Saturday, December 28, 2013

From Freezing to Overheating Again

The temperature changes continue to confuse me on how to dress. It felt cool when I checked so I put on my lined leggings and long sleeves. It went from 40 degrees this a.m. to the current 62.  My run buddy wanted to do 7 miles today and her hubby got to come since his parents were visiting and stayed with their kids. My simple plan was to run a 10K in under an hour and then run the last mile as cool down. I want to keep chipping away at 10K's in under an hour until March. I signed up for the Monument Ave. 10K March 29th and my goal is to finish in under an hour. 
Today's run turned out to be a challenge because I had a loose route in my head and we kept changing it and that messed with my rhythm for sure. Kasey got trapped trying to cross a street and I looped around, then we didn't do a loop I expected to run, so I was worried about getting the distance in and I never really felt relaxed, so I was happy when 6.2 flashed across my Garmin and it was 59:59. I know it barely counts but my cheeks felt like they were burning up it was so warm, so 59:59 felt like a victory. I was seriously happy just to finish and be able to walk and enjoy the pretty day. 

9:48, 9:21, 9:41, 9:58, 10:01, 9:20, 9:53     7.02 in 1:08:09 
Run buddy & hubby 

My poor choice of attire today 















I think I will actually go back out and take another a walk to close the day it's so pretty out. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Winter Weather Just in Time for Christmas Day

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Froze my tush off today. These crazy jumps in temperature are too much. 65 degrees three days ago. Today 30, brrrr. My run looks okay at a glance, ran a 15K (9.33) in 1:31:44 but it felt like a struggle the entire time to keep moving. That has been just about all my runs this past month. I just can't seem to get a good groove going. I have to fight to keep my feet moving. I wish I understood why I can't seem to find my rhythm, but in the meantime I keep pushing on. 
9:43, 9:20, 9:50, 9:38, 10:21, 9:55, 9:50, 9:49, 10:15 and .33 in 3:05 

Joining in on recapping my year of running I borrowed the questions from blogs I read, Evelinruns and @MissZippy1 blog, Miss Zippy 










Best Race Experience?
My first half marathon. It was a perfect morning and I am so glad I got to accomplish 13.1 
My first half marathon

Best Run? 
Toss up between my 10K PR - 59:00:05 and any of my (vacation) Montana runs because the crisp dry air and scenery was unbeatable.
Whitefish, MT
Best new piece of gear?
My Garmin watch. I don't have the fanciest one, but it does what I need and I love the Garmin connect web site. 

Best piece of running advice you received?
Don't feel you've had a "bad run" just because it didn't match or better a time you have already accomplished. Run and just enjoy the experience. 

Most inspirational runner? 

I read a lot of blogs and have Twitter and Loseit (app) buddies that inspire and support me every day. 

If you could sum up your year of running in a couple of words, what would they be?

This is my first full year running: challenging, invigorating, rewarding, frustrating, all of these things throughout the journey

Eager to see what the next year brings...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Already?

Saturday a.m. was defying the norm for December weather again. I got together with my run buddy and we ran a 10K. It wasn't a fast one for me, but Kasey busted out a new PR. I actually started to feel overheated (weird in Dec.) about 4 miles in or so and had to keep an easy pace. I started thinking about how the past few days at work had gone and how I broke from my normal habits.  Not only did I pick at some goodies I would normally pass up, but I didn't take my 52 oz. jug I usually fill with tea. I had extra stuff to take with me in the morning and left my jug behind. I also usually drink at least 20 oz. of water during the day and I neglected that. Both days I ended drinking a fountain diet soda at lunch and Friday for dinner I had wine, which contributed to my Saturday morning easy pace (no choice really). Lesson learned = you can't skip hydrating!
I finished about a minute off my target pace. It's funny how a minute or two can make you feel like you are having a good run or a bad run. It's a minute! That's what I keep telling myself and I am learning to relax about it because in the end what really matters is that I completed the distance. Every run can't be a PR and I have to be sensitive to how a few simple choices through out the day can impact my running.

