Monday, March 29, 2010

Fool's 25k Race Recap

What a wonderful race! The course was so well marked and the volunteers/aid stations were so amazing that I almost forgot that it was cold, wet and rainy. The race started in the open field at Pine Hollow. I don't know what it is about morning races, but I love the excitement and anticipation. Wondering how you're going to fare...will the body hold up...will a new injury surface (please No!)...will I set a PR (uhm, no, not when the final leg is Salt Run). So off we went along the path to Little Meadow (which was lotsa muddy), Cross Country trail, and Lake Trail. The mud was thick and I swear there were a few times that I actually heard suction noises as I pulled my leg/shoe out of the mud. I ran with a couple nice girls and we laughed about how exciting it was to get all muddy and each of us were excited about taking pictures of our shoes at the end of the race. After crossing Truxell, we went through Ledges Trail. Simply beautiful and technical (that's code for rocky and rough). Before I knew it, we were at the Happy Days Aid Station and 5+ miles completed. I love ultra aid stations - the PB&J is so fantastic. I mean, at road races you're lucky to get water AND gatorade and possibly a Gu packet at like mile 11 or so. My aid station excitement would soon come to an end as I began to feel the first rain drops (oh crap!).

It's funny, even though I've run the Boston Trail a couple times previously, I can't explain how exciting it is to finally finish the loop and pop back out to Happy Days. It's like seeing sunshine again! We retraced our steps back to the Ledges Trail, Pine Grove Trail, then Kendall Lake. Around Pine Grove, I was running with Karen and Mitch, then Eddie joined us. Having company certainly made the running much easier and much more enjoyable. I was beginning to feel the pull of a tight left hamstring so the company was greatly appreciated. It was also about the time we crossed Truxell to Kendall Lake that the rain was really coming down. I was too focused with thinking about what lies ahead of me (Salt Run Trail) that I didn't realize just how wet I was getting. Salt Run was tough, but at this point Eddie was starting to have trouble. I found that helping another runner muddle through took my mind off my hamstring and I started having additional energy. Even though Salt Run was a tough 3-3.5 miles, at least this time, I can say that I walked with purpose. At Regis, I walked like I was in the desert without water.

I finished in 3:48 alongside Eddie and behind Karen and Mitch. The best part of this is that I finished 13 miles in 3:47 at Regis and finished 16 miles in 3:48 at Fool's. The courses are almost identical in the trails run, the conditions at both races were tough for different reasons. At Regis, the snow made your footing tough and the ice was tricky to navigate. However, the mud wasn't any easier. I was slipping, sliding and sticking through a great deal of the course. When I came upon gravel sections, I couldn't contain my excitement. But it was pretty cool learning where to find your footing and learning how to power through. I can't wait till July's Muddy Paws 5-Mile Trail Race. I'm running with Jameson (puppy) and Greg (the hubs).

The course was great and the overall experience was wonderful. I was very impressed with the effort that went into the course markings. At no point did I ever have to guess which way to go. Even better, there were signs on adjacent or connecting trails that read "Wrong Way" so you knew exactly which direction to go. The scenery was breathtaking. There were times I just wanted to pause to take it all in and to snap a quick picture. I really hate that I didn't snap a picture at the beginning of the race while on Little Meadow. I was toward the back of the pack and it was so cool to see the runners winding through the trail. I couldn't help becoming nostalgic for my cross country days. So awesome.

Meg was a volunteer at this race. She was quite the trooper. We had to get up at 5:00 am and leave by 5:30 so I could have her checked in at the volunteer station by 6:30am. I would like to say this arrangement required me to make a Starbucks bribe to her, but that wasn't the case. She actually did it to hang out with me. Plus, she's good at cheering on the runners and knowing how to work an aid station. She worked at the start/finish, which also served as the second loop for the 50k runners. So thank you, pumpkin, for spending the morning with your mom! Hope my blue, shivering lips at the finish didn't scare you too much :)

This race certainly made me excited about my April triple challenge. Best of all, I'm not sore the day after and I can't wait to get back on the trails!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week in Review 3/22-3/28

What a great week! Except for a little hamstring thing, I really felt good this week. Best of all, I was able to get a long run accomplished by running the Fool's 25k Sunday. More on the race in a separate post.

