Tuesday, February 8, 2011

track workout or bust, a little gardening & a preschool prodigy

 Today's workout: 4 miles on the gym treadmill 36:32 (9:08) followed by a quick 15 minutes on the precor (I couldn't stay away from it!)

Tonight I am gearing up for my 1st track workout.  Our local running store that provides free support for Saturday morning long runs (4 water/Gatorade stations) also provides a free Tuesday evening track workout year round at a local high school.  So many of you have told me to begin some speed work, so I thought this would be ideal.  My only other experience with track workouts were in San Francisco when I was training for wildflower 1/2 Ironman....I loved the experience and I am very excited to find some speed in my legs and meet some new running peeps.  I will let you know how it goes...

Yesterday I had a parent teacher conference for my 4 year old.  And what do you know, he can cut a straight line with scissors so he is being moved into the gifted program.  I am totally kidding.  I actually think that whole things is quite ludicrous with regards to preschools, prekindergarten and kindergarten these days.  What a child learned as a 5 or 6 year old a few years ago in Kindergarten they are now expected to know as a 4 year old in preschool.  All in all he did quite well.  From being at the park for hours on end everyday his motor skills are quite good...he scales the fence instead of simply walking through the gate....BUT the teacher pointed out that he would not and could not identify numbers.  I had to laugh because he definitely can and when we got home from school he informed me that he just wasn't in the mood to show "Ms. Sue" that day in school.  Thata BOY!

And the garden.  I have been pleasantly surprised how well it is doing after I nearly killed it back in the beginning of December.

What's left of the cauliflower...

My cauliflower plants got ripped up yesterday as all 6 heads grew and unlike broccoli they don't generate any shoots for "baby" cauliflowers.  Also, I love seeing new things that I did not know would happen or exist when it comes to the garden...did you know that left to grow a cauliflower would end up like this?  growing green sprouts...turning purple?  Luckily Oz trimmed my 3 remaining heads up for some soup

Did you know that broccoli turns into this?  I feel like I must have grown up in a cave or something because I had no idea that if a head of broccoli was left to sit and grow and grow all of the "green" that we eat that is the head becomes amazing yellow flowers.  I ought to cut them, but they have brought so many bees to the garden and so I keep cutting the smaller broccolini from the base to eat and have left these flowers alone.  Pretty cool!

The eggplant that once looked like it was in the final stages of life is sporting about 15 or so flowers = 15 or so yummy eggplant!

The frail green beans are also growing...so excited for so many yummy things! 

Bought a hanging strawberry plant

The onions (all the long stalk looking things) are getting big.  I have no idea how to tell if there is an actual onion under there though...I may have to have a peak soon!

How's your day? Whatcha running today?
Do you have a garden?
Have you taken part in a group track workout?  thoughts?

A wonderful bloggy "friend" and someone who I consider a running mentor could use some prayers for her family...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday morning rambles...a GYM Story

I have begun 2 other posts and am not feeling the flow today.  SO many little things that I will just have bloggy ADD and go for it, sharing whatever spews out.

Friday at the gym (my 1st day back since the race) I set myself on my recumbent bike, opened up my Catching Fire book (have you begun the Hunger Games trilogy yet???  what are you waiting for...go grab the 1st book!!  NOW!) and began a nice, leisurely spin on the bike when I overheard a conversation between the receptionist and gym member.  The member was making sure her auto pay for unlimited classes would stop b/c the "other" gym has free classes.  I was confused and wanted to know more....I swear I am not an eavesdropper!

So, after my time reading..I mean exercising on the bike I walked over to the receptionist and began to pick her brain.  I asked stupid questions about the different classes and then asked for a new class schedule...with that she looked at me and told me that the gym was closing the next day.  Um say what?  My gym that I have paid for my membership in full is closing?  She informed me that the place went bankrupt and so on Saturday..as in 2 days ago, as in the day after this inquiry my gym would not be there to help tame my exercise addiction.   LUCKILY there was another gym in town that would "have" us.

SO, me being me got home and called this other gym.  I explained who I was and said I was just curious about the stipulations and such and the lady from the new gym was SHOCKED I knew about the closure.  She began asking me 20 questions about how I knew, who else knew and other bizzar-o stuff.  I am not sure if it was just me, but in my opinion the fact that nobody had the nerve to tell anyone yet about this gym closing was a bit off.  Needless to say she said I was welcome to begin using this other gym and so that was that.

