Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marathon Monday, week one

Now that I have completed my first week of marathon training, I can keep you all updated on my progress. My plantar fasciitis is still bothering me, but the orthotic is making it very bearable.
My training schedule goes Sunday to Saturday.

Sunday... Long Branch Half Marathon

Monday... 15 minute easy run. I ran 1.4 miles in about 18 minutes as a recovery run before I coached Girls on the Run.
Wednesday... 25 minute run. I planned two miles at the board walk which should have taken about that long. My friend Denise met me and after trying to keep up with her, I finished in just under 21 minutes and called it a day.

Thursday... three miles with intervals. First, I forgot to start my watch. I ran about .33 miles before I figured that out. Then, my watch wouldn't display my pace, which made the intervals difficult, but I did my best.

Friday.... P90X, shoulders and arms, I ran out of time but did about 40 minutes of the workout.

Saturday was the For Pete's Sake 5k. I ran it last minute, and it was a great day for it. A few hills, a half mile along the ocean, and my tin was about 32:40 with an average of 10:33. I was very happy with my time. 

Sunday was a rest day so we walked the dogs for two miles. A nice end to my first week!
New York City, here I come!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday, WDW Half Marathon Edition

I am so easily convinced. My good friend and running buddy Shannon really loves Donald Duck. When I told her that he was on a medal, she about jumped out of her skin. We were considering doing Princess, but she really loves Donald. Sooooo

Inspiration for our costumes....

Next we need to secure the Tinkerbell Half for the Coast to Coast challenge. 
Do you like to Run Disney?

Marathon Training Tuesday with Jeff Galloway

I love this week's tips, they seem like such common sense and yet we constantly need that reminder!
Training for the NYC marathon started this week! Up until now, I have been doing what I called pre-training, just keeping my body moving so that I wouldn't go into shock when the real training started!
I am using the Run the Edge training plan and I love the way each workout is worth points. If you get ebough poit's each week, you move on. If not, you repeat the week. This allows you to skip a workout herealized and there if necessary.
my first workout was a 35 minute run. I may have taken that one a little far.

Last night I did my second workout of the week, a 15 minute run that I used as a recovery run. I ran laps at the park before coaching Girls on the Run. I managed to get in about 1.2 miles in that 15 minutes. 

That's it so far. It's only Tuesday after all. I did do P90x chest and back yesterday and lots of walking today so far.
I will be running a 5k this weekend as one of my training runs as well.

Are you training for a big race?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Long Branch Half Marathon Recap

Sunday was my fourth running of the Long Branch Half Marathon, which was also my first ever half marathon!
A lot of my friends were running it, which made it extra special.
I went to the expo on Friday, since I had an unexpected day off. I was picking up my bib, as well as Eileen and Gigi's bibs. The process went smoothly and I walked the small expo. I was looking for purple compression socks but they only had a brand I have never heard of, so I moved on. Turns out, I didn't actually need them anyway.....

I hit all the booths and went to visit Geico, since they give out the best reusable shopping bags. They were giving people three spins on a slot machine. I waited forever for my turn. No one was winning. The prize was a tech shirt. If you won and wore the shirt for the race, you would get a free 15 minute massage at the finish. I had already picked my awesome flat mama so I wasn't interested in the massage, but who doesn't want a free tech shirt?
Finally my turn. Spin one. Fail. Spin two. Fail. Spin three. Winner! I collected my shirt but had to get it in men's medium. The women's large would have fit my size 2 daughter.
When I get to my car, I checked my phone and saw there was a comment on my flat mama.

I have had this shirt for ages, and never noticed the typo! Suddenly the Geico shirt wasn't looking so bad.
flat mama, take two.

On Saturday night, Gigi arrived. She borrowed my couch the night before the race, since she lives so far. There may have been Italian food and ice cream involved. And a dog walk. Yeah, we party hard.
Early to bed, early to rise. Too early.

We made very good time, arrived at the race and parked pretty easily. We found Eileen and CA, and gave Eileen her bag. It wasn't quite as full as mine, many tables gave out swag per person, not per bag.

