More Vile Snow

So all weekend I was all, "Yeah hahaha I totally missed the blizzard by going out of town hahaha, no snow for me, it will probably be all melted by the time I get back, Colorado sun-n-all hahaha, back to nice spring runs outside in the hilly goodness, hahaha..." ah, not so much laughing and gloating now. More snow this morning completely destroyed the lovely outdoor Birthday Run I had planned for 5:30 this morning. I am tough, but I am not running-in-the-falling-snow-at-dark-thirty-tough, apparently. So now I have to either bundle up and slog in the slush or buck up and go over to the rec center for like 3,000 laps around the tiny little track. Either way, it WILL be followed with some sort of birthday confectionary tonight. There has to be something to look forward to.

**Update: I decided to bundle up and go outside.
Did my 6-mile neighborhood street out & back, plus added a little for good measure. Evidently the cold kept me moving and I ended up at 6.8 miles in 48:09. So I guess we'll call that a tempo run. And there was devil's food cake with funfetti frosting for reward.


Nebraska: May the Wind Always Be At Your Back.

So today was slightly warmer and not really any less windy, but the sun was out, the sky was blue, and I simplly had to get out and run. I did my 9.6 (plus .4 walking at the end) miles and still had plenty of energy left. It's the days like this that make me realize that I really can do a marathon, if I just keep up the training. I definitely felt that the half-marathon in 6 weeks will be achieveable and probably highly enjoyable...and I may even be able to keep a faster pace than I thought when I started training. I kept about an 8:45/mile pace on this run, and picked it up a little the last two miles or so, probably closer to 8:00/mile. It didn't feel difficult at all to maintain that pace, so it seems the speedwork really is helping and I am making progress. Course, it could have also been the fact that the route I picked strategically kept the wind at my back about 60% of the time...but it makes me feel scootches better to believe the speedwork is paying off.


Nebraska is really...flat.

I am on "holiday" in Nebraska. What, you are wondering why in God's name anyone would willingly go to Nebraska for any type of holiday recreation? Yeah, I'm wondering the same thing...

But the bonus is that normally running in hilly terrain at 6300 feet and then running on the positively, absolutely, nastily, gloriously! heavenly! flatness here made my recovery run yesterday a breeze. I set out to do 2-3 miles, to just let the legs loosen up after the speedwork we did at the track on Wednesday night and ended up doing 5.2 miles. It was a little windy--damn Nebraska wind--but overall it was pretty nice. Nice tree-lined streets, nice smooth sidewalks, relatively few cars, no stoplights. Nice little jaunt.

Today was bitter-cold and [of course] windy so I took the day off. Here's to hoping tomorrow is warmer, if not less windy, for my 10 mile long run.


High School Track...for Adults

Tonight was speedwork on the track with the running group. We did old-fashioned 400 relays--with batons even!--and I have to say, it was actually fun. Now, intervals often suck, especially when you are trying to do them on your own and keep track of the time and push yourself to just go and go and go...but when you have a group of perfectly mature adults doing relays at the high-school track, with hands stained green from the aluminum batons (I guess that's what $2.75 gets you) and cheering you on...well, it can actually be a little bit fun. Relatively-speaking, of course.

1 mi warm-up
4 x 400 2 man relays at max V02
1 mi cool-down
stretching & core work

Tempo: Moderato

Last night was my first Official Tempo Run, where I was actively trying to do a tempo run and following the little Runner's World article I found on how to do so. Result: moderate success.

The run:
10 min warmup - 10:00/mi pace
4 miles - 8:00-8:30/mi pace
5 min cool down

I basically spent the whole time reciting this in my head, over and over and over, "'comfortably hard'...you know you're working, but you're not racing. At the same time, you'd be happy if you could slow down," and tried to keep myself in that zone. Unfortunately, the iPod was not on my side yesterday and kept shuffling all this really great, mellow, cool, long-easy-run type music. That is, until the last few minutes...then it kicked in with the stuff I downloaded specifically for the days when I need a fast beat to keep my legs moving or to pick up the pace. The ultimate slap in the face? As I was just finishing my cool down, Madonna's "Give It 2 Me" came on. And I wanted to give it to her, I wanted to keep going...but had to go pick up the kids. Damn you Shuffle!

