Friday, November 30, 2007

Race for a shirt?

As I picked up my race packet for tomorrow's half marathon, I spied the race shirt for next week's RDV Sportsplex Reindeer Run 5K. They were offering a long sleeve technical T-shirt for the first 1400 registrants - and they already had 1100 registered.

So when I got back to my office I went to the website and found the registration fee was a mere $20. I could get a nice technical T-shirt for less than just buying one off the shelf!

I did have a second motive - one of my goals this year was to break the 30 min barrier in a 5K. I didn't run very many 5K's this year - and the ones I ran I ran with my daughter. This is the last 5K (and race) of the year.

So I signed up for a cool shirt and a shot at a sub-30 min 5K!

Now to rest up for tomorrow's race!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cholesterol, Sore Feet, and OUC


Total: 172 (ok but up 20 points from last year)
HDL: 66 (very good since it is greater than 40 - up 11 pts from last year)
LDL: 68 (very good since it is less than 100 - but up 9 points)
Triglycerides: 188 (borderline high - down 2 points from last year)

Not sure how such small changes in the numbers gave me such a big leap in total. The total number is not bad - but I can't seem to get my triglycerides lower.

Factors: Being a runner could elevate TGs. Taking estrogen (birth control) can raise it. Having the right family genes (which I have) will also point to it being higher.

I am thinking I need to cut back on sweets and fats - maybe lose a couple of pounds - but no real worrisome numbers here. I just know that my brother, at age 39, had a heart attack with TG levels over 900! All the genes are on my mom's side: Mom, Uncle, Aunt, Grandmother (and brother) - all with heart disease. My physician has given me a clean bill of health per my last checkup.

Sore Feet

This week I am doing conference duty at the Orange County Convention center which translates into long hours and very sore feet and legs. I have managed 1 run this week on Tuesday of 5 miles but the hours have really made it hard to run (not to mention the sore feet). I am planning to run in the morning. One last 4 - 5 miler before the race on Saturday.

As you may know, on Saturday morning I will be running the OUC Half Marathon with my husband and running friend Maddy. Given my recent performance in running including a halfway point time during MCM of 2:29, I think I am well positioned for a half marathon PR without pushing it too hard. I think I can maintain an 11 min/mile pace which would have me finish in under 2:25. I may run it slower with my husband since he is coming back from a bout with tendonitis. We shall see. Like Maddy, I am excited the temps will be pretty good. Warm, but not too hot. Should be good tank top weather. Hope we get a breeze!

Big race weekend with Susan running St. Judes for our friend Elijah. Elijah went home from the hospital and on Saturday he celebrates his birthday. So we will be running for his birthday!!! :-) Shirley is also running a marathon on Sunday in Las Vegas. It is going to be an exciting weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Who Has Time to Run??

Try as I might, I am struggling to get 4 days of running in a week. I am quite recovered from MCM and now need to get back in the swing. The good news, is that when I do run, it is going really well!

The biggest strain on my running has been my travel/work schedule. My morning choices are between getting a decent night's sleep and trying to run tired. I have been picking sleep - mostly because there are all kinds of illnesses going around, so I am trying not to compromise the immune system (while taking lots of Airborne and using hand sanitizer).

My Sunday run was in the late afternoon/evening since we were just returning from our camping trip. Once home I suited up for a 10 miler. I left the house around 4:45 pm - and got home well after dark. The run felt really good. My goal was to run close to an 11 min/mile pace. I took 30 sec walking breaks once a mile - and hit my goal pace. The splits:

Mile 1: 10:34
Mile 2: 11:13
Mile 3: 11:04
Mile 4: 11:25
Mile 5: 11:35
Mile 6: 11:13
Mile 7: 11:13
Mile 8: 11:02
Mile 9: 10:49
Mile 10: 10:11 (fast finish)
Mile 10.13: 1:10

Total distance and time: 10.13 miles in 1:51:35, an 11:01 min/mile pace!

The run felt really great. I paid a bit later with a sore hamstring and with both heels complaining! (not PF in the right foot!!! One is enough).

Tonight I got out for a 5 miler and I think my Garmin was off a bit. The mile alarm was going off earlier in the run than normal. I ran my normal 5.1 mile route and it registered 5.17.

I completed the 5.1 miles in 51:20, a 10:04 pace. I took a 30 sec walking break halfway through, otherwise I just ran the entire way. It felt great. I focused on relaxing and taking it easy (particularly with the hammy). The Garmin had me running sub-10 min/mile splits for all but one mile.

Still - I need to find a way to get to bed EARLY so I can be rested for those morning runs. This week's challenge: I am attending/working a conference Sat - Thurs. The good news is that I don't have to travel out of town. It is a longer commute than normal for me (45 min vs 15 min) but I will be sleeping in my own bed. Working the conference and getting my day job done in the evening will challenge my running schedule. My running plan for this coming week should not be too strenuous - I have a half marathon to run next Saturday - Dec. 1st - Elijah's birthday and the day that Susan runs the St. Jude's Marathon. We can be running together that day!

You know you are a marathoner when you run a half marathon as a tune up for your full marathon! :-) More on the race later!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back to the Woods

Fishing during our camping trip this weekend. Check out the camping hat :-)

It has been outrageously busy for me lately - I worked 100 hours in the past 2 weeks, including all of last weekend.

So when this weekend's camping trip came up, I could hardly wait to get back out into the woods, even if the woods were only 25 miles away. We were experimenting with camping just over the weekend close to home. It was a rousing success.

Relaxation achieved, smores consumed, campfires made and fishing (with no catching). We will do this again soon. Next camping trip is over Christmas - Santa will have to find us out in the woods :-).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Meme

Shirley just tagged me to do a Meme. You have to check out her post - such hidden talents with that woman!

