Monday, March 26, 2012

Motivate Me Monday: Where Have I Been And Things That Make My Heart Swell

I'm here!  Alive and well, survived my Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon last week and my 5K race yesterday.  You can say I've been busy.  I had to shift gears and focus on family and home stuff after RnR.  I've been working on both race recaps simultaneously, so they'll be up soon, I hope!

How is everybody doing?  I know so many of you raced these last 2 weeks.  I'd love to hear about them!

In the mean time, just wanted to share these people/words/music/images that make my heart swell: 

1)  This quote by Jeanette LeBlanc always dares me to dream bigger and erases all fears for me.

 "Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the free fall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistake so that you will know how to choose what your really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong every once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be YOU.

Go now, and live."

- Jeanette Leblanc

2)  Another Reason Why You Can Never Judge a Book By Its Cover.  Meet Jonathan and Charlotte, two friends, an unlikely pair to be performing together, but they've got this dream.

You need to go to THIS LINK to watch them go after their dream. 

Jonathan and Charlotte remind me of runners who don't fit the stereotype of what a runner should look like.  You know what I'm talking about.  Instead of slender muscle-packed bodies, there are runners in all shapes and sizes who will defy your initial judgement.  Just because a runner is a little bit on the heavy side doesn't mean he/she is slow.

3)  Ragnar Relay Washington DC (and other Ragnar Relay Races!).  Helping The Hubs organize a team for this year made me nostalgic for my Ragnar experience.  It's the song and the images in this vid that make my heart ooze with so much love for running and running with friends.

4)  Hood To Coast, The Movie!  I signed up for Ragnar DC AFTER watching Hood To Coast, the movie.  Goosebumps! 


What motivates you this week and makes your heart swell?  Please share!  Have you seen Hood To Coast, The Movie?  Have you done a relay race?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Virginia Is For Lovers 14K Race Recap

Finally, my first Race Recap for 2012! I'm notorious for not posting race recaps or for posting them super late. I figured I'd get this one done before my Rock N Roll USA half this Saturday TODAY. So, here it is...

The BLING!  That small dangling heart can be removed & worn as a charm for bracelet/necklace!
Virginia Is For Lovers 14K, Virginia Beach, VA, February 11, 2012.
The Hubs and I have been wanting to run a race together and what better race to run together than this one for Valentine's Day! VIFL 14K fit in really nicely in my half marathon training schedule for Rock 'N Roll USA in DC in March. I had to do 9 miles that weekend and with this race being around 8.7 miles, it was perfect! The Hubs and I signed up, and I was ecstatic beyond a runner's high because finally we are going to run together, at my pace, AND finish TOGETHER. Can we get any more Valentiney than this?! I think not.

Foot cozy-ing up to Cryo Freeze
Prologue. Two weeks before this race I did a long run of 8 miles in a blazing (blazing for me) 10:38 min/ mile pace on a hilly route. That 8-miler was followed by two awesome 5-milers that following week, sealing that feeling that I finally got my running mojo back after a not-so-stellar couple weeks of running. My next long run after that, a week before the race, was a 10k on some freakishly hilly route near a friend's house. I was struggling at that 10:35 min/mile pace, but it felt good in the end. Two days later, though, WHAM! PF! Plantar fasciitis. Then, Little Man got the stomach bug. It was not looking good. Spirits were at an all time low, as I had to skip all my runs and all workouts that week. After icing like a mofo that week of the race, and lots of rest for Little Man and me, everything started to come together, and we were finally on our way to Virginia Beach.

 Love the swag!  My favorite running jacket.
Packet Pickup. We got to packet pickup just in time with an hour to spare. It was the smoothest and fastest race packet pick up ever. Kudos to J&A Racing for that and for the awesome running jacket, my favorite race swag so far! There weren't a whole lot of vendors there other than a few tables advertising other races, a local running store selling discounted running gear, and that's pretty much all I can remember. Can't complain too much because the boys didn't freak out and start whining at all like they did at other crowded packet pickup venues. There is definitely a huge advantage to coming to race expos at the very end.

Sleep. One day I will learn to shut my mind off and actually get a decent amount of sleep before a race. Period.

