Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Faster

After a long break, because frankly I don't like the workouts, I headed back to the track this week.  I'm only going to get faster if I do faster workouts, right?  The workout this week was 2 X 1200 and 4 X 800 with 2:00 rest interval in between each.  Ugh!  Anything longer than a 400 is too long, in my opinion. 

I had barely started my warmup and my iPod said to me, "battery low."  Crap!  So, I turned it off to conserve battery and use it during the actual workout.  The workout started, turned on the iPod and again, "battery low".  Not even 100 meters into the first 1200 and the iPod died.  Shoot!  I would be doing a track workout sans iPod.  This was going to suck. 

But it didn't suck, too badly.  I mean, I didn't enjoy it, but I was turning pretty good paces.

1200 - 5:08 (6:51 pace)
1200 - 4:58 (6:37 pace)
800 - 3:17 (6.34 pace)
800 - 3:17 (6:34 pace)
800 - 3:21 (6:42 pace)
800 - 3:18 (6:36 pace)

Guess those 53 days of running in a row did me good.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The baby is 4 months old, already!!!

"It's my birthday, bitches!"

We had our four month checkup at the pediatrician today and The Bug is doing great (despite getting 4 shots!!!).  His head is still gigantic at 90th percentile.  He is super long - 26 inches - in the 75th percentile.  His tiny on the weight size, though.  Only 25th percentile at 14 pounds 2 ounces.  The doctor didn't seem concerned though as he's gaining weight and seems fine.  I was a tall, skinny child (yes I once was tall), so I guess he's taking after me.

What else?

Anderson has reached a fun age.  He smiles, he laughs, he tries to talk to you and talks often.  He can roll from his back to his front all the time and sometimes can manage from his front to his back.  Although, he does it using momentum instead of using his feet and hands.  He's starting to hold his bottle all by himself.  He sits in his high chair while we eat or do things in the kitchen.  He's grown out of most of his clothes and is already fitting in 9 month clothing because of his length.  He has kept all his hair and looks more and more like a little boy every day.  People are surprised all the time when we tell them how old he is because he looks so much older.

Anderson is just awesome and I love him a little more every day. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Doing what a mother runner has to do

Dave had a race this morning.  What a cluster that was!  First of all, packet pick-up was only for five hours downtown at the Health and Fitness Expo.  So we hurried back from Michigan so he could make it on time.  The race was point-to-point starting up in Delaware at Alum Creek and finished downtown.  So he had to drop off his bike way up in Delaware also on Saturday.  When he got there he discovered that none of his gears would work.  Hoping that he could hook up with the bike mechanics in the morning, he left his bike racked.  By this point it was after 9:00pm and he picked up a pizza on his way home.  I put the baby to bed by myself on Saturday.  After dinner at 10:00, Dave did a little bit of work.  Then his alarm went off at 3:00am (!!!!!) today so that he could make it downtown to catch the shuttle at FIVE FREAKIN' AM!!! to get up to Alum Creek for his race start before 7:00.  Oh my stars!  Needless to say, Anderson and I stayed home and wished him luck on Saturday.

But that had nothing to do with the title of this post, sorta.

Um, I didn't run while I was in Michigan.  Like, at all.  Going into today I had a whopping 2 miles for the week.  That's not very much considering I'm supposed to be training for an ultra.  :)  Today I was supposed to run 15 trail miles, but really wanted to get it done early and not have to wait for Dave to get home from his race.  But, um, I have the baby.  What did I do?  I decided a mile is a mile is a mile so I hit the roads with Anderson in the BOB.  I had planned on the full 15 miles.  I had gels packed, water, diapers, etc.  What I didn't pack was a bottle and the run was dragging on a little longer than I intended.  So, I turned around at 4 miles to make it 8 miles instead of the full 15.  I planned on doing the remaining 7 miles later in the day on my own.  A mile is a mile is a mile, right?  (Those 7 miles never happened.)

By the way, I averaged sub-10:00s with the stroller for 8 miles.  Nice!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pure Michigan

Although we were not at the beach, there was lots of water and lots of sand.  Here's tons of pictures of the adventures of our short, unplanned, vacation.

