Archive for April, 2010

As soon as a big race is over, I’m always left wondering what my next challenge will be.

For the past 16 weeks, I have been mostly focused on training for the mini marathon and now I have a little down time to do some different things and run a bunch of really fun 5K races!

But what else will I do next?

Today, I did a challenging 15 minute incline walk on the treadmill, one set of a full body workout with weights, and some ab exercises. I usually do 25 reps of each ab move but today I noticed they were much stronger, so I went up to 35. That’s the key to keep exercises working for you — either increase the weight, the reps, or change the moves completely!

I’ve been thinking of doing a 30 day ab challenge this summer. It is the most neglected area of my body and yet it is so vital to all the things I do, whether it’s sitting at my desk at work or running mini marathons…I need a strong core!

I also miss yoga terribly, I cannot even tell you the last class I took or did on my own at home. This is a travesty! Yoga can be expensive but there are so many options available for all budgets. I just need to make an effort. I also want to try Hot Yoga again soon 🙂

In addition, Josh admitted that he is not really using his gym membership. While I am sad that he’s not been going, you can only lead a horse to water. And we both agreed that someone should get use out of it, so we are having it transferred into my name!

The gym he goes to is not quite as nice as Urban Active but it will come in handy on the weekends and in bad weather. Plus, they have Body Pump classes 🙂

I’m also toying with the idea of running the Louisville Half Marathon in October. But I have a little time to decide. I figure if I do register for it, I will have to start training in July. So we’ll see!

As you can can probably tell, I’m sort of all over the place, but I like to think it all balances out 🙂

What are your fitness goals for the summer?

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After the mini marathon on Saturday, I took three days of complete rest in order to recover, physically and mentally from the race. I’ve also been getting attacked by allergies since Monday but it has also helped me focus on properly recovering.

I am happy to say that I had absolutely no complaints or injuries to report following the race or the days after. I think this is because when things started to hurt, I slowed down and do what I knew my body could in that moment but didn’t push it too hard. I would rather have walked the last few miles of the race and risk a later finishing time than hurt myself. That’s just me 😉

However, I was quite exhausted in general! So it was a welcome rest period.

By yesterday afternoon though, I was ready to get moving again! But I didn’t want to overdo it, so I did a short loop around the campus and lots of stretching afterwards. It was like giving myself a nice, gentle “Welcome back!” run.

  • Time: 14:31
  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Avg. pace: 9:41/mile

I remember in 2008, the first time I ran the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon, I took 2 weeks off from running because I had become burned out. Then I half-heartedly trained for a 5K at the end of May before giving up running totally for a while after that. We’re talking months.

I almost completely lost all that training. I could barely run a mile when I started again in the early months of 2009. I ended up walking the mini that year because my heart just wasn’t in running. I had to wait for that fire and passion to come back! Then in November 2009, I announced that I wanted to give running another shot and the rest is history 🙂

It took me what seems like forever to get back to this point, so I’m sure as heck not giving it up now!

I am planning on running a 5K at the Zoo next Saturday! I’m actually really excited that I can focus on my short runs again for a while. I’m hoping between the 5 or so races that I am doing this summer, I will see a PR in there. But if not, it will still be great fun 🙂

What is your typical rest period after a long race?

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Wow, I can’t believe another mini-marathon has come and gone. It’s also amazing to me how incredibly different each one of these races has been — this was my third in a row!

I have an overwhelming sense of pride at finishing this race and I had so much fun with my friend Farrah and the new friend I made in Chloe. But let’s start from the beginning…

Saturday morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. I ate some oatmeal with banana and peanut butter right out of the jar!

I decided to skip coffee and in hindsight I wish I’d had some but it was so early and I really didn’t have time to make any before I had to meet Farrah at the parking lot!

We stood in line for a shuttle to the starting line and got rained on the whole time! But thankfully, we got to the race in plenty of time and it stopped raining before it started. It was a good 10-12 minutes before we actually got across the start line but once we did, all my pre-race nerves went away – I feel like an old pro now.

The first few miles were a breeze. We did one easy flat mile and then the next couple were through hilly Iroquois Park. The hills did not bother me as much as they had during the 10 miler. Once we got out of the park, we had to stop at the bathroom, which unfortunately took several minutes due to there only being a few and a long line ahead of us!

Once we got going again, it had started to rain a bit but it felt good because I was quite warm. Farrah and Chloe ran ahead of me and then took walking breaks, which allowed me to catch up with them.One thing that really bugged me about this race were the lack of mile markers. The only ones I remember were 1, 7, and 10. The rest of the time, I had no idea what was going on.

During the race, I alternated between water and Powerade. I usually skip the sugary stuff but something told me to do it this time. Do you use sports drinks?

After the first 6 miles (I think), I started taking walking breaks for a minute or so. I didn’t wear a watch so I wasn’t sure of the ratio. But the longer the race went on, the more I walked. When we ran into Churchill Downs, we had finished 7 miles and at this point it was so hard for me to believe that we had 6 more miles to go!

