Thursday, April 28, 2011

A new PR!

Today with the help of my amazing hubby, I set a new PR for the 5K!  25:34!!!  Before today, my fastest time was 27:04 so it was great to take almost a minute and a half off of my previous time.  Erik is recovering from an injury so he is rebuilding his mileage right now.  He wanted to go for a 4 mile run and wanted a running partner.  I gladly accepted that task.  I am so happy I did!  Thanks for pushing me to go faster than ever before.  It's nice to have a running partner who is faster than you. =D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Berry Lake

Today was my first long run since the Bainbridge 1/2....and it was AWESOME!  I threw my back out on Saturday and have been nursing it back to health since.  Thanks to a great massage at Massage Envy on Monday, I was able to run today! 

Bainbridge did something to me.  It really kicked my ass both mentally and physically.  Those hills/mountains really did a number on me.  I was determined today to get my heart, body and soul back on course.  It was a typical Washington state day so after dropping Bryce off at school, I set off on my course with the mantra "Rain or shine, your feet don't mind" from my friend Gina (@sheTRISall3). 

Almost 1 mile into my run, I came to my first crossroads...right into the Quadrant Homes to add an extra mile into my already planned long run or just turn left into McCormick Woods?  The rain began to fall...I turned left!  I wanted to go 10 miles today but with the back injury and the weather I was prepared to settle for anything over 7 today. 

The first couple of miles my legs felt so heavy.  I'm getting kinda tired of this feeling, I'm not gonna lie.  I just want a nice long run where my legs don't feel like lead.  My Nike+GPS kept telling my pace every .5 miles and so far I was pacing under 9:20/miles :)  At about mile 2.5, I stopped to greet a couple of friends I have seen on my last 2 runs...
One kept walking closer and closer to me.  She actually came close enough that I could have pet her but I know better :)
My little photo shoot was the perfect break to end the "heavy leg syndrome" issue I was having.  I took off and headed for the route I've been wanting to try for months.  The next couple of miles were very quiet.  The backside of McCormick is pretty deserted.  It's peaceful but also a little stressful.  Being a lone, female runner in a deserted area and seeing large trucks that had zoomed past me parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere is a little scary. Regardless, I loved the route.  Down to the fire station, I turned left and headed for civilization.

Glenwood has some crazy drivers!  Why must people swerve towards the female runner on the shoulder of the road? (Yes, I am talking to you Mr. Tow Truck Driver!)  I saw the local businesses ahead and stopped in at Burger use the restroom :)  Sidney was also pretty busy this morning.  I had an ambulance scream by me followed by a police car a few minutes later.

The part I have been waiting for...Berry Lake!  As I turned from Sidney to Berry Lake I could see the monster hill in the far distance.  I just kept telling myself, "You can do this, you've got this, you are NOT going to walk!"  At the base of the hill I felt the weight of my legs quadruple!  I just kept chanting in my head and started swinging my arms harder.  I was bound and determined not to walk!  I'm sure to the cars passing by, I only looked like a speed walker but I know I was running!  3/4 of the way up the hill, my legs were begging to stop but my heart and soul had won this battle...I kept going.  I made it to the top and thought I was going to pass out because I was gasping for air so bad but I had done it!  I conquered Berry Lake!! 

My last mile home was the slowest one of my entire run but I never stopped running :) 

Today was a great day!

8.3 miles in 1:18:16 for a pace of 9'25"/mile

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bainbridge Island 1/2 Marathon

Easily the HARDEST run of my little running career.  People kept warning me about the hills on Bainbridge Island but I had no idea.  Toe Jam Hill...OUCH!

I did my usual morning pre-race routine: get dressed, eat a banana, get Starbucks coffee...and took off to Bainbridge, alone.  Erik had to work and it was my daughter's birthday that day so I didn't have my support crew. :(  I got to packet pickup way too early and sat in my Jeep waiting for the race to begin.  Twitter and Facebook kept me least I had the support of my friends and family online!  :)

About 20 minutes to race time, I got out of my Jeep and went by the community center.  I met several other Half Fanatics who either introduced themselves to me or waved at me.  I forgot to mention, this was my first race as a Half Fanatic!  I was sporting my new tech shirt...yeah me!

