Friday, March 30, 2007

Ittzzz Friiiiday!!!

Happy Friday to all! Today is supposed to be sunny and 60's so it is a good way to start the weekend!

5K race on tap for Saturday morning and a 18 mile long run Sunday morning! Should be a good weekend on tap!!!

Also I will be cheering from Ohio for Jodi, who will be rocking the Cali half this weekend!!! Go #1705!

This week stopped by my husband's parents to see the cutie pies!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another pair of new shoes!!

New shoes came my way on Saturday at the best price ever!

They were a lightweight neutral trainer, a well-known brand that I had not realized even made running shoes.

Even though I am an Asics junkie, I was still psyched to try this new product out.

I think I can be called an overpronator who needs some support in my shoes to keep all issues in check.

I was smart enough not to attempt trying them on my 20 mile long run Sunday.

I had a speed workout planned for Tuesday, but it was so gorgeous out that morning that I just needed to try the new shoes out for a run outside!! So I was off on down the road in my new shoes. Pretty cushy, but not feeling so great. A little bit later, "Something kind of hurts" and then " Feet are going numb" and then "Please no blisters now." And then the 5.5 mile jaunt was over. All & all, not really feeling these shoes. I knew going in that these were going to be a short distance pair but they were not even feeling lightweight like I thought they would. A couple years ago I had a lightweight pair of the Nike Air Milers which were so light I just felt faster when I wore them...not supportive enough for long stuff, but I kind of miss them for runs less than an hour.

So, perhaps I should give this pair another chance...they were just getting broke in!

So this morning, laced them back up for my make up speed workout on the treadmill. Ouch, it is not even a mile into my warm and I am hurting. I had a 7 mile workout planned but cut it to 5, my feet hurt. My arches up to my big toes areas hurt and still are a little tender 8 hours later, but thankfully no evident blisters which should nag me. I figure I really did not need the last 2 miles as much as I needed to keep my feet happy!

Guess the shoes are going into my running shoe graveyard. Don't worry, I think I will dig them out for something like aerobics or weight training or just for kicks. I would feel bad had they not been the perfect price.

Note to others...if shoes hurt on day one, a second chance is probably OK, just not the next day!

I have a new pair of Asics waiting for me in the closet so perhaps I will try them out next week!!! No worries here though!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Busy busy!

First off, thanks for the comments on my FIRST training question. Really the ultimate goal is a BQ and I just want to train smart so I will have to take your comments into consideration!

What a difference a year makes!!

Saturday was Hinckley Du training day. First ride outside for 2007!!! I headed out to Hinckley through the fog and was pleasantly surprised how warm it was. It actually was a pleasant morning for a ride and we only had a few sprinkles which were not even enough to get the roads wet and the sunshine was trying to peak out!

A new CTC member was out there for his first ride on his new bike. There was also another CTC member that was out there to run the course. It was good I was there so I could explain the course to them since I actually knew it from last year. With that, the 2 of us on bikes took off for a casual 15 mile ride. The other rider was having lots of issues with his derailer and finally dropped a chain. I was able to help him to get it back on and we finished up our loops problem free. What a switch from last year when I was a total train wreck...Last year I had no idea what I was doing and it was my first road bike ride ever, popped a valve off trying to pump up my tire, lost a chain, and relied on the help of others the entire time, to this year when I was actually comfortable, confident and able to help others.

After the ride the three of us all headed out for the 3 mile hilly run around the lake. All and all, a good training session and enjoyed company.

Team ER

After the session I killed a bit of time and changed out of my stinky clothes and headed to my first meeting with Team ER. This Team is sponsored by Eddy's Bike Shop and Ritchie's Sporting Goods and the meeting was held at Ritchies. It was my first time visiting Ritchie's as its location is not quite as convenient for me. However if you have not been there it was worth the trip. They recently remodeled and it is very nice with a huge selection. Needless to say, I will be doing some shopping there now! Anyways, I enjoyed meeting the other team mates and hearing about their goals for the season. After trying on some very small uniform pieces I have decided it is really time to recommit to losing some of thir excess body fat I have as it was not pretty. Nothing like trying to squeeze my body into a 10 year old girl's pair of spandex, not pretty!! Thankfully I was able to change my sizes as the sizing chart we ordered from had to be way, way off.

