Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Goals in Review

Back in January I set some fitness related and personal goals for 2013. Here's how I did...

1.       Run at least 13 races. Accomplished! I will actually be running my 15th race tomorrow (10 live races, 4 virtuals).
2.      Learn to NOT START TOO FAST!! This one kills me ever.single.time. I start races way too  fast, even when I know I started too fast and slow down. I never slow enough. It cost me a sub 1:50 half last year and I won't let it stop me from getting that this year. I am still working on this one. It cost me a PR at the Flying Pirate and a couple of better placings at some 5k's. MUST.CONQUER.THIS.IN.2014!!!!
3.      PR and break a 1:50 half marathon (see above). Nope, see #2. :/
4.      PR and break a 40 minutes 8k. I haven't raced an 8k in a couple of years. This March, watch out Shamrock 8kers, I am finally going to go sub 40 minutes! Accomplished!! 39:10 at The Shamrock 8k. This race I actually tried to pace myself out of the gate and feel I went too slow and could have broken 38 minutes.
5.      Complete Tough Mudder and finally mark this off my to do list! EPIC FAIL!!! TM you are dead to me! If you missed it read about it here.
6.      Not get injured or sick. (This is already a fail, you can read about that in Trail Running Gone Wrong.) Other than falling flat on my face trail running and getting sick over Christmas break, I have been pretty (knock on wood) healthy this year. I did start seeing a chiropractor, which I think has helped my overall well being, but not my overall financial health. #beinghealthyisexpensive
7.      Win my age group in all the small local races I run. (Notice, I didn't say the large races.) They say you peak in you late 30's, well I am in my late 30's. This age group is tough and gets tougher at every race. So not only do I need to PR and be happy with my PR, because according to science it's all down hill from here, I need to win. To me this is my Olympics, the competition is that good! (Side note: I know this must sound arrogant, but if you don't dream big, then you are limiting yourself!) I did win my age group at the Stingray 5k. I came in second at the Equikids 5k, and second at the Untamed Spirit 5k. And I have yet to place at the Military Challenge OCR. We won the team division, but I can't break into the top three. Next year for sure!
8.     Incorporate, really incorporate on a regular basis stretching and movement prep to my training plan. This will help tremendously with #6, the injured part not the sick part. Accomplished!!! It is just part of my routine now. You can read about movement prep here.
9.      800 miles. That is just over 15 miles per week. I know to some people this is chump change, but for me it will probably be one of the harder challenges on this list.  I am not sure exactly how many miles I ran. After my disappointment at The FP in April, I decided to stop tracking mileage and pace for a while. January through April I ran 261 miles. I know I ran at least 16 miles in May and 23 in June. (I know I ran more that that, I just have no idea what. I would guess I averaged 40-50 miles each month.) July through Nov 30th I logged 390. With August being the most at 99 miles. That brings me to 690 miles and I still have December. (If I add 50 miles for May and June, I would need to run about 50 miles in December to meet my goal. I just might do that!)
10.  Run a relay. I have my eye on The Colonial 200, here in Virginia.  I had the most amazing experience doing this race!!! My recap doesn't give it justice, but please read it anyway here. 
11.   Continue to pursue clean eating, menu planning, and hopefully get a vegetable garden put in in February to help with this. We are still on the clean eating band wagon. My menu planning has fallen off though. I still plan at least 1-2 weeks at a time, just haven't been inspired to do a full month of planning lately. Still no vegetable garden. This year it IS going in. We have some other landscaping happening after the new year and it is part of that plan.
12.  To not let training, blogging, Facebooking, and other time suckers like Pinterest interfere with my family. My boys are getting big and I don't want to miss this precious time I have with them.  I stepped down as chapter leader of MRTT, which has freed up a lot of my time. Time that I used to spend on the computer managing club stuff, has been filled with family things. I don't blog as much or spend nearly as much time on the computer as I once did. Life still gets in the way of spending quality time with my boys, but we did have time to make a lot of fun memories this year. I plan on continuing with this goal or lifestyle change for many years to come!
2013 is wrapping up. I am so glad I made this list and was able to reflect back on it. I hope to have time to reflect about 2013 as a whole and from there set some goals for 2014. Hope you all had a fabulous year! I look forward to reading about it and your goals for 2014.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Runway 5k

