Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Training Week Four ~ A Christmas Bug

I managed 16.5 miles of running, 2 sessions of upper body, 3 miles of cycling, 3 full rest days, and one random light work out of leg lifts, back exercises, sit-ups, and the leg press.

I took a long break from running Christmas week, but not really by choice.

my left calf issue was bugging me, so I rested.

I was starting to feel woozy, but Kenny and I are working out together, so I didn't want to skip it, and I knew the gym would be closed a few days anyway...so I pushed through it. I ran a mile on the treadmill to warm up (ached the whole time) but we got in a good session of upper body. Tuesday night I went downhill.

I was too sick to get up - ugh, the nausea.

Still in bed - nauseous and weak.
Opening gifts is hard work

I ate a peanut butter and jelly waffle. My tummy would intermittently ripple with a sharp pain, but for the most part I was starting to feel normal. We went to the gym and I ran a mile on the treadmill (and felt exhausted) and did some upper body work.

The new fireplace at the mall is pretty fancy

We walked around and went to the comedy club

I was supposed to run 13 miles. There was no way, I guess our wild night out did me in. I didn't want to lose my streak of four work outs a week, so we went to the gym. I ran a mile on the treadmill, cycled three miles on a course, and did the random workout.

I needed to knock out 13 miles.
I put on my water pack, and made the decision to run 13. 5 miles. I just wanted to get over the half marathon hump.

I never stopped moving (except to cross the street), just clicked off the miles slow and steady
I was trying to smile about completing my longest run ever, but I felt a little rough

It was strange, I've ran 13.1 and felt okay, so I am not sure why that little bit of mileage pushed me over the edge, but boy was I stiff. I have never been stiff like I was Sunday. I went to lunch with run buddy and we walked around the mall little and it helped, but honestly I didn't feel real relief from the stiffness till I had a good nights sleep. 

Trying to find a way to dry out the bladder from the water pack is a pain. How do you dry yours? 

Ever felt so stiff you thought your legs may never work again? 
Tell me about your favorite Christmas gift? 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Race Pictures

I finally decided to download one picture from the Richmond Half. This pic was snapped about mile two, and I was pretty darn chilly. 

My other pictures were rather comical, but there was one I liked that captured the Fall trees in the background. However, the $64.95 download for all pictures kept me from purchasing them. That seems really high $ to me for a download. I am not hating on the photographers, I know they are out there all day, and the company needs a profit, but I rarely even purchase a race picture because of the cost. It just doesn't seem reasonable to me. 

I probably would have paid up to $35 for a download, but $64.95 for pictures I looked pretty crazy in...I had to say no. 
One picture download was $24.95. So I picked the one above. 

One print was only $17.95, BUT they charged $6.95 for shipping...what???! Pictures weigh like an ounce, that seemed really crazy, so I did one download. 

A few of the pictures I missed out on...

I kind of liked this one - I thought the trees looked pretty
This was about a mile and half from the end - I kept thinking, "Where's the downhill everyone keeps talking about?" I almost picked this one for my one download. I had a time making up my mind. 
Oh! Here's the downhill - see how serious I got lol I wanted to be done in the worse way at this point. 
Do you usually purchase race pictures? Does the $64.95 seem reasonable to you? Do you like to get a finish line picture if possible? 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays

I've been out of commission a few days with a stomach bug and boy does it stink. 
Hope you are feeling healthy and strong this holiday season. 

Wishing all of you love, joy, happiness, and a wonderful holiday :) 
Kenny & Karen 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Training, Training, Week Three

My activity level was pretty heavy week two, and my legs were feeling a little tired heading into week three. My left calf is off again, on again, with a little knot of pain, so I am trying to give it a little more rest. Darn thing is annoying...

I managed 27.6  miles of running, 2 good sessions of upper body,  three full rest days, and lots of stretching, leg lifts, and a few planks for good measure this past week.

