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?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Race Recap: Rudolph's Rampage

My first trail race is in the books!  Despite the unholy freezing temperature at start time, which can't be helped, this race was super fun.  It was definitely a learning experience, and I felt a little outside of my comfort zone at times.  Trail runners definitely do things a little differently.  

For example, I had no idea I was supposed to check in, so I got called out at the starting line.  I picked up my packet, I had my bib on, what else do you want from me?  Oops.  Also, I started pretty slowly because I wasn't sure what to expect (and I was pretty cold, so I just wasn't moving very quickly), so I eventually wanted to start passing some people, but it took me a while to work up the courage.  The course was almost all single track, so passing was tricky.  I was terrified I'd try to move around someone and end up eating it.  Luckily I wasn't that lame, and I got the hang of it eventually.  I also got passed (um, a lot) myself, and I was trying to be nice and kept moving off the trail to let people go by.  Apparently that was not the right thing to do because I got yelled at not to go off the trail.  (I was off like literally two steps, but ok.)  Now I know all the rules though, and I'll be good to go next time.

I didn't fall at all, thankfully, but my right arm did start going numb/feeling tingly.  (And after seeing my atrocious form in this picture, that makes a little more sense. Yikes!)  I also felt a little under-fueled.  We didn't have a very big dinner the night before, and even though I ate my usual pre-race English muffin with PB and banana, by mile 3.5, I was hungry.  I've made a pretty major change in my diet recently, so I think that was a big factor, but that's for another blog post.

Anyway, the course took us on some trails that I'd never been on, so it was cool to see new parts of the forest.  The only problem was that I really had no idea what was ahead.  About 20 seconds after this picture was taken, there was a big hill and I looked/felt like death for the rest of the race, so I'm glad they chose the bottom of the hills for the photographer.  My splits make much more sense when you compare them to the elevation chart.

I walked around for a little bit at the finish before I remembered to stop my watch, but J took some finish line photos, which I shall not inflict upon your eyes (back side angle, no thank you), that show my finish time was 1:04:34.  I would've liked to be closer to an hour flat, but given my recent lack of training, I was pretty happy with my performance overall.  I will definitely be doing more trail races in the future!

I did notice that my calves are very sore today, which I'm guessing is from the fact that my trail shoes are minimalist(ish).  I took a planned rest day today, and will take one again tomorrow, then Tuesday is my first training run for the Columbia half.  The offseason is officially over!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Planning Plans.

I'm racing this Saturday, but not race-racing.  It's my first trail race, so no matter what happens, I get a PR.

I am planning to race-race the Columbia half in March.  This is the race I was training for last year before I got sidelined by the stress fracture/shin splints.  It's pretty hilly, but I've got the hometown advantage, and I will definitely be doing some of my training runs on the course.  

When I started making my training plan and counting back 12 weeks from race day, I realized... oh crap... I'm gonna have to start training on Monday!  That was not very well planned on my part, but what can you do? (You can look at your calendar when you plan your race schedule, that's what.)  Anyway, since I haven't been running very much the past few weeks, I don't want to jump into too much too soon and end up sitting out this race for the second year in a row.  Also, I will be in Florida for like 9 days at Christmas, so the first 3 weeks less intense - more rest days, no speedwork.  We'll see how it goes.

The Make My Day 12K is a trail race, and I'm hoping that some of my weekend runs will be on the trails as well.  I definitely slow down on the trails and use different muscles, so hopefully mixing in that off-road time will add something to my training.  Plus, I just love being out there, especially since J seems to enjoy it too, so it's something we can do together.

The Columbia half is the first goal race for 2013.  It's also part of a larger plan, which isn't finalized just yet, but if everything works out like I'm hoping... 2013 will be the year of the marathon! Eeek!  That's the whole reason I started this blog, to document getting to the marathon.  Running one has been something I've wanted to do for a looooong time, but I never actually did anything about it because it seemed so overwhelming.  Hopefully next year will change that, but first things first.  I'll be Rampaging this weekend, then we'll take it 12 weeks at a time. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Race Recap: Main Street Crit

So, it might be hard to tell since my posting on here is pretty sporadic and lame anyway, but I haven't been running much in the past 2 months.  I've talked a couple times about my family situation, and I actually received the first bit of bad news like maybe 20 minutes after crossing the finish line in Georgetown.  Since then I've lost count of how many trips I've made back and forth to Florida, plus things have been very busy at work, and mostly... I just haven't felt like running.  I'm tired and stressed out.  I'm also getting fat, so thankfully my motivation suddenly reappeared this week.  