1:01:28 is still an okay 10K -  9:41, 9:26, 10:06, 9:47, 10:32, 9:47, and .23 in 2:09
Kasey gave me a new 32 oz. water jug & I need to commit to drinking it everyday

I just realized it's Monday and I haven't worked out since Saturday. Time to get busy. The heavy rain we've had the past two days is supposed to clear up, Christmas or not, no excuses. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trail Time

63 degrees on the thermometer when I came out of work was to hard to pass up! My legs still felt a little sore from my seven and half mile run last night after work so I decided to head to favorite trail spot so it would be a little softer for my knees. I didn't have much daylight left, so I just made one loop and went to straight to my car so I could leave by sunset. 

 I couldn't believe I was the only one taking 
advantage of the awesome weather



My legs were challenged for sure, but I still made it through the hilly trail for a pretty good workout. Hopefully it will help work off a little of the past few days indulgences. I am having a battle with my self control right now and currently I am a pretty weak opponent. You can't out run poor food choices so I need to get off the brownies and doughnuts ASAP. Tomorrow is a new day! 



Secretly I can't wait till the holidays pass so everyone will stop putting tempting treats in front of me all day at work. 
Trail run - 5.03 miles in 52:16 average 10:24 pace 

Happy trails till next time, 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunshine Rarely Makes Me Roll My Eyes

A few more pictures from Tacky Light Run
Tacky Light Run ropes 
Very sparkly but hard to spread out


Sunshine rarely makes me roll my eyes this morning however, it was just slightly irritating that today was 51 degrees and as bright as it gets after my Tacky Light Run turned Tacky Drench Run last night. 
From bundled up to running skirt in less than 24 hours










I was fairly sore this morning because I didn't stretch last night at all. When I was done running it was a mad dash to the car, then to the shower, then to dinner because it was after 8 p.m. However, I couldn't resist the urge to get out with my run buddy this afternoon since I hardly ever see her. A few miles in my legs were achy and I told her she may have to go on. I didn't want to hold her back, our goal was five miles. 
Look at run buddy go! I was lagging a bit



I tried to keep it going though because seriously, I need to toughen up! I also need to let my pace stop bugging me, I am still getting the job done right.  It's funny, no matter if it's a 10:00 minute mile or a 9:00 minute mile my calorie burns are about same. I need to relieve myself of the nonsense I need to go out and run under 10:00 miles every time. 

10:17, 10:33, 9:56 10:30 9:07  which averaged to a 10:03 pace
I finished strong because I dug into my bag of tricks and relied on a little fear to make it happen. Our usual routes through the neighborhoods are moderate traffic, but we turned and ran down a much busier road that connects the neighborhoods together and that always makes me run faster. I discovered that this summer. I only turn that direction now when I feel like I may not be able to complete my goal distance. I guess I get nervous and just go faster. 
I think a rest day may be penciled in for tomorrow. 



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tacky Light Run


Rarely have I set out to run a race with my biggest worry being that I may drown. It was raining unbelievably hard, thankfully it was about 39 degrees so at least it wasn't totally freezing. The park where we started was set up with lovely lights galore! I met up with Catherine who is married to a co-worker of mine. We have only met briefly a few times so I was glad she was willing to run with me. It was extremely crowded even though the weather was dreadful. I think all 5,000 participants showed up. We placed ourselves in the runners group and waited while we got soaked. 


It was so crowded when we started you could hardly move. The event was actually a 6K - 3.7 miles but we ran 3.6 because we had no choice to walk the first .10th. The start/finish lane was roped in with lights, super sparkly pretty but you couldn't spread out. I didn't start my Garmin till we could actually run some. It wasn't a timed event. Obviously folks paid no attention to the groups: Runners, joggers, joggers/walkers, walkers, etc. We had people in front of us walking from the go, which wouldn't have been so bad but several were groups making lines and families were all holding hands and you couldn't get around. That really irritated us both. 


