Biggest Month Ever!

So I reached 245 miles this month. I know that's nothing for all those Lydiard fans, but it's huge for me. Prior to this month my biggest month was 208 way back in October. I know I can't train like this year long but it has definitely opened my eyes a bit to my potential. Three years ago I upped my mileage to 50-55 miles per week and got ITB problems so fast I wrote off high mileage entirely, assuming my body just couldn't take it and that the Tri lifestyle was the best way for me to go. Well I am glad I decided to tackle a few ultras and that I finally realized my body can handle a bit more now than it could three years ago.

All this mileage definitely has me feeling strong. My paces are faster than ever, and many days I start to wonder just what my true potential is. Then I freak out and doubt enters in :) I'm entering into the taper phase and those surging feelings of self doubt and self confidence come and go quickly. I don't want to limit myself, but I also don't want to have unrealistic expectations and be disappointed. I usually seem to set realistic goals for the marathon and have only come up short twice. But I sometimes wonder if I had set those goals higher would I have done better...

I think this taper is going to be one of my roughest tapers yet :)

I just need to remind myself come mile 20 of the marathon that I have been there, done that, and this time I am ready to do it better than ever before. I've put in the training and I am more ready than I have ever been. Like Salty tells me I just need to trust in the training. (Why is that so hard for us to do when the race gets closer?)

Weekly Rundown-Boston Training Week 7

Last tough week in the bag. I could definitely tell I have been working hard. The hills all left me feeling less than stellar this week and Sat/Sun were the only mornings I got in my run first thing because I just kept hitting the snooze. Guess I will put lots of sleep as a priority the next three weeks (Note that I got plenty of sleep but it involved doing all my runs at lunch or in the evening rather than the preferred AM run)

Ate way better than my big week two weeks ago (two weeks ago I think i consumed more than my fair share of chicken wings, burgers, cookies, pie, you get the point). This week involved plenty of inventive salads, sushi, and my fair share of healthy portions of lean meats and only a few cookies and one ice cream cone, so I rewarded myself with a Chipotle Burrito this morning which I surprisingly only consumed half of and will save the other half for a treat tomorrow or late tonight if I get hungry.

Onto the mileage.

Monday- 1.5 mile walk with David

Tuesday- 6 mile recovery run with Salty at NC 9:15 pace

Wednesday- 11 miles with track workout
Stayed on my home turf and tried out a track down the road in the evening.
5 mile warm up ~9 minute pace

6*1000 aiming for 3:52 to 4:00 (5k pace)

1st repeat I had to dodge 2 geese that decided to camp out in lane 1 but thankfully they moved for the rest of the repeats. This workout didn't look that hard on paper but it was tough to execute. I was a little shaky on pace and had to push the last 200 of each 1000 to get in on time but I was happy with the effort. 2 minute rests in between each so I jogged 300 meters between the 1-4th and 200 meters between the 5th and 6th (got lazy!)


1.5 mile cool down

Thursday- 2:07:30 Medium/Long Run Effort

Planned to run at SC but weather was going to be sketchy in the evening so I took a long lunch and ran around downtown.

Warmed up 1.5 miles then ran with JK to a downtown track, ran 3 miles while he did repeats (7:59, 8:15,8:16). Ran back to the place where I picked up JK then toured the flats and Browns stadium to get in another hour. Figure the run was between 14.5 and 16 hopefully it was right on at 15. Legs were definitely trashed on the uphills.

Friday- Went to ECR to get in my 9 miler. I always struggle to determine if the mileage at that park is accurate once it evens out but my splits definitely make it clear that the half mile markers are not true. Started off super slow and felt sluggish running uphill. Didn't look at the watch at all and tried to just run a steady by feel run. Ended up picking up the pace significantly and finishing out the run around 7:30 pace for an average around 8 for the run. Started at the bottom and ran 2 miles up, then 2 down, 2 up and 3 down and back to the car to round out 9.

Saturday- Easy 6 miler at NC with Salty slowed way down and did all miles slower than 9 min pace

Sunday- My one and only 20 miler. Plan was to go in at 20% slower than marathon race pace and work my way down to 10% slower or race pace if I felt good.

