Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon wrap up

As I expected, I didn't PR at Sunday's half-marathon. But that's okay, because sometimes races are about more than just the numbers.

We got to the race around 8 and had some trouble parking so by the time I got the bathrooms the line was huge for both the inside park bathrooms and the portapotties. I had gone to the bathroom 5 or 6 times before I left the house so I thought I'd be okay. No. I'm going to have to get there earlier next year.

Me, Tracy & Kathleen before the race

I met up with a few friends running the half and we started out together but I was determined not to try to keep up with anybody this year. I was going to just run and be happy doing it. It was somewhat difficult at first to think of Fallon and run happy. If I thought about the details too much, the exact opposite would occur and well, running and crying are not a good mix. So I switched gears and thought about how strong she was and how much good she has done. I ran most of the race "alone" but ran into (no pun intended) a couple of fellow Strong Running Mamas who very nicely took pictures.

I'm not the guy in purple.


The entire time I was running I was peeing. I was prepared for it but it was somewhat distracting. I think next year instead of using the hydration vest I will run with a catheter and a pee-bag. 

When I hit mile 11 my toes hurt, my arms kind of hurt, my legs didn't really want to move anymore. I really wanted to just be done but I had so much further to go. Even further than I thought because my beloved Bia added a half-mile for me. I don't think I could have really added a half-mile from zigzagging, so I don't know what was up with that. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. And then I thought about how hard Fallon fought for her 11 days and surely couldn't I fight for a couple more miles? I was determined not to let her down. I had to finish so I could donate to her cause. She came through for me and pushed me on. 

Pushing on
When I got into the home stretch I could see my family waiting. I will be honest, I had a hard time not crying. But I was determined to run happy, so run happy was what I did. 

High fives!
When I saw the finish line I let it all go and ran as fast as I could and finished really really strong. My official final time was 2:23:11, 8 minutes slower than last year. I was actually pretty pleased I came in before 2:30. Last year I ran hard with friends and did 2:15. This year I ran "easy" by myself and was only 8 minutes behind. Most of the time I ran with a smile on my face, thanking volunteers and laughing at signs ("Run faster, we all just farted."). When I wanted to quit, I didn't. Sure, it would have been great if my easy running led to a 2:00 finish, but that wasn't going to happen. I had a good run and on top of it all, I was able to make a nice donation to Fallon's fund.

I'm taking this week off from running so that I can try to catch up with all the things I've neglected. I don't want to take much longer off though. I know how a week turns into 4. I want to take advantage of stroller running weather for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to get back out there. Part of me wants to just take a nice break but a larger part of me wants to do a reverse taper and get back up to 10 miles in a couple of weeks and stay there. I'm not sure if the winter will cooperate with me, but I'd like to get as many miles in this winter as I can. I need to get these legs nice and ready for when I do PR at next year's half marathon. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

A special half marathon goal



On Sunday I will run my second half-marathon (or thirteener as some like to say). I've been training for it for 16 weeks now and I think I'm ready. I've been thinking a lot about my goals and time and running and what's important. Last year I did it in 2:15:02 which was exactly my A goal. It would be great if I can do it faster this year, it would be good if I can make it close to that. But honestly, I only have one goal in mind.

I'm going to run each mile with little Fallon Jade Rilling on my mind and in my heart. A year ago today she was born and I remember talking about her as I was running last year's race. Worrying because she wasn't doing well. I had no way of knowing she would live such a short life. Just 11 days. She was born with a very rare--but rare doesn't mean impossible--disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. There was nothing they could do, no way to prevent it (that we know of), no way to cure. More research is needed to help parents from having to experience this horror. The Rillings have raised an amazing amount of money on their own but until there's a cure, it's not enough. 

If you'd like to donate to her birthday fund: http://www.gofundme.com/Fallon-Jade-Rilling . If you'd rather donate directly, you can do so here: http://www.acd-association.com .

I've already donated to her birthday fund but I feel like I have to do more. If I had my butt in gear earlier I would have set up some kind of fundraising thing, but my butt is rarely in gear these days. So, whatever my average pace is for this half-marathon, I will multiply it by 13.1 and donate that as well.

If you can't spare any extra money right now, please honor Fallon by being grateful and satisfied with your lives. If I could pack up some peace and joy and send it to the Rillings I would. If you're the praying sort, perhaps you could send some their way?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's stats


September is always so crazy with back to school and soccer and crap. I ran more this month than last month but not quite as much as I did in July (or September of last year). Considering how insane our soccer schedule has been and how incapable of getting up before 8:00 I am, I'm okay with September's miles. 

Stats

Mileage: 69.8
Runs: 12
Crosstraining: Laundry?

Yes. 69.8! Had I known while I was on the treadmill yesterday that I was so close to 70 I would have added .2, but alas I had set out to run 40 minutes and that is what I did. I briefly considered hopping back on but I had just run intervals and I was done with it. 

