Saturday, August 29, 2015

Worst Day of the Week to Run

There is one particular day of the week that I dread running. Depending on where I run exactly, that day can change.  What take a guess???? It is not a specific day of the week, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  Any guesses yet????

I love leaving the house, running to clear my head and on hot, humid days in our non-air-conditioned place, leaving the house allows me to get fresh air.  But on Thursday mornings in our current neighborhood, running means passing the smelly trash cans. Seriously, how can doing something so healthy (like running) make you want to throw up in your mouth??

To complicated matters, from my house, there are five different roads I can take, meaning I can run to any part of the city....and inevitably, someone is having their trash picked up that day.

How do I get past this dilemma?? I don't.  I just take deep breaths, hold it, and run as fast as I can through the smelliness of the cans.  And get excited that I can run the same route the next day, breathing air that is a little fresher.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weight on Wednesday--08/26/2015

Well, it is Wednesday, which means time to pull out the scale! Ugh...I should probably remind myself not to eat at IHOP the night before a weigh in. HAHA!  At least I only had 2 pancakes instead of five, right??

So here are the dreaded numbers:

                       8/19/2015          8/26/2015
Weight            147.6                  148
Fat                   36.2                    35.7
BMI                23.8                     23.9

So up in weight, but lower body fat.  Hmmmm, you win some, you lose some.  I'm not too happy with the weight gain, but if I am losing fat, that is the real number I should be following, right? :) 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Going for a run

I have admit that I am envious of my husband.  He has been a runner for a few more decades than I have been.  He ran on the high school and college cross country teams.  But after the first year of college, he quit the cc team, and focused more on studying (having a triple major will do that to ya). This stud muffin can throw on a cotton t-shirt, lace up his shoes, and he is set to run!! I don't think he even got his first dry wicking shirt until I starting running, he was happy to pound the pavement to sweat off a few pounds.

But when I go for a run, I look like I am preparing to head to battle. I typically lay things out the night before, and pull it out starting from top to bottom.
Visor? Check
Ipod and headphones? Check
Running bra and top? Check and check!
Watch? Shorts? Socks? Shoes? Check, check, check and check!

Running a loser distance or in heat and humidity? Don't forget the water bottle and the fuel! I mean, SERIOUSLY! This is A LOT of gear for a "simple" and "cheap" habit.  Here is a picture from the night before one of my half-marathon races.
All ready for the half marathon the next day!

I really wish I could be one of those people like my husband.
Clothes? Check
Socks and shoes? Check.
Out the door he goes.  But I am such a Type A person---I need to know how far I went, how fast I was for each mile, was today better than yesterday?? I need music to help turn out the sounds of the city, I need water to keep me hydrated so I can keep going.

And while I wish I could shed all of this extra baggage, I carry it with me.  Because I need running to help keep me sane.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

So now what???

At the end of 2014, after all of the various races I had participated and completed over the course of the year, I sat back to try to figure out what my next challenge could possibly be. The new year was quickly approaching and as we all know, new year's resolutions are made to be broken, right? What, oh what, could I put on my calendar to keep me running? I am such a Type A person, I need to have a "carrot" to keep me motivated, so else I'll just run a few miles a week month and call it good.

Scouring the internet and Facebook, there were two things that hooked me---these are challenges that can push me, but also seem doable. At least while I was sitting on my couch in my sweats.  The first challenge is called "2015 in 2015".  Yes, 2,015 miles logged in 2015. My mileage in 2014 was around 400, so I knew that this was not doable for me.  But the creators of this challenge wanted to get people MOVING, and if creating a team to do this would help you, so be it.  They originally stated a team of no more than 3, but were willing to go with teams of 4.  Again, "moving" is the goal, rather than some strict "follow the rules" type of challenge.  So I enlisted 7 of my friends, and we broke into two teams. Five hundred and four miles was going to be a challenge, but I was excited to push myself further, to grow as a runner rather than just plateau after several years of growth.

But in order to get to those 500 miles, I again needed a "carrot".  What could I train for, what could motivate me to run 500 miles? I needed a race to train for, and I was not wanting to do St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon again. It was too big, too hilly, and most importantly--my friends were not racing it.  My husband had registered for it (the marathon), so I needed to keep an eye on the kiddos that day.

