Thursday, January 28, 2010


She's a brick house,

She's mighty, mighty just lettin' it all hang out...

Don't know why, but when I think about brick workouts, that song pops into my head. Every time!

I'm having a hard time adjusting to tri training without my YMCA membership and without my weekly (sometimes 2x per week) lunchtime spin class. So, what I've decided to do is train on the bike trainer at home and once a week, follow it up with a run on the treadmill. I don't know if you'd call that a "real" brick, since it's being done indoors but it's going to have to do for now. And, I've found that I really don't know what to do on the bike without instructor from hell, Richard, barking orders to "increase tension!", "dig deep!", "decrease tension!", "sprint up that hill!", "go faster!!", etc. I've heard there are dvds you can buy and watch while riding that guide you through a bike workout...maybe I'll look into that. I'm also checking out the spin class schedule at the new gym to see if there's at least one I can make each week.

Anyway, I had to pick up the kiddos from my parents last night because it was the hubby's martial arts night. Naturally, I want to hang out and visit with the parents, but that makes us get home rather late which results in getting started on the workout late. It was 9 pm by the time I got the kiddos into bed, made lunches for the next day and got the bike set up on the trainer. I biked for 30 minutes while watching the last little bit of the State of the Union address and recap. I did add in a few 1-minute intervals of faster peddeling in there just to make the workout more interesting (read: less boring).

Once I was done with 30 minutes on the bike, I headed upstairs to the treadmill. I don't know why, but I seem to have pretty good runs after I bike. Not that the run was fast or anything, but I just felt in "the zone". You know "the zone" - where your legs, arms and breathing seem to be in sync perfectly....I don't hit "the zone" often on the treadmill, so this was a pleasant surprise. I even added a couple of minutes with some incline and that even felt great. All this zoniness made the time on the treadmill pass really it when that happens! Total run was 2.81 miles @ a 10:40 pace. I cooled down by walking another few minutes and rounded out the mileage to 3 miles. Afterwards, the back felt pretty good, but the pain in my left quad is back dangit! Don't know what that's about, but I do want it to go away!

Today, it's back to the pool. Maybe this time I'll remember to bring my workout with me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pool Time

Yesterday was my swim day, so I decided that rather than "just swim" like I did last year, I'd have a plan of attack. Now that I have the basics, it's time to work on getting faster and more efficient. So, I went to where I could get a personalized workout! I printed it out, and even put it in a nice little plastic sleeve. I was ready!

But first I had to take the Kiddo to dance class - she takes a 1/2 hour of tap and a 1/2 hour of ballet. It's fun watching her progress and talking to other moms, but my Kiddo is a talker and tends to get herself into trouble during class. In fact, for the past 2 weeks, the Kiddo did not get a sticker at the end of class because of her behavior....oh the horror!!! We've had "the talk". We've tried to reason with her. We've done time out. She knows what she needs to do, but not talking during class is soooo hard for her! (Her words, not mine) So, I threw all of Nanny Jo's advice out the window and bribed her.

Good behavior in dance class = 1 Happy Meal after class

It worked, because she only talked too much one time. We're making progress!

Sorry for the tangent...So, I take the kiddo home and then head off to the pool. I get there, put my bag in a locker and head out to the pool. It's then that I realize I forgot my workout plan. Doh! So, try to remember the workout...I think I was pretty close:

Warm up
• 1 x 100yd Any Stroke (even pace), rest 0:20 / 100yd
Swim your choice of stroke at a steady pace.

Build up (repeat 4 times) I missed the "repeat 4 times" part...that single arm drill is HARD! I suck at it.
• 1 x 25yd Single Arm (arm out front) 6 x left, 6 x right, 6 x full stroke, rest 0:10 / 25yd
Freestyle using one arm at a time, focusing on shoulder and hip rotation. Complete 6 arm strokes with the left arm then 6 strokes with the right arm followed by 6 strokes using both arms. The non-stroking arm is held out front in a streamlined position.

• 1 x 25yd Freestyle Catch Up, rest 0:10 / 25yd
Freestyle drill where one arm catches up to the other between stokes. Both arms start stretched out. One arm completes full stoke (both arms return to a stretched out position) then the other arm completes a full stroke. Pull with one arm at a time and touch your hands between each alternating arm stroke.

