Monday, March 26, 2012

Catching Up

Wow! It's been a while since I've posted.  The weather was so beautiful here the last 2 weeks. We've been spending most evenings outside that I haven't really had a chance to blog.  Unfortunately the temperature has gotten cooler today- mid 40's which is more seasonal and not too bad temperature-wise but it's very windy.  I'm glad today is a rest day, it's a good day to stay inside. 

After my 20 miler two weeks ago, my muscles didn't feel too bad.  I had very little soreness but I was exhausted all week.  I'm attributing it to a certain time of the month combined with that long hilly run.  It was a cutback week and I was able to run a few evenings outside with Mia in the stroller, but I cut my mileage way back that week.  I'm really glad I did because on St. Patrick's Day I had a race- The Runnin' of the Green 4 miler in Green Island.  I'd been looking forward to this race for a while because many of my running friends were running plus it was a good chance to test my speed.  My husband had to travel that weekend so I ended up having to run with Mia.  We got all decked out in our St. Patrick's Day green gear and met up with the ladies at the race.  Mia was fine a little quiet but fine...until right before the race started.  She started crying.  I thought maybe the crowd scared her a bit, but we've done so many races I couldn't understand why it would bother her this time.  I checked to make sure she had her snack, binky, and anything else that's normally the source of tears.  I figured she was tired and would fall asleep once we started running.  She's never really cried for more than a half mile.  She cried THE WHOLE RACE.  It was great fun, but on the plus side I ran really fast to get it over with.  My chip time was 34:10! Not too bad considering I was pushing a stroller and stopped twice to try to calm her down.  All of my friends had great times too.  Aside from the crying which stopped right after the race it was a really fun morning.

This past Sunday, I met up with the ladies for a long run.  It was big group of this week and I got to meet some new friends that I had only met through our online group.  Tami, Karen and I were doing 16 and the rest were doing 8.  The plan was 1 loop for them, 2 for us.  Everyone was running at different speeds and we kept getting separated.  This made for quite the adventure.  I was chatting away with a new friend, Sheila, and her and I got ahead of the rest and missed a turn.  We ended up adding 2 miles to the first loop.  When we finally got back to the cars Karen and Tami were waiting for us.  It was pretty funny.  Poor Sheila only had 8 on the schedule but got  2 bonus miles.  She's a really strong runner and I hope she will join us again.  After that, Karen, Tami and I set out for the rest of the run.  I think I took the first 10 miles a little too fast because the hills Tami took us on on the second loop were killing me.  Finally we hit a downhill stretch and I felt better.  I ended up with 16.66 miles total at a 9:42 pace which is faster than my plan called for.  I felt pretty good after too.  I actually felt guilty because Tami and Karen had two more miles to do and I felt like I should have kept running with me.  Who am I?!!!

This weekend I have a 20 miler scheduled and I'm really excited about it. After that it's a cut back week and then another 20 miler the following.  The marathon is so close!!!! I can't wait!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oh What a Run!!!

In preparation for this mornings 20-miler Joe took me to see Jersey Boys last night.  It was an amazing show but we were out until almost midnight and I was scheduled to meet Tami and Felice at 7:30 this morning.  Oh and 7:30 was really 6:30 because we had to change the clocks back.  Needless to say when my alarm went off this morning all I wanted to do was turn it off and go back to sleep but I got up and I am so glad I did.

Today's run was awesome! Tami planned a loop for us near Dyken Pond which was super hilly.  It was a 10 mile loop that we had to do twice.  The first 5 miles were basically all uphill but the 2nd 5 miles were basically downhill so that helped.

In the first mile or two I had trouble catching my breathe again on the hills but eventually I found my pace and felt better.  The first loop flew by, especially when we got to mile 5 and were able to cruise a little on some of the downhills.  We were all feeling good but tired when we got back to the cars to refill our water and start our 2nd loop.

