Sunday, December 30, 2012

Running for Bacon in the SNOW

The brothers are in town for a week and little brother is training for the same marathon as me in 3 weeks so we have had some good runs together.

Thursday, December 27
Recorded high was 34 degrees and low was 21. We ran at 10:00am so it was probably 25 degrees or so.  10 mph wind.  And snowing.....the entire time (even though the forecast said it was only a 30% chance).  We ran on the river trail.  There was mud in places. There was 4 inches of snow in others.  What a pace run!!! For 10 miles!!!!
I managed to get sick after all my playing gigs on the 23rd and 24th so I was suffering from a sinus infection for Christmas and still am.  Ich!
Goal 7:38s but I'm really happy keeping them under 7:45s.
1 mile warmup
Not bad for having a head cold (do I get bonus points for that on marathon day????) and through the snow on the ground and snow in the air (which was totally cool by the way!).  11+ miles.
That day ended with 15 of us for dinner at my folks' house for standing rib roast, piles of potatoes, veggies, rolls and pumpkin pie.  I had 2 slabs of prime rib (I haven't had red meat for a while but I was so hungry from the run).

Saturday, December 29
Did the mesa run again.  Husband came and so did brother and Sentry (the dog).  Lots of snow, lots of mud, lots of rocks. 15mph wind. High was 32 that day so maybe it was 28 or 30 degrees.  500 feet or so of climb (we averaged 9:44s because of all the snow and hills and the stupid headcold).  8 miles.

Sunday, December 30
Long run across town. 16 miles. 40 degrees.  8:15 pace was the goal.  Ended up averaging 8:25s.  First half is pretty much all uphill with 500 feet of climb....then back down again.  I couldn't breathe very nose is now super chapped from all the cold weather running mixed with the constantly runny nose.  I'm crazy frustrated as this is the last long run and now taper starts....3 weeks to go.  I guess 10 seconds per mile can be credited to the sickness and the uphill but I'm still bummed (especially since my pace run on Thursday was pretty good even though I was sick).  Ah well.  This is how we all feel right before taper starts right?  Like we've had the crap beat out of us a couple of times and what the heck was I thinking when I signed up for this race???????

Husband made us all crepes with blueberries, creme anglaise and bacon for breakfast.  SOOOOOO divine!

I'm ready for taper.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Running (and Violining)

On Sunday, I played in church and then had a 4.5 hour string quartet gig at a very upscale Christmas party about 1.5 hours away.  I had my morning run before all that and ended up not getting home until nearly 1am. I was exhausted.  Then on Christmas Eve, I had to get up pretty early to run, then head to a gig where I was hired to play back-up on a few numbers (on electric violin) and to play O Holy Night on solo violin (acoustic) with a pianist.  The church asked that I wear a red ball gown so I made one over the last few weeks...ended up costing me only about $80 but it turned out great.  I played four church services plus a rehearsal for a total of 7.5 hours of work.  During the first service, it started to snow!!!  We haven't had a white Christmas for 16 years.  It was so exciting!
By the end with all the nerves of performing, mixed with the gig the night before, the running and the lack of sleep, I was EXHAUSTED!  Headed to my folks for leftovers of Christmas Eve dinner and headed to bed.

Woke up this morning to white!  Decided to do my strength run (warm-up, then 3 x 2 miles @ 7:28 pace, with 1/2 mile easy in between) on our street since it was mostly clear of snow with just a half dozen icy spots to avoid.  The sidewalks were a mess so I spent most of the time in the road.  It was a nice run...a little slow from avoiding the ice but it was done by 10 so I have the whole day to rest. Then we headed to my sister's for brunch with her family and my parents.  Delicious!

Happy Christmas everyone!  Here are some Christmas photos of my running buddy, Sentry!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cold Run....Soooo cold

Thursday....tempo run.  9 miles at marathon warm-up (and cool-down) I need a cool-down if I'm frozen????  Seriously.

When I left the house it was 11 degrees.  (with wind chill weather channel said "feels like 1").  When I got home it was 18 (weather channel says "feels like 12").  Burr. 

I headed to the river trail where I do my speedwork and tempo runs because it's as flat as we can get in this super hilly town and there's no traffic.  Turns out, it's buried in snow and ice so I had to create a course on the fly and ended up having some good hills mixed in. I came across DH finishing his morning run (I had to go feed the chickens and he had an appointment to get to so we couldn't run together).  I was frozen. He had an extra pair of gloves and he gave them to me.  Lifesaver! Just another reminder of why I married this man! I also had to deal with all kinds of snow and ice on every street in this town because of trees or buildings or other objects shading the roads and sidewalks so nothing can melt.  My brother calls it "ninja running".  Today was full of it.  I didn't manage to hold  the paces I did last week but I stayed within 20 seconds per mile which I guess is acceptable.  All were between 7:45-7:55....I'm supposed to be 7:38 so I guess I was close enough considering the circumstances.  When I got home, I was a popsicle. My face. My toes. So cold. Thermometer in the yard said 18. Ugh. No wonder. My warm blood doesn't like these temps.

Got inside and warmed up with eggs, homemade bagels and FOUR pieces of bacon....thicksliced. Oh yes!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reindeer Romp 5k

Downtown Reindeer Romp 5k.
They used the same course as our downtown Turkey Trot a month ago. A bunch of runners were giving feedback after the Turkey Trot that the course was too short (GarminGirl said 3.04).  So they extended the course a bit to try to make it closer so it was 3.06 this time. My finish time was 1.5 seconds slower than the Turkey Trot.  I finished in 20:29.1.  First place for women!  Free Newtons!!!!!!!  Wahoo!

About an hour before the race, it started raining and sleeting.  It was cold (maybe 38 degrees) with a light breeze.  My feet were soaked from a 1 mile warm-up. I was worried about a couple spring chicken girlies in their 20s jumping around at the start in their cute outfits with WAY too much energy.  All these 50-mile weeks of marathon training have caught up to me and I'm just tired (and I haven't been in my 20s for almost 5 years now so there's definitely no jumping around at the start).  The top 3 women and men get free shoes from our local shoe store (Brown's Shoe Fit) so I really wanted to be top 3.  The gun went off and the 2 girls bolted from the line (probably 5:30 pace).  I stuck to my plan on no faster than 6:30 as I should be around 6:40-6:45s on average.  After a half mile, I was gaining on one of the girls.  By 7/10ths I passed her.  We turned the corner and headed up a big hill (over 100 feet of gain in less than a half mile).  About 100 yards into the hill, I passed girl #1.  I was in the lead.  I kept on chugging through to the end of the race, passing a few men on another incline towards the end, let myself roll down the hills and finished 11th overall.

Within the first mile. I was about to snot-rocket and then I noticed my sister taking the picture so I held off for a minute.

The finish....but I can't get it to rotate.

My nephew and I at the finish line having hot cocoa.  Yum!  It warmed me up  for about 20 seconds.

Wordquota and me at the finish.  It was SOOOOOO cold!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Run of 12s RR....Run of a Lifetime

The stars aligned today.
I know the virtual race was to be a 12k but I ran 12 miles (I'll get to why later).
I chose a route from home to 12th Street:

I ran up and down 12th Street 12 times. (It's only 3 blocks long (about .35 miles), but let me just say GHETTO! I wouldn't normally run 12 steps on this road so 12 times up and down was a BIG deal....luckily I had a trusty Doberman with me....Thank you my beautiful Sentry for being a good running buddy today!) Here's a bit of my gps map showing my repeats on 12th St:

I wore a #12 bib:

It was 18 degrees when I headed out (was hoping for a 12 there but didn't get it). Although I did SCORE on the 12mph wind (said as I left the house).  HOORAY....another 12!  (I have NEVER said Hooray about wind and I probably never will again...hate the stuff...but today it worked).

