Category Archives: running reflections

Let Me Shed Some Light – question and answer

Standard
Workout

5 mile planned, turned 6.55 mile outdoor run.  hoping for a few more this evening.  fingers crossed.
 
what a beauty.  greasy haired, mascara smudged beauty.  some days I just take a ridiculous amount of pictures of myself. and make you look at them. my apologies. 
Lululemon cool racer back top. lululemon black speed skirt. Mizuno wave elixir sneaks
 
the treadmill run of yesterday left me pretty scarred. just couldn’t do it again today. I just don’t like that thing. but the hubs had a long bike ride plan for the early am, so I was leaving my run to chance. hoping by some miracle that it would fit in before 7pm tonight. because I just don’t like to run at night either.  I’m pooped by then. so high maintenance.  turns out good things happen to tired moms. I got up with little dumpling at 5. did the usual play outside routine. thank God for perfect weather. Hubs hit up the gym and I ran when he got home. and all was right with the world.  I didn’t even wear my watch. I wanted to do an easy 8ish mile pace. It ended up being more like a 7:35-40ish mile pace according to my clock checking. This is my garmin catch 22. I kind of need it to force myself to do the slower runs. but when I see the slower pace that I set out to do, it starts getting me anxious to run faster. my enjoyable easy run is no longer as enjoyable. for now, I run by feel – comfortable/easy and try to learn my pace. I felt like I was running 8ish. I need some fine tuning. better luck next time. 
 
We ran some errands early. I needed wipes and half and half. and this is what I walked out of the store with. 
 
 
no wipes. how does that happen. blah. as long as the luker doesn’t do a pooper in the next few hours, there’s no real emergency.  I also needed flatout wraps but didn’t know it. I thought I had another package in the fridge. It was a sad moment at lunch when I had to prepare it on regular bread. world class problems happening over here. 
 
 
just not the same.  Live and learn. Always keep three extra flatout packages at all times. this can never happen again. I made flatout pizzas on the grill awhile ago for the kids. loved them. so versatile.
 
We got home and did some educating.  
 
 
My Alexandra girl hates it. I have to set the timer for 10 minute increments and then she needs a break. and lots of different kinds of activities.  all she can think about are lemonade stands and horses.  she’s a mind wanderer.  Anna, on the other hand, asks me if she has to stop at ten minutes or if she can please keep doing more work. show off.  so different. Luke is a lost cause right now. I’ll figure something out for him at some point. 
 
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails with questions from you cool cats out there. and because there were mulitples of similar questions and because I’m having an issue sitting down and responding to each email individually (I can’t imagine where big girl gets her inability to sit still from), I’m going to devote the rest of this post to answering your questions. let’s go. 
 
1.  What do compression socks do for you and what kind do you wear?  

Please remember, I generally do not know what I am talking about. I pretend though.  and I do read enough to get an idea of why I do certain things like wear compression socks, but this is not based on much of anything else other than it works for me.  to answer the question – I had shin splints in the early spring. they helped a great deal with them, along with rolling, to make them feel better and support the muscles that might have been causing the shin splints. I also took a lot of time off running. I also wear them because as I have mentioned, the vascularity in my legs can be slightly painful and somewhat vomit inducing. If you ask me. I am my worst critic.  my husband would say otherwise, but he has to be nice to me.  and tell me I’m beautiful 5,287 times a day.  Kind of like emily with her suitors on the bachelorette. The compression socks help support the blood flow in my lower legs.  I also have compression shorts – that I intended to wear for recovery after my marathons. again, helping to support muscles and blood flow for quicker, less painful recovery from strenuous things.
 
I love these Pro Compression socks. They fit amazingly and do not make your legs feel like they are going to fall off. 
 
 
They come in a varity of colors and I just got an email that says you can get 40% OFF their orange marathon sock!  use coupon code SOM612 at checkout.  which brings it to like $30 for a pair.  and free shipping.  great deal. if orange is your thing, go stock up asap.  expires july 10th and inventory is limited, so get on it! The only downside for me is that it is a sock, and not a sleeve. when I run, I like to wear my own socks. I have worn them for running, and they are great.  super fabulous for after a run.  I was told they are coming out or have possibly already made a calf sleeve. for high maintenance peeps like yours truly. the compression sleeve I LOVE are the CEP brand.  perfect.  
 
 
worn in style at this race. I’ve also been known to sleep in them. because I’m sexy like that. compression sleeves. You’ll be seeing them in your next Victoria’s secret catalogue. my hubs is a lucky guy. 
 
2.  When you started running, how fast were you and how do you go about increasing your speed?

I did a post awhile back about HOW TO GET FASTER.  again, based on nothing but personal experience. which, isn’t actually true, because I had never technically done speed work or anything to get faster. so really just suggestions on what I theorized would work to help get the speed ball rolling. 
 
I don’t know how fast I was when I started running. I didn’t wear a watch of any sort and I didn’t ever think about time. I ran my first marathon without a clue about pacing and didn’t pay attention to pacing in training. I took so many breaks from running between having kids.  I didn’t really get into running on any consistent basis until after I had my son in 2010. For reference – I ran my first race in fall of 2008 – 3:37 marathon, about 8:17 pace.  I pushed it really hard in that race and I hurt more than I have ever hurt after. I also had IT band issues in that one.  I ran this past fall marathon in 3:11 with the worst ITband pain I’d ever had, leg buckling debilitating, leading me to believe I was strong enough and in shape enough to run closer to sub 3:05-3:10 had I zero knee pain.  I’ll find out this fall. I work hard when I’m training for something. Speed and strength comes from a huge variety of different workouts and mental gusto – slow runs are just as important as fast runs – also depending on what kind of speed you are training for. short distance speed or long distance speed and endurance. the mental game is equally if not more important in your ability to run fast. and strong. believe. and try. and keep trying. and keep working. and keep consistent. 
 
3.  You mentioned that you have hashimotos hypothyroid – I’ve read that gluten should be eliminated, do you have any experience or suggestions with diet/food intake?

I talked a little bit about this in THIS POST – part of a marathon recap. Hashimotos is a super annoying, very inconvenient, autoimmune hypothyroid (under active) condition. mine is regulated with synthroid, but always changing and completely unpredictable.  My body does not like my thyroid gland and does not think it is necessary. but it is very necessary and effects a lot of very necessary functions, one being metabolism and many other hormonal feedback systems. I have read a lot about it and am always left confused and wondering what the next thing is that I should add or eliminate from my diet. I have also read about the gluten connection with autoimmune thyroid problems, but do not know enough about it to make any diet changes. I do not experience any gluten issues, and have not even explored that. yet. I have also read that going gluten free when there is no intolerance to it can be equally harmful. Like anything, I think balance is key. I think our society is pretty easily influenced and when something is said to be “good” for you, we go crazy overloading on that good thing.  then it all of a sudden becomes bad because we’ve “overdosed” on it. Then if something is said to possibly be bad for some people with an allergy, like gluten, we go overboard and eliminate it – which could also be harmful. there are people that can not tolerate it. but it’s not the entire population. everything in moderation for me. all about my comfort with certain things.  and balance.
 
I am NOT a dietician, nutritionist, or anything remotely associated with knowing anything about nutrition for the general public. I know what works for me. doing my best to eat minimally processed, no white sugar, whole foods, cleaner eating always leaves me feeling best. and I know I feel better and my body can function better when I’m putting food into it that it knows what to do with it.  I know I don’t handle dairy very well. I also stay away from soy products, simply because I have read about soy and effects on thyroid.  probably from dr. google or some totally reliable source like that. enough proof for me. THAT’S JUST ME. I have been told by doctors and read in Jackie Warner’s book that tap water can interfere with thyroid function because of certain minerals in it and the fluoride they oput in it. so it is best to drink filtered water. 
 
