Thursday, September 30, 2010

Twin Cities 10 Miler Goals...Maybe.

Monday I had an easy 6 miler on the schedule.  I had to rip roar through that puppy to make it home in time to get gussied up to watch the Monday Night game:  Packers v. Bears.  Pay no mind to me getting gussied up to watch a football game, as that's neither here nor there.  The trails were flooded out about 2.5 miles in to my route and my legs were traaaaaaaashed from the 10 miler the day before, so I decided to call it a day at 5.

I did 5 miles in 48:55 for a pace of 9:45.

Sadness prevailed during the game, but I won the award for cutest Packers fan in a Jennings' jersey, so it's okay.  jk.  But seriously....... My money's still on GB for the season, obvs.

Wednesday night I set out for my first speed work session in 3 weeks.  Uh whaaaaaaaaa?  This girl loves her speed, bring it BACK.  After finishing Born to Run on my lunch break, I was seriously raring to go.  Which is shocking, because I've been dreading tempo runs for the last 4 months.  Seriously, I whined like a little B before all of them.  Icky.  I was a little concerned at how it would go, however.  I had 7 miles to do with 5 at a pace of 8:19.

I started running and my knee was kind of wonky, and so was my left hip.  [Legs get it together now pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!]  When I started my first tempo mile I was in the 7:50s.  And then when I looked I was in the 8:30s.  And so it continued for the next 5 miles.  No wonder I couldn't run an 8:15 paced half marathon; my legs have no idea what that feels like.

Partially through the 2nd tempo mile I thought about cutting the run short because my leg hurt, and I got to thinking about Born to Run and the portion that mentioned how much those runners truly loved to run, and you could see the sheer joy and happiness on their faces as they flew up trails.  I decided the least I could do is enjoy the run.  :)  And what do you know, when I started focusing on the fun and not the pain, the pain disappeared.

I did have to "off road it" a bit on one area of the trail since it was flooded out, and I must've picked up a blood sucking mosquito, because as I got started again I had an intense itch on my leg.  I stopped to scratch it but nothing was there.  It continued to itch and I scratched it violently while in stride.  When I got home I realized that perhaps I scratched it too violently as I had left claw marks on my legs.  Ooops.  (Sorry that's a lot of upper thigh to be showing to the interwebs, but nothing compared to the shorty mcshort-short running shorts I wore on this run.  Whoa!  But I totally understand why serious racers wear them, you feel nekkid and that = fast running. heh.)

I did 7 miles in 1:01:09 for a pace of 8:45.  Tempo average pace:  8:22.
Tempo miles:  8:18, 8:20, 8:24, 8:25, 8:23.

Twin Cities 10 Miler Goals
I'm taking off to Minneapolis sometime Friday (after I get my huge to-do list completed) and meeting up with Alyssa to take on Twin Cities 10 Mile/Marathon weekend.  I've been thinking about my goals for this race all week, and for the first time in....uh... forever, I don't know what my goal time will be.  Before getting injured my knee condition I had thought I could run the race at an 8:07 pace.  This was based on the McMillan calculator and the 1:48 I was to get in the half.  Based on the time I actually got in the half, McMillan tells me that I should just take a nap instead of running should do a 8:26 pace (which is slower than the HM pace I had attempted 3 weeks ago, mind you).  And then, of course today I looked at the results from last year and saw that only 4 or 5 girls in my age group (22-29) had faster times the one I had thought I could run before my knee hurt.

Which leaves me with ??????????  I'm going to run.  If I'm not tired, I'm going to run a little faster.  If I get tired, I'm going to continue to run.  If my knee hurts, I'm going to be happy that I'm dealing with something as minor as runner's knee that is merely an annoyance and not an all out injury.  And I guarantee that running the last 7 miles of the marathon course is going to make me want to sign up for next year's Twin Cities Marathon.  And Mr. EO is trying to convince me the same.

So if I'm feeling great, I want to get as close to 1:20 as possible.  At the very least, I'd like to run a faster pace than my half marathon time of 8:34, which could prove to be tough based on how much not running I've been doing lately.  Best of luck to all the TC racers.  I hope to see you all there!  I'll be the one in green, natch. ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Long Run and Surprise Running Buddy

Sunday was my scheduled long run of 10 miles.  I had to revise my marathon program as today was supposed to be 16 miles, and I just didn't see that happening since I've ran 6.5 miles this week.  Probably not smart. :p  I purchased a knee strap, so was hopeful that would help me out.  I started out on the run and my legs felt really fresh and no knee pain.  Yippee!!

