Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crash and Burn: Track Edition

Hello all, hope all of you that are getting even more snow are hanging in there! I would be going stir crazy just sitting in my house waiting out the snow. To keep you all entertained, you can read about my episode at the track last night.

So as the title suggests, I crashed, hard. I normally do really well at the track, but this is my last real training week before my race in 2 weeks and my mileage has been up there and my legs are exhuasted. I have already run 5 days straight (since Saturday) and I have not had an easy workout at all, everything I have been doing lately has been hard and/or fast, and my legs finally spoke up to tell me I needed to back it off some. There was a 20 second difference in my times last night, and it was not pretty.

So coming in on tired legs, I went and did what seemed like and easy enough warm-up
3.57 miles- 32:17, 9:03 pace

I had 8 miles to get in for the day, and on the schedule was 4x1600. Now I really don't mind mile repeats, but I knew how much I was dragging and that I wanted to get in a vicious workout before being gone from my normal schedule for a week.

The goal was 7:45 for each 1600

My times went like this:

Warm-up: 3.57 miles- 32:17 (9:03 pace)
1600- 7:50
1600- 7:58
1600- 8:10
1600- 8:06
Cool down: .54 miles- 5:05 (9:24 pace)

8.11 miles- 1:09:26 (8:33 average pace)

So I didn't hit a single 7:45, and that 7:50 at the beginning was the only one where I didn't want to die. I felt like a zombie running, my legs had zero kick in them, my stride was awful I was practically shuffling along and it was never until the last 200 meters that I remembered what I am supposed to be running like.

My coach and I talked about my last 10 days of running and agreed that I should be tired after it all, I have put in a lot of miles and have been running hard every day, and that in the end, these awful exhausted runs will make me better, and I know he is right. He told me to hold on 2 more days and get in my long run with to only worry about doing the last 5 at goal pace, rather than 8-10, and then I have a week of extreme cross-training and low miles and then a race week, so I will have time to recover and reep the benefits of these 2 hard weeks.

I know trying to do 4x1600 faster than my 5k race pace is pretty tough, and most people will tell me know to beat myself up to much, and I'm not, but I know I can do it, I have done it before, and besides, you can't get faster if you aren't running faster.

Do you find it hard to balance mileage and speed? When I was building up my mileage during marathon training my speed improved some over shorter distances, but it never dropped too much over my longer distances. Now I have the endurance I need, and I am trying to drop my pace over those distances

How do you balance improving speed and maintaing mileage and your endurance?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Vendors Edition

Ok, after much slacking I actually have some fun details to get into about our wedding!!!

Once we decided on a time frame that we liked, it was important to me to nail down our major vendors first, after all, you can't have a wedding without a place, right! The biggest things on my inital list were location and photographer. After all, people remember the party and the only thing that lasts is the photos, so I felt I was resonable in my top priorities.


I have been pretty hush about our venue until now, I do really like keeping lots of things under wraps, but since it will ultimately be printed on the invitations, I figured why not.

When I was looking at venues, I wanted someplace with a wow factor, that had an air of something different, whether it be an original location or the mystic ambiance of the river. There were a few places that stood out in my mind, but after some searching it became clear that one place had the wow factor with all of the other conveniences I wanted as well....

TPC Sawgrass

Our ceremony will be held on the presentation lawn at Sawgrass

With the ceremony following in the clubhouse ballroom

I am very excited about our venue, it is beautiful, accomodating, and has the space we need for our party which was important, and everyone seemed to be in agreement that is was the best of all the places we looked at.


I Love Love Love our photographer! When I was first researching several photographers in the area, there was one that I just loved her style and how her pictures looked. Availability became a big question since our date is pretty popular as I later learned, but luckily she was not booked!

I could tell just by exchanging emails with her that we would get along great, and after meeting with her, I knew that was who I wanted. Most of your wedding day is spent tailed by your photographer, so I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with who we chose and that we would get along well and had the same idea about what we wanted in the end.

We are going to be scheduling our engagement photo session once we are back from our trip, and I am super excited about these pictures. John and I have never had fancy photos taken, not even for our Christmas cards, so I am really excited! A lot of the photographers I looked at weren't including engagement sessions in their packages, which majorly bummed me out, I was really looking forward to having nice photos of us that weren't from the wedding, so that was a big selling point for me!


So here comes the big vendor debate that is still taking place in our household...

