Monday, April 22, 2013

It's a System!

There's no denying it - I have a quirky personality.  My husband has a boisterous, sometimes juvenile (farts are funny) personality.  This, of course, has been passed to my kids in various ways.

All 3 playing at the park recently.

Vincent is 6 years old, in 1st grade and is in the gifted program.  They were asked to draw a picture of some kind of system that they could explain.  This is what Vincent came up with:

Butt.  Poop.  Toilet.

Well, you can't say I never potty trained the kid!  lol

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lemon Lime Gatorade

Warning:  this post contains copious amounts of griping.  Read at your own risk.  No, I am not on the rag or drunk.

Well, I tried it on my long run as planned.  Win, win win.  No bonking, no feeling like crap other than a minor leg tightness thing that came and went.  I finished my run feeling fanfreakintastic and could have went farther if I wanted to.  Who woulda thought?

Oh, hi.  This is the first thing I've written all week.  I have a few reasons for that.

First.  Boston.  I know I mentioned in Monday's post about praying.  Yep.  Been a lot of that for the victims, their families, the witnesses, the EMS workers, and everyone else involved.  However.... and here's where you can hate me forever, but I don't care - this week has also brought out the extreme cheese/fakeness/snark of the interwebs.  Good Lawd.  I should have smelled it coming, but it was like a big race (pun not intended, actually) to see who can put up the quickest but most "eloquent", well written post up about their feelings.  People were getting bitched at on Twitter because of their auto posts, or posting about anything other than the bombing with links to blog posts, instagram photos of quaint collages of crying, prayers, etc.  If you weren't part of this huge mob of mourning, then somehow you were doing something wrong.  Then came the donations and every website has a t-shirt or something for sale... Upload this, pin that, write this.

Don't get me wrong here.  I'm not heartless.  What happened was damned terrible, but I'm sorry, life has gotta move on at some point.  Two of my children and my husband were in a serious auto accident this week.  We weren't totally in the market for buying a new vehicle right now so we are scrambling financially.  I've been really focused on getting life back on track around here.  So, I haven't been up on every Facebook thread, every instagram post, pinning cute memes, or writing long, drawn out, overly emotional blogs.  Really, what is there to say?

Here's my official Boston post:

Fuck Terrorists
/end post

That said, I want to know when we're going to institute a ban on high capacity pressure cookers.  They are obviously more trouble than they are worth, and really you don't need one.  You can use your oven or your microwave or even a toaster to cook with.  Building a campfire is there as well.  Although maybe we need some more background checks for buying kitchenware.  And no more home shows or events where you can buy this stuff quickly...  I know you've got a recipe you want to prepare tomorrow, but give it the couple days of waiting for the paperwork to get done, just to make sure you really need it and are capable of using the appliance.  Because you're not a grownup unless the establishment tell you so.
/end rightwingconservativenutjobstatement

If you need to go change your diaper because I said something you didn't like, get on with it.  That's another thing I have to complain about however I will do it later, I think.  Blogging fakeness.  This goes for fit blogs, foodie blogs, running blogs, mommy blogs, cooking blogs, homesteading blogs, and everything you can think of.  I've been blogging on and off since most folks out there have been crawling - I've blogged on sites that no longer exist. I've blogged back when blogs were just digital diaries (anyone remember when LiveJournal came out and it was a big novel concept to have a site where you could connect to other blogs?  ROFL!!), which honestly is what I'm trying to reclaim here for myself after a couple years absence.  I have no intention of "building my brand" (that just sounds like a fart description anyway), or becoming the next online sensation, or having some corporation send me free crap in exchange for me writing rave reviews for them.  I won't pay for someone to do the upkeep on my site and I'm not going to pretty it up for anyone but me.  I'm here for ME and my family, and I am a real person with real thoughts living a real life and making real decisions and having real feelings.  MY life is not perfect, and honestly I don't want it to be.  I say fuck, I drink at least once a week, and I eat dessert every day.  I don't always cook from scratch or 100% organic.  I have more than 1 box of generic mac and cheese in my cupboards right beside the organic chia seeds.  I'm also Catholic, conservative, realistic, cynical, redneck, and a momma bear if tested.  Both Glenn Beck and Courtney Love played a role in changing my life and bringing me to Jesus.  I can't be on the internet 24 hours a day checking in with everyone and everything on 100 different websites.  And I don't want to.  That's some of the most ridiculous crap I've ever heard.  That said, I still have an affinity nearly a decade later for World of Warcraft and consider most of my friends to be the Aussies I've met on my server (which was US before it was Oceanic, back when if you wanted "in" for the night you had to log in by 3pm or you'd be screwed).  I'm a crappy photographer and am ok with that.  I enjoy the show Welcome to Myrtle Manor and fantasize about living there someday when I'm old and crazy.  You don't like it?  Cool - hit the X in the corner, I probably don't like you, either.  But I'm not going to put on some front and act like life is all roses and cherries and fall into some sheep mentality because "that's what everyone else is doing".  I've just seen so much cheese this past week I thought I was going to drown in the Velveeta.  Which is delicious about twice a year.  I'm more than well aware that it is not "real food".

Bottom line.  Mean people suck.  People are assholes.  People are fake.  The world is going to hell in a pretty little handbasket.  Good morning America.  Wake up and smell the Maple Nut Crunch.

Ok, so my workouts this past week were honestly freaking AWESOME.  I've wanted to post them, but you know I felt like I couldn't.

Tuesday:  I did my easy 5 miler, a WOW, and a reverse plank.  Total workout time:  62 minutes.  Yes to veggies, yes to water.

I wore my JASR shirt.  It's my favorite race shirt so far.  Oh, and that's Garrett my cute little ham.

Wednesday:  45 minute tempo run.  Totally rocked it.  Beat my fastest 5K time AGAIN (24:04 in case you wanna know).  Opted not to do a WOW, but I did plank as usual.  Yes to both water and the freggies.  Total workout time: 51 minutes.

Huge woodchuck I saw at the park I ran in.  I talked to it and it listened.  I'm like the Cesar Milan of woodchucks.  Yes, that is what I go through while doing a forearm plank - Calloway just needs to be there.

Thursday:  Well, my original plan was to go to the gym, but shit happened and I ended up not getting there.  I wasn't sad about it because the weather was gorgeous.  I just did a Run To The Finish Weights workout at home later.  Plus a WOW and plank, of course.  It was a good day.  Yes to water and freggies again.  Total workout time:  76 minutes.

Friday:  Rest day.  I did do a WOW and my side planks.  Total workout time:  14 minutes.  Yes to veggies and water.
I may or may not have had more than 1 of those IC Lights on Friday night.  Oh, and Moar Calloway!

Saturday:  5 pace miles in ridiculously windy conditions.  Felt pretty good, though!  I also did a reverse plank, and got my water in.  No WOW, but whatever.  I got my freggies in!  Total exercise time:  46 minutes.

