12/31/09

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran in the snow and ice today and my Garmin now shows 801.19 miles!  It wasn’t easy. It was cold and windy and most of the roads and sidewalks I ran were slippery or covered in 3 inches of snow. My shoes are soaking wet — but I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my running log last night, I thought about all that I’d accomplished over the last year. I read back in my last few logbooks and was reminded of some things I’d forgotten about. These are the highlights of 2009 for the running aspect of my life:

1. I overcame my bad injury and WAS able to run again by the end of March 2009 after having to take 14 weeks off to recover! Man, was it hard! But I got better!!!!

2. I found the world’s best running pal in the world 9 months ago — my childhood buddy, Bertha, who I hadn’t hung out with since we were in 8th grade! What a wonderful, awesome, inspirational friend she is to me now! I’m so glad to have her back in my life!!

3. I ran my first 10K in June in a time of 1:02:00. I was SO proud of myself! 

4. I ran my first marathon on October 4, 2009 in a time of 4:57:33 – in the rain in 40 degree temps – in a tank top and shorts. It was one of the proudest accomplishments of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. I lost 10 lbs this year! I’m so proud of myself! Only 10 more lbs to go to hit my wedding (1997)/high school graduation (1991) weight of 116. I really think it’s possible. 

Now my goals for the New Year are:

1. Run my first ultra-marathon on Jan. 30th (50K = 31.07 miles) with some friends.

2. Run my first half marathon – the “toughest half-marathon in the Northwest” in April.

3. Run my second marathon in Seattle, WA in June (a Rock-n-Roll) with Bertha! 

4. Run my third marathon in Portland, OR in October with Bertha. (This would be three marathons in three different states for me too. Pretty cool, huh?)

5. Run my first “official” 5K since 1995 in a time of 27:00 or better (My “dream” goal is 25:07 – which the age -graded chart calls “local class”).

6. Lose 10 lbs so I can zip up my wedding dress next December on my 13th anniversary! 

Here’s looking forward to a terrific New Year!!!! Happy New Year everyone!

12/30/09

Jogging through the snow
On a Wintery Idaho day….
Over the ditch banks I go…
Woo-hooing all the way!!!

I woke up to 3 inches of freshly fallen snow – so I laced up the Asics, put on a few too many layers and headed out. My quads and glutes really got a workout out there pushing through that snow. I ran along ditch banks and through grass and hit a few sidewalks (although it was hard to see exactly where the sidewalks were with so much snow.) 

27 degrees. No wind. Beautiful, winter wonderland out there. 4.07 miles.

I’ve decided something….. I’m going to finally delete all of my saved Garmin workouts after the end of the year. I’ll hit 800 miles just before then. My Garmin can hold up to 1000 laps (I have it set to do 1 mile = 1 lap), so if I don’t delete it now, it will be full in another 200 miles and I’ll need to do it anyway. From what I read online, the watch will star to beep nonstop until that data is cleared and it won’t be able to store new information until you do it — so I may as well just make this a yearly thing and delete at each New Year. I’m a little clingy with my data, but I think I figured out how to export the data onto my external hard drive to save for later. I also have a written record in my daily workout log, and I’ve typed it all up in an excel sheet too. Hmm.. I guess I won’t really be losing anything at all. I’m kind of excited to have a fresh start.  My average pace has really improved in the past few weeks and it would be nice to see that reflected in my “overall average pace” on the Garmin stats when I upload my runs each time. Here’s to a fantastic 2010 everyone!!!!!!!!

12/29/09

I’m so proud of Wayne! He ran his first 4 miler today – and included a really tough hill – and did it!  He’s so excited to be training for his first half!