I worked the whole time to remember all the proper words for the 12 Days of Christmas and I think I was successful.  (I never wear headphones so I am always counting or singing to myself....I wouldn't usually sing such an annoying song like the 12 Days of Christmas but it was definitely appropriate in that today is 12 days away from Christmas!)

So, here I am at mile 11ish:

So, why the 12 miles?
Why is today so special?
Why are the stars so aligned for me? Afterall, it's 12-12-12 everywhere today!
This is why:
On endomondo (my fitness tracker where I sync GarminGirl), there are challenges.  I entered the "2012 miles in 2012" challenge back in June when I had about 800 miles logged.  I had just run a May marathon and didn't have plans for another. Ran a Half in August.  In October I finally got my ducks in a row and registered for a January race.  About a month ago, I decided to look at my challenges and realized I only had a few hundred miles to go.  Did the math and had to run like 37 miles a week to make it by December 31.  No problem as I am in the height of training with numbers around 50-60 per week.  Last Wednesday I had 65 to go.  Just stuck to my program.  Saw the invite for the virtual 12k race on 12-12, but Wednesday is my REST DAY! NOOOO! Then Wednesday grew near.  Yesterday, I looked at Endomondo....2000 miles so far this year.  No stinkin way.  12 miles to go to make 2012 miles in 2012.  I texted Dad (my #1 fan).  He said I was crazy to even think of resting. I had to finish my 2012 on 12-12-12 (with a 12-miler, with 12 repetitions on 12th Street, with a 12 bib on).  He was right.  So I did.  But I did it so perfectly that it came out to 2012.12 miles total for the year...TODAY.  How do you like that for some 12s?

I'm a little speechless about this whole running thing. I'm proud. I'm tired. I'm skinny. I'm hungry (all the time). But one thing is for sure, I love to run.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Marathon Training is really here

6 weeks until Arizona Rock n Roll.  Had a really fantastic Tempo Run last Thursday....9 miles at marathon pace and totally nailed it.  Felt great! Best one yet! Over the weekend, the weather turned to winter.  Sunday I ran 10 miles. It was 26 degrees with 10mph wind and blowing snow.  I did 4 of them with my DH and the other 6 with my sweet puppy.  This morning it was 12 degrees with a bit of a wind. Got in my 8 miles by choosing a new secret trail. A run out of downtown, up my favorite road, then up a big hill, and then a slight left between a few fence posts and magically I am transcended to the top of a huge mesa with 360 degree views of the Land of Enchantment.  I ran on top for about a mile and then turned around to head home. I will definitely be exploring this new spot some more.  All the beautiful scenery made me forget how stinkin' cold it was!  I will try to remember to take my phone sometime to snap a pic.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Trot RR

Saturday was our Turkey Trot through downtown.  The race is only in it's 2nd year.  It's a 5k (actually a bit short I think...3.04 miles).  Anyway, last year I managed 3rd place overall women and awesome Brown's Shoe Fit donates 6 pairs of free shoes of your choice to the top 3 men and women so I was out to win shoes again this year.

I'm pretty tired...9 weeks away from the next marathon and running some pretty tough workouts and over 50 miles per week.  I worked all week to prepare myself mentally "it's only 3 miles...who cares how bad it hurts for 21 minutes?? You got this!"  Last year I went out too fast and slowed a lot during the 2nd miles that has a really big hill in it (21:28 finish time).  This year I stayed cool the first mile....swift but not exhausting (I really wanted to break 21:00) a 6:45.  Second mile, big hill, start passing people (I live downtown so I know the hill very well) 6:50.  Third mile, work to hang on and push to the finish...and I do. 6:44.  20:21 finish time.  2nd place for women.  Wahoo!  Free shoes!  Felt pretty strong into the finish.  A very encouraging day in the midst of marathon training.  :)

The next day was a 15-mile "Long" run.  In Hansons marathon method, that means a pace-ish run.  Pace should be between marathon goal pace (7:40ish) and easy pace (8:45-9:15).  So my long run pace is 8:15-8:25.  The book says to just chill out and run it easy.  So I did the first mile easy 9:24, but felt good so I went with it. 8:33, 8:21, 8:26, 8:11, 8:14, 8:20, 8:06 (gees), 8:17, 8:28, 8:29, 8:33, 8:25, 8:19, 8:09.  Not bad after a PR in a 5k.  Two hours later I was tired and had some nice tightness in my calves and feet.  Is there anything that could make me feel better? Yep! We had Thanksgiving early so I got to eat like a pig (my mom is a wonderful cook).  I had extra helpings of dressing, gravy and sweet potatoes.  I never got full....that's the way to end a long run!

You can't judge how a run is going to go based on how you feel.  I was tired and sore for both great runs.  The more time I spend on the road, the more I realize that SOOO much of this running thing is just a mental game.  "How much pain are you willing to endure today?"

Monday, November 12, 2012

16 degree NOVEMBER

Seriously, it was 16 degrees when I left my house this morning.  It's November 12.  That is quite early for a 16 degree morning in New Mexico. 8 miles easy.  12 mph wind.  8:55 average.

But I was running today. No matter what. Cold, hot, rain, snow, wind, whatever. Afterall, today is my Marathonniversary. One year ago today I ran my first marathon (Rimrock Marathon near Grand Junction, CO).  Rimrock Marathon RR

I remembered that day as I ran today; how I felt scared, empowered, strong, vulnerable.. It was a day that changed me forever...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Long Run....a good one...FINALLY

I've had an exhausting few weeks.  Concert preparation (lots of practicing), increase in mileage for marathon training, built a chicken coop and run out of random material laying around at my dad's wood shop and then researched and purchased 22 laying hens.  My right hamstring has been getting pissed weekly (after speed workouts and tempo workouts).  I foam roll, massage, compress, etc.It gets a little better, then I go out and run hard again and it all comes back.  Got a killer massage on Wednesday that I mostly cried through but felt SOOO much better afterwards. Thursday's 7-mile tempo run brought nearly a total mental breakdown with the tight-again hamstring.  I chose my "long run" route to do the tempo run since my river route was under construction, which means some pretty good uphill for the first 4 miles (400-500 feet of rise).  Well, I got to mile 3ish and just couldn't hit marathon pace.  I was pushing so hard and was so tired and it just wasn't happening.  I literally stopped (which I never do on a run) and walked (which I only do in absolute dire circumstances) and had a small temper tantrum and a serious discussion with myself about whether or not we are really going to do this thing....cause if so, we need to find a way to run 7:38s today.Period. After my 1 minute breakdown I only had another half mile of uphill, then there was some flat and then downhill.  My pace picked up (not 7:38 exactly but 7:41s were close enough for me).  When I got home I still felt angry and a little crushed.  Maybe the pace isn't right for me. Maybe my goals are too lofty. Maybe it's too soon to get that much faster.  Friday's run was easy and nice with my gorgeous puppy dog (I still call him puppy even though he is nearly 2 1/2).  7 miles. Hamstring was tight.  I went and got a new pair of shoes (both my other pairs are done...400 miles on one pair and at least 600 on the other). I got Brooks Pure Connects (my third pair of them)...this time in ORANGE:
Saturday was 7 miles easy and I kept going quite a bit faster than my "easy" should have been.  Kept having to tell myself to slow down.  Helped my parents do a bunch of painting on ladders and scaffolding and my hamstring screamed the whole time. Last night when I got home I decided to try using some heat on my hamstring, and then roll it and do some serious quad and butt stretching.  Woke up this morning feeling way better.

