Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So- technically- my training plan for the Utah race says to do 70 minutes today. I had decided yesterday to break that into 2 runs to get a 2 a day in- but honestly, after having a meeting downtown and walking a bit in this awful heat- I just don't think the 2nd run is going to happen today. In fact, I'm CHOOSING not to do it today. I did get in 35 min this morning- so not a total loss- and tomorrow was meant to be a rest/xtrain day - but I'll run instead. It's soupy out there!

I'm glad I am at a place, though, where I know I'm good enough to take a day off and not fall totally off track- I'm still working out 6 days a week and doing plenty of running. Just feeling like a break this afternoon.

Wish granted!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday run

Forecast was Hot, Humid and Sunny. 87 Degrees when I walked out of work at 3:45 to go for my run.
In the "old days"- I would have easily said forget this and either gone to the gym (which would still be good) or gone home. But since Utah is only 3 weeks away- and it could very easily be this hot (or hotter) there- I better get some heat legs. and Boy, did I!

Fastest recorded run so far!

Even Better? After about a 4 min warm up walk- I ran the rest of the way until the very end! No walk breaks in the middle! I slowed down my pace a little when I felt fatigued- but other than that, I felt really great. Now- on my actual iPod- the pace said 12:02 per mile and said I traveled 2.93 mi  (and had I known I was so close to 3 full miles, I would have kept going- but I didn't look down before I stopped).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Run of #FAIL and Redemption Run

This was both a weekend of frustration and also of success in my running world.

I went for a jog on Saturday afternoon with a friend of mine- should have been a pretty easy 3-ish + miles and flat/fast. We're both really new to this- so we run well together and push each other to go faster/farther. We started with a brisk walk to warm up before we started jogging. About 2 minutes into my jog, this elephant appeared out of NO WHERE and sat on my chest....can you believe? the nerve.

Asthma. I haz it. 2 years in a row I have gotten really bad bronchitis in March and it seems to leave me with a lingering asthma issue (which I made an appointment for this morning). So if allergies are bad, or humidity is really high- or if I'm running- I can't breathe. Since my fitness has improved with running, it has gotten marginally better- I can fight through some of it- but not all.

Back to the run, as the asthma hit- I realized that 1) I had not taken my allergy meds that morning and 2) I did not have my inhaler with me. Egads! Seriously, what was I thinking? Clearly- I wasn't. So that run turned into a dreadful WALK with small bursts of run. It wasn't a total loss- but I was so disappointed to have gone 3.25 miles at a 14:15 pace. I should remind myself that when I first started back to my running intervals in January that 14:15 was FAST for me....but as progress happens, I don't want to go backwards!

So I kept apologizing profusely for my poor performance to my partner- who also has asthma and can relate. She was supportive and said she didn't know how I did as much as I did do- so she was fine with it. We agreed to meet the next day as well for what I called a "Redemption Run".

I got up early with my kids and took my allergy meds right then so I wouldn't forget. Put my inhaler by my keys, again- so I wouldn't forget. When I got there - I got prepped- stretched, used my inhaler and got ready to go. We did a slower warm up walk this time (that I didn't include in our tracking) and then jogged 3.26 miles at a 12:17 pace!! One of my fastest yet! I felt SO much better than the day before and I was so glad we had decided to run again.

Not only that but I got in 6.5 miles this weekend. yay! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Training for the Ragnar Relay (Wasatch Back- June 2010)- I decided to do a simulation of race day (though shorter legs) and run 3 times in 24 hours. I knew it would be a challenge but I suprised myself in both pace, endurance and ability!

First leg- my Nike+ didn't record correctly- so I had to estimate based on what was on the dreadmill. So- I'm rounding slightly down on this- for 35 minutes- I did 2.5 miles at about a 14:00 pace. That was on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30.

Second leg- Thursday morning- I ran 2.71 miles in 35 minutes - 13:00 pace. It felt ok- but I hadn't eaten breakfast, so I was a little sluggish.

Third leg- Thursday afternoon- I ran 2.72 miles in 35 minutes- 12:48 pace. Felt great and I was really proud afterwards. I had eaten purposefully throughout the day- food is fuel, food is fuel and I was so glad that my times had actually increased.

Now, here I sit on Friday morning and it has been about 18 hours since my last run and I'm sore- but not so much so that am uncomfortable. I'm fatigued but could actually run again if I needed to. I'm not going to- I'm going to recover and rest. I have a 3-4 mile run with a friend tomorrow so I want to do well for that. Going to try out my new (used) GPS watch and get some really accurate stuff on there- can't wait!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Fueling Experiment

My blog friend Liz over at Eternal Lizdom often writes about how she thinks about food as fuel now that she has really wrapped her mind around a healthier lifestyle. Most people still struggle with junk food now and then, and I am no exception- however, I may have had a real life "A-HA!" moment that really made it sink in.
I've been working VERY hard to get back to running since I was 6 weeks post-delivery of my 2nd child last November (09). I started back with the Couch-to-5K program over at and then adapted my own program from there while training for other races along the way (I've done 3 5Ks since January).

