30 March 2012

6 Randoms

1.  I think I am sick again.  I swear I have never in my whole life been sick this often and I have no idea what is going on with my immune system.  Ever since September I have been bouncing from one cold to the next and it is slowly driving me insane.  I blame having a petri dish kindergartner this year, the weather and my work schedule.  Not necessarily in that order.  I have had a kindergartner before and never got sick this often, and our weather is usually pretty terrible.  My work schedule is very different this year- I used to just work the same shift all the time and have a very regular sleep schedule.  This year- not so much!  Just last week I was up around 4am every day for work, and this week was the complete opposite and I was there until 9pm every day.  Not. A. Fan.  My body obviously hates my "all over the board" schedule as much as I do.  Good thing I am on vacation next week, I am in serious need of some time off to get out of town!

LOVE this, it is so true and happens way more than you would think!!
2.  We are taking a road trip to Boise on Monday- the first one in our new car!  I can't wait.  I have never been to Boise before, the weather is supposed to be pretty nice and we get to visit family we haven't seen since last summer.  And I get to run a race with my long lost BRF Cynthia!  Did I mention I am excited for a vacation???  Boise or bust baby!

3.  I finally caved and read The Hunger Games last week.  It was really good, and I started book 2-Catching Fire- yesterday.  And I am going to see the movie in about 3 hours with a couple of friends.  I am ridiculously excited about it.  Did you see it?  Read the books?  If not- you should.  I plan on finishing Catching Fire while on vacation next week.  And maybe even getting started on the 3rd book.  Did I mention I am going on vacation? 

4.  This week's "workout plan" didn't really happen.  I did complete my run on Monday which was some speedwork.  I did a 1 mile warm up, 4x1200's (7:30 pace) with a 400 rest interval (10:00 pace) then a 1 mile cool down.  I altered it a bit because the math was easier with 1200's instead of 1000's.  I wouldn't really recommend it though -1200's are hard and I hated every second of them.  Well, not the first 10 seconds or so, but all the seconds after that.  I probably would have felt the same about the 1000's.  My 6 mile tempo run on Wednesday turned into 5 easy while watching The Price is Right.  Anyways, it's all good cause I am going on vacation next week! 
***If you aren't a runner or a math person- 1200 plus 400 is 1600 which is a mile.  1000 plus 400 is 1400 and gets really hard to figure out after you have been running for a bit. 

5.  I am supposed to be running 8 miles as I type this.  Amazingly enough it has actually stopped raining for a bit so I could have snuck it in without getting drenched.  But every time I take a deep breath I cough so I am going to wait and do my run tomorrow.  For now I am going to go take one of every vitamin I can find, take a shower and go watch The Hunger Games in the comfy seat theater.  Yes, we have a local theater with actual recliner chairs.  And yes, I blog before I shower.  Don't judge.  I am almost on vacation I can do whatever I want :)

6.  I am signing up for Ragnar this week!  Somehow I got roped into being the team captain so that should be interesting.  We are going to be running with the same group of ladies from Portland that we joined last year which is really cool.  The bummer part is that Chris and Mandy won't be able to join us this year so we have a few spots to fill.  Will, myself and Jason are for sure in so we have 3 spots available.  I have quite a few people who are interested, now I just need to get a commitment from them.  And I need to come up with a team name.  Any ideas???  Maybe I can think of one while I am on vacation! 

24 March 2012

I Almost Got Tackled!

I got my ribbon in the mail yesterday!  Thank you
Tacoma City Marathon Association!!!
After the race last weekend I took 3 entire days off from working out.  It felt kind of strange and by Wednesday I was ready to resume my (almost) daily sweat sessions.  I am signed up to run the High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon on April 7th with Cynthia in Boise.  For those of you that don't know, she is my original running/racing buddy- and also happens to be my hubby's brother's significant other.  How awesome is that?  Except that they moved from Tacoma to Boise last year and now running together is a little bit more challenging.  So when I found a race during the week we would be visiting we decided we should go for it!

So excited!  Just wait until you see what we are going to wear!! 
I have been sneaking a few long runs in during my 5K training to prepare for the race, and yesterday I set out for a 12 miler.  My original plan was to head down to the trails at Point Defiance but there was this lovely ball of light shining in the sky so I opted to run where I could actually soak up some Vitamin D instead! 

