Monday, February 28, 2011

February stats: First 100-mile month!

108 miles! That's what I ran in February! First time over 100, and it was a short month too... bam!!

1 year ago I was treading in the obese category and was afraid to even take it up to a jog. I joined MIT in December but even then always kept telling myself that I could drop back to a half program if necessary. I didn't think I had the confidence to complete a full.

(Note: Right now I'm just rambling and I'm ignoring everything I know about proper writing and grabbing readers into the story and search engine optimization and all that jazz. And I'm fine with that. I'm also lying in bed listening to instrumental versions of Beatles songs, and it is absolutely amazing.)

This month I officially passed the half marathon mark and, for the first time since I started, am realizing that I do have what it takes to finish a full. Thanks to all of those out there who have helped me along the way. During relaxation in yoga tonight I was thinking about seeing that magic number "29" as I was finishing my first 5K. I thought about seeing the magic number "56" as I finished my first 10K. I remember being handed a first place plaque as I finished my first 8-miler. I remember hitting double digits. I remember pushing up the final hill past a lot of very tired people to finish my first 15-miler. I remember seeing the magic number "129" on the scale (I never did write that post. Too personal.) Almost more importantly I remember coming in from the many MIT long runs laughing and having a good time with the pace teams.

And the post I did in an exhausted haze Saturday has racked up a surprising number of hits, traffic in general has really been picking up.

Ok, enough with the sappy sentimental crap I probably lost most people on and on to the numbers, thanks to the Daily Mile :)

(And I finally realized what Charlie's tattoo is from in Lost. I should have figured that one out sooner.)

108 miles total. I guess I owe most of it to the Saturday long runs getting longer and longer. Here are the monthly totals:

(Another side note: I just logged onto the Daily Mile and saw one of my buddies there, also named Jessica, whom I have never met, also had her first 100 mile month. Yay!!!)

The lifetime analytics:

What's 633 miles from here? Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Green Bay (yay team that beat the Steelers!), Des Moines (had a fun weekend there), and Memphis. Hard to choose (not really, there's snow in the forecast, I pick Myrtle Beach.)

And some fun YTD stats:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reward for getting out of bed

I am so glad I got out there this morning, and I survived 14 miles to boot. My body was screaming at me when I got up, the same dehydration/achiness/headaches/sniffles that I've had all week. Normally I run with the 10:30s, today I started with the 11s and felt pretty horrid the first two miles. At the first water stop I dropped back to the 11:30s and then I started feeling better.

I noticed yesterday in spin class and the two miles I ran that my heart rate was way up, so I tried to pay attention to that today. My average was around 140 -- that's usually where I am at a 10:30 pace so I'm glad I dropped back. I missed the people I've gotten to know in the 10:30s, but the 11:30s were a very enjoyable group to run with.

The weather was nice, cold but not too cold. We were on the streets of Worthington, as opposed to the trail, so it was very hilly. My legs are rudely informing me that they did not appreciate the inclines.

The long run is 16 next week and 18 the week after. The next week is a taper week at 10, and I'm doing Conquer the Creek in Columbus.

I ended up with 24 miles this week, not bad -- all things considered. (continued)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Not a champion this week

I'm slowly dying.

That's actually a gross exaggeration. But I really did have had the cold/flu/I-don't-really-know-what-it-was from hell this week. We're talking pounding headaches, random body aches, a general fatigue and, of course, an imaginary clothes pin clamped tightly on my nose.

So, a few miles around the indoor track at the Y has been the extent of my training. Instead of talking about that, I offer you this link to this hysterical blog. Enjoy. Especially this post. And this post. See you next week. In the meantime, I'm going to be a little busy, in Lost we just found out Juliet is not such a good person after all (or is she double-crossing the others?)

One more random note -- of the me being annoyed with a company and needing to tell the world in a way that will come up in a Google search style. Never order from Nutty Guys. I love dried fruit and nuts, so I got a Groupon for them and ordered more than the Groupon would cover. It took them 20 days to ship my order (their website promised 2-3 days). They didn't respond to several emails wondering what was going on -- their online chat doesn't work and no one picked up when I called. It wasn't until I complained to Groupon that I got an unapologetic email from them explaining that they were out of stock on something. They're shipping is pricy too -- lesson learned: Go to Trader Joe's, same prices and they're way better!

And to not be the whiny consumer, do order from Marbles: The Brain Store if you like puzzles and such. I also discovered them through Groupon, and they are super-reliable. I love my Buckeyballs!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conquer the Creek trail run, Alum Creek, Mar. 19

I'm going to register for the Conquer the Creek trail run Mar. 19. It's 6.5 miles off-road at Alum Creek. Should be a good time. It also fits with my training schedule, I have 10 scheduled that day, so I'll just do a long warmup.

