Dusting away the cobwebs

Facebook and real life have obviously taken their toll on my blog. But in the spirit of why I started this blog in the first place, as a log of my daily life that I could share with family and friends, I am going to try to make an effort to update more. At least throw some photos up so you can see what I have been up to other than running tons and tons of miles :)

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend with our families and we are looking forward to more fun times with friends for New Years and Hubby's B-Day.

Santa spoiled us rotten this year so we will be busy watching lots of new DVDs, playing X-Box, trying out new racing shoes, smart wool socks, footbaths, and a mirror so I can finally see the back of my head in the morning! On top of that matching trash and recycle cans (you have no idea how happy those made me). I am not really a material girl, but items that make the things you love doing easier, or your everyday life more organized, do make me breathe easier.

Christmas at our place

Thorncreek Winery for Carley Tanchon Performance

Down for the Count

After stubbornly trying to run through the pain for two weeks I gave up and am on a 3-day hiatus from running. Plan is to test the knee Wednesday with 5 on the treadmill and no more than 5 miles a day for the rest of the week. Not really how I envisioned finishing out such a stellar year of running but what are you going to do? Knee pain started Sunday the 13th and while the pain wasn't bad while running my husband (and family and even running friends) were starting to question my sanity as I gimped up and down stairs but insisted on running. In my defense the pain wasn't getting worse and I was hoping to run through this one. But 17 weeks of training with a bum knee does not sound appealing so hopefully I can nip this pain now with a few days to maybe a week off. I'll be adding in quad strengthening to hopefully avoid a recurrence!

Despite all that I had a pretty good December so far. 244 miles and right now almost 500 more miles than I ran in all of 2008. Not too shabby.

Last weeks summary: 73 miles if we start on Sunday :) 61 with the usual Monday start.

12/20/09 (Sunday)-7:45 pace 12 miles
12/21/09-treadmill 5 miles 8:00 pace
12/22/09-AM- 2 miles 8:11 pace (ice), PM-8 miles 7:42 pace
12/23/09-AM-8.5 miles 8:00 pace, PM-5 miles 7:20 pace
12/24/09-13 miles 7:11 pace
12/25/09-5 miles 7:34 pace
12/26/09-15 miles trails under 12 minute pace with photo stops etc

A few pics from the Saturday Waterfalls Run:

Merry Christmas!

Hope Santa is good to you and yours and that you get to spend the day as you like with loved ones!

Gearing Up for the Holidays

Christmas cards have long since been sent out, gifts have been wrapped for weeks, and Christmas candy is slowly being given out. Tonight is the last minute snack and drink shopping. Tomorrow all that's left is decorating after the annual SERC Christmas Eve run.

I am going minimalist on the decor this year since the cats will just knock down the tree it isn't going up. We are having over both sets of parents and my sister so it will be a small celebration and I am sure they will be fine with just a few Christmas-ey touches. I did toy with the idea of getting a nice pine branch to hang on a wall for some of our nicer ornaments, but then realized that would involve me going out with a hack saw into the woods and decided against it. Any creative ideas for hanging a few of my nicer ornaments around the house without a tree?

In the meantime I have been running up a storm despite the aggravated left knee. Pretty confident it is just mild patellar tendinitis caused by the slipping around on the ice a few Sunday's ago. It is slowly getting better with some PT and ice. I don't think I helped things last week by doing all my mileage in 7 runs. This week, more doubles!

This week I had to start logging my runs in a new log as the Nike Training Log went down at some point last Thursday and the Nike rep has no idea when it will be back up again, and at some point it will be retired. A little aggravated at the possibility of losing all of that data in a nice handy place where I could retrieve it but now I will make sure to always have a back up of everything on my own computer. Mostly upset about the shoe mileage tracking as I have no clue how many miles I have on the several pairs I am wearing right now. Oh well.