Let's just say, I'm not so good at kayaking.  Or I wasn't very good at kayaking on this try.  Our house was right on the Platte River so we loaded up the kayaks into the van, drove aways down the road, and dropped ourselves into the river.  Then we followed into until we got to the house and got pulled out of the water.  The river had a current and we went with it.  It also had a lot of trees and sometimes those trees got in the way.  I ran into many a tree but stayed afloat.  My sister on the other hand, was not so lucky as she got flipped three times.

On the pontoon
My family rented a pontoon boat one of the days.  Unfortunately, Dave didn't get to go with us as he had to work, but I rearranged my schedule so I could go.  It was cold that morning.  I was on the boat in my sweatshirt and jeans.  I was on vacation, damn it, and I climbed in the water to try out some tubing of my own.  Everyone did some tubing and some swimming during the day, including baby Anderson.  He really did not like his lifejacket, though.

More Tubing
After hanging out on the pontoon all day and doing a little shopping around Glen Arbor, we came back to the house, grabbed our intertubes and headed out to soak up the sun on the river.  This time Dave joined us as we floated down for a while.  I was only slightly better at this than kayaking.  At least I could get out and touch and move the tube if needed.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes
The last day of our trip we headed to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park to take the scenic drive and catch some sites.  Dude, those dunes are tall and windy and sandy.  Here's a cute family photo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Tuesday started out like any other day and ended with what seemed like the world's longest drive on the darkest roads I have ever been traveled.

My parents and my sister and her family are on vacation this week somewhere way up north in Michigan. The family was running a 5K on Tuesday morning and my mom sent me a cute picture of the family.

My dad, my sister, and all her kids.

Future marathoner - already sporting the hydration belt.

I started texting back and forth with my mom.  She mentioned the house they were staying in slept 18 and that Dave and I should come up for the rest of the week.  Dave and I both have very flexible jobs (he works remotely all the time, and I easily can).  I finished out my work day, headed home, and planted the seed with Dave.  Before we knew it, we had thrown everything except the kitchen sink in the car (I wish I had taken a picture) and put the dogs (we were dogsitting for my parents) in the kennel and we were off to the middle of nowhere Michigan.

The drive took forever - 7-1/2 hours-ish.  And it was a rough drive too because we didn't arrive until almost midnight and we had to drive these 55 mph backroads with tall trees on both sides and no street lights.  Three times we had to stop for deer to cross our path.  Finally we arrived at 11:40pm with a screaming baby and the whole house was asleep.  We settled into our basement bunk bed (oh yes!) and caught a few hours of sleep before our adventures began.

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Admission: I do not handle weekly high mileage very well.  And by high mileage, I mean anything beyond 30 miles in a week.  My body and my mind fatigue very easily.  Having just done 53 days in a row of run streaking, I'm feeling a little burnt out.  There are races on the schedule, though, which means I've got to power through.  This means the current training I am doing is more about surviving than actual training.

Sunday marked my first "official" training run towards my trail marathon and 50K.  There are only a few trails around town and most of them require a 1/2 hour drive or more.  So, although the one closest to my house is probably the shortest of all the trails, I decided to do the run there and not waste time in the car.  Dave had a long ride to do and I needed to be done quickly.

It has pretty much rained the entire summer and Saturday was no exception, which means the trails were kinda messy Sunday morning.  I start my run on a two mile loop on a trail that is not maintained.  Part of the trail is a grassy area which was completely under water yesterday.  Then the other trails had big ruts in them due to rain run off.  There was a lot of quick stepping around on the trail.  Thank goodness for all that jump rope I've been doing.

I'm not gonna lie, this run was hard.  It was humid as balls and I was sweating bullets.  I was soaked before the first two miles ended.  And the bugs.  Oh the bugs!  Every time I stopped to eat a gel or take a bathroom break, I got swarmed and eaten alive.  This is what I looked like today:

I got through it, though and ended up with 13 trail miles and a lovely souvenir from my new hydration pack.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm making the right decision by tackling trail running.  To be honest, I don't exactly love the trails.  I love the roads.  I don't like running the trails alone and I don't have a training partner.  The thought of doing another marathon or longer is daunting to me.  I haven't done a marathon since 2009.  I certainly haven't done one on trails either.  For now, I'm going to keep at it and just see what comes of it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week in Review

Monday - 1 mile treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was three rounds of 15 cleans at 60 pounds, and 100 jump ropes.

