Tuesday, December 29, 2009

twenty.ten. goals.

it is good to make goals and resolutions right? maybe hopefully you'll stick to them? i have been thinking about my running goals for the new year and have decided to chronicle them here. nothing like having the world wide web hold you accountable right?

as my previous post stated 2009 was my return to running and getting back in shape. however, i felt like a total liar and fake runner. really who signs up for a half and full marathon and doesn't train? walkers put in more miles than i did leading up to both Nike and Disney! ...so that is where I will begin.
  1. resolution one: take this thing called running more seriously. actually TRAIN for big events. don't go out and wing it.
  2. which leads to resolution two: run at the minimum 60 miles per month. do the 10% rule so i do not get injured.
  3. resolution three: incorporate cross training. swim. row. kick box. take spin classes. I signed up at LA Fitness ... now I just have to use it.
  4. resolution four: focus on pace and form to get faster. build my endurance. incorporate hill training, tempo runs, speed workouts. focus on long distances. just get faster.
  5. resolution five: do more races. focus on finding 10ks rather than 5ks. I am at a point where a 5k is fun, but it is not a challenge for me. I want to be challenged in 2010 ~ shall we call 2010 the year of 10ks?! **don't hear me wrong, I will still run them ... work toward a PR, but I want to focus on distance next year!**
  6. resolution six: run a half marathon (or more) and be prepared for it - rock it out!
I know I had this wild and crazy idea to do '10 in 2010' - but instead I think I am just going to focus on finding the love of running, working it into my busy life, and training safely and correctly. With that said, I am for sure doing Disney *of course*, but after that I think I am only going to go ING in March, Seattle with Team in Training in June, and VA Beach in September. One full and 3 half's. We will then see where 2011 takes me.

That is all. Wish me luck. I hope to be able to sit here on 12.29.2010 and say I knocked each one out. Have a very happy new years and all the best to all of you in 2010! :o)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009: my return to running (and being active).

All my life I was a pretty active person. In Elementary School I played soccer, softball, danced, did gymnastics, swam in the summer (and some winters) ... basically stayed as busy as possible. In high school I did gymnastics on the high school team and marched with the band in color guard (don't judge me)... and upon entering college I basically said no more. Honestly, in my 4.5 at the University of Alabama the only exercise I did was walk to classes, play beer pong, run from the cops, carry cases of beer, run around bars, walk from the frat houses to the bars (that was a long walk...), bar hop and hop and hop, walk home from the bars, and then senior year make the long walking trek from my apartment in Northport back to my car in the parking lot of some bar (the bridge over the river looks a lot shorter when you're driving it and not hungover...). I was the person leaving Cheap Shots on Saturday morning when the sun was rising wondering why people were out at 6am running ... and I wondered even more during football season. Granted, I would hit up the rec center when spring break was quickly approaching or if I had gorged myself on Quick Grill's 'Messy Fries' or Guthries or Pita Pit or Jimmy Johns the night before. **tell me again how I survived college?!**

Needless to say, I graduated in December 2006, reality sunk in that it was not okay to be a trainwreck anymore, and I went back home to DC. I landed a job and quickly joined Lifetime Fitness. I was in DC for about a year and a half, I would hit the gym everyday - run like hell, row, cycle, swim - everything. Then, I moved to Atlanta in June 2007 and went back to my sloth-like behavior (without the hard partying and walking miles to get my car after a long night). Sure, I joined LA Fitness and then Crunch, but my crazy work schedule never really allowed for me to get to the gym when it wasn't crazy busy so I stopped going and cancelled my membership.

In January of 2009 my friend Beka was diagnosed with Leukemia. Honestly, I wanted to do something, anything in her honor and to get involved in helping the world find a cure for her awful disease. I had no idea what I could do until I got a little flyer in the mail from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and their Team in Training program. I to this day have no idea how they found me, but that does not matter. Without any sort of hesitation, I went to the interest meeting knowing that I would sign up to run a half marathon in her honor. Run... a half marathon... after a year of doing nothing exercise like other than making sales calls for my job. (Many of my girlfriends from college were wondering how I was going to make it past mile 3 since they knew I was anti working out) The story unfolds from there... I semi trained to run 13.1 ... I then ran (and walked) 13.1 ... and realized that this running thing isn't half bad (and on top of it, I raised $5000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society). I ran 5ks and 10ks and progressively got faster and faster. I was having a good time. I didn't cross the half marathon finish line in any record breaking time and nor will I cross Disney in a "holy cow" time, but I know that I had lots of fun, I accomplished something amazing and to me that is all that matters.

So 2009 was a crappy year for most. It was for me. But I am coming out of this year with a new found hobby and enjoyment. Sure, I still love a good glass of wine (or 3) when I have a bad day in the office, but nothing beats getting a run in and letting myself think and dream. I did not get in nearly enough runs this year nor did I take the sport as seriously as I should have and plan to in 2010. One day I would like to be the leader of the pack in those 5ks, 10ks, and maybe even the 1/2 and full marathons ... but I will take it one stride at a time, one day at a time, and one year at a time. But like I said, I am coming away with something new and great for my life. Now let's hope 2010 doesn't suck as much as 2009 did! :o)

Happy Running all. Merry Christmas! Thanks to everyone who has followed my blog this year. You all rock and your motivation has been what has gotten me going. To you all, I am forever grateful!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hey flu. how are you?

so. lets have another moment of honesty real fast. *i like being honest with you followers of my amazingly lame blog*. i like to run. i really do. words cannot express the feeling i had crossing both the start and finish line of the Nike woman's half marathon (and my first). i like lacing up the shoes and hitting the pavement after a long day or an annoying conversation with my boyfriend. it is a great mind clearer and stress reliever. do i love to run? no. if i had to chose a visiting a cupcake shop and or running 6 miles, i would chose the cupcake shop. Granted, I would run 6 miles to the cupcake shop .. eat a cupcake .. and then call for ride home. ...i digress.. for once, i am itching to run. but cannot.

i am sick. flu. bacterial infection. sick. and i am more than half way to miserable. but i think it is so unfair that i have to be laid out, dying, when i want to run. Plus there is a 5k i wanted to run on Saturday and signed up for and paid for but now I cannot because of this crud. to make matters worse, it is a full week off running and my lazy ass just took a week off last week 'just because'. Oh hi marathon, i know you're quickly approaching. try not to kill me please, i kinda like my life. oh my endurance - i think it is dusty and in a corner somewhere ... i will find it before i line up at the start in Epcot ... I promise! :o(

looks like next week in DC I have A LOT of running to do. and a spin class or 4. merry Christmas?

Monday, December 14, 2009

marathon bucket list.

i know i have only run 1 half marathon and i am kinda sorta preparing for the Disney marathon in January. but let me tell you, i am hooked on the adrenaline rush of all the miles. i have decided that there are a lot of races i am interested in participating in, but i think one of the main reasons i sign up for race after race after race is because i want to see how well i can actually do if i take them seriously and train.

let me be real honest with the world - prior to running Nike in San Fran the most i had run in one swoop was 6.2 miles. i had to run 13.1 with killer hills. i survived. i loved it. now, i am gearing up to run/walk Disney in January. since running my half in October i have not run more than 6 miles. it is because i have been a slacker, i have been sick, and i have been overwhelmed with life. i got my most recent major miles in while home for thanksgiving, when i had no work and no responsibilities. funny how that works huh?!

i hope to have the opportunity to really take this running thing seriously once i knock Disney out and run on a schedule.

*once I run it, I will cross it out and add the link to the review and post race blog*

anyways. onto the races i really want to run in the future.

  • Disney Marathon (completed: 1.10.10 - 5:53:21)
  • Nike Woman's Marathon
  • ING Atlanta - Half. (completed: 3.21.10 - 2:36:53)
  • Georgia Marathon - Full
  • Kona Marathon
  • Surf City Marathon
  • Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon
  • Shamrock (VA Beach) Half Marathon
  • Rocket City Marathon
  • Critz Tybee Run. Half Marathon
  • Kiawah Island Half Marathon
  • Marine Corp Marathon
  • Philadelphia Marahon
  • Philadelphia Half Marathon
  • National Marathon
  • Baltimore Running Festival
  • NYC Marathon
  • BOSTON!
  • Chicago
  • LA Marathon
  • ING Miami
  • Kentucky Derby
  • ALL the 'rock and rolls' Arizona. VA Beach. Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, San Antonio, Dallas, Philly, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, Nashville, and New Orleans.
I know this is quite a list. But I figure I have 20 or so years to knock it out. If you have any suggestions ... throw them my way. I will add to the list as I hear about more! :o)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

move out of the way #17384 is coming

Ok. It is not going to be a move out of the way type I am super fast and want to leave you in my dust type situation, but I did get my race number today for the Disney Marathon. 27 days and counting until the starting line. I am unsure about how prepared I actually am for this event - but you never know what will happen.

