Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Week in Running

I feel like I've been a bad blogger and bad blogger friend - I'm so sorry I haven't blogged or commented on many blogs this week!!  I'll try to do a better job of it.

To catch you up, I had my first run after my 5K last Wednesday.  Sharon and I met at the greenway and did a short 2 mile run.  I took Guinness with me to see how he would do, and he is SOOO not ready to go running with me.  Sharon went ahead and the whole time Guinness ran and pulled me to get back up to her.  So most of the "run" we ended up walking.  On our way back, I ended up pissing off a cyclist and I felt horrible.  Guinness moved to the other side of the boardwalk and a cyclist came barreling towards us.  My attempt to pull Guinness back over to my side fast enough failed, and the guy had to stop.  I apologized over and over and could tell he REALLY wanted to lay into me, but he was nice enough not to and just kept going.

My dad had surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff Thursday morning.  We had a nice chat the evening before because I knew he wouldn't feel like talking on the phone for a few days after.  He mentioned some books he wanted so I bought them off Amazon and had them shipped to their house.  He's doing well with his recovery.  He's a teacher so he has the whole summer off, but it's not as much fun when you're trying to recover from surgery.

Our next run day was Saturday morning.  We decided to meet pretty early to try and beat the heat...yeah...that didn't work.  I know that it's a rule of thumb that your minute/mile should slow down by one minute when it's so hot, and that's about how my run turned out to be.  At least I got out there and finished it...without the dog this time.

Memorial Day weekend was pretty low key.  I did some cleaning around the house, grocery shopping, and J fixed our a/c unit that stopped working AGAIN!!  Thankfully it could be repaired and not replaced, so he saved us about $3,000.  Sunday we slept in and then went shopping for luggage since we need a new set.  My oldest younger brother (does that make sense?) came over Sunday night for dinner.  He'd never seen our house so he came by to check it out.  We had steak, my first attempt at ribs (not too bad but needs some work), potatoes and grilled corn.  Monday we shopped for luggage (again) and went to our friend's house for a big Memorial Day dinner.  Our pups played hard and crashed out.

 One of my more exciting parts of the weekend was that we got our dates set in stone for our Hawaiian vacation next February!  We'll be spending 10 days between the big island of Hawai'i and O'ahu.  We have been before (we actually got engaged there back in 2008) but this trip we wanted to see a different island, so we chose "the big island" to check out the volcano.  I think I'm driving J a little crazy since I'm already trying to plan, but that's just the way I am :)  We will get home exactly a WEEK before we head to Orlando for the Princess half!!  At least a week is long enough to recover from jet lag and being in a different time zone.

Yesterday I started the Tower of Terror training.  I'm not running this race (even though I wish I could join my friends Amanda and Jody, who are running), I found that the training schedule for it is pretty close to when I am running a 10K and a 15K, so I thought it would be a good base for me to start upping my miles.  It has you run 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday, then on Saturdays you run a set number of miles.  Last night's run was decent, except it was soooo humid...even at 8:00 at night!  I ran 2.3 miles in 27 minutes (yes, not quite 30 minutes...I know...) I was JUST under the 12 minute/mile mark, and I know I can do better, so I plan to aim for that on Thursday.

Whew!  Sorry for the wordiness of the blog...this is why I need to blog more often.  :)  I promise to do a better job of it.  And a shout out to the bloggess's that I follow.  You are all doing such amazing things and I know you will continue to rock the trainings and races that you're doing.

Does anyone have any luggage recommendations that we could look into?  J doesn't like the "spinner" wheels.  And if anyone has any suggestions for things to do on "the big island" please feel free to share.

Until next time,


Monday, May 21, 2012

Freight Train 5K recap

Hi guys!

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Mine was a great one. :-)

Saturday night I made pasta for dinner to get a few carbs in my body before the race.  It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself.  After dinner I headed upstairs to lay out my race outfit so all I have to do is throw it on in the morning 

4:50 a.m. came EARLY.  I grabbed a quick shower, got dressed, and headed out to pick up Sharon.  We were CRAVING a bagel from our favorite place, BB's Bagels but, of course, they don't open until 7 on the weekends.  Oh well!  We headed to the race and got there about an hour before the race was set to start.  We have plenty of time to pick up our packets and get some stretching in.  While stretch at our car I heard a familiar voice - I look behind me and there is a dear friend that I haven't seen in years, Dr. Bo.  I was very active in 4-H growing up, and he was Georgia's State 4-H Leader the entire time I was involved.  He is an avid runner now and it was so incredibly good to see him.  He had run 4 or 5 races over the week, and even with tired legs he did an amazing job!