Just in time, because I raced last night!  

A few weeks ago, J and I decided to run the Main Street Crit.  This was the inaugural running, and it's really a unique race - at night, in downtown, 8 loops of a 1k course, with elite runners and prize money.  J and I are really big supporters of Columbia's Main Street, which our mayor has/is working really hard to revitalize.  We live downtown, and we both work on Main Street.  We also really try to support local businesses in the area, and the pastor of our church (which is also downtown, of course) was one of the organizers for the race.  There was also the Willie Nelson concert in town, so I debated which one we should do (I LOVE Willie and have never seen him live), but in the end, running and supporting Main Street won.

It was billed as an 8K, though the course ended up being short (about 4.3 mi).  I actually wasn't sure I had run the correct number number of laps because my Garmin was showing me 4.29, and I was expecting 4.9ish.  Turns out I did run all eight, and I ended up finishing in 35:29; J finished in 33:31.  I only had 2 goals: (1) finish under 45 (I was expecting 5 miles, not 4), and (2) don't get passed by J.  Done and done.  I did get passed by the guy who ended up winning... twice.  But overall I felt really good.  I thought there was no way I could run 8:20ish pace for that long, given that I've taken about 6 weeks off-ish, but even if I had needed to run another lap, I felt like I could've kept it up, so I was very pleased.

There was also a team competition.  You could sign up as many people as you wanted on each team, and the top 4 times were totalled up - lowest total time wins.  The team from J's Crossfit gym took first, and the Cola Run Club took second.  I actually ended up being the fourth person on the CRC team, so that was cool.

After us "regular" runners were finished, there was an elite race, with $8000 in prize money up for grabs.  Holy Guacamole, those peeps are faaaaast!  The top guy came in at just over 21:00, and the top girl ran just over 23:00.  I also had my first celebrity runner sighting - the second place female finisher was Alissa McKaig, (look on page 32 of the January Runner's World).

Even though the course was a little short, the rest of the race was really well done.  It was pretty cool to be running downtown and at night.  There was a band on every corner, and because the course was confined to such a small area, there were lots of people cheering you on.  It was a really fun event, and we would definitely do it again.

Next weekend is my first ever trail race, and then it will be time to start training for the Columbia Half coming up in March!  Taking this downtime was the right thing to do, but I'm really glad to be running and training again.  

2013 is gonna be big! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas cheer.

We had some grand plans to put up all of our Christmas decorations this weekend, and uhhh that did not happen.  We went to Festivus on Friday night, and ended up being mostly useless on Saturday.  All of our inside stuff is up though, and I think the tree looks pretty darn good.

I also put up our stockings.  Penny and Charlie's are the big ones on each end, obviously.  

This picture would be so much cooler if there was a fire in that fireplace, but we don't actually know how to work it (it's gas).  Lame.

I told y'all about the Pinterest project my mom and I made when I was home for Thanksgiving.  This is the finished product on the front door.  I think maybe it needs a big bow.  What do y'all think?

J is working on getting the lights up outside.  Target was out of garland for the porch, so that project is stalled for a few more days.  Thankfully, I finally bought matching lights for the porch and garage.  One string was warm white and the other was that LED blue, and it drove me crazy for the past 2 years that they didn't match.  This year, we also finally sprung for a tree skirt.  Movin' on up!

I feel like such a real adult... I have a Christmas tree, with a tree skirt, and stockings, and matching Christmas lights.  Yikes!

Are your Christmas/Hannukah/Festivus decorations up?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

I've been in Florida with my family since Tuesday night, so the idea that I'm going to have to go to work tomorrow for a whole week is not my favorite thing ever.  

However, I am really grateful to have had so much time at home with my parents.  I alluded to it in a post a few weeks ago, but my family is dealing with a lot of bad news right now.  The biggest crisis is that my mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in her bones and liver about a month ago.  She was originally diagnosed when I was in college and had been in remission since then.  She's getting chemo again and is feeling ok right now, so that was a huge blessing for our time together this week.  It was hard to leave today, but we'll be back together with them for Christmas in just a few weeks.  In the meantime, I had 5 great days hanging out with her and my dad (with special guest appearances by my brother, J, and my grandparents), so that's the number one thing I was thankful for this Thanksgiving.

