Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013


Last week my lover Natalie at Fit.Fun.Femme. nominated me  for the Sunshine Award.  Nat is my best friend from law school, and she writes her blog with another law school (related) friend of ours Sara (her husband Ben was in school with us).  They're both Florida girls too. Sara is a crazy strong yogi and Natalie is a runner, so go check them out!

But first…the important stuff.

If nominated for this award, you must include a link in your blog to the person/blog that nominated you. You must also answer some questions about yourself, nominate fellow bloggers, link their blogs in your post, and inform them that they have been nominated.

And now…the good stuff.

Who is your favorite philosopher?  Phil Dunphy.  "When life gives you lemonade, make lemons.  Life will be all like 'Whaaat?!'"  Just kidding.  I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. isn't technically a philosopher either, but I don't think you can go wrong following his advice.  "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
What is your favorite number?  7.  It was my soccer jersey number for like, 15 years.

What is your favorite animal?  This is boring, but dogs, of course!  Specifically these two:
{My bubbas, Charlie and Penny.}

What are your facebook and twitter?  My Twitter is @PennyCharlie.  My Facebook is just my personal one, and it's pretty much on lockdown.

What is your favorite time of the day? Definitely evening.  I'm a night owl... I feel like I don't really get fired up until at least 8pm, which, now that I'm not in school and have to (pretend to) be a real adult, is very inconvenient.  

What is your favorite holiday?  I mean, of course I love Christmas because I love being all together with my family.  (Also gifts and quality time are my main love languages, so Christmas is a good day for me.)  But I also really, really love the Fourth of July.  It's summer, there's usually a body of water nearby that I can get into, and it all ends with fireworks!  Fireworks fascinate me... I never get tired of them.
{Last year in New Smyrna.}

What is your favorite physical activity?  Running, water skiing, and snowboarding.
{Wakeboarding... which is none of the above, but the best I could do.}

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Natty's answer was red Gatorade, which I'm stealing, because it's true.  It is the best... it makes everything better.  I also really love Cheerwine.  I hardly ever drink coffee, so in law school I used to come to class in the morning with a Cheerwine instead (in a koozie, with a straw).  People thought it was weird, but whatever.

What is your favorite flower?  Hydrangeas.  J bought me these for Valentine's Day!
{Blue hydrangeas and my new ottoman that I still can't believe J let me put in the house.}

What is your passion? Helping people who don't have the power to help themselves, and doing my best to fight injustice and inequality.  That sounds really... full of myself... but I'm only gonna get one shot at this whole "life" deal (I think), so I'm trying to do it right.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

(Almost) Zero Week.

Ugh, sickness.  Last Sunday, I could tell that I was starting to come down with whatever the sinus infection/cold virus/general crud that seems to be making the rounds, and by Monday afternoon, I was down for the count.  Like straight from work to bed, without even a thought of working out until Friday.  When I finally felt better on Friday afternoon, I did an easy 3 miles just to test out how I felt, and it was surprisingly ok.

In an attempt to salvage the week, I met up with my friend Tara on Saturday morning to run the first 6 miles of the course.  We ran a 9:00ish pace, so more like goal pace than long run pace.  I held up a lot better than I expected, but I'm not at all thrilled to only have 9 miles total for this week.  Luckily, next week was scheduled as a cutback week anyway, so I'm going to swap in this week's missed workouts instead.  

Saturday's "long" run stats:

The best part of the run, other than the fact that my lungs didn't explode, was that Tara and I showed up wearing the EXACT same outfit - black running tights and bright purple long sleeve tees.  I'm sure people thought we were such idiots.  Whatever.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eight Mile.

Yesterday's long run was an 8 miler.  I have a few standard routes at a couple distances (5 miles, 6 miles, and 9 miles) but I don't have an 8 mile route.  I know that is almost exactly 2 miles from our house to the Statehouse downtown, so I decided I would run there, figure out a 4 mile loop around campus and Five Points, and then run home.  I also really wanted to run up the (in)famous Gervais Street hill that I'll have to conquer at mile 11 of the half.  

The goal was to keep my pace around 10:20ish.  I figured that some of the hillier miles might be a little slower, but I could make it up on some of the flatter parts, which is pretty much exactly what happened.

