Sunday, November 27, 2011

Best Thanksgiving Weekend Ever

I had a very productive 4 day weekend this Thanksgiving. Filled with running, riding, racing and meeting one of my favorite triathletes.

It started off with a great 22 mile run on Thanksgiving. I had no guilt whatsoever about eating on Thanksgiving. The run itself went really well. I picked a hilly route again. It had more hills than last weeks 21 miler and I did this one a little quicker and felt much better after.
On Friday, I ran 12 miles. Jason wanted me to do back to back long/medium long runs to prep for next weekend and the 12HR race. I ran this in my Eves and it was a very pleasant run. My feet and legs were fine. :) I didn't eat before this run and took it easy to get some nice fat burning time in.

On Saturday, I ran the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K. This was my 3rd year running it and I wanted one last PR for 2011. I was hoping to do it in the 52-55 minute range. Jason asked me to aim for the higher end so I wouldn't toast my legs before next weekend. Knowing myself and how much I wanted a huge PR for this race, I decided to handicap myself and ride over there. I thought it was 13 miles there but forgot it was on the south side of the lake so it ended up being 16 miles to the race start. Oops. :)

Once there, I got my bib and goody bag and then locked up my bike. I downed a Peanut Butter Gu and then did a 1 mile warm up. The race went off right on schedule. The 5K and 10K started together so it was a little crowded at the start but then the 5K split off almost immediately so it thinned out.

The race is on a hilly course and it starts off with a hill right off the bat. I looked at my garmin and saw I was going about 8:30 and decided to back off a little. Once we are at the top of the hill, we have a nice sweeping downhill until mile we started the 3rd mile. Mile 3 is mostly dirt and included a stream crossing. There wasn't much water so it took 2 big steps to get thru it. The last 3 miles had a more hills but they weren't too bad. I felt good all the way thru and let myself pick it up in the last mile. I passed a couple of people and then I reeled in a woman but then she decided she was going to pass me back. I let her go which was really hard.

I crossed the line in 54:57 per my Garmin, got my medal & some water, and waited for the results to post. When they did, it said my time was 55:02 and I was teeny bit was a PR but I'd really wanted to break 55 minutes! Funny how 2 seconds can make you go from happy to disappointed. Crazy runners, eh? Or is it just me?

On the way home, I lectured myself about being disappointed. I reminded myself that I beat last year's time by almost a minute and that I'd done that AFTER running 22 miles on Thursday, 12 miles on Friday, riding to the race, running with a calorie deficit for the week, and with temps about 30 degrees warmer than last year. Those things proved that I am a much stronger runner than I was last year and I am very, very happy about that. But surprise...when I checked the results on Saturday night, my official chip time was 54:55 (the 55:02 had been gun time). I did break 55! Woo! Yeah, I'm nuts. What can I say. :) These are the splits & elevation from the 10K:
Oh yeah, I also completed one of my goals for 2011 on the way home. I hit 6003 miles for the year on Saturday! I reached my goal a whole month early. Not bad, eh?

Finally, on Sunday, I did an easy 4 miles in the morning and then rode back over to Bonelli to watch the San Dimas Turkey Tri. Macca was racing it and he was going to do a book signing after. I bought his book but I bought it on my Kindle so instead I took my bib with me from Saturday's race. Macca won! Of course. It was so fun to watch him swim, bike, and run. Totally amazing. He makes it look so easy and effortless. When he finished, I got to meet him and he signed my bib (and asked me how I did on Saturday and congratulated me on my PR!) and I took a picture with him!
Can I just say...Oh.My.God! I cannot believe I met Macca! I felt like a teenage girl meeting her idol. All the way home on my bike, I kept saying ohmygodohmygodohmygod!

This was a seriously stellar weekend!!! I couldn't have asked for a better running weekend. :)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Non Sum Qualis Eram

I used to be lazy. I used to be a night owl. I used to be fat.

Non Sum Qualis Eram.

I am not what I used to be.

Case in point: This morning, I ran 11 miles before work. Actually, my whole routine was:

Standard warm up
Ran 11 miles w/6 strides at an easy 9:37 pace
Myrtl (mobility routine)
Rode 9 miles to work

I also fed and watered my cat (his bowl, not the cat), changed his kitty litter, packed my lunch and my commute bag, and showered. I got up at 3:50 so I could be out the door by 4:15 and get it all done before work. I like to get to work at 7:30 so I have time to eat, catch up on twitter/facebook, clean up, and get spiffy by 8:00.

And honestly, this is a typical morning for me although most mornings start with the alarm going off at 4:15 or 4:30. If I run less, I ride more before work. Some mornings I replace the mobility with strength and/or core work but they are usually pretty full.

I don't even sleep in on the weekends. On Saturdays, I'm up by 4 to eat and let it settle before my long run. On Sundays, I “sleep in” til 4:30 or 5. Yeah, I'm nuts. I just like running in the early morning so there is less traffic.

No rest for the wicked!

And I was wicked. I ate too much, slept too little, sometimes drank too much, didn't exorcise, etc.

I think I can safely say I am not a lazy person anymore. I am happy to say I'm not fat anymore either! And since I'm asleep by 8:30 most nights, I am definitely not a night owl anymore.

I am so thankful that I am not what I used to be and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. I'll be running 21 miles on Thanksgiving and I can't wait! And…I have a Turkey Trot 10K on Saturday. Wish me luck! Good luck to all of you running a Turkey Trot this week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11 Favorite Things

On 10-10-10, I ran a 10 miler, a 10 miler, and a 10K all of which happened during the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in Albany, NY. I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate a cool date.

