Wednesday, April 30, 2008

LV Half Marathon Race Report

Picture of me at the expo playing with the Stick. (That sounds kind of dirty.)

So here we go. Like I said in my previous post, the first half the course was fairly flat or downhill. The second half however was full of hills. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was in the high 40's when the race started and couldn't have been any higher than mid 50's by the time it was over. It was overcast, which meant no sun beating down on us. Seriously, picture perfect weather.

All my gear set out the night before the race.

I was feeling pretty good before the race. I chowed two Power Bars and sipped some Gatorade before the get go. Hit the Porta-potty twice because I always have to go more often when I'm nervous. I also had my iPod with me because you could run the race with it.

I had with me a pack of Sports Beans and a Propel and would pick up Gu at one of the aid stations around mile 7.

The race started downhill and a pretty steep one before flattening out. I hit mile 1 at 10:43, where I proceeded to mutter, "Oh Crap." Although it must have been louder than I thought because the woman next to me said, "No that's the gun time not your time" (The clock by mile one said 12 something). I smiled at her and said, "No I'm going way too fast."

I tried to slow myself down but didn't really succeed hitting mile two around 21 and change. That's where the first aid station was. I grabbed a cup of water and Gatorade. As is my usual, I walked through all the aid stations.

The first two miles my legs felt a little heavy, but I kept going.

I saw my parents at mile three and waved and smiled. I completely missed the mile markers for four and five. When my watch read about 56 minutes I walked while I ate my Sports Beans and gulped some Propel.

This is the guy who won the race. He passed me on the out and back between mile 3 and 4 and finished in 1:07 something.

I hit the 10K at1:04 and change. That's way fast for me peeps.

Approaching my parents after the 10K.

I saw my parents soon after and my mom yelled, "You're way ahead of pace."

My answer: "I know I hit the 10K way too fast. This is bad."

Running past my parents after the 10K.

I cruised into the Parkway hit mile 7 where I grabbed water and a pack of Gu. I didn't take the Gu until mile 8 though.

Hi Dad!

Maybe if I wouldn't have wasted energy on this I would have had more at the end.

Right after that aid station I took a little walk break to rest my legs. I think it was about two minutes. From there I picked it up and was able to run some more. I saw my parents for the last time before I'd see them at the finish line around mile 7.5.

Dad thanks for this great picture of my butt.

After mile 8 the evil hills started. I walked the first one and ran down the other side and was able to keep going. I ran through the covered bridge and hit mile 9.

At this point my legs were feeling pretty tired, but I kept going and hit mile 10 at around 1:50ish I think.

Mile 10 was full of more hills and I had to do a lot more walking. I was tired but feeling pretty good.

Then I hit mile 11. I was walking and running pretty evenly at this point. I'd run for about 5 minutes and walk for two sometimes extending it to three if I needed it.

Mile 11.5 did me in. I hit the wall of all walls. But knowing I only had about two more miles to go I kept moving. I was still on pace to finish under 2:30, which was one of my big goals for this race.

Right before I got to the stadium.

I walked a large part of mile 12 and then I got to the stadium. May parents were standing right outside cheering me on and I picked it up to a run. I kept it nice and easy for the first half of the track and then somewhere deep down I still had some energy left because I sprinted the last .1 with everything left in the tank.

Making funny faces right before I entered the stadium.

I passed a whole pack of about 10 runners in that last .1 including a bunch of guys. Hey Vanilla is it bad that was I a little bit excited to have chicked them?

Me about to chick a bunch of dudes.

I didn't get a chance to stop my watch around away afterward because people were shoving bottles of water and that plastic wrap stuff to keep you warm into my hands.

When I managed to stop it it read 2:27:00. I frantically waited for them to post chip times. Mine was 2:26:56.

I shaved 11:33 off my previous PR!!! I was/am/and probably will be for a long time PUMPED! And I finished under 2:30 which was my big goal for this race!

My mom and I chilling after the race.

Here's a quick some up of the positive and negatives.

Positives:

The super cool Japanese drummers right before entering the stadium.

Super-friendly volunteers at the aid stations.
The bands on the course were fun.
The flatness of the first half of the course rocked.

Negatives:
A lot of the course was out and back so it got a little repetitive.
The finish area wasn't roped off for just runners so getting your chip taken off and getting medals and everything was kind of complicated with all the spectators around.
The food wasn't just for the runners, which isn't the problem. The problems is starving runners had to wait in realllllly long lines to get food. (In the end I didn't, it wasn't worth it for soup and a sausage sandwich. What about bagels and bananas? I drove home and had toast.)