 J and I had been planning to be in Columbia this year, and I had signed us up for a Turkey Trot here, but I needed to be in Florida, so we changed our plans.  (I guess that makes my second DNS this month.  Woops!)   Last year, my dad, J, and I ran the Subaru Distance Classic in Jax on Thanksgiving morning.  Given everything that was going on this year, no one seriously contemplated doing that again.  Dad and I went on our own little 5k trail run near the house instead.  We took the pups with us and did about 3 miles.  I got to test out my new trail shoes, burned enough calories to account for like 1/16 of what I ate later, and the dogs were worn out for a few hours while I cooked.  Win-win-win.

Since my mom got her chemo dose on Wednesday (a 9 hour ordeal), I put myself in charge of planning and executing Thanksgiving dinner.  I recruited my Gran to make the turkey and the green beans, but everything else was my handiwork.  Or really, the handiwork of The Pioneer Woman and Cooking Light magazine.  I don't think I can really take credit for just following recipes.  (Apple pie not pictured because it was devoured, but it was awesome.  You should definitely make it.)  I did most of the prep on Wednesday, so all Gran and I had to do was coordinate when the different items needed to go in the oven on Thursday.  It was actually harder than I thought, but eventually dinner was ready, and no one went hungry.

{Plate #1 of 2... that day.}

We also managed to sneak in a few minutes to take Christmas card pictures.  I will show y'all what the cards look like when they come in, but this is the picture my mom ended up using on hers.  With a little cropping, it's definitely a framer.

{J, Me, Dad and Mom, Bro and his GF, plus Charlie, Shellie, and Penny}

My dad, unbelievably, got up at like 6:30am on Friday morning to go shopping.  If you know my dad, you know this is basically the most shocking thing he's ever done in his life.  He hates spending money almost as much as he hates crowds and idiots.  I also cannot deal with crowds (or idiots... the spending money part I am fine with), so my mom, my Gran, and I opted for pedicures instead.  We ended up going into Target for some essentials (Coke and magazines), and I did make a quick stop to pick up one of J's presents while it was on major sale but that store was directly next door to the nail salon, so it wasn't bad at all.  After pedicures, we met up with my friend Jesse and her mom, Gina, for lunch.  Gina and my mom met in a Mommy and Me class when Jesse and I were like 18 months old, and we've all been friends ever since.  It is hard to find friends like that, and it was awesome to see them.  We took pictures in the parking lot of Panera to document to the occasion, obviously.

On Saturday morning, Dad and I did another trail run with the dogs.  This time we did a little over 6 miles.  It's almost exactly 3/4 of a mile from their driveway to the trail head, which we walked in each direction, so it was about 4.5 miles of running at approximately 10:00/mile pace.  My Garmin was dead, so I used RunKeeper instead... this time with the sound off.

The dogs were dunzo for the rest of the day, which was awesome.  The chemo really hits my mom about 2 days after getting a dose, so she was pretty wiped.  We made one quick trip to town for craft supplies, then settled in to make Christmas wreaths and watch football all afternoon/night.  We made these letters, which we (i.e. my dad) then attached to wreaths bought from Home Depot.  I am not usually very crafty, but this was super basic and I think it turned out pretty cute.

I left Florida around 12:30 this afternoon and finallllllllly rolled into Columbia about 7:15.  It is normally a 4.5 hour drive, so, yeah, traffic was terrible.  Of course I turned into our driveway just as my audiobook was getting really good, but c'est la vie.  

If you're still reading after all of this... thanks!  Now tell me about your Thanksgiving!

Did you race?  What did you eat? Do you listen to audiobooks when you travel? If so, leave me a recommendation!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Adidas TechFit Long Sleeve T.

I bought this t-shirt from Dick's because it was on sale, and I only have one other long sleeve tech shirt. Turns out, it's the best thing ever.  