I've been doing a lot of jump rope lately along with using my balance board.  I am hoping the two of these exercises will help improve my ankle strength and get me prepared to run little quick, choppy steps for trail running.

Tuesday - 9 miles treadmill
I'm so tired of running on the treadmill, but it was 93 degrees when I started this run and I wasn't about to attempt a long run outside in that kind of weather.

Wednesday - 1.25 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Five rounds of 400s on the treadmill followed by 15 overhead squats at 45 pounds.

Thursday - 4 miles, 0.25 hours strength training
I started this run outside, but again it was like 900 degrees and I was melting into the pavement.  I did the first three miles outside and then did the last mile on the treadmill.  I also did three rounds of 100 jump ropes and 10 oblique crunch-thingies at 35 pounds.

Friday - Off

Saturday - Off

Sunday - 13 miles trail
The trail marathon training has officially started.  I'll write about this run tomorrow.

Running - 28.25
Strength training - 0.75 hours

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Streak Broken!!!

After 7+ weeks of run streaking (running at least a mile every day), I broke the streak this week. 

 I didn't just sorta break the streak.  I took two days off completely.

I just didn't want to run.  My hip was hurting, my knees were achy, I was tired, blah, blah, blah.  I knew the running streak couldn't go on forever, but I'm a little sad it is over.  I wonder how long I could have kept it up.  Maybe it's time to start a new one....

Friday, July 19, 2013

Foto Friday

I work really early in the morning, 6-10am.  I leave the house while everyone is still asleep, including the baby.  Sometimes Dave will send me texts in the morning of pictures of the baby when he wakes up.  This week they've been especially good.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week in Review

I don't know why, but the run streak is still in effect.  I've now made it 49 days, SEVEN WEEKS!!!!, of running at least one mile a day.  When will it stop?!?

Monday - 9 miles treadmill
I has rained for like a gazillion days in a row.  It was either run this on the treadmill or build an ark.

Tuesday - 2 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 21-15-9 reps of front squats (55 pounds), deadlifts (85 pounds), and shoulder press (45 pounds).

Wednesday - 2 miles, 0.25 hours strength training
Dave was using the treadmill while it was storming outside.  I waited and waited for him to be done so I could run one measly mile.  While waiting, though, the weather cleared up and got sunny again, so I headed outside for 2 miles.  I also did 50-40-30-20-10 reps of jump ropes and BOSU situps.

Thursday - 3 miles with the stroller, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 3 X 10 reps of shoulder press (45 pounds), squats (55 pounds), deadlifts (85 pounds).

Friday - 1 mile treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
4 rounds of 1/4 mile run followed by 5 clean and jerks at 55 pounds.

Saturday - 6.2 miles
Darby Creek Trail 10K.  Read the race report here.

Sunday - 12 miles
Dave had 50 miles to ride on his bike followed by a run, so I let him do it first since it would take so long.  So, I didn't get to start my run until 4:00pm and it was HOT outside.  I started the run outside but turned around early.  I just couldn't handle the heat.  I did 8.5 miles outside and then did the remaining 3.5 inside on the treadmill.  The first 8.5 I averaged 8:50s.

Totals -
Running: 35.2 miles
Strength training: 1 hour

Saturday, July 13, 2013

FLIP Darby Creek Trail 10K

My comeback 5Ks are over and now it's time for some fun.  From here until the end of the year, except for one race, everything else currently scheduled is a trail race. Why?  I thought I would try something new.  I've reached happiness and I'm content with my running.  Sure I still want to go out and beat people, but I don't have anything to prove in terms of running a marathon in X amount of time or qualify for Boston at every race or whatnot.  I have always thought my running style might translate well to trail running, so I thought I'd give it a try this year.  Why not?!

