Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chapter 2 page 171 - H.U.F.F. anyone?

Want to read a sentence that I NEVER dreamed I would type?
Here goes . . .

"Should I participate in the H.U.F.F.?"

Here are some reasons why that might be the craziest thing I have ever typed.

Race fact #1: H.U.F.F. stands for (Huntington Ultra Frigid Fifty).

Race fact #2: The H.U.F.F. is one of the largest ultra-marathons in the country (say what?!?!?!)

Race fact #3: It's held on Saturday, December 18th which looking at last year's photos (here) - probably equals snow, sleet, rain, and freezing cold temps.

Race fact #4: My race director buddy "M" (who isn't the H.U.F.F. director) helps get the race started, then leaves for his "real job" - works an 8 hour shift, and comes back to the race . . . where people are still hours away from the finish line (dude, that's a seriously LONG day!)

Race fact #5: The race is only about 30 minutes from my house.

Race fact #6
: Last year, "M" said that I absolutely could NOT do this race. He thinks that I could do it this year (he suggested that I prepare myself to be out on the course for at least 3 hours).

Race fact #7 (the MOST important fact): Just like the W.O.O.F - the H.U.F.F. has 3 separate races: 1 loop "fun run" = 10.8 miles; 3 person relay team 50K, or one person doing the whole 50K (that's definitely HARD CORE). I, of course, would only do ONE lap!!!!

post script - I had seriously discussed doing this race for the past couple of months. "C" isn't really sold on the idea, but her oldest daughter "K" is gung ho about it. That said, as I was putting this post together I saw some "on the trail" photos HERE and now I'm thinking twice (dude, check out those hills . . . add ice, mud, freezing temps, tired legs, and overall fatigue - YIKES!). Now, I'm not so sure this race is for me.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chapter 2 page 170 - TR 65 long run in the winter?

Today "C" and I ventured out for a long run. Our goal was to go slow and steady so we could have a successful run. The last long run ended 1.5 miles early because of my calf. Today's route was changed a number of times prior to our start - why? Minimize the impact of the crazy weather.

Today's weather conditions:
temp: 46 degrees
wind speed: 16 mile an hour with gusts 20-25 miles an hour
wind chill (seems like not long ago I was writing about heat index): 39 degrees BRRRRRR!

Distance: Not exactly certain but as best as can figure out - it was about 10.5 miles (bummer - I really thought it was closer to 11.5 miles).

Interval used
: 2:10/1

Final thoughts
: HUGE success! I'm very excited that we were able to go the distance and have a good training session. One more long run on the schedule for next week and then tapering for the Women's Half Marathon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chapter 2 page 169 - Upcoming Health Fair

This is a post for those in NE IN -

What: Wells County Health Fair

When: Saturday, October 30th 7-11 a.m.

Where: Lancaster Elementary School (on SR 1 about 3 miles north of Bluffton, IN on the East side of the road)

The details: Dozens and dozens of free and low cost health screening, free exercise and cooking demonstrations, exhibitors, and tons of things to see and do. Annually over 800 people participate in this health fair. You don't have to live in Bluffton or Wells County to participate. It's open to anyone of any age, regardless of income or insurance coverage.

Click HERE for a list of all of the free and low cost screenings being offered.

If doctor's aren't your thing, or if your insurance isn't up to par - this is a perfect opportunity to get your health (head to toe) checked out. For those of you who are runners reading this, this a fantastic no cost way to see how your physical activity has improved your health - get a free cholesterol and glucose screening; get a body composition screening at no cost; or talk with many different health care professionals (physicians - including podiatrists, cardiologists, gynecologists, ENTs, obstetricians, dentists, internists, and family practice; nurses, dietitians, exercise specialists, etc).

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chapter 2 page 168 - TR 64 10K Race Recap

River City Rat Race Recap
Here's the Rat:

As a preview - here was today's forecast compliments of

Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the mid 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent

The forecast was enough to get me worried going into the race, combined with my very terrible run on Thursday, I'm thinking one thing - Can I even do this?.

My mom and I arrived at the rendez-vous point in plenty of time. We people watched - that's always fun.

