Daily Chatter

Saturday, October 31, 2009

But it's really only 10

I do that. For the first week or two, I will continue to tell myself that it's not really 6 a.m. it's 7. That means I'll be waking up at 5 but it will really be 6. Or it would have been 6 if they hadn't change the time. Ugghhh! Day light savings time.

Tonight I know I should get to bed. The kiddos are all asleep but I keep looking at the clock and doing that little calculation.

Hopefully, I will wake up extra early and be able to run before the rest of the fam even wakes up. I have to look for the bright side. And soon enough I will have adjusted to the shift in daylight. Adjusted and start using my sun lamp to lift my moods!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

When Routines get interrupted

This week was really an off week for my running. It started so strong with a fast half marathon and then kinda dried up. Which maybe I should have seen coming after the recent races every weekend.

My husband is state side working out of VA. He has a terrible schedule that changes quite frequently. It makes it hard to plan races and to get all my runs done. (Having to put the baby in the jogger is often weather contingent.)

I did however get three runs done all at a easy just putting in the miles pace.

Sunday 13.1 - 1:33
Monday 6.5 - 51:07
Wednesday 6.5 - 52:35
Friday 3.5 - 27:43

I don't make very good use of my last week of evening daylight. I feel really bad about the lack of mileage for another reason. The time change. Talk about routines getting interrupted! It will be dark by 6 p.m.! That doesn't offer much running time in the evening when I don't get home from work until 5:45. It's time to look into some lights for that jogging stroller. Maybe a little maintenance on the old treadmill.

For those who have to deal with day light savings, what do you do to keep up with your running over the winter months? Cross train, treadmills, simply running less miles? Does the lack of day light effect your motivation?

With all that Halloween candy I just helped my daughter eat, I am going to need to put in some miles tomorrow. I can't wait!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Am I The Only One?

I love to run. I don't so much like to follow a training program. That's the problem. I know that I could probably run much less and be far faster if ONLY I could stick to the plan but I don't. I think if I'm schedule to run 4, 6 would be better.

And am I the only one who knows that if you run morning and night, you never get sore because you just simply don't allow your muscles time to. Oh boy, the feedback I am going to get over that one. But it's true. I typically run 6.5 in the morning and 6.5 in the evening. Almost all the time. I run longer distances when I have races coming up and a bit less over the coldest month of the winter but for the most part, that is how I run - when I get my way.

How wrong is that?

I know that I have put in some really fast times since I have not been able to get my runs in. My mileage has gone from 50-80 miles a week to 25-50 miles a week and I am getting faster. (No extra speed work other than a few races). Any thoughts out there on why?

Does this mean that if I want to get faster I am going to have to give up some of my runs? And actually put up with getting sore? Seriously, marathons aside, I am never sore. I have been running this way since...hmmmm, well racing since 2003 this way.

I know there are a lot of busy racers this weekend but I'd appreciate the feedback and opinions if you have one.

p.s. Before you ask, Yes, I have sort of followed marathon training programs. But honestly, I put in my life time marathon PR by simply running and following what I already know works for me. Should I change now?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Wishes

TIaRT - Running Wishes

This week's sponsor is Julia, author of her blog, Chocolate Shoestrings. Julia knows all runners have dreams and wishes, so she invites us to share ours.

Julia asks: If a genie were to appear and grant you any three running wishes in the world, what would you choose? It can be anything from superhuman powers, new running inventions, race entries, shoes, you name it! What would be your three wishes?

Three running wishes. At first glance that seems easy but once I really started to think about it, I am hard pressed to think of three things I'd ask for. Hummm.

My first wish would be that I could share my intense joy of running with those close to me. I wish I could allow them to feel the passion I have for running. The exhilaration I get after a long run. The sense of accomplishment of crossing the finish line. I don't have that with my family. I am currently the only one who loooooves this crazy sport.

Second wish. To be able to continue enjoying the sport of running until I am one of those runners that the young ones point out. Not because I have become a iconic example of physical perfection but because I am still at it. Still loving it. Wrinkles, gray hair and all.

