Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kissing 2011 Farewell !

Ending it with no complaints
Total miles - 2550.5 miles ( 2020 miles in 2010)
22 Races
Personal Records in the 5k, 5 mile 10k, & 12k 

2000.5 miles Running (1660 in 2010)
300 miles Biking  (60 miles in 2010)
**you triathletes are REALLY impressed here, right?  ha ha
250 miles Walking (300 in 2010)
a bunch of yoga & Supreme 90 day 

a few less lbs.
and ending on a HIGH note...

 a December 31, 2011 12k PR (personal record)
56:39 (7:36 avg) (wishful/optimistic goal before the race - 7:40 pace)
(11-5-11 I ran a 10k at 7:36 avg.)
2nd Place Overall Female
Female Masters Winner
Looking forward to great things for 2012
Wishing Everyone a  
Happy & Healthy New Year!
2012 you ask???

well it looks like I need to update my 13.1 & 26.2 PRs, 
but early 2012 will be focused on a 5k PR

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Things I love!

I thought I would share some of my favorite products for 2011.  Some of these are new to me for 2011, and some are my go to brands.  Some of these I learned about through this wonderful blog world.  I'm sure I've mentioned, I'm not a shopper.  I also have a tendency to save dollars and go the cheaper route. 
For example, just a few years ago, I WOULD NEVER have spent $54.00 on a pair of shorts.  In fact, I thought $20.00 for my first Nike Tempos was crazy, and my first pair of $10.00 socks almost sent me over the edge.   As my mileage has continued to go up and up over the past few years, so has my willingness to pay for comfort and quality. 

**After reading several blogger's reviews of lululemon shorts,  I decided to SPLURGE and I bought the LuLu Groovy Run Shorts.  I would have included a link, but SADLY lulu decided to discontinue this item just after getting me hooked.  that's just wrong lulu !   (I'm thinking the lulu Turbo Run shorts will be the next best thing, but I haven't tried those yet)  I bought my first pair just before the Snicker's marathon in March and I decided to test them at Snickers.  26.31 miles of chaf-free running.  Yes, I'm hooked!  and yes, after learning of the item being discontinued, I searched and bought every new pair I could locate on EBay.   I'm hoping they have a LONG life, long enough for lulu to realize the mistake and bring them BACK!  :)
(note - when Running Sane reviews, I listen!)

**The next item on my list - BTB sunglasses
I have been using some FosterGrant Ironman sunglasses for years.  I like them, but they do have a short life. I like that they are flexible and light.   I like everything about them except the short life.  This fall, I received 2 pair of the BTB sunglasses to try (the 130, and 420).  The full test is not complete because I'm not sure about the "life" of the sunglasses, but so far I like them.  They are light weight and the clarity of these are superior to the Ironman sunglasses.   They are lightweight, but they have a hard plastic frame.  I wasn't sure that I would like that, but I'm thinking this will help to give the glasses a much longer life, and the hard plastic hasn't bothered me at all.   These are double the price, but if they offer a longer life, it will definitely be worth it.  So far, they are winning out, but the testing is not complete...... 
(this is the only item on the list that I was given to try.   He did not request, or require a review of the product) 

**DryMax socks - I found these a few years ago at the Houston Expo, and they continue to be my FAVORITE.  I like these so much I started selling them.  (if you want to try them, send me message and I will send you the details
always in stitches at yahoo dot com)

This fall, A.M. over at Running, Tri-ing and Living
blogged about the birthday celebration offering 25% off.  She mentioned the tights being great and cheaper than lulu.  (yay - I ♥ cheaper)  I decided to try the following items at 25% off.
Lucy - 223091 Distance Run short  ($33.00 during the sale)   
(as I searched for the link I noticed they have them on sale for $24.99)
cheaper than lulu ($54) I've yet to see a lulu sale (boo lulu)

Lucy - 214239 - Propel knee pant  ($43.50 during the sale)
Lucy - 214240 Propel Run Tight ($51.00 during the sale)

We've had a couple of "tight" days , and I've finally been able to give the tights a few test runs.  Let me say, AM was CORRECT!    I have a new love..... Lucy tights!  
so comfy and zero complaints with the pant or the tight. 

As for the Lucy shorts......lulu is still tops on my list.  The shorts are comfortable, and great for shorter runs, but on longer runs, I have some chafing with the Lucy shorts.   So for me, I would opt for my cheaper Nike shorts for the shorter runs over the more expensive Lucy shorts ($44.00 regular price).  I do like the material and the fit of the Lucy shorts, but not a winner overall for me personally.    
(however, with the $24.99 Lucy sale, if I needed shorts, I would buy another pair)
other notes - the back zipper pocket is small and no front pockets for gels.
if you read the reviews - many say these shorts are chafe free for them, so maybe they would work for you.  At $24.99, maybe worth a try if you need new shorts.

