Monday, April 30, 2012

Firebirds Mile

Last Thursday I went to a local high school to run the Firebirds Mile. It's fun to see how fast you can run a mile! I'm a member of my local running club and despite not running too much in the last 3 years, I renew my membership each year. The club hosts quite a few local races throughout the year that are free to club members. This was one of them!

I ran this back in 2009 and my time was 9:19.39. My only goal this time around was to break 10 minutes. My time? 8:49.1!! I never dreamed I would break 9 minutes, but when I came upon the final straight away (where I had already planned to give it my all) and saw the clock, I booked it! I was ecstatic and I felt great. It helped to have Jack waiting on the sidelines too.

There's another mile run in July and I hope to be even faster!

I found a few pictures online thanks to the photographer(s) they had there. This first one was in the second lap (I think). I remember seeing the camera but thinking the person next to me would block me from the shot. I look like I'm just out for an easy stroll! And look at the kid behind me. Ha!

This is during the final stretch where I really gave it my all:

The man directing the runners to the finish said I had the form of a distance runner. It was so motivating to hear that!

I used to do weekly track workouts with a training group. I really miss it and hope to add some speed training to my routine. I love sprinting!

Stay tuned for the results of yesterday's 10K! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clarksburg 5K

Saturday April 21, I ran the Clarksburg 5K and my first race of 2012. I ran my last 5K in September 2011 and finished in 34:29. I really wasn't sure what to expect for this race. I've been running more but my pace has been between 11-13 minutes on my training runs.

I had never run this race before and therefore wasn't familiar with the course. There were quite a few hills right from the start and not knowing what was to come, I tried not to push it too hard. Even the finish was on an incline! Once I saw the balloons and could see the "Mile 3" marker ahead, I gave it all I had. I really surprised myself and finished with a time of 31:41!!! A 10:12 pace! Woohoo!! This is my 3rd fastest 5K and my fastest since 2007. And I felt great afterwards and like I could've run more.

Before the 5K, there was a short kids run that Jack did. He was a bit confused and I don't think he enjoyed the chaos. But he finished and got a medal! This is only his second run and I'm sure as he does more of these, he'll start to get the hang of it.

After my run:

My next 5K will probably be June 16. I'm running a one mile track heat tonight, a 10K on Sunday, and the half is just 5 short weeks away! I love racing!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fun Run

I've been trying to run at least two shorter runs a week, but it's been hard with the crazy weather we've been having. I don't mind running in the cold and/or rain, but don't want to take Jack out in it. It's cold and rainy today, but I'm hoping it warms up enough to be able to run tomorrow.

Last week I ran on Tuesday but Thursday I had to go to packet pick-up for the 5K. The running store that was holding the pick-up just happens to also host a fun run on Thursdays. Because it's just an easy run around the neighborhood, they don't mind strollers. I decided to go and ended up having a great time! I was reminded that running can be fun!

I found someone who runs a bit slower than I do and I ended up running a little slower and she a little faster than usual and we kept a nice and easy (to me) pace for 3.67 miles. Afterwards, we had free pizza and drinks at the store and even played a bean bag toss game where I was one of 4 finalists. When it was my turn, Debbie (the woman I had run with) kept Jack occupied for me. We got home and Jack told grandpa, "We have so much fun, grandpa." It really was a lot of fun and I'll be going back next week for their Cinco de Mayo fun run. We got home a little later than I would have liked, but being out past 8 once a week isn't going to hurt anyone!

Here are my stats for last week's shorter runs:

Tuesday, April 17, 6:06pm:
3.30 miles
40:01 minutes
12:07 avg. pace

Thursday, April 19, 6:39pm:
3.67 miles
48:42 minutes
13:16 avg. pace

This Thursday I'm doing the Firebirds Mile, a one mile run done in heats on a track. I ran this in 2009 and finished in 9:19:39. I definitely plan to break 10 minutes this time around. I'm actually looking forward to it!

Stay tuned for my 5K results!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Feeling great!

I'm very happy to report that I'm staying on track and have been feeling great! I'm loosely following a half marathon training guide from Runner's World, courtesy of a fellow runner (thanks Jacy, for scanning it and e-mailing it to me!). They suggest running a 10k as a tune-up race 5 weeks before the half. As luck would have it, I had already registered for a 10k that just happens to be 5 weeks before my half. They actually want you to run 8 miles (1 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool down), but I'll probably just run an easy 2 miles when I get home.