 

I've been wanting to get back to how running started for me, small, locally put on, short distance races and this small 5k benefiting Untamed Spirit, “a program designed to enhance and enrich the lives of individuals with special needs through a partnership with horses” was perfect. It was close to home and I knew it wouldn't take too much time away from my family.

It took place at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum, located in rural Virgina Beach. We would be running a cross country course on the grass runway and through the dinosaur park.
 
The race coordinator warned us that we wouldn't get a PR today, but I always *hope* I'm going to PR. I can't help it. Getting better is why I compete. 

It was a cold and windy morning. After warming up I was comfortable and decided to keep my outer layer on. A decision I would quickly regret. I hadn't thought too much about my race strategy either, another move I would regret. I was given some sound advice to start a bit slower and then hit the gas a little later into the race. Even though, I wanted to do this, it didn't happen. In true Courtney fashion I put the pedal to the metal right out of the gate. By mile one I was slowing down and HOT. I decided to not worry about speeding up. Instead, I wanted to concentrate on keeping a steady pace. Even if I wasn't going to PR I thought I could hold onto third place as I noticed that only two women were ahead of me. 

I knew I would never catch #1. She ended up running it in 22 and some change! I did, however, keep #2 in my sights. She too was hot, shedding layers as she ran, but more importantly she was slowing!

So here I am, hot and already fatigued, running on a grass runway trying not to slip and then they throw you for a loop, literally. I was looping through a grassy knoll littered with dinosaur replica’s. All the looping back and forth slowed me down.

This was obviously not taken on race day :)
Once we were out of our little loop through Jurassic Park, I steadied my pace and was able to close in on #2. She must have tried to make up for lost time running around the dino's and sprinted ahead to only tire herself out as she was now taking walk breaks. I tried not to think about her and just run my race, but as I got closer and the finish was near, I new I was going to try and go in for the kill! I didn't want to start my final kick too soon and run out gas before the finish. And I didn't want to start too late and not be able to catch her, so with about three tenth's of a mile to go I made my move...

I closed the distance between us quickly. As soon as I was on her heels she felt my presence and started sprinting too. As we are sprinting that last tenth of a mile, neck in neck, I could hear everyone cheering, but I couldn't see anything but the finish  line. I have this weird tunnel vision thing happen when things get intense. With maybe 20 feet left to go, I could feel her edging over into my space. WTH! Is that even legal? I don't know if it was intentional or not, or even if it really happened! I might have edged into her space? I don't know, anyway, it doesn't matter. What matters is that with her edging me over I fell a step behind. She crossed the finish line first @ 24:44 and I was 2 seconds back with 24:46. 2 little seconds! 2! And you know what? I don't care. I mean I care, of course I care, BUT, it was so exciting!! I loved the excitement! The thrill of competition! It was an awesome feeling! A feeling that somehow has escaped me during this last year of running. A feeling I hope is here to stay! I enjoyed this race so much more than I have enjoyed most of the races I completed this year.

I ended up taking 3rd overall and second in my age group. It was such a small race that they only gave out 1st place overall awards. Everyone else went to the age groups. Even though, it was a small race, my age group, 30-39 was tough. The first place finisher overall was 33. #2 was second overall and first in our age group at a whopping 31 years old. Then I come with my walker to take 2nd at the ripe old age of 38! The 3rd place finisher was 30.  I can draw a diagram if you need help sorting that out, but on paper, not on the computer. Us old people don't know how to do that! It actually makes me feel pretty good that I was able to hang with those kids! Apparently, runners peak in their late 30's. Does that mean I am now looking at the back side of the mountain? I don't think I am ready for that just yet! Oh and the organizer  was right, no PR for me. Next time for sure!

