Weekly Rundown

Solid week with a couple speedy workouts. Have to pack for Houston/Scottsdale so this will be brief. Looking forward to warmer weather and family visits!

January 18th-24th: 69 miles

Monday- 8 miles at 7:45 pace
Tuesday- 8.68 miles at 7:37 pace including 8 fartlek 200s
Wednesday- 7.73 miles 8:05 pace, 5 miles 7:52 pace
Thursday-9.22 miles at 7:30 pace with 5 mile tempo at 6:45 pace, 4.92 miles 8:31 pace
Friday-4.22 miles at 8:22 pace including 4*100 strides
Saturday- 2 miles warm up including 6*55 m strides, 3k: 11:10.87, 4 mile cool down 8:21 pace
Sunday-13.38 miles 7:10 pace

Mission Accomplished

I came, I saw, I didn't embarrass myself. So I am calling it a job well done.

The Spartan Relays were Case's first indoor track meet of the season. Case is division III so I knew as long as I didn't completely die I should be able to hold my own.

I had a couple goals and two different race plans depending on circumstances. Goal 1: Don't get lapped, Goal 2: Run at least the pace I ran at Reindeer Run (I realize this is a soft time goal, but given my current fitness I wasn't expecting anything spectacular), Goal 3: Don't embarrass myself

Plan #1 Go out with whoever is in first and hold on for dear life, Plan #2 try to run a bit more even splits, targeting all laps under 44. I assumed if I met these goals I would likely place in the top 5 women, perhaps having a run at 3rd place.

Well I met all three goals, but both plans got thrown out the window, and I did indeed place top 5.

I got to the track meet about 90 minutes before the start of the 3k. The women's 3k would be the first running event. So I found the Case coach and checked in and forked over my cash, then I chilled and watched the throwing and jumping events while I nervously waited for coach to arrive. Checked the list and was glad to see another local road racer from the Vertical Runner team, TM, was running the 3k unattached with me. Despite knowing it was irrational to feel like the "old lady" on the track, it made me feel better knowing I wouldn't be the only one!

No other women ran unattached in any of the events, but there were several male masters who ran in the 55 m dash. This was an open event, but I don't know how highly publicized that is, or perhaps it is just off most locals radar because they are like me and have been avoiding track since college. Apparently there was an open meet the week before at Kent, that I was unaware of, but that TM had run, so she had a taste of indoor already. It was good to know what she ran there so I had some sort of gauge of what I could do on no speed training in the middle of winter :)

Coach showed up and sent me off to warm up. Did 10 minutes easy jogging around the indoor track, then about 5 minutes of stretching followed by 6 ~55 m strides. Finished that up about 15 minutes before the start just as TM arrived (got lost) and we picked up our hip numbers.

After getting my hip number I turned around to find my friend Robin and her daughter had come to cheer, as well as G&N and my husband. It was nice to have a support team and it helped soothe the nerves.

I got lucky hip #1 which meant I was starting on the inside. I have no clue how they seeded that event, my seed time was somewhere in the middle of the pack, and the girl who was seeded #2 was towards the back of the pack. We joked at the start about why we were seeded where we were, and that lightened the mood for me.

Before I could really think we were all lined up and the gun was shot. As you can see in the video in the previous post I went out fast, and for much of lap one I had absolutely no clue what was going on behind me. I was just running as hard as I could. Shortly before the end of lap one I got passed by Case's #1 runner. Plan 1 got thrown out pretty quick. I just ran as hard as I could trying not to fall too far behind her. Before the race JL pointed out Case's #2 runner who was running low 19s in cross so I figured I should target her. Only problem was she was right behind me, not in front of me for the first 4 or 5 laps. I just tried to focus on my form and hold on for as long as possible. The inevitable happened though and she passed me around lap 5.

There was no clock and I decided not to wear a watch so I was completely clueless about my pace and/or time. The only visual was the lap counter counting down our laps. It must have been at 1000 meters I could here someone calling out splits for Case's #2 runner and heard 3:30, but could not process that if I had wanted to. Again at the mile I listened for her splits and heard 5:42. I was happy with that being last year my 1 mile time trial was 5:35.

