1. Last night's scheduled speedwork became last night's cross training. Again.
Let me explain: Owen had a meeting last night. So, with the way things worked out, I needed to run on the treadmill after the boys went to bed. I don't mind doing intervals on the treadmill and, in fact, I prefer speedwork on the 'mill to steady state runs. Anyway, I turned on the monitor and hopped on the 'mill and started my run. Only to have to pop off a minute later when I heard the baby stirring. But it was nothing. Back on the 'mill, more stirring, back off the 'mill. Nothing. Repeat. And repeat again.
Too frustrating. I couldn't run like that, thinking that every little noise was something. So, I bagged the run in favor of weights. I need to do them more often anyway. My arms will, eventually, thank me. Today, they just feel tired.
2. Conal's first soccer practice/game that was scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled, because the fields are too wet. Woo hoo! This gives me way more time to get my long run in. I had been worried about how I would fit it in and now, with soccer out of the picture. I'm free!
Friday, April 29, 2011
1. Last night's scheduled speedwork became last night's cross training. Again.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Before I get to the fun giveaway, let me go on record as having had a cruddy run. I know! Me! A cruddy run! Can you believe it?
It's true -- I did. I consider myself really fortunate in that I love to run and I generally genuinely enjoy every run. Probably 95% of my runs are great. Seriously. But yesterday was not.
It wasn't terrible. It was just blah. My legs had nothing. They were all worn out from too many hours of hopscotch and soccer with my little guy (yes, again) and they felt heavy. I was running along at a 9:20 pace but the effort felt as if I were running 7:20 and yet my body felt like it was hardly moving. Weird. I managed 4.5 miles and that was good -- they chased the killer headache I'd had away and left me hoping for a better run today.
And since today's run is speedwork, it had better be better!
Confession over, now let's get to the giveaway!
Have you tried Barney Butter? I have and I like it. I'm a spread girl, though, fond of peanut butter, cashew butter, Nutella, almond butter, butter butter, you name it. Barney Butter is a peanut-free almond butter and it's tasty. It's also gluten free, contains no trans fats or hydrogenated oils and has half the saturated fat of peanut butter. In other words, it is pretty good stuff.
Barney Butter comes in crunchy and smooth varieties and is packaged in jars and in single-serve squeeze packs.
This is where the giveaway comes in! When I was contacted to host a Barney Butter giveaway, I jumped at the chance because I like the product AND I think that the single-serve packs are great for runners and others on the go. So here's the deal:
Barney Butter is giving away a box of 12 Barney Butter single-serve squeeze packs to one lucky reader! They are also giving everyone who enters the giveaway a $2 off coupon good on any product on their web site (www.barneybutter.com).
Follow THIS LINK to get to the entry page. You must enter the giveaway through the link, not by commenting here (although, feel free to drop me a comment, wish me a good run, say hi, whatever!).
The giveaway runs through May 13th and one winner will be chosen at random from all the entries.
So, go now! HERE! And good luck!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
* Or, the real reason I skipped my run yesterday.
It was H-O-T out yesterday but my son had a) new sidewalk chalk b) a new soccer ball and c) a new whiffle ball bat so . . . we were outside. For hours.
We played soccer. Then I pitched and he swung and I chased the balls that he managed to hit. Then I drew the "biggest chalk hopscotch in the whole wide world" on the driveway and we hopped. And hopped. And hopped some more.
My son's favorite hops? The one-legged kind. So that's what I did. Hopped on one leg from square one to square 30 -- over and over and over and over.
After that? It was back to soccer. With maybe a little nursing the baby in between.
So that's why I didn't run yesterday: Because I was beat from all the Preschool Cross Training. Hopping on one leg, repeatedly, is hard work. And soccer? Holy cow. My knees aren't used to all that twisting and turning and my quads and hammies are feeling all of that starting and sprinting and stopping and starting all over again.
You use a lot of different muscles playing outside kiddie-style for hours. Let's hope all that cross training helps make me faster!
What about you? Do you do any unconventional cross training?
Today I've got 4 miles on the schedule. Looking forward to them! Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Monday, April 25, 2011
The time has come for new shoes. My super awesome, favorite Somnios have over 450 miles on them and I just can't keep piling on. I've been holding out on getting new shoes because Somnio is having some sort of manufacturing problem and the shoes that I use -- and love -- are completely, totally out of stock. Almost like they don't exist.
