Friday, October 05, 2012
Hills it was. I am six weeks out from my half in November and I want to make sure I am readdddddy for it. When I trained for my first half, I just ran....a lot on flat streets and I was overwhelmed with the four bridges I had to run up and down back in March at the Miami Beach 13.1.
I am following the Hal Hidgons Novice 2 training plan. I run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and long runs on Saturday. Thurdsays are going to be my "torture Thursdays" alternating between speed work and hills. There are no hills in my neighborhood so I drove down the road a bit and parked at the post office and did a quick warm up.
Today the weather was hot and humid from last night leading right into the morning. My plan was to drop my daughter off at school first; I have to drive her over to the next city, Miami Springs by 8:20 and then double back to Doral to drop my son off at school by 8:35. The traffic was crazy this morning and it was taking twice the amount of time to take my daughter to school. I turned around halfway into my commute to drop my son off first. This may not make sense to most, but my son is autistic ( aspergers) and it would have thrown off his whole morning, possibly his whole day. I dropped him off at school on time and then I doubled back to drop off my princess.....she has no sense of time yet. I get back to my daughter's school by nine and I am sweating from just walking from the car to her classroom. Because of the late start and the extreme heat, I did not think it would be a good idea to do speed work.....so hills seemed like the lesser of the two evils.
I went through my setup; turn on my Garmin and wait for it to boot up, check. Strap on my Nano (my husband found a band to make it fit like a watch), check. Lock up the car, check. And get in a warm up run. Crap, I forgot my visor. I sweat a lot and running without my visor or a hand towel is NOT an option. Time is ticking and it is getting hotter by the minute. Finally I am all set to go by 9:45. There were passing showers that I thought I was going to get a chance of running in....no such luck. I started off in a slow and comfortable jog. Today was only a three mile jog. I went over the first bridge around half a mile into my run. Wow, it is such a different feeling to jog over a bridge that you speed up and down on effortlessly in your car. There are lots of sights to take in as I am jogging along to my music taking it all in while I focus on getting my breathing under control running down the bridge. I am also keeping an eye on my Garmin to keep track of how far I need to run before I have to turn around and double back over the bridge. It is tough for me to run by myself sometimes so I am happy when I see another walker or jogger to focus on and keep me moving in this hot and uncomfortable weather. Since my half is in November, I want to make sure I am prepared to run in the heat. I am still hoping that it is not too hot though.
My goal for today's run was to run at a pace where I felt comfortable jogging and not over do it that I need to walk. Once I made it to my halfway point, I was starting to feel that I could. Thank goodness I did not have to stare at the bridge the whole way on my way back. Yay, I saw someone walking ahead of me. I had my focal point to keep me moving up the bridge. I passed a young woman on top of the bridge and now I knew I was going to make it without stopping. Cruising down the bridge into the home stretch, I kept to the right and I hopped at least two feet off the ground when a guy on a bike honked his horn behind me. I'm glad I could provide comedy for his commute.
Whew, I did it. I completed my first session of hills, city style and it felt good. I am going to attempt one of my long runs with hills near the end of the month. Fort Lauderdale 13.1, oh yeah, I am going to be ready for you!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
So yesterday I left the house early to head over to Coconut Grove (Florida) for a 10k. I ran this race last year. My husband watches the kids when I go out for my longs runs on the weekends and also when I run races. Yup, the kids had cookies and cream ice cream for breakfast. And then pop tarts and chocolate milk a little later. Sigh (and shake my head).....no wonder why mommy is the bad guy. All of this happened before I got home at 10:30.
This year was a light year for races. I ran the Turkey Trot in November, the Miami Beach 13.1, and my repeat race, the ALS 10k. And all three races were run in higher than normal temps for this time of the year. I head out the door around 5:45 to give myself enough time to find a place to park close to the starting line and meet up with Sharon (MBSHAZZER); I knew it was going to be another hot and humid race. The sponsors of the race mentioned a parking garage near the start and some off street parking. It was a flat fee to get in the garage and so I thought it would be better to pay the fee than risk not getting back to the car before the meters kick in. Sharon was driving up just as I was walking out of the garage so while I waited for her to park, I clipped on my pouch which also had a bib holder and finished putting on the rest of my race gear. This is the best part of the race getting to meet sparkers in person. We talked a bit, did a good warmup and then hit the porta potties and then we head over to the start line.
I love running this race. 10k runners start time is 7:30 and the 5k runners start 5 minutes later...it makes a huge difference for pace and room for you to run and enjoy the scenery. There are some really old trees here that sort of form a tree tunnel as you run through the streets...what a sight. Getting back to the race.....so after the young lady screamed the national anthem through the speakers (not kidding), the gun went off and the race started.
I was debating if I should try to follow the 54 minute pacers or follow the 60 minute pacer and then kick it up a notch if I have anything left at the end. To be on the safe side, I got behind the 60 minute pacer. Right from the start I am running between 9:15 - 9:30....way too fast for me. I usually pace 9:45 -10 for a 10k so I am thinking that I am going to forget about trying to keep up with the 60 minute pacer and just run with my Garmin at my pace. It was such a peaceful run. Most of the runners had their music to listen to and were very aware of anyone running near them. I did not have any trouble passing runners or getting through the water stations. And at one point one young lady ran beside me for about 3 miles. I thanked her for helping me to stay at an even pace and she said she was running with me so she could listen to my music. Lol!!!
