MNB Challenge Week 3–BELIEVE

This week was the final week in the Lorna Jane Active & Fit Approach Move Nourish Believe Challenge. It was quite timely that this week’s focus was BELIEVE and it was the week I celebrate my birthday! I tend to do some introspective looks at myself and some soul searching around this time of year so the challenges were helpful to me in doing so.

Monday, 2/17 – Spoil Yourself!

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As I like so many others had been trapped in the house for 4 days thanks to the polar vortex, I went to work on President’s Day rather than work from home again.  At lunchtime, I spoiled myself with a pedicure treat for my runner’s feet. After work, there was still a bit of sunshine so I took the opportunity to get in an afternoon run by myself with my music on loud.

Tuesday, 2/18 – 5 Mindful Minutes

Finding my zen usually includes daily prayer and meditation. Each morning, I try to stay in the moment as I pray to God for everyone in my life and for everyone whose life touches mine in any way. I try to keep everyone in prayer.

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Wednesday, 2/19 – Be Happy!

My happy place is not really a place but a space in my heart and mind of stillness.  However, in order to be happy, I have to be comfortable.  SOCKS are important to my comfort. I wore my Marine Wife socks because they are comfortable and make me happy. I also wore them because it was the opening day for registration for the Marine Corps 17.75K and I got in! Woohoo!

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Wednesday was my Birthday Eve! To celebrate, I met some friends at a club so we could see Black Alley perform live.  They are an awesome push the limits band whose sound is a fusion of funk, jazz, soul, and rock known as “Soul Garage.” Besides their own songs, they did an awesome cover of Pharrell’s song, Happy. How appropriate!

Thursday, 2/20 – Thankful Thursday – It’s my BIRTHDAY!

I am so thankful to be alive. Focusing on reasons why I was thankful all day was important to me.  One of the things I did was play the song Happy every hour in honor of my #24hoursofHappyBirthday! LOL! The video is literally 24 hours long. The version most people see splices together scenes from the extended version. I got a great run and workout in with my husband while my son was at school.  Then, I ran some errands and scored some cool boots with a gift card before heading out to a nice dinner with the family.

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Friday, 2/21 – Share the love!

Shout out to my #1 supporters/motivators – my husband and my son! If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the strength some days to get out there and get my fitness on. There are days when I’m in a funk and my husband kicks me out of the house to make me go work out. My son is my biggest cheerleader. They both run with me at times.

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Maryland Road Runners’ Club Challenge – 2/23

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All of this believing culminated with me running my birthday with a 10-mile race today! Last year, I ran the Maryland Road Runners’ Club Challenge as my first 10 miles ever.  It was a tough race which left me with my first blister. This year I was ready for a comeback. I’m faster than I was then and have learned a lot about my abilities as a hysterrunner.  I finished much faster than my times at both this race and the Cherry Blossom last year in 2:18:35. I was aiming for 2:10:00 but my left knee has started to bother me lately so I walked more of the last mile than I planned.  Something that I am definitely going to have to invest in to make it through full training is a knee brace. I believe that I am ready for a full marathon this year.

Did you race this weekend? Did you take advantage of the break in the weather to get some outdoor exercise in? How did you BELIEVE in yourself this week?

February Race Recap

Thanks to all of you for my birthday wishes! I ended my birthday celebrations on a high note.  So much was going on in the month that I haven’t posted since my birthday on February 20th – not even a Faith and Fitness Friday!  I intend to make up for that today.  I will be giving you a recap of my first 10-mile race.

To celebrate life, I have been working towards running 13 races in 2013.  For February, that race was the Maryland Road Runners Club of America Club Challenge.  A 10-mile race in Columbia, MD with runners from RRCA groups from all over Maryland.  I was very excited for this race because it was my first chance to run 10-miles ever.  I’m running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April so this was my chance to get used to the distance.  I was quite excited that this race was 4 days after my birthday and continued my birthday week celebrations!

Two weeks before I had run my furthest difference in preparation for the race – 9 miles.  I kept up with my tempo and speed work in the week following.  Then, in the week leading up to the race – my birthday week – I was overcome by shin splints during my tempo run and had to finish by walking.  (Shout out to Candace @cherishedflight for walking with me!)  My running shoes were overdue for replacement and I had been holding out until after the race.  For my birthday, I bought myself a new pair of Sauconys – same style & size but different color.  I spoke with the awesome folks at Charm City Run about whether or not I should run in the new ones.  We decided that risking friction and chafing was better than shin splints, especially since my feet were used to that style.

