Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scenic City 1/2 recap (Race #1 for 13 in 2013 Challenge)

Here it is the end of  February and I'm just now finishing my first half marathon in 2013 for Jill's 13 in 2013 challenge. I blame the whole 'no working out' first 3 weeks of January + then trying to hopefully to gain some of my stamina back before attempting to run a race of any considerable distance. 

Half Marathon # 43
TN 1/2 # 6
Time: 1:49:21

Originally my first race of the year planned was for this upcoming weekend in Vegas, however I just felt wrong going 2 WHOLE months with no races, so I started looking around for something driveable toward end of February. Chattanooga is only a 2 hour drive + the race is the last weekend in February so it maximized how much I could build back base before having to push myself.

Want to know how to tell when you register for too many races around the same time? When you arrive at packet pickup and you find out you didn't register for this race--- YUP, that HAPPENED.  The real embarrassing part was that I had scoped this out in early January, planned to do it with one of my gfs, but she  backed out and I managed to convince my friend Bryan to sign up the week prior letting him know I was already good to go. Registration closed on Wednesday, so with no way to officially sign up, I decided to bandit run and then drop out before the finish line so at least I could run a half mary and get the miles in. 

I never sleep that great in hotels, so 6am wake up call came way too soon. We slowly started getting ready and then went downstairs for free breakfast (race day first not doing my traditional lara bars) I think I have died and gone to pancake laziness heaven <insert photos here>

They were delicious and ended up being just the perfect amount of food for the race, not once did I get hungry.

The Start:
  • Original plan was to get to start area around 7:15 so Bryan could do his traditional 45 min race warm up / stretches, buuuuuuuuuuuuut that didnt' happen and we go there around 7:40- minimally stretched, and walked over to the crowded start.
  • Small race- 1500 or so participants with standard 7min/ pace, 8min/ pace 9 min/ pace etc paceholders to help determine where to start in the cluster of a corral.  I settled in the 8 min / pace knowing I'd slow down but at least would allow me to get a comfortable start. Had zero idea about pacing since I have been running more frequently, but keeping the runs shorter (1 8 miler and a bunch of 4-6 milers) I went into the race thinking it would be "cool" to break 1:50-- no game plan or strategy, just see how my body reacted and hang on as long as I could.
  • Although the weather was PERFECT temps at start high 40s/ low 50s, I kept my throwaway on so it wouldn't be obvious that I didn't have a bib. I was sweating just standing there waiting for the start, so I knew it would only last me 1 mile before I finally said goodbye to my trusty purple fleece I rocked for Idaho and Portland
so long old friend :( 

