Sunday, February 28, 2010

Might be the runner's high talking, but I'm loving marathon training.

Saturday I had a new long run distance to explore:  16 miles.  I crashed pretty early Friday night (after watching a couple episodes of Lost, obvi) and was up way to early Saturday morning.  I was planning on running around 11, as that's when it was going to start warming up, so I ate right away hoping that I would be fueled properly for the long run.  (YES!  Fueling!  Go me!!).  I ate some pb&j toast and a nana (while watching some more Lost).  A friend had offered to be my unofficial pacer for the run via mountain bike or cross country ski, but we realized that neither apparatus (apparati?) would work for the mixture of dry trail, puddles, loose snow, and sheets of ice.  Excellent.  I told him I would take a rain check, and cash it in on the 18 or 20 miler coming up.

I started off the run too too fast.  Every time I checked the pace on my Garmin it was showing 8:50-9:15 range.  Oops.  Apparently I've been running on the treadmill too much.  Miles 1.5-3.5 were h-e-l-l.  Oh my goodness.  The snow was so fluffy/wet that I felt like I was running in sand.  I had to be really careful where I stepped to avoid the harder areas of snow to make sure I didn't turn an ankle or anything.

1. 9:25
2. 10:05
3. 9:57
4. 9:41 

Unfortunately, after stopping momentarily to take a GU I accidentally dumped out half of my 12 oz. handheld.  DRAT!  12 oz. isn't even enough for a 14 mile run, let alone 6 oz.  Oy.  Sooooooo I filled it up with some clean looking snow.  I know.  Gross.  Whatever, I'm sure I've ingested worse.  Doesn't the average person eat a spider or two a year?  Ya, that's way worse.

The next four miles were much clearer, but into the wind.  Ugh.  There's not much worse than running outside in the cold (mid-20s) with the wind in your face.  Brrr.  Luckily the clearer paths helped me forget the fact that I couldn't feel my face.  My pace was truly all over the place, because I tried to run strong when the path was clear so it would compensate for my snail's pace on the snow and ice.

5. 9:33
6. 9:42
7. 9:45
8. 9:38 

The 8 mile turn around point was close to Falls Park, which is one of my favorite places in the city.  I was surprised at how well I fell halfway into the run, and decided I would try to up my pace for a few miles.  After doing some reading about marathon training, I saw the suggestion to try to run the last 25% of your run at marathon pace to simulate how your legs will feel running that pace when they're tired.  Well, since I know how atrocious the last 4 miles of the path are, I wanted to throw them in here.  Whatever.  It's not like my pace has been consistent yet anyway.  These miles felt so good.  There were still some random areas of ice that I had to walk/shuffle on so I didn't break a hip, but the quicker miles felt great.

9. 9:22
10. 9:07
11. 9:31
12. 9:13 

By the time I hit the snow/shit show I was ready to be d.o.n.e.  Who wants to run in sand for 3 miles after running 13?  Not me.  Blech.  I refused to walk, and took this part of the trail as a mental strengthening.  I imagine I'm going to hate running that much during the last 6 miles of the marathon (or 10, who knows) and at that point it's totally going to be mental to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  There were points when I looked down at my watch and my pace was 11-13:30 mm.  UGH!  The effort I was exuding was equivalent to 8 mm at LEAST.  When I got to the final mile that was clear I just went.

13. 9:12
14. 9:40
15. 10:08
16. 9:04

When I finished the run my knees HURT.  Oof.  They definitely took a beating during the sliding around portion of the run.

I finished the 16 miles (16 miles holy crap!!) in 2:33:09 for a pace of 9:35.  (Last week's 14 miler was a 9:37 pace!!)

I walked in the door and immediately got the tub going for an ice bath.  I promised myself I would ice for anything longer than 14 to make sure my legs recover as quickly as possible.  After stretching and warming up slightly, I hopped in the tub, and immediately (ok 2 minutes later = immediately) I had to get out.  I was gasping for air and on the verge of tears.  I hadn't even put in the ice/scoops of snow (yes I shoveled two small buckets of snow to add to my bath) in yet.  I think my body temp must've been pretty low after being outside running for 2 1/2 hours in 20 degree temps.  I'll just have to make sure I ice well until Monday's run.

I had waited to post this until after Saturday night because I knew I would have some fun Saturday night adventure photos.  Unfortunately, I dropped my camera on the ground last night and I'm sad to report, she is no longer with us.  RIP camera.  It was a solid 4 months we spent together.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 Run Recap Thursday

In what's coming to be my slacker format, this post will be my recap of all my runs since my last one.  Pretty soon I'll be blogging once per week, then only race reports, than I'll slowly fade off into the distance.  Just kidding.  I'll never leave you kids.

On Monday I was having a terrible horrible no good, very bad day.  I was crabby/cranky/bitchy/etc.  As soon as the clock hit 5, I stomped out of my office knowing I needed to hit the treadmill to blow off some steam.  After cursing at all cars while on my route home (horrible drivers!  all of you!  pay attention!), I stomped into my apartment and into some running clothes; turned back around stomped out and headed to the gym.  And then like a sweet sweet angel N called.  I think he sensed my severe distress from afar.  After giggling/laughing my face off, I was at the gym and a whole new person.  Smiley McSmilerson here to do my 6 miler! 

Unluckily for me, my legs felt like lead and roughly 900 pounds a piece.  So yeah, that run was FUN.  (But still run 98% with a grin on my face).  I need to start hitting up ice baths post long runs to help cut down my legs recovery time.  I did the run at a very leisurely pace and caught up on my celebrity gossip a la US Weekly.  I did my 6 miles in 57:34 for a pace of 9:36.

