Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turkey trax 2011 recap

Thanksgiving morning I ran my first race since July (I think). I was definitely itching to race.

At the beginning of this year I set a goal to run a sub 25 minute 5k. The race I ran on new year's eve 2010 was in 26:08 so I thought knocking just over a minute off my time shouldn't be too difficult. Well, here it was the end of November and I was still chasing that sub 25. I ran a St. Pat's race where my Garmin said 24:55, but my chip time was 25:08....wah! wah!

The weather was going to be wonderful for the race this year. I remember last year being fuh-reezing. It was in the low 30s or high 20s (I can't remember). This year was expected to be in the mid 40s. Perfect. I ended up wearing capris and a long sleeve tech T under a short sleeved shirt. Well, the mid-40s didn't come around until later in the day (even though the forecast said mid 40s at 8:30am when the race started). So I was a bit chilly, but even 40* is better than low 30s. :)

My dad ran this race with me and my mother-in-law walked/ran it also. It's great to do these races with other people. It's much more enjoyable to me.

Me, MIL, Dad

I knew my dad would beat me, that's no secret. He is a speedy guy! We still lined up together to start. This was a huge race. Prior to this one - St. Pat's is usually has the most participants with less than 700. There were more than 1000 people doing this 5k on Thanksgiving. That's crazy to me. I was happy to hear the guy on the PA system pre-race instruct the walkers and folks with strollers and dogs to start near the back. This usually helps some of the congestion at the beginning. Of course, there are people who ignore that, but every little bit helps I think.

So, we start out (no starting mat for timing, FYI). It's pretty congested at the beginning, but the street is pretty wide and everyone was able to spread out since there was no traffic.

There wasn't anything particularly interesting or noteworthy about this race. I thought it was fairly hilly, but my dad disagreed. About mile 1-1.5 (or maybe more) was a gradual uphill. That wears you out eventually. I did get passed by a lady with her dog during this hill. They were really moving and it made me wish my dog would run with me for that extra push. I remember last year getting passed during that hill by a guy pushing a double I guess this is a win for me this year. :)

My pretty girl, Lucky Anne.

Luckily, after that gradual hill it was pretty flat for a mile and then a VERY steep hill at mile 2.4(ish). It wasn't very long, but at the point in the race it felt like we were going straight up. It kicked my butt.

Once we climbed that hill - we had just over a half of a mile to go and almost a quarter of that was on the track. I tried to really kick once I got the track (less than .25 of a mile left), but I only made a decent sprinting effort for about 100m and slowed a bit for about 200m. That 200m felt like forever so when I got to the final straight away I tried to give it hell.

I still missed my sub 25 even though I felt like I really pushed myself. Bummer.

Some stats:
Garmin time - 25:26 (I forgot to turn my watch off of a couple of minutes so this is my "moving time")
Garmin pace - 8:17 ("moving pace")
Official time - 25:15
Avg pace - 8:07
Overall place - 176/904
Division place - 10/73
Sex place - 55/140

Last year I ran this race in 28:06. So, even though I didn't get in under 25 minutes - I could definitely seem huge improvements in just a year of racing.

For anyone curious, my dad definitely beat me. His time was 22:XX. Maybe someday we can run a 5k at the same pace...probably not. Haha. And my MIL knocked 7 minutes off her time from last year so that's wonderful.

Friday, December 2, 2011


It's no secret that money is tight in the Foster household. We are paying a mortgage and a rent payment right now. It sucks. I am always looking for ways to save money. I always check just to see what kind of deals she has posted every couple of days. Last week I decided to watch some of her videos on couponing. I was inspired. I clipped some coupons in Sunday's paper and did some shopping today.

My purchases....

I got:
-6 sticks of Dove deodorant
-1 stick of Gillette deodorant for Justin
-3 bars of Dove soap
-2 bottles of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
-2 bottles of Gillette body wash
-1 box of zip-loc sandwich bags
-3 bottles of Dawn dish soap
-a box of 25 Vanish dishwasher finishing bars (kind of like jet-dry)
-2 wicker baskets
-2 off brand air fresheners

My original total was $72.XX. My total after coupons, store discounts, etc. was $45.XX. I was pretty happy with that. Those 6 sticks of Dove deodorant for me would have been $24 on their own...I got them for $12. Niiiiice.

If you don't shop at Walgreen's and/or clip their coupons in their Sunday ad - YOU SHOULD. I really look forward to stacking manufacturers coupons on top of Walgreen's coupons to really save some mula. Justin was very excited about my savings too so that's fun. I know that I can do even better than my savings today and I am so excited to get Sunday's paper now. :)

Do you coupon?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You know you're a runner when...

Every once in a while I have one of those moments where I'm like, "yeah, I'm definitely a runner because XYZ."

The most recent moment came when I was driving to my dad's house this afternoon. I am 100% jealous of all the sidewalks he has around his house and neighborhood. Around our house - I can run about 3-3.5 miles before having to do loops to add miles. It sucks. I crave more sidewalks and more places to run close to home.

There is actually a bunch of construction going on around us to expand roads, etc. So far, most of the area they are doing constructions seems to be adding sidewalks as well as expanding the roads. I am ridiculously excited about that. I would love to do a long run from my house without having to make loops around the same route. I absolutely hate having to drive to do a long run. That's a big reason why I missed some longer runs during my last half marathon training.

Runners, be thankful for your local sidewalks. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

No AM group run today.

The group I have been meeting with for a couple of weeks decided we would run Monday and Wednesday this week. We normally run on Tuesday and Thursday, but with Thursday being Thanksgiving - we just adjusted.

