Saturday, December 7, 2013

this will shock you

As a recovering marathon addict/junkie, I think my new favorite distance is the 15k.  WHAT????
If you know me, you know I have been addicted to the Marathon since my first one in Dec. 2003.    I've been chasing PRs at that distance since that very first one and FAR exceeded my expectations of what I would ever achieve.  Makes me smile even today.

Fast forward to 2013 - ran my 2nd Boston 26.2 in April, an injury in June, and a SUPER SLOW come back .

I've been on a new training plan recently.
**run if I want to, don't if I don't = about 3-4 days of running per wk, about 20-25 miles per wk
**zero speed work up until the last 2 wks, which was 1 day both weeks
**get the long run up to 11-14 range to be able to jump into some half marathons whenever I want,  during the winter
**not "all out racing" at any race - more like tempo pace and focusing on keeping my heart rate down

It's been FUN !  It's been different, for sure,  but I'm learning to love the relaxed state of my racing, or my "NOT racing" racing.

Racing Updates
Nov 30th -  Keeping my tradition of the "post-Thanksgiving burn", I headed to the MS Coast Marathon at the Stennis Space Center.    This year the weather was PERFECT for racing.  Not sure what the temp was at the start, but as I was traveling to the race, the car thermometer read low 30s.

My last half was a couple of weeks ago at the Houma, LA race.  The conditions that day were somewhat on the warm side and typical South LA humid air.  Needless to say, I was HAPPY to see the 30 degree reading on the car.

With both courses being flat and fast, I expected to pick up a few minutes, not based on any quality training, but solely based on the better weather conditions.  Like most people, I run much better in the cold air.  Oddly, I ended up running the exact same time, 1:55.  I did pick up a few seconds per mile "pace wise" because I ran the Houma course a little short (13.0 for 8:52 avg) and at Stennis, I ended the day with 13.15 for 8:46 avg.  I wasn't disappointed with the result, but it was just an odd thing for me, considering the much improved running weather at Stennis.

Back to my new favorite:
Dec. 7th - Missions in Motion 15k - today I headed over to Petal, MS to run a 15k.  Petal is known for some challenging hills.  I wanted to go and run it because I will be running a half marathon in Jan that will be hilly.  It's in Travelers Rest, SC.  I'm totally excited about it because I will be traveling with some local friends AND.....wait for it.....     wait for it........

if it works out, I think I will finally get to me my friend Lindsay, over at "Chasing the Kenyans"
Super Excited about THAT !  In addition to that, one of my local friends who moved to NC may end up running it too.  I haven't seen him since he moved away.

Good things ahead in Jan 2014

back to today -
with the temps in the low 40s this morning, I was expecting a good day of running.  I wasn't sure "how" hilly the course would be, or how it would impact my time.  With little, or no experience at the 15k distance, I wasn't sure what kind of pace I could expect.    I used my 1:55 half marathon time and plugged it into the McMillan Calculator and came up with a lofty goal of 8:35 avg pace.  Remember, the calculator works based on similar course conditions.  Remember,  both of the 1:55 finish times were  on FLAT and FAST courses.   The course today was hilly, but prior to the race I mentioned to my friend, Nikki, that I would like to run 8:35.  I entered the race hoping for the best on the run through the hills.   I ended the day at a comfortable 8:36 avg pace.    I'll take that !  I ended up winning a $15 I-Tunes gift card for overall female (only because of ridiculously low turn-out, but I'll take that card ANY way I can get it).  The course meandered through some scenic country roads.  I enjoyed the 15k distance because of how easily manageable it is.  A 10k is basically like running a 5k X 2 - too fast, the half marathon is good, but the 15k distance was a perfect distance for today.  I liked being 3 miles into the race and thinking I only have 6 miles to go.  Nice ! 

My next race will be the Jan. 11th half.  In the mean time, I think I will throw in one speed day OR one tempo day per wk, until the race.

Simple Plan (or no plan), Small Goals - it's FUN !
I'm thankful that I am adaptable to whatever type of running that I'm doing.
One way,  or the other,  I learn to make it enjoyable.   
 I like that about ME ! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

. . . . . because I can

thoughts of Terrod

Yesterday I ran a half marathon in South Louisiana.    As I was driving to South LA Fri afternoon, I stopped in Slidell to visit Nikki and Terrod.  On May 2, 2013, our local running club was hosting a fundraiser for the Boston bombing victims.  Terrod was participating in the run when he collapsed on the course.   

"Terrod Jackson was participating in a memorial run for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on May 2, 2013 in Hattiesburg, MS. He collapsed about 2.5 miles into the run. Fellow runners initiated CPR and Terrod was quickly transported to Forrest General Hospital. He spent 4 weeks in ICU at Forrest General and another 5 weeks at Regency, a long term acute care facility in Hattiesburg.
On June 11, 2013 Terrod was transferred to Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, LA. During his 13 weeks at Touro, Terrod participated in intense therapy which allowed great progress to be made. The family was informed in the earlier weeks that Terrod would never be able to breathe on his own (trach removed July15), talk (July 24), or walk (September 20).
On October 16, Terrod had a Baclofen pump implanted to help with his tone, pain, and muscle spasticity. The next day he moved to Trinity Neurological Rehab Center in Slidell, LA. Since arriving at Trinity, Terrod continues to make progress both physically and cognitively. He is able to communicate, but has impairment to his memories and often becomes frustrated because he can not adequately express himself.
There has been research conducted in hyperbaric therapy among brain injury patients to help improve cognitive and physical abilities. The idea behind hyperbaric therapy is that anoxic brain injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. They hyperbaric chamber is designed to increase the standard oxygen pressure which would cause over-oxygenate the brain and help revive the brain tissue. Hyperbaric therapy for brain injury patients is still in the research phase and there is no documented research showing that it does or does not improve cognitive functioning. Trinity has a hyperbaric chamber and the staff reports great improvement in brain injury patients who undergo hyperbaric therapy.
Since there is no documented data with brain injuries, insurance will not cover the costs of therapy unless it is used for wound care. Hyperbaric therapy includes 20-40 "dives" costing approximately $200 per dive. The family wishes for Terrod to participate in hyperbaric therapy, but is unable to afford it without the assistance of insurance. This fundraiser is to assist the family in paying for the therapy.
Terrod is a Computer Technician at Oak Grove Middle School in Hattiesburg and is also a Technical Sergeant in the Mississippi Air National Guard serving in the 255th Air Control Squadron out of Gulfport."

