Monday, December 24, 2012

Things I have learned this week:

I think a lot of this process has been about learning. Learning about running, learning about myself and learning about how things work together. The last week has brought about a lot of those moments when I finally figured something out.

First, last weekend was my first Magic Mile weekend. I was not really looking forward to it since I know my time is not the best and to have it be "official" I was unsure if I really wanted to see it for real. Since it was part of the training program I decided to trust the process. The next hurdle after deciding to do this was to find a place. Jeff Galloway really stresses using a track or a specific distance path. I could have done it at school but it would mean either driving back to work or staying after (and risking having people see me doing this) or using the 1/8 mile track at Page. Unfortunately LHS track is not open to the public to use. Another option might be the Civic Center Park loop but I didn't really think of that one. The weather was warm (52) but there was a light mist and the humidity was really high. I clocked in with a 9:52 MM. According to the Galloway calculator it means I should be training at 11:52 minutes per mile which is close to where I have been (usually a little faster) but it means my body is doing something right. So lesson one: Trust the experts

Second, the last two weeks I have had a hard time with my week day maintenance runs. Between the weather, the cold, the dark and just being lazy I have only been able to do 1 out of 4. I figured that it would be fine, I have been training and those are just short runs anyway, only 3 miles or so. What would it hurt. BOY was I wrong. I think part of my issues yesterday during my long run were because I skipped the maintenance runs. Lesson two: Respect the maintenance run recommended by the experts.

Third, it was COLD yesterday. I have run in the cold but yesterday it was the coldest I have had to deal with. It was 28 with a wind chill of 23. It was sunny and nice. I had on a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a running jacket and I was perfect (with my headband to cover my ears and gloves). The issue that I found was I kind of forgot about my legs. I had on my running leggings but they are not very thick. Around mile 7 my thighs got really tight and I know it had to do with the cold. Then once that happened I changed my stride and next thing I knew my knees were bothering me. I have not had knee issues at all in this so I know it had to do with things getting tight. Now, you might wonder why my thighs, I think it was because they are the most exposed and in "front". No idea but I know from now on if I layer the top, I am totally layering the bottom too!!! Lesson three: Make sure to dress all parts of you for the weather.

Fourth, running in new places makes running go faster. I was unsure about where to do 10 miles. I did not want to make the loop in the neighborhood since Jeff made me self conscience about what people would think of me. So I snapped on my new hydration belt and headed up to Civic Center. The 1 mile loop was nice and somehow I thought it would be fun to do the hill during mile 3. WOW, that was harder than I thought it would be but it was fun!! I will run up there again. Lesson four: Bringing water with you lets you explore new stuff which is kind of fun!!

Finally, Powerade is not evil. I have never liked Gatorade or other sports drinks. I think they taste nasty and I cannot stomach them. Well, after 10 miles in just over 2 hours the 32 ounces of Fruit Punch cold goodness was wonderful!!! Lesson five: Sports drinks have a time and a place

Overall I am proud I finished 10 miles and at this point going 13.1 seems like no problem. I do hope I can overcome this knee thing and I do know, I will not be skipping anymore midweek runs, even if it means the dreadmill at 9pm!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Shoes and Clearing My Mind

My mom got me an early Christmas present this week. I knew I had to get a new pair of shoes before Princess and I wanted to have time to break them in. When I went into Hanson's and tried on a few pairs of shoes. Nothing felt quite "right" so after talking to the sales guy, I decided to just get another pair of the Mizuno Wave Rider 15's I already had. Problem was that they did not have my size in the store so they had to get them from one of the other locations. When I went to get them I was pleasantly surprised that they were PINK!! It seems they had a 15th anniversary special edition and so these were a different color in the same shoes!

I took them out for a spin on Tuesday for my short run. I did about 2.5 miles and I again had some tightness in my RIGHT achilles. It is the exact same thing that was happening when I started running. Based on this, I am pretty sure it has to do with the new shoes. I did another almost 3 miles tonight and they felt pretty good. I have my long run this weekend and so I will go back to my old shoes. My plan is to have them completely broken in before Princess so I can wear them since they are SO CUTE!

The new ones!!
Training is ramping up and so is the weather. Trying to get my week day runs in is a challenge at times since Jeff sometimes is not home until after 5pm and it is already dark. Tuesday my mom was great and came over and stayed with the kids so I could get back before dark. Today Jeff was already home and working on the cameras so I was able to get out again before dark. It was nice to be able to clear my head and have some time for me. I really wish though that I could leave it all out there. While I feel great during my runs and right after it seems to come back and hit me hard as the night goes on. I don't really have that ongoing calm that people mention.

The Originals

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Running in the D!!

This morning was the Turkey Trot. I had decided to do this awhile ago as my final 10K for the Princess. I was thinking it would be cool/cold so I could possibly bring my time down for a final corral placement update.

As I began planning this I knew a few things. First, this is Michigan and the chances for bad weather on Thanksgiving are pretty good. Second, I did not want to fight downtown crowds at 6am for an 8am race (in the cold if that was what it was). Third, I know Abby loves to be at races with me. The Turkey Trot was offering a $99 a night room at the Ren Cen. Originally Leigh and Lana were going to go with me, the kids, and my mom as a girls/kids event. Somehow they decided not to go and Jeff decided he wanted to go. I asked Hayley to come with us to help out with the kids and we had a plan (well, kind of). We were going to spend the night, I would get up, race and meet everyone at the finish and then we would head towards the end of the parade, watch it depending on the weather and be home by noon to get ready for dinner. As with everything the best laid plans....

Last night Hayley, mom, Abby, Danny and I headed down to check in about 5pm. By the time we got in and got to the room (connecting rooms on the 28th floor!!!) and got back downstairs it was time for cookie decorating! I guess this is a Ren Cen Marriott tradition and it was wonderful. They were HUGE sugar cookies (can you believe we ate them without a single picture?), and they had different colored icing bags and toppings. It was quick and so fun. We had a quick dinner at Subway/Burger King and then in Danny's words we went on an adventure. There were escalators, elevators and revolving doors and the kids had a blast!