Exhausting Sunday

Sunday, I met down at the towpath for a run with some friends. I ate a banana on the way out there and was surprised how cold it was at the start (about 35 degrees) With my running buddies, Bob and Melissa, I headed out for 20 mile run on the towpath. As usual, with some conversation, the miles flew by and all was well. From what I could tell we were averaging pretty close to a 8:45 pace for the majority of the way. It was warming up fast and by the half way point, I was running in shorts and a tank top. Oh it is just so exciting to feel the sunshine after a long winter!!!

I left as soon as we were done, I rushed to the car without changing and chowed down another banana and a special k bar. I was in a hurry as we had plans to meet up with a group of people for a 240 mile motorcyle ride. Within 10 minutes of getting home inluding a super fast shower I hopped on my new bike for the ride and met up with the group. (It is so hard to rush like that after just running that far!!!) But I made it just in time! What a beautiful day for a ride! Finally about 120 miles in we stopped for food. Let me tell ya I was so hungry that I could eat a horse and chase the rider by this point in time. After food, we were back off for the long country ride through fantastic twisty roads. I arrived home after 6 from the long day and was just plain exhausted. Sport bikes are just not the most comfortable for a long day, especailly when you hop on them fresh from a 20 mile run.

Needless to say, I hit the hay early last night and slept like a rock!

Friday, March 23, 2007

The good, the bad, the ugly and the rundown!

We will start with THE BAD-

I am not sure if it is day light savings time or if it is the new mattresses we got, but I have had trouble get my butt out of bed this week. I try to get up during the week at 5:15 (enough time to brush my teeth, dress, grab my bag, and drive 30 miles to the gym to arrive at 6 AM)

This week I totally skipped 2 morning sessions and was late to a few others.


Spin class, followed by missed Key Workout One on FIRST marathon training plan...anyone need a recipe for one sweaty chick???
I did a quick mile w/u (as I was plenty warm already) and started into 2 x (6x 400m) (1:30 RI) (2:30 RI between sets)...surprisingly these felt pretty easy, even after spin class. 400's were always my favorite back in the day! Had to cut the cool down short on account of time, but felt good about the session.

The Good-
Friday arrived late to the gym to make up Thursday's Key Run number 2. It called for 2 miles easy, 3 miles at Short Tempo Pace, 1 miles easy. I hopped on the treadmill, increased the incline slightly, the speed, and my tunes and was off. It felt easy to the point that I held a conversation for 5 minutes during the tempo and when the 3 miles was done, I went longer until I needed to start my cooldown on account that it was time I get ready for work.

Current Question-
When I did my FIRST calculations back in December on my 5K time, it was based on a 22 minute 5K. Now my PR is a 20:45, should I revise my FIRST times down so I am pushing a little harder?? I think I will. If it is too much, I can always go back. Many of my long runs have been over what my PMP plus 30-45 seconds calls for and I have felt good for the most part for all of them.

The Rundown since 3/9

3/10 St Malachi Run - 5 Mile Race 33:32 (6:43 pace)
3/11 20 miler with SERC (2:44 running , 2:59 total)
3/12 rest day
3/13 7 mile FIRST Key Run 1 session- main set 6x800's
3/14 Upper Body Workout
3/15 7 m FIRST Key Run 2 session - tempo run, Lower Body Workout
3/16 1 hour spin class, 1000 yards swam, Upper Body Workout
3/17 16 mile run
3/18 rest day
3/19 45 min bike
3/20 Upper Body Workout
3/21 1 hr spin class, 5.5 miles ran (missed Key run 1 mentioned above)
3/22 Lower Body Workout
3/23 6 miles ran (missed Key run 2 mentioned above), Upper Body Workout

Pretty open weekend on tap, hoping for some sunshine and good training!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

St. Pats / Surprise 30th party

So sis surprised me with a 30th birthday party on Saturday with an awesome showing of friends and family!!! I am so thankful for having so many wonderful people in my life.