4.  I can’t seem to get past running 3 or so miles. I just want to stop after that. How do you learn to run longer?

Even after all of the long runs and countless miles I’ve put in over the past couple years, there are runs where the first 3 miles are just torturous. depending on the day, I just don’t want to go further. then, I get passed 3, and I could go for a long time. It takes your body a good couple miles to warmup. and if you are just not having an on day, it can be hard to ever get passed that first chunk of warmup miles. here are some tricks I’ve thought of, that can be useful for any distance:
 
Tell yourself to just go to the next street light, mailbox or landmark. When you get there, do it again. and keep doing it. It takes your mind off the running and gives you something to run to, rather than a mile mark in your mind. 

Think in terms of time instead of miles. Instead of saying I’m going to run 5 miles, say I’m going to run for 30 minutes. Then 35 minutes the next time. then 40 minutes. pretty soon, you will be running further and further and thinking about time, not miles

Don’t put pressure on yourself to run farther at every run. Plan out your runs. have a shorter run, a comfortable run and a longer than you are used to run. one that is harder to achieve. this way, you won’t come home from every run feeling like you’ve failed because you couldn’t get over the hump of 3 miles, or whatever distance you are stuck on.

Give the run a purpose. a run will fly by if you do a progression run, a tempo run, a fartlek or speedplay.  You won’t be thinking about distance, but about shorter time intervals and paces. 

Take a walk break of a set time while you are in the process of trying to make your runs longer and build endurance 

Music. I don’t run with music, but some people swear by it to get through a run. 

Run with a buddy, a spouse, a pet. some good company can keep a run from nosediving before its over. or start by yourself and have someone meet up with you when you know it’s going to get hard

Make sure you are fueled properly. if you haven’t eaten anything in 6 hours and you want to go out and do any run – its probably going to be very tough – physically and mentally. 

Likewise – hydrate!! make sure you have been drinking water. I am the queen of hydrating. I always have a full bottle of something with me to sip on or guzzle down. depending on my mood. 

Be nice to yourself. positive can do affirmations go a long way

There were more questions, and I obviously have a lot more of know it all, when I don’t really know it all answers. however, as does usually happen with these little blog posts of mine – this is becoming a marathon distance post and I must end it before I really start talking out of my bum. and before I start getting lactic acid buildup and need to start fueling.  we’ll finish it up in another post. so exciting.
 
Feel free to add anything to my answers in the comments!
 
Don’t forget to get your COMPRESSION SOCKS, use code SOM612 at checkout for the best deal ever on some super cool orange marathon socks.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Wednesday Fun Facts

Standard
Workout

5 mile run. 15 min stair master. 10 min weight. bases covered.
 
I ran on the treadmill. and lived to tell about it. I had to go on a reconnaissance mission to find the treadmill. I knew I left it in the basement, but lost track of it. easy to do when it serves as a junk holder.
 
come out come out wherever you are, you rickety old treadmill.

I have to strategically place it so that when my head is bobbing up and down it doesn’t hit the drop cielings that aren’t there or get tangled in electrical wire. what I get for being a supermodel tall.
 
In theory, I was going to bust out my 10 mile run on this beast. Bachelorette Emily got me through the first 5 miles, then I just couldn’t hang anymore. the iPad couldn’t decide which way it wanted to be oriented and kept turning the screen horizontal and vertical. Emily kept kissing everyone and i just couldnt take it anymore. she also kept buffering instead of playing straight through. enough. ended at 5, hopped on stairmaster. for a hot second I started getting down on myself for not pushing through, being mentally tough or digging deep to crank out those last five miles. I let that hot second pass and remembered what I’ve learned about training. and about training right. and about how I work. I’m not technically training yet for my fall marathon. therefore, there is no need to wipe myself out, burn myself out or stress myself out about miles. I do my best. my best is always enough and it’s always what it needs to be at that moment. there will be plenty of time for digging deep, finding the fight, being mentally tough and cranking out countless miles on the treadmill. when it’s time to really train. right now, each day of running brings what it may, and the plan is that it generally brings feel good, stress free endorphins that give me some good base miles.
 
happy runner. 5 miles short.
 
I had no idea about training plans and training cycles before these spring marathons I ran. I ran my november marathon and was on fire to get prepped for an April marathon. I didn’t stop. I didn’t break. I thought if I am running and working out anyway, I might as well make it count and make it tough. all the time. not so. you make it count by taking a break. taking time off. taking it easy so that you can take it hard when it’s time to start the 12, 14, 18 week training. it gives the training a purpose and a beginning and an end. it also gives the break time purpose; a beginning and an end.
 
My break time is nearing its end. and I will be ready to train hard and dig deep because I have kept this time off very stress free and perfect. for me. no burn out this time. famous last words.
 
Let’s chat about some Fun Facts Wednesday.
First, I should note there is nothing necessarily fun about these facts. reader be warned. It just sounds better than facts Wednesday. on with it.
 
1. The only reason I had to dig out the treadmill was because I chose not to get up early and run outside. my bad. will I ever learn. I would have been just as tired at this moment if I got up 45 minutes earlier and got my run in as if I slept the extra 45. that is a fact.
 
2. This box came yesterday from vitacost.
 
 
and that is about how I felt by the end of today. slightly beat up. if you consider the end of the day 4pm. by 7:30, I was near comatose. I kindly said to my oldest that my day had expired about 2 hours ago, and it would be safer to deal with the father of the house. Luke was out to get me today. I think we had 6 outfit changes by 9am between all the kids. I’m going to start dressing them in plastic wrap. I’m full of practical solutions like that.
 
3. In that box, among other things, was this protein powder.
 
 
My favorite protein powder is this plant fusion, but it gets pricey. I like optimum nutrition products, so I do half a scoop of each. with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. it is mighty tasty. actually satisfies a sweet tooth. sometimes.
 
4. I will never turn down a trip to sweet frog froyo. #1 because very good friends of ours own it. friends in high places. #2 because it’s frozen yogurt. nuff said.
 
 
I rarely get my own when I take the kids because I do not have that many hands to handle that much yogurt and that many kids. instead I make Luke’s how I want it and steal from him. maybe that’s why he’s mean to me sometimes. he’s dealing it’s some pent up froyo aggression. Grammy joined us today. we love gammy. and an extra set of hands.
 
 
5. I am on my own personal running streak, day 8. this does not jive with my self made rule of not running more than 3 days in a row to prevent injury. my schedule just got a little wonky and before I knew it, I had more than 3 days of running under my belt. I will admit, my shins are feeling the tiniest bit of tightness, but nothing to worry about. I have also not stretched or rolled in at least 4 weeks. naughty runner. I’m over stretching. foam rolling, on the other hand is just a smart thing to do. I couldn’t do it for awhile because of my elbow/arm situation. but now I have no excuse. gotta get back on that roller.
 
6. My little entrepreneur had her first lemonade stand of the season.
 
her “stind”. In her world, she hears and “i” in “stand”. fine by me.
 
she has big plans. she’s already scoping out neighbors’ yards for the most prime lemonade selling location. she made $2. and gammy supplied the lemonade. no overhead. $2 profit. I didn’t charge rent. she and her bro and sis drank most of that half gallon of lemonade. yuck.
 
7. Situations like this do not phase me in the least.
 
 
pink bink. nakey boy. playing in the dirt. by the recycling bin. have at it my little friend. you’re only 2 once. and mama is too tired to fight the please don’t play in the dirt by the garbage fight. that’s what baths are for.
 
8. My lunch today.
 
flatout wrap. avocado, spicy brown, egg whites, tomatoes, pickles. more mustard. s&p. yum.
 
I don’t know why I love it so much. I think because it’s really just a vehicle to get an avocado into my belly. and flatout wraps are pretty amazing. and I’m easily impressed by many things. I’m totally one of those people that will eat something just because it’s healthy. like quinoa. I try my best to like it and find ways to make it that will make me eat it. I don’t like avocados unless they are wrapped up with lots of mustard and other things. or in guac. but I crave them. daily. and this little wrap tastes so delicious with my little avocado tucked nicely inside.
 
