Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twilight Race Report

Last race of the year!
Made sure my toe nails were painted for the occasion! And just to make sure that I didn't take this race too seriously, I wore my "Where's the beef?" tee shirt - funny since I haven't eaten red meat in over 20 years!
Weather was fine - about 42 degrees - it was a tad cold waiting to take off but as soon as we got started, the air felt good.

Getting ready to go! Got to chat with my friend, Monica, who was running this race for the 1st time - her goal was a sub-30:00 (spoiler -she did it!)

A little blurry, but had to add this one - check out that smile - glad I was enjoying myself.

Coming in the home stretch - always the best part of the race :)

Finished and feeling good.
I didn't really have any goals for this race - I just wanted to have a good time. I did have a good time - I really enjoyed this run (I ran it last year, but it seemed so much harder last year). Maybe taking things with a side of humor has some credit to it. I finished in 24:58 or somewhere right around that mark, which will seal up the best 5k time of 2011 for me (my PR is 24:12 in this same race last year).
After the race we went to TGIFridays for supper. Yes, while everyone else there was dressed in their finest New Year's Eve outfits, I went with my "where's the beef" shirt....

We ended the evening with a ride through Lakemont Park's Lights on the Lake (we got a ticket for free entrance as part of the race packet and we're not going to pass up something that's free!).

Jude  watching the lights.

Blurry, but you get the idea!

This is my favorite part!
The path that we drove through was the exact route of the 5k I ran earlier!

After the drive through the park, we went inside to see this train display - the boys loved it.




It was a great way to end 2011!
Tomorrow is a new year, full of possibilities and hopes!
Thanks for reading my blog!

2012, I'm Coming for You.....

Hey everyone!
Happy 2012 - the year of the dragon!
I'm heading into this year with a good outlook, much hope, good motivation, but with some sensibility! If you've been reading this blog, you know that last year I attempted training for the Cook Forest Marathon but bummed out my knee (that's my official diagnosis) and not only did I not run the 1/2, but I let it get the better of me.
Looking back, I realized I totally over-trained for that race - I went into the training with the, "more is better," mentality. I downloaded a nice training plan, but I honestly thought that if I did more than was planned each day, I would not only be able to run faster, but stronger.....wrong.
I know that now :)
This year will be different - I'll be using my head as much as, if not more, than my legs.
So what's in store for 2012?
In 2012, I will.....
1. Run more than 600 miles. If I keep up my miles as I did this year, I should accomplish this goal, no problem!

2. Finish a 'bigger' race. This would be anything longer than a 10k, since that's the longest run I've done up to this point. Will it be a 10.1k? Maybe a 15k? We'll see. The key word in this goal is finish.

3. PR in a 5k. This is a goal that, a year from now, I might be re-reading and think, "What was I thinking?" But by putting this in writing, I know it will encourage me to incorporate speed work into my training - that's the reason it's in here.

4. Increase my # of group runs. I usually run alone, but in the few times that I've run with someone or a group of people, I realized how much fun it is, so I want to do it more.

5. (Most important for me) Be smart. I need to keep in mind that more is not  better and that I need not take myself so seriously. After being out of the running circuit for almost 2 months in 2011 because of my knee injury (due to me being an idiot and over-training), I realized that I need to have balance in my training (enter my Hal Higdon training plans - which I will follow this time).

That's it? Yep - that's it! I think by making this my list, I'm already working on goal #5!

Any goal out there for you?
Make this your best year yet!

2011 Year in Review

I just took a look back @ my 2011 goals - Wow! I'm just a tad off on those....
I had BIG plans for 2011 and although it wasn't a total bust, I didn't really accomplish any of my goals. I really feel like this 2nd year of running has been my sophomore slump, starting with the knee injury and not running the Cook Forest 1/2 marathon. The other goals I missed included my weight loss goal, running all YMCA races, and running a 15K. OK - enough of this crap of what I didn't do. This year wasn't a total bomb - I did accomplish some really great milestones.
Highlights of 2011:

