Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Narragansett Blessing of the Feet 10 Mile Road Race

So last week I was just casually looking for upcoming races in New England. I love to run races, and I think they make me a better runner because otherwise I rarely run that hard. I happened to discover the Narragansett 10 Miler on Thursday - and the race was Friday night. The on site race fee was only $35, so we decided "what the hell" and drove down from Boston for it on Friday.

The weather ended up being pretty bad, and the race was actually delayed for half and hour because of downpours and lightning. But that worked in our favor, because it alleviated some of the stifling humidity. The race set off at 6:30pm on Friday night, which meant almost the entire town pulled out their lawn chairs and coolers to spectate. It was an AWESOME race. Beautiful ocean views, tons of cheering fans - people spraying us with their garden hoses to cool off, and even some dudes offering cans of Natty Light around mile 8. The last 1.5 miles was a steady downhill run as well, which is always nice.

I knew this race wouldn't be an all-out race effort for me, mostly because I'd run hard for the 3 previous days - 7 miles on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday, and 7 on Thursday. It was more of a tune-up effort - and to see how a 10 mile race felt on relatively tired legs. And I can say, it felt better than I thought it would. I mean, it wasn't my best effort, but I am certainly not upset with it.

Miles 1-3 were somewhere around 7:45-8:00, and then I dialed it back because a) we were climbing a long, steady hill, and b) the soreness started yelling at me. But then towards the end I got a second wind and turned it on, concluding with the last mile being my fastest - 7:35. It always feels awesome to finish a race fast - I passed what felt like 100 people in the last mile and sprinted into the finish - the crowd was roaring! That was worth the $35 alone.

Final results: 10 miles, 1:21:24, 8:04 avg pace.

My husband was having some issues during this race and I actually finished ahead of him. Hello, bragging rights! I've been reminding him I beat him all week.

In case you didn't know, the one on the right is the winner in this photo

This race also had a festival/carnival at the end complete with seafood and beer. It was a great race, I highly recommend it!

Now this week is the time to put my big girl panties on - the training plan calls for 50 miles this week. GULP.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dirty Thirty

So I celebrated leaving the 2nd decade of my life in grand style. I subisted off a steady diet of booze and sweet potato fries, and stayed up until at least 4am every night. And I ran zero miles for 6 days. And you know what? I don't regret it at all. Who is lucky enough to get 12 of my friends to come to Vegas to celebrate my 30th birthday? Me!

Sizzling at the Pleasure Pool @ Planet Hollywood (seriously, it was 105 degrees)

My husband, the one man entertainment show

All the girls. Lots of shiny. 

Husband, wearing a much skinnier friend's jacket. Hilarious. "fat guy in a little coat"

Vegas. 30. 

We've been friends for 10 years. Love her.
And there you have it. I bet on 30 on the roulette wheel all weekend and laughed my ass off all weekend. Especially at the girls at the club wearing dresses so short that their Spanx were hanging out the bottom. Girl, that means it's not your dress!

I did a 7 mile run yesterday and was surprisingly fast considering how terribly I'd treated my body over the last 4 days. 7 miles, 8:10 avg. 2 miles in the middle with 10x100 strides.

I also came home with $25 in ones. Strip club, anyone? :) haha... I kidd, I kidd... (maybe)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Saying goodbye to my 20s...

Today is my last day to be 29. Sigh. Oh well. I'm going to choose to embrace it. :) It just seems like I could spend my 20s having fun and putting off big life things, and now it's all in my face. I can at least put it off for another few days because today we are flying to...

I'm going to go out of my 20's in grand fashion! Another friend of mine (who is 2 weeks younger than me) is also coming and it will be joint festivities. We'll be meeting 12 friends there to have LOTS of fun. Which means I probably won't be doing much running this week. :) More of this:

last year
This week's running was pretty successful.

Sunday - 14.41 miles, 8:49 avg/pace (5 miles in the middle at 8:15-20)
Tuesday - 9 miles, 5 at 15K pace (7:50 pace)

My knees were pretty sore after Sunday's run, and then were really sore after yesterday's run. Since I haven't trained for a full marathon in 3 years, I think it's just the unpleasant side effect of getting them stronger. Also, yesterday, I was wide awake at 3:30 am because I was STARVING. I finally caved and got up to eat something at 4:30. Another side effect of marathon training - RUNger. 

So considering the highs in Vegas are around 105 this week, I don't think we'll be doing any long runs at all. I packed my new running clothes - Thanks, K! - but I am unsure we'll be able to do more than a couple miles. The gym at our hotel is pay-per-use, and let's be honest, I'll save my dollas for martinis (I've got priorities). 

New stuff:

I swear my top and shorts match

Also, I got a lot of regular clothes too but I won't bore you with the details. Several dresses for my trip and some shoes (shhh, don't tell anyone they are Easy Spirits). Old age has already set it...

