Let the 6-week Power Training Commence…

I’m going for it. What the heck.

In 6-weeks I am going to run a half-marathon. And I’m going to run it well. (I hope).

I figure I have enough of a fitness base that I can do this in 6-weeks. But I also know that I will have to be working hard, and eating right the ENTIRE 6 weeks. I have focus. Today anyhow.

This week’s plan:

Tuesday: 5 Miles

Wed: 4 Miles Easy / 30min Cross Train (Strength Train)

Thurs: Rest

Fri: Softball / 30min Cross Train (Strength Train)

Sat: 4 Miles

Sun: 7 Miles

Next week I am introducing biking into my routine on Monday, and include strength training on Monday as well. Tuesday will be speed work day.

I am also focusing solely on fruits/veggies/protein for my diet.

My goals (in order):

1) Not Die

2) Finish under 2:10

I will try and recap regularly how it is going!

Hang on to your hats, here I go :-)

Running Ambassadorships Gone Wrong & The Demise of FoamFest 5k

I thought it would be cool to be an ambassador for one ‘official’ race.

So, of course when I received my discount code for the Foam Fest 5k, I was pretty excited.  I had intentions to get that code out there WAY more than I did. I guess I wasn’t that great of an ambassador anyhow…

But, I was still planning on doing the race, and still even talking it up. I had friends and family committed to going. Marked my calendar for July 19th.

A few days before I decided to go to website for official details and register. Yes, I am a last-minute registering kind of gal. I hate registering early with the possibility  of not being able to make it for some reason. At the website, when I click on “Cleveland, Ohio” for info on that race- I’m directed to a notice where it states that the SoCal race is cancelled due to “logistics” and while NO refunds will given, they are working on rescheduling the run. I keep getting the SoCal notice, so I figure something is wrong with the website and I’ll come back later.

Then I see it on the news. Cleveland FoamFest cancelled due to “logistics”. Huh??  And no refunds will be given. Of course. It’s not like people were traveling in (many were!) or made special arrangements to attend this. What if they can’t make it on the ‘rescheduled date’? Something seemed fishy right off the bat.

While people were in an uproar, and media got wind, the truth comes out.

FoamFest filed bankruptcy and is shutting their doors.

Now, I don’t know too much about the behind-the-scenes stuff at races. BUT, this was one of the most expensive races I’ve seen- up to $90 week of race, plus $10 parking fee, PLUS a fee to check a bag.  And, hundreds (may thousands between Ohio & California) paid these prices. Where is the money? I know the obstacles made this a pricey event to put on…but still.  ???

With the cancellation out there, I was quite embarrassed that I had been an ‘ambassador’. I stayed fairly quite about it. Until now.

The company has since issued an apologize and a closing statement.

“Dear 5k Foam Fest Friends, Our organization has spent years and an incredible amount of money perfecting this great event for the runners we admire so much. However, due to limited resources we are sad to announce that the 5k Foam Fest is cancelling all future events and will no longer be in business as of July 17th, 2014. After tireless efforts to find a way to help us finish out our season; we simply can’t continue to move forward.”

The race in my town was scheduled for July 19th, just 2 days later.

You mean to tell me up until that point, they didn’t know they were going to have to cancel?

Of course they did.

Yet they waited to inform everyone until a couple days before the race.

What a bummer.

It did look like a fun race~ Life in Pink ran it this summer and wrote a great recap on it if you want to check it out!

But, we trudge on. I found another race to run and it was one of the best I’ve ever ran.

So all is good.

 

Race Recap: Friday Night Lights, Mentor, Ohio

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One of my favorite races ever. Ever.  In my whole….1 year of racing.

I enjoyed every aspect of it, especially after the debacle of my Aurora Fun Run 5k a week prior.

10 reasons this was a great race:

1. Organized & Easy to register at event.

2. It was at night!

3. Great music.

4. Regular old bib-chip timing. (You don’t know how much you love it until you do races without it)

5. Ample food & drink.

6. Easy parking.

7. Great nearby donut shop. (Very important- I need pre-race coffee & donut)

8. Awesome t-shirt.

9. Cool light-up gadgets to wear during run.

10. Flat course, through high school track, roads, and bike path.

And my lack of training still brought me in only 7 seconds slower than my PR!

I celebrated with a BBQ Cheeseburger & fries. I know, I know. I’m eating better now I promise. At least most of the time.

The stats:

WHAT: Friday Night Lights

WHERE: Mentor, Ohio

DISTANCE: 3.1 Miles

TERRAIN: Pavement/Track

TIME: 27:08

Official results here.