# OF MILES RUN:
 551.56 *
(* I'm not 100% sure this is the accurate # because I didn't track any runs during part of April, May or June - I know I took some time off from my injury, but I also recall feeling so defeated that I slacked on recording anything I ran....so, I'm guessing this estimate is off by a few miles)


2011 RACES:
4/10/11 - A 5k to Remember: 28:49
7/4/11 - 4th of July 5k: 27:08
7/16/11 - Liberty Days 5k: 25:34 (2nd place finish)
7/30/11 - Ebensburg Homecoming 5K: 28:08
9/25/11 - Pittsburgh Great Race 10k: 58:30
11/24/11 - Turkey Trot 5k: 28:01 (I'm still mad about that :01)
12/31/11 - Twilight 5k race: Yet to come :)

5k to Remember
4th of July 5k - felt good to get back out on the race circuit after the knee injury.
1-mile test run: 7:47!

FAVORITE RACE:
 Pittsburgh's Great Race


FAVORITE CROSS TRAINING EXERCISE:
 Bicycling (stationary and trail)
~ 75 miles on the bike this year
Jeremy and I on our 'date.' 13-mile bike ride on the Ghost town trail!
Although 2011 isn't over yet, I'm starting to wonder what 2012 will bring?
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Trot Update

The weather was great for yesterday morning's Turkey Trot! A tad breezy, but OK.
My goal was to just go out and make some room for Thankggiving festivities by running off a few calories! That's pretty much what I did! I didn't train for this race, so I wasn't expecting anything great. I figured I'd finish in under 30:00; I did. I came in at 28:01 (why didn't I pick it up just a little to make it in under 28:00? I don't know...). There were 421 runners/walkers for the race - a great increase from last year's # (I think around 150).

Starting line - I'm in there - look for the funny blue hat (I'm just behind the guy in the maroon sweatshirt who is actually paying attention to Jeremy for the picture).

A smile on my face - must be coming in to the finish!

My boys like this race because the start/finish is @ the local fire station.
my boys + firetrucks = true love!
(that's a banana in Jude's mouth btw)

My friend, Kerri ran with her sister and nephews. I'm so proud of her.
Bummer, we didn't even get a picture together after the race.


And this is why I ran yesterday!

Another Thanksgiving in the books!
I went out Black Friday shopping this morning, mainly to get new running shoes.......I gotta take them for a test run and then I'll let ya know how they are!

Official time: 28:01 (9:02min/mile)
Age (30-39): 21/75
Overall: 164/421




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Trottin'

Tomorrow mornin'.
9:00am.
2nd Annual Ebensburg Turkey Trot 5k.
Runnin' it with my buddy, Kerri!


I have no goal, dreams, hopes for tomorrow's run; it's all about celebrating Thanksgiving by burning a few calories (that I'll put back into my system by noon)! Ok, well, that' not entirely true, I'd like to cross the finish line in under 30:00.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some Things I've Learned While Running

I was out on a short run today and somehow I got philosophical, which isn't all that uncommon for me, but those deep thoughts usually happen on longer runs. Today's thoughts started shortly after I spit on myself; yes, you read that correctly, I spit on myself; which was actually quite disappointing because I really thought I've become quite the proficient spitter (should that be capitalized? Spitter - it's a title, after all). Maybe I was thinking deeply to keep me distracted from the hills I was running:
Anyway, I came up with the start (read this as, "I wanted to jot these things down before I forget them, but will probably add to this last as I have more thoughtful runs) of a list of things I learned/came to realize while running or because of running:
1a. Spitting is not just for boys!
1b. Proficiency in spitting comes from practice.
2. Running has increased my patience - how could it not? You need so much mental endurance to run for any longer than 2 minutes.
3. Although no run is ever easy for me, I never regret hauling my a$$ out there and giving it my all, even if it is only for 2 miles.
4. Running on a treadmill has its place and advantages, but being outside in the sun, seeing the beautiful scenery (even the ~500 pig I ran past. Literally, it was a real pig), and filling the lungs with cool air is not only healing, but totally inspiring.
5.     This one is only describable through a photo:
     

What have you learned through or because of running?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NYC