Not knowing Nikki or Terrod, it was hard to make that first step to go and visit.  From the door of his room, as I awkwardly call out Nikki's name with a ? mark, I'm immediately at ease.   Nikki is simply amazing.  She is a sweet, supportive, and optimistic wife.  She misses her "normal" life with Terrod.  I'm amazed at her calm spirit and her faith.    There are good days and bad days, but she is staying optimistic and focusing on the future.  

I hope that you will consider making a donation to help another runner.
If you are interested in helping, please go to this page and donate

As I ran the race on Sat. I had no intentions of "racing" it.  I'm not in shape for that, and haven't done speed work, tempos, or much of anything more than cover 12 miles slowly, and 2-4 days a wk of slow running.  This run wasn't about racing.  I signed up with the intention of covering the distance.  Even with low expectations for "a finish time", I did hope to be able to run it under 2 hours.
As the race begins in Houma, very early on, the thought crossed my mind, "what are you doing here?"  immediately as that thought finished, my next thought was of Nikki and Terrod.  I thought about my visit with Terrod and how he would LOVE to be out on this course, just simply covering the miles.   
What are you doing here? this is the answer in my head -  "you are here "because you can" and MANY others would love to be able to do what you are doing at this moment."
From this point on, I turned my thoughts to "running happy".   A very sweet friend of mine gave me a "Run Happy" visor for my birthday this year.  I was wearing it during this race, and several times during the run, thoughts turned to the words on my visor ....  
"Run Happy"  
I did that !    My thoughts turned to being happy for great running friends, my thoughts turned Terrod and Nikki several times during the race, my thoughts turned to being grateful for my health body, my thoughts turned to enjoying the beauty of South LA,  my thoughts turned to being grateful for "showing up" today.   From that early ? in my head, the rest of the day was uplifting, motivational, and fun.  

I'll be honest, it is a "process" to let the "numbers" go.  After all,  most of my years of running have been focused on running faster, or simply "chasing PRs."  Maybe I'm done with "chasing PRs", maybe I'm not, but I'm happy that , yesterday was a breakthrough.  Yes, I can be happy, out on the course, "just running", not chasing a number.
the "red carpet" finish line.....

I finished the race at 1:55
8:52 avg pace
 I wasn't running by heart rate today, I was "just running".  I would say somewhere in between a fast "jog" and a tempo effort.  In looking at the data,  (y'all know I can't help myself - fast or slow, I'm "gonna analyze.")  I was pleased to see that I ended the day with an average heart rate of 141 which is my MAF heart rate.  (or the 180-Formula)

I haven't followed the exact Maffetone heart rate running protocol, but post-injury, most of my runs have been at my MAF zone of 140.  (since starting back in July).   In July, while running very short distances, I would need to walk to keep my heart rate in this zone.  My average paces would sometimes be as slow as 11-12 min miles.  Again, during this run, I wasn't monitoring my heart rate, but I found it interesting that I covered 13 miles at my MAF zone,  with a pace of 8:52.   Definitely, not  blazing speed, but it does reflect that I am getting in better shape, and to date, I'm improving with no quality runs, other than a couple of 5ks recently. 

I'm excited that the weather is good for running and racing now.  I'm excited that it's "race season."   I will not be "racing" as I'm accustomed to, but I'm excited to be "racing" as I'm racing now. 

Please consider making a small,  or large donation for Terrod.
Happy Running Y'all ! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beautiful Sunday Run/Walk

beautiful weeds !

11 miles today,  after a 5k last night, led me to a run/walk approach.  I would say mostly running the first half, and mostly walking the 2nd half.  I'm cool with that......the most important part was that I was out enjoying an absolutely beautiful day here in the South.  Growing up, spring was my favorite season, but now, as I've aged a little, and have long ago given up my "sun goddess" ways of hours and hours of tanning at the beach, fall is my new favorite season.  

If your curious about the 5k - my slowest time in years (25:07).   So this year, I had my faster 5k ever,  and my slowest 5k in years.   1 month of injury healing(= zero fitness), followed by 3.5 months of easy running, a little yoga,  and a little gym,  and what cha get is a slow 5k.
It's the new me !   :) :) 

To get you up to date, in June, I found out that I had one leg that was 1 1/2 inches longer than the other, which created hip and back issues.  I think that has been resolved through chiropractic care,  and muscle strengthening exercises.   Soon after the injury, I had routine labs to find out I had/have low iron,  and some thyroid issues (hypothyroidism).  I have implemented some major diet changes, and the obvious low volume, low intensity training,  and my recent labs showed some improvement.   I'm working on a strict diet with hopes of avoiding meds.  It may be that I need meds eventually for the thyroid, but I want to be sure that I have tried all avenues before that step.    This will take several months, possibly 1-2 years time. 

It has occurred to me that my years of intense training have not been kind to my body.   So currently my focus in on my health.  no chasing PRs for a while.......  In "some ways", I'm enjoying the laziness of "low key" running.

this week we are predicted to have nice weather all week.  lows in the upper 40s or low 50s and highs in the low to mid 70s.  Perfect !  Happy Me !

today's photos

In my yard today - 10-21-13

Friday, August 2, 2013

30% Discount on BTB Sunglasses and a 2 ingredient recipe

Hello Friends !

do you like a bargain?
are you looking for durable running glasses with good optics?

You may have read about these before.  I bought my first pair of BTB sunglasses a couple of years ago, and then followed it up with 2 additional pair last summer.    Prior to these sunglasses, I was purchasing running sunglasses every few months.  At the time,  my preferred brand was not durable at all.  Because of the comfort, I stayed with them for many years.   I was skeptical when trying the first pair of BTB sunglasses, but,  as it turns out, they quickly became my new favorite AND they are durable.  In addition, this company has great customer service, an added plus.