About a mile in to the run, I saw a guy running towards me from the opposite direction.  Since Aaron has drilled it in my head that I need to stop going for d-bags, and start going for runner dudes, my interest was piqued.  As he got closer he smiled and waved, and I realized it was friend EO!  Aka TriGuy, but now IRONMAN!  He was doing an easy paced run as he hasn't jumped in to specific training after Louisville Ironman, and turned around to keep me company on my long run.  I love running buddies, especially impromptu ones.  However, I always feel bad when Speedy McSpeederson's run with me.  While we were talking, I finally made him tell me what his "easy pace" is.  Let's just say my 9-9:30 long run pace was a bit slow for his 7-7:15 pace.  Oy.

He told me all about his Ironman, and we talked about our upcoming race plans and life plans.  I may be guilty of always trying to convince him to do the same races that I'm planning on doing.  Ooops.  I guess I have a habit of doing that always.... (Alyssa....Vegas.... heh heh).  He hung around for 4.5-5 miles and then headed back home while I still had another 5 miles to finish up.  Stupid me didn't bring my water on the run, because I knew the route I had planned to run had fountains every 1.5-2 miles.  Well since the trails were flooded, I ended up having to detour my route.  And you guessed it... no water.  Pish posh apple sauce.  And of course, since I'm horrible at doing math while running, I ended up being .6 miles short when I got back to my apartment steps.  I ran inside and grabbed a bottle of water and chugged before heading out to finish up my run.

I did 10 miles in 1:35:27 for a pace of 9:33.

I'm not sure if it was the dehydration, wind, or non-running for the last week and a half, but I was really tired the last few miles.  Probably not good since I have a 10 mile RACE next weekend!  By the way, who's running Twin Cities Marathon?  I fully intend on cheering on anyone and everyone.  Also, if you're running the 10 miler, I'm in the 2nd Corral and would totally love to have someone stew with me in nervous anticipation pre-race. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Want to Ride My Bicycle.....

Saturday as work was coming to a close, I sent a text to Aaron to see if he wanted to hold my hand accompany me on a bike jaunt.  Since I am high maintenance, I gave him some requirements to ensure my happiness:  I wanted to go asap (as there was a chance for storms in the afternoon) and I wanted him to take me out of town as the bike trails are flooded out (for the gazillionth time).  He came and got me and took me and my bike to a park on the outskirts of town, and we were off.  I had to bike on a highway for about a mile and 1/4, and it was terrifying.  I've done very little biking on the road in town when the speed limit is 30.  Hence what I meant by the hand-holding.  :)  Aaron yelled back many well-meaning and calming comments and thoughts.  Before too long we were taking a much less traveled road and were flying.  He had said we needed to average over 15 mph (slightly above what I typically bike at) in order for him to be back home when he needed to, and we were going well above that.

At one point I saw a giant hill (in my eyes this was clearly a mountain) and I wanted to be sure we were taking a detour to go around it.  Nope!  Aaron likes to remind me I'm not nearly as much as a badass as I pretend to be.  :)  He coached me up the hill, and I survived.  We biked around a Lake which was beautiful and then headed back towards town.  And were smacked in the face by wind.  Eew.  I swear we didn't have this much wind at our backs! (but we probably did).  And to top it off, we had to go up the other side of the hill mountain into the wind.  Ack!  (Heh heh, Ack! Reminds me of that episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon takes social cues from the comic strip Cathy to help him relate with Penny.  Cracks me up.  But I digress....)
To take a break from the wind, we biked around a new housing development with the most beautiful houses I've ever seen.
Future Sugar Daddy,
This is where I would like to reside.  Danke.
Love, Jerbear

The remaining 5-6 miles were in to the wind, and they sucked.  I determined that I have pretty sucky endurance when it comes to biking, but those two hills were the first I've ever really biked up, so I suppose it makes sense my legs would be fatigued afterward.  All in all, a fun little jaunt with Aaron.

We ended up going 17.2 miles in 1:17:42 for an average speed of 13.28 mph.  Yes, if the beginning half was over 15 mph, this tells you how strong I was against the wind, and up hills.  Hehe.

Yes, there are no pictures of Aaron or I, because he refuses to be in pictures.  And he was being a turd and wouldn't take any pictures of me and my bike.  Send him hate mail if you'd like.  :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If my knee is going to be Goofy, I might as well be too.

I've started to read Born To Run and I'm obsessed.  Holy cow is it good, and insanely inspiring.  As I was reading it on my lunch break on Friday I was just itching to run.  The knee hadn't been bothering me walking around so I decided to give it a whirl.  Plus it was gorgeous weather outside.  Sunny but crisp and cool.  Catching a tan + minimal sweat?  Where can I sign up? 

