Friday, February 24, 2012

Still Getting the Hang of This...Feb 13-18

I'm about a week behind in my posting. I guess I'm still getting the hang of this blogging thing.

Ok, so last week I told you about my new shoes and all the "drama" (self-inflicted, of coarse!) surrounding that.

Tuesday I went to meet some people from one of the local running clubs. I had been checking out the facebook pages of a couple clubs in the area and I saw that there were some people who did a Tuesday morning run. Perfect! Both children are in school then and Tuesday is my regular running day. So last Tuesday I met a few women for some hill running. I didn't want to have issues with my feet while I did that so I wore my old shoes. This would also tell me if the issue was my feet or the shoes.

So we met up and ran on the hills. And when I say hills I mean HILLS!!! These things are steep - at least compared to what I'm used to. The training on the hills will do me a lot of good though because the Half that I am doing is rumored to be pretty hilly. There were several walk breaks - I could usually only make it half way up the hill running - and some chatting along the way. I ran 3 miles in 43 minutes for a pace of 14:18. I had no pain in my feet so this told me that there was something going on with the shoes.

Thursday was Y day again. I decided to experiment with my shoes. I typically wear orthotics in my shoes so I decided to try them without. The pain I had been having wasn't my typical plantar fasciitis pain. It felt more like deep bruising in my foot. I thought maybe there was too much arch with the orthotics since the shoes are really supportive.

The pain had been in my left foot. While I was still in the locker room I started having pain in my right foot. Hmmmmm...that was odd. I was still worried since I hadn't figured out a solution and now it seemed to be in my other foot. My left foot felt great without the orthotic though.

I decided to try my right foot *with* the orthotic. See, my arches are uneven. Noticeably so. My right arch is a lot higher than my left. So I thought maybe I needed more height in the arch in my right shoe than I do in my left.

I used the treadmill that day so that I would be close to the locker room if I needed to change anything about my shoes. I keep it slow on the treadmill - anyone who knows me knows how clumsy I am and a speedy treadmill is just asking for trouble. I ran pain-free!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!! Now I know what to do. Left shoe - factory insole...right shoe - custom orthotic. This means that my right orthotic is going to wear out faster than my left but that's a small price to pay to be pain-free. I ran 2.5 miles in 35 miutes for a 14:00 pace.

Saturday was my long run day. We had family over for my son's birthday so I ran later than usual. It was a sunset run. It was a nice change. I ran...drum roll, please...

FOUR AND A HALF MILES!!!!! This is my longest run to date. My older son took the picture. In case you're wondering those things sticking up from the numbers are balloons. He drew those too. He thought we should celebrate. I felt like celebrating too, heeheehee.

I have to say I love the long run. I find myself looking forward to it all week. :-)

As I said earlier, we had family over for my son's birthday. This is the cake that I made:

Angry Birds! We're really big fans of the game in this house. He was thrilled to see it when he got up that morning (I decorate after the kids go to bed.)

And this Queen Pig on the top of the cake:

Good bye for now. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to share the next week's training with you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feb 6-11 The week's training...and some other stuff...

I've decided that at least once a week I'm going to do a post about the week's training and how I'm feeling about it at that time. It may be the *only* post I wind up doing that week but it's going to be there every week.

As of now I am running 3 times a week. Tuesday - which tends to be about 3-4 miles, Thursday - which is however far I can go in the time I have since that is our crazy, busy morning, and Saturday - which is my "long run," the one that will help me build my endurance and increase the number of miles that I am able to go at a time. My current training is for a 10K that will be on March 24th.

Tuesday - I ran around town on a route I tend to take quite a bit since I know the mileage and I also know how the sidewalks and crosswalks are on this route. I went 3.61 miles in 52 minutes which gave me a 14:15 pace.

Wednesday - I bought some new running shoes! I went on my own and picked them out (I know, I know, you're supposed to be fitted) because, well, honestly I cringe at the thought of spending $100 or more on one item. Also because whenever I've had someone helping me with shoes I haven't been happy with them. I had done quite a bit of research. I have low arches and overpronate. I know some people say overpronating isn't a problem but it hurts when I do it. A few years ago I could barely walk due to the pain so I had some orthotics made by the podiatrist. I knew that I needed stability shoes to help with this. I wound up buying the ASICS Phoenix.

