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.