Monday, May 30, 2011

My First 5k--Complete!!

On Saturday the 28th, I got up at 6:00am to get ready for my FIRST EVER 5K, The PetPromise Rescue Run in Columbus Ohio. I ended up raising $60 to benefit the organization, which is a rescue that also helps with housing, medical care, and spay/neuter services, as well as education. So I got up early, got dressed, packed some food and headed out.
They had pools all over the place
 I got up there just after 8am and registered, got my "swag bag" and number, and got to look around at the different agencies that were there with information. There were a few different rescue organizations, a bunch of gourmet food/biscuit places, booths selling pet-related crafts/shirts/dog clothes/leashes, etc, and stands giving away water, bagels, and bananas.
Strangely enough, my race number is also my billing number for work....

I want to say there were five to seven hundred people there, and most people had also brought their dogs, so it was really fun to walk around and see what types of dogs were there and watch them interact with each other. I didn't take my dogs because they are super-rowdy, and when I run with Bella she gets too excited and tries to knock me down by body-checking and tackling me.
Big Brother is a running machine--he was "just" doing 10+ miles later that day....
Big Brother and Sister-in-Law came to watch, as well as Dad. It was nice that they came out to support me, and even cooler that sis-in-law got to put some pressure on big brother to get a dog--they've been wanting one but he can be pretty stubborn. I was glad to have some support from the fam...

The dog that was the "Master of Ceremonies" was a white pitbull that had been rescued from a horrible situation, and his ears had been cropped nearly completely off, but he was all smiles in his crown and cape:

Anyway, when the race started, I think I took off just a little fast, but was just feeling the energy and going with it. I didn't realize until the race was over that the start was uphill--and only because I was running downhill to get to the finish. So as I was running the first of the two laps, I saw in the distance two of my friends that came down to surprise me--and they brought a sign!!
I was the only person in the whole race with a sign! Thanks Jason's!!

I ran most of the race with only a few walks and only because it was roasting outside and I felt like I was going to die, and I was the dumbass that wore long pants to run in (no more, I promise you that!) The most important part is that I FINISHED!!!! Here is me running into the chute

My time was 40:17, which I'm happy with for now--I'll be excited to whittle away at the time and increase the distance I can run without walking....And just to prove that I gave it everything I had, here is a picture of my efforts:
The big spot was from where my belt sits, not my ass sweating, I swear....
And Big Brother was so proud of me for finishing my first race!
Afterward, we went for pizza at the closest food joint. I got a shower, then hung out with friends in Columbus for a few hours before coming home and taking the dogs out for a 2 mile walk!

So now, I start looking towards Saturday June 4th, when I get geared up and do The Warrior Dash!

Meanwhile, I hope to be able to catch up with everyone's blogs!!! Congrats to everyone that did or is doing a race this week! Happy Memorial Day!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Random Monday and a Long Run

I've been having "stomach issues" for the past couple of weeks off and on, and it has really taken a toll on my running. I have been trying to follow the "above the neck illness=go for it, below the neck=back off" workout advice, which has really meant "no running." I worried I'd get dehydrated or end up having an explosive issue, so I just didn't. I had actually planned to get off work early last Friday so I could go run along the Hocking River in Athens, but it wasn't in the cards--I ended up having to work my normal 12 hours, so I didn't get a run in. Then I was sick over the weekend, so no running there either.

I walked the dogs about 2 miles on Sunday and did a huge amount of yard work, so I got my workouts in.
 I believe there might be a gun show somewhere?? hahaha...
In case there was any doubt about my poor photography ability (the cellphone doesn't take great pics!!)

So today I decided to get off work early (to make up for Friday's fiasco) and run along the river like I'd been planning. The only bad thing was that it was hot as hell (80+) and the sun was beating down--usually I run on the bike path here which is shaded and much cooler than anywhere else. This run today I thought would kill me, but:
I ran 3.5 miles in 37 minutes!!!! (Some of that was run/walk of course) This is so far the furthest I've run, as well as the fastest. I'm amazed that, despite being unable to get the time in, I am still progressing quickly! (Dailymile says I was running approx. 10:30 minute miles, which really means that I was running much faster since I lost time with the walking)....I was very disappointed that the water fountains on the bike path were not working (I pay taxes there, darn it! All I ask is that the Dog Park is maintained, and the water fountains work!) and I ended up pretty dehydrated (headache, crawly skin, nausea) and couldn't seem to get back on track, so instead I blasted the A/C until I got cold and chugged the water I had in the car.

