Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I found it!

My missing motivation! I haven't blogged since the beginning of the month, it's not because I haven't been running, I haven't had anything to say. My runs have been blah, almost all indoors. Not running because I wanted to, because I felt I had too. Then yesterday I got an e-mail about a new 10k, over the Jamestown Bridge in April. Come on now, how cool would that be! First of all after running New York a few years ago, I have an appreciation for running places that are not normally "runner friendly". The Jamestown Bridge offers amazing views of the state. Other than our beach, I can't think of an area in RI that I enjoy more, other than my patio on a hot summer night. I want to do this race.

Here's the but part, I'll be 32 weeks pregnant. Super pregnant. Don't ask, the MD has given her blessing so I'm good there. But it's not as easy to run for 2 as it is to eat for 2, I get winded very easy even at a slower pace. My approach is this, I'm going to keep running till I can't. I'm going to keep that race as a goal. If I get there and am slow but still moving then great, I'll catch up to the pack when I roll myself down the other side of the bridge. If I get there and it's too much, I'll be cheering on the sides full of envy. Either way the idea of running this race got me out of bed this morning and out on my old roads. Of course it was cold and windy but we've done this for the last few winters and I'm not about to stop now. I'm back!


Miles trained today: 3

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What gives?

2 crummy runs in a row. 2 runs where I have felt like I was dragging ass, each step was a lifetime. This cannot become a pattern. Ok, I'll fess up both runs have been solo on the treadmill. Never the most enjoyable place to run but I don't have this much trouble loosing myself in a run. I would promise that tomorrow I'm going outside, but don't hold your breath. I did register for a 10k on Sun so maybe that will help. New shoes should be on the agenda but I am reluctant as my running even on good days is half assed because of Junior. If I keep running though, I won't make it till June on these sneaks. Maybe a trip to Rhode Runner is what I need...

Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too hot and too cold!

So it's colder than I would like out for early December and I haven't been motivated to find my cold weather running clothing. Nights like this where the wind makes it closer to 15 than 30 I go inside. Here is the problem, I am not allowed to overheat. Normally not a problem, but the heat in the gym makes me sweat too much. Poor Junior is cooking away in there and at risk of overheating. So now for the greater good I'm forced to freeze my fingers and toes off and stay outdoors for the most part. I know I should stop complaining and just enjoy what I can do, but making all these accommodations makes me miss my earlier running life. I guess it's only preparing me for what's to come.

Miles run tonight: 3

Friday, December 3, 2010

Completely Unprepared!

Things did not go as planned tonight, nope, not at all. First I ran about 90 minutes later than I had planned. No biggie except that it was a whole lot colder at 5:30 than at 4:00. I didn't think of that so I froze. Then it's also darker at 5:30 so the Blvd was out, I know it's safe but personally find it very creepy in the dark. So my route changed on a whim, meaning it wasn't measured. I survive all these glitches and have a nice solo evening run. Except my run was too long! 4 miles rather than 3! Again, no biggie but remember it was COLD and I had no hat or mittens. I know, poor me, I'll get over it. Next time I'm planning better, or maybe I just need to get better at sticking with my plans!

Miles run today: 4

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Running while wet

Today was just one of those runs that was fun. It was pouring rain, the kind of rain that makes it hard to keep your eyes open. Not a mile in we were dripping and collecting puddles in our sleeves. Since seeing the MD on Monday I no longer have to monitor my heart rate and ran today with out a care. Joking and laughing. There was a pee-emergency that was narrowly averted, note to self there are no toilets on the Blvd. On the way back I showed my expertise of avoiding the deep puddles and my partner showed her immaturity by leaping into one and soaking me to mid arm. I'm telling you it was just one of those runs. A run that you don't to expect to enjoy that much. It will happened again, one never knows when. These are the runs that keep me going.

Miles run today: 3.7

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A race and a half

So today was the first road race since we found about about Junior. I wasn't sure what to expect and went it with limited expectations. I've been running throughout my pregnancy, more so over the last 2 weeks since starting to feel a bit better. The down side is that recently I have been advised by the MD to monitor my heart rate and aim for lower than 140, no higher than 150. My mornings runs have demonstrated that this is not a reality, so I've been running for a mile and then walking to get my heart rate back to the desired range. Today was no exception, although I had to be much more intentional about it. I took off with Mike and Joe and at one point Mike indicated we could move a little quicker and I agreed only to remind myself that no. In fact I would only be slowing down. Joe took of before my first stop and I waved Mike ahead at the first mile marker. The race consisted of me running from mile marker to mile marker and walking for 3 minutes at each marker. Definitely hard to get a flow going. And when I found myself frustrated at mile 3 I reminded myself what was going on here. I was out on the roads, feeling good and growing a human at the same time. My running life for the next few months is not going to look the same as it has in the past. It's only going to work if I allow myself this time. Take the good days as they come and cherish how normal it feels to be out there with my sneaks. The bright side is that if all goes well, next year I'll beat my time as well as the husband who is going to be pushing the stroller!

Miles raced today: 5

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let's bring it to the here and now, please

Dear Weather Woman,

I try to trust you, I really do. This morning you again let me down. I turn you on as I get ready for a morning run. Your display tells me it's 39 out. My house is only 58, too cold to take my warm PJ's off. Yet you go on and on about a warm front. If you said the phrase once in the 15 minute period you said it 18 times. I don't care what it will be at 2pm, I care about the here and now. It's cold enough to demand 3 layers on top, a tank, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket. Cold enough to demand a hat and mittens that stayed on the whole 3 miles. Cold enough for my nose to still be dripping as I type this. Cold enough that my thighs are bright red under my pants. So please tomorrow when I turn you on, lets talk about what it's really like outside. When it's cold please don't try to mislead me with graphs of troughs and discussion of warm fronts.

A cold runner

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's all about the numbers

Running is really a game of numbers.

How many miles should I run today? What about for the week? How far have I gone this year? What's my pace? Am I running tempo, recovery, or repeat? Speaking of repeat, how many repeats in this workout and how many laps does that mean? Now divide my pace by the number of laps so I'm sure I'm on target. How many laps have I run? How many miles till I'm done? How many miles on my shoes? How long till new shoes? How many races in a year? What should my race pace be? Was this a PR? How many days do I need to recover? What's the temp out and how does that impact my clothing choice? How many liters of water have I consumed and is it enough based on the humidity? How many more days till the next track workout? Is it hot enough for an ozone alert day and a reason to skip track?

I could really keep going with the running related math questions. Until recently I have avoided the heart rate number. I just figure there are enough numbers following along behind me I didn't need to add another, or add another gadget to measure another number. Yet, here I am crunching all there is to learn about heart rates and acceptable numbers and finding myself with yet another number to peserverate over. I would prefer to listen to my body and run like I have learned to run. I really don't want to care about another number. I signed up to run, not to do math.

Miles run today: 4

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saved by the parking spot

All day I debated, do I run or not. Came close a few times to throwing in the towel. I almost used the, "I'll wait till you get home and we'll go together excuse", knowing full well that we won't go. Finally the bell rings and I am freed from the working day, a bell didn't really ring but it felt that way when 4:00 flashed on the bottom of my computer monitor. I felt fine and no emergencies came up that were going to prevent me from going to the gym so off I went. Now my gym has a very tiny parking lot and I have always gone by the rule that if there isn't a spot than it wasn't meant to be. That said there are ALWAYS spots after work. Low and behold I drive up and the lot was FULL!!!!!!!! YAHOO! Get out of jail free pass. Rather than going right home I stopped at the yarn store and made a completely unnecessary purchase and was feeling chipper as I got back into my car. For some strange reason, almost alien, I drove back by the gym. Ugh, multiple spots, I should have taken the other way home. So I did what anyone else would do who suffers from irish guilt. I pulled in, sat in my car and pouted, then went for a run. Friggin parking spot!