Here is Danny outside the hotel. We had gone out to check out how things looked on the river. The night was really mild and Abby was in love with the revolving doors because she could do them herself. Outside the hotel is part of the riverwalk and there is a map of the world that I think has water that comes out of it in the summer. I was laying down on it to take this shot and I was completely shocked that Danny stood still for the whole 2 seconds it took to take the shot!
On our adventure, the kids decided to check out some of the Christmas decorations that were already up. This was one of the first stops. Now, on a non running note, GM has done a great job with decorations. The car area is set up and the focal point at the entrance is a beautiful red Corvette that is inside a HUGE present frame with a bow. It was closed but I do know I want to take Danny down there next summer so he can check out all the cars when it is open. It was so cute.

Jeff met us there after he was done and we headed back upstairs to try and get the kids settled. Because of the parade and the amount of kids in the hotel they were out of cribs so we pushed the bed next to the wall and Danny spent his first night in a big bed with me. He did great but he was talking as he usually does. It was awesome.

RACE DAY!!! My first text came from my sister at 6am wishing me luck and saying she wished she was there. I thought that was really nice. Next I started to here from the girls in my Disney Princess Running group. There were 6 of us running this race so we were going to try and meet up for a picture before the race.

Here we are before the race started in front of Hart Plaza!
Margaret, Jennifer, Me, Renee and Rebecca

Renee and I had been worried about the weather all week. I had planned for Michigan in November, that was completely silly of me, I have lived here my whole life and I should know to never plan on anything weatherwise since it changes too fast. Turns out it was fine. I ran with my sleeves pushed up and I was completely comfy. It was 43 at the start with some fog and it was 61 as a high and BEAUTIFUL!!

So, after the picture we all moved towards the start. Jennifer and I were both hoping to PR today and decided that despite my sore foot (still a problem after Vegas--it is the outside of my left foot and it is completely weird) and her cold, we would try and pace together. We decided to do 2/1 intervals (we did some adjusting). Once over we realized that getting into the corrals was going to be hard. There was 1 opening and 1000s of people. We ended up having to go through the rails of the gates (good thing we are both small) and got into the back of what should have been the first wave. The National Anthem was sung and we were off, well kind of. We walked to the mat and started to slowly move. This was 7:50am. Supposedly the first 2 waves were going off at 7:45 following 15 minutes later by the next 2 waves and then 10 minutes later the walkers. From what it seemed and what I have read, everyone went off at the same time which put too many people onto the course at once and it put too many walkers and slower runners into the mix of those who were faster. We zig zagged and walked a lot more than we planned for the first 1/2 mile until we got on to Woodward. From there it opened up and it was awesome to run through the D. We went by Comerica Park, the Fox and it was so nice to see the people waiting for the parade! We got to the first turn at about 1.4 miles and it was a stop again. People were cutting the corner it as so bad but we stuck with it. At about 2 miles we decided to get into using the intervals. Up until this point we just ran when we could. Also we both had a couple GPS blurps because of the buildings which was odd. We finally got to the 10K turn off and it got a lot better!! We could get into a good pace and it was so pleasant out. We went through Corktown and the next turn was at Slow's!! It was cool but I was shocked how far down we went.

With all the walking and slow stuff at the start we knew we were not on track to get a PR but we were OK. We talked almost the entire race and there was never a place where I could not talk. We finally got in front of Cobo and would you believe it, there is a HILL!! There are no hills in Detroit. It was balanced out by the downhill going behind Cobo. At this point we were about at 1:10 and OK and then disaster, it was a complete bottle neck. .2 miles from the finish and it was a complete stop! We stopped our watches at 1:12 (my read 6.27 miles). We walked the rest of the way. It was completely nuts. I guess the explanation was that they had not planned on the construction outside Cobo and it took up the finish area, also with the medals they were handing out it was taking time (they should have moved this WAY back). Now the best part of my finish was I looked over towards the river and who was right there but Jeff holding Danny. I moved over to them and got to say hi and see them. It made my day. I went back to Jennifer and we got our medals. It is my first official race bling! 

I got my medal, water, said goodbye and went off to find everyone. At this point I got the awesome "you are roaming in Canada" message (seriously, how is it MY FAULT I live on an international border, I am so sick of Canadian roaming charges when I am on the river). I found my mom, Hayley and the kids pretty quick. It seems Jeff had gone to look for me and I had cut over a barrier so we missed each other. Abby was sad because she did not get to see me finish like she did the last 2 times but we took our end of the race picture and that cheered her up. Of course, Danny had other things to check out during the picture.

At this point the plan was to head to the parade. Both kids were cranky from waiting and Pattie had sent a text that where we were headed was a complete mad house (because of the good weather) so somehow it was decided to head to the People Mover so Danny could ride the train. He had saw it above them as they waited for me and of course he was in love with the idea of riding it. We got on at the Ren Cen and took it the entire loop. We did get several good views of the parade. Probably the best was Abby asking why the dance girls with the band had no pants on (they had on leotards). She was very concerned that they were out without pants! Danny and Abby both had a blast. I am sad we did not get to see the parade but the kids were tired and hungry and I think it had been a long morning for everyone. We went back to the hotel, packed up and we were home before noon!!

Overall I enjoyed the experience. I think that knowing there are going to be 22,500 runners in one place is one thing, running with them is a completely different one. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the costumes and the weather. It was also nice to run with someone. I spend so much time running alone that it was cool. It did not even turn my music on one time!

Will I do it again? Probably. It was nice and I think as the kids get older we can do the race and the parade. I will just go into the race knowing it is for fun and NOT for time!!

I love the shirt!! Can't wait to wear it on a training run soon!

Oh yeah, my "official" time was a 1:18 (it took us over 6 minutes to cross the finish line)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Training inside!

This weekend I was at the NCTE conference in Las Vegas. I knew I had to get a couple runs in while I was there but I was not comfortable with outdoor running there. I was unsure of where to go and how it would be with so many people. With this in mind, I was resigned to indoors for this trip. I checked and made sure NYNY had a gym (it did) and so off I went.

