Sunday, April 13, 2014

A quick weekend update

No, not that Weekend Update (I wish).

Latest Workouts:
Friday: Off
Saturday: 8 miles on the Schulykill River trail.  It was eh.  I decided that for my next long runs I'm going to actually wake up at the crack of dawn and take it seriously.  Yesterday I mozied on down to the river at like 10am and it was hot and I felt like I wasted the morning.  Meh.
Sunday: 30 minute swim and core work.  Out of the gym by 9:45am!  That's more like it.

SO IT WAS WARM THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!  Like, HOT!!!  When the sun comes out in the Spring I immediately get sunburnt.  So that happened.  Sunscreen didn't even cross my mind on my run.  I'm just so used to the cold, dark abyss I guess.  Don't worry, it's already faded.  Now I gotta remember to keep my shorts tan in check all summer.  Those are THE worst.

V-neck burn.  Womp.
On Saturday night Sierra and I went to a restaurant called MOMS.  We thought that was funny.  It stands for Maxwells' on Main and it was delicious.  We got sweet potato fries and complimentary (!!!) hummus and pita chips.  We were really okay with it.  Sierra got crab bisque and risotto and I got a tuna burger with wasabi avocado spread.  YES.  The restaurant is in a really cute town about 20-30 minutes from where we live.  We need to go up there more often.  Espeically when we know we're going to act like adults and not get craaaazy (there's not public transportation so someone has to drive...).

The bar menu had one of my favorite puns:

Get it????  Drew and my dad have a shirt with that on it from a this brewery in Dillon, CO.  It's called the DAM Brewery!!  Hence why my dad and I were obsessed and had to buy t-shirts.  I was so happy to see someone else use it!  So clever.  Anyway, I digress.

Today the doggies went swimming for the first time this year.  Seriously, seeing these dogs running around, frolicking, loving life, makes me so so happy.  They are my favorite :)

I spent the rest of my Sunday shopping for new white jeans.  The go-to pair has a hole on the butt and I've been wearing them like that since was time.  Now that it's warm out I will be in white jeans or white shorts until Labor Day.  I can't live without them!!

1. What'd you do this weekend?

2. What's your favorite piece of Spring/Summer clothing??

3. Best thing you've eaten lately?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Half marathon and racing thoughts

Latest Workouts:
Monday: 30 minute swim, stretching and abs, oh and a zillion squats
Tuesday: pitiful run after work (3-4 miles).  I don't like running after work ahhh!!
Wednesday: See Monday.  I've been swimming for cross training this week (and probably will continue for a while) because I think spinning really hurt my back and right side of my body last week.  I feel a lot better this week.
Thursday: GLORIOUS run before work.  4 miles, and I felt fast and good for the first time in what feels like forever!  It's finally the right time of year to start seeing the sunrise on my morning runs.  Running in the morning is tops.  

So one of my goals this year is to PR in the half marathon.  I've been thinking about when to do one, and which one to do.  I decided that after the Broad Street Run in a few weeks, I'm going to take a break from racing for a little bit.  One reason being that in order to cancel my Crossfit membership completely, I have to pay for two more months.  Right now my account is "frozen," meaning I still pay $5/month even though I'm not going.  So, I think I want to bite the bullet and pay for May and June.  I would love to keep doing it but it's just not financially feasible for me, when I also like to run, swim, and bike.  I'm looking forward to going back for a little bit, but I think the gym I go to is more designed for people who want to go Crossfit and solely Crossfit.  Anyway, I digress.

I have a 10k in LONDON woooooo, and two other 5ks planned for the summer.  I think that's enough for now.  Last year was all about racing.  I loved it, but I also had my good old dad to go with me to every race.  I could count on him for logistics and spectating.  This year when I see a race that I might sign up for, I'm not as inspired because I'd more than likely be alone.  So that's another reason I'm not too hyped on racing - I want the ones I do to be big and fun and worth the entry fee - I'm not going to waste a lot of time and money going to little races by myself.