• 3 x 100yd Freestyle Swim, rest 0:30 / 100yd
• 12 x 25yd Freestyle DPS, rest 0:10 / 25yd
Freestyle swim with maximum Distance Per Stroke (DPS). Concentrate on long, efficient strokes and a high streamlined body position to reduce drag in the water. Count your strokes per lap and try to reduce.

Warm down
• 4 x 25yd Easy Any Stroke, rest 0:10 / 25yd
Swim your choice of stroke, at a slow, relaxed pace.

Since I missed that repeat 4x thing, I found that I had more time remaining, so I did more freestyle. On the Freestyle DPS drill, I only managed to decrease my strokes from 19-21 strokes per length to 16-17 strokes per length. I just don't feel like I make much headway with my stroke...I definitely understand why they call freestyle the "crawl". I feel like I am crawling through each lap at a snails pace!

All in all, I am thrilled that I can freestyle! To an experienced swimmer, I'm sure that sounds stupid. I only used my trusty sidestroke once, because I somehow got water in my mouth and had to cough and sputter a bit, lol! Now I can't wait to see how I do when I head back out to the lake for OWS practice....

I made it back home in time to kiss the kiddo goodnight and have dinner with the hubby (the Munchkin was already in dreamland)...that's the only thing that sucks about swimming - it takes away from family time. I can run on the treadmill or ride the bike on the trainer at home after the kids are both tucked into bed. Swimming - not so much. This is where the dreaded Mommy Guilt kicks in...fortunately, working out does make me a happier person. That, in turn, makes me a better wife and mommy. That makes for a much happier household and that's a good thing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Running reunion

Last night I was reunited with my treadmill. It had been more than a week since I'd been on it...that's a long break for my treadmill. The kiddos were in bed by 8:30 and I was ready to go, but I made the mistake of turning on my TV and found a huge distraction...

The Bachelor.

I'll admit, I watched the show the 1st few seasons. Then I started grad school and that put an end to almost all TV for 2 years. When I finally finished grad school, I never really got back into watching much TV, especially The Bachelor....and, based on my friend's FB status updates, I didn't seem to be missing much. But for some reason, I've gotten sucked in this season. So, there I sat for a 1/2 hour watching the girls get catty and watch the poor sucker bachelor hand out roses. Yeah, it was 9 pm when I finally got on the treadmill. And I was dvr-ing the show. Actually, it was a little later than that, because the kiddo came out of her room. Here's the conversation:

Me: Hey, what are you doing up? It's way past your bed time.

Kiddo: (In a very urgent tone) Mommy! I have 7 seconds to put up all my ponies (meaning My Little Ponies) and princesses (meaning her mini princess dolls), so I can go to bed!

Me: Wow, 7 seconds? That's not very long...I better help you!

Where do kids come up with this stuff? So, we both put up the toys and she had to tell me what bracelet she wanted to wear the next day, etc. and finally, I made it to the treadmill.

The 1st mile was slow. Partially on purpose, because it's been a week since I've run. And partially because I felt like I had cobwebs and the legs just wouldn't get moving. Then I had a coughing attack - the kind where you feel like you're gonna hack up a lung. Finally, I got into my groove and managed 4 miles at a 10:43 pace.

One thing I noticed on my final run before the 1/2 and just a little during the 1/2, was a nagging little pain in my lower back. It's a familiar feeling, but one I hadn't felt in awhile. One that required physical therapy twice...grrrr. You see, when I 1st started running I learned that my hips were out of alignment. This causes one leg to be slightly higher up than the other, and after long periods of time running the impact eventually causes my lower back to hurt (just to the right of my butt). The pain comes and goes, so I'm going to just wait and see what happens. I'm hoping that adding the cross training for the tri and not as much running will help. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Workouts

This weekend, I only had a couple of short workouts.