When you look at the lovelies here in the bed, I want you to focus on the very small area between the dogs and the wall. See it? That's where I sleep, with the cat on the pillow next to my case you were wondering! It gets pretty crowded sometimes!
Finally, I just wanted to brag about my upcoming race--I have raised $60 so far for homeless animals in Columbus (not counting the money I'll donate after payday). I will be racing proud on Saturday. Also, my older brother and my dad are coming to cheer me on, then I'm meeting up with friends after for a mellow, sit around and hang out day.
I am pretty excited to spend time with my brother--I sent him a Garmin about a month ago, and have not gotten a chance to find out if he uses/likes it. He is supposed to be reviewing it for me and letting me know if I should get one at some point (I'm pretty sure I will, but I want his opinion).
That's the end of the random Monday post.

What is your favorite running accessory and why? 
Mine is actually a belt that I bought a couple weeks ago that I can fit my keys, cellphone/mp3 player, and ID into. I have everything that I might need right there, and don't have to worry about dropping anything!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Farthest Run Evah!!

I keep starting to type one thing, then read it and think it's boring and erase it--seriously, I've done it like 12 times so far...same with commenting on blog posts...I don't know what it is about today! Maybe that it's my 24 hour shift (I'm 1 1/2 hours in and get done tomorrow at 9pm)..I dunno...Anyway, enough about my insecurities.

Today I woke up feeling like running, which was exciting! I got a new journal yesterday so that I could start recording my runs (suggested by Janae in her Running 101 post) So I got up, fed the doggies, got dressed, and headed out to the bike path. I'd decided to run 2.5 miles at least, and started out feeling really good. It was about 55-60 degrees with a light breeze--a little chilly but comfortable. The first mile was steady running, approximately 12:30. No pain. Usually I turn around and run the second mile back towards the car, but today I decided to keep on going. I just had the thought, "I got this" and kept running. I got to the half mile mark and turned around.
I wish I had brought my camera, because I saw the coolest owl! I have never seen one in real life (outside of nature preserves and places like that) and it just looked at me and watched me the whole way past! So no camera, but it looked like this:
It was beyond cool! So anyway, I kept running. And overall, I ended up running 3 miles, which is the farthest I've ever gone! It took me 39:21 (or close to that anyway) which dailymile told me was a 13:07 pace. So I AM improving! About midway through my second mile, I started having some soreness in my left shin, but it wasn't PAIN exactly, so I didn't feel like I needed to stop. My ankle (also the left one) got a bit sore as well. I figure that there will be soreness, and it's because I'm pushing my body more than I have in a long time. 
So it was cool to go that far, and cool to go that fast, but by far the best part of my run today is that I was able to zone out and pay attention to the scenery (instead of paying attention to the mile marker in the distance)! 
When I finished and headed home, I decided to do a long cool down by taking the pups for a walk. We did our 1.2 mile loop around town, then I went to pick up prescriptions at Kroger (where you can get your Save On, lol). I get the meds filled once a month, and every single time they ask for her birthday, and then say "oh, it's for a dog....are you sure you want to pay this much?" (It's like $30) and every time, I say "yes it's for a dog but it's people medicine, and yes I want to pay for it." I live in a very very small town (there's all of 4 people that work in said pharmacy) and yet they feel the need to ask me every time.....wth???

Anywhoo, today was ultimately a huge success in distance, endurance, and in how I felt during my run! Things are looking up, and you better believe that I will be taking my camera on my next run!! And thank you for the ongoing encouragement, both in comments and in your own blogs! You all inspire me!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Whole Bunch of Giveaways!

So today, I decided to make a huge post-day based on giveaways that others are doing--I want to win some all of them, and as  much as I don't want any more competition than there already is, I figure that if I don't win, I at least want you guys to! Then you can tell me all about it and make me jealous, hahaha! So here goes:

The Studly Runner is having a giveaway for Keen shoes--up to $100 ends 5/23
Racing With Babes is also having a Keen giveaway ends 5/23
MomVSMarathon is having a Merrel shoes giveaway  ends 5/21
Runninghood is giving away a signed copy of Kara Goucher's new book ends 6/2
The Happy Runner is giving away a copy of Running on Empty (book) ends 5/18
Journey in Running is giving away a Sony Walkman ends 5/30
Slowly Tri-ing is having an AWESOME giveaway--you gotta see how AWESOME!!! ends 5/28
Lunges and Lashes is giving away a bunch of great healthy foods 
Cautiously Audacious is giving away jewelry ends 5/18
Forward Foot Strides  is giving away bondiband and socks ends 5/18
Running: My Anti-Drug is giving away an ifitness belt ends 5/21
Runninghood is giving away Rocco's cookbook ends 5/23
Live, Smile, Run has Jillian's  Ripped in 30 days video ends 5/27
The Journey of a Running Green Girl is giving away Spenco sandals ends 5/19
Gourmet Runner is giving away 100 Pushups book ends 5/18
Running to Health is giving away ALO clothes ends 5/26