Since we were up early on Friday because we were on Michigan time, I went to the gym nice and early. I got a treadmill that overlooked the small little pool there and the service area. To put it mildly, it was NOT a lot of fun. I had a horrible pace and I could just never get into the right rhythm. I did just over 2 miles and called it quits. As always happens, as soon as I got off I felt disoriented, almost like getting off a boat. It is NOT pleasant. Once again it reminded me that I am not an indoor runner, give me the outdoors and I am thrilled. That is strange coming from the girl who cannot stand camping.

As the weekend progressed I realized I was talking a horrible about back and forth from NYNY to MGM for the conference. I was walking at a brisk pace and it was over 1.5 miles each way. By Sunday when I was supposed to run again, I knew I had walked to much. The outside of my left foot was really sore and so I took the day off since I knew I had the Turkey Trot on Thursday. I figure my walking balanced things out OK and I had Tuesday or Wednesday to run before the race!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Election and Running

This is not exactly running related BUT I am beginning to bring things all together in my mind. The last few weeks have been stressful with the election approaching. So many uncertainties are out there and it is hard to not worry about what might be. This last weekend I had committed to working the phone banks at the MEA office for Proposal 2 so I knew I had to plan my weekend around this. Even though it was only a couple of hours, it was going to break up my Sunday. Since I have been unusually stressed on Sundays I wanted to get a lot done Saturday and see if it helped.

Jeff had made me a massage appointment for Saturday morning and as always it was great. I generally don't like to run after I have a massage but the weather was perfect. It was cool (43 with a little wind) but the sun was out so I decided to get my 6 miles in Saturday afternoon. I have to say it was PERFECT. It got rid of my stress, I had a great run at a great pace and it was one less thing for me to schedule in on Sunday.

I have found that running really does help me clear my head. I am stressed tonight and I really wish I had gotten out for a run. I had a headache after work and Jeff was running late so I kind of got it out of my mind but I know I would feel better right now if I had.

Running has given me an escape and I think I have to just go with it and enjoy how it feels. I know tomorrow is going to be hard as the day goes on so I am going to make sure that I get out and run! I just hope whatever happens tomorrow is an improvement and not another rocky path until the next election.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Even the bad days are good now

Today was one of those run days that just stink. I felt good heading out. It was a crazy weather day here that seems to happen every fall. It was about 75 when I headed out at 4:30pm. It was windy and leaves are everywhere. I figured since I felt good and it was nice out I would get in a good 45 minute run. I decided to switch things up and decided to do a distance interval tonight. I was planning on 0.5 miles/0.25. I don't know what made me pick those but it sounded good. The beginning was awesome and I had a great pace. My path led me into the nature center and it went down hill from there.

Once in I decided to do my usual run backwards to switch it up. Mistake 2 in this whole thing. I was just turned around and it was weird (I am a creature of habit). The other issue was I could not get into a rhythm. Either I went off too fast or I was having issues from all the dried leaves but I was miserable. It was like I was running through water even though my pace was OK. I just felt wrong the whole time.

In the end I did 32 minutes and the last 22 SUCKED but at the end I still was glad I did it. I have my eye on the prize and I really want to do this for myself. I know there will be good days and there will be bad ones. I guess I am just glad my bad one is out of the way for this week at least.

Five miles coming up this weekend and I honestly can't wait!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little regret but a BIG goal

Today is the Detroit Marathon. Over the summer I came across this race and I was excited about it. There are basically 3 races (and a relay) during this race. There is the full marathon that goes over the bridge and back through the tunnel, out to Belle Isle and then done, the International half that does the first half of the marathon course and then the non international half that does the second half including Belle Isle. When I brought it up to Jeff he was the voice of reason. First, it would mean ramping my training up to get ready on time. It would also mean my first half would not be the Princess as I had planned. We had already invested a lot in the Princess and I did want it to be special and I do not want to take away from it.

As today got closer I was more and more disappointed in my choice to not run the half downtown. I have several friends running in it and another Princess friend was making it her first. I just kept telling myself I can do it in 2013 and it will give me another goal to shoot for, plus I can work on a good time finish in Detroit since I know for Princess I am not going for time.

The posts on Facebook started about 2 hours ago as people I know are finishing and showing off their bling. Instead of being jealous (OK, I am 100% jealous) I have decided to turn this into a real goal. I want to run the Detroit FULL MARATHON in 2013. I know I can do it and I have already mentioned it to Jeff since I will need his support to make this happen because it will be a sacrifice for everyone since I know the training is more but it will also mean I can do it at home and I don't have the expense and hassle of traveling (though doing the Disney Full is still a dream--just not a goal yet). So I have 364 days to make this happen. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Detroit Run Wild for the Zoo

Today was my next race in my 3 race plan. After my AdvoKate race, I was really hoping for a nice, cool, fall day. Today's weather did not disappoint. Before I get into the race, I need to go over where I am and have been.

With school heading back this month, training has definitely gotten harder. I am tired after work and it is also getting darker earlier. To work out before I go into school I would have to be at the gym by 5am and I just am not there yet. Jeff has been supportive of my evening runs but I just feel like time gets away from me so quickly and I just have trouble enjoying the time.

This week I knew I had to make sure and get in my runs before the race. On Tuesday I had the brilliant idea that the kids, my mom and sister (with my niece) could meet us at the local park. I could run the 1/2 loop around while they played. It would make sure the kids had fun, I would get my run in, I could give Jeff some time. What didn't happen was I never got into a good run pattern. I was always always the kids and looking for them. Also, it was BORING to do the same loop again and again. I did it though and it did work out so I am sure we will do it again, though next time I think I am going to suggest Civic Center so I can do the 1 mile loop with some hills.

On to today's race. After some planning and moving things, my mom figured out last night she could come to the race but would have to leave right after. This was fine and actually worked out well. Abby really had wanted to come see me run (she loves yelling "Go MOMMY GO!) so the plan was for her to stay with my mom during the race and then she would hang out with me and we would head home after.