It's really soft, with just the right amount of stretch, and it's fitted, but not overly tight.  Here in SC, I rarely ever need more than one layer, and this shirt is thin, but warm. It would be a great base layer if you live somewhere where that kind of thing is necessary.  (I'm sorry.) I got the gray, and I definitely want some more colors.

Carry on.

*PS - This isn't a sponsored post.  I bought this shirt with my own money. I love it, so now I'm telling you about it.  That is all.


I registered for my first trail race tonight, and I am pretty pumped about it.  On December 15, I will be running the Rudolph's Rampage 10K.  Not gonna lie, Rudolph scares me a little.

Last weekend, J and I ventured out to Harbison State Forest (where the race will be) to revisit our favorite trail from this summer.  We bought a yearly pass, but we stopped using it when training for Georgetown started this summer.  It felt so amazing to get back out there.  And I was shocked at how different the forest looked.  Almost all the leaves were gone from the trees, and there is one part of the trail that runs through a meadow, which was gloriously green this summer, and now it's just brown grass.  The leaves that were left were super colorful, though, so it was still really pretty out there.

So, when we went out there, I forgot my Garmin.  I also forgot my headphones for my phone.  This meant that the only way for me record our pace/distance was to use RunKeeper and just leave the volume turned up so I could hear it announce the mileage.  This seemed like a good plan until we got to the first mile, and I forgot that the RunKeeper lady would be talking to me.  I shrieked, very loudly, and jumped a good 5 feet into the bushes because it scared me so badly.  Luckily J had his head phones in and was far enough in front of me that no one heard or saw... because it happened again at mile 2.

About the last third of a mile, I chicked J, and not wanting to get un-chicked, I booked it to the end.  I thought for sure I was going to eat it so hard because we were flying down a rocky, washed out hill, but I didn't, and it was by far the best part of the run.

I was really hoping to get back out there for little bit today (or yesterday, since it's technically Monday morning now), but J had to work all day and I *might* have been over served (umm, by myself) some sangria on Saturday night.

We had some friends over for dinner, and while I was getting the house ready, I realized that I had all of the ingredients for a sangria, so I whipped one up.  I am not normally a "whip something up" kind of girl - this was definitely a first for me.  I usually need a recipe, and I need it to be very specific.  So, obviously, I was quite proud of myself, and ended up going slightly overboard.  In my defense, J and I decided to watch Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer after dinner, and I need some alcohol to make it through.  Even though this morning was rough, it was delicious, and you should definitely make some.

In case you're interested:

1 bottle of champagne
1 bottle of pinot noir
1 shot of 99 Apples liqueur
1 shot of triple sec
1 shot of Patron
1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks

*Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher, stir, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.  YUM!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I went on a run this morning.  It wasn't good... Garmin wouldn't locate any satellites even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and then it malfunctioned at some point in the first mile and clocked me in at +12:00 minutes.  Lame.  Then it didn't lap for 2 miles until very near the 2.5mi marker on the path.  Also lame.  Plus I forgot to wear sunscreen, and I worried about it the whole time because I do stuff like that.  Again, lame.

You know what's not lame?  2001.  Check it out.

That's me on the right.  I ran CC during my senior year.  I wasn't really so interested in it at the time.  One of my teachers, who was the CC coach, recruited me really hard to run for him, and I figured it would be a good way to stay in shape for soccer (my jam) over the summer, so I did it.  Also, there was a reallllly hot guy on the boys' team, so, you know.  

I was reasonably fast.  Probably would've been faster if I had some decent running shoes.  Those suckers must have weighed several pounds each.  

Speaking of shoes, these beauties were delivered on Wednesday.  They're the same as my old pair, but in the prettiest color combo that ever existed... orange + blue.  Love.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My First DNS.

Aww, my first DNS.  

I was supposed to run the Governor's Cup this weekend, but it didn't happen.  I signed up to run this race because my parents have never seen me run, and they were planning to be in town this weekend.  But a lot of stuff happened between when I signed up and Saturday... none of it good.  There was bad news, bad news, and more bad news.  (They say bad things some in threes, so our family should definitely be DONE for a while.)  I ended up making 2 unplanned trips to Florida, which wasn't great for my running schedule, and when it became clear that my parents wouldn't be able to make the trip up here, I dropped down the 8k.  Then on Saturday morning, I woke up, and it was freezing, and I was tired, and bottom line... I just wasn't feeling it.  Running is supposed to be fun, not something I feel like I have to do.  So I want to back to sleep for another hour and a half, and it was glorious.

