Tuesday, March 31, 2009

US and Jamaica, Allergies and ITBS!

That poor panda!! That's how it is living in the Ohio Rivnah (inside joke, sorry) Valley. Today I had my first taste of Spring time here this year--it's weird how it happens. I finish my run (which goes fine, by the way, nothing weird, no symptoms) and IMMEDIATELY there's this weird feeling in my throat. And it doesn't go away. Then it feels like I shouldn't talk and my throat is constricted. And the coughing or the sneezing begins. 3 hours after my run and I am having horrible coughing attacks. So, I took my first sinus pill of the year just now! YAY! NOT!

I was pretty amped to hear about the announcement from USATF and the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association--next year, the US and Jamaica will be going head to head in a series of track and field events. The USA vs. Jamaica Challenge series is a team based series of track and field events that will include long jump, two hurdles distances, three relays and 100, 200 and 400 meters competition! I think it'll be exciting and a positive way to bring track and field back into the radar for a lot of people! US athletes--you better start working now!

So in the interest of helping DBF with some errands tomorrow, I switched my higher mileage day of speedwork to today. I ended up doing just over 7 miles total--3.75 miles of intervals at 10K race pace. Great running on hills--I'm powering up those babies a little easier than I could before but still it ain't no joke! I realize I shouldn't be doing speedwork at hilly ass Iroquois Park but I don't really have any other options. Okay so I do--run a loop over and over and over again. But no thanks.

By the third interval, my mind was getting into my mind. LOL I swear, that was a tough one to break through--my ITBS had kicked in again (must be speedwork on hills induced...*sigh*) and I was having a hard time running normally, and my phone was ringing and a guy wanted to chat--I now understand why those speedy runners that look straight ahead with a slight grimace do that. As soon as I looked up beyond my current step (which I thought was going to be the apex of the current hill), I told myself to stop. Not just stop running fast. Just stop and walk dammit! MORE HILL, just STOP! YOU CAN'T DO IT! And then "One More Mile" Kriston came out. She fired back, "Umm, how the hell do you think you'll ever get better if you don't just suck it up and power up this damn hill." One More Mile Kriston can get a bit moody sometimes, but it's always out of love. Unconditional, crazy, bite my hand til it bleeds LOVE. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to 1:45 in the video below, if you feel like wasting your time! LOL)

Anyway--I powered up that hill, probably wobbly. I definitely thought I was never going to be able to breathe again. But I made it!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

Monday, March 30, 2009

I knew there was a reason I've always wanted to go to Paris...

To DBF, I'm TOTALLY joking. That's not the ONLY reason. LOL

Ladies, here's what the rest of him looks like...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Three Things

1. I can't wait to get my bike out on the road this week--I'm hoping for a Tuesday ride if I can avoid the expected rain in the afternoon! I'm really excited.

2. I really, really, really want to buy these:

But I don't have the money in my budget, since I'm in the market for a new pair of regular trainers. *sigh* I bet they won't have my size in two weeks!

3. I am really seriously considering taking swimming lessons. I just don't want to feel stupid or drown.

That is all. I'm mad that Sunday is over and I am on my way to bed for work tomorrow. What a sucker!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mad Hills Son!

The title is dedicated to Joe!

So yeah, I'm mad at Iroquois Park right now.


Our group did the STUPID loop twice, and then added on a mere 7 miles at the end of that. STUPID!

I hurt. I feel like I got a bad case of the flu, but only from the waist down. *sigh*

I ended up with another distance PR, at 13.52 today. We pushed each other along at different times and I'm so glad to have such a great group to run with!

Plus, I'm pretty excited that Joe said he's interested in running the Millenium Trail with me after the Mini--that'll be 13.3 miles of trail running bliss!

I'm gonna go cry now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More Mini-Marathon Musings...

I know I'm not supposed to say this but I'll be glad when the Mini is over. LOL

Now I AM nervous--but I'm also MAD excited about it. So don't get it twisted! I want to run it and I'm excited, even if I am a bit scared!

What I want, though, is a REST. My body is aching. My body is tired and I even think my MIND needs a break. I just look forward to taking a month or two off from a strenuous training plan. I keep thinking of all the things I want to do--more hiking of course, cycling, tennis, and indoor skydiving! I just need to swith it up for awhile, until I plan my next move in my running career. :)

So yeah, I'm excited, I'll give it my best and I'll have fun. But I'll enjoy the break afterward.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

10 Miles + 5K, Two Hells in One Race!


Yes, I'm running my first Half Marathon in April.

Yes, I'm darn nervous.

Hell, I've done the distance--well, close enough. 13 miles is my distance PR--but I've been running double digit runs since December--so the distance is not something I'm worried about.

