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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nomination for Team Blue Mile 2014

I ran my first half marathon in 2013 - the Hendricks County Half Marathon in September.  I had volunteered at the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, handing out snacks to the finishers, and I was so inspired by all the people I saw - both walkers and runners.  Some people looked as if they'd just finished a relaxing morning stroll, while some people were limping and in pain as they finished.  But they all had an air of pride and accomplishment that I wanted for myself.

So I signed up for the Hendricks County Half Marathon, and began training with a group of runners from Living Faith Church, calling it Pew2Half Training.  We met for long runs on Saturdays, and additionally I followed a training plan I found in the July issue of Self magazine for the rest of the week - intervals, hill work, strength and cross training, etc.

Right around the corner from the finish line!
At first I had serious doubts, and I struggled;  but once I finished the 7 mile run about halfway through training, I realized I was going to be able to do it and I started having fun.  I finished the half marathon in 2:50:07, and you can find my complete race recap here.  Pretty much as soon as I finished, I knew I wanted to do it again.

Which brings us to 2014.  One of my goals is to run two half marathons this year.  I want to repeat the Hendricks County Half on September 13, 2014, but I'd also like to run one earlier in the year.  The training for it was really hard, but I liked how it felt.  Even the boring strength training made me a stronger runner.  Since the race, I have kept up with running but not the additional training, and I can tell I'm getting weaker.  Winter isn't helping either, as the cold and the early darkness make it so easy to log excuses instead of miles.

So here I am, nominating myself for Team Blue Mile 2014, because knowing I have committed to a training regimen and people are counting on me will make me get up and get out there and run, no matter the weather.  I'm still pretty new to running - less than 2 years - so I could use all the expert help I can get.

Team Blue Mile, here is what you get if you chose me:
  • Someone who will definitely show up for all scheduled training and give it my all
  • Someone who will finish the race
  • Someone who will blog about the experience just as I did with training for the Hendricks County Half in 2013, and even more if you need more
  • All our blog followers - about 120 after 6 months and still growing - most evenly split between Indiana and North Carolina but a few in other states as well
  • Bonus - you get my two sisters who also blog here and will share and tweet my posts to their friends/followers as well

Monday, December 30, 2013

14 Things for 2014

Instead you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  (James 4:15)
So, if the Lord wills, in 2014 I would like to:
  1. Run 451.25 miles, or the distance from my house to my parents’ house.
  2. Bike 345.80 miles, or the distance from my house to my in-laws’ house & back.
  3. Play 2 rounds of golf with my handsome & patient husband.  (He’s a very good golfer, and I am not, but he’s very patient with me when we play.) 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

13 Things from 2013

2013 was an awesome year! 
I give thanks to the Lord.  I praise Him in front of everyone.  (Psalms 109:30)
1. Together with Laura & Cindy we started this blog!  It's been fun writing up our training and events, and thinking up other topics like product reviews.  It's been pretty interesting too - learning about how to use social media to promote our blog and to connect with people who might be interested in what we have to say.  And I feel like it's made the three of us even closer - I hope Laura & Cindy feel that way too. Checking out the stats from our blog year-to-date, here are our top five posts in terms of page views:

Aug 3, 2013, 2 comments
Oct 14, 2013, 1 comment
Nov 11, 2013
Sep 17, 2013, 2 comments
Jul 27, 2013, 4 comments
A lot of our page views came from Facebook, but a surprising (to me) number also came from Google searches.  We have 120 likes for our Facebook page, and 34 followers on Twitter.  I think that's pretty good for 6 months.  84% of our Facebook fans are women, which is who we are targeting.  We do wish you all would comment more, both on our blog posts and our Facebook posts.  We enjoy hearing what you have to say & learning from your experiences, too.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

marathon training

Been forever since I blogged but I thought a quick catch up on my marathon training.  The last 6 weeks have been our biggger longer runs with some tapering in between.  Unfortunately the turkey trot was my last race, I was hoping for at least a 10k, but ive had some amazing fast six mile runs with my training partners, almost pr's.  The 14 mile run wax actually the hardest, and since then my body seems to be healing better.  Partly, I believe because ive added an all natural energy/health food shake that helps with energy, hydration and recovery.  Tomorrow is our longest run before the race.  My plan calls for 20, but a friend who followed program recommended 22 to 23.  She said the last 6 miles were mentally hard because she had never done that 22 to 23 it is.  If it goes as well as the 18 miler, I think ill be able to stay more positive the next 3 weeks.  I get nervous butterflies every time I think about it,  its good

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Weather Wimp

As Fall progressed, I promised myself that I was not going to let Winter derail my running.  And here it is, December 16th, and I haven't run since November 30th.  And it's not even officially Winter yet!

I see other people out running after dark, and several of the other running blogs I follow have posted lately about running in the snow.  So I know it's possible, but I have not done it.  It does appear right now that this coming week will be warm enough to melt the snow, so hopefully I can get out there next Saturday.