And here's the elevation chart:

Not surprisingly, I got a little fast on the flattest part of the route, but in general, I'm pretty happy with my pace and how I felt on the hills.  The Gervais Street hill is the one there right before mile 4.  It wasn't so bad, but I was less than half way done at still feeling good at that point. (Plus the sidewalk is built so it's more a level, gradual incline than the road.)  I wanted to make sure I ended my last mile with an uphill too, since that more closely simulates the course.

I picked this one by my house:

It looks *extremely* wimpy, but I promise it's actually pretty legit in real life, especially at 7.97 miles of an 8 mile run.  

I still don't see anyyyy way that I'll be able to do this at a 9:02 pace on race day like Smart Coach says, but the hills are definitely sucking less than they did when I started .  Yay for progress!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Race Recap: Red Shoe Run 10k

I was really prepared to haaate this race, but it really surprised me, and I actually ended up loving it.

First of all, this morning was freeeezing.  Well, ok... it was 36, so not technically, but that is damn cold for Columbia.  I had to break out my running pants for the first time since last year.  Second of all, I was a total idiot on Friday - I had set myself a calendar alert to go pick up my packet, got the alert, and then promptly went home without picking it up.  That meant I had to get there even earlier than usual this morning.  Also, this was the first time that J didn't come with me, so I didn't have a cheering section/photographer.  So anyway... at 6 am this morning, I was wallowing in all of this and not feeling super pumped.

I had heard that the course has a "brutal" hill at the start, which is actually a big part of why I wanted to run it.  Y'all know that I've been obsessing about the hills on the half course, and I wanted to see if I could handle them at HM race pace.  My plan wasn't necessarily to try to hold pace on the hills themselves, but overall.  My goal was to try for about 8:55 average if I could... but instead I ran about 8:48, finishing in 54:41 for a new PR!

*Official results gave me the 54:41.

The splits are all over the place - I felt really good, but I was getting freaked out by low 8s on the Garmin and kept trying to talk myself into slowing down.  Also, you can tell which were the hilly miles (1 and 4) and which were the downhill miles (3 and 6).  I definitely need to work on giving a more even effort, but in the end, I'm really happy that the hills didn't bother me (though I wouldn't characterize these as "brutal"), and I came away an unexpected PR.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Making changes.

Ok, so obviously I am failing at my resolution to post more regularly here.  Good thing there are 49 weeks left this year for me to get my act together.

Anyway, let's just be honest... a big part of the reason I haven't been posting is because there isn't much to post.  I haven't been running as much as I should be, and when I am, I'm definitely not following my training plan.  Some of the missed runs couldn't be avoided - I had a little health issue pop up that meant I couldn't sweat for a few days (all is 100% fine now) and I had to work late a few times to get caught up from the holidays.  That's all good.  It happens.  But there were definitely times when I could have gone for a run, but I chose not to, even though, as stupid as it sounds, I actually wanted to go.   

The truth is that I kinda hate my training plan.  I'm not a high mileage runner and I'm not an every day runner.  That is the part that I got right when I made this plan.  What I got wrong was scheduling every single run as an intense run in order to make up for the lack of mileage.  I mean, this week, I had myself scheduled for 800 repeats, a 5 mi progression run, a 10k race, and 4 mi pace run.  While I'm sure there are tons of runners out there who wouldn't flinch at that, it's way too much for me.  No wonder I don't want to go do that and no wonder that my legs still feel beat up all the time.  Of course, I could've just disregarded the plan and gone anyway, and I have done that several times, but then I feel guilty, like I'm not doing what I should.  That is stupid.  I made the plan for myself; I can change it.

So.  The plan has changed.  I had been playing around with the Runner's World Smart Coach tool, and then Kate wrote a post last week about how it has worked for her, so I took that as a sign that I should give it a try for these last 6 weeks.  It scares me a little bit because I feel like it's a LOT less, but it also sounds kinda nice that I will only have to do one longer-ish weekday run AND Sunday is back to being a rest day, so I feel like I have a little bit of freedom back in my weekends too.  As always, I tweaked the plan a little bit (i.e. 10K this weekend, a trip to Florida, etc.), but I think this is going to be much better.  I'm not convinced I'm going to be able to run a 9:02 pace on race day (too many hills!) but this was never meant to be a PR attempt, so that's fine.

