Saturday, December 29, 2012

Instead Softcup Challenge (for ladies only!!)

If you are one of my testosterone-dominant readers, you may want to skip this entry. Or perhaps you want to read it and file the info away for sharing with a girlfriend, wife or lady-friend. If you have those types of convos with them.

Just consider yourself forewarned.

Thanks to For The Love of the Run, several months ago I received a one months supply of Instead Softcup to test and review.

I've been intruiged by "alternative protection" during that time of the month. Since having my 3rd child, and perhaps also hitting my "mid-30's" I have needed more protection than normal. If you get my drift. Or flow. Heavy. You know.

It took me a few months to remember that I had a supply of Softcup buried on my dresser, which resides behind a curtain in my closet. Fancy digs I have. 

So when I finally did, I read the directions a few times and gave it a shot. 

I'll spare you the somewhat messy details of the week that ensued--because do you really want to read a witty post all about the insertion and removal of alternative period protection? I think not! 

But here are the things that you want and need to know about the Instead Softcup.

1. Insertion is a little tricky and takes practice. Often while sitting it didn't feel right, but once I stood up and started moving around I couldn't feel anything.

2. I didn't feel or notice it at all once I was moving around! Which was awesome. 

3. The Softcup lasted way longer than any tampon ever does. Several hours. 

4. It never leaked. Not even once. Not even during the night. The first few nights of my cycle I usually have to change my tampon during the night or have to race to the bathroom when I first wake up. But the Softcup lasted all night, without discomfort and without leaking.

5. Removal is messy. This is the downside. Perhaps there is a way to master it and not have it be so messy, but I certainly didn't figure it out in one week's time. I got better at it, but it was still messy. And this was a real detriment to using the Softcup if I knew I'd be gone all day. Getting messy in a public restroom or any bathroom away from home is a real drag. So I chose not to do it.

I will say this is a GREAT product for runners. If I had a long run coming up or a race, I would use a Softcup in a heartbeat.

In fact, I did have an incident during my last training cycle involving leaking protection that could have been a lot more unfortunate if not for black shorts and a towel I laid in the car to protect the seat from sweat, that protected it from a lot more. 

I should have worn a Softcup!! 

I've not yet had to race during a cycle, but if I did--I would totally use this product.

So, there you have it.

There are a lot of plusses to this product. The messy removal was the one drawback for me, but even that wouldn't deter me from using it in situations where I wouldn't have access to a bathroom for several hours or want to lose precious minutes on a race clock.

Thanks Tina for the opportunity!

I received a one-month's supply of Instead Softcup in exchange for a blog post review. Instead Softcup is also reimbursing me a race registration. All opinions are my own! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Silver Strand Half 2012

It's been almost two three weeks since I ran the Silver Strand Half.

Life never stops. Even long enough to blog.  Most of [which is very, very little lately] my blogging is done in the evenings. But between classes, homework, sports, hubby doing homework on the computer and just general exhaustion---there has been no blogging.

But, I ran a race. And so did my husband! It's Thanksgiving night and although I may not complete my post tonight, I am determined to start it. It WAS Thanksgiving night when I started. Now it's a week later.

Friday and Saturday before the race I taught an all-day class. Which meant I was on my feet A LOT less than if I would have been at home. A very good thing and helped my legs and body in general feel pretty rested. On Friday night, I may have taken a Benedryl to ensure a good night's sleep. It worked.

Saturday night my mother-in-law took the kids overnight, which was a huge blessing! We went to church at 5pm and then dropped the kids off to her. Bean and I had a quiet night watching TV and getting our race stuff ready. It was fun to be prepping for TWO to race.

(seen in photo: Nuun Strawberry Lemonade, Honey Stingers, Body Glide, Spibelt, Sketchers Go Run bag, Carlsbad Marathon 2012 hat, and the kids coloring books!)

We got up at 4:45am, which is when Bean gets up for work 4 days a week. I couldn't do it. He does it for 10-hour work days and Fridays off. I'm thankful he does, but it just wouldn't be worth it to me. Bean showered, because he just can't NOT shower. I did not. My friend Leslie came to our house at 5:30am to carpool and off we headed.

It was a little chilly when we arrived just before 6am. We hopped in a line to shuttle to the race start. It was just a mile away, but why walk when we were there early enough to shuttle?

Bean wasn't so sure how he was feeling about this whole thing. He enjoys running and being active, but he would usually rather do yardwork, vacuum out our van or other house and family related stuff. He intended to train, but it just didn't happen. He ran some 10k mud runs, but that was a few years ago now. He also injured his back a week or so prior to the race.

The sun started to come up more and it was looking to be a beautiful day. That's the Hotel Del in the distance.

We got to the start and slowly started getting ready. We had some time, so we stayed warm for a while in our clothes before shedding and checking them in our bag. I can't wait until Bean and I can do more things like this together. He's a lot of fun to be with :)

And here is my rockstar friend Leslie! We initially connected on Facebook via Another Mother Runner and turns out we have a mutual friend, which made it not so weird that we met up to run when I started training for the race. We did almost all our long weekend runs together. Leslie is a bit of a Ragnar addict and she may have run Ragnar Las Vegas at the last minute, the two days before this half. Rockstar, I tell you! Someone in my nursing cohort was giving up a bib for this race and so Leslie was able to transfer it to her name and her main intention was to help pace me.

At first waiting for the 7:30am start seemed so long. But then all of the sudden, it was time! It wasn't predicted to be that hot. but not that cold either. I don't really have a shirt I like running long in. This is my favorite running tank (Costco, $12!) and I made a last minute decision to risk being too cold. It ended up being perfect!! I wasn't ever really hot, but I also wasn't cold. It makes me pretty proud to rock this MARATHON hat. It doesn't say half marathon, because I ran a full marathon! It may not have gone as planned, but I still ran a marathon.

The gun went off, and so did we! I actually connected with another friend, made via Twitter, at the start and the three of us started off together. Sarah & I also started off the Carlsbad Full together too. She and I both had a 2:09 half PR, on this same course, and wanted to set a new PR.

We started off right around the 2:00 pacer. Carrie had suggested to start off near the pace group because running a faster pace doesn't feel as fast when everyone else around you is also running it. Great advice that I will be sure to use again! When I ran this race two years ago I started further back and I spent almost half the race weaving to get around people. 

From the get-go, we were running 9:30-9:45 pace, and it felt great. Sometimes I'd look at my watch and freak momentarily, thinking it was too fast--but then I would remind myself that this is the pace I trained for and I felt good, so just keep going with it. Since Leslie had put so many miles on her legs the days prior, with little sleep, and a lot of driving, I told her to just do what felt good and not worry about me. But her legs loosened up and she was by my side.

I fell off blogging partway through my training. Carrie was absolutely awesome in giving me a plan, altering it as needed and letting me bounce stuff off her all the time. I'm so thankful I was one of the first to email her when she was offering some free coaching.

A little backstory...
Over the last several weeks of my training, I had a lot of hip pain. I had to skip a few long runs, and cut a few others back. I went down to three days of running per week, instead of 4-5. I went to the chiropractor and got a sports massage as well. I spent a lot of time icing, stretching and rolling. Carrie also suggested icing while driving, since you'll be sitting anyways. This was another priceless tidbit. Especially since I commute 6 hours each week to and from school. Sitting and driving especially irritated my hip.

When I was vigilant about icing, stretching and rolling I was able to complete most of my key runs and hit the right paces. Towards the end of my long runs my hip would hurt more, especially when we did tempo miles. But I was able to push through most of the time. I knew my pain and whatever was going on probably wouldn't resolved completely without complete rest and perhaps more treatment. But honestly, I just wasn't willing do that until after the race. I knew it could cost me, but as long as I wasn't getting worse, I kept training.

