Saturday, November 9, 2013

Race Season Is Over

I know I haven't published my BAA Half Race Recap yet.  Short version: It's uphill form Mile 7, I trained for flat Zooma, iPhone died at mile 12.5 along with my motivation. I finished, but it wasn't pretty.  I'll tell the funny stories later.

Three or so weeks ago, Michelle mentioned she's doing the Frosty Half on Dec 8th.  It's a new race, includes a pancake breakfast and "unique race swag".  The course is a little hillier than what I'm used to (see comment above re: Mile 7-13 at BAA) but it's rolling hills and the race is 2 days before my birthday.  Awesome, right?

I needed to check the family calendar before I signed up, so I figured I'd wait until my next long run was done too.  So 2 weeks ago, I head out to do 7 miles.  It was painful.  It was 2 weeks after the BAA, I wasn't fueled, it just wasn't my day.  Didn't sign up yet.  Last week, I went out for 10 miles.  My hip had been bugging me.  I've had on again off again IT band issues.  They were on again.  I made it just about 2 miles before I called my mom in tears, while I walked home the last mile.  It took 3 days to work it out. Haven't signed up yet.

So today, I set the alarm for 6 am and I was planning on doing 10 miles.  I don't want to. Not signing up.

It's not that I don't want to ever run again, I do.  I still run my 3 quiet miles on Monday along the Charles, and my 3 chatty miles on Wednesday with Sarah.  I even signed up for bootcamp on Tuesdays and really want to try the Trampoline Aerobics class on Fridays.  But I just don't want to run long right now.

I'm tired

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zooma Cape Cod Half Recap

I'm going to start with the punch line for this race:

I PR'd!!!!!!!!!

I came in under 2:30!!!!!!!!!!

I know the clock says 2:29:15, but actual net time was 2:28:51
The random chafing and the blister on my left foot aren't dulling my smile at all!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Race Recap - Rindge Le Tour De Common 10K

I've got a Love/Hate relationship with the course for the Rindge Le Tour de Common. They named it after the mountainous Le Tour de France for a reason!  We're not talking a flat course here.  To make matters worse, it starts at the top of a hill (just to get you going too fast from the gun!), takes a turn then some how manages to go uphill more than the downhill (ok, maybe not, but it sure feels that way).  Heck, most of the race is run on Todd Hill Road!  Ok, I apparently hate the course, but the race is easy to enjoy.  It's small (less than 100 runners), extremely well organized, and well marked.   Plus we got tech shirts including kids sizes for the boys (super awesome!) and a nice post run spread (there was this orange colored bread that was super tasty).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Two very different races...

I ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge last night and the Special Olympics Summer 5K at lunch today.  I throughly enjoyed both races, but they couldn't have been more different!

Corporate Challenge
I honestly have a love/hate relationship with this race.  It's 12,000 runners and walkers (Oh my, there are walkers!!!).  12,000 people.  It starts at Boston Common, goes down Comm Ave to Kenmore Square, then you turn around and head back to the Common for a flat 3.5 mile round trip.  For comparison's sake, the BAA 10K has roughly the same course from the start and to the finish (with an extra 2.7 miles in between) and they cap the race at 6500.  About half of the mass of bodies during the Corporate Challenge.  A walking coworker took this picture under the Mass Ave Bridge

The Mass Ave Underpass. Runners on the return route, walkers heading out to Kenmore. To give you an idea, the woman in bib 2126 finished in 45:32, so it's not as crowded as it was when the 35 min finishers were heading out to Kenmore. Also, check out the snazzy Biogen Idec shirt!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

3.10686 miles!

There's got to be few more annoying people at fun runs than the "data junkies". Like me.

This year, my family (me, hubby and my boys: 8 and 6) ran our second Color Fun Run.  We ran a Color Me Rad last year, and the inaugural Splash of Color this year.  If you check out my review from last year, you'll see it was, well... not a precision machine.  I thought it was just that "brand" of race, but it seems to be all of these untimed fun runs.