When I first started the run, I was surprised at how great my legs felt.  No pain.  Around a mile to a mile and a half I started feeling the same "pressure" under and around my knee cap that I originally had felt last week.  Based on Marissa's advice (from Scott's blog iRunner) it was okay to run on my knee as long as it wasn't affecting my form.  I did a quick analysis and deemed that I was okay.  It was uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt.  There were periods in the run that were completely normal, and then other times (running downhill) that weren't fun.  After my first downhill stretch, I decided to walk on the remaining ones, just to be safe.  One thing I did notice while running is that when I was running without thinking (meaning my bad heel-striking form) I had no knee pain.  When I was focused on forefoot striking was when I had the pressure feeling.  Also, when my speed was a bit quicker ~9 minute pace, there was no pain, while my standard "easy" run pace of 9:30 caused some discomfort.  So weird.  I had wanted to go as far as my knee would let me, and finally decided to call it a day at 5.5 miles.

I did 5.5 miles in 51:50 for a pace of 9:26.

I will be purchasing a knee strap this weekend to hopefully alleviate some of the pressure on my knee cap while running, and also working on some strengthening to the areas surrounding my knee cap.  I also did some revamping of my marathon schedule as I'm now only 10 weeks from the Vegas MARATHON!!!!  Uh holy poo.  Oh, and I'm running the Twin Cities 10 Miler next weekend.  You hear that knee?  Shape up or ship out!  Jk.  Please don't ship out.  Love you.

I realize I shouldn't even be mentioning this given my current issues with being healthy.  But I'm toying with the idea of taking on the Goofy Challenge this year!  For those of you who don't know what the Goofy Challenge is, it takes place in January at Disney World.  You complete the half marathon on Saturday, and then the full marathon on Sunday.  It's Goofy because you have to be insane to do it (and to shell out the $$$ to do it...holy crapoli!)


I originally had planned on doing it in 2012, but when Alyssa mentioned that she was doing it this year, it didn't take much to convince me.  Especially after I realized flights to Orlando were reasonably priced in January!  Well then I had Jenn half-convinced to participate, and maybe even Susan, and before I knew it, not only did I want to participate, but I also wanted us to dress us as Disney Princesses for the marathon portion.  (I've already set my sights on Tinkerbell, while not technically a princess, she is dressed in green so it only seems right.)

Granted all of this decision making went on before the great knee issue of Fall 2010, so we'll see how quickly I'm back to normal running Jeri.  Our tentative game plan would be to race the half on Saturday, and then do a complete fun run for the marathon on Sunday....obviously if we're dressing up....  :)  Based on how my IT bands feel after an HM race, a walk-run method would definitely be employed along with taking TONS OF PICTURES.  Ok, just putting all this down on paper makes me want to do it so terribly bad.  Hopefully the legs are on the same page as me.  :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Heartbreaker + 1000 Miles

I would like to alternately title this post as Heartbreaker:  A Soleless Tale.  Eff I'm witty.

Dearest Nimbus Running Shoes,

You and I have been together since the beginning of this long distance running shenanigans.  I remember when I first set my eyes on the much loved green Nimbus 7's.  As we both know, it was love at first sight.  We've had our shares of ups and downs, and that's only to be expected with my fiery personality.  Heck, I've even given up running in the 7 years we've been together, but still have been loyal to you.  We trained for and completed my first marathon with a smile on my face and no injuries to be seen.

But lately..... lately things haven't been going so well.  Perhaps we have ourselves a case of the 7 year itch?  It's just not working anymore.  I swear... it's not you, it's me!  Ok, honestly, I think it is you.  You keep revamping yourself and increasing your prices, and I seem to be getting less and less miles out of you.  When I went to the running store today wearing my current pair, the dude working said they were shot, and only had 275 miles on them!  What happened to the 400-450 miles we used to be able to get together?  That was the final straw.

I must admit:  there's someone else.  It's a pretty recent thing, and it's not serious, but I do see the potential for greatness.  If not, there's always a chance I'll come running back to you.  Hell, you've seen my track record with my former loves, a second (or third) shot isn't out of the question.  We have history.  You never get over your first love.  I shall think of you fondly and hope you do the same.

Love Always,


Mizuno Wave Rider 13

After my trek to the running store for my new kicks, I hit up the gym to do some biking (it's been storming all day, blech).  I biked 15 miles in 1:01.  After I was done my knee felt pretty good and I had an idea....maybe just maybe I could hit up the treadmill.  You know.... just to test out my new kicks.... make sure they were a solid investment and all.  Or maybe it was because I've been at 999.4 miles since my knee started acting up last Thursday and it's SERIOUSLY KILLING ME.  Ahem.  Anyway, I thought the worst that could happen is that it would hurt and I would stop.

