From the Little Acorn to the Big Apple

friends, food, and fitness

Denied. January 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 3:38 pm

Well, unfortunately I was rejected from the NYC Half (as was Nolan.)  Ironically, everyone else I know, including my sister who lives in Philadelphia were all accepted. I wasn’t going to let this rejection get me down – or use it as an excuse not to train for a few more months… So, Nolan signed up for the Danbury half marathon in April. I’m actually pretty excited about this considering it gives me one more month to train and less training in the cold weather.

A few weeks ago, Nolan and I participated in the Fred Lebow 5 mile race in the park. No big deal right? Wrong. It was no more than 7 degrees along with even colder winds.  I honestly don’t think I have ever been that cold in my life.  We got there extra early to make sure we got out numbers and were able to checks bags – this was a big mistake.  After checking my warm winter jacket I had to wait another 20 minutes for the race to start. Everyone was huddled together in the corrals anxious for the race to start.  Once the race started I couldn’t believe we would be running for 5 miles. I hadn’t run more than 3 miles since the marathon and picked the coldest day of the winter to take my longest run.  I finally started to thaw out after about 2 miles.  I had dressed pretty well for the cold weather aside from my thin running gloves (note to self, get warmer gloves!)

I finished the race in 49:06, which was about a 9:49 pace. I was pleased with my time considering the temperature and my lack of training however, afterwards realized I could have pushed myself much harder. I always underestimate my pace and don’t “think” I can handle anything below 9:30.  Obviously you can’t run a sub-9:30 pace on your first run, it’s something you work towards. I need to start working harder and realizing my potential.  I sprinted the last half mile or so of the race and held a steady 8 minute pace til the finish line and felt wonderful afterwards!

I am now even more motivated to include speed work and other types of training into my schedule to boost my pace. It’s not going to be fun, but it will not only improve my race times but also mix up my work outs. 

However, if I train for another marathon, I am not going to push myself too hard. I know my limits with long distances and the toll that training for the marathon took on my body.  Of course I would love to beat my first marathon time if I decide to do another, but I am going to focus on my pace mainly for shorter distances and in the end that will improve my pace for longer distances as well.

Now all I need is the weather to warm up so I can start running outside! I must admit I’ve been slacking on my training runs - I absolutely hate the treadmill! I’m going to draft a training plan in the next few days and will be posting it and keeping track of my progress and (hopefully!) improving my pace.

 

3 months later… December 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 8:50 pm

So.. I realize haven’t written since before the marathon.  I’m sure all of my readers thought I didn’t make it to the finish line! (totally a joke considering I don’t think anyone reads this…)

The marathon was great! Overall a wonderful experience. I finished in 4:35:18 which I was pleased with. My initial goal had been 4:30 so I was psyched to come remotely close to that.  The race had pace leaders for runners qualifying for Boston, so I managed to stay ahead of the 4:30 pacer until mile 22 – I was making great time! However,   I now know what “hitting the wall” really means.. and it happened at mile 22.  This was the first time I walked during the entire race which I couldn’t believe.  Looking back, I realized I should have fueled more throughout the race.  I only had one goo pack and a few shot blocks throughout the entire race.  I thought I had fueled properly and felt full of energy until it was too late. I could not run another step  as soon as I got to mile 22 and was devastated as the 4:30 group passed me… I managed to pull it together and make it to the finish line, but those last 4 miles were the hardest of my life.

As soon as I crossed the finish line (where I was greeted by my wonderful family) I walked to the recovery tent where they were giving out free massages.  My knees and hips hurt like crazy after running for 4.5 hours.  I think that massage was the best thing I could have done after that race (along with taking 2 Advil and some chicken broth provided in the tent).  Aside from moving slower than usual for a few hours, I felt great! I even managed to make an appearance at a birthday party that night. I think my runners high lasted a few days which distracted me from any pain from the race.  I never crashed afterward like I do after every long run so I must have done something right.

After the race, I didn’t exercise for an entire month.  I was so burnt out from training and running that the pure thought of putting on my running shoes exhausted me.  I attempted running a month later but my knees were so sore that I could barely run a mile. I was hoping I hadn’t done any permanent damage.  I stuck to the elliptical the few times I did exercise and felt no pain.