Miles run today: 3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not sure if it was a waste or not

I did run this morning, I'm still sweating as a type this. I took the easy way out and used the treadmill in our basement. It's a beautiful day out there and perfect for running. I just knew that I didn't have the motivation to go outdoors. Not that it takes that much more effort, maybe a long sleeved shirt rather than the tank I'm wearing. I don't think I would have gone any further outside than I did on the machine but I'm sure it would have been more enjoyable. At this point I'll take the miles when I can get them. Inside or out, I can mark on my log that 3 miles were complete, lets not talk about how empty the log has been looking lately. I'm also not going to talk about the pace of my runs, did you know that I found my Garmin that I didn't know was missing. I don't even want to turn it on to see the last time I used it was. Eventually I will find that desire to really train for something again, for now I'm OK with a few runs a week at a leisurely pace. Who knows we might even get some 5K's in there every once and again, it's a lot easier to do those when you don't care about your performance :)

Miles run today: 3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day light savings

For all of you complaining about day light savings, I'm sorry but I think it's great. We just about bounced out of bed this morning before our run. The run itself was delightful. Cold enough to allow for hats but warm enough not to burn the lungs. I could see the road ahead of me, the sky was a light pink with the sun up before we finished. I don't care that it's 4:38 now and dark enough I should shut my shades. I also don't care that eventually my body will adjust to the time change and 5am will go back to feeling like 5am. Fow now it's WONDERFUL!

Miles trained today: 3.5

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A new exprience

For the first time, I didn't finish a race. Yep. No real reason, things weren't going as I had planned and was faced with a decision. Make this work or call it a day. It's easy to bull yourself through races, run hard and sometimes with more stupidity than brains. Today I had a goal to hold back, keep a steady pace and that wasn't happening. The final decision was made when the porta-john line was minutes long. I hopped on a bus and went back to the start. It is what it is. Watching the finishers gave me some touches of wishing I had made a different decision. I started to get annoyed with myself walking to the finish looking for Joe and then decided I was being ridiculous. I choose not to finish, it was a conscious well thought out decision and the right one for me today. So rather than throw a fit, I found a nice sunny spot with other fans and spent a few minutes cheering for those who were on their way to the 2nd half of the marathon course.

Miles trained today: 7
Days till the Jingle 5k: 50

Friday, October 15, 2010


All I have to remember is that running is my key to ongoing sanity. Today was a prime example, from the time I woke up till I got out of work things were glum. No reason, my head just wasn't in it today. I felt physically ill and mentally couldn't get out of my own way. Fighting the overwhelming spell my sweat pants have cast on me, I made it to the gym after work. Let's see how it goes. I fully expected to give up after only a mile or 2, I just felt too bad. But to my surprise that run of the mill nothing special 5 miles after work today completely changed my outlook. No longer am I feeling crummy and sounding like Eyeore. The run was slow and lacked any intensity that a coach would like to have seen but for my mental health, it was perfect. I'm now ready to celebrate the weekend, sweatpants are still folded at the bottom of the bed, but I have a few more hours of fun before I need to retreat to them. Sorry guys!

Miles trained today: 5
Days till the Amica Newoport Half: 2
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim Maine Coast Half: 24
Days till the Jingle 5k: 52

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pleasantly surprised

My club has been putting on an all women's 5k for the last 3 years and finally I ran out of excuses as to why I couldn't run it. So I shivered at the starting line wondering why I was there. 10 miles yesterday, 3 before the race today, it was going to be ugly. I sat there and watched women around me get ready to run, my music was too loud to hear what was being said but there was an energy that could be felt; a camaraderie that is lacking at other races I have run. The gun went off and we snaked down Elmgrove Ave. Different ages, shapes, speeds, levels of experience but I hate to be so corny but really a sense of oneness. I turned down the Blvd and waited for some men to pass by me and they never came. Towards the end I picked it up, wanting to be done and found myself having a really good time. I would focus on catching up to different women ahead of me an cheer them on as I found my next target. Towards the end we caught up with the walkers and unlike other races where this tends to get nasty, people were nice to each other. It could have been due to the race organization but I think it was more than that. Coming down the track to the finish, the crowd was louder than you find at most races. People were really excited for everyone that was finishing. I stood at the finished and cheered for a while and it was great to watch the smiles on the faces of the finishers. It was chilling to be a part of, again I apologize for the sappiness of this, as I write this I'm suffering from extreme dehydration and not myself. Until today I had not appreciated how nice an all women's running event can be. Sorry guys, but today I enjoyed the competition without your testosterone, too short shorts, spitting and snoting and fuzzy pits! It was just a very nice event and one I was glad I participated in. Going into this I encouraged my non running friends to join and hope that they will think about being a part of it next year.

Miles trained today: 6
Days till the Newport Half Marathon: 13
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim Maine Coast Half Marathon: 35
Days till the Downtown Jingle 5k: 63

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nevermind my partner, I'm ditching the garmin

Heading out for 10, I intentionally left the garmin at home. I just didn't need the pressure. Although the fact that I perceive pressure from an inanimate object is a bit of a problem. We don't have time to discuss those types of problems! Little did I know what a difference it would be. For the whole 10 miles I was relaxed. Never knowing my speed or distance was nice. KNowing the route, gave me a ball park figure, but beyond that I was clueless. I can't tell you if my knees started to bother me at mile 7, or if I pooped out come mile 9. It helped that it was a beautiful morning to be out there, and I had some good company. Today I enjoyed the conversation and found myself laughing later in the run. I know I ran 10 today and that's all that really matters. I will have other workouts to gauge my pace and measure splits.

Miles trained today: 10
Days till RMH Providence Women's Classic: 1
Days till Amica Half Marathon:15
Days till HP Maine Coast Half Marathon: 36

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ditching my partner?

This weekend was great and a rare event, Joe and I raced in separate events. He completed his first tri on Sat in Newport and by acting as a fan I saw him at every section and lived up the role as Biggest Fan. He did the same for me on Sun at the Ocean's Run Half Marathon, taking his bike from point to point (even cheered for strangers). I had no expectations going into today's event, my training has been in the toilet and I never run alone. From out of no where I pulled a pretty respectable time (2:08:25 unofficial) and shaved close to 8 minutes from my half marathon time from the spring. Now my plan had been run today, establish a base (had been hoping for a bit better than 2:20), run Amica and get a better time by 3-5 mins and then cap off the fall with the last half being in Nov with an even better time. Joe had planned to run Amica, but if we run together I can almost guarantee a slower time. This makes no sense, he's a faster runner than me but together I don't pull good times on the distance runs. Part of it is we choose to stay together so when one poops out we both poop out. The other is when I get tired I depend on him to pull me out of it, today I had no one but myself. My point is proven by my half marathon PR which was set in Providence 2 years ago and again Joe was there as Head Cheerleader not running it.

All of this aside if he didn't train with me I wouldn't have accomplished all that I have up to this point. There have also been races that he has sacrificed his time for my finish, Newport Marathon and Bermuda Half Marathon. Lets be honest, I'm not elite nor am I serious about how I train; this is more about fitness and the experience. So is my goal of improving over the next 2 races important enough to ask him to find other events? And if so will I really be able to keep improving to meet my fall racing goals?

Miles trained today: 13.1
Days till RMH Providence Women's Classic: 7
Days till Amica Half Marathon: 21
Days till HP Maine Coast Half Marathon: 42

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is $60 too much?

Hi, yeah I know I've been slacking. Story of my life at the current moment, but lets move on. I had decided I wanted to run the Ocean's Run Half Marathon on 9/26. My training, like blogging, has been questionable but I feel like I can run a half. In fact, I decided I would do one in Sept, Oct and Nov. Hey, if I'm not doing a full why not have a little fun with this. I was ready to register this weekend before I saw the cost. Ocean's Run is $60! Give me a break! Really? Why? I just can't bring myself to pay for it. I've paid a lot to run some races, more than $60. Why do I care about this one now? First of all the company is for-profit with very little going to charity. This group does put on good events, but do I really want to contribute to her vacation pot? Second, the t-shirt is cotton. What the hell am I going to do with another cotton t-shirt? If it was at least a running shirt I could see the $60. Third, I know there will be NADA in the goodie bag. Remember the bags from CVS 5k a few years ago, full of a years worth of samples? That kind of goodie bag would be worth the $60. Then they almost got me with the "free" beer at the end, lets call it what it is..a $60 beer. I'm running out of options. There is no other half marathon in New England that Sunday. I thought about Salem on Sat but then remembered I'll be in full on cheerleader mode at the Amica Tri for Joe. I love the area the half is going to be in, it's at our beach. It's going to be beautiful and blissfully flat. The weather is finally on my side. I really want to run it, again this group is expensive but they do host good events. The jury is still out but I have until 9/24 till the price jumps to $70!

Miles trained today: 5

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Track Manners

Can we talk about track workouts for a minute? I'm no expert but need to vent for a moment.

