Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chapter 2 page 153 - TR 57

First, thanks Holly for your comment on what to call these training runs now that my first half marathon is over. I think I'm going with TR for training report (anyone like it?).

Second, Today "C" and I went for a 2.5 mile walk. We had considered running and doing a 2:30/1 interval, but . . . walking seemed like such a better choice. We did it during my work day so I really didn't have a lot of time to go too far. The perfect fall day and beautiful changing foliage and winding path along the river really set a picturesque scene and was a welcomed break in the middle of the day. I didn't have a watch today (I'm sure "L" just had her jaw hit the ground in shock! - I NEVER go without my watch - I am pretty obsessed about monitoring time - - - not today, didn't have it on, didn't even turn on my blackberry app as a backup option). It was nice.

Finally, afterward, one of our friends, "M" (I call him my running mentor) who is a super experienced mega running brainiac had a lengthy conversation with "L" and I about upcoming training schedules, spring races, recovering right now, training through the winter. Frankly, it was more info than I could absorb in one setting, but I was thrilled with the advice he was so freely giving me. I took some notes and can't wait to talk it over with "C". Look for upcoming posts featuring some of his wisdom.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chapter 2 page 152 - massage

Quick poll -
Are you sore after you run a long run and/or a half marathon?
If so, what hurts the most?

As for me, I was quite gimpy (as I have been after all the long runs during the past 5 months) so I got into see my favorite massage therapist, Ashley Peterson. She hooked me up with a 60 minute full body massage. I walked in like a gimpy old fart and walked out with a juvenile spring in my step. Ashley has been quite helpful in my prep for my first half and now for my second half (in November). You may have read this post where I discussed how Ashley stretched the stiffness right out of my legs last week. Ashley's knowledge and experience was put to the test this afternoon as we plotted out a treatment plan for the next 7 weeks including stretching and massage sessions. I'm so thankful to her for helping me feel better.

If you're sore, need a massage or a good stretching, want some guidance from someone who knows about runners and their training - it's worth the drive to Bluffton to see Ashley. You won't be disappointed - I promise.

Chapter 2 page 151 - what to call it

For those of you who haven't been with my blog since the beginning may not know that I had many posts called HMTU # which stood for "half-marathon training update". It was a great way for me to keep track of how many training runs we did. Now that my first half marathon is done (though, I have a half in St. Pete coming up in November), what shall I call the posts about my training runs moving forward?
TR # (training runs)
TU # (training update)
Insanity # ('cuz it's pretty nuts to do this)

How do you think I should refer to the upcoming training sessions? Your thought is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chapter 2 page 150 - F4F Update 3 "the end"

As you can imagine - crossing the finish line was exactly everything I imagined it. Although I didn't see myself on the jumbo screen, I did hear them announce my name and there wasn't anyone cheering as loudly as I was at that moment. . . with as much oxygen as I could spare.

After I crossed the finish line, I started coughing (a little asthma issue I'll be getting looked at in the near future). I coughed so hard I nearly threw up - so I walked along the outer perimeter where there were trash boxes located. At one point a medical volunteer grabbed my arm and asked if I was okay. I said something like "yeah" and the encounter was over in less than a second. I stopped coughing and nearly puking after just a couple of minutes; however, due to my outer perimeter walking, I missed getting my medal and having my chip cut off. I was like "how do I get a medal?" Finally, "C" grabbed one off of the stand where they were hanging and said I'll give it to you. She put one around my neck and one around "L's" neck. Worked for me - it was all about the medal at that point in time.

We got post race grub and then got in line to get our photo taken. It was right before the shutter clicked that a super nice girl behind us in line reminded me to get my chip cut off (dude, totally forgot all about my chip - remember I missed that station due to my outer perimeter walking). Thanks goes to the mystery girl!

As promised in my last post:

4 lessons learned:
1. 13.1 miles is possible when you're 90 pounds overweight (though I'm sure it would be easier if I actually weren't over weight)

2. At the end of the day, it's all about knowing who do you want in the foxhole with you? (again with revisiting my army past) - I have clearly witnessed the importance of having the RIGHT people with you (for me at this race, it was "M", "C", "L", and my mom!)

3. It's okay to talk to strangers (displays of appreciation and high five's are also acceptable).

4. Racing in awesome weather makes all the HOT summer training runs worth it!

3 tools for success:
1. Amazing training partners - who are most importantly, my friends:

2. The interval timer (we affectionately call it "The devil beeper" - pretty sure that "L" NEVER wants to see it again)

3. Pacing Tat (Thanks Lutheran Hospital - genius marketing idea!)

2 semi-near death experiences:
1. Calhoun was closed so I was running south on the solid yellow line in the middle of the road when 4 cars were driving north at a high rate of speed (like 50 mph) - what the &$*%!!!!! Nope, they weren't part of the race - they were just neighborhood people pissed the road was closed and they wanted to go to the store (or something equally ignorant).

