Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Running Makes me Happy - Lessons from 8 months of running

I missed my 7th of running month rant, so I will try to make up for it with this - my Lessons on 8 months of Running.

1. Yes, you can do too much too fast.
You read about it in books, magazines, and websites, but until you do it - and get injured, you won't really understand. Some "experts" say follow the 10% rule - don't increase your mileage more than 10% a week. I think it should be rephrased to "don't increase any one run by more than 10% a week.". I generally followed this method during my half marathon training, but I found that once I reached 8 miles, adding a mile a week to my long runs was too much.

2. IT Band Injuries STINK!
Continuing with overuse injuries, if you do too much, too fast - you will get hurt. For me, it's ITS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome. My IT bands are too tight and they rub on my femer making my knees feel like there are ice picks stabbing the outside of them! FUN! My first mistake was doing too much, too fast. My bigger mistake was not stretching enough. I did stretch, for like 5 minutes after my run, but with tight IT bands you need 20-30 minutes. H
ere is everything I've learned about IT band injuries:
- You must stretch. If you start feeling tightness on the side of your legs or your knees, buy a foam roller or a stick! - check out this article
- Check your shoes. Worn out shoes will aggravate ITS.
- Strengthen your hips and quads - I have uneven strength in my quads, so I have to work on my legs individually.

3. Running Makes me Happy
I have been a bear lately - a real bah humbug! I've been grouchy, grumpy, and generally not fun to be with!
After my run tonight (my first in 10 days,) I feel like a kid again! That's it, running makes you feel like a kid. It might be the "runners high" that they describe, but what ever it's called - it makes me HAPPY!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back on the wagon - New Shoes

After a rocky 2 weeks post half-marathon, I ran today with no pain! Granted, I only did 22, very boring, minutes on the treadmill. It felt it good. I think I need to change my schedule to be able to run outside in the daylight. I won't make it through the winter if I have to rely on the treadmill! Any thoughts on a winter workout routine???

I ran in my new Asics GT-2130 running shoes for the first time - my trade in for the Saucony Trigon 5. I bought the Saucony's a week before the half and actually ran the race in them, but they killed my right foot!! Between the blister on my toe and the pain in my arch - they had to go. So my running store let me trade them in (so nice of them!) I can't officially review the Saucony Trigon 5 because I only ran 20 miles in them. They just didn't feel comfortable on my right foot. The Asics seem to fit well so far and no knee pain yet! The shoe genius at my favorite running store said I pronate with my left, but not with my right. It makes fitting me with shoes a challenge. The Saucony Omni 6 I had for 5 months prior to the half marathon were comfortable, but they didn't hold up well. I wore down the right side of the right sole to the cushion. Not a good sign! So I'm trying the GT-2130.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Go Team!

Here is our team picture from the Half Marathon - don't we look great! Notice we are all women (with one token male!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Before - After

I pulled these off the race photo page - I was shocked when I saw the finish line picture - the pain was written all over my face. The first photo is from Mile 4 - don't I look happy??!! The second one is from the finish line - so sad!
I vow that I will smile at the finish of my next race!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Post Half Marathon Recovery

As you saw from my half marathon race report, I am having some serious knee pain while running. But I am on the road to recovery! I'm doing everything I can think of to rest and stretch my IT bands:

* I had a therapeutic sports massage last Thursday - trigger point therapy on my IT bands and hips. It hurt like heck! He left bruises on the side of my legs!
* I have been stretching my legs and taking pilates - seems to be loosing my quads and hips.
* I've been using the foam roller and the stick on my IT bands - also hurts like heck , but feels so good!
* I started light weight training on my legs and hips to balance my quads. My right leg is weaker than my left, so I'm doing leg lifts, hamstring curls, side raises and abductor exercises with one leg at a time.

I did run 3 miles on Saturday, but the knee pain returned at mile 2 - had to walk the last mile home :( I think I need to trash the new shoes and switch back my old saucony omni 6! The trigon 5 are killing my right foot. It may be a loss!

Today, I ran 10 minutes on the treadmill (with my old sneakers) prior to my leg strengthening. Not bad. I may try 3 miles tomorrow. Everyone I've talked to says to ease back into it, so I'm taking it slow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pain is temporary, pride is forever

On Sunday, November 11, 2007, I ran the furthest I had EVER run before to complete the 2nd Annual Seacoast Half Marathon in a record 2:48:49 (a record for me that is!)

It was a BEAUTIFUL day – about 40-45 degrees F, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Matt, my Dad, sister, mom, and family friend – along with my running partner L and her husband were all there to see me off. I was so grateful to have such a big pit crew! The race got started at 9AM sharp. The start of the race was fairly uneventful. It took me about 35 seconds to reach the start since about 1000 of the 1200 runners were ahead on me. I ran with a couple of ladies from my running group for the first 2 miles or so. I did the first mile in 11:09, the second in 10:49. An 11 minute average - I was on my way!

I saw Matt again at an intersection near mile 2 and handed off my vest. I felt great! No knee pain, so stomach issues – I was on a role. As recommended by my running mentor, I stopped at the mile 2 water stop to stretch my IT band. I finished mile 3 in 11:30, but started feeling a hot spot under my right big toe – the new shoes!! OHH NOO! I stopped to adjust my sock, stretch my legs and was off again. I finished mile 4 in 12:04. Running along the ocean was beautiful, tranquil, and just wonderful. What a perfect setting for my first BIG race.

I ate a cliff shot at the mile 4 water stop, and I finished mile 5 in 12:37, and mile 6 in 12:00. I stretched every mile, messed with my sock again, but I was still feeling ok. It was then I saw some spectators with a sign that would become my mantra - “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” So true that would be.