My last wish. To never take all this running for granted. To remember how blessed I am to be able to simply do it.

~~~ Sorry for going all serious. Just remembering today, friends and family who are not a blessed as I. Knowing that their three wishes would look a lot different. Praying for many today as always.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh Yeah!!!

I had a busy race weekend. Saturday was the Bud Shuster Run for Your Life 5k (which was deserving of a blog all it's own for very very sad reasons. Duh for me!) and a half marathon on Sunday. In which I PRed!! Yippee! I have been trying to get my pace more consistent so I had my niece ride with me for the second half and I was able to maintain my pace (within 10 seconds a mile) for the second half! Yipee, me!!


On any given day, you just don't know what you are capable of until you try. Today I am so glad I tried because I amazed myself!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bud Shuster Run For Your Life Race Report

When I got up with the littlest one at 5 a.m. I didn't know if we'd be running any races that day. The rain was pouring down! The driveway looked like a small river from the rain that fell through the night. However, as the morning worn on I realized that the temps outside where rather mild (55 degrees) for southwestern Pennsylvania and the downpour was slowing down.

I became hopeful.

A quick call to the race venue confirmed that runners really are committed because the race was still on. Yipee. I got the littlest to lay back down in his crib to nap a bit before we headed out the door to Grammy's house.

It didn't take much convincing to get hubby up and moving. I think he was excited to see how his bionic knee was going to hold up for a 5k. (He had major knee surgery in April) Once the hubby was up, our daughter is bouncing off the walls excited to go the Grammy's and play for the morning. Despite the dreary weather, everything was just falling into place! The usual per-race morning activities, bathrooms, food, gearing up; it all went by and we were out the door.

A quick drop off and thank yous to Grammy and we were on our way. With the race being a local one, the drive was fast. As we drove into town the rain got harder again. It didn't dampen my spirits. I was getting so excited to run in the rain!

Fast forward through all the boring registration and waiting and it was time for the race to start. I was mostly excited to see how I would do in such a short distance. As is the case in lots of local events, there was little advice given to the runners and walkers about how to line up. That resulted in really slow people being in the front of the pack. Grrrr. I am not going to complain too much about mistakes people make because, as you will soon enough read, we all make them.

Once the gun went off I had to do some weaving through slower runners to find my race pace. The rain had slowed during the first half mile of the race which was nice since that allowed me to warm up before the heavier rain started again. I quickly fell in about 45 seconds behind the fastest female and tried to keep that speed as we left the main road and ran through an industrial park. (I know it sounds like an unattractive place to run but we are rural enough that even the industrial parks are rather landscaped with all the open fields and trees around.)

The course was to be 2 loops around the biggest part of the park and then once around a smaller building. Being unfamiliar with the area, I should have look at the course map closer but I really thought, I would just follow the other runners and rely on the volunteers - not always a wise idea. I had fallen back to about a minute or so behind the fastest female but with the heavy rains returning I was still happy with my pace.

Once the rain picked up again I realized I had made another mistake. I had on my glasses. Not having contacts currently (because I am too lazy to go to the eye doctor for myself, I have taken the kids) I was wearing the glasses. I usually would have taken them off before the start and relied on the fact that I can see things once I get close enough to them and I can certainly see well enough to run without glasses. Without the glasses I can not see things clearly at a distance and I can not read little signs like the ones the volunteers were holding up to tell the runner where to go. So when I had finished my second loop and was trying to figure out where the other building was that I had to run around once, I asked a volunteer who was holding signs, "5k, I completed my second lap. Now where do I go?" to which the volunteer said, "2 mile go straight. 5k turn right." I simply did what he said. What is that my third mistake??

After running nearly half way around the same loop again, I stopped. Yeah. I stopped because there was no one in front of me after I run up a hill which allowed me to see for quite a distance. Then I looked back and there was one runner. A local woman, Lisa that I had run a bit of my first lap with. That is when I realized that we had taken some bad direction. As Lisa approached me, she was already asking where the 'other building' was and if our current route seemed right to me. Of course, we agreed we had gone the wrong way and decided to turn around and avoid the next hill and find out way back to the correct course.

Now we could have just run in to the finish and told them not to time us but I came to finish the 5k course and that was what I was going to do. We made our way back and ran the remainder of the course after getting correct directions. After running about four and a half miles to complete the 5k course, I finished strong even when I saw the 31:11 on the clock as I finished. I have to admit I was upset with myself for having made such a rookie mistake of not knowing the course but based on my pace and where I should have finished (based on the people who I was running behind and in front of) I would have finished around 23 minutes which was good.

Having never "gotten lost" before on a race, it's a lesson learned and a bit more of a workout than I had planned for that day. I have to say that it was an overall great great day! There is little better than running in the rain. Having my hubby run a strong race with little pain after his surgery helped lessen my disappointment in myself. Now we have another great memory to share and I will be the butt of a few more family jokes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

You know you have too much on your plate when...