The second loop started out HARD.  The first mile or two of hills was killing me, my breathing was all wacky again and I had to walk a little.  I told Tami and Felice to keep going but luckily each time I caught my breathe I was able to catch right back up with them so I didn't really lose anytime.  After I got through that the miles started flying again and we were around mile 15 where we started hitting some downhill stretches again.  It was so nice.  Finally we were at mile 18 and I was amazed at how good I felt.  I felt like 2 more miles was nothing.  And then we were at 20 and I still felt great! I felt like I had a few more miles in me if I had to.  We finished out the run at 20.35 miles with a 9:58 pace.  

Tami and Felice were so great to run with.  Pace-wise it's a good match for us all.  We had so much fun chatting along the way.  They are such positive people and really make it fun.

This was an extremely hard run on mountain roads. If I can run a route like this and feel strong, I feel confident I can take on the New Jersey course. 3:59:59 here I come.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm Back!

After a week of not feeling so hot I was so psyched to be feeling better on Friday and looking forward to my long run on Sunday.  Well I forgot that one member of our household still hadn't been hit by the bug...Yup! Friday night just after I put her down Mia started puking and puking and puking.  Of course Joe was away so I was on my own to tend to her, clean up the messes and continuously wash everything.  I think by Saturday morning every pillow, blanket, sheet, and towel in our house had been washed.  Luckily she was feeling better by Saturday afternoon so I didn't have to cancel my plans to meet the girls for my 18 miler Sunday morning.

My friend Tami had planned a route out by where she lives for a group of us to run. Tami lives on a mountain and told us it would be a hilly run but I had no idea what I was in for.  This was one of those cases where ignorance is bliss.  If I had known going into it what these hills were like I don't think it would have helped me. 

We started the run on a pretty steep uphill.  Tami kept assuring us that this was the worst hill of the run, and we would be coming up on a nice downhill soon.  It was so long!!! I could not catch my breath, I think because it was the beginning of the run and I hadn't gotten into a steady pace yet.  I was getting nervous.  I kept thinking about last weeks 17 miler and how I feel apart near the end after a good start.  If this is how I was starting out, how would I last 18 miles. Tami was right though, once we got over that hill there was a nice downhill and I started to fall into a rhythm.  The rest of the run was pretty hilly- big freakin' hill but none were as bad or as long as that one.  We all chatted away and before we knew it we were finished with the first 11 mile loop.  We refilled our water and headed out for the final 7 mile loop.  This loop was not as challenging hill-wise but by this point we were all starting to get a little tired so there were a few hills in there that felt like they could have been comparable to the first one even though they weren't. 

We all finished strong at 2:58 with a 9:54 pace! My training plan had me running my 18 miler at a 9:52 pace which is slower than my marathon goal pace.  I'm really happy that I was able to complete this particular run so close to what the plan called for because no where in the plan does it say to run your 18 miler on a freakin' mountain! I felt really tired and tight after the run but I came home and stretched and used my foam roller.  My legs felt much better after that.  I took my scheduled rest day yesterday which I definitely needed because I was still very tired but my muscles felt pretty good.  Tonight I was able to run 5 miles on the treadmill with no problem at all. 

After what happened at the end of my 17 miler this 18 miler was a huge confidence booster.  If I can run strong and steady on hills like that I can run my marathon goal pace on a flat course like New Jersey!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Random Stuff

1.  I am feeling better.  For the first time all week I ran and it didn't suck.  Granted it was only 3 miles but I felt like I could keep going- unfortunately I didn't have time for more than that today.

2.  This year I started using dailymile to track my workouts.  I'm really glad I did.  I love the reports at the end of the week and month.  As I was looking at my year to date stats last night, I noticed the calories/pounds burned stat.  It said I should have burned 7 pounds so far this year!! While I am content with my weight I would like to lose a few pounds.  That stat really hit home because I realized I need to pay more attention to my eating.  I think compared to most of the population I eat fairly well, but I could do better and could cut out a lot of junk.  I'm going to try to plan out my meals better this week and make some improvements.

3.  I have an 18 miler scheduled for Sunday with a bunch of running friends.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm hoping I continue to feel better it goes well.  It looks like the weather will be great for it too.  We had snow during the week but Sunday looks to be a nice day.  Fingers crossed!