9. These ended up in my pantry.
 
 
and didn’t stay there for very long. might be my all time favorite. maybe because it brings me back to my childhood. a lovely chocolate treat.
 
10. I want my own chickens. we go through about half a dozen eggs daily.
 
 
I want to grow my own. eggs. but chickens probably wouldn’t survive luke. or me. so I will keep buying those little suckers. Anna wanted to know how the egg got like that, all put back together and perfect after the chicken was hatched. so innocent. I told her that was the chicken. she had no words.
 
11. I was going to stop at ten, but thought I could make this more obnoxiously long and wanted to share this with you – I was introduced to this non meat, meat and have been on a hunt for it at whole foods since. I finally found it. In the non meat, meat section – right by the tofurky and smart dogs. of course.
 
 
I like to try out non meat, meats, but only ones that are not soy based. I really liked these. I had tried this other non chicken, chicken one and it was so gross. it was made with mycoprotein or something. this has the protein derived from vital wheat gluten. no idea what that is.
 
 

Can anyone fill me in on vital wheat gluten? Stead clear or ok in moderation? I will of coursebe consulting the almighty google to see what juicy info I can come up with on this food substance called vital wheat gluten.
 
I’ll let you go now and move on with your night. after a few questions.

Do you have a favorite non meat, meat that is not soy based protein that you can share with me?

Charleston chew or gag on a spoon? It is a particular kind of candy.

Tell me a fun fact about your day. please.
 
 
 

Progression Running

Standard
Workout – run. 6 miles. I’m going to go ahead and call this one a progression run, although I’m not entirely sure any of my runs can ever be put into a category, because I’m kind of a spastic all over the place with my pace kind of runner. which makes hitting certain paces difficult for me.  it wasn’t even really one full progression, more like two mini 3 mile progression runs. because as I mentioned, I have a pacing problem. not afraid to admit it.  I strapped on the garmin for this run and here’s how it went down per mile:
 
7:03, 6:56, 6:35 slow down a bit and start over 7:12, 6:49, 6:17

Heavenly. I was totally in my happy run place. A place I haven’t been since early march. I’ve been loving running, but have been feeling out of place with my pacing.  Those up there are the paces I LOVE. adore. can’t get enough of. The ones that get me injured and burnt out because I just want to run them all the time and not slow down.  I see that 6:45-7:05 on my watch and I just want to cruise. 7:30-45 is great on certain days, but it doesn’t feel like me.  this run brought me back to my running. and it was good.

What pace makes you feel like you are cruising, or floating on a cloud, or swimming in a pool of chocolate, or something like that?
 
The original run plan was to get 10 miles in this am, with about 7 of them revolving around running to and from the track and doing a little bit of speed work. Easy’ish speed work. Nothing crazy. In my perfect world, Luke was going to wake up at 5am, he did not disappoint.  I would then throw him in the stroller for 3 morning miles.  Then I would have a sitter for the day (hubby’s cousin that for some reason wanted to hang out with my kids all day) so that I could do my track run.  And then hit up a couple stores.  one that might look something like lululemon – so fun – and one that might look like the grocery store – necessary evil.  but I’m having a hard time coming up with delicious meals when the only ingredients I have are sunflower seeds and bagels. we need to restock.
 
Perfect world did not happen. I woke up to this. 
 
Lots of rain.  I definitely did not have my most shining moment of motherhood this morning engaging in a minor wardrobe battle getting my 5 year old ready for school, but I’m not such a terrible mom that I would take Luke in the rain for 3 miles. Although he probably would have loved it. 
 
And this is what happens to the hair with the rain..looks like it brings out the grease monster too.
 
 
And then, hubs cousin didn’t show up. that was a very unfortunate subtraction to my day.  being a stay at home mom, rarely going anywhere without at least 2 kids in tow, one of which is an unpredictable, man eating two year old, being told that you are going to have a few wonderful hours to yourself and then being told its not gonna happen is akin to taking Christmas away from a small child.  and then telling them santa isn’t real.  neither is the tooth fairy or the easter bunny.  cruel. 
 
I rallied. Pulled myself together and moved on to plan B as usual.  Lululemon out the window, along with the grocery store. Hubs knew I was in a precarious emotional state now, having my whole day turned upside down and my run plans looking grim and quickly offered to come home for me to get a quick run in.  what a stellar husband. and a quick and fabulous run it was.  
 
Where am I going with all this silliness?  I do not honestly know. But let me attempt to pull it together for you. 
 
1.  I had track work on the brain.  so when my run plans changed, I knew I wanted to inject some umph, some speed into whatever I ran.  I wasn’t sure how fast, but I did want the watch by my side to help me. I like help. All of my runs have been easy, and I want my legs to feel the quicker turnover every now and then. I want my body to feel a little push. push it did today. 
2.  Track wasn’t happening, but progression run sounded good, challenging enough and all around a fantastic option. 
3.  Progression runs require some sort of consistent pacing that gets progressively faster.  again, I do not know how to pace well.  When my first mile clocked in at 7:03 and I was feeling great, I knew I couldn’t do a 6 mile progression run where every mile got faster. So my mini progression runs came to be – in the form of two, 3 mile segments.  That worked for me. 
4. I was in a little funk from sending my 5 year old to school after a little ‘fight’ about what to wear. It has already begun. She was upset. I yelled. She yelled. I’m 30. She’s 5. I don’t want to have yelling matches with my 5 year old. Especially right before she goes to school. She was obviously having some sort of anxiety about what to wear and I didn’t help the situation. It’s my job as a mom to remain calm. I did not. Next time I will. I said a little prayer, told her I loved her and sent her off to school.  My mood often effects my run. It always starts a little rough if I’m pissy or upset.  And for some reason I want to bag the run when the situation isn’t perfect. I’ve learned to get over it, push through the pissy pants attitude and move on.  The run worked out.  It served a purpose. a purpose for my moodiness at the moment and a purpose in my confidence in getting back into the running groove. 
 
Every run has a purpose 

Every purpose has a run

Get out and run. find your happy pace.  find your pushing it pace.  find the purpose. 

This run’s purpose was a confidence building, I can run, this is my happy pace kind of purpose.
The purpose of this run was to go faster. accomplished.
 
Let’s end with a little education on progression running.  I think I am going to incorporate more of these kinds of runs into my daily training and race training.
I found this online and think it explains some great progression running
(read the whole thing HERE)
 
3 Types:
1. Fast – Finish run: 
Great for half and marathon training. They challenge you to run fast when you are tired. These can be easy or hard, depending on the duration of the slower first segment. An easy example would be 5 miles comfortably and 1 mile at 10k pace to finish.  This would allow you to still be fresh enough for another hard workout in that week. A harder fast finish run, great for half and marathon training, would be 13 miles comfortable followed by 3 miles at marathon pace. 

2. Threshold Progression:
Longer warmup followed by lactate threshold running for a few miles.  Lactate threshold would be the fastest pace you could hold for one hour in a race. This has a long warmup and virtually no cool down.  This challenges you to sustain a hard pace when you are already tired.  An example would be 5 comfortable miles followed by 4 at lactate threshold.  Also good for half and marathon training. 

3. Marathon pace progression:
The faster second segment is longer and slower than in the previous two methods. These are great to increase the challenge of long marathon training runs, instead of just running them all at moderate pace. This progression is also useful for any other race distance, just adjust your pacing accordingly. For 5 and 10k, these should happen earlier and then phased out in favor of even faster running as race approaches. For marathon, these are great 3-4 weeks before – example would be 2 miles moderate pace followed by 14 at marathon pace. 
 