If you want to give them a try, use code "Ginny" at checkout to receive the 30% discount.
this offer is good until Sept. 29th

I'm not running much these days.  If you've followed my blog, you will laugh when I tell you, this week, my long run is 2 miles.  In fact, so far this week my mileage is at 2 miles.  Not to worry, I plan to run 2 more on Sat to complete a 4 mile run week.  Go ME!

I am doing some walking, a little bike,  yoga 20 minutes per day, and my regular yoga class,  and I go to the gym 1-2 times per week.  

With little running this summer, and extra time to focus on something other than running, I decided to go wheat free.  Yes, I said wheat free.  In addition, I'm also doing "low sugar".  I won't bore you with all of the details, but "my" low sugar version means no sugar/flour desserts, really, very few desserts at all.   most of my "sugar" comes from fruits, and I'm trying not to go overboard with fruits with my current low cardio situation.   I do still use a little honey, but that's very limited.  Yes, this IS low sugar for me.

Something that has been tough for me to give up is pancakes.  I'm not sure where I got this recipe.  If I had the resource, I would love to give it credit (so sorry).  Check this out.....

one banana,  mashed
one egg
Stir and cook like a pancake
that's it !

unless you are like me -
**I added cinnamon to mine because I add cinnamon and nutmeg to EVERYTHING

**another time I added walnuts and blueberries
**another time, I used my magic bullet to liquify blueberries,  and I used it like a topping for the pancakes.
**while pancake is still raw on top (before flipping the 1st time) you can sprinkle with hemp seeds

I realize this will not be for everyone, but if you have been wheat free and sugar free for a while, these will be like a super awesome treat when you are craving pancakes - trust me!
Even the hubby likes them - success !  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

SI Joint Issues

So I went to the Chiropractor this week about the pain in my hip and back.  The issue is on the right side and I would say that I'm experiencing my first injury.  I've been EXTREMELY fortunate through the years.  Fortunate, but I've also been cautious and worked hard to prevent injuries.  (weights focused on injury prevention and run strength, yoga, ice, hard days/easy days, rotating & replacing shoes often, etc)

In Nov. 2009, I fell down on some concrete that I thought was dry, but it was slippery wet.  I did a seat-drop.  It was a hard fall, but the next day, I thought I was ok.  I continued with my training.  A couple of weeks later, I had a half marathon.  I raced for,  and achieved a PR that day, but as soon as I stopped running that day,  I could barely walk.  Oh, and by the way, this was the same year I BQ'ed the first time, so the goal became to proceed cautiously and make it to the start-line at Boston.   I went to the chiropractor a few times, iced, iced, iced and proceeded with much caution.    I did make it to the start line of Boston 2010 and ended up running a good race.   After Boston 2010, I took a month off to be SURE the hip nag was totally healed.    I haven't had any more issues with my hip until 10 days ago.

I'm not sure what has caused the hip issue this time.   I've been on low mileage and low intensity since Boston 2013 earlier this spring.  I've been slowly building my mileage back leading up to the start of my training for the Huntsville, UT marathon, Sept 2013.    Leading up to the injury, I had Tues. off, Wed was an hour long bike ride, and Thurs was a 12 mile run (had worked up from 6, 8, 10, several weeks prior).   At this point, I have no idea if it was the biking, the shoes, or what?????  I decided to go to the chiropractor because that seemed to help when I had the hip nag in 2010.

This time,  the pain is different than 2009/2010, but it is the same hip.  The chiropractor thinks I have a SI joint issue going on.  Through the years,  I've heard about ALL types of run injuries that friends have endured, but I've never heard of the SI joint injury.   Of course I google SI joint injury as soon as I make it home.   I was surprised when Meggan's blog came up in my search.   I've followed Meggan's blog for a couple of years, and have read about her ongoing hip issue, but I missed the blogs specifically about the SI joint.   You can read some great info about it here.  ( If you enjoy following hard working, highly talented,  and passionate runners,  be sure to check out her blog.)

This week the hip has not improved, in fact, it's worse than initially.  The last 2 days, I've had pain when walking.  I'm not sure my path going forward,  other than REST, which is the common recommendation from my quick SI Joint research.  I'm not sure if I should continue with  chiropractor care because I'm not sure if the SI joint issue is something that a chiropractor commonly deals with. ??? (Meggan also mentions chiropractic care has not helped her SI issue when she tried it in the past)    I'm on a limited budget so unfortunately, doctors, MRIs, physical therapists, massages, etc.  will not be my first plan of action.    So, rest and Ibuprofen will be my immediate plan of action.  This plan may change at any time with additional input, thought, time, etc.

In the mean time, I've been surprisingly relaxed with this issue.  Looking back, I know I did everything possible to avoid injuries, and there is comfort in knowing I didn't do something careless to cause this issue.  Looking forward,  I'm staying positive and taking the hip issue day by day.  I've been doing what I can with arm weights and core work, but even those things are somewhat limited in trying to make sure I'm not adding additional stress to my hip.  Currently, walking, running, elliptical, and biking are all off the table.  Next I will try rowing, but I'm not sure if that will work either.  I went to the gym yesterday, but I had taken Ibuprofen, so I didn't try the rowing.  I'm extra cautious when taking Ibuprofen because of the numbing effect of the drug.  I do not want to do further damage to the hip/back issue.  I will try the rowing on Monday and I will skip the Ibuprofen before going to the gym.  Water running may be another avenue, but again, I'm on a limited budget so that's not my first choice.  As time goes on, I will be more willing to look at the expensive options, but for now I'm opting for time and rest.  On the positive side, I went to my regular yoga class this week and I didn't feel the hip or back at all, so for now, yoga is a yes. 