What I AM worried about is my pace during this race. I KNOW that I will not treat this like my training runs. I KNOW that I will not be comfortable during this race. I actually think that I'm going to hate every bit of it.

I don't even want to see any race pictures from that day--I can tell you right now what they will look like. But I won't tell you, it's far too embarassing for me.

I know that the morning of the race will be Hell. I will be prepared, I will be there extra early. But I will not have slept (can someone drug me the night before so I WILL sleep?) the night before. I will be too nervous to focus. I will probably feel like I'm going to revisit my dinner from the night before. I won't feel like running.

I know that the race will feel bad, and I'll be too hard on myself about my pace. FINISH, FINISH, FINISH--that's all a first Halfer is supposed to worry about, right? WRONG. It's NOT all I will worry about. I will worry about finishing respectably, relative to ME.

I will probably cry at the finish. I might collapse. Who knows.

So that's why I'm nervous.

But you know what's funny? I'm MORE nervous about the Papa John's 10 Miler, which is coming up in 2 weeks. I've never raced anything beyond the 10K distance so this will be a learning experience for me. It will act as a test for my performance at the Mini, which will be two weeks after the 10 Miler. I'm so nervous that I'm going to SUCK at the 10 mile distance and I will not be able to have the confidence I need for the Half.

And well, the HM is really just a 10 mile race with a sucky ass 5K at the end. And you all know I don't really care for the 5K distance. It just hurts. (5Ks are Harder).

And I STILL don't know what shoes and what gear I'm going to wear. I'm crumbling!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rodes City Run 10K Race Report!

This morning, I actually woke up before my alarm went off! Did my normal pre-race routine, got DBF out of bed (he apparently had been snoozing for 20+ minutes) and we drove down to the "Run the Ville" meeting spot across from Waterfront Park.

There was a total of 7 of us (my favorite number!) that met up in the dark parking lot, and we took off toward the start line, which was a little over a mile away. Because this race started downtown, we had to deal with a little early morning traffic and traffic lights. Two people in our group ended up getting stuck at a light and DBF and I told the rest of the group that we were going to wait for them, in case they weren't sure how to get to the start. The activity really picked up once we turned from Muhammad Ali onto 4th Street! It was pretty exciting with all of the runners standing around and the music playing!

Of course, as usual, I had to potty so I ran over to the port-a-pots. OMG last year the line was nearly non-existent. This year, it was incredible. I promised myself 10 minutes to stand in line and no more because Tom and Joey had promised to wait at a specific spot for me (Thanks Tom!) until I got back. I didn't want to take too long and put them in a difficult position. So I left without actually going to the bathroom, which goes against everything I hold dear! LOL It was an entertaining wait, though. Funny people in line to talk to and someone actually opened the door on a man in one of the Pots--he was a GREAT sport about it and when he came out, everybody cheered!

I made it back through the unbelievably massive crowds and somehow managed to find the crew. Within minutes, the race started and off we went--sorta. The crowd was so big that we actually had a little bit of that start fast/stop motion going on. I knew that I was going to have to subtract about 6 minutes from the clock time to have my actual time.

Once everybody started to spread out more on wide Broadway, I was trying to figure out what to do with the jacket I had with me--the jacket that I never intended to wear during the race (I never ran into any family or friends to actually have them hold it before the race). So when we started, I still had it and I didn't even have a good place to drop it because there were just too many people around. About 1/4 mile into the race, Joey and I were still running together and we saw a homeless man on the side of the road. I decided to run back to him and give him my jacket. Sure, it's too small for him but I figured he'd find SOMETHING to do with it. I'd rather him have it then the garbage can anyway.

Mile 1 was nice because I was with Joey for a good part of it. I tried to concentrate on finding a comfortable and challenging pace to run for the duration of the 6.2 miles. I found that pace and stayed with it for about 2 miles--there was a man that was running the same pace as me and we ran side by side during this time. I wish I could tell him thanks--he helped me to keep pushing myself--at least until we got to the first real hill and even though I wanted to push it hard, I stayed more conservative. The guy in the navy shirt ended up pulling ahead just a bit. And I never really caught up to him again. But thanks "navy shirt" man!

When mile 3 approached, I was a little tired but I felt confident to be at the halfway mark. When we turned the corner at KT's Restaurant, I saw several spectators and I was still hoping to see Mom someplace! I looked ahead and see her red coat on the corner--she's looking for me! I start waving but she didn't see me for a few seconds. I was so happy to see her there!!!! When I approahced the next water stop, I took some water in and walked for about 30 seconds to get my focus back. I got right back into it and continued to run as smoothly as I could.