1. It's not a race. I don't care that you can blow by me on lap one and then I breeze by you on lap 3 while you are sucking wind. The whole point of having a goal pace is so that you run that pace consistently for the workout. We all run different paces and if you are having a fast week that is excellent. A slow week and you have my sympathies, but I am running my own pace. Please stop trying to race, let me know if you want to schedule a 100 yard dash and I'm game, looser buys the beer.

2. Stay in lane 1. All other lanes are a waste of energy and slow people down when they need to pass you. If you are running with other people, note running with not racing, then all run in lane one and stagger yourselves. There is really no reason for you to be in lane 2 or 3. Also, on this same note, if you are being passed move to the inside of lane 1 if running solo. This is a non contact sport and you can't elbow me out of the way. Lets face it, most of us are going to get passed, get over it and just let it happen.

3. Get out of lane 1 RIGHT AWAY when you are done with your laps. Please, it is terribly annoying when I get tripped up because you have stopped suddenly and are trying to stretch out a hamstring. There is a whole field to your left, use it.

4. This is a risky one, but bothers me, workout hard enough that you can't have a full on conversation. Unless this is the dreaded tempo run on the track workout, you should be running hard enough that you can't talk more than a few words. I don't need to hear about your vacation to Austin and what your kids are wearing for the first day of school.

5. No spitting, and you know who you are! God it's gross, just don't do it or if you insist please don't spit where we all keep our keys and water bottles.

I could keep going but I'll stop now.

Miles trained today: 5

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hi, Remember me?

Yep, it's been a while. Sorry! So today was my first "long run" on the roads in a month. Yep, a month. Sorry, again! Long run? Yeah, I'm talking 8 miles. Do I even say sorry again? Here I am, ready to run again. After a month of distractions, disappointments and tears I'm here. Running didn't fit, but it fits now. Where do I go from here? I don't know to be honest. I'm thinking a half marathon in Sept/Oct. What I've learned is there are no guarantees with running, like the rest of life. If you had told me that I would walk away from Chicago and be ok with it, I would have called you a liar. But here I am. So will I do a half? Who knows? I call tell you that today I ran a good 8. I would like to get my mileage back up slowly. I would like to run a half but I am not going to allow it to worry me. What I can tell you is that right now I'm laughing on my runs, laughing hard and I want that to continue.

Miles trained today: 8

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ummm, 7.5 on a Wed?

Yeah, really...7.5 miles tonight. Seems a bit foolish if you ask me. 1.75 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats and a .75 mile cool down. I'm not sure why this was a good idea, for that you will have to ask Bob. The bigger problem is that I was a lemming tonight. Just followed right along. I guess that's the point of track with a group, push your limits. But do the limits have to be pushed that far? I didn't walk in my door till after 8:30 tonight and track started at 6. Mind you I did stop at Whole Foods for dinner, but still. I feel great, very proud. I ran hard, fast and with consistency. Had some good laughs with fellow runners and caught up with those I had missed during my hiatus. More importantly I got a sense of where other fall marathoner's were in their training. To my surprise I am not as far behind as I thought. Right there with everyone else, bitching about the heat and worried about race day. So I guess the 7.5 miles and late night was worth it for the piece of mind knowing that Chicago is still a possibility, thanks guys.

Miles trained today: 7.5
Days till the Beach 2 Beacon: 10
Chicago: 74

Sunday, July 25, 2010


4:00am, I never get up at 4 to run. Today was different, forget about Sarah the runner and focus on Sarah the Triathlete (do you hear the ohh's and ahh's from the crowd). This seemed like a great idea until I watched them put out the buoy's for the 1/4 mile swim, they seemed further out and further apart than last year. I suddenly worried that I never wrote out that will to determine who would care for Stanley. Just before my wave started I took what could have been my last look at Joe, the hottest cheerleader on the beach. Why am I doing this as he is standing nearby...DRY?? My nerves did not dissipate until I hit the water and had to focus on not drowning. Although the swim is the most nerve wracking for me, it's my strongest leg of the race. Getting to the 2nd buoy seemed to take a while and was complicated by solar glare. And just like last year when I thought I couldn't swim any further I hit the buoy, took a sharp left and headed back to the beach. That's right, again I didn't drown and to me that makes it a successful swim!

Next up the bike. Here's the thing about the bike, I haven't been on mine since this race last year. Not smart but what can I say, I'm not a huge fan of biking. Don't get me wrong, a Sunday ride in shorts and flip flops for ice cream I'm there, but riding hard soaking wet after a swim really does nothing for me. I made it through the transition and got my bike on the road only to find it was broken. Yep, I should have checked before but I didn't. The chain fell off and was wedged in tight. After struggling for a few moments someone took pity on me and fixed it for me. So now my chain is on, but when I hit the minor hills I found the gears weren't working right. What the hell! Nothing I can do but laugh. 2 loops completed pretty quickly and back to the transition for the run.

I run all the time, and I don't always run smart. Yesterday I ran 13 miles so today's run sucked. Not only because it was during a tri and my legs were beat up but also because I wasn't recovered from yesterday. Again, all I can do is laugh. Last year I figured out that no matter how slow it feels like you are running, the punishment is over quicker if you keep trying to run rather than resort to walking. In addition to being in pain from the long run yesterday and swim and the bike ride I finished, it was friggin HOT out. There was no shade on the course, although lovely ocean views.

Finishing was oh so sweet, sweeter than finishing most running races if you want me to be completely honest. There is just something about finishing a tri that is amazing. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. Not that I trained for this or had an amazing finishing time but think about it; I swam in the open ocean then hopped on my bike then went for a run...all before breakfast!

Notes for next year:
tinted googles to help with sun glare
check bike before run to ensure it's not broken and ride bike more than annually
find someone else to complete running segment as it's the most uncomfortable!

Miles trained today: 1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride, 3.2 mile run

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Post Long Run Delirium

I did it, I ran on the roads this morning and hit my goal of 13 miles. We took it easy, stopped for water and swedish fish along the route. I was pumped when we made it home before 9:30. Just as I got in the shower it happened, the post long run delirium. Things start to move very slowly, nothing makes absolute sense. Running at the beach and then immediately sleeping for hours on my towel has prevented this from happening in quite a while. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself laying down on the shower floor. Judging by the pruniness of my finger tips I had been there a while, maybe too long. With the schedule as it is today, I couldn't allow for a 3-4 hour nap. So the delirium followed me for most of the afternoon. Joe had it too, as evidenced by his agreement that I purchase 2 dresses (note to self bring him shopping after long runs to ensure purchases without complaint). We tried to eat and found ourselves zoning out over sandwiches. The task of going grocery shopping seemed daunting, it was going to require some walking. We were all over the store, forgetting things and aisle jumping, it was pretty messy. The only cure I know of is sleep, and it's going to be a long time before I climb into bed.

Miles trained today: 13
Days till crabman tri: 1
Beach 2 Beacon 10k: 14
Chicago Marathon: 78

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sunsets and sailboats

I'll admit, it was pretty nice out tonight. I was tempted to blow off my appt with the treadmill and get reaquainted with the roads. But alas, I'm not at the point yet where I can tolerate another bad run. There is no telling what can happen on the roads, it can get wild out there. On the treadmill I have complete control AND I found the special machine. It is perfectly positioned so that my left side is blasted with a/c the whole time. It's the little things in running that keep me going. I couldn't convince Joe that I had the right idea and as I walked inside to my mechanical oasis he hit the roads. After an hour he came to find me with stories about sailboats on the water and sunsets in the park. I was not jealous. There were no sailboats or sunsets in the gym, just old episodes of the Real Housewives, but I had a good run and that's all that matters right about now.

Miles trained today: 6
Days till Crabman Tri: 3
Beach 2 Beacon: 16
Chicago Marathon: 80

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So my training sucks right now and has sucked for the last 2-3 weeks. The heat is kicking my ass and at this point I'm questioning the marathon. I don't want to run another 5 hour marathon and if something doesn't change that's what I'm headed for. June 26th I did an 11 mile run at a 10:30 pace and since then it's been down hill. July 4th was the 10k and that felt good but was only 6 miles. Last week, no long run as I was questioning a strain. This week I tried for 11 miles and almost killed myself getting through 9 and don't even ask about the pace. I haven't had a good run outside since July 4th. On the treadmill with a/c I can run 6-7 miles and not think twice about it. On the treadmill speed workouts are enjoyable. I don't know if I should quit road running and focus on running well on the treadmill until the heat breaks. I'm giving it a month, if things haven't improved by then I'm out of Chicago and not going to look back.

