Saturday, May 30, 2015

Long Island Adventure Race

I was up extra early this morning to meet up with a couple of my usual Saturday running buddies. They were putting in some extra miles before the group run, and since I was going to otherwise miss my group run for the week, I decided to join them.

We ran about 4 miles at around a 9:00 pace, in lots of humidity and sunshine. It was really hot for 7:30 in the morning.

The reason I didn't make it to the group run was because Tom signed up to run an adventure race on Long Island. It was SO different than the races I'm used to.

The course was just under 4 miles, and there were over 20 obstacles. There were big groups, teams, families and individuals running. Tom ended up running with a 19 and a 22 year old who were very impressed that he was keeping up with them.

There was a lot of running through the woods, so I missed a lot of obstacles, but I took pictures of the ones I could get to.

These were dumpsters filled with ice water. The one on the right had boards across it so people had to get completely under the water.

I would have looked more like the girl on the right if I had tried to run this race. Tom landed safely on the other side.

There was some rope climbing.


Some tire flipping.

And a crazy plank walk.

Then some monkey bars over a mud pit, naturally.

And a giant bubble and water pit at the bottom of a ramp/wall. I have no idea how I managed to not get any bubbles in the picture because they were everywhere! This is where having a group was helpful. Part of the time there were race volunteers at the top to help people up. All the obstacles were optional, so if things got too tricky, people could go around.

Then there was some (more) mud.

And a little more mud.

They had finishers medals, bananas and water waiting at the finish line, and the fire department was there to help take care of the mud.

Tom had a great time and I managed to only get a little sunburned. A pretty fun day overall!

Have you run an obstacle course race? Would you want to?

I haven't, and I don't know that I would want to - I'm not big on rope climbing and dumpsters full of ice water :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Buddy is Made Of

Things are back to business as usual around here. I'm pretending there aren't dishes in the sink and ignoring the fact that we really need to start packing up the of these days.

It was hot and humid out this afternoon, so my run was inside. The basement wasn't terribly cool either, but at least it wasn't humid. I'm a little bit off my training (since I skipped runs on both Monday and Tuesday), and I didn't feel like doing mile repeats today. Rather than repeats, I ended up doing something like a progression run, 6 miles at 8:39 pace.

Apparently, the flowers in the side yard went crazy while we were out of town - they're blooming away!

Buddy doesn't get to come with us when we go to the lake house, because they have breed specific legislation there that bans all pit bulls (which isn't really an official breed). The way the law is written, it even includes dogs that look like a pit bull. A few weeks ago we bought a dna kit from a company in Canada (that they would accept the results from) to find out just what our little mutt actually is.

We have always thought he was part Boxer, and possibly Lab. So we were more than a little surprised by the results we got yesterday.

Results for your dog Buddy 

Level 2
Level 4
Level 4
Level 4
Level 5

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Boston Terrier
Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier

The lower the level number, the higher percentage result (a purebred or a dog with a purebred parent would have a level 1 result). So, unless the ban gets reversed, it looks like Buddy won't be able to come play at the lake with us. Bummer. :(

It's still fun to know what breeds he's made up of, though how Newfoundland fits in, we're not quite sure!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Long Weekend Laziness

Oh hey! I hope you all had a good holiday weekend! Sorry for the major disappearing act, but we were out of town and I switched into total vacation mode.

We spent our weekend at Tom's family's lake house and had a nice, relaxing weekend. The weather was all over the place, but we had one good afternoon out on the jet boat. Tom likes driving super fast and doing crazy sharp turns/power slides - it takes me a little bit to get used to being on the boat, and then it's a lot of fun.

There's a spot on the lake with a rock that Tom likes to jump off of (he estimates it to be about 20 feet up, or a little less). It took a great deal of patience and insisting that I wouldn't die, but he convinced me to jump. The water was COLD, and that was with shortie wetsuits on (it didn't help that I'm not used to wetsuits and was pretty sure it was trying to suffocate me).

