Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March in Review

Today's 8.2 mile run brought my March training to an end. My wonderful friend Deb watched my kids while I hit the pavement. The weather was great and I was pleased to be able to wear a tank top and capris. 68* and sunny...what more could I ask for? The run went well and I felt pretty good and finished the 8.2 miles in 1:18 (9:30/mile).

March Stats

122.7-- running miles
0-- elliptical miles
122.7-- total miles
27*-- coldest outdoor run
68*-- warmest outdoor run
151.8-- weight as of March 31, 2010

My weight is up 1 pound since my February 28, 2010 weigh in. I figure it must be one of three things:
  • I simply gained a pound
  • I gained a pound of muscle
  • I weighed myself this evening instead of in the morning like I usually do

In the end I am pleased with my weight. Yes, I am okay with gaining a pound. Afterall, I weighed 194 pounds when I started this journey so 151.8 is certainly not too shabby!

Current 2010 stats

293.78-- running miles
50.9-- elliptical miles
1-- stairclimb mile
345.68-- total miles

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

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday's Sixteen Miler and Wellness Week

I ran my 16 miler yesterday morning and everything went well. My first mile was around 10:02 and I was concerned that I was going to have another bad experience like I did when I ran my terrible ten a few weeks ago. Fortunately my legs joined me by mile two. I have been doing loops for my longer runs so that I have access to my own bathroom facilities as well as water/gatorade/sports beans. Yesterday I did an eight mile loop, followed by a five mile loop, and finished out the run with a three mile loop. I was able to finish without any pain in my feet this week. I ran a 2:32 (9:30/mile).

I work for a school and today was the first day of wellness week. The sports nutrition class passed out pedometers for us to wear to see how much we actually walk in a day. I asked them if I was allowed to wear my pedometer while doing my training runs this week or if they considered that cheating. One of the teachers (who happens to be a runner and is actually the 5:30 pacer for the Cleveland Marathon in May) said it is certainly not cheating and I plan to wear mine while I train this week as well. I think it will be interesting to see how much walking I actually do at work. I should probably mention that I am the supervisor of the kitchen staff so I am on my feet more than I am at my desk.

I will be altering my training schedule for the next two weeks to accomodate my spring break. As a result I will be doing my long runs on Friday instead of Sunday. I had to do the same thing last year during spring break and it seemed to work out really well. I am sure it will work out just fine this year as well. I am scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh the weekend of April 16th to run my 20 miler with "cuz" Michele. It will be nice having someone to run with for that length of time. The plan is to run a 5 mile loop 4 times so that we will have access to clean restrooms and water/gatorade/gu for her/sports beans for me.

I will be running 4 miles tomorrow after work and then heading to my monthly massage tomorrow night. I am in a lot less pain than I was last week but I always feel so much better after my massage therapist works out the lactic acid. This weeks long run is a scaled back 12 miler so I most likely will not get a massage next week. Next weeks long run is supposed to be 18 miles so I will be scheduling a massage for after that workout for sure!!

Happy running and training! Our weather looks promising for the rest of the week and here's hoping all of you find sunshine and warm weather in your training this week.

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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sole to Soul 5K Race Report

One week ago today we welcomed the first day of spring. The weather this past week has been great, well that is until Thursday when we had snow. Sure enough the weather was calling for 28* for today's 5K. Is Mother Nature playing a cruel joke on us? Seriously, this is what I walked outside to this morning...snow and frost on the grass and a layer of ice on the truck.

The weather report proved to be quite accurate as evidenced by the outside temperature at 7:37 AM.
My neighbor Brenda met me at my house and followed me to pick up our other running buddies, Deb and Marilyn. We had decided earlier in the week that we would all meet at Deb's house and walk to the start line which was about a mile from Deb's house. Of course when we made this decision it was much warmer than it was today. We had Deb's husband take our picture in the warmth of the house and then headed to the start line.