Band vs. DJ

While there are obviously benefits to going each way, I still find myself a little torn


While a band adds a certain level of sophistication and customization to it, they are more expensive, have limited playing abilities, and sometimes get a little self-centered as to who this whole thing is really about. That being said, bands can be a lot less pushy and a little more classy and appealing to the older demographic.

When it comes to a DJ they can play just about anything you want and I think bring in more of an entertainment factor for the evening if you pick a good one. DJ's do a great job of getting the party started and keeping it going. While they are less expensive than a band, the appeal more so to the younger demographic and often annoy the older folk, and lets face it, anyone can play music in the order that you tell them to right???

SO....your opinions are needed.

Band vs. DJ??????? And why? Did you have a good experience with one? Is there some other sort of music alternative I should be looking at all together???

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ten Things Tuesday

Almost halfway through my work week- getting even more excited about my vacation!

This morning was supposed to be a nice 7 mile tempo run, but I needed to head into work extra early today to get some things done, so it because a 4 mile mini progression run:
4 Miles- 35:25, 8:51 average pace (9:16, 8:58, 8:49, 8:22)

If you have witnessed my anal retentiveness in all the other aspects of my life, you can imagine that I apply the same neuroses to my traveling. There are severeal things I do to get myself ready for a trip, even if it is just a quick weekend trip, I have found it makes traveling and coming home much easier:

1. Packing Lists

I am a huge advocate of the packing list!

I use excel and tend to break my list into different categories based on my needs. This trip for exampe has a list for ski stuff, running stuff, regular stuff and things for my carry-on bag to keep me entertained for our 15 hours of traveling. When packing for a race weekend, I always separate my running stuff from everything else to make sure I don't forget anything!

2. To-Do List
As much as I wish packing was my only to-do to get ready for a trip, it is never that simple, so I also keep a running list of all the crap I need to get done before heading out- I am SO obsessive about crossing everything off my list, so it is a great way for me to get things done.

3. Packing Inventory
This may seem slightly redundant, but for something more than just a weekend trip, I usually pack a couple days ahead of time if possible. It saves me the stress of the last minute packing free for all and also keeps me from having to do last minute laundry.
With that being said, I packed most of my things for this trip on Sunday, so I always like to go back through my list the day or 2 before and make sure I didn't forget anything, or if the expected forecast changed then I can make changes. Our ski trip forecast is still going to be freezing cold, oh well, I was really tempted to throw in that bikini ;)

4. Sticky notes

Enough said. For all those last minute things you need to do or grab, I line my front door, bathroom mirror and car with sticky notes so I don't forget those last few things. I actually appreciate this google image sticky because I had forgotten that our rent will be due while we are gone- see, stickys are a life saver!
5. Doggie Arrangements

For the trips when this face cannot accompany us, we have to make plans for her too. I get really upset about leaving the dog for more than a day or 2, I always worry that she is going to feel abandoned, be too cold, hungry, lonely, or feel that she did something wrong- probably because she had a very traumatic experience the first time we left her, so I put a lot of worry into the puppy plan. While it is not always the easiest/cheapest/funnest, we always find an option that works best for Peachie and the circumstances surrounding her and the situation at the time. This will be the first trip where we have had to leave her where I won't be able to call and check in on her all the time since calling from Europe is like $512874 per minute.

6. Clean the house
I don't know about you, but I hate coming home from vacation thinking about everything I need to do to get caught up and then realizing my house is a disaster the minute I walk in the door. I always make it a point to do at least a light cleaning before a trip. This week's cleaning will be a bit more intensive.

7. The Kitchen!!!
A lot of thought goes into preparing my kitchen for a long trip. I have to make sure all the dishes are clean and put away, kind of following the clean your house thing. Most importantly though, I clean the sink and disposal, make sure the fridge and counter are rid of all produce, leftovers, and anything else that can spoil (read: smell) and take the trash out is the last thing I do before we leave. I hate coming home to bad food, or even worse a bad smelling house!

8. Wash the sheets & make the bed
After being away from my bed I so look forward to a good night sleep at home. I sleep better with clean crisp sheets, oh, and I'm neurotic!

9. Laundry
Besides wanting my favorite clothes clean to bring with me, I also don't want a moutain of laundry to tend to immediately upon my return. Also, stinky running clothes left too long make the house smell all sweaty!

10. Have a schedule
I prefer to have a plan for D-day (leaving day) that way I can make sure I have time to get it all done without being stressed about it. So yes, my Leaving day is already planned

-15 mile long run
-stretch, ice bath, shower
-breakfast, finish packing
-get ready

Do you have anything you HAVE to get done before going on vacation??? As you can see I have quite a bit!