Miles trained today: 9

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Yep, I'm a bit nervous. Might have over done it. My calf is a bit pissed off. Friday I did a speed workout on the treadmill, it felt so good. Followed by 35 mins in the pool, didn't end feeling good. I got one of those calf cramps that makes you want to scream in pain. I half treaded, half hobbled to the wall and tried to work it out. Maybe I swam 3 more lengths before calling it a day. Since then I've been in pain, tried to run twice and am still feeling it. The pain is worse after not moving and after a mile or so works its way out. Going down stairs hurts, a lot. So, what is my plan? Tomorrow no running or swimming. It's better than the day before and the day before that; here's hoping I've found the road to a quick recovery. So I don't think it's anything serious. We'll see how Tuesday goes. I'm a little irritated that this is now 2 weeks without a long run, Chicago is still just over 3 months away so I have time....

Miles trained today - 1 hour (too hot to care about distance)
Days till the Crabman tri: 14
Beach 2 Beacon: 27
Chicago: 91

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sweat test

I took a test this morning and didn't have to study. Dehydration is a big topic with the heat wave and I have continued to run. So today I weighted myself pre and post run to see what I had lost. Let me tell you why this was a terrible idea. I weighed myself prior to drinking any water and then was parched immediately after stepping off the scale. We then ran, rather, waded though an hour of 94% humidity - again no water. The ride home seemed like double the normal time it takes. At times I was hallucinating, seeing little water bottles along the road. All of this to show that I lost over 2 lbs in sweat. Great news! Why parch myself for this? I don't have a good answer. I also did nothing new with this info. Finishing the run I took a cold shower and drank my normal amount of liquids (plus a little too much ocean water during an evening swim). Next time I won't listen to Runner's World and will just continue on with my routine. Maybe it's a bigger deal to those who run faster or further than I do, or those who don't consume copious amounts of water per day. Just another useless little running fact: on days where the humidity is a 94% and I run for an hour, I can expect to sweat out over 2 lbs of water.

Miles trained today: 1 hour - distance not measured
Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 33
Chicago: 96

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Low expectations, high temps

Before starting the race today, we were standing in the chute waiting, at least 4 times there were warnings about the temps. Don't go out too fast, be sure to hydrate, enjoy yourself. Enjoy? It was quickly approaching the mid 80's and we hadn't started yet, I should have been enjoying myself on the beach! Off we went and the first mile sucked. I was running on tired legs and they let me know it. Just sore. I put it out of my head and kept going, as predicted things started to loosen up. We ran into an old friend and spent then next couple of miles chatting. The goal was not too go out too fast and by chatting we kept it nice and easy. The course was flat and there was enough shade to prevent me from melting into the asphalt. I love 10k's, long enough to count for a work out and short enough not to kill you. The last 2 miles things started to pick up, before we knew it we were entering the park again. Now it gets funny, we are sprinting or at least I was. Can't breath, could puke but that would require slowing down. My sister in law (who by the way is legs from the neck down) pulls out her cell phone and calls her hubby to inform him we are ahead of schedule. I look over and she's gliding along beside me, barely breathing hard and having a good time...I could have killed her! Finishing in the stadium was a blast. Onto the turf, through the helmet and onto the jumbotron. We had enough time post finish line to take in the stadium from the turf, it was unreal. I'll be there next year and hoping the temps are a bit lower.

Miles trained today: 6.2
Days till the Beach 2 Beacon: 34
Chicago: 99

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Swimming to save my life

This is a running blog, but I enjoyed my swim so that's what you get tonight. The tri is about 25 days away and I've been neglecting the pool. No reasons, it's just not always at the top of my priority list. Now here's the deal with signing up for the tri, it's more dangerous than any running race I have ever competed in. In case you forgot, it can be LIFE THREATENING. If I get tired on my bike or feet, I slow down and catch my breath. If I get too tired in the ocean, DEATH is an option. That said I decided I needed to ensure I could swim the quarter mile distance again, it's been a year since I've tried. Drum roll please....I swam it. I know, pretty anti-climatic. It was just about that exciting in real life as well. Now I realize why I've had trouble getting to the pool, it's BORING! I did it, it's done. But just remember, when I do it for real on race day it will be in the big scary ocean complete with waves! That is why I will recommit to my swimming efforts and swim 2-3 days a week till race day.

I did go for a run tonight as well and it was pleasurable. Joe is back in town and it's always easier to run with him, unless he drags his feet in lame attempts to stall or even prevent the run from happening (not that this occurred this evening).

Miles trained today: 3
Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 3
Beach 2 Beacon: 37
Chicago: 101

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh what a night

I almost didn't make it, the couch sucked me in. I woke up an hour after I should have started my run surounded by a pool of drool. It was tempting to stay there, I was comfy and the dogs were snuggling. This is when I get irritated with marathon training. Runs becomes do or die (well not that extreme but it feels that way), counting up mile after mile. Screw it, lets see what happens. I peeled myself off the sofa and ever so slowly changed into my running attire. Again, fate tried to destroy me, after shutting the front door I instantly realized I was locked out. Really?!?! Luckily I have done this before and it didn't take long to break in and then I took off, enough with the stalling. The weather felt sooo much better tonight, even running at 6pm. There was a breeze that actually felt like a breeze, the sun on my shoulders didn't feel like a death scan. I knew I didn't have time for the full 6 miles that had been planned but decided to just run and not think about it. And that's what I did, a few minutes in my thoughts settled. My breathing became rhythmic and I was comfortable. No garmin means I couldn't think about pace or distance. At this point I can gauge pretty well how fast I'm going based on how my legs and lungs felt. I could tell that this was feeling better than most outdoor runs had been lately. It was enjoyable, finally.

Miles trained today: 4.5
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 4
Beach to Beacon: 37
Chicago: 102

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's try this again

I tried to run this morning, I really tried. It was terrible. We made it to the top of the Blvd before I almost drowned in my own sweat. Heading back down, we called it quits and went back up Elmgrove. After a measely 2.5 miles I looked I just got out of the pool. Checking my phone on the way home, it was 91% humidity. Ugh! Now I'm stuck with having to run AGAIN this afternoon. The plan is 3 week day runs this week and Friday off so I have no choice. There was some debate about trying it outdoors again but I headed to the a/c. It was the best decision I've made in a while. The heat and humidity has been taking a toll. My pace feels a bit slower during the week, my legs heavier and my skin is getting a bit fried. This afternoon, it was cool. I was able to push the pace and since I knew I was hoping off after only 3.5 miles I was focused. The run ended with me smiling (not the case after most runs of recent memory) and with a pace of 9:37 per mile. I'll take it and to be honest won't rule out another treadmill run in the near future!

Miles trained today: 6
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 5
Beach 2 Beacon: 39
Chicago: 103

Sunday, June 27, 2010

One more week done

Finished up another week. Things are remaining on a positive upswing, both in terms of pain and mood. 33 miles with a long run of 11 and 1 yoga class. My long run was slower than last week's 9 miles but also much hotter. I must have become dehydrated and close to death because I decided to sign up for the crabman tri again. If nothing else it will force me to get in the pool more often and maybe even check out that tri club. One of the nicest things about running from the beach is hopping in the ocean immediately after. Joe says it doesn't count as an ice bath, but I'm telling you it's gotta come close. THe last 2 weeks after long runs followed by several minutes in the ocean my legs have felt good, I've been able to run after both runs. This week I'm looking for a 12 mile long run, 37ish miles total and it's the Harvard Pilgrim 10k. That's going to be a hot race, 9am start time next Sunday, UGH! I don't want to stack the schedule too full but if I could also squeeze in 2 swims and 1 yoga class I would be pleased.

PS - To the man who yelled at me out his car window tonight, "keep it up old lady": F off and why don't you try running 3 miles in 80 degree weather and 75% humidity, JACKASS!

Miles trained today: 3
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 7
Beach 2 Beacon: 41
Chicago: 105

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Perfect, just perfect

Today was one of the most beautiful runs to date, which is funny becuase it wasn't expected to be. We had planned on 10 miles from home before heading for the beach, but when we got up to run our motivation stayed in bed. So we decided to head to the beach early and see what happened. Joe lead the way once we got on the road in our sneaks. Taking a right out of the beach parking lot we ran along the beach road, past the Ocean Mist and into the neighborhoods of Ocean Ave. It wasn't long before we came across stairs leading to East Matunuck Beach, at this early hour it was filled with walkers, runners and dogs. We ran across the beach to the jeti and looked out to Salty Brine Beach, with no way to cross we doubled back and hopped onto Succotash Rd. We followed the for a while and ran into the marshlands before hitting a dead end at Gooseberry lighthouse. By the time we hit our beach again with our car we had run just about 6 miles and the debate began. Do we run another 3 or 4 now, or run long tomorrow. After much debate we took off through the corn fields and followed Card's Pond Rd. to Moonstone Beach Rd turning back after 1.5 miles. The entire run was GORGEOUS, the ocean was amazingly calm and there was a nice cooling breeze for the majority of our run. So many birds, too many too count and there were times I wished I knew more to identify them by. In 9 miles we ran on beach, grass, broken shell, and dirt road. It was perfect, just perfect.