**Supreme 90 Day - $19.99 - such a deal
If you have been reading, I have mentioned S90D and my appreciation for it this year.  If not, I totally believe in this program as a compliment to my running, and  for weight loss and toning this year.   It's similar to P90X, but much cheaper, and I prefer the shorter length of the DVDs.  The dvds range from 30-45 min. including the warm-up and c/d.  For me, with my high mileage, 30 min. is the maximum amount of time that i want to invest in weight training.   (found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, etc)  
(As I'm writing this review, The Docs have a show about "The Pink Method"  has anyone tried it??? 
If so, review please.  Sounds similar to S90D, but may be fun to try something new)

Other favorites:
Adidas Cushion Response 17s.  Adidas is now on 20 or 21.  I have a few more pair of the 17s and then I have to find a new shoe.  (boo!).  I had a pair of the Adidas Cushion Response 19s and they are hard and NOT the same.  I suppose my first trial will be the current model.  I seriously HATE these expensive trials and so far mostly errors.  I go through shoes quickly with my mileage, and I hate trying shoes that do not work for me.  Currently, I added a pair of Brooks Glycerins 8s,  to my 4 pair rotation.  A $90.00 fail!  Ouch!   I'm still wearing them, but each run,  I DO NOT like them.  They are hard!  I like my cushion!  
(I know, I know.....cushion is BAD for 2011, but it works for me, so far)   
anyone having a recommendation for a cushioned shoe for high arches, please share

My best tip concerning shoes - just in case you are new to my blog - I rotate 4 pair of shoes at a time.  Before starting the shoe rotation, I was LUCKY to get 400 miles on a pair of shoes.  Most of the time at 350 miles, they needed to be replaced.    Now with rotating each day, I can get between 500-600 miles.  Yes, the initial investment is large, and keeping up with the mileage on 4 pair of shoes IS a PAIN,  but overall, I save a lot by being able to get an extra 100-200 miles on my shoes.  For me, it's worth the extra effort to save $$s.

Other favorites:
**Adidas visor
**Garmin 305 - I'm old school but I like the the data of the 4 blocks on the screen, and from hearing other runners talk about the bezel on the newer models, I feel like me and the newer models would have "words" often.
**  (1 free class per week)  I prefer to go to 1 class a wk for correction, but I sometimes supplement additional classes during the week with
**Ipod Nano - I'm not a fan of the latest model but it's a necessity for me to have my Ipod.(it's a big part of my joy of running)   I dislike not having an on/off button, and I preferred the buttons to go forward/backward from song to song.  I do not like having to look at a touch screen to do what I want to do.  In addition, I sweat a LOT, so I'm not long into a run when I no longer have control over my tunes because my fingers are sweaty, and the touch screen will not work.  Boo Apple!  Please make an Ipod for sweaty runners.

For hydration - I have several different options, for different mileage days.  This year, I have really enjoyed my Camelbak for longer runs. I grew weary of dropping waters, and now the only time I need to go out and drop is for my long runs that require extra water, or when I need Gatorade, etc.  I have the Camelbak Snowflake(for women) , which may have been discontinued.  This one was recommended by K. over at  HappyTrails.  They have sense tried some different models and they do a lot of trail runs requiring hydration so they are a wonderful resource.  Also, check out The Running Artist.  She runs with a different model and has a review of it on her blog.  I also use a "Fuel Belt" for medium distances.  It works well and tightens down comfortably for running with no fiddling with it required.   For short distances I have a handheld, similar to the bottles in the "Fuel Belt", but it has a handle to slip your hand through, making it easy to carry on the run.  I will say all of the options do take a little adjusting to, but I did find that I quickly adjusted to each option.

I want to/do NOT want to,  try some of the lululemon tops.  I fear I will love them and then my $12-$18.00 running tops will be out.  So far, I've resisted, but 2012 may be the year for another new splurge.  

Thanks for sharing the products you love on your blogs.  I find it very helpful and has been very reliable so far.  Keep them coming for 2012 please!  

I'm heading out for a run/walk.  I have a few more miles that I want to complete before the end of 2011. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reflections - Baton Rouge Beach Marathon

Pre - Marathon -  Tues goal - low of 40 - going for the BQ - 8:35 avg pace

Pre- Marathon  - Fri goal - low 52ish - going for the PR - 8:43 avg pace or anything sub 8:45
During the Marathon - Mile 15.5 - going for the BQ - 8:35
During the Marathon - Mile 24.5-26 - hang on for the PR - sub 8:45

On Tues.of marathon week,  the low was still predicted to be 40, and I told Chad I was going for a BQ (Boston Qualifying) race.  Let me tell you, I was "feeling it!"  Most of the time, when I get this feeling, my goal is met, IF the weather cooperates.    Well, if you've been reading lately, you know the weather did indeed change to the warmer side.    After consulting with Chad (my hubby), and getting some SUPER feedback from blog world, and local friends, I decided to go for a PR (sub 8:45 avg) race.

(if you missed the earlier debate, Wed.,  when the predicted weather changed to mid 70s for my last hour of running, I considered not racing this one and looking for another race within 2 wks)
With the low of 50 and a quick warm up, I definitely decided against the faster BQ race (8:35 avg). I had not vocalized or written about the BQ attempt to anyone but Chad. 

