Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taper Time!

With my 21 miler behind me, the looming marathon doesn't seem so bad anymore. I've been enjoying my weekday runs and extremely enjoyed my 10k last weekend. My schedule from here on out is a little iffy since I just have a lot of stuff going on in life, but I think it will actually be fun not really being on a set schedule. Case in point, N missed her long run on Saturday to do the 10k with me, so I offered to run her long run with her on Monday night. I mapped us a course that she hadn't done before and we had a great time running together. Each of us took it really slow since we were a little sore still from all the hills on Saturday. She ended up running 9.3 miles - a distance record for her.

I took Tuesday off to rest my legs and enjoyed a day of studying outside and a much needed haircut. I wanted to run Thursday and Friday, so Wednesday I took the bike out for a spin. I didn't really have a route or distance in mind, but it was a really nice evening.
The view from one of the parks I was exploring was amazing. I tried to practice a few of the skills I learned in my mountain biking clinic, but I was still having the same problem as before. Oh well. It'll come with more practice I'm sure. I ended up riding 9 miles and made it home just before sunset.

Happy adventures everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Toughest 10K

I woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful day - it was slightly cool outside and overcast! I loaded up the car with my breakfast and other necessities and headed to pick up the girls for our 40 min trip down to Kemah.
Geared up and ready...after quite the speed bump...
See those sneaks? Those are NOT my shoes. What did I leave the house with you ask? I was wearing my Ryder sandals as usual. But guess who turned the lights off and walked out the door without her running shoes? Oh yes, that was me. How can I call myself a runner if I can't even remember to bring my running shoes to a race?!?!

Luckily for me, a nice lady that parked across from us at the race start heard my friend C yelling at me for forgetting my shoes and offered to help. Since the running store was 20 minutes away and not open anyway, I was grateful for her. She lived 5 minutes down the road and called her hubby to bring me her old pair of shoes. Lucky even more for me - they were only half a size too big and the same Asics that I normally run in!

C, N and I waiting for the start with our scared faces on. This 10k was going to be 2 complete passes over a mighty tall bridge!

See the bridge? Yeah, I have to make it up to the top of that 4 times.

Self portrait just after I've climbed the first pass. I'm a little winded, but feeling great! Getting ready to charge down the downhill side and make up some time.

The view looking out into the Gulf of Mexico. The sun mostly stayed behind the clouds and the temperature stayed around 80 the whole race. Heaven for those of us who live in the South!

Starting back up the bridge at some point. You can see the runners are really starting to spread out. Somehow I managed to continue passing people - on the uphill and downhill. I'm still crediting my leg strength and speed to the 21 miler.

2 trips over the bridge complete! I finished!

Mile 1: 9:20 (I was trying to hold back a little and save energy for the uphill portions)
Mile 2: 9:03
Mile 3: 9:06
Mile 4: 9:20 (Starting to tire out, but trying to keep my form intact.)
Mile 5: 9:19
Mile 6: 8:29 (Wowzah!)
Last .2: 1:17 (or 7:39 pace)

Final time: 55:58. I came in 10th in my age group! Yay me! If I could shave off a full minute, I could have been in 7th place. I'm so excited at how fast I'm getting. I mean, I just PRed a very hilly course - there's no telling what I could do if it was flat!

Toughest 10k complete! Maybe we will all be ready for the hills in San Fransisco after all. We all made excellent time!

I've been so focused on marathon training this summer, that the fun was starting to wear off. It was great to get out there and rock a 10k to put a little spring back into my step. Sometimes I forget how much fun racing is - especially with friends!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Something to Celebrate

Didn't I just say how I felt stronger after that 21 miler? I think this weekend just proved it - I PR'ed my 10K! An extremely hilly (4x over a crazy tall bridge hilly!) 6.2 mile course. I'll get the full race report up as soon as Hubby reinstates the internet at home so I can use my laptop again. I got lots of pics!

New 10K PR: 55:58!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's This?!

I remember back 3 years ago to when I was first training for a half marathon. The runs were crazy long! I remember still being sore on Monday from Saturday's run and not wanting to go for my recovery. Those 9 and 10 milers really wore me out. Now here I am down the road and I've just finished a 21 miler. And I have no problem walking - not even running!

Monday night I figured I'd have a tough time getting my feet moving, so I made a running date with a friend. She needed some encouragement to do her first 8 miler, so I offered to get her started.  We met at Memorial Park and took off around the 3 mile loop. It was a steady 11min/mile run, but I felt good. A little tired, but good. I even tacked on an extra mile just for the hell of it. I felt like I could have gone the whole 8 miles with her, but I didn't want to take any chances. Recovery run = success!

