April 24, 2014

Why Richmond?

After sharing that I'll be running the Richmond marathon later this fall, I figured I would share some details on why I settled on this race.  I spent a lot of time researching races for the fall and settled on three options: Marine Corps for charity, Richmond, or Philly.  I eliminated Marine Corps almost immediately because I've already done that one.  And as much as I adore that race and it will always hold a special place in my heart, I wanted to try something new.  And after traveling for other races this summer, I decided I wanted to stay closer to home.  So what else brought me to Richmond?

1. Fabulous race reviews.  I've heard from numerous runners that this is a fabulous event and worth trying.  I usually don't make decisions solely on reviews but since this isn't one of the "big" marathons, I was really interested in feedback.

2. A hoopla-less event.  After doing some big races and races that require significant advance coordination and travel, I was excited to do something more low key.  You know, the kind of marathon that costs less than $100 and doesn't require a lottery?  Yea, I'm into those these days.

3. It's sort of local for me.  Richmond is about an hour and a half away which means I can go up Saturday and come home after the race…aka doesn't require a plane ticket and multiple nights in a hotel room.  Win!

4. Nice looking course.  It's flat and covers a good bit of the city.  Win-win.

5. It's later in the fall.  The race is mid-November which means that I'll be able to avoid the dead of summer long runs.  I won't be doing my 16-20 mile runs until September which is fantastic!  The very long runs in July and August were really tough as I was training for Marine Corps last year. 

How do you select your marathon races?  Anyone else running Richmond this year?

April 23, 2014

Race pacing a runner

On Sunday morning, Mitzie will be my guinea pig as I attempt to pace her for her debut at the half marathon distance.  It will be a day of firsts, since this will be my first time to pace another runner!  Here are some of the ways I hope to make the Divas Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach a successful race for Mitzie.

*  Start Slow The excitement at the start of a race makes it so easy to get caught up in the moment.  I will have my eye on the Garmin watch to make sure we keep our pace and emotions in check.

*  Keep my runner relaxed  Tell stories and talk about things other than running!  I remember Megan talking to me and keeping me occupied before the start of the marathon last month.  It really helped to have someone diverting my attention away from the race.  She also chattered pretty much non stop during a large portion on the race.  I need to think of some fun stories to keep us entertained during the rough parts of the race.

* Hydration and Fuel  I plan to wear a belt so I can carry gels or whatever fuel source Mitzie might need.  Of course I will need some gels as well!  The course offers numerous water stops and we will devise a plan as to how to navigate those to save as much time as possible.
Necessities to do my job: Garmin, belt and fuel!

*  Smile According to my Runner's World daily calendar, squinting will zap your energy.  So I will be reminding Mitzie that we need to smile and keep our faces relaxed!

*  Negative Split Our goal is to negative split the race and my plan is to start approximately 5-10 seconds slower per mile than race pace for the first two to three miles.  We will have plenty of time in the last few miles to make up that time. We will build each mile after the first 5k and hopefully bring it home strong for the last 5k!

*  Race Day Mantra  During our meeting on Thursday morning, I am going to have Mitzie come up with our race day mantra. Last month, I copied coach Sami (and Christine) and used "Feeling strong and Looking gorgeous!"  I've got a few ideas in my head, but will save those for my meeting.

*Finish Happy We will be collecting a feather boa just before the finish line and then toasting with a glass of bubbly.  Hopefully this will be a great incentive to really go all out the last couple miles!

Now I need your help.  Have you ever paced someone.  Please share any advice you may have!

April 22, 2014

Dear Shalane

Dear Shalane,

Hey girl.  I know you're bummed out you didn't get the olive wreath, but we are SO proud of you.  You stepped over the line and you did it big, girl.  You owned those first 20 miles.  You were fearless. 

As race day approached, I told all my runner gal pals that I was DYING for you to win.  I could sense the fire in your gut to bring it home to Boston.  Everyone knew it.  Everyone could sense your determination and your passion.  We felt it.  You shared that with us and no one doubted your determination for a nanosecond.

I watched as you owned those first 19-20 miles.  I managed to catch bits and pieces of the live feed as I attempted to focus on my work yesterday morning.  I got a little misty eyed when I saw you run through Wellesley, a place that means so much to me.  When I saw the updates that you'd fallen off, my heart sunk.  I kept thinking it was strategy but I knew.  I knew that maybe you had led as far as you could.  And the pack was starting to close.  I bounced around in my chair hoping that there was a second wind in you somewhere, but yesterday wasn't your day.

Please don't think you let us down.  Cause that's just crazy talk and so unbelievably far from reality. You set your own personal record out there yesterday.  Your blonde ponytail led the pack to a new course record.  You are America's sweetheart and we thank you for your determination and spirit out there today.  You are Boston Strong, girlfriend.

Hugs and high fives,

P.S. Meb, you are THE MAN!

April 21, 2014

Best Easter basket ever!

I had a huge surprise yesterday morning when Christine presented me with a gift bag filled with Easter/running treats.  Not only were the items fun and useful, but can you detect a theme?

Polished my nails last night!

