Friday, August 9, 2013

A Running Hiatus

Hey look, running, I need a break. It's not you, it's me............
I took a break from running this week.
I've been having some 'issues' with running lately. I'm slower, clocking less miles, having more aches and pains, and enjoying it less. Instead of continuing to push myself through those measly 2-3 miles runs and feeling like the slowest, dumbest runner ever, I decided to just take a brief hiatus from my routine. I just want to see if running is where I want to continue my focus, if it really still makes a difference in my day.
So it's Friday..........
I will start back to running on Sunday with a renewed sense of adventure and a new pair (actually 2) of shoes. I'm testing out Saucony again. I have the Kinvara and Ride.
I will start an 8-week training plan for a 10k in October.

So a week without running has made me realize what running does for me:
* Maintain my weight - the most significant reason I started running was to lose weight - and I did! And then I continued to lose and then I plateaued, and plateaued, and plateaued. I thought running wasn't doing anything for my weight anymore. Then I stopped running and my weight has changed this week, and not in a good weigh way. So yes! running continues to help me with my weight.
* Gives my exercise a sense of direction - going from race to race helps me line up my exercise routines. I come up with my training plan, print it out, and with each completed workout cross it off - that's a sense of accomplishment!
* Helps my stress level - more than anything it gives me time to think; sometimes about important things, but sometimes most times useless things like math problems, test questions, etc.... I realize that I need that mindless thinking time.

Maybe with my renewed motivation of fitness will come a renewed sense of more timely blogging..........we shall see! Maybe I'll have a guest blogger next time......

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Red, White, and Blue

It's a gorgeous summer day and I'm looking forward to getting the house cleaned and then having a bit of R&R today.
Just a couple of things I wanted to share:

1. I successfully completed the Memorial Day to 4th of July challenge of running at least 1 mile every day! There were some days when I didn't think that I could squeeze in even 1 mile, but I always found a way. It was a good lesson in prioritizing exercise. So what do I get out of the challenge? Gifts? Money? Fame? Nope! Just the satisfaction and that's good enough for me :)

2. 4th of July Race Report:
You know I ran a 5k race on Thursday and you also know that I had some goals for that race. I was really hoping to score a PR on this course - - spoiler - - I didn't......... but it's OK. I really need to rethink doing anything amazing during summer racing. I'm just not good in the heat. And it was hot on Thursday.

We arrived, parked, and I was already sweating and we were still a good 25 minutes out from the start of the race.There were lots of runners trying to find some shade to hide in until start time.

Upshots are never flattering, but it's me and my boys! Gotta share that one.

Ugh! Heat. You should be able to guess my mindset based on my smirk.

Me in the swarm of happy runners just waiting to start.

The run was actually OK for the 1st 2 miles. It was really mile 3 that got me because there was absolutely no where to hide from the sun. My time splits were:
Mile 1: 8:23
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 8:58
Nub: 7:29
Here I come across that finish line. What a great feeling!

 Overall pace: 8:34
Time: 27:34
So, I didn't hit my A or B goal, but still got under 28:00
The best part of this race was that I placed 6th out of 44 females in my age group! I was thrilled when I found that out. It's probably, honestly, because most of the females in my age group ran the 15k, so the competition wasn't there, but it's like Jeremy always says, "You gotta play to win!" I feel like it was a win!

My firecracker who turned 6 on the 4th ran in the Lollipop race. Just a short sprint with kiddos ranging in ages 5-8. 
 Now, there is no winner, and every kiddos gets a prize, but I'm gonna let the photo below lead you to your own conclusions..........

We have vacation coming up soon and I'm trying to come up with my exercise plan for that. Here are my thoughts for that: stick somewhere between:
Whatever  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- Do 30 minutes of something everyday
As long as I stay somewhere in this range, I'll be happy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

And Where Have You Been?