Since it was raining so hard we had decided our goal was to get it over with as fast as possible.  Our first mile was 10:45 because of the crowds. 
10:45, 9:37, 9:34, and .60 at 9:03 pace we finished strong even though our feet weighed about 50 lbs. My shoes were actually filling up with water. I couldn't see clearly enough with my hood up to dodge folks, so I ended really soaked all down my back. 
Overall we had a good time talking and running and the light displays were great! There was a great amount of neighborhood groups cheering everyone on. I am so thankful Catherine ran it with me, she kept me moving and motivated. I think if the weather was better I truthfully would have slowed down and just enjoyed all the sights. The organizers did a great job with the shuttles and lots of fun booths and extras. It's sad it ended up being on the one rainy day this week. Of course tomorrow there's supposed to be lots of sunshine!


Love the race bling 
Wore an old pair of trail shoes and blinged them up 
Thanks to Freda, a twitter runner I follow, I checked Wal-Mart and found my shirt. 
My only time tonight I was dry 

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Grinch Takes a Quick Run

T.G.I.F. I needed my run today after work. I had to make it a short one since tomorrow is my Tacky Light Run, but I enjoyed the sunshine and milder temperature and just ran an easy four and a half miles. 
The dreaded r (don't speak it) word is in the forecast for tomorrow, but I am holding out hope it'll be fine by race time at 6 p.m. I picked up my race packet tonight and the start line is already decked out with decorations. 
Crossing my fingers....

It seems like every house I pass looks like this...
Not my house 

Mine looks rather plain, not even a wreath....hence the Grinch label. 
Hoping the Tacky Light Run fills me with a little Christmas cheer. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunset and Heavenly Smells

Darkness is good motivation for picking up the pace. No choice but to go out and go hard. It seems something always comes up at work and getting out late means very limited daylight. I was determined though to not run on the treadmill again so I changed and ran out the door. It was pretty chilly which I guess I missed trying to rush into the house. I just wore a long sleeve shirt. Brrrr, I kept pumping my arms faster and faster trying to get warm but I probably could have used a jacket because I never really warmed up until almost three miles in.

6.2 miles in 59:12 

This was the first run in a loooong time I didn't have a mile in the 10:00 minute range. These don't happen to me often! The trick to a PR I guess is going out late and under dressed.

9:32, 9:43, 9:17, 9:27, 9:27, 9:36, and .23 in 2:08 

I enjoyed an early lunch today about 10:30 a.m. because of a meeting. By the time I ran my tummy was about on E. The smell of dinners cooking while running through the neighborhood was very distracting. 
You know what other smell I catch often when I am out and about I love. Laundry, when someone is running the dryer. Is that weird?lol 
Nope, it's not the moon it's my Garmin.


An idea struck me tonight. Garmin needs to make a night running feature. The light on my watch is so nice and bright but it only stays on for a second. Wouldn't it be great if it stayed on and I didn't have to carry the clip on lights. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Icy Sunday

Today it's been hovering around freezing all day so that meant a trip to the gym for the second day in a row. I really needed a decent calorie burn, but staying on the treadmill is not my strength. I brushed off my doubt, found a few new songs, put them on repeat, and ran a treadmill 10K. I actually stayed on the treadmill 63 minutes. I even did some weight training and leg lifts when it was over. 

I needed the calorie burn because I have not been staying in my limits as faithfully as I should. It seems the last month personal discipline has been a challenge for me. However, it feels like I am turning (slowly) in the right direction. My weekly mileage last week was 17 miles, this week I hit 20. My goal is to stay as close to 20 miles a week for December as possible. 

Saturday the treadmill defeated me and I hopped off after a 5K.  I did get some upper body work accomplished, but I know I didn't push as hard as I could have. The gym will never be my favorite place, but the weight workouts are needed. I still would like to lose a few pounds, but my love of wine seems to be winning out for now. 

Friday I ran outside before the rain and sleet started 7.03 miles in 1:08:44 
9:41, 9:27, 9:58, 9:24, 10:11 9:52, 9:55 
I don't now what it is but that fifth mile is usually where I dip a bit.
I love an outside run and all the stats my Garmin collects.  