Tuesday I had a 7 mile tempo run with 5 at 8:40 pace.  My legs felt fresh as a daisy after getting out all the kinks the day before, and I literally had *one of the greatest runs of my life*.  These are the runs that we live for as runners.  I felt like I was running effortlessly, fast, and I was definitely in "the zone."  Every time I would lift my magazine to see the distance run I was shocked that it was that close to another mile completed.  Tick tick tick, the miles flew by.

I did the 7 miles in 1:02:28 for a pace of 8:56.  Tempo miles pace 8:37.
1. 9:39
2. 8:36
3. 8:41
4. 8:41
5. 8:41
6. 8:28
7. 9:39 

Wednesday was sweet sweet rest.  And do you want to know what rest looks like in Jerbear land as of late?  Season 1 of Lost.  Now you may be thinking that I'm turning into a television junkie....and you would be right.  First How I Met Your Mother, now this?  Yes.  When Lost first came on tv, I was in college and was busy studying hard and didn't really have time for tv.  After most of my friends were obsessed with the show, I knew I would have to watch it at some point.  I had planned to start watching it once the series was over or once it was on its final season.  Well the final season started a few weeks ago, and what better time to jump in, right?  After spending a solid 5 hours watching after work yesterday, I just finished Season 1's finale today.  Whoa.  I almost want to take the next week off of work just to watch it from start to finish.  Insanity.

This morning I woke up (3rd morning in a row without using an alarm, btw) and headed to the gym for another 6 mile easy run.  After a day off, my legs felt good.  I grabbed a Cosmo to read, and before I knew it 6 miles were done.  I'm really digging this week of MARATHON TRAINING!!!  I did the 6 in 57:38.  Yes, only 4 second difference from Monday's 6 miler.  That's almost Lost-esque in its creepy/eerie factor, no?  :p

Post run, I was excited to make a smoothie. I like to have smoothies on Thursday because it's the one day I run before work, and I hate feeling like I'm s.t.a.r.v.i.n.g while I'm at work.  I had some strawberries, blueberries, a banana, 1/2 an avocado, some protein powder and a splash of juice.  Holy guacamole this was amazing.  The avocado gets the smoothie the smoothest texture, its seriously like melted ice cream.  I was licking the inside of the container after it was all gone.  And it made me FULL. 5 stars smoothie.

In other delicious food news, I've jumped on the greek yogurt bandwagon.  I've gone back to eating very very limited meat, so I'm making sure I'm getting my protein in other ways especially now that MARATHON TRAINING!!! has begun.

[Sidenote:  Maybe I'll do a video clip of what MARATHON TRAINING!!! actually sounds like in my head each time I type it.  It's pretty fun.]

Also, I got this awesome SUNSHINE award from Glenn who said:  "Just look at that smile. Enough said."
So stinkin' sweet.  Thanks Glenn!
I'm supposed to give this out to 12 people, but that seems awfully limited.  I would like to bestow it to anyone who needs a lil sunshine in their lives.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!  I can't wait to read everyone's race reports while I'm in my 16 mile post-run/pizza refueled coma.  (Yes, I've already decided the meal I will eat post run 2 days in advance.  Are you telling me that's not normal?!?!?)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Personal Distance Record: 14 Miles

I had been looking forward to my 14 mile long run all week.  Finally a new long run distance to conquer.  (Yes, you know you're officially a crazy runner when you're excited about a 14 mile run, you can relate right??)  However, I was not looking forward to the possibility of having to do it on the treadmill, especially after the crap-fest run from last week's 12 miler.  After looking at the weather report all week, I thought it just might work to do it outside.  I had been eyeing the part of the bike trail that is visible from the road on the way to my gym, and it seemed to be clear of snow.  Once 9:30pm hit on Friday night, it was light's out.  (Crazy runner sign #2:  going to bed before it's dark out practically).

I woke up to 18* temps with a light breeze.  The wind chill was showing 15-16.  I figured I would give it a try, and if it was too unbearable, I could always come home, hop in my car, and head to the gym for the remainder of the run.  I set out in tights, running pants, an under armour wicking LS, a fleece, a light jacket, and a dorky stocking hat.  Turns out that after I returned the Nike running hat this fall, I never actually purchased a new one.  Ooops.  I had also spent time creating an awesome playlist for the run.  Unfortunately, I just plugged in my iPod and then unplugged when I was ready to leave the house.....without actually loading on the new playlist.  Grrr.

I started off on the run, and the trails were 85% clear and I was happy.  Look at me, I'm running outside! Wheeeeeeee!  Of course after the first mile was done, the trails were covered 100% in loose snow.  Miles 2-3 1/2 were horrendous, but the rest of the run was probably about half and half for snow coverage.  Of course on the way back (since I did an out and back course) Miles 11 1/2 to 13 were also horrendous.  You can tell by my splits exactly where the roads were clear or not.  The good thing about the snow is that it did help me to slow down my pace, otherwise I think I would've tried to fly through the 14 miles.  I can not wait to be outside in a tank and shorts though.  Ahhh spring, can't wait.

The sun.  Oh sweet sweet sun.  I had forgotten what the sun even looked like, let alone the extra 2-3 degrees it gives you.  If there wasn't 4-5 foot snow drifts lining the bike trail, I might have even thought it was spring.

I kept expecting to get really tired during the run, since I was exerting myself way more than normal just by slipping and sliding around, but I was pretty much ok except for the final mile, which makes sense because I was pushing the pace because a) it was the last mile and b) the trail was clear.  Overall, I was pretty happy with the run.