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20130306192811Old in pink on the left followed by new in blue on the right!

The Good – I finished in 2:30!  I wasn’t last!  This was a decent time being that it was my first time at this distance.  It is a 15 minutes shorter than the pace that the sweeper truck at the Cherry Blossom picks people up at.  Focusing on speed the next few weeks to insure that I meet my 2:20 goal for 10 miles.

The Bad – I started to feel the friction in my new shoes at about mile 4.  I didn’t have any moleskin or bandaids on me. Lesson learned.  At the mile 5 water stop, someone had 2 tiny bandaids which I placed on the area to try to reduce the friction.  I stayed focused on finishing.  I kept reminding myself of how far I had come.  Instead of a 2.30/1 run walk ratio though, I began walking more as the pain increased.  Even still, I managed to get to mile 7 without even noticing when I passed 6!  Then, right at mile 8, one of my BRRC running buddies started calling my name from the sidelines.  She was a sight for sore eyes.  She didn’t run the race because she is dealing with some injuries.  But, she walked and ran me in the rest of the way! Dechen was extremely encouraging.  She made sure to tell everyone we saw on the last 2 miles that this was the furthest I had ever run.  She definitely made the end of the race worthwhile.  The next best moment was right before mile 10 when I saw my coach Jen. Jen is who took the picture of us below.  I hid Dechen’s face because I forgot to get her permission to plaster her face across my blog.  I guess Dechen and Jen made it not too bad!

 

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The Ugly – An angry red blister on my left foot.  Really never want to get one of those again.  Moleskin is now added to my kit of things to carry during a race.

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So that’s it – the good, the bad, and the ugly of my first Ten Mile Race experience.

Tell me, how far have you run? Raced?  Have you ever had a blister?  How did you treat it?

Half-Marathon Training Check-In

This year I am aiming to complete 13 races in 2013.  Key among these races will be my first half-marathons.  I will be running the Iron Girl Columbia in April and the Frederick Half Marathons a week apart which will make me a Titanium Girl.  Yeah, this Hysterrunner goes BIG! LOL!

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Ever since I started running again in November, I have been going one step at a time.  I am not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination.  My first run back was barely over a mile long.  Even before my surgery, my long runs were 4 miles.  So choosing to go BIG requires a plan.  I couldn’t go from 1-2 miles a week to 13.1 overnight.  So here is what I have been doing.

I spent November 2012 getting myself back to being comfortable with running again.  It was a slow and frustrating process to get back to 3 mile long runs.  There was a lot of internal struggling and crying.  But, I kept at it.  At the end of November, I joined the Road Runners for additional training in addition to my regular runs with Black Girls Run and the Resolution Run training I had started to work back up to 3 miles.  The Road Runners of Baltimore are doing a middle distance training program to get members ready to run a 10-miler in February.  I felt that working with these awesome runners was just what I needed to get my base up in a supportive environment.  It’s because of RRCA Baltimore that I learned how to properly do speedwork.  Books and online training plans are great but sometimes you need to learn from other humans.

Over the past few months, with training from RRCA and support from Black Girls Run and my other running buddies, I have built my weekly base up to 16 miles and gotten down to a 14 minute mile.  I am well on my way to a less than 12 minute mile by the time of the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in April which is my aim.  My long run is up to 6.5 miles! This lines up perfectly with the Train Like A Mother Half-Marathon Finish It Plan.  After I finish at the RRCA 10-miler in February, I will be able to pick up the TLAM plan and keep going right to the finish line! WOOHOO!!!

Unfortunately, life is about to get in the way.  In my non-hysterrunner life, I am a prevention research scientist who teaches at a University.  My class for this term is on Thursday evenings which conflicts with speedwork evenings with the RRCA.  I’m  not giving up on speedwork, however.  I hate gyms BUT the gym on campus has an indoor track complete with a track only membership.  I have paid for that and will be doing my speedwork on the track as well as using the track for occasional indoor runs when the weather is really yucky this Winter.  In order to not take too much time away from my family, indoor track runs will be done at lunchtime.

Next week will mark my first 7 mile long run, I am hoping to do it in about 90 minutes! Wish me luck!

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15, 2013
Aiming for a PR!