3-2-1 Let the weather stalking begin

Just a quickie today.

There comes a point in every runner’s training when you get close enough to race day –you can now see race day weather in the extended forecast. Yes, I’m guilty. No, I’m not ashamed. I’m a weather stalker.

After all the hard work, missed events, scheduling negotiations, long runs and such, checking the weather is almost icing on the cake. You know you are THAT close to race day. It’s almost here! Excited? Me? Well yeah!!

Anyway, here’s how it looks for the race-cation:

Day Sep 25 [Arrival Day]

Sunny

70°F High

Day Sep 26

Sunny

70°F High

Day Sep 27 [RACE DAY]

Sunny

68°F High

Can’t believe how good this forecast is. Hoping it stays this good, but who knows…for now my fingers are crossed and spirits are high:)

Keep running.

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Recap Week 14

Almost there. So many thoughts I don’t even know where to begin. Many of you who have trained can probably appreciate what I’m about to talk about. Prepare for a brain dump.

Today (Sunday), I had that moment when you’re running the last long long run of training after weeks of runs, schedule changes, life’s curveballs, cross-training, early nights, tight muscles…and on and on…and you realize you are on the home stretch. The best part is…I feel fantastic. I might have missed runs, but I feel good. Which is the feeling I need to hold on to going into my race.

Sunday: 12 miles slow

After the past few days of heat and humidity, it was a wonderous morning to wake up and have a breezy 60 degrees, sunshine and undetectable humidity. Supreme-O weather for a long run. I had headed out on my own, 15 minutes behind schedule and even forgot my pre-long run Gatorade drink. I briefly considered how much this might suck, but refused to let it come between me and what I hoped would be a good run. The weather was just THAT good. Anyway, I headed out with my new hydration belt. Which I had to adjust a

Nathan Mercury 2 Hydration belt (2 10oz. bottles)

Nathan Mercury 2 Hydration belt (2 10oz. bottles)

few times to find it’s “sweet spot”.  About 3 miles in, I got a text from my RB (run bud) who wanted to join, so I looped back around and we continued on together. A pleasant surprise. I felt so good during this run, popping energy beans around miles 6-7 and continue to pop them throughout the run until about mile 9. I hadn’t fueled with those before and wanted to give them a try because I can gradually eat them instead of sucking down a GU. I like them. I think they were helpful. Getting them open was another story. I’ll definitely open them pre-race to not run into that snafu again. Oh, did I mention I felt so good I ran 13 miles instead of 12?! Yeah buddy.

Monday: Rest

Resting is easy.

Tuesday: 4 miles slow

Today was more of a “recovery” run. A 4 mile run with my RB. Today I was dealing with some PVC’s prior (and during) my run, which left me short of breath. Nothing serious, but made my run much more difficult and slower than I ever anticipated. It was tough, where a short run like this should’ve been a breeze with temps in the mid 60’s! I focused on running the mileage and ignored my pace. Pace was a 10:54:/ Stretched post-run and was happy to touch my toes for the first time in a long time. Haha!

Wednesday: Rest/Cross-train

I decided to switch today to a run day, because the forecast for Thursday was T-storms and I don’t mind running in rain…but not lightening. I did some dynamic stretching to warm up and loosen up some more. Muscles are tight. My RB was able to join me for the last minute switch-a-roo and we headed out for a 5 mile loop around towns in favorable weather. We both felt good and ran around a 10:00 pace, which then averaged slower IMG_4919(10:30) because we had a couple of hills that slowed us down. We had a few good laughs too along the way…which I don’t know about you, but laughing slows me down.

Thursday: Rest/Cross-train

Resting the legs, but toning and strengthening my core, chest, back and arms. Good stuff. I love how far my body has come.

Friday: Hill Repeats 6x

Sorry this didn’t happen. I have no good excuse other than being tired, lazy and mentally drained. There has been much going on and I lapsed into my recliner for too long. I did do some stretching and core for about 15 minutes…nothing to brag about.

Saturday: 4 miles easy

My RB and I went on a very cool run. It was only 44 degrees this morning and geez welcome to early Fall. I wore capris and a T-shirt (rookie mistake I know) but I didn’t have my long-sleeves unpacked (I stored them in a tote during the summer). My arms and hands were FREEZING…brrrr. It took about 3 miles to actually warm up. We ended up running a common route and added a half mile to it. Total distance was 4.5 miles and averaged a 10:40 pace. Slower than usual and felt great.

Later that day, I landed in the ER. Nothing serious, but needed attention and my doctors office was closed. I have to wait 24 hours to run or lift weights. This doesn’t make me happy!

Next recap will include my taper miles. And hopefully a rescheduled long run.

