My New Target

This lovely necklace came my way about a month ago courtesy of a great giveaway from Marcia at The Studly Runner (aka Running Off at the Mouth).

Since I received the necklace from Nana’s Jewelry, it’s been sitting in the box it came in on a shelf in my closet — put aside until the 10k training I was currently in was complete.

Well, the 10k is done and in the books. So on this first day of a new month, it seemed like a good time to bring it out. It may sound corny, but this little necklace will serve as a great reminder and motivator for the journey I’m about to embark on. I’m so excited to go after this goal!

I’ve decided to treat this week as kind of a step back week — a chance to get my half training plan finalized and give my angry left knee a little break. So I did an easy run of 3 today, and plan to get in some strength training, yoga and couple more easy runs during the rest of this week. Then it will be time to go after my new target…time for another first! I can’t wait to get started!

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Hyannis 10k Race Report

When I woke up to snow this morning, my first thought was “This is why you train in all kinds of weather – a treadmill can’t prepare you for this!” My Hubs J and I quickly got ready, packed our gear, grabbed a bite and once the boys were settled in with grandparents we headed out to make the drive to the Cape.

As we got into Hyannis, we decided to avoid the madness of trying to find parking close to the race start and instead opted for a lot about a quarter mile away – gave us a nice little trot, warm up.  The lines at the porta-potties were crazy and slow but everyone around us at least was in good humor and we made the best of it. We made it to the start with no time to spare and were off.

For those of you who are not familiar with Cape Cod, to say Cape roads are narrow is a understatement! So narrow roads and slippery conditions thanks to the snow falling made for a little bit of a chaotic start. As we had planned, J and I ran the first mile together and then we separated — his goal was to finish in just under an hour. I was feeling pretty good at this point, there were some twinges in my left knee but nothing indicating the trouble to come. As the course turned along the water, I was still feeling good about reaching my goal of a PR. But then the dark mile came…the twinges in my left knee grew a lot more intense. I backed off and then tried to walk, but it actually felt worse to walk (does that make any sense?!?) so I started to run again. The mile markers were non-existent so I chatted with a couple of different runners who spotted my Garmin and asked for an update.

As I reached 5.5 miles, I decided to try to push for a strong finish. There was a great crowd at the end and I heard J cheering as I turned for the finishers chute. My brother had brought my oldest down to see the end of the race, so it was really great to see them both there!

Despite the snow and angry knee, it felt great to be back in a race. It was a great group of runners, scenic course, and a lot of fun to run with J in his first 10k! (For the record: J did hit his goal – I’m so proud of him! And I missed matching my previous 10k time by only 40 seconds!)

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Reflections and a First Run

Got out today amid the fog and light rain to log my first run of 2011!

I have been resting my left ITB for the past two weeks — though I did sneak in 2 miles on the dreadmill on NYE’s day ’cause I really didn’t want to end the year on injured reserve if I could help it.  So the hope today was to just get out on the road and run a slow and steady, pain-free 5 miles. Mission accomplished!

I was also itching to try out some of the new gear I got for Christmas – especially my new Garmin Forerunner 305 (courtesy of my wonderful hubs J)! I am so excited to figure out how to use it to help with my pacing – which, according to my new little running partner, can be a bit erratic.

It felt so good to be out there this morning – I kept thinking about how far I’ve come since that first “run” last January…where 1 mile felt like it went on forever …..and, then I didn’t try to run again until March! Hmmm, yeah I can definitely say I’ve improved in the dedication department 🙂

But thanks to the C25K plan, that 1 mile turned into 3 and I ran my first 5k in June! Followed by:

In between there were miles in the crazy heat, rain, bitter cold and…yes, even on the dreadmill. There was an off and on argument with my angry left leg. There were goals met…and some not. I discovered a wonderfully supportive and inspiring running community. And, I found a piece of myself that I hadn’t tapped into in a long time.

Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!
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Enjoying the downtime

After a great Christmas weekend filled with family, great food and lots and lots of laughter, I’m still basking in the after Christmas glow!

Today we’re digging out from the blizzard that hit much of the northeast. Building snow forts with the kids and romping through the snow with my oversized puppy definitely count as my cross-training for today! 

Had to share a pic of my pup
in between snow dives!

My ITB has now had a full week of rest and, with Mother Nature’s help, it looks like it may get a day or two more. I figure there’s no point in stressing about it — if I hope to get this ITB under control and be ready to race again in February than this is the way it has to be now.

So my plan this week is to enjoy the rest, get in some yoga, another TRX class and, of course, more “cross-training” with the kids and the pup!

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ITB, TRX and Christmas

Random Thursday Thoughts…..

Ice, Roll, Run, Aggravate….Repeat — That’s pretty much been the cycle with my left ITB for the past two weeks. But this week I’ve finally waved the white flag and am giving my angry left leg the rest it obviously needs.