This was a competitive looking run- everyone looked pretty serious, in-shape and for a minute I thought I was way out of my league. But I held my own. I came in 15th out of 38 in my AG. And it motivated me to get more consistent with my running! If I can do that after several weeks of lackluster running & nutrition, what can I do if I get it together?!?!?!

Definitely will calendar this one for next year!

 

 

Race Recap: Aurora Fun Run 5k and 1 Mile

Boy am I behind in my blog updates. Damn maternity leave.

So last minute I was looking for a 4th of July race. The only one I found in my neck of the woods, was the Aurora Fun Run in my hometown of….. you guessed it- Aurora, Ohio.

I saw they were doing a 1 mile race at 8:00 and a 5k at 8:30. I decided to do both, and see how quickly I could do a 1 mile in a timed race. I wasn’t worried about my time too much for the 5k, but just happy to have another bib for the ‘bib wall’.  I was pretty excited to do a last-minute race AND try my hand at a 1-miler for speed.

Let’s just say my excitement faded very quickly.

And since my mom always says, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, I will have to keep this very brief. Yeah right. We all know how difficult that is for me…

I’ve been pretty blessed and enjoyed every race I’ve ran until this point. So, they can’t all be winners. No big.

Here are the two main problems I encountered:

1. Unorganized. Horribly. I found what I thought was the registration table. Waited in line. Only to be told that on the OTHER side of the lot was the table to pick up the forms for same day registration. I had to fill that out and bring it back, wait in line at this table, and get my bib. Again, no big. I did just that, and went back to table. There were two lines formed at that table, so I hopped in one. Once it was my turn, the lady says, “this is the line for pre-registered only. You need to be in the other line. Since the two lady’s was right there side by side, I was hoping that one could just hand the other the form. But no. I had to go get back in line. Again.

Once I made it to the correct lady, she handed me my ‘goods’, and then told me on the other side of the Gazebo is where I needed to pick up my timing chip. Huh? What a hassle. No signs, no direction. Four different table visits. Four lines.

My computer chip was a shoe tag~ I had not had one of those prior so I had no idea how to attach it. And, no one was forthcoming to help. I somehow managed to do look at other shoes and figure it out.

2. Many, Many rude people.  Maybe I’ve been living in a nice, quiet country town too long…but I have always enjoyed the kindness and camaraderie of runners at race events. Even the large events in downtown Cleveland- people are always supporting & friendly.  I did encounter a couple friends while there~ but other than that, I have never been pushed, shoved, stepped on, elbowed, hollered at, more in my life and I heard NOT ONE apology or ‘excuse me’ the entire event. Hmph.

The course was okay, winding through residential neighborhoods.  I might have been a little aggravated at the people to enjoy it a whole lot.

Some photo’s for fun:

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But anyway, here are the stats:

WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 1 Mile                                       WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 5k

WHERE: Aurora, Ohio                                                    WHERE: Aurora, Ohio

DISTANCE: 1 Mile                                                           DISTANCE:  5k

TERRAIN: Pavement                                                       TIME: 29:09

TIME: 7:52 - 1st Place in Age Group!!! :)

Results posted HERE.

Best part was learning I placed first in my AG for the one miler. My goal was to come in under 8 minutes. I think I actually did a little better than the time listed- at least by a few seconds, but it was not chip timed so there may be some room for error.

My next race was much more enjoyable. I might get around to that recap sometime in 2014. We will see.

 

Anyone have any sucky race stories?

 

 

Race Recap: Run for Melana 5k

Feeling spontaneous last week, I signed up for a local 5k. It was for a great cause, the starting line was a couple of miles from my house. AND it didn’t even start that early (9:00am beats a 7:00am start IMO).

I was a bit worried because I have not been running as much. Nor have I been eating very healthy. Eh, might not be my best time.

But sometimes you just got to do it.

I arrived early, with a large coffee in hand. Yes, I need coffee before a race. Requirement.  There were people milling about, but the race was small enough so it was easy to figure where to be.

First, the stats, then some pics :-)

Here are the stats:

WHAT: Run for Melana 5k

WHERE: Garrettsville, Ohio

DISTANCE: 3.1 Miles

TERRAIN: Pavement

TIME: 28:11

Not a PR, but enough to win 2nd place in my age group- Women 30-39. Came in 2nd overall in my AG (out of 25), and 75th overall. (Total of  186 runners).  Gotta love the small races :)

Was a fantastic race. Weather was nice (hot & humid- but I like it that way). And I felt pretty good all things considered.

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The race was in honor of Melana, a young girl in our town who was diagnosed with Glioma cancer in 4th grade. She passed away 9 months later. There is not much research being down for Glioma cancer, even though it is the 2nd leading cause of death in children with cancer.

