Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Carmel Week 5: This Weather is Stealing My Miles!

This Weather is Stealing My Miles!
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This weather has me all f'd up this week. It's goofing with my running plans and making me mentally unstable. Due to the nature of my job, I'm in this crap throughout the day. I'm just over it! I opted for the treadmill for my speed work in fear that I'd hurt myself. I sucked it up and went outside the other days, but it was stupid.

I missed some intended mileage on Wednesday. I wanted to run 10 more minutes. I was so close to finishing later than evening, but work was too crazy and left me with a couple hours of unexpected documentation to deal with. After asking Coach to let me run long on Friday due to a couple of things out of my control, he told me not to make up for my 55 minute Friday run [I was to take off Saturday and do my scheduled walk on Sunday]. I was like NO!!! I am NOT missing a 55 minute run and pretending it never existed! After whining about it, we compromised and decided I'd still rest on Saturday, and I could choose walk OR run on Sunday. I'm not letting this stupid weather steal my miles from me!
  • 12/25: 6 miles, 9:10/mile. My regular easy run with hill surges (10x10 seconds). I kept it in my hood today, but didn't get to use the hill I was interested in because of the slick sidewalks (this particular hill is by a busy road). I had to find the best one possible in which I could use the road. It was so freaking cold outside which made me dread the upcoming week because it was only getting colder!
    A white Christmas in Columbus!
  • 12/26: 8.45 miles, 8:17/mile. Today's speed workout was a progressive run: 10 minute warm up, 50 minute progression [20 steady, 15 faster, 10 faster, 5 fastest but still in control], 10 minute cool down. I opted for the treadmill in fear that my limbs would snap if I tried running fast in the frigid temps. My paces were as shown in the pic below. I wish I had been able to run this on the road and without looking at paces, but it wasn't worth it today. I just tried to keep in mind what a Hal Higdon tempo run would look like and keep the paces based on his principles.
  • 12/27: 7.17 miles, 9:02/mile. OMG...this cold weather is absolutely ridiculous!! Today was, by far, the worst. I enjoyed my time with the girls, but it's just too damn cold to enjoy the run. I intended to run 75 minutes, but stopped around 65 minutes because it was suddenly colder, and I just wasn't feeling it. The instruction was to run 60-75 minutes, so I still accomplished the workout.
  • 12/28: 10 cycling miles, 45 minutes 32 seconds. Work has been insanely busy, and my kids have been insanely insane. Jimmy looked at me and said "So, child watch tonight?" YES SIR! We took ourselves to the gym, put the kiddos in child watch, and exercised the stress away. 
  • 12/29: 16.01 miles, 8:53/mile; Back workout, 40 minutes. On a Friday?! Yes. Due to the weather and the fact that I'm taking James to see Paw Patrol in the morning, I asked Coach if I could run long today. My intention was to run on the treadmill (which I hate to run on more than 6-8 miles) so that I didn't have to deal with the cold weather. My BFF texts me last night to ask about my running plans. She convinced me to deal with the cold temps by saying she'd run all 16 with me! Say what?! I sucked it up, put on triple layers, and had an amazing early morning run with only two death-defying situations.
    Amanda and me.

    This is what me and my fellow runners are dealing with! BS!!
  • 12/30: REST. I promised Zach I would not run or take a brisk walk today. I did stay pretty active most of the day. I shoveled our driveway and sidewalks in the morning, took James downtown to the Ohio Theater, and went on  a cleaning rampage after dinner. I think I pulled a back muscle (or it's just really tight and irritated)! Ugh. I tried upping some weight at the gym yesterday. I think that irritated it. After all of the shoveling and housework, it got to the point where I had it on the hot pack and tennis ball.
    Although the show was super annoying, his excitement was SO worth it!
  • 12/31: 6.3 miles, 9:15/mile. What a glorious run! The temps, of course, were frigid in the early morning hours, so I opted for a sunny run in the mid to upper teens! It's amazing the difference a little sun makes. I was able to connect with Katie. She took me on a tour of her surrounding neighborhoods. The miles flew by as we chatted about the habits of our families.
    Katie took me on a tour of Medallion.
    