The Mile 5 marker was the turning point for me in this race. My goal for this race was sub 1:05:00, a reasonable time for me, I thought. I was pretty sure that even though I just ran a sub-30 5K two weeks ago, I wouldn't be able to keep that pace for the 6.2 miles. I wanted a challenging but reasonable goal, and I thought that was it. But when I saw the clock time at mile 5, it read 54:xx. I subtracted my 6 minutes and thought--WOW, I COULD POSSIBLY RUN A SUB 1 HOUR 10K!!! It had NEVER crossed my mind that I would even be ABLE to do that, much less shoot for it. But when I saw that clock time, I said "*%&$ it! I'm going to try it!"

There was a group of guys holding up signs for 1-800-GOT-JUNK on the side of the course and when I passed them, I said "Do you guys take junk in your trunk?" LOL Then there were spectators with cowbells and although I knew I hadn't been the first to say it, I couldn't help but scream "MORE COWBELL!!" That interaction helped pump my adrenaline up enough and for about 3/4 mile, I felt fast and strong and even more confident in my ability to run this race faster than I imagined!

Mile 6 popped up and the clock read just over 1:04:00. I thought CRAP--there's no way I'll make it. I actually slowed down a bit--because I didn't think I could make it and also because I knew the hill at the finish was approaching and I wanted to conserve energy! Then I heard a man yell at his friend, "Oh yeah, you got this in under an hour! You could run this under an hour on vacation!" I thought to myself, "DAMMIT STRANGER MAN, YOU'RE RIGHT!" So I didn't let up. I picked it up. I started passing people. I turned the corner and cut a girl off. Sorry. I took off down the straightaway toward the finish and just focused on FINISHING FAST! I rarely sprint to the finish but I did the best I could today! LOL

When I crossed, I didn't even look at the clock time. I looked at my Garmin, which read 59:42. I don't have the official chip time yet but I know that it's going to be close to that, if not dead on. I was overwhelmed with pride for myself and I was just so happy! Unfortunately, there wasn't a soul that I recognized around there, so I was all alone with nobody to share that joy with!

Everybody from RTV did EXTREMELY WELL! Tom is increasing his speed and man, I'm impressed. Joe always finishes with a great time! Lee is the beast of the group, and he did great as usual! Joey came through with a GREAT time, thanks in part to Christian's support during the race. Christian did extremely well and man, we should all be soooo proud! I'm proud of everybody! I hope that our strong performances today help out with the overall team placement in the Triple Crown Team challenge! GO US! I think we'll place better today than we did at the 5K, honestly! We just know how to push ourselves! We also know how to push ourselves over to the Panera Bread for breakfast. We had a nice and relaxed breakfast--we started out quiet but we had good conversation as time went on. I felt like I was stuffing myself silly. LOL

Overall, another GREAT race and I'm so pumped up that I PR'd so well! I shaved nearly 15 minutes off of last year's time for this same race, and that sure does give me something to be proud of!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Day After 13 Miles

So the morning after my long run of 13 miles yesterday, I wake up. I lay there, stretch out my legs and assess the way my body feels.

Turns out, it feels great. A teeny wee bit stiff, but nothing worth talking about. No pain (except for my foot, which is a lingering pain), no problems, no nothing. I was amazed at how great I felt. I remember when I first started running "long distances" last year at 5 and 6 miles. I felt soreness and stiffness for a couple of days!

My body is finally getting used to the stress of these double digit runs, and I'm sure my recovery-routine helps as well. I'm just excited to know that I can run 13 miles and still have a life that day and the following day!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

All in a Day's Work--2 PR's today!

This week's mileage total = 30.2 miles! That's a weekly total PR for me! Also, today, our running group ran a trial run of the route for next week's 10K and Tom and I decided to run it back after we finished it. We ended up getting a total of 13 miles in by the end of it and that's also a distance PR for me!

We had a great time running as usual! The weather was decent enough and it didn't start raining until the second half of the run--and it wasn't even a bad rain.

Running has really been a better friend lately. I went through a tough spell after all of the bad weather (ice storms) and after having some knee pain--running turned into a pure chore and in some cases, an unbearable chore. This week, my running has been strong, consistent and most importantly, it's felt great. I feel like myself again and I'm so happy!

DBF and I went to Swag's (one of our LRSs) yesterday to get some new kicks and DBF ended up with the Saucony ProGrid Guides.

I hope they work out for him! I've already warned him, I've read some great reviews on this model but not good reviews for Saucony's update with the Guide 2. I told him to see how they work for him but consider changing shoes even if they work since so many people feel they flubbed on the new version.

I ended up walking out of Swag's with what I expected--the Mizuno Wave Inspire 4. These are just an update of my favorite running shoe so far. Apparently, not much changed with the 4 and that's great by me!

I probably won't run in these until mid-April, since I bought them to get me into the Mini!! I have to buy some lime green clothes to match them! :) Yes, I'm a girl.

Happy Running everybody!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I've never had the desire to run a marathon...

