Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who are you???

Reporting in from Ider, AL...which is about 45 minutes SW of Chatanooga, TN right on the AL, GA, TN border.

The husband has a long weekend class down here and I figure since he gets dragged around so much for my events that I would come down here with him.  Although, this is not a spectator class, so I am left to my own devices....which would be occupying my time training.  What else would a girl do?  Shop?  Not so much!

We are actually staying with my husband's aunt and uncle who live on a gorgeous piece of property complete with trails (for their horse back riding) and a 10 acre lake (perfect for me to swim in!).

We arrived about 5AM Friday morning.  A short nap later, a full day's worth of work, and finally it was playtime!  A cousin and I hopped on the mountain bikes and took a spin around the horse trails which was a nice mix of fields, hills and wooded areas....I would say it was only a 3 or 4 mile stretch, but good times just the same!

Yesterday, I pumped up my road bike tires.  I think my bike was wondering who the heck I was.  I have not touched it since REV3 Cedar Point.  Between the dark, cold, rain and just taking a break, it had just collected dust in my garage.  Not that I had abandoned biking, I was still riding my mountain bike some and regularly hitting M,W,and F 6AM Performance Cycling classes (which are structured to replicate outdoor riding vs regular spin classes...which rock btw).  

I was not sure what to expect but I had mapped out a 60 mile course (nothing like starting small as I had all day!)  I waited until 11 for things to warm up a bit and headed out to get chased by dogs, fight the wind, climb Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain and just enjoy being back out on my bike.  Truly it was hard not to enjoy the ride, it was sunny, 70 degrees and the views on Desoto Parkway could not be much more scenic!

I was trying so hard not to worry about speed today although I inevitably watched it and was a bit frustrated by it...stupid hills and wind!  Yet, all and all it was so nice to be back out on the bike and was almost as if I had not missed a beat!

Hmmm...what to do today other than to continue reading the Lance Armstrong Performance Program by Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael to see what other tidbits I can pick up.  I see a run in my near future!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last night was the first ever CTC Halloween Fun Run and wowzers was it a good time!

Holk Hogan showed up to the party and was hanging out with sis and party pirate ESpeed!

I almost lost it when EricA showed up and started into cheers!

All eyes were on us as we corralled out of the back past a room full of attorney, lawyers and many other bar patrons.  At 6:45 we took to the streets about to head out for a 5 or 10 K Run!

We ran across the superior bridge taking in the darkening skyline!
We ran over the bridge!
We took in beautiful views of the city!
We ran past Browns stadium!

Bunny hopped along the run too!
It was a super fun run that garnered a bit of attentions on the streets of Cleveland!

Then came the costume contest awards!  A 25 person happy hour compliments of Barley House Cleveland was won by CTC, VP President, Alice Cooper!
Hulk won one of the Fleet Feet gift certicates!  Sis one a gift certificate to Rezults Downtown!
And then we did what CTC knows how to do....and proceeded to have one heck of a good time!

There was a cheerleader flying into the ceiling fan!

And lots and lots of hilarity that ensued!  What an absolute friggin blast of an evening!  Lots of Halloween Fun for me!  We are sooooo going to have to do this next year and if you missed better find a way to get there next year!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday morning speedwork!

Wow, was I lucky this morning (well despite that my day started at 4:50AM)!

Hit the road by 5:05 AM to get my butt downtown to meet running friend, CV.

As I parked my car there were two things I noticed.  Wow, it is warm out and it is pretty windy!  After dropping my stuff at the gym, CV and I headed out (me in shorts and a tank  :-) ) for our run!

Despite the total darkness, the weather very nice for running.  Thankfully it was mainly a cross wind that seemed to hinder us more on our return trip on Marginal by the Lake.  After an easy 2 mile warm-up and a stop at the best downtown bathroom (BLA) we started into mile repeats.

I was really hoping I could try to stick with CV and her goal was 6:20 for each.