Time to hit the port o potties. The lines were insane but we found outrfriends. What better place for a group photo?

By the time we all went to the bathroom the race had started. We listened as each corral was called and walked up just as ours was ready to start. Perfect timing. Immediately after starting, Gigi found a lost iPhone and our first order of business was to give it to a volunteer. Then we plugged in our music and separated,  with plans to meet up at the end. No one was feeling positive going in, and everyone was sure I would finish first again. On the first hill, Eileen and CA passed me by, and at mile 3, so did Gigi. I could see all 3 of them almost the whole time, I just couldn't catch up. 
The first few miles are residential, lots of fun signs and crowd support. I was averaging 12 minutes or less per mile for the first 6. Miles 7 and 8 were just over 12 and I was feeling great. I was looking at another 2015 PR.
my friend Jennifer took this pic around mile 8 I think.

At mile 9, I heard a text come in. Thinking it was the hubs letting me know where he was on the course, I checked it. It was my mom telling me that my dad was back in the ER. He has been in and out of the hospital since January, mostly in. I don't know why, but it really really upset me and I couldn't seem to stop crying. Some of my BGR friends were at mile 9ish and I ran in for a much needed hug. 
I couldn't seem to pick it back up after that. I slowed down to about 13 minutes per mile, sporadically stopping to text the hubs for updates on my dad.
At mile 11ish, the marathoners split off to the right.
At mile 12, CA snapped this photo. They were the second group cheering on runners like this.

I checked my watch and realized that I wouldn't PR but I could finish in about 2:45 and that was OK with me. Jen was at about mile 12.5 and caught me again with CA just in front of me.

The crowds at the finish are always amazing. The super speedy marathoners were finishing, as well, and the announcer was calling out names. I finished in just about 2:45 and collected my medal. 

Eileen and CA found me, I had a little cry, and then we took our group photo and then hunted up Gigi. She was hanging out by bag check, thinking she was last instead of first!
We went on the hunt for the Geico massages, but it was a 30 minute wait, and I wasn't feeling it. We decided to look for the hubs instead, but first, a selfie.

The hubs drove Gigi back to her car, and we hunted down some pancakes. I barely ate on the course and wasn't hungry, but I knew I had to eat! I ended up with stuffed french toast from IHOP. 
Not a bad race overall. Dad was admitted with an infection and will hopefully be back home soon. 
Did you race this weekend? I hope your weather was as amazing as ours!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Runapalooza Recap #REALwomenmove

I was so excited to be running this race got the third year in a row, and looking forward to seeing the course changes this year. They have had to alter the course because of Sandy damage, and every year they change it a little, trying to get it back to the way it was before the storm.
The weather was calling for rain all week, but on Friday, it changed. Sunny and warm with a high in the low 70s by noon! Love! I also received my latest order from Skirt Sports which meant a shiny new skirt to wear.
The hubs and I were loving the start time of 8:30 because it meant we could leave at 7 and still meet up with friends before the race.
half fanatics
Skirt Sports Ambassadors! Use code SSBMAR20 for 20% off your next purchase!

The hubs wanted to check the course. To see where he should wait for me along the way. Because, you know, he wanted to do that. At the time anyway. More on that later.
We checked the map, decided where he should wait for me, and I lined up at the start.