So I am number 17384 ... I have my bib number in hand. This is becoming so much realer.

My goal: 5 hours and 30 minutes. write that down. hold me accountable - about a 12:59 pace -- which is a little faster than what I did Nike in - but I feel like without the major uphill climbs like the ones in San Fran I can potentially do it. Disney is fairly flat so I heard, but I will miss the screeching downhills where I made up for lost time! =)

... happy running. right? ...

Monday, November 30, 2009

November. What happened?

For some reason or another I was a running failure in the month of November. Here I am, gearing up to run a freaking :: marathon :: in January and I am logging a measly 25 miles in 1 month. That is less that 1 mile per day. I was running more than that per month when I just started running after a full year off. fail.failure.failed. And don't tell me I am being too hard on myself. I am just trying to figure out what in the hell happened this month that kept me from doing any sort of 1 foot in front of the other. Sure, life happens but was I really that lazy to not run off stress and life? Ugh.

There is this awesome runner that I follow on Twitter (@runnersrambles) and I watch her blog and I think she is totally awesome. I don't know her or even know her name but she seems to know what she is talking about. But one thing she did for '09 was set some goals. So... I will do the same for 2010. But for now, how about some goals for December 2009? And here we go.
  1. 50 miles in December. five.zero.
  2. 5k complete on December 19th. Finish it in 33 minute.
  3. Run at least 4 days a week in my scheduled running time 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  4. On the other 3 days - hit the elliptical 30-45 minutes each day.

Those are my goals. Now, I gotta stick to them. I need an incentive program. Like, I complete all 3 and I get to buy a new purse. Like the brown Marc Jacobs bag I am coveting from Bloomies. :o)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Running Etiquette

We all know that I have an odd fascination/love for twitter (shameless plug: Follow me @bamabarbie06). I don't quite know what it is all about, but I do like posting random thoughts and responding to people's statements. 2 days ago @cool_running asked the question "What are your running pet peeves" and as I got to reading the answers ... it got me laughing, agreeing, and thinking. It took me back to all my Stone Mountain runs and how I typically get so super annoyed because of the inconsiderate runners and walkers taking up the whole path talking about what little Timmy did last night or last week's episode of Glee. Yes, I am a "beginning runner" and I do take walk breaks still and I am slowly learning things but I feel some things that were mentioned as pet peeves just seemed like common knowledge if you were a courteous person in general.

some of my favorite answers: drivers not yielding to runners. people stopping to ask you for directions. competitive runners who finish the course and then run it backwards (okay, you're the hare, I'm the tortoise. Lets not remind me just how slow I am by you running past me in the wrong direction!). people walking side by side taking up the whole sidewalk/path or them walking in the smack middle. people blocking the sidewalk walking towards you who are barely moving, just gossiping. people who walk/run on the wrong side of the path and then don't get out of my way. idiots who yell from cars or honk (trust me boys, when I am running I am sweaty and normally I am also snotty and spitty. Not attractive at all. Don't let the bobbing ponytail fool you.) unruly dogs at local races.

It then got me thinking. What are the rules of the road for running? What are some common etiquette rules for us runners? So since I am still "newbie" and by no stretch of the imagination a pro (despite what my friends like to think), I paired up with my friend Google and did some research. Here are my findings.
  1. when running in the road: run against traffic (so that's on the left). run on the little white line, not in the lane of course. that way the cars can see you coming and both you and the driver can react appropriately. when running on paths/sidewalks: run on the right side. If you approach someone who is walking, slow down so you can pass them safely. It's also nice to announce yourself. Say something like "passing on the left (or right)".
  2. Group running is the best way to do long runs, it is the truth. But run in twos. Just like you're getting on Noah's big boat. two.by.two.
  3. When it comes to races. Runners are supposed to be on the left and in the middle. Walkers move to the right.
  4. Another race tidbit. When it comes to lining up for the start, line up according to ability and be honest. Nothing is worse than having to weave in and out of the walkers. And there is nothing wrong about walking - I do it. Just please move towards the back! ;)
  5. Give a friendly hello, head nod, or wave to fellow runners you pass. A little courtesy in this world is great. And the positive reinforcement really does go a long way.
  6. If you listen to music while running (I do) listen to it at a lower volume. That way you can be alert and aware of your surroundings. Nothing is worse than trying to pass someone who cannot hear you huffing and puffing, your feet, or even you saying your trying to pass. More importantly, so you can hear traffic.

Here is another list of okays and not okays. And most importantly, for whatever reason you chose to hit the pavement do it safely. That way it will be more fun for both you and all us other runners! =)

Have I forgotten anything? What are your peeves? What are some rules I have left out? As a "new" runner I don't want to look like a fool!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running in Northern VA.

First. A little background on me. I am not an Atlanta native. I was born and raised in Burke, VA - right outside of Washington DC in the beautiful Fairfax County. I go home 3 times a year and well... I am home now. I figured I would take my week off work to really focus on getting in the miles and the work in the final preparation for the Disney Marathon (which is in 46 freaking days). I don't know what it is about Northern VA but the runs are so much easier and the miles don't seem as long. Maybe it's running in the 'burbs ... the air is a different quality and you don't have to dodge cars or wait for the light to let you go. But I have had 2 great runs since being home and hope for at least 4 more.

I have never been so giddy about running (maybe giddy is the wrong word but you know what I mean). I get excited about all the different routes I can take since all the neighborhoods seem to snake together. The hills here are butt kickers and seem to be EVERYWHERE but evidently hills are your friend... blah blah blah. The weather is colder than I am used to so I have been dealing with burning lungs. But most importantly, I just have really enjoyed being able to vary my runs. I feel like in Atlanta I have to stick to Peachtree and the side roads off Peachtree and if I want to vary it I literally have to hop in the car. Not the story up here, just head down the driveway and go. Which is nice. And convenient. It's been great to just clear my head and think. Granted a lot of thinking has surrounded my marathon '10 race schedule and how I want to do it. Like which race I want to do with Team in Training and which ones I want to do solo. But it has been nice to have 1 hour of just me time.

It has also really got me thinking about how I am gonna fit running back into my life when I get back to Atlanta. I think I truly have found the like of running (not the love yet, but one step at a time my friend) but running is such a struggle and I know I am supposed to schedule it like an appointment and I do have it scheduled ... it is just soo hard to stick to the dang schedule. From 3pm-4pm everyday, M-F, but I just get into the work groove and it is so hard to just disconnect from it all. With that said: I need to just disconnect. I am thinking about doing 1 hr runs daily to just de-stress and clear my mind (while training for Disney) and then hit the elliptical for 30 minutes and the bike for 15 when I get home at night. I know I am not going to conquer Disney, but I do want to finish it in less than 6 hours! =) **when I finish Disney I will start on a real methodical marathon training plan, until then I will just put one foot in front of the other and GO!**

I have about 5 more days up here but my life is about to get crazy busy with seeing my boyfriend's family and with the holiday. However, I will get in some miles because there are at least 2 more "routes" I am dying to run - lots of hills of course. And I will more than likely hit the Gold's Gym in Burke 1 or 2 more times for cross training - FYI that gym is really nice.

In case I do not blog before hand - have a great and safe Thanksgiving. To everyone running Turkey Trots or the Atlanta half and full marathon - have fun and run like the wind! =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10 in 2010.

I was thinking about trying to do 10 in 2010 (10 races - combination of full and half marathons). I have started making a list of what races I want to do. So far I can only think of 6. So any suggestions on 4 others let me know - or I just may do 6 because hey we are in a recession and I would need to pay for travel, hotels, and race fees and lets be real ... my paycheck isn't anything you should be envious of.

So here is the list.
  • Disney Marathon - 1.10.2010
  • ING Atlanta Half - 3.21.2010
  • Country Music Marathon (Half) - 4.24.2010
  • Rock and Roll Seattle Half Marathon - 6.26.2010
  • Rock and Roll VA Beach Hal Marathon - 9.5.2010
  • Nike Women's Half Marathon - 10.2010 *exact date. TBD.*

I want to do Marine Corps - but it fell the weekend following Nike this year so I imagine it will do the same next year. So basically I need to make the decision of if I do or do not want to run Nike again or if it is worth not doing Marine Corps for the first time.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Run for Justice 5k. Personal Best.