Saturday, 1/23 - Swim, 30 minutes

Saturday was just a nasty, drizzly desire to run from the previous day was gone, so instead I headed to the pool. Only 30 minutes, but I figure every little bit of practice helps. It's soooo awesome that the new gym is less than 10 minutes from home and the lap lanes are actually open! I had the entire pool (4 lanes) to myself! This is much different than the Y where most of the lanes were being used for lessons and swim team, so I had to share a lane with 4 people. Not to mention I had to drive 20-30 minutes to get there (depending on traffic). I love it! I was playing around on and decided to do a 100 yd time trial. In fact, I did 4 different time trials - on the first two, I did nothing but freestyle and my time was 2:23 each time. SLOW! Oh well, at least it was consistent, lol! On the next time trial, I did my trusty side-stroke. You know, just for grins. Wanna guess my time?


I was almost laughing out loud at that. Yes, I am consistently sucky at any stroke! But this time I noticed that the sidestroke took much more effort than freestyle. I was actually out of breath! Could it be that I'm finally getting more comfortable with the whole freestyle thing? I think I am - hallelujah and thank the baby Jesus!

After swimming more and doing some drills, I tried the time trial again. This time around, I managed to finish in 2:14. Oh well, at least I know what I am working with and can track my progress every so often.

Sunday, 1/24 - bike, 10 miles

Sunday the weather was awesome! Highs in the high 60's, gorgeous blue skies...just awesome! However, there was one little problem....the wind. I don't know how bad the gusts were, but as we were driving to church the hubby commented on how the flags were standing straight out. Good for surfing here in Texas, but sucky for riding a bike!

After church, the Kiddo had a birthday party to go to - seeing 12 5-year olds trying to bowl was pretty hilarious. Next up, we went for a walk around the 'hood and played in the backyard a bit. Finally, it was time to ride. My expectations weren't high because this was the 1st real road ride I've done in about 4 months, but I did hope to maintain a respectable pace and at least get in 10 miles. Riding with the wind at my back was fun! Max speed was 21.9 mph. However, riding into the wind SUCKED! My pace went all the way down to 10.4 mph at one point. It was brutal. But, I figure the wind could be like that at any of the upcoming triathlons...better suck it up and learn to deal with it! My average pace for the 10 miles was 15 on the dot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lazy runner..

My absolute favorite t-shirt at the marathon expo last weekend said,

Half Marathon
I like it because it's shorter and I'm lazy like that

I know I'm far from lazy, but I have really started to love the 1/2 marathon distance! I'll have a seperate post later about goals for 2010 and deciding whether to do a full or 1/2 in 2010 will be a topic for discussion. Did I mention that I LOVE the half???

For now, I'll just fill you in on the post-race workouts. First, I decided to give myself a break and take 2 days off from any form of exercise.

Be a bum.

I suck at it, but I haven't taken a real break since I had the Munchkin and had to wait 6 weeks for clearance from the doc (I waited 4 weeks). Second, I have given myself permission to not run for an entire week. Again, not something I've done since....hmmm, my 5th month of pregnancy until 4 weeks post partum.

On Wednesday, I rode my bike for 40 minutes on the trainer. Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to it, but it wasn't so bad. I'd rather ride outdoors of course, but it'll do on the weekday evenings. On Thursday, I swam for 45 minutes. Holy cow, I was so happy that I remembered most of the stuff I learned last year! This time last year, I could not make it from one end of a 25 yard pool to the other. It's so nice to be so much farther along this year...I have some big expectations for my swimming this year! (again, I'll save that for my goals post)

Friday, I thought I'd head to the pool again. But...the weather was soooo stinkin' nice! I actually considerd going for a run. Instead, I picked up the kiddos from school let them play in the front yard with the neighborhood kids and got to know my neighbors a little better. Fun times! Before I knew it, it was dark and time for dinner.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After the race...

Sooo, after running the 1/2, I still had work to do! The plan was to eat and rest for about 30-45 minutes, then drive back out to he course to cheer some friends on and then run a bit with my peeps who were running the full. I won't go into why, but it was actually more like 2 hours later when I finally got back out to the course...and, I was afraid I'd miss my friends if I tried to navigate my way through the possibly closed streets in my car.

What'd I do?

I walked / jogged the course backward to mile 24, of course. Somehow, I missed 2 of my friends despite my efforts to not miss anyone...I was probably looking down at my Blackberry for status updates, lol! But, I did catch two of my peeps and got to run with them for a bit. I didn't realize that I had missed two friends, so I kept waiting.....and waiting. No biggie, because I also got to cheer for runners. The race officials were about to close the course when I saw my friend, Pam, heading my way. I trained for Houston and Chicago with Pam in '06 and only had the chance to see her a few times since we had 2 miles to catch up a bit!

