Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 2011 Recap

The final month of 2011 comes to a close and it was truly a great one. Despite my setback at the Space Coast Marathon, I picked myself right back up and began training for marathons #3 and #4. I focused on recovering well and properly and was still able to log 93 great miles of running in all kinds of weather :) January already promises to be just as great and I can't wait!

December Summary
  • ran 93 miles
  • biked 34 miles
  • walked 52 miles
  • 20 yoga sessions; 7h 15m
  • total: 179 miles; 46 hours
December Accomplishments
January Goals/Events

  • run 90-100 miles
  • walk 45-50 miles
  • bike x4
  • plank-a-day challenge
  • 10 hours of yoga
  • [01.01] 12th Half Marathon: DeLeon Springs
  • [01.06] Volunteer at Disney Marathon Expo
  • [01.08] Volunteer at Disney Marathon
  • [01.22] 3rd Marathon: Ocala

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Goals & Preliminary Racing Schedule

I'm still working on my 2011 recaps since we still have a day left, but based on the preliminary numbers I figured out my goals and began putting together my racing schedule for next year. Leave a comment if you have a suggestion for a race or goal I should add.

2012 Goals

  • Run 1000+ miles (80/mo; 20/wk)
  • Run a 5K in 29 minutes
  • Run a half marathon in 2:15 or PR (sub-2:24)
  • Run a marathon in 5 hours or PR (sub-5:22)
  • Become a Marathon Maniac (3 in 90 days)
  • 30 day running streak (1 mile/day)
General Fitness
  • Walk 500+ miles (42/mo; 10/wk)
  • 30 day plank-a-day challenge 
  • 10 hours of yoga per month (2.5/wk)
  • Bike at least once a week
  • Drive car < 6500 miles (541/mo; 125/wk)
  • Spend < $1000 at restaurants
  • Eat restaurant food no more than 100x (8x per month)
  • Do 1 new thing each month
  • Read 6 books
2012 Tentative Race Schedule

I've already registered for the ones in bold; the others are just what I am considering but I will likely not run them all. I have a big gap between May and August, but it's usually too hot in Florida to race during those months so it's a good time for rebuilding base milage for marathon season. I may throw in a duathlon during that time, or maybe a 30-day running streak, but I haven't decided yet.
  1. [01.01] DeLeons Half Marathon
  2. [01.22] Ocala Marathon
  3. [02.04] Lady Track Shack 5K
  4. [02.12] 26.2 with Donna Marathon (BMC)
  5. [02.18] Run Around the Pines 5K
  6. [03.04] Orange Blossom Half Marathon
  7. [03.11] Sarasota Half or Relay
  8. [03.24] Winter Park 10K & 2 Mile
  9. [04.07] North Georgia Spring Run (Blairsville) 
  10. [04.12] Corporate 5K
  11. [04.22] Iron Girl Half Marathon
  12. [04.28] Run for the Trees 5K
  13. [09.??] Puzzle Run 10K 
  14. [09.??] Miracle Miles 15K 
  15. [10.??] U Can Finish 5 Miler or Distance Dare
  16. [11.??] New York City Marathon 
  17. [11.??] Founder's Day 10K or Distance Dare
  18. [11.??] Space Coast Half Marathon 
  19. [12.01] OUC Half Marathon 
  20. [12.??] Jacksonville Bank Marathon 

                  Thursday, December 29, 2011

                  Thursday This or That: Christmas Edition

                  Thought I'd try something a little different today because I have writer's block. This is last week's prompt from Thursday This or That.

                  Christmas lights: White or Colored? - Both. We decorated the tree with colored lights, but used solid green ones for the bushes/trees outside and white icicles for the roof. 

                  Real tree or Fake? - I usually prefer fake because then we don't have to buy one every year or clean up fallen needles, but Jason wanted a real one this year and I'm glad we got one. 

                  Themed ornaments or Sentimental ornaments? - This year we had mostly themed ornaments because I like symmetry, but I really liked the idea of using medals as ornaments to remember our accomplishments. I tried a few this year and intend to make more next year, as some photo ornaments. We're also going to start collecting ornaments from places we visit and our interests so the tree has more meaning to us. We got our first one today at Anna Ruby Falls.

                  Sugar cookies or Gingerbread Men? - Hmm, neither really but I guess I prefer the taste of gingerbread to sugar cookies. 

                  Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? - Sadly, neither. Coquito! :)

                  Wednesday, December 28, 2011

                  Wordless Wednesday: Cold Running

                  Bundled up for running in 32º weather. I'm wearing Skirt Sports leggings under the Tough Girl skirt, short and long sleeve tech shirts under the windbreaker jacket, buff, headband, skull cap, and gloves. I had a very nice and hilly 4.5 mile run -- great training for Ocala. 

                  Tuesday, December 27, 2011

                  Running Meme - 2011 Bests

                  Best race experience? Hands down, the OUC Half Marathon. I focused on having fun with friends, and that is exactly what I got. It was the perfect race to end a great year of racing. Read the race report for more details.

                  Best run? I've treasured every run with my running group this year, but without a doubt my last long run before Space Coast, the 50K in the Rain, was my best run of the year and possibly of my entire running career so far. It was really difficult, but I gave it everything I had to overcome all the challenges I faced, and it was incredibly rewarding.

                  Best new piece of gear? 110% compression capri pants and socks. They have made a huge difference in my speedy recovery after every long run.

                  Best piece of running advice you received? Don't be too hard on yourself.

                  Most inspirational runner? Everyone in my running group, most of whom trained for their first race this year. It was great to watch their love for running grow throughout the year and rock their races.

                  If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Amazing! Solid training, with tremendous growth.

                  Monday, December 26, 2011

                  Week 51 Recap

                  Devan rocking the running skirt
                  that we got her for Christmas
                   during this morning's 4 miler.
                  Only one more week left until this amazing year comes to an end, and I can't wait to see what's to come in 2012. Despite being crazy busy at work prior to the long vacation, I managed to run and walk a bit, and even did some yoga. My sanity thanked me :) I'm still running this week, but I'm taking it easy since I'm on vacation and I have a half marathon race on Sunday. I doubt I'll be doing much of anything else though since I don't have my yoga mat with me, but maybe I can do some Fitdeck workouts. We'll see.
                  • ran 15 miles
                  • walked 7 miles
                  • 3 yoga session; 49 minutes

                  Sunday, December 25, 2011

                  Merry Christmas!

                  Merry Christmas!! I hope everyone had a great day celebrating with family and that Santa brought you everything you needed. Christmas Part 2  (Jason's mom) & 3 (Jason's aunt) are done, and Santa has been very good to me so far. I got a new coat and a LEGO set from my parents yesterday. I'll take a pic wearing the coat when I get to Georgia since it is way too hot down here for it. Jason's family got me running gear (that I almost bought for myself last week so I'm really glad I restrained myself during all the sales), board games, an awesome knitted scarf with pockets, candy, gift cards, and some other things. It's been another full day, so it's now time for bed. I leave you with a photo of my knew Tigger stocking that perfectly matches my santa hat :) 

                  Saturday, December 24, 2011

                  Merry Christmas Eve

                  Well, Christmas part I is over and I'm exhausted. Only 3 more to go : ) I'm going to make this short and mostly pictures because I'm tired and have to be up early tomorrow to drive down to South Florida for Christmas 2 & 3. I started the day with a great 10K fun run I hosted for my running group. It was great to see everyone in their festive outfits and hear all the jingle bells as we ran through the streets of downtown Orlando. Everyone seemed to enjoy the route and had a good time. After some last minute shopping and wrapping presents, we headed to my parent's for Chirstmas part I. It was fun and exhausting as always to see the kids and the rest of the family.