The Race

  • Within seriously 2 min of starting the race I was burning up and decided that the jacket would have to come off right at mile 1, which it did. 
  • I'm traditionally always a 7:30 first mile girl- its what comes natural when I want to get a good start but not feeling like I'm dying, unfortunately I can't keep that pace up so I've been trying to be conservative and slowly back off the first few miles so my pace won't be all over the place--- mile 1: 7:42, mile 2: 7:43--- perfect. 
  • Right after mile 2 a girl in front of me ran over to her boyfriend who then got down on one knee and proposed..... at mile 2? Why not wait till later in the race bud? Aside from that, the only thing of note was the constant uphills- there were 2 downhills in the first few miles of the race, then all up the remaining. 
  • By mile 3 I was done-- I was wheezing like a fat kid in gym class and I just felt uncomfortable. My legs were carrying me, but my lungs were working as if I was at mile 12, NOT at the 5k mark. I somehow managed to get lost in thought a few times and ever though I thought I was going to keel over, I didn't stop and walk--- woo huge accomplishment. 
  • Mile 6 I decided to take a gel in hopes to get my energy up a bit.... I'm telling you now I am SOLD on  Cliff double expresso. I took this bad boy (first time trying it) and within 15 min I was a new woman 
  • Miles 6.5ish-9 were amazing- although I wasn't super speedy, I felt like "me" again- lighter on my feet, better form, controlled breathing, and actually happy out to be racing. I actually passed a guy and while doing so he said "not fair, you make these hills look effortlessly!" haha. Although I don't love hills, they are a part of every outdoor run I do (not by choice, but by topography of where I live) That being said, just because I run them a lot, doesn't mean they're easy, it still sucks, however I just bounce back quicker. 
  • Although its called scenic city, the course wasn't very scenic--- this is about as good as it got:
  • Mile 10 breaks came off. For those of you who remember my little heart problem I experienced last winter- well I had an episode around 10.5. No I didn't pass out and wake up in the arms of a man carrying me this go round, but my heart did feel like it was going to explode out of my chest so I had to stop and walk- dang. 
  • Unfortunately the walking didn't help completely, but it did calm my heart down, so the rest of the race I had to dial back my pace. 
  • I knew Bryan would finish about 1 mile before me so at mile 12 I texted him to see how the finish line was (i was debating on crossing line and just not taking medal)- he let me know they were announcing  names as they crossed so that i should in fact bow out. Luckily I had been taking corners wide so i could run off tangent and gain some distance well before finish line. 
  • I hit 13.1 right after turning a corner and seeing the finish line in view- walked off the course, toward finish line and Bryan. Was THRILLED to look at my watch and see 1:49:21. I don't have my garmin to show total time first screen (have to click on 2nd screen), so I was shocked that I broke 1:50 despite my inconsistencies and hating the last 2.5 miles. 
This is my 3rd race I've banditted (first was Air Force to pace my brother as they were sold out, 2nd was air force when I had to drop down from full to 1/2 and they wouldn't let me) 

43rd malf marathon to date

Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 7:42
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:18
Mile 5: 8:32
Mile 6: 8:29
Mile 7: 8:24
Mile 8: 7:59
Mile 9: 8:39
Mile 10: 8:18
Mile 11: 8:57
Mile 12: 9:05
Mile 13: 8:37
.1 8:50

Overall I'm pleased with my legs holding up (although they were incredibly sore, calves and hips, afterward). My stamina definitely needs some work as expected. Last year at this time I was in the midst of trying to break 1:50, and since I did that with ease this race, I'm really looking forward to what later in the year will bring.

The race is a small no frills, great for hill training, but very boring. I wouldn't drive 2 hours again to run it, but would be idea to add to schedule if your nearby Chattanooga

I leave today for San Diego then Vegas to do the Caveman March 1/2 on Saturday- hills galore and higher altitude so i'm not sure what to expect, but at least I have a better understanding of where my fitness is. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up in Photos

Single's Awareness Day

With our token guy for the night, aka, my newest running partner Bryan

Mind  got blow once again at Kroger
didn't purchase this one, still need to finish PB Toast Crunch 

8 bars for $7.00---- what a steal!

Went to my apt gym for the first time ever and had an extremely boring 3 miles with this view

Found a new favorite sandwich "Fried Green Tomato BLT w/ Fried egg"--- HEAVEN

Highschool friend Tom came up to visit for part of weekend- naturally had to show off my favorite local brewery, Yazoo

Liquid goodness... 

Acquired the BEST pint glass EVER-- who doesn't love puppies drinking beer?!?!

Free tickets to the Preds hockey game (only been when i'm in the box, was cool to be with the fans this go round)
Amazing seats (not zoomed in) 

Just so happens we were next to the music stage and who do I see?!? Deacon from the show Nashville!!

warming up his guitar
playing with the band

Ran 6 miles yesterday and decided to really push it the last mile- 7:09... I'll take it!

Had the highest mileage week in my daily mile view!!!

Finished with an AMAZING show...
Bronze Radio Return

and Howie Day (my 4th or 5th time seeing him over that last 9 years) 

This weekend was an absolute blast- although it was a whirlwind, every so often its nice to constantly be on the go and attend different events to really maximize my appreciative for the great city I live in! 

How was your weekend, anything exciting??