I have been waiting for them to come in since early this year. Waiting and waiting. Now, I can wait no longer.
And so, the hunt is on for new shoes. Yuck.
For years (about 7), I wore Brooks Addictions and loved them. Sure, I tried others along the way: A pair of New Balance that seemed good and then not. A pair of Mizunos that are ok but only so. A pair of Sauconys that just, well, were just a huge N-O. So I stuck with Brooks. They did me well. I was loyal.
And then I tried Somnio. Oh, how I fell in love.
Semi-custom Somnios. They were perfect. And now they are worn out.
Fleet Feet, here I come!
Has anyone else run into the out-of-stock Somnio issue? I wear the Self Controls. Would like something similar.
* * *
In other news, I've had some super-great runs over the past fews days and feel like my 5K training is coming together. My first speed session was weak as can be, but I blame that on not having run very fast in a while.
I'm looking forward to this week's intervals!
Have a great week, everyone!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thanks to everyone who entered my Sony MP3 player giveaway. I was happy that I could pick two winners, which I did, using random.org. And they are:
Congratulations! Send me an email at felicehalf at yahoo dot com with your address and I'll send your MP3 player right away.
* * *
Hey -- it's Earth Day! Time to hug a tree.
Or, better yet, pick up some of that disgusting trash that seems to be lying around everywhere. For real. Want some tips? Here are two posts for you:
Earth Day activities
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Aaaah . . . yeah!
I just registered for my fifth race for this year: The Boilermaker! This comes on the heels of registering for the Mother's Day 5K (5/8) and the Freihofer's Run for Women (6/4). The Boilermaker 15K will take place on July 10th so it looks like I've got a race a month thing going on.
I'm very excited.
I've wanted to run the Boilermaker for ages but it has just never worked out. This year? I'm in! And I'm happy that my pals Bridget and Amanda are running it, too. Yahoo! Anyone else running the Boilermaker?
Planning, planning. Training, training. That's my mode.
I figure if I'm hardly sleeping, I might as well be training. Oh, I know. I said I would stop complaining about my lack of sleep but, people? It's gotten bad. My little guy was starting to sleep better but then he regressed. I blame teething for keeping him up all night. But, whatever it is it isn't doing me any favors. My brain is mush. My body is feeling the fatigue.
Wah, wah, wah.
So, bring on the training! Boilermaker, here I come!
Have a great day --
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Doesn't watching/following the Boston marathon just make you want to run it? I mean, yeah, I know you have to train for a marathon and then run it in a fast, qualifying time and then you have to be lucky enough to be able to register for the big race and then . . . then . . . you get to train all over again and finally you can run the Boston Marathon.
Yeah, all that. However, it is exciting and yesterday's race filled me with Patriots Day dreams.
I guess that would mean I would need to train for a marathon, huh? Sure would. And I'm not exactly there yet. The one I ran was ages ago and I don't know if I'm at a place where I can train for another. Because I know what would happen. I'd shoot for a BQ. Full disclosure: Yesterday I popped on the McMillan calculator and input my half marathon time to see what my projected marathon time would be. And . . . it's 3:50. Which happens to be this (old) Happy Runner's BQ time.
Good thing I have two 5K races to focus on! Because otherwise . . .
Anyway. I stalked lots of runners yesterday and have to give a huge congratulations to all of the super running bloggers who ran so well! Can't wait to read the race reports.
In other news, I was very excited to have one of my articles picked up by active.com. Woo hoo! You can check it out HERE, if you're interested.
OK, have a great week, everyone!
PS: Don't forget to enter my Sony MP3 player giveaway!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
First things first: To all of you who are running the Boston marathon tomorrow, good luck! May the wind be at your back and the hills feel like gentle slopes.
Second things second: This has been one runner-ific weekend.
It started with some spectating at the Dodge the Deer 5K yesterday. A friend of mine was going after a 5K PR so I packed up the two kids and went to the race to cheer her on. Although the race turned out to be a trail race, which she wasn't expecting, she still rocked her fastest 5K! Yay, Jen! And you can believe that I cheered loud and proud. Because I did.