A few things that got to me this year:

Friday, June 7, 2013

More than I planned - 2013 Race Schedule

Yeah, I know the year's half over already, but, it's New England! The "running year" goes from April to October.  So I'm only a few months late ;)

I didn't realize how many races I had already (or plan to) signed up for until I "applied" to be a Runbassador for #RunChat (ok, it's not an application, it's a form to get free #RunChat tattoos and stickers!) and they ask you to list all your races.  And I forgot about the Corporate Challenge!  Here's my 2013 Schedule, even with finishing times! And I'll come back and update them as I finish them.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pebble and RunKeeper Review

Check out the end for an update from my 2nd Pebble/RunKeeper Run...

I think part of the reason why I was able to get into running was because I was able to download a C25K program on my iPhone.  Almost every single run I've been on, I've had my trusty iPhone with me.  Yes, part of it is for personal safety, part of it is for having music and part of it is so I can collect as much data from my run as possible.  When I ordered the Pebble on Kickstarter, I was thrilled since they were already talking about RunKeeper working with the Pebble.  Last December, I switched to using RunKeeper, and found it's a slick app for tracking your runs, shoes (love this function!) and makes it easier to review all of your stats (the engineer in me loves that!).  The app and the website are both very stable (which I can't say for some other free running apps I've used in the past...)

Since I wanted the red Pebble, I had to wait until this month to get my watch.  The red was totally worth the wait!  The color has a depth due to the clear coat over the whole watch face, which really makes it looks a bit slicker than the black Pebble my husband has.  The black Pebble has that serious air to it, while red is a bit more fun and flashy.  We both got the right color! :)

I will say, I was little worried about the size of the Pebble's face.  I knew it was going to be on the large size, to accommodate the required screen real estate.  But I have "girly wrists", so I was worried it was going to look or feel cumbersome.  I have to say, they got the screen size perfect, it's big enough for long winded texts, but small enough that it doesn't stick out past my wrist.

It is surprisingly awkward to take a photo of your own wrist!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Zombie Gallbladder

Strictly speaking, this isn't a running related post.  But since I use my body to run (imagine that!), it's related.

I started running after a "gallbladder-less gallbladder attack" (for that whole story, check out this post).  In response, I ate better, ran and stayed healthy.  Until...

There always seems to be an "until..." doesn't there?

Leading up my vacation in Peru last November, I started eating a little less healthy.  I gain a few (like 5) pounds, which in the scheme of things isn't too bad.  I ate well on vacation, then the holidays hit.  I was feeling great, so I wasn't watching my fat intake.  But, oddly enough, I was feeling fine.  Occasionally, I'd have a twinge when I was dehydrated, but a glass of water and I was fine.

Then came Tuesday.  Mid-sentence, it hit.  That ice pick through the lower corner of my right shoulder blade.  Another gallbladder attack from my "Zombie Gallbladder".  Ok, it's a wake up call, I need to eat better, right?  Wednesday through Friday, I mostly did, until the ice cream Friday night (the proceeds went to the PTO).  Saturday morning, I'm in pain again, and throwing up, while trying to get two boys out the door for 2 baseball games and swim lessons.  Not the best morning.

I'm angry at myself for letting it get this far.  I'm upset that it means my diet will never be "normal" again (well, American normal, and I need to remind myself that no one's diet really should be "American normal").  I'm frustrated that I've got that dull ache under my shoulder, and I'm tired and my whole GI system is wonky.  I'm annoyed that it means that at least for the rest of the month, I'm back on making "meal variations" since Hubby must have meat at every meal.

I'm also a little peeved that the minor surgery 2 years ago to widen the exit of the common bile duct didn't work.  Or maybe it did, and the bile stones are that big already?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hills, times and perceptions

I ran two 5K's just two weeks apart and my times were 32:46 and 33:44.  I figured it made sense, they're both at the faster end of what I've been running lately, and the second race was hillier (Boston vs the "Worcester Foothills".  So, I did what any good engineer would do and pop on over to RunKeeper to see what the difference in Feet Climbed was.  I was a bit surprised.

First race: BAA 5K.  It runs along Comm Ave, and the "biggest" hill is going under Mass Ave. for an almost 30 ft hill.  And yet, the feet climbed totaled 280 ft.  Here's my RunKeeper File.

