxious/worried about it before hand. I didn't sleep well the night before (darn noisy hotel) and I ate more than usual the night before a run (mmm... Buca di Beppo). I just wasn't sure how it would all turn out. Hubby and I got separated for about the first 3.5 miles. Not really sure how it happened, but he lost track of me and then I turned the wrong way (I'm horrible with directions, let alone in a different city). Cue panic on both of our parts because I didn't have a phone and we were in a section of town we weren't particularly familiar with. The good news is that we did end up finding one another and we were able to enjoy each other's company for the remainder of the run. I wanted to do the last 6 or 7 miles of the marathon course, out and back. As part of my positive imagery training, I wanted to be able to visualize the last few miles of the actual marathon. Our hotel was about a mile away from the finish line, so that's why it ended up being only the last 6 miles of the course. I really enjoyed running the course. Everyone says Columbus is "flat and fast". It wasn't exactly pancake flat, but it wasn't difficult, either . I averaged 9:50/mile throughout the run, so I can attest to it's "fastness"! It's amazing what new scenery, cool temperatures and no humidity can do!! Parts of the run were very pretty and scenic (and nostalgic since we used to live there)....there was a large stretch that was rather industrial. I'm thinking that part will be pretty poorly supported by fans and at mile 22 that may not be a good thing for me! As G beeped 7 miles, we turned around to head back. I had gone through all my water by 9 miles, so hubby rode ahead to the grocery store and got me another bottle of water. I got goosebumps as we turned the corner onto High St...knowing the marathon finish line was only about a mile away. There's a big screen TV on the side of the building where the finish line is. I did my best finish line impression for hubby, all while imagining my sweaty mug being splashed up on the big screen. I'm pretty sure the people around me thought I was crazy. I thought it was pretty funny. I really felt good the entire run. I took a Roctane GU before the run and then regular GUs every 45 minutes. Not one thing continually nagged me. Towards the end I could tell my knees and the balls of my feet were tired of the pounding. Running through German Village with cobblestone streets didn't help any either! We made many more stops than normal due to running through the city blocks and waiting for lights/traffic/etc. Although I was feeling relatively good at the end of the run, I was still happy to hear G beep at 14 miles. My longest distance yet! It's amazing to think that just 3 months ago finishing the HM was such an accomplishment and yet I had just surpassed that distance in a training run! We hobbled back to the hotel, took 600 mg of ibuprofen, and I took a much needed shower while hubby filled the ice bags. I iced my knees, shins, ankles, feet and hamstrings. Wouldn't you know the only place I'm sore today is my quads. Oops....forgot about them! I'm still quite sore today (2 days later) but managed to get in my 4 miler this morning.

As for today's run.....nothing exciting to report. I did 4.3 miles, usual route - just done in the opposite direction. My goal of sub 9:30/mile didn't happen. I'm just exhausted physically and mentally. And I think what's worse is that I know there's no end in sight for the next few weeks. Our training program just keeps building and building. Any words of wisdom to get through this spot? Our HM on September 19th will be our little break. That's ironic! Anyway, I'll keep plugging day at a time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 31 - Do these shorts make me faster?

Of course not....but I woke up with a sense of excitement this morning. I got to run in my new gear! Hubby did a great job with sizes, colors, etc. We ran our usual Thursday route. My left shin pain has resurfaced and now both of my achilles tendons feel tight. I figured after the first mile the pain would subside, but I was still noticing it at 2 miles. Then I just decided to forget about it....and it worked! Funny thing, I don't feel one iota of pain now that I'm not running! I did stretch them good after the run, though. I'll be icing my shin again today, too. I think my goal for next week will be to get my shorter runs under 9:50/mile. I was almost there today with the exception of my first mile (9:54). I even ran the last 0.4 miles at 8:39/mile pace. I was practically dragging the dingo! AND it was only 0.4 miles! Oh well....progress. My first 5 mile race we ran a 11:00/mile pace. That was last Thanksgiving. Today will be another busy day with the kids. Many errands to run in preparation for our weekend away. Tonight I'm having dinner with my best girlfriends from High School. And there's my cue...."Mommy......Mommy.....I have pee pee! Fresh dipey please!".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 30 - Humidity + Hills = Irritation

The title of my post pretty much sums up yesterday's run. Well, not completely. When I wasn't running hills, I was annoyed with my bra. The dingo decided to take 2 poo breaks (thank goodness I stocked up on doggie poo bags at the park) and my pace overall was lousy. BUT, at least it's done....and I didn't have any unusual aches/pains on the run. Oh yeah, and I did see the family of 3 deer grazing at a different spot than normal. Guess they were taking in some history, as they were right across the street from the Wright Brother's home on Hawthorne Hill.