2. I was heading south on Old Mill just south of Lexington and was about 2 feet from a medic riding a golf cart heading north. I was in the process of extending my hand to give a high five when all the sudden a bicyclist zoomed in between the golf cart and myself. I was a milisecond from getting my art ripped off. The $@&hole didn't so much as say "on your left" or "coming" or "heads up" or heck, anything at that point. And the 2 feet between the golf cart and myself was the BEST path for him to take - what?!?!

1 final thought:
I had read in Jeff Galloway's book that your first half marathon should be at a large event where there are all the race amenities such as an expo, spectators, ample water stations, and generally a party atmosphere. Just prior to reading that, I had agreed to this half-marathon and had planned to do it at the Parlor City Trot (a tremendously fantastic event, but one that is stacked with awesome racers and zero "hoopla"). After reading that the first marathon should be supportive of first time half-ers and have ample "hoopla" (my word, not Jeff's), I decided to postpone my first half from the PCT to the F4F. That was THE BEST decision of all time!!!!

Chapter 2 page 149 - F4F Update 2 "during the race"

My last post discussed the chaos of getting the 3 of us together. If you missed it, you can check it out here. This long post (sorry for the length) is about the actual 13.1 miles.

By far this was the largest race (number of participants, number of spectators, and number of miles). It took nearly 3 minutes and 30 seconds to get from corral N to the starting line (which I've heard far worse horror stories like 45 minutes from the corral to the starting line at May 2010's Indy Mini - yikes!) A little note about corrals - I like them! Why? Well, I was surrounded by my "peers" - people who are in the race for the same type of reason I am - to be healthy, to do their best, to finish, and to have fun (or as much fun as one can have at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning running 13 miles).

The weather was absolutely ideal! A little cool, a little breezy, but beautiful sunshine and gorgeous. Truly fabulous - couldn't have asked for anything better!

Miles 1-4:
Piece of cake. These 4 miles were extremely enjoyable. The road was quite crowded with participants (I have read others in faster corrals talk about how it thinned - that's because all us pokies were together in the back - smile). We did a lot of zig zagging to get around people, but really just enjoyed finding our pace, seeing the spectators, thanking the volunteers, and taking in the whole experience. "L" and I walked the first 1.25 miles and then began the 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking interval.

Miles 5-8:
I had really thought that we were going to cross Calhoun and go on the greenway (glad we didn't because it would have been JAMMED) so "L" and I were pretty bummed that we had to run on the boring Tillman, but we were engaged in talking (we had refrained from prolonged conversations all week so that we would have plenty to discuss during the race). We finally turned onto the greenway and that felt like "home" since we had trained there 4 other times. It seemed to go pretty quickly too. Again, there were LOTS of participants around us so we traded places with one another as we were on a run then we walked while they ran and so on. There were about 20 people with whom we were a block of each other for the entire race (a girl with a sunflower in her hair from Kentucky - she LOVED hills; 2 from Team World Vision - no idea what that was, but they sure did have a lot of signs and morale support along the course; 3 older ladies with blue shirts; 2 men who were also confused about where we were around mile 10; and others). We have bonked at mile 10.5 on each of training runs so we decided to be diligent about eating our tropical punch Clif Bloks (thanks "C" for getting them for me a couple of weeks ago). We ate some around mile 5, then again around mile 7, and then at mile 9. No bonking during this race for us! We continued using our 2:1 interval during this entire time. My mom and dad had driven to an intersection in the Old Mill neighborhood to cheer us on. My mom brought her cow bell and rang it loudly so I could know she was there. She took some photos. We eventually came back up on South Wayne and there were my parents at the same cross road on the other side - cow bell and camera in hand. That was really neat to see. I had expected them earlier in the race, and when I didn't see them I just figured they had abandoned the plan due to traffic and road closures.

Miles 9-10:
I'm not going to say this was hard, but . . . it was really challenging. There are hills in the Old Mill neighborhood that really can fatigue a person's leg muscles and mind. We had walked through just a couple of intervals during these miles. Going into the water station just north of Rudisill I had asked "L" if we could take an extra walk and she said no, we could do it after the next run. I was in front of her by a couple of steps at this point and I started crying - I then started telling myself to "hold it together". My who-ha hurt and inner thigh were hurting pretty badly at this point and I just hung my hope on a little respite. It wasn't really the end of the world and even though I might have been mentally losing it a little, I still knew I could do it. Ironically, it was those 2 minutes of running that felt the most comfortable so I told "L" we could just skip the extra walk for now - which she said too bad, we're taking it.

Miles 10-11.5 (or there about):
This was the most entertaining part of the race. What made it so fun? First, I had no idea where we were (Kimberly @ HealthyStrides had a similar experience as well). Additionally, there was awesome music being played from portable speakers ("We built this city on Rock & Roll"); block parties with tons of people outside cheering; costumed characters at the last water station; and free beer shots (not race sponsored) on the left side of the road just past the last water station - I said "beer shots?" The 2 guys said "heck yeah, why not you're almost done". I didn't have one, but how fun were those guys having!

