Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve, aka happy flex account day!

I'm hoping this will be the same as the if-you-bring-an-umbrella-it-won't-rain-effect, or the if-you-remember-your-cell-phone-while-running-errands-after-work-the-boss-won't-call effect. If I buy a remarkable amount of first aid supplies, I won't get injured.... right?

To back up, overall I spent 25% less on out of pocket medical care this year. But it also meant that if I didn't run out my flex account it would all get swallowed by a greedy corporation. So off to WalMart I went. Then, due to an inability to perform basic addition, I went to CVS to buy an additional $20 worth.

I'm really bummed you can't use your flex account for OTC stuff next year. I cut the amount I put in to a third.

Today I bought the usual, an apocalypse survivor's supply of cold medicine, allergy medicine, pain killers, tummy smoothers, etc... It was pretty picked over due to everyone doing the same thing I did. I still had a ways to go.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First on the First

I caved.

I've been feeling pretty good this week, so I signed up for the First on the First 5K in Westerville (near Columbus) Saturday. Since I have to cover seven that day my plan is to run four slowly with MIT and then run the race. I think I'm going to race it too, in between my new GPS and having pacers maybe I can break 26!

I figure it will be my last opportunity for awhile, once we get into the really long runs there's no way I'll be up for a 5k.

A long sleeved tech shirt and pig roast after kind of makes it worthwhile, don't ya think?

The weather looks... well, not lovely, but not horrible either.

Reality check

I'm shocked my alarm clock (aka as my cell phone) hasn't been chucked out the window by an angry Matt who is fed up with it going off every 10 minutes between 5 and 8 am.

Fortunately, he's a surprisingly sound sleeper. 

I'm subscribed to several health and fitness related e-newsletters, at least three of which decided to send out loving reminders this week that it is, in fact, more beneficial to get your lazy butt up and workout before work.

Shut up.

I know.

I get it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thanks, Santa! (updated)

The fat man in the red suit up north was awful good to me this year.

First up is the Garmin 305 GPS sports watch with heart rate monitor, from my parents. I have to admit I was kind of dreading having to run this weekend but now I'm excited about it. Going to take it out for six miles later.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few quick notes and then a Merry Christmas

Looked for a running Santa. Settled on this. 
This post is the online equivalent of me talking out loud about nothing important whatsoever. Enjoy.

I'm starting to look ahead to 2011 runs, I'll post a list later on. There won't be much flexibility for 5Ks and such leading up to May because my long runs will always be Saturday.

Still, I'm very tempted to do the First on the First on Jan. 1. It just looks like a lot of fun. Plus I know there will be pacers, it would be cool to see how I do following the 8-minute pacer, I'd love to get my 5K time under 26, which means I need to go at an 8:22 pace.

I should know better. I've had a lot of random aches and pains this week, I know they're just caused because I'm back to it after two weeks off, but it's a reminder to take it slow nonetheless.

Plus I need to cover 7 miles that day. So, I'd need to run 4 before the 5K even starts. No, I'll just stick with my plan.

Training this week... been following my plan. It's been good.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New shoes: Mizuno Precision

Old shoe
An ode to my old shoes: The Asics Kayano was a fantastic shoe, it was lightweight and had a lot of stability. I put in 350 miles (wow) on those shoes with few aches and pains and no injury. They took me through my first 10K and my first 10-miler. 

But it's time to move on.

A lot has changed since I bought my Kayanos -- I've dropped about 30 pounds, my running form has shaped up and my stability has improved tenfold.

I got the Kayano at Fleet Feet, but this time I went to see Tim at Star Power Running in Newark. I was in there in September to buy my FuelBelt and he really knew his stuff.

He's a fan of the barefoot running movement -- Vibrams Five Fingers and whatnot. It's something I'm intrigued by but not ready to try yet. Anyway, Tim immediately said the Kayano was "too much shoe" for me and I tried on some lighter pairs.

New shoes

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First MIT run!

Fleet Feet Sports' Marathoner in Training program started today in Columbus! I ran 5 with them and it was a lot of fun.

I got to Worthington at about 7:30 and ran into Bill and Molly, it was nice knowing two of the 400 people there. Jeff, the head honcho of the program gave a brief introduction (I get a season's worth of Gu for signing up early, wahoo!) then we split off into pace groups.

I have no clue whatsoever what my goal time for the Cleveland Marathon is. They said to run a little slower -- usually I do my long runs around 9:30 - 10:00 so I went with the 10:30 group.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A good set of headphones

I've had some issues with headphones for running lately, been through a lot of pairs and they all fell apart or malfunctioned in some way, shape or form.

I just got a pair of Sennheiser MX85s from Amazon and I'm hoping they'll work out. They're earbuds, but they don't fall out like the cheap ones. The sound quality is amazing, too. Plus they come with a little clip so the cord doesn't get in my way on the treadmill.