Sunday:  The MOST amazing 11+ mile run EVER.  Seriously.  I kept everything the same as ever - down to my beloved Espresso Love at mile 5 - except I used original Lemon Lime Gatorade instead of blue G2 like I had been.  I did do the standard 1/2 and 1/2 solution in my Amphipod as I usually do.  No 7-8 mile bonk, no dead feeling, no gawking at my watch and lamenting to myself about how long I had left.  Just one wonderful run on a freaking gorgeous day.  And yes, as promised I laughed my butt off (and still am) over the fact that I switch in Gatorade of all things seemed to make a difference.  I also got in my water and freggies.  No WOW.  I'm cool with that.  Total workout time:  111 minutes.
Garrett and Tori waiting on the T, plank time and an awesome run.

Well, I should tally up my points here.  I also want to say that I am not in support of this going out another week.  But, I'm in the minority.  Whether or not I decide to add up points, etc this coming week is really up in the air.  I don't know... Again, I can't be on the interwebs all the time and I feel like this is a big part and it's incredibly frustrating. I have other issues with the challenge, but I will save that for another day.

Drinking 64+ oz of water:  6
Eating 7+ servings of freggies:  6
Doing the WOW:  3
Doing 360 minutes of exercise:  36

Total points for Tuesday-Sunday:  51
Total points for week 7 of the SBBC:  56
Total points for the SBBC:  368.5

Monday, April 15, 2013

Training Schedule Week of 4/15/2013-4/21/2013

I've had one heck of a past 24 hours... just when I think things can't get worse.  Last night my husband and daughter and youngest son went to the store while the middle kid and I stayed home and did some cooking.  I got a phone call from Nick that was garbled and full of screaming and profanity, but I did make out the words "totaled the van".  The phone reception sucked because he was in the middle of a tunnel...  and involved in a multi vehicle pileup.  Crap.  My main concern was the kids and I was a mess until he actually got the message across to me that Tori and Garrett were ok.  They both had some bruises, but were ok.  Garrett actually smiled and gave a thumbs up when asked if he was alright.  Thank God!  I'm also thankful that I was not in the van... the impact made all the airbags deploy - that is, every one except the one in front of my seat.  I could have been killed.  I have no words....

So today was spent picking up the pieces and obtaining a rental vehicle until the insurance company can cut us a check for the old van so we can at least put some money toward a new(er) one.  Cleaning out the old van at the junkyard was tough..

I did get a good 1 mile walk in this morning since I had to walk the kids to school.  Thankfully the weather was nice and sunny and warm.  We walked through a park to get to their school and there was a robin in a tree just making the loudest call I've ever heard one make before.  I took some pics of him because he was cool and made me smile.

I also did some ITB strengthening exercises (good ol' StrengthRunning again) and side planks.  I got in all of my water and fruits and veggies today.

Robin pics, totaled van, and workout times.  As for my 1 mile walk, that took 17 minutes but I didn't screenshot it.

Drinking 64+ oz of water:  1
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and veg: 1
Doing the WOW:  0
Doing 32 minutes of exercise:  3

Total points for today:  5
Total points for week 7 of the SBBC:  5
Total points for the SBBC:  317.5

Oh, this was supposed to be a post about my training plan.  Sorry, between my personal drama and the whole Boston news events, my mind is so scattered.  I'm just praying praying praying for all.

Monday:  see above
Tuesday:  5 miles EASY
Wednesday:  45 minute tempo
Thursday:  3 miles EASY plus strength
Friday:  REST
Saturday:  5 miles at HM pace
Sunday:  11 miles Long Run

Sunday, April 14, 2013

SBBC Week 6 Wrapup!

Only 1 week left of the challenge!  That went fast!?

Saturday I had 5 miles at HM pace on the schedule.  It.... went.  I'm not going to say that it was a terrible run, because I came in under time and I didn't feel too bad.  However, it was a cloudy, windy, mostly chilly day, I forgot my gloves (my hands get cold wicked easy), my GPS took forever to sync up, and my pace went from one extreme to the other a million times over.  It was just an uncontrolled mess.  Sure, like I said, I came in under time.  But I didn't really accomplish the goal of the run - 5 miles at a consistent pace - so I was just feeling a huge dose of fail.

I did get in a forearm plank and got in all my water and freggies.  I've been better about the freggies this week, I think.  I'm back to keeping a huge salad bowl in the fridge again and I think that really helps.  It's already done, it's quick and easy.  Why I keep falling off that bandwagon I don't know.  All the prep work is always worth it.

Today I planned to run 10.5 miles.  I remembered (at the last minute) my gloves, which I was thankful for because I did need them those first couple of miles.  As usual, the first loop went great, and then I had some ups and downs on the second.  I lost control of my pace a bit and struggled to keep it as slow as it should have been.  There were a TON of people at North Park today and that really sucked.  I didn't mind the runners, the walkers, the excessive amount of dogs, or the stroller traffic.  I DID mind the large amount of vehicle traffic due to fishermen.  Most of them couldn't be bothered to look before backing out of parking spaces, or move over a little in the lane to give me (and others) room to run.  At one point a car played chicken with me and the guy running in front of me and we both had to jump off the road into the little muddy ditch beside it.  I wobbled my ankle a bit and was really pissed off about it.  He could have moved over and not ridden the line like an asshole.

Anyway... after that fun I just didn't feel right.  I had taken my GU at my normal time - 5 miles - and felt really good until 7.61 miles on my watch.  Then, like I have so many times, I felt like crap.  My hip/butt "thing" also started acting up around this point.  And, as typical, around 9 miles and change, it all went away and I felt fine again.  I told Nick that this happens to me (that "bonk") on most every long run.  The only time I know that it didn't happen was during JASR.  I've thought and thought about what was different... other than just race adrenaline, of course.  The only thing that I know I did differently was drink REAL Gatorade that was on the race course.  On my training runs I drink a 50/50 concoction of G2 (Low calorie, low sugar) and water.  I'm wondering if the "real" original sugary Gatorade made the difference?  So, when I do my grocery shopping this week I'm going to buy some of the old school stuff and try it during next week's long run to see if that's it.  I'll laugh my butt off if I'm right.  If not, back to the drawing board.

As for my hip/butt, it is a bother, but its not pain.  Just like before.  So, I'll be stretching/rolling, etc.  I am hopeful that it is because I've had a couple tough runs (today and yesterday) where at some point during both I was running way faster than I should have been and that a rest day tomorrow from running will make it go away.

Before my run today I did a pushup plank.  I definitely got all my water in and I got my freggies in too (vegetable stew leftovers for lunch and a big salad with dinner helped).  :)

Points for Saturday & Sunday:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  2
Eating 7+ servings of veggies and fruit:  2
Doing the WOW:  0
Doing 153 minutes of exercise: 15

Total points for Saturday and Sunday:  19
Total points for Week 6 of the SBBC:  56.5
Total points for the SBBC:  312.5

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Points Update

This is just an update of Thursday and Friday's points.  I've had a very stressful couple of days and am currently trying to fight off this wicked sore throat so it doesn't turn into something more.  I don't want to get into everything, but I've had kid drama, neighbor drama, mother in law drama, etc.  It has just been a lot to handle.


