Friday, July 30, 2010

Occasionally Procrastination Pays

After doing some major rearranging with my running schedule this week to accommodate my social life, I had vowed to wake up and do my tempo run before work on Thursday.  Thursday morning hit and there was no where I'd rather be than in my big ol' comfy bed.  Two hours later it was time for work.  A quick look at the weather report and the ominous clouds in the sky, made me realize very quickly that I had made the wrong choice.  The skies opened up all day long.  I figured I was resigned to the treadmill for my tough ass tempo run.  When I left the office at 8pm, I was surprised that not only was it not pouring rain, but it was cool!  Like mid-60s cool.  Take that procrastination.

Because of the insane rain (good band name, no?) I had to run some "laps" around a parking lot about a mile from my place, because the trails were pretty well flooded.  That actually ended up working my favor because I was out running later (aka in much darker conditions) than I typically allow and this area is way better lit.  I'm a tough B, but probably not that tough.

I had 7 miles with 5 at tempo pace of 8:05.  I had originally created this training program off of a 23:00 5k (which I was sure I would get this summer).  Well I never got there, so I've been revamping my tempo times slightly so that I don't...uh...die.  Instead I gave myself 8:10-8:20.  This tempo run was 1000 times better than last week's.  Granted last week I had company, which was nice, but talking while trying to run hard, does not work.  Neither does running in intense heat and humidity (for me because I'm a total wuss).

I ended up having one of the best runs in a loooooooooong time, which makes me super excited about next weekend's Urban Wildland Half Marathon.  I'm going to attempt to chase down Alyssa for a PR if the weather permits.  If I've learned one thing this summer is that it's not worth it to try to PR in hellacious weather. :p

I did the 7 miles in 1:01:18 for a pace of 8:46.  Tempo pace--8:17.
1. 9:52

2. 8:06
3. 8:19
4. 8:17
5. 8:28
6. 8:17
7. 9:59

Apparently I run lopsided and only kick my right leg while traversing the mud.  Neat-o huh? :)

In other news (I use that as a lead in for a lot of my paragraphs, has anyone else noticed that?  Apparently I want to be a broadcaster....heh), I'm going to start the 365 Photo Project that you may or may not have heard of.  Basically you take one photo everyday for a year.  Sounds simple enough, but I imagine I'll hate myself more than twice in the 365 day span for taking on the project.  I'm very interested in photography, and have no training/education but it's something that I love, so I figure this will help expand my skills and give me the motivation to further education myself.  If anyone has any suggestions about this project, or what would be the best place to host the images (ie:  a blog, flikr, etc.) please let me know!  I'm starting August 1st, so nothing like leaving it to the last minute.  Procrastinators Unite....Tomorrow.  ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kisses to Ze Track

I'm in love with Princess Leia.  Since my car took a giant poo on me, I got to spend a ton of time riding her to and from work last week.  Recently I redid my training program so I could have Sundays devoted to my biking day.  My running/biking buddy is trying to get me to do a 30 mile "recovery ride" with the area bike club, so I've been trying to do longer rides so I could hang with the cool kids.  Sunday I set out to do 20-25.  Of course, I set out to do the ride after laying on the couch for hours alternating between apple juice, water, and gatorade to restore my hydration levels.  Oh, also giving plenty of attention to my DVR that has been sorely neglected as of late.

Miss Jenn had just gotten back in to town and wanted to hang out so I decided I'd bike to her (with some extra miles thrown in) and then bike home when I was done.  Obviously not the ideal way to get 20 miles in, but hanging out is more important than biking.  :)  Aaron had adjusted my seat height a couple days prior so this was my first ride post-adjustment.  It made all of the difference.  I felt way more comfortable on the bike, the seat felt more comfortable, and I felt a lot more steady.  I tried to focus on keeping my speed up and not being such a wuss with slowing down for twists and turns on the trail.  Success!

Of course, after hanging out much too late the sun was setting as I was leaving Jenn's, so I knew I was going to have to get only 20 miles total in.  Let me say that biking at dusk with the fireflies lighting up the trail has got to be the most beautiful thing in the world.  Yes, it's also one of the least safe things in the world, but we'll forget that part for now.  I saw a baby deer, that I scared the hell out of.  And then saw his giant dad a mile or two later.  Then I started getting really concerned about hitting a deer on my bike.  I'm deathly afraid of driving at dusk because I'm so afraid of hitting a deer.  Fairly certain that hitting one on my bike would destroy my bike, and potentially also myself. 

I did the 20 miles in 1:25:04 for a pace of 14.11 mph.
My fastest mile was 16.3 mph zoooooooooom!
And my maximum pace was 22.7 mph (yes, I was probably squeezing my brakes throughout.  baby steps people.)

Monday I hit the track for 8 x 400 meter repeats (6:28-6:48 pace).  Upon arriving to the track I noticed a few things:  1) it was hot.  2)  I failed to bring any water.  Excellent.  I started in on my slow warm up mile and I was throwing down some serious sweat droplets.

During my first 400, at roughly the 200 m. mark I felt a spark of pain in my right hip (similar to the pain the last time I did 400 meter  I let up on the pace a little bit, and stretched out once I finished the 400 before going in to my 400 meter recovery jog.  I decided that I would revamp the work out to 800's instead of 400's using last week's pace guidelines.  Once the 800's were over, I felt the legs were loose enough to try another 400, and then 2 x 200's.  All repeats had a 400 m. jog in between them, except the 200's which had 200 m. jogs.  Following here?

warm up mile-9:28
400-1:43 (6:52 pace)
800-3:45 (7:30 pace)
800-3:41 (7:14 pace)
800-3:41 (7:22 pace)
400-1:47 (6:52 pace)
200-:49 (6:17)
200-:49 (6:49)
**These paces are factored on the actual distance (some were .01 long, so that's why the math doesn't quite add up.)  The 2nd 400 felt fine, so for future training, I will make sure that I do an 800 m. interval prior to starting 400's to make sure my legs are nice and warmed up.  It's not surprising that my body would have troubles going from a 9:30 pace to a 6:30 pace.

