Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 for 60 challenge


Tomorrow will be my last rest day for a while.

Starting December 1st, I’m off and running for 60 days straight. Not literally, don’t be crazy! I have a habit lately of saying “Yeah, sure sign me up” for things that I haven’t discussed with myself yet.


The premise is to exercise or be active for 30 minutes every day for 60 days in a row. This will be hard for me because I’m used to having rest days. Several rest days. But a 30 minute walk can be very calming and will still count towards my daily activity. I have big plans. Yoga, walks with the dogs, stretching, core workouts, Wii tennis!!!! What else can I do??

Do you want to join?? Check out the original post here.

If you join, follow me on twitter @runaroundsara and use the hashtag #30for60 to track your workouts! Let me know what you plan to do to keep active on the days you’d normally rest. If you don’t join, let me know any ideas you have for activities that will keep me busy!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week Eight: Disney Princess Half Marathon Training


Week Eight

Monday – yoga rest

I don’t even remember this day. I know I definitely didn’t go to yoga though. Next week.

Tuesday – run

The confidence boost from last Sunday's run carried over to this run. Being a short work week, I was thinking I was doing a speedwork run. But it was only Tuesday so based on my longer intervals of running on Sunday, my intervals were run 5, walk 2. I sort of did speed work, starting at a faster speed to begin with, then went down slowly until I found a more comfortable pace to finish out the intervals. I probably could have done longer intervals at that comfortable pace, but I had a 5K planned for Thursday and I didn't want to push it too hard. Sometimes confidence is all you need to have a good run.

Entire workout 40 mins – 2.36 miles (16:57/mi)

30 mins – 1.901 miles  (15:46/mi)

Wednesday – rest

I think last week passed in a blur. I don’t remember this day either.

Thursday – long run – 3 miles

I did the 5th annual Gobble Wobble 5K road race. I did the walk last year with my mom. This year, I went for the 5K. Of course, I only did it for the pie.



3.11 miles – 51:20 (16:30/mi pace)

Friday – rest

Slept in, recovered from Thanksgiving festivities (i.e. to much wine) and didn't leave the house until the afternoon for a movie. I don't do that Black Friday shopping business. 

Saturday – run walk

This was supposed to be my run day. My friend texted me and asked me if I wanted to run the Central Mass Rail Trail with her. I agreed and she said “Bring the dogs!” -- that’s the last time I ever listen to her!!

I have 2 boxers. My girl is 11 years old. My boy is still a puppy at just over one year. My friend took the girl. She’s very flexible wen it comes to following along and not really paying attention to what’s going on around her. Meaning, she’ll run nicely. The boy? Not so much. I had him. He was going crazy and flipping around the second we got out of the car. He’s not a great leash walker, but he’s still learning. Needless to say, I couldn’t run with him. He was way to excited with all the people around and it was easier, and less stressful, for me to just walk with him and do my run later. When there’s no one else around, he’s not too bad running with me. So, we need to work on that obviously. Practice makes perfect!


At least they're cute.
Sunday – run

I need to work longer intervals into my running more consistently. I obviously can do it; I just get lazy. I need to push myself now. I pushed myself for the last 10 minutes and instead of doing the run 3 walk 2 intervals for the last 2 cycles, I ran the entire 10 minutes. I really only started to struggle during the last 2 minutes. And normally I’d have just slowed down a bit, but I decided to push it and keep going at the same speed. Pushing myself felt good. I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of not letting myself give up.

Entire workout 40 mins – 2.42 miles (16:33/mi)

30 mins – 1.97 miles  (15:12/mi)

I’ve been itching to get more activities in my schedule in addition to running. Starting December 1st, which is in two days, I will be exercising for 60 days straight in a 30 for 60 challenge. The idea with to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise for 60 days. No rest days. My “rest” days will be spent doing something active, but low impact. I really need to get my cardiovascular endurance back up to where it was when I was training for the triathlon. I’m hoping some elliptical and spin classes and weight training and maybe some swimming will help. Any other suggestions?