I did the Wii Fit Plus for the second time and burned the equivalent of a soda. Mmm.. now I want a Vanilla Coke.  Just kidding!!! 105 calories in 33 min. I really worked my core today. It hurts! Between that super hula for 10 minutes and the 30 jackknives I think my waist got a nice workout. I also tried my hand at the driving range (on the wii) and the feedback said I’m practically a pro. Hmm.. I don’t think dh will agree with that – but I did enjoy hitting a few balls. I did a little yoga and some balance exercises too. It was fun.

12/29/09

Ok, so Bertha and I are definitely a go on the 50K. I looked it up and 50K = 31.07 miles. We’ll be doing it on mountain trails it sounds like. Should be a crazy, good time.  What a way to start the new year, huh?

12/28/09

Ok..about 30 degrees and a bit windy out there. Today is the official first day of my half marathon training program. The race is now 16 weeks away. I can’t wait! 

4.57 miles. Easy. Hills. 49:29. Ave pace 10:49. I was supposed to do an ave of 11:07 and I slowed down several times. Close enough. This week’s running plan calls for 21 miles – 4 runs total. Sounds great.

I’ve been kind of hoping to hit 800 Garmin miles before the end of the year. I’m up to 789.79 so it’s totally doable. Since I was injured from mid-December until mid-March, I lost three months of training on my first official year of having that watch, so, even though it’s not an official “full year”, I’m still kind of thinking of it that way. Hmm.. I’m actually considering erasing all of my past workouts after the end of the year and just starting the data fresh for the new year. Hm… I’m a little clingy with my data. We’ll see if I can make myself do it or not. 

Ok, the Smart Coach training plan I’m currently using….. I decided the past two weeks to just run the speed I felt like – easy, comfortable without really staring at my watch. It turned out an easy run for me now is between 10:00 – 10:45 min/miles. Last year I would have said 11:00 – 12:30 range was comfy. I’ve improved. 

So…based on that, I tweaked the running program so that the easy runs were in the range (or closer) that I like now. This half marathon training plan, in theory, if done to the letter, is supposed to prepare me to do a 2:00:19 half marathon. The one I’m training for though is on trails and is 8 miles uphill, so I’m not expecting anything much better than 2:30 honestly. My two friends who did it last year did it in : 2:25 (she’s 6 years younger than I am), and 2:09 (she’s been running since high school and has also done an ultramarathon.)

Anyways… it’s exciting to think that this year I’m going to be focusing on strength and speed for a change. I’m excited! I’d also like to push the limits on my endurance further than the marathon distance.

Just yesterday, Bertha texed me and asked if I’d be interested in running a 50K with her at the end of January. A 50K is about 30 miles and is the shortest distance you can do for an ultramarathon. The other common distances are 50 miles and 100 miles. Several of my running pals are committed to running an ultra or two this year. I’ve been too intimidated to even consider it –but…. after Bertha invited me to one last night, I pulled out my book The Extra Mile by Pam Reed. She’s an elite ultrarunner, a mother of five (two are stepchildren), and she’s best known for WINNING the Badwater ultramarathon — the infamous 135 miles race through death valley where the temps reach the 120s and 130s and your running shoes melt on the pavement every 5 miles. In 2002 and 2003 she won the race overall — even beating Dean Karnazes!!!!!! That’s pretty impressive! Anyways…. I picked up my copy of the book last night from my running books stash and dived in. I have to say.. I wouldn’t mind trying an ultra next year — maybe next Jan. But I’m not ready yet this year. DH actually said to me “Why not? It’s only a few miles beyond the marathon and you did that!” I wish he handn’t said that — because I kind of want to try. 

The 50K that B wants to do is really just a low key event. No shirts. No water stations. No fees. Just a bunch of runners shaking off the winter sluggishness. In fact, the “official” name involves the words “fat ass recover from the holidays” if that tells you anything. So…. I don’t “think” I’ll even consider it this year — but I’m tempted. I’ll let you guys know what I decide.

I’ve got a house full of sickies here today. I’ve been fighting a cold the past week and now Wayne, Rebecca, Anneliese and Savannah have it too. Jr and Josh both came down with fevers and tummy aches last night. Good thing I got my run in, so I’ll have the energy to tend to everyone, huh?

