Thursday, December 29, 2011

One week until vacation

Well, I made it through the holidays.  There were some points at which I didn't think I was going to.  We made quite a trek around the state of Connecticut before it was done.  And I am glad all of the driving is finished.  We had good food, a little booze and great memories with the family.

I am ready to get on with vacation now.  Only a week until we leave.  I can't wait.  Only four more days of work too.  I am in need of rest and relaxation.  Well and running a half marathon.  It should be a good one.  I am very excited to have my friends run with me.  I am very proud of my friend Amber Lea and her fiance Paulie for decided to give the half marathon a go.  They have trained so hard for it.  I am glad that I was able to inspire them to come down to Disney and run it. 

 Here is Amber Lea and I at the BridgeFest

Amber Lea and Paulie in Sarasota FL when the Disney 1/2 Marathon Plan was hatched

I love this pic of Amber Lea and myself.  I had way too many hurricanes that day.

As half marathons go it is a fast one.  The great state of Florida does not have that many hills.  And since we have all been training here in the New England area where hills are the norm, we should find the flat terrain of Florida a nice change. 

My outfit for the race is almost complete.  Santa brought me a pair of hot pink arm warmers for Christmas. 
I think that they are going to go great with the rest of my outfit.  My husband says I look silly.  But really that is the point.

Now all I have to get is a cheap sweatshirt at Walmart that I can toss right before the race.  It is going to be cold standing around in the corral waiting for the race to start.  I am getting super excited for the race.  I just have to get through the week until next Thursday and I will be golden.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Totally Not Into Christmas This Year

It has been quite the rough year for me.  We had a death in the family, my chinchilla that has been with my husband for 25 years also died and my brother needed to have major eye surgery.  It was a rough one.  Now Christmas is fast approaching and I just can't get myself to even want to be in the spirit.  I would love to just sleep through until it is time to go on vacation. 

I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is that this year is almost over.  It will be 2012 soon.  2012 will have to be better then 2011.  I just keep telling myself that.  I am going to start the year running a very fun race with some of the best friends a girl can ask for.  Then go on a cruise for 7 days and try not to think about work and all the stresses I am leaving behind.   I just need to make it through the next two weeks to get there. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Man, what a week last week.  My half marathon is coming up quickly.  Three weeks until we leave for Florida.  I am definitely trained enough for the run.  I am hoping that I will beat my time from last year.  My friend Dave is going to run the entire way with me.  I have two other friends coming down to run the half also. 
Me and two of my friends running the 1/2 marathon last year.

I had a really low mileage week this week.  Only 15 miles for the week.  I am kind of disappointed with that.  I know, to some it feels like a lot but I did not reach my goal for the week. I had a small medical procedure on Wednesday.  Everything this is ok.  And it was planned but it really messed up my training for the week.  I didn't run at all on Thursday.  And I had a 18 mile scheduled for Saturday but only ran 6.24 of it.  That disappointed me.  My husband keeps pointing out that I ran after a medical procedure and that in itself is crazy. 

My girlfriends got me a tutu for the 1/2 Marathon for my birthday.   I am super excited about it.  I got it yesterday.
 Yes we have lived in our house for 4 years and there are still boxes in the corner we have yet to unpack.

It really brightened my Friday to get it.  I was super tired when I got home from work.  I don't think I even said hello to my husband before I fell face down on the bed for an hour and a half when I got home.

I think Santa maybe bringing me the arm warmers I have been eyeing. I bought some leg warmers that my husband said were ugly to go with the outfit.  They are from Team Sparkle.  They only cost 12 bucks so if I end up hating them no big deal.  And there was no shipping cost.
I think that they may work with the theme.

I also have a pink tiara that I bought around Halloween for only 3 dollars.  If it drives me crazy during the run I won't be so said if I have to ditch it. 

So only a few more weeks until the big day.  I am totally physically ready to run  it.  I really need the vacation.  I am super excited for the run and for the vacation. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A 16 mile run

I did my longest run to date on Saturday.  A full 16 miles.  It took me 3 and a half hours to do it.  Guess I am never qualifying for Boston.  Lol.  Just glad that I was able to get through the run and still live to talk about it afterward.  There really is no place in my home town to run 16 miles safely.  So I ran the 3 and 3/4 mile loop to get to the river trail in the center of town and then ran up and down the trail until I had only 3 and 3/4 miles left to go and ran the loop back.  If there weren't so many interesting people and dogs to pass this would be incredibly boring.  I also listened to a book on tape while I was running.  This made it a bit more compelling.  On a side note, why do people let their dogs poop in the middle of the trail and just leave it.  Then I have to dodge the poop each time I run by. 