Eventually, it was 1:00 and "K" ("C's" oldest daughter) & "T" ("K's" friend) arrived.

A few minutes later "C" met us at the rendez-vous point. I had picked up the packets and shirts so it was like Christmas distributing them to the gang.

We made a trip to the porta johns - I was surprised there wasn't a line. "C" and I split apart for a few minutes. It was at that moment that an absolutely fantastic surprise happened. I met RustBeltRunner. How in the world did we find each other in the sea of people? Holly was a very sweet person. We walked over and I introduced her to "C" and we spent a few minutes talking. It was really nice. I'm so happy we were finally able to meet. Shout out to Holly - thanks for walking over to meet us!!!

The race start was very congested. I don't remember quite the issue last year. There were 800+ people crammed into a small half a block area - it was pretty nuts. Here are some photos of the crammed starting area from where we started:

Oh well, "C" and I rolled with the quick initial pace and got our first mile done in 12:40 (or so). We then clicked off the second mile in another sub 13 pace. I had a goal to PR this race and as such had written 2 different pacing guides on my hand. We were rocking it through the 3rd mile, but things kind of fell apart at about 3 3/4 mile mark. I had some beans (thanks "C") which I think helped me finish up the race. We slowed way down and by mile 5 we were really off the pacing guide. We decided that finishing using our 2:10/1 interval was more important than anything else (after all, "C" had never done a 10K before so this was going to be a PR for her no matter what-always takes the pressure off-SMILE). We got to mile 6 in 1:21.37 which was the slower of the goals I had set for crossing the finish line. We decided we could run the remaining .2 and sprinted across the finish line finishing in 1:24.00 (we tried so hard to cross while it was still 1:23.59 - no luck). It wasn't a PR for me by nearly 2 minutes, but . . . it was a successful training run (especially given Tuesday)

I have to remember that I've spent 7 months working on distance not speed. Not sure speed will ever be my goal, but I think I do enjoy training for the 10K distance a whole lot better than the half-marathon distance. I digress -

The end of this race is pretty neat. The finish line is inside the Fort which makes up the City's name (Fort Wayne).

Last year I stayed for all of the prizes to be given away and ended up sick for a month. This year, I opted to leave. It had begun raining (for the 3rd time since our warm-ups) and it was really quite chilly (hard to believe I would say that given the high was like 75 degrees). The post-race food was pretty good (Subway subs, apples, bananas, pretzels, cookies, soda - isn't that a bit odd at the end of a race?, 4 Gatorade flavors, and water). We posed for a few pictures before heading to Logan's for dinner.

This next little section is more of a reminder for me, but also maybe a little reminder for you all too. I wear this when I run longer races. I drink a lot. I carry a lot as I'm prone to low blood sugar and allergies. I'm not completely confident that I won't need 911 at some point during the race or at least need a ride home. I carry candy, extra gum, Kleenexes, my camera, my blackberry, chews (though, not today), and 2 16.9 ounce bottles of water. I've never pretended to be cute, but I have things that I need with me and sometimes the stuff I carry helps other people (my "crew" or other racers) like at the F4F a woman needed a kleenex. Last year at the WOOF my boss tripped on a root and needed to wash off her wounds with water and stop the bleeding with tissues. I'm not a small person - I'm not a fast person - but I'm a nice person (or at least I think I am). There were a group of about 5 girls dressed in green custom T-Shirts that were doing their thing and "C" and I were doing ours. We would pass them when we ran and they would pass us when we walked. Late in the first mile one of the girls who had braided hair said, "Hey, can I have some of your water?" Without a second, I pulled the bottle of water from my backside and handed it to her and said "sure." My thought was that I had 2 bottles and I hadn't opened that one so why not. She started laughing and so did the girls with her. She said some smart-ass comment which I have chosen to forget. I clarified with "C", but yep, she/they were making fun of me. Really? At age 30 they haven't grown up yet? We all make comments to our friends about the running attire others have chosen, but at the end of the race - we're all just doing the same thing - running/walking and crossing the finish line for better health, for stress management, for a sense of accomplishment, or some other reason. I carry a 5 pound belt - think that makes me a bad ass! Oh well, I'm pretty sure she felt pretty small when I was willing to give her the water.

p.s.s. last year this race ran out of water. This year they ran out of cups at the last water station. HMMM- good thing I had water for "C" and I with me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chapter 2 page 167 - can you see me now?