I did the 5 miles in 45:59 for a pace of 9:12.

It was the strangest thing, while doing one of my repeats, the smell of grilled meat filled the air.  As you may know, I'm not the biggest fan of meat.  But I wanted some right.that.minute.  It was insane.  I compromised with myself that if I ran hard for the rest of the speed work, I could get some meat for dinner.  Go figure, as soon as I was done, meat sounded as nasty as it normally does.  Silly tummy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Should Have Known....

Whenever you have the "worst run of your life" (because I tend to be overly dramatic I tend to over use statements like "best _____ ever" and "worst ____ of my life" pretty frequently, rest assured I still mean it), it's almost a guarantee that the "best run of your life" is just around the corner.

After being Bummer McBummerson after Thursday tempo run, I was tweeting with Chad about his recent sucky run.  After some slight convincing I came to terms that the crappiness of late is probably more the result of the weather than of me just plain sucking.  Which was a relief.

Saturday I was up with the sun to head out for my long run.  I had 13 on the schedule, but just *had* to bump it up to 13.1.  This was necessary, yes?  I was shocked that the temp was in the mid 60's.  Yes, the humidity was at 97% but let's focus on the awesomeness of semi-cool weather pleeeeeeeeeeease.  Not only was the run fairly quick, but it was fun and effortless (for the most part).  Hello running mojo, let's never break up again, k thanks.

This is the first long run I've done in a long time on the weekend.  Since I've been racing so much, I've been squeezing them in during the work week at insane hours, and I forgot how much I love being around other runners.  It's so nice to see some familiar faces out and about enjoying the beautiful morning.  There were some areas on the trail that were as flooded (if not more so) than Thursday night, but for some reason it didn't drive me cuckoo like it did for the tempo run (thank God).

I ran through puddles that went up to my ankles for 20 biggie.  My feet squished and squeaked for the next 5 miles until I doubled back and ran through it problem.  I ran the first half in 1:02 and the second half in 1:01, so I really ran pretty consistently through out.  I was starrrrrrrrving the last few miles, so I definitely need to remember 3 GUs for race day, and maybe eat a smidge more for breakfast.

I did 13.1 miles in 2:03:03 for a pace of 9:23.  Which is my magical auto pilot long run creepy.  In case you're a new-er reader, almost all of my long runs and easy runs whilst MARATHON TRAINING!!! (<---Oh how I miss writing that.....) were creepily at that pace.
1. 9:15

2. 9:20
3. 9:39
4. 9:35
5. 9:34
6. 9:29
7. 9:29
8. 9:26
9. 9:18
10. 9:18
11. 9:36
12. 9:20
13. 8:56
.1 :48 (8:17 pace)

I made myself ice bath after the run for the first time since last fall.  Not so fun, but my legs felt awesome afterward.  I rewarded myself with a trip to the water park to soak up some sun and also for a night out of the town with some of my favorite people.
We tend to make each other cuter in photos together. It's like magic.
Ze boys.
The head on my beer was atrocious.....
Favorite random photo of the night.  Hahah.
And at one point I thought it would be neat to take pics of everyone through their beer glasses.  This is mine. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sometimes I Hate Running

I recently realized that blogger now has a super sweet function (similar to what wordpress offers, I believe) that let you know the stats of your site.  I've tried to set up Google Analytics, but apparently I'm computer duuuuuuuumb and couldn't get it figured out.  Since I'm a numbers/stats freak, it was so interesting!  I can not believe how many people have visited my blog in the past few weeks that these stats have been accounted for!  So hi and hello to all of you lurkers out there that don't comment (which is totally fine, btw)...glad to have you (and now know that you exist).

Sadly, this super cool new feature did nothing to cure my writer's block.  I've learned that when my running is sucking the big one, I have no desire to write.  Who wants to read about how bad I suck?  No one.  Perhaps an arch nemesis (nemesi if there are more than one of you I suppose), but other than that, no one.  I don't like to be all Debbie Downer, so I just scoot off into quiet land for a while.  Also, non-running life is quite a-ok so that also doesn't help the will to blog. :)  Also #2 (that is the appropriate way to include a second also back to back, yes?) I've been obsesssssssssssed with True Blood season 2 lately, so that's been a MAJAH time suck.

I had a pretty Sucky McSuckerson run last Thursday that was truly the straw that broke the runner's back (although not literally as I do not have a broken back....just a slightly broken spirit for a couple of days).  I had 6 miles with 4 at 8:01 pace.  Considering my 5k from a few days before was just slightly faster than that pace, I did not want to do it.  I've really been psyching myself out as far as tempo runs are concerned.  Based on the heat and humidity (and my general suckitude of late) I decided to shoot for 8:05-8:15 pace.  My pal Aaron decided to accompany me on his bike to make sure I didn't try to drown myself in the river keep me company.

When he got to my place I was throwing out every stalling tactic known to man.  Oh...gotta use the rolling pin.  Need to drink more water.  Maybe I should change.  AARON STOP EATING MY SHARKIES!!!!  (Btw, I was a pro at stalling at bed time as a child.  Guaranteed that will come back to bite me in the ass when I have bambinos...ugh).  Then the stall of all stalls:  Garmin LOW BATTERY.  For sure he was regretting his suggestion to bike with me.  That'll teach you to be nice!

