Monday, January 20, 2014

Ocala Half Recap

Yesterday was run #11 the Ocala Half Marathon.  Since this was in my town I was looking forward to it. I could sleep in my own bed, not get at 3am and it was a beautiful course although there are lots of hills.

Went to packet pickup Saturday and was very disappointed.  They call it an expo, and I knew it would be small because it was last year but this year there was only 1 vendor who had very limited inventory. So I went and shopped at Sports Authority instead :-)

On my way out of the mall I did see them setting up the finish line - woohoo!

Got everything laid out that night and went to bed early and then didn't sleep most of the night :-(

Got to the mall and found someone I knew from the Run Space Coast FB group and we hung out until the start, trying to stay warm. It was in the 30s too cold for this FL girl. But once the sun came up and we were moving it was a great temp.

After a slight delay starting the people running the marathon, the half marathoners took off a few minutes later. I had decided to do 1:1 intervals for the first half and 30:30 for the second. I took off and was cruising along at my desired pace.

Then about 1.5 miles in a woman caught up to me and said "I've been trying to catch up to you. I am going to run with you." Um, ok. I like to run alone but also can't be rude. We were going the same pace so we ran and she talked. She waa very nice and it did help to make the first half go quickly.

The scenery was beautiful, we ran in some roads I haven't been on before so it was nice seeing the farms, horses and cows. The hills were challenging but so far so good.

At about 9 miles in I realized that not only could I get a PR but I could beat my stretch goal of finishing in 3:15. Woohoo!

That's when the hills started to get tough and with about 2.5 miles left I slowed down and lost my new friend.  But I was still on track to meet 3:15. In the last 0.25 mile my calves kept trying to cramp up on me but then I saw mom & Becky at the finish line and I slowly ran across the finish line in 3:13:42 YAY!!!!!!

I definitely enjoyed this race and would do it again, but I am thinking next year I may have to do the Clearwater half because the beach trumps horse farms any time lol!

And I do have pics but I am writing this on my phone and can't add them...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Galloway Style

When I first started running 8 or so years ago I started training for a 15k. During that training I discovered I get exercise induced migraines.

Fast forward about 6 years and I finally discovered the Galloway method.

It's a run/walk method and allows me to Run long distances without migraines because there are built in rest periods. According to all I have read I should be doing 30 sec running and 30 sec walking. Being stubborn I started out doing 4 min running with 1 min walking. I found out in my first 10k that interval didn't work for me. I then switched to 2:1 and that seemed to work ok.

After coming back from an injury I started out with 1:1 and my body responded well but I started to wonder if 30:30 would work any better.

Then came Space Coast and Jeff Galloway BQ'd using 20:40 second intervals.

That did it for me, time to try 30:30. I have done several runs doing 1:1 for the first half and 30:30 for the second. This has been long and short runs. For all but 1 run my second half has been faster. On my long run it was the fastest long training run I have had and I felt great at the end.

I am not sure I am ready to fully switch to 30:30, but they will now be part of every run.

Any other Galloway'ers out there? Or do you feel like it's "cheating" if you walk at all?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014

A new year, a new start. I am going to work towards being more consistent with blogging. As is typical for this time of year I will restart the blog with some of my goals for 2014.

Goal #1
Blog at least twice per month. More would be better but I want to start small and build from there. To meet this goal I will set a calendar reminder to blog every other week. I can also write posts from my computer, tablet or smartphone so I have no reason not to do it.

Goal #2
Lose the weight I gained this year. I gained 10 lbs over the year and my plan is to lose it by the end of March. I will do this by focusing on eating more veggies and fruits and paying more attention to portion size. I will fill half my ate with veggies and fruits then 1/4 with whole grains and 1/4 lean protein.

Goal #3
Increase my speed and stamina for running. This year I want to focus on running and strength training. That means I am not currently planning on doing any triathlons this year. I enjoyed the one I did, but not the training so much. And since I drove running that is what I want to focus on this year. I also know that strength training will help with my running and weight loss. Since I struggle with being consistent with strength training I want to be able to focus on it.