Fast forward to today and my 1st trip to said gym.  I love it, I feel at home.  I am happy as a clam.  Wanna know why?  because they have Precors...you heard it right, my favoritest elliptical EVER.  My past gym had Cybex somethin' or other and we never "gelled" like the Precor.  I mean Little Miss Precor and I go back..I mean way back to 1997 when we were first introduced.  I heart her!  I really do.  If there was an Olympic sport for the Precor I would WIN!  HANDS DOWN.  I can stay on that puppy for hours.  Time flies...I sweat, I relax...I feel golden!  So, my new gym and I are HAPPY!

Wanna know what else makes me happy about it?  They keep it warm in there.  Yours truly likes a sweat fest.  If I ain't sweeten' I ain't working' hard enough.  20 minutes on Ms. Precor, followed by a quick 20 on a very nice treadmill (much nicer than the scuffed up ones of my old gym) and 20 minutes on my lounger..I mean recumbent bike reading and I was SOAKED.  Ring out the shirt soaked!

In addition I saw many of my peeps there...trainers, fellow gym goers and all.   It felt a little like high school....the new kids in a huddle and the old kids just glaring at us....infringing on their territory.  All was good though and "TONY" one of the trainers form my old gym even came up to me and said the following..."Don't worry Heather, everything is going to be alright here..."  It made me laugh...I mean we are just talking about a gym after all!

DO you have a favorite gym??  What makes a gym more appealing to you from one to another?
my favorite gym ever was the one back in NY where I grew up...the Penfield Raquet and Fitness Club.  I LOVED that place.  I still say I would move back just for that gym.  I felt comfortable there and loved the family feel of it.

my least favorite was a huge, 2 story LA Fitness in Murrieta CA.  This huge boxy thing with big time men all jacked up and lots of grunting....no bueno!

I was going to share more ramblings, but this is quite enough.

ONE more thing....my numbers jumped to 23 this weekend and I am so excited to have more followers.  It makes me so happy that my nonsense is enjoyed by others....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The UGLY- ING Miami Marathon Style!

As I shared yesterday, my first Marathon, 1 week ago on my 21st...I mean 31st Birthday went well.  I was a bit disappointed, but in the scope of the larger picture I think I did very well for training on my own, missing a lot of the filler runs and fueling properly.  BUT there were some Good things, some BAD things and 1 or 2 quite UGLY things that went with this race.  (the good outweighs the others by a TONS! )

The Good!
- My husband and I had our first night away with no kids in 1,493 days...yeah that's right just over 4 years...since our 4 year old was born.  AND it was quite possibly the most relaxing night.  I mean we were in bed at 8pm and up at 3:15am...slept in separate full sized beds and were not woken up once by a child.  (it was the most un-romantic night EVER! )

- We arrived on Friday night and our hotel was right on the water, directly behind Versace's house...great location.  We did a quick jog Saturday to get used to Miami weather and loosen up right on the beach.

-For the first time in a very long time I felt NO post run injury pain....which meant NO post run ice.  It was really the first time in months I did not ice my knees, feet, Achilles or anything.  Great feeling (even though my body was full of post race aches and soreness)

-Whatever I did Friday and Saturday worked because following 3 port-o-potty stops between 5am and 6:15am I did not stop once during the race to visit a port-o-jon!  I didn't eat crazy, but just pretty normal.  The best thing ever was the Starbucks VIA I got to make a quick cup of coffee in my hotel room (no coffee makers!)

-It was a great experience running a race on my Birthday.  I wish I had put something like "BD Girl" or something on my bib instead of "Heather."  It would have been great to be wished Happy Birthday by 1000's of people.

- I got to spend a fun filled 48 hours with friends and my husband...it was great to get away knowing that my mom had the boys.  The girls and I stayed in bed Saturday morning until 11am watching E! and then just relaxed the rest of the day until the husbands arrived.  We ate great food and had great conversation.

- I ran a marathon in 4:20 which was a sub 10 minute pace.  I know I am capable of so much more and I will find ways to drop that time considerably!

-I treated myself to some amazing hot pink Zensah recovery socks Monday morning...granted we will be eating Ramen noodles for weeks because of the price, but my lower legs loved it and I think they are heavenly...and pretty cute too!

-My husband (Oz) and Jens husband got along great and wore their backpack chairs...they watched the sun rise in the median of the road at the race start.  Quite a cute two-some!
The Bad
-Unfortunately the race t shirt was a bit less than stellar.  The shirt looks great...navy blue with one of the sleeves striped orange and white, but the cut is NOT for a female.  The seams come right across my chest...and the sleeves come down past my elbows...LOVELY!