Should be a good time!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Photos from the Granville winter run

The Columbus Roadrunners Club took a bunch of photos at the Winter run Feb. 13. Here's a YouTube slideshow of all of them:

Here's what I look like finishing 15 miles (special thanks to CRRC for emailing these to me!):

And here's the starting line:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Indoor track blues

When I left work today ice was pelleting out of the sky. I get to the Y and, of course, every treadmill is full. Only one option left.... the 1/18 of a mile indoor track. I did two miles before ST, two after and then one when I came back for yoga. 90 laps total. Surprisingly, the room is not spinning around me.

(Sidenote: This sounds even more pathetic when I put it in print. I have got to get a life).

Fortunately there were some good distractions... Some general observations while running in the same circle over and over.

  • I tried zumba, and disliked it very much. I was well aware of how ridicoulus I looked in the process. But today I have zumba to thank. While I was running in circles, all the ridiculous looking people in the zumba class in the adjoining room kept me very entertained. 
  • Little kids trying to dribble basketballs that probably weigh more than they do is about the cutest thing ever.
  • Fathers trying to help their little kids do chinups is also very entertaining.
  • High school boys on the basketball court trying to impress the high school girls walking around the track by dunking and flexing is absolutely not the cutest thing ever. 
  • While we're on the topic, giggly high school girls that must walk slowly and take up the entire track are also far from the cutest thing ever.
  • Tom Petty's American Girl is a really good song.
  • I'm actually kind of sick of the Arcade Fire album that has been on top of my playlist for months.
  • I'm still not sick of the new Girltalk album.
  • I consider myself good at math. But while running I cannot count to 5 to save my life, hence...
  • I love the lap button on my Garmin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Freakishly springlike and loving it

On Wednesday, I ran in short sleeves. On Friday I ran in shorts. What a wonderful week in Central Ohio! It was a little colder today, but still a great day to be out.

This week was a fallback, 10 miles, and that did seem short compared to last week's 15 miler. The next 3 weeks are 14-16-18, yelp yelp yelp! I thought we were going a little fast but we ended with an average pace of 10:20.

755 calories burned on the run. 1150 consumed at Panera after (what happens when you say yes, I will take a delicious chocolate chip cookie for $0.99). Hear that, Panera? You won... this time.

Fleet Feet actually got a halfway decent picture of me... stole this from their Facebook page (I'm in blue):


Monday, February 14, 2011

Mizuno Precision review: 168 miles in

I haven't posted about the Mizuno Wave Precision 11 since I first got them, so I figured now that they're halfway through their 350-mile life I'd do a quick review. Those miles add up pretty quickly when you're logging 20-30 a week!

It was a really weird feeling the first time I stepped on the treadmill with them, since they are much lighter than my old shoes, the Asics Kayanos. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn't striking with my heels as much -- that's a good thing.

They're much lighter. I know I was having lots of pains with the Kayanos toward the end, and they eased up almost instantaneously with the Precisions. The shin pain has been coming and going but I've barely had any knee pain since I got them.

I've been very careful, my weekly mileage is skyrocketing up with the marathon training, and overall these shoes have been a very good partner. Lighter has been better for me. Who knows, maybe I will become a barefoot running convert someday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winter warriors (and 30 miles in one week)

Last week I finally hit 30 miles for one week! That's with the CRRC Winter Run Sunday, which was half of it. Here's the graph for last week:

I'm looking at a few events prior to Cleveland. I probably will only do one, two max. I'm dying to get off-road (and by that, I don't mean on the treadmill). This looks like a fun one... The Great Seal Trail Run March 26 in Chillicothe. But I don't think it will fit in too well with my training schedule, I either have to do 18 or 20, depending on if I am still following the Cincy schedule or if I am following Cleveland's by that point.

A perfect fit would be the Earth Day Challenge half marathon in Gambier April 17, when I have 12 scheduled. I'm not sure if it's an actual trail run or a paved trail.

This week my training will be a little off because I did my long run Sunday instead of Saturday. Tomorrow I'm taking off, for obvious reasons. I'm going to shoot for a slow 4 Tuesday, 6 Wednesday, 6 (hills) Thursday, and a slow 4 Friday. (continued)

Race Report: CRRC 15-mile Winter Run

I'm officially past the half-marathon point. I covered 15 miles today! Just don't ask how my legs are feeling. Or, pretty much any muscle in my body, for that matter.