Me, Deb, Marilyn, and Brenda
We talked while we walked to the start line and it wasn't nearly as bad as we had anticipated it would be. It was definitely cold but we had extra layers on for the walk. When we got to the start line it was a "balmy" 27*. Once to the race site we were talking about the race. I had mentioned that I had no idea how I was going to do because I have been running such long distances at a much slower pace than my usual 5K pace.
A few minutes later, the bell rang and we were off for our out and back 3.1 mile run. My plan was to run how I felt and that is exactly what I did. I guess I felt really good because my split at the 1 mile mark was 7:40. I was feeling great and kept going and trying to pass people in front of me and then before I knew it I was at the turn around point of the race. My legs were feeling really good and I ran a 7:20 for mile 2. A few minutes later I saw Marilyn approaching the turn around point of the race and she yelled out to me to let me know that I was the 7th woman overall. I yelled back a thank you and kept moving. I could see the number 6 woman about a 1/4 mile in front of me, ponytail swinging. Once I spotted her I just focused on that ponytail and started closing the gap. I finally passed her around the 2.5 mile mark (according to my Garmin). At this point I knew I was likely going to run a PR and then I turned the corner and saw the finish line and the clock that was showing a 22:XX and I gave it my all. I finished in 23:01 (chip time) and I was ecstatic to realize that I had PR'ed by over a minute (1 minute and 7 seconds to be exact). I was certain that I had placed in my age group because usually it is top 3 women and then 3 deep in age group. When the results came in I realized that they only did the first female and then 3 deep in age group. Now here's the kicker, the age group today was 30-39 which I have never heard of. I am usually in the 35-39 age group. Had the age groups been broken down the way they are more often than not I would have placed 3rd in my age group. At first I was frustrated by this but then I realized that 6th woman and 34th out of 207 overall is definitely an accomplishment that I should be proud of. I ran a 5K last year right around this time and I decided to look up my results from that race....30:57. Wow, I ran 7:56 faster this year.....what a difference a year makes!
After everyone finished, we walked the mile back to Deb's house and once again had our picture taken in the warmth of her house. Well, 3 of the 4 of us had our picture taken. Brenda had better things to do like get her nails done...I don't blame her! Nothing like some pampering after a race!
Deb, myself, and Marilyn
Tomorrow calls for a 16 miler. Here's hoping my legs cooperate and it is a good run!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wow, you've lost a lot of weight...

I had a meeting this afternoon with one of the members of our local Kiwanis to assist him in his food order for the annual pancake breakfast that takes place in April. I was sitting at my desk when he walked in and his eyes got pretty wide and he said: "wow, you've lost a lot of weight, can I ask how much because you look amazing". Without hesitation I said yes of course you can ask and I am down almost 45 pounds (43.2 as of February 28, 2010 to be precise). We took care of his food order and then our conversation went back to my weight loss. He asked me what diet I had followed and I just chuckled. I said actually I ran the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon last year in memory of Stephanie Lufkin and I found my love for running again and I have continued on with my training and I am currently training for the Cleveland Marathon. I did mention that while I don't necessarily "diet", I am unable to eat as much these days. I am not sure if it is related to running but hey whatever works right?

So with my boosted ego, I headed out for my eight mile run this afternoon. I ran by Lake Erie. It was very pretty today and I was disappointed that I didn't have a camera or my phone because the Lake looked awesome with some frozen capped waves that were still melting. I passed several other runners, walkers, and bike riders. It was a beautiful day for working out. The run was great. I took it nice and slow since I am still recovering from my fifteen miler on Sunday. I finished in 1:16:47 (9:35/mile). I am running a local 5K on Saturday so I will be altering my training for the rest of the week. I figure I will just do what feels right. Friday will definitely be a rest day.

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rest day, stretch, foam roll, repeat!!

Today is a scheduled rest day! I have been stretching and foam rolling my mildy sore, tight muscles. As I was using my foam roller, my 4 year old son came in the room and told me I wasn't doing it right. He then proceeded to demonstrate for me! Perhaps he has a career in fitness in his future?!? HA! HA! Yes, there is a keyboard being played in the background. I think my 7 year old daugther's calling may be more musically inclined! Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fantastic Fifteen

Today's schedule called for a 15 mile run. I have to be honest, I was intimidated by the thought of today's run last night and even put it out there on my facebook status. I had many people be very supportive and encouraging on facebook last night which truly did help a lot. My alarm went off at 5:30 AM and of course I hit snooze for a good 30 minutes. Once I finally got out of bed, I headed downstairs and had my standard cup of coffee, banana, and peanut butter toast. Today I decided to try something different and I took my shot blocks before I even started running. I opted for strawberry flavor, not too bad.

