Monday, April 30, 2012

April Mileage Summary

Total Miles: 112.5
Total Runs: 17
Average Distance per run: 6.6 miles
Average Speed/Pace: 7.1 mph/8:27 pace
Races: 1 marathon, 1 5K
Highlights: Running the Gansett Marathon. PRing at Gansett after massively PRing 4 weeks earlier at Shamrock. Also PRed at the 5K on a decently challenging course. I made like my Bondi Band and ran like an animal.

April was a relatively lower mileage month and a little bit slower than usual. I needed it after running back-to-back marathons.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Earth Day 5K

Spoiler alert: I now own a 5K race pace that starts with a 6. Six!! Geez. R2 didn't know what to make of that because my Garmin has never seen a mile that starts with a 6.

I haven't raced a 5K in a long time. My PR was 22:46. One way to get fast is to do speedwork. But the other way is to run a lot of miles. Hmmm. Marathon training makes you run a lot of miles. I had a 30+ mile a week base from training for Shamrock and Gansett. I wanted to see if I could do something with all of those miles. I'd already ran a good 5K during my training for Chicago. I ran 23:30 the week before Chicago and it felt easy. No kidding.

When I found out about a 5K at the end of April that was pretty much in my backyard (wait, I don't have one), I figured I'd give it a try. I ran the course a couple of times with my morning running group. It was a mile downhill, a mile flat, and a mile uphill. Not exactly an easy course, but the hill didn't seem that bad. My PR was on a course with 2 very steep hills. I am gradually learning to make friends with the hills in DC. Hills ain't got nothing on me.

I signed up.  With a $5 off coupon from Pacers running store, my entry fee was $25. I picked up my bib (got another odd-numbered bib. I cannot make this stuff up) and T-shirt the day before. Race day logistics were so easy it wasn't even funny.

A little bit in the race, I glanced at my Garmin. 7 something on the overall pace. Then I looked again. 6:20. Uh, what?? I had to look again to make sure I wasn't seeing things. The first mile felt easy, but that was the downhill mile. I knew I was not going to be able to hold my first mile pace for the race. I was picking people off, which is a strategy that works well for me. I ran with a girl who would not let me pass. OK, so we work together. I still felt pretty good through mile 2. Then the uphill started. Just keep pushing upward. I stopped looking at the pace. The girl who was working with me trailed off. I was working harder, but no one passed me. C'mon. I can do anything for one mile.

I don't usually post splits, but these splits especially in combination with the elevation changes are interesting. It looks like I crashed after going out too fast. No. That's just the elevation changes. I sped up on the downhill mile and slowed down on the uphill mile by the same amount of time. Interesting. Then I think I ran a pretty consistent race.

Mile 1 - 6:25 pace with 0 feet elevation gain and 118 feet elevation loss
Mile 2 - 6:53 pace with 34 feet elevation gain and 20 feet elevation loss, probably the closest to my "true" 5K pace
Mile 3 - 7:30 with by 113 feet elevation gain and 15 feet elevation loss
Mile 3.1 - 6:30 pace with 0 feet elevation gain or loss
Overall pace: 6:57

So there you have it. A shiny new PR of 21:35 and a pace with a 6. Holy schnikes. I haven't seen miles in 6s since I was in middle school. Oh! I was first in my age category, so I won a gift certificate to Pacers. Woot!! I need new socks and more Nuun. Thanks, Pacers!! Not bad for my first race in DC. I would do this one again. Pacers knows their stuff.

The race T-shirt is an organic cotton shirt. Not exactly exercise-friendly, but it's pretty. I will wear it around the house and to bed. The National Guard was one of the sponsors. They gave out arm sleeves. I know what I will be wearing for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Working It

There was no workout summary post last week. Because I had absolutely no workout plan. Exercise if I felt like it. Not exercise if I felt like it. And then there was that starting a new job business where I knew I wasn't going to have tons of extra time.

I don't do well without a schedule, but it is also very rare for me to not have something to train for. I fully took advantage of not having a schedule. Did 2 midweek runs and whatever I felt like doing for a weekend long run. No yoga. No strength training. It was nice, actually.

Now I am ready to start getting back into a routine. I'm still not training for anything per se, although I did sign up for a local 5K on April 29. I decided to not do the Frederick Half Marathon. It's not going anywhere. Maybe next year.

