Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10K Success

Mission accomplished. We finished our 10K this weekend. M and I both seeded ourselves with a 1 hour finish time, although I was secretly hoping to finish in 54-55 minutes. I finished in 47:41…. and felt great doing it.

If I had known I was going to have gas left in the tank at the finish line, I wouldn’t have been so conservative with my pace earlier in the race. Admittedly, I can’t shake the discouraged attitude and doubt I have coming back from baby. I held on to my reserves as protection, waiting to hit a wall that never came.

M finished in slightly over an hour. Averaging a little under 10 minutes a mile throughout the race, he thought he was golden, but he failed to account for how long it would take to finish the last 1/5 of a mile. Throughout the rest of weekend he’d randomly bring up how pissed he was about not breaking an hour.

The NY weather was a sunny, crisp 60 degrees at the start, and was a welcome change to what we’re used to training in. The course is notoriously difficult which is what brings in the big name athletes from around the country.  Ryan Hall set the course record in 2006.

Almost 4,500 runners participated. Katie McGregor and Heidi Westerling took 1st and 2nd in the women’s race….. 33:12 and 34:00 respectively. Blazing fast. Mohmed Trafeh and Jason Lemkuhle took 1-2 in the men’s race. It was cool to see these elite runners in person. I wanted to feed them a hamburger.

I have plenty of room for improvement, but my confidence has been given a boost. I bit the bullet and officially registered for a half-marathon on October 31st.

After the race we knocked back a couple Michelob Ultras at the beer tent. Every race needs one of those. Empty stomach + dehydration  + beer = one loopy runblondie26.

Time: 47:41
Pace: 7:41
Div Place: 21/260
Overall Place: 677/4,448

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Destination Races

I was psyched after reading Mrs.CJ's recent review of the USAF Half Marathon. She's another runner and aviation enthusiast, so she's always got something cool to report.

I was happy to hear the course was not only a treat for the runners, but fun for the spectators as well. I think the hubs would agree on going.

This is perfect because I’ve been looking for another good “destination” race to set my sights on. I have my rules for selecting races. I won’t drive more than 30 mins for a 5K, no more than an hour for a 10K or half marathon, and no more than 2 hours for a full marathon. A race has to be really special in some way to warrant traveling farther. It's an extra bonus if I can turn it into a weekend get-away for the entire family.

When people ask me which races have been my favorites, there are 2 that immediately spring to mind. The Boston Marathon is in a class by itself. After that, it would be the Camp Pendelton Mud Run. It should be on every runner’s to-do list. After cleaning up, you can round out your stay by exploring San Diego and going wine tasting in Temecula.

Fun Stuff

These races don’t stand out in my memory because I ran my best times, but because they were so unique.

So I’m throwing it out to you. What’s your favorite destination race?

Training Updates 9/7-9/20

A double update since I didn’t post last week. Our 10K is this Saturday, and I'm really proud of M for his training efforts over the past few weeks.

Overall my mileage has been decent, but the frequency has been off. In the past, doing back to back workouts has enabled me to do long races despite not doing long training runs. The typical marathon training plan includes one 14-20 mile "long run" per week. In my experience running 7-10 miles a few days in a row (at a minimum of 75-85% max hr), is just as effective if not more so than doing "long runs".

Using this strategy, I don’t just condition myself to run fatigued, I condition myself to run fast (you know, relatively speaking) while fatigued.

Note: If you’re looking into becoming a marathon runner, I’d highly recommend checking out the Hanson S.O.S program . Similar philosphy to mine, but explained much better :)

Nowadays back to back workouts have become the exception, not the norm, so I plan to stick with half-marathons or less. For the sake of my family and my well-being, that makes for a good balance. Perhaps I should change my name to runblondie13.1?

Week of 9/7:
Monday: 7 mi run
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 8 mi run
Friday: off
Saturday: 7 mi run, 20 mins elliptical
Sunday: off

Week of 9/14:
Monday: off
Tuesday: 4 mi run, 30 mins elliptical
Wednesday: a home pilates dvd
Thursday: 7 mi run
Friday: off
Saturday: 8 mi tempo run    
  • 5 min warm-up
  • miles 1-6 @ 8:30
  • mile 7 @ 9:30
  • mile 8 @ 8:00
  • 5 min cool-down
  • Sunday: 4 mi run, hill repeats (100m x 8)

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Big Peach Running Co.

    Your feet grow when you’re pregnant. It’s fairly common. I knew about the swelling, but wasn’t privy to that piece of information. We traveled to a wedding when I was 25 weeks pregnant and the cute strappy heels I’d been saving for such an occasion weren’t so cute with my heels hanging off the back. I have a good excuse to buy shoes again.

    I’ve gotten two new pairs of running shoes since I started my post-baby running, but neither pair was really doing it for me. Aside from being a ½ size larger, something was different and I couldn’t pinpoint it. Before I threw away money on another pair of shoes, I thought it’d be worth getting an outside opinion.