                  Running group after 10K fun run
                  The Family
                  Jason getting frisky
                  Affection bottled up for mom =)
                  The last photo here is part of mom's present. When I was talking to her earlier in the week about what she wanted, she said she didn't want anything, only "cariñitos" (affection). So I joked that I'd bottled it up and wrap it up for her. She joked back to fill it with "besitos" (kisses). So I did = ) She loved it. Yay!

                  Friday, December 23, 2011

                  Bonus Day Off

                  Today was a bonus day off from work, and I fully intended to be productive, but instead I bummed around most of the day. I woke up briefly at 6:30 am as Jason was leaving for his run, but then I promptly fell back asleep until 8 am. I tracked Jason online (thanks to Runmeter) as he ran his marathon training run and caught up on House, then helped him recover. I finally got out of the house and rode the route for tomorrow's 10K fun run. I can't believe it was in the 80s today. It finally cooled off a bit in the evening, so Jason and I went for a walk to Publix and had pizza for dinner. I'm looking forward to a nice run in the morning then Christmas dinner with my family tomorrow night.

                  Thursday, December 22, 2011

                  3 Things Thursday: Holiday Fitness Fun

                  #1. Holiday Fun Run 5K - We combined our groups with Marathonfest this morning for a festive run followed by coffee, donuts and other holiday treats. I dressed in my festive gear (see photo), and many others did too, and we had a blast. I ran a warm up mile in 12:21, then chose 3:1 intervals for the prediction 5K run. I didn't plan to push too hard, so I thought I'd finish around 35 minutes, but maybe closer to 33. As instructed, I did not look at my watch until I finished, and I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed the finish line in just over 32 minutes! That's only 2 minutes slower than my PR, and not bad for not really trying. My splits were great too: 10:30 - 10:30 and 10:02. I REALLY need to run a 5K race soon! =)

                  #2. 11 Days! That's how many days I have until I have to go back to work! Within those 11 days, I have a 10K fun run I'm hosting, 3 Christmas dinners, 2 chilly runs, and 1 half marathon!

                  #3. Winter Solstice Foldie Ride - I just got home from a 12 mile bike ride on a foldie bike through Winter Park neighborhoods to admire the Christmas lights, with a stop at Eat More Produce for some food from the Winter Park Food Truck Food Pod. I tried the veggie taco box from the Korean BBQ Taco Truck and it was really tasty. Of course, I also had mint chocolate Yum Yum Cupcake. It was a lot of fun, but my butt was not too happy with that saddle.

                  Wednesday, December 21, 2011

                  Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Decorations

                  My co-worker loves spreading cheer and always does a great job decorating the office for all occasions. The first 3 photos are of my festive office. The last 3 photos are ornaments on our tree at home. Inspired by this post, I turned our duplicate medals into ornaments! I can't believe I never thought of this before.  

                  Office Christmas Tree
                  Everyone donated ornaments
                  or made origami, such as the star
                  Beth's table decorations and what remains of the sweets
                  More of Beth's decorations that appeared over night!
                  Gift from Laura
                  1st Marathon Medal
                  1st Half Marathon Medal

                  Tuesday, December 20, 2011

                  Random Tuesday Thoughts

                  Not in a great mood tonight, and too much on my mind, so you get a random stream of consciousness bullet post. 
                  • Ran 4 miles this morning with my group that was a bit fast for a recovery run, but it felt great in the cooler air. 
                  • I wore my Tough Girl Skirt for this morning's run, even though at 55º it was not nearly cold enough for that, but it was a good test. I think it may be warm enough for running in Georgia. I'll try to post a full review later. 
                  • Work is stressful with too much to get done before vacation. Of course, falling into a daily sugar comma from all the holiday treats is not helping. Tis the season.
                  • Christmas shopping is stressing me out too. I suck at this.
                  • I made a new whole wheat cookie recipe tonight, with honey as the sweetener, that Jason loved. They're really fluffy. We'll see how they taste tomorrow. Recipe: Whole White Wheat and Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies
                  • My 10K Fun Run on Saturday is gaining some more interest, so I may need to step up the planning (that's scary lol). I'm excited to see everyone in their festive attire and to get to run with some in the program from other groups that I would normally not run with. 
                  • I have 2 more days of work, then I am off for 11 days! I CANNOT WAIT! =) They announced an extra day off yesterday, and I'm grateful to have at least one day off to myself before and after the madness that is the holiday season.

                  Monday, December 19, 2011

                  Week 50 Recap

                  Didn't do as well with yoga this week, but still managed 5 sessions so that's not bad. I took it a bit easier during the week because I knew I had a 20+ long run on Saturday and wanted to be rested for it, so I chose extra sleep over yoga more often. I ran my usual 3 times with some quality workouts: hill repeats, 400 repeats, and the 22 miler.

                  I'm excited that with only 2 weeks to go, I've almost run 900 miles in 2011 and will surpass that by year's end. The next 2 weeks will be a little light on milage since I'll be on vacation and tapering for a half marathon on New Year's Day, so I won't reach 950. That's ok; it gives me something to shoot for next year ;)

                  This week is going to be lots of fun. On Thursday our running group is hosting a Holiday 5K Fun Run, and on Saturday I'm hosting a 10K around downtown Orlando. I plan to dress in festive attire for both occasions and have a blast. I've got tons of deadlines at work, so I can really use these runs to relief stress. I may even bring some running clothes to work to get in a short run during lunch to blow off some steam and burn off all the sugar I'm consuming from generous coworkers :)

                  Week Summary:

                  • ran 33 miles (895 ytd)
                  • walked 12 miles (421 ytd)
                  • 5 yoga sessions; 76 minutes 
                  • HBBC Week 4: 37.4 points

                  Sunday, December 18, 2011

                  Cooking Marathon and Recipe Roundup

                  I miraculously slept in until 8 am today, then promptly did 25 minutes of yoga. Most of the soreness from yesterday's 22 miler was gone, but then we embarked on a marathon cooking and cleaning session (bathroom including scrubbing the tub + laundry) that completely destroyed my legs and hips. We wanted to cook all perishables before we go on vacation, and I felt like baking ... a LOT. Below is a list of everything Jason and I cooked/baked/prepared today, with recipe links if you want to try them yourself :)
                  1. Granola - we make 1-2 batches per week
                  2. Whole Wheat Bread (bread machine recipe) - Jason also make this weekly
                  3. Spinach/Pesto Humus - I don't follow a recipe, just combined the following to taste: chickpeas, olive oil, dash of sesame oil (instead of tahini), garlic, basil, spinach, walnuts, salt and pepper
                  4. Quiche with Homemade Whole Wheat Crust - toppings: spinach, basil, garlic, green peas, spices.
                  5. Mint Ice Cream - half & half, honey, maple syrup and mint extract
                  6. Whole Wheat Crackers - needed something to dip in the humus ;)
                  7. Whole Wheat Biscuits - for the vegetarian chili I made yesterday, but tried using the food processor to mix it and they came out horrible and had to toss them :( 
                  8. Spinach, Feta and Orzo Salad - trying to use up the spinach
                  9. Whole Wheat Cut Out Cookies (Ginger/Cinnamon) - couldn't find my gingerbread man mold, so I just make little round cookies, like ginger snaps.
                  10. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies - needed something with chocolate :)
                  11. Eggplant Balls - dinner to use up the eggplant, served with marinara sauce.
                  In addition to this, we have a ton of leftovers from the past few days, so we shouldn't need to cook much for the rest of the week. That will make it a lot less stressful so we can just relax when we get home from work. 
                  1. Vegetarian Chili - no recipe, I just wing it. This one had black beans, yellow and orange bell peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, frozen corn, and the usual spices served over quinoa for extra protein and texture. 
                  2. Chickpea Vegetable Bake - Another great way to use up lots of veggies before they go bad. The chickpeas provide the protein and are just so yummy. We used butternut squash, red onions, asparagus, red and sweet potatoes, chickpeas, almonds and seasoned it with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.
                  3. Baked Falafel - in case you haven't noticed, we love chickpeas ;) Served this with mashed potatoes and sauté green beens in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with garlic, red onions and almonds.
                  4. Tomato Curry Lentil Stew

                  Saturday, December 17, 2011

                  Marathon 3 Training: 22 Miles!