Yesterday was our 8th wedding anniversary, but since we've been dating since high school, it's really more like 16! It was a busy day - bank, shopping (2 different stores), haircut for Caroline, lunch and then to the running store. With 2 kids in tow, that makes for an exhausting day. I did find a pair of Under Armour compression shorts (the Moving Comfort ones were too small....grr) and a new running bra.
Thank goodness my sweet hubby didn't expect me to cook dinner! We celebrated in grand fashion, by going to our favorite Chinese buffet. Yes, dietitians eat at buffets, but I'm sure they make good money off of us! The kids always enjoy getting to pick what they want to eat (none of which was Chinese) and then the ice cream at the end is a big treat. Hubby informed me mid-way through my chocolate ice cream that I might not want to finish it because he had a surprise "treat" for us at home. Little did I know he had quite a few treats at home! We put the kids to bed early (for us... it was 9:15pm) poured 2 glasses of wine and out came the parade of gifts. 2 "girly" movies, a new pair of running shorts, shirt, and casual t-shirt, and a box from Victoria Secret (the contents of that box to be unannounced). All topped off with my favorite.....a piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. And hubby was so cute saying "see, you can wear this now....You're a runner!" or "only runners wear this stuff!" He's so proud of me. I was completely dumbfounded. I thought my new Garmin was my present. Lord knows I spent more money on that than a normal anniversary present! To make it worse, I had only gotten him a couples massage. I thought our weekend away was the true present to one another. I figured the Garmin and massage would be the icing on the cake. Oh's fun to be spoiled and he does have a birthday coming up on Sunday. Guess the kids and I will be doing more shopping tomorrow! We were up way too late last night, but it was good to reconnect and talk about our lives. I'm exhausted today (the 5:15 am cross-training session didn't help) but am looking forward to this weekend. 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep. I can't remember the last time I slept for 2 nights in a row without getting up to rock someone back to sleep, re-apply a bandaid, turn on the light in the bathroom, chase away a monster or receive a hug from my 4 year old. I've definitely learned that getting adequate sleep isn't what it's cracked up to be (you NEVER could have told me this 4 years ago....), but it sure will be nice!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 29 - Just another day

I'm not going to lie...when my alarm went off this morning, I wasn't excited to run. Today begins week 8 of my training program. "I'm half-way there", I thought...."only 8 more Monday morning runs". I hit snooze 2 times and by 6:15 am, I finally got up. I've noticed the balls of my feet ache first thing in the morning. I'm guessing it's probably related to my flip flops (which I live in when I'm not at work or running). We had walked with the kids a bit last night, so that may be the culprit. I don't notice it once I put shoes on, though. Anyway, the dingo and I did our usual Monday route. G Money beeped annoyingly at me the whole first mile until I reached my groove. I wanted to stay under 10 minutes/mile (sad goal, eh?) which I did achieve. Post-run my hamstrings are quite tight, despite stretching. I didn't notice it while I was running.

