Sunday, April 21, 2013

Goals for Summer

This summer and fall will be the first time I will have had a busy race schedule planned out. This isn't a huge surprise considering I've only been running a year, but it will include some experimenting with training plans.

During the first half of the summer I'm hoping to just sort of wing it with mileage. This week I'm hoping to make a plan of my own until I can start my marathon training for this December. I figure if I'm going to start planning my miles I should probably have some goals in mind.

Summer Goals:

1. Do more cross training.
I would really like to have some more yoga, swimming, cycling, and weight training during my running schedules. I'm looking to be as well rounded of an athlete as I possibly can.

2. Work on speed.
After my surprising half marathon finish time, I would really like to boost my speed workouts and become faster this year.

3. Stretch and foam roll more often
I still have a bit of an issue with tight IT bands and I know foam rolling and stretching will definitely help lessen this problem.

4. Enjoy my rest days.
I definitely enjoy my rest days now, but seeing as this summer might be the last one before I get a big kid job, I want to take as many adventures as possible and really work on crossing things off my bucket list!

Hopefully I can use my summer to my full advantage and get better as an athlete and as a runner!

Until next time!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Florida hot

I LOVE hot weather! Growing up in Michigan my summers were definitely still full of 80 degree days, but the weeks we came to Disney World were another level of hot. There's a big difference in 85 degrees for each place, to say the least.

I still love it though. I would much rather be hot than cold. However, I have no idea how people can run at noon on any day above 70ish in Florida. Are you crazy?? How are you not dying of heat exhaustion??

Apparently my body doesn't do well like this. "But you'll sweat," they say!. "It'll be great," they say! Oh yes, until my pace drops to a jog of a 25 minute mile pace and I'm keeling over to die.

Needless to say I do not enjoy running I'm the heat. I would much rather run in the evening. The sun is going down, it's getting cooler, there are less people out, the sky is beautiful, and oh yeah, it's not HOT!!

You'll have to forgive my extreme opinion on the matter and I really do think people who run during the middle of the hot Florida sunshine are nutso, but if you aren't passing out and dying, all the more power to ya.

Thoughts on running in the heat?

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I am Boston

Yesterday was extremely devastating to me. The events at Boston were so horrific and they hit so close to home. I think anyone who has ever run a race or seen one in progress understands what I mean.

That could have been me. That could have been my family, my boyfriend, or my friends. While I may not know anyone directly affected, they are my family and friends. I am a runner. I am what happened at Boston. It will forever be a part of who I am as an athlete. I may never qualify or run Boston, but I was a part of this years race. Everyone in the running community was.

We must stand together and be the fighters each one of us is. We will move past this terrible event and we will grow stronger.

My thoughts go out to everyone in Boston and anyone affected by this tragedy. You are so incredibly strong.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Race Calendar

I'm finally starting to plan out my race calendar for the year. I realize most people do this in January, but I was so focused on the Tour de Pain: Extreme that I didn't really look at anything else.

I'm hoping to get at least one run in every month after August. While I've only signed up for 1 race this fall, here are the plans I'm hoping go through!

August: Tour de Pain in Jacksonville, FL

September: ? I'm hoping for a 10k, but I would be ok with a few 5k's

October: Marine Corp Half in Jacksonville

November: Disney's Wine and Dine Half in Orlando, Fl. I have signed up for this one!

December: Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa, Fl

Better late than never right?

Also, Good Luck to everyone running Boston today!! What an exciting day of racing!!

Until Next time!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Post Race Blues

Two weeks after my amazing weekend of races (recaps herehere, and here), I have been struggling with the post race blues. I took an entire week of running after the race to do nothing but stretch and relax. This week I have spent every day since Tuesday doing some form of cross training.

School offers so many different group fitness classes that I figured if I could find a friend or two to join me, I would have a better chance of going. This week I attended a total body class, a core class, a cycling class, and a total body adventure class. I also ran (this is a loose term) 2 miles and went to the gym where I did 2 miles on the treadmill and some weights.

I loved the total body class. This kicked my butt and made me realize how much I want to be a more well rounded athlete. I was sore for days!!

I also greatly enjoyed my core class and the total body adventure class I took. Core was basic. 30 minutes and a great workout with a great teacher. TBA was taken outside and we did circuits for most of it. I LOVED this. It was definitely hard, but I enjoyed every minute of it. And we saw a lady with her huge bunny outside. Did you know bunnies get that big??

Not the same bunny, but still huge!
On to the gym day with my boyfriend. Again, I just haven't really had the motivation to do much running. The 2 miles on the treadmill were killer. My body was fine, but my mind won and I got off at 2. Here's the really cool thing. I walked over to Tim, who had been benching on the bench machine, and he caught me staring at the regular bench. "Want to try?" I have no idea why this response came out of my mouth "Yeah," but it did. First time benching. It was HARD!! He had me do 10 with just the bar, 8 with 50lbs, and 6 with 55lbs. Those were the hardest. But hey! I did it!! Who would have thought?? Not me, that's for sure.

I'm really looking forward to testing my body and pushing it to it's limits and becoming a better runner and better athlete!!

Until next time!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tour de Pain: Extreme 5k

After my amazing half marathon that Saturday morning, Tim and I went back the hotel to rest and shower and stretch. Side note, the race had physical therapy students from the University of North Florida there to stretch people out. My amazing boyfriend observed exactly how they stretched my IT bands and surprised me by stretching them for me later that day. How great is he??

