Attempting a healthy balancing act.

49:30 minutes! BAM!

I’m stoked!  I acheived a PR in the 10km race and finally broke 50 minutes!  49:30 kills my last PR last July of 53:18!  I just used a lot of exclamation marks there. 

I was a bit worried going into this race as I just got back from a 10 day trip to Italy the week before and didnt run at all while I was there.  I got in three really crappy and slow runs in the week leading up to the race but just wasn’t feeling my best.   Plus I had a little bit of a mind thing going on.  Last time I ran this race I started out strong and stalled to a dead halt @ 7.5 km as I was experiencing the worst cramp on the planet.  I actually thought something was seriously wrong.  It hurt so much in my side that I was limping because any leg movement KILLED.  I have never ever gotten a cramp like that. This is the race I learned the value of pacing.  It also made me afraid to push myself too hard.  So I went into the race on Sunday with visions of lying on the road in agony flashing through my head.  As I get more serious about running I am learning how to listen to my body more and also about proper training.  I think this helped me push hard but not run out of steam. 

I have also decided to run a half marathon in July.  My first one and probably my last before I get knocked up.  I have six weeks to train.  I am not aiming to be fast, I’m aiming to finish.  Anything around the 2 hour mark would make me happy though.  I plugged everything into Smart Coach and it created a plan for me.  This is what the first week looks like.   There is a lot (too many IMO) of really short 5 km or less runs in the plan.  I might up them a few km.  Like change the 4 km run to 6 km.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Easy Run  Easy Run Tempo Run Easy Run Rest/XT Long Run Rest/ XT
4 KM @ 6:03 4 KM @ 6:03 9 KM inc warm, 6 KM @ 5:24, cool 4 KM @ 6:03   21 KM @ 6:03  
Advertisements

Time: 44 minutes.  Distance:…unknown.  Really.   The race was a real life “choose your own adventure”

This may have been the most poorly organized race in the history of running.  Which is too bad because last year it was awesome.   The volunteers had no idea what the course was and ended up leading the 10k and 5 k runners onto the half marathon course (awesome). 

0km – 1km:  At this point I had no idea of the ultimate fail that lay ahead of me.  But by the time I hit the 1km mark I was getting worried.  It was a LONG 1km.  It took 7.22 minutes.  That is weird.  So I was like “ok speed up”.  So I’m running fairly fast now…and I run….and I run….and I run…and run….and run…and run….

..and I think WTH man? This is the longest km of my life!  I see some volunteers and ask them if this is the 10k route and they assure me that it is.  I am running with a bunch of 5k’ers now and am convinced that I have somehow made it onto the 5k route and missed a turn off (or turned too soon). The route isnt marked with the distances and there were some volunteers a while back that were chatting and not paying attention…what if I missed a turn?  So I resign myself to running a 5k and sped up a bit.  I’m not running no slow 5k. 

At this point I have no idea how far I have run.  Then I spot a marker.  Thank dog!  oh no!!!  It says 2.5km.  I look at my watch.  I’ve been running half an hour.   the longest 1.5 km of my life.  Dude.  I’m in bad shape.  The 5k’ers turn back here and I keep going.  Phew I was on the 10k route after all.   I hear some grumblings now about some mix up in the course and how all the 5k’er are actually running 7.5k and the 10k’ers will be running 15 km.  Ok then.  Now I’m running 15 km.  I ease up my pace a bit.

So now I come to a fork in the road.  The sign says for the 10k runners to keep going (this would lead to the rumored 15km 1ok race route) but the volunteers are now telling the 10k runners to take the other route, which would shorten the distance.  sheesh.  So I go the other way hoping this means I’m running an actual 10k and that everything will be alright.  Again, I have no idea how far I am running I know its less than 15km.  So I speed up a bit now because I’m slower than 10k pace and keep going. 

 I finally get to the finish line at 44 minutes (approximately).  At this point I don’t care about an accurate time as I don’t have any idea of a distance.  I am hearing various numbers from people with GPS (keep in mind everyone ran something different) anywhere from 8km to 9.o to 9.5 km.  The consensus is  that it ended up being shorter than 10km though.   Some people took a different route all together and ended up coming into the finish line from the opposite direction (huh?).  Others just ran the 5 k route twice. And some people just ran around randomly until their GPS reached 10km.  

I would estimate that there were at least 5 different routes taken during the 10k race and that most of the 5k racers ran 7.5k (bonus).  I saw a total of three distance markers. 1km, 2.5km and 3 km.  ALL WRONG.