Hopefully today my new compression shorts will arrive. I want to try them out a few times before my long run on Saturday. I've been having chaffing issues, despite body glide. I'm hoping these shorts will help with that, too! I also read some more reassuring thoughts on my marathon training plan. I guess it is quite possible to finish a marathon with a training program that only tops out at 38 miles/week. The other issue we've been toying around with is running a half marathon about a month before the actual marathon. The training program says we should do 18 miles the day of the proposed HM, but maybe with some adjustment of a few of the mid-week runs and long-runs we can make it work. I'm such a stickler for schedules. BUT, I think it would be good motivation and fun! Plus, the race is overnight required and the whole family could come out to cheer us on. My dear old Dad (an ex-runner who has completed 2 marathons in his time) thinks we should run the HM and just "push the pace" in lieu of the extra distance. Little does he know that I really only have one pace: do what I must to finish. LOL! Guess we need to be deciding soon....the USAF HM is in 32 days!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 28 - Flow

Yesterday was a great run! I don't know if it was proper nutrition/hydration, a positive attitude, the flat route or if things are finally coming together for me? I'm sure it was a bit of everything and it couldn't have come at a better time (mentally). In any case, I arrived bright and early at my sister's house, a little before 6:00am. It was dark and cool out with a bit of fog on the ground when we started out. My sister had mapped out a 12 mile route. Due to a little map confusion (aka we got lost) Garmin (or G Money as I like to call her) clocked us at 12.63 miles. I took a Roctane GU pack about 30 minutes before the run with about 6 ounces of water. I also decided to use my inhaler proactively (novel idea for someone with exercise-induced asthma). 45 minutes into the run I took another GU pack. I ran with plain water in my hand-held bottle. I stopped after another 45 minutes and took another GU pack. I've been finding that my water bottle is empty after my second GU pack. Guess it's time to start double-fisting it. I just can't convey in words how good I felt yesterday. I felt like a real runner, who could maybe, just possibly, reach her goal of finishing a marathon. I felt great all day yesterday, no aches or pains. I wasn't even that tired. Today my hamstrings are a bit sore, but nothing major. It must have been coincidence because in this week's chapter of TNRMT it talks about finding your "flow" zone. Perhaps I found my flow?
This week we have a 4 miler-6 miler - 4 miler - 14 miler. Our 3rd week at 25 miles or more. This is a lot for me....considering 6 months ago I was maybe doing 10-15 miles/week. This Saturday we'll be in Columbus for the weekend so I plan on running on the actual marathon course. Hubby's going to bring his bike and keep me company on the 14-miler. Oh yeah, did I mention this will be my farthest distance.....ever?! I'm hoping I can find my flow then....I have a feeling I'm going to need it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 27 - Lost

I haven't completely lost my mind....but I did lose my cell phone on my run yesterday. Grrr.... I'm really not sure how it happened without me noticing....but whatever. I'm blaming it on the dingo! It was in his little carrying pouch on his harness and the zipper must have worked it's way open. I may be writing a letter to the company! But this isn't entirely bad. My cell phone was on it's last leg and it was time for me to renew my contract. I just didn't want to shell out $139 (of which I will get $50 back in rebate) yesterday. Once again...whatever. We don't have a land line at our house and I needed a phone ASAP. And yes, I did go back on my route....twice, but could not find the darn thing.
So as for the was lovely running weather. Much cooler, still a tad humid, but nowhere near the 100% humidity from Tuesday. I used my Garmin for the first time - so fun! I'm having problems with the USB thingy, so I can't sync my data yet. I'm so technology challenged! I ran a new route (gasp!) but in the same general vicinity of my usual Thursday route. I could feel my left shin splint pain resurfacing, but the discomfort was very mild. I iced it last night using my new Contour Pak and it feels better today. I need to ice it again today, before my long run tomorrow. Speaking of long run tomorrow. We're up to 12 miles. I have a sense of optimism about this run. I'm looking forward to it! I plan on continuing to figure out my GI issues and nutriton strategies. I may even try to take a GU before I start running (another gasp!). What I'm not looking forward to is my 5:15 am wake up call. The things I do to run with my favorite running partner!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 26 - 100%