I paid about $30 for them, the price has gone up since.

As a stopgap I was using a basic pair of white ones from Target -- don't know what they were called but they were next to the iPods and had various colored earpieces.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running school is IN!

I can't decide if I want to do the Cleveland Marathon or the Flying Pig, but right now I'm excited for either because MIT started today!!!!

OK not really. Tonight was just the informational meeting for Fleet Feet Sports Marathoner in Training program. But it was enough to get me pumped.

Sans the holidays I'll meet up with more than 500 other brave souls early Saturday mornings to train for our respective races. Yes it is the middle of winter. Yes I still live in Ohio.

We break up into pace groups, there's a coach for every 20 or so people. We take off from a school in Westerville and run through the parks system. We get access to doctors, physical trainers, nutritionists, etc... They give us a plan to follow for our respective race, and there is just a wealth of information and, more importantly, camaraderie.

At the meeting there was such diversity in the room... young, old, fat, thin, athletic, not athletic. All wanting to run a full or half marathon.

So... what to train for...??????

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Race Report: Holiday Run at Sharon Woods

The finisher's medal and shirt (wrinkly from being crammed in my bag)
The Holiday Run at Sharon Woods in Westerville was just a teeny, tiny bit cold and rainy. But, when you knowingly sign up for a run on Dec. 12 in Ohio, you don't have much room to complain about bad weather.

With that said, it was an awesome time -- both in terms of me having an awesome time, and me running an awesome time.

If you're keeping track, that's three races in three weeks. I wasn't going to take this one very fast. Note the word "wasn't". The short of it: 4 miles in 34:45 -- that's an 8:41 pace, my second fastest! I was 98/245 overall and 5/12 in my age group.

Except for a quarter mile in kickboxing I haven't run since the Salt Fork 10-mile trail challenge Dec. 4. Been trying to shake it up a bit and give my legs a break at the same time. So, I didn't really know how I'd do today.

At 9 am the weather hadn't turned horrible yet. It was cold and raining but not snowy. I wore my LL Bean running tights, athletic pants, my tech shirt and my lined rain jacket.

I really only ran this one for the long-sleeved tech shirt, thus my mission was accomplished once I arrived and signed in. I got there at 8:20ish and warmed up with Bill, who I know from an online message board, I'll get to that in a bit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Running hiatus: Kickboxing and yoga

I'm taking a little hiatus this week and next, except for the short holiday run in Columbus this Sunday. This is to recover from Saturday's 10-mile trail run, which thoroughly kicked my butt. This time it's going a little bit better than last time I tried, perhaps because it's 20 degrees outside and snowing -- an environment just slightly more inviting than the treadmill. It's now Thursday and I have yet to log any miles.

So how have I occupied myself?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Race Report: Salt Fork 10-mile Trail Challenge

Not as bad as they were when I finished, but
my muddy feet.
So I come home, tromp up to my 2nd floor apartment and show off my race swag, but Matt just glares at me.

"Umm, are you going to take those off?"

Oh, you mean my running shoes that are caked with mud, before I wander around the house anymore? Yea, probably not a bad call. 

I did the Salt Fork 10-Mile Trail Challenge this morning, about a half hour east of Zanesville. Final time was 1:57:42. On the surface that's nowhere near where I wanted to be. But, given the completely insane course and race dynamics I'm not disappointed. 

Edit: I'm feeling better about my time now. Top female was 1:33:46!

It's December and cold was a given, it was a nice day for a run. Chilly, but no rain or snow and not much wind. I wore my running tights from LL Bean and a pair of athletic pants on top of them. I wore my long sleeved tech shirt from the Nu Race Trail Run, and then my bright yellow polyester fleece from LL Bean. And, of course, my Asics Kayanos, which only have 20 miles left on them:(

I also loaded up my FuelBelt with Gu Chomps, Gatorade and fruit bites.

I forgot my watch. I decided to leave my lucky baseball hat in the car because there was a slight wind. And my cheap Target headphones finally went ka-put, so I ran in silence. Wasn't that bad, a lot of the other runners were chatty. 

Still, it was a great day, great crowd, great event. The course kicked my butt, thoroughly and completely. Even though it was a basic short sleeved tee, I love the shirt.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why do we sign up for these things?

Saturday's run in a nutshell: You're going to wake up at the crack of dawn, drive and hour and a half to run 10 miles through the woods. If you're lucky, the temperature might go all the way up to 36 degrees! We'll give you water and snacks after 6 miles if you're still standing. By the way, it's deer hunting season. We told the hunters not to shoot, but you never know. 

Will someone please remind me why I signed up for this? Seriously, I really don't remember :-P


Screen grab of the elevation levels. The fun starts at mile 6. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An evil piece of equipment

Torture device.
Finally! After several days of excruciating pain following any tickle in my nose I can finally sneeze without simultaneously grabbing my stomach and cringing. Of course my cold is gone, so what's the point, right?