Please read more about Glioma research here.

I love that races are often fundraisers and opportunities to help a good cause. :)

Anyone else run this weekend?

Any good upcoming races?

Have you ever ran for a cause that really moved you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did something I don’t often do…

I am a country girl and I love it.

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Now that that’s outta the way.

My running has been a little lackluster lately, but I can’t seem to break through the slump. Work has been exceptionally busy, and when I’m tired/stressed I don’t run well. Or at all.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was debating between a nap and a run. And finally, my runner-self took over and I put on my running clothes, laced up my Saucony’s, and hit the pavement. In doing so, I did something I don’t often do. I ran a new route.

I didn’t feel like driving to my trail. I’ve also always been afraid to take off running near my house because of the road I live on. I live in the country, (did I mention that already?) and although my road doesn’t see a lot of traffic, it is a main route and does host some high-speed trucks. But I felt brave and figured I’d hit the side roads in about a half a mile, so it would be okay. I also don’t run with music, so listening for traffic would be easy.

I just kind of made up a route as I went. Ended with a 4.5 mile run, around a 9:35 pace. Not bad considering I took some photo op breaks. And I took one “pray to Jesus” stop where I thought the heat might get to me. It didn’t.

I slowed down a little for some shots, stopped for others. Unfortunately with sun glare I couldn’t really see the photos until I got home. I may have been sweating on my phone…oops… They are quite hazy. Quality ain’t great, but you might see why I love living out here. :)

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Don’t forget- you definitely want to sign up for the 5k Foam Fest that will be held in my lovely little country town (Garrettsville, Ohio- listed as ‘Cleveland’ location)!! I know it’s a bit pricey, but everyone I know who has done it LOVES it. I cannot wait for this one on July 19th!! Use my discount code to save $5 and be entered in to win other prizes as well!! 

Visit:  http://5kfoamfest.com/Location?locId=28 and use my discount code:  FF3892. Send me a message or a comment if you register and I will confirm to make sure you get entered into the other drawings!

Questions:

Has anyone had a running slump before? How did you get over it?

Do you often run new routes, or are you a creature of habit?

Country person or city person?

 

 

 

5k Foam Fest- Cleveland/Garrettsville Ohio- (Discount Code!)

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While searching for races, I came across this race a while back- the 5k Foam Fest.  Now, I’m the first to admit, I’m not one for novelty races. I want to run. Not play. I know, I know…..I am no fun. Blah, blah, blah.  But, something about this race struck me from the beginning. The obstacles look like a ton of fun (more so than usual courses) and as I read on, I see that the ‘Cleveland’ location is actually being held in my home-town of Garrettsville!

No brainer, folks. I’m in.

So, imagine my super-excitement when I was chosen to be an Ambassador for the race!

The race will be held on July 19th, 2014 in Garrettsville, Ohio. And promises to be a FUN time.

Enjoy fun obstacles, like:

The Mud Pit

The Body Washer

Spider Web Forest

Aqua Lily Pads

And over a dozen more!!

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Visit their website for more info, photos and videos: http://5kfoamfest.com/

USE THE DISCOUNT CODE:   FF3892 to save $5 and possibly win some cool door prizes!

And, if you are coming in from out of the area, I have a hotel about 30 minutes away with an indoor waterpark that would be happy to host your stay!  :)

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My tooth hurts. I can’t run.

Excuses, excuses.

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Seriously, is anything worse than a toothache? I’ll answer that for you. NO. I’ve had kids, broken bones, suffered from the flu….but a toothache? Nothing worse.

Apparently, I have an infected wisdom tooth that is half in my sinus cavity. Gross.

When I went to the dentist and he showed me the X-ray, he pointed to a small grey dot on my tooth. That small grey dot is the infection causing all this pain. Are you serious? Yes, I feel like a wimp.

So, tomorrow I go to the surgeon to fix-the-prob.

In the meantime, I stopped running. It just felt better to lay in bed and whine about the pain. Okay, so I was busy, busy in other areas too-like work & life- and somehow running took a back seat. I’m not proud of that.

It’s pretty bad when your running app sends you an email entitled, “It’s okay to take a break.”

Yesterday, I decided it was just a dang toothache, people were certainly busier than I, and  I needed to get it together and get out there and run. GET IT TOGETHER JEN.NO MORE EXCUSES.

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So, I went out and did 3.5. I had no goals, just to do it and not do it too uber~slow. Overall pace was 8:33. I’m happy. My app tells me it’s been 12 days since my last run.