Shortly after the mile mark I got passed by Case's #3 girl. I did my best to stick with her but I was fading fast and we were starting to lap other runners at that point, which was taking a bit of extra energy. It was a 200 m track so it was bound to happen. If you read my post about my track fears you know that I have been in the position of that girl, the first one to get lapped, and I know it is no fun. I gave the gals a good job as I passed.

Shortly after heading into lap 14 I heard the bell indicating Case's first runner was heading into her 15th lap. I definitely didn't want to get lapped and told myself with 400 to go I needed to pick up the effort and try to close on #3. I managed to hold off on getting lapped (she finished about a second after I headed into my last lap), but couldn't catch #3, I was losing steam fast and had to pass quite a few runners the first half of the last lap.

I finished and my calfs started to cramp, my lungs started to seize, and I started to hack, but I was happy to be done and happy to have friends to share it with at the finish. 11:10.87, exactly the same pace I ran at Reindeer Run 5k, given I haven't done any speed work since then and I had a week off for the knee I was pleased. This was a good speed effort workout and gave coach an idea of what kind of fitness I have without any speed training. I got over my demons and even managed to have fun. I'm thinking I may try it again in a few weeks at Kent (and a 300 m track, because old ladies, we don't corner so well!).

After the race we cooled down with the Case team and they were all great girls. Friendly and enthusiastic, it is hard not to get pumped up about running when you listen to them.

Huge thanks to my cheering friends, it was so nice to have friendly faces at each end of the track. And thanks to coach for getting me outside my comfort zone. I still have a lot of work to do, but we are getting there.

Spartan Relays 3k Videos

Start- Somehow got lucky #1 seed and managed to not get mauled in the first 100 meters

Start of Lap 2 in 2nd (decided I did not have the speed to chase Justine Jeroski who is in 1st, she is looking to run sub 10 this year and ran a 10:30 today, really nice group of gals on this Case team)

Start of lap 5 or 6 getting passed by 3rd

Start of lap 9 or 10 still in 3rd

Start of Lap 11 or 12 in 4th about to lap the large group of women at the beginning of the vid

Start of Lap 15 you can see Justine finishing just after I start my last lap

Finish 4th in 11:10.87

My Irrational Fear of Track Meets

My past track experience is not all that impressive. I honestly couldn't tell you a single time I ever ran in a single track meet through middle school, high school, and college. I think I have effectively blocked most of it out. I just recall that I never loved track the way I did cross country, otherwise why on earth would I have bailed on it sophomore year of high school to play a wench in Man of La Mancha? Coincidentally my times suffered after that in both cross country and track and never really recovered until a few years ago (for those counting that was a 10 year span of not improving my 5k time from cross my sophomore year).

Looking back I probably missed out on some great experiences. Don't get me wrong I liked outdoor meets in high school, lots of hot skinny guys in short shorts, what's not to love? But I never really excelled at track, even when I was a decent runner. Outdoor season they tried to get me to do as many long distance events as possible and I was expected to get points in all of them, it was just a lot of pressure, especially considering my general lack of track talent (I never even came close to going to states).

I believe I only ran one indoor meet in high school, and I couldn't tell you the event, I just remember Ian Gold and I were the only runners that went. (Yep I ran with an NFL player in high school!) I know he was super speedy but I can't recall even running a race myself that day.

Enter college. Freshman year I bailed on cross late in the season due to a presumed stress fracture. Sophomore year I decided to try indoor. The meets took up nearly the whole weekend, I didn't get along with most of the runners, and the actual racing, well one word: mortifying.

I wasn't fast in college, and you know what they do with slow gals, stick them in the long distance events. For me that meant 5k, 25 laps around a little track. I think I competed in two meets, maybe 3. The only one I remember my dad and David came to watch. I was chubby and slow, and I remember getting lapped, and my thighs chafing so bad they bled (bun huggers were not my friend). The next meet they were going to have a 10k, not normal for indoor, and not appealing at all, that is what coach wanted me to run, so I quit, getting lapped once was quite humiliating enough thank you.