As we started into mile one, I could not see my garmin pace but it felt fast.  My Saucony Tangent shoes felt light and my feet felt good.  As we came into the lit area of marginal, I was happy to see we were right on pace and managed to cruise to a 6:18 for Mile 1.  Ouch!  Only 3 more to go, but 3 more at that pace...double ouch!

We walked a bit to let our heart rates drop and so I could quit gasping for air and into number 2 we went.

As I ran and pushed myself to that place where your body wondered why you would torture it at that hour when I so should be sleeping, I kept thinking, "HTFU, you can do it...this is all mental, just hold on!".  Then the last 100 yards was uphill to the mean!  6:22 Mile 2.  Well given the hill, I was pleased. 

Another short walk and some more whining and some "Ouch, that hurt!" and it was go time again.  Thankfully we started down the hill and the first 100 yards felt nice and easy but then back to having to focus, singing in my head and telling myself it's all mental, don't give up.

You know what I hate?  It is looking at the garmin hoping you only have like 1/4 mile left and seeing you are only at 0.4 mi of the 1.0.  Drat!  Pace at 6:25 (too slow).  Double Drat!  And I am dying!  Yet, what a difference in running with a friend.  I wanted to stay with her and she is even sick...suck it up!  Guess I need to pick up the pace while I am at it so I sped up!  Ouch, I am breathing so hard!  Pleading to hang on in my head and counting down, finally I made it.  6:23 for Mile 3.

The goal was 6:17 for number 4 to hit the 6:20 avg.  Oh this is going to hurt!  I tucked in as we ran around the curve and into the pitch dark street.  I could not see my garmin if I tried.  I did not care.  I did not have the energy to look.  So tired!  I am sucking wind and just begging for the pain to come to an end.  When when is this going to end????  Did I mention these last 2 miles seemed to be more into the wind????  Oh I really want to stop but what if that messes CV's workout up...HTFU!  Finally the heavenly beep came and we were done.  6:25 :-( a little slow, but given the wind and that we could not see our pace, not bad!

As we trotted our 2 mile cooldown to complete the 8 miles I was feeling so thankful!  Thankful to be back running!  Thankful to have a good friend like CV to push me as lord know I would have probably been done after 1 by myself!  Thankful to have strung together 4 pretty decent mile repeats.  And thankful to have such a beautiful morning to run!

Then I went to the gym to stretch and lift for an hour before retiring to the shower with my butt officially kicked!

My concluding thought of the morning was that I give so much credit to fast runners that I look up to.  So many of them push themselves incredibly hard on such a regular basis and just really deserve credit for how hard they work.  Putting the effort in is not easy and speed often really comes at a price of a whole lotta work!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Moaning

Another gloomy Ohio Monday and back for a busy, albeit short work week!

This weekend was our annual Halloween Bash, which as usual was too much fun!

There is one last Halloween event which will be this Wednesday's CTC Halloween Costume Run which I am quite excited for!  Weather looks fabulous and HULK HOGAN will even be making an appearance ;-)

Besides the lazy day Sunday spent laying on the couch, cleaning house and taking down Halloween decorations, I had a pretty solid week of getting back to it. 

Monday-off (day after race plus I needed sleep)
Tuesday- ran with CV, 6.5 miles followed by 45 min stretch/ strength
Wednesday-2000 meter swim, ran 6 with ET
Thursday- 8 mile run, 10 min core
Friday-60 min spin class
Saturday- 13.8 miles with sis, ET and Amish Country Fun Run

Last Week Totals (10/18-10/24)
R: 34.3 M
B: 60 min
S: 2000 m

Monday, 10/25 - 60 min performance cycle with KM, 1700 M Swam

Saturday's Run was especially nice and very needed so I could earn my fun night and MARY YODERS.  Mary Yoders is home-cooking at its finest.  I am talking homemade bread, pies, gravy, potatoes and this Amish Peanut Butter Spread which is to die for!  That morning, sis and I met early to get in a little over 5 miles before meeting up with ET & GG to roundevou with the hard core group coming down for a 23 mile run from Painesville.  Hard core!  I finished with 13.8 on the day and was proud of sis for enduring the hillier than normal route!  Then we all sat around and shot the breeze over a good breakfast!  Good times!  I just love these random group runs!

