Angels

January 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Encouragement, friends, Racing | 1 Comment

powder-mills-park-2008.jpgThe beauty of running is that it is truly a sport in which you are competing against one:  yourself.  With each race we enter, we nearly always have a goal of setting a personal record for that distance.  Admittedly, there are times when we just race for the heck of it or because it’s a tradition or just to see friends.  For many of us who fit the category of the “competitive recreational runner”, however,  we often find ourselves competing with others in our age group.  Friendly, spirited competition that more often than not, winds up in collegiality and friendship.

Truly, runners are an amazing collection of people.  Even the most competitive cheers on and celebrates the efforts of others and recognizes when milestones are achieved and personal records are set.  But during a race, it is unusual for another runner to attempt to assist someone in their age group with whom they are somewhat competitive.  However, last Saturday at a very challenging race I had two angels help me.

If you’ve read my posts, you know that I’ve had a very rough few months battling injuries, severe intestinal trouble and other personal issues I haven’t shared.   Admittedly, it is easy to lose speed, resulting in poor race times and a bit of the blues.  Feeling much better and wanting to run one of the most challenging 10k-ish runs in Rochester (it’s actually 6.385 miles) I ventured out for Powder Mills Park.

At the start of the race I told myself just to take it easy and use the race as a training run.  After the first couple of rolling hills I remember that the monster hills were yet to come and I needed to conserve my energy.  So, I started to walk up a rather long hill when two very kind women came up from behind me and said, “Come on!”

That’s all I needed – a little encouragement.  Together we ran the rest of the race (well, we mostly ran together).  In my entire racing career I’ve never encountered another female in my age group who would be so kind and so helpful. 

This experience renewed my faith in humanity.  Simply put, it was one of my best running moments ever.  So, thank you, Karin and Pam.  Now it’s my turn to pay it forward!

2008 Wish List

January 26, 2008 at 6:43 am | Posted in Half Marathon, Marathon, Wish list | Leave a comment

With no one home and nothing to do but read and think, I sat and made a wish list for 2008.

1.  Run at least 4 half marathons.

2.  Run a spring and fall marathon and qualify for Boston.

3.  Each week, read a book of my choice.

4.  Practice yoga at least twice a week at Breathe.

5.  Take a trip with my daughter to a destination of her choice for her college graduation.

6.  Help my son adjust to the independence that should come with college.

7.  Spend more time with my parents.

8.  Run at least one trail race.

9.  Focus on being present.

10.  This one’s a secret!

Gotta Love that Speedwork!

January 21, 2008 at 11:53 pm | Posted in Half Marathon, speed work, treadmill running | 1 Comment

Awesome run today! 

I know I said I was going to run in the bitter cold, but I just couldn’t bring myself to run in 10° weather (wind chill makes it feel like -2°).  Instead I opted for a speedwork out on my treadmill.  Here’s how it went down.

Warm-up at 8:40 pace for 2 miles.

8 x 800 meter repeats in 3:30 – 3:45 with 400 meter recovery between each.

Cool down for .5 miles.

Today’s Total Mileage = 8.5 miles, 8 miles in 1:04:34.

What a great run!  It’s so nice to being feeling better.  I’m not quite up to snuff  yet, but I’m getting there! 🙂

Yoga for the Runner

January 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm | Posted in running, Warm-ups, Yoga | 2 Comments

While reading a great blog, Faster Running, I came upon this yoga video of pre-run poses.  Being an enormous fan of yoga (although I don’t practice nearly enough), I highly recommend you give them a try.  I find the hip opener poses (e.g., pigeon pose) especially helpful.

Well, I’m off to go for a run in the bitter cold!  Think I’ll do some yoga first!

Have a great day!

BUT I DON’T WANT TO!!

January 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Half Marathon, Long Run, treadmill running | 4 Comments

Have you ever awakened on the day of a scheduled long run and thought, “Damn, I don’t want to do this!”?  Sure you have; we all have.  Yesterday morning that’s just how I felt as I anticipated my scheduled 14 miler.

Part of the reason I dreaded this normally comfortably hard distance is because I knew I had to run it on my treadmill.  Given my recent health issues, running far from home just was not an option this weekend.  Plus, I only had 2 hours to run on this very busy Saturday, so I knew that I could hop off my treadmill and cut my run short if I needed to. 

Running 14 miles on a treadmill is D-U-L-L  (although I’ve run further in the past).  Boy, did I want to shorten this run!  My mind kept saying, “Ten miles would be just as good as 14 and then you’d have more time to get ready for your day. You don’t need to run 14 miles to run a half marathon.  Really, you’ve been so ill (although I felt pretty good yesterday) – give yourself a break.”

I’m happy to report that I DID IT!!  I ran my 14.25 miles on my treadmill in 2:00:56 and I felt super!  This is the furthest I’ve run since October, so I was proud of myself.  Now, I know that on the treadmill there is no wind to contend with; therefore, it’s definitely an easier run than running on the roads.  But the treadmill does force you to keep a steady pace, and I’m FINALLY learning the benefit of starting slowly and increasing my pace as I run.  Yesterday I ran my first mile at a 9:00 pace and felt like I was crawling.  But as the run went on, I was able to run faster and faster, finishing my last 4 miles at an 8:00 pace.   So, yesterday I ran 14.25 miles in 2:00:56, an 8:29 pace.