There was a discussion on our FB group page about running this morning. It seemed like a few girls were on board. When my alarm went off at 5 this morning I promptly checked the FB page because that last thing I wanted to do was show up and have no one there. One girl posted last night that she wouldn't be there this morning because she thinks her hip flexor is jacked (bummer). Another girl's husband is out of town and she has a daughter who she, obviously, can't leave in the morning to run. I knew that another girl was sick yesterday, but she intended to run today. I ended up texting one of the girls because I had a bad feeling that I would be the only one to show up. I'm glad I did because, sure enough, I would have been there by myself. I snuggled back into bed and went back to sleep for a few hours.

So it sucks about not getting a run in this morning, but I think I am going to do some speed work/intervals on the treadmill at the gym tonight. Tomorrow morning or after work I am going to do some cross training at the gym. Wednesday morning we are hopefully still meeting so I can get some easy miles in before the Turkey Trax 5k on Thanksgiving morning.

I did get in a little less than 4.5 miles on Saturday before we started tailgating for the Mizzou game. My 5am wake up call seems to be getting easier and easier each time. I went to the normal spot that I meet our group, but decided it was too dark and uncomfortable to run there by myself. So I drove across town to campus where I knew it would be better lit and more traffic. I just took off and really didn't have a route or a plan in place. I basically just ran until I was running out of time to meet to shower and meet our tailgating friends. It felt pretty good and I ran about a 9:20 pace.

That 5am start to my day really kicked me in the ass about 6 that evening. I was done. A full day of tailgating and watching the football game.did me in. Justin and I grabbed some Thai take out and vegged out the rest of the night. We were in bed by 9:30.

And I will leave you with some tailgating pics. :)

Justin and I showing off our "black out" outfits for the day.
I told him he looked like a cheerleader so we posed accordingly. :)

Justin with his bestfriend's sister who is, obviously, much taller than him.

MIL, Justin, and Me outside of the stadium

Family friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Structure? No thanks.

All right, so I'm not going to post a training post and follow it. It's just not going to happen. Instead - I am going to blog whenever the heck I want. Haha. I suck at this blogging thing...and I think that's what the majority of my blog posts have been about this year. I will try. No promises.

In recent running news - I started meeting with a very casual running group. It's a group of girls that live on my side of town that meet at 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday and Thursdays. A few of them get together on the weekends for longer runs too. I say it's very casual because it's just a group put together by some girls on FB and they have each just invited some friends to get the word out. There is not a strict schedule, a coach to push you along, etc. You just come when you can and someone picks a route to run. I have only gone twice, but I'm loving it so far. I will definitely need the accountability in the winter months. :)

I have also amped up my cross training a bit. I need to get a bit more structured with my cross training, but I figure something is better than nothing. I have added speed work. It's all on the treadmill, but I'm doing it. It's also not very structured. I usually warm up pretty slowly for a half mile and then do one minute of just a bit faster than 5k (goal) race pace and then 2 minutes of a little slower than half marathon goal pace. I do this alternating for a couple of miles and then do a slow half mile cool down.

My next 5k is the Turkey Trax on Thanksgiving day. It will be my 1 year racing anniversary. I am pretty excited about it. :)

On the house front - our house is on the market!! No bites yet, but we are trying to stay optimistic since this is a slow time for home buyers.

Last thing - (Just) Trying is for little girls is doing a pretty sweet giveaway. Keep the faith creations has some really cool pieces of jewelry that are very runner friends. Check out her blog, the giveaway, and keep the faith creation's website.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So that pretty little plan I typed out last week?? Yeah, totally fail on my part. I got in about 2 miles while in Michigan and that's IT for exercise last week. Pretty pathetic.

In my defense (or just another excuse) I woke up with a pretty gnarly head cold Monday morning. Knowing that we had a busy, fun, exciting weekend coming up - I decided rest and medication were more important to me than running myself ragged. I know some people think exercise helps when they are sick, but I couldn't breathe out of my nose and I didn't want to chance being even more sick over the weekend.

Just tonight I have made the decision to sign up for the Rock the Parkway half marathon in KC April 14th, 2012. It seems to be a fairly challenging course described as having "gentle rolling hills." That's pretty similar to the description in Nashville, which I found to be VERY hilly. So, we'll see.

I would like to use the next 27 weeks (I think that's what I counted) to really concentrate on speed, hill work, and long runs away from the trail (think super flat trail). Assuming I can stick to a training plan that incorporates all of that then I should be blogging about a pretty significant PR next spring. But, I'm not going to get too cocky as I know I absolutely suck at following a plan.

I should have time to do Hal Higdon's intermediate training program pretty much each week twice...or some sort of combination of that program, just doubled. The unfortunate part is that this is another spring time half so that puts me training through the winter. I don't mind running in the cold, but it gets trickier when there is snow on the ground, it's dark outside, and the runs get longer.

I hope to blog a bit more leading up to this half, but anyone who has stuck around saw how that went for me last time around. Wish me luck, cheer me along my training, and please keep me accountable. Thanks in advance. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plan for the week 9/26-10/2

All right so I mentioned that I was going to start posting weekly plans...ummm, starting last week. Oops. So let's try this week. Of course this isn't the best week to start as we will be out of town Friday through Monday to visit friends. I am hoping to get 5-6 miles in while I am there, but I'm certainly not going to beat myself up if I don't get that.

Monday - Speed work* 5x400 @ 5k pace, AB lab class at the gym (basically 15 min core work)
Tuesday - 3.5 mile run, Body Pump class at the gym to follow
Wednesday - 60 min spin class at the gym (this is at 0530, so if this doesn't happen then some sort of cross training will happen that morning)
Thursday - 7 mile long run (doing this Thursday morning since it won't happen over the weekend)
Friday-Sunday - with any luck 5-6 miles over those days. :)

Not only did I type this out for all of the internets to view - I also have it pinned on the fridge. Let's hope this helps me get out of bed in the mornings.