This week we are leaving to head south again to stay with my husbands family in Alabama so he can take a class.  I think I will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday pretty much to myself so without much else to do, I guess will try to get in some good quality mileage.  I even hear the water should be warm enough to swim in.  I am pretty excited about mountain biking on Monday at Raccoon Mountain  with Joey's cousin as we have never rode with him but apparently he has gotten quite into it and is even planning to come up and do the Mohican 100K MTB with us next June!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Columbus Half Mary!

Here is the long and hopefully the short of my Columbus half mary! 

I hit the road Saturday around 12 with my sister and my husband and made it into Columbus by 3ish.  We hit the expo.  I was signed up for the full and knew the deadline to officially switch was Oct 1 but had missed that deadline.  Turns out it was OK as they switched me automatically in the results!  YEAH!

So anyways, the expo was pretty run of the mill, well-organized with no long waits, despite the sell out crowd!  Bonus!  However I went to get my black marathon shirt and they did not have any smalls left.  They tried to tell me they ran small but I know better.  So I asked if they had any smalls left in the half marathon hot pink shirt.  They did!  Perfect, the shirt was actually the event I was doing, my size and did I mention HAWT PINK!  SWEET!  I did not buy anything else but as usual I had my eyes on a pair of HAWT PINK compression socks that keep tempting me every time I see them!

Before leaving, I made the girls stop so that I could make our classic door poster basically being a tad obnoxious about the fast females rooming there!  Haha!  I think I get more pleasure in this because poor CV always gets embarassed as we have to pose for pics with it!  Heehee, but we got to have some fun, right!  I think sis got a kick out of the cheesiness of it all!

After leaving the expo, the 5 of us hopped in a cab (crazy non-english speaking driver experience) and headed over to Spaghetti Warehouse.  As expected, it was slammed but only a 45 minute wait or so, which was not bad considering!  Gave us some time for some drinks!  ....perhaps I should have passed, but it was only a half ;-)

After some fun conversations, good food and salad, I finally hit the sack at the super late hour of 8:30 ish.  [Oh and when we got back, I was sooo excited to see that someone else also had made door signs for us...had to be ESpeed & gang...more on her later!]  Some tossing and turning later, 5:30 AM came and it was time to get the party started!

We fired up the toaster, coffee maker and had breakfast in our room....yes, I again just brought all my stuff from home!  NICE!

Then we made our way down to the start less than a 1/2 mile away.  It was warming up quick.  CV and I did a warm-up back to our hotel lobby for one final bathroom stop and then headed to Corral 1 after wishing my sis the very best of luck (like she needed it!).

I was starting to get excited and even had my chip on!  With the countdown we were off!  I was planning to run with CV and JV and run an even 6:50 pace to a sub 1:30.  Mile 1 was right on and I was feeling AWESOME!  As we started into the second mile, my stupid Garmin started beeping non-stop because all my laps were full.  That was a pain and I had to stop it for a bit trying to delete some older laps.  Ughhh, bad timing.  I should have remembered that beforehand!  Even dealing with this small nuisance was already making keeping my pace difficult which had now dropped to a 6:43 average.  Mile 3, I started to notice my HR had already climbed to 179 (high for me) and I was already starting to feel like I was working hard and building acid in my leg muscles.  Fearing total blow-up I started to slow just after mile 3 and watched as CV pulled effortlessly away.