Anyone can do this type of running. It gets you out of a comfortable, la dee da, running is fun and easy mode, into working towards getting faster and stronger. You have to push it, consistently, to see results.  This is one way to integrate some speed and some challenge into your running.  go pick up the pace and find some running greatness. 
 
What kind of run did you have today?
 
Do you do progression runs?
 
Does your mood effect your run?  In a good or bad way?
 
Do you get frizzy hair when it rains too?  unfortunate.

A 5K, A Win, and Base Miles

Standard
Workout(s)

So much to catch up on. Where the heck to begin, my friends???  Let’s start with Saturday and work our way forward and then back again then forward again. Keep it all over the place exciting.  Because this weekend had a lot going on. Kind of. Don’t get excited. It wasn’t super exciting stuff. It was nice family stuff, but nothing over the top. As always, I’m going to share the juicy details of a typical running family weekend.  weekends tend to revolve around the run when both parentals are running and training for something.
Saturday- 5k race (we will talk about this in a minute) + 5.3 miles later in day = 8.4 for the day
This put me at 45 miles for the week!!!  It truly does not take a lot to make me happy.  give me some running miles, chocolate and perhaps a new workout tank and I’m on cloud 9.  this 45 mile week included two days off from running, one day was stairmaster cross training. I’m very happy with my first 40+ mile week, which also included two good short races.  and is lacking any pain or soreness.
Sunday- 10 miles am before church + 3 miles after church = 13 for the day.  No garmin.  I actually started with the watch on, and it quite honestly was being a little pisser and bringing my run down, so I shut it off. I wanted it to be a nice easy run, no stress, no fuss- but I kept looking at the watch and getting annoyed that my “easy” run pace was not as easy as I wanted it to be. So I turned off the watch and just ran.  Turned out to be a 7:45ish pace, which is what I was shooting for.
Monday (which is today, for those of you in denial that the weekend is over)- 7.75 miles. no assistance from gps watch.  Hence the pesky “.75” at the end instead of a pretty looking figure 8.  Kind of a bummer. This is where taking pushy mr. Garmin works out well- you don’t get stuck with a “.75” at then end of your mileage.  but you also dontnget stuck with a poor attitude about a certain pace.  I don’t really like decimals with the numbers 75 after them when they are under the miles I wanted to hit.  If the .75 followed the 8, it would have been happy day.  So I’m stuck with 7.75 instead of 8.  I do suppose worse things could happen on a Monday.
So there it is. We’re all caught up on the running weekend. Let’s move back to the racing weekend.
Turns out I’m a sucker for 5k’s, or any k for that matter. I had fun at the 10k last weekend too.  I had to help my 5 year old visualize every “k” from 1 to 10 by telling her how far she would have to run from our house to make that distance.  It was a riveting conversation.
5k’s are frightening. They are a fast, scary, slightly torturous breed of race.  I like that. Thrilling. Challenging. Make you hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes kind of anxiety inducing distance. That might be just me. And that might happen to me before any race. but 5k’s especially.  my stomach starts flipping just thinking about it.  while they are short and fast, I think the challenge of them and the training benefits – both mental and physical – are great. You have to go fast from the start, stay fast in the middle and push it harder in the end.
When my friend said she was running the race, I obviously wanted to join.  and therein lies the problem of dual training parents. The hubs had a 26 mile run planned for that morning. Whats a mom to do.  I thought about hiding his sneakers, but didn’t want to play dirty.  So I’m left with three kids. One race. One parent. Find a way to make it happen…by pawning off the children on friend’s husband. perfect.  This is also why a 5k is great, its a quick race. so my children would only be torturing friends husband for approximately 18-20 minutes.
I signed the girls up for the half mile kids race. and stuck my little crazy man in the stroller.  the girls ran the whole thing. of course, I have no pictures of them running it.  I can’t be photographer/runner/mom/coach all at the same time. The race photographer caught some delightful images of them, but i am not tech savvy enough to hijack them from the website. and that would be stealing. I might be forced to pay for these ones. too cute.  This is the only picture I have – and it’s not very delightful…
I went into my 5k just like my 10k on Sunday- ready to run my best run that morning.  I always go into a race wanting a PR, but it’s just not always the case.  And I’m learning that it’s ok to not run faster at every run, but it’s great to run my best at every run.
On Saturday, my best got me First place overall female.  Happy.  I squeaked in just under 19 minutes. My garmin said 18:57, official time I think was 18:58. What a major discrepancy there.  Average pace was 6:05.  I was 9th place overall finisher out of 385 people- so it was kind of a small race.
This was a bit hillier than my 5k in march. There was a hill within the first 1/10 mile. And then the one that sucked the life out of my legs – it was a 1/2 mile incline from mile 2 – 2 1/2. that’s exactly one 1/2 mile too long of an incline for a 5k.  It wasn’t super steep, but anything other than flat in a 5k is just not desirable.  It was probably like running 3-4% incline on the treadmill. Naturally, that was my slowest mile.  Here are my garmin splits:
Mile 1- 5:50 

Mile 2- 5:55

Mile 3- 6:27 that’s a doosy. There’s the beloved hill. not fun.

Last .13- 5:45

I felt great after this run.  #1 because I had no expectations other than to run my best run. #2 because I came in first. That always makes for a fun day. #3 because I had all of my kids with me. I love having my kids with me at races. I love that they did the kids race too. #4 because it was a new race to me.  I get stuck in a big box of not doing new races and not branching out.  I’m going to branch out this summer.  Lots of new races.  Lots of short, bathroom inducing races. It was a great morning. It would have been cool to PR and win, but that may be pushing it.  Throw a winning lotto ticket on there too and I’d be a happy mama.  I’ll take the win and leave the PR and winning lotto ticket for next time.

I ran in these green monsters.
Mizuno musha. Minimal shoe. 
 I LOVE THEM. I ran the 10k in them too, and will do speed work in them when it becomes part of my schedule. I’ve been training in these pretty little things…

Mizuno wave precision. To the right. I’m not crazy enough to wear 2 different sneakers. But I am too lazy to find a picture of just the precisons. So you get more musha action too. the precison are lightweight, but a little more support/cushion than the musha.