I have never been someone who looks good while running. "Cute" running clothes do not come in "big girl" size. I do have hopes of one day buying a cute outfit at 3RRCo, but for now . . . I just wear whatever fits and is comfortable.

That said, I have read a lot of blogs recently about how darkness and cars don't mix. I decided to take a step toward safety and bought these 2 shirts from amazon.

Although I haven't worn them yet, they are suppose to be moisture wicking and are made of 100% polyester. Most importantly - they are SOOO much cheaper (only $24 each) than the "cute" high visibility clothing from Brooks or Asics or Nathan ($75-$150).

Stay tuned for a full review after I wear them, but in the meantime - check them out here.

Chapter 2 page 166 - TR 63 pathetic

Oh my goodness - there are no words to describe how poorly I performed today during our training today.

photo source:

First, I forgot to pack my sports bra which really sucked, but we opted for a route through the woods so as to not scare other runners. Second, I forgot body glide - uggg. Third, having forgotten those 2 important things, I didn't even bother to put on my toe socks. Fourth, we might have not warmed up properly, but my left leg felt sooooo tight (like a sausage that was overly stuffed in a casing) - ODD! It got worse and so we cut our 4 miler short to only 2.5 miles - Pathetic! Surely C" is going to soon vote me off the island because I'm the weakest link. Needless to say, I'm really scared I'll not get a PR at the Rat Race on Sunday and more importantly, I'm afraid I'm going to fly all the way to Florida in November only to have to walk a HUGE amount of the Women's Half Marathon (how badly would that suck!!!!) I know that some runs are better than others, but I have to get some higher miles under my belt PDQ.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chapter 2 page 165 - Upcoming Trail Race

For the Northeastern Indiana folks-
-Are you looking for a challenge?
-Are you looking to spice things up in your training and/or running?
-Have you ever done a trail run?
-Have you avoided trail runs because you have never done one or are scared?
-Do you love nature in the Fall?
-Could you benefit from the motivation that comes along with a group run pushing you to complete a challenging run?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this post is for you!!!!

On Saturday, November 6th at 10:00 a.m. is the W.O.O.F. Race.

W = Wells (that's the county it's held in)
O = Outrageous (because the distance is a little nuts)
O = Ouabache (that's the name of the state park it's held in)
F = Fifteen (that's the distance - kind of - it's 15.9 miles which is closer to 16 miles, but that would have made it the WOOS and no one is going to do a WOOS race)

Top 10 Reasons to do this race:
1. It's a pretty flat trail and is a GREAT beginner trail course.
2. It's a smaller race (= great chance to win your age group).
3. It's extremely well organized.
4. Post race grub is amazing (bison burgers, bison brewing company beer, and usually veggie soup and some light dessert like cookies).
5. Post race atmosphere is awesome - roaring fire in the shelter's fireplace, plenty of food and drinks and socializing with really nice people.
6. Bluffton is only 30 minutes south of FW (and there's no fee to enter the state park this time of year).
7. It's soooo beautiful with the fall trees, smells, and temperature.
8. "C" and I are running it, "L" is serving the beer (or so that is the rumor). - love to meet you.
9. There are 3 different races to choose from (1 lap = 5.3 miles; all 3 laps = 15.9 miles; 3 person relay each doing 1 lap)
10. It doesn't start until 10 a.m. (yeah - sleeping in at least longer than those summer races that start at 7 - uggg!)

Consider joining us for this very unique and fun race.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chapter 2 page 164 - TR 62 30 seconds

Frequent readers know the 3 Musketeers use the Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run method for both training and racing. "L" and I started out using 2:2 and LOVED it (that was back before we knew that intervals were a "real" thing). We used that interval for over a year. When "C" joined our training sessions, we slowly worked our way up to 3:1 and then backed down to 2:1 and have found that intervals of 2:10/1 - 2:30/1 suit us best for now.