Talk to you next week!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Running while out of town and big life things (like entering new decades)

I spent most of this week in Connecticut visiting friends. It was glorious. A brief reprieve from the city, and laughing a lot with friends I haven't been able to spend any real time with in years. These girls were my rocks when we were all new to the life of being a submarine wife (rhyme, anyone?) in Hawaii. Now we are all old pros at this weird lifestyle and we can laugh and drink wine while exchanging our latest crazy stories. We refer to each other as 'husbands' since ours were always out to the damn sea (that whore).

yes to pastries and friends
I ran 6 miles (with 10x100m strides thrown in) on Tuesday, which conveniently landed me in the North End, so I bought pastries to take with me to CT. I might have been the most loved person in the room that night! I know the way to my friend's hearts - cannolis, whoopie pies, and cream puffs!

The weather seemed cooler down there and I enjoyed my runs. It was slightly unnerving to run on quiet, residential roads with no real sidewalks, though. I did 5 on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. I think Thursday was my first official mid-week double digit run of this training cycle. I ran along the waterfront, which consisted of a lot of dilapidated houses (so sad, if only someone could save them) and then out to this beautiful point:
Ocean mist, ahhhhh
I liked the point so much I looped around it twice. Then we all went to the outlet stores for a little retail therapy. It was good week indeed. As much as I love Boston, sometimes you need to escape the hustle and get away.

So this is also big week in my life, I guess. I am in my last week of my 20s. I will be 30 next week. And honestly I thought I'd be totally cool with it, but suddenly I'm finding myself freaking out a little inside (and outside now, since I told all of you). I feel like I should have more things figured out by now; that generally I should have my shit together a little better than I do currently. I find myself thinking that maybe I dress to immaturely, or that I need to start up a new career. Basically, it's a a total mind game. I might write more on this later, but for now I'll keep my lamenting to myself.

We are going to Las Vegas to ring in my new decade (along with 12 other friends!), which probably means my marathon training will be shot to hell next week. Honestly, I'm not heartbroken over that. It's early enough in my training cycle that I think I might benefit from a little bit of a break. Now I just need to go shopping and find a really shiny, Vegas-worthy dress!

Also, big life things... sigh... I am seriously considering going off birth control. While I'm not quite ready to expand our family, I think it might not be in my too distant future, so I am considering pulling the plug on the pill. Has anyone else had any experience with quitting the pill while marathon training? I have not been off the pill in over 10 years. From what I recall, my periods were normal, if maybe on the heavy side. On the pill they are almost non-existent (like 2-3 days). This is certainly freaking me out, but I think it might be better to do it now. If anyone has any insight or experience, I'd love to hear about it.

It's supposed to be 90+ in Beantown this week so it's looking like Sunday's 15-miler will be done at the crack of dawn. I'm (not) looking forward to it. It exhausts me just thinking about it, but it's got to be done.

And on that note, I'll sign off.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Long Run Sunday & Week recap

I ran 8 miles on Friday, and aimed to do 4 miles at lactate threshold (15K-half marathon pace) but again wilted in the heat. Friday and Saturday were super hot and humid and I definitely suffered.

lots of sweat
I think I managed 3 at 8:10 pace and then had to slow down. I then realized I had a Gilt City deal for yoga that expired that day, so like an idiot I went to yoga after my super sweaty 8-miler. I told myself it was only a 1-hour class and it would feel good. Well the instructor must have sensed I was already exhausted, because she proceeded to inflict on us the hardest 60-minute yoga class ever. I think I sweat more in that class than I did on my run. 

Got this on both sides though!

By that afternoon was I totally exhausted and guzzling water like a champ. I rested and then realized we needed to get moving, so the only solution for my terrible hair was a braid. This is my most successful fishtail to date.

I'm so proud

We went to see Ted (which was totally hilarious) and then for cocktails:

jalepeno-infused tequila concoction for me, bourbon fest for Mr. K

We got some food and got home at a decent hour and went to bed. But the next day I felt like death all day, and I am positive it wasn't the cocktails. I think I just overdid it. I could barely walk around the harbor without wanting to stop and sit down.

So I guess today's medium-long run was pretty uneventful. It was hot, hot enough for me to take my shirt off and just run in a sports bra - which is really hot, because I hate my stomach. I am perfectly normal height/weight, but my stomach has always been meh. Will probably always be meh, and I've become okay with that.

Sidenote: I had a conversation with my husband a few nights ago about how running finally made me stop obsessing over food and my weight. It made me care less about what the scale said or the size of my clothes, and more about treating myself well so that I can perform to the best of my abilities. I have never been good at any sports, or been athletic at all - running has given me the experience to finally feel accomplished in that arena. I don't need to be a size 2 - I need to be strong so I can perform well!