So there it is, folks, the big list of giveaways. I've entered them all, so give me a *run* for my money (I know, I am a hilarious beast!!) and enter too! All of these giveaways have me brainstorming about when I'll have my first one and what will be the won't be for awhile but I'd love to have suggestions!

I ran yesterday on the bike path, and did 2.25 miles in 30 minutes. My new shoes are awesome, and though I did have some soreness the first day I ran in them, it seems like my body has adjusted. I set out to do my run steady, and wanted to be aware of my body and form. I have a tendency to run with my shoulders up, which is distracting and makes my breathing tighter. I changed the way I hold my arms (and was doing this mind-game) so that my palms face toward the ground (kind of like T-Rex arms, lol), hands open, and I was imagining pulling air from in front of me to behind me (I guess like swimming) and that moving the air was helping me to keep in motion and running. I also was focusing on my legs, trying to make my hamstrings work with my quads to keep my legs moving (since I had soreness in my quads the last time I ran).....Overall, I think that keeping the focus on working my body to keep moving (instead of "gosh, I still have this far to go" or "I feel like I'm dying") really helped me!! I have not had any soreness or strained muscles today. So hooray for me, I think I found my form and found my inner coach. 

I hope this makes sense--I'm kind of all over the place today! Enjoy your Tuesday everybody, and good luck on those giveaways!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Super Saturday: This Week Wrap-Up

Hey everyone!! I am so glad Blogger is back up and running! The *stutter* that happened did give me a chance to catch up on everyone's blogs (thank you Google Reader!!) and I'm so inspired by everyone! There are so many people running 5k, 10k, half- and full marathons, I just love hearing about everyone's experiences--I can't wait to join the ranks and talk about my own races (soon, very soon). Actually, in exactly 2 weeks I will be running my first 5k (oh my goodness, is it really only two weeks?) I feel like I am nowhere near being ready to run 3.1 miles--but I digress.

So I had been talking about going to get a gait analysis, thinking that I would do that after my 5k, since I will be in the nearest city that has a specialty running store, but the planets aligned (ok, not really like that, I ended up volunteering to do some extra work) and I drove to Huntington WV on Thursday. Well, I volunteered for the extra work (driving a complete stranger out of state) after looking up running stores in Huntington and finding....TAADAAAA!!!!!! There is a store called Roberts Running and Walking Store right downtown!!

I went to the store initially to get a gait analysis and a foam roller, since I've been having a lot of tightness in my right hamstring, and stretching just wasn't cutting it....I walked in, and the employees were soooo nice! The guy that helped me asked if I planned on buying shoes or just having the analysis. I told him that if I was already wearing the correct shoes, that I would not buy more. We went from there....He watched me walk back and forth in the store (I had to take off my obnoxious socks because they were distracting him, hahaha) and said that my feet roll in when I walk. He also said that my left foot is bigger than my right foot (for real, yo, I've never been really normal...) He brought out some shoes and let me jog around the store and the parking lot to decide which ones felt the best. HOLY COW! I had no idea how different each shoe was! And I finally settled on a sweet little pair of shoes that feel like I'm running on a little piece of heaven!

They are so comfortable! So I was looking at the foam roller, and decided that I should probably run in the right shoes and see if that helps with the hammies before buying one. The guys at the store were so cool, they gave me a discount since I drove 2 hours to get there, and said that they would be more than happy to ship anything to me that I wanted to buy later on down the road!!! Overall a very successful mission.
On the way home, I saw a roadside farm stand and ended up buying $20 worth of the most amazing tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe. And drove home grinning like a lunatic....Got home, and found a package had been delivered--the giveaway that I had won from Steph at RUNON!