Miles trained today: 9
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 15
Beach 2 Beacon: 49
Chicago marathon: 113

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joe! Where are you?

A new morning route brought us out over the bike path into East Providence. We had just cleared the last of what seemed like too many uphills when we lost Joe. He was pooped. After a few moments of joking it became clear that he was a lost cause. The plan was for Jen and I to continue on and come back later with the car. We finished up, at what could only be called a crawl. I got in the car and off I went to find the boy. When I hit the end of Elmgrove I started to get nervous. No worries I started down Gano with my eyes peeled and still nothing. What the hell? Where is he? I figured he must have sat on the steps at the bridge, nope, not there either. It’s no secret that I tend to jump to the worst case senerio outlook in a heartbeat. I began to panic, in my mind Joe had been attacked by the creepy guy on the bike path in a flannel shirt and jeans. What to do, what to do…I drove back to the stadium hoping I had passed him. Finally there ahead of me I spotted the black basket-ball shorts. I speed up and opened the car door. No the creep didn’t attack him on the bridge; he took Taber rather than Elmgrove. After some water and a big bowl of cereal he started to perk back up, tomorrow I’ll make sure we are clear on the route out as well as the route back!

Miles trained today: 6
Days till The Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 17
Beach 2 Beacon: 51
Chicago Marathon: 115

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm ready, maybe

Ok, I'm ready to really train for Chicago. I've had a few false starts. In actuality my training was supposed to start 2 weeks ago, then postponed till last week and still it hasn't started. To be completely honest I haven't been interested in training for this marathon at all. This will be the 4th time I have started marathon training and I know exactly what I am getting myself into. This training was going to be focused on really jacking up my mileage. It's just not what I need right now. If it becomes a chore I will quit. If I can't get my head into it, I will get hurt. I have decided not to give away my number for Chicago, it's too late for that; I'm ready to train. My mileage will be lower (no higher than mid to high 40's). I'm only running 5 days a week and will have 1 day of cross training and 1 day off. In the past once marathon training started, cross training went right out the window. I'm going to try to get a 20 and 21 mile long run in, previous attempts have ended in long runs no longer than 16 miles. Also, there will be NO monster month! Late in the training when the long runs are 16 plus, I will run hard for a week and then back off for a week, I'm hoping that helps with injury prevention. We'll see how it goes, I feel good about it. Going forward I will state my weekly goals and let you know how I do. So far so good this week, I'm looking for 31-33 miles with a long run of 10 and 1 day of swimming.

Miles trained today: 6
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 18
Beach 2 Beacon: 52
Chicago Marathon: 116

Saturday, June 12, 2010


It's summer, so that means we will be at the beach every free moment. In the past running has cramped our style when it comes to the beach. If we can't get there early enough to beat the traffic, there is no point. So this summer we plan on doing most of our weekend runs in South Kingstown. Today was the first attempt and it was a really nice run. We parked at the beach and headed up the beach road, turning onto Matunuck School House Rd. Heading out was nice, plenty of shade and a cool breeze. At one point I thought about how it was not going to be this nice heading back but forgot about it. Until we turned around after 4 miles. It got uncomfortable quick. Finally I gave up and ran on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to get more cover from the shade. It wasn't too long before we hit the beach road again. Unfortunately it's over a half mile before we hit the beach parking lot but we could see it for quite a while. I found myself picking up speed only to poop out and fall back again. No worries we made it back to the car and kept a pace just under 10 min miles. We'll be back tomorrow for a bit of a longer run and are hoping to have a bit more sun to enjoy after the run!

Miles trained today: 8
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 22
Beach 2 Beacon 10k: 56
Chicago Marathon: 120

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


When I was a kid our family vacations were spent in the woods a various campgrounds. Camping is part of my earliest memories. Different campgrounds with friends and family. Cape Cod, MA, RI, CT all over New England. Rain, sun, heat, some of the worst thunderstorms, cold nights all kinds of weather. My Dad had a part of the basement dedicated to his camping gear, we had everything it seemed like. Tarps of all colors, shapes and sizes and just as many different kinds of rope to go along with all the tarps. Even a coffee maker for the portable stove. Did I forget to mention that we camped in tents, ONLY? I remember when I had a friend with a camper I was shocked to see how the other side lived. All of these memories flooded me during my run tonight. My new i-pod ear buds were failing me and about 2.5 miles in I got sick of playing with them and turned it off. Joe and Jessica were too far ahead for me to even see in the dark. I heard the rain falling on the leaves, trees and the rain coat I was wearing; too many times it seemed like we camped in the rain and that sound brought it all back. Fond memories. Luckily all it did was give me the urge to hop into my dry car after 5 miles, not to camp. I may run in the rain, but I'm a hotel girl when it comes to traveling.

Miles trained today: 5
Days till Harvard Pilgril 10k: 25
Beach 2 Beacon: 59
Chicago Marathon: 124

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blvd Challenge

That's it, I've had it. I can't run on the friggin Blvd one more time! For some reason the majority of my running routes touch the Blvd at one point at another. It's nice to run, the traffic isn't bad but God it's getting boring. Even today we were on there for about a mile, give or take a little. It's to the point now my hamstrings groan when we get close. I have no reason to hate it, I just do, it's boring (or I'm getting bored with the training). I'm guessing I run that road at least 3 if not 4 or 5 times a week. Not always the whole thing, but it's always there. Fairly flat and always tempting. I bet I could run down the middle with a blindfold and only trip 3 times. There are runners who have run it far more often than I have and good for them. For the next 2 weeks I pledge to not step foot on the Blvd. Seems easy, but I'm a creature of habit, my little pigs won't touch that road until 6/23. I'm hoping absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Miles trained today: 5
Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 1ok: 26
Beach 2 Beacon: 60
Chicago Maratho: 124

Monday, June 7, 2010


A late day run with heat and humidity at higher than preferred levels meant that I wasn't really looking forward to this run. Combine that with a day at the beach and it's shocking that I ran at all. My mood needed an adjustment in only the way that running can adjust a mood. Lincoln Woods was where I ended up, I knew it would be shady. My i-pod died overseas somewhere between Boston and Costa Rica and I desperately tried one more time to bring it back, including slamming it against my dashboard several times. No luck. I started out and was immediately calmed by the quiet. Even though the loop was full of people and a few passing cars it was very quiet. I focused on my breathing right away and all anxieties were lulled away. I was alone so there was no worry about pace, there were no worries about falling behind or keeping up. There were no conversations to be had and I refused to allow my thoughts to wander back on issues that had been the focus of the weekends perseverations. I finished the 1st loop quicker than I had imagined and kept going. Finishing the 2nd loop there was a brief moment where I questioned going around a third time and just a quickly decided to get in my car and head home.

Miles trained today: 5
Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 27
Beach 2 Beacon 10k: 61
Chicago Marathon: 125

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to track, back to reality

What a way to end vacation, a 7am track workout. I went only because this morning was in the low 60’s and Wed night is going to be in the 80’s. That and I have a persistent friend. The workout didn’t sound terrible, 800m followed by 2x 400m. I was a little nervous, my usual pack of runners wasn’t there. Would I be able to pace myself? The first 800 was 4:02, a good 15 seconds faster than I had aimed for. This was either very good or very bad. If I just went out too fast then this was going to hurt come the 3rd repeat. The next 2 400’s were at 1:55 on the dot. Still feeling ok. The next 2 repeats were right on the money in terms of pace and although I was working hard I wasn’t dying. Today starts phase II of marathon training and it was a nice solid day 1. I’m sure the week of recovery I’m coming off of helped with today’s workout. 3 more weeks till another recovery, but 10 days till the next track workout!! YAHOO!!