I did the 14 miles in 2:14:28 for a pace of 9:37.

1. 9:25
2. 9:51
3. 10:03
4. 9:33
5. 9:34
6. 9:34
7. 9:43
8. 9:33
9. 9:36
10: 9:28
11. 9:35
12. 9:46
13. 9:51
14. 8:50

I did see about 1,000 golden retrievers during my run and it made me want one soooo baaaaaaad.  I had a golden retriever growing up and have wanted another one forever.  N is planning on getting one once he buys a house and I can't wait.  I may already have a sweet "running dog" name picked out for him, and can't wait to have a running companion.  :D

Post run instead of an ice bath, I waded in the snow drifts outside my apartment.  It was cold.  To say the least.  I was impressed by how sweaty I got during that run for the temp;  I must've bundled up correctly, because other than the times I was running into the wind, I was perfectly content.  There were even times when the wind was at my back that I was HOT.

After getting showered up and eating some soup (which my stomach did not take to) I felt sick.  My face was extremely wind burned, causing my body temp to feel extremely warm.  I was on the verge of a headache and my stomach just hurt.  Oy!  I laid on the couch as long as possible and then eventually got some energy mustered up to get all gussied up for the belated-Valentine's Day date.  Yay!  I can't think of a better way to eat back 14 miles worth of calories, can you?  Luckily my stomach started feeling better (perhaps it was the wine, not sure....maybe the snuggling, as that cures all) so I could enjoy my eating and company.

This morning I have some tenderness/soreness in the back of my knees which is to be expected after all the slipping and sliding around that they endured yesterday.  Being the resourceful chica that I am, I stuffed some snow in a ziploc bag and here I am icing away.  :)  While eating some leftover Coldstone ice cream.  Does that kid know the way to my heart or what?  Ice cream = <3

Beth at Shut up and Run is having another giveaway.  Check it out here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just Call Me Lance With My Needle

I failed to mention, but on my not so fun 12 mile treadmill run , I had forgotten to bring my running shoes to the gym.  I was wearing my next most recent pair:  Asics Nimbus 10, pink. (see running shoe chart for reference) and decided it would be too big of a waste to drive all the way home.  Big mistake.  I got blisters on top of blisters next to blisters.  Apparently there was a reason these shoes were retired, eh?

Unfortunately, after you have blisters, it doesn't take much to re-aggravate them, even if you have switched back to your oh so great running shoes.  Today after my run I decided it was time to get out my sword aka my trusty blister popping needle.  I lined up all the supplies:  peroxide?  Check!  Sword?  Check! Cotton ball? Check! Bandaids?  Check!  And it was on.  Pop poke puncture. P^3  I guess I am lucky (lucky?) that I only get water blisters, I can imagine that blood blisters are a little more gross and painful.   Usually after I pop mine they'll refill themselves a couple of times, but then they'll be gone for good (assuming I stick to good shoes).  Until then, I think I'll leave my P^3 station set up on my coffee table.  Man it's a good thing I don't have roommates. :p  (P.S. I hope you can't see the fur on my legs, they're like chia pets, I swear.  Also, I really hope none of my readers have foot fetishes, because, um..gross.)

Now that you've all emptied your stomach contents due to my brutal overshare (what? I thought there was no such thing as TMI for runners...pussies....), on to some runs.  Tuesday I had one of my least favorite workouts:  mile repeats.  Blech.  I had 6 miles total with a one mile warm up, 2 x 1600 m. @ 8:02 pace and 800 jogs, and a one mile cooldown.  After going through the workout in my head, I realized that it was going to end on a 2 mile cool down, and I knew I would be tempted to skip it, so instead I did a 2 mile warm up.  I'm a genius sometimes.  :)  Honestly I tried to cut this run short in so many ways and I'm pretty proud that I ended up with all 6 miles.

I did the 6 miles in 54:53 for a pace of 9:09.  Mile times, 7:54 & 7:55, HECK YA!

Warm Up1 Mi9:399:399:39
Warm Up1 Mi9:3919:189:39
Interval1 Mi7:5427:127:54
Recovery0.5 Mi5:0432:1610:08
Interval1 Mi7:5540:117:55
Recovery0.5 Mi4:5845:099:56
Cooldown1 Mi9:4254:519:42

I was pretty darn proud of my sweat fest and speed session.

This morning I woke up and headed to the gym (pre Jeri Lance-a-lot) to do my easy 6 miles.  As soon as I stepped outside I questioned why I was going to the gym.  It was in the low 20's, which in my brain=cold.  But I forget what cold minus wind feels like..... not bad at all.  I checked the weather report for Saturday, and with a high of 25 and little to no wind, looks like the Jerbear is OFF THE TREADMILL and on the trails for her 14 miler (PDR right here, whoo!)

Anyway, I wasn't too hyped up about my 6 miler, as I tend to get annoyed by the easy/junk miles in training programs.  Right after I jumped on the treadmill, a guy jumped on the one next to me, who had a prosthetic leg from the knee down.  Seeing him bust out his mile next to me almost brought tears to my eyes.  Not only was he truly inspiring as a runner, but it put my run into perspective.  There should never be a time that I dread doing a run, I should be thankful everyday that I lace up my running shoes that I'm healthy and capable of running.  So anyways, thanks random dude for giving me some perspective and inspiration this morning.

I did 6 miles in 56:51 for a pace of 9:29.

1. 9:38 2. 9:38 3. 9:40 4. 9:30 5. 9:26 6. 8:56

After completing the first 5 miles at a nice and leisurely pace, I had to kick up the speed on the 6th mile.  I also played around with the incline.  Definitely made the run more interesting.