I started going and holy heavy legs.  Nothing like attempting a brick your first run back, dumb dumb.  My knee was slightly twingy for the first 1/4 of a mile, but after that it (and my quads) loosened up and we had ourselves a nice little mile jog.  :)  At .6 I was one smiley fool.  1000 miles....hollar!  And despite my mini set back, I still managed to complete the number of miles 3 months sooner than in 2010.  Heck ya.

*Can we discuss the fact that these shoes have sparkles on them?  I know I may have expressed my extreme distaste for sparkles with NFL apparel, but that is sooooo not the case when it comes to running shoes apparently.  I recall taking sparkly fingernail polish to the Nike swoosh sign on my spikes in high school to jazz em up a bit.  Flyyyyyyyyy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oxysox Review + Jerbear's on the IR List

I was sent a pair of Oxysox to review for my blog and I was beyond stoked to do so.  I've entered numerous giveaways to win a coveted pair of compression socks, but without any success.  I thought I was doomed to lead a compression-legged-less life. 

When they arrived in the mail, I immediately put them on.  Because my legs were a-hurtin' after a tough tempo run.  After wearing them around for a few hours cooking dinner (= eating ice cream) and lounging around my apartment, I was kind of in love:

I had previously thought that I didn't have a need for compression socks because my calves don't really get tired/sore after runs.  Well apparently that's not their purpose per-say....
Taken from a Running Times article:

Compression socks are aimed at improving oxygen delivery to muscles, speeding lactic acid removal and stabilizing the lower leg for greater muscle efficiency. 
According to a study, conducted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, subjects showed a faster lactate recovery rate after exercise when wearing the compression socks, suggesting that compression socks might speed recovery after a strenuous workout or a race.

When I took the socks off before bed, my legs felt fresh enough to do another run.  I normally have lingering fatigue in my legs for almost a full day after tough workouts (intervals, tempo runs, long runs) which is why I set my schedule to have an easy day after these runs.  Goodness they were happy!

Another high point is that the socks are black, so I was able to wear them to work with dress pants after a morning long run and reap their benefits whilst padding my piggy bank (jk, we all know you don't make the big bucks at a non-profit :p).                I wore them the night before the half marathon, and although they weren't magic enough for me to run my 1:50, I don't blame them.  They did make my legs feel much MUCH better after wearing them much of Sunday afternoon post-race and some of Monday morning.  Thanks to Oxysox for sending some of these awesome compression socks my way.  For those of you who do not have compression socks, SWEET LOUISIANA YOU SHOULD.  But seriously.  :)  My only suggestion (and this would be only for women, since I'm not sure about you dudes) is that if you're on the cusp size-wise, to go with the smaller size.  I was sent a small and a medium since I'm a 7, which classifies as both small and medium, and the smalls were perfect, while the mediums were a little long. :)

If you go to Oxysox and use jerbear10 at the check out you'll get 30% off your order.  
Also, coming soon:  a MONSTER (seriously it's monstrous) giveaway including a pair of Oxysox.  Whoo!  But that shouldn't prevent you from getting your discounted pair.  If your legs love you with one pair of compression socks, it only makes sense that they would love you doubly with two pairs. ;)

It appears that one leg is longer than the wonder I keep getting random small injuries.

Oh hey, speaking of random injuries.... ugh.  I'm 99% certain that I have a case of runner's knee.  My knee felt weird on my 6 miler last week, and hurt all day Thursday and Friday.  After icing and icing and icing, and then icing a couple of more times, I tried to test it out Monday on an easy run.  Really I just want to run my 1000th mile for the year.  Yes, I'm still at 999.4.  I made it :37 seconds before I had to turn around and walk home.

After taking some time to reflect on the "injury" (I'm using injury loosely here, since everything I've read/been told makes it seem like this is more of an annoying condition than a full blown injury....and I'll totally be ok with that distinction), I've realized that it's probably just my body's way of saying it needs a break.  I tend to take a day or two off after a major race and throw myself right back in to training for the next race.  My body seems to give me little random injuries every few months to encourage a week off.

I think it may also be a blessing in disguise, because, to be honest, I was still a little bitter about the half marathon.  It's much easier to put the hard work in when you're seeing awesome results (yes, I'm totally that runner, extrinsic rewards?  yes please!).  When you put in the hard work and fail (yes I know I didn't fail, I'm being dramatic) it's easy to lose a little bit of your drive.  I have a feeling that forcing my body to take some time off is only going to fuel the training fire.

Today I hit the trails on Miss Princess Leia and we decided to haul a little bit of booty.  At one point I had to bike super duper fast (for me) to pass a couple of people on bikes, while another was coming in an opposite direction.  After I had passed them I realized that quicker speed was totally doable, and continued to maintain that pace for the remaining 6-8 miles.