I estimated that over the course of the day, I had easily walked/run over 20 miles! I was sore as heck...much worse than anything I've experienced after a 1/2 marathon. I think all that walking/jogging after cooling down did me in, but it was a lot of fun and totally worth it!

Here are just a few images after the 1/2...

This is me with friends Amy and Edwin....this was Amy's 1st 1/2 after having a baby and Edwin's 1st 1/2 ever!

Celebrating the 1/2 and my birthday with the family...lots of chips, salsa, fajitas and margaritas (for me, not the hubby - he was driving) and yes, the Munchkin was ready to go home!

The gorgeous sunset...the end of an awesome day!

Random Post Race Thoughts

It's so funny what goes through your mind while you're running a race. Here are a few things I was thinking along the way:

Things you don't want to encounter during a race:
  1. Smelly perfume. Seriously, I was on my way to the start when I got knocked upside the head by a really bad smelling perfume. Can't imagine what that would smell like after a few sweaty miles. Yuck!

  2. Walkers at mile .08. Come on people...if you are walking from the get-go, get in the BACK OF YOUR CORRAL! At the very least, stay to the side of the road and do not stop suddenly! Shame on me for not getting to the start earlier and towards the front of the wave.

  3. The smell of donuts. Don't get me wrong, I normally love the smell of donuts. I love eating them even more. But for some reason, smelling donuts at the 7 mile marker made me want to vomit.

  4. Speaking of vomit...having a sign with the word vomit on it is not motivational. I saw a man in the Heights with a sign that said "blah, blah, blah VOMIT blah blah". Okay, so if really didn't say "blah blah", in fact I couldn't really read the writing...but even if I could read it, the word VOMIT stood out at me and would have kept me from reading more. Maybe it's an inside joke?

The things I LOVE about the Houston Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

  1. The spectators! A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to watch and cheer! There were intersections on Montrose where the crowds were several people thick. Amazing

  2. The music! I ran the inaugural San Antonio Rock & Rock 1/2 marathon in 2008 and was excited because I thought there would be soooo much music on the course. I was disappointed. I can only speak for the 1st 1/2 of the race...but holy cow, Houston had so many bands and people DJing and singing along those miles, it was awesome!

  3. The GRB. I've run marathons and 1/2 in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Chicago, NYC, and even Bastrop...none have the awesomeness before and after the race like the GRB and everything it contains. At most races you get fruit, a bagel, some yogurt and in Austin, soup. Yes, soup. But in Houston, you have warm/dry accomodations before and after the race and you get a nice, hot full breakfast - eggs, biscuits, sausage, potatoes, various pastries, chocolate milk and even Girl Scout Cookies! Not that I ever feel like eating all that, but it's there if you want it. :-)

  4. Flatness. Sure there are some overpasses and "hills", but Houston really is a flat course.

  5. Friendliness. For some reason I really noticed how friendly the volunteers were this year. From packet pickup to pre-race to the water stations to the people who give you the medals...I've never seen such a smiling, cheerful group of people! Thank you volunteers!

  6. Awesome shirts and medals. I have to admit that I did like last years shirt better...all that screen printing on the back might get a bit warm during a run. However, to have a men's and women's that actually fits well...that's awesome!

I'm sure I'll think of more later, but that's it for now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Houston Half Marathon Race Report

I arrived with my peeps downtown at dark thirty…it was chilly, but not the freezing cold we’ve been having over the past few weeks. I’ll be honest, I was liking that freezing cold for my runs…temps warming into the 60s is not my idea of good running weather, but at least it wasn’t raining. :-)

Here I am with the peeps - Dawn, Erica, Katie, me, Kelly and Lacy - they are the best!

I got to see some of my other running buds all over the GRB…some from previous jobs, some from previous running groups, even a few people from high school. Crazy. I checked my bag, ate my oranges and made one last visit to the porta-pottie. Since my friends were all doing the full for the 1st time, they had already headed out. I made my way out to the starting corrals alone and quickly realized I was in the very back of my wave. I did manage to get more to the middle of the pack, but I was not where I wanted to be…more on that later.