Running has been such a HUGE part of my life.  You probably thought, as did I, that I would be crushed if running was taken out of my life?  I'm shocked and amazed that I've quickly realized that I will be FINE.  No matter what my new path holds, I'm ready for it !  Yes, I will have emotional ups and downs as I move through this issue, but I realize, I'm STRONG, and I will be ok,  no matter what.  That's a comforting feeling !   In the mean time, I will continue to read your blogs about your run adventures.   Happy Running !      

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Breaking a 12-year streak and "the writing on the wall"

On Tuesday of this week, I decided this would be the day that I ended my 12 year exercise streak.  Yes, 12 years !  For 12 years, I have "moved" my body for 30 minutes each day.  Initially, it was 30 minutes of "exercise" a day, but after many years, and some days,  little desire, I changed it to "30 minutes of movement."  The majority of the days were legit exercise, however, some days were just a slow walk, picking up pine cones in the yard, doing chores around the house with non-stop movement, or even site-seeing on vacation.

Early this spring,  I contemplated letting the streak go.  I decided to make it to the 12 year mark and then decide.  I made it to the anniversary date, and beyond, but on Tues., for no particular reason, I decided I would not do the 30 minutes that day.   

Through the years, I've exercised at CRAZY hours to "get it done."  One time while in Gulf Shores with my Mom and sister, we had just settled into bed.  As soon as I started to relax, I sat straight up in bed and said "we didn't exercise!"   Through the years, my sister (Linde) has been so supportive and willing to join me anytime we were together.   Her only requirement was that we walk or bike, no running for her, and that was always fine with me.  Even this night, the 11:20 PM hour, she climbed out of bed and we headed out for a walk.  Other times, we went walking before early, early fishing trips.  Uh,  the 3:30 - 4:00AM alarm to go walk for 30 minutes before heading out to fish all day, YES, WACKY,  but I did it! 

Many times over the years I didn't want to, but I did it anyway (a good life lesson). Obviously, over 12 years, I walked while being sick - not "exercise", but 30 minutes of "movement".  When sick, it was a slow stroll down the road, or on the treadmill, or even from end to end of my house.  I called it "front to back", anything to get it done, and keep the streak alive. 

Tuesday I deliberated over the day, wondering if I would really let the streak go.  Surprised,   I was with little emotion about it.  Later that evening, for a brief moment, I did think, I still have plenty of time to get it done.  My mind went back to the 11:30PM start in Gulf Shores many years ago.  I laugh and say no, I'm going to let it go.

Tuesday came and went and I was FINE with ending the streak.  Wed. I biked for 14-15 miles, went to the gym for a quick weight workout, and made it to my regular yoga class.  On Thurs., I had a 12 mile run with friends (Terri and Kelly).  I was excited to run.  Tues. was no exercise at all, REMEMBER the first day totally off in 12 years.  On Thurs.,  in the later miles, my back started hurting,  and continued through the final miles.  When we finished the run, I stretched my back and legs for a couple of minutes, and then drove home.  By the time I made it home, I could barely walk.  It was weird - as I finished the run is was my back, but by the time I made it home, it was my right hip hurting.  I took an ice bath, and iced the hip and back later in the day.  

It's Sat now!  I'm taking it easy,  and HOPING this is just a nag, and not an injury.  I'm being extra cautious.  It's bazarre that through 12 years, I never had an injury that came close to sidelining me from at least walking, and then I miss 1 day, ONE DAY of exercise and my body falls apart, lol.   Yesterday, I felt it more in the hip, today, I feel very little in the hip and more in the lower back again.  WEIRD !    I know i've been very fortunate through the years to run, and be so healthy.   Just this spring, before Boston, I hit a new record weekly mileage high of 80 miles - no injuries, no problems....... After Boston, I took 3 weeks off of running.  I've been slowing adding some miles back, but I'm still at low mileage,  for me.   Even this week, I ran 8 miles on Monday, remember Tues. was OFF, and Wed. I biked. Training wise, I've done everything right.  I even do runner focused exercises at the gym.  I lift weights.   I follow the 10% rule in building mileage.  I do yoga.  I follow hard days, with easy days.  etc. 

so what gives?    It's either "the shoes" or "the bike"?  At this point i'm not sure which.   I'm just a recreational biker.  I get on the bike when my run mileage is low.  I enjoy the variety that the biking offers when my run mileage allows time for biking.  I've never been injured on the bike.  

The shoes......
Yes, I'm still in a shoe crisis.  Currently, I'm experimenting with  the Mizuno Wave Riders.  Over the past 6-7 weeks, I've SLOWLY introduced these to my shoe rotation.  I started with short runs - 3-4 miles.  Eventually, I worked up to an 8 and a 10 miler,  with no issues.   After the successful 10 miler, I started thinking MAYBE i've found a shoe to replace the Adidas Cushion Response shoes.   I've been nervous because I'm running out of mileage on the Adidas shoes that I have left,  and I only have 1 more pair still in the box.  So I've been on an EXPENSIVE search to find "my new shoe".  I have several brands that are good for 6-8 miles, but I can't seem to find a distance show that I like.  one is too soft/ spongy and unstructured (nike pegasus), one gave me shin splints (Nimbus), 2 pair are just too hard and not enough cushion (Brooks and an older Mizuno).  etc. 

Is this a sign?  Maybe all of this means when I run out Adidas mileage , maybe it's time to retire?  I have enough mileage, and the last new pair that will get me through the Huntsville marathon in Sept.  
Maybe that means at marathon number 26, with no good shoe options,  
maybe it's time to retire from the marathon?   
After all, 26 is a good number, right? 
maybe "the writing on the wall" is saying.....
 "Retire Ginny!" - 
ya think? 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Huntsville, Utah 26.2 it is !

Huntsville, Utah 26.2 it is !  
Today,  we celebrate 23 years of wedded bliss - married to my best friend for 23 amazing years.  

I'm registered,  and I'm happy to have my fall marathon selected.   I still have to make some training plans, but at this point I'm leaning toward trying the 9 day rotation schedule that I created before St. George in 2009.  It's set up to have a hard day, followed by 2 easy days.  

