Tag Archives: hills

Loving Lulu and reflections

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Workout – 5 miles outside, fairly “easy” – I’ll delve into that statement in uno momento.  36:xx minutes.  Kinda hilly.  Sunday is normally a rest day.  But Friday was also a rest day and I REALLY didn’t do anything.  Saturdays are my long run days, and it was supposed to be a longer than the half marathon I did run day, but I only did the half.  I know.  Very silly to say I only did the half.  But it’s the truth.  And I am at a place in my running where I feel like saying only a half marathon is small beans for a run for the long run day is an accurate statement for me.  If you are still following, that is why I chose not to rest today – didn’t do enough yesterday, the hills and the wind weren’t enough.  Here’s a picture of today’s run.  Yes, I’m still taking pics of my computer screen.  so sorry. 

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I just have a hard time taking it easy on a run.  I’m going to go ahead and call anything above a 7 minute mile a take it easy run for me.  I don’t generally go slower than 7:30 mile.  I don’t know that this is necessarily a good thing and is something I’m trying to work on.  This was actually a pretty nice, easy, shake the sillies out run (that’s definitely a preschool term. they come out every now and then. it’s fun to talk preschool lingo. the cool kids do it)   I usually leave the garmin when I want it to be easy and relaxing, but I took it today because I like to analyze the stats.  I need a job.  with numbers.  If only I could do this for a living.  anyway, for now I’ll raise kids and look at my garmin connect and do pace calculations.  

And another lululemon outfit for the run today.  photography courtesy of a 4 year old whizbang child.  and I have multiple pictures to make you understand why this top needed to be part of my wardrobe.   I think it’s called the back on track pullover something or other, not good with names of clothes, can barely keep track of my kids’ names…those are the same wunder unders I wore yesterday.  and I might wear them everyday for the rest of my life.  so comfortable I wish I could bottle it up and drink it.  comfortable coolaid.  could be a big hit. 

   

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Anna pulled out the super slimming thigh lense and made most of my legs disappear.  I like.  but not an accurate portrayal of the thighs that really exist.  according to the most helpful lululemon sales chic, my thighs are “muscular, so you may want to try the next size up”.  Ok.  Will do skinny mini leg girl.  I really want to not be nice to you right now, but you said that in such a way that I shouldn’t be bothered by it.  and I love this store.  so I won’t be bothered.  nice choice of words.  moving on.

#2 picture – supercool neckline, the hood has a hole in it for your ponytail that I would never use, but kinda fun – Anna is obviously not responsible for this superawkward self portrait.  she’s much better than that. 

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and look at that, it unzips too….

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It’s long. it’s warm, but not too warm.  it’s fitted. all around freaking fantastic top.  love.   

That’s the last of Lulu purchases – for now.  I am itching to get back there.  I bought a running skirt, and I think I am going to return it.  I love it, I have it in black and I bought it in this green/seafoam/teal color (I’m not good with naming colors either), but I think for the $, there are other things from there that I would use more.  I have a wishlist.  And it is growing longer by the minute.  I’m having lululemon dreams of pretty pants and perfect tops.   

Sunday Funday was indeed a fun day.  We went to church this a.m., and I did NOT get stuck in the nursery with the little goobers.  Good morning.  AND, I chose to waste an obscene amount of time doing absolutely nothing productive last night, went to bed SUPER late even though I knew it was my morning to get up with knucklehead, and the one and only super stellar husband got up with him for me – 3rd day in a row – because I made a poor choice last night.  that is love. 

ok.  I have some more reflections from yesterday’s race.  I’m reflecting so much for a couple reasons – this reflecting, and thinking nonsense is new to me too.  don’t be frightened.  I usually don’t do this much reflecting.  but, I have never run any race so early in the year – and it’s kind of kicked my mind into, this is really fun, I can’t wait to run more races mode.  thus prompting me to think.  and think some more. about future races and what I might do differently, or the same.  Here’s my list. 

