Monday, December 24, 2007

Share Your Motivation

My sister Patty is my best friend. I remember as a kid, fighting with her like cats and dogs. My mother used to say we would always have each other. She was so right!

Patty has become intrigued by this running, run /walk, treadmill thing. She thought she might feel a little better if she had a daily exercise routine. A challenge she faces living in the north is that it's dark in the morning and dark before she leaves work. She got a mack treadmill and has been using it regularly for a few weeks.

I teed up the possibility of having her join me for the Women Run the World 15k in May. I have sent her a Couch to 5k program and a 15k training program. I think she can do it and she wants to do it. Yay!

I want to put together a goodie basket for her with some essentials, such as good socks, body glide, sport beans, and a book with motivation. Motivation from my friends.

This is where I need your help. Please leave me a comment or email me with some motivation to share with my sister. My goal is to get 365 pieces of advice (tell your friends or post on your blog too!) to put in a spiral-bound book. I will share the final result with every contributor.

Please include funny, serious, silly, scientific or whatever you like.

I want to show my sister as much support as I can. And I want her to see that everyone of us is behind her and are rooting for her!

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quest for the Harbor

At the beginning of September, I made my first trip to San Diego. When I went out for my morning runs, I stuck mainly to the Old Town area because it was suggested by the front desk clerk at my hotel and it was pretty close. My last day in San Diego in September I made an attempt to find the Harbor. I wanted to see the water, but the route I had planned on the tourist hotel map led me to a freeway onramp and I was unsure how to get to there. I ended up doubling back and headed to Old Town afterall.

Yesterday morning, I was unsure if I could find the harbor and I wasn't sure I had time to look for it. I headed to the familiar Old Town. I ran just over 4 miles through Old Town and the Presidio Hills Golf Course. It's a little cooler here than I expected it to be, but I was comforatble in my long sleeve tech shirt (now I'm really wishing I would have run the reindeer run last Saturday for another long sleeve shirt)

This morning I was determined. I was going to dind the harbor. A few people at my office gave me directions, and then I planned my route on Google Maps so with little effort I navigated my way through the streets. When I arrived at the street where I had planned to turn, traffic was backing up becuase a freight train was lumbering along. I continued down the street I was on. I figured the train would have to pass me soon. I kept going and the train was still there. Eventually the train had passed, but I wasn't sure where I was. I decided to turn on the next trhough street. I asked a man if I was on the right track and he told me I would need to take a left and I would be there. I had found the harbor!

I ran down to the USS Midway and then circled back and passed the Star of India.

It was an amazing, wonderful run. I returned to the hotel with a smidge more than six miles in 56:57. A 9.27 pace. I feel some speed returning

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Race Report :: 8 on the 8th - errrr 9th

I thought about the Reindeer Run, but it just wasn't to be. I had waited all week debating back and forth about registering. As it turned out, it was probably a good thing.

Friday night, in preparation for my trip this week, I had an appointment for a haircut - I lost three inches, but if you didn't know, you couldn't tell. I didn't get home until about 9:30 PM

Because my husband had plans on Saturday morning (He's only held off on any sort of Saturday morning plan since at least May) I was home and I thought I might do a little house cleaning and run about ten miles as a part of my 8 on the 8th. At 10:45, I remembered my son had been invited to a birthday party that started at noon. That meant no run for Saturday morning.

Before I knew it, the day was gone. I knew that the Race Director, the awesome Nancy was following the on or about rule. So today, Sunday, would be my day.

I jumped on the treadmill just past 10:30. It was heating up and the room was getting hot. My plan was that I would run at least eight miles and ten if I was feeling it. By mile three I had decided that I would be done with eight.

Half way point

I had my husband snap a picture for an "official" race photo. When I run on the treadmill, it is almost always in a sports bra and shorts. But, I have to tell you, no one needs to see that. The photo has been censored for sensitive eyes.

When I reached the 6.5 mile mark, I kicked up the speed a little bit. I felt I had it in me to go faster and I wanted to get the first seven miles run in less than an hour. I bumped up the speed one more time and finished the eight miles in 1:07:42.

There really isn't a lot to report when you run on a treadmill. The TV was on, but I was listening to my iPod. I know that a lot of running friends have a certain amount of "dread" for the treadmill, but I don't mind it at all. Although it does make for a drab race report

Thursday, December 06, 2007

8 on the 8th

I have been meaning to post about this for quite some time, but sometimes the day gets away from me. I'm sure you can relate...

Non-Runner Nancy has come up with a virtual race for this Saturday(or Friday, or Sunday...), "8 on the 8th". I'm planning on participating. I may work it into the Reindeer Run in Maitland, partly because Marathon Chris will be there and partly because I am a total sucker for long sleeve race shirts, technical or not. My only concern is that it will probably take me close to an hour to get to Maitland and It just seems like a long way to go. it's really not, but I have a "to do" list that is 8 miles long. I could run those 8 miles, get ready for my day and drink a few cups of coffee in the time it would take me to get to Maitland and run that 5k. But the shirt is long sleeve... Decisions, decisions.

If you are running long this weekend, check out Nancy's blog and let her know you're running. Or go to the Runner's Lounge and check out the 8 on the 8th lounge group.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Yesterday I ran my first official half marathon since January. If you missed it, you can read the full race report here. Since that time, I have run about 800 additional miles, I have run a 5k, a 10k, a 12k a 15k and a marathon. As you may remember, while I was happy with finishing the marathon and setting a benchmark, I was not totally thrilled with my time of 5:19:11. My knee-jerk reaction was to pick a new marathon and smash that time to pieces.

I know that one of my personal "areas of improvement" is to quell my knee-jerk reactions, because they may not always be the best ideas.