This morning was the Atlanta Legal Aid's Run for Justice 5k. I work for a staffing company here in Atlanta and man do we want to work with the legal community so we thought why not sponsor a legal affiliated race and network a little bit?! My two co-workers (Julie and Rebecca) and I decided to represent TRC well and were up bright and early for a little run around beautiful Decatur.

The course really was pretty and it was a nice one. Honestly, the course wouldn't have been that challenging had I not taken about a week and a half of of training and running. The hills dominated and slowed me down but when you go up you have to go down so I was able to make up time on the downhills. The 1st hill at this race really reminded me of the 2nd hill from the Nike Women's half. I know the ING goes through part of Decatur so I will get some hill training in for that ... but for now ... I have to focus on Disney and racking up the mileage!

I changed up my pre-race normality's. I swapped the 2 pieces of toast for a Luna Bar and 1 piece of toast and got there extra early to do a little pre-5k running and super stretches. Needless to say, I felt GREAT post race. I just may adopt this tradition going foward. If anyone knows where to get mini Luna Bars let me know - they handed them out at Nike and I would love them for Disney!

Finish time: 35:50 <-- just a 4 second improvement from my last 5k *which makes it a personal best for me* ... but hey ... I will take it!! Super big congrats to mike (who was an honorary TRC staff member) who placed 2nd in his age group. Rock on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Frusterations.

Disclaimer: I am just venting a bit. So feel free to pass on reading this blog entry. Granted, if you have any insight please share with me. I feel as if I am going to blow.

As the world knows (or should know by now) it now gets lighter in the morning earlier and darker later. This is a battle for Barbie. I love my bed plus it is still kinda dark at 5:30am. I work too late every night. Many nights I cannot even disconnect from work and I am working from home until all hours of the night. So the question is raised - when the hell am I supposed to run? How the hell do I get in marathon training type training runs.

I was planning on doing midday runs - but that is only 1 hour of my day. I can get in about 5 miles, but today I was scheduled to run 7. Many days I cannot even get out of the office for 1 hour because there is so so so much going on. I feel like at this point any miles and staying in shape is really really important but I also want to be building the miles and a great base for when I have to knock out 26.2 in a few months!!!

I hate the treadmill, but I am going to have to learn to love it and really honestly commit to long runs on Saturdays. I just have to be in better shape for Disney than I was for Nike and with having an entourage of 4 going to Orlando plus friends who live in Orlando attending the event to cheer me on ... I have to impress. I was thinking about running Zooma but then I learned it was this weekend and I thought it was next... which means I cannot run it. And next weekend is a 5k with my office ... but I need to be logging more than 3.2 miles next Saturday so I will have to double up the runs.

I guess I am just flustered and overwhelmed and do not even know where to begin or start. I need a breather.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rainy 5k - Big Pumpkin!

I have never ran in the rain until today. I have been a huge wimp, worried my Garmin is actually not waterproof and that my iPod will electrocute my brain. That has all changed today... my Garmin is dry and still functions and my brain did not get shocked at all! =) Score!


BTW - Happy Halloween!!=)

This morning I ran the 2nd annual Big Pumpkin Run 5k in Roswell, GA. The course was pretty nice (for a local 5k race) but the whole situation was super unorganized. As I was driving there this morning I was telling myself to not psych myself out - the hills cannot be that bad ... after all I just ran in San Fransisco! And I think my pep talk in the car was useful but the hills weren't as bad when on foot... they looked worse by car. (Elavation map above.) But frustration set in when there was barely enough parking. I ended up parking illegally, praying to the Gods above my car would still be there when I finished. Then I went to get my race number and they ended up having no safety pins ... they had run out. I was told to tuck my race number in my shorts. Yeah... paper against skin didn't seem like a good idea. I finally asked someone who had 4 safety pins if they could spare one, just one. Lesson learned: be self sufficient. Bring your on safety pins. *my team in training coaches would be so disappointed in me. they always say to bring your own!!*

The race was rainy and cold. When I let my dog out this morning it was hot and humid so I ditched my running jacket on the couch and headed out in shorts and a tee. As soon as I got my race number the skies opened up and the temps dropped. Needless to say, I was freezing cold. Another Lesson Learned: in the fall... dress in layers no matter what.... you can always take off, but you cannot put on if you don't have it. Well... the rain kinda halted, it was misting at the beginning, but by the time we got to mile 1 and then mile 2 and then the finish it was basically pouring. The rain and wind made you work all the much harder ... but each workout you have to challenge yourself right? All you could do was laugh at the situation... call yourself crazy... and enjoy the run. I got frustrated by 7 high schoolers who would sprint sprint sprint and then slam on the breaks and stop in their tracks. I ran into them countless times, they "ran" 7 wide, and I just could not get away from them thanks to their sprinting bursts. Other than that, the run was not that bad.

The ride home was cold in my wet clothes. I had puddles in my shoes. 3rd lesson learned: if rain is forecasted (which it was) bring a change of clothes and shoes. Getting sick is not worth a 3.2 mile run! =)

Finish time: 35 min & 54 seconds.
Lots of lessons learned. Great learning experience. Fingers crossed Disney is dry!! I cannot wait to see if they captured any pictures of me. Doubtful because my number was turned around most of the race, but I cannot wait to see myself as a sopping mess!

Happy Halloween to all and happy running!! =)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disney Here I Come.

Okay. Call me crazy, but I am running the Disney marathon in just 10 weeks. No, I am not in the shape I need to be but I just knocked out a half marathon 2 weeks ago so how bad off can I be?! My parents are coming with me as my cheering squad ... camera in all ... so I am excited. I am sure I mentioned this before, but the one thing I would have changed about Nike was having a support group and family around and for my first full marathon I will have my family! Wahoo!

Training starts now. Well, not now but today. This time around I am going to incorporate cross training more than I did for the half, but I am going to focus more on the miles than anything. And most importantly... I am actually going to train!

I have been looking for a more up to date elevation map (the only one I can find is from '06) but the course looks fairly flat ... which is a good thing! :o) That will work to my advantage. I am super excited about running with Mickey and Minnie and running through the castle!

course info: Run through all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks starting at Epcot®, continuing on to the Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios™, and then back to Epcot® for an exhilarating finish. This will be the only race on Sunday, allowing you to enjoy the 26.2-mile spotlight. (per the registration page)

I honestly think I may have lost my mind but... “If you can dream it, you can do it” -Walt Disney

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dog Jogs and Hot Stones.

Yesterday was quite an eventful day. Earlier this week I had taken one of my prospects (I work in sales) to lunch and learned that she loves dogs more than I do. She was participating in a "dog jog" at Piedmont Park Saturday morning and I tossed the idea of doing it around. I told my boyfriend and he thought it would be a great idea. I too thought it would be good to give our little monster some much needed exercise and it would be good for me to start working my miles back up after my half marathon ... but since it was for the dogs ... pace and speed didn't matter -- just having fun did. Needless to say my dog was a "monster" - he was barking at every dog that passed him . he hopped on a few innocent runners who were running the around the park . he wanted to play in the lake . he played with the beds for sale by the start . and there is so much more he did. I told my boyfriend and he just laughed saying he knew it would happen. Needless to say.... I think Mulligan the monster needs more training.

I followed the dog jog with a much needed trip to the spa. I opted for the hot stone because it said it was good for the muscles. I don't know about that. I think I hurt more today than I did walking into the spa. My right legs hurts my back feels all sorts of tight and I wasn't too impressed by the "hot stone massage" -- I think I will stick with the normal massages I normally get. But that raises a question. I know you're not supposed to have a good rubdown until 24-48 hours after your race ... but what kind of massage is best. I heard deep tissue is a no-no but what do you opt for?

I hope to have all my kinks worked out soon. I am running a 5k on Saturday and I am pretty excited for it. I wish I had a Halloween costume to wear while running, but oh well. Work is beginning to wear on me so I am thinking about taking my "lunch break" from 3pm-4pm and hitting the pavement for a much needed run. Something about the hour to myself and running is a total de-stresser for me and I think it is much needed to keep me sane. Also, with the days getting shorter it will be a way to get a run in everyday!

I am tossing around the idea of the Disney marathon again in January, but now I really need to make a decision and see if I can commit to the training.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Half Marathon. Complete. Thanks San Fran.

