Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Day Half Marathon, St. Cloud, MN

Last year during the Earth Day run in St. Cloud I ran my very first 5K.

My oh my, what a difference a year makes. This year I took on the Earth Day Half Marathon

This was my second go at the half marathon distance. I didn't really have a time goal in mind, I only wanted to beat my first HM time of 2 hours 14 minutes.

I woke up to snow on the ground, 20+ mile an hour gusts with a steady 12 mile wind and 34 degrees. Good times. I had to keep telling myself that the cold wouldn't matter; once I started running I knew that I'd be fine because I'd warm up. My husband wasn't running this one, so he got to be the photographer.

When we got to the race I decided to try running with a Pacer. I spotted the 9:55/mile Pacer (shooting for a 2:10 half marathon time) and decided to see how it went.

Before I knew it, we were off! For the first quarter of a mile I had no music...somehow my headphones came unplugged so I had to monkey with that. I can't run without music! I got it squared away and didn't let it rattle me. The race was scenic; winding along the Mississippi river near the St. Cloud State University campus.

Tony took this photo at about mile 6; I was totally in the zone and didn't see or hear him call my name.

The spectators were awesome for this race--my favorite sign: "Ladies! This is easier than Labor and Delivery!" We wound through several neighborhoods, and lots of people were handing out orange slices and banana halves to the racers. I was thankful for that more than once.

The miles ticked by and I was about 30 seconds in front of my pace group giving me a comfortable cushion. I felt awesome and I just knew I was going to hit a PR. Near the 13 mile mark I saw the hubs again:

My official chip time was 2:09:02!
My splits:
Mile 2-9:40
Mile 3-9:46
Mile 4-9:32
Mile 5-9:42
Mile 6-9:50
Mile 7-9:55
Mile 8-9:49
Mile 9-9:40
Mile 10-9:51
Mile 11-9:44
Mile 12-9:45
Mile 13-9:20

Here I am after getting my medal. Instead of disposable bottles of water we got the aluminum one that I'm holding; it has the race emblem on it. I love it!

Showing off my medal--I'm still kind of out of it here! It was cold so I knew I'd want to head inside to the field house before I cooled off too much!

Showing off the "bling" in the field house!

I don't have a lot of time before my next half marathon, so I punched in the numbers on Runner's World's smart coach. I think I'm going to shoot for 2:05:30 for Grandma's Half in June!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weight Goal MET!

Yesterday was a milestone day for me. I met my weight goal. I haven't been 150 pounds in a very long time. In fact, in early 2009 I was 255 pounds. I spent the day basking in my accomplishment. I had to do the math. 1 pound is equivalent to 3500 calories. I've managed to rid my body of 367,500 calories by reducing my daily caloric intake and burning calories through exercise. WOW. That's a lot of calories.

From the very beginning, exercise has been a huge component. I have never eaten less than 1600 calories per day. I tried to cut back to around 1300 and found that left me STARVING and triggered over-eating, so I figured the extra 300 calories per day was worth it to me to keep from binging. Yes, the weight came off a little slower, but it STILL CAME OFF.

I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to celebrate this accomplishment. I have a few ideas, though! :)

This afternoon I'm going for my long run before the next winter storm hits. Yes, Minnesota is in a winter storm warning. Tonight we'll get freezing rain turning to snow, and then the predictions for accumulations are anywhere from 6-10 inches. I'm glad I got out and ran outside this week while I still could. The treadmill will be back in the mix after today.

I was also lucky enough to win a Bondi Band courtesy of the Blog, 2 Fat Chicks with a Mission. Bondi Bands have been on my radar for awhile, and I've really wanted to try one out. I keep hoping that they'll be at a running expo that I attend, but so far no such luck. THANK YOU to Erin & Heidi! I can't wait to try it out and write a review!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back-to-Back-Running and I don't agree

I ran the last 3 days in a row, and BOY OH BOY can I tell! My legs feel heavy today and my right shin is KILLING me. Seriously tender to the touch, and all I want to do is ice it! OUCH!

When at all possible I try to leave a rest day in between my running days because if I don't I pay for it. With the spring-like temps the last few days I just couldn't resist running outside.

I am one of the unlucky ones who seems to suffer from shin splints in cycles. I'll feel great and then all of a sudden I'll have them something AWFUL for a couple of weeks. I've tried stretching, massaging, new shoes, and NOTHING seems to help.

My husband found out about a "gait specialist" who works at a running store in the Twin Cities. I think it will be worth the money to see if she can help me out. All I want to do is train pain-free! I have a full schedule of races coming up. The Get Lucky 7K is about a month away, and a month after that is my first half marathon.