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Single's Awareness Day

Yesterday was a great workout day--- 4.3 miles at lunch with B and Chad, 1 hour kettlebell at work- first time we've ever had to use 2 kettlebells for moves, followed by another 6 mile run with Bryan. I'm not sure what I was more excited about- 10 miles on a Wed, or the giant mound of tots I scarfed down afterward

Today I'm taking it easy in honor of ... 

No I'm not one of those bitter girls who is mad at the world she is single... truth is I haven't had an actual Valentine since I was 16 years old... thats 12 years people (a streak I'm hoping will eventually break) 

I did however get a package from my parents- ornament, jelly beans, and Quinoa- always fueling my healthy side.  Mom texted me this morning saying there was another package on its way. 

I thought maybe I'd get a surprise at work ...

But instead they were for my co-worker... had you fooled didn't I?

I did however have an exciting progressive conversation with my crush, so that will keep me on a high probably rest of work day. (yes I can be like a giddy teenager when it comes to boys at times) 

Afterward its time to celebrate single's awareness days at the bar with my ladies--- always 2 sides to every holiday :)

Do you have any exciting S.A.D or V.D plans? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Tangents in Bullets

My dad made a comment over the weekend how it's been awhile since I've blogged- I blame the fact that now that I have a different spot at work which is more 'high traffic' that I no longer blog during down time, or laziness... I'll blame the former. Time to catch up in bullets

  • Two weeks ago I went to an "Art for Animals" show - tickets, silent auctions, and live auctions all went toward providing medicine and vaccine to rescues in Nashville area as well as low income families that may not be able to afford proper care. My friend Heather did an incredible job putting it together and that one event raised $33,000+--- not bad for her 2nd year putting this on. 
  • 2 favorites from the night:
love stick prop photo opps

  And of course there is Bella- the adorable 4.5 month old puggle (pug + beagle) I adopted her and my parents flipped out. What better way to prepare to have children then to have a puppy?? And how can you say no to that face?!?! 
  • Rest assured mom and dad, I only adopted Bella for the night, she belongs to my friend Herb and he let me take all sorts of photos with her to mess with you guys. I have decided when I'm done with my 50 quest that I will be getting a dog---- not a puppy but a grown rescue. 
  • Running is going AHhhhhhhhhhh mazing right now. My knee pain that I have been dealing with is gone and my mileage is consis... wait for it.... tent. CONSISTENT! (doesn't have the same ring to it as legendary does) Consistency is huge and one of my priorities for 2013, so this is a big deal for me
  • My speed is coming back, had a few runs at 8 min/ pace, however my stamina still needs work. Most runs are b/n 4-7 miles so now I need to actually do some long runs now that my legs remember what to do. 
  • I made a new speedy friend Bryan--- we run together 2-3x week, large part of why I've been consistent,and in addition he also absolutely LOVES running which I think rubs off on me. Thankfully he just agreed to go to Chattanooga with me so I can go ahead and do the Scenic City 1/2 next weekend-- first race back followed by Vegas the weekend after!
  • Race schedule is filling up, registrations and flights are now getting paid. I have 14 states left, Nevada will be in 3 weeks, then I won't run another new state till April 4th and 5th- I'd like to do at least 1 new state a month, but having issues with July--- anyone know any good races for the following states in July: VT, AK, OK, ND, MN, or MD?? Saving Hawaii for last and the rest of the states are planned- eek! 
  • Work has been extremely manageable lately- When I started in  August it was a crazy period and I was thrown to wolves to figure out everything on top of having a full workload, now that its a slower time frame coupled with supporting less people, I find myself constantly not having anything to do. I spoke to my manager about it and she agreed to start slowly changing what I do to support our market--- and depending on how things pan out, potentially creating a different role for me down the road; change is good :) 
  • My free time is filled with running, catching up on shows via (best website invented.. EVER), studying for my CEBS (certified employee benefit specialist) exam- part 1 of 3 I have to take over the next 1.5 years., and just enjoying not having anywhere to be since travel doesn't pick up till end of month.
  • Didn't realize till lunch today that its officially Fat Tuesday... I haven't even begun to think of what I should give up, but considering I'm having horrible digestive issues re-introducing dairy back into diet, maybe I'll just give that up altogether. 
That's what's been going on thus far in February- love that its been laid back as its such a nice way to enter in the new year. 

