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06/04/2012

I ran two races last week (JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge on Thursday night and Mendon Mauler on Saturday morning) which means the neglectful blogger (me) now has two race reports to type up. But I can’t do it right now. So while you wait, enjoy this commercial featuring my favorite pre-race meal. According to Pac-Man, it’s great for when you have to eat and run, and I figure Pac-Man would know best. Because he’s Pac-Man.

Blerg.

05/30/2012

I would say that my post-injury return to running has been pretty smart. Slowly increased the mileage, mostly adhered to the 10% rule. But I did break my No Running 3 Days in a Row rule over the weekend and now I am all stretch, foam roll, ibuprofen, repeat. Really want to make it to Corporate Challenge tomorrow night. Insert sad face here.

The Time I Learned Chef Boyardee & Beer is Not an Appropriate Pre-Race Dinner

05/29/2012

Sure this seems really obvious to me now, but I pretty much epitomize the saying “Hindsight is 20-20.”

I shit you not, this is what I ate for dinner Friday night.

I really thought the Sunset House 5K was going to be huge for me. I also thought Beanie Babies were going to make me rich. And that dachshund was pronounced “dash hound” and people who pronounced it the correct way were just being pretentious pricks. In summation, I am a box of stupids and therefore should not have been disappointed in how Saturday morning turned out.

It wasn’t that anything too crazy happened–like my leg fell off or I soiled my Nike Tempo Shorts. It was just a bad race. It started out un-bad but I don’t know if it was the heat, the ridiculous amount of turns on the course, or the authentic Italian dinner that suddenly turned “un-bad” to “very bad.” I banged out my first mile in a 7:04 and needed to just lock in. Unfortunately, my legs had other plans. At the halfway point I felt insanely slow, like I was running though molasses. I couldn’t turn my legs over, and I hit mile two in 7:37–a huge (understatement) drop-off from my first split.

I would describe the rest of the race as a “Death March/Pity Party.” I decided I hated running. I decided I would never run again. I decided I was definitely not going trail running with My The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe Bestie Monday morning because I should never run in public where people could see me ever in my whole life ever again ever. Even if I was being chased by a puma. If I was being chased by a puma it would just be my turn to die. Because I was never running again. I decided that.

Yet, as slow I was going for that last 1.1 miles, I was passing a lot of people. Everyone around me seemed to grind to a halt. One girl even stopped and started walking. Maybe it wasn’t just me? …Nah, I still hated running. And I hated running all the way to the finish line. My official time was a 23:50 which, honestly, is not a bad time. It’s just not what I wanted to do. I wanted to go sub-23:00 and in the world of 5Ks 0:51 is a big chunk of time.

Post-race pic with my soccer star!

My nemesis Irony then added a twist to my quit-this-shit plans. Because the race was SO close to my house I ran there. This meant I had to run home and I wouldn’t be able to never run again for 12 more minutes. But the second I got home I sent a slightly exaggerated very true non-fiction email to Calves Sarah and Male Coworker, who is now unofficially/officially coaching Calves Sarah and I so I will henceforth refer to him as Coach Male Coworker, that read:

“Um, after imploding at the race today, I’m quitting running in favor of something I suck less at.”

This made Coach Male Coworker call and give me a very lengthy pep talk–although it probably wouldn’t have been quite so lengthy if he hadn’t laughed at my Chef Boyardee dinner for a solid 7 minutes. I was told I could NOT quit running and then I think he called me a tapir. That part of the conversation was a little unclear.

?

So I didn’t quit running…yet. I logged 9 miles on Sunday (my longest run in over 5 and 1/2 months!) and did some humid trail miles with Calves Sarah and My The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe Bestie yesterday morning. My hip is unhappy with me this morning, but–for now–I’m still in the game.

Sunset House 5K
Time 23:50
Pace 7:32
Splits 7:04, 7:37, 7:57, 1:12
Age Group 1 of 14
Gender 6 of 134
Overall 40 of 272

Best served on or before…?

05/25/2012

Yesterday Male Coworker pointed out that I no longer update my blog. Honestly, since going full-time at The New Very Good Run Fast Shoppe I feel like I just don’t have time. The mornings are spent doing all the things I’ll be too tired to do when I get home–laundry, dishes, giving each of my Beanie Babies a hug. But this morning I’ve got nothing to do but listen to Amelia scream-cry “The dog smelled my shoes!!!” over and over (and over…), so why not make Make Coworker’s day?

