Laps for Laura – Week 14 and Race Day!

May 19, 2014

My last week of preparation for the race was uneventful. Here was my summary:

Mon – 3 miles outside at lunch
Tues – Yoga at lunch
Wed – 3 miles outside at lunch
Thurs – out to lunch – my bday!
Fri – quick 2 miler at lunch
Sat – REST

Sunday – RACE DAY!
I got up about 4:15am in order to have time to get dressed, eat breakfast, use the bathroom, etc and leave the house by 5am. My awesome husband and son were up too as they were dropping me off and staying to cheer me on! I was meeting Angie downtown at 6am. On Saturday night before going to bed I got the idea to wear Laura’s scarf (the one I got her for Christmas this past year) on my race belt in order to have her with me and be a reminder about why I was running. Mike liked the idea so I put it on me it all its purple glory!

Par for the course I slept terribly the night before the race -tossing and turning and almost having panic attacks over getting a good time, disappointing my runner friend, Angie, etc. I’m not sure why I do this to myself, but it happens! Angie and I had agreed a couple days before that we were just going to run have fun with it and just do it together. So, the pressure should have been off, right? Right!

We got a great parking place downtown and were at the meeting spot 10 minutes before 6am! Hey, I’m just glad I didn’t have to park myself and have the “epic fail meet up” that happened in Columbus with Angie. It is so helpful to have someone else drive on race day. I’m directionally challenged as it is and there is just too much else to think about!

It was a chilly, but clear morning (about 38 degrees), so I started off the day in running pants, my new “Challenger” shirt, a throw-away zip-up hoodie ($5 from the Thriftstore) and a garbage bag.

Crazy like a fox!

Angie and I confirmed again that we were not in this to PR or prove anything. We just wanted to honor my sister-n-law and have fun running together.

The crowd

Ready to go!

We started off and things were pretty uneventful. I ditched my sweatshirt and my cheap gloves about 1 mile in and the sun was a welcome site coming up ahead of us. The weather actually was perfect for running. We talked a bit here and there, but mostly just ran at the beginning. We stopped at the first 2 water stops just to make sure we were staying hydrated. Every now and then I would be aware of the scarf moving around to my front a bit and I just moved it back. It didn’t bother me at all – it was just a reminder to me of my intention for this race. We got through the 10K marker without incident and we were both feeling good. We were enjoying the sights and sounds along the route and the people along the way. I was in rare form yelling cheers out to the fellow runners, etc. Hey, someone has to stay peppy, right? I remember telling Angie that I wished I didn’t even have my watch on me. I kept checking our pace, but I really didn’t want to focus of that. I just wanted this race to be based on how I felt. I started talking about Laura then and how she had so many, many friends from around the globe. It dawned on me then that that is what this race should be about – friendship! After that point I relaxed more. I actually got physically hungry around mile 9 so we took a little stroll and ate our Gu stuff and drank water. Then about mile 10 we passed the lake and it was absolutely beautiful! We decided to stop and take a selfie!! Now, those who know me well know that I would NEVER do something like that during a race! I’m always so focused on time and in the zone and I have always poo-poo’d people who did stuff like that. I mean, have fun? Hey, this is a race – it is serious business!!!

Mile 10 selfie

But I’ll tell you what – it was FUN and a very freeing feeling!! I’m so glad we did it! I mean when else can you take a pic in the middle of the shoreway in Cleveland??!!

The last 3 miles were a struggle for us both in different ways. Angie was struggling to keep on going due to a less than stellar training experience (by her own admission). I, on the other hand, was struggling to slow down a bit and fight the urge to give my 100%. I had committed to my friend and that was more important than time. We came into the finish holding hands and that meant the world to me. So, no, I did not leave it all on the road this time, but I did give my all for my friend and I think Laura would have liked that. It was my slowest time for the half at 2:35:21, but the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. Thank you for the lesson, Laura!