Race Morning. When my alarm went off, as usual, I wondered, "did I sleep?" We got ready, and as we were getting breakfast, we hear our boys waking up. Seriously? Do my boys have some hidden detector that tells them Mommy is awake, so wake up?? This happens when I go early for my long runs too! So we had to help them get their breakfast while we inhaled ours, and finally we were on our way to the race. A huge thanks to my Dad for watching our boys that morning!

Hanging out with our friend "R" and The Hubs before the race
Race Start. Driving to the start line, we ended up taking a wrong turn at some point, but that wrong turn ended up saving us a TON of time, because somehow we by-passed a long line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. Yes! We also scored on the premium parking space literally 50 feet from our corral. Double yes!

It was cold, in the mid 30s, but luckily we got to wait inside The Field House where the packet pickup was. This race scored another point for not only having a warm place to wait until the start, but also for letting us use The Field House restrooms. It was so nice to not have to use the porto-potties.

We waited for our friend "R," who ended up signing up for the race at the last minute, and we chatted away and watched other runners until it was time to go.

"Tutu Power" in the distance
Sixty-seven percent of the runners in this race were female. So we saw a lot of tutus, girl power, costumes, and tons of pink and red! There were a good number of couples there like us, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the husbands/boyfriends who were probably made to dress up in costume by their significant other because they had this look of, "I can't wait to get this race over with so I can get out of this <insert costume name>." From a ball and chain couple to the couple who were clearly "love bugs," this race was definitely very festive. I think The Hubs was relieved that all I made him wear was a red tech shirt! We were color and gear coordinated from our BCWH dri-fit hats down to our pair of Saucony Kinvaras.

After our last restroom stop, we were ready and on our way to our corral....or so I thought.

I NEEDED to go potty. Again. The lines to the porto-potties outside were looooong. There is no way, I thought. With just 15 minutes until start time, I sprinted back to The Field House to find a shorter restroom line. The Hubs thought I was crazy. As I watched my Garmin tick the minutes away while waiting in line, I was getting a little nervous. I literally had 3 minutes to get back to my corral, but I made it. The look on The Hubs face was priceless because I could tell that HE needed to go potty too and now wished he had gone. At that point it was too late, and we started walking towards the starting line.

The Race and Watching Runners. I was looking at this race as another long run, so I started at a very easy 11 min./mile pace. It's been a week since I last ran, so I wasn't sure how my foot was going to feel.

The course was mostly flat, except for the segment going through the Amphitheater. Other than that part, it was a fast course as it wound through a suburban sports park and healthcare center complex.
We couldn't ask for better weather. It was cloudy and around 39 degrees. The course was not crowded at all, but it was so quiet! Everyone seemed to be plugged into their iPods. There was a DJ stationed along the route which was nice - I think he was cranking out some 80s song that totally pumped up The Hubs. We must have been obnoxious to some runners around us while we belted out "You Give Love A Bad Name," pumping our fists in the air.

Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" more than a log carrying guy in a gas mask.
We passed by this pair of guys who carried logs of all things! One guy had on a gas mask. I wanted to ask what it was for but didn't get to. Their costumes definitely did not scream "Happy Valentine's Day."

There were a couple of older runners there with Garmin watches, and I was so enamoured by their spirit, strength and by the fact that they're running a 14K! They're not fast, but they're smiling and looking like they're having a great time! I grew up watching grandparents sit around a lot, stay at home most of the time, not doing much, so whenever I see an older runner, I can't help but think, "I want to keep running at that age..."

At around Mile 6, we noticed this kid. I'm like, "what's a kid doing on a 14K course?" Turns out he's 12 years old, and I tried to keep up with him. Gosh he made it look so easy. Sadly, I couldn'tkeep up. Geez. Well more power to him!

Running With The Hubs. I had a blast running with The Hubs, what can I say. At one point, The Hubs realized, "wow, we're only at Mile 3?" I reminded him, "Ummm, we are running at my pace...Sorry, I know that by this time, you would be at Mile 6/7, but hey, at least we are getting our money's worth by being on the course longer!" Yes, at this point, The Hubs was jogging, even running backwards at one point, taking pictures of me. I think I even caught him walking fast next to me. I was like, "oh, come's a race, get a little more cardio than that." He was such a hoot!
Around Mile 4 or 5

At around Mile 4, I needed to GU. The Hubs? No GU for him unless it's a half marathon distance. He did grab some water on the way, but he never carries any water on him, and like I said, unless it's a half marathon distance. When we came to this trail lined with lamp posts, I started to do some fartleks! I know, weird! I think it was the GU.