Over the next few weeks, I want to keep my base miles up around 25 a week. Maybe more. I don't really know. I need to start thinking about my training for Marine Corps, although I don't start training til the end of June. I will be training with a friend who is pretty much the same pace as me (maaaybe a bit slower, but I don't have a goal I have to reach for Marine Corps). No idea what I want to do this time around. No idea how the heat and humidity in DC in the summer is going to affect my training.

Anyway, here are my workouts for this week.

Sunday - Yoga on Netflix, which I didn't like, then one of my 20 minute podcasts which I do like. Also did lunges, abs, lower back, and pushups.

Monday - 4.2 mile pace run. At a 7:30 pace for most of it and a little faster for the last few minutes. I don't really know what my goal pace should be right now, but I figured it would be good to get some practice in for the 5K. Also did upper body strength training and calf raises.

Tuesday - 6.5 mile run. Ran the first 2.5 miles with my husband, then sent him home and picked up the pace for the last 4 miles. Chilly but clear.

Wednesday - 5.7 miles run with the running group. Ran a route that included the 5K. Also did planks and pushups.

Thursday - Rest.

Friday - 3.4 mile run with my husband. Trying to increase his endurance. I'm working on it.

Saturday - Rest in preparation for a 5K tomorrow. I am going to race it. I haven't raced a 5K in a long time and I think I have the base miles to do good stuff.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gansett Marathon Race Recap

A week ago, I was running the Gansett Marathon. Gansett is a small qualifiers only marathon in southern Rhode Island. Highly recommend it if you qualify!

Good morning, Narragansett

I had a 45 minute drive down to Narragansett. I left a little after 6am so that I would be comfortably chilling inside at the host hotel about an hour before gun time. Everyone is friendly. I chatted with another runner (who happened to go to one of the same schools as me), went outside for a warmup, dropped off my phone at my car, stretched, went back inside briefly, and then headed to the start line with about 5 minutes to go.

I immediately ran into Shelby and Celia and we chatted before the gun went off. Or not. There was so little fanfare that I almost didn't realize the race was about to start. With about 10 seconds to go, I realized I hadn't turned my Garmin on. Now, the runner I was a year ago would have freaked out by a technological failure. Past me used technology as a crutch. The runner I am today realized the Garmin is a tool. It was going to act differently, but that didn't make it any less useful. It actually turned out to be an advantage.

Mile 1-4 Ocean Road. I lost the first 1/4 mile because my Garmin hadn't picked up a satellite signal. I started the timer right when the gun went off. Fine. I'll go by time, not distance. One of the nice things about Gansett is that there are mile and half mile markers. Being 1/4 mile off meant that I essentially had quarter mile markers too. Started off by running under The Towers for the first time and down along the ocean. I ran with Keith Straw for about a half mile. There were exactly 2 people in costumes, and Keith Straw is one of them. He runs in a pink shirt, pink shoes, and pink tutu and carries a wand. Slightly uphill in the beginning. Big houses. Ocean views in spots. You can see the Point Judith Lighthouse if you know to look for it. My legs felt tight at first but loosened up after a few miles.

Mile 5-6 Point Judith. Lollipop to the lighthouse. This was one of the few sections of the course that I didn't know too much about. Sorta. I had ran to the lighthouse before but not from this direction. It was quiet and pretty.

Mile 7-8 Along a road near a beach to Galilee. Still pretty quiet. I saw a spectator I thought looked familiar. It was Skinny Runner's mom.

Mile 9-10 Great Island. A small bridge, fishing boats, some small hills, and really bad road surfaces. Some jackal stole the mile 10 sign, so I never saw it. I kinda needed the mile 10 marker to gauge where I was in relation to where I wanted to it. It was right around mile 10 that Skinny Runner caught up to me. I am pretty sure I heard her Garmin go off where the mile 10 sign should have been. We stayed close together til about the halfway point where she left me in the dust. Passed a friend twice and swapped out empty water bottles for full ones. Skipped the aid station at mile 9/10 (passed it twice) because it had orange Gatorade. Can't do orange anything during a race.

Mile 11 - Galilee Escape Road. The only "hill" of the whole race. No breeze. Full sun. It was the only time that I worried about getting too hot. Talked to a guy in a hamburger costume. I asked him if he was sponsored by Crazy Burger, a Narragansett institution. He said no, but he did get a lot of free burgers.