I ran the Columbus Roadrunner's Club Winter Run (CRRC Winter Run), the 15 mile distance, this afternoon. We really lucked out with the weather, I was comfortable in my tech shirt and compression tights, but the course was tough. Here's the course map, and below is a screenshot of the elevation chart. I'm really glad I've been doing some hill repeats, I know I was passing a lot of people on the inclines.

And, with this run, I finally hit 30 miles for one week! Wahhoo!

The beginning of the run took a lot of restraint. There were some fast people, really fast people, there. I started off toward the back of the pack and had to force myself to keep above a 9:30 mile. Pacing was hard throughout... every time I stopped paying attention I found myself drifting toward an 8:30 - 9 mile. I recognized the 10:00 pace coach from MIT and tried to stay behind him, but lost him toward the end of the first lap.

15 miles was two laps of a 7.5 mile course. I forced myself to slow down for the first 10 miles, then for the last 5 I let myself go faster. The last two I really had to push through. But, toward the end I was passing a lot of people, and I ended up 3rd in my age group! I'm really glad I held back, otherwise I wouldn't have made it. 

I'm not exactly sure what my real time was. I'm going with 2:23. My Garmin said 2:19, but I accidentally stopped it so it only accounted for 14.75 miles.

I'll post some more details later... probably tomorrow, including my splits. Right now I'm a little tired, and I only have 3 episodes left in Season 2 of Lost (come on, Jack, figure out that something is not right with Michael!)

90 days until the Cleveland Marathon. (continued)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm afraid of Gu

I've had the same Raspberry Gu packet in my jacket pocket for about three weeks.

Here's my confession: I'm afraid to try it. I like the gummies -- Gu Chomps, ShotBloks, PowerGels. But I can't bring myself to try the fast acting stuff.

I don't want to try it for the first time on a long run because I don't want to have to quit early because my poor, wicked sensitive stomach rejects it. When else would I want to give my body a shot of concentrated carbs and caffeine? So that means this week I will try it on a shorter run.

I was off work this week so I've been up in Lakewood with the parents. I'm driving back tomorrow. I tried to do one run outside, but it was so bitter cold and windy by the lake. Did 15 miles total. I was feeling exhausted and sluggish through Wednesday, but Thursday I did a treadmill hills workout and totally rocked it.

Instead of the normal MIT long run I'm doing the winter run in Granville Sunday. 15 miles. I took an extra rest day today.

And I'm still addicted to Lost. About halfway through Season 2... Jack and Ana Lucia just decided to start an army.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

MIT run: 12 miles!

Edit: I lifted this picture off of Fleet Feet's Facebook page.
Pretty crazy!
Ran 12 miles this morning through the streets of Worthington, which beat my old record of 11. And I'll be beating it again, and again, and again, until race day.

What a morning. Today was all about toughing it out. 

I almost didn't go. My stomach hurt when I got up, probably from eating too much Trader Joe's pesto tortellini. I've had cold symptoms on and off all week. But I'm glad I got my lazy butt out of bed (partially thanks to a redheaded greyhound who really had to pee). 

We usually run on the bike path but I guess it wasn't in great shape with all the ice, so we ran through Worthington neighborhoods. Those poor people, living on a quiet backstreet in suburbia, suddenly have 500 people coming through. Two kids were staring at us out their bedroom window. One guy was trying to back out of his driveway and was getting very irritated.

The run went very well, went with a good group of people as always. It started to rain/snow toward the end and I could literally feel bits of ice bouncing off my face. The ninth mile was the toughest, especially since we ran past the school where we started so it would have been so easy to just cut it short. Then the last two I was just on auto pilot.  

(Ok, I just bolted off the couch to grab my phone, literally every muscle I have protested). (continued)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January stats

I love The Daily Mile. It gives you all kinds of fun stats on your miles.

In January:
...I ran 88 miles
...That took 15 hours and 3 minutes
...Fastest run was the First on the First 5K at a 7:46 pace
...Farthest run was last Saturday, 10.9 miles

Lifetime stats (through Feb. 2):
...I've run 535.74 miles (from here to New York City!) in 142 workouts
...That's .02 times around the world
...It took 95 hours
...Enough to power 1,285 TVs
...Enough to burn off 19 pounds, or 363 donuts
...Enough to save 28.2 gallons of gas

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Class picture

Before our long run Saturday the MIT (Fleet Feet Columbus Marathoner in Training program) folks corralled us in the Worthington High School gym for a class photo.

Those are all the brave souls that come out every Saturday, what a good looking group! I'm in there somewhere, in a maroon jacket and blue headband.

I am really looking forward to this Saturday's run in Worthington where they keep the paths maintained. I'm just itching to be able to run outside, no matter how cold. After this winter in Newark, I'll be happy if I never see a treadmill again.