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. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Clove Run

It's a good thing I'm not stressing out about races anymore since I didn't do nearly as well as I have in the past. I started out just a wee bit too fast for me, totally unsurprising because the race was pretty small this year, and I hoped I could keep it up, but I didn't. I tried to surge a couple of times but I kinda just didn't have it in me. My right heel has been bothering me a bit so it may have been that, but really I think I just petered out. We finished in 28:56.

Side by side


I kinda don't care.

The entire time I ran Vader was by my side. We finished at exactly the same time, but because of age groups and gender differences he wound up with a 2nd place medal! I ran the 1 mile with the Princess before the 5K and that was fun… and long. My mother was there to watch us, as well as my MIL who always volunteers for the race so it was a real family affair.

 Finishing the 1 mile.

We finished in time to get back home so I could cheer my friends on. A couple we saw as we were driving, but we pulled in the driveway just as Sara was coming so I hopped out and was able to give her a high-five. When I was confident my friends had passed I got back in the car and drove back to the start so I could watch them cross the finish line. I am so used to taking pictures on my iPhone though that I screwed up with my camera and instead of hitting the picture I button I turned the damn thing off. So I have very few pictures. But I saw them cross in real life, so that's good. All but Mr. Speedy himself who finished the 10 mile race in 1:03 (I think) and took home 3rd place!

Me, Sara & Melissa.
Sara & Melissa had just finished 6 miles before running the 10! 

Afterwards we took advantage of my mother visiting and Vader and I went out to dinner and a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D) to celebrate our anniversary a day early. I also decided to check out a new-to-me store at the mall--Track & Trail--and was able to score not one but TWO new pairs of running shoes. My Merrell Dash Gloves are still in good shape but the bottom of them (Vibram soles) are starting to look worn in places. The treads are smoothed over. Since I have nearly 1000 miles on them I thought I could use a new pair. Minimals are great because you don't have to replace them every 300-400 miles, but you can't wear them forever either. I got an updated Dash Gloves pair that I couldn't find online and I also splurged and got the Bare Access Arc 3 for my long runs. It's still minimal with a 0 heel drop but it has a slight bit more cushioning that I hope will be good for my long runs. I kind of forgot that last year when I was training for the half I had to wear the ankle brace which meant I had to wear my thicker Mizunos. So maybe my feet just need a tiny bit more cushioning for those long runs and that's why my heel is starting to irritate me. Let's hope, because I am not prepared for the alternative (I'm not even thinking the PF word!).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 Clove Run race goals… or lack thereof

Well, as I feared August has not been going well in the running department. I have failed to get up even once… and then the day gets past me and before I know it it's bedtime and I'm wiped. I've spent a good part of this week doing major straightening up/reorganizing of the kids' rooms and our playroom. I feel good that it's done, but scared that it will be undone in the 3 weeks left before school. It was supposed to be a light running week anyway because I've got a race on Saturday.

I'm running the Clove Run 5K again. The last time I ran the 5K I got my PR. Last year I ran the 10 mile but there's just something about the 5K that brings me back. I love running in my community. So I'm back with the 5K but this time I won't be running alone.

I'm starting with the 1 mile fun race with the Princess again. SkyWalker decided he just didn't want to do it and I decided I wasn't going to push him.

I'll be doing the 5K with Vader with certain guidelines. He cannot pass me. But I don't have to wait for him (ha!). He's so much faster but he's concerned about his old man knees. So while he's got the speed, I've got the endurance. We might match each other. In any event, we're starting together and finishing together. I would like to run faster than my last race, I would love to run faster than my overall PR. But honestly and truly, I am not pressuring myself about time. I want to enjoy running our first race together. I'm planning on coming back home after so I can cheer the 10 milers and then going back to the finish so I can cheer them there. It's going to be a race against time to do all of it for sure!

I've been doing my speed work at the track and prior to the last couple of weeks I've been running pretty consistently, so I think I'll do ok. I may have not run at all this week but I am prepared:

Runner Girl Jamberry Nails. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July stats


July was the best. It wasn't my highest mileage ever, but all but 2 runs were outside and that is just awesome. My long runs are getting longer and now the difficulty will be getting my mid week runs longer with no camp to rely on. I think I'm going to have to get up early… sigh.

Stats: 

July:

Mileage: 75.1
Runs: 16 
Cross training: 2, but lots of swimming, biking and playing with the kids. 

For comparison's sake, last July was 56.1. Hopefully August won't take a nose dive.