Wednesday, January 25, 2012

76 degrees in January

What wacky weather we are having down here in Alabama!! Today was my half day at work and the same night we have our group run. I had 8 miles planned for the day. I had planned on going early and meeting the group at 5:30 for the final 3 miles. But with weather as nice as it was and I was off work for the afternoon so what better thing to do but run! Why stay inside and clean the house when the sun as out!!
It was a nice run! I was trying to use a piece of advice I just received about training for a marathon. Go Slower! You would think that was easy, it was mentally challenging to try and change pace. It didn't dawn on me to do your long runs at :30-60 seconds slower the race pace until I talked with Alex this past weekend. And when he explained it so you get used to being out there on actually race day your legs won't want to give up. Which makes so much sense after hearing it out loud! So I thought I would try that today on my 8 mile run, and after hearing my 1st split (yes hearing Nike+ gps app on he iPhone) and it was 8:45, I knew I had to work at going slower! Who knew it would be a mental run as well as physical today! But I am going to take this advice with me on Sunday as I have 17 miles to run!
I am happy to keep learning new things as I pursue this journey towards my first marathon that I clearly remember saying I would never do!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sinus infection, half-marathon, and lighting

A week with a sinus infection...uggg!! I got sick for the 1st time late last week for the 1st time in many years! Looking back, the 17 miles I ran the past Saturday was probably not a good idea! Rest would have been better, but my brain said I could do it! the week went on the body felt worse and the head was so stuffed! I even broke down and went to a doctor when all the OTC meds were doing nothing anymore. That is where they told me I had a sinus infection and started antibiotics. And from Tuesday on I did something I have not done in a while as well...Rest!! Seeing that I have been running for 2 years now, going more then 3 days with no run was difficult!! But I went 5 days with out any running, I did squeeze in a strength training day at the end of week, when I could actually breath a little better.
But not running all week when there is a race planned for Saturday, I was nervous and not sure I really was up for it! Especially because I told myself 3 weeks ago I was going to race it and try for a PR..1:50. But seeing that I was sick all week, I knew a PR might not happen. Then as it got closer I wasn't even really sure I was all into the run!
So the weekend was a planned Half-Marathon down in Auburn, AL. So a group of us from the Helena Endurance Running Group (HERG's) made the 2 hour drive south on Friday night. We meet for a nice carb loading pasta dinner at a very nice local restaurant... Provino's, which if your ever in the area I do highly recommended!! Very tasty salad, rolls and everyone had empty dinner plates. We finished dinner and went back to the condo we were staying at for the night. And we looked at the weather..... looked like rain! ok..i could handle that (i think) you see I have never ran in the rain and I used to say i will NEVER run in the rain! But it's a race so...get ready to get wet!
Well...the weather made quite a change overnight...I woke up not to my alarm clock but to my Weather App on my iPhone...iMapWeatherRadio with a tornado watch!!! and then the lighting started...So checked facebook and emails and the race had posted the race has been cancelled! Saftey First!! So in a way I was a bit happy, because I was just not feeling it! We did get our packets the night before, so a new shirt! Plus they were nice enough to still give our medals!! So at least a story!!

I did go and get a run in, after all the storms did pass through. First run after being out all week! It was a bit rough, 12.5 miles but the lungs and head were still trying to recover!

Now back to feeling better this week and get my last 6 weeks in for training for my 1st Marathon in Atlanta!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mittens for a run?!

I made a little field trip to one of the nicest running stores here in Birmingham, Fleet Feet. I went to get a couple new lights, seeing that they have both fallen and bit the dust... I got the traditional red flashy light as well as One of my favorite lights to run with! But I also went with a mission to get new gloves! especially after my problem on Saturday. When i got there I went to the gloves and one of the associates came to help (and I can't remember his name, which I hate) and was so very helpful and had great tips!! I explained my problem and he had a great idea tha he uses that he shared. He told me that he as well gets cold fingers. What he has done is use the normal gloves but then places a pair of socks over them (thats what he had laying around) but suggested to maybe get a pair of mittens. It would keep the fingers warm and keep the heat all in one area, which so made sense! But there were no mittens at the store today, so online shopping I will go! But I did get my lights and a refill of Peach Tea GU chomps, Yummy!!
But maybe if I'm Lucky if I buy the mittens we will not have anymore cold runs this season??! a girl can wish and dream!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold Run with a Cold