I don’t have anything fun like that planned for today so I thought instead I would list my 11 of my favorite running gear items.

So without further ado...these are a few of my favorite things (besides raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens):

11. Moving Comfort Vixen Bra - I have 3 and I never leave home without them. They keep my girls bounce free, never chafe, are really comfortable, and kind of sassy. (Disclaimer - I do not look like this...yet.)

10. UnderArmour Ventilator II Hat – I have 2 of these, black & pink. I like them because they have a slightly smaller brim than normal, they are mesh so don’t get too hot, and keep my hair from sticking out all over the place! Trust me, without these, it would be a pretty scary sight to see me running down the street. (Oh my god, was that girl shocked or something…seriously, wild).

9. Moving Comfort Compression Shorts – I have a few pairs of these as well (hey, when something works, buy it in bulk! That’s my motto anyway). I love that they help my backside jiggle a little less. ;)

8. CEP Compression Socks – I have 4 pairs (2 black, green, & pink) of these and I wear them on long runs and after for recovery. They make my legs feel like they are being hugged and I really think they help my legs during and after the run. Besides, who doesn't love a good hug, right?

7. Garmin 205 – It's an oldy but a goody. I've looked at the some of the newer versions but I really like all the features on this version so I haven’t upgraded. I don’t use it on every run but I am a numbers geek so I do wear it for about 95% of them. Especially since I have no concept of time or distance while I'm running! Plus, it saved my hide once when I was on the trail and couldn't remember which way to go and used the Return To Start feature. Love that.

6. Ultimate Direction Bottles – I have 2, a 10 oz and a 20 oz. The 10 oz is perfect for a half marathon or less or if you know you can fill up along the way. The 20 oz has an awesome nozzle and is great for long runs & marathons.

5. RunningSkirt Skirts – I have 3 of them and they are really cute and have two great Velcro pockets for storing food, keys, mp3 player, ID, etc.

4. . Altra Intuitions – Super comfy, zero drop, great fit on my wide foot, and still some cushioning for long runs on the road. I've hit the trails in them too and they perform beautifully!

3. Athleta Endorphin Run Skirt – This is my favorite long run skirt. It has 5 pockets to store stuff and is super comfortable. I've worn it for marathons, on the trail, and I have a longer version I wear around on the weekends.

2. GoSportID ID – I never leave home without this. I wear it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I love that I can wear different colors but most of all, I feel good knowing if anything should happen to me, I'll be good with my ID.

1.Altra Eves – In them, I feel light and carefree and natural. They really make me concentrate on my form and I'm immediately aware when my form heads south. Running in them is the best feeling in the world and I can't wait to build up my mileage in them!

So that's my list of favorite things. I could only include 11 things in my list but I have a new favorite that I'm sure will be added to this list in the near future. I just bought one of their shirts last month and I have two more on the way. I love the designs on these and their reflectivity. So an Honorable Mention goes to Vira Wear! (the Tribal 26.2 & Warrior Hear designs)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Tempo That Wasn't

My favorite runs are long runs. I love being out on the road or trail for hours. They make me feel like Wander Woman (not a typo :) ). And they make me feel like I had a productive morning.

My second favorite run is a tempo run. I love a good hard run that makes me focus. But today’s run? Today’s run was not so good. I didn't have a lot of focus and I had no speed! I ran 8.62 miles with 3 miles at tempo. My “tempo miles” were 8:50, 8:55, & 8:49 which is only slightly quicker than the miles of some of my fast finish long runs! What the hell?

Maybe I talked myself into a bad run. First, I didn't eat anything before it. I remembered as I started that I'd planned to have a banana or a Gu before going but forgot. Then it seemed to take forever to really warm up even though I did a Standard Warm Up before heading out. Maybe because it was so cold this morning? Anyway, I wasn't feeling it but decided to try.

I ran 4 miles to get some really warm and then started the tempo miles. The first one started off okay. I glanced at my watch and saw 8:35 pace on there. Not what I wanted but kept going. At the end of the mile, my garmin beeped and flashed my time/pace and it was 8:50. Crap! I have to admit I stopped and may have said a bad word. :( I thought about bagging the other two tempo miles for a few seconds. Why not just finish the run at an easy pace? It was so tempting.

But it was only 2 more miles so I hit the button on my garmin and went for it. The second mile was 8:55. Double crap. In for a penny, in for a pound though so did the last mile and at least I was able to pick it up a little and finish in 8:49.

I thought about how slow I feel lately on the cool down home. Could my injury have really affected me that much? I know that I missed 11 days of running. And when I started back it was all easy. And it has only been 3 weeks since I started back…

Then I remembered that it's actually been a lot longer that I've done some serious tempo/speed work. I ran my last marathon on 8/28 and I had the taper before that and recover after. I had my first speed session after the marathon on 9/29 and then crashed my bike on 10/1.

So I guess 2+ months of “easy” running is not conducive to maintaining speed, eh? I need to relax and just let it come back in its own time.

Patience, however, is not one of my virtues. I want to do a 10K on 11/26 and you know I want to PR! I sure hope Jason can help me get faster by then. I'm ready to work my a$$ off for that goal. My legs are feeling good and I think they are ready to work too.

Please, please let me get some speed back by the 10K. That’s all I want for Christmas! :) I've been a good runner girl. Mostly.