Friday, April 28, 2006

Running is really messing up my TV schedule!

There is no doubt that all these trips to Valley Forge have been good for me. It's very relaxing out there in the nice weather (as I did again last night -- although this time is was more walking than running.) but it's really wreaking havoc on my TV watching!

I haven't seen Top Chef or Survivor this week and I'd be adding Lost to that list too except I hear this week was just a clip show. Not to mention the pile of Netflix I have sitting on my DVD player that I am not watching. And don't forget about all the National Park shows I have taped from the Travel Channel. I don't know when I'm going to find the time to catch up -- and now we have hockey playoffs competing for TV time.

I have an 80 hour Tivo that's jam packed to the point where it's taping no more than one suggestion a day. I need a rainy day with nothing to do but watch TV.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rock'N'Roll Half Marathon - I can't resist the medal

I just registered us for the Rock'N'Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. This will be the fourth time we're doing the race and every year we swear we're not going back!

They've released a photo of the 2006 medal, and like always, it's very cool. This isn't quite as awesome as the sun medal from a few years ago but it's still pretty snazzy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

VF Loop

Pre-run food: pineapple yogurt, half a gatorade
Hit the trail: 5:29

Walked first mile, stretched out, ran until big hill at 2.5. Walked hill, ran to water fountain, quick stop for a drink, then ran the rest of the route. It was great!

Back at the parking lot: 6:36
Total distance: about 5.5 miles

Best music: You Gotta Move by Aerosmith. Just perfect. It got me through a part where I usually walk without even considering stopping.

Coolest part of the run: the sun was in just the right place to have me looking at my shadow for most of the run. It made me look tall and skinny (and I'm neither) and watching my pony tail swing like a metronome helped me keep a good rhythm I think.


I don't have much to report so I thought I'd share the countdown list that is stored in my watch.

Broad Street Run 11 days
Delaware Marathon 25 days
Philadelphia Distance Run 144 days
Baltimore Half Marathon 171 days
NYC Marathon 193 days

*** 50 days until the NYC Lottery ***

I plan to hit the loop at VF tonight to run the loop.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Long Run - After the VF 5 mile run

So, after the 5-mile run, our master plan was to put up another 13 on the Perkiomen Trail in order to get in our 18 mile long run for the marathon. It didn't quite work out that way.

First of all, we got a really late start on part-two of the day because of all the time I spent blabbing with Char. We also had to revise our "one way" plan of leaving a car 13 miles away on the Perkiomen because the Weather Channel told us that we might have up to 3 inches of rain on Saturday and I wasn't too keen on running 10 miles on wet and muddy gravel. So we decided to do an out and back that would give us 10 miles plus the race. We figured 15 was probably enough plus we could always run past the car to throw in some more miles. Can you tell where this is going, yet?

We set off on the Perkiomen and everything was great, we were planning on running out to the 2.5 mile marker on the Perkiomen (which was partly on gravel and would give us the 10 mile round trip when added to the VF trail) but as I approached the 2.0 mile mark it was getting colder, the sky was getting darker and it was a little more windy. I suggested turning around because I didn't want to be running away from the car when the weather turned bad and it really looked like it was going to. Plus, we'd heard a rumor about storms with hail and I didn't want to be stuck in that with no hope of shelter. So, we turned it at the 2.0 mile marker and headed back to the car. It did sort of rain/mist/drizzle on us but nothing major and certainly no hail but it wasn't a very nice time to be outside.

I had a really solid outing for the first half and pretty strong for the second half but I fell apart a little in the last 1.5 miles. I wasn't pushing myself like I should have and walked far more than I should have. The good news is that I felt pretty good the whole way. I could still run towards the end and had no pain. My fuel gauge was good. If it had been marathon day, I certainly could have continued without being completely demoralized. Still, when it came time to decide about adding on the extra miles, I opted not to. We called it a day with 14 miles total.

Other things I learned: peanut chews are pretty good fuel, orange cream Clif Shots are repulsive, and Lose Yourself is seriously the best paceing song ever. I might have to just listen to that on repeat for the entire marathon.

1st Annual Valley Forge Revolutionary Run (5 miles)

Sunday morning was gray and damp and chilly but not raining so that was a really good thing. We made it to the park just in the nick-of-time and got to the start of the race with about 5 minutes to spare and that was mostly because the race was slightly delayed! I thought having a race close to home would be good but we were still pretty late.

The race itself was great. Mostly along the loop I'm familiar with running but it takes a slight detour around Wayne's Woods and therefore adds one pretty nasty hill to the loop. I did my best to run the whole way and with the execption of the two killer hills I kept it moving the whole time. Clock time: 54:15 and my watch time is 53:01. I'm really happy with both times - I was hoping for 11 minutes or under and I did that, so I'm really glad. I was well fueled and I felt great for the entire time.

I liked the race overall. Parking wasn't a hassle as I had anticipated, the shirt was a surprise (royal blue performance fabric) and the food afterwards was great: lots and lots of PEANUT CHEWS! The only flaw was that the "expo" tent was super crowded but they can maybe fix that next year or I'll be faster and get more of a head start into the tent. They didn't run out of anything though, so that's good. We also ran into my long-lost-friend Char so that was awesome. Our running store guy came in 3rd over all.

