Friday, May 31, 2013

Fitness Friday: What's Next?

So, this week I've let myself be lazy.  I haven't worked out at all unless you count the 2 walks I did on Sunday (for a total of 2.5 miles but they were very slow miles after the Bayshore 1/2 the day before) and about 15 minutes of abs work on Wednesday (that I'm still feeling today - out of shape much??).  My poor DailyMile is still sporting a giant goose egg.  I never even zapped the zero this week.  I know I needed the rest but I feel like a fail.  I could've biked or swam or done something but every day after school I've either had kid stuff or the weather hasn't cooperated (the pool isn't open if there's thunder/lightening and I won't bike in that crap either).  I need to make a plan or I'm afraid this lazy-ass trend is going to continue.

These are my thoughts - feel free to weigh-in.

  • Begin the New Rules of Lifting for Women strength training workouts again.  I made it all the way through Stage 1 last year and I liked the structure.  I downloaded the jefit app for my phone and I've found a couple of people there that have already built in the Stage 2 workouts, but no Stage 1s - boo.  I need to play with the app and put them in there because I hated dragging a notebook with me to the gym.  If I can't figure out the app, I might just re-create the logs as a google doc.  
  • Put together a training plan for Tri Del Sol.  This sprint tri is on July 20th and I haven't even taken my bike off the trainer yet.  Truth be told, I'm terrified of riding it clipped in.  I will probably use the same basic plan I used for the Millenium Tri last year, but longer runs on the weekends so I keep my 1/2 marathon base up.
  • Incorporate a few two-a-day runs to train for the 200 mile Fred Relay (August 9/10).  I've never done a relay so if anyone has a training "plan" for this, please let me know.
  • After Tri Del Sol, get serious about the 1/2 again and make sure my legs are ready for the Wine Trail Half on August 25th.  I'm not worried about pace for this one because it's basically going to be a girls weekend with a 13.1 mile run thrown in the middle.
  • I'm going to run tomorrow. Even if it's only a silly little mile, I'm going to run.  I miss it already.
Have you found a good strength-training app that allows you to track your progress/sets/weight/etc?  If you have, please let me know about it.



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Three Things (Thankful) Thursday

Really busy at work today so this is no-frills and I'm sorta combining by listing 3 things I'm thankful for this week.

1. Bayshore Half Marathon PR - yep, gonna be smiling over this one for awhile. I said I wouldn't run for at least a week and I'm sticking to that, but dude - I really wanted to run this morning before work when I was wide awake at 5am.  Instead I lounged around in bed like a lazy bum.

2. Short work weeks and that I only have 1 more Monday. One of the very awesome benefits of my job.

3. Summer vacation and potential for fun. Nuff said.

What are you thankful for this week?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: on vacation

I'm not posting a weigh-in this week. I know what it is & it could've been much worse. I just don't think I need to deal with it today because I know why I weigh what I do. I've been eating all the things (and all the wrong things) since Saturday's awesome half marathon but my dailymile log for the week is still posting a big fat zero. Other than 2.5 miles of very slow walking on Sunday, I've done nothing since the half. I needed a break and the trade-off is not burning a single calorie. I also need to create a tri plan, get moving and figure out a plan to be at goal weight by my birthday. You'd think I could lose 5 or 6 pounds in the next 11 weeks, but if the last 3 months are any indication, it's not as easy as it sounds, especially when I can't seem to put the fork down.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon: race report! #bayshore

You might want to settle in with a beverage, this is gonna be a photo-filled long one :)

About 19 weeks ago, I started blogging my training for the Bayshore Half Marathon, but the race prep really started back on Dec 1st when registration opened (and then sold out in about 1 hour and 20 min!).  I skipped a training run that day so I could sit at my computer at 8 am and try to get one of the coveted 2000 slots in the half marathon.  It's a small race, in a beautiful location, it sells out every year, and I had decided that this would be my "A" race for 2013.  Over the course of my training, I ran 4 races in the last 2 months of 13.1 or longer, including setting a 17 minute PR at the Martian Half 8 weeks ago and an 11 minute PR at the 5/3 River Bank Run 25k 2 weeks ago.  I was afraid going into this weekend that I'd already peaked.  Martian was pretty much at a 10 m/m pace on the nose and I didn't think I had 13.1 miles of sub-10s in me.  Seriously - if you think running 4 races in 8 weeks is a good training plan...think again.  I was tired and burned out and really just wanted my spring racing season to be DONE.

