Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another pair down!

Today I ran my last 5 mile run in these, another pair down.  Died at 475 miles.
My Aunt came for a visit last weekend and brought this beautiful mum.  So sweet!

So Tues. I had the short interval track workout.  Wow!  My legs were not ready for that.  Wed. am,  I am feeling those 200's and 400's.  This morning I decided to hold  my coffee hostage to "make" myself start my home yoga routine.  I go to 1-2 yoga classes a week, but have been blabbing on and on for years now about needing to start my home yoga.  If I can ever get it started so that it becomes routine, I think I will continue it, it's just to get it started so that it becomes a habit.  So Wed. with my coffee on the line, yoga was not a problem.  I started off with committing to 10 minutes of yoga and then I could have my coffee.  I did some sun salutations, and warmed-up a little and then worked on some 1/2 handstands and lifting one leg up vertically and bringing it to the floor and then alternating legs.  (hard to explain) but a tough pose for me.  After the short yoga session, I immediately noticed how invigorated I felt.  Also in that short session, my legs loosened up and felt better to be stretched out a little first thing in the morning.    The yoga did more than the coffee does, but I still enjoyed my coffee just after my 10 min. was up.  Later in the day, I  worked on some "man" push-ups" and some core work in between working in the shop.  Wed. evening I met a friend and we walked 5 miles.  She hates to walk, I thought it was great.

This morning I did just a few sun salutations, just to try to continue establishing a routine at home, but I knew I would be going to yoga class @ Spiers Fitness and Yoga, so I didn't do much this am, at home.  This evening I went for a 5 mile run.  I think I am still feeling the track workout a little, but mostly I think my shoes are done.  To the grave yard they go.

So I am in a dilemma about which 5k to go to this weekend.   One option has a nice course, that will have great competition (although I am not super competitive), BUT I know the course is short. (2.99 in 2007)  I hate a short course.  There is another one on the rails to trails that will be flat and fast, but there are too many races on this part of the trail and I am bored with it, but it will be fast and I think is a sorority 5k which may    (or may not) have good door prizes, and age group awards, and hopefully they will use the correct turn around, so it should be accurate.  The 3rd one would be a new 5k for me, but I am not sure if it's an accurate course or not.   It is supposed to be flat too.  Hmmm, what to do????

My warm, humid, but breezy run this evening.  (5 miles - 9:25 pace)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Love me some 200's!"

Ahhhhh, first quality run since SGM.  Last night I was like a kid on Christmas eve.  "I'm going to the track on Tues."  My plan was to run 4 X 200, 4 X 400, and 4 X 200.  It's been so long since I have run any short speed work, I had to go to the Mcmillan Running Calculator  to get my paces. (this is a great tool to give you an educated guess on what you might run in other distances and it gives you paces for repeats, intervals, tempos, etc.   I based my input on a 5k that I ran 6 weeks ago.  (23:27)  So it said my 200s should be around :45 and my 400s @ 1:41-1:45.  Really didn't think a lot about, just planned to run around :45 seconds, and around 1:41.  Well, if I would have really thought about it I would have realized that was not totally realistic, but I try.  So I warmed up for 1.5 miles, ran a few strides, and then Vicki, Charles and I start our first 200.  1st thought - Wow!  That went by fast! 2nd thought - Wow!  I am very slow :52, normally I go out too fast on my first interval.  Not to worry, I will get on pace the next one.  It felt like we really picked up the pace, finish the 2nd 200 @ :55  WHAT!  Can't deny it, Charles's watch says the same, 55 seconds.  3rd was :51 and 4th was :49 - yay - under 50 seconds.  The 400s went like this 1:46, 1:47, 1:47, and 1:47 - well consistent anyway.  Last set of 200's - 52, 51, 52, and 51.  No 45 seconds 200's in my picture today.    That's ok - first short speed workout and really, I am only 3.5 weeks out from SGM, what do you expect?  (the funny thing, I really expected to go out and run 45s and 1:43 - ha ha)

The good news.  HOW FUN!  I love the short speed work.  Also, I have a starting point and I have a goal.  Work on the speed, and get the 200s down to 45's.   I LOVE a goal and a plan. 