So anyway, I set out to run today, and had a really hard time getting into it. I am not so good at short distances - it usually takes me a couple miles before I feel good and 'in the groove.' Today I would say I didn't feel like I hit my stride until mile 5 or 6. And I was right where I wanted to be pace-wise (about 90% of MGP) and then around mile 9, I misjudged my step and stumbled off the curb trying to accommodate an oncoming cyclist, and immediately felt I twinge in my general hip flexor/psoas area. It progressively got worse until I decided to throw in the towel around mile 12 and go home. I walked to Kenmore and took the T home. (sorry to those who were offended by my sweatiness)

12.12 miles, 8:47 avg/pace. First 3 miles were over 8, last 9 were under. Blah.

So I totally realized a couple hours ago that I signed up for a 5K that is tomorrow night. Oops? I am not sure that I will do it, and if I do, it certainly won't be a PR effort. We'll see. I also have my cardio echogram tomorrow. Fingers crossed I have a totally normal, boring heart.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And the medical advice says...

So, I saw a doctor today about my chest pain. They did an EKG and she said it looks pretty normal, and she is going to have the cardiologist review it. The little EKG stickers pulled off my self tanner so now I have white squares on my arms, legs, and chest. Cute.
My favorite part: being told to 'just relax' after being hooked up to a zillion wires

She thought she heard a slight heart murmur, but she thinks it's harmless, but scheduled a cardio echo just to be sure. I'll go back for that next week. She kept saying, "it's probably nothing" even though I assured her I wasn't freaking out.
cardio echo

No lumps/cysts - so the verdict is - she thinks it's muscular. She said I shouldn't lift weights or do strenuous upper body work for a while. Not sure how I feel about that, because I really like lifting weights and I really like yoga (especially arm balances). *super sad face*

So I was sent home with some lidocaine pain patches. At least she didn't tell me to stop running. We would have had words if it came to that.

I ran 8 miles this morning. Finally got up and went early. Not quite early enough - the goal was 10 - but I ran out of time. I'll squeeze in 2 more later today.

I was entertaining the idea of running a 4th of July 5K tomorrow - because I am never one to miss an opportunity to wear a red, white, and blue running outfit - but I may not. Perhaps I'll just wear my outfit anyway for my 4 miles recovery run.

Monday, July 2, 2012

We are in for a long summer...

In case you haven't noticed, or you live in some fabulous location where you are immune to heat waves (jealous side eye coming your way), it's HOT. And I do not run well in heat.

Yesterday my husband and I set out to run 13 miles, with 8 miles near goal marathon pace. We made the mistake of not waking until 6:30 and sort of slowing getting ready. We didn't get out the door until 8:00 or so. Dumb. We are so dumb.

My husband just finished a really stressful summer term of grad school, and hasn't run more than 10 miles a week all month. Yet he agreed to go on this run. I am not sure if he's awesome or slightly crazy.

Miles 1-4 were at around a 9:10 average, and we never really got near goal pace. Miles 5-8 were 8:20 average, and by that point it was really, uncomfortably hot. We both shed our shirts around mile 9 and then decided to call it quits at 10.75 miles. We then ducked into a running store to 'look around' (i.e. steal their air conditioning). After we cooled off we went into a nearby grocery store for coconut water and chocolate milk (well, coffee milk for me - SO GOOD!). And then we took the train home. I still call it a success, because we actually got out there and did something.

10.75 miles, 8:46 avg pace. 

I normally just use gels for fueling, but I took the Gu Chews yesterday - the Peach Tea flavor (2X caffeine, I am a caffeine hound). They were really good. K forgot to take gels (!) which isn't good because he's a big dude (6'1", 185) and needs to fuel more than I do. I shared my chews with him; he was very grateful. He didn't even tell me he forgot his gels - around 9.5 I was grabbing for some chews and asked if he wanted one and he yelled "YES!" in a super desperate tone, as if he was starving. haha.

We both returned home covered in a full-body crust of salt. Gross. We then subjected ourselves to the torture chamber - hot/cold contrast therapy. It works, but man, getting in a tub full of cold water is just cruel.

His face says it all, really.
So I hit my mileage goal this week - 5 runs, 36 miles. 

Today we finally cashed in a Gilt City deal and went to a RealRyder indoor cycling class. I've been once before, a few months ago. I used to spin 3-4 a week when I lived in CA; but since moving here, it just hasn't been a reality to do it as often. RealRyder bikes are meant to mimic the road bike a bit more, in that they move and you can make left and right 'turns'. It was a good cross-training workout, and I am sure that my ass will be very sore tomorrow.
Taint torture, right there.
So, do you other runners out there do other stuff for cardio cross training? I might hit up the gym a little later for a weight workout. We'll see.

Also, I'll be running at 6am for the rest of the summer. Guess I'll need to start going to bed at 9...