Nov 21 - Nov 27
According to dailymile, I am 3 miles away from running, elliptical-ing biking or swimming 500 miles in 2011!!

90 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

5th Annual Gobble Wobble 5K Road Race Report

I did this race last year with my mom. We did the 2-mile walk instead of the 5K. Looking at the route this year, I realized that we went the wrong way last year and ended up doing 1.77 miles instead of 2. Oh well. It was togetherness!

Thanksgiving 2010
Before the race, both years, a turkey crossed my path on the drive to the location. I don’t know about you, but these turkeys are BRAVE! I mean, showing your face on Thanksgiving when everyone wants to eat you? Tough turkeys, they are!

I met up with some friends for the race and we chatted about how freaking cold it was outside. My car thermometer told me it was 28* on the way over to the race. I had many layers on, but just standing there at the beginning was quite cold.


Luckily, registration was held inside a school that was the start/finish area of the race. So it was a short time of standing around in the cold before the race. They also supplied food & coffee. Bagels, bananas, danishes, munchkins, donuts, coffee from both Dunkins & Starbucks. And PIE. Lots of pie. I have decided that I’m no longer in the 5K business for t-shirts (though, they are pretty cool!) I’m now in it for the pie!

PIE
The race itself was pretty good. The route was hilly, but I managed quite well. I planned to run half miles at a time, and take walk breaks of .1 or .2 miles depending on how I was doing, but I really didn’t follow that. I ran as much as I could and took about 30-45 second walk breaks when I felt tired, or when the hills were too much for me. I made it about half way up the one big hill before I had to walk. But I power walked it and probably went about as fast as I was running. At one point in the beginning of the race, I was running a lot slower than I usually do because I hadn’t really warmed up and I didn’t wanna get cramped up, and people were walking faster than I was running. Most of them were only doing the 2-mile walk so I never got the chance to try and pass them again later. But there were 2 girls who were walking about as fast as I was running, and they did the entire 5K, but I never caught up to them. They were just a head of me the entire race. It was good motivation though, because I kept them in my sights the whole time and I didn’t allow myself to fall back.

A first for this race was that I was about to set someone in my sights and pass him near the end and hold him off and finish before him. He encouraged me to run pretty much the entire last mile of the race. Not with his words, but with my desire to pass someone in a race – while they were still moving and not stopping to tie a shoe (which I had to do at one point in this race).

There is a running joke among family friends that I have short legs. So I’ll use that excuse here. I can’t walk fast. I just can’t. I can run or jog as other people walk at their normal pace. But trying to keep up with someone’s normal walking pace gets me out of breath and it’s easier to break into a jog. So, when I see people passing me walking while I’m running, I curse my short legs. I’ve tried the power walk. It just doesn’t work for me.

The reason for this story? The guy I passed was walking. I saw him up ahead of me around mile 1.3 and thought, I wonder if I can catch him. As the race went on, I saw that I was getting closer and I decided that I would pass him. I finally passed him around 2.8 miles in.

I didn’t finish in record time, but I did better than I have been doing lately with this distance, so I guess that’s progress.


Official time: 51:20 - 3.11 miles

My friends were waiting for me at the finish. We went into the school to grab coffee and stock up on PIE. And I had fun with the turkey hat.


Friends of Southborough Recreation put on a really great race and I have a feeling this will become a Thanksgiving tradition for me!

I thought it was funny that they used last year's banner!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week Seven: Disney Princess Half Marathon Training

Week Seven

Monday – yoga

I sweat more in this hour & 30 minutes that I have in my entire life. I swear. I hadn’t done yoga the previous 2 weeks due to being sick. I think my sweat decided to band together and compile 3 weeks worth. I probably lost 10 lbs. in that class alone. In past classes, I’ve wanted to do the half pigeon pose to stretch out my hips, but I felt awkward just hopping into my own pose in the middle of the class.

source: womansday.com
The instructor is really cool and says, “This is your yoga class, you do what you need to do, I’m just here to guide you. If you sit in child’s pose the entire class, you are doing yoga”, so I probably could have busted out the half pigeon and it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I never did. I did it a few times at home, but figured I’d get a better stretch after an hour of yoga and stretching with a very warm room.  And I did! We finally did the half pigeon pose! My left hip is really tight, so I had to use a block to support myself, but overall, it’s a very nice hip stretch!

