Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Faster Miles and Fitness Assessment

This past week has been busy! Sometimes I think I try to do too much in one little 24 hour day. But probably everybody does, right?

Last Wednesday I had an AWESOME 3 mile run. I set a PR for my neighborhood course of 29:10! Finally under 30 minutes. I'm sure the main reason I was able to do this was because of my wonderful fast runner hubby who was pushing me to go faster! It really does help to have someone run with you and especially for me, someone who is faster and can push me to go beyond my comfort zone. It wasn't a pretty run. It wasn't a nice run where I could chit chat. I was breathing pretty hard and I'm sure the people we past by on the trail thought I was going to die. In fact I was wondering the same thing. But I didn't (obviously)! The good thing was my legs didn't feel bad. The worst part was the hard breathing but I know that is going to happen and with time, it should get better. At least I hope so!

I decided to join a running group. It's an intermediate group with RunnerDude's Fitness. After two weeks of no training plan, I realized I was slacking in my runs. I also wanted to incorporate some speedwork and this group sounded like the perfect fit for me. Here is what convinced me:

"Running at least 3-5 miles and feel like you're ready for the next level, but not sure what the next level is? Or have you been running the same runs and feel like you're in a rut? Or are you just looking for ways to spice up your running? Then the Intermediate Running Group is just for you!"

YES! That is just what I was looking for. We will be doing different types of running workouts including fartleks, tempo runs, intervals, hill repeats and more. We will also do some core and upper body exercises and pre and post stretching. I'm really excited about this group. It starts in 2 weeks and meets on Monday and Friday nights. What?!? Friday nights? I'm usually at my favorite Mexican restaurant enjoying a Margarita and some yummy food on Friday nights. Oh well, either I'm crazy or trying to look like I'm soooo dedicated! ;)

Included in the program fee is an initial fitness assessment.  I thought this would consist of taking my weight, height, maybe some other measurements and probably I would do a little running. Boy was I wrong! It was very comprehensive. The trainer (or should I call him coach?) did various body measurements, resting heart rate, VO2 max level, flexibility, and many other things that I can’t remember! It was a lot of information to take in and fortunately, he will email me my full results in a few days (which I will share in another post). The good news is everything was within normal ranges. No red flags, YAY! I wish I would have done this kind of assessment last year before the weight loss and much increased activity. I can only imagine what those numbers would have looked like. It would not have been pretty.
Oh yeah…back to faster miles. So for the fitness assessment I had to run 1.5 miles on the treadmill. Basically, I needed to run at my race pace or at least to the point feeling uncomfortable. But of course not to push it too hard, he didn’t want me to pass out. So after last Wednesday’s run I knew the pace I needed to be at. I ended up running 1.5 miles in 14:27 minutes. This was to measure my VO2 max level (more info to come when I understand it more!).
Another fast mile…the hubby and I started boot camp Monday night. On the first night they also do a little assessment. You do as many push-ups and sit-ups as you can in one minute and run a mile. I did that mile in 9:01!! The fastest ever boot camp mile for me. Of course, Michael finished first out of the group. Not that it’s a competition, but he’s just that fast! He wasn’t happy with his time since he is STILL somewhat injured. Now the pressure is on him since everyone knows he is the fastest (what a bad problem to have). I did this same boot camp last year for 3 months and it really helped kick start my exercise routine. Everybody supports and cheers for each other. I thought it would be good to do it for another month just for a change up.
Already this week has been full of exercise…Monday night boot camp, Tuesday lunchtime body pump class, evening boot camp, Wednesday lunchtime pilates class…I’m supposed to run with a friend tonight mainly because I need too, but I am feeling drained from the past two days. Some muscles have the “good sore” feeling, but even good sore is still sore. We’ll see if I can make it. Rest day on Friday (along with Margaritas and Mexican food)!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Azalea Festival Big Buddy 10K

My first 10K race is done!! All those weeks of following a training plan have come to an end (at least for now). It was a great race too. We left on Friday for Wilmington which is about 3 hours away. I didn't pre- register for the race since I wasn't sure if we would be able to go until we were on the road. We drove straight to the store that had packet pick up and registration available once we arrived. Michael decided to do the 5K race since his leg was feeling better. This was also the first time we could see the course map since there wasn't one online.

The course was basically through a shopping center (a very nice one) and I thought that was kind of strange. It was a 3 mile loop which you run twice for the 10K distance. I knew the race wasn't going to be "at the beach" but I didn't think it would be in a shopping center. Anyways we got registered, seventy bucks later, and no t-shirt (they were all gone, boo!). We stopped at the grocery store before going to the beach condo for some pre-race breakfast goodies (banana, whole wheat bagel, peanut butter, and coffee k-cups for Michael). Once we got settled in at the condo, we walked to a local Italian restaurant for some dinner. We browsed through a few stores then went back to the condo to watch some TV. 8am race start meant a boring Friday night.

