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, beer....you 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?)