A couple of weeks ago, "C" and I read an article that said Jeff Galloway had paced a group of marathoners using a 30 second running & 30 second walking interval through the full 26.2 miles. They finished in 5 hours. "C" and I wondered how it would feel to do such short intervals. The 3 of us tried it out tonight during a 4 miler. Here's what I thought of it:

- it's quick
- the transition is easier (there aren't the few steps needed to work out the "kinks" that we usually have with longer intervals)
- it's definitely less taxing on the cardiovascular system


- the timer beeps very frequently (I would need a timer that only beeps once per interval rather than the 5 seconds I have it set to beep for currently)
- it's a mental thing to have to do 7-8 interval cycles rather than the 2-3 that we are used to doing with the longer intervals; it just felt as if it took forever to get to the next 1/2 mile marker
- it was harder to get into a rhythm/pace than when we do longer intervals
- I found myself looking at my watch often to see how much longer we had to walk or run; I've worked hard to wean myself off of constantly looking at my watch during the longer intervals (that was REALLY hard for me to do)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chapter 2 page 163 - TR 61 Race Recap

Run For Riley 5 Mile Race

I had wanted to do this race last year, but wasn't fast enough. Last year, the rumor was that this was not a walker friendly race. Although I don't walk the entire time, I do walk some and I'm not fast. I know I'm still not fast, but I was pretty confident I wouldn't be last . . . and we weren't.

For those of you outside of Indiana, here is some info about Riley Hospital for Children. It does amazing work and today's race was a fundraiser for them - totally a worthwhile cause.

Participants in today's event could choose from 3 distances: 1 mile fun run, 5K walk, or 5 mile run. "C" and I, "C's" oldest daughter, "K", and her friend "T" all did the 5 mile race. Although the race results haven't posted yet, "C" and I finished in 1:05:41 (that's a pretty good time for me! woo hoo!).

"L" and her future daughter-in-law did the 5K.

We all met up at the finish line for a quick photo.

No matter the distance, all participants enjoyed a delicious spaghetti meal after the race . The meal was catered by Fort Wayne's #1 Italian restaurant, Casa Restorante. YUM!

A moment of honesty -
This event was my 15th event in just over a year and without a doubt, it was my least favorite. "C" and I agree that this will NOT be on our list for 2011. Although the weather was beautiful, it was pretty hot and the course was 99.5% in the sun. Want to guess how many water stations there were? ONE! Only one and it was at the 3.6 mile mark. It was 68 hot, sunny degrees - 5 mile race - one lousy water station that served warm water in very small cups. Also, the course was TERRIBLY BORING! Dreadful, painful, and completely uninteresting. It was a large square around a middle school. The first road was a busy city street. The second street was along a rural suburban area. The third road, an uneven gravel road, was in BFE, and finally a paved rural backroad led us back to the school. The route ended with a quick loop around the school's track (couldn't help but think of this recent Rustbeltrunner experience).

Although this event was for a great cause, and the post race food was amazing, it was too hectic at the check-in, the start and finish were in different areas of the school grounds, the route was soooo boring, and only one water station make this a "no go" for us in 2011.

I did get to meet Linda Jackson as she finished only a few seconds ahead of "C" and I. She was so sweet in person and posed for a quick photo while we were in line for the post race grub.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chapter 2 page 162- Girls' Night Out

Last night's first annual Girls' Night Out in Bluffton was an amazing success. There were over 160 women who participated. That's 160 women who went on a 2 mile walk and participated in 2 hours of Zumba. It was a fantastic display of women having fun while enjoying physical activity. The evening went off without a hitch. I have so many people to thank because without them, I would have completely failed. Last night several people really stepped up to help: my awesome training partner "C", my sweaty BFF "M", my co-worker "B", and my mom! Thanks Ladies for ALL of your help!!!!!!! There will definitely be a second annual GNO in 2011!