Unfortunately, I don’t really have any new ha ha running anecdotes. Instead I’ve been obsessing over thinking about the shelf life of PRs. And yes, it’s as boring as it sounds.

During the summer of 2006 I was running really well–the best I have ever run, even when I was a young sprite in high school and my Sally Field Boniva hips were still 15+ years off. In the span of about 2 months (August to October) I ran the three best races of my life–the Massapequa Mile in 6:06, the Cookie Run 5K in 21:02, and the Elite 8K in 34:26.

Me, far left, August 2006

But if you are an avid RFDFD reader you’ll know that it was soon after that I suffered a stress fracture, and by the time I got the ok to start running again I started popping out big-headed children instead.

“Whose head are you calling big?”

After an almost 3-year-lay off I returned to running shortly after Amelia was born and over the past 2.5 years, I’ve fallen into the cycle of making gains, getting injured, and working my way back. And every time I hit the “getting injured” part of this vicious (relatively speaking) circle, I feel like the times I ran a few years ago are further and further away. And that sucks. I’ll never be an elite runner or even tops on the local circuit, but I want to be the best that I can be and its frustrating to constantly be sidelined whenever I get close.

Cooling down with the ladies (I’m in the center)
Arrow Women’s 5K
July 2006

Once again I find myself in that “working my way back” phase. With my old lady hips constantly interrupting my running, my 5K time hasn’t really budged in the past 18 months or so, stubbornly locked into the 23:00-range–which makes me wonder how long I can really lay claim to those races of 2006. I ran them but that’s not the runner I am today. Do I asterisk them as my “before” times and start over with the “after”–after 2 more kids, after 3 significant injuries, after 15 extra pounds, after I moved away and left my running club and training partner? Do PRs expire? Or should we force them into retirement? Because although I am proud of them, my personal bests loom over my head large and are a source of frustration.

Those dudes got chicked!
Oysterfest 5K
October 2006

1st Place Women’s Open (I’m second in on the left)
Ocean to Sound Relay
September 2006

Tony Horton–you know, the P90X guy–recently posted on Facebook “Stop comparing the present to the past.” This quote really struck a chord with me because I find myself often using the preface “Well, when I used to run…” as if what I am doing now is not running. It’s just that I was better then. I know this–and I feel like I need to acknowledge it, or maybe point out “I was once fast!” What’s up with that?

One of my favorite races!
Massapequa Firecracker 5K
July 2006

Really and truly, I need to stop comparing then and now. My life is completely different now, and those things that I’ve viewed as excuses–the injuries, the babies, the Canadian living–are very real things. I need to get over it and just enjoy every day that I get to run. Easier said than done?

I may not be as fast as I once was but now I get to run with my Mady!

And there’s cupcakes!

And because Male Coworker will be reading this:

“Eat my Rice Krispie Treats or walk the plank!”

As Seen On My Run!

05/21/2012

Um, so, I don’t think I am going to hit 100 planks this month. But I did see this on my run yesterday:

My inner nerd totally geeked out when I saw this! I truly thought my head and heart were going to explode!

And yes, I totally went back to get a book. That’s what cool downs are for–doubling back to Little Free Libraries!

But, uh, as for those planks… I don’t know what happened there. But as of May 20, I am only up to 39. That’s not very many, and if I knew how to accurately use the maths, I would tell you that that is an average of less than 2 a day! Uh… better luck in June?

[Insert clever transition here!]

I have another 5K coming up this weekend. I so totally don’t want to be one of those race whores (see: me in 2006) who toes the line every. single. weekend. Mostly because of my old lady hip situation but, also, I am not in the financial situation to run around packet pick-up making it rain.

Sneak peak at Sole Sista Sue, me, and Steph at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo in October! SPIbelts for everyone!

However, the Sunset House 5K is a full-circle thing for me. It will be a year this Saturday that we went hunting for our Canadian yurt. The first 2 houses we were seeing happened to be along a 5K course and we couldn’t get to them. My realtor was apologetic and lamely said “It’s marathon season in Rochester!” which almost made me fire him on the spot. The only thing worse than calling running “jogging” is to call 5K’s “marathons.” But instead I thought “If we move here, I am so running that race next year!” Well, we moved here, so on Friday I’ll head to registration/packet pick-up and toss a stack of singles in the air.