A little before mile 7, I saw my dad and lil’ sister on mountain bikes. They started riding with me at cheering me on. It was then, I was starting to feel the knees throb. Mile 7 split, 12:32. At about 7 and a half miles, my knees started screaming - it felt like ice picks in my knees. I took out the Biofreeze that I stashed in my fuel belt and rubbed down my knees. By the next tenth of a mile, my knees were numb (for now)! I saw my pit crew just before mile 8 and did a full crew hand slap. L jumped on the course and ran with me for about 0.25 miles to the mile 8 mark – which I finished in 13:49. I had my second cliff shot then, and was feeling well fueled, but the pain was really starting to slow me down. Mile 9 was a 14:34, and mile 10 was 13:35. Then my knees really started to hurt again. So much for Biofreeze! I had just a 5k to go, I was on the home stretch, and I wanted to just finish.

About halfway through the next mile, I stopped, sat down, and tried to stretch my quads to relieve some of the pain. Nothing seemed to work. Mile 11 took 16:06 minutes. It was then I thought – I can probably walk faster than I can run at this point – so I started power walking. My knees stopped throbbing and I was moving faster. Yipee! Mile 12 was a 14:03! I actually passed some walkers!! (There was a walking category in this race.)

I wanted to finish the race running, so pain or not, started I running(sorta)to the top of South St hill. I saw Mike, the only guy in my running group, half way up the hill and slapped his hand and yelled, “my medal will look just like yours!” At the top of the hill I started tried to pick up the pace – using the “pain is temporary” mantra - I was so close. I saw my running coach just before the finish, and she jumped on the course to talk me through the last tenth of a mile. Once I saw the finish line, I got a bit choked up. I was thinking that it would over soon - I did it! Weeping a bit, I crossed the finish line in 2:48:49, just 11 minutes before the DNF cut-off. I got my medal and made it out of the corral to give Matt, my Mom, and L a big hug. I FINISHED!

The sign was right - the pain is temporary or at least short lived, and once it's gone,the pride of finishing something as big as a half-marathon IS forever.

Now I am, once again, on the ibuprofen, ice and stretching regimen. I’m calling my doctor tomorrow to see if I can heal my knees/IT band before the spring. I want to make this ½ marathon a learning experience by getting fitter, recovering well, and curing my IT band issues so I can come back next year get a rocking PR in the half marathon - but right now all I want to do is rest!

At the finish...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

3 days to the half!

ok, peeps. We are down to the wire! Only 3 days to go to the 21k, 13.1 miles, half marathon!!

Yes, my knee/leg/IT band thingy is still hurting. I ran 7 miles last Friday and my leg kinda went numb. After the run, I actually broke down and bought new running shoes a good 100 miles early. I was wearing down my right shoe more than my left, which could be putting stress on my right leg/knee. I got the Saucony Trigon 5 Guide. They are a lot like my Omni 6, but with a little less support to allow my right foot to maintain a normal position. So far they feel good, but my knee still hurts!

I did finish the Great Bay 5k last Saturday. When I say finish, I mean I went 3.1 miles in a certain amount of time (my slowest 5k yet!). My knee was throbbing! My friend L passed me at mile 2 as I was limping along. I didn't have a full 24 hours between the 7 mile run and the race. NOT SMART! I met up with the owner of the running store I frequent (a lot) after the race. She said to take it easy this week - RICE (rest ice compression elevation). I have not run since the 5k - and only plan on a 30 minute run tomorrow so I can get in a good stretch. We'll see how it goes. If all else fails, I will be run/walking the 21k on Sunday.

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

ok, 12 miles down!

I finished the last long run of my half marathon training! When I say finished, I mean I moved my body 12.5 miles - 4 of which I had to walk. I was having a great run - it was cool and rainy - perfect temperature for running. I felt great! About 7 miles into the run, running down Sagramore Hill (biggest hill in Portsmouth,) my right knee started throbbing! It was excruciating! I'm sure it was my IT band tightening, but I just could NOT stretch it out! I jogged/walked another mile, but I could ONLY sustain a run for a minute. I walked the remaining 4 or so miles and made it back drenched, cold, sore, and grumpy, but I covered all 12 miles!

Now, I'm sitting on the couch, icing my knee, stretching, and eating ibuprofen. It feels a lot better today, but I think I'll take it easy this week. I start my taper Monday, so hopefully lots of stretching, easy running, and ice will work out the pain! My new plan is to just finish the half marathon - no time goal or perfect pace. I just need to get my body 13.1 miles!

Monday, October 22, 2007

New shorts+humidity+10 miles = pain and chafing!

The title says it all! I did a 10 mile long run on Saturday with my group. It was 80 degrees and humid! This weather is so strange! It's October! Anyway, I did finish all 10 miles with a slew of follys - detours, pains, and yes, chafing!

At mile 3 a fellow runner and I made a detour to a port-a-potty - very much needed and appreciated! But by the time I got back on the road, I was 5 minutes behind the group (not that I could ever catch them!) At mile 5, my knee started acting up, my legs were tightening, I managed to spill chocolate gu all over myself, and my new shorts started to rub the inside of my right leg. Needless to say, by mile 9, I was mentally done!! I couldn't see another soul from my running group and I was without my mp3 player (I'm trying to ween myself off it because we can't use it during the race!!) So I walked/shuffled the last mile to get back to the start - 10.1 miles in 2 hours and 1 minute (maybe I should subtract my bathroom break to make it under 2 hours!!)

All complaining aside - I did finish my longest run yet! Only one more long run before I start my taper - then it's race time.

Lesson learned - use bodyglide!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Run Indy

I'm in Indianapolis this week for work. I really like the city - it's very runner friendly! I've traveled to some very runner unfriendly places, but Indy makes it so easy! The Canal Walk/River Walk is across the street from my hotel and is a beautiful run! My only complaint is that the running path is concrete. My legs have taken a beating this week! Here's my run:

The Canal Walk

A fountain on the Canal Walk.

Indianapolis skyline from the north end of the Canal walk.

I'm impressed at the amount of art in Indy. Here's a sample, just on the run.

Allan Houser
- one of my favorite sculptors. I was so happy to see one of his sculptures in Indy.

The RCA Dome and the new Colt's Stadium

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Picture from Fox Point 5 miler

This just in!! L and I at the Fox Point 5 miler

9 miles - and I'm still alive!