Are you an ahead of time packer or do you wing it at the last minute???

Monday, January 24, 2011

Matanzas 5k & Playing Catch-Up

Happy Monday and T-4 days until my Crazy European Ski Vacation!

I have been uber-busy getting ready for our trip, but I seemed to be in a good spot with everything so hopefully all my work this weekend payed off and I don't have to play catch-up all week.

Heading back to Saturday, I raced, a 5k, worst distance ever invented. After the marathon and the injury I began to doubt my knack for distance running, that is of course until this race. I can say with extreme confidence that I am a distance girl, I can take moderate amounts of discomfort for prolonged periods of time, although if you pace race, it isn't even discomfort, it just feels normal...5k's do not feel normal, at all!!!!!

Last Year this race was good and bad, I broke 30 minutes for the first time in a 5k, but I over-dressed and started too fast, and lets just say that it was a less than pleasant feeling by mile 3. I was determined this year to nail this race, the course is so pretty all through old St. Augustine and the weather was expected to be perfect 46* and sunny.

So John took me down there and we got the start area about an hour before the start, there was bunches of people already there and it ended up being a little cooler and windier than anticipated. I did a 2 mile warm up, and my quads were still oddly sore from the 200's I had done on Wednesday, apparenly my legs cannot handle the stride length that comes with paces that fast.

I ditched my warm clothes and lined up right at the 8:00 pace marker. I wanted a new PR (the old was 25:59 from August) and I really wanted to hit 25:00 or sub-25:00 but I wasn't sure if I had it in me with sore legs, but I figured I would give it a shot and either nail it or crash and burn. A 25:00 5k is an 8:02 pace, so I was prepared to go out at 8:00 and hold on for dear life.

Mile 1- 7:58
So pretty much right on target, I tried to keep it under control and I think I did. I never felt tired and my HR
never got too high during mile 1, and I felt great and enjoyed the scenery.

Mile 2- 8:07
At about 1.5 we were turning to head back towards the finish and the sharp turns threw me off a tad and after the last turn to head back north we were met with a bit of a headwind. Nothing compared to the winds in Apalachicola, but enough to make an 8:05 pace feel like a 7:55, and to send my heart rate climbing a little early.

Mile 3-  8:08
The congestion at the water station and the slight wind just threw me, I let it, I lost the edge to just push through the pain and couldn't keep in under 8:05 no matter how hard I tried. I would hit it for a few seconds and then lose some gas and it would drop. Looking back now, I am glad I kept it consistent in the last 2, put you can't deny positive splits- I don't know if I have ever run a 5k without positive splits.

Mile 3-3.13- :54 (6:57 pace)
I laid out everything in the last tenth or .13 since I did a decent amount of weaving during the race. I felt like I was running so hard at the end I seriously thought I may hurl on the girl collecting the time chips at the finish line- lucky for her, she was spared.

3.13 Miles- 25:08, average pace 8:02

...8 seconds, I missed that 25:00 by 8 seconds! I know if I could have run a perfect 3.10 that would have been the 8 seconds right there because my average pace was right where it needed to be, but it is still a PR by almost a minute, and to be honest I didn't even think I would come close to that 25:00 goal on Saturday, I thought I was looking at a 25:30ish, so I was very pleased with the race and my effort. Although I passionately hate 5ks, I will put myself through the suffering at least once more this spring in the hunt for that sub-25:00, it's so close now I can taste it, just a couple more track workouts :)

I was supposed to do a recovery run on Sunday, but I decided shopping was more appropriate ;) Made even funnier by the fact that I ran into my coach while I was out doing said shopping exercise! I spent most of yesterday (and actually the whole weekend) getting our lives together for this trip. Packing had commenced, it appears as of this moment that all of my things will fit into my 1 alloted suitcase, I am just hoping I can stay under the 50lb limit. Last time I nailed it at 49.3lbs, its just a skill I have!

Something about a busy week and an upcoming trip really motivates me, I already have my whole week planned out, including my workouts. I have double workouts every day this week except Friday, it may seem a bit much, but I will be sedentary for almost 18 hours while we travel to our destination, and who knows if I will actually be able to run once I get there. I have packed the warmest clothes I own in attempts to get in 3 runs over our 8 says in Austria, but I don't know how this Southerner with fair in snow and altitude, so I may just have to look at it as a week of cross-training  since we will be skiing every day.