Miles 11.5-12.5 (or there about):
At this point "L" was behind me, but fortunately our friend "M" found us and alternated going between "L" and myself. I had known exactly where he would be, but was so surprised when I saw him. I guess I hadn't realized where I was on the course. It was GREAT to have him with us. He was supportive and added some much needed conversation. At about the 12.5 mile mark I stopped running one minute into my 2 minute interval. "M" came up to me and I explained I was walking -we discussed how much further. When my beeper went off I asked "M" if he thought I could run the rest - he said "yes" so I did. I told him I was going to run the last 9 minutes - he said, "I'll go back and tell L".

Miles 12.5-12.9 (or there about):
There were some finishers on the sidewalk wearing their medals and I said "I want one of those." They said some encouraging words and although I was scared I had started my continuous running too soon, I thought, nope, I'm going to do this. Just then "M" came up beside me and gave me a high 5 - yep, I'm going the distance now!

Miles 12.9-13.1 (or there about):
As I rounded what would be 3rd base there was a guy yelling "coach like things" such as "now's the time to kick it into high gear and give it all you have - leave nothing in the tank" so what's a girl to do . . . go as fast as she can. I had hoped to get a final time of 3 hours which "M" said back around mile 12.3 that it probably wasn't going to happen, but that I could easily get a 3:0something. I knew the clock time was about 3 1/2 minutes ahead of my time and I ran so fast as I could. It wasn't under 3 hours, but dang - it was close enough for me to be THRILLED!

Next post: 4 lessons learned, 3 tools for success, 2 near death experiences (that's a little dramatic), and 1 final thought.

Chapter 2 page 148 - F4F update 1 "before the start"

Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon - aka my FIRST half marathon . . . and not my last (though I'm never going to be addicted to this distance, ha!)

Thanks Holly@Rustbeltrunner for noticing something I had forgotten to mention in my timing post. I did, indeed, CRUSH no, I think it was more like OBLITERATE, my previous training times. Here's how it goes:

1st 13 mile training run (8/23/10):

Actual running/walking time = 3 hours 30 minutes
Time spent stopping for water, stretching, resting = about 20 minutes
Total time spent from start to finish = 3 hours 55 minutes

2nd 13 mile training run (9/10/10):

Actual running/walking time = 3 hours 22 minutes
Time spent stopping for water, stretching, resting = about 15 minutes
Total time spent from start to finish = 3 hours 37 minutes

First half marathon (9/25/10):

Actual running/walking time = 3 hours 2 minutes 48 seconds
Time spent stopping for water, stretching, resting = ZERO!!!!
Total time spent from start to finish = 3:02:48

That's more than 30 minutes faster!!!!!!

Event Details:
Let's start with my training partners and their ability to tell time (nothing but love "L" & "C"). On Friday afternoon, "C" and I picked up packets for ourselves, her kids, and "L". We established a primary meeting location for Saturday morning as well as a primary and secondary after-the-finish meeting locations. We then established a fall back plan (that's the army coming out - must have been seeing all the Guard yesterday) just in case something happened and we failed to meet at the primary location. "L" arrives at our departure site 15 minutes late, but no worries - I know this about her and had planned accordingly. "C" texts me and says she'll be 5 minutes late - again, no problem. We had built in a buffer of 10 minutes. After 15 minutes and The 3 Musketeers hadn't yet met up at the initial meeting place (and I really had to go to the restroom), I went to the restroom while "L" continued to wait for "C". When I returned, still no sign of "C" so I grabbed "L" and said no problem, we have a plan B - we'll go there (meet at the corral - remember, I've never done one of these before - no idea what a corral even looks like, but had a general idea of where it was located). Just as we started to walk to the corral - up runs "C" (her husband was running late, they had to go potty, lost her daughter's boyfriend somewhere in the line, etc etc etc - drama!). We all end up meeting at the corral together - smile for some pre-race photos and then "L" and I wish "C" luck as she heads off to get her PR!

That's all before the start. So glad that "C" is rather type A and was patient and willing to create plans and back up plans! Turns out - we needed all the plans :)

Next post - "During the race"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chapter 2 page 147 - THE HALF MARATHON

I'll take that!

"C" got a PR of 2:49
"L" was on my heels with a 3:03

Of course more info to come, but later - after a shower and rest!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chapter 2 page 146 - obsessed

I'm just curious what you other first time half marathoners are thinking about?

And then, to all of you experienced half marathoners - are we normal?

Seriously, to all my rookie blog friends out there - are you like me? Is every thought in some way or another connected to the upcoming half marathon?