Thursday was my gym day.  I got in an easy run on the treadmill (well, as easy as mill runs go) and then hit the weights.  I got through my whole weights routine and felt great.  When I got home, I even did the WOW and my planking.  I felt like a real badass.  Thursday was a dang good day.

Rawr.  I also got in my water and my freggies!

Yesterday was my high drama day, but I did get in a WOW (I chose WOW 4 for something different) and a reverse plank.  I'm glad it was my rest day yesterday.  I'd probably be worse off than I am now if I had a big run or other workout.  But, I ate like shit, didn't hydrate as well as I normally do (although I did get the 64+ oz in... I just always try to really push water if I'm eating out - hello sodium!), and was just under a lot of stress....

Friday's activity.

I did get in all my water and fruits and veggies, surprisingly (thanks salad bar?  I tried my best.).... 

Points for Thursday and Friday:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  2
Eating 7+ servings of freggies:  2
Doing the WOW:  2
Doing 95 minutes of exercise:  9.5

Total points for Thursday and Friday: 15.5
Total points for week 6 of the SBBC:  37.5
Total points for the SBBC:  293.5

Today I'm headed out to run no matter what.  No sore throat will hold me back!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The 4 "Seasons" of Western PA

Here in southwestern PA there are 4 distinct seasons.

1.  Winter.  Cold.  Snow.  Grey.  Depressing.
2.  Short glimpse of Spring.  Sunny and warm some days, but a whole lot of rain.
3.  Summer.  AKA Construction time.  Hot as hell.  So humid I can't keep my hair straightened.  Seems to last forever, and then out of nowhere Winter is staring you in the face.
4.  Fall.  What fall?  I think it lasts a week or so.  But really it just alternates between Summer and Winter until Jack Frost finally has his hold on.

Why am I bitching about this today?  Today has felt more like Summer than Spring.  I don't want to be skipping Spring already!

I don't normally mind 60-70 degree weather first thing in the morning.  That is, unless I'm running in it, which over the past year has become the norm.  Especially if its a speedwork day, like today was.  Then I really prefer those starting temps in the 40-50 degree range.  You know, like springtime!

I'll get to today's run in a moment.  First, lemme recap yesterday's super easy one.  The weather was great - not too warm, but right on that edge.  Really great for keeping my pace slow and easy.  I think my LunarGlide 4s are finally breaking in (I've only been using them for these weekday easy runs and sticking with my Adrenalines for everything else), because they just feel great.  I feel so light and "springy" when I'm running in them.  I don't know how long term of a shoe they are, because my Adrenalines rock for races, although they are heavy, but we'll see.  I don't have any interest in heading down the minimalist/barefoot road because I've struggled with wobbly ankles all my life, so I need the stability.  But having a nice and light shoe sure feels good during these easy runs.

Here's about the only thing that sucked about yesterday's run:  the Feetures socks.  This was my second time wearing them.  The last time was for my easy 2 mile shakeout run before JASR.  I actually got the socks in my race packet from that race.  I will say that the cushioning in the toe and heel is fantastic.  I love that part.  I also like the compression in the middle, which is pretty similar to my SmartWools.  My problem is the style.    I have a problem with low cut socks.  I can't do no show, low cut with tab (like these are) or anything like that.  I need a sock that comes up over the shoe by quite a bit.  I have very sensitive heels and ankles and if I wear any sock with any shoe that leaves those areas exposed it means blister city for me.  I had hopes of these socks working out because of the tab in the back, but no luck.... I didn't notice it during the short 2 miler, but I sure did toward the end of this 5.  Thankfully I didn't have any broken skin at the end of my run, so I'm ok.  But, these socks go into the "no" pile.  Boo.  Maybe I'll try to get a pair in a mini crew if they have them because I did like the way they felt on my feet.

That said, I had a great and very easy run overall.  5.03 miles in 47:02.  Average pace: 9:20.  I also did a forearm plank, and got in my fruits and veggies as well as the water.

Yesterday's activities.

Now for today's sweatfest. It was already 70 degrees when I started my run.  oof.  I was fine during my warmup and the first 400 or two, but after that it was a battle of sheer will due to how hot I was - and I was wearing thin shorts and a singlet!  I must say, though, that my intervals went really well.  I was able to stay on track and not fall below my target pace on every repeat.  I had a moment of "omg I might blow chunks all over the road" on the sixth, which seems to be typical for me, but that ended up being my fastest (I was running at a 6:58 pace during that one!!).  I was talking to myself through the 7th and 8th, trying to convince myself that I was almost done, and then the 9th felt like it was easy again (admittedly, my 9th repeat was my slowest, but still on target for pace).  I was happy to be able to slow it down at the end... I was ridiculously hot.  Thank God for my BondiBand sucking up all the sweat on my head.

Overall I ran 5.03 miles (hey - same as yesterday!) in 41:48.  Average pace (not that it matters, but it makes me giggle) was 8:18.  Can't complain about ending up a total sweaty mess after that!

I did a pushup plank today while listening to the new The Band Perry album.  I love it!  Very good stuff from them.

Notice the temp there?  That screenshot was taken a bit before I went to run this morning.  Eek.  
The Chobani bite stuff was DIVINE!  It was coffee flavored with chocolate chips.  I felt so guilty eating it, but it was only 100 calories and had 8g of protein!  Perfect for a midday snack.  
The bottom 2 pics made up my lunch today - a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and a huge salad with tomato, peppers, cucumbers, radishes, radicchio, baby greens and goat cheese.  Yummy!

I haven't done the WOW in a couple of days again.... I've been so lax about it, but honestly it is more of a fear of doing too much just for the sake of getting some points.  Depending on how I feel at the gym tomorrow, maybe I'll do it.  If not, I'm sure I will do it on Friday as part of my "rest".

I did drink way over 64 oz of water today (Did you read the part about being hot??) and I got in all my freggies.  I made a huge pot of Veggie Stew for dinner and had a big salad and a sweet potato for lunch, so that really boosted my numbers.  Add in my post run banana and my other snacks and BOOM.  Freggies in the belly!

Points for Tuesday and Wednesday:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  2
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and veg:  2
Doing the WOW:  0
Doing 100 minutes of exercise:  10

Total points for Tuesday and Wednesday:  14
Total points for Week 6 of the SBBC:  22
Total points for the SBBC:  278

Gym day tomorrow!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Manic Monday - Training Schedule Week of 4/8/2013-4/14/2014

Today was one of those days, Mondays in particular, where I feel like I got a lot accomplished but at the same time I feel like I didn't do jack squat because there's so much to do.  Get in all my workouts? Check.  Finalize my weekly menu and grocery list?  Check.  Do research on other neighborhoods to live in since our lease is up soon?  Check.  Clean a large amount of junk from my desk and general area?  Check.  Get the urge to sanitize my kitchen with bleach?  Check.  I could go on and on.  Maybe it's the warmer weather, but I just feel like I constantly need to be doing something.