For months I had been planning on running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco. For months I did not take the training nearly as seriously as I should have. Up until Sunday, I had not run more than a 10k (6.2 miles) and on Sunday I had to run 13.1. I had not even run half the distance. Almost. But not quite. Needless to say, I surprised myself and in my humble (and honest) opinion ... I rocked it. I ran and walked it in 2 hours and 54 minutes. About a 13 minute and some pace. And I placed 8,637 out of 20,000. I have no idea if that is a good time for a first half marathon, but I am just so happy that I finished and never thought I was going to die ... until I crossed the finish line and stopped moving.

The course was absolutely beautiful. San Fran is beautiful. I would love to go back and and sight see ... but not by foot. Those hills are just as killer as they look on TV and in movies, but thank the heavens above they kept us away from "cable car" hills. Overall the race was fairly organized. I was surprised about how many spectators were crossing the course, I got frustrated when I was "boxed" in by the walkers who did not know they needed to be on the right side of the course and forced me to walk as well, and I was kinda annoyed by the photographers (people kept cutting me off and then stopping right in front of me for a Kodak moment) but other than that I really enjoyed myself. The bananas and Luna bars were a much needed treat but I did avoid the chocolate mile. I stayed away from the Gatorade because it the first cup I had did not sit well with my stomach, but I honestly felt really good the whole time. There was never a point that I told myself that I couldn't do it or asked myself how I was gonna do it. I just did it. And it felt great!

Rumor has it that this course was the toughest to date and yes, it had it's moments of trials and pains. For me, it started off fairly easy... I was trucking along. I did stumble in a pot hole around mile 2 and laugh to myself that I would be the girl who fell at the beginning and could not finish. Actually, I was pretty klutzy the whole time. I kept tripping on the orange road reflectors too. Awkward. The first two hills were not that bad. You could tell who had and had not hill trained because a lot of people were walking up the hills. I managed to zip right up them (which was confidence booster) ... thinking OK we're going up, so at some point we have to go back down. After the 2nd hill they kinda looped us around and we got to go back down but honestly, the downs were rougher than the ups but I did run down them completely to make up for lost time. Mile 6 was in fact the killer (I posted the elevation map a week or so back) but I really do think I spent some time psyching myself out and telling myself I cannot do it, because when I saw it as I was coming down a hill and rounding a corner, I just keep thinking oh gosh that must be mile 6. I really did want to run up as much of it as I could; however, it was narrow and I got stuck behind a solid line of walkers so I had to admit defeat and walk it. Which sucked. I ended up walking all of mile 6 basically because I could not get the motivation to get moving. My favorite part was the long mile, downhill, by the Pacific Ocean. The view was spectacular and made me want to come back and see San Fran again. The weather was awesome - cold at the beginning, but once I started moving I warmed right up.

The race was just emotional for me as well. I was teary crossing the start because it was hitting me how real the whole thing was. I was teary a few times while running because the spectators were so so so supportive and at the end because well, in my opinion I kicked some San Fran booty. I ran in honor of my friend Beka who is currently battling leukemia and my friend Adele's grandma who is too battling the awful disease. I talked to a girl who was diagnosed with lymphoma and then it came back 2 more times. To have all the people on the sidelines cheering for me, giving me high fives, and motivating me a long the way was amazing. Around mile 10 I saw my team in training coach, Jo, and she ran up to me, held my hand, and said how proud she was of me. And that too, meant the world to me.

A few things that I learned from this experience...
  1. Actually train. Don't take the training and preparation too lightly. I think if I had done more I could have run longer, taken less walk breaks, and finished faster.
  2. Music really does make the run - but don't have it too loud. The crowd cheering for you really does push you and make you want to run. It boosts your attitude and drive to finish and succeed.
  3. Find a good pair of socks. I didn't blister (thank god) but my feet did kill by mile 10. A little extra padding would have gone a long way!
  4. Don't over analyze. The first few miles I spent a lot of time looking at my Garmin for pace, distance, etc. As soon as I stopped looking at it and enjoying the crowds it didn't matter that I was at mile 7 or mile 9. It was just a good time, with great sights, great people, and encouraging signs all around.
  5. Start slow. You have 13.1 or 26.2 miles to complete. There is no point to blast off the start line. I got passed by so many people at first and then I passed them. Set your ipod to have music that will force you to move slow. That's what I did and then had faster music to get me moving faster.
  6. Ice bath. It's cold. They're uncomfortable. But your body will thank you a million times over. I still semi hurt 2 days later, but I am no where near as bad as some of the other runners who ran and I talked to. I can walk ... many of them cannot. Suck it up and sit in in for 15. Throw in some Epsom Salt to. Oh the aches will love you.
  7. When it comes to GU's ... try them before the run. I tried a new flavor and almost vomited on the course. Lesson.Learned.

Overall. It was an amazing experience that I cannot wait to do again ... just with more prep and a cheering section. I feel like I rocked it and that is all that matters. It is a total sense of accomplishment that no one can take away from me. To have my boyfriend, boss, run coach, and parents tell me they are so proud of me made my day. It truly was something I will never ever ever forget. And to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, gave me helpful hints and tricks, and donated - you truly do mean the world to me and I could not have done this without your love and support! Thank you so so so much! :o)

Next in line. A 5k on Halloween and I want to run the ING in March. I am just going to keep running.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

hunt for the perfect pair of socks.

So one of the "big rules" of marathon training is "nothing new" for the last two weeks of training. But, let me tell you a little story. I still have not found a pair of socks that really wow me and make me want to run a 13.1 miles in them. Granted, so far my Adidas sport socks from Stienmart are the leader, I did what I was not supposed to do but went out and bought another pair of socks to give them a whirl.

I went to REI today to stock up on marathon supplies. I picked up GUs, a mini body glide to bring on the run, gloves, and a pair of Wigwam Iron Man Velocity Plus socks (in pink of course). Evidently they ... repel moisture, prevent blisters, are lightweight, and foot hugging. All things I look for in a sock! They don't have quite the padding I am looking for, but I will see if that matters or does not matter.

The Target Champion brand of socks suck. Thorlos, what people brag about, make my feet want to die because they're in a sauna. Asics ... their socks on average at best. Adidas so far has the best socks but I feel like they could blister. Who would have thought socks are so hard to find.

So other than socks I have my raceday gear chosen. The socks are still to.be.determined.

  • mandatory purple team in training tee. I originally wanted a singlet but then learned it was gonna be freezing so I opted to switch and grab a tee. hopefully, i will not regret that decision.
  • long sleeve white nike fit shirt for the beginning of the race. to be tucked into my shorts because rumor has it midway through the race it gets cold again.
  • black nike fit shorts with pink and purple piping. {i am obsessed with the nike fit line}
  • the same white sports bra I have been running in for months.

Well. this week is all about maintaining, eating right, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep. It is crazy how quickly this moment and race has snuck up on me. And now I am off for a run in full race day gear, just to ensure I like it all and to try and decided how these socks work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting Ready.

12 days to race day. 12 days till the day of realization how unready I am for my 1st ever half marathon. I was actually chatting with my Team in Training run coach and to quote her, she told me "it would be a rough day in San Fransisco" for me. Yay? I cannot act shocked, I think like many people I did not take this as seriously as I should have. (I have a friend running the Chicago Marathon this weekend who has not run in 2 months.) I sometimes wonder how people who work full time can train for a big race like this and still have a life outside of training and work. Maybe it's just me since I work like 50 hours a week. Oh well.

I am not feeling too great but I decided I needed to move my legs a bit yesterday so I hit the treadmill. It reminded me how much I hate the treadmill ... and this line of talk just reminded me I need to charge my Garmin. I am doing some "movement" (as I like to call it) because I am trying to pick my half marathon gear. I got a new pair of kicks the other day so I am working on breaking those in, but I think I may stick with the shoes I have been running in months for. No worries, they're still good... they have not hit the 300 mi mark just yet. The socks that were given me in the race participation bag from the Big Peach 10K the other week were/are awful so I am not wearing those either. I need to go get a long sleeve tech shirt for the race start and gloves. Rumor has it San Fran will be chilly. Awesome? BUT... so far my half marathon itunes playlist for race day is amazing so I am happy about that.

I am keeping on keeping on. I am up for a BIG run on Saturday and then I am gonna do little runs all next week. I am in no way prepared for this, but all in all I signed up to support my friend who is battling Leukemia and to raise money to blood cancer research and to date I have raised $4700. So at least I feel like a rockstar is one aspect of this adventure!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello San Fran! You Will Kill Me!