But I've always said I'll revisit the idea once I've successfully completed the Half. I'll let you know how I feel about a full mary come April 26th.

I did, however, watch Run for Your Life: the Story of Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon today and I enjoyed it. Lots of information I didn't know and great clips of some incredible people. It actually put a piece of the bug inside of me. I will more seriously consider it after the HM now. :)

I just wanted to say that and to reiterate how much I love my boyfriend, my mom, his parents and my running buddies and their families. What a great bunch we are! I don't know who wouldn't love us. LOL

Next up: Post-Mini-Marathon plans.

Happy Anniversary! Anthem 5K Fitness Classic Race Report!

Today's race marked my first anniversary of road racing! The 2008 Anthem 5K Fitness Classic was my first race ever and I was a nervous wreck. I not only had to deal with the nerves of race day but I was also consumed with all of the "rules" and etiquette of racing. I was pretty nervous but still very excited! Today was a MUCH different experience! Meeting with friends, meeting new friends, pre-race routine is down to a science and I just was able to truly enjoy the race this year!

Joey and I drove down to meet the Run the Ville Squad at our pre-determined meeting place and we got right into our warm up, which consisted of 1 mile weaving through the downtown streets. This was perfect though, because the race pretty much involved weaving through people the entire time. LOL

We all headed over to Preston St. because it was getting close to start time and the crowds were filling in. It was amazing to see that people. I heard 9,000-10,000 people were running in today's race. That's INSANE! They separated the walkers and I think that was INSTRUMENTAL in the fluidity of the race today. Yes, there was plenty of bobbing and weaving to do but it wasn't around walker and strollers and that made for a happy bunch of runners.

The first mile flowed as smooth as butter for me. I separated from Joey and started to weave my way through as I picked up my pace a bit. I felt SO STRONG!! I felt comfortable, even though I knew I was running a fast pace for ME. River Road was nice and flat and the sun was out and it was just beautiful this morning! Mile 1 popped up and my watch (chip time) was at 9:05. Great pace for me, that's faster than normal BUT I felt great so I stayed with it.

We took a turn at the Heigold House, which split the field right down the middle.

I noticed that people were starting to fizzle a little but I still had my SIZZLE so I kept a consistent pace. I still felt great so I didn't want to give it up. I saw the only sizable hill approaching me and had a quick inner debate because I saw so many people stopping and not being able to get over the hill easily. Should I take it easy or just go for it? I went all out. Knees up and elbows pumping and I got up that hill like a champ! Still felt great at the top, even if I was a little winded. Mile 2 split appeared after a couple of turns and I was at 17:52! That meant I ran the second mile in under 9 minutes! FANTASTIC.

After that, I felt better than I normally do during any given point of a 5K but I was starting to tire out a bit. I slowed down a little bit so that I could finish stronger rather than faster (plus my stomach wasn't feeling the best all morning, and especially not after stepping in vomit and seeing everyone around me barfing!). I truly felt the worst during the last 3/4 mile or so of the race but I wouldn't give in to any thoughts of walking. I just tried to keep running consistently. The crowds really picked up as we ran further down Main St. and it was such a great atmosphere. Everyone was supportive and cheering and that is always great! I looked over and saw bright yellow and realized it was my teammate, Lee. He had finished up and was running back for a cool down. I was happy to finally see someone familiar!

Eventually, I heard someone say "THERE IT IS!" and I looked up and saw the Finish Line about 500m ahead. I glanced at my watch and saw 27:xx and wondered if I would be able to make it there in 2-3 minutes! I heard someone on the field tell her daughter to "look straight ahead, don't look up at the finish line" and I thought, "Good advice." I just locked onto the white cutoff T-shirt on the man a few steps up from me and kept running solidly.

As I got closer, I heard cheers and screams but didn't know if they were from people I knew or not--I didn't care. They helped! Through the finish into the chute--29:19 on my watch. Great time! I was VERY excited and almost a little emotional and I would have allowed myself to feel those things if I didn't feel like barfing. I didn't--but I thought I was going to.

Overall impression of the race today--excellent. The route changes were FANTASTIC, the separate start for the runners and walkers was brilliant and it was just an overall success, in my opinion. I will continue to run this for as long as I can, as it's my first ever race AND a great race overall.

Did I mention they had cinnamon crunch bagels again this year? They actually had Chik-fil-A biscuits too but I somehow managed to miss them! What a bummer!! Tom, Joe, Lee (Team Run the Ville), Joey, my mom, Joey's parents, and Joe's wife all went for breakfast at Panera and had another nice time.

I want to add that I am totally impressed with Lee's running and I think he's an awesome guy--glad you were able to drive down and hang with us. You rock! I love my "running club" homies! I couldn't ask for anything better!