The race began and we ran towards Cookman Avenue. I felt good, and the orthotic seemed to be doing its job. I had forgotten my watch, which was making me nuts, but there were clocks along the course, and I would have to make do. I hit mile one in under 11 minutes. Closer to 10. What?!? I guess the orthotics were working really well. I couldn't wait to pass the hubs at mile 2, and tell him to knock some time off of my estimated arrival. I told him 11:30, but it was looking more like 11:15!
As I approached mile 2, I started scanning for the hubs. I looked at the spot where he was at the start, but he wasn't there. Hmmmmmm turns out he went for a bagel. Sigh.
Time to head towards Deal for the next out and back. We ran over a very small bridge into Deal, and spent the next few miles running past some amazingly beautiful houses. You can still see the toll Sandy took along the shore, houses are just now being torn down, rebuilt, or raised. As the faster runners started passing us in the other direction I started looking for my friends. I am always last, so I always see them at this point. I saw Darlene but I couldn't find anyone else. When I hit the turnaround I was disappointed. Seeing them always gives me a push. I was still maintaining 11 to 12 minute miles, and was thrilled with my times. Just after the turnaround I saw CA. Behind me. It turns out she started way behind me, and her finishing time was very close to mine. Soon after, I saw Eileen. Her legs were feeling very tired that day. Deirdre was there and so were Lisa and Frank. I cheered them all and continued on. 
Back to the boardwalk and running towards the "Casino", where the hubs was supposed to be. We also passed the finish line. Not a fan of that at all. 
On to the Casino. Where is the hubs? Relaxing in the car and enjoying the day! Just after the casino, we had to run through about 6 feet of sand to get to the road which would lead us back to the boardwalk. Ugh. 
Time for another out and back. This is my least favorite part of the course. You have runners in both directions, people enjoying the day, kids on bikes, etc and no one pays any care to anyone else. There was a group of runners coming towards me, three abreast, on a turn in the boardwalk. Hmmmmmm share the road maybe? Ugh. I politely reminded them that they were not alone out there and should share the road. They seemed very surprised at this, but moved over right away. 
I saw Dave the Trumpeter but he was on the other side so I vowed to snap a selfie on the way back.
We approached the bridge that was the turnaround at roughly mile 11, but I had no idea how I was doing. I hadn't seen a clock In awhile. I was hoping for under 2:45 but I had no idea if that was even possible. As I got to the turnaround, a woman with two little dogs on leashes cut in front of me and basically strolled for the next 10 feet forcing me to stop. Really? People had been running past her for awhile, she had to know there was a race going on. One of the directors apologized to me and I quickly assured him that it wasn't his fault. People can be so clueless, he can't control them all!
Back towards Dave and my selfie near mile 12. I really needed this to keep me going, and shortly after I saw Lisa and Frank and we took selfie as well.

After our pics, I continued on to hit mile 12, knowing I would have to text the hubs and let him know I was early. I didn't want to slow down so I tried voice texting. I guess it was too loud, though, because it didn't make sense to him. I tried saying he had less than 14 minutes to get to the finish. He read it as get to the finish at 11:40. 
Mile 12 had a clock, and I knew that if I kept it up, I might actually finish far below 2:45! 
I hit that sand again, but I swear it grew in distance. I didn't even realize that a photographer was there.

Back through the Casino, and onto the boardwalk. They had a lane of cones set out for the runners and you could see the finish line ahead, just before Convention Hall. Again, a ton of runners coming through and still, an older couple enters the lane and is strolling towards me. I tell them that this lane is for people running the race, and they look surprised and step out of the lane. Are people really this clueless?
The lane was very small, right down the center of the boardwalk with sooooo much space on either side for people who were not running.  I started scanning the crowd for the hubs, but he wasn't there. I focused my attention on the finish line, and that's when I saw the clock. Holy heck, I think I finished in 2:41!
I collect my medal, grab some water and text the hubs. He came along ten minutes later and we laughed about my crazy text while we waited for our friends to finish.

My finish time ended up being 2:40:59, which is a course PR!  The hubs and I headed into town for some Mogo Korean BBQ and cupcakes from Confections of a Rock Star. Perfect end to a perfect day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Be Fearless #REALwomenmove

I haven't kept it a secret that I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and thrilled about it! This weekend they are hosting a Virtual Race, the 261 Fearless race. You pick the distance, I am doing 2.61 miles as a shake out after my half marathon on Saturday.
If you register for the race, you get a bib, tank, and a gift certificate to spend at Skirt Sports.
Why 261? Most runners know the story about Katherine Switzer, the woman who bravely pinned on a bin for the Boston Marathon when women weren't allowed to run it.
When the director saw what she had done, he tried to pull her off the course. With the help of her boyfriend, Katherine finished the marathon.
Be Fearless in all you do.
Sign up for that race that scares you, whether it's your first 5k or a mud run or a marathon. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do it.
Be fearless.
Join me this weekend and be fearless.