How is February treating you?

Anything planned for Fat Tuesday / giving up anything for lent?
nothing exciting planned-  in the past I have given up chocolate, soda, dairy, meat. Dairy was the most successful, so might be worth revisiting. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

January in Review

Some people have a "happy place", I have a "healthy place"... let's just say I was not there for the past several months. January for me was about getting back to being comfortable in my body, making healthier food choices, finding a renewed motivation.

Total Mileage:  Last Wednesday (Jan 23) was the first day I could work out, so in 9 days I managed to get in 39 miles. What's crazy is that is more miles I've put in 9 days worth since the summer. I'm incredibly pleased with my "new-found"motivation, and for my body at holding up after being sidelined for 5 weeks.
February Mileage: I don't have an exact # I'm going to try to hit, but I would like to be close to 100, every time I hit 100 I get injured, so close to it is good enough in my book.

Highest Mileage week: 29- first 7 days of being able to run. If I would have realized it was going to be 29, I would have attempted another mile or not taken my rest day to get in 30.
FebruaryI will be over 30 and like to hit at least 35 (It may or may not have been well over a year since I've done 35 miles in a week- sad I know) .

Races Planned / Completed: 0/0: Rest month  
February: verdict is actually out right now- I originally had scheduled my first half last week of February, but for reasons I can't disclose just yet I may be pulling the plug. I know I will for sure be doing a race next saturday as there are 3 local ones to chose from- 2 Valentine's themed 5ks, and the Cedar's Frostbite Half that I ran last year. 

Accomplishments for January;

  • Finished Ultimate Reset and lost all my holiday weight and then some
  • Received my bloodwork back from my biometric screening, everything went right in the direction (except HDL went down a little) 
  • Found renewed energy for working out again
  • Actually went to yoga- been saying for MONTHS that I need to go and have failed each time
  • Stretching after EVERY run- may not be immediately after, but i make sure to do it--- this is making a big difference in my recovery and allowing my legs to be refreshed. 

Current Book: "Just a little..." series on Kindle. I wish my brother Eric would just propose to Tracie already so I could call her my sister in law instead of "my brother's girlfriend" (too blunt?) but alas she wrote this short series and it reached #1 in Australia and another country (forget which one) First book in the series is "Just a little Crush" and its permanently free. The series is 4 parts and I must say its fabulous and a quick fun read
Product Details

Current Excitements/ Obsessions:
  •  That I can run again- looking forward to being able to get my speed back as its still not all there yet
  • Gearing up for my first race back so I can see how I do and create my big 2013 girl which will be to break 1:40 in the half 
  • Meeting my new niece for first time-- haven't decided if i'm going to wait till I go home over Easter, or do a drop in before then... stupid 6 hour drive to Columbus. 
Current Treat: What started out as an almond butter fudge infatuation has manifested into the lazy and impatient option of not waiting the two hours for it to harden in freezer... Almond butter covered in shredded coconut. Don't get me wrong I still love the fudge, but this does the trick for something with no prep. I'm a bit obsessed now and I may have gone through 6 jars of almond butter in January, maybe.... I'm open to try other bands, but this is my go to and what is most readily available. Great now I'm craving my almond butter fudge crack as I write this...

Current Goal: Run comfortably and consistently in the 8s on the road (treadmill is much easier for me to control my pace)

For 2013 I'm going to try to do 1 major takeaway each month (good or bad) so that way I can continually learn and grow from my mistakes / accomplishment. 

