Friday, April 30, 2010


but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 - GYRO

Have you ever just felt completely content with life? I got that feeling tonight, while stretching at the park after a quick three miles. This whole training process has brought encouragement, empowerment, strength and clarity.

My first stop in this long-distance running journey begins on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. - the Broad Street Run! I will be running the streets of Philadelphia with 30,000 fellow runners and my good friend, Julie! I'm ready. strong. focused. determined. From what I've read about this race, it's really inspiring to see a mass of runners running down Broad Street. I'm really excited to be a part of it. I'm still determining whether I want to set a time goal for this race. Of course, my first goal is to finish. When I signed up I predicted that I would finish in 1:40 - 10 minute miles exactly. Last week when I did 9 miles I finished in 1:31 minutes, but I didn't stop my watch for several cross walk lights. I think with those lights I could have shaved off at least 6 minutes or so. I am just going to go out there and do the best I can. I'm hoping to finish in under 1:40. I think I can run consistent 9:30 minute miles. Maybe the beautiful weather, adrenaline and the crowd will help me run faster. We'll see.

To help me prepare for the race I've really been focusing on eating right and drinking plenty of water this week. I have cut junk food out (besides for a few pieces of candy and no Double Downs or Red Robin bacon cheeseburgers this week!) and have really made a good effort to eat a balanced, healthy diet. In terms of training I rested on Sunday and Monday, ran 6 miles on Tuesday, did Body Pump on Wednesday, rested on Thursday and ran 3 miles tonight and stretched. Tomorrow I'm going to do RPM to spin out some lactic acid of my legs and stretch a lot. After RPM, Julie and I are headed to Lincoln Financial Field for the race expo. We'll pick up our racing numbers, timing device and t-shirt! Gotta love the shirts!

On another running note, I am really excited that Anna and Kat, two of my coworkers, have decided to train for a 5k! They are following the Couch to 5k plan and I am so proud! I look forward to watching their progress!!

Peace. Love. Run.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One Week Until Broad Street

Yesterday was the longest run I've ever done - 9 miles. I used to find a good 9-mile run in Newark.

This was a really fun route because there were a lot of changes in scenery. My favorite part was Main Street. There were a lot of people out so it kept my mind off how many more miles I still had to go. At about 4.5 miles I started to hit my first block of fatigue so I popped in a ShotBlok and I definitely think it worked. Creek Road was the hardest part of this run because there are a few small hills and I had to run down the road and then back up so that was a bit of a mental challenge. There is also a pretty decent sized hill coming back up the road towards North College Avenue.

I finished in 1:31. I am happy with that time. I think I could have shaved a few minutes off if there weren't so many crosswalks I had to stop at. (I didn't stop my watch at the lights)

Looking ahead to this week: Sunday is the Broad Street Run! I'm really excited. Saturday we go up to the race expo to register and pick up our race numbers and shirts! Wooo I love getting shirts at runs!!

This week's schedule:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: RPM
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: RPM
Saturday: Rest/Stretching
Sunday: Broad Street Run - 10 miles

Then after this week I will begin looking ahead to the half marathon on May 16!

Peace. Love. Run.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting Down to Business

Alrighty, sorry it's been awhile since my last post. I tried to blog from the train to DC on Tuesday, but my post got lost somehow.

The title of this blog is Getting Down to Business because we're now only ten days away from the Broad Street Run and just 24 days from the half marathon. Since my last post I ran 8 miles on Saturday (I tried Clif Shot Bloks and really liked them), 5.25 miles on Sunday, 3.1 on Monday and 5.25 tonight.

I'm really happy with all of my pace times. 5.25 in 51:12, 3.1 in 27:57 and 5.25 in 49:47 tonight. Since I haven't posted in awhile, I don't want to bore you with all of the details of the runs so I'll just talk about a few highlights.

I felt good during Saturday's 8-mile run. After running Julie and I were talking about distance. A few years ago when I thought about running 8 miles, I would either be like - whoa, that's so far. I can't do that. Once I finally did 8 miles it was such an awesome feeling. On Saturday we were thinking about how 8 miles is just something we do. It's tough, but the mentality is so different now. 8 miles now - no big deal. 18 miles for training in a few months - pretty big deal.

So I ran on Sunday and then on Monday I headed to White Clay Creek to do an unofficial 5k on the cross country course. I've been really curious to see what my time would be after almost two months of consistent training. When I ran cross country in high school, I was never good. I just ran for the fun of it. I remember the first time I ran that course I probably finished in 38 minutes or so. The cross country course at White Clay is well-known for "suicide" hill. I remember the first time I ran up it - I wanted to die and I probably did more walking than running. On Monday I conquered suicide - it didn't look as big as I remembered and I definitely ran up the entire hill and felt pretty good at the top. I was winded, but I didn't need to stop. I finished the course in 27:57 and I am really really really happy about that. My best 5k time is 27:50 so If I can run this hilly trail just 7 seconds slower than my best time on a flat course at the Riverfront I am definitely excited to see what my 5k time would be down on a flat course. After the run I felt the work.