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I finished 2017 with 2075.18 miles! I'm a little surprised considering I followed the four day per week running rule in the spring (to prevent postpartum injury). The spring brought me several highs, while the fall...well...not so much. Regarding my fall struggles and the meds I was on, I think the doc and I have finally found something that works for my body and my budget! I hope it continues to help and allow me to be more mentally AND physically stable.

Aside from the typical paying off school debt and growing as a wife/mom, these are my 2018 goals:


HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!

**Side note about my back: After all of the adulting on Saturday, I could hardly move by bedtime. I couldn't believe how intense the pain was in my back. I was hoping I could just sleep it off, but it was keeping me awake. Finally, at 4:20 in the morning, I got out of bed, took some ibuprofen, and tried to sleep on the couch with the heating pad on my back. Although it was very difficult to fall back asleep, my back did feel better in the morning. I was very cautious the rest of the day and avoided my intended yoga workout.



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Carmel Week 4: Still Figuring Out the Lingo

 Still Figuring Out the Lingo
 
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Roop goofing around with her brother's hats.
 Although Zach says I'm not annoying him, I tend to have a lot of questions regarding his lingo. He is trying to get me away from focusing on a specific pace. Instead, he wants me to go by feel. This is so foreign to me! This week, I battled with words such as "on," "steady," and "speed up each mile." I honestly don't know how I fared with the expectation, but here's how I did:
  • 12/18: 5.84 miles, 9:25/mile; Bis/Tris, 30 minutes. Today was hill surge day (55 easy minutes with 8x8 second hill surges in the last half of the run). To get my butt out of bed, I agreed to meet some friends at the dam in Westerville. We ran a 5 mile route, then I did my surges and finished up my minutes. I told my friend Lisa that I wanted to run slow today because of last week's conviction. I still don't know if my easy is too fast sometimes. Today was rough until I did my hill surges. It's like they woke me up.
  • 12/19: 8.22 miles, 7:55/mile. Speed workout: 10 minutes warm up, [4 minutes on/1 minute steady] x9, 10 minute cool down. My first question to Zach was, "What is 'on'?" LOL. He explained it in words, and I did my best to follow. He challenged me to do this entire run by feel (which I did!). I goofed up my watch during one of my intervals (as seen in the red below). I meant to stop my watch to blow my nose and strip, but I forgot to stop it. Apparently this took me about 45 seconds, so I decided to just run steady for the remaining 15 seconds and go back into my next "on" interval. This would have changed my overall mileage and average, but I'm still good with the result shown. The second half of the run was actually easier than the first half. It takes me a while to warm up. I finished feeling like I worked hard, and felt decent the rest of the day.

  • 12/20: 6.56 miles, 9:10/mile; Chest/Back workout, 30 minutes. Oh my was I sore this morning!! That workout yesterday worked my legs for sure (in addition to my run, I had a bunch of other exercises I had to do...I also went ice skating with James.). I was instructed to run 60-70 easy minutes. I normally go for the higher end of things, but not today! I could have forced myself to run 70 minutes, but my legs told me to stop at an hour. Fortunately, Sarah was in the same boat. I was happy with our run, and actually felt better after finishing. My legs weren't as sore as the day progressed.
  • 12/21: 10 cycling miles, 45:03; 15 minutes inversion practice. Once again, this was placed perfectly where I needed it in my week. My legs felt so much better last night, but the easy cycling helped work out the remaining yuck.
  • 12/22: 7.79 miles, 8:59/mile. My Friday easy run was upped to 70 minutes and my strides to 5x25 seconds. A fellow runner organized a bRUNch for those of us that didn't have other responsibilities in the late morning. Following the run, we met at Northstar for coffee and goodies.
    We took over the streets of Westerville!

    We then took over Northstar.
  • 12/23: 4.08 walking miles, 14:46/mile. Saturdays are typically for long runs, but the weather had other plans. I don't necessarily avoid the rain, but I'm not a fan of cold and rainy. I got permission from Coach to switch my long run to Sunday and do my walk today. When the rain cleared in the afternoon, I took Sophie for an hour stroll.
  • 12/24: 14.01 miles, 9:02/mile. My long run workout called for 14 miles with the last three faster (if I was up to it). My hips always feel a little sore when I run in the cold, so I wasn't super confident about running fast when I reached mile 12. I ran the first 10-12 miles with Sarah and Chris, and finished the last two solo. I had to deal with some elevation, but it didn't seem to have a horrible effect on me. My last three miles were [8:11, 8:12, and 7:58].
    Two of my crew.
 