                  This morning I ran my first 20+ long run since the marathon 3 weeks ago. It was a little rough because it was humid from the start at 4 am and it warmed up quite a bit by the time I finished at 9:30 am effectively zapping my energy, but I had a great time running with my group and helping many of them finish their longest run ever.

                  We started with 8 miles at 4 am and already had 11 runners with us. I kept counting them at each water stop to make sure i didn't lose anyone lol. At 6 am, we picked up 4 more for another 8 mile loop, then dropped off a few at 8 am and went back out for another 6-10 miles. We did a great job sticking to our training pace. Other than the typical soreness that comes from running this long, nothing hurt like it was injured or to the level I experienced at the marathon.

                  To be safe, we ran with 1:1 intervals at a pace no faster than 13 min/mi for the first 20 miles. After that the 7 of us that were left dispersed and finished on our own, some keeping the same intervals all the way to the end, some walking, and I chose to switch to a slow 3:1 interval for the last 2 miles because at that point it felt easier to run for longer slower intervals than walk more often. I ran a total of 22.26 miles in 4:59:02 at an average pace 13:26. I don't think I had negative splits, but I did keep a fairly consistent pace throughout. See the map for details -- I think those 2 slow miles where when I forgot to stop the app while waiting to cross some intersections.

                  After I got back to the school, I hydrated, refueled, and stretched while I waited for those who were running an addition 4 miles. It was the first 26 mile run for 2 of them and I wanted to be there to see them finish. Both finished their last long run with a smile and are now ready to taper for the Disney Marathon in 3 weeks.

                  As soon as I got home, I sat in a bath of cold water (no ice this time), showered and covered myself in compression gear. It was already past 11 am and I was starving, so we went to 5 & Diner for my favorite post-run meal: eggs, grilled cheese, and a black and white milkshake. We ran a few errands on the way home, then I took a nap and woke up renewed to cook some chilli before heading out for some holiday fun. I feel great now and hardly sore, so I'm forever grateful for compression pants :)

                  Friday, December 16, 2011

                  Friday Five: Top Running Gear

                  These are my top 5 pieces of running gear that I have with me on every run.

                  iPhone with Runmeter
                  After my Garmin stopped working, I spent a few dollars on an iPhone app before investing $80 to fix it, and it has worked out well this season. My dad lent me his for the marathon and I've used it on some training runs recently, but I prefer Runmeter because I can post my workout to Dailymile as soon as I'm done with 1 step. I also like carrying my phone on long runs for safety in case I need to call someone (like if I loose my car keys) or look at the map when I take a wrong turn :) 
                  Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra
                  Ever since I started running in these skirts,
                  I do not want to run in anything else.
                  They are so comfortable and stylish. 

                  Bondi Band
                  I love these headbands for keeping my hair and sweat off my face,
                  and I love the witty sayings. I wear different ones depending
                   on the outfit I'm wearing and how I feel that day. 

                  Road ID
                  I finally bought a road ID when I started
                  biking to work regularly, but I never run without it. 
                  Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra
                  This is just a necessity when you are a girl :)
                  I wear Target C9 bras for most of my mid-week runs,
                  but wear this one for long runs and races.

                  Thursday, December 15, 2011

                  Three Things Thursday: Run Run Run!

                  #1: Track: I went to the track this morning for the first time in over a month and it felt great. I ran a total of 4.75 miles, including the warm up, cool down and six 400 meter repeats. I'm pleased that I could still pull off the pace I was targeting without much effort. And best of all, the IT band behaved. I've taken recovery really seriously, being really diligent about listening to my body, walking lots, and finding time for yoga after every run to stay loose, and it's really paid off. By the way I feel and the way I've been performing, I would not believe I ran a marathon less than 3 weeks ago if I had not been there.

                  #2:  Long Run: I get to run 20+ miles this weekend and I could not be happier. Notice that I said that "I get to" instead of "I have to", because I am one of those freaks who actually enjoys long slow runs. I could run forever with the right pace and company, and I love my group to pieces. This should be all kinds of fun :)

                  #3: DeLeons Half Marathon: This will be my next race on January 1st! I am really excited to be starting off the year running a half marathon, which is the main reason I picked this race. The other reason I picked it is because it is a small, low key race with a few hundred runners (actually, there are only 101 registered so far and that includes 39 for the 5k). I prefer small races to the huge productions with thousands of runners. Some of my running friends did this race last year and did not care for it, but others like Jason loved it. I was a little torn so I contacted the race director to let him know of the issues I heard and asked how they were addressing them for this year. Today I received a detailed reply explaining every point I brought up and it was clear he had taken the time to investigate my claims to address them properly. I was really impressed and all the more glad I registered for this race. I had already registered before his reply and actually forgot I even wrote him. I planned to run it and worse case scenario carry my own water just in case. For $20, it more than meets my needs and half fanatic madness :)

                  Wednesday, December 14, 2011

                  Wordless Wednesday: Oh Christmas Tree

                  It's been a while since we've put up a Christmas tree. I think the last time was when we lived in the house. Ever since we moved into the apartment downtown, we usually just put up a tiny fake tree because we're usually too busy traveling to bother. But Jason really wanted a real tree this year, so he rode his bike to pick up a little one 2 weekends ago and we got the place decorated. I resisted it at first, but it was nice getting out the bows and ornaments again. It's definitely not little, but we made it work.

                  The Tree is Home


                  Tuesday, December 13, 2011

                  Two for Tuesday: Hills & Lil Sis

                  Hill Repeats

                  We did hill repeats this morning and it was a hell of a workout. It was really tiring because it's been a while, but I love how they make me feel and get my heart pumping. I must admit I've become fond of hills :) I never thought this day would come, but I can really see the benefits of doing hill repeats and I feel really strong. Every race I've done this year with hills has been a piece of cake. Ok, that is not entirely true because they still pose a bit of a challenge, but I am not afraid of them at all. I know how to run hills now, how to conserve energy, and they don't exhaust me. In fact, my next marathon in January will be on a hilly course and I'm kind of looking forward to the challenge.

