September 28, 2012

This 5K will be better, right?

I normally dread 5Ks, but I'm hopeful for this one.


Look at the start time! It's not early morning!

I picked up my packet at my running group tonight!

One of the many benefits of being in a running group at a running store.

And, the coolest thing: one of my coaches is pacing me. What's her plan?
  • Mile 1: I will tell her stories.
  • Mile 2: We will have a conversation.
  • Mile 3: She will tell me stories.
The idea is that I will start off easy and keep getting faster. Mile 3 sounds a little scary, but I think I'm ready for it. The speed work we've been doing has to help, right? 

Thanks to the brilliant Bean, I have A, B and C goals for the race:
  • Goal A: less than 34:32 (my lowest official 5K time)
  • Goal B: between 34:32 and 36:00
  • Goal C: have fun and don't fall in the water 
For some reason, my running confidence isn't that high right now. I think those pesky long runs are messing with me. All of these goals seem unattainable now. I know I shouldn't think that way, but I can't help it. Hopefully, I can prove myself wrong.  

Do you like 5Ks? Have you ever been paced? How did it go? Have you ever lost your running confidence? How did you get it back?

September 25, 2012

This week in running: week 6

Sounds like the same story, different week: I loved running until my long run.


With my new-found love of speed work, I was super-psyched for this day! (I'm not sure what's wrong with me). 

I loved this workout. 

  • 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy x 5; then, 2 minutes of rest
  • 20 seconds hard, 40 seconds easy x5; then, 2 minutes of rest
  • 10 seconds hard, 20 seconds easy x 5; then, 2 minutes of rest
  • 20 seconds hard, 40 seconds easy x 3; then, 2 minutes of rest
  • 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy x 3; then, 2 minutes of rest
  • Plus, an easy run to and from our "track" (a circle portion of sidewalk)
  • Total time: 47 minutes
The "track"

This provided me with something I've never seen before: 2 miles with single-digit-minute times per mile! I didn't know this was possible for a turtle!

Distance: 4.33 miles


Today was more mental training than anything else. We did 0.7-mile repeats of the worst part of the race: dreaded Mirror Lake (Women's Half Marathon in St. Pete). I did 4 repeats (along with running to and from the site), and I got progressively faster each time. 

I'm so glad we did this because I hated this portion of the race last year. I was extremely bitter at this point. I was hot, tired and so over it. So really, this was perfect training.

Distance: 3.8 miles


I'm still not happy with my long runs.

They're not terrible, but they're not the I-love-running-and-I-want-to-marry-it kind of runs either.

I'm not sure what's going on, but I continually feel like I'm out of energy on these early morning runs. I never feel in the zone. I used to love long runs, so I'm not really sure what's up.

But, it wasn't awful. It couldn't be too miserable if you're wearing one of your favorite shirts.
Love this shirt, loved this race, love Brooks

On a completely random side note, "rock" is my favorite word. People assume that because I majored in a journalism field and I write that I like big, fancy words. Not necessarily the case. Rock is extremely versatile, and I just love it.

But I can't use it in reference to this run, sadly.

Distance: 7 miles

How was your week in running? Are you in love with speed work? Or am I crazy? How important is mental training in running? Why don't I love long runs like I used to? What is your favorite word?

September 19, 2012

Tackling my nemesis

Have I ever mentioned that I don't like 5Ks? Well, I really don't like 5Ks. I mean, I really don't like 5Ks.

So, I signed up for another one.

Completely logical, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

But, this one is different. 


Well, it's an evening race so that's a huge bonus for this morning hater. But, the even cooler thing? One of my coaches said she'd pace me. Wow. That's an honor. I can't pass that up. 

And, with this speed work (and my love of it and my accomplishment of running 2 whole miles in a single-digit minute mile), I'm kind of excited (even if the race does involve my nemesis, the Pier). 

Look out, you pesky 5K distance. I'm coming for you in a few weeks!