Here are some examples of my thoughts in the last few days:
1. What's the weather going to be like on Saturday?
2. Wonder if I should eat pasta both Thursday and Friday nights.
3. Should I wear those shoes to work, they might some how mess up my feet (even though I wear those shoes every single day for the past 6 months without problems).
4. What's the weather going to be on Saturday? Hour by hour!
5. What time do I have to leave on Saturday - can I leave 15 minutes later (not a big fan of early mornings)?
6. What am I going to eat on Saturday morning? Do we have that in the house? Honey - can you pick up this, oh and that and that, tomorrow from the store
7. I better check the weather for Saturday - has the rain on Friday been delayed is it going to be too cool at the start - oh no, the low is going to be 45 - is that suppose to be early Saturday morning or is that for Saturday night into Sunday.
8. 45 degrees - what do I wear?
9. I really need to go to that store, but then I'll have to park far and that store is huge - is that too much walking this close to the race?
10. Oh my goodness, I'm excited- I'm scared - I'm excited - I'm scared. The race is on Saturday! As in this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just checking to see if it's just me and perhaps I should look into meds or if all newbies are this way.

Good luck to these peepes who I know are doing their first half marathons this weekend -
"L" (my training partner) and I

. . . and good luck to Kimberly who is running her 3rd half in less than 6 months and has a goal of sub 2 (you go girl!)

. . . and good luck to "C", our other training partner, who is running her 3rd half and is hoping to set a PR ("L" and I think she can blow her goal of 2:45 out of the water!) - Dare to be great! Go for it!

Chapter 2 page 145 - I win!

Have you checked out Shut Up & Run? You should - she's amazing! She hosted a give-away for Go Headbands and guess what? I won! Yeah!!!!

This is the pix from goheadband.com

Shut Up and Run has info on how to get free shipping on these headbands for anyone wanting to order one. Check it out here.

Thanks Shut Up and Run!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chapter 2 page - 144 - Stretching

After a 5K on Saturday involving hills unlike any I encounter in my normal training runs plus 200 trips up and down on a ladder on Sunday - my legs were sore! I began getting nervous that they wouldn't recover in time for my half on Saturday so I called a massage therapist and asked what she recommended. I was disappointed to hear she didn't recommend a massage - what?!?! I'm pretty sure a massage would have been the ticket, but she said no (bummer - I could have really gotten excited about an hour massage) she recommended a 30 minute session of Activate Isolated Stretching. I didn't know anything about it, but I know stretching is good and I trust the massage therapist so . . . sign me up. Yesterday afternoon I spent 30 minutes being stretched. It's certainly a different philosophy than is most commonly prescribed to (i.e. stretches are only held for 2 seconds but are repeated about 10 times progressively going deeper), but my legs are feeling better today. I can totally see how incorporating these stretching sessions into one's overall workout plan would be tremendously valuable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chapter 2 page 143 - "L" is well

Just wanted to let everyone know that "L" is healthy and doing great. She thinks it might have been some not-so-good KFC eaten on Sunday evening. Nice - mental note . . . skip the potentially questionable food between now and Saturday. Glad you're back in the game "L".

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chapter 2 page 142 - HMTU 56 hay in the barn

I'm good friends with a local race director and he has said to me these last 2 weeks "The hay is already in the barn." Meaning . . . these last 2 weeks there was nothing more that I could do to add to my training for my first half marathon that at this point (these last 2 weeks) all I could do is screw it up and get hurt. I could do nothing to improve my conditioning, speed, or fitness level these past 2 weeks; however, if I didn't taper properly or did something stupid I could injure myself or fatigue my legs too much. Nothing like hoping and praying that I stored enough hay in the barn for the long haul coming on Saturday. I've been careful and tapered well (I hope) and should be ready to roll out of the gate come 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 25.

Tonight "C" and I were sans "L" because she was sick - OMG! "L" had chills and a fever - WHAT?!?!?! That is most definitely NOT in the training schedule. She went home to drink plenty of fluids and go to bed - cross all fingers and toes it's just a fluke and she gets healthy and ready to roll on Saturday. Anyway, for our final training session before my very first half marathon, "C" and I walked 1.25 miles, slowly did 2:1 for 2.5 miles, then walked the final 1.25 miles. We did a pretty thorough job stretching and a fabulous job with our jaw exercises (always so much to discuss!). We made final plans for meeting up on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

The hay is indeed in the barn!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chapter 2 page 141- HMTU 55 & 5K recap

This afternoon the 3 Musketeers plus 3 insanely cute children under the age of 5 plus "L's" friend packed up the vehicles and drove to Kokomo for the 3rd annual Girls' Night Out. This is my second time participating in this very unique and truly enjoyable event. I enjoyed it so much last year that I, as part of my job, am coordinating a very similar event in Bluffton in October - click here for more details about the 10/15/10 event.

Back to tonight's event. This year's event was different from last years, but still worth the trip. Last year featured a dinner and 2 hours of Zumba whereas tonight's event had snacks and an interactive fun concert in the park (though we didn't stay for the concert). The 5K had over 300 women - how awesome! It is the race where I won 3rd place in my age group last year and got a pink trophy (shown at the top of my blog's sidebar). Tonight we didn't win anything, but we had a nice time doing something so completely out of our norm.