After letting my watch charge enough we hit the trail.  Since it had downpoured for hours the night before, the trail was flooded in parts.  Of course, I didn't think about this until we came across the first "lake" blocking out the trail.  So I ran through some wooded area, ran around on grass for a bit, hopped back on the trail.  Encountered some thick ass mud that left me skidding (not to be confused with leaving me with skid marks FYI) around the trail.  And I was getting pisssssssssssssed.  It's not like tempo runs are easy, yo.  Ugh.

Somehow, shockingly might I add, that first mile came within the tempo pace I was shooting for--8:08.  After coming upon another section that was flooded out, we ended up having to loop around the same route that I ran totally sucky 5k from last weekend on.  Not fun.  By this point I had lost it mentally.  Which is unfortunate because I think tempo runs are 95% mental.  To be honest, all tough runs are mental for me.  If I ever fail at a race/long run/speed work session, it's never a physical feat, it's always mental.  Totally sucks.

My next miles were pretty pooptastic, and I was a crabby panda by the time all was said and done.  I apologized to Aaron for my piss poor attitude after the run was over, and he said he hadn't noticed that I was being crabby.  So apparently I didn't spout off the obscenities I was thinking about him, and how stupid him and his words of encouragement were, and that his bike was dumb...and so were his shoes....and haircut.... and mom.  Just kidding, scratch the mom part....I took that one step too far.

I did the 6 miles in 54:39 for a pace of 9:07. 
Tempo miles--8:08, 8:27, 8:39, 8:33.  Avg. pace:  8:26.

Best convo from the run (that's blog appropriate that is...ha)
Aaron:  You know...if your deep dark secret is that you farmer blow on your runs, it's totally ok to do it in front of me.
Jeri:  Ya I know.  And I call them snot rockets.  :)

Check out The Boring Runner's giveaway.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

20 laps around the track....NBD

Sunday I was still feeling pretty pukey so I decided to hit up my road bike in lieu of a boring 5 mile recovery run.  I decided to take my bike as far as the trail would let me (we have a ton of construction on the trails this summer; it's obnoxious).  I also tried to push the pace more so than I have on any other bike ride (which isn't saying much). 

Observations from the ride:
  • I'm a speed demon when there is/are a) no one to pass on the trail b) straight paths.
  • I'm still a big wienie when it comes to biking downhill.  Also passing people on curvy trails.  Also passing people in general (but hurrah that I'm going fast enough to pass people!).
  • Some chicas show more cleave on a run than I do out at "da clubs" trying to catch a man.  Seriously, I was concerned about black eyes/potential knock out situations for a couple of folks.
  • I spotted the 2nd cute runner guy running with Boobs McGee.  No wonder she was pulling out all the stops for the run........
  • People look miserably hot and sweaty running.  Which means I look 900x worse because I'm a freak of nature when it comes to sweating. :/
  • Bikers will actually smile/wave/nod at other bikers.  It must be some sort of secret society or something.  I don't know how many times I've done my friendly smile and wave while out doing a long run to get a cold shoulder in exchange.
  • Sometimes I feel like I could bike forever!
  • I'm totally doing a sprint tri next summer.
  • Maybe I could do a half Ironman someday!!!
  • Oh wait..... you're like a toddler in the water.  Hold on, didn't you teach swimming lessons to toddlers?  You should at least be more advanced than they are.  Also weren't you a lifeguard for 5 or 6 years???
Another idea pondered on said ride was re-vamping my training program.  I'm really enjoying a long bike ride every week, and I also love 2 complete rest days.  I decided to do some changing up to go from 5 to 4 days of running/week (which is what I've done in the past) and added biking on the 5th day.  We'll see how it goes!  I can never get myself psyched up for that 2nd day of easy/recovery runs anyway, so just get rid of it.  Works for me (or I guess we'll see if it works for me).

I ended up doing a little over 14 miles with an average speed of 13.19 mph and max speed of 19.2 mph.  For all of the bobbing and weaving I did for some slow pokes, I'm quite alright with that.

Monday I hit the track for some 800 meter repeats.  Since my car is possibly a goner and I'm waiting for confirmation of such from the mechanic, I am sans car and took Princess Leia to the track.  My legs were pretty tight from the previous day's bike ride as well as the race on Saturday.

I got to the track, and it was the most perfect weather you could get for speed work (for the end of July that is).  Mid-70's, cloudy, a little breeze.  Heaven.  I did my mile warm up and I felt like I was wearing those old school "gym" shoes you had to buy specifically for P.E. class that wouldn't mark up the floor.  You know....the ones that were 20 lbs. per shoe when you weighed about 65 lbs max?  Anyway, not fun legs o' lead.

My pace for the 800 meter repeats was 3:28-3:38.  When I created this training program, I think I did it based on a 23:00 5k time (assuming I was going to hit that time prior to starting the training).  Since I didn't hit that I'm shooting towards the lower end of the ranges for my speed work.

I decided to run in the 2nd lane to hopefully avoid the hip pain that temporarily ruined my life by not having to run as tight of corners.  Some of the laps ended up being slightly long because of it, so I'm posting the pace instead of the time, since it was more than an 800.  Got it?  (3:33, 3:39, 3:32, 3:34).  I ended up knocking out 20 miles on the track before all was said and done.  Fairly certain that in a given season of high school track, I wouldn't race that many times around the track.  100 m. dash, 4x200 m. relay, 200 m. dash and high jump x 12-15 meets.....yup not even close. :)

I jogged a quarter of a mile in between each and did a slow one mile cool down run before hopping on my bike and heading home.  Biking after a sweaty run might even be better than driving with the windows down.  Ahhhhh.......

Monday, July 19, 2010

Race Report: JazzFest 5k

Saturday marked my final race in my unofficially titled 6 races in 6 weeks stupidness.  The race was the first annual JazzFest 5k.  JazzFest is a 3 day free jazz festival that has really blown up in recent years.  When I saw they were going to do a 5k this year I was all over it.