The run breakdown 


My Garmin Forerunner 110 is a prized possession. I haven't entered the smart phone era yet so it has been a great tracking device that doesn't come with a monthly payment attached to it. 
The Garmin Connect feature gives me a monthly view 

The icy weather should be gone by Wednesday and hopefully I will report my running resumed with a long run. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Must Need a New Plug

The past few days I haven't been bubbling over with enthusiasm so I rested. I told myself it was to give my finicky hip time to rest because it's been very achy, but in truth my motivation has been on break. Tonight I knew I had to move myself out the door to the gym. 


The plan for the treadmill is usually intervals and I tried to accommodate my motivation level. 
8:49 x 4 with 10:54 x 2 recovery.

I warmed up for about ten minutes and knocked out one at an 8:49 pace. 
The next three I ran at 8:57 (sigh). I ran it out until I hit four miles at an 9:40 pace. My headphones died about 15 minutes in so that wigged me out a bit. I was seriously tempted to just hop off the treadmill, so just staying on it was an accomplishment.  

I stretched out a long time and did some crunches and a few planks. Why are planks so challenging? I try to hold them a minute and I am always talking myself into the last 15 seconds. 

I have a chord to charge up everything in my house: IPOD, computer, phone, camera, Garmin, but what I really need is one for me. 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Already?!

I got my 70 mile goal wrapped up with a 29:38 5K on November 29th. Talk about cutting it close. November was a rough month health wise so I am ready for December in hopes of better times ahead. December is another break from work so that will hopefully mean extra running for me.

Today I ran 5 miles with my running buddy. I was not feeling particularly energetic and my 51:29 reflected it. I am glad she made me run, I have a feeling on my own it probably wouldn't have happened. She gave me the cutest headband. A half crazy one :) I will have to wear it my next outing and snap a pic. 
9:59, 10:25, 10:19, 10:30, 10:12  
At least I started the month out with some running.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Brrrrrrr...VA weather strangeness continues. This morning when I first checked the temp the *feels like 16* made me hesitant. 


Closer to 9:00 a.m. the temperature was climbing. As I write this it's a lovely 43 degrees and sunny.

I usually set a monthly goal of  70 miles. Most months I go slightly over. October was an all time beautiful month. 100 miles because I was on vacation in Montana and had more time than usual to run. To see some of my pretty Montana pictures click the link  :) 
http://karensclutter.blogspot.com/2013/10/vacation-and-returning-to-rountines.html
November has been rough due to a lot of illness. I still need 9 miles to hit my goal. 

Love these virtual races as a fundraiser! 
I was feeling a little stiff as I headed out to run my virtual 5K for Comfort Zone Camp's Run for the Bubble. I was bummed I didn't get it done in under 30 minutes, so after a quick break I hit reset and ran it again. The beauty of a virtual race. I love having a do over! 




My legs just weren't loosening up this morning, I was feeling tight the entire time. I am happy I got it done in under 30 even though it was just barely! I had a fleeting thought of starting one more time and knocking out 3 more miles so I could hit my monthly goal. Like I said it was a fleeting thought. 
No worries, there's always tomorrow and I just need a short run. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winter Apocalypse

Today in VA they were calling for winter storms which turned out to be rain. In keeping with VA strangeness it was 40 degrees when I left work today at 3:00 p.m. Tonight leaving the gym it was 60 degrees, but the downpour is coming in buckets. 


I guess winter apocalypse is going to rain itself out. We should see sun by Thanksgiving. 
Yaaa! for sun. 


I did treadmill intervals tonight for the first time since I was sick. I didn't want to go crazy so I thought 4 minutes was a happy medium.

8:49 X 4 with a 2 min. 11:19 pace recovery lap 
I know I gave myself a very generous recovery lap! Next time I will use something in the 10:00 min. range. 

It was actually pretty tough, so on the last interval I bumped the pace to 8:57 for 3 min. I ran it out till I hit 3 miles. 

I guess I will have to work my way to 7 minute intervals again. 

I stretched, did a few back exercises and headed home. BooBoo wasn't happy about the rain. He got over it quickly though, he came in and snuggled up with Misty. 





Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crazy VA Winters

Yesterday it was 60 degrees and I was barely in need of a coat, overnight the wind kicked up and it was 22 this morning. Of course yesterday was my rest day (also theater day - Catching Fire - loved it!) and today I needed to run. So I bundled up and off I went. Cold is one thing, but wind blowing gusts at 17 mph was a little rough. About two and a half miles in I was warm enough to take off the gloves and wrap the jacket around my waist. 


Today was a bit of an improvement from my past few runs. I am still not falling into a great rhythm like I want to, but at least I could keep pushing myself forward. 
9:41, 9:05 (trying to get warm), 9:23, 9:17, 9:54, 9:35, 9:59, 9:39, 9:41       
9 miles in 1:26:16 




I checked myself at my 10K distance and was thrilled with my time. I really want to record a time like this for the Monument Ave 10K this year. 

I love girly pink & black color combo 



I restarted a few seconds later with the intention of easy pace, but my lap times stayed about the same. I guess it was too cold to slow it down.

I wore my new Brooks Ghosts today and my feet felt better. I can't believe my last pair is that worn out though, I am still shy of 300 miles. You have to great shoes to run, but the thought of replacing them every three to fourth months...ugh, maybe I will try new inserts first. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Not All Posts Can Be Happy

I had every intention of  a long run today after work. I left a little early so I could have a snack, change, and still have daylight. I wasn't feeling fabulous when I started out, but I kept telling myself it will pass and determination will keep me moving.   

9:53, 9:55, 10:10,10:01, 10:42, 11:06, and .20 in 1:47 

My 10K in 1:03:36 and I couldn't keep going. That's the slowest 6.2 miles I have had since the hot weather. 
I had planned to do at least 8 miles, so I was feeling pretty defeated when I stopped. I ran/walked a mile in 13:19 hoping to recover, but it wasn't enough. One more mile in 9:39 and that was all my body was going to do. 

I wish I knew what was causing all the fatigue I am feeling. It sort of feels like I am dragging a heavy bag, my legs just won't lift. I am having a hard time finding a stride. When I am moving, I am not falling into a rhythm and everything aggravates me. My headphones feel heavy, which they aren't, and my ears feel smothered.  My headband getting sweaty makes me want to rip it off, and my shirt rubbing against my neck was even plucking my nerves. 


It's been long enough and plenty of workouts to be back on track, yet I just seem to be getting weaker each time out. So rest day tomorrow, and back at it again Sunday and hope for better results.


I sure hope whatever this is passes soon! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Guess Who Got Checked

Thoughts to meditate on...

I read something today that has influenced my frame of mind. I have been very worried about how I feel during my runs since my last illness. I keep hoping "the next one" will feel easier, better, etc. Then today I read this...

"But I’d like to think that I don’t quit at the first sign of things getting tough.”

Even if something doesn't go perfect it's more important to feel like you gave it your all. I am determined to not give up. So time to toss the worry aside and just keep moving.

Determination, attitude, and ability are something to be nurtured everyday.

Today the quote adjusted my attitude and was nourishment for my soul. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bouncing Back

Sunday I woke up sore from my Saturday run, but I need to get my mojo back so I headed out to accomplish a short run. Those darn lead weights were in my shoes again. My legs felt soooo heavy it was almost like I was tethered to the pavement. I could hardly lift my knees and my lap times reflected that. It was a long 3 miles.

10:20, 9:41, 10:16 and .10 in 1:00 because I always try to run a race distance.

Monday I took a rest day.

Tuesday after work it was time to check and see if my mojo was back. I wanted to get at least an hour done and once I got rolling I decided I had just enough daylight to get 7 miles in. I can't say it was easy, but it was better than Sunday's 5K so I guess that's progress. I tried to vary my pace and work on finding that sweet spot, but alone I seem to have a hard time staying steady. I can do it if I run with a group but alone I feel the need to push and recover with a slower lap if necessary. It's funny that mile 5 in a lot of my runs is typically a slower paced lap.