The humidity made the race a bit challenging. I did well for the first 4 miles and then I had to stop and walk a little at the miles 4 and 5 water stations. The group that I was running with did the same so when they started back to running, so did I. It started to get a little crowded at mile 5. This was where everyone merged to head back to the finish line so it was a little bobbing and weaving the last mile because of all the walkers, baby strollers and a few wheel chair participants.
My friend Sharon (MBSHAZZER) finished the race ahead of me and was there to cheer me on. I finished the race in 64:37. Last year, I finished in 67 minutes and some change. My PR for a 10k is 62:58. So I have a feeling I will finish under 60 for my next 10k. I grabbed a water and an orange and we went for a cool down walk. As we were walking back to the stage to see if Sharon had won a medal, we walk up one of the ladies that usually runs with Sharon and chatted for a bit. It sounded promising that Sharon would medal so we headed over to the results table where they input your race # and give your official finish time. Yay, sure enough Sharon got a medal; she finished 1st in her age group!!!!! She trains hard so it is good to see her hard work paying off.
Well I am going to enjoy the rest of my Mother's day. My husband took the kids to the pool. When they come back, I will help the kids make a pizza. And the best part will be dessert. On Friday,Publix, one of the local supermarkets here went to my son's school and for those who paid to participate, helped the kids decorate a heart shaped cake for Mother's Day. Of course, we bought one. One of the bakers showed my son how to use the piping bag and he wrote "Mom" on the cake and also piped some red icing around the edges. He also added candy confetti to the top of the cake as well. Right before they left to go to the pool, my son asked if I had cut my cake yet. I told him no and that I was waiting for them to come back from the pool. I really do not want cake, but he did such a great job decorating it for me that of course I will have a small piece.....and a little cookies and cream ice cream. Lol!!!
Have a great day everyone.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
So I head out the door for a quick 3 miler this afternoon. I go through my checklist:
start the Garmin, check, check, check.
I do a short jog through my gated community and then I stop in a shaded parking spot to do my warm up exercises. Within the first 10 to 15 steps, I started to feel a sharp pain, behind my left knee cap. I slow to a walk, bend down and rub my knee and then decide to give it another try to warm up. Again, the pain is starting to intensify with each step. I walk to my warm up spot do a few exercises and try to get in a quick jog to see if the pain has worked itself out. Nope. What to do, what to do.
I just started the Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge on Sunday.....I NEED to get in 30 minutes of cardio today. Well, I had no choice but to walk it. But as a runner, I had to give it one more try before I give into the walk. Sigh.....I have to walk it (or so I thought). Six minutes into my walk and just as I am about to run out of my community, I gave it one last try (I know right, I don't know how many "one last try" I tried), but if I still felt the pain, then I would shorten my 3 miler run to a 2 miler walk. On my last try, I was pain free so I kept running, but at a very slow jog. I stayed at a slow jog for about a minute and then I slowly started to pick up my pace. And the pain did not return at all.
I was so afraid to stop and turn on my music so I ran without music the whole time. I focused on my footfalls. It was a consistent pattern so I elated just listening to my breathing and steps. As I am running, I am thinking why this happened. I have been foam rolling (in the morning and evening for the past week faithfully), I do my warm up stretches and also a cool down, and I have been putting my feet up when I can. The only thing I can think of was maybe......it was my shoes. I don't mean my running shoes; I was out running a couple of errands and I wore a pair of dress shoes. The only way I can describe them are like elevated penny loafers. Hmmmmmm. Oh well, the pain is gone and I hope it does not return.
I am doing the Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge to get ready for bikini season. Living in Miami, yes, bikini season has already started, but this year I upgraded to a two piece, and I just don't feel that good in it. My husband loves to see me in it so I have to get in shape to wear it well. I also read that another sparker lost 10 lbs. I am trying to get rid of these last 10 lbs, so wish me luck. Lol!!!!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
It has been hectic for me the past two weeks and I am still trying to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. Thank goodness the time change happened when the kids were on spring break.
We did not go anywhere for spring break....everyone is coming here (Miami....okay not everyone) to party and have fun so most of the hotel bookings are overpriced right now. There is tons to do locally, but it is just a matter of picking something to do or somewhere to go. Yeah, my husband shot down everything I wanted to do like.....go to the zoo, the children's museum, Lion Safari near West Palm Beach. We have a 3 and 6 year old to entertain here....my husband said no to all. Monday we took a drive to West Palm Beach and drove around to see what is new and what has changed since we left there in 2006. My husband did not want to get out of the car (it takes at least 1 hour + to get to West Palm from Miami...and we drove around for at least an hour) and he wanted to head home without us getting out of the car. My 3 year old, Alexis, had to use the bathroom so we stopped at Target (one of my FAVORITE stores) and walked around a bit. Tuesday we went to the club house to go to the pool. Just our luck....after being there for about one hour, the pool was closed because someone took a poop in the pool. We had better luck on Wednesday, the weather was great so we went to the beach on Key Biscayne. I love going to this beach because there is a lighthouse nearby. One day we will actually take a tour of it....gives us another reason to keep going back to that beach. The weather was horrible on Thursday and Friday. We went to the mall on Thursday and stayed at home on Friday. One of my son's classmates was having a birthday party at the club house park on Saturday and luckily the rain held off and the kids had a great time. I got a chance to talk to some of the parents and find out about programs at the school.
