Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Race Summary

I just realized that I don't have any more races scheduled for this year! I completed my last race of 2008 on December 13--the Reindeer Romp 4K! It is amazing to me to look back at this year and see how far I've come since my first road race on March 1, 2008! Come with me as I stroll down memory lane!

March 1, 2008
2008 Anthem 5K Fitness Classic
Time: 37:45

Obviously, since it was my first race ever, I was totally excited AND nervous! I was lucky enough to be able to share the experience with Joey. However, prior to the race, we promised we'd just run it for fun since it was our first race ever--since I had trained more for it, I kept it slower at first to stay back with him, until about mile 2 when he just ran off without me! From that point on, I've decided I'm running my own races. :) This was a GREAT race and it was a great way to introduce me to road racing. It was a well executed event (as are all legs of the Triple Crown, I believe) that I will revist year after year, as long as I'm able.

What I learned: Run your own race, even if you're running with your boyfriend; no matter how many times I peed prior to the race, I will have to pee right before the race; how to "warm" the field, which was entirely too much fun for me for some reason; my fitness level wasn't as good as I thought it was.

March 15, 2008
Rodes City Run 10K
Time: 1:14:39

The hair was trying to attack me:

Prior to this event, I had only run 6 miles one time--and it didn't turn out that well then. There was walking involved. The race was exciting but scary because I was all alone out there--though I did have my mom and Joey later there rooting me on. It was a GREAT route (a little funky through Butchertown, but that was another fun part of the race because all of us were running as fast as we could to get OUT of there!!!) and even though I was totally not prepared for it (and had to walk portions of it at the end), I had a blast.

The spectators were FANTASTIC--lots of cheering and music. It was awesome. What I remember best is a little girl up at the top of a hill at her house with her mom holding her and she was screaming "HI!" to runners--nobody was waving at her so I screamed back at her and waved and she just got so happy. I knew right then that she would be a runner when she got older, guaranteed!

What I learned: It's fun to push yourself beyond your comfort level; it's fun to run your own race; there were people walking this race at the same pace I was able to run it; it's not cool to tell the runners that the race is almost over when it's actually NOT almost over; I needed to train harder and learn how to pace myself.

May 10, 2008
2008 Throo the Zoo 5K
Time: 36:49

This race sounded like too much fun to pass up and I think Joey was too jealous of me running Rodes that he wanted to do this one with me. Portions of this race actualy run inside the zoo so you get to see some of the animals that can stay outside. It was an easy course and pretty fun for me--and it was my first time wearing a running skirt to a race. That was a big deal for me back then. LOL The race did start a little late and wasn't executed as well as the prior two--but still a good race that I'll consider completing again.

What I learned: if you tell people that a monkey got loose while you were running and was chasing people, they believe you.

October 11, 2008
Louisville Komen Race for the Cure 5K
35:32 Adjusted

This was my first race since the Throo the Zoo in May--5 months off without a race means a lot of anticipation for THIS race AND a lot of time to train in between. However, I hadn't trained as well as I should have during those 5 months--but I HAD done enough where I knew that I had improved my speed enough to see a faster finish. I had also starting pushing myself a little more in training, so I had good hopes for my ability to pace myself this race. Even so, my goal was to run sub-35:00, which would have been more than one minute off of my last 5K. I figured it was realistic--but when I crossed that finish line and saw the time was 30:37 I was in awe and nearly cried because I was so proud. But something just didn't feel right about the time. It turns out that it wasn't a true 5K distance--they apparently shorted us a few tenths of a mile.

What I learned: I really wanted a Garmin Forerunner so that I would be able to KNOW when I was getting shorted; all races aren't executed smoothly; I really hate when walkers start at the front of the pack--really really hate it.

October 25, 2008
2008 Home Run 5 Mile

This was my most anticipated race of the year, excluding my first race ever. I heard about this race from a flyer inside of the packet for my first race, the Anthem 5K. When I saw that it was a 5 mile race at Bernheim in the Fall, no less, I knew I was going to do it. But I thought to myself: How on Earth am I ever going to be able to run 5 miles? I really didn't know it was possible for me to do it. Come race day, I was chilly and not in the mood to run BUT I did have mom and Joey with me--they were both doing the 5K portion of the race.

This race was GREAT and goes down as my favorite race of the year, I think. It was beautiful, fun, a good challenge for me and so very well executed by the race directors and volunteers. It was an excellent cause, and what I remember most about it was the loyalty and friendliness of the runners. Everyone was so great and fun to chat with in passing. This is a race I'll certainly do again.

