Tuesday, December 18, 2012

weekly update #16

This week was the last spin class of the semester, as well as the last spin class EVER with my favorite teacher Allie.  She graduated from nursing school and is moving to Chicago for an awesome job.  We obviously had to take a goodbye photo, even though nobody looks attractive after an hour long spin class:
We'll miss you, Allie!  Good luck in Chicago!
I think knowing that it was my last class with Allie made me really push myself at class.  As a result, Wednesday morning's run was rough.  I pretty much thought I was going to die for the first mile, but after that it was actually a pretty good run.

Monday 12/10: 3.16 miles, avg. pace 11:04
Tuesday 12/11: spin class!
Wednesday 12/12: 4.05 miles, avg. pace 10:33
Thurday 12/13: 4.00 miles, tempo run on treadmill, avg. pace 9:41
Friday 12/14: rest
Saturday 12/15: missed my long run - oops
Sunday 12/16: made up my long run, with Susan! 7.08 miles, avg. pace 10:36

So, overall a good running/workout week!  I will have to post about Susan's trip here - she arrived Saturday and is leaving this morning.  For now, I'll leave you with this gem - Susan and I found this house, decorated/orchestrated by ECU student Michael Shoaf (he's done this in past years too - but this was the first year I stumbled upon it since moving to Durham).  SO IMPRESSIVE/AMAZING:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

weekly update #15

For the first time in way too long, I actually did all of the running/cardio I planned to do!  Four runs and a spin class... pretty fabulous.  Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I ran before work with M.  Monday and Wednesday were both pretty awesome - it was in the 50s, so we weren't too cold, and maintaining a 10:30ish pace was feeling easy (other than our first mile, because warming up with a huge hill is not fun).
Thursday, on the other hand, was rough.  It was much colder (30s) and for some reason, running just felt HARD.  Our first 3 miles were 11:40, 10:55, and 10:49.  Somehow we managed to speed up for our fourth mile, but overall, it was a tough run.... and it was windy!  Brrrr.

Saturday was our first group run with the In Motion Fitness training group.  The run was supposed to start at 7:00am and it was in Raleigh, so we had to leave my house at 6:20.  I think they were a little disorganized/had a bigger turnout than they anticipated, so we didn't actually start running until 7:30, but other than that minor glitch, it was really great!  The program had pacers going different difference at different paces, so people training for a full marathon could go 12 or 14 miles and people training for a half marathon could go 4 or 7 miles, and the paces ranged from 11:30 to 9:30 with some run/walk groups.  M and I decided to do 7 miles and stuck with the pacer running around 10:30, who was named Kathy.  Turns out Kathy has very similar running experience us - she has run 2 half marathons in the past 2 years at 2:16 and 2:13, and is hoping to run a 2:05 half marathon this spring!  We had two other runners stick with our pace group the entire time, one who is training for her first half and other who has also completed 2 half marathons before.  It was so fun getting to know them and chatting... the first 4-5 miles FLEW by!  In addition to the run feeling easy/fun, I was impressed with how consistent we were running... our splits were 10:24, 10:37, 10:32, 10:25, 10:28, and 10:36 for the first 6 miles!  The last mile was mostly up hill, and I was determined not to slow down despite the hills.  I ended up getting a bit ahead of the group, beause I so "in the zone" and my last mile was 9:52!  I think that Saturday was one of the best long runs I've ever had, and even though getting up early and driving so far sucks, I cannot wait for our next group run!
On all three weekday runs, the right arch of my foot hurt, but it wasn't too bad.  Saturday it didn't hurt until the run was over.  After my Saturday long run, I had a gait analysis done, and the guys at the store thought that wearing the narrow version of my shoe might be causing my arch pain... basically, the support is hitting my foot in the wrong place, and that's why my foot hurts.  That makes lots of sense, but I've been in these shoes since July, so I'm not sure why the pain only started in the last two weeks.  The shoes have about 270 miles on them - so I wouldn't think they are too old, but maybe as they wear down they are causing more arch pain?  Who knows.
Also, I've been running with my knee brace and I haven't had any knee/IT band pain.  Part of me wants to stop wearing the brace since I'm not experiencing pain, but another part of me wonders if the pain will come back if I take off the brace?  I guess I'll have to test it out at some point, because I don't want to be in the brace forever.
I also went to spin class on Tuesday.  My two favorite teachers are both leaving after this semster... so I'm about to be in the market for a new spin teacher.  Today is my last class with Allie, and we are having a Christmas themed spin class, so that should be nice... but I'm so bummed that she's moving!
Goal for this week: skip zero runs, do strength training twice.  Think I can handle it?