Jen and I headed down to Baton Rouge Fri am.  We had a quick "chatty" trip.  We stopped in Mandeville for lunch at the Olive Garden and then zoomed on to Baton Rouge.  We took a ride around most of the course, went to dinner, the expo, and then we went to bed early.  Smooth sailing and ready for a PR race.  Woo Hoo!  I was actually so excited about the race, that I  was worried that I may not be able to sleep.   I went right to sleep and rested well.  Everything on track for a great day.    We were able to park within a 1/2 mile of the start.  We waited in the car for a while, and then we walked to check our bag, potty line, quick chats with other runners, and we're ready to start.  Jen and I wished each other good luck and a good day, and we're off.                 

I had this in a nice, readable format and blogspot randomly messed it up.  I decided to leave it, as is, because it's really how I ran on Sat.  I was all over the place with pace, I couldn't get on a pace and maintain it.  I was constantly too fast, or too slow.                                                                            


   3:49:34           26.35        
slower than planned

1.  9:12
faster than planned

2. 8:43
 almost perfect 


 a little slow, but I'm ok - 5

perfect -
6.      8:40

oops too fast, slow it down -

7. 8:34
good, that's better -


crap, too fast again 

good, I feel good

10.  8:38
ditto - 11

ditto - 12

 ditto - 13

too fast, man I can't believe how good I feel, slow it down

14.   8:20
at 15.5 I decided I'm feeling GREAT, I'm going for the BQ

15. 8:31
too fast for PR or BQ, slow down Ginny

a little fast, but I'm good

man I feel great, I'm at 18 and I feel great, this is NEW to ME

18.  8:21
slow down, this is my day

19. 8:18
your doing it!


ok, that one was slow but that's ok

slow again, but I'm still ok - get on pace!
22. 8:38

I can't believe you ran a 9 + mile, get on pace, you can do this

RUN, FINISH THIS, you still have the PR,  go for the PR

 you can still PR, RUN, GO, FINISH THIS

25.  9:34
holding on, trying not to slow any more, still hoping I can PR,

 you missed the BQ, you missed the PR, and you ran LONG 3:09.6 0.36 8:49

Prior to the race, I had looked at the map and knew the course had many turns in it.  I had to run the tangents really well to have a good race.  However, in addition to the turns, the course also has a lot curves as the road meanders around "The Lakes:, near the LSU campus.    Until late in the race, I stayed at +.06 which, excited me.  I'm guessing that I zoned out a little on the tangents when the stress of my slowing pace elevated.  As you can see, I ended up with and extra .15 on the day.  Bye Bye PR!

After the race, immediately my feet and legs felt like they would cramp at any second.  I made it over to the water and powerade and started refueling.  I wasn't in the mood, but I decided to eat some jambalaya (LA rice, etc).  I knew it would be salty and hoped it would help.  A few minutes later, I was going to for more water.  I stepped up on a curb, and just like that, my leg was stuck, with my heel in the "UP" position.  I could NOT move.  It took a while, I bent over, and rubbed my leg, and finally I was able to lower my heel to the ground.  It's now, Tues. morning and my left calf feels much better.  It's still sore, but fading.    I took and ice bath Sat. night.  On Sunday, I rested most of the morning with a nap at 9:30 am, yes I said a nap at 9:30 (much deserved).  Sunday afternoon, I met Kelly and we walked for a little over and hour.  When I finished walking my calf was totally loose and feeling good.  By the time I made the drive home, tight and sore again.  I took an epsom bath.  I do not know much about Epsom baths, but some people swear by them, so I tried it.
If you have studied, or have experience with Epsom baths, please educate me.
Not sure if it helped, but the soaking in the warm water felt good either way.  Monday am, I went to a yoga class - same thing - totally loosened up, and then later sore and tight again.  Monday night, I walked on the treadmill for just over 30 minutes and it felt fine.  
It has, exactly,  ONE week to be healed.  ha ha

The Good Stuff!
**8:43 avg. - which is a PR pace for me. (for 26.35)
**I felt really good all the way up until mile 23.  Usually I start feeling bad anywhere from 16, to 18, but definitely by mile 20.  This is huge progress!  Excited!
**Had the last hour been in the 60s, instead of the 70s, I KNOW I could have "held on".
**usually when I "fall off the pace" - it's a much larger "fall off" than the decline on Sat.
**2nd in age group

**I loved the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon - it's a great course, scenic, well organized.  It has a few minor rollers, but most of you would call it flat.
**I was expecting the humidity to be much worse, but the gentle breeze helped.
**Jen ran a PR race!  Woo Hoo! 

The Bad Stuff
**ran a little too fast some of those miles - BAD (critical race day mistake)
**tangents late in the race  - FOCUS
(IMO - this would be the only down side of this race.  it's a technical course, if you want to run 26.2, you will need to zone in, and run the tangents, really well)

So with a couple of days to think and reflect, yes, in some ways I'm happy with it.  I see some new break-through positives about this race.  I tend to focus on the positives, BUT ....
I worked way too hard, and I'm in much better shape than 3:49, so I will be totally honest here and say....
It's eating me!     
and Jenn is right...

this is why I will keep training, 
I will keep racing, 
I will keep looking forward because 
I'm NOT done yet
I can go faster

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I went for it !