                  Little Sister's Birthday

                  My little sister turned 31 yesterday and we went to dinner tonight with the whole family to celebrate. I cannot believe that my baby sister is already in her 30s, married, with 2 kids. In my head she is still 18; that would of course mean I'm still 20 lol I think I'll keep on living this fantasy ;) Her kids continue to be as adorable as ever, and Bella sure knows it. Alex is all giggles and starting to steal her thunder, so she has to keep bringing attention to herself any way she can. She's a smart cookie that one. It will be interesting when he is talking and walking too. And with my sister's birthday behind us, it means there is only 2 weeks until Christmas and the end of 2011 is near. Time sure flies when you are having fun! :)

                  Monday, December 12, 2011

                  Week 49 Recap

                  This was a nice recovery week where I just enjoyed being active. I ran 3 times, and they were all pure joy. The focus was on enjoying the run with friends and it was a blast. It was nice not having a prescribed workout and exploring new routes. I even managed to bike a little, to and from the run, and it felt great being on my bike again. I didn't walk as much as the previous week because I didn't do any walking on the weekend, but every weekday I walked at least 3 miles and some even 4.

                  The star of this week was yoga with 4 hours over 9 sessions! That means I did yoga twice on some days, even if some were only for 10 minutes, and it really helped keep me energized throughout the week. This morning I overslept so I didn't get to do my morning yoga, and I felt really lethargic and stressed all day. I know my body needed the extra sleep, but I really feel much better when I start the day with some exercise so I need to keep making that a priority.

                  This week I'm trying to focus on eating plenty of fruits and veggies. I can earn an additional point for the HBBC challenge everyday that I eat at least 7 servings of fruits and veggies, and this is a lot harder then I thought even as a vegetarian. I really think I'm counting wrong because I've been keeping track the last few days and the most I've eaten is today at 5.5 cups. I've lost my lead, but I'm going to keep at it -- I think some participants are mislabeled and should really be in the advanced category. But it's all good because I am doing this for me, having fun being more active and focusing on healthy eating to balance all the challenges of parties and eating out that the holiday season brings.

                  I get to run long again this Saturday, and I'm super excited! I LOVE slow long runs and I get see several from my group do their longest run ever. That's always really exciting.

                  Week Summary:
                  • ran 18 miles
                  • walked 17 miles
                  • biked 11 miles
                  • 9 yoga sessions; 4 hours
                  • HBBC Week 3: 54.5 points

                  Sunday, December 11, 2011

                  Unconscious Mutterings

                  After yesterday's exhausting day, I took it easy today. I managed to sleep in until 8 am, then did an hour of power yoga with Rodney Yee. Went to a holiday party in the afternoon, and I'm now relaxing watching TV and cooking up beans for the week. So I thought a quick bit of free association from Unconscious Mutterings would be appropriate for today since I'm on a bit of autopilot. 
                  1. Dedication :: Marathon training
                  2. Dream destination :: Greece
                  3. Games :: Reindeer
                  4. Hard as :: Steel
                  5. Convict :: ion
                  6. Submit :: Lottery
                  7. Alcohol :: Mudslide
                  8. Clippers :: Nails
                  9. Hormonal :: Women
                  10. Diet :: meatless

                  Saturday, December 10, 2011

                  Saturday Shenanigans

                  I've had an amazing, active, fun and very productive day. I'll have to recap it in bullet form because I'm too tired for paragraphs.
                  • Woke up before 5 am, before my alarm, to get ready for my run. I was really looking forward to it because I was trying out some new routes and it was short milage.
                  • Biked 4.5 miles to meet my running group. The cool air felt great and the bike ride was a great warm  up. I had almost abandoned the idea the night before, but since I got up in time I went for it and I'm really glad I did.
                  • Ran 8.5 miles with my group, including 3 miles of rolling hills, and we had a blast. It was just 5 of us girls today, and it was funny that we didn't spend the entire time talking about running skirts lol I really like running hills because they make me feel really strong. 
                  • Biked 6 miles back home, through a more scenic route to check out the new trail extension.
                  • Did 25 minutes of yoga as soon as I got home because my body needed some TLC after all that activity.
                  • After a shower and breakfast, I was still full of energy so I cleaned up a bit and got the laundry ready while Jason finished his run. 
                  • Did 3 loads of laundry while wearing my compression gear and cleaning up here and there. 
                  • Went grocery shopping to stock on fruits and vegetables because I realized this week that despite being a vegetarian I do not get enough servings of fruits and veggies. My goal for this coming week is to earn that HBBC point for 7 servings of fruits and vegetables.
                  • Cooked chick peas I had soaked and made homemade humus, which is stupid easy/fast now that we have a real food processor, and then prepped food for a dinner party at a friend's house.
                  • Dinner party fun! We had a blast with great company and delicious food. 

                  Friday, December 9, 2011

                  Friday Funny: Race Signs

                  These are 2 of my favorite signs that I saw during the OUC half marathon. The first one of course made me smile because bikes are awesome and it was the first clever sign I saw on the course. And now that I think about it, we did run by Kyle's Bike Shop less than a mile later lol. The 2nd sign was just what I needed to inspire me to kick it up a notch for the last 5K and finish strong. 

                  There was also a huge group from lululemon cheering and holding signs. Most were sayings I've seen before, but still made me smile. Here are some of them:

                  • Runners do it LONGER
                  • Run like you stole something
                  • Your perspiration is my inspiration
                  • Kick some asphalt
                  • The END is NEAR
                  • Like our best bras, we SUPPORT you

                  Thursday, December 8, 2011

                  TTT: Chilly Run, Chaturanga, Walking

                  #1: Chilly Run - It was 44º this morning and when you factored in the 11 mph winds the feels like temp was 39º Brr! But that did not deter me or 3 other hard core members from my group from having a great run this morning. I ran a 1 mile warm up in 11:36, which was faster than I intended but I was freezing, then ran another 4 easy with the group @ 11:52 pace. My legs feel a bit sore. With enough clothes, running in this weather is not bad at all. Here's a list of everything I wore, and while I unzipped my jacket a little, I was never hot. I did shed the buff after 2 miles and the gloves during the last mile, but was very comfortable the entire run.
                  #2: Yoga - I've been rocking the yoga lately. Yesterday I did a sun salutation flow from Yogamazing and it had a LOT of down dogs, planks and Chaturanga poses (where you hold the down position of a push up). It was a great upper body workout, even though what I meant to do was an energizing flow. My arms and shoulders are quite sore today. I've been trying to do at least 10-20 minutes of daily yoga, and I love starting or ending my day this way, but I'm taking tomorrow off. Right now my body is asking me for extra sleep, so I will oblige by setting a later alarm. If I happen to wake up earlier on my own and have time for yoga then great, otherwise I'll take the extra sleep.

                  #3: Walking - I've also been a walking machine lately. Our bus route got changed so now I have an extra half mile walk each day. I've also been walking to a further bus stop when I get there before the bus, and try to get a little extra walking here and there whenever the opportunity presents itself. I track my walking during the day whenever I walk at least a 1/4 mile, and I've been getting in at least 3-4 miles each day.  It's great cross training and a quick way to earn extra HBBC points ;)

                  Wednesday, December 7, 2011

                  Wordless Wednesday: OUC Half Race Photos

                  I love these race photos. You can tell I was having a blast in every single one of them. Not a single grimace amongst them :) I love that I am making the sign language symbol for "I love you" in the 4th photo.