By Mile 6, I could tell The Hubs REALLY needed to pee. He'd been eye-ing the woods in the distance, but he didn't want me to lose time by waiting around for him. So we started scoping out porto-potties up ahead. When we got to the part of the course where it looped around a small pond, we noticed porto-potties about 3/4 of a mile ahead. I told The Hubs to go for it. So he peeled away and sprinted to the potties. Later, he told me his pace was around 6:15 - 6:20! Runners around him must've been like, "wow, he REALLY needed to go badly!" It's no surprise that by the time I got to the potties, he was done and I was going at a 9:40 pace! I mean, really? Am I THAT slow?

Around Mile 7.5, he started reading off all the cheesy Valentine "pick up lines" signs like "If I had a nickel for every time I met someone as beautiful girl as you, I'd only have a nickel."


I had to think about that for a minute.  Or is it just me that didn't get it the first time?  They were THAT cheesy, but The Hubs reading them to me kept me occupied, because at that point, my calves were starting to twitch. Ugh. I was having flash backs of my first half marathon when my right calf locked up on me with just 0.20 miles left to go to the finish. So when my calf started twitching ferociously, I slowed to a walk. Guess that's what happens when you don't run for a week! Or maybe I needed to drink some Gatorade.  I was clearly having a hard time.

Sherry Arnold.  As I tried to shake off my legs, I saw a runner run past us with the Sherry Arnold Virtual Run bib, and I started thinking of her smiling down at all the people around the world running in memory of her today.  It's what she would want us to do to remember her.  I didn't know Sherry, but as a fellow mom and runner, what happened to her shook me to the core and made me angry and sad.  Thinking of her gave me strength.

As if on cue, The Hubs coached me back to a jog. "Shorten your stride, land flat on your feet, not your midfoot/forefoot. Count with me, 1-2-3,1-2-3...." And boy did the counting helped! I focused on that a lot until we were running back up to a 10:30 pace.  We came into a headwind around Mile 8. Like the gentleman that he is, The Hubs shielded me from the wind and ran right in front of me. What a sweet guy! I caught a second wind at this point as my calf started to feel a bit better.  Yeah, this is for you, Sherry!

Smiling after our finish line beer
Newlywed Roadkill. Around Mile 8.5 with only 0.2 miles to go, we caught sight of the newlyweds. Yup. A couple got married during the race on Lover's Lane (Mile 6). The bride had a veil, white running skirt, shirt, and the groom even had on a black coat which he ended up carrying - can't remember whether he wore a pair of shorts or not. The Hubs egged me on, "Come on, Marie, let's go pass the newlyweds, COME ON!!" Roadkill the newlyweds??! It sounded so mean, but before I could say that to him, I found myself picking up the pace with The Hubs following suit, and sure enough, we passed them. We sprinted inside The Field House towards the indoor finish line.

The Finish. There were cheers from the spectators, and I was all smiles until I realized, hey, wait, they're cheering for the newlyweds! But it was all that we needed to finish strong, hand in hand, still very much in love, the big cheese balls that we are. haha! We talked about doing the Tango across the finish line, but we forgot!

Oh and I almost forgot to add. So right at that moment when we approached the finish line, for a second I thought about sprinting hard so that just this once, I could say I finished BEFORE The Hubs. Well imagine my disbelief when we got our official time:

Mine: 1:31:51
The Hubs': 1:31:50

Sigh. Maybe next time!

Post-race fun at The Field House
Post-Race Fun. It was really nice to finish indoors. We got our medals, a nice drinking glass (which was hard to hold when you've got gloves on), gatorade, water, and some post-run power bar of some sort.  A nice touch was getting a nice carnation from a firefighter.  (teehee - big smile)  I had an armful of stuff, and I wished I had a bag to put them all in. I heard way too many drinking glasses crashing in smithereens on the concrete floor.

