Monday, February 28, 2011

February in Review

Yesterday's half marathon with Dave, which you can read about here, brought my February training to a close. It was the icing on top of a fantastic month of training. One unique thing about my February training is that I ran a 1/2 marathon the last three Sunday's of the month and I enjoyed each and every minute of it! They were all unique and fun in their own way! Would I do it again? Yep, I would definitely go for a hat trick, three-peat, triple, trifecta again!

February Stats
100.09-- running miles (2 for 2 for hitting a hundred miles per month in 2011)
5.8-- elliptical miles
105.89-- total miles
41 minutes-- rope skipping
150.8-- weight as of February 28, 2011 (same exact weight as January)

Current 2011 Stats
204.09-- running miles
17.8-- elliptical miles
221.89-- total miles
1 hour and 55 minutes-- rope skipping

I had a feeling that February was going to be a good month and my intuition was so chillingly spot on that "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas will continue to be my go to song for the duration of marathon training!

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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Chance For Boston 1/2 Marathon

Today I ran 13.1 miles for the third Sunday in a row. The first Sunday was a 13.1 mile training run with Jenn. Dave also joined us for part of that run as he had 10 miles on his schedule that day. It was cold that day and we had to layer which is pretty typical for Ohio in February! Last Sunday I was in Austin, Texas for the Livestrong 1/2 Marathon which was the next on the list for the goal of running a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states with some dear friends! Of course there was an extreme temperature difference in Austin. It was 75+ degrees and very humid and I simply wore shorts and a tank top. Fast forward to today's 1/2 marathon and I was back in Ohio so it was back to layers. It wasn't as cold out as I thought it was going to be. The only part of me that got cold were my fingers.

Now you might wonder how I ended up running yet another 1/2 marathon today. See, my friend Dave is running the Cleveland Marathon with us in May and one of his goals during marathon training was to run a sub 2 half marathon. When he mentioned he was running The Last Chance For Boston, I happily agreed to be his pacer. The original plan for today's race was to go sub 2. We ended up altering that plan to try and go for sub 1:50 which would accomplish sub 2 as well as achieve a new PR for me. As we waited for the race to start we decided we should have a pre-race picture. Still smiling and full of energy!

A few minutes later the race started. The course was 13 one mile loops with the .1 added on prior to the first loop. In essence we would be running 14 loops for a total of 13.1 miles. The first lap we were trying to weave around people and get into a comfortable area. My garmin showed our one mile split as 8:11 which was quite alarming to me because that was fast. In fact, it was much faster than the pace we needed to run to achieve sub 1:50. Mile two came in around 8:16 according to my watch. Mile three we came in right around 8:24. We were definitely on pace for sub 1:50. Then at mile 4 we were close to 8:30 and I was feeling it. Dave asked me how I was doing and I am pretty sure he could tell by the look on my face that I wasn't feeling to hot and was mentally defeating myself in regards to the sub 1:50 finish. He gave me a little pep talk and told me that I was stronger than I thought I was. I found it kind of funny that the pacee was giving the pacer the pep talk. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Now Dave may tell this part of the story differently so head on over to his blog and read his race report here. When we came up on mile 6 we were around 50 minutes at which point we kind of looked at each other and laughed and said yeah, let's just go for sub 2. I have to be honest, I was quite relieved at that point. I was quite confident we could definitely run sub 2 since all of our splits up until that point had been under 9 minute miles. Sometime right before mile 9, I saw a change in Dave's face. I could tell he was having a hard time. When we had just finished 9 miles, I told him we were definitely going sub 2 because we could certainly run 4 miles in 40 minutes. He agreed. I knew I had to go back to being the pacer at this point. I needed to make sure we achieved sub 10 minute miles for the final four miles. During miles 10-12, my splits were a bit faster than Dave's as I was running just far enough ahead of him to keep us at the correct pace. I felt bad at first thinking he thought I was a terrible pacer for not staying right next to him but in order to get him to his goal I had to press on. I could tell he was tired and his legs were hurting. The final mile we slowed down to over a ten minute mile pace for a short period of time but I waited for Dave and got us back on track and managed to get us across the finish line in 1:57. Dave immediately hugged me and thanked me. I was honestly very worried about him at that point because he was looking as if he may go down. Fortunately he regained his composure after getting some fluids in. The race had a really nice room set up for after the race with drinks and snacks so we headed into the warmth and did some stretching and of course had to have an after picture taken. 13.1 miles later very tired and quite sweaty!