Have a great weekend kiddos!  Be sure to check out RunZoeRun's Champion giveaway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goodbye my Lover(s), Goodbye My Friend(s): An Ode to My Shoes

Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your
soul sole out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.
You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.

Whoa.  I think we just shared a heartfelt moment there.  I have a confession to make:  I'm a running shoe hoarder.  Any day now I expect A&E to come knocking on my door to do a special on me.  I just haven't been able to give them up.  For the past 6-9 months I've been prepping myself for the big goodbye.  I knew I would be ok if I was donating them instead of sending them to the big garbage disposal in the sky.  I even got a tip/suggestion to take photos of them to commemorate their honor.

Shortly after the Haitian earthquakes, I noticed a blurb on the Runners World website about Soles4Souls and how to help.  I looked for the closest drop off to me and realized that it was about 20 minutes away from where N lives and a town we frequent almost every time I come to visit.  Ding ding ding!  No excuses left.  And with that I give you:  An Homage to My Running Shoes.  (I seriously played James Blunt's Goodbye My Lover while photographing, rubber-banding, and "packing up" my shoes.  Sigh.)

Senior year of High School track Spring 2002

Type:  Adidas
Miles Run: ??

(also worn during my senior season of volleyball)
These shoes may be the hardest to get rid of (hence why I've had them for 8 years).  These are the shoes that I wore through my senior year of track.  These are the shoes that I wore during my final "glory days" of track.  I logged many quick miles to help me qualify for state in the 100 m. dash, 1600 m. relay, and 800 m. relay.  They also helped me land school records in both the relays that will live on forever!  (My high school consolidated with a nearby school a few years ago, so my records will literally stay in the books for-ev-er.)

Even though I didn't actually wear these shoes to run any of my races, they still hold a lot of great memories to me.  Man, I wish I had my ugly track spikes that I actually wore for my races to show you.  Now those things I wouldn't have a problem throwing out (which I probably have thrown out, to be honest).

Good bye my lover.....

Freshman Year of College 2002-2003

Type:  Asics
Miles Run:  ??

I l.o.v.e.d these shoes.  I ran quite a bit during my freshman year.  I was actually on the track team for the first couple of weeks, before I realized that I was pretty far down the totem pole for the sprinters (of course by my sophomore year, everyone faster than me had graduated/transferred/quit.  DRAT!)

These shoes were worn through countless intramural games as well.  I was something of an intramural fanatic during college.

Also, I love the pink bead.  Gives em a little something extra.

Sophomore Year of College 2003-2004

Type:  Asics
Miles Run:  ???

Like I said, I liked the previous shoes so much, I bought them again, and in even cuter colors!  Win!

Junior Year 2004-2005

Type:  Asics 1090
Miles Run:  159.5 (that I kept track of, many more that weren't logged)

These are my 2nd favorite pair of shoes of all time. As can be seen by the barely there soles and gaping holes, these were officially worn "to death."

I actually bought these shoes because they matched our co-ed intramural basketball teams jerseys, and ended up loooving them.  :)  (We won the championship, btw.  Also, the women's league, women's 3 on 3 league, and various volleyball leagues.  Like I said.... I was kind of a big deal for intramurals! :p)

During my junior year I got a little on the "pudgy" side.  That spring I decided to get back into running shape by doing an 8 week training program out of a fitness magazine.  It focused on running for time instead of distance, and totally worked for me at the time.  I liked to see how much farther I could go in the same amount of time from week to week.

The summer after my junior year, my dorm neighbor, Megan, mentioned that she was thinking of running a half marathon and she thought I should do it as well.  In her eyes, I was an athlete, in my eyes, she was nutso for thinking I could do it!  We found a Hal Higdon program online, and it didn't seem too much harder than what I was already doing, and thus my first half marathon training began.

Sidenote:  Our BFF-itude actually blossomed from our running friendship.  Another reason I love running.

Summer/Fall of Senior Year 2005

Type:  Adidas Responsive
Miles Run:  211.3 (only documented during HM training)

These puppies yelled my name from the shoe store shelf.  Look at me!  I'm green!  And silver!  Flashy!  Blisters the size of Texas on my arches!  Whoo!

These are the shoes I ran my very first half marathon in.  Memories......  These ones are pretty difficult to part with as well.  I put them on just to wear with sweats a while back, and they were SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  I can't believe I trained and ran a race in them.  Blech.  I used to throw blister popping parties post-runs.  My friends were highly grossed out.  I still remember the time I ran my first double digit run in them.  Ten miles.  I was on cloud 9 for a week.

Winter/Spring Senior Year 2006-Spring 2007

Type:  Asics Nimbus 7
Miles Run:  575.6+

Hands down my favorite pair of shoes of all time (as you can probably tell by the mileage).  First I fell in love with the look (let's be honest, they are GREEN), but they felt oh so good.  These were my first pair of "quality" running shoes I bought.  Most others were because they were on sale and I was a poor college kid.  I could definitely tell the difference.

I've looked for these shoes for the past 4 years secretly hoping I'll magically find a brand new pair of 7 1/2s just for me.  Unfortunately, I have not had good luck with that.

I ran half marathon #2 in these shoes as well as many many 5ks.  I even wore them for the St. Patty's Day 5k last spring (3 years old at that point).  Partially because they're green for the holiday, but mostly because I just can't give them up.

Rest assured that when you look in my closet in 10+ years, these puppies will still be lining the closet floor.  True shoe love right there. (These shoes will not be donated, FYI.)