1. Fluids.  I started the race having to pee.  I only had coffee all morning, and I usually drink some sort of sports drink well before the race.  well, I forgot to, and I was stuck between not drinking anything else and drinking some at 9am, 1 hour before.  I drank.  This left me with a slightly full bladder to start.  By mile 11, there was a darn near flash flood in my wunders.  The bladder control just isn’t the same after 3 pregnancies/births.  thank you children.  I pulled through and held tight.  real tight. NOT GOING TO DRINK THAT MUCH RIGHT BEFORE A RACE. 

2. Music.  I don’t run with music.  I rarely, as in I’ve run with music maybe 2 times ever, train with music.  This is something I want to change.  I really think some heart pumping music would help get me through the end of any half or full marathon, when my body has more to give and my mind is fighting it. GET SOME HEADPHONES THAT STAY IN MY LITTLE EARS AND PUT TOGETHER A PLAYLIST THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE TAYLOR SWIFT AND LADY ANTEBELLUM. 

3. Fuel.  I like to take something every 4 – 5 miles.  In a half, I usually take something at mile 4 and 9.  Yesterday I did mile 4.5 and then not until sometime between mile 11 and 12.  too little too late.  I needed it 2 miles back but didn’t feel like chewing on sport beans.  gu’s and gels just go down easier.  they also come up pretty easy.  FIND A GU OR GEL THAT STAYS IN MY TUMMY AND NOT ON THE PAVEMENT IN FRONT OF ME.  AND TAKE THEM AT THE RIGHT TIMES.

4. Hills.  I certainly did some hills yesterday.  Hills are the BEST training for running, strength and speed.  I have not been incorporating hills at all.  I am excited for the time change coming up so that I can get outside and run in the morning when it’s light out earlier.  I can do hills.  INCORPORATE AT LEAST ONE GOOD HILL INTO EVERY RUN.  AND THEN DO AT LEAST ONE FULL HILL WORKOUT PER WEEK.  this used to be my rule when I was running outside over the summer.  I think it’s a pretty good rule, and not a hard one to do.   

5. Mantras.  I have some that I use when I run.  they didn’t come out yesterday.  I needed them.  but they got lost in the mindless running that took over the end of my race.  my head was blank.  I got sucked in to the I can’t do it, I don’t have anymore to give thinking and couldn’t pull myself out of it.  Saying the mantras after the fact, doesn’t really work.  I know mantras do a great deal of positive reinforcement for the negative thoughts that can come at the end of the race, when you need your MIND the most.  PULL OUT THE MANTRAS.  REPEAT.  AND REPEAT.  OVER AND OVER.  Here’s a couple of mine – most of them are pretty corny.  except the first one.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I feel strong.  I am strong.  Run strong.  This one almost helps me get into a really good rhythm.  

If you can labor for 3 hours and give birth to 3 children with out any pain meds, you sure as heck can run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. it’s temporary.  Suck it up and go.  faster.  or some variation of this.  At some point, I’m sure early on, my mind made the connection between marathon running and pain.  can’t imagine why.  childbirth is also pretty painful – there’s the connection to the two.  silly.  I know.  It works.  and that’s all that matters.       

6.  STRETCH. ROLL. REPEAT.  I NEED to do this on a regular basis.  period.  once a month doesn’t count. 

that’s about it for reflecting.  so much to learn.  all the time. 

I ended the night with a little cuddle time with my boy.  he’s fresh.  put that tongue away, Luke. 

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scratch that.  it’s never really ‘cuddle’ time.  more like pull mommy’s hair out of her head time.  so much enjoyment either way.  whatever makes the boy happy.

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  What fun things went on this weekend?

Any good, long runs?  or just good runs, in general?

What’s in store for the week?!? 

Colchester 1/2 Race Day Recap

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Official stats –

30th overall out of 625

3rd female out of 221

1:28:26

6:46 pace

 

My stellar husband got up with tweedle dee at 5am, so I could sleep. 