Friday after work I rushed home and got Abby from school and then Danny from my mom's. I knew I could pick up my race stuff and the Zoo was open until 5pm. Abby and Danny had been begging to go to the park and the weather was perfect so I decided we could do everything. We got to the zoo just after 4pm so they had almost 45 minutes to play on the playset there. I will admit, it is an awesome place for kids to play. So much to do and there was almost no one there so we had the place almost to ourselves. Danny wanted to stop and see the penguins so we made a quick stop there before heading out at closing time (never closed the zoo before). I was able to get my race stuff super easy, though it would have been no big deal to get it in the morning before the race.

Yesterday I did a nice 2 miles in the morning since it was so nice out and I just wanted to get out. I also had read a couple people reporting if they dropped their intervals it actually improved their time so I went from 2/1 to 1:30/1 for yesterday. It felt great and did bring my time down a few seconds but I was not going all out.

This morning started early. I was up about 6am and both kids were up by 7am. Abby was ready to leave the minute she bounced out of bed but I knew that the race wasn't until 8:45am and I did not want her to get to bored waiting around for the end of the race. Jeff and Danny were going to spend the morning doing guy stuff like reading books, playing cars and getting ready for a day of football so we knew they would be happy. Abby decided to ride with my mom so I was alone on the ride over. Due to not really paying attention, I was not prepared for the backup to exit the expressway. It was almost 3/4 of a mile back. So I got off but was in the left lane. I decided instead of being a jerk and trying to force my way over, I would just park across 696. Worked out great. No problems. I just crossed and was there about the same time Abby and my mom pulled in.

It was chilly at the start of the 5K at 8am, probably about 55. Everyone was in a good mood and Abby had a ball playing with other kids waiting around. I was completely shocked by the number of people in the 5K. According to the results there were 1916 finishers for this part. I was hoping to get out to the start to see Renee off but it was just busy and I didn't think I had a chance to find her. Here is a shot of Abby and I waiting.

It was finally time for me to head to the start. Abby wanted to walk out but as luck would have it she tripped and hurt her knee and did not want to walk any more. I was a little surprised when I got to the start. First, I had no idea there was actually a sidewalk on the service drive. Second, I did not realize that it being only two lanes, it was really not that wide.

After the Race
We had some sing the Nation Anthem and then we were off. Most of the first mile was on the service drive and it was pretty crowded but not too bad. After the golf course we went into the subdivision where most of the rest of the race was. It wasn't bad. There was a water stop at miles 1, 3 and 5. I had left my watch on my 1:30/1 setting and instead of messing with it, I went with it. By mile 3 I was in complete shock. I was under 11 min/miles. Same for mile 4 and 5. My last mile was strange. I felt OK but it seemed like it got crowded again and it was hard to get into the right pace. For the last 1/2 mile or so, we ran along the sidewalk of Woodward which was not very wide before making the turn into the zoo. It was really neat because the announcer actually said the same of the finishers. As I came around the corner though, I was in SHOCK at my time. I was going to finish under 67 minutes (unless I stopped). My official time was 1:06:22 and I was thrilled. Slightly annoyed with myself that I could not have gone a little faster to stay under 66 minutes but still super happy since it was almost 7 minutes off my time from my last race!

Abby, my mom and Renee with her friend Stacy were at the finish and it was so fun to have people there I knew. After that it was time for my mom to leave and Abby and I to have some zoo time. We did the playground, the Merry-Go-Round and the Butterflies. It was a great morning though my only complaint was the smell of the hot dogs that were served at the post race party was not at all what I wanted at 10am after a run.

I had a great day and Abby is already asking when is the next race. I think she is not going to love this one if it is a cold Michigan Thanksgiving but at least there will be Marching Bands there (her newest obsession even though she has never seen one in person).

Galloway Training for the Princess officially starts on the 1st of October and I cannot wait!!!

Update (10/2)--I was looking online tonight because I remember there was a guy at the race with a big camera who looked official. Sure enough, I found the pictures from the zoo online and the biggest bonus---There were 2 of me and a link to let me put them into my blog. So here it is (BAD PICTURES--but it was at about mile 6 since the finish was right around the corner)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Planning for the fall

As hard as it is to believe 2 weeks from today I will be back at school full time. I know what this means. It means coming home tired with tired kids. I also know it is a struggle to get everything done, cook dinner and have a good evening before it is time to go to bed to do it all over again.

When I started this plan to run the Princess it was during the school year BUT it was the end of the year and as any teacher knows, there is just something different about the last two months compared to the first two. Add to that the days will be getting shorter instead of longer and it means I need to have a really good plan to make sure I get my training in.

As much as I love my house it has one HUGE problem. There is only the one full bathroom. It works out fine but it won't work well for working out in the morning and going into work. The kids get up a lot later than I do and Jeff takes care of all the morning stuff and getting them ready and to school. If I were to run and then shower at home, the kids would wake up by 6am which is just too early for them. So since I cannot run and NOT shower I am on to the 2012-2013 school year plan. Two mornings a week I am going to get up at 5am to be at Planet Fitness and on the threadmill by 5:15am. That will give me 45 minutes to run. Then I can get ready there and be on the road to school by 6:20am which is when I try and leave from home. I am not sure how I feel about this but I cannot rely on being able to do it at night. It will be getting darker earlier and I get so little time with the kids as it is. If that proves to hard I guess I will run later in the evening at the gym but I want to try and make sure that my training does not impact everyone too much.  I will do my long runs on the weekend outside whenever possible since I prefer outside!!

Next week I am going to do a test run of how this will be but I will get to come back home! During the week of PD I am committing to trying it two times to get my timing correct. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My first 10K Race

Actually in some ways I guess I could say this was my first real race regardless of length. The Race for the Cure was a lot of fun but it was not really timed and there were SO MANY people. Plus, it was so early in my training.

Today was the advoKate run. This race is a charity race to raise money for the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. The race is focused on research for brain cancer. It is the 6th annual race and I am glad I took part in it.

I am so thankful for my mom on days like this. Jeff is up north for his annual boys golf weekend so I had both kids and the race was an early start. After talking about it we decided my mom would come out to the race with me and the kids. While I was running they would play in the park and walk around. Abby was thrilled with the chance to go to the "Big Race" as she called it. The morning started out good. Got the kids up and out on time. I had a banana this morning for breakfast and once again I think I do a lot better when I eat almost nothing before I run. I did drink some water but I just cannot stomach anything before I run. I am not sure what is going to happen when my mileage goes up to double where I am but I think I am going to have to figure that one out as I go.