This past Sunday, I suddenly felt motivated to run again for the first time in many weeks – which can mainly be attributed to the fact I got a new running jacket for Christmas and that it was almost 50 degrees – but it felt great to be out there again.  While I was running I started to feel guilty for taking so much time off,  I had always loved running and just never had the energy to get my butt out the door.   But then I thought to myself that my original goal of 2009 had been to run a half marathon, which I started training for in December (I think.) Afterward I went on the complete another half and a FULL a few weeks later.  I need to be proud of what I DID rather than what I didn’t do.  I had been in training for almost an entire year, no wonder I was so burnt out! I didn’t have any long runs on my calendar that absolutely had to be done, I didn’t HAVE to run for any reason and it was a great feeling.

This year I already have a few races on the horizon but I now know that I need to mix up my workouts a bit.  While in training, I never did speedwork or hills or anything like that because “I didn’t like it.” Well obviously I’m not going to be good at something I’ve never tried… so while training for my next races I am going to actually incorporate these things into my training schedule rather than writing them in because I felt I had to (with no intention of doing them) 

I hoping to be accepted into the NYC Half (which is in March) and will find out next week. I also entered the lottery for the 2010 NYC Marathon,  I figure if I get in, it’s meant to be and I will put everything I have into training. I’m going to include other types of exercise into my schedule such as yoga and lifting weights (another thing “I don’t like.”)  These are all things I read about in Runners World every month but after running the marathon I realize how important they were and how much I could have benefitted by doing them.

I can’t wait for a new start in 2010!

 

Marathon Tune-Up September 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 12:27 pm

Yesterday was the 18-mile ING Marathon Tune-Up in the park. I am so happy that after yesterday my next long run is the marathon! I am so pumped!

The run yesterday was extremely difficult. First of all, I had taken 2 days off of work last week because I was sick, so was still not feeling 100% but knew I had to get this run in. Second, it was POURING rain. I was soaked within the first few minutes of leaving my apartment.  I couldn’t believe it when my alarm went off at 5:45 and I had to be out the door at 6am in this horrible weather, I kept thinking to myself “Why am I doing this?!?!” Luckily I had laid everything out the night before and had mentally prepared myself to be running in the rain. The last time the forecast predicted rain it barely drizzled, but yesterday I was not so lucky.

I actually had to do a 20-mile training run so I decided to jog 2 miles to the race. It was PITCH black when I left my apartment and I was kind of nervous to be running through the park at this hour. I ran into a few other people on my run to the park so I wasn’t alone. I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the 3.5 hours I had ahead of me to run.. and my first comment to one of the other runners was ” This rain totally sucks!” I was surprised at how positive his response was when he said “At least we’ve trained in the worst conditions possible!” which was very true… better to have a terrible training run through the rain than your actual marathon.

I was pretty intimidated because everyone at this race had obviously run in multiple marathons before. It seemed like everyone had a running partner or some kind of running group they were with that it was kind of lonely being there by myself! I just kept telling myself that this was just a training run, I did 18 last weekend and can easily do 20 today.

I only have one word for the run itself… Wet. There was not a dry inch on my entire body. I also made the mistake of wearing light green shorts that I had no idea became transparent when they get wet…Although after running 12 miles knowing I still had 8 to go, this was the least of my worries.  In the end, the run was great. I am definitely hurting this morning, slightly concerned about the pain in my right knee, ankle and hip… but am so glad I did it. It was at the top for the hardest runs of my life and now I’m totally psyched for the marathon! I can’t wait for the day when all of my hard work will pay off and to see my family and friends along the way! I ended up finishing the 18 miles in 3:13:00. Not too shabby. Last weekend we ran 18 in about 3 hours so I was pleased with this considered the weather. With the 2 extra miles (actually 2.5!) my total time running was 3 hours 31 min. I am aiming to complete the marathon in 4:30-4:45 and feel pretty confident that I can make it in my goal time!

This week I begin tapering. I’m going to try to run almost every day, even if it’s just 2-3 miles. This weekend I plan to run 10-12 miles at very easy pace. I’m going to do as much stretching and yoga as possible. Hopefully my right leg will feel better in the next few days… These long runs have definitely put a strain on my knees, ankles and hips. I’m glad my training hasn’t been very long because I probably wouldn’t be able to walk by now! I’m also hoping my shoes start to dry out over these next few days. As of last night they were still completely soaked! My feet were pruny when I took off my shoes, gross!