12/27/09

Tried out the Wii Fit Plus for the first time today. I had a little trouble figuring out where some of my old favorite workouts went, but ended up finding them after fiddling around for a bit. I’m glad it imported my old information but didnt’ like how it didn’t offer my advanced options on the preset workouts. I did find that setting up several exercises in advance was faster than having to go through the menu after each one, though. I also liked knowing how many calories each activity burned and thought it was fun to choose a calorie goal for each day’s workout. I chose the equivalent of an ice cream (190) for today. I liked having that goal to work towards. It took a bit over an hour since I did several strength and yoga moves which are great for building muscle and core strength but not so great at burning a ton of calories like an aerobic workout. I also liked that multi-player option so the kids can rotate through the fun games more quickly. My favorite new game was the bicycling around the island, and I also enjoyed the snowball fight and island flying game. 

1 hr 3 min on wii fit plus — 190 calories down.  Not bad for a first day.

12/26/09

7.01 miles wearing my awesome new running jacket with the zippered pocket for my cell phone and keys and the thumb holds to keep my hands partly warm. How fun! Ave pace today: 10:41. I hope you each had a very Merry Christmas!

12/23/09

My weight is consistently in the 126’s each morning now, which is pretty good considering all the Christmas treats I’ve been eating. Slow and steady. I have to remind myself of that. I’m really eager to see 125 be a keeper number. Hopefully within a month.

It was cold out there on my run today! Brrrrrr. I needed every layer I wore – which included insulated gloves, a hat and a scarf in addition to the usual gear today. I ran 6.35 miles in 1:07 at an easy pace – averaging 10:40 which included a .20 mile walk at the end to cool down. I hit the 6 mile mark at 1:03. This spring, Bertha and I were doing 6 milers once a week and we’d usually average closer to 1:15 for that. I pulled back on the speed several times in this run today, reminding myself that the real training starts next week. It’s cool to see that my easy runs have gotten faster in the last few months. I did my first 10k in June in 1:02, so today’s easy run wasn’t far off from what I would have considered a very speedy race just a few months ago. Wow. It’s amazing how our bodies adapt and get stronger over time — even when the changes seem so gradual that you hardly notice them on a day-to-day basis sometimes.

I’ll keep playing it conservative, though. Injury is a runner’s worst nightmare and prevention is my motto.  I won’t push the pace or the mileage much until much closer to the race I’ll be training for – and honestly — the race I’m doing has very little to do with speed. No one PR’s this race for a half.  They survive it! So, I’ll have to focus on hill work and strength in my quads and hamstrings to really stay strong out there when others are wanting to quit. My good buddy, D, told me that last year at mile 8 (the summit), she cried and wanted to just sit down and be done with it. I’m nervous to face such a big challenge – but also SO pumped about it! This race has been on my “wish list” since I was a teen and my Mom was the one racing it with my Aunt.  I can’t wait! 

See this grade graph?

That’s what the mountain looks like in the half I’m doing in April. I want to conquer that!

12/21/09

I only had time for a really short run today. Too bad, too, because the weather is pretty optimal for running today. Honestly, my hat, gloves, love sleeved technical shirt and running jacket were too much! I was warm half a mile in and took off the jacket, tied it around my waist and put the gloves in my pocket. I would have probably felt perfect in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt today. The gray skies fooled me!

3.10 miles. Ave pace: 9:55 (includes cooldown walk for last .10) total time: 30:47. My right knee was bothering me a bit today. Not sure why. I’ve started doing my wall sits again to strengthen that area since the race I’m going to be training for next is one giant hill, so I know strong knees will be a real benefit. I’m up to about 2 min in the wall sit/invisible chair hold now before I collapse in a heap on the bathroom floor. Last winter I was up to 3:30 min so it’ll be a while to build back up to that. I read Runner’s World while I hold the pose. It helps distract my mind from my quivering thighs. 