The week is starting off grand.  5 miles on Monday and finally a little home yoga, Tues. - am, yoga @ Kelly's and pm - track workout above.  6.75 miles. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Running with Friends/ The New Plan

Had a great week of running this week. I had no purpose for the runs this week except to get some easy mileage in. Also, with my relaxed schedule of training this week, I made a conscious effort to run with friends this week.
This is how the week went:
Monday - 3 miles easy - excited to be running again. I also eased back into a few push-ups, planks, and some additional core work.
Tues - Kelly came out to run one of my 5 mile loops. It was a sunny, beautiful run.
This is Kelly on the left. This pic is from Dec. 2008. We ran the CellularSouth Half Marathon in Madison, MS last Dec. She is one of my yoga teachers and is great at it.

Wed. - today I went to my first yoga class in 3 weeks, and I walked 5 miles with Amber.
Thurs - met Dawn at the Longleaf (rails to trails) for 7 miles. We managed to finish our run before the rain. Yay!This is a pic from a few years ago. (from the left-Charles, Dawn in orange,Kily,Jim, Ginny (note to self - never wear stripes that go around, not to worry shirt has already been discarded), and Amber is on the right, in black. Amber is pregnant and will have the baby in Dec. So exciting!

Fri - today I met Jennifer to run on some hills we ended with 3.7 miles. (Jen - we need to get some pics of us for our blogs)

Sat. - yikes a solo run - I have been getting spoiled with the company. It makes the runs go by so fast when I am chatting with friends. Today, I ran 7.3 miles. I had to "fix" that .7 from the Fri run. (yes, it was bugging me). I also ran today with a new hydration belt to give it a try. It wasn't too bad, but does add some weight for sure. I will need to do a few more runs with it before adjusting 100% to it. I will not use it all of the time, but it will be nice to use it from time to time instead of driving out to drop waters. Also, when I get used to the extra weight, and then go to a race and run without it, I will feel like I am as light as a feather and will feel really FAST. The run today was in South Louisiana. It was cool, but the humidity is definitely alive and kicking (kicking my butt) in S. LA.
So this week, I ended with 27 miles of running and 1 yoga class. Today, I will go for a walk, hopefully around an hour, but definitely a minimum of 30 min. and I will do some yoga, with core work emphasis.

So the plan goes like this. I have 8 weeks until the Rocket City marathon in Huntsville, AL. To mix things up a bit and keep myself entertained, I will be doing some short speed work. Basically, I will be doing speed work for 5ks, but keeping my long runs in so that I can run Huntsville. I will be running 200s, 400s, and maybe some 800s. I will run more 200s than the others because "that's my favorite," and that's what helped me to pr in the 5k (23:06) in 2008. I hope to run a few 5ks and see what happens with those for a few weeks. Around mid Jan. I will start my training for Boston. At that point, I will go back to the longer intervals - 800s, 1600s, etc.

Quick note on the diet, weight, food side. I have maintained my weight loss which I am very excited about, however, the past 4 days have been BAD. My plan is to STOP the backsliding right here, and get back on track. As we go into the holiday season, I do not want to undo my HARD work over the summer. Also, I want to be ready for Huntsville, and really ready for Boston and weight gain is NOT a part of either plan. After eating so well over the summer,(healthier than ever before) I received some disappointing medical test results (cholesterol & blood pressure). It basically depressed me and I gave myself permission to eat horribly for several days, which accomplishes nothing positive. So I said it, I will regroup, put my pity party aside, and get back to my better eating. I MUST!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

1st Run - 1st Thought (after St. George marathon)

How did I do it? So it's 2 weeks after SGM, and I headed out for an easy 3 mile run. Within the first quarter mile, the first thought in my mind was - how did I do it? I am truly still in shock. How did I run 26.2 miles in 3:49? Yep, still excited about it. As for the run, thankfully uneventful. I ran easy, it was not hard, it was not totally easy, but I am so glad to be back on the roads. For me, it's like "going home" - a great feeling!

When I turned on my Garmin today, this is what I saw.