So this Saturday I had my long run…and let me tell you it was long!! It may have only been 17 miles but it felt like it never wanted to end. But when training for a marathon, let alone your 1st no time for skipping!! Especially when it is only 10 weeks away! I had been feeling great during the week! Got a run in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, all which felt great. Even the Tuesday night run that started with a bit of a drizzle! But Wednesday night I started getting that stuffy head feeling! And then Thursday morning it hit me…I have a cold, the 1st one in many years!! My body ached, I couldn’t breath and everything was stuffy!! I even called off my Thursday night training session at the gym to go home and get rest.  The rest was a good thing! When I woke up Friday I felt a little better, but still stuffy! So I kept up the fluid intake as well as the cold meds! Needed something to give me relief and I knew I had a long run to do on Saturday.
I knew Saturday’s run might be difficult but when I got up, I was surprised to feel ok and was able to breath somewhat normally! I also was very prepared for a very chilly run, I think my coldest run yet! Started at 24 degrees and it’s Alabama!! I had my long running pants, my Nike procombat long sleeve shirt, Nike Pullover, tshirt, and Brooks Running vest, so many layers. Plus a scarf, ear warmer, and 2 pairs of gloves! I should be warm, right?!
The start of the run
The first 6 miles of the vampire run, went well not a great pace but for having a cold it will do! And I was still warm! It wasn’t until Mile 11 that things went south!! We had a water break, and after thinking about it, way to long of a break. My hands got cold, very cold, even with 2 pairs of gloves on! And by mile 12 I was ready to quit, my hands hurt so much that I wanted to cry. They felt like 2 large ice bricks!! So has the 3 other guys ran down the cul-de-sac I stopped and tried to get normal feeling back into my hands, was trying to use body heat any way possible. But that wasn’t working. But thankfully being with a group, Brooke, Tom, and Mark came out of the cul-de-sac and helped!! Brooke and Tom were able to help get feeling back into my hands and even had a tebow reference!! But with out them I was ready to find anyway home possible! It was kind of sad that it was my hands that hurt and not my legs or anything else, at least I wasn’t thinking about my cold anymore! But after that little mishap it was off to the final stretch home, via the Hillsboro parkway. And yes there are Hills involved!! Nothing like embracing the hills at mile 14!! But got to! I hear the Georgia Publix marathon might be a little hilly!! And I am embracing the hills which I never thought I would say!!

So this run was a bit of learning experience! Yes you can run with a cold, and I need better gloves!! My hands always get cold, and this time the double glove didn’t work so off to the store this week to get new warmer ones!!
After our run, it was time to meet the rest of the Helena Endurance Running Group (HERG) at La Reunion for coffee. Which was oh so warm!! i usually would have also got a bagel, but I got a great new waffle maker for christmas so, that is my new post long run treat!!
Post Run treat...Yummy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What I like to call a Detox run

Today was my 2nd run after spending 2 fun filled days in New Orleans early this week, watching Michigan beat Va. Tech in the Sugar Bowl!! It was my first trip to Bourbon Street since living here in Alabama for 7 years now. It was fun but not sure when we will return. I usually would try to fit in a run while on trip, but not this time for a couple reasons. 1) Safety… enough said & 2) hand grenades and hurricanes…enough said!! But it was an amazing trip and an awesome win!!!
Today I had scheduled to run 20 miles. I knew going into to it would be challenging, a few days out of town and not my normal routine this week. I told myself running is more mental then anything and today I would find out how that would be! The alarm went off at 4:33am and I did not enjoy hearing that sound! But I got myself up and out of bed and ready to go! And out the door I went at 4:55am to meet the group at 5am.
This is yet another Never! Never did I think I would ever get up this early again, I did that through my swimming career and thought I was done with that! Well that was until a few months ago, when I was nudged to start running with the early group or as our running group has now named us the Vampires! But I will say it is nice getting up and being done with these long runs before 9am!
Getting back to the run, well the first 6 miles did not feel great but did not feel horrible. 1st water stop, I was thirsty but not too bad. So onto the next leg of the run, still feeling so so, that is when today was going to be a mental challenge more then a body challenge. The body can do this but my mind was just not fully into it. When we got to the next water stop I WAS thirsty, which is a bit abnormal for me! I guess I thought I had re-hydrated myself after New Orleans, but my body was telling me not enough!! I was then thirsty the rest of the time so I made the other 2 that were with me stop at the last water stop on the way back, which I normally don’t need to stop at. But it was the last leg of the run that was the worst today! I had 4.5 miles to go and was running out of running speed and places to go with out seeing my car (my savior today)! But thankfully I had someone with me to help push me through that last little bit other wise I would not have made 2 loops around the neighborhood or around the park! I would have b-lined straight to my car! I may not have run the 20miles I had planned by 18.8 is close enough, at least for this day!

It's an Ice Bath!!
After this run I was the sorest I have been since starting any of these long runs!! I came home and took some advil, but even after a couple hours I was still as sore as sore can be! So I did something I thought I would never do….an ice bath! At first I thought I had become crazy, but afterwards it was well worth the craziness!! I could walk again!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

The new year has begun! And I am very excited to see what the year will bring! Mike and I started new years eve off with our annual game of Monopoly! And after a 2 year losing streak I have regained my winning title! Let's hope this is a start to more good outcomes through out the year!
This week is going to be a great one! Running schedule will be off a bit. It that's because we are headed to New Orleans to go to the Sugar Bowl to watch Michigan!! Go Blue!
I have been known to run while on vacation or when going somewhere new, which is yet another one of those nevers! Never did I think I would run on vacation! Now I plan ahead routes !! Except for this trip, just not sure if it will be safe enough for a single girl running the streets of the French quarter!

Here's to a great new year!!!