I think I executed the run pretty well. The first 10 or so miles averaged 8:25-8:30 and the last ten average pace was 7:42-7:48. Last 2.5 miles were between 7:20 and 7:40 so I was pretty happy with that effort. It was on the faster end of what I thought I could do. The course is a good Boston simulator with some rollers and it was windy today which can definitely be a factor at Boston so I think this run set me up pretty well! I did have company up through mile 16 or so so I am sure that helped, but I was glad I ran the last few miles strong even when all by myself.

Stomach threatened to stitch but I held it off. Took in two gels and could tell my stomach didn't quite agree with the second one, I just had to grab some Gus last minute though so I think once I am taking my standard E-Gel stomach issues won't be a problem. Drank only water today and that seemed to work out fine. My legs felt good after the run and I wasn't too dehydrated. Another bonus I made it through the whole 20 miles without a bathroom stop. I'm really hoping this will be the case at Boston. I don't want to waste any race time in the bathroom!

This week the load lightens up a bit and I get to try my hand at a 10k race. I'm hoping I do well as I could use the mental boost. Focus this week is on recovering from the past week and showing up to the 10k fresh. Also started in on my Boston mental prep. Got my booklet and it looks like I am towards the back of wave one in corral 11. I'm debating requesting permission to move to the front of the second wave. I am a little nervous about the crowds in corral 11 and I don't really fancy walking for 12 minutes to get to the start line. I think I may rather wait an extra 20 minutes and get right up front of the second wave.

Weekly Rundown-Boston Training Week 6

6 weeks down and only 4 to go! Yikes!

This week got a bit screwy with the weather but I managed to get all of my workouts in (granted not in order) and was only a few miles short of the original plan.

Monday- Improvised "hard bodies" class with Daisy. We were left to our own devices as the teacher was out of town so we played music and made up the workout as we went along. Daisy tried to kill me with burpees and caterpillars, but I survived.

Tuesday- 9 miles

warm up 26:30 with Daisy and Salty

track was covered in snow/ice on one end, so I had to do 300 out and back switching lanes to avoid ice.

hard headwind on straight aways, struggled with the hairpin turns Split (recovery)
2:22.88 (1:31.47)
2:24.14 (1:30.73)
2:23.98 (1:31.42)
2:23.56 (1:32.23)
2:22.28 (1:30.21)
2:20.83 (1:32.30)

The splits were all on the slower end of my intended pace, so considering the conditions I was happy with it.

cool down 30:18.41

Wednesday- 4 miles 8:30 pace

Was supposed to run 11 miles but after 4 miles of slogging through the snow/sleet and repeatedly having to dig the snow out of my shoes heel I gave up. Running in high heeled snow filled shoes is not my idea of a good training run. I need to start waking up early and getting these runs done on the treadmill if weather is bad.

Thursday - 11 miles 7:50 pace

Made up the 11 mile workout. Went to S. Chagrin and started at the top of the hill ran down 5.5 and came back up. Felt good most of the way. Weather was much more pleasant. Attacked the downhills a bit and backed off pace a bit on the way back up to beat the quads up a bit to get ready for Boston.

Friday - 49 minutes easy with 6*25 second strides

Saturday - 5 mile snowy trail race with about 35 minutes warm up/cool down. Felt strong despite the snow and had fun.

Sunday - 17+ Miles pace 8:15-8:25 pace

Ran about 17.5-18 miles at my old stomping grounds. Dad tagged along on the bike despite it being pretty cold. Legs were tired but managed to drop the pace at the end down to around 8 minute miles after starting around 8:45. Nice easy long run.

This week will be another one close to 70 miles. Hoping to sail through this week and right on into taper.

Note to the Dirtilicious Team

Hopefully you will check back here! You ladies rocked it out there! I am sorry to have left you out in my preview :) Anyone who showed up to run that day was fierce competition. You guys were so funny at the end asking how old we were. I'm the same way, and was glad to know the lead lady wasn't in my "group." And I should note that at the aid station I did take a look over my shoulder to see how close you gals were! There was also a very nice lady in her 50s who said she was slow but finished about 5 minutes back from me, beating many ladies younger than her. That's pretty tough! I should note that while I seemed to be one of the only out of staters there I was treated nicely by everyone out on the course and the Brighton Striders put on a great race. It is definitely intimidating to go to a non local race where you don't know any of the competitors, but it is also nice since you have no real pre conceptions of how you will do. Maybe I will see some of these faces again at the Meteor 10k in a few weeks, hopefully there won't be a repeat of the snow though!