*This will be my first attempt at speed work. I am going to do it on the treadmill (so I'm at the gym for that ab lab class). I assume it's probably better on the track, but I don't see myself making the time to drive to the track, drive the gym, and then home to be ready for work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I am happy to report that my 5:30am wake up call followed by a run was successful last Saturday. I may or may not have hit snooze a couple of times, but I did make it out the door by a little after 6. Not bad considering I was seriously doubting myself to even get out of bed that early.

Since I was getting started a little later than I would have liked - I knew that I was going to have to cut my mileage shorter than I had planned. I ended up running a little over 3 miles. Not a great distance, but at least I made it out there.

The first mile of my run was pretty darn dark. It was a new experience for me. My eyes and mind were playing tricks on me. I really wasn't a fan of it all. I will definitely be asking for a head lamp for Christmas...along with reflective gear. I pointed all of this out to Justin last weekend when we were at a sporting goods store. :)

I am also happy to report that Mizzou won their first game. It was a close one, but they pulled it out.

Justin and I made the trip to Tempe, AZ this past weekend to watch Mizzou play at Arizona State. We weren't quite so fortunate there. We lost in overtime. It was disappointing, but they rallied to come back in the 4th quarter so I don't think it was a complete loss.

I got up fairly early in Tempe to go for a run as well. Our hotel was very close to the campus so I did a few miles around their campus. I know people mention that Arizona is a dry heat....I'm sorry, but 90* is 90* regardless of the "type" of heat. It was only 7am at the point, mind you. I think it got up to 113* that day before a little bit of rain came through.

I don't have much more to report at this point. Mizzou is back at home this weekend and it's a 6pm game. We will probably start tailgating around noon so a morning run should not be that hard to manage. There is a Susan G Komen 5k this Sunday, but I haven't signed up just yet. I know Saturday will be a long night so a race the next day may not go so well. I will probably still do the race just because of the cause, but I don't anticipate good results.

A lot of the blogs I read post their weekly training plan and then follow up with how they did later in the week. I think this is something I may have to try out around here. I know there for a while this blog was a way to keep me accountable and I would feel guilty missing runs because I knew I would report back here that I missed them. So, I think if I post my weekly plan then I might stick to it more. At this point I am not training for anything in particular. I have a half in mind for the spring so I am loosely training for that, but it's still 6 months away so it's not a major deal right now.

I hope everyone is enjoying the break in the crazy hot temps (at least around here). If you are not, I'm sorry. I hope relief comes soon. I know my pace has dropped a few seconds with the temperature drop. I can only hope that a big way.

Later, y'all!

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Football season has kicked off, my friends. NFL preseason started a couple of weeks ago. College football started last night. This is my favorite time of the year.

We are season ticket holders (along with the ILs) for Mizzou football. We have gotten our tailgating routines down to a science...almost. There seem to always be a couple of hiccups and speed bumps regardless of our intense planning.

Tailgating prep started last weekend. I completed the first couple steps of vodka infused gummy bears. So far - they are very yummy, but definitely very sweet. The tailgating totes were also busted out and organized. Apparently we left a bag of chips in one of the totes from last season. Oops. :) The coolers are being packed tonight and we may even pack up the truck bed since tomorrow's game is at 11am. Tailgating time is going to be limited so the more we do ahead of time the better.

I am very anxious to get this season started. Our starting QB from last year (Blaine Gabbert) decided not to return for his senior season and entered the NFL draft instead. Our new starting QB is James Franklin. He got some snaps last year and I think he is going to do just fine. It is, of course, a little nerve wracking when a new QB takes the reins.

I have grand plans to get up at 0530 to get in some sort of run tomorrow morning. Our tailgating begins at 8 so if I want to run - it has to be super early. I tend to be awful when it comes to getting up that early to run. We'll see if the butterflies in my tummy for Mizzou's home opener will get my rear out of bed to run tomorrow morning.

Happy football season to you. I hope you all have a great holiday weekend. Any big plans?? Races?? Tailgating?? Who will you be cheering for this football season??

Go Mizzou!!

As I was finishing this post - an ESPN analyzer chose Missouri as his choice for the underrated team in the preseason rankings (they are currently at #21). I like to hear that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back in action!

Wow, I haven't blogged since early may. And, get this, I GAINED follower. Thank you guys for not ditching me. I want to get back in the saddle of blogging.

I did, as I said in my last blog, finish the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon at the end of April. It was a wonderful experience and a lot of fun. I will touch on it more (when I FINALLY finish my race recap, ha....3-4 months later!), but I felt a bit "blah" soon after the race. That's a feeling I never would have expected. There was no doubt in my mind that I could finish, but the time I finished in was a bit slower than I would have liked. I actually raced slower than many of my training will find out about all of this when I finish my race recap.

My dad (fasha) is doing the Roots 'n Blues half marathon in less than two weeks. I had originally planned to run this with him. And by with him - I mean we were going to run the same course. He would definitely kick my arse. Dude is speedy! I am so incredibly excited for him and even more proud of him. This will be his first half. I would have loved to have run his first half "with" him. Unfortunately, football season calls. Mizzou plays at Arizona State so Justin and I are heading southwest for the game. I have enjoyed sharing training stories, trials, and tribulations with my fasha. I know he is going to rock this half marathon and totally kill my official time in Nashville. It's all good - that gives me a time to beat when I run my next half (which I hope to be in the Spring).

I want to jump back on the blogging bandwagon because it seems to go hand in hand with my running schedule. This summer has kicked my ass as far as running goes. The humidity has absolutely killed me. My pace has been a good 1.5-2 minutes slower per mile. When I do get out to run - my mileage has been poor. I have, honestly, run 3-4 six mile runs since Nashville...and nothing longer than six miles. In conclusion for this paragraph - F YOU, heat and humidity!!