One more EASY training session before next Saturday's half . . . unbelievable!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chapte 2 page 140 - the great taper caper

I was a long distance swimmer in high school and part of college and we would have a taper schedule prior to the larger meets, but somewhere along the way - - - I forgot how GREAT it is to taper!

Seriously - I think I might have been a longer distance recreational runner a long time ago had someone told me about the greatness of tapering (where were all of you way back when I was struggling mile after mile - a shout out something like "it's worth it because in a couple of months you'll not have to go this far" might have been a great heads up!).

There is something to be said for increasing distance when the payoff is 2 weeks of taper. I was sort of dreading training for 2 more months for the Women's Half Marathon that is in November, but NOW . . . NOW I'M PSYCHED!!!! Why? Because it's merely 6 weeks of training and 2 weeks of taper (woo hoo!!!!)

Seriously, this taper thing has been the greatest part of the entire 5 months of torture (okay - not exactly the GREATEST part . . . that would be getting to know "C" and enjoying the social time I have spent with the 3 Musketeers - but tapering is a VERY close second!).

To everyone tapering for a race . . . or recovering (I hear that's almost as excellent) from a race - enjoy! Cheers to you!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chpater 2 page 139 - HMTU 54 happy trails

If you didn't get a chance to read page 138 - you should . . especially the comments. Thanks to everyone who has commented. I will take them with me as I continue this journey which is feeling less and less crazy.

Did anyone notice the INSANE wind this afternoon???? 20-30 mile an hour with gusts in the 40's. "C" and I were suppose to run this afternoon, but as she was driving here she found herself in a torrential rain storm with fierce winds. It was definitely not raining where we were meeting, but it was windy. After nearly calling off our training session, we decided to go ahead. We were scheduled to do 8 miles (show of hands who loves taper weeks?? I know I do!). We agreed running in the wind would surely wipe us out so I suggested we run a trail at the state park. "C" has hiked all over the earth's surface including up to the clouds, but she has never done a trail run. We drove to the trail head and started off with a walk. The wind was a complete non-issue thanks to the dense trees. At one point we experienced a few rain drops, but nothing like we would have without the canopy of leaves keeping us dry. The leaves are just starting to turn and what a beautiful display it created. The path is already interesting and traverses many different surfaces, but combined with the splendor of the fall it sure made for a truly enjoyable training session.

Our 6 mile trail run included a 10 minute warm up and about a 5 minute cool down and we did 2:1 for the entire rest of the way (except for one minute of a run when we walked instead so we could watch the baby buffalo - pretty cute!). We did all that in JUST 1 hour 24 minutes!!!!!! Now, those of you who read my blog know I'm slow (but 84 minutes for 6 miles is only 2 minutes slower than my 10K PR), but for a trail run -that's a pretty quick pace (at least it is for me . . . and it is "C's" PR). Last year I did the WOOF (a 5.3 mile trail race) in 1:19.22. I'm super excited about our training run today! We weren't trying to hurry - in fact, quite the opposite - this is taper week (yeah!) and it was all about doing it slowly so we didn't get hurt.

Today shows me that even though I'm super overweight, I am in pretty good shape - I did 6 miles and wasn't completely wiped out. "C" ran her first trail run and I did something in which I feel a great deal of pride! I am really thinking I was born to be a trail runner!!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chapter 2 page 138 - best advice

I'm feeling amazingly confident going into my first half marathon. I think it's a combination of knowing that I've had 5 months of consistent training (shout out to the 2 reasons I have been able to train "L"& "C") and having had a very positive 10 mile race at the Parlor City Trot. I also think that having a primary goal of finishing injury free takes a lot of pressure off - though "L" and I still think it would be within our reach to finish in about 3 hours (given our 10 mile time of 2:18).

I say that because I'm also scared. I have learned 13 is A LOT further than 10 - don't ask me why . . . in theory it's only 3 more miles, but something happens and it feels like another 10 miles. I'm scared because people die in half marathons. I'm scared because I have put so much time into training that I don't want to be disappointed in my effort. I'm scared I'll be too pooped to walk back to the car after the race . . . let alone drive home.

I've been reading my fav blogs all day and it appears that some of you have gotten a bit down on yourselves (not mentioning any names but there are at least 3 of you who seem to be a bit leary of your abilities to complete your upcoming half marathons). So, I'm asking all of my thousands of readers:
1. What has been the best piece of advice you have ever received related to race day, running, or just life in general?
2. What is something you would really want new runners to know about their first half?
3. What are some strategies you use to push through the hard parts of a half (ex: I read a book where she described how she had had all of her friends write down a funny comment - she put the papers in her SPI belt and pulled one out at each mile)?
4. What is your favorite quote?