I'm still not sure what this guys costume was all about.
 
Or this one...but it made for a good photo.

Some of my MRTT momma's.








Friday, November 22, 2013

How Far is Too Far?

If you are on social media and into running you probably have seen posts about the 8 year old that ran a 100k in high heat; the post about the young life runner who finished a marathon; and the 12 year old that ran his 3rd 100 mile race. Stories like these are becoming more and more common and are stirring more and more controversy. Here are my thoughts…
While I agree that 100K in 100+ degree heat is way too much for just about anyone, especially a child, and I don't think most, if any kids really know their limits for just about anything, I just don't think running itself is bad for any child without any limiting medical history. How far is too far? I don’t think anyone really knows. In fact, as I am sitting here pondering my stance, I realized what a ridiculous first world problem this is. I am sure if we asked the people of a third world country their take, they would shake their heads and say they ran or at least walked pretty dang far to get food or water or at least that is what I imagine they would say. Run for exercise or run for existence.  The fact that our overly sedentary society has a problem with kids getting too much exercise is laughable, when clearly the majority of kids in America don’t get enough.
So where do I stand? I can’t say I would let me kids run a 100k at 8 years old, especially in that kind of heat, but then again, I can’t get them to run around the block. At the same time my older one has no problem playing flag football or basketball with the neighborhood kids for hours. If he wanted to run a 5k I would let him. When I was a kid I grew up out in the country and wandered around famer’s fields and woods all day long. I probably walked and ran miles every day and had no idea I did so. Kids need exercise and they need it to be fun and varied and often times disguised as play. Coming from a sport medicine background and seeing the research as it relates to overuse injuries in other adolescent athletes, kids need downtime from their sport of choice, whether it’s running, baseball or soccer. Most experts in the field would say a 6-8 week break in a training cycle is important for recovery. I know this doesn’t really answer the question and yes, I feel like a politician.
What I do think is, what freaks people out is, there are parents out there that are “pushing” their kids to compete and then gaining fame by blogging about their super kid. Are these those kids? I have no idea, but if they are then their parents can be lumped into the same group as stage moms or parents of kids who play other sports that push their kids to practice excessively, hoping to make it professionally some day at any cost. Historically speaking, walking or running is how people got around before there were cars. Walking and running are normal modes of transportation in other cultures; they just don’t do it for time, wearing a bib and Gramin, and post about it on social media. So I don’t think running is the bad guy here.
I do think that variety is key to developing a well rounded person, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. To just run or just play soccer or just do beauty pageants at a young age is not ideal for any child’s development. I hope for the development of these kids they have other interests and running isn’t the only hobby they have.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Birthday Celebration!

Just warning you that this is not a running post, but it does have Ninja Turtles!
 
 
Today is my son's 4th birthday! Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest most awesome people to have ever touched my life! We celebrated last weekend with his buddies by throwing him a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party at our house. I think it went over well and all the kids had a great time. (At least I hope they did!) Here is a little recap of the festivities. I had some help from TMNT experts to make this as authentic as possible, as I still don't know which turtle is which!
 
 
 
My plan was to turn the kids into TMNT and let them fight the bad guys. Here is how we did it...
 
First we made toxic slime.
 
 
Then they were magically transformed into ninja turtles. They each got masks, belts, a turtle shell made out of TMNT plates they were selling at Target, and of course weapons.
 
 
 It's amazing what you can make out of duck tape!
 
nunchaku, bo, sai, and katana
 
Once they were transformed they had to defeat the field of bad guys. This was a big hit. I wish I wouldn't have accidentally let a handful of balloons fly off as I was tying them to rocks! Oops!
 
When they got past the bad guys, they got to work on the piñata! Too bad Patrick opened it on the first pull. :/ Instead of letting it go there, I let each of the kids take turns beating the piñata with their ninja weapons. They were loving it!
 