Dr. Bo and I
Sharon and I found her dad, who ran the race with her, and we all headed to the start line.  There wasn't a HUGE crowd of runners, but we chose to start near the back where it was less crowded, especially since our chip time wouldn't start until we crossed the start line.  
We're PITs - Princesses in Training!
Runners getting ready

Ready to get my run on
We hear the gun, and off we go!  Since we were at the back, we chose to walk to the start and start running once we crossed the timing pad.  I ran off and left Sharon and her dad to run and bond :)  I had my music blaring and my interval timer going.  Myself, along with a couple of friends, were having issues with the MapMyRun app, so I bit the bullet and bought the Nike+GPS app to try out (more about that later).

It was a nice, cool moring, the course was fairly flat, and quite a bit of it was in the shade.  I really worked on pacing myself better this race than I did during my first one.  I ran the first mile in 10:53, so not too bad.  They had a photographer at the first mile taking pics (please excuse the water marks - I'm too cheap to spend $12 on a .JPEG file!!) -

Watch me go!
They had one water station set up at the 1.5 mile mark - I grabbed a couple, chugged them down and kept going.  I met David and Sharon and cheered them on.  My second mile split was 11:30.  I had to do a tad more walking between the second and third mile than I would have liked, but I don't want to risk hurting myself.  As I approached the third mile, I decided as soon as I got into the parking lot I was going to dig deep and push myself to the finish line.  I think I pushed a little too soon because as I got near it I felt like I might throw up!!  I passed a few people and was smiling big when I approached the finish line -

Thumbs up!
I crossed the finish line and headed over to grab some water and waited for Sharon and her dad to cross.  Part of the course ran on the road right outside the parking lot that the start/finish line was at, so I ran out to watch them come up.  I snapped a picture and encouraged them that they were almost done!

You're almost there!!
I ran back over to the finish line to wait for them so I could capture them finishing their first 5K they've run together

We walked over to all the sponsor tents and got some free stuff - coconut water, GU, other interesting supplements from the Vitamin Shoppe, a free Nuun bottle that I was planning on buying anyway and, to top it off - a free shot of Sinless Margarita -

I WILL be buying some of this
We walked over and grabbed bananas (blueberry muffin for me as I don't like bananas) and saw the race photographer.  It was the same guy that took our pictures at the Boulder Dash, so we HAD to get another jumping picture!

Traditional photo? I think so...
We then headed to the car and made our way home.  J was going to come with me to the race but he was still adjusting from being on the west coast and was dead tired.  Got home, showered and we headed to Flavors of Forsyth for lunch.  The selection of restaurants was a little disappointing but at least we helped out the United Way.

Later in the day I checked and got my results.  My chip time was 35:30....PR!!!  I beat my previous race time by over 3 minutes!!  I was absolutely ecstatic with myself.  I was 20/34 in my age group and 117/204 in the women's, but I'm not so focused on winning my age division.  I'm in a personal competition with myself, and that's all that matters to me.

J is on his way to Montana for the week as I write this, so it's just the pup and I again.  Today is my off day and tomorrow I plan to hit the pavement again.  My next 5K is in a month, so I have some time to work on my speed and endurance.  I am also planning to add weights in to my training 2-3 times a week.

Congrats to all the ladies that completed race this past weekend!!

Until next time -


Thursday, May 17, 2012

And the Thunder Rolls

Tonight Sharon and I planned to meet at the Big Creek Greenway to get one last training run in before we run our 5K on Sunday.  As we were getting ready to start, we heard a clap of thunder...yikes!  Talk about motivation to run faster!

I found someone's Road ID in the parking lot, so Sharon called his wife's number that was on the ID and told her we had found it (husband not attached) and told her where we would be leaving it so they could come back and get it.  We got our stretch on and then started our run.

I felt really good starting out.  I was following my 2:30/1 intervals beautifully.  At around the first mile I heard a little rustle off the trail and saw a nice, large black snake hanging out - he was probably a king snake or a rat snake, neither of which are lethal to humans, so I went along my way.  I thought about stopping to take a picture of it but I would have had to pull my phone out of the armband and it wasn't worth the time, so I kept going.  Had my mom been with me she probably would have outrun me - she's deathly afraid of snakes.

The greenway was a really nice run.  There are quite a few wooden boardwalks to run on which was much easier on my shins.  It was nice and shady, and with the storm rolling in the clouds helped out, although the only breeze I really got was from the bicyclists riding by me.  I need to remember to take pictures next time. 

I ran the 1.5 miles and then turned around, meeting Sharon not too far behind me.  As I went along, I slowed down a bit and had to walk a little more, but in the end I was able to maintain an average pace of 11:47 and I beat my first 5K time by 3 minutes - I'll take it!  Hopefully I'll be able to do this on Sunday!

By the time I finished, the thunder and lightning had picked up a bit.  I chugged some Gatorade I put in my car and waited for Sharon to finish.  We had a post run stretch and headed home, just as the rain started to come down.