Hello world! I thought it would be a great idea to share with the general public the crazy race I have chosen to take on. A buddy of mine posted the "elevation map" of the Nike Woman's Marathon ... granted I am only doing the 1st 13.1 miles of the 26 but check out that hill around the 6 mile mark. They want me to climb up that? I knew San Fran was hilly, but holy moly this is hilly! Granted, Atlanta is a hilly area I do not think I have hill trained enough for this. I am going to really have to incorporate some BIG hills into the last 3 weeks training.

I really had not real reason to "blog" or post. I just wanted to share this out of control crazy map of the streets and elevation. I am in for a total work out and I have a feeling the flight back from San Fran to Atlanta will be an uncomfortable one. On a positive note the 1st half of my half marathon does not appear to be too challenging but the last half of it is going to be a whooping.


Also... if you're interested and want to help. I am at 89% till reaching my fundraising goal. Please please please consider donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - I personally think it would be so awesome to have a part in helping find a cure for these awful cancers. Team in Training actually funded the research for the oral chemo pill my friend is currently taking; I think it would be pretty cool to find an even better therapy for her! You can donate here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/nikesf09/bvines

On another total side note, my September mileage went down (not a good thing) but I got faster (which is a good thing). I took off 2 races of my race history tab thing on the right. I took off the Brookhaven Bolt 5k and the Just People 5k. I do not know my exact times on those races and I want to be exact. Mainly to track my improvement/personal best/rough races ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Ran A Race ( First Ever 10K! )

I participated and ran (and walked) in my first ever 10K this past Saturday with my friend Erin (who came running out of the womb). To be completely honest with you, it was pretty rough. I would say we (...well me making her) walked 75% of it. I started off strong, but right before the 1st mile I made us stop. Erin told me it is all a mental issue for me and had I pushed through and not stopped I probably would have been fine. It was also my first time ever not running with an Ipod and needless to say, I never want to do that again. No offense Erin, you were great company... but something about certain songs make me hustle and move it. Music excuses aside... I do not know why I was so out of my groove. We had a 13 minute and some pace which I have not had that slow of a pace in a while (recently I have been in the 11 min and some mile). And I wanted to walk so so so much more than I normally do - for some reason I just could not push myself to run longer/farther than I did. According to my Garmin, we finished in 1:21:21 ... but chip time was 1:22:(something). For some reason I think I said I wanted to knock it out in under or at a hour and a half ... so I guess I beat my goal/expectations.

Saturday was just not my day though. I woke up a little late. Didn't feel rushed since the start was around the corner from me, but still. Erin and I could not figure out how to use the chips for our shoes. I put my toast in the toaster and left it there (and realized it at the starting line) ... so I did not eat or drink before the race. Then I somehow dropped both my credit card and drivers license while walking to the start. At this time, I have my credit card but no license. I had issues breathing. My legs were tired and heavy. And there was no water past mile 3. It was humid too.

Needless to say. It was an accomplishment for me. Just covering 6.2 miles is a total accomplishment. It was great to see Erin after all the months, it was great to catch up, and we had some good laughs. But, it smacked me in the face saying that I will die in San Fran in a few weeks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away...

I have about 3 weeks till my race. 3 weeks children. 3 weeks. And all last week it rained. And all this week it is going to rain. And when I say "rained/rain" I do not mean the little drizzle that is relaxing and okay to run in... I mean downpour... your windshield wipers are on the fastest setting kind of rain. CNN, Fox News, Good Morning America ... they're all talking about the rain in the south and the floods in Atlanta. ...Speaking of floods my area actually has 3 flash flood warnings going on right now. My office actually flooded over the weekend. There was like a mud slide in the Stone Mountain area. Schools were closed there has been so much rain. So this raises the question... how do you train for a half marathon when it is pouring outside?!

I am supposed to have a 10k this weekend but I wonder if it is even going to happen. Heck or if it is worth waking up for. They can have my race sign up fee (it goes to a great cause) and keep their tech shirt. I don't want to catch a cold.

I hate the treadmill but it is the only way. And what makes matters worse is that my apartment complex is so freaking ghetto the machines are broken and they're too cheap to either (a) get them fixed or (b) replace them!!! And on top of the 1 treadmill available the gym is so small that when it rains it gets hot and humid. I ran for 8 minutes last week on it and it looked like I had just jumped in the pool. As much as I do not want to do it I am going to have to suck it up. Prop the door open with a dumbbell, get the air flow going, and just run.

My race is on the 18th of October and I feel like I can so totally knock it out but I want know know that I can so totally knock it out. And this Atlanta weather is killing me and my motivation to do anything.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

four awesome training tips.

So. I "know" this runner chick, Tammy, and I put it in quotes because I have never met her - but her and I chit chat back and forth via twitter (follow her on twitter @tammymullins), dailymile, and on our blogs. She is probably one of the most disciplined and dedicated people I have ever run across and she is a kick butt runner. She emailed me 4 training tips that I had (a) thought of but not implemented (b) never thought of or (c) had heard of but left it as in one ear out the other. I thought they were worth sharing and I will probably look back on them in the future.
::as an edit... I did shorten some of the tips...but I left in the 'meat' of the tips::

1. You have to schedule your runs in your calendar! Schedule it like you would an appointment.
2. You have to run 3-4 days per week (and I would err on the side of 4 days per week). Your longest run before your half marathon should be 11-12 miles. As a rule of thumb, your long run shouldn't be more than half of your total weekly mileage. So, if you're running an 11 mile run on your long run day, you should be logging more than 22 miles that week.
3. Your runs have to have a purpose. Generally, you can't just walk out the door with no plan on how fast or how long you're going to run. I know that Sunday is my long run day and I'm running x amount of miles at a specific pace. The long slow runs help you build endurance. I know on Tuesdays I'm going to either run hills or do a track workout (speedwork), and I know how many miles and at what pace I'm going to do. Hill and speed workouts help you get faster, and if you're going to run a hilly race course you HAVE to train on hills. I have read that hill workouts provide just as much benefit as speed workouts, so you can do one or the other. That's 3 days of running that have a specific purpose, the other two days I just run short easy paced runs to get my mileage in. If your course is hilly, I would run hills on the days it says speedwork instead of going to the track. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, add another day of running and do 2-3 miles of hills that day.
4. Your weekly mileage is what counts! You're never going to reach your goal running 10 miles per week. You have to gradually increase your weekly mileage, though, or you can injure yourself. The more running you do, especially at different paces, the faster and easier it's going to get. Log more miles, and I guarantee you will get faster.

Some definitions that I have always been wondering about:
Tempo run: A tempo run is run at a pace that is faster than your long run, but slower than the pace you would run during speedwork. It's kind of in the middle, maybe even close to your race pace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10k - cannot check off list.

You read the title right. The 10k did not happen yesterday. I am so bummed about it you have no idea. Race start was 7:45 am. I thought leaving my house by 7:00 would give me plenty of time to get there, park, get on a shuttle, stretch, and be ready to run up some hills. But, I really never venture to that part of Atlanta and I got insanely lost. Roads were closed. The directions included in the packet sent to me were less than stellar. And at 8:00 when I was still on 285 and now crossing over Cobb Parkway I could see the hundreds of runners descending the first hill and I felt defeated. I know I know... you can normally start races late and with my Garmin I could have accurately known how long it took me... but with the sense of failure and still being lost and knowing there were killer hills I figured it just was not meant to be and headed back home. I am a true believer that all things happen for a reason and there must have been some reason why I was not to run that race. There is always next year right?

....however. I am running the Big Peach Sizzler 10k at the end of this month. And there is no way I can get lost since it literally starts in my backyard. So I have longer to train for my first 10k and it won't be such a butt kicker. Or so I hope. I kinda want to finish that run with a grub meal from Flying Biscut. Barbie, let's just try to get to the starting line before the race starts this time.

Last blog I was talking about how I am stuck at a 12-13 minute mile. And my twitter, dailymile, and blogger pal Tammy mentioned speed work and how long my long runs are currently. I felt like discussing my lack of long runs because honestly, the farthest I have run is a little under 6 miles. I think I could go farther but it just gets so dark earlier and I don't want to be out running alone in the dark in Atlanta so I tend to pack up shop and head back to my car. Yeah... and I have to run 13.1 in a little over a month. I have no excuses I really have not taken this half marathon nearly as serious as I should have.