A meme is apparently a fun chain-letter like way of getting to know others better and making new friends. (this according to Shirley's blog).

Here are the basic rules for this meme (cutting and pasting from Shirley's blog):

• Link to your tagger, and post these rules on your blog.
• Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• Tag 5 people at the end of your post by their names and links to their blogs.
• Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now this is TOUGH! As busy a person I am, I have a hard time thinking of 5 things that are interesting, unusual or outstanding. I am like the children of Lake Wobegone - I am above average in a lot of things, but I don't consider myself a master of anything (sigh).

Ah well, here goes:

1. When I was in 7th grade I picked up a guitar and taught myself to play (had a few basic lessons in junior high). I wanted to learn the clarinet but my parents couldn't afford to rent one. I was in two rock bands in high school - and could play a mean rhythm for BTO's "Taking Care of Business" and Eric Clapton's "Cocaine". I could also play "Wipeout" (yes, I am dating myself here). Of note: I wrote a song for my wedding which I have since copyrighted and hope to record sometime.

2. I was a radio DJ in college and then part time after I graduated. This was back when I still had to cue up vinyl records and later tapes.

3. When I was in college I worked one summer as a Compucamp counselor back when Apple computers first came out. We taught kids about CPUs, Disk drives and programming in Logo. There was no such thing as Windows, a mouse, or the Internet (circa 1982).

4. I have worked for the same company for the past 12 years, however in that time I have had 13 different offices in 4 office buildings and on 6 different floors (I just moved last week - new building thus new floor).

5. I grew up in Vermont but never learned to snow ski until after I had moved away. I developed my technique while on my honeymoon (in Vail) falling down the hill a few times before calling it quits. I got much better when I signed up for a company ski team during the brief time we lived in upstate NY. My goal was to make it all the way through the course without falling....which I achieved about halfway through the season. At least the post race beers were good!

That is it for me. I would like to tag:

Susan from I Run for My Life
Adam from The Zen Runner
Maddy from Gotta run
Kevin from Kevin Bonks!
Maritza from Marathon Maritza

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Few More MCM Pics

I finally got the single-use camera down to the photo place for developing (next time I take a digital camera) so I just got a few more pics.

Here is the race shirt the night before. It says, "Life is an Adventure" on the front and "Bring it on!" on the back. The back also has my pace group time and my dedication to mom.

I found Miles in the Runner's Village before the race and got a picture with him!

Michelle was our 5 hour pace group leader.

Here we are just approaching the starting line - and just beginning to increase our speed past a walk.

Approaching the mall area in DC...

After finishing, the finisher's chute leads you toward the Iwo Jima Memorial. See the tall buildings way in the background. That is where you have to walk to get to bag pickup and the finisher's party.

A fellow runner I met with the 5 hour pace group at the beginning of the race. I lost him around mile 3 or so and found him in the finisher's chute.

I sure am going to miss the crowd support at Disney!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What's Next?

One major difference between completing my first marathon and completing MCM, is that after the first one was done, I felt kind of lost for a little bit - I had achieved the big what?

This time, the next race is just around the corner. The 2008 Walt Disney World Marathon is just a little over 9 weeks away. I even have the OUC Half Marathon in a little over 3 weeks as a tune up race. So I still have that training mindset.

So what is the strategy? My training plan going into these races was to take it easy for the 3 weeks following MCM - easing back into running as my body felt up to it. Then build to at least one 20+ miler before tapering again to Disney. I still have all that good MCM training under my belt - it is just a matter of maintaining it.

In consultation with my running coach, blogging buddy and fellow Dolphin Runner Shirley, she thought it was a sensible plan (ok, coming from someone who ran 21 marathons in 9 months...still). After the marathon I waited until Friday to take a 3 mile easy run that felt just great. On Sunday I ran 5 miles. This week I ran 4.5 miles on Tuesday at an easy feeling pace of just under 11 min/mile. My heartrate averaged 150 bpm, which is nice and low in my aerobic range. I am planning 5 on Friday and 8 on Sunday. Next week I am going to go for a tempo run or two. My hamstring has been a bit achy today - perhaps from the long flight. I brought my "Stick" along and used it on the flight (it was great!). I can probably help loosen up that hammy. The one I have is smaller than the smallest one they advertise on the web (I bought it at the marathon expo). It fits in my computer bag!

I would like to add two things to my training. One - I want to get my weight training going again. I think it helped me earlier this year until I got out of the habit this summer. I also want to continue to work tempo / pace. I don't believe I will improve over MCM by 41 min, but I am really going to go for breaking the 5 hour mark!! I am also hoping to improve on the half marathon time I set at MCM (2:29) when I do OUC.

So there you have it!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

8 Miles, 17 Years of Marriage, and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

What do these have in common - all things that were a part of my past week!

Running - I ran 3 easy miles on Friday morning, which felt wonderful. Today, my long run day, I did 5 miles at a fairly easy pace - running with my hubby...which leads to...

17 Years - On Saturday my husband I I celebrated 17 years of marriage! To celebrate we went to Epcot to the....

Food and Wine Festival - At this event, the entire World Showcase is turned into a big food and wine party. There are booths from countries from all over the world featuring a several native food dishes as well as wine. After two laps around the "world" I was feeling pretty happy. There was no need to make dinner reservations - we ate on the fly. We ended the evening with Epcot's "Illuminations" fireworks show! Although I had a bit more to drink than I have had in a long time, I felt good enough this morning for my 5 miler - so all in all, a great weekend!!! :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Finish Line Video

The Washington Post has video (complete with sound) for the finish line of the MCM. Using the clock times, I finished at 5:24:15 - crossing toward the right side of the screen.

Pretty cool, but it seems to take a bit to load. You can move the video ahead and not play it from the beginning if desired.