I did actually go for a run on Saturday (a fast one!), but I went because I wanted to, not because I had to.

And now there are more races on calendar.  Ones that I actually WANT to run, starting with a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  And what I'm really looking forward to is getting back on the trails.  I'll be running the Rudolph's Rampage 10k in December, and then the Mountain in the Middle Distance TBD in January.  And there are more in the works, as always. :)

Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Round 2.

So kind of on a whim a few weeks ago, I registered to run the Governor's Cup on November 3.  This is one of Columbia's biggest running events, and it's celebrating the 40th running this year.  It is not an easy course.  There is a long uphill in the second half and a pretty killer last half mile to top it off, but it starts on Gervais Street right in front of the Statehouse and ends on the other side, at the Horseshoe on Carolina's campus, which is cool.

My parents are coming into town, and they haven't seen me run a race yet.  Since I knew I'd still be in shape from Georgetown, I figured I might as well piggyback onto that training and get one more half marathon under my belt.

This is my plan:

Easy 3 mi
Easy 3 mi
Easy 4mi
Easy 5mi
Easy 5mi
Easy 3-4mi

To be clear, this is Week 2.  I had to go home to Florida unexpectedly last week so I didn't make it to yoga or barre, but luckily Pinterest saved the day with some workouts that were easy to do when I only had a few minutes.  I did go out for some easy miles this weekend and felt fine, so I think that's a good sign.  

I am not planning to race-race this race, if you know what I mean.  Running a half is still hard for me... I get that it's not something that is supposed to be easy, but what I mean is that it's the longest I've ever run, and I've only done it twice, so even if I'm not race-racing, it's still a hard effort.  So this time I just want to have fun running through my "hometown" (I do not yet claim Columbia) and finish in a respectable time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Race Recap: Georgetown Half Marathon

SUB-2 is official!  A week later, and I'm still recovering a little bit, but it was worth it.

Let's begin at the beginning...

J and I headed out of town around 4:30 on Friday, and made to Georgetown in time to scoop up my packet (took approximately 30 seconds... yay for small races) and to meet some friends for a carbo-loading sesh at Pastaria 811 in Pawley's Island.  I'm not sure what they do to the tomatoes that they put on their house salad, but it is magical.

After our delicious dinner, we checked into our hotel, and I laid out my race outfit.  Then I took a shower and straightened my hair.  This is what it's come to in order to avoid the uni-dread.  Anyway, we stayed at a Hampton Inn, so there was free breakfast starting at 6am, so I got dressed and got down stairs ASAP, then J drove me to start line.  We found a parking spot one block away, which awesome. (Again, yay for small races.)  It was windy and a bit chilly, but I was only at the start for 15 mins or so, so it wasn't too bad.  No lines for the porta potties, and I found my friends with no problems.  And then when we lined up, I ended up standing right next to a former co-worker who was running the 5K.  (Can I say it one more time?  Yay for small races.)

{Me, Leslie, Jenny, and Jennifer at the start.}

I knew that if I held at 9:09 pace then I would come in at 1:59:59, so my game plan was to start around 9:20 to get warmed up during the first mile, get it down to 9:00-9:05 at least until the 10K, and then pick it up after that if I could.  The first 2 miles of the course were through downtown, so I saw J right after the start and again just after the first mile marker.

{Thumbs up because I'm only 30 seconds in.}

The first 7 miles of the course are beautiful.  Downtown Georgetown is full of gorgeous old mansions, cute shops, and amazing views of the bay.  The sun was still coming up as we passed along the waterfront and over the first bridge out and back.  The first bridge was super fun .  I was able to hold my pace both ways without feeling like I was pushing myself hard and the view at the top was awesome.  It was definitely windy, but it felt good.  Plus, it was an out and back, so we got to see the leaders, which is always fun.  The first guys came over the bridge (going back) just as I got to the top (going out).  The turnaround was right at mile 4, so I ate half a packet of Honey Stinger chews before we tackled the bridge again.  I saw Leslie, Jenny, and Jennifer a little past the turn around, so that was a nice pick-me-up too.