Blah, I am now tired and trying to stay mentally checked-in and there are still 10 very long miles.  Yikes!  I was trying to keep moving hoping if I slowed a bit I would come around, but in all honesty, I was not feeling very good.  I walked a couple water stops.  Really I wanted to just start walking and run in with my sister but pride kept me going...I knew if I pushed, I could still pr.  JV passed me around mile 4 or 5 as he had lost CV and I right away since we went out a little hot.  He asked how I was doing to which I could only respond so-so.

Nonetheless, a group of guys passed me talking and I fell in step with them, enjoying just listening to them trying to take my mind off of the discomfort and dissatisfaction I was feeling.  As I rounded one corner around mile 6, I heard  my husband cheering "GO Janet".  I waved...I had nothing to say...too tired!  He had already seen CV and it was quite obvious from my flushed red face, I was not feeling it!

The bands and music were great and always seemed to give me a lift!  Finally we hit a downhill stretch around mile 8 and I started to come back around.  Oh I needed it!  However once it leveled out, again I just felt like I was working harder than I felt like.  However, as I kept an eye on my pace, it was still right around 7 min mile avg and I kept thinking perhaps with a hard finish, maybe I could get below a 7 min mile average which would be a HUGE accomplishment still!.

I continued to plod along in my daze, and started to get excited about the finish.  There was an uphill before 12 which felt like a major JOB.  Then I turned the corner before one final small uphill before the downhill finish.  Thank you Dawn, MJ and all the other cheering fans that lined the finish!  Right before I heard my name at the finish I heard JVs....he was supposed to be further ahead.  Had I known he was that close, I think I would have worked harder to run with him as perhaps it could have helped us both!

I finished with a time of 1:33:18 officially for a 7:07 garmin had the course a little long (or rather I did not run tight enough) with a 7:03 average.  

Anyways, I grabbed my medal, my mylar blanket, a water and headed to find my friends and husband!  CV did awesome. She went 1:29 just like she had planned!  Sis came in around 1:51, a huge feat for a first timer who has only ran for 7 months!  I struggled to find somewhere convenient to change which frustrated me....I am always so much more emotional when I am tired and cold!  Then the 3 of us ladies (CV, sis and I) and our boys who played on bicycles the whole morning went to watch the marathon finish!

We were ecstatic to see ESpeed just beaming as she came around the corner to finish 2nd overall female with a 2:49.  Another friend, NC was not far behind and went on to finish 4th in her second mary attempt, having to fight hard those final 3 miles (major props to u girl!) . 

Then it was time to shower and hit Barleys to drink beers, eat food and BS over everyone's awesome accomplishments!  Another great experience!

As I sit here and type this race report there are a few things that standout in my mind-

1) I am obviously bummed that I did not run a 1:30 as hoped.  That said, I knew that was a stretch goal as I was pretty much operating under Operation Wing It plan.
2) I SO was not feeling it from mile 3 on.  I keep thinking about how much I was not enjoying those 10 miles very much at the time.  I should be pretty pleased that I gutted it out anyways and got a 4+ minute PR despite the lack of speedwork and run training.  Not only that I AM SOOO NOT at ideal race weight which I am WORKING ON BIG TIME at the moment!
3.) I AM SO PROUD of my sister, Christina, Elizabeth, Barb, Nicole, Lindsay, Nathen and so many of my friends that all turned in awesome results there!
4)  This only motivated me to get my butt moving and just planning out what is next!!!!  I think I will sign up for one more half this year.  I just can't decide if I want to try to go hard again or enjoy it with sis...hmmmm!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Columbus Half Marathon or Bust!

Today, I was wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out my half marathon PR going back through old blogs.  Then in dawned on me to check athlinks.  Wow, that was so much easier!

So of course, I, who over-analyzes everything, has thought out this half marathon target since I am not doing the full.

As usual, now my thoughts drift to a PR.  But what is my half PR?  Apparently I have not ran that many half marys near where I think I am capable of doing.  Athlinks says I have ran 15, fastest being Nashville this spring with a 1:37:41, slowest being 1:57:03.  (I wish I had a 1:25:06 at the Youngstown half but clearly that result is an error!)