So that it for now. These three are my focus for now, and I will code throughout the year as needed.

I got off to a good start this morning g. I ran a virtual 5k and my pace was 13:00 which is pretty fast for me at this point.

Here's to a great 2014!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Runniversary to Me!

This post is actually a week late, my runniversary is Memorial Day weekend, but last weekend came and went without me remembering LOL!

Full disclosure...this is going to be a long post as I reflect on the past year :-)

Last year at this time I had been going to a great, small, family owned gym. But since it was family owned they closed on holiday weekends. Needing to do some kind of workout while the gym was closed I decided to try running again because I had really been missing it.

It had been almost a year since the last time I ran. That was with a running group, where I pushed myself too hard and ended up with a migraine (I get exercise-induced migraines when I push myself too hard with any type of exercise/activity).

But I went out and ran, I don't remember how far or how long, but I know it felt GOOD. I decided it was time to try running again and see if I could manage it without getting a migraine.

I started with the Couch 2 5K program which I had used successfully in the past. As I progressed through the program I really started to struggle with it. I guess because I was older, and also no longer running on the beach with cool breezes (that's where I first started running years ago), I had a hard time with the longer run segments.

That's when I discovered Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk program. I am not being overly dramatic when I say this program was LIFE CHANGING! I loved having set walking segments to rest and keep my energy up.

What I did not do was fully follow the program though. According to my pace I should have been doing 30 seconds running followed by 30 seconds walking. I could run 5 minutes at a time though so I decided to do 4 minutes running with 1 minute walking breaks.

Initially this seemed to work well for me.

Since I had already done 5Ks in my running life I decided to challenge myself with a 10K. I picked out one for that September. It was the Hooter's to Hooter's 10K in Clearwater, FL. I thought that would be a great race to do since it was in a town I loved and it was my and Tim's anniversary weekend so we could get away for our anniversary too.

It was a TOUGH race. I made 2 big mistakes.

#1 - I started out way too fast
#2 - I discovered 4:1 was the wrong run/walk time for me

I was so happy to be done, but I was wiped out!

The plus side was that I was determined to run more and just days after this race I signed up for my first half marathon - the Disney Princess Half the following February.

I went back and read some more of Jeff Galloway's books and decided to change my run/walk times to 2:1.

That worked great for me!

I also signed up for a couple of 5Ks so that I could practice running in a race atmosphere and NOT start out too fast.

My next 5K was my local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. I was recovering from a pulled hamstring muscle for that race so I knew going in that I would not be setting any PRs. So I really went into this race just doing it for fun. And it was a GREAT race! My time was slow (about 42 minutes), but I had so much fun just enjoying the event that I can't wait to do it again this year.

Training continued, even through some COLD weather. Even though I live in FL, I live in the center of the state so we don't get the benefit of ocean/gulf weather keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. We do get several nights of below freezing temps each year. So I bundled up in the mornings and continued with my runs. And still no migraines :-)
January came and it was time for another 5K. Having no injuries I planned this race carefully. I was going to start slower until the turn around (it was an out and back course) and then pick up the pace for the second half. This was also a local race, the Ocala Marathon/Half Marathon/5K. I already knew that in 2013 I'd be doing the 5K but in 2014 I would do the Half.
This was another great race, despite having LOTS of hills. I think I was truly learning to enjoy the experience. I took about 3 minutes off my last 5K time - woohoo!
Then just a few weeks later was the BIG race, the Disney Princess Half.

I was nervous and excited. Overall it was a great experience. I was so happy to have done this race as my first half. It was a tough race because I had been training in cold weather (as had everyone else since this was in February), but that weekend it decided to be really warm. The pre-race temp was in the 60s and close to 100% humidity - welcome to crazy Central Florida weather!

It was really, really crowded, to the point that I found it hard to run during my run segments. But the good news is that it kept me from going too fast. I finished in 3:25, which was actually 5 minutes faster than my anticipated finish time - yay!