 

18 miles. September 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 2:09 pm

Well, I did it, I actually ran 18 miles! I am seriously so proud of myself! I feel great about the race in a few weeks!! I had talked to Megan about running together this weekend but she had planned to run the Queens half on Sunday so I knew I would be on my own. Well, I was totally psyched when she emailed me on Friday saying she had changed her mind and was running with another friend instead of the race. I’ve felt like I’ve been coming down with something the last few days so I’m glad that I was meeting someone to run because I have a feeling I would have bailed. (now I am definitely sick so maybe that wasn’t the best idea.. )

I met Megan at 7am at her apartment on the east side, she had planned to run 12 miles and her friend who was joining was planning to run 20 miles. I was totally psyched knowing I would have someone to run with the whole way.

We started running down the east river all the way to Battery Park then back up the Hudson River to 72nd St. where we crossed over into the park. The weather was perfect the whole way and I felt pretty good. We ran about a 9:30 pace the whole way which a bit faster than I had planned but I was happy that I was able to keep up.  My legs definitely tightened up a bit after mile 12 but I felt really good the whole time. I finished my run in just over 3 hours. I still cannot believe I did it! Having people to chat with the whole time made a world of difference. I cannot imagine doing it on my own. I am a little nervous because they were both experienced marathon runners and were a bit surprised that I had such a short time to train – but i’d say it’s a bit too late now!

I was browsing the NYRR website and saw that they have a tune-up run for runners participating in the marathon. It’s basically an 18 mile training run with water stops and other people to encourage you! It’s $35 which I’m not too happy about but I think it will definitely be worth it. This is my last training run before the race and I need to stick with it the whole time!

 

Training Progress. September 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 12:41 pm

This week of training has been great! I’ve had to work a little harder to keep myself motivated, but of course once I’m out the door running I feel fine.

On Saturday morning I met up with one of my friends Megan for a long run in the park. My training plan called for 15 and Megan was going to join for the first 10. All week the forecast called for rain and the sky looked pretty daunting when I woke up at 6:00 to meet Megan at 7.  I know I would have bailed had I not had someone there waiting for me, so I’m so glad I stuck with it! I was prepared for down pours but the rain actually held off for most of our run and only sprinkled for a few minutes. I loved using my garmin and being able to keep track of our mileage and pace. Around mile 9, the area from my knee to hip really started to hurt to the point where I didn’t know if I should keep running. Megan finished her run at mile 10 and I was supposed to carry on for 5 more miles but I had a really hard time now that I didn’t have a running partner! I stopped to stretch my hip because the pain was getting more intense.  Nolan was running a race that morning so by the time we finished the 10 miles, his race was about to begin. I jogged up to the section of the park I told him I would be waiting and decided it would be best to stop my run there. I ended up running about 11.5 miles which I was not too pleased about but it is better than nothing.  My hip hurt like crazy for the rest of the day and I did my best to stretch it out although I didn’t find a good stretch because the pain felt different from muscle pain. I took it easy the rest of the day and when I woke up on Sunday I felt fine! Maybe it was for the best that I didn’t finish the run and hurt myself further!

I am pretty nervous because I have never run more than 13 miles and have only 2 more long training runs before the marathon. Although I know I am running just to reach the finish line, I want to do the best I can! I’m not setting my goals too high because I know I haven’t had adequate time to train as much as I’d hoped, so I am going to just have fun and do my best not to injure myself. I have 18 miles planned for Sunday which I am going to do my best to complete. 

This week I ran 3.5 miles on Tuesday night and 5 miles last night. After work I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was run. I gave myself a little pep talk that I would be able to rest as much as I wanted to after the marathon and that any run I do now will only make me stronger, so I threw my shoes on and was out the door within 2 minutes. I had initially set out to do 3 miles but once I got out there I knew I could do more and set my max distance to 5 miles. For some reason I felt like pushing myself (maybe to get it over faster?) and took of running an 8:30 mile. I typically stay between a 9-10 min mile so this was much faster than I was used to. Surprisingly, I felt great! I was able to keep this pace until my turn around spot at 2.5 miles. The way back was much harder – I was running against the wind and knew that I had not fueled properly for my run. I need to remember that my body handles 5-6 mile runs much differently than 3 miles and I could tell right at the 3 mile mark that my body was dying for water and I was starving for dinner. I still pushed myself to about mile 4 and took a short walk break then ran my normal pace back home. Even with my walk break I still managed to run 5 miles in under 45 minutes! I was so excited! It felt like my workout was over in 15 minutes and I couldn’t believe I had gone that far. 