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – run

I didn't want to do this one. Spent 10 minutes sitting on my couch whining about doing this. Then finally got up and did it. Intervals of run 3 mins, walk 2 mins.

Entire workout 40 mins – 2.32 miles (17:15/mi)

30 mins – 1.88 miles  (15:55/mi)

Thursday – rest

Got out of work early to head up to New Hampshire to catch Straight No Chaser in concert in Manchester. We decided to make a weekend out of it and go up to my house near Lake Winnipesaukee after the show for a long weekend. I was hoping for their Christmas concert since everything seems to be all about Christmas lately

This was taken Sept 10. The day before my triathlon!
But they started out with a few of the same songs from their show I saw in July in Atlantic City. I was disappointed until they started mixing it up and I realized it was going to be a different show. For the second half of the show, they busted out some of their best Christmas songs and I was happy!


I love a cappella. Especially Christmas a cappella. But they didn’t do my all time favorite Christmas song: O Holy Night. I later heard that they sang it at their show the next night in Boston. Booo. Hisss.

Friday – run

Beginning of the trail
I didn’t want to do the track, and I was in NH without a treadmill, so I headed out onto the Cotton Valley Rail Trail. It was so cold & windy. I hated being outside in this. I tried doing speed work, but to me, it's impossible to figure out speed unless I'm on a treadmill. What struck me as odd was that I went out 20 mins, and then came back. On the way out, I ran 1:30, walked 2:30. On the way back I ran 2, walked 2. I ran more on the way back, yet it took me longer to get back than it did to cover the same distance on the way out. I can only hope that this cold & wind are not foreshadowing for the upcoming winter, because I could not stand it. I hated every second of it. If it’s too cold for me out there, I’ll spend the rest of my training inside on a treadmill and just hope for the best.

41 mins – 2.4 miles (17:06/mi)

Saturday – rest

Got lost on the way to a store and ended up in Maine. Twice. Almost got killed on the way home by an ax murder (maybe) and watched movies and drank wine by the fire. Successful rest day.

Sunday – long run - 6 miles

I did NOT want to do this today. I whined about it for a good hour and even complained on twitter. But after some advice and support from Amanda, Sharon, and Stephanie on the Twitter, I got dressed. That was half the battle. I pouted the entire time I drove to the trail. And pouted during my .5 mile warm up. Then I started my usual run 2, walk 2 routine and pouted through the first interval. Then I got mad at myself. It wasn’t windy, it wasn’t cold, and I had no reason to be a complete sourpuss about everything. So I changed my tactic. I told myself to just run. Even if it was slower that someone else’s walking pace, just run. And don’t stop until I couldn’t take it anymore. Push past 2 minutes, after all I’ve run 20 before. I knew I could do it; I just needed to kick myself in the butt and make it happen. I ended up running for .5 mile, then walking for .25. I continued that pattern the entire 6 miles. Never before have I run that long continually throughout a workout. So, even though I might have been slow as heck, I still consider that progress. Now I know what I need to do on all my runs. Maybe I’ll see progress that way. The downfall of this run was, I ran out of fluids (Crystal Light Pure, of course) at mile 4 (I need better planning) and I could feel it. My legs started to hurt at mile 4.5 but I kept going. By the time I was done, I was dead. But I completed it.

6 miles – 1:48:59 (18:08/mi pace) Average run speed = 4.4 mi/hr

Apparently this was the week of “I don’t wanna”. I had a tough time committing and getting it done. I mean I got it all done. But I complained the whole time and I didn’t want to do any of the runs. I think my problem is, I’m getting so bored with just running and I’m not seeing overall improvement. In fact I feel like my endurance/fitness level is deteriorating. I’ve decided it’s because I’ve been doing nothing as far as cross training. When I was training for my triathlon, I was biking, swimming, doing the elliptical and a little core as well as running. Now with just running, I’m falling into a rut, and fast. So now that I know my downfall, I just have to up the ante and get in some other activities so I don’t get completely bored with this and give up!

