Friday, October 30, 2009

Just popping in

Just popping in right quick to wish all the NYC Marathoner's the best of luck this weekend! I'll be following along cheering hard for all of you and of course, Ryan Hall!

I'm so badly in need of the weekend. It's been a long week, plus I have fun plans! Soccer senior night is tomorrow and since my good friend plays I'll be there and at the tailgate before hand. And then Sunday I'm going to lunch at my cousin's new apartment. I can't wait to see it and see her and the rest of the fam!

I'll be back next week with a post about my treadmill running, including how I keep myself entertained and why I submit myself to that boring machine.

Hope all your weekends rock! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Phils, shoes, domains, medals, and volleyball

Prepare yourself for the most random of random posts (with pics and videos farther down!)

Phils:
I was up waaaay past my bedtime last night watching the Phils hammer the Yankees in Game One of the World Series. To sum up, the Phils are awesome and the Yankees suck. Cliff Lee is a beast, going nine innings with no earned runs and my bf Chase Utley (not to be confused with The BF) had a stellar game with his two solo homers.

Shoes:
I went for a run Tuesday night on the dreadmill because it was pouring out. No problems with the shoes. Yesterday I took them for a short run outside and didn't seem to have any real problems either. My legs were tired and exhausted, but that's because I did a brutal hill workout on the dreadmill the day before. So I think I'm sticking with my current pair for now but will closely monitor the situation.

Domains:
I've been thinking for a while now about buying my own domain name and getting rid of the .blogspot.com part of my web address. Sadly rungirlrun.com is not available. It probably was three years ago when I started the blog and was much less web-savvy, but it's not today. So that means if I make the switch I've got to get a totally new URL. I was toying with jessruns.com. It seems to be available. Terprunner.com is available too. I'm open to any suggestions. I really wish rungirlrun.com was an option because obviously I would pick that, but jessruns.com wouldn't be so bad.

What do you all think?

Medals:
My Beach to Bell medal (for running VB RNR and the PDR) came in the mail yesterday and it is freakin' huge. (TWSS <--- that's for you G!) So glad I did both races to get this pretty piece of hardware.



Volleyball:
I think I mentioned in my Race for the Cure race report, that the BF is a big volleyball player. Since I had my camera on me at his game last night I shot this short video of the BF and his stepdad. The BF is the tall one in red on the right and his stepdad is the one in red on the left. BF has a pretty sweet hit toward the end of the video.

video

Alright that's enough from me for today. I'm really interested in hearing all your thoughts on the domain thing though!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do I need new shoes?

On my three mile run last night, my hips, knees and shins were all feeling the full effects of the pounding on the sidewalk. I got home and was pretty sure I needed new running shoes since I bought my current pair back in June.

I'm not as diligent as I should be about tracking the miles on my shoes. So when I went back and looked through old posts and MapMyRun training logs, I realized I only have about 160 miles on my current pair. (Assuming I blogged or mapped out the majority of my runs)

So maybe it was just an off day for me running wise.

But since I was on Amazon browsing discounts on my Mizunos, I happened to stumble across the Mizuno Wave Inspire 6, which is being released Nov. 9, in a pink and white color scheme.

Yea I'm pretty pumped. I think it would be awesome to have pink and white running shoes. I run in the Wave Inspire 5 now, but I've never had problems when Mizuno's made updates to their basic Wave Inspire. I've also run in the 3 and 4 and loved them too.

But because an update is coming out so soon and there was exactly one pair of the fives left in my size on Amazon, I'll probably have to go to the store and actually shell out the additional cash for a pair there. I don't want to order the 6 online and then have to ship it back because I don't like the new style and end up having to go the running store anyway.

I'm going to keep monitoring my current shoes and see how I'm feeling after runs in them. If I continue to have issues, I'll just get the new pair and assume I miscounted my miles.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Fun!

Yesterday, the BF and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall and head out of the city to a pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful drive out to the farm. We saw trees with leaves changing all of their colors and big open green spaces. It was such a nice change from being in the city where everything is crammed on top of everything else. I'm a country girl at heart.

Butler's Orchard, the farm we went to, holds a fall festival every year where you can get lost in a corn maze and take a hayride out to the pumpkin field and pick pumpkins. They had food and music and games for little kids. It was a really fun day.

We spent the bulk of our time in the pumpkin patch. We were trying to find the perfect pumpkins to carve.

There were tons of pumpkins. At one point I told the BF I wanted to take all of them home. LOL.

I finally settled on one and the BF did too. His was much bigger than the one I picked.