In the meantime, I did get a nice walk in Saturday after the snow had stopped.  I put on my boots & walked around the neighborhood on the route I often run.  Walking through the snow was almost like walking on a sandy beach.  Not with warm ocean breezes, of course; but the leg motion of walking in the snow was much like the leg motion of walking in the sand.  So hopefully I got a good workout, and I snapped a few pics, too.

I'm going to try committing to a few events, because knowing I've signed up & spent money will make me get out there no matter the weather, at least for the event itself.  I'm also pondering group runs or a Mini training program by one of the local run clubs, as that commitment will force me outside, also.  What does anyone else do to stay active in the Winter?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gobble Gallop Race Report, plus some random musings

Gobble Gallop Race Report

This may be one of my favorite race shirts!  Isn't it cute?  And it's a tech fabric too, so very comfy.  The race was on Thanksgiving, and was very cold.  Windy too.  My car thermometer said 19 while I was on my way there, it was probably in the low 20's by the time the race started.

The Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon sponsors this race, and it mostly takes place on the fitness trails at the Y, with a little bit being on the roads in the neighborhood just by the Y.  It's a completely flat course, and a very nice place to run.  The big Thanksgiving race in the Indy area is the Drumstick Dash in Broad Ripple, with thousands of people participating.  This one was still pretty big also, though.  The official results page says 526 people finished the race, and that doesn't count kids in strollers.

 Interesting side note: According to Runner's World, Thanksgiving is the most popular day for road racing in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Makin' Room for Turkey Ride 2013

Another awesome MS Society Turkey ride has come and gone.  Every year has been different.  The first year I did it alone.  Last year I did it with my awesome friend Jen, who has MS.  She was not able to do it with me this year due to the extreme cold, but I wore my orange ribbon for her, and met up with her afterward.  But I rode with a new friend this year that I met at my run club.  The course started at a different location this year as well, but overlapped with what we have done in the past.

Just like big sis having an extremely cold day for volunteering on Sunday, I had the coldest cycling event for me ever.  The temps were around 30 when we started, with a wind chill in the low 20s.  The wind was so strong that sometimes going down a hill we were not able to coast.  Also, going fast down the hills made it that much colder.  My fingers were what bothered me the most.  I finally have gotten to where I can usually ride without my fingers getting tingly from the pressure put on the handlebars, but on Sunday they were numb and beyond tingly from the cold, even with my nice insulated biking gloves.  I was constantly moving and shaking them to keep the blood going.

What I am most proud about from this ride is how I did on the hills.  I knew it would be a hilly course, and knew some of the hills intimately from the last 2 years, and dreaded them.  Turns out they hardly bothered me.  I think it might be because of the running...even though I still don't feel a lot of improvement with my breathing when I run, it is obviously working!

The organizers of this event are awesome, with sponsors giving us pie and hot chocolate when we were done!  The hot chocolate was most welcome!  Didn't stick around a long time due to the cold.  My scatterbrained self left my helmet sitting on the table where we were eating.  I do hope someone has found it.  I am waiting for a response to an email I sent out.  So other than the helmet loss, I consider the ride very successful.  I truly hope the Tour de Toys event in December will be warmer, though!

Thanks for the support!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ugly Sweater Run

My one pitiful photo before my phone died
Sunday I volunteered at the Ugly Sweater Run in Indianapolis.  Those of you reading this who know me in real life know that I enjoy volunteering at various events.  There are so many fun races & events that I could never afford to participate in all of them, so volunteering allows me to still be a part of some without the entry fee.  Plus I still usually get some fun free stuff, and since I'm busy the whole time I don't feel like a dope for showing up by myself.

Photo by Megan Fetter
I'm glad I volunteered at this one instead of running it, because it definitely was the kind of race that would be more fun in a group.  And while I did have 2 co-workers participating, the sheer size meant that I probably wouldn't find them.  Especially since my phone quit working, because it was 14 degrees.  I didn't know before but I do now - that's actually a common issue with the iPhones.  I only managed to get one picture and it wasn't very good.  Luckily, my co-workers got a few more that they agreed to share.  Otherwise, this would be a pretty dull blog post.

Photo by Megan Fetter
When I first got there, they had me checking IDs and giving out wristbands for the post race beer garden.  Two problems:
  1. The wristbands weren't sticking because it was so cold.  Did I mention it was 14?
  2. People were so bundled up against the cold, and most were wearing their fake mustache tattoos, that no one looked like their ID picture.  
Photo by Deanna DeLong
Thankfully, the hired security arrived soon to take over checking IDs and I was moved to the hot chocolate station.  We were very popular, as you can imagine.  It really was pretty genius - they had two big turkey fryers set up, only instead of heating oil we were using them to boil water.  Once the water boiled we dumped it into a huge Gatorade cooler, added an entire can of hot chocolate mix, and stirred it all up. 

