New Year’s Eve Race 2011

Sat, Dec 31
Great New Year’s Eve Race in Stow
Time: 29:31; Pace: 9:30

10 weeks of training comes down to just one race. In some ways I think I was more nervous about today’s race than I was the 1/2 or the full marathon! Okay, maybe not completely. But I was nervous all day long. I’m also used to getting up and doing races first thing in the morning, but this one wasn’t until 4pm so I got the whole day to be nervous!!! It was a great weather day – about 41 degrees and no rain. I wore my warm running pants, long-sleeved tech shirt from Akron and my marathon windbreaker jacket. It was fun to see a few other people in the jackets. As I passed by them in the building, we exchanged the obligatory “nice jacket” comment that meant we were in the same club so that felt good. The race was sold out at 1000 runners which was very exciting! I got there about an hour early in order to get a parking space which worked out fine. I ran into a couple gals from Weight Watchers so it was fun to see them and chat to pass the time. All of a sudden I found myself uber thirsty so I tracked down a swig of Gatorade before heading out. I had my new watch all set and ready and I left the music at home. I just didn’t want to mess with my iPod for a short race, plus I figured my new watch was enough technology for me to manage at one time (true enough I forget to end the run until a few minutes walking around after the race – duh!).

So the whole purpose of this past 10 weeks of training was to get my 5K time under 30 minutes. I have been following a program from the Women’s Running magazine faithfully for the last 2 plus months. So technically the goal was to get under 30 minutes. My personal goal was to get 29 flat. I have gotten under 30 minutes before in races – like once, and then I have had some fast runs on the treadmill My fastest was 29:10. So I figured 29 was within my grasp. True enough. However, what I failed to calculate in were the hills that come with road running. I’m not gonna lie I have been taking it easy on myself in terms of incline on the old treadmill over these months. And it showed in this race. The first mile I was at 9:05 which made me feel great! There was a guy announcing times at mile marker 1 as we ran by. I felt great hearing that. I felt like I was in a good spot. My new watch is awesome because it tracks your pace so I tried to keep it between 8:45 and 9:30…no slower than 9:30, as I’m still not quite sure of its accuracy. For the first time in my “running career” I felt like I was actually racing. I wasn’t competing with anyone else at all, but I was pushing myself harder than ever to reach my goal. I also felt like I was faster than ever and felt more prepared than ever before. I think that interval training is key. I flew down the hills. At mile 2 I was at 18:25 or something so again I felt really great. But remember that hill that I flew down in mile 1? Yeah, coming up it was not pretty. I had to walk for a few seconds – ugh. After that I pushed it all the way through to the end and saw the clock at 29:35. My heart sank. I totally thought I would be under 29. Boo. Rather than be happy about my PR I was disappointed. Mostly because I didn’t put the time in training for hills to be able to conquer it.

After my little pitty party, it was time for party time with friends for New Year’s Eve which was fun and got my mind off of it. Before going to bed I got the email containing the official results and my spirits lifted quite a bit. Not only was my official time actually 29:31 with an average pace of 9:30, but I came in 23rd place out of 67 women in my age group! This felt very good being in the faster 1/2 – almost 1/3! The icing on the cake was that my time for this race last year (same course) was 32:37 so I shaved about 3 minutes off my time!! Okay, all those things put together and I’m feeling much better about the race and like I accomplished another goal. What will be next?! Keep posted to find out!!! Happy New Year!