10:20, 9:54, 9:40, 9:51, 10:27, 9:41, 9:43  7.05 miles in 1:10:03

Tomorrow a little cross/weight training and hopefully by the weekend I will be ready for a strong long run. 
My legs are so white they glow - no worries that I won't be seen as the sunsets 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Slowly Moving Forward

You know what stinks? Not feeling well, especially when it drags on for almost a month. 

Tuesday I got a flu shot and I had a reaction to it. My arm was tender and sore, then the chills started, and later nausea. I went to see the doctor Wednesday and was still feeling awful. After he felt the large lump in my arm the decision was no more flu shots for me.

It has been a month now that I haven't been able to exercise regularly and I am starting to feel a little panicked. I need to be back on a regular routine. 

I decided since it had been a week since my last run I would ease into it yesterday. A quick 2.40 miles on the treadmill and I skipped my usual intervals. I did bump pace between 9:50 and 9:22 and then did some upper body weight lifting. It felt good to accomplish something even if it wasn't a long effort. 

Today I woke up feeling fatigued again so I set an easy goal of 5 miles. Once I started moving I decided if I am going to get all sweaty it should be for at least an hour workout. 
I can't seem to keep from pushing myself. I got rolling and wanted to try to knock out a decent 10K time. 
Mile 5 always seems to be where I need a short recovery. I considered trying to push out a few more miles, but realized it would be better to build up to a longer distance. 
9:36, 9:15, 9:39, 9:47, 10:13, 10:09 and .20 in 1:38 for a total of 1:00:18 

The Richmond Marathon was today. Whenever I know there's a race close by that I missed, I get a little case of the blues. I should probably try to run it next year. 

A case of the blues usually leads to this...a little pampering for my running feet. 

ahhhhhhhh

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Slowly Getting Better

This recent bout of illness really kicked my tush. Saturday I went out for my first run in a week. I felt pretty stiff, but determined to get at least an hour done. VA weather has been beautiful, it was about 59 degrees, and once I got through the first mile I was happy to be outside and moving again. 

Mile 5 I started to feel wiped out. My chest felt like someone was sitting on it. I slowed, recovered, and felt ready to knock out two more miles. 

9:51, 9:31, 9:41, 10:13, 10:29, 9:54, & 9:37. 

7.10 miles in 1:10:02  I was exhausted when I got home but thrilled to have some exercise accomplished.

Sunday I woke up and my legs were extremely sore, so I set my goal at 3.1 miles and worked on stretching my legs throughout the day. My first mile out it was taking everything I had to keep running, my legs felt used up. My thighs felt like someone was pressing them down each time I tried to pick up my leg. 
I got my 5K done and walked a mile trying to loosen up. I stretched quite a bit when I got home and fingers crossed I'll be back on track this week. My time was okay considering how rough it was to keep myself moving today.


I wore my Motorola S11-Flex HD Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Headset (pictured) tonight. Once you run without wires you can't go back. However, I wouldn't recommend this particular model to anyone.
The ear caps make my ear ache even in the smallest size. The ear buds feel very heavy and the sound quality isn't as good as my old set. 
I keep looking for a more sweat resistant option but my old set (below) is much more comfortable. I guess I will just have to replace headsets every year. Lasting through a year of workouts really isn't that bad when I average about four times a week. That's a lot of hours sweating. 
Can't beat the comfort, but I keep sweating off the speaker covers off and have to tape (electrical) them to hold them in place. The change songs button also stops working eventually from sweat corrosion - gross. I have gone through two sets, each lasted about a year. I haven't found a better option yet though. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Existence in Pictures

A few pictures to explain my Rest-Easier Than it Sounds blog. 
My household - and yes, I do know it's too many cats and hubby knows he can't bring anymore home. 

My son & hubby - Andrew doing his best gangster pose 
Junior in a deep sleep 

Junior a few days after my hubby found him

Otto, Tweek, Baby in a peaceful moment

One of my all time favorites- "What clump of hair hanging out of my mouth?"

Misty, Otto, Junior, Tweek (left to orange)

BooBoo snuggling up to Misty

Junior, a bowl just won't do