Monday, December 31, 2012

December in Review

I have to say I was much better about blogging in December than in previous months.  With that, I give you my stats for December.

December 2012 stats
108-- running miles
0-- walking miles
0-- bike miles
0-- pool workouts
1-- core fitness/strength training workouts
0-- P90x plyo workouts
108-- total miles
No idea-- weight as of December 31, 2012 (my scale battery died today)

Current 2012 stats
863.02-- running miles
13.1-- walking miles
18.7-- bike miles
3-- pool workouts
58-- core fitness/strength training workouts
1-- P90x plyo workouts
894.82-- total miles
No idea-- current weight (my scale battery died)

2012 "to do list" December check-in
2012 Running Goals
1. My number one running goal is to run a sub-1:50 half marathon
-I decided to give it a shot at my final 1/2 marathon of 2012 and I finished in 1:49:16.  I keep an asterick next to this time though as I don't know the exact course measurement.  Just means I have to run another sub-1:50.
2. Secondary to the goal of a sub-1:50, I would like to attempt to run another marathon PR (sub-4:10:11) with a stretch goal of running a sub-4:00:00
-I have come to the decision that I am not going to run a full marathon this year. With a goal of running a 1/2 marathon every month this year, I think it would be a bad idea to train for a full at the risk of getting injured.

2012 Mini Running Challenges
1. Run 100 miles per month
- 108 miles in December!  I am happy to finish on a high note.  This is also my highest running mileage in a month in 2012.
2. Run a half marathon each month
-Santa Hustle Cedar Point 1/2 marathon (1:49:16).  12 halfs in 2012 done!

2012 Non-Running Mini Challenges
1. Increase the amount of cross-training/strength training I do on a monthly basis
-1 strength training workout which only happened as a result of the snow storm.  90 minutes of snow shoveling.
2. Focus on choosing and cooking healthier foods
-9 well-balanced meals prepared in December with all of the holiday activities we attended.
3. Drink more water
4. I promised a certain someone that if they ran a marathon with me I would learn to swim so I intend to make good on that promise this year.
-Sadly I did not have success in this area in December either.

I have to say I am happy with how December turned out.  Today I am thinking about my goals and mini challenges for 2013 and will be back tomorrow with a review of 2012 as well as my plans for 2013.

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reflections of 2012

With less than a week left in 2012, I figured it would make sense to look back on the past year and see where I stand with the goals I set on January 1, 2012.

2012 Running Goals1. My number one running goal is to run a sub-1:50 half marathon--Check!!  1:49:16 with an asterisk since I'm not positive the course was precisely 13.1.  Not to worry though as I plan on achieving sub 1:50 again!!

Half #12 in 2012

2. Secondary to the goal of a sub-1:50, I would like to attempt to run another marathon PR (sub-4:10:11) with a stretch goal of running a sub-4:00:00-- Miss- I decided not to attempt this goal as to not injure myself while running 12 half marathons in 12 months.
2012 Mini Running Challenges
1. Run 100 miles per month--Technically a miss--although I did run 100 miles in January, November, and I am certain I will do so in December with only 9 miles left to get me there.

2. Run a half marathon each month--Check!!
12 shiny 1/2 marathon medals

2012 Non-Running Mini Challenges
1. Increase the amount of cross-training/strength training I do on a monthly basis--Partial Check--  I did a lot more of this than I have done in the past but I still need to work on this!

Completed in February

Completed in March

2. Focus on choosing and cooking healthier foods--  Partial Check--  I did do a lot more cooking and healthier eating but I can still do better.

3. Drink more water--Check--  I am very pleased that I stayed on task with this one!  Hydration has always been a struggle for me.

4. I promised a certain someone that if they ran a marathon with me I would learn to swim so I intend to make good on that promise this year--  Big Fat Miss--  I don't have an excuse and with less than 5 days left in 2012 I have to let it go and try again. 

Overall I can't complain about 2012.  It truly was a great, funfilled year.

I will return soon with my December review as well as my goals for 2013. 

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Half Marathons in 12 Months Complete

One of my goals for 2012 was to complete a half marathon each month in 2012.  It wasn't always easy to find half marathons to run and initially I figured I could just run 13.1 on my own or with friends and count it.  Of course that was short lived as I decided it would be even more awesome to run an organized 1/2 marathon each month and have 12 finishers medals to show for it.