Mile 12-14 Point Judith Road. I knew this part was going to be difficult. Slightly uphill again. We were limited to the shoulder of a 4-lane road. Ate a few pretzels. Pulled out the iPod at mile 13 (or pretty much mile 13 because a jackal stole that sign too). Hit the halfway point at 1:39:xx. WHO RUNS THEIR FIRST SUB-1:40 HALF MARATHON IN A MARATHON?? I knew I had gone out too fast and I knew I needed to slow down. Several miles in the mid-7:00s (which I didn't know until I looked at my data after the race)? Way too fast for me. I had passed the hamburger, so at least that worked in my favor.

Mile 15 - Isolated stretch in the woods. Had some weird GI issues that thankfully went away quickly. Maybe it was the wall? I don't really know. At least it was quieter than Point Judith Road.

Mile 16 - Narragansett Town. Slightly downhill. Passed Crazy Burger and Markos Kabobs. Ran past the finish line. The race DJ announces each runner by name and qualifying race. Swapped out a water bottle when I saw my friends again. Raised my arm up as I ran under The Towers again.

Mile 17-20 - Second loop. Back on Ocean Road. I was pretty much running alone by this point, although I drafted behind a couple of runners for a little bit. At mile 18, I dropped one of my water bottles. It was a sign that I needed to take my first walk break. And then the wheels started to fall off. I finished all of my pretzels. I was getting dehydrated. I was running out of water and that was messing with my head. The aid stations were about 2 miles apart. That's farther apart than I am used to. There was one aid station where I literally came to a standstill to get more water. I started bargaining with myself by using my iPod. Just run through the end of this song and you can take a walk break. A song called "Can't Stop"? Well, can't stop. Other than dehydration and a weird feeling in my stomach, I was feeling OK. Nothing hurt. I wasn't too hot. Hit mile 20 at 2:36:xx or something like that.

Mile 21-24 - Point Judith Road again. Ugh, not again. So boring and gently uphill. I started counting down the miles. 5 to go. 4 to go. 5K to go. Just hold on and keep moving forward.

Mile 25 - Isolated stretch in the woods. One mile to go. I played more games with my music. Just keep running until the end of this song. Mile 25 was the first time I knew I wasn't going to make sub-3:30. Even sub-3:31 was going to be tough. "How badly do you want it?" popped into my head, and I said out loud, "I want it." Just keep running.

Mile 26 - Narragansett Town again. Just make it to Crazy Burger. Just make it to Markos.

Mile 26.2 - Rounded the short loop around the finish line. Heard the race DJ announcing me again. Saw that I was going to be damn close to 3:31 running up to the finish. Crossed the line at 3:31:02, 8:03 pace. 25 second PR after setting a huge PR 4 weeks earlier.


Going into Gansett, I really had no idea what was going to happen. I wasn't sure how to train for back-to-back marathons. I knew I had to be very careful to not push myself too hard, burn out, or get injured. I had several time goals because I just didn't know which one was realistic. To run a huge marathon PR and turn around and do it again 4 weeks later is a pretty amazing thing.

And now I add a Gansett Marathon finishers patch to my collection of race bling. Contrary to this picture, it was not easy ;-)

Here's the rest of the Gansett swag. Long-sleeve T-shirt with the Point Judith Lighthouse on the front and Gansett logo with The Towers on the back, button, and finishers patch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gansett Marathon recovery

Still working on the race recap. Please bear with me while I figure out what I am supposed to be doing for my job :-)

This is by far the easiest marathon recovery I have had. Really minimal soreness in the couple of days after the marathon, in spite of not walking around too much right after the marathon and sitting in a car for 9 hours the next day. No problems with stairs. No excessive tiredness. No nasty blisters on my feet or sore toenails. I still have all my toenails. I even wore shoes with pointy toes and heels for an entire day 2 days post-marathon.

The best was when I went to my Wednesday morning group run and ran pretty much at my regular speed. That has never happened. Ever. The only thing that felt off was my left hamstring. Everything else, including my quads, were perfectly fine. Now, I know I am not fully recovered and I will continue to take it easy this week. I must have done something right because this is good stuff.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Marathon Training Week 22

Haha, oops, I never posted this over the weekend. Better late than never I guess.

My plan was cross-train, run 3-4 miles, rest, run 4-5 miles, run 3 miles, rest, and the Gansett Marathon, plus minimal strength training early in the week. Second week of a 2-week taper.

Sunday - 20-minute yoga podcast, plus pushups and lunges.

Monday - 3.7 mile run on the treadmill, plus upper body strength training and calf raises.