Sunday my recovery run ended up being 2 miles on the treadmill, my left calf was tender and sore, and really hurt at a few points, so I decided I wasn't pushing it.

My long run was only twelve miles this week, but I felt very tired when I got done and snoozed a bit when I got home. Ten miles the week before felt really good, I was energized by it, and got a lot done around the house. Fast forward one week and I felt wiped. I just never know how running is going to make me feel.

Saturday we walked around the mall easy paced for me :) 

We went to Cine' Bistro to see Night at the Museum -
I love this place, you get a little tray at your seat and yummy cocktails :) 

and popcorn  in a bowl lol
The storm in the forecast was just a mid week scare, by Friday rain wasn't even in the forecast, so I went to meet up with the training team Saturday. My usual run partner didn't come, so I was really nervous when the group took off. I tried to leave in the front of the pack, thinking I would just try to keep the pack in sight. A few miles in I realized that I needed to slow up, so I dropped back and spoke to the only two people near me. I told them I got lost the week before, and was bummed about not finding anyone I could run with. 
Long story short, I ended up with two run partners for the last ten miles. MB was a nice lady who was nursing an injury, so she was easy pacing it, and knew the area. The man Ray had coached in past years, and was happy to have someone to run with because his normal partner took the week off.  Ray said he usually runs with an older man, who is 70, and runs an 11:00 min. average, and he had done a marathon and a 50K (awesome) a few weeks apart and needed a rest week, but he is supposed to be back next week. I guess I will try their pace next week, if they are willing to let me tag along. 

Hey, guess what?! Christmas is just a few days away. I've only purchased one present...time to get busy, huh?! 
Anyone else last minute Christmas shopping like me? 
Ever have a long distance run just wipe you out? 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And the Winner is...


This is turning into my favorite workout of the week. 
The short fast bursts = rainbows and sunshine in my head. 

"With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress. Endorphins have been suggested as modulators of the so-called "runner's high" that athletes achieve with prolonged exercise. While the role of endorphins and other compounds as potential triggers of this euphoric response has been debated extensively by doctors and scientists, it is at least known that the body does produce endorphins in response to prolonged, continuous exercise."

A mile and half in my legs felt warm and ready to go. I really tried to focus on holding my strides a consistent speed and distance. Those short pick ups are really energizing and make a quick spike in your hear rate, but the best thing is, they take me to that endorphin filled happy place.  

I got about twelve decent strides in; some were a little slower and a few, I belted out pretty strong. I know it's kind of like cheating, but seeing the speedier splits makes me smile too. 

I did have some tightness in my left calf, that I didn't feel till the last mile of my run, but it was feeling better within an hour. A little stretching and easy walking at the gym made it feel a lot better. 

Look at my happy workout partner :-)

My hubby's hours at work were cut (booo) but, it enabled him to change shifts (yaaaaa!), so he's home with me at night now, and we started working out together  

We spent about an hour doing a light upper body work out...and then I came home and chowed :) whistling the whole time lol (I'm kidding) 
Sweet endorphins :0)

So, if you need to feel like a superhero, or need a little boost, throw a few strides in.  

When was your last awesome runner's high? have you noticed a little speed work helps you to get to that happy place? 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Training Team

I went out to meet the training team for my long run again last week. The young girl that is registered for the same race I would like to do, showed up with a buddy, said hi, and they went and ran on their own.

I ran again with Kim, the nice person who dropped back for me last week. By mile 2 we couldn't even see anyone else running, and neither of us know the area very well, and we missed a turn on the planned route.

Of course we didn't realize we missed a turn for quite awhile.
I had the route on a small piece of paper and saved on my phone, but we could't figured it out...so we just ran our own route.

I am a little frustrated with myself that I can't keep up, and I am beginning to realize this isn't really a team designed to help someone train for their first marathon. This seems more like, lets meet up and run together so we aren't lonely while we train kind of thing...
There are "coaches", but we aren't assigned to anyone, so there isn't really anyone for me to talk to. I have chatted with a few folks as they run by me in the beginning of my run, and that's about it.