I spent the next few minutes drinking some water and getting my running gear on and I was out the door bright and early. In fact, the sun didn't come up until I was about 20 minutes into my run.

I started out slowly since I knew I would be covering a lot of ground today. I was glad to realize that my legs felt good and I was feeling very optimistic that today's run wouldn't be a repeat of last Sunday's terrible ten miler. I did run the same 5 mile loop I ran last weekend so that I would be able to hydrate and fuel after each loop.

Miles 0-5 (loop 1)

I stopped and had a few drinks of water after the first loop and then I was off again.

Miles 5-10 (loop 2)

Around mile 9 of this loop I took out my sports beans. It was quite frustrating since I had to remove my gloves in order to get the package open. It was crazy how hard it was to actually open the resealable package. Once I finally got it open and went to pour a few in my hand, two or three landed right on the road..oops. I slowly ate the sports beans while I continued on with my run. I went for the orange flavored sports beans. This was my first time using them. I think I have found my new fuel of choice. They were very easy to eat while running and quite tasty. I grabbed water when I got back to the house at the end of loop 2.

Miles 10-15 (loop 3)

I made a point during the third loop to check my time when I hit 13.1 miles. My time was 2:06 which is a good minute faster than I ran the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon last May. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Right around mile 13 my feet started to hurt and my legs started to get heavy. When I hit the "half marathon" point of my run I just kept telling myself I had less than 2 miles to go and I could run 2 miles in my sleep. By the 14.5 mile mark I was tired with heavy legs. I was so happy to see the street sign that indicated the end of my 15 mile run. I couldn't get to that sign fast enough! I got to that sign and stopped my Garmin.

Finish Time

Overall, I had a really good run today. It was the polar opposite of last Sunday's run and I am so thankful for that. It made me realize that I can do this.

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How Jodi got her groove back....

My name isn't Stella but I am going to use the altered movie title anyway :). Two simple words explain how I got my groove back: rest day!! It was certainly obvious to me today that yesterday's rest day was just what I needed. I headed out for a nice three mile run after work and imagine my surprise when my legs were actually turning over at a decent pace. Today's run made me realize how important rest days are and that if we continually push ourselves we will eventually breakdown in one form or another. For me it was both a physical and emotional breakdown. The physical part reared its ugly head in the form of a sore throat and "lead" legs. The emotional part was the fact that I was miserable, mentally, the entire run and couldn't believe how awful it was and how glad I was to just be done with it. I still have the sore throat and I have been fighting a headache all day but I am starting to feel much better and am thankful for the sunshine today. Speaking of sunshine, why is it so hard to decide what to wear to run in this time of year? Take today for example. I check right before I change for my workout. Current temperature: 45*. Feels like temperature: 39*. Okay, 39* isn't exactly warm so I decide to go with long pants, a light weight long sleeve shirt, and a light weight windbreaker. I was cold when I started running but was almost too hot by the end. So I will leave you with this question: "How do you decide what to wear?"

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

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Terrible Ten

I had my first bad run in a long time this morning. I woke up with a sore throat and stuffed up. I grabbed a little bit of water and then I got ready to head out on my scaled back ten miler today. My plan was to run my five mile block twice so that I could grab some water and carb boom at the half way point. My legs felt heavy from the beginning. It was by far the worst run I have had in many, many months. My nose was running the entire time which was just plain annoying. The wind was annoying as well, it wasn't forgiving at all. The most frustrating part of the run for me was the fact that I couldn't seem to get my legs to turnover at a decent pace. It took me 1:40.36 to complete ten miles (10:03/mile). I couldn't tell you the last time I ran that slow. Seriously, I ran just over a 9:00/mile pace during my 13.1 miles on the "worst course ever" last weekend. I realize that not every run is going to be perfect but this one was just plain awful compared to my "perfect ten" a few weeks ago. I was never more happy to be done than I was today. Now that I am typing this, I wonder if how I felt today had anything to do with the fact that I didn't drink my coffee or eat my peanut butter toast and banana before I headed out. I wanted to get my run in before the rain started so I just got up and went for it. I am still fighting a sore throat and I am just crossing my fingers that I won't end up getting really sick and being down for the count. I almost forgot the one positive thing that happened on my run didn't rain! Tomorrow is a rest day which I am hoping will help. Here's hoping I'm back on track come Tuesday's run.