With the race completed and goal achieved I headed off for an ice bath. Even though it is really cold at first, it truly does make the muscles feel better once you are in it. After my ice bath I got all of my stuff organized and headed out to have lunch with Dave. All in all, it was a great race and I am so glad I was there to see Dave go sub 2!

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Mile to One Hundred

The after affects of all the hills during the Austin Half Marathon last weekend caught up to me in full force by Tuesday morning. I had a bit of a crazy day at work due to power outages so I didn't get a morning run in which was a blessing in disguise. Fast forward to Tuesday evening when I was scheduled for my 90 minute massage. Within the first 5 minutes my massage therapist determined that the hills did one heck of a number on me! My hips were out of alignment and my left quad was incredibly tight. The weird thing was that when he massaged my quad it wasn't as painful as I expected it to be. Imagine my surprise when he moved on to my left hamstring that wasn't bothering me at all (well at least not to my knowledge) and I was immediately in agony! I had contemplated running after my massage but I listened to my body and took a second rest day! Wednesday morning I managed to turn my alarm off. I guess I was really tired. Since I didn't have time to run before work I packed my running gear and decided to run outside after work. The schedule called for 7.5 miles but my hamstring was nagging at me the entire time so I listened to my body and cashed it in at 5 miles. I figured better safe than sorry. I am training for a marathon afterall! Thursday morning I headed to the Y to run the indoor track. The schedule called for 4 miles. My hamstring was feeling better but I figured it best to not chance it and called it a day at 3 miles! Yesterday morning I had planned to head to the Y before work but we were hit with one heck of a snow storm here in Cleveland and the roads were a mess. Since the kids and I didn't have school I decided to hit the basement treadmill in the afternoon. I decided I was just going to run nice and easy for 30 minutes and whatever the mileage was in the end I would be fine with. In the end I ran 3.28 miles. When I uploaded my workout to dailymile I realized that I was going to be less than a mile short of 100 miles run in February after completing the half marathon on Sunday. I decided to jump on the treadmill this morning to stretch out my legs and get in that one mile to get me to one hundred for the month. How could I not do it? I was seriously going to be .97 miles short! After the easy mile, I hit the elliptical for 15 minutes for a little more stretching. As of this morning my hamstring is feeling great and I am ready to rock "The Last Chance For Boston" Half Marathon tomorrow morning with Dave. Originally, the plan was for me to pace Dave to a sub 2 hour half marathon. Of course Dave has changed this theory and we are now shooting for a 1:49:59 which will give him his first sub 2 half marathon and me a PR as my current PR is 1:51:18. I will tell you that he has done his research and the course is ideal for running a PR as we run 13 one mile loops with .1 added on. There is very little elevation on the course which translates into no "mountains"! I will definitely take that after last week's race.

One mile to one hundred miles before 10:00 AM tomorrow! I'll take it!!

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday...Flo

This week's Thumbs Up Thursday spotlight is on Flo of Girl In Motion (here). After you read her interview head on over to her blog and say hello! She is a great writer and I thoroughly enjoy reading her posts!!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Flo: 4 years

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Flo: My mom killed herself in 2007 and I needed an outlet to keep my brain occupied, something to focus on. I started exercising to DVDs and a couple months later bought my first pair of running shoes.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Flo: Since the beginning, 4 years. I started with C25K (Couch to 5K), a wonderful run/walk plan that culminates with you being 5k-ready by the end of it, so I did my first 5k that April.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Flo: I'm not sure yet. I know it's not the marathon and I don't think it's 5ks (though when I did a few over the course of a couple months it became much less painful a race) and I haven't had enough of the "between" distances, though I've done quite a few Halfs. I do enjoy training for Halfs but still, I'm not sure it's my favorite. I wish there were more local 10ks or 10-milers to decide what exactly is my fave distance. :-)

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Flo: I have a ton of great memories, mostly having to do with the people I've met through running so it's really hard to pick a definitive moment, but I will say that finishing the Boston Marathon was a pretty euphoric feeling. I had been dreading the race and decided it would be my last marathon, plus my feet had been hurting for miles so when it was over...heaven. Plus, after all was said and done, I was proud to have done it despite my cynicism over all the Boston hoopla. But don't tell anyone.