The race started from Rochester Municipal Park in Rochester Hills. Again, super glad my mom was with me because she had been to the park before and knew right where to go to get to the main entrance. The park was super nice. I got checked in super fast and then I got a surprise call. Andrea did not originally think she could join me for the race but things worked out and she was able to! So we met up and went to the start line. It was hard to hear the starting instructions but I figured it could not be too much (should have listened a little more as you will see in a little bit). The horn sounded and we were off. Andrea was going to do the 5K so we were together for the first 2 miles until the split. Now, one of the things they told us before the race that I could not hear was a warning about the hills at the beginning of the course. Not sure why it never occurred to me that there might be hills in Rochester HILLS but I was a little shocked. It kind of felt like we just went uphill for most of the first 1 or so.

I was planning to use my 2/1 intervals but to get out of the middle of the pack we ran the first 5 minutes (about 1/2 mile). Then we switched to intervals. There was another group using the same timing about 5 seconds off of us which was nice! After 2 miles we made the split. Andrea headed back into the park and I headed off onto the Paint Creek Trail. I am actually so glad for the trail. I was a little worried in the beginning since it was packed gravel but it was so nice. There was shade and water along the path. We went 1.5 out on the trail and actually into Oakland. The Oakland County Sheriff and Rochester Hills police did a great job with traffic. Even though we had to cross 3 main roads there was not any real stop. They were watching for the runners and stopped traffic so we could just keep going!

The finish was the best and I think that is where you get the real high from racing. My mom and Barb made sure the kids were at the finish to see me. When Abby spotted me she was yelling "Go Mommy" and once I came through and came around she was right there with me. She walked a little with me and was so cute. She was so happy and it was so nice to have them there to cheer for me.

I stuck to my intervals pretty good except for water stations. Since those don't always come during the walk time I had a little extra. One fun thing was that everything from Jeff Galloway's book held true. I was using a set interval and there were 2 runners close to me. They would get ahead of me during my walks but I would catch right back up. I ended up finishing in front of one of them and behind the other but we were all close. The women using the intervals at the beginning also finished close behind me so we really did pace right on track using them. I think the best part was I felt great at the end.

My official time is not posted yet but I think it was right at 1:13 which was better than I had hoped for. Not making excuses but when the race started it was 78 degrees and the humidity was really high. At the end of the race it was 80 with a real feel temp of 83 so I am hoping that my race in September will be a little cooler.

Another fun thing for this race was I wore my Princess training shirt and it makes me smile. Here are so shots from the end of the race!!

What's next? Run Wild at the Zoo in September!!

And only 201 days until the Princess!!

One more fun thing. If you are considering checking out the Galloway method, here is the new RunDisney video featuring Jeff Galloway (be careful, it sticks in your head)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2 Miles This Morning

The title may seem like it is nothing. I mean come on, I did 7 miles on Sunday and I am training for a half marathon. Why would I care about a 2 mile run? Well the reason is because I did 2 miles without a walk break this morning. I have been working on increasing my milage on my training runs. Galloway has mentioned that if it feels OK it is fine to not use intervals for the shorter runs so I am trying for that.

In the past I have done 1 mile and then took a short break. This morning was one of those perfect Michigan mornings. It was made for a run (and I saw 3 other runners out there). It was a perfect 62 degrees. I set out with the plan to run 1.25 then walk .25. Once I got there I felt great so I kept going. Tomorrow I am going out again (trying to get a rest day in Friday so I can run Saturday).

I honestly felt great. I love using my intervals but I want to use my training runs for endurance and speed so I can focus on length on my long runs. I am getting excited. Only 1.5 weeks until my first 10K.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

7 Miles=Maybe this isn't going to kill me

This morning was another long run where I ran the longest distance I have ever run. As I mentioned before I am sticking with the Jeff Galloway plan and am currently using the 10K training plan. This morning called for 7 miles.

This week I also started and finished the "Galloway Training Programs" book (and actually I ordered it as an actual book in class I wanted to take notes or something). The book did not tell me a lot more than I was able to get from the website but it did offer some real world stories of how his method helped runners and made running a longer distance something anyone can do. After reading this and working with his training programs for almost 4 months, I see what he is talking about.

For my run today I decided to use the biggest advice from his site and the book: Start slow and maintain the slower pace until the end. This has been hard for me. I want to do this all FAST! I mean come on, I should be doubled over and about to puke when I am done with 7 miles right? That was how it was in high school when we did any kind of distance runs. I should also be sore when this is over. Well, following his plan I was able to do all 7 miles at a 12:40 minute mile for the entire time. Now, I want to be down and closer to the 12 min/mile or even 11:30 for my race in 2 weeks. I hope the competitive nature of a race will lower my time a little. Plus when I was done today, I felt great! I wasn't sore, I didn't feel bad and I could have kept going (but I am working hard to trust the plan).

Another fun break through for me was realizing where I would be on the Princess Course after today. An online friend pointed out that 7 miles takes us from Epcot, through the Magic Kingdom and past the Grand Floridian on our way back to Epcot for the finish.

It is kind of fun to be able to look at the map and see that I can do this! 7 months from today we will be arriving down in Florida. It means I have a lot more training to do, probably the hardest training since it will be during the school year but I have time and I can do this!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

There is no turning back now--I am registered

Tuesday, July 10th was registration day. I knew I was not going to be able to get online exactly at noon when it opened since we had a watermark day scheduled, but I did know I wanted to do it the first day it opened.

When I got home I had a lot to do so I planned to do it after the kids went to bed. I have to say, going online and registering was harder than I thought it would be. First, I had to make some decisions before I went through the process. Number 1 was what Princess was I going to be. I had been thinking and I had decided on Snow White since with my hair I thought it would be easier to plan for. Next I had to decide what to do about the Race Retreat for myself and also the chEAR package for Jeff.