Keep running!

 

 

 

 

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Why I blog about running.

Running isn’t the same to everyone. Some don’t. Some do. Some more than others. I have friends that joke they’ll get one of those 0.0 stickers because that’s how much they run vs. my 13.1 sticker.

00_sticker_oval_car_magnet

 

For me, running is a big part of my life. It’s my PLAY time, it’s a commitment to myself for myself. I think about it everyday and usually more than once (even if it’s a rest day). It might sound…obsessive…but when you truly enjoy something you look forward to it and MAKE time for it.

My blog might make it seem like running is all there is to my life. It’s a big part, but not all of it. I use my blog as an outlet to discuss running, my accomplishments, my fails, tips, whatever it may be…that my non-runner friends and family might not want to be bombarded with on a day-to-day basis. Blogging lets me talk about it and share with those who are interested and choose to read it. I realize my blog is slightly 1D because of that, but right now that’s the part of my life I’m willing to share. It’s a published journal for myself to reference for future training, races, and such. 

What I hope you get from my blog is that a non-elite runner (aka “recreational”) can set goals, crush milestones and can enjoy running and training on their own level and want to share that with the world. Recreational runners can be just as competitive with themselves and others they are racing with even if we don’t win our age group or the race for that matter. Running inspires me to live better and love more.

Keep running!

 

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Be prepared, not scared.

I have been basking in the glory of how well I feel finishing my last slightly higher mileage week before my taper. It’s kind of like the feeling when you go for a “free” run. You know,  no phone, GPS watch, no plan.

8d8be7fc5a40073ec1465f78fb16fd1a

Speaking of plans…

I have never stuck to one particular plan, training plan that is. I’ve always varied a plan, even if slightly, to fit my needs. I’ve done this for 5K’s, 10K’s and my HM. I think it is key to reorganize a plan to fit your fitness level, but also push you to grow. Although I’m not a professional, I don’t feel any one plan is ideal for every person. Don’t be afraid to tweak it.

IMG_4918I think changing the plan this go-round is why I feel stronger and injury free. I ran longer runs for my long runs. I peaked at 12 miles (but ran 13) whereas my last plan peaked at 10 miles. I also kept my slow runs around a 10:30 pace vs. 10:50-11. I felt like my form and landing were better at the 10:30 pace. Pay attention to how your body reacts during and after a run. Maybe the softball I keep rolling under my feet at my desk (at work) helps too.

 

I want to be prepared…not scared on race day. I want to be able to trust in my training and know that I had good building blocks backing me up. Sometimes altering a training plan allows you to do just that. For example, I looked at beginner plans and intermediate plans and merged them together to meet in the middle. A little harder than beginner, but not quite as demanding as some of the intermediate plans. Being mindful to not build mileage too quick or over-train. Incase you’ve missed it, I’ve been blogging my training week to week recapping the plan and then what actually happened.

Have you altered a training plan before? What changes do you think benefited you the most?

 

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Recap Week 13

Lucky number 13!  I want to scream and shout and shout it louder! In this crucial week of training I can honestly say I feel good. I (cross my fingers) am injury free and other than compromising a run here and there I am doing well in training. I am getting pumped up for the half marathon which is creeping up. As you can see if you’ve been following my previous posts, I’m changing the structure of the post a bit to see if I like it better.

The plan for the week was:

Sunday 11 miles
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles 
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 6 miles 
Friday: Hill repeats 6x
Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 11 miles slow

It didn’t happen, as I had mentioned in my last training week I was out of town. The weather wasn’t good and I even had a short bout of food poisoning on this day or perhaps something else. Apparently coolers do not always keep food cold enough…no matter how much ice you use:/ Hate losing a critical long run.

Monday: Rest

I wanted to be motivated enough to go for a run even though it was a rest day. The heat and humidity has been back and without opportunity for my morning runs (on weekdays), it’s tough to want to battle the heat. Opted to relax and keep it a rest day.

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Even in the heat and humidity I FORCED myself out for a 4 mile run. It went well…but slow. I felt like I was running at race pace–but totally wasn’t. I averaged around a 10:45 pace. Regardless, I knew it was supposed to be an easy run and the weather was my savior by giving me just that.

Wednesday: Rest

My favorite day this week. It was clam bake night! The moment I wait for every year. I get to eat lobster and steamers with drawn butter. Cue the choir and a verse of Hallelujah. Yum-yum-yum in my tum-tum-tum. I did know this day was coming and was on target diet wise prior to clam bake day. I also kept the butter to a minimum. DELICIOUS!