Ran the tangents great this time - @ Houston 1-09, I ran 26.5 - zoned out I guess.
Today was a great day to go out for a run. We finally have some cool weather in South MS. As I ran from my house, it was a strange feeling. I haven't run since St. George, and wasn't running much the week prior to leaving, so today when I ran with the cool breeze it was like running in the new season. Last time I ran here, it was summer, and now it seems to be fall (although in South MS we are never far from warm temps). That is what I truly love about this area, we do have at least 2 seasons, and sometimes we have 4 seasons. Yesterday, as I was mowing the grass and freezing, I wondered if we have skipped fall, but today as I was running, it was great. I'm a happy camper!
Do you see that Scarlett is sticking her tongue out at the photographer?

Scarlett and Winkie - Winkie LOVES her Scarlett.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cloud 9 to My Head is about to Explode!

Sunday night I started sneezing and felt like I was getting sick, but I was hoping it was just one my my "allergy things." No luck this time. Today, I feel AWFUL! Trust me, I am not complaining. It is actually great timing. I am in the second week of my 2 week running hiatus, post marathon, so if I must be sick, I would say, "perfect timing."

Monday after the marathon my sister and I went to Zion NP to the Angels Landing Hike. From the pictures we previewed prior to getting to Utah, I thought it was doubtful that I would make it all the way to the top, but we were determined to give it a good try. The hike is 2.5 miles. At 2 miles you get to Scout's Landing. This is where you make your decision to "climb to the summit" or chicken out. We decided to take a snack break and watch some of the people heading up.
A friend had warned me that it was very intimidating to look at and she assured me that it really wasn't that bad after you started up. So without much hesitation, (ok, I lie) anyway, I was determined to at least give it a good try.
So we start heading up after passing by this handy warning.

This is the view, and my turn around point.

I'm outta here!
Even though we did not make it to the summit, the view from Scout's Landing is well worth the hike.

I am always so thankful for my health, but this week is just another reminder of how blessed I am to be healthy and able to go out for a run most days. So looking forward to Monday.
That's my first day back to running.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cloud Nine @ The St. George Marathon

Look close and you will see my list of names of people who picked a mile. I pulled it out at mile 16. It really helped! I thought of each of you as I ran the mile that you picked and thought back on any, and all of the ways you have inspired me, or impacted my running or life in general. So a BIG Thank You to anyone who participated.

Oh what a day! Still can't believe it. It was truly a magical moment. My best running day EVER.

My sweet sister volunteered to haul me to the bus at 4:45 am on Sat. morning. So nice, we drove right up to the bus area with no problems. (I love the smaller marathons). While waiting for the bus, I spoke with 2 ladies that were nervously attempting their first marathon. So cute! When I loaded the bus, I was sitting with a lady who was originally from Utah and now living in Oregon and she had run SG previously. She was able to answer some of my last min. questions. (how bad is the Veyo hill?, what about the final miles - steep downhills or gradual? etc.

I found a great tool on the SGM website. It is a pacing chart that allows for the uphills, and steep downhills. So I entered 3:55 and it started me out slow, added some time for the Veyo hill, and of course, the steep downhill miles were faster. If you have been following my training, you know that I LOVE a technical run, so this was "right up my alley." I love the challenge of trying to hit the splits correctly and for me it is a great diversion to the running. First mile listed at 9:17, I kept telling myself to slow down and ended up at 9:15, sweet. 2nd mile - 9:06 and I ran 9:05 - great, 3rd mile - 8:44 and I ran 8:45 - love it and feeling great. Miles 3 and 4 were listed as downhill and steeper downhill. I was secretly laughing as many runners went flying by me, down the hill. I am thinking to myself, you are gonna pay for that later. Luckily, I maintained my composure and made a conscious decision to stick with my plan. At mile 8 we headed up the Veyo hill. It was the worst hill of the day. It was not super steep, but it was long. Thought about Jennifer W. and knew she would "work this hill." and knowing she was thinking about me and sending good thoughts. (sweet!) When we finally made it to the top of the Veyo hill, we had short downhill, and then basically miles 8-12 were on a gradual uphill, not bad, just unending.