A little more than halfway done.  Some lady stopped me here to tell me she liked my socks- they made me look like a Catholic school girl.  Um...thanks??  I was wearing my white RunLove socks with the pink heart.
I didn't worry about my pace at all, my only intention was to get a long run in and feel good about it.  And in the Boise race the final 3 miles are all hills (oh joy) so I made sure to find some doozy's around town and trudge gleefully run up them!
Overlooking the water where the race was last weekend. 
Hard to believe that it was so dark and freezing cold just 6 days ago!!
After my run I drank some Hammer Recoverite in strawberry.  It is not the greatest tasting thing in the world but I really think it helped me.  I ran from 11am-1pm or so and at 9pm played a full game of indoor soccer- literally- because there weren't any subs for the girls.  My legs felt really good and my energy level was actually pretty high.  It is true what they say- refueling properly after a hard workout is important! 
The elevation profile from my run and my daily mile post.  Love those hills!!!
I have created my own training plan of sorts leading up to the race in Boise.  It is over there ---------->  I know I said I was done with all the speed work craziness but I have found myself still using the Run Less, Run Faster training plan for the half marathons.  I enjoy the focus they provide and running only 3 days a week allows me to do all the other activities I also like to do.  And I am going bike shopping today so hopefully I can soon add that to my list of cross training activities!  Plus, I kind of like the idea that I am slowly but surely getting faster!

Oh, and here is the real reason I got that fancy PR last week:

You would run fast if somebody was trying to tackle you too!!!
Actually I had no clue that some guy was trying to pounce on me, I was too focused on not dying!!!
He missed!  I look down every time I cross the finish line- I am so worried about tripping
on those blue matts and falling on my face I can't help it! 

19 March 2012

St Paddy Day Run Tacoma 5K Recap

Ready to head down to the race- thumbs up if you
love racing in the snow! 
Saturday morning I woke up early and immediately ran over to look out the window in my bedroom.  It was dark and I was fairly certain it was pouring.  Just to be sure I headed out to the front door, opened it and sure enough- it was definitely raining.  And cold.  After a nice hot shower I got myself dressed in my carefully laid out race outfit and headed to the kitchen for a pb and j sandwich.  It was starting to get light out and guess what else?  It was snowing.  OF COURSE IT WAS!!!
Devan hanging out in her green attire
I was suddenly confused about whether I would be warm enough- I would be standing around in the pouring rain/snow for probably 2 hours or so, and my actual running time would only be 25 minutes or less.  At the last minute I ditched my running skirt and instead put on my lululemon tights under the sparkle skirt and hoped it would work out.  I grabbed my garmin, ipod, headphones and a banana- we were out the door at 7:40am.  And by 'we' I mean hubby and kids too.  A miracle, only 10 minutes after my intended time to leave!  We headed downtown and scored the sweetest parking spot EVER- right across the street from the meeting area and within sight of the start/finish line. 
Some of the ladies trying to keep warm and dry before the race.
Top row:  Jane, Mel, Kim, Chelsea and Alma
Bottom row:  Jamie, unknown (sorry!), Julie, Jill and me!    
I was really happy to have picked up my race packet the night before -the line was really long and those poor runners had to stand in the pouring rain while waiting.  If I had known I would have just grabbed everybody's packets for them.  Now we know for next time though.  Anyways, I met up with some friends and Team Will Run for Ice Cream members a block down and we were huddled there staying as dry and warm as possible.  We took a few photos but it was tough with the horrible weather. 
Brian found me before the 10K started.  It was his birthday!
The 10K was scheduled to start at 8:43am but the packet pickup line was still really long so it was delayed by maybe 15 minutes.  I wanted to warm up with a few minutes of running so Kerrie, Zoe and I jogged around the block a couple of times which helped a bit.  I still couldn't feel my fingers- dummy me I didn't think about grabbing gloves!  Soon we all headed over for the 5K and lined up right around the 8 minute pace group and we were sent on our way. 
Sooooo Coooooold!
As a general rule I never listen to music during a 5K, but I decided I might like the distraction this time.  I checked out jog.fm and found 4 songs with 175 beats per minute or higher that I liked and that was my playlist.  Short and simple but I like them all enough that I actually wanted to hear them twice.  Here are my songs:

1.  Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
2.  Sorry for Party Rocking  (LMFAO)
3.  Untouched  (The Veronicas)
4.  Misery Business  (Paramore)

