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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm not dead!!!!

So no...I have not died nor have I fallen off the planet. In fact, I have not even quit running. I did, however, take time off....a LOT of time off. So much time, in fact, that I began to question whether or not I was a runner. Or whether or not I wanted to continue. 

Let me recap my summer
- HOT...HUMID...miserable running conditions. 
- LAZY Erin (9-10 am wakeups? that was me!)
- New Orleans trip!
- Best friend visit!
- Baseball
- genealogy
- School year prep/trainings/planning/shopping

Notice how running wasn't really a part of the picture? Except for the 1-2 runs I tried in July (see previous postings), I did nothing. I think honestly, I was pushing myself too hard too fast and was getting burned out and frustrated at my perceived lack of progress. Also, it was admittedly very hard to find the motivation to leave my air conditioned house and place on the sofa for the hot and muggy (95%+ humidity and 100 heat index during the day and a cool 80 with 95% humidity at night) climate that is Tampa in July/August. At the beginning of the summer, I thought "oh yeah, I'll get up early and run" or "I'll get in the car and drive 25 minutes to the gym on base and use the treadmill/elliptical/bike" or "I'll swim laps in my backyard pool"

hahaha....boy was I kidding myself. 

And through all this, two races on my calendar crept closer: the Marine Corps Marathon 10k and the Women's Half Marathon. It's like I shoved them to the back recesses of my mind and vaguely thought they would come along "someday" 

Meanwhile I started teaching at a new school and had about a million things to do to prepare for that...

The list of excuses grows on and on...

So anyhow..once the calendar flipped to September and we barely got glanced by Isaac (my poor in laws didn't fare as well...and coincidentally just moved back into their house two days ago), I realized I had less than six weeks to go for my 10k and I had barely walked so much as three miles in two months. But did I do anything about it? 


But I started getting myself out there...once in a while. Finally, two weeks before the 10k, Jim (convinced I just had a mental block on the distance) took me out for 6 miles just so I could see what the distance was like. My goal for the 10k at the time was 1:45 (and not finish last) and without having run/walked in almost two months, went out and did 6 miles in 1:30! I found that the longer I went, the better I felt. I stopped fighting the body and the mental issues. Still walked a lot but it felt good. So I knew I could do it. 

Then we flew to Washington DC for an amazing weekend. What originally started as a plan for just Jim and I in the hotel room had morphed into my friend Dianne crashing with us as she ran her first marathon and that turned into Dianne's fiance coming with us and then Dianne's friend Frank who flew in just to pace her...yes 5 of us in a hotel room (granted it was a 1 BR suite)...made for a lot of laughs! DC overall was such a blast and by the time we all parted we were all the best of friends. Jim had a good time in the marathon, Dianne finished (with Frank playing the part of the bandit helping her along) and I did the 10k in 1:28 (woot!). I will eventually write an entire post on DC and the 10k but suffice it to say, it is a weekend I think we will all remember for a long time. 

So I came home from DC with a HUGE runner's high but the half marathon kept staring me in my face. I was so swamped with work plus Jim's son had moved in for 6 weeks so trying to find time to go out for the longer runs i should have been was hard. However, I was no longer mentally worried...I maintained a 13:00 or so pace for my 10k and a 9 mile training run so I was no longer panicking that I wouldn't finish (a long held fear of mine). Dianne had said she would bandit with me (be my Frank so to speak) and Jim was taking the unfamiliar role of spectator and I was running with another friend Melissa so I was ready to roll for the Womens Half in St. Pete. 

Another post will eventually follow about the St. Pete race but long story short, it was awesome! I exceeded my goal of 3:30 and was able to move when I was done. I stated out taking it nice and slow and almost had to reign in my desire to just go all out during the first 10k because I knew I would die on the last half. Best parts of the race: the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville pit stop with music and leis, getting to run on a Major League Baseball field, and crushing my expected time. The feeling of awesomeness when I got the medal was sweet!!! 