All of this which brings me back to my Columbus goal.  FIRST AND FOREMOST, run healthy and stay healthy!  GOAL 2, PR which means sub 1:37:41.  GOAL 3, stick with JV and CV and hit a huge PR if I can!  Time to see if I can HTFU!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Go Sista!

This weekend I had the pleasure of running with sis for a fantastic 10 mile run!  Now I told her she better behave and actually taper this week!

This might be hard for her.

You see lil sis is quite competitive and driven!  She is only 16 months younger than me and was in the class below me.  We were always on the same teams and usually she was better than me...not that I would admit that!

Lately I find myself getting such enjoyment out of watching the amazing strides she is making!  She just started running in March of this year.  The first time she ran 2 miles without stopping was at the Saint Malachi Race which she did, mainly to come for the afterparty.

Yet, I think the taste of getting back to exercising and the fun of racing was enough to draw her over to the dark side!  Muhahaha!  Maybe big sis is not so crazy as little sis would often tell her when I rattled on about my mileage and training.

So little sis (or JJ my dad has not take to calling her meaning Janet Junior :-) ) has been plugging away averaging 30-40-50 average mile weeks and she keeps getting faster!  Now don't think this girl is not working hard...her HRM (that I found her a steal on) tells her different!  No wonder she is getting speedy and FIT!

This weekend will be her official first half marathon.  She has already covered the distance several training runs, but it will be her first 1/2 mary race and I know she will do awesome.  I am sooo excited for her!

The best thing about it all is she lives only about 15 minutes from me and the Headwaters Path is between us and makes for gorgeous soft scenic running grounds.  I foresee lots and lots of runs with sis in our future.  The best thing is she has come so far so fast that already she makes for a comfortable training partner!

Saturday, we ran the first 7 mi together and then I went on to run my last 3 at planned race pace for Sunday's Columbus half mary.  I was pleased that I hit my race pace with no real issues....but can I sustain that for 13 miles?????  Who knows!  Guess we shall see!  All I really care about is being able to run healthy this winter and watching sis succeed and if I hit that lofty goal time on my lackluster post im training, it will just be a bonus!

Summary since Friday-
Sat- 7 mi at 8:45, 3 at 6:50
Sat eve- SUPER FUN single speed, monster cross, mtb tour de chagrin falls ride, 13 mi
Sun-nada....yard work :-(
Mon- 6 AM Performance Cycle, 1200 M Swim

Friday, October 08, 2010

Getting back into the swing of things

So 3 weeks post ironman, I am finally getting back to the swing of things.  My workout schedule has had to  chang as works hours have changed a bit.  No more long lunch workouts but I get to start at 9AM instead of 8AM.  This has been a bit of an adjustment as I now need to make sure I am up early or likely I will not get in a workout as it seems evenings get tough.

After the lackluster weekend of working out, Monday I set out to do the run I meant to do over the weekend.  I was downtown Cleveland by 6:10 AM and started our heading down marginal after being slightly on edge with a homeless person that approach me in the dark parking lot as I was getting ready.  It was a cool start but I was clipping along in the dark against the cool wind.  Every shadow or random cat that crossed my path seemed to make me jump...I was missing my morning running partner.  Two just feels safer than one!  And I was waiting for the sun to finally come up as light just makes me feel more comfortable.  Once you run out past E55 and are out on the bike and hike path, I really enjoy the section running right next to the lake.  I made my first turn at 5.5 miles out and started to pick up the pace.  I was feeling comfortable and taking the pace below 7:30 but I started counting the time down until I knew I would hit Burke Lake Front Airport, my oasis in the desert, or rather my warm, clean bathroom right where I really need it!  After a pitstop I made my way past the Rock Hall, Science Center, Browns Stadium, headed up to the city before heading back down into the flats to pickup my last 2 miles.  Felt good with decent pacing, biggest annoyance is the right hip flexor which is still angry at me going on 2 weeks now.