Then, two weeks later, I ran the AMSA Inaugural 5K. I swear to you, this race felt like it was uphill, both ways.  In actuality, there was a short up hill, a long downhill, then rolling hills then reverse of the first two hills.  That was a 120 ft climb in about 1/3 of a mile, including one stretch that I need to put my Prius into "super break" mode to not roll backwards down the hill.  But, the overall climb was only 228 ft! That would be LESS hilly than the BAA 5K. Here, check out RunKeeper.

A minutes slower, but 60 feet less of hills? Different day, so it's within my normal error of pace?  Technical glitch? (I've seen most running app's get confused about elevation near water. Every time I cross the Charles, my elevation goes to 0 ft, even though I'm not walking on water!).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Zooma Ambassador and Discount Code

I have been trying to write this post since I got the email from Zooma right before Worcester Sharks Ice Hockey Game. Unfortunately, as it sometimes does, life got in the way.  Anyway, I have some great news to share!

I have been selected as an Ambassador for the Zooma Cape Cod Half and 10K.  To say I'm excited about this is an understatement. I ran this race last year and absolutely loved it!  It was a beautiful location, fun course and the atmosphere!  It was like I had a couple of hundred running buddies for the day.

I want to encourage you to run a Zooma race (they're nation wide!).  Even if you've only done 5Ks until know, you can easily get up to a 10K by September! If you're already doing 10K mileage, you can get to 13.1 by the end of September (it's 22 weeks away, and I know a great 16 week training plan over at Another Mother Runner!). 

I'm sure you could some extra incentive, right?  How about a discount code!  When you sign up for either the Zooma Cape Cod 10K or Half, use the code CCAMB6 for 10% off.  Then you can use the savings to buy a new running skirt ;) (please tell me I'm not the only one to do that!)

Running Community

I think for some non-runners, the running community is a bit of an anomaly.  I've only been a runner for 2.5 years, but I've already gotten used to talking to someone about races, IT bands, and gear before learning their name.  My mom, who's never run, chatted with a runner (a women in her 50s or 60s) this week in a doctor's waiting room and relayed the story to me.  Here's the "transcript" of that conversation that I got from my mom:

Mom: You're wearing a Boston Marathon jacket, did you run Monday?
Runner: No, it's from <insert year that Mom couldn't remember, 90-something, maybe?>.  I'm surprised you recognized it, not a lot of people around here do [there in western NH]
Mom: My daughter ran the 5K on Monday, I bought her a shirt with the Unicorn logo on it
Runner: Oh, your daughter runs! How long has she been running? How old is she? What distance does she do? Oh, she does halves? Has she ever done a biathlon or triathlon? I do biathlons. Tell her she should try it, she's not too old!

As my mom was telling me this, I started smiling.  Just thinking there was this woman in NH who never met me and was so excited about my running that she was encouraging me through my mom!  Then, my mom added "It was weird".  And I thought I misheard my mom.  But, then I realize the whole conversation was alien to her, while it made perfect sense to me.  We're runners, and two things we love are: running and sharing running. 

You share running by talking about, encouraging others, running with (or against!) others.  It's why we race, get to the finish line, chug some water then start cheering for everyone behind us.  It's why on those U-turn courses along Comm Ave, the middle of the pack seems to be cheering the whole run; cheering going into the U-turn for the Elites at the front and on the way out of the turn those not quite as fast.

Since April 15th, I think we all needed some extra sharing. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Go the Distance

I was on vacation last week, since it was MA school vacation week. I got back to work this morning and saw the 400+ emails waiting for me. There were the daily work updates, spam, a few emails that needed responses and the news updates.  I also subscribe to a few email newsletters and one of these caught my eye.

Paul Hellman taught a public speaking class at my office.  I enjoyed the class, and apparently made an impression with my opening line of "Half my group quit". (that's a story for another day.  He sends out weekly "Energize in 30 Seconds" tidbits to get you thinking.  The tidbit from Thursday, April 18th really spoke to me and I wanted to share it.  He doesn't have it on his website, so I've copied it here.  Please share, but attribute it to Paul.

Go the distance
by Paul Hellman

Go the distance.

I'm working at home today.  Or attempting to.

If you live in Boston, and even if you don't, your attention keeps getting pulled back to Monday's Boston Marathon.

