Monday, February 20, 2017

Running Things

I was trying to get this posted sometime last week, but was swiftly taken out by a fever last Thursday. After spending the entire weekend on the couch, the fever is finally gone and I almost feel human again. It's still going to be a couple of days before I even think about trying to run, but at least I can leave the couch for more than a few minutes at a time now.


I don't really have many fun "seen on my run" type pictures from recent runs, partially because I've been busy running instead of stopping to take pictures, and partially because a lot of those miles have been on the treadmill.

I did manage to pause long enough to take these last week.

I'm in the middle of training for the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon at the end of March. This will be my third time running this race, and it is my current half PR. After the disappointment of last year's marathon finish, I'm just hoping to enjoy the race and finish strong.

I am not going to be doing a ton of racing this year. My focus is on building strength (injury prevention) and running a successful marathon in the fall.

This year I will be mixing things up and running a new (to me) marathon - The Newport Marathon in Rhode Island. I have never been to Rhode Island, but the course sounds beautiful and it's not a bad drive from our house.

I'm also going to be following a new training plan this year. Previously I have used Hal Higdon plans, and while they worked just fine, I'm interested to see how this new training works for me. I will be following Coach Jay Johnson's Simple Marathon Training. It's a 20 week plan that includes strength and mobility (SAM) exercises and a weekly brisk walk, along with the usual things you expect to find in a marathon training plan (running and cross training).

For now though, I just need to finish recovering from this bug so I can get back to normal life again.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Long Time No Post


Well, I definitely did not plan on taking quite such a long break from blogging, but here we are.

Some things that have happened since we last talked:

I ran the Sleepy Hollow 10k right before Halloween. It was raining, but it was actually a lot of fun. Mostly I just wanted to share my costume. Laziest costume ever, and I have to say, it's pretty fun to run with a cape!

Tom built a new wood shed. It's pretty fancy. 

Tom convinced me to try some cycling. I started in running shoes and my old roller derby helmet, and now have an actual bike helmet and fancy cycling shoes. I just started liking it when winter hit, so I haven't ridden in a while. I will definitely be picking it up again this spring!

I can use my treadmill again! Tom got an indoor trainer for his bike, so we have a little workout area out in the garage now. It's not exactly climate controlled, so there are days I'm out there in a jacket and gloves, but I love having it as an option. Plus I really do enjoy a little Netflix and treadmill time.

Tom also convinced me to try skiing! I have taken a few lessons, and have moved from the "carpets" to actually taking the chairlifts and ever so slowly making my way down the green (easy) runs.

Aaaaand Scout has gotten huge. The last time we weighed him he was about 70lbs. He's lighter, but taller than Buddy now. He will be a year old next month, so he's probably not going to get much bigger.

I'm not making any promises about how consistently I am going to be posting, but I am going to make an effort to post more often than once every 3 months ;) 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Steamtown Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Well, I guess since it's been two weeks and I now have a second race that I need to recap, it's time to get into the nitty gritty of the Steamtown Marathon.

I have been avoiding this recap because I'm still a little grumpy/bitter about the race.

Pre-race at Steamtown is always nice - well-organized, plenty of porta-potties, and you can stay warm inside Forest City High School until race time.

Plus the race starts with a cannon, which is pretty cool. It made my mom jump, even though they warn you several times that it is, in fact, a real cannon.

This was the first year that Steamtown had pace groups, which actually threw me off a bit. I was behind a pace group at the beginning and couldn't quite read the sign and thought it was the 4:15 group. I panicked and sped up a bit to pass them. Once I was ahead of them I realized it was the 4:00 group. I decided to see how long I could keep them behind me.

The first half of the race went really well, I hit the half marathon mark at 1:58 and was feeling strong. Around mile 17 things started to go south. My right IT band started tightening up (which I have never had a problem with before), and soon the entire outside of my right leg was in pain. I kept hoping it would work itself out, but unfortunately it had other plans.

Tom brought his bike and popped up on the course from time to time to cheer me on. In the later miles I wasn't really in the mood to chat and he asked if I wanted him to just head to the finish line. I managed a not so nice, "yes please" so I could trudge out my pain-fest in quiet solitude.

