Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lost My Mojo

Well the bad news is I haven't been feeling well.  On the bright side though, I think that may have been what caused me to fall apart during the last two miles of my long run on Saturday.

Sunday late afternoon I started to feel lousy and realized that the aches I had been attributing to Saturday's long run were more than just long run aches.  My stomach started to feel icky and I just felt lousy all over, and the stomach issues began.  I won't go into details but it hasn't been great.

I never got a recovery run in on Sunday and ended up resting Monday too.  Tuesday I thought I felt better but I could barely get through 3 miles.  I just felt so run down.  Today was a little better but I still felt like I could barely get through my run.  It's frustrating to me because I really wanted to add in some more miles during the week this week.  I am really hoping that by taking it easy I can shake this thing quickly. A bunch of my running friends are running 18 on Sunday and I really want to do it with them. 

Tonight I registered for the Utica Boilermaker, a 15K race, which is about an hour from here.  It's in July and it's such a fun race.  It's like one giant party that ends at a brewery.  Everyone gets a beer plus they have live music and a party at the end.  Registering for that cheered me up a bit.  I am hoping I get my mojo back tomorrow!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Windy Windy Windy!

I had been looking forward to today's long run- 17 miles- all week for a few reasons.  I was excited to run with my friend, Felice, again because we seem to run a good pace together and the miles fly by.  I was also looking forward to running longer since my race last week was so spot on pace-wise, I wanted to see how I would hold up over 17 miles.  And even though they were predicting slightly colder weather and some snow showers this weekend I thought it would still be better than our last long run weather-wise.

Backtrack to Thursday- after good runs all week, my Thursday run sucked.  My legs felt tired and I never got into a groove.  Even though my pace was right where I wanted it to be I just felt blah.  I decided Friday needed to be a rest day since I had the long run planned for today.

Friday, the weather forecasters start talking about 50-60 mph wind gusts for late Friday night into Saturday! WTF?!!! It's like the weather gods wanted to test our toughness.  All night I laid in bed listening to the wind gusts hoping they would die down by morning...

This morning, I met Felice at the bike path we ran on last time.  It was chilly but not quite as bad as I thought it would be.  As we started out, I realized I had too many layers on.  The wind gusts were strong but again not as bad as I expected.  On our way out we passed three running friends that were finishing up their run.  My legs felt pretty heavy and it took a while to get into a groove but before I knew it we had our first 6 mile leg done and were back at the cars.  We made a quick stop and shed some layers and took back off.  The next leg we did was 8 miles, my legs were still heavy but we seemed to get into a groove and were running a steady pace.  After that leg, we did another quick stop at the cars for more water.  I think that stop, while it was quick, may have been my downfall.  About a mile into our last leg, my hamstrings which were tight throughout the run seized up.  I told Felice to go on ahead because I needed to walk, plus Felice needed to go a little further since she was doing 18.  My last 2 miles were basically run a little, walk a little. 

All in all I finished the run at a 9:58 pace, which is right about where my training plan says I should be for my long runs.  I would have liked to have been faster, and of course I wish my legs felt better.  I was frustrated, but I knew it was better this was happening now, than during the marathon.  Plus I have plenty of long runs ahead of me before marathon day.  Two lousy miles of an otherwise decent long run are not going to keep my from hitting my goal on marathon day.

After the run, I had a massage scheduled, thanks to my awesome mother in law who gave me some gift certificates for Christmas and was also watching Mia for me today.  The massage was exactly what my tight legs needed.  While my legs are still sore, they feel a lot looser.  What a nice way to recover from a long run!