After they tired themselves out we served what else, but pizza and sewer sludge! YUM!
 
sewer sludge
 

 
What party wouldn't be complete without cake and ice cream? A friend of a friend made this awesome cake for us. It was almost to good to eat, almost.
 
 
I really hope my little man and all his friends had a great time. As much work as it was to get this together it was so worth it to see smiles on all their faces.
 
Happy Birthday Patrick!! You are the best TMNT I know :) Love you!
 
 



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wicked 10K

 
The Wicked is brought to you by  J & A Racing, the same folks that put on the Shamrock Marathon weekend. It's a great race and always good for some laughs. People are so creative and talented when coming up with some of the costumes we saw. I however, am not.

I know I look like I crashed a Wonder Woman convention. I can assure you that that wasn't the case. This years Wicked had me strapped for time and creativity as to what costume to wear.  I was going to recycle my Bat Girl costume from last year, but I thought it might be too cold for it. So, I went with the lame skull shirt you see glaring at you.  
 
What wasn't lame was how well I ran. I haven't run that well or felt that good in a long time. This past year had me fighting runners brain during most of my races. "Why do I do this to myself?" "How much further?" "Maybe I should walk for a bit?" Not this time. I was mentally in it. I gave myself one goal and that was to have a negative split.

My training had fallen off after The Colonial, but I felt good and not strained, so I kept a 7:55 pace that first mile. Mile 2 was 7:58. I was waiting for my mind to step in and sabotage a great race, but what got me was a damn cramp! I took water at about mile 2 and as soon as we made the turn onto the boardwalk I felt it, a sharp stab in my side. I dealt with that during miles 3 and most of mile 4. It didn't slow me down too much, but enough to keep me from a sub 50 min 10k. Mile 3 was 8:13 and 4 was 8:23. Mile 5 I was settling back into a quicker pace at 8:08 and mile 6 had me back at  sub 8 mm at 7:58. The last .2 miles was 7:28. I thought I was going to puke! I hadn't pushed it like that in a long time.  I was so pumped. I am still so happy that I actually raced again and didn't let my head screw things up!
 
I am so so happy with my time! I know I didn't technically achieve my goal of a negative split, but I ran faster and much stronger than I had expected and I can't be mad at that.

This was also race 13 for the year. I had set out to do 13 in 2013 and I did it. All but four races were virtual and depending on who you ask, I met my goal. I am contemplating getting in 4 more 5k's before the clock strikes 2014 to make up for the virtuals. Running 13 races was a challenge for my tight schedule, even if they weren't all "real", so we will see about 4 more!

Anyone else doing 13 in 13? Were they all "real" races? Have you met or exceeded your goal?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Colonial 200 2013

Yes, I know this race was well over a month ago (seems longer), but well, life has been busy! That and I really didn't know how to sum up my weekend of running. I still really don't, but here goes nothing...

Colonial 200 Relay
September 20-21
207 miles from Charlottesville to Williamsburg, Virginia
 
The beginning...
0600 gun time.
 
Van 1 started bright and early. I could have stayed asleep, but I had to make it out and see what I was in for later in the day. I had no idea what to expect. It was dark and quiet, except for the energy of the runners. My van, van #2 wouldn't start our legs until around 10 am.
 
Leg 1: Fresh and ready to concur the mountain.

 
My first leg was 5.76 miles and 456 ft of elevation gain in the first 2 miles. The rest was down hill and downhill I went. Fast. The scenery was fantastic and I got my first and only "kill" of the weekend. I ended up averaging a 9 minute mile.
 
My Kill
 
 
This was a weekend of firsts!
  • It was the first time my training had me running twice a day.
  • It was the first time I ran a relay.
  • It was the first time I slept in a tent. (I know. Hanging head in shame. For as much as I love the outdoors, I have never slept outside.)
  • It was the first time I slept in a tent next to a graveyard. (I was so tired I could have cared less.)

The view from our tent.


