Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Blog Title

I should really call this Lindsey Loves to Eat.  I know that in a perfect world I should eat healthy foods and especially cut back on the sugar.  In my world I have found time and time again that after I eat like Tina the Fat Lard (Napoleon Dynamite...) I have really great runs.  Exhibit A: My Chick-fil-a post.  Exhibit B: Peanut Butter m&ms.  I bought some the other night when I was at crazy holiday packed Target ($2.50 a bag!!) and they are almost gone.  PLUS my Secret Santa gave me a bag that sits nicely in my desk at work.  It's been bad.  I don't even want to know how many calories I have consumed in pb ms alone.  I'm sure it's something to do with the amount of sugar (I'm not scientist or nutritionist, but I mean, it makes sense), but I had the most fantastic run last night.  It was on the treadmill, thanks again dark, cold nights, but I felt like I could run forever.  I had intended just doing a few steady miles because I did a "speed" workout on Tuesday, but I felt so good that I kept bumping up the speed.  Now that I've seen what I can do though I question if I was really pushing myself before.  How fast can I actually go?  How much can I take?  I don't want to push too hard because I know what happens when I go too hard too fast.  The last time I did that I ended up with IT band trouble.  I've been foam rolling a lot more than usual (love hate relationship with that thing) and I am going to be smart about building up my mileage.  I just can't believe that the half marathon is only three months away!

Anyway,  best part of my runs this week?  The fact that my past two runs have been back around my old speed back in my prime days.  Or maybe the best part is that good runs come from mass chocolate consumption.  I think it's a win win :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Shoes=Motivation

I haven't been running much since the Hot Chocolate.  I take a class every other week which happened to fall a few days after the race.  It equals a couple of late nights in the week and playing a lot of catch up with work and cleaning.  I got my new shoes Sunday and am sad to say they sat in their perfect clean state in their perfect clean box for the first few days after.

Look how pretty they are :-)

They got their debut on Thursday, but I like to think that it didn't really count since it was on the treadmill.  Love those cold, dark nights that start at 5pm.  I ran about 3 miles and while it wasn't fast, I'm determined to whip my butt into shape somehow.  Yesterday I ran around a pretty lake with a nice running partner.  It was also slow.  It didn't feel slow.  It felt kind of hard.  There was a big hill at the end and I blame that.  My friend said we had to sprint up it.  I laughed.  He wasn't kidding.  I wasn't either.  He ended up literally pushing me up the hill.  I should be more embarrassed by this.  I think I need to come up with a legit training plan that involves some hills and some sprints.  I don't particularly like these things, but in order to get even close to where I was last year I suppose I need to get on it.  At least I have pretty shoes to run in :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hot Chocolate 15k: A PR Story

I have been looking forward to this race for a loonnnnng time.  The second I heard the words "chocolate" and "running" together I knew I had to sign up and luckily my birthday was right before so my mom and dad agreed to gift me with the entry fee, along with my very own box of hot chocolate, and a brand new running shirt (which by the way, was part of the perfect race day outfit).

As I've said I was really nervous about the race from the expo to race day.  I just knew I would miss the expo and not be able to pick up my bib and then sleep through my alarm, be late for the race, and butcher my goals.  Only one of those things happened.  Guess which one?

My friend went to the expo with me because I was paranoid about not being able to find it (my GPS sometimes plays mean tricks on me and we often have communication issues...) and other than interpreting the Hot Chocolate Expo 2 rights the wrong way we made it with no problems.  I got really excited because the National Harbor was pretty and I saw Ketchup which is a restaurant they ate at in that show The Hills in LA, which is a terrible reason to get excited about something, but whatever.  The expo went really smoothly and I hardly had to wait at all to get my race packet.  The entry fee included a windbreaker, which turned out to be yet another part of that perfect race day outfit, along with my favorite Target pretty much spandex pants and my gloves and headband.  The jacket also had POCKETS!  No worrying about what I was going to do with my gloves when my hands got too hot or my ipod falling into the water or something.  You never know.

I stayed at my friend's house before the race because it was closer than my apartment, and as my sister can tell you, I was once again paranoid I was going to forget something.  I had a continuous check list going through my head and I'm proud to say I didn't forget anything.   

Maddux wanted to go, too!