Unity in the Yoga Room

Fri, Dec 30
Yoga at yoga lounge

Just when I thought Wednesday’s class was the toughest I had ever taken – enter today!! Bloody Hell! It was great! We knew we were in trouble when Melissa announced at the beginning of the class that this was her last class at the studio. As soon as she spoke she totally reminded me of Demi Moore – she had that same raspy voice and she looked exactly like her with dark hair and eyes. She told us that since this was her last day we were going to have some fun! Uh, oh – that could be bad. Well, it was intense alright. We did tons of knee to nose stuff (core stuff) to spice up the flow, but she added some challenging poses too! I rocked crow pose and kept up pretty much with the class except for one time. We had a really full class today and so we were able to do this really cool thing with balancing poses. We lifted our knee up and reached for the person’s hand next to us and then went into airplane pose. It was so much easier to do it with the support from our “neighbors” and it just felt pretty cool. No one cared that we were all sweaty messes. That is the first time I had ever done that and I really enjoyed it! I also found out that yoga lounge is doing teacher training right now – they are at the end of a cycle right now, but I’m going to find out when they will do their next one. I would love to go through teacher training – not necessarily to teach, but just because I’d like to learn more about it. It is quite expensive, however. Someday, maybe…

So close, but no cigar today!

Thurs, Dec 29
3 miles on the treadmill at Life Center
Time: 30:03 – so close!!!

So the workout today (last interval one for this this training cycle) called for me to run 3 miles and in the middle do 6 X 20 seconds at race pace. So I ran a 10min/mile (6.0) and interspersed it with fartleks of 20 seconds at 6.5 or 9:14/mile. My goal then was to get the three done in less than 30 minutes. It didn’t happen!!! The biggest reason was that when I started I was walking slowly as I was trying to set my watch. The watch did not find the sensor so I was convinced that it was a lemon or something because it also did not have any history of my last run listed. Ugh. So I ran and decided to play with the watch afterwards. I walked around the track with it and it still didn’t sense the sensor! At this point I was steaming. Nike seriously hates me!! My husband to the rescue, yet again. He looks at it – presses the option button (which I swear did not work at the gym!) and hits “new sensor”. Sure enough it connected, tracked my workout (shoe hitting the counter) and also put it in the history. Crisis averted!! No matter how much I run, or how much yoga I take, I just can’t seem to temper my “first responder impatience” that is so prevalent in my life. Guess I just need to keep running and taking yoga. What would I be like without it?! Okay – its a deal!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Wed, Dec 28
Yoga at yoga lounge

Okay today’s class was absolutely killer!!! And so great! Kristin taught it. Her style is tough because while we still flow pretty good, she also has us hold poses for quite awhile. We do the same poses as in other classes, but she just kicks them up a notch sometimes. For example rather than just plain old bridge pose, she had us lift one leg up and hold it for like a minute!!!! So hard!! We do that for a few different poses and it is such a good core workout. She also challenges us by throwing in some wild poses in the mix, like the 8 limbed pose that I’ve tried before and I actually kind of get the first part. My one triumph for today’s class was holding crow for a 10-count. That is new for me! Usually it is just like 3 seconds. Towards the end of the class I could have sworn that we had been there for like two hours when Kristin looked at the clock and realized that we were over time. The class was supposed to be from 9:30am – 10:45am and it was like 11am! We still hadn’t done shevasana!! She apologized a bunch, but it did not bother me in the least! It was extra hard and extra long. With all that said, Kristin also kept us focused on the breath. Probably the best all around class I have ever had. I will have to seek out her classes again. The really funny thing is that Amy Cook was listed as the teacher this morning and I was at first disappointed that she was gone. My intention was acceptance and I accepted having another instructor and boy was I pleased!!!

Watch This!

Tues, Dec 27
Ran 4 miles at Life Center (3 on the treadmill and one on the *ugh* track)
Time: 40:49; Pace (5.8 on the treadmill; 10:20/mile)

So I had to skip my run yesterday. I was completely busy from like 7am until like 10pm!! But in a very fun way! My sister and her family came to celebrate Christmas so I made homemade chicken noodle soup and beef au jus sandwiches on weck rolls (especially for my dad!). The meal turned out great and we had a great time just talking and laughing together. The boys had fun together and Zach even had a chance to play his cello for everyone. It was a short visit, but really fun and nice.