Most of the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, eating, and visiting. It was excellent.

I did manage to convince myself to go for a run on Saturday, and took a very pretty (and very hilly) 5 mile run on the roads near the house. I don't feel too bad for slacking off a little since I didn't actually take any recovery time after my last race.

I'm back to business as usual starting tomorrow  - apparently my next race is in 18 days, so I should probably get a little more focused...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You're Welcome

I did another solo run around the neighborhood yesterday. It really is much nicer than the basement has been lately. Ever since it started getting warm out, the basement has been super hot, even with the fan. Now if only the neighborhood was a little less hilly...

I'm starting to develop a freckle line where my watch sits. I don't actually tan, so there are just lighter and darker freckles instead.

Today's run was a tempo. I did a 1 mile warm up, ran 5 miles @ 8:34 and a 1 mile cool down. The basement was ridiculously hot, but I got it done.

I am still doing the lunge matrix and leg swings before my runs, and I've done the myrtl routine after every run this week. After last week's race, I'm determined to finish faster at my next half. If a little strength/cross training helps, then I will absolutely do some.

In other news: here's a picture of a dog butt. You're welcome.

I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Movies and Training Changes

We had a relaxing post-race weekend. Mostly we lounged at home and watched movies.

First up was Interstellar - long, but infinitely more interesting than Gravity. Plus we only made Matthew McConaughey/Lincoln jokes for the first half hour or so ;)

Last night was Night at the Museum 3 - super cute, like all the Night at the Museum movies, but sad to watch Robin Williams.

I'm trying to get myself to run outside more. I'm getting the miles in, but running outside is so different from the treadmill. Changes in weather, hills and running surface just can't be properly simulated on the treadmill. I've made a few changes in my training too, so hopefully when race day rolls around again I'll be able to keep up the pace I know I should be able to maintain.

Before each run I am doing the lunge matrix and leg swings  and I have started following Coach Jay Johnson's 8 week general strength training plan. These extra steps only add about 10-15 minutes to my workout, and hopefully they'll help my overall fitness. Fingers crossed!

I ran a few easy miles around the neighborhood this afternoon. They weren't fast by any means, but they were easier than I expected them to be this soon after the race this weekend. Plus I went into a different neighborhood than I usually run in, and it was much nicer - less traffic, and better views!

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Half Marathon Recap

I ran the Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Half Marathon this morning! It's the first year for this race, and it was tiny - like, less than 100 people ran the half, tiny. There was also a marathon (which was pretty much just running the half course twice - no thank you) which less than 30 people ran.

Tom was super nice and drove me up to the race early this morning. It rained most of the drive, but let up before we got there. Packet pickup was a breeze, and for the first time ever at a race, there were no lines for the restrooms.

The marathon started at 8, and the half followed around 8:30 to help keep some separation between the hordes of people running - ha!

It was a really pretty course, and it was mostly rolling hills, nothing major.

I started out feeling good, which lasted until about mile 7, when I started to cycle through feelings ranging from "I got this" to "I'd like to stop now." I was shooting to stay at/under 9:00 miles, but that was just not happening. At around mile 11 I started to drag, which was aided by the fact that I realized there was no way I was going to PR. By the last mile, I was really pushing for some speed, but I just couldn't get my legs to move any faster. I didn't even do my usual sprint to the finish. I definitely let my mind get the best of me on this one.

If I didn't spend the last half mile of the race throwing myself a pity party, I would have broken 2 hours. Don't let the clock confuse you, it was started at 8 when the marathon started.

I finished in 2:00:03, a 9:10 pace.

Once I finally got over my pity party/tantrum and checked my time, I saw that I placed 3rd in my age group!

Ignore the fact that there were only 7 or 8 people in my age group. That's what I'm doing :)

It's also my second best half marathon time, so I really shouldn't complain. I've got another half in 27 days, maybe that will be my PR day!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Taper Week Workouts

It's taper week around here. I've been really trying to keep my easy runs easy, because I hear that's good for you. I've also been doing the Lunge Matrix before every run, because adding new things to your training is an excellent idea right before a race...right?