I'm doing the Hansons Marathon Method.  Speed and Strength workouts are faster than marathon pace.  Tempo runs are AT marathon pace.  Long runs are in between marathon pace and easy. Easy runs are...well, easy.

So, Long Run today.  14 miles.  Need to hold 8:18-8:42.
Today was the day I needed it to be. Beautiful. Fast. Good. Encouraging. Empowering.
DH decided to go with me on his bike (he has plantar fasciitis and has increased to running 2.5 miles) so we'd stop at the track first for him to do his running and then we'd head to the river trail. When we arrived at the track, the National Guard was there running....2 miles for time.  They were on the inside of the track so we took the very outside lane.  I kept having to slow down. I felt fast and strong. My first three miles on the track were too fast. When we got to the river, I was able to hold conversations with DH pretty easily.  Now, this is not a "pace" run but it's definitely not easy either...and it's on tired legs (rest day was Wednesday).  Pace needs to be 8:18-8:42.
Paces were:
8:48 (on the slower end to let the hamstring warm-up)

Finally, the run I needed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Training for cake

So, here I go. Marathon training cycle #3.  I've been at it for a few weeks now.  I picked the Hansons training program out of the new book by Luke Humphrey.  On paper, I thought "No problem."  Well, it's not no problem.  It'd dang hard.  The way the workouts are lined out is so different than the Brad Hudson program I used before (which was a totally successful program for me...I just wanted to try something totally different for fun).  I was looking for a change and boy did I get it.  I'm a trash-fest.  Just exhausted and fatigued like I should be I suppose.  I'm still hitting the paces that I need to though (even the easy runs have a pace range dictated that is completely appropriate for me).  My favorite thing about the program so far is that in week 3 you begin 6-mile tempo runs at marathon pace. Throughout the program they increase in distance up to 10 miles. It is really building my confidence this far out to be able to run AT marathon pace for miles at a time.  Loving it.

So, tonight, after the big Tempo run today, chocolate cake nearly as big as my it's not just the angle....the cake really is almost as big as the book.

Happy Training everyone!  And believe me, the cake makes it all worth it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dear Drivers,

First, I am not a zoo animal. I am a runner. No need to drive by at a snail's pace with your noses pressed against the windows. Just drive normally and get out of my way.
Second, if you drive a big-a** Dodge pickup that weighs more than any vehicle should and you have the giant mirror extensions, please take that into consideration when you drive past pedestrians as your mirror can hit us in the shoulder, or even worse our heads. This hasn't happened yet although my shirt sleeve has been grazed and that was enough to make me move to the inside of the sidewalk as far as I can every time one of these trucks drives by....which is every other car in Farmington!
Third, when driving on a gravel road I guess you don't know that when you accelerate you flip gravel all over the place and I am not wearing armor...enough said.
Fourth, honking is simply not necessary....EVER. Have you ever stood next to a car that is honking?  It's stupidly loud so that people inside their highly insulated cars with stereos blasting can hear it.  Believe me, I know that you are there in your car without you honking.
Fifth, when you are texting or chatting on the phone or simply being an unaware driver and you pull up at an intersection all the way so the sidewalk, approaches and everything is blocked by your giant car and then you notice me and get all flustered and try to apologize or scoot back or roll down your window for some odd reason (all while still just sitting there blocking EVERYTHING). Instead of wasting time, just get out of the way....I don't need an apology, I don't need sympathy...I just need you to move (especially when I am in the middle of a pace run...which you should be able to tell by the snarl on my face).
Lastly, if you don't like any of the above statements, get your giant butt out of your car and try going for a run.  It will change the way you handle yourself in a vehicle around pedestrians.
Thank you,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's Done

My 8-mile loop at the river.

Today I ran 8.07 miles in exactly 1 hour. That's right. And it was hard. And I almost puked.

Turns out it was my fastest 10k ever too. What a day....I'm sad it's over....because now I have to try to go faster than that!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running instead of training

Without a real plan in sight (a race entry) training has become running....just running.  When I started running in April 2011, the purpose was to become a runner and run a marathon.  Ever since then there has always been a race ahead but not now.  Husband is hurt...plantar fasciitis just won't take a's killing me.  I feel guilty for being injury-free.  I can't see signing up for another race without him (I ran a Half in August without him).  When we started running, we did it together.  It was "our thing".  We had a new common goal, a new-found common interest.  So running is solo for now...and it's running; not training.

So I'm using this time to get faster overall.  I'm working to make my easy runs faster.  I'm working to see how fast I can go while staying relaxed.  I'm pushing my threshold and working to keep my pace as consistent and steady as possible throughout each run.  It's working.

A new extension was added to our river path a few months ago.  I have been LOVING it.  It used to be 1.3 miles away and once there it was a 4 mile loop, then the 1.3 back home for a total of 6.6 miles.  Also the 1.3 each way was along a horribly busy highway/bypass road...loads of traffic and trucks and a few big intersections to navigate.  The NEW portion of the trail extends WAY closer to my house and is now nearly directly south so I get to cruise 1 mile exactly to get on the trail and the traffic is minimal.  Once at the river, it's now a 6-mile loop then another mile back home for a total of 8 miles exactly.  It's awesome!  First it was 1hour5minutes.  A little push made it 1hr4mins.  Yesterday, 1hr2mins and it wasn't painfully difficult.  It wasn't easy but it wasn't so hard.  I'll call it moderate.  But it's my new new Tuesday(ish) run.  Maybe I'll do it every week, or every-other-week.  I don't know but I like it and it's fun to make some kind of "training" out of a beautiful river run.  And someday soon I'm going to do it in under 1 hour.

And a beautiful shot of the most beautiful sleepy dog....that lives at my house :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not always as expected...

Headed out Saturday morning for a 10-miler...maybe a 12-miler...depending on how I felt.

Took off from home.  First mile felt like 9:30....Garmin says 8:45.  Hmmm....I feel good.

Head north on my usual long run route...all uphill.  Consistently under 8:45.  Some 8:30s. Some 8:20s. Gees.  Even on the steep hills.  I feel good.

 My quads have been sore since cross training on Tuesday.  But I feel good.

I ran 7 on Sunday, 8 on Monday, 12 on Wednesday.  Lifted weights on Thursday (which I haven't done in years).  But I feel good.

Mile 5 comes I turn around and make it a 10miler?  Nah. I feel good.

Mile 6 comes and goes, mile 7 also.  Do I turn at mile 8 and make it a 16-er?  I feel good.

Mile 9...guess I'll head home.  I only brought two small bottles of Tailwind and one Stinger waffle and it's getting warm.  I feel good.

Mile 12 I finally feel my quads are not 100% but overall I feel good.

Mile 17 with one mile to home.  I push gently...8:17.  I feel good.

18 miles in 2hrs35min. Hmm. I guess sometimes the road isn't as expected.