September 17, 2012

This week in running: week 5

This was a great week running-wise ... until my long run. Pesky long runs can make or break the week, in my opinion. If it's not good, I start to worry. But, I'll focus on the positive first.


Not a normal running day, but since our last long run got cut short by thunderstorms, I decided to tack on some miles around the neighborhood. I felt great, but I'd just rather not run by myself. I miss my running group!

Distance: 3 miles


Yay! It's running group day! Yay! It's speed work day! (Yes, I just typed that.)

I did my first official track workout, but I did it on a sidewalk. I've heard mention of these 400 meter repeats, and I never really knew what it was. Now I do. Well, kind of ... I don't fully understand all of the terminology, but I know I did them.

I *think* we did three sets of 400 meter repeats. We ran 400 meters, had a 1-minute break, ran 400 meters, had a 2-minute break, and then ran 400 meters. We repeated this three times with longer breaks in between sets. Our goal was to continually get faster, like this.

Instead, mine looked like this.

Yeah, not how it's supposed to look. Oops.

But, I loved every second of this workout. From the easy run down to our "track" to the repeats (all of them) to the easy run back, I loved it. I felt awesome. I felt, dare I say it, fast.

Distance: 3.73 miles


This was supposed to be a 50-minute run broken out into repeating 10 easy minutes followed by 10 minutes at a faster pace. It really didn't happen for my running buddy and me. We just ran for 50 minutes, and it all rocked.

Our coach said this was fine if we feel we don't really have a faster, sustainable pace. She'd rather us just run a solid 50 minutes. So that's what we did. Maybe someday I'll have a pace besides slow.

Distance: 4 miles


OK, here's the bad one. 

It is still way too hot in Florida at 7 a.m. People keep talking about this foreign concept, "fall," and it is definitely not happening here.

I just felt overwhelmed by the heat at first. My face just felt like it was burning up.

I finally settled in and felt a little cooler once we made a turn to run by the bay (yay for breezes off the water). I didn't feel too shabby (aside from the initial heat issues) up until mile 4. Pesky mile 4 made me feel like all of my energy was zapped. I kept pushing on for the next few miles, but I just didn't feel that great. 

So, I finished not feeling that great and feeling hot and frustrated. 

Not feeling great and feeling hot and frustrated

I guess looking back, it wasn't really that bad. But, I feel like it really could have gone better. 

Distance: 6 miles

How was your week in running? Have you done track workouts? Do you like them? Do they help you get faster? Do you base how good your training week was by your long run?

September 13, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

Like Thursdays can do, this one really bit. 

At this point in the day, there are only few things that I can think of that made today better (and rock): Chloe (my sweet dog) and running group. 

She makes every day rock ... even Thursday.

By the end of the workday, I was so worn out, all I wanted to do was go home and collapse (and sleep for 12 hours). But, because I'm in a training group and I knew people were expecting me, I put on running clothes and headed out to meet the group. And I'm so glad I did.

Running, being outside and chatting (about running, clothes, stinky bay water, headbands used as knee bands, TV, high school football, weight loss, races, cute boys and thousands of other topics) was just what I needed. It totally got my mind off of the disaster that was Thursday.

A smile ... but only after running group

Thank you Chloe and running group for making today rock (even though pesky Thursday did not rock in any other way).