Finish line swag
As we got our well-earned beer, The Field House was starting to get crowded. Runners were stretching, camping out on the floor with beers at hand, and it felt hot in there. We got to a line for burritos. Burritos for post-race food? It wasn't ideal, but I was starving at that point so it wasn't too bad. They had a band playing The Cure's Just Like Heaven and a few runners dancing around.

This is a race I will definitely do again with The Hubs. It was a lot of fun and it was so worth it for the swag, the medal, the course, and for the superb organization and coordination by J&A Racing. 

Back of medal of of the charm "Live, Love, Run"

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Think I'm Ready To Rock N Roll...

So I think I'm ready.  Did my last run for tomorrow's race yesterday and ran my fastest 3-miler in my training.  I think it helped that I had to get back in time to bring Little Man to his preschool field trip.  I felt really good and strong during my run, so we'll see.  I'm still a bit nervous about losing my foot to PF during the race, but at this point, since it's not hurting right now, I'm going to try not to think about it and enjoy the race.  So there.  I think I'm just nervous now about getting there.  A very early 4am wake up call tomorrow to meet my carpool at 5am!  Yikes!

It took every ounce of self-control not to go too crazy in these things.  Little Man's "field trip" was to one of those bouncy places.  While I LOVE sliding and jumping on these inflatable things, I did not want to end up twisting any part of my body that would prevent me from running my race tomorrow.  So I hung out most of the time and watched Little Man and all his 4 year old friends bounce their little hearts out.

Do you sometimes feel like wrapping your body in bubble wrap the week of the race?

Speaking of the race, The Hubs was able to pick up my race packet for me!  I LOVE race swag, and I am very happy with this race's swag, from the dark blue tech shirt (ladies' fit), the Peanut Butter flavor GU (which I'm dying to try after the race, of course), the RnR "I Rocked 13.1" window cling (YAY!  I prefer window cling over stickers), down to the RnR gear bag.  What can I say, it doesn't take much to make me happy.  :)

Please wish me an injury free race.  I just want to have fun and soak up all the music.  My first RnR race and I can't wait!

Who's racing this weekend?  What race?  Good luck to all of you racing this weekend and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Pre-Run, Post-Run, & Strength Workouts

Who doesn't want to become a better and stronger runner?  If you're like me and can't afford that gym membership just yet, I found these workouts online that you can do at home.  I picked these workouts to do before and after my runs and for my cross training days.  I like to vary my workouts to prevent boredom.  These workouts are also great for days when I have sick kids at home, when my free exercise classes are cancelled due to sick instructor, etc, and definitely for the upcoming summer days when all 3 boys are home.  I'm usually horrible at following exercise videos on my own, but exercises like these for injury prevention is enough motivation for me to turn on my laptop and follow along.  Check them out and enjoy!

1)  YOGA for Runners with Fiji McAlpine


This is something I need to get up super early for on my run days. 


I usually don't have any time to do anything else after my weekday runs, so I wait until after lunch to do them.  Still a great way to stretch out those tight post-run muscles!

2)  Post-Run General Strength Exercises with Coach Jay Johnson 

This is just Part 1 of 5 exercises.  Go to the Running Times Article for more info and links to the other routines.  I love doing these exercises immediately after a run and then follow these up with the post-run yoga above. 

Running Times: Part 1 from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

3)  IronStrength Workout with Dr. Jordan Metzl 

This is Part 1 of 5 series of exercises.  Great workout for injury prevention.  Go to this Runner's World article to see the other series of exercises.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #2: Go Get Some Pi!

I am SO TEMPTED to run 3.14 today just because it's Pi Day!  Happy Pi Day!  Did you get some Pi(e) today?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #1: Dress Rehearsal. Ready For RnR USA Half


Things happen for a reason and for things to happen, timing has to be just right.  On my way to get some groceries, I had to stop by my local running store today to buy GU for my Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon race coming up this Saturday.  But before going to there, I snuck a quick stop at the Five Below store to look at St. Patty's Day things that I might be able to wear to the race.  I ended up lingering too long, almost bought a lime green bob style wig, but decided against it - not enough time to test-run it!  Next thing I knew, I was running out of time because I had to pick up my boys at the bus stop.