  • It was the first time I brushed my teeth with bottled water in a soy bean field.
  • It was the first time I used nothing but porta-potties for 2 days.
  • It was the first time I ran 18 almost 19 miles in less than 24 hours.
  • It was the first time I ran through rural VA in the pitch black holding a can of OC spray praying to God that the bears wouldn't get me!
Leg #2: So glad this is blurry. You can't see the terror on my face!
Oh leg 2. The one leg I was most excited about. I really wasn't scared about running through bear infested back roads  in the dark until I started running. For some dumb reason I thought this itty bitty headlamp would be enough to light my way. Um no. I started to double guess myself and kept thinking I missed my turn. So I chickened out and called my van for backup. Two miles later here come my hero's with a flash light and a buddy to run with me. Thanks AJ! Numerous stops for map checks and phone calls put me at an 8:25 pace for 4.91 miles.
 
I also learned some things...
  • Wet wipes are for more than just wiping baby bottoms.
  • I can get sick of peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
  • A 6inch sub for dinner is not enough food while running that many miles.
  • A "kill" in relay terms is when you pass another runner. I think I only had one kill, but I'm pretty proud that it was on "The Mountain." 
  • My body actually doesn't mind running two days in a row. I had myself believing that I couldn't' recover quickly enough to have a decent second run. I was wrong.

 
 
Leg #3: 8.34 miles on a scenic path that winds through Charles City.
 
I am not going to lie. I was dying during my third leg. My legs were so sore from:
 
A. 3 miles of down hills I ran in my first leg 
B. My midnight sprint through the woods 
C. all of the above
 
The first few miles were ok, but 6 and 7 were torture. I stopped at some point to gather myself. And by gather myself I mean stretch my quads. I ended up averaging a 9:30 pace for those 8 miles. Not bad considering every step was painful. 
 
Our last runner crossed the finish line 32 hours, 14 minutes and 13 seconds after the clock started the day before. I was so proud of everyone and so grateful to have been able to run this and with such a great group of people.
 
 
The Lawless and The Braless
 

 
 

 
King of the Mountain
Proudest moment: I earned the title King of the Mountain for concurring leg # 8 Preddy's Creek. It was the most elevation of any of the 36 legs. When I rounded the corner and was coming into the exchange zone both vans of my teammates were there to cheer me on and crown me King of the Mountain. It was awesome.
 
I had such a great experience. I would absolutely do another relay and with these same people. Our team captains did an amazing job organizing everything. Thanks so much for letting me be part of it!
Our overall results were 17th out of 26 teams and 11th out of 18 for the mixed teams.

 You can check out more at http://www.colonial200.com.
 

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Whirl Wind!

It has been a whirl wind couple of months. Earlier this year, I stepped down from heading up my local chapter of Moms RUN This Town to alleviate some of the organized chaos in my life. My hope was to not be so stressed about trying to pack it all in. Well, that didn’t happen. Apparently, taking things off my plate just opened up room for other things to be piled on. Here is where I must confess, it’s my own doing! I can’t say no. I have to be involved in stuff. I have always been that way. I need to be busy! I did however; decide that blogging was not a top priority. As the three people that read my blog could probably tell because I haven’t posted since September 8th. I do have blogging sessions in my head while I’m running or driving to work. Some are even worth writing about, but sorry no time to get them down on paper. Today though, I have a few minutes, so I thought I would catch you up on the life of Courtney.

I completed the Colonial 200 with my team of 12 wonderfully amazing people. We had the best time. I have thought a lot about how I would recap this event and come up blank each time. I hope to figure it out soon. To sum it up for you, it took us 32:14:13 to complete 207 miles between Charlottesville and Williamsburg, VA. Blog post to come soon (I hope).

Another school year is in full swing. I couldn’t be prouder of my older son. He is doing great in school and is playing fall baseball, which he really enjoys.

I am coaching my 3 year olds soccer team and it is so much fun. I am also proud of my little man. He and the other kids are doing great and have shown huge improvements since the first day. Sure, it’s more like herding cats, but they seem to have a great time, so it’s worth it. I even had one little boy tell me he loves me, but didn’t want a girlfriend, and he doesn’t like spicy stuff, all in one breath.