Today, I started my beautiful schedule off with an 8 mile bridges run. I know hills are important, but starting the week with a slow run always kind of blows, I miss tempo Monday's, but my tempos rock because I have been doing hills recently so I will just keep trudging through them.

I did the standard 3 bridge 4 mile loop, I did a 2 mile warm-up before hand along the (flat) riverwalk and added an extra loop at the end.

8 miles- 1:15:06, 9:23 average pace
9:27, 9:11, 9:29, 9:44(the beast), 9:25, 9:23, 9:22, 9:05

I told myself that every bridge needed to be under 9:45, and actually all of them except the big beast were under 9:30 so that was good. Even though that was fast for a bridges run, I still felt a little slow, but tempo run tomorrow will make it all better. This evening has weights, core, and some much needed cross-training on deck. See everyone with a big Tuesday update!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Afternoon Running

1 day away from the weekend!!! It has been CRAZY in my little world this week. That may actually be an understatement, it has been so rediculously busy that there have been times when I stop for a second and realize I forgot to eat- that never happens!!!!!

Due to above noted craziness my schedule has been all over the place, and I have taken to running after work every day this week (that will also include today).

Monday-8 Miles
Tuesday - 6 miles easy

What was supposed to be an easy run, went a little crazy. I needed to get all the stress out and running faster is the only way I know how to do that. I made sure I kept my warm-up and cool-down in the easy range and told myself to not force it the rest of the time, I know I would naturally run a little faster that day but as long as I wasn't forcing a certain time I would be fine.
6 miles- 54:32, 9:05 average pace, still pretty easy

Wednesday was actually supposed to be a calm day at work and I was excited for that, but by 10am it was clear it was going to be another rediculous day, and as exhausted as I was from all of this chaos, I knew I would feel better once I got to the track. Since I have a race this weekend, my normal 6-8 mile track day was cut in half, so I had plenty of energy to get out in these short fast miles. On the schedule: 8x200

I have NEVER run anything shorter than a 400, that is about as short as seems useful, and I LOVE 400s! I think they are great, you can go fast and I can usually do 6-8 before I really start to feel it- so I was a little confused about 200s- just an all out sprint??? But even 8 of them will only equal 1 mile, thats like nothing???

I am here to tell you my friends, 200s are a special kind of demon. I thought this workout would be cake, SO short that I couldn't possibly get fatigued from it, and I would be able to soar through all 8- wrong!

Warm-up- 1.25 Miles- 11:13 (8:58 pace)
8x200 with 90 seconds rest in between:
:39 (5:20)
:38 (5:11)
:41 (5:40)
:40 (5:24)
:42 (5:43)
:45 (6:13)
:41 (5:42)
:41 (5:40)
Cool Down- 1.75 Miles- 16:55 (9:40 pace)
Total: 4 Miles- 33:35

So I was anticiapating the 200s taking about 45 seconds each, my coach told me to shoot for 40-45 seconds. I did the first one and was a little surprised, I mean I sprinted, but I didn't feel exhausted until about #6 when I started to lose that kick you have I felt like I was flailing out there. I did manage to stay right on the heels of the fast guys. This was a fun workout, but I was surprise how jello-like my legs felt by the end.
A successful track workout and some confidence going into this weekend's race. I am hoping for a new PR and the weather should be in my favor, so let's hope I can pull some fast miles out on Saturday.

I have an easy run on tap for tonight, so here's hoping I can keep it easy and stay loose going into the weekend. Since my Wednesday was crazy, I have a "Wedding Wednesday" post still coming this week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten Things Tuesday

Happy Tuesday y'all! It feels like a Monday since we were all off yesterday for MLK day. Since the 3 day weekend put me majorly behind on blogging, hopefully this does a good job of catching up:

1.  Today is the start of a 4 day week, followed by another 4 day week, and then a whole week off for vacation- go ahead and hate me, I would!

2.  Running- has been going, still fast, feeling good, no ITB/hip pain, and I feel like my stride has changed, has gotten longer, I think maybe that is why I have been running faster without too much effort.

3.  Sunday- 6 Miles super easy- 54:55, average pace 9:09

4.  Monday- scheduled 6 miles tempo (4 miles at hmp ~8:55)
     I felt so good at mile 6 I decided to add more and make it 8 for the day- seriously felt amazing!
     8 miles- 1:10:55, 8:51 average pace  (9:22, 8:57, 8:49, 8:41, 8:34, 9:07, 8:27, 9:13) 5M @hmp

5.  I registered for a 5k this weekend that most of my group is running and my coach really wanted me to run. I am really nervous about said 5k, while I feel more in shape than the lask 5k I did, I also recognize that I don't really like 5ks. They hurt, they whole time, and while they are over fast, that's still a lot of hurting. I hope I can push through the hurt for the ~25 minutes it will take to finish.