I did my weekly long run tonight instead of Saturday. 9 miles! I averaged a 12 minute mile, which was good since I had to stop 5 times for various things.
Stop 1: To fix my right sock that was cramping my toes
Stop 2: 30 minutes in - water and homemade gu break
Stop 3: Stretch my calves that started getting stiff
Stop 4: 60 minutes in - water and homemade gu break
Stop 5: Stretch my hamstrings.

So as you can tell - my legs were tight! I need to get in some good stretching this weekend. I spent 20 minutes stretching after then run, but the legs are still stiff. I hope this gets better - I wouldn't want to feel this spent after the half marathon!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I dropped 2.5 minutes off my 5k!

After running 18 miles over the last week, I thought I'd be dead for the Great Island 5k. Yes, my legs hurt, yes, my legs were tired, and yes, it was cold - but I still managed to drop a whopping 2.5 minutes off my 5k time! I finished in 33:06, a 10:41 minute mile.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

7.25 mile run!

This morning's group run was awesome. My longest run yet! My group was going 8.5 miles, but since I hadn't done 7 miles yet, my plan was to turn around part way and make it a 7 mile run.

We got started at 8am - about 75 degrees and no wind. The group took off like a bat out of hell, and I just let them go and settled into my pace with my new Feist CD on my mp3 player. I felt pretty good with one of my homemade gu in my belly. At the 45 minute mark, I had my second Gu (a real Gu this time that I got free from the running store.) It tasted like paste, but it settled ok. At the 7 mile turn around point, I felt like I could do 8, but I was sure I was at the end of the group, so instead of being dead last, I ran about another tenth of a mile and turned around.

Come to find out, I was not dead last - there were 4 people behind me! 2 of them turned around too, and we made our way back to the start. My knee started twinging at the end, but I think it's from a tight quad, not an actually knee issue (at least I hope!) I got a good stretch in and feel great now. Tomorrow is the Great Island 5k - until tomorrow!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lessons from 6 months of running!

I have been officially running for 6 months. Yippe!

To keep with last months reflections on running, I will list some lessons I've learned this month:

Lesson 1. The best pre-run food(for me) is Cliff shots or anything made with brown rice syrup. I've experimented with GU, Cliff bloks, Powerbar gel, jelly beans, bananas, peanut butter, and the dreaded Luna bar - nothing really settled well in my stomach.
After studying the ingredients of the Cliff Shot (which is pricey I must say) and looking for some recipes online, I have come up with my own energy gel that seems to work:

4 Tbs brown rice syrup
2 Tbs agave syrup (nector)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Cocoa power, vanilla, or peppermint extract for flavor(go light on the peppermint!).
My current batch is mint chocolate - but I think I'll do vanilla next.

This makes about 3-4 1oz packets. I have one of those foodsaver vacuum sealers, and I just make little mini-packets from the baggies and cut a little starter slit for easy opening.

Lesson 2. I'm a slowpoke, but I'm getting faster! I started this running adventure at a 13-14 min/mile pace, which is slower than many nuns, grandparents, and toddlers (I'll have to bLog about the nun and the toddler sometime)! I now average 10:30-11:00 minute miles (sometimes 11:30)!! Not great, but not bad!

Lesson 3. My entire family now reads my blog, so I have to start making regular posts! You'll be hearing a lot more from me!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Report on my absence....

Last week was a blur! I was in a friend's wedding that started on Wednesday and didn't end until Sunday! Needless to say, I didn't get in all my runs last week (I only ran twice :( ). I still have 6 weeks until my 21k, so I think I should be okay.

I need to find a way to keep up with my runs while traveling or vacationing. I have a trip in a week, and I need to keep running. I do bring my stuff along, but it's hard to run when everyone else is having fun!

So today, I'm back on the wagon! I finished 5.7 miles without too much difficulty. I have a group run tomorrow, so we'll see how I keep up!! I never run as fast on my own as I do with the group. Such is life!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Week 7 - 1/2 Marathon Training

Enter week 7 of the Seacoast 1/2 Marathon training. I can't believe I'm about 1/2 through my training! This week is a little weird because we are going to Vermont this weekend, so I'm going to do my long run on Thursday. The plan for the week:
m - off
t - 4 miles
w - 3 miles
th - 6 miles (long run to replace Saturday)
f - off
sa - off
su - 3 miles

Today's 4 miler went well - I still get that frikin' side stitch, but if I start doing the funky balloon breathing when I first start feeling it - it seems to go away quicker - without having to stop. I seem to start getting the stitch when I go uphill. Strange.

Oh, I finally got my new running vest in the mail today! I ordered one of those neon yellow vests from Sierra Trading Post (I love that place!). Now I won't get run over by a car when I'm out at dusk - or at least I hope I won't! I'll let you know how it works!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Red Sox win 10-1!

I know I usually blog about running and running related things, but since I went to my FIRST Red Sox v. Yankees game yesterday - I had to post this!

I guess I was expecting utter pandemonium - people acting crazy, but it was just like any other game. Yes, I have to admit that there were just a FEW more drunk people - a few more "Yankee's Suck" chants - a few more fans ejected, but nothing crazy! It was a great game, and a great day to hang out at one of my favorite places - Fenway Park.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Six miles, sickness, and lasagna

How's that for a title!

Yes, I was sick this week - a stomach thing. I missed my Wednesday run due to a Red Sox game (Ortiz's walk off home run!!) and missed my Thursday run due to a GI/stomach thing. The stomach thing was probably due to all the crappy food I ate at the game: wings, stuffed potato skins, know - crap! My stomach is not equip to handle that much junk!

Anyway, back to running.

I ran 4 on Tuesday with the group, 2.5 Friday and 6 today, yes SIX - with NO walking!! I think it's my longest run with no walk breaks. I, again, was the pokie one in my running group, but I managed all 6 miles in one hour, 6 minutes! Not too shabby! I felt pretty good. My stomach still isn't 100%, but it's much better.

Oh, the lasagna! Matt and I went to Dante's in Barrington last night - YUM! I heard it was the best italian place in the Seacoast and IT IS! Their lasagna was super yummy, the salad was superb, the mussels were to die for and the bread - ah, the bread. I'm still dreaming about the roasted garlic, olive oil dip for the bread! If you ever make it to NH, check out Dante's for a pre-run meal!