Baton Rouge, LA marathon
Super race!  very well organized and beautiful course
Jen and Me - post race
 Congrats to Jen!  She blew her old PR away by 4.5 MINUTES.  She went into the race with no plans to PR, and walked away with a super race.  So proud of you Jen! 

Yes, I went for it......

but I ended up leaving Baton Rouge without a BQ, and without a PR.  I would be telling a lie, if I said I wasn't disappointed, who wouldn't be when you miss a marathon PR by 15seconds, but  this is the narrative of the rest of today's story.
3:49:31  2nd place age group, 20th out of 104 females

Around mile 15.5, I was still feeling really good, had already started picking up the pace and still feeling good, and I decided to go for a BQ, new standards, (3:45) which was a stretch for me on a good day.   Looking back , it was probably a dumb move because it was a little warm for a BQ (for me), but I "went for it"  Still need to look at Garmin, but think I held on to around 22-23 ish and, could not hold on.  I fell off the pace (bad), and then missed a PR by 15 seconds.  (needed 3:44:59 for BQ, and sub 3:49:17 for PR)  (missed a PR by 15 seconds)

Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome.  I left everything on the course.  My PR is at St. George (downhill course).  Baton Rouge is what I would call a "fair course" with some rollers, (some call it flat).  After my PR / BQ at St. George(2009), my goal became to BQ on a "fair" course.  Let me say, I do not discount the St. George, downhill course for a BQ, but this was just my next step, my next goal.   So today, I made that goal to BQ under the old standards - looking on the bright side.
Unfortunately, for me, the old standards mean nothing. 

The bright side from today - I'm totally convinced, had the weather been ideal for me, I would have a BQ and a PR.    NEXT TIME......keeping reading

So,  overall, it was a good day. 

Thanks for checking in and supporting me.  It means a lot to me.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Re-Focused and Ready!

Thank you, thank you, thank you 
to all who posted, or sent email responses.   I appreciate the thoughtful answers.  I read and re-read, and re-read them.  

I just love blog world.  I mean really, you guys totally know what I'm thinking/considering/going through.  The run yesterday,  and the feedback totally helped to calm me, and helped me to refocus.  I do feel like I need to explain.  I'm not having a mental pre-race break down.  In fact, I still go into this race STRONG.  I know I'm in better shape than I've ever been.   For me to be at the top of my mental game, it's really simple, I MUST be in shape.  That I am! (for me)   I must explain, my last post come out of being a "realist",  NOT being a pessimist or caving mentally.   So rest assured, I'm not going into this race in a bad way, disappointed sure, but regardless, 

I'm excited, I've prepared better than ever, and I'm READY!

So currently, this is my plan.  I'm showing up Sat. READY to race 26.2  :)  
I'm going out on pace, and will see what the weather does.   
I'm hoping this plan holds, and I'm able to leave everything that I have on the Baton Rouge course. 

Strong Heart Strong Mind
If you want to share your favorite mantra or affirmation please do so.
Have a great weekend everyone, I know I will. 

Go Jen, Go Audrey, Go James, Go Terry, Go Bridgett
Go everyone racing this weekend.
Good Luck and Have FUN!

Bright side:
no rain expected
it could be 80 degrees and humid

(interesting note:  the first day the weather report warmed, Chad (my hubby), said exactly what the majority of you said. (before my freak-out post - ha ha)  He also mentioned the fact that I've been running better this fall, in the warmer conditions, which is true.)  Reinforcement is nice!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Urgent! Help Me Decide....

Yes, I'm freaking out.  It's marathon week.  Sat.,  I'm scheduled to "all out race" The Baton Rouge Beach marathon.    The low this morning was 27.  Most of this week, the prediction has been a low of 40 degrees on Fri. night.  I've been so excited, feeling super about it, and READY to RACE.

Yesterday, BAM - the low changed to a low of 50 degrees for Fri night. 
(may increase again - South winds bring warmer temps) So just like that, a kick in my gut. It's typical, the weather changes quickly, and the current forecast for Sat. at Baton Rouge is as follows:

7:00 - 52 degrees w/ 86% humidity
8:00 - 54 degrees w/80% humidity
9:00 - 60 degrees w/ 75% humidity
10:00 - 65 degrees w/ 67% humidity
11:00 - 57 67 (edit 57 was a typo) degrees w/ 65% humidity

So 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00, I would be fine, but "my race" starts around 9:30 am.   So I've already gone through the panicked search for another marathon.  My best other option would be Jacksonville, FL Dec. 18th.

So now I must decide and would like your opinion.
I have worked so hard for this one.  I stepped up my training to the next level.  Everything that is in my control has been right on target. 

now the freakin weather.... 
what to do?, what to do?, what to do?

1. go ahead and "race" Baton Rouge 26.2,  and give it all I have, knowing the weather will impact my time.

