Sunday, February 28, 2010

February in Review

Today's 8 mile run brought my February training to a close. Today's long run was scaled back since I am running a half marathon next weekend. According to the training schedule it was to be an easy run. I felt really good out there and it truly did feel easy. However, I had some very impressive mile splits. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing but at any rate here they are.

Mile 1-- 9:04
Mile 2-- 9:02
Mile 3-- 8:59
Mile 4-- 9:13
Mile 5-- 8:57
Mile 7-- 8:50
Mile 8-- 8:20

Time-- 1:11.27
Avg mile-- 8:55

February Stats

76-- running miles
22.1-- elliptical miles
1-- stairclimb mile
99.1-- total miles
150.8-- weight as of February 28, 2010
5-- number of miles missed (due to headache and pure exhaustion)
45*-- warmest outdoor run
23* (feels like 13*)-- coldest outdoor run
My newest photo (taken on February 26 before an Awards Ceremony)

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's All About The Shoes

Yesterday I was experiencing calf pain. I figured it was the after affects of my long run from Sunday but then I got to thinking. My thoughts were about my mileage. More specifically, my shoe mileage. I looked up my total miles run on my shoes and the number was 482. I did several races this summer and fall with said shoes. I had purchased new shoes back in January but hadn't switched them out yet. I decided to switch out my shoes last night since today was just a three mile run and I figured that would be a good distance for "shoe breaking in". I was thrilled to see the sun shining after work. I put on my new shoes and off I went. It was a good three mile run with decent splits.
Mile 1-- 8:33
Mile 2-- 8:34
Mile 3-- 8:22
Total-- 25:32
My legs were heavy but my calf didn't hurt at all. I really do believe it was all about the shoes. It was due time to retire my old pair to walking shoes. I am thinking the heavy legs had to do with the great 10 mile run I had on Sunday.

I leave you with some pictures of my old and new shoes. It appears I am really hard on my shoes. The tread is pretty much gone on my old ones.

Old Shoes
New Shoes
Old Shoe Tread

New Shoe Thread
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Perfect 10

Today's long run was another scaled back 10 miler in preparation for the Mill Creek 1/2 in two weeks. I was very happy to see the temperature was around 45* and the sun was shining when I headed out this afternoon. I planned to run around a 9:20 pace today since my training schedule called for an easy long run. Once I got out there I was feeling really good and decided to just run how I felt. The temperature threw me off since I am used to bundling up lately. I had to unzip my windbreaker after the one mile mark. By the end of mile two, the gloves came off. As I got to mile 5 I heard the horn of a train indicating it's approach at a railroad crossing. Fortunately, I was still about a 1/2 mile away from the crossing and the train was gone when I approached so I didn't have to stop and wait. In true Ohio weather form, the sun went down at mile 7 and my hands were instantly freezing. The gloves went back on and the windbreaker was zipped back up for the last 3 miles.

Mile 1-- 9:09
Mile 2-- 9:00
Mile 3-- 9:22 (slow steady incline)
Mile 4-- 9:15 (spent 1/4 mile telling a dog to go back home)
Mile 5-- 9:07
Mile 6-- 9:14
Mile 7-- 9:07
Mile 8-- 9:04 (nice downhill)
Mile 9-- 9:01
Mile 10-- 8:41

Time-- 1:31.00
Avg Mile-- 9:06

Today's run was great. I felt like I could have kept running after the 10 miles but of course I respected my training and ended the run.

Keep running, you're simply the best and you inspire me!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Looking Ahead to the Mill Creek 1/2 Marathon Distance Classic

I am very excited to be participating in the Mill Creek 1/2 two weeks from tomorrow. Although, I think I am even more excited to be running it with a long time friend, running buddy, and "cuz". I was checking out the Cleveland Marathon's website last month and found a link to let you check registrations. I decided to put in Pittsburgh, PA since it is one of the bigger cities close to where I grew up. As I was scrolling down I saw a very familiar name..Michele. Of course Michele is a very common name. Now the Michele "Cuz" I know is 33 so I checked and sure enough the one registered is 33. I headed to facebook to see if any of my high school friends kept in touch with her (did I mention that we went to high school together and ran on the track and cross country teams?). As luck would have it, one of my friends was friends with her on myspace. I found Michele through myspace and sent her a message. I found out through her return message that she is in fact running the Cleveland Marathon. It is her first marathon (mine too) and she doesn't want to walk at all (me either) and ideally she would like to finish in 4 hours (me too)! So we had been emailing back and forth and I mentioned that I wanted to run the Mill Creek 1/2 but I really wanted someone to run it with. Without hesitation she said, "I'm free that weekend, I will run it with you". By the next morning we were both registered! Michele and I will both be getting into Youngstown early in the afternoon the day before the race. We plan to pick up our race packets, carb load (of course), and just catch up on say I don't know....the last 15 years or so. I honestly don't believe we have seen each other since she graduated from high school. I graduated in 1992 but would go back when I was free from college obligations and help coach/train the teams. It's funny how things work out, isn't it? Needless to say, I will be in Youngstown in two weeks, camera in hand, catching up with a great friend, runner, and "cuz" and of course enjoying 13.1!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unscheduled Rest Day

Today I was scheduled to run 3 miles however my body had a different plan for me. I started with a headache this afternoon and hoped it would go away with advil but unfortunately it did not. I had a headache almost a month ago to the day that caused me to take an unscheduled rest day. I was scheduled to run 3 miles that day as well. Coincidence? Irony? My body telling me I need to slow down? I'm not sure what to think. Last month I took my rest day without a second thought. Today I was frustrated for a little while when I realized I had to miss another run due to a headache. However, a very wise individual told me that it is better to miss one workout as opposed to pushing my body too hard and having to take several unscheduled rest days. Needless to say, I took the advice and opted out of the workout tonight. With that said, I am putting myself to bed in the hopes that I will feel much better tomorrow.

