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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Where's my Mojo?!?!?!?!

This last week I have had a bout with lack of motivation.  It might actually be my body telling me to take it easy and recover after last Sunday's marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas, or it could be my mind saying, "You have a very long week coming up with conferences, so take a break and get rejuvenated for your busy week ahead."

I didn't exercise at all Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  I taught TRX on Thursday, but took it VERY easy during this workout.  Friday morning I got up and ran on the treadmill before doing some hard core exercises.  The run was a struggle since my legs felt as though someone had loaded them full of lead.  I ended up running 3 miles at a 10:56 pace.  Since my average pace was 8:55 at Sunday's marathon, this was slow for me, but it was a pace that my body needed to help me recover.  Saturday and Sunday were also void of exercise.

This coming week, I have parent teacher conferences, which will require me to work from 7 am to 7 pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I will also have to work from 8 - 11:30 am on Thursday morning, but then...SPRING BREAK for 10 days!!  Mojo...During this time, I will find you and own you!! Spring break is going to be a time for me to get back on track, re energized and motivated about upcoming races and the end of the school year :)

We all have peaks and valleys with the amount of mojo we possess.  Just because I am in the valley today, doesn't mean I will be tomorrow.  What is it going to take for me to find my mojo again??????

1.  Take a moment and remember why I set the goals for myself that I did.

2.  Put my feet on the floor and get moving...The hardest part is often putting my feet on the floor and stepping out the door.  Once I take the first few steps, it is often easy to keep moving.  Getting started is the hardest part.

3.  Make Everyday Count...If I have a bad day, get up and do it again tomorrow.  The key to a bad day is to not sulk, but turn it around.  Tomorrow is a new day, so take it and run with it!!

4.  Be consistent, but flexible...Do the BEST I can with what I have.  My life is different from the lives of others.  I need to do what I can for ME with the time, energy and strength that I have at that time.

5.  Be kind to my body...If I want my body to perform at its peak, I need to ensure that I take care of my body and treat it right.  If you put sand in the gas tank of a car, it won't run...likewise, if I am not kind to my body, my body won't run efficiently either.

6.  Be positive and surround myself with positive people and positive circumstances..."Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative." Baloo from the Jungle Book...Need I say more?!?!?!?!?

Now...Let's go find that MOJO!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Little Rock Marathon Race Report

Little Rock Marathon - Little Rock, Arkansas

March 3, 2013

Race Details:

Temperature at the start of the race: 27°F at the start of the race and warmed up to about 47°F by the time we finished the race.
Distance: Advertised as 26.2 miles, but was actually 26.5 miles
Terrain:  A combination of rolling hills, flat areas and one long, gradual climb (approximately 3 miles long)
Place in my age group: 18 out of 179 women (top 10%)
Place among all women: 96 out of 1150 (top 8%)
Place overall:  427 out of 2446 (top 17.5%)
Post Race Grub:  There was a good spread of food after this race!!

The race from my perspective:

At the start of the race, I was very unsure about what to wear.  I knew it would warm up throughout the race, since the temperature was to climb throughout the day, but I also didn't want to freeze standing around down at the start area.  I decided to go with lightweight capri pants, a long sleeved Under Armor shirt with an additional long sleeve moisture wicking shirt on top, a moisture wicking stocking cap and gloves.  I was cold at the start, but knew I would warm up once I got moving.