It's all good though. Football season starts this week (college, WOOT!) so that means the air is about to get a bit more crisp...and hopefully my pace will return with the turning of the leaves.

So to my trusty followers who haven't "unfollowed" in my hiatus...please, show me some love. I need the motivation and support as I go after my goal to run a sub 25 5k for 2011. I definitely thought I posted a 2011 goal post, but I guess not. So to fill you in (8 months later, from what I remember)....I had a goal to blog more (fail), run a sub 25 5k (fail by 8 seconds, UGH!), and run a half marathon (winning!).

In closing - keep following my blog. Show some love. I hope to recap my runs, live, and the like as time goes by. Enjoy, y'all! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We did it!

Three of my great friends and I finished the Country Music 1/2 marathon in Nashville this weekend. I hope to have a full recap with pictures up tonight or tomorrow.

The course was hilly (we thought, anyway) and tough - but it was such a fun and rewarding experience.

It was so much fun that I am already looking for another half to do in the future. I will probably do one this long as it doesn't interfere with football season. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Last long run

Today I ran my last long run before I tackle 13.1 in a week. Most of the training plans called for 6-8 miles as sort of a taper. I knew that I needed one more 10 miler under my belt for some confidence. Have I mentioned that running is incredibly mental??

I have had a little bit of trouble updating music on my iphone since the hard drive on my computer crashed a few weeks ago. We had to get a new hard drive and it has been a PITA losing everything off of the old one. I attempted to update my music last night. Apparently I did just the opposite. I erased it all. Fantastic! Imagine my anger when I tried to play my "running" playlist just before I started my run and it wouldn't work. Not cool. So, I went with the next best thing....Ke$ha on pandora. Bwahaha! I am not sure why Ke$ha was the first "artist" (if you call her that) who popped in my head. It worked out just fine though. I kind of liked not knowing what the next song was going to be. I might have to try this more often.

I felt really really good during this run. I was trying out some new things that I want to implement in the race.

I wore a spi-belt. I am on call this weekend so I needed somewhere to hold my pager in case I got called in. This is basically just a fancy fanny pack. It definitely did its job. I didn't even notice it was there. I wanted to test this out because I really want to carry my camera along during the race next weekend. I think it would be cool to take a few pictures along the way. It might slow me down a bit, but I will never run my first half marathon ever again.

I have also been experimenting with fuel options. I notice that a few miles into runs I seem to run out of gas a little bit. I did some research and found information on Gu, Shot bloks, and sports beans. I actually purchased all three a few weeks ago. I tried them out before running with them. I could not stand the consistency of the Gu. Ick. And the sports beans had a weird salty taste to them. Luckily, I LOVED the shot bloks. They are like amazingly helpful fruit snacks. They are delicious. So I decided to test them out during a run today and I think it went well. I ate 3 of them about 20-30 minutes before my run. I ate 2 more about 5 miles into my run. I probably could have eaten 2 more at about 8 miles. But, now I know. That's why I was doing this little experiment. :)

I also purchased some new dri-fit socks this last week. I had heard that cotton socks weren't great for running. I have a couple of blisters so I thought I would try out some dri-fits. I have to say that they didn't make a difference to me. I couldn't really tell the difference as I was running and they didn't prevent my blisters from getting worse. Oh well...maybe a different type or brand of sock.

And finally, I had also heard that compression sleeves were great for recovery after a long run. I am all about it. So I bought some of those on Thursday. I never realized how expensive running was until I heard about all this cool stuff that could help me! :) I have to say that I have totally been missing out by not having compression sleeves until now. They are amazing. I popped them on pretty quickly after my long run and my legs are loving me for it. I really do think they will help with recovery. I do have to say that my feet are a little jealous. I might have to find a good deal on some compression socks too.

I hope you are having a great weekend. And now with that being 2 posts in 1 day - you probably won't hear from me for about a month. Ha! :)


I suck at this blogging thing. Woops.

I enjoy reading other blogs that have daily (sometimes more than once a day) updates, but I can't seem to get myself in a blogging routine.

A little update....

My first half marathon is ONE.WEEK.FROM.TODAY. Holy cow! Time has flown by since we signed up in October (?). My running has been near non-existent this week. You would think with the race being so close that I would have the motivation to lace up my shoes and hit the road. Not so much.

I am feeling extremely nervous and anxious. I am not sure why. I really wish I could go into this race with the attitude of "just finish with a smile and enjoy yourself." I can't seem to wrap my mind around that. I am, apparently, too competitive and tough on myself. Competitive might not be the right word. There is NO way I will win this race or even come close. It's more competitive with myself. I know the time that I am able to achieve and now it's just a matter of doing it so I don't let myself down. Stupid mental side of running getting to me.

I have had 3 (and hopefully 4 after today) 10-11 mile long runs in the course of my training. I feel like if I can run 10 or 11 miles then I can run 13.1. I want to save that 13.1 for the race. I want to have that feeling of miles 12 and 13 to be the longest I have ever run to be in this race situation. Hopefully I don't eat my words and the wheels won't fall off after 10 or 11 miles.

My long runs have ranged from a 9:20-9:33/mile pace. That 9:33 pace came on a long run after a night out the night before. It was pretty miserable. So I like to scratch that pace out of my mind. 9:20/mile or faster is what I will be shooting for. Again, I wish I could just ignore the numbers and just run to run. It won't happen so I might as well share my goals with other people. More pressure does me good. No? Oh.

I am so excited for the trip to Nashville. As I have mentioned before - I am going with 3 of my very good friends from college. This will be the first half marathon for all 4 of us. I can't wait to experience this major accomplishment with these girls. And I REALLY can't wait to celebrate said accomplishment next Saturday night. :)

I am starting to make lists for packing. It's a little overwhelming doing a race so far away and being gone for 4 days. That's a lot to pack. I tend to over pack anyway...add a race to the situation and I can only imagine what my suitcase is going to be like next week.