I did not run the whole week. I ran on Tuesday morning and then decided to rest until Saturday. When the kids are in school I usually run around noon after I drop my daughter off. Alexis is my baby that loves to be near me and she cries if I leave without her or if she wakes up and I am not there she will cry for a good 10 minutes or more. I do not like for her to feel this way so I chose not to run for a few days. She knows I run every Saturday morning so I started prepping her at night that "mamma was going to run the race". I went for my long run....the team leader was not there. He was doing a triathlon on Sunday. There were 4 of us and we ran anyway; I ran 8 miles.
This week I ran 2 short runs out of 3 and ran 6 miles for my long run on Saturday. I had to double back after the 1st mile when I realized that I did not have my car key in my hand. I left my hand held water bottle, in the car, which has a pocket. Since I had planned on leaving my water in the car, I grabbed my car key without the alarm so that I could tuck it in my little key pocket inside my running shorts. The sun was just starting to come out and I picked it up a little to get back to my car to look for the key. I did not know if I left it in the car or if it fell out of my hand at the starting point. Nope, I left it in the car door....oooops. I did not want to rerun the turnpike trail again so I took off in the opposite direction and ran in a perfect square. I finished up the same time the leader and his brother did. My guestimations are good and I finished in front of the school right at 6 miles. I got a chance to talk to the leader for a bit. He mentioned that some people are having trouble finding the school and they were thinking of changing the starting location to the store's parking lot. Sweet. I live half a mile from the store and I can do a quick warmup run to the store instead of driving 3 miles down the road!!!!! This will have to wait for a few weeks though. My husband has to work on the weekends, out of town, for a few weeks so I will have to miss my Saturday runs. Good thing he told me ahead of time so I can adjust my schedule to make Friday my long run. And after that I will take another week off; one of my Miami sparkers runs with a group and has invited me to run with them. I am going to take her up on the offer. I have never run with an all women's group so it should be fun. I do enjoy running by myself, but it is also nice to run with a group.
I know this was a long blog, so thanks for hanging in there.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
So last Sunday I ran the Miami Beach 13.1. It was my first half. I met up with (MBSHAZZER), Sharon before the race. She is a really sweet person and so glad that I know her. It is funny how we both ran the same race, but had two different perspectives about it. So on to my recovery week.
I was sore in my quads from doing 4 bridges in the race so I wanted to take it easy with my runs this week. I rested on Monday and ran a 3 miler on Tueday, my usual. I took different route and it was a relaxed 3 miler...I did not have to cross one street. I was pressed for time on Wednesday so I ran a 2 miler, and also a 2 miler on Thursday. I got in one day of strength training instead of 3 because my quads were a little sore and I did not want to push it and really hurt myself.
This morning I got up had a small bite to eat and then headed over to meet up with the group for the long run. The meet up time changed from 6 to 6:30. I pull into the parking lot and I do not see any cars or people gathering for their warm up....what to do, what to do. I get out of my car and get ready to run. As I am doing my warmup, one person walks up and introduces himself and we do a brief run down of our running accomplishments and upcoming races. He is one of the fast runners I have mentioned in previous blogs. Julio is 60 and has run a few marathons, but thinks halfs are fun runs. We start running and I immediately inform Julio that I am have only been running for one year so I am not a fast paced runner. He offered to run at my pace....how sweet. About half a mile into the run, Julio gives me a little suggestion. I should change my elephant stomp (my words, not his) to a cat walk. How often do you hear a cat entering a room....I put bells on mine so I could and even then they would walk with precise movements to avoid the bell from ringing. I had to change my running form and REALLY concentrate on my foot falls. Next we worked on my upper body form. I do okay with that so he had to remind me a few times (mainly when I was starting to get tired) to stay loose. Great information. The first 3 miles were at least a minute faster than what I am use to pacing so we slowed it down a bit. It was a struggle to keep up with him, but I was loving every minute of it. Oh yeah, Julio had already gotten in 5 miles before he ran with me. I called it quits when I got back to where I parked my car. I ran 4.75 miles. Yeah, I know I could have run some more to make it an even 5. We parted ways and Julio ran on for another mile or so. I really appreciate the advice he gave me and I will put it to use on my future runs. And it was so sweet. when we were talking about our ages, he thought I was in my early 30's. Yep, 40 is the new 30. Lol!!!
Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow...so remember to change your clocks tonight.
Have a great weekend.
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