                  OUC Half Marathon 2011 OUC Half Marathon 2011 OUC Half Marathon 2011 OUC Half Marathon 2011 OUC Half Marathon 2011

                  Tuesday, December 6, 2011

                  HBBC Update - Week 1 & 2

                  At the end of week 2 of the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge, which started November 19th, I am on the top 3! I am in shock! Of course, week 2 included the marathon and all the walking I did as active recovery. Now I am determined to maintain that lead so  in the next few weeks there will be a ton more walking, taking the long way when possible to get in any little bit of extra walking, lots of yoga, and I may even start biking to work again! :) Below is the score tally for the first 2 weeks.:

                  week 1: 
                  • walked 16 miles 
                  • ran 17.2 miles 
                  • 28 minutes of yoga (1.4 points)
                  • total = 34.6 points
                  week 2: 
                  • ran 31.4 miles
                  • walked 17.1 miles 
                  • biked 5 miles (1.7 points)
                  • 69.5 min of yoga (3.5 points)
                  • total = 53.7 points
                  Total after 2 weeks = 88.3 points

                  And I already have 35.9 more points for week 3! I gotta step it up because I already see that I'm losing that lead, and we can't have that :)

                  Monday, December 5, 2011

                  Week 48 Recap

                  I cannot believe it's already December and there are only 4 weeks left in 2011. This was marathon recovery week, and yet I ran 18 miles including a half marathon race, and walked 20 miles! But really, I took very good care of myself because I was not even sore before or after the race and I still finished with a decent time without pushing myself at all. The extra walking was part of active recovery, and I did plenty of yoga and massage stick too. I'm feeling great, both physically and mentally, and I'm already itching to race again. No worries, I'm taking it easy this week and won't be racing again until the new year (unless I can find holiday 5k I can fit into my training schedule)

                  Last Week's Accomplishments

                  • ran 18 miles, including the OUC half marathon
                  • walked 20 miles - I'm pretty sure this is the most I've ever walked in a single week.
                  • 5 yoga sessions; 1hr, 40m
                  • biked 8 miles! I know this isn't much, but I've basically haven't biked in 6 months loll

                  Goals for this week:

                  • walk 3 miles each day
                  • run 15 miles (3x)
                  • yoga/core/strength - at least 10 minutes per day; 7 sessions; 1-2 hours
                  • bike - just get on my bike

                  Sunday, December 4, 2011

                  Corn Maze

                  Today we tried something new and went to Long and Scott Farms to play around their corn maze. This thing was pretty big and disorienting, specially for someone who doesn't have any sense of direction to begin with, but it was a lot fun. To distract you from the fact that you are lost in a maze, they have a kind of scavenger hunt you can play while you are in there. They also give you this flag on a stick that you can wave around over the corn stalks if you need help. Thankfully, we did not need to use it. We were in there for close to 2 hours and covered over 2 miles. My feet are killing me now. I'm looking forward to an easy recovery week with lots of yoga :)

                  Saturday, December 3, 2011

                  Race Report: OUC Half Marathon 2011

                  FUN FUN FUN! That's the word of the day. I am so glad I ran this race this morning because I had an amazing time. It was just what I needed to complete my marathon mental recovery and get my mojo back. This was half marathon #11 and the 4th year in a row running this same race. I am in awe that I was recovered enough to run a half marathon 1 week after running a marathon and I feel great. The weather was amazing and I surprised myself with a great performance. This finish time ranks 6th out of 11, and I'm thrilled I managed a sub-12 min/mile pace.

                  The fun begun even before the race started. I chose a super cute matching outfit, because you always perform better when you feel good, and the primary goal for this race was FUN :) I wore my Half Fanatic shirt with a black running skirt and blue/yellow matching socks, wrist bands and headbands. I felt like wonder women with the wrist bands lol (Blue top and black bottoms seems to be my dress code for this race lol)

                  I walked to the start a block away and finally met some fellow half fanatics for a super fun photo shoot, then met my Galloway group for a group photo. I started the race with Kerrie & Muki nice and easy with 1/1 intervals. Dave from Half Fanatics found us and took some fun photos of us, then ran a few miles with us. He is a blast!

                  I kept up the 1/1 intervals and a comfortable average pace through mile 10, never looking at my phone because I didn't want to push it and stop the fun! The clock at mile 10 read 2:06, and I knew it took us a couple of minutes to cross the start line. I was still feeling amazing and knew I could easily run a 5K in about 35 minutes to finish in under 2:40, so I picked up the pace.  I abandoned the 1/1 intervals and ran steady taking a short walk break every 1/2 mile. My iPhone app says I ran the first 10 miles in 2:04 at an average pace of 12:24 min/mi. I clearly had a lot left in the tank, because the last 3 miles were 11:16, 10:24, and 9:59 for a an overall pace of 11:56! The best part was that my knee never protested and I still felt amazing when I finished with a HUGE smile on my face. So I probably could have finished even faster, but I would not changed a thing because this is exactly the race I wanted to run -- no, that I NEEDED to run to get my mojo back and oh yes it is back with a vengeance! =)

                  Official Stats:
                  • Clock: 2:38:43 
                  • Chip: 2:36:30 
                  • Pace: 11:56.8
                  • Overall: 1889 / 2151 
                  • Gender: 892 / 1082
                  • AG: 160 / 174

                  I met up with my group after the race for some more photos, then walked to Julie's for brunch and mimosas! After I got home, showered, and iced, I rode with Jason to get a haircut. I'm telling you, I am on fire today!

                  Friday, December 2, 2011

                  OUC Half 2011 Pre-Race Thoughts

                  Tomorrow I'll be running my 11th half marathon. It will be my 4th year in a row running the OUC Half, which was the first one I ever ran when I started running in 2008. Since I have no expectations other than to have fun and finish, I'm not anxious tonight. I just feel like i'm getting up to do another long run with my running buddies. This is the reason I wanted to run tomorrow, to regain that feeling of enjoying the journey no matter the outcome.

                  Many from my group are also running it, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in the morning and maybe running a few steps with them before they take off and run their own races. There are plans for mimosas after, so that will be our carrot during the race :) I'm also looking forward to my first half fanatics meet up and photo op before the race, so I plan to wear my half fanatic shirt and maybe some fun socks.

                  Much like the first time I ran this race, I'll be leaving my watch at home. I'm going to run with my iPhone, strictly as a time piece and camera, because I have to juggle picking up my packet and being at 3 different pre-race photo ops, but I'll be leaving it in my pocket and out of site during the race. I guess I should go to bed now :)

                  Thursday, December 1, 2011

                  Three Things Thursday

                  #1: Running - I ran 3 glorious miles with my group this morning! :) I wanted to take it easy, so we ran with 1:1 intervals, but still managed a 12:40 pace; I'm really pleased with that. I am sure the fact that it was 45º out had something to do with it. Needless to say, I did not run in a skirt this morning. I'm recovering really well and I'm barely sore anymore. Gotta love ice baths and compression gear :)

                  #2: OUC HM - I registered for the OUC Half Marathon tonight, for the 4th year in a row. This was my 1st half marathon when I started running in 2008, and I've run it every year since, so I could not pass this one up. However, I'll be taking it easy and paying very close attention to my body. If it wants me to walk more, I will. It's all about enjoying the journey. I don't even plan to wear a watch (I mean it this time!) or carry my phone, but I do want to run with my camera so I can capture the fun! 

                  #3: Fun-Filled Weekend - This is going to be a packed weekend, starting early on Friday afternoon with a work picnic and the 1st Friday Ride that night. On Saturday morning I have the half marathon, followed by post-race mimosas with my running group and a celebratory dinner that evening. I hope to have time to check out Orlando Power Yoga and use our Corn Maze Groupon on Sunday.