Thursday - I went to the Y and ran on the track. I go to the Y on Thursdays because my younger son doesn't have school that day and I need the child care. I ran 2.51 miles in 34 minutes which gave me a 13:23 pace. This was the first time that I had worn my new shoes and I did have some pain in my right arch. I was worried that I had made a mistake. I did some calf stretches about 10 minutes into my run and that seemed to help.

Saturday - Long run day!!! This one is my favorite. My husband is home with the children so I don't need to worry about them. It's all my time to run and clear my head. Once again I went on a familiar route. My total for Saturday:

4 miles! Oh, I've also decided that every Saturday (or Sunday if I need to change long run day that week) I will be having my husband take a picture of me immediately after my run with the number of miles that I ran. I also have to add that my older son wrote "miles" on the paper - he seemed pretty impressed by his old mom that day, lol.

So I went for a total of 4.15 miles (which I had only done once before) in 59 minutes (faster than last time!) which gave me a pace of 14:19.

Saturday was a very enjoyable run and it was also a very COLD run. The temperature was in the low 20's with a wind chill factor of around 5. I had bought a balaclava but had not worn it on that day. My face was freezing - especially when the wind blew. At one point I unzipped my fleece jacket part way and lifted it up to cover my face. Lest you think that the cold chapped my cheeks and is the reason for my red face in the picture let me assure that my face looks like that all the time, especially after exercising or when it is hot out. To protect my skin from drying out in the cold air I put a layer of Vasaline on before I run in the winter.

I wore my new shoes on this run and had a bit of foot pain as well. I was really starting to worry about having bought the wrong shoes. I'll have to wait until the training post for this week to tell you how that situation turned out. ;-)

Now on to the "other stuff." Sunday was my older son's 8th birthday. This is the cake that I made for him:

He decided that for his birthday he wanted to go ice skating. He had gone once before and had taken to it really quickly. Unfortunately with all the chaos and trying to tag-team track our 3-year-old neither my husband nor I were able to get a picture of the birthday boy on the ice.

We did manage to get one of our 3-year-old leaving the ice:

And here's one of me on the ice:

It was a lot of fun. I have to say, though, that ice skating is really hard on my feet. I was tempted to put my orthotics in the skates but ewwwwww...putting them in rented skates? No thank you!

One of his favorite gifts was a hula hoop that lights up. Here's a picture of me showing off my "abilities." I think I got the hoop around maybe 5 or 6 times.

My husband was, unfortunately, not at a very good angle to get the picture (he had to be quick, lol) so you get treated to a bit of tummy in this shot. :-P

I'm making another cake this week because family is coming this weekend. I have to say that between the cake, cookies taken to school for a birthday treat, and all the Valentine's candy that my son brought home I'm having a lot of trouble resisting. I was actually up one pound this week! I can resist on Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas but when birthday/Valentine's time rolls around I'm just not as strong. I'm just glad that I'm doing WW and have set running goals that require me to eat right in order to reach my goals.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My First 5K!!!

The past 2 weeks have been pretty exciting for me in my training and weight loss.

First, look to the top right-hand side of this page at my Daily Mile Widget. Those are all the miles that I've logged since I started running in Mid-October. It's in the triple digits!!!

Second, I weighed in this week at Weight Watchers and my weight was 185.6. I hit the 30 LB mark!!! That's what I've lost since I started WW in early September. Add it to what I lost before and my grand total is somewhere near 70 LB or so. I also used one of those online BMI calculators and discovered that I am ONE TENTH of a POUND away from being OVERWEIGHT!!!

Today I went shopping and although I wasn't there for jeans, I decided to try on a pair just to see if I could fit into the size below the one I'm wearing right now. I grabbed a size 10 and headed for the dressing room - telling myself the whole time to not expect it to fit and to not be too disappointed when it didn't. I pulled the jeans on and THEY FIT!!!!! I didn't buy them but I'm thrilled that I was able to get them on. For the past 8 years my goal has been to get to a size 12-14, which was where I was before my first pregnancy. I hadn't even thought about going beyond that!

