Monday, April 26, 2010

Hauling BOOTY!

So Taber got a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch for his birthday and on Saturday he was nice enough to let me try it out! HOLY SMOKES! That thing is dang awesome! Our old Garmin told you your speed and distance based on a foot pod, so it wasn't always 100% accurate. It also didn't show mile splits, maps, or overall average pace unless you calculated it yourself. So yeah, I was pretty pumped to run with real satellite tracking.

I decided to do the route that I trained for my half marathon on. It has a really nasty hill that goes up about 114 feet in elevation over a maybe a .2 mile distance. I've only been able to run the whole thing a couple times. Anyway, on Saturday I wanted to see how fast I could run 6 miles so I was going for speed and I vowed I wouldn't walk that hill.

I took off pretty fast and finished my first mile in 8:32 min. It was so cool having the watch beep and show me my average pace on each mile. Mile 2 was 8:24, and then I tackled mile 3 which included the nasty hill. I was huffing and puffing but I made it to the top without stopping and it felt so awesome!! I thought I was going super slow but my pace was 8:40 for that mile so not too bad. Mile 4 included coming back DOWN the hill and I did it in 7:58. Mile 5 was 8:21, Mile 6 was 8:31. My finishing time was 50 min 31 seconds for an overall average pace of 8:24 per mile!!

I felt pretty awesome the whole time and really think the cross training I've been doing has made a difference on my speed and ability to take on the hills. I've been running 3 days a week and doing an hour of strength training the other 3 days, (don't work out on Sundays) and it's making a difference. If I want to run a 25 minute 5k I need to average an 8:03 minute pace. That's pretty fast but I think I'm on the right track! I'm looking at a race in 2 weeks. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Running: good for your heart, and your marriage!

So Taber has recently gotten back into running again. It's been tough since he doesn't have a gym at work anymore and is working way more hours with a commute to top it all off. It's been hard for him to figure out when he can fit it in, but he finally just decided he was going to do it, even if it was late and he was tired, he was going to run. He signed up for a half marathon in September and has his eye on some 5Ks and 10Ks this summer.

I gotta say, seeing him work so hard to get his runs in is attractive. I kind of feel the way I did when we were dating and I'd see a neat quality in him and think, "wow, that's the kind of guy I want to marry." So now we're married and I tell you what, it's still pretty darn attractive to see him doing things that I admire!

I also love having a common past time and something to get excited about together. It's so fun asking him about his run and comparing workouts. We subscribe to Runner's World magazine and I like talking to him about the articles in there and getting geeked out over runner celebrities like Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher.

Last night after the kids went to bed he ran while I did a work out DVD. Then we came upstairs and watched the Boston marathon that I had recorded earlier. It was an awesome impromptu weeknight "date" : )

With kids and work, life can get crazy and it's easy to get consumed with the day to day grind of making our household run smoothly. But running gives us something fresh, a common bond to escape some of the chaos and to see each other in another role besides homemaker or breadwinner. For a small part of our day we are "athletes", training partners, team mates : ) Even though we aren't running together we're both running, and I'll be the first to tell you, it's definitely been good for our marriage!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Up Next...

So, it's almost been two weeks since my half marathon and I finally figured out what to do with myself. I always feel a little lost after I finish a race. It's like, I work so hard for so long to lead up to that moment but then it's over, and I'm like, "doh dee doh...No what?"

At first I was thinking maybe I'd just take a break from running and focus more on toning up and strength training. Running is great for your heart and lungs and I do have to say that my legs are pretty buff. ; ) But running doesn't really do much for my other trouble spots (mainly my belly!) So the first week after the Half I did 45 min to an hour of strength training DVD's everyday. Lots of squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups, resistance bands and butt blaster type stuff. I threw one short 3 mile run in there but it was a pretty low key half hearted effort.

The strength training has been nice but today the running bug is back. My friend introduced me to a new app for my iPod touch. If you have an iPhone (Natalie and Ro!) Then the app is even BETTER! its called runkeeper pro, and it works like a GPS watch. It tracks your distance, pace, speed, calories burned, and maps your route. Then it uploads it all to a site online where you can keep track of everything. Best part about it is you can invite others to join your street team, and keep up on each other's goals and training!

Once I downloaded that app I got all excited about running again. There's just something about seeing my progress charted out that just gets me going! Also I love that you can have people on your team to motivate you too. SO, if you have an iPhone and download this (there's a free version too, runkeeper free) Then add me to your street team! my username is BeccaB.

Oh, and my goal now is to do a fast 5K next month. I figure now that I've done a good distance race it's time to get my speed back up. I'd like to do it in 25 minutes flat. My previous PR is 25:46. I think I can do it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New York 13.1 Half Marathon: The Extended edition

How cute is Teya in this picture?! She just had to be in on it!