I have been stalking for the next Saturday's forecast. It looks like a high of 78 and partly cloudy. That 78* could be a bit balmy, but with an 8AM start time I hope it's more low 60s to begin with. Missouri weather hasn't been that warm just yet so I am hope I am able to deal with that minor detail of heat.

So to the runners who read this blog:
Any advice, tips, etc. for my first half marathon?
How do I shut off my brain and just enjoy the experience?

Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Pat's 5k Race Recap

I don't have any pictures to go with this race recap so I'll just get on with it....

The St. Patrick's Day 5k in Columbia, MO was my 3rd race in as many weeks. The weather was predicted to be about 40*. Not horrible, by any means...but I was hoping for about 50. Picky.

I tried to get Justin or my dad to do this race with me. Justin was on call so he couldn't and my dad was busy with my brother's baseball and a school fundraiser.

I had read that this 5k was one of the largest in Columbia. I was pretty excited to be apart of that. I love seeing large races with people out there being healthy and having a good time.

Unfortunately, Justin had a case the morning of my race so he was not able to come with me. So I had to go by myself. This wasn't the first race that I went totally on my own, but I'm still not a fan. I knew a couple of people running as well, but there were so many people that I only saw one of them after the race.

I wore capri length tights, a short sleeved wicking shirt, a 3/4 zip up fleece shirt, and gloves. I was pretty comfortable through out the entire race. I was so glad that I remembered gloves. I bought cute St. Pat's socks to wear at this race, but that didn't happen due to the cooler temperatures.

They didn't roll out the starting line/pad thing until literally just before starting. So I didn't have any idea where to line up or stand so I didn't get stuck in the back. Well, I guessed wrong. I got started in the middle towards the back. This isn't a huge deal because this race was chip timed. However, with this being such a large race (520+ participants) - it took me a while to hit my stride and my pace. There were so many people to pass.

A little note to people new to racing - if at all possible, please don't walk/run/whatever more than like 3 people across the road. It makes it very difficult to get around you. I would have never known this prior to running in a race, but if I can help one or two people then so be it.

It was literally .75 miles before I hit a pace that I was comfortable with. My first mile was at 8:29 pace. Not bad, by any means, but definitely not on track for a PR. I kicked it up a notch after the .75 mile mark in hopes to PR.

Prior to this race - I would look at my garmin and see a pace that I thought was way too fast for me (basically anything less than about 8:15/mile) and slow down a bit. I always say to myself, "there is no way you can keep that pace for an entire 5k so chill the eff out." This race I looked at it a little bit differently. This race I said to myself, "just maintain this sub 8min/mile pace (!!!!) for as long as you can. If the wheels fall off - at least you gave it a shot." Imagine my surprise when the wheels did not fall off. I was doing it!!

When my garmin beeped that we were two miles in I felt myself slowing down a bit. I had to give myself a little pep talk. I thought I should be struggling after just running a 7:55 mile (I think my fastest, ever). I thought wrong. I was feeling good. I just had to convince myself of that and keep on moving at this pace.

At this point I was 16:24 minutes into the race. My previous PR was 26:08. So I knew I had a fantastic shot at getting a PR. And holy shit! I have a good chance of a sub 25 minute 5k.

A lot of this race was on sidewalks. You could run on the road, but the road wasn't actually blocked off. So you ran at your own risk. The sidewalks got a little crowded at times.

The 3rd mile of the race I was running near a mom, dad, kid (like 9 years old), and a couple of kids that were about 14. The 14 year old boys kept speeding up and slowing down. I was getting so frustrated. They would pass me and then slow down and I would have to maneuver by way around them on the tiny sidewalk. The father and son running were sort of similar. The little boy would fall behind with the mom while the dad went ahead. The dad would notice and slow down with the boy. It was a fight for about .5-.75 of the 3rd mile. And then the race opened up. The road was all ours and I was off. '

I looked down at my race and it was about 2.6 miles into the race. I knew I only had half a mile to go and I had to kick. I picked up my pace and went after it. I saw the finish line after I turned the last corner. I looked down at my watch and I had to get to the finish in just under a minute to get a sub 25. I sprinted my ass off.

As soon as I crossed the finish line I stopped my watch. 24:55!!!!! The clock at the finish read 25:03 or something like that. I wasn't too worried about it because I knew they started the clock a few seconds before I was able to start.

I was over the moon. My runner's high was through the roof. But, as I said, I was there by myself so I had no one to share this with. I immediately took my phone off of my arm and called Justin. I went ahead and walked to my car to leave because what else was I going to do? Before driving away I updated my FB status and posted a pic of my watch. SO EXCITED!!

I stalked the Columbia Track Club's website for race results all day. The last time I checked it was about 4pm and still nothing. So I figured I would check Sunday because we had a fundraiser deal to go to for my brother's school.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of checking on my phone while at the fundraiser. 25:08 WAH!WAH! I was crushed. I told Justin and he showed a little sympathy and we went about our business. It bugged so much that I went to the bathroom and cried. Wow. Who cries over 12 seconds??? Ridiculous. 25:08 is a FANTASTIC time (for me). An entire minute PR, even. It was just a huge blow. I had thought all day that I ran a sub 25 5k. I put it all over facebook. I mean, jeeze.

I have since relaxed a little bit about it. I am so close to that sub 25. That was my goal for 2011 so to be less than 3 months in and already be that close - I am a little more at peace about it. I also heard that other people thought the timing chips were a little slow too. So maybe I did run a sub 25, maybe I didn't. I am going with the chip time, I guess.