Monday December 14th through December 20-Total 72 miles
Monday-10 miles 7:18 pace (2 mile warm up at 8 followed by low 7s) (163 BPM)
Tuesday-9.5 miles 8:07 pace (151 BPM)
Wednesday-10 miles 7:40 pace with CV (151 BPM)
Thursday-10 miles 7:36 pace with CV (154 BPM)
Friday-12 miles 7:14 pace with NC and MR
Saturday-8.5 miles 7:57 pace (155 BPM)
Sunday-12 miles 7:45 pace (151 BPM)

Weekly Rundown

What's that, yep I am still chugging along. I feel like I got run over by a truck this weekend but I am still getting in the workouts.

We are currently in a 5-6 week building phase. Basically no really hard stuff, but no really easy stuff either, just a bunch of steady miles.

Saturday was Christmas Candy Making day, and Sunday helped out the in-laws to get their house ready to go on the market. I was absolutely physically wasted by Sunday evening. Truth be told I needed quite a few cups of coffee just to survive Sunday and Monday morning I woke up to whole body soreness and bruises everywhere. Who knew cleaning, packing, painting etc was so brutal?

With 70-75 miles on tap this week there is no rest for the weary. Let's hope I survive! My right calf has been a little tender but was feeling better yesterday and Sunday my left knee flared up, likely from doing hills Saturday and Sunday and from icy footing Sunday. Hopefully just overworked quads and I can ice/stretch my way back to health. I have a massage scheduled for Friday which should help too.

I am struggling with the mental math of getting in more than 65 miles a week while working 40 hours and not doing any runs longer than 12 miles on the weekend. It just isn't adding up for me right now, especially since I am not a morning person and have a hard time starting the day off with a run. I am going to need to suck it up and start getting in some doubles because I can't get in 9-10 miles at lunch every day. Which means I need to get out of bed and get running first thing despite the cold outside and the nice cozy bed I'd rather be in.

All of that to say I am still running, I am feeling worn down, but I am pushing through!

December 7th-December 13th- 62 miles

The weather took it's toll on my goals paces last week and I did not end up getting in two runs in the low 7s like I intended. New goal is to get in the first low 7 workout the first day of the week with decent weather regardless of schedule/plans. I really would like to avoid having to do low 7s on the treadmill. The other planned low 7 workout is always Sunday so if weather is bad that is out of my control, but I can at least get in one quality day a week, even in Cleveland winter :)

Monday-7 miles 7:36 pace (154 bpm)

Tuesday-8.25 miles 7:42 pace (154 bpm)
(hip workout and 20 push ups)

Wednesday-6 miles treadmill 8:00 pace
(hip workout, 20 push ups, core workout, and light upper body)

Thursday-9 miles, 8:09 pace (150 bpm) *Extreme wind on marginal

Friday-9 miles 7:28 pace (156 bpm) (ran with CV, intended for this to be low 7s, but it was windy and my legs felt sluggish, Final 2 miles were under 7:15)
(hip workout, 20 push ups, core workout)

Saturday-11 miles, 7:30 pace with NC (162 bpm)

Sunday-12 miles, 7:39 pace (163 bpm) (several miles under 7:15 when footing was normal)

Reindeer Run and Weekly Run Down

Once again the Reindeer Run 5k has proven to be a good note to end the running year on. This race was the first 5k I broke 20 on (two weeks after running a 50 mile race).

This week was focused on starting to build my base, so no more speed work for awhile, but I had to get in one more race as it was a planned meet up with a bunch of the Cleveland gals, several of which are celebrating their pregnancies. And it's always a good excuse to eat pancakes with friends after a hard morning race effort.

Week went as follows, pretty straight forward instructions from coach, 50-55 miles, only one day over 8 minute pace, two days in low 7s and the rest of the runs 7:30-7:50, because of work this week I had to do all but Monday solo in the morning:

55 miles total
M- 7.4 miles 8:49 pace
T- 7 miles 7:41 pace
W- 8 miles 7:06 pace
Th- 7 miles 7:39 pace
F- 6 miles 7:34 pace
Saturday- 2 miles warm up 7:49 pace (with strides), 5k, 3 miles cool down
Sunday- 11.5 miles 7:05 pace

Onto the fun stuff. Reindeer Run 5k is on the West side and is known for being fast since it is flat out and back, no sharp turns, and nice cool weather, just the way I like.