The Race Retreat opens at 3am the morning of the race and they have a light breakfast before it starts. Also it is temperature controlled, has private bag check and also bathrooms and a stretching area. Since I know I am going to be traveling from the resort to the race alone, I figured having a "place" would be good. After the race you get breakfast, a cocktail and it is a place to meet your people.

For Jeff the chEAR package will get him access to the grandstands and roped off viewing areas at the Magic Kingdom and at the finish. It also gets him access to the Race Retreat from the time the race starts until 10:30am so we can meet there, have breakfast and then leave together. The viewing areas are not super important. We are hoping to get into Bay Lake Tower next week when we can book. If we can do that, Jeff can come down from the room and see me before I enter the Magic Kingdom. Then he can take the monorail over to Epcot and see/meet me at the finish.

I decided that despite the extra cost, both were worth it. I am so excited. Only another 222 days until the race!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What happened to me this week?

What a week this has been. On Monday I lost my voice. I had been a little stuffy over the weekend but nothing major so the fact that I could not talk was a shock. Since I felt fine, I went for a run Tuesday night as planned. It was actually great. I took a new route and decided to up my time a little. I ended up doing over 3 miles for a short distance night. It felt great. Finally on Friday I could talk but I was not feeling great. I had a nagging headache that seemed sinus related but since I was not stuffed up I kind of ignored it and headed out for a run. What a disaster. I did not even make 2.5 miles in 30 minutes. I felt like my head was going to blow.

When I got home it was even worse. While I was gone, Jeff had been playing with the kids outside. Somehow Danny managed to get a large splinter in his finger but it broke off and there was no place to grab. With some amazing distracting by Jeff with a car show, we got it out with very little mess.

Tomorrow I have to make up for this week. I am hoping for a repeat of last weekend (a nice 4.5 miles and I felt awesome). This is our Disney week and I want to get a good run in tomorrow and another one in Tuesday. I hope to run twice down there but I am going to play that by ear and see how things are going with all the walking and the heat. I do want to run around Beach Club though since it sounds like a great path! Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I am excited for my long run

This seems like an uneventful post but I am honestly excited about my run tonight. I am up to the point in my training where I am challenging things a little more and today is the first step. I am running four miles today (and again next weekend). I am working hard since I signed up to run my first 10K in August. I had originally thought I would just do the 5K but I want to try and get a time I am happy with to submit to RunDisney so I will have this race and then another one in September. I have considered doing the Turkey Trot downtown but I am kind of unsure about that one, we will see.

So tonight I plan to complete my mileage at a true training pace (we will see since I can't seem to do it because I want to go too fast which will not be good for the half). I am just looking forward to it. The weather is perfect and it is something I am excited to do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New newest running toy

It seems that every good hobby comes with accessories right? I have bought the shoes, the socks, the running shorts and shirts and even the interval timer. When I decided to follow the Galloway plans I knew I needed something so I ordered the very affordable GymBoss. Turns out they are a local company which was even cooler. For the last 8 weeks this little machine has served me well.

I have also been using to map out my runs and to calculate the times for my per mile time and the distance. Overall it has worked quite well. Couple things I was not in love with. First, twice I have accidentally reset the time and it has happened at the worst times (the last one being at the Race for the Cure). It goes to a 3/1 interval with a beep between whereas I wanted a 2/1 interval with a vibrate alert. It messed me up but not too bad. The second issue is I want to run in the Nature Center but I never know the distance and because of the trees I cannot map the run path out. Finally I can never get an accurate estimate of my pace time. I have to calculate where I am distance wise and then how many intervals I have done and finally I can maybe figure it out in my head.

So I decided it was time to upgrade. Now, I couldn't just get a basic thing because the price difference was not a lot because the most basic GPSwatch/timer and the one that seems to do it all. I ended up with this new little beauty:

It already has one draw back over the one above and that is the size. My wrist is all bone and this wristband does not conform to it well. So I am either going to have to wear it closer to my elbow or I am going to try a sweat wristband for padding. It is charging right now otherwise we would have already taken out first spin outside. Can't wait until tomorrow night!! I hope I love it as much as I want to love it (even if it kills me because for this price, I have to love it)!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My first race...

Well today was the Detroit Race for the Cure. 40,000 people downtown outside Comerica Park. Now I will give the city of Detroit credit, they did a great job down there today. There were police everywhere and the city looked alive and great, just what I love about going down there.

So, mom and I headed out at 6:55am, after a quick stop at Tim Horton's (where we saw 2 carloads of other people heading down) we were off. Traffic was really crazy exiting at Mack. Now that was weird but I have no idea where those people thought they were going but that was not where we were planning on parking. We headed down and got off right around Cass Tech (I can never remember the exit) and were able to park right off the service drive. Nice lot and only $10 to park. It would be a $15-20 lot for a game. Only sad thing was around the corner there was a $3 lot...oops but we got parked and headed over.

We stood in line and got the scarves from Ford which I love and a bag from Binson's. Panera had the ribbon bagels again this year and surprisingly they were stale. Not so good. We met up with Leslie and Hayley pretty quick and we walked around and checked things out. Comerica Park was open for inside restrooms which was nice. It was kind of cool to be in the ballpark when it was empty!

Leslie and Penny ready to walk

Hayley and I ready to run

Right before 9am we all split up and headed to the starts. The walkers lined up outside Hockeytown Cafe and the runners were across the expressway so the overpass separated the groups. We were kind of towards the front of the pack but still not close to the start. It was a little intimidating to be in the middle of all those people. Once the race got going a little after 9am it took us about 2 minutes to get to the official start where I started my watch. I had originally set it to 2/1 intervals since I had been comfortable with that in training but somehow I managed to reset the entire thing as we were starting so we ended up with 3/1 intervals which was actually fine and what I think I will push more for. Now the start was a complete shock to me: people in front of us were WALKING and I don't mean walking fast but just walking. We spent the entire first 1/2 mile weaving around them to find a place so we could get into a rhythm. It was really strange. We ended up running 7 minutes straight before our first walk. They had 2 water stops but one weird thing was they only had garbage after the second one so we ended up carrying the bottles for a while. Also, opening a water bottle cap when you are running/walking was not super easy but it was good.