Tuesday - Rest. Usually a running day, but not this week. I kinda didn't know what to do with a Saturday marathon. I did a lot of walking in DC pretending to be a tourist.

Wednesday - 5.2 mile run with the group from my local running store. Not sure I am going to stick with this group long-term, but it is good for now while I am learning routes in my new area. Did abs and lower back exercises when I got home.

Thursday - 3.6 mile run on the treadmill. And traveling to Rhode Island.  And my traditional pre-marathon viewing of Spirit of the Marathon.

Friday - Rest. And work. Got lots of chicken parm in ma belly. I missed the chicken parm in Rhode Island. Still the best anywhere.

Saturday - Gansett Marathon. Shiny new PR again at 3:31:02. More later.

Total Miles: 38.7

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reeeeally Quick Gansett Update


That's a shiny new marathon PR by 25 seconds after setting my previous marathon PR 4 weeks ago.

My Garmin was off from the very beginning because I didn't turn it on until seconds before the race start. And yet it did not throw me off at all.
Unofficial sub-1:40 half marathon. For real???
Ran with Keith Straw (who runs in a pink tutu and holds a wand) for the first half mile.
Ran with Skinny Runner from mile 10 to about the halfway point. Then she left me in the dust ;-)
Met Shelby from Eat, Drink, and Run and Celia from Running Seal. Nice job, ladies!!
I beat a guy wearing a hamburger costume.

I will do a full race recap and review later. Can't make any promises on when they will be up. I have a busy few days ahead.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Marathon Eve

Oh hi, I am running a marathon tomorrow.

I am actually not that excited yet. That's a good thing. I slept reasonably well last night. Enjoying the calm before the storm is nice. By tomorrow morning, I'm sure it will be a different story.

I used my 9 hours of travel time yesterday to think about my marathon plan (and my new job and lots of other things). A good race happens when, among many other things, you manage mental focus and energy correctly. Use too much energy before you toe the line and you've already failed. Plan carefully, put your focus in the right place, and good things happen.

The weather is looking mostly good. Not completely perfect but still pretty reasonable. Slightly breezy. Sunny. Temps starting off in the mid-50s and rising to the low- to mid-60s by the time I will finish. Definitely need sunscreen. Definitely need to be careful about dehydration and electrolytes and salt. Lessons learned from Chicago and Shamrock will come into play. The aid stations are about 2 miles apart. I will probably ask a friend to have extra water bottles ready for me at some point.

Bib (Odd-numbered again. Good thing?) and race T-shirt are in my hands. Time to track down my favorite chicken parm from my favorite little Italian restaurant in Rhode Island for dinnah. C'mer, chicken parm, get in ma belly. We've got a marathon to run in the morning.

OK, now I am excited.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gansett Training - All Wrapped Up

My short run this morning ends another training cycle. A short one. Now I head off on the road to Rhode Island.

Goals? Oh, I dunno. On a perfect day, I would like under 3:30. Then I'd be able to register for Boston when it is open to runners 5 minutes under the qualifying times. Believe it or not, Gansett is certified and should be accepted as a Boston qualifier. I am not hell-bent on 3:30, though. Even without being 5 minutes under the qualifying time, I think my Shamrock time will be good enough for Boston because 1) it is the first year with tougher qualifying standards 2) I am 3 minutes 30 seconds under the new standards and 3) last year everyone 1 minute 15 seconds under the old standards got in. I should get in with my Shamrock time. But strange things are happening in marathon registrations. It would be nice to meet the new standards by 5 minutes.

3:30 was my super secret goal for Shamrock. Yeah, yeah, I said it was 3:35. It was. Yet, I was on pace for sub-3:30 until mile 22. At that point, I remember thinking that I didn't want 3:30 that badly. I knew I'd make 3:35 with plenty of time to spare. That was good enough for Shamrock. I wasn't huffing and puffing to get a 3:31 finishing time. I wasn't wiped out at the end of the race. To get down to 3:30, I'd only have to run 1 minute 30 seconds faster. That's not slowing down in the last 4 miles or going 3-4 seconds per mile faster earlier in the race. Hmmm. I think I can do that.