So I rushed to the running store, grabbed my GU packets, paid for them, and left.  On my way to my car, I heard a "Heyyy!  How's it going?"  I turned around and saw Ian, the running store manager, and we ended up catching up on all things running.  When I mentioned my RnR race, my PF stricken foot, my decision to run/walk 13.1 miles, my feeling a tad discouraged about it... Ian shook his head and basically told me, "Nah, you'll be fine, everyone gets PF.  Here.  This is what you need to do until the race."  So he gave me free advice on how to self-treat Plantar Fasciitis.

His advice?  Get a golf ball and REALLY put your weight on the ball to the point where you're crying like a baby.  Then, slowly roll the ball along the entire length of the bottom of your foot, pushing really hard on the tender spot and cry.  He said if you're not crying, you're not putting enough weight on the golf ball - which is probably why PF hasn't gone away, in my case.  After wiping away your tears, then ice, he said.

So the whole time I was listening to him, I kept thinking, how did he know this was exactly what I needed wanted to hear?  Is this a sign?  I was immediately reminded of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist - "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."  I want many things, more than anything in the world, I want a healthy and happy family, but right at that moment, I want to keep running until I'm in my 90s.  I want to run my first full marathon in October.  I want no pain while I'm running.  I want to run happy.  I want to be ok for this Saturday's race.  So there was Ian, part of the Universe, helping me achieve what I want or at least helping me get to where I want to be.  If I hadn't decided at the last minute to stop by the Five Below store, and if I hadn't lingered longer than I needed to at the Five Below store, Ian might not have been there at the running store to see me and give me the advice that I needed to hear.

I left the running store with more hope that I will be ok at this Saturday's race.  I will keep running, I will run my first full marathon, I will have no pain while running, and I will run happy again.  Still learning so much after just a year of running consistently and really thankful for these encounters, reminders, to take small steps, one day at a time, and I will get there.  I will.

Have you read Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?  Do you believe in his quote:  "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."?  Do you think I'm reading too much into this? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Five For Friday Is Now For Monday!

I started this post last Friday, then worked on it some more on Saturday, and now I can't believe it's Sunday night so that means this post will be up on Monday!  I'm not procrastinating, just been CRAZY busy here since last Wednesday because of............

1)  ...THIS!!!  After signing up 2 weeks ago (yes, 2 weeks before the official March 7, 3pm EST sign up) with Team Lung Love to run Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) this October, I've been going back and forth between feeling scared/unsure and excited/confident.  This IS normal, right?  When you sign up for your first full marathon?!!

Well my anxiety and self-doubt evaporated (for now), as I watched all 30,000 available spots get gobbled up by runners from all over in record time - 2 hours and 41 minutes - becoming the fastest marathon registration sellout in U.S. history.  Fueled by the mass euphoria on MCM's Facebook (FB)  page as tons of runners posted "I GOT IN!  I GOT IN!", I was freaking out like everyone else, and I'm sure we all sounded like we had just won the lottery! 

I successfully peer-pressured another runner friend (so that made it 2 friends I peer-pressured) into signing up for MCM.  Through her, I felt the rush, the suspense, and the triumph over scoring a spot to run MCM.  So ever since Wednesday, my friends "T", "C", and I have been talking non-stop about MCM - training plans, hotel rooms, goals, schedules....never mind that we each have a big race coming up ("T" has Virginia Wine Country Half, "C" has Charlottesville 10-Miler, and I have RnR USA Half) - I think in our hearts we're done training for those races, and we are ready to tackle training for MCM!!!  Isn't that crazy??!!!! Yup, so I've been BUSY just thinking and reading about all things marathon!!!

Just a few of my crazy runner friends from Ragnar DC
2)  ....Non-Stop MCM Talk!!!  With all the talk about MCM on their FB page, the best part was discovering other friends who made it in too!  Like my friend "L" who just started running in November 2010.  After his first race in November 2010, three months later, he signed up for Ragnar DC with me.  To train for Ragnar, he went on to run more 5Ks, 10Ks.  With Ragnar now under his belt, he will soon run his first half marathon with me this coming weekend - RnR USA Half.  Imagine how much I freaked out when I learned he is running MCM too!  His first full!  I can't be any prouder of "L", and I'm SO excited for him!