September 11, 2012

Just another random Tuesday

I have lots of random thoughts. What's new, right? Well, the thoughts are new.
  • For the first time ever, I ran 400-meter repeats (nine of them)! I didn’t even know what they were before tonight. I heard people mention them, but it was a foreign concept to me. But, I love them. Love them. This was my best running performance in a long time. Yay! 
  • When I was in Kansas, a group of us (me, boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, sister-in-law’s sister and sister-in-law’s sister’s friend) went to see “Lawless.” Lately, I’m completely clueless when it comes to new movies so I’d never even heard of it. But, I’m so glad my brother and sister-in-law had and took us to go see it. I loved this movie. And, I’ve determined that I really like Shia LaBeouf (who my brother calls “The Beef,” and now I do too). I was kind of embarrassed about it at first, but I figured this should not be embarrassing to a girl who loves Justin Bieber, boy bands and Jessica Simpson. So, I love The Beef. 
  • Funny thing: the movie is about bootlegging brothers in Prohibition-era Virginia. When I went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner (a few days before the movie), my brother asked me if I wanted to try some apple pie moonshine. I was worried he put in a still in the backyard or I could go blind from drinking it, but thankfully, that was not the case. He just cooked apple cider, apple juice and brown sugar, and then added vanilla vodka and Everclear (yes, really). It was awesome … and it was in a mason jar. My brother also made some pickle vodka and bacon vodka … both in mason jars (and both delicious – especially the pickle vodka). My boyfriend mentioned the movie was just like going to their house for dinner. 
  • Last week I was pumped to watch the MTV Video Music Awards. After the fact, I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m getting old, but I just didn’t really like any of the performances. My favorite was probably One Direction (hello, boy band). I used to be a big rap and hip-hop fan, and I’m just not impressed anymore. I only get excited about one rap song coming on the radio these days (and it has more to do with it being Desmond Jennings’ (my favorite Rays player) walk-up music. I found it extremely irritating before. 
It's your fault that I like this.
  • But, rap I do like: Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion now?). He’s coming to Tampa in October. I want to go. Problem 1: he’s coming to a music festival-type thing with many artists; I only want to see him. Problem 2: I’m not sure if I know anyone that will go with me. Problem 3: concerts are expensive. But, if I resolved the first two problems, I’d probably pay the high ticket price. I mean, I’ve liked this guy since high school (a long time), and “Doggystyle” was the first rap CD I owned (Shh! My parents didn’t know).

September 10, 2012

This week in running: week 4

This was the week where things started to feel right in my half marathon training. I'm getting used to running at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays (it's still miserably hot, but I know what I'm dealing with) and 7 a.m. (GAH!) on Sunday morning.

This was our first night of intervals, and I loved them! I'm not sure if it's because I haven't done them in awhile, I'm crazy or it just broke up the monotony of just running. 

Our coaches split our group into fast runners and the not-so-fast runners. I know this is shocking, but I was in the not-so-fast group. We did an easy run down to an area with a circle sidewalk, and then the intervals started.

The interval site

I think there are fancy ways to write this, but I don't understand it, so I'll write it the only way I know how: we did 5 sets of 1 minute hard/2 minutes recovery, 5 sets of 30 seconds hard/1 minute recovery and 5 sets of 20 seconds hard/40 seconds recovery.   

Overall, it was just 50 minutes of fun. It was a challenge, and I did end up walking some of the recovery times. But, I felt like I pushed hard and got in a great run.   

Distance: 4.2 miles


This week is full of new running things. Today, it was a tempo run. I remember these pesky tempo runs from last training cycle, and I remember not liking them. It's hard to pick a faster pace to maintain for a sustained period of time ... well, it is for me at least.

The plan: run a 10-minute warm up, do a 16-minute tempo run, and then do a 19-minute cool down run. 

As much as I don't like tempo runs, and as bad as I think I am at them, I think this one went pretty fabulously. Granted, my faster time was only about 30 seconds faster than my warm-up time, but it was faster. I'll take it as a starting point. 

Happy after a decent tempo run

Distance: 3.6 miles


In my fogginess early on Sunday morning, I thought someone was taking pictures outside. It was only after I threw my clothes on and ran out the door in less than 10 minutes that I realized this was lightning. Morning person I am not. 

Another thing I am not: a lightning person. I'm frightened of this stuff in a serious way. But, since I was already awake, I headed to running group anyway. Being in Florida, a thunderstorm where I live doesn't mean lightning 10 miles away.

But, I didn't think the continued lightning and then the pouring rain on the way there were a good sign. 