I took Tuesday off to go to D.C. for work. After the conference we walked to dinner and in total we probably walked a little over 5 miles for the entire day. My feet felt it on the way back to the train station. I walked into the train station with bloody toes and heals. Nice.

Wednesday I did a Body Pump class and did 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym.

Today was 5.25 miles and I finished in 47:57. I'm really happy about that. Especially after what I ate today.

I'm really disappointed in my eating habits. I feel like I have no self control. So I've been talking for a few weeks now about how I was going to try KFC's new Double Down. Well today at lunch I headed to KFC with two of the guys that I work with at the Food Bank. It tasted pretty good, but I would definitely not get it again. I could feel my arteries hardening as I ate it and my chest definitely felt tight afterwards! HAHA!

For the next week and a half I am going to really focus on my eating habits. I know I've talked about this before, but it's for real this time. I feel like a fatso. I need to get this shirt that says "I run so I can eat." So starting tomorrow I am going to really focus on eating healthy. (I do have to eat a piece of cake that my friend at work gave me for my birthday so that doesn't count)

Looking ahead to the weekend, tomorrow I'm planning to run an easy 3 miles and then Saturday I'm doing 9. Nine will be my longest run ever so I'm definitely looking forward to it. I will try to blog on Sunday so I can talk a bit about Saturday's run and how the new diet is going. Until then...

Peace. Love. Run.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Step out of your comfort zone

This week is all about cross training and early mornings. I was at the gym at 5:30 a.m. yesterday and today. Yesterday I did about 45 minutes on the elliptical, stretched and did some weight training. This morning I did RPM - RPM at 6 a.m. is awesome - who knew you could feel so energized that early in the morning! The new music is really good, too!!

So a few entries ago I talked about the main reason I run - I really like to eat. My new snack is chips dipped in peanut butter. Don't judge me. It's really good. But on a serious note, running also helps me keep my emotions in check. I was reading Fitness Magazine the other day and a few of the women wrote about their reasons for running:

"Running swept that ex right out of my head, along with other garbage that was clogging my thought process."

"Running became my own form of Prozac. Those jogs helped me keep it together and stay positive."

I couldn't agree more with their outlooks on running.

I'm going to get personal in my blog tonight. In January my boyfriend of almost nine years (we were on again off again, but for the most part we were on) and I broke up. I won't lie, I was really sad at first, but then the sadness quickly turned to anger and then the anger turned to "I don't really give a crap." After having some time to think about the past, the relationship really should have ended years ago, but we kept going because it was comfortable. We fought all the time, we saw each other probably 1-2 times a week and the only thing we really had in common was that we both liked to eat. How often do we do things just because we want comfort? Through running I'm learning that we can't always do what's comfortable - we need to push it a little harder each time to become that better runner. Whether you've never run before or you've been running for years we all need to step out of our comfort zone. If you've never run before, make the first step - put on your sneakers and run to the mailbox. Slowly build up. If you've been running for awhile now, set some new goals!

Life shouldn't always be comfortable. Challenge yourself.

Peace. Love. Run.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's been a week.

So it's been a week since my last update. Here's what I've been up to training wise.

Monday: So after Saturday's eight-miler and Sunday's three-miler, Julie and I did five miles at the Nature Center in the early a.m. We finished in 52 minutes or so - I wasn't keeping time, but I think I remember that's what time Julie's watch said when she finished. After running a few of us girls went to the beach for the day.

Tuesday: After work I went to the gym for a Body Pump class, I hadn't been in probably a month so I was interested to see how my body would feel afterwards. I was a bit sore doing lunges and squats, but overall I felt fine. The running is definitely keeping me strong. The next day my triceps were sore, but nothing unbearable. In terms of what I ate on Tuesday, my diet pretty much consisted of this on the left (Thank you, Naty) - (I know it's bad, but it tasted so good). I pretty much finished everything on that plate before the end of the work day. I am going to try to eat better in the coming weeks. There are only 21 days until Broad Street and 35 days until the half.

Wednesday: So Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far and me being the intelligent individual that I am thought it was good idea to do 5.4 miles in the middle of the afternoon sun in 87 degree weather. The run was definitely a struggle. Again, I didn't drink enough water during the day and there were a few times I wanted to stop, but I didn't. A special thank you to all of the hot guys (only the good-looking ones) at the park who were running without their shirts - you kept me distracted for a quick minute and helped me to forget the pain I was in. Another special thanks to the lil fat ladies in their short shorts - you kept me motivated to keep running so I never look like that. Ladies, when working out, please choose appropriate workout clothes. I know it's hot, but, please, do us all a favor and avoid all that tight spandex nonsense and teeny tiny shorts. If you don't got it, please don't flaunt it. So I finished 5.4 miles in 47:11 - I was really happy about that considering it was so hot.

Overall, I am happy with the progression I'm making. I've noticed how much my stride has improved. I'm feeling really strong when running these days. On Thursday I took the day off. After 8 miles last Saturday, 3 miles last Sunday, 5 miles last Monday, Body Pump on Tuesday and 5.4 miles on Wednesday it was time to give my body a well-deserved break. On Thursday evening a group of friends went out and I was happy to hear that my friend, Liz, is reading my blog. She's a new runner and it's really exciting to hear her talk about running and how she's enjoying the blog! Shout out to Liz! Keep running, girl!!