Just to give some perspective to anyone starting out racing and/or just running in general....
My first 5k was on Thanksgiving (2010) and my time was 28:06. Since my first I have run about 3 more before St. Pat's. I hoovered around the 26:30-27 minute mark. I had a great race on New Years Eve that gave me my PR of 26:08. And here I am like 5 months into racing and I have knocked 3 whole minutes off of my slowest (and first) time.

Running is discouraging and very difficult at times. That's normal. My advice is to just stick with it and keep working. Your hard work will pay off. You will get faster and you will get stronger. And, as you can see in this recap, running is a huge mental game. Your own inner voice is half the battle. Running is so mental.

The deets of my St. Pat's race:
Total time - 25:08
Avg pace - 8:06 (OH.EM.GEE!)
98th place out of 523 participants
4th out of 56 in my age/gender group (3rd place was I wasn't even close ha)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Truffle Shuffle race recap

**Better late than never. :) Truffle Shuffle 5k in Overland Park, KS 3.5.11 My first 5k of 2011! Yay, finally!! Let's start with discussing the weather. The week leading up to the 5k was pretty darn good weather. 40s-50s. Nice. I was excited for a warmish 5k too. Wrong. The temperature dropped in a hurry Friday night. The forecast said 30* with an 11* windchill. Oh.em.gee. This was going to be like my first 5k on Thanksgiving all over again. Sure enough - cold ass temperature and lots of wind greeted me Saturday morning. Lovely. I wore long tights, Mizzou shorts (we were in KS and Mizzou was playing KU), long sleeved cold gear shirt, fleece 3/4 zip up, ear warmer, and gloves. To say that kept me warm would be a lie. My fingers were freezing. My toes were cold. My legs were cold. My core felt like it kept a good and warm temperature though. The race was held at a community college. Everyone huddled inside of one of the buildings on campus before braving the cold weather. I ran this race with one of my good friend's from college (she is one of the 3 I'm going with to run the half marathon in Nashville). It was a little difficult finding them in the sardine packed building. For me - there was no warm up, no stretching, none of that. I usually don't do a significant warm up pre-race, but I could have used it in those temps. The beginning of the race was pretty uneventful. We ran around the parking lot a bit and then made a turn towards a gravel trail. It was odd, for me. I have never run on a gravel trail. Parts of the trail were packed down and other was very loose gravel. It was a difficult surface to run on. The trail did all sorts of turns and things. It was basically a couple of miles packed into a small surface area...if that makes any sense. I hated it. There was no change in scenery. There was not much change in elevation. Boring. My time reflected how cold, bored, and uncomfortable I was with the trail. 27:37. I was 8th in my age/gender group (out of 29). The cool thing was that a 25 year old girl won it all. Me gusta. It was great to get to run a race with a friend. Unfortunately, for H, this was her first race. This was NOT a good first race, in my opinion. And some pics.... PS - Don't ask me why the formatting sucks on this post. I swear, whenever I had more than a couple of pics to a post that blogger freaks out. I'm sorry for the lack of a paragraphs. I tried multiple times to redo it, but failed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm still here...

I haven't forgotten about my blog. I still have things to talk about. Updates to do. I just can't right now. Whenever I turn on my computer it goes to a blue screen. Awesome. Right? I need to take it in to the Geek Squad and get that shiz fixed. I could continue to blog picture-less. But, how interesting would that be?

Who wants to read about my recent experience with being fitted for new shoes without pictures of the new shoes? Oh, I'm the only one who likes to see running shoe pictures?? :)

Who wants to read a (gravel trail) race recap with out race photos?

Who wants to read a race recap of the first race with my fasha without pics of said fasha?...that happens this Saturday so I couldn't blog about it if I wanted to.

Who wants to read about my really shitty 4 mile run on the treadmill two days ago without....Yeah, that one doesn't require pics. It just sucked. Bad.

So bear with me. I will be back to my super exciting (you can laugh) blogging in no time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clean Eating magazine

In my quest to become more healthy - clean eating has become more and more prevalent. Clean eating is basically shifting away from processed food and more towards organic, natural, and fresh foods. I have seen many recipes from the magazine 'Clean Eating', but I didn't want to spend the money on a subscription.

Well, today let me in a little secret. I can get 'Clean Eating' for $5.99 for a 1 year subscription. That's great because it is normally $34.95. I followed the instructions and got myself a 2 year subscription for just under $12. Sweet!!

I thought I would pass this along to anyone else interested. Just go here and follow the instructions.

What's 1 more day?

I have had an absolutely horrible month on the training front. An entire MONTH. 4 weeks. That is a solid bit of time when you consider I am training for a half marathon. It started with me getting sick, then we moved, then we got 6-8 inches of snow, then we got another 18 inches of snow...and I just haven't picked things back up on a consistent basis since. It all boils down to excuses. One after the other. And in my head I kept saying to myself, "what's one more day going to hurt?"

I proved to myself today what all those extra days off really do hurt. On my training plan I had 4 miles scheduled yesterday. I had planned to go after work, but it was so cold and I didn't bring appropriate clothes for the treadmill (another effing excuse). So today I was determined. I was determined to go before work. I work at 1pm so it's not like I have to get up at a crazy time to get this done. I lounged around for 30 minutes longer than I originally planned...and you guessed it...thinking of another excuse not to go to the gym this morning.

Well, I went. And it was miserable. I horrible 4 miles. In all honesty - the first 1.5 miles were good. I was feeling confident that I had not lost everything I had worked so hard for before. Well, that confidence was kicked straight to the curb and in a hurry. My run when down hill very quickly. At the 2.25 mark I had to stop to get some water. I didn't bring a water bottle for me. This was almost my excuse to quit for the day. The good news - every time that I wanted to quit, I thought about my blog. I knew I didn't want to blog about falling short. For that, I am thankful to anyone reading this because even if you don't know it - you are keeping me accountable.