This is my good friend and former co-worker, Donyail, who was running her 1st 1/2...she did great! I'm so proud of her!

Before I knew it, the gun sounded. My wave still had another 10 minutes before starting. When we were finally on our way, I was ANNOYED to find people walking all around me….seriously people – if you’re going to walk right from the start, get in the BACK of your corral!!!

Miles 1 & 2:
These were the most frustrating miles ever. I knew they’d be slow, but the best I could do in the crowd was keep an 11-minute pace. Grrrr…. As I expected, I warmed up really fast and before I hit the 2nd mile marker had already thrown away the arm sleeve thingies and my gloves. I actually dropped one of the sleeves on accident, but it was too crowded to pick it up…I said “screw it” and tossed the other one.

Miles 3 – 6:
These miles were GREAT! There were great spectators and bands that really helped keep motivation high. There was the Beatles-type band, the trio in beehives doing a 50’s tune, a heavy metal band and a dude playing a guitar and singing….seriously, it was better than the San Antonio RnR that touts tons of bands on the course. I didn’t seem to look around much, but hearing the different music was fun. My only complaints here were the small “hills” and the slanted street. (Yes, I need hill training!) Lots of people still and my pace was very inconsistent…I’d be running a 10 minute pace, then look at my watch and be running a 10:40 pace. Ack! The entire time, my watch was showing an average pace of 10:38 and I felt like I was trying to make up for lost time.

Miles 7 – 9:
Again, great crowds. It seemed like the crowds grew thicker at every intersection and they were loud. This area is nice and flat, but the streets were congested at some of the water stops which made for some weaving. I did talk to a guy with a Texas A&M Corp of Cadets shirt on…hey, it’s my alma matter and I recruit from the school for work. I thought maybe, just maybe, he was a Construction Science major….

The one person who stood out in this area was a dude who had music playing and was singing “keep runnin’, runnin’…keep runnin’, runnin’….keep runnin’, runnin’…” over and over. This part of the course was also where the ½ marathon folks turn around and the full marathon folks keep going, so I got to hear that little tune twice. The 1st time, I thought it was a recorded song, only when I passed the guy again did I realize he was actually singing it…I wondered if he’d been doing that from the start and if that was the only thing he was going to sing, lol! I had every intention of looking for my friends on the other side of the road when I turned around, but I couldn’t. It felt like it was taking too much effort to turn my head – I wanted to look forward only and focus on the task at hand. Weird…I am usually all about looking at the other people on the course. I was down to a 10:37 average pace.

Mile 10 – 12:
At mile 10, I got out my ipod shuffle, put the ear buds in and listened to one song. That was it. The music was too distracting. Maybe I really am a “zen runner”, because at that point in time, I only wanted to hear the sounds of the music on the course and the crowds.

This is also where we made the turn onto Allen Parkway – the lonely stretch that takes you into downtown. I wasn’t too far along when I saw the male marathon leader run past with the media cars in front of him and police motorcycles escorting him. AMAZING! Nothing like seeing someone run so well to make you wanna speed up a little. There were a few other guys who followed not too far behind. Before I knew it, the female leader was coming. Again, AMAZING! I looked at my watch – 10:36 pace. Ugh!

The final mile + .1:
After looking at my watched again, I realized I was not going to make my goal. At first I was pissed at myself, but then I decided that it was what it was...I had to at least get in before 2:20. I turned the corner onto Rusk (the final turn) and there was a DJ playing the Black Eyed Peas “I got a feeling”, which was exactly what I needed to put a little pep in my step. I could finally see the balloon arch of the finish line, but it looked so freaking far!!! But, I kicked it up a little…which wasn’t much, but it was something. I must have been really focused on those freaking balloons, because my friend’s husband was calling my name and I didn’t even hear it at first…I didn’t realize it until I had already passed him. I looked back and gave a quick wave and kept on going. I felt like I sped up a little more in those final couple of blocks, but who knows. I finally made it to the finish! I looked up at the clock, raised up my hands for a second and then stopped the Garmin – I had come in right under 2:20! Yay!

More post race thoughts to come...

Monday, January 18, 2010

All done!

The 1/2 went great. The weather was nice (a little warm, but could have been worse), the spectators were awesome and I felt great.

Garmin results...