Summer 2007-Winter 2008

Type:  Nimbus 9
Miles Run:  256.2

The fact that I only have 250+ miles on these shoes for roughly a full year of running should say it all.  I ran half marathons #3 & #4 in these shoes, and HATED THEM.  Unfortunately after graduating from being a poor college student, I was still merely a poor post-college grad, so I had to stick with them.  For some reason my ankles always feel really unsupported in these shoes.  They look cool, but they kind of suck at life.

I'm still going to hold on to them to wear on really mucky/wet/cruddy runs since they still do have some life (miles wise) left in them.

I think I despise these shoes so much because this is the time in my life where I hated running.  I had gotten slow.  I had gotten out of shape.  I had gotten a little on the husky curvy side.  I thought my PR days were long long gone, so I no longer had a reason to try to run.  These shoes represent me falling out of love with running.  Blech.  No wonder they're so dark and dreary looking.  :p

Spring and Summer 2009

Type:  Asics 1130
Miles Run:  305

Ugh. I don't really like these shoes either.  I definitely got what I paid for.  Although these were my "gift" to myself for getting back into running last winter.  I refused to upgrade from the poop brown terrors until I had logged some significant miles and "gotten back on the horse."

I knocked off a 5k PR in them to allow myself to buy a Garmin 405 (I'm so sweet to me).  I knocked another full minute + off my 5k time to secure another new PR, and then they carried me to win my first (and only thus far :p) 5k.

So I might hate them, but they've done pretty good by me, I must say.  I'm on the fence about keeping these or parting with them.

Summer and Fall 2009

Type:  Asics Nimbus 10
Miles Run:  432.2

My first pink shoes! I was so excited.  And they were on sale!  Double win.  Except that there was something on the inside of the shoe that rubbed my second to pinky toes RAW.  I have scars on these poor little toesies from the horrendous blisters I would get.  Even after wearing them just walking around they'll aggravate my poor little toes.  But they sure are cute!

I did my first ever relay:  Wild West Relay, Dangerous Dozen:  REPRESENT!  I did my "come back" half marathon (#5) where I shaved 13 minutes off of my PR time.  I ran another 5k (in bitterly cold temps) for an AG win.

Even if these shoes did cause permanent damage to my tootsies, they still have a special place in my heart.

Winter 2009

Type:  Asics Nimbus 11
Miles Run:  285.8 (and counting)

I love these shoes.  After the pain of the 10's I was concerned that I wouldn't like the 11's either, but I do.  (Hence why I bought another pair in pink, whoo!)  They're pretty much like comfy little structured clouds on my feet.  The only complaint I have is that the shoe laces never seem to stay tied tight.  I hate having to knot my shoes (except for races) just because I end up having to re-tie them tighter as I'm running along.  It's such a pain to undo and redo double knots.

These shoes were my go-to shoes for half marathon training #6.  They also took me to my 2nd HM PR in 3 months, knocking another 1:30 off of my time.  These little boogers will get me through my first 100-200 miles of marathon training.  N likes them because they're Minnesota Vikings purple (ya Nick, *that's* why I bought them....fool...)  I see myself and these beauties being long time friends (until I retire them for the pink version sitting in my closet).

After laying all the donated shoes to rest (ie:  rubberbanded and put in a garbage bag, waaaaah!) I'm surprised at how much extra space I have in my shoe racks in my closet.  And I really am happy that someone out there less fortunate than me is going to get a chance to have something in between their bare feet and the ground.  Hopefully they'll make some loving memories with my shoesies too.  :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Retail Therapy

After finding out I was going to be Valentine-less for the Valentine's Day weekend, I could think of one thing, and one thing alone that would cheer me up:  shopping spree at my favorite running store.  After meticulously going through my budget for February, I magically found an extra $100 that wasn't spoken for.  Since this is a rarity, I figured I would put it towards new running shoes, knowing that my mileage will be up on my current loves in approximately one month.  Now that's planning ahead financially (can you tell I'm a credit counselor?)

I walked into the store and barked out my size:  7 1/2! shoe type:  Nimbus 11!! and color:  pink!!! while putzing around the store.  I perused the sale rack, but only found a couple of things, a black long sleeved Nike shirt (reasoned that if I was going to be wearing something that lightweight, it was probably warm out, and if it's warm out, why on God's earth would I be wearing black?  I don't care if you are on sale for $25.  Ok, to be honest, the $25 was a HUGE selling point.)  Moving on.  I found this gem of a t-shirt.  I've actually been eyeing it my last 5 trips into the store, but it had finally come down to the steal of a price 15 dollah.  SOLD!  I also stocked up on a case worth of Gu Roctane:  Espresso, Vanilla, and Triberry.  They were out of my fave Blueberry Pomegranate, but I'm excited to try the Triberry as I've heard good things.

The best part of the shopping trip is that I have a card that gives me 15% off of regularly priced apparel and shoes.  $125 shoes BAM $107.25.

Tonight I had an easy 7 miles to do on the treadmill (boo!).  However, all stars thoroughly aligned for treadmill-run-awesomeness.  One of my favorite bands, Angels & Airwaves, released a new CD Love yesterday on their website fo free.  New awesomely sweet tunes on the iPod?  Check!  Also, I was putzing (I should get an award for using the word putzing twice now thrice in one blog post.  Winner:  Jeri.) around my apartment prior to heading to the gym, so I got there with 5 minutes to spare before HIMYM came on.  Super awesome tv show to watch while running?  Check!  The only thing I was missing to make it a trifecta was to be chasing after the boy during the run (but let's be honest, he'd keel over loooooong before 7 miles was up).