PS: I would like to thank Vanilla over at Half Fast for giving me the new excuse that I'm not slow just because I'm slow...I'm slow because I'm training for a marathon. Duh.


Hills + Calves = Ouch

Yeah, the calves are definitely mooing today.

Since the weather was fabulously nice yesterday and predicted to be cold and possibly snowy today, I tinkered with the running schedule (again) yesterday and managed to eke out another 8-miler so I could take today off. Instead of the trail running I have been doing on my long runs, I did hubs' 8-mile street loop instead. Actually it's 8.2...but I am pretty sure I walked the .2 at one point on one of the hills. It's a ridiculously hilly loop and my calves were (and still are) feeling it. But, I got it done and can now be lazy today. And yet, all I want to do is go for a run this afternoon...curse you irony!


So are you going to be a runner like your mommy?

The race was fun and had a pretty good turnout. The weather was perfect, the course was nice and just a little tough with mile 2 being a long, steady incline followed by a very steep San Francisco-style hill--the path up it even weaves back and forth all zig-zaggy--just before mile 3.

I had been forewarned by the Running Group that this was coming, so I kept myself a little slower than I felt capable of to start, and had 8:32 for the first mile. Now, I don't know that it was necessarily a good thing that I knew this nasty mile 2 was coming or not...because, I won't lie, I sagged a little bit there and even paused to re-tie my shoe and encourage my tired legs to keep going. (Maybe the long run yesterday followed with the race today was not the best move?*) But I managed to get moving again and finished up that mile I think around 9:40 or so. It's hard to say for sure, because I was borrowing the hubb-o's watch as mine is still not back home and honestly, I have no idea how to work it. Between trying to start/stop the timer and keep moving, I hit all kinds of buttons and somehow managed to split up the time for that mile into two segments...and then didn't know how to go back and review each segment afterward to add them up.

After the Big Hill, mile 3 was downhill so I picked up the pace a little and felt good again; I think that one was back at about 8:45 or so. As I was coming into the finish, saw some of the Running Group members (yeah, they are the ones that won the overall and each age group--boy did I pick the right crowd to train with) waving and cheering and taking pics and then heard Shortie1 yelling, "Hi Mommy! Yay Mommy, run fast! Go Mommy!" so that made it all cake right till the end. Finished at 27-something--will have to check the posted results later to see what the change was, as previously mentioned watch issues kept me from keeping track myself.

At the bagel shop afterward, the lady at the register saw my bib and asked Shortie1, "So, are you going to be a runner like your mommy?" To which Shortie1 answered, "oh yes, I want to be just like her, she runs so fast!" Yep, that's all the encouragement I need. Happy Saturday!

*Could have also been the beer and salty popcorn I ate at the Nuggets-Wizards game last night..but I figured, hey it's carbs. And you have to live a little.


Making time for the long & steady

My conundrum: tomorrow I am doing a nice little 5K in my neighborhood. However, I usually do my long run on Saturday morning, followed by rest on Sunday. Do I a) do the long run today instead and risk tired legs for the race tomorrow b) do a shorter 4-miler today, run the race tomorrow, and then run the course+some afterward to get my long run in?

It is important to note that I don't really race to win, or even necessarily place--I do it for fun, comeraderie, to see how I do and keep myself motivated on the road to the big M. And of course, like duh, for the shirt. I have been stewing over how to work in this long run plus the race all week...hubb-o's advice? "Just run. Don't worry about it." Ummmmmm, yeeeaaah thanks.

It's warm out today and so I think I'll do a long, easy trail run today and just the race tomorrow. I think that is my official decision. Unless I change my mind.

Update: I did a little over 8 miles in about 77 minutes...ish. I think. The tricky part was that I left my watch at the hotel on a trip last week and while I am waiting for it to arrive home safe and sound to me in the mail, I am forced to use my blackberry to keep track of time. NOT ideal. I don't recommend it.


I don't need an excuse, cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes...

I got my new running shoes in the mail the other day. Now, they are new in terms of "they are fresh from the store and have never been worn before" but actually they are the same old shoes that I've been wearing for the past few months: Asics 2130's. Man, I love these shoes! I was a dedicated Nike Pegasus gal for years until i put these on my feet last year. And then ran in them. And then ran some more...and more, and more, and more. No blisters. No hotspots. No aches or pains! They held up on my outdoor-in-the-dirt-and-muck-trail runs! Fabulous!