The 2010 GNO Planning Committee

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chapter 2 page 161 - Calf update

My calf is feeling a little better, but by the end of my work day yesterday I could tell that I had taken many steps - it was hurting quite a bit. I'm relieved that it has improved a bit so I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean it is torn or even pulled - just strained maybe? I'm getting a massage on it this afternoon - hoping that will help. I'm going to keep resting it until the 5 mile race on Sunday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chapter 2 page 160 - TR 60 big pain in the . . .


Tonight's training was a complete and total nightmare (except that all 3 of us were together)! It was the plan to go 10 miles, but it ended up being a bit more like 8 - 8 excruciating miles (mentally and physically torturous). Here are some of the factors that contributed to one of my most disappointing training sessions in quite some time:

1. It was HOT (about 84 degrees) - now back in July that wouldn't have been hot, in fact it would have been a welcomed break from the upper 90's and 100's, but now, I've sort of transitioned into the 50's-upper 60's so . . . it felt quite hot.

2. I ate terribly today and I know that above most all other factors - this played a HUGE role in my lackluster performance tonight. I totally regret it, but work just swamped me and I failed to take care of my nutritional needs. It's not the first time, but yet, every time it happens I vow to never forget how horrible I perform as a result . . . and yet, I still end up in bad nutrition land from time to time. Ugggg!

3. The shorter days really depress me - they make me feel panicked that I can't get the mileage in before it gets dark (no, my mom doesn't make me come home when the street lights come on, but . . . it makes me feel as if it's really late and then I start worrying about having to get home to go to bed so I can get up for work - dude, it was like 7:30 p.m. - I'll need to work on this and learn to deal with running in the dark) - any advice?

4. Something horrible has happened to my left calf. Seriously - I'm quite scared! You may not know but I've been hurt with one or more things all summer (for the last year . . . or honestly the last 10 years actually). A few of my more problematic ailments have been shin splints, plantar fasciitis, mega blisters, who-ha pain, a right inner thigh strain, and lower back pain. Mostly I push through - and was only a little concerned about my inner thigh pain (the rest I knew were just annoying pains in the . . . various locations and nothing serious). But tonight, tonight it's different. Tonight I'm scared. Starting at about mile 4, it hurt - A LOT and it didn't get better, not with walking, not with slowing down, not with stopping and streching. Every single time the ball of my foot pushed off - PAIN! It made me remember that after the F4F my left calf felt crampy so I remember stretching it for a couple of hours after the race. I remember taking photos and having to stop to stretch. It hasn't hurt since until tonight at mile 4. It feels as if I had a HUGE charlie horse last night and just didn't get it stretched out very well - that lingering, can't step down on it, tightness. What if it's pulled? What if it's torn? What if it doesn't get better to let me train for Florida (T minus 4 weeks before taper begins)? What if it doesn't get better period - what if I have to one day start over training from the beginning? I have already registered and paid for several bigger races (Riley, Rat, Woof, WHM, Geist). I stretched, took a hot shower, stretched, iced, but blog friends - it still feels as if I had a HUGE charlie horse. HELP!!!!

Leave it to me to actually post my weekly goals (see here) - definitely sealed the deal that I would surely not be able to complete it. Dang me!!! I can only remember 4 training sessions (out of 60) where we set off for one distance and cut it short ("C" - remember the 4 miles in the morning when it was hot, we stopped for water back at the cars and sat on the park bench and looked at my HUGE blister - yikes! Once we set off for the PCT 10K route and turned around at Hardees because it was 106 degree heat index and turned around. Let's not forget the time I thought I could do nearly 7 miles on my own AFTER setting a PR at Runners On Parade - NICE WORK Wells L!. And lastly, tonight!).

How do you overcome a hugely disappointing training session?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chapter 2 page 159 - getting serious, again

I have to say that the last month has been nice - 2 weeks before my first half-marathon was tapering and these last 2 weeks have been reverse tapering. But now . . . now it's time to get serious again and return to mileage, speed, and focus. With only 6 weeks left before my next half marathon (Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg on 11/26), it's time to refocus - it's about mileage and consistency once again.

