Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recommend your running tights and reflectors

Yesterday was my rest day, so I'm chomping at the bit to get out there & run again, after my great 12 miler on Sunday.

Here's my workout plan for the week - I'm two weeks out from my half marathon, so this week's mileage is a little lower than last week.

  • Monday - Rest day
  • Tuesday - 4 mile run + arms + pilates (evening)
  • Wednesday - Speed repeats - 6 miles
  • Thursday - Cross training + yoga
  • Friday - 6 miles + arms
  • Saturday - 8 miles
  • Sunday - cross training (skiing)
I have a pair of great Lululemon running tights, but I need a second pair. Can you recommend your favorite running tights? Under $100, and hopefully under $75. Am I too optimistic? :-) I want full length (cutting off just before the ankle).

Also, do you wear reflectors when you run early am/evening? So far I've been running with a headlamp, but on part of the run, I'm running with traffic, and a car wouldn't be able to see me from behind. Recommendations on a reflector? A vest? A shirt with built in reflectors?

Would love any recommendations you have on the tights or reflectors. I'm working on my wish list for Mother's Day. :-)

Have you purchased any new running gear lately? If so, please share! :-)

In completely non-running related news, Michael bought me a bread maker for my birthday, & I've been making bread way too often. It's fabulous. MMMMMMMMMMM, bread! Do you bake?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Long Run Anxiety and a Badazz 12 Miler

Do you ever get anxious before a long run? If you ask Michael, I'm sure he'll tell you that I get very . . . tense before a long run. I don't walk to talk, I'm mentally preparing, & I don't do well with last minute schedule changes. Which, is kind of silly and unrealistic, given that we have two kids & sometimes you have to go with the flow a bit.

We spent Friday & Saturday at the beach, on the Oregon coast. LOVE that place, but the weather is a bit unpredictable. My training plan called for a 6 miler on Friday, my 12 miler on Saturday, & then Sunday would be a blissful rest day. Of course, on Friday, the wind was blowing 30 mph, it was hailing, & raining all day. I'm from the northwest, & don't mind a little rain, but this was a full on storm. I decided to swap my rest day to Friday, & I'd do my 12 miler on Saturday, followed by my 6 miler on Sunday. Did you get all that? :-)

There was a brief break in the rain on Saturday, & as I mentioned, I was already a bit tense since my schedule was "off". I wasn't quite a mile in when the hail started. Followed by a little sunshine, monsoon like rain, wind, & then a second round of hail. I kept going, and was really pleased by my pace at the half way mark. And then things got crazy. The wind picked up, branches were falling, & the hail was cutting my face. I looked at the Garmin, & had to either add another loop to hit 12 miles, or turn around & head for home. I was just short of 8 miles. I knew Michael would be worried, & honestly, I like to be hardcore, but I'm no masochist.

Don't I just look jazzed that I had to cut it short? Also, there's hail on my face. :-)

At this point, my long run anxiety was at an all time high. I'd already put in 8 miles on Saturday, which meant doing my 12 miler on Sunday for a 20 mile weekend. . . A lot more than I normally run.

I kept thinking of a comment that Redhead Running made in a previous post - you have to believe to achieve. I got up on Sunday morning (and, because Michael is an amazing guy who gets me, he took the kids skiing by himself) & got myself all ready to do 12 miles. I chose a route that should be pretty similar to my half marathon. (Sadly, I lost that hat on the run. I had to take it off at mile 2, & tucked it into the waist band of my pants. Boo. Good bye, Helly Hansen hat. We've had many fond memories - skiing & running).

I sat in the car, & kept doubting myself. You're tired. You already did 8 yesterday. It's going to hurt. It might rain. Wow. Then I reminded myself - your husband went through all the effort to give you a kid free morning - don't waste it. I also promised myself that I would sent a Garmin picture to him at the end of the run, which meant I was committed to 12 miles. Too much pride to bail early after all that anxiety. :-)

And you know what? I had my fastest five miles ever. And, my fastest 8 miles ever. And, my fastest 12 miler. Ever. And the entire time, I kept repeating that "You have to believe to achieve." You CAN do this. You are faster & tougher than you give yourself credit for. YOU ROCK. My goal for the run was to finish in under 2:15, which would give me confidence to hit a PR for my half in two weeks. My absolute stretch goal was 2:10.

That's right baby, 2:06!!!!!!!

My legs were like bricks for the last mile, but the first 8 were probably the most enjoyable miles I've had in a year or so. Never give up, people, because it's the run that you're not expecting to be great that can really make running fun & take you to places you never thought you'd be.

All done!!!!

Do you get anxiety before long runs? My stomach was queasy for the rest of the day. I drank & fueled well, so not sure what caused that. I had to force myself to eat. Does that happen to you? Tips? I kept things mostly to basic carbs, which helped.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Building a race calendar

I love working on my calendar for the year, & trying to find races that look fun. It gets me all motivated & tingly. :-) One of my goals for 2013 is to run 10 races in the year, so my criteria is a little stricter than usual. Here's what I'm looking for in a race:
  • The date has to work for our family calendar. That comes first, especially given the volume of races I want to do.The one exception to this is Hood to Coast, as obviously, that's a fixed date & I'm running with a team.
  • I want something super local, to cut down on travel time/time away from the family/general inconvenience. I love running a race in the morning & still being able to hang with my crew in the afternoon.
  • Most of the races need to be cheap. Hood to Coast surely isn't cheap, & I have a budget ($1200)  I need to stick to this year. That means no bailing last minute on races, & smaller races.
  • I prefer smaller races anyway - they just feel more fun, & I hate the hassle of looking for parking, etc.

