Tag Archives: marathon training group

Pick-Hey-Up-From-Failed-Run Day

7 Apr

This AM was scheduled to be my 20-miler. I woke up feeling good. I twisted my hair up, brushed my teeth, dressed and was out the door, eating overnight oats as I drove to meet up with my group.

The run started off good. I was optimistic and looking forward to freeing up my weekend from this wicked run. I was laughing and practicing my “weeeeeeeeeeeeeee…. weweweeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” for Flying Pig Marathon.

Then a couple of miles in I became distracted. I had to use the restroom and it now became the focus of all of my attention. This is what I get for recently bragging about my lack of bathroom issues during runs.

Finally around mile four we ran by a 7-Eleven that could fulfill my needs. Sure beats a port-o-potty.

Back on the road I was happy that I could finally relax and enjoy the run. This feeling was short-lasted. Around mile seven I started to feel a familiar twinge to the side of my right knee. I was running with my IT strap on my left leg, because that’s where I’ve been having the problems, and contemplated whether I should switch legs with the strap. The problem is, I know that once the pain starts, it’s not going to go away. The point of the strap is to keep that agitation from starting in the first place. I left in on my left leg. The last thing I wanted was for both of my knees to hurt.

Around mile 10 I moved it over in vain.

A little less than 12 miles into the run, we were minutes away from a water stop when I felt a sharp pain run up my right leg. Expletives flew out of my mouth and I started to run with a visible limp. The dull pain had become sharp and unbearable.

My group was awesome. Immediately they started to tell me that I should stop running and spend the week rolling my leg and icing it and try again next weekend… It wasn’t worth making the injury worse today, especially with plenty of time before the marathon. They are wise women, and I decided to heed their advice. I called it a run at 12.23 miles. I called Donnie and asked him to come pick me up.

Here were my stats (I didn’t stop my watch for any breaks, including 7-Eleven):

  • Distance: 12.23 miles
  • Time: 02:58:19
  • Avg Pace: 14:34/mile

He came to get me with the dogs in tow. It was genius on his part. C’mon… It’s hard to stay disappointed in yourself with a pug trying to lick your face.

We decided to grab breakfast with the dogs at the Briarpatch on Park Ave. The pugs were pretty excited to be dining al fresco on such a beautiful morning:

Rex trying to make new friends on Park Ave.

The conversation went something like this:

Donnie: (to the dogs) You don’t get to come to Park Ave. every day. This is a special occasion.

Me: What’s the special occasion?

Donnie: Oh, it’s Pick-Hey-Up-From-Failed-Run Day.

Sometimes you have to know when to say when. And it doesn’t hurt to reward your smart, yet disheartening, decision with a delicious breakfast afterwards. I had the truffle fried eggs, over medium. The eggs were served over vegetables: peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and fresh basil. It was delicious! Briarpatch really never disappoints.

Truffle fried eggs at the Briarpatch.

Next week is a scheduled mock half marathon with Marathonfest. I’m going to have to wake up early and run seven miles prior to it. To be honest, I’m not particularly excited about spending another week thinking about running 20 miles.

Have you had a run recently not go according to plan? How did you improvise?

Rock My Face Off Yoga, New Shoes and a Lovely AM Run

5 Apr

As you may have already read, I’ve only recently started yoga. I’ve loved my few practices, but as a noob I underestimated the sort of experience I could have. Walking into the Full Circle Yoga studio last night, I had no idea what was coming.

In short, our Hatha instructor, Suzie, worked us last night. I twisted and turned and balanced and held and breathed like no other. And then at the end I was so relaxed during savasana that I think I dosed off! When I left that studio, I felt like I needed a cigarette. WHEW!

I came home last night, ate some fried chicken (I know, I know… poor life decision), showered and went right to bed. A few hours later I awoke in a startle and grabbed my phone to see what time it was… it was 4:30 AM and for some reason my alarm was turned off. Props to my internal alarm clock for getting the job done!

Tuesday night I came home to find that these babies had been delivered:

My new shoes: New Balance 20 Minimus Trail

I had tried the Minimus trail running shoes when I bought my New Balance 10 Minimus Road running shoes and thought they were the most comfy shoes in the world. However, I was transitioning from Nike Free Run+ shoes to these and was training for my first marathon, so I figured I should play it safe with the road version of the shoe. I ended up loving these shoes, and have had two pairs already:

My first and second pair of New Balance 10 Minimus Road running Shoes

I had forgotten about the trail versions of the shoe until recently when I came across the New Balance 20 Minimus Trail shoe at a store and stopped to admire them once again. And then suddenly I get an email from Amazon offering these shoes for 40% off. I jumped at the offer!