Basically, I will have a track day or hill repeats, followed by 2 easy days
A tempo day, followed by 2 easy days
A long run, followed by 2 easy days.  
Each specific workout will come up every 9 days with this plan.  I think this is very valuable for me.  I like high mileage and high intensity.  I'm also becoming an aging runner.  The 2 easy days gives me the recovery that my body needs, and the rotation gives me a long run every 9 days which I believe is valuable too.  In addition, with this plan, I'm anxious and ready to complete the next hard workout.  

I'm deciding if I will use McMillan again to set up the exact plan.  In many ways, that's just easier for me.  In addition, while I'm somewhat familiar, I'm not 100% confident in adding in the training phases into my 9 day rotation, so I may decide to let the professionals handle that.  

Currently, I'm upping my mileage, and I have 2 quality runs per wk.  I want my official marathon plan to be a 12 week marathon plan.   With my marathon history, 12 weeks will give me plenty of time to get ready to battle in Utah.  

Today I ran a hot and humid 5k in South Louisiana.  My time was predictably slow.  I wanted to race a 5k before my marathon training begins to see where I'm at.  Ok, I'm slow !  24:01 - but I'm not supposed to be in shape now, and I'm in the toughest part of the year for my personal running - the spring heat/humidity acclimation season.  It's brutal !  It takes me about a month, after the final cold front moves through,  to get fully accustomed to the humidity.  I'm not there yet, but I'm feeling pretty good considering. 
This was a small 5k in Thibodaux, LA.  I won 2nd place overall female - I told you it was small - maybe 75-100 entries?????  The first place spot went to a 19 year old female.  This 45 year old is OK with that!  :)
With the "real feel" temp. predicted to be 90 degrees at the finish of the race, and the time of the year, 
I feel good about where I'm at today.  

So, I've decided on a 12 wk, 9-day rotation plan.  
In addition, I've decided on the following:
**I've been biking some since the weather has been above 70 degrees (I have a 70 degree biking rule).
My plan is to continue as much as possible with the increasing run mileage.

**My plan is to run on grass, 1 x per wk, for at least 30 minutes

**My plan is to add Supreme90day back into my mix, but only 1 time per wk.   I've found this to be a great way to strengthen some of the typical "runner weaknesses". 

**My plan is to continue yoga 1 time per wk - (a staple of all of my plans for MANY years - I believe it's what keeps me injury free, so it's a MUST for me)

**My plan is to continue going to the gym 1 time per wk - I like the atmosphere that the gym offers,  and sometimes I pick up new or fresh "core work" ideas from others.

**My plan is to continue towards getting back to "my race weight" - the biggest challenge for me.  
Although, I would say I'm a relatively healthy with my eating, I'm also a "volume eater" which keeps me in trouble.  nothing new here ! 

So today, I'm happy to have the summer/fall plan,  and I'm READY to GO !

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spring Training

I'm in my 3rd week of running after the 3 week run break (after Boston 26.2).  I have no plan and for a moment, I'm enjoying that.  I went to a hilly 5k, and a hilly 10k the past 2 weekends.  I ran each of those as tempo runs.  I've also been joining a newly formed Tues. night run group (Soccer Locker Miles) for some various runs.  Last week was a 40 min run on grass.  Typically, I stay on asphalt, but I welcomed the challenge of the grass.  I know the value.  Last Wed., post Tues night grass run, I felt the value.  I embrace the sore muscles and know it's good for me.   I plan to continue with some grass running each week.  My goal is to run 1 time each week for at least 30 minutes on grass.    In keeping with that goal, yesterday, I ran for 30 min. at my house on the grass.  The loop around our property is .42.  Today, in Louisiana, I ran an additional 2 miles on grass and did some plyometric work.  

This past Tues. night the group ran 800s at the track.  HAPPY ME !  Y'all know I love the track.  The track was just what I needed to add some quality, but more than that, to add some fresh inspiration to my running.  I quickly get bored with "just running".  That doesn't work well for me.  I need QUALITY !    My plan was to run by feel.  I didn't want the first track workout to be hard.  I just wanted to be energized and ease back into a track workout after a long break.   In addition, Tues. was one of our first few warm/muggy days.  It was in the mid 80s when I was driving to the track.  We haven't had a chance to acclimate to the heat and humidity because we've had an extended spring this year (weird, but nice).    I ended up averaging 3:47 which was a happy surprise.  I hadn't expected running the 800s at a moderate pace would be that fast, especially with the new heat of the day.  This is encouraging for the summer training ahead. 

I'm thinking about heading west again this fall for the Huntsville, Utah marathon.  I will make some firm decisions in the next week or two, but Utah is a lucky state for me.  St. George Marathon in 2009, and Top of Utah, fall 2012,  were both PR races for me.   I'm especially liking the elevation profile, so this may be the one for fall 2013.    I feel I run my best in the fall, so the Sept. date is another plus. 

This week I will end the week with around 30 miles of running.  With the lower run mileage,  and the warmer temps., I've also been riding my bike (recreational biker here).    I love to get on my bike this time of year and enjoy the new greenery all around.  I enjoy the variety that it offers.   I continue my 1 time per wk yoga class, and 1-3 times per wk weight routine at the gym.  Most of my work at the gym is "run focused" movements/exercises to strengthen my core, hips, arm,  and legs.  I've also been on the elliptical and stair climber a few times in the past month.   To be honest, I don't last long on the either machine.  I'd much rather be outside running than on those machines feeling like a rat on a wheel.   I understand the value here too, so I attempt 15-20 min.

It's peak daylily season in South MS.

I hope your spring is happy and filled with good running. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2.62 Boston Stands As One Run

A 2.62 Mile Run Benefiting the One Fund Boston

Thursday, May 2, 2013
6:30 p.m.
Kamper Park
(107 17th Avenue, Hattiesburg)

 All proceeds from the event will be donated to the One Fund Boston to help victims.
Click on image to donate to The One Fund

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home - a little sweeter

Today, we made it home from Boston.  
We are safe !  
We are blessed !  
We are thankful !  
We are praying for the victims !