Decked in my Irish attire, we celebrated into the night and I managed to reign supreme on the ping pong table...this ole girl is not about to lose any tricks!

Brand New Triumph Daytona 675

I purposely had planned to do the paperwork and pick up my new baby on the 19th to ensure a happy birthday. Here she finally is!!! Still have not decided on what I will call my new sweetie...any good ideas???

Monday, March 19, 2007

I must be getting old....

Today I dragged my tired butt out of bed after hitting snooze way too many times.

I grabbed my backpack that I had packed yesterday with clothes for work today. I was excited because my sis had bought me this totally cute top I was so excited to wear with my favorite pants today.

I was running late for the gym so my workout was shorter than normal so I decided to really push as hard as I could. About the time I was to leave, my ole man Stan who always chats it up with me, pulled up to the stationary bike next to mine I overstayed my bike time a bit more than I should have.

Rushed through the shower, skipped the lotion, grabbed my bag to get dressed... have got to be kidding me!

I see my socks, bra, underwear, belt, jewerly, but no shirt and pants! NO!!! They must still be nicely laid out on my stand at home.


What to do, already running late; going home is not an option as it is 28 miles away and I have no extra time as it is.

So I grab the extra tshirt and shorts in my bag and proceed as planned, thinking I probably have extra clothes in my trunk for just this sort of emergency.

So I get outside and find my extra clothes that have probably been there for nearly a year. I think at some point they have got wet and smell and are horribly wrinkled. EWWW, but I need clothes! So I put them on in the back seat of my car and proceed to work where I can put a suit coat on to cover up my wrinkled shirt. If only it would cover up this not so fresh smell!!!

Thankfully I am seeing the hubby at lunch for something awesome so he will bring me my clothes!!!!
So this is how 30 starts......I may be in trouble!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This and that

What a crazy week! Yesterday evening was a beautiful 65 degree sunny night and today as I braved my way to the gym before work I cautiously treaded on the ice, slush, and freezing rain. Dang, why can it just not stay warm for good yet???

But I did get to go out and play on this super sick little bike Tuesday night!!! My sweet hubby just got my that new helmet for my birthday which I love to death. I am set to pick up my new motorcyle on Monday so fornately for me, he has two bikes so I got to roll his supermoto as pictured above this week! That little monster is crazy fun! It was a totally rad group of motorcylists we had together for our evening ride; me on the Suzuki DRZ supermoto, hubby on Ducati S2R, Uncle on his Harley, cousin on his Yamaha cruiser, and other cousin on BMW cruiser...rolling with my family motorcyle posse is so sweet!!! Bring on more riding weather!!
The trouble is that there is so much I like to do outside and right now we get so little nice weather that it is always hard to pick what to do-- ride motorcyles, bicycle, run, and on and on!!!

In other news, my hubby parents are on vacation so in addition to some kennel responsibilities at their place, we have a little house guest as well. She is so good and cute that she is welcome to stay as long as she wants.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday was rest day, so let's talk about my latest CD purchase!

So the week of the new release for the new Korn Unplugged CD, I made a stop at Best Buy to purchase the new CD.

I have been a hardcore Korn fan since their first album release. I LOVE to play Korn so friggin loud it is going to bust the windows out! Their music makes me feel so bad ass and ready for anything! Yeah this may have been slightly out of character for the typical Miami University gal, but this was Korn and I didn't care!! the unplugged....I knew they were great before but this just blew me away and gave me goosebumps at times. Jonathan's voice is just so powerful and it was really cool to hear the lyrics in this setting. Korn showed that they are without a doubt truly talented musicians! I can say that this unplugged version was a pleasant surprise and that Korn is still the best, perhaps even better for this gutzy descent from their typical heavy production.

