Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Training Tuesday - mid-month recap

Well, let's check out this view of my RunKeeper, as of Sunday (May 15) ...

Check out that big goose egg for the number of miles I've completed by running this month. We are 16 days after the KDF Half and I've done diddly. Zilch. I've walked the bridge several times and walked the dogs multiple times ... but running? Nope. 

I decided that after a weekend of getting mostly caught up on housework, it was time to run. Of course it would be cool and rainy ... so to the gym we went and I did a slow 3 miles. Point is, I got back to it. And I didn't die ... so that's good too.

I'm sure this was originally referring to the Civil Rights Movement. 
I love how we can turn any quote into an inspirational meme though ... 

It's funny how perceptions of ourselves change ... when we first joined the YMCA, I'd go up to the 3rd floor and stay on a bike or elliptical since I didn't know how the treadmills worked. Then I'd only stay on those machines until perspiration made an appearance -- didn't want to sweat, you see? I figured that was "just enough" to be considered a workout. This was 2-3 years before I started running though. And now? Yeah, I sweat/glisten/glow/drip ... whatever.

It's not this bad ... 

So with all this, I KNEW I'd end up taking time off after a race I had been training for -- my miles from last May? Same. So this is one of the reasons why I need a race on my schedule. It's just so easy for me to hang up the running shoes when I don't have a reason to run. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Race sign-ups and miscellaneous weekend update

So ... I have good intentions. I really do. Meanwhile, I'm slowly turning back into a slug. THIS is why I need a race on my schedule -- otherwise, I do nothing but eat all the things.

This is also the week where so many races seem to have their deadline for cheap registrations. And since my new goal is to run 50 half-marathons before I turn 50 (4 halfs down and 5 1/2 years to go), might as well get signed up for them! I've mentioned before how frugal I try to be, even if said frugalness puts us further into debt because I MUST sign up now when it's cheap, rather than wait till we have funds allocated in the budget. Ugh ... but I am excited that I have registrations for two halfs already completed. Unfortunately, they'll be a week apart.

First up is the KDF Half again (low registration fee through May 14th, I think). Some crazy thought passed through my head about signing up for the full instead of the half. I squished that thought in a heartbeat.

Then one week after the KDF half ...

And just through May 11, registration is at the cheapest for the largest half-marathon in the ENTIRE country! (So 'they' say but I haven't had time to verify). Even though it's a hometown race for me, I've never run this one. I'm really excited about running on the same track they race the Indianapolis 500 on -- all 2 1/2 miles of it. And since it's a week after the KDF half, I plan on enjoying myself on this one. I either need to get a cheap digital camera to run with or get a better phone case that I can run with and also take pictures with without having to take my phone out of the running/arm band case. If you're interested: Indy Mini sign-up They do sell-out each year so I knew I didn't want to wait to get this registration in ... and it was "cheap", so there you go.

Still debating on signing up for the Barnyard Dash 10K up at Hubers -- but I might still go ahead and do that one. And I have until the end of May to sign up for the Indianapolis Women's Half that's in September (well, for the current cheap rate at least) -- Indy Women's Half

I did fully plan on running this weekend. Saturday morning wasn't going to happen since Will had a friend sleep over for his birthday and I had to make monkey bread and they didn't eat it all so I had to eat some ... and then eat some more. But it was OK because we were going to go to the Y that evening and/or run in the evening. But then it's Derby Day and tradition holds that we have our garden done by then. Matt got the tiller out and got the garden ready. A trip to Lowe's and 80 bucks later, we have plants and seeds ... but my mom and sister had just gotten in for Mother's Day so ... and it was going to rain/storm later and I didn't want the plants to get damaged ... so no planting and no running. But I was going to get up early on Sunday and run ... but nope. And then the afternoon was filled with finally planting everything ... plenty of activity but no running. And now I feel like a slug.

Future home of broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, strawberries, and sunflowers ... 

But I got to spend some time with my mom (though she didn't remember it when I called her this morning -- it is what it is and it sucks). And Will and Allie (with Matt's help) gave me a basket of things they knew I'd like. And it was a good weekend for the most part.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Training Tuesday -- Looking Ahead

Is this still considered "Training Tuesday" if I'm not currently in training? I thought it'd be a good time to look ahead now that the KDF half is over and I'm resting up for the next training cycle to start.