Photo by Deanna DeLong
The run was untimed, and went along the White River Greenway, first north on the east side of the river, then back along the west side and finishing at the end of the pedestrian bridge.  Since the Greenway is so narrow, they were starting people in waves to keep the path from getting too congested.  A good idea, but those people at the end of the line had to wait a long time in the cold.  There were still two more waves started after people from the beginning were already finished.  It's a great place to run, though, and was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Photo by Deanna DeLong
Photo by Deanna DeLong
We continued serving hot chocolate, and also served cold water to the few people who asked for it post-run, until the Lawn was empty save for the beer garden, then cleaned up our station & we were done.  I really had a great time, I only wish I could've taken pictures of some of the gorgeous, amazing, hideous, and/or hilarious Christmas sweaters and costumes.  Next year....
My 2014 New Year's Resolution is to find my real camera and replace the lost USB cable so I can download pics from it, and stop relying on my phone to be my camera.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cuddl Duds Review

Running in colder weather means layers, and my favorite base layer is Cuddl Duds. In this pic from the recent CareNet Feed the Need 5K, I am wearing the ActiveLayer Long Sleeve V Neck.  It's sweat-wicking so it keeps me dry, and has thumb holes on the cuff (which I love!). It's so thin, soft, warm, & comfy that it has become one of my favorite shirts for anytime layering, not just for running.

Actually, I could say that about all my Cuddl Duds.  I also own several of the Softwear Lace Edge with Smart Layer shirts, and Softwear with Smart Layer leggings.  They all help keep me warm without adding uncomfortable bulk, and they are perfect under other running clothes, or with sweaters and jeans. 

I've purchased Cuddl Duds at both Kohl's and Target at very affordable prices.  They are also available online, with free shipping.  The website also shows some cute suggestions about how to layer all their different products - all designed to make you want to buy more, I'm sure, but I enjoy cyber window shopping.

Finally, I was excited to notice when I pulled up the website to link to this review that their newest leggings have pockets!  Pockets are such an awesome feature, and I really don't understand why more clothes don't have them.  I'm not carrying a purse when I run, so please give me somewhere to stash some lip balm and my car key.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Eskenazi Health Stride 5K

Last weekend I ran in the Eskenazi Health Stride 5K in downtown Indy.  The course was really nice - starting at the old Wishard Hospital and finishing at the new Eskenazi Hospital.  Some of the course was the same as the Race for the Cure, so I was pretty familiar with it.

Race morning it was 48, cloudy, & fairly calm.  I had been expecting it to be chillier, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I headed downtown pretty early, because even though I knew exactly where I was going I had no idea where to park.  Parking downtown - especially around IUPUI & the hospitals - is always either expensive or inconvenient.  As of when I left home, the race website still said "Check back later for parking information."  I wound up parking on the street at a meter about a mile from the start line, after driving & circling several other areas and finding nothing. 

I did not have time after checking in to return to my car, so I had to put the event shirt on over what I was already wearing.  I didn't plan on wearing that extra layer, so by the end of the race I was quite uncomfortable.  Also, I started out way too fast.  Shame, shame, shame.  I know better.  Once I dropped back to the correct pace for me, I struggled for about a quarter-mile until I got my breath back.  As I approached the finish line (which was nowhere near the start line), I saw signs for the event parking.  Kind of irritating - I drove in from a different direction so there is no way I would've seen them earlier.  It would've been nice to be parked near the finish, instead of 2.3 miles away.  (But, since I needed to get in 11 miles on Saturday anyway, I also counted the walks to and from the car.)

I know all this sounds like I'm griping and I'm about to tell you I had a horrible race, blaming it on the parking, the extra shirt, and not pacing myself.  But I actually had a great race and yet another PR - 34:58 by my GPS watch!  So what I am actually going to tell you is that I am learning more and more just how much I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalms 139:14)  Outside irritations and my own mistakes did not trip me up - I was still able to accomplish what I set out to do  Good reminder for both running and life: I can't control everything and I shouldn't even try.  Just concentrate on the task God has given me and let Him handle all the rest.

Monday, November 11, 2013

CareNet Feed the Need 5K Recap

Left to Right: Mark, Cindy, Teresa, Laura, Josh
Since we were all going to be in town the first weekend of November for Laura's daughter Starr's bridal shower, we decided to find a fun 5K we could all run together.  We have done the Race for the Cure together, but Laura was the only one who ran back then - Cindy & I walked it.  This was the first race we would all be running together.

We decided to do the Feed the Need 5K (link goes to race results) in Franklin NC.  Great choice - it was on the Little Tennessee River Greenway and was a very pretty course.  The morning mist was rising off the river, and there was still a lot of fall color in the trees.  Our only complaint: we wish we had known it was not all paved - some of it was mud & some was gravel - so we would've worn different shoes.

We had a couple of extra family members joining us - Laura's husband Mark and Teresa's son Josh also ran, and our parents came to watch & cheer us on.  It was a chilly morning, but once we got running we warmed up quickly.

Winner winner chicken dinner

The course was an out-and-back, so we got to cheer each other on as we went by, which was nice.  First to finish was Mark, who placed 3rd overall for men with a time of 23:22.8.  Close behind was Laura, who was the female race winner with a time of 24:54.0!  Josh finished next with a time of 29:46.6 and 2nd in his age group.  Teresa and Cindy both achieved personal bests of 35:41.8 and 37:06.9 respectively.