Thursday: Scheduled 6 miles easy

Easy is not at all what happened during this run. The only “easy” part was the slow pace. It was hot. It was sunny. I didn’t bring water. The only thing that probably got me through this was having my RB with me. It was easily 85 degrees and the shade we were anticipating just was NOT there. We felt good for the first 2.5 miles. Then tanked. I figure I’ll do the 6 miler on Saturday at an easy pace and hopefully it will not take too much out of me before my Sunday long run.

Friday: Hill Repeats 6x

 Yeah, so did NOT happen. We had a party to go to. This week I’ve been cutting out my cross-training. No real reason for it. If I wanted to do it, I would have made time. I think next week I’ll be back on track as I begin my taper. 

You know you love to flip tires when a truck loaded with these makes you wish they were delivering to your house.

You know you love to flip tires when a truck loaded with these makes you wish they were delivering to your house.

Saturday: 4 miles easy

Today I ran 6 miles (since I didn’t accomplish the miles on Thursday as I mentioned above). The morning had a rude surprise for me though. 70’s and 95% humidity. Geez. My RB met me and ran 3.5 miles as she had other plans to attend to and I continued on to complete the mileage. It was nice to push through and get it done. Slow. 10:38 pace. It’s been a good week.

Keep running!

*Remember who you are and don’t forget to love yourself*

 

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I signed up…because I can.

I’ve been battling with the idea of signing up for another half marathon. Part of me toyed with the idea of waiting til after my Zooma Cape Cod half later on this month (that I’ve blogged endlessly about during training). Since I’ve done this training through awful dreadful undignified rough summer temps, I know I’ll be delighted to run in the cooler fall temps.

I’ve been searching through a bunch of different races for another fall half. Many that I’ve wanted to do I’m out of town on pleasure/business trips and can’t do. This made the whole signing up for another race that much more difficult. After much debate and comparing races, I decided that screw it, I’m signing up…because I can. Literally. The location and date is perfect.

Which race did I choose? It’s the CHaD HERO Half Marathon. The race also includes options for a 5k run, Cam’s Course 1 Mile Fun Run, 5k walk, and 10k wooded hike. All proceeds from the event support programs and services at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). The HM course even ventures over state lines into VT (from NH) for a  short stint.  I have come across this one several times and am drawn to it for it’s fundraising efforts and it’s local to my state. It was one that I considered even before others had to be eliminated due to my schedule. It looks like fun, which is important to me if it doesn’t seem like a super scenic course…like a coastal or destination race.

Click to view the CHaD course map. The course map does not indicate where water stops are, if they have Gatorade or GU stops. I’d prefer to know that. Like most runners, I also want to know where port-a-potties are located for pre-race and on course. The start and finish are near each other, so post-race potties are at the pre-race location. Since they didn’t provide an elevation map I charted the course on my Garmin Connect. Click on the image to clearly. I don’t know about you, but elevation maps don’t really help me much. Basically, I see hills and realize it’s not flat. I have to drive it or run it to know. What’s your take?

CHaD elevation map

x-Axis (300,400,500,600 feet); y-Axis miles (1-13.1)

 I’ll have about a month between races, which I’m hoping will work in my favor while I’m adapted to the longer runs and then taper again. I’m planning on taking a few days off of running post Zooma race and then regrouping.

Happy running.

 

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Recap Week 12

Another week has passed and with it came a lot of change. I’ve been so terribly busy (having fun) that I just didn’t get my blog done in time…so sorry it’s a little late.

The kids are back in school, which means we’re adjusting to the routine of life, early morning rush of packing lunches, teeth brushing, mis-matched clothes and lost socks. You know how it goes. No more lazy mornings where the kids have no-where to be and all I need to worry about it running and getting ready for work. We are all scrambling to do our thing, relearn our timing with new schools and new schedules.

The plan was:

Sunday: 10 miles slow {BAM-Done}

Monday: Rest {I haven’t had a rest day since last Thursday} {Worked out}

Tuesday: 3 Miles easy {Ran 4}

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 4 miles easy {Didn’t do it}

Friday: 4 miles {Didn’t do it}

Saturday: Rest {Holiday Weekend – Out of Town} {Ran!}

Sunday began my training week with a 10 mile run. I ran with my RB, who hasn’t done such a long run in a while post injury. I had planned a route that would allow for her to break off should the distance pose a problem, with the feeling that she would push through regardless. The competitive nature I’ve referenced before.

Monday was supposed to be a rest day. I did “rest” my legs but my hubby guilted me into working out, which was fine because I haven’t done much of that lately post Spartan race. I worked my upper body and abs. I even surprised myself by increasing my weights. This is big for me bc I’ve wanted to increase for a long time but plateaued. Yeah!