Monday-  strength/weight training of 5 sets of 10 box jumps and kettleball swings (20#), followed by 4 sets of 10 of stork lifts and reverse arm curls using 10# weights, then 1600m row in 7:50 during lunch. 

Tuesday-4 mile run at 5.8, 5.8, 6.0, 6.2mph.            

Wednesday - great 4-mile lunchtime run in 42:04. After work, I ran 3 more miles with B in jogging stroller & Meg on her bike. Fun, chatty time with my girls. 7 miles total for today.       

Friday-3 mile run at 6.0, 6.0, and 6.2. 

Sat -rest before race day.           

Sunday - Fool's 25k race (16 miles). Very happy considering the mud and rain. Tough course, but I tackled it! A separate post will come soon.

Hope everyone has a grand week ahead! Don't forget Easter is almost upon us. That means Easter baskets and Reese eggs!      
This week's total: 30 miles

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doggone Good Website

I just came across a new website for me and my running buddy, Jameson. If you're a dog lover and you love having your dog as a running companion, you must check out Runner's World's new website called the Dog Run. I especially love the dog days calendar and can't wait to explore the entire puppy-loving site. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week in Review: 3/15-3/21

Pretty happy with this week, except I didn't make it to yoga. I'll have to make up for that next week! And I will definitely need to treat myself to a yoga session after the Fools 25k next Sunday!

Monday - 8 mile run at a very dark 6am with puppy as my bodyguard.

Tuesday - strength/cross training. 3 sets of 20 box jumps and kettleball swings (20# weight), followed by 4 sets of 10 of stork lifts and reverse arm curls using 10# weights, then 1600m row in 7:44 during lunch. Added a 4 mile run in the evening with B in jogging stroller & Meg on her bike (hit Mitchell's afterwards).

Wednesday - just did "the elevens" in 5:23.

Thursday - 3 mile tempo run at lunch at 5.8, 6.0 and 6.2 mph. One hour spin class in the evening to kick my butt!

Fridays - rest.

Saturday - morning long run with puppy - 10 miles in 1:48! Watched a fantastic DVD called "It Might Get Loud" - a documentary featuring Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White. Don't want to spoil it for you, but we loved it. Ok, I lied, Spoiler alert: the Edge sings on it! Be still my beating heart!  

Sunday - no running, but did 3 hours of hard-ass yard work. That's DEFINITELY counting as cross training!

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Phoenix, Camelback Mountain & Family Time

This past weekend, we visited husband's family in Phoenix, Arizona and had a wonderful time. It was great seeing Megan and Bridget connect with her cousins Ben and Maeve. We got to catch up with Kim and George while spending time with Greg's parents. Saturday, the group (including the kids) hiked Camelback Mountain. I am still laughing about George's comment. We were going down quite slow with the kids. There were rocks and it was technical at times. And this comes from a trail runner (keep that in mind). Anyway, we were slow going and someone had asked George to slow down. He responded, "Are you kidding me, I just saw Steven Hawking pass us. We can't go any slower." I am still laughing as I write this! The family time was great, the hiking was wonderful, and we enjoyed catching up!

Megan and Greg doing their "Captain Morgan" pose.

Hiking up Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona 3/13/2010.

At the base of Camelback Mountain after hiking with the Carlin/Corcoran Family.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week in Review: 3/7-3/14

This week I eased back a bit, partly to prevent injury and partly to avoid burnout. And it was the best thing I could have done (after the initial guilt wore off!).

Monday - 3 mile recovery run at 5.8mph (10:20 pace). Strength training of 50 squats, 50 overhead lifts with medicine ball, and the elevens.