Right now I’m in base building, easy run phase.  These are my immediate goals: (because you do care)
1. Hit 40-45 miles a week through June
2. Keep all miles fairly “easy”, between 7:30-7:50 pace, depending on the day and the mood of my legs.  I would say 95% of my running has been easy, not really pushing my pace too much.  I might do one run a week that pushes it a bit, but nothing crazy.  run easy paces while not stressing about the easy pacing.
3. Keep all of my runs happy.  they have been pretty happy.  I love to run. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that.
4. Avoid injury. Ha. That’s what everyone is trying to do. I can hope for the best and train smart. that’s all I’ve got.
5. Run garmin less for the majority of my runs. The garmin is a GREAT training tool.  but it definitely has a time and a place. right now, that time and place for me is not on my wrist every time I walk out the door. It takes away the enjoyment of my run. And that makes me not happy. And that does not help with #3 above.
6. Add more strength work. I’m like a broken record saying that, because I’m always trying to do that and never really feel accomplished in that.  So I’ll just keep writing it in hopes that it will really happen. Strong core = stronger runner.
I do know how it’s done.  I just need to do it.  Break my 6 minute plank record.
I was definitely getting mentally burnt out on running before my spring marathon extravaganza. I took a MUCH needed timeout from running and feel like I’ve come back with a very new mindset. I’m in this moment with my running.  I’m not thinking about what I used to do and the paces I used to hit, because they were definitely faster. I bring zero stress into my running as far as goals and races.  Instead, I’m thinking about what I am capable of in the future, about what I CAN do and about how I am going to successfully get there. And that means switching things up a lot. My running hasn’t changed, but certain circumstances around it has. I stick to two days off a week, one cross training and one complete rest day – which allows my mind a break and my legs a break. and I’m confident it’s going to keep me fresh for adding more miles and energized for some super speedy workouts in the weeks to come. I leave the watch at home, which means the stress of mile times stays at home too.  I’m excited to do things a little differently, making the whole experience of training for the next marathon a new experience.  A fun one. A fresh one.  For my legs and my head.
Once the base building phase is over in a couple weeks, I will be more than ready to tackle some speed.  my body will be more than ready to add on some miles and get into the 50’s consistently – something I’ve never come close to doing, but I think will make me a much stronger runner.
Now we are all caught up on the racing weekend, let’s catch up on the family weekend. In a short condensed parsgraph, it consisted of running, running, some more running and some relaxing. That’s the perfect weekend to me. Not a lot of plans. just a lot of home time/running time/hang out in the driveway and wear pink boots time.
Turns out little boy pink has another double ear infection.  although, we aren’t confident that last one cleared up, it does explain his particularly devilish behavior as of late. pump him up with some antibiotics and hope for the best.
At the risk of turning this into another 3 day long post that doesn’t actually get posted until sometime at the end of the week, I’m going to have to end it now. so much to share, so little time. I have more chitty chat for you cool kids out there, but I’m going to end this long and drawn out running/training/racing reflections post right now.  I promise I have some fun sneaker talk coming up and a possible opportunity to get some sneaks, but I’m also confident I will probably come up with some super interesting day in the life of Katie talk to fill this blogspace first.  I’m also confident I finished off that jar of nutella over the weekend. I’m equally confident that I see a lululemon trip in my near future.  I’m pretty confident my ear infected 2 year old will be up at 5am tomorrow and that I need to get my hiney to bed ASAP. That’s about all I’m confident about right now.
Fill me in on the juicy race/running details of the weekend?!?

Has your training/running changed over the past year? Has your outlook on running changed?

Do 5k’s terrify you?

What is your favorite race distance?

A 5K, A Win, and Base Miles

Standard
Workout(s)

So much to catch up on. Where the heck to begin, my friends???  Let’s start with Saturday and work our way forward and then back again then forward again. Keep it all over the place exciting.  Because this weekend had a lot going on. Kind of. Don’t get excited. It wasn’t super exciting stuff. It was nice family stuff, but nothing over the top. As always, I’m going to share the juicy details of a typical running family weekend.  weekends tend to revolve around the run when both parentals are running and training for something.
Saturday- 5k race (we will talk about this in a minute) + 5.3 miles later in day = 8.4 for the day
This put me at 45 miles for the week!!!  It truly does not take a lot to make me happy.  give me some running miles, chocolate and perhaps a new workout tank and I’m on cloud 9.  this 45 mile week included two days off from running, one day was stairmaster cross training. I’m very happy with my first 40+ mile week, which also included two good short races.  and is lacking any pain or soreness.
Sunday- 10 miles am before church + 3 miles after church = 13 for the day.  No garmin.  I actually started with the watch on, and it quite honestly was being a little pisser and bringing my run down, so I shut it off. I wanted it to be a nice easy run, no stress, no fuss- but I kept looking at the watch and getting annoyed that my “easy” run pace was not as easy as I wanted it to be. So I turned off the watch and just ran.  Turned out to be a 7:45ish pace, which is what I was shooting for.
Monday (which is today, for those of you in denial that the weekend is over)- 7.75 miles. no assistance from gps watch.  Hence the pesky “.75” at the end instead of a pretty looking figure 8.  Kind of a bummer. This is where taking pushy mr. Garmin works out well- you don’t get stuck with a “.75” at then end of your mileage.  but you also dontnget stuck with a poor attitude about a certain pace.  I don’t really like decimals with the numbers 75 after them when they are under the miles I wanted to hit.  If the .75 followed the 8, it would have been happy day.  So I’m stuck with 7.75 instead of 8.  I do suppose worse things could happen on a Monday.
So there it is. We’re all caught up on the running weekend. Let’s move back to the racing weekend.
Turns out I’m a sucker for 5k’s, or any k for that matter. I had fun at the 10k last weekend too.  I had to help my 5 year old visualize every “k” from 1 to 10 by telling her how far she would have to run from our house to make that distance.  It was a riveting conversation.
5k’s are frightening. They are a fast, scary, slightly torturous breed of race.  I like that. Thrilling. Challenging. Make you hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes kind of anxiety inducing distance. That might be just me. And that might happen to me before any race. but 5k’s especially.  my stomach starts flipping just thinking about it.  while they are short and fast, I think the challenge of them and the training benefits – both mental and physical – are great. You have to go fast from the start, stay fast in the middle and push it harder in the end.
When my friend said she was running the race, I obviously wanted to join.  and therein lies the problem of dual training parents. The hubs had a 26 mile run planned for that morning. Whats a mom to do.  I thought about hiding his sneakers, but didn’t want to play dirty.  So I’m left with three kids. One race. One parent. Find a way to make it happen…by pawning off the children on friend’s husband. perfect.  This is also why a 5k is great, its a quick race. so my children would only be torturing friends husband for approximately 18-20 minutes.
I signed the girls up for the half mile kids race. and stuck my little crazy man in the stroller.  the girls ran the whole thing. of course, I have no pictures of them running it.  I can’t be photographer/runner/mom/coach all at the same time. The race photographer caught some delightful images of them, but i am not tech savvy enough to hijack them from the website. and that would be stealing. I might be forced to pay for these ones. too cute.  This is the only picture I have – and it’s not very delightful…
I went into my 5k just like my 10k on Sunday- ready to run my best run that morning.  I always go into a race wanting a PR, but it’s just not always the case.  And I’m learning that it’s ok to not run faster at every run, but it’s great to run my best at every run.
On Saturday, my best got me First place overall female.  Happy.  I squeaked in just under 19 minutes. My garmin said 18:57, official time I think was 18:58. What a major discrepancy there.  Average pace was 6:05.  I was 9th place overall finisher out of 385 people- so it was kind of a small race.
This was a bit hillier than my 5k in march. There was a hill within the first 1/10 mile. And then the one that sucked the life out of my legs – it was a 1/2 mile incline from mile 2 – 2 1/2. that’s exactly one 1/2 mile too long of an incline for a 5k.  It wasn’t super steep, but anything other than flat in a 5k is just not desirable.  It was probably like running 3-4% incline on the treadmill. Naturally, that was my slowest mile.  Here are my garmin splits:
Mile 1- 5:50 

Mile 2- 5:55

Mile 3- 6:27 that’s a doosy. There’s the beloved hill. not fun.

Last .13- 5:45

I felt great after this run.  #1 because I had no expectations other than to run my best run. #2 because I came in first. That always makes for a fun day. #3 because I had all of my kids with me. I love having my kids with me at races. I love that they did the kids race too. #4 because it was a new race to me.  I get stuck in a big box of not doing new races and not branching out.  I’m going to branch out this summer.  Lots of new races.  Lots of short, bathroom inducing races. It was a great morning. It would have been cool to PR and win, but that may be pushing it.  Throw a winning lotto ticket on there too and I’d be a happy mama.  I’ll take the win and leave the PR and winning lotto ticket for next time.

I ran in these green monsters.
Mizuno musha. Minimal shoe. 
 I LOVE THEM. I ran the 10k in them too, and will do speed work in them when it becomes part of my schedule. I’ve been training in these pretty little things…

Mizuno wave precision. To the right. I’m not crazy enough to wear 2 different sneakers. But I am too lazy to find a picture of just the precisons. So you get more musha action too. the precison are lightweight, but a little more support/cushion than the musha.