Laps for Laura – Week 13

May 11, 2014

Well, it is getting closer!! Next week at this time I will have the Cleveland half (#2) behind me! I’m feeling ready! I had a strong 6 miles this Mother’s Day morning and once I get in the grove with all the people and the adrenaline I’ll be good to go! Plus I’ll be remembering my dedication for the race and that will get me through for sure! I’m excited to meet up with a friend and run with her – or at least start the race with her! Last time we planned to do that in Columbus it was an epic fail, but this time I will have a different plan! I was happy to get a little more yoga in this week, but still want to get even more in.

Here is the summary of my week this week:
Mon – Ran 45 minutes at lunch outside
Tues – Yoga at lunch
Wed – Ran 4 miles at lunch outside
Thurs – Yoga at lunch
Fri – Rest day – cleaning my room and shopping!
Sat – Rest day
Sun – Ran 6 miles in the morning – so nice to run in the morning! I got out at 7am – literally right out of bed into my running shoes. No breakfast or coffee or anything – just a few sips of water. That is the first time I’ve done that and it proved to not be a very good plan, but I didn’t want to eat and wait for the hour, digest, bathroom, etc so I just went. I felt pretty good for about the first 4 miles, but then I felt that my body needed energy. Note to self: I think the limit on a “get up and run with no food” would be probably 3 miles. It was foggy at first with no cars; just the sound of the birds and my breath. I felt strong – 63 minutes for 6 miles – not too shabby for me. Now this week is just a few small runs and mentally preparing for the race on Sunday!

Laps for Laura – Week 12

May 4

Whew – last long run week!! The week to run 11!! And….I ran 6!! Yikes!! This weekend’s shorter run was due partly to a busy family schedule, partly to the rainy weather and, I’m not gonna lie, partly to my lazy butt!! But hey, for my last half in October my longest run was a 10 miler and I PR’d so I’m feeling confident…ish…Ready or not, here comes the two taper weeks. And, in other news I got more yoga in so…yay! And I ordered my Challenger shirt so I’m stoked that I will hopefully get it in time to wear it for the half in Cleveland.

Here is how this week come together…(basically a yucky weather week…at least when it was time to run!!)
Mon – Ran 3 on the tread in the morning before work
Tues – Power Yoga Xtrain at lunch
Wed – Ran 4 miles on the tread at lunch
Thurs – Power Yoga Xtrain at lunch
Fri – Rest day (lunch out with the staff)
Sat – Hiking with the fam (2 miles); Ran 6 on the tread in the eve
Sun – Slow flow yoga evening (just what I needed – very relaxing!!)

Ready to rock the next week!

Laps for Laura – Week 11

April 27

This week was the opposite of last week. It started out strong and got progressively yuckier as the week went on. Most of the runs were on the treadmill which in general is not usually good, but I had one great one! Here is the summary:
Mon – Rest day
Tues – 6am yoga and then awesome 4 miles on the tread at lunch! Could and should have run longer, but that dumb work thing got in the way, darn it!
Wed – 40 minutes on the tread at lunch
Thurs -Yoga at lunch
Fri – 35 min on the tread at lunch
Sat – Spent the entire day (literally 7:30am – 7:30pm) at Zach’s lacrosse tournament. We walked all over the place and then I walked about a mile during one of the breaks. No running, but we were wiped out from being outside in all day and really windburned!! Whoooopped!
Sun – Supposed to run 7. I was completely unmotivated, however. It all started with skipping church. We were tired (and Zach was sore) from the tournament yesterday so we skipped church. We did some much needed summer clothes shopping for Z, lunch and groceries and then I needed to get my run done. I had suggested that we go to towpath and the boys ride bikes while I run. I just needed a little extra push today. However, the “we’ll see” answer that I got earlier in the day turned into a big fat no later from the boys. Feeling less and less motivated, I decided to sit down and watch a little television before heading out (mistake). I got sucked into an episode of “My 600-pound Life”. Now, that will motivate me, right?! Just how many episodes of the show “My 600-pound Life” would it take to motivate you to get off the frickin’ couch?!! Well for me today it took two. Yes, I sat through two full episodes of this show before getting my butt out the door!! Have you seen it? They suck you in and then you have to see what happens to these poor people. So after there was a positive resolution to Chuck’s gastric by-pass surgery I finally snapped out of it and laced up the kicks. I was still unmotivated to run 7 so I made up a plan during the first mile. I’ll run half this afternoon and then the rest in the morning before work…yeah, that will work! Do you ever do this? Please tell me I’m not the only one who makes bargains and deals with herself at times in terms of training goals, etc. So, that is what I did. I ran 3 – came back home and coaxed the family into a mile walk before dinner. So tomorrow morning I’m on the hook for 4 miles. Maybe I should have just gone to church!