It's July 1!
Please believe me when I say my lack of posting doesn't indicate my lack of doing! In reality, I've been pretty busy lately (just not busy blogging; actually instead of writing on the blog, I've just been reading others' blogs).
So what's been up?
I signed up for some challenge back in May to commit to run at least 1 mile daily between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Success! Well, maybe I should hold my tongue until Thursday comes.
Here's what my June looked like:

Since I posted last, I did run a 5k but obvi didn't blog about it or even add it to my race list.
The Cresson Heritage Days 5k (remember this was my 1st 5k ever back in 2010?) was on May 19. I ended up scoring a 2nd place finish with a 26:30 run time! I was thrilled with that because, after coming off of the long 1/2M training, speed was definitely not my thing. In addition, still carrying around the extra weight I can't seem to shed.
F-A-S-T    F-O-R-W-A-R-D to today:
It's July 2nd. That means the annual 4th of July race in Altoona is coming up in 2 days.
1st off - I'm running the 5k this year. Last year's 15k debacle reassured me that this year I'm sticking with the 5k!
Do I have goals for this race? Well yes and no. I did list this race as a PR goal for this year. So:
A Goal:  sub 27:09
B Goal: 27:09
C Goal: sub 28:00
So there ya have it!

In other news, I am most of the way through a 'Squat Challenge.' Today I have 80 squats to do, tomorrow 50, and Thursday (yes on the 4th of July) 150!!!
Better get squatin'!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Race Report (1 week late)

Holy smokes!
It's been a week since I completed my 2nd 1/2 marathon and I'm just getting the race report up. That shows just how busy things have been around here lately. As a matter of fact, this is the 1st time, a week later, that I had more than 15 minutes to sit down and collect my thoughts about the race.
This might get a little lengthy, but I gotta get it all in before I forget it.
The facts:
The race: The Boston Trail 1/2 Marathon (same one I ran last year)
The date: Saturday, April 20, 2013
I decided in January to run this race again. My good friend Amy and I decided we wanted to give it another whirl. This was my 1st 1/2 in 2012 and her 2nd. We began training and somewhere along the way, not too far in, we both recruited a couple friends who were interested in running also. We started a Facebook group where we shared our WIR (week in review), running motivation, and other fun running news. About 1/2 way through the training, Amy announced that after much pain in her hip, she wouldn't be able to continue training but take some time to rest that hip. Some others also had to pull out for various reasons, but so it goes in running!
On the morning of the run, 6 of us from the running group showed up to put our best foot/feet forward and get another (or 1st) chance of earning a 1/2marathon finisher's medal. I think of the 6 of us, I was the only one with 1 half under my belt.
It was cold that morning, but the sun would peek out every now and then. The race started at 9:00am with a moment of silence for all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
My goal for this race was to finish feeling better than last year. And of course, I wanted a better time.

The first 6 miles were good, better than I expected. And faster than I expected.
Mile 1 = 9:07
Mile 2 = 9:03
Mile 3 = 9:16
Mile 4 = 9:22
Mile 5 = 9:12
Mile 6 =  9:19
I know that the Map My Run app overestimates mileage, so I know these splits weren't completely accurate, but was thrilled to hear them chiming in each mile. What I really should have been doing is taking heed and slowing down a bit more. But, as a rookie runner, I didn't!
I felt well fueled, well hydrated, and I honestly felt Ok. I really didn't want to slow down.
The turn around came at 6.5 and I remember thinking that at this point last year I was really starting to tank. This year, I was feeling it, but I knew I wasn't tanking.
Mile 7 = 9:20
Mile 8 = 9:17
Mile 9 = 9:35
Somewhere between miles 9 and 10, I realized that I might be in some trouble. I started having a sharp pain in my upper right thigh - like, what in the world? I never felt it before. Oh well, I'll just try and ignore it. But just like me, the negative thoughts set in and I started a downward spiral that led to the last 3 miles being a run/walk combo. Honestly, though, I didn't really care because other than the pain, I felt OK. I mean, I wasn't awesome, but I knew that even if I had to walk it all, I was getting over that finish line in 1 piece and with some satisfaction.
Mile 10 = 10:20
Mile 11 = 10:12
Mile 12 = 11:03
Mile 13 = 10:31
Coming in around mile 11. Thank goodness for my support team, my boys! It was so amazing to see them. They stopped at 3 different spots to cheer me on. At the last stop, I said, "See ya at the finish line!" That was so awesome to say!
According to the Map My Run app, I actually ran 13.47, so my pace was a 9:47 (which would be 2 seconds faster than last year's pace), but the official chip time had me at 13.1 miles in 2:10:41, with a 9:58 pace.
I'll take it!
I got the medal!
And, all my running group friends did awesome as well! Most, I think, coming in way under their
 A Goal - awesome.
Heading into the finish line. Look behind the guy on the mat to find me :)

I had to add this photo. This is my friend, Deanna (who is actually my student as well). She is someone who I 'suckered' into this training and she took it and ran with it (pun totally intended). Her goal was under 2:20. She hit it in like, 2:12ish!!! Can you say warrior?