Yesterday afternoon, I enjoyed an easy 4.6 mile run. Then I put together a 5K training plan for another friend and wrote a running-related article for my Albany Running Examiner site.
Today, I offered up some running injury advice to yet another friend and enjoyed a 5.7 mile run in what turned out to be perfect running weather: Crisp and sunny.
Running, running, running.
In other words, runner-ific!
And it isn't over yet. Tomorrow I will be geeking-out, following the Boston marathon because, hey, if I can't run it I can at least follow it online. I'll be rooting hard for Kara Goucher. She is going after a huge goal just over 6 months after giving birth to her son. I feel a bond with Kara in that I went after a huge goal two weeks ago at my half marathon, almost 6 months after giving birth to my son. So, you know, we're almost like the same person.
Ha to the ha.
But I would like Kara to win it all. I would also like Joanie to qualify for the Olympic Trials because she rocks and how cool would it be for her to do that at 53?
And, last, I hope all the Boston runners have the time of their lives!
Hope you all had a great weekend!
PS: Don't forget to enter my Sony MP3 player giveaway!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Folks, I'm not one to run with music. I've just never really liked it. I don't like things in or over my ears so headphones and earbuds are out for me.
Happy Runner husband, on the other hand, likes his tunes. And he likes to run with them.
So, when I was approached to review the Sony Walkman MP3 Player, I figured I would turn to him and he would give them a true test. He is, truth be told, a tough customer. Probably tougher than me.
The W series MP3 player is a one-piece player, so it is wire-free, and it is designed to be used during vigorous activity, like running. When we first opened the package, we were both struck by the design of the MP3 player. The W series is slick! Really slick. Just looking at it you can tell that some high-level engineering was going on in the development. Check it out:
|MP3 player closed (turned off)|
|MP3 player ready for action!|
After we finished ogling the player, Owen decided to get it ready so he could use it during his lunchtime runs.
And here he met with the one downside of the player: He had a tough time using the software to load the music. The software isn't the most intuitive to use so it took a while to get rolling to load songs. But, once he got everything set up it was easy enough, it just took more effort than expected.
With his songs loaded, Owen took the player out for a run. Or 20.
And, in short, he loved it. And continues to love it. He's found that the player fits well, stays in place on his head and ears, and is comfortable. The sound quality is excellent and the convenience of having the entire player right there on your head, with no wires and nothing to hold, is great. A real win in his book.
He's a bit bummed that he can't play entire albums using the player, however. He's an album guy and the player allows you to play on shuffle or using playlists. Since many runners use playlists for their runs, this probably isn't an issue. But, if you like to listen to albums in their entirety then you're out of luck.
Overall, the W series MP3 player gets a major thumbs-up! As I mentioned, Owen is a tough customer so for him to like it as much as he does tells me that it really is a good product.
The W series MP3 player retails for $59.99 at Sony but it is currently on backorder. Amazonhas the player on sale for $49.88 with free shipping.
Lucky you! I have TWO W series MP3 players to give away. And entering couldn't be easier. All you have to do is leave me a comment with your favorite running song and you'll be entered to win.
As always, you can gain extra entries. Remember, though, you must complete the required entry first! (Leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count):
- Follow this blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment)
- Become a fan of The Happy Runner on Facebook, or let me know that you already are (leave a comment)
- Link to this giveaway from Facebook or Twitter (do as often as you'd like, just leave a comment each time)
- Link to this giveaway from your blog (leave a comment with the url)
And have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Thanks again to everyone who participated. If you haven't checked out the race reports, please pop over HERE and do so. Everyone did great!
Now, for the prizes!
For the full half marathon racers, I have this prize pack:
|Rokit Fuel, Words to Sweat By, water bottle, Sun Chorella capsules, True Lemon, pedometer.|
|SofSole, Blister Shield, Sun Chorella, coffee mug, t-shirt.|
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I've put together an 8 week plan that calls for tempo runs, speedwork, long runs of 6 miles, some fast runs and a bunch of easy miles. Here's a look at the plan:
|Click on the image to make it larger.|
Monday, April 11, 2011
It's race report time! Congratulations to everyone who took part in the challenge! It was great to read your reports and see how well you all did. I certainly thought of you all when I was running my race.