This being Michigan (and northern Michigan at that), the weather decided to take a very cold turn in the week leading up to the race, so I completely re-thought my race gear as I was packing Thursday night.  I still packed my skirt and tank, but decided the capris and t-shirt were definitely the way to go when I saw it would be 40 at the start (and in the 30s while I was waiting around).

decisions, decisions

The drive up to Traverse City could not have been more beautiful.  My daughter drove the entire way (yeah for teen drivers) and I was able to relax (as much as you can with a 15 year old behind the wheel) and play on my phone.  She really did a great job driving and will be more than ready to take her driver's test this summer.

blue skies the whole way
We rolled into Traverse City right around 11:00 and were more than ready to hit a couple of the MANY breweries/brewpubs in the area.  If you love craft beer, this is a place to visit - after you stop in Grand Rapids - 2013's Beer City USA - first, of course!

The beer in TC deserves it's own post. (FYI - this app is called Find Craft Beer)
We hit up Right Brain Brewing for a few samples and then tried to go to Brewery Ferment but they were closed.  We ended up at The Filling Station for the most amazing pizza lunch and more samples.  I played it safe, though, and probably only had a pint total between the two breweries.


After lunch, I wanted to drive the course since I had never run here before and don't really like surprises.  I'd been told by some people the course was "pancake flat" and others that there were "rolling hills".  Basically, they were both right, but what was most impressive was that this view was basically 12 miles of the 13.1 mile course.  Most of these pictures were taken around what would be about the 5 mile mark on my race. (The race is an out-and-back for marathoners but half marathoners are bussed to the turnaround and we just run back to town.)

After we'd toured the course with 2 other cars that were obviously runners since they were doing the exact same thing I was - stopping and taking pictures and turning around when we got to the start, we headed to our hotel.  As soon as I'd gotten in to the race, I hit up Expedia and booked a Wolf Den Suite at Great Wolf Lodge.  I figured the water park and bigger room would be more fun for the kids than just hanging out at a basic hotel.  Because I booked so early, we got a decent rate, but it was still WAYYYYY too much to spend on a room.  Lesson learned.

Water park at Great Wolf Lodge
We hit the room and then the water park for awhile.  My teens got bored pretty quickly and we ended up back in the room with them just watching TV and playing on their devices.  At least it kept them out of my hair though.  I got changed and headed to packet pickup - which just stressed me the FFFF out because traffic was a nightmare.  Having this race in a resort town on Memorial Day Weekend is either f*cking brilliant or the dumbest thing EVER.  Still undecided.  Packet pickup was very well organized and easy.  Numbers were assigned alphabetically, you got your bib and then walked over to another table for your shirt.  I must have an uncommon last name because there was no line for me.  Other numbers/names weren't as lucky.  I met up with my friend Megan for a couple minutes, but being bad bloggers, neither of us took a picture.  Next time. Driving back to the hotel was just as stressful and I was ready to pull my hair out by the time I got there.

My kids want me to stop taking pictures of them. Too bad.
I called dibs on the bottom bunk in the Wolf Den so I could have a quiet and dark place to sleep.  We found a Subway restaurant in the local Walmart and I had the pre-race dinner that worked for my last 2 PRs.  We'd see if it would work again.  I was back in my room and lights off by 9:30 pm with alarms set on my phone, iPad and daughter's iPod for 4am.  Surprisingly, the whole family went to bed at the same time instead of playing in the hotel.  Another reason to book the Super8 next time.

perfect race-time temps!
Because I never sleep the night before a race, I was awake before any of the 4am alarms went off. I made myself some coffee at the hotel and because we were in a suite, I also had a microwave so I was able to make my usual pre-race meal of oatmeal.  I wasn't going to be running for another 3 hours though, so I wrapped the container in foil and saved it until I was on the bus heading to the race site.

line of busses waiting at 0 dark 30
A school bus picked runners up at my hotel at 4:55 and then dropped us at the high school where the marathon and 10k would start.  We loaded another bus at 5:30 for the 20 min drive to our starting line.  I was chatting with a woman on the bus and we both remarked it felt like Disney needing to be up and on a bus so early.  I wish I'd sat on the other size of the bus though, because the sunrise over the East Bay was absolutely glorious.  We got to the field where we'd wait and I walked over to the bluff for a picture.

not even remotely close to how beautiful the sunrise really was
I won't lie.  Waiting around for 1.5 hours in mid 30* temps in a frost covered open field is COLD.  I was bundled in my daughter's sweatpants and 2 hoodies while sitting on my gear check bag.  I had plenty of time to hit the bathroom a couple times and get in a warm-up run.  My warm-up wasn't what it should've been though because my feet were ice cubes and I decided 10 min before the start that I really had to pee again.  I made it out of the port-o-john and to the starting masses just as they were finishing the National Anthem. Whew - cutting it a little close.