I also discovered another friend, "M," who also got in - we had talked about running before and even balked at the idea of running 26.2 miles at one point and there we were, screaming over at FB chat, in disbelief that we signed up for something we never thought we would actually do!!!!

So, yeah, I've been BUSY talking non-stop about MCM lately to whoever wants to hear about it, and I can't tell you enough how exciting it is to me!!  Can you tell??!!!

3)  ....Discovering Red Felt Running Club!  All my MCM talk must be so boring to my non-runner friends and family.  When I posted about running MCM on FB, my friend's brother (who's also running MCM) and I connected, and he added me to this AMAZING FB group called Red Felt Running Club/MCM First Timers.  O.M.G. it's like finding your own kind who understands why you must sign up for at least 1 race every month and don't look at you like you're crazy.  RFRC started out as a group of MCM first-timers last year.  They motivated, inspired, and triumphed together, finishing their first MCM.  They are now 300+ members strong, and already I feel at home, learning A TON, and not feeling as anxious as much knowing I've got these guys and gals to carry me (literally, maybe? hopefully?) to the finish line on October 28.  So I've been BUSY reading all their posts, chiming in when I can (they are a very fun, chatty group!), and taking notes on marathon tips like the geek that I am.

4)  ....C25K Coaching!!!  As you know, I've been coaching a group of friends to help them run their first 5K.  Last week, we started running 2.5 miles with no walking breaks and this coming week, we are going to do 2.75 miles.  With their first 5K race now just 2 weeks away, I've been posting and answering questions about preparing for their first race and giving tips - tips I wished someone gave me when I ran my first 5K.  I think I am more excited about their race than my own RnR half marathon race coming up this weekend (weekend before their 5K).  There is nothing like watching them run a distance they haven't run before, seeing smiles & high-fives, and hearing cheers!  Do you remember that feeling?  They have come a loooong way from barely being able to run for 2 minutes without walking to now running over 30 minutes!  I am so proud of them, and I can't wait for their race day!!!

5)  ....Speaking of the RnR USA Half Marathon that I've been training for.... It's going.....ok.  Actually, I've had to change my race goal and strategy.  Due to my PF prone left foot, I'm going to have to run/walk this race, if I want to avoid getting PF again.  Playing it safe, because now my big picture goal is my first full marathon in October AND to keep running well into my 90s!  I really wanted to PR, to get a 2:15 half marathon time, but I'm going to have to let that go and just finish this race.  I *think* I'm ok with it.  I tried the run/walk method with a 4:1 ratio this morning and did ok.  I wasn't any faster, but I felt no pain, so that's good! 

The best part about today's run?  I figured out why my left foot has PF.   My left shoe is a tad bit big for my left foot!  This happened to me last winter and I can't believe I forgot.  I bought my shoes last summer when my left foot was "bigger" and come winter months, since my left foot is not as swollen, the extra room in my left shoe meant my left foot is sliding in them....the arches aren't where they're suppose to be, etc..So this morning, I doubled up on socks - well, I wore a thinner socks over my regular running socks and no pain!  Knock on wood.  So during my run, my left foot was nice and snug and felt fine.  My right foot has always been bigger than my left, so it was just fine.  I am really hoping this is the cause so I can put an end to this darn foot pain.  Still stretching and icing. 

When do you all buy shoes?  Do your feet change in size from winter to summer months?  Or is it just my feet?  

Have you had to change your race goals and strategy due to an injury?    Have you tried the run/walk method before and how do you like it?  

Are you also running MCM this year??  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: Foot, Meet Cyro Freeze

Meet my foot's best friend for almost the entire duration of my half marathon training for the Rock N Roll USA in DC - Cyro Freeze Ice Pack.  It's re-freezable, and I can re-shape it to contour the bottom of my darn PF stricken foot.  My PF doesn't hurt all the time...only when I'm walking barefoot on our wood floors, and sadly when I run straight beyond 5 miles at my normal 10:30 min/mile pace.  If I keep my pace slow-er, it doesn't feel too bad.  Training for this race hasn't been very consistent, as I've had to take some days off from running and cross training due to PF and my kids getting sick.  I don't feel as prepared as I did for my first half, but oh well, c'est la vie.