 Bostonians are amazing and strong !  
We salute you !    
We pray for you !

When the bomb exploded, I was just down the road,  at the food/water area.  I heard the bomb and looked back to see what had happened.  I saw the cloud of smoke rising into the sky and  I immediately started walking to the hotel.  Immediately, the ambulances and police started to roll toward the bomb area.  We stayed at the Park Plaza hotel which is about a 1/2 mile from the finish line.  As I walked, my thoughts went to my friends in the hotel room.  I was in the 3rd coral, so I knew they should all be in the hotel and safe.  I knew they would be worried about me, so I walked as fast as I could, post marathon (not very fast).

When I arrived , one of my friends hugged me.  I thought she was hugging because of the bomb situation, but I quickly realized it was a congratulatory hug instead.  I immediately told them what I had witnessed and that we needed to turn the TV on.  We stayed together the rest of the afternoon, watching, worrying about the victims, and wondering WHY ?    Why,  we may never know.

My intention is to NOT let the terrorists change my way of life.  I will not fear the marathon, I will not alter my run, I will not let them win.  I will move forward and be thankful for my life.  I will continue to pray for the victims, their families,  and our country.   

In moving forward, I will celebrate the day, the awesome day, up until the time the bomb went off.  
Patriots Day in Boston is a super,  mid-April tradition,  that will not be destroyed by evil.  

Before the Bomb:

BQ 1 - 2010 - 4:08
BQ2 - 2013 - 3:57

Terri and I arrived in Boston on Fri night.  Sat. we spent most of the day at the expo and shopping at some of the sporting goods stores.  We had lunch at P.F. Changs, and then a little more post-lunch shopping.  We rested for a bit  and  went to dinner.  Sunday - we went to the 5k to support our friend J. who was running the 5k.  We left the cell phones in the room so we couldn't connect with J. prior to the race.  Terri and I tried to spot J. as all of the runners passed - fail !   We needed to run 3 miles, so we followed the 5k course.  We connected with our friends post-race.  J. ended the morning with a 5k PR - congrats J. !  G. - walk/ran the 5k and chatted along the way.   We met T. & M. for lunch at an Irish Pub.  The rest of the day, Terri and I lounged in the hotel room.  Sunday night was Panera Bread - and race prep.  

This is where the plan went awry.  Prior to our trip to Boston, I had printed pace bands for my A, B, and C goal.  
A -3:45 - based on my Top of Utah PR of 3:43
B - qualify for Boston on the Boston course,  (3:55)
C - run a "course PR" at Boston (2010 - 4:08)   
With all of the shopping and marathon chat, I got sucked into the danger zone - going for a BIG goal.   I even printed some new pace bands with faster paces/goals.  Sunday night, I totally changed my mind, went totally optimistic ( unrealistic & crazy), and printed 3:42.

As Marathon Monday unfolded, I was on 8:34 pace for 16 miles.  Early in the marathon, I was surprised.  Number 1 - surprised at how tough the course was, 
Number 2 - surprised how one can FORGET how tough the course is, 
Number 3 - and why did I want to do this again? 

By the time I made it to the Newton area, I was fatiguing. Although I was feeling some fatigue,  I thought I would be able to hold a pace to get me to the Boston course BQ,  with little doubt.  That was not to be.  As the hills continued, and increased in size, the fatigue grew.  I had made a big mistake, a rookie mistake.  Hindsight - had I gone with the pre-printed,  slower (realistic) goal, I have NO DOUBT in my mind,  I would have met my goal to BQ on the Boston course.  In many ways I'm disappointed.  This was marathon number 25 for me.  After 25 marathons, you learn some things along the way.  I learned LONG AGO, that for ginny, aggressive goals never work out.   It DOESN"T !  I do not have one marathon on record, out of 25, where going out too fast  has been good for me, and yet, I decided Sunday night to go for the BIG goal, which translated into too fast for me.  DUMB ! 

Mixed Emotions:
in many ways, I'm disappointed that I made the rookie mistake - I've already learned this along the way - going big - with fast paces early on, does not work for me.  (noted again :)

in some ways, I'm ok with it.  we often say, "you never know until you try."  I was going for the BIG race.  I went for it, and didn't make it.  I choose not to beat myself up for "going for it."  Yes, I was too aggressive with my goal, and yes it was not a wise choice, but I leave Boston, knowing that I "went for it" and "I tried." 
 (I was curious if I could "do it" - now I know - not yet - question answered). 

Yes, I'm sad I missed the BQ, but I choose to focus on the more positive side of the day.
I train on hills the majority of the time, but our MS hills do not come close to the hills from Hopkinton to Boston.  Most reading about the Boston course focuses on the hills from 16-21, and make the rest of the course sound relatively easy.  This is so not true for me.  It wasn't true in 2010, and it wasn't in 2013.  For me, this course is 26.2 miles of hills, tough from mile 1 - 26.2.  

Lesson of the weekend - 
typically,  I'm a "realist".   For me, it's smart and works for me.   It's  how I live my life in general.   Sunday night I changed my realistic Boston goal, to a very aggressive & optimistic goal.  So I return from Boston with a reminder course in what works for me. 
Stay REAL ginny !   

So here's the thing:
 In 2010, I finished with a 4:08.    After Boston 2010,  I vowed to become a better hill runner. 
 In 2013, I finished with 3:57, a sub 4:00 on the Boston course. 
 CHECK !  Mission accomplished !  With this, I can not be disappointed.  
This is what I choose to focus on now. 

Thank you Soccer Locker & City Runners for giving me the opportunity to return to Boston and "go for it!"  I leave Boston 2013 knowing, without a doubt,  that I AM a BETTER hill runner than before. 

Terri - thanks for a fun-filled weekend.  Thanks for sharing my passion of training hard, and going for BIG goals.  fun adventures continue....  Thanks for your support ! 
Hattiesburg group - T & M, J, J, G - enjoyed it !  
Let's   ren·dez·vous again!   