You heard the news, you saw the pictures, you feel the heartache.  And you think, the Boston marathon, this glorious event, will never be the same.

But consider:  A marathon is about going the distance, no matter what.  It's the hero's journey.

I've never run a marathon.  But I run almost daily.  Running, I used to tell my kids when they lived at home, solves about 20 problems, 10 of which you never knew you had.

You may not feel like running, but running teaches you to ignore that feeling.  Running is action.  You put on your sweats, lace up your sneaks, and start moving.

People have been running, of course, for thousands of years.
Some days, it feels like that's been you, the entire time.

Marathon, a Greek town, was a battlefield in 490 BC.  The Greeks expected defeat, they were outnumbered.  Afterwards, a messenger was sent to Athens.  He ran a long way, got to the assembly, and said, "We won."

Then he collapsed and died.

That's the story anyway (Wikipedia).  Maybe it happened, maybe it didn't.

But you and I know the truth about marathons.  It takes grit to run one.  And it takes grit, after a day like Monday, to keep moving.

Every marathon that ever was, and every marathon that ever will be, delivers the same message:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Thoughts as an Adopted Bostonian

I'm still not processing this all that well, so this post is going to be a bit jumpy.  I want to start with the end: I'm a Bostonian and I'm a Runner.

On Sunday, I woke up at 3:30 am, so my mom and I could drive from her house (where we're staying for April Break) to my office in Cambridge. After we parked, we hopped on the T to get to Copley.  We made it there right at 6:30. I got my 5K bib, we walked around, I took pictures of the Finish Line. She bought be a Boston Marathon shirt (I made sure it didn't have 26.2 on it, since, well, I've never run a marathon).  I ran the 5K. Saw Mom in the crowds right before the start line. Had my best time all year.

Monday was a beautiful day in NH. We were playing outside, when my phone pinged and I got the first new flash.  About an hour later, I turned on the news for 2 minutes.  That's all I could take, was 2 minutes.  I turned it off and started crying.

Since then, I've pointed out where we bought the shirt (you can see it in one of the videos of the techs looking for evidence), where I took a picture of the finish line (pretty darn close to the first explosion, only 30 something hours earlier), of the buildings I ran past, even what song I heard from my running mix.  I know a few acquaintances who ran on Monday. I had a friend at the Red Sox game.

I grew up in NYC suburbs. My dad worked as a firefighter in our town.  On Sept 11th, he drove to the Bronx to help (he stayed in the Bronx for 2 days, manning that firehouse, then did search and rescue that Friday).  I was sad and angry, but realized I wasn't a New Yorker anymore.  I wasn't heartbroken.

On Monday, I felt that heartbreak. This is MY town. This is MY Running Community.  Running helped me so much over the past 2 years; it's an instrument of good, of health, of peace, of friendship, of strength.  

I've been in NH all week, I haven't been for a run along the Charles yet.  Monday, before work, I'm going.  I'm going to cry and take pictures.  But I'm going to run. For Boston.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Run Chat Hunt

Not sure if you've heard, but Run Chat is doing a scavenger hunt until the end of March.  I thought it would be fun to see how many of these I could get.  I managed to get to 5 photos already for 6 items, which is more than I expected!

Here we go, in the order I found them.

Day 1: It was just too darn windy for me to run outside (wind chill in the TEENS in March!), so I hit the treadmill.  Fortunately, my gym has the treadmills in a little green house overlooking a canal off the Charles River.  As you can see, my phone focused on the windows!  I didn't realize until today that I got a shot of the drawbridge at the end of the canal too.  So, that's 2 items: body of water and bridge (not covered)
Yes, I'm wearing an orange shirt.  How could you tell? :)
Then yesterday, I went out for a run around my neighborhood.  I took a picture of my "big hill".  I swear, they never look as bad in pictures!
It keeps going around that curve.
Of course, halfway up I saw a bunch of kids playing, including one of my scouts.  Now, you can't look weak in front of your scouts, so I had to power up the hill.  Which made it even more obvious I've been running on flat terrain recently!