And a picture to finish out the post.  Sentry sitting on my lap by the pond.  We love New Mexico!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Out of the Loop for a while

Summer has been intense....and laid back....and crazy all at the same time.  I only blogged (blooped) once.
So here's the wrap-up of summer:

Built a lake (a pond really, but it's quite big so we call it our lake).  My husband dug it by hand and we moved every rock by hand (SEVEN trucks full....great cross training). Approximately 2200 gallons.  It's home to 9 koi.  We purchased them all as babies and are excited to watch them grow.  There are two little ponds in the back right corner also and they all filter each other.  The two smaller ponds are home to one frog, numerous shubunkins, goldfish, and many water plants.

Built a dog sofa.  (We got a new leather sofa and didn't want the doggie to scratch it....he is allowed on all the other furniture (SPOILED ROTTEN) so we made him his own the same height as ours):
I think he likes it!

Taught two weeks of AMAZING violin camps at my house:
 week 1
week 2
On to the RUNNING:
In June, I ran  185 miles.
In July, I ran 215 miles.

In July, my hubby got injured...again. Plantar Fasciitis. So our summer of fun running together ended abruptly.  I was back to going solo.  Training, training, training in order to run a best time at the Mt Sneffels Half in Ouray, Colorado on August 11.  And I did.
1:40:12. 7th woman overall.  Won my age group.  It was a hard run and I really wanted to break 1:40 but as I saw the finish line, I had emptied myself and had no kick left.  What's 12 seconds?  I will crush 1:40 next time.

The night before the race, Sentry helped break the tension by looking gangsta in my brother's hat:
I love this dog........SOOOO much.

Big sale at my favorite shoe store...Brown's.  Bought my first pair of trail shoes in case of a trail run and to lifestyle also.  They're last year's winter model so they'll be warm-ish for winter running.  Scored them for $60!  Wahoo.

I will try to blog more but in the mean time, know that I am definitely out crazy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Miles and more

May brought 179 miles and my second marathon.
June brought 185 miles.
July has 139 miles so far and a way to go yet.
August brings back the first Half Marathon I ran a year ago.  I'm going back to better my time and reflect on all that has happened in my first year and half of running.  I can tell you the weather on any day. I can compute mileage all over this town within a quarter-mile.  I can run 10 miles on empty (no breakfast...just up and out).  I can compute minutes per mile into projected marathon and half-marathon finish times.  I am aware of and know the names of way too many leg, butt and foot muscles  that I previously didn't know existed.  I love to run.

I had a birthday last week.  My sister is an insanely talented girl.  She makes amazing cakes, and is mother to 3 amazing little boys.  The list could go on forever.  Anyway, she made dessert for my family birthday party.  A cake.  With an insane cake topper that she made.....of my Newton Gravity shoe.  AMAZING!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Training for . . .

heck I don't really know.  I'm going to run a Half Marathon in August...the same Half that I ran last year and was my first ever.  I'm definitely going to run faster this year.  
I have been running quite a bit since the marathon and the 10k race I ran 5 days later.  Keeping up at least 35-45 miles per week.  A possible triathlon on June 30 that is a 1-mile swim, 6-mile run and 25-mile bike (although I first got on a road bike this weekend and I am not sure I will be ready since I look like a 6-year old that just got her training wheels taken off).  
Aside from that, we are "Marathon Window Shopping".....what to do next.  Encouragement from a very fast running friend that I could drop another 15 minutes no problem if I ran a downhill race.  Encouragement from another friend to find races close to home.  Encouragement from a friend living outside of London to come and run a destination marathon there. I don't like huge races. I get overwhelmed.  2,500 people is my max I think.  I really enjoy the smaller races with the small town feel.  I think a December or January race would allow for a great set of training through the fall but the thought of doing something as soon as October gets me a little excited as I really love the hard training.  Thoughts? Suggestions for races?
To conclude, I couldn't resist ordering the customized shirt from the Colfax Marathon I ran May 20.  Got it in the mail today.  The quote of the race was "Doubters Can Suck It".  If you're interested in the story, you can read about it in my race review below from May 21.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

10k PR.....6 days after a Marathon PR

 Last Sunday I ran a PR in the Colorado Colfax Marathon.  On Saturday I ran a 10k and got  a PR.  Last year at this time, the furthest I had ever run was a 10k and I ran the same race in 55:10.  Yesterday I went 46:16.....a 9-minute improvement in a year of training.  It's a very empowering thing to look back at the roads I have run to get to this point.  The race was in Berg Park....where I often trained for this last marathon.  I had bad days there and good days.  I had hard runs and easy runs.  I cried and I laughed there.  Racing there was fun since I knew the terrain so well and knew exactly how far I had left to run, where the shade was, and where every little hill or turn was.  I managed 11th place overall, and I was the 2nd woman.  My husband was 3rd place overall with a 41:56.  We are planning on trying to find a few more 10ks to run throughout the year since I feel like finding my pace was a little tricky.  

My parents did the 2 mile walk. My sister and 2 of my nephews (age 12 and 8) did the 5k.  Here's a photo from the race:
I'm the one in bright yellow on the right behind the kiddo in orange.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Colfax Marathon RR - Boston Baby!

I started running in April 2011.  I ran my first marathon in November 2011.  Rimrock Marathon near Grand Junction, CO.  Finish time: 3:40:29

Ran the Moab Half Marathon in March 2012 (did not do nearly as well as I wanted to) 1:45


My husband, and little brother were also signed up for the marathon (we did our first one together back in November too).

Got to Denver late Friday night.  Went to the expo on Saturday and picked up this:
Got a little overwhelmed and actually cried a little while shopping for gear....not cause I was sad, or scared, or worried....just cause I didn't know what else to do.  I put alot of pressure on myself when I set goals.....I really wanted to be 3:30.  (the new Boston is 3:35).  I think since I had run 26.2 before, my body was reminding me how good it does NOT feel at mile 24 and that I needed to be mentally ready to endure (which I can proudly say I did).

Up at 4:00am at the hotel.  Throw on clothes and put Sentry (my fawn Doberman running buddy to bed next to my mom).  I give him a big love and lots of pets and thanked him for all the help training.  I know he didn't understand as his head sank into my hand from being so tired but I know that he helped me through a lot of really long runs and cold runs.  I tear up a little.  It's time to go.  We head to little brother's apartment (conveniently located 1 mile from the starting line).  He had breakfast waiting.  We chow down, nerves are setting in.  We all hit the bathroom and then jog to the park. Start time in 15 minutes.

The first mile and a half was crazy with all the Half-Marathoners. I was working to take it easy (my goal pace was 8:00 and I wanted my first mile to be 8:15-8:30). Garmin says 8:14...close enough.  As we split to the right and the Halfers went left, all I could think was that we were separating the men from the children (I know that running a Half is not all much easier than running a Full but I needed to be empowered at this moment after fighting the crowd).