On Friday I rested for another day because I drove down to North Carolina with my friend, Katie, and her mom. We planned to run five miles on Saturday. We went out around 8:15 a.m. and the conditions were ideal - sunny, blue clear skies and about 50 degrees. I felt really good the whole time. We were in Burlington, NC and it's a really cute place. We ran past the country club and tons of beautiful homes. After our run I had a biscuit with bacon, egg and cheese from Biscuitville! The rest of the day was a trainwreck in terms of eating. I had tons of punch, cake, crackers, cheese, desserts and a lot of other really good stuff the rest of the day at Katie's bridal shower and a reception to honor the bride and groom later that evening. I probably gained 5 pounds in NC, but whatev!

Today we flew home and as soon as I got in I headed to Delcastle for seven miles. Again, I didn't drink enough water beforehand and I felt pretty crappy for most of the run. I ran through a few stitches and my legs felt tired. I finished 7 miles in 67 minutes - still pretty good for me considering I didn't feel that great. A few things that kept me distracted on my run were:
  • Some chick wearing a dress and Ugg boots - please, sister, it's almost 80 degrees out. No need for those stupid boots.
  • Man wearing black pants and a black longsleeved shirt
  • I was inspired by a woman who was probably close to 250 pounds jogging around the park. It's encouraging to see people out there running regardless of shape and size! We can all be runners!! Around the time I ran past her I felt like I was hitting a block - I wanted to stop, but kept going - she inspired me to keep moving.
Looking at the coming week I'm planning on (this week is pretty busy in the evening so I'm struggling with where to put my runs):

Monday: Elliptical/stretching for an hour at the gym at 5:30 a.m.
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Body Pump (The HAC is releasing the new Les Mills workout!!)
Thursday: Treadmill at 5:30 a.m.
Friday: Elliptical at 5:30 a.m.
Saturday: 8 miles with Julie -we're going to try out Clif Shot Bloks
Sunday: 3-4 miles

Looking at this - I'm not really happy about all of these early-morning gym visits.

That's all.

Peace. Love. Run.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

8 miles with the fishermen

So it's been a few days since my last update.

On Saturday Sarah and I went to the Nature Center for 8 miles. We got there around 7:15 a.m. and the parking lot was FREAKING PACKED. Apparently Saturday was the start of trout fishing season and everyone and their dad was there fishing along the creek. We couldn't find a parking spot in the parking lot so we parked right next to the actual Nature Center in what looked to be a parking lot (more about that later). After some quick stretching we were on our way. I felt good for it being so early in the morning. I ate half of a Clif bar on the way over and drank a half a bottle of water. I need to drink more water though.

So we've decided that many fishermen have never seen females before. We ran along the trail and all we heard was "good morning, ladies" blah blah blah. I waved, but, Sarah, on the other hand was not pleased. On our way back she definitely called them out - typical Sarah. haha

At about the three mile mark we headed up two large hills. I felt strong going up and I credit that to all of the cycling and RPM classes I've been doing.

I've decided I really like early-morning runs. It was so peaceful with the birds chirping and the water flowing down the creek. I love White Clay Creek.

So overall I had a really good run. We finished in 1:34 - we stopped a few times to stretch and the two hills did slow us down a bit. To the right is Sarah's new Garmin GPS watch. I need to get me one of these babies. It keeps track of pace, distance and time - pretty awesome. I think this will be really helpful as I start building my mileage up as I get ready for the marathon. There are going to be times I'm going to have to run alone and I'm not running in the woods alone. If I'm running through neighborhoods or open parks, I can keep track of my mileage with this. So, if anyone wants to buy this for my birthday, please do.

So when we got back to the car, a surprise was waiting for us on our windshield - a warning ticket from the jerk park ranger. This park ranger (I will leave out names) thinks he is God of the Delaware State Park system. He used to give my brother a hard time whenever he went to the park and overall, he just sucks at life. To the left is my warning ticket for parking in an "illegal" spot.

So that was Saturday's workout. Every other time I did this 8-mile run I felt really sore the next day. This morning I woke up and felt fine. Yesterday I decided I would do an easy three-mile run today. I went to the park and did three miles and then walked about a mile and stretched. Tomorrow I'm doing five miles with Julie and then I'm planning to take a day or so off.

I've been reading about energy gels and blocks this weekend. I am going to start training with them so I can see how my body reacts before I use them during a race. In two weeks I'm going to do a 10-mile run and want to test out Clif Shot Bloks or GU Energy Gel. I'm going to use it at the 5-mile mark and probably take one before I start. What do you runners recommend?

So I'm getting close to my upcoming runs - Broad Street is in 28 days and the half marathon is in 42 days. The thought of running 10 or even 13.1 miles doesn't intimidate me (I don't think I would have ever said that). Registration is open for the Baltimore Marathon and 26.2 miles and running for more than four hours sounds pretty scary right now. I have a long way to go before I'm there, but as each day passes I feel stronger and more ready for the May runs!

Peace. Love. Run.