I am in week 13 of my training plan. For some reason I decided to do 4 runs a week instead of the 3 I did last year… or I should say I decided to plan 4 runs a week. Unless I get up before the sun I can't do 4 a week. Particularly if I wind up doing my long run on Friday because of weekend insanity. I am greatly looking forward to our weekends calming down. Although basketball will start up in December it's only one kid and Vader won't have to mow the lawn, so our weekends should be somewhat easier. 

I am in taper mode and only have to run 6 this weekend… but we'll have two soccer games, two soccer picture times (in a different location) and other stuff to do. My preschool playdates start up this week as well, so I've got plenty to keep me busy. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

About those 12 miles

I ran 11 miles on Sunday but because of soccer and birthday parties and our crazy lives, I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my long run on the weekend. So I asked my MIL to watch LightRunner and just 5 days after running 11 miles, I ran 12 for the first time in a year

Now, I have gotten to the point where I am thinking that I will never run another half marathon and I'm tired of long runs and why am I doing this? I'm doing most of my runs alone so there's no girl power sisterhood feeling like last year. Jen is nursing a baby, Sara is doing the marathon instead, Tracy has gotten pretty speedy and will probably finish a good 10-15 minutes before me. So the motivation is a little low. And after running 11 miles just FIVE DAYS AGO I was pretty nervous about this run. I knew when I was doing the 11 that I would have to do 12 pretty soon after so I tried to be smart and ran pretty slow. Which wasn't hard because I had to pee the whole time until I finally found an unlocked portapotty in front of a house being built and it was the best pee EVER. I planned on doing today's 12 pretty slow too because the last thing I need is another injury. 

I had a plan to cut the 12 miles into thirds. For the first 4 miles I would run really slow, even walking when I didn't have to, just to make sure that I was really warming up and not starting too fast. I did this no problem. Then I wanted to run the next 4 miles at my race pace (10:00) and then slow down a bit for the last 4 and hopefully wind up with an 11:30 average pace (I just read that your long run should be 30-90 seconds slower than your goal pace so I was shooting for 90 secs.). But when I hit mile 4 there was a bit of a problem. My left foot--the supposed good one--started cramping up for no stinking reason but even more than that I had to pee again!! Argh with the pee!! So I spent the next couple of miles focusing on not peeing and not focusing on running faster. Such is life. I finally found a spot to pee in the woods and it was lovely. I decided to just try to make sure my second half was faster than my first since my overall plan got messed up. 

I did it.

My average for the first 4 miles was 12 which was right where I wanted it to be.

Splits: 
1: 11:04
2: 12:25
3: 11:53
4: 12:49

My next 4 was not 10 minute miles but they were faster with an 11:23 average time.

5: 11:46
6: 11:29
7: 11:01
8: 11:17

My last 4 miles were my fastest with an average of 10:43. I kind of wish I had reversed mile 11 and 12 for true negative splits, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 

9: 11:17
10: 10:37
11: 10:27
12: 10:31

My overall pace was 11:22. I am stoked. I still feel like this will be my last half marathon, but I am really happy that I did what I sent out to do. These 12 miles were FASTER than the 11 I just did and yet I feel so much better than I did after those 11 miles. If I could just turn off my bladder everything would be so much easier. 

My Beloved Bia knows me so well.
The back.
One of the reasons my bladder is fuller is that I went ahead and bought myself a Nathan hydration vest so I don't have to use the belt anymore. The belt was getting too irritating and just not working out for me. I looked at both the CamelBak and the Nathan vests and decided on the Nathan Women's Intensity Race vest. The reviews were pretty good. I liked that the bladder is removable and easy to clean. It can hold 70 ounces which is more than I need but I like the option. I need to drink so much more than most people because of the whole kidney stone thing so I really can't get away with just a handheld. The first time I ran with it I forgot to suck the air out so it sloshed the whole time, but it wasn't as annoying as I thought. Today I sucked it out and there was no sloshing. It's comfortable and so much easier than the belt. I tend to drink less if I have to grab a bottle out of a belt, but I don't run anywhere that I could easily refill a handheld. The pockets are so much easier to use too. There's a big pocket in the back that can hold my keys and tissues and spare money and whatever. My favorite though is the pockets on the front. There's a bottle pocket on one side and then a zippered pocket for your phone on the other. Because I have an otter box on my phone and I don't need an extra bottle, I put my phone in the bottle side. It fits perfectly and is in easy reach. I put my honey stingers in the zippered pocket and my pepper spray in the outer one on that side. It's the perfect setup. I think I might wear this for all my runs regardless of distance! It was reasonably priced and I haven't had any problems with it. No chafing anywhere, no unusual shoulder pain. I've only used it twice so I don't want to jump the gun, but if you're looking into a hydration vest I would recommend looking into this one.  
The front

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All the feels

This weekend a few of my closest friends are doing another Ragnar Relay--Reach the Beach in NH. I'm not doing it with them. I have a perfectly good reason but it's still making me sad and grumpy… I can't believe I feel this way but I wish I was doing it with them! I want to be not sleeping in the van and running in the dark and simultaneously feeling like I will both never poop again and have diarrhea. But alas I can't because this weekend is Skywalker's birthday party. His TENTH birthday party. As in 10.