Overall though it was a fun race. And it was great to run at home and have my parents there. My mom has done a lot of races with me, but my dad has never seen me run so that was pretty special. I also have to give major props to my dad for taking all of the pictures.

I Love Under Armour

I don't have time for a full race report now, check back later tonight for full analysis. But here's a quick teaser about what's to come. First half of the course mostly flat/downhill, leading me to log a 10K time of 1:04 and change.

To get to the exciting news of the day: Under Armour.

It's no secret that I am completely and totally obsessed with the stuff. I think I own a little bit of Under Armour everything. Sports bras, compression shorts, tights for in the winter, the cold-gear turtle neck for under my soccer stuff, hot gear tops, etc. etc. the list goes on and on.

In general I always want to own more Under Armour stuff, but it's also no secret that it's expensive and a smidge out of my price range for the most part.

But peeps, that's where the good news comes: Because of an excess of inventory, the store is going to be lowering prices at its outlet stores! (OK so that's probably bad news for them, but super news for me.)

Here's a list of where they have factory stores (although maybe this isn't complete, I think the one I went to one time in Maryland isn't on here.)

Just had to share the fab news.

P.S. Under Armour if you want to send me stuff to use/test I will be more than happy to give you free publicity and write all about it!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

LV Half Marathon Expo

Well folks tomorrow's race day, which of course means today was expo day.

My mom and I got to the expo fairly early. Picked up my bib and chip. I'm number 3132. Sounds lucky to me.

We picked up lots of free schwag. I love race stuff. Instead of getting shirts, the race directs were giving out sweet windbreak zip ups. They's nice.

I also got asjusted by a chiropracter, which was an interesting experience. I got my feet analyzed to look at where I balance and hold my weight. Learned some interesting stuff there.

And then we went to the Stick table where the guy rolled out my muscles and it was super cool. My mom snapped a not so great pic, but I don't have my camera cord here so all pics will have to wait until I return home on Wed. so I can upload them.

Anyway, speaking of the Stick. I bought one. A lot of you all seem to love them and so I convinced my mom to get one for me. Hehe I love my mom a lot!

In other pre-race news, my family and I are going to one of my favorite Italian places tonight so I can do some carb-loading.

This is a race you can run with your iPod which I'm pretty stoked about because a lot of other races don't let you.

The course is pretty flat for the first half and then there are about four or five hills in the second half. I'm feeling fairly confident in my abilities, but I'm a lot nervous about the injuries mentioned in the last post causing problems.

I hate the day before a race. I twitz out with nervousness.

Well that's all I've got for now. I won't have a post-race update probably until about Tuesday because I am going straight from the race in Allentown to a work conference in Baltimore that doesn't end until Tuesday, and sadly I don't think I'll have a computer/chance to get online until late Tuesday when I get back.

So wish me lots of luck. And of course good luck to anyone else who is racing this weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Heat wave and painful feet

Sorry it's been a while guys. I've been busy busy and just haven't had a chance to sit down and write a post in a while.

Here's what I've been up to.

We won our soccer game 3-2 Wed. night which was sweet.

Thursday I lifted and Friday I took a rest day.

Saturday was supposed to be a six mile run and I was super excited to try out the new shoes. When I woke up at 9:30 it was already a hot 80 degrees with the sun shining. That was unfortunate, but I grabbed some Propel and headed out the door anyway.

The run was pretty pathetic. I had to cut it off at 4.5 miles because I was getting so warm and lightheaded. But before that I had had to throw in a ton of walking. I probably ran the first mile and half, maybe two miles before I had to throw in walking.

My legs felt stiff. My calves were knotting up. It was bad times and I won't lie it sapped a little bit of my confidence for this weekend.

It doesn't help that I got really bad hot spots on my feet right by my toes. They are still there today and they hurt like crazy. I hope they go away soon because there's no way I can run a race with them like this.

Also my right calf is still tight and my right hip flexor feels weird.

AHHHH why am I falling apart the week before my race???

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New shoes but no run

So I bought some new fly kicks last night (pics to come shortly). But I didn't get to use them this morning because it's taper time. And although today called for a speed workout, I have soccer tonight.

Normally I just do my run and then play soccer, but in taper mode, I think it's best to just stick to one all out workout per day. So just soccer tonight.

Taper mode is actually been treating me OK. Usually I'm antsy to workout more, but Tuesday I was super exhausted and didn't mind a day to sleep in and today I was okay with just playing soccer.

It's going to start getting annoying real soon though I'm sure.

Monday, April 14, 2008

10 miles and time to taper

My last long run before taper time was this past weekend, and I couldn't be more welcoming taper time haha.