Miles 1-5
Right on time, the crowd started moving forward and we were off!  I lined up between the 9:30 and 10 m/m signs (the farthest forward I've ever lined up in a race) and prayed I wouldn't go out too fast. The race starts on a bit of a downhill and I didn't want to burn out my quads in the first 3 miles.  I did a lot of weaving though in the first mile which slowed me a little, but I was still going faster than my planned 10:15/10:20 starting pace.  My friend Jenny caught me right at a mile and we ran the 2nd mile together.  We've never run together in a race so chatting with her for a mile was really nice.  She took off ahead and I settled in.  Little rollers that were enough to make it interesting but not big enough to kill you.  I was liking this course.  Right around mile 4 or so, the lead marathoners came through with their police escort.  Holy Crap!  They were already at mile 9 and only had a 15 min head start over the half marathoners.  So awesome to see but I made it my goal for him to not pass me on the way back :)  By mile 5, my legs were already screaming at me to walk.  I was very afraid that I'd gone out too fast and blew my chances at a PR because I was already TIRED and SORE.  I was trying to drink at every mile (I carried water) and I took 2 shot blocks every 3 miles (except for mile 12 because I was so close to being done).
Splits: 9:50, 9:37, 9:34, 9:45, 9:47

Miles 6-10
It was in this section that we saw the most marathoners coming from the south.  I managed to spot a few of my friends but missed the majority of them.  A few of them also saw me and it was cool to hear my name - thanks Mandy, Dan, Tim and Glenn!  My legs were really screaming at me but I told them to STFU.  I couldn't believe I was holding right around a 9:45 average but I was starting to feel like I was slowing WAY down.  I figured I'd ride it as long as I could and hopefully bank some minutes in case the wheels fell off at the end.  Somewhere around mile 7, I stopped at my only aid station.  The signs said "Beer Ahead!" and "Not Water...because we care!"  Yes, 2 guys had a pony keg set up at the end of their driveway.  I had about a shots glass worth of really bad (read - Miller Lite or something) beer and it tasted AMAZING! I hit mile 10 and kept telling myself that at this pace, I had less than 30 minutes to go and I could do anything for 30 minutes.
Splits: 9:57, 9:50, 9:40, 9:46, 9:46

Miles 11-13.1
My legs were toast.  I was beginning to cramp up and this was probably one of the most painful 5ks I've ever run.  There was another beer station in here but I was afraid if I slowed down for the beer, I'd just want to sit there and drink.  We started to move away from the water's edge, too, which made this section even more difficult mentally.  I'd been relying on seeing that water to my left and taking in the beauty of the course.  I was also very focused on my playlist and it seemed songs played exactly when I needed them to.  Every song is there for a reason, be it pace or the message or because it reminds me of someone.  On Saturday, they WORKED.  I kept looking at my watch.  I knew I was going to PR at this point but I didn't know by how much.  I told myself "NO 10s" and if I saw a 10:xx pace on my watch I made myself speed up, no matter how badly it hurt.  I wasn't going to lose my PR in the last 3 miles of this race when I'd run so well up to this point.  I'd read on someone's blog about the uphill at the end and they weren't kidding.  Still - my fastest mile of the course!!!! The final .1 is run on the high school track and I channeled my track-running daughter and sprinted to the end.  I think I heard the announcer read my name but I was so focused on the finish line that I wasn't really listening.  What I did hear right after I crossed was him announce the first marathon finisher was coming up the track - That guy finished in 2:25:11 - unreal.
Splits: 9:40, 9:43, 9:26, :54.9 (for .11 - an 8:09 pace)

Garmin data
I looked down at my watch after I crossed the finisher's mat and about cried!  I'd just set another PR by 3 minutes!!!!! I felt like I left it all out on that course and I could not have been more proud of myself.  My "A" race really was my "A" race after all :)

Happy!
I found a backdrop and had my picture taken.  The nice girl even took one with my phone - but I hope the professional one turns out better.

Snapped a selfie and posted my happy smile to twitter and facebook.  The race timing tracking system was not working very well and it didn't show I finished until about 3 hours later.  If I hadn't posted this picture, those tracking me would've thought I'd fallen off the bluff or something after mile 8!

I got a couple things to eat and drink but really didn't want any of it.  This is typical for me after a long run but I forced myself to drink a little chocolate milk, eat a few potato chips, and eventually drink some more water.  I even found my other half-crazy friends and we snapped a group picture before heading over to the ice cream tent.