The pup was happy to see me when I got home.  To occupy him while I iced my shins, I put some treats in his new toy he got at Woofstock -

Ice Ice Baby...
My love comes home from San Francisco tomorrow!!  Our time together will be short as he has to fly out to Montana for work on Monday, so I may disappear until Monday night, recapping my weekend and - most importantly - my race!  I think I have an addiction to soon as I'm done running one I'm already looking ahead to when I'm going to run my next one.  Not a bad problem to have!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and good luck to the other ladies who are running races this weekend - I'm cheering you on!

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Puppies and Running and Sushi, oh my!

I've been a bad blogger the past week.  I'm sorry I've been so absent...I feel like I haven't had a lot going on to blog about and didn't want to bore you.

Last Thursday was supposed to be a run day, but J got home from a business trip and my knee was a little sore, so I skipped it.  Then Saturday I was set to meet Sharon for a morning run, but my "monthly visitor" decided to show up and I had horrid cramps.

Saturday afternoon Guinness and I went to Woofstock...a huge pet in the park party put on by a local radio station, Star 94.  We got some free stuff and enjoyed walking around the park checking out all the vendors.  Saturday night I met some friends for dinner then home to crash.

Monday J left for California and I was determined to get a run next 5k is on Sunday!!!  I got a last minute invite out to dinner and I knew I had to squeeze my run in, so I cranked out a short 1.5 mile run and was able to maintain a little under a 12 m/m pace :)  That's my ultimate goal right now, and I was pleased with myself.

I had a nice reward at dinner - seeing my sweet friend, Jessica, and her sister, Haley.  We had great conversation and great food -

Volcano roll, veggie fried rice, and edamame...yum!!

Tonight Guinness and I went to my favorite pet store in the area, Fido's Market, for a Canine Nutrition 101 class.  It's so amazing at all the garbage that they put in dog foods.  I learned so much, including that Pup Peroni has one of the ingredients they use in antifreeze!!!  I enjoyed a mini cupcake and water, while G had a "pupcake" and frozen goat's milk!

Frozen goat's milk, G's pupcakes, and my cupcake

I want it now, Mom!!
Since I'm running the race on Sunday, my next run day isn't until Thursday, and my plan is to run the full 3.1 miles and work on my intervals to prepare myself.  Sorry this one had more about my normal life than running life, but that's what keeps us balanced, right?

Oh!  Before I forget - two very fabulous fellow bloggers are having some giveaways!  Bethi over at Disney Mommi is giving away a super cute Minnie Mouse inspired SPIbelt, and Tess at Because I Run is giving away a ultra cool running check out their blogs and who knows...ya might win something!

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To Run, or Not To Run...

Yesterday I went back to Big Peach Running Company to scope out a pair of compression calf sleeves.  I REALLY wanted hot pink (gotta be seen!!) but they didn't have them at my local store.  Kelly, the running guru that helped me, called another store and they had some they would transfer over for me.  I went by and picked them up today after work.  I also checked out their race registration area and found some new races to participate in.  Sharon and I can't wait!

I ALMOST didn't run tonight.  It's so much easier to come home and chill on the couch with the pup. next 5K is in 11 days and now that I've set my bar with my finish time, I'm determined to beat it.  The only way to do that is to keep training!  Plus...I had some awesome new calf sleeves to try out.

Now I can be seen!
I have broken up with C25K - it's a great program, but I'm more interested in working on my interval training, so I decided to part ways with Maggie (that's what I named the girl in my phone).  I've started out doing 2.5 minutes run, 1 minute walk, and I'm doing pretty decent with it.  I'm able to run just about all of the run intervals (for the most part) with very little walking.

I chose to purchase the CEP compression calf sleeves, and they were great.  I felt like they really helped keep my shins from throbbing both during and after my run.  I do wish they were a little tighter down by my ankles, but maybe I need to look into some compression socks as well, just to have some options.

Overall I was pretty pleased with my run - I beat my race time by almost 2 minutes!!  If I can keep that up I'll be ready for the Princess Half in no time.  But - I know I need to take it one training run, and one race at a time.


My stupid app adds about 10 seconds to my time when I tell it to stop, so my time was actually 37:20

I just want to give a shout out to all the fabulous blogging ladies that I follow and congratulate them on their accomplishments - you are all doing so amazing and you're such an inspiration to me as well as your other readers.  Keep up the great work and we'll reach our goals, one stride at a time.

Until next time,


Monday, May 7, 2012

My Mountain Escape

This weekend J and I actually had no plans, so we decided to head up to north Georgia to spend the weekend with my parents at their cabin.  It's located in Blue Ridge and is a nice break from our normal, slightly busy lives.

Friday night was uneventful - we picked up a pizza on the way in and ate at the cabin.  My parents got there at around 10 p.m. (they can't go anywhere without making a few stops), we chatted and then went to bed.