I think I prefer to not have music for a 5K, I don't really feel like it helped me too much and I kind of wanted to rip the earbuds out as I was heading up the final hill because the music was irritating me and I couldn't concentrate. 
Kerrie, me and Alyssa
The 5K start.  I am somewhere behind the man in a full body green nylon suit. 
You know you can find him!  And yes- that was all he was wearing. 
And he was really fast.
Anyways, mile 1 was a slight downhill -I wanted to keep my pace around 7:40 and I also didn't want to slip and fall!  I had to do just a bit of weaving in the very beginning but nothing too bad.  I got passed by a guy wearing jeans and a tshirt- how uncomfortable would that be, especially in the rain?  I was feeling great still and I could almost feel my fingers and toes again.  Mile 1-  7:33

Mile 2 included the turn around- that meant we were halfway done!  I also noticed that there weren't really too many runners ahead of me but my pace was dropping and I was having a hard time keeping it at 7:45 (my ultimate goal pace).   I passed Alyssa on my way back, as she was heading to the turn around- she wasn't too far behind me.  Mile 2-  7:46

Mile 3.  Oh mile 3, I have been dreading this mile since I found out they altered the race course.  It is uphill, not entirely- but gradually and continually.  And then in the last half mile- it is just a hill.  I caught up to Mel in that last mile and came up next to her and touched her arm so she would know I was there, she seemed in a daze.  She smiled at me and I thought she said "not much farther" and I said "Just a half mile!" (I really couldn't talk, but somehow managed that!) but she really asked me HOW much farther- her garmin had died at the start of the race so she had no clue her pace or distance!  She was matching my stride so I was hoping we could finish together but she had a sideache and faded back and I just kept trying to get up the hill in front of me without losing my pb and j!
Mel and I just after we finished- I do not even remember this being taken! 
Can you say dazed???  Oh, and sorry girl in the truck changing behind me :)
I scored an awesome high-ball glass and button, grabbed a banana and an energy drink and discovered I was actually kind of warm even though I was completely drenched.  That didn't last long though and I was quickly back to being cold.  Thank goodness for running tech fabric though- my lulu tights dried incredibly fast.  Eventually all of our friends found us and we decided to head to The Rock for some food and warmth.  But not before checking our times of course!  Guess who got a PR???  This girl!!! 

Official Stats:
Time- 24:30
Pace- 7:54
Overall place- 103/1698
Female- 22/1184
Female, age 30-34- 4/215   That's right, I placed in my age group!!!

Several of my friends did really well also- Kerrie placed 2nd and Mel placed 6th in our age group.  Alyssa and Alma took 3rd in their groups and Brian placed 7th in his group for the 10K.  There were also quite a few PR's set so despite the weather (and hill) we all did great!  I didn't realize I would get a ribbon for 4th place so I didn't pick mine up- insert sad face here- but hopefully they will mail it to me.
Two soaked ladies, a half eaten banana and some honey buckets!
Jill, me, Chelsea, Mel, Kerrie, Lolo and Zoe
You can tell we are a bunch of distance racers because (duh) The Rock was not open at 10am in the morning so we ended up at The Harmon instead.  Our races usually take a bit longer than half an hour!They had the perfect table for us, but only minimal staffing.  And they were quite busy.  So our breakfast was a 2 hour event but I enjoyed myself and had a good time chatting with everyone.  And the coffee cocktail and beer were pretty awesome as well. 

Aside from Kim's hubby stealing my omelet (haha) it was the perfect ending to a great race.  I feel very lucky to be included in this fun group of ladies!  Can't wait for the next one.  Now back to half marathons for this girl, I currently have SEVEN on my calendar.  Yes, seven.  I think I need to order a half fanatic hoody sweatshirt stat!!!  

14 March 2012


I knew this was the perfect shirt as soon as I saw it! 
According to my google search-
1.  Having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed
2.  (of a plan or piece of work) Intended to satisfy high aspirations and therefore difficult to achieve

Well, aside from my easy run tomorrow I have completed my 12 week RLRF training plan for a faster 5K. I'm not gonna lie- I am super duper glad it is over! I have really enjoyed the break from my long runs, and I think this training has been beneficial to me as a runner but I am done with speed work for a little while. Well, I guess I do have ONE more little run to do on Saturday at my BIG RACE! I sure hope I can manage a PR, after all the hard work I have put in. I need to hold a pace faster than 8:05 over the course of 3.1 miles.  My goal is ambitious, but I have faith in my training.  I can do this.