We had to overcome a few technical issues:  Cindy's phone had no service so she couldn't stream music, but Laura had an MP3 player she wasn't using; and Teresa lost one of the tips of her cordless headphones, but had a backup pair of corded headphones.  We all had a lot of fun running together & rooting each other on.  Hopefully it is something we will be able to do again sometime soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's Official...MARATHON!!!!

I know I need to catch up on posts, especially about our first race together, so I will try to catch up this weekend.....but
I just registered for my first FULL MARATHON.  I've been training, but now its official.
January 18, 2014   Charleston, SC
I'm doing it for the free shrimp and grits at the end.  hahahahahahah

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Habitat Halloween Ride

This past Saturday I rode 30.6 miles in the Habitat Halloween Ride in Durham, NC.  When I woke up, it was 48 degrees!  Brrr!  I haven't been out for a ride in those kind of temps in quite a while!  Good thing I have some biking pants and biking gloves with fingers.  It was also windy, but  it was thankfully also sunny to help a little bit.

This ride was quite challenging!  First, while we were still riding in the city before getting out to some country roads, there were a lot of pot holes and uneven pavement that was not marked at all.  Not fun when you're trying to coast down a hill and not use brakes to keep momentum for what's ahead.  I admit I used my brakes a lot on going down hills...I was just too nervous not to.  Finally outside of the city, we quickly got into some hills.  I know what goes up must come down if you start and end at the same spot, but many of us said that law did not apply on this ride.

Even though I was riding solo in this event, I met a new friend around mile 10 or so that said he was tired of me passing him on the hills.  That made me feel good!  We actually kept a pretty even pace, and so we decided to stick together after the rest stop.  That was really nice, as the turns were not marked well at all.  We actually missed a turn along the way, but realized it quickly and only added about a mile to our total.

The other big challenge of this event was once we got back into the city, they had us on some greenways.  These particular sections we were on were very narrow (no passing), very uneven pavement along with a lot of leaves, and sharp turns to get in and out on multiple occasions.  I don't want to be disrespectful to the event coordinators, but I think that was not very well thought out.

But I persevered and got through the hardest course I have ridden to date!  Thank you all for your well wishes and thoughts for me and both of my sisters on race day!  See you on the road very soon!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Race Weekend

Middle Sis Laura - Flight of the Vampire 10K - Brevard, NC
Baby Sis Cindy - Habitat Halloween Ride - Durham, NC
Big Sis Teresa - Tri-West 5K Monster Dash - Lizton, IN

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pin It and Do It Update - 2/3 Done

I meant to blog an update of my progress in Trish's Pin It and Do It Challenge before now - really I did.  But I actually have been doing my Pins, just didn't write about it before now.

I committed to pinning and doing 4 Pins during October, and I created Big Sis Teresa's Pin It Do It Board on Pinterest for the Challenge.  (Shameless plug: If you don't already follow us on Pinterest, go do it as soon as you finish reading this post.)

First up was Run with Jess's Virtual Ride for Breast Cancer. For this virtual event, you bike 50K or 31 miles during the month of October.  It can be anywhere you want, any type of bike - mountain, road, stationary, spin class - and it can be all at once or spaced out over the month.  Little sis Cindy also participated in this event.  I've been using Run Keeper to track my biking.  We had two East Side Bike Rides this month: on 10/2 we rode up the Monon Trail and back for a total of 11.02 miles; and on 10/16 we rode looped around downtown on the Cultural Trail for a total of 7.5 miles.  That puts me at 18.52 miles for the month, so I still have 12.48 to go.  I'm planning to ride Sunday to the B&O Trail and as far along it as I can go (it's not all paved yet), so that should finish this event/Pin.

Next up was the Haven Workout.  I created this myself (see the blog post from 10/4).  I modeled it after The Walking Dead workout which is popular on Pinterest, and tailored it to one of my favorite shows: Haven (SyFy, Friday at10pm ET).  It's been repinned several times, so hopefully other people like this too.  I have been doing it as I watch Haven on Fridays, and I like it.  It ends up being really heavy on the squats - they mention the Troubles A LOT.  If anyone else has tried this workout, please comment & let me know what you think - good or bad.

My third pin was this plank workout from Self magazine. I need a different strength training workout.  I didn't really like the one I used in my first half marathon training plan.  In fact, I don't really like strength training, but I know it's important.  It can help you be a better runner, and also help avoid injury.  It's not that I can't do most of them, I just find them boring.  I tried this one on Wednesday night, and I really did not like it.  Not only was it boring, but it felt really awkward.  One & done - I will not repeat this workout.