I'm reading Marathoning for Mortals -- I'm not quite done with it but it's been a great resource so far. One of the things I checked is if it gave suggestions for what to do after a race ... and it does! Previously, I'd finish a race and pretty much not do anything until it was time to start training for another one. Apparently, that's not the thing to do ... after a day or two of rest, I'll be getting back out there to run again. And this makes me happy. Weird.

Shoes -- this is the first time my feet have hurt after a race. It was like the balls of my feet were bruised and I don't know if it was a result of the race or the fact that I got home and put on Old Navy flip-flops (zero arch support) for the rest of the day or my shoes were just at the end of their lifecycle. And then with the auction on Sunday and up and down and standing on a concrete floor ... Sunday night, I could barely walk. Monday was better but I definitely need to get a pair of replacement shoes. Pacers and Racers, I'm coming for you! I'm a Saucony gal -- that's what P&R put me in when I first started doing this running thing and I've loved every pair since. Due to budget constraints, I can't do more than one pair of running shoes at a time -- so my current pair will be retired to become my walking shoes.

Current situation with what I wear to walk the bridge each day. In their previous life, these shoes carried me through not one but two half-marathons, plus training and several smaller races. They are looking forward to becoming yard shoes while the current running shoes take their place. 

Actual training -- I'm determined to do more than just run this time. Matt has his footy (Aussie Rules) and rock-climbing to go with his running. I have running ... and running. Looking for yoga, weight training, anything. It will happen. I hope.

Nutrition -- well, this being spring and then summer behind it, I'm hopeful that we will get a garden planted this year and have a bountiful harvest of more than just tomatoes. We are also going to be hitting up the New Albany Farmers Market at least twice a month. And of course, our girls keep us well-supplied with eggs ...

This is our newest girl - Top Hat (we didn't name her)

Upcoming races --
  • May - no races scheduled
  • June 4 is a 10k at Hubers ... because I like to pack a year's worth of hill-training into one single race.
  • July 4 is a 5k through downtown. Matt and I had decided last year not to pay for any more 5k runs, UNLESS the kids wanted to do one. This one is tentative because Allie will say she wants to do it and then changes her mind the next day. There's no early registration discount so we can sign up that morning if we end up doing it. 
  • August -- nothing scheduled ... yet
  • September 17 is the Indianapolis Women's Half. I think I'm going to do this one since it kind of goes along with my marathon training schedule for that week.
  • October -- nothing scheduled but vacation! And we always get lots of running, bike-riding, and walks in that week away.
  • November 5 -- my first marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental! I'm sure people will get SICK of hearing about it ... and I don't care. 
  • November 24 -- Fast Freddie's Five-mile Foot Feast (Thanksgiving morning) -- this has been an annual tradition for us, even if we host the Thanksgiving noon-meal at our house. Teamwork gets the food on the table. And that we do almost all the cleaning and pre-cooking the night before.
  • December -- nothing scheduled yet

Registration is already open for the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon ... so I'll be sending in our registrations for that pronto. Most likely sticking with the half for both of us.

And that's what's happening ...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kentucky Derby Festival Half-Marathon - 2016

So ... I ran the KDF Half this weekend. This is my 2nd time on this course and really just wanted to beat my time from last year (2:34). Last year's race was chilly, rainy, and I had bronchitis. Let's see how it went this year ...

As many runners know, a race is not run in just that day. Weeks and months of training lead up to this point. The week of the race is a taper week -- where considerably less mileage is done (or next to none, in my case) so the body isn't worn out by the time the race day arrives. Nutrition is also important - throughout training but also during the days leading up to the race. Sleep ... also important. Blah blah blah.

Training -- meh ... I mostly did the Norton's Sports Health training program. Not all but most of it. Mainly signed up for the sweet (read: free) tech shirt.

Nutrition -- I actually was doing pretty good with this. Yes, I binged more than I should have. Chocolate is not safe around me. Taper week though? I bombed it. Wednesday of this week was Administrative Professional's Day -- whatever. I'm not an Admin Pro but if the Controller wants to give me a gift, I'll take it! And if it's a box of dipped fruit from Edible Arrangements? Well, that ended up as my lunch for the day. I felt like a slug.

Sleep -- whatever. I'm just thankful for coffee.