Miles trained today: 4.5

Countdown to resume later this week!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

free toes

We headed out this morning on the same route as yesterday, it was our 3rd run in Costa Rica and my legs reminded me of this. I haven't been pushing the agua as I should and was feeling a little dehydrated. That and the humidity slowed me to a crawl. Joe took the lead today on the almost 2 mile downhill stretch, pausing momentarily to view some monkeys. My sneaks were still soaked from yesterday and we were planning to run along the beach again. A perfect chance to expiriment with barefoot running. The sneaks came off just before the 3 mile mark and it took some expirmenting to deterimine where on the beach to run. We had to avoid the rocks in the middle and running in ankle deep waves was not going to help our pace. We followed behind another woman running barefoot, she was also running in a bikini top and lacy underware. Pura Vida! Running barefoot requires intense scrunity of the ground ahead of you. Yesterday running on the beach seemed fun, it was finally flat and I could go faster. Today I ran gingerly, worried about slicing myself on a rock. When my feet would land I could feel my entire foot, from toes through the arch and finally my heel. I wondered how much damage I was doing as I could feel my arch hitting the sand, my orthotics purposfully keep my arch supported. We stopped after about a half mile of barefoot running and I think it will be my only half mile of barefoot running. My feet like sneakers and support. The best part, dropping the sneaks at a chair and charging full speed into the ocean fully clothed. Water temps, like bath water!

Miles trained today: three and a half

(hit a random button on the spanish keyboard and the numbers don't work)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Taste of Trail Running

So we have made it to paradise. Luckily for my readers today is a tropical depression so before I retreat to my room to drink copious amounts of "mio rico" coffee and get lost in my 3rd book of the week I have stopped to share a little about how the running has been. Our hotel sits on the side of a cliff, so to get anywhere it's a battle of the hills. Getting from our room to the road is a beautiful downhill run with lush vegitation as far as you can see. The road winds around the cliff side and above us the trees are filled with sloths and white faced monkeys. At our feet we are constantly dodging lizards of every shape and size as well as Halloween Crabs. It's a little difficult to focus on your running form with all of this to take in. Leaving the hotel property is where things become very interesting. It's a quarter mile straight up, take college hill and make it triple the steepness and then you start to understand. Yesterday we tried to run it, today we were smarter and just walked it. The pavement is a mixed concrete substance with stone so it's rather uneven and slippery, getting up or down takes much concentration and effort. At the top the pavement stops and the road is gravel. We continue uphill although at a more manageable slope for another 8th of a mile. Surrounded by houses and hotels of all shapes and sizes. The trash cans are kept in locked boxes off the ground that look like chicken coops, protection from Monkeys. There are many wild dogs that initally make me nervous and run back towards Joe, good thing everything here has the Pura Vida attidude, including the dogs who pay us no mind. Today we took a left on the paved road and ran for a mile and a half down hill towards the national park. Everything is so green, my eyes balanced between keeping focused on the uneven footing and up in tree tops. Birds are everywhere, bugs as well. This road is one of the few paved ones in the area and at times we are able to hop on the sidewalk. THere is not much traffic, but runners do not have the right of way. We hit the entrance to the park and turn around, Joe begins to beg that we not go back up the hill. So we hit the beach. It's about a mile to the hotel and a perfect run when it's low tide. The water is turquoise and the sound of the waves is beautiful. Looking out there are many rocky outcroppings covered lush green vegitation. To our left is ocean, to the right forrest and there are many rivers that empty into the ocean. In the beginning we are able to hop over the water and remain dry but soon this becomes impossible. I stop and survey my options, realizing there are none I charge full speed into the water. If the 100% humidity hadn't soaked my shoes and socks enough, I was now shin deep in water. Running on the sand was difficult, now running on the sand with squishy shoes was even more of a challenge. Just as all the water had been squished out I'm faced with another river, and in I go again. The 3rd time was a little much, I misjuded the depth, leaped off the sand and landed in water thigh high. Laughing I pull myself out and Joe jumps in behind me. We reach our beach and charge down the final path to the hotel road. The trail is a mix of different size rocks and footing again is difficult. I have to dodge branches and palms, a little worried that around the corner will be a snake, I think to myself that tomorrow Joe will take the lead here. Again surrounded by jungle I'm amazed at the beauty. We stop the run at 4 miles to ensure we don't have to run up another cliffside slope.

Miles trained today: 4

Friday, May 21, 2010

floating, not running

Just what was ordered, a very long relaxing run. I know, it just doesn’t sound right. But I have to say; this was likely one of the nicest long runs I have completed in quite a while. After a trying week and upcoming anxieties, I was feeling slightly out of control of myself. Prior to leaving the house I debated canceling it but thankfully got myself there. At one point in the beginning, I thought about the loop and got slightly overwhelmed; we are going to be out here all night. Then we just started to move. No pressure in regards to pace or time, I had forgotten my watch and wasn’t missing it. It was a beautiful night out, when we came back around to the Blvd, I was shocked by how many people were out, the same thing down by the river. It wasn’t one of those runs that was followed by a runner’s high, more of a runner’s zen like state. I wish I knew how to recreate this run. Starting early June I will embark on phase II of marathon training, full of long runs, very long runs. It would make it a whole lot easier to be able to float through them like I did tonight.

Miles trained today: 10

Days till Old Sandwich Road Race: 16

Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 44

Beach 2 Beacon: 78

Chicago: 142

Monday, May 17, 2010

Needed this one

I don’t know if it helped today, it was all I had left. It was go for a run or go to bed at 5pm. After a long run last night, there were no guarantees as to how this would feel. But in some ways I knew it would help somehow. Today had nothing to do with training, noting to do with exercise. I was out there because I needed to run, I wanted to run. It was all I could think of to try to clear my mind. As predicted it was a fairly ugly run, but when compared to how terribly wrong the rest of my day had been it was a great run. No pain, just completely exhausted legs, but I found after about a mile my brain calmed down. For the first time in what seemed like hours my heart wasn’t pounding. I was able to focus on the conversations around me. My breathing was calm. I felt the sun on my face, the feel of the air on my hands, the unevenness of the ridge in the bike lane through the soles of my sneakers. When I took a left up Elmgrove for my last mile I was alone. The music went on and it was loud, real loud. For the next 10 minutes there was no thought, I was just moving forward. Not fast and my form was likely a mess but I was going. So I did it, calmed myself down, I feel better. I will run tomorrow and I will continue to feel better.

Miles trained today: 3.5

Days till the Old Sandwich Road Race: 20

Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 48

Beach 2 Beacon 10K: 82

Chicago Marathon: 146

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just enjoying myself.

I have relaxed a bit in regards to this whole running thing. Only wearing my watch during speed work and long runs, not allowing myself to completely obsess about mileage goals. Backing off when the aches and pains become too loud. I hate to say it, but it seems to be working. I have run every day since Wednesday and not really dreaded any of it. Each run has been a little different, some more enjoyable than others, but all relaxing in their own right. I did spend close to two hours the other day mapping out the next 4 months of my training, but rather than viewing it as a do or die prescription, it is really only a guide. 2-3 miles off is not going to make a difference in the end. It was beautiful out there tonight and I took in the moon and the stars instead of focusing on what my garmin was doing.

Miles trained today: 12

Days till the Old Sandwich Road Race: 21

Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 49

Beach 2 Beacon 10K: 83

Chicago Marathon: 147

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

resting appears to have worked

Pure panic, that’s the only way to describe my frame of mind on Monday morning. I noticed at work that when I stepped on my left leg there was a pin point of soreness. This started late on Sunday and was no better Monday morning. So I did what anyone would do, I started to google “quad pain”. It was only a matter of minutes before I had worked myself into a blind panic. My pain now had become a full blown stress fracture of the femur that was going to require 6 weeks on crutches. After some deep breathing exercises and reassuring e-mails from coaches I calmed down. Stress fracture unlikely, more likely, a quad strain from the hills of last week. Now what to do? Time off was required but not desired. But I did it. I did not run Sunday, Monday and even Tuesday. I have to admit this is the first time I have backed off immediately at the first sign of injury and I have to report it worked. Not only did I kill a hill workout tonight, but I had enough in me to enjoy a 2 mile cool down. Lessons learned, when pain begins:

1. Stay off the internet

2. Rest for 2-3 days

3. Drink wine to distract from lack of running

Miles trained today: 7

Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 53

Beach 2 Beacon: 87

Chicago: 151

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adventures in North Providence