I can't wait until next year to do this one again. I think I'll see if I can try to practice on that big hill before next spring. I would be so excited if I could make it through the full loop without any walking. Someday.

Friday, April 21, 2006

VF Loop Again! How boring!

Valley Forge really is the easiest place for us to meet. Too bad it's so boring to do the same thing every night. I guess it's good to compare how I feel though under such controlled circumstances.

Tonight's run was OK. The weather was great but I guess my fuel wasn't as good because this was more difficult than the last two outings here. Sportbrain gives running distance of 4.1 avg. speed 4.9 and running pace 9:42. Again a total scam because of the downhills.

Speaking of downhills, I find that my "core" muscles hurt by the end of this loop but only on the downhill section at the end. What's even more strange is that they hurt depending on what pants I'm wearing! Isn't that bizarre! If I'm wearing tights, like under armour or something, that are stretchy and supportive, no pain. Regular shorts -- OUCH! I have to like, hold my guts in on that last downhill section. It's just bizarre and kind of embarassing to realize that I need a girdle when I run.

I got my cool "will power" shirt that I hope to wear at the marathon. I might try it out on the long run this weekend. It seems really stiff so I hope it's more comfy once I wear it.

I suppose that's all the news. The weather is supposed to stink this weekend but I hope it's dry enough so we can get in the long run without too much misery.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Valley Forge Loop

Brian and I met at VF last night. The weather is so awesome these days it's really pretty easy to get out there and workout.

I started out slow and stuck with him through the first three miles (this included stretching and a water break) and then suddenly I got a burst of energy and pulled ahead. I did as much running as possible and felt really good the whole way.

Sportbrain gave me running distance of 4.3, running pace 9:43. (Very generous and I guess it's from the downhills!). That's an improvement over the last run at VF which gave me 4.2 running and a 10:05 pace.

I'm curious how I'll be able to perform on the slightly different course at the run on Sunday.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Clean Air 5K + lots more miles...

Saturday morning we went down to MLK Drive to do the Clean Air 5K. I had a pretty lousy performance but it was a great race anyway.

We were running late and I forgot to grab the Oatmea-to-go that I was planning on eating for breakfast so I had to settle for an Hooah bar instead. (yuck!) We got there just in the nick of time but did manage to line up about 30 seconds before the gun went off. It was unusually hot and humid for 9am in April but it was still a gorgeous day. I went out too fast, finished the first mile in 10 minutes, took the next mile to try to slow myself down and then tried (but failed!) to run in the last mile. I finished in 34:40 chip time, which is not my best but not my worst. I should have been able to do better than that but it was still fun.

The post race food was awesome! I didn't eat a whole lot of it, which was stupid of me, but they had lots to choose from. Bagels, donuts, fresh fruit (apples & oranges), yogurt, yogurt smoothies, ICE CREAM, salads, energy bars, coffee and iced coffee. There was more, I'm sure. They also had great booths and samples of stuff and even free massages. Excellent raffles too, although we didn't win anything.

After the race we had to do our long miles for the marathon. We walked back to the car to get our supplies (about a mile away from the Kelly Drive loop) and then came back to the loop. We checked out the new Schuykill Banks trail and then did the Kelly Drive loop. With that plus the 5K and the trips back and forth to the car, we figured we did a little more than the 16 miles required for our training plan. Unfortunately, I had a very bad day and could barely run at all during the long run. I think at first the problem was bad fuel to start with but my bad attitude took over and I wound up just walking 90% of the distance. WIMP!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Valley Forge Loop - 5.5 miles

I met Brian at the loop after work last nigth. It was the first time we've met this spring and it was awesome. I think we need to do make the post-work workout a priority. The only bad thing is that we didn't spend much of the time together since our paces aren't as similar as they once were. Oh well!

I'm so happy with how I'm getting better at tackling the hills at Valley Forge. I used to hardly be able to run any of the hills but now there is only one that totally shuts me down. I ran almost the whole loop tonight at a pace good enough that Brian never caught up to me and that's awesome for me. I didn't time it but I know it was one of my better workouts.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Catching Up on 2006

Well, it's been quite awhile since I've posted anything here and things have changed.

First of all, the Car-A-Mile marathon got cancelled and I signed up for the Delaware Marathon in it's place. That's coming up quickly: May 21. I'm so not ready for it, but that's pretty typical!

I've signed up for the Love the Half National Challenge where I need to do at least six half-marathon (or longer) races in order to win cool prizes. So far, I've done two races: Caesar Rodney 1/2 in Wilmington and the MORE half marathon in New York. Both of those were pretty good. I had a PR at Caesar despite rain and hills and I wasn't so far off that pace in New York. I really am not a fan of those hills.

I entered the lottery for the New York Marathon! I find out in mid-June if I get into that race and if so, I'm going. If I don't get in I'll probably do the Philadelphia marathon. I need to do a fall marathon to fulfill Love the Half, so that's the logical choice, especially if I do PhillyFit again this year.

I've given up on the Goofy Challenge for 2007 in favor of going to Rock N' roll Arizona with my sister.

I have a busy race schedule coming up too! Check the side bar for details!