Off to another Red Sox game! GAME REPORT COMING TOMORROW!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fox Point 5 miler

A new PR for me! Granted, the Fox Point 5 Miler was my first 5 mile race, so any time was a PR - BUT, tracing the times from my 10ks, this was the fastest 5 miles EVER! And I managed this during 90 degrees weather and 100% humidity!

Matt and I arrived at the race at about 3:30 for the 5pm start. I had been hydrating all day and had some chicken and fruit for lunch (at a friend's BBQ.) After picking up my bib and race bag - I hung out in the car listening to the thunder rumble in and the weather report. The forecast was for storms (dah!) before the start of the race, so we kept close to the car to stay dry. It started to sprinkle, but never stormed. I began eating my bag of Cliff bloks around 4:15 and had one every 15 minutes until the start. I felt good, hydrated, and ready in the heat (yeah right!)

The start of the race was a nice down hill. Then we circled around a loop twice, and out fox point rd. The air was dead through the first 2 miles, and it was a bit hard to breathe. I walked after each mile marker; taking a drink and wiping the sweat. I'm glad I had my little water bottle because there was no water at the first water stop! Come on people!

At mile 3 the hills began. I knew it was coming, and was ready for it. I use the arm technique that Dave (a Team in training coach) told me. I swung my arms parallel to my sides (not across) and use my arms to power me up the hill. I also imagined hugging the hill (as Diane our trainer likes to say) and I made it up! Of course, half way up the hill, the route takes a right DOWN a cul-de-sac - then you rejoin the hill a quarter mile later - that part SUCKED!

At the 4 mile mark, the hills lessened and I knew I was going to finish. I had my last cliff blok, which gave me a little boost.

I was on pace to finish in under an hour....and I did finish in under an hour! 59:01! a 11:48 min mile pace...not bad!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Reflections on 5 months of Running

This Labor Day marks my 5 month anniversary of running!

I thought I’d dedicate this post to what I have learned and have yet to learn about myself and running in general.

What I have learned…

1. Running can be fun! It isn’t a death march, or torture event. Once you start running (which is the hardest part), and get through the first 8 weeks or so, running can actually be fun!

2. Running is great exercise! My heart rate when I started running peaked at 220 bpm – I thought I was dying! Now it’s 160 or so!

3. Running is a great way to meet people. I moved to NH nearly 2 years ago, and before I started running, I only knew a few people (most of them from work.). Joining a running group has been a great way to meet some very cool people!

4. When running, you see more of your neighborhood, town, and region. I have discovered some great routes, vistas, neighborhoods, and parks in the last 5 months – most of which I would have never discovered driving around.

5. Running gives you time to listen to more of your music collection! I have a huge CD collection, but never had time to just listen to it. Now with a mp3 player and running – I get to hear some great tunes.

6. Running podcasts are both motivating and entertaining. Folks like Steve Runner from Phedippidations and Dan and Nik from 4 feet running offer great motivation, advice, and best of all humor. I have to say humor is the best company on a long run.

7. There is actually a way to rid yourself of those dreaded side stitches!! (I just learned this - and it works!). I've tried pushing on the stitch with my hand, change my breathing, nothing worked - but this works - purse your lips and blow out like you are blowing out one of those long balloons (for balloon animals). Try to make it come from your belly (tighten your belly when you exhale.) Try it, it works! A stitch is a spasm or cramp in your diaphragm and you have to contract your diaphragm to rid yourself of it - like any cramp.

What I have yet to learn…

1. Why I’m a such slowpoke?

2. What is the best pre-run food? I'm still recovering from the Luna Bar!

3. Where can I find the perfect running short that doesn’t ride up! Some people swear by the running skort, but these things just don't fit me right!

4. What is the best way to stay hydrated during a run (I carry a bottle at the moment, but would a fuel belt be better?)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where I Run

Susan from Arkansas has a great blog - I run for my Life. She did a "where I run" post recently that I heard about on the 4feetrunning podcast. I thought it was a great idea, so here is this evenings run.

Here is the road outside my house, my usual starting point.

My house, as well has this whole area, was the old King's Grant Farm back in the 1600's. Here is one of many barns I pass.

There is a 45 acre horse ranch at about .6 miles into my run - I love to watch the horses!

Dover Rec football has started - it's great to see so many kids out playing!

Then I pass the County Farm, which is the Strafford County Correctional Facility (aka prison.) There is also a nursing home, day care, courthouse, animal shelter, and hospice facility here...NH sure knows how to consolidate!

After I pass the County Farm, I have a nice open road! After this, the hills begin!! I didn't do a hill run today, but maybe I can capture it next week. (I ran a little late tonight - it's getting dark - time to turn around!)

Final pic before it gets too dark to see! I love running at sunset -

So that's where I run. I have to say, it was fun to run with the camera. I see all kinds of cool stuff when I'm out there, and it's fun to share it. I'll try to remember my camera on one of my New Castle lighthouse runs...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My first shout-out!

I want to thank Dan and Nik from 4 Feet Running for the shout-out (is that what it's called in the podcasting world?) on Episode 6 of their podcast.

For those of you who haven't checked out their blog or podcast, please do! These two are a riot! They bring a great new voice to running podcasts. Dan is a beginner runner (like me!) and Nik is an intermediate runner training for a marathon. They bring great prospective to life and running, with a humor and sarcasm that just makes me laugh from start to finish. Check it out!

great run, still a slowpoke

I had a great group run today. I came in dirt last, but kept up an 11 minute mile - what's up with that! Ah well, I'll just keep on running! I did get a side stitch - I hate those things!

This week's plan:
4 mi - Tuesday
4 mi - Wednesday
3 mi - Thursday
5 mi - Saturday

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Luna Bars are bad

So, I'm starting week 4 of my 14 week Seacoast half-marathon training. Today's long run was not as pleasant as I hoped. Enter the Luna Bar.

