Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bridgie's First Dance Recital

Dance recitals. I never remembered how long those things last. We went to a noon recital today and got done around 3. Three hours. I must say though, it was very entertaining. First the little kids. They all stand up there staring at their teacher who is in front of the stage giving them cues of what to do. Some girls turn around and stare at the set, and forget to dance. Others really get into their moves. Being the proud mom that I am, I was so happy to see Bridget up there, and not freeze on stage like I would have. (I was shaking with nerves just getting her ready in her costume.) There were some really good dancers as well. I love "So You Think You Can Dance" so enjoyed watching people that appeared to know what they were doing.

Gabbie, for the most part was a good girl. My dad forgot to save a seat for my sister, so Gabbie lost her seat and had to sit on my lap. Numb legs. At first she loved watching "The Princesses". Since it was nap time, she did get cranky and restless at the end, but what a good sister to sit through that.

After the recital, Bridget was more excited to get her balloon and flower. I think she finally felt like a big girl. I asked her if she was scared up there on the stage she said without hesitation, "Nope!" She is so her father's daughter!

Gabbie and I before the recital.

Bridget and I after the recital.

Doing the Wobbly Woopsie.

Little Bo Peep.

Sunday Morning Peace & Quiet

So I can't sleep in. It is an impossible thing for me to sleep past 7, so on the rare occasion, like today, that my girls sleep in.....I am wide awake. This sometimes can be a good thing. Today I came down to make my oatmeal and enjoy some "me" time on the computer in my clean house. (I forced the family to help me clean yesterday!) "Me" time usually only consists of me pounding my feet on the ground running around and around the neighborhood. Well, this being recovery week, I only get to run 6 miles today. I am used to getting 2+ hours of alone time on Sundays to run, so less than an hour is not enough.

Today is my 4 year old, Bridget's, first ballet recital. I looked at the instructions they gave us last night and there are 50 (FIFTY!) classes performing today at noon. So, tell me how you expect my 2 year old to sit through a 3+ hour recital during lunchtime and naptime? I don't want to leave her home as she loves ballet class and has been with me to most of them. I have warned all of my relatives that are going, this is going to be a LONG day. I will definitely post pictures later. So much for enjoying this beautiful weather outside today.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recovery and Training Paces

So recovery is going pretty well. I hate rest days. I hate taking days off, so I am looking forward to getting back into training. This week I am following Pfitz's recovery, so I only ran 3 days including tomorrow. Luckily, we have an elliptical machine at home so I have put in over 3 hours on that to get rid of some of my energy.

Overall, my legs feel fine. Yesterday I did 5 miles, and by the end of the day my legs were tired, but I woke up this morning fine. My 18 weeks until Twin Cities Marathon starts on Monday, so I have to still decide if I am going to start on Monday, or recover for another week and start in Week 2. We will see how tomorrow's run goes and if I can push the pace a little bit.

I wanted to record my training paces for my sub-4 marathon so that I can reference it, and also in case someone else may be interested in the paces for their training. I knew I could run faster than I did, but my plan was to get my sub-4 so I stuck to these paces. A sub-4 hour marathon is roughly a 9:00-9:07 mile pace. My goal was to stick around 9:00 thus bringing me in around 3:56. For everyday runs, I ran at 9:15-9:30 pace. If my legs were tired, I was slower and if I felt stronger, sometimes I went slightly faster, down to 9:07. This was up to 14 miles. For runs more than 14 miles, I ran 9:30-9:45 pace. My 21 mile run averaged 9:45, but my last 17 mile run ended up being 9:20 pace. I tried to keep these runs slow so that I could get the time on my feet. My marathon race pace runs averaged 9:05, and those were not easy runs. For tempo runs, I ran at 8:00 pace. For VO2 Max runs, I ran 7:30-7:45 pace. I did do all the recommended tune-up races as per Pfitz's schedule, and ran those races hard. I PR'd in a 5K, 10K, 15K, and half marathon all within the 17 weeks of training. I dropped 45 seconds off my 5K time from the beginning of the training cycle (Feb 2nd race) to the end of the cycle (early May race), so my speed definitely increased from the added miles.