Now I am back into runner mode. Frank decided he was going to join Dianne, Jim, and I in running the Gasparilla races this February so it will be a DC reunion (at least we will all have more space than last time and hopefully we wont be chased away by a hurricane this time). I decided that after my half, I really can do more than I thought I could so I am going to tackle another half in January and then do 3 out of the 4 races at Gasparilla (15k, 5k, and half marathon). So now I am back training with the goal of maintaining a sub 3:30 time for my half marathon and a stretch goal of coming in around 3:00. This time with a training plan, I'm not so hardnosed about being frustrated that I can't run the full distance. I do what I can and not give up. The goal is the distance, not the time. So today for example, I had 3 miles (pace) on my schedule. Well, I still have no idea what my ideal race pace will be or even is (i just go) so I just did the 3 miles. I took a nice slow first mile to enjoy the rain and then kicked it up a notch for the last 2 miles and still finished with under a 15:00 pace (my new threshold...I dont want any runs slower than that...easier said than done)

All that being said, that's a recap of everything you missed since my last blog. I hopefully will start posting more regularly but I cant promise anything. I do update my daily mile with every workout so even if you dont see a blog, i promise i havent fallen off the horse. 

2013 goals include 4 half marathons (Clearwater, Gasparilla, Women's Half, and Holiday Half), more 10k races (including MCM10K) and preparations for a potential marathon run in 2014 (my original when I started this blog. 

I'm baaaccckkkk.....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sticky, Slimy, Sweaty

I slept in today and was in somewhat of a sloth mode this morning. But when I opened up the fridge to get milk for my coffee, I stared my half marathon training plan in the face. I had skipped a day yesterday to get myself on track for what I wanted my running days to be (at least that's what I tell myself. In reality, I was lazy and it was the 4th of July...). Therefore I knew I needed to run today. 

I mentally sighed and grumbled as I read " Week 1: Thursday: 25 minutes"

Well, it's the shortest time on the entire training I would be REALLY stupid to try and skip it. 

As I got dressed and ready to head out, I realized it was 10:30 or so and the Florida sun was beaming down...and the humidity was high. Typical. But what can ya do? I had to go out...

So I broke down my 25 minutes as such: 
5 min warm up walk
7 repeats of 1:1 run/walk ratio with 1 extra minute of running
5 min cool down. 

I had it timed down to a tee (including my turn around point). So that part felt good

I chose the 1:1 ratio today because of the heat. I figure I am (or should be) able to go 1:30 or 2:00 running to 1:00 walking but with the heat today I didn't dare push it. 

Overall I felt pretty good's just that the heat and humidity made me feel like I was going to pass out or die (even with a hat and water). There are lots of trees along the basic out and back route I use by the house...problem was that the angle of the sun at 10:30 in the morning doesnt throw the shade onto the sidewalk at all...except for a sporadic shadow here or there. So I had the sun on me the vast majority of the time...not fun. 

But I did it...and isn't that what counts?

Tomorrow I am supposed to go for a nice long, slow for me! Saturday is my first LSD of 3 miles...easily doable. 

Tweaks I want to make for next week: 
- use the 30 minutes on the training plan for my actual run/walking and tack the warm up and cool down on at either end to make for a 40 minute workout rather than 30


- get back into the couch to 5k workouts on the 30 minute days (the workouts are about 30 minutes or so) to build my running endurance back up. 

I might go with the first tweak for a couple of weeks (along with upping the run/walk ratio) and see how I do before going with the second tweak. It's nice that this plan just tells you doesnt tell you distance...

I figure the longest I will get to in 30 minutes or so is 2.5-3 miles which is fine. The LSDs on Saturdays are where I will do a distance workout rather than time. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Half 1

A rather inauspicious start to completing my first half marathon....

It was HOT.

It was HUMID. 

I felt like I either wanted to puke or die. 

But I did it. 

I am using the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Plan for runners/walkers as a basis for my first half. I can adjust my run/walk ratio to my desired pace (comfortably settling in for about a 12-14 minute pace) and go from there. The plan only uses distance markers on the long runs for the weekends. Its a good 17-20 week training plan (which I is 20 weeks until my half). Plus, even with taking time off, I am finding I am still in better shape than I was in December-ish. So I dont feel like i Have to go back to square one in terms of training...