Regardless of the super awesomeness that was to be, the run was not so super awesome.  I was hungry.  Who else is sick of me complaining about being hungry during a run?  Jeepers.  I didn't really realize that my main issue when training for a marathon wasn't going to be getting in the runs, it is definitely going to be making sure I'm eating quality food and enough of it.  Apparently I should've adjusted my grocery budget during these next three months.

Anyway, I stuck with the run, and after the first 3 miles I bumped up the speed .1 mph and that actually helped a lot, my legs no longer felt like lead.  Right around that time, a chick with legs up to my neck jumped on the t'mill next to me, and that helped immensely as well.  We had almost the same stride and pace going, so it's really easy for me to get in a rhythm with running next to people like that.  During the last 4 miles, I debated about asking her (post run of course) if she is training for something and if she is looking for a running buddy.  Now I know how nervous guys get when approaching girls at the bar.  I needed some liquid courage!  I ended up chickening out, but she'll be back.  ;)  (I'm such a loser :p)

I ended up doing 7 miles in 1:06:34 for a pace of 9:31.

Thanks for all the suggestions for pre-run fuel.  I've always had a temperamental stomach when it came to sports and especially running.  I remember in high school, I would go from noon to 8pm without eating any food because I was so concerned about it making me sick and not able to compete in my races.  This fall and winter, when training for the Sioux Falls 1/2 and Dallas White Rock 1/2 I typically ate a banana and a peanut butter sandwich before running.  At some point the peanut butter started messing up my stomach BIG TIME.  The banana works still, but I'm just not sure that is going to be sufficient once I start running 16-20 miles.  There were times when doing 11-13 mile LRs that I wouldn't eat before, and just take a Gu Roctane (which I actually like!) earlier in the run, and that seemed to work, but that's a $$$$ habit to get into.  Feel free to keep the suggestions coming, keeping in mind that I am lactose intolerant, so factor that in as well.  Also, if anyone else has stomach sensitivities to peanut butter, would almond butter be better?  I used to really like the piece of toast/bagel with PB before it started to destroy me. :)

And in closing I thought I would share the sweetest text message/compliment I have ever received:  I was actually just thinking about you.  My family told me I should be on the Amazing Race, and they asked me who my partner would be.

Seriously, this guy and I would *kill* the competition in this show.  He's the manager at my gym, and in insanely good shape (obviously).  We've gone running a couple of times, and I think we could take the show by storm.  Amazing Race 2011 here we come!! ;)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear MacBook!

Yes, for the record, that is Jeri Loves MacBook.  It was one year ago today that I received the single greatest gift a gal could get for Valentine's Day:  her very own MacBook.  I was truly in love with myself, and thought, what the hell.  Why not give myself what I really truly want??  So I did.  I love her just as much as I did a year ago.  And yes, I have a very special evening planned for her here shortly.  Hubba hubba!

To back track a bit, I had my third training run for MARATHON TRAINING!!!  On Thursday evening of 7 easy miles.  Luckily my legs were back to healthy, but I still took the run at an easy peasy pace to keep them healthy.  I read 3 magazines while running (yes I was that girl on the treadmill).  Spring where art thou?  I did 7 miles in 1:07:26 for a pace of 9:38.  Admittedly, I did crank up the pace on the 7th mile because I was b.o.r.e.d.  Most of my miles were around the 9:40-9:49 range.

Saturday morning I had many plans to get up and be at the gym by 8am to do my 12 mile long run.  8am came and went, and I was lucky to be strolling in the doors at 11am.  My personal distance record on the t'mill is ten miles.  And both (both? I think, possibly 3) were miserable.  I figured 12 wouldn't be much better.  I hopped on the treadmill and was excited to see that there was a show about female bodybuilders on MSNBC.  I'm super fascinated by these chicks, so the first hour passed pretty quickly.  I took a disGUSTing Gu at Mile 3 because I'd only had 1/2 a Lunabar before heading to the gym.

After the bodybuilder documentary was over, I started to realize how crappy I felt.  I was drinking water regularly, and took another Gu at Mile 8.  But after taking the Gu, and again at Mile 10 I started feeling really nauseous.  I usually try to pick up the pace during the second half of long runs, but after this happened, I really slowed up.

I really need to plan for fueling pre-run especially when I start getting into these longer distances.  Feeling barfy while running is no fun.  It's just unfortunate because everything seems to upset my stomach lately.  Any suggestions for pre-run foods are mucho welcome.  Even peanut butter is destroying my digestive system lately.  Sniffles.

Anyway.  I did 12 miles in 1:48:51 for a pace of 9:05.  My pace should've been quite a bit slower and definitely will be for future long runs.
1. 9:19
2. 9:20
3. 9:14
4. 9:11
5. 9:06
6. 9:03
7. 9:04
8. 9:05
9. 8:49
10. 8:57
11. 8:52
12. 8:46

When I got done running, I noticed one of the trainers at the gym was still going strong (she started roughly around the time I did).  The crazy lady was doing 15 on the treadmill.  Uff.  Mucho respect for her.  After stretching out I tweeted that I was going to go wade in the waist-high snow banks outside my apartment in lieu of an ice bath.  I got out to my car, and it wouldn't start.  Some yahoo left her lights on and had drained her battery.  I'm such an idiot sometimes.  Luckily my old roomie's husband came to the rescue to jump me (jump my car!  oy, that sounds bad!).  Needless to say, by the time I was done standing outside in the blowing snow and freezing cold, my fingers were purple enough without snowbanks.