Despite high temperatures and high (HIGH) humidity, summer is coming to an end. Sadly, this morning it was DARK out when I got up at 6:00am. I generally face most falls and winters with dread. But this year, I have something to look forward to (October 18th, at least). It was a bit cooler this morning at 70 degrees, but humidity was 100%. Yes 100%. Thank goodness for a cool breeze! I'm not really sure what happened with my pace. I didn't feel like I was going that slowly, but I did do a lot of hills and I never stopped my Nike+ for Cooper's various "stops" and traffic lights. We passed a family of 4 deer eating their breakfast and a whole slew of other runners/walkers/dogs on their morning route. I felt really good. My iPod was working again, I had my comfy running gear on and I tried out a new pair of socks that I had gotten last night (while looking for my compression shorts). I usually run in SmartWool, but I'd heard such good things about Balega, I wanted to give them a try. My feet never get overly hot in my SmartWools, but I just think it's a mental thing of having something lighter on my foot on really hot/humid days. So I got a pair of the Hidden Comfort style. I really like them because they're super soft and have the mesh ventilation on top (among all the other technical features). Plus, they were a bit cheaper than my SmartWools. I may just tuck them away for cold-weather running and switch to the Balegas for summer. I also picked up some more GU in various flavors, since I did okay with it on my long run last week. Of course the one thing I went in for they didn't have. Okay, well they did have them....Under Armour WHITE 4 inch compression shorts. It was a running and soccer store and they were on the soccer side, so I'm pretty sure they were meant to be worn under something. There is no way in he!! I will be seen in white spandex. No thanks! I may just give in and order online. This proposition makes hubby very unhappy, being the economic development guru that he is, BUT I have tried various local stores and they just don't have them. Plus, the thought of wrangling 2 kids while shopping in Dick's Sporting Goods is overwhelming at this point. You know what else is overwhelming my belly growls and stinkiness! Time to hit the showers, grab a bite to eat and figure out how to entertain the kiddos today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 25 - Swimming

No, I didn't change up my weekly routine and decide to do some cross-training this morning at the pool....but I might as well have! I walked out my back door at 6:15am to find 74 degrees and high, high humidity. I really might as well have gone swimming. The air was thick with moisture, and I felt like I was moving so slooowly. I was smart and used my inhaler prior to leaving, so there was no wheezing or real hard breathing....but everything was just tight and irritable. I wasn't happy with my bra, shorts, or shirt. Everything clung to me and made me miserable. To top it off, my iPod decided to stop working as well. Aghhh!! I'm guessing the little bit of rain that we got into on Saturday did it in. I really need to pay more attention and take better care of that's proving to be my lifeline! So, needless to say, I have no idea what my average pace was, but I did get in just over 4 miles. My legs felt pretty good....all shin pain is gone (from my indoor track workout) and my quads just had traces of soreness from Saturday's run. I actually felt pretty darn good after Saturday's run. The run might not have been ideal for me, but at least the recovery was! I guess I am making some strides.
My goal for this week (outside of the actual running) is to find or order some compression shorts. I have looked at 2 local running stores and have come up empty handed. I'm going to stop at one more local place tonight and then maybe hit Dick's Sporting Goods tomorrow. If I come up empty there, I'm just going to order a pair online. Any recommendations? Also, after much debate and research, I decided to stick with my Garmin FR60. Although I'm running a ton right now, I know this won't always be the case. I want something that can be versatile, yet accurate. I really don't mind the foot pod...especially if it's more accurate than Nike+ !! And last but not least....I wanted something that would be decent to *look* at. Some of those watches are just ugly....and for what they cost, I'd like to be able to wear them more than just the 5 hours (right now) of running I do each week! I may look back to regret this decision, but I feel good about my decision now. Hopefully within the next week, I'll be sporting THIS little lady on my wrist. Oh yeah, thanks hubby! ;-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 24 - Self Doubt