Friday night I made my way out to JazzFest with some friends, with a strict midnight bedtime in mind.  Midnight came and went and I was still having a delightful time.  Finally 12:30 rolled around, and I realized I still had a 2 mile walk ahead of me.  Dumb Jerbear.  Luckily I had some competition for the following morning, in the form of a potentially still drunk gent.  I decided ahead of time, that if I lost I would probably retire my running shoes.

Saturday morning I woke up at 7am and felt like crap.  I felt stuffy and like I had been sniffing straight pollen for 72 hours.  After I ate breakfast my stomach thought it would be fun (as well as a confidence booster) to dry heave for 20 minutes.  I grabbed Miss Polly Sunshine (she's been feeling neglected lately) and took off to the race.  I got there plenty early and saw Joseph warming up.  He jogged with me during my warm up and get me pumped up for a PR.  I was hoping for just under 23:30 for the race.  After signing in for the race I ran in to my buddy Matt who was running his first race!!  Somehow he managed to be less nervous than I was....riddle me that one.  Lame.

The race was set to start at 9am, and I knew the temp would be over 80 by then.  I also knew it was going to be humid and not very breezy.  I tend to not do too well in the heat, if you haven't paid attention to me bitching about it extensively thus far this summer.  Looking at the race route, I knew it was going to be flat which would be awesome if I could hack the heat.

Lining up for instructions I saw about 5 or 6 girls who I thought should be able to beat me, so set my goal at top 5 for chicas.  We started off the race, and I was running strong.  There were a couple of girls who shot way out front and then a group of about 5 or 6 that I was running along with.  After the first 1:30 we said good bye to the shade and hello to the sun beating down on us.

Mile 1  7:30

About 1 1/4 miles in to the race I got a horrible side stitch.  I've never gotten a side stitch while racing before, so I didn't really know what to do.  My breathing had been really gaspy because of the humidity levels, so I'm sure that was the cause of it.  I tried to regulate my breathing to make the side cramp go away.  The cramp was only intensifying the pukey feeling that I was having.  For a minute or two I thought about stopping to barf and not finishing.  I figured, worst case scenario I had about 12 minutes of running left and should be able to hack it.

Mile 2 8:05

The second mile was about 6 seconds slower than I wanted it to be, and I knew I had nothing left in my tank for the rest of the race.  I was wiped.  I kept my focus on those in front of me and trying to bridge the gap.  At 1/2 mile out, where I normally start my kick, I was pooped and kickless.  In un-Jerbear-fashion I posted my slowest split for the final mile.  :(

Mile 3 8:08

Also, the course was a full .1 long which at the pace I was running was almost :50.  Ugh.  So annoying. Especially because I'm the queen of running tangents in these shorter races.  Poop nuggets.

.2 1:28 (7:17 pace)

I finished in 25:13 posting my worst 5k time in over a year and a half.  I honestly couldn't have ran faster in that weather, so I'm not bummed in my performance, more bummed that I keep spending money on races that start so late in the day.  If you're not a runner that can "do" heat, DON'T.  Duuuuuh.  :)

I think I finished in the realm of 9th place for females.  I was super bummed after the race because I didn't run well, didn't have a good time, placed lower than I thought I had, and thought potentially-still-drunk-guy had beaten me.  Luckily I was surprised to find out that I had actually beat him by a ways, and a guy wearing his exact outfit was the one that passed me.  Winner winner.  :)  Sometimes life is all about the consolation prizes......

So I may be done with the 5k for the year as I'm diving (or technically already dove) into half marathon training, and will be embarking on marathon training this fall.  If that is the case, let it be known that I *will* be coming for 22:xx in 2011.  :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweatastic Runs #1 and #2

Tuesday night I had an easy 5 miler on the schedule.  One look at the weather report (upper 80s/85% humidity) I knew I had to do the without the shirt.  I tried to recruit my biking buddy Aaron to run with me sans shirt as well, but it was a no go.  I finally decided that the uncomfortability (is that a word??) factor of going without a shirt was far less than the uncomfortability (ya, it must be) of having more soaked fabric on my skin.

I started out and my legs were flying, although it didn't feel like I was running fast.  After the first mile beeped up, I knew I needed to slow way down since I had a long run less than 8 hours later (FML). 
I did 5 miles in 47:40 for a pace of 9:32.
1.  9:14
2.  9:29
3.  9:38
4.  9:40
5.  9:39

After Tuesday's hot ass (literally) run, I decided that I would for sure be attempting my 11 mile long run before work on Wednesday.  Typically when I do my long run before work, it's on Thursdays when I work late, but in this case, that meant a 4:45 wake up call.  Um.  That's early FYI.

My alarm went off and I scarfed down most of a Luna Bar (see I've already learned my fueling lesson from last week's long run failure.  YAY ME!).  Unfortunately I didn't have a banana as I typically do for long runs, and this will prove to be "sensitive subject" later in the run.

As soon as I opened my door the humidity slapped me in the face like a warm wash cloth.  It was 80 degrees and 96% humidity.  The streets and sidewalks were wet.  Kill. ME. NOW.  And the sun wasn't even out yet.  Runners are crazy bitches fo sho.  I started off and within a 1/2 mile my headphones fell out of my ears I was sweating so much.  Sweet.  At my 3/4 mile/stretch point I was dripping sweat.  Awesome.

I made it a point to drink a ton of water (since I was losing a ton of it) and the miles just draaaaagged on.  My legs felt heavy after the 5 miler a few hours before.  I really can't wait to get to a "normal" week where I don't have any weekend plans and no races so I can rest the day before and after long runs.  I like to feel strong on these puppies.