So - that's where I am.  Two pins done, one pin 2/3 done.  I'm on the lookout for one more strength training workout to pin and do, so post a comment if you have any good suggestions. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's Recap

Our Granddaddy Teague
Yesterday I participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's, a cause that is very personal to us since our Granddaddy Teague had this disease.  I walked and raised funds as part of a team from The John H. Boner Community Center, where I work.  We had 4 walkers, and with the support of our coworkers raised $243 to help fund Alzheimer's care, support, and research.

Start Line
We sold paper flowers and popsicles as well as collected donations.  We also had a day where everyone wore purple to work, but sadly due to time commitments were unable to get everyone together for a Purple People Picture.

Opening Remarks
It was a gorgeous day for the walk, which started at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis and went along the Canal and back for a total of 3 miles (there was also a 1 mile option).

Flowers Raised
Before the walk, opening ceremonies included fundraising awards and short remarks by families and patients with Alzheimer's; then a very moving moment where we raised our flowers in tribute.  I posted some pictures I took with my phone, but it's hard to really capture the size, scope, and emotion of that moment with a phone.

Flowers Raised
As we walked along the Canal, it was amazing to see the sheer numbers of people participating.  We were near the front of the pack, yet very early on we already saw people on the other side of the canal who had made the turn & were returning to the park.

At the turn, looking back
I have posted more pictures, but again it's just impossible to capture the scope of this walk from ground level with a camera phone.  It's also hard to capture just how beautiful the day was, and how beautiful the Canal Walk is.  It's one of my favorite places in Indianapolis.

From above, at the end
At runs and walks, I always love to see the outfits people are wearing, and this one was no exception.  There was a lot of spirit at the walk: many families and workplace teams in matching t-shirts, or wearing personal tributes to loved ones with Alzheimer's.  One team, which won a fundraising award, was all decked out in tutus.
Always someone in a tutu...

There were also a lot of dogs.  Maybe next year I will bring Sampson.  We even saw one dog jump in the canal and go for a swim.  I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of that, though.
 My heartfelt thanks to family, friends, and coworkers who supported our fundraising efforts this year and in past years.  Someday we will see the end of this disease.

Finish Line

Friday, October 4, 2013

Haven Workout

There's a Walking Dead workout that's popular on Pinterest (do 10 jumping jacks when someone kills a walker, etc.); and I've seen similar workouts for other shows. One of my favorite shows is the SyFy Original series Haven (SyFy, Fridays at 10 pm Eastern). I searched online for a Haven workout but couldn't find one, so I decided to create my own as part of the Pin It and Do It Challenge Trish is hosting. 

I'm going to try this out tonight while I watch Haven. If you are a Haven fan also, please Pin, Share, and Tweet, and remember to use #DiscoverHaven so we can get it trending again and get a Season 5. After you try the workout, come back & leave a comment -  let me know what you think. 

And if you aren't a Haven fan yet, what are you waiting for?  Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix, and you can catch up with season 4 on Here. #DiscoverHaven

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baby Sister's 1st Week of Couch to 5K

Today Tim and I went to the Neuse River Greenway so that I could complete Week 1 of my Couch to 5K and so that he could do his long run in prep for his 1st half marathon in October.    This will be a short but sweet blog since running is not my thing!

This 1st week has had me do a warm up walk for 5 minutes, then run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds...repeat for a total of 8 intervals, then do another 5 minute walk for cool-down.  I thought it would be pretty easy since I can already run a mile and sometimes 2 with no walking, but it was more challenging than I thought.  I guess it was more challenging since I was pacing my running over a longer span of time.  But even over the 1st week, I improved my distance while running and overall pace, and so I definitely think a definitive program over something I made up is the way to go for beginning runner.

A bummer today though:  my app on my phone messed up today during my final walk before running and my final my last pace times and total distances run were not accurate.  Should I repeat this last run of Week 1 again or start week 2?  My anal self cannot stand incomplete numbers, plus while I was running I was thinking of repeating this last step again before starting week 2.  Any thoughts?

A couple of things I learned/realized/remembered:  1)  I am a cyclist.  2)  If I run on a Greenway and can hear the river, I get very thirsty.  3)  I can actually run without music.  4)  I will stick with this program.  5)  If I really were a "Couch" runner right now, this 1st week would have been extremely hard.  6)  I am a cyclist (important to repeat)

IMPORTANT:  Thanks to everyone for getting our Facebook page to over 100 likes for our 3 month blog anniversary!  Please share with us what you are doing to inspire us along our journey!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pin It and Do It

I always enjoy mixing up my training sessions and trying new things, so for October I'm going to try some new workouts as part of Trish's Pin It and Do It Challenge.

To participate, you pick the number of pins you will complete in October, pin them, do them, and report back.  I'm going to go for 4 Pins - basically 1 pin per week -  which puts me in the Pinterested category.

It's not all about working out - you can do crafts, try out house cleaning tips, whatever you are into.  If it sounds like fun to you too, click on over to Trish's blog via the link above and sign up.

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Arsenal 5K Run/Walk Recap

Last weekend I did the Arsenal 5K Run/Walk, an event that raises money to give scholarships to alumni of Arsenal Tech High School.  I had not originally planned to run another race just one week after my first half marathon.  When I was asked at work to organize a team for the event I ended up saying yes, thinking I would probably just walk.