Anyway, after running the 16 miles, eating some left over Mac and cheese, getting a nice hot shower in and rolling out my muscles, I headed out to my friend Amber's house for some Birthday festivities.  My birthday was Monday and my girls and I got together on Saturday to celebrate.  We went Ice Skating, which my husband told me was crazy after running 16 miles.  I did not fall once even though it had been at least ten years since the last time I had been on skates.  It was a good time.  Took at least a half an hour before I felt like I wasn't actually going to do a header into the ice or run over some poor kid who just happened to be in the way.  We had Mexican food at Amber's house after and then just hung out.  My muscles got stiff if I sat for too long so I kept getting up and stretching. 

Sunday is my rest day so I accomplished the goal pretty well.  I was a little sore when I got up but nothing too bad.  We got our Christmas tree and decorated it.  Then watched football and then my husband took me to see the new Muppet movie.  I loved it. 

What a great weekend overall.  And now I know that I can run 16 miles straight and live to tell about it. 

Here is our tree.  He is a little short but it's ok, I think he's cute.

Scott and Amber got me Princess stickers for my keyboard.  I am obsessed with Princesses.  I have wanted a Princess keyboard forever but they don't make them.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mancester Road Race

What a great way to start my Turkey Day.  I got up yesterday at 6:30am to get ready to drive the 45 minutes to Manchester CT to run in the 75 annual Manchester Road Race.  This is the first year that I have ever run this race.  My father and brother live in Manchester so I drove to their house.  It was better than taking the shuttle which I heard was super packed and no fun. 

I got to my father's house about 9am.  The race started at 10am and they wanted all runners to be lined up by 9:30.  He was able to drive me about a mile from the starting line.  A lot of roads in down town Manchester were closed by then.  I huffed it the mile to starting line.  They have runners line up by the time which they think it will take them to finish.  I was figuring about 50 minutes or so.  I tried to get my bum back to where I should be but there were 20,000 people in my way.  I felt like cattle.  Everyone was trying to get to the same place but there was no room to move.  At 9:50 am I figured I was never going to make it to the over 40 minutes sign.  When the gun went off people lifted the barrier between where us "late" runners were and where we were supposed to race.  I squeezed in to masses. 

There was really no running for about a 1/2 a mile.  We were squished so tight with our fellow runners it was even hard to walk.  It started to thin out a little at the 1/2 mile mark and I was at least able to jog.  At the hill around mile 2 the herd started to thin a little.  So many people were dressed up for the race.  Or half naked and painted.  Which when you are squished together for a half an hour is kinda fun.  My sweat shirt probably has blue and white body paint on it from the seven foot man who was topless and painted who was squeezed up against me at the start line. 

After the initial hill at mile 2ish it was mostly down hill from there.  I listened to a book on tape as I ran.  It make the run seem pretty quick.  I enjoyed seeing all of the costumes that people had donned for the occasion.  I saw a couple of supermen, some teletubies, Thor and a teenage mutant ninja turtle.  I did not get any photos.  It was too squished to get the phone out to get some. 

I made pretty good time.  52:12.  It is only 2 minutes off my goal and not being able to run for the first half a mile I think it is pretty good. 

Here is a photo I stole from the Hartford Courant

Here are my split times from my Garmin for yesterday's run.

Avg Pace
Summary 52:12.4 4.79 10:53.9
1 11:00.8 1.00 11:00.8
2 12:20.9 1.00 12:20.9
3 10:39.3 1.00
4 10:21.0 1.00 10:21.0
5 7:50.2 0.79 9:55.1

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sorry for the hiatus

October was a crazy month for me.  I participated and volunteered at my work's 5K the Bridgfest.  I was also battling with being ill from my birth control Implanon.  Implanon is a birth control implant that is about 2 to 3 inches long that gets implanted in your upper arm.  I had it for about 2 years, it should last for 3 years before being removed.  I had a lot of trouble with break through bleeding and generally feeling awful.  The doctors put me on a heavy dose of hormones to stop the bleeding but that made me nauseous  and grouchy.  So there for no blogging.  I got the implant out the 18th of October.  Man was that a nerve wracking experience.  The incision is only about a half an inch long but anytime some one comes at me with a scalpel when I am awake it makes nervous.

 This is my arm the day after the removal

This is two weeks out.  A lot of bruising.

We went to New Orleans the last week of October with two other couples.  It was a nice trip.  I had never been to New Orleans and didn't know what to expect.  The hotel that we were staying at did not have a gym.  That kinda made me sad.  And I was not going to run the streets of New Orleans by myself.  (None of the people that I went with are runners)  The highlights of the trip included eating my first po' boy (I don't eat fish or sea food so it was a chicken fried steak po' boy), riding a mechanical bull, walking down Bourbon street at night, having Beignets at Cafe du Mondes and going on a ghost tour.  It was a great experience but my body can not handle the fried food and no running.  I was glad to get home and back to routine. 

 A picturesque cafe in the French Quarter

This is also from the French Quarter (we never left it)

Jackson statue and Saint Louis Cathedral

The weekend we got back was my husband and my 2nd wedding anniversary.  October 29th and the day of the October nor'easter that knocked power out for almost the whole state of Connecticut.  Luckily we did not lose power.  But we did have a fairly steady stream of friends coming by to shower and watch a little TV.  

So, hopefully life will be getting back to normal now that my body is not pumped full of hormones and I am eating what I normally eat.  I can't believe next week is already Thanksgiving.  I am going to run the Manchester Road Race on Turkey day.  One of my friends is coming up from Tampa FL to spend Thanksgiving with her family and is going to be running it too.  I am excited to see her.  I wish she would take me home with her to Tampa so I could miss the snow we will get this winter.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 3 of Training

It is only week three of training and I was having a hard time fitting all of my runs in.  Man, this is only going to get worse as the race gets closer.  I have to say the weather for week three's training sucked.  It was raining almost every day.  I am so sick of the rain.  I don't tend to train in the rain but I will race in the rain.

Monday: Walked 2 miles on the treadmill.

Tuesday: Ran 3.4 miles in 40 minutes.

Wednesday: Walked 2.2 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Thursday: Rested

Friday: Ran 3.64 miles in 45 minutes.

Saturday: Ran 3.1 miles in 32:34 minutes.  This was at the BridgFest!  It is a PR for me.

Sunday: Rested

I was so happy I had some great friends to run with at the BridgeFest.  My friend Amber Lea kept me pushing myself.  I didn't walk even when I wanted to.  I just kept digging. 

 Team Lamb

Me and Amber Lea coming over the finish.  She told me to look like I wasn't dying.  I smiled at least.

My friends Matt and Paige

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This week is kicking my butt!

First off, I finished my second week of training.  It went alright but I had to shift my workouts around a little because of the weather and tiredness. 

Monday: walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill

Tuesday: walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill

Wednesday: Ran 3.62 miles in 45 minutes with a run walk ratio of 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking

Thursday: walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill

Friday: Ran a 5K with one of my best friends Amy.  It poured but we did it in 36 minutes.  It was her first race.

Saturday:  Rest

Sunday: Ran 7 miles in 1 hour and 26 minutes with a run walk ratio of 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

The race that my friend Amy and ran on Friday was called Run for a Beer.  It was in Gardner MA and was hosted by Fitness Concepts.  The start and finish line in two different places.  I have never done a race like that before.  All of the races I have done in the past were either an out and back or a loop.  We left my car at the finish line and took hers to the start line. 

It was pouring cats and dogs on Friday here in the Massachusetts area but I was ready to get wet.  A little rain never hurt me before.  Check in was a little backed up.  I think that they were planning to do it outside but had to move it in due to the rain.  They did not have bibs for the runners which I found odd.  They gave us a small slip of paper with our names and home towns.  They told us to pin them to our shirts.  The course was hilly but most of it was a gradual incline.  There was what felt like a monster of a hill at mile 2.5. 

This was Amy's first race so I let her set the pace.  It was a nice run.  We were not aiming to impress anyone so we didn't kill ourselves trying to set a record.  There was a police officer following us in his car for the first mile.  He kept telling us to stay on the right side of the yellow line.  If we crossed it he could not protect us.  Amy and I found this being broad casted over the loud speaker quite funny. 

As we ran we saw a lot of people had lost their slips of paper with their names.  They were just not holding up to the amount of rain that was coming down.  I did not wear my Iphone because of the weather so there were no tunes during the run.  Amy had to put up with my constant jabbering instead.  Once we got to the finish line volunteers were giving people Popsicle sticks as you came through the chute.  They had the number in which you finished.  I have also never seen this type of timing before.  It doesn't seem terribly accurate. 

Amy and I went up to my car to change out of wet running shoes and tops.  I had flip flops and a waterproof jacket in the car.  We then got in line to turn in our sticks and get our free beer.  I wasn't as excited about the beer as I was about the commemorative glass that it came in.  I have sworn off alcohol while I am training for my half marathon.  I have been pretty good at following it too.  I have only had a couple of mouthfuls of beer in the past couple of weeks, not that I am a lush to start with. 

The organization of the beer line stunk and we were in line in the rain for about a half an hour.  There was very little in the way of food for the runners afterward but we did find some quartered bagels tucked in a corner by the table you turn your sticks in to. 

All and all it wasn't a horrible run but the organization was a little lacking.  I hope that the race that I have been involved in planning is not as unorganized.  Our race, the BridgeFest is this Saturday at 10am.  I am still looking for donations, if anyone would like to donate that would be appreciated. 

This is all I have in the way of photos from this race.  It was too wet for my camera.  Do you see me there in the left hand corner?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It is almost here, BridgeFest.  I can not believe my co-workers and I have been planning this 5K for over a year now.  I have run in a bunch of races but I never really thought about all of the work that goes into planning one.  I now have first hand experience in all of the problems and craziness that makes up organizing a race.  The race is in a week and a half. 

I had lofty fundraising goals for this but it just didn't work out that way.  I always raise a lot of money for the MS Walk.  But I think that it is easier to ask people to donate money for a disease that you have.  Most of my family and friends donate to the MS fundraisers because they know someone with the disease, me. 

The money from my work's fundraiser goes to our human service agency's health and wellness initiative.  Most people living with a major mental illness die about 20 years earlier that those people without them.  We are working to stop this trend. 

The day will start early for me.  I have to be at the site at 6am to help set up.  Then I am going to run in the race.  Then my belly dance troupe is going to perform at the festival that follows the race.  I think that I am going to sleep well the night of October 1st.  It should be a great day. 

Gourmet Runner: Banjee Review and Giveaway!

Here is a cool giveaway brought to you by the lovely Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner. These look really cool. I would love to get my hands on one.

Gourmet Runner: Banjee Review and Giveaway!: So excited to bring you all another giveaway. While this one is definitely an amazing product for runners, it's also great to have with you....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1/2 Marathon training Week 1

The training program that I am following this year is from the Disney Half Marathon Website.  It was made by Jeff Galloway.  I figured I have been following his training program all summer, I might as well use his half marathon training program too. It is an 18 week program.  This program only has you running 3 days a week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are a 45 minute run.  There is no mileage goal just that you run for 45 minutes.  On Tuesdays, I should practice various run-walk-run strategies at race pace.  On Thursdays after a standard warm up I should run a "magic mile".   A "magic mile" is a time trial.  Jeff Galloway feels it it the best predictor of your race pace.  Generally this should be done on a track so that you can accurately run a 800 meter segment.  You time yourself running the 800 meter segment.  The first 800 meters you do not run all out.  You should run slightly faster than your current gentle pace.  You only do one "magic mile" each Thursday and then do 30 minutes of gentle jogging after the "magic mile".  Each week the goal is to beat the previous time. 
Long runs are done on Saturdays, which works out well for my work schedule.  Every other Saturday is a speed workout.  These don't start until week 3.  He says it is fine to do cross training on other days but doesn't feel it will help your running but will improve your overall fitness. 

Week 1

Sunday- Walked 3.3 miles on the treadmill

Monday- Walked 2.3 miles on the treadmill, 50 minutes of belly dance practice

Tuesday- Run 45 minutes.  I did 45 minutes with my new Garmin.  Had some trouble with it.  I accidentally turned it off .5 miles into the workout.  I did run-walk-run the 45 minutes at race pace.

Wednesday- Walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill.

Thursday- Run 45minutes.  I did 45 minutes and did get the new Garmin working for the whole time.  I did 3.58 miles.  I did not do a "magic mile" however.  I completely forgot.  I will do it this week.

Friday- Walked 2.2 miles on the treadmill. 

Saturday- Run 5.5 miles.  I did my "long" run on Saturday.  The weather was perfect.  I woke up at 7am and it was 43 degrees outside.  I got out my long sleeve running shirt and took off for a tour of my town.  I felt really good.  The cool air and low humidity really helps my breathing.  It also keeps the MS symptoms at bay.

I am pretty happy with my weeks training.  I think that I am getting the hang of my new Garmin.  I am going to have to sit down and figure out how to work the interval program.  I am hoping that this new training schedule keeps injuries down.  I did have trouble with my sciatic nerve last year during training.  It only started when my mileage started getting over 10 miles a day.  I am worried that it is not intense enough.  But we will have to wait and see.  Next week's long run is 7 miles. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So, I should get this right?

I do IT for a living.  I should understand how most technology works right?  I am embarrassed to say when I first used my Garmin Forerunner 405 on Tuesday it was a disaster.  I didn't read the manual, why would I right?  I got this I am a smart girl.  Oh, big mistake.  I wasn't able to figure out how to get the intervals on it to work.  Good think I had my iPhone with my Jeff Galloway app on it with me.  And then some how I accidentally turned it off 1/2 mile into my four mile run. 

Today's run with it went much better.  I didn't attempt to set the intervals on it this morning.  I did a simple work out and used the iPhone for my intervals.  I turned the bevel off as soon as I started the run.  I think that is how I turned it off on Tuesday.  I have to say I really enjoy having a heart rate monitor.  And I was pleasantly surprised when the Garmin told me my split times while I was running.  I have to say that the Nike + was off on my mileage most days.  It really was just a high tech pedometer.  I also really liked the ease in which I was able to sync my run this morning with Garmin Connect.  The graphs and info it gave me about my run were very informative.  I think that this new gadget can really improve my running. 

I think that I am going to have to sit down tonight and look at the instructions that came with the thing to figure out how to make it do what I want.  I guess I am in this Run/Walk/Run training for the long haul and I need my gadgets to help me make it happen.

Thanks Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner for suggesting that I get this model.  I would also like to thank Lauren @ The Running Cook and Christina @ The Athletarian for their helpful comments.  You guys really helped me decide to change from Nike + and I am very grateful for it. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sore Knee and Belly Dance

I have been feeling kind of lazy this week.  It has been raining most days.  I really thought we should be building an arch at one point this week.  I do have a treadmill but I hate running on it.  So while it has been raining I have really only been walking on it.  I walked 4 miles on Thursday night on the treadmill.  When I got off the treadmill my left knee was a little tight.  I stretched, showered and went to bed.  I got up Friday morning and the back of my knee was a bit swollen and sore.  Crap, I have a performance on Saturday.  I also just got my Garmin Forerunner 405 Thursday afternoon and I wanted to use it that morning.  Sigh, I couldn't run because I have to make sure I can dance on Saturday.

So, besides being a runner, I have another hobby.  I belly dance.  I have been taking classes in belly dance off and on for about 10 years.  About 3 years ago I started taking classes with a beautiful woman named Val.  Along with a couple of my friends we joined her Troupe, the Eves

Saturday we performed at Canal Fest in Worcester MA.  I think it went very well.  The crowd seemed to be really into it.  Our troupe performed 3 pieces and one of the ladies did a solo.  We do a fantastic piece where the 12 of us dance with swords.  I love to belly dance.  I love that woman of all shapes and sizes can do it.  I love the woman I dance with. 

Here are some photos from the event.

I have a hard time smiling when I dance.

This is me, my friends Heather and Amy

We dance with swords

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I love snail mail.

Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed getting mail.  I think I am a little less excited now that I also get bills but getting mail is still pretty cool.  This week I have gotten some awesome things in the mail.  Fist off, I got my new fabulous headband from RazzyRoo which I won from Mommy Miles give away in August. 

This was my first ever giveaway win.  I am still super excited about it. I had forgotten which design I had picked.  So I was totally surprised when I opened it and found the pink and black poka dot lambs.  It is totally perfect for me.  I love pink and my maiden name is Lamb.  I have worn it several times since I got it last week.  It doesn't slip and is completely comfortable for the whole run.
Alright, the angle is a little creepy but I was trying to show off the headband.

I also got a welcome package from Brooks Run Happy University.  I registered at their site and they sent me a New Runner's Kit.

Here is what was in it: 
  • A Brooks mesh bag
  • GU Espresso Gel
  • GU Brew
  • GU Chomps
  • Brooks ear buds
  • Some anti chaffing cream and gel
  • A booklet on common running injuries and how to treat them
I was pretty excited about it.   I don't know if I am considered a "new" runner.  I have been running about 15-20 miles a week for over a year but I am glad to have everything in this kit.

Now I am awaiting my package from Balancing Act Clothing.  It was shipped this week.  I got a princess shirt for the Disney Half Marathon in January.  I am currently collecting items for the run.  I dressed pretty plain last year but this year I am going to kick it up a notch.  I am going with a pink and princess theme. 
Like this but in Pink!