I stopped for water at mile 2 and 3.5 and also took a GU at 3.5.  Strawberry banana...kinda tasted like a fruit roll up.  Mmmm.  Every time I stopped to get water, I would notice a small puddle forming under me as the rivers of sweat were rolling off of me/falling off of me/splashing on the ground.

About 4 miles in my legs started to feel more fresh so I picked up the pace slightly.  At mile 7.5 I took another GU and refilled my water bottle again.  My pace was settling in to the 9:30s which was what I was shooting for prior to the run.  At mile 8 my stomach was not happy.  At all.  I needed to find a bathroom and there was none in sight.  Also, the tree coverage surrounding the trail was nil.  Hmmm.... the closest bathroom was mine...3 miles away.  I guess we'll keep going.  There were a couple of times during Mile 10 and 11 that I had to walk for a bit.  This will forever serve as a reminder to get my banana breakfast in before long runs. :)  Some how I managed to make it home, and for the first time, didn't care what my long run pace was.  It was more of a success to make it to my bano.

I did the 11 miles in 1:48 for a pace of 9:50.
Interestingly enough, at the turn around my pace was 54:40, so I actually ended up having a stronger pace on the 2nd half despite a 1/4 of a mile where I had to resort to a brisk walk.

In case you were curious how soaked "soaked" actually is, here you go.  I could wring out both top and bottom within the first 15 minutes of the run.  I'm lucky my thighs are thinner now than they used to be, I remember getting a horrid case of "chub rub" from a similar humid run where the wet shorts rubbed my inner things raw.  Owee!

Last 5k of the summer tomorrow (ok, last one on the schedule, you and me both know that I'll do another sometime before summer's end).  Can't wait to race my booty off!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mile Repeats: You are the Bane of my Existence

I waited until the last possible minute to head out the door for my mile repeats on Monday.  I loooooathe me some mile repeats yo.  Running hard for a mile is...hard.  Which must mean they're effective.  Damn it.  [End Rant]

My schedule called for 3 x 1600 @ 7:30 pace (with a mile warm up and 800 m. jogs in between each mile).  To be honest, the schedule also suggests a 1/2 mile jog after the warm up mile (not going to happen) and a full mile cool down after the final 1/2 mile jog (again not happening).  So instead of the 7 miles, I was already down to 5 1/2.  Looks good to me!

After my inital warm up mile my legs felt pretty heavy.  I hadn't ran since Thursday and I could feel it. Two days of rest is perfection.  Three days and my legs get rusty.  It's science, I swear.  After the first 1/4 of a mile, my legs started to feel good, and every time I checked my pace it seemed to be right at the 7:30 mark.  Imagine my surprise when it actually clocked in at 7:44.  GRR!

When the 1/2 mile jog was up, I decided to set the virtual partner to 7:30 pace, as that seems to be a better indicator of pace than the pace on the Garmin's front (don't ask why).  Since I was sweating profusely, my bezel got all confussled and thought I was jabbing it repeatedly when really that was many droplets of sweat coating the watch.  I literally spent 5 minutes trying to get it figured out, only to realize it was still on cycling mode from Sunday's bike ride.  UGH!  I tried to change that too, and eventually got it under control. 

My next mile came in at 7:36.  The final mile I switched off the virtual pace (since I have my Garmin locked b/c of the "perspiration issue" I can't toggle between the Virtual Pace and screen that shows the distance, which is beyond annoying) and tried to run by feel.  The last mile was at 7:41.  Fiddlesticks.  I was super bummed, until the following morning when I saw on the schedule that the mile repeat pace range was 7:28-7:45.  So then I was happy. :)  Made me realize that I'm not quite where I thought I'd be as far as 5k pace/speed, so I shouldn't be surprised that I haven't hit my 22:xx 5k goal for this summer.  The workout also gave me some great confidence going in to Saturday's 5k.  PR or BUST!!  Or else just have fun doing something you of the two. ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Introducing: Princess Leia

After last Monday's race it was off to get some food and to do some shopping with Aaron.  Yes, I was at least kind enough to change out of my racing shirt into the shirt they gaveaway at the race, because phew....I don't smell so dandy after running hard.  Before I knew it, we were at Scheel's and Aaron was telling a dude working there that I wanted to try out a road bike.  Whaaaaaaaaaaa?  I mean, we've discussed me getting a road bike.  And in exchange for me creating a training program for him, he was going to lend me his expert road bike knowledge in order to make an informed decision, but I tend to like to plan things years in advance.  Especially large purchases.

So I nervously got on a road bike (for the first time) wearing a helmet (for the first time) and road around the parking lot for about 12 seconds.  Done.  I know nothing about bikes.  I don't know if I "like" this bike because I've only ridden my sweet beach cruiser and some not so sweet mountain bikes back in the day.  So I threw in the towel.

And then we magically showed up at a bike shop.  I was really starting to hate Aaron.  Until I laid eyes on this creature.  I went from, "Yes, I'd like a road bike, but don't know if it's in my budget to get one" (this was the credit counselor in me speaking btw) to "Eeeeeeee I want it right now! Can I ride it home?!?  Can we go ride right now?  Ok fine I'll wear a helmet as long as I can ride her around!!!"  I had originally wanted to set aside money for a few months to pay for her, but once I realized that a few months = cold weather = no longer bike riding season, I gave in to some sweet financing options.  Credit isn't a bad thing when used wisely, yo. ;)
After signing my life away, we went to get Aaron's bike and set out for my first ride.  So much fun.  It's definitely a lot different from what I'm used to, and can actually go faaaaaaaast, which is 100% frightening to me.  I was momentarily thinking of hanging up my running shoes for my new love until I came back to reality.  When I brought her home there were some looks and scowls of disapproval from Miss Polly.  I have a feeling they do battle while I'm at work all day.  May the best bike win.