Around 2am I woke up and started to have doubts about the race. I must be crazy to drive all this way for a race in a shopping center! We are at the beach and going to bed at 10pm on a Friday night only to get up at 6am and drive 30 miles to a shopping center to run in the cold weather nonetheless. This didn't sound like much fun and I figured Michael was probably not happy with me even though he didn't say anything like that.

Well too late for doubts now! We are here and just spent 70 bucks to run in this thing, so yeah, we will be running. We made it to the race site and it was quite chilly. We reluctantly got out of the nice warm car (my new car has dual heated seats, score!) to pin on our race bibs. I went to get my ipod out of the bag and oh no, I have earbuds but no shuffle. It fell out when I was packing the race bag back at the condo. Great. 6.2 miles with no music.

It was a small race with about 90 finishers for the 10K and 150 for the 5K. I decided to wear my "Breathless Babes" running team shirt. The back says "Does this shirt make my butt look FAST?" That's the slogan I choose even though I am obviously not fast. But I haven't worn it in a race yet because I thought it would put pressure on me to live up to the shirt. I know, I'm over thinking it. It's just a shirt. Anyways for this race I didn't care since we were out of town and I didn't know any of these runners.

We started the race and it only took about 1 minute for some guy to run past me and say "yeah, you look fast". I just rolled my eyes. I wasn't sure if he was trying to be nice or a jerk. I took it as being a jerk. I wish I had my ipod. But later on a lady came up behind me and said "I love your shirt". I told her I wish I was fast and this was my first 10K. She was nice and said I was doing great. Later one of the course monitors yelled out to me "yeah that shirt makes your butt look fast!". 

Near the halfway point I saw Michael and asked how he did. 2nd place overall! Talk about fast. And that's on a hurt leg. The course was great since it was almost completely flat. Wow. I want to do every race at the coast now. My finish time was 1:02. I was very happy with my time. I didn't have any time goals going into the race. My goals were to finish and run the entire time. Which I did both!

After the race we headed back to the condo and hit up the drive-thru at Hardee's for biscuits and gravy (OMG I have not had that since we were here last summer). So good and bad at the same time. We went back out after showering and walked around some more stores. I realized the beach is kind of boring if it's not hot/summertime. Since our legs were tired from racing we didn't want to walk anymore so we headed to a bar for some drinks.

All and all it was a good race and although short, a nice beach trip. Michael wants to come back next year for the race and of course go for first place. Well the next race on the schedule is the second race in the series Race the Bar. I decided to just do the 5K instead of the 8K. I'm going to do some speed work training because I really want to finish a 5K in under 30 minutes! The race is about a month away and maybe that's not enough time to go for a PR, but I have to start speed training sometime!

Sidenote: The guy that won 1st place got $100 cash! Michael got a $50 credit to a gym in Wilmington. Dang. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Random stuff and 7 miles

I've been so busy lately...working additional hours, buying a new car (used car but new to me and I LOVE it!), trying to stick to the training schedule for the 10K, and keeping our little household in order. I'm so ready for the weekend beach trip this weekend and to have this 10K race over and done with! Actually I am excited about the race but I think it will be nice to have a break from a training plan.

March goals update: I'm not going to list them all again (mainly because I don't have enough time) but I did complete another goal - run my first 8K race (Beerun!).  I still have the same ones I can improve on: eating more veggies, core exercises, finding time to read. I ran 48.45 total miles in March. A little less than February. I missed my long runs both Sundays after the 8K and 5K races.

Speaking of long runs...I have a new personal distance. I ran 7 miles this past Sunday. I went slower and averaged an 11 minute mile. I also carried my handheld water bottle and tried a Gu on mile 4. Carrying the water bottle wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I definitely needed the water. The Gu was Vanilla Bean flavor and I wasn't that crazy about it. I only used a little of it and I'm not sure it helped. I've got some other flavors to try out so maybe they will taste better.

It was a good run except for a Canadian goose tried to get me! Seriously this one goose did not want me to go past it. There are always several around the lake but they usually just get out of the way. This one actually started running toward me as I got closer and had it's mouth open! I don't know if geese can bite you or what but I didn't want to find out. I saw a bunch of people approaching so I waited until they were on the side of the goose and I ran past on the other side! Was that bad? It didn't go after them. On my next time around (2 loops) I was hoping it was gone but it wasn't. So again it starts coming after me. This time I said forget it and turned around and modified my route. That worked. Crazy goose! Maybe it had an egg or something or maybe it just didn't like me.

I had forgot to mention about my black toenail...gross I know. I got it several weeks ago and recently the dead toenail part fell off and now I just have this black weird toenail/skin (not sure what it is). I'll be nice and not post a pic! Anyways, I'm not sure how it happened but from what I read it could be my running shoes are too tight or the fact that I increased my mileage. I guess I thought these things only happened to runners that run like 1,000 miles a week or something. I just hope the actual nail grows back but I heard it takes a while. Perfect timing with flip flop season almost here! I did buy some cute band aids to save people from the sight of my freak toe.

Well unless something unforeseen happens to change our beach plans this weekend (hopefully not), we will be heading to the coast on Friday!!