I had been worried about running with my Hayley since she is almost 16 and for sure faster than I am. I was right since I was the one asking for us to slow our pace but she adjusted to me and it was so nice for us to be able to do this together. We talked the entire time so neither of us got winded enough to make it an issue.

We ended up crossing the finish line at 36:12 but I had us closer to 34 minutes with our slightly delayed start. We both felt fine when we finished so I think we could have pushed harder but being my first time I was just unsure how much I would have left.

Hayley and I after the race but before the rain

We decided to walk back up to Woodward since that was where the walkers where finishing. At this point it of course decided to start to rain and not a sprinkle but a RAIN. We finally talked to Leslie and they still had a while left to finish so we decided to go into the rain from our nice dry place at the Fox and meet up with them. On the way I ran into a couple of my student. Ki'Asia was down there coaching the cheer group and Ralonda was cheering with them! They had been towards the start of the race and were fun to hear as a sent off to the race!

Overall I am OK with my first try. I want to maintain a 11:30-12 minute mile for the Princess since my goal time is 2:45 and I want to be able to get a couple pictures at least (and to do this I have to do 13 mm averages). I am hoping my next race is not quite as large since I liked the atmosphere but the crowds and the walkers mixed in with the runners was just different. I am planning another race in August for the AdvoKate run which raises money for St. Jude for brain tumor research. Now the question: 5K or 10K? Either way Hayley said she is in for another race so maybe I should just train to keep up with her!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Getting ready for my first "race"

I am not entirely sure what I was thinking when I came up with the bright idea to run in the Detroit Race of the Cure as my first event. It is a wonderful cause and a great environment downtown but I don't think I really thought through this before.

Prior to Abby being born I volunteered in the Kids section at the race. It was a lot of run and I got to be in the middle of 1000s of people all there for the same reason. What I seemed to forget or maybe it was I never knew, was that over 40,000 people attend this event. That is a lot of people packed into the streets of Detroit to run and walk. I have reviewed the course maps and it seems after the first half we are separated from the 1 mile group and from the 5K walkers so maybe it will not be too crowded the entire time (I really don't think that since even if only 1/4 of the people do the 5K run that is still a LOT of people). I think my plan is to just do my best and enjoy myself as much as I can. I am not going to a personal record or for a medal so we will see.

One thing I am looking forward to is who I am going with. My mom and sister-in-law, Leslie are doing the 5K walk. My wonderful niece said she would run the 5K with me. Now I think that running with a 16 year old is asking for trouble since I don't think I will be able to keep up. She says she is not a runner but we will see tomorrow.

Yesterday I did a pre race trial. I got out my new running belt and put my phone in to see if I can run with my phone. Turns out it was not a problem. Also, I ran with my sunglasses on yesterday since it was 3:30pm and I knew I had to because of the sun. That worked well too! I also thought through what I was going to wear. I really did not have a plan but after some thought I am going to wear my race T-Shirt since it is the RFTC one and that is the reason for the day!

Tomorrow morning should be interesting, let's just hope I can do it without making a complete fool of myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RunFast Appointment

In an effort to put some of my fears to rest, I contacted the Sports Medicine division at Henry Ford. They have a program called RunFast that is just one of their performance enhancement offerings. Though it is not covered by insurance, I figured that if I am really going to do this thing, I need to do it right and I could also submit the $125 to my FSA so it made it worth it to me.

My appointment was at 7:30am. Dave came out and instantly you could tell he knew what he was doing. He just gave off confidence. We went in and he started doing his assessment of me. He took some history, mostly about my injury and concerns. From there he had me move and bend and he flex and checked my legs from every angle. He had me walk, run, work on the treadmill. He videotaped me during a lot of this in order to analyze it for what I am doing wrong (and right

I had some trouble with the balance and strength but he said it was not as bad as he would have predicted. In the end I was really happy with the outcome. It turns out that my right calf (that was a surprise) is really tight. He said his concern was that before the rupture my left might also have been tight and the rupture actually loosened it up. He gave me 3 strengthening exercises to do 2 times a week and 5 stretching ones to work on making my calf more flexible. I was there for 90 minutes and with him the entire time.

I go back on June 5th in order to get the next level of instruction and to see what the video told him.  I am excited that I can do this.

Here is a link to what Henry Ford has to offer for athletes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Is it fair of me to do this race?

I have been so excited about having this amazing and fun goal ahead of me. I have been planning, thinking and training about how to make this happen and to make it perfect. Well, tonight I think I hit a wall. It isn't the training, it isn't the timing, I am worried about the cost. This seems so selfish of me to be spending this much to run 13.1 miles. I could do the Detroit 1/2 marathon for a fraction of the cost.  So far this is where things stand:

Hotel/Accommodations:  $1360*
Flight:                              $300
Race Registration:           $120
Costume/Accessorites:    $100
CheerTeam for Jeff:          $99**
Race Retreat for me:       $110
Plus food and other fun stuff

* This is for a 2 bedroom villa for Friday-Sunday nights. Leslie and Andy are coming with us at this point so we have to upgrade to a 2 bedroom so we can all be comfortable. Figuring that we could rent these points out for $10 per point this is what we could get if we rented them. It is not a true cost since we have the DVC points for us to use but once we use them, they are gone if that makes sense.

**I am honestly not sure about this expense. I really want to do the Race Retreat as a bonus to myself. In order for Jeff to join me in there after the race, he has to join the CheerTeam. Now, for some people this is great. They get reserved seating around the course and in the Magic Kingdom and at the finish line. Problem is for those who know my husband, I am not even sure if he will be awake when I finish the race, let alone at the finish line and ready to have the celebration breakfast. I think when this comes down to it, he is going to have to decide. I understand running is not this thing so I do not expect to see him on the course but at the end would be wonderful. We shall see.

When all is said and done, this is going to be one VERY expensive weekend. Maybe I should just pick a different race. I might have to talk to Jeff about this sometime soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is this the beginning of a problem or just the beginning of a journey?

As most people know, 6 years ago I suffered a freak accident that led to the complete rupture of my Achilles tendon. Now I say freak because in everything I have heard and read, women have this happen less then men and that most are over 35 when it occurs. So I was not the usual patient that my doctor deals with. Also, most happen in sports (basketball or tennis type activities) not to Pom Pon coaches demonstrating kicks that she had done 100s of times.