Running on the most flat and even ground was best for my hip and leg, so that's what I looked for during the race. The course itself is extremely flat but every road is slanted to some extent. But if I stayed on the left shoulder for the most part, it was pretty flat. 

Around mile 5, my calves started to feel really tight. At the mile 6 aid station, I decided to stop and stretch them out quickly. They felt much better after that and I'm glad I stopped. I seemed to have a little trouble getting back up to my goal pace again. Within another mile, my hip started to bother me. 

Mile 8 was really my undoing. The road became very slanted for about a quarter of a mile, and there was no flat side. A few months ago when my chiropractor was checking out my hip, he told me that my right leg (the affected side) was about 1/4 of an inch shorter than the left. Ever since then, I have totally been in tune to my gait and how offset it can get. Unfortunately, the lower side of the slanted street was the right. So my leg, that already has to step down further, really had to step down further. I had to stop and walk a few times to get through that short distance.

Things just really unfortunately unraveled even more. I'd push through and run for a bit, but then I'd have to walk because it relieved the pain a bit. And when I was running, my paces were in the 10:xx not the 9:xx I was aiming for. Sarah was having a great race and pulled way ahead. Poor Leslie's legs revolted every time I needed a walk break. But she hung with me and would walk-jog instead.

As we approached mile 11, I just wanted to cry. I was hurting. I was disappointed. I was watching my PR slip away. I don't know what I would have done without Leslie. She was a cheerleader and a drill sergeant, both things I needed! I probably would have walked more or run even slower if she wasn't right next to me. 

When we hit mile 12, I was ready to give it all I could to the finish. I may have taken one short walk break, but I knew the finish line was close and I just wanted to get there. It did help that I've run this race before, so I knew how the finish was and I could envision the turn and how far it was to the finish line. 

I turned it on at the very end and we crossed at 2:13 (chip time). Just four minutes slower than my PR. Which I decided was a great "injured running PR." Honestly though, if I was able to run just four minutes off my PR while injured, I KNOW I could have PR'd without my injury.  BTW, Sarah ran her way to a PR by several minutes! 

Leslie's husband and son met her at the finish and her husband snapped this shot of us! I picked up our bag, said goodbye to Leslie and started to go back a bit to look for Bean. Since I stopped my Garmin when I finished, I wasn't sure how much time had elapsed or how he was doing.

I had seen him around my mile 10. He was running and looking pretty good.  I saw him again at my mile 12+ and his mile 10. He was walking and hurting, but looking very determined. I walked back to about the 12.5 mark and waited. I would have gone back further, but I had our heavy backpack and carrying that along wasn't too appealing to my tired body or my hurting hip.

A friend of ours was pacing the 3:00 group and she was able to tell me he was a little behind her and hurting more. His pace had fallen off quite a bit since I had last seen him.  I walked back a bit further and found him. He was almost in tears, his back was hurting so bad. But he was extremely determined to finish and I was glad to walk alongside him for a few minutes. When we got closer to the finish I jogged up so I could get some photos of his finish. He turned it on, just like I did and powered through the last yards.

Bean's official time was 3:03. Which, for the record is two minutes faster than my time for my first half marathon. And he had a very hurt back. 

We were both thrilled to be done and even though we didn't run together, it was really fun to race with my husband. I think we are pretty cute here at the finish. 

I look forward to when our kids are a little more self-sufficient and can even stay home themselves for a few hours, so that we can do more activities like this together. Before we had kids, we enjoyed running and hiking together--but babysitting time is precious and we usually use it for my school schedule and the occasional date night.

We had a little time after the race before our kids came home, so I forced Bean into an ice bath. He was NOT happy about it, but I knew it would help his overall recovery and his back especially. We both squeezed into our little tub. Interesting note: we didn't fit as well as I thought in the tub and my quads weren't covered in water and guess what part of my body was most sore the next two days? Yup--QUADS. Ice baths are the bomb. 

He may kill me for posting this, but Lily brought Bean a blanket and a pillow and this is how I found him later in the afternoon. I am so proud of you babe for getting through the half marathon with an injured back and no training. Let's do it again sometime! Maybe with a little more training :)

Not the race I had hoped or planned for, but I am proud of us both nonetheless. 

And now, it has been almost three weeks since I've run. Working on my piriformis and cross-training. More on that soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's not always a dreadmill

Today was my first run of the "season" on the treadmill. It's probably more than 10 years old. Creaky and loud. But it works. And best of all it was given to me. During the summer months it's folded up in the back of the garage. It's light early in the morning and I'd rather run on the streets.

But for a multitude of reasons, I'm just not comfortable running for long periods of time in the dark. I've tried to talk myself into it. I know many who do run and I know my neighborhood is safe. But I just can't get past it. So I don't push it.

The last few weeks it's started to get light later and later. Since I've been heading out around 5:45am all summer, I could handle running in the dark for 15 minutes or so until the sky started to lighten up. But now the sky isn't getting light until after 6:15am. Last week on an early run my mind got the best of me and I spent the dark part of my run with all sorts of terrible thoughts.

So we pulled the treadmill out over the weekend.

Last night, looking towards this mornings treadmill run, I wasn't too excited. But looking at the workout Carrie assigned me, I felt like a treadmill was probably my only chance of hitting the paces! And I was right. The treadmill was my friend today.

My run consisted of a mile warm up and then 4x1 mile at an 8:40 pace with 2 minute recovery in between miles. After my warm-up mile I took a minute to stretch my hip and IT band. Then I started in. My hip actually did much better on the treadmill, which was a pleasant surprise. I find that I more easily hit the 180 steps/minute on the treadmill and the impact is softer than the asphalt.

The miles felt fast but I was doing them. The third one took a little more determination at the end. The fourth one was the hardest, as it should have been I guess. I had to switch from listening to a podcast to Beyonce telling me how "Girls Run the World."

Best I could tell, I did run the miles between 8:40 and 8:50. I honestly don't think I could have run those paces on the streets with the small hills in my neighborhood and the slant of the streets which is difficult on my hip too.

So, maybe the next month of running on the treadmill will give me the edge I need to get the PR I so desperately want.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I haven't blogged in how long?

Blogger says I haven't written a post since September 18.  Oops.

I am a mom of three kids, two in school now, and in nursing school. Did I mention my kids are playing sports? As in three different teams, practices and game schedules. Not so smart folks.

So yeah, I haven't posted in a few weeks!

I've been running, but not like I wish I was. My hip has continued to give me fits. A week and a half ago I was really discouraged at the end of my long run when I had to cut a mile off at the end because I was in pain and even though I could have pushed through to finish, I knew it wasn't smart.

I took some extra days off last week and really focused on foam rolling and icing. Which thankfully has helped! I ran 10 miles on Saturday and my hip got sore the last mile or two, but not true pain. I took an ice bath with extra ice that really helped the rest of the day. Monday I was able to do a tempo run.

I'm bummed that I haven't done much speedwork the last few weeks. I have no doubt I can run 13.1 miles. I just don't know if I'll be able to do it as fast as I hoped.

However, I've recruited my running friend to help pace me in the race. And just maybe that will be my ticket! When I was doing more speedwork several weeks back, I typically surprised myself with the times I was able to hit. So maybe I have it in me.

I finally have an appointment with a sports massage therapist on Friday and I'm hoping she can work out some issues and give me more tips on managing my hip. I've accepted that it's not going to be 100% better until after the race. My goal is to just keep running and get to that race in November.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

running, not running, hips and rolling

Last Thursday I set out for a 5-mile tempo run. I was a little intimidated, but I was determined. I did a lot of positive self-talk. I told myself I could do this. I believed in myself. I mapped out my route the night before. I got up at 5:30am to make sure I had enough time to complete my run.

This was happening.

Warm-up went well. Hit the pace for the first tempo mile. And I wasn't dying. And then mile 2 came. Which ended up being almost completely uphill. It wasn't a steep uphill. But uphill nonetheless. It was hard. Really hard. I tried to keep the pace, I pushed. My pace was a little off, but not terrible considering the uphill factor.

