Sunday, January 18, 2009

Past, Present.....Future

Seems like lately on several of my runs....I am constantly thinking about how my running has changed from this time last year to now. My transformation from then to now still amazes me and I still can't believe I made it this far.

I was checking on my Garmin downloads from last year at this time when I was for the Shamrock Marathon. My paces and results are vastly different:

1/12/08  7 miles 1:06  9:31 mpm                                
1/15/08  8 miles 1:16   9:30 mpm                             
1/18/08  8 miles 1:14  9:18 mpm 
1/12/09 7 miles 58 min 8:16 mpm
1/17/09 13.1 miles 1:51 8:30 mpm
1/18/09 7 miles 57 min 8:10 mpm

In just one year, I am running much stronger and way faster. Those past 9+ minutes per mile were my fastest and hardest of the entire training cycle. As I look farther into my training last year, I see the times get 10 minutes plus. I don't even want to post my long run paces. Eeks...

So, its a big plug for the speed work. That has been a major help for me.

As for my future pace.....well......I'm hoping for my BQ pace of 8:45 or better. Time will tell....

This was a crazy COLD week of running. tested my will for sure and THANK GOODNESS for Running Buddy....if wasn't for the fact that she was just as willing to suck it up as I was, I would have pussed out for sure. 

Wednesday started the arctic blast with temps barely making it into the 30's. Running Buddy and I did a mid week long run of 9 miles at a pace of 8:40. Thursday was speed work on the boardwalk. We were on for 6x800 meters @ 3:23. Well, temps were right at 30 degrees with a a very very stiff north wind. We started in the north direction for the first 3 repeats and that almost killed us both. Our repeat times were not good......3:25, 3:40, 3:45. Then we turned around into the wind for the last 3 and came much closer to target....3:23, 3:24, 3:25. Not bad considering how cold and zapped we both were.

Friday, we did a 6 mile recovery run after school with the temps only in the 20's. Saturday we did our long run of 13 miles at a target pace of 8:30 mpm. It was terribly cold again.....22 degrees at the start. But the pace warmed us quickly and we were hot messes at the end. I am so proud of my partner for really holding a pace she never thought she could.

Today, it snowed on my 7 was so wonderful. It didn't stick of course, but it sure was pretty to see nickel sized flakes falling on me as I zoomed through the 'hood!

Stay warm friends and congratulations to all the marathoners this weekend! 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Boy did this first week back at work fly by. It was mostly uneventful and busy....but we are on the honeymoon period with the kids at school. I was surprised at how attentive and ready they were to learn last week. Yup...honeymoon period.

As far as my training goes...all is well in running la la land. Running Buddy had a suggestion this week for our track repeats. Instead of making ourselves dizzy and sick on the the oval of hell....we decided to go to the boardwalk and do the 1200 meters and 800's. It sure did make a HUGE difference mentally...but physically, it still sucked.

Running Buddy and I did a 20 miler yesterday and I learned the lesson of starting conservatively and finishing strong. I actually payed closer attention to my target pace instead of just running for comfort (since I always go out too fast for too long). The target pace was 9 mpm ....and well we hit that pace all the way. However, at the 5k mark I went ahead and did a little negative split and picked it up to an 8:45 pace and finished stronger than I ever have on a long run. I was pretty happy. This was a good week of running. Knock on wood right??

For your viewing pleasure's Wonder Boy's running debut-Hair of the Dog 5K

That is us running side by side (white hoody and purple jacket) next to pajama pants girl..

Here is Wonder Boy at the start. He is all the way to the left in white hoody and burglar mask. I am in the middle with the pink hat on. It was so incredibly cold at the start.

Here I am at the first of 3 Distance Series Tune Up for the Shamrock Marathon. The first one is a 20K but Running Buddy and I tacked on 5 more miles to make it 18 for our long run.

Ok, so the weather report for this week is COLD and more COLD. Oh boy....

I am in awe of so many of you who are running in some of the most brutally cold and snowy conditions. You are my inspiration! Have a wonderful week blogger buds.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Runner I Never Thought I Could Be

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Marathon 2002

Ok, it's well past New Year's but Happy New Year friends and sorry for my absence! I must admit that I'm not much of a party person, so Wonder Boy and I just stayed up late and watched movies as 2009 slowly crept in for us.

I'm not much for resolutions either. I've tried that in the past and I forget them one week later. What I do have a tendency to do is look backward instead of forward. Bad habit...but in this case....this year...looking back has been quiet an experience.

This has been one amazing year of running......and all I can say is that in looking back over the years....I have finally become the runner I never thought I could be.

The picture at the top of this post is of my very first marathon 6 years ago. It took me 4 hours and 45 minutes to finish and I thought for sure I was dieing a slow painful death. I had no training plan and never knew for one minute of any mile EXACTLY how far I was going. I just 3 hours and you're ready for the marathon. HA! 

The running years following that marathon were nothing special.....just few and far between races. I completed 5 more marathons all with just wanting to "finish." That is all I ever expected of myself because that is all I ever believed I could do....just finish....because in most endeavors throughout my life.....I quit.

Outer Banks Marathon 2008

Flash forward to the year 2008...when I ran a marathon with a friend of mine from work who has now become known as "Running Buddy." Everything changed....and I became a runner with a purpose....and the purpose was to not just finish....but to beat every marathon time I had ever achieved. And I did it.

And the new year of 2009.....I reflect on what kind of runner I was....slow....without confidence. The runner I am now.....faster.....with a purpose and specific goal, strong, still not so confident but much better than before!

I am so grateful for my running in 2008....I was sad in that aspect to see the year pass. My running in 2008 certainly taught me how to hold my head a little higher.

As far as the achievements in 2008? Well a bucket load of PR's and accumulated miles that total over 1,400. I went from running slow 10-10:30 min miles at best this same time last year to running 8-8:30 min miles with a smile on my face. As far as running just don't get better than that!

On that note...I will end with a brief update:

-Track work last week....OMG. The wind gusts on the track were up to 20 mph and I was pounding out 1600 meter repeats x3 @ 7 min per 'peat. Ok, first one yeah....second and third I was off by about 5-6 seconds. I blame the gusts.

-Long Run this weekend....thank goodness Running Buddy came back from her 2 week hiatus at home in PA. We ran 18 miles together at a challenging pace of 9 mpm.

-Today's tempo run.....fantastic.....Running Buddy and I busted out 7:50 min per mile on our 5 mile tempo run. The track beast is giving me the gift of strength. Honestly, it's starting to pay off.

-I am hanging tough on the FIRST plan for a Boston BQ. I have challenged myself to the 3:40 finishing time plan although I only need 3:50. So far so good. We shall see.

Have a great week friends. I will post a few pictures this week of The Hair of the Dog 5K on New Year's Day.....Wonder Boy's debut 5K and pictures of the Tidewater Striders Distance Series 20K tune up for the Shamrock I did with Running Buddy....


Summer Vacation