One review I read from a non-Korn fan stated....
"I'm a Korn fan, not a big Korn fan. Admittedly, I can't sit through a whole album without a headache. Too redundant. (YEAH WHATEVER, BUT I WILL LET HIM CONTINUE) I tuned in to Korn unplugged mainly to see the Robert Smith and Amy Lee. I never expected what I saw or heard coming from Korn in an acoustic session: raw musical talent. 1. they utilized instruments not commonly heard, 2. Johnathon can sing--I mean he can really sing on tune and in harmony and with the likes of Robert Smith and Amy Lee. 3. The blend of orchestra and the arrangements of the songs chosen for performance was outstanding. 4. I was hesitant to allow myself to hear "Creep" covered one more time--it is such an important and powerful song for so many--especially by Korn they pulled it off well--I've added it to one of my favorite covers. The emotion conveyed through the subtleties of this acoustic session from Korn lend more to the lyrics then anything I've heard from them before. Their studio albums tend to bash the lyrics into submission (I DISAGREE, but go on) while this "unplugged" session, lets the lyrics out to be felt and interpreted by the audience--in fact, I never realized just how potent the Korn's lyrics are. (YEAH, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!)

Bottom line, this is a F-ING AWESOME CD and even acoustically, they rock like no others!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kick Ass Weekend in Review!

Friday night I hit the tri club meeting and enjoyed listening to a interesting speaker on running and got to try out some new exercises at Velocity Sports, where the meeting was held. Of course afterwards, we headed to bar for some food and beer. (Carb loading for Saturday's run!)

Saturday I awoke early to head out to the race and had some extra time so I made a new play list for my Ipod. I left a little early so I would have plenty of time to get a decent parking spot and a good warm-up. About 6 miles down the road I realized I could not find my Ipod. After pulling over to search my bag I decided I would turn around to get it. In my head, I just felt I would not run as fast without it. So I get home and still can't find. Then I head back out and grab my bag and dump it out to find I had it the whole time. Guess now I am running late for no reason as this has now taken about 1/2 hour. A little frustrated, I get back on the road.

This morning was as warm as it had felt in some time. My car said it was 46 on the way up there and it was pretty cloudy. As I drove it started to get darker and finally just let loose with rain. Fortunately as I neared the race it quit raining but I saw no where to park. I ended up parking in the total ghetto. I was nervous even being at my car by myself. I rushed to grab my stuff, get back to my car to drop off the bag while looking over my shoulder a little uneasy. This really was not a good neighborhood. After a short warm-up I caught up with a friend who was droppin stuff back at his car so i went with him as there was still about 15 minutes. He parked in a good spot and I spied an open spot in his lot so I ran to grab my car to move it. Thank goodness as I had been feeling so uneasy about things before. Knowing I had my nice camera, my purse, my sirius unit, and a bunch of other stuff in that car in that neighborhood just was not sitting well with me. With the car moved, I was ready to race!

I started near the front of the big crowd. There had been a 2 mile that started 45 minutes earlier and between that group and the 5 mile group there was over 2700 runners. As the start was signaled I was off. The first mile had a lot of downhill and everyone's times were fast. I was feeling good but when I looked at mile watch at mile 1 and it read 5:49, it scared me a bit. Crap, I thought...this is a 5 mile race. Slow down!! So I eased off a bit and came through mile 2 at 6:44. I was in a good rhythm and was just trying to run a nice steady pace. I started to wonder where the heck mile 3 was. I looked down to see my watch read 12 something and knew I had missed it. That was not great for my mental game but at least I knew I had less than 2 to go. At mile 4 the watch read 14:03 for 3&4. as I came back into town I knew I still had a decent hill to climb so I dug in and tried to finish strong. After the steep grade at the bottom I managed to increase speed to the finish line. I was stoked to see the clock read 33:37 as I crossed the finish line. Going into the race, my goal in my head was to break 35:00 or 7 min mile pace. So this finish was fantastic at a 6:43 pace! Even bettter! I ended up 2nd in my age group and 9th female overall. The beers tasted good after that!