And then it was the third tempo mile. Which was my fourth running mile. My legs were shredded from that fast uphill mile. I took a walk break to try to recover. But I just couldn't pick up the pace again. I kept trying but I had to just surrender. I did a total of 5 miles instead of 6. I figured at least I could get as many miles in as possible.

By the end of the run, my right hip was painful. It's a somewhat chronic issue for me and has flared off and on the last few weeks, but nothing real lasting. This run I guess, did it in. <insert sad face>

I woke up on Friday feeling overwhelmed. My hip hurt a lot. I was looking at a 100+ degree forecast for the weekend and a lot going on. And my hip hurt. So I decided I needed to take the weekend off. I needed to give my hip some recovery time. I needed to not worry about finding time to run in crazy heat.

Carrie is the best because she agreed it was a good choice! The best coach listens and honors how the coachee (is that what I'm called? lol) is feeling.

So I didn't run for 4 days. It was good. And it wasn't. Glory be, my chiropractor was selling a foam roller for $10! It's shorter than some online, but it does the job for like a quarter of the price! I've been rolling and icing, although I need to do more of it.

My hip was a lot less painful after the break. In fact yesterday, it hardly bothered me at all. So today, I ran. I have also been struggling with getting enough sleep. I set my alarm early this morning, but was not ready to get up. So I ran after school drop-off with Lily in the jogger. My hip was ok. It wasn't always comfortable but it also wasn't super painful for my almost 4 miles.

The rest of today, my hip has bothered me some. It seems to be my IT band. The pain migrates towards my knee at times, but it's mostly in my lower back/buttocks and hip. I'm icing right now and will roll next.

This week I'm keeping my runs easy and we'll see how it goes. This is probably an issue I'll continue to deal with during training, I just need to manage it well. I really hope I can resume some of my speedwork soon though. But, I don't want a more serious injury that makes running impossible.

That's where my running and training is at right now. I'm bummed. But glad I still have some time before my race. I want to be a runner for life, so if that means an easier training for the time being, then it's worth it to me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

week 3 + week 4: trusting the plan

On my quest for a 2-hour half marathon!

Week 3 training:

Monday, 8/27: Recovery run, 3 miles, 31:41

Tuesday, 8/28: Temp run, 5.58 miles, 57:07. My body wasn't excited about this run, but I found strength in my head this time. 3 tempo miles with .25 recovery. Splits were 8:33/8:36/9:07. Last mile was hard & walked about 15 seconds. VERY slow cool down!

Wednesday, 8/29: REST!

Thursday, 8/30: Hilly route, 4 miles, 38:29. Route was super hilly but I pushed up the hills I ran. Felt pretty good and this was one of my first runs ever that was sub-10 pace without trying hard for it or with target paces.

Friday, 8/31: Rest

Saturday, 9/1: Long run, 10.88 miles + .95 walking, 2:02. I was supposed to run 12.  There is a long list of things that happened and went wrong and why. I had to take the attitude that it was better to have this rough of a run early in the training cycle than later. I will say that my shorts have never been so soaked with sweat as they were at the end of this run. They were stuck to my body and dripping. It was hot. And humid. And so many other things.

Week 4: Step back week (much needed!)

Sunday, 9/2 + Monday, 9/3: Rest (I was sick on Monday after eating bad food late Sunday night)

Tuesday, 9/4: Easy run, 2.6 miles. I needed to ease back. Not super strong, stomach still recovering.

Wednesday, 9/5: Humid Tempo Run, 4.36. Feeling much better, but oh so humid. Goal was 3 tempo miles but could only eek out 2. But good splits at 9:01/9:03.

Thursday, 9/6: Rest

Friday, 9/7: Easy run with only ONE kid in the stroller, 4.36 miles.

Saturday, 9/8: Long run. 8 miles in 1:19. I was happy to have the average pace be under 10 minutes.

This training plan (thanks Train Like A Mother and Carrie) is the most aggressive I've ever attempted. In 2010 when I trained for this same half marathon, it was the first time I had almost completely followed a training plan. I had great results.

But now I need, I want better results.

I'm scared though. I am feeling incredibly intimidated. Running the 8 miles today I felt good, but I was running a full minute slower than my goal pace for the half marathon. I couldn't imagine running those miles at that pace.

I've just completed 4 weeks of this plan. There are still 9 weeks left of the plan.

I need to trust the plan. I have hit most of my goal paces in my runs. I am training my body and my mind.

Just trust the plan. And enjoy the run.

Friday, September 7, 2012


The hubs just randomly asked me how many miles I ran last month. I popped on to dailymile to check it out.

The answer was: 69 miles in August.  That's my third highest monthly mileage this year. January was first with 86. My marathon was at the end of January, so there were a few long training runs and the race itself. I ran 72 miles in June, which was preparation for the 15k I ran in July.

Since I had the numbers up I thought I'd tally up my miles so far this year.

And the verdict is:


I have run exactly 500 miles today, which included today's 4 miles. Tomorrow, the total will be 508. I thought it was pretty cool though to be at exactly 500.

A while back I tallied my miles for 2011 and I think it was around 500 and so I set a loose goal to run at least 750 this year. I would love a 1,000 mile year but doubling my miles in one year seemed a bit lofty.

With almost three full months left of the year and two of them training for a target race and hopefully a PR, I have a feeling I will hit the 750 mark.

I like this.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm a good student (week 2 & almost week 3 done)

I'm way behind on blogging here I guess. I've composed plenty of posts in my head. Wish that counted.

I finished week 2 of training and have my long run left for week 3. Week 3 has been a DOOZY, but Carrie warned me it would be.

When I saw some of the paces she wanted me to hit this week, it looked impossible. But I was willing to try because in the last few years I've found that I'm usually capable of more than I think I am.

But first, here was week 2's training:

I took a rest day after my 8-miler.

Tuesday, 8/21: Tempo run. 1 mile warm, 9:03, 8:56, 1 mile cool. This felt pretty hard, but I pushed and got the times I wanted.

Wednesday, 8/22: Cross-training. 30 minutes, Insane Abs.

Thursday, 8/23: Rest day. Also at the beach with the kids, which meant a lot of walking, jumping waves etc. I like to think of this as cross-training too.

Friday, 8/24: Progressive run. 9:56, 9:50, 9:56, 9:30, 8:49. My last mile was crazy because a lady almost hit me, then a little dog ran out into the street barking at me and chasing me!

Sunday, 8/26: 10 miles, average pace 10:27. 1.15 mile cool down. Overall I felt pretty strong on this run. It's helping so much to have someone to run with. There were a few times I was tempted to slow down, but I pushed through it because I knew I could!

This week has been pretty high in mileage and fast in pace. But I did 2 tempo miles (with .25 recovery) that were just over 8:30, which is SO FAST compared to my normal speeds.

Yesterday I headed out for a "hilly route" and tried to push up the hills I ran instead of slowing down. My average pace was well under 10:00 for the 4 mile run. I was pushing, but I wasn't going all out--but that's one of my fastest "by feel" runs. EVER.

Tomorrow morning I'll be running 12 miles. It is crazy to me that my 3rd long run of this training cycle is already 12 miles and the race is 13.1. But I know that's how you get faster, that's how you take time off your pace, that's how to get stronger. I am so thankful that I am strong enough and have enough base to follow this challenging plan.

Next week is supposed to be easier, but I also understand I should attempt a race-pace run of 5-6 miles. Which means the 9:00 region. It will be challenging, but I am willing to give it a try.

This past week as I've gone out for these harder runs, part of me is scared and feels like I won't be able to hit the paces. But I have, pretty much every time. And as I've thought through this on my runs, I've been reminded that I am by nature a good student. I'm not a genius by any means but I always got pretty good grades (except for math--my nemesis!).