I am running another race tomorrow, The Wicked 10k, here in Va Beach. It will be my 13th race of the year. Kind of fitting that my Halloween themed race is also unlucky #13! Boo! And just to show you a prime example of how I like to pack it all in…race at 8:00, soccer at 10:00, baseball at 11:00, basketball tryouts after that, and then home to hopefully rest, but no, party planning is in full effect for my little guys 4th birthday party! My recreation of TMNT weapons made out of paper rolls and duck tape will amaze you…blog to come!

Ok, this is looking more like one of those lengthy “what my family has been up to this year” letters stuffed into a Christmas card than a blog post. So I’m out, for now J
Happy Halloween and I hope to post soon about The Colonial, The Wicked, and where my running is headed for 2014!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Legs, My Legs!!

The course map for the Colonial 200
 is finally finalized!

Here is my breakdown....

I am assigned to van 2 which will run legs 7-12, 19-24, and 31-36. Which means I probably won't start running until around noon on Friday, depending on how the 7 people before me do.

Here are my legs...

#8 Preddy's Creek Baptist Church to St. John's Baptist Church, Barboursville, VA
  • 5.76 miles
  • 456 ft of elevation gain (I have no idea what that means)
  • Rated HARD-oh that is what that means
  • estimated start time 11:58 Friday
#20 South Anna Elementary School to Farrington Fire Co., Montpelier, VA
  • 4.91 miles
  • 121.39 ft elevation gain
  • medium difficulty
  • estimated start time11:30 pm Friday
#32 Harrison Lake Fish Hatchery to Charles City Courthouse, Charles City
  • 8.12 Miles
  • 101.71 ft elevation gain
  • Not sure of the difficulty. I am going to say medium to hard, as it the last leg for me and it's pretty long.
  • estimated start time 11:42 am Saturday


My excitement is starting to turn to anxiety! I hope I have trained enough. Last week was a waste. Between my son being sick and then me being sick, I missed a whole week of training. I still have roughly two weeks to go and I think I can get back on track with some quality training. Wish me luck!

 
For more info on The Colonial 200 Relay and these legs click HERE.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

RnR Race Crew!

Sunday was the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. It was a gloriously hot and humid morning. Exactly what you would expect for Labor Day weekend in VA. No, I wasn't running. I was handing out water!


Volunteering at a race is a lot of fun. You get all the race excitement and none of the race sweat or chaffing or ITB pain. It was great!


 My MRTT group was paired up with a group of USN Chief selectees at the mile 5 water stop. Congrats selectees! We were there early, like 0500 early to set up tables, line and fill garbage cans with water, and of course fill countless cups with, you guest it, WATER! 



Unloading the UPS truck at zero dark thirty. That really is a time, I'm not making it up!

A little after 7:00 the wheel chair participants came through. Then came the elites and Team Hoyt participants, each inspirational in their own way.
 
Then it happened. BAM! Now VB is pretty flat, but there is a very slight downhill on this stretch of road coming from the oceanfront. All you could see for at least a good hour was a sea of people coming at you and all you wanted to do was hand everyone a glass of water and shout inspirational things at them! The best I could come up with was "great job" and "you're almost halfway there!" I know, I know,  I should book speaking engagements now.  I think people appreciated it. I hope they did. I know I don't always say thank you to volunteers. That is mainly because I am out of breath and can't, but I am thinking it! I did see some MRTT ladies kicking that courses butt and some colleagues and friends out running that I didn't even know were signed up. I was starring down the crowd trying to recognize people! Some of my friends got an extra cup of water on the house. Shh, don't tell the RnR people!
 
 
Congrats to everyone that ran! If you haven't volunteered at a race you should do it sometime. Regardless, if it's a big or small event you will have a great time and won't regret it at all!
 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall 5 and 10: September

Just a week ago I posted about a cool free virtual going on all fall and into the winter called the Fall 5 and 10. I was am pretty excited about this as Mommy Run Fast has some pretty cool prizes up for grabs. I even asked my friends not to sign up so I would have better odds at winning! True story.