About a month ago I was having some issues with my ankle so I bought one of those inflatable balance boards. After about two weeks of nightly calf raises it went the way of so many other pieces of home equipment -- kicked into the corner to collect dust.

Then I tried yoga, and practically fell flat on my face. I guess I can mind-numblingly pound my feet on the pavement for 10-miles plus, but I can't hold a tree pose to save my life. I had tried some stuff on the BOSU at Aspen. Same deal.

Me = Uncoordinated loser.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So not ready for Salt Fork... but haven't I said that before?

10 mile trail race, what on earth was I thinking! The Salt Fork run is next Saturday. 

Then again, I made this post about a week before the Nu Race Trail Run, and this post shortly before the Indian Run. 

Before the Nu Race run, I simply wrote: "Yalp"

Before the Indian run I wrote: "I think I'm in over my head."

After the Nu Race run I wrote: "My first 1st place finish!"

After the Indian Run I wrote: "I can't believe I did it in under an hour"

And believe me, I was saying similar stuff before my first 5k. So yea, I'll be fine! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Race Report: Cleveland Turkey Trot

Sometimes, it's more fun to hang back and talk to the giant turkey running beside you.

In this case, I mean that literally.

I ran the Cleveland Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning and had a blast. This was my sixth race since I resumed this insanity in May. In the other five I was all about the time, how fast can I go? Can I PR? How many women are in front of me? (In only one case was there the correct amount: 0).

A number of factors aligned to show that I would not be racing this one:
A) I was fighting off a nasty cold
B) My big race is a week from Saturday
C) I wanted to stick with my little sister, this was her first race since having a baby (note to self: Stop calling her "little". She's a mom now.)
D) There were 2,000 people there so there was no way I was going to win

The race started at 9:30. After a relatively hectic morning, which included hitting up everyone in my house because neither of us had any cash to park, we pulled up at about 9:20. Parking was a pain, there was a long line to get into the lot so we parked a good half mile away (we didn't need that cash after all). We met up with my college buddy, Evelyn, as the bullhorn was going off. Yay for chip timing, we stood back to avoid getting trampled then jumped in with the fray.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More cheap gear

There is more to my life than shopping, I swear it. Just not this week. So when I went into Target tonight I had just paper towels, dish soap and makeup on the list. Whoops.

$15, 100% polyester, wicking fabric. Their clearance rack was loaded too, got another cute sweater.

The Turkey Trot is tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wet turkeys

With the exception of my first 5k which took place in 90 degree heat, I've lucked out with the weather for all of my runs. Even the Mohican one, where I secretly hoped it would rain so I could relive my high school cross country days of running through the mud.

This good luck, it appears, is about to run out. Forecast for the Cleveland Turkey Trot Thursday, according to Accuweather:

5 miles of rain and cold, it must be wintertime in Ohio, yipee I can wear my new jacket!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What I love about Maine: Cheap LL Bean loot

It's not the overload of seaside shanties selling lobster and crabs, even in November.

It's not the people, who are always beyond friendly and willing to help you at every turn. (I was at the Gap and my LL Bean bag broke, five people rushed to help.)

It's not the ocean.

It's not the tough nature of people here, who will look at 3 feet of snow and walk outside like it's 60 degrees out and sunny. (Seriously, Ohioans, it's only cold white fluffy stuff, toughen up already).

It's not the scenic, long, 2 lane curvy roads. (Unless you get stuck behind someone from Jersey).

It's not the Kennebec River Rail Trail. The hills will kick your butt and leave you grinning at the end.

It's not Sen. Olympia Snowe, who remembered my name after meeting me only once. "Jessica, that girl in Norway who asked all those really good questions."

It's not the high cost of heating oil (In this case I'm not kidding, it's absolutely not.)

Well yea, it's all of those things except the latter. But above everything else, above the exaggerated "As" and the absence of "R"s, unless of course they're called for, "I have an idea'r", it's the LL Bean outlet store.

How I miss thee.

I went down to Freeport today for some good old bargain hunting. And I made out like a bandit.

What does all this have to do with running, you ask?

Let's start with non-cotton fleece pullover, $20, bright yellow for running at night:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Further proof that I am completely out of my mind

Who agrees to travel across the country a year in advance to then climb into a van with complete strangers and run 6 miles three times, most likely in the middle of the night, down a mountain and to the beach. Who, I ask you, who?

**Sheepishly raises hand**

Hood to Coast teams are selected by lottery. Here's my logic. I never win anything, ever ever ever. So, if I see something I really want to do I better start entering now to further improve my odds of getting in down the road.

But when I woke up this morning, this was in my inbox...