I love Luna bars. I have consumed them before - while hiking, for a quick snack - but never for breakfast. So today, I decided to try a Luna bar as a pre-run breakfast. I did this against my better judgment, but a runner in my group swears her morning energy on Luna bars.

So I ate a Luna Bar, Lemonzest flavor, at 7am or so and started out for a 5 mile run at 8am with my running group. It was, I should explain, about 80 degrees at 8 am - with 100% humidity! So we started running and at the one mile mark, I started feeling funny - like I had a brick in my stomach! I started to think about turning around, but I really wanted to do 5 miles! At mile 2, the cramp in my stomach was so sharp I had to walk, so I turned around and started walking back. I jogged for a few minutes, but the funny feeling in my stomach made me stop - I did catch up to some other women in my running group who were also walking back as well - come to find out, one of the women I caught up to had some almonds for breakfast and they did not agree with her. I could totally relate! Lesson learned: Luna bars are a bad pre-run snack. Almonds are a bad pre-run snack. I should stick to what works - plain toast or english muffin with butter. I wanted to try something with protein to keep up my energy over an hour run. I think I'll have to try some of that gu or cliff blocs or something mid-run.

New mp3 playlist this week:
“Outrageous” Paul Simon
“Life Less Ordinary” Carbon Leaf
“When I’m up” Great Big Sea
“Vertigo” U2
“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth” R.E.M
“Ants Marching” Dave Matthews Band
“Says in Mexico” Toby Keith
"Would you go with me" Josh Turner
"Hills of Connemara" Gailic Storm
"Slide" Goo Goo Dolls

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I must be possessed!

I just ran my regular Cross Rd run in 26:36 – a 10:22 minute mile! And to think, I was psyched with my 10:50 minute mile! I think I did the first mile in like 9 minutes and then slowed down because I thought I might be running too fast. I felt great!

Since I started running, 4 ½ months ago, my goal has been to run a 10 minute mile. I have no great hopes of ever winning a race (well maybe when I’m 80 I might be able to win in my age group), but I want to be able to sustain a 10 minute mile. I don’t know why 10 minutes is in my head – but now it actually seems like an attainable goal.

I was reading “No Need for Speed” by John “the penguin” Bingham last night, and he says that adult onset runners don’t peek in their performance for 7 to 10 years. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever read about running! I thought that once I started running regularly, that I would peek in a season, and that would be it – forever! But that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have 7 to 10 years! There is hope!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fast group run

Did a group run today out to New Castle - made it to the second bridge and back in 30 minutes - a sub 11 minute mile!!

I was trying to keep up with the mid-level runners and I did for about a mile - then I died! But I did have a good run!

We had a guest speaker at our running group tonight - a chiropractor who talked about streching; recovery; and injury prevention. Here are some of the highlights:

* 10% rule - increase your longest run by 10% a week, not more.
* F.I.T. - Frequency, Intensity, and Time. Do not increase 2 of these things at a time when training.
* Have a recovery drink or food within 15 minutes after a run for maximum carb absorption.
* Some recovery drinks : recoverite; ultragen; powerbar recovery drink; chocolate milk.
* Take a total rest day every 7-10 days.
* Use the stick (I love mine!)
* Consume a high quality glutamine enhanced whey protein isolate with water at bedtime (do not mix with a carb)
* Try active isolate stretching (AIS)
* Stay hydrated throughout the day
* Drink 4-6oz of water every 15 minutes
* Practice using the sports drink you will be using at your race
* Use proper running posture -

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Castle BLAST

good run this morning - did 4 miles out to New Castle and back - with a BLASTING headwind. On the way out to the island, there was a great tailwind - like a little hand pushing me faster! But on the way back, it was like a fist on your forehead! My eyes were watering it was so windy! I felt like I was in one of those endless pools - working hard, but not going anywhere!

The run from downtown Portsmouth to New castle is great - I highly recommend it. Just check the wind forecast first!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Saunders at Rye Harbor 10k Race

So I didn't get a PR, like I'd hoped. I had been running well this week and thought I may be able to hold dowm 11 to 11:30 min/miles - NOT! It was 82 degrees at the start of the race with very little wind. By the end of the first mile there was NO wind and I was drenched in sweat. I knew from last weeks run that the course was pretty flat, so I could just cruze along at the fastest pace I could muster. The residents of the little town of Rye, NH were out, lining the streets, cheering us slowpokes on, which was nice to see at a 6pm race. Many residents put out hoses and sprinklers to run through (very much appreciated!)

I managed the first mile in 10:43; second in 12:02; third in 12:43(a hill!); fourth in 12:50; fifth in 12:29; and sixth in 13:41. I kept with my plan to walk a minute every mile and with the heat, I needed the rest. I felt fine up to the fifth mile - very hot, but in general, felt good. I noticed I was slowing down as people behind me started passing me. I had been running on and off with a guy dressed as superman, and he passed me walking! And then, 5.5 miles, I thought I might be having a heart attack. I'm only 29, so a heart attack wouldn't be normal! My chest felt tight and I couldn't catch my breath. We were running into a pretty stiff headwind, so that might of contributed to the feeling. I stopped to walk and felt better instantly. I walked around a tight cornor near Rye Harbor State Park, passed a cop directing traffic and though, it's only .7 miles - RUN! So, I ran the rest of the course - around rye harbor, and up the driveway to Saunders Resturant. So many people were already leaving the race, there was just a thin corridor for me to run up the drive. I did manage to kick it up the last 100 yards to finish in 1:17:something seconds - (I'll update this when it's posted to

I saw Matt at the finishing coral, and he asked if I was ok - I actually felt pretty good - tired, but good. I was a bit disappointed with the race, both in my time, the lack of water at the end of the race (the food and drink tent was EMPTY!), the lack of chip timing, and the lack of t-shirts! They did have beer and cake, so I filled up on some carbs and headed for home. Next race comes in on!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rest Day - Big Race, Big Mountain!

We went to Mt. Washington with our DC friends yesterday.....we didn't actually hike up it, but we did drive the 8 miles to the top and then scrambled the whopping 25 feet to the summit!! Here we are!