Back to the half marathon, I decided that I want to do one in the fall.  I want to do two, in order to give myself a better chance at a PR.  I want to do the Runners' World Half for sure.  I loved the 10k last year, and I want to give the half a try.  I really kind of want to do the hat trick (a 5k and 10k in the same morning, then the half marathon the next day), but maybe next year.  I don't want to get carried away.  Because I got my destination runs out of the way, I'm fine with doing a race in Philadelphia again.  I've narrowed it down to two choices, both with their pros and cons.  (The below is basically copied from an email I sent my parents - I look to them to help me make the simplest of decisions).

Pro: I've never done it before.
Pro: It's a Rock N Roll event which I've wanted to do. 
Pro: Is "easier" than Runners' World, so I'll get the easy one over with first as a "warm up."
Con: It's a "boring" course, and I'll be doing a race in December which is pretty much the same. (**note** most of this course is my favorite loop along the Schuylkill River, but I've run it a million times)
Con: I have a two other (short) races that month.

Pro: I've done it before, so I know the course.
Pro: The course is more interesting
Pro: It's near Thanksgiving - my parents might be home?!
Con: I've done it before...and I've also done the marathon version.
Con: Will be colder than September.

After mulling it over and seeing my parents' input, I'm leaning toward the one in September...I actually signed up for it in 2012, but broke my foot in July so I couldn't do it!  My friend ran with my bib and she did great :)  Maybe I'll do it as redemption for that!  Stay tuned, I'm going to think about it for a while.  The price for both events goes up on April 30, so I'll make a decision before that.

Check out my race page for my current schedule (including these pending half marathons).  Thanks for reading my inner monologue!

1. What do you think?  Which race should I do?

2. What races do you have planned this year?

3. How are you goals for year going? 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

Remember that time I didn't post for a week and a half?  Oops..

WE RAN COOPER RIVER!!  Cutting to the chase, my time was 53:03.  My last (and only other) 10k time was 50:19...clearly a big difference there.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed...I tried to just focus on how much fun I was having in Charleston though!

Leading up to race, as mentioned in a previous post, my legs weren't feeling great - my IT band, knee, hamstring, and lower back, all on my right side, are not doing well these days.  I really need to figure out what's going on there.  I think it's because my hips are out of alignment.  Earlier in the week I looked up some self exercises to help correct this, and it seemed to work a little bit.  I took two full days off before the race, which is not ideal (I like to keep moving at least a little bit), but I felt it was necessary.  However, I also think I was stiffer than usual at the race.  And....we didn't warm up, like, at all.  That's a factor.  During the race I didn't feel injured, I just felt tight - like I didn't have a good range of motion.  Blah.  I was somewhere in between wanting to go slow and just enjoy myself, and wanting to kill it and go fast.  I never quite got into either of those modes, so the whole time I was back and forth, never quite finding the groove.

All these thoughts are what I've been letting marinate over the last 2 days, but I REALLY did enjoy myself, the whole weekend.  I knew it wasn't my best race...but I tried not to dwell on it in the moment. So, let's move on to the weekend recap, because it was so much fun.

Friday -
Drew and landed 20 minutes apart from each other, at about 10:00 p.m.  We went to bed as soon as possible, only to wake up 5 hours later.  Joy!

Saturday morning -
We got to the race start suuuuuper early, which I like.  Drew's dad had horror stories of missing the start because of traffic.  No thank you.  Drew and I had more than enough time to find our corral, use the bathroom, use the bathroom again...haha.  Like I said, we didn't really warm up though.  Oops, we were too distracted taking in the event.

Drew wore his Feel the Love 5k shirt!

By the way, I'm wearing my new shoes, and they're lovely.

Ready (as I'll ever be) to run
Mile 1 - 7:53
This mile, as it usually is in a race, was all about getting my bearings.  I was assessing how my body felt because I hadn't ran in a few days.  I'm actually surprised this was my fastest mile because it for sure did not feel like it.  But it was also downhill so...