That's the coolest! Now I get to shop online at Forever21 while eating blended skittles and peach rings! I'm not a chocolate person (give me french fries any day!) so I donated that to a friend "in need" (of a chocolate fix, lol)!!!
So in summary, Thursday was totally freaking awesome!!! I got up Friday and ran 2.25 miles on the local bike path, mostly running with only a little walking, which is better than I have been doing! My legs felt different, and ache in places they haven't ached before (like the fronts of my hips), probably from running correctly and using the right muscles, so I'll be using Julia's stretching advice (she is just fabulous--if you don't already follow her, you so should!!!) and getting on track!!!
I am working today 13 hours, and tomorrow 10 hours (both on-call), then taking this cutie-pie back to the vet Monday morning:
She had a cancerous tumor removed a few weeks ago, and now the incision site is swollen again. So back to the vet we will go! (And then I'll go run, after I know that everything is okay then I can fall apart--I hate when my babies get sick!)

Well, duty calls, I'm off to the jail! For work, not for fun, hahaha! Have a great rest of the weekend!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Triple Tangent Tuesday!

I have been MIA for a few days, but no worries--I am back and better than ever! I have been running every other day (or at least trying to run, lol) and trying to get ready for my first 5k in 18 days!!! Getting excited about the race part, but also about the atmosphere--there will be people running with their dogs, and I wish I could take mine, but they are a bit too wild for a big event like that!!

 Woo Hoo!! And now: the tangents!
1. I break easily....About 5 years ago, I was riding my skateboard in the skate park near here (yes, I am THAT cool!!). I skated off and on since high school, and was getting back into it and riding around in the half-pipe. I hit one part "just right" and fell, putting my right arm down to catch myself. I heard this crack, and felt my arm kind of dangling there...This is what happened to my forearm:

I know the ER staff from work, so I got them to take pictures (is my weirdness showing??).  So--double compound fracture...and some mean-looking scars!
2. I have been binge eating salads. Is it even possible to eat too much salad? I have these bowls that hold about 5 cups, and have been using them as salad bowls. My co-workers make fun of me, but I'm convinced that they're secretly jealous that my meals last so long (lol, it takes a long time to eat 5 cups of anything!)
3. My last run was pretty disappointing. My hamstring was so tight that I had to stop and walk, and that's after stretching! I decided to try and pick up a foam roller today so that I could roll out those stubborn back and leg muscles. I went to Wal-Mart (don't laugh, there are no running stores here--the closest is over an hour away) and, despite the website saying they carried them, there were no foam rollers. So I'm SOL until I get to a store--prob. will happen when I go to do the 5k, since there are a few specialty stores in Columbus. I planned to go get a gait analysis to figure out the right shoes to wear, so I can just pick up a roller there. Still, it bummed me out. The cool part was that they actually had a belt for keys/id/etc so I bought that as a consolation prize and will use it the next outside run (Thurs or Fri).


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Planning for my 1st 5k

My week in workout:
Sunday--1.5 miles on treadmill
Tuesday--1.5 mile walk with Bella and Abby
Today--1.15 miles on the treadmill--I stopped at 17 minutes because I felt like I was going to throw up, but my body and mind are energized despite the stomach issues!
Me after today's run!

I also decided to get some time off work later in the month so I can RUN MY 1ST 5K!!!! 
So I will be running in the PetPromise Rescue Run, trying to raise money for homeless animals on May 28th in Columbus Ohio!!! In case you have any extra money (lol) to donate, go here to my donation page! I am getting so excited for this and I think signing up will keep me motivated to run longer and smarter. My mini goal with the 5k is to run 3.1 miles at least twice before the race, so I need to get on it. I feel good about choosing a charity run, especially one that benefits animals. It happens one week before The Warrior Dash and I didn't want that to be my first official run. So within the next month, I will be running two races and finishing both!!
I also splurged on myself this week: I ordered 4 books from I am *patiently* awaiting their arrival. Here's what I ordered:
  • Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Matt Fitzgerald
  • Nancy Clark's Food Guide for New Runners: Getting it Right From the Start by Nancy Clark
  • The Courage to Start:  A Guide to Running for Your Life by John "The Penguin" Bingham
  • The Athlete's Palate Cookbook
 Has anyone read these books? I'm looking forward to finding out about nutrition changes I can make (and I love a good cookbook!) and other ways to tweak what I'm doing to make whatever improvements I can.
So I'm curious: What is one thing you wish you would have known when starting running?
I wish I would have known that everyone has bad days with their runs--when I started in December with Couch to 5k, I thought that every day should be better than the ones before. I held myself to a very high standard, and beat myself up if I didn't live up to it. Reading other blogs and seeing that you amazing people are so positive and supportive of just getting out there made me cut myself some slack, and I think I enjoy it more now! So, thanks everyone!