The basement has been super hot lately, so I put the fan on a chair right next to me. It helps.

This is what this week's training looked like:

Monday: 4 east miles @ 9:51 pace
Tuesday: 4 easy miles @ 9:44 pace
Wednesday: 4 miles with 2 mile repeats @ 7:30
Thursday: 4 easy miles @ 9:53

Buddy and I hung out on the floor for a while after my run on Wednesday.

And then things got a little silly.

The Rhinebeck Half is on Saturday, and, as usual, I don't really feel ready. The last time I checked, the weather is going to be a little iffy - possibly rainy. I'm still hoping that changes.

Of course I'm hoping to do well, ideally getting a PR. Since West Point was only a few minutes off of my best time (and it was hill madness), I really should be able to get there. Mostly I just need to get out of my own way and I'll probably be just fine.

I don't have a good segue, so enjoy a couple of cute Buddy pictures and have a good Friday!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Super Random

It's taper week for me, so there's not a lot of terribly exciting things to report. I ran 4 miles today - exciting, no?

Instead I'm going to give you a bit of a photo dump. Most of it is pictures of Buddy, so I think you'll enjoy it. 

I got a new cell phone case! Yes, those are cheeseburgers. One of my college roommates has an Etsy shop (check it out HERE) full of her super cute artwork and a shop at Society6 (browse away!) as well. 

A wasp decided to make his (her?) home in our mailboxes. See it in the upper right corner? It isn't there anymore because Tom is much braver than I am and took care of it. He didn't get stung or anything!

New seasonal chapstick flavors!

How is this comfortable?

Buddy in the springtime.

An upside down view.

Up close and personal.

He's kind of a weirdo.

I'm starting the race week ritual of checking the weather and trying to decide on a time goal. Right now it looks like a high in the mid 70s with light rain. I'm hoping that changes. As for a time goal...well, I've still got some time to think about that.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Good Reflexes

This is my Saturday:

I took Buddy out, and fed him while the coffee was brewing.

The second he was done eating, he ran back upstairs to go back to bed.

I watched the news, and ate an english muffin with peanut butter. And coffee. Always coffee.

Then I was off to meet up with the group for our usual Saturday morning run.

Today I went back out for a couple of extra miles after we were finished. Next weekend is the Rhinebeck Half - I'm not worried about it, but I'm not feeling particularly fast right now either.

Also: it was humid this morning. It's been a long time since I had to deal with the unpleasant feeling of running in humidity. I didn't miss it.

Buddy was the happiest dog on earth this afternoon and lounged on the deck in the sun.

He even shared his couch with me for a little bit.

You need good reflexes to sit next to Buddy without getting licked.

We got Unbroken from redbox, so that's the plan for tonight. We listened to the audiobook, but I'm excited to see how the movie turned out.

Have you seen Unbroken? Have you read the book?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Practically a Habit

I was crabby when I got home today, so I decided to do my run rather than later.

I had mile repeats on the schedule for the day, so I did a quick change and hit the basement. I started off with the Lunge Matrix and some leg swings (that's 2 days, it's practically a habit now, right?). After a 1 mile warm up, I ran 3 mile repeats with 1/2 mile jogs in between followed by a 1 mile cool down - 6 miles total.

My overall pace wasn't anything too impressive (9:17 pace), but my miles were 7:54, 7:42 and 7:30! One of the podcasts I was listening to was saying that people tend to not slow down enough to actually recover during recovery periods, so I made an effort to really slow down in between miles.

My repeats were tough, but I felt strong today. It was a nice turn-around from my crabby morning!

Buddy has been up to his usual lounging today. He would really like it if we would stop taking pictures of him.

The pollen around here is SO bad right now. My car has a yellow hue to it every morning, and this was the crystal clear view out the windshield this morning.

Pretty, no?
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