- Sunday after the race I felt OK.  Monday morning I felt OK.  Monday afternoon I hit a wall straight on.  My legs killed...I was side shuffling around my house.  I also felt nauseous due because I was dehydrated. I don't think I drank nearly enough fluids after the race...and my skin was covered with salt when I finished.

-I am a light sleeper and the first night I shared a room with my 2 friends...needless to say they snored and I ended up sleeping in the bathtub.  It was a little small, but nice a quiet!

-Yes our hotel was in a fabulous location, but it seemed more like the hostel I stayed in while backpacking through Ireland.  The rooms looked like "sheek" dorms and there were people coming and going all night long.  It was a loud couple of nights...

The Ugly
-Ahhhh my toe. I never felt any pain when I was running, but when I got back to the hotel I noticed blood all over the top of my sneaker.  When I removed my shoe my sock was completely red and under the sock my foot was all bloody.  (I did take a picture but I will spare you from that visual...)

Hope your weekend is going great.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Post Marathon Funk?

I cannot believe that my race was almost 1 week ago and I am just now sharing my experience. This past week has been a little odd...I am experiencing some serious Post Marathon Funk.  I can only compare the feeling to that of taking down the Christmas decorations or something along those lines.  I think I am just in that period of limbo...asking myself "What Now?"

But I need to move forward, begin training and find a way to make these feelings go far far away...I have way to much to focus on to muster these bizarre feelings.  So moving forward.

I will probably take a few posts sharing my experience of January 30th...But to start off I will share that I did finish the marathon in 4:20:21.  With that said I am very happy I finished but in the same breath I put a ton of pressure on myself and so I was really hoping to finish in a time right around 4 hours.

I did go out rather fast for myself and felt very very good.  I ran the first 13.1 in 2:02.  I would never have gone out that fast if I knew that at about mile 16 my legs were going to completely fail me.  BUT during those frost 14 miles or so I really felt strong and not at all like I was pushing too hard.  The 1/2 marathon was BEAUTIFUL and I would suggest that everyone run it is you have the opportunity.  It is very flat aside from a bridge right at the get go...but besides that it is a very fun, entertaining and friendly course.  Lots of music, people and fun things to look at...along with just the right amount of runners  19,000 I think.  There were also 22 aid stations all with water and Gatorade...many with Gu's, bananas, and pretzels.  So, like I said the 1/2 was awesome and I would do it again in a heartbeat....definitely a race for a PR!

The 2nd half of the race was H-A-R-D.  (in addition to frustrating!)  I kept asking myself "what the Heck is going on?  You have run 21 miles and didn't feel this bad!"  My legs literally killed.  My quads felt like they were ripping off my body.  Each step I took, my legs felt tighter and tighter and nothing was helping.  I did stop a few times beginning at mile 21ish and would stretch, but in my mind I was not sure if the stopping was actually making me more sore from my body stiffening up.  Luckily the 2nd half of the race was pretty much all shaded.  The temperatures quickly jumped from a dark start at 6:40am of 60 degrees to about 80 with sun and no wind at about 10am.  It was a beautiful 2nd half run, winding through the BEAUTIFUL neighborhoods of Coconut Grove and finishing up with a loop close to University of Miami and then the water way out to Key Biscayne.  Right past mile 23.5 I was passed by the 4:15 pacer and I tried so hard to stay with her, but I did not have it in me.  (I did stick with the 4 hour pacer when she passed me from mile 7 until about 13.5 when my legs started to bother me.)

So, the finish was amazing.  Tons of people and somehow I managed to get that last burst of energy for the last .5 or so.  I was even stopped by the lady I had been playing leap frog with the whole time and was told how great I finished.

So, that is the race....a very very outlined version.  I want to write more and I will probably go back all week and share more and fill in some gaps but with that said I am ready to move forward.  I have a goal for San Diego of a 4 hour marathon and I believe I can do it.  I have A LOT to work on and A LOT to learn before then...but I do have exactly 17 weeks from tomorrow until race day.

In the meantime I am going to
--work on building my base
--try and incorporate speed work (there is a free track workout every Tuesday night right down the road)
--TRY TRY TRY to watch what I eat and hopefully loose 15-20lbs...it will be hard
--drop my 5k time to the 21's and my 10k time to sub 50min.