This was year 4 of the St. Malachi run for me. It is amazing to see how far things have come!!

2004 50:08
2005 41:20
2006 37:35
2007 33:37 !!!

So after Saturday I woke up feeling a little less than fresh for my 20 miler. Perhaps it was the beer to a degree, but my calfs were also pretty tight. Thankfully I was running with the terrific people from SERC who are an inspiration. After some good conversation, everything sort of fell into place and we were moving along a a decent pace. We did a 12 mile loop and then an 8 mile loop. The pace was even and the weather was beautiful. Total time was 2:57, actual running time was 2:44 ish (I think). Holy crap, I can't believe we were averaging and 8:12 ish pace if that is right. So we finished our 20 strong and I felt good. I only ran one 20 before my fall marathon and I felt AWFUL. This time, all is good and not even ridiculously sore or tired. Woohoo!!

Alright I better go as I need to get my butt in the time to proof read as I must get into the shower!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007


This week as I walked into the gym I actually heard bird's chirping. The temperature feels as warm as it has been. Daylight savings time is pretty much here. It is actually sunny in northeast Ohio today. Oh and it's Friday!!! This will require a beer or 2 tonight!

Anyways to sum up the week it has been pretty good. I can not seem to get the crap out of my throat, but it does not seem to be slowing my pace down so I can live with that!

I am currently in week 11 of my FIRST to the Finish Marathon training plan and I am proud to say that I am sticking to it pretty well and actually feeling pretty good about things! I like the challenge of the various workouts and have really learned to enjoy my long runs this time around.

For the last 3 months our tri club has been participating in the National Club Challenge where participants have been tracking there mileage. For the first time ever, I started to track my mileage and my goal now is to continue to do so.

So since the end of the challenge on 2/28, here is what the things have looked like...

R 3/1 - 6.1 mile run -2 miles easy, 2.5 at 7:25 pace (should have been 3, stupid cold killing me), 2.6 easy pace

F 3/2 - 1 hour spin class, 30 min stationary bike, 5 mile run (ladder increasing from 6.5-8.5 by .5 every minute until dropping back down)

S 3/3 - 3 hour easy trainer ride and 40 minute run with JT & her dad--it really amazes how fast time flies on these!!!

S 3/4 - Youngstown 1/2 - 1:47:26 official 8:12 pace

M 3/5- 1 hour spin, 5 mile run at easy pace not scheduled but felt really good!! Upper Body Weight Training

T 3/6 - 7 miles Ran - 2 mile w/u. 2X1200 (6:40 pace) , 4X800 (6:35 pace), cooldown

W 3/7 - 1.5 hour stationary bike at high intensity probably grossing other gym people out by the amount of sweat dripping, Abs, Lower Body Weight Training.

R 3/8 - 7 miles ran, 5 at moderate tempo (7:40 pace)

F 3/9 - 1 hour spin class, abs, 30 minute stationary bike, Upper Body Workout

This week wraps up 3 weeks since the tattoo which now seems to be healed (YAH!!) ...guess next week it is time to go back to splashing in the pool!!!

