Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas, blizzards and free entries...oh, my!!

It's been an interesting week, friends!  Christmas week was full of rehearsals and services (that were wonderful!).  I got just a couple of training runs in that week...  On Sunday evening the Northeast was pounded with a blizzard.  We got a total of over 18in of snow in my town with lots and lots of crazy wind.  Both of these things have derailed the training a bit, I will admit. 

Yesterday I hit the gym with a friend (running outside was out of the question yesterday) and did just over 4mi on the treadmill.  And I remembered just how much I disliked that thing.  However, it does the job when I absolutely can not get outside. 

To ensure that doesn't happen too often I made a few purchases yesterday.  One being a pair of trail running shoes.  They are the same brand and model as my favorite running shoes so I know they'll fit great.  I've been wanting a pair for a while and figured what better time?  They'll have more grippy bottoms that my current road trainers which will be great in the snow.  I also got a pair of Yaktrax.  These are rubber netting things that fit over shoes to help grip in the snow and ice.  I'm excited to try them...I've heard great reviews and decided I might as well give them a try. 

A couple more things to note:  Santa (aka my dad) brought me a Kalamazoo Marathon tech shirt which I am excited to wear sometime soon.  I typically don't wear the shirt before I run the race...but this isn't the official shirt so I think it'll be okay.  Speaking of the Kalamazoo Marathon, I received an email yesterday informing me that I was the first person from Massachusetts to register.  Which means I receive free entry and a free pair of New Balance shoes!  We (the first people to register from each state and our families) also get to hang out in the 50 State Challenge tent and get special treatment.  How swank.  Way to go, Kalamazoo Marathon!

Looking ahead to this week, I'll be getting in 6 or so at lunchtime today.  Tomorrow will be the same.  Friday I am taking my friend to the gym again.  Saturday I'll be doing a 10K in Lowell (if you're in the area, swing by!!).  When will I get my long run in this week, you ask?  I'm not sure...  Some creative scheduling is necessary it seems...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

winter run ditty

Last night on my 6.5miler, I battled wind, snow covered sidewalks and ice covered sidewalks.  I had just one moment where I thought I might fall.  And I must say, I felt really great about this run as my splits were negative!  (This means the second half was faster than my first half.)  I'm happy about this because the wind was blowing at my back on the way out as I was descending into Arlington and was blowing against me as I ran a 3.25mi incline back to Lexington.  Who's beast?!  Me.

Anywho, as I was jaunting along, I had the song Jingle Bells in my head.  I'm not sure why but this has been *the* song that has gotten stuck in my head the past 3wks or so while running.  Maybe it's be cause I've been "dashing through the snow"...  Well, last night I decided to change the lyrics to suit me.  Below is what I came up with.  Sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells", obviously....

Dashing through the slush
in my Asics running shoes
'Ore the ice I rush
my balance I must use

A reflective vest I wear
'Cause safety is my goal
the cars and trucks with me must bear
they'll stop for me I'm told (yeah, right!)

Oh, Winter Runs, Winter Runs
how I love you so
Through the snow and slush and ice
bun-dled from head to toe!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

christmas week is here!

Official training has begun!  How anticlimactic that it began with a day off...  Yesterday was supposed to be 4miles, however, I was thwarted by a snow storm that dumped a whopping 2inches on the Boston area.  Unfortunately, it was a very timely 2in coming at rush hour.  Therefore it took me 1hr and 40min to get usually takes me 20min on a Monday.  If it was a normal Monday, I could have made it home, gotten my 4mi in and still had time to get ready for the evening plans.  However...mother nature (and Boston drivers) made that impossible.

So Day 2 of training also happened to be a day off.  I spent it instead going out to dinner with some very dear friends.  We tried a new place in downtown Reading called Grumpy Doyle's.  It was great!  We loved the appetizers and loved the desserts more.  If you're in the Reading area, this place is a must try.  Great bar area to watch sporting events and enjoy an adult beverage, as well.  ;)

And that brings us to Day 3.  I was planning to run at lunch time however I remembered that I offered to help stuff 6000 candles into drip protectors at lunch time.  Not to worry, I have exactly 2hrs between work and rehearsal for the Christmas services to get a good 6miler in.  And that's just what I plan to do.  Come snow, wind or any combination of the two. 

Speaking of Christmas services, if you are in the area of Lexington stop by Grace Chapel for one of our candlelight services.  We've got 5 to choose from:  Dec 22 at 7:30pm, Dec 23 at 7:30pm, and Dec 24 at 3pm, 4:30pm and 6pm.  I'll be the snarky one on the platform....

Friday, December 10, 2010

baby it's cold outside

Today's high was reported to be 30deg.  A temp for which I brought appropriate gear.  Unfortunately, at the current time, 11am - when I was planning to go out for a quick 4mi on my lunch break, it is a mere 17deg.  I just didn't bring the right stuff for that.  I am totally bummed.