The New York Half was great success! You can read all about it on my family blog here: New York 13.1 Half Marathon

I always like to put in a few extra details though on my running blog so here they are in no particular order:

1) I got so nervous before the race that I missed the shuttle from my hotel to the starting line because I couldn't get out of the bathroom. Luckily there was another shuttle 10 minutes later but I was a little frazzled. Even after that I had to stand in the insanely long port-a-potty lines TWICE before the actual race started. Does this potty issue happen for anyone else on running day? Or do I just have the world's smallest bladder?

2) After my whole iPod dilemma I decided to follow Natalie's advice and bring my iPod but not listen in the beginning. That only lasted for 3 miles and then I got insecure and turned it on. I'm still not sure if it is that big of a help, maybe when Justin Bieber's "Baby" came on ; ) but other than that I didn't feel like it gave me a ton of extra energy.

3) One of the ways I navigated this race was drafting. I'd find someone that was clocking around a 9 minute pace and then I'd pull in behind them and let them do the work. I never found anyone consistent enough that I could draft the whole time, but I was able to do it enough to reserve some energy. Only problem was when people noticed what I was doing they seemed either nervous or really annoyed. This one guy was obviously trying to shake me but I kept pacing with him, eventually I decided to back off though because we were in Queens after all!

4) My quads were really sore the next day. I knew I should've done more cross training! I always say I'm going to cross train more and somehow it always gets neglected. NEXT TIME!

5) I got a sunburn on my back and the return of the perma-tank top tan that I had from running last summer : )

6) I had the best cheerleading section in the world! We've never brought the girls to spectate a race before because we thought it would be too much for them. While it WAS a lot of work for Taber, I think they did really well and it just made the accomplishment feel complete having them there.

Me waving to Teya (she's hanging out in the bottom righthand corner) at mile 5

7) I was really impressed with the 13.1 marathon series. The organization was awesome, the miles were marked really well with running clocks showing gun time at every mile. The drink stations were at almost every mile and had plenty of water and gatorade. The finishers chute had lots of great food options, from apples and bananas to bagels with cream cheese, muffins, donuts, you name it. The after party was tons of fun, with a live band and disco dancers. The medals were really nice and the shirts were awesome too. This year they have them in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Miami. Highly recommend it!

8) After running that I realized I have no desire to do a marathon this year! Half was enough for me! Maybe next year. Maybe... : )

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Last thoughts before race day

As of yesterday my training for the New York half is officially done! Today and tomorrow are rest days and then it's time to race!

Monday was a 4 miler. It was rainy week so I did both my runs on the treadmill. I warmed up for 1/4 mile at 6mph then did another 1/4 at 6.5 mph then settled into my run at 6.6, which is a 9:05 min/mile pace. When I hit the 2 mile mark I went to 6.7 mph, 8:54 pace, and when I got to three miles I pushed it up to 7mph and did the last mile at an 8:34 min/mile pace. For the last 1/4 mile I went to 7.5, 8:00 min pace, and ran hard. My finish time was 34:48 minutes for an overall average pace of 8:42 min/mile. I was a sweaty mess and definitely could NOT sustain that pace for 13.1 miles, but it's always fun to push yourself on a shorter run.

After that run my shins were hurting me, so I took Tuesday off and then decided to do a nice easy 3 miler on Wednesday. My shins still hurt so I started out conservatively, at 6mph on the treadmill, but there's something about a short run that just makes me want to go faster. So I kept cranking up the speed until once again, I was a running hard. I finished in 26:25 minutes, for an average pace of 8:48 min/mile. My shins were definitely not happy so I did an ice massage after and I think that helped. I'll do another one today and won't be running again until Saturday so hopefully with more ice and two days off running my shins will be a little happier :)

Sadly my friend who I originally signed up for the race with has been injured and just told me today that she won't be going down with us. I'm bummed that I won't have my running partner but I know how it can be with injuries. Luckily another friend decided a few weeks ago that she would try running it so she'll be there. We run at different speeds but at least I'll have company for some of it : )

And here's the good and bad for race day:

The bad:
-I won't have my running buddy. I was secretly planning to use her as my rabbit, since her pace is just a bit faster than mine, I was hoping she'd pull me through to a faster finishing time! Oh well..; )
-This is the inaugural event for this race, so I'm not sure how well it will be organized. Also, contrary to the misleading pictures on the website, we will NOT be running in Manhattan, but in Queens. Not sure how I feel about that yet.

The Good:
-Taber and the girls will be cheering me on at the finish line!!
- The weather is supposed to be GORGEOUS!!
- my iPod is up and running again and full of some new awesome songs to help me out just in case...
- I feel really confident about my last month of training and whether I beat my old time or not, I know I'll finish strong!
-The post race party tent has tons of cool stuff for spectators and kids to enjoy as well. Looks pretty promising : )

So that's the latest and greatest. We're taking off in the morning and looking forward to a fun weekend away!