6 mile Tuesday

Following my training schedule (for once), I met with my running group Tuesday night at the usual time. It was slightly cool out with a pretty good breeze. I started my run like I usually do, towards the back of the group. I tend to be the slowest person on the run, so instead of being trampled, I just hang toward the back. My goal was to finish 6 miles in under 75 minutes. Even though this wasn’t my “pace” run week, I wanted this run to at least come in under my goal time. I tried to picture my run as if I was running my half marathon.

I started out with miles 1-2 as the warm up. I started to hit my groove around mile 3 and ran a comfortable pace (about 12:30) through mile 5. I picked it up for mile last mile and came in around 11:45. As I was coming to the end of my last mile, I saw two male members of my running group waiting at the bottom of the bridge for me. Usually I finish my run about the time everyone else does because I run a mile or two less than them. This time I ran the full 6 mild route and they were concerned about me. It’s dark by the time I finish the run and since I’m so slow, I’m always the last one. I thought it was so nice that they stayed and waited for me to make sure I got back safe.

My race strategy is a little different and strange than what most runners do. Most of the time the strategy is to warm up the first few miles, relax the middle miles and then attack the last miles. I know that doesn’t work for me. I start slacking during the middle miles because it is too big of a chunk for me to relax during. My strategy for my next half is this: warm-up miles 1-3, run an easy pace miles 4-6, pick it up miles 7-8, run an easy pace miles 9-11, kick it into high gear the last 2.1 miles. Yes, it does seem that I may kill myself during miles 7-8, which is barely halfway through the race BUT I am one of those recovery runners. I can push myself for a few miles and recover during a few additional miles with no problem. My problem during a half marathon are those miles that are just passed the halfway point, but not to the almost done point. I start feeling hungry, tired and bored and the goal of finishing just seems so far away. I am attempting this new plan to see if I can kick my middle miles in the butt without killing myself.

Overall, I had a great run and can’t wait to pace my Tuesday run next week!

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10 miles and a new friend

I dragged my butt out of bed like a good little runner Saturday morning. It was slightly chilly here so I made my first attempt wearing a long sleeve tech shirt for my run and capris. I drove the 30 minute drive to meet up with my running club. This weekend was the ING Miami Marathon so the attendance was scarce. My watch was dead in the morning when I work up so I charged it on the drive but I was still worried it might die.

I started my out and back loop with the intention of running 10 miles. As one of the slowest people on the run, I took my place in the back. I was jogging along at a comfortable 12:30 pace when I came up beside another runner. She asked me if this was my warm up pace or my usual pace. I informed her that this was my pace for the run since I was on my weekly LSD. She asked if she could run with me since it was pitch black and I said of course! I had my fingers crossed that she may turn out to be a great running partner.

 I am extremely happy to say that I now have a running partner. She ran and chatted with me at my pace for almost 7 miles before having to back off and walk a bit more. Even though I didn’t finish in the time I would have liked to, I was so excited to just have someone to pass the time with. The run I had been dreading all week became and enjoyable outing with a new friend. We exchanged information and I hope to see her on my next run in two weeks!

Overall, I felt pretty good after my run. My right IT band was giving me a bit of trouble later that night but everything else seemed to be fine. I went to a fundraiser for work with the boy on Saturday night and had no problems walking around in my cowboy boots and even enjoying a drink or two.

Tonight I increase my Tuesday night runs to 6 miles. Should be interesting…

My Saturday Run…kinda

So I’ve been bad this week, both with running and blogging. This isn’t necessarily the best time to be bad since my half marathon (which I feel completely unprepared for) is a month from two days ago.

I did crawl out of bed and run this Saturday. Not at the ass crack of dawn like I was supposed to, but around 11am. It was still cool out since there was a cold front rolling through. The reason I did not drag myself from bed Saturday morning was simple, it was raining. I thought I’d wait later in the day and try then. I started out into my boy’s neighborhood down dirt roads and sidewalks. About a mile in, the rain began. I will admit, occassionally rain is fun to run through. Maybe for a few miles and with a hat on. This was not fun rain. It was cold front rain and I did not have a hat. I trudged on, wanting to stop from mile one(this was supposed to be an 8 mile run). I trudged along through the rain and hated every minute.

By 3.5 miles, I decided there was no way I could continue running another 4.5 miles. I finished up 5 miles, came inside and proclaimed that I would never run in the rain again. It was a terrible, dragging run. I’m not even sure of the time.

I took the week off due to one simple reason, I had no time. This was not the “you have to make time to run” no time, I literally have had an action packed week. The South Florida Fair is currently in town so since my running partner bailed due to MLK day, I went to the fair (as a date!). Tuesday night, my usual night for longer runs during the week, my mother had signed us up for a pasta making class that ran until 9:30pm that night. Wednesday night is yoga night. Last night, I had yet another date. It’s long distance guys, so don’t think I’m bailing too much just making the most of when I will actually get to see him.

Tomorrow morning I will be crawling out of bed at the ass crack of dawn to run 10 miles. I will run this 10 mile run, no matter what. Any encouragement would be amazing, since I’m sure this will be difficult and torture. I have commited myself though. I have slacked too much.

The Newbie Chronicles

Recently I started reading articles from the “Newbie” in the Runners World magazine. I started with this month’s issue where he wrote an article about the first marathon he ran. It was a rather long article, but I laughed the entire time I was reading it. Everything he said was spot on to how I feel when I’m running.