Mile 2 - 8:53, Mile 3 - 9:06
Miles 2 and 3 are up and over the bridge.  It's a looooong steady incline, but the views are amazing!!!  Lots and lots of people were walking up the bridge - I was surprised.  Like, you signed up to run the BRIDGE RUN!  And these weren't the people in the back, these were people in the first and second corral.  Anyway, the fact that I was running steadily in the midst of these people gave me a good moral boost.  There was also a lot of zig-zagging to dodge walkers, so that was a little frustrating.  My 5k split was 25:00 something, which is frankly embarrassing for me.  It was the hill I swear!!!

Mile 4 - 8:09
Downhill on the other side of the bridge.   Mile 4 was definitely the hardest mentally.  By this point I knew I just wasn't running my best race.  I also had to PEE!!! Oh my goodness - I thought seriously about running into a port-a-potty but I also was telling myself that I'd be done in less than 20 minutes...

Mile 5 - 8:24, Mile 6 - 8:31
These were the best miles crowd-wise.  For about a mile we ran down King Street, a very popular street in downtown, historic Charleston.  It was fun!  I definitely could have enjoyed it more though, I just wanted to me done at that point.  Final time was 53:03, like I said.

Drew ran in 44:28.  BEAST!!!

While Drew and I were waiting for his parents to catch up to the finish (they were spectating at mile 5.5 ish) we walked about the Finish Festival.  There was endless amounts of watermelon, which was SO GOOD!  I must have eaten an entire watermelon.

Drew, on the other hand, ate a bratwurst from the world's largest grill, haha.  This was before we went to brunch.  Boys...

When we finally met up with Drew's parents and his aunt, we went to a fabbbbbbbulous brunch at place called Toast.  I got eggs Benedict, obviously, and a pancake.  We went home and napped for 2 hours, and it was the best nap I've ever had. No joke.

After lazing around for the afternoon we headed to the beach for a quick stroll before dinner.

Dinner was at Sullivan's, one of the places we went to in July.  I fully enjoyed my She Crab Soup, fried food, with a side of more fried food, and beer.

After dinner Drew and I went back to the beach for a little for some ice cream (for me), and some drinks (for him).  It was a pretty glorious day.  The next day we left at about noon.  It was a whirlwind weekend!!!  Oh, and another 2014 goal accomplished!!

I'm not sure where I stand with my running right now...I'm going to go on a run tomorrow morning and again assess how I feel.  Broad Street is coming up in a little less than 4 weeks, and I'm having doubts about the kind of shape I'm in!  More to come on that...

1. Do you like fried food?  What's your favorite thing to eat fried??

2. Last race you did?  Next one?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A goat on a table.

This week has been quite nice.  It's Spring Break at the school I work at, but I took my break early, so I am working this week.  The school is empty save for the maintenance, dining, and cleaning staff.  It's quite relaxing!  I'm glad I'll have human interaction at work again next week though...

Let me recap, through pictures, some things that have been going on outside of running:

Saturday afternoon
Drew randomly initiated a game, via text, where we send each other pictures of dogs that look like us.  I mean why not?  I sent him this adorable puppy, because he is blonde and often very, very tired:

He sent me this, and that was the end of the game:

Saturday night
Sierra and I took a jaunt to the city for some marrrrrrrgaritas!  We live on the train line so it's really easy to go into Philly for the evening without having to drive.  The only downside is the train stops running at midnight.  Most nights this is fine though because I like my sleep!!

I told Sierra to pose with the sunset.
Yes and yes!

We ran into our lovely friend Brooke!!!!  Ah I just love this girl.  Good times had by all!

On my walk with the dogs on Sunday we saw a goat on a table.  Goats be like, "May we help you?"

I found this, sent it to Drew, story of our lives.  Not my fault he's a slow eater!!! :)

It snowed again, how bout that?  I had a relaxing evening.  I went to Chipotle to hang out with Travis and Braden before I was hungry.  So when I came home to make dinner I had Mexican food on the brain.  I topped sweet potato with black beans, roasted Brussels sprouts (not Mexican I know), jalapeno, cheese, and sour cream.  HOLY YUM!

Not cool, Spring, not cool.
 I have become the master of building roaring fires!!  I spent the rest of the evening cozied up watching the snow and Jeopardy :)

1. What's something random that happened to you lately?

2. Is it still cold where you live?

Goodbye shoes :(

This post is actually going to be mostly about running!  Imagine that.