Laps for Laura – Week 10

April 20, 2014

Good solid week with two runs on the treadmill (snow and cold again!) and two runs outside. The runs got increasingly better as the week went on. Here is this week’s summary with a little narrative to go along with each:

Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – 6am yoga; Lunch run on the tread (4 miles) – very hot and ugly run in the Corbo room at work.
Wednesday – 3 miles on the tread at lunch – supposed to do 50 minutes, but my legs were so tired and made of lead!
Thursday – Rest day
Friday – Morning run – 5 miles outside. I witnessed a truck get stuck underneath the railroad overpass near my house which made me sad for the driver, but on the bright side it also made me alter my route home and so I had a longer and different run which I was longing for anyways.
Saturday – Rest day
Sunday – 10 mile long run after church on Easter Sunday. My original plan was to get up early on Saturday, but I bagged that due to fun coloring Easter eggs, etc. So then plan B was to get up on Sun morning early to get it in, but that got bagged because it would have been too rushed. We had to get Zach to church early to cook for the Easter breakfast (he was the “sausage chef”). So, plan C was to get out there immediately after church. Success!! It was like 63 degrees with a nice breeze and I tried out a pair of new shorts! Once I got more than three miles in I felt in the zone. It is funny how that always happens, but it is so true – the first 2-3 miles seem to always be the hardest – at least during training runs. I’m just glad that it was fair weather and that I could run outside with no problem. I still miss yoga, but that just seems to be how things are going for me for this training cycle. I’ll make more of an intention to get back on my mat again this week!!

Laps for Laura – Week 9

April 13,

Wrapped up another great week today! This weekend the weather was absolutely fantastic – like we just jumped right into summer, but I couldn’t get out until this afternoon for my long run just due to schedules, etc. It was a pretty awful run even though it was just 6 miles. And what did I learn from it? Well, let’s see….

1. I need to drink hydrate better before running when it is 77 degrees! I noticed I stopped sweating – bad sign.
2. I need to go out earlier in the summer – bring back the 6am runs!! I’ve gotten in the habit of running long on Sunday afternoons, but that is just not going to cut it in the summer. I need to recommit to early runs, like pronto!
3. I have to remember that it is another transition to warmer weather and my runs aren’t going to be the same at first. I had to walk off and on, I was slower and it pretty much sucked. I kept having thoughts about being mad at myself for being slow, but then I remembered that I was not used to the heat. So many life lessons to learn!

Here was my summary for the week – all outside runs!!!
Mon – Rest day
Tues – 4 miles outside at lunch
Wed – 3 miles outside at lunch
Thurs – Yoga at lunch
Fri – 4.6 miles outside at lunch
Sat – Rest day – running around
Sun – 6 miles outside (too warm)

Laps for Laura – Week 8

April 6

Great week wrapped up by a long run that served as a transition from treadmill to outside!! I didn’t want to run the entire 9 outside so I split it up – 6 miles outside today on a beautiful afternoon and then 3 miles on the treadmill. The outside part of the run was awesome. The temperature was perfect and it was sunny with just the right amount of wind. I just did an out and back around Hudson. But the real challenge came with the last 3 treadmill miles. Ugh. I had to dial down the speed 3 notches. Thankfully my dear hubby came in and turned some music and the fan on so I was able to push through. Whew – tough run!! Hopefully, now I can just run the rest of the long runs outside. Still need more yoga in my life, but enjoying having breakfast with my hubby more than the 6am’s right now!!! All is well.