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This week, I hit my goal of running 2017 miles in 2017! I'm thankful for all of the people who helped get me there.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

    Sunday, December 17, 2017

    Carmel Week 3: Baby It's Cold Outside

    Baby It's Cold Outside
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    Cuddles with mommy. I was getting all the love.
    Winter is officially here.
    Coach added a few new things to my routine this week including:
    -butt kicks
    -broad jumps
    -bounding (talk about looking stupid)
    -fire hydrants
    -hips circles
    **********
    Let's talk about pace. I am not given paces...I am given "feelings." I know this will be a good thing, and it will contribute to my goal of using my watch less. I'm proud to say that, although I analyze my paces after the fact, I haven't looked at my watch during training runs in at least two months.
    Here's my struggle: I know the paces I've run in previous races and I know my race pace goal for my next marathon. When I see the overall average of some of my "easy" runs, I wonder if I should slow down even more.  In the moment and after I finish, I feel great...even later in the day and the next day. Then I read all of these articles talking about running 1 minute to as much as 2.5 minutes slower than marathon race pace. For me, that's 9:12-10:42/mile. There are times I can't force my body to go 10+ minute miles. I know it sounds weird, but it's true (there are also times my body can't go faster than that!!).
    So, WHAT IS EASY?! I think it will always be an ongoing topic of conversation without a specific answer. I do know that a majority of my runs are not within 30 seconds of my goal race pace nor do I strive to run PRs in my training. LOL. I think this is just something I will have to continue to figure out.
    **********
    • 12/11: 5.74 miles, 8:43/mile. Today's workout included 8x8 second hill surges in the last half of the run. Unfortunately, I had to run in Hilliard (which I normally wouldn't mind), and it does not have a nice, steep hill. I went to the only hill I knew of and hoped for the best.
      My surges marked in yellow.
    • 12/12: 7.94 miles, 8:11/mile; Chest/Back, 30 minutes. Since the weather called for "squalls," 1-2 inches of snow, and high winds with gusts up to 30-40 mph, I decided it wouldn't be in my best interest to do my track workout on the track. UGH. So stupid because I love track workouts. Let's just say that the weather wasn't exactly as predicted, but I followed through with my plan to run at the gym. I popped into The Y as soon as they opened, and tried to pump up my mental. It felt so early!! Workout: 10 minute warm up, 8x800m with 400m recovery, 10 minute cool down. I was asked to run my 800's in 3:38 (7:16/mile pace). The closest pace on the mill was 8.3 mph or 7:13/mile. I ran my warm up and recoveries at 9:13/mile and my cool down between 9:13 and 8:57/mile. Oddly enough, my last two intervals felt the best.
      Look what I finally did!
    • 12/13: 6.35 miles, 9:27/mile; Shoulder workout, 30 minutes. BRRRR!!! Garmin tells me it was 19 degrees outside with 9 mph wind. I didn't really notice any wind. I do know that the real feel was in the single digits. My point being that this was my coldest run so far this season! I had three layers on my head (balaclava, ear warmer, hat), three top layers (tank, long sleeve tech, jacket), and two pairs of tights....oh, and three pairs of gloves! I nailed it because I wasn't cold or hot. Anyway, today called for an hour of running. I met up with Sarah, Lisa B, and Elizabeth for a stroll through Gahanna. I ended my run with 3x20 second strides, but felt like a sumo wrestler as I was "running" them.
      Finally starting to see the benefits of my hard work.
    • 12/14: 10.1 cycling miles, 45 minutes. Cross training day took me back to the gym for cycling. I was able to listen to a chapter or so of a running book to pass the time.
      The birthday boy!!!
    • 12/15: 5.98 miles, 8:22/mile; Power Yoga, 1 hour. It drove me slightly crazy that my distance ended up being 5.98 miles. One might think I would run a few more seconds to get to 6, but, when you are anal like me, you stop at 50 minutes because that was your intended workout. Earlier in the week, Amanda texted me saying she found a hill in Powell that she wanted to run. We arranged our schedules appropriately so that we could check it out together. For those familiar with the area, we started at the Powell YMCA and ran down Carriage Road. This road is rolling until it gets just east of 315 where the hill of interest was located. The hill is about 0.35 miles in length with an elevation gain of about 125 feet. So, maybe not a crazy ass hill, but about as good as it gets in Columbus! LOL. Let me just put this out here: I ran too fast. I know I did (see discussion above! LOL). 
      She can't get enough of me. She just has to find hills to entice me to hang out with her. [Amanda, ME]

      The bottom of the hill.