Then I got back to my house, and guess what I saw! Of course, a car (in serious need of being washed) with running stickers.
Yep, that's my filthy car!
When I got inside my boys wanted to run around the block with me.  So, out we go and look what we find! I had already run past this house and didn't notice that all of the Christmas decorations were still up.  The 5 year old wondered if the Easter Bunny was going to be upset :)
Complete with red bows, white metal snowman and reindeer pulling a sleigh!
Then, my 5th photo.  I'll be honest: normally I love running along the Charles and I had every intention of taking another Boston Skyline at Sunrise photo.  It's flat, beautiful, well maintained and relatively safe.  But yesterday, running in the sunshine with my 2 boys, well, it was just pure joy!  I stopped and took this picture:
My Munchkins, on the first leg of our 1 mile run
Now, I realize it's technically not a place, but this was one of my favorite runs (the others being Color Me Rad Race that the whole family ran, and when my boys ran the last bit of a 5K with me that I came in last for my age group).  My favorite place to run is where ever these two decide to go for a run with Mommy.

I've got 6 of the items on the list, which is more than I was expecting.  I'll keep a look out for the remaining four, but I'm not terribly optimistic!  I really enjoyed this, it made me really look and absorb what's around me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Running in the Dark

I know a lot of people say this, but I really hate the whole time change thing! I run at 6 in the morning, and it was just starting to get light again, then BAM! We're back to pre-dawn light. And it's a colder too :(

So, why have I been getting up 3-4 days per week for the last 2 weeks?  Other than the 5K in 5 weeks and the BAMR5K challenge. Well, I just found out I'm one of the Ambassadors for the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon!

I ran this race last year and LOVED it!  Heck, my training for last year's race was why I started this blog.  I have to admit, last year's race is where I felt like a "real" runner.  Yeah, I did the Princess Half, but it has such a Disney feel to it, that it's more about the "show" than the race. (I want to do it again, and stop and take pictures next time!)  Zooma is about experience.  It's about getting out there and doing something you never thought you could do.  I mean, look at their new Personal Best Program, where you get a bonus medal for PR'ing or doing a distance you haven't done before.  That's why I run and I think why a lot of women pick up running (and racing) as adults.  To challenge ourselves.

Plus, if I'm getting up at 4:30 am, I'm getting something shiny to show for it :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Engineers Can't Count?

In my professional life, I'm an engineer.  I do lots of things with Math and lots of things with Schedules.   And I think I'm doing pretty darn well as an engineer.  So, you would think I could do some simple math and scheduling for my running life, right?  Yeah, not so much.

Back in January, I signed up for the BAA distance challenge.  It's a 5K, 10K and Half spread out from Spring (5K) to Fall (Half), and you get a personalize bib plus a bonus medal when you complete all 3 races.  I've been (to borrow a word from Another Mother Runner) "sputtering".  In Jan, I had more than doubled my December mileage (whoo!) but Feb was tough with the blizzard and my credit card expiring so I no longer have access to the gym (I did mention, I'm good with schedules, right?)

So I get an email from Dimity and Sarah about the AMR Virtual 5K on Mother's Day, with the "Finish It 5K" training plan starting on Monday March 4th.  Ok, great!  I can do this, get back into the swing of things.  I grab my iPhone and Kindle (one for the calendar, one for the plan) and start working out the 5-6 workouts per week I'll need (HINT: I'm scheduling 5, but it's one of the cross-training I'm bailing on. I just can't get up to 6/week!  I know it's mental, but hey, at least I'll be meeting my goal of 5).

And that's when I saw it.  The first Sunday of April Vacation.  The day before the Boston Marathon.  There, with the little red dot to designate "Family Activities".  April 14th 6:30 am - 9 am BAA 5K in Copley.  How are they pulling off 2 races in 2 days? Are they crazy?!

Wait. CRAP!  That's 1, 2, 3, 5, 6! 6 Weeks away!  It's a 5K.  I'm slow.  Ok, breathe, Nic, breathe.  You're doing 3 miles in a run now.  It's slow, but you're doing it.  Ok.  I can do this. The finish time will start with "3", but I can do this.

Wait! School Vacation.  DOUBLE CRAP! The couch!  We're supposed to be getting our living room, hallway and the boys' room floors redone that weekend.  I'm supposed to be with the boys at my Mother's house which is TWO hours away from BOSTON.  Ok, we can schedule this (because I've been so good about scheduling running related activities so far!)