Like I said, I got in all my workouts today.  I did the most recent WOW, which I like, even though the bear crawl isn't my favorite thing.  I also did a reverse plank to Fun. Some Nights.  I don't know if I mentioned it here - I think it was on DM - but my latest thing with planking to keep it interesting is to put either my iTunes or Pandora on shuffle and plank as long as the song that comes on (within reason, of course.  I don't think I'll be planking to Shine On You Crazy Diamond anytime soon).

I also did RunToTheFinish Weight Lifting Plan for Runners Workout #2.  I really enjoy this one, and boy do I feel it.  I must say that I am super proud of myself now for being able to do "real" pushups, not always the girlie or kneeling kind.  Go me!

The labeling sums the times up, but the little pic in the upper left hand side might not be recognizable.  It's a list of the "Dirty Dozen Plus" and "Clean 15".  I use these when I'm writing up my shopping list to remind myself what is most important to buy organic and what I'm ok to skimp on if my budget needs the wiggle room.  I do deviate a bit, though.  I know the sweet potatoes are on the "clean 15" list, but (and I know this might make me weird) organic sweet potatoes taste better to me!  So, I buy them whenever I can.

Drinking 64+ oz of water:  1
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and vegetables:  1
Doing the WOW:  1
Doing 50 minutes of exercise:  5

Total points for today:  8
Total points for Week 6 of the SBBC:  8
Total points for the SBBC:  264

I've been doing a lot of thinking and going over what to do after May 5th (The Pittsburgh Half Marathon).  There's quite a bit of time between then and the Great Race on September 29th.  My original plan had been to do the Biggest Loser Half in Erie in August, but I can't make the trip then.  I'd love to do Rock n' Roll Pittsburgh on August 4th, but that's my son's birthday and I just wouldn't feel right making his day all about me and making him get up early, etc.  I have asked him several times if he'd mind and he has told me repeatedly not to do it, so as much as I'd love to say "suck it up, kid, it's only the morning", the Good Mom side of me knows that the right thing to do is whatever he wants that day.  Within reason, of course.

So here's what I'm thinking at this point.  Since I'm well aware of the fact that summers around here get hot and nasty quick, and this will actually be my 2nd summer running (how cool is that to say??) so I have some experience in the matter, my plan of action is as follows:  1) let myself have an easy week the week after Pittsburgh.  2) Build my mileage back up to the 30 mpw point and nudge it up toward 35.  3)  Give myself a break from the speedwork for a while.  Maybe throw some strides into some runs here and there, but generally keep the runs easy as I'm just working on more base building again.  I will go back to the speedwork a few weeks before the Great Race.  I'd love to get a wicked 10K PR there.  4)  Look for a local half to do in the late fall - October or November.  I'm currently eyeballing Buffalo Creek, which is 3 or 4 weeks after the Great Race, so that time span would work perfectly.  5)  Find a 5K or 2 to do before the end of the year.  I've beaten my 5K PR (which, granted, I've only ran 1 and it was back in Sept) many times during various runs (particularly speedwork days) during this training cycle.  It'd be cool to see what I can actually do at one now. 6)  Find a trail race to do this fall.  I haven't heard anything about Marshall Mangler yet this year, but if they have it again, I'm definitely interested.  I'll definitely do the shorter race, not the longer... lol

Again - just the things spinning around my head at this point.  This feels like a good plan to me, at least right now.  Granted, a lot could change and I'm willing to be flexible, but I like to have plans in place.  :)

All that said, here's my plan for the rest of THIS week!  Ha!
Monday:  see above.
Tuesday:  5 miles EASY
Wednesday:  9x400s.  <-- dreading these, tbh.  I hope I feel better about them by wednesday, but this is a major reason why I think giving myself a break from the speed training after this next half is a good idea.  Starting to dread runs days ahead of time can't be good.
Thursday:  3 miles EASY plus strength
Friday:  REST
Saturday:  5 miles at HM pace
Sunday:  10.5 miles LONG RUN

Sunday, April 7, 2013

SBBC Week 5 Wrapup!

So sue me, I've gone many days without posting again.  Never fear!  I've just had some late nights lately.  (WOW addiction - been playing my DK a lot)

Physically, I'm doing great.  I had a slight return of this hip "thing" (and on my rest day, no less!), but I think I've narrowed it down to slight sciatica and/or piriformis inflammation, because I can feel it when I foam roll on my rear/side area and then it is gone.  It's almost like if things get shifted in a particular way, there's a pinch that just needs relieved.  So, I'm not really worried about it at this point.

Where did I leave off?  Oh, Thursday.

Thursday was a gym day.  I did 3 easy miles on the treadmill (although I'm coming to find that my treadmill runs are the hardest of all... I hate the treadmill) and then got into the weights.  I felt great!  I did my standard weights routine, didn't increase anything since I'm still in "recovery", and just had a good workout.  I did a reverse plank, and overall exercised for 72 minutes.  I got in my water but not all my freggies and I did not do the WOW.  Oh well.

Friday was my "rest" day.  I did do the WOW and a forearm plank.  Overall exercise time was 16 minutes.  I got in all my water AND those fruits and veggies (smoothies really help).

Saturday I set out to run 4 miles at HM pace (wanted to keep it around 8:40ish).  It was a pretty day and I was really looking forward to running in capris and a t-shirt, but of course it couldn't have been an easy task.  My watch had the hardest time syncing to the satellite!  Now, if it were just an easy run, I would have just gone without it, but since I was trying to hit a certain pace, I really needed it.  I got all ticked off and started heading back to the car, and wouldn't you know it finally synced up.  So, I ran.  The run went ok, but by then I was all frazzled, my mind wasn't really in the right place and I went from running right on pace to way too fast to on pace to too fast, etc.  I had trouble keeping it steady.  But I got it done, and my overall pace came out ok, and it felt wonderful to just be outside on such a beautiful day.  I did a pushup plank, too, but no WOW.  Overall exercise time was 40 minutes.  I got in all my water and my fruits and vegetables.

Long run Sunday!  I was able to get out in 64 degree weather and ran 10 miles.  It felt pretty darn good (although I realized that when it is warmer, I drink a lot more during my run).  The first lap felt easy peasy. Then I pushed the pace a little hard on the second and had to keep bringing that back down, so I had a rough patch that I needed to push through, but no biggie.  I ended the run feeling really good, and after I threw my compression socks on I was able to go about my day.  I did some side planks, and got in my water.  I think I fell 1 short on my freggies, so I'll lose that point.  Oh well.  Overall exercise time was 98 minutes.