When we got pack to the festival, I was a hungry hungry hippo. After scoping out the food options, we settled on the tent with the shortest line. BF and I both got some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches.

For dessert, we split this caramel apple. I think it was the best caramel apple I've ever tasted. It was made to order, which meant the ladies didn't put the caramel on it until seconds before they handed it to you so it was still warm. BF decided he wanted Halloween colored jimmies on it, so we opted for that instead of the crushed nuts. It was like the perfect fall treat!

All in all it was a great day!
Hope you all had excellent weekends. Can't wait to read those race reports! Happy Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ready for the weekend

When I got home from work last night I toyed with the idea of going for a run for about five minutes. Then I curled up in bed and caught up on TV instead. Lazy, you bet, but just what this worn out girl needed.

I'm so looking forward to the weekend to catch up on some much needed sleep. Late nights up trying to watch the Phillies games weren't doing anything good for me this week.

I've got nothing too thrilling on the schedule for the weekend, except for cashing in a gift certificate from the BF's mom for a much needed sports massage tomorrow afternoon. I'm so looking forward to it!

Before I wrap up, I wanted to give a quick shout out to all my new commenters! I've been noticing that over the past two weeks a bunch of new people (or maybe former lurkers?) have been leaving me some nice comments. Thanks bunches and welcome! My apologies for not being over to check out your blogs! I promise I will find the time soon!

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beat

Between staying up to watch the Phillies win the NLCS (again! Whooo team!) and running an extremely hilly new route yesterday, I am dragging today. I hit snooze twice this morning and each time the alarm went off I was startled out of a deep sleep. But I've fueled up with a delicious omelet from our cafeteria downstairs (because I was a starvin' marvin this morning) and I'm feeling more awake already.

My quads, however, are not loving the fact that the 7.2 mile route I mapped out yesterday was full of hills. I didn't know it and certainly wasn't expecting it. I used Mapmyrun to try out a new, longer and pretty much unfamiliar route where I knew there would be two hills. But turns out, I picked a realllly hilly route. I did a ton of climbing and then a lot of up and down through some big rollers.

And lucky me, most of the big, big hills were out the end of the route.

My quads are trashed, especially might right one.

I was trying to embed the elevation profile from Mapmyrun, but can't seem to figure out a way to do it. I know how to embed the map, but that's not what I was going going for.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hating on the 5K

After running Sunday's race, I am completely annoyed with the 5K.

I like the fact that a 5K is an easy distance to run that requires absolutely zero training at this point in my running. I can pretty much register the day before, show up not fueled properly and know I will at least be able to cross the finish line. It doesn't pose the challenge that any other distance poses. The only challenge left in the 5K for me is improving my time.

What I hate about the 5K is that it brings out all amateurs who know absolutely nothing about race courtesy. Like in this Sunday's race, the BF and I lined up in the middle of the pack of people with timing chips on their shoes. For some reason this year, the idiotic race directors decided it would be smart to have the timed runners and the untimed runners start at the same time.

So we lined up, the gun went off...and no one moved. Finally there was some shuffling. Then we crossed the start line and there was still some shuffling and very little running. When I finally got my bearings and wasn't about to trip over someone's feet, I noticed tons of people walking from the get go and people without timing chips who had started in the front of the pack.

I hate people who don't follow common race courtesy and while I know this happens in longer races, it always seems to be the worst in 5Ks. If you're going to walk the whole race, start at the back of the pack. If you're not a timed person, start behind the people who paid extra money to be timed. If you're the race director, go back to what you did last year -- having the timed runners start 15 minutes before the untimed runners.

Chances are, the people who paid extra for timing are a little more serious, more prepared, know how to line themselves up at a start line and don't want to deal with the jostling and dodging around people who line up in the wrong place.

I think this mostly happens in the 5K because it's a lot of people's first experience with racing because it's an easy and manageable first distance. I don't mean to turn people off of running or to sound like a running snob. I just think people need to be more aware of common race courtesy. Running should be fun for everyone participating. If people line up where they are supposed to, there's such a better chance of that happening.

So for now, I'm kind of over the 5K. That's not to say I'll never run one again. I probably will. In fact, I may be running one next month. But it will be much smaller than Sunday's. Otherwise, I'll stick to 8Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, etc, races that actually require some level of training and probably cull out the amateurs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Race for the Cure Race Report

When I finished yesterday's Race for the Cure 5K, I told the BF I was sure the course had been measure wrong. There was no way I had run a 9 minute first mile after getting stuck behind tons and tons of people and being forced to walk part of the beginning of the race because there was just no where to go.