Distance: 13.22 (all that weaving!)
Finish time: 2:19
Average pace: 10:35

This was 2 minutes slower than my goal time, but I won't was still around 12 minutes faster than last year! I'll post the official results and my race report in the next day or two. Gonna enjoy some family time!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The "Plan"

Well tomorrow's the big day! Houston's largest annual sports event is here - the Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Half-Marathon/EP 5k!!! Just me and 21,999 of my closest friends. :0) I've been careful with what I've been eating - lots of lean protein and some carbs (but not too many!) and I've been hydrating well.

I went to pick up my packet yesterday and here's the swag that was handed out:

Here are some of the things that I bought...

Yes, you read that shirt right....there were so many cute ones, it was really hard to choose one:

So here's my raceday plan...

5:15 - Arrive at Luke's to meet up with the running girls...we'll carpool to the GRB

5:45 - Arrive at the GRB - parking can be a pain, so it might take awhile

5:45 - 6:30 - Hang out with the girls and see if I can find any other running peeps and wish everyone luck! Oh and eat a couple of Clementine's (oranges) and hit the porta-potties

6:30 - Start stretching, eat a few Honey Bee Stingers

6:45 - Head out to the start (may do this a little earlier)

7:00 - Race starts!

7:10 - My wave starts! WHOOT!

My goal is to run a consistent pace the entire time. I know for sure that the 1st few miles will be very slow due to the vast number of runners. I'm not too worried about this, because there are lots of nice flat areas with lots of enthusiastic spectators where I am sure I will manage to make up for any lost time...the key here is to not get too excited and go too fast.

Between miles 4 & 5 - eat 1/2 packet of Honey Bee Stinger gels. I'll do this again around mile may not help that late in the game, but it's what I did in my training runs. It's a mental thing. :-)

Mile 10 - 13 are mostly on Allen Parkway and downtown...not too many spectators there. I'll have my ipod with me if I need it, but I don't usually run with it, so I doubt I'll use it. This is the area I tried to visualize on my longer runs. If there's a place I'd want to stop and walk, it would be here. I will not walk. end of story. My goal is to kick it up a bit in the last mile and as they say on - just HTFU!

So that's it...the "plan". After the race, I am going to head back out on the course and cheer for some of my friends, especially for those who are doing the full for the 1st time know who you are! :-)

If you're running tomorrow - good luck and have fun!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Playing Catch Up

So there are 2 runs I need to catch you up on...

But first, let me say that I FINALLY received my NEW Garmin! Hooray for me! Yes, it was a new unit, in a box, with all the accessories included. Hallelujah and thank the Baby Jesus! And now, onto the running...

Saturday, 1/9 - "long" run, 6 miles
The Kiddo is back in her musical theatre class on Saturdays, so no more running with the peeps. :o( The temps on Saturday morning were supposed to be in the teens and they was 16 degrees when I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. I may be a wuss, but the forecast said it would be warming up near 40 later, so I decided to postpone the run until the temperature was a bit more tolerable. I know you folks up north are rolling your eyes thinking, "16? puh-leeeeese! It's -10 here with the wind chill, so get over it!". Yeah, I'd like to invite any of you to come to Houston in mid-August to see how you like our 105 degree temps (with a "feels like" temp of 116!) and 100% in THAT! :o)

I did my regular 6-miler through the hood with my NEW Garmin. I loved being able to look down and see my pace! Let me just say that it was very eye opening...I wish I had been training with my Garmin over the past month, because my pace was all over the place. One mile would be a nice, steady 10:30 and the next would be 9:40, then I'd be at 10:40 and next mile would be at 9:50. My final average pace was 10:22. I think maintaining a consistent pace at the 1/2 is going to be a challenge.

Monday, 1/11 - 40 minutes 30 minute EASY treadmill run
What can I say? I procrastinated here and only had enough time for 30 minutes. I am working on my lecture for my class that starts next week, so it's a good thing it's taper time!!! Pace for this run was 10:42.

Monday, January 11, 2010

T minus 1 week

Wow, it seems like I just posted something about the 1/2 marathon being 8 weeks away. Holy crap, where does the time go?

This is the time when I start the "stinkin' thinkin' ". Fortunately, since I'm doing the 1/2, it's not too bad. If I was doing the full marathon next weekend, things would be much worse - I'd be obsessing. But still, this is the time I start to question things:

- Can I do the distance?
Of course! It's a 1/2, even on a bad day I can usually get through 13.1 miles.

- What's the weather going to be like?
Well, I don't like the rain on tap for Thursday and Friday, but it's supposed to clear out for race day. Let's face it - it's 2 - 2 1/2 hours - can handle pretty much anything you throw at me weather-wise for that amount of time. Of course temps in the 30s-40s and no rain would be ideal and much appreciated. :-)

- What should I wear on race day?

I've had issues adjusting to the cold this year and I normally love running in the cold. Then again this year has been an unusually cold year for those of us in South TX...I had to break out my full tights for the 1st time in 3 years! Also, for some reason this year I can't get my clothing right. I tend to over dress and then have a jacket tied around my waist for my entire run.

Really, these issues are minor and I'm not stressing about them all that much. The biggest question I have going through my mind for Sunday is:

Can I meet my pace goal?

I know I can do it (especially in good weather conditions), but still...there are those doubts. Those little thoughts in my head that nag at me.

Honestly, this is probably the 1st time I've made a true goal for my finish time. I've had races where I've said "I'll be happy if I finished in x:xx time", but I'd follow up with "yeah, I'd still be fine as long as I'm under x:xx" and even worse, "okay, just finish strong." Last year's training season goal was to just get into shape post baby and get my mileage up. I did that, but my performance at all 3 1/2 marathons I did was pretty much what I'd call lackluster.

This past training year was different - I decided early on that if I was going to keep running the 1/2 and not train for the full that I would have to set some goals - stop being complacent, push myself harder, run more miles, be more consistent in my training and work to improve my pace at that distance.

I think I've done that. Could I have trained harder some weeks? Sure, nobody's perfect. But, I think this has been the best training season I've ever had...let's hope the payoff comes in the form of a nice, big PR!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Stupid, Stupid, Stooooopppppiiiiiddddd

Tuesday, 1/5 - 48 minute treadmill run with intervals
This was a crazy day for us, because it was the day that the Munchkin was getting tubes in his ears! The procedure itself is no big deal – they make a small incision in the eardrum and insert a teeny, tiny little tube that will let all the icky stuff drain out. Nasty, I know, but like I said - no big deal. It was the general anesthesia was what worried me. Scary stuff when it’s your 19-month old. Luckily, things went great! The kiddo did great at the hospital before and after the surgery. By the time we made it back home, he was all ready to play just like normal! The Dr and nurses told us he’d be ready to go to school the next day, but I wasn’t quite sure. It was true!

As for the running….obviously it’s taper time. This was very apparent in Coach’s schedule this week…this week’s interval workout was 10 minute warm-up, 3 minutes easy x 1 minute hard (do 7 times), end with 10 minute cool down. Yeah, usually it would be 3 minutes hard x 1 minute easy, lol. Overall pace was 10:32.

Now what was stupid about this? My legs and arms were sore! Remember that “Jullian Michael’s 30-day Shred” video I bought and then did on Sunday? And, remember a few weeks ago when I had some quad pain? Yeah…the 1st exercise was a total quad killer. I felt the pull, but of course I kept going. On Monday, I didn’t notice any pain at all. Then again, that was an easier run. On Tuesday, I felt it. Not horrible, but still…It did seem to subside as time went on, so I was able to finish the run. I was kind to the quad after the run and iced it. Hopefully, it will be a non-issue!

Wednesday, 1/6 - rest day
Decided to rest the sore quad. Cleaned house instead…does that count as workout?

Thursday, 1/7 - rest 20 minute treadmill run
I know 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time on the treadmill, but originally I didn’t think I was going to get to run at all. You see, I invited a few of my favorite running peeps over for dinner and a movie. What movie, you ask? Why, Spirit of the Marathon, of course! Well that and we watched some of the Kona 2010 coverage. Good times!

Anywho, I had completely forgotten that I had a work training in the afternoon. This training was only 15 minutes from home, so no 5 pm rush hour to contend with. And, the training let out early, so that means I had time to run! Not much time obviously, because I also thought it would be fun to surprise the kids by picking them up from school too. But, I had enough time for a quickie 20 minute run…I knew I would not be eating my usual healthy dinner, so I needed to burn at least a few calories. Every little bit helps!

Friday, 1/8 - rest day
Brrrr, it's frickin' cold out there! Highs today in the 30s today and tomorrow with lows in the teens!

I didn't get a workout in, but I did head over to Tri On The Run during my lunch break to try on wetsuits. Lemme tell you, there is nothing more humbling than trying on a wetsuit! The guys at TOTR are awesome, but they suggested I try on a small suit first. Yeah, sorry, I know I am not large...but I am not small either. I have some, um, curvy legs and hips....a size small has never fit in those areas. At least not since grade school! I did find one I like, but I wanted to sleep on it. I actually have an opportunity to buy a used wetsuit too, so I want to check that out too. The good news is that TOTR is trying to get rid of all their 2009 suits since the 2010 ones will be in soon....50% off on some! Too bad the ones that fit me are close to $600. Ouch! I can't wait for the arctic front to move on so we can get in some OWS practices!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Bad girl

I've been a bad girl. No blogging for an entire week? Bad!

So here's the lowdown on my past week:

Thursday, December 31 - neighborhood run, 50 minutes
I took advantage of my day off and ran around the neighborhood for 50 minutes. My run was supposed to be 70 minutes, but as usual, I was short on time. The weather sucked. It was nice and cool (around 50 if I remember correctly), but it was foggy, humid and dreary. Yuck! I started to get bored around 20 minutes in, so I threw in some intervals - run hard for 3 minutes, easy for 1. After about 5 rounds of that, I was almost back to home base. Good run!

I went to see Nine with running peep, Katie. The movie was, well, okay. Such an amazing cast, such a mediocre movie. I was expecting something more along the lines of Chicago. Nine definitely didn't live up to those expectations. Kate Hudson and Fergie delivered awesome musical performances, but the rest of the songs weren't as entertaining and the plot was non-existent. Then again part of me wonders if my taste in movies has my life B.C., (that's Before Children) I had my group of movie girlfriends and we'd see everything - artsy, foriegn, independent, low budget, mainstream blockbusters - you name it. Maybe 6 years ago I would have liked this movie. But not today. Today's movie girl just thought this movie was incredibly slow. Seriously. Wait for the dvd and go see The Blind Side or It's Complicated instead.

Later, we headed to my Sister-in-Law's house for awhile with the Hubby and kids...we were home by 10 pm and I was asleep by 11...way to bring in the New Year!

Friday, January 1 - rest day - happy new year!!!
Friday I spent my rest day hanging with the Hubby and kids. The Kiddo and Hubby went to see Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and I took down the Christmas decorations while the baby napped. Joy!

Saturday, January 2 - Frosty run - 10 miles
I had another rare opportunity to run with my peeps again. We did 10 miles at a 10:47-ish pace. It was around 29 degrees and because we were running most of the run in the moonlight, everything around us had frost on it and the world looked like an beautiful, amazing winter wonderland! Great run!

Later on Saturday, the Hubby and I took the Kiddo to see Disney Playhouse Live! while the Munchkin hung out at the Grandparent's house. She had a blast and we enjoyed the family time with her.

Sunday, January 3 - cross training - Jillian's 30-day Shred
On Friday, I ran to Wal-Mart for new Rubbermaid storage containers. While browsing, I saw Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred dvd on sale for $9. I tend to be an impulse shopper, so naturally I bought it. I did the video and what can I say? It's only 20 minutes, but it's tough! Within the 1st 5 minutes of the actual workout, I was wishing I had some smaller hand weights.

The Hubby and Kiddo lucked out and managed to get some free Aeros tickets, so they headed off to the game while I had some more bonding time with the Munchkin. Do you see a theme here? The Kiddo has to be the luckiest girl around...3 awesome activities in 3 days. Fun times! Unfortunately the Aeros lost, but the Kiddo and Hubby still had a great time.

We also had fun watching the Texans come from behind and win their final game of the season. I hate football, but I had to admit it was a great game. Congrats to the Texans for their 1st winning season in franchise history!

Monday, January 4 - treadmill run
The taper has definitely begun. Only 30 minutes EASY on the treadmill. I managed a easy, peasy 10:43 pace.

That's enough for now. See ya tomorrow!