On the other hand, I'm realistic. Shamrock was a perfect race. Perfect races don't happen often. I have no idea what will happen when I get out there on Saturday. Two marathons in 27 days is no small undertaking, especially when you were training for the first marathon all along. My body could decide I pushed it too far. I could mentally collapse. I am most concerned about my mental skills holding up. As a backup goal, I'll go with 3:35. Or 3:40. Or 4:00. Or not last. When it really comes down to it, I'm not that concerned about the time on the clock. Honestly. I just want the T-shirt and finishers patch. I want the bragging rights of being able to say, "I ran Gansett."

Why Gansett Could Be Good

I know most of the course. I love running in Narragansett. The Towers? Point Judith Lighthouse? Yes please.
My friends will be out to cheer me on.
The course is flat. Mostly.
Volunteering last year was helpful. I have extra knowledge that most runners don't have.
Easy logistics. No big crowds. No big hassles. It is pretty much show up and run.
The weather should be reasonable. Well, it is New England. Anything could happen.
I'm still coming off of a stellar training cycle and marathon performance.
I maintained my training in between the two marathons, including a most excellent fast-paced long run in poor weather conditions.
I have ran back-to-back races before and did well in both. Granted, running 2 half marathons 2 weeks apart is different from running 2 marathons 4 weeks apart. Still, I did PR in both half marathons ... by a minute and a half both times.
My confidence stuck around. That's big.
New mantras. Stronger now. BQ-5.
Everyone at Gansett qualified by meeting pretty difficult standards. Running with skilled runners is a good thing.

Why Gansett Could Be Bad

I know most of the course. There are a couple sections that are very boring.
2 marathons in 27 days? Kinda crazy.
Very small size. Most likely, I will be running alone at some point.
It is a 2-loop course. You pass all of the points in the second loop on the first loop.
I will be in the back of the pack.
Could be windy.
I am working the day before the marathon. Why did I think that was a good idea?
Distractions. I have been so scatter-brained and aimless for the last few weeks. Not having a routine is no bueno.
Didn't train specifically for Gansett. Shamrock was my goal race. Not sure I have switched mindset that quickly.

I have a feeling that Gansett is going to be more mental than physical. But we'll see what happens once I am out there. You never know what is going to happen in a marathon. I am using the same pace card I made for Shamrock. I am wearing the same sparkly white nail polish I wore for Shamrock too. Whatever happens at Gansett, getting into Gansett period was the bigger achievement. If I walk away with my 3:31 marathon PR intact, I am perfectly happy with that. Worst case, just think of it as going for a nice 26.2 mile run in Narragansett with a bunch of other people.

Go go Gansett go!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Strength Training + Marathon Training

I have been saying for a while that if you run, you need to strength train. As a disclaimer, I am not an expert on strength training. But I can tell you that strength training made a big difference in my running. I developed a strength training routine that met my needs, matched my goals, and fit in with my time constraints. This routine worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

You need strong legs for running. Contrary to what most people think, running does not make your legs stronger. It actually makes your legs weaker. You also need a strong core. This is especially important when you start to get tired and your form gets sloppy. Strength training, if you do it right, will not bulk you up or make you overly sore. It's like anything else. If running is your main focus, that is fine. Just don't forget your weights.

After having massive quad muscle failures at both RnR Mardi Gras and Cox Providence and being sore for days afterwards, I decided I could not neglect strength training any longer. I added in strength training even before I officially started training for Chicago and kept up my routine for Shamrock. It made a huge difference. Both Chicago and Shamrock went so much better, not just in avoiding massive quad muscle failures but also in having relatively quick recoveries. I ran a half marathon for fun the weekend after Chicago with no problems at all. I was back running at my regular pace a week after Shamrock. Really good stuff.

My marathon training schedule looked like this: Su - cross-train, M - short run, Tu - sorta long run, W - short run, Th - rest, F - sorta long run (sometimes at goal race pace), Sa - long run.

My strength training schedule looked like this, usually about 20-30 minutes at a time, and mostly with just my body weight, a mat, and an exercise ball:

Sunday evening

yoga - one-hour power vinyasa flow class every week. My cross-training activity of choice. I'm going to have to find a new yoga class since I like it so much. Yoga is very complimentary to running. The class I went to felt like a combination of flexibility and strength training. Don't think yoga is strength training? See what happens if you learn how to do some of the arm balance poses. The first time I held crow, my upper arms were sore for 2 days.