If you would like to read the article, you can find it here….

My favorite part of this article is the zombie portion. There are times when I am probably moving no faster than an upbeat walk but I feel as though I am breaking the sound barrier. This happens quite a bit on my long runs, about the last quarter mile or so when I crank it up and head to the end. I have run right past many friends and family without even noticing them trying to be whatever time I had in my head.

I am now in the process of reading all of his past articles. Sometimes I feel like I’m by myself with all of my running issues but his articles make me feel like its not just me. Plus you’re guaranteed a good laugh from reading them. Check them out and read them when you’re having a rough run day. They’ve been helping me.

South Florida Fair 5K

Another last minute sign up. This was the second year this race was put on and I dragged my mom with me to go. I was pumped for my 4th 5K (the first wasn’t timed, the second was the Warrior Dash, the third was the Color Run which isn’t timed and then this one). My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes.

As soon as the race started, I knew I was in for a doozy. We immediately started to go up an incline. On the way down I thought “Ok, that wasn’t so bad”. I was wrong. The rest of the course was a constant up and down with uneven pathways and twists and turns. It was muggy as all get out on that run. I felt like I was sucking in water. But I am happy to say, I finished in under 35 minutes! I am well on my way to a sub-30 minute 5K.

Finish Time: 34:23

Splits: 11:11 per mile

Packet pick-up:  I went to the running store associated with this run to pick up my packet. Packet pick up was slated to run until 9, but when I got there at 8 they said it had already ended. She allowed me to pick up my bib and shirt anyways and informed me that the goodie bag would be distributed upon finishing the run.

The Medal:

The Swag: They didn’t offer an option for extra small so I swim in the unisex shirt, but it is dri-fit. And in addition to the bag of coupons and race fliers, they also gave out a free ticket to the South Florida Fair! I love the fair so this was a huge bonus for me.

The Good: The swag was pretty good. The course was challenging.

The Bad:  The line for food was terribly long. Other than that, nothing too bad.

The Ugly:  Nothing. I will be back next year!

Classics By The Sea 10K

Classics By The Sea 10K

This was my first 10k. It’s an annual 5K and 10K put on by the Palm Beach Roadrunners (one of my two running clubs). I was nervous about signing up for a 10K and ended up signing up last minute. I have decided that even though they are rough, 10Ks are my favorite distance to race. I can’t wait to run another.  I was feeling pretty stiff miles 1 and 2, which is normal for me. I usually hit a stride right around mile 4, which I did this race as well. I chugged along throughout the entire race, finished 17 seconds over my goal time (I told my mom I would cry if I finished in 65 minutes, which I knew would not happen). I was being plagued by the blister that would not leave during this race but I powered through it. Overall my time averaged out to 12:09 minute miles, which is right at my race pace target for my half in February. If I can keep this pace up, I will finish in under 2:45 for sure!

Finish time: 1:15:17.2

Splits: 12:09 per mile

Packet pick-up: I sent my dad up to Jupiter to pick up my packet. He was headed up that way anyways for a party he had to do so I begged and pleaded with him to pick up my swag early so I could get a shirt in my size. Thankfully my dad decided to be nice and went to pick up the packet. The packet pick up was at a local running store and he said it was unorganized. He said the person distributing packets seemed awfully confused as to what to do when he got up there.

The Medal: Pretty sweet medal.

The Swag: Cute shirt. It’s a long sleeve dri-fit which I love! The design is below. The design was placed on a light teal shirt. And I actually got it in my size so double win there.

The Good: Mile markers were easy to see, the course was beautiful. I liked that the start and finish were at the same place making easy for my mother to wait for me to cross the finish line. The race was also an Accuchip event, which is awesome for recording exact time.

The Bad: Where was the water? It may be December but in Florida, it is warm more often than it is cold. This run was late enough in the day that it had warmed up considerably by the time I was at mile 3 (yes, I am a slow runner but I wasn’t the last to finish).

They also started the 5K and 10K at the same time and the 5K turn around was a little hard to notice. I ran the 10K so I didn’t have to worry about it but I heard many other runners complaining about the fact that the turn around was just a small cone in the road. It was a little disheartening running the 10K when after mile one I was already seeing 5K participants on their way back to the finish line

The Ugly: Nothing ugly about this race. I am excited for next year!

Resolutions

I do have a few resolutions this year and not all of the them are fitness related. I have them listed below, with a short description of each. I will keep updating this post and reposting as the year progresses. I really would like to keep up with this and actually complete all of my resolutions.

1. Run a marathon. Currently I am choosing between a race in November or December. I haven’t completely decided which of those two races I want to run, but I will be posting as soon as I register.

2. Finish a half marathon in under 2:30. This may seem like an outrageous time drop from my previous two half marathons. It is, but with how I am currently running, I think it is completely possible. I will be aiming for this time on April 28, 2013 in Washington, DC as I run the inaugural race for the Nike Womens Half Marathon. I am extremely excited for this race. Literally counting down the miles till I get to run it.

3. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes. My most recent 5k time is 34:23 on December 29, 2012. This was a hilly (in Florida, any kind of incline is hilly) course and rough to run. I was feeling extremely accomplished with that time so I can only hope to shave off 4 and a half minutes on a flat course.

4. Learn to swim laps. I can swim enough to keep myself afloat and get from point A to B, but thats about as far as it goes. Anything more than that is a struggle.

5. Pay off my student loan by the end of October. Currently on track for this. Should be no problem.