Drinking 64+ oz of water: 4
Eating 7+ servings of freggies:  2
Doing the WOW:  1
Doing 226 minutes of exercise: 22.5

Total points for Thursday-Sunday:  29.5
Total points for Week 5 of the SBBC:  43.5
Total points for the SBBC:  256

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feelin' Fabulous!

Oh, the hilarity of it all...

Well, I said when I posted my training plan for the week that unless I woke up this morning "feelin' fabulous" that I wouldn't be doing my tempo run today.  Wouldn't you know it, throughout the day yesterday my calf tightness dissipated and when I woke up this morning - yep, I was certainly feeling fabulous.  I honestly was feeling so well I could have forgotten that I ran a big race on Saturday if I didn't think I was still riding a total emotional high from it.  :)

So, tempo run it was.  BUT, I will say that I took it easy.  By that I mean that when I normally do a tempo run I sometimes allow myself to get all crazy with the pace and if I'm feeling better than 10K pace I let myself get faster until I feel like I'm really working.  Today I kept myself under control.  Of course this meant I was gawking at my watch every 10 seconds, but hey, you do what you gotta do.  I did my 10 minute easy warmup at a 9:37 pace, then I did 20 minutes at 8:11 pace (I was shooting for 8:12, so a second off is a win for me, IMO!), and finished up with a 10 minute cooldown at 9:10 pace.  I felt good the whole time and I finished feeling like I had gotten in a good workout but didn't overextend myself.  Woohoo!

Overall I ran 4.58 miles in 40:11.  Yes, I certainly feel fabulous about that!

It was a beautiful, sunny day but as you can see, it was cold.  I'm so over this kind of weather.  I just want it to warm up already!  I also did some side planks.  Red berries and Chobani made me happy this afternoon!

Drinking 64+ oz of water:  1
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and vegetables:  1
Doing the WOW:  0  <-- I know I said I'd do this today but I didn't want to push it after doing the tempo run.
Doing 43 minutes of exercise:  4

Total points for today:  6
Total points for week 5 of the SBBC:  14
Total points for the SBBC:  226.5

Tomorrow I go to the gym for the first time in a while!  I'm actually looking forward to lifting some weights.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Worked, What Didn't and Tuesday Points

I mentioned earlier that I had written down some things that I believe either worked for me or not so much during these past few months of training.  I figured I'd put them out there for 1) my own personal reference, which is really the goal of this whole blog and 2) just in case anyone else is interested and might be either helped by it or heck, can help me!  I've only been running for a little over a year now, so Lord knows I'm no expert in anything.

In general regards to training:

1.  First of all, I think it helped to build up my base before starting a written half marathon training plan.  Being able to run 5 days a week for around 20 miles per week gave me a solid start.  Sure, I could have went right into Higdon's plan only running 3-4 days per week at lower mileage, but why would I make it harder on myself?  I feel good running 5 days per week with the occasional step back week where I run 4.  I don't see myself cutting back from this... nor do I currently see myself increasing my days per week.  Mileage, yes.  Before I attempt to start training for 26.2, I would like to be consistently running 30+ miles per week comfortably.  That's why I've said that next year is my year for that.

2.  Picking Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half plan was perfect for me.  I had already been doing some speedwork (plus in my younger lifetime I was a 400m girl), so this was good for me.  I also really think I benefited from Hal's method of running a race pace run the day before the long run.  It really helped me get used to what it felt to run on "used" legs and how to adapt and overcome that.  This has helped me many, many times and I'm sure it will continue to.  I would not hesitate to use another Higdon plan after the success with this one.

3.  Sticking to the training plan was key!  I did not miss runs, reschedule runs, or deviate from the plan aside from things I had mentioned when I started regarding my race dates vs. the written plan.  That said, when I needed to cut back on the excessive crosstraining, I did.  I initially thought I was going to be able to keep biking and going to the gym as frequently as I had been.  As my mileage increased, I simply could not keep up the routine I had.  So, I tried different things and fell into a better pattern for my non-running workouts.

4.  Utilizing MyFitnessPal when I started to question my nutritional needs/status helped immensely.  I found out that a) I wasn't eating enough in the first place, and b) I wasn't getting enough of the right things.  After I started changing some habits (and I do credit the SBBC for this as well in recent weeks!  Yay!), I noticed more energy and more sustained energy as well as quicker recovery from long/hard workout days.

These next few things are specific to the half marathon race and what did NOT work very well for JASR:

1.  I need to wear my Spibelt for my gels/gloves/stuff.  Losing one of my gels during JASR was a real bummer (it was Espresso!!!), even though I didn't end up needing it.  That said, I don't want to chance things flopping out of pockets in another race.  I didn't wear my Spibelt for JASR because I honestly haven't gotten used to it yet (my cold weather gear has heaps of pockets, so I've just been lazy and using them for most runs).  The few times I have used it, it has bounced quite a bit.  I don't think I'll ever find a belt that doesn't because of my frame.  So I just have to deal. Also, I would like to be able to carry my iPhone for Pittsburgh.  It sucked not being able to find my family after I had finished the race and a phone call or a text would have made things easier.  JASR had 2500 racers.  I know Pittsburgh will have many many more.  I'm going to start using it, whether I'm wearing cold weather gear or not, on every long run from here out.

2.  I know it was a last minute decision, but never again will I wear arm sleeves under a jacket.  I was so hot after it had warmed up a bit during the race... pretty much the entire second lake loop.  I was itching to just rip those things off, but I couldn't get to them through my jacket and the fact I had my watch strapped on over it and my bib pinned on top.  I need to make better racing wardrobe choices.

3.  For my "Last Supper", I need to go back to plain old white pasta, not the Dreamfields kind.  I love Dreamfields, don't get me wrong, but usually before races and long runs I stick to the trusty cheap white stuff.  Other kinds are high in fiber and things like inulin, etc, which... well... give me wicked bubble gut.  Not too pleasant on race morning.

4.  This race took place over a holiday weekend, but all the same I need to get to bed earlier and get better rest.  This isn't even just the night before the race, but the entire week leading up to it.  I was pretty bad about that.

5.  I'd like to have better plans for my kids.  They're not really patient with waiting hours for mom to cross a finish line, so they need something to occupy them.  North Park at least had a playground, but it was cold, so they ended up walking back to the van to keep warm for a while.  Hopefully we'll be able to think up something in the next few weeks.

6.  I'll bring a source of protein with me (I should say, have Nick meet me with some) for after the finish.  I stuck around North Park for quite a while after I finished, waiting for results, enjoying the atmosphere, watching the rest of the race, etc, and I didn't get anything other than carbs in me until I got home.  I think I may have recovered faster had I had a hit of protein... even if it is just a Builder Bar or something.