Notes about Boston:
-bring a throw away blanket and throw away shoes
-the Boston course is hilly from 1-26.2 (uh, remember that ginny)
-if possible, locate a chartered bus that leaves Boston at 7:30
-bring toilet paper to the Athletes Village
-start out slower than you think/want,  for 1-10
-13 - prepare yourself for the Wellesley girls - awesome !
-Boston college - another great crowd boost area 
-extra lbs. are not beneficial to hill racing - seriously - it's NOT!   
-Au Bon Pain - yum !   (see the note above - lol )
-for me - "Stay REAL"

And now,  I will honor and thank my body for the ongoing work that is does for me, I will give my body and mind a 3 week break from running.  
Next run - May 6th 



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Look who I met and Boston Bound!

far right -Khalid Khannouchi  - one of the greatest marathoners of all time
far left - Me :) :)
(Ginny, Mustafa Khannouchi, Terry, John, Khalid)

You can read more about Khalid's amazing career here

  I couldn't speak intelligently, just in awe and excited to meet him.   Khalid and Mustafa own Soccer Locker and City Runners - a local running store.  I found out back in Sept., 2012,  that SL&CR selected Terry and I to go to Boston, expenses paid.   The shock still hasn't worn off,  or faded.  After months, I'm still honored and excited.   
We fly to Boston on Friday - EXCITEMENT !    Once again, Chad has a Redfish tournament on marathon weekend, so we are both in different states, participating in our passions.  While it's kind of sad that he will not be with me,  in Boston this time, I'm happy that he is passionate about his tournaments.  Terri and I will make the trip,  and have a girls weekend.  Fun times in Beantown ahead !

The weather is looking great for Monday.  Thanks to Soccer Locker & City Runners, I have to opportunity for a  Boston re-do, and I'm ready.  When I ran Boston in 2010, I was not prepared for the hills on the course.  Three years later, and I feel much better prepared.  Since B-2010, I've worked on running some hilly marathons -  Mt. Desert Island, ME (Oct. 2011) and  Blue Ridge, VA marathon (April 2012).  This spring, I included the Blues half marathon in Jackson, MS and the Mercedes half in Birmingham, AL as part of my hill training.  For the past year, hills have been the focus of the training that Terri and I have been doing.    I hope to go back this year and have a totally different experience.  

The training:  
*I've been doing a McMillan training plan
*during the last 10 wks of my training, I've logged 545 miles
*I max'ed out with an 80 mile week (a personal record for weekly mileage)
*my weekly mileage looked like this - starting Jan. 28th - 57 miles, 60 miles, 44 miles, 44.5 miles, 65 miles, 72 miles, 43.5 miles, 80 miles (at the peak of pine pollen - cough, cough, hack, hack), 60.5 miles, 43 miles, and finally, on Sunday, I will finish this wk with 32 miles.  Monday - RACE ON ! 
*this spring I ran a PR in the half marathon in Birmingham and a 5k PR
*the end of Dec., Chad and I joined One80 gym.  I've been consistent with 2-4 days at the gym each week, and have continued my one time per wk yoga class - most weeks.

I went to yoga yesterday.  While holding a pose, Tammy, our yoga teacher, said 
"we can do more than we think we can do" - 
trying to get us to stay in the moment and the pose.  I will use that as my mantra this go around,  when "the going gets tough." 

I will also use:
On Dec. 28th, 2012, I wrote that (mind over body) in my day timer for April 15th, 2013, Patriot's Day, Boston, MASS.

Boston 2013 goals:
* A goal -  keeping my A goal to myself this go around
* B goal - qualify for Boston, on the Boston course (need 3:55)
* C goal - run a course PR - sub 4:08 (my 2010 Boston time)

Terry, Mustafa, me

Thanks again,  to Soccer Locker & City Runners !
see you in Boston !  :)  :)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pollen in the piney woods, and 80 miles

A 26 year streak ends, on the same day, I finished my first ever, 80 mile week.  

For 26 years, (senior year of high school, until March 2012) I've been at the Azalea Trail Run 10K,  in Mobile, AL on this day.  This year, I decided the streak would end. 

Let me back up and start with Monday of this week.  My goal for this week was to hit a new personal record of 80 miles this week.   I planned to do 23-24 miles, on Monday.  (4 weeks out from Boston).  I've been practicing late start, long runs, because my start time in Boston will be 10:40.  The high on Monday was said to be in the low 80s, but that was scheduled to happen until around 3-4PM.  No problem, I thought, I'll be done before it get's too hot.  I started the run at 10:40, and head out on a challenging hilly run,  in prep. for Boston.   I had no goal pace, covering the distance was my only goal.   A couple of hours in, and it's getting rough.  I still had some major hills ahead.  By 18,  I called it a day.  I battled the decision for several miles, but finally, what I believe was the smart choice,  prevailed.    Bummed, mostly because, I know I have to make up the miles to reach my 80 mile goal.  I had originally planned 24 on Monday, and 7 on Tues.,  for recovery.  Good-bye recovery day!   As I get in the car to drive home, I see that it's 84 degrees.  NO WONDER !  In addition, the pollen is thick, and the humidity is high.   I immediately understand the day, AND I'm HAPPY with the decision that I made.  It's the first hot run of the year, and I'm not acclimated for a hot long run yet.  Could I have pushed through?  maybe, but I believe it would have been more damaging than beneficial.   It's taken me years to learn this, and I still battle these decisions each time they come up.  What is smart, and what is caving?   The last couple of years, I've tried to be on the cautious side, rather than pushing through no matter what.  It's always a tough call !  

Tues - the 7 changes to a 13 mile, 5:15 AM,  run with friends.  Terri had an early morning run planned and I decided with 18 on Monday, and 13 on Tues., I definitely want company.  Tues. - check !

Wed - split run - 3 miles am,  solo, and 7 miles,  PM with Terri

Thurs.  - I had yassos (10 X 800) on the schedule, but the pollen is taking it's toll.  I woke up with a cough.  I didn't feel bad, but it makes me nervous with Boston around the corner.  A crazy work day, and the fear of illness, I decided to cancel the yassos, but get the miles.  I knock out 12 miles at 9:40 avg. - solo run.