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I slept until 6:30 when little cherub #3 came looking for me, and got to it.  Of course I was not prepared and did not have coffee.  Once again, aforementioned husband comes to the rescue with an iced coffee from the best little coffee shop this side of the Mississippi.  or the Connecticut River.  either one.  This ensures things move on out smoothly before the race.  That, combined with my staple pre-race breakfast. 

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quaker instant, flax, peanut butter.  stick to your ribs breakfast

I usually add a little protein powder to the mix as well.  I’ve been trying to get away from the pre-packaged oatmeal, and have been doing well with eating the real oats.  but this was a special occasion.  This is what I eat before any race.  I was not going to mix it up today in the name of clean-er eating. 

Typical morning followed – made breakfast for the crew – scrambled eggs, cereal, whatever else they demanded ordered asked for.  I got myself ready.  showered, makeup’d – I absolutely put on complete makeup before a race.  it just so happens that I ran out of just about all of my makeup, and I have yet to replace most of it.  the makeup today wasn’t super nice.  but then again, I wasn’t going to walk the red carpet, so it wasn’t the end of the world. 

This was the original wardrobe plan for the race:

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decked out in lulu.  those are the wunder under legging pants.  not made for running specifically, but phenomenal.  did not budge.  and the only pants that go to my ankles.  in love.  will talk more about them in a lulu post.  I may have bought some other things.  that I could not live without. 

I really liked the 10am start time.  We didn’t leave the house until about 8:45, and we were still there pretty early.  another thing I get crazy about – getting to the race with PLENTY of time.  We were parked and unloaded by 9:15.  I like to be on the early side.  This gave me plenty of time to get myself to the little ladies room, and make sure my laces were tied and my pants were on.  Last minute, I grabbed a long sleeve shirt and decided to change into it.  It was REALLY windy out.  the weatherman did not lie.  the wind definitely came out to play today.  I think it was about 40 degrees, but felt a lot colder because of the wind.  I was happy I grabbed the shirt, but I would have been ok if I stuck with the short sleeve.  I actually wished I had kept the short sleeve on about half way through, and then when the wind almost blew me sideways off the road, I was glad I had longsleeve. 

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don’t mind me.  just digging in my goodie bag for my sport beans and my gu. 

The night before the race, my husbands cousin decided he would run with me.  This made me really happy.  FYI- he runs a 2:50’s marathon and a sub 7hour, 50 mile ultramarathon.  He has put in 90 miles this week, before the race.  no big deal.  and I also met up with another friend of mine that I didn’t know was running.  happy day. 

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The race started right on time.  10am sharp.  straight into the wind.  I think it was about 25mph.  no exaggeration.  and the wind continued head on for probably about 75% of the race.  The course was a big loop.  Let me refresh you one more time on the elevation map of this course.  because you have only seen it twice this week. 

CT14831_Elevation_Map

The hills definitely joined the half marathon party today.  I could not imagine them away.  I wasn’t even able to downplay them into smaller hills.  They were every bit as horrible as they look in that map.  I really try not to exaggerate, but I would dare say they were worse than they look.  They were steep and there were a lot of them.  Hills within hills.  The race ended on a 2 mile climb with a significantly strong headwind.  That many hills should not be allowed in one race.

I took my first powerade gel, I think it was tangerine, at mile 5.  I’m surprised I didn’t gag it back up.  I usually can’t do gu.  This wasn’t horrible, but I try not to let it touch my tongue so that I don’t really have to taste it.  I took sport beans around mile 11 – this was hard because they are just hard to chew and swallow without aspirating them into a lung.  especially while I was chugging up a hill. 

I was definitely the idiot who stopped running before I actually crossed the finish line.  everybody was yelling at me to keep running the 15 feet to cross.  I could have sworn that the mat I ran over 10 feet back was the finish line.  apparently not. 

The race was very well run, but very boring.  and I don’t need to tell you again it was hilly.  to put it mildly.  there were no spectators and it was basically running on roads through the woods.  there was a bit of it on dirt/rock roads.  back country. 