As for the challenge I would love to come up and do Dances with Dirt one of these years. Do you gals do the relay, the 50k, or the 50 miler?

Results are posted here:

Looks like there was a lot of no shows, but still over 100 crazy people came out to race! It's fun being crazy :)

Ps I think that that man may have been named Jim, all I know is that he wears those bright shorts to all his races, they must be lucky because it was pretty cold out there!

No Frills All Thrills 5 Mile Race

With a message like this how can you not show up to the start "A winter storm has moved in, but the race will go on. The Metropark staff will be out early with their snowmobile and cross-country ski trail groomer. You may still get snow in your shoes, but after all, it's only the second day of Spring." So I made the drive last night. It actually wasn't bad until I hit Toledo, then it was super slow going. Let's just say I probably could have run a road 50k in the the time it took me to get there.

I mainly made the decision to go forth with the race because I haven't really raced since December, and I haven't done a race that I actually invested more than a few days preparation into since JFK. Even if I ended up just walking the trails due to conditions I figured I needed to go through the mental prep for a race at least twice before Boston. (I'll give Mother Nature a second chance at the Meteor 10K in Dearborn in two weeks) Go through the nerves, the planning etc and see what happened.

This morning my dad kindly used the snow blower to clear their drive so we could get out to the race in Brighton.

It took about 20 extra minutes but thankfully I am spoiled and my dad drove so I didn't have to worry (too much) about getting there. We got there an hour before the race, thank goodness for 10 AM starts! Got my extremely large pair of gloves and waited until 9:25 to warm up. The roads at the park were clear and I got in a nice 25 minute warm up back and forth through the park. Threw in a few strides just in case it mattered. Everything felt good but I was pretty sure the whole race was going to feel like running through quick sand.

They had a snow mobile out with a trail groomer on the back. The snow was actually pretty fluffy so despite it being above the ankle it was runnable. There were areas that they definitely should have just let the snow be. Running through the fluffy untouched snow would have been less of a hassle than the slightly packed down/sloppy remains from the trail groomer. Good for XC skis, not so great for running. Thankfully they must have used a truck in parts and in those areas you could run on the truck tracks and it actually wasn't too bad. Other than the trail conditions it was a nice morning for a run. A bit brisk, but the sun was shining and people were in good spirits.

Waiting for the race to start. Man I still need to work on my posture!

They had to strongly encourage runners to move over to the actual start which was in the snow, not the nice safe parking lot behind them. I lined up towards the front next to a man in shorts. I think it was a bit cold for them, but to each their own! Surveying the crowd it looked like there were two or three women who could be pretty quick. One was a petite blond with a Nike headband and an i pod. The other I had seen warming up with a purpose was a younger girl, but given the sweatshirt apparel I figured she wasn't going to make a serious go of it today :) I kicked clean a little area to stand in and soon we were off.

Aerobically I felt good. The first section was over a field and they hadn't done any grooming. The snow didn't seem too bad though and other than not knowing what lay beneath your feet was relatively runnable. I quickly pulled to the front of the women's pack and just tried to give a good hard effort.

Soon we turned onto the groomed areas and it was apparent that below the snow was a layer of ice. Some fun slipping around through here before the snow seemed to thicken up. I tried to run in the truck tracks where available and just follow those in front of me. The uphills were definitely a challenge as you kind of had no grippage but still wanted to move forward! Practically I knew that at some point it would be quicker to walk but I just kept running and told myself this was a hard training run, so run it all!

Mile one eventually came in a little less than 9 minutes. I knew that it was definitely not going to be a record breaking day! I managed to hold that 9 minute pace through the second mile too before the petite Nike runner finally passed me. I knew she was with me as every time we passed volunteers they would cheer for her. I told her good job but had to repeat myself as she didn't hear me through the i pod at first. I don't know how she could run with music in those conditions! I felt like I really had to be focused to keep from turning an ankle and just keeping up a good honest effort. The trail started to get sloppy here and it was apparent I was just not as fluid through the slop a she was. She pulled a good 100 yards ahead of me and stayed there.

There was a water stop somewhere after 2 and I actually grabbed a glass since I was working up a sweat trying to get up these sloppy hills! About 11 minutes into the third mile I started really hoping that they did not put out a mile 3 marker. At this point it was pretty sloppy and it seemed that all of a sudden I was not around many other runners. Definitely surreal. Very beautiful out but man it was hard work! The sloppy areas were definitely tough on your ankles and calfs. I didn't want to hurt anything so I may have backed it off a bit here.