Tuesday, I was still feeling good! No soreness from the day before. I figured I'd try to get in a little hill training since I have a super hilly 10K coming up this weekend. I set off from work with my new shuffle motivating me along to "No son of mine" by Genesis (awesome running song IMHO). I was trying to run a light warmup mile, but when Marvin the Garmin beeped at my first mile it said 9:03! I hadn't meant to run that fast and it sure didn't feel like I was pushing myself at all! I started running up and down the bayou hills until I didn't think my legs could take any more and then started my cool down mile back to my office building. How fast was my cool down you ask? 9:49. And I felt great when I got back.

Maybe I need to get my butt kicked by a 21 miler every now and again to put soem spring back into my step. Haha, right. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm loving my runs this week!

Happy Running!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Day I Ran 21 Miles

I'm still trying to figure out why I decided to sign up for a marathon. 26.2 miles. Was I temporarily insane at the time? And am I still insane for continuing to train for it? The jury is still out on that one.*

After a pretty decent sleep Friday night, I woke Saturday morning and got ready for my run. I did the big no-no and put on all new clothes, but I wasn't really worried about it. I managed to remember everything - even charged Marvin the Garmin. I was set to take on my 21 miler (even though I was shaking in my Brooks!). The morning was hot and stagnant, but nothing out of the ordinary for us Houstonians. Before we started, we held a nice moment of silence for those that have and still are suffering from 9/11.

The first 7 miles went by really fast. It was still really dark out, but we all managed to make all the correct turns and made it back to our starting point before sun up. I didn't even notice my watch for most of the first part. At the water stop, I refueled my handheld with water and ate half of my Margarita shot blocks. I didn't feel that I needed a GU yet, so I didn't take one. My friend E and I just kept chugging along. I felt really great until the sun really reared its ugly head and the heat got worse. Heat + already exhausted legs = no good. Our last water stop was at mile 17 and I started walking as soon as it came in my sight. I felt so tired! I ate and drank everything I saw. Peanut butter filled pretzels, pringles, shot blocks. Ugh! That was such a bad idea!

When we started on the last leg home, my stomach was sloshing. I had overdone it with the food and fluids and was even more miserable than before. Next time I'll know to stay away from all the yummy stuff until the run is completely over. It really made the last 4 miles killer. I managed to stay up with E until mile 19 or so when I slowed to a jogging crawl of sorts. I'm not really sure how I pushed through those last two miles and made it to the end, but I did. I ran 21 miles. It still feels like it was a dream, but then I stand up and feel the soreness in my hips and knees and remember that I really did run 21 miles. My ice bath afterwards actually felt amazing (and so was the glass of champagne).

Nike is in 4 weeks. Bring it.

*As much as I complain, I'm still having a great time with my training and am excited about the race. I'm just a complainer by nature. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I guess since everyone is doing it, I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon and start doing 3TT posts too. (I just love conformity! lol)

1. I've been a bad runner lately. Today was my first run in a week and 2 days. Crazy! And it wasn't planned, I'm not injured or anything. I'm just busy and/or lazy (depends on the day). I did get in a spin class last week and a nice long bike ride last night, so I haven't been missing out completely.

2. On my bike ride with Hubby last night, we rode along the bayou on the paved trails there. On the way back, it was starting to get towards dusk and the gnats came out. I could feel them hitting my face as we rode through the swarms of them. Somehow, Hubby didn't notice them at all. This is gross, but since I was pretty sweaty from the long ride, some of them got caught by the sweat on my chest. Yes, those tiny disgusting little flies were stuck to me! So nasty!

3. And finally, in keeping up with the last post, I broke down and bought the new Apple Shuffle. I figured the Nano would get very little extra use (besides running) from me so it wasn't worth the price. Plus, I worried about the touch screen getting sweat all over it. This morning was my first run with the new shuffle and I liked it. For once, I got to run for a whole 45 minutes without the volume turning itself down or the songs randomly skipping. There was actual music playing the whole time and it was exactly the playlist I wanted to hear at the volume I wanted to hear it. Amazing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To Apple or not to Apple

That is the question. If you've been reading here for any length of time, you've probably heard me complain about my iPod shuffle (like there and here) - I hate the dang thing. Well, actually, I love it's size - I hate everything else about it. BUT, now Apple has come out with some new products that are catching my eye. Any one else see the release today? They've gone back to the original shuffle idea (with the buttons instead of the horrible remote-on-the-headphones). So of course, I'm a little giddy at the idea of replacing mine. So, do I get the new shuffle or do I get the new tiny, clippable nano? I think they are both very comparable (except for the price). The size is still easy on both, both have clips. The biggest plus to spending the money on the nano is being able to plug it into my car to hear the music.

So, what to do? What to do?