For those of you in training for your first (me included) - we're going to rock this race like we are superstars!!!! Those of you who are sidelined with injuries or health conditions - hang in there, things will turn around and tomorrow will be so much better than today (trust me, I was sidelined for 10 years with a heel problem).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chapter 2 page 137 - Girls' Night Out Event

Hi everyone -
I wanted to tell you about an event that is a great opportunity to get out of your normal routine on a Friday night . . . Girls' Night Out on Friday, October 15th. Click here for additional information.

This Friday night event features a 2 mile wellness walk with a sweet treat at the finish line, a healthy dinner, exhibitors featuring women's products and services, raffle drawings, and 2 hours of Zumba all for $15 (or $20 if registering after 9/25). The event is held in Bluffton which is about 30 minutes south of Jefferson Point (in FW) located on HWY 1.

This event will certainly be a great time to celebrate womanhood with friends, fitness, and fun. Hope you will join us!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chapter 2 page 136 - HMTU 53

Today's training weather was 80 degrees, but it certainly felt like 90 especially with the recent cool temperatures faking me out that fall is here.

The 3 Musketeers set out for an easy 4 miler today. We walked and did the 2:1 interval - we finished in under an under, not about speed today - about recovery (that said, I'm not sure that any of our training is especially about speed . . . maybe "C" and I can add that into our training for our next half in November).

Our training session was pretty uneventful and we had so much to discuss. I really enjoy the social part of running . . . not so much the running part. I must admit that I'm enjoying the running part a wee bit more everyday (not likely to become addicted any time soon, though - no chance of seeing me at the next runners anonymous meeting). Thanks "C" & "L" for making it as much as it can possibly be!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chapter 2 page 135 - Patriot Day

God bless the brave who wear the uniform to serve our communities and our nation. Thank you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chapter 2 page 134 - HMTU 52

Today was our final 13 mile training run before F4F. We went to the big city to run a portion of the F4F route which I think after doing 4 times, I have a wee bit of confidence I can get through the middle 6 miles of the race. We did 13.08 miles in 3 hours 22 minutes 45 seconds (I understand how slow that is, BUT that's a whole 7 minutes faster than we did the 13 miles two weeks ago).

Our training was not particularly eventful - we didn't get lost at all (how unexpected). The only odd person we encountered was a guy on a bike with a baby trailer attached that had 2 very loud barking dogs in it. We heard the dogs barking before we knew they were in the bike thing and we got a bit nervous that we were going to be under attack. That lovely gentleman passed us twice (both times we got scared - so much for bravery).

Each of our distance runs, at least for me, have been easier than the one before it (i.e. the 11 mile was easier than the 10, the 12 was easier than the 11 - except for the 13 . . . both times). As we were probably between mile 9 and 10 I said out loud, "This is a just a tiny bit easier than the last time we tackled 13, but it's by no means easy." "L" said, "It's not suppose to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it." Thanks "L" - that was perfectly TRUE.

We did about a mile of walking and then did 2:1 so exceptionally well for about 8 miles (that at one point at about mile 6.5, I said, "Hey, this isn't too bad - I got this!) and then we walked through an interval and then for me anyway, it went downhill. I got really tired. It was a "hitting of the wall" but not as obvious as in the past. I worried about not having enough water and finally asked if we could actually stop and stretch - I ate 2 bloks. We walked a little more then we did 2:1 for another 1.5 miles and walked back to the car.

The first half of the training was EASY - I felt strong and as if I could go forever. The second half of the training was HARD - I felt I could hardly make it another step. I know that with "L" and my side and "C" ahead of us, I can do the race - it's not likely to be pretty though.

We ended our evening with going to Bandidos. Thanks "C" for picking up the tab - you rock. We walked in there like we were 90 years old - moaning, groaning, wobbling - everything (I mean everything) ached so badly. We had a nice meal and a fun time. We got home late and I have to get up early tomorrow.

Nighty night.

p.s. "C's" daughter "K" is participating in a mini tri on Sunday . . . Good Luck "K"!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chapter 2 page 133 - HMTU 51

Today "C" and I visited Happyville - though . . . it didn't appear everyone we passed was a true resident of Happyville - there were actually people who didn't wave at us - shock! Unheard of in Happyville!

I discovered the most amazing fact about Happyville tonight thanks to my GPS - our regular route is 5.3 miles - WHAT! Who knew that all these times we had actually gone so far?!?!?! Yeah - us!!!!!!! Tonight we started off with a .7 mile walk and then did 2:1 for a couple of miles and then we walked the rest. My knee, shins, and feet are bothersome once again - ugggg!

We did the 5.3 miles (half of which with a strong headwind) in 1 hour 23 minutes. I understand that's not a fantastic time, but we weren't going for time. Tonight's goal, as is usually our goal when we visit Happyville, is to add mileage, enjoy being together, wave at folks, and exercise for the health of it.