She also mentioned that I need to be running 3-4 times per week to really work on it. I run at the least 3 times per week - life just seems to get in the way sometimes. ....And then there is speed work. Which I do not think I quite understand what it is or how to do it so I have been googling it (I found this article which gives some insight). I am wondering if this is something that I need to do on the local high school track or do I need to incorporate hills since I am running in San Francisco.

I guess I really am a newbie at this running, racing thing.

Lastly: in honor of blood cancer awareness month think about donating to the cause that is fighting the fight against blood cancers and help the researchers find a cure and give those battling a blood cancer hope for a brighter future! http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/nikesf09/bvines

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Girl with the 12 - 13 minute mile.

I realized that I have not done a running song of the moment in awhile. I will get back to doing that eventually... maybe... for now Jordin Sparks & Miley Cyrus are still rocking my world one stride at a time. HA!

So. Girl with the 12 - 13 minute mile. That's me. Slow Poke McGee strutting down Peachtree. Honestly. I thought after all this time my pace would someone decrease (is that even the word) ... you know improve. I am stuck in the 12-13 minute avg. pace when I run and I mean yeah...sure... I walk and I walk more than I should, but you would also think after all this time my stamina would improve as well.

I have my first ever 10k on Saturday. The US 10k Classic on Cobb Parkway. I have heard mixed reviews. Some people say it isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be - others say it is hellish. However, I have two buddies who are doing it as well -- not necessarily with me but they're doing it. I'll take pictures. I'll post them. I need proof of this little adventure of mine. stay tuned. race report on Monday.

Well... it has been an exciting week for Ms. Barbara Ann. And let me tell you why.
  1. I hit the 100 mile mark since tracking my training. Sure it took me like 3 months to get there, but in all seriousness - how serious have I really been about this half marathon training?? Now I gotta get to 200 and I hope that does not take 3 months as well.
  2. The weather has been amazing. It has been great temps for great runs. When it is 70 degrees and breezy how can you not go out and run?
  3. I got my roomie for my trip to San Fran. Well... the GA Chapter has not communicated it to me but Beka has via Facebook. She told me we're roomies so I am taking her word for it. Yay for getting to room with the reason I am running miles after miles!
  4. I have run 3 days in a row this week for a total of 10 miles. Lately I have been running 10 miles all week. Stepping up in this running world.
  5. I learned that the pocket in my Nike tempo shorts is a perfect little place for my keyless entry fob to my car. No more tying it to my shoe lace and praying it is still there when I am done running.
  6. I ran and ran and ran yesterday. When I got back to the parking lot where my car was... I wanted to keep going. So I did. I have never wanted to keep going.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Doh.

I have not run since Monday. Monday folks. Monday. I blame it on sheer lazy legs. Not even my body saying rest up... just my lazy legs not wanting to do anything. But. I check my mail today and low and behold my number for my 1st ever 10k is chilling in a big white envelope. My mind starts racing and thinking 10k... 9 days away... 10k. oi. so I decided to run this evening. I wanted to do a little low key little "fun on the treadmill" if you will. (I call it "fun on the treadmill" because Fitness this month has a 30 minute 'blaster' workout that I was dying to try... when I do try it, I will report on it and outline it *stay posted*) ...don't get too amped people... leave it to my boyfriend to burst the "I actually want to run bubble". Washington Redskins on TV in Atlanta = me having to watch Disney channel's Wizards of Waverly Place and watching the dog. However, I did take Mulligan outside and we did some speedwork. By speedwork I mean him and I running the road infront of my apartment complex and by running I mean sprinting and I was sprinting because of the 70+ pound rotty/pitbull mix dragging me down Miller Dr.

This all kind of goes back to me saying I really wish I had his support 110%.

Total bummer because trust me I have not found the "love of running" just yet and if I want to lace up my shoes and run it's a pretty big deal. Oh well... I guess I am saving up the energy to go run around Stone Mountain tomorrow morning.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Attitude. Fresh Start. Take 72.

I feel like I mention a lot that I am going to start taking this half marathon thing seriously. ....And every time I say I will, I try to. I really do. But I fail. Epically. Epic Fail on the past what 508375 attempts to take this running thing seriously. But seriously, as I sit here and blog when I should be running I am vowing to myself that I will run and run with a mission so I do not die in San Fran. I am not going to set out on a mission because I have made up routines for myself in the past and have not stuck to them, but the one thing I will try to do (and notice I said "try") is to just up my mileage every week.

So. I ran 12 miles this week. What is that 1.71 miles per day - lame. Next week I have to run at the minimum of 13 miles. I can run more than 13. But if by Sunday I have run only 10 miles, I have to go out for 3 mile or so run. And I am going off dailymile. They tend to round up. And if I run 13 miles next week... I have to run at least 14 the next. See the trend? That is my goal.

And. I wouldn't say I am going to push myself too hard. Because that leads to injury. But I at least want to be able to run more than 5 miles without the thought of suicide crossing my mind. I am supposed to have a 10 mile long run on Saturday, but we all know that is not going to happen. But I want to try for a 6.5 miler.

Wish me luck. For once I want to actually stick to what I say. Wish me luck! =)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

26.2 Things I’ve learned through my Training (so far)



I posted this originally on my facebook page. Why I did not share it here, I have no idea. But now I have. However, from then to now I have slightly modified it!


As the world knows. I am running in the Nike Woman’s Marathon to help find a cure for blood cancers. Go here to learn more - http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/nikesf09/bvines

Mile 1 – I’ve been more than impressed by the generosity of family members, co-workers, long lost friends, neighbors, people I thought that hated me, and strangers.... but surprisingly disappointed by some of my friend’s lack of support. People who I wouldn’t expect to donate/support me have taken time to look at my page, donate, read my blog, and send encouragement throughout the process. Then on the other hand, I have some friends who have watched me struggle through every part of this experience and haven’t given me a dime or even offered some of their time. It’s been shocking.
Mile 2 – Fundraising large amounts of money is not an impossible challenge. It is terrifying on the front end, but amazing as the funds start rolling in. It just requires a lot of time, effort and creativity. My biggest suggestion to anyone who takes this challenge on is to START EARLY and TELL EVERYONE!!
Mile 3 – People are willing to give you $25.00 without much too much begging and $25.00 from a lot of people adds up. Heck... $10 from a lot of people adds up!
Mile 4 – People are even more willing to help if they get something out of the deal. But I cannot blame them one bit! $25 AMEX cards are quite enticing.
Mile 5 – Many people want to donate but cannot donate with money. People are more than willing to help out in any way they possibly can. I had some great friends review local business... and a lot of local business at that. My marathon was highlighted on two friend’s blogs I have had GREAT people standing behind me 110%.
Mile 6 – It feels good to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life, even if the someone is a 7 year old stranger or someone you have not seen since High School.
Mile 7 – Granted, I am no where near as active with my Team in Training team as I should be... getting to know members of your community and becoming an active member of the community is rewarding and a great time.
Mile 8 – Early morning long runs really aren’t that bad (and I hate mornings). You can nap when you’re done and it’s kinda neat to be up and moving before the rest of the world. Plus, it is no where near as hot at 8am as it is at 1pm.
Mile 9 – Knowing that you burned over 1000 calories before 9am feels pretty good.
Mile 10 – Gatorade, gels, bagels and pretzels are your friend. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after your run because dehydration headaches are the awful.
Mile 11 -Body glide [even though sometimes I swear I am not using it right], wicking shirts and shorts will make the heat and humidity just a little bit more tolerable. Cotton is not your friend.
Mile 12 -Make sure you thank everyone who donates. People really appreciate the recognition, as well as updates on your progress. My Dad has relayed to me how much my thank you notes have made people feel. I am sure that thank you note or my hello email, pales into comparison for the feeling I felt when they donated!
Mile 13 – Take care of your feet. Having the right pair of running shoes matters. But having that right pair of socks matters so much more than you would ever think. ($17 for one pair of socks?! What?! ....So worth it!!)
Mile 14 – Getting injured is a total bummer, but it is all about how you handle it. Take it in stride. Stay active so you won't lose focus and motivation.
Mile 15 – A good playlist on your iPod can and will make or break your workout. Your ‘good’ playlist only lasts so long. Switch it up.
Mile 16 – 26.2 miles is a long distance. Make training fun. Throw in some actual local races. Races give you a total sense of accomplishment and will make you want to train more and harder. Make running a game. Do something to liven up the training. You won’t dread hitting the pavement. [I am doing 13.1 one now... and that is even a long distance!!]
Mile 17 – Run with a group. I love/adore my hour of alone time. I get to clear my head and listen to Miley without getting crap from my boyfriend. But there is something about having someone push you just a half a mile farther. Having someone encourage you when they’re going through the same trials and pains is an inspiration. If they can do it, you can do it!
Mile 18 –Keep a log of your training experience. It is a total adventure and wild ride. You will want to look back at the moments and smile. My log is on dailymile.com [to track my actual mileage] and my blog is what tracks the training as a whole
Mile 19 – Don’t be prideful. Whether you’re running your 1st or 40th marathon... it is never bad to ask for training tips, great doctors, and new running routes. Yes, this is my 1st marathon but I have learned so much from my coach and running friends made on twitter and dailymile.com. What is inspiring? The people who run 10+ miles per day, but they’re still asking for suggestions and swapping tips.
Mile 20 – Admit defeat. You cannot always run more than you ran yesterday or even last week. It’s a fact of life; everyone has “off” days. As long as you’re getting in some sort of running you’re in the clear.
Mile 21 – Endurance/Stamina is key and it’s amazing how quickly you can lose it. Stay active – even through injury. It will do a world of difference once you can get back at it! Also, get enough sleep, water, and the right foods. For me, being tired and undernourished will break my run.
Mile 22 – Having a reason to run makes is 10 times easier and better. Set goals. Set them high. Sure my reason to run is HUGE… find your reason to run (lose 10 pounds, get back into shape, whatever) and run. Overall it makes you feel better in general.
Mile 23 – Respect the miles. Like I said before, 26.2 is a long distance. It is better to get your head around just how far it is early on … it will only push you that much more when it comes to training.
Mile 24 – Don’t obsess about sticking to the “official” training schedule. Make sure you do what is expected of you… but if you want to run on a rest day. Run! When I first started training, I stuck to the schedule… but now I just make sure I am getting in 5 days of running, 1 day of “active recovery” and 1 total rest day.
Mile 25 – The athletic world just really wants you to succeed. Runners encourage runners. Runners encourage cyclists and triathletes. Cyclists encourage runners. I was doing a 5K one weekend and was taking a quick walk break, only to be given a high five and a 'you can do it' from a cyclist going the other direction. Talk about encouragement.
Mile 26 - The first and last mile will always be the hardest. Just know that it’s all worth it once you’ve gotten past those hurdles.
Mile 26.2 – Most importantly, running is 100% a mind game - it’s all about the mental toughness. You can do only as much as you think you’re capable of, set the bar high. When your body says 'no more' you have to say 'yes more'.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I have nothing to say.