January Major takeaway: Your diet really is the key foundation to your health. Obviously as a nutritionist I "know this", but it was really driven home this month by watching the changes in my body, and even more confirmed when I looked at my lipid profile (my blood panel is pretty consistent year to year, so even though 2012 to 2013 isn't 'earth shattering', its still a big shift for me)

                               2012                               2013                   
Total Chol                 150                                108
LDL                           73                                   48
HDL                           66                                   53
Trig                            57                                    35
Glucose                      95                                    88
HDL/TC ratio              2.27                              2.04 

HDL dropping was disappointing since you want that number to be high as possible, but considering exercise helps increase that number and I wasn't exercising for 5 solid weeks prior to my blood test, I guess this can be expected.  It's unrealistic to continue eating as strictly as I was, but I'm using this as motivation to keep myself in check when I think I've "earned" something outside of my normal realm of choices. 

How was your January?
Mine did NOT start out great, but ended on a surprisingly good note. I'm pleased with what I've set myself up with so far for the year and anxious to see where my fitness level will be at in 1 month. 

Any Major takeaways?
diet for sure, as well as the power of stretching, can't believe how 'refreshed' my legs feel

Friday, February 1, 2013

5 for Friday

Here's what happened this week in Because I can land...

1. ) Linda- Switched seats at work to finally sit near my team, was dreading it since I was losing my awesome view, but ... FREAKIN.LOVE.IT. I got a new staple at my desk--- I named her Linda.. for Linda Lamp.

As an added bonus, my desk mate behind me is "the candy lady", so anytime I need a chocolate fix, I can turn around and have an M & M or 10... maybe this isn't a good thing? I've been swayed to join forces with her and also be the candy lady so there can be a one stop shop for variety... I WILL practice self control :)

2.) 29- I wrapped up my week (I'm counting week from last wed - tuesday) with 29 miles for my first week back to running. I'm so excited because my body feels fine (lungs may disagree), but its been a REALLY long time since I've ran that many miles in a week before--- I crunched the numbers and its actually been since July 16 (my birthday week!) since I've ran that many. My god I'm the world's best example of how to not train appropriately. 

3. ) Newtons- I received my Newton's for Christmas 2010- they are not my 'everyday' running shoes as I generally will run 6 miles or less in them due to heel drop and not wanting tight calves and hamstrings. I loaned them to a friend for 2 months, forgot about them, and finally got them back on Tuesday. I decided to test them out on the gym and did a 3 mile run at 8:00 min pace (run varied b/n 6:30 min/ mile to walking so 8 is what it averaged to) so excited that I was able to do it + I wasn't sore at ALL the next day. Huge step in the right direction
shoes really are that bright, but sadly I'm no where near that dark... i'm close to casper than i am to any shade near brown. 

4.) Hokas- Lately I've been hearing more and more about Hoka running shoes, or as the proper name for them 'Hoka One One'--- its funny because it seems that they are the opposite of a minimalist shoe, yet still offer the same benefits as a minimalist shoe?  From their website:
"The distinctive rockered geometry creates a platform for optimally efficient natural running mechanics. The oversized outsoles allow for maximum stability, traction and connection to the ground. Not only do the shoes provide a sense of weightlessness, superior comfort and efficiency but Hoka’s athlete results prove optimal performance. They have recorded over 30 podium finishes on five continents in the past 18 months. Additionally, these running shoes are 15 percent lighter than most others. They make running uphill as much fun as they make running downhill and with less body fatigue."

I'll admit, the last sentence that I underlined had me intrigued and so I wanted to post the question--- 
Anyone out there tried Hokas? Thoughts? Pros / Cons?? 
I know their pricey, BUT i do have quite a bit of credit on Amazon so I can buy them through their and they would be cheap that way.  Also they are NOT stylish... they remind me of the first edition of Sketchers shape ups. 

5.)  Anniversary Today is marks the 3 year service anniversay at work--- although my department is uber fun, they have no idea that it's today so it just kind of  feels like any other day.Everyone gets their anniversay day off OR save it for a rainy day (in my case a monday)  At least there will be wine later for Blue Zones Friday :) 

Anything exciting happen this week for you?

Thoughts on Hokas shoes?