6.  I actually did this 5k last year, it is really nice, all through historic downtown St. Augustine and along the water. Last year I started out waaaaay too fast and got super hot since I over-dressed, so I am hoping to really be able to make it an excellent race experience this year.

7.  Looking back at that race recap, I had forgotten that this was the first 5k I aimed to do in under 30 minutes (finished in 28:55) what a difference a year makes. I finished that race with an average 9:18 pace, and I am hoping to do it this year a full minute/mile faster- wow rediculous!

8.  We are planning a little trip to NYC for the first weekend in November...

9.  Not for me, for Penny. Her guaranteed entry for the NYC marathon was accepted and we will all be heading to the big apple this fall to spectate! Yay! I actually think I am more excited to spectate this race that I would be to run it. I almost hope I am not picked in the lottery for this year, I am like beyond excited to be able to watch for once!

10.  More Wedding Wednesday coming tomorrow, I have been busy busy since last week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I hope all the rest of you are surviving the snowpocalypse of 2011! I am sure everyone heard that yesterday our lovely Florida was the only state without snow on the ground, and really that is only because it melts once it actually hits the ground.

Now last week I talked about some speedy runs I had, I thought maybe it was just because I was well rested going back into my first week of my normal routine, but the speediness continues!

As mentioned in my 2011 goals I want to focus on getting faster- across the board. Especially with my marathon being pushed to the back burner this spring, I figure the best way to focus on getting faster is start small and build up. So I have been running a bit shorter than usual, but really trying to run fast so my body can get used to those speeds.

Monday- Cross Training, not sure why but my hip was still achey from my long run, so I swaped Friday for Monday and took it easy.

Tuesday-  5 mile "tempo run" While this was supposed to be a tempo, I basically just ran hard the whole time, but it was the fastest 5 miles I have ever run- ever!
5 Miles- 41:51, 8:22 average pace
(8:47, 8:24, 8:13, 8:11, 8:16)

8:22 was my average pace from my 5k PR race I did in August, so I am actually really excited to do another 5k soon and see what I can do!

Wednesday- Track. On the schedule was 7 miles and 4x1000. I honestly don't mind 1000, I kind of hold back and start at 1200 pace and then speed up the last 200 or so because the end is so much closer!

7 Miles- 59:04.--->8:26 average pace...insane!!!
Warm-up:  3.75 miles- 32:26 (8:29, 8:50, 8:40, 6:37...8:39 pace)
4x100 with 200 RI:  4:49 (7:45pace), 4:51 (7:48 pace), 4:53 (7:51 pace), 4:47 (7:41 pace)
cool-down: 1/4 mile @ 9:31 pace

So while the day and total overall is great, it wasn't a super stellar workout. I felt like I was lacking some serious kick after a hard day on Tuesday and a fast warm-up before we started our intervals. Honestly I was happy to have them all under 8 minutes since we basically weren't even resting.

It was 39* at 6:30pm last night when we started our intervals!! I was ok when I was running, but the second I would stop I would be freezing, I knew that was awful for my muscles, so once I did my 200 RI jog back to the start line I would hope right in with whatever group was going and take off, because if I stood and rested for even a minute I would be shivering and then leave. So a solid effort, but I would definitely like to see the number in the 7:30 range consistently.

It has been FREEZING here all week, highs from 45-48* and lows from about 20*-34*, so running has mostly been in the afternoons, but still in the cold. I really think the freezing has a lot to do with my fast times, but I am hoping as the warm weather returns that my body will have become adapted to these 8:xx paces and I can still see them stick around!

Post-work run again today, it will be all of 45*, crazy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

So here is Edition 1 of Wedding Wednesday!

I actually am loving the blog platform to talk about some of the details of our upcoming wedding! It seems like such a great place to get all of the jumbled thoughts in my head out, and hopefully get a few opinions in return.

So as I mentioned last week, I have gotten started on the whole wedding planning pretty quickly. We did not want a long engagement, we have already dated for 6 years, not much else to figure out, so why wait another year. I always thought I would love the whole "planning a wedding" thing, but truth be told, not loving it as much as I thought. I am most excited to have it all get here so we can be Married! It is SO crazy to say that!