I guess this run taught me a few things.  I need to spend even more time stretching my hamstrings and foam rolling.  I also need to try to get to more yoga classes.  I notice that the weeks I take yoga my legs are much looser on my long runs.  I've also been slacking a little on my distance in my midweek runs.  I need to up my miles slightly during the week which means more early morning runs. Oh and that Felice and I are totally badass running in such crappy conditions:)

Well, another long run in the training plan is in the books so that means its time to enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today it was seriously hard to believe it's February in upstate New York.  It was 50 degrees and sunny at lunch time.  Apparently we are in for cooler temperatures the next few days- high 30's and low 40's and some possible snow showers but still that's not bad for February in these parts.  This has been the best winter for running.  I hope it continues and we don't get slammed with a late winter/early spring snow storm. 

I took full advantage of the great weather today.  I love my job but today was one of those days were I was working on something that was just so tedious that I really needed a run by the time lunch rolled around. I rushed down to the gym to change and headed out as fast as I could.  I was determined to squeeze every minute of running time out of this lunch hour as I could.  I ran my usual lunchtime route but went a little farther so I ended up covering 5 miles all together at an 8:50 pace.  It was great but I was really pressed for time after.  I did the quickest change and sprinted back to the office.  I may have been a little disheveled but it was worth it to enjoy a run on a day like today!

I really hope this is the start of spring!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Runners High

Sunday and Monday I was so happy about my pace at the marathon relay.  I know a sub four hour marathon is possible and nothing could knock me off the cloud I was riding around on- not even a husband that was up all night puking.

I think my runner's high got a little out of hand on Monday though.  After downloading lots of new songs on itunes (I need some new tunes to keep up this pace right?!), I ordered a new running skirt from (another necessity!), and then I went shopping and bought a new coffee table and end table for the family room (hey- a relaxing family room is also essential to my training). 

Later in the afternoon when my husband was feeling a little better (I'll fill him in on the purchases later...), I channeled my high into something that was less damaging on my wallet and went for a recovery run.  The routes around my house are pretty hilly and I did a 4 mile route that has .75 mile uphill on the end.  I cruised along for most of my run listening to my playlist, but on that last hill my legs were feeling it.  I finished 4.35 miles with a 9:07 pace! This morning I could feel it.  My legs were shot, so today was a rest day.  I'm still on a high though.  I can't wait to run tomorrow and I'm really excited for 17 miles this weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Marathon Relay

It's been a pretty busy week here in our house.  We had new furniture arrive on Friday so I spent most of my free time this week painting the family room and cleaning it to prepare for the new furniture.  Now that its here we love it.  Despite it being a busy week, I kept up with my running and had a great running week!

Yesterday was the Winter Marathon and Marathon Relay put on by our running club.  I ran in the relay with two of my running mom friends.  There as also another team of strong running mamas and my husband had a team.  It was fun to have so many friends there participating.

My team (thanks Suzy for the pic!)

The weather was also perfect.  Sunshine, temperature in the mid 30's and minimal wind.  In the past it's been extremely cold and windy for this race, so this weather was awesome!

I had the final leg- 11 miles.  My teammates, who are rock stars, ran the first two legs together, to get their long run in for the week.  I had contemplated jumping in with them for the second leg- 5.4 miles and making my run 16 miles, but I had switched my weeks around and 11 is exactly what I needed this week, so I decided to stick with that.

I was nervous since my leg was the last leg and I wouldn't start until 12:30.  I wasn't sure how waiting around all morning would affect my running but I knew I would have fun no matter what.  I was really hoping to use this as a test of my goal marathon pace which is 9:09 min per mile.  I just wanted to maintain as close to that pace as possible and see how I felt.

Tami and Karen at the turnaround having fun!

When Tami and Karen came in, they looked great, like they could keep running.  I took off and just tried to run at a pace that felt good.  I looked at my garmin and realized I was running an 8:45 pace, definitely faster than I planned but I felt good.  The miles seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was done with the first loop and I was running under a 9 minute pace!  At this point I got a little nervous- could I hold this pace, should I slow down...and then I told myself to shut up and just keep running and find out!  Again the second loop breezed by and I felt strong.  My pace didn't vary much and I knew I was on target to be under a 9 minute pace.  As I approached the finish line I saw my husband taking pictures and some of my friends at the finish line.  I was so happy to see everyone and happy about my run that I think I had the biggest smile ever on my face.  As I passed the finish clock, the time said 3:58:27! My teammate Tami, who is also shooting for a sub 4 hour marathon, commented that it might be a sign!  I hope so!

approaching the finish

All in all, it was a really fun day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

15 Miles

This morning I ran the longest run of my training cycle so far - 15 miles and it was great! 