Due to rain and appointments, I wasn't able to get out to the Big Four walking bridge at lunch time for a couple days so I made certain I'd get out there on Friday. May I just say that jeans + fast walking + humid weather = chafing when I will NOT have time for it.

Packet Pick-up and Race Expo - Not sure I like the set-up for this race expo. Granted, my only big race experiences are this race and the Indpls Monumental ... and I'm usually biased towards anything Indianapolis-related. BUT ... the Monumental's expo is more open, like a market atmosphere and you can wander around and backtrack. The KDF's expo is set up like a cattle-track and you just follow the herd in front of you. If you want to stop and see something, you step out of line and then hope to jump back in when you're done. The only thing I bought (and only thing I was looking to buy) were a couple packs of Extreme Sport Beans by Jelly Belly. I had won a case of them last year and they helped get me through long runs and races (jelly beans plus caffeine and sporty nutrition? genius!) but I ran out awhile ago. The only ones I could find were at the Fleet Feet Louisville booth and they were just regular Sport Beans, not the Extreme version that has the caffeine added. It ended up OK -- they were also 20% off at the expo so I definitely would have purchased more if they had had the Extreme version.

The Parking Dilemma and Start Line - Last year, we ended up having to rush to the start line because of having to park about a mile out and we had left later than planned to begin with. This year, we debated parking by the 2nd St bridge or the Big Four bridge in Indiana and then walking in. We could have done it even though it would have been 2 miles from the start/finish lines but we were going to leave EARLY to get there. Of course we didn't leave as planned so we decided to try our luck parking in Louisville again. We ended up parking on the street by a construction zone. Found out after the race that all the cars parked in front of us received parking tickets because their meters ran out -- the 4-5 cars behind them (us included) didn't have meters to worry about, so no parking ticket!

Thoughts during the race - I really need a voice recorder to catch all the random thoughts that pop into my head during a race. I don't listen to music while I'm out on the road (can't find earbuds to stay in) so my thoughts jump around like I don't know what.
Some things I recall that I want to remember -- seeing the Flying Elvi and how much fun they were having (group of men dressed as Elvis, pushing a baby stroller with their boombox that played Elvis songs throughout the race); seeing an amputee running; seeing a fireman running in full gear (supposedly there was a crew of them but I only saw the one guy); seeing someone I thought I recognized from the blogosphere but didn't realize it until I passed and then thought it'd be odd to turn around and run back to her to say hi! and introduce myself (hint: someone dressed as Belle); being so totally soaked from rain and puddles; all the awesome water stops and encouraging spectators -- but then also getting to large crowds of spectators and it took some encouraging yells from RUNNERS to get the spectators to start cheering for the other runners; seeing all ages and shapes and sizes out there.

The Finish Line and FOOD! - I actually ran more than I thought I would and tried to only walk during the water stops (and I stopped for water/PowerAde at every single stop). I did end up walking for about 3-4 other times but for no more than 1 min or less each time. I was just sick of the rain -- but I wasn't cold (yet) so it wasn't too bad. I haven't even looked for my race photos yet but I'm sure there are looks of pain in each one. :)  Seeing that finish line and digging deep to 'sprint' to the end (more like a fast jog) and then wandering around ... that's when the cold set in. I couldn't stop shivering. I knew Matt finished before me (got his finishing text when I had just passed the 12 mile marker -- awesome job!!) but couldn't find him and I couldn't dig my phone out to text him with swollen/wet fingers anyway. So I got my food (remembered to bring a bag with me so I wouldn't have to carry all the food in my arms) and started right on with my bagel as I wandered around looking at the people and for Matt. FINALLY found him and we decided to head on out -- the rain and cold was starting to get to both of us -- I didn't request hypothermia, that's fo' sho'.

Results ... not just a PR for the course, but also a PR for the half! I beat last year's time by 9 minutes and my overall half time by 4 minutes ... 2:25! And Matt? He beat his time from last year by 26 minutes and his overall half time by 3 minutes with 2:15! Aahh-mazing! We didn't really get a chance to rest over the weekend -- FIL owns an auction company and we had an auction to work on Sunday (Matt does the grunt work and is in the ring and I'm at the cashiers table so am up and down all day). This morning? Neither of us could move without sound effects ...

Looking forward to seeing everyone's recaps and what they thought. I'm definitely signing up for next year. :)

My running buddy ...