Now that I have had this experience I probably won't be doing another Disney race. They are just too crowded and too expensive. I'm starting to learn I like smaller races better.

About a week after this race was my 46th birthday, and that's when the Run 50 By 50 concept was born.

I am now 3 races into it, and my 4th race is a virtual 10K that will be completed sometime this month.

It's been a fun, challenging, life-changing year and I wouldn't change a single minute of it. I can't wait to see what this next year brings me.

And of course, I couldn't have done any of this without Tim's support. He is my biggest cheerleader and the best photographer, and I am very fortunate to have him as my partner in life.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Disney Vacation

One of the benefits of living in Florida is that Disney offers FL resident specials. This year they offered one of the best specials I've ever seen - 4 days for $129 (that's almost like buying 1 and getting 3 free!), so Tim and I took advantage of it.

We went to Epcot in April, and since I was on vacation from work this week we decided to do the other 3 parks this week. We had a great time, with LOTS of walking. My FitBit is quite proud of me, 3 days over 10,000 steps, and I actually got my first 20,000 step badge this week LOL!

While I didn't actually do any working out (except continuing with my 30 day squat challenge), I think I walked enough to make up for it. I also let my eating slip quite a bit, but I learned a long time ago to not stress over that. I ate what I wanted (hello TWO cheeseburger and fries meals this week) and enjoyed myself, but now I'm back home and eating is back to normal.

When I first started Weight Watchers I tried to stick to my usual eating while on vacation, but it just stressed me out, trying to figure out what to eat and how to track it. So I learned to just enjoy myself and not stress over it. That doesn't mean I always make unhealthy choices, I find that if I don't eat enough veggies for a day or two I do crave them, so I do what feels right for the moment.

And today it's also back to exercising...we'll either hit the gym this afternoon or I'll go for a bike ride.

How do you handle vacations? Do you stick to your regular exercise/eating?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Running with the bulls

Yup, it's true, I'm doing it.

February 1, 2014 in Tampa, FL, Tim and I will be running with the bulls in The Great Bull Run.

It's a 0.25 mile run with live bulls running after you and then they pass you...cause the bulls definitely run faster - LOL!

I'm a little nervous, but more excited. Of course I'd love to go to Spain some day and SEE this event, but after reading the safety precautions (although it's still not 100% safe) I feel pretty good about it.

The Spain trip will happen some day, but running with the bulls will be one of the 50 by 50 races and I can't wait.

Now we just have to get Tim to be able to run 0.25 miles, which he's working on...although cardio is not his favorite to do :-)

What do you all think? Would you ever run with bulls?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Injury = Break from running :-(

As runners it's likely that we will experience injuries periodically.

And it sucks when that happens - to put it bluntly.

Right now I've got an injured hip, and of course running makes it worse, the pounding is what causes the pain. I can walk, do squats, swim, etc, just no running.

Since I was seeing the chiropractor for my neck, which is all better, he is now treating my hip. He said it's either a problem with the joint or even some bursitis. Of course my initial reaction upon hearing bursitis is that "I'm not old!" LOL

But looking it up, runners are listed as people prone to bursitis. Now it's a matter of the usual treatment, rest, stretching, ice, advil.

And in the meantime I'll be doing other forms of cardio that don't involve pounding on my hip.

Time to get out the bikes. Yesterday I picked up some cheap swim goggles so I can give swimming a try. I typically don't like swimming laps, but it's been a few years since I've tried it, and doing it with Tim might make it more fun.

The good news is that I did finish run was painful and it was my slowest 5K time ever, but I'm happy it's done, and I LOVE the medal.

Next run is another virtual that can be done anytime in June, although it is a 10K so I do need time to train. I'm not happy about having to take a break from running, but I'm happy that I can give myself time to heal and train properly.

How do you handle injuries? What are your backup exercise plans? Any suggestions for me to try something new and fun?