Off I go! The plan is easy enough, run from my house to the ball field where I will have friends waiting with water and run home. No problem-O, that is until I start on the first of 3 hills. Huffing and puffing I make it up. Running along Mineral Spring Ave at 6pm is rather distracting. There are too many cars and no one is moving quite fast enough. Never mind that, I’m recovering on the downhill. Just as I catch my breath I run into Jim from work. He kindly reminds me that I have another big hill coming up. Thanks Jim, really thanks! This hill almost does me in. You have no idea. It never ended, well finally it did. Ok, time to recover on the downhill. Before I know it, I hit Centerdale and am feeling pretty proud. We’ve talked a lot about running here and never made it, likely due to the 2 friggin hills I just dragged myself over. Now here is where the run goes horribly wrong. I should have taken a sharp left, instead I take the other left. It felt wrong right away, but I kept going. Yep, I kept going for about 10 minutes until I stopped to ask someone. These 2 ladies laughed out loud at me! “You aren’t running there are you?” With all my self-confidence drained I follow their direction and head towards the field. I have no idea what time it is and if my friends will still be there. I start to panic. I don’t have my phone. Even if someone let me borrow a phone the only numbers I have memorized are useless. If life isn’t cruel enough I have to get up another hill, little do I know that I have now entered into the world of the “Evil Smith Hill Route”. I wonder if I can blame this on Anne someone. Finally in the distance I spy a little leaguer, my pace quickens. I pray it’s the right field. I can’t go any further. Please let them be there! Yes! They are there and not only do they have water, but they are willing to drive me home!!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 59

Beach 2 Beacon: 93

Chicago: 157

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April Recap

30 Days in April

122 Miles logged over 19 days

Average run of 6.42

No races and no injuries, but lots of illness

So I had a better month even with all the illness. Mentally I’m refocused and happy to be running. Physically I am feeling good, even with 2 weeks of illness. My mileage has made it into the 40’s. No I didn’t get the 15 miler in, but that’s ok. My mindset must be the biggest change; I’m not rushing to get the miles in. If I need a day I take a day. If it takes 2 weeks longer than expected that’s ok too. Going forward I need to keep this going, it’s the squeezing the miles in that really kills me. So what’s on tap for May? 41 miles this week, 43 miles after that, 46 miles after that and then VACATION and an easy-peasy week. Long runs? I don’t know, maybe that elusive 15 or 16 miler….

Miles trained today: 7.5

Days till the Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 61

Beach 2 Beacon: 95

Chicago: 159

Sunday, May 2, 2010

!!SpArKlY SiGnS!!

Nothing special about today’s race, I’m focused on Chicago. Today would have just been another long run, except for MY FANS!!!! There she was, Dr. G and family, sign reads: “RUN JOE’S WIFE RUN”! There was jumping, yelling and screaming and then they are gone.

We aren’t alone for long. Mike is next, my coach from work, more jumping, yelling and screaming.

Mike, “How are you doing?”.

Me, “This sucks it’s hot”.

Mike, “You’re doing good, keep it up”.

Easy for him as he turns and walks home!

Then there was some ugliness in Pawtucket; it was pretty ugly. I’m focused on making it back to the Blvd and running down Alfred Stone and there they are again, Dr. G and her sign, more yelling, screaming and jumping. This time we all get into it

Fast-forward and we are down by the water on Irving and the finish is 3 miles away. Now worries because it’s the running club cheer squad! Sherri, no sign but I appreciated the sign-language like sparkles! Matt and Rick with their cameras, and there was no cursing for Rick this time around. After a quick photo op we are alone again, or as alone as you can be running with the masses.

Stranger’s cheer out my number in Richmond Sq. Joe gets Jealous! I’m cuter in the race uniform, what can I say! There was Joni relaxed on the stairs cheering us through India Point Park and the strange PRMH man who stalked us on his bike the last mile. Neither of us can recall his name and it’s doubtful we knew who we were, but we run for the same cause!

Then there is the finish, we are coming back into the city crossing the river and it’s starting to get ugly again. Last turn and I can see the finish, but wait! More sparkly signs!!! Renee, Paul and Vinny are along the finish line chute, the last bit of jumping and screaming happens a quick high-five and we are DONE!

Miles trained today: 13.1

Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 63

Beach 2 Beacon: 97

Chicago: 161

Friday, April 30, 2010

Did she like it or not?

I wish I knew what she was thinking. Mia came out of semi-retirement and joined me on a 3 mile run. I was dumped by 2 other running partners and needed someone who wouldn’t say no. Off we went! She’s a funny dog for anyone who hasn’t met her. Full of anxiety and would likely benefit from medications. When we run, she’s always at my left side, so close we touch if I fall out of stride. Her leash in my right hand, crossing across my back, it’s almost like she is herding me along. The first few steps out of the house, she is leaping through the air, by the time we hit Charles St, she settles in. Never a peep out of he, we never stop for sniff breaks or bathroom breaks at that. She lets me know if the pace is too hard by coming to a complete stop, so we keep it nice and even. I don’t want to kill the old lady. I noticed coming back up Mineral Spring during the last mile, her poor tail had come undone. Normally it curls right up over her and points at her spine. Today, flat down, almost dragging on the ground. Way to make me feel like a terrible dog owner. Was it exhaustion? Was it a running trance? We soon came to s stop and her tail perked back up as we walked towards the house. She seemed happy so I don’t know what the tail droop was about.

Miles trained today: 3

Days till the Cox Half: 2

Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 65

Beach 2 Beacon: 99

Chicago: 163

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I've lost it, completely lost it!

Today was a demonstration in my lack of sanity. I got to the track a half hour early, in the rain and wind. For no reason other than I am obsessed with my mileage. Ran alone for a while, then joined the group for a warm up. Yeah, I know that I had already warmed up, but it’s all about the mileage. The wind would gust so hard I would come to a complete stop before being able to gather my footing and move again. An announcement was made, the workout was going to be changed, we could get out of here early. Did I listen? Nope! I dragged my poor husband out on a road run, determined to get my mileage to 8 for the day. At one point we were moving along, I had found my quiet place and wasn’t really aware of the fact we were running. Joe says, “You have the sniffles bad, huh”. I then notice that I’m sucking my nose about every other step, super attractive I know. Oh well, we are out here now, no one is going to come and pick us up. We finished and I got the miles in. I’m chilled but snuggled under the covers hoping to warm up before tomorrow’s 6 miles.

Miles trained today: 8
Days till the Cox Half: 4
Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 67
Beach 2 Beacon: 101
Chicago: 165

Monday, April 26, 2010

Emergency Meeting

Emergency Meeting, April 26, 2010

Attendees: Sarah Macedo

Sarah’s Immune System

Purpose of meeting: Establish a Truce

I’ve had it, this is too much! We don’t have kids nor are we working with large groups of children. I eat healthy and take fairly good care of myself. I don’t know if you have been hired by the calves or bottoms of the feet but this needs to stop. RIGHT NOW! There has been all together too much illness this spring and it’s messing with the training. 2 runs last week, really? I gave in and didn’t push it, nor have I during the previous periods of sabotage, but the gloves are coming off. I’m going running, and more than 12 miles in a week. What do you want? Fluids? I’m pushing them, 2 sigs a day plus water with dinner. Handwashing? I’m halfway through a bottle of anti-germ foam on my desk! Sleep? I’m going to bed by 9 most nights! Please stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till the Cox Half: 6

Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 69

Beach 2 Beacon: 103

Chicago: 167

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm going to finish, no matter what

I’ll admit it. I have a problem. No running last 2 days due to illness. I knew I was perking back up when I started to figure out how I could salvage this week. If I stayed on track I could hit 39-40 this week, only 4 miles short, completely acceptable given having to miss 2 days. The God Damned weather tried to ruin me. I’m feeling well, planning on a run after work run. Next things I know the skies open and it’s a monsoon. FRIG IT! Heading home, resigned to a treadmill run…it’s suddenly blue skies with the birds chirping. FRIG IT! I’m going outside!! A few miles in the rain starts, then a lightening bolt, very nearby. Note to self: when discussing the safety risks of continuing a run, STOP THE RUN! We decide to press on and don’t get far till the next bolt of lightening. At this point there are no options, and we cut the run short. But how short? I have an enjoyable dinner and good times teasing Parker about touching potatoes. Head home. Not to shower though, to check how short my run was. 1.2, that’s how short. So what do I do? Yep, I got on the treadmill and ran the fastest 1.2 miles of my life. Mission accomplished. 6 miles and back on the road to a good mileage week. I have a problem.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Cox Half: 10

Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 73

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 107

Days till Chicago: 171

Monday, April 19, 2010

Morning Success!

