Sunday, February 28, 2010

BYOB, Set-up, & Feb Totals

- BYOB -

No, not bring your own beer. I don't drink beer, you silly people. "Buy Your Own Bling".

I've run the Duke City half-marathon for 3 years in a row. And at the end of the race, do you know what they give? A finisher's pin. 13.1 miles for a finishers pin. I was whining about this injustice to my husband and declared that I should put my name in for the Nike women's half-marathon. I think I deserve something nicer than a finisher's pin.

He replied something along the lines of, "for significantly less than the money it would cost for the race, room and board, and a flight, you could buy your self something and call it even."

I hope he remembers saying that. Because that's just what I did this past week.

It may not look like it to the casual passer-by, but in my mind, this new pendant represents 3 years of finisher pins. So there!

- Set-up! -

Coach admitted in email that he set me up for that negative split on Saturday. Can you believe it?! He purposely had my running partner speed up at the end, making me think I was falling off pace so that I would work just a little harder. That stinker!

"I have to play mind games with you. I hope you won't hold it against me," he said.

Are you kidding me? It was brilliant. Of course, I'm not falling for that next time, so he better have something else up his sleeve...

- Feb Totals -

The Numbers:

56.8 miles running
41.5 miles cycling
4 strength sessions
1 race - Sweetheart Run 5K


It was a good month. A very good month.


Keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


On Running -

The day started off with my scheduled eight mile run. Coach has me & another guy running together. He thinks we will help each other. I think he's right. I managed to negative split my run again. Not as fast as last week, but I'm still quite pleased. Being able to finish strong seems to be good for me, both mentally and physically.

I had been running Sat & Sun back-to-back. Coach says no more Sunday running. He suggests I cycle instead. Okay. Cycling it is.

One more day left in February. I did a quick look at my numbers and it looks like slightly higher mileage despite being a shorter month. I expect that March numbers should be even higher yet as we get into the serious half-marathon training. Exciting times!

On Dogs -

Yesterday turned out to be a very dog-centric day. I had made a grooming appointment, but forgot all about it. Got a 'courtesy call' because I had become a no-show at my scheduled time and they said they could still fit them in if I wanted. So I grabbed the leashes, got them in the car, and took off.

When I arrived, it was a real struggle trying to get these both dogs from my car to the groomers. They apparently aren't very fond of being groomed. And their leash manners are terrible. Which is not good, because together they out weigh me.

As it turns out, a dog trainer happened to observe my struggles. He came over and asked if I'd be interested in a free 30min session. I took him up on the offer. We arranged to meet when the grooming was done.

Let me just tell you that the trainer was awesome. In the 30minutes that I spent with him, I learned enough to have much better control of them on the leashes. So...I ended up signing up for a 6 weeks of basic obedience with Stymie. He's the bigger of the two and I figure I can apply what I learn at home with Bandit.

The downside is that the obedience training doesn't start for a month, but he did give me some homework to work on between now and then. Good stuff!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday thoughts

Whew! What a week. Has it really been 5 days since I last posted? Sheesh. I won't bore you with the details of my life that explain why I haven't had time to comment or post lately. You probably don't care about that.

I won't even bore you with my analysis of run that I had on Saturday and everything that might have influenced it. Instead, I just want to ruminate on whether it might have been a breakthrough (vs an outlier).

Coach thinks it *was* breakthrough. He has his reasons to believe this and has talked with me about a few specific changes that he wants me to focus on in my training for the next few weeks.

My midweek runs suggest it *might* have been a breakthrough. I'm continuing to do what he suggess. Even the mid week runs are speeding up without feeling more difficult. It's crazy.

Time will tell. I'm cautiously optimistic.

In other news, I broke in a new pair of Saucony Triumph 6 running shoes earlier this week. Some pros of the new design (over the 5s) include bigger toe box and better laces. Cons include lack of reflective strips and a stiffer/less cushioned sole. All-in-all, I prefer the 5s, but the 6s are tolerable.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rockin' the Weekend.