I had a solid 10 mile run planned out for Saturday, but because of Friday night's festivities, I spent most of Saturday napping.

I bumped the run to Sunday and finished 10 miles in 1:51:30. That's close to an 11-minute mile peeps!!! Let's just say I was pretty stoked.

I had a Clif Bar before I went and around mile five ate some of those Jelly Belly Sports Beans. I also ran with a Propel. It was the first time I ran with a something to drink on a long run since I started training for this race, and I was glad I did because it was definitely sunny and I think the extra calories in the Propel helped push me through the miles.

I only took three walk breaks the entire time, which was good news for me. The first was at about 5 miles or so when I stopped to eat the Sports Beans. Running and eating just seems like a plan for a wonderful bout of choking.

The second time was around mile 7 or 7.5ish because the legs were begging for a breather.

The third time was somewhere between mile 8 and 9.

My watch battery was dying so I couldn't see the numbers very clearly so I don't know how much time I spent walking. I'd say about 5 minutes while eating and then two minutes or less the other two times.

All in all it was a solid run. It helped me get my pre-race and during the race fuel options down. The Clif Bar before hand and then Sports Beans at mile 5 and the gel the course provides at mile 10 should do the job. I'm also planning on carrying a bottle of Propel with me for in between aid stations. (I didn't during the Va. Beach Half and really regretted it.)

I also plan to get new shoes this week. I did the math on my old ones as best as I could. I know since January I've put about 160 miles on them. I've had the shoes since the end of September and trained for a 5K in them last fall. But my running was sporadic between November and December so I don't have exact numbers.

I just know that I could really feel the pounding in my knees and hips during the 10-miler, and I think it's time to get some new ones. I'm pretty excited to check out the running store here. I haven't been yet and this is a good opportunity to go.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Blogiversary!


Happy Blogiversary to me.
Happy Blogiversary to me.
Happy Blogiversary dear meeeee.
Happy Blogiversary to me.

I'm a whole two years old! Yippie!!!

It's crazy to think back to two years ago when I was very very occasionally running two or three miles with no real consistency. And then boom I decided it was time to train for a marathon. And the rest is history.

I can't imagine what life would be like without running. I'd probably be a big old grumpy pants all the time.

I'm addicted to the endorphins (and the race-day schwag!) and the post race medals. I've become a student of mapmyrun.com. I feel naked when I run without a watch.

The only thing I haven't gotten addicted to yet is a Garmin. One day, when I'm super super rich (or just remotely richer than I am right now) I will have one and I will be as obsessed with it as all of you.

I think a good way to celebrate is to look back on some old blog posts. Here I've selected a few of my "greatest hits"

1. My first post ever
2. Baltimore Race Report
3. Virginia Beach Half Report
4. I miss this!
5. Stubble Run Race Report

Down to CP tonight for some spring soccer. And then driving back tonight and work tomorrow. Yikes! It's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

OUCH! This blister is the devil

Hot damn this blister hurts like bitch! It is huge and makes my left pinky toe twice it's normal size.

Normally I love my blisters and laugh at them and it's all good times, but that's because I've never had one that hurt this much. I'm limping around the office like a moron.

(I tried to snap a pic of it on my camera phone to post here, but it wasn't working so well...and sitting at my desk with my sock off taking pictures of my toe was probably going to start freaking the co-workers out...so apologies peeps...I know how much you love those pics.)

It's so bad, I don't think I'm going to be able to play soccer tonight. It kills having my work shoes on (I've tried to stealthly keep them off under my desk for most the day). I have no idea how I'm going to jam it in a cleat and then try to run around on it, when I can barely walk on it now.

I've got a band-aid on it and I'll make a go of soccer, but who knows how that will go.

In workout news, Tuesday's lifting was good even though I overslept and had a shortened session.

This morning's run went well. It was a speed day. So I warmed up for five minutes than cranked it to 5.5 for another five. Then 6.0 and then from minutes 15-20 I went from 6.5 to 6.9. Whoo I was like flying haha.

I slowed it back down to 6.0 for five more minutes and then finished up at 5.5. All in all, a pretty solid workout.

Still haven't decided about the two half marathons. I want to do it, but I'm not sure if I have the dinero to pay the entry fee haha.

Monday, April 07, 2008

2 halfs in a week????

I need your opinion....can I run two half marathons a week apart?

I mean I think I can, but is it a bad idea? Does it make me a crazy nutter?

I'm registered for the LV Half on April 27. The Frederick Half is May 4.

The reason I want to do the Frederick Half is because if you run both Frederick and Baltimore you get a funky third medal for the Maryland challenge or something like that. And I already had plans to run Baltimore in the fall.