Thankfully the truck tracks picked back up a bit before mile 4 and I was able to actually run "quickly" again. I felt really strong in the areas where I could run and I was glad I made the decision to go out. It would have been really easy to give up in the slop and not pick it back up when it got nicer, so I was glad to know that I was strong enough to keep running strong despite the energy expenditure on the hills and slop.

Petite Nike gal kept me honest and I pushed pretty hard up through the end, tried to close the gap on her but unfortunately the last turn took us back into the now runner trodden fresh snow and there just wasn't any ground for me to make up. Still my last mile was the fastest of the day.

Total time was around 46 and she finished about 28 seconds ahead of me. 10 minutes slower than the past two years winners! Yikes! The course actually didn't seem like it would be that hard if it wasn't for the snow, but I am not confident what kind of surface we were actually running on, so I don't know what kind of time I could have had here in good conditions.

So I came away with a strong effort run, 2nd overall female, 1st age group, and a fun coaster as a prize (Have I mentioned I am a bit of a coaster addict, so this prize was awesome!) 1st place would have got me a sweet mizuno duffle bag, but honestly Monte probably would have peed in it (he has ruined three of my bags that were either bought or won at races) so I am happy with my coaster!

Stopped to chat with the winner and ended up cooling down with her and her friend. She seemed pretty nice. Older than I expected, she looked so young! Sounds like she is training for some kind of crazy race so this was actually a good training run for her.

My dad caught a few pics of me below. Man am I spoiled or what? 26 and my dad is still dragging my ass to races. Thanks dad! Love you!

Came home and tried out my parents new Migun massage bed. Could definitely tell my calfs were sore. Hopefully the massage and some icing will have them ready for my long run tomorrow. Lets just hope the metroparks have plowed the paths!

Running Strong

Slipping Along

Almost Done

Glad to be done

Chatting with the first female. Note we both were wearing Nike headbands, those things must have good mojo!

In short, I'm glad I raced. It felt good to be out competing, and despite still not really having an idea of my fitness, I know I ran strong and that I am in good shape if I stay healthy for Boston!

Freaking Done with the Snow!

It is spring and I am sick of this snow! The weather has been bat s%*t crazy around here and it is making training impossible! I am supposed to do a trail race in Michigan tomorrow and mother nature has decided to toss 8-10 inches of snow on the ground. So not only will I have to drive through that mess tonight, I will have to slog through it tomorrow. I was already pretty nervous about this tune up race because I knew it would be harder than a road 5 miler. The average winning females time from the past few years is 5 minutes slower than the average winning females time from St Malachi. That's 1 minute per mile slower, what the heck did I get myself into?

Now I have to decide how I am going to handle the race. I don't see how I can possibly get in a good "tune up" when slogging through a near foot of snow. But I also don't want to skip the race. I know I will have fun, I'm just not sure how I will still get in the quality workout I was looking for. Do I just run the race easy then do a 3 mile time trial on a road somewhere afterwards, or do I just suck it up and give it race effort and forget about times/terrain etc? Advice anyone?

My week was already screwed up once due to some unexpected snow Wednesday night that had me bail 4 miles into my 11 mile run. Thankfully last night was pleasant and I made it up. I was worried about not having enough recovery for the race, but now I realize I shouldn't worry as I have no control over this crazy weather! What made me think race day would be perfect when I can't even get in my training without incident...

Now I remember why I said I would never train to race at Boston again. I don't know how you Minnesotans do it!

Weekly Rundown-Boston Training Week 5

A milestone week for me, first 70+ mile week ever!

Monday- 2 mile walk with David
Pilates Abs DVD plus a few light arm exercises (bicep curls, tricep curls)

Tuesday- Easy 6 mile recovery run at N Chagrin 9:20 pace

Wednesday- 10 miler with 4*1200 at 5K pace. Warmed up 39 minutes with Salty then got to work.

Did an approximately 1200 meter loop in the flats, might have been a hair long. 4 repeats with 2:30 jogs in between

4:55, 4:44, 4:45, and 4:48

15 minute cool down. Was probably a hair shy of 10 miles.