I did 16.07 miles in 1:05:15 for 14.85 mph.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This run powered by GLEE

I have a confession:  I'm kind of obsessed with Glee.  And Finn Hudson.  Ok, mostly Finn Hudson.  My co-worker convinced me to watch Glee and it's amazing.  And then she gave me some CDs to listen to.  And then I uploaded them to my iPod for my morning run.  And it was perfection.  The only way it would've been better is if Cory Monteith would've been running along side me crooning in my ear.  Oh, and if my knee wouldn't have felt all weird.  Yes.  That would've been nice too.

I had my first legit run of marathon training (since Wednesday's easy 3 miler was just to make sure that everything was still in working condition) of 6 miles.  It was a chilly 50 degrees so I got to wear my favorite shorts and long sleeved combo.... I knew as soon as I put it on that Aron would be jealous.... ;)  I tried to keep the pace easy, but it seemed that when I was running slower my knee felt funny.  Like there was a ton of pressure directly under the knee cap as well as the area below the knee cap.  When I stopped to stretch to see if it needed to pop it HURT instead.  When I started running again it felt fine.  Of course when I was done running it hurt again.  Perhaps I just need to run everywhere to keep the pain at bay.  I'll be chilling with an ice pack for the next couple of days to be on the safe side.

I did 6 miles in 58:41 for a pace of 9:47.

Of course after I logged my miles in my running log, I realized I was at 999.4 for the year.  :p  Perhaps I could've just gone that extra .6 because I guarantee that I'll forget I'm running my thousandth mile for the year when I set out on my long run Sunday.  Hah.

Check out Jessica's giveaway!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Race Report: Sioux Falls Half Marathon 2010

When my alarm sounded at 5:15am on Sunday I was thankful.  All weekend I have been rewatching Star Wars, so Saturday night I kept dreaming that the race directors changed the unit of measurement on the race course from miles to whatever they use in Star Wars.  I would spend the whole race trying to figure out the conversion rate of _____ to miles so I could figure out my pace.  It was brutal, and I woke up sweaty and nervous. :p

Before I knew it, I was on my way with Sara and Tom to the starting line.  Sara was running her first! half marathon and Tom was pacing her for her awesome accomplishment.  We were probably equally freaking out with nerves and excitement.  The full marathon started at 6:40am, so we got there in time to see them start off and I was oh-so-happy that I wasn't toeing the line for 26.2.  I had originally entertained the idea, but after seeing the race course, decided....hell no!

After they were off it was time for some jogging and stretching.  Before I knew it they were calling for everyone to line up at the start and I still had to find my parents to give my clothes and bag and use the bathrooms....because.... you know... I need more stress on a goal race day, yes?  :p  I found my parents, quick shucked my outer warm clothes and dashed for the bathroom.  I made it out mid-Star Spangled Banner.  This is an upgrade from last year when I was still waiting in line for the bathroom during the SSB.  I found Jeff near the 6:00 pace sign, and we both agreed that no one was paying the pace signs any attention, and we'd be ok starting there (and we were right).  The gun sounded and we were off!

Luckily for us (or for me I should say) I lined up exactly where I needed to be.  No weaving around people, no getting passed left and right.  It was one lap around the track and we hit the road.  I waved to my parents and I was off.  I tried to settle in to my pace, but figured my first mile would be off time wise anyway.  We started climbing the "main" hill of the race towards the end of mile 2, and I tried not to let my legs pound down too much on the downhill.  Most of mile 3 was downhill.  I took my first GU at mile 3.5 and was already STARVING.  I had eaten my normal long run breakfast, but my stomach didn't like it, so I ended up with not much in my stomach at the time the race started.  :/
1. 8:28
2. 8:36
3. 8:25

After mile 3 I found my pace (bingo!) and it felt solid, but I was looking at my Garmin a lot to guage my pace on the rolling hills.  We ran through downtown (one of my favorite parts of the race) and then on to Falls Park where I'd see my mom and dad aka the Paparazzi!  I ditched my Spibelt with my mom, because the sucker would not stay put.  Not sure if my booty got some more bounce in it or what, but that thing wouldn't stay put for anything.  Frustrating.  Around mile 5 we started deviating from the "standard race route."  It's also at about 5-5.5 that the normal course flattens out big time.  Not so much in the new route!
4. 8:22
5. 8:14

Look!  Proof I was having fun at some point. :
I really love the lighting in this pic. My dad's such a photog in training. Ha.
I reteach him how to use my camera at every race. Love him. :)

I was honestly surprised to see more hills as I figured it would be about the same elevation as it was on the other side of the river.  At this point my IT bands were mad at me, and were burning/shooting with pain.  When my watch beeped at me at 6 miles, my legs were dead, and I freaked.  There was no way I could run my expected pace for the next 7 miles!  Pouting may have commenced.  I kept plugging along but my pace dropped significantly, as did my drive for my goal time.  I'm not sure what happened in my brain, but when Goal A no longer seemed achievable, it's like I didn't even have a Goal B or C in mind.  But duh, I did... I even blogged about it!  It didn't help that this part of the course was through random neighborhoods instead of my beloved bike trails. :(  I took my 2nd GU at 7 miles.
6. 8:49
7. 8:45
8. 9:03
My form says it all in this pic "blah."  Hah, cracks me up!
My mom always likes to capture a pic of the Jer(r)i(y)s.  Yes, I'm named after my pops. Total daddy's girl.
I swear there are others running this race.
Oh hey, there they are.  Wait for me!