I get good grades (hello "A" in a 5-unit chem class, while working almost full-time and mothering 3 kids) because I am a good student. I complete assignments and homework. I do assigned reading. I prepare for tests and quizzes. I pay attention in class and take notes. Simply being a good student gives you a huge advantage in a class.

It's the same with running. I am a good student of running. If Carrie thinks I can hit a pace and gives me the assignment, I will go out and give it my all. During this weeks tempo run, I didn't hit the max of 8:50 she gave me (I ran 9:07). I was a little bummed, but I KNEW going in to the run that my legs were tired from the mileage and heavy week. And I KNEW I gave it my all, so 17 seconds over was still ok.

Being a good student pays off in school, and in running.

I'll be back in a few days with a more detailed wrap-up of this week and my 12-miler.

Get an extra run in on this holiday weekend! (for you U.S. citizens!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 1 training: DONE

I completed week 1 of training for my next half marathon. My legs are a little tired as this is the most number of times and the most miles I've run in a week in a month or more. It's a good tired though. Getting my miles back up after several weeks off feels good.

I am ready to OWN this half marathon. A few people who's opinions I trust have told me they are confident I can take the needed time off my pace to get a 2-hour half marathon.  I believe in myself too and in addition to getting all my training in this week, a few other great things happened to help propel me towards my goal.

A few nights ago I was reading my blog list while unwinding in bed (as I always do) and read that Carrie from Luminosity was offering a FREE consultation or training plan to the first three people who contacted her. Carrie recently finished her running coach certification and just launched her website too.  Carrie and I have commented back and forth on our blogs and Daily Mile and Twitter for some time now. I loved following her journey on her first marathon as I was training for mine as well.

I quickly fired off an email to Carrie hoping I was one of the first three, and I WAS! I am really excited to work with Carrie and am now extra motivated to be a success story for her. Carrie is going to base my training on the Train Like A Mother Half Marathon Own It plan that I started and help me with my paces and some other adjustments as well.

She already sent me a schedule for next week and it makes me extra excited. It's nice to have someone tell you the paces you should run and then based on how they go, we can adjust further. YAY!

In addition to this great development, I have found a long run partner--one who I think will push me when I need it!

Last year when I was featured on Another Mother Runner, I connected with another mother runner in my area (haha, great pun!), Leslie. Turns out thanks to Facebook, we realized we had a mutual friend, who is also my next door neighbor. After months of chatting back and forth on FB, we finally met up in July at a local free run and again a few weeks ago.

Yesterday she offered to meet me this morning for my long run. Leslie isn't a morning runner, so that was huge! She was looking for the motivation to get back to regular running and she is faster than me, so she wanted to help push me to that sub-2 half.

So we ran together this morning and it was great! We both struggled a bit and took a few breathers, the biggest issue being HEAT and humidity--and that we are both getting back to regular running. Regardless she still pushed me and the time flew by having someone to chat with instead of just listening to music. We hope to run together as many weekends as possible and maybe even during the week too if our schedules can coordinate.

I am off to a GREAT start with training. Hopefully when I start my nursing classes next Monday I'll still fit in all the running I need to. This first semester my classes are all afternoon/evening, so I should be able to get all my runs done in the mornings.

Today's 8 mile run:

10:13, 10:02, 10:38, 10:06, 9:52, 10:45, 11:26, 9:46
Average pace: 10:21

Pace was a bit all over the place, but I was very pleased with the run. And look at that final mile!

Weekly summary:

Monday: 3 easy miles
31:00/ 10:28 pace

Tuesday: Tempo Run, 4.5 miles
19:00/ 9:16, 9:35 tempo miles w/ .25 recovery
27:00/10:51/ 2.5 miles Warm & Cool

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest (play at beach with kids! jumping waves is a workout!!)

Friday: Ladder Workout, 4 miles
41:00/10:14 pace

Sunday: Long run, 8 miles
1:23/ 10:21 pace

Total miles: 19.5
(If I had kept track of my miles closer, I would have tacked on .5 somewhere for an even 20!)

Bring on week 2!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fingernail moon still in the sky

Training for my fall half has begun. The half I hope to PR in and a huge bonus would be to run 1:59:59.

The last month I've enjoyed sleeping in more, doing DVD's later in the morning and running just a few times a week

Training means I can't (or don't want to) miss a run. And like many moms, early mornings while the kids are still asleep is the only way to ensure a run. The hubs leaves at 6:45am. Which is also about when my youngest two wake up.

I love my morning runs, but I love sleep too. We've been in the midst of a big heat wave and even at dusk it's hot. At 6am its more bearable but I still pour sweat.

This morning my alarm went off at 5:35am. I contemplated running later in the day. But the pending heat finally pulled me out of bed at 5:45am. I was on the street at 5:55am with the fingernail moon still in the sky, pink just beginning to crest the hill to the east.

Pink fire ablaze in the east, as I finished my two tempo miles and began to cool down.

4.5 miles later I pulled back up to the blouse, just in time for hubs to leave. (this is not my house, just a view along my run)

And it was a good day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Olympics thwarts the best laid running plans!

Remember how excited I was to get back to my morning runs?

Yeah, well, I didn't account for the Olympics! I have been staying up later than normal watching, since I can usually sleep until 7am. 7 hours of sleep is about perfect for me. I also require unwinding time in bed. I used to suffer from serious insomnia. Until the advent of the iPhone. I can now browse my phone in bed for 20-30 minutes and then I fall asleep quickly after that. I can be falling asleep in the living room, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, I'm wide awake.

So watching the Olympics until 11pm means I may not be asleep until midnight. And 5:45am comes awful fast after midnight. Too fast yesterday morning in fact! I hit my snooze button so fast. The hubs even asked if I was getting up to run and that didn't rouse me. I emphatically told him "no."  I squeezed in a short Insanity workout later in the morning.

But last night I made sure to be in bed earlier, Olympics or not. And I was up running a little after 6am. Just an easy 3 miles (and I kept it at an easy pace too) but perfect for getting back in the game. I could have gone a little longer, but the hubs had to leave for work. And it was already so humid, unusual for So California.

Here I am again, watching the Olympics at 10:25pm. We don't have TiVo or DVR so it's "live" or nothing.

Good thing the Olympics end just as half marathon training begins.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

T minus 1 week

I'm starting to get excited about running again. Well, more excited.

I love running. I absolutely love it. But still sometimes I need to take a step back, so that I don't burn out. It's similar to mothering. I love my children desperately. Being a mom is one of my favorite things in life. But every once in a while, I need to get away. I need a girls night. I need alone time.

Quite ironically, running is often my alone time in the midst of mothering.

After my January marathon I took it easy for several weeks. I ramped back up to train for a May 10k and then right back into training for a July 15k.  I've run about 40 miles in the past month, compared to 72 miles in June!

Interesting side note: I've run 411 miles so far this year. I need to double check, but I think I ran around 500 last year and had a goal of 750 this year. I may actually exceed that goal. I wonder if I could hit 1,000. Hmmm. New goal?

Even though I haven't been running, I've done a lot of sweating with Insanity. I know that cross-training is important and the interval training of Insanity is really good for running.

But next week half marathon training begins. Part of me wishes I was training for a full, but with starting nursing school in 3 weeks, I need to see how that goes before I commit to training for that long distance again.

Maybe it's the Olympics. Maybe it's that I'm refreshed. Maybe it's that I know I need to start getting back into an earlier morning routine since school will start for the kids before I know it. Maybe it's that I want that 2-hour half marathon so bad. Maybe it's the "Own It" plan in Train Like A Mother.

I'm ready to run. Ready to run plenty of miles and find a way to cross-train and strength train too.

I'm setting the alarm for 5:45am.