It was a ton of fun running around the summit buildings. There is a ton of stuff to see up there - I haven't been up there in over 10 years! My last trip up Mt. Washington was on foot - but I have to say the autoroad is nice! Plus, I have a big 10k race tomorrow - wouldn't want to get hurt!

Race report coming tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fastest Cross Rd Run

Just finished my fastest Cross Rd run to date - 10:50 min/mile. I must of been the man who honked at me and pissed me off! Taking tomorrow off to spend the day with DC friends up on Mt Washington.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Ok, I'm slow! I finished my group run today with the runner's alley group. Nice, slow 3 miles, at a 12 min/mile pace. I think I may be the slowest person in the group! I just can't seem to run any faster!

On the bright side, no pain in my knee today. I was a bit worried yesterday beacuse I woke up in pain Friday morning. I iced it at work and elevated it for a couple hours - took some aleve. It seems to have worked!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Saunders at Rye Harbor Run

My knee! I haven't had knee pain in months and its back. L, her husband, and I ran the Saunders 10k route today as a practice for next weeks race. It's a beautiful course through Rye, NH and Rye Harbor. I finished 6.1 miles (we cheated a bit) in 1:15. By mile 4, my left knee started aching - not good. I've iced it and stretched. Used the stick - we'll see how it is tomorrow. I haven't been this tired in a long time!

It should be a fun race!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday Easy Run

Did 2.6 today. First Run since Saturday's group run. I had a horrible cold since Sunday - I couldn't breathe! I'm still pretty snotty - so I took it easy with a 2.6 @ 11:35 pace.

Bought a Timex Sleek today to replace my old Casio. It's a sweet little watch. I still need to figure out all the functions! After much research, I decided this one had all the bells I wanted (interval timers, countdown timers, and alarms) and still looked good enough for everyday wear.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I thought I had bad allergies - but no, it's a full blown COLD - in AUGUST! When Matt came down with it, I knew it was actually a cold....a very snotty cold. I lost my voice on Saturday night and it's still gone. I missed my sunday run, and I'm taking today off too. I took a sick day and slept 4 hours this afternoon.

I missed my group run - but I figured I should get better, rather than run my miles. I think I may be able to get on the road tomorrow!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Seacoast Half Marathon Group

So I am still running!

I haven't been blogging much, but I'm still running! I took my craze to a new level this week by signing up for the Runner's Alley Seacoast Half Marathon Group. This is a 14-week training group to gear beginner runners to run their first 1/2 marathon.

Here's the schedule:
Sa - Group Long run (starting at 3 miles and increasing to 12 miles)
Sun - Easy Run (2-4 miles)
Mon - OFF
Tuesday - Group Run (3-7 miles)
Wednesday - XT
Thursday - Easy Run (2-4 miles)
Friday - XT or Easy Run

Not too tough. I've been running 4 miles once a week and 3 milers twice a week, so this should be pretty easy. Yeah right! I'm going to move from 10 miles to nearly 30 miles a week over the next 3 months. I'll try to keep up!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Portsmouth Harbor 5k

So I finished my second 5k!

I was hoping that the hill work I had been doing would help my running, but I have NOT been heat training! It was almost 85 by the end of the race - way too hot for me. I walked a good 5 minutes of the race and still knocked nearly a minute off my time! I had a great first mile, but the 1st water stop was out of cups! I grabbed some water from Matt who was at mile 1.5 and then some more at mile 2. After that, I thought I was going to melt!

After I pasted Matt a nun in full habit running with a group of 4-8 year olds pasted me! I was pasted by a nun and a 4 year old. I learned later, that the nun and the kids are from St. Charles School and the kids run 4 miles a day, 5 days a week! They were great! They all beat me!

Anyway, we ran along the river and of course it was low tide! It smelt like dead fish! The last uphill, I had to walk. It was open, sweltering and no wind! I did finish though in 35:38 (a 11:28 pace) I was 116 of 130 F2029. Onto the next 10k August 16th!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hills, Hills, and pillow feet!

I did my 4 mile hill route today - 5 minutes faster than last week! I don't know if I should credit my shoes, the weather, my mp3 playlist, or me. I walked up the first and third hill of the three hill route - but I ran the rest! I said last week that I wanted to finish the route without stopping by July 10 - we'll see. even with walking I did it in under a 12:00 min/mile pace - pretty good!

My current playlist includes:
"I run for life" Melissa Ethridge
"Basket Case" Green Day
"Desire" U2
"Days go By" Keith Urban
"Born to Run" Bruce Springsteen
"Walking on Sunshine" Katrina and the Waves
"Move Along" All-American Rejects
"It's the end of the world" R.E.M
"Run Runaway" Great Big Sea
"Comin' to your City" Big & Rich
"Hit the Road Jack" Ray Charles

What do you listed to?

3 miles in NY

Went out SUnday morning for a three mile jog around M's parents house. They live on a lake, so the run was along small camps and year round homes....and it was Hilly! I had done a 2 mile jog a month or so, but this was crazy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New shoes

So Friday I went down to Runner's Alley and bought a new pair of running shoes. They are Saucony Omni 6 Moderate. They are so comfy! It's like running on pillows. I'll do a bigger review later this month.

I did my first 3 miler with my shoes with no shin pain. I did a hilly route at M's parents. I walked about half of it because of the pain in my chest (not my lungs, something else - it happens every month) Wasn't a bad run overall.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another 4 miler

Did 4 miles at L's house. It was a nice day, only about 60 degrees. My shin was aching by mile 3, so we ended up walking the last 1/2 mile. I think it may be time for new shoes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

First County Farm Loop - 4.1 miles

Hot run today. Did my local hill route with L. Averaged a 13 minute mile. I hope to be able to finish the loop without walking in 5 weeks.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Market Sqaure 10k

I finished my first 10k! Granted I was slower than dirt, but I felt good, ran most of it, had fun, and FINISHED!