I have a very nice friend who is willing to leave the house at 5:30 in the morning, ride a shuttle through tons of traffic, and stand in the cold for hours to see me a total of 2 times during the 9 mile race, all while holding my bag of stuff.  Said traffic made the race get off to a late start (which is good considering that I made it to the race site 10 minutes before we were supposed to start and I had to sprint to the portapotties to make sure I wouldn't suffer the whole time...which happened anyway, but not because of my grandmotherly bladder).  I was really sad to see all the negativity from runners at this race.  There were a few unexpected change of events, but I mean it happens.  Usually runners are such a fun group to be around, but so many people were complaining about the dumbest things I have ever heard.  Man up or go home.  Anyway.  I just felt sorry for them that they allowed themselves to dwell on the things that weren't going as planned and ended up having a sucky day.  

As far as the actual running part goes (I know, ridiculously long post), I felt awesome for the entire first 10k.   Most of that was on the highway, which was kind of cool at first because a lot of the time I'm stuck in traffic on the highway and have this thought that it would be really awesome to run and see how much faster I could run than drive and that dream came true!  Kinda.  I got a high five from my friend around mile 5 so that gave me a great boost.  Then mile 7 hit and things started to get hard.  Mentally I was saying, "You have less than 2.5 miles left, WOOO! YOU CAN DO IT!", but my ankles were saying, "Excuse me, we don't really run this far.  We're going to tighten up on you now."  Then at mile 8 my IT band said, "Hey, remember that time you ran too far after training too little?  That's what you're about to feel now."  Then at mile nine I said, "THANK YOU, LORD!" and made it to the end for an ever so swift 1:38 finish.  According the the race results, that means I had a 10:30 pace.  Bah.  Not exactly the goal I had planned, but a PR no less.  And the end of the race was really pretty.  And there was yummy hot chocolate at the end.  And more Ghiradelli squares at the end.  And chocolate fondue which I didn't want because I just wanted to get on the shuttle and sleep until we got home.  

I am very sore today, but now I'm more motivated than ever to get my butt in gear for my March half marathon.  This race definitely proved that not taking training seriously isn't going to surprise me with an awesome run.  If I want to meet my 2:05 goal I really need to stop the excuses and start working hard.  Annnnnd for more motivation I am cashing in my birthday gift certificate from that very nice friend from the race to go get my new running shoes today!  I hope they don't make me run to see my stride though.  It might not be completely accurate right now....    

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful for Running

Thanksgiving was wonderful.  I ended up getting to spend 3 full days with my family since the traffic didn't look so intimidating Wednesday evening after all.  I had planned on leaving for home on Thanksgiving morning and taking time to clean and relax Wednesday night, but when I got home from work in record time I threw clothes in a bag, grabbed Maddux and hit the road.  Dad and I ran our own version of a Turkey Trot Thursday morning on the trail and it was so nice having my running buddy back!  My dad has always been my favorite running buddy and is a big reason why I run today.  I guess a part of me still wants to make my daddy proud.

Thanksgiving dinner consisted of tons of delicious food, many carbs, cheese, wine, and BACON.  Apparently my stomach did not feel that this was proper running fuel because what was supposed to be an easy run Friday turned out to be a sluggish 2 mile run (WITH WALK BREAKS.  ON TWO MILES.)  Not good.  I even had my ipod.  I blame the hills.  It had to be the hills, not the bacon, right?

The past two weekends I have skipped out on my long run.  Oops.  Oh, hello Hot Chocolate 15k, you came up very quickly.  In 4 days I will be running your 9.3 mile torture course.  My goal is 1hr 35 minutes.  I feel that this is going to be reaaaaallllly good considering my last "long run" was 3 weeks ago and only 6.5 miles.  Oops again.  Hopefully it will go ok.  Hopefully I will realize that I really need to do better if I want to PR on the half marathon in March.  We shall see.

Tomorrow I will head out to the race expo and I hope I will get more excited rather than sick to my stomach about my lack of training I've put in!  I love being around other runners and talking about running.  I hope to see people who like me do not appear to be serious runners.  It always makes me feel better, even though those people also will end up kicking my butt.

It's ok though, at least I get to come home to this sweet boy when they scrape me off the course:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't Panic 5k

Friday night I was sitting around looking at upcoming races and I remembered that about a month ago I was excited because there was a race in my town the weekend before my birthday.  Weeeeellll that weekend is here!  I debated for a while with my sister because I didn't think I would have anybody to run with and that kind of makes me nervous.  I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k intending to run by myself, but knowing that I would have a friend watching and other friends running somewhere in the race. I'm still working on the race by myself mindset.  Almost all of my runs are solo, so why not race solo?  Who knows the answer?  Luckily, my sister convinced me that it could be liberating doing a race by myself (crazy that I wanted to run, but liberating all the same) and then I got a text from my awesome marathoner friend Christine saying that she would run with me!