This race was at a metropark I had never been to: Darby Creek.  I had read some reviews from last year's race saying it was hilly and that you had to climb a tough flight of stairs right at the end of the race.  I was pretty relaxed going into this race.  I had zero expectations.  I didn't know if there would be mile markers or water stops or how big the race would be, what the terrain would be, etc.  I lined up, the horn blew, and I was off.

The race started in the parking lot.  You ran to the end of the parking lot, made a sharp 180 degree turn onto a paved path, and then made a sharp left onto the trail.  Then we went downdowndowndown all the way to the creek.

Side note, I don't like to run downhill and I suck at it.  You do not want to be behind me when we go downhill as I slow to almost a walk.  I'd much rather run uphill.

Things go rolling (literally) and I noticed there were no mile markers.  That's cool.  I wasn't wearing a Garmin, just a watch, and I was carrying my own water.  So, I just decided to drink every 9:00 minutes.  I was moving pretty well so I figured I was not doing any slower than a 9:00 mile. I had settled in nicely right behind another woman and I felt like we were feeding off each other pretty well.  Until, there was a water stop and then she stopped to take in water.  At this point we had entered a field clearing, which was all grass and roots.  I was able to catch up and pass two more people in front of me including another woman.  The grass pathway was probably just over a mile and looped.  It then dumped us back to the same trail we came from.  At this point I maybe could see one person in front of me, but felt very alone.  The trail was mostly well marked but there were times I would come to a fork in the path and had no idea which way to go.  I didn't like that I had to slow up at each intersection and figure it out.  I felt like I was flying back and before I knew it I was headed up those daggone stairs.  They were steep!  Up the stairs and then bursting out of the forest back to the parking lot from where we started. 

Only at the top of the trail could I see there was another woman in front of me.  Despite feeling great and having a kick to the finish, I still wasn't able to catch her.  Dave said I finished, maybe, 7th overall female.

The race organizers arranged an after-race party at a local restaurant where there would be food, door prizes, and the awards.  The race results were up immediately on the website (I knew on the drive home!!!), so I knew I had placed 2nd in my age group.  I took the world's fastest shower and we headed out again for the after-party.  I didn't win any door prizes, but my loot for winning second in my age group was a t-shirt, a wristband, and a sticker.  Not anything I'll actually use or put on my trophy stand, but a nice gesture nonetheless.

Next trail race: a 10 miler in Dave's hometown.  I haven't actually signed up for this race yet, and hopefully I won't get closed out of it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Foto Friday

Here's your weekly dose of baby cuteness.

"Helping" with the laundry.

This picture is for Amy.  What is cuter than the baby snuggling with the dog?

He was so tired last week he fell asleep on the floor while we were fixing dinner.  We intended to leave him there while we ate, but of course, I accidentally dropped a spoon and woke him up.

Dave sends me pictures in the morning while I'm at work.  This is a happy baby.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Product Review: Oiselle Roga Running Shorts

**I bought this product myself.  The opinion expressed here are my own.**

I love new running clothes, but I don't like spending a lot of money on them.  I'm not likely to spend more than $20 on any item (shoes are the exception).  I mean, why spend a lot of money when you're going to wear it to death and beat the heck out of it?  But this has also resulted in some pretty crappy clothing that falls apart, bunches, chafes, and eventually molds and smells.

I have been following Oiselle through social media for quite some time now.  Although I had yet to try any of their products, I was starting to fall in love with the company.  I absolutely love what they are doing for women runners, especially at the elite level.  In addition, every time I read a review of their clothing, people were just gushing.  Why were those clothes so special?  For weeks I scoured their website searching for the perfect stuff.  I read reviews.  The prices were higher than I wanted to spend, but I really, really wanted to try some of their items.  Finally I bit the bullet and ordered three things: the Roga shorts, a ballcap, and the Lesko sports bra.

I ordered on Thursday July 4th and I received the items on Monday July 8th.  Great customer service!  Plus, the box came with extra goodies like a sticker, a pin (which is already on my backpack), and a temporary tattoo.