Latest Workouts:
Saturday: 7 miles around town.  Glorious, shorts weather, overcast, mid morning, the bomb.
Sunday: Hour walk with those doggies, plus a long foam roll session.
Monday: Favorite spin class, lots of foam rolling/stretching, and core work.
Tuesday: 6 miles before work.  IT band = ouch.
Wednesday: Instead of the 50 minute run I had on the schedule, I took an extra cross-train day because of my IT band.  30 minutes of spinning (on my own), plus stretching, core, and - you guessed it - foam rolling.

So if you can see the theme from my latest workouts, I have been very tight in the IT band/glute/hamstring area.  I think this is coming from my recent increase in mileage, coupled with my relaxed approach to dynamic warm-up/post run stretching lately (i.e. it doesn't happen).   Beginning Sunday, after my long walk, I noticed I was hurting, so I embraced my old friend: the foam roller!!  I swear by this thing.  However, foam rolling is a blessing and curse: do it too much, and you could injure a muscle/tendon that otherwise may have healed.  I may have been foam rolling too frequently these past few days, but it's helped me so far.  I already feel worlds better! It just hurts so good...

Check out this "Owner's Manual" of the foam roller.  It's very comprehensive, and can speak much better than I can.  I generally use the roller for my quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower back. 

As I was considering why I was all of a sudden so tight, I realized, "HELLO - I need new shoes!"  Duh.  It's about that time.  I replace my shoes every 6 months, and this works well for me.  Around the 6 month mark is usually when I start to feel injured suddenly - tight IT band, sore calves, etc., and new shoes fix all my problems!  I have not yet gotten to the place of rotating multiple pairs of shoes at once, although I would like to look into that.  

I am an extreme over-pronator (my ankles collapse inward when I run), and I have sky-high arches.  The man who fit my ski boots called them the Lincoln Tunnel...So I need lots of support in my shoes - I always add heal lifts and an extra arch support.  Yeah it's a mess.  For this reason, I am terrified of switching shoe models.  I am a firm believer in sticking with what works for you, and just getting the upgraded model of the same shoe.  Mizunos have been my go-tos for a few years now.  This time last year I was in the Wave Nirvana and I switched to the Wave Inspire 9.  It was a BIG "step" for me :)  I absolutely love love love these shoes though.  

 So I went to order some new ones online, no big deal.  Welllllll they completely CHANGED the shoe!  I can't find the 9s anywhere!!  This ordinarily wouldn't bother me, because shoes upgrade every year, but I've read very mixed reviews of the new 10s.  They've been overhauled.  Anyway, I'm sure I'm overreacting just a tad, ha.  I'm sure they'll be fine.  I tried a pair on yesterday.  They felt fine but it's so hard to tell in the store.  Then I just bit the bullet and ordered a pair.

They'll be here next week sometime, but I may not try them out until after the Cooper River run NEXT SATURDAY!  My current shoes will certainly hold out till then.  Then they will be laid to rest :(  (which means sitting in my closet with 3 other old pairs).

1. What's your favorite running shoe?

2. Do you have any nagging injuries/sore spots?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One 2014 goal accomplished!!! And one that will not be...

Happy Friday!  I'm looking forward to a nice, fun, productive weekend.  Just got home from dinner with Em - good start so far :)

Latest Workouts:
Wednesday: 4 miles on the treadmill (blah) and strength
Thursday: Track workout with a local running club!!! (about 4.75 miles)
Friday: Rest

So, last night I checked off one of my 2014 Running Goals: do a run with a local club/join a club.  I'm so excited and happy that I did it.  It's perfect because this was the first track workout of the season so I didn't feel too much like the "new kid."

I was very high energy last night, and I had been planning to go all week, so when Thursday came I was rearing to go!  I am very outgoing and talkative with people I know, but it can be hard for me to break into a new group - I'm introverted at heart.  I am very bad at starting conversations - I will gladly reciprocate and have a conversation if someone asks me a question, but I RARELY walk up to people and introduce myself.  It'd bad - this really hurt me in the first few weeks of college, ha.  Luckily everyone at the track was super friendly, but also intent on getting down to business and doing their own thing.  The combination of social atmosphere and solo workout time was perfect.  During hard intervals on the track I was zoned out, but I had people to pace with and to try to keep up with.  I pushed myself harder than I would have on my own, which is the idea!