Probably the biggest thing for me is to have much of our wedding details remain a secret until the actual wedding day. I think it's so boring when you know what everything will look like and what to expect when you go to a wedding, so I hope to maintain an aire of surprise. You may wonder how I plan to do that when I intend to gab about our wedding to the entire world wide web, but fear not, many of things I throw up will not be the exact details of our wedding, just the general ideas. Currently, we are about 8 months from our wedding, so while we just got started there are some things that are requiring our attention:

Save the Dates

Now while save the dates aren't a requirement, we are going to be doing them. There are a lot of out of town guests that will need time to make arrangements, not to mention it will be around the time when school starts back for kids, teachers, and adults like me who prefer to live off of academic calendars pretending we are still in college.

My great save the date debate is...


or no picture...

I have seen several save the dates I really like that do not include a picture, or our last names as many save the dates do not. Probably my biggest concern with lack of picture is what if people don't recognize our names, but would recognize our faces (note: these people are most likely family friends and distant relatives) we aren't just inviting a bunch of strangers.

Last names I have the same feeling about, I feel like we either need to have our last names OR our picture on the save the dates.


Another one of my current debates reigns over colors, I have a color scheme in mind that I really love. Do I incorporate my colors into my save the dates and invitations, or should I use that opportunity to introduce other colors that will not be visible at the wedding?

 How late is too late?

We are planning an evening wedding, and it is intended to be a formal event. In the interest of our guests (and my groom) we are trying to have the wedding at a time when the temperatures will be...less brutal. Let's face it, we live in Florida, and are getting married in Florida, any month except December and January are likely to have at least a few days of temps in the 80* range, and actually it was 80* here on 1/1 and 1/2 so even that isn't a fair claim- it's always hot!

I would like everyone to be able to utilize the additional outdoor spaces that come with the venue we have chosen if they would like to, and in my opinion the best way to do that is to push the wedding into the evening hours. While there will be some children and older people, the bulk of my guest list is of the 'have a good time' mindset, so I don't feel like I lose my key demographic if I push the time back a smidge. Not to mention people who do Friday weddings always have them start late, right???


So here is the question I pose to you:
Would you be annoyed to be a guest at a wedding if the ceremony started at 6:30pm...
The coctail hour (with snacks) would start at 7pm...
and dinner service would be started by 7:45pm????

My thought thus far has been, while it is a tad late for a usual dinner time, it is meant to be an evening affair and a night out. Guests will be aware of the start time and expected dinner time so they will be able to plan meals and snacks that day accordingly to make sure they are prepared to wait until 7:45pm for dinner.

So I ask for your brutally honest input- I would give it...

-Save the dates: do they require a happy pic/last names/ both/ neither/ or pick one?????

-Do I keep all std's and invitations in my wedding color scheme or can I get a little crazy with the stationary?

- Start time: How late is too late????

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten Things Tuesday

Back from the blog slacking again, maybe I can blame the cold!

So I used to be a big 10 things Tuesday person, but as the summer came and went I didn't seem to have much to say, well now I have a ton to say, so 10 things coming at ya:

1.  My long run this past weekend was great and sucky at the same time- does anyone else have these runs? I felt pretty good since I kept it easy, but it seemed to drag on forever and I didn't enjoy it the way I used to love long long runs.

2.  I did 13.1 Miles in 2:02:27 or 9:20 pace, that is actually pretty spot on for an easy long run.

3.  This was my longest "long run" in months- so sad! I have raced several halfs and even added mileage, but just going out to do a long run, it has been a while, I think that is what was so rough.

4.  My hip has been hurting since said long run last week, and it has me majorly freaked out!

5.  I am super lucky to already have a massage booked for Thursday, so hopefully we can get all the crap out and be ready for another longer run this weekend- 15 miles is the goal.

6. For those of you who have experience with snow running- I am leaving in 17 days for the arctic air in Austria! We are going skiing for a week and I still have to get in a few runs once I am there. While I certainly do not expect anything of quality, I have to get some miles in- any advice on how to run on hills in the snow, or even in the snow for that matter? All advice is deeply appreciated!

7. For this trip, I for see myself slipping, falling, and being laughed at as the dumb American who can't run in the snow. I won't even worry about the fact that the base elevation there is 4212ft and my house is umm....8 feet above sea level. Great. I can see it now, I will be sucking wind like a sixty year old santa claus look alike with emphysema.