I only ran 4 miles this morning and the shoes felt great! I even think I might be able to go sans socks in them (for shorter runs). I’ll post more thoughts when I’ve had the chance to get a few short runs and a long run in. I’ll also work on a post about my slow transition from ‘more supportive’ running shoes to these more minimal shoes too. They’re not for everyone, but definitely worth some research and testing if you suffer from shin splints like I did!

Back to the run this morning. It was hot and muggy, and my body was a little tired from the yoga. But considering all that, I felt pretty good this morning. I don’t have official stats because I failed to charge my borrowed Garmin yet again. That reminds me, I need to charge my Garmin. 😉

Here’s the guestimate version:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: fifty or so minutes?
While I don’t have official stats, I do have a photo of the Rice Krispy Treats that my group mate Rachelle brought in:

I promise we don’t usually have this many snacks. 😉

What kind of shoes do you run in?

A Strong Fourteen Miles

1 Apr

Earlier today I posted my April Fool’s blog for the day, announcing that I was going to quit running. If you read down to the bottom, you caught that I would denounce this decision by Tuesday morning, when my next run is scheduled. Hee hee.

And while the reasons were quite honest (I really do hate waking up early and I miss sleeping in on Saturday mornings), I do believe that the benefits of running far outweigh these cons. Besides, running keeps me from going cray cray. 🙂

Since yesterday’s long training run was to be 10 to 14 miles, I set out for our run at 6 AM with the intent to run 10 miles. This is what happens when you give me a range… I mentally commit to the lowest mileage.

However, the stars were aligned yesterday and I felt so good that I ran just over 14 miles. Aside from the bug that stalked me for two blocks, I thoroughly enjoyed the run. Maybe it was my new favorite yummy running snack, the Vanilla Organic Stinger Waffle, that put a pep in my step. Or maybe it was the Mexican food I had for dinner the night before. Whatever it was, it worked!

Around mile 13 I convinced my wonderful Marathonfest group leaders to pose for this pic with me. I’m pretty sure they were welcoming the sit down break. 🙂

My group leaders, Emily and Sue, and I cheesin' at 13 miles

It really was the perfect day for a run! And with the Flying Pig Marathon only five weeks away, it was good to have a positive run!

Afterwards, one of my group mates and I doubled back to Panera. We wanted coffee badly.

Here were my run stats:

  • Distance: 14.29 miles
  • Time: 03:18:01
  • Avg Pace: 13:51/mile
Afterwards I headed home to begin a weekend of much needed rest.
Did you get your sweat on outside this weekend? 


My ‘Welcome Back to Normal Life’ Run

27 Mar

Since almost two weeks ago, my life has been total chaos, in the most amazing kind of way. The week leading up to my birthday, I was super busy, but still able to fit in my training runs.

I thought the week after my birthday would ease up, but I ended up being just as busy (or perhaps busier), and by this time too exhausted to keep up my running. Around Wednesday I decided that rather than stress about it, I was going to take the time off and enjoy it. Once I made that decision, it took so much weight off my shoulders!

After an amazing weekend road trip to North Carolina to visit my best friend and her husband and their beautiful new baby girl (which I will write about later), I had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning. But my body was craving a run so I dragged myself out of bed, threw on some running clothes and was out the door by 4:45 AM.

This morning was a short run, full of great conversation and lots of laughter. We spent a good portion of our run  discussing a book that a friend recommended I read: Bringing Up Bebe. Before you jump to crazy conclusions, NO… I AM NOT EXPECTING and neither is the friend who recommended it. It’s a fascinating look at the differences in American and French culture and definitely worth picking up.

Afterwards we continued our laughter over Starbucks coffee and our chicken sausage breakfast wraps (which are delish by the way). As I drove away this morning smiling, I realized how much I’ve missed the ladies the last couple of weeks.

Here are this mornings stats:

  • Distance: 4.12 miles
  • Time: 49:21.03
  • Avg Pace: 11:58/mile

Are you reading any good books? Let me know. I’ll be ready for a new one soon! 🙂

Here’s a pic of the double rainbow we caught on our drive to North Carolina. This was in North Georgia, near the North Carolina border. I saw this and squealed and yelled “WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT DOES IT MEEEAAANNN??”

If you don’t know what YouTube video I’m referencing, then you must watch this video now.