It's time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

sanity run (alternately titled, running is my drug)

We had a wonderful two days at Disneyland this week and took our time getting home on the third day.  Today we had a slow morning, went to Costco, I went through some boxes and downsized even more stuff that I brought home from my office. We went swimming at a friend's and then home for a late dinner where everyone was hungry and it couldn't be ready fast enough. I ran out of time to fix myself a gluten-free meal, so I ate peanut butter and banana on a rice cake.

My patience was running a little thin. I was feeling twitchy.

Which meant only one thing.  I needed a sanity run.

After four full days of being "on" with the kids and family, and almost four days without my usual exercise, I was in desperate need of an endorphin fix.

As soon as the younger girls were in bed at 7:30am, I headed out for a 30 minute run before it got too dark.

Maybe it was watching the Olympic 10,000 kilometer race today and seeing the winner surge on the last lap and win by a landslide. I can't run at those speeds and never will, but I can run my heart out just like she did.

It was just what I needed. I ran fast, because it felt good. I negative split the run, which is always nice. I enjoyed the oranges and pinks in the sky as the sun was setting. I cleared my mind. I was recharged by being alone with myself and my thoughts.

Running used to be a discipline and to some extent it still is. But a few years ago, running also became my drug. My fix. What keeps me sane.

Running purges me of any negativity I'm feeling and prepares me for negativity I may face.

Oh running, I'm addicted to you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

three things thursday

1. We got back this afternoon from a 2-day trip to Disneyland. It was fun. And exhausting. And overwhelming. And memorable. I haven't exercised since Monday, but I just mapped the walk from our hotel to Disneyland and we walked 4 miles alone between the two. And that doesn't account for all the walking inside the parks. Or how often I carried my 3 yr old or my 5 yr old. We didn't want to deal with a double stroller (which was a good call because it would have been a nightmare in the crowds) but the 5 yr old wasn't so up on walking the whole time.

2. Eating a gluten-free Wheat Belly diet wasn't so fun at Disneyland. But I didn't have any significant headaches nor did I have to take any Advil while we were there, which is pretty much unheard of for me. I didn't research beforehand if there were specific suggestions for gluten-free food in the parks. On Tuesday for lunch I ate a kids "Power Pack" which included string cheese and yogurt. Not really vacation food. But, no headaches.

3. I'm looking forward to getting back to Insanity and running. I think my half marathon training starts in a week. And I'm ready to get better at gluten-free eating.

Monday, July 30, 2012

getting ready for vacation

The perfect vacation for me involves time to run outside in a beautiful location. I got to do that on Saturday.

But when you are headed to Disneyland for two days, running isn't on the agenda. The only exercise I'll get for the next two days is a lot of walking.

I'm okay with this though, because right now my body is a world of hurt. I can function, but most everything hurts. Knowing what was coming, I decided to get as much activity in before our trip.

I exercised 5 of the last 6 days, including the last 4 days in a row.  My body hurts. I've started cycling in the "Max" workouts in Insanity. They kill me. In the way that I love. I've been enjoying sleeping in, so doing a DVD in the later morning or afternoon has been my workout as of late. I start training again in a few weeks and I know these are good for cross-training too.

Whether or not we were headed to Disneyland tomorrow, it would be a rest day! My muscles need recovery. I figure walking around an amusement park for 12+ hours will do the trick.

I'm also hoping that being sore will remind me how hard I'm working to be fit and keep my eating in check.  I'll let you know how it goes! Cannot wait to see my girls experience Disneyland and have this time as a family.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

slow run, slow life

Running has become a metaphor for almost everything in my life. It's very common for me to equate running, training, or racing to various aspects of life. A lot of these metaphors stay in my head. I worry that I talk about running too much. Especially for someone who's not a fierce competitor and my times are "fast for me."

But nonetheless, I am a runner. Running has become integral and crucial in my life, so I talk about it.

This is the second year my husband and I have been involved in a marriage discipleship group. There is a mentor couple that lead the group of six couples. We meet quarterly for a day. There is a theme for the day and we spend the morning alone with God, then the afternoon together with God. Our group is called "Alone Together."  Both Roger and I have really benefitted personally and together from these days alone together. It's an investment in ourselves and our marriage.

Yesterday was our summer meeting. Because running is so therapeutic for me, and we meet at a church across the street from the beach, I often spend part of my "alone" time running.  As I run, I strive to be open, to hear what God might want to say to me during my run.

I don't recall if I blogged about it (I couldn't find an entry, so guessing I didn't) but last year during one of these runs God reminded me that he is precise and always on time. I wanted to run 5 miles and had to do some loops and backtracking to get to this number. I was really thirsty and wasn't sure where the nearest drinking fountain was at my stopping point. I decided even if I came up short, I'd stop at my start point, without going further. As I approached my stopping point, I realized there was a bathroom and drinking fountain. Without looking, I stopped my Garmin and then saw I was exactly at 5 miles. At that time, I needed to know God knew my heart, that I wasn't forgotten and that his timing was perfect.

Yesterday, I set out for a 3-4 mile run. I had done an hour-long Insanity workout the day before and my body was feeling it. I knew that a slower, recovery run would benefit my body the most. But I'm not good at running slow. I always want to speed up. My first mile is often way too fast. And usually mid-run I decide to go for it and forget the recovery.

I forced myself to walk the last tenth of my second mile because I was going way too fast. As I turned around and started running again, I realized how true this is of my life too. I thrive under pressure. I tend to procrastinate because I perform well with the adrenaline pumping. I am not good at slowing down. Until I crash and burn.

Just like slow recovery runs and long, slow training runs are important on race day, slow and steady is important in the natural rhythm of my life. Procrastination and pressure may have worked well for me in college, but it doesn't usually work for my family. I end up frantic and forgetful and they experience the brunt of that.

Running with my Garmin makes maintaining the right pace easy. I simply glance at my watch and know if I need to slow down or speed up. I wish there was a similar watch for my daily life. As I continued on my run, I brainstormed on how I can measure the pace of my life. I started a list of checkpoints. Such as clean bathrooms. My bathrooms are small and easy to clean and I appreciate when they are clean. But when my pace of life is too fast, I don't remember to clean them as often as I'd like.

My check list isn't complete and I need to figure out how I will implement and use it.

As I train for a PR in my November half marathon, I am going to pay special attention to my slower runs. And as I enter a season (starting nursing school) that could be chaotic and frenetic, I will be pay attention to the pace of my life and make sure I am not going to burn out.

Runs like yesterdays make me so thankful I discovered running. I always said running was the one exercise I didn't like and for years I had bad ankles from a double sprain that made running painful. I can't imagine my life without it any more.

God speaks to me as I use the body he created to run.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

what's new...

What's new here? Not much right now.

I've decided that having fun, when you have three young-ish kids, is pretty exhausting. Worth it, but exhausting.  I've been running a few times a week and doing a few DVD workouts. Nothing huge to write home about.  Half marathon training starts in a few weeks, so I'm not pushing myself to stick to a plan.

Since I'm not working this summer and the kids aren't in school, I find myself staying up later which translates to sleeping in more and not getting up early to run. Most days I can get a DVD in later in the morning, but it doesn't always work out. Although this summer is amazing, getting back to a routine in the fall will be good for my running.

Yesterday I read a tweet from a busy mom not feeling motivated to get out and run. I replied to her that when I feel that way, I usually don't push myself to run because I live to run not run to live. If I really don't feel like running, then what's an unplanned day off? Truly it's nothing. And when you love running like many of us do, and you don't want to run, then taking a day off is a good thing. When I take a day (or days) off, that next run back is always so amazing and rekindles my love of running.

One new and somewhat interesting (at least to me) thing in my life is that I've recently gone gluten-free. I wrote a long post on my "family" blog and I'd love if you checked it out over there. I'm not a bandwagoner, but not eating gluten has had some unexpected positive effects on my body. Enough so that I want to continue eating this way. Satisfying the "runger" may be a little tricky though, as I experienced a few days ago. I will need to find the foods that truly satisfy me and keep me feeling good.

