Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 2012 in Review

Half way through 2012. Wow, that was fast!

Mileage Recap

A year ago - June 2011: 124.19
January: 181.21
February: 86.84
March: 6
April: 89.59
May: 128.43
June: 137.72

Cross Training Recap

167.95 miles road cycling
1000 m swam
3 Pilates classes
3 Xtend Barre classes

What went well

I got in two 12 mile long runs. The longest I've gone since early February. I also did a few back to backs, started some awesome hill work, and made a wise, but hard decision to forego Lone Ranger, which would now be a mere two weeks away. I also got interviewed by dailymile, which was pretty cool.

Oh yeah, and I also got married!!!

What didn't go well

I would have really liked to get more swimming in this month, and to be honest I was hoping for more miles than I logged, but I suppose honeymooning for almost half the month is good enough excuse.

July 2012 Goals

July will be a good month I think. For one, I'll be participating in Run to the Finish's 30 Day Ab Challenge. Love me some ab work!

Secondly, I'm hoping to start building a good mileage platform during July and August to help feed into my fall races. Bring on the longer runs and the 50 mile weeks! I'm ready for ya!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

dailymile Q&A

After spending an utterly fantastic honeymoon in Costa Rica, I am finally back stateside. I will definitely do a vacation post at some point and talk a little bit about running and hiking down there.

Here is a teaser

In the meantime, while I continue to unpack, I'll just leave you with this dailymile Q&A that I did a few weeks ago. It posted last Wednesday right after I left the country so I didn't see it until I got back. Check it out if you have a moment!

Con mucho gusto,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mizuno Mezamashii Run Project

Before I head out for my Costa Rican honeymoon tomorrow, I thought I'd leave you all will some cool info I received about Mizuno's new project: The Mezamashii Run Project.

The project is all about helping to create a more eye-opening ("mezamashii"), brilliant run. This hits home for me, since I actually find running to be quite a spiritual experience.

I have always wanted to try out a pair of Mizunos, but unfortunately they haven't made it into my closet yet. I'm hoping the expand their minimalist line in the future. For now I've got my eyes on the Wave Universe 4 and at under 4 ounces I think they'd fit in just find with my other shoes friends.

The best part about the Mezamashii Run Project is that they are giving away tons and tons of free Mizuno shoes! All you have to do is visit their website and apply for an invite. You can catch up on all of the latest info here.

Do you run in Mizunos? What pair do you recommend I try?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wedding Perfection

This weekend was honestly the best weekend of my life. I won't go into too much detail because then you basically just be reading a book and you probably don't have 6 hours to waste.

Mike and I started out the weekend with a 12 mile run around the river. That evening was the rehearsal at Independence Hall followed by dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Farmicia.

Sister Caitlin, me, and Mom

Bridemaids Abby, Caitlin, me, and Jess

Me and the ol' ball and chain (I get to make those jokes now, right?)
Baked goat cheese and lentil salad. Drool!

Wedding day started with an 8 mile run with sissy bright and early. Then, before you knew it, hair and make up arrived to beautify us.

Caitlin and I

My sister and Maid of Honor Caitlin and I
Totally sad that I can't wear that dress every single day of my life

The ceremony started right on time at 3:30 pm. The skies cleared right as we were walking down the aisle.

Escorted by Mom and Dad
I basically cried through the entire ceremony (Mike a bit too), especially when we read our own vows. I would have totally regretted not doing that.

First dance was to La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong (also WALL-E, my favorite movie ever).

Can't wait to see the close up photos of Mike getting cake shoved in his face. Don't worry, he got me back and rubbed it all over my face (and up the nose).


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Hills Are Alive (With the Smell of My Sweat)

If you want to race on hills, you have to train on hills.

Or so the saying goes...

To be honest I've never really understood what a "hill repeat" is. Do you run up and down the same hill ten times? That sounds boring. Though I suppose running 800s around a track to build up your speed is just the same.

While speedwork might continue it's little hiatus, hill work is in style and making it's fabulous first appearance in my training. Mike may love our new neighborhood for the cheaper rents and the easy parking, but it's the hills and the quick trail access that won me over. Between the Baltimore Marathon in October and JFK 50 in November, the move couldn't come at a better time.

The fact is, you can't spit 25 feet in our new neighborhood without hitting a hill. Coming from Center City, where everything was flatlined except the bridges, even the dogs are huffing and puffing a little bit at the end of their walks. And while I admit my body had a bit of a jerk reaction at first, I've actually found that I love (no, seriously, love) running those damn hills. Reaching the summit of each is like a mini-victory just waiting for a fist pump.

I've been incorporating a few hills here and there at the beginning and end of my runs for the last few weeks before venturing out on the nearby river path (nothing wakes you up at 5 am like a half mile climb). Two weeks ago, however, I decided to go full out and designed some little "hill repeats" of my own. Except instead of going up and down the same hill, I zig zagged all over the neighborhood. Up one street, run west one block, down the next street, run west one block, repeat.