The race begins at 9am on March 17th.  I am planning to head down to the start area early to meet up with some friends as well as a group of bloggers that will also be running.  I love fun races with lots of familiar faces!  I have my outfit pretty much together- the weather will determine the extra layers I need.  And we have definitely had some wacky weather around here lately including snow, hail, high winds, sun, pouring rain, sleet.  Did I miss anything?  And I am talking about all in one day!  So hopefully we will get something on the mellow side, my fingers are crossed for mid forties and no wind or rain.  What, a runner girl can dream right?

Under Armor shirt, Running skirts sparkle heart sleeves, skirt sports black skirt,
team sparkle lime green skirt and rainbow race legs!  I am going to be a little running rainbow!
Anyone else doing a fun St Paddy Day race this weekend?  Any fun outfits???

08 March 2012

Faster than a 7:47

Modeling my new jacket- getting sassy and pumping myself up before my "big" run
If you have ever followed a training plan you know that there is always the "big" run, the one that is most similar to your race and the biggest indicator of how you will perform on race day.  For the half marathon it is usually 2 weeks before the big day and it is generally somewhere between 11 and 13 miles, then the taper begins.  For my marathon training it was the big 20 mile run (read about that HERE ) and for my 5K training plan it was my track repeats that were scheduled for earlier this week on Monday. 

I was actually looking forward to this particular run- it called for a warm up, 3x 1 mile repeats at a 7:47 pace (60 second rest intervals between) then a 1 mile cool down.  It was like the ultimate test- could I run a full mile in 7:47 THREE times in a row?  I thought so, but I wasn't sure.  And I definitely had to do this run outside- the treadmill would not be an option. 

Lately I have been listening to some old school Christina and Britney on Pandora- and when
this song came on it got me going on the treadmill!
Monday morning I opened at work (aka woke up at 3:45am) and got off a bit early because of a canceled meeting so by 12pm I was home and ready for my run.  I even had my new Brooks running jacket waiting on my doorstep when I got home!  I have had my old Nike jacket for 2 years now and I wear it all the time- I pretty much love it.  But I wanted to have a second option and this new one is wind and water resistant- and it was on sale for $49.  Pretty good deal considering it was regularly $85.  Anyways, I kept looking outside and noticing how windy and cold it was and checked the weather.  As badly as I wanted to test out my new jacket, there was no way in the world I was going to attempt to hit my 7:47 pace in 20mph winds!  So I quickly made an adjustment on my training plan and just did my tempo run for the week instead- on the treadmill.

Yuck!  It felt like Antarctica outside. 
Yesterday I woke up to pretty blue skies, 38 degrees and not a bit of wind- perfect running weather!  I wore my new jacket, my lulu running tights with a skirt over them, my brooks pureconnects and a headsweats hat to keep the sun out of my face (I am not a fan of running in sunglasses).  I jogged down to the park by my house for my one mile warm up then got down to business- my 1 mile repeats.  I started off way too fast on my first one and had to slow it down quite a bit in the last lap- total time 7:44!  I sipped some water during my 60 second break- which is just long enough to almost start breathing normal again by the way- then set off for my second mile. 

Before heading out the door
There was an older gentleman walking the track in the opposite direction as me, and I passed him 3 times each lap.  He was wearing this really bright yellow jacket and was pretty tall- I was using him as a visual cue that I was at the right pace.  He just looked at me and smiled all 20 some odd times I passed him!  Mile 2 I finished in 7:45, took my 60 second break while sipping some water and mentally prepared for mile 3 to be really difficult. 

Back of the jacket- isn't it cute?  And I never noticed the reflectors
on my tights before!
That third mile was actually not as hard as I thought it would be.  I focused on my stride, my breathing was nice and easy and my finish was strong.  Mile 3 -7:44!  I was pretty amazed at the fact I could actually run these mile repeats that fast.  But my garmin says it is true, and I believe it!  I took a quick rest to catch my breath and then slowly jogged back home.  Now that was a perfect run!  I feel much more confident now about the 5K race coming up in 9 days.  I also finally found my shirt so I have my outfit all ready to go- now if only it isn't pouring down rain so I am not tempted to put a jacket on over the top!
Done with my run- red face and all.  I tried to stand a little
more "lady like" but I think
I just look like I need to use the bathroom.
What Pandora station is your favorite for running music?  Does anyone have the ad-free version of Pandora?  It drives me nuts to see the ads pop up while I am running on the treadmill and I have to close them every time, and then sometimes I touch the wrong spot and they think I want more info on the ad and then I have to keep touching to get out of that.  So annoying!    