My Valentine's plans had to get shuffled around a bit, so I was stuck with 2 tickets to Valentine's Day and no date.  Luckily my old roomie wanted to go with me.  Ok, I know the movie is being criticized for being too much like Love, Actually but I actually really loved it.  Hah.  But seriously.  It was cute.  Definitely a good, "awww I'm so in love" type of movie.  Also, I'm not going to lie, but if I don't have my cute boy to stare at, Taylor Lautner will be an okay second choice.  Mmmmm.  Plus, I've always thought that N and Ashton Kutcher have the same eyes.  Perhaps that's why A Lot Like Love is one of my favorite movies...interesting thought.

And in case you were curious, I spent my day of loooooove enjoying Chinese food with one of my best friends and her kids (HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR EVERYONE!) and watching Season 5 of HIMYM.  That's right.  I spent my day with Marshall Eriksen.  Be jealous.

Also, there's a bunch of great giveways going on right now!
Beth at Shut up and Run! is doing a sweet Champion clothes giveaway.  If you're a dude, feel free to enter and then give me the goods.  Danke!

And Iowa Girl Eats is doing a $50 online shopping spree giveaway (same as above applies if you don't like free money).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Did Somebody Say Marathon Training?

What's this now (<--totally stole that phrase from Nick, cracks me up every time)?  *I've* been talking marathon training?  Non-stop?  Nooooooo.  I'm never one to talk obsessively about something, especially when it comes to running.

Ok, you got me.  I think everyone in the tri-state area knows that I started Marathon Training!!!  this week.  (Does anyone else hear some loud booming voice from the heavens every time I type Marathon Training!!!?  No?  Just me?  Ok then, moving on.)  Your mom probably even knows, ask her.  If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm pretty darn excited about it.

I figured it was high time for that ol' Marathon Training!!! Program reveal and such.  I used, as I've fallen slightly in love with their training programs as they have carried me to 2 HM PRs over the last year.  I like that there is still some speedwork incorporated into the training runs, so it's not a complete beginner schedule (which there is nothing wrong with, you just know I heart speedwork).  I chose to do a 14 week schedule because 16 just seemed too G.D. long.  I also did some swapping around of the long runs, as they had me scheduled to do 3 20 milers, which seems like a LOT.  I know some of you vets swear by it, but 3 was enough to scare me into the fetal position on my couch, so I swapped out one for another 16 miler.  Without much further ado, here she is:  (Please note Runnersworld has me predicted to run a sub-4 hour marathon...BAHAHAHAHAHAH! :P)

Yes, I will be breaking my personal distance PR already next weekend with 14 and hardly looking back until mid-May.  Excited = understatement.  Scared poopless = absolutely.

I started the training Monday with an easy 6 mile run.  Because I'm an idiot and raced on Sunday , against my better judgement (and not to brag, but totally took 1st in my AG, and was overall female ya...pretty legit) I H-U-R-T on Monday.  We're talking shuffling around the office, shin pain (I used to get horrific shin splints in HS track), hip issues, and tight hammies.  Holy hell, I'm an idiot.  I usually take my easy runs around a 9:30 minute pace, but I kept it slooooow, and my legs thanked me for it.

I did 6 miles in 58:37 for a pace of 9:47.  When I was done I streeeeeeeetched (and internally cursed my stupidity).

Tuesday I had a 6 mile tempo run to do (Um ya, I failed to switch my actual training program to reflect the order I'll be doing my workouts in M: easy, T: speed, W: rest, Th: easy, F: rest, S: long run, Su: rest), 4 miles at 8:35 pace.

I headed to the gym  Why oh why am I so competitive dumb?  The start of the warm up mile was brutal.  My hamstrings were screaming at me (Dear Hammies, if you worked yourself at ALL during distance training you wouldn't be so ding dong sore after some serious sprint racing.  YOUR FAULT NOT MINE!  xoxo Jerbear).  Finally after the mile warm up they seemed fine.  Once I kicked up the pace on the treadmill they were a-ok.  Thanks Legs, Love you Lots.

I did 6 miles in 53:42 for a pace of 8:57 (tempo pace was 8:33).
1. 9:49 2. 8:29 3. 8:34 4. 8:35 5. 8:34 6. 9:41

Also, can we talk briefly about my shoes?  I noticed it was time to throw a new pair of kicks into my budget for the upcoming month as they would be tapped out after about one month's worth of training.  But you would never be able to tell it by the way they look.  Look at these beauties!  Still in pristine condition!

270 miles?  No chance.  Oh wait.....250 of those have been on a treadmill?  Ok now I can believe it.  Poor shoes, they probably have S.A.D. because they never get to see the great outdoors.

And on a completely unrelated note, there was quite the stir of comments regarding my office husband Tom.  He started at my place of employment about 9 months ago, and we spent some majah time together as I did 100% of his training.  He's a runner as well (got injured training for Twin Cities Marathon last full), and just a pretty cool kid in general so we get along really well.  Makes for a good work environment for sure.

One day he commented that we spend 26 hours of our week together (subtracting out our lunch breaks and our days where we work opposing late shifts).  Impressive/creepy that you've figured that out, but makes sense that we would become such good friends being around each other that much.  A few weeks ago, the power went out at work, so of course all the "cool kids" congregated into my office because I'm the Prez of the cool kid club natch.  A bunch of us were talking, and Tom and I started finishing each other's sentences in a ridiculous way.  I made the joke to my manager that I needed to fill out new insurance information to get a cheaper rate since Tom and I were obviously married at work.  And so, office husband/wife was created.