So what's it going to be looking like?
Week of 10/10 -
long run: 10 miles (Monday)
easy run: 3 miles (Wednesday)
fun time: Girls' Night Out 2 mile walk & Zumba(Friday)
Speed work: 5 miles (Sunday - Run For Riley)

Upcoming races -
Run For Riley 5 mile (10/17)
River City Rat Race 10K (10/24)
W.O.O.F 5.3 miles (11/6)
WHM 13.1 (11/21)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chapter 2 page 158 - BSU Homecoming

The 3 Elles (see here) went to the BSU Homecoming football game today. The 16-45 loss to Western Michigan was a real downer, but the weather was unbelievably sunny and warm. Allen L and I are both grads from the ol' BSU so it was nice to come back and see the old stomping grounds - they look nothing like they did 13 years ago (or a 26 years ago in Allen L's case). It's almost entirely new and beautiful and has every amenity (not so much the case "back in the day"). Here are some random pix of the game - enjoy:

Better luck next time, Cards!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chapter 2 page 157 - TR 59 Work & Run

As many of you know, I'm co-coordinating this Girls' Night Out event on 10/15/10. I'm responsible for all aspects of the overall event, the check-in process, the 2 mile walk, and some other minor aspects (3 other ladies are coordinating the other components like the dinner and Zumba). Because of this summer's insane heat, I have not actually walked the path which means I haven't actually determined the finer points of the route (i.e. where to place cones, volunteers, balloons, chalk marks, etc). Tonight, my awesome training partner "C" ("L" stood us up - boo) and I walked and ran the course 3 times. We looked at the route from the participant's point of view and from the event planner's perspective. "C"- a million thanks for your help! There is no way I could have done all that work without you. So although this was actually work for me, it was also a great chance to for us to train. We did an easy 3 miles (2 miles walking and 1 mile doing a run/walk interval - rather quickly - not nearly as easy as yesterday's training).

If you are looking for something fun to do 30 minutes south of Fort Wayne on Friday, October 15th, can I suggest this? You won't be disappointed - I promise!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chapte 2 page 156 - TR 58 simple 7

Early last week I was totally focused on rest and recovery after my first half-marathon. Later in the week I wanted to do a little training, but got swamped with work and had to miss out on a chance for the 3 Musketeers to reunite - HUGE bummer!

Tonight, "C" and I set out for a little 4 miler on some familiar terrain but ended up going 7 miles (we walked the first and last, but did 2:10/1 for the entire middle 5 miles (a total of 14 intervals). I have to say it was EASY - though the pace wasn't entirely what I would call slow. I NEVER dreamed that I would ever utter the words "7 miles is easy" - ha! What a difference a year has made for me. Now, I have to give "C" a lot of kudos because I completely and totally monopolized the conversation the entire time. Typically, it is "C" and "L" who carry the bulk of the conversation and I just interject questions from time to time or mention something spontaneous and unrelated and get us side tracked. But tonight . . ."C" just let me talk, and talk, and talk, and talk (and the miles just kept ticking away). Honestly, it's by far the longest I have ever talked while training and I was very surprised that I could talk and run - gone is the humidity of the summer that made me wheeze like an out of shape lard butt. I honestly talked and ran for 5 miles - pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

"C" - I'm sorry I spent the entire time running my mouth. Thanks for the therapy - I feel so much better. I'll share the floor (or the path) moving forward.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chapter 2 page 155 - Spring time dreams

I have done it again . . . or should I said WE did it again. "C" and I have signed up for this:

I have heard a lot of great things about this race and am excited (and nervous) about being a member of the 2011 field. I think having this race on my calendar will keep me focused throughout the upcoming cold and dark winter (blah!).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chapter 2 page 154 - luxury

A few weeks ago I won a CSN gift certificate from HealthyStrides and the 800 thread count sateen sheets I chose arrived yesterday. Ohhhh, they are luxurious. It's a good thing I don't run in the mornings because with these sheets on our bed - no chance of rolling out early! Ahhhhh - sooo soft and smooth!

(the photo isn't much to look at, but the feel - like butta')
Thanks Kimberly!