01 March 2012

11 Speedy Miles

I think this wall needs a runner girl, don't you?
So I have been on a 5K "speed" training plan for the last couple of months using the Run Less, Run Faster plan in an attempt to PR at the St. Paddy day race on March 17th.  My current PR was set at that race last year -it was quite a surprise when it happened because I was just a week or two into my marathon training at the time and just did it for fun!  In fact it was in the middle of my 7 mile training run for the day.  1 mile warm up, 5K race and then 3 more miles!  Funny how it just happens like that sometimes.  So my current PR is 25:02 and my goal is to beat that in 16 days.  YIKES! 

Meanwhile, I have been adding some half marathons to my calendar and they are going to start sneaking up on me while I am busy trying to find some speed!  I added a few long runs into my training plan so I will have at least 3 "longish" runs completed before April 7th when I run the High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon in Boise with my long lost BRF (best runner friend) Cynthia.  I did a 10 mile run back on Feb. 3rd- I just ran a nice easy pace and enjoyed the day.  Then there is my eleven mile run from last Friday.  Lets talk about that one a bit.

LOVE these socks from Road Runner sports.  I now have
orange, pink and blue.  They are the best.
I wasn't sure what to do with these long runs as far as my pace was concerned.  When I did the 10 mile run I took a hilly route and it was sunny so I just took it easy.  But for the 11 mile I thought I would attempt to do the first 7 at my assigned pace (8:50) and then just do the last 4 miles easy.  Seems logical right?  But then somewhere in the first few miles I decided to just try and keep my pace for the entire run as close to 9:00 as possible.  Sure, no problem.  I can run track repeats in the 7:30's and tempos at 8:20- of course I can do a long run at 9:00!  FYI- the last time I ran beyond 10 miles was at the beginning of December.  And my fastest half marathon was done at a pace of 9:05.  Did these things occur to me?  Nope.

Anyways, I decided to head down the Scott Pierson trail for my run- it is just over 5 miles to the end of it and it passes by a grocery store so I can refill my water bottle and take a bathroom break if I need it.  I found a packet of Cytomax in my fuel basket so that was what I put in my water bottle, and I grabbed an espresso gel to take at mile 6.  Well, off I went and around mile 2 I decided to take my first swig of Cytomax- holy moly, I forgot how sweet that stuff is.  I felt like my teeth were rotting.  Not a fan!  So I knew for sure there would be a stop at the store, if for nothing else to get some water!!  Note to self- taste what you put in your water bottle before heading out the door. 

Allenmore Golf Course- taking my gel and watching the ducks in the pond.
At mile 6 I stopped for a minute to take my gel -I was in front of a golf course at that point and it was starting to rain.  I took a couple of photos, checked myself in on facebook (hey, at least people would know my last location if something happened right?) and set off to finish my last 5 miles.  When I hit mile 7 I saw my average pace was at 8:55 and I was getting pretty tired.  But I am apparently stubborn and just kept that pace up even though my legs were protesting. 

Should have been satisfied with that and took my
time with those last 4 miles!
Then I was at mile 9 and still under a 9 minute average- just 2 miles left!  Can't slow down now! What is wrong with me???  I wasn't racing anyone!  Sheesh.  Final time 1:39 with an average pace of 9:01- would have been a sub 2 hour half marathon if I had been racing.  Which I wasn't.  Just trying to get a long run in!  What is this 5K training plan turning me into?  I am a speed maniac- I have no control.

I never noticed that walkway before.  It made me want to go explore where it went.
I did pay the price for that one though.  I felt pretty icky for the next several hours- kind of like after running a hard race.  It made playing soccer at 10pm that night a little less fun, that is for sure!  I was pretty worn out.  So I think what I have learned is that I need to do these random long runs at a more reasonable pace of 9:20-9:30.  I will be doing one more long run before the April 7th half marathon-maybe I can control myself for that one! 
In front of the new Cheney Stadium- home of the Tacoma Rainiers!