Right now I’m in base building, easy run phase.  These are my immediate goals: (because you do care)
1. Hit 40-45 miles a week through June
2. Keep all miles fairly “easy”, between 7:30-7:50 pace, depending on the day and the mood of my legs.  I would say 95% of my running has been easy, not really pushing my pace too much.  I might do one run a week that pushes it a bit, but nothing crazy.  run easy paces while not stressing about the easy pacing.
3. Keep all of my runs happy.  they have been pretty happy.  I love to run. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that.
4. Avoid injury. Ha. That’s what everyone is trying to do. I can hope for the best and train smart. that’s all I’ve got.
5. Run garmin less for the majority of my runs. The garmin is a GREAT training tool.  but it definitely has a time and a place. right now, that time and place for me is not on my wrist every time I walk out the door. It takes away the enjoyment of my run. And that makes me not happy. And that does not help with #3 above.
6. Add more strength work. I’m like a broken record saying that, because I’m always trying to do that and never really feel accomplished in that.  So I’ll just keep writing it in hopes that it will really happen. Strong core = stronger runner.
I do know how it’s done.  I just need to do it.  Break my 6 minute plank record.
I was definitely getting mentally burnt out on running before my spring marathon extravaganza. I took a MUCH needed timeout from running and feel like I’ve come back with a very new mindset. I’m in this moment with my running.  I’m not thinking about what I used to do and the paces I used to hit, because they were definitely faster. I bring zero stress into my running as far as goals and races.  Instead, I’m thinking about what I am capable of in the future, about what I CAN do and about how I am going to successfully get there. And that means switching things up a lot. My running hasn’t changed, but certain circumstances around it has. I stick to two days off a week, one cross training and one complete rest day – which allows my mind a break and my legs a break. and I’m confident it’s going to keep me fresh for adding more miles and energized for some super speedy workouts in the weeks to come. I leave the watch at home, which means the stress of mile times stays at home too.  I’m excited to do things a little differently, making the whole experience of training for the next marathon a new experience.  A fun one. A fresh one.  For my legs and my head.
Once the base building phase is over in a couple weeks, I will be more than ready to tackle some speed.  my body will be more than ready to add on some miles and get into the 50’s consistently – something I’ve never come close to doing, but I think will make me a much stronger runner.
Now we are all caught up on the racing weekend, let’s catch up on the family weekend. In a short condensed parsgraph, it consisted of running, running, some more running and some relaxing. That’s the perfect weekend to me. Not a lot of plans. just a lot of home time/running time/hang out in the driveway and wear pink boots time.
Turns out little boy pink has another double ear infection.  although, we aren’t confident that last one cleared up, it does explain his particularly devilish behavior as of late. pump him up with some antibiotics and hope for the best.
At the risk of turning this into another 3 day long post that doesn’t actually get posted until sometime at the end of the week, I’m going to have to end it now. so much to share, so little time. I have more chitty chat for you cool kids out there, but I’m going to end this long and drawn out running/training/racing reflections post right now.  I promise I have some fun sneaker talk coming up and a possible opportunity to get some sneaks, but I’m also confident I will probably come up with some super interesting day in the life of Katie talk to fill this blogspace first.  I’m also confident I finished off that jar of nutella over the weekend. I’m equally confident that I see a lululemon trip in my near future.  I’m pretty confident my ear infected 2 year old will be up at 5am tomorrow and that I need to get my hiney to bed ASAP. That’s about all I’m confident about right now.
Fill me in on the juicy race/running details of the weekend?!?

Has your training/running changed over the past year? Has your outlook on running changed?

Do 5k’s terrify you?

What is your favorite race distance?

Why I Run

Standard
Workout(s)
Today – rest day.  True, complete, rest day.
Yesterday – 10 miles total. 6.8 am and 3 evening.  so really only 9.8miles, but I am rounding up to 10 for the weeks tally of miles because I am the runner and I can do that. And because Sunday’s 13.2 will be rounded down to 13, so all is in balance in the world of miles run this week. I’m at 37 for the week and I have one day of running to go. exciting? Me thinks so.  I am very close to 40, and that would make me happy.  My first 40 mile week since sometime in early march. THAT is cause for celebration, my friends.  not big miles to some, but its big progress for me.
Wednesday – was a legit, full 7 miles. No hijacked miles from another running day played by the rules. Neither of these two runs were assisted by mr. Garmin. He stayed home. As well he should have.  According to my handy dandy kitchen clock, this run was somewhere in the 7:15-20 pace.  Plus 30 mins stairmaster just for haha’s.  Thursday’s run was right around 7:30 pace.
I wanted no part of my planned 7 miles yesterday am.  the 3 last night was an after thought, reward for completing the 7.  back it up to the first 7- I wanted no part of it at 9:30 the night before when I set my 5am wakeup call.  I really wanted no part of it when my two little cherubs crawled into my bed at 10pm.  My desire to not run in the morning was furthered when I heard my husband up with my 2 year old at 4:45am. for the day.  I don’t care how precious children are, the day should NEVER begin with a 2 year old before the 6 o’clock hour.  Pre 5am is just torture.  It would have been very easy for me to turn over and give up on the run. I did not bail. I gave my run a fair shot.  and I was open to possibilities. I told myself, Katie, wise, smart, talented runner, mother, wife and generally phenomenal person that you are, at least give this run 3 miles and if you still don’t want any part of it- at least you tried.  Those positive self affirmations work wonders.  I gave my run a fair shot.  It deserved at least a chance before being shoved down into the non running abyss.  It was good.  Not sparkly chocolate covered Swedish fish good, but good.  There are a lot of times it’s definitely easy to crawl back into bed, or back into that big bowl of ice cream. Put down the ice cream, take off the covers and give your run or your workout at least a fair shot. and then make it longer for being a big baby about it.

It’s just been crazytown up in here this week.  I’ve only been writing this post for 3 days now and keep getting sidetracked doing super excitingly busy things like mopping my floors, filling big black garbage bags with junk, standing at the counter with a spoon in one hand and nutella in the other, chasing Luke around at field day, raising children, washing mybhair, and doing other domestic wonders.  minor things that take up a small portion of my time. all while attempting to be a functioning human being in society. Hopefully I’ll get this post written before the end of the month so that I can get on to other posts and more exciting things that I need to share with you lovelies.  and so that I can stop re-editing and changing all of the tenses.  It would be a complete travesty if I published this and all of my today’s were really yesterday’s and so forth.  would be shameful.

Apparently Wednesday was national running day and I missed the boat.  What kind of runner am I???  I’ll tell you what kind – the kind with three little crazy kidlings that really only has time to run and not keep up with every single national holiday there is.  I’m still a runner though, and I had a pretty fabulous running week.  In lieu of this national holiday that I missed, I think it’s appropriate to talk about WHY I run. I run a lot. Now I run a lot. A few weeks ago I did not run a lot. Now I run without pain and without a care in the world about a race or a pace or a distance.   For me, running is about balance. It balances out all the craziness and not so craziness in my life. It keeps me sane when my 4:45am waking 2 year old man eating gremlin terrorizes me all day. Climbs into the kitchen sink every time I’m not looking to wash his feet. finds it necessary to lock himself in the upstairs bathroom to which I have no key. And then there are the other 2 angels of mine. he learns his tricks from his sisters.  running is about balance. Physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. 

Physical:  above any other exercise, running keeps me in the best shape. Running makes me feel strong and capable. I love strength training, but even when I let that slide, running does a pretty good job of keeping the bod strong, and I love that. I don’t think there is a time in a runners life where they won’t experience some sort of injury or discomfort- that is par for the course. but, if you work through it wisely and patiently, you come back a stronger, smarter runner.  Running gives me something to work for, to push my body and my boundaries.  and to test my limits.  running also gives very good reason for me to buy these kinds of stylishly athletic clothes…


I would have no reason if I didn’t run. All about convenience – throw on some sneaks and you’re ready to hit the road.  And then hit up the grocery store not looking too hideous after. Or so I tell myself.