Fri - I decide to go to the doc for a celestone shot.  The 80 mile week has me sucking in pine pollen for 2-3 hours each day, not good.  Lucky me, my peak training week coincides with peak pollen in our area - ha!   Terri and I planned to meet and run some flat miles on the paved trail.  She knocked out 18,  and I hit 14 miles @ 9:30 avg.  Checking another run off !     A friend recommended the Neti pot for the pollen hack.  She also recommended  gargling with salt water or Listerine, after every run, to clear the pollen from the throat.  ok, I'll try it ! 

Sat - the Azalea Trail - I decided to cancel my 27th running of this race.    I didn't want to go & risk exposing my Mom to illness, and I didn't feel the extra 2 hour travel time, one way, was a good thing after the max'ed out work week, max. miles, and possible illness (pollen hack).    In a small way,  I'm sad that I missed it,  and the streak ends at 26, but all good things must come to an end,  and this one did today.   
 After all,  26 is one of my favorite numbers (or 26.2). 

Sat. morning, I'm feeling fine, and I  woke up with a little less coughing.  I had preregistered for the local,  Cancer Fighting Fool 5k.  My company printed the shirts for the race, so I preregistered to support the race, as they had supported my business.    So I decided to get in some miles with friends.  I decided to run it as a tempo run.  No "racing" for me today,  I decide to continue with caution.  I decided breathing in at my 5k respiration rate wouldn't be beneficial.    I ended up winning the female master's (24:12 ??) and scoring a $20.00 gift certificate to Chesterfields (a local yummy).  Paid $12 to enter, and go home with $20.00.  Score !  Several friends were running their 1st 5k today.    It's so much fun to see the joy of a 1st time, 5k finishers.  We headed to breakfast to celebrate the victories of the day.   I had the Topher's omelet,  and then I head home.  At this point, I have 7 more miles to complete the 80.  After the week I've had, 7 miles seems really simple.  Shortly after arriving home, I decide to head out,  and get it done so that no running is required on Sunday.  Check ! Sunday - recovery !

80 miles DONE !  
Really, it's a silly goal, but I still feel great about it.
It was a personal goal that I wanted to achieve during my years of marathon training.   
I'm truly blessed, fortunate,  and thankful to be able to do it.

(previous high was 75 miles,  a couple of years ago)

Early in the wk, it seemed hard, but I decided to focus on the miles for "the day",  not the miles I had remaining for the week.  Later in the week, I was CONFIDENT that I would reach the goal.  I kept expecting to hit a wall, late in the week, but reminded myself that I've been building up to this, and it's only the last 8 miles that was new territory this spring.  2 week ago, I had a 72 mile wk, and then a step- back/recovery week to get ready for the 80 mile attempt.    I actually felt strong at the end of the week.  I did miss my quality work-out with work, and fearing illness (the yassos), but that's ok.  

(thinking, and hoping,  the AM hack is truly just an allergy/pollen thing, and hoping to continue to improve - thankful that I haven't felt bad, I just sound bad)

what's next?  
bring on the next week,  with some quality workouts !

Saturday, March 9, 2013

still running for numbers at 45

This week,  I turned 45 !     


No worries, no fears!  I still have big goals.   

Five years ago, when I turned the BIG 40, I made it my 40th year goal to run PRs (personal records) in all of my race distances.  I like to race, so my goal included the 2 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon.  I was able to achieve that goal at 40 (2008) and since,  have continued to run PRs after my 40th year was long gone.  I'm blessed ! 

Being the "realist" that I am, I know running PRs at 50 will be unrealistic.  I've been training "hard" on this passion since 2005 (& running for many years prior to that).  I've read that "most people" have an 8-10 year window to max-out on your best running performance.   This assumes your training fairly hard during this window.  Well, train hard,  I HAVE.   I believe this estimate will hold true for me, give or take.  

WAIT !  I'm not finished yet !    While I know realistically, I will come to the end of my PR capability, I also KNOW, I'm not "there" yet.   So,  my 45th year goal ,  is to run PRs in all of the race distances again.  I'm in GREAT shape currently.  I have a motivated training partner who also has a big goal this year.  She is on her way to a BQ this year (at 32 or 33).  We both have BIG goals for 2013-2014 and we ARE GOING AFTER THEM WITH PASSION. 

TRAIN, we will !  Goals -  we will achieve!

I haven't updated in a while - so here's the bullet point update.

** Boston training is in HIGH gear.  I have an 11 mile run today and will end the wk with 72 miles, 1 yoga class, and 2 (maybe 3) days in the gym

**Dec. - Feb - I've been in the gym consistently 3-4 times per wk working on running specific weight workouts.  March & April will be more like 2-3 times per wk as my run mileage increases.

**I've continued with yoga - 1 x per wk, most wks.

**I've continued this winter/spring with a custom McMillan running plan.  2nd time to "pay" for a running plan - it's working for me.  I've been doing similar training for years (track, hills, tempo,  long, and step-back weeks), but the phases,  and the way the program is designed has proven to be an asset for me personally.  Well worth the $$s invested.  

**In Feb.,  3 friends and I rode the train from Hattiesburg to Birmingham for the Mercedes half marathon.  All four of us had GREAT races.  The weather was "race perfect" for me (29-ish at the start).  The course is a rolling hills course, but the downhills are sweet.  I ran a PR half - 1:43.   My previous half PR was 1:46, which was at the Stennis half,  in Nov. 2012.   However, Stennis is a FLAT, FLAT race,  and Mercedes has some hills.  (McMillan is working)

**this week I had a 21 mile long run on hills - ♥ (most of my running is on hills, with a few, flat run, recovery days)

**next week is a step-back week,  in mileage

** the following week (March 18th),  I will run 80 miles.  this will be a new high for me (previous high - 75 miles a couple of years ago).  this will be "peak week" before Boston.  I also have Yasso's this week.  ♥ Yasso's too ! 

That's it !  
I hope your spring is nice,  and all of your goals in running & life are achieved.