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Flo: Collapsing during a 5k last summer causing me to stay overnight in the hospital. It's terrifying to lose control of your body and at the same time, be completely aware that something bad is happening.

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Flo: My first Half marathon right when the horn blew. I totally teared up. I just couldn't believe that I belonged among all those people, doing an actual sport, one that would take me through the streets of my adopted city (Philadelphia) to finally complete what I'd been training weeks for. It blew my mind.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Flo: House keys. ;-) Sometimes I bring music and although I love my Garmin, I could leave it home if I had to, but if I couldn't get back into my apartment, that would suck.

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Flo: Gels, which is funny because I used to be totally disgusted by them but I've grown to like them just fine.

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Flo: Whatever they're handing out, bagels are always yummy.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Flo: I'm a disappointment on this score...I have no idols.

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Flo: Alas, no, there is no one quote that I love above all. I have a crappy memory though, which might have something to do with it.

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Flo: beautiful

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Flo: To enjoy running without the pressure of achievment. I've been in racing mode since the start but the PRs stopped over a year ago so I'm stepping back from the grind for a bit: no training plan, no major race in store, so that when I'm ready, I'll be hungry to work hard, breath hard and hurt again.

Jodi: Please feel free to add anything else you feel will help others lace up their shoes and get out there and run!!
Flo: Find the passion. This is advice for life, not just for running. Before I started running at age 45, I figured my life was pretty much a downhill descent: my body, my aspirations (what aspirations?), everything, just seemed doomed to get worse since that's what happens when you reach middle-age. I could not have been more wrong. Running gave me a way to reinvent myself and a reason to be excited again. So whether that comes from lacing up your shoes and running or painting the most beautiful landscape or cooking that ultimate meal, find your passion and life will unfold in ways you never imagined.

Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Flo! Best of luck enjoying running for pleasure!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Flo YOU inspire ME!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Austin 1/2 Marathon Weekend

Wow..what a weekend! Deb and I arrived in Austin Friday afternoon! We were greeted with 73 degrees and sun...hello Austin!!

We checked into our hotel and headed to the expo to pick up our packets! Once we grabbed our stuff we met Jeni and Joe! If you remember, Joe is the one who created my PR crushing training plan for the Detroit 1/2! It was so awesome to finally meet him! Deb and I spent some time talking to Jeni and Joe about running and the race on Sunday and then we all decided it was time to shop! I have to say that I have always heard great things about Yurbuds but was concerned about having to order them online so when I saw they had a booth at the expo, I went ahead and got fitted. I walked away from the booth with a pink pair and I will tell you right now that they did not move one single inch the entire 13.1 miles!! I love them! After Deb and I purchased the new earbuds we headed over to the One More Mile booth and checked out some car magnets. In the end, I chose two. The first one is pink and it says "I know I run like a girl, now try and keep up". The second one Deb helped me pick out and I went with "26.2 miles..what could possibly go wrong." Definitely very fitting considering I have some unfinished business with a little thing I like to call the Cleveland Marathon! I also ended up buying an Austin Half Marathon Nike running skirt! It was only 8 bucks how could I pass it up? Once we had finished walking around the expo we headed back to the hotel to get ready to meet up some of Deb's high school friends for dinner! We had a great time just talking to everyone. We finally made it back to the hotel around 2 AM and we crashed and didn't get up until 11:00 AM! I couldn't tell you the last time I slept that late and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

Once we got going Saturday morning we met up with Deb's friends again for lunch! The food and company were both great. After lunch we headed to Whole Foods to pick up some food and water for race morning. We also did a little bit of shopping for our kids! Once we walked back to the hotel I started getting stuff ready for Sunday morning. I put my shoe tag on and then I put Deb's on at which point I realized how comical the difference in our shoe sizes was. I immediately took a picture of our shoes and uploaded it to Facebook complete with the caption of "Jodi's shoe vs. Deb's shoe. I'm pretty sure my feet are the size of a barge!" It definitely made for a good laugh and entertaining Facebook exchange!