Every time my watch would beep with another mile down, I would figure out my possible finishing time based on 9 minute miles.  Again, I'm not sure why I resorted to 9 minute miles.  Mental toughness?  It was not present race morning.  It's cousin, Whiny brat, was, unfortunately.  At mile ten I knew the course was joining up with my beloved trail and that it would be predominantly flat to the finish.  The only problem is that my legs were trashed from pushing the pace on the earlier hills.  Ho hum.  I took my 3rd GU at mile 10. 
9. 8:54
10. 8:50
11. 9:01

When there was two miles left, I was just focused on finishing.  There were a group of green gals that were with me earlier in the race, but I had lost (while pouting probably) that I tried to catch up to.  With a little over a mile left, the leader of the marathon flew by me.  I attempted to do math to figure out what his finishing time would be.... and then attempted to figure out what that pace would be.  Since I suck at math while running, this got me quite a ways!  :)  The last mile I took to counting the people I could pass (12 was my last count before the last stretch to the finish line).  The finish line was further down the road than I had visualized it.  Boo!  Haha.  I kicked it in for the last .25 of a mile and zoomed to the finish line.
Move it or lose it toots. I'm ready to be done with this s-show.
Hmm... I wonder if I held her off.  Probably. ;) I kid.  Kinda.

I ran 13.14 miles in 1:53:47 for a pace of 8:39.

My mom was SUPER DUPER bummed she didn't make it to the finish line to photograph me finishing.  I told her I loved her anyway. Plus I'd much rather have an exhausted sweaty, just finished pic. ;)

I was bummed but relieved to be done.  I saw my mom and my TEAM GREEN.  Moments after finishing I got the worst cramp ever in my right hamstring.  Holy cow.  I've never gotten a cramp before, and if you've ever experienced one in a race and continued, my sweaty sports bra is off to you.  Serious pain.  Whoa.
TEAM GREEN!  Mel and her boys.  Love them.
Matt came to cheer me on!  And wore green too.  I have such fab friends. This day could've been rectified with a trip to a certain swim up bar.  Tear.  Goodbye summer and WWW...until next May!
My madre and me. My pops hurt his knee a month or so ago, so he wasn't able to walk the trillion miles to the finish line.  

Since I have had plenty of time to reflect on the race, I have a few reflections to note.

  • If you have access to the race route (ie:  you live in the town) do yourself a favor and run/bike/drive the race route.  If I had realized how much hillier it was than I had expected, I would've revamped my goal from 1:48 to a PR.  Granted, I tend to avoid hilly races because my IT bands hate them, so this isn't saying much, but this was the hardest half course I've ever run.  A low 1:52 or high 1:51 would've been stellar, and totally doable if I hadn't killed myself early on the hills.
  • Mental toughness.  Not sure when I lost this, but I need to get it back.  I've struggled with my confidence to run fast and far this whole summer.  I know I'm a fast runner.  I know I can run far.  I can run a long ways fast, but for some reason I psyche myself out about it.
  • Despite my short-comings in this race (IMO) it's still my 3rd fastest HM time.  It's faster than last year's time on a much easier course.  And technically it ties my pace for my PR race in August.  That course was slightly short, and this course was slightly long.  
All that being said, I'm not disappointed in my performance, or in myself.  But I am disappointed in how I handled what I perceived as "failure" in the midst of the race.  Sometimes I have an all or nothing attitude, and I need to break that, especially when it comes to running.  Christ, look at how much I've grown from this race.  Let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya please.  Seriously, I have no doubts that my legs have a 1:48 (or faster!) in them....just need to work on getting my brain in the same shape that my body's in! 

Thanks for all of your support and well wishes for this race.  I love you kids.  :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marathon Training Starts + Vlog

It's amazing what I can be convinced to do after two amazing margaritas (no not in that sense, pervs!)  Without further adieu, my first (and possibly last unless someone is supplying the margs) Vlog!
P.S. (Check it out, Princess Leia is in the background if you look closely!!!)