      The top of the hill.
    • 12/16: 14 miles, 8:56/mile. I'm starting to dislike winter long runs more than summer long runs. I used to hate summer because the hubs would have to be at volleyball by 8 a.m. That meant super duper early long runs. No one wants that on a Saturday. As the years passed, he was gracious enough to change his volleyball schedule so that I didn't have to wake up as early. Winters have become summers, but not as early. Sarah met me at 6 a.m. this morning for 9 miles, and I finished the rest solo. I wanted to stop with her. I was tired today...and cold! Initially, I felt overdressed. On the way back to our vehicles, the wind was hitting our faces. I couldn't get warm after that.
      Hmm...smells good...looks good...

      I gotta try this stuff...

      YUMMY!!!!
    • 12/17: 5.86 walking miles, 16:38/mile. Another walk with Meg! This time we met up with Christine in Worthington. She took us on a tour of her neighborhood and the Worthington Hills Country Club area. There were some interesting homes out there. My Aussie, Sophie, joined us and was a trooper. I think she's capable of much more activity than I give her credit for, but I'm so scared to do too much too fast and injure her!
    **********
    Me: James, keep looking at mommy. Don't stop looking at me. Ruthie...Ruthie...RUTHIE!!!!! Roop: WHAT MOM?!
    Overall, it was a great week of training. I was more sore from my Friday run than my speed workout! Also, that Power Yoga class Friday mornings at the Y is amazing! I am ALWAYS sore the next day. I think coach is extending the times of my easy runs this week. I'm looking forward to what's in store!

    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Carmel Week 2: The Speed Workout My Body's Been Waiting For...

    The Speed Workout My Body's Been Waiting For
     
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    I love hard workouts. I like seeing the workout on paper and thinking "What the hell?!" I love initially doubting myself and then proving my thoughts wrong. I love the way I feel when I want to quit and eventually overcome it.
     
    My speed workout this week was a little different. On paper, it didn't seem impossible...maybe because I haven't really done a speed workout in a while. Also, Coach didn't put a specific pace. He just used the terms "easy," "challenging," and "steady." My mind, of course, has to have  a pace in mind or it doesn't understand. I'm trying to retrain it! With that being said, to guide me since I'd be running on the mill, I thought I'd try something around 10k pace. Per usual, I asked Amanda her thoughts without stating my own thoughts. She confirmed that 10k-ish pace sounded like a good goal pace to hit (with "steady," in my mind, being MP + 10-20 seconds).  I will tell you more about how the run felt as I recap my week:
     