Does anyone have any remedies for shin splints? I'm all ears.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Joys of Body Glide

I remember thinking at my first 5K--watching some serious runners lather on the body glide, that I would NEVER use that stuff.

All it took was for me to experience the extreme discomfort of chafing after a run, and I was seeking this stuff out. Body Glide--It comes in a deodorant-like stick and you just swipe it across your skin in places that you want to avoid chafing. Some of the worst places for me have been around my arm where my arm band for my iPod sits, the band from my sports bra, under my arms where a tank top has rubbed, my thighs--from my shorts. All of these areas can be very painful and usually you don't realize your skin has been rubbed raw until you get in the shower after a long run--then OUCH!

I typically use body glide on any run that is 5 miles or longer...if it's hot out and I know I'm going to sweat more I used it for shorter distances too.

You can get body glide at just about any sporting goods store. I spent about $6 for mine and still haven't used even half of it. It's worth the investment!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

STRESS--I want to run SO BAD!

Throughout my weight loss I've come to grips with the fact that I'm an emotional eater. In fact, that's how I gained the majority of the weight. Any time life got tough I turned to food for comfort. If I was sad, I ate. If I was angry, I ate. If I was stressed, I ate.

Over the course of the last 18 months I've transitioned from controlling my stress through eating, to controlling my stress through running.

As you read in my last post, I had 2 really good runs on Saturday and Sunday. Monday & Tuesday I knew with my family's schedule that it was going to be impossible to get a run in. We've had wind-chill warnings in our area so running outside has been out of the question. I have been looking forward to today because I was anticipating a good, long run.

Yesterday afternoon after I got my 3-year-old down for a nap, I threw in a load of laundry and came upstairs to put our lunch dishes in the dishwasher. Just as I was starting the dishwasher I heard what sounded like a large amount of water hitting a wall, followed by running water.


Initially I thought a pipe had burst, but as I ran into the utility room I discovered our water heater went kaput. AWESOME. water was shooting out of the top of it EVERYWHERE. I shut off the water valve and started cleaning up the mess. Thank goodness I was home when it happened.

BTW--this is the second water heater that's done this to us in 7 years. Thank God for that warranty!

Long story short--I have no hot water for a shower, or anything for that matter. I'm hoping that the hubs and my father-in-law can get it taken care of this evening early enough that I can still get a solid long-run in and enjoy a hot shower afterward.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Running is Cheaper Than Therapy

If you've been following my blog, you know that I injured my back the end of January. It was the weirdest thing, I didn't even know that I did it until after I had finished a 5 mile run on a treadmill of all places. I was laid up for about a week just icing it and trying to let it heal.

Saturday I felt pretty good so I decided to get an outdoor run in. I put on all my layers, had the hubs help me get the YakTrax on my running shoes and I was OFF! It felt amazing to get out there in the brisk winter air.

When I run, I think. I realized that for the whole last week with no running, I hadn't had a chance to organize my thoughts. I only wanted to test out my back, so I didn't push past 3.25 miles. (The freezing rain helped me to have some control with the distance too)

Sunday I had designated as my "long run" day. We got about 3-4" of snow overnight and while I could see that our road was not plowed, I thought that once I got to the main roads that would be the case. Once again I threw on all my layers, my YakTrax, & my Garmin watch. I cranked up my iPod and headed out.

Right away I took a couple of deep cleansing breaths, felt the snow crunching under my feet, and started out. Boy-oh-boy the joke was on me. I was hoping to do 5 miles, but ended up calling it a day at 4.25 because NOTHING was plowed. YakTrax are wonderful, but they are not snow shoes.

I really started to hit a wall at around 2 miles. I was having a hard time getting into a rhythm and like I mentioned before, I started to think.

This week was hard. REALLY hard. I didn't have my running as an outlet. I have a special needs son who got a new diagnosis and as I trudged through the snow I'm not sure if it was the weight of that diagnosis or my frustration with the poor road conditions that got me, but I started to cry. I couldn't stop the tears. It was one of those good, cleansing cries though, and it seemed to be over as quickly as it came on.

All I really know is that by the time I hit 3 miles I was feeling so much better in both body and spirit, and I was able to complete my run strong.

I'm gearing up for The Get Lucky 7K on March 19th, and while it's only 4.2 miles, I know I have a Half Marathon coming up in April. I'll be looking to start stretching out the distances in the next few weeks.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I've been in a funk, so-to-speak. Minnesota's winter weather is totally OUT OF CONTROL. I've been forced to train on a treadmill, which is my LEAST favorite place to train. Last Saturday I hurt my back and have not been able to run since. BLECH! It has been one of those weeks...couple the injury with a stomach bug that's gone through our house and it has not been fun. I am SO ready for the weekend. I'm hoping to run tomorrow as long as my back is still feeling good!