It seems, I am the pokiest of the bunch for sure. I am not sure what to do in the weeks to come, I guess, I will have to see if my sole run buddy is willing to run with me, even if we get lost.

The problem with getting lost wasn't getting the miles in, it was missing the water stops.

I was fine running ten miles with no water, but my run buddy was pretty thirsty. I actually ran all my 12 milers in half training with no hydration. I am just used to it, but two hours is about my limit.

I do need to experiment with carrying hydration on long runs, and a few different kind of fuels, on top of running distances I have never tackled before. I was really looking forward to the group motivation, because those experiences will be pushing my comfort zone for sure.

I think I am going to skip group this Saturday because there is a 100% chance of rain, and the thought of running two hours in the rain doesn't appeal to me. Friday, after work I am going to try to knock out the 12 miler on my plan.

I am torn...I am not sure if I should try to keep going to meet with the group, and see if Kim will still run with me, or just plan my routes near home, drive ahead, stash some water along the route and do the best I can. Trying to tackle 16, 18, and 20 miles alone seems pretty daunting...

The one great thing about the actual race (the road race) is water every two miles :)  I keep telling myself it will feel easier race day, if I can just figure out the training.

So, any wisdom, thoughts, or tips that got you through training? Would you just train on your own? try to hang with the group? Would you run two hours in the rain on purpose?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Training, Training, Training

Week one of training - managed 25.7 miles of running (all easy paced), 2 upper body sessions and one core work out and 2 full rest days.

Week two of training wasn't bad...managed 30 miles of running, threw in those strides, 1 upper body session, 27 miles of biking, one short strength session, and 2 full rest days.

A highlight was Sunday, when I finally broke 1,000 running miles for the year...1,004 is my official count. 

Tuesday night 8 miles @ 10:08 average pace in my night gear

Thursday night - strides 

Junior has healed up just fine and is back to normal- no more window diving for him
Saw Santa in golf cart on one of my runs last week

I had logged 10 miles for my long run (10:12 avg. pace) before we hit the trail to bike 
But we had to take advantage of the 50 degree, sunny day :) 
Usually this view is completely green 
Saw some festively dressed horses on the trail 

A nice little 20 mile ride on the trail
I slept like a baby Saturday night, all that running and biking had me worn out.

Sunday, after my recovery run (5 miles 10:35 avg. pace), we headed out again for a shorter ride

in a quiet paved area, just 7 miles to soak up the sun. My legs are really feeling it today, but the weather was so pretty and sunny, we wanted to take advantage of it while it was here :) 

How was your weekend weather? Did you get to enjoy any outside activity? 
Do you sleep a lot better on nights you have a bunch of physical activity?

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Strides should be about 100 meters, which equals 0.0621371 in miles  

which I discovered takes me about 25 - 26 seconds

 time   :25.8distance   0.06avg. pace   7:00

I don't think it needs to be a perfect science, but I had to figure it out to make sure I was in the ballpark. 

Here's the link to a good short article if you want to take a look. Most sources seem to recommend you do strides at the conclusion of a run, but I am doing them randomly through out my run. If you know any reason why I shouldn't fill me in! 

I didn't decide to add strides into my routine because I am worried about my time for my first marathon. I just want to wake up those fast twitch muscles, and work on making my overall running stronger, which, of course, I hope will help me to cross the line on marathon day. 

I did random strides for my Thursday night run. You can see on my pace chart I managed about six good attempts at really upping the speed.   I don't feel I held the first few for as long as I should, so maybe next week, I will try to actually use my Garmin, or count in my head, and be sure to click off closer to 30 seconds each time, but I have plenty of weeks to try to master this a little more.  It did help me to improve my average pace a little, and I felt really good when I hit the four mile mark. 