The 4th repeat hurt. Got a side stitch at the end of the third and couldn't quite shake it on the fourth. These were slightly slower than I had hoped for but considering it was on a road loop with a bit of wind and a slight incline on the second half I'll take it.

Thursday- My "comb" 15 miler that was probably closer to 16. Pace: ~8:00

Friday- 10 regular old miles. Warmed up 26 minutes then ran 6 miles with Bridget and added another 10 minutes to ensure I hit 9 miles, misjudged pace and went more like 10. Pace: ~9:00

Saturday- Tooled around taking photos at St. Malachi and did about 30 minutes running around the course, then did an hour with some SERC peeps on Godale's "movie" route. About 9-9.5 miles ~ 9:30 pace

Sunday- 19 miles at a comfortable 8:50 pace

My legs feel surprisingly good. No tweaks other than a bit of a sore hip/outer thigh, completely from road rash, so far no bruising, only a little tender when running downhill or when accidentally brushing against something. Don't get me wrong, I'm sore, but it is the kind of sore that makes you feel like you worked hard, not the kind of sore you get from being overworked.

I need to either start running known mileage courses, stop worrying about total mileage, or get a Garmin. I had a really hard time this week gauging pace on some of my runs and as a result went too far thinking I was running slower than what I was actually going. Thankfully the few extra miles don't seem to have done me any harm and I am pumped up for next week!

Anyone got a band aid?

I almost made it through the winter without any incidents.

The past 15 or so hours have not been my finest.

Last night got out to the car to head to the park for my 15 miler. Key wouldn't turn. This happened about a month ago and caused much frustration then (Long story short David had to come and help me get it started and then the next night I lost my car key in Kohls because I took it off the key chain since we thought maybe having too many heavy keys was causing the problem. After finding the key I rushed out to my car and dropped my camera which is now busted wide open but thankfully still works. So yeah it seems when this key crap happens shit hits the fan!) I tooled around with the key and called my dad for advice. Thankfully my coworker came out about 30 minutes later and proceeded to try the key. After another 25 minutes he found the magic combination and the key turned. So now I was running an hour behind and knew I had to go and run from home since I couldn't risk having the car not start again.

Got home and grabbed my i pod. Since the sidewalks are not shoveled I had to keep my run on the streets. Didn't want to risk major streets so I had to do my entire 15 mile run all within 1 mile of my house. (Did I mention I was really looking forward to my park run, starting at the top of a long hill then running back up it to simulate Boston) It is flat here so no hills, and not much fun to be had running up and down the same streets. I never use an i pod except for occasions where I have to run from home and have more than an hour, or when I have to run more than 45 minutes on the treadmill.

I'm not sure I would have made it last night without the i pod. 15 miles back and forth over and over again at a decent clip in the dark is just not that easy mentally or physically. For most of the run I just had Born Slippy by Underworld on repeat. The beat was good for the pace I was running and it's a song that doesn't get annoying the more you listen to it. Towards the end I opted for some JT to get me through.

I'm going to call this route the "comb" route. Start from my house and run one mile then on the way back run up and down 6 of 8 side streets that are all about a quarter mile long. Grab a handheld with water and a nature valley bar and head back out this time running up and down all 8 streets to get in another 5 miles by the time I hit the end of the street. Then turn around and run all 8 streets back and forth again to finish out the run. I'll have to measure the actual distance but close enough for now. My splits on all the side streets were close to the same so I assume they are all about the same length, if anything a little long. Around mile 12 I got a severe side stitch on my left side. It had been coming on for a few miles but was tolerable. At this point I could no longer run through it so I walked 30 seconds and then ran slowly for a mile before it subsided. I managed to get back on pace for the last few miles to finish out the run. Other than that one mile stretch my pace was even the whole way. 42 minutes per what I guesstimate was a 5 mile stretch and 44 minutes on the last 5 miles due to losing 2 minutes on mile 12.

I started so late that we didn't get dinner until 9:45 and didn't get to bed until almost 11 PM. Then this morning it was up at 5 to head out and get my 9 miler in before work. Went to start the car and it again would not work. Fooled around with it for 10 minutes before giving up and taking David's car downtown to get in my run and grab files from work so I could work from home.