Just after heading out of the park there was a Will Ferrell look alike donned with a dark red curly wig, belly shirt, and a cowbell (of course) rocking out to Blue Oyster Cult with his blue honda parked next to him with a sign holding up the trunk that said "DOUBTERS CAN SUCK IT".  This would become my motto for the race.  I gave him a thumbs up.  Run through Fire Station #1 downtown Denver, run through MileHigh stadium....pretty cool, run along Cherry Creek trail, down Colfax where the cowbell guy and DOUBTERS SUCK IT sign shine again (another thumbs up from me, and turn up Perry to Sloan's Lake (around mile 8).  I see my mom and dad and my beautiful Sentry.  They cheer me on.  My pace is going great.  Miles 2-9 are all just under 8:00.  The aid stations had been awesome but I needed a restroom.  Unfortunately, I had been plagued with Aunt Flow showing up a few days late (should have been on the tail end of things but I think my nerves about the race made her delay until the night before the unfortunately I was cramping and enduring Aunt Flow at her strongest moment).  A REAL bathroom shined like a beautiful sunrise....I took the opportunity to use a real toilet and appreciated the real sink to wash my hands. Thought for sure the split including the bathroom stop would be 12:00.  It was an 8:45 after all.  I must have shot out of that bathroom like a gazelle. Head around the lake and I see my folks and Sentry again.  What a boost.  Leave the lake and keep heading west. Miles 11-14 all under 8:00.  Mile 15 was an 8:08.  Mile 16 is the turning point to head back down Colfax (downhill baby).  Felt great turning that corner and knew I could hold 8:00s.  Mile 16-20 were: 7:55, 7:47, 8:00, 7:42, 7:47.  Cowbell guy again. At this point, there is not doubt left in my mind.  I'm going to rock this race.  Did I mention my time at the half was 1:45...right on pace including the bathroom stop and equal to my best half marathon time from March.   Mile 21-24 were 8:14, 8:11, 8:27, 8:06.  Cowbell guy again. It hurts.  I want to'd be SOOOO easy to stop.  It hurts everywhere.  No matter how hard someone trains, I think mile 24 is just've come too far to quit, but you're not close enough to drive it home.  The tank feels empty.  You've come so far.  I'd come so far but there's part of my brain screaming that no one will care if I quit and it's not worth it to's just too hard.  I push through.  I start eyeing "ponytails" (my dad calls girl runners ponytails) and I work to pass as many as I can.  Beginning at mile 17 the Urban 10-Mile racers had merged with us and were crowding the course...not to mention driving me CRAZY!  They are rocking out to their headphones running 3 and 4 people wide in matching outfits blocking the path completely ignoring the fact that some of us have a job to do and we have already run 16 miles...have some respect for other racers...seriously.  So, back to the ponytails....I'm passing them but they all have orange bibs (10-mile bibs).  Finally I pass a ponytail with a green bib (a marathoner). "Yes, who's next?"  Here's the hill on 17th.  I swore to myself the day before that I would pass people on this hill and would not let them pass me after it.  I have trained hills like crazy, even on easy run days.  There she was....dark ponytail dressed in all red and black (very intimidating outfit).  I could tell she was a green bib even though I couldn't see it.  She looked like I felt...tired and driving it home.  I keep my eye on her....I drive steady up the hill and pass lots of 10-milers (ponytails and men). I also pass 3 or 4 marathoners without ponytails.  Mile 25 was 8:37...not a great split but I was passing people so it was good enough I guess.  Garmin was freaking out from the buildings quite a bit so some of those ending splits might be messed up.  Cowbell guy one more time.  Final thumbs up to him and I tell him "thank you".  I enter City Park.  Less than a mile to go.  Ponytail in black and red is still ahead.  I'm gaining on her.  I get close enough to try to drive past her.  She kicks in and forges ahead.  I try to catch her or hang....I hang but can't catch her.  I see the finish.  She drives ahead and so do I.  I pass two more marathon men and lots of 10-milers.  Finally.  Done.  I'm happy but totally spent. 3:31 and change on the clock. I see my brother.  Then my parents.  Then my husband.  I grab a gatorade and a water.  I can't open the water.  I'm about to cry. My hips hurt.  I'm done.  I'm overwhelmed. It hurts so bad. This is not the moment to remember.  I'm not going to elaborate or if I read this blog before my next one I won't really want to run another one.  I know I did my best because I felt pretty terrible.  So tight.  So tired.  My dad opens the water.  I grab a banana and more water.  No chocolate mile?  No oranges?  Such great aid stations through the entire race but I had my heart set on chocolate milk.  I'm bummed. They have Pepsi (which I don't like at all and that's SOOO not what I wanted). I stick with water.  I hit the restrooms and then head back to my brother's apartment.  The longest mile walk home ever for all 3 of us.  My husband went 3:20 (a best time by 16 minutes).  My little brother went 3:06 (missed Boston by 1 minute 6 seconds) but a best time by 17 minutes.  My official chip time was 3:30:21 even with the long bathroom stop.  Made the Boston cut free and clear with 4:39 to spare and a best time by 10 minutes. 14th place woman (out of 500).  6th in my age group (out of 174) and 130th overall (out of 1,166).  I can definitely say I am pleased.    I can definitely say I am pleased.

Today I rested.  I have a few more days to rest before running a little local 10k at the annual Riverfest this Saturday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

2012 Training Pictures

As my big race is next weekend (marathon #2), I decided I'd post some pictures from the last 18 weeks of training:
Deer at Berg park.  I always see deer on this quiet little trail next to the river.  Love it!

The new Newton Gravity shoes.  Love. Love. Love.

My two training buddies.  Sometimes we all run together.  Sometimes they run together. Sometimes I get one-on-one runs with each of them.  Couldn't have done this thing without either one of these guys.  Love them heaps and heaps.

Spent the winter running in all kinds of new winter running gear. Since I just started running last April I had to stock up on all this fancy gear this year.  This is my favorite New Balance top cause it has built in wristies to cover most of my hand, plus built-in pull-over mittens for extra coverage when my gloves aren't enough.  Couldn't live without the pink "dork belt" (that's what DH and I call the hydration belts as we both swore we'd never wear these things cause they are for dorky people that run so far that they have to carry water!)

I have put in 774 miles in 2012 so far.  I am looking forward to the big race next weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'm a Stupid Idiot

The past few weeks have been crazy.  Multiple violin performances, the end of the year recital where all 32 of my violin students performed, got new shoes, had a 59 mile week, and then a 62 mile week. I'm so ready for taper.  
Thursday morning I get a call from the Big Band conductor at the local college.  They are having their concert the following night and would like my husband and I to come swing dance as part of their show.  (We are the two-time swing dance champs at the local college's Swing Into Spring fundraiser and the Big Band provides the music so they knew who to call).  So we agreed since dancing to a live band is one of the most fun things EVER!  We chose all "safe" moves to not twist or sprain or stress anything since we just had our highest mileage week ever.  We chose to do a few aerials...but safe ones...all went well until our final move...the Pancake.  I don't have a video of us doing it, but this is what it looks like:  So, on the landing my patella hit the stage.  As you can see in the video, when the pancake (me) flops back to the ground, it'd be real easy to let the knees drop a little too far.  Essentially my patella dropped from 5-6 feet in the air down to the oak stage.  Ouch.  It hit hard but it's definitely not broken....just bruised and a little sore.  
Well, it felt ok on Saturday so I went ahead with the Easy 4 listed on my program.  Today was 18 @ marathon pace + 20-30 seconds per mile.  Well, I felt painless and great til mile 8, then it started brewing. My left hip started compensating for the right knee pain and then all went to crap. By mile 15 the pace was dropping off.  At mile 16 (I was headed home) I saw a nice set of steps where I chose to stop and cry for a minute.  I was so mad at myself for choosing to dance, then choosing to run...and run hard....and for not being tough enough to endure the pain.  I am stupid.  
So, now it's a little swollen and it hurts. I am not running tomorrow....or again until it's better. I have trained 748 miles so far for this marathon (race is in 2 weeks). I guess this rest is a great way to start a mad taper!  
I am stupid.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pastoral Symphony and Pastoral Run

This week has been full of rehearsals for Beethoven's Symphony #6 (the Pastoral).  I play Principal 2nd violin with San Juan Symphony.
Open this link on another page to listen while you read the rest of this post:
Beethoven Pastoral Symphony, 1st movement

So, a week full of 55 miles of running...lots of pace work.  Plus, many hours of teaching violin lessons, in addition to many rehearsal and practice hours for the concert.  Saturday was my rest day.  I had 2.5 hours of rehearsal, then the 2 hour concert last night.  It was so fun.  The Pastoral symphony is so amazing to play in this spring season.  If you aren't a classical music listener, you should try this symphony.  In fact, just this one piece will take you through 40 or 45 minutes of a run. I don't run with music but since I play it and practice it all the time I can just sing it the whole way in my head.  The piece is full of birds, fields of flowers, shepherd songs, a stream, a thunderstorm (my favorite) and a peasant dance.