....people think your running shorts are spandex tights.

No really.
I wasn't talking about that kind of plate. More a metaphorical plate.
I know that I have WAYYYY too much on mine lately because, last weekend you may recall from my Friday post that I was prepping for a local 5k. I arranged for the kids to be watched while I was gone. I laid out my gear. I mentally prepared. Then I went to bed.

My youngest, Max is still not an all-through-the-night sleeper (14 months old!) so I was up with him around 2ish. After I finally got him back to sleep I had a bit of an upset stomach. I chalked it up to nerves. I really don't like 5ks. They are a little too short for me to actually enjoy. Back to bed I went. zzzzzzzzzzz

I am back up with not-so-much-a-baby-anymore, Max at 6 a.m. Getting him nursed and ready for the day. It's about time for me to think about getting dressed and loading the car. Luckily for me I reach for my application (didn't preregister for this one). I put it with all my last minute gear on the table ready to hit the car.

Having to leave the kids that early with hubby out of town is already causing me to feel guilty so I want to wait until the last minute before I have to wake them. So that guilt is what caused me to be 'killing' time sitting at the kitchen table playing with the race application instead of showing up early for the race. That guilt what saved me driving to the event only to find out that there was no doubt that I would have done well.
In fact, I would have WON! because I would have been the ONLY ONE there!
Just a little too much on my plate. I am going to give it another try...THIS Saturday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dogs are jealous of runners

I realized something new. Dogs are jealous of runners.

Where I live; the rural, no traffic lights, can run an 50 mile ultra and not use the same road twice, have "corn field emergencies" with no one around to notice, see way more cows than cars; boonies I have the opportunity to not only run without the interruption of traffic light or cars but also participate in a sometimes enjoyable sport of taunting the local canine population.

Okay, before anyone jumps on the animal rights soap box, I don't taunt them. They do it to themselves. Hey, I can't help that I am free to run where ever I want and they are chained or invisible fenced or sheriffed by a human owner. I mean, I can't tell you the number of dogs that get seriously upset with me flaunting my freedom as I jog by them each day. I know that it's not that they want to try and bite me. They just get so jealous that I can run so happily down the road and they can not. That has got to be the reason they come at me with such fury as if they want to rip off my leg. Which would not be conductive to my increased running efforts at all!

And. Their owners. They all seem to think that I must like the extra pass time of flaunting my freedom to their lovely canine companions. It is the rare owner who acknowledges that their little fluffy or Rex or Killer has decided to become my bandit training partner for a quarter mile. And when they do notice all the barking and my repeated attempts to train their four-legged friend to sit or stay they often yell to me, "...don't worry he doesn't bite!"

Now, I don't want to complain too much. I really have to thank all those dogs along my runnig routes. (Who, by the way, never seem to remember me from one day to the next) I often get some decent speed workouts in thanks to a little extra incentive from the friendly neighborhood fidos. And who doesn't want to be faster, right?!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Agggghhh, this weather!! We had a record breaking snow fall. It is the earliest snow since...since they started keeping track of snow falls, I guess. I mean can you believe it. October 16th and some areas had 5 inches of snow! Which wouldn't be bad except it wasn't just snow, it was rain too. Which meant this morning's run was cold and wet AND that there was no evening run. Grrrr. I just couldn't take the baby out in this weather with a clear conscience.

After a day at the office, I am always eager to get on home. Tonight's drive home featured a black bear at the edge of a corn field. Must have been a vegetarian. That was exciting! I quickly parked my car, jumped out - cell phone in hand attempting to get a picture to share with you all, only to press the button and find out that I had no more memory for another picture. And with that the bear decided that he did like the paparazzi and he ran across the road and into the woods.

After that excitment, I picked up the kiddos and we headed home. Abby was unimpressed with the bear story (now if I had procured that picture I just know she'd have been excited!). Arriving home we found our contractor, Steve finishing up the day's work on our soon-to-be second bathroom. Yes, we will be joining those people. You know, the people who don't have to fight over how long someone stays in the bathroom or complain about why there are always blow dryers and makeup on the bathroom counter. Yes, we will finally after 20 years have two bathrooms! ....for me to clean. Oh yeah, that's the down side. Anyway, we checked out the latest work and chatted about how much we like the bathroom thus far. Then we settled in for the evening.

So instead of my normal evening run, I had planned to attempt to start my 90 days with P90X (more about P90x in the days to come)but that didn't happen either. I realized that starting the new program probably wasn't a great idea the night before a race. All be it a short just for fun 5k race. I have not fully set my mind to running the 5k race. I'd honestly like to get in more miles than that but...I laid out my race clothes for the morning just incase.

But I spent time with the kids, talked with my niece, my hubby and my mom, made supper, bathed the baby with Abby's help and still had to time blog with you. Not what I'd planned but a great evening and maybe just what I needed after all the races the past two weekends.

There were a few things I learned during from my evening I thought I'd share:

1. When you see a black bear along the road, running toward the bear may not be the best idea ever.

2. When your 8 year old daughter offers to help bath your one year old son, always ask what soap she'll be using and how much of it. pictures on that one coming soon

3. Stay flexible. Some days no matter what you plan to do life may have something else in mind.