I had a long run to do on Monday so I immediately put these items on to test them out on this run.  The hat was great.  I always worry about hats fitting me as I have a tiny pinhead.  The sports bra was TIGHT, but isn't that how sports bras are supposed to be.  And I thought the shorts were a little long, but was willing to give them a try.  I really didn't have a choice.  There were no smaller sizes.  Anyway, to thoroughly test the products I did the run with zero Body Glide.  Having not completely lost the baby weight and still a little bigger in certain areas, I was expecting to get chafed.  But you know what....

The Oiselle Roga is the best freakin' running short I have ever worn!!!!  First of all, I love the fabric.  They are stretchy but not clingy.  The shorts did not ride at all and I did not get chafed one bit.  I also love the yoga-type waistband that did not make me look like I'm still losing the baby fat.  Seriously, I want to wear these shorts for every long run and race I have.  I love them so much, I immediately went onto the website and bought another pair. 

Oh Oiselle!  You continue to impress me!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Week in Review

The Runner's World run streak technically ended this week, but regardless, I ran every day again this week.  I'm now at 42 days in a row and counting.  How long will I keep this up?  I don't know, but it's working on getting me back in shape so I'll continue for now.

Monday - 1 mile treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 3 X 10 reps of behind the head jerks at 45 pounds.

Tuesday - 10 miles
This is the only workout of the week which I actually did that was on the schedule.  All the other runs I just kinda made up as I went along.  The run was prescribed as "just run."  So I went out for 10 miles and averaged 8:49 for the whole lot.  That's not bad considering it was hotter than BALLS outside!

Wednesday - 2 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of TRX rows (with elbows tucked), BOSU situps, and squats at 45 pounds.

Thursday - NA Independence Day 5K
Read about the race here.

Friday - 1 mile treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 21-15-9 reps of overhead squats at 35 pounds and deadlifts at 90 pounds.

Saturday - 4.25 miles
I had planned on doing 5 but good grief it was humid outside and I was running without water.

Sunday - 2.65 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
I thought 2.65 miles would get me an even 25 miles for the week but I counted wrong.  It only came out to 24.  I could have run another mile.  Strength training was 21-15-9 reps of cleans at 55 pounds and dips off the weight bench.

Running - 24 miles
Strength training - 1 hour

Friday, July 05, 2013

New Albany Independence Day 5K 2013

It's a holiday, therefore we must race!  This year a Fourth of July race was offered just up the street from home so Dave, Dad, and I all signed up.  I had intended to push the stroller during the race but my mom offered to watch him, so the race was on!  Yesterday morning we were woken up by rain so plans changed a little.  Instead of my mom and the baby being at the race to spectate, we now how to drop him off at my parents' house and would travel with my dad to the race.  I had picked up our race packets before the race so we were not in a time crunch, at least. 

When we arrived at the race it appeared very small.  We also noticed that there were apple pies for the age group awards and individual-sized apple pies as a finisher's award.  Sweet!  Literally!  So we were ready to race to earn our pie.  The race started with kids races starting with a crawl for babies that could not yet walk.  Seriously cute.  I wish Anderson could have participated.  After the kids races we all lined up.  Dave lined up close to the front, I was a few rows back, and Dad lined up even further back.  We took off and I felt pretty comfortable.  I was huffing and puffing but did not feel out of control.  I was surprised, then, when I hit the first mile marker in 6:45.  Sure the first mile was downhill, but things felt fine so I kept rolling.  During the second mile I got passed by two people pushing strollers.  I thought for sure I was slowing down, but I wasn't as I hit the two mile mark at 7:04.  Then I got thinking, hmmm, maybe I've got a shot to PR?!  Seven minutes came and went in the third mile and then eight minutes.  Where the heck was that mile marker (I never saw it)?  I tried my hardest to repass the girl with the stroller but came up just a little short.  In the end I raced a 23:08 which is a whole minute faster than my first 5K back from pregnancy.  Dave ran a 21:30.  What's crazy is that I finished third in my age group out of over 45 (30-39 age group) and therefore I got a big pie.  Even crazier, I was less than 15 seconds from winning my age group.