This morning's run was: 2 miles easy, 15 miles at marathon pace +10sec per mile, 3 miles easy.  I decided to do it at beautiful Berg Park...along the river here.  There is a 4 mile loop there that DH and I could run in opposite directions to see each other every few miles and touch base with each other (he is faster than me so we can't run pace together).  The run was like the Pastoral Symphony....deer, ducks, out fishing in the river, the birds singing and was totally cool.  I didn't get my thunderstorm but there are some rapids in the river.  I held pace most of the way...the last 3 miles were about 9 seconds off per mile but ah well.  I was pretty tired.  A long day yesterday with a very sweaty concert late last night plus an hour drive home and got to bed late so 9 seconds off per mile is probably just fine.  The great news is I get to go play the concert again in a few hours.

Honestly, if you have never tried is the time of year and start with Symphony No. 6....and yes it's 5 movements (5 parts) and 45 minutes long.  One movement doesn't count, you have to listen to the whole thing.

So the other great part is that there is a fellow loopster in the orchestra:
kathrynellen  She plays flute and piccolo.
Here we are at the concert last night:

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Runniversary...Honeymoon is over

Over Spring Break of 2011, I read Born to Run and so did my husband.  We were absolutely convinced that we should be runners....and that we should do something I had sworn millions of times I would never a marathon.

Seven months later, we did it...Rimrock Marathon near Grand Junction, CO....a gorgeous marathon that takes you through the amazing Colorado National Monument.

My Runniversary came and went without me noticing really.  My first run with a marathon in mind was sometime in the beginning of April last year.  I am now 4 1/2 weeks away from marathon #2.  I am in the height of training and I am running faster and further than ever before.  With that comes more mental and physical challenge; more exhaustion; but also more discipline and more inspiration.  I am overwhelmed with the huge amount of progress that I have made.  I am proud of every mile that I have run and know that no matter how much you keep running that all of those miles are still hard in their own way.  I say the honeymoon is over because now that I have one year under my belt, I spend a lot of time comparing, calculating and evaluating my progress and paces.  I enjoy running and know that it has changed me but I am a person that doesn't do anything halfway so I can't help but always work to make progress. If I am going to spend my time doing something, I am going to do it to the best of my ability and do all I can to reach my highest potential.

Today's run was 10 miles with fartleks and it was just plain hard.  Every 8 minutes I had to run 3 minutes at 10k pace.  I managed to average 8:18s.  My 3 minutes of pace was right at 7:15s.  By the end, I was ruined, wrecked, exhausted.  My feet hurt for multiple reasons including  a bruise on the tendons where my shoe ties (no idea where I got it....maybe the dog, maybe yardwork).  When I got home I needed feet in my cold koi pond in the backyard.  So off I went.  I sat on a rock at the pond's edge and dropped my feet in the cold water.  The koi nibbled at my toes and swam close again and again.  My feet were numb and cold.  The pain was gone.  Tomorrow I will do it again.

Tough Runniversary for me but I know I am hooked on this running thing.

This is after the Rimrock Marathon, November 2011.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Another PR for mileage last week..58 miles (the previous week was 54 which was a PR too).  Had some good days with beautiful weather.  Marathon coming up in 5 weeks from today so I'm into a lot of pace work and high mileage right now.
Now onto the bacon.....
I know the Baconator awards are done on the Runner's World Blog Loop, but honestly today topped them all for me.  Today was just plain hard.  Firstly, we have had some beautiful weather into the 80s in the past few weeks and this morning it was 36.  By the time DH and I would finish our run, the forecast said 45 degrees.  Not so bad if we didn't have complete cloud cover.  Oh, but wait, 20-35 mph wind the ENTIRE time so with wind chill temperatures were more like 20-30 degrees.  Luckily the route we planned was mostly North and South and the wind was to be from the West or Northwest.  So, we only had a few miles of tailwind or headwind but the remainer of the run was just plain cold with half your face and one ear frozen, not to mention arms and legs too since the wind was so strong it blew right through whatever layers and windblockers we were wearing.  Oh and wait!!   I failed to mention we ran 22 miles in this crap.....yeah TWENTY-TWO!!!!!!!!  Ugh.  In 3 hours and 24 minutes.  So right about 4 hour marathon pace. Averaged 9:15s.  I wanted bacon so bad when we got we had some, with eggs and juice and multiple slices of Cinnamon Butter Braid too!  
I'm ready for summer.....and more bacon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Land of Enchantment

Last week I ran 48.5 miles.
Sun 16
Mon 6
Tues 6.5
Wed 10
Thurs 4
Fri 6
Gorgeous spring weather in New Mexico right now!!!!!  How lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place!

Played a Vivaldi Birthday concert on Friday night.  He would be 334 years old.  I played a beautiful Violin Sonata by Vivaldi arranged by Respighi.  Had my floor-length satin ORANGE gown all pressed, and got a message 2 hours before the concert that everyone else was wearing black on bottom and a color on top....lame!  Love that gown....maybe for the next concert I will get to wear it.  Great concert though.

7 weeks til race day.

Today I did 18.  2 miles easy, 14 @ marathon pace + 10-20 sec/mile, 2 miles easy.
My goal marathon pace is around 8:00 flat so I needed to go 8:10-8:20s.  My fastest pace mile today was 8:06, slowest was 8:26 (a big uphill).  A great run.  Wore my New Balance Minimus Zeros.  All previous long runs have been in my Brooks Pure Connects but my NB Zeros feel SOOOO fast and I'd love to be able to wear them for the race so I thought I'd try them today.  I have done many 7-11 milers in them so I figured I'd be ok.  They felt great!

The news of Caballo Blanco saddens me.  I became a runner almost one year ago; after reading Born to Run.  The races, the discussion of the anatomy of the human body, and the stories of the ultra-runners motivated and inspired me to become a runner.  I find comfort knowing that he died doing what he loved in the 'Land of Enchantment'.  Rest in peace Caballo will forever be an inspiration and a legend.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Toe Socks to Blister; as Grass is to Dog Diarrhea

 I have been battling a big blister on my Morton's toe (the toe next to my big toe that is EXTRA long) since the Moab Half on March 17:
I finally decided that a portion of the toe was rubbing on my big toe, causing the blister.  So, I decided to try toe socks.  I spoke to a guy that runs ultras and he always wears toe socks.  I have Five Fingers and don't mind the stuff between my toes so I decided to try some.  Got some SmartWool Toe Socks.  Since my toes could move so independently I learned that I curl my Morton Toe under when I run so it's actually rubbing on the bottom of the shoe!  Crazy!  I never knew.  So I am working on trying to relax my toes while I run, but in addition to that the toe socks are definitely helping...the blister is wrinkling up and should be gone in the next day or two.  