By the time the gun went off, I was so happy to start moving and get the opportunity to warm up!!  Tonja, Adam and I started off at a pace that felt really comfortable, but was a little faster than we were intending.  We reached the first mile at an 8:43 pace.  Our goal was to run an average pace of 9:00 overall.  We were ahead of schedule, but knew we had a LONG way to go.  We decided to "slow down," but that didn't work so well...Mile 2 was an 8:40 pace, mile 3 was an 8:36 pace, mile 4 was an 8:40 pace, mile 5 was a 9:05 pace...FINALLY we had slowed down to a pace that was closer to our goal!!  Apparently that wasn't our "happy pace" however...mile 6 was an 8:47 pace, mile 7 was an 8:56 pace (this was where we separated from Tonja...she was running the 1/2 marathon and Adam and I were running the full marathon), mile 8 was an 8:47 pace, mile 9 was an 8:40 pace, mile 10 was an 8:54 pace, mile 11 was an 8:57 pace, mile 12 was an 8:10 pace.  At this point, I was starting to heat up, so I shed my long sleeve moisture wicking top and threw it on the side of the road next to a trash can.  Mile 13 was an 8:55 pace and then...Here comes the LONG, GRADUAL HILL...Mile 14 was a 9:04 pace, mile 15 was a 9:19 pace, mile 16 was a 9:09 pace, mile 17...finally we reached the TOP of the hill and it was time for the descent, which was STEEP and relatively short compared to the climb.  Mile 17 was an 8:50 pace, mile 18 was an 8:29 pace, mile 19 was a 9:11 pace...I was starting to mentally check out at this point.  Thankfully Adam was there to pull me forward and keep me focused on our goal!!  Mile 20 was a 9:02 pace, mile 21 was an 8:55 pace, mile 22 was an 8:54 pace, mile 23 was an 8:59 pace...we decided to slow down a bit for the next mile to ensure that we had enough in the tank to finish strong.  Good thing we did, because we didn't realize there were still a few hills to come.  Mile 24 was a 9:46 pace, mile 25 was a 9:25 pace, mile 26 was a 9:13 pace and the last 1/2 mile was an 8:23 pace... read that correctly.  This race was NOT the official 26.2 miles that was advertised.  Instead, it was 26.5 miles long.  Our official finish time was 3:57:13 for the 26.5 miles.  Our finish time at the 26.2 mile mark was 3:54:05.  This is my second fastest marathon finish time.  Thanks Adam for pushing me and keeping me mentally focused on our goal throughout the race!!

When we crossed the finish line, we got a ridiculously LARGE and HEAVY medal.  These medals were about the size of our heads!!  This is the most "bling" I have EVER gotten at a race!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Taper Time

I HATE the taper!!  I know I should be resting to allow myself to properly recover from all of the long training hours I have done, but mentally, my mind says I should be going, going, going!!  With only 9 days to race day, I am starting to feel the anxiousness of the taper.  During the taper, I typically get sick, but this time I have been filling my body with healthy, whole foods, lots of vitamins, minerals and probiotics.  So far, I have been able to fend off any potential illness heading my way.

I'm excited for race day!!  It has been a few years since I have run a stand-alone marathon, so I am a little nervous.  I know I will successfully finish.  Then why am I nervous you might ask?  That is an easy answer...I have a time goal in mind for finishing this marathon.  Hopefully the nerves will fuel a performance that will allow me to achieve my goal.

Little Rock Marathon...I hope you're ready...HERE I COME!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Longest SUCKMILL Run

After last year's mild winter weather, I decided to train for a March marathon this year.  Our most recent Iowa weather has not been the best for my outdoor run training...Last Sunday we had a freezing rain/snow mix and this last Wednesday we had a snow day at school due to a snow storm with lots of blowing winds.  Thursday and Friday we had high temperatures at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill factored in.

What is a girl to do in these weather conditions?!?!?!?!?  Hit the mill...the SUCKMILL that is!!

I decided to run on the treadmill in the workout room at school, so I wouldn't have to potentially give up my treadmill at the gym.  I knew this would provide me with VERY LIMITED company on a Friday afternoon/evening as there are very few people who use these facilities to begin with...let alone on a Friday.  The first hour wasn't so bad...a couple of teachers were using the facilities, so I had company for the whole hour.  This allowed me to keep my mind off of the run and enjoy conversations from others.  I took the first hour to warm up nice and easy gearing up physically and mentally for what would be a long run.  Since the treadmill stops at an hour, I decided I better take a photo of the treadmill after each hour to help me remember how far I had ran.

Hour 1 complete

The second hour was ok as well.  My husband came to school to complete his hour run on a treadmill next to me, so I was able to chat with him.  I decided to increase my pace a little for this second hour.

Hour 2 complete

After completing my second hour I thought, "I'm 2/3 of the way done.  I CAN do this!!"  I started off the 3rd hour at the same pace I was at for my second hour.  At this point, I felt good and was mentally confident about the run.  After about 20 minutes, my mind started to play games with me and I began to doubt myself.  "Can I really finish this last hour?  Why am I doing this again?  Oh...Is that a cramp in my calf?  Boy am I getting tired.  Maybe I should just stop running.  UGH!!  This is a LONG, BORING run!!"  That is when I called upon my husband to come chat with me...he was still in the workout room lifting weights.  I needed the change from being in my own head and knew he would help motivate me to keep going.  He talked with me for about 20 minutes and then decided to head home.  This left me with 20 minutes to complete on my own.  Could I do it????  I decided I WOULD do it and pushed forward!!