The next 10 days are going to be pretty full, including 2 days at Disneyland with our family!

You can always follow me on Twitter and see my workouts on Daily Mile and sometimes I post photos on Instagram that I don't share to Facebook or Twitter. Like a special treat for my Instagram friends.  I am in love with the simplicity of Instagram. I hope it never changes.  I can't figure out how to link to my Instagram account, but you can search for me-- I'm beana619.

Happy running!

Monday, July 9, 2012

it's been 5 days...

Did you guess? Since my last run?! Yup.

After PR'ing in the Memorial Day 10k and last week's Independance Day 15k I have been in need of a little respite from running. I was sore and my legs were tired on Thursday and so why not call Friday recovery too! I did Jillian Michaels & a short Insanity workout (Cardio Abs) on Saturday and found myself sore again! 

Today and tomorrow I'm doing a detox/cleanse that Dr. Oz had in a recent People Magazine.  I know, great place to find your health advice. But I've been a fan of Dr. Oz for some time now, so why not. 

Let me tell you, the hardest part is all the work involved in the food! First of all the grocery shopping. Then organizing the veggies for each recipe. And juicing for the first time. And chopping veggies for a soup that was literally to the brim of my crockpot. 

But it's one day down and just one day to go and since I've done it all once, it should be easier. I convinced my mom and sister to do it with me too. I haven't seen many "detoxifying" signs, but then again I'm not sure what they would be.

What I do know is that I haven't had any processed sugar. Or junk food. Or wheat. Or Diet Coke. Although I did have half a cup of coffee with a splash of my Natural Bliss creamer. I'm not dumb enough to skip coffee AND eat practically no calories in a day. I get terrible caffeine withdrawal headaches. A girls gotta do, ya know.

After tomorrow, I plan to stick to natural foods for a few more days to continue on with better eating habits. I'm just such a sucker for sugar and starchy foods. Hence the 10lbs I can't seem to lose.

I really want a PR in November's half marathon. And I feel like one major boost to reaching that goal would be being fitter. I will start a training plan mid-August. 

As much as I love running and I can see my runner's legs, it doesn't help me lose weight. In fact it can do the opposite if I'm not careful. I gained 5-6lbs while training for the full marathon. For the next several weeks I am going to focus on my eating and Insanity and just throw some runs in for my sanity and maybe a double workout day.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Coronado 15k Report

Last year was the first time I ran the Coronado 15k. This year was the 38th year they've had the race on July 4, although an announcer said that it used to be a half marathon.  I never did a full race report, but I did share some pics from last year's race.

I recall that last year my goal was to run at least at my half marathon PR pace. However, I ended up having a very bad chest cold and laryngitis which made the race difficult and as the pic's show, I ended up with bad blisters on both feet. I ran the race in 1:36:07, a 10:19 pace.  Still not terrible, but not my sub-10 pace for my half PR.

So this year, once again my goal was to run sub-10 paces and since I just had a 10k PR, I used that time to predict a 15k pace of 9:45.  I used the Hal Higdon advanced 15k training plan for 4 weeks, although I wasn't able to complete every run, especially the long runs.

The night before the race I knew I should go to bed early, but I just wasn't feeling it. I am much more used to getting up early to run this year than I was last. No matter how tired I am or how little sleep I get (I'm a girl who likes at least 7hrs of sleep, preferably 8), I can usually drag myself out of bed for a required run.  I probably didn't fall asleep until after 11pm.

My alarm was set for 5:20am and I was up and getting ready. I had set out most of what I needed the night before. I started the coffee pot and put my oatmeal in the microwave. I was ready to go by 5:45 I think and headed out with my coffee, oatmeal, banana and gear. Yay for not forgetting anything and remembering to Glide my entire feet and toes, just in case.

I headed for the neighborhood I found a parking spot in last year and found my parking spot. I hung in my car for a bit, eating my oatmeal and drinking some coffee and water. Finally around 6:15am I started my walk/run to the starting line. I logged almost .75 miles of warm up between getting to the starting line and a few strides.

Once I got the start site I got in line for the bathroom. At this site there is a normal park bathroom as well as porta potties. The lines were about the same, so I opted for the full bathroom---more air circulating to clear the odor of pre-race nerves. After I took care of business, I walked around a bit and stretched. I contemplated one more stop at the bathroom, but decided against it. (bad call!)

I lined up around 10 minutes before the race started. I was wearing my SPI belt, carrying my iPod nano, 2 Gu's and Honey Stingers and my car key. A girl sang the national anthem and then we were off! The race start was extremely congested. I probably should have started further towards the back--I didn't realize how close to the front of the pack I was.

Checking my Garmin through the first mile I was in the low 10's--which was ok for a warm-up mile, but it was a little slower than I had hoped to start out. I didn't have much of a choice though due to the other runners and a few narrow areas in the first mile. By the 2nd mile we had a lot more room and I was able to start running closer to my goal pace.

I struggled a bit to find my groove. I was afraid of going too fast and there were a few times in the first 3 miles I made myself slow down. But I couldn't seem to hit that 9:40-9:45 pace. I was either slower or faster. But at least I was ahead of my 9:52 half marathon pace.

Mile 1- 10:12
Mile 2- 9:47

Almost right away I regretted not making the 2nd bathroom stop. Often I feel like I have to pee at the start of a run or a race just from nerves and it goes away eventually. But this wasn't going away. I knew I could probably wait until the end of the race to go, but mentally it would trip me up the whole time. I saw a line of porta potties that seemed empty at a public beach spot, so I decided I just needed to go. I hit the lap button on my Garmin to see how long my potty stop took me.

Bathroom break- 54 seconds

Mile 3- 9:49

The next miles were on the Navy base. Many cheered and said thanks as we passed various groups of enlisted men and women. There were a few water stops here.

Mile 4- 9:45
Mile 5: 9:47

Around 35-40 min in, I knew a water stop would be coming up and it was probably a good time to take my Gu so that I could wash it down with water. For some reason the Chocolate Gu seemed extra thick and I had to take it slowly and focus on keeping it down. I was happy to see the aid station!

Mile 6- 9:45

Finally back on the street and heading towards the finish.  I was anxious to turn it on, although I was starting to fatigue. I was hoping that picking up the pace would combat the fatigue all the way to the finish, as it often does on my training runs.  My stomach was not as solid as I like it during runs. I have no idea what the deal is. I may experiment with eating even less before a race. I never eat before I run in the mornings, so my body isn't really used to it. However, my morning runs are 5 miles or less. Maybe I need to wake up a few hours before the alarm, eat something and go back to bed.

Mile 7- 9:40
Mile 8- 9:29

Unfortunately, I sped up a little too soon. I struggled the last mile. I couldn't keep the speed I had found the mile prior and almost stopped to walk at one point, but I yelled at myself to not stop now. I had found my playlist a little slow during the race and started the Genius around Mile 4 which helped, but I needed to focus on finishing strong at this point, so I just took the earbuds out.

Mile 9- 9:44

Knowing the finish was so close, I was able to turn it up again and my final pace was strong. Last year I crossed the finish without anyone else near me and the announcer called my name, which I thought was pretty cool! This year there were a few others finishing at the same time though and no personalized congratulations :(

.38- 9:10
(ok, technically a 15k is 9.321 miles, but my Garmin registered 9.38 miles)

I was so so so glad to cross the finish and get to STOP running! I knew I didn't make my goal of 1:30 but I still took 4 minutes off last year's time.

855 CORRINA      356  35  50/78       1:32:04  9:53 

Yes, I came in at 855th place. And 50/78 in my age group. Not spectacular, but I'm happy with my performance and results!  And subtracting the 54 seconds of a bathroom break, I actually averaged a 9:46 pace for the race. 