Some guy in front of me heard my comment and turned around to show me his Garmin had measured the course at 3.13 miles. I was stunned. (And apparently this is why Garmins are awesome.)

The reason I was stunned was because that means my time of 27:36 was a legit finishing time on a legit 3.1 mile course, which means I finished the race in under 28 minutes, my A goal!

It also marks the first time in my life (at least since I started running to train for races three years ago) that I ran faster than a nine minute mile. My average pace was 8:54, according to the official results. Whooo!

I think maybe some of the credit goes to the absolutely disgusting weather. I have to think I was running faster because I wanted to finish and get the hell out of the freezing cold and rain. At race time the "feels like" temp was 39 degrees with 13 mph winds and rain. I had on my UA tights, my cold gear top, another shirt on top of that and then gloves and my ear warmer. I was still freezing, but warmed up once I started moving. I even ended up pulling my gloves off toward the end of the race. They were soaking wet and my hands were burning up.

After I finished, I waited for the BF, who crossed the finish line in just under 30 minutes. Pretty impressive for a guy who hasn't run once since our half marathon Labor Day weekend. I have to credit some of his athleticism to all the volleyball he plays. I think he's playing in three different leagues this fall.

My roommates walked the course, so lucky them got to bundle up in nice heavy jackets and scarves and hats and gloves. They were pretty much immune to the weather. By the time they finished about 45ish minutes later, I was a shivering mess so I couldn't stick around with them to check out the race village.

Once I got back into the heat of my car, I eventually thawed out. The BF and I celebrated a great race by grabbing some bagels from the place by my house. I had a Honey Wheat bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, tasted just like pumpkin pie! Delicious!

So despite the weather, it was a fun time. I'll leave you with the very few pictures I managed to take.

Me and the BF before the start!

Me with my very bundled up roommates.

The BF right before he finished. He's the behind the girl in pink's shoulder. (This was a much better picture before girl in pink and her friend, dude in black, veered right into my picture)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Race for the Cure

This Sunday I'm running the Race for the Cure 5K near Baltimore with a bunch of my friends. It's a fun race that I've done the past two years and convinced some of my friends to join me last year.

This year our group will consist of the BF and I running the race and then my friends Emily, Laurie, Randyl and Chris who will all be walking. Chris broke his arm a few weeks ago. I think he was planning to run, but now he'll be walking, arm in sling and all.

The weather is supposed to be cold and rainy here all weekend, but I'm hoping the rain eases up Sunday morning for the race so we can all have a good time and not come down with pneumonia.

Race for the Cure holds my 5K PR from last year and I'd love to break it this year. I've got a couple goal times, but they are all weather dependent.

C goal: Run, have fun, finish under 30 minutes without a new PR.
B goal: Run, have fun, break PR.
A goal: Run fast, have lots of fun, finish under 28 minutes.

We'll see what Sunday holds. I certainly haven't been training for speed, but I have been running faster lately averaging around 9:30 per mile. I really don't know what to expect. I'm just hoping I can pull some speed and break that PR!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some good running

I got in another solid run yesterday morning. It was just a 5K because that was all I had time to squeeze in, but it was something. And I managed to average 9:18 minutes per mile, so that wasn't too shabby either.

My running has been going well lately. I've been averaging about three runs per week, which is fine by me. I'm not really training for anything so to go out and get a few runs in just for fun has been really nice.

I've been enjoying the fall temperatures for sure. Yesterday was the first time this fall that I had to wear my capris.

Running things seem to be going along just fine, so I don't really have anything too thrilling to post about. Things are just good.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Go Phillies!

Wheeee the Phillies won the NLDS last night beating the Rockies 5-4. It was getting to be a little bit of a nail biter at the end. The Rockie's had two on with two outs and were only trailing by one when the Phils made a pitching change and brought in Brad Lidge.

If you follow the Phils, you know Lidge hasn't been as awesome this year as last year. But in the clutch he brought back his 2008 form and striking out the last batter for the third out the victory!

Bring on the Dodgers in the NLCS on Thursday!

In running news, I got in a nice 5.2 mile run yesterday afternoon. It was chilly and windy out and I probably would have been comfortable in my running capris, but I wore long sleeves and shorts. The coldness was totally going to make my legs move faster right haha?

I had actually been hoping to get in a 10K yesterday, but I didn't spend the time mapping out a route before hand. I threw a couple extra turns in during the run, hoping maybe it'd be enough to add the distance I needed, but I knew when I was getting close to home that I had fallen about a mile short.