I would love to hear what paces you all run at and your current PR's. As I am going into this next cycle, I am going to challenge myself more and hit the faster training paces that I was hesitant to run before. I plan on using the Mcmillan Calculator and plugging in my fastest PR which appears to be my 15K. We will see how the next few weeks go with the program and go from there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vermont City Marathon Race Report--Going for Sub-4

So this was my 5th marathon. Marathon #1, I was trying to finish, and I did slow. #2, I went out too fast and hit the wall big time and walked the final 10 miles for a 20 minute PR. #3 & 4, I finally ran the whole race and averaged just under 10 minute miles. At Vermont, I wasn't just trying to run the whole time, I had a goal of running under 4 hours, there was no other option.

Because of the economy, we were trying not to spend as much on our trip, so I agreed to something my husband has begging to do for 5 years and that was camping. Talk about nerves before the race....I was going to sleep in a tent the night before this race that I worked so hard for.

My training was Pfitz 18/55 in which I added some miles some weeks so peaked at 61 miles. I also cut out most soda and non-processed food in order to clean up my diet. I lost 6 pounds during the taper as I was so afraid to gain weight, between cutting out the sodium in soda and getting all the junk out of my system.

The expo was nothing exciting. Very small townish, which was great as I loved the atmosphere. They were making homemade kettle corn out front which was my highlight as I love popcorn and that was one of the only new thing I would allow in my system, as I have a bad history of foods affecting my GI during long runs. We set up at the campground and my nerves got even worse as I couldn't believe we were going to sleep in that tiny tent, there was no way I would get enough sleep. Luckily, I did get plenty of sleep all week as my thoughts were everywhere that night and I managed to only get about 5 hours of sleep, which is not enough for me.....But it wasn't because of the tent, I slept fine the next night.

It was chilly when we woke, which made me happy, as I didn't want a hot marathon. I ate my oatmeal and we drove early to the starting line. There weren't many people there when we got there, but I wanted to start the Porta-potty shuffle to get it all out. While we waited, it started sprinkling. This is when I was thankful I wore my arm warmers, as I wasn't wearing a long sleeve shirt. My plan was to throw the arm warmers, but I ended up needing them for the entire race. This was the smallest marathon I have ran so the line up was easy to find a spot. I got in line behind in the 4 hour pace guy. The race started, and my goal to warm up at 9:15 pace was not going to happen, I went out at about 9:05 pace, my goal pace, but the legs felt great. The spectator support was amazing. You run through the center of Burlington multiple times for the race and people were everywhere.

Mile 3, enjoying everything.

Miles 1-10 were so easy. There was a big downhill on the out and big uphill on the back. My average pace was 8:53, including a stop to pee on the side of the road. The porta-potties were very scarce on the course, so I hid behind a car and peed right next to a man. It also started to rain about 2 miles in. I knew my pace was too fast during this part, and I kept slowing down, but I just kept going, the pace felt way too easy, I was just hoping I wouldn't pay for this stupid thing later on.

Mile 9, in pain.

Mile 10 was just after the terrible uphill and my side cramp started. I had just seen my husband and the picture he took of me showed the pain I was in. In every long run or race, I hit a mental wall about mile 10-12 and hit that wall I did. With 16 miles to go, I had too many miles to go to keep up this pace, so I slowed down. The slowing down helped to get rid of my cramp, but mentally I was beating myself up. I hit the half marathon point in 1:57:14. Doubling that would put me just over 4 minutes under my goal of 4 hours, so I of course was relieved that I could slow down a little, as I mentally was done.

At this point I met another runner and he started talking to me, convincing me that I looked great and sounded great and could make my goal. That small talk boosted me back into the race. I followed him until I hit Battery Hill. "The Assault on Battery Hill" was a steep quarter of a mile hill. It looked terrible, but the spectator support was awesome. They had drummers, drumming your way up and everyone cheered like crazy. I love hills as my town is covered in hills. I passed a ton of people on the hill which made me feel great. Once up that hill, I knew I only had 10 miles to go and there were no more huge obstacles I just needed to keep up my pace and I would make my goal. At this point I was Garmin watching, making sure I didn't slow down too much and ticking off the miles.