I have mentioned the big race I am training for in June. And I have been frustrated that I couldn't seem to get past running 10-12 minutes without having to take a walk break. It was hindering my overall avg pace and I didn't like that. Generally- it was because my legs felt heavy, almost crampy.

This past Saturday (see my last post)- I had an AWESOME run. And the only thing I did differently than usual was that I ate a banana - and only a banana- about an hour before my run. So- in a little experiment, I tried it today. I had to do my run in the afternoon - so it was about 4 hours after lunch and then 1 hour before my run, I ate a banana. IT WORKED!

I ran 3.7125 miles in 45 minutes - a 12:12 minute mile avg pace. I only walked 3 times- to warm up, in the middle and then at the very end. And, in fact, I would not have walked at all in the middle if it wasn't for my Nike+ malfunctioning again (seriously with this thing! Again?!?!).

Is it the banana? I don't know- maybe. But I know I'll keep it up until it proves otherwise!

Powerful Successes and epic failures!

had a GREAT run on Saturday- but got SO mad when my stupid Nike+ logged it incorrectly. I wanted to throw it away- but I think it isn't reading it right on long runs because the pouch holding my sensor is too big and it joggles around. Anyway- it logged just under 3 miles run in an hour at a 20mm pace (this is the epic fail!). UH- no it was a lot better than that...

I ran OVER 5 miles (I know this for sure, I mapped it but not quite sure how far over 5 it was- not quite 5.5ish. I did a 5 min warm up walk and then I RAN FOR 30 MIN straight!! first time ever! then I took a 1-2 min walk break and ran 15-20 more, then another break, etc. I felt so awesome! That means my pace was a 12mm or better! And based on previous run info- I burned at least 850 calories on that run- I was so proud after it.

I have a 45 min run scheduled today (training really picks up for my Utah race these next 4 weeks)- it's raining here- so should be interesting! But I'll be outside regardless!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The challenge abroad

It isn't international travel- it's only 7 hours by car, and an hour by plane.  But why is it that the places we call "home", when we don't reside there anymore, are much more difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan?

When it comes to Latrobe, PA- I can name several reasons: Dino's wings, Gino's Pizza, Jioio's Pizza, Rizzo's, Sharky's potato skins, PRIMANTI'S- and then the chain staples only found near the Eastern US like Sheetz, Eat N Park, Valley Dairy. I won't even get started on the beer. Western PA people love their food- probably because many communities are deeply engrained in rich ethnicity- Polish, Italian, German, etc. And we all know that rich, ethnic foods are just so good.

Don in Pixburg, yins like some food. (non-Pittsburghese translation? These people like to eat!)

I only make it here to visit my family 2, maybe 3 times a year- and usually only for 3 or 4 days. I try to limit it to 2 of those choice locations so that the rest of the time I can eat healthier and at my mom's house to limit the damage. Or- I try to mix good with "bad" to even out a meal. Today at lunch (Eat N Park) I had a garden burger and french fries- I like their french fries - which is why I ordered them- BUT- funny thing was- they brough my mom's salad which looked so good- I wish I had got that instead of the fries. I mean, come on, I can get some kind of fries almost anywhere. This trip to PA- my goal is to have some pizza at Gino's- I can bypass the rest this time.

The rest of my plan starts with sticking to my running/training schedule- I've already worked it out with my mom of how/when I will run in the mornings on Monday and Wednesday before she leaves for work- and Tuesday I can go for a walk with my girls in the double stroller. Tuesday is a non-training day- so it will be a long slow walk (weather permitting- it is FREEZING here right now- in MAY)

Today- Sunday (and Mother's Day) is a rest day on my schedule; thank goodness! After my race yesterday, I busted butt to pack and load the van and then drove my girls and I to PA - 6.5 hours with 2 quick stops and my body was sore. After a race, I usually try to keep moving and stretching for awhile- but it wasn't possible this time - my poor back! :)

Back to my original thought- it is a challenge to stay on my plan while traveling, but even with a few big blips- I'm doing ok. Keep moving and eat in moderation- and I'll stay on track. Just keep swimming, right? :)

How do you keep yourself motivated while traveling - for work or on vacation?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 5K

I was up at 4:30 this morning. I am so thankful to my kids who allowed me to get a great night's sleep before this race- I felt great! Got up- got a plain, dry bagel and a cup of coffee- beat all the traffic downtown and got a parking spot right by the start line- it was perfect! I didn't even mind standing in the wind waiting- because it totally paid off.