                  Wednesday, November 30, 2011

                  November 2011 Recap

                  Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, but I may try to keep it up for a few more days. Anyway, November did not end as planned, but it was still an amazing month. I'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

                  In other news, I'm finally mentally recovered from this marathon I have registered for my 3rd, a hilly full marathon in Ocala in January as a training run for BCM in February, and thus finally becoming a marathon maniac! :) I just hope I'm not last =P I have a slew of half marathons I'm going to register for very soon also in my quest to become a level 2 or 3 half fanatic by the end of next year.

                  Stats & Goal Progress (92%)
                  • ran 94 miles; 829/700 (118% goal exceeded!)
                  • biked 5 miles; 581/2000 (43%)
                  • walked 51 miles; 376/400 (94%)
                  • yoga/core/strength: 15 sessions; 5.6 hours
                  • total: 150 miles; 41 hours; 2056/3100 (66%); 402/365 (110% goal exceeded!)
                  November Accomplishments
                  Goals for December
                  • OUC Half Marathon (for FUN!)
                  • 20+ Long Run
                  • Christmas Eve Jingle Bell Run with Group
                  • Bike :)

                  Tuesday, November 29, 2011

                  Marathon Recovery Part II

                  Physically, I'm recovering from this marathon very well. Today I ran 2 slow miles, running 1 minute for every 2 minutes of walking, and walked an additional mile to warm up/cool down. I also did some yoga, lots of icing, and even rode my bike! :) Soreness is almost gone, except for some tender areas near my glutes and hamstrings.

                  Mentally, I'm still a bit of a mess but putting on a brave face :) I've turn to the data for comfort, as well as planning my racing schedule for the rest of the season. I've been on the verge of registering for at least half a dozen races today, but I've yet to pull the trigger on any. Maybe when Jason gets home we'll both do it. I always say that the best way to battle post-race blues is to have another goal in mind. I do in BCM, but that's almost 3 months away and I need something to focus on sooner. I have a few in mind (OUC, Ocala, DeLeons) but I welcome your race suggestions.

                  Anyway, let's look at the race data. Below are the official race splits, followed by my mile splits as recorded by my Garmin watch. Note that I turned off auto pause so these splits include potty breaks, but those are part of the race :) You can clearly see when the wheels fell off. I was running a study pace through mile 12, then picked up the pace as we approached the half way mark. That surge of speed, against wicked winds, got us the average pace we needed, but it cost me the rest of the race. I clearly couldn't maintain that pace, and went back to the previous steady pace, but it was too late and then my knee gave out. The official results show that I ran 20 miles in just 4 hours at a 12 min/mi pace. That right there is a PR, so I'll take it :)

                  Official Splits:

                  10K - 1:13:06 @ 11:47
                  Half - 2:35:02 @ 11:50
                  20 Miles - 4:00:59 @ 12:02
                  Last 10K - 1:42:17 @ 16:29

                  Garmin Splits:

                  1 12:21
                  2 11:41
                  3 11:32
                  4 11:23
                  5 11:30
                  6 11:26
                  7 11:31
                  8 11:44
                  9 11:43
                  10 11:54
                  11 12:54 (potty break)
                  12 11:44
                  13 10:59 (trying to get on pace by the half)
                  14 11:01 (trying to maintain pace)
                  15 11:42
                  16 11:42
                  17 11:56
                  18 11:41
                  19 12:35 (wheels started falling off - last ditch effort)
                  20 15:11 (wheels gone)
                  21 16:03
                  22 17:39
                  23 15:04
                  24 16:26
                  25 17:06
                  26 16:00
                  .46   14:23 (final push 

                  Monday, November 28, 2011

                  Marathon Recovery

                  I'm feeling surprisingly good today considering what I went through yesterday, but one thing I've learned during this training session is how to speed up recovery. Here's what helped this time around, in bullet form because I'm running out of steam tonight.

                  Post-Race Yesterday:

                  • refuel - by the time I finished, all there was to eat was cold pizza and pancakes. I wanted to hot food and my usual fried eggs, so we stopped at a dinner no the way home. 
                  • ice bath - as soon as I got home I sat in an ice bath. It worked wonders as usual.
                  • compression - after the ice bath I put on my 110% compression capris and compression socks and laid in bed with feet elevated.  
                  • ibuprofen - this goes without saying
                  • compression & ice - as soon as I woke up, I put my compression pants and socks back on and used the pockets to ice my knees, quads, and hamstrings.
                  • walking - Before I could get too comfortable and lethargic from lying in bed watching TV all day, I went for a walk. As luck would have it, Tami was at Lake Eola already and I walked 3 miles with her! I was shocked at how little soreness I felt while walking and that I was able to manage my normal walking pace. I did start to feel soreness towards the end of the walk, so I iced again as soon as I got home (I was still wearing my compression gear during the walk).
                  • yoga - I thought I was too sore for yoga, but thought I'd give a try. It felt fine, but I only managed 12 minutes. 
                  • massage - I went for an hour and a half relaxing massage this afternoon that felt wonderful.
                  • ibuprofen - this goes without saying
                  • yoga
                  • walk
                  • The Stick
                  • maybe a short, slow jog
                  So that takes care of the physical recovery; I'm still working on the mental recovery. I know that I was all smiles yesterday trying to pretend I was ok, but I'm crushed and went through the 5 stages of grief all over again today. Now I'm mentally exhausted, but I know I'll bounce back soon enough so this is a topic for another post. 

                  Sunday, November 27, 2011

                  Race Report: Space Coast Marathon

                  Well, today was not my day, and that is ok. I did not finish sub-5 hrs or even a PR, but I still found the strength to finish my 2nd marathon in one piece and smiling, so I call that success :) Lots of things went wrong today, most of which I could not control -- rain, wind, humidity, heat -- but the one thing I could control was knowing when to pull back when my knee (IT me thinks) started screaming. This race report is best told through the 5 stages of grief, all of which I experienced during this race.

                  Denial - It was already warm -- mid 60s -- in Orlando when I woke up at 3 am and the forecast said it was 10 degrees warmer at the race. If we are being honest, deep down I knew then that I would not meet my goal. I still thought I could pull it off somehow, so I tried to ignore it. When we got to the race, it was windy but still warm enough to wear a singlet with my running skirt, and I even considered not wearing my knee high compression socks. I was upset; I kept bitching to anyone that would listen that it was too hot, while at the same time convincing myself it would be fine. By the time we walked to the start, it was 73º and I was sweating; but I chucked that up to nerves since everyone else was cold. Again, all the signs were there that I should adjust my plan then, but I ignored them. I almost immediately abandoned my 4:50 goal, but seemed to be running the pace I needed so kept at it. We finished the first half right on pace (2:35) and got our 2nd wind after seeing Jason, Omar and Laura. As soon as we turned the corner we were accosted with a serious 15 mph headwind with rain that knocked the wind out of my sails. I kept pushing but when my knee started to hurt, and I noticed our average pace had not changed in miles, I knew it wasn't going to happen.

                  Anger - I was angry that I had waited too long before listening to my body. The truth is that I was already sore and struggling a bit during the first half but that didn't seem out of the ordinary. I thought that was part of truly racing a marathon, but I didn't take my own advice and didn't focus on running the first half comfortably. If I had adjusted my pace and goal from the very beginning, run a steady easy pace, my knee may not have given out and I may have PRed. I'll never know that for sure, but you know I can't help but wonder it. Our pace had been increasing steadily through the first half, and then I took comfort when it was at least not decreasing. Once I realized that I was no longer even able to maintain the pace but it was in fact slipping, I was angry.