So what do you think? Am I a nutter or is it totally do able?

Recovery Run

First off, thanks to everyone for the comments about Saturday's long run. You are all right. I got through it and that's the important part.

This morning was a 45-minute recovery run. I warmed up for five minutes at 5 mph then turned it up to 5.5 for a few minutes. My legs started to feel heavy so I knocked the speed back down to 5.2 or 5.3. I bounced back and forth between the latter two speeds for most of the remaining time.

Nothing really noteworthy to report. The run went fine. It wasn't anything special, but it wasn't bad either.

The only thing that was crappy was that I ran out of time and didn't get to stretch as well as I would have liked to at the end. I've also been nursing a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose for the past few days. I'm hoping to kick it soon.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

9 mile dud

Today my long run was a nine miler. I mapped out a course and made sure I had pasta for dinner last night. I was in bed by 1 a.m. and woke up at 9ish to get ready to run.

Chowed down a PowerBar, drank some water and threw a pack of Sharkies in my running pack and was out the door by 9:45ish.

If you noticed the title of this post, I was not feeling this run.

But let's focus on the positives first:
I finished the entire 9 miles.
By some miracle I ran an average of 11:12 minute miles.
My final time was 1:41:17

And now for the not-so-positive aspects of this run:
It sucked from the minute I started.
My legs felt like I dead weight.
I never hit my stride.
I had to start walking at the 55 minute marker (which was when I ate the Sharkies so I'd have energy for the last 4ish miles)

In the end:
After I had to start walking the first time, I walked for about five minutes while I was eating the gummies and then started running again and kept that up for another 12 minutes or so. After that I had to switch the run 5 minutes walk two minutes method.

I'm not sure how with all that walking I was able to finish in the time I did. I went back and re-mapped my course when I got home, and it still magically said nine miles.

So I guess another big positive is that even though I had to start walking I was able to keep my times consistent. Unfortunately I don't have splits, but I think the first few miles I had to be smoking even though I was trying to tell myself to run slowly.

Now I'm going to go rest my heavy legs and do all sorts of fun things like laundry and grocery shopping....you know you're jealous haha!

Catch ya back here Monday.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Soccer, Cycling, Shoes

Lots of catching up to do.

Soccer on Wed. night was tons of fun. It was a pretty close game for a while, but then we ended up losing 3-1. It was a bummer, but we still had a blast.

The only bad part was that my friend and I were running late because we got out of work late so we didn't really have time to warm up before heading into the game. As a result, I tweaked my right quad.

I was playing defense in the first half and felt a dull pain a little bit during half time, but I stretched it out and figured I was good to go back on D for the second half because we had plenty of subs. I played for a while and then got subbed for which was good news. But then one of our mid's needed a sub really badly and no one volunteered to go in so I said I would.

Bad decision. I spent the night with an XL Icy-Hot patch slapped on my quad and a bag of frozen veggies on my right knee (I got decked by an opposing player and have quite the bruise to show for it.)

Thursday morning I lifted upper body at the gym and thought about walking on the treadmill to keep the quad loose. It felt OK so I thought I'd try a light jog. Bad decision number two. I stopped right away though and stretched it out.

The quad seemed to get better as the day went on and then this morning I thought I'd take it for a spin in cycling and see how things went. Surprisingly no pain at all. (Could be because I slathered on some Bengay last night to help...nothing like the smell of Bengay in the evening haha)

Cycling was awesome. I got such a stellar workout. It was a great way to blow off steam because my personal life is stressing me to the max. I don't like posting too much personal stuff on here, but suffice it to say the male gender is not on my good side right now (sorry fellas!)

As far as the new shoes decision. I think I'm going to go out for my 9 miler tomorrow morning in the ones I have now and see how it goes from there. I may just buy the new shoes anyway because I'm going to need them eventually. More on that decision to come.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

First solid run in a while

I feel like this morning's run was the first solid one I've had in a while. Things felt pretty good and I was able to push the speed on the treadmill to 6.5.

I did my usual warm up and then started pushing the speed by .5 every five minutes. I topped off at 6.5 from minutes 15-20 and then brought it down to 6.0 til 25 minutes and then dropped it to 5.5 to 30 minutes.

I kicked it back up to 6.0 from 30-35 and finished off the last five minutes at 5.5.

The only thing that bothered me was my left heel a little bit in the beginning. It faded after about 5 minutes or so, but I'm wondering if this might be an early warning sign that it's time to get new shoes.

My biggest fear with the upcoming race is that my shoes will bonk out the day of the race and that would probably be the worst thing in the entire world.

So what do you guys think. Time to go cash in for a new pair of Mizunos?