I went to a TRX demo class last night and my triceps are still not speaking to me! It was a great strength training workout. I signed up for a 6 week session starting in January to help kick the year off right and to help me to hold to one of my 2011 goals to make strength training part of my regular routine.

There is nothing more magical than seeing Christmas through the eyes of your children! Today was the last day of school for my boys and with Christmas less than 2 days away, they can hardly contain themselves! We’ve watched every holiday special multiple times, and I have to say, the Grinch never gets old for them or me.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

  1. So much for that quick trot through the holiday season I was trying to maintain. The days on the calendar feel like they’re evaporating and when we crossed the 10 days-to-go mark yesterday, I lost my cool and broke out into full sprint mode. If I could translate this into my speedwork, a PR could be in my future!
  2. I haven’t run since Sunday, when somewhere around mile 2 my ITB started whining and by the time I reached just over 6 it was in a full scream! So I figured it best to take a couple of days off. I got through my Pilates class last night and had no pain despite all the side leg work we did, so I’m going to try a run tomorrow.
  3. Hey I’m up to 46 followers – when did that happen! I continue to be amazed and inspired by how supportive the running community is – whether by blog comment, tweet or email I have appreciated all of the encouragement! Thanks for being a part of my journey!
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The knee watch continues

So far, so good….

I managed to string together a couple of runs and a killer Pilates class this week, and the good news is any discomfort in my left knee was mild!

So barring any changes in the next couple of days, I’m going to run a local race on Sunday. I’m planning to just go easy, have fun and be moral support for a friend who’s running her very first race after completing the Couch to 5k plan! I’m really psyched for her!  (Isn’t it funny how once you start running, you want everyone else to run too!)

A huge Friday Shout Out to all the runners racing this weekend!

Enjoy the Halloween Weekend!

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Week in review

On Monday it was time to see what a week of babying my knee had done for me. I got out early and went for 4 miles and felt good when finished. Quickly followed up with Yamuna Body Rolling and ice. Life got in the way and it was clear Wednesday’s run wasn’t going to happen.  Continued the Yamuna and ice.  It took till mid-day on Friday, but I did get 5 more in. Hmm… the knee still feels ok, a little sore by the evening but not painful. Quick more Yamuna and more ice! Yesterday I went to my weekly Pilates Reformer class and then headed to see my massage therapist — a treat and so worth it!

I knew I would have a crazy day ahead of me today and that the only way to get a run in was to go early. So after a Sybil-like debate with myself, I dragged myself out of my warm bed and into the cold morning. It was the first time I’d started a run while the street lights were still on! The sun finally decided to join me at the half way mark. I finished just over 6 and all’s well with the left leg! Yes I’ll be back to the Yamuna and ice tonight – why mess with a formula that seems to be helping?!

On tap for this week is more of the same with hopefully a little more Pilates thrown in. Depending on how things go, I’ll decide on whether I’m going to run the local 5k on Sunday.

Happy Running!

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Nagging knees and future planning

I’ve been babying my left knee following Monday’s race. I did go to my usual Pilates class on Wednesday and ventured out for a comfortable 3 mile run on Thursday. All seemed well, until Friday morning when my overly excited German Shepherd came charging down the hall and right into my knee — the good one! Are you kidding me?! My goodness does that dog have a hard head!

So there was more ice and rest. And yes, I admit that standing most of the evening at the party we went to last night probably didn’t help any! There was no run today but I will get back out to see how things feel tomorrow and hopefully do my planned runs this week. I’m signed up to run a local 5k in a couple of weeks, but I’ll have to see how things go.

Despite my current knee woes, I can’t help but start to think about future plans and I’ve been eyeing 2011 races. I know for sure that there’s at least one half marathon on the horizon for me…hopefully more than one…but which one will be my first? That I don’t know yet. But, maybe the first question should be how long will it take me to train for one cause that will certainly factor into the “when” of the race. Time to check training plans!

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Today I asked my body to go

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was that I’m now moving into new territory for me as a runner. The long run on my plan today called for 6 miles. 6 miles? Really? While I may have run five on occasion waaay back in college, I can say without a doubt that I have never asked my body to go for 6 straight miles….but today I asked.

Today I asked my body to go, even though by the first half mile my angry left leg let it be known that it was not happy – not unhappy enough to stop, but definitely unhappy!

Today I asked my body to go, even though this was not going to be a “run for the ages.” No, this was to be what I call a “survival run” – read get the distance and to heck with the time.

Today I asked my body to go, further than it’s ever gone before, and I learned that it will respond, it will push on even when part of my brain is screaming “Ok that’s far enough!”

Today I asked my body to go, and it carried me 6.1 miles….a step closer to my 10K race and into uncharted running territory.

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