Well count up September as an EPIC FAIL!
 
 
My last run was Aug 31st. That's 5.days.ago. Ugh! I had planned on taking Sunday as a rest day, rightly so, I ran 12 miles Saturday. Monday was suppose to be 5 miles, which never happened due to a slight hangover and no motivation to run in 90+degree heat and humidity. I simply thought I would make it up Tuesday and just have an extra rest day, no harm, no foul.
 
WELL, my son came home with a stomach bug a couple days before my long run. I though I sanitized the house and besides the large vomit stain that was waiting for the carpet cleaner to come Tuesday, all was right in the world. And by world, I mean my sanitized for your comfort house. Apparently not. I woke up Tuesday with a stomach ache that progressively got worse and turned into a fever with chills. Luckily for me no vomiting, but still sick. It is now Thursday night and I have had one full meal since Monday. I am a bit on the run down side. I am so bummed that I didn't get my miles done for this months contest, but there is always next month, right?!??! And what about my Colonial 200 training? I think I am just going to stick with the plan and jump right back in tomorrow.
 
Good luck if you were able to log your miles for the Fall 5 and 10! If you win you have to come back and rub it in my face, I mean tell me what you won!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall 5 and 10

This fall I will be completing The Fall 5 and 10 Virtual Race series from Mommy Run Fast. The contest runs from September and goes until December. You have until the 5th of each month to complete either 5 or 10 miles. Simple. Registration is still open, so if you are interested click HERE and you can check it out for yourself. Best thing, it's free! And there are some pretty cool prizes! Oh wait, umm, don't click HERE and don't sign up, so I have a better chance at winning!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Less Than 4 Weeks to Go!

As I write this, I have officially less than 4 weeks to the The Colonial 200 Relay! For the past 3 weeks I have been upping my mileage and adding in hill work, even running 3 times in a two day period to simulate race weekend. Here is quick breakdown. (I am not a 'computer person', so no fancy graphs or cool graphics...)

Week 1
Mon:4 miles of treadmill hills
Tues: Rest
Wed: 4 miles moderate pace
Thurs: Core
Fri: 3 easy
Sat:7 mile long run
Total: 18 miles for the week. I was coming off a rest week and what I think was an impinged hip bursa from doing stupid Crossfit squats so that my butt hits my heels, but that is another post all together.

Week 2
Mon: 3.5 miles of treadmill hills
Tues: Rest
Wed: 4.5 moderate pace
Thurs: Core
Fri:4 miles easy
Sat: 5 miles in the a.m./5miles in the p.m.
Total: 22 total miles for the week. More mileage this week, but I felt pretty good. I think the Tuesday rest day and easy core workout on Thursday helped me rest up for a jump in mileage.

Week 3
Mon: 4 miles of treadmill hills
Tues: Strength Train
Wed: 3.5 moderate pace
Thurs: Strength Train
Fri: 5 miles easy
Sat: 8 mile long run
Total: 20.5 miles for the week. I finally added back in some strength training and I paid for it in my Friday and Saturday runs. I was very tired. Remind me not to do box jumps the day before I am suppose to run for the next two days.

I need to thank my running partner in crime, Randi for running with me  at 9 p.m. last Saturday night in a rain storm! We headed out to do 4 and of course with my awesome mapping skills we ended up doing 5. :-/ Sorry Randi!!  I also need to thank my obstacle course racing buddy and just my awesome friend Meagan for watching my boys this morning so I could run 8 miles. Thank you both!

So here I am 4 weeks out from an amazing adventure and I still don't know what legs of the race I will be running, the course hasn't been finalized. I don't think it matters too much though, as long as I keep up with my pseudo treadmill hills and keep upping my mileage, I should be fine.  