Plus a 5k and a half marathon are two totally separate training methods (as I am finding)

Anyhow, last night was a "rest day" so I went for a nice 3 mile leisurely walk...and had the urge to run about .2 miles at the end which felt good. did 3 miles in about an hour...not too bad. Would never do a 5k at that pace but it keeps the muscles flowing

Today's scheduled run just said "30 min run." So I decided to up my run/walk pace to 75 seconds each (up from the 60 I did the other day) and remembered to extend my run so that I didn't accidentally cut off the last .25 miles.

I did it. 5 minute or so warm up, 10 or so repeats of the run/walk ratio, and a 5-7 minute cool down. But boy was it HOT and sweaty and uncomfortable. My legs are still working to get back into shape from taking time off and they hurt. I could have used a foam roller (even just after 2 miles). I'm going to give it a couple of (semi painful) weeks of getting my legs back into shape before I decide whether its the shoes or the terrain. After a while the sidewalk didn't hurt when I was running hard before...but it is getting close to new shoe time (over 6 months old). So maybe I will treat myself to a new pair or two before summer is out. 

Now its time for a banana and a shower. Supposed to be a rest day tomorrow but I might go back out because I need to get my schedule straightened out because I'm doing my skating XT on Wednesdays and Fridays. So it would be beneficial to run on Sun//Tues/Thurs with another run maybe on Monday and XT wed/Friday and total rest on Saturday for a LR on Sunday. At least thats what I am going to aim to do. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time to get serious

So its been almost two months since I semi dropped off the face of the running planet. During that time I have managed to gain weight (dont want to know how much), finish a school year, transfer to another school, watch a lot of baseball, redecorate and reorganize my office, and still complete two 5k races with little to no training (including one with a PR).

I have been getting rather complacent since summer began. Its nice to sleep in (and then I always chose coffee and a book over running in the morning). And I dreamed up a million excuses of why I couldnt go running (most of them having to do with sleeping in too much and it being hotter than hot our really humid outside).

In the back of my mind I knew I SHOULDN'T be thinking like this but nevertheless, I did. Eventually DH stopped nagging me about it but I knew he was disappointed. And I HATE disappointing him.

Yesterday, the new issue of Runners World came in the mail. Last month I tossed it on the coffee table and never even opened it. This month, two headlines grabbed my attention: Half-Marathon Special - A Perfect Plan and Beginners - tips for regaining that lost mojo (both paraphrased but thats essentially the headlines). Both of those headlines spoke to my running heart. My first half marathon is in November (twenty weeks away) and I am a beginner who has seriously lost mojo and motivation.Recently,  I started comparing myself to everyone else out there and found myself seriously lacking and demotivated. So I read on.

This morning over my coffee, I read through the magazine again (stopping to cheer because my friend Beth was interviewed for an article!) and decided I needed to get my a$$ out there. So i laced up and pulled up Jeff Galloway's half marathon plan for beginners (the 18 week version). My main goal for November is simple: FINISH. My STRETCH goal is to finish under 3:30 (3:00 would be nice but hey, its my first...more will be coming). But right now the LONGEST distance I have ever done (even in training) is 3.2 miles (the 6 mile tourist walk in Key West doesnt count). And I still am a run/walker...I cant go .5 miles straight running yet... so I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. and the time off took away a lot of what I had built up doing c25k.

Anyhow to make a long story short: I went out thinking i was going to go for 2 miles. I did a 5 minute warm up walk and then a run/walk ratio of 1:1 (1 minute run, 1 minute walk) before a 5 minute cool down. It was hot, my legs hurt, etc. But I did it. Unfortunately, I unintentionally cut off the last .25 miles because I had timed my cool down wrong (should have gotten in at least 1-2 more walk/run cycle).

But i still went 1.77 miles in 25 minutes or so. first mile was under 14:00 so that made me happy. tomorrow: go for a 3 mile WALK (rest days  = walk days).

I now have twenty weeks to go until a half was I thinking?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

fat...a freestyle poem


thats how I feel.

I know compared to a lot of people I'm not.

But that doesn't mean

I dont feel inadequately out of shape.

It started at the 5k I ran yesterday....

I got there early to help before I ran.

The vast majority of racers were from elite running clubs in the area

And they like to show up early to get miles in pre-5k.

And the women wear sports bras

With abs of steel.

And there I stood.

In my capris and top

and my belly peeking under my shirt.

I tried to hide.