I was really disappointed with my performance yesterday. And I have been trying really hard to put some perpective around this, but it's hard. It does not escape me that a little less than 2 years ago, I was thrilled to run a 2:24:07 in Sarasota and now I'm disappointed by 2:19.

I did not meet my goal yesterday. The 2006 OUC Half Marathon was ridiculously hot. I struggled through a lot of the race and finished in a disappointing 2:17:38. I wasn't even shooting for a PR (2:08:43). I just wanted a time faster than last year.

With a chip time of 2:19:17, I didn't quite make it. Boo.

There are a few variables. Note, these are variables, not excuses.

  • The course was different

  • I expirimented with a Japanese steakhouse dinner

  • My weight is a little higher (no more than 5lbs)

  • I'm a year older

  • So, what went wrong?

    I don't really know. I do think that training for the marathon has resulted in me becoming a slower runner.

    I took a step back and decided to re-evalute my goals.

    What is that I want?

    Yes, I do want a faster marathon time, and I don't believe I have run my last one.

    However, my biggest goal that I have wanted for the longest time is to run a sub two hour half marathon.

    I have decided that I am not going to run the full marathon in Sarasota. I am going to train (hard) for and run the half marathon on March 2nd.

    I am also going to spend the next five weeks working hard toward my Trifecta Disney Half Marathon.

    My Plan?

    I want to commit some time researching nutrition - I know I can do a better job in that department. I could stand to drop a few more than a few pounds...

    I want to do some core training - I know I'm weak there.

    I want to do some weight training - I've been talking about it since the beginning of time and I have yet to take action.

    I want to get a little more serious about my training and run a better race.

    As far as my next marathon? It will be the final leg of the 2009 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Will I PR in the full that weekend? There is a possibility.

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    OUC Half Marathon :: Race Report

    I was starting to get excited about the OUC Half Marathon. This would be the third time I have run this race. Each time I have run this race the course is different. The course this year was closer to the course the race followed the first time I ran it in 2000.

    Last year for the beginning of December, the weather was extremely warm. In the low eighties when I finished the race. This year was warm, but comfortable.

    I had my alarm set for 4:20 AM. I had agreed to pick up my friend Cheryl between 5:00 and 5:15 AM. Cheryl ran the Spacecoast Half Marathon last Sunday and decided to run the 5k today.

    We ended up in the parking garage downtown at 6:00 AM for the 7:30 AM start. I thought it would take us a little longer to get parked, although I would always take being early for a race over being late any day.

    Cheryl and I met up with some of the Team in Training peeps, and as we were checking in our bags, we met up with Marathon Chris

    Chris, me and Cheryl, post race

    Chris and I said goodbye to Cheryl and made our way to the start area just before 7:30. Once the race started it took us about a minute and a half to cross the mats and get on our way.

    Chris and me showing off our "Pray for Elijah" Bracelets - Not punching each other

    Chris and I ran together for the first half mile or so. We then said our good-byes and good lucks and I moved ahead.

    Right after Chris and I parted, I passed a runner with a homemade race bib pinned to her back. It said:

    My age is
    Try to pass me!

    Based on the race results, she was the oldest female runner in the race today and finished in a respectable 2:32:58. She also took 3rd place in the Women 65 and older age group. Congratulations to her!

    Once the course turned onto Hillcrest, which is a brick road, I moved to the sidewalk and ran there as much as possible. While the city of Orlando loves to use bricks as a "traffic calming device" they are tough on the knees and because of their uneven nature, have the potential to cause a runner to take a digger.

    Before we turned off of Hillcrest, there was a lone woman, in her late 70's or early 80's watching in awe as we passed. I wished her a good morning. She smiled and said "Keep up the good work." She made me smile.

    The good news is, there was a good amount of shade, throughout the course. While there was never much of a breeze, the shade provided a good bit of comfort.

    After the halfway point, the course turned onto Michigan Street. A busy road without much shade. The traffic was piling up on the other side of the median. An ambulance was working it's way through the cars with sirens on and the horn honking. The drivers were confused about where to go and the ambulance was so loud! My hope was that the ambulance would arrive at it's destination in a timely manner and that their destination was not a runner.

    Michigan Street was my least favorite part of the course.

    We then turned onto Delaney Avenue. It is a tree lined street with older homes. OPD was in full force directing traffic and keeping runners safe. A handsome silver haired motorcycle officer was at a small intersection watching a very furry long haired cat stroll toward him against the flow of the runners. I asked him if he was directing that cat. I think he chuckled.

    We were headed toward my old neighborhood. The neighborhood I lived in when I was 20 years old. The neighborhood I lived in when my then boyfriend, now husband,and I broke up and I was broken-hearted. In order to maintain any level of sanity a broken-hearted 20 year old may have, I was running 2 - 3 miles a day, in the heat and humidity of the summer. I was transported back to that time in my mind. Not so much the sadness I felt at the time, but the relief I got from running on these same streets.

    We worked our way closer and closer to the finish line. And once we hit Robinson Street, I knew we were so close. Just before the mile 13 mark I heard "Go Maddy!!!" Not far behind me, my friend Terri was running and rooting for me. I'm sure she recognized me from my Pink Camo bandanna.

    Just a few minutes later, I crossed the finish line.

    My Chip Time: 2:19:17

    Thoughts, disappointment,observations and next steps in my next post.

    After the race, Cheryl found me. She finished the 5k in an awesome 28:37. After I had some water and a bagel, Chris found us. -Chris ran an amazing race for a new PR - Check her blog for details! We spent some time in the beer garden and Chris and Cheryl celebrated the day with an ice cold draft beer.

    We headed to the lake for a few pictures and then we headed home