Hour 3 complete

I was SO HAPPY to have that treadmill quit for the last time!!  I thought about a friend who recently ran for 24 hours on the treadmill to raise money for MS.  I had a new found appreciation and respect for him and his accomplishment!!  It made my 3 hours on the treadmill seem so minuscule!!  After 19.01 miles in 3 hours and some serious stretching, it was now time for a shower and a LOT of food!!  Man was I hungry!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sports Bra Review

I have had many troubles with sports bras while running and have tried many different sports bras as a result.  Here is my review of what I have tried so far:

Champion C9 Sports Bras:
Chaffing above and below the breasts after about 90-120 minutes of running

Nike Pro Sports Bras:
Chaffing below the breasts after about 60-90 minutes of running

Adidas Techfit Sports Bras:
Chaffing below the breasts after about 60-90 minutes of running

Fiona Bra by Moving Comfort:
SERIOUS chaffing below the breasts after 90 minutes of running (blood was present with this one after 2 hours)

This was a bloody mess after my 2 hour run.
With the help of a friend, I have come to find that if I wrap 3M Microfoam tape on the underside of my heart rate strap (sticky side stuck to the heart rate strap), put the sensor on the back of my chest and put the heart rate strap on under my bra I have ZERO chaffing!!  It has even been successful for nearly 3 hours of running.  I think I may have a solution!!

Now, who's going to make a sports bra that has this Microfoam material as a part of the sports bra?!?!?  Will it hold up in the wash???  How will this material hold up over time????  Is it possible to have the sports bra be a combination of Microfoam where needed and technical fabric elsewhere???

Lots of questions to consider...At least I know what works for me!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Race Reviews

28th Annual Resolution Run - West Des Moines, Iowa

January 1, 2013...Starting the year off right!!
Temperature at the start of the race: -11°F (yes there is a negative sign in front of this temperature)
Distance: Advertised as a 5K (3.1 miles), but was actually only 2.8 miles
Terrain:  The run was all on sidewalks with rolling hills (they were not cleared off very well in many spots and were thus icy)
Number of Participants:  There were 280 registered participants, but I know they didn't all show up!!
Post Race Grub:  Hot Caribou Coffee, water, apples and bananas
This race is not chip timed and the fan support was very limited.  Who can blame anyone though...I don't want to stand outside on a very cold Iowa morning and cheer on a bunch of crazy runners and I happen to be one of those crazy runners!!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Goals for 2013

Many people are setting New Year's Resolutions.  While New Year's Resolutions are a great concept, many people choose unrealistic resolutions that they can't stick to.  Of the people who set New Year's Resolutions, only about 8% of them successfully achieve their resolutions.  Many people have too many resolutions or their resolutions are far to large or broad for people to achieve.

I think that it is important to instead set goals that one can stick to.  I refer to them as goals, because for me, the stigma of the "resolution" that so many fall short of is not there with the term "goals."

My Goals for 2013:

1.  Lose 25 pounds...I realize many people want to lose weight as a "New Year's Resolution," but I have already set the wheels in motion for this and have lost 7 pounds since Thanksgiving.  For me, it is about getting to a healthy race weight that will help me achieve my race goals more efficiently.  By losing the weight at a slower rate, I am more likely to keep it off.

2.  I have the goal of eating more natural foods (less processed foods)...This shouldn't be too challenging since we don't consume many processed foods, but I am looking to eliminate even more of them.  By incorporating more natural foods into my diet, I am hopeful I will have more energy, lose a few unwanted pounds and feel better about myself.

3.  I am have some running goals for this year as well.

  • I am running the Little Rock Marathon on March 3rd.  My goal for this race is to run between 4 hours and 4:15:00.
  • I am also running the Drake 1/2 Marathon in April.  My goal for this race is to set a PR...This will require me to run sub 1:45:00.  It will be a challenge, but I KNOW I CAN DO THIS!!
  • I will be running the Twin Cities Marathon in October.  My goal for this race is to break the 4 hour mark.

4.  I am competing in a 1/2 Ironman Distance event in June and another in August.  My goal for one of these is to go sub 6:00:00...My current PR is 6:32:44 for the 70.3 mile distance.  I would be happy to break 6:30:00, but I will continue to push my body to new limits to break 6 hours!!

5.  I am planning to compete in Ironman Wisconsin in 2014, so I want to make sure I have a great base and remain injury free going into 2014.