2. jog the half, or part of the full, and gamble on better weather in Jacksonville  (recent lows for this race - 41, 41, 55, 44, 59)

3. race the half, and go for that PR - first 2 hours will be PR doable, I think.

Ok, I'm going for a run and maybe some focus and answers will be found on the run.  "Breathe Ginny Breathe!"

What would you do? 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

28 miles and I'll be "Ready to Rumble"

I hope everyone understands my last post.  My intention was not to exclude anyone.  I enjoy reading running blogs of all kinds and all paces.  I feed off the joys/trials of newer runners.  I also love reading the posts from faster crowd.  I love to "dream" through their posts - ha.   I also, enjoy reading blogs of similar paces and I noticed I follow fewer blogs that fall into "my category."  For those of you who made recommendations - I thank you.

Last weekend I went to a 5k in Luling, LA.  The Rock N Run 5k.   I had researched the 5k market for Sat. Nov. 19th, in search of a "flat and fast" 5k.  (I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.  I'm not great, or even good at racing on hills.  (this is something I really want to work on, but currently my focus is on running as many PRs as possible, while I still can.  I can race on hills down the line when my PR opportunities have passed me by)

This is a great small race.  I loved the tag line....."If you wanna Rock, you gotta Run"  As you can see, this was the 2nd Annual R N R, and I must say, they have their act together.   I'm always a little nervous about going to new smaller just NEVER know what you will get.  I REALLY HATE going to a race, with a PR opportunity, and finish the race to find the course wasn't accurate (2.9 miles, etc)    This race was very organized, great giveaways, and accurate (3.11 = happy me)
I won a Rock!   The rock says 2nd place overall "YOU ROCK" on it.  Cute!  (small race indeed - maybe 80-90 runners)
So I left the race with a new friends, a rock, I won a paper shredder and a PR. 

I'll spare you the details, but I'm happy to report I had a PR race.  I always like to run a 5k close to my marathon.  It tells me a lot about my current fitness.    I went into this race with very little speed work, but after the recent 10k PR, I hoped, and felt like it would be a good day.  I wasn't disappointed!  I'm excited that I ran 22:59 (this was my 2012 goal - to run sub 23).  I'm VERY excited and looking forward to my training in Jan. -March.  I intend to focus on the 5k which I have never been able to do in the winter because I always opt for marathon training instead.  Early 2012 will be different.  Good things ahead for 2012.  

Week of:
Nov. 14th - 57 miles running with a 5k, 2.5 miles walking, 3 days of Supreme 90 day, and 1 yoga class
Nov. 21st - 44 miles running with 3 X 1 mile @ 7:28 avg. on Thurs. and 13 @ 9:31 avg. today (sat), 5 days of Supreme 90 day, 1 yoga class.  Sunday will be a walk day/recovery 5-7 miles of walking this week- (depending on how far I walk on Sunday)

So, I have decided that I will run 25-28 miles before the marathon on Saturday.  I  followed this program for 12 weeks, as called for, with 2 exceptions....

**the Bar Harbor 26.2 mile training run (not on the plan)
**and as Jill so astutely noticed, my 20 mile run 2 weeks ago at 8:52 avg (with 10 miles at 8:32) was NOT on the schedule.  (Yes, I went off the reservation, but I did miss my 12 mile marathon pace run because that was the wk of the marathon, and I wanted to run it slow because of the added distance (26.2 miles @ 9:44 avg) blah, blah, blah, blah blah.    

any hoo - I'm sticking with the plan this week......
25-28 miles and I'll be "Ready to Rumble", Sat. (3rd)
in Baton Rouge, LA

**If you want to pick a mile - (18-25 - because that's when it get's TOUGH), and share a mantra or thought, I would LOVE IT!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Help Me Find My Peers

I find it interesting as I read blogs that I come across many bloggers who are much faster than I am, and I come across bloggers who are slower, but I rarely come across the blogs of my peers.  For instance, I follow MANY FAST runners who run 3:00 to 3:30 marathons, and I come across many in the 4:15-5:00+ marathon group, but I haven't located many 3:30 - 4:00 marathoner bloggers.  I know they are out there, I just haven't come across them yet.  So if you happen to follow any 3:30-4:00 marathoners, 22:00-23:00 5kers, or 46-48:00 in the 10K group,  please send me a link.  I would love to add them to my reading list.

Finishing up the week with 70 miles.  The consistent higher mileage (high for me) is paying off.  I'm handling the mileage better than I EVER dreamed possible.  I feel strong!   I had a 20 miler on Sat.
I ran the first 10 @  9:12 avg
The next 10 miles @ 8:32 avg with the last 2 miles being at 8:13 and 8:14
Average pace for the 20 miler - 8:52
It was cloudy, and a little humid (good practice - race day may be similar).
The temps started in the mid 50s, but quickly hit the mid 60s.
As I finished the 20, yes, I was ready to be done, BUT.... most of the time,  as I finish my long run, (3 wks out from my goal race), I typically finish the run WONDERING, how will I run at a FASTER pace, and add on 4-6 more miles.  This time, I finished ready to be done, but I could have gone more.  This time, I finished with hope and excitement about the race to come.  3 weeks, and I will be READY to RACE.....