Most of my run was at 6.5mph (9:15/mile pace, I think). Occasionally I would bump it up to 7mph (8:35/mile pace). And for the last half mile I did bumped it up to 7.5mph (8:00/mile pace). An 8 minute mile pace was pushing it for me a month ago. So that 8 minute pace for even just a half a mile kicked my butt. I knew I needed to kick my own ass for even just a half mile as a small extra punishment for all my time off.

I took a post run pic of myself in the gym bathroom. I have named this the "huff and puff face." How ridiculous do I look? My face was beet red. I don't think that's captured in this pic very accurately. I am, however, wearing one of my favorite running shirts. If I am going to have a horrible run - I would like it to be in my pink and yellow livestrong shirt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Things that I am thankful for today:

1. Having a garage. We are still working on getting a garage door opener remote thing, but we are making it work. Unfortunately, we only have a single car garage. Justin has been kind enough to let me use it.

2. Justin. I am thankful for him being such an awesome person and letting me use the single car garage.

3. My fitness. I am pretty sure if I were out of shape, I would not have been able to shovel our driveway today. It took me a little over an hour. It was tough work. I think I was supposed to run 3 miles today. I really feel like shoveling was more of a work out than that. It will count as a cross training work out for the week.
4. My little car that could. It gets me from point A to point B...even in 8-10 inches of snow.

5. Snow plows. Thank you to the city, the plows, and the folks that drive them.

The uphill battle begins.

About half way finished.

And done!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back at it....

So, the last week has not been the most successful training week for me. I was sick last Wednesday, I was recovering Thursday and Friday, and we began moving on Saturday.

The good news is that we have moved back into our own place. We really appreciated the opportunity to live with Justin's parents and save money while living there...the time has come for us to live on our own again. January 1 marked one year that Justin lived with his parents. I moved there at the end of February/first of my one year mark was quickly approaching.

We moved this past weekend into a duplex. And, quite honestly, it is in my in law's back yard. We are literally .4 of a mile from my in law's house. I know this from running the loop in their neighborhood often, ha.

We are slowly, but surely finding a place for everything. We got rid of a lot of furniture when we moved from Kansas City because we didn't have space in our storage unit for everything. So, needless to say, we are in the market for some new furniture. We have hand-me-down couches...which we are ok with for now. We have our master bedroom set which we love (until we move again...and we will get a king). And we have 2 beds for spare bedrooms. We need: a tv stand, end tables, coffee table, computer desk, and some bookcases. Once we get all of that furniture - we will be complete. :)

On the training front - with everything going on, I have not done much. AKA I have not run since my awesome work out last Tuesday. I really need to get after it and get back to my training plan. Based on my plan - I am at week 4. So I feel like as long as I get back on track Sunday with my long run (5 miles) then I am good. I have got to hit these long runs at an absolute minimum. Of course I want to get all of my work outs in, but I feel like as long as I am upping my mileage each week then I will be ok. But, I want to be more than ok. I want to rock this 13.1 I have a lot of work to to do. I have exactly 3 months, 1 week, and 4 days to go before Nashville.

Side note: the 5k that I was recently talking got cancelled. It was supposed to be this past Sunday. Thankfully - it was cancelled due to ice/snow on a major hill of the course. By cancelled...I mean postponed. It's going to be the end of January instead. I am cool with that. I was feeling very run down on Sunday morning so this works better for me. The cool thing about this race? I paid $25 as an entry fee (pretty normal around here) and I get $20 back in gift certificate form to a local running store. SCORE! I got a fabulous gift card from my in law's for Christmas to this store. So add $20 to that and I should be able to get fitted and new running shoes without much out of pocket. Holla!

Here's to getting back on track this weekend. *tink*tink*

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Yeah, so much for that whole "better, faster, stronger" comment from Tuesday night. I was feeling really great after that workout...that was until about 3:30Am Thursday. I woke up to a sour stomach that felt like it was in knots. I foolishly thought I could shut my eyes and sleep it off. I was oh so wrong.

I was up at least twice an hour for the next 5 or so hours. It was miserable. I am pretty sure my body was getting rid of absolutely everything in my system at that point. I was finally able to rest for about an hour around 10am. The frequent trips to the bathroom finally stopped completely around noon on Thursday. Then came the body aches.

I attempted a shower around 3pm. That proved to be a bit of a mistake...a bath might have been a better idea. When I got in the shower - I couldn't get the water hot enough. I was so cold. I got through shampoo just fine. I put conditioner in my hair and then went to soap my body. I was completely worn out at this point. I got incredibly hot and light headed. I turned the water to cool, opened the shower curtain a little...nothing seemed to help. I quickly tried to rinse my hair and the soap off, but not quickly enough. I thought for sure I was going to pass out before I could get the water turned off and myself out of the shower. Luckily, that did not happen. I grabbed a towel and sat on the bathroom rug for a few minutes. I sat there freezing until I got some strength back to me. That was enough excitement for me for the day. I spent the rest of the night on the couch or in bed.

Needless to say, I did not get my cross training in yesterday. Today I went to work. I probably should have taken an extra day off to get a little more rest. This would have left my shift incredibly short so I felt guilty. Luckily, we were not too busy so I had time to rest in between patients. Water was my number one priority today as I felt so dehydrated.

No running for me today either. Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day so I will definitely follow that. :) Saturday is another cross training day, but we are moving so I figure that is cross training enough. I am supposed to run in a 5k on Sunday, but my training calls for 5, the weather here is frigid. We will see how moving goes, how I am feeling, and how the weather is. That race may not happen for me.

I hope the stomach bug, flu, whatever it was stays away from everyone else. It sucks!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today's workout

Again, in an effort to hold myself accountable - I think I might track some and/or most of my work outs here. It might come daily, it might be a couple day recap, or it might be a weekly recap. Whenever the mood strikes.