Things that worked fantastically and I will do again for sure:

1.  Get up early to eat my standard long run foods.  Allowing myself my general amount of time it takes me to prepare, eat, and then digest my breakfast really helps.  I am someone who just needs to have something substantial in their stomach to run long.  Some people can go with nothing or just a Clif bar, etc.  I can't.  For short runs I can get by with that, but not anything longer than an hour.  I don't care what time I have to set that alarm, I will get up to get in my CoCo Wheats cocktail.  :)

2.  I will take a change of clothes just in case the weather sucks, etc.  I couldn't imagine having had to run Saturday's race in what I had on at first.. lol.

3.  Again, I will take more fuel than I think I need.  I only used 2 gels for my half... the same amount that I used during my long runs (taken at mile 5 and 10), however, if I needed more I would have had it... if it didn't fall out of my pocket... grumble grumble.

4.  I will start "slow and steady" again.  I'll admit - I suck at pacing myself most times.  I'm running way too fast, then trying to make up for it by going too slow and back and forth sometimes.  I want to try and do what I did this time and keep it nice and even until I feel like I can push it to the end.

5.  I'm not going to go into my own little world with my iPod from before the gun goes off.  I'm going to socialize and enjoy the atmosphere.  I'm totally eating crow on this one as someone who has always said they would hate running with other people, but JASR changed me.  Having people to talk to and stride with and share something with really helped those miles tick off easily.  I know it is late in the season right now, but I think next year I'll be joining a running club.  Plus, I've heard that there is always something entertaining on the course for Pittsburgh, so I probably won't need my iPod anyway.

6.  I'm going to drink at most of the fluid stations and alternate water and Gatorade again.  That seemed to be a good combo, especially if I stick with what I usually do when I take my Amphipod out on long runs and just take a swig or two here and there.  If I gulp down too much at once I get wicked water belly and that sucks bad.

Well, those are pretty much all the thoughts I had post-race day after reflection on everything.  :)

Tuesday Points:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  1
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and vegetables:  1 (you can call me the spinach queen today because I've eaten a ton of it!)
Doing the WOW:  0
Doing 38 minutes of exercise (3.51 mile run plus 5 minute plank): 3.5

Total points for today:  5.5
Total points for Week 5 of the SBBC:  10
Total points for the SBBC:  220.5

Training Schedule Week of 4/01/2013-4/07/2013

First, let me be real here.  I just ran a half marathon 3 days ago.  When I originally made up my training plan back in December (dang, time flies!) I was totally naive to how I would feel and recover after this first half.  The Pittsburgh Half is on Cinco de Mayo and was actually my original "goal" race.  I registered for it the day it opened when they were having a discount for a couple of hours... lol.  I only signed up for JASR after much going back and forth as to whether I'd be ready for a half earlier than I thought.  Also, it was for a great cause.  After losing my Grandma to Hodgkin's Lymphoma back in 2000, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has a special place in my heart.  To top it all off... March 30th would have been my Grandma's 70th birthday.  Needless to say, I ran this race for many reasons.  I pretty much figured that I'd just be able to redo the last few weeks of the same training plan again to prepare for Pittsburgh.  (you can go ahead and laugh at me, it's ok)  Now that I'm 3 days out and went for a run this morning, I think I'm going to have to switch it up a little bit.

Monday:  I did the SBBC WOW and did a forearm plank.  I also did some stretching and foam rolling.  I've been foam rolling around twice a day since the race.  I don't want to overdo it, but at the same time it really does help a lot.
Tuesday:  I had originally planned on going for a 3-4 mile easy (of course) run.  This morning I did 3.51.  It wasn't really hard, but I did feel tired and my legs kept alternating between feeling just fine to feeling like they weighed 100 lbs a piece.  My left calf is also still pretty tight.  I'm going to spend some time today looking into some different types of stretches or exercises that will help relieve that.  It's not painful, just annoying.  I also did a pushup plank for a little over 5 minutes.  I don't think I'll be doing the WOW today, but I'll try to give it another go tomorrow.
Wednesday:  40 minute tempo run.  Ha.  I don't know that I'm going to be up for a tempo run by tomorrow morning.  So, unless I wake up feeling fabulous and free of this calf stiffness, I'll just be going out for 40 minutes EASY.  That I know I can handle.
Thursday:  3 miles EASY plus strength.  I'm sure I'll be fine with this.  I just might need to go light on some weights.  We'll see.
Friday:  REST
Saturday:  4 miles @ HM pace.  Again, I'm taking a "we'll see" approach to this.  Maybe I'll just do a few miles easy and then 1 at pace.  Or some other combo.
Sunday:  10 miles LONG RUN  <-- I'll say it again.... we'll see.  I would like to get at least 8 in, but my goal is 10.

I'm just really planning on staying flexible this week.  My body just accomplished something I never thought possible and it's normal to be feeling some effects from that.  I definitely don't want to be so anal retentive about a schedule I made 3 months ago that I'm going to risk hurting myself.  So, if I gotta go easy tomorrow, easy it is.  If I gotta go all easy miles on Saturday, that's cool too.  If my long run is only 8 miles - hey, I remember when my "long runs" were a whopping 5 miles.  It's all good.  :)

Before I forget (again), yesterday's points:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  1
Eating 7+ servings of veggies and fruit: 1
Doing the WOW:  1
Doing 19 minutes of exercise:  1.5

Total points for Monday:  4.5
Total points for week 5 of the SBBC:  4.5
Total points for the SBBC:  215

Either later or tomorrow I want to post about what I think worked for me this training cycle and what I think didn't.  These were musings I wrote down while lying in bed the other night.  I have some things that I want to try and some things that I won't do again.  I've also been talking to Nick a lot about what happens after the Pittsburgh Half.  I'm signed up for the Great Race in September, but I'd like to do at least 1 half in the fall.  Nick said I should start training for a full marathon.  I laughed and told him I already made that decision during mile 12 of JASR... lol (that's the honest truth) I'm just going to wait a bit longer to be ready for that.  Next year... next year.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Just A Short Run Half Marathon 2013

Warning:  Wordy and pics!  tl;dr?  I ran a half marathon and it was awesome.  Can't wait to do it again.

What.  A.  Day!  I knew it would take me a couple of days to have the time to sit in front of a computer to write up a recap, so since I'm so wicked smart (rofl!!) I wrote everything out in a notebook the other day so I wouldn't forget anything.

Let's start with Friday night.  It's no secret that I was a freakin' basketcase all week.  One of the things that kept me going was the fact that it was Holy Week and I spent a lot of time going to church functions.  Good Friday night is always the Tenebrae service, which is my absolute favorite service of the entire year.  I used the opportunity to do some serious prayer and reflection.  After church, my family had some errands to run.  As much as I wanted to make it an extremely early bedtime, there was no way that was happening.  Not like it would have mattered for as much as I slept...

After the kids were tucked into bed, I settled in with some TV and a piece of Red Velvet Cake.  I always eat dessert food the night before a race.  Always.  I also drank some Tension Tea.  lol.  I definitely needed that.