My splits looked a little speedier than anything I've seen in awhile
Avg Pace

In fact, I was feeling so spunky after my work out, I walked a few minutes and decided to run an all out mile. I do this every now and again to see how I do.  It does engage different muscles than easy paced running, and the strides had me feeling pretty good...and I ran a PB best for me, 8:36:33 

My best mile during a race is 8:40 (a 5K). I can not sustain that kind of pace for any significant length of time. Trust me, I marvel at you all that have done for a marathon, or a half, or you crazy people that can run sub 45 10k's - when I run that fast, all I can think is, "How the heck do they do it?!" 

I am just working off a novice marathon training plan, but I do have a short threshold run on the calendar each week, and my stride work out is what I will probably do to fulfill the faster pace work, and leave the more formal interval and progression runs out of the mix. Last winter I did a lot of speed work, and I did get faster, but I was also hurting a lot more, so this may be the perfect answer for me as I up the mileage in the weeks to come. 

The best part of this workout, my legs only feel slightly tired the next day, not sore, achy, or in need of ice.

Have you done your strides recently? 
Do you ever go out and run a mile as hard as you can? 

Go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014


More Liebster! 
Thank you to Marie Alessandra for nominating me

My 11 questions are:

1. What’s your favorite holiday?
As a kid Halloween, what's not to love about free candy?!
Now...I am not a big holiday person, I just like being off work

2. Do you have any hidden talents?
Cat whisperer ~ not really, they actually rule me
(L to R) Misty, Otto, Junior, Tweek 
and yes there are more of them...

This is a good picture of Baby, my tortoiseshell  - with Otto

BooBoo - our hurricane Sandy cat - we let him during the storm and he never left. He's our only kitty that goes outside.

3. What is one of your greatest fitness accomplishments?
Just the half marathon distance, this old gal seems challenged at 13.1 
I am at least taking steps toward training for a marathon..week two of training in progress

4. How did you get started running?
It's all run buddy's fault. She ran for a year before I finally decided to try. I had been hiking and walking long distances, and finally realized I should challenge myself. I seriously lacked confidence about running.  
My first 10K I power walked/jogged beside Kasey, while she ran until the last mile and then I ran. 
2012 Monument Ave 10K I mostly walked

My Henrico 5K post
My first 5K post. I was really excited I actually ran it :) 

5. What are your hobbies, besides running?
I go to work, the gym, run, eat, do laundry, repeat. There isn't much time for much else, I guess biking would be my other hobby. 

6. If you could run with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
Princess Diana 
I would love to run and chat about life with her. 

7. If you could run any race in the world, which race would you choose and why?
Okay, so I am not capable of running mountains, but... I dream about running up them. 
Mount Hood 50 in Oregon
The Rut in Big Sky, MT

8. What’s the weirdest compliment or advice anyone has ever given you?
When I was younger everyone would tell me I looked like Molly Ringwald. Compliment or insult...I'm not sure lol 
I never thought I looked like her. 

9. Name 5 of your favorite songs right now.
My five favorite running songs right now would probably be:
Counting Stars - One Republic
Dreamer - Livin' Joy 
Blown Away - Carrie Underwood
Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
Show me - Cover Girls

10. Who do you admire the most and why?
My hubby :) He's retired now, but he was a damn good police officer. He takes good care of me and I couldn't live without him. 

11. If you could be any character from a tv show, who would you be?
Amy Farrah Fowler - she makes me laugh

Chime in and answer any question you want! I always love hearing from you 
I feel like so many of us have done a Liebster post lately I am not sure who to nominate!
I enjoy reading all your blogs and you are all worthy of a Liebster award :)

You can use my questions or any combination from these :)
What is your current health/fitness goal?
Do you have favorite blog post you wrote?
When you have spare time, or you are on a rest day, what’s your favorite past time?
Do you have sisters or brothers?
If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
Do you like gold or silver jewelry?
Pet peeves?
Favorite cereal?
Do you remember the day you found out Santa was not real?
Piercing or tattoos?
Favorite mode of transportation?
Name a few stores you shop at regularly.
Any other random fact you would like to share!