But it didnt work

As I ran

With other "penguins"

Who were much larger than me

I had fun.

It was hot and humid

And I wanted to go back to bed.

But I ran.



But better than I expected

My hubby was there

With video camera in hand

Capturing every time I ran by him.

I picked it up at the end.

And ran faster than I had in a long time.

Nearly puked once I was done.

But felt proud of my time.

Until the winners were announced

They were all twice as fast.

And had flat tummies

So I went home and moped

And thought about starting my own race

For those who are able to run at my pace.

Then I watched the video

That my darling husband took.

I looked like a tank.

With crappy form

And a flopping stomach.

Thus I have resolved

To lose my stomach

Or at least tone it up

So I decided today

To do 50 sit-ups

I made it to 20

and died.

So I did push-ups

I did two.

So now I have two goals: to get my butt back into a running routine

And to lose my gut.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

WTF was I thinking. (I'm baaack)

So much has happened since I last logged on here. I know I sorta fell off the face of the planet for a while. I was just getting so discouraged with myself and not making any perceived progress with the Couch to 5k program. Plus it started getting hot and humid here (and I'm a wuss) and I had to finish out the school year.

Before I took a HUGE hiatus, I ran in a charity 5k run for a former student at the high school I (now used to) work at who was the victim of a brutal attack. The student government organized the whole thing and I ran with a lot of students and fellow teachers. The timing system was VERY off but I PRed (YAY) by about 3 seconds. I came around the corner and saw that I was about to come in under 40 minutes (my old PR) and I managed to sprint and hit the finish line (and stop my GPS) at 39:58. So I felt good.

Why I took time off....I dont know...

But I did. One rest day turned into another...and another...and another.

And the next thing you know I haven't run at all in a month. And I was feeling lazy. and restless. and bored. Now that summer vacation is here, I should have all the time in the world for running, right? Well sleeping in until 8:30 or 9:00 am means I miss the best (coolest) part of the day for running and by the time evening rolls aorund, I havent felt much like going out. But DH has been working nights and I have been searching for something to fill my time.

So tonight I thought "why not run...just to see whats in me."

GPS and music but no C25K. My half marathon training plan (which starts in 2 weeks) wants me going a minimum of 3 miles a run so I set off figuring I would walk when I was tired and run until I couldnt go anymore.

Right away I settled into a pretty good pace and felt good. I hadn't run the 3 mile loop around my neighborhood since about january or february and I remember thinking how hard it was and that I could never make it from point A to point B. Tonight as I went by those points, I made sure to run just to see if I could do it and lo and behold, I made it (and then some). I didnt run the entire 3 miles by any means but I feel like I ran more than I walked. When I took my running hiatus I was able to to do 5 minutes at a time and pushing on 8-10 minutes at a time. I didn't make 5 minutes at a time (but I wasnt pushing to do that) BUT I was able to go 2-3 minutes easily at a time and felt good. So I didn't regress as much as I feared. YAY!!!

If I dont post on here by next Saturday, make sure you get on Facebook and (figuratively) kick my butt in gear so I dont go another month without running. I have to make this half marathon in November. it has an 18:00 minimum pace but my goal is to maintain a 16:00 or under so I can also complete the Disney half in January (hoping to at least if the money is there)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I hate week 5

I have been on week 5 of C25K forever. I swear. I dont know if I have hit a wall in my training or if is am starting to psych myself out...

anyhow i went out in 87 degree (90 heat index) weather because its the only time I had tonight to run. I made it through the first 8 minute run no problem but I lost steam on the second 8 minute run. Ok...maybe not lost steam but maybe it was mental. Now that I think about it...I psyched myself out and walked. Grr.

<bangs head against the wall> AND I COULD HAVE MOVED ON TODAY

but I didn't. I got about 6 minutes total out of the 8 i was supposed to do so it was better than nothing. but when I walked, i was a slug.

And now I am home and I am hot, slimy, sweaty, and my calves and ankles hurt like hell. I haven't felt like this in a long time (not since I started running). Dont know if its the shoes, the pavement, or what. But even a soak in the pool didn't help. i am thinking of using a rolling pin on my legs....ugh ugh ugh.

tomorrow night is possibly round 3 of c25k w5d2. or at least a good redemption run.