We bolted right after the race.  There were no medals, no t-shirts, no rewards.  Nothing.  This was great.  I really don’t need another race tshirt that I wont wear, or a medal that my kids will fight over.  Unless I’m going to get 3 medals to pass out to the littles, I don’t really need it.  It only cost $12 to run it, and it’s a not-for-profit race.  I think there was a lot of food for those who stuck around, but after running and my husband trucking the kids around, we were ready to go -after a nice little shot with my cheering crew.  It took a few to get a half decent one.  no one wants to look at the camera at the same time.

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this is just a hot mess. and get a load of that forehead vein.  in full force today. 

 

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missing Alex.  hello again vein. 

 

 

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as good as it gets 

 

The nice thing about a half, is that you still have the rest of the day.  to not relax, go to birthday parties, play with children and go to the 99 for dinner.  My first choice was Red Robin, but the 99 was closer.  99 won. 

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I got a nice cobb salad, hold the bacon dressing on the side.  good stuff.  I really don’t have too much of an appetite after a long run. 

and now I am replenishing the muscles with a nice big bag of these.  and some dark chocolate. 

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Race Reflections

After the race, my husband asked me, “So, what did you learn???”  I like this question.  As with anything we do in life, there are things to be learned.  About life, about the particular thing we are doing at the time.  About ourselves.  Growth can happen.  growing is good.  I love to run.  I love the introspection and life reflection that comes with it.  I love how it allows me to dig in and figure out what drives me or what doesn’t drive me.  I love the physical challenge of it.  I love the results, physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.  This run kind of kicked off my racing for the year.  I was excited about this.  I have 49 days until my first marathon.  I have A LOT of work to do to get sub 3.  This is good to delve into my thoughts and figure out what’s going on with me.  Here is what I have come up with so far, to answer my husbands question. 

Physical – hills are hard.  I respect the hill.  I am going to run a lot more hills.  Physically, I conquered the hills today.  I took the challenge of this hilly race, and finished it.  Physically, I am capable of a lot more than my mind lets me believe.  I felt great at the end of the run.  My legs felt good, my breathing was good.  I had no knee pain, or pain anywhere.  This made me very happy.  I think one of my underlying concerns is always injury.  I’m always afraid that the next run or the next race will end in injury.  Physically, I am strong.  I want to get stronger to help prevent injury, and I can put that fear to rest.  I have also put on about 10 lbs since my last race in the fall.  10lbs fell from the sky and landed on my hips.  I am a female and my body kind of does what it wants.  I call it my winter weight and my I’m almost 30, I have little control over my weight, weight.  I was probably about 3-5 lbs under an ideal racing weight this past fall, but I felt good.  Now, I feel I am about 5 lbs above an ideal racing weight, for me, and was having anxiety leading up to this run about how it would effect my running.  I got rid of the scale.  Out of the house.  I have plans to do a post on this topic on it’s own, but this was something I was holding onto leading up to this run.  Regardless of the 5 or 10 extra lbs, physically, I felt great today. 

Mental – I have a great respect for the power of the mind over the body.  My husband said that my biggest challenge is not running a certain time, but overcoming the mental boundaries that I let determine my physical capabilities.  I wanted to win today.  I also wanted to PR.  My last marathon PR was a totally flat, fast, ideal weather race.  I thought it would have been a challenge to PR today.  It also would have been a challenge to win.  I wanted to win more.  Today, at mile 5, a woman passed me.  She was no more than 10 seconds ahead of me at any given time.  She won.  In the last half mile, another girl passed me up the last hill.  She got 2nd place.  I got 3rd.  14 seconds behind her.  At some point between starting the race and mile 11, I let my desire to win go.  Getting a PR was enough.  And I am beyond happy that I took over 1 minute off my previous flat half, on an unbelievable hilly, cold, windy race course.  That is a success.  But I still let something else go that was within reach because my mind was stronger than what I knew I could physically accomplish.  I do this over and over – I am ok with 2nd, or 3rd.  I don’t want to be.  I look at the results and grow increasingly aggravated that I didn’t push it harder at the end.  26 seconds between me and first place.  That’s less than 1/10 of a mile.  I let my mind settle for something less than I am capable of doing.  Last year, I wanted to run a sub 1:30 half.  So I ran a 1:29:36.  For the race today, I wanted to PR, by running less than a 1:29.  I ran a 1:28:26.  I let my mind limit my body.  Those are the results below for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place women.  I’m on the bottom.  I don’t want to be that close and be at the bottom.  I want to be on the top.  I can do it.  I need to stop letting my mind get in the way.     