Tuesday-day off or just call me a slacker.

Wednesday -hit 6AM Performance Cycle, super awesome class geared towards real cyclists at Lifetime Fitness Beachwood.  Tom, is a local racer and knows his stuff.  Love the computers on the bikes supplemented by my HRM.  The experience here is high end with nice sound system, great spin room and enjoy watching the tour or other races as we run through class.

After Cycling, hopped in the pool for 1200 before taking 5 minutes of hottub time for myself where I let the jets massage my calves and stretched out.  Oh what a fabulous way to start the day!

Thursday, I met up with CV for the downtown running...YA, so much better than alone!  We did a version of our normal OH City loop and did 10 short hill repeats on University Hill.  I found these much to my liking.  They were short enough not to kill ya but should still build strength.  Our final one was all the way to the top and the HR was in the sky...go figure!  After we made our way back to Rezults Fitness downtown I got in some stretching and then went on to a core/upper body workout.

Friday, repeat of Wednesday.  6AM Performance Cycle with KM.  I have known KM for awhile and I can't believe it took me so long to get to his class as it was really good stuff.  Added bonus was my friend CS was taking it too!  Wow, do I really work hard in this 1 hour period...can we say, sweaty mess???!!!  Then popped in the pool for a short 1000 before 5 more minutes hottub time.  Headed out to work feeling fab again.

Thoughts on the week-
-The opportunity to have some flexibility to choose some different workouts right now really is helping to keep it fresh and fun before I start hitting my very focused trainer workouts.  Love it!
-I forgot my dress shoes wed and my bra today...OMG I need spare stuff at work
-Morning wakeup is sheer torture and I want to cry at 4:55, but after prying myself up and getting in the workout, by 8:30 AM, I could not be happier!


Thursday, October 07, 2010

I'm with awesome!

Today I did something that I rarely do during the workday....go to lunch with one of my bike/run friends!

Weird, we usually just run at lunch!

Anyways, it was nice to just kick it like the normal folk do.

It had been a stressful morning at work and I am still buried under a deep pile of work and should not be blogging but this one deserves mention....

She showed up with these socks for me.....

LUV, LUV, LUV them and her too!  Somebody knows my love for hot pink and appreciates the random "I'm sort of big deal" and "I'm awesome!" joking around!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Fun fun fun would be to run run run!

With tri season officially closed, it is that time of the year that I love to focus on running!

I start thinking about my fall marathon.  Last year that was Columbus and that was the plan for this year too!  I was looking forward to it but it was after last years marathon that I got my tibia stress fracture.

All year, the tibia has felt tender when mileage ramped up.  I have given this much thought.  I was thinking that I was in pretty good shape to set a marathon pr right now but I have decided I would not trade an extra 13.1 miles for another winter off!  So I am going to do the half instead.

One of my favorite running partners has been dealing with injury much of the year too so perhaps we will both be able to run half pr's and run together for the most part!  Should be fun!  Plus both of our awesome hubbies which cheered for us last yr at the marathon, can pal around together as we both do the half this time around.  Plus my sister is going to run her first half there!

I am not sure what to running volume has been low and I mean low!  The last two weekends were SUPER DOOPER fun weddings which consisted of way too little exercise and making up for it with way too much alcohol and bad food.  Time to recommit to the standard training regimen! 

So I am comfortable with the half switch although sometimes I think the goal I was targettting for the marathon was would be less difficult to achieve than what I am setting my sights on for this half!  Anyways, my only real goal is to enjoy myself down there with my many friends, watch my sister kick butt, stay healthy and uninjured, and get to actually have a wonderful offseason of running to look forward to!  This will include CTC's costume run, running trails with all my pals signing up for R4R, the SERC holiday runs, and many many more!

This weekend I am looking forward to my last "long" run with my sister and carving some pumpkins with her 4yr ole twin cutie pies!