I finally got into bed around 11 something.  I certainly didn't sleep for quite a while.  My mind was racing.  My jagoff neighbors (skinny jeans wearing 20 somethings who get plastered every Pens game) were also loud and obnoxious, so that didn't help.  Somewhere around 1 am I started praying the Rosary in my head.  I found peace and was able to get some rest.

5:45 AM - alarm went off as planned.  I rolled right out of bed and shut it off and headed to the kitchen to fix up my breakfast.  I felt pretty good considering the night I had.  I really milled over what to eat before the race all week before finally assuring myself that if I ate what I usually ate before my long runs that worked well, I'd be fine for the race.  So, I stuck with it - CoCo Wheats, chia seeds, wheat germ, 1/4 cup almond milk and 1 packet of Truvia.  Washed it down with a cup of coffee with creamer.  I drank water, too , of course.

I had made out a list in the days before of everything that I needed or even might need for race day to make packing less of a cluster.  I highly recommend this.  I would have forgotten so much stuff (including my race bib which was the last thing I grabbed before headed out!).

Everyone talked all week about how the weather on Saturday was going to be in the 50s and sunny.  While that was true later in the day, it was NOT true at 6-8 AM.  It was downright chilly.  Before I left my house, I had on a running skirt, and short sleeved shirt with arm sleeves.  When I got to the park, I changed into capris and added a light jacket and gloves (thank you list for telling me to bring other clothes just in case!).  Then I pinned my bib on and laced the chip into my Adrenalines.  I also threw on my Oakleys because it was only getting brighter outside.

We did leave our house at the perfect time.  We were able to park around 3/4 mile away from the starting line.  Around 30 minutes before the gun went off, we started walking over.  I grumbled about it at first due to how cold it was, but it was honestly a good warmup to walk/shuffle/jog with the kids on the way there.  I wonder if that made a difference in my performance or not?

Me and the kids near the start.  Tori and Garrett were happy.  Vinny was tired.  lol

At the starting line (which was near the tennis courts), I kept a little bit of a warm up going with light stretches and hopping/jogging/knee lifts/etc.  With about 10 minutes to go, the pace team showed up.  I made my way over to the 2 hour group and met Lou, the pacer (who was awesome and is now one of my personal heroes).  Everyone in the group was chit chatting and jumping around nervously.  We all laughed about how warm it was for the Frigid Five Miler compared to this.  My plan here was to stay with the 2 hour pace group in the beginning.  I hadn't ran McKinney hill but one time, and I did it quite slowly.  While I didn't feel it was an extreme challenge then, I didn't know how I was going to run it in a race, so I wanted to keep it steady.  My thought was if I stuck with the 2 hour group through the 5K and the first 5 mile lake loop that I could push ahead on the last loop if I felt good and get in under 2 hours, which has been my goal all this time.

With the pace group.  Still moving around to keep warm.  Oh, and I am so not a running fashionista, especially when I'm just layering for warmth.

As usual, the start was a crowded mess.  I've just come to accept the fact that this is how all races are.  When the gun went off, Lou yelled "Follow Me!!" and darted off.  It was a bit of a struggle to stay with the group at first due to just the mass amount of people and all the weaving and darting around.  Thankfully, after the turn onto McKinney, spaces got bigger and the crowd definitely spread out.  I was right with the pacer, and we had a nice little group.  We were chatting away - some people were only doing the 8.1 mile race and 2 were doing the 30K.  Suddenly, Lou yelled "is everyone warmed up after that hill?" as we turned right and headed downhill.  1) I hadn't even really realized I was going UPhill, 2) I wasn't gawking at my watch every 3 strides and  3)  I didn't even have my iPod on!  Maybe running with a group really does help?  Hmmm..

Near the return point where the 5K line splits to the finish and the rest of us head out to start the lake loops, my family was standing and cheering.  Nick got a great pic of me here.  You can see that I was feeling fantastic and was smiling like crazy.  At this point, my group was still pretty populated, but this didn't last long.  I took my gloves off sometime around this point and stashed them in my jacket pocket.

There I am, still bubbly and generally acting goofy near the 5K point.

I can't begin to tell you how great Lou was.  He was so pleasant and chatty (which I originally thought I wouldn't like, but I'm a convert).  He told us when we should drink water and/or gatorade, and when we should take gel.  I didn't follow his gel suggestion on this race, because I stuck with my own plan, but I may try it another time.  He also personally prefers carrying his water instead of using water stations.  I can see his point, but I haven't trained with a belt.  I don't even have one and I really didn't want to carry my Amphipod handheld for a race.  Again, these are things to consider for the future.  Anyway, he also gave great tips on posture and how to take hills.  He was just awesome.  He talked a lot about Ultramarathoning and where great races are and cool medals certain races give out (even though he keeps them in a box and not on display... lol).

As for my fuel - I took an Espresso Love GU at the 5 mile point.  I didn't feel like I needed it but I didn't want to deviate from my plan and training.  I was alternating water and gatorade and stopped at most, but not all of the aid stations when Lou called them out.  I didn't drink full cups of anything, and realistically a lot ended up all over me and up my nose, but I'd take a swig or two and then be on my way.  I'd say by the end of the race I might have drank 1-1/2 cups total.

By a third of the way through the first lake loop the field was very spread out.  Most of our pace group was gone.  We just had a small, tight little group hanging on, but we were chatting and joking.  This really helped the miles fly by!  I still wasn't using my iPod!  I felt amazing.  Seriously.  I hardly felt like I was racing at all, but enjoying a nice day outside with some cool people.  Lou commented that it looked like I was really running easy and looked great.  I think that boosted my confidence 1000%.

When we turned toward the tennis courts once again and moved into the "Additional Loops" lane, Lou warned us to not get crazy when people start speeding ahead.  The 8.1 mile race was the largest and they were finishing here.  We still had to go around the lake again.  I appreciated this advice, because usually if I see a large group of people flying by me, I get all nervous that my pace is tanking and tend to want to keep up.  I stayed with the group, but not for much longer.  We were down to 3 - a young guy who said he was a grad student and training for the full Pittsburgh Marathon and a girl who was doing the 30K and was some kind of coach at CMU.

As we began the small hill at the beginning of the second lake loop I stayed just in front of the group.  When I hit the top of the hill, I allowed myself to let the downhill carry me and pulled away from them.  Just past the spillway I realized how frustratingly quiet it was without my "friends"... I was down to the sounds of shuffling feet, heavy breathing, coughing and spitting around me.  I turned my iPod on.

Somewhere around 9 miles and change, I had caught up to the 1:55 pace group.  Their numbers were few as well.  The pacer didn't seem to be able to keep a steady pace, either.  He was always in a state of speeding up or slowing down.  It was kind of annoying to be honest, but I stuck around, honestly shocked that I was now in this group and had a chance of finishing in 1:55!!  I still felt really good, but was coming to a point where I did feel like I was running a race, and not just taking a lazy stroll like I did on the first loop.  A lady from the group asked me how far we'd ran so far.  I looked at my watch (one of the few times I did during the whole race!) and told her we were almost at the 10 mile point.