The start of the race was cool and foggy. The Market Square 10k is part of a bigger Market Sqaure festival, and all the vendors, food carts, and music stages were set up at the start of the race. This being my 2nd race, I now know that I must start at the back of the race pack, and I have to say, the view from the back was amazing. As the gun fired, I saw 1,560 runners spint down Congress St., and seeing wall to wall runners bordered by Portsmouth shops and covered by balloon arches I felt part of something huge. The start of the race was flat and fun. We double backed on downtown Portsmouth and got a whiff of the food vendors at mile 1. My running partner, L, and I planned to run each mile and walk for a minute (or until we felt good.) So that's how we started. By mile 2, I was starting to warm up and the pack was starting to spead out (away from us!) We ran past neighbors with cheers, music was blasting, informal water stops were scatered down the street. I was carrying a hand held fuel belt water bottle and skipped the water stops. Going into mile three was down hill and fast. L and I ran a 35 minute 5k.....faster than both of our first 5k race! We walked about 5 minutes of mile 4 before I took off and started picking up my pace. Mile 4 and 5 flew by. I really have not idea what happened! I remember hearing the Rocky theme somewhere in mile 4. I had hummed that to L in mile 2, so I shouted out to the spectators there. The next think I knew, I was passing the mile 5 at 1:02. I walked a minute and started my last mile - uphill. I felt great. I actually passed a couple of people - one lady was walking at the crest of a hill. I said hello and she said great job! I was psyched. I passed an older gentleman up the last hill and asked, "how's it going?" and he said "it's going." That's how I felt. I could nbow see race finishers walking down the street towards me, clapping and cheering. I still can't believe how nice runners are! One gut said, "your almost there, only 200 yards." I couldn't see the finish, but I took the guys word to heart and started picking up the pace.
Then I could see it....the finish. The clock read 1:16....I was going to finish in under 1:20! My finishing time was 1:16:37. I averaged 12:20 a mile. Not great, but not horrible.

I have to say, Portsmouth puts on a nice race and despite the cool air and fog, people were out there cheering for us back of the pack runners!

I have worked out a training schedule for the next 5 weeks in preparation for the Habour Trail 5k. My goal is to drop my time by 10% - or 3 minutes. That's a 11 min mile. I can do it, but it will take some effort.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Road to the 10k

Over the last 2 weeks I have been trying to up my mileage in preparation for the Market Square 10k.

Week 1 - I did 3.5 miles Tuesday, 2.5 Thursday and 6.2 on Saturday (Dry run)
L and I ran the Market Sqaure 10k course last week. Our goal was to finishe the course and have a "pleasant" experience. This would be our first attempt at 6 miles. The most I had done before this was 3.5! We finished it in under an 1:30. That was with walking the entire 4th mile! the course is hilly, but the neighborhoods are shady - it should be fun!

Week 2 - 3 miles Monday, 2 miles Thursday.
We did a gym run on Monday. I was traviling the rest of the week, and didn't get out until Thursday morning. I ran down near the Portland wharfs. THe was beautiful!

Next stop 6.2 miles!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Red Hook 5k!

So we finished up our 8-week beginner training with a bang! We did a practice run of the race course on Thursday. It was 90 degrees and HOT! We all finished cranky, but we were at Red Hook, so went in and had a beer and food - what could be better than that (will run for beer!).

So on to the 5k - Today's race went ok. I had a stomach ache, so mile 2 was a bit of a pain (literally.) I finished the first mile in 12 minutes, second in 11, third in 13.....for a final time of 36:23. A PR for me, since it was my first race! It can only get better! Red Hook / Runners Alley puts on a good race. Maybe I'll do another!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

40 minutes - are they trying to kill us!

Beautiful weather! Windy, warm, sunny!

I believe they are trying to kill us - actually it wasn't THAT bad. we did 40 minutes - and by the last run, I felt pretty good. I could go another mile! Or at least another 1/2!

Walk 2
Run 8 / Walk 2 x 4

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

30 minutes of running - YIKES

So we bumped up to 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk break - big jump from 3 minutes! The middle run was a bit painful....i started wheezing! My allergies are a little out of wack - that must be it.

Run 10 / Walk 3 x 3

Monday, April 30, 2007

Didn't run this weekend

opps.. I went to Syracuse....didn't run. Tuesday may be tough.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cool Again

I am a nut about the weather...couldn't tell could you! It's cold again, but at least it's not raining. Looks like it might rain all weekend - YUCK!

My running leader suggested I use a massage stick on my stiff leg/knee. It's just a stick with rolling beads on it that you rub on your muscles. It feels great! It really helped. I think I need to purchase one!

run 3/walk 3
run 3/ walk 2 x7
walk 5

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sun is shining...

It's a beautiful day! 70, dry, sunny! I broke out the shorts - scary thought! My knee is still a bit sore when I start to run, but feels better after - what's up with that? My knee is really stiff then next day....what to do?

Workout: Same as last week
run 3/walk 3
run 2/walk 1 x 10
walk 5

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring is back

It was a nice spring day in NH today. 60F and sunny! It's about time. We have been drowning here! There has been a lot of destruction from the 3 day Nor'easter. We have roads that are still closed. Dams breeched, houses flooded....crazy!

Nice group workout today. I ran a bit faster than usual, which made me quite tired in the end. L, my running partner, had shin pain, so slipped back in the group. She ended buying new shoes when we got back to Runners Alley. With my knee pain, I might need to get some soon!

run 3/walk 3
run 3/ walk 2 x7
walk 5

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Week 3 - Monsoon Workout

Did I say that the weather in New England has sucked!! Well it does!

We had our training run today in the COLD, WET, RAIN! Now, we only run 3 miles, so compared to the Boston Marathon, it's peanuts. But for a novice - it's torture! The running part wasn't actually that bad. I was dress well in a coolmax T, fleece, and LL bean anorak. My bottom half was cold in just yoga pants. The rain dripping off my jacket onto my legs probably didn't help.

The Workout:
run 3/walk 3
run 2/walk 1 x 10
walk 5

I took a LONG shower when I got home to warm up. I feel pretty good now!

Monday, April 16, 2007

111th Monsoon Marathon

I think I've mentioned that the weather in New England SUCKS!