8. 11 days in and I have already decided to ammend one of my 2011 Goals...running related...not loving it.

9.  I am supposed to run the 26.2 with Donna on February 13th, that's right, in like a month. The longest run I have done since my last marathon is 15 miles, and I would maybe have time to squeek in 1- 20 miler before this race. Considering the injury I had to deal with (am still dealing with) after my last marathon, I have not had the time to put in the type of training I would like for a marathon.

After much internal deliberation I have decided that I want to drop from the Full to the half for this race. While I could physically be ready to run 26.2 miles that day, I would not truly be ready for it. I don't want to run a marathon just to run it at this point, I want to race, I want to destroy my time, and I want to know I put everything into my training that I could, and I don't feel that I could do that for this race.

I really wanted nothing more than to run this specific marathon, and to do it well, but I am humble enough to know I am just not there right now. The last thing I want to do is reinjure myself and have to forfit the rest of my spring races, so I am at peace with my decision, and plan to go out and destroy my half marathon PR, I do feel very much prepared for that right now.

This had been eating at me for a couple weeks now, and it feels SO nice to put it all out there in the open finally!

10. I have wedding updates! But they will be coming your way in a fun "Wedding Wednesday" post!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Running and Wedding Planning

TGIF...big time!!!! This week has almost felt like a slow spiral out of control since it started. Monday started so nicely with a plan in place and goals for the week, and slowly but surely my beautifully crafted plan was butchered- what else is new?!!?!

So on the running front: I have run every day this week, and I have been pretty speedy, maybe its the cold, or the unnecessary stress that is creeping in, but I could not seem to run fast enough this week. Now I will say there was not very much far running due to other factors, but running is running.

Monday- 5 mile bridge run + core
Tuesday- 4 miles "easy" 36:13 (9:03 pace) + 40 mins XT and core
Wednesday- Indoor track workout thanks to rain 5 Miles total, 4x400, 2x1600 @hmp: 5 Miles- 43:35 (8:43 pace)
Thursday- 25 mins XT + weights + 4 Miles- 34:10 (8:33 pace)

So yeah a speedy week for me. Other than the 400s I was really not trying to go fast I just kept wanting to go faster, and it felt good. Hopefully my whole run faster = race faster thing works :)

Wedding Planning

So I have been engaged for 2 weeks, and in 2 weeks we have manged to:
-set a date
-buy a dress
-pick my 4 bridesmaids
-pick the 4 groomsmen (not that they know who they are yet:)
-look at venues
-decide on a venue, although nothing is booked yet
-create, destroy, and rebuild a guest list
-lose interest in the whole wedding thing all together

I know that seems like a lot to do in such a short time when we should be enjoying our newly engaged status, but the truth is, we all had last week off so it made sense to start doing things. Also, after 6 years of dating, goodness knows we don't want or need a long engagement, not to mention I have helped plan so many weddings that the routine is very easy for me, no need to have to figure it all out, so this whole process is going to move fast.

Having worked in event planning and coordinated other weddings before, I have been so very objective about everything we are doing, I don't think about anything from an emotional standpoint except for maybe the whole vows thing;) And to be honest that is driving everyone else nuts because I am pointing out all the flaws with their dream wedding plans, and why the idea is so inefficient. I just feel like if you are going to waste money on something like a wedding, at least do it right.

How cynical I know, you would think I don't want to get married, and it's the total opposite, I am SO excited for John and I to be married, but the whole wedding thing just isn't fun anymore, and I was always the person who wanted the huge, rediculous, over the top wedding! I would rather have a quality party for our nearest and dearest than a half-ass get together for those I don't know.

So I pose a very important question: whether you have been the bride, bridesmaid, or just a guest, do you think a wedding is really worth the hype? Is it best to go big or go home? Do you invite the whole world and scale back the party? I would rather have a very memorable and unique experience for our closest friends and family that some rediculous blowout with crappy food.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starting 2011 of Right

Happy back to work day to everyone!

I realize many people still have a few more days off, but I am back to my routine as of 4:50am today. As I know many of you may proceed to throw things at me after this comment, I was actually ready to get back to work today!

I really do love my job, and I missed knowing what day it was. After 17 days off (all of which felt like a Saturday) I was starting to feel fuzzy and lazy. I had so much time on my hands that there was no urgency about anything, sooo not me at all. I was beyond ready to get back into a routine, to be able to justify grocery shopping and get back to my normal running/gym routine which had totally fallen apart over my vacation.