Jenny (who I ran a bit with at the beginning) is in the blue shorts and Molly in the other yellow top. Molly took 5th in her AG!
After getting some ice cream, we headed back out toward the finish line to cheer on the marathoners.  I had a bunch of friends running and it was so incredible to watch them all finish.  I'm proud of each and every one of my friends who ran that day.  Lots of PRs were set and everyone did a fantastic job.


I'm absolutely thrilled with how well I ran on Saturday.  I wanted another PR, doubted my ability to get it, but then sucked it up when the going got tough and ran my fastest half ever (and only about 30 sec per mile slower than my 5k pr!).  I even managed to end up in the top 50% (even a bit better - 42% in my age group and 39% women)!


How else did you think I'd celebrate?  After meeting up with the family, we went to North Peak Brewing for lunch and I had a couple of beers and my first buffalo burger.  All delish.  Then we headed to Ferment where my husband had a few samples (I wasn't a fan of the beers there but that might have been because I was just DONE).

Overall, I don't think I could've asked for a better day.  I would recommend this race to anyone - awesome volunteers (and unofficial volunteers) on the course, it was well organized, and the course is hands-down the most beautiful course I've ever run.  The swag is pretty decent too.

I think back to the runner I was when I ran my first half marathon and set my original PR of 2:27:52 back in October 2010 and I realize how much I've changed - not only physically but mentally.  That runner from 2010 would have walked when the going got tough rather than sucking it up and pushing through.  In fact, she wouldn't have tried for a PR at all because there's no way she would've believed it was possible.  The really crazy thing?  I was just out of my boot a year ago.  In fact, I "ran" a virtual 5k last Memorial Day weekend and it took me 40:51 to finish (a 13-something min/m pace) and this weekend I ran 13.1 miles at a 9:42 min/m pace!!! That half PR from my very first half marathon stood until April of this year when I shocked myself and ran a 2:10 at Martian.  To take another 3 minutes off 8 weeks later was a bit surreal.  In this midst of this training, I also managed to shave 11 1/2 minutes off my 25k time and even ran a couple sub-28 minute 5ks in training.  To say this has been a great spring would be an understatement.  What's next? Lots and lots of rest, cross training, a break from running (we'll see how long it lasts - my goal is at least a week, maybe 2).  I have a few more races on the schedule but not until later in the summer and the first is another sprint tri, so goal numero uno will be to get brave enough to ride my tri-bike with the new shoes and pedals I got for Christmas somewhere other than my basement.  I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bayshore or Bust!





Because this is Michigan - and northern Michigan at that - I have 2 possible outfits for tomorrow's race: Nike dryfit t-shirt, Nike capris and Team Sparkle skirt or Lululemon Pace Setter skort and Brooks tank.



In all likelihood, you'll see me on the course in the capris and Team Sparkle skirt because it will only be in the low 40s. The Lululemon skirt might need to wait until the Fred Relay to make its race debut (plus I'm still having concerns about the shorts riding up and I'm worried about chafing for 13.1 miles).

If you are interested in tracking me on the course, follow these instructions:  I'm runner 3660.

"At this year’s Bayshore Marathon we will be providing on course tracking of Marathon runners at the 5Mile, 10Mile, 13.1Mile, 16.2Mile, 21.2Mile and Half Marathon Runners at the 3.1Mile, 8.1Mile marks. You will be able to track your family and friends progress in the Marathon on your smartphone. Type in www.rftiming.com/bayshore on your smartphone browser and enter their name or Race Number. Select their Results under their Name to view their results or Track to watch their progress in the Race. You can follow multiple runners by searching for their Name/Race Number and selecting Track.   For complete results, and more Live Tracking, go to www.rftiming.com and select Bayshore under the 2013 Results tab."

See you on the flip side!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: horseshoes & hand grenades



You know that saying, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades"? That's how I feel. Almost made it to goal before my last race of the season, but not quite.

I need to work on the lighting in my bathroom
Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 144.0
This week: 143.2
Change: down .8
Total change: down 10.4

I'm not under 140 today but that really doesn't matter. The fact that my clothes fit again (actually, many of them are too big) and that I just bought 2 pair of summery jeans in sizes 4 and 6 and a bunch of size small shirts is what matters.

source
Am I going to keep lobbing those horseshoes and hand grenades, hoping I hit my target? Of course I am.  It's what I do. But I'm also going to keep my eyes on the bigger picture.

scale can only give you
source
So, I may not have exactly the relationship with gravity I'd like to have right now, but I know that I'm so much more than the number on the scale.  That's what matters most.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: week 18 - the home stretch!!!