I'm actually thinking about  running this race (oh which, by the way, is in a week and a half) using a run/walk method.  Nothing fancy, just thinking about running 2 miles to each water stop, walk through the water stops, drink, stretch the foot, and then run to the next water stop and do the same.

Do you think that's a good idea?  I've never done the run/walk method for any race, but a friend suggested it since my foot might not be able to last all 13.1 miles of running.  I certainly don't want to injure myself to the point where I can't train for my first full marathon (MCM) in October.  I would appreciate any advice!

Speaking of Marine Corps Marathon, who will be at their computer at 3pm EST today for the MCM registration?  If you'd like a guaranteed entry, please consider joining Team Lung Love with me and help kick lung cancer in the butt!  Feel free to email me for questions!

(I am not being compensated in any way by promoting Team Lung Love.  It's a cause that I'm passionate about and that I hope other runners can join to help raise awareness and funds for this federally under-funded cancer research program.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Leap Year Virtual Run Race Re-Cap

Date:  February 29, 2012

Race:  Leap Year Virtual Run Race by Life As A Running Mom

Distance:  2.9 miles

Time:  29:57

Thanks to Life As A Running Mom for hosting my first virtual race of the year!  I've been looking forward to this race because not only was it a fun way to spend the extra day, but I also got to race in my Saucony Hattoris for the first time!

My time wasn't stellar, I've run a faster 5K than that, but that's ok.  I've been very cautious lately, running at a much slower pace, because I'm afraid PF will strike again, and I can't have PF with my half marathon in 2 weeks!  So I took off slow, but found myself going 8:45 at one point on my first mile, so I reeled myself back to a slower pace.  I did that at every mile, making sure I was not going too fast.  Is it the Hattoris that make me want to go fast?  Who knows.  Couldn't help but wonder what my pace would've been if I didn't have to reel myself in.  I'm just so scared about my PF getting worse 2 weeks before my half marathon!  But finding those paces in my Garmin and feeling good while running at those paces really had me intrigued.  (Patience, Marie, patience...)

I have to admit, I felt very free running in my Hattoris - like a kid running without a care in the world.  I'm really looking forward to running in them more, once I build up more miles in them.

I'm not sure why I picked a hilly course for this virtual race, but then again, it's so hard to avoid hills around here.  I had a blast, though!  Felt really good!  Thank you, Life As A Running Mom!  Check out her blog post to see who the winners are for this fun virtual race!

(Note:  I was not compensated in any way by Saucony for this mini review of their Hattoris.  I bought these pair of Hattoris myself and my opinions of them, thus far, are my own.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Motivate Me Monday: Courage and Following Your Bliss

Happy Monday! It's snowing here and my boys are doing the snow dance on their way to the bus stop. We won't get much of an accumulation, but we'll take anything that resembles a winter after these very mild winter months. Granted, it's March, but it's so beautiful outside, I wish today was a run day for me so I can run through the flurries.  Do you like running in the snow?

I found these this past week!

1)  Whenever I see a runner with prosthetic legs, I am always inspired.  They really make my excuses for not working out or not running pathetic.  They encourage me to dream big, and to be grateful and blessed. 


2)  Lately, this is why I run.  I've been feeling a bit testy lately and a good dose of 5 miles out there every Tuesdays and Thursdays help me do what I have to do as a stay-at-home mom with more patience.  Amazing how 5 miles can help me feel better about doing laundry!


3)  My runner friends (off and online) have been bitten by the trail running bug lately.  I would LOVE to run a trail course one day, but I can't right now due to my SI Joint Dysfunction (that keeps getting mis-aligned) which pulls at my ITB, making it feel sore...oh and of course there's PF.  I'm a mess.  There's this awesome 5 and 10-Mile loop of trails near my house that everyone goes to with our local running store.  I've heard what a great workout it is - it is both challenging (hills) and fun.  So everyone seems to be going there for long runs, leaving me to do my long runs on the road...alone.  My Physical Therapist said to stick to the roads, to the more even surfaces.  It's easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing and want to do/try the same thing, but I need to listen to my body if I want to keep running until I'm 90.