I guess I feel that running track is extremely vulnerable. In a road race or cross country, you have a bad day, no one really notices, there are plenty of people streaming in, most people just see runners in one or two spots on the course. On a track it is extremely clear who is doing well and who is about to get lapped/dropped because they are way out of their league. You can watch every instant of each individuals race. This makes it extremely exciting for a spectator, but for me as a runner it freaks me out a bit. You are out in the open, and there is literally nowhere to hide. I remember it being so overwhelming once in high school I sprinted off the track and forced myself to heave.

So tomorrow it is likely that I am going to have to overcome these little track demons (I should be running 3k at the Spartan Relays tomorrow, as long as I entered in time) of mine. I know that I am no longer that slow chubby girl, but now I wonder will I be that old lady trying to regain her youth.

I am absolutely clueless as to how to race on a track. I was never really in a serious track race where I was good enough to run with the lead pack. I am intimidated to say the least.

Oh well, hopefully this old lady can at least give these college gals a run for their money. I don't expect a spectacular time since we just started in on speed training, but it would be nice to get the competitive juices flowing, I need to work on being more aggressive for sure. The good news is 3k is the first track event so I can scoot out of there really quick if it doesn't go well and it will all be over in less than 13 minutes even if it goes badly!

ps. if any locals want to come cheer/warm up/cool down with me the company would be appreciated! 3k should start at 1pm.

Weekly Run Down

Starting to get back into the groove of marathon training. Added in some strides this week to wake up those fast twitch muscles. Friday night headed out with the girls for drinking and dancing, but still managed to get in my weekend runs at a respectable pace. Sunday afternoon headed down to the valley to watch my trail buddies run the Winter Run for Regis Fun Run 50k. (And realized how much I miss the trail scene once again)

After taking a week off for the knee, and coming back feeling pretty sluggish the next week it was easy to start thinking my Boston goals might be a pipe dream this year.

I had to start a new training log because Nike will be shutting down the one I use shortly and I remembered that for Columbus I set up a spread sheet tracking my key workouts each week leading up to Boston. I decided to do that again and that gave me the reality check I needed.

While I haven't done any tempo or speed work yet this winter, my normal runs and long run paces are so much faster than they were last fall. It's so easy to get caught up in what you're doing in the moment and forget about where it is you came from. You get in these cycles and feel like you aren't improving, but then realize that in reality you definitely have come a long way if you just take a minute to step back and look at the whole picture.

So I am feeling much better this week about my Boston goals, but definitely looking forward to getting in some speed work and getting those tempo paces down.

January 11-17: 65 miles
Monday- AM 8 miles 8:42 pace (sloppy roads), PM- Treadmill 2.5 miles 8:00 pace
Tuesday- 9.75 miles 7:29 pace with 4*100 strides
Wednesday-8 miles 7:23 pace with 5 at 6:58 pace
Thursday- 6.5 miles 8:30 pace
Friday- 10 miles 8:00 pace (Massage & Dancing)
Saturday- 6.5 miles 7:37 pace with 4*100 strides
Sunday-14 miles 7:12 pace

A couple of the runs were on the slow side for what I was supposed to do, I was trying to get out with company at lunch, so I sacrificed pace a bit for more fun. This week I am being a little pickier about when I run with others. I don't want anyone to screw up their workouts for me, and I can't let my desire to keep running social affect my planned workouts.

Did a good job early in the week of getting in some core and hip strengthening, but slacked off late in the week. This week need to make sure I do something every day.

Girls Night Out

Have you made time for some fun with friends this weekend?

I did and it was a blast! I need to get out more often for sure.

Winter Weekly Miles

Just finished up a frigid week with lots of treadmill miles, but the knee seems to be holding up so I am grateful for all of the pain free miles no matter the pace or locale.

January 4th through the 11th- 45 miles

M-5 Miles Treadmill 8:30 pace
T-5 Miles Treadmill 8:07 pace
W-5 Miles Treadmill 8:15 pace
Th-5 Miles Treadmill 8:01 pace
F-6 miles in the snow 9:18 pace
Sat-8 miles 7:27 pace
Sun-12 miles 7:55 pace

Most of the treadmill runs I just started out easy and increased the pace as it felt comfortable. Break every 1 mile to stretch, check the knee the first few days, then went longer before testing each day. I tried to keep the elevation at 2 to minimize impact and Wednesday did a "hill" workout to keep from getting too bored.