Yummy goodies for watching the marathon today!

It was so exciting to find the sign Christine wore on her back during the Shamrock Half Marathon the day I was running the Quintiles Marathon. It will soon be framed and added to my "shrine" above my desk!   I love the Wicked Fast Runnah shirt and the Bahston Runnah sticker will go on my car.....but not until after I complete the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2015!

Last of all some reading material to get me psyched up to watch/follow all my teammates and other running friends participating in the marathon today.  My television and computer will be tuned in and turned on for the excitement.

Fun magazines!

Will you be watching the Boston Marathon today?  Have you eaten any Easter candy? I confess to many many many peanut M & M's!

April 20, 2014

Weekly Roundup - April 20th

Happy Easter!  We've had a great week of fun and some good workouts too!  Christine arrived on Thursday in time to celebrate Tom's birthday with lunch out at his favorite burger joint!  We finished out Thursday with a hard track workout with the Without Limits group and then dinner at home.  Our dogs had a blast playing together but little Lulu was quite the brat trying to boss Paddy around throughout the weekend.  Paddy loves it when a mat and foam roller make their appearance as seen below!

Head nuzzle!
Now for the workout recap.  I feel really good about my running and so happy that my first solo run is behind me after the dog bite attack two weeks ago.  Hopefully each time out will make it a little easier. And I realized that I never took a rest day this week, so next week I will have two including today!  Hope everyone has a very Happy Easter spent with family and friends!

Sunday, April 13th
Pam: 8 miles with my group 3 at 8:45 pace with the rest at easy pace
Christine: 8 miles at 9:07 pace plus 3 hours yard work

Monday, April 14th
Pam: 20 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes stationary bike and stretching
Christine: 30 min stationary bike and lots of stretching

Tuesday, April 15th
Pam: 4.2 miles descending, average pace 8:53
Christine: 4 miles running

Wednesday, April 16th
Pam: 30 minutes stationary bike, weights, situps
Christine: Rest day

Thursday, April 17th
Pam: WOL practice 1 mile warm up, 4 X 1 mile repeats with 400 hard in between each mile total 6 miles
Christine: same WOL practice

Friday, April 18th
Pam: 20 minutes, elliptical machine, 20 minutes stationary bike, weights
Christine: 35 minutes elliptical, abs, stretching

Saturday, April 19th
Pam: 6.2 miles at 9:27 pace
Christine: 6.2 miles at 9:27 pace

How was your week?  Anything special happen?

April 18, 2014

Friday Five: Fitness Goals!

The girls from DC, Mar at Mar on the run, Cynthia at You Signed up for what and Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC have a Friday link up and this week the topic is fitness goals.  I decided to join the party and take part by establishing what my fitness goals should be for the remainder of 2014!

1. Strengthen my core  My core is the weakest part of my body. My goal is to start strength training with a coach in May, with the hope of this improving not only my running but my overall fitness. Last year I participated in a strength challenge during the month of August and it really helped tone my middle!

2. Run a really strong 10k  My race calendar has been set with big races until April of next year, but I do not have a 10k on the schedule.  My time is not that great and I really want to have a PR in that distance!

3.  Become a better swimmer I have no goal to become a triathlete, but swimming is something I enjoy.  I would like to learn to do a proper flip turn and to be able to swim for at least 45 minutes without dying.  Advice anyone?

4. Improve flexibility with stretching: Despite leaving my foam roller and Yoga mat next to my chair, they are not used near enough.  Starting today, I will attempt to spend at least 10-15 minutes every day using these items to keep flexible and injury free for running!

5.  Plank for 2 minutes without a break  This will be the easiest item on my list of fitness goals, because I try to do a plank at least 3 times a week.  However, over the last few months, I have slacked and it definitely shows in the amount of time I can hang on.  Hopefully by June I will reach this goal!

What's on your fitness goal list?

April 17, 2014

My first running buddy

You may think that Mom was my first family running buddy and that would be a reasonable assumption.  But it would be wrong.  When I was in high school and swimming year-round, I often ran at the beginning of a season or during the off season to stay in shape.  And the person who usually ran with me was my Dad.  Being a former Army guy, he often had some good chants or stories that he would share while we were out on our runs.  We usually didn't run far, probably 2-3 miles or so.  But it was good bonding time during my teenage years when I was a pain in the you-know-what.

And why am I telling you this story you ask?  Because today is my Dad's Birthday and I'm headed down to Wilmington to help him celebrate.  I'm looking forward to taking him on a lunch date and maybe a mystery ride for good measure.  When I was little, he would take me on "mystery rides" where we went on fun adventures like going to see a movie (probably Disney) or to get ice cream or something along those lines.  I loved riding in the 'Blue Bomber' aka his Honda Prelude on our adventures.  He usually had Tom Petty or Genesis or another killer 80s band playing.
Celebrating my Birthday a few years ago
As I get older, I tend to get a bit sappier about Birthdays and I'm also realizing that Dad isn't one for much of a fuss, which is all the more reason that I'm ready to amp up the celebration.  It will be nice to get to spend some time together and enjoy some springtime fun!