I have also been battling dog diarrhea for 4 days.  Poor guy has been super mellow and lazy and pooping his little brains out.  He hasn't really eaten since Monday.  He kept trying to eat weeds in the backyard and I kept telling him no because he hadn't eaten his food.  He can't have grass if he hasn't had his food.  Then someone told me they can take Pepto and it will help.  I decided to read up on it on vetinfo online and it said you can give your dog Pepto if they won't eat grass.  Well, heck, he's a Doberman; he LOVES to eat grass!  So, I leashed that boy up and took him for a walk to find green grass.  He ate it up!!!!  Came home and within 45 minutes, he was gobbling down boiled chicken and happy as can be....full of energy playing soccer with my hubby.  Fingers crossed that he sleeps through the night!

Toe Socks and Grass....who knew?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dog Bite and week review

Since the Moab Half last weekend, I have had a pretty nice week of training.  I managed 39 miles without a long run (since the race was last Saturday, on Sunday we just went on a little hike in Moab...3 miles).  Throughout the week I got to run a lot of my mileage with DH who I think has now fully recovered from his calf injury and was on Spring Break.  

On one of the days, I got bit by a dog in the stomach while I was doing hill sprints:
The good news is that it was MY dog.....I love him to pieces but he gets SOOOOO excited when I do hill sprints...he decides it's time to jump like a crazy dog at me with his mouth open!  I'm sure it was an accident, but he got a serious time-out for it anyway.  I think he felt bad cause he "heeled" like a champ for the rest of the run.

I did 16 miles this morning:
6 miles easy
5 miles (90 seconds at 10k pace, 90 seconds easy)
2 miles easy
3 miles hard
It was a great run. Nice temperature. Cool breeze.  Partly cloudy.  I was a little dizzy at the beginning for no reason.  The last 3 at the end I was able to do: 8:04, 8:03 and 7:59 with a heart rate of only 171 (which is on the low end of the high rates for me).  It was a good way to start the week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Go Time - Marathon Race Entry Confirmed

 Spent the weekend at the Moab Half Marathon with DH, my little brother and little brother's girlfriend.  After much discussion about the next race (which was supposed to be Ojai2Ocean on June 3  near Ventura, CA), we changed our minds and decided to go a little closer to home....and two weeks earlier.  I registered today for  I'm a little bummed to not be running on the beach but the weather in Denver will hopefully be a little cooler than that of Cali and the drive will be MUCH shorter.  I'm on a 20 week training program to conclude June 3 so I will be modifying to cut 2 weeks out....Ah!  

8 1/2 weeks til race day!  Wahoo.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Moab Headwind Race Review with pics

Worst night of sleep.....ever.  Horrid bed at the vacation rental in Moab after arriving somewhat late. (We are spoiled with a Tempurpedic at home.)  Finally decided to get up 30 minutes earlier than planned after tossing and turning, and turning and tossing and having middle-of-the-night conversations with DH.  Sleepy.

Head to park.
Load shuttles.
Wind is whipping (can't wait to feel that whipping wind tearing up the canyon we are to run down).
Arrive at start line.
Port-a-potties are tipped over from the WIND. Not all of them...but at least 8.
It's cold and shady.
9:15am and we are told to stuff our Go Bags to send to the finish line.
Strip down to shorts and t-shirt.....45 minutes until race start.
Burr.  Wind is wild.
Dirt in my eyes.  Dirt in my teeth...yuck.

After the long wait, the race begins....exhausted from shivering and shielding from the wind.

My plan was to cruise to mile 8 and if I was on pace, then I'd build to the mile 6, I wanted to quit.  The weather was ridiculous.  Cold and at least a 20+ mph headwind, OR hot, sunny and breeze-less.  Parched and exhausted.  Heart rate is spinning out of control. I am 33 years old and I was hovering in the range of 182-188....ugh....I don't like that. Did I mention I stayed on pace only for 3 miles and then the pace was just rising higher and higher.

Somehow, after much self-talk to not just climb under a rock and stay there forever, I made it to mile 9 and I saw a "friend": a girl I ran with in November at the Rimrock Marathon.  She ended up winning that marathon and I took 3rd.  I said "HEY!"  She said "I thought that was you."  We chatted a bit and I felt encouraged.  Then she said the last 2 miles of this race is along the highway and that I should put my head down and just grit my teeth through it....that it is alot like the end of the Rimrock Marathon.  I was glad to have the heads up....although it didn't really make it better.  I hit the highway stretch and each 1/10 of a mile took ages to click past.  It was truly miserable. I couldn't break a 9:00min/mile pace on the Garmin. Ugh.  No matter how hard I pushed....heart rate 187.  (My goal pace was 7:36....I have run my "easy/long runs" at 8:45 pace).  9:00min/mile during a race wasn't even a possibility in my mind.  I stare at a stoplight up ahead. I know that that light is the mile 12 marker and the turn into the neighborhood down the final stretch. I stare at it. I ignore the world and try not to quit.  I make it to the turn and head for home.  I see a road called Winesap and it resonates in my mind....what is winesap? Is it a real thing?  I'm not a drinker so I don't have a clue.  Maybe I should turn down Winesap and hide for a while.  I'm almost done.  I feel terrible.  My goal of running under a 1:40 clicks by on my Garmin.  It now says 1:42.  I can see the finish up ahead.  I finish in 1:45 something.  Really not too far off my goal in the end but my heartrate was crazy high the entire race and I really wanted to be well into the 1:38s or so.

Tired and discouraged.
Racing is more fun than training when you have a good race.
Training is more fun than racing when you have a bad race.

It's been about 10 hours and I'm over it.  I check the registration status on the marathon I plan to register for once DH is sure that his injury is under control and he can run it (we would build it into a vacation).  Onto the next big thing.

And now for a few pictures:

This is DH and I before the race start......what a place.
 This is me, DH, my little brother and his girlfriend.  (We all ran).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Got Bacon?

On Sunday, the program said: 
Fartlek/Progression Run
4 miles easy
3 miles: 1 minute @ half-marathon pace / 1 minute easy
1 mile easy
2 miles hard
My DH was out with a calf injury for a while and has been slowly coming back over the last month as we are registered to run the Moab Half Marathon this Saturday (3/17).  His plan was to do the above 10 with me as his long run but he wouldn't do the alternating 3 miles of pace and easy...he'd just run easy and I'd run past him and then slow down during my easy and he'd pass me.  It worked well and pace-wise, we ended up having about 30 seconds every 2 minutes to run together.  It went well and I held the goal paces I had planned so I can't complain (although it's completely frutrating that he is so much faster than me after not running very much for the last 2 months).
When we got home, this is what happened:
Yes. It's bacon....thick-cut and so delicious from Natural Grocers.  Don't worry.  We shared with grandma (she is 90 and we had her over for breakfast).  We also had cheese omelets and homemade chocolate chip scones.  I love a good breakfast after a long run!

This weekend is the Moab Half and I feel like I am ready physically but this last few days has been so crazy that mentally I'm kind of a mess.  I am a thinker....lots of mental preparation for races, not for any particular's just what I have always done.  There is always so much build-up in my mind.  Part of my mind is trying to downplay the entire thing since this race is just a stepping stone towards the full marathon in a few more months but at the same time I definitely want a PR so my mind is in limbo.  Is this a go all-out-as-much-as-you-can-do, or is it a test of marathon pace and fun time?  Well, my husband says "No offense honey but I don't pay money for a race to run next to you."  My current take on that is "I shouldn't pay money to race if I'm not going to race."  I'm a competitor.  In board games, not so much, I just like to play.  But when someone says "ready, set, go" I am in win it (not win but you get my drift).  I suppose I will get that adrenaline rush and go hard.  Next week will feel yucky as I have to stick to the marathon training plan but it is all in good fun and I always look forward to the next big race.