I was not a fan of traveling too far away for a race, so I searched the internet for a close race in southern Illinois, southern Indiana or Kentucky.  And something flat.  This area of the country can be hilly, and I HATE hills.  I finally found my race: Paducah (KY) Iron Mom Half-Marathon.  How cute is that??? Iron Mom, because we moms are just awesome!  And it happens over Mother's Day weekend, so how appropriate, right? So with the 2015 challenge and another long race on the horizon, I felt I had the "carrots" in place to keep me going. 

I'll recap this race later in another posting, these two items were the start of something that is turning out to be trying, challenging, and something I would never change.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weight on Wednesday--08/19/2015

Since I am back to blogging, I decided to restart my series "Weight on Wednesday".  I am not actively trying to lose weight, but I will say that I do try to watch what I eat and not to go overboard.  I know from friends and family that I can say "Oh, it's only 1 piece of cake" or "It's the only soda I'll drink this week", and before you know it you'll have gained 20 more pounds!! So I am enjoying life, not eating salads every day, but not having soda and chips 7 days a week either. Heck, up here in Boston, sodas cost almost $2 for a 20oz. bottle---no one can afford to drink sodas, so you are bound to lose weight!

My typical weight range back in Kentucky was around 149 pounds.  It could go as high as 152, at which point I would scale back on the cheese roll ups and start eating a few more salads and shakes.  But here in Boston, we walk. A lot.  And since our apartment does not have central air conditioning like all the houses in the south have, we sweat. A LOT!! And we drink a lot of water or water based drinks, mostly iced tea. Again, drinking sodas is not only expensive because of the price, but since I have two children here at home, a quick trip to the local 7-11 usually turned into a $10 trip because they want something as well.
The last time I wrote a WOW was over 18 months ago, so here are the two columns of data:

                        2/9/2014          8/19/2015
Weight            148                  147.6
Fat                   36.3                 36.2
BMI                23.9                 23.8
So the weight isn't exactly coming off quickly, but I am one of those people who constantly want to lose "just 5 more pounds".  In my case, I really do feel that 5 more pounds, or down to around 143-144 range, would be a healthy weight for me.  I could get back into my size 4-6 pants, and while I know I should not put all of my self worth into how much I weigh or what size clothing I could fit into, I want to show my children that eating healthy and working out can lead to a healthy lifestyle.  That is the legacy that I want to leave my children.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Race Recapping: Murfreesboro Middle Half Marathon

In my quest to continue on my "race a month" for 2014, and hearing that so many of my friends had previously run the Murfreesboro Middle Half, I decided to stalk the website for that race registration.  Sounds dark and creepy, but hear me out.  This is a small race, only about 3,200 runner can participate, well below the 35,000 number that run the St. Jude Country Music Marathon in Nashville in the spring.  And since the course is relatively flat, many people run it in order to set a new personal record.  

So on the morning the registration opened, I had my computer window open and ready to go at 10am.  Of course, my eldest son decided to close it--AGH!!!  But I was able to get a spot!  It does sell out within the first 24 hours, so I texted my friends about my excitement of getting in, which was a blessing since they had forgot that it had opened!  Whoops---but they were able to secure their spot as well.

Since there was no formal Fleet Feet training for this particular race, I toughed it out and did my training by myself. It was no pretty.  At all.  There was running. There were tears.  There was pleading with Joel to take my registration and run in my place. (Easy cop out since you can transfer from one runner to another for a small transaction fee).  But he stood fast, and by myself and he would not let me quit.

Race day came, and I left my 'rents house way before the sun even thought about getting up.  The whole week my group and I checked the weather forecast and it called for rain.  All day.  Awesomesauce. Just what a runner likes to hear. Luckily, the forecasters were off, and it turned out to be a cool, overcast day with intermittent sprinkles during the race.

"The Gang" (Tony, Ken, Cathy, Richel, Carolina and I) met at the MTSU Stadium, where the race would eventually finish.  The starting line was adjacent to the stadium, and we lined up where we thought we should be--not in the front, but definitely not too far back.  Carolina, Richel and I ran together, then Richel dropped back, then I dropped back and Richel sped up. Tony was trying to beat his previous PR, and so we finished at different times.  But we finished, and met at the finish line, which is how friends who race with friends do it.

Of course I smiled! I'm not tired at all! HA!

No PR for this race, but considering I did not train as hard as I did my for Country Music Half, I was very happy to only be 2 minutes slower than that race.  Final time--2:39:44.  Hmmmm, wondering if I should hang up my sneakers, so should I try for another half marathon? No full marathon for me, I'm only half crazy.