10.

Ten is big. 1 is big and 5 is big, but 10 is the first amount of years that has its own special name. On Wednesday next week he will have been alive for a whole DECADE. Which means I have been a mother for a decade. I've been changing diapers for a decade (really wish I was done with that one).

Ten years ago I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I had no idea what the future would bring. I had no idea what kind of mom I would be. And then SkyWalker came along and it was ok. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago (harder to believe there have been 3 more babies since him). He was so tiny when he was born--just 5 pounds when we brought him home--and now he is nearly as tall as me. I'm thinking he'll be just as tall if not taller by the end of the school year. He is so smart and reads so much and he is such a good big brother to LightRunner. LightRunner loves him so so much. He's not quite as nice to his sisters as he used to be but they're kind of a pain in the ass sometimes.

So I am feeling all emotional that my first baby is going to be 10 in less than a week… and then today one of my closest friends who also cannot do Reach the Beach (for a very good reason) had her third baby girl. We have been waiting and waiting for this little lady to arrive and now she is finally here. Even my kids are excited. My girls love her older girls and we all love her and now there's a new little baby for us to fawn over and love. I can't wait to meet her. The only thing better than having your own baby is when someone you love has one.

I am feeling ALL THE FEELS.

Monday, September 8, 2014

August stats & back to school


As I suspected my August stats weren't quite as high as July. There were no more stroller runs and it was hard to motivate myself to use the treadmill when the sun was shining and the kids had things to do. I knew it was our last month of summer fun so I let running take a bit of a back seat. We had some traveling to do and at the end of the month we went to Great Escape for the first time. We actually stayed for 3 days. I did my long (10 mile) run before we went and then spent the weekend walking the park. It was the perfect end to our summer--quite literally since we got back the day Chewie had her bus safety day at school. The next day the big kids went back and the day after that Chewie started kindergarten. This is our first full week of school and I'm anticipating being able to get some stroller runs done as well as some Jessica Smith videos now that I only have one child at home. One child who naps. I hope the weather holds out as long as it can so I can keep up with the stroller runs.

It is quiet without the kids and I miss them, especially Chewie since I am used to her being around, but they all seem to be happy with school this year. Chewie is doing great and got on the bus with a huge smile on her face. It makes it somewhat easier to let her go. I am glad I have LightRunner to keep me company and entertain me. He repeats EVERYTHING I say and has such a great sense of humor. I think he will fill the void okay.

Next weekend is SkyWalker's 10th birthday party so I'll be doing my long (12 miles) run on Friday, which is less than a week after doing my last long run (Sunday, 11 miles). I have reached the point when I am looking forward to tapering and kind of wondering if I want to do this again. It's hard to fit in with soccer schedules and school requirements and life. It's much easier to squeeze in a 6 mile run than a 12.

Stats:

August:

Mileage: 56.7
Runs: 11
Races: 1
Crosstraining: Swimming, biking, vacuuming


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EveryMove App

EveryMove on my phone

I've been meaning to write a post about a new app I downloaded for a while now. I was reading a lot of posts about EveryMove through the SweatPink community, including local runner Darlene's recent blog post, and I was curious. I'm a sucker for stats and logging things and I'm also pretty cheap. With EveryMove you earn points for activities that you do--from house cleaning to playing with kidto running--and those points earn you discounts off various things you can buy or charities you can raise money for. So far I've gotten really nice socks, a beach bag that I LOVE and would not have bought otherwise, a discount on EnergyBits, and donated money to cancer research. I downloaded the app on my phone, but I also use it through its web interface on my iPad and computer.

I love that all of your activities count not just the traditional exercise. Biking in the driveway, swimming  in my pool, vacuuming the floors all get points. Not as much as a long run, but it still counts. It's a good reminder that you can stay active throughout the day without formal exercise. If you have a device that measures your activity and you sync it to EveryMove you get extra points. My beloved Bia watch isn't included yet, but MapMyRun is. So I run with my beloved Bia, it automatically uploads to MayMyRun which then automatically syncs to EveryMove. I've suggested they add Bia so I can eliminate the middle man, but it's working for now.

I also synced my Moves App from my phone but I stopped using it after just a couple of days. It registered a stroller run as biking and my biking as walking and it ate up too much of my battery life. I'm not interested in getting another tracker… my beloved Bia (yes, that's what I call it) tracks my running and biking (and swimming too!) and I really don't need to know how many steps I take food shopping. When Apple releases their new phone and tracker I might be singing a different tune… but for now I'm just manually adding my non-run activities. I would love a sleep tracker though because I can't remember the last time I slept a whole night even though my kids do all the time.

In addition to earning points and discounts, you can also have friends on EveryMove and see their activities as well. You can give points to them and they can give points to you and there's a leaderboard so you can have friendly competition to see who is the most active. It's a great way to motivate yourself to move. If you're on EveryMove, be my friend! I'm pretty generous with the points.

I was not compensated in any way for this post. I downloaded the free app on my own and these are my honest opinions.