Today was the first day of a renewed morning effort! 4:55 alarm goes off. 4:56 I start to think of reasons not to run! Good thing we made plans to meet someone who I don’t text with. We have found that the first couple times we meet someone for a morning run we are more likely to actually get out there, and it especially helps if this person doesn’t text message. It’s hard to call someone at 5 and debate the pros and cons of staying in bed, but debating it via text message is NO PROBLEM! So needless to say, off we went, eyes open not more than slits. Besides the fact that it turned into a Jen and Joe race with me trailing along behind it was a great run! A little faster than was comfortable, but I didn’t want to be left out of the conversation and God forbid Joe not be allowed to be first!! Poor Jen, next time I’ll warn her that Joe is a lead hog. He could take a lesson from Ryan Hall, it doesn’t always pay to push the pace early on. The best part is right now, 5pm. I’m in the backyard with the pups, run long behind me, clean and showered. Nothing left to do but RELAX!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Cox Half: 13

Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 76

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 110

Days till Chicago: 174

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Can we talk?

Hi. It’s been a while, I know. Last time we got together you weren’t that nice to me, or the bottom’s of my feet I should say. We’ll be together for the next 6 weeks until I move on to the 50’s. Can we talk? I’d like to lay out some ground rules. I’m a little wiser than last time, a bit better with the running. Last time I didn’t respect you, running 40+ miles a week is a lot. I won’t take you for granted. Please don’t irritate my shins. Shin splints aren’t pleasant. If I miss a run, I miss it. No cramming miles in, so leave my tendons alone, please. I’ll stay hydrated and stretch. Can you stay away from my ankle joints? I know that we can build a relationship and maybe even enjoy it a little. You are going to start to take over my life, even this first week, I felt a little like all I was doing was running. Let's just try to get along this time, I know I can be difficult but I'm really going to try this time around.

Miles trained today: 13
Days till Chicago: 176
Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 112
Days till Cox Half: 15
Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 78

Friday, April 16, 2010

Seriously? I'm still out here?

Today was one of those days I thought the run would never end. It was the first Friday morning run in a while and the 5th day in a row of running. Things started out ok, kind of fun to be downtown at 5:30am, although there was NOTHING happening. I started to get grumpy when we hit the Point St. Bridge. I knew we were no where near done and the hills were just beginning. It was a new route and I was overtired so we did get a little turned around, but I was determined to finish. It must have taken an hour to get from Wickenden St to Rochambeau, running up Hope St. I tried all my tricks, focused on running from point to point, looked down at my feet, counted my steps. Nothing worked. At one point the light started to change and I panicked, “I'm going to have to go right to work in my running gear”. My quads were burning, I thought about just curling up in a ball on the bench by the library. FINALLY we turned onto Rochambeau, the only problem we are still over a mile, maybe closer to two miles from the friggin car. Now it starts to rain. Great! Why am I out here again? I really like this? North Main St to Randall Square. Almost done, and yet again it takes an hour to get to the car. I’m confused; we choose the flattest route to the car…why does this still suck?? I’m telling you, this was the longest run of my life and yet it was only 6 miles and took just over an hour. I thought I was going to die out there, by the time some one found me I would be a little shriveled up old lady confused about where I left the car!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 177

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 113

Days till Cox Half: 16

Days till Harvard Pilgrim 10k: 79

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's gone, all gone

I was running along tonight with my Garmin beeping every mile or so. I would glance down to get my split and kept just missing a warning that would flash across the screen. After I while I figured it out, my Garmin was full! I never plug it in, the last run I loaded into my computer was 4.7 miles at a 9:34 pace on September 26, 2009. Today was 6 miles at a 9:47 pace. I had been excited to load the last year’s worth of history into my computer tonight, until I did it wrong and lost it all. It didn’t have all my runs, but I was excited to see what the history looked like. Miles of running, hours of my life, gone with the wrong click of my mouse. So it’s gone, my Garmin is back on empty. I will move on and continue to run with the empty Garmin, it’s not enough to stop me. I did have a moment of silence (after few moments of loud shouting at my computer) for the lost electronic log of my history. We’ll have to wait till next year to see what it has to report. Hopefully I’ll figure out how to load it correctly at that point.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 178

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 114

Days till Cox Half: 17

Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 80

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A mature runner?

Mature runner? Not really, well yeah I guess. I’ve learned from many mistakes and months lost due to injury. Patience is not strength of mine and to train well, I have had to train with patience. I know my body; my shins don’t like to increase mileage quickly. So I’m going slowly, very slowly. Stretching the 12-week marathon training into 11 months. I know that I suck at runs over 16 miles, haven’t learned from this and continue to register for marathons, call me stupid! But I’m building more of these longer runs in, more often. Before I don’t think I valued patience, I wanted to run faster and further immediately and would sacrifice anything to get there. Hold back a little on the track and I’m able to not only complete the workout without puking but able to get in all the rest of my miles for the week. So yes I have matured in my running, but lets not call it that (sounds too old). Let’s call it more focused and patient running.

Miles trained today: 7
Days till Chicago: 179
Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 115
Days till Cox Half: 18
Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 81

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

AM or PM??

ARGH! I need an intervention! 2 weeks now and NO morning runs!! It happened slowly, one afternoon run here and one there. I need to go back, I run well in the mornings, but I’m not sure how to get there. Afternoon runs are nice, the sun is out, and we have more friends willing to join us. It’s a nice transition from work to home and a way to relieve all the stress. Why do I want to go back to the mornings? It’s easier; roll out of bed and on the roads. 2-3 miles go by before I realize what is happening. Joe and I run all the morning runs together, in the afternoon Joe gets lost in the shuffle and is missing out on valuable mileage. It’s really for his best interest! So what’s the plan? I’m not sure, track is on the schedule for tomorrow night, and then again a run planned for Thursday night. Do we switch to Monday morning track? Decisions, decisions….

Miles trained today: 2.5, shitty shitty run

Days till Chicago: 180

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 116

Days till Cox Half: 19

Harvard Pilgrim 10K: 82

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fresh legs and sunshine!

Things were feeling good today, the lungs cooperated and the legs were fresh. To top it off the sun was out! Great afternoon for a run, it’s run like these that keep me heading out there. Things felt like they should. I kept with a pace that was just allowed me to talk during the run, but still forced a sweat. I would love for this run to translate right into Chicago. Imagine if the marathon felt this good? I’m not sure that is even a possibility, but it’s a nice dream. At this point I would like to still feel this good after getting all my miles in this week!

Miles trained today: 6
Days till Chicago: 180
Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 116
Days till Cox Half: 19

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Getting out of my own way

Track again, in the heat. Ugh! Repeat 800’s, double ugh! Today was a matter of showing myself that this winter counted. I have been doing the speed work on my own, but a treadmill is so different than the track on some level I figured it didn’t really count. Over the winter I had been able to do the 800’s at a 8:34 pace with a 3 min rest. Today started with the same goal, shorter rest, 2.5 mins. I’ve been running a lot lately so the legs weren’t fresh. I had my doubts. The first one felt to fast and was finishing at 4 minutes. The second I held back and stayed with 4:15 but that didn’t feel right. I was getting frustrated, it was hot, the track was busy. I remembered how nice last week felt, effortless, and tried to recreate it. I stopped thinking and just ran and it worked. I was around 4:05/4:07 for the rest. If I had planned to run at this pace I would have talked myself out of it. It just goes to show I laid a foundation over the winter, I have to put down another layer this spring and come summer it will be all about Chicago. The goal for all of this is to stop with the self doubts, that and avoid injury and neither one of those I am too good at.

Miles trained today: 5.5

Days till Chicago: 185

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 121

Days till Cox Half: 24

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Better late than never

Sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting the road without much thought. It was later than I had planned and darker than I wanted it to be. I started to think about how late it was going to be when we finally finished and got home. Decided to push all of this crap away and just run. Luckily I have forgiving training partners who didn’t mind that I was an hour late. AN HOUR, I’m sorry!! It was such a nice night out. Only a few steps in before my jacket was around my waist. It felt like we were running hard, but it was fun. On the way back down the Blvd. Joe and I took a right and added to our run. We talked pretty consistently for the next few miles, just enjoying being outside and having some time without dogs or phones or the Red Sox to interrupt the conversation. Sure if we had cut it short I’d be clean, fed and wrapped up on the sofa by now, but I’m almost in the shower, dinner is on it’s way and I ran 6 miles tonight with my husband.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 186

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 122

Days till Cox Half: 25