The start line is just over a mile from my house so I can do my warm-up to the race, which is very green of me (you’re welcome, Earth!). The course is a loop I run quite a bit, so when the race description says “flat” I know that that is lie! There will be one big downhill in the beginning and one big uphill towards the end. And after I cross the finish line, I won’t race again until… Thursday when Corporate Challenge comes to Rochester! Oops.

The (Three) Week(s) in Workouts (4/30/12 – 5/20/12)

05/21/2012

Monday
AM Stationary Bike (level 3) 60:00/15.9 miles, Low Plank 3 x 0:60
PM Yoga w/my Girl Scout Brownie Troop 25:00

Tuesday
Ran 4 miles/36:59, Rodney Yee’s Daily Yoga DVD (Energize/Vinyasa) 21:00, Wall Plank 2 x 0:60, Sit-ups w/3 lb dumbbell x 50

Wednesday
Ran 6.25 miles/54:51, Low Plank 2 x 0:60

Thursday
Stationary Bike (Ride in the Park level 10) 30:00/8.3 miles, Upper Body Weights 30:00, Alphabet Abs x 2, Wall Plank 2 x 0:60

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Ran 3.3 miles/30:51, Low Plank 0:60, High Plank 0:60, Calf Raises x 25

Sunday
Stationary Bike (Ride in the Park level 10) 60:00/17 miles, Decline Plank 0:60, High Plank 0:60, Low Plank 0:60

Monday
Ran (soccer field) 3.25 miles/30:10, Hills Repeats x 10 0.55/6:13, Calf Raises x 100, Chair Squats x 100 Low 2 x 0:60, High 2 x 0:60

Tuesday
AM Ran 3.3 miles/30:31, Rodney Yee’s Daily Yoga DVD (Clear it Out/Ashtanga) 26:00, Low Plank 3 x 0:60
PM Gym – Stationary Bike (Hills Plus level 8) 15:00/4.37 miles, Upper Body Weights 15:00, Adductor/Abductor Machines 5:00, Low Plank 3 x 0:60

Wednesday
Ran 4.2 miles/34:41, Rodney Yee’s Daily Yoga DVD (Strengthen the Core) 18:00, Low Plank 0:60, Reverse Plank 0:60, High Plank 0:60

Thursday
Stationary Bike (level 3) 60:00/15.6 miles, Low Plank 3 x 0:60

Friday
Ran 4.75 miles/39:45

Saturday
Rest

Sunday
Pink Ribbon 5K Run 23:11 + Warm-up & Cool Down 1.56 miles/17:55

Monday
Ran 4.15 miles/36:40, Stationary Bike (level 3) 30:00/7.8 miles, Straight-leg Crunches x 50, Low Plank 0:60, High Plank 0:60, Boat Pose 0:60

Tuesday
Stationary Bike (Strength Intervals level 10) 40:00/11.2 miles, Upper Body Weights 30:00, Low Plank 0:60, High Plank 0:60, Boat Pose 0:60

Wednesday
Track Workout 4.25 miles

  • 1 mile warm-up 9:40
  • 2 x 200 (goal 0:56) 0:44, 0:46
  • 2 x 400 (goal 1:52) 1:39, 1:40
  • 2 x 600 (goal 2:48) 2:41, 2:37
  • 2 x 400 (goal 1:52) 1:41, 1:40
  • 2 x 200 (goal 0:56) 0:46, 0:47
  • 1 mile cool down 9:54

High Plank 2 x 0:60, Boat Pose 0:60

Thursday
Rest

Friday
Hill Repeats 4.0 miles/35:49

  • Warm-up 1.52 miles/14:01
  • Hill 0.11 miles x 4 (0:58, 0:59, 1:00, 0:59) + 0.11 recovery (1:00, 1:01, 1:02)
  • Cool Down 1.52 miles/13:40
  • Strider 0.15 miles/1:05

Stationary Bike (Ride in the Park workout level 10) 30:00/8.2 miles, Low Plank 0:60, Boat Pose 0:60, High Plank 0:60

Saturday
AM Gym – Recumbent Bike (Hills Plus level 8) 30:00/7.5 miles, Upper Body Weights 30:00, Low Plank 2 x 0:60
PM Ran w/Jake 4.11 miles/34:05