Monday evening (or sometimes Sunday after yoga), always with the DVR
calf raises - 3 sets of 20 of 3 different variations (toes straight ahead, toes turned in, toes turned out) off the edge of a stair. Dip your heels below the stair, then rise up on your toes.
lunges - 3 sets of 20 on each leg with an exercise ball. Put your back foot on an exercise ball, then dip down and backwards. You need a mirror, at least at the beginning, to make sure your form is correct. You don't want your front knee to go over your toes. These were *really* hard at first. I still lose my balance sometimes.
core - 5-6 minutes of abs on an exercise ball, then 3 sets of 20-30 lower back exercises. For lower back exercises, I kneel with my stomach against an exercise ball, put my arms straight out in front of me, and lift up. You can start off with your hands on your lower back, then hands at your ears, then arms straight out in front. I usually try to make a triangle with my thumbs and index fingers to help keep my arms straight. You can also do these lying on a mat without an exercise ball.

Tu or W evening
planks - four 1-minute planks on my elbows and toes, sometimes fewer planks but for more time, sometimes side planks
pushups - 3 sets of 20 on my knees

Exercises with Weights (usually Tu or W morning when I went to the gym)
upper body - 3 sets of a rotation of bicep curls, tricep presses (hold weights behind you w/ palms facing up and press up), and upright rows (hold weights in front at your belly, and pull straight up to chest height). I do all 3 exercises and then have a rest and stretch. I started with an 18-lb body bar and then worked up to two 10-lb hand weights. Every once in a while, I switched to two 12-lb hand weights.
chest - 2 sets of 20 of regular and 1 set of 20 of wide (think goal post arms) chest presses with my shoulders on an exercise ball
squats - 3 sets of 20 holding two 12-kg kettlebells (a wee bit more than 50 lbs) with an exercise ball against a wall at my back

On days I ran and did strength training, I always ran first. It's debatable which one you should do first. Running was my priority, so I did that first. I tried to do my weights session on a day when I rested the next day, so that if I was sore I'd have some recovery time before I ran again. Strength training did not take up an inordinate amount of extra time above and beyond what I was already doing (plus I got faster during this time, so my total exercise time probably didn't change much). I incorporated variations every once in a while. I listened to my body if it was telling me to skip something or take it easy. I eased up the week before and after a race. In general, though, I didn't skip a lot of strength training. It was an important part of my training.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gansett Playlist

In races and long runs, I try to go as long as I can without music. This may or may not happen at Gansett for a number of reasons. It is a VERY small marathon. Probably 100-120 runners this year. That's small for any race, no less a marathon. Volunteering last year, I saw that there were some clusters of runners. Most ran alone, though. It is a two-loop course. Run 16 miles, then run 10 miles. Guess what? You pass all of the mile markers for the second loop in the first loop. I am familiar with most of the course, but that is not necessarily an advantage.

I started with my Shamrock Marathon playlist and edited it down. Any song that I did not like during Shamrock was cut. Goodbye, Elevation by U2. The location-specific songs that dealt with the ocean or water are also good for Gansett.

I didn't have time to add much, but I recently purchased (and still have $50+ in iTunes GCs):

Foo Fighters - Word Forward
Outasight - Tonight Is the Night
Calvin Harris - Feel So Close
David Guetta & Nicki Minaj - Turn Me On
Civil Twilight - Fire Escape (thanks, Pandora!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Good Things Come to Those Who Are Patient

So remember that job that I really *really* wanted?

I am officially off the job market. It is mine.

*big sigh of relief*

It is one of those rare jobs where the job description seemed like it was written specifically for me. It will be challenging, interesting, and meaningful. Doing research and statistics. Just my kind of thing. I am beyond excited.

I start soon, so I have to get my apartment organized in the next few days. That's actually good. The housewife thing got old fast. So much for my plans for being a tourist in DC while I was unemployed. Oh well, there will be time for that later. On the running front, my new job doesn't interfere with Gansett at all. I pretty much go from running a marathon to working full-time again. I am probably going to take a running break after Gansett anyway. Perfect.

I will have a sweet commute. Every time I have done it, it was 25 minutes door-to-door. Walk 2 blocks, get on the Metro, get off the Metro, walk a block and a half. No train switches. Couldn't be any easier. Waaaay better than sitting in my car for 45 minutes doing nothing.

All of a sudden, I am feeling much better about moving to DC :-D

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Marathon Training Week 21

My plan was cross-train, run 5, 6, and 4 miles, rest, 4-5 mile pace run, and 10ish mile long run, plus strength training where it fits. First week of a 2-week taper. All I have do now is stay healthy and uninjured.