Woo-hoo!!!! I've made it through the last long run before Bayshore :)  Next week at this time, you *should* be getting a race report!

I'm definitely feeling the effects of 18 weeks of training and 3 running races as training runs for the past 6 weeks.  In hindsight, that probably wasn't the smartest move on my part since it seems from the PRs I've set in 2/3 of those races (and the 3rd being my 2nd fastest half ever), I'm incapable of NOT racing a race.

Anyhoo....because I'm feeling the effects of training and at this point, I can't really do anything to IMPROVE my result at Bayshore but could certainly injury myself if I'm not careful, I went pretty much off-book this week.

Monday 5/13/13 - Plan RUN 3 MI - Did BIKE 7.8 miles in 34 minutes.  I was still sore from the River Bank Run 25k 2 days prior (mostly my ankle being all jammed up) and didn't think a run was the best plan.  Instead, I saw my sports chiro and biked.

Tuesday 5/14/13 - Plan SWIM (:30)/STRENGTH (:30) - Did REST.  I'm not sure why, I must have had stuff going on or something because it's unusual for me to log nothing.  

Wednesday 5/15/13 - Plan RUN 6 MI tempo - Did RUN fail.  I tried to run and only made it about 1/2 a mile.  Too much stuff hurt that hadn't hurt before I started running that day.  I ended up walking most of my 2.35 mile route (that I obviously turned around early because that was no where close to 6 miles).

Thursday 5/16/13 - Plan RUN 3 MI - SWIM 1000 yards in just under 30 minutes.  I'm slow but the water felt nice. 

Friday 5/17/13 - Plan SWIM (:30)/STRENGTH (:30) - Did RUN 3.1 in 29 minutes.  I got another new skirt to try and only planned to run about a mile, but I had a really shitty day at work and needed to burn off some stress.  My legs felt great and I just needed to RUN.

Saturday 5/18/13 - Plan RUN 12 miles - Did RUN 6.07 miles in 1:01:29.  Who in the name of all that's holy thought a 12 mile training run the week before a half marathon was a good idea???? That Runner's World Smart Coach plan is whack, I'm telling you!  I had 8-10 miles in my head but I wasn't feeling it Saturday morning so 6 miles it was.  I tried to pace myself and go nice and easy, but I still managed to average a 10:07 pace.  Oops.  The good thing? My new Lululemon Pace Setter skirt decided to ride up for the first 3 miles, but then I pulled the shorts back out of my Hoo Ha and they were fine the rest of the run.  I'm going to wear the skirt for Bayshore and hope for the best.

Sunday 5/19/13 - Plan BIKE/RUN brick (1:05/:20) - I went shopping with my girl.  Sometimes that's just more important and I came out of it with quality time with Kay and a really HOT pair of Toms platform wedges.  Don't worry, I won't wear them until AFTER the race since it would be my luck to roll and ankle this week.

Truth be told - I'm tired and getting worn out.  Chatting with one of my friends this past week, I realized I need a break after Bayshore.  Biking, swimming, strength training are fine - but my running muscles need a rest.  I have a friend coming into town the 2nd week of June, so I'll be running with her, but I probably won't run much before that.  I'm hoping I can keep up with her when she gets here :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meal Monday: Curried Chicken Salad with Apples

I saved this recipe to ziplist quite a while ago but never got around to making it. That changed yesterday. You can find the original recipe plus ziplist plug in here. Her pictures are also much better than mine, but I don't claim to be any kind of food photographer & I do my best with my little eye phone. In any case, I give you

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD with APPLES

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked chicken breasts - cubed (I used a large can of Swanson chicken, drained)
4 celery stalks - minced
1 apple - diced
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt (I used Chobani fat free plain)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt


1. Wisk together yogurt, curry powder, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl.


2.  Add chicken, apples and celery.  Toss well then refrigerate for a while to let the flavors blend.

this picture is terrible - I am sooo sorry

3.  Enjoy!


I really liked this one - the curry gives the chicken salad a nice kick and it's a really pretty color - but I think something is missing.  Next time I make it, I'm going to try crushed pineapple instead of the apple and see how that works. I think grapes would be good too.

What's your favorite addition to chicken salad?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 17, 2013

Race Photos! #53rbr #25k #runchat

Finally, a race where I don't hate every.single.picture.taken!  Granted, I look at these pictures and see so many things about my running form (among other things) that need to change, but still.  These aren't altogether horrible so I thought I'd share.