Monday 12/3: 3.77 in 39:35, avg. pace 10:30
Tuesday 12/4: spin class
Wednesday 12/5: 3.61 miles in 37:50, avg. pace 10:28
Thursday 12/6: 4.05 miles in 43:48, avg. pace 10:47
Friday 12/7: rest
Saturday 12/8: 7.00 miles in 1:12:54, avg. pace 10:25
Sunday 12/9: rest

Friday, December 7, 2012

MORE race plans!!!

So, if you read my recent post about my plans to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, you might recall that I'm treating it as a "fun run" and not going for a PR.  If you also read my City of Oaks Half Marathon recap, you may remember that I was slightly devastated when I had a horrible race and did not PR.  So, some of you might be wondering... when will Sara "race" another half marathon?  Don't worry, the Disney Princess Half is not the only spring half marathon I'm signed up for!  Just a short three weeks later, I will be running the Tobacco Road Half Marathon.  The Tobacco Road Half is on the American Tobacco Trail - part of which is right by my house and another part which is about 20 minutes away.  Since it is an old railroad track, it's supposedly a fairly flat - and therefore fast - course, so it should be ideal for a PR!

The race is on St. Patrick's Day, and Natty Greene will be giving out free beer to finishers in a beer garden with live music at the end.  Usually, beer sounds like a terrible idea to me immediately after running 13.1 miles, but it could be a fun way to end a race on St. Patrick's Day!

There was a booth for the half/marathon at the City of Oaks Expo, and the woman at the booth told us they were redesigning the medals for this race.  Last year's half marathon medal looked like this:

She told us they were trying to redesign them to be in the shape of a TRAIN.  How amazing would that be?  Yes, I am all about cool race medals.

M and I are excited to get started with our training again... and we are spicing it up!  We found out about a   a FREE training program through a New Balance store called In Motion Training.  The program provides runners with a training program and weekly workshops.  It also has group long runs every Saturday morning.  So, our first group long run is tomorrow!  I'm excited to meet the trainer (her name is Julie) and the other group members.  The only downside is that the group runs are at 7am, and some of them are 40+ minutes away from us!  That means for the next three and a half months, I'll be waking up earlier on Saturdays than I wake up during the week!

Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted on how the training is going and what I think of the program!  Have any of you ever used a trainer?  Or found a running group to do long/weekend runs with?  What was your experience like?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

weekly update #14

Sean Taylor #21 Jersey = Required for game day
Not sure if you saw Monday Night Football last night, but the REDSKINS beat the Giants in RGIII's Monday Night Debute - first time the Skins won on Monday night at home since 1997.  If I didn't live approximately 250 miles from Fed Ex Field, I would have DEFINITELY tried to go to that game.  Even so, it was pretty incredible (and stressful) watching from home.  It has been SO exciting watching the Redskins this year - RGIII has really brought a new energy to the team.  So has Alfred Morrisd.  FAU?  They only had one win last year.  Talk about a great draft pick.  Incredible.  I know we are only 6-6, and we have a tough 4 games ahead of us, but the idea that we could possibly make the playoffs this year is astounding.

Anyway, I only ran twice last week, but they were both good runs.  I've had some pain in the arch of my foot, but it isn't too bad, so for now I'm running through it and trying to stretch.  M and I have been bad about letting each other bail in the mornings, but I think we created a new plan that will minimiz that, so hopefully this week I will do all four of my runs.  So, here it is:

Monday 11/26: 3.63 miles in 38:20
Tuesday 11/27: spin class
Wednesday 11/28: nope
Thursday 11/29: 3.5 miles in 34:10
Friday 11/30: nada
Saturday & Sunday: nada, although I did dance up a storm on Saturday night

Monday's run was after work, averaging a 10:30ish pace, and it felt really good.  Tuesday's spin class was okay, but my foot definitely still hurt when I was out of the saddle, hence my resting on Wednesday.  Thursday I ran in the afternoon and it was a bit chilly, so my first mile was pretty fast (9:13) and then I slowed down to a more even pace (around 10:00).  I'm trying to keep my easy runs in the 10:00-10:30 range, and right around 10:30 seems to feel pretty easy right now.