My ankle is bugging me again. I get random aches and pains during taper, but I am not sure this is a taper madness random ache and pain. I'm on it, though. Keep an eye on it and be cautious. I think it is because 1) I haven't been good about spending time with my tennis ball and/or 2) there are mad hillz yo in my new area. Getting the tennis ball out again helped a bit.

Sunday - Traveling. I am so over traveling. I will make an exception for Gansett, though. Did a couple of 20-minute power yoga classes from Hulu Plus, which were interrupted by commercials and weren't very good anyway. Did a 20-minute yoga podcast that I have done before. Much better. Also did planks and pushups.

Monday - 5.2 mile run. Hilly but pleasant weather.

Tuesday - 6.2 mile run. Same route as Monday but went a half mile farther before I turned around. Slightly slower because apparently I did not learn from last week that I need to go earlier and eat enough before I run. No matter. I wasn't carefully monitoring the pace and I wasn't trying to push it.

Wednesday - 5.3 mile run with a group from my new local running store, plus about a half mile (untimed, unmeasured) warmup and half mile walk home. Did upper body strength training, squats, and lunges.

Thursday - Rest

Friday - 4.5 mile pace run. Even with the hills, I got my overall pace in the 7:40s. My lower back was hurting, except when I was running. Wonder what I did to it? Sciatic pain? I don't even know what sciatic pain is supposed to feel like. Did some abs in the evening.

Saturday - 11 mile long run in Rock Creek Park. It was one of those super pleasant runs where you felt like you could run forever. I got distracted by the quiet and prettiness of Rock Creek and went a little farther than I intended to. Oops. It was a perfect day to run a little farther. I am looking forward to spending more time in Rock Creek Park. In taper madness pains, my back was mostly feeling better and my ankle was better too. Two days with a tennis ball seemed to help.

Total Miles: 32.2

One week til Gansett!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Boston Bound

One of the nice things about being temporarily unemployed is having time to do whatever I want to do. Before I left Rhode Island, I went up to Boston for the day.

I started off in the Copley area. The Boston Marathon finishes just about here. Next year :-)

John Hancock Tower

Then I walked to the Public Garden. The pond for the swan boats was empty, but some trees were starting to bloom.

I took my Shamrock medal to the duck statues. The mama duck approved.

Walked down Newbury Street, Boston's main shopping street. Dunkin Donuts and Lululemon are neighbors? Oh, that is bad.

I asked at LLL about the "stuff your bra" tank and bra that have pockets built into them. Great idea, but could be really flawed. They weren't in yet. I chatted with a couple of the salespeople about just qualifying for Boston and running next year. They were excited! I said I'd run in either Lululemon or a Boston College Superfan shirt. They approved either way.

Then I went to Coolidge Corner to meet a friend for lunch at Anna's Taqueria. Still the best Mexican food anywhere. Mmmm. Get extra fresh salsa and hot sauce. Coolidge Corner has a mix of chain stores and smaller shops. It kinda reminds me of the area in DC where I moved to.

Then I went to Boston College. Scaled the "Great Wall of China." Like many college campuses, BC is on a hill. It's about 125 steps to the top. When I used to give campus tours, we were told to never ever take tour groups up the Great Wall of China.

Gasson Hall is our centerpiece building. It looks shiny and new because parts of it are shiny and new. In 2008, the top 1/4 of the tower was taken down for restoration. It was *very* weird being at BC during that time with The Tower missing.

Walked the labyrinth. I love walking the labyrinth. It is not a maze. There is only one path to the center. You follow the path to the center, spend some time there, and then retrace your path back out. It is supposed to offer a chance for meditation. I've walked this particular labyrinth 5 times now. Every time has taught me something different. This time, it was focus and be patient.

Had dinner at Hillsides Cafe. Hillsides opened the year I graduated. Mmmm, turkey sandwich with homemade chips and a pickle. I miss those sandwiches.

Gasson Hall at night.


And that was it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

M is for Maryland

Greetings from DC! Well, just outside of DC.

I better find a job soon. I don't think I would cut it as a housewife. Not after doing laundry for over 3 hours. It STILL wasn't done. I stopped once everything was washed and dried because I was hungry. Lemme tell you how much I dislike socks.

So enough complaining. I had a quick and easy trip (even without a GPS) to Trader Joe's to get food. And I had a pleasant run in the morning. Hilly but nice weather.

Now back to trying to find places to put all that clean laundry.