We made it!


Friday, August 14, 2015

Race Recapping: Country Music Marathon 2014

Up to this point, I have been recapping my races in a group.  I had five 5Ks in 2014, four 10K, and 2 15Ks to review for 2014.  I also ran more frequently, and pushed myself even harder with TWO half marathons. And these are bigger events, not only in length of mileage but also in how consuming they are with my time.  Which is why I am breaking them up into two different entries. 4

My first half marathon was in September 2013, with the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville.  I trained with a running group with Fleet Feet, and made several new friends.  And having been born and raised in Nashville, and watching and reading about the St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon, I decided to take the plunge and register for the race.  Our family was schedule to move the summer afterwards, and I wanted to run this race before our life took us to a different part of the country. 

I signed up not only for the race but also for the training group with Fleet Feet.  This seems to be the best way for me to get my long runs completed for the week.  If you are meeting someone, even in a larger group setting, and  you don't show up, they will ask!!  I was lucky to have two good friends be the training pacers for the 2:30 group that runs 3:1 (run 3 minutes, walk 1).  So Tony, Carolina, Ken, Cathy, Richel, and I would meet on Saturdays and run our various mileage.  One special memory was running 4 miles and then eating at Loveless CafĂ© like we had run 20 miles.  Hey, we run to eat, what can I say??
Before running our 4 miles for the morning

Eating biscuits at the Loveless Cafe

Friend don't leave friends at the starting line!

So we trained, we talked, and we raced.  The weather for that day was PERFECT!! Not too hot when starting off, sunny and great weather for having the crowds out to cheer you on throughout the course.  I had signed up with St. Jude to run as a "hero" meaning I fundraised for their hospital while training for the race.  There were some benefits to this depending on the amount you raised, but as a former child cancer survivor, I was happy to help these sweet children, while running this very hilly course for those that cannot run.

And since this was only my second half marathon, I had a goal of a time to beat. And guess what, Tony helped push me over that finish line at LP Field with a time of 2:37:01!!! Not the 2:30 we trained for, but I also took off 7 minutes off my time since my first race 7 months earlier!  The joy I felt in know that rewards come with hard work and practice was so overwhelming and so exhilarating...what could possibly make this any better??
I did it! I finished and somehow I am still smiling.

Of course the medal has a cowboy boot on it, what else would you expect?

How about another half marathon?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Race Recapping: 15Ks in 2014

Raise you hand if you have ever heard of a 15K race before??? {Crickets....crickets...crickets...}  Yeah, me neither. It is certainly different, not a very common race, but a nice distance to challenge yourself even further.  For some, it will take more than an hour, probably closer to 90 minutes or more.  And it can be considered a training race and stepping stone for those pondering a half-marathon in their future.  That is how I came upon this distance, and I am excited that I did!

In training up for the St. Jude's Country Music Marathon, I decided to also become a St Jude Hero.  A hero is a runner who also fund raises for St Jude, and I was very fortunate to have generous friends and family to contribute to this worthy cause.  As such, the team I was running with (WSIX), gifted me a race entry to Nashville's Hot Chocolate 15K race. It was a great day, VERY cold at the beginning of the race, but of course that wears off as you start running. I PRed the race!!! Not hard when it is the first race of that particular distance. :)  My total time was 1:47:14, which is pretty respectable.  I was hoping for a 1:45, but close enough, right?

Crossing the finish line

The second 15K was later in the year as a part of my motivation to keep running longer distances.  It was a beautiful, sunny day for September.  I have previously run part of the course, in fact I had just run it the month before in the "It's Just a 10K race", so I knew part of the course going through Shelby Bottom's Park in Nashville.  But to be honest, this is a race I would never encourage anyone to do.  It is flat, but also very, very boring.  There are no crowds to cheer you on, part of the course you are sharing a part with public bike riders, and there is no one to welcome you at the finish line after running for fun for two hours.  I can check the box for keeping up with my race-a-month for 2014, but never, ever again running this race.  Sad, isn't it?? I really like racing, challenging and racing against myself.  I would encourage anyone to race as a way to test their baseline, and later to measure how they are progressing, and what they need to work on to improve. (I am better at giving advice, as compared to taking my own).  But if you are reading this, and thinking of participating in this race, run away!