Now, on to the race!
This year our area, along with much of the country, has been experiencing a very mild winter. There haven't been many days with temperatures below freezing but race day did happen to be one of them.

The night before the race it rained which meant ice. It wasn't a really heavy rain though so the car didn't need to much by the way of scraping. I had trouble deciding what to wear though. I had picked out my shirt and pinned my number on it the night before. I also knew I'd be wearing my running tights and shorts over. I just couldn't decide if I needed to wear anything under my long-sleeved shirt. Since the temperature was supposed to be in the low 20's, and that's a bit cooler temp than I had run in before, I decided to go ahead and wear a sleeveless tech shirt under.

So, after eating breakfast and getting dressed I was ready to go!

I was excited and nervous all at the same time.

As I was leaving my husband said the nicest thing to me. He said "I'd tell you 'good luck' but you don't need it. You've got this." Even just typing that out makes me choke up a little.

I drove to the race location and got there almost an hour before the race started. Thankfully there was an indoor area that we could wait and we could also use the indoor restrooms. All that was left to do was wait until start time.

About 20 minutes before the start I decided to go ahead and use the restroom and go to the starting line. I was worried that it was a bit early but I am so glad I picked that time. The line for the women's restroom was out the door and down the hall! Luckily I was able to make it to the start line in time.

We all gathered in the starting area.

That blow up arch served as both the starting line and the finish line.

And where I took the picture was about as far back as I was when the race officially started.

So the race starts and, with the crowd, we walked up to the starting line. One we got past that we were able to spread out more and I was able to start running. I remembered to start the stopwatch on my phone as well.

Now, with the rain the night before I was concerned about ice on the street. But I have to say that they did a very good job salting the roads. There were only a couple small patches of ice where there had been puddles.

I don't remember too many specifics of the race other than there were a LOT of turns on the route. There were also a lot of hills but, since one of the streets that I run on has a lot of hills I was pretty well prepared for them. There were also race volunteers cheering us on along the route.

At about the 1 mile mark we saw the leaders on their way back to the finish line. I knew it was the 1 mile mark because I heard someone behind me saying it was and someone else saying "We've only gone one mile??? %&*#!!!!!" Naturally this made me laugh. Hey, it's the little things, you know?

After several more turns and hills we came to the area where they were handing out water. Now, this being my first race I had never done the water hand off thing before. I was able to slow down and take the water with no problem. It was drinking it that was difficult. I didn't want to stop running because I was afraid it would be hard to start again. But yeah, I should have stopped. The water went down the wrong pipe and I spent the next few seconds coughing. I also got it all over my face and the front of my shirt. I'm sure I was a sight! Luckily the coughing didn't last long and I was able to get back to running.

One thing about running in an unfamiliar area is having no idea how far I've gone or how far I have to go. As I was running I thought I was nearing the finish line because I heard a LOT of cheering. Turns out it was a couple of really enthusiastic volunteers at one of the turns. So we still had a bit of a ways to go.

Finally I get close to the finish line. I decided to give it my ALL in crossing. I crossed the line and looked at my stopwatch. 40 minutes!!!!! Now this may seem slow to some but it's the fastest that I've ever run that time. I walked to the first finish line volunteer and gave her my race tag. Then I went to the second volunteer and...

I got leid!!!!!

Since this was the "Winter Luau" they had leis for all the finishers. It was kind of cool.

I was really excited that I finally had earned the right to wear this:

From what I hear it's a race etiquette thing that you don't wear the shirt until after you've finished the race. I'm glad I read that before my first race, lol.

The official times were posted the following day. Mine was 40:30. This race was "gun time," meaning that when the starting gun went off the time started no matter where you are or how long it takes you to get to the starting line and there is someone at the end with a clicker tracking when each participant crosses the finish. Other races are "chip timed" which means that you get a timing chip to tie to your shoe and your time starts when you cross the start line. It'll be interesting to see the difference in times when I participate in a chip timed race as opposed to a gun timed race.

All in all this was a wonderful experience and I look forward to participating in many more!