Saturday morning my mom, dad, and I got up early and headed to one of their favorite fishing spots.  Jason had some work to do so he stayed back at the cabin.  I enjoy fishing but when it comes down to it, I'm a total girl about it and won't touch the fish once I catch them, nor will I bait my hook with a worm.  That's why I chose to fish with corn, and it paid off!

First fish of the season!
Mom was nice enough to get it off the hook for me.  I was able to "catch" three more fish, but they got off the hook as I reeled them in.  Oh well...better luck next time.

We went back to the cabin, made lunch, and I decided to take a nap and boy, was it a nice one - it was a 3 hour long one at that!  Mom woke me up at around 6:30 to go run, so I dragged myself out of bed, put my running apparel on, and headed out with her and my brother's dog, Lee.  They walked while I did my running.  I went about 2.5 miles and let me tell you..running up and down some mountain roads with shin splints does not equal going very fast, but hey - I got out there and that's what matters. 
Here was our reward for my run/Mom's walk
 We had dinner and watched the Braves before heading to bed.

Sunday morning we slept in and just lounged - it's so nice to be able to do that!  J and I headed home at around 4 and grilled some steaks for dinner.  Not a very eventful weekend, but sometimes you just need to relax and unwind, and that's exactly what we did.  I'm hitting the pavement tonight after work, as long as the rain we're forecasted to get holds out.

Until next time,


Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Late Weekend Recap + My First Run Since the 5K

Sorry I've been absent from the blog world!  Life got a little busy :)

As you know, I ran in my first 5K last Saturday with my 409 friend, Ali.  Last weekend we were scheduled to have our 2nd annual 409 GTG (get together) but life happens and situations came up, causing the vast majority of the ladies to not be able to make it.  Ali had already purchased her airfare and hotel room for Saturday night, so she kept her plans and came down to Georgia on Friday.

I had taken the day off for the GTG, so I just went with it and picked her up from the airport.  Got there a little early so I sat in the cell phone lot and watched the planes take off and land (no clue why it took them so long to think of this!  So much more convenient than making 30 loops around the airport and getting yelled at by bike cops for parking outside the terminal).  Once I found her we headed back up to my house where we met J, then headed down to Taco Mac to meet Amy and Josh for dinner.  Ali loves everything beer - she and her husband even brewed their own beer to serve at their wedding - so Taco Mac was a great place for her to explore their huge beer list.  We had a great time chatting it up at dinner, then headed home to get some sleep before waking up early for the race!

After the race, Ali and I came back to my house to clean up and headed to pick up Amy and head to lunch at an Atlanta landmark - Mary Mac's Tea Room.  I have lived in Georgia my entire life and had never been here, so I was really looking forward to some true Southern cooking.  They serve all your traditional Southern foods - pot likker, sweet potato souffle, fried get the picture.  I went with the vegetable plate and chose fried okra, mac and cheese, tomato pie, and cheese and veggie souffle for my lunch.

Mmm Mmm Good!
After we were stuffed from lunch, we headed over to The Georgia Aquarium.  J and I hadn't been since 2007 when he took me for my birthday, so it was a lot of fun to go back, despite all the kids running around.

The Beluga Whales
Ali touching a hammerhead shark in the touch tank
Penguin Porn - cue "Let's Get it On"
Me in the Penguin Tube

We sat here for an relaxing

We had tickets to see the new Dolphin Quest show, but we were meeting Josh at Turner Field for the Braves game, so we headed out.

Our seats for the game were great!  Left field up near the 755 club.  It was nice having access to it with better food and restrooms with no lines.  Even though the Braves lost a good time was still had by all.

Go Braves!
 Sunday morning I met Amy at her house and we went to pick up Ali from her hotel.  We grabbed breakfast at The Flying Biscuit Cafe.  Amy nor myself had ever been so we were really looking forward to checking it out, and boy was it good!  Their biscuits were amazing, and I also had their roasted oven potatoes with rosemary.  Perfect way to start off the day.

Saying good-bye to Ali was sad, but we all had a fabulous weekend together and we know that we'll see each other again.

Now...jumping forward to last night.  It was the first time I had run since the 5K.  I've kind of strayed away from the C25K program and am concentrating more on interval training.  For the 5K I think I set my run interval a little too high for myself at 5/1, so I lowered it to 2.5/1.  I made sure to stretch good because of the issues I've been having with my shins, but by mile 1.5 they began to hurt.  This time, instead of pushing myself to finish the 3 miles I wanted to run, I cut my run short and only did 2.3...I have 3 weeks until my next 5K and I don't want to further injure myself.  I came home and immediately threw my ice packs on my shins.  They felt good afterward, but this morning they're still sore.  I hope to head back to Big Peach Running tonight and maybe get some calf sleeves.

What do you do for shin splints?  Anything you swear by that works?

Until next time,