Tuesday - weight lifting and 1600m row during lunch. A 4-mile run with Bridget in the jogging stroller and Meg on her bike (yep, Mitchell's afterwards!).

Wednesday - rest.

Thursday - 4.5 mile outdoor tempo run maintaining a 10:00 pace during lunch. One hour Hot Powerful Yoga with Tammy at Inner Bliss. This was my 1 hour "Robin" time that Meg gave me. It. Was. Pure. Bliss.

Friday - Phoenix.

Saturday - 3 mile early morning run with Greg in 60+ degree sunshine. Afterwards, the Carlin clan hiked Camelback Mountain. I'll post pictures tomorrow. What an amazing view of Scottsdale. 

Sunday - due to plane travel, the loss of 2 time zones, and moving the clock forward, I couldn't squeeze in my long run. But that's ok. I felt stronger this week and the body always benefits from rest!  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another Good Week (and some sunshine)

I'm slowly increasing my mileage and feeling much stronger. Yesterday, I tackled my 15-miler and, yes, it did hurt at the end. But yesterday I became an ice bath believer. I came home, dropped to the floor, had Meg give me her 3 minute massage, then I hopped into my first ice bath. I had been hearing so much about the good benefits of an ice bath, so I figured, what the hell, I'll do it, too. And it works! Today, my quads and hamstrings aren't screaming at me (usually they do after a long run). Already today, I've easily gone up and down the stairs at least 10 times and I'm not hobbling or miserable. I think ice baths are a "keeper".

My weekly rundown for 3/1 - 3/7:
Monday - rest.
Tuesday - tempo run of 4 boring miles on the dreadmill.
Wednesday - speed session of 4x800 at 6.5 and 7.0 (last one only) with 400 recovery at 4.2 miles. Total distance: 3 miles.
Thursday - 1 hour spin class.
Friday - 3 mile run with jogging stroller (this counts in my world as strength training).
Saturday - 15 miles with several hills in between. This run was not flat, but I'm not complaining because the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I enjoyed hearing the sound of rushing water. It sounded like Spring to me.

Weekly total: 25 miles

January total: 53.5 miles
February total: 78.75 miles

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3 Things About Jogging Strollers

Doodlebug joined me on a short 3-miler Friday after work since the sun was still shining and the weather was still kind enough that a coat wasn't necessary. So off we went in the jogging stroller. I bribed B that if she was good, then we would stop at Mitchell's (yes, I am THAT parent). So here's what I quickly learned about our jogging stroller:

1. In spite of large, off-road tires, snow is still tough to navigate through.

2. Children grow, which is normally a wonderful thing. Unless it results in me pushing an additional 10 pounds up Sweetwater Landing Hill. This counts as strength training, right?!

3. I love this new-found time with my little one - I love that I can squeeze in an after work run and still call it quality time with my little one.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Fun Thursday

Thanks to Karen and her energetic Thursday night spin class, the husband and I were able to squeeze in a date night. We sweated our arses off, listened to some good music (still laughing about the Miley song choice), and spent some quality time with a good friend. Like I said, it was a fun Thursday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Doodlebug

Today my littlest one turns 3! I can't believe how time flies. We were just laughing yesterday about how I waited too long before going to the hospital. It was a new episode of Gray's Anatomy back when Derek and Meredith were worth watching. Today, she received her first little bicycle with trainers. It won't be long till the little one is forced into enduring my cycling and running madness!

So happy birthday, B!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Review: Shooting Stars

I just finished Shooting Stars by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger (of Friday Night Lights). I started the book on my plane ride to Miami and finished it as the wheels were hitting the Tarmac on our return flight to Cleveland. Very quick read. Lebron is humble in this book (as he seems in real life as well). I truly enjoyed learning about his unbreakable bond with his friends as well as learning more about Willie, Dru, Sian and Romeo. If you haven't seen the movie and want a quickread, I would recommend picking up this book.