Sunday
Ran 5.5 miles/50:53

Pink Ribbon Run Recap

05/14/2012

Yesterday Madylin and I ran the Pink Ribbon 5K Run along Ontario Beach (the American side, eh). This is the only ladies-only event in the area and all the money raised supports the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. There were 1275 runners in the 5K and at least that many participants in the 2.5 mile walk. Not only did the event raise over $200,000 but it was an extraordinarily uplifting way to spend Mother’s Day morning. First, seeing so many strong, female athletes (role models) competing at one time is rare and sets a wonderful example for all the young girls there–including Madylin. And second, the sea of pink–shirts, headbands, shorts, skirts, socks, hats, bandanas–was a reminder that the fight against Breast Cancer rages on and we must continue to raise money and awareness to protect our sisters, moms, aunts, cousins, friends, coworkers, and neighbors from this horrible disease.

Got our pink on!

Mady and I got a ride to the beach from fellow Mother Runner, Martha and her friend Christine, and we met up with one of my coworkers from The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe. We had gotten there early so there was plenty of time for chit-chat before warm-ups and final potty pit stops. In honor of the occasion, I wore my new hot pink Zensah calf sleeves. Even though they got a lot of compliments from other runners, they made me really hot! Temps were cool in the low 50’s and I was SWEATING just standing around… although it could have been the casual conversation that was making me all clammy since I possess the skittish social graces of a jack rabbit.

Finally, Madylin and I started warming up. However, my hip was feeling a little Paris-Hilton-eye wonky and I didn’t want Mady to tire herself out so I decided the time would be better spent stretching (this turned out to be a smart decision because my hip felt amazing during the race). After I tucked Mady in near the 10:00 milers, I lined up near the front of the pack because I didn’t want to get boxed in and have to bob and weave for the first half mile. That typically happens to me at larger events like this and I end up expending a ton of extra energy with all that lateral bounding. Aside from some jostling (mostly by some young lunatic teenager dressed like a yellow highlighter), the start went smoothly and we headed up the path and out of the park.

In my mind the course was going to be pancake flat. Maybe because it started at the beach and I equate “beach” with the “South Shore of Long Island” where there are ZERO hills (sand dunes and parkway overpasses don’t count). However, once we entered the neighborhood, there were several rollers that took me by surprise. They weren’t challenging climbs but you still had to work at them a bit. The route was shaped like a lollipop and after I exited the turn-around loop, I headed back along the course. I saw Martha first and then a few moments later I spotted Madylin! I cheered and told her she was almost halfway there. She looked so cute!

Like Flower City, I had gone out a touch too fast but I was determined not to crash and burn like last time (you know, when I could have crab walked the last 1/4 mile faster than I ran it). I maintained my pace on the little ups and downs and was able to pass the woman who supervises the high schoole weight room and totally strikes me as a hard-core everything.

Took my Kinvara 3’s for their maiden voyage yesterday. Aren’t they sweet?

As we neared the entrance to the park, the course sloped downhill, but even with a forgiving decline I was starting to hurt. Luckily a male member of the race team was about 300 meters out from the finish line. His cheers and words of encouragement really helped me pick it up as two girls were trying to pass as we turned into the final straightaway. I held them off and crossed in 23:11–33 seconds faster than my Flower City time! But there was no time to pat myself on the back! I grabbed a bottle of water and went to find Madylin. MY HUSBAND, Sean, Amelia and I picked out a spot near the 3-mile mark to wait. As the minutes ticked by, I started to get really nervous but just as I was about to start jogging the course backwards to find her, she came around the bend all smiles! We cheered and shouted and snapped some action shots as she proudly headed to a 38:01 finish.

All smiles down the final stretch!

After snagging some post-race bananas, the kids went to the playground so I could squeeze in a cool down before going home to shower and head into work. Sean kept saying “Mommy! You beat all those ladies!” and for once he thought I was cooler than Captain America–and being a superhero to your kid is probably the best Mother’s Day present I can think of!

Bananas for everyone!

Pink Ribbon Run 5K
Time 23:11
Pace 7:28
Splits 7:14, 7:33, 7:35, 0:49
Age Group 8th of 152
Overall 42nd of 1275

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