Oops - caught looking at my watch!
Around mile 15?
Determined - but the chick on the phone isn't impressed.
Home stretch - and both feet off the ground!
DONE!!
Official chip time was 2:41:33.
And because I couldn't just show the decent pictures, I figured I'd give you all a laugh at my expense and post a couple of the really bad ones.  It's no wonder my hands hurt after this race - in every picture I look like I'm ready to punch someone out.  Note to self - open your hands every now and then!  Also - keep working on that mid-foot to fore-foot strike, cuz it ain't there yet.


Now, the big question.  Do I buy a picture and if so...which one?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 16, 2013

3 Things Thursday: #abeautifulmess

I downloaded a new photo app the other day: A Beautiful Mess - and I'm becoming obsessed with it, so I thought I'd put a few of my Bayshore Half thoughts in pictures since I'm afraid this race may be turning into exactly that, a beautiful mess.

This is the last 3 nights. Orange is awake, green is light sleep, blue is deep sleep. Clearly I have issues. The "awake" around 4 or 5 each morning? That would be thanks to my cat. Ugh.
(I forgot to add - this app is called Sleep Time and the images are stitched together with Diptic)

Race day is going to be HOT.  I'm not ready to run in hot weather.

I thought I was ready to run last night. Obviously I haven't recovered yet from the 25k last Saturday since I couldn't even run a mile. 13.1 in just over a week is going to really suck if my legs don't wake back up.
So, there you have it.  My mini freakout over what is/was supposed to be my "A" race this year.  I think adding too many races/training runs may have doomed me for a PR at Bayshore.  To PR, I need to run a 9:55 pace or better.  I honestly don't know if I still have that in me at this point since I couldn't even run 3 miles yesterday at the 10:30 pace I set out at.  I will give myself credit for stopping the run when it didn't feel right though.  That's progress for me.

I still have time and I'm playing it day by day as to what I'll run or cross train.  10 miles are on the schedule for Saturday and I honestly don't know if I'm going to run or not.

Have you tried this new app yet?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday: shaking my head

No picture today because I'm exactly where I was last week at this time - 144.0.  This makes me shake my head though because for the past 3 days I've been at 142.2.  Here I go thinking I'll have a decent weigh-in and maybe even make goal by next week Saturday, but then my original plan for dinner falls through because I didn't get home early enough to cook so I make tacos.  Read - lots and lots of sodium.  Plus, because of said busy afternoon/evening, I didn't work out at all so I'm sure I was over my calories yesterday.  I really do workout so I can eat.  You'd think running a 15.5 mile race on Saturday would've banked me a few calories, but apparently not.


Starting Weight (11-28-12): 153.6
Last week: 144.0
This week: 144.0
Change: down zip, zilch, nada
Total change: down 9.6

Last week I said I was waving the red flag. I pretty much still am.  I've given up on my goal of being at my goal weight by my race a week from Saturday.  I'd need to be trying much harder and starving myself for that to happen.  I can't lose 5 pounds in the next week and a half plus still fuel for the race.  Such is life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon training: week 17

Week 17 was a pretty good week for me.  I feel like my training is back on track and the week ended with a "training run" that was a post-injury distance PR (and a time PR for that race)!

Monday 5/6/13 - Plan RUN 3 MI/STRENGTH (:30) - Did RUN 3.1 miles in 29:58 (9:39 pace) then 15 minutes of stretching and strength work.

Tuesday 5/7/13 - Plan SWIM (:30) - Did BIKE 8 miles in 33:40 (14.3 mph).  Biked on the trail at dusk and managed to get stung 3 times.  The ride was good but the bug bites sucked.  

Wednesday 5/8/13 - Plan RUN 6 MI speedwork - Did RUN 3.1 miles in 29:53 (9:38 pace) with a local running group.  The runners in this group were much too fast for me and I ended up having a pity party.  I'm over it now.  

Thursday 5/9/13 - Plan RUN 3 MI - RUN 2 miles watchless to test out my new running skirt.  

Friday 5/10/13 - Plan SWIM (:30)/STRENGTH (:30) - Did REST

Saturday 5/11/13 - Plan RUN 15.5 miles - Did RUN 15.5 miles in 2:41:33.  I kicked this race's ASS.  I posted the race report here.

Sunday 5/12/13 - Plan BIKE (1:00) - did BIKE 4.8 miles in 30 minutes on my trainer.  Nice and easy to spin out the legs.  Finished with a few sessions of rolling and stretching, as well as my foot in a bucket of ice water.  