I had a goal to run 5 minute intervals of walk/run and a stretch goal to finish under 40 minutes. I didn't do either- but I'm pleased to report 2 things- I ran MORE than 5 minutes and walked much less. I noticed a girl about my pace and I started trailing her- she was setting my pace for about a half mile before she started to notice that she had a shadow. So at one point where we both decided to take a walk break- I introduced myself and said "Thanks for keeping the pace- you're keeping me going" and she said "Really? Because you chasing me was making me go faster!"- so we laughed and then discussed our strategy- we were now in this together. We walked for a minute and then started jogging again. At one point I had to slow to a walk to work out a cramp- and she kept going- but then she slowed as I started running again- so we essentially crossed the finish together. It was a personal best for me!!! I took 2 full minutes off of my last 5K. I was not under 40 minutes- but it was 41:32 - pace of 13:21. I am pleased with that and I will definitely "run" with it!

After the finish line - and collecting my race medal (hope to post a pic later)- I got to talking to my pace buddy- her name is Lara and turns out- she was from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA - this was such a coincidence because I grew up in Latrobe, PA and just so happen to be traveling there today. So we laughed about that- and exchanged contact details- she'll be in touch so we can try to keep up on training together and potentially train for the mini together next year!
Now I'm off to go back up all my stuff for my trip and get a shower (boy do I need it). This was a great race and I feel fantastic!

Also- a special thanks to the anonymous girl who had been behind me most of the way who gave me encouragement at the end to keep running as I started to slow to a walk. She said "No way lady- you have to run to the finish, I've been watching you run the whole time- you're not going to get passed by me now". It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear- and it meant SO much to me.

One final note- Hats off to the city of Indianapolis - this race is SO well organized for how big it is- well done Indy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wanted to blog

But can't.  Pre-race chaos! Nerves, stress....auauauauauauauahhhhh!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Busy days ahead

My schedule over the next week or so is just crazy busy- this whole month is really. It kicks off tomorrow with the Mini Marathon/5k packet pickup and Expo- then Friday is me begging my children to let me get adequate sleep for the race....then I'll be leaving my house at about 5:15am for the race on Saturday morning.
I have created my 'race plan' in my head -how I want to start, how I want to move throughout the race, and how I'd like to finish. I think if I go in this way- I'll do a lot better with the running portions. I think I'll try to do 5 minute run/walk intervals throughout. If it feels really good- then maybe I'll run more of it...
After my 5k- I'll wait for some friends and cheer them on while they do the Mini Marathon this year. Looking forward to sharing a beer with them all afterward! Then later that evening we'll go out for a bit- maybe dinner/drinks. Then I decided to take the next 4 days and go visit family in PA- looking forward to it- but also hope I have enough time to actually pack for the trip.

Driving 7 (or more) hours with 2 kids by myself will be an adventure.

Speaking of kids- there goes the 6 month old one now- sounding my alarm . . .

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The weight of inspiration

A friend of mine has been running on her own for awhile- but as her work demands her to travel most days of most weeks- most of that running is inside on a treadmill.

As a treadmill-to-road convertee, I had to get her off that treadmill and onto the road! PLUS- we had not seen each other in nearly 3 years. That's too long and this was a great way to get together, do somethign physical and then relax over a great lunch.

We went to Eagle Creek Park on the North West side of Indianapolis and decided to run the 7K course (4.3 miles approx). I have never run with a partner before- so this was also a new experience for me- but as a slightly more experienced runner than her- I had the "burden" of keeping our pace and letting her know she CAN do it as we went along.
I had so many high points during this run:
- I was able to talk during some of my running- which means that my fitness is improving with my training more than I believed.
- I felt like I pushed us both and kept a great pace. I may not look like a personal trainer- but darn it if I didn't channel Bob Harper today. . .
- We ran and walked intervals- but overall- I maintained my typical training pace that I run for 30 min runs over the full hour.
- there were HILLS! :)
- the biggest payoff was her saying that she wants to do this again and enjoyed running outside (and that she will try to do it more while on the road for work)- I may have created a convert!

I was so proud of both of us- when we were done, we took a nice long stretch and then headed to lunch. I'm sure I could have ate healthier- but I didn't do too bad- but I did indulge in one Sangria. I almost never drink anymore and this just sounded and looked so good- and it was! :)

the only low point was that I have pulled something in my foot. On the outside of the side of my foot- I think I pulled the tendon that connects the foot bones...hurts and was very painful at first- but as the day goes on, it is improving.

Great run, great day!