When we split from the marathon runners, around mile 9 or 10, we made another pit stop at the bathrooms. In my mind, I felt like I could jog some more but my legs were hurting and my left hip felt like it was on fire. So despite my best efforts, I ended up walking the last 3-4 miles of the race.

But during this time I got to know a really sweet girl named Chloe. She’s a young, single mom working two jobs AND going to college and following her dreams. In her short years, she has lived a lifetime already and yet she’s so confident in herself and so grateful for her blessings. And it was her first mini marathon! She had just started running earlier this year.

This conversation made my day! It really puts things in perspective for me. I am not at all disappointed that I had to walk part of this race. And I am darn proud of myself for finishing 🙂

The last mile or so of the race was totally ridiculous. They changed the course this year and all the turns made me feel like we had just gone in a big circle. But once we rounded the corner and saw the finish line, we all took off running. It felt so good to finish strong!

Official race time: 3:04:45

Pace doesn’t matter (thanks Andrea!), just that I started, finished and had a great time in between 🙂

Now I can relax a bit, decide what I want to focus on now, and keep on running for fun! I’ve got quite a few 5k’s coming up in the next couple of months, so I’m thinking  a PR might happen at some point. We’ll see!

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Getting out of my own head

Yesterday, I was ready to run. It had been five days since I had last and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. You see, I’ve been pretty stressed out lately and not handling it so well. But I do love to run and always feel better after I do, if I can get myself out the door.

I decided to keep it simple. I would wear a watch but not look at it. No iPod. A 3 mile course I am familiar with. No plans to run intervals or not. Just go. Run.

  • Time: 29:05
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Avg. pace: 9:42/mile

It was one of the best runs ever. At the start, my legs felt a little stiff so I said a few things to myself:

“What is good about this run? Well, I’m out here. The weather is perfect. I can breathe fine. I look good.”

“And what is bad? My legs feel weird. I’m doubting myself. And…Is that all? Well then, I GOT THIS!”

I managed to work through some stress and negativity on this run which made it that much better. I enjoyed working up a sweat and the long stretches I did afterwards. And I am going to enjoy this half marathon on Saturday, rain or shine.

Because I can 🙂

Thank you all for your sweet and supportive comments. I’m a work in progress but I have hope that I can get back to a more balanced life soon!

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I love my shoes!

On Thursday, it was another hot one and even though I’ve been taking “break walks” and walking to and from my car at work (1.1 mile each way) every day, it’s been a little too warm and sunny for running, to me.

So I took it to the treadmill again, warmed up and ran 2 miles in 22 minutes. I started off slow and then sprinted at the end, just the way I like to do it.

I feel like I owe all these great runs recently to my new shoes!

They are so comfortable and even running on the treadmill doesn’t hurt my knees or feet at all. I usually buy a new pair of shoes every March, but I think I’m going to have to do so more often, especially if I’m going to be running year round now 😉

The best part is, I don’t spend an arm and a leg for shoes. I got these at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $37.99 and I went ahead and invested in their one year protection plan ($3.99!), which will replace these shoes should anything happen to them within the next 12 months.

Pretty sweet, huh?

What kind of shoes do you wear?

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Ozone action day

I did not end up running yesterday for many reasons. It was 85 degrees, even at 7:00, my legs were hurting for some strange reason and mentally, I just didn’t feel like it. I chose to have a glass of wine, watch a movie and sit on the couch with my dog. And participate in the #fitblog chat on Twitter!

I knew I could get one in today though 🙂

I heard on the radio this morning that today is an “Ozone Action Day” which basically means, it’s going to be really hot and the less cars on the road, the better. Also it means don’t go outside if you can avoid it, especially if you are prone to respiratory problems.

Thankfully, I am not, but I was still glad that I planned my run for first thing this morning on the treadmill!

I would’ve taken the bus but it was 6 a.m. when I left the house! I also hit a slight detour on the way to the gym. It was very early and still dark and I accidentally passed up my exit on the expressway. But I managed to take a few turns and get back on the right track. Only set me back a few minutes 😉

I had a great run. I started out at 5.0 mph and worked my way up to 6.0 and sprinted at the end (6.5-7.0).

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 31:48
  • Avg. pace: 10:36/mile

It felt so good to get my run out of the way early and still have the rest of the day to get everything else done. No need to “fit it in” when it’s already taken care of.

I’m also starting to think I run better in general in the mornings (like races). I might be onto something here 😉

When do you prefer to run? Morning, noon, or night?

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Sticking to the plan

Go check out my guest post over at Namaste Mari, where I share my running story! 🙂

I decided earlier today that during these last two weeks of training, I am going to do my best to follow the program. The weather is no longer an issue and my schedule is pretty flexible so I should be able to do it.

Today was 3 miles! I ended up putting off today’s run until after dinner! The weather has been so nice, I thought it would be a good thing to do and that way I could get more done during the day.

It wasn’t as easy a run as the one on Saturday but after the first lap (1.5 miles) I was in the zone and hoping to get done within thirty minutes…success!

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 29:59
  • Avg. pace: 9:59/mile

I came back and stretched for a while and took a nice hot shower. And enjoyed some wine and strawberries 🙂

Do you follow a specific training plan? Or do you just wing it?

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