Cheers! and Happy Bacon!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


All the mileage and concerts have done me in.  I am officially pooped.  Luckily I have a little bit of a break in my concert/recital/performance schedule so I can focus on rest and some pace work before Moab in less than 2 weeks.  I pounded out 42 miles this week with some good speed intervals and some pace work.

Friday brought us a blizzard.....25 mph winds minimum with blowing snow.  Not running weather considering there was a good 3 inches of snow on the ground, plus the piles of it swirling everywhere.  I decided to postpone my scheduled run and do it on Saturday.  (Saturday is my rest day for my Sunday long run).  Ah well.    Good news was Wordquota had a scheduled massage with my therapist and couldn't take it, so I got to.  For those of you that remember my post about my IT band bumps.....turns out they're not fascia or muscle or anything like that....they are FAT!!!!!  Gross.  Apparently my body can't store it anywhere else so it's going there.

Saturday's run (that was supposed to be Friday) was 1 mile easy, 2 x 15 minutes at half-marathon pace with 2 minutes active recovery in between, then 1 mile easy.  I held my half-marathon goal pace but had to push really hard to hang on.  If I backed off just a little to settle into my comfortable stride, I was about 20 seconds too slow per mile so I had to keep checking the Garmin to make sure I was staying on. Got home and had to have a quick breakfast, shower and dress clothes.  Had a wedding to play at 11am.  Then I had the afternoon to rest and then a concert at 7pm.  I wore heels for the wedding and the concert....I think it was a bad idea as my calves were seriously sore from pushing through the 6 miles combined with the high heels.

Got up Sunday morning to my calves feeling VERY spent.  Had 16 miles with a progression at the end on the training program.  Off I went.  I managed 15 with the progression...I just didn't calculate the mileage very well before heading out.  Two great moments on the run....First, I stopped to pee on a hillside next to the river and as I squatted I look up and a bald eagle is directly overhead, not very high up.  My jaw dropped.  Totally cool!  Second, my favorite pathway that I have ALWAYS wanted to's about 5 miles from my house and on Main St. so I don't run there because of all the traffic but have eyed the sidewalk MANY times.  (I guess I could just park at the mall and run the 200 feet of sidewalk any old day but that just wouldn't seem right). Today I ran it twice.
See how it curves...I don't know what the big deal's just a curvy sidewalk...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Out with the old and in with the new

 Up this morning.  Quick errands.  Go check on grandma (she is 90 and my family recently moved her home from across the state).  Head home. Quick shower.  Practice violin for lunchtime concert.  Bake muffins between practicing (can't  get enough carbs these days).  Eat 2 muffins with a tall glass of milk.  Change clothes.  Pick up grandma.  Play solo lunch concert at church up the street.  Pieces by Mozart, Glazunov, Rubinstein and Jay Ungar.  Have quick lunch with church members and grandma. 

Drop grandma off.  Get text from sister that Brown's Shoes is having a Leap Day sale.  All sale rack shoes are $29.  I buy ALL my shoes at Brown's....running,  dress, casual, snowboots, everything. So, I decide to stop by Brown's....after all, it's on my way home.  

I walk in the door and Dan (the owner and great "shoe guy") hollers to me "Heads Up".  He throws a turquoise shoe at me.  I catch it. WHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAATTT?  It's THE shoe I didn't expect to arrive until mid-March.  It's THE shoe that will replace my current New Balance Road Minimus.  It's THE NEW New Balance Minimus Zero.  I'm in love and I don't even have it on my foot yet.  It's flexible, with a tough Vibram sole, great tongue design.  I try it on.  It's mine.
Luckily, I hadn't run yet.  I was to have an hour break because of a violin lesson cancellation for the afternoon and had a one-hour run planned with my DH.  YES!  

The run-down: LOVE these shoes.  Had time for 5 miles in them and they were everything I wanted them to be. Great flexibility.  Great response.  Super light.  Barefoot feel of the road...I can feel everything.  Amazing color!  No inner seams or discomforts.  Very thin around the heel and achilles (all the padding around the achilles on shoes drives me nuts!).  If you are a minimalist, I highly recommend them.  
The old minimus.....and the new minimus Zero
Happy Leap Day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Hard Long Run"

Usually the long run day says things like "Long Run. 17 miles easy."  "Long Run. 12 miles easy." Today was not that day. Instead it read:
Hard Long Run
1 mile easy
10 miles at marathon pace + 10-20 sec/mile
1 mile easy

Goal marathon pace is 8:00 flat.  So, I need 10 miles of 8:10-8:20s.  When walking out the door, I looked at my husband and said I just don't think I can do this.  It's day 1 of the 7th week of training and already marathon pace stuff for 10 much more intense than the last program  He said "Just go."

I did.

Was a little too fast on a few of them actually.  But overall did great.  Fastest mile (2 of them) was 7:57, slowest was 8:20 on the dot, all the rest were in between.  Boy, that 1 mile easy at the end felt terrible and great at the same time....wanted to be done but was SOOO glad the hard was over.

A hard long run for sure. I'm pooped.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eye Tee Band.....bumps

17 on Monday
6.5 on Tuesday
7.5 on Wednesday
3.5 on Thursday
I.T. bands have been insane....they don't feel bad in my actual legs (like tight or strained or causing any other pain), but when I rub my fingers down them they are chunky!!! Like marbles under my skin.  I do my foam roller like a crack addict slowly, quickly, forwards, backwards, again and again.  Today I go to see the massage therapist and cry like a baby on the table....a baby who has just had her feelings hurt SUPER BAD.  They are better now...the giant marbles have turned into tiny grains of sand.  Hopefully they will be all gone tomorrow.  Hopefully I can keep up the maintenance.
6 miles tomorrow....then REST on Saturday for my long run on Sunday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

ViolinNOTrunning....and then 17

This weekend was what I call a "crazy concert weekend".  Full of lots of driving to Durango, Colorado and back, lots of rehearsals and lots of practicing to touch up rough spots.  I had a rehearsal Friday, then two on Saturday and then a rehearsal and concert on Sunday.  Here is a photo from the concert:
I am the one with the dark hair in between the conductor and the cello soloist.

Because of all the crazy concert stuff, I had to postpone my long run until Monday morning.  I got to bed early last night and planned to get up at 7 and out the door around 7:30.  As planned, I got up, got dressed, downed some cereal.  Then I checked the weather to make sure I was dressed properly.  Hmmm...22 degrees.  20mph weather channel says "feels like 8F".  Ugh.  Ah well.  I think to myself that I could wait until later but the wind was supposed to stay strong all day.  So, I headed out.  I had planned to go my usual "long run" route and add on a new little loop at the turnaround point to make it a 17 miler.  As planned, I pounded through.  Had some Sharkies gummies part way through, and some nice orange Gatorade to wash them down.  The gummies were pretty much frozen so it took me a mile to get them all down.  At around mile 9, my hands were so gloves just weren't cutting it in this crazy wind.  I thought "Ah, well...I'm already halfway so now I just have to run home".   It wasn't so bad. My pace was nice but my heartrate was a little high (probably from the cold).  17 miles.....done in 2 hours and 30 minutes....that's an 8:48 per mile average.  Whew!