Have I been in some imaginary world where I really thought I could do this? Today's run told me otherwise! It was only 11 miles....but I just wasn't feeling it. We walked more than I would have liked (up hills mostly), but my legs were tight and heavy and my breathing was still difficult. It could have been related to the humidity, and luckily that did seem to decrease after a brief rain shower. Truth be told.... I will end up walking some during the marathon. And I'm OKAY with that. Really. I've only been running a year and I have a life outside of running. Phew....I feel better getting that off my chest! I had told my sister earlier in the run about the positive self talk paragraph that TNRMT talked about this week. While struggling up the last hill she told me to say that paragraph and you know what, I got up the hill. I had to walk a bit at the top, as I was wheezing at that point, but I got up the hill. I'm so greatful for such an encouraging running partner!!
So the good part of the run including trying out some GU. I took 2 Immodiums about a half hour before we started running, filled my amphipod with plain ol' water and took a few sips of gatorade. I took half the GU pack about 45 minutes into the run. And honestly, it wasn't that bad. I could feel it going down, but it wasn't necessarily heavy in my belly. I continued to sip water throughout the run and then after another 45 minutes I took the other half of the pack. Now I know the recommended "dosage" is 1 full pack every 45 minutes, but I wanted to make sure I could tolerate it first! The first half of our run was pretty residential....aka no public potties around! I had no ill-effects from the GU, so overall this is a success for me (and my testy GI tract)!! Unfortunately I guess I just thought it was going to give me this magical energy and it didn't. But who knows how bad I would have felt after the run had I not taken it? I don't feel bad at all post-run. I got down my favorite post-run drink....chocolate milk and I'm ready to go for the day. I remember having ups and downs in my training for the I hope this is just a minor bump in the road. Let's hope because I'm *really* looking forward to the marathon/weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 23 - Anxiety

Today's run brought no real new suprises....except I'm still a bit sore in my anterior tibialis. I'm guessing that's from my indoor track run and turning corners 160 times! I also had to focus on my breathing a lot today, which is unusual because it wasn't overly humid. I really just felt like a slug. Regardless, I "slugged" through it and got in 4.5 miles. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and then on to 11 miles this weekend. Am I the only running geek out there who obsesses and thinks about their running route for days in advance? Sometimes it keeps me up at night and I'm not even lying. But you see, I like to strategically run where 1) I know there will be bathrooms along the course and 2) see some new scenery. Monday-Tuesday-Thursday I run the exact same routes (just upping the distance as my training progresses). I'm very much a creature of habit and I like doing it this way. But, by the time the long run rolls around, I want new scenery. I want to have something else to focus on. So with these constraints in mind, planning our long run becomes serious business. This also leads to a high level of uncertainty (and anxiety) about running in new terrain. There have been many a Friday night where I will go out after the kids are in bed and drive our running route for the next day. I don't like to have any surprises about hills/sidewalks/unsafe areas, etc.
The other thing I've been worrying about is my training plan. I absolutely love my book (TNRMT) for all the mental training and other tips it provides, but I'm hoping the mileage is enough. I had originally started training with the "beginners" plan from Runner's World. I was struggling with shin splints in the beginning and had doubts from my Dad about my ability to run a marathon this soon into my running "career". Remember, I just started running last September. He really urged me to build up my base a bit more, before entering into marathon training. I'm stubborn though, so I started training anyway. I thought TNRMT would be perfect because it would give me the "just right" amount of training. But the more I read, the more I wonder if this plan is truly adequate? Perhaps it's teaching is outdated? I truly have no time goals. I just want to finish....strong. Is that even possible for a first marathon? If anyone has any advice or would like to look at my training plan and offer suggestions, I'd love it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flying Pig HM oldie but goodie!

Well, as promised, here is the race recap for my first (and only) half marathon. Today is a cross-training day for no running. Enjoy!