Congrats to all the NYC Marathoners!
I think if I ever run a marathon, this will be the 1!
Big Apple, bigger dreams.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Date

I was browsing through my blog control panel and saw that I had a 'draft' blog post - meaning I started a post but never finished it. The post was titled "A Date," just like this one. Then I realized that I meant to create this lovely little blog post after Jeremy and I had a special date.
It was September 18 and the weather was cool; sunny, but cool.
We loaded our bikes up and headed out to the Ghost Town Trail. Now here's the thing. We both bought bikes years ago but it's a shame how much little we use our bikes. We have been wanting to ride this trail for at least a decade. We were a little excited to actually get this chance.
We decided to ride about 7 miles out and back (that's big time mileage for 2 people who haven't been on bikes in quite some time).

Stopping along the way to learn about a long-lost town, Beula. Beula makes me think of the part in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when the teacher, Ben Stein, keeps saying, "Bueller, Bueller, Beula...."

Obviously, I didn't have the camera much.

The way out was a slow long grade downhill.....that meant the way back was a slow long grade UPhill. We stopped often to stretch our legs and take some photos.
Love this guy!


Great date.
Blog post - better late than never!

Fun Run

My run today was more of a rog or a jun or a ralk or a wun. I don't really know...(it was some form of walk, run, jog, take pictures).
I took my camera along and decided I would just have some fun - no time keeping, no intervals, etc. Just a nice fall run enjoying the scenery. I'm about 1-2 weeks late on the peak of the foliage, but I managed to catch quite a few pretty photos along the way.
Going up our lane (shortly after I took this photo, I heard someone something behind me. I turned around and there was Gertie (my dog) chasing behind me. I had to run her back and restart - no biggie!

This is the first of about 4 hills I manage to navigate each time I run this route.

Second hill - beautiful leaves :)

I love cresting this hill - only a few of the leaves are left @ this point, but you can get the idea of how it might look full of leaves.
When I run this route in the morning, the sun will greet me as I crest this hill - it's breathtaking!

This is the closest I'll ever get to being tall!


Beautiful Maple. A friendly pup came by to greet me @ this point.

These horses are always so nice and say, "Hello!" when I run past.

Prettiness!

The 'tall' me (with what looks like a swollen leg).

I love Oak trees.


Just me being silly. And yes, I do realize I look like I should be headed to the pool after this, but I swear this is a cold-weather sport hat.

Crossing over the creek that actually runs behind our lake.

And finally, this is what I get to come home to!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bootie Buster? I'm IN!

It's been a while since I posted - nothing amazing to report :)
I haven't been totally motivated recently - it could be lack of direction - I'm just not sure where to put my efforts. I don't have any races on the horizon.
While reading a fellow blogger's post today, I stumbled upon this opportunity that might just give me the direction that I need to turn nothingness into awesomeness!
It's called the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2011 . The goal is to earn points by exercising and eating well over the holiday season (November 19 - January 6). What a great idea - this is perfect for me! Because you earn points by tracking your progress, I will be posting more often and what I've been up to (yet again, more motivation for me to get my butt into gear).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's National Coffee Day!

National Coffee Day + my birthday- coincidence? I think not!
I'm sure by my mom deciding to birth me on this date 36 years ago, she knew I'd grow up to be a coffee lover! Thanks Mom!
Today is also Rosh Hashana and the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel.
So drink up, happy birthday to me, happy Jewish new year, and blessings!
It was a good day topped off with a pumpkin pie arctic swirl from The Meadows!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Great Race Report

Yesterday was a really awesome day.
 It wasn't my best race time, but I really enjoyed the race.

Saturday was super busy as we had 2 soccer games and then had to immediately hit the road in order to get to the race expo to pick up my race packet.
Can you believe that this was my first race expo E-V-E-R? I have about a dozen races under my belt, but this is the largest one I ever signed up for so I had no idea what to expect!

14,500 registrants! SOLD OUT!


Looking for my name to confirm my bib #. I realize in the picture I'm not looking anywhere near the list of names/bib #s. I don't know what I was looking @ but I should've been looking at the list.....
 Got my race packet, picked up a cute Great Race tee shirt (it's a cute pink baby-doll style shirt. Yeah, I got an official race shirt in my race packet but those are always made for men and never fit me - I always think that if I put a belt on, I could make it into a dress; short torso on board!)