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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Malachi 5 Mile Run

I ran the St. Malachi 5 miler this morning. Fellow blogger Connie ran the race as well. We messaged each other on our blogs on Thursday to try and come up with a plan to meet. We exchanged a few emails yesterday and decided we would meet at 9 AM near the porta potties behind St. Malachi. We mentioned what we would be wearing to each other. It was very easy for me to spot Connie as her gray and pink Nikes were a dead giveaway from her blog. It was so great to meet her. We stood in line (shivering) to use the porta potties and then went inside to seek shelter until the 9:45 start. We talked a bit about running and our kids. Both of our parents had run marathons which I thought was a very interesting coincidence. Around 9:35 or so we headed out to the start line and it was definitely cold waiting for the start. We talked about our goals for the race. I mentioned that my Garmin was still giving me some problems and it was my plan to calibrate it on the course which meant I would not have a running time on my watch and would have to rely on the splits that would be called out on the course. I also wanted to try and maintain an 8:30/mile pace. I decided that was a reasonable goal since Connie had mentioned that there were some hills on the course (they were nothing like the hills at the 1/2 last weekend, thank goodness). I figured it would be good practice for the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon in May as I would like to maintain close to an 8:30 pace during it. I asked Connie what her plan was and she mentioned that she would like to improve her time from last year's run but with all the distance training she wasn't sure about her speed (I can relate to that). A few seconds later the race was underway. I planned to run how I felt and that is exactly what I did. My first mile was a 9:02. I was quite surprised it was that slow. I still wonder if that split was off because miles 2-5 my splits stayed right between an 8:25 and 8:30 pace. As I was running up the hill to the finish, I heard Connie cheering me on which was great because I don't normally have people at the events with me (and if I do they are usually running the race as well). I crossed the finish line in 42:13 (8:27/mile). I can't complain! I am very happy with that finish! In fact it is a PR for a 5 mile race (of course this race was my first 5 mile race so any finish time would have been a PR). Head on over to Connie's blog at for her race recap (which I am sure is coming soon).

All in all today's race was great! Got in a great workout, "technically" ran a PR, stuck to my pacing plan, and got to meet a great new friend! Thanks again Connie!! You are going to be awesome in Boston!!

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

60 degrees and sunny skies

So I went out for my 7 mile run this evening and it was gorgeous! I was able to run in capris and a long sleeve shirt. I spent most of the run re-calibrating my Garmin. It hasn't been as accurate as it was in the past since I switched to my new shoes. I have no idea how long it took me to run those 7 miles today because when you calibrate your Garmin the only thing that shows on the screen is the distance you have run and the option to stop. It was nice not knowing my pace today. The best part of the run was when I went past the bank sign that had the current temperature displayed (60 degrees at 6:00 PM). My legs felt really good again today and most of my muscle tightness and soreness have disappeared. With that being said, I just registered for the St. Malachi 5 Mile Run that takes place this Saturday. I am looking forward to it. Today has been a great day as I also received word today that I will be running the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon as a St. Jude's Hero. I am running in memory of Sophie Quayle. Sophie passed away October 6, 2007 from a pediatric brain tumor. To read more about Sophie, visit It is my honor to do this for her family and St. Jude's. Of course I have the added bonus of getting to run with Michele "Cuz" again!!

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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recovery Run

Well, the aftermath of the hills greeted me when I woke up yesterday. I made it about thirty minutes into my day before I made a call to see if my massage therapist had any openings for today as they always say if you think the day after a 1/2 hurts, just wait until day 2. Yep, that's definitely accurate considering I woke up in more pain today than yesterday. Thankfully, I was able to get in for a massage today after work. It was a bit comical when he saw me because I had just been in for my monthly massage last Tuesday. He just looked at me, smiled, and said "I knew I was going to see you this week". The hour massage went very well. It was of course painful and pleasant at the same time. I definitely had a lot of tension and lactic acid built up because my body kept cracking. My therapist determined that both my ankle and my hip were out of place and worked them back in and I experienced sweet relief. He did tell me that I did a great job on my body and he thanked me because it was job security for him! He also told me that I need to schedule a 90 minute massage from now on after long runs or races. I can honestly say that when I walked out of there my legs didn't hurt at all. I came home and headed out for a 4 mile recovery run tonight which was actually pain free. I am feeling some tightness in my legs as the night progresses but I feel at least 85% better than I did this morning. My scheduled run for tomorrow is a 7 miler. Once I finish it and see how I am feeling I will then decide if I'm going to run the St. Malachi 5 Miler on Saturday. If my legs aren't quite up to par I will likely just run the race as a training run.