Race time:
Mile 1: Not bad, I made sure I didn't start off too fast or too slow.  9'27"/mile average pace.  The road was slightly uneven but nothing too bothersome. 
Mile 2: The beginning of my first hill.  I was able to maintain pace up the steady uphill climb.  Other runners were already beginning to walk this portion and I just went steady and kept climbing a little slower than mile 1.  10'15"/mile
Mile 3: Still uphill then a big downhill grade.  This was the beginning of my IT band pain.  The downhill portion was torture on my knees.  My tremor started to act up at this point too.  Quads started shaking.  I didn't want to go all out on the downhill but I think I would have done even more damage by letting my legs run!  10'38"/mile
Mile 4: Perfect song on the perfect road.  It was a beautiful road (very uneven though) with lots of greenery and James Blunt "Stay the Night" was playing.  A really great tempo for this road.  I was able to pick up the pace.  9'48"/mile
Mile 5:  Fort Ward Park.  Along the waterfront, very beautiful, very flat, very deceiving for what was to come in the next mile!  9'57"/mile
Mile 6-7:  Toe Jam Hill!  OMG!!!  I turned the corner at mile 6.5 and there was the biggest hill I have ever had to run before.  My legs just stopped.  There was nothing my mind or heart could do to get my legs to move any faster then walking pace.  It was just horrible.  Nobody within my eyesight was running, everyone was walking and not just walking...holding their quads bent over struggling to make it up this large hill.  9'58"/mile and 12'07"/mile.
Mile 8:  Relief!  Some energy came back to me.  Able to run again.  9'01"/mile
Mile 9:  Another huge hill.  Seriously, enough already!  I dropped my water belt at the water stop here.  The little extra weight that I was carrying with that was too much at this point.  More walking.  12'03"/mile
Mile 10:  I noticed I was still on pace to PR if I could just will myself to run a little faster.  Some smaller hills that I did walking/running intervals through.  My tremor and IT bands were really starting to freak out now.  11'12"/mile
Mile 11:  "Please can do it.  Finish strong.  You can still PR. "  I pulled every ounce of energy out of myself and RAN!  Best mile of the race.  8'43"/mile
Mile 12:  My knees were killing me.  I moved my IT knee band over to my left knee.  I looked at my watch and decided my health was more important than a PR.  I walked.  11'11"/mile
Mile 13:  I finished running, as fast as I could.   10'58"/mile

Final time according to my GPS: 2:16:50
Time chip time: 2:17:01
Overall Place: 98 of 142
Overall Womens Place: 37 of 71
Age Division Place: 18 of 27

I had hoped for a better race but I know I did the best I could do.  Leading up to the race I had only run 2 miles all week because of my IT band issues.  It wasn't my worst race and it wasn't my best.  I am still a smiling runner through it all. =D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Playlist

Here is the playlist for tomorrow's 1/2:

Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack
Loser Like Me - Glee
For the First Time - The Script
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Alright - Darius Rucker
Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band
She's On Fire - Train
The Cave - Mumford & Sons
Violet Hill - Coldplay
Bad Influence - P!nk
Stay the Night - James Blunt
Toes - Zac Brown Band
Wonderwall - Oasis
Sing - My Chemical Romance
Breakeven - The Script
Sober - P!nk
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
Forever - Chris Brown
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Beautiful Day - U2
All I Hear - Train
My Body - Young The Giant
I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At the Disco
Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
Let's See How Far We've Come -Matchbox20
Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine
Funhouse - P!nk
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez / Pitbull
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Coming Home - Train
Let It Roll - Train
It's A Great Day To Be Alive - Travis Tritt
Free - Zac Brown Band

2.2 hours of music for my listening entertainment.  I hope to not need that much music =D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

90 Laps

90 laps + New Shoes = 10 miles of pleasure and pain. :)

That was my view for 90 laps.  Walk. Jog. Run.