My performance was something I was proud of--my goal was to finish the 5 miles in at least 55 minutes, but I was thinking it would be more like 58-59 minutes. The last leg was very difficult but when I crossed the finish in 53:20, I couldn't believe how good I still felt. I should have pushed a little harder during the race but I don't have any regrets.

What I learned: I finally met Joe, and he rocks; I could have pushed myself more and that was going to be something I was going to train for; I wasn't giving myself enough credit for the runner I was becoming; it really means a lot to me for friends/family to watch me at races.

November 27,2008
2008 Iroquois Hill Runners Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile
Time: 51:20

This was a fun race with a lot of great people. I really enjoyed running this and pushing myself. It was also the first time Tom and Joe and I were all racing together so that was fun for me. It was a familiar race route and I was definitely prepared for it. I knew I was heading for a PR after mile 3 because I had set goals at specific distances during my training and I seemed to be breaking those times--I ended up finishing the race in sub 52:00--I beat my goal AND got a PR!

This was definitely one of my favorite races this year and it felt great to be able to run at a faster pace--I finally got into the low 10's on average!

What I learned: You CAN run on Thanksgiving morning AND still host Thanksgiving dinner at your house IF you do some advanced planning; go to the bathroom early; I like running slightly longer races; you shouldn't drink too much water during a race or you'll feel funky; I'm getting faster with hard work.

December 13, 2008
Reindeer Romp 4k
Time: 24:41

This race is the first leg of the Polar Bear Grand Prix--a three race series that takes us through the winter, and while it wasn't my best effort, it was fun! Joey ran this with me and we were lucky enough to run into Tom and Joe right before the start--RuntheVille represented in our Christmas apparel!!! The final hill really really kicked my butt--I thought I was prepared for it because of my training on that course prior to the race but I just wasn't. I finished but not in my goal time! I had fun though and had a great breakfast with great breakfast with great people afterward!

What I learned: You can't achieve EVERY goal you set; I have more work to do; it's just as fun to cheer for someone else during a race than it is to run a race

In addition to those 7 races, I also walked the American Heart Walk with my mom and I volunteered at the Champions 4 Her 5K, which was GREAT fun. I intend to do more volunteering next year and refine my race list as well.

Here's my preliminary race list for 2009:

The final two legs of the Polar Bear Grand Prix--which includes
Snowman Shuffle 4 Mile - January 10, 2009
Frostbite 5K - February 14, 2009

The Louisville Triple Crown of Running-which includes:
Anthem 5K Fitness Classic - March 7, 2009
Rodes City Run 10K - March 21, 2009
Papa John's 10 Mile - April 11, 2009

The Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon - April 25, 2009 (my first ever HM)

Home Run 5 Mile - no info yet
The Louisville Half Marathon - Fall 2009

Saturday, December 27, 2008

10 Miles=Goal Met

I'm slouched over in the bed after a long ass ice bath and hot shower. And food. I'm ex-haus-ted. Truly. I think a nap is in the works.

Woke up at about 6:30 this morning and had some all-natural applesauce and water, debated on whether to put on shorts or capris and then took off. And since it's so new, I almost forgot my Garmin! LOL I got to Cherokee Park to meet Joe and Tom at a few minutes past 7:30 and we took off soon after--for what I thought was going to be a 6-8 mile run.

It SUCKED. Major sucked. My body wasn't into it, and my mind DEFINITELY wasn't into it. If they hadn't been there, I would have quit at 4 miles, no questions asked. I was over it by then.

But we kept running. We ran to Seneca Park, which is a neighboring park. There were SO MANY runners out today, I've never seen it so packed (and there's always a lot of activity there)! It's so much fun to run not only with Tom and Joe, but also to run in an area like that where there are so many other runners. You just don't feel so alone and it makes you feel like you're part of something bigger!

Those hills kicked my butt today. I just wasn't in it but Tom and I decided after 7 or so miles that we wanted to get in a full 10. I really WANTED it but I just felt like there was no way it could happen today. My goal for the end of the year was to run a 10 miler by the end of the year--and yeah, I did it about one month ago. But I haven't had the greatest month of running and I just felt like that November 10 miler got swept under the rug, only with a hope to revisit it next year. And I didn't like that hanging over my head--so I really wanted to run a 10 today.