Wt this am was 126.4. After workouts lately, I’m seeing 125.2.  I’m pretty pleased with my weight loss this past month. I still have plenty of squishiness around my midsection, hips and boobs. I think I’m going to add some Pilates DVD’s to my cross training since my core is still the area that needs the most work. I have noticed my posture being better the past couple of weeks from doing the wii fit yoga and strength workouts though. Wayne bought me the Wii fit Plus for Christmas, so it’ll be fun to see what exercises and games they’ve added to that.

12/21/09

Who would have thought that finding a new sports bra would take hours out of my day today as I trekked to three different running stores just to find ONE in my size?! 

The first store I hit is the only one in the area that carries CW-X bras. I tried on everything in the store (which amounted to 6 bras total!) I have to say, I’m disappointed in CW-X this year. The bra I’ve been raving about and running in for the last year and a half is super supportive. Well, that is – it WAS until I lost weight again this year. The day I bought it, I remember jumping up and down (literally) while Wayne and the kids watched and all agreed that it was a true miracle from heaven – my boobs weren’t bouncing.  I’m really not sure what style my old CW-X was, but I think it was the Xtra support Sport one. The new models are NOTHING like the old one! There was no support at all.

So..I headed over to the second running store I’ve bought shoes from. Being the country bumpkin I am, I will also admit to being completely overwhelmed by the traffic, the tall buildings and the parking garages — while trying to get to this second store. I finally found a parking meter – TWO blocks away – and jogged to the running store — only to find that I was half an hour early for their opening. Ugh! What kind of store doesn’t open until 11 am?!

Anyways.. so back in the van, fighting the terrifying Christmas traffic, I meandered my way around town to the last running store I know of in my area, crossing my fingers that I really would be able to find just ONE new sports bra in my size.

The minute I crossed the street (after parking at yet another meter), I knew my Christmas miracle had come! The sidewalk was lined with racks of clearance clothing – including several sports bras!!! The clearance rack alone held twice as many bras as the first store! That was a good sign. I grabbed anything that remotely was near my size and headed into the store — when what to my wondering eyes should appear — but two walls filled with MORE sports bras in every size, color and style imaginable — well, except CW-X – but still! I felt like a kid in a candy store. Or at least a runner girl in a sports bra heaven! 

I started rifling through the racks and found — yes – yes — yes — size 34DD! They even had different colors for my oddball size! Out of nowhere – or perhaps from behind the wondrous, waterfall of water bottles display (seriously) came this plump older woman — all smiles. (I think she was my fairy godmother!) She was so sweet and helpful and she whisked my items off to a private dressing room.

I spent a good half an hour trying on bra after bra and then jogging in place while looking in the mirror. I will say that none of the bras held the girls tight enough to prevent ALL bounce — but, I’m not really sure ANY bra could do that with the size that I am. But.. I found support, cute styles and what I was looking for. I learned a few things too. I didn’t know that some sports bras come with hook-eye closures now, underwire, separate cups (goodbye uniboob – I’ll miss ya! NOT!), adjustable straps that had velcro instead of hooks, and mesh for sweat reduction. It was pretty impressive seeing all that’s available now for those of us who’s cups runneth over with boobies.

I ended up with two bras for the price I’d been planning on spending on one CW-X bra! Both were from a brand called Moving Comfort in the style Maia. It’s a high impact bra, with the hook eye closures on the band for adustable fit, under wire and moisture-wicking fabric. I bought a 34DD in black and a clearance 32D in white. The smaller one fit pretty good when I latched it on the biggest band setting and the 34DD fit best when I placed it on the tightest setting. I’m certain a 34D or 32DD would also have worked fine.

Here’s a picture of my new sports bra, so you can get an idea of what it looks like in person.

Online just now I also see it comes in pink! How cute!