                  Bargaining - As my average pace slipped and slipped way past the point of no return to come anywhere near the 5 hour mark, I began calculating how low I could slip and still PR. I adjusted my intervals so I was running slower for longer, but that only helped for a bit. Then I began running slowly for however long I could, then taking a 1 minute walk break. I tried everything I could to at least hit that goal, but nothing worked.

                  Depression - I had hit the point of no return for even a PR and was in so much pain, that all I had left in me was tears. Every ounce of my body hurt like it had never hurt before. It even hurt to breath or hold myself upright. I started texting Jason and doubting if I could even finish. I was determined to try, but the walking became more frequent and I seriously thought of walking the rest of the race but 10K was a long way to go at a shuffle. My feet were screaming at me, so I ran when I could to help propel me forward a little bit faster. Then my knee would begin to protest and I'd walk again. This went on and on for I don't know how long and I was no longer trying to hold back tears and burst into sobs.

                  Acceptance - Kerrie caught up to me just before mile 20 as I hit this low point, and she stayed with me to the end. She was struggling too and we were giving the other strength to go on. This was her 7th marathon and she was just the ray of sunshine I needed at that moment. She always has a smile on her face, and her motto is "if we're not having fun, then why are we doing this?" She helped me remember what truly mattered today, pulled me out of my little pitty party, I accepted my situation confirming I made the right choice earlier, and helped me achieve the most important goal of all: finish with a smile! =) Then our other group leader Kirsty and Jason joined us just before mile 26 and now we were laughing. I had regained enough strength to running the entire length of the finishing shoot and finish running with a smile :) I was at peace when I crossed that finish line and proud that I had finished yet another marathon despite of the challenges I faced. 3 Years ago I didn't think running a marathon was something I could ever do and wasn't even sure I wanted to try, and now I've done it TWICE! (more if you count the training runs). And no, this will not be my last marathon; I'm still running BCM in February and others in the future, but the focus will be on enjoying the experience and running. I still prefer the half marathon distance and that will be my focus for speed next year.

                  Race Highlights: 
                  • Because this is a local race, there were a LOT of runners doing the half and full that I knew, including a huge showing from our Orlando Galloway Program. Since this is a bow-tie course, with 2 out and back sections, it was great fun to spot them along the way and cheer for each other. I felt like a celebrity every time one of them spotted me and screamed my name. 
                  • The course was gorgeous, and I'm so glad I had Dawn there with me to point it out during the first half. There were all these picturesque spots along the riverbed and some really pretty houses.
                  • The course support for this race is like no other. I loved seeing the themed water stations, having a ton of water along the way (though they decreased on the 2nd half when we needed them most), they were well stocked with gels, and the volunteers were very helpful and encouraging. 
                  • The medal is huge and even more impressive than last year's. I am glad I was able to be part of their 40th Anniversary. 
                  • Sharing it with my Galloway Family and Jason. I'm so proud that they all did so well.
                  • I wasn't last! =P
                  • Finishing laughing with great running friends! =)
                  Congratulations to everyone who finished this race! And a huge thank you to everyone who supported me today, whether it was on Facebook, exchanging cheers on the course, or helping me finish strong. I could not do any of this without you!

                  • AG 38/48 
                  • Overall 748/906
                  • clock 5:47:13
                  • chip 5:43:16
                  • pace 13:07
                  • 10k 1:13:06
                  • half 2:35:02
                  • 20 miles 4:00:59 

                  Saturday, November 26, 2011

                  Space Coast Marathon Goals, Pacing Strategy & Tracking Info

                  This is it! In less than 24 hours, I'll be undertaking my 2nd marathon. I'm a little anxious, but I'm far more excited! :) I really cannot wait to experience this and see what I'm truly made of :) So I thought in this post I'd let you in on the thought process behind my goals and pacing strategy. But first, here's how to track me on race day. I'm #248. Jason is #2872

                  Track Me:
                  1. Live results will be posted at as we cross the timing mats for the following splits: 
                    • Full = 10K, half, 20 miles, finish. 
                    • Half = 5K, 10K, 15K, and finish
                  2. I'll run with my iPhone and Runmeter will post my splits to TwitterFacebook, and Dailymile along with a link to a google map where you can track me in real time.
                    • The map will update every 5 minutes. 
                    • Dailymile, Facebook and Twitter will update every 5 miles. 
                    • I'll be able to hear your comments on all 3 of those sites; your happy thoughts and words of encouragement will be most welcomed. 
                    • The race starts at 6:15, and I hope to be done no later than 11:15, so you can sleep in and check in on me after you wake up :)
                  Goals: As always, my #1 goal is to do my best and finish with a smile on my face. I'm going all out on this race, so the smile at the end may be forced and through joy-filled tears, but that's still a goal. My primary time goal is anything under 5 hours, but I'm shooting for 4:50 - 4:55. My predicted time, with an all out effort and perfect conditions, is 4:46, so this is still a bit of a conservative goal. Of course, I'll adjust my expectations on race day according to the weather and how I feel. 

                  Pacing Strategy: My plan as always is to run negative splits because it is how I perform my best. If I start slow enough, I can pick up considerable speed at the end. I'll run the first half at a comfortable pace, then pick it up for the second half.

                  I used this race split calculator to determine my splits for various finishing times using very negative splits. A very negative split strategy will ensure I don't start out too fast even if my goal is too aggressive. By following a pace chart for 4:50 it also gives me a little cushion to still finish in under 5 hours, in case I don't speed up as much on the 2nd half or I run longer than 26.2 and thus my average pace on my watch would need to be faster to ensure I officially finish in under 5 hours. 

                  I am really good at sticking to my pace chart, and thus holding myself back too much, so this is another reason I'll have a pace chart for a 4:50 goal in case the stars align and I'm capable of that. Ultimately though, I know I can slow to an average pace of 11:24 and still make my 5 hour goal. Mile 1 on the pace chart for any of my goals is still slower than that, so I won't screw myself too much if the goal is too aggressive. 

                  Instead of bringing a full pace chart for all 26.2 miles and obsessing over every single mile split, I'm going to carry the compressed pace chart below showing a range of where my average pace needs to be at key points in the race (fastest = 4:50 finish, middle = 4:55 finish, slowest = 4:59 finish). This will ensure I stay on track but it won't matter too much if I hit every single mile split as long as my average is where it needs to be. 

                  Wish me luck and if you can login to TwitterFacebook, or Dailymile between 6:15 and 11 am tomorrow and virtually cheer me on! I won't be able to respond during the race, but will hear/read every one of your comments and trust me they'll help :)

                  Friday, November 25, 2011

                  Marathon 2 Training Recap

                  After yesterday morning's run, marathon training is officially over. All I have to do now is relax and stay healthy for the next 2 days and toe the line on Sunday. This has been my best training season yet, and I have my Galloway group to thank for that. I started doing all my runs with them, not just the Saturday long runs, and the consistency and variety has done wonders for my running. I added speed work this season and still managed to stay relatively injury free; I only dealt with 2 very minor injuries and only missed 2 days of training total!

                  Here's the 26 weeks of marathon training at a glance. The first week was so low because I was on a cruise, but I still managed to fit in a few short runs on the ship's track. The 42-mile week was when I peaked with my last long run of 31 miles, then I have been tapering ever since. Of course, the last week will include the actual marathon, but we're focusing on training runs in this post. I averaged 20.6 miles per week for the entire training cycle, and I'm thrilled with that.