11/14-11/20 

So weird to see 6 miles up there as a RUN, and not a bike ride. God, I hope I can do this!

97 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon!
We are in the double digits now!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week Six: Disney Princess Half Marathon Training


Week Six

Monday – yoga rest

Still not feeling completely well and still a little congested. Didn’t want to run the risk of not being able to breathe during class and end up having a coughing fit.

Instead, I got a haircut.



Tuesday – run

It was a BEAUTIFUL 65-70 degree day!!! Went on another lunch run. Forgot my Garmin, so I had to use the Runkeeper app on my phone. I set it to give me reminders to run 4, walk 2. I ignored it for most of it, running and walking when I felt like it. A few times it was less than 4 mins running (uphill), a few times it was more than 4 mins running (downhill! ha). Felt calf tightness even though I was wearing compression socks.

The best part of my week was this picture:

myself vs. myself
I think it personifies me perfectly. Looking at me, and hearing my story, I look and sound like a runner out for a lunchtime run. In the background you can see my shadow – my true self – the fat girl about to scarf down an ice cream sandwich. This picture is just perfectly awesome. Who I am vs. who I want to be.

30 mins – 1.76 miles  (17:18/mi)

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – run

Did speedwork on the treadmill. I did the pyramid intervals again going from 4.0 up to 6.0 with 3.0 walk breaks in between. I find when I’m doing these, I can’t go more than 1 min if I’m above 5.0, yet when I’m slower than 5.0 it hurts more when I run. It’s so weird.

30 mins – 2.01 miles (14:55/mi) *Entire workout 40 mins – 2.4 miles (16:42/mi)*

Friday – rest

Got out of work early and headed up to NH for a relaxing weekend with my favorite people.

Saturday – rest

Sunday – long run - 5 miles

Since I only did 3 miles last week when I was supposed to do 5, I decided to do the 5 this week instead of the 3 on the schedule, even though there are 6 on the schedule for next week. With my mid week runs of about 2-2.5 miles, I should be okay with 6 next weekend instead of 3. This training plan alternates between adding a mile on for a long run until I get up to the half marathon distance and doing a 3 miler. No biggie if I switch weekends right? At least not now when it’s still close enough to 3. Or something like that.

This was my longest run thus far. It was all mental for me. I just told myself I had to get 2.5 miles, then I could be done and turn around and go home. The "go home" was another 2.5 miles, since I did an out and back, but mentally, it helped me to think of the run as being over after the first half and I only had to get back to my car. Did a combo of run 2 walk 2 for the whole time, with .25 mile warm up and cool down.

Plus with views like this, it made it hurt a little less.



Right as I was leaving, I was told it's hunting season.
Then I ran through this. So pretty though!
5 miles – 1:27:52 (17:33/mi pace)

I really can't believe that I'm six weeks into this training cycle and I'm actually keeping up with it. Minus being sick last week, I've held on pretty good. I mean, let's talk again when the plan asks for 10 miles. Then we'll re-think this! But hey, I might actually be able to run complete a half marathon in February after all!
11/07-11/13

104 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

5K4Life Race Report


I wasn’t sure I was going to actually do this 5K. I was sick all week and after walking for just 30 minutes, 2 days before the race, I was lightheaded. I started feeling better on the day before the race and I actually left the house for the first time in 5 days.

According to my training schedule, I was supposed to run 5 miles. I planned to see how I was feeling after the 5K then tack on 2 more miles.

It was chilly that morning and I was worried about how my chest would feel with all that cold air getting into my lungs, so I bundled up and ended up looking like a bandit!

I wore my friend, Alyson's shirt supporting
Leukemia & Lymphoma because the race name
was 5K4Life. What better way to celebrate a life??
I hadn’t seen some of my 5K running buddies since the triathlon, so I was excited to see everyone again. We have a lot of 5Ks planned for the upcoming months, so I’ll get to see more of them!! Yay!