Between co-workers, friends, and family members, I was able to put together a team of 12, although sadly on race day we had one sick and one no show.  All in all, though, it was a good showing for the East Side Running Club.

The course was very nice - winding all around the campus of Arsenal Tech, mostly on paved roads but also across grass practice fields and around the track.  The start/finish line was in the football stadium.  The run was not chipped, but there was a timing clock running on the scoreboard.

I had such a good run on Thursday prior to the race that I decided I was going to run this as well.  I felt great, and had to keep telling myself to slow down the first mile so I didn't run out of steam.  After that, I settled into a good pace and just lost myself in the music and the joy of the run.  It was really so much fun!  Since it wasn't chipped, I guess I have to call it an unofficial PR, but I did it in 34:37 and I am thrilled!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cycling for the Coast, 80K

On Saturday, I completed my first 80K (50 mile) bike ride!  I had attempted a 64 miler earlier in the year, but had to stop because of back problems.  Usually most bike races are 31 or 62, and so I was very excited to find an in-between mileage to try before going for the 60+ again.  A friend was originally supposed to join me, but a couple of days before she found out that she wasn't going to be able to.  So I went solo again.

I had some good carbs and protein the night before, and slept better than I probably ever have the night before an event.  The morning of the ride, my breakfast was probably 95% carbs with just a little protein thrown in for good measure.  Hubby Tim was kind to accompany and chauffeur me to the event.  We got to the start with about 10 minutes to spare!  One of my water bottle holders had lost a screw in transit, but I was lucky that the bike mechanic had one that fit.  By the time he got that fixed, I had missed the I pretty much started dead last, so I was Caboose like Teresa for a while, but not for long.  This course was from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle and back, and so I was really looking forward to some flat riding after all the hills I have conquered this year.  I had worried the wind might be bad since I was at the beach, but I lucked out and didn't have to deal with that much at all.  This event only had one rest stop, which was at the halfway point.  I was ready for a saddle break, that's for sure!  I topped off my water bottles, ate a little bit, but was quickly back off, since I was near the back of the pack.

Right around the mileage in the summer race where my back started bothering me, it started aching again.  Not so much a spasm this time around, but a persistent ache.  I tried to compensate by using the upper handlebars since I wasn't having to shift much, but then I just tensed up in my shoulders.  So I kept going back and forth between upper and lower handlebars.  Around mile 38 I pulled off the road and did some cat and cow stretches.  I'm sure I got some weird looks from passersby, but who cares?!?  For the remainder of the ride, I just kept mentally coaching myself to relax and counting down the miles.  Tim was waiting for me at the finish, cheering me on, which made me grin from ear to ear.

I figured out a couple of things during this ride:  I think my anthem is going to be Katy Perry's "Roar".  I actually think I like a more challenging course than a beach ride (at least you get to coast after going up hills usually).  And I really, really, really need to go see Gary at TLC for Bikes and have him fit me properly on my bike.  Hopefully that will be one of my next posts...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hendricks County Half Marathon Recap

If you follow our blog regularly, you know that this was my first half marathon and I started training at the same time we started this blog.

My Indiana church - Living Faith Church - is one of the sponsors of this event, and also gets credit for all the photos in this post.  We had people running in half marathon and the 5K, people staffing the water stations & cheering along the course, and people riding safety patrol on bicycles.  It makes it so much fun, knowing I will see lots of friends along the way.

Last year I started running in order to do the 5K at this event, so this shows just how far I've come in one year.  My goal was to finish in 2:54.  I based that goal on the last long training run I'd done - 9 miles at 13:32 min/mile averaged out over 13.1 miles should be 2:54.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My First Trail Half

Yesterday I competed in my first trail half marathon, the Riverbound Race Series Trail Half Marathon for Outward Bound.  I have to say I'm really starting to enjoy these trail races.  After my other trail races and after questioning every runner I know about tips and suggestions, we have kind of changed up our training and the result; this is the most prepared I've felt for a long race.  Yeah!  I've done longer, slower runs and some speed and hill work (and believe me, this race needed plenty of hill work), and I feel like I've become a much stronger runner in just one month.
The race is advertised as very technical - which means serious trails, lots of roots, rocks, mud, ditches, etc.....really hard, just the way  I like it.  It was also mostly hills, big ones, with the last mile and a half named Suicide Ridge.  Whoo hoo!  Since this is by far the hardest half I have ever tackled, my strategy was just to stay steady and conserve energy so I could finish without bonking out at my usual 10 to 11 miles.  Success!!!!  I actually feel like I might have held back too much at the beginning, of course that is easy to say when you aren't climbing a hill so steep you have to walk and running down a trail you can only see directly ahead of you, or hitting that middle part of the race that was on the road and flat so you try to speed up and realize your legs are not listening to you.  Haha.  I held out very well and could have finished a little stronger, but extreme calf cramps the last mile.  I know the hills were part of that, but I think alot of it was the uneven terrain on my feet.  Trail shoes are definitely in order.
So now that I've bored you with all the details and held you in suspense:
3rd place in my age group..and these were some serious runners.  Maybe I am moving towards that category. :)  My time was 2hr29minutes.  Mark also flew into 3rd in his age group with a time of 2hrs5minutes.  We had a really really good time, alot of fun.  More trails and halves in the future.
Keep Running :0