Emotional:  people say to me, if you are running so much, you must be running from something. The answer is quite possibly, YES. As a matter of fact, you are quite possibly 100% correct that I am running from something.  And that something might look like this – 


Or this

Or even this

I am a stay atvhome mom.  I am with my children from sun up until sun down everyday.  I love them more than life and am abundantly blessed to be with them 24/7.  willingly and lovingly tending to their every need.  Running gives me a moment in time away from all of that. It refreshes me so that I can keep lovingly and willingly taking care of those little people that I love and adore.  I run from them and then run straight back to them, energized and ready to go.

Spiritual: I am a very spiritual, faith filled person. I know I wouldn’t make it through life without my Christian faith and trust in God. I try to spend some part of the day in my own “quiet” time, in a certain devotional book or whatever it may be. But that doesn’t always happen. Distractions always happen. When my feet are moving and cruising on the pavement, I can easily clear my head and can sometimes use that time for prayer or just quiet.  The physicality of running  just seems to calm the spirit and puts me in a good place.  

Mentally: I need all the help I can get in this department. I am a pretty intelligent person. And then I had kids and I seem to have lost a lot of brain cells. In the July issue of Runner’s World, there was a little blurb on running and mental capacity to learn immediately after. here’s what it said- 
More power to the brain. perfect.

And a little quote from this famous author…


I couldnt agree more, Mr. Thoreau.  I can day dream when I run. The sky is the limit.
And apparantly I can learn a lot of new words after I run, too. bring on the dictionary and sign me up for the next spelling bee. I am fiercely competitive. 

And that is in a nutshell, why I run. It is actually probably a lot more complex than that. and given some time with a therapist, I’m sure many a secret and insight, pulling from childhood experiences and what not, could be divulged as to why I run and why I have such a desire to race and be better and stronger at this kind of strangely odd “sport”.  But that is my quick self analysis.  basic. thoughts on why I hit the road most mornings and am itching to get back out there by the evening.  Running is always a work in progress. and it enables me to balance and tune into all of those aspects mentioned above. then I blog about it and get it all out of my head for you peeps to enjoy.

So, national running day that I missed, I am thankful for this “sport”.  and I guess it deserves it’s own holiday just like every single other thing known to man that has its own special holiday. I will definitely miss this holiday again next year and read about it fist on the 50,000 other running blogs out there. and then I may do a little belated holiday shopping at lululemon to celebrate.  I think that might be a very appropriate thing to do. 

I have a lot more to talk about that got lost in this week and this 3 day long blog.  Stay tuned for more on sneaker talk and fueling talk and obviously running talk, oh and obviously nonsense talk because I’m almost as good at that as I am in coming in 2nd place at races. 

ps – I wrote this entire post on my new iPad (yes, my darling husband, you are wonderful and awesome and I am so thankful you bring me such sweet treats. Next time wrap in in chocolate and candy and I’ll be through the moon). So this was a little first post experiment writing it on this blog writer app and I have 100% no idea what I am doing or what it looks like until it’s posted.  My apologies for the extra abundance of grammatical errors or inability understand anything that was written. Not like that would be so out of the ordinary. 

Bloggers- do you write posts from an iPad? Do you use an app?

Who is racing this weekend?

Tell me, why do YOU run/exercise? Is it a reason beyond just staying in shape?

How often do you ditch the workout just because you don’t feel like it?  That’s naughty. Try not to. Or you’ll go in the timeout chair.

Second, My Lot in Life – A 10K and a Half Marathon

Standard

Workout – 3.7 mile run.  easy.  shockingly easy pace.  I was surprised when I looked at the clock and saw the pace.  but it was the slow pace I wanted to do.  right around 8 minute miles.  part 2 of the run to happen later today.  I’m very hopeful.  I didn’t have time this morning.  my husband and I are doing a very good job of sharing the morning workout hours.  go us.  *edited to add – run #2 did happen.  because my husband is just fabulous and came home for me to squeak out a 3.3 miler for a 7 mile total for the day.  same pace as before.  keep the hope.  and keep around a good husband who knows how much his wife needs to run.

Yesterday – a 10K/6.2 miles is a good run.  I really like to start my week off with a nice chunk of miles done, so 10+ is perfect.  I went back out to complete the days running.  I didn’t bring a watch, I just ran a nice comfortable pace.  But I did check the clock before and after I left.  I did 7 miles at about a  7:35-40 pace.  good stuff.  13.2 miles total for the day.  there’s my half marathon.  really good stuff.  at 20 miles for the week.  and it’s monday.  happy monday.

Lets chat about yesterday.  the race.  my thoughts.  epiphanies.  running highlights.  and what not.

I’ve run this Iron Horse Half Marathon every year since 2009.  I love it.  It was going to be my goal half for sub 1:25, had my spring races and running not blown up in my face.  blah blah blah.  condensed version of the happenings surrounding this race in a little flow chart….katie actually does something before the deadline and signs up for IronHorse half way back when running was nice to her —-> poor little katie has shin splints and can’t run, for awhile.  or do speedwork.  which she loves.  or train.  in any significant way for 6+ weeks.  and is really good at making excuses.  and talking in the 3rd person.  super fun sometimes —-> poor little katie has a couple bad marathons that kind of mess with her head —->  poor little katie realizes running is not the be all and end all of who she is and is really not so much the poor little katie.  life goes on.  go with it.  lemonade out of lemons and every other “pick yourself up and make the best of life” cliche saying you can think of —-> a couple more weeks off of running to recoup from what I thought were disaster marathons —-> goal half is not going to happen because healthy strong katie would put too much pressure on it and even though she could probably place top 3 women, she does not want to be poor little katie again all beat down about running —-> there will be more half marathons —-> I will run a fast half this year —->  not on June 3rd —-> but….

my friend was running the 10K.  hmmmm.  that’s an option.  I’ve never run a 10K.  I have no pressure on myself about it.  I have no idea what I can run these days.  I miss racing.  I just want to be at this race.  here’s my in.  without having to do the half.  10K it is.

My husband says, what’s your plan?  I say, I have no plan.  He says, are you starting in the front line.  I say, of course I am starting at the front line.  he says, then you have a plan.  so here’s what this race has given me.  we’re gonna gift this one out…

Gift #1 – The gift of running knowledge.  I always have a plan.  I always have an expectation.  a big one.  a winning one.  I always plan and expect to run my bestto run my race.  to race.  alwaysand that might just be enough for me.  I start adding more pressure on myself and I crumble.  I went into this race totally untrained.  totally open to any possibility.  totally unsure of what the outcome would be.  completely sure of how I would run.  and completely content with that plan.  I would run my run.  to the BEST of my ability that day.  it was kind of exciting.  because I had never done a 10K.  and I’ve been out of running for a bit.  and I’ve been out of running fast for a longer bit.  I had no idea what my legs and my body and my heart would do.

Gift #2 – gift of new beginnings.  I had to start over with running after my spring marathons.  but I didn’t know where to start.  I didn’t know where I was at with running; what I had lost or gained physically.  I’ve been floating around in running land for the last 3 weeks since I’ve gotten back into it.  Sometimes you just have to put it all out there, see what you can do and find a new beginning.  in my dreams, I would be able to run a sub 40 half, on this 10K race day.  literally, in my dreams.  I had dreamt about it the night before, probably because I did one quick pace calc right before my head it the pillow.  sub 40 would mean less than a 6:25 pace.  right.  I knew 100% that I was capable of it at some point in the next couple months.  I knew I was capable of it and faster 3 months ago.  but my recent training and runs would dictate that this was not possible.  but it was possible.  my little long legs thought it was possible.  and my new happy little running heart really wanted it.  just because it wanted it.  without causing my little happy sensitive running soul to be crushed if it didn’t happen.  because in my heart, it truly didn’t matter if sub 40 or any other time goal happened or not.  yesterday, my plan and my expectation was just to run my best run that day.  my happy little running heart and my little happy sensitive soul liked that plan.  and that will be the plan.  always.