I took Princess Leia out for spin #2 and technically #3 on Sunday night when I just wasn't feeling the tempo run I had on the schedule.  Miss Jenn wanted to hang out, so I thought, "what better to go visit her than by bike!"  Luckily our places are separated mostly by bike trail, so it was a pleasant 8 mile jaunt over.  Since it's pretty flat I didn't have to practice changing gears too much.  By the time I left her place it was daaaaark out and kind of scary, so I hauled ass home.  Somehow I managed to make it home quicker than it took me to get there.  Whoo!  For the record, I'm still terribly frightened of going fast downhill.  Hopefully that passes....soon.

I did 15.8 miles in 1:17:00 (12.3 mph).  Speed demon I tell ya. ;)

Check out Racing With Babes' giveaway, Trying to Heal's giveaway, and The Boring Runner's giveaway!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Resolutions Revisited + Long Shweaty Run

Miss Aron always does a great quarterly check in with her resolutions to make sure she's still running along in the right direction (get it? that's a running pun....).  And I wanted to jump on board for the 1/2 way there check in.  So let's see where I am at, shall we?

Running and Fitness Goals
Complete a marathon 5.16.10

Break 1:50 in a HM (current PR 1:53:09) --Didn't even stand a chance during the 1 HM I did this spring. It was a joke.
Run a new race distance 3.16.10 5 mile, 5.16.10 marathon, 10 mile this fall (hopefully), and maybe still a 10k
Run under 23 minutes for a 5k (current PR 23:55)
Break the 4 hour mark in a marathon (we'll see in December!)

Run 1500 miles for the year (at 723.6 1/2 way thru the year. With HM training followed by marathon training, this should work out well)

Stay injury free--We'll give this one 3 stars. I've had some "tweaks" here and there that needed resting, but nothing that sidelined me for more than a few days. Just my body's way of asking me to slow down.

Try a yoga studio Yay! I went to a studio like a big girl.

Operation: Alba Abs (aka do ab work consistently)--It comes in spurts, but I am doing ab work much more consistently. Just making sure I stick with it.

Lift weights at least once in 2010 (sometimes I like to start small, sue me!)--Technically I did Jillian's 30 day shred w/water bottles so we'll count it!
Personal Goals

Find a volunteer opportunity I'm passionate about--Found some.  No implementation yet.
Look into Masters of Library Science program at St. Kate's

Since I'm heading out of town this weekend (and not racing for the first time in....uh....weeks) I had to get my long run in during the week.  I work late on Thursdays, so that seemed like the logical choice.  About a week agoI won a sweet running hat from Kovas*, and was beyond excited to try it out on my long run!  I have what you call "a large forehead" and also a bit of a "sweating problem."  Combine the two, and my sunscreen is long gone 10 minutes in to my run and my forehead does not need freckles to draw more attention to it thankyouverymuch.  I didn't think I looked like too much of a goober (no more than normal anyway).  So it got the cute check of approval from me.

For some reason I thought a bite of a Larabar would be sufficient fuel for an 11 mile run.  Hi my name is Jeri.  I used to be a smart runner, but I seem to have misplaced my mind.  I started out on the run, and was super happy with the weather.  Mid 60s, insanely humid, but bearable because of the low temp and slight breeze.  The run was going great until I started feeling hungry.  I took a GU about 4 miles in (about 1.5 miles sooner than I wanted to) and realized I probably should've brought 2 along with me.  I *was* smart enough (go Jeri!) to bring along my handheld water bottle, and managed to fill it up 2 times along the route to keep myself hydrated.  Jeri: 1 Running:  17.  The last few miles I was simply out.of.gas.  I normally like to kick up the pace the last 2-3 miles, and today it was a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other.  Lesson learned (I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately...). 

At least I'm getting all of the stupid mistakes out of the way early on right?  Positive outlook people...that's what I'm all about here. :p  I did manage to sweat through my entire new hat.  Don't act like you're not impressed.

I did 11 miles in 1:45:50 for a pace of 9:38, which is almost identical to Wednesday night's pace.  Crazy.

1. 9:22

2. 9:35
3. 9:38
4. 9:37
5. 9:39
6. 9:44
7. 9:36
8. 9:29
9. 9:42
10. 9:44
11. 9:44

And after the non-stop weekend racing, and run run running of this week, my legs are more than craving a relaxing Friday and Saturday.  And I think they deserved it.  Phew!
*Speaking of Kovas, check out his CEP compression sock giveaway!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

June in Review + Half Marathon Training STARTS

Total Miles:   90.5 down from
96.7 last month. There was injury (hips) and sickness (dehydration). I'm guessing it was my body's way of saying it needed a break.

Total Time: 14:18:41 down from

Total Runs: 16 for an average of 
14 for an average of 5.66 miles/run.

Highest weekly mileage: 6/21/2010-6/27/2010:  25.4 miles 4:13:27

Favorite run: 14 mile long run with Jenn post-hip-pain-that-freaked-the-bejesus-out-of-me.  Gotta love a 2+ hour run where you can gab with your friends and slog through the intense mud and giant river/puddles.

Most hardcore run:  My date with the track.  

Favorite Race: Beresford 125th Celebration 5k.  New PR, decent placing.  Remembering the pain of a 5k. :p

Current Jams:  B.O.B. - Airplanes.  Obsessed.