I need to say something in full honesty right now--I totally, 100% know this to be true, and it's not one of those things you say to make people feel good or whatever--I COULD NOT HAVE DONE TODAY'S RUN WITHOUT TOM AND JOE. Period. There is absolutely no way that I would have made it. And I really appreciate Tom's help too...he stayed with me pretty much the entire time and my gosh, if he hadn't been there, no telling how much walking and crying I might have done. LOL I swear, these guys are awesome and I'm so glad to have some running buddies that are supportive and do not get on my nerves. That's a winning combo. LOL

I'm pretty much okay with having a lazy day for the rest of today--I need it. I'm pretty sore but (hey Joe, you listening?) my foot isn't hurting anymore after that ice bath. I poured all sorts of ice over my feet in there--so far so good.

Tomorrow starts HM Training. I'm pretty excited.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Running on Peppermint Ice Cream

I need to stop eating so much. I hate to make another I've-been-eating-too-much-this-holiday-season blog but here it is. We all have them now I think, because we're all stuffing ourselves senseless. But you know, it just doesn't feel good to eat like this. I feel lethargic and funky all day. In a way, it's kinda fun to be drugged up on Better Cheddars, Big Red, Bruschetta and Peppermint Ice Cream but umm, I can only take so much.

I actually stopped at Kroger today just to buy a $3 container of pre-cut veggies to snack on. I'm sooo sick of eating JUNK! But I keep eating junk. So what gives?

I haven't been running a lot because of my foot. I really want it to heal properly before next week, which was the first week of my HM training. I'll get back on track with my diet but if my foot isn't at 100%, it's going to be very hard to give it my all. I did do 3 miles today in a bit of rain but it was just enough to get my foot sore and I think I pushed too hard early on and I just wore out before I knew it. Plus, it'd been about 5 days since I ran longer than a mile and I think my fitness had already declined. It's amazing.

I had an excellent Christmas and I'm just so appreciative of all of the love and good spirit that surrounded me these last few days. It's so great to see most everyone getting along and being calm and pleasant and just HAPPY.

And oh my, Santa brought me a Garmin 305! I cried!! I'm so happy to finally have this bad boy. I can't wait til I know how to use it 100%!!!!! It's so awesome!!

Let me know what's been up with you and how you're holding in there!

Oh I almost forgot--last week's poll! Turns out 80% of you all are running with one main goal in mind--reaching a certain pace/time. Looks like more of us need to be doing speedwork, eh? :) Take care, runners and everyone else!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monkey Problems? Why would I have monkey problems?

So yeah, the title of my blog has nothing to do with the entry itself. Nor is it running related. I've just finally discovered the Office. We've watched almost 4 seasons in less than 2 weeks, thanks to Netflix instant queue. It's amazing. I love this show. It's competing with Dexter, the Sopranos, and the Simpsons for all time favorite shows.

Moving on...our last poll asked what your best (thanks to running) asset was. 50% of you said that thanks to running, you are more disciplined! Way to go, Running! Following behind discipline, it appears that some of you appreciate your nice abs or your ability to eat whatever you want! Thanks for the responses, everyone!

On Saturday, I ran in the Reindeer Romp 4K at Cherokee Park. It was a fun little race of about 600 runners. I finished in 24:41, which wasn't as fast as I was hoping for but I also didn't try as hard as I could have. While I was running, I was aware of this fact. But I didn't really feel like giving anymore than I was. Is that horrible? Now, don't get confused. I didn't run at an easy pace--I exerted PLENTY of energy during the race, especially on that last hill. Pooey. But I just didn't run as fast as I could. Plus, my foot was bothering me. That scared me.

Even so though, I ran a sub-10:00 pace, which is basically my goal for every race (up to 10K) from now on. Luckily, I don't have any 10k's coming up. ;) DBF ran a good race, especially for his first outdoor running since the Spring. I think the best part was having Panera Bread with Tom, Joe, my mom and Joey after the race. :)

Because my foot has been giving me a lot of discomfort, I decided (not easily) to take a few days off to allow my foot to heal. Yesterday I noticed that it was MUCH better--it was the first day that I could say that. I could still feel that twinge of "something" inside but I wasn't noticing it with every step anymore. So I decided to get out and run today--I've been going crazy without runs for the last 3 days. I did an easy 3.5 miles after work--and it felt GREAT. I could have done more, and I wanted to run longer, but I didn't want to push my foot too much. I won't be running tomorrow but I plan to get in another easy run on Friday if all goes well.