Next stop was the Double Wide Grill in the Southside for supper. Awesome place - click on the link for photos and menus. They have an entire vegan menu - made me just a tad excited. I had the Caribbean Coconut Tofu with cilantro rice. It was yum, hard to explain, so just trust me :) the boys loved this place - they had hub caps and wheels and things of the like hanging all over the place. They had an old Chevy truck hoisted up over the bar. Go there!


Next stop - Hotel. We stayed @ the Wyndham Grand in downtown Pittsburgh - the host hotel for the race. We had an awesome view from our room - right onto Point Park State Park which was conveniently the finish line for the race!
We took a little walk around downtown to see some sites and figure out where the race shuttle would pick me up in the morning.
Then back to the hotel to get everything laid out for the morning!


Morning came quickly and we were ready to head out to the shuttle pick up. I didn't want to get there too soon - I don't like arriving to races too early. It's just me - makes me nervous. I'm not one of those runners who goes out for a several mile 'warm up' before the race. I had exactly 6.2 miles worth of run in me so I didn't want to waste away in nervous energy. Race started @ 9:30, so I figured if I got on the shuttle around 8:30/8:45, I'd have more than enough time to get to the start line.

Ha! This is what the shuttle line looked like when I got there! Crap! So I jumped in line and chatted the time away (racers are the coolest people to strike up a conversation with, not to mention they help keep that nervous energy @ bay).
Gotta love the PPG buildings in Pittsburgh. I think Pittsburgh is just an awesome city. Go there!

So, off I go on the shuttle. Arrived @ race about 9:10am. It took me until about 9:28 to get to the start line. The gun went off @ about 9:36 and I crossed the start @ about 9:40.
First hill @ about .1 miles into the race. It was in a beautiful neighborhood, so I didn't mind too much.
The sun came out in all her glory and I was sweating buckets by 1.5 miles.
We ran through Frick Park area, the into Squirrel Hill District (so pretty), then into Oakland and through parts of University of Pitt campus, past the hospitals, then onto the Blvd of the Allies and right around mile 4, we made a turn and there was the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. Ah! I was really starting to tire out - I didn't really expect that. I think there were a few things happening that played into that:
* The sun beating on my back
* I'm not used to running an entire race watching the road - I had to in this one because it never really thinned out - there were people passing, weaving in and out the e-n-t-i-r-e race. I was scared to look up and enjoy the sites for fear of tripping on someone (I did pass quite a few people too).
* I was just totally overwhelmed with the big race experience - it was so awesome @ times that I almost started crying (like when families were standing on their porches cheering us on or when college students set up their bands to play for us - just not used to all of that).
* I really had to pee (starting around mile 3.5)
So between miles 4 and 6 , I took about (4) 30 second walk breaks. I just couldn't help it.
Then, of course, as we rounded the last corner, there were people lined up all over the place cheering. Something kicked in and I took off, sprinting the last little bit of the race (maybe a tenth or 2/10 of a mile, nothing significant).
I crossed the finish line in 58:30!
I caught my breath, called Jeremy and the boys (because I didn't see them @ all coming in the finish area), we met up and pretty much headed back to the hotel for a shower.

This was the view from our room! Awesome!
 The boys waiting for me to come in!
 I'm in there somewhere (look about mid picture - green shirt, white head band) - this was just after I crossed the finish line.
 Hot, tired (and really had to pee), but oh so happy to be back with my boys.





So, I met my Goal C.
Official race results:
Clock time: 1:02:49
Chip time: 58:30
Overall place: 3959/7865
Female place: 1451/3947
Division place (Females 35-39): 210/567
I'm OK with all of these stats. It puts me in the top half of all the categories :)
I'll be back next year, Great Race, and I'm hoping to bring some friends with me. This race was too good not to share! So if you are a reader/follower of this blog - let me know if you'll sign up next year!

Thanks for taking 1/2 your day out to read this :)