This program doesn't taper a lot, which I prefer. (not as much as my former programs anyway).  Lately, I've been tapering "less",  and feel that works better for me.  I feel I'm on top of my game, and if I taper too much, I feel lazy,  and tend to lose my mental edge.  So my taper weeks will go from 70 miles this week, to:
**57-59 miles this coming wk, with a 5k race
**44 miles the following wk
**Race week - the program calls for 28 miles prior to my race on Sat.  I'm still thinking about this.????
I'm not sure I want to run that many miles before my 26.2 goal race on Sat.
(typically I run more like 15 miles leading up to my 26.2 mile race)
Opinions please!  how many miles do you run the week of your marathon???

This week's discoveries:

**Raspberries - I DID NOT KNOW how yummy fresh raspberries are - pricey, but one of my new favorite fruits.

**Oatmeal Pancakes
On my last blog, I mentioned the Cut The Fat podcast, which I enjoy while running.  On a recent podcast (recent to me) Blythe mentioned a recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes.   I'm a huge lover of pancakes, and Blythe promised these were delicious, so why not give them a try.  I tried them, I love them.  
(I cooked them again this morning.  I cooked some for Chad who said "they taste like cardboard."  ha ha  everyone likes something different)
I think he didn't like the texture of the oats.  He is accustomed to fluffy, smooth(no fiber) pancakes.  
It's funny,  the texture is one of the things that I love about them.  For me, the texture equals fiber and filling.  I didn't use the blender.   Had I used the blender, they may have been more appealing to Chad. (I mixed the batter with a mixer)

Give them a try:

Oatmeal Pancake Recipe (from the website)

This recipe has now been a family favorite for many years. I share it with everyone and anyone who is open to the possibility of eating oatmeal pancakes… in my opinion, everyone should eat them!
In a blender add:
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ c. NO SALT ADDED cottage cheese
  • ½ c. dry oatmeal (Quaker-style old fashioned rolled oats work best)
  • Dash of water
*this recipe yields 1 serving (2 pancakes)
Blend all ingredients into smooth batter. If your batter seems thick, add a dash of water. If your batter gets too thin, you may refrigerate for 15-30 minutes and it will thicken. Pour onto pan or griddle just like pancakes.
I usually make this recipe x 4. This way everyone in the family can enjoy pancakes for breakfast. Top with natural peanut butter or our new fave Better ‘n Peanut Butter (a low fat peanut butter that is all nautral) and sugar free syrup or natural jam and ENJOY!

For my version, I added cinnamon (I add cinnamon to everything possible) and nutmeg.  
The 2nd time I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla
Also my cottage cheese was lowfat, and low sodium (our grocery doesn't stock no sodium cottage cheese)
I topped mine with homemade jelly. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nova Scotia and a PR race

Mom, Me, Linde - sister
Linde - love that smile....
coming out of the bushes....potty break (sisters can be evil - yes)

 Crazy tides in Nova Scotia
 Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
 Nova Scotia
 Nova Scotia
 Nova Scotia
 Mom supporting me at MDI 26.2
 Finishing marathon # 21

Getting "blown away" on Cadillac Mountain, waiting for sunrise, and FREEZING...
Mom - she's awesome!
Acadia National Park Fall 2011

So What's Up?
week of Oct 31st
Run - 62 miles
Walk - 2.5 miles
Yoga - 1 class
Supreme90day - 2 times (slacker)
Sat. - Senior Bowl 10k - Mobile, AL - 55 degrees 
**47:20 official time (7:37 avg)  (1:18 PR) 
**Garmin time 47:28
**Overall 111 out of 827
**Age Group - 40-44 - 2nd place (not sure how many in age group)
(previous 10K pr was in 2008 Senior Bowl 10k - 48:38)

What a super day in Mobile.  Linde (sister) went to the race this year.  She walked the 5k.   I had a SUPER day, and you guys KNOW, I'm savoring ANY and EVERY PR that I run.  I appreciate and savor the victory.  It's not a natural thing for me.  I WORK, EXTRA HARD,  and some days it pays off.  The week leading up to the race, I just felt like I would run a PR.  Mid-week, the weather was predicted to be on my side, so it was "game on"....nothing left to do on race day but execute the plan (the plan - RMAO)  
After the race I saw a couple of friends and then we headed to Louisiana for Chad's big day - the IFA Redfish Tour Championship tournament.   He and his partner, Jay ended up 7th in the tournament and won 1st place in the "Ultra 6 Tournament" - a good day for him too, and he walks away with VACATION MONeY - Sweet!
Chad & Jay 2011
Week of Nov 7th
**This week I'm working on 70 miles for the week, with a 20 miler on Sat.
**need to get the S90D workouts back up to 3-5 per wk
**Mon -S90D Tabata,  recovery from 18 miles on Sunday - 6 miles am and 4 miles pm
**Tues. - 11 miles on the Longleaf (asphalt) 8:55 avg. - 2 mile w/u, 6 X 1000 @ 7:24 avg pace, & then just finishing out to get 11
**Wed - 15 miles - first 10 at 10:10 avg. - last 5 miles I picked up the pace, and ended with 9:48 avg pace for the run.
**Wed weigh-in - up 1.5 lbs. -  first week to be up - MUST "nip this in the bud", regroup, and cut back a tiny bit. Upping the maintenance motivation through podcasts.  
Some of my favorites to keep me on track:
(all of these can be found on I-tunes)

Each of these help me to focus on healthy eating, a healthy lifestyle, and moderation.  Running for PRs doesn't come easy for me, and neither does weight maintenance.  I have to work hard and stay focused.  

