Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They see me rollin'

I'm quite excited today because I finished a hilly four mile run in 43 minutes! The trail is more commonly used by bikers, and I had no clue quite how hilly it was, but somehow I busted it out. It makes me hopeful that on a flat course, I might be able to get my 5k time to under 30 minutes. However, I realized I have been using my Nike+ for the past little while un-calibrated, which probably means I'm quite a bit slower than my Ipod is telling me. I try not to think about it though, because that means I'm even further away from constantly being able to run under 10 minute miles. Alas. I think on my Thursday run, I'm going to start trying to incorporate fartlek into my training so I can build my speed. I'm also looking for a good hill nearby that I can use for training. So far, I haven't found anything that suits my need. The search continues... :)

In more good news, I have my next race determined. I'm going to run the Port to Fort 6k in Baltimore when I go up to visit grad schools in April. I have some good friends running in it too, so it should be quite fun! I'll hoping to locate a 10k to run sometime in late May/early June too, so I can increase my distance for my 1/2 in October. So far away, but yet so close...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting back on my feet (literally)

Well, after jumping back into running, it's only taken me three tries to get back up to running a full 5k. In the past week, I've ran the 5k distance three times - managing to lower my time each try. Now, I've got my 5k time right around 33 minutes (before my injury, I was closer to 35 minutes. Woohoo for the 2 minutes lower!). I'm hoping in the next few months to eventually get my 5k time near 30 minutes. We'll see though. I'm also trying to find some races to run in the future to give me something to strive for. I know I'm trying to do a 1/2 marathon in October, which sounds crazy to me running that far. However, with 6 months to prepare, I think it's manageable. Ask me again in October though. :)

Besides running, I'm just waiting for results to come from graduate schools where I've applied. I'm not a patient person, so the waiting is KILLING me. Hopefully, I'll know around the beginning of April or so. Until then, I'll run out my frustrations... if it will ever stop raining!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Hello, hello! I know it's been quite a few months since I've posted on here! There are lots of reasons for this - I took on a second job (now I'm working 60-70 hours a week), I applied for graduate school, I took the GREs, and I've moved. However, the main reason I haven't written in my running blog is that I unfortunately haven't been running. A few short weeks after my triumphant marathon relay, I was doing an easy 5k and somehow threw out my knee. Thus, my running came to a screeching halt as I recovered. Sadness. :( I never knew how much I grew to like running until I wasn't allowed to do it anymore.

However, I have risen from the ashes of grad school applications, work, and injuries to return to running this week! Woo-hoo! I have been on two easy runs - 1.5 miles and 2 miles respectively - which were nice. I wanted to go further, but I don't want to push myself too fast. I told myself that when I first started running this summer, I could only run 5 minutes before having to stop. So, if starting over the second time I can already run 1.5 miles without stopping, I'm doing pretty good. It is a tad crazy how out of shape you can get so quickly though! Anyway, I also splurged and went to a running store and got fitted for high quality running shoes. Now, I figure I'm definitively stuck running. :)

I was planning to go running tomorrow afternoon, but apparently NC is supposed to get slammed with snow??? In March??? Crazy weather! Anyway, I will try and do a better job now of keeping back up with the blog! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Few Pictures from Charm City

I haven't utilized the picture posting abilities of blogger yet, so I figured I would post two pictures from my Relay run. :)

Six of the eight of us who ran on two different Relay Teams representing Health Care for the Homeless. I was a part of team three curls and a mustache, and the other team was three tramps and a lady.

You can tell I was very excited after finishing the race :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baltimore Marathon Relay Race Report


In the words of one of my favorite TV characters Hiro, "YATA!"

It's taken me a couple of days to really process the race and the accomplishment of running for that long. A mere 3 months ago, I had never ran much longer than a mile straight. Now, I can run over a 10k without stopping. Not at a blistering pace by any means, but running the whole time nonetheless. :) So, here is how my weekend went:


I got into Charm City around lunch time on Friday. I went to my old job and hung out with my friends and tried to remember why I left Baltimore in the first place. I'm still working on that question. ;) Anyway, that evening, 6 of the 8 of us running in the relay went out to dinner at Olive Garden to carbo load with the all you can eat pasta. Delightful! Afterwards, we all headed home to get a good nights sleep. I got up early on Saturday morning and was feeling pretty good. I drank a glass of water and ate an fiber bar. Unfortunately, I my stomach is pretty unsettled in the morning, so the fiber bar was all I was able to manage eating. Probably not the best decision I ever made. A friend from my old softball team came and picked my old roomie and I and drove us down to the race. Our driver was running the whole marathon, crazy thing! Maybe someday. :) Got to the race site and it was insane! Over 17.500 runners were there to either participate in the 5k, relay, half or full marathon. It was around then my stomach started to roll and my intestines decided to hate me. A few trips to the porta-potty later and I was worried about my ability to run the race. My old roomie was running the first leg, so we wished him well and then I walked to the exchange point. I got there in enough time to watch the lead marathoners cross. Those guys were running 5 minute miles! It made me want to get out there and run, but I still had a good while until my roomie got to the exchange point. I was thinking he was going to be running around a 10 minute pace, so I was surprised to see him coming down the hill at the 54 minute mark. He was running 9 minute miles and then I started to get nervous. I ran out in the street to high five him to start my leg and then took off.


The first two miles were a blur. It was almost entirely downhill through the main section of downtown Baltimore and people lined the streets with signs and chants to cheer us on. The whole time in the beginning I was thinking, "This is it! This is what I have been training for! Run, sister, run!" Right about mile three I started to feel my body craving energy. That fiber bar did not last long at all. Thankfully, I hit a banana stand and grabbed two and ate on the run while trying not to slip on the banana peels runners threw in the middle of the street. The next two miles took us over a bridge into Fort McHenry, which I actually never went to while I lived in Baltimore. It was a beautiful place to run, with the only exception being that it was a small path and there were many groups of runners that I had to either pass, or let pass me. It was a bit stressful at times navigating the small path by the water. Once we left the fort, I knew we were 2 miles from finishing. It was also when my body started reminding me the longest I have ever run was 5 miles and I was at that point. My legs started to feel like cement, and my stomach started to make noises. I could see the beautiful skyline of Baltimore getting closer, and I knew I had to do it. I don't really remember much of mile 6, besides that I kept telling myself, "You are a runner! You have ran almost 6 miles and you can totally run the last .8!" I slowed down a bit I know, but I never stopped running. I might have been slow, I probably looked like a penguin, but I didn't stop. Before I knew it, I saw a crowd of people ahead and I knew it was the exchange point. I threw it into high gear and sprinted the last 200 meters looking for my partner. She saw me and jumped into the middle of the street we high fived and hugged and then she took off. I hobbled to the sidewalk where I barely kept myself from tearing up. I DID IT. 6.8 miles and I didn't stop to walk. :D

Post Race

As I walked to the water table, I realized I wasn't even that sore. Sure, I was tired and I needed food, but my knees weren't throbbing and my breathing returned to normal pretty quickly. I ran into a friend from another relay team, and we walked back to the finish line to watch our teams cross and meet up with our other relay members who finished. It was back at the start/finish line where a few of us made the commitment to do this again next year with a slight modification. That modification is that we are all either running the full or half marathon. I opted for the half. So, I barely processed this victory, and now I'm thinking of running 13.1 miles! Am I nuts?!?! :) Additionally, two days after a friend of mine from Baltimore wants to run in a 10k in DC in december and asked if I would run it with him. How can I say no? A guaranteed trip back to Baltimore and a 10k? Sure! Why not?

So, there you have it! I was the slowest person on my team (the last two runners on my team ran at an 8 mile pace), but I'm happy in what I accomplished as was my wonderful relay members :) As a team, we finished the marathon in 4:04, which is pretty awesome! My personal pace was around 11:30 miles, which isn't too shabby at all. Now, we all have nice matching medals and under armour T-shirts to show off. :) I also learned quite a bit during this race too. The first thing being I need to eat a better pre-race meal than just a fiber bar. Not sure what that is yet, but I just know I need to eat more. I also found the value in walking after you finish a race. I probably walked another 3 miles in total after the race, and had very little stiffness the next day. A few of my teammates went immediately home and to nap, and had trouble walking the next morning. All good things to learn indeed.

I haven't been running since the race because I decided to take a few days off. My plan is to try a 5k tomorrow and then start getting back into running three days a week. Gotta keep up for my 10k in December :) My next goal is to try and get my mile average down to a consistent 10 minute pace. I've ran miles that quick, but I haven't strung more than 2 or 3 together. My friends running the 10k in december run at that pace, and I would like to run with them and not slow them down. So, that's the goal. I'm also thinking of investing in some quality running shoes since mine aren't specialized. I think I pronate when I run, so I might look into getting a shoe that can correct that. We shall see. :)

Three months ago I scoffed at people who ran for fun... and now I think i might have become one of them :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


OK, I know I haven't been the world's greatest at updating lately. I had a couple of bad runs that left me feeling weak, slow, and totally unable to complete my task of 6.8 miles that I've committed myself to this Saturday. Up until today, the most I've ever ran straight was a 5k. I've talked to other members of my relay team who were excited because they've had longer runs, which made me even more nervous of my impending failure. Pretty much, I was in a bad state mentally. Even though I knew I had been training for over two months, I didn't mentally think I could do it.