Change of plans...I'm hoping to get out a bit early today (gotta check with the boss-man) and might have time to get a few miles in at the gym before heading into the city for dinner with friends. 

Maybe next time the weather guys will get the right forecast...people depend on it.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

didn't have it in me; or on me

It's been getting colder here in the Northeast.  And while I realize that is a given, it just seems that this December has been colder than previous Decembers have been.  So yesterday when I was about to head out on my lunchtime run, I checked the temp: 32deg.  Brr.  I thought it would have been a bit warmer by lunchtime, at least 38-40deg, which is why I had packed capri running pants, a winter running shirt with a shell underneath, mittens and no earband or hat.  This was not appropriate running gear for 32deg.  Oh, did I forget to mention the 15-20mph wind?  Yeah.  That too.

My breakfast for the past few weeks has been Chobani yogurt with Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal mixed in.  I do love yogurt and cereal together!  However, I didn't realize I'd run out of yogurts and hadn't gone to the store that morning.  So I had a cup of cereal, dry.  That's it.  It was not enough fuel for my run.  I had zero energy by mile 3.  Zip.

So both of these reasons combined led me to shorten a planned 7miler to a 4.5miler.  It's still a good amount, just not the amount I had hoped for.

This weekend, though, I did get an exceptional run in.  Saturday was a beautiful day!  Sunshine and 40deg.  I took advantage and headed out for a 14.5mile loop that took me into Melrose and back then over to the lake before heading home through downtown Wakefield.  It was really fun because both Melrose and Wakefield had Christmas-y things happening, Holiday Strolls and whatnot.  Carolers, free food in the shops, tons of families out and about.  I didn't even mind dodging them!  Oh, I'd also like to mention that I did those 14miles at a pace of 9:37/mile.  That's the fastest I've done a long run ever!

Just a little over a week till the official training plan begins.  I will have to be better prepared than I was yesterday!  Speaking of, I'm off to the grocery store...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a tale of two runs

It was the worst of runs, it was the best of runs.  And now that I'm finished plagiarizing...  Seriously though, I feel like the past two runs have been polar opposites of one another.  Below are brief summaries of each:

Weds:  All day at work the rain was on and off.  I didn't realize it, because it's so dark outside my window, but it had begun raining around 5pm, just as I am heading out for my miles.  I figured it would be wet out so I came prepared with my hat to keep the rain off my face.  At least it was warm out, about 52deg or so.  What I didn't expect was wind and hard rain.  I'd only gotten about a mile into my run when I realized that maybe this was just a bit crazy.  But that made me laugh and decide that I might as well keep going because it was crazy but it was also kinda fun.  Fast forward to mile 3.  Lexington has these weird moths that only come out at night from wooded areas.  I think they are disgusting.  Running along Mass Ave, read: non-wooded, I figured I would not encounter any moths.  WRONG.  I saw it coming, it was about neck level and moving upward....and then it was IN MY MOUTH.  I coughed, I hacked, I spit, I gagged.  But I never slowed my pace.  Yes, I kept going while trying to get this nasty creature repelled from my throat.  I finally did...but couldn't help but feel like there was a piece of it still back there.  (cough, cough!)  The rest of the run was uneventful but by the time I was finished I was literally soaked from head to toe, dripping.  I was excited to get home to a warm shower and dry clothes but first stopped for a burrito for dinner.  Priorities, people!  For the record:  4miles at a 9:04 pace.

Thurs (tonight):  It was a bit chilly (38), but clear and calm.  I wore my old shoes as my current ones were still wet from yesterday's puddle jumping.  That's pretty much it.  It was an easy, quick 6mi at a 9:23 pace.

Weather and moths change everything...Let this be your lesson from this post.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LSD - it's not what you think...

After a couple days off, I went out for a much-needed LSD.  No, it's not the drug.  It's a type of training run.  It stands for Long Slow Distance.  It helps get the body used to running longer and longer distances.

I didn't go too, too far.  Just 9 miles.  My pace was not fast, but not too slow either.  9:41min/miles.  Typically an LSD is run at 1-2min slower than race pace.  So I should have been trying to keep a 10-11min pace....but I felt so good last night I couldn't go any slower!  In fact, I wanted to run more but towards the end I couldn't feel my hands so I figured it was time to head home.

And that's another thing...I don't understand why my hands go numb and my right arm gets all tingly.  It's an odd sensation and one that only happens when it's cold.  It must have something to do with circulation...  More research is needed on this subject.  I have noticed that, even when I'm not running, when I'm cold, my hands turn white and I have trouble moving them.  Which is in part why I carry a bottle of hot water with me.  Hmmm, maybe I should look into carry a bottle of hot water with me when I run?  Nah.  But I will look into this a bit more, for sure.

The next few days I'll get some shorter runs in.  On Saturday, I plan to run a half marathon "with" my friend, Erika.  She'll be in Memphis running the St. Jude Half Marathon and since I can't be there with her, I will run the same distance and we'll be together in spirit.  :)  She's probably gonna kick butt.