Kathy, Me, Elisa, Xan, Karen, Beth, Crista
So technically, according to the official results, I PRed by a little over a minute and a half. But, they pulled their volunteers holding signs telling the runners which way to go before everyone finished. So, instead of turning left onto Galileo Galilei Way and looping back around to where we started (which was the correct course) I passed that turn and continued to the next road where I saw the finish. Except when I went into the finish, I was going in backwards.

Green is where I should have gone. Red is where I did go.
So instead of doing 3.1 miles, I ended up doing just 3. Technically not a 5K, and not a PR anymore. But I calculated it and at my pace, if I had gone the right way, I'd have finished in 49:01, which is a 2 second PR. I'd have loved that. Especially since this was a medal race and I told myself in every race that there are medals, I want to PR. Because it's fun. By taking away the turn markers in the race, this 5K took that away from me, and it's frustrating.

But I got a medal, hung out with some great friends, got some great pictures and a pretty cool bag of goodies.



They had tons of food spread out at the end of the race. There were sandwiches longer then I am. Many of them. They had a clam chowder truck, coconut water, 5 hour energy and I’m sure more good stuff that I didn’t see.

I don’t know if it was the course, the fact that I wore my compression socks during a race, I wore my new running shoes outside for the first time, or I had my buddy Kathy as a pacer for me, but this was a great race for me. I was faster, I felt good, my legs never really hurt, the breathing was great and I ran for longer periods that I have been doing lately. I was really happy with my performance, which is why it was so upsetting to see that I had run the end of the course wrong. If it had been my fault, I would have sucked it up and dealt with it, but it wasn’t.

The race stated that runners (and walkers) needed to complete the course in one hour. Given that logic, they should have planned for volunteers to be out on the course for that entire time, or until the last racer (runner OR walker) completed the course so people didn’t stray from the course. And for the record, I wasn’t the only one. I saw another person take the wrong route too, and some people I was with earlier were doubtful of which way to go at one point. A lady had a map of the course with her, but right after she checked the map and headed us all in the right direction, I pulled ahead of them and that’s when I went the wrong way.

They stated there would be traffic control provided by the City Police. There sure was, but he made a group of us, STOP AND WAIT FOR TRAFFIC TO PASS. I don’t know about you, but that’s backwards. When I stated, “Hey, we’re in a race here, can we cross?” The cop said, “There was a gap in the race, I had to let traffic go”. Yeah, I get that, but the gap between the tail end of the faster runners and us was maybe about a minute. So he let traffic go by for that minute. I can understand that...it makes sense. But then when we come up, please stop traffic and let US go by. Just because I’m slow, doesn’t mean I’m not still a part of the race.

They stated there would be mile markers. There weren’t any.

They stated there would be water stations. Plural. There was one. Thankfully, it was still manned and had water when we passed! And those volunteers at the water station were awesome. Thanks guys!

Although there were many great things about the race, and the reason we were racing was pretty great too, there were also just as many disappointments. I know I’m not a fast runner. I’m not even a fast jogger. My “running” pace is just about as fast as some people’s walking pace. But I paid for this race too, just like the rest of the people and I deserve to be treated the same as the rest of the racers.

My friends were pretty awesome though. Like I’ve said before, I love 5Ks for the social aspect and the sponsors, Prize4Life, did a great job with the social part of the event. And of course surrounding myself with some pretty great people didn’t hurt either.

Oh yeah, and there were medals!


WINNING!
Official Results: 47:28 (15:19/mi Pace) To me, this isn't a real PR.
(And if I had run the right course, I'd have finished in 49:01 - a 2 second PR. It would have happened)


I didn’t end up adding 2 miles because I was annoyed after the race, and I wanted to hang out with my friends. I decided to hop on the treadmill when I got home, but by the time I got home, the ball of my foot was hurting. It felt like I had a bruise, but I didn’t see anything. So 3 miles was all she wrote.
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