Summary of my workout week:
Mon – Rest Day
Tues – 6 am yoga; 3 miles outside at noon
Wed – 3 miles outside at noon
Thurs – 30 minutes on the ellipitical at noon
Fri – 3 miles on the treadmill at noon
Sat – Rest Day
Sun – 9 mile long run (6 miles outside followed by 3 miles on the tread)

Laps for Laura – Week 7

March 30, 2014

Felt like a pretty good week this week even though I was still lacking on yoga time. I really do miss it and need to commit to practicing at home when I can’t get to the studio. This week my son was on spring break and my husband was out of town midweek so I took the day off Wednesday to spend the day with him. I still got a great run in that morning so it worked out well!! We had a blast at the trampoline gym so got some unplanned “crosstraining” time in there!! The real highlight of the week was spending the weekend with my college roommate and her hubby. We visited them in Pittsburgh and had such a great time reminiscing, and getting caught up with lots of laughter. We were totally spoiled with wonderful home-cooked breakfasts (the hashbrowns were amazing) and homemade cinnamon rolls!! Such a treat!! Needless to say this week’s food was on the rich side, but so delish!! Need to tone it done a bit this week and get back to basics. Got only 3 runs in this week, but got the long one in today even after being up late the last couple of nights!! Feels good. Ready for another awesome week – getting closer to spring, I hope!!!

This week’s summary:
Monday – rest day
Tuesday – Ran 40 min on the tread at lunch
Wednesday – Ran 47 min on the tread in the am before my day out with my dude; Trampoline “crosstraining”
Thursday – 6am yoga – 60 min
Friday – Rest day – Went to Pittsburgh Science Center and walked all over!
Saturday – Rest day – Went to the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium
Sunday – Ran long run – 8 miles on the tread – watched a movie on the iPad and it made the run much better!!

Laps for Laura – Week 6

Back on track, people! 🙂

So, I started the week bummed because I was worried about my foot and feeling behind in my training schedule since I skipped my long run last week. But this week was much better! I got in to see my trigger point massage therapist and she worked miracles, as always on me! I had a successful long run today and feel much better about the upcoming week! I still need more yoga in my week so hopefully I can get to more 6am classes to round out my training. Plus, yoga is just so good in general – I so miss it when I don’t practice regularly. I have to remember too that I can do an at home practice – I was so good about doing it on vacation, but of course that is without the distraction of the dog, people, chores, etc…and plus I was either at the pool or at the beach!!! Really hard NOT to practice at those places!!!

So here is the summary of my week:
Mon – Ran 35 min at noon on the tread
Tues – Yoga (60 min) at noon
Wed – Ran 35 min at noon on the tread
Thurs – Rest day
Fri – Ran 35 min at noon on the tread
Sat – Ran 3 miles interval (run 2 min/walk 2 min) for 37 min with my hubby outside!!
Sun – Ran 6 miles (long run) on the treadmill (small incline for 4 miles at 5.7; then for the last mile increased pace by one level each 1/4 mile)

About 19 miles in total; 60 min of cross-training

Laps for Laura – Week 5

March 16, 2014

This week was a little rough. I didn’t feel quite right and then we also got hit with another winter storm. It is not hard to get in a funk with this ongoing winter this year! Plus, I have some sort of issue (I won’t say injury yet) with my right ankle/foot/heel. I can’t exactly tell what it is yet, but it even hurts during yoga! After consulting with my “challengers” on facebook (awesome group of runners who formed this wonderful and supportive online community), I decided to take a rest day today rather than run my 7. I am also going to contact my trigger point massage therapist to have her work on my foot. Hopefully I can get in this week. I’m just bummed – never had this issue before. I don’t want to get behind in my training, but I also don’t want to make this situation into an injury. One day at a time, right?!

Here is my summary from this week:
Mon – Rest day
Tues – Yoga at noon (60 min)
Wed – Ran 40 min on the treadmill
Thurs – Yoga at noon (60 min)
Fri – Ran 3 miles on the treadmill at lunch
Sat – Yoga – 90 min
Sun – Rest day