 {Sunrise over the bay.}

Right at the the turnaround point, I started to notice something funky happening in my left calf.  Both calves were very sore this week, and I have no idea why.  I took my runs super easy, obviously, and I made a point to wear flats or very low heels to work to give my legs a break.  I rubbed the crap out of both of them with the Stick on Friday night and before leaving the hotel, and actually, the right one was much more sore than the left, so the crampy twinges in my left leg really surprised me.  And once it started, it never went away.  I expected it to go into a full blown cramp at any second the whole way from mile 4-13.1.  It was not a fun mental battle to fight - since it more annoying than painful, I told myself to keep going as long as possible and if it did go into a full cramp, I could deal with it then.  Luckily, this was also the point where I made a running buddy.  We were running the same pace and we stuck together from mile 4 until about mile 12 (when she totally left me in the dust... must work on that for next time), so I just tried to focus on staying with her.  

We went back through downtown for a few blocks around mile 6-7.  I ate the rest of my Honey Stingers, and I saw all of my cheerleaders - Leslie's husband and father, J, and my coworker Ginger.  I went through the 10k right at 55 minutes, so I knew I was on track, and except for the occasional twinges in my calf, I was feeling good.  Just before mile 8, we hit the second bridge, which is the start of the second out and back.  This bridge was terrrrible, mostly because the sign for mile 12 was right at the base of it, so you pass it as you're going out and realize that means you've got to come back over it at the end.  Also, it's steeper than the first one, which is rough.  We did see the leaders again, though, at almost the exact same spot, just as we crested the bridge.


Then shit got real.  Miles 9-11 are run within this weird, unbuilt subdivision.  It's all paved and all of the lots are marked off, and you can tell it was supposed to be some kind of really nice development along the water, but there are no houses.  It's really bizarre, and it was totally open to the wind with no shade.  In fact, when we finaaaaaallllllyyyyy hit the turn around at mile 10, the wind hit us head on.  So miz, and definitely not the way you want to start the last 5K.  I was starting to get a little tired, so I tried to take 3 or 4 sports beans, but I couldn't hold them down.  I ended up spitting them out, which is weird because I did fine with them last time and had no issues on my training runs.  But, whatever, lesson learned... next time I will make sure I have more options in my fuel belt.

So Mile 11-12 means you have to go back over that damn bridge.  I passed mile 11 almost exactly at 1:40:00, so I knew I was going to be cutting it close for sub-2.  I told myself just to keep it steady and get up the bridge as fast as possible.  This is where my race buddy took off.  I don't know how she had it in her to get up that bridge so fast, because when I finally made it up, my watch said I was at a 9:53 pace.  I thought I had lost my sub-2, and even though the downhill helped me make up some time, I was DONE.  My calf was seriously unhappy, and my hips were throbbing, and I really just wanted to cry, but there was no way in hell I was stopping at that point.  I went through Mile 13 and my watch said 1:58ish.  I could see the finish and hear people (J) screaming at me to go sub-2, so I somehow managed to keep moving to the finish.

The clock said 1:59:47 as I went through, and I just lost it in the chute.  I was already out of breath and my calf was freaking out, so the crying didn't help.  I managed to grab some water and immediately scarfed down a banana, and calmed down a little bit.  Only then did I remember to stop my Garmin.  Runner fail.

Nevertheless, my official chip time, and NEW PR, is 1:59:34. 

The post-race festival included music by Bil Krauss, who is an institution in the beach bars along the SC coast.  J and I went to see him play the night we got engaged, and we try to see him whenever we're down at Pawley's.  He's a runner too, and he actually ran the course earlier in the morning.  We got a little shout out while he was playing, so that was fun.  We couldn't hang out for too long because J wanted to get back to Cola for the Carolina/LSU game.