Here is the new plan:

Jan. 21-27
3 mi
5 mi w/ 3mi @ 8:54
3 mi easy
Red Shoe 10K
Jan. 28-3
3 mi
1 mi + 2x1600 @ 8:23 + 1mi
3 mi easy
8 mi easy
Feb. 4-10
3 mi easy
5 mi w/ 3 mi @ 8:53
3 mi easy
9 mi easy
Feb. 11-17
4 mi easy
4 mi easy
3 mi easy
6 mi easy
Feb. 18-24
3 mi easy
5 mi w/ 3 @ 8:49
3 mi easy
10 mi easy
Feb. 25-3
3 mi easy
1 mi + 2x1600 @ 8:18 + 1 mi
3 mi easy
11 mi easy
Mar. 4-10
3 mi easy
3 mi easy
1 mi + 1x1600 @ 8:16 + 1mi

Like I said, not a lot of miles at all, and a definite decrease in the intensity, but also something that feels much more doable for me.  I'm actually excited about it instead of feeling nothing but dread and guilt.

Today was a planned rest day because I went to Barre on Saturday and did 6 easy miles yesterday (i.e. at about 10:20 pace as prescribed by the Smart Coach).  The flat parts of that run were definitely very easy and I had to fight to stay slow.  But the hilly parts - holy crap - I definitely had to fight for the pace on those.  

I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to run a similar course for twice as long and about a 90s faster per mile (which is what Smart Coach assures me I will be able to do), but I guess we'll find out!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello, 2013.

Back in January, I set some goals for myself for the year.  Before making new goals for 2013, I thought I should recap how this year's turned out:

1. Run sub-2 hours at my half in March.  (Done, just a little late.  I ended up injured and not running that half.  I signed up for a replacement race in the mountains in May, and finally went sub-2 on my second attempt in October.)

2.  Finish a marathon.  (Not done.  Finishing a marathon is reason that I started running again, but it quickly became apparent that taking some time to work up to it would be prudent.  Hold this one over to 2013.)

3.  Do a pull up.  (Not done.  This was a CrossFit goal, but I haven't been back since January.  I was close at the time, but I'm sure it's not doable for me anymore, and it's not something I really care about anymore either.)

4.  Eat more veggies.  (Done, but I'll come back to this one in a minute.)

5.  Travel to 3 new places.  (Not done.  So lame of me, but I can only think of 2 news places that we went this year - Tybee Island and Denmark [to be clear - that's Denmark, SC].  We had tons of weddings which were awesome, but definitely ate into our travel budget and time off.  This one is also going to be held over to 2013, and I think it will be more successful.)

So, let's talk about that "eat more veggies" issue.  About a month ago, I decided to eat strictly vegetarian (meaning no fish or shrimp either).  I really hadn't been eating a ton of meat anyway, but it is very important to J, so it's been an interesting transition in that we basically don't eat the same dinners anymore.  So far we've been pretty good about at least still sitting down to eat at the same time, and I think that's really the most important thing.  Moving to a vegetarian diet is something that I had been thinking about for a long time (because of ethical and environmental concerns), and after my mom's cancer came back, the idea that there might be a link between animal protein and cancer was the final straw. (SN: I'm not a doctor/scientist/nutritionist; don't listen to me.  Go do your own reading and research and draw your own conclusions.)  I was concerned at first about whether it would affect my running/work outs, but so far, so good.

On to 2013 then.  Here are my goals:

1. Finish a marathon. I'm thinking hard about Chicago.  We'll see.

2. Travel to 3 new places.  Nashville still needs to happen, and I'm likely going to Anaheim for work in April, so that would be 2 of 3.  

3. PR in the half marathon.  I'm not sure it's possible in March, but assuming all goes according to plan, there will be at least one other attempt this year.

4. Run at least 2 trail races.  I loved my first trail experience, and I'd like to keep it up in the new year.

5. Post on this blog more regularly.  Right now I'm averaging a shameful one post per week.  I need to step it up.

Do you make goals/resolutions every year?  What are they?