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 treadmill...boo 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.