We did 4x5 minutes at our Broad Street pace (10 miles), with 2 minutes recovery in between.  Last year my Broad Street pace was 8:15, so I was planning to run about 8 minute/mile during the intervals.  Turns out I ran the first two at 7:00 min/mile, the third at 7:30, and the fourth at 7:15.  I felt good about it!  I had done a half mile warm up before.  Without the warm-up my watch (it worked!!!!!) read 3.20 miles at the end.  I turned my watch off but ended up doing probably another mile with a gentleman I was chatting with.  He was very friendly!  Like I said, I love it when people are good at making conversation, because I love to talk once I get going!   So I think I did about 4.75 miles total.  It was lovely.  I worked hard and totally "endorphinized" at the end.  I'll be going back next week for sure.  Yay!

In other exciting news...

I bought tickets for London this summer!!!  I'm going for 10 days, and might run one of Britain's largest 10ks while I'm there!!  I'm so excited that I actually have a date on the calendar.

However, my first goal of the year was to run all the races on the BMRC race pass.  One of the summer night runs is the night I leave for London, so I guess I will not be getting a perfect score on that :(  But I wasn't about to give up the perfect week to go to London for a race I didn't pay for so...

Also, if I do the 10k, I'll have done TWO destinations runs (after Cooper River), so I think that makes up for that!

1. Ever done a destination run?

2. What's a speed workout you like to do?

3. Plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thanks for nothing, Nike. Nike+ GPS hasn't been working lately.  I'm very upset about it.  Over the past year or so I've become obsessed with my stats while running.  The watch has not been picking up satellites.  On my run with Drew on Saturday I let it go the entire time and it never linked.  Same thing happened this morning.  NOT COOL.  I feel like I've been running as slow as mud (except I've been enjoying myself more - more on that below) and I wish I could see my pace to know if this is actually the case.  With Cooper River coming up I'd like to know where I stand - and if I have been running slower, why is that happening??  I just updated the software on my watch, so hopefully that will help.  Meh.  I guess I should learn to enjoy "running naked" more (without timing devices).

On to more pleasant things!

Latest Workouts:
Saturday: 6.6 mile run with Drew.  As I mentioned before, I had a cold at the end of the week.  This run was tough on the old lungs.  I could barely breathe - I felt like I had a knife in my chest (not to be dramatic).  I had fun though because Drew was right there with me.  Poor guy must have felt like he was walking, ha.  I would have quit way earlier without him, but I just chugged along.  I listened to slow music and zoned out - it felt really nice when it was over.  
Sunday: rest
Monday: Spin class, then 10 hours later...
Tuesday: 5.5 miles before work.  I mapped the distance the night before because I had a feeling my watch wouldn't work (see above - it didn't). Again, I only have a rough idea of my pace because I didn't put the stopwatch feature on.  This was the longest I've run before work - I loved it.  I went slowly, but damn it's so nice to be out there when the world is asleep!  So good.  

Now get ready for picture deja vu - dogs and food.  Drew was here over the weekend - it was lovely.  We just drank, ate, and laid around, oh and ran.

Everyone go try Lagunitas IPA.  It's for sure one of my favorites!   Yum yum yum.  Oh and say hello to Drew's butt.  Also one of my favorites, haha. 

The glass on the right is from a race that Drew won this summer - so proud :)
Also, get a load of how different Drew and I are about eating.  My plate is on the top - I'm a mixer.  Drew's is on the bottom.  He eats a bite of one thing at a time in rotation and they never touch.  Opposites attract!

So concludes the pictures I took while Drew was here.

Today I went on a walk after work - another perk of running in the morning - endless time after work!  I was thankful for daylight savings.  It was beautiful out.

1.  Do you let all your food mix on the plate or do you keep them separate?

2.  What's your favorite drink these days?

3. Do you like the keep track of your stats while running?