27 1007 Katie Libby F 1/35    F3034   1/221  33       1:28:00.19   6:44

29 378 Molly Evak F 1/30    F2529   2/221  29          1:28:12.12   6:44

30 187 Katie Edwards F 2/30    F2529   3/221  29   1:28:26.59   6:46

 

Emotional – there is a process to everything.  I guess I still kind of consider myself a ‘new’ runner, just starting to move out of the ‘new’ stage.  I didn’t seriously start running until after I had Luke.  I ran before, but I didn’t put the time into it like I have in the past 2 years.  I have run more races in the past 6 or 7 months than I think I have run in the previous 3 years total.  I am still figuring out how to run and what works for me.  I definitely go into races, especially these smaller ones, wanting to win, or at least win age group.  I think it is going to take a certain amount of time and some races under my belt until I figure out how to really want it.  Like I said above, I tend to settle into certain goals, play it safe and let certain goals go when someone passes me on a race, and default to the next best while the first one is right within reach.  It’s going to take a certain number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th places until I’ve had enough of that and find the push to take more.  I’m in the process.  I think we are all in the process of something.  whether it’s actually the running, or the working out, or the job, or the family – whatever it is.  We are always figuring it out and getting ready to take it to the next step.  I have 49 days to keep training for the next race, physically and mentally.  running is not my life, but it makes up part of my life, and it is important to me.  Running certainly helps balance the other parts of what makes me move and groove.   

I’m always happy with the race.  satisfied.  on a runner’s high all day from running well.  As the day goes on after a race, and I reflect on how it went, I quickly realize there was more to give.  satisfied is not enough for me.  This is why I run.  It’s always a challenge – in many ways.  After I finished today, my daughter runs up to me and says, ‘Mom, you won!’  I said well, I got 3rd place for the women, and that’s great.  She said, ‘yeah, you won, you got 3rd place!’  and she’s right.  I ran.  I finished.  I won.  It’s always a win when you run, and you finish.  no matter what the place.  It’s always a win when you get out there and do something.  find in yourself what your winning something is and make it happen. 

 

I would love to hear about your race stories and personal wins!  Race season is coming up and I’m sure a lot of you have races coming.  Feel free to share, and I would love to mention you on the blog!  Also, feel free to email if you would like to read about a certain topic or have questions you want answered. 

 

What is your biggest challenge in running? 

 

$12 Half marathon? I’ll take one, thank you very much

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So when I thought I got the deal of the century getting $10 off the RNR Country Music marathon in April – I was WRONG. 

 I have been toying with the idea of finding a race in between now and my April Marathons. just to test out the good old racing legs.  the problem is, it’s cold here until April.  and what do we all know about Katie….I don’t want to run in the cold.  but running a spring marathon is also new territory for me.  so maybe cold running should be something I learn to like.  well, there is a half marathon.  pretty close to me.  In February.  the only thing I knew about it was that it was super hilly.  I was not about to pay to run a hilly course.  in February.  that’s hard.  but it’s hard.  probably exactly why I should run it.  I went to check out the website and found out it only costs $12.  twelve dollars.  I know.  is that crazy or what?!  what.  I could run it 5 times, and it would still be cheaper than any half I’ve ever done.  I’ll only run it once.  

I have a couple guesses as to why it only costs twelve dollars.  the first is this pretty little picture

how about some hills.  hmmmm.  fun. 