Tuesday was a steamy hot day. I was concerned that I would not be able to endure a run, even for 3 miles, but waited it out as long as I could. I headed out at 7pm at a cool 80 degrees. It wasn’t all so bad either. I ran 4 miles (instead of 3) AND at a 9:58 pace. It might not seem like much to you, but I don’t generally have good runs with temps 75+. Also, this was done with my heart monitor which was placed today and will remain on for a couple of weeks to verify some issues I’ve been having. Now, let’s not worry much as I feel great and don’t expect any “bad” news.

Another big thing for me…I asked my hubby if he’d be up for a trip to Vegas (November 2015) for me to race the Rock n Roll Series half marathon (or maybe the full if I decide to go for it). It’s an expensive race ($155), but it’s also a huge race and I want that race experience with thousands and thousands of people. He agreed and I figure we can make it a fun race-cation and we could use a nice big travel trip.

Wednesday my kids started school. Mentally tough morning watching my kids begin a new stepping stone in life and realizing every day they get closer to becoming men and being on their own…

…On anther note, the temps were again hot and planning a run seemed questionable. Again, morning runs are for weekends now with getting the kids off to school which just limits some of the flexibility that life demands from time-to-time. Then, life threw a couple curveballs and the idea of a run was pushed aside. No run. Just excuses.

Thursday and Friday I didn’t run either. Wow, I really have been slacking off! On Friday, we left to go out-of-town for a end-of-summer camping trip with 15 or so friends. Good times.

polar-caves-awning-6-21-7-225x300

Picture from the Polar Caves website.

On Saturday morning I woke up at 6 AM (why???) and crawled out of my tent. I changed, had coffee and relaxed by the smoldering campfire until my RB (yes she was on this trip too) got up and was ready to go. We headed out on a 5 mile run which was fun for me. Our campground also had a 1/2 mile loop, which we did a few times deciding if we wanted to keep running in circles. We opted to venture out of the campground and run along the main road. I hadn’t run in this area before and was thankful for the reasonably flat route we took (in a mountainous region to boot). It wasn’t that much of the run was actually scenic so much as fresh. It was good to get out and run again. Today was a scheduled rest day, but since I had already taken more rest days than I was supposed to, I did it.

Later on my hubby and I took our kids to the Polar Caves. The Polar Caves were formed an ice age ago when a glacier moved overhead dropping boulders at the base of Hawk’s Cliff. These boulders formed “passageways.”These were a lot easier to climb through as a child squeezing through some of the tighter areas. Granted, it wasn’t all that bad as an adult either (if you don’t mind tight spaces). Poor planning led to tight quads days later from wearing my flip-flops. Climbing and flip-flops do not go together and I had to fight to keep my flops on most of the time. DUH.

 

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Positive Challenge | Last Day #7

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is the very last day of the positive challenge. Now, I’m only saying that I’ll be done posting my 3 things a day…I’m still going to be grateful.

#1 I am grateful for doctor’s that truly take the time to understand what you are asking of them.

#2 I am grateful for comfortable pillows. 

#3 I am grateful for others generosity. It shows that there IS still good in a world when much is focused elsewhere.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 5 & 6

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. I missed doing this yesterday–I just ran out of time! Today I’m including 3 things I was grateful for yesterday and then listing today’s things.

#1 I am grateful for my doggies who always wag their tail and cuddle…no matter what.

#2 I am grateful for beautiful weather. There aren’t many hot summer days left and I’m trying to hold onto every minute that’s left. 

#3 I am grateful for internet. Without it, I would not have the option to work from home when heading into the office isn’t necessary.

#1 (today) I am grateful for being able to watch TV on demand. Otherwise I would never get to see it.

#2 I am grateful for the person in front of me today at the tolls who wanted to pay it forward and cover my toll. I have my toll pass, so I didn’t take advantage of it, but it’s the thought that counts and it probably made the day of the person behind me.

#3 I’m am so very grateful for my children’s health. 

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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Positive Challenge | Day 4

A friend of mine has challenged me to list three things I’m grateful for every day for 7 days. This is my 4th day. It’s Monday…and it’s saying a lot that I can find 3 things to be grateful for on a Monday (just kidding).

#1 I am grateful for elastics since I would not have had a good hair day without one today. Monday humor. They are also handy for workouts.

#2 I am grateful for LIFE. It is truly an amazing gift and every day I have it is a great day.

#3 I am grateful for being able to see my children in the morning. Once they are grown and on their own, it will be something I miss terribly.

Now I challenge YOU to share 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days. You should nominate 2 people to do the same. I opted to leave this open to everyone vs. 2 people. Let’s keep the positive flow going!

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