Keep running, you're simply the best and you inspire me!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

14 miles on the 14th day of the month

I woke up this morning to no snow and clear roads. Perfect for my long run today! Eating breakfast before heading out last weekend seemed to work well for me. With that in mind, I chose to have a few cups of coffee and some peanut butter toast and a banana before heading out around 10:00 AM. I knew today's run would be challenging because 14 miles would be my longest training run since college (and I will admit I stopped running my sophomore year of college at the age of 20 and I turn 36 this year). I went out at a nice easy pace knowing I had many miles to put in today. I don't know all of my mile splits because my Garmin was beeping at me and flashing "low memory" every few miles.

Mile 1-- 9:46
Fastest mile-- 9:12
Slowest mile-- 10:10
Mile 13.1-- 2:07.30
Finish Time-- 2:16.34
Avg mile-- 9:45

I had to stop at mile 12 and balance on one foot to get a rock out of my shoe. There was no way I could run the last 2 miles with that rock in my shoe. I must have looked crazy standing on one foot with my shoe off, shaking it like crazy to get the rock out. I wasn't the most graceful either, which I am sure was a direct reflection of the fact that I had just run 12 miles.

Here are some pictures I took today during my run. I did a 7 miles out and 7 miles back course today. The course started in Avon took me into Avon Lake and back to Avon.

Entering Avon Lake (mile 3)
Frozen Lake Erie (mile 7)

My finish time and distance on the Garmin
My post run fuels of choice (chocolate milk and a Monavie Active gel pack)
My weight after my run today (44 pounds lost since December of 2008)

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First and Ten Do It Again

Okay, the title for today's post is my lame attempt at a Superbowl (cheerleading) pun for today's ten mile run! Afterall, today was my second 10 miler for my long run since I started training in January.

I woke up around 8 AM and was pleasantly surprised to realize I didn't have any muscle soreness from yesterday's stairclimb! Once I realized my muscles weren't angry with me I decided to look outside and assess the weather. It appeared to look like a good day for an outside run. I decided to wait for the sun to come out and the temperature to go up a bit before I headed out. While waiting I enjoyed a few cups of coffee and a bagel. I headed out for my run around 11 AM.

My first mile was 9:54. This didn't surprise me at all since my development was a wet, slushy mess. Once I got onto the main roads, I was in the clear and I got into my groove.

Mile 2 9:27
Mile 3 9:26
Mile 4 9:11
Mile 5 9:17
Mile 6 9:16
Mile 7 9:33 (Spent this mile dodging snow drifts and drivers that wouldn't move over)
Mile 8 9:20
Mile 9 9:20
Mile 10 8:59 (repeat of mile one except the sun had melted the slushy mess in my development)

Time 1:33
Avg mile 9:18

The one problem I encountered today was with my hands. My hands were actually red and numb when I finished my run today. It was painful when I walked into the house and the heat hit them. I did wear my underarmour fleece gloves but I guess they didn't do the job today. Anyone have any suggestions in this area? The rest of my body was fine temperature wise.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tower Tackled and the Runner's Cough won't quit!!

This morning was the "Tackle the Tower" Stairclimb. I woke up to a text message from my sister-in-law saying that the snow was so bad at her apartment that she got her car stuck in her parking lot and couldn't make it to my house to watch the kids. I called Deb and we discussed the weather and what we planned to do. Thankfully her husband was kind enough to agree to watch my kids while Deb and I went and did the climb. We got there, got our bib numbers and were lined up in numerical order and started at 10 second intervals. Deb and I talked to the runner behind us and she gave us the advice to walk at first and pick up the pace since this was our first time doing the climb. I ended up starting out running. I did have to walk at different times throughout the 37 flights of stairs. When I got to the end of the climb I realized my watch hadn't started. I was convinced I did it in 9:00 or 10:00 minutes. I just checked the results and my official time was 7:35. I have to say I am very impressed by that. It was a great experience but let me tell you, my lungs have been burning since I finished and the "runner's cough" won't quit. Given the choice I would prefer to just run but the climb was a great cross training workout for today. Tomorrow's long run calls for a scale back of 10 miles. Here's hoping I can run outside and not on the treadmill in the morning.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Tackle The Tower" Stairclimb

I did a search on google to find a video of last year's "Tackle the Tower" Stairclimb. Perhaps, that was a bad idea as this is what I found.

I will report back tomorrow after I climb 646 steps. I believe the distance is close to 1 mile. Now I can run a mile no problem but add in steps and I don't know if I should be excited or terrfied. Wish me luck!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!