Wordless Wednesday, Warren Edition

Warren is my dad, and this Sunday is my virtual race to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy in his honor. The timing couldn't be better, he has been in and out of  the hospital since January 7 and is currently in.

He made me these two medal racks and us one of my greatest supporters!

Monday, April 13, 2015

April Fools Jester Challenge Half Marathon #REALwomenmove

Yesterday was part two of the Jester Challenge. We woke up early once again, and leisurely got ready for the race. Being so close to the start had advantages! CA woke up with some ab pain and her Achilles was really bothering her, so she decided to skip the half.

We found all of our friends and said hello to them and posed for some pics before it was time to start. My PF was really bothering me from Saturday's run, and I told Eileen that I might just walk the whole thing. 
Once the race started and I ran a bit, my foot started to warm up, and running was less painful. Saturday's 7 mile run and 8 miles of walking afterwards definitely took its toll, though, and my legs were tired. The first 4-5 miles I managed to maintain a 13 minute mile. I starte doing the math in my head, and realized that if I maintained at least 14 minute miles for the rest of the race, I would finish under three hours for the first time all year. 

The course was another out and back, with a few miles of road, but mostly Boardwalk. I loved seeing all of my friends during the loop back, and saw that Eileen was ahead of me by about a mile. 
Once we got to about mile 10, it got really hard. My legs were This PF is really kicking my butt! I managed to maintain about a 14 minute mile, but vote was rough.
They do not block off any of the boardwalk for the runners and the pwople just didn't care that a race was going on. There were more than a few very rude people who saw runners coming and actually spread out instead of moving out of the way! Ugh!
I had to go wide more than once as I made my way to the side of the boardwalk where the finish was.
But there it was!

It was such a relief to see it, and to see 2:57:01 on my watch as I hit 13.1 miles!

We got double bling, and they had popcorn and soft pretzels, as well as bottled water. Very little Gatorade was left, which was fine with me, but there were runners behind me who might want some!
My official time was 2:58 which cracked me up because my watch was behind the entire time, expect that last .1 where it jumped ahead! 

The bling was so worth it. Because we couldn't get early enough checkout, we had to change at the hotel and shower at home. Luckily, a quick drive fixed that problem and I parked myself on the couch for the rest of the day!

Did you run this weekend? Have you done back to back races?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April Fools 11k, Part 1 of the Jester Challenge #REALwomenmove

We arrived in Atlantic City last night for the April Fools Jester Challenge weekend. Today was the 7 or 11k and tomorrow is the Half. 

We picked up our packets and then hit Cuba Libre at the Tropicana for dinner.
The food was amazing!

I had Arroz con Pollo. So delicious! After some more walking, we went back to the hotel to relax for the night.

I love the bib but I am not thrilled about the shirts. They are basically the same for both races, the only difference is the distance printed on the back. Luckily, I like green!
We got up pretty early this morning, like always. We are only two blocks from the start, which was at 9, so we laid around a lot and got ready pretty slowly.
Once we got to the start, we hooked with all of the different groups of BGR, and did some warm ups together. What a fun group of ladies!

We lined up for the race and after a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, we were off. I wasn't trying for any special goals. With my PF, there isn't much point. I did want to finish with a decent average pace, under 13 minutes would have been nice, but with a half marathon tomorrow I didn't want to push it.
It got hot pretty fast, and I was wearing black, and they had only two water stops, with almost 4 miles between them. Ugh. It was a nice out and back, though, all on Boardwalk, so I can't complain too much.
My first three miles I averaged an 11:30 but I lost steam and slowed for the final 4+ miles. 
My final one was 1:23 with a 12:09 average, far better than I hoped. My foot aches a bit now, hoping tomorrow isn't a train wreck.

We walked around a bit and took some fun pics with the mascots that were walking around for the kid races.

My running buddy under my shirt makes me look a little pregnant! Not a fan of the pic for that reason only.
We are getting ready for dinner at Carmine's now. It isn't a race in AC without it!
Did you run today? Is it warm where you are?