I always say that my pace is 10 minute miles but that is because I think I can only go that fast, well last night I definitely proved myself wrong! I think I have been underestimating my running ability and not pushing myself as hard a I could be. Obviously, on longer runs I am not going to push myself for so long at this pace but it definitely makes a difference. I was sweating like crazy and totally exhausted last night after my run which was such a great feeling! It definitely pumped me up for this marathon and now I can’t wait for my run on Sunday!

 

Garmin 305! September 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:34 pm

garmin

 

I completely forgot to mention in my last post that I just purchased a brand new Garmin 305! I am SO SO excited. I figure that now that I’m doing such long runs, measuring my distance other than on mapmyrun.com is going to be very important!

Most of the time, I keep track in my head of the # of blocks I run (20 blocks= 1 mile) which is definitely not the most efficient but has been pretty accurate so far. I also consider that 10 minutes = 1 mile but lately I think I’ve been picking up speed (!!) because once I have come home and mapped my route it has been slightly less than a mile.

This marathon is most definitely not about speed, but simply reaching the finish line. However, while training I want to do the best I can and I’ve heard such great things about the Garmin, I’m excited to finally have a reason to use one!

I have loved my Polar HRM that I’ve been using for the past year, but am ready to move on to something with GPS and more detailed readings. I typically don’t wear the chest strap because with a sports bra AND built in bra top it can be just too much, so hopefully this one will be comfortable enough for me to wear every time!

 

12 miles.

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:26 pm

This past Saturday I tackled my first long training run of 12 miles.  I’m surprised at how well it went! Even though we went out on Friday night, I took it easy knowing that any small amount of alcohol I put into my system would definitely affect how I felt on my run. I woke up at 5:45, as we had to be on the train to CT at 9:45, and ate my traditional pre-run fuel of a waffle with pb and banana. I tried to drink as much water as possible all day Friday, because there is only so much water you can drink right before a run before you have to go to the bathroom half way through!

I had to wait around a little bit because it was PITCH BLACK when I woke up. Although along the river is pretty safe at that time, the 4-minute walk to the river is through a well known homeless hang out… I don’t know what those people are up to at 6am so I figured it would be best to walk with as much light as possible. I took advantage of this time to stretch a bit before I headed out and made it safely to the path along the river.

The run itself was very uneventful… I didn’t want to stray too far away from my apartment at such an early hour so I ran south along the river for 3 miles (well 30 minutes.. I still don’t have a watch that measures distance) and back, then 3 miles north along the river and back. It went by pretty quickly and I zoned out to the music and occasionally caught myself singing outloud, luckily there were very few people out at this house so I wasn’t too concerned.

I got home, tried to stretch for as long as I could then hustled to get ready to catch the train. I felt slightly dehydrated afterwards, I don’t think I was drinking enough water throughout my run. I bought a new fuel belt (which I will review soon) but I definitely wasn’t drinking as much as I should have. I felt properly fueled even after my run and wasn’t as hungry as I thought. I always feel extreme tightness in my hips after long runs and need to focus on stretching for as long as possible. I even set my kitchen timer to make sure I’m giving myself enough time to stretch – the last thing I need is to be injured for this marathon!

I felt fine all day Saturday and even managed to dance the night away all night at a wedding, yet was absolutely DEAD tired the rest of the weekend. Sunday I could barely get out of bed, which is unusual for me considering I’m a morning person. I napped twice on Sunday and went to bed at 9:30. Yesterday I napped for 3 HOURS at Nolan’s parents house and went to bed at 9:00 last night…  I think I am FINALLY caught up on my sleep. This makes me realize that I need to give myself proper rest time after a long run and not plan too much on that day.

My body was so stiff and sore after the run that I could barely move. I did get out for a quick run/walk on Sunday morning. I didn’t even wear a watch or know how far I went because I was in Nolan’s parents neighborhood, but it was just what I needed to get my body moving again. I feel 100% this morning and am now scheduling all of my run’s for the rest of the week. I am keeping track of my weekly mileage and not increasing by more than the recommended 10%.  So this past week:

Monday: 6 Miles

Wed: 3 Miles

Saturday: 12 Miles

Total: 21

So this week I am going to shoot for no more than 23. With my 15 mile run planned for Saturday, I need to run 8 miles before the weekend. Easy!

 

 
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