Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Recap

Saturday: after a little procrastination because my running buddy, Stacey, was volunteering at a 5K so she wasn’t able to meet with me for a run, I finally got up and made my way down to Ladybird Lake for a 7 mile run.  It felt a little difficult, but not too bad.

Later that day, my friend Heather and I went and participated in The Music Run and had a great time.  We walked most of it, but that doesn’t matter. 

Sunday: no workout.  Went to the renaissance festival and fell short of my 10K steps by less than 200, but I didn’t have it in me at the end of the day to finish it up, so I just called it a day and went to bed.

Monday: again with the procrastination, but did still manage to get out of bed in time to get a full workout at the gym done.  I’m very happy to report that I did not have the light headed feeling I was getting previously and was able to do my full 65 minutes on the elliptical.  YAY!  Then I did my strength training in the meathead free weight area.  I did decline and incline bench, walking lunges, side bends, front and side arm raises, and overhead tricep extensions.  It was a really good workout!

used my new workout log for the first time!
Tuesday: set out to do a 5 mile run, but by mile 2 I was already feeling like I wanted to run more…that 5 miles wasn’t going to be enough.  I initially toyed with the idea of doing 7 or 8 as I wasn’t in any kind of time crunch, but ended up doing 6.  Wasn’t at a fast pace…10:56 average pace.  I was pretty sore from Monday’s strength workout, specifically the lunges.  Oof!  I ran in my yellow Altras.  Now that the marathon is done and run, I want to try and run in my zero drop shoes a little more often…like once a week.

Wednesday: no workout.  I picked up overtime on the morning shift on this day, so I just focused on getting as many steps as I could during the day.

Thursday: was flip-flopping on what I wanted to do for a workout on this day.  Originally, I wanted to go to the gym and do the elliptical plus strength training.  I slept in a bit and by the time I finished my coffee is the time I should have been arriving at the gym if I were going to do what I’d originally planned to do.  So, instead, I decided to get some stuff done around the house.  Put together my scrapbook pages for the Austin Marathon and for The Music Run and then I attempted to install my exercise straps (generic TRX).  However, I couldn’t get the self-tapping screws to tap into the beam in my entryway, so I just wrapped them around my pullup bar in my bedroom doorway.  Being there it limits the exercises I’m able to do with them as it’s a somewhat narrow area whereas the entryway is a little more open.  So, I got those wrapped around my pullup bar and proceeded to do the majority of my TRX workout.  Oh, I also tried to air up my new BOSU ball, but it won’t stay aired up after I turn off the air pump, so I can’t get the plug in it.  I might be returning it and finding a different brand of the same kind of piece of equipment.  SO!  I had a nice exercise strap workout along with some side steps and bicep curls with the resistance band I got from 5 Below.
Friday: went to the Brushy Creek Regional Trail (BCRT) and ran 10.1 miles.  This run wasn’t a total slogfest, but it didn’t feel super smooth either.  I did the first 6 miles on the part of the trail I’ve run on previously, but the second 4.1 miles was in the opposite direction and was therefore a new trail to me.  I really liked it!  Not sure if I’ll go there or Ladybird Lake for tomorrow’s run.  I ordered the INKnBURN pixels pullover last month as part of my Club INB membership and was afraid that Texas was not going to get cool enough this year for me to wear it, but I got lucky and it was below 50° for this run and I got to wear it!  I love it!


I’ve really got to get my weekend eating a little more under control.  I didn’t “super” over eat, but I didn’t eat very conservatively either.  I definitely could have done much better, even for weekend eating.  I need to not go so “hog wild” on the weekends and treat it like a free for all.  I don’t really have a plan for weekend eating and I need to fix that.  I do want the weekends to be a bit of a break from what I’m eating during the week, but it needs to not deviate so much from my ideal eating plan.  I guarantee I will see better results on the scale and in the mirror and in the way my clothes fit and look on me if I can come up with a weekend eating game plan.

When I work overtime on the morning shift, like I did on Wednesday, I usually end up at the courthouse cafeteria for breakfast around 8am because their breakfast platter is super cheap and yummy.  however, it is anything but good for you.  It includes a sausage patty or bacon, 2 scoops of scrambled eggs (cooked in butter), a hashbrown or potatoes, and a biscuit that I put full sugar content jelly on.  Oh and I got a brownie too.  I planned for that whole breakfast platter and logged it before the day even started, but I do regret the brownie.  It wasn’t planