>On a roll.

>Since I’ve posted twice in the last few days, I figured I might as well keep my posting spree up. I have a twinge of pain in my left leg. I swear my left leg gives me the most issues with running of any body part. When I was refitted for shoes weekend before last the gait difference between my left and right feet was amazing! My left foot has an almost perfectly neutral strike while my right foot/ankle overpronates quite a bit. I ended up in Brooks Adrenaline GTS. They are amazing! But, evidently not amazing enough to keep me injury free. I’ve always run in neutral shoes, so the difference was immediately apparent. I do feel like this shoe is better for my gait, but I have a nagging voice in the back of my head that says this may not be the right shoe. Why do I have this pain in my leg? It feels like the bout of posterior shin splints I went through last fall. I’m going to spend today icing and stretching. Given that I am completely hard-headed, I will probably attempt the 10k tomorrow no matter what. I’ll update after it’s over!

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>I have my very first 10k this weekend. I’m nervous. Abnormally nervous. I haven’t been this nervous about a race since my half. I’m planning to use my time in this 10k to qualify for a specific start gate at the Peachtree Road Race this summer. According to McMillan, I should be able to complete this race in 59 minutes and a few seconds based on my 5k time from last weekend. I ran all out last weekend, but I still didn’t max out on heart rate, and I felt like I could probably have shave 15 seconds or more off my first mile with good results. I’m just so unsure of myself at this distance. Do I have the stamina to maintain a sub-10 min/mile pace for that long? I guess time will tell.

I’m going to try to update more often as I am quickly approaching my second half marathon! Only about a month to go. Training is going well, despite the fact that I missed 2 runs this week due to shin splints from bad form at the 5k last weekend. As long as I can stay injury free over the next month, I am confident that I can finish this half with the goal I have in mind.

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>An update….finally. New PR!

>I officially have a new 5k PR! I ran the Athens Academy Spartan Sprint this morning in 29 minutes even! I was aiming for under 30 minutes, but I could not believe that I finished in 29 minutes. My last 5k was the ML5K in January, and it sucked. I started out way too fast and burned out. I finished in 31:11. I was so disappointed in myself. I even placed 3rd in my AG, but that didn’t make up for the bad racing I did. My friend just finished C25k and ran this as her first 5k. She was amazing! I was so proud of her, although I did think she wanted to slap me with all the cheering I was doing for her at the end.

Here are my split times for this 5k:
Mile 1- 10:01
Mile 2- 9:26
Mile 3- 8:48
.10- 45 sec

I finally realized after my last 5k that I have to run negative splits to get the times I want. I made a huge effort to stay calm and slow in the first mile so I wouldn’t burn out. My strategy paid off!

My training is progressing well for my next half, which is on March 20. My long runs are faster and feel better than they did last fall. I am hoping to finish this half in 2:15 or less. We’ll see what happens!

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>An update- finally!

>I need to do quite a bit of updating on here including a full race recap of the Athens Half Marathon. In the meantime, I want to use this post to go over what I’ve accomplished this year, what I’m doing now, and what I hope to accomplish next year.

This year has been huge, HUGE for me! I have changed my life completely. I like to think back to last year at this time, to what I was eating, the challenges I faced with knee pain/inactivity, and my lack of exercise. I actually really like to dig through my old receipts to see what I was buying at the grocery store before I changed everything. I can tell you one common theme that follows through all my old lists and receipts- junk. Tons and tons of junk food and soda. I’m actually amazed that I didn’t weight more than I did when I started this journey.

So, here’s what I did this year:
– started exercising in January regularly
– changed my diet completely and started counting calories on Daily Plate
– started running regularly in March
– ran three 5ks with a PR of 29:45
– ran a half marathon
– started The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Last year at this time I would never have believed that I could accomplish all those things inside of a year. I am so proud of myself!

On to what I’m doing right now. It’s been a long hard road of recovery since my half. I’ve run a grand total of 5 miles since then. I fell on my kitchen floor a few weeks before the half and injured my IT band. I did absolutely no exercise for the first three weeks after the half. It was pure torture! I am finally feeling like I’m healed now.

I am almost at the end of stage one of The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I have never followed a lifting program before, and I now regret that. I have had amazing results with this program! I started out squatting and deadlifting just an olympic bar. I can now squat 85 pounds, and I can deadlift 105 pounds! I am almost maxed out on the seated row machine at the gym. I’m at 100 pounds now, and the max is 120. I can also do 12 prone jackknifes without flinching, which is a huge accomplishment. You can google that one if you aren’t familiar with it. I’ll just say that it looks intimidating and is very awkward in the beginning.

I made my first major fitness related purchase last night. I bought a NordicTrack Treadmill! I’m super excited to have access to my own TM! I can now run whenever the mood strikes. Hopefully this will make running in 2011 even easier.

Speaking of 2011, here are my goals for the new year:
1- Break 25 minutes on a 5k. This one will be tough to do but very rewarding.
2- Finish 3 more half marathons.
3- Break 2:10 for a half marathon.
4- Complete my first full marathon.
5- Finish NROL4W.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to get my write-up of the half posted soon. Until then, happy running!

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>I did it! Half marathon complete!

>I ran my half this morning. I’ll do a longer recap later, but for now I’ll post the quick details. My knee started hurting before I even got one mile in. I was bound and determined to finish, so I ran through the pain. It helped to run towards the middle of the road, which is where I tried to stay for most of the race.

I finished in the 2:28- 2:29 range. I won’t know for sure until chip times are posted. I started my watch as I ran across the start, but I totally forgot to check it at the finish. I looked at it when I hit the 13 mile mark and I had 2.5 minutes left to beat my goal of under 2:30. I sprinted at the end, so I know I made it in in time.

I found my friend Ashley at mile 10, and we ran the last 3 miles together. It was awesome to have someone to run with! We talked each other through pain and soreness to the end.

That’s all for now. Guess it’s time to set a new running goal!

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>12 days and counting!

>The half is coming up fast! I have been so busy lately that my training has taken a little bit of a back seat to child rearing and studying. I did manage a nine mile run on Saturday. It was great! It was slower than I would like, but I suppose that’s what race day adrenaline is for. My knees felt stiff afterward, and they were sore on Sunday. I woke up feeling great yesterday and did a four mile run. Huge mistake! My left knee locked up after I stopped running. It didn’t hurt at all during the run, though. I think I’m dealing with runner’s knee. I’m going to take it easy from now until the half. I would rather go in fresh with recovered knees. I may do a few short runs between now and the, but if I can do nine miles, I can do thirteen. Right?

I’m also trying to plan my post-half workouts. I bought “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” a month or so ago. I’m actually super excited to get started on it. I was considering running a full in the spring, but my past knee problems coupled with runner’s knee and IT band issues are making me think that would be a mistake. For now I’m going to focus on dropping more weight and speeding up my 5k times. I’m going to run a 5k in November (maybe one in October after the half), and then take a break with 5ks until maybe February. I’m hoping to be down another 15-20 pounds by then. Is it weird that I want to drop the weight to run faster? This is so not something my old heavier self would have done.

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>I was told to update my blog, so here goes. I’ve been training and training and recovering from shin splints and then training some more. I ended up getting shin splints from my Labor Day 5k. I think it’s because I sprinted on the downhill parts and lost my form altogether. I need to focus on not running on my toes when I get to downhill sections. In light of this I have decided not to run another race until after the half marathon. I am at my limit on my training plan. I started with 2 extra weeks built in, and I’ve had to use those 2 weeks to recover from 2 bouts of shin splints and illness. I have got to stay healthy now!

I ordered new shoes today as my old ones are giving out. My knees, calves and lower back are starting to hurt during my runs, so now is the time to trade up. I wear Asics Gel Cumulus for my underpronation. I absolutely love them! It feels like running on little pillows, which is what a properly fitted shoe should feel like. I spent an hour online today trying to find the Cumulus 11, which is now an old model since the 12s just came out. My shopping paid off when I came across this store. They still have 11s in stock, and I got a pair for $59! That’s an amazing price for a shoe that retails at around $100. I also purchased a wicking lightweight jacket that has removable sleeves. I plan on wearing it on my long run on Saturday as a vest since it has plenty of pockets for my Gu and water. I came very close to buying a fuel belt today, but the running store wasn’t open yet when I went by, so I managed to talk myself out of buying one. I’m just going to wing it for the time being with my vest and see how it works out.

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>I did it! 5k in under 30 minutes!

>My goal for the last month or so was to complete a 5k in under 30 minutes. My last 5k was so tough, and I kind of gave up on my goal of breaking 30. I was so not expecting to do well at today’s 5k. My legs were still pretty sore from my 6 mile run on Saturday. I also had chafing to contend with and a lack of sleep. My oldest daughter was allowed to stay up late last night, which turned out to be a huge mistake. She ended up with night terrors until about 4am. I got almost no sleep last night. When my alarm went off this morning I was tempted to sleep in and skip the race. I dragged myself out of bed anyway and tried to clear out all my congestion. I learned from the last 5k to just run the race and try not to obsess over time.

I got to the first mile marker at just under 10 minutes. I was so excited! I realized at that point that I had a chance of breaking 30. I hit mile 2 at 19 minutes even. I got super excited then, even though I knew there was still quite a bit of uphill work to do. I got half a mile from the finish and spotted my awesome friends Mary and Dane and their two beautiful daughters- Alexis and Isabelle! They were cheering their butts off for me, and that’s all I needed to finish strong. I rounded the last bend and Dane yelled to me that I could finish in under 30. There was no one else around me, so I took off as fast as my legs would carry me. Once everyone saw me sprinting people around the finish started screaming for me to run! It was an amazing feeling! I finished in 29:45! I crossed the line and broke down into tears. It felt so good to have my friends and all these strangers cheering me on. People were patting me on the back as I passed by and congratulating me on an awesome finish! I was totally overwhelmed by the support.

I am now totally excited about my half marathon in October. I know I can do this!

Happy Labor Day!

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>Half marathon progress and second 5k!

>I’ve been battling upper respiratory funk for a few weeks now. I was completely out of training for 1.5 weeks before my 5k last Saturday. I finally got back on schedule this week (thank goodness I had 2 extra weeks built into my half training plan). I started over on Monday and did 4 miles Monday, 2 miles Tuesday, and 4 miles yesterday. Unfortunately, I am starting to feel this illness coming back. That’s what I get for not finishing my antibiotics. I started back up last night as soon as my throat started to hurt. I have today and tomorrow to recover before my long run on Saturday, which is 6 miles. I’m really excited about it because the temperature is going down into the 50s! I’ll be able to get up Saturday and have a very enjoyable and cool run.

Monday is my next 5k! It’s a street run, so it should be much easier than my last 5k. I started getting self conscious about my time, but I read a few course reviews online after the race, and people were complaining quite a bit about the course. I know a cross country course is automatically going to be more difficult, but it made me feel better to see even the experienced runners talk about how hard this course was. This race is in its 28th year, but they changed the course quite a bit this year. Evidently a few people were injured because of the rough terrain and the steepness of the hills. I’m now very proud of my 35:59 finish time. I expect to blow that out of the water on Monday, though.

I’m looking forward to rest and college football over the weekend! The great thing about living in a college town is getting to experience the atmosphere on game day. The entire offensive line of our team is coming to my daughter’s preschool tomorrow for a tailgate party! She is super excited to meet them all, and so am I! Go Dawgs!
Happy Labor Day!

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>First 5k!

>I did it! I finished my first 5k this morning. It was a cross country/trail run, and boy was it hard! I honestly did not expect the amount of incredibly steep hills that were involved. Add that to the fact that most of it was on a narrow trail, and my time suffered, but I am still proud of myself! I set out aiming for under 30 minutes since my PR 5k time during practice is 31:15. I ended up finishing in 35:59, which put me at 5th in my age group. I was happy with that because the 4th place finisher was 5 minutes ahead of me, so there was no chance I would have caught her. I totally almost puked going over the finish line! I laid down on the track and swore that I would never run again. I’m feeling better now, though, and am looking forward to my next 5k on Labor Day.

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