**Please send me maintenance tips and motivation - podcasts, tips, tricks

**We're at peak leaf season in MS.  Today, I had 15 miles on my schedule.  I met Kelly and Jen on the Longleaf.  Kelly ran 3, Jen ran 10, and then I finished the last 5 solo.   The leaves were amazing.  So awesome to go out and enjoy the beauty on a run.  

**Sat the 12th - will be 3 weeks out from Baton Rouge marathon - goal race.

**Sat the 19th - need to find a 5k to go for a PR.  If I find the right course (flat and fast), and get a good weather day, I KNOW I can PR, and feel like I can go sub 23.   (current PR is 23:06)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sloppy, Choppy, FUN!

I've been trying new routes to run.  Sometimes my fear of dogs limits my running to the same areas over and over.  I run the routes that I know are "mean dog free".   I guess because of  the high mileage of late, I'm kind of bored with the "same old same same old", which has sparked some courage to try to new routes.  Today, I ran in a small town near my home.  It was such a treat to run a new area, and I only covered a small area. 

My schedule for today called for 9 miles with 5 X 600 @ 5k race pace w/ jog 50%- 90% interval time between each rep.  Today, I ran these on the road, but I'm thinking I will head to the track next week.  I prefer the consistency of the track, and I like to monitor my pace for each 100.  

 This week begins my short, mesocycle 3 - "Race Preparation".  I haven't had any speed work on the schedule in a long time which means.....
it's awkward, it's sloppy, and it most definitely choppy....
it's FUN with a capital FUN!
No worries here!  Each week will become a little less sloppy and choppy.  It will never be very pretty, because MY running form is NOT that of a natural, or pretty runner, but that doesn't matter.  Each week it will become more natural, and I will feel like a "trackster", whether my running form or speed says so or not.   You guys know how I LOVE the speed work!  I've been anxiously awaiting this part of the program.  While I have missed my beloved "Yasso 800s" this training cycle, I'm really loving this "Advanced Marathoning" training plan.
(Advanced Marathoning Pete Pfitzinger * Scott Douglas 2nd Edition - I'm doing the 12 wk, 55-70 plan)  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

+21 = 70 miles = ♥ and :)

Today I had a SUPER 21 mile run to finish my 70 mile week.  I'm amazed how different my long runs have become this fall.  Is it the high mileage, is it the Supreme 90 day, is it the weight loss?  I would say it is most definitely the combination, the total package, having it's effect on my running.   If I had to rank the 3, I would put the high mileage at the top of the list.    I have concluded, for ME,  "more is more."   Several years ago, I tried the "less is more" plan, 2 separate times.  I believe it is a great plan, and I will likely go back to it eventually, but for ME, the higher mileage pays off.  I don't have children, have extra time to run, and so far, I've been able to handle the mileage fairly easily.  (handle it with rest, ice, nutrition, etc.)

I had my flu shot this week, so I'm hoping to go to Baton Rouge stronger than ever before.
Pics from my run today in MS
Had to take a pic of the greenery today.  When I started running today,  it was 40 degrees, so the green grass will  soon fade to brown.
I love these country roads that I run!
 6.5 miles on the Longleaf trail
Clyde Depot @ The Longleaf Rails to Trails

My week:
Monday - 9 miles (7 miles with Terri - fun!) with 10 X 30 second sprints at the end & Supreme 90 day (S90D) 
Tues. - 15 miles @ 9:28 avg & S90D
Wed. - yoga @ The Yoga Room & 7 miles @ 10:20 avg.,  recovery run
Thurs. - 12 miles on rolling hills, first 5 with Kelly, and then 7 miles of tempo @ 8:10 avg.  I had planned to run the tempo by heart rate today - goal 160 - but my legs said otherwise.  Couldn't get the heart rate up - AHR - 152 & S90D  (ice bath)
Fri. - 6.5 miles with Jen on the Longleaf trail, 10:35 avg
Sat. - 21 at 9:15 avg.  I averaged 9:22 pace up until 18, the last 3 miles I picked up the pace - 8:54, 8:21, 8:16.  (ice bath)  

Will have a little test of my current fitness next Sat. in Mobile, AL at my MOST favorite of all 10k, the Senior Bowl 10k.  I'm hoping the cold weather is around next weekend at 8:00 am.  I'm ready to RACE! 