So another busy weekend is on tap which I am excited about!!!! Tonight is our Tri Club meeting, tomorrow one of my favorite races, the St. Malachi 5 mile run (complete with afterparty & beer!!), and Sunday will be a 20 miler morning! Oh and Monday will probably be a rest day!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mill Creek 1/2 Marathon Update

The Mill Creek 1/2 Marathon is known as one of the hilliest half marathons around. This year mother nature decided to make this half even more interesting with a nice layer of snow.
I awoke Sunday morning to about 3 inches at my house. About the minute I was ready to hit the door, I got a call from Espeed saying roads were bad and to take my time as she was running late on her way out there too. So instead of grabbing a banana, I took the time to have some toast with with my hubby and hit the door. Being that it was a Sunday, the roads had not been touched, so it took a little longer than I expected to get there so instead of the planned long warm-up, it became 5 minute jog around the parking lot.
The decisions
After debating a bit about what I wanted to wear I opted for my heavy under armor tights and shirt with a wicking coat, my head phones, light under armor gloves, oakley glasses with yellow lenses, normal running shoes. All and all the clothing seemed about right for me as it was mid 20's and still snowing and blowing. Although the glasses fogged up here and there, I was happy to have them as I hate getting snow in my eyes and it was coming down the entire time!!! Even though I kept my hands tucked in my coat, they were still a bit cold, but not too bad. Though my traction could have been better, my shoes did OK and I don't know how much my trail shoes would have made a difference. I was glad I had my headphones for the last 4 miles of the course, so all was well with my choices!
The course
Not only was it just as hilly as I knew it would be, it was covered in snow which made traction on the uphills more difficult and slightly treacherous on the downhills.....
Other runner's comments posted on the web regarding Sunday's conditions include-
'Toughest conditions yet for my 3rd Distance Classic. Opted for the trail shoes for more traction on the snow-covered road course.'
'It was the toughest footing ever for race day.'
Given these conditions, I knew it was not destined to be a super fast half but I still had my goal in my head that I just wanted to break 1:50. See I figure that is the pace I am hoping to hold for Cleveland Marathon and I thought if I could hold it on this tough course it would be a nice confidence builder for that race. (I know they say to double your half time and add 10 minutes for marathon estimate, but I will work on that one on a more normal course....maybe spring classic coming up on 4/7)
And we're off
So I headed out with Espeed hoping I could try to keep up. We decided given the course conditions we would run a conservative pace for awhile. Miles kept passing by as we would climb and descend the hills. I must admit though, I think I had made these hills mountains in my head as they were not as bad as I thought they were last year.
I was nervous about how I was going to feel for the race as I had had a cold all week and a flu bug the week before. I had been struggling to hit my paces for my FIRST training plan, but had managed to get all of the workouts in...little accomplishment even if they were not perfect. But, as we got into the miles I remained feeling pretty good. It was nice as we got 8 or so in we could see the leaders heading back and I started to get excited about the finish.
About mile 9, I decided there was only 4 to go and I would just pick it up till the end. With that, I tuned on the tunes, cranked up the volume, and picked up the pace.
As I climbed the final hill at the end I was in sprinting mode and wanted to catch the chick in front of me but ran out of course. The last kick had spent me anyway and I was happy to see 1:47 and change on the clock!! Yeah!!! Goal of 1:50 nailed and then some.
1 8:32
2 7:20
3& 4 16:57
5 8:23
6 8:42
7 8:31
8 8:17
9 8:29
10 8:08
11 7:46
12 7:20
13 ?? (I get way to excited about the end to ever remember to hit the button on the last one!)
Finish Time 1:47:21 -I think...seconds may be slightly off. So an 8:11 pace or so!
So for those keep track, my halfs always involve a fair amount of talking, so I have always figured I was capable of a better time but currently my fastest half was a 1:53, so I guess I have a new one! Woohoo a PR in these conditions! Oh and another small victory was my time last year was a 1:59 +....and this year, a 12 minute improvement!
The icing on the cake
Somehow that time was good enough for 11th female overall and a 2nd in my age group award. Even sweeter, Espeed, took third in our age group. This will not be 'OUR" age group much longer as someone has a birthday coming up which will put me in a new age bracket for most races! So as usual the best part of the race was hanging out afterwards over some coffee to warm up and catching up with all the other crazy peeps who had journeyed out to run on these fine conditions!