Deb and I headed out to the Spaghetti Warehouse to put our name in for a table. We knew there would be a wait and we were perfectly fine with that since we were waiting for Nikki to get into town! Deb and I had a drink at Lance Armstrong's bar while we waited for our table. We finished our drink and headed back down to the restaurant and Nikki had arrived! How awesome to be outside in short sleeves in February?
Following dinner we stopped and had another drink and then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before our 5:30 AM wake up call!
We were up at 5:30 AM and I was downstairs in the Starbucks buying a cup of coffee to go with my breakfast! Everyone got dressed and ready and we headed out for our walk to the start line. It was already 70+ degrees and quite humid! We certainly look happy in this start line photo!

After the singing of The National Anthem we were off! I held steady at sub 9 minute mile pace for most of the race. There were a lot of hills but I had done hill repeat training so I was actually passing people on the inclines! Sometime around mile 8 or so I noticed a blue singlet up ahead of me and I immediately knew it was Brian C. from dailymile so I caught up to him and yelled his name. It was so cool to run into him. In fact we actually hugged on the course which just proves that you know you're a runner when you think nothing of hugging a fellow competitor when you are completely covered in sweat! Brian was looking awesome! We talked while we ran together until the half marathon split off! Of course I thought I was done with the insane hills at this point until I got to just past mile 11 and there was a mountain in front of me! I pretty much said "son of a bee" (cleaned up for the blog!) when I saw that thing. The girl next to me agreed! As we headed up the hill she looked over at me and said we are NOT walking up this hill and I said okay let's go! Up the hill we went, digging as deep as we possibly could and even slowing to 10:45 mile pace but before we knew it we were at the top catching our breath! So if the random runner on the hill happens to be reading this, thank you for the push it was much needed! Just 1.1 miles left and I felt great! I knew I had locked my sub 2 and I was more than happy with that considering the challenging course and weather conditions! It was so humid that my shorts were completely drenched before mile 1 and at one point during the race I was convinced it was raining until the runner next to me pointed out that it was the sweat from my ponytail! As I rounded the final turn to the finish line I tripped but was able to catch myself before hitting the pavement and crossed the line in 1:56:07 (not quite a PR but I will take it) with a smile on my face! I quickly went through the chute and grabbed my medal and shirt and headed back out onto the course to cheer in Nikki and Deb. I was also watching for Joe to finish the marathon! Not too long after I found a place to stand Nikki came flying down the final stretch! She was looking good! After I cheered for Nikki I realized I needed to be on the other side of the course to see Joe's finish! I managed to make it to the other side with no issues. I was standing there for awhile before I realized I was standing next to Jeni! We exchanged a hug and watched for Joe! In the meantime Nikki called and she found her way to where Jeni and I were standing! When we thought Joe would be rounding home there was nobody in sight so I called his wife Dawn to see if he had finished. She said he hadn't yet. Shortly after the phone call, we saw Joe come flying past us! We cheered like crazy and Joe gave us a wink to let us know he had seen us! He crushed it out there! As we waited for Deb, I started to worry because her usual finish time came and went. Finally we saw her come towards the finish line. She looked at me and said "come here please" so I jumped back out on the course and asked her what was going on. She said she didn't feel well at all and asked me to finish with her. Deb is one tough cookie because we ran the final tenth to the finish line! I was so proud of her! Proudly wearing our finisher's medals we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the post race bbq that Joe had organized! Cold beer and bbq have never tasted so good! It was great to meet some many dailymilers!