All in all my 5+ mile hill workout kicked my ass, tuned me in to some killer climbs to be included in future workouts, and gave me a nice little tour of the neighborhood while I was at it.

After that I took a little break from the hills since my shin was bothering me, but this morning I was ready to tackle them again. This time I think I designed a near perfect hill workout, with even ups and downs, almost 250 ft of extra gain from the previous attempt, and an extra mile for good measure.

It was pure sweaty deliciousness. And guess what? Those hills got easier each time and recovery times were shorter and shorter. Acclimation nation baby! I can only imagine what I'll be able to handle by the fall.

Do you do hill work? Hill repeats? Love/hate hills?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

One might say that now a days there is a holiday for everything. And while I don't buy into most of them, there are a handful I love to embrace.

Due to a self-imposed six week dessert fast leading up to my wedding (seriously I could kill someone for a piece of candy right now), I was not able to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on May 15th. Nor was I able to celebrate the slightly less exciting (to me) but-hey-it's-still-delicious-baked-goods National Doughnut Day last Friday. I am, however, thoroughly embracing National Running Day on this fine June 6th of 2012 (as is apparently every other runner on the blogosphere).

After I made the decision last week to forego Lone Ranger, I have happily been settling into my run-when-I-want-to pattern.


So this morning I hopped out of bed at quarter to 5, got Mike to put on his running shoes with me, and headed out for a glorious 6.7 mile run along the river. It was so chilly that I had to wear long sleeves, which was a refreshing change from the pipping hot weather we've been having.

After work I biked home and thought, "You know what? I feel like running again!" So that's exactly what I did. I don't think I've done a double run since late last summer or early fall. And what I remember from those days is feeling fantastic and always having a lot of laundry to do.

Double runs = double outfits = double the laundry! For a good cause though.
3.5 miles later I rounded out National Running Day with an easy 10 miles total. Not a bad way to celebrate!

How did you celebrate National Running Day? Group run? Register for a race? Donate to a running charity?

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Decision

Saturday morning I woke up on my own around 5 am, checked Facebook (because I'm addicted like that), and spotted this right away:

Oh yeah. That's right. I was supposed to be among those crazy people, ready to tackle 50 muddy miles bright and early. Except then I got injured for 6 weeks. And then I had to start from scratch with one mile runs. And I had to give up my 50 mile debut that I had waited an entire year to run. And it certainly stung a little when I got this automated email later on in the day:

 Boo hiss.

Truth be told I didn't really care too much on Saturday about the fact that I wasn't trudging up and down hills and wading through stream crossings. Instead of sulking at that post at 5 am, I got my butt out of bed, hit up the river path near my house and had myself a nice little run. Then I got on a bus to New York and had another fitting for my wedding dress, and then I hung out with my sister all afternoon before catching a train back to Philly. A fair trade I'd say.

But this post is really not about how sort of sad I might have been to miss Saturday's race. This post is about the decision I made on Friday to NOT run the 20in24 Lone Ranger on July 14th. While a week ago I was all gung ho about it, I started to "notice" my shin on Thursday morning. I can't say it hurt or I was in pain, I just noticed it, versus the last month when it's not felt any different at all from my right shin or my knees or my quads.

At the reappearance of these feelings I sort of freaked out and got super sad. Not sad about the fact that I might need to take a few days off, but sad that this feeling might ruin my Lone Ranger race dreams. And then I thought about what exactly my Lone Ranger race dreams were. Long ago when I signed up they were to run for the whole 24 hours and to hit between 75-100 miles. Do I really think I could still pull that off in six weeks? Definitely no.

Secondarily, after I got injured I vowed not to follow a training plan for awhile. But truthfully I sort of have been. I don't really want to run 20 miles the day before my wedding. And I don't want to worry about fitting in a long run on my honeymoon. And I don't want to have to rest on Mondays on Fridays. I just want to run.

So what did I feel after I finally made the decision not to do Lone Ranger? Relief, actually. Sure, I will be sad on the day of the event, but even if I were running, it was never going to be the race I originally wanted it to be and that would be disappointing. And if I couldn't run it the way I wanted, there's no sense in re-injuring myself to try and train for something I'm just not ready for.
Instead on July 14th I will run Midnight Madness, part of the same event, and a race I ran last year.

And then I'll race in the fall, and hopefully be in tip top long run shape again. For now, I'm going to enjoy my run-when-I-want-to lifestyle. Which meant that I happily embraced 6 miles on Saturday and 8 on Sunday instead of 12 and 10 like I had originally planned. No disappointments, just happy miles. And which means today after work I'll go out for a nice jog. Even though it's Monday :)