                  And here is the 6 months of marathon training at a glance. I was thrilled when I broke 100 miles in September for the first time ever, and then surpassed that by 27 miles in October as my training peaked. I find it funny that November was not my lowest milage month considering I am tapering, but I'm a much stronger runner now and June was me cautiously building back up my marathon base. 


                  • ran 536 miles
                    • 20.5 avg miles per week
                    • 89 avg miles per month
                  • ran 108 hours
                    • 4 avg hrs per week
                    • 18 avg hrs per month
                  • 12:05 min/mi average pace (for all runs)
                    • long distance runs = 13 - 13:30
                    • mid distance runs = 12 - 12:30
                    • short runs = 10:30 - 11:30
                  • walked 213 miles / 67 hours
                    • 8 avg miles / 2.5 hrs per week 
                    • 35 avg miles / 11 hrs per month 

                  Thursday, November 24, 2011

                  Three Things Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

                  #1) My Own Turkey Trot: I started the day off great with a fun 4.5 mile run with Jason and my Galloway group. We had our own Turkey Trot in Downtown Orlando, followed by sipping Mimosas while we watched the official Turkey Trot race. It was a gorgeous morning, and the run was a blast at a fun pace :) Jason even ran intervals with us and enjoyed himself! Yay! I'm planning an encore on Christmas Eve.

                  #2) Muppets Movie: We needed to kill sometime before dinner, so we went to see the Muppets movie after lunch. We enjoyed the 2 mile walk (roundtrip) to the movie theater in the crisp fall air. It was the perfect way to break up our day. The movie was excellent and totally adorable.

                  #3) Thanksgiving Dinner/Family Time: After the movie, we decided to head to my mom's early and help her finish dinner. We were already hungry and kept picking at stuff as we cooked it. Isn't that what this holiday is all about? ;)

                  My sister and the kids arrived about half hour after we finished cooking, so we got down to business. I didn't think I ate that much, but it's still painful. I guess that's what happens when my meal consists mostly of carbs: 3 different types of potatoes (sweet, mashed, salad), green beans, yuca, stuffing, and lots of bread. I think all this just expanded in my stomach and stretched it to the limit.

                  The whole family went for a walk after dinner in an attempt to make room for pie. My niece loves being outside, and of course when we walked by the playground she had to play on the slides. She's too cute for words. Mom and I walked ahead and enjoyed some mother/daughter time and the cool air while the kiddos played. We got back to the house and still felt a bit full, but pie would wait no longer. We had 3 types of pie -- mango key lime, turtle cream, dark chocolate cream -- and of course I had to try a sliver from each of them. We promptly left after that lest we were tempted to eat more, not that any of us had any room to spare. Of course, we brought home some leftovers (including a bit of each pie) but will probably not need to eat until Sunday =P

                  Only 2 more days until race day, and I'm really looking forward to relaxing until then. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday and enjoys the rest of the long weekend.

                  Wednesday, November 23, 2011

                  Running Survey

                  Taking a break from talking about taper madness and filling out a fun running survey instead.

                  What is your favorite type of cross training? Yoga! I also like cycling, but I haven't done much of it since starting marathon training. I plan to pick it up again after the new year.

                  What is your favorite song to run to? I don't run with music anymore. I find it distracting, although sometimes when running alone I need that distraction but it is really rare.

                  What brand of shoes do you wear? Saucony Ride 3, but I'm not loyal to a brand. That's just the shoes I got fitted to when I started running. I've gotten re-fitted a few times, and always end up with Saucony. When I first started exercising, I bought some running shoes at an outlet store and they were actually Saucony

                  Do you wear a hat when you run? Not usually, but I've found it indispensable when it's raining or when I need to carry a headlamp.

                  What temperature is your favorite for running? 60s

                  Do you have any big races coming up? Oh, just my 2nd marathon! =)

                  What is your favorite distance? Half marathon

                  Are you a morning, noon, or evening runner? morning

                  Do you run solo or with a buddy? both, but this season all my runs have been with my Galloway running group and I love it. Leading a group has held me accountable and my running has never been more consistent.

                  What is your favorite post run snack? I eat a banana after every run on my ride home so I get some food in me immediately. If I'm running really long, I bring a luna bar for extra protein, then after I shower I eat some eggs.

                  What is your favorite race? I love them all! If I must choose, I'll pick Space Coast. I had so much fan at the half last year that I'm going back for the full this year. BCM is a close second because it is such a great cause and the energy is amazing.

                  Do you wear a Garmin? If not, how do you track your distance? I used to until it broke, so I started using Runmeter on my iPhone. I love this app because it lets me post to dailymile directly from it as soon as I finish my run, and I like to run with my iPhone in case I get my group lost :) My dad lent me his to use for the upcoming marathon, so I've been using it the last few weeks to get used to it again. I prefer the phone because when I wear the watch I can't help but look at it every 2 seconds.

                  What is your least favorite race? Baldwin Park Duathlon: the 5-loop bike course on narrow roads was no fun.

                  Where is your favorite medal from? So far it's probably the one from Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon: a coffin that opens to reveal a vampire inside. However, I also love the Space Coast medal and this year's is going to be even better.

                  Who is your running idol? My dad

                  How long have you been a runner? Since April of 2008

                  What is your favorite workout? tempo? long run? fartlek? repeats? I love the variety of all these, but my favorite definitely is the long run. I just love that easy pace where you can get lose in conversation and before you know it 2 hours have passed.

                  What is your favorite place to run? I don't really care as long as it is outside. I can't stand the treadmill. 

                  Do you use Gu? yes, for longer runs and races, but I prefer shot blocks for shorter ones.

                  What do you drink to keep hydrated? I usually only drink water, but may take the occasional sip of gatorade if it's really hot out. 

                  What do you take with you on a run? Does it vary by distance? Yes, it varies by distance. At a minimum, I have my stop watch, but almost always carry my iPhone. If it's hot or I am running long, I carry water. Of course, for long runs I'll carry gels or shot blocks.

                  Tuesday, November 22, 2011

                  Two for Tuesday: Penultimate Run & Race Packet

                  #1 - Penultimate Marathon Training Run: I ran 4 miles easy (11:51 pace) this morning with my group. This will probably be my last run with my group before the race; I plan to sleep in on Thursday and running on my own whenever I wake up -- sadly that will likely be 7 am. It was still pretty humid this morning, but there was a nice breeze that made it really pleasant. The run felt great, but I'm really starting to worry about the weather. It is almost December and it still feels like August should. I am really hoping for a miracle and sub-60º at the race start. At least it's supposed to be partly cloudy and we'll be running next to a river, so I'm hoping for a nice breeze to make it feel cooler.

                  #2 - Race Packet: I very kind soul from Marathonfest went to Melbourne yesterday and picked up a ton of race packets, so I just had to drive a few miles to her office today to get them. The race shirt this year is blue with short sleeves, and I love it. I was worried it would be too big because someone said they were unisex shirts and theirs was too big. Despite ordering an x-small, I got a small and it fits perfectly. I'm so excited that I'll get to wear it to run after this race :) Last year's long sleeve shirt was nice, but I rarely wear white and it's really not cold enough in Florida for long sleeves most of the time. After seeing my race bib, I started to get (more) anxious and second guessing everything. But then over dinner I somehow settled on an even more aggressive goal. I'll have both pace charts with me and listen to my body. I'll write a whole post about my race strategy later, but the gist of it is I want to enjoy the first half at a comfortably hard pace, and then push to finish strong.  We'll see what I'm made of soon enough.

                  > Countdown to Launch: 4 Days, 11 hours, 21 minutes, 58 seconds
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