This week I turned dumb.  More specifically, on Tuesday I turned dumb.  I've been craving Olive Garden's fettucini alfredo and finally convinced someone to go with me.  I knew I had a 5 mile run on the schedule, but it's only 5 miles right??  Since I've been feeling particularly starved lately (seriously, I do not feel full ever.  It's reminiscent of marathon training....not cool) I ate.  And ate.  And ate.  And when my belly was saying, "oh hey there!  We're finally at our maximum capacity down here!" I ate some more.  Then an hour later I realized I needed to hit the road to get my run done before the sun went down.  Uff.  So much pain.  I managed to run 1.65 miles before I felt like I was going to enjoy my carbolicious meal for the second time.  I walked about .1 and jogged another quarter of a mile.  Ugh ugh ugh.  Another .1 walk break and then the remaining .9 miles home.  No barfage/spewage/yakfest for JerBear.  But probably the closest I've been since 2001.

The scene:  Junior year of high school, field trip.  One of my guy friends purchased a Dairy Queen ice cream cake (I loooove me some DQ ice cream cake!).  Our friends bet that we couldn't finish the whole thing on the way home from the field trip.  Well of course, we don't back down from a challenge.  Plus you wouldn't even have to bet me to get me to go to work on this delicious dairy monstrosity (notice this was pre-lactose intolerant diagnosis.....oy!).  We made it back to school with some serious ice cream food babies.  And then I had to go to basketball practice.  Where we had to run.  A lot.  For a loss that we had.  Sweet Jesus Mary and Joseph.  I've never barfed from a workout, but that was the closest I've ever come.  Lesson learned.  Until Tuesday apparently.

Wednesday I had some slight redemption by rockin' out a glorious 6 mile jaunt around the bike trails.  I kept the pace slow because I had a long run scheduled for Thursday morning.  I also wore my electric green shirt, which always makes me smile.  I did 6 miles in 57:41 for a pace of 9:37. 

Wednesday marked day 3 of half marathon training and thus far I am 0/3 on scheduled runs. 
Monday:  speedwork 5k race
Tuesday:  5 miles easy 3 miles verge of death
Wednesday:  5 miles easy 6 miles easy (to make up the lost mileage)
Good thing I'm ok with being flexible!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Race Report: Lennox Firecracker Road Race 5k

Before taking off from my parents house on Sunday, I asked Joseph how his 5k had turned out, knowing he was running the Lennox 5k this weekend.  He tweeted that it wasn't until Monday.  Which got my wheels turning.  I was really bummed with my race time from Saturday and had recently decided my 4th of July shenanigans were going to be very mild.  I searched the race deets and thought, why not?  When I talked to my friend Aaron about my intentions, he volunteered to come along and spectate.  Done and decided!

When we showed up, I was surprised at how many runners there were!  This was the 35th annual 4th of July road race.  There was a 10k, 5k, 2 mile and 1 mile.  I ran in to my old boss, Angie, who is a studly runner, and asked if the 10k was a bigger deal than the 5k (it seemed that all of the "serious looking runners" were wearing a yellow bib indicating 10k--ok by me!).  She informed me that it used to just be the 10k and 2 mile/1 mile and the 5k was only added within the last 5 years or so.

After stalking the race results from last year's 5k, I knew I wanted to shoot for the top 5 for females and really wanted to get the 23:30 I've been trying for.  My IT band had needed some serious TLC after Saturday's race but luckily didn't hurt when walking/running, just was excruciating very tender to the touch.

We lined up behind the 10k-ers and in front of the 2 mile and 1 mile.  With the sound of a firecracker we were off!  I was surprised at how fast everyone started out.  Immediately 9-10 girls were in front of me.  I definitely got swept up in the speed, but reigned myself back in to "my pace" pretty quickly.  At one point I could count 9 girls ahead of me, and wanted to run a strong/smart race and see how many I could pick off.

There was zero wind which was great because I loathe wind.  But it was crazy humid out, so I would've been happy with a slight breeze (no I'm never happy with the weather, but this was the best I've had so far this summer, so I'll take it!).  My legs felt pretty fatigued during the first 1/2 mile, but seemed to get "the gunk" out pretty quickly.  I picked off a couple of girls/people in the first mile, and just kept setting my sights on the person in front of me.

Mile 1 7:37

I realized I much prefer bigger races, because there's always someone close enough to try to "catch."  In smaller races, I tend to lose my motivation to dig to where it hurts.  This helped keep my pace very even (for me, especially compared to other recent 5ks).  I was sitting in 5th for most of the 2nd mile, and kept working to catch more gals.  

Mile 2 8:00

The dreaded 8:00 minute mile 2nd mile.  I have yet to run a 5k with the 2nd mile in the 7's.  Grrr.  With the final 1.1 miles to go there was 2 girls in front of me.  I told myself that I would be ok with 3rd place, but that was only if I pushed really hard and still got beat by the girl in front of me.  I decided to try to pass her thinking that if anything, she would push hard to the end and help me get a fast time.  I passed her, and she didn't put up a fight.  Around this point we started catching up to some 1 mile and 2 mile run/walkers so it got a little congested.  I set my sights on one final dude who I caught about 25 feet before the finish line.

Mile 3 7:45
.11 :42 (6:15 pace/5:51 max pace)

3.11 miles in 24:06 for a pace of 7:45.

I was pretty bummed not to have PR'd but was super proud of how well I thought I ran the race.  I think with confidence I've built with the frequent 5k racing + fresh legs I will be able to run a strong PR race in two weeks.  I heart 5ks.

