Friday, September 23, 2011

A Dozen Down

12 miles.


1418 calories burned


The two things learned this run:
       1. screw the cap on your water bottle tight. I had some water at 5 miles, and as I ran off, I realized it wasn't a bunch of sweat pouring down my was the rest of my water being sloshed out of the bottle with the loose cap. Ugh. I was really wanting that water at mile 9.
       2. around mile 11, it hit me that I could really do this half. I got a little choked up (I'm such a sap), then was hit with another realization - I can't breathe and run when I'm choked up. No getting choked up race day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The other day, my friend asked me if I planned on running the race in Nashville next Spring. "The race" she was referring to, is the Country Music Half Marathon - a huge race that runs throughout the historic sections of Music City. Several of my old neighbors have run it over the years. I decided to look into it and do some research on the race last night.

As I was Googling the race, several running blogs popped up - runners detailing their experiences running the race. I love reading good blogs. You can learn so much from them. I learned that the Country Music Half is another race that is described as "flat", but is in fact, very hilly (a constant complaint from every runner), the race has probably gotten too big and crowded, but highly recommended. I'll have to think about it, but would love to have another challenge lined up.

Anyway, I came across a blog from a woman who just completed her first half marathon, however, this blog was from 2009. This woman had a lot of the same emotions going through her journey as I am having, so I enjoyed reading what she had to say. When she was talking about the actual race day, she did something that I think is genius. If I remember correctly, a friend suggested the idea to her. Thinking about how long the race was going to be, and how you can start feeling a little lonely or lose focus, she dedicated every mile of the race to someone important in her life - 13 loved ones. She then numbered them and wrote them on her arm - at mile 1, she would think about ____ and how much he meant to her; mile 2, she would think about ____ and how much she meant to her, and so on. The last mile she dedicated to her husband, and when she came to mile 13, she spotted him in the crowd. Love it. Love the whole idea. May have to borrow that one...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Training Failure

Well, had my first training failure today. I was supposed to do 6 miles, but since it is raining outside, I had to run on my treadmill. "Dreadmill" as a friend calls it. I used to be so happy running on the treadmill, but now it drives me crazy. I'd take running outside any day - just sucks that I don't have any rain gear to wear. So, seeing how much I hate it, I only ran 3.5 miles. Sigh. It's all mental. Being inside on the treadmill, I start thinking of all the things I need to be doing and it's so easy to just stop and get on with the day. If I were outside, I would have taken some route three miles out so I had to run three miles back in - no excuses, 6 miles done. Now I'm disappointed in myself...must get over it because it is a big running week - 6 miles on Wednesday, then 12 miles on Fri. (or Sat.). Twelve miles!

Better start on all those things I got off the treadmill early for!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Big Run and Big Sale!

The steel-cut oats are cooking on the stove, it's currently 43 degrees out, and I'm going to try for another 10 miles after the girls go to school. I'm looking forward to it, actually. I could wait until tomorrow - I did 5 miles on Monday, another 5 on Wednesday, but I want to tackle the 10 today. I would love to have the same time, or faster, as my first 10, but I'm going to be crazy and throw in some hills so I fully expect my time to be slower. I'm hoping it warms up just a tad!!

And exciting news (for me) - looks like Asics is phasing out my model of running shoes! Everywhere I look, they are being clearanced out. Woohoo! I've never paid less than $75 for them (I know that's pretty cheap already for a pair of running shoes!), but I just found a pair for $49.98. Score!

*Update* Another 10 miles in the books! My time: 01:35:45 - that's with the added hills and a stop for water/chews at 5 miles, and more water at 7.5. Do runners stop Garmin when they stop for water/bathroom breaks? May seem like a silly question, but just wondering. I know your timing chip doesn't stop during a race. Have to say, this 10 miles felt GREAT...even with the hills! It has to be the cool weather.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who Said Indiana Was All Flat??

"Beautiful course, but very hilly". That was the comment left this morning under some pictures put up on Facebook on the half marathon course I will be running. Yes, it does look beautiful, but really? Did she have to throw in there "very hilly"? I signed up for this particular half after my dear neighbor in TN recommended it - saying it was a great first half to do since it was so flat. I fell for it. I started seeing comments about "hills", watched several interviews from past races where the runners talked about "all the hills"...ugh. I watched a video of the course, and I suppose I just didn't notice the hills at first - easy to do.

So after seeing that comment, I decided I needed to see for myself. I printed out a course map and we all piled in the truck to go out to the park. I felt a little bit of relief as we drove through Ft. Harrison - yes, it is indeed flat. The we headed out on one of the roads on the course, and wow...huge hills. I'm not exaggerating. I glanced down at the map, and said "I am so glad I just have to run down these hills...oh...wait...ah, crap! The arrows show I go UP these hills!" I confess, I had a moment of panic, then a feeling of wanting to cry - I'm doing all this training, feeling pretty confident, my pace has gotten faster, and even though I have put in some minor hills in my routes, they are nothing compared to these hills. My goal of running the entire race is in jeopardy.

But, you know, I'm just going to do the best I can do, as cliche as that sounds. I'm not going to psyche myself out, or start thinking negatively. I'm going to plan to take the hills slow, and just see how it goes. I ran some pretty big hills in Tennessee - I can do these. Maybe I'll have to stop and drink a few more times than I had planned, but that's okay. I have to listen to my body.

Hills, shmills.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Trouble With T-shirts

Seeing how expensive running clothes are, when I hear of a sale, I'm all over it. But, there are some things I just can't bring myself to buy - like t-shirts with clever little sayings on them:

"Catch Me If You Can" - oh, you can. I'm not fast.

"Fast" - see above.

"See You At The Finish Line" - yea, and if you can, after you get there before me, have some         Gatorade or chocolate milk waiting. Thanks.

I need something that says "I'm Trying", "I Thought I Was Going Fast", "You Should Have Seen Me Last Year". I have one t-shirt that says "Running", and I think that's about all I can let my shirts say about me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Oops...I Forgot About Recovery

A new discovery was made after yesterday's run - in which I ran 10 miles! Woohoo! (still can't get over that...) - I don't know how to recover from a long run. More specifically, I don't know the proper nutrition. I knew I needed to be concerned with what to eat before a long run, and knew I needed to find what works for me and get a routine started before the race. I figured it out, and what works for me is a bowl of steel-cut oats with a little bit of brown sugar and bananas on top, half a cup of coffee, then 20 minutes before I head out, some Honey Stinger Chews and sip on some water. I've got the fuel to get through the long distance. Now, what about when I get home?

So, I got home yesterday, grabbed a big Gatorade G2 (I think a 32oz.) and a CLIF bar, which I ate and drank while doing some mild stretches. Then I went upstairs, took a shower and got ready for the day. We went out to run some errands and I grabbed an apple. Almost two hours after the apple, we get home for lunch - I was starving by then and practically inhaled a huge ham sandwich with a few chips. I also developed a massive headache around this time so I went to go lay down for a little bit. After I got up (about 20 minutes later, when Ray sent the girls to my room to jump on me and wake me up...nice), the headache was worse, and I realized I had the same awful headache last weekend after my 8 mile run. Hmmm...For someone who rarely ever gets headaches, I knew there was a connection and it was something I was doing wrong. We ate an early dinner, I took two Ibuprofen, drank some coffee (hoping the caffeine would help), and had some ice cream (because my celebratory chocolate cake was taking too long to cool off...grrrr).

As I vegged on the couch after the girls went to bed, I got on the iPad and began to research "recovery after long runs". I read several articles, looked at many forums, and yep, I was doing something wrong. I was not giving my body the nutrients it needed to recover. I felt so famished all day yesterday - well, duh! I didn't eat enough and with that feeling, along with the monster headache, my body was trying to tell me something. The CLIF bar and Gatorade were okay, but I should have had more of a meal after my shower instead of just an apple. Then, I should have had more small meals throughout the day. And of course, I should have had more to drink. (And I should have taken that ice bath I'm too chicken to try). I was surprised to see that in all the articles I looked at, one of the best things to have right after a run is chocolate milk. Apparently, it has the perfect ratio of carbs to protein your body needs to start recovering. That, and a banana will start the recovery process, then after the shower (or ice bath!), a healthy meal - hopefully, that will ward off any headaches the next time I go for that long run. I'm upset with myself for not thinking about after the long run, but now I'm eager to try out what I know. Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to keep my supply of chocolate milk out of the hands of the rest of the family!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

If You Think You Can...

...You Will.

Ten miles done.

Legs were a little tired in the beginning, felt great by mile 4, stopped at 5 for a little bit of water and some chews, started cramping a little at 9 miles, and felt like cheering at 10. Kept thinking positive, kept looking ahead of me instead of the ground, and kept thinking about how great it would feel to say "I just ran 10 miles". It does feel great.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mind Games

So my run tomorrow will be a milestone. It's huge. TEN MILES. Ugh...just writing that makes my tummy do a flip. That's the double digits. Unheard of! I have run 9 miles before - months ago. (In TN, the heat and humidity were at dangerous levels, so I had to run inside on my treadmill. Girls were on break, husband had been out of town for two weeks straight, walls were closing in, so when I finally had the chance to run outside, I felt free - like I could run forever! But, had to stop at 9 to pick up the girls from my neighbor's...) Ten miles is just so intimidating and I HATE that I'm letting myself think that way! Damn mind games! I just ran 8 miles last Saturday - what's 2 more miles, right? I can do it...right?

As intimidated as I am, I'm also very excited to go for it. I guess I'm a little afraid of not being able to complete it. I mean, I'll complete 10 miles - eventually - but will I be able to run it all? I do plan on stopping to refuel and drink some water, but I don't want to walk. Should I let that go, and just tell myself that I'm not a failure if I do have to walk a little bit? And why am I even using the term "failure"? Sheesh...

I'm also a little worried about the weather - it's going to be hot and humid. I plan on setting my alarm for 5:30 (husband will just love that...), go through my routine as I would on the race day (drink half cup of coffee, breakfast, get dressed, stretch, put on gear, go to the bathroom a hundred times, etc.), and make it out of the house by 7. Hopefully, it won't be too bad at that time. I've been very lucky to have cool weather for my runs as of yet, and wouldn't you know it, the day I plan to run my longest distance yet, it's hot and humid. Oh well.

Before we moved, a friend gave me a couple half-marathon training plans. I looked at those, and several plans online. I found that most of the plans have runners training three to four times a week. I was running every other day, but started experiencing some over-use injuries. I decided running 3x a week would be best for me, and settled on one of the plans my friend brought over. So far, no more over-use injuries. So, last week, I ran 4 miles, rest, 4 miles, rest, then 8 miles. Took another rest day and started this week's training - 5 miles, rest, 5 miles, and because of the upcoming 10 miles, I decided to give my legs two days of rest before attempting. I hope that was the right decision. My legs do feel rested, and like I said, there is a part of me that is excited to go for it. Just need to get my mind in the right place...

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.

~ C. W. Longenecker ~