I'm still plan to share some of the Nova Scotia pictures, soon.  In the meantime, the one at the top of the blog is Cape Breton, NS - beautiful, even when cloudy. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mt. Desert Island 26.2 Beauty and Ease

Bar Harbor, ME
Mom, Linde, and I arrived in Bar Harbor Friday night.  The drive from Portland to BH was dreary and sometimes raining, but we were excited to begin the week to see the beauty of the fall in the northeast, and I was on a mission to eat as many lobster rolls as possible in 1 week.  Success!
2nd Crow Athletic race (Lobster 10K a few years ago in Southwest Harbor, ME)
Caw! Caw! Caw!  Excellent Job!

My intention for this race was to run it as a training run.  My plan was to train through this race, so when I arrived at the starting line on Sunday, I had 44 miles for the week.  If you look at the elevation chart, you obviously notice that miles 20-25 are uphill on the chart, but you also see the chart shows bumps over the entire course, so I went into this one expecting hills, hills, and more hills.   As we drove the course on Sat., it was really close to what I had suspected, but I had no idea how my body would respond on Sun.  I had run Tupelo 26.2 in Sept. but the hills for MDI would be more challenging.  The only other hilly race that I have run is Boston. My first attempt at "racing" on hills, Boston 2010 - 4:08.

Sunday am, race start at 8:00, I'm in my room at 7:45 because the race is right outside my door.   We stayed at the Villager Motel.  It's NOT fancy, but adequate, and super convenient.  The weather was nice.  The day before, the winds almost blew us off the top of Cadillac Mountain, so I was a little concerned about the wind for the race.  It ended up being wasted worry because the weather was perfect.  We had a little wind, but nothing bad at all.  Whew!

Very early in the race I began chatting with Tim who was running his first marathon.  We ended up running together until somewhere around mile 16.   We chatted about running and training and we quickly realized that we both shared a passion for "the details" of training and data.   I quickly "got lost" in conversation and was amazed how fast the miles were going by.  Let's face it, I'm in Mississippi.  Let's just say.... running is not the number 1 activity in our state.  Yes, I do have running friends, but it's rare to find someone to chat with that enjoys the numbers, details, tough training plans, data, etc.,  like I do.   So Tim, thank you!  I enjoyed the conversation.  Several miles later a couple from Minnesota joined in the conversation.  

Here is a pic of my new friends.  (Tim is on the right - with the red shorts)
This was my first time to take pictures "on the run."  I had purchased a new camera just before this race and was happy with the way the stabilization feature worked. 
coming to the finish.....4:16
Today I felt GREAT the whole way.  I have run other marathons as training runs, but even when running a slower pace, I have always come to a point in the race where I was tired and ready to be DONE.  MDI was different.  I never felt tired.  My goal for the training run was 9:45 pace.  I ran the last 2 miles @ 8:47 and 8:03.  I ended up running 26.38.  I didn't pay much attention to the tangents today because it was a training run.  By the Garmin, for 26.38 miles, my average pace was 9:44.
Stats for MDI
334 / 925
Division - 17 / 69
9:48 avg pace for 26.2 miles

My personal observations after the race:
**This was the hilliest marathon I have run so far out of 21 marathons.
**I did not taper for this run, and in fact, I went into the race with 44 miles to finish the week with 70 miles.
**Even with the 44 miles prior the marathon, this was the easiest marathon I have run, to date.
**This means I'm getting in shape.  
 **MDI is my 2nd favorite out of the 21 marathons that I have completed.  St. George is still number 1 for me.  I'm sure running my PB (personal best) @ SGM has a lot to do with my ranking, but the beauty at St. George, UT is hard to beat.  Had I been racing at MDI, and had I finished with a PR (personal record), I wonder is my ranking would be different.  Possibly????  Both are beautiful courses, and both races are special.  

I was happy to finally meet Bethany & Ryan of Our Love on the Run
 @ MDI.  I have been following their adventures of running for a while.  (Bethany helped me with some of the details of my trip to Boston.)  ......bummed we didn't think to take pictures. 

Today, I'm 6 weeks away from the Baton Rouge marathon, my goal race.  
This week we toured Nova Scotia, and I took a recovery wk.  
I took Mon - Wed. off from running. (walked 30 min - 45 min each day, in various locations of Nova Scotia)
Thurs. - I ran 3 miles easy, in Bangor, ME. 
(we left Nova Scotia Thurs. @  3:30 am CST time, and it was Fri., 2:00 am CST when I climbed into bed at home in MS)
Fri - 5 miles easy and then I did Supreme 90 day - This was the first day,  of round 2,  for S90D.
Sat. - 8 miles easy.  Today, I felt tired.  I think the marathon, the wk of vacation, and the lack of sleep caught up today.  I slowed the pace, and finished the run feeling tired, but ok.  I will take it easy on Sunday.

The upcoming training wk will be back on my regular training program.  I have 70 miles with some quality runs in the mix.  Totally excited about the upcoming training.  

Once again I'm at my HAPPY PLACE.  
Training hard - that's the way I like it!