    • 12/4: 5.69 miles, 8:48/mile. Workout: 50 easy minutes with 8x8 second hill surges. I was excited to see the word "hill." I was actually getting ready to tell Zach that I needed to start incorporating hills for Flying Pig. Since I had to stay in the Hilliard-ish area to run this, I decided to go a little north to Dublin and run Cardinal hill. After travelling up and down Dublin Road for my easy miles, I stopped at the bottom of Emerald Parkway. I was quickly reminded that this hill is more challenging if you are going up the entire thing. Eight seconds is a little tricky. I will have to find a better hill for 8 second strides. I decided to sprint 8 seconds and continue up the hill for a few seconds for recovery. I then did my next 8 second surge before recovering down to the bottom. I did this times four to get my 8 surges!
      I'm learning to use features on the watch that I've had for three years! LOL. These are my hill intervals.
    • 12/5: 8.1 miles, 7:59/mile. I barely squeaked that under 8! (P.S. That was not the goal.) Workout: 10 minute warm up, [8 minutes challenging/3 minutes steady] x4, 10 minute cool down. I took my legs to the mill for this run (weather was shotty). I did my warm up at 9:13/mile and my cool down at 8:55/mile. My "steady" pace between "challenging" intervals was 8:13/mile. My 8 minute split paces (per mile) were as follows: 7:27, 7:24, 7:21, 7:19. The first two and a half intervals were tolerable. When I got to the last 4 minutes of the third one, I knew my last interval was going to take brain power! Especially since I was trying to negative split my workout. I took this run two minutes at a time during the challenging sections. This really helped me to focus and made the time go by fast. The three minute steady sections felt great (which boosted my confidence a bit regarding my goal marathon pace). Overall, I ended the workout feeling spent! I was so excited about running a workout that took that much effort that I sent a message to Coach telling him the workout was awesome. LOL!
    • 12/6: 6.65 miles, 9:02/mile; Bis/Tris, 30 minutes. I was instructed to take today very easy due to yesterday's speed. I'm glad that was the expectation because my legs were toast! OMG. I was so sore and so fatigued. I met Sarah to venture off for an hour of easy running (3x20 sec strides in the last 10 minutes). I'm actually shocked that we ran that close to 9 minute average. We both felt like crud and I certainly didn't think we were running that fast. I was dragging fo sho.
      Strength training is paying off!
    • 12/7: 11.2 cycling miles, 44:56. Cross training day! Last week I did yoga. This week, I new my legs needed something to work out the rest of the yuck. I thought an easy cycle would be the perfect thing. I went to The Y after work, put the resistance to an easy level, and let my legs work it all out. I think it's exactly what I needed.
    • 12/8: 5.37 miles, 8:44/mile; Power Yoga Class, 1 hour. I had the opportunity to run after sending the kids off to the sitter. Yay, sunlight! Today called for an easy run with 3x20 second strides. Brittaney and I set off to explore a neighborhood in Gahanna that we weren't familiar with. Just trying to open up options! After a short break that allowed for two small cups of coffee, I headed to The Y for a yoga class.
    • 12/9: 13 miles, 8:34/mile. I was slightly non compliant today (which is not my style). I was to run 12 miles with the last two "faster" if I "felt good." The mile pace of 8:34 is typically not my long run pace. Not that I can't run that pace for that many miles, I just try to keep it closer to 9 minutes if possible. We met at Amanda's house for a group run. I had the pleasure of meeting two new ladies. I ran an extra mile beforehand since the group was planning to run 11. Somehow, during the run, we got off course and that added an extra mile. I ended up with 13! Geesh. My goal for the faster miles was to target goal MP (8-8:12/mile). My splits those miles were just under 8 minutes. I felt good almost the entire run until the last 1-1.5 miles. I had to go poop!! It hit me all of a sudden. And wouldn't you know, I couldn't go when I got back to Amanda's to use the bathroom. Ugh. Stupid bowels.
      Old and new friends. We are frozen. [Amanda, Elizabeth, ME, Liz, Amy]
    • 12/10: 2.31 walking miles, 20:33/mile. I officially love having walks in my training program! I got with Meg again, and we decided on Highbanks. What a perfect weekend for it to snow. It was so beautiful walking on the trail. We saw lots of deer tracks!
      Blonde snow bunnies. [Meg, ME]
     
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    Overall, I really enjoyed this week of training. My yoga has had me sore all weekend, but it's a good kind of sore. I finally recovered from that workout on Tuesday! HA!! I really hope I can stay motivated and excited through the winter. 

    Sunday, December 3, 2017

    Carmel Week 1: Getting Into a New Routine

    Getting Into a New Routine
     
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    We had lots of fun in leaves this week! We have bagged about 34 bags so far. UGH.
    Last training cycle, I followed the CRC Advanced Training Program. I followed it well minus the ever popular strides. UGH. What's my deal?! I did them ONE TIME. I just kept telling myself they wouldn't make a difference (obviously they serve a purpose...I'm just a weirdo). When Zach sent me an example of workouts he gives his athletes, I knew the pre and post-run part of it would be a challenge. The challenging part isn't the actual task, but convincing yourself that it's important and will benefit the body.
     
    Some of the new stuff added into my routine include:
    -leg swings
    -lunge sequence
    -skipping
    -plank sequence
    -leg exercises to target the stability muscles (these I already had in my routine...just not immediately after my run)
     
    Another thing I'll have to get used to is running a certain number of minutes rather than miles. It makes route planning a little more challenging! Despite that, I've done a good job so far of estimating the distance.
     