So, that is it.  I have been reading others blogs and I am finally after writing this feeling better and ready to move forward with a positive attitude about the experience and continue to learn from all the wonderful blogs I read.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Off & Running

First and foremost...I am completely humbled by the fact that 18 people are following my blog.  I believe the number jumped up yesterday and I am shocked each and every time I check my blog and see new followers and comments from new bloggy friends.  

Moving along....the car is packed and I am ready to go.  Driving to Miami today with my friend Jenn and picking up Randi (Iron Strand 2010) from the Miami Airport.  Our 4 other friends will arrive over the next 24 hours.  I am excited to say that my husband who tends to be a work-a-holic somehow got the weekend off so he will be arriving tomorrow and be there to watch me on Sunday, race day and my Birthday.

Everything happens for a reason and today I am feeling great.  Ready to run, ready to take that next step as a runner.  My body feels great, my mind feels great and whatever happens on Sunday I will be proud that I trained for months to do something many people would not even attempt.

While packing up my car I looked up and saw the simply most amazing cloud striations in the sky.  Both my mom and I grabbed our cameras since neither of us have ever scene anything like it before.

Truly amazing if you ask me.  

So..Off I go to Miami for what is sure to be an amazing weekend with friends.  I can't wit to share my experience with everyone when I arrive home.  Send good thoughts my way Sunday morning... and I can say with all honesty that the support I have felt and the feedback I have received these past 3 weeks from all of you has re energized me and made this whole experience so much more exciting.  I feel like I have a team behind me!  

Have a wonderful weekend full of running, relaxing and cherishing the time with family and loved ones.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Everyone else is doing it, so I am jumping on the bandwagon.

1.  This morning I caught a glimpse of the weather forecast for this Sunday and needless to say I am THRILLED!
Seriously could not be any better....and like I tell all of you that live in chilly, snowy areas around the US...come for a visit to Florida~  (even though truth be told I am completely jealous of everyone with snow!  I miss the change of the seasons the most.  I ran the first 2/3 of my life in a snowy cold climate and before Florida ran in Green Bay, WI for 2 winter!)

2.  Shorts or 3/4 capris?  I am always going back an forth when the temperatures are in the 50's and low 60's which way to go.  I love my 3/4 pants, but don't want to be hot once the sun is shining down.  Thoughts?  I think shorts will win out.

3.  I have been seeing mentions of Green Smoothies and I wanted to chime in.  I DO NOT make green smoothies, but I would if I had a Vita Mix or some amazing commercial grade blender.  In my opinion the blender makes the shake.  Many of my friends drink green smoothies daily and a great friend of mine shared her recipe with me (she uses a Vita Mix)
Green Smoothie Recipe!
1 Cup Vanilla Rice Milk
2 Stems Green Kale
1 Cup baby spinach
1 banana (she freeze them)
1/4 Cup frozen mango's
1/4 Cup frozen strawberries
1-2 Tablespoons hemp protein

I kid you not this thing is AMAZING!  The texture is really creamy and you taste NO green veggies and I would make them daily IF I had the right tools.  

I am off for my last run before taking off for Miami.  Super Excited.  Really Gittery.  Ready to GO!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Butterflies..I may pee my pants!

I have not even broken down to check the weather for this Sunday...does that make me weird?  I know as soon as I look it will make all of "this" real.  I am nervous...anxious and ready to run...NOW!

After 4 or so days off due to my body becoming a crumbling mess of Taper "injuries" I headed out yesterday for a run in some very very windy conditions.  My logic is always off so I ran out my door as if I was being chased by a mad man.  I looked at my watch a few times and say numbers like 7:23, 7:42 & 7:15.  Ummmmm just a little fast for this lady.  I think it was good though because I could test my knees that were bothering me and see how they would handle some speed.  I believe that mile ended up around a 7:45 pace or something.  Mile #2 I slowed it down a tad and managed to run that in about 8:07 and then from there I decided to just relax and jog into the wind to finish up.  Just a short run....feels weird to only run 3.5 miles after not dipping below 5 for some time.

Today I stopped into Target and Costco to grab some essentials and the local running store to stock up on my Cliff Shots...love some mocha and espresso running through my veins.  Now I just get to wait.

Tomorrow I will finally decide on what to wear and pack up and Friday I am out the door.

With all this said I am trying to figure out mile splits and pace times for a 4 hour marathon.  I found this, but I was hoping for something that had me starting out slower and finishing up faster....If you have any ideas where i can obtain this knowledge via the Internet let me know.

Avg Pace
Total Time
Chip Time

Off to check Miami's forecast for Sunday at 6am!