Each day I have been doing hip and quad strengthening exercises, stretching, core work, and a few push ups. Hopefully this will become habit.

Saturday may have been a bit aggressive given the come back and I am sore now but the knee seems to be just fine.

Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful runs. It was cold out but the scenery was great and the roads were clear. Oh and the sun was out.

A structured training plan commences this week. Hopefully mother nature plays nice, the treadmill wasn't so bad when I was just running easy but doing a set workout on it will be another story I am sure.

Some New Year Inspiration


Go check out Patrick's Blog for some additional inspiration this year. He is running across the United States in an effort to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. Really nice kid that I met at Burning River last year (he smoked that as well as many other ultras in 2009).

I'm getting a kick out of his daily posts and can't wait to see how his trip unfolds and thought you might all like to follow along too!

Taking out the trash

A quickie post to show you the new trash and recyclable storage units!

New Receptacle Shots (Per Request)

They even came with labels!

Just ignore the over sized trash bag, I am way overdue for a grocery trip

I love them :)

Man does a New Years Day party create a lot of recyclables or what! That bin was filled twice over. I love the new bins, much better than the plastic tub with the removable lid that never stayed clean or on. Mom and dad found these at Sam's Club and claim they got a great deal on them if you are interested. (These things aren't usually cheap, I looked!)

Mandatory Year Round Up

Wow 2009 was such a great year for my running. This year I decided to hand my training over to a friend to coach me and so far the results have spoken for themselves. If you can find someone to help your training out I highly recommend it. It has been refreshing to just let go and do what I am told to do each week.

This year sadly had no ultra's which was definitely a change, but I understand that those goals are on hold for a while while we focus on speed and the marathon.

Despite no ultras and fewer marathons the mileage this year was higher. Finished out the year at 2,770 miles, 470 more miles than last year.

Despite that, no major injuries and only one real sick week, until the final few weeks of the year, which is impressive. I am happy to report the knee seems to be healed or healing as I successfully ran 3 slow miles on the treadmill last night with no pain during or after the run. While I would have obviously preferred to finish out the year running, a week off every now and again is a necessary part of the sport. And I can't say being lazy, indulging, and hanging with friends was really all that rough this time of year.

Quick Annual Rundown:

Youngstown Half 1:32:31, 4th female
St. Malachi 5 Mile 33:13, 8th female
Indoor Tri-1st female
Martian Meteor 10k 41:11, 12th female
Boston Marathon 3:16:30, 341st female
Cleveland 13.1 1:27:52, 2nd female
Flag Day 5K 18:56, 3rd female
Whiskey Island Relay 3k 12:25, 1st female team
Aurora Fun Run 5k 19:46, 6th female
Johnnycake 5 Mile 31:35, 11th female, PR
Twilight Trail 8K Relay 34:55, 1st female team
Perfect 10 Mile 1:05:08, 1st female, PR
Buckeye Half Marathon 1:26:52, 1st female, PR
Columbus Marathon 3:05:57, 12th female, PR
Detroit Turkey Trot 10K 40:23, 14th female
Reindeer Run 5K 18:37, 1st female, PR

Cincinatti Flying Pig Marathon 3:49:43 (Goal 3:50)
Spirit of Columbus Half 1:39:37 (Goal 1:40)
Dayton Air Force Half 1:40:30 (Goal 1:40)
Akron Marathon 3:39:22 (Goal 3:40)

A quick glance at the year shows one time goal already for 2010 and that is to crush my 10k PR, it's hard to believe with PRs in pretty much every other distance that that goal wasn't met!

Other goals for the new year are to work on my weaknesses. My form is sloppy and I had been hoping that by getting faster it would sort of work itself out but it is apparent I need to get to work on my core and shoulder strength. Straighten up and stop bringing my arms so far in front of my body. It won't be easy, but I am hoping it will make a huge difference once I get it in line! In line with that goal is to get more of a mid-foot strike going, this one may prove more difficult, but I'll be focused on it!

Hope everyone got to relax a bit this holiday season and that you are all revved up for a great year! I know I am!