Then.... sometime totally divine happened.  Renegade came on my shuffle.  Frickin' Renegade.  At 10 miles, I took my last gel - an Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel.  One thing that I learned during this race is that the front pockets of the jacket I was wearing suck.  I had brought 3 gels with me.  I could fit 2 in the zip pocket of my capris, but the last one I put in the front pocket of my jacket.  It fell out at some point.  Boo.  Glad I didn't actually need it.  Lesson learned.  Anyway, between the apple pie tasting gel and Styx and then Eye of the Tiger which came on 1-2 songs later, I said "you know what, I've got more in me than this!" and forged ahead of the 1:55 group.  I told myself there was less than a 5K to go, I've got this, I just had to give it all I've got.

I looked at my watch at exactly 11.66 miles when I thought "oof.  maybe I really don't got this".  My legs were starting to feel a little tired.  We were on a slight incline, which of course never helps that feeling.  That thought lasted maybe 10 seconds when I shook myself out of it with the realization of the fact that I only had a mile and a half to go.  One mile and change stood between me and my first half marathon.  And not just finishing... no.  I achieved my goal that I've worked so hard on.   I checked my form and pushed ahead.  Some time around this point the young grad school kid from my 2 hour group caught up to me and went just ahead.  As much as I wanted to kick it up a notch, I knew I still had a little way to go and needed to save that kick for the end.

I turned and headed toward the tennis courts for the final time.  I had this.  I pushed a little more.  People moved into their respective lanes "Finish" or "additional Loops".  God love those people who did the 30K.  Someday I'll get there, but huge respect to those who can do that now.  I was not in any kind of pain or discomfort at this point (remember that hip thing I was dying from all week?  nonexistent), just feeling... like well, I just ran around 13 miles!  I heard someone ask "How far have we gone now?".  I glanced at my watch: 12.91 miles.  Holy crap... I was SO close!  I had almost caught up to a lady with short hair.  She looked really tired.  I know I felt like that.  Then, Stush (remember the shirtless guy from the Frigid Five? That's him!) came flying down the lane giving out high fives and yelling "the finish is right over there!!!  Go get it!!".  I squinted and saw the clock in the distance:  it read 1:52:50something.  Again, I was able to find some extra gas in the tank, a spare gear, or whatever, and I made a beeline past the lady I'd caught up to and kept flying to and across the finish line.  I pumped my arms and said "yes!" and immediately thought "Fuck sub 2!"  (rofl!!!).  I stopped my watch and then deliriously took a medal from one of the awesome volunteers there.  Seriously... all the volunteers for this race deserve a medal too.  Top notch.  I grabbed a cup of water and slammed it back.  It could have been anything, I didn't care.

I got out of the finishing chute and headed for the food area.  I got a bottle of water, a banana, and a smiley cookie (purple smile).  I think I inhaled the cookie in about three bites.  I don't even remember it, really.   It was at this point that I realized that I had not even looked at the medal around my neck... lol.  I picked it up in my hand and laughed.  It was every bit as awesome as I imagined it being.  Love the graphic on it.

Get it?  Just a "short" run?  lol  Love it!

I headed back over toward the finish line and waited by the fence for Lou to finish.  I had to thank him.  I know that it was because I had a successful first part of the race that I was able to finish so well.  He kept me from going wild with the pace, gave valuable info on form, and was just generally motivating.  It was nice not to have to gawk at my watch and be able to really enjoy the whole experience.  When he crossed the line and finished talking with someone I called out to him.  He came over and said "You really crushed it!!!" and asked me when I finished.  I told him 1:53 and he congratulated me.  I thanked him over and over.  I am planning on writing to the director of and letting them know just how awesome he is.

One thing I made sure to do was KEEP MOVING.  Any time I would stop for more than a few moments I could feel my legs start to cramp.  So if I wasn't walking, I was doing knee lifts, or stretching, or doing some sort of movement.  I honestly felt pretty good considering I'd just ran a half marathon.

I finally found my family after several more minutes.  My husband said he tried looking for me with the 2 hour pace group.  I laughed at him and told him I was done way before that.  Oh well, at least there will be a finish video posted soon he can watch.

Beautiful day!  Oh, the Bondi Band says "RunnerMom".  Tori picked it for me.  :)

Speaking of finish:  My official time was 1:53:34.  I'm still trying to figure out how that happened.  I am beyond elated with that time.  I've been hearing a lot of buzz that this race is known for being longer than 13.1 miles.  A lot of people are posting GPS numbers that are certainly more than that.  I know mine are.  My watch's stats say: 13.22 miles.  Now, I know some people are all up in arms over it, but I don't think it's that big of a difference to go nuts over.  How does Pittsburgh compare?  I don't know.  Guess I'll find out in 5 weeks.

It is now Monday,  2 days post race.  I'm feeling good!  I was able to do a WOW plus a plank.  My calves are still a little tight, but they're not hard as rocks like they were yesterday.  I've been doing a lot of stretching and foam rolling and that helps a lot.  I'm planning on heading out for 3-4 miles tomorrow.  I feel like I could run today, but I'm not pushing it.  Sticking with the plan has worked so far!

SBBC Week 4 Wrapup!

Well hello there!  I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!

As you can tell, I am wicked behind on posting.

1.  First and most importantly, it was Holy Week.  Most of my time has been spent at St. Paul Cathedral and other local churches for good reason.  HE IS RISEN.  Glory to God in the Highest!
2.  I've been really nervous (see previous post).  Thank God above I've had #1 to keep me occupied and centered.
3.  Um, I just ran a half marathon on Saturday!  More on that later.

So, let me just wrapup my points for the week and leave it at that.

Thursday I got in my 2 mile run.  It was more a mental game than physical.  I felt fine.  I also did a 5:19 forearm plank.  I got in all my water and freggies.

Friday was my rest day.  I did a 5:03 pushup plank.  I did not get all my freggies in (Good Friday obligations.  More important than forcing foods.), but I did drink a ton of water!

Saturday... well, I ran a half marathon!  Race recap to come later.  Pre race I did side planks for a total of 3:07.  I got a epic ton of water in and yes, I did get in all my freggies (mostly in the form of bananas, I think!  lol).

Sunday - Easter!!  I did a reverse plank for 2:33.  My biggest accomplishment was staying out of the candy. I had ONE peep, 5 jellybeans and a single bite of chocolate bunny.  Woohoo!  Yes, I got in all my water and freggies too!

Thursday - Sunday points:
Drinking 64+ oz of water:  4
Eating 7+ servings of fruits and veggies:  3
Doing the WOW:  0
Doing 149 minutes of exercise:  14.5

Total points for Thursday - Sunday:  21.5
Total points for week 4 of the SBBC:  36
Total points for the SBBC:  210.5