Today I went to the gym when I got off work around 9:20pm. There was about 5 other people there. That seems to be the norm for that time of the evening. I like how slow it is, but I also like not being the only person in there.

On my schedule for today was 3 miles. I try to keep things interesting when I have to run on the treadmill. My goal for today - run each mile a little quicker than the previous (negative splits, sorta).

My first mile was at about a 8:49 pace. My 2nd mile about 8:26, I think. And my 3rd mile I ran in 8 minutes. After all of that I dropped it down to a 10 minute/mile pace to finish out 30 minutes. And then I walked for 5 minutes to cool down.

I felt awesome running that 8 minute mile...especially after running 2 miles prior to that. I feel stronger, faster, better every day. I love it.

After my run I got in a pretty quick core workout. I read everywhere that having a strong core is going to help my running. I started doing this routine a few weeks ago. I can already tell that I don't slouch as much when I run. I also don't scrunch my shoulders quite as much, but this is still a big issue for me.

I will leave you with this pic of the treadmill when I finished. Yes, I was the dork who took a pic of the treadmill when I finished. I tried to play it off like I wasn't actually taking a picture. Haha.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Half marathon training

In an effort to be a bit more accountable for my training - I thought I would share a little bit about my training plan. I figure this might help someone considering something similar.

If you research half marathon training programs - you might become a bit overwhelmed with the many different options. Everyone and their brother has come up with the "perfect" training program. I discovered this very quickly. Every one of these programs has a disclaimer that is something along the lines of, "may not be suitable for everyone." And this is so very true. A training program that works for me may not work for you. Great, more to ponder and research!

I had heard many good things about Hal Higdon's training programs. They were definitely the most tried and true of the people that I talked to. His programs are about 12 weeks long and assume you have a decent running base (i.e. run 3 miles 3-4 times a week). This wasn't a problem for me, except that I had way more than 12 weeks to train.

I considered starting that program and just repeating weeks as I felt necessary. That, to me, was still not structured enough. I wanted to know what I was going to do on each day. That would keep me engaged and motivated.

I continued my research and finally found a 18 week half marathon training based on Hal Higdon's program. Perfect!! At the time - I had just about 18 weeks until our half* in Nashville. Prior to this discovery (about 2-3 weeks ago), I was randomly training and following a couple of different programs. This lack of structure and discipline was keeping me from really progressing in my training (i.e. beyond a 3 mile run).

I have to admit that I have yet to follow this program exactly. I almost followed week 3** perfectly last week...aside from the cross training on Wednesday and Saturday. I did play the xbox kinect for like 3 hours on Saturday so that has to count for something. I feel great that I was able to get the mileage in, but I know that strength training and cross training are going to be very important for my overall fitness level come race day.

Today was a rest day so I have knocked that out. :) I will pound out 3 miles tomorrow. Unfortunately those 3 miles will most likely be on the treadmill because we have gotten a few inches of snow today. I will be bound to the treadmill unless I get a pair of Yaktrax. In all seriousness, I might have to get those for a race I am signed up for on Sunday.

*Justin laughs when I say "half" instead of "half marathon." I don't think he thinks I am in it enough to use the lingo. :)
**I discovered tonight that last week should have been week 2, but I followed week 3. Oh well, right?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Final day of 2010....

I ran my first 5k race on Thanksgiving day. I had a blast and instantly started searching for my next race. The soonest one that would work with my schedule was New Year's Eve. I signed up in mid-December...I was, somehow, the 9th person to sign up. I thought that was odd with the race just being a couple of weeks away. That actually made me nervous that it would be an incredibly small race. It wasn't too terribly small. There were about 280 people that participated. This was about 100-150 less than Thanksgiving, but still an OK size.

The race began at 4pm. The temperature at that point was about 59 degrees. It was unbelievably great. I decided to wear shorts and short-sleeves because it was so warm. I didn't really research the course of the race. The majority of it was through downtown Columbia and part of Mizzou's campus. It was a little windy that day anyway...but add to that larger buildings and it was SUPER windy. In hind site, I would have probably worn capri tights instead. The temperature dropped about 10-12 degrees by the time I finished the race. Brrrr.

My time at my Thanksgiving race was 28:06...I was very pleased with that. I was so pleased that I was nervous to run another because I was worried I would never be able to beat that time. I completely underestimated myself for my first race (I expected 30-34 minutes) and I underestimated myself once again on New Year's Eve. My time for NYE was 26:08. I was very pleased and even a bit impressed with myself. I suppose upping my mileage as I train for a half marathon makes a difference with speed as well.

I placed 93 out of 280 who finished. I was 3rd out of 17 in my age/gender group.

I look forward to improving my times as I continue racing. My goal for 2011 is to get my 5k time sub 25 minutes. After my race on NYE - I feel much more confident to achieve this.

Speaking of the half marathon training - this will take place in Nashville, TN with 3 of my favorite girls from college. I am really excited to accomplish this distance for the first time together. Pardon me if my blog becomes very running concentrated. It's become a beloved hobby.

Tellatubbies (sp?) at the finish line.

Me, post-race, with the tellatubby (sp?).

Happy 2011!

I became very overwhelmed with my previous catch up post. I promised specific posts to go along with the list of events that happened over that 5 month hiatus. Here I am 3 months later and I have zero specific follow up posts. So let's just skip that. I will post about those things as I see fit...or maybe never.

Instead, let's welcome 2011 with a goal to blog more. I am not going to put a number on how much more I will blog, I just hope to blog more. I also hope to figure out how to add pictures without messing with the format of the post. I have seen a couple of different "miracle fixes" and they don't work for me.

Happy 2011 to everyone. I hope that it has started out well for everyone.