Here's my log for the last week and a half:

April 6, 6:09pm:
2.50 miles
29:16 minutes
11:42 avg. pace

April 8, 1:30pm:
5.01 miles (my gps screwed up and I had to reset it. I actually ran about 5.50 miles)
59:54 minutes
11:57 avg. pace

April 10, 6:05pm:
2.22 miles
25:33 minutes
11:31 avg. pace

April 15, 12:18pm:
6.31 miles (woohoo!)
1 hour, 19 minutes
12:36 avg. pace

I am so ecstatic to have run 6 miles! My goal was to run 6.2 so I would feel confident running the 10k next week. I was nervous because I had visitors Thursday-Sunday and didn't get a chance to run while they were here. Then we went out to breakfast Sunday morning and I had to wait a little bit to run. But I felt pretty good and didn't need to stop. I expected to be sore yesterday but I actually felt great. I even went for a mile walk with my coworkers. I'm seriously amazed by how great I feel. It's a huge motivator to keep going!

I'm running a 5k this Saturday then running 7 miles Sunday. The 10k is next Sunday, April 29. The guide I'm following says to run 10 miles 3 weeks before the race, then 12, then 9, then the half. I will definitely run 10. I'm really nervous about 12 though! It's not only the physical strain, but the time it takes. I'll do what I can though and no matter what, I know I'll finish my first half feeling good! My goal is to finish in under 3 hours. I definitely think that's a reasonable goal, especially given my pace for the 6 mile run.

I'm going to start increasing the distance on the shorter runs, though not by too much. I push Jack on those runs and he can only stand so much. He does really well for about a half hour and as long as I bribe him with going to the park afterwards, I think I can manage 3 miles. I'll see how it goes tonight!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gettin' it done!

My previous post was one I meant to publish the week of March 19. 2 weeks ago. My goal at that time was to run 3.5 miles that weekend and then move up to 4. Well on March 24 I ran 4.09 miles and this past Sunday I ran 5.02!! I know I need to slowly increase my distance, but I really wanted to run 5. I'm going to run 5 again this weekend and next, then I'm running a 5k, then a 10k. All of May I'll just be preparing for my half on June 2. Crazy!

Here are my stats for the long runs and one short run:

March 24, 2012, 9:38am:
4.09 miles
47:15 minutes
11:34 avg. pace

April 1, 9:48am:
5.02 miles
12:39 avg. pace

April 3, 6:03pm:
2.20 miles
25:40 minutes
11:40 avg. pace

I'm also running during the week, which isn't easy when I don't get home until 5:45 and have to feed a toddler and get him ready for bed by 8. But last night I ran 2.20 miles while pushing him, my longest weeknight run this year. We got home, put away the stroller, walked to the park behind our house while eating pb&j's, and I still had time to give him a bath before getting ready for bed. It was great! It definitely helps that he's going to bed a bit later then he used to. I'm happy to have more time with him after work!

I have other weeknight runs I haven't posted about, but I'm going to start fresh and really try to post weekly updates. Besides, my long runs are the more important ones! ;)

I should also note that these long runs were done solo, sans stroller. If I have to run 5 miles while pushing a stroller I will, but I much prefer going it alone (or at least with adult company). Luckily Sidney now has weekends off work and can stay home with Jack while I get it done. He knows I need to run every weekend from now until race day and he also knows how important it is to me. It's definitely a load off, quite literally! :)

Long Run- March 17

The following is a post I started a few weeks ago and just never published!

On Saturday I ran my first "long" run in almost 2 months. I put it in quotations because I have a hard time thinking 3.14 miles qualifies as a long run. My last long run was 3.34 miles on January 29. I definitely have some catching up to do and need to get my butt in gear for this half marathon! I plan to run 3.5 miles this weekend and then go up to 4 next week. I don't want to do too much too soon but I also don't have a lot of time. My goal is to run at least one 10-mile run before the half. I think it's doable!

Jack was not too interested in napping and since it was a nice day, I decided to just take him out for a run. He enjoyed a nice outdoor nap while I got my run in!

March 17, 2012, 2:24pm:
3.14 miles
40:22 minutes
12:50 avg. pace