Another one of my students - Kelly. New to running, she's only completed (1) 5k prior to this race. We ran together for most of the race but she took off around mile 9/10 and finished in ~ 2:06! Her 1st 1/2! She better come back next year. She's sure to catch a sub 2:00!

My Team! Oh my goodness! What in the world would I do without them? They are my everything!
 I'm already thinking about next year! This is a great run and I think it's going to become tradition!
Next post will be about my reflections on what I did right and wrong.
THANKS for supporting me and reading!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

1st Race of 2013

Even though it may seem, due to the lack of blog posts, that I have been slacking off, I have been running. A lot.
I am so excited to say that in a little less than a month I'll be checking my 2nd 1/2 marathon off my list! I will be running the Boston Trail 1/2m. This is the same race I ran last year with my friend, Amy. This year we both recruited 4/5 other gals to run it with us. Well, I say 'with us,' but no one is holding another to run together unless paces align. We're all meeting but going out to do what feels best for us. The goal? Just finish!
So I'm following the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan again.
I start week 9 of the plan today. My longest long run so far was 10 miles - I just ran that on Friday. It was tough but the weird thing was that there was practically no recovery period; I didn't hurt at all the next day. The evening of the run my legs were a little tight, but not like 'I just ran 10 miles,' tired. Hmmm? Maybe it was the mellow rock playlist I made to keep me happy? Maybe it was the fact that it was 26 degrees and my legs never really had the chance to get too warm?
So onto what this post title implies - a RACE!
I ran a 5-mile race last Sunday, the 17th. It was the Ken Brumbaugh Memorial Race sponsored by the Hollidaysburg YMCA.
It was on the Horseshoe Curve road.
 A bit of an upgrade on the way out, which I didn't realize until the turn around point when things seemed to get a bit easier. I guess in a course like that negative splits are a given.
 Overall I felt OK - I have not been focused on speed during any of my training, so speed was obviously not my goal. Actually, my goal was 5 miles at 1/2M race pace, which is ~9:45/9:40 (somewhere around there, although I'll be fine with anything under a 10 minute mile).
Official time: 44:17 (8:51 pace)
Female 35-39: 5th out of 10 runners
Impressions: better than I was hoping for!
Me and my friend Sandy, who btw captured a 2nd place finish in her age category with a 43:24 finish (she just blew right past me).
She's training for Pittsburgh Marathon in May -she amazes me with the level of commitment, skill, and ability she has :) This race is the first time we've run together in a long time. Too long. We need to run together again soon.
So I'm ready to start week 9 of this training. It's a step-back week - long run is a 10k. I'm cool with that since it's Easter week and there's a lot going on. Of course, it might be worth it for me to plug in a longer run since I'll have a little extra time off.

Monday, January 14, 2013

And Then There Were 10!

Those pesky last 10 pounds.
I've been carrying them around and it's time to get rid of them once and for all.
Later this morning I will join the Winter Fitness Challenge (can't remember if that's what it's called or if I made that name up - it works) at work.
The rules are simple: weigh in, pay $5, get healthier/lose weight, win if you've lost the most weight (percentage).
I'm not in it to win it, but the thought of climbing on that scale in front of another person today and then again at the end of the semester is surely a motivation I need to get to it and stick to it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just an Observation

I went to the gym on campus yesterday as I do most days of the week.

My observation was that almost every machine was inhabited - that's not the norm.

My conclusion is that most students made new year's resolutions that include fitness or weight loss.

My prediction is that fast forward 1 month and I'll be back to having the choice of almost any machine there.

My hope is that fast forward 1 month and I'll still have to fight for a machine - I really do. It's great to see students with lofty goals. Even if the majority of them fall off the bandwagon in a month, some won't. Some will stay on their path toward health and wellness! 
I look back to 2010 when I was the one with the new year's resolution and others, at the gym, probably looked at me and doubted that I'd be there come February. But I was the one, the few, that made it through January, February, and 3 years later, I'm still there!

So I say: Go ahead, keep trying. You might fail, but you'll never succeed if you don't give it a try!