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?