So, after a trip to the ER, a temporary soft cast with crutches that were too big, an eventful night at camp with 24 girls, a 2.5 hour drive home on my own, frantic calls to find a surgeon (to this day I still am in shock that Beaumont told me it would be 6-8 weeks to get in to see someone despite everything), to finding an amazing doctor out of Crittenton who repaired it within 4 days. The next 10 weeks involved casts, braces and more pain then I thought possible for an injury that was completely painless when it happened.

When I started my running journey, the first question I had was for my primary care doctor about whether I could even do this. He said it was healed and at this point was stronger than it was prior to the accident since the metal coil around it would hold it together. I have not spoke to my surgeon since I was released from his care so I went with this recommendation, especially since I have had no pain in a LONG time.

This is week 5 of training (I am actually on the end of week 7 of the conditioning program but only because I started on week 3 since I was there already and did not want to go backwards) and I am having pain. Not on the side that was repaired, no, it is the OTHER side. It is not over the top and I can still run and move but it worries me since I have done surgery once and have no desire to try that one again. Crutches while teaching was hard, I think with 2 little kids it would be close to impossible.

Having a doctor out of Henry Ford led me to check out their resources. Turns out that in their whole body preventative approach they have designed an assessment for runners. So after some emails with the head of the PT department, I have an appointment for a complete assessment. I am hoping he will tell me I need to a)change how I run, b) get an insert for my shows or c) stretch differently to help this out. I am praying it is not d) STOP RUNNING, this won't work.

We will see on Tuesday what is going on!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tackling the Gym for the first time

Tonight starts Week 4 of the my conditioning program. As I mentioned, when I started this whole thing I decided to use the Jeff Galloway training and started with Conditioning. Since I started on Week 3 this means I am on Week 6 of the 8 Week program. This week calls for Monday and Wednesday--Run/Walk for 30 minutes, Tuesday/Thursday--Walk for 30 minutes and then a 2.25 mile run on Saturday for time.

Well up until tonight I have been able to do every run outside. The weather has been on the windy and chilly side but no real issues. The first Saturday there was a light sprinkle but really it has been perfect training weather. I knew that could not last forever. I mean come on, we live in Michigan. By the time I got home with the kids it was pouring rain with no end in sight. Now, I started trying to talk myself out of doing anything tonight. I even mentioned to Jeff shifting the whole week one day. He was the one who really pushed me to go and do this.

Now, here is the issue--The gym scares me. I feel like a kid going into a new school. I don't really get what goes on there and I don't really know how things work. You know, the unwritten rules of a place. Where to stretch, what to do, who can use what. I had belonged to Lifetime Fitness when I was pregnant with Danny and I loved it there. The towels, the lockers, the little membership cards, the nice locker room area, the HUGE pool, the classes. The problem was, it was EXPENSIVE. So when I was told I was on modified restrictions for the end of my pregnancy, I cancelled my membership. In an effort to find something closer to home and cheaper, I joined Planet Fitness. Instead of towels and membership cards with your name, I joined a place in a former golf shop. My membership card is a keychain thing with my member number on a piece of paper scotch taped to the back. I am not trying to be stuck up, everyone there has been super nice and it is closer to home and SO MUCH CHEAPER but I am not used to it.

So tonight I sucked it up and went. I actually survived and I won't mind going back. Now, I was unsure of the whole using the treadmill the best way but I muddled through tonight and did not do as well as I would have done outside but I did OK. I came home and after about 20 seconds of YouTube searching I found a perfect video and now know how to set my intervals to work next time I go. Better than the up and down I was trying tonight!

So I tried the gym and I made it! I have a feeling this was the first of many nights I will be there. Maybe in a couple months I will finally feel comfortable going but so far I at least don't feel uncomfortable.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Road is a LONG one

I am not exactly sure how it happened but my Disney obsession finally took over I think. Sometime between February and now we have been pretty intense in Disney planning.

On Abby's 4th Birthday we surprised her telling her we were going to be heading back to Disney this summer (I guess Jeff had more fun than I thought he did). So with some intense planning and pricing we decided to go the week school gets out this year, so we are going to try June instead of August this time. We figured that it would be more fun to have a trip early in the summer instead of spending all summer waiting for it to happen and then heading back to school right when we get back.

Then about a month later we made the big decision to buy into the Disney Vacation Club. After a long 2 months we are finally owners at Old Key West!

So how does this fit into my plan to run the Princess Half Marathon? Well, I am not completely sure how this happened. I first got excited about the chance to run it when I saw the race medals you get for completing it (yes, it is a tiara). When I told Jeff I wanted to do it his first question was "WHY?". Once I mentioned the medal his logical side came out and he offered the helpful suggestion that I could just order one from Ebay and save the training time. I don't think he thought I was serious. Well, the more I looked into it, the more fun this race looked like. I had been wanting to do something to get into shape and lose these last few baby pounds. Danny is getting older and is no longer a baby so I had no more excuses. What I did need was a motivator. What is a better motivator than a trip to Disney, getting to wear a skirt (Princess costume) to run in and earning a tiara medal?

So my plan to run the Princess Half was born. When I started training I had 10 months and 3 weeks until the race. I figure that since some Half Marathon plans say you can training in 16 weeks that I have plenty of time. I mentioned this idea to my wonderful Sister-In-Law, Leslie who said she wants to do it with me! I am hoping she does since it will be fun to have someone to run with at the race!

I did some research and I ended up deciding the Jeff Galloway's training program was a good fit for me, at least for now. He has several different programs but since it has been a LONG time since I did anything really physical, I started with his conditioning program which is 8 weeks long. I did move right into the 3rd week since I was already able to do everything in weeks 1 and 2 without too much trouble.

Today was the end of Week 5 of training and it has been going really good. Jeff has been super supportive now that he sees I want to do this. Abby even gets into stretching with me and helping me get everything ready to run.

As of now I plan to run the Race for the Cure 5k on May 26th. I want to do a race since I like the idea of a little push and I know this is a fun race from working it.