Oh well. It's not really that big of a deal. I knocked out the 5.2 and averaged 9:34 minutes per mile.

I forgot to stretch though because I was chilly and wanted to get in a warm shower quickly. My left calf muscle is reminding me of that major FAIL this morning.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lazy holiday and registering for races

Man working for the government is totally the good life. I'm off again today because it's Columbus Day. So I'm currently sitting in my bed, having just eaten a delicious bowl of cereal and about start reading a good book. So a big thanks to Chris for discovering the New World and to the U.S. government for honoring the day by giving all it's employees the day off.

I'm thinking at some point later today I'll end up dragging my butt out of bed for a run, but we shall see.

In other fun news, this weekend I registered for two races. One will be a brand new race for me and the other is a favorite I discovered last year.

The new one is a 10K in December called the Jingle All the Way 10K. It's held on Dec. 13 and you get jingle bells to tie to your shoes when you run. Apparently a lot of people dress up in costumes for it too. Plus for the low price of a $25 entry fee, I could hardly pass up. (Plus you get a festive race shirt!)

The other is a five miler that I ran last year and had a ton of fun doing. It's the weekend after the 10K, but I'm not really worried about that. Neither of them are "long" races. The five miler set me back a little more. It was $45. I mean I could have registered for $15, but then I wouldn't have gotten the super awesome tech top. And let's not lie, I'm a race gear whore, so I shelled out the extra cash for it. Plus the fleece they gave out last year was awesome and I wear it all the time, so I'm excited to see this year's shirt.

I'm also eyeing a 10K the weekend before Thanksgiving. It seems like a pretty low-key event and I haven't decided whether or not I want to do it yet.

I've got the Race for the Cure 5K this weekend with a bunch of friends. I can't wait. We had such a good time with it last year!

Oh and just to update you all on what we decided with the shirts for that race. My friends and I loved the "Saving Second Base" slogan, but we couldn't find a place to print them on the kinds of shirts we wanted for a reasonable price. So unfortunately we had to can the idea. I'm still planning my race day outfit. It will involve lots of pink for sure.

OK enough race babble for one post. That's all for me today!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Shoulder pain during my run

I am loving the cooler fall temps. Last night's run was great. I still wore shorts and a tank top, but I didn't feel like I was sweating like an animal. I can't wait until the temps get just a little bit chillier so I can rock my long sleeve tech tops. For some reason they are my favorite running gear.

Anyway, last night I set out without having a set distance planned. I figured I'd do my normal loops and if I was feeling good add in a couple of the optional turns to add some distance.

I was feeling great. My legs felt strong and rested and I was able to tackle 4.5 miles and average 9:30 minute miles on a course with some serious hills.

The only thing that bothered me were my shoulders. From about the first mile on, I had this weird tightness and discomfort in my shoulders. It almost felt like they weren't gliding right in the socket or something. And it was making my arms feel like dead weight. It wasn't a stabbing pain or anything, just ever present discomfort. It's not something I've never experience before on a run. Occasionally I'll get sharp pain in my right shoulder if my breathing gets to shallow. Like a side stitch up in my shoulder, but I've never felt this constant discomfort for an entire run.

Have any of you felt anything like that? Or do you have suggestions for what I should do if it comes back next time I'm out running?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cooking up a storm

Since I had yesterday off from work, I decided to do a little planning in advance as far as food goes for the rest of the week. I cooked for like three hours.

My normal schedule looks something like this:
6:15 a.m. Alarm
6:30 a.m. Get on Metro (I do alllll getting ready work the night before)
7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Work
5:30 p.m. Metro home from work (Yes it takes almost double the time getting home as coming into the office, don't ask me why)
6 p.m. Workout
7 p.m. Shower
7:30 p.m. Dry Hair
8 p.m. Think about dinner

As you can see, my normal dinner time is like 8 p.m., a time of night when I'm not in the mood to cook or anything. So I eat cereal, PBJ or frozen dinners. Sad but true.

But then I was reading my most recent issue of Self magazine and they had an awesome article with recipes that you could cook on one day and eat for the rest of the week. I gave it a whirl yesterday, making all five of the recipes.

They were a pasta dish, an enchilada dish, Thai soup, and two other things I can't remember right now.

Then you freeze them until you want to eat them and go from there! It took me a few hours to make everything, but I think now I will have dinners for the rest of the month.

Plus it was a productive way to spend my day off.

I kind of like the idea of cooking once and not having to worry about it during the week when I'm busy trying to cram other stuff in.

Do any of you all do the cook once a week thing?

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Tale of Two Runs

This is a tale of two runs, one that was totally awesome and one that completely sucked.