Here are the reports that I received (if, for some reason, I missed you, please let me know!):
Darlene (ran her own half)
Rose @ Eat, Drink and Be Meiri (ran her own sweaty half)
J at Morning Runner (ran a 15k race and added on miles for a two day half time of 1:46:25 -- awesome!)
Julie/Nobel4Lit (ran her own half -- came up a little short but she's still in :-) )
Leah (ran some PRs! Friday - 4.2 in 40:35, Sunday - 8.9 in 1:34:17, total time was 2:14:52, avg pace of 10:17.)
Macnic (ran her own half)
Merry Mishaps (ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler + a 5k)
Running for Two (ran her own half)
MarthaCooper/Kristin C (ran the Bentonville, Arkansas Half Marathon on Saturday, April 2nd. Her chip time was 2:06:47 and I finished 381/813 overall, 110/382 women, and 16/56 women age 40-44. Great!!)
Running On Coffee (ran the Bucks County Half -- and PR'd!)
Friday, April 8, 2011
My recovery week is just about over. Since the half, I've run a grand total of 4.8 miles. Stand back! That's fine, it's a recovery week and all but now I think I'm ready to get going again. Perfect timing: The weather for this weekend looks to be sunny with temps in the 60s. Bring on the run!
And get training.
I've got two races coming up in the next two months and I would like to run well in both. First up is the Mother's Day 5K on -- you guessed it -- Mother's Day. That's May 8th. (THIS would be awesome, btw. Any mama would love the pink one. Or, heck, even the black.)
After that is the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K on June 4th. I predict that I will blow last year's (preggo) time out of the water. The time to beat? 27:11. Yes, it was my time from 5.5 months pregnant. But, still, it's last year's time and I want to beat it. My best times on the course are: 23:27 (pre kids) and 23:47 (post kids). In blowing my preggo time out of the water, I plan to attempt to beat my best times and shoot for a course PR. So, yeah, I need to get back to training.
Beyond those two upcoming 5Ks I'm thinking about a fall half marathon and maybe, just maybe, a summer one. Just call me an addict. I can take it.
Now, I'll leave you with some of my "official" race photos:
Have a great weekend, everyone! And if you were part of the HRHM Challenge and you haven't left me a link with your race recap, please do so today so I can get them all linked up this weekend. THANKS!!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Now that the half marathon is behind me (and the planning for my next one is still in front of me), I've had a little time to reflect on my training. I've also talked a little (OK, a lot) to my friends who ran the race and we all came away from the race with a) an awesome experience and b) lessons learned for the next time.
|My half marathon pals! Bridget, me, Amanda, Suzy and Janis.|
Next time, I will follow my fueling plan better and eat earlier in the race.
2. Speed kills. Starting too fast = finishing too slow. OK, yes, I beat my goal. However, my last three miles were not pretty. I was DONE and I think that, in addition to #1, starting faster than I planned to hurt me.
Next time, I will try to start a little slower so I can finish a bit faster.
3. The course matters. The 13.1 NYC course was loopy -- literally and figuratively. We ran past the start line twice, not including when we started. Seeing the same things over and over was not good for the mojo.
Next time, I will look for a course that is not so repetitive.
4. Training plans should be written in pencil, not pen. I followed a 12 week plan that I created based on what I thought my goal for the half would be, back when I was still building my base. The first four weeks of the plan were perfect but then I started to feel the need to modify things a bit as my fitness increased. My body and systems had changed; my plan needed to change as well. I still followed my plan, I just tweaked it so I could keep moving ahead rather than stagnating.
Next time, well, next time I'd do the same thing: Follow the plan but not be a slave to it.
5. Mile repeats are where it's at. You may laugh but I'd never really had much use for mile repeats before. I just never liked them. Thought they were too hard. Well, duh! That's the point of speedwork, is it not? To be hard, to prepare you to run fast during your race. I ran them during this training cycle and while they were tough they weren't too tough. They were doable and they gave me a boost of confidence after every session. And, best of all, I think they helped me run well during the half marathon.
Next time, I'll do more mile repeats and maybe even bump them up to 1.5 or 2 miles.