*Giggles with excitement*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaser "I did it" post

One week ago represented a quiet but significant milestone. I stepped on the scale and it read 129. On February 1 of this year I weighed 179. 50 pounds, gone gone gone gone gone and never coming back. I started to write a blog post about it. I've refined it, and refined it, and refined it. I'm really struggling with how much personal information I want to throw out to the world. I'm getting closer, still not right though, and the delay is kind of killing me. But I've had a burning desire to do an "I did it" post. So here is a teaser, the rest will come when I'm ready!

I normally don't buy stuff for the label, but on Thursday I found this at Kroger and it was just too perfect to celebrate with:

I'm in Maine this week. Had a fantastic, fantastic day today. I finally got a sports therapy massage, which felt amazing. Except that I got read the riot act on flexibility training and stretching. My IT band, calfs and shins are super tight. I've got to work on that. I got a balance board for home, which I've been doing calf raises on to strengthen my ankles for trail runs. The Y offers a BOSU class. I'm intrigued.

I ran 8 miles on the Kennebec River Rail Trail today. Felt like I could have gone further, but it was getting dark (and it wasn't even 5 p.m.) It was a fantastic run. I started out in Farmingdale. The trail goes along the Kennebec River and snakes through the town of Hallowell. The best part is that there is a gap in the trail, so you have to run down Water Street -- Hallowell's Main Street. It is such a beautiful, quaint town. It is always busy, but it is also very progressive. The road has designated bike lanes, and I wasn't the only runner going through town, so I didn't feel self conscience in the least, like I do when I run through Newark.

To the left is a photo of my favorite bar on the planet, The Liberal Cup. I have lots of fond memories of that place when I was covering Maine's political scene. More later!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I'm visiting Maine this week. Man I miss this place, right down to the obnoxious accents. Towns like this in Ohio are few and far between, with the exception of Granville.

I'm watching a news report right now about the state budget and seeing a lot of my old sources. I even miss the politics here! Nothing in Ohio is the same.

Today I ran on the Kennebec River Rail Trail. It was beautiful out, about 45 degrees, a bit chillier by the river. I started where I'm staying in Farmingdale and ran down to downtown Hallowell. I was never a runner in Maine but I walked the dogs on the path all the time. It's gorgeous.

I'll take a few pictures tomorrow of my old stomping grounds later this week.

After a long time in the car, my legs are feeling horrid. Yesterday I just did two miles on the treadmill at the Y here just to shake my legs out, yay for the away program. Today running was really hard, I was incredibly achy and sore. Four miles was incredibly difficult. I may try to get a sports massage while I'm out here tomorrow, if I can find a place.

I'm also going to head down to the LL Bean outlet to get some cool new running gear.

Friday, November 12, 2010

27 miles this week, and preparing for the long run!

As in, THE long run. The Cleveland Marathon is now 183 days away. Took a couple steps in preparing today. I'll get to those in a minute. But first...

This week marks a new record in weekly miles, 27! Old record was 25. I actually did two long runs this week -- did 11 Monday to make up for a miserable day Saturday, and 10 today. Of course, my short runs were very short, I did 2 miles of hill repeats on Tuesday, normally I do three, and Thursday was an easy four miles on the treadmill.

The old record was 25. Here's the graph:

Today's run was wonderful. I ran the bike trail but took a different route. I started at the Y and ran five miles out, all the way to the cow pasture. I was off today and I have a feeling this was one of the last times I'll be running in the sunlight for awhile. It went well, nothing hurt and I'm not really sore now. Just tired.

Then I went to Columbus. Fleet Feet put a note up on Facebook that there was a new model of my shoe out, the Asics Kayano, so they were closing the one I have out for wicked cheap. Of course when I got there they were already out of my size! But I'll poke around online and try to order a couple pairs, I'm sure it's out there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Switching health clubs

I joined a new health club this week! I'm now a member of the Licking County Family YMCA (actually I think it's just The Y now) in Newark. It's wonderful, they have so much there. Two pools, two fitness centers, including one for just women and youth, racquetball courts, an indoor walking track, and a remarkable amount of classes. And -- perhaps the best part -- a sauna!

The bike trail starts right outside too, so it will be really easy to do my strength training right after my runs.

I have heard so many good things. Plus I toured it at two times I normally go -- in the morning and after work, so I know it doesn't get packed and the crowd is bearable.

I was going to wait until next year to make the switch but they were waiving the joiners fee this month so I went ahead and signed up.

Of course, it's triple the price of Aspen Fitness Centers in Heath, where I was up through today. My needs have changed since I first went fitness club shopping a year ago (namely, I was looking for something not too expensive because, face it, I probably was't going to use it.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Race registration: All about the shirt

Just signed up for the Holiday Run at Sharon Woods in Columbus Dec. 12. More because it looks like fun and less because I want to race it.  It's the week after the 10-mile Trail challenge at Salt Fork so I'll absolutely be taking it slow! Plus they give you a long sleeved tech shirt, the one I got at the Mohican Nu Race Trail run is perfect for running in the cold so it would be good to have a second.