Goal was to run 18:40 which would be 6 minute pace. It seems I tend to get mental blocks on paces, we're working on breaking the "Easy = 8+" mental barrier right now and I knew I needed to get past the 6 minute race barrier mentally. If I can run 5:50s on the track I should be able to run sub 6 in a 5k, especially a flat fast one. Add to that my less than phenomenal day at Turkey Trot and I was fired up to crank out a PR.

JC gave me a ring and offered to cart my butt to the race which worked out perfectly. The temps were around 30, not much wind and I got to warm up with my gals CV and TM. Race outfit worked out perfectly, I was never cold and didn't break a sweat. Lined up at the start after a few strides and TM pointed out a gal towards the front who was supposed to be pretty quick. I decided to try and run with her as long as I could in hopes to pull myself to a better time.

The jingle bells announced our start and after two winding turns we were onto the straight road that would make up the next 1.5 miles until we turned around. TM and CV were right with me and I set my sights on DZ ahead of us. I started to reel her in and around the half mile decided to go past her. This seems to happen a lot for me and usually when I try to "take control" of the race it ends in me getting reeled in towards the finish, but I made the game time decision that I wasn't going to worry about anything but running hard. No looking at the watch and no holding back to run someone else's race.

The first mile was right on target at 5:54. Though I didn't look at the watch the race did have timers at each mile so I was aware at each mile mark of how I was doing. I started to reel in a few men and tried to pull myself along with a few young guys as we rounded our way back towards the opposite direction.

As we made the turn back onto the main drag of the race I saw Salty (pregnant with #2) and she gave a holler that I was in 1st. Nice to know, but I am well aware that doesn't always last. My goal the second mile was to step up the effort in order to maintain pace. I focused on doing just that as I neared mile 2. At this point waves of other runners were still going the other way (I think there were 800 runners) including several of my pregnant pals as well as MN. All of my friends in addition to many gals I don't know were cheering for me which was great and exciting, but a bit overwhelming. It was definitely hard to try and smile and wave while also trying to maintain my form and pace. I'll have to work on that. Even a 5k should be an enjoyable experience. (My friends mentioned afterwards my attempt at a smile definitely looked awkward, I am guessing it looked pretty strained). Mile two and the timer called out 11:55 so I knew I was still on pace for the 18:40. (5:59 for that mile)

Lactic acid was starting to kick in and moving forward was definitely starting to be more of an effort. I really have no sense of time during a 5k and got excited when I saw a cop car thinking it was the turn to the finish only to realize I was still about a half mile from the finish at that point. I was pretty much by myself by this point. There were a few men ahead of me and I got passed by a young male runner. As I neared the final turn there was a cop directing traffic and he shouted to the car that they could cross after me. I realized then I must have at least a decent gap on the next person behind me and I better amp it up for a good kick to hold onto first and try to get my goal time.

Mile 3 timer called out 18 even (6:07 for that mile) and I knew I had to bust ass to the finish. No matter what I do .1 takes me 38 seconds so I knew I needed to haul. A guy running the other way hollered to pump my arms and I was sure there must be a gal behind me he was instructing but as I pumped my arms harder he yelled more encouragement and I realized he was urging me on to the finish. To him I must say thank you because I crossed the line and looked down at the watch for an 18:39. Official chip time 18:37.52. About 3 seconds ahead of the second gal, so definitely glad I found a little kick at the end (37.98).

I know that I am going to need to get a lot faster to meet my marathon goals, but this was a great way to finish the year and glad to finally officially meet one of coach's goals for me this year. Next stop 17 something ;) Although I am guessing there will be some baby steps on the way to that goal.

My Reindeer Medal.

Thanks CV for going to the awards with me!

The pancakes were much better than this omelet, but the omelet was as big as my head, much more photo worthy.

Me and my Cleveland Gals. Can you pick out the 5 that ran with baby in tow?