4)  Speaking of 90 year olds, have you met Ida Keeling?  Ms. Keeling is America's oldest sprinter who, back in 2011, broke the world's sprinting record at the age of 95.  I love seeing older runners at races.  At my last race, Virginia Is For Lovers 14K (yes, race recap is coming, don't give up on me yet, LOL!), I saw a couple of runners who looked like they were in their 60s.  I couldn't help but feel, man, I want to be running when I'm in my 60s and beyond!  Like Ms. Keeling....

and this man....

Hmmm...perhaps there is hope that I will eventually qualify for Boston in my 80s!  Wow, that would be sweet!

5)  This quote got me thinking about who I really am.  Well, right now, I am a runner and a mom.  I want to be a visual artist one day, but it's not working out right now.  I think in our life, there are many stages of growing up.  When I graduated from college, I was an Environmental Scientist, then after grad school, I was a Landscape Architect.  Then, I became a mom.  Now I am a mom and a runner.  I'm looking forward to who I will become after Little Man goes to elementary school (in 2014!).  I hope I get to still be a runner.  I will always be a mom, but I know there is something else I want to become. 


I hope you all have a great week!  I started the new week with Yoga this morning, a much needed class since I feel so tight everywhere!  Sitting in a car for 6 hours each way AFTER doing a 12-miler last Friday was not fun.  So I'm looking forward to a week of stretching and more yoga.

How was your weekend and your weekend runs?  Did anyone race this past weekend?  Any new inspirations and motivations for you this week?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Three Things (Plus One) Thursday: Craptastic Photos of My New Running Skirts & Shirts!

I LOVE getting new running clothes.  I admit, I'd rather go out and buy myself a new running skirt than a regular skirt.  I only run in running skirts and for a 10-11 min/miler runner girl like me, I want to at least look cute in my turtle pace.  

Ok, before I share my new purchases, I just want to say that I'm horrible at taking pics of myself.  Not only does it feel weird to take pics of myself, the pics never come out well.  So ignore the dirty mirror....I don't look as tan as these photos show, but at least you can see my new Running Skirts and new C9 Target tech shirts, I hope!

Outfit #1 (below) - This is one of two outfits that I might wear to my next race, the Rock 'N Roll USA Half in DC on St. Patrick's Day.  It doesn't scream Leprechaun green, but it IS a lime green shirt and there is some lime green on the skirt.  I've always wanted this skirt, the Mums Midnight Running Skirt, and I just got around to buying it. has them on sale now (awesome deal), but I got mine at for a great deal too!  What do you think?

Outfit #2 (below) - Another outfit that I could wear to my St. Patrick's Day RnR Half.  Same shirt and the skirt is from, the Azure Dot Running Skirt, another favorite skirt that I was so happy to discover on sale.  What do you think of this one compared to Outfit #1 above?  My favorite black Zensah sleeves are kinda harsh against these spring colors, but I need to wear them for my races. 

Outfit #3 (below) - C9 tech shirts from Targets rule!  Not only were they $9- a piece, they're comfortable too!  I scored this shirt right after I bought the skirts and I couldn't believe how well the colors go.  I have horrible Photoshopping skills, so the shirt color is a little off, but trust me, it matches the blue on the skirt.  LOVE bargains!

Outfit #4 (below) - I call this my Barney shirt, another awesome find from Target.  I love bright colors and this shirt, can I refuse when it goes so well with my Mums Midnight Running Skirt?  The color is a little more Barney than I wanted it to be - I think the skirt has more of a Violet color than this Barney color, but they complement each other well, I think.  I love matching inexpensive tops to not-so-inexpensive bottoms and vice versa....and I love how versatile this Mums Midnight skirt is!  I can create 5 outfits out of this skirt (purple, blue, lime green, black, and gray shirts to go with it!).  It's my new favorite skirt!  

So there you have it, my girly girl Three Things (plus one) Thursday of my new spring-y and summer-y running outfits.  :P  I can picture The Hubs just rolling his eyes at this post, hahaha!!

I could use some feedback....what do you think for St. Patty's RnR Half in DC - Outfit #1 or #2?  Have you bought new running clothes lately?  Or any new running gear?  Please share!!

(Note:  I bought these items myself.  I was not compensated in any way by, Target, Zensah, or to write this post.  All opinions are my own)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...