January 2012
Rock N' Roll Arizona 1/2
Phoenix, Arizona

February 2012
Last Chance for Boston 1/2
Dublin, Ohio

March 2012
Rock CF Rivers 1/2
Gross Isle, Michigan

April 2012
Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon (1/2)
Louisville, Kentucky

May 2012
Rite Aid Cleveland 1/2
Cleveland, Ohio

June 2012
NCN Park 2 Park 1/2
Sheffield, Ohio

July 2012
Presque Isle 1/2
Presque Isle, Pennsylvania

August 2012
Minnesota 1/2
Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 2012
River Run 1/2
Rocky River, Ohio

October 2012
Columbus 1/2
Columbus, Ohio
November 2012
Rock N' Roll Savannah 1/2
Savannah, Georgia
3:47 (walked this one with my best friend)

December 2012
Santa Hustle 1/2
Sandusky, Ohio
1:49:16 (which is a shiny new PR!!)

At the end of these 12 half marathons, I am incredibly happy to report that I achieved my goal of running a half marathon every month in 2012.  Oh, did I mention that I also ran a half marathon in December 2011 in Vegas?  So technically I have run a half marathon a month for the past 13 months.  I am also registered for the Rock N' Roll Arizona 1/2 in January 2013 so that will make it 14 half marathons in 14 months!  Not too shabby!!

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa Hustle 1/2 Marathon Cedar Point

My December half marathon ended up taking me to Sandusky, Ohio to participate in the Santa Hustle.  Myself and some of my Sunday morning long run buddies headed to Sandusky on Saturday night.  Susan and Amanda would also be joining us as they were driving in from Chicago Saturday morning.  Amanda's nephew joined us and he is a great kid and he became our event photographer.  I don't know how happy he was about it but he did it anyway.  Once we made it to Sandusky, we checked into our rooms and headed downstairs to packet pick up.  It was great being able to stay at the host hotel as everything was right at our fingertips.  When we got to packet pickup they had run out of Santa hats and beards but we were told we could pick them up in the morning prior to the race.  We had a picture taken with Santa and then headed out for some carb loading.
Left to right:  Amanda, Me, Kim, Santa, Anthony, Susan, Missi

We eventually decided on Chili's and then we talked strategy for the race.  Originally I was supposed to be running it as a training run for Rock N' Roll Arizona but a little part of me was hoping to break that sub 1:50 goal I had set for 2012 at my last half for the year.  I even asked Susan what she was thinking because I considering sticking with her and seeing if I could get that sub-1:50.  She was planning on running much faster so I decided against that!  I went back and forth about it the rest of the evening and figured I would make the final decision once I saw how I felt at the race start.  After Chili's we stopped by Friday's and chatted a bit and then headed to our rooms to get ready for the morning.  We woke up to gorgeous weather and none of the rain that had been predicted which was a pleasant surprise.  I kept going back and forth between a short sleeve shirt and the long sleeve race shirt that I would never normally wear on race day but it was a themed race afterall.  I was very happy when Missi and I went outside to get the Santa hats and beards because I realized it was quite windy and knew I should switch to the long sleeve race shirt.  When we were collecting the hats and beards I came across Jessica and we chatted for a bit and then I headed back into the hotel to finish getting ready.  Once we had everything together we headed downstairs for a picture or two.
Left to right:  Amanda, Kim, Me, Missi, Susan

As you can see in the picture, Susan had made tutus, but only she and Amanda decided to run in them.  I had gone back and forth about running in one but I was concerned about not being able to get to my fuel belt.  After the pictures we headed over to the start line and I was still debating what I wanted to do.  I did line up towards the front and Susan basically told me it would hurt but it would be worth it in the end.  I told her she was right and figured worst case scenario, I'm not feeling it and I back off the pace.  With very little fanfare, the race started.  I got out easily and didn't have to do any weaving at all.  I was feeling great and my first mile came in at 8:09 which was a good :14 seconds ahead of my required pace to go sub 1:50.  I decided to go for it at that point.  In fact my first six miles of the race were all under 8:23 pace.  I knew in my head I had to hit mile six in 50:20 and when I look at my watch the front numbers were still showing 48:xx.  We ran through the amusement park and there were a lot of turns but it was a fun course.  The next magic number I needed to see was 1:23 at mile ten. Sure enough I was under that time slightly at the 10 mile mark.  As the wind picked up and seemed to push me backwards, I was glad to have banked some major time over the course of the first six miles.  Right around mile 12, Amanda's nephew was there to cheer us on and he took a great picture of me which I think is still on Susan's camera as I haven't seen it surface on the internet yet.  I knew I was getting close to the finish as I could see the hotel so I did my best to push through the wind and finish strong.  I was incredibly happy when I crossed the line with a shiny new PR of 1:49:16 because I had met two goals.  12 half marathons in 2012 and a sub 1:50 half marathon in 2012.  I immediately saw Jessica again and went over to talk with her and get a picture with her.
Jessica and I.  I seriously look like a giant next to her.  Did you notice her race number is Christmas Day?
My Garmin as well as those of many others registered the course as short.  When I was talking with Jessica she mentioned hers came up short as well.  We did speak to the race director and he assured us that the course was certified 13.1 and all of the tangents likely caused the differences in our Garmins.  I feel as if I need to put an asterisk next to this PR but I earned it and I never lost the pace I needed so who knows really.  Amanda put it best when she said, just run a sub-1:50 again.  Okay then, look out Phoenix because I'm on another sub-1:50 mission!  We got a few more pictures before we decided to shower and head out to grab some lunch before returning home.
We got our hustle on