Tonight I had my first run of MARATHON training.  I had an easy 3 miler on the schedule.  I did some monster ghetto foam rolling (=rolling pinning) prior to the run and only had some random IT band pain.  My legs felt insanely fresh.  Fresher than they did on my easy runs prior to the actually half marathon, which makes me wonder just a bit.  The only time they really gave me trouble is on a couple of slight downhill portions were the super heavy painful feeling took place in my quads/IT bands that I had for most of the race on Sunday.  (Uh... oh yea.... race report to come when I'm not semi-under the influence....)

I took my camera on my run with me, and it was a great little jog on the trails.  I did the 3 miles in 27:46 for a pace of 9:16.

Now to sleep off these margs.  Ciao bellas/bellos!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MARATHON Training: Take 2!

Hello all.  I'm back from the depths of non-posting.  I spent a solid 45 minutes tonight typing out my race report to have it eaten by my computer--hell's bells, I tell ya.  I didn't want to throw another one together all half-assedsy so I shall try again tomorrow.  I may have had a level 9 tantrum when the report went -poof- so be happy I was talked off the ledge.

Tomorrow marks Day 1 of running for my MARATHON training program.  This is assuming my IT bands are happy campers by then.  As I've mentioned a few times before, one of my favorite things in the world to do is create my training programs.  They are a work in progress for a full month before I give them the final okay.  Here is the thing of beauty that I came up with.

After tallying up my mileage on the training program to give myself a mileage goal for the year, I noticed that my mileage for marathon training was 262 miles.  How eerie is that?  Must mean it's perfect-o, right? :)

So I'm signed up for #2.  Sub 4 here I come!

Check out some sweet giveaways (while I painstakingly rewrite my race report....UGH!)
Run to the Finish
Racing with Babes
and another! Racing with Babes

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Race Goals

It's that time of year again:  my favorite race!  This year marks the 6th consecutive year of running the Sioux Falls half marathon.  Without further adieu, I give you my race goals:

Goal C:  PR.  My current PR is 1:52:42.  It should be a given to "hulk SMASH" this time goal.

Goal B:  Sub 1:50.  I broke 2 hours last year at this race, so it'd be very apropos to say goodbye to the 1:50s at the same race.

Goal A:  1:48:xx.  When I had originally started my training for this race, I had thought 1:45 would be ballsy and bad assed enough to pursue.  Somewhere along the way I psyched myself and started focusing on 1:48.  I know I should be able to break 1:50, but I don't want to be content in coming in just under.  Secretly, I want to run a 1:48:33 which is Jenn's current PR, because we constantly joke that we are the same runner. ;)

This week has been spent getting in some slow short miles.  I sometimes struggle getting out the door when I have 8 tempo miles on the schedule, but 3-4 easy?  No problem.  I heart mini-half marathon tapers. :)

I did a stellar 4 miles in a steady downpour of rain and loved every minute of it.  I wore a hat so I could do without the rain pelting me in the eye, and had a blast.  [Random note:  I was a lifeguard for....7-8 years?  And hated swimming with my face in the water.  I hate getting it wet, what can I say?  Don't ask what this says about my future budding tri career. :p]  It was very refreshing to return home, drenched, but not by my own perspiration, and by the elements instead.

This morning I hit the bike path for an eas 3 miles.  The cool temps are making me so stinkin' happy.  The wind, however, is making me want to line my pockets with heavy rocks.  When it was time to turn around on the trail, I wanted to keep going!  Ooooh just realized the next time my feet hit that part of the trail I'll be rounding out the final mile and a half of my half.  Bring it.
Check out the trifecta of CSN giveaways, like whoa:

Evolving through Running

Shut up and Run


Oh, one more thing.... GO SAINTS. ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reasons I Love Fall

Fall is undesputably my favorite season.  To kick off the new season that has arrived (even though it felt like it arrived about a week ago), I thought I would let you know why I lurve it oh so much.  :)

Fall...How do I love thee?  Let me count thy ways....
  1. Cooler temps, for running and general life enjoyment.
  2. Hoodie and jeans weather = perfection.
  3. Shorts and a long sleeve running weather = perfection.
  4. Running through crunchy leaves.
  5. Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.
  6. Starbucks pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting.  I literally die.
  7. Football season.  GO PACK GO!
  8. Football players.
  9. Mmmm football players...... :)
  10. Apple cider.
  11. Hot chocolate.
  12. Super cute scarfs.
  13. Gorgeous multi-colored leaves getting ready to fall off the trees.
This morning I had my first official run of "fall."  I had an easy peasy 4 on the schedule since it's race week!!!!  I stepped outside in shorts and a cut off and it was CHILLY.  And being chilly makes me happy. :)  I saw people out in pants and long sleeves (amateurs.... :p) but I still managed to work up a decent sweat regardless.  One thing you won't see on my list of fall looooooooooves:  wind.  It kicked my booty today.  30 mph wind gusts?  Yup, this run goes in to the strength training category. :p

What do you love about fall?