I need to be careful this week to make sure I'm recovered from Saturday's race.  I can't do like I did after Martian and end up hurt this close to Bayshore.  Less than 2 weeks to go!

Monday, May 13, 2013

5/3 River Bank Run 25K #53rbr #racereport


This past Saturday I ran a little race around these parts known as the 5/3 River Bank Run 25k.  This 25k is the largest 25k in the country (and I believe the national championship).  The day also includes a 10k run, 5k run, 5k walk and junior events, with participants totaling over 21,000 people.  Needless to say, it's a pretty big party for the running community and city of Grand Rapids.

Leading up to the event, I was feeling unusually relaxed.  I'd had other stuff stressing me out but not the race.  Maybe this was because I was planning to just use the race as a training run for the Bayshore Half coming up in 2 weeks.  In any case, I wasn't stressing too much unless you count stressing a little about the weather.  Friday at lunch time, I scooted downtown to pick up my packet.  I spent more time trying to find parking than I did in the actual expo.  It's a really good expo if you have time to walk around. Lots of vendors, other races you can register for, etc.  Basically I just ran in, grabbed my packet, and ran back out.

My daughter had a track meet Friday night, so I got to hang out in the rain and cold while she competed.  Once her events were done, I headed home and had a nice dinner of Subway, a bag of chips and a beer.  I figured it worked for Martian so why not try the same meal again for River Bank ;)  I set up Flat Bari and then hit the hay around 9:30 pm.

My alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 5:40 am - but as per usual, I was already awake.  I don't know why I bother setting multiple alarms for races because I never sleep the night before anyway.  I debated a long time about whether to carry my fuel belt and at the last minute, left it on the counter at home.  There were aide stations every 1.5 miles on the course so I figured I'd be fine.  My school district has a corporate team every year and I was a member of the team, so I got to wait in the VIP/team area before the race.  I'm not fast enough for my time to count towards our team's score, but I join the team specifically for the private bathrooms with no line and a warm/dry place to wait.  I did a little warm-up in the room and then met up with Mindy.  I also got to see Megan for a few minutes before the race as well.

I'll be buying another Altheta Relay Skort - so comfy and NO chaffing!
Mindy and I lined up together at around the 10:30 pace sign.  (There are pace teams for this event, but the closest times were 10:00 min/mile and 11:00 min/mile - we were both shooting for a 10:30 average so we decided to run together as long as we could and use my Garmin for pacing.) The plan was to run the entire race but walk through the aide stations for water.  I figured the short walk breaks would help keep my pace under control and force me to drink since I wasn't carrying water.  (For the record - I took 2 shot blocks every 3 miles for fuel and just water for hydration.)

I pretty much split this race into thirds in my head, so that's how I'm going to report it.

Miles 1-5 - We start heading out of downtown and into the Kent Trails system.  The number of people running is just crazy for such a small area and Mindy and I spent a lot of the first 5 miles weaving in and out of the crowds.  I wasn't feeling great in the first miles - my foot and ankle were hurting pretty much from the start and I didn't think I'd be able to maintain my goal pace.  This section is really flat but Indian Mounds Drive is cambered with rumble strips down the center.  It was hard to find an even section to run on. Splits: 10:11 - 10:23 - 10:21 - 10:28 - 10:38  

Miles 6-10 - Right around mile 6 was the cheer station staffed by Grandville Public Schools cheerleaders and football players.  I got a hug from Julie, the cheer coach who is also the preschool teacher at my school, and lots of high-fives from former students.  This gave me a nice boost and a smile.  We headed across the river and past Johnson Park.  I had friends spectating there but never saw them.  Around mile 7, Mindy and I parted ways.  I was feeling really strong and comfortable.  This is an area that I've done many training runs on and I wasn't worried about the hills coming up on Butterworth. The biggest climb starts around mile 9.5 and the hills continue through around mile 12.  Splits: 10:32 - 10:25 - 10:32 - 10:21 - 10:44