    **********
    • 11/27: 5.62 miles, 8:54/mile. Today's workout called for an easy 50 minutes with 3x8 second surges after 30 minutes. I had time to run after work which allowed me to enjoy the wonderful sunshine. Shorts in late November?! Yes, please!! Since I was in Hilliard, I made it a point to run down my favorite street.
      Shorts in November?!
    • 11/28: 6.07 miles, 8:17/mile; Chest/Back, 30 minutes; Yoga, 15 minutes. Today was my first speed day in FOREVER. I was a little nervous because of that. I probably could have gone a little faster, but I didn't want to get too crazy in week 1. I need to figure out how to set my watch so that I can monitor my overall pace in a certain number of minutes. I'm not sure my FR 15 will even do that! Because of my lack of watch knowledge, I'm not totally sure how much my pace increased for each segment. The workout was 10 minute warm up, 30 minute progression, and 10 minute cool down. The 30 minutes was to be 15 at a steady pace (I always imagine MP + 10 seconds), 5 faster, 5 faster, and 5 fastest. In my head, I had myself maybe progressing to 10k pace for that last segment. I'm not really sure if that's what I did or was supposed to do, but that's the way my brain interpreted the instructions based on Hal Higdon tempo runs I've done in the past.
      My go to speed partners! They will keep me in line. [Tamara, Katie, ME]

      I caught my friend, Heather, at Power Train!
    • 11/29: 6.83 miles, 8:47/mile. Another easy day with surges. The weather has been PERFECT this week! I can't believe it's the end of November. I took advantage of the shorts weather and ran after work. I played around with the settings on my watch to see if I could get paces during certain segments.
      This weather is simply perfect! ANOTHER shorts day.
    • 11/30: Power Yoga, 45 minutes. I use the term "power" loosely today. Every night this week, I've come home and worked on getting the dang leaves in my hard piled up and put into bags. We have so many freaking leaves in our yard. It's ridiculous. Because of this, I've had some tight and sore hamstrings! This morning, I couldn't even touch the floor in my forward fold! Obviously, that made my practice a bit tough this morning. I did my best, forgot the rest, and made coffee.
      This morning was tough.
    • 12/1: 5.02 miles, 8:59/mile. The workout consisted of 45 minutes of easy running with 3x20 second strides in the last 10 minutes. I met Tamara at Schneider's for the second half of her long run. It rained yesterday and got below freezing last night. The roads were slippery!! We managed to escape unharmed.
      
      End of the month means I tally my mileage.
    • 12/2: 12.3 miles, 8:58/mile. Some friends agreed to meet at my house in the early morning hours so that the hubs could leave for his Bible Quiz Tournament. Jen and I set out for a 4 mile loop in which I missed a turn on the route because we were yapping. In order to avoid being harassed by a certain unnamed person, Jen kept our pace in line so that we were running EASY. We returned to my crib to pick up Sarah and Britt for the last 8 miles. We took a tour through part of my neighborhood and headed to the trail (the very place where we almost died on a bridge...it was shaking to the point I thought it might break from under us!). We left the trail and ran through the neighborhood close to Columbus Academy. When returning, we made sure to cross the bridge one at a time. Guess who was the guinea pig?! Not only did I go first on the bridge, I was politely cursed for having a couple of little hills at the end. I'm a bad friend, apparently. Hehehe.
      Runs and Mimosas make everything better! [3/4 of Jen, Britt, Sarah, ME]
    • 12/3: 3.49 walking miles, 17:13/mile. Today's workout called for a 45-60 minute walk! I immediately contacted my friend, Meg, to join me. She's preggo and doesn't get to join me for runs at the moment (enter very sad face). These long walks also give me the opportunity to take Sophie (my Aussie) for some exercise. After Jessie called to see if she could join, we met at Creekside to enjoy the lights, bare winter trees, and beautiful homes in the area.
      Brrrr!! [Jessie, ME, Meg]
       
    **********
     
    Week one seemed successful. I ran a total of 35.84 miles, and didn't look at my pace for any of them! I'm looking forward to finding out my workouts for this coming week.

    Fun at Creekside!

    

    Sunday, November 26, 2017

    RV: Week 3

    Running Vacation

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    Reunited and it feels so good! My cousin Niki.