I hardly ever wear my cotton tees anymore while running or at the gym.

This one looks like fun, and the course looks very scenic. You get hot chocolate, cookies, and Michelob Ultra is the sole sponsor so there better be some adult beverages involved!

Monday, November 8, 2010


There's nothing like being paranoid about being lost, dodging traffic and having a running buddy to make 11 miles seem like nothing. I am feeling 10,000 times better!

Ok, it wasn't that bad. It was just enough to keep me distracted to complete the distance. It was probably just about 11 miles.

I was meeting up with a friend from work to run. Since I wanted to get a long run in, I ran 3.5 miles to her house, ran 3.75 miles with her and then did the 3.5 back. Most of it wasn't bad, I just need to find a few good side streets in between Waterworks Road and the road leading up to her place so I can stay off Mount Vernon and 21st Street. Not very pedestrian friendly, but that was only a short ways.

I think I have a nasty blister, otherwise I'm feeling pretty good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Abstract bricks

Every time I've failed to complete a run I've known I was doomed within the first two miles. It's actually pretty good motivation... because once I make it past those first two I know I'll make it the rest of the way.

I hit a wall today, though. I went out for my first 12-miler, per the training program, and I just couldn't do it. Couldn't make the legs function. I survived the first mile, albeit barely. Forced myself to stretch for five minutes. Made it another half mile beyond that, and then my legs just quit. Felt like I was wearing giant bricks instead of shoes. I was achy, nothing in particular, just really, really tired. So that makes my weekly mileage a pathetic 17 miles.

I know I'll have off-days from time to time. Still it's discouraging!

I thought I did everything right... ate carbs out the wa-zoo yesterday, took yesterday off from any activity, drank Gatorade beforehand, etc. So what went wrong? It could be any number of things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Lately I've been wicked stiff after my runs. I think a lot of it has to do with the cold and my body cooling down faster.

Anyway, I found this stretching routine and it has been a godsend. My muscles feel so good after. I used to put it on my iPod, which forces me to do the whole thing each time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Climbing hills

If there's one thing I've learned from the Mohican race Saturday, it's that if I want to keep doing this insane trail running stuff I've got to run more hills. 

I've been pretty good about running them once a week on the treadmill, but when it comes to picking a route for my longer runs I'm all about the flatness.

This is what I did today, stepping it up a bit. The last four weeks I was doing the same, one grade down on all.
1 mile @ 6 speed and 5 incline
2 x 1/2 mile @ 5.5 speed and 7 incline
4 x 1/4 mile @ 5 speed and 9 incline
Walking .1 to .25 miles in between. 

Usually I finish in just under an hour, and it burns a ton of calories. The intervals also help break up the prolonged agony I've come to equate with running on the treadmill.

I've been doing some reading though, and Runner's World suggests more of a rolling hill approach, so maybe I'll try that out next week. This article also has some interesting tips on form.

I really need to make it a point to find more routes around here with a hill or two, most importantly so I can practice running down as well. Horns Hill is two miles from my apartment, though I don't know if I'm that crazy. Also I've gotten a few tips from people in Granville. I hear the Denison campus is a doozy, and probably safer to run at night too, which will become a factor very soon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

300 miles logged

Forgot a little note from yesterday... I now have 300 miles under my belt, according to my training logs at the Daily Mile.

What's 300 miles from here?
EAST: Niagra Falls
NORTH: Flint, Mich. (why I'd want to go there is beyond me)
WEST: Terre Haute, Ind.
SOUTH: Roanoke, Va.

I got my Asics Kayanos at 70 miles, so I still have a good month with those shoes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Race Report: A Nu Race Trail Run

My first 1st Place finish!! Yea ok there were only 11 women running my distance but still I was SOOOOO excited! Time was 1:28:33, wouldn't have been a good time on the road, but given the hills I'm happy with it. Full results here.

I did the Nu Race Trail Run at Mohican State Forest in Perrysville. The had 3.5, 8, 13.1 and 31 mile distances. It was an inaugural run, about 25 people in each distance, to benefit Camp Nuhop, a camp for children with developmental disabilities.

I hope this event grows. It was well organized, a beautiful and challenging course, and for a good cause. It was far more challenging than the Hocking Hills Indian Run last month. They had all kinds of goodies at the aid stations -- I decided not to find out what would have happened to my stomach had I eaten the peanut M&Ms on the course but having them out was a nice gesture. And they gave out long-sleeved tech shirts, which is amazing.

My only complaint was the same one I had for the Indian Run, there were no mileage markers so I had no idea where I stood the entire time. Also the last two miles or so doubled back on the same narrow trail, that wasn't bad because it was a small field but if it gets more crowded that might get messy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The 5-day-a-week dilemma

I'm using Cool Running's half marathon training program right now, though I've modified it pretty heavily. At the moment I have no use for speedwork. I'm not actually training for a half (yet), this program works perfectly though for the 10-mile trail run I want to do in December.