Jaguar's Stadium

Anyways, after we checked out we headed to the beach. I've never been to Jacksonville before this so it was exciting to cross another beach off my list. It was gorgeous out. We didn't have swimsuits, but walking with our feet in the ice cold water was still very fun. It was a beautiful day, but the beach wasn't terribly crowded so this made it amazing.

After our lovely walk, we headed to Tim's friend's house to chill until we all had to go back for the 5k. I'm not going to lie I enjoyed doing nothing and relaxing for the afternoon.

We all headed back around 5 so we had time to be there and get situated before the 6pm 5k began. I have to tell you that after running a 10k and a half marathon in less than 24 hours, a 5k is the last thing you'd like to do.

The 5k had a similar course to the other races, but obviously shorter. My body hated this race. I must have walked close to half of it. I would have walked across the finish line if a lovely woman hadn't said "Come on girl, you can do it!" about .25 before the finish. Thank you random stranger! You are awesome!!

Struggle Bus to the finish

I still finished in 33:57. Not my best 5k ever, but I can't really complain for how much I had put my body through already.

New friends and our new medals!

Overall, this was a fantastic weekend. I greatly enjoyed getting to know Tim's old friends better, seeing new places, going to the beach, spending time with my man, and running some great races. I'm not sure if I would do this one again, but you can bet I'll be doing the regular Tour de Pain come August!!

Until Next Time!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tour de Pain: Extreme Half Marathon

Walking into the half marathon Saturday morning at 7am I had hoped to run in under 2:30 and was actually hoping to maybe get closer to 2 hours and 20 minutes if i was really feeling good. Either way I would be besting my previous PR by about 26 minutes and that is something to be proud of.

Tim in 2 hats and my sunglasses around his neck! Silly goose!
The morning of, Tim and I got there early and met up with his 2 friends who live there now and chatted a bit to waste time. It definitely helped calm my nerves. The weather was nice, but a little chilly and while everyone else was taking off their long sleeves I kept mine on. (I would later regret this and ran 12.1 of my miles with it off.) Before we knew it we were lining up at the line and ready to go.

This course also included the big blue bridge in the beginning and my first mile came out to 10 something. At mile 2 I watched the sunrise here. It was breathtaking. After that I got a sort of push and was teetering just under 10 minute pace.

Ran this quite a few times over the 3 races! 

Sunrise over the bridge above. 
By mile 4 I had started to follow this girl who was pushing low to mid 9 pace and I kept with her until about mile 9.5. I really credit this girl with helping push me through. After that I started to drop off severely. My pace dropped and I needed fuel. Which I got at mile 10 thank goodness, but my pace still suffered. I went from pacing in the 9's to high to low 11 at the finish.

Booking it to the finish

None of this seemed to matter though because that 2:20? Yeah. I blew it out of the water. I ran my half marathon in 2:11:40. Talk about success!! I got a PR and bested my last time by about 45 minutes! Now I hadn't run a half marathon in just over a year, but that's quite an accomplishment. I have to say that I never thought that was possible. It made this race so special and I was so proud of what I had done.

I am a champion. I am an athlete. I am a runner.

Until next time!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tour de Pain: Extreme 10k

The amazing tour de pain: extreme series in Jacksonville started with a 10k at 7pm last Friday night. I have to preface this with the fact that I had never run a 10k before!! I was nervous and very excited about the new distance and an automatic personal record. This race wasn't too big and I was happy it wasn't going to be super crowded.

T and I got there early so I could do a little warm up and get my time chip. We did some exploring and then I kissed him goodbye as I headed towards the starting line. I knew I didn't want to go all out on this race and tried to keep it as easy of a pace as possible, knowing I still had 2 races to go!

The 10k course was a down and around that included both bridges near the Jacksonville landing, an overpass, and a pedestrian bridge. Having looked briefly at the course before hand, I hadn't noticed this at all. Oh well. All the more challenge for me!

big bridge and sunset!

I got some great sunset pictures though! It was nice to not have to worry too much about the timing and just really enjoy the course. And I did, as I suffered running over the big bridges. One, I might add, that didn't have a solid bottom so you could just look down and see the water! This part boggled my mind a little bit.

Overall, I finished in 1:04:10. I was extremely happy with this time. Like I said before, I wasn't really racing it and I got some great pictures in the mean time! And who doesn't love running by and over the water?? This was a very fun race.

Look out for my half marathon update tomorrow!!

Until next time!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's been awhile..

It has definitely been awhile since I've given an update and I've been busy and not busy. If that makes any sense.

Last week I did whole lot of nothing leading up to my race weekend. This is not what I had in mind for a taper week, but laziness set in and took control. It was definitely a nice break.

Then of course last weekend was the Tour de Pain: Extreme. 22.4 miles of craziness!! Update coming soon!

This week I have yet to run due to sore calves which I'm using as an excuse to take another week break.

The orange and blue football game was today and I greatly enjoyed watching the pieces of it that I did.

The NEDA walk in Gainesville is tomorrow.

Monday I get to start running again and with another partner!! I'm excited about this one because she is a faster runner by a lot! Maybe another half marathon PR is in my reach!

I'm also starting to look at my race calendar for the end of the year to see what I can come up with.

There will be a lengthy update on tdp in the next few days. Hopefully my blogging skills get better as well!

Until Next time!