I think the trick to treadmill running is finding a way to distract your mind.  For instance, some folks like to turn on a movie or listen to music.  I like to do both of those things but what I find most helpful is to “play” on the treadmill.  If I’m watching a sitcom, I pick up the pace while the show is on and slow down during the comercials.  Or sometime I increase the pace for a few minutes or change the inclines.  The point is, you have to find a way to fight the urge to “count” each .10 mile.  When you do, the treadmill’s not so bad.

(As a side note, only 27 days, 21 hours until my mom and I run the Breast Cancer Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida!!)

Change in Plans…

January 16, 2008 at 7:37 am | Posted in Runner's High, Tempo Runs | 2 Comments

Earlier today I posted that I was excited to run my hill workout tonight.  Guess what?  I didn’t do it!  Even I must admit that altering my workout schedule is totally uncharacteristic for me but mixing things up is good once in a while.  I tend to be far too regimented and scheduled, and a little spontaneity is good for this chic!  

 Instead of running the hills (which I typically run with others), I chose a solo tempo run.   I just felt like being alone on my treadmill with my t.v. and my music.  I had great run!  After a 2 mile warm-up I ran 2 x 2 miles at an 7:49 – 8:00 pace and finished with a 2 mile cool down.  The total distance of tonight’s run was 8.25 miles run in 1:05:24. 

 More important than distance or pace is what this run did for my spirits.  Having been pretty ill for a while now and feeling alone, this run cheered me and made me feel strong and healthy.  It was one of those rare runs that actually leaves you feeling refreshed.  You know, the run that’s like a drug, keeping you coming back for more. 

Tuesday is Hill Repeat Day

January 15, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Goals, Hill Repeats, running | 1 Comment

Happy snowy Tuesday!   When I left my house at 6:20 this morning, I couldn’t help but think how pretty the newly fallen snow looked.  Then I thought about how very tired I am of winter!  How I long for the warm sunshine!

Tonight is my hill repeat night at Cobbs Hill.  Last week, after a 2 mile warm-up, I ran 3 x 1 mile hill repeats followed by a 2 mile cool down.  Tonight I think I’ll shoot for 4 repeats.

Well, that’s all for now.  Have an awesome day! 

What’s in a Name?

January 14, 2008 at 7:52 am | Posted in Fun | 1 Comment
What Sandy Means
You are the total package – suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don’t always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don’t have as much going for them as you do.You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic “Type A” personality.You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you’re too busy having fun to care.

You, too, can find out what your name means by going to What’s Your Name’s Hidden Meaning?
 

Reflecting on the Week

January 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training, running | 1 Comment

What a week of glorious weather we enjoyed in Rochester – outstanding for running! Last Monday the high temperature was in the low 60s and Tuesday it was in the high 60s. Wow! It sure felt great to run in shorts again!

Although I was very ill with my intestinal troubles mid week, I still managed to run 40.25 miles. I only ran 4 days but most of those days were longer runs with my longest run being 13 miles on Saturday. What a great long run I enjoyed along the Erie Canal from Schoen Place!

My mom and I decided to travel to Florida next month for my February recess and we’re running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon together. The trip is her early birthday gift to me (boy, am I one lucky lady!), and this will be my mom’s first half marathon. Really, she shouldn’t attempt such a long race with the few miles that she runs, but she insists upon giving it a go. Last night I printed off a training schedule for her to follow. I’ll keep you in the loop regarding her training progress (and mine, too!).

Training Week of December 31, 2007 – January 6, 2008

January 7, 2008 at 5:33 am | Posted in running, treadmill running | 1 Comment

The new year started out very rocky for me.  Unfortunately, I’ve been very sick with a nasty sinus infection and another infection in my colon.  Thus, this has not been a very productive week of running for me.  In fact, I missed one of my favorite races, the New Year’s Day 7.5 mile Freezeroo, due to illness.  Here it is Sunday and I still can’t seem to shake this stupid sinus infection!

Anyway, here’s how my week of running looked.

Monday, December 31, 2007 – REST, too sick to run.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 – Easy 5.25 mile run.  Attempted to run the race, but for the first time ever I turned back at the 1 mile mark; I was just too sick and didn’t want to get sicker.  Instead, I came home and ran on my treadmill.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 – 9.35 miles on treadmill.  Ran 9.0 in 1:16:51, 8:32 pace.  The temperature was just too cold to run outside; plus, I still was pretty ill.  Took 1 minute walk breaks every 3 miles and cooled down with a brisk walk.

Thursday, January 3, 2008 – 5.60 miles on the treadmill.  Ran 5.25 in 43:49, 8:20 pace.  Felt better but still struggled to breathe through my nose.

Friday, January 4, 2008 – REST.

Saturday, January 5, 2008 – 10.5 miles in 1:32:00.  Ran at an easy pace and just enjoyed a nice day!

Sunday, January 6, 2008 – REST. The weather in Rochester, NY was absolutely perfect for running today (high temp of 49°) but I decided to let my tired and still unhealthy body have a little break.

Miles run for the week ending 1/6/2008 = 30.7

Miles run for the year as of 1/6/2008 = 30.7

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