Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 Race#1: Frozen Foot 5K series Elizabethtown, PA

     I wasn't sure how well I would do in this race, considering that I had the flu and bronchitis just a few days ago.  But, I had a couple of decent, cough-free runs this week, so I was optimistic that it would be okay.  I haven't been able to do any decent speed work leading up to this, so  PR was not likely in the cards.
     The weather was pretty good. 45 degrees, sunny, but windy: 16 miles/hr with gusts up to 45 miles/hr.  My husband was enlisted to go with me to this race, because I needed an official photographer to get some shots of me in my Oiselle singlet.  Although I have been part of this great team since Nov.1 of last year, this is my first race that I was able to don the singlet.  What an honor it was for me!  I had an extra dose of motivation just knowing that I was representing this great group of women.  My kids also came along, always eager to cheer on Mom!
     The race started at 2pm, and we live approx. 45 minutes from Elizabethtown.  We arrived at 1pm, picked up my race number, and waited for the race to start.  My second son, who is 10, went with me during my warmup. He runs track and cross country, and he likes getting me through my warm up run and dynamic moves to get me ready.  We warmed up for 20 minutes, and then it was time to line up for the race.  There were approx 300 runners at the race (just a guess- they said it was the largest turn out for this race).  I started out feeling good, went out a bit fast, but the first hill at 3/4 of a mile in slowed me down quite a bit.  It was a long, gradual hill that finally finished at the mile mark.  First mile split: 7:52.  The second mile was tough, more hills and my lungs were starting to feel it. Maybe I wasn't completely recovered from being sick.  Second split: 8:22.  I was glad to know I just had one mile to go.  My breathing was heavy, but luckily they hills were not as bad in the last mile, with some down hill near the end.  My husband and son each had a camera at the end and snapped a couple pictures at the end.
I pushed as much as I can, with the last mile split being 8:11.  Time on my Garmin was 25:26.  Not a PR, but a solid effort. 
     This is #1 of 3 races, the next races will be on Feb.17 and March 17. Now that I know the course, I hope to improve my time.  I have speed work in my schedule, and the wind most likely won't be an issue for all the races. 
  Overall, this was a good race.  It seemed well organized, with water and chicken soup for the racers at the end.  As I don't eat meat, I handed off soup to my kids so that they could warm up.  They loved it!  If I complete all 3 races, I will receive a long sleeved technical tee in March.  I am looking forward to completing the series, and hopefully getting a PR out of it!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Feeling Human Again

Turns out I don't have pneumonia, so that was great news.  I am continuing on the antibiotics to clear up the bronchitis.  It's amazing what a couple of days of antibiotics can do.  I went to my book club meeting yesterday, finally putting on "regular" clothes and makeup.  But only after getting out for a 3 mile, almost comfortable run.  Still some coughing, and not quite 100 % yet, but getting there... At book club we discussed the book The Light Between Oceans. An interesting read, with many intriguing themes.  I recommend it to any one who is looking for something easy to read, and wants a "page-turner".
 This morning I joined my new running group, hosted by Appalachian Running Company. There were 9 of us out there today, including 4 women.  I managed to get in 6 miles, at a slow pace.  Feeling better everyday.  Looking forward to my race on the 20th, the Frozen Feet 5K in Elizabethtown.  It will be the first time I can wear my new Oiselle Team singlet. I know it will most likely not be a PR, but it's good to get in the first race of the year.  The first of 13 planned for 2013!
Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Am I Crazy or What?