After work today, I decided it was all or nothing. A last chance run if you will. :) My motto has always been go big or go home, so it was time to apply it to my running. I HAD to prove to myself that mentally, I could go longer than 3 miles straight. I went to the same track that gave me such luck the first time I was able to run a 5k straight. The first miles was really rough - I couldn't get my breathing in any sort of rhythm and my brain was shooting out the signals "Whoa! What do you think you're doing? We are stopping this in the next five minutes, do you hear?" I managed the first mile just over 11 minutes and that gave me enough to hit the second mile, and the hill that came with that mile. I felt like I was moving as quick as a snail, and my breathing still sucked, but I kept going by trying to focus on the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. It seemed to work because eventually my IPod said, "Half-way point - 2.5 miles." That seemed to give my brain the signal that we weren't going to stop until I said we were going to stop. Within a few minutes, I was AMAZED because my breathing actually slowed and my legs stopped feeling like cement. It was almost as if my body said, "Fine, we'll do it your way." I don't think it was a runner's high by any means, but surely a running first for me. I realized at that moment, I was going to make it. I had the capacity to keep going, and I did. I DID. Yata! I'm not going to lie either - when my Ipod told me 5 miles was up (in 55:03, an 11 minute mile average!), I bent over and started to cry. I had thrown such a huge mental wall up that I wasn't good enough, quick enough, or had trained enough to go that long. I FINALLY after 2 months over came all of that. Just in the nick of time too, eh? :)

So, needless to say, I'm stoked about the race on Saturday now. I think I can go a new distance PR and run the 6.8 miles straight! My body can do it, and now I think my mind knows that as well. I will surely post sometime after the race and give you all the low down. This is what I've been training for for a while now, and it's almost here. Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Hello again! I know I sorta dropped off the face of the blogging world for a week and some days. There are a few reasons for this, some which are good and some which aren't as good. The good news: I got a job, yay! I have a new job working at a veterinary office, which will help me make ends meet until I go to grad school in the fall. So, I'm still figuring out what my schedule looks like and readjusting to the working world again. The bad news is that I also haven't run in the last week and a few days. :( Some of this is related to my new job and figuring out when in the world I can run now. The other part of it is that I seemed to go through some sort of post-race running blues where I couldn't bring myself to run. I'm not really quite sure why, or if this is overly common. I just didn't have much motivation after my 5k race.

Eventually, over the past few days I've noticed the runners on sidewalks when I drive home and I've started to feel the push to get back out there. I wasn't sure what kind of momentum I lost by stopping for so long, but I knew that if I wanted any shot of running the 6.8 miles I need to in less than 3 weeks, I needed to get going. So, my co-workers told me of this nice, but hilly, 1 mile loop at a community college down the road from work and I decided to head out that way once my shift was over today. The sun was just starting to set, so it was nice and cool outside. I decided that instead of running to music, which I've learned the playlist so I focus on how many more songs I still need to run through, I played the podcast of the ever fabulous This American Life. I started off with my five minute warmup, and then took off. The first lap wasn't that bad, and I didn't even realize I had gone a mile until I crossed in front of my car again. Not feeling too winded, I decided to keep running and see how far I could go. The second lap was a little harder, but people I had passed earlier smiled at me when I passed them again, and it gave me momentum to keep going. When I passed my car the second time (now running for over 22 minutes, which is the longest I had run continuously prior), I knew that if I could make it around again, I would finally have run a 5k straight. I kept running and listening to Ira Glass and eventually my Ipod told me I had 400 meters left. 400 meters and I would have ran for over 30 minutes straight! I quicken my pace and practically danced when my ipod told me I had ran a 5k!!! I've FINALLY gotten over the mental block of stopping around 15ish minutes and thinking I can't go further. Now, I want to get back out there on Friday and prove to myself that isn't a fluke that I was able to run that long today. Hopefully, I can then up my mileage a bit before my race in October. So, all in all, today was a great running day. :)

Here's to being back on my game!