Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Virtual Race

St. Patrick's Day Virtual Race through this Virtual Race Series, is the next race in my quest for 13 in 2013.

I decided on 5 miles and I set out for a run on St. Patrick's Day morning. I picked a decent route, with a few uphills so I can keep challenging myself. I did not, however, anticipate how sore my legs were going to be after weight lifting on Friday.

I lasted 4.7 miles and it took me about 65 minutes. An absolute terrible pace, but there it was. Obviously I need to continue running throughout the week and pay more attention to when I schedule legs days in the gym. Aiming for 10-15 miles per week for the rest of March and April, so I need to figure out the right balance.

This race makes #5 in my quest, so I am over a third of the way there. Next race is a short 4.01k (2.5 miles) in mid-April.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

13 Races in 2013

I stumbled across this Challenge and thought it would be fun. 13 races of any distance or type in 2013. Its mid-March and I'm at 4 already, so I figured this is doable. Plus, I'll get a cool medal, and its really all about the medals.

So, quick recap:
Jan - Ice Breaker 10k
Feb - Sentinel Chase 8k
Mar - Phoenix Half-Marathon and Run to Remember 5k

May - National Kidney Walk (well, I'm going to run)
October - Bisbee 1000
December - Tucson Half-Marathon

If you know of any other cool races or virtual races that benefit a good cause, please let me know!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Amazing Asparagus

No, its not a Veggie Tales movie title. Its the fantastic dish I made yesterday for lunch. I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest (shocking) and adapted it to the veggies I had in the fridge.

I just trimmed the ends off the asparagus, grouped them in fours and then wrapped each group with two pieces of bacon. Then I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes or so. Depends on the done-ness level you want your bacon.

I sampled this plate. Then went back for two more stalk-groups. I devoured the leftovers for lunch today. I added aspsargus to the shopping list so I can continue to eat this delicious dish.

The original pinterest recipe had green beans. Cooked at 375 for 1 hour. That could be yummy, too!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Running Recap

Here are a few stats from February.

Total miles: 56
Weekly Mileage breakdown: 14, 20, 17, 7
Fastest run: 8k in 57 minutes
Longest run: 11.5 in 2:40:00

And, most important, the sticker chart. 14 of the 28 days were running days. The last week was pretty pathetic, but it was a taper week.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Race Report: 9th Annual Run to Remember

Sunday morning, Robin and I ran a 5k run supporting Families of Fallen Law Enforcement Officials in Arizona. It was a very well organized and conducted run. We ran around the capitol building and other government buildings in Phoenix and it was so interesting to see everything green! Apparently, Phoenix spends some money on irrigation to make the city look less desert-y.

My legs were very, very, very tired and this was by far not my best run, but it was fun. It was fun to see all the people, there were several kids running, and older people walking. They had two water stations, and let me tell you, the hour and half difference in start times was obvious to me. This race started at 8 and it was already warmer than most of the half-marathon the previous day!

After the race we grabbed donuts (I know, a cop race with donuts at the end....) and then headed back home. I wish we had taken a picture, but I didn't think about it until we were home. If I run the Phoenix half next year, we will definitely do this race again.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Race Report: Phoenix Half-Marathon

First things first, I DID IT!

Ok, now that we have gotten that point across, let's talk about the race. Packet pickup was fun and easy. It was held in a parking lot outside a RoadRunner's store, and was fun. Not too crowded. Picked up my bib, confirmed I did not have to ride the 5:15 am bus, and then walked into the store, crossing over a chip tester strip. Then I received my shirt, a nice Nike DriFit sized for women. We did a little window shopping and then headed to the hotel.

The alarm went off at 5:15 and we were out the door by 5:45, on our way to the starting area. I checked my bag, struggled with a safety pin and then posed for a picture. I was so glad I opted for the tall socks and makeshift arm warmers. It was 55 at the start, but still kind of cool.

And, we were off! I started out slow, knowing I would need to pace myself, but also wanting to hit that magic number of under 3 hours. I crossed the starting line about 4 minutes into the timer, so I knew not to get discouraged if I crossed the finish line a little after 3:00:00. The first few miles flew by. I felt great, felt fast, was moving well. I stopped at mile 4 for a quick pit stop and then kept on going. I met up with a new friend about mile 5/6 and we stuck together until the last 1/2 mile or so. We were stopped by police officers trying to clear up traffic for about 2 minutes and I was a bit discouraged, but understood why they were doing it.

The lead marathon runners passed us at mile 8.5 on pace for a sub 3 hour marathon. Starting at mile 8, there were aid stations every mile. They had water, Powerade, cliff blocks, sometimes fruit and jolly ranchers. I only took water throughout the race, but I took water at each aid station. I had my own Gatorade chews for the times I needed a little more.

Just before mile 13, when I could see the finish, I wished my friend good luck and took off. I sprinted (in my mind, at least) in to the finish line, passing 4 or 5 people along the way. The clock read 3:01:00 and I knew I did it. Robin was waiting for me at then end with some awesome signs. She also met me along the way, it was so nice to have a friendly face there. I enjoyed the recovery area, had some Rocket Refuel chocolate milk and bought myself a 13.1 treat.

Overall the race was easier than I expected. I never really hit "the wall." I never once doubted that I could do it. Obviously, the training paid off and I am stronger than I thought. I will be doing another one, and working to improve my time!

After my shower, I applied some dragon ice recovery balm to my calves and fell asleep. We celebrated that night with some Olive Garden! And went to bed early for, yet another race, the next morning.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Madness

On March 2nd, I will run my first half-marathon (13.1) miles and be able to cross a goal off my list. On March 3rd, I will run a 5k with my friend Robin to honor Fallen Arizona Law Enforcement Officials. After that, I plan to scale back my running a bit. I want to focus on weight training and reducing body fat. I've made a lot of progress on losing weight and shaping my body to be more healthy. I'm going to take the next 12 weeks and focus on that, instead of mileage.

Don't get me wrong, I still plan to run, at least 3 times a week, averaging 10-15 mile weeks for the next 12 weeks. But my focus will be on weight training and eating healthy. I purchased a 3-day a week program from Busy Mom Gets Fit. She's a mom of 4 boys and an army wife, and in incredible shape. She designed this program for 30-45 minutes, 3 days a week of strength training at the gym.

Eating healthy is not a huge problem for me, I'm slowly getting all the areas of my diet to line up. I eliminated soda in February. I increased my water intake and am slowly taking all other beverages out of my diet. With my fascination with freezer cooking, we eat healthy meals much more often. I just need to keep on doing it. My awesome Running Mom friends and I are embarking on a Go Green March Challenge. We will add one serving of something green (veggies or fruit) each week in March. Week 1, add one serving; Week 2 add two servings, etc. Hopefully green food becomes the staple for snacks, and not snacky food.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are in the gym. Tuesday and Thursday will be speed work/shorter runs. And Saturday or Sunday will be my longer run, 6-8 miles probably. I want to really work on my speed so I can improve my race times. I also want to be ready to run a 10k at any point, and to jump back into half-marathon training whenever I'm ready.

I think all the pieces together will really help me get to where I want to be by June. Oh, and to add to my daily schedule, I'm going to work on this challenge as well. I'm skipping the 2nd though, and I don't feel bad about that at all.