I was off on Friday and decided to go on a solo bike ride at lunch time. I chose a short, but hilly route close to home. The temp was pleasant, right about 45 deg, but the wind was not (15-20mph). One thing is for certain - I don't love cycling the way that I love running. But it was a good workout and I got it done.

This morning I met up with the running group. As I mentioned before, I had 6 easy on the schedule today. I can't explain what happened exactly, but I felt fantastic and my run freaking rocked!

Behold the graph and three observations:

1) The overall pace stayed close to 10:30. That's a good 45 sec per mile faster than I have been running on my long/easy runs. I wasn't trying to go faster, I was simply trying to hold a comfortable pace. Crazy.

2) Negative splits, baby! That final mile was a good 30 seconds faster than the previous five. I'm quite pleased. If you've paid any attention to the graphs that I've posted for the past few years, you will know that this is a RARE event for me, my normal mode is to get slower and slower and the miles pass by.

3) Sprint finish. I was feeling awesome, so I located an imaginary finish line and sprinted across it. I was flying. Where did the energy come from? No clue.

If I could figure out what made today such a good day for me, I'd definately repeat it. However, I really have no idea what happened. Some mornings are better than others, I guess. For now, I'm just going to revel in the moment.

And when I got home, Husband presented me with a delayed surpise birthday gift - a Wii Fit. Wow. How very cool! I can't wait to open up the box and play with it. :-D

Next week, eight miles. BRING IT!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Shorty

Ran with the group again yesterday early evening. This time, my trusty half-marathon training partner was there. We ran 4.25 miles in 45 minutes chatting all the way. It was a comfortable pace and a pleasant run. It was probably 52 degrees or so. It was so nice to be out there running. I was definately in my happy place.

The plan is to do 6 this Saturday, then bump it up to 8 next weekend. And I'll be adding in 4 miles easy each Sunday. I'm feeling good about my training *and* I'm looking forward to each and every training run on my schedule right now. I'm just loving it. How cool is that?

Have a great weekend folks!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unexpected Three Day Weekends ROCK!

We usually work on President's Day. This year we had it off. I don't know why. I don't even care why. It was a nice surprise and made for a WONDERFUL weekend. The highlight was probably our bike ride on Monday.

Think about it. A.Bike.Ride. In.February.

We were so blessed to have decent weather. It was by no means warm, but it was warm enough (35-40deg) and sunny with no ice or snow or rain or wind. Dressed appropriately, it was quite pleasant.

And it was a Monday. A holiday Monday in February. Which meant the bike trails weren't crowded at all. We saw some cyclists, enough to know were weren't alone out there, but not many. And our 24.8 mile ride seemed like just the right distance given that I haven't been out on my bike since October. Far enough to be a challenge, but not too far.

Now I've got the itch. I want to get back out on my bike again. And soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweetheart Run 5K Race Report

I had a great chat with Coach on Saturday. I was telling him that I was a bit nervous about this race. I was really only doing it for fun and haven't done any speedwork this year. But with a day to go, I couldn't shake the desire to "do well" and pull off a time within my normal 5K finish time window. He reminded me that I'm training for a half-marathon, not a 5K. By my own definition, if I finish the 5K feeling good and wanting to do it again, that is success.

And that brings me to this morning. I looked at the weather forcast. Temp was expected to be about 34 deg at race start, which would be good, but it was windy with a windchill of about 28. Not horrible, but not ideal either.

I made the executive decision to go with a wardrobe change to something a bit more conducive for blocking the wind. This meant leaving the cheetah skirt at home because it no longer matched. However, I was set on wearing a skirt of some sort over my tights, so I went with basic black instead. No photo of the outfit today, sorry.

Long story short, the wind was not my friend this morning. There was a segment on the bridge that was straight into a headwind. I'm fairly certain that one bit is going to be quite a bit off my normal 5K pace.

Update: Just looked at the results on my Garmin in half mile splits. Yep. Exactly what I thought, a 10:41 pace for that bit. Ouch. Freaking wind. The remainder of the race had the wind either as a cross wind or at my back, and those splits are more on par with my 5K pace. And in my typical style, I picked it up at the end and 'sprinted' across the finish line. Woot!
Overally, while I'm not *thrilled*, I am still pleased with my final time: 30:34 (a 9:48 avg pace) which put me 7th of 25 in the f40-49 age group. Husband had a good race as well: 26:38, 6th m40-49.