After we talked to everyone for hours and consumed pretty much every calorie we had burned during the race we headed back towards our hotel and stopped off for chocolate cake and another drink. We all decided we were exhausted and headed back to the hotel!
Nikki was up bright and early for her flight. Deb and I slept a bit longer and got up and packed our things and then headed out for some brunch. Of course we were concerned about our flight getting home since Cleveland was in the middle of an ice/snow storm. Typical Ohio weather! In the end we did make it back home and we were greeted with 16 degrees and tons of snow and ice at which point we wanted to get back on the plane and go right back to Austin!
This morning my legs were even more sore than they were yesterday and I had power issues at work so I chose not to run this morning. I had a 90 minute massage tonight and my legs were feeling better but I decided it was best to listen to my body and take a second rest day. I will be back at it tomorrow as I prepare to pace Dave in a sub 2 hour half marathon on Sunday! Yes, I am running a second 1/2 marathon in as much as 7 days! Of course I also ran a half marathon training run the week before Austin! I guess it will be a three-peat on Sunday!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thumbs up Thursday.....Kim

This week's spotlight is on Kim of (Just) Trying is for Little Girls (here). After you read her interview head on over to her blog and say hello!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Kim: I ran track and cross country in high school. However, as a grown up I was a “jogger” off and on for years. I have been running half marathons for almost a year now.

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Kim: I turned 40 and went from full time to working part time. In January 2010, I started training for the Eugene Half in May 2010. Since I was “only” working part time, I no longer had an excuse for not training. I also wanted to lose weight and get in shape.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Kim: Except for a few 5ks over the years, almost one year now.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Kim: The half marathon, definitely. You need to be in great shape to run one, and very few people can do it without training. It’s long enough to be a huge accomplishment, but I am no longer “crippled” for a week after running one.

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Kim: At the You Go Girl Half marathon in Tacoma, WA (September 2010), I got to run with some awesome bloggers/running moms on the Will Run for Ice Cream team. I wanted to run a sub 2 hours. Right before mile 10, I caught up to Tall Mom who was pacing T from Racing with Babes (they were attempting a 1:52). In my running mom, bloggy world, these two were superstars. I didn’t know if I should run behind them and eavesdrop for the last 3 miles or pass them. I also got to watch Tall Mom do a ballerina move around the out and back cone. That was quite funny. I finished with a 1:55:51. It was all around a great race. Here’s the link to my report:

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Kim: There’s something overwhelming about mile 10, I think. At Eugene in May 2010, I passed a girl hurling in the bushes. At the Seattle Half in November 2010, I passed a guy who was down for the count at mile 10. Luckily, aid workers were rushing to help him. We were in the middle of a forest/park, so that was a tough place to be hurt. Yep, something about Mile 10 in the half…

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Kim: I ran the Cascade Half in January 2011. I didn’t train very hard for it. The weather was rainy, and windy and just plain yucky. I snuck in a 4 second (Garmin, the race wasn’t chip timed) PR. I still can’t believe it.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Kim: I always carry lip balm in the pocket of my running skirt.

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Kim: I have three….gummi bears, Blackberry Gu and Chocolate #9 Gel. I just discovered Chocolate #9, it’s all natural and tastes like chocolate frosting!

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Kim: Gummi bears. Okay, seriously, a chocolate and strawberry protein shake.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Kim: I admire and am inspired by running moms. When my daughter (she is 14 now) was in preschool, I could have never, ever run half marathons like so many of them do. My husband calls these mommy bloggers my “imaginary friends”. I love reading and learning from their blogs.

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Kim: Lately, I keep telling myself, “it’s not IF you are going to workout, it’s WHEN!”

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel ________.
Kim: strong and powerful.

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Kim: I want to PR (run a sub 1:55) at the Eugene Half in May 2011. It will also be my 12th half marathon in 365 days. I’m a Half Fanatic, and that is one of the goal levels I wanted to achieve.

Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Kim! Best of luck achieving your goal of a sub 1:55 at Eugene!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Kim YOU inspire ME!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodbye Negative Nancy, Hello Positive Patty 1/2 Marathon

Let's make it a 1/2 marathon!