So, I'm sitting at the doctor's office today, waiting to get a chest xray to rule out pneumonia, and all I can think is: "maybe if I start the antibiotics today, I will feel well enough to run with the running group on Saturday!".
I was excited to be getting antibiotics so that I can start to feel human again, after 12 days of sickness.
 I have struggled through 5 runs in the last week and a half, struggling to breath without coughing.  It has been miserable, but I kept thinking that the next one would feel better.  Now, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have not received any word about the results of the chest xray. Hopefully it won't be pneumonia after all, and that I will be feeling great in a couple of days.  I'm taking antibiotics, a "rescue inhaler" and some codeine syrup at bedtime to control the coughing while I sleep. Finally some relief. 
 I have a race in 10 days: The Frozen Foot 5K in Elizabethtown, PA. I have revised by goal of PR'ing this time.  I'm just hoping to be able to breathe well during the race.
 Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goals From Mind to Paper

I have been formulating my goals for 2013 in my mind, and after receiving my second  Believe I Am Journal,  I have put them to paper. So, this is what I wrote:

Goal #1: Have an injury-free year.  I have never had an injury-free year, but I think I've learned enough over the last few years to make this possible.  The steps I will follow to achieve this goal: a)strength train 1-2 x per week b) stretch/ice as needed c) listen to my body. ie. rest if needed, don't ignore little pains that could turn into real problems d) gait analysis. I have a referral to a PT for this. My ortho doctor recommended it due to my frequent shin splints which in the past have led to tibial stress fractures. e) replace shoes and/or orthotics if needed after gait analysis.

Goal #2: 13 Races in 2013
 I have never raced as much, but this is a good goal for me. I will achieve it if I take the following steps: - space races appropriately (at least 3-4 weeks at least between races)
- find affordable, and if possible, local races
- plan at least 1 race/month.  I need to be pro active in this, the races are not going to just come to me.  I need to plan as much as possible. This is difficult only because after June, I don't know where we will be living. The Army may move us this summer, still awaiting the word on this. But so far I have races planned in Jan, Feb, March, and 2 in April. So, 5 planned already.
- Don't do too many high distance races.  I want to avoid burnout, and injury (see goal #1). So, no races over a half marathon for the first 6 months this year.  I have 3 5Ks scheduled, plus a 10 miler and a half marathon.
 - Being accepted into the Oiselle Team has really inspired me to set and achieve this goal.  As a team member, we are required to compete in at least 5 races, but I decided to step it up for 2013!

Goal #3: PR
 This one is tough, but achievable.  I know I am getting older, and time really isn't on my side. I do feel that I have faster races in me though.  Much of this is mental, so I'm taking the following steps to achieve this:
- speed work, in the form of tempo, intervals, track workouts and fartlek runs at least 2 x per week.
- follow training plan. I am currently using Train Like a Mother: Half Marathon Own-it Plan leading up to the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon in DC in April.
- I need to learn to not be afraid of the pain. This is the hardest for me.  I tend to freak out when racing starts to hurt, and I pull back.  Mentally I need to push through this and remember that racing and pushing yourself to the limits HURTS.
 - by doing so many races, I have many opportunities to PR in several distances. In the past, I may have done only 2 or 3 races for the year, and if I didn't PR, and it wasn't my greatest day, the opportunity was gone. This should be good for me as I learn to race, and race better!
 Current PR's are as follows:
 5K: 24:10
 10K: 50:25
10 mile: 1:32
1/2 Marathon: 1:53

So, there you have it. My goals for running in 2013.  I also have some personal goals, which I have yet to put in my journal. Some of them include: passing my exam for personal trainer certification.  I recently ordered my study materials from ACE Fitness, and once they arrive, I have 6 months to schedule the exam and pass!
 I am also hoping to get my running coach certification.  Trying to work that out in my family schedule to get the training done in a weekend when it is offered. 
 Once I have these 2 certifications, it is time for this momma to find a job!!  It will be part-time at this point, since I still have one at home with me every afternoon.  But soon she will be in school full-time, and I am ready to venture out and fill my time with something I enjoy doing.  Best case scenario: I get paid to workout, and I get to instruct/inspire others to achieve their fitness goals. 2013 will be the year that I start working towards that goal.
 So, I have a good feeling for this #Lucky13!!