At mile 13, I am celebrating because I realize I am already past the worst part of the marathon. I was 1 min and 20 seconds under the recommended pace for a 3:55 marathon. At this point, I am feeling great. I quickly realize this "might" be my day. So I decided to start picking up the pace. I wanted to pick it up, but not drastically so at first I decided to go under the planned pace for each mile by 10-15 seconds per mile. I think it was around mile 16 that I did some quick calculations, what I like to call fuzzy math, and realized that I needed to run around 8:30 pace or under, to have an outside chance to qualify for Boston. So I picked it up again. Mile 16 - I pulled out my list of names and thought about each of you at the selected mile. From mile 16 on, I had several people for each mile. Mile 16 - 8:27 - perfect. At each mile, if I was aware that you are "a person who prays," I said a quick little pray to ask God to hear your prayers.
Mile 19 - last uphill stretch - 8:51. At mile 22, actually still feeling good, especially for this point in the race. I am recalculating at each mile to see if I might "really be able to BQ." Scared that I might "hit the wall." At this point, all I can do is "go for it" if I hit the wall, I hit the wall. Getting really excited. Around mile 24 I realize that I will qualify for Boston, unless something really bad happens. Please don't trip, please don't trip, please don't trip. Miles 24 and 25 ended up being my best miles both at 8:02. These 2 miles were almost flat, but did have a gradual downhill slant to them. So excited to be running this fast at this point in the race.

At mile 24, Rascal Flatts - "My Wish" comes on my I pod. My Mom had picked mile 24. It was so neat. What a great song to come on for my Mom's mile. I thought back on all of the extremely hard times she went through to raise 4 kids as a single parent in the 70's. How strong, how amazing she is. How can I, not do this, when she went through so many hard years. Also, although she doesn't "get" the running thing at all, she does want me to be happy and pursue all of my dreams (BQ). Tim also had mile 24, and asked me to smile this entire mile to celebrate my love of running, my health, etc. I did smile a lot in this mile, but couldn't do it the whole mile. But Tim - I was smiling so big on the inside. I am going to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am giddy, but need to finish this race.

Splits - 1- 9:15, 2 - 9:05, 3 - 8:44, 4 - 8:30, 5 - 8:44, 6 - 8:54, 7 - 8:58, 8 - 9:49 Veyo Hill, 9 - 9:14, 10 - 9:21, 11 - 9:24, 12 - 8:54, 13 - 8:45, 14 - 8:45, 15 - 8:32, 16 - 8:27, 17 - 8:31, 18 - 8:28, 19 - 8:51, 20 - 8:31, 21 - 8:07, 22 - 8:28, 23 - 8:15, 24 - 8:02, 25 - 8:02, 26 - 8:26, .2 1 :58

26.2 - 3:49:17 Still can't believe it today, 1 week later.

Chip Time 3:49:17
Reasons for a great run!
* Weather - 38 degrees to start and low humidity. This is the first marathon that I have run where I had the perfect weather, for me. (Stennis and Houston both 3:59 - cool weather, but not cold. Austin was cold, but at that point, I was not ready for those hills - first year of the new hilly Austin course)
* Dropped 11 lbs. and healthy eating this summer.
* Higher mileage this time - up to 63 miles (previous high was 50 miles)
*Unlimited yoga for last month leading up to SGM.  3-6 classes per wk. (left this off of the original blog came back to edit.)  You can see it is fairly high on the list.  Prior to unlimited 1-2 classes per wk.
* Ran a 26.2 training run - (I do not recommend this for most people, but for me, it was a great thing)
* Consistent tempo runs
* 9 day rotating schedule
*worked on being mentally tough and was determined prior to this race to "finish" it strong.
* fewer long runs @ race pace (I am a firm believer in race pace runs, but I think for some of my training in the past, I have had too many pace runs and ended up "raced out" by race day) On the other hand, I do feel that the pace running did get me to the 3:59 marathons. ?????? I think a mixture will be my plan from this point forward - some marathon pace runs, some lsd (long slow distance) runs.
*being a germaphobe in the last couple of weeks prior to the marathon. (Purell, Purell, Purell - wiping shopping carts at Walley World, grocery stores, washing hands, avoiding confined places with a lot of people, etc.)

Thanks to anyone and everyone who has logged miles with me this summer. Thanks for anyone who signed up for a mile, I felt your support. Thanks to those who gave me pre marathon "treats." Thanks to my new blogger friends who truly understand this crazy obsession and share in my journey. Thanks to Mom and Linde for traveling with me and using part of their vacations for all of the "marathon stuff" and thanks for supporting me. Linde - thanks for getting my Gu's, getting my pre marathon bread sticks, driving me to the bus,etc. Thanks to Mom and Linde for listening to all of my "giddiness" after the marathon - BQ BABY!