Sorry Lauren, he has a girlfriend.  But if they end up taking a nosedive, I'll totally let you know.  After the overwhelming response I had from readers, I told him that if him and his GF didn't work out, I could pimp him out on my blog for a small fee.  He was very flattered by all the comments (yes, I shared them, he's my husband yo!).

Now I'm off to enjoy an early Valentine's Day dinner and drinks with one of my loves, Melissa (Captain of Team GREEN). G'night kiddos!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I took 2nd.

I had originally planned on getting my 10 mile long run in Thursday morning, so I wouldn't have to do a long run while I went to MinneSNOWta to visit the boy.  The weather report looked treacherous for the weekend, so I said screw it, and thought it would give me something to do during the weekend other than wallow.  Well, what do you know, the weather report appeared to clear up Thursday night, leaving me to do 10 miles out of town.  To be honest, I tend to not do my long runs when I go visit him.  Running for an hour and a half just doesn't sound appealing in comparison to super sweet fun hang out time, right?  I sent him an email making him promise to force me to go running no matter WHAT.  And if I didn't, than I was grounding myself from visiting him until the marathon.  Yeah, that's right, I'm a stern disciplinarian!

Luckily (ok not luckily at all, let's be honest) he had to work for a chunk of Saturday.  After wrapping up the rest of Season 4 of HIMYM I decided it was time to run.  Weather report:  14*F.  Wind chill (aka feels like):  A witch's titty.  Haha, sorry, always wanted to use that expression.  Snow falling, wind gusts in the mid-teens.  Road report, mostly packed down snowy/slick/crap.  Awesome.  I put on as much clothes as I could without making it physically impossible to move and I set out to run the town.  Literally.  Twice.  Literally.  After one lap around the town (seriously) I knew I was going to be lucky if I made it two laps, which would equate to about 6 miles.  The snow was falling on my bare face (definitely need a sweet ninja mask asap) melting b/c I'm so HOT (ow ow!) then painfully freezing to me.  Um...ouch?  Also, I had barely eaten any food (b/c I don't learn my lesson, ever) and I forgot to bring a GU (Gah! No GU!  GRR!)

My mile times were surprisingly faster than I had thought they would be based on the slick terrain.  Last time I ran with my Yaktrax I had estimated that my pace was around 10 mm.  All my miles came in under 10 mm (which was my goal).  You can definitely tell which miles were mostly snow/ice, and which ones I ran on clear road.

I did 7 miles in 1:07:10 for a pace of 9:36.
1. 9:25
2. 9:25
3. 9:47
4. 9:43
5. 9:48
6. 9:18
7. 9:41

Saturday night there was talk of heading to the gym to play some basketball before the Superbowl started on Sunday.  I knew there was a treadmill somewhere in the school, so I had planned to run my remaining 3 miles (primarily just to make sure my weekly mileage was where it was supposed to be prior to starting MARATHON TRAINING!!!!).  There was also a wager placed.  First Nick suggested that we play a game of one on one.  Now just to give you some visual, I am 5'5.5".  If I'm LUCKY, Nick is 6'5" slouching.  Basketball is not necessarily an ideal match up.  Instead he bet me that he could run the length of the basketball court before I could make it to the free throw line.  (The guy is surprisingly fast and had one of the fastest 40 yard times on his football team back in the day.  He still likes to brag that he can beat almost anyone in a 40 yard footrace......*cough* show off *cough*....)  What's that?  I still brag about *my* glory days?  Well touche.

After my 3 miles in --I kid you not-- 95+* temps (is this a sauna or a weight room, holy hell?!?!?!) pace: slow to keep from death, it was race time.

Suddenly someone didn't seem nearly as confident.  I told him I didn't want to do his "wussy" race, I wanted to do a legit race to the endline.  And then I got scared trying to figure out what the odds were that I would pull a muscle or injure myself right before I start MARATHON TRAINING!!!!   I stretched out a bit more just to be on the safe side and decided it was ON!  It was over in a flash (twss) and I WON!  Ok, I didn't.  But he only beat me by about a stride (my stride not his).  I honestly cannot tell you the last time I ran that fast.  I miss sprinting oh so much. :(  So I didn't win, but I guess technically I was the Women's Overall Winner, plus I technically won my AG as well.  Where the heck is my trophy?!?!? :D

Also, just looked back on my blog, and I realized that I didn't post about my last super awesome speed workout from Thursday night.  So let's go back in time for a moment and review that (don't you wish I posted more than 1-2/week so we wouldn't have this long run on post?  me too.)

I did a mile warm up, followed by 1600m, 2 x 800 m, 4 x 400 m.  I ended up with 4 miles in 31:17 for a pace of 7:50.  After each interval I walked for ~.1.

Warmup1 Mi9:399:399:39  
Interval1 Mi7:3517:147:35   
Interval0.5 Mi3:3620:507:12   
Interval0.5 Mi3:3624:267:12   
Interval0.25 Mi1:3626:026:24  
Interval0.25 Mi1:3627:386:24   
Interval0.25 Mi1:3629:146:24  
Interval0.25 Mi1:3530:496:20  

Yay speedy legs.  No wonder I almost won our footrace. :p   I told him I'm going to do some intense speedwork and that he'd better be ready for the re-match.

I'll leave you with some fun pictures from work on Friday.  It was Jersey Day in the office.  My office husband and I decided that we would wear our Favre jerseys so we'd be super cool (he's a big Jets fan).  Little did we know another chica in the office was wearing a Vikes Favre jersey.  I love seeing all the #4 love.

Tom & Jeri.  Yes.  I think they hired him just for the comic appeal of our names together.