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mill Creek 1/2 Recap

I must start this post by saying that Michele and I have coined this 1/2 marathon as "the worst course ever"!! Here is a brief description of the course from the website: This is the race to come and challenge yourself. You have 13.1 miles to complete 19 hills.

We arrived in Youngstown yesterday afternoon. We headed to second sole and grabbed our packets then tried to find the start of the race. Well, it turns out we were in Boardman and not Youngstown so we were on the wrong side of the park. One of our high school classmates actually lives in the area so we got in touch with her and she showed us how to get there. After we found the race site, the three of us headed to Olive Garden for dinner. After we loaded up on the carbs, Michele and I headed back to my brother's apartment and talked for hours about anything and everything. Michele showed me a website where I could look up my old race results (like from when I was in high school and college). It was really cool to see. I guess I have slowed with age because my times were quite impressive back then and I often placed top three in my age group. After we talked for what seemed like hours, we headed to bed.

We got up at 6:30 this morning and had our coffee, ate some breakfast, and got ready for the race and headed out around 7:45 to pick up our timing chips. They were actually ankle band chips which I had never experienced before today (they were sponsored by road ID). We posed for a quick picture and hit the bathrooms twice. At 8:45 we were off. The first two miles weren't too bad as they were downhill. We both felt good and were doing well. Around mile four the hills really got to me and Michele pulled away from me. I just couldn't keep the pace. The word hill doesn't do this course justice. You would think you were to the top of the hill just to find out you had to make a small turn and go up the rest of the hill. I was able to keep Michele in sight until around mile 11 and then I didn't see her again until the finish line. Michele finished in 1:56:49.20 and placed 12th in her age group. I came across in 1:58:35.30 and placed 7th in my age group. Michele's dad was at the finish which was great. We talked to him for awhile and had him take some pictures. Michele and I both had some problems with our IT bands today. The ironic part is that we had problems at the same spot on the course. We also were in agreement that we felt like we were walking up one of the hills even though we were running. We were both happy with our times on "the worst course ever". It is certainly not an easy course to run a PR on. All in all, we had a great time. We are going to run the Pittsburgh 1/2 in May to get ready for Cleveland. I will be adding some hill work outs and I few more races so that maybe, just maybe I can actually maintain a decent pace and run the entire race with Michele!! I am seriously contemplating running the St. Malachi 5 Miler this Saturday. Anyone have any opinions, suggestions based on the fact that I will be six days out from today's race?

Michele and I before the race in the heated recreation center

Me with my medal

Michele with her medal

Michele and I after the race

My hips and IT band are very sore. I stopped at Dick's tonight and bought a foam roller in the hopes of being able to stretch things out. After that I headed to the store to buy some epson salts to soak in tonight but I saw this and decided to give it a whirl. With that said I am off to soak .
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pre-race preparation

Well, tomorrow is the Mill Creek 1/2 Marathon. Yesterday was my last workout before the race. I had a jewelry party for my step sister-in-law last night so by the time I got out the door to run it was 10 PM. I have never run outside that late but I didn't want to run on the treadmill . The air was brisk but not cold. I ended up running a mile loop in my development three times to get in my three miles. I chose to run the loop because the loop is covered with street light after street light. I ran very slow and easy. 29:09 for 3 miles (9:38, 9:32, 9:54).

Now I am packing and getting ready to head to Youngstown. My brother has been kind enough to give me and my "cuz" access to his apartment for the night. The best part of that is that he is about 10 minutes from the start line! You have to love that. Now the crazy thing is that my brother is single and lives alone so I can't rely on his cupboards and refrigerator to be stocked so not only am I packing my running gear, I am also packing my "go to" foods for pre and post race fueling.

"Cuz" and I are going to second sole this afternoon to pick up our packets. We may try and take a gander at the course after that and then finish up the night with carb loading at Olive Garden. I am so excited! I can't believe it is finally here!

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