NRR--On December 5, Joey and I picked up our new puppy from one of our friend's. She's a 4 month old pitbull, beautiful and sweet as can be. We took her home for a trial run, since neither of us have had a dog before and we wanted to see if she would fit in here. It's been a little rocky but we decided we'd give her a try and keep her. I've had a lot of fun with her so far--she's been my park buddy and she's definitely in love with me. Tonight, though, she had a couple of incidents with our cats (who weren't doing anything at all to her) and now we're seriously considering giving her back or finding her another home. It's been a bit of a stress to have her but it was something I was willing to learn to deal with. Now, I'm thinking that among other reasons, it might be better for us to let her go now. I'm sad, even though she's not gone yet. I'll miss her if we do give her up but I can't put my cats in danger like that--the whole energy of our house has been WAY different since we got her and I'm not sure it works for us. :(

Enjoy the remainder of the week, everyone! And happy, healthy, safe running!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Breakthrough

Well, I'm a little surprised at the outcome of our last poll, "What is Your Primary Reason for Running?" Turns out nobody runs primarily for weight loss or maintenance--most of you run mainly for good health! Way to go guys! There was a tie between running for fun and running for competition--but I think we can all agree that we run for lots of reasons, and we all love doing it! *Most of the time* :)

BIG breakthrough today--but before I tell you what, I'll give you a little history of the day. If you'll recall, I ran the IHR Thanksgiving Day 5 Miler, and a few people at work knew I was going to be running. Coincidentally, I've recently discovered a couple of runners at work that were in hiding, until they heard that I also ran. ("So and so told me you run...") :roll: So, one of these runners asked me today how my T-Day race went, and I told him. We started talking about how I'm pretty slow still, but that my pace for that race was my best ever at 10:16 per mile. He informed me that I COULD run faster than that (his record for 1 mile was in the 5:00 range) without a problem. I laughed and said yeah right. I've been trying to go faster for a very long time, and haven't been near sub-10:00, don't see it happening anytime in the near future.

But he got me thinking--I wonder how fast I run a mile. I wonder if I COULD push myself and how long it would take me to actually get sub-10:00. All day, I pondered this, and near the end of my workday, I thought, "You'll never get faster if you don't just force it. Try it today." I have no intention of being stupid and hurting myself by pushing too hard beyond my limitations. I want to run, and going fast is not THAT important to me. But when I got home from work, I felt strong. You know when you just FEEL good? I felt like I had momentum built up in my legs--EVEN AFTER MY INTENSE CORE WORKOUT YESTERDAY. I swear, that workout has my legs, my arms, my back, my shoulders and my abs SORE. Good sore...but soooo sore!

So I went out. I ran, I pushed it the first mile. I was going faster and it felt good. Breathing was quicker but I was in a good place. I pretended I was in a running commercial--darting around, jumping over rocks, running "fast." It was fun. Mile 2 came and I looked at my watch.

This can't be right...typically, I would reach that point in 22:00-24:00 during any given training run. My best possible (as of my T-Day race, which was a PR for me) would put me at 20:32.

My watch read "16:55."

What. The. Eff? No way.

I pushed on back up the hill--my legs were feeling the effects of this increased speed by this point but I pushed as strong as I could and kept running--not as fast but faster than normal.

By the end of my run, I had completed 5.08 miles in just under impossible feat for me.

So was today a fluke? Can it be duplicated? I don't know, and I won't know until next week. I don't plan to push like that but once a week until I know I'm capable safely.

But what DOES matter to me and what I DO know for sure is that I can say I CAN run a mile under 10 minutes and not just 1 mile, but 5. That's a huge step for me and it's definitely in the right direction.

Have a wonderful Hump Day, everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ryan Hall's Record Breaker

I've been a little obsessed with all things Half-Marathon lately. Now that this year is nearing its end, I'm getting nervous *already* about my first Half in April. So yeah, whenever I watch this, I get chills. I am not at all bored by any part of this video, even though it gets a bit "Cloverfield-ish" at some points. LOL

And I desperately want to go run right now, but really fast. Not slow. I also want someone to follow me during my races and record me. I wouldn't look nearly as good as he does.

He ran that Half Marathon in 59:43--just 8 more minutes than it took me to run my last 5 mile race. Bwahahha!!

I just finished a long, intense and grueling core workout, including my usual Mammoth Workout and I intended to do arms but umm, after that workout, I can't dream of doing anything to my poor arms. It's even hard for me to type this right now. I'm a bit shaky. I guess the pushups and the extended arm planks will be all of the upper body workout I'm getting today.