My biggest dilemma is how many days to run. I've wanted to go up to 5, but I think I've decided that four days of running plus one day of cross training is more practical. Every training program I look at for distances longer than a 10K calls for 5 days running.

The problem lies here: I want Fridays and Sundays off completely, because I'm either doing my long run or racing Saturday. So, if I'm a 5-day-a-week runner, that means four of those days are consecutive.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warrior Dash 2011

Hey kids!! It happened, I completed the Warrior Dash! Check out my race report here.

Original post:

I checked my traffic today and I have gotten a surprising amount of hits this week. Seriously, I'm shocked that many people care but thanks for reading! (Hi Mom.)

So to sum up: I'm running 8 miles at Mohican this weekend and after looking at a topo map of the course I realized how completely insane that was.

But even though it's just a third of the distance, this upcoming race tops it.

Meet the 2011 Warrior Dash. 2.91 miles in Hocking Hills... with a windstorm, tires, a junkyard, logs, tunnels, something called "hell's hill", a plank, a wall, hay, a river, a cliff, a net, fire and barbed wire. In that order.

15 heats of up to 500 people, and you have to sign a waiver. I'm intrigued. But that insane? Umm, maybe. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

People who do amazing things

I just wanted to wish all the luck in the world to Alexis Mundis this Sunday. She's running the Marine Corp Marathon near (in?) D.C. to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, with Team in Training. She has lost over 200 pounds in the process, check out her blog here for pics. All after being diagnosed with Lupus.

Alexis and I both did the same Washington, D.C. internship program in 2006. Didn't see her after, but she did a wonderful job keeping everyone posted on her training via Facebook.

I'm sure my tiny little blog won't generate that much interest, but if you are interested in donating on her behalf, you can do so here.

Good luck Sunday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Distance in donuts and cheezburgers

That's "cheezburgers", with a z.

I use The Daily Mile to track my runs, which generates all the widgets you see on the side of this blog. (Thanks, Kerry!)

I just added two more...

With the 278 miles I've logged so far this year, I've earned:

It'll update as I continue to log miles. I have no clue how accurate that is, they base it off calories burned, but it's a fun way to look at things.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10 miles!

So I just collapsed on my couch with a couple of ice packs and decided not to move for a few hours. Feeling pretty good... did my second 10 mile run. That makes 25 for the week, my highest yet.

Toward the end I kinda felt like I could have kept going... maybe I should have. I just read an article about overtraining, I was out of gatorade and my ankle has been hurting on and off, so it was probably best that I didn't, though of course now I have that nagging "how far could I have gone" mentality. Next time.

Ran with a runners club out of Granville. Very good group of people. Some were way too fast but I fell in nicely at a 10-minute pace with the slower group. We did 6 miles through the Denison Bioreserve, which I never knew existed until today. Definitely going back, beautiful area and good practice for upcoming trail runs, which I hands down prefer to the road.

Most of the group did the marathon a few weeks ago, and they stopped after 6 so I cut down to the bike trail on my own. I don't like running without my iPod, the silence was eery, but I got it done.

Got breakfast and then went right to the gym to do my strength training. Was definitely a little slower on that but now I'm done done done done done for the weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Just checking to see if the application I used to autopost to Facebook works.

This is my running partner, Crazy Lizzie. She's up to four miles with me. By definition she's a retired race dog, though she flunked out of racing school and came to live with me at age 2. Now she's five and still a pup at heart.

This is my other girl, Gigi. She doesn't run with me, she's getting old and likes to sniff too much. She had a short racing career.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oct. 30 course

At work yesterday we had one of those find-your-personality-type training sessions.

I came up with this description: "You live in the here and now and your impulsiveness drives everything you do. You love competition and you never miss an opportunity to make a deal."

So maybe that's why I sign up for stuff like this? Topo map of the 8-miler I'm doing Oct. 30.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back to it

This was a bit of an off week... I was down for a couple days with a stomach bug and was definitely a bit dehydrated on my runs Friday and Saturday. I managed to get in all 8 miles of my long run in today, just had to stop a couple extra times. Took a little detour so it ended up being 8.5 miles.

It was a beautiful fall day and it was really nice to be outside. I ran the bike trail starting in Granville and heading out toward Alexandria.

Even before I started feeling ill Tuesday my runs were a bit slow. I barely managed hills Monday and just couldn't force myself beyond a mile Tuesday. Friday I felt strong going 4. Lizzie the greyhound came with, that was her longest distance yet and she was a champ. That made for a total of 17 for the week.

It was kind of an off week in general. I did boot camp at the gym this morning and then the long run so I'm really sore and have a nagging pain in my shin, time to find the ice pack and absolutely taking tomorrow off!