I finished 1st in my age group (20-29) and 2nd overall for females.  The 1st place female was waaaay ahead of me (haven't seen official results, so not sure what her time was).  Random note:  When I get to races, I like to size up the competition.  The chick I thought would be major competition was the overall winner.  I'm goooood.  :P  When I went up to collect my award, I was kind of bummed that they had medals for the 30+ AGs and gift certificates for a local pizza buffet for us "youngens."  Oh well, at least I like food.  :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hometown 125th Celebration

Over the 4th of July weekend, my hometown had their 125th year celebration.  I planned to go home for the 5k on Saturday, but also to see my family, friends, and friends' babies (yes, they all have babies).  I got home Friday afternoon and spent some time catching up with the fam before tracking down one of my BFF's, Nikki.  Nikki has been living in Oregon for the past year, so I haven't seen her littlest, Kendall, and hadn't seen her oldest, Miles, since he was way too small for me to enjoy (I have a pretty strict 6 mo. age limit for holding kids).  We met up at a wood carving "booth" where a guy was making some insane art out of old tree trunks and chain saws with different sized blades.  Afterward, he would paint them, and we were beyond impressed.  This was one of the first ones he created.  Our mascot was the Warriors before we consolidated high schools.

Since it was at least 1200 degrees out we got to spend some time chilling at Nikki's parents' house playing with her wee little ones.  I fell in love with her little girl, because she is identical to Nikki.  Just a gorgeous little thing.  She's a total drool monster and non-stop giggler.  *Almost* makes me want to reproduce. :p

Saturday morning after the race, was the parade.  Nikki's dad owns a painting business in town, so she pulled Miles in a wagon, while he waved a paint brush.  Then in the afternoon, we spent some time spectating the sand (more like dirt/gravel) volleyball tourney and again trying not to sweat to death.  Miles is a complete stud so of course I had to snap some pics of his cute mug/scowly face. :)

Somehow I managed to get zero photos of Nikki and ME.  What was I thinking?  That's poor BFF-dom right there. :p
Saturday night was the crazy street dance.  I got to catch up with a bunch of my class mates, friends, etc.  I was having so much fun I barely took my camera out of my purse.  Major fail on my part.  I was smart enough to snap a pic of my other best friend, Sheana and I, where creepily enough, she looks more like me than I do.  It's bizaaaaaaare.  
Until the 150th celebration.......peace!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Race Report: 125th Celebration 5k

Saturday marked my hometown's 125th celebration.  To ring in the celebration they put on a 5k race and 1 mile fun run/walk.  Apparently the last time a road race was held was for the centennial (when I was one).  I figured it'd be my shot to try to do well, although I would like to think I could whip up on the whippersnappers when I'm 51 for the 150th celebration. ;)  I wasn't able to fall asleep until almost 2am the night before the race because of the loud music at the street dance, and slept horribly in my old bed.  6am came quickly and I was up and at 'em.  I jogged to the starting line, as it's about 1/3 of a mile from my house.  The race was extremely well organized, which was a relief after last weeks s-show.  The girl who was putting it on ran XC for a big university here in SoDak, so she knew what was up.  The shirts were awesome.  Before we knew it we were off!

The group started off pretty fast, and I settled in to my pace.  I knew that we had to run into a strong head wind for miles .5 - 1.5 (20-30 mph winds, with 40+ mph wind gusts = holy hell!) and knew it was going to drain me, so I tried to compensate for that during the first half mile that wasn't in to the wind.  Once we turned in to the wind it was just a fight to put one foot in front of the other.  I let a couple of guys pass me to use them as wind shields, but then they slowed down so I was forced to pass them and go it alone.  At the turn around point I noticed I was in 4th and wanted to really push it to the end.
Mile 1 7:42

Unfortunately once the wind was at our back it was h-o-t!  I started sweating up a storm.  I was following a gal who looked like a stronger runner than me for about 3/4 of a mile, when I looked down at my watch and realized we were running at an 8:30 pace.  Wth?  I moved to pass her, and she let me so I was happy.

Mile 2 8:18

Most of the race was our "long track route" from high school, so I was very familiar with how much of the race was left.  After I passed the one gal, there was no one else left in sight.  I learned that I'm a bit of a wuss when there's no one to catch.  I crossed the road thinking we would be turning to the finish line at the left.  Then I saw the runner ahead of me run around a vehicle before the finish line, so I weaved back to the right hand side of the road.  Once I got closer I realized we didn't have to go around the vehicles, so I weaved back to the left side.  Silly Jerbear.

I turned the corner and sprinted the final block to the finish line.  My finishing sprint was really strong, so I knew I slacked a little bit during the race.

Mile 3 8:05
.1 :23 (6:48 pace/6:17 max pace)

Final time was 24:28 for a pace of 7:54.  I was slightly bummed with my time, because I was shooting for a 23:30, but realized it was a VERY good time for the wind.

I finished as the 3rd place female and 2nd in my age group.  Yes, the ex-XC girl was in the 20-29 age group and won the race. :p  She ran really well and finished in the low 22's, so good for her.  They gave away medals for the top 2 in each age group and I got a super sweet silver medal.  This was the race my mom was contemplating participating in, and was bummed to find out that only one person ran/walked in her age group and she could've gotten 2nd.

After I crossed the finish line, I saw our old high school XC coach, and he just started shaking his head.  He commented that he really wished he could've gotten his hands on me for distance work in high school.  (Random note:  I was 100% a basketball girl in HS, and in SoDak basketball season was in the fall.  He convinced me to run XC and do basketball.  I ran 2-3 morning workouts before my basketball coach found out about it and threatened to not start me if I kept running.  And so my HS XC dreams ended. :P)  I told him that the more I do distance running, the more I wish I would've done distance as well, but think that I was far too lazy to put in the effort to be a good long distance runner back then.  He made a comment that you can make someone into an endurance runner but not everyone was given the speed that I was.  I was super flattered and thought it was very sweet for him to go out of his way to tell me that.  I brought him up to speed on my current racing and about my goal to qualify for Boston in the next few years of racing.  He was pretty impressed and it was cool to have someone validate my running the way he did.  :)

Modeling my coveted medal.

Team Green and I after the race. My parents loved their new shirts.

Super cute dry-fit shirts and AG medals for $20?  Yes please!