    I wasn't sure how much running I'd be doing my last week of running vacation. Runs seem to be harder to make happen when I visit my mom because of where she lives and the fact that I have to run solo in a strange place. She lives in the country where 1) roads are 55 mph with no shoulder and people who speed. 2) roads have no speed limit, they aren't wide, have no markings for lanes at all, and peoples' dogs run loose and attack you (circa 2015). 3) you have to drive 30 minutes to Winchester, VA to run with a person you don't know well just so you don't have to run your long run solo. 4) you have to drive to a bike trail positioned between a highway and the woods to run solo and pray to God you don't get kidnapped.
     
    Just in case, I wore the mask.

    I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get my goal of at least 30 miles. I ended up using my dogs as a means of feeling more safe on shorter runs. It meant a lot of out and backs, but the trade-off was worth the comfort of feeling safe.
    • 11/20: 4.64 miles, 9:57/mile; Shoulders/Legs, 40 minutes. The run went from four people to two when I woke up. I texted Lisa B to ask if she'd hate me if I slept. She talked sense into me, and I got my ass up to run. I'm so glad I did. I would have regretted staying in bed. We went into this run thinking we would run 5 miles, but we also didn't have a route or even care if we actually met the 5 mile goal. We were like, "4.64?! Sounds good enough to us!"
    • 11/21: 7.05 miles, 9:42/mile. Again, I had no real plan. I just knew that today's run was to meet up with friends to send our friend, Mary, off to surgery in style. Someone posted that they wanted 7 miles, so I decided to join her just in case I didn't get as many miles when I went to my mom's. 
      HUGE group of donut lovers.
    • 11/22: 4.77 miles, too lazy to do math to average the three runs. This was my first morning at my mom's house, and I was dying to get out there and run. I decided I would take both of my dogs and my sister's dog for a run (separately, of course). I wasn't sure how far each of them could run and didn't want them to get hurt. I did know that Sophie could run at least 2 because we had done that before. I took her out first (she averaged 9:05 for 2 miles). I then ran Angel (1.39 miles, 9:21/mile) followed by Hachi (1.38 miles, 9:35/mile). This was Hachi's first experience with running so we were testing things out. As we were running, I was quickly reminded of the elevation close to my mom's house. If you combine the three runs, I had 526 feet of elevation in under 5 miles! LOL. You do not get that in Columbus. 
      Sophie was the winner...probably because the hills killed me by the time I made it to Hachi. LOL!
    • 11/23: 3.10 miles, 9:18/mile; Yoga for Hips, 30 minutes. I thought about resting today because my legs were so freaking sore from running yesterday! The running bug bit me again, and I just had to get out. I figured a little 5k wouldn't hurt me. Since Sophie is my endurance athlete, I took her with me. I'm trying to slowly increase her distance. We enjoyed a nice, cold, and sunny run that included dogs and ducks on the loose. 
      Soph and I enjoyed the rays.
    • 11/24: 8.03 miles, 8:55/mile. This is going to be called my long run this week. I want to keep my weekly vacation miles at 30, and I knew I'd want to run with Sophie tomorrow. I went to the local bike trail in Martinsburg for this one. I ran on it during Christmas vacation last year, but didn't go more than 3 miles out. I forgot how hilly it was! It's up and down literally the entire time...NEVER FLAT. It was a nice change from flat Columbus. The day was perfect...40 degrees, very light breeze, and SUN! So much sun.
      Taking pictures of yourself running is way too time consuming. I now understand why my IG pics suck and what the others go through to get good ones!! LOL!!

      Seriously...I wish I lived here to get regular hill action.

      I took a video of me running up and down this hill just to get the shot. There was absolutely no one around to make fun of me.
    • 11/25: REST. Because I'm freaking sore from running hills! LOL.
    • 11/26: 2.5 miles, 9:16/mile. I just wanted to run enough to hit my 30 mile goal for the week. I took my sweet Aussie girl along for the ride. We took a moment to snap a selfie in front of a decorated tree. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!
      O Christmas Tree!
       
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    Well, running vaca is officially over! It's been fun, but I'm so excited to get back to a training program. I've connected with a big group of runners who are all training for the Carmel Marathon at the end of March. It will be nice knowing that we are all in this together.
     
    This time around, I will be coached by my friend, Zach. In week one, he already has me doing things I've never done before! I'm looking forward to something different to challenge me and improve my running!!