Wait, when's the 10K.  June, ok, June is good.  That's 10 weeks after the 5K. Well, BAA really planned this well!  TLAM10K will kick off immediately after the 5K.  Ok, good.

So, my grand plan is:

  • Kick off TLAM 5K Finish It on Monday, as part of the Virtual AMR 5K.  I will modify it a bit, instead of planning walk/runs, I'm doing my regular Run and take my 15 sec walk breaks as needed.
  • Move Old Couch downstairs without getting injured or dropping the couch on Hubby
  • On Week 5 of TLAM 5K Run the BAA 5K
  • Kick off TLAM 10K (not sure if I'm aiming for Finish It or Own It... I've got 5 weeks to decide....said the "expert" scheduler...)
  • Admire my new beautiful living room with FLOOR SPACE
  • Run the Virtual AMR 5K Mother's Day Weekend (and the PawSox camp out ISN'T on Mother's Day this year! YES!)
  • BAA 10K in June
  • Maybe 5K by my mom's in August (hilly and humid, it's a great combo!)
  • Zooma Cape Cod September
  • BAA Half Columbus Day Weekend

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Heart of the Story

"To get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning" - Henry VIII in "The Tudors"

When I created this blog, it was really to track my training for my 2nd half marathon, since shortly after I completed my first, I had all but forgotten the tears shed when I first ran 10 miles or when I bonked at 8 miles and was still 5 miles from home (thank goodness for Dunk's and cell phones!).  But I feel like I've hit an emotional wall with regards to running, so I need to remind myself how I got here.  I haven't told anyone the whole story, although a few close family members and friends know it.

I didn't used to be a runner.  I joined volleyball in HS because we only needed to do 10 laps around the gym.  I was always "fluffy", "curvy" or "chubby".  Unless you look at my BMI from 1999-2009.  Then I was obese.  I really hate that word.  But yeah, I was.  See?

Me and 1 year old Pete. Summer 2006. 
After I had Brian, I lost some of the weight and fought to keep it off.  That was my first foray into running.  I did Couch to 5K and ran the 3.5 mile JP Morgan Corporate Challenge.  In 48 minutes.  Then I stopped running until I got sick.

October 2010, right between my sister's wedding and halloween, I ended up in Mass Gen's ER.  I honestly thought I was having a heart attack.  After spending 12 hrs in the ER, having them rule out the heart attack, stroke, rule in then out a pulmonary embolism, we figured out it was a gallbladder attack. Except my gallbladder and I parted ways in 1997 due to the same exact attack.  I'm just this side of a medical miracle; I make "chunky" bile.  Nothing 6 months of pills, minor surgery and diet modifications and exercise can't fix.  On February 17th, 2010, I set my alarm early, hit the gym before work and started on the journey that has lead me to a small collection of 5Ks, a 10K, 2 mud runs, a color run and 2 half marathons (and counting!)

Brian's 5th Bday 2012. Me at my healthiest.
Please excuse the mess! :) It's hard to find any pictures of me.

And here's why I'm typing this up today.  I've had a tough time staying motivated this winter.  I've gained weight. I feel sluggish. My running routine is, well, barely a routine. So, I'm frustrated, which means old habits, like eating, are coming back. Which make me feel more sluggish, more frustrated and it's this horrible cycle. And for me, the only way to break the cycle is to face it head on and remind myself of why I run.

This is my response to the simple question of "why do you run?"  I run because that woman in the first picture couldn't run 20 feet down a ramp. Because she had problems picking up a 1 year old.  Because she slept horribly due to all the snoring.  And because she hated all of those things.

I run because I remember when I couldn't and when I wouldn't.  And I won't ever go back there again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Treadmill vs Slush

It's been a while.  Last time I posted, I committed to running 3 days a week, 3 miles a day at a minimum.  Yeah... confession time... didn't happen this month. I think part of it is the fact I'm working from home on Fridays, so I'm not in Cambridge, where the sidewalks are (relatively) plowed.  It makes it a little harder to do the MWF running routine.  I did manage TWO (2) days a week and 3 miles a day.  And I ran on the Dreaded Treadmill when it was 11 degrees outside.  The 5K program wasn't too boring, and I found that a 2% incline is actually easier for me run on than a 0%.  But my hips were still cranky. And I really don't like the showers at the gym.