I was at Target on January 1st when my sister called and asked if I’d be interested in running the Flying Pig half marathon with her, as a New Year’s Resolution. Now, I’d never made a real resolution before and I was taken completely off guard. I told her I’d think about it….by the time we got home from the store, my mind was made up. I was going to run the Flying Pig half marathon. Our training schedule started on January 5th. We would run 3 days a week and cross-train 3 days of the week. Sunday would be my day of “rest”. Seeing as I just started running in September, I’d never run through the winter. I wasn’t really sure if you could even safely run outside in the winter, in Ohio. I slowly began buying some decent winter running gear. I ran in snow, sleet, and cold, cold winter air. I think the coldest I ever ran in was 5 below zero, not including the wind chill! It was invigorating to get out there and get the blood pumping through my body. Running in the dead of winter is really quite peaceful. I knew if I could run hills in sub-zero temperatures, covered in snow (with the help of my YakTrax), I would do fine in May. January/February turned into March and gave way to increased mileage. Prior to starting my training, I’d never run over 6 miles before. Gina and I started running together on Saturday mornings, to help make the long runs more bearable. March 16th, I ran my first double-digit mileage: 11 miles. It was rough, but in my mind, there was no “if”….it was only “I will”. And so with about a month to spare, we reached our training goal of 12.5 miles. Those long runs were tough – physically and mentally. I was really beginning to doubt my ability to finish the half marathon strong. Even my cross-training sessions were tough. I didn’t understand it. Shouldn’t I be in better shape than ever? Training had consumed me. It was like I was in a different world. The days ticked away as I prepared everything I needed for the big day.
We left for Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon. We checked into the hotel – which was bustling with activity. We put our stuff in the room and headed over to the expo to pick up our packets. I felt like an imposter, Iike I didn’t really belong there. Me, a runner? It seemed crazy. The expo was really crowded, but we made our way through to get our timing chip, race bag/poster/t-shirt. We casually looked at all the booths and made our way out. We went to dinner that night at a family-owned Italian restaurant called, Campanellos. It was extremely busy and we ended up sitting at a table they had set up on the side walk. We joked that we hoped no one had a seizure while driving….we were that close to the road! With my GI issues, I ate only some bread and plain pasta. After dinner we walked around a bit and found the starting line. I really began to feel as though I wasn’t ready. It was all so real now! Chris finally made his way down to Cincinnati and we walked around a bit with him and then headed back to the hotel. I got everything ready for the morning. I turned in for an early night, as I knew 5:30am would be here all too soon. I didn’t sleep well that night. I wasn’t nervous or anxious, but I just kept getting woken up by different things. The morning arrived and it was raining. I was kind of bummed. I love running on beautiful, sunny days. There’s nothing better than that! In any case, I put my running hat on, applied body glide and aquaphor, took 2 immodiums, had a sip of Gatorade and we were off. The starting line area was crazy packed. We made our way back to the sign that said 10:18/mile pace and squeezed our way in. Everyone was in a fantastic, jovial mood. The countdown began and the gun sounded. Kanye’s “Stronger” began to play, and it was then that I knew this was going to be a great experience. We cross the starting line about 7 minutes off of the clock time. We make a quick pit stop for Gina to use the porta-potty, and we were off. Everyone is still pretty packed tightly together at this point. Spectators line the roads, cheering as if we were in 1st place. We head over the bridge to KY and do a quick loop around Newport/Covington. We see Beth on the sidelines there. We cross two more bridges and are back in Ohio. We head into downtown and I’m reminded of the streets of Boston. There’s lots of spectators here and we start searching for Chris. We finally see him towards the end of 7th street. The running is almost effortless at this point. At 6 miles we pass the Greyhound Bus station – and I’m wondering if I’d rather be on a bus to somewhere else or running this race?! We pass Elsinore Castle. It’s at this point that we begin an almost 2.5 mile uphill climb, that covers 280 feet. Although I know I’m still only half way there, I know the next 3 miles will be critical and after that it will be smooth sailing (or so I thought). We begin to look for my parents, and see them on the side of Gilbert Avenue. It’s still kinda drizzling, but I’ve forgotten about it by this time. I’m breathing heavy, but no wheezing! We make our way up to the top of the first hill and do a short loop around Eden Park. There is a gospel choir singing and a hydration station. My stomach has yet to bother me, but I decide not to push the issue. Although there have been porta-pottys throughout the course, they have all had long lines. After a short respite, we begin climbing back up. I begin to get a bit discouraged, because I was expecting an immediate downhill. In any case, at this point we enter Walnut Hills. This is probably my favorite entertainment spot…..Madonna’s “Holiday” is BLARING. All of the runners are singing and clapping. The atmosphere is awesome! Shortly thereafter we see the Walnut Hills football team handing out the Gatorade/water at the next hydration station. I take my first and only Gatorade break here. I walk/sip a few seconds and then start running again. I feel kinda crampy around my diaphragm, but I still feel pretty good. At mile 9 we split off from the marathoners and it couldn’t have come a minute too soon! There’s a slight uphill here (again, discouraging) and we reach the top of the elevation for the race. After that however, it was all pretty much downhill. I take some water around mile 10.5. My SPI belt had really been bothering me though, and I decide to give it to my Dad the next time we see him. I began to focus on the irritation and it feels like we’ll never see them again! We finally see my parents on Gilbert Avenue (other side of the street now) and I give my Dad the belt. I feel tons better now! We enter back into the downtown area and we see Chris again around mile 11. The crowd is still amazing and so encouraging. We turn around on Eggleston and head towards the river and ball parks. Everyone at this point is cheering and saying “you’re almost there!” but it felt like an eternity. There was no way I was going to stop running at this point, but I was sure tired. Nothing was seriously bothering me, I was just tired. Finally the “Finish Swine” comes into sight and I know I can do it. Gina and I cross the finish line together, at 2hr19 minutes. An average of 10:38 per mile.
I’ll never forget the feeling of complete accomplishment. Something I had worked so hard for and had done well (for my standards at least). Walking through the finishers area was surreal. I was definitely tired and my legs were pretty tight. We got our timing chips cut off our shoes and then on to the food. I’d never seen so much….food! Mounds of apples, bananas, oranges, bagels, cookies, and then thanks to sponsorship from P&G….cheez its, potato chips, animal crackers. You name it, they had it! But honestly none of it looked good. I started to munch on an apple (I was afraid of the after-effects of taking too much Immodium and wanted some fiber). And then I DOWNED 3-4 cups of water and Gatorade. I’d never drank quicker in my life. Not so smart! We made our way through to get our finisher medals and blankets. I had been running with goose-bumps for the majority of the race and by now I was chattering cold! Within minutes, the water/Gatorade/apple combo began to work on my belly and I just needed to find a porta-potty! You’d think they’d be pretty accessible post-race, but alas I had to walk (what seemed liked forever) to the family meeting area. I wait in line behind a child (again, for what seems like forever) and finally get some "relief". Now that my belly was better….I just wanted to sit. We people watched for awhile, and then it donned on me that we needed to be finding Chris. We had no way of contacting him and we hadn’t really told him where to meet us because we weren’t sure what the finish area would be like. I get up and stumble around for a bit, until I find the post-race store. And wouldn’t you know….there he was….buying me a shirt! It’s at this point that I know God is on my side today! So we go back and find Gina and begin the walk (uphill) back to our hotel. I just want to shower and lay down. As we’re walking, my toenails are “tender” and it feels as if one of them is trying to pull off. Ouch! Once we’re back to the hotel I inspect my feet and they’re not bad at all. No blisters (a major concern of my dad, since we were running in the rain) and all toenails intact. Success!! Little did I know that 4 weeks later my toenail WOULD fall off! I showered, rested a bit and then we packed up to leave. We had a hot date with my parents at Champps for brunch. I was hungry by now….and actually able to eat! As we walked to the car we passed some of the marathoners just coming back. And while I still felt the glory from my accomplishment, it was definitely overshadowed by the fact that there were people (just like me!) who had given more. I knew I had a marathon in me….or at least I had to try.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 22 - Lightening