Dave finished 5th in his age group with a 21:30.  He was only 17 second out of placing.  That sucks (for him) that he beat me by a minute and a half and I was the one who placed in my age group.  My dad, who raced in the 50+ age group finished 14th!!!! in his age group and he was about halfway in his age group.  Holy moly!  That's a lot of old dudes.  :)

 The baby looks so happy to be having his picture taken.

It may have been a small race, but it was competitive.  They've already said they're bringing the race back next year and I look forward to running it again.

Next up, trail racing!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Trail Running: I Need Your Help

As I've noted before, I've decided to venture into trail running this year.  And I know absolutely nothing about it!  Starting next week I've got a series of races planned for the remainder of the year that start at a 10K and will eventually work up to a 50K.  Here are a few things for which I need help.  If you know anything about trail/ultra running, can you help out?

There are only two or three trails around these parts to train on and they're not very technical.  They are metro parks that have gravel, maintained trails.  I only run on trail once a week and the remainder of time on the roads.  However, the races I am planning may have more technical trails with roots, rocks, grass, etc.  Right now I am doing all my training, including my trail training, in a pair of road-specific running shoes.  After messing up my ankle in high school during tennis camp, I have really weak ankles, and roll it every single time I run on the trails.  Should I invest in a pair of trail shoes?  Do they really make that much of a difference on the trails? Can it help my weak ankles?  One of the trail races I am doing has about 10% off the race on paved roads.  Is it bad to wear trail shoes on pavement?

I am a little OCD about hydrating while racing long.  I only drink water and I must, must, must drink every mile.  Obviously with trail racing there is not a water stop at every single mile.  I will need to carry water with me.  I see a lot of trail runner's wearing the hydration backpacks or using handhelds.  I don't particularly like carrying a handheld.  I know it can break your fall if you trip without messing up your hands, but I find them annoying and heavy.  My max distance for carrying one is about 6 miles.  I have a Nathan water belt which I wear on all my long runs.  Wouldn't it be easier to refill the water bottles in this pack than having to take the bladder out of a backpack?  Is there a reason to wear one of the hydration backpacks as opposed to a water belt? 

This may be the most interesting topic for me when it comes to ultra running?  Why do people eat all that real food during an ultra?  I'm talking potato chips and PBJ and whatnot.  Especially for a 50K, it really confuses me.  A 50K is *only* 6 miles than a marathon.  I've always only eat gels during a marathon.  I would only need to eat 1-2 more gels during a 50K.  What's the reason behind eating real food as opposed to gels?

I have been road racing now for 12 years and I know exactly what to expect to pace during a race.  My body has been fine-tuned to realize even slight deviations in pace.  I do not wear a Garmin during racing yet I can hit consistent time intervals mile after mile after mile.  But when it comes to trail racing, I have no idea what I'm doing.  I know I have to slow down.  It's just not the same - the terrain, the hills - can really change things.  But what kind of pacing should I expect?  Do I intentionally practice at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00/miles or do I just run freely and see what comes of it?  And I read a lot of race reports that say it's easier/faster to walk up some hills as oppose to run up them.  How do I determine that?  Do you practice that?

Internet, I need your help!  Any insight is helpful.  Please leave me a comment if you know ANYTHING about trail racing.

Monday, July 01, 2013

June Totals

June was a busy month.  There was lots and lots of running.  I ran two races - an aquathlon and a 5K.  I also went back to work.  The baby got big, big, big.  Overall, I have so far enjoyed summer. 

Swimming - 1800m
This was all done in the aquathlon on the very first day of the month.  Yep, I didn't go to the gym once.  I've really got to get back into swimming.

Running - 117.85
Obviously, I ran every day in June and racked up a lot of miles.  I officially started my training for my fall races and have improved my speed and endurance.  I'm slowly making my way back.

Strength training - 2.25 hours
I use the crossfit.com website to see the workout of the day and then I modify it to work with the equipment I have, my ability levels, and the strength I need.

I read one book this month, "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell.  It was a cute, teenage, love story that took me a while to get into and then I absolutely loved it.  I didn't want it to end.  She's got many other books so I might have to try out another one.

What was your June like?  How is summer treating you so far?