We ended up having perfect weather for the race and there was a good turn out, but not overly crowded.  The race benefited injured firemen and policemen and I am happy to report that I saw quite a few firemen out there.  As far as the actual running went, the first mile or so was downhill which was wonderful.  Until we realized that hey, we got down there so now we have to get back up somehow.  Christine was awesome at having enough breath to tell me stories to keep my mind off the mile hill and we ended up running the race in about 29:10.  I didn't have a real goal for this race, but I thought it would be awesome to be able to do it in under 30 minutes.  I am gaining confidence in building up my speed again, and it was nice to have a decent number on the board again.  Unfortunately, my Nike chip still is having some issues so that nice time won't be showing up on my training log any time soon.  At least there were cupcakes waiting for me at the finish line.  The best part is that the store they come from usually has a line wrapped around the outside and you have to wait hours (seriously) to get one.  All I had to do was run a few miles.  I call that a good deal.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chickfila Fuels my Runs

I have a theory.  I am pretty sure that peppermint chip milkshakes and waffle fries are the key to having a good run.  I had that dinner of champions last night and today had an awesome run (yes, it was on the early darkness).  Will Smith was nice enough to show up to the run with Switch again (ipod, how did you know that's exactly what I needed?!) and I ran a little over 4 miles in ~36:30.  I realize this is by no means fast, but it was faster than I have run in AGES and it felt EASY!  That is a big deal.  I started off my "speed" workout with a mile warm up and then continued to bump up the speed.  I stayed in between 6.5-7.5 the majority of the run, which is a huge accomplishment considering that a few weeks ago the pace I warmed up at felt rushed.  Maybe it's just one of those lucky runs or maybe my screwy "training" plan is somewhat working, but it felt nice to have a day back in my college running days.  Or maybe its the fries and shake.   Just saying.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Needs a Schedule?

I was so excited to have last Friday off for Veteran's Day.  I just knew I was going to spend the day relaxing and then checking off one of my runs I had planned for the week.  Instead I got a text that said, "Want to grab lunch?" and that seemed like a much better idea.  Seeing I hadn't showered yet (what are relaxing days for anyway?) I decided to make myself look presentable for my boy.  The afternoon went by really fast after that and before I knew it, it was time to meet my friend for dinner.  (Don't say I didn't warn you this entire blog would be about my eating habits!)  I really hate the thought of running when I feel clean and pretty.  Before I shower?  Sure.  After working?  Absolutely, I look crazy anyway.  Girls' night with one of my best friends to get Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and burgers took priority.

Saturday was the perfect day.  It was absolutely gorgeous out so Maddux and I hit the trails at a local park for the afternoon.

 My dog is so cute :-)

I think by this point he was a little tired of taking pictures.

After a much needed nap, I manned up and got ready for my long run.  I was surprised at how easy it was.  I felt great the whole time through and when Will Smith's Switch came on my ipod I was inspired to run half a mile longer than I originally intended.  6.5 miles-Check!  This week's long run is coming up way too fast.  I might want to run sometime in between now and then...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fresh Start

Originally I had started blogging on a site that I was more familiar with, but since it has been a lonnnng while since I have written anything, I figured it was time for a fresh start.

On a running note, the Hot Chocolate 15k is coming up so soon.  My rough plan is to run 3 times a week.  One after work run, two weekend runs.  The goal is to do intervals during the afterwork run, mostly so that I can get it over with faster.  One of the weekend runs will be a "long run."  Considering there isn't much time before the race, none of the runs are going to be longer than the actual race.  The man friend insists that the adrenaline from the race will push me through a few miles.  I am hoping he is right.  I am thinking that the promise of hot chocolate and a chocolate fountain at the end will be more motivating than the adrenaline, but what do I know ;-)

This week's after work run happened on Wednesday.  I was feeling slightly motivated so I had to grab at the chance to go.  Positive: I went!  I did NOT want to run.  Overall it felt really good and I was able to increase my speed without falling off the treadmill.  Negative: Treadmill.  It was dark out by the time Maddux and I finished our walk.  There's value in the treadmill.  I like how you can control the pace.  A lot of times when I am running outside I have false perceptions of how fast I am actually going.

Tomorrow's plan is 6 miles.  Another part of the plan is a peppermint chip milkshake from Chickfila to celebrate my longest run since the summer.  (Summer seems so.long.ago.  But that means it's almost back, right?)  I'm trying to set a realistic goal for the race (December 3!!!!!!) and I'm thinking that 1hr 35 min is all I can really hope for at this point.  It's frustrating, but other than the chocolate, the reason for signing up for this race was to have a good training base for the half marathon in March.  If i can survive this race I can definitely survive the half in a few months and perhaps take that minute off my time.