Here's my tentative lineup for the year:
  1. January - ran a 5 mile train race. It cost $15 & was about 10 minutes from my house. Win/win!
  2. March 9th - Lake Sammamish Half Marathon (already registered)
  3. April 7th - Mud & Chocolate Half Marathon (trail race, in Redmond). Not registered, & this will depend on Michael's travel schedule. We may be at the beach instead.
  4. May12th - Mother's Day Half in Kirkland
  5. August 23rd & 24th - Hood to Coast!
  6. September - work charity 5K. Date TBD.
  7. December - Jingle Bell 12K - Kirkland. Date TBD.
I still need three more races for the year, so if you have anything to recommend, please do! I especially want a few in June & July.

And, I'm happy to report that I got up at 5:00 am TWICE this week to run. I'm on track for my planned workouts, & have my last long run on Saturday (12 miler) before my March 9th half run. My goal for that race is to get a PR. . . so below 2:23. I should have a good feel for whether that is possible after my run on Saturday. Fingers crossed!

I couldn't resist sharing this picture of (one of) my Valentines! This was Nick in Hawaii in November. Michael is still digging out our pictures from that fabulous trip. This boy is so cheesy, & I adore everything about the picture. The smile, the glasses, the tank top (his choice for a Hawaii souvenir), the pose, all of it!

What about you? What's on your race calendar for the year? How do you choose races?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Getting back into the groove

Where have I been? Skiing, hanging out with this bunch of cuties, celebrating birthdays, working, & occasionally running. Yesterday was my first solo trip to the mountain with the boys, & we all survived! Just one minor encounter with the ski patrol when Nick got lost. Let me tell you, skiing with two kiddos, & all of us being at different ski levels (& more importantly - speed!) is no small feat. And, one of those mini skiers can't read, so trail signs are of no use. Anyway, we had a great day at the mountain, & I felt like a super hero mom.

Ski season is winding down, & I have a bunch of races on the horizon, so time to get serious & get back into a regular running groove! I know what this means, & I've been putting it off. . .it means finally motivating myself to consistently run at 5:00 am. Oh boy, this should be interesting. I've been trying to do this for a year, but the time has come. With Michael's travel schedule, it's either 5:00 am or never on most days.

What I really need to do is fix my running location, because currently our treadmill is in the basement, facing a wall. If you enjoy feeling like you're in prison, this is definitely the place to be! I can run outside in the mornings as long as Michael isn't traveling (about half the time), but I need to make the treadmill running more enjoyable. We're thinking of hooking up a DVD player, or something. More on that.

I've also gained six pounds, & while I'd love to tell you that it's all muscle. . . I'm pretty sure it's not. I had to film a video for work, & seeing the footage was a cold, hard reality check. I've actually been getting quite a bit of exercise, so given that I'm still gaining weight - that should be a solid indicator of how much I'm eating. Gulp.

Recap from last week:
  • Monday - Rest day. Ran 11 miles on Saturday & skied all day on Sunday.
  • Tuesday - Ran 2 miles on the treadmill. All I had time for.
  • Wednesday- 45 minutes of cross training (elliptical) + weights
  • Thursday - Ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill. Because I was that lazy at 5:00 am.
  • Friday - Ran 3 miles on the treadmill. I know, I know, such improvement! :-)
  • Saturday - We were supposed to ski with a bunch of family for Sam's 7th birthday, but it was pouring buckets at the mountain. So, we went bowling & drank beer. And then followed that up with a movie + wine. Obviously, it was a stellar workout day.
  • Sunday - 60 minutes of cross training + weights. Could have run at the gym, didn't. Have a cold, feel like dog doo.
So, there you have it! I did three runs, for a grand total of 7.5 whopping miles. My goal for the week was 22. And, I did two cross training workouts. Holy smokes! I have a half marathon coming up in three weeks, so it's time to get really serious.

Here's my plan for this week:
  • Monday - The boys had the day off, so we went skiing. We skied 15 runs (that's a ton with kids!), so I got in quite a bit of exercise. 
  • Tuesday - 5 mile run at lunch + arms. Pilates tonight.
  • Wednesday - 4 mile run at 5:00 am.
  • Thursday - 60 minutes of cross training at lunch. Yoga in the evening.
  • Friday - At the beach! Taking a long weekend as the boys are on mid-winter break. I love running at the beach ! 6 mile run.
  • Saturday - Long run for my half in a few weeks. 12 miler.
  • Sunday - Rest day.
How do you get back into the groove with eating well and working out consistently? I'm going to lower my calorie goal on My Fitness Pal & get more serious with recording each food item. I've been lazy lately & just adding big bunches of calories at once (i.e. Lunch - 600 calories) & I'm clearly underestimating, according to the scale. :-)

Also, if you're on My Fitness Pal, & would like to connect, please let me know!