Thanks to Chad for truly supporting me with all of this craziness the past, many years. Walked my first marathon in Dec. 2003 - 5:29, ran my first marathon Feb. 2005 - 4:54, Oct. 2009 - 3:49 - finally BQ. Although Chad truly believed that I did not have the physical ability to every qualify, he has continued to support me 100%, in this crazy, sometimes expensive endeavor. Chad has said several times along the way that he didn't think I could ever qualify. I was never sure if he "truly believed that" or if he was just trying to use reverse psychology on me. The reverse psychology worked. During the marathon, I thought to myself, "if I am ever going to prove Chad wrong, it better be today." "I REALLY WANT to prove him wrong today." Several days after the marathon in a conversation with him about the marathon, I found out that he truly didn't believe I could do it. He knew that I had the endurance, heart, and mental toughness to do it, but he didn't think that God had blessed me with the ability to run that fast. It wasn't reverse psych as I had suspected. I DID PROVE HIM WRONG! He is so happy to be wrong on this one. He has been excited all week too. Love Him!

Songs that "got me through" (in no particular order)
Not the Doctor Alanis Morissette
I tried - Bone Thugs
*I Gotta a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
I Do Not Hook Up - Kelly Clarkson
I Alone - Throwing Copper
Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Mockingbird - Eminem
Mrs. Independent - Ne-Yo
Love Drunk - Boys Like Girls
Lost Horizons - Gin Blossoms
*Lose Yourself - Eminem
Like Toy Soldiers - Eminem
Like a Child - Jars of Clay
Last Night - Diddy
Kill Myself - Tim McGraw
It's Hard out Here - Djay & Shug
In the Ayer - Flo Rida
If You're Gonna - Natasha Bedingfield
I Worship You - Mercy Me
I want to Be Loved - Bon Jovi
I'm Only Me - Taylor Swift
I'm in Miami B.... -LMFAO
How Far We've Come - MatchBox 20
Hook - Blues Traveler
*Hide & Seek - Imogen Heap
Follow You Down - Gin Blossoms
Fly on the Wall - Miley Cyrus
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Everyday America - Sugarland
Flood - Jars of Clay
Drop it Like it's hot - Snoop Dogg
Down - Jay Sean
Day N Nite - Kid
*My Wish - Rascal Flatts

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boston Baby!

No time to blog, but I had to get on to say I'm heading to Boston.  I finally did it.  I qualified for the Boston Marathon.  Will blog about it later, but it was a totally magical and perfect day.  I ran 3:49 previous best time was 3:59.  Thanks so much for all of the support.  If you signed up for a mile, I felt the support and used it on race day.  Thanks so much!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Run with me Sat.

So after a "marathon day" of travels to get to St. George Utah, we arrived around 9:00 pm Thurs night.  We were supposed to get to St. George around 2:00pm,  and had planned to go see Aida at the  Tuacahn Amphitheatre.  The delays were not due to weather, but because of an employee not doing their job of entering data for our flight to take off in Gulfport, the entire plane was held up causing us and many others to miss their connections in Memphis.  So instead of  Memphis to Vegas, we had to Memphis to Minn/St.Paul to Utah.  If you know your geography very well you see that we have covered the entire country trying to get to Las Vegas.  It was so worth it. 

Love the Utah red rock, glad to be back.

Today we went to a nice breakfast at the recommended Bear Paw restaurant in St. George, starting the day off right, then off to the expo, picked up a few cute shirts, and we went to ride the marathon course.

Pic of Mom & me at the start. (Trample the Weak Stomp the Dead shirt from the Tupelo Marathon)
I decided to go ahead and take pics today so I would be worried about not having a camera during the race tomorrow.  A few pics from today of the marathon course.

Ready for the Sat. 4:00 am bonfires.

Looks like a great downhill!

Love the variety in the mountain rock - red, gray, almost white, black, etc and
you know I love the wildflowers.


Linde (my sister) on the bike path that parallels Hwy 18

This pic shows some of the variety of the rocks.
Will let you know how if goes as soon as I can.  I will be running the marathon, will get a quick ice bath, shower, and food and then we will be heading out of town to our next adventure.