After the race I walked through the chute and then found my way to a water table and downed some water and an electrolyte drink.  I also decided to eat my Honey Stingers since I love them and hadn't eaten them during the race. On my way to find the oranges I had seen them slicing before the race, I happened to see a bright yellow stroller and realized it was Stuft Mama, a blogger I enjoy following! Kinda out of character for me, I asked if she was Stuft Mama and introduced myself. And she had her mom take a picture of us together. 

Note our matching Carlsbad Marathon hats! Although I know she finished WAY before me, still I RAN A MARATHON!  

After wandering through the few tables they had, I headed to my car. Coming in to the start it's not too hard to cut across a main thoroughfare because traffic is light. But later in the morning traffic picks up and I didn't want to attempt it. So I walked a mile back to my car, including forgetting where it was and walking a few extra blocks. I was happy to get to the water and Nuun I had waiting for me!

This race made me hungry for a new half-PR but also scared! Can I train hard enough to cut that much time off my pace?  I need to run around 9 minute miles for a sub-2 hour half marathon. I really want it. But I know it's going to be a lot of hard work.

My first goal towards that is losing 10lbs. For my height, I'm carrying a little more weight than necessary. And I know. I've been talking about losing freaking 10 lbs for like 3 years now. More on that next week.

Now to figure out my fitness plan between now and the official start of half marathon training...

All in all, this was a great race for me and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to run it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coronado 15k report coming!

I ran the Coronado 15k yesterday morning. It went great and I got a PR of about 4 minutes I think. I certainly felt that I gave it my all.

And I recognized a super fast, super strong mama runner who's blog I always find inspirational. And I actually introduced myself!

Today I'm enjoying resting my sore legs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 in the PM

Until today, I think my longest evening run was 5 or 6 miles. Morning running usually works much better for our family and schedule so I rarely run at all in the evenings and usually it's 30-45 minutes.

I wanted to do one more long run before next week's 15k. Finishing the distance isn't an issue for me (I NEVER thought a few years ago I'd be able to pop off 9 miles without a lot of prep). But I know putting those miles in will help my muscles to be ready to perform to the best of their ability next week. Since I don't run in the dark and my treadmill is hibernating for the summer (it's folded up!) an evening run right when the hubs got home from work was the best way to get this done.

I headed out around 5:45pm feeling a little anxious. How would running 10 miles at the end of the day feel? I wore my new shoes for the first time with tentative plans to make a stop at home to change them after several miles.  I am really happy with the shoes--but they are real different on my feet and I didn't want to risk injury. A few miles in, even though I was feeling good, I decided to play it safe and change shoes at 6 miles.

The first 3 miles of my first loop was big hills. On one hand, it's not my favorite route, but the street is long and gives me the distance which is a plus. And I know that running the big hills helps me overall. My first mile was WAY too fast! I was feeling too good and enjoying the shoes. I slowed down, especially when I hit the hills during miles 2-3. On the way back I tried to run as slow as possible downhill but it's impossible to not pick up speed.

I carried a small bottle of water and took at GU about 50min in. I had already finished the water though and was bummed I didn't have anything to wash the GU down. I was back at home a little after 6 miles. Changed my shoes and got a drink of water.

Although it was wise to change shoes, my feet missed the new shoes. I could instantly feel how broken down the old shoes are and the higher drop. The last 3+ miles were definitely the most difficult. I think part was due to my shoes and I was getting tired too! Even so, I still managed to keep a decent pace during those last miles with a few pick-ups.

I was VERY happy to head towards my house and hear my Garmin beep for mile 10. My tank top was completely soaked from sweat. The first hour or so I spent with the sun beating down and the sweat pouring. The last 45 minutes it cooled down some, there was a breeze and the sun was setting.

My legs are tired and I am ready for bed right now! And of course I still finished a little faster than I wanted. Partially due to the downhills in the first 6 miles and also that fast first mile.

I ran 10 miles in 1:45 for a 10:32 pace (Garmin shows my cool down too). I was aiming for 10:45-11:00. Next week I'm hoping to run a 9:45 pace for the 15k (9.32 miles). Based on my 10k at the end of May, I should be able to do this. I've done several days of speed work and tempo runs since then also.

Now if only the kids will sleep in past 7am tomorrow so I can too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

just keep running

I ran for the first time in almost a week today. It was glorious!! Some mornings, I hardly recognize myself as I stumble out of bed before 6am to hit the pavement. But as soon as my feet start to pound, I am reminded why I stumble out of bed so early, even though it's the summer and I'm not working and we have no place to be. Out there on the street I find myself.

There is nothing like a morning run to set me up for whatever the day may hold.

I'm running a 15k next week on July 4 and have been loosely following a Hal Higdon training plan. The last few weeks I haven't been able to get a long run in and I was out of town for a wedding and unable to run until today.

I'm not too concerned though. I ran this race last year and I was sick and had terrible blisters, so even though I had trained decently, I didn't perform as well as I'd hoped. I don't want to get too competitive with myself, I want to enjoy the race. And I'd love to beat my time from last year, which I need to look up to remember.

Tomorrow evening I plan to do a last long run after my husband gets home from work.  I will take it easy and see how I feel but I'd love to get 10 miles in.

I came home with these beauties today and am contemplating running in them tomorrow.  The Saucony Mirage 2.

I am super excited about how good these shoes feel! I bought a different pair of Saucony's online but they were a half size too big and the sole was a bit too stiff for my liking. So I returned them today and tried on some different shoes. These are a minimalist shoe with stability support, which I didn't even know existed!

I don't know if it's a good idea to run 10 miles in a new shoe, although I'm tempted to try.

After next week's race I won't be on a training plan until mid-August. I want to get a lot more Insanity in as well as continue to run.

Just keep running friends!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I am ready for a rest day tomorrow! As much as walking around Legoland with three kids will be a rest day. Tuesday I did my tempo double jogger run and yesterday I did Max Plyo from Insanity. Let's just talk about how hard that was. So hard. Yet so good.  I love good hard. 55 minutes of dripping sweat is what it was. I think I lost 1/2 inch from my waist just yesterday. (I wish.) Today was almost 5 miles with 5x800 involved. I know my body and my legs especially, need some rest.

2. Although they need rest, my legs are impressing me lately. When I started Insanity yesterday, I wasn't sure if I would make it through the entire workout. My legs were tired and sore. But within several minutes they had warmed up and the lactic acid worked it's way out and I kept going. Today, starting out my run my legs were once again sore and tired. But after my warm-up mile, I ended up having to slow down on almost every 800 to achieve goal pace. I don't know where my legs found it, but they did.

3. I don't think I like 800's. I prefer 400 and 1600's. I could never find my groove this morning. I almost always started out too fast--like 20-30 seconds too fast. I would have to slow down, then I'd be too slow and have to pick it up at the end. It was just a tough distance to find my goal pace (9:36).  I ran out of time to do my 6th interval. Which was okay with me. Because the 800's weren't my favorite and my legs were more than happy after 4.8 miles to call it quits.

I am definitely in the sore category this week, not sorry!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

double jogger mother runner

The first 4 years or so of my "running career" almost every run was with a jogger. I didn't live in areas super conducive to running, so we always went to a local lake to run. It just made most sense to take the kid(s) and the jogger. Some of that time my husband was working a second job, so I'd go run in the late afternoon with the kids while he headed to job #2.

I've never really minded running with the stroller. Three years ago we moved to an area that is pretty good for running up to 4 or 5 miles. The streets are all on the shorter side, so after an hour of running turning on all the different streets gets old.  But it has been so nice to be able to step out the front door and run.

Three years ago is also when we had a 3rd child and my oldest has always been big for her age, so even if I had a triple stroller, she wouldn't have fit comfortably.  My jogging stroller runs decreased quite a bit at that point. I would sometimes run with the jogger on my days off when the big girl was in school. But a lot of runs were early mornings and later afternoons once hubs was home.  Or I'd sneak a quick run in after work before picking kids up.