One Final Long Run

2 Jan

Saturday morning I started my New Year’s Eve with one final long run for 2011. Our schedule suggested 8 to 10 miles.

Before long runs I typically get the baked chicken platter with a salad and black beans and rice from Black Bean Deli in Winter Park. I’ve found this to be the perfect pre-run meal.

However, Friday night I might have fun its competition at Antonio’s in Winter Park.

D and I each started with the soup of the day, which was a potato soup with sausage and spinach. The soup was hearty and absolutely delicious. Honestly, I would’ve stopped there if I wasn’t running the next day! For my entree I had the Pollo all’Aglio e Rosmarino.  The chicken was perfectly cooked. Even the white meat was moist, which is really hard to come across. The best way I could describe the meal was that it was clean. All of the flavors were subtle and simple, and the entree as a whole was delicious.

Here’s a pic of my meal:

I only ate half my meal. We skipped dessert because we were stuffed, but by the time I got home I wanted a little something sweet. Seeing as it was International Bacon Day, I thought it would be fitting if I finally tried this:

I knew that bacon made everything taste better… but even chocolate?? It was surprisingly delicious!

Saturday morning I was up early. Earlier during the week I slept through not one, but TWO runs and couldn’t sleep because I was so nervous I would sleep through my alarm yet again.

We did something different for our last long run: laps around Lake Baldwin. Each lap is approximately 2.4 miles. One of my running ladies and I were running the longest: we ran approximately 9.5 miles, then stopped to get coffee on our final lap.

When we got back to where our cars were, the rest of our group was waiting for us so we could start the Most Awful Christmas/Hanukkah Gift I Got and Want to Get Rid of White Elephant Gift Exchange.

Those gifts look pretty, right?

Here’s what was amongst them:

  • A 1lb. gummy bear
  • A travel-size can of shaving cream and a razor blade
  • A tacky Christmas mug and a ‘Welcome’ frog statue
  • A bag of coconut candy and a March birthday plaque
  • Christmas shot glasses and a flask

I didn’t think the last one was so bad. Neither was the shaving cream and razor blade. That’s what I took home and will definitely use it.

My last run before the marathon went well and helped me end a bad running week (missing two runs in a row) on a positive note.

I can’t believe that I’ll be running my first marathon on less than a week!

Any words of advice?

Road Kill Saturday

19 Dec

On my last long run before my taper for the Walt Disney World Marathon, we saw no less than four dead carcasses on our run. The road kill was horrid, and the run was almost as bad. Let’s start at the beginning.

Friday night I had trouble falling asleep. Because I didn’t leave my job until almost 9 PM and still had to go buy dog food before grabbing dinner, I didn’t actually walk through my front door until 9:30 or so. Perhaps it was the eating dinner so late that made it difficult for me to fall asleep. Or the nerves. Or both. I even typed up my fears in this post as I laid in bed.

My post must’ve been a premonition of what was to come.

The first thing to go wrong: I slept through my alarm for an hour. It was one of those times where the alarm becomes part of your dream, and for the life of you, you can’t figure out why the phone won’t stop ringing in your dream. And then you wake up and realize it was your alarm the whole time. This is exactly what happened. I woke up in a startle and looked at my clock. The time read 4:21 AM. My alarm had been going off for an hour.

I tumbled out of bed and for the next 45 minutes was in a hazed panic. I called my group and arranged to meet them along the route at 5 AM. Unfortunately there was a bit of phone tag and a voicemail message was left on my phone instructing me to meet my group in a location I was unfamiliar with. Meanwhile I was tearing my house apart looking for my ankle brace, which had apparently gone into hiding.

After also having difficulty finding my fuel, I finally gave up on the ankle brace and raced out the door without stopping to pull up directions. I got lost and missed the 5 AM meet-up time, so I headed to the next  water stop.

I thought I would only have to wait 20 minutes for my group to arrive at this next location. It was cold, but I jumped out of my car to do some dynamic stretches. Soon, twenty minutes turned into forty minutes. I started to run around in a circle in order to stay warm and start working up my mileage. As the clock hit 6 AM, I realized I was losing those precious before sunrise hours and had to get going. Just as I headed out to start 20+ miles on my own, my group showed up. Thank God. That would’ve been a long, long run without my iPod.

My group was 6 miles into their run. My laps around the waiting area had knocked my mileage up to 1 mile, so I was only 5 miles behind them. I’m usually pretty chatty when I run, but at this point I was so frustrated with my morning that I was silent. Silent for 2 whole miles. This is unheard of for me. But all I could think of is after my group finishes their 22 miles, I was still going to have 5 more miles to run… by myself… without my iPod. I was horrified.