On a positive note: the snacks were awesome.  I made sure I took one of everything.   Best race snacks yet.  They successfully distracted me from being annoyed by having Mars bars there.

 

If this wasn’t for charity I would want my $40 back.

I need a GPS watch.

Race day tomorrow!  Race day tomorrow!  Good luck to me!  The 1st race of the year is always nerve-wracking as it feels  a little like the unknown.  I only have last year’s times as a point of reference and A LOT can happen in a year. 

I like running.  Running is very enjoyable.  It’s a time where I can go out and just have ‘me” time.  I can play upbeat music and go at my own pace. I prefer running first thing in the morning as it gives me a great start to my day.  I feel good and my mood is lifted.  I’ve only recently started to run after work when I can’t in the morning.  It’s a great way to unwind from the day and have a good long think about things.  I find that I have more bad runs after work than I do in the morning though.  Running is a fun and I like it a lot. 

Now racing…. I LOOOOVE racing.  I both look forward to and dread races (I always get nervous).   I love the atmosphere, the anticipation, standing in the crowd and feeling their energy.  I love the last km where I can see the finish line and I give it my all.  I love the door prizes (though I have yet to win one).  I love the rush when they post the times on a tree.   I LOVE the post race snacks (my favorite part lol).  A banana or a muffin has never tasted so darn good.  I adore the race t-shirts (my husband does too because he gets all the huge ones that don’t fit).  I always wear mine for the race.  Mostly, I love competing.  Both against myself and (secretly) against others.  There is always one person in each race who seems to go at pretty close to the same pace as me.  It is always my goal to beat the person.   I am super competitive by nature and I can’t help but competing just a little bit with others.  It drives me to be better.  I want to be the passer, not the passee. 🙂

I love the 10K distance because I KNOW I can finish it but not so easily that it’s not a challenge.  Sure I can finish it, but how far can I push myself?   I don’t finish a 10k and go “ok let’s do another”.  I finish it and go “ok I need to sit down”.  I like that.  Because I’m not worried about completing it I can focus on becoming faster at it.  Seeing the times get faster and faster is a lot more gratifying for me then being happy to have done it.  I don’t want to just do something.  I want to do something and be AWESOME.  That being said, I am not awesome at 10k’s yet…but someday….

What is your favorite thing about races?  What is your favorite distance?

10k Training Plan

I have my first 10k of the season on Saturday.  I didn’t really have a training plan for this one except going out and running as much as possible.  I hope to do at least two or three more this summer (depending on the baby situation) and want to actually commit to training for them.  

Last year I averaged around 54.00 – 55.00 minutes and hope that, with some work, I can get that down some.  My eventual goal is to break 50.00.  For Saturday I will be happy with 54.00.

I have been searching for a good 10k training program that a) Is actually IN km and B) Doesn’t start you off running only 4 – 5km.  I don’t want to start training by doing less than I do now.  I was cruising blogs last week and landed on Carrots and Cake and came across this post.  Well if this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for then I don’t know what is.  Smart Coach is a personalized training program – so you enter your starting point (55.00 mins for me) and what you want to achieve and it will spit out a training plan for your level and goals.  If I knew how to screen shot my personal training plan, I would.  I am not that capable though.

Another awesome thing I discovered was the RunKeeper app for Android.  Hopefully this will give me an accurate measure of distance and pace.  Now I just need to figure out where I am going to carry my phone. 

Last but not least:

Best Shoes Ever

 
 
They make my favorite shoes in HOT PINK.  o.m.g.   I need these.  My current ones DO have a hole in them.  
 
Question: Do you have a training plan?  Where did you get it from?  Even better: what color are your runners?
 
 

On Sunday we had Easter dinner at my parents’ house.  My mom asked me to make a salad of some sort.  Of course, being someone who loves to test out new things on large groups of people, I headed straight over to Tasty Kitchen to find something I’ve neer made before.   What I found was a nifty little 7 Layer Salad.  I altered the ingredients slightly so click the link above to find the original.

 Ingredients:

  • One container of shredded Romaine
  • ½ cups Celery, Thinly Sliced
  • ½ cups Radishes, Thinly Sliced
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Thinly Sliced (White And Light Green Parts)
  • 1 cup Frozen Baby Peas, Thawed And Drained
  • 3 whole Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ cups Shredded Cheddar (old)
  • 5 strips Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 whole Roma Tomato, Diced

 

Preparation Instructions:

In a 9×9 glass dish (2-quart), layer the lettuce, celery, radish, green onions, peas, and eggs in the order given.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, sugar, and vinegar.