I was a mother before I was a runner and so I've always been a mother runner. And so I've always been a jogging stroller mother runner.

I feel a bit nostalgic about my double jogging stroller days.  They are slowly coming to an end.  Summer is here and there's no big sister in school. In the fall, my middle girl starts kindergarten and I'll be down to a single jogger. Sure, there's a part of me that's excited because it will be 50% lighter. But I love my runs with my girls. I love how they interact in the stroller and I answer tons of questions. That is until the last mile or so of my run, when I'm dying and breathing so heavy and can't even hear what they are saying because I'm so focused on finishing strong and running until the end.

This morning I had a 40-minute tempo run on the schedule. 40 minutes at 9:45 (15k pace).  I could have gotten up early to get it done, but I was in the mood for a fun outing with the girls before we picked up big sister from her last day of school. We got her off to school and then loaded up and headed to the Bay. I was a little miffed at some traffic, but then I realized it wasn't even 9am, hence the work traffic.

Running with girls can be a little high maintenance.  On these June gloom mornings, they want jackets and blankets and toys. Not to mention a snack and drink. We loaded everything up and headed off.

While running, it wasn't cold at all. The air is a little humid and the breeze actually feels good. But I can see if you were sitting and moving at my speedy pace (haha) it might be chilly.

I started off with a warm-up mile at 10:30. I love running with the jogger at Mission Bay because it's almost totally flat and smooth. Unlike Lake Murray which has some longer hills and inclines. 

Running tempo miles with 85lbs of kid wasn't going to be easy. I wasn't sure what I was capable of. I decided that running around 10min miles would be equal to a solo 9:45 pace. But I always compete with myself and my own goals, so really I was going for under 10. 

Miles 2 & 3 were 9:47. Mile 4 was 9:50 and I kicked Mile 5's behind with a 9:39. I was huffing and puffing and digging so deep. I saw that I could end with a 9:45 pace, but thought if I turn it on the last .15 then maybe I can go under 9:45. I think my pace hit 9:39 right as the mile beeped.  I'LL TAKE IT!

I'm sure I'll run a bit more with the double jogger this summer, but probably not as much. 

This was a great way to cap off my years with my trusty BOB Duallie. The girls played at the playground while I stretched, and recovered. We came home so I could shower then it was off to pick up my new 3rd grader and eat frozen yogurt as a last day of school treat! 

My legs are tired. But I don't mind.  I ran tempo miles at pace with my 3 and 5 year old in a double jogger.

This mom RUNS!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

weekly report and next week's plans

That has to be the most boring blog post title. But I cannot for the life of me come up with something more creative tonight.

I had a pretty decent workout week last week. This was my first week as a summer stay home mom! The first couple days I was on the tired side, recovering from a long weekend. But as the week progressed I had new energy and motivation for exercise, my family and life in general.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles as 1 mile warm-up and 3 tempo miles (9:39, 9:36, 9:36). I was able to pump this run out pretty easily.

Wednesday: Insanity (Cardio Abs + Warm up for Max Interval Circuit), 30 min total. I was feeling very sluggish in the afternoon and knew getting my blood pumping in some way would perk me up, and it did!

Thursday: 5.25 miles (warm and 400x9 at mile pace w/ 2 min recovery). My longest speed training yet. Because I wasn't running on a track my splits weren't too even (see them here) but I was really happy with how it went. I used the workout function on my Garmin which was really helpful.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Insanity Max Interval Circuit, 60min. I've been doing Insanity workouts for a year now, although I've never completed the entire program. I really enjoy them, but I love running too! Great cross training though. I switched to the "Max" workouts which are longer and more challenging. Wow, MAX is a great description.

Sunday: 8 miles (10:30 pace) Long, easy run.

Total: 17.25 miles and 90 min of Insanity

Most of my miles were closer to 11:00 pace but I did tempo pace the last two miles which brought the overall pace down. I've learned that tempo miles are crucial for me. It helps my body know what it feels like to run at my goal race pace and since I struggle sometimes to run "slow" enough for long runs, if I know I can go all out at the end it helps me hold back.

I was somewhat strategic in doing Insanity the day before my long run too. I knew I'd be sore to some extent and figured it would help keep my pace slower too. I did feel the workout for sure! I still had to pull myself back several times, but there were many times I looked at my Garmin and saw just the right pace.

Next week's plans:

Monday: Rest/Recovery. I may do an Insanity Recovery workout (yoga based) or Pilates.

Tuesday: 40 min @ 9:45

Wednesday: Insanity

Thursday: 6x800 @ 9:36

Friday: Rest or 3 mi EZ + core

Saturday: 9 @ 11:00

I'm also re-dedicating to healthier eating and losing the few pounds I've been fighting for a few years now. It seems SO ridiculous that I've wanted to lose 10lbs for maybe two years. I really need to dedicate myself and there is no better time because I'm not working for a few months and have no excuse for not planning ahead.

I've created a dinner menu for the family this week. I may alter my dinners slightly. I try to go easy on carbs and heavier on protein and veggies. Right now, I am about to work on my own breakfast and lunch menu's for the week. The kids are pretty standard for those meals, so I usually eat on my own after feeding them.

Let's get this done!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

picking up the speed

I know most bloggers schedule posts at night, to be read the next day. Being on the West Coast, I read a lot of those posts at night before I go to bed.

I never know how and when to post about my runs. Silly nuances. If I say "this morning" but someone reads it tomorrow, it just seems confusing.

Rocket science, I know.

Anyhow, this morning I had a great workout!  I did more 400's than I think I ever have.  As I said before, I took the basics of the Hal Higdon Advanced 15k Training Program to create a plan for the next 4 weeks.

This mornings workout called for 9 x 400 at mile pace. Yikes! I've never done 9-400's.  But I want a good time in the 15k and I want a new half PR in November, so might as well give it a try and see what I can do.  My mile pace is 8:15 right now.

Lily wanted her pull-up off at 5:30am. Which ensured I was nice and awake and no chance of skipping my run. I was out of the door a little before 6am.

400's are best done on a track. But I haven't figured out where to use a track. I need to check out the local high school track rules. I picked an area of my neighborhood that has some small hills, but is mostly flat. Doing that many laps at the park just wasn't appealing. Especially since the park isn't completely flat either.

I started with a 3/4 mile warm-up. I used the workout option on my Garmin for .25 mile distance with a 2:00 recovery for 9 repeats. I haven't used that option before, and it was pretty great! Usually with repeats I'm looking at my watch over and over to hit lap at the right time. I was still looking at my watch to try and hit the right paces but it was much easier.

With the hills and turns and nuances of street running, my splits were a bit scattered.

8:24, 8:16, 8:22, 8:17, 8:09, 8:22, 8:37, 8:25, 8:14

So, 4 of the 9 splits were pretty close to the right pace.  The others, well--not too far off and probably were uphill at some point. I pooped out at the end of the 8:37 lap and walked the last few seconds!

I was pretty pleased that I was able to do all 9 repeats. It seemed like a lot going in to the workout. I can definitely tell that these kind of workouts will help me get faster and hit my goals. Once I finished the last 400 and ran home, I completed about 5.25 miles.  One of my longest morning workouts too.  I usually get in 4 miles. But running those fast 400's racked up the distance in a similar timeframe.

I was so energized when I got home. My legs have felt a little fatigued today and if I had compression socks, I probably would have worn them for a while. I will stretch well again later today.

Tomorrow I will probably do a workout from Insanity and shoot for 7-8 miles on Saturday or Sunday.
Now that I don't have to be at church early and all day on Sundays, I have another option for a long run. Yippee!!

I have a Road Runner giftcard---hoping to get some new shoes this weekend too.

Happy running friends :)