I started my morning with a 5 mile bridges run with the group. I was back to the cold weather after several days in the high 70s, but the cold really did help my lazy self not suck it up too bad today

5 Miles- 45:46 (9:11, 9:05, 9:47, 9:30, 9:13)

2011 Goals

So last year I had a ton of time and put a ton of thought into my 2010 goals long before we rung in the new year...I didn't do that this year. Between getting engaged, and tons of traveling I just didn't have time to write it all out as pretty as I had before. However, I have spent plenty of time on these long trips thinking about what I want to do in 2011, and it is a lot more concrete and ambitious than last year, so here it goes:

1. Run 13+ races in 2011
...I ran 13 races in 2010 and I felt it was a good number. I ran a race almost every month, and some month I had 2. It kept me constantly focused on training and helped me stay motivated. I really do love racing and want to make sure I keep my race skills fine tuned.

2. Complete 2 Marathons in 2011
...We already know Marathon #1 of the year is coming up here quick, but I want to step it up from what I did in 2010 and do 2 marathons. I had originally had my eye on several more, but with trips and weddings, etc 2 is about all I can literally squeeze into my calendar this year.

3. PR's
...I want to set new PR's this year. Last year was really a bunch of firsts for me, and several of my PR's are just luck that came off of first races, so this year is all about improving my speed and efficiency as a runner. I have my eyes on a few big goals:
-Sub 4:15 Marathon- I am really greedy for this one, I am pretty confident I can hit it, but you have to respect the distance and so I am not going to get cocky.
- Sub-1:55 and 1:50 half marathons:  My true goal is a 1:50 half, but I also know with everything else that is an end of the year goal time, so for my spring races, I would really like to see a sub-1:55 and shoot for the 1:50 in the fall/winter
-15k PR:  I have never raced a 15k, my unofficial 15k time is 1:26:xx, I want to beat that.
-54:00 minute 10k. According to Mcmillan with my current 5k PR I should be able to hit 54 minutes in a 10k, and that would shave over 2 minutes off of my current PR
-Sub-24:00 5k:  This is probably  my biggest goal of all, I don't know why I am so antsy for a fast 5k, I don't even really love 5ks, but I feel like breaking that 24:00 barrier is big deal, that is a sub-8:00 pace, and that would be a big deal for me!

...Obviously the real message behind these PR goals is that I want to get faster. While I have made some gradual improvements in my speed this year, I feel like the last couple of months my speed hasn't been increasing much, so I really want to focus on running faster, and seeing all my times start with 8:xx rather than 9:xx

4. Half Marathons
...These are without a doubt my favorite distance, they are long enough to require training but short enough that you don't hate yourself somewhere in the middle. I ran 5 Half Marathon's in 2010 and I will run at least 5 in 2011.

5.  RICE/Stretch
...So while I was better about the whole rest, ice, compression, elevation while injured, a lack of RICE/Stretching is what probably led to some injury, so I really want to keep a focus on stretching/foam rolling/icing regularly to help keep injuries away.

6. Cross-Training
...What's that???? I did pretty much no XT at all this year. Some bike rides for fun, spinning when I was injured, but I never cared about it. I plan to cross-train at least once, but ideally twice per week to help supplement my running, and again...avoid injury. Maybe I should have just made one of these numbers "avoid injury" and I could have saved myself a lot of typing:)

7.  Strength train
...With a wedding coming up, and a dress to fit into, I need to kick my butt into high gear to tone myself up a bit, namely the arm areas. But 2x week minimum for the weights, but 3 would be great!

8.  Try something new
...I am not quite sure what this is yet. It could be a new fitness activity like a bike race or triathalon, changing my hair, etc. The point is that I am a very safe and routine person and when I find something I like and that works I just stick with it until it doesn't work. I would like to push the envelope a bit this year, be daring, and try something I wouldn't normally try. I have a few ideas in mind, but I am sure there are a few more to be found.

9. Read more
...In 2009 and early 2010 I was reading at least a book a week. But when school picked up in 2010, my reading fell by the wayside, and then marathon training replaced everything except work, sleep, eat, run. I would really like to give myself a little time each day to read some of the fabulous books that are on my shelf that I have not even touched yet, so all a matter of prioritizing my time. We did cancel our cable, so I am hoping that will promote the reading thing.

So that is pretty much it, my plan for 2011. I am quite confident that this will be the best year yet, I have so much I am already looking forward to and big plans! Hope everyone is starting their new year off with a bang and big plans!