So, today I was able to try out my new WATCH at Life Center!!!! Mike gave me the Nike Plus Runner’s Watch for Christmas…Yahoo!!!! It worked great! I was a bit disappointed that it tracked in a similar way to my iPod, however. For example, when the treadmill said I had run 3 miles, the watch said I had run like 3.16 or so. The pace reads faster on the watch, just like my iPod. I was curious how it would do on a track so I tried it for one mile on the track, but it was the same – at least I think so! It is very cool however, and tracks other cool stuff that I haven’t completely figured out yet. I’m sure it will work differently when I’m running outside too. The really nice thing about it is that it is really simple to use and it syncs to Nikeplus.com, the same program I have been using with my iPod.

All I Want For Christmas is a yoga class…

Sat, Dec 24
Yoga at yoga lounge

So, yeah, I was supposed to run today, but I decided to go to yoga instead because I saw there was an hour and a half Amy Cook class and she is just fabulous!! It was a really full class, and terrific as always and I loved that she talked about bringing our intention for our practice into our holiday weekend. My intention was patience and hopefully I can hold firm to it throughout the busy weekend ahead.

Next up: Run on Monday morning, but first Christmas Eve dinner and service and then Christmas brunch and presents!

Running at the Social Club

Fri, Dec 23
Ran 4 miles at Life Center
Time: 41:21; Pace: 10:20/mile

So I realized today why I like to run in the early morning or on my lunch. Those are the times that the other serious workout people are there. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like to have fun running, but I don’t want to waste time by talking if it compromises my workout. Working out is not social time for me and I really cannot take people who, but are mostly talking and hardly moving on the equipment. I mean, why get a sports bra dirty for that. Yes, this should have no affect on me, I understand, but it just bugs me. These skinny women in the cardio room who were “working out” on the wave machines were mostly talking and rather loudly. So, I, of course started singing, rather loudly!! Oh well. My annoyance helped to propel me to finish my workout so I guess no harm done.

Tomorrow – 3 mile run after my WW meeting – then it is Christmas, Christmas!!

Zach + Yoga=NOga!!

Thurs, Dec 22
Yoga at lunch

Well, I tried. I brought Zach to yoga with me today since he came to work with me. He got through a few cat/cow poses, but when we went into out first down dog, he struggled with his wrist. I tried to whisper instructions to him, but he just said, “I can’t do it”. So he sat quietly on his mat for the rest of the class. Ironically, it was a super good class and workout today and he did a good job of not being distracting to anyone. He told me afterwards that he was sure the class was 4 hours long and that it was so boring! I told him that he should probably start with a kids yoga class, but at that point I had totally lost him. Oh well. Perhaps if the yoga lounge ever has a kid demo he might try that. We’ll see.

Running in a Sauna!!

Wed, Dec 21
Ran 4 miles at lunch
Time: 39:32 – PR’d by 2 seconds!!!

So today’s run was pretty awesome. I was supposed to run 4 miles with a fartlek in the middle – so 6 times 1min at an 8:45 pace with 2 min rest. I ended up doing the first 3 fartlek’s at a 6.8 pace (8:49 pace) and then I bumped it up to 6.9 (8:41 pace) for the last 3. My “resting” time was 6.0 (10min/mile) until the last quarter mile when I bumped it up to 6.1 (9:49/mile) just so I could be sure to make my goal of under 40 minutes. I did and come to find out I beat my best time (the Firecracker run in Stow) by 2 seconds!!! Sweet!

It was really hot in there today – like really hot. It probably doesn’t hurt that it is like 50 degrees today, but I didn’t even use my hair dryer because I was sweating so bad after my shower. But no one is around today at work, so no worries about my ragamuffin hair. That felt good. I feel like I will be in great shape for the New Year’s Run. Bring it on!!!

Next up: Yoga tomorrow with Zach!!

What am I…in the circus now?

Tues, Dec 20
Yoga at lunch

Today was good. I thought it might be just like two of us with the holiday week, but there were probably about 6 or 7 of us so that was fun. We did tons of balancing poses today which was different than normal. We did revolving half moon a couple times, standing split a couple times, eagle, airplane, tree and a “holding toe” pose. It was cool because balancing is something I need to work on – in more ways than one!

Next up: running tomorrow at lunch