Got in 27 minutes before hooking up with Bridget. I had been moving pretty sluggishly but managed to suck it up and pick up the pace to keep up with her. It felt quick but my pace gauge has been completely out of whack so I trusted that it was 8:36-8:45 since that is what Bridget has been running most of her miles at. Around 20 minutes into my run with Bridget is when I took my fancy spill. There was one stretch of sidewalk that wasn't clear and I somehow managed to lose my footing and went down pretty hard. I slid from ankle to hip on my right side. Laid there for a minute before letting Bridget help me up. Looked down and damage didn't appear too bad so we kept running. Got in about 53 minutes with Bridget then headed out to tack on 10 more minutes to make sure I got in 9 miles. Turns out I probably didn't need too add those minutes as google pedometer had my run with Bridget closer to 6.5 than 5.5 so I probably got in closer to 10 this morning. Surveyed the damage a little closer and realized that if I lifted my shorts I had a nice strawberry going. That's going to smart tomorrow.

Headed to the office to grab files and clean up. Got home and showered then tried again to get the car started. No luck. Called the dealership and the guy tells me to smack the end of the key. That worked so I took the car off to the dealership and for a meager $300 they are going to replace my key mechanism. Got a ride home from them and now I just have to wait for the dealership to call and hopefully my father in law will be able to take me to pick the car up before it closes. I am debating getting some work done or burying my head under the covers. Thankfully I will be downtown tomorrow so I can make up some work then if I don't get in 8 hours today.

Just had some apple rasberry pie and pizza and am starting to feel more human again. The scrapes on my shin hurt pretty badly I think I must have caught a piece of ice or something that actually cut rather than scraped. The hip looks horrible. Both areas are swelling a ton. I don't even want to think about it. Going to put on some bacitracin and hope for the best.

Summarizing the SERC Banquet with One Photo

What a great shot of the new SERC president...

I'm sure I have mentioned it before but I run with a really talented running club and it is quite an honor that they made me the president for 2008. The banquet last night was great. We honored some very talented runners and feasted on the best Italian food in Cleveland. Hopefully I didn't look quite the fool while talking, but did get a bit choked up when giving out our female runner of the year award. The ladies in our club are just amazing and it was so nice to honor one of our finest!

I'm looking forward to another great year with the club and hope that I live up to the expectations!

Weekly Rundown-Boston Training Week 4

Well the week started strong but the weekend was not so good!
I shifted the plan up one day to accommodate for the indoor tri on Sunday which ended up getting canceled, but my legs seemed okay despite doing two medium long runs following Youngstown.

8 miles with Daisy on a warm but incredibly windy run. Headed down to Edgewater to try something new. 8*100 meter strides 9:17 pace

12 mile treadmill run in the evening. Needed some podcasts to get through that one. Upped the pace and incline as I went. 8:44 pace


1850 yard swim in AM
PM Lactate Threshold Run About 4 mile warm up and 4.8-5.0 mile tempo run (Between 7:03 and 7:20 pace) Ave pace 8:16
Walked 2 miles with David after dinner

5.5 mile recovery run with Bridget 6*100 strides Pace: 9:03

2+ mile walk with David in the snow to run errands
Shoveled Driveway in evening


I suck

So I just can't bring myself to go out and shuffle through 17 miles by myself in this crap. I'm calling it a recovery day and will move on as if this weekend never happened! In my head I know that I do not have any endurance issues so this 17 miler doesn't mean much. It's more my ego at play wanting to get in the total weeks mileage.

So I am going to be smart, and a sissy today and will at least try to get the house in semi decent order before heading to the banquet and chowing down on good food that I didn't earn today. Oh well!

Still Snowed In

At some of our deepest spots we got over 2 feet of lovely white snow! I had high hopes of getting to Solon this morning to do my 17 miler, but alas they have not plowed our street since yesterday morning and there is almost a foot out there. We shoveled the drive last night but nothing you can do if you can't get out onto the main roads!

If they don't plow by 2 I am going to have to get to work shoveling the street because our club banquet is tonight and I am semi in charge!

Now to decide how to tackle my 17 miler. I will have to pretend it is a trail run and don my 800s for the snow, but I don't usually run more than 6 miles around the house. I have no good loops out here. Guess I will find some today!

Why I Have to Postpone my 17 Miler until Tomorrow

At least we got in a 2+ mile walk and got a few errands done! AND I finished our taxes and for the most part we will be getting money back. Yay. Too bad it just evens out to what we pay in city taxes, oh well! At least we don't owe more!