No, my workout today wasn't lightening fast....but that's what I woke up to this morning. Around 5:00am the dingo crawled into our bed, shaking with fear. I could only hope the storm would blow over by the time my alarm went off at 6:00am. No such luck. It was raining buckets complete with thunder and lightening. So I layed in bed for a few minutes debating on what to do.....I could 1) stay in bed and be lazy (no chance) 2) do 50 minutes of cross-training in the basement and call it even 3) trade days and run tomorrow morning, which would still mean I had to get up and do 25 minutes of cross-training today 4) go to the indoor track and slug out 40 laps or 5 miles. I decided on the latter. I haven't run indoors since the winter. And even then the times were few and far between. Thanks to my YakTrax, I was able to train outside all winter. So I arrive at the gym/track ready to run 5 miles, but with a little bit of dread in my heart. First person/people I see are the "power Mommies" of Braden's preschool. Great....but what great incentive to pick up my pace and pass them!! Turns out they were just "warming up" before a gym workout. Whatever. So I continued on my way to 40 laps around the track. The positive self-talk paragraph came in mighty handy today. I must have repeated it 40 times and wouldn't you know, the time just flew by. I'm not saying my workout was speedy by any means....but at least it's done. Thanks for the input on my watch dilemma. I talked it over with hubby and while he honestly knows nothing about it, he said to get whatever I want..... That could be dangerous!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 21 - "Short"