[Side note: When I mentioned racing a new age group, I was expecting 5 year age groups. This is not the first (or second or third or fourth) year in the f40-49 age group. LOL]

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks. We have tomorrow off and are hoping to take advantage of the opportunity for a bike ride. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Friday, February 12, 2010

cheetah pink skirt

Guess what arrived in the mail yesterday?!?!? And it fits perfectly *squeal in delight*

Side note - You have no idea how hard it was for me to take this photo. It bothers me that photos in the mirror are backwards. Instead, I reached out in front as far as I could and tried to take a self portrait of just the skirt. Aye carumba! About 25 tries later, I finally had one that worked.

Anyway, I ran 3.65 miles with the group yesterday. Five miles are planned for tomorrow. And then the Sweetheart 5K on Sunday. Sure, I'll be wearing the skirt over tights on Sunday, but I'll be wearing it!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

-this title intentionally left blank-

It's been quite a week.

Good news came in threes on Monday: Son was notified that he has been named a National Merit Finalist (very good news if he decides to go to Texas A&M). Son was notified that he has been chosen to receive the highest level scholarship at the local university (very good news if he decides to go to UNM). I won a cheetah print and pink running skirt off ebay (very good news regardless of where Son decides to go to school).

And....I've been tracking the running skirt package and I *think* it will arrive today or tomorrow...just in time for my race this weekend. Woot!! Sure, I'll have to wear it over tights, but whatever!

Which, as it turns out, is NOT on my birthday, but the day after. Still a good way to celebrate.

Beyond that, it's been a busy week at work. And Husband's birthday was yesterday. So...I'm behind on your posts, but I'm expecting several of them to be complaining about the crazy huge snowfall out east, yes?

Running group meets tonight. Long birthday run Saturday. Race on Sunday. It's shaping up to be a good weekend. :-)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Seven

No, not how far I ran. How many quick update items I came up with:

1) I love my training Plan for the Unser Half. Coach really listened to my goals for the upcoming half marathon and tailored my plan to help me get there. Most notably - no speedwork until *after* the half, some targetted hard surface running, and plenty of cross-training & strength work. We're focussed on getting to the finish line upright, feeling good, happy, and wanting to do it again. :-)

2) I will not be running the superbowl 5K, but I will be running the sweetheart run next weekend on my birthday. I will be sporting a new age group, W45-49, and I think that will be a grand way to celebrate.

3) I felt good doing W2 D2 pushups in column 2 yesterday. 35 pushups complete!

4) The long awaited sofa is finally here. Thank heavens!

5) Husband & I are planning a get-away of our own in March while the kids are off to New Orleans to help rebuild houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hoping to have our plans firmed up by the end of the weekend.

6) Enjoyed my long run with the group this morning. Weather was 32deg and partly cloudy when we took off. It was quite nice, actually.

7) The scale isn't cooperating with my endeavor to lose 5lbs, but clothes are fitting better. I know I'm not the first to figure this out, but I'm beginning to truly believe that the exact number on the scale isn't such a big deal...

That's all for now. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Try, Try Again

Somewhere along the way in Nov or December, I abandoned the push-up challenge somewhere in week 4, I believe. I was having problems with my back and problems with motivation. I also took a bloggy break. And despite good intentions, I never got the push-up challenge organized the way that I wanted to.

However, I still believe that push-ups are a great exercise so I've decided to start over. This time I'm working through column 2. I'm honestly not sure if I'll make it any farther than last time, but I'll never find out unless I try. Right?

Day 1 in column 2 calls for 6,6,4,4,5* where the 5 for the last set is a guideline for the minimum number to be done. I executed it as 6,6,4,4,8.

Wow. I think that was the first time I've ever exceeded the minimum on that last set. If nothing else, it is progress. Slow, steady progress.

"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." ~Author Unknown