My legs felt a little weird. I was worried I might have forgotten how to run. It wasn’t a seamless run, I stopped to walk at Mile 2 and Mile 3 for about 30 seconds each time. My knees felt achy (and still do a bit this morning), but other than that I felt good.

Time to get back at it.

Back on track.

Like riding a bike.

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How to run faster & increase pace

Today I ran my fastest outdoor run ever.

Like, seriously. I ran 3.5 at an 8:05 average pace.  My fastest pace before this was 8:35 and that was a miracle run in itself.

My first, and fastest mile (gasp! What? No negative splits? Nope!) was 7:36. I’m breaking world records here folks. Shalene~ watch out, I’m on your tail. Once, on the indoor track I ran a 7:17. But I that’s different. I’m not 100% convinced the track distance is accurate, and indoor air is different.

Side Note:  Whether I’m indoors or not my nose still runs. Any solutions for that, I’m all ears. My nose doesn’t run at any other time. Just when I run. Like it’s jealous and wants in on some running action. Ridiculous. Think of how much faster I could run if I didn’t have to keep wiping my nose.

So. Back to the topic.

My tips & tricks for running faster and increasing your pace. Since I’m an expert and all.

1.  Pretend that someone is running next to you and yelling encouraging things to you. Or derogatory- whatever works.

2. Yell back at that person when you feel like it. And when you have the breath to do so. Ignore people looking at you funny.

3. Run like a kid. Remember being a kid when you go outside and run/play forever? No? Pretend you did. Feel free to flail arms and giggle.

4. Pretend you are racing your worst enemy. Go on- show them what you are made of. You don’t want them to beat you, do you? Hell no.

5. Eat two soft beef tacos from taco bell about 2 hours before your run. Don’t question this. It worked for me.

6. Talk out loud and encourage yourself. Say things like, “You got this.” “Run faster dammit!” “You’re running like an old person.” “Quit whining. You can breathe.” “Shut up, Brain! My legs do not need to stop for a minute!” Disclaimer: I do not mean to insult old people. I like old people. Hell, I am old…

Okay. And a couple other more serious points I want to make:

7. Don’t worry about negative splits in a shorter run. I did 3.5. Go fast mile 1. If you don’t, you’ll never know how much you can push yourself. I ran mile 1 in 7:36 Shocked the hell out of me. BUT it encouraged me to keep running fast as I could. I did slow down a bit, but overall kept a great pace. If you don’t go hard mile 1, how do you know how hard/fast you can go for the duration? I know that’s not good strategy for longer distances…but for short, what the hell. Go hard or go home.

8. POSTURE.  Suckmywake once commented on this to me~ and I can totally agree. I ran as upright as I could, keeping my head up more than normal. Definitely helped more than I could have imagined. I always thought I practiced this before, but I really noticed a difference today.

9. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. (You will know if you are truly overdoing it).

10. Have fun :)

 

And that’s my big words of wisdom today folks. Stay tuned for more WoW to come…I know. The waiting will be hard.

 

 

 

Long Run Day + Sunshine + Holiday Food= Great Day!

Now that the weather is better, Sunday is long run day. Whether it is a holiday or not. Oh, by the way, Happy Easter!

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So, I hit the trail with daughter for some sunshine &  fresh air.

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Apparently, running bloggers are supposed to take photos like this (so little “A” and I figured we might as well get with the times):

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 The sun was amazing and afterwards I realized I should have picked up some sunscreen for us. It’s that time. And I couldn’t be more excited. :)

I ran 7 miles (yes, that is still my long run distance because that’s they exact length of my trail. I’m fully aware its time to step it up…) at a nice easy average pace of 9:24. My splits were all over the place- some miles in the low 8’s and some in the mid-high 10’s. It was such a beautiful day to cruise the trails and I just ran how I felt in that moment. I believe that is…intuitive running?

Here I am, enjoying the runner’s high:

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No time for rest after our run though, instead it was time to shower & head to my parents house for dinner. We had an original Easter dinner and cooked out on the grill. Hey, when the sun comes out in NE Ohio you take advantage of it. It usually doesn’t hang out too long. Especially in April.

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I made these yummy little taco scoop babies to take to my parents. Look terrible=taste great.  My son can’t get enough. Me either.

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And, I am so bummed that Resurrection is not on tonight. What the heck? I missed that memo and here I’ve been so excited all day to watch it. Dang.

Tomorrow is a cross training day~ and hopefully I will get a chance to post a weekly training recap.  Time to start preparing for the next race now!

 

Anyone else watch Resurrection? Thoughts?

Did anyone else run today, despite it being a holiday?

 

 

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