Monday, September 6, 2010

So Long Sweet Summer

So long sweet summer.  I stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays.
So long sweet summer.  I fell into you now you're gracefully falling away.
Hey thanks, thanks for that summer.
It's cold where you're going, I hope that your hearts always warm.
--Dashboard Confessionals

This is one of my favorite Dashboard songs, and I listen to it on the "last day of summer" every year.  I'm currently listening to it on repeat.  Because I'm cool like that.  Since my summer is quickly winding down, I thought I'd do a quick recap of some awesome times.

Today I set out for my last "tough" run before the half on Sunday.  6 miles with 4 at tempo pace (7:54-8:15).  I was lazy and didn't head out until lunch time, but it was still only in the mid-70s.  When I was sopping wet a half mile in to the run, I realized that I failed to check the humidity.  It's amazing that a few nice days of weather can lead you to be completely oblivious about weather.  :p

The first tempo mile felt effortless, as did the second.  Mile 3 was a bit of a struggle, and four I was just ready to be done.  While running I was trying to do math to figure out my pacing for Sundays race.  Since I suck at math while working out, it totally takes my mind off of running because I have to double and triple check my work.  :)

I did 6 miles in 52:10 for a pace of 8:42.  Average tempo pace 8:08.
1. 9:31 
2. 7:58 
3. 8:03 
4. 8:20 
5. 8:14 
6. 10:01

I've been toying with the idea of getting a second job to help fund my running and racing habit.  I love my job, but unfortunately working in the non-profit industry, Jerbear isn't exactly bringing home the bacon.  And after my car pooped out on me a year before I had planned (ie:  budgetted for...uh ya... credit counselor), I was left with a lot less (read:  almost no) money to throw at races.  Friday afternoon I had a stroke of genius when I realized it was perfect scarf crocheting season.  When a few of my co-workers mentioned they might be interested in buying some homemade scarfs from me, lightbulbs came on!  And thus, Scarves for PRs was born.

If you're interested in buying one for yourself or a loved one let me know!  I'm obsessed with the infinity scarf (shown above) but can also do a traditional scarf as well.  Scarves are $30 and that doesn't include shipping and handling if applicable.  Email me at jerbearshares [at] gmail [dot] com if you want to place an order.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Last Long Run

On my bike ride earlier this week, I saw Miss Angie logging some serious miles.  Over facebook that evening, we lamented that our training cycles are almost done and we have yet to run with each other.  We decided to change that on Saturday when I had 12 miles planned and she had 10.  Yay!  Angie is a seriously awesome runner and a fabulous gal, so I was super excited.

I woke up to some serious stomach issues and hoped that they wouldn't hold us back for the run.  Mental note:  chips and queso break the "no dairy 24 hours before races/long runs" rule.  Idiot.  Anywho, when I stepped outside it was a cold brisk 45 degrees = heaven.  The miles seriously flew by.  We discussed life, our jobs, her adorable kids, her BQ plans (hopefully for the Twin Cities Marathon in October!), our high school running ventures, and a ton of other stuff.  Before I knew it we were a mile from being done, and she suggested I keep going rather than having to stop and then finish the remaining 2 miles on the same route I just ran.  Apparently running + talking is difficult for me, because as soon as we split, my mile times were faster.

I did 12 miles in 1:53:49 for a pace of 9:30.
1. 9:32 
2. 9:33 
3. 9:41 
4. 9:35 
5. 9:31 
6. 9:33 
7. 9:42 
8. 9:37 
9. 9:29 
10. 9:21 
11. 9:22 
12. 8:47

I wanted to update you on my Project 365.  I created a mosaic with all of my photos for August.  Check out that blog if you wish. :)

Also, I got an award from the sweetheart/preggo runner girl Zoe!  To be honest, I'm kind of upset I got this award, only because I've been craving cupcakes since she posted it!  Now if the award came with cupcakes I would have no complaints. :p

This is how the award works:

#1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

#2. Pick 6 people and give them this award. Then inform them that they received an award.

#3. Thank the person who gave this award to you!

#1.  This is a tough question.  There's honestly nothing I would change.  Yes there are some minor things I would probably do differently but every adventure and experience has morphed me in to the lady that I am today.  Lately I've been jammin' out to Katy Perry's Teenage Dream (as I previously mentioned) and the line from the song that I'm obsessed with is "No regrets; Just love."  New motto.

#2.  Susan - Nurse on the Run
Heather - Junk Miles

#3.  Thanks Zoe for this super cute and mouth watering award. :p