I added Cleveland's Turkey Trot to my upcoming races. It's a 5 miler, I may do it with my sis. It looks like a blast.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2010 Bowman Cup

I met up with a friend from college to do the Kent State Homecoming 5K this morning. It was a fantastic day to be out and about, in the 70s, sunny. Finished in 26:17 by my watch, 26:30 by the official race time (I like my time better since it took a few seconds to get to the start because there were so many people -- there was no chip timing!)

Except that it was a day of near misses! Only the first 400 people got the really cool tshirts, I was #408. My 5k PR is 26:06, so I was 12 seconds off. And when I went to Ray's Place afterward to dutifully replace carbohydrates lost, like every good little runner should, they had just run out of the Centennial Alumni glasses. *Pouts.*

Seriously, though, it was a really good day. It was by far the most crowded race I've done... almost 1000 people. The first mile was pretty slow, around 9:30, just because there were so many runners. I started out in the middle of the pack. I picked it up the second mile, but there was a bottleneck when the race turned onto a narrower trail, so I was just under 18 minutes at the marker. Kicked it up toward the end even more but the finish was all uphill.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Registration complete!

Registration complete... Oct. 30... an 8 mile trail run at Mohican. Yelp. It's a new event but Premier races has been promoting the heck out of it so it will be interesting to see how many people show!

Gotta get back training on those hills :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

24 miles logged this week

What a beautiful fall morning... I did 10 miles in Granville. Slight soreness but it's tolerable.

I logged 24 miles this week over 4 runs, and surprisingly that wasn't my highest week to date... a couple weeks ago I totaled 24.7. Both Monday and today I pushed my long runs a little further because it has just been so nice out, managed 8 on Monday and 10 today. On Wednesday I did hill repeats on the treadmill and my legs seriously hurt so I barely eeked out 3 Thursday.

Saturday mornings in Granville are marvelous. The farmers market is always packed, there are a ton of people out on the bike trail and there's this wonderful little coffee shop with great fair trade blends. Such a stark contrast from Newark.

I've been feeling really good on my long runs... usually I fall into a good rhythm after the first 2, around a 10 minute pace, and the rest of the way is a breeze (as long as the iPod is charged up... the Hold Steady's new one is my latest favorite). I need to find some hillier routes for my shorter runs, though. Dawes is always good, I'll try to get there next week.

I'm shaking things up, trying to decide if I want to move up to 5 days of running or stick with one day on the elliptical.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Game plan for fall

First a confession... I told myself I was going to take it super easy this week to recover. I was going to be good and stick to the elliptical. But it has been a hellish week... I was kind of riled up after work Tuesday and went out to run 2.5. Then I did the same thing Thursday, logging 3 at the bike trail.

My legs are pretty sore from strength training this morning but I'm going to attempt to do two loops around the long trail at Dawes Arboretum tomorrow morning. Next time I go there with the pups I'll take some pics, it's beautiful there.

I'm excited... I have a new plan. Kind of, anyway. Still needs some tweaks. It might be a bit too ambitious, I'll play with it as I go along.

My goal is baby steps until I eventually get to the marathon distance. (May = Flying Pig). The big race I'm working toward is Salt Fork 10-mile trail challenge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Upcoming races I'm eying

No committals yet, but these look like fun (I'll have to make some choices!)

Oct. 9 Bowman Cup 5K (alma mater's homecoming race)

New addition! Oct. 17: Kenyon Mudman Triple 5K or 10K

Oct. 30 Nu Race Trail Run (Ashland County), 8 miles

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Race Report: Hocking Hills Indian Run

Wow. That's all. My legs are threatening to revolt if I dare get off the couch tonight. I am absolutely doing this one next year.

The short of it: 10K (6.2 miles) in 56:53, 6th in my age group, 49th overall.

I was really worried... I woke up with a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Eight weeks of training about to be foiled by a simple cold. And most cold medicine gives me mild stomach upset, tolerable on a normal day but not while running. So I took some allergy meds and crossed my fingers. By the time I got to Hocking Hills I was feeling great. Phew!

Driving in I got a sense of what I was in for, the single lane roads were windy, curvy and hilly, the kind of terrain I really miss from living in Maine.

This race was a complex animal -- five different distances, but it was very well organized. The registration area was kind of a zoo with runners doing their pre-race stuff. Another sign of what was about to come: I looked for a place to run my warmup and there was not a single flat stretch of road in sight. To conserve I jogged around the parking lot a few times.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The iPod has been synced and packed (trying to decide between the new Arcade Fire or my classic rock mix for the race.)

My purple tech tank top and black jogging shorts are laid out.

My watch has been located and packed.

My alarm is set for 6 am.

It's 10k time!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Got to get a Garmin

This is incredible. It’s a social media-type site that allows you to track your mileage and routes.

Once I get around to getting a Garmin, I can upload everything automatically.

For now, I’ve entered my runs from the last week by hand. Not quite sure how to share the logs yet but I’ll get my resident computer expert down here tomorrow to help!