Today was the 111th Boston Marathon - and it's 35F and raining. Can we say sucky?

Actually, I tried for a hour to get to work, going through 4 detours around flooded roads, and my office was CLOSED. This unplanned day off did allow me to watch the Boston Marathon on TV. I am so proud on those brave runners out there! I don't know if I have the courage or stamina to ever run a marathon, but in these conditions - they are superheros!

I followed my favorite marathoner on Stever runner from Phedippidations.
Steve is a podcaster that creates a very cool podacst about running. His ramblings are one of the main reasons I started running. I started listening to him at work last November and finally (In January), started running to the podcasts. I haven't caught some of this new podcasts, but I knew he was running the Boston Marathon, so I tracked his bib #. I know from reading Steve's website and listening to his podcasts, that he didn't make his goal time, but he improved from last year, which is great considering the MONSOON!

Great Job Steve!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Big Storm Coming

OK, so the weather sucks!

Luckily, my running partner is an early person, and we got our run in just before it started raining/snowing/spitting!

5 min warmup
1min run/30sec walk x14
5min cool down

The run was great. We took the pup again, and he only freaked out once on a squirrel. I can't believe the weather held for the 30 minutes we were out - as soon as we got back, it started raining!

Next week starts a new workout - we are going to slowly up our time running (which means less walking.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007



I thought it was spring, but I guess not! The running group was cancelled, so I hit the gym - but my gym closed! for good! I;ve only been a member of this gym since January and it's gone under - I knew the deal was too good to be true.

Luckily, they arranged for another gym in town to take over the memberships - so back to "purple fitness" - Planet Fitness to the rest of the world.

5 min walk
2 min run/1 min walk x7
5minute walk

Again, the treadmill sucks! My left knee and ankle are a bit sore. Not so much to stop me, but just noticeable. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Week 2

Another group run today. It's getting warmer! 40F!

5 min walk
1 min run/1 min walk x 10
5 min walk

I guess you could say I'm about average in our little running group. Which means that in the great running world - I'm as slow as dirt! On my treadmill days I go about 5.3-5.5 mph - or an 11 minute mile. I'd like to get to a 10 minute mile. But I think I need to work on running first and speed later!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday Run with pup!

So, my co-worker though it would be a good idea to run on Sunday morning at 8AM! It is Easter Sunday after all, so I guess earlier would be better. Only thing, I was out in Boston til mid-night last night at Martin Sexton. SO I was a bit groggy this morning!

5 min warmup
1min run/30sec walk x14
5min cool down

Run was good - but cold! It was about 29F when we started. We took the pup Schooner, a 11 month mutt, who managed to trip up my running partner - crazy dog! She's okay, just a little road rash!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Gym Run

I forgot how BORING running on the treadmill is!

5 min walk
2 min run/1 min walk x7
5minute walk

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Day 2

Big snow storm! No power! Guess I'll run tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Just Start Running

So, after 3 months of casual jogging, trying the couch to 5k running plan and restarting every week at least once - I decided to do something drastic! Join a running group! There is a Beginners Running Group out of Portsmouth, NH that meets twice a week for 8 weeks, in preparation for a 5k race.

We started running tonight:
5 min walk
1 min run/1 min walk x 10
5 min walk

Not a bad run. It was fun to run as a group. There are 30 of us - 28 women/2 guys - go figure!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Podcast - My new inner-voice

I've been wondering if there has been a psychological study of the effects of listening to podcasts. Do they effect our psyche? Can they change your thinking?

For the last 3 months, I have been listening to a variety of fitness podcasts. I stumbled on the ability to "subscribe" to these podcasts through my google e-mail reader and listen to them at work. Since it was three weeks before Christmas, and I had gained 6 pounds - I naturally gravitated towards the weight loss and fitness podcasts.

I started listening to Pheddippidations, a podcast by a middle-aged, middle of the pack marathoner. I have always wanted to be able to run. I watched a half-dozen marathons - and dreamed that I could run. In actuality, I could not run. I never ran more than 100 yards! However, listening to Steve Runner babble about his distance long runs and telling his followers to "run long" I began to think - "hey I could do this."

Then, I found Robert Ullrey's "Podcasts for running." These 9 podcasts follow coolrunnings "Couch to 5k" running plan. Robert put together 9 podcasts with music, voice cues that tell when you are supposed to run and walk. I'm in week 5 - can you believe it! I ran a mile on my 29th birthday - pretty good for a gal that could only run 100 yards a year ago. Now, Steve Runner says I should sign up for a 5k, and my inner voice says, "yeah, I should sign up for a 5k." A week into my running program, I was browsing the fitness section of itunes and found Motivation to Move. Scott Smith, puts out a daily podcast (60 sec to 30 min) trying to get you to movemore. He motivates his listeners by telling them, "move now, so you can move more later; life begins when you move; and take a step and repeat." I listen to Scott daily, and find that when I am running, I hear Scott in my head - speaking over my inner voice, "take a step and repeat," "life begins when you move." I sometimes get a sting of voices:

* "move now, so you can move more later" - Scott Smith
* "I am fit, thin, and healthy" - Shane and Scott of "Weight Loss and the Mind"
* "Run long" - Steve Runner

My true inner voice is hushed. If the inner voice does get loud enough for me to hear it, it whispers, "please stop running...sit down...go home." In the past, these voices would be yelling at me while I exercised, and eventually, I would give in. Now, Steve Runner, Scott Smith, and Shane and Scott are in my head - talking louder.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy 2007!

So I hope to make 2007 the year of DO.

I want to DO something with my life, with my health, with my body. So I am going to take up running. An activity that I have always hated. I am going to try to make it a part of my life.

Will you come with me on this adventure?I will begin this quest on January 15 - Martin Luther King Day. This should give me enough time to mentally prepare, plan, and convince myself that this is a good idea. I have a thought deep down that I MAY be able to run a marathon someday..... I can't run a mile! So this is a blog about one woman's quest to run. Not to run a marathon, or a 5K, or even a 2K......I want to run a mile.

Do it!