After weeks of beautiful weather we had a cold snap here aka normal upstate New York February weather.   It was cold and windy, probably around 10 degrees or so.  I had met the Happy Runner at a bike path at 8 am to run.  I had to do 15 and she was doing 17.  Other than the wind seeming to hit us head on in both directions the run a perfect long run.  At one point Felice said she needed to gel at mile 9 which was coming up in a second and I was surprised because I didn't even think we were at mile 8 yet.  I love when that happens.  The miles flew by and I felt strong.  Before I knew it we were back at the cars and my 15 was done! And my pace had been 9:35! Not bad! I was even tempted to continue on with her but worried that I might regret upping my mileage that much already.  Better to end feeling strong.

Running with Felice was great.  She is a very positive person and we discussed our goals for the NJ Marathon and after talking with her I really feel like 4 hours or 3:59:59 is possible.  I'm really happy with my training so far.  I've finished all of my long runs feeling strong like I had more in me.  In previous training cycles I feel like my long runs were torture.   It's a good feeling and I'm actually looking forward to my next long run!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gravity Yoga

Wednesday night my friend Kim and I took our second Gravity Yoga class.  Gravity Yoga is a like yoga with cirque de soleil thrown in. It's yoga with a swing. It's a little crazy but a lot of fun. 

We go to a place called Good Karma and the instructor is great.  I am not very coordinated and anything that involved gymnastics has never been my thing but she makes everyone feel comfortable.  She also doesn't take things too seriously, she encourages everyone to have fun and laugh a lot throughout the class.

I really like the class because of the fun element.  It's something different and I'm doing headstands and flips that I never thought I could do during the class.  It's also a very good workout.  Your entire core is engaged throughout the class, so I have had sore abs the last few days.  My arms also got a good workout too.  I also like that with the help of the swing I can get into some of the typical yoga poses a lot deeper and so I feel much more stretched out after.  Balance is not my thing and in standard yoga classes I have a hard time with some of the poses, but at gravity the swing is there to help stabilize you for some moves.

We have  a lot of classes left in our package (they offered an awesome groupon a while back that we purchased) but unfortunately we only had two gravity classes in it so I think I'll have to purchase some more.  If you live in the area check out Good Karma and their gravity yoga classes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The last week or so has been crazy in our house.  My husband is in charge of putting on a regional taekwondo tournament every year.  This years tournament was over the weekend.  He had almost 400 competitors this year and it was his biggest one yet.  The planning goes on for over 6 months but the last month- especially the last two weeks are always insane around our house.  Our house becomes overrun with equipment, applications and everything else.  While I am glad the craziness is over, I'm really proud of my husband.  He puts on a great event and all the athletes seem to enjoy it. 

In the midst of the craziness I still kept up with my running last week.  I did miss one day but I got out there in the early mornings again to get it done the rest of the days.  My long run was scheduled for Sunday as usual.  My mother in law had taken Mia overnight so we could go out after the tournament with some of the volunteers and she was planning to keep her on Sunday for a while so we could sleep in and I could run.  I woke up with a horrible headache so I decided to run near my house and planned a route that I could shorten if necessary.  About 4 miles in my headache was gone and I felt great.  I finished my 12 miles stong! After the craziness of the week I was so glad to check that off my list and spend the rest of the day relaxing with my family and watching the Super Bowl!

My goal is to hit all of my runs this week and to take a yoga class tomorrow night.  Now that the tournament is over and my husband will be around more in the evenings I should be able to fit yoga in more regularly again.