The first run happened about 20 minutes ago. The weather was perfect, sunny, but cool, with a little bit of a breeze. The hills, which sometimes can be a real pain in the rear, didn't seem all that bad. In general I cruised except for when I had to stop at a few traffic lights. I did my weird 3.67 mile loop in 35:16 and felt strong the entire time.

The second run was on Saturday morning. The weather was warmer than expected. I was dehydrated and apparently hadn't fueled properly despite my late dinner of a burger and fries at an awesome brewery in Bethesda. The run was supposed to be a 10K. At 2.25 miles I had cut it down to four miles. Near the three mile mark, I was dizzy and decided it was just time to go home. Total distance 3.78. Running fail.

Moral of this tale: Bad runs happen, but then good runs happen and the bad ones don't seem like that big of a deal.

That's all I've got for today. Happy Monday!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ryan and Kara

Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher are both kind of my running heroes. I can't remember ever being more excited to watch a Boston Marathon than this past year when both were true contenders to win. (Although sadly neither did.)

I was tickled pink when Kara won the Chicago Half Marathon a few weeks back. And not just won in the women's division, like won the entire race.

And it was super cool to see Ryan accept his award for winning the Philly Distance Run in September.

I think it's great that U.S. distance running has these two sort of iconic people championing the sport. And that's not to detract from any of the previous running greats. I'm just really keen on Ryan and Kara.

So anyway, I was super excited to get my November Runner's World in the mail yesterday and find that not only is Ryan Hall on the cover, but they've got a sweet story about him and his hope of winning the NYC Marathon next month. (I don't think RW has the link up on their Web site yet, sorry guys!)

I love the way the guy comes across in every interview I've ever read with him. He's humble, not your typical hot-shot athlete, and he respects the 26.2 distance. He wants to do big things and he's confident that his day will come. I think my favorite part of the story though was when he said if he never won a major race he'd be okay with it, because there's more to running than winning races.

As a middle of the pack runner, I can completely relate to that.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I ran! and a fun tag

Well last night I finally got bored of sitting on my butt every night after work and doing nothing so I headed out for my first run since my back to back half marathons.

I decided I wanted to push myself a little bit to see if I could run with some kind of speed after taking a week and a half off.

I did a 3.67 mile loops (I need to find a way to make that equal 4. I hate weird mileage numbers) in 34:11. That's 9:18 minute miles. I'll chalk that up to an awesome success. It was a nice evening too. Slightly chilly so I wore long sleeves for the first time this fall. Ended up pushing the sleeves up about half way through, but never felt overheated. Crossing my fingers that fall running is finally here!

In nonrunning news, Stacy over at Dare to Tri gave me this sweet award. But in order to accept, I have to play a fun little game and then pass the award on to six other bloggers.

So here we go:

Answer the following questions with only 1 word answers...


1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2.Your hair? short
3. Your mother? awesome
4. Your father? fun
5. Your favorite food? pasta
6. Your dream last night? horrifying
7. Your favorite drink? water
8. Your dream/goal? Boston
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something you aren't? sad
15. Muffins? delicious
16. Wish list item? Garmin
17. Where did you grow up? PA
18. Last thing you did? typed
19. What are you wearing? sweater
20. Your TV? Old
21. Your pets? none
22. Your friends? rockin'
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing someone? maybe
26. Vehicle? taurus
27. Something you're not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? pacers
29. Your favorite color? pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? last month
32. Your best friend? Emily
33. One place that I go over and over? metro
34. One person who emails me regularly? coworkers
35. Favorite place to eat? cosi (for lunch at work. the only one name place i can think of)

And now for the six people (only six?!) that I choose (trying not to repeat anyone).

Lindsay at Chasing the Kenyans. This girl rocks. I got to meet her at the VB RNR and she totally kicked some booty at that race!

Frayed Laces. I love reading her blog. She's always tackling some new awesome challenge and is just a first class bad-ass athlete.

X-Country2. She cracks me up every day, usually because she's busting on RazZ. Plus she just started tackling tris and is doing awesome!

Wes from a Code Geek's Tail. Wes is one of the most thoughtful, inspirational bloggers I read. If you don't read him you should. Plus he's an IronMan.

Laura from Absolut(ly) Fit. I love reading about her quest to become the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states. And I can totally relate to the whole balancing a social life/trying to fit in runs conundrum.

Susan from Nurse on the Run. What's a tag without a shout out to my fellow UMD alum! Susan's a super speedy runner, who's currently trying out biking while she gets over an injury!