Despite a fantastic run this morning, all I can remember about it is that it was short. I was scheduled to run 4 miles....I ended up doing 3.87 miles, and it really burns me! I blame it completely on my Nike+. I had to restore the factory settings last week and it wiped out my sensor's calibration. Is it the anal dietitian in me or the anal runner in me that falling short of my goal makes me so angry? It would be one thing if I was feeling really poorly and just couldn't finish, but that's just not the case. You can be sure I'll spend the next few hours trying to let go of this issue!
So like I said, the run was great this morning. Great weather, no aches and pains. I worked on my "postive self-talk" throughout the run (the mental training component this week in TNRMT). I tried out Cooper's new Dog Collar Wallet. It's a nifty new gadget I got to store my cell phone and poo bag (not *my* poo bag of course). Not sure how many other people run with their dogs, but I'm always looking for new doggy running gear. I just realized that I've been talking about my faithful running dingo, but have never posted a picture of the guy. Here he all his dingo-goodness-glory: Photobucket. Pretty cute, huh?! What makes him even cuter is how nice and gentle he is with the kids. We truly couldn't have asked for a better family pet. Afterall, he was our baby first! But I digress! Hubby and my 8th wedding anniversary is coming up. We're going away to Columbus for the weekend. I have a 14-miler planned for that Saturday, so I hope to run it on the actual marathon course. Speaking of marathon, did I tell you that I'm officially a marathoner and everything?! Pretty exciting! But more importantly, I'm in anniversary shopping mode for my new watch. While I like my Nike+, I'd really like to have a watch that can monitor my HR, distance, etc. I don't want to spend gobs of money, because really I'm just a novice and don't need all the bells and whistles. Just the basic components. I thought I wanted the new Garmin FR60, but now I'm not sure that I want another foot pod. Any advice from you experienced runners? Well, that's about it for today. I get to spend the day at home, thanks to working the weekend!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 20 - "Work"

So, I survived "work" on two fronts today. My sister and I pulled out a great 10-miler (well, actually it was 9.8 miles, but who's counting?) AND I survived my actual work. I think I explained in an earlier post that working the weekend as a dietitian isn't just like any other day....All of the places I've ever worked they pull ONE dietitian to do the work of typically 4 or 5. That essentially means you're crazy busy all day and have no time to even breathe. Getting in at 10:00am didn't help either. But hey, it's not like I was lounging around in bed or my house....I got up at 6:00am to be at my sister's house by 6:30am. We were out the door and on our way to 10 miles by 6:40am. Being the slow pokes that we are (well, that *I* sister happens to be speedy but slows down for me) we finished around 8:20am. By the time I got home, showered and ate breakfast I arrived at 10:00 am. As for the run, it went pretty well. The last 2 miles dragged on a bit longer than I would like....but I was also having some stomach issues. And that was with taking 1 immodium. I swear, I just don't know what the deal is with my GI system. My legs felt good, but we did quite a few hills and my hamstrings were a bit tight by the end. No big deal though! I took an Aleve and headed out to work and felt good the rest of the day. There is nothing more thrilling than finishing your long run. I can't decide if I like the sense of accomplishment, looking forward to the day "off" afterwards or being able to eat ice cream guilt free....It's truly a toss-up! I celebrated my first 20 mile+ week by a Reese Cup glacier at my favorite frozen custard stand. Delish! As for other fun things.....Tall Mom on the Run, Mel, has another GREAT giveaway that I'm just oh-so-excited about!! RUN, don't walk to check out her blog and giveaway. The "girls" are always looking for better support and Moving Comfort has some great products to accomplish that. If you notice, one of their bras is already on my "Wish List". Anyway, tomorrow I may post my HM recap.... Otherwise it's just another day