I did manage to get back outside today.  It was 38 degrees, windy and slushy! I know New Balance is paying to keep the Charles River Path cleared, but, man, they are NOT getting their money's worth! One person wide path on the downhill side, so its filled with puddles, with slush and packed snow on the rest of it.  But I did manage to get my sloggy 3 miles in, and the Darn Tough socks handled the water nicely, although it would have been nice if I had a pair designed to cover my ankle bones!

But, I did do a few good running like things! One goal is to run at least 1, if not 2 half marathons this year.  Well, I've paid for 2 already!  I'm registered for the Zooma Cape Cod Half in September.  They've got a new program, where if you get a PR or run a new distance, you get some extra bling (check it out here!)  I've registered my half PR, which just so happens to be last year's Zooma!  I'm counting on it being a lucky course (and they're making it better, so it's going to just improve the luck), and I'm aiming to come home with a New Shiny!

Plus, thanks to Michelle over at Running With Attitude, and a few coworkers, I've registered for the BAA Distance Medley.  It's a 5K in April, a 10K in June and a Half in October.  You get a medal for each completed race, and a 4th medal for doing all 4.  Plus, I should get at least one kick-ass BAA Unicorn logo shirt.  I'll probably never run Boston (heck, I'll probably never run 26.2!), but I really love the BAA shirts.  And, I've kinda always had a thing for Unicorns...

So, here's to the short month of February: to it being at least 25 degrees at 6 am, to the snow not falling on the sidewalks and to me, getting out of bed early, just one more day a week!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Not a Resolution

Yeah, I know, it's been a while. I haven't really written about running for a good reason. I haven't really been running.  Since the Zooma Cape Cod Half, I put in about 13-15 miles.  Yes, I ran in ONE day the same miles as the 3 months since.  And yes, I'm very embarrassed.  But, part of it is OK too. I took some time off for legit reasons: post race, injured toe, the flu (2 days of 102+ fever! then a good week recovery till I could stand up with coughing).

But there were the less than legit reasons, like "I'm tired today"or, "It's 6 degrees on Jan 2. I'm not going to the gym I haven't gone to since the spring to run on the treadmill. Everyone there will think I'm a New Year's Resolution Person".  Made total sense at 4am.

When I found myself avoiding twitter, because I follow so many runners, I noticed.  When I weighed myself, I really noticed.  I had all but stopped running.  Sure, getting up early on a few Mondays and getting through a slow 30 minutes was keeping me from being totally sedentary, but I wasn't feeling fit or healthy.

I mentioned this before: I'm the type of person who needs goals. I need a race to aim for and train to.  Sept 29th is a bit far off, and I haven't really found anything sooner that fits my family's schedule. So, I made a goal.  Technically, it's 4 goals. I'm not calling it a resolution, because, well, they never make it to February.  So, without further ado:

Nicole's 2013 Running Goals

  1. Run at least 3 days a week
  2. Go at least 3 miles per run
  3. Run at least 1 half marathon (aiming for 2)
  4. Run at least 500 miles this year
Ok, I know you're looking at goal 4 and you're very confused.  If I'm running 1-2 halves, that should be easy, heck, I should have passed that during last year.  Nope. Didn't really come close, actually.  I ran Princess in Feb, and Zooma in Sept, plus a bunch of 5Ks (both virtual and "real").  I hit 350 miles. So this year, I figure I can average 10 miles a week, instead of the 7 (yes, I'm using 50 weeks per year. I'm assuming I'm going to miss at least 1 week for vacation, and 1 week buffer).  My minimum won't get me there, but it'll get me 90% of the way (hey, literally!).

I decided this over the weekend. I got up Monday, I ran 3.07 miles in 38:35. I got up this morning and ran it in 37:30.  I'm getting up tomorrow, and I'm running it.  

I'm a little nervous about the days when its below 25 in the morning. At what temperature do I get on the treadmill in the little gym with the icky showers?  The extended forecast is calling for single digits in 2 weeks.  I don't think I own enough clothing to go running in single digits!