Going public!

I’ve just wiped away all my other feeble attempts at being a blogger on my WordPress account (The record: one week, apart from the year I actually got paid for it).
But I'm going to transfer over a couple old posts from a private blog so it will look like this has been around for awhile!
I’m still of the opinion that no one really cares about me whining about shin splits but I’ve found some pretty cool public blogs by people in the area and figured I’d give it a shot.
To sum things up, my short and fragmented running career in a few paragraphs:
Ran track and cross in high school. Went to college. Abandoned running and did usual college student stuff. Graduated from college and did the usual young professional stuff. Joined a gym at a few points. Learned that actually paying the membership fee isn’t enough if you want results. What a rip. Started C25K a few times. Gave up a few times.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goals for Saturday and beyond

It’s my first 10K and I’m ready. I’ve covered up to 8 miles on the completely flat Licking County bike trail, 7 miles at the completely hilly Dawes Arboretum. Cranked the treadmill all the way up to 10 grade, to the point where someone even asked me if I had a death wish.

I really want to finish in under an hour but I know better than to set that goal. My training pace is a 10 minute mile. My last 5k pace was an 8:25 mile but that’s mostly because I sprinted the last half mile trying to get third place (I did). BUT! It’s rough terrain and I don’t know how bad these hills are. And last year only three of 15 women in my age group beat an hour. So I’m going to be good and set my goal at 66 minutes. Moreover, my goal is just to run the whole thing, no stops.

I keep telling myself that I’m going to wait until the race is over before plotting out the next steps. I’m going to take a few days off. But I just can’t stop myself from looking ahead. There’s a 10 mile race at Salt Fork state park Dec. 4. Or I could just try to improve my 10K time? Or my 5K time? My mind wanders and then suddenly I’m on Fleet Feet’s site again!

One step at a time!

Hocking Hills Indian Run site

Hocking Hills Indian Run map

Hocking Hills Indian run 2009 results

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two great runs this week

Yesterday I covered 8 miles on the bike trail (Cherry Valley Road portion) without stops, plus a one mile warmup. The first two miles were rough but then the shin splits went away and all was good aside from a small cramp in my calf toward the end. Used my new Fuelbelt and got used to it quickly.

Wednesday I covered 7 miles at Dawes. Did the small loop as a warmup, then the big loop twice followed by on more treck around the small loop. I dragged a bit on the first two hills but hardly noticed them after. Ultimate in stress relief, there was hardly anyone on the trail and the new Arcade Fire carried me through perfectly.

Monday was 6.5 on the bike trail (extra half was because I somehow missed the turnaround point). Did long hills on the treadmill Thursday for a weekly mileage total of 24.5 — the highest yet.

This week I’m going to take it easy on the running. Here’s the plan — lots of cross training.

Sunday: Cross training – elliptical, easy, circuit training
Monday: 4 miles easy, circuit training
Tuesday: Personal training session, elliptical easy
Wednesday: 3 miles easy, circuit training
Thursday: Elliptical, circuit training or personal training (if my trainer can move my Friday session to Thursday, otherwise I’ll just cancel!)
Friday: Off
Saturday: Race day

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Race Report: Licking County Pet-A-Palooza

(Crossposted from Facebook with a few changes)
My second 5K, the Licking County Pet-A-Palooza in Granville was this morning. Most of my runs lately have been at around a 10:30 pace for 5 or 6 miles, so I figured I’d shoot for a 9 minute mile. I bested that by about a minute, unofficial time was 26:02. I was the third female.
Lizzie the greyhound came to watch. I thought about running with her but I really wanted to race this one. She was happy to go though, since there were pet expo booths she got a lot of treats and attention. I’ve taken her on a few shorter runs and she loves it, she just has to stop occasionally. She really can’t do more than two or three miles. Gigi stayed home. She’s getting old, unfortunately, and tends to get overwhelmed when there are a lot of people around and a lot of activity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

10K training updates

I think I’m in over my head a bit. I can run 6 miles on a flat surface. I can run hills. I’m just worried about running 6.2 miles on a hilly course! I really should have picked a flatter course for my first one!

I ran at Dawes Arboretum today. 7 miles total but I stopped after each of four loops. Legs were achy from a hard leg day Friday with the trainer.

The 10K is in three weeks. I have a 5K next week, so I’m curious to see how much my time improves. I’m going to take it easy on the running next week to prepare — 5 miles Monday and 4 miles Wednesday.

After running today I did my circuits and then abs. Serious soreness, good day tomorrow’s an off day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Race results

5K races:

26:03 Licking County Pet-A-Palooza
Granville, Ohio
Sept. 4, 2010

29:43 BW3 Beerathlon
Columbus, Ohio
July 17, 2010


56:52 Hocking Hills Indian Run; Logan Ohio; Sept. 18, 2010