The second is this little diddy – this is usually what February looks like in CT. 

I surely would not pay$60 or more for a half marathon when there’s a risk of SNOW.  eeeekkkk!  they can pay me.  to not run in this.  for $12, I will run the risk of crazy weather.   

So, I signed up.  and I want to win it.  for the females.  done. 

Anyone have races coming up in the next couple months?

Cold weather runner, or do you like it hot?

It’s like CAKE

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Workout – treadmill – 12 miles 88 min.  1% incline, than alternated 4-5% incline for last 1/4 of each mile.  make sense?  didn’t think so.

I started getting anxious about all of this treadmill running I’m doing.  I’m used to running outside.  where there are naturally, hills.  go figure.  not so on the treadmill.  not sure what a 4 or 5% incline translates to, but I know it’s not flat.  I’m a braniac disguised as a mom.  actually, the 5% incline made it seem like cake when I put it back down to 1%.  really.  felt like I was eating a hunka chocolate cake.  YUM.  lets do it every day. 

this was an instance where I had to make a conscious decision to put my little finger on the treadmill button that said “incline” and pump it up.  I had to do something I didn’t really want to do.  the only way to get better, faster, stronger.  I improvised.  the plan didn’t even have to tell me to do this.  but I was getting too comfortable

I also had the novel idea to listen to music while I ran today.  I know.  no one has EVER thought to do that before.  I don’t know why???  it made my 12 mile treadmill torture run feel like……a 12 mile treadmill run…..but maybe 30% happier.  I think I may have even smiled once.  maybe sang out loud.  I have never listened to music when I run.  not an exaggeration.  never happened.  there is enough noise in my life.  i never felt the need to clutter my 40 minutes of running solitude with more noise.  and I have this weird thing that if the only way I can make it through a marathon or a long run is by listening to music, than I’m kind of cheating myself?  very strange.  don’t judge.  or ask me to explain that one any further. 

but, there is a first for everything.  I decided the only way I was going to make it through this run was by listening to music.  Turns out my music kind of s-u-c-k-s.   lets just say the Les Mis soundtrack and Leanne Rimes don’t exactly get the heart pumping and adrenaline flowing.   I need some HELP in that area. 

If you lovely folks have ANY music suggestions, I will put them directly on to my phone and thank you kindly for getting me through my long runs.  anything is better than Andrea Bocceli and the GLEE soundtrack.  for running.   

I came home and stuffed my face with a tuna/salsa/wrap thing.  perty yummy.  i was hungry again about 36 minutes later. 

mmmm. tasty.

  

and than I watched my children scarf down waterfowl that my husband hunted down this morning.  I think that manly dinner I made him, made him want to go shoot things this morning.  they call it a sport.  i dunno. 

mmmm. more tasty. just keeps getting tastier.

 
Saturday is not complete without a little dance dance remix party.  to none other than Selena Gomez and her teeny bopper Disney friends. 
 

Get a look at these moves.  wowza.

We are going out on the town tonight to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  will report back on the deliciousness that wasn’t my own home-cooked meal and gladly eaten by yours truly.  I get really excited to eat out.  especially at my favorite little restaurant that is only a mile from my house.  I will try to not order everything off the menu.  and act like a lady.  that’s a tough one. 

ps – I said I wasn’t going to watch the marathon trials for the Olympics, but I caught the last 20 minutes ( a 2, 4 and 5 year old don’t think it’s fun to watch running??  I don’t get it)  Amazing.  going to be honest.  I may have gotten a little choked up when the winners came through.  men. and women.  I’m emotional these days.  all I can say.  I want to be one of the “slow” woman in that race.  that’s all. 

Stay safe kids!

If you could ask the olympic marathoners 1 question, what would it be?

I would ask, “what the heck are you eating that keeps you so strong, healthy and so fast???”

What is your favorite restaurant to go out on a “date” to?

What have you done to push yourself lately?  running or not running related…

Leave a comment below!!