That was me yesterday.  I recently bought some new shoes (Nike Air Alaris+ 3) that I decided to break in at the YMCA.  The first 3 miles felt great!  Like pillows on my feet but the next 7 miles torturous.  I had several miles where my feet were so numb and I couldn't feel a thing.  Why I didn't bring my old shoes with me...I'm not sure.   

The plus side to today's run, actually there are two plus sides. 
1.)  I PR'd in my 10K time for this year! 57:01!! 
2.)  I have officially run more miles this year then I did last year :) 

Also, remember that girl I told you about a few weeks ago...the one who told me I was an inspiration to her?  Well she was on the track yesterday and when I had 1.5 miles left to go in my run I convinced her to run with me.  I found out that Kasey is training to be in the Air Force and she was my inspiration yesterday.  Her conversation kept me going the last 1.5 miles which helped me to forget the numbness in my feet that I was experiencing. 

Power Song: Funhouse - P!nk

Saturday, April 2, 2011

8 miles's not the Eminem movie, it's what I ran on this beautiful Pacific Northwest morning.  It must have been one of those "calm after the storm" days because the sun was out and shining away this morning!  I woke up at 7:30am and decided I wanted to do an early run today.

I had planned on doing a 7 mile run originally but I had challenged my friend Rory Pitts to add a mile to his distance today so I knew I had to do the same.  I dressed up in my odd Washington wear: long sleeved tech shirt, capris, sunglasses and gloves and hit the road! 

I decided to go for a hilly route today.  I left my Quadrant neighborhood for the other Quadrant neighborhood down the street.  Usually when I do these two neighborhoods together it's exactly a 5k.  As I was coming up the long hill in the other neighborhood, I saw two fellow runners getting ready to hit the road.  I tried to pick up my pace...because I'm competitive like that ;)

McCormick Woods was just lovely today!  A slight breeze, the sun to my left corner of my sunglasses, the birds were chirping away, and several squirrels were out playing too.  A couple of miles into my route I finally met some other people on the road.  There were several walkers out this morning!  Finally at the end of the Woods, I saw two other women out running and chatting away.  Grrr...I really need a running partner!

When I got to Dunraven, I stopped for a minute and stretched in the sunshine.  Please Mother Nature, if you are reading this, I really loved the sunshine today...I'd love to have as much of it as possible!  Pretty please with sugar on top!!!  On my way back out of the Woods, I chose to go the hilly route.   A little less distance but with bigger rolling hills.  As I came back out onto the main McCormick Drive, I heard the familiar chattering of the two women runners again.  I have to admit, they pushed me to pick up my pace!

Heading towards home I also saw the first set of runners and waved hello again as I charged up the final hill.  Into Quadrant, I felt quite a pull in my right knee.  Unfortunately, it's my bad knee and it's been stiff all week.  I pushed through the final 1/2 mile of my run but the pain was getting worse with each step. 

I made it home and was able to stretch.  I haven't had any pain since my run so hopefully it was just a one time event!  I managed to keep a 9'30"/mile pace for the 8 miles.  I think I could have shaved off a few more seconds if it had not been for the sore knee in the end.  Overall, another successful run!

On a side note, my friend Rory matched my 8 miles this morning for his longest run ever!  I am very proud of how far he has come.  Way to go my friend!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I ran naked!

Yep, I did it tonight...ran naked.  Get your minds out of the gutter...I ran without music, sheesh...who do you think I am?  It was just a short run around the YMCA, 25 laps in fact.  Running without music wasn't bad.  Most of the time my volume is so low's kind of like running without music.  I'm not sure I would want to do a 1/2 marathon without my music yet but it's a start. :)