Friday, September 13, 2013

Race Eve To Do List

It's less than 10 hours now until the start of the Hendricks County Half Marathon, and my Race Eve To Do List is done:
  • Eat a good supper  CHECK
  • Set out my clothes, bag, & gear so everything's ready to grab in the morning  CHECK
    • BONUS - my sweet husband went shopping today & picked up my favorite Honey Stinger Energy Chews in Fruit Smoothie, and some bananas
  • Set my alarm  CHECK
  • Put my phone on the charger  CHECK
  • Go to bed early - doing that right now - good night all!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Two Day Pre-Race To Do List

Most runners probably have a to-do list for the night before a race, but do you also have one for two nights before?  I do, and since this is two nights before my first half marathon, here's what I'm doing:
  • Make sure what I want to wear for the race is clean  CHECK
  • Final training - a 2 mile run -  per the schedule I've loosely followed (from the July issue of Self magazine)  CHECK
  • Charge my running watch & my headphones - Charging now as I type
  • Freshen up my running playlist by removing songs I'm tired of & adding a few new ones for an extra boost while I run - CHECK
    • Ready or Not, by Britt Nicole featuring Lecrae - two of my favorite artists singing/rapping a song I never get tired of hearing, a song that reminds me WHY I'm running - for Jesus
    • Overcomer, by Mandisa (the Capital Kings remix) - love Mandisa, love Capital Kings - this song will push me past that wall if I hit it
    • One Drop, by Plumb - this song is so positive & so catchy I find myself singing it for hours after I hear it
    • Southern Girl, by Tim McGraw - I know it's a hokey formulaic country song, but I can't help that I still like it
All done; come back tomorrow for my Race Eve To Do List

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Honey Stinger Energy Chews, aka Ready for my 1st Half

Since I liked the honey waffle so well last week, I decided to try another Honey Stinger product this week - the Fruit Smoothie Energy Chews.  I ran 8.9 miles yesterday, and I started snacking on these at about the halfway point.
  • Flavor - These were very good, with a strong fruity flavor and just the right amount of tartness.
  • Texture - These were so far the best of any chews I have tried.  They practically melted in my mouth.
  • Energy - I was feeling pretty good all along during this run and never felt my energy flag at all.  I ate 2 or 3 chews every couple miles from the halfway point on, and my energy level stayed pretty steady.
  • Packaging - I opened it with scissors before starting my run.  I think if I had forgotten to do that, I would've been out of luck.  After opening, the package fit in my belt pocket just right, and the chews were easy to get to while running.
Overall I give these chews an A.  I give myself an A as well.  I treated this last long run like a race day - laying out my outfit the night before, getting a good night's sleep, and getting up early for breakfast.  I felt good during the whole run, and ran the whole thing at a pretty steady pace.  I feel ready for my first half marathon next weekend.  Nervous, for sure, but ready.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tim Ran 13!

Baby sister Cindy's hubby Tim is training for his first half marathon, and he wanted her to blog about his run this past Saturday.  That particular day was supposed to be 12 miles for him according to the program that he's following, and he went into it feeling good about it since he did very well on his 11 mile run the week before.

The day was very hot and very humid.  I told him to listen to his body if he felt overheated or dehydrated, and he promised that he would.  Meanwhile, I was just doing some brisk walking and then had a book to read while I waited for him.  I will admit that I was a little nervous for him, as I was sweating like crazy just from my walking (4 1/2 miles).  I said quite a few prayers for him.  I noticed while I was reading that the sky was getting dark with storm clouds.  Then it started pouring.  I looked at my watch and knew he would have at least 3 or 4 miles left.  All I could do was continue to wait.

Well, after 2 hours and 7 minutes, I saw him running back toward me and cheered him on.  I told him that was a great time, and then he said he had actually decided to run the whole half marathon distance.  So the time was even better than I originally thought.  He said it was just a few miles into it when he made the decision, because was really feeling the run and doing great.  The rain drenched him with about 4 miles to go, but he said he felt it really helped him.  It cooled him off and washed all the sweat away.  He said it was quite invigorating.  And he also saw some kids on bicycles cheering him on, which gave him another boost.  

We are both happy and thrilled that he was able to do it.  And he is very encouraged about the actual half marathon that he will participate in.  It's not until the temperature should be much cooler, and so he definitely believes he can improve his time between now and then.  After his event, I will have him guest blog on here so you can get his perspective.  Run, Tim, run!!