    The first piece of advice a newbie runner usually gets is “go get fitted for shoes”, which I always though was bogus. The last time I bought shoes from a speciality running store was sometime in the late 90’s. The fit process meant that the store clerk took a look at my arches, pulled a few shoes from the storeroom, and watched my feet as I jogged around the parking lot to look for signs of under/over pronation. Then he’d charge me a premium for the shoe since it’s this season latest color.

    The fit process has gone high-tech since then. First I stood on a special mat that detected the pressure areas on my feet and produced an imagine showing the type of arch I have......standard, medium height.

    Next I ran on a treadmill while being video taped from behind from the knees down. We played it back in slow motion and saw that I land on the outside of my forefoot. However as my foot moves under my body I mildly pronate which is why my knees and IT band have been griping at me lately. This is something new, but it makes sense given my hips have gotten wider. The prescription, a shoe with a highly cushioned forefoot and light stability.

    I tried on a few pairs that fit the description, and settled on the Saucony ProGrid Guide 2. I'm still breaking them in, but they feel good so far. Size 8, white and light blue, in case you’re starting your Christmas shopping early.

    M went through the fit process as well and ended up with the men’s version of the same shoe. Yes, we’re sole mates. heh, heh

    If you want to stop in the Big Peach Running Co. it’s pretty easy to find. There’s one Peachtree Street.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Children's Museum of Atlanta

    Hello everyone! Now that I’m back in A-town, I'll hit you with a double update today. Just so you know, I’ve been keeping up with most of you in blogland, even if I haven't done much commenting. Is there a way to read and leave comments in Google Reader? That's what I've been using lately. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

    M scored a pretty good nap line this month. He’s gone a few nights a week, but is home every day, and has a long stretch of time off at the end of the month. With the way his company structures pay for nap lines, his block time is well over guarantee too. Sweet.

    After having standard 4-day trips with weekends on, we had time for our first family outing in quite a while. I had heard about the Target Free Tuesdays at the Imagine It! Children’s Museum of Atlanta from a friend, and we decided to check it out after I finished work.

    E was too young to do much there, but I think see enjoyed watching the activity around her. We posed her for some pictures and she splashed her hands in the toddler water pond. Taking her out is a lot easier with an assistant baby wrangler. I would have struggled on my own. Anything she could get her hands on went straight towards the mouth, and we had to keep thwarting her attempts at taste tests. M joked about putting her in one of the jungle gyms to see if she could fend for herself and find her way out. Toughen her up a bit. Oh, his sense of humor.

    We’ll keep this place on our to-do list for when she’s older. It was cute. Another 2 years and she’ll have a greater appreciation.

    I was surprised they didn't have an airplane to play pilot, but E did get to drive a tractor and a crane. They're probably more lucrative careers to encourage anyway......

    Training Updates - Week of 9/7/09

    Less than 2 weeks until the 10K. I squeezed in two runs while Little E and I were at the Jersey shore, to bring my total to about 28 miles for the week. My parents were complaining about how hot and humid it was for September. I thought it was refreshingly cool compared to what I’ve been running in. My weekend runs were based on time since I didn’t have an exact course mapped out. By guesstimate, I was probably averaging 9 minute miles. Still quite slow, but for the first time I thought to myself “gee, this feels easy”. Yay for progress!

    Last week:

    Monday: off
    Tuesday: 7 miles
    Wednesday: 8 mile run w/ stroller, M joined in for the last 3
    Thursday: off
    Friday: off
    Saturday: 66 minute run
    Sunday: 61 minute run

    And of course some pics from the shore

    Grandma couldn't get enough E time

    Baby feet are awesome

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    Training Updates- Week of 8/31/09

    I’m so excited it’s September. Spring is considered the season of rebirth, but for me it’s the fall. It means the cool, crisp air will be rolling in shortly. Pumpkin flavored goodies will be making their debut in stores. It’s our chance to wind down after a hectic summer of activities. I’m already daydreaming about those early Sunday mornings…..sitting on the deck wrapped in a blanket, sipping my coffee with no where to rush off to.

    I love the fall.

    I'm late to the game with the updates this week....blogging from NJ. Although I’m still waiting on my upcoming urology appointment, I've returned to a more regular training routine. My episodes have lessened, and seem to manifest mainly after my runs or when I’ve been doing a lot of bending and lifting, like picking up E or unloading groceries from the car. I don’t have hypertension, sharp pain, bloating or anything else that would point to a kidney or urological disorder, so by diagnosis of exclusion it looks like a simple case of runner’s hematuria as my OB/GYN suggested.

    M’s hanging in there too. I’m very proud of him. He’s been working out at least 3 times a week, and I can see he’s doing much better on his runs. He’s also lost 6 pounds he didn’t have to lose, and has added Muscle Milk shakes to supplement his diet. Grr…men.

    Last week’s training:

    Monday: off
    Tuesday: 7 mi run
    Wednesday: 7 mi run w/ stroller
    Thursday: 7 mi run w/ stroller, M joined for the last 3
    Friday: um, bowling...accompanied by beer and pizza
    Saturday: 7 miles w/ stroller
    Sunday: 70 mins elliptical, abs, pushups