What I do have, is my hotel room booked and my roomie, Sue. I have my shirt order in. I have a case of baby wipes, headlamps, and just got new running shoes. There are some other loose ends that will hopefully get tied up at our team meeting later this week. Next weekend I have another split run planned. This time 6 in the a.m. and 5 at night. I think I might lay off the "hills" this week, my calves are so knotted up! And will definitely skip the box jumps! 

There you have it, my training in a nutshell. Wish me luck that these next 4 weeks go smoothly!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Must be nice to be young!

Yesterday I came across this blogger, This Fish Can Run. He had a great post: "Pose Running- Does Pose Running work or is it great coaching?"  I personally think its about coaching correct running form. Whether you choose Chi or Pose or what have you. It's about correcting biomechanical flaws that slow you down,  tire you out, and put you at risk for injury.

Last year when I was dealing with my ITB friction syndrome my PT friend Dave, helped me overcome some treadmill related/created heal striking I developed doing speed work.  He would be the first to tell you that he is not a running coach or a running form coach, but he understands the way the body should move. Since we ruled out every other possible treatment besides ITB window surgery, we went to my form, which sucked. There really is no nice way to say it. It was horrible and I had no idea! So long story short, we worked on correcting my heel strike, my leaning back, and getting my cadence up to speed. Three things that both, Chi Running and Pose Running have in common. (Now I am not an expert in either, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night! For real though, not only did I did read half of Chi Running-which makes me an expert right there, I do have a degree in kinesiology and sports medicine. So it makes complete sense to me why I was having such a hard time over coming my knee pain.
 
 
Before and afters of my running transformation. See how my foot lands under me in the second picture and how my knee is actually bent? It was seriously an epiphany, lol!
 
 
Back to Fish. Why is Fish's post important and why the heck is it nice to be young? !?! Well, I am in the mist of my training for The Colonial 200 and I find myself slogging through my runs. My calves are a big ball of knots thanks to hill work on the treadmill and my pace is abhorrently slow. I was out this morning and by mile 2 I was slowing down and could feel my body leaning back and lumbering side to side with each step. Then a light bulb came on! Turn your metronome on. So I did. I set it to 170 bpm.  Which is what Dave and I decided was my natural cadence and close enough to 180 bpm. Just that simple queue of ding, ding, ding, DING, ding, ding, ding, DONG Ding. Was enough to get my feet moving faster and with much less effort. I could feel myself leaning into the run, instead of against it. When I looked down at my Garmin I was running much faster than I was 2 miles ago. It is amazing what a little tweaking to your running form can do! And here is the kicker, I was running though a golf course/retirement community and this cute older lady walking towards me puts her hand up to her mouth, smiles, and shouts at me "Must be nice to be young!" I don't know about young,  but it is nice to feel alive!

Photo: I thought about the days I had handed over to a bottle... the nights I can't remember... the mornings I slept thru... all the time spent running from myself. 

– Mitch Albom (For One More Day)

www.ilovetorun.org | 'U' in the RUN
 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peachtree City Diva

Diva's Half Marathon
 

On September 6th, 2014 I will be running the Diva Half Marathon in Peachtree City, GA. I know, I said I was done with half marathons and that all female races, with tutu's and pink boa's isn't really my thing, but and this is a big but, it is the first Moms RUN This Town national meet-up/convention, what ever you want to call it, and I am going to be there. I know I gave up my status as MRTT chapter leader, but I am still super excited to finally meet some of these women who, over the past 3 years I have chatted with on Facebook about all things running. It is going to be so great to finally put a face with a name. (A face other than a profile pic and a full fb name!)

I am heading down there with my other half marathon momma's Cathy, Helen and of course Randi! You probably recognize Helen and Cathy from their days as J&A 's calendar girls.

Cathy Funk

And Randi, she is women who has dragged me through countless miles training for our last two half marathons!

 
 
We are all very excited and hopefully I can convince my OCR partner to get her Diva on and come join us! 
 
 
 
Pink Boa's or Bust in 2014!