Now to make a photo slide show for our club banquet tomorrow which hopefully will not be effected by this snow, and perhaps even clean a bit, although at the moment I am not feeling ambitious at all!

Let me just say so glad I moved around my running this week to accommodate the indoor tri tomorrow by scheduling my 17 miler today. Note to self, stop trying so hard! ;) I will have to suck it up tomorrow and just finish out 17 miles after a little 20 minute treadmill tempo run.

Bagel Shop Core Exercises and Girls Night Out Shot

More random photos.

Proof that I am not such a germaphobe, and that core exercises done after a 10 mile run at 8 minute pace are rough!

Proof that you can have fun with your gals even if you did laugh so hard your pants button burst!

Tampa Photos

One of my "pacees" friends got a couple shots of us at the Tampa Marathon and was kind enough to pass them along!

Must have been a mile marker ahead in the running shot. Otherwise no clue what I was looking at!

On a disappointing note my lucky orange shades broke this week :( Those shades were with me for my PRs in the 50 mile and 5K last year!

Weekly Rundown-Boston Training Week 3

Well this was my last official recovery week. Other than a bit of an upper body work out debacle ;) I think it went well.

Monday- Walked 2 miles with Hubby then did an hour of pilates (DVD)

Tuesday- Recovery 6 mile run with Salty...probably went a bit further than 6, easy to do when you are having fun! 8:50 pace

Wednesday- 9 mile run with BB in Pepper Pike. Snow storm city (Day before with Salty was pretty wintry too) Ran an hour with BB then tacked on to get to what I estimated was 9. Again probably went closer to 9.5. 8:40 pace

Thursday- Decided to hit the gym with Daisy. Did an hour of weights, about 45 min arms and 15 minute core (woke up the next morning and could not extend my left arm at all, arms are still sore today but much better (took two epsom baths so far!))
Walked 1.5 miles with hubby after GNO.

Friday- 9 mile run with Daisy. Did about 5-6 with Daisy then ran around the flats to get in the rest. Did 8*25 second strides down in the flats every 2 minutes. 8:45 pace
Then proceed to go out and dance to trance music for near 3 hours (that has to count for something, I was worn out when I got home! Might have had one too many martinis)

Saturday- Recovery 5 mile run in the evening. Pace was SLOW and arm pain was almost intolerable! But the workout obviously did what was intended as I felt fine Sunday.

Sunday- Youngstown Half Marathon executed perfectly to my plan, now if I can just keep that going up through Boston ;) 7:57 pace

This next week is going to be rough. Got an indoor tri which has thrown the Pfitzinger plan a bit out of whack for this week. Not to mention my normal running pals Salty and Daisy will both be on vacation. I'll survive I am sure and I finally managed to find two races to fit into the plan so this will be the only week that has to be adjusted like this (other than the last week since Boston is a Monday).

Youngstown Half Marathon - 2008

So this was my 4th Youngstown half marathon. I've done the race the past three years, and despite being in better shape every year I have somehow gotten slower there every year. My intention this year was to go out and treat the race like a training run since my plan called for 13 miles, and if all went according to plan this would still be my fastest time at Youngstown because my training pace should be much faster than the paces I ran here in previous years. I wasn't 100% I could do this, especially since I had a super slow recovery run yesterday and my arms were still sore this morning, but I kept my expectations high.

Carpooled to the race with my SERC buddies. Many of the club runners do this race, just goes to prove how hard core our club is in my opinion. It takes a lot of grit to come out and run this extremely hilly half in the first weekend of March in what is usually less than ideal conditions.

No warm up for me today. The plan called for 13 and I would do no more than the race. I didn't want to be sore after this because I wanted to be fresh for this weeks training. My goal pace was around 8 minute miles. McMillan's chart puts me at a 7:56-8:56 pace for long runs based on a 19:57 5k (I picked a time between my last 2 5Ks because I still can't fathom training at the paces proposed for that 19:23). Figured since this was a medium long run I could be on the faster end, but knew it might be slower if I factored in the hills.

We hit the first mile right on target at 7:55. Started out with Daisy and Solar. A little bit of conversation but mostly just trying to focus on running my pace. I wanted it to feel like a training run but I didn't want to slack as Pfitzinger makes it clear that my long runs should not be at slacker pace but at a pace about 10-20% slower than marathon pace.

