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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.