I really do not have much to say. Lately I have been a woman of few words which is odd because I someone who can talk to a brick wall and be totally satisfied. But since downgrading [if you will...] to the half marathon over the full I have felt a sudden sigh of relief and my training is one of the many stresses on my plate. I still try my best to get some running in every day {8 miles so far this week... not where I want to be but I will take it} ...I just found out Crunch fitness is going under so my great plan of cross training with spin classes and swimming has been 86'ed and I am rather bummed. I actually purchased a bathing suit and goggles to swim and won't be able to use them. Sucks.

But. I have signed up for two 10K's to assist in my training. The first of which is Labor Day the US 10K Classic on Cobb Parkway. From what I have heard it is a kick butt, killer 10K that is quite a challenge. Cobb Parkway is on hilly road and evidently the race is a straight line and you just watch the rolling hills in front of you and think 'oh God'. My coworker Julie and I are tossing around the idea of doing the Kaiser 5K through Downtown Atlanta.... but we have no definite plans just yet. We need to nail that down...make a decision, yes or no. Then at the end of September I am running in the Buckhead Sizzler which basically starts at my front door (how convenient right?) and ends at a MARTA stop right by my office. Both races I think will be awesome for my training ... I don't know why I think it will be awesome, but I guess that's a good mentality right?

The other major thing on my mind lately is once again Disney. To do it or to not do it. I really want to complete a marathon [it is on my bucket list now] but the cost behind it is going to be so super pricey. It makes me want to say Hey Disney... Don't you know we're in the middle of a flippin recession?! If I am going to do it I need to make a decision on the fly before it fills up and so I can get some good lodging.

In regards to training [I guess I will touch on that] ... I seem to be floating around a 12 or so minute mile. I wish I could move faster, but oh well... as long as I do not die I am okay.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Respecting the Mileage.

From day 1 of my attempt to run a half marathon and then switching to a full marathon I have always been told to 'respect the mileage' and when I was committed to the 13.1 I think I did respect it. I think I had my arms and head wrapped around it that this would take some serious determination and effort. And then on a whim I said heck why not... what's another 13.1 to make it 26.2 (???) -- well my friend it's a lot. It's even more when you have so much on your plate you feel like you cannot breathe - that there are not enough hours in the day - that your boyfriend tells you to 'marry your blackberry because you're always on it' - that you're checking your work email at 3am after running to the bathroom - that you wake up at 4am panicking that something will go wrong tomorrow. (I should actually be in bed since I have to be out the door at 6:40 am for a networking event from 7:30am-3:30pm). ...26.2 miles is also a lot when you feel like you don't have the support behind you that you need/want. And when you don't have it from the 1 person you want it most. When the 1 person you want to be your 'at home cheerleader' tells you the paramedics are going to carry you across the finish line [he was semi-joking of course] ...running is a mind game that is effected by both your personal thoughts and those you're surrounded by...

.....so this has been weighing on my mind since I found about the 6 hour limit.... and it's hard to admit since I am someone who has so so so much pride and someone who is constantly setting the bar high ... but for me to even attempt to be in marathon shape and enjoy it is pretty much absurd and I am beginning the realize this. And no, this is not me doubting my abilities... it's me looking my life in the mirror and saying 'something has to give'.

This morning I reached out to my marathon coordinator and told her that I wanted to go back to doing the half, 13.1 miles is enough and all I think I can really commit to at this point in my life. I want to enjoy the experience, I want to look back and say man that was an AWESOME weekend. And I think that if I pushed myself too hard in training I wouldn't be there [my hamstring has started to hurt - my lower legs hurt from time to time] ... and if I pushed myself too hard that weekend I wouldn't enjoy the after party ... I wouldn't enjoy the pre.party if I was fretting the 26.2 the next day. I want to enjoy this experience with Beka.

Plus. Like I was once told. "You can't fun a full without finishing a half" -- and maybe completing the half will give me the confidence to run the heck out of a full. (The full being... Disney 1.10.10)

I am at a point right now where I am in the office from 8:00 am until 7pm at night [no lunch break], drowning, unable to keep up, overwhelmed by the amount of work. Granted... more work = more money for the branch which is something I would never ever turn away. But by the time I get home it's close to 8 and I still have to make dinner. catch up with my boyfriend. spend time with my dog. and running just gets pushed to the wayside. Sure, I could run in the morning - but even at 6:40 when my alarm goes off I am dead.exhausted.praying for 5 more minutes. In 2 weeks life will be better, we have a new girl in the branch starting to take over the recruiting role... she knows what she is doing so the onboarding will be limited. But then my life can get back to some normalcy.

I broke it down with my boyfriend. I told him I was tired of bickering over stupid things that mean a lot to me and that I feel like he does not understand. We agreed that he will wake up Saturday with the dog, and I get from 7 am - 10 am to run/shower/take over and he will go take a nap till he is ready to rise and shine again. He then can sleep as late as he wants on Sunday. If I want to nap... I will fit it in... but I am so active I rarely nap. I let him know that this is something that is so so so important to me and that the miles for the half marathon are way less intimidating than the full marathon. I communicated to him that I was interested in participating in the Disney Marathon in January... so after Nike I wanted to continue and move into training for Disney. And low and behold he agreed and supports me in this new found hobby.

It is a major weight that has been lifted. Less pressure. Just gotta focus. I can now enjoy training. Get active with Team in Training because the miles aren't as 'scary' and I can enjoy the upcoming races I am doing in September -- all 4 zillion of them. So. Basically, I need to get in the groove for this half and then I can focus on the Disney Marathon, which I WILL do and I WILL do the Full.

And with that. I am off to bed. Gotta make connections tomorrow and grow the business of my branch.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

6 hour limit.

So. I just learned that you have to complete Nike in 6 hours or less. One would think that this would/could be an easy feat ... after all most people I know get it done in 4 hours or so ... but I am not so sure. Especially with my current run paces. Granted most of my miles have been in the mid to high 12 minutes. I figure, I have to stay in the 12 minute(ish) **mainly most miles being below 13 minutes** and I am golden. But I know the more you run, the slower you start to move... so I need to start focusing on maintaining a pace.