North Salem Old Fashion Days Bike Ride

You didn't see this on the What's Next? tab because it was a last minute decision - I went to North Salem yesterday and participated in the Bike Ride.  Because they also had a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K Run, I was indecisive up until the morning of as to what I was going to do.  When I woke up, though, I felt more like biking than running.  The Bike Ride benefitted the B&O Trail Association - someday we will have a trail running from Speedway to Montezuma.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Honey Stinger Honey Waffle, or We're Gonna Need a Bigger Water Bottle

On this week's long run, which became a long run/walk, I tried the Honey Stinger Honey Waffle as my energy supplement.  First, my review of the waffle (spoiler - I'm giving it an A+), and then my review of my run:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5-0 Memorial Bike Ride

This past Saturday I participated in a 34 mile bike ride in memory of the 8 Raleigh police officers that have died in the line of duty this year.  The start was very emotional, with the National Anthem being played, and then a moment of silence.

The weather was unbeatable for a ride, especially considering it is late August.  I think it was in the low 70s to start out, virtually no humidity, and a light breeze that felt great and was rarely against us.  I knew from a ride that I had done earlier in the year that started and ended at the same place that this was going to be a challenging ride with lots of hills.  I did have a friend riding with me that has more experience riding who has given me great pointers in the past, and he did the same for me on this ride as well.  He was particularly helpful in the tips he gave me for getting up hills, such as sitting up straighter so that my diaphragm is more open to be able to take in deeper breaths.  He was very encouraging and motivating throughout the ride.  Thank you so much Tony!

I feel that I did fairly well with my hydration and fuel, just the right balance of carbs and protein the night before and morning of, and pickles at the rest stops to help prevent cramping.  And most importantly to me, my back held up pretty well.  I didn't have any spasms.  It did start to have a dull ache the last 10 or so miles, so I used every coasting chance I could to stand up from the saddle.  But overall I am very pleased with how I felt during and afterwards.  I am excited that I finally found an "in-between" mileage race...more than what I've done in the past but less than when I had to stop in a ride earlier in the year because of my back.  You'll find the link to that on the "What's Next" tab.

I'm looking forward to some nice rides with cooler weather coming up in the Fall!  Stay tuned...

2013 Five-0 Memorial Ride Video

2013 Five-0 Memorial Ride

Nice compilation video put together by animoto of different pics from the race on Saturday (which I will blog about shortly).  I am in a pic about halfway through...I'll be on the left wearing a State jersey, and my friend Tony is beside me wearing red and black.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Power Bar Performance Energy Blend, or Always Charge Your Headphones

This weekend's long run didn't end up being very long - only 6.15 miles.  I didn't have much time since it's not light enough to head out before 7am, and I had to be at work at 10 to help set up for the Feast of Lanterns Parade.  Even though I didn't think I'd need it, I wanted to go ahead and try another energy supplement, so I tried the Power Bar Performance Energy Blends in Apple Mango Strawberry, and here's my review:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back At It

I promised a quick update after I got back to running.  I did 5 miles last night, and it was hard.  It feels weird, since just 10 days ago running 10 miles was easy.  I'm not really sure why I feel so tired & unable to get into a good running groove.  It was a lot hotter & more humid last night that it's been lately, but it seems to be more than that.  It's probably just mental - I'm psyching myself out somehow.

Has anyone else had this problem before, and how did you work your way out of it?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rest Week?

I unintentionally took a week off from training.  Not good, at less than a month to go before the Hendricks County Half. Here's what happened....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Ride to Rolesville Main Street Park

Tim had the great idea to take some back roads into the town of Rolesville, NC and have a little snack at the park.  Taking the scenic route (and less vehicles on the road) made it 10 miles to get there.  Very nice ride with only a few challenging hills.  I had a huge advantage over Tim since I was on my road bike and Tim was on my altered mountain bike.  Some beautiful sites along the way included several tobacco and soy fields, a quarry where there is scuba instruction, and quite a few pastures.  It is so nice living outside of Raleigh!

Then came our "picnic" at the park!
"Picnic" was pretzels and homemade hummus (squirrels like pretzels we found out), good fuel for the ride back home.  Also at the park we were able to refill our water bottles.

On the ride back home, we took a little tour around the new Rolesville High School that will open next week.  Extremely impressive campus and beautiful facilities.  It has 2 baseball diamonds, at least 6 tennis courts, football field with a track around it, a nice practice football field,  and outdoor basketball goals.  We probably added a mile to our route just riding around the campus.

And you have got to see our last stop!

Just a few miles from our house is an alpaca farm.  We've always wanted a closer look, so what better chance than today?  I'm not sure what they thought about me.  I guess since I didn't have food they just thought I was some stranger they wanted nothing to do with.  Interesting creatures!

So all in all, we did about 21 miles today...not bad for not planning on a semi-long ride and really not fueling properly.  I only had a few back spasms, but it did ache some the last 5 miles or so.  I definitely want to go see my buddy Gary at TLC for Bikes in Raleigh this week to see if he can adjust the angle of my seat before my bike race next weekend.  Today was a good prep for next Saturday's 5-0 Memorial race in Raleigh!