Those are my lessons learned. I'm sure there are others that I haven't acknowledged yet and I'm sure there are lessons that others have learned that I -- and others -- could benefit from. So if you have a good lesson learned that you'd like to share, lay it on me and comment away!
(And, remember, if you're in the HRHMChallenge, leave me a comment with your race report by Friday!)
Monday, April 4, 2011
|Hey, you can hardly even tell!|
Running breast-feeders of the world, be proud!
|My 3 year old and my 5 month old.|
I lined up right around the 1:50 mark because my A goal was 1:51:17 and I figured I needed to give myself a good shot of getting it. As I waited for the race to start, I concentrated on my race plan. I told myself not to start too fast but also to remember to push it. You can run 1:51, Happy Runner. Go do it!
We were off and what did I do? I ran faster than I wanted to. But, I felt good and the pace felt comfortable so I just ran with it.
The course was a strange one. It was in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which was a beautiful place for a race because there was a lot to look at. But, it isn't huge so for the 13.1 mile course there were a TON of twists and turns and past the same sights two and three times. I didn't love that.
I did love that my guys had plenty of diversions while I was running:
|Conal by the Unisphere and the fountains (which were not on).|
|Posing by the NYPD.|
Yes, my outfit was slightly ridiculous. But, I wanted, nay needed to wear my compression socks (thanks, CEP!) and I had no shorts that matched. I could have worn my black shorts that are now too big (thanks, breastfeeding!) but I thought that would look even worse than the crazy colors. So I went with raspberry and neon.
|Loved having my name on my bib!|
|Look up, Happy Runner!|
|Showing off the bling for the paparazzi :-)|
|Janis, Bridget, Amanda and me, after race.|
|The half marathoners with some of the other girls who went down, including Jen and Monique who ran the 5K and Stacey who cheered us all on.|
|With Conal, in front of the Unisphere.|
Today, two days post race, I still feel good and shocked that I ran faster than I expected. Of course, now I'm thinking about my next race and what my goal will be for that. But I have time.
Anyway, this report is long enough. Here are my official stats:
Chip time: 1:49:29
Overall place: 444/2484
Female place: 112/1389
Age group place: 8/107 (females, 40-44)
And my splits:
mile 1: 7:47
mile 2: 7:49
mile 3: 7:53
mile 4: 7:57
mile 5: 7:58
mile 6: 8:16
mile 7: 8:14
mile 8: 8:24
mile 9: 8:25
mile 10: 8:25
mile 11: 8:49
mile 12: 8:52
mile 13: 8:55
last .1: 1:45 (8:22 pace)
Thanks for all of your comments and support throughout my training. Along with my long runs and my mile repeats, your support helped me through the race. So, thank you!
And to the Happy Runner Half Marathon Challengers who ran this weekend -- congrats! Leave me a comment with your race report by Friday and I'll link you up and you'll be in the running for some great prizes!
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Race day is almost here. I'm getting very excited and, I admit, a little nervous. Fortunately, the nor'easter that threatened to muck up my travel plans never came to be so we should be fine for our drive south to the race. And the weather for tomorrow looks good, but that doesn't mean I didn't overpack with three potential outfits. Hey, you never know!
Now, what of my goals? Since this will be my first half marathon, I wasn't sure what goal to shoot for when I started training 12 weeks ago. Add in that I was still building up my mileage post-baby and at first I thought I would just shoot to finish. Then I got smart, channeled my inner Kara Goucher and decided that no good comes from sand-bagging.
So, after a solid 15K and many fast long runs and strong mile repeats, I've come up with three goals:
C Goal: To finish in 1:59:59 or better. There's no reason that I should run slower than 9:09 per mile.
B Goal: To finish in 1:55 or better. Totally reasonable.
A Goal: To finish in 1:51:17 or better. Based on my oh-so-scientific calculations, I should be able to hold an 8:30 per mile pace for 13.1 miles. I think I can . . . I think I can . . . I think I can . . .
So, there you have it.
Now, I'm off. It's going to be great to tackle the half marathon with my great pals Bridget, Janis, Amanda and Suzy! I can't wait.
Good luck to everyone running and racing this weekend -- especially my running pals and all of you Half Marathon Challengers! Have a great weekend!