Lets hope with all the stuff I am taking on it [swimming.spin class.treadmill run class.running basically all day, with 1 rest day] helps out and helps out a lot. Hey experienced Runners: any suggestions on how to accomplish this are welcomed.

I have two 10K's before race day. 1 more 5K. I am thinking about doing a half marathon a few weeks before my marathon. If I stumble across anymore races you better believe I will be signing up [after all it will help... I guess]

Learning this has kicked me into drive, lordy lordy I have to finish this on my two feet. I don't want to be swept up in that van that takes us to the finish line.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

.kickin butt and takin names.

Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today? -- Peter Maher

I have been absent. I apologize. This has been one hectic out of control week in every aspect of my life. Work was/is insane. We lost our recruiter so my branch manager and I [being in sales] have had to dig up the past and step back into the recruiting role while keeping up with what we're being paid to do. I spent many nights at work past closing time. I had/have a sick dog. My dog dug a hole in the drywall of my bathroom [we are in an apartment. joy.] I just have not had a moment to sit down and write. Forgive me. I also had zero time to really run which was a total bummer since this week was scheduled to be the start of kick butt work hard marathon training.

I got 2 runs in this week and I think it totalled about 10 miles. Ekk. However, in my defense... my lower legs were giving me major troubles and pains and I was 'letting them rest'. Yes. Letting them rest, we'll go with that statement. I have started running to the dog park to meet my boyfriend and dog. It's a little over 3 miles but practically all uphill. I need to start running back rather than hitching a ride though. Last night I had a phenomenal run. I did a little over 5 miles and it felt great. I meant to grab my phone and my ID as well as insurance card (2 runners had tree branches fall on them this week... better safe than sorry) but of course I forgot them. I don't know if it was the new play list, the nighttime Atlanta temps (little to no humidity), my sheer determination to have a good run or the fact that it was getting dark and I am in Atlanta and I was running alone [getting snatched is not on my bucketlist] ... but it was great. I was told to never stop moving... if I had to walk.walk. gallop.gallop. skip.skip. ....well I did some dancing (ehh.. half dance/run ... more like me waving my arms in the air to the beats) down Peachtree... I am sure cars passing by were wondering what in the world. but hey... it kept me moving and made me smile. I also realized that I was/am in desperate need of a tan.

I need to get some more body glide because my fat inner thighs are rubbing together and it feels uncomfortable. Plus I was told to get a mini one to carry on race day since it wears off... ...or someone can inform me on how to slim my monster thighs! =)

The one thing I have really begun to realize is that running is 110% a mental game. You brain is telling you you're too hot and too sweaty. Your brain is saying you hurt. I just realized I have to suck it up and keep plugging along or the paramedics are gonna be the ones carrying me across the finish line. And well... I want to cross it on my own with a big fist pump in the air. Whether it takes 4 hours or 7 ... my little feet are gonna cross that finish line. I just have to suck it all up and train!! Who cares about the people I see on dailymile who are running 10+ miles per day... they probably have been running since they left the womb. I have been running for a few months after a whole year off... ....all good things come in time!

In regards to cross training... I just ordered a swim suit and goggles and I am going to start incorporating swimming into my training and I am going to use my Crunch membership and hit some spin classes. Maybe it's my effort to just get in all around great shape but all the cardio in the world can and will help me come October 18!

The current question is: to run the Disney marathon or to not run the Disney marathon. it is 75% full so i need to make a decision.


In complete unrelation [is that even a word????] to running - I have decided to start carrying around a journal with me so when I get frustrated with anything I can write it out. Or if I see a great quote, hear a song lyric, or statement I can jot it down!! I feel like I carry so much stress in my mind/body and if it just wasn't there I would be able to run/train more ... rather than wanting to go home and sleep it all off.

Overall. life.is.good. :o)

PS. I am still fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! It is an amazing cause that is so near and dear to my heart. Every donation helps their mission and hopefully there will one day be a cure. Make your donation here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/nikesf09/bvines

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Say Goodbye to Negative Nancy!

1st I want to say. Over the past few days I have been Negative Nancy. I want to say thank you to everyone who has told me to shut up and suck it up and thank you to everyone who has sent me encouraging words via Facebook, Twitter, and Dailymile.

I have done a lot of thinking this week and zero running. Whoops. But I was thinking about how hard I have been on myself lately. It stems 100% from me wanting to always be the best/do the best I can and for some unknown reason I threw myself into marathon training when I first started … I got injured … and never really got back into it. I am at the point that I do not think I can currently train with the team … granted I think they would push me, but there is no way I am running 12 miles with the team. SO! I am going to do what I do best. Get back up on the horse and start where I am and bust my butt. I may not finish the marathon with a beautiful world record or even anything to rave about… but I am going to finish and I am going to live to tell about it.

Starting Monday my world changes. I am going to eat.sleep.breath marathon training. Why Monday you ask? Because I am still catching up on sleep/life from being out of town and when I start I want to give it all I can. Tomorrow I am joining Crunch Fitness (they’re giving me a stellar deal to not go back to LA Fitness) and I am going to do classes in the evening. The best part… they’re about a mile or so from the office so I am going to run to Crunch… work it out… and run back to my car. So… starting Monday morning I am going to start waking my butt up and running in the AM before work. Running to the gym after work. Hitting the gym at night -- I am pretty pumped about spin classes and a class called ‘tread and shred’ (a class on a treadmill for 1 hour, varying speeds and inclines). Running back to my car and heading home. On top of all that I am going to start the 200 sit ups challenge and the 100 push ups challenge. Which I will do while watching TV.

From now till race day there are a few races here in Atlanta that I have/am going to register for. Races are a forced way to get miles in. Granted it is only 2 10Ks and 1 5K … every bit helps. Right?

I already utilize dailymile.com but I am also going to start a daily journal to log my miles, my workouts, and my eating habits. Seriously. I am going to take this training seriously… I just hope it isn’t too late! AHH!!
Pray for me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hi. I lack the running gene!

"Good things come slow - especially in distance running."
- Bill Dellinger, Oregon coach -
I have had a pretty hard two days of training up here in VA. The terrain is pretty similar to that in Atlanta. Flat in spots, hills in others. But for some reason I just could not get in the groove, especially this morning. We all know that I am by no means a runner. I never have been. Taking on this marathon was a 'lose my mind' moment... but it is all for an amazing cause. But sometimes I wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into. I am having a really hard time getting over 4 miles and I have to somehow kick out 26.2. I wouldn't say I am getting discouraged because I know everyone has bad moments, but frustrated would be a great word. I feel like I push myself and try to make it as fun as it can be in the heat and humidity that is Atlanta (and Northern VA currently)... but I end up crapping out and throwing in the towel. I guess I am just reaching for some suggestions. I am a newbie here. How in the world do I get to the high miles. I am terrified that I won't be able to do it. I don't want to run everyday because then I run the risk of injury... but in the same breathe... I feel like the more I run the better I may get. Lord knows I was not built with the running gene.

My running/breathing has been all out of sync for awhile now and it is getting frustrating. The side stitches are beginning to get on my nerves. And my ankle where my stress fractures are/were were bugging me today. I wish this all came easy to me.

I wonder if I should re-join LA Fitness and get active in the classes... run there from work... do a class... run back a few days a week. That way I will work on my endurance (?) but then I think that is all well and good, but I will be running not 'hip-hoping' it through San Fran. I feel like I need to get the scheduled miles in more than anything... but then again I am barely following the schedule. (correction: I run when they tell me to run. I just don't always go as far as they want me to.)

I guess my mind is just running faster than my feet .... because I want this sooo bad but I am worried that I won't do well. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I know that even if I do it in 6 hours it was all for a good cause and I can check it off my bucket list... oh well.

On a total side note. Blog to follow: Michael's! -- I have been reading his little spot for a month or so now and he wrote a little something earlier this month that has been my encouragement the past two days. His 7.6.09 post is worth bookmarking for bad training days... I just had to quote it.

"Speaking of first time marathoners; they are an awesome bunch. Deciding to run 26.2 miles the first time can be an exciting, heady experience. Sticking with it, pushing through the pains and progress of training, to the point where one actually "gets" the distance, and then tearfully shuffling across the FINISH line...for me, that's inspiring. That's why I follow so many runners online. I love finding a new person whose profile says "just hoping to finish my first marathon". They get me at "Just hoping...". Then there are those who finish their first marathon...and decide to do ANOTHER. Holy smokes!"