This time I bought two pairs--hey, they were on clearance since the fab new 2140's are out and these are all So Last Season. But I don't care; I actually like the color of these better and I definitely like the $60 clearance price tag. And I figure if I am putting in the miles, having two pairs to split the distance is a good thing.


Training Schedule: Not Quite There Yet

Tonight was the group run with my little band of helpful running peers. I am new to the group, and still getting a feel for exactly what we're doing, and how it fits into my overall running schedule...hell, who am I kidding? I'm still trying to really get my stepped-up running schedule down and working with the rest of my life. It has been subject to several adjustments, tweaks, re-tweaks, re-adjustments, and second-guesses as my work and family schedules have changed over the past couple of months and as I've added more miles.

I have yet to figure out exactly what will work the best and allow me to get in the miles that I want/need to and juggle everything else on top of it. I have deduced that I can definitely work in a long run on the weekend. This was happening on Sunday, with a nice 7am yoga class on Saturdays...until I joined the group, who meets for long runs on Saturday...so there was a tweak: yoga out, Saturday long run in. Ok, so Sundays are now REST, that's not a bad thing. But I'd like to also get in another longer run during the week...which I thought would happen on Wednesday, which is the other day the group meets.

However, apparently we do do track work on Wednesday and I'm not entirely sure what kind of a run it is classified as, but it involves a mile or so warmup then 2-3 min. running followed by 1-2 min. walking , repeat 6-10 times. I guess intervals or speedwork? We did run faster than my average mile pace...but I am certainly not sophisticated enough to know. And then last week the group gave me a super-handy little training calendar they'd created with what I ought to be doing on what days, to coincide with the rest of the group...which adds tempo runs and "cross training" (which I promplty swapped out for "more running" because there isn't any other activity I care to do except yoga and that is not quite going to get me to a half marathon in May) so that sort of shaped my Official Schedule. So far the weight training and yoga I was doing regularly have taken a backseat to running, as I am now really focused on getting my weekly mileage up and getting those long runs in. And of course work has been crazy-busy. And the kids have soccer. And we have oodles of trips coming up. Sigh.

But at least my running has been great! I guess the best I can do is keep whatever schedule I can and not stress too much about it. I've heard of pepole who train for marathons doing only 3 runs per week, so I know I can do whatever works out.

Tonight's run:
- 4 min warmup
- 2 min at race pace (we did between 6:30 and 7:45 mi pace)
- 1 min walk
Repeat 2-1 set 10 times
- 4 min cool down
-stretching/light core work

No Time Like the Present

Well, I finally decided to suck it up and get blogging. After much lurking on many other blogs, hemming and hawing, and doubting that I have the time for this...I decided to just give it a go. I may not have the time to add this to my life, but hey--maybe no one will ever read it, therefore there will be no one to notice that I am too busy to write. Sweet: win-win!

So I decided in January that 2009 is the year that I am finally going to fulfill one of the items on my Things To Do Before I am 30* list: Run A Marathon. I have been a runner for oh about 15 years now--more if you count all my days playing soccer as a midfielder, which consisted mainly of running for an hour+ straight--but I have never really officially called myself a Runner. I really only a few did short races here and there--5 and 10Ks--but have let that slide a bit since having kids. Still do them occasionally, but now that the Shorties are old enough to (sort of) fend for themselves, or at least entertain themselves so Hubb doesn't go mad while I am out running for an hour or two, I have decided that I am ready to focus on the running again. Maybe be a Runner. And so, I realized I need a goal--a big, stretching, make-me-work-for-it-holy-bejeezus kind of goal--in the worst way right now. What better goal than a marathon? So, here I am...a couple of months into the training, working on getting my distance up, and loving it so far. I have to thank all the bloggy runners that came before me (see my list, at right) for motivating me and making me believe that I actually can do it, if I just decide to and train. Ready or not, here I come...

*Upon turning 30 a couple of years ago, has been amended to Things To Do Before I am 40. Still got a few years before I have to change to Things to Do Before I Die. At this point that is still to vague and far-offish sounding.