How about you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Counting my Blessings

Time to get back to blogging.  I've taken a break to spend time with my family and enjoy the holidays.  To tell you the truth, the shooting in Shady Hook really shook me to my core, and for a few weeks, it seemed like blogging about running didn't seem relevant.
 Sometimes it takes tragedies like this for people to really wake up and see what's important.  That's how it was for me. I have been appreciating my family and my children so much more without sweating the small stuff. 
 We spent the holidays here in PA, just the five of us.  We attended mass on Christmas eve. My oldest son was angel Gabriel in the Christmas pageant, while son #2 was a wise man (bearing gold). The church was decorated beautifully, with many poinsettias.  After mass, we walked out of the church to falling snow! What a nice surprise. The kids were so excited.  When we were getting ready to move from California to Pennsylvania in the summer, we tried to make them feel better by assuring them that we would have snow at Christmas.  We made good on our promise. Yay!!
After mass, we joined some friends at their home to have dinner and celebrate Jesus' birthday, complete with a birthday cake! We had a great time.Christmas day started early, with fun by all as all the presents from Santa were opened and enjoyed.   The next few days were spent quietly together playing games, playing in the snow and just chill-laxing (a borrowed expression from my sister). We then decided to drive down to North Carolina to visit my good friend Michele and her family for spend New Year's eve with them.  We left early on the morning on the 29th, as snow was approaching our area.  We made it out of the bad weather just in time as we headed south.  Other than some freezing rain, we had a great drive down there.  It was our first time visiting their new home, and we enjoyed our stay very much.  Sunday morning Michele and I got up early to go for a run.  She bought me a nice running jacket for Christmas, a matching one to hers, so we decided to be "twinnies" on our run, even with matching running hats from the Army Ten Miler race we ran together in 2009! We had a great run, as we usually do when we get together, and the miles just flew by. We got in 5, which left me with 5 more before the end of the year to make my total 1000 for 2012.  I planned on doing those miles the next day.  After attending church services, we decided to take the kids and go ice skating. After a wobbly start, we had so much fun! My 4yr old daughter loved it. She really wanted to do it on her own, and she had this cute plastic "sled" to push as she skated.  I tried to steer her around, but she kept saying "Don't touch. I'm doing it" I think she skated for more than an hour before she finally wanted a rest. My boys hadn't skated for a while, but they did great also! And, believe it or not, they still wanted to skate around holding their Mom's hand! I was thrilled to pieces, but tried not to show it too much.  It was also nice to see that they skated around with my friend's daughter, who is 11, and even held her hand too. They had grown up together in Germany when they were little, and sometimes it really feels like they are family. So nice to see. That evening we had a delicious salmon dinner, some German beer liquor that you warm up and put whip cream on top (yummy!) and settled in for the night.  I had a bit of a cough and thought I was coming down with a cold.  Well, it ended up being more than that.  I woke up during the night with chills, fever and all over body aches.  I spent the whole next day on the couch, trying to get my fever down with ibuprofen. I was feeling miserable and needless to say, I didn't get my last 5 miles in for the year. I was very disappointed, but there was no way I could have ran that day.  I was also disappointed that I couldn't celebrate New Year's eve with everyone.  I ended up going to bed at 10, while the rest of the house watched "Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve", enjoying a firepit, lighting sparklers and drinking champagne at midnight. Sounded like fun! Wish I hadn't missed it. :(
We left the next day. Unfortunately, my middle son came down with the same virus during New Year's eve, and he was miserable during the whole car ride home.  He has been home the last couple of days from school.  My older son also stayed home today, complaining of headache, coughing and a sore throat.  Don't you just love this time of year?
So, I have yet to run in 2013.  I am hoping tomorrow has promise.  If not, I still have the rest of the year, right? Speaking of the rest of the year, I have been formulating some goals and plans for 2013 and will be blogging about that soon.  Happy New Year Everyone! Let's make it a good one.
P.S. I tried to upload some more photos, but this site is not cooperating.  When I can get it working, I will update! Thanks!