Going up Battery Hill

I hit mile 20 at 2:59:46....This was perfect, I could run 10 minute miles and still make my goal. This would be fine, if I wouldn't have cramped up again. This time, I knew I was well hydrated and full of electrolytes, so I pulled out my inhaler and took a few puffs and continued on with the same pace, not slowing down and the cramp went away fairly quickly. The 4 hour pacer passed me at this point, which surprised me as I knew I was slower, but still on pace to finish in front of him. At around mile 21 we turned onto the bike path which was the final stretch to the finish line. I train on a bike path all the time, so I was excited for this. I love knowing how flat rail trails are and very peaceful. This was along Lake Champlain, which was beautiful when I walked it the day before, but I noticed no scenery during the run. I just noticed falling runners. So many people started walking on the path. I started talking to Molly who I had been following most of the race. I find talking to people at the end gets your mind off of any doubts you have and mentally keeps you going. Once I started running with her we started running sub-9 minute miles. I couldn't believe I was running that fast with only a few miles to go. We passed the 4 hour pacer, who no longer had any of his people with him, so he either sent them ahead or they dropped back. He kind of smiled at me and I continued my pace. We started hearing the finish line just past mile 25 and I was in shock, I knew I could pull at 3:57 at this point, so I took off, making sure I could make that goal. Once out of the trees, people were lining the course. I could see mile 26 just in front of me and I took off. I rounded the last corner and saw a mat and was like, I am done. Nope, that mat was to give the announcers the names of the people coming. Not a cool idea as my husband said many runners stopped running at the mat thinking they were done, some collapsing and needed assistance getting to the finish line. There was a sign that said "Almost done" but who has a mat before the finish line? Not cool. When I crossed the finish line I threw my hands in there. I made it.

On my way to the finish.

The clock said 3:56:56, my chip time was 3:55:45. A 21 minute PR from Disney!!!! My husband had predicted 3:55:42, so he was only off by 3 seconds. The finish area was great. Tons of food for the marathoners, though everything was in a small space. What an amazing marathon and a great town. I highly recommend the Vermont City Marathon and visiting Burlington, VT. I can't wait to go back next year.

My medal and Lake Champlain in the background.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sub-4 Marathon!!!

This isn't a race report as I am waiting for my husband to put the pictures up, but I wanted to get my time out there.

I made my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon yesterday at Vermont City Marathon. I ran fairly even half's for a time of 3:55. Yes I am still in shock and dancing around. More to come later!

Monday, May 11, 2009

2 year anniversary to a new me

So two years ago this week I joined Weight Watchers. I was morbidly obese and had the worst diet possible. We went away for the prior weekend and upon looking at the pictures I was disgusted with myself. I hated what I looked like. I had started running 3 weeks prior and was gaining weight instead of losing weight. Not to mention, running hurt, bad. I knew that I couldn't make it to the marathon in January with just running, I needed to trust someone else to get me there.

I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting and met my leader Linda. The group was a tight group and I didn't think I would fit in. Week after week the weight started melting off and I finally started talking to people. November I made goal, I was down 62 pounds from when I started in May. (I was down 30 pounds before I got pregnant and never gained that weight back, so my total is 92 pounds) In December I made Lifetime and ran the Disney Marathon in January.

Now 2 years later I don't follow Weight Watchers, but instead am enjoying watching what I eat. I am eating a very clean diet. I have learned from the blogworld that I can have delicious food and be healthy. There are days where I swear I am going to gain weight because I am enjoying my food so much, but the foods are so healthy and filling that I continue to maintain my weight. And I enjoy exercise so much that I can't live a day without it. I run 5-6 days a week and cross train on the other days. I am running my 5th marathon in 2 weeks and continue to finish local races in the front of the pack. If the people I am beating at these races knew what I looked like 2 years ago, they would die. (They are already surprised as I am always wearing a crazy skirt, so I get many compliments from the men I beat after the races.) I know not many people read this blog, but I want to thank the foodie and running online bloggers and forum members. You have taught me so much and changed my life.

Here is me 2 years ago this past weekend.

And here is my girls and myself yesterday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New 5k PR and Tapering

So I started tapering this past week after a 21 miler last Sunday. I ran the 21 miles at an average of 9:45 pace so I am pretty happy with how my training went. 2 weeks today I will be making my second attempt at a sub-4 marathon. I am very confident in my goal, but still nervous.

Yesterday I ran a 5k to see where my training has taken me. I dropped 45 seconds off my 5k from February and placed 3rd in my age group, 6th female, and 34th overall. The 5k was downhill, flat, and UPHILL. It was terrible and shins are dying because of it today.

I have been reading horror stories about people gaining weight during taper so I have been REALLY aware of what is going in my mouth during this taper. So far I am down 3 pounds and feeling like I have extra energy. I cut down on my Diet Soda and am not eating anything that isn't natural. I am also reading a lot to keep my mind occupied. The current books are Advanced Marathoning and Skinny Bitch. Yeah, Skinny Bitch is scaring me and is helping my clean taper eating.

16 miles today and my Mother's Day lunch. Happy Mother's Day to all the running mommies!