Pretty sure Santa was loving his job this past weekend

We clean up pretty good
All in all it was a great weekend with friends and  I accomplished my goal with this last 1/2 in 2012.

So how often does your Garmin or watch of choice vary from the posted course distance?

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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reindeer Run 5K Race Report

The original plan for this weekend was to run my December 1/2 marathon in Ashland where I went to college.  Since arriving at this plan, I have started a new training plan for a 2013 goal race so my December 1/2 would fit better if I were to run the Santa Hustle 1/2 in Sandusky on December 16th.  No problem, there was also a 5K option at Ashland so I could still visit my alma mater.  Fast forward and I ran into both childcare and financial conflict so I had to seek out a 5K closer to home and that is how I ended up signing up for the Reindeer Run today.  I have run this 5K two other times.  One year I ran with my best friend Deb and my neighbor Brenda.  The following year I ran/walked it with my daughter.  Yesterday after work, I stopped and picked up my packet along with Kim and Jean's as we were all running the race today.

Race number and jingle bells for the shoes

I had talked with Kim and the plan was for us to meet at her house and she would drive as parking is always a challenge.  Once I got to Kim's we picked up Jean and then made our way to the race.  We had to walk a short distance from where we parked to the start as the parking lot was full already.  As we were walking, I saw Jessica and told her that I read her blog and she said "oh, hi!'  We continued walking and we saw our friend, Michelle, and said hello.  Once to the start line, I ran into my coworker, Danielle, and I talked with her for a few minutes before heading to use the restroom one last time before the start of the race.  I went back into the building to get warm and Kim was talking with a young girl who was running her first 5K and we realized she didn't have her race number yet so I went ahead and grabbed it for her and then Kim and I headed to the start line.  There were a lot of people doing the race so the start was incredibly crowded.  Eventually I was able to find a good pace and go with it.  I clocked mile 1 at 8:05.  I will take it with all the congestion that was going on.  I worked on increasing my pace after the first mile.  Seeing the leaders headed back towards the finish line was definitely motivational.  I had just finished a mile and they were just about done with mile 2.  Amazing!  I continued to try and run a challenging, yet comfortable pace and was happy with the 7:39 on my watch at mile 2.  Shortly after mile 2 I saw Jean on the course and said hello.  As I continued on into mile 3 my knee did remind me it was there when I would lengthen my stride.  I did slow down a bit and clocked mile 3 at 7:44.  With just .10 to go I tried to push it into the finish.  Overall, I did pretty well with that final push at 6:52 pace.  Perhaps the look on my face in this picture tells the story of that last .10 best. 
For the record, I did pass the guy in front of me before the finish line

Of course it's a good thing I didn't have another mile to run because there is no way I would have been able to maintain that crazy pace!  I noticed Jessica as soon as I crossed the finish line so I went up to her and formally introduced myself.  A few seconds later Kim and Jean finished the race.  I also got to see my coworker, Danielle, finish her race.  I knew I hadn't placed in my age group because the ladies in the 35-39 age group are speedy.  I was quite happy with 17th out of 127 in my age group.  Kim and I said goodbye to Jean and headed out for a little cool down run.  About 1/4 mile into it we ran into my coworker, EJ, and we stopped and he asked about my knee and we talked for a bit.  As we continued on with our cool down, the pain in my knee diminished greatly.  I was quite happy about that.  One last hello to another coworker, Kelly, and Kim and I were back at her car with an additional 2 miles run.  Overall, it was a great race with ideal weather conditions!!

3.1 run and done

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