So just like that, race weekend was over!  But lucky for me, I'll be running (not sub-2) the Governor's Cup on Nov. 3.  My parents will be in town, so that should be fun.  I will post my turnaround plan later this week, and I could definitely use some advice about how to pull it off.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Runner's Quiz + Race Week

What whattttt... it's Race Week

I am pretty excited for this race, but to be honest, I'm not feeling super confident about meeting my 2 hour goal. I haven't been very consistent about sticking to my training plan, sometimes for legit reasons and other times for less legit ones.  But given that this is only my second half, I'm just looking at it as a learning experience. I've definitely learned some things that I will apply to my next training cycle (i.e. I will not lie to myself and think I can run 5-6 days in a row.  Not happening on this shins.)  Oh, and if I don't do it this weekend, I can always try again on November 3 at the Governor's Cup.  :)

Also, I miiiiight have sustained a moderate injury this weekend at the wedding. I tried dancing in heels (stupid) but gave up after an hour or so and took them off (stupider). I ended up stepping on glass on the dance floor, and I just generally danced my ass off for like 6 hours straight (for real).  It feels like I've bruised the pad on the bottom of my right foot/toes, and it's a bit tender to walk on today. Totally, 100% worth it though...


Ok, so this running quiz is kind of making the rounds, but since I love running and I love quizzes (it's true, I thought school was awesome) I figured I would try it.

1. Fuel: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy, or other?

Definitely Honey Stinger Chews. Preferably Pink Lemonade. Finding the right fuel has been a long battle for me. I was definitely underfueled during my half in May. I only ate like 3/4 of a bag of sports beans because I just really, really haaaaate gels. I tried to make myself like them, but one time I tried a Strawberry Banana on a long run and it was hot and just so gross and that was the end of GU for me. I was dry heaving for like a mile afterwards. So sick.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, ultra or other?

Maybe this is a weird choice, but I really like the 10k. It's a good combo of endurance + speed - too far to go all out right from the start, but short enough that you can really push it.

3. Workout bottoms: Running skirt, shorts, capris, tights or other?

TS4L.  Tempo Shorts 4 Life.  I really love my Nikes, but I just bought my first pair of speed shorts from lululemon (thanks J!) and I might be hooked. That is unfortunate given their price tag.

I've never tried the running skirt thing, and it's waaaaay too hot here for like 10 months of the year to run in tights or capris. I did get some sweet running tights for Christmas last year, but I only used them once or twice before I got injured, so we'll see how it goes this winter. Unless it's in the mid-40s or below, I usually just wear shorts + a long sleeve tech tee. And let's get real... if we're getting below freezing, I will be staying inside.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, water or other?

I drink plain water exclusively during my runs, but I do love a cold red Gatorade (the cure for [almost] anything that ails you ... well, maybe not, like, SARS or something) or some Nuun before and after. I am a salty sweater for sure, but I really try not to overdo it with sodium, and sports drinks tend to have more than you think.  I'm not convinced that because I'm salty after a run, it means I need more salt. I get plenty (read: too much) in my normal diet and that seems to be enough.  I haven't had an issue with cramps even at the peak of my summer running (see below), so I don't see a reason to change that right now.

5. Running temperatures: Heat or cold?

{Summer in Columbia}

Hot, hot, hot any day of the week. I live in South Carolina... it's not like I have a choice.

6. Running shoe brands: Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, Asics or other?

I love my Mizunos. My shin splint issues really decreased once I ditched my old New Balances for these. I'm a fan for life.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or other?

Finally got this one figured out too. Honey Wheat English Muffin + PB + banana slices + Tupelo honey (preferably from the actual Tupelo Honey in Asheville). Usually with 16oz of Nuun to wash it down, as discussed above.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or other?

We all know I am the Queen of Rest Days. Usually 2 full rest days per week plus one cross training day for yoga or barre or an NTC workout.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I surprised myself on this one. The first time I had to go without music was because I couldn't find my headphones, and I was sure I was going to be the mayor of Miz City. But... it really wasn't that bad. These days I tend to do at least once a week without any type of "entertainment." I still want music for races, but I also love my zombie runs and recently I started listening to audiobooks on some of my longer runs as well. My first pick was Bossypants, which actually turned out to be kind of a mistake... breathing gets even harder than usual when you are laughing uncontrollably at the genius that is Tina Fey. Also, people tend to look at you strangely when you're running along LOLing to yourself.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or other?

Easy. All of the above. What started out as a weight loss thing very quickly reignited my love of competing/having a sport in which to participate. (Sorry, the English major in me would not allow myself to end on a preposition.) The stress relief and endorphins are also addicting. The cupcakes (or in my case, Swedish fish) are a bonus.

BAM.  There you have it.  Leave your answers in the comments if you'd like!