Gift #3 – gift of life.  I was spared by the racing powers that be.  I was slightly concerned that karma would strike me down in the instant that I started running, for the fact that I kindly cut in front of about 15 half marathoners to get to the porta potty because it was 7:28.  my race started at 7:30.  theirs started at 7:45.  and I needed to pee.  and kindly, I was not punished for kindly jumping ahead in line.  it worked out that the race started a few minutes late because the start line was about 1/2 mile further up than I thought.  and that was my sprint warmup.  to the start line.

Gift #4 – the gift of athletic wear.  I have my next lululemon running skirt picked out.  I’m actually quite upset that it is not in my possession as we speak.  My lululemon stalking has not paid off.  I spied at least 2 runners wearing the flash colored Pace setter skirt.  why do they have it and I do not.  I almost threw a bratty tantrum as I saw them run by.  that top is the flash color.

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and it’s on a skirt.  I would like to own it.  it’s really more about my safety.  you can see that color a mile away on the road in the wee hours of 5 am.  that is all.  that is not all.  that look on my face can best be explained by me watching my daughter ride her bike into an art easel and take the whole thing out.  no children were harmed. clumsy runs in the family.

running apparel item #2 is the item that I won for coming in 2nd place.  yay.  Aspaeris compression shorts.  I love to be compressed.

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I just realized that it was THIS BLOGGER at the table.  Hi Kari!  Thanks for the shorts!  I should have listened to you and taken the medium but I will squeeze my hiney into these suckers until I can’t feel my legs, then I will take them off!

Gift #5 – gift of wearing racing flats.  I love me some light shoes.  I especially love an excuse to wear them.  I don’t really wear these on my daily runs.  I loved these yesterday.  they loved me.  it was happy union.

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Mizuno Musha.  go get yourself a pair.  and have fun running.  wouldn’t they look so fun with my new flash colored lululemon skirt?  I thought so too.

I will wear these up to half marathon distance for now.  I would wear them for a marathon.  I will work up to that.  maybe my fall marathon.  they just worked like a charm.  did what they were supposed to do and kept every part of my feet feeling happy and strong.

Gift #6 – the gift of second.  second place is not a bad place to be.  I would much rather be first.  but let’s review how I am always second.  aside from the 2 april races.  we are going to blot those out from racing history.  lessons were learned.  and the races can be forgotten.  anyway.  2nd place review – dating back to Hartford Marathon Fall 2011: 2nd place in age group

Harrisburg Marathon Fall 2011: 2nd place female overall

Cheshire 5K Fall 2011: 2nd place female overall

Colchester Half: ruined my 2nd streak and came in 3rd female, but gave me a new PR, on a hilly windy course

St. Patty’s Day Shamrock 5K: 2nd place female overall

April Races?  What April Marathons?  I do not know what you speak of.

IronHorse 10K: 2nd female overall.  this is interesting though.  perhaps only to me, so just skip this paragraph if you are grabbing at pencils to stick in your eyeballs from the sheer length of this post.  I would apologize for the longevity, but I’m not really sorry.  you can stop at anytime, but I think it’s probably kind of like watching a train wreck.  so just keep reading.

I started at the front.  I always do.  From when the horn went off, there was girl 1, girl 2, and me.  I had my eyes on them.  Girl 1 was about 200 yards ahead for about 1/2 the race.  I actually have no idea how far ahead.  that number sounded good.  she was a distance ahead, but I could see her.  Girl 2 was never more than 10 feet ahead of me.  I flew out of the start.  naturally.  6:08 first mile.  slowed it down a bit.  I was feeling great.  Did not feel like I was pushing it 100%.  I was very cautious for the first 5 miles of this race.  I would say I was at 80-85% effort.  I kept getting stuck in this pack of 5 or 6 people, Girl 2 and a couple guys.  Between mile 3 and 4, I decided to take Girl 2 because it was now or never.  I sprinted ahead of the pack and stayed ahead of Girl 2.  I took a Gu.  So glad I did.  I could see Girl 1.  We passed 10k’ers on the other side of the road that were still at the beginning of the race.  At mile 5.25, the 10k converged with the 5K, and all went toward the finish.  this was a bit of a downer.  I was in the front of a fast group of 10K runners, to be greeted by some slow 5k’ers, and even some walkers.  momentum killer.  I got back into it and continued to run my race.  not worried about Girl 1 in front of me or who was behind me.  I ran.  I started pushing it harder probably right around mile 5.4 when the 5k’ers were raining on my 10k running parade.  Got back in the groove and was pretty confident I had my second place finish.  I lost Girl 1 in the 5k crowd. saw 39:20’s as I approached the finish.  ran through in 39:40.  happy.  elated.

Fast forward to awards with the unofficial results, and they announce me as Overall Female placing 3rd.  😦  3rd is great, but not when you didn’t see a 2nd place between you and Girl 1 for the entire race.  I don’t know where she came from.  I started on the front line and it was me and Girl 1 and 2. no mysterious alter-second.

It’s a mystery.  Official results came out and 2nd place, elusive ‘2nd place’ was not on there.  I kind of suspected.  and I held my 2nd place that I thought I had at the finish.  This is what I theorize.  when the 5K joined with the 10k, at mile 5.25, to finish with the 10k peeps.  they were splitting off from a stream of 10k’ers that were still in the first couple miles (the 5k started 15 minutes later).  so either this ‘2nd place’ was a 5k lady that got clocked in as a 10k, or it was a 10K that didn’t want to run the whole race and took the shortcut to the finish with the 5k group and didn’t run miles 2-5.  my theory.  I never saw a 2nd place.  I was 2nd place from when I passed Girl 2 at mile 3ish until the end.  and every volunteer person I passed from that point on said, ‘you’re second female, you are awesome and fast and stylish and you run like a gazelle, go get it!’  or something to that effect.

my splits: (my garmin said 6.31 miles, and an avg 6:17 pace.  I don’t think my garmin is that off.  I think I was doing some serious dodging and running all over the road – it was not closed to traffic.  or walking 5k ‘racers’.  and I’m kind of a spastic runner.  haven’t figured out how to run the shortest tangent.  ever)  So these splits are a tad faster than my official pace, but not so far off.

6:08, 6:22, 6:22, 6:07, 6:31 (hello 5K walkers), 6:18, 6:03 for the last .2

And there I hold my second place finish.  I hope to have a first place streak sometime.  that would be thrilling.

Gift #7 – the gift of good friends to go to fun races with.  it was a really nice morning out for a nice quick race.  followed by eating some really not so tasty but very thoughtfully prepared by the boy scouts pancakes.  with a very good friend that had a very good race.  life is good.  and so are the good things in it.  as with many running lessons, I think all things learned can be applied to a lot of things in life.  gifts abound everywhere (and I get sappy and emotional these days like you wouldn’t believe.  or you would believe if you have endured this post.  pretty sappy) like the gifts my sweet boy brings into my home in the early hours of the day. I swiftly sent him outside where he carried his pet froggy around like it was an accessory.

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froggy boy.  love him.

In conclusion to this short long essay, I am very much looking forward to watching the bachelorette tonight.  and that statement scares me, but it’s the truth.  I said it.  I am also very much looking forward to doing some core work and some massage sticking whilst I watch the bachelorette.  that is a more suitable statement for me.  I still can’t do much strength work with my bum arm, but I do what I can.

My brain is far too tired to think about questions.  so fill me in on your weekends please!!! and chime in with comments or children bringing you frogs for breakfast, your favorite fast running shoes or anything of the like.

last thing.  I PROMISE to the best of my ability to keep a promise, that I will answer questions about my STAIRMASTER and other things like running fast next time I am on here writing an insanely long post!  promise.  with my pinky.

xoxo