Today's schedule called for 13 miles but as Jenn and I have said why run 13 miles when you can add .1 and say you ran a 1/2 marathon! Originally Jenn had texted me and told me that she was going to have to do her long run on Saturday this week so we would have to go at it alone. Dave had been planning to run with us this weekend so I sent him a text message to make sure he was still going to come up to Cleveland or if I would be running solo. He confirmed that he would be coming up for the long run. Fast forward to yesterday morning and I texted Jenn to tell her to have a great run and after a few texts back and forth we figured out that if we ran at 6:30 AM today she would be able to join us! Dave is going to be running Cleveland with us so he figured he should head up this way and do a few training runs with us. He is following Hal Higdon's Novice Marathon training program so he refers to Jenn and I's schedule as the big girl training plan. Dave's schedule called for ten miles today so he started out the run with us. We headed out five miles and then dropped Dave back off at his car once we hit ten miles.

Jenn pulled out her phone and took a picture of Dave and I during the first ten miles. Did she get my good side? :)

We exchanged a few great jobs and hugs. Jenn and I both took a final gel and Dave gave me the rest of his water since my handheld was empty and he's a great guy like that. I thanked Dave and Jenn and I headed back out for our final 3.1 miles. The weather was perfect today and there were a lot of other runners out there towards the end of our run! Jenn brought Negative Nancy along with her for last week's "ice" run but promised to bring Positive Patty today! Sure enough Jenn kicked Negative Nancy to the curb and showed up with Positive Patty in tow! Overall it was a fantastic run! We managed to run 10:25 pace this morning which was faster than the last 1/2 marathon Jenn and I ran together and today was just a training run! The previous 1/2 was actually a race!

So, how many people can say they ran a 1/2 marathon before 10 AM today?

Yep, we can!! 13.11 and done!!

Looking forward to this week. Three miles on Tuesday and Thursday and six on Wednesday then flying to Austin on Friday for the Livestrong 1/2 Marathon (state number 4)!!

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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday..Mallory

This week's spotlight is on Mallory of Sit for your job. Run for your life. (here) Once you read her interview head on over to her blog and throw some motivation her way since she has been looking for it as of late!!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Mallory: As an adult, I began running May 2007 on a fairly consistent basis. As a kid, I ran during sports and was on the track team in junior high.

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Mallory: I started running first and foremost for the health benefits. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship and I needed something to feel good about. It gave me the confidence I had been lacking for quite some time and it was good mental exercise for me as well. Plus I had a lot of extra time on my hands!

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Mallory: My first race was on October 17, 2009, so almost a year and a half.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Mallory: I've only run two distances, the 5k and the half marathon and I think that I prefer the half marathon distance. I was a fast runner when I was younger but only in the 100m and the relay. Never a substantial distance though. So I am not a big fan of 5ks because I am not a speedy runner. Plus, I enjoy the mental strength it takes to run a half marathon.

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Mallory: My favorite race memory is from my second half marathon (United Healthcare Half Marathon, Newport, RI) and as I rounded the last corner before the straightaway to the finish, I saw my spouse standing there cheering for me. It brought tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face. Everything seemed to align for me in that race, including the weather. I knocked 30:03 off of my previous half marathon time!

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Mallory: My least favorite race memory is from my first half marathon (Chicago RnR). At about mile 6 I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to finish the race. The race was on August 1 in Chicago so it was hotter than heck. It was 80* when the race started and 95* by the time I finished. There was very little shade and hardly any breeze off the lake. I felt so defeated at that moment. I texted my spouse as I was walking along saying I didn't think I could finish. The text I received back said, "Yes, you can." It's exactly what I needed at that moment but it was an awful race. I was so happy when it was over!

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Mallory: My proudest running moment was my first ever race. It was a 5k to support Lung Cancer. I raised money for the cause and just felt so accomplished doing the race. I cried as I crossed the finish line.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Mallory: Road ID!! I never go for a run without my Road ID! I am the girl who wears it at the gym too. Who knows how long it would take for them to figure out who I was if I fell off a treadmill!