Carefully dollop the dressing over the top and spread over the egg layer (a small offset spatula works great here!). Sprinkle with the cheese, then the bacon, then the tomato.

Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Rating – Me: 7.  Husband: 3 (Husband hates tomatoes and peas with a passion).  This was a decent and tasty salad.  I would make it again.

Saturday

Saturday – Running and Coffee…my favourite

These are my running socks.  I love them.  My husband bought me a pack of 7 different patterns and colors for Christmas.   Snazzy socks make me happy.

These are my shoes.  Saucony Kinvara.  I love them more than any other shoe I own….even my Dior heels.  I am very brand loyal and HATE trying new runners.  They always end up being a fail.  I had my foot measured and my running style assessed at the running room once and an hour later I came out with a pair of clunky ass shoes that I ended up hating with the fire of 1000 suns.  I had Nike Frees for years but I eventually got sick of the super wide toe area.  After much research I came across these babies.  Super light (I hate heavy shoes. I already run like an elephant) and super pink.  I love love love them.  I have loved a hole right into them too 😦  A new pair is in my future 

I am pretty proud of my Saturday run.  About 7 km and 1200 stairs.  Yes…1200 stairs.  70 flights.  We have an awesome hill about 2.5 km away from our house that has a whole bunch of stairs going up the side, so it’s the perfect place to jog to and then get in some serious stair climbing. 

After my run I *needed* a latte.  Oh how I love my lattes.  This beauty is a grande Chai non-fat latte.  When made right, the chai lattes are so spicy and awesome.  I love the burn of the spices in my mouth to go along with the sweetness.  (You can also spot one of my fave blogs in the background.  Coffee and reading blogs is the perfect Saturday morning activity)

In the afternoon we went to the driving range.  I just started golfing last summer and boy am I BAD.  I can’t seem to fight my urge to hit the crap out of the ball and end up either A) Missing completely and getting laughed at or B) hitting the ball 2 feet in front of me and getting laughed at.  When I do happen to take a deep breath and slow down my swing I can hit it pretty darn good.   Last year I joined a ladies league and people still talk about “that girl who hit the house”…that would be me.  I almost broke a giant window in a multi million dollar house. Strength- check. Ability to keep the ball straight- still working on that. This year the ladies league will be taking some time to do a few lessons before we actually start to play.  Good call, ladies league. Good call.

It was one week Saturday until my next 10k.  The first of the year.  I always get a bit nervous before my 1st one of the year because I literally have no clue how fast I will go.  I was never one to time or pace myself.  I just went.  My goal in the next little while is to keep track of my pace every time I run and try my best to better it and get a better time.  I am also looking for a training program.  I want to be someone who is out the to compete (with themself) and to be the best they can be, not just someone who runs ’cause its fun. (which it is…but I am super competitive….maybe too much for my own good)

Last night was a cozy Friday in with some tea and a chick flick – Life as We Know It.  It was super cute.  I  liked it.  I LOVED Katherine Heigl’s wardrobe in it.  She had these awesome flared pants that I NEED. Anyway….- But I also felt the needs for something a little sweet, yet light, since I ate such a heavy risotto for dinner (again, awesome). 

Enter the baked apple concoction:

I made this recipe up and just started throwing things in there that I thought would taste good.   I baked it all in tin foil at 400 degrees for 30 mins.

1 apple (I used Spartan), sliced

1 tbs of natural peanut butter

1.5 tsp brown sugar

2 tbs oats

cinnamon (I just put on a few shakes of the container)

sprinkling of chocolate chips.

Step 1: Cut apples and lay on foil

Step 2:  Throw other stuff on top and wrap foil

Step 3: Enjoy.   

It was like apple crisp but lighter. 

And now for something random that I am proud of:  My orchid! 

These babies are notorious for being temperamental and dying a terrible death after the first bloom.  I have managed to keep this beauty alive for 2.5 years and 3 (THREE!!!) blooms.  Amazing considering that I killed my hyacinth at work after 3 days.

My Hyacinth (RIP):

This is not my fault though.  I found out after the fact that the cat (we have an office cat) likes to come by once or twice a day and munch on my Hyacinth leaves – they immediately die.  Not cool, cat.  Not cool.