From there on out all splits were questionable. I held even effort all day, stepping up the effort slightly after mile 10 and letting myself get a bit competitive in the last half mile to pass two women. I know with the hills splits probably won't be even but some of these splits were just nuts!

For those that don't know the course, pretty much every mile has it's own set of hills. And then a few special miles have some really steep climbs. The downhills are nice, but definitely don't come often enough. I consider this to be in my top 3 hardest 13 mile runs I do all year, the other two being our Christmas and New Years Eve runs in Bedford.

Daisy hung with us until just after mile 3 before the steepest climb of the day where she had to peel off for a porta john break. She ended up running with Brian and I am sure they had fun! Solar stuck with me through most of the race. We chatted a little but mostly just enjoyed the relatively pleasant weather and the serenity that is Mill Creek Park. The miles went by pretty painlessly and I was feeling awesome.

Ran into a few interesting characters as always. One with a camel back who was not particularly happy and had no qualms expressing it! Didn't want his negativity to bring us down and thankfully he pulled ahead for awhile. Other odd encounter was the guy taking down early mile markers following us in his car for over a mile. We tried to get to the left so he could pass and he just wouldn't. So finally we gave up making the effort for him and then he decided to honk at us because he wanted to get by. He then proceeded to stop just ahead and follow us again. More than a little nerve wracking.

We got to the hill after mile 9 where Daisy had dusted me last year and I pulled a bit ahead of Solar. I figured she would catch me on the downhill and kept my pace. I knew if I kept up the same effort I should end somewhere around 8 minute pace, but wasn't entirely confident since our splits had been so bizarre all day.

We had a bunny for most of the race. She ran the race great and took advantage of the nice flat and downhill from miles 10-11. I kept her the same distance ahead of me and upped my effort a little bit knowing that this section was easier than what we'd hit after 12. My legs felt great and breathing was just starting to get slightly labored on the uphills. I was running exactly where I wanted to be. Let me tell you that is a nice change for me after the past two years here!

After mile 11 you start to see runners behind you heading out towards mile 8 and 9. Since I was just doing training pace I smiled and gave some "good job and looking great" loving to all of these runners. I think it pumps me up just as much if not more than it does for them. It just feels good to be nice to people out on the course. We don't often get the opportunity to praise strangers in real life, so this is a nice experience!

Passed one lady here who was falling a bit back then I set my sights on the bunny. As we passed mile 12 I figured I might as well catch up to her and make a go of it to come in with her. I caught her on an uphill around 12.5 and said good job. She was running an excellent race, she attacked the course perfectly. I was still feeling fine and there was one more pony tail ahead and I figured heck, I feel great and don't feel like I am pushing, might as well catch her in case it is the difference between an age group award and not getting one. I passed her coming around the final curve and luckily she didn't make me sprint to hold the lead.

I thought I would break 1:44 when I hit 13 but alas that last .1 at Youngstown is uphill and took me a whole 60 seconds! Still 1:44:14 on a training day was just what I wanted. 7:57 pace and 3 minutes faster than my first and best time at this race. Today was a nice confirmation that I am in great shape and hopefully the training will line up for Boston and I will finally hit that sneaky 3:25 mark I have been longing for!

Added bonus the two girls ahead of me in my age group both placed top 5 so I won "1st" in my age group and Solar got 2nd! Gotta love getting hardware! Everyone from SERC ran great today. It was nice to have relatively good conditions here for once!

Splits for what they are worth

How Easily...

grand plans of cleaning the house fall apart when you can barely move your arms. Anyone got a quick recovery plan for an entirely overworked upper body?

Thursday I did an upper body work out with Daisy. Thought maybe my left arm needed some strengthening. Think long think wrong right?

I woke up yesterday and could not unbend my left arm. My right was sore, but not like the left. Definitely something is not right!

So what do I do last night? Go out and dance to trance music for 2+ hours at Traffic. Now my whole upper body is a wreck :) But boy was dancing fun!

Tomorrow is the Youngstown half. I'm not "racing" it because recovery would be too long and I am supposed to start my 4 weeks of actual training Monday. The last three weeks were recovery from Tampa and the 50k, the next 4 will be focused training, and then a 3 week taper. (I'm used to a 2 week taper but I guess the first time around I should stick to the plan and if it doesn't work then I can modify it next time around!) I just hope I can bend my arms tomorrow because despite running Youngstown as a training run I am still going to need these little arms to help get me up all the hills!