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Mallory: During a race I like Gu Jet Blackberry. I didn't think I would like it but it turns out I love it!

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Mallory: I find that I'm usually pretty nauseous after a race but once I finally feel like eating again, I usually want eggs or pizza. I never have been the type that's been able to enjoy a post-race beer unfortunately!

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Mallory: I can't think of who I admire "most." I definitely take bits and pieces of encouragement and motivation from various people, including real life friends and blogger friends. Although I will say that I admire my mother's strength as a woman and as a mother. If it weren't for her love and support I wouldn't be where I am today.

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Mallory: "Live your life." You have to live your life as you want it and make it what you will. If you don't, you only have yourself to blame!

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Mallory: like I am the strongest woman in the world.

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Mallory: My current goal is another half marathon on May 1. I am hoping to beat my current PR, even if it's only by one second!

Jodi: Please feel free to add anything else you feel will help others lace up their shoes and get out there and run!!
Mallory: I think the important thing to remember with running, and with anything, is that too much will burn you out. I've struggled with motivation in times and I've found that if I cut myself a break that I end up falling in love with running all over again and have come back even stronger and faster each time. Just like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it! No matter how many minutes or miles you do each day, the important thing is to get out there.

Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Mallory! Best of luck achieving your half marathon PR goal in May!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Mallory YOU inspire ME!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Skating Through 12 Miles With Jenn

Jenn and I always run first thing in the morning but we had to rearrange our schedule today. I headed out to Jenn's house this afternoon so we could get our 12 miler in. Our plan was to head to the Canal Path to run. Imagine our shock when we got there and were greeted with a very snowy path! We made it just under a tenth of a mile before we decided to head to the Metroparks and attempt path number 2!

As you can see below, the Metropark path was a bit better. However we quickly learned that there were a lot of icy spots and we had to be incredibly careful with our footing as to not injure ourselves!

We were enjoying our run and talking off and on but we were both really concentrating on our footing so there wasn't as much talking as normal. Before we knew it we were to the halfway point. Jenn was telling me that her dad used to take her to Lake Isaac and asked if we could stop and take a picture. Of course I said yes!!

The second half of the run seemed a lot harder. There was a lot more ice and we had to stop at a lot of intersections and my legs were not very happy with this at all! Around mile 10 Jenn mentioned walking back and running the last 2 miles on the treadmill. I told her she was stronger than that and we were going to finish this run! By mile 11 we were both struggling and just wanting to finish. My calves hurt, my legs were heavy, and I was having a hard time breathing since I woke up with a lovely cold this morning. I was never so happy to see my truck but then I realized we were a bit short of 12 miles so we had to run a little bit further and after what seemed like an eternity my Garmin beeped indicating we had finished our 12th mile! Upon finishing my entire body ached including my hips. Ouch was all I could say to Jenn! Notice that even though we had a difficult run today we were still smiling when we finished!
I even decided to practice my ice skating at the end!
Jenn and I had talked about taking an ice bath in the snow after our run. Once we got into my truck both of us were really looking forward to sitting in the snow. Believe it or not the snow seemed to help a lot. Nothing like using nature to get an ice bath in! Of course Jenn's neighbor thought we were completely insane. We had a blast posting the pictures to Facebook and Dailymile.

With the ice bath completed and our 12 miles run and done I headed home to get ready for our friend's Superbowl Party. Although I was disappointed that my Steelers lost tonight, I was thrilled to be able to enjoy quality time and great food with some fantastic friends!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday.....Amanda W

This week's spotlight is on Amanda W of Get to Goal (here). Once you read her interview head on over to her blog and say hello!
Jodi: How long have you been running?
Amanda: My official running started in Sept 2003.

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Amanda: My friend wanted to sign up for a 5k in Sept 2003 for her 30th b-day (I was 24 at the time) and wanted me to join her. My dad had done a few 5k runs when he was in his 30's too.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Amanda: Since September of 2003, so about 7 years.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Amanda: Right now, I would say the 8k. The Chicago Shamrock Shuffle because it's the first major run of the year in Chicago (usually March or April) and it's a lot of fun. Plus it's long enough to really be a challenge for me!