A couple miles into my run, we got to play my favorite game “Find an open bathroom” for one of my group members. Lucky for her I just happened to know where a nearby 7-11 was and led the way. We then headed to our next stop to meet up with the rest of the group that was joining us for the back half of the run. I think I was at 7 miles when we met up.

It was soon brought to my attention that I had taken over the role of group bitch. This distressed the former holder of said title and she vowed to regain the title. Meanwhile I just laughed. It took my group six months to figure this out? Impressive.

Every couple of miles we stumbled past some road kill. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was what I would look like towards the end of my run.

There were three highlights to the run:

  • The Street Drug Game – Go through the alphabet naming as many street drugs as possible for each letter. Things got a little hairy when I insisted (very loudly) that ‘beer’ was indeed a street drug.
  • The Sex Swing – We ran past this swing early during the training season and I’ve been wanting to capture it on camera since then. This totally looks like it belongs in someone’s bedroom, not their front yard:

  • I Sweat Pretty – This is exactly what the back of my group leader’s shirt said to me with her heart-shaped sweat mark on her lower back.

I broke off from my group around 16 miles into my run. They ran back to their original start point while I ran back towards my start point. By this point the sun had come up and was beating down on me. “Crap,” I thought, “I forgot to put on sunblock.”

My original plan had been to run to my car, get some water at the water stop, and then extend the run for whatever mileage was needed for me to hit 22 miles and end up back at my car. But when I got to the water stop, they were taking the water down. I filled up one last time and changed my route to run home. That would get me to 20 miles, I could grab some water from my house and then add on another 2 miles and have water available at the end of my run. I would just ask Donnie and his dad, who was visiting, to go get my car for me.

At the end of a long run, there’s not much rational thinking going on, so I was impressed that I had even been able to come up with that plan. However, halfway to my house I realized I had forgotten to grab my house key. At this point I wasn’t turning around, so I kept running. I decided to run on a more popular road in case Donnie and his pops happened to drive by. Thank God I did, because they did drive by on their way to breakfast and pulled over when they saw me. We did a quick key exchanged and I kept chugging along.

Around this point (18 miles), my IT band started to hurt. At 19 miles it was throbbing and by 20 miles I was having trouble bending my leg. I knew that if I stopped at my house for water I would end the run, so I tried to keep going. But I didn’t make it far. Whilst grunting I realized it was time to just call it and walked home.

It took 5:02:22 for me to cover 20.85 miles with some breaks along the way. I walked unto my front porch and sunk down into one of our porch chairs. Then I mustered the energy to make it inside my house, sprawled out on the hard wood floor, just like the unusually high amount of road kill we had run by all morning, and fell asleep for 10 minutes.

Then Team Hemarie (Donnie and his Pops) arrived with a big breakfast and three bags of ice for me. Their words of encouragement and the french toast made me feel better. And the ice bath made me curse. And scream. And helped reduce my swelling.

The first 16 miles of my run weren’t bad at all. I actually felt pretty good! And miles 16 to 18 were just lonely and hot. But when the IT pain hit me, I knew I only had a matter of time before I would lose the mobility of my leg.

I’m going to have to pay extra attention on leg before the marathon to try to delay the inevitable IT pain for as long as possible.

And now I’m officially tapering for my marathon. Let’s hope my alarm goes off for that one!

Back to Training

25 Oct

Time this AM as I was heading out the door

To say that I didn’t enjoy getting to sleep in while I was letting my tendonitis do some healing would be a lie. I LOVED it. But I did miss running with my group. I missed the quiet time in the mornings. And I missed beating the world to getting up and at ’em.

Rather than jumping right back into track workouts, tempo intervals, and hill combos, I’ve decided to join my group’s lovely morning runs through downtown Winter Park for the next couple of weeks. This morning we met bright and early for a 4.35 mile run. Most of my group is tapering for this weekend’s Marine Corps Marathon and next weekend’s New York City Marathon, and since I’m coming back from some time off I welcomed our leisurely pace. My foot didn’t hurt and I felt great. Plus, we ran by a cemetery which I felt was very appropriate with Halloween just around the corner.

Afterwards we had some coffee and laughs before heading off to start our days. As one of the ladies was swearing off swearing and the rest of us were begging her to reconsider this foolish move, I couldn’t help but think how much I enjoy the ladies I run with. They really make training for a marathon a fun experience.

Do you run alone, with a partner or in a group? Why?