I arrived at Fit2Run, our meeting spot, in the rain. I ran inside the store (thank goodness we have it) and found exercise stations set up around the store. We couldn't run due to the lightning (thank goodness the coaches are smart and safe about this), so they set up some stations throughout the store for our workout. We did lunges, push-ups, dips, crunches, squats and climbed stairs for a minute at a time before rotating to the next station. After 20 minutes, the coaches decided it was safe to try and run.

We headed out to tackle a 5-6 mile run (depending on the weather). Unfortunately, it got cut to 2.5 miles. As my running buddy and I were running toward the rest of the crowd, a girl came running back at us saying that rain was coming down in a sheet ahead (and we heard scary thunder rumblings). We promptly turned around and booked it back to the store ... with everyone else on our heels. We then promptly went to breakfast and talked running.

I'm hoping to make up some miles tonight.
Distance: 2.5 miles

How was your week in running? Did you run intervals? A tempo run? What is your favorite? Any thunderstorms that prevented getting a run in?

September 6, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

Due to Labor Day (and a few vacation days), I'm still trying to figure out what day it is. I swore yesterday was Monday. Unfortunately, Thursday won't let me forget it. I was well aware today was the dreaded day because it makes its ugly presence known. But, there are things I can think of that rock to make it all better.
  • Running group tonight: my running is getting better. I love that feeling.
  • My running group meets at (and is organized through) a local running store, Fit2Run. The St. Petersburg store just opened in August. Next Thursday is their official grand opening with 20% off from 5-7 p.m. I'm thinking shoes.
  • Shoes make me happy, and these would make me super-duper happy.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 (source)
  • They would go fabulously with this shirt that makes me really happy. I'm digging Under Armour shirts these days. This one is long (thank goodness), cool (as it can be on a hot and muggy Florida day) and purple!
Under Armour's Achieve Burnout shirt (source)
  • One of my coaches sent this to me, and being a dog lover and running lover, I think it's pretty cute.

September 5, 2012

This week in running: week 3

I knew that week 3 of half marathon training would be a challenge because I'd be traveling (for two of the three runs). I'm not great about running while traveling. Plus I really like my training group, so missing two days with them didn't sound all that fabulous (but a vacation did).


This run started off great. My running buddy and I were moving along at a great pace, and things felt right ... except for the fact that we felt like something was about to go wrong. We were right.

The wind that pushed us along in the first half of our run fought against us during the second half. This wind was the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, so it was rather beastly. And rude. Stupid wind kept pushing us off the path.

The water is pretty, but it added to the wind problem.

All of the fighting against the wind caused a few walk breaks, but really, I'm still pretty happy with the run considering the conditions. We finished in 1:02.  

Distance: 5 miles


This run is brought to you by the great state of Texas. My boyfriend is doing contract work in Ft. Worth, so I went to visit for a few days before we both headed to Kansas to visit family. 

He was working all day Thursday, so I had the day to myself and could decide when I wanted to run. I decided to sleep most of the morning away, so morning was out (as was running outside ... it's toasty in Texas). 

I hit up the treadmill for an early afternoon run, and it was extremely miserable. I'm not sure what was up, but I felt horrible (and nauseous when I was done). All I can say is that I did it; I ran for the 45 minutes on the schedule. That's the only positive.

Distance: 3.6 miles


This was going to be my triumphant run in the third state this week. Notice: going to be. Sadly, it didn't happen.

Due to allergies (and asthma) and family activities, I did not run on Sunday. We had a jam-packed family day, and I wouldn't have traded any of it for running (as much as I love running).

I flew back to Florida on Monday, and I thought I'd run on Monday night. No dice. I was exhausted (and still wheezing from allergies). 

Distance: 0 miles (should be 5 miles)

I need help. Do I make up the run at this point? Or do I just skip it? If I have time on Friday, should I squeeze in some extra miles? Do you make up missed runs? I'm usually good about it, but I feel like I let this one go too long.