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Amanda: Finishing my first half marathon. I was overweight (2006 prior to joining weight watchers) and probably weighed 230 lbs. I almost started to cry when I finished because I was so proud of myself.

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Amanda: Last year when I finished my 4th half marathon. It was the first time I didn't beat my old half marathon time and I missed beating it by a mere 43 seconds!! Better luck this year!

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Amanda: Keeping up my running even when my friend stopped running with me.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Amanda: My headphones. Listening to music really helps me during my runs! But I did just get a garmin forerunner 305 and that will be my new "must have" on my future training runs! (when I figure out how to use it properly!)

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Amanda: Right now I don't fuel much during a run. I just have water or Gatorade at water stations.

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Amanda: Probably a trail mix or nuts of some kind.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Amanda: I don't really have one person that I admire most. I take encouragement and get admiration for anyone that goes out there and tries something they want to do even if it might be a challenge!

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Amanda: Failure is not having the courage to try.

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Amanda: a sense of accomplishment!

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Amanda: To run the Chicago Marathon this year in October. It will be my first full marathon and I'm a little scared! If you have any tips, please share them!

Jodi: Please feel free to add anything else you feel will help others lace up their shoes and get out there and run!!
Amanda: I ran my first run (and my first half marathon) when I was well over 200 lbs. Don't be afraid to try something that you want to do. If it's hard, or you don't succeed the first time, you can always try again! If you want to run, do it! You can run and walk or just walk. The important thing is to try! You can do anything you set your mind to.
Check out Amanda's before and after photos! She has done an amazing job on her weight loss journey!!

Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Amanda! Best of luck achieving your goal of completing your first full marathon in October.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Amanda YOU inspire ME!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day...

Yesterday they were calling for a Winter Storm in our area and my staff was hoping for a snow day today. I had spoken with my boss in the afternoon and he said it wasn't likely and if anything it wouldn't be until Wednesday that school would be called. With this in mind I chose to maintain my regular weekday routine of getting up early and running. I headed to the Y around 4:45AM. I was very thankful that I only live about 5 minutes away and that my neighbor had plowed my driveway! The streets in my development were a drifted mess and once I got on the main road it was pretty much more of the same. I made it safely to the Y and headed up to the track to get my tempo run in. I did notice that a lot of the "regulars" were not there this morning. Maybe they were shoveling their driveways or just didn't feel the need to head out in the elements. I ran my warm up mile in 9:00 and it felt pretty good and was able to follow the first mile up with tempo miles of 8:07 and 7:55 respectively. Not too shabby! I had spent less than 30 minutes at the Y and when I walked out to my car it was completely snow covered. Started to head home and the roads weren't any better and my thoughts drifted toward the possibility of a snow day. I made it safely back home and started to get ready for work when one of my employees called and said she had just gotten a text message from the local television station letting her know that our district was cancelled. I was quite shocked since I hadn't received a phone call from my boss yet. One second after this my phone rang however it was my daughter's school district calling school. She woke up and said no school for Avon, yeah and then she yelled down to her dad and said I don't have to get dressed because it's a snow day! I told my employee I would find out what was going on and call her right back. So the conversation with my boss went something like this:
Boss: Jodi, why are you calling me?
Me: Well I had an employee call to verify that we were cancelled because she had gotten a text message and I hadn't received a call yet.
Boss: I just called school 5 minutes ago and I was getting ready to call you.
Me: Oh, okay well I don't have any deliveries today so I don't need to come in.
Boss: You lucky dog!
Me: I know and it's a good thing because my kids don't have school today either.

So, even though I didn't have to get up at the crack of early today I am so glad I did because my workout was complete before 5:30AM and now I get to spend the day hanging out with my kids and not worrying about whether or not my marathon training would get put on hold today. Now the question is whether or not we will have school tomorrow since they are calling for an ice storm later today. In the end I will most likely get up and head to the Y again to get the workout in and then it will just be an added bonus if I get tomorrow off as well.

So do tell, do you drive in crazy weather to hit the gym?

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