Miles 11-15.5 - The biggest section of hills (rollers really) started around mile 10.  Just before the mile 11 marker, Zac Brown Band's "Quiet Your Mind" came on.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect.  "Quiet your mind, soak it all in" was exactly what I was trying to do through this area.  I'd done many long runs on this section of Butterworth and I knew those rollers like the back of my hand.  I don't think I've ever felt so strong or run with more smiles than I did during this portion of the race.  After the several miles of hills, we headed back into downtown, which was very flat again.  I remembered running this race 2 years ago and hitting the zoo at mile 13.1 and knowing I was setting a distance PR.  I set another distance PR at this point on Saturday - the farthest I'd run since getting injured and the farthest I'd run since my full marathon back in October 2011.  In the zoo section, I heard one of my running buddies yell my name.  I had no idea she'd be there and didn't see her at first.  This made me smile again.  I was starting to feel tired but kept telling myself "you can run 2 more miles - you've done this hundreds of times."  When I crossed the bridge on Fulton there were a ton of funny signs.  "Smile if you aren't wearing any underwear." "Run now, beer later."  "Keep running, your beer misses you!" I could hear the finish line area and with 1/2 a mile to go, I really kicked it in.  It's a bit cruel that this race finishes on an uphill, but there you go.  My last 1.5 miles were my fastest miles of the entire race.  Splits: 10:16 - 10:24 - 10:25 - 10:20 - 9:58 - 5:42 (9:18 pace).  
data from my Garmin
Sweet victory!  I had finished my 2nd 5/3 River Bank Run 25k just as strong as when I started running.  I'd even managed to set a sweet new PR - by about 11 minutes :)  I made it through the finishers area and got some water and chocolate Muscle Milk. My hands were so cold that I had to ask a random stranger to open them for me because I couldn't work my fingers.


I set out intending this to be a training run, but as a friend said later, I was weak - I let the thrill of racing get the better of me :) I've discovered that I can't NOT race in a race environment.  I care about my time and I was definitely finding targets and picking people off.  The chick with a flower in her hair - roadkill.  The dude in a tutu with a sign on his back that said "Never lose a bet against your better half" - roadkill.  I stopped counting at 15 people passed in the last mile.  But am I upset with myself for racing this training run? Hellz. No.  I'm extremely proud of myself for running a very smart race.  I think I could've pushed myself much harder than I did but I would've ended up much worse for wear.  Instead, I'm left with some muscle soreness and a sore foot, but nothing that I'd consider an "injury" at this point.  The next few days will be devoted to recovery.  I started my recovery right after the race with a beer and pulled pork sammie.  :)

My initial results had me ranked higher than the final, official results, but I'm ok with that.  Sure, I'd rather be in the upper half, but compared to where I was 2 years ago when I ran this in 2:52:55, today's run was a huge improvement. I ran a very smart race, set an 11:xx minute PR and physically feel much better than I remember feeling a couple years ago. I even managed to run a negative split with all the hills in the 2nd half and passed 300 people in the 2nd half of the race! Very f*cking awesome :)


So, my "training run" turned out to be a nice race with a PR and bling.  Not too shabby for a morning's work. I'd set 4 goals for myself in Friday's blog post:

  • Finish with a smile on my face - CHECK ( I really can't wait to see the race photos)
  • Finish without any injuries - CHECK (I think - jury is still out on the foot)
  • Be proud of how far I've come this year - MEGA CHECK
And if I'm feeling really good....
  • Finish in under 2:52:55 - CHECK!!
My "unwritten" time goal was to finish under 2:45:xx - I'd managed to hit that goal as well!



Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fitness Friday: 25k Gear & Goals

This being Michigan means the weather has been a bit indecisive. We went directly from winter to summer and now Mother Nature has decided spring was feeling left out so it's back to cooler temps and rain. I've been just as indecisive about what I'm wearing for tomorrow's 5/3 River Bank Run 25k, but I think I've got it down now.


  • On my head: Sugoi hat, Chicaband
  • On my wrists: RoadID and my Garmin 410
  • On my body: Moving Comfort Juno bra, Yellowman by YMX shirt and arm warmers (probably won't end up using the arm warmers), Athleta Relay Skort (this just came in the mail yesterday so I ran an easy 2 miles in it last night and I loved it - only thing I don't love is the color and that it's a thicker material so I'm afraid it might get warm)
  • On my feet: Smartwool PhD Run Ultralight Micro socks and my Newton Gravity shoes
I still need to somehow make it to the expo to pick up my packet/number (I'm runner 7132 but I don't believe there is runner tracking and I haven't decided whether I'll have runmeter broadcasting my run to Facebook or Twitter).  Obviously I still need to add my fuel belt and number holder but for the most part I've got my sh*t together.  Because I'm running on the team for my school district, I get to wait inside so I don't have to worry about throwaway clothes for the morning but I do need to pack a bag to check with some dry clothes for after the race.

Now....on to goals....
  • Finish with a smile on my face
  • Finish without any injuries
  • Be proud of how far I've come this year
And if I'm feeling really good....
  • Finish in under 2:52:55
I have another time goal in mind but I'm keeping that one to myself for right now.

Are you racing this weekend? Or like me using a race as a training run for bling?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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