I have to write about these 2 dogs we saw - grant it, most of you won't care, but I know that by me writing this, "C" will laugh and when we look back at this post, I'll smile too. We get to the end of this one street that is lined with amazing homes - there at the end of the street, at the end of the drive way were two dogs, one large, black and menacing looking, one small, white, and fluffy. They were sitting perfectly still - each perfectly centered in their own side of the double wide driveway. As we approached, they both snapped their head at the exact same time to their right. We turned around and began walking away - they both returned their heads to the center and watched us. It was the craziest thing we had ever seen . . . so, we circled around and walked back toward the house just to see if it was a fluke. As we approached, in unison, both dogs snapped their head and gazed to their right. As we walked away they returned their heads to the center and watched us. We cracked up and of course, made a 3rd loop to see it again. This time, the two dogs snapped their heads at the same time but this time they looked at each other. As we walked away - you guessed it, their heads returned to the center and watched us. Each time the dogs moved their head - their heads and bodies remained perfectly still. It was the craziest but coolest thing.

Stay tuned for Friday's training - the 3 of us are returning to the big city for one more 13 mile training run . . . anyone want to guess how many times we'll get lost? take the wrong turn? ask for directions? get tired? have to refill our water bottles? and take a potty break? If Friday's training is anything like our other 2 sessions in the big city - it's certain to be an adventure. Also, check out my other blog this weekend as it will be updated with a review of one of our fav's, Club Soda.

Chapter 2 page 132 - winner

I wanted to thank my blog friend, Kimberly @ Health Strides for having a CSN give-away. I won . . . "I'd like to thank the academy" . . . just kidding! Seriously, how cool! If you haven't checked out her blog, you simply must! Thanks, Kim!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chapter 2 page 131 - HMTU 50

First - happy 50th training session to us! Who knew back in January when we started the Spring Into Training 12 week training program we would end up training together 50 times . . .with many more to come. I certainly never dreamed this would be the reality - go us!!!!!

Today, all 3 of us took our usual 3 mile loop using the 2:1 that worked pretty well for us on Saturday. We pushed the pace and got the actual training part completed in a pretty fast time. We had a warm up and cool down with the entire session taking only 42 minutes 46 seconds. The weather was warm and sunny, but it was sure breezy . . . again.

Our training was uneventful - just a time to get together, celebrate our successes from Saturday, and plan out our upcoming training and races. It was really nice to just have a short run together (seems like forever since we did just 3 miles - smile).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chapter 2 page 130 - training partners

I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about my training partners "L" & "C".

How did we all get to be training partners?
I've known "L" for many years, but since we have spent many hours over the past year training together, our friendship has really blossomed. Last summer "L" and I joined the Parlor City Trot Training Program partly out of a work obligation, but also partly to be healthier and push ourselves past what is easy. "C" was part of this year's Spring Into Training 12 week training program that I coordinated as part of my job. "C" and "L" trained together several times during the S.I.T. program. I was able to join them once. On the last day of the training program, "C" asked if "L" wanted to continue to train with her. "L" directed "C" to me as "L" knows how much I would LOVE to have someone to train with. So although I wasn't "C's" first choice, I hope that she has had as much fun as I have training for the half marathon, getting healthier, running to prevent heart disease, getting fit, and most importantly, becoming friends.

I wanted to talk a little about the amazing accomplishments of my 2 training partners . . . my friends.
Because of "L's" life obligations, she doesn't get to log as many training sessions each week as "C" and I. That combined with "L's" complete and utter hatred of running, makes what she did yesterday at the PCT all the more impressive. "L" was a trooper. She hung in there for every single step. She was amazing! She talked through most of the 10 miles - that really makes the runs fun for me. She pushed on even though there were times she was tired. She had agreed to come on this journey with me and I hope she knows just how grateful I am for that. I want to tell "L" just how much I enjoy our time training together - love the time to catch up on all of her life's adventures . . . and trust me, she has many adventures (not to mention the cutest grand kids on the planet).

Let me tell you a little bit about "C". First, she's amazing. She, like "L", is in her fifties. Today, the day after our long 10 mile run which was a race, "C" ran a 5K in 33 minutes and said she wasn't sore at all. I'm in my 30's and I can't stand up without a little groaning and a whole lot of quad/ham aching. "C" has a goal of getting a PR for the F4F half of a 2:45, but I have no doubt she can get a 2:30 or maybe even a 2:15. She doubts herself, but with all of the hard work she has put into her training these past 5 months, I know she will surprise herself and rock the finish line!

Without a doubt, I'm the weakest link in our 3 Musketeers group, but I'm such a better person because of them. I could not have done any part of this half marathon training without them . . . I wouldn't have wanted to. I cherish our time together and look forward to it, and hope that even though I'm slow, they won't vote me off of the island.

Do you train with people or go it alone?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chapter 2 page 129 - HMTU 49 PCT 10 Miler

Hooray, we made it!!!!!!!! Where to begin . . . here's a good enough place

1. Thanks to everyone for commenting in recent days. It was really nice to read encouraging words.

2. The race weather could almost not have been more perfect - cool, clear, sunny, . . . but WINDY!!!!! There were 16-18 mile an hour headwinds slamming us on the last 2 miles when there isn't a whole lot in the tank anyway. It literally felt as if we were running two steps forward and being blown back one step. I spoke with seasoned racers at the finish line and they agreed it was severe and challenging. Hearing the veterans say that made me better - like I wasn't just complaining.

3. We walked the first 1.1 miles in 15:20 and then we did an interval of 2:1 for the rest except we took 5 extra walk breaks - 3 of which were in the final 2 miles when the wind was soooo strong . . . and a bit crisp.

4. We finished in 2:18 - probably could have done it in 2:15 or maybe even 2:13 if the wind would not have been such a factor - the entire last 6 miles were directly into the wind (3 of them had trees to provide some wind block). I'm not making excuses - we're slow, but . . . that's a pretty good time for "L" & I). We were dead last but only by 90 seconds. We tried so hard to beat these 2 ladies - we must have traded places with them 20 times along the course, but in the end they smoked us. There were 16 people who finished behind us . . . I'm not going to say that that's because they ran 3.1 miles further than we did (details, details, details). SMILE!

5. As we started mile 8 (before the full brunt of the wind overwhelmed us) I stated that I felt it had been a 7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale.

6. I absolutely loved miles 4 & 5 because that was an out and back section and all the fast people were passing us going the other directions. I LOVE to cheer them on. When we started passing the middle of the pack runners I offered "Free High 5's" and everyone but one dude took me up on it. Being in the back of the pack is just a different type of camaraderie - and I LIKE it!!! I LOVE racing for that reason. People cheering each other one, just smiling, and having fun. That's why I race. I'll never win and probably will never finish in the top half, but I can make someone feel encouraged for a little bit - that's awesome!

7. They cut our chips off and I was walking back to the car about 30 minutes later and noticed I still had part of my red twisty tie on my shoe. I looked down and panicked. I said out loud, "I lost my chip!" Dude, seriously, totally forgot they had cut it off. Runners amnesia?

8. I gained the confidence I was hoping for - to know that I could tackle the F4F. I also know that it isn't going to be easy, but I know I can do it.

You should consider this race for next year. The half-marathon route is beautiful. It had a mile or so that looped in through the packed camp ground of the state park. I heard the campers really cheered for the runners - love that! If you're looking for a place to PR a 10K - this is the course for you - fast, flat, easy, and scenic.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chapter 2 page 128 - T minus 11 hours

I'm soooooooooo nervous. I get nervous before 5K's, but NOTHING like this. The race director and I put out the race course signs (dude, that's a HUGE job - maybe take it from me and never volunteer to do that!!!! I must have walked 5 miles today in my work shoes not my running shoes - ouch! And, we have not gotten a drop of rain in over 20 days so the ground could not have been harder - shoving those signs in the ground was NOT easy!!!). I had hoped that knowing the exact route would help me be calmer - nope, just think I'm even more worried. The middle 4 miles are going to be mentally challenging - I'm not going to lie!

On a positive note, we've run the middle 4 mile route several times so I know I can do it, but it's mentally soooo far (deep breath and remind self - it's only 4 miles then we'll be on the home stretch . . . if a home stretch can be 3 miles long).

Thanks girls for your words of encouragement in my previous post. Totally helpful to know that you were sending your good luck vibes my way!!!

Tomorrow's post will be all about my first 10 mile race. See you tomorrow, if not at the race, then in the blogosphere! I can only hope I am able to report that the 2:1 occurred for the whole race and that I gave it my all. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chapter 2 page 127 - T minus 36 hours

36 hours from now (God willing) "C", "L", and I will be crossing the finish line of the longest race that "L" and I have ever participated in.

I feel very well trained for the 10 mile race since we have been training for 21 weeks. We have done 5 training runs that are longer than our race will be.

Despite having confidence in my training and in my training partners who will be with me every step of the way - I'm totally freaking out. I really want to go faster than we have ever gone before, but I also don't want to "hit the wall" and end up in the ditch (feel pretty confident in saying that "L" doesn't want me in the ditch either - ha!) like I did on the 13 mile training run.

I have high hopes that Saturday's Parlor City Trot 10 mile race will be a very good experience and give me added confidence going into my first half-marathon which is just 22 days away-yikes.

See you Saturday "C" & "L" . . . watch out Bluffton, here comes the 3 Musketeers!

Chapter 2 page 126 - doggie & "D"

Great news! Hoosier is really doing well. She's back to acting like her ol' self. In a week and half she has to have her blood drawn to determine if her liver and kidney levels have returned to normal or if they are still elevated (let's hope for lower levels). Thanks to all of my friends who have been thinking about us.

I also want to ask for your thoughts to be with a friend of my SBFF and myself - "D". Her doctors have found another lump in her breast. She's a two time breast cancer survivor so you can imagine that finding another lump is definitely the last thing she was hoping for. "D" - I'm praying for you and thinking of you always!