The last few miles got progressively slower, and there was definitely some walking involved. I managed to run in the final stretch, and completely forgot about the photographer at the finish line.

This is me grabbing my leg in pain just as the volunteers at the finish line looked concerned and asked if I was ok. Sorry photographers, but I don't need a nice copy of this one.

Between the pain in my leg and my frustration with the race, there may have been some tears at the finish. It was (and still is) hard to accept that after training all summer, the race went so poorly. Tom and my mom were there to console me, and helped me hobble my way back to the car.

I had hoped to break 4 hours this year, or at the very least beat last year's time, but I ended up finishing 10 minutes slower than last year. 4:21:09.

On the bright side, I finished. I did have a few moments where I wondered how long it would take one of the bicycle medics to find me if I just sat down on the side of the road, but I kept going.

Steamtown really is a great race, regardless of how things went this year. The course is beautiful and the crowd support is amazing for the size of the race (they cap it at 3,000 runners). In addition to the actual aid stations, there are unofficial aid stations that offer everything from water and gatorade to orange slices and beer. Plus, there is a huge group of people on the final hill to cheer you on, and even a few people who run up and down the hill countless times to help suffering runners keep going.

It wasn't the best day, but I did it. And let's be honest, I'll probably do it again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Well, I Finished Anyway...

I'm a few days after the fact, but I ran my second marathon on Sunday! I have things to say about it (not all good), but my mom is visiting and I don't feel like blogging right now. I'll have a delayed race recap for you at some point...

Monday, October 3, 2016

Marathon Training Week 17

I've pretty much gone off my training plan at this point. I switched things around, missed runs, and threw in a 5k race for good measure. I guess we'll see next week if that was a good idea or not!

Monday - Cross Training


Tuesday - 4 miles

I have no notes about this run. I'm so not in a focused blogging mindset lately. I did have a decent last mile though, 8:26!

4.01 miles @ 9:38 pace

Wednesday - 6 miles

Nothing ended up happening running-wise on Wednesday because it was Tom's birthday and I was busy doing things like bake a key lime pie.


Thursday - 4 miles

This run felt great while it was happening, but was a little disappointed by my pace when I got home. Last mile was an 8:20 though, which I was happy with.

4.01 miles @ 9:21 pace

Friday - Rest Day


Saturday - 4 miles

I decided last week to sign up for a 5k that was being held pretty close to the house (20 minutes away, everything is 20 minutes away). It didn't start until 10:30 which felt really weird - I'm used to super early starts for races!

The race was small (about 60 finishers) and pretty flat. It was a cool, misty morning and I was feeling pretty good. It is weird to run such a short race, and I had strange splits (my second mile was my slowest), but it was a fun race.

I ended up getting first in my age group, which never happens, and getting a new 5k PR! 24:45!

This is the first trophy I have ever gotten for running. I have to say, I'm a fan!

Now I have to figure out where to put it...

3.1 miles @ 7:59 pace

Sunday - 8 miles

I was tired from the race so I took it easy and just got it done. Not my best run, but my last "long" run before Steamtown next weekend.

8.02 miles @ 10:41 pace

Weekly Mileage - 19.14

I just have a couple of short runs on the plan this week, and then on Sunday it's time to run and run and run.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Marathon Training Week 16

How is it possible that I'm on week 16 of 18? I feel like I should still have so much time, but here I am, happily entering the taper!

The fall weather finally got here this weekend, so my runs were much happier than they have been lately. Humidity is a horrible thing, and I would not miss it one bit if it didn't come back next summer.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

I should really just call the rest of these rest days - I always have the best intentions and then don't do anything.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I took to the treadmill for this run, partially because it was gross out and partially because I was going to be right by the gym anyway picking up an age group away from the half I ran last weekend. They gave awards to 5th place in each age group, and I placed 5th (it was a small race) of about 19.

Race Photo Credit: Nin Lei

My run was generally uneventful, which I will take over a lot of other types of runs. I played with the speed a bit and was happily not sore from the half.

5 miles @ 9:10 pace

Wednesday - 8 miles

I spent most of the day thinking I had a 10 miler to run, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I "only" had an 8 on the schedule. My legs were definitely tired, and I took it easy.

I was trying to get the cool clouds and the cow and ended up with neither. 

8.12 miles @ 10:34 pace

Thursday - 5 miles 

I was ridiculously tired for some reason, so I took my rest day on Thursday.

Friday - Rest day

I was trying to get Thursday's run done, but it was humid and gross out and my legs were not having it. I could not get them to move any faster and I was having a terrible time. So, instead, I slowed down, cut the run a little short, and actually enjoyed the rest of my run.

It was also the first run in a while with my fancy light-up vest. That thing is so nice to have, it definitely helps drivers see me on the roads when the light starts fading.

4.15 miles @ 10:35 pace

Saturday - 4 miles

I made the drive down to meet up with the Rivertown Runners for some trail miles. I was taking it easy and some of my usual running buddies were trying to knock out a long run, so I ended up running with some different people, which was fun. My gps lost me for a bit (there are a lot of trees), so I disagree with the distance/pace, but it was a fun run!

6.78 miles @ 10:32

Sunday - 12 miles

This was my last double digit run on my training plan! Guess that means race day is sneaking up on me!

If I'm running on my own, I usually just head out the door and start running  It seems silly to drive somewhere just to run by myself, but Tom told me I should check out the rail trails near us. I wish I had listened sooner!

The trails are beautiful and mostly flat, only a few (not busy) intersections to cross, and there are (clean!) porta-potties every few miles. Pretty fancy.

I felt good on this run! It could have been the combination of the cool fall weather that finally arrived and the flat trails, but whatever the reason, I will take it! It was nice to have a good run again. It has been a while since I really enjoyed a run.

12.02 miles @ 9:49 pace

Weekly Mileage - 36.07

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marathon Training Week 15

Hi! Sorry, way late again.

That's life.

Monday - Cross Training Rest Day

Nailed it.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I actually felt decent for a change. Some of the hills felt a little less steep, and I added an extra mile on because I was feeling good. Still slower than I want to be, but I'll take any good runs that come my way.

Post-run popsicles are the way to go.

6.01 miles @10:05 pace

Wednesday - 10 miles

This run was terrible. Just completely awful. I struggled my way through it, but I have nothing nice to say about this run.

10.02 miles @ 12:19 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

I made no notes about this run, but the fact that I got back out the door after Wednesday's run is a success in my book.

5.07 miles @ 9:41

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - 10 miles

I took an extra rest day because I decided to run a half on Sunday.

Sunday - 20 miles

I ran the Dutchess County Classic half marathon. The race was only about 20 minutes from the house so I didn't have to wake up insanely early (always a win in my book). The race is pretty small, so packet pickup was a breeze, and everything was really well organized.

When we were lined up at the start, the race director announced that Katherine Switzer was running the race with us! Apparently she doesn't live too far away from here. She is gearing up to run Boston next year and is apparently just getting back to road races after a break.

I actually ran near her for a while at the beginning of the race, and at mile 3 she suddenly appeared next to me and said "Only 10 miles left!" We talked a bit about the weather (it was really humid out) and I said I wished it would rain, she said she wished it would pour.

I was having random aches and pains for the first few miles and was cursing the weather. I decided to just enjoy the race (it was actually really flat for this area!) and think about how cool it was that I was running a race with Katherine Switzer!

The rain came around mile 10, which I was really excited about. It definitely gave me a little pep in my step and helped me finish decently strong.

It wasn't one of my better times, but I did end up 5th in my age group, and got a medal for it, which was pretty cool.

I planned on running the half and then adding another 7 on after, but that didn't end up happening. I ran an extra mile or so (the finish line is almost a mile from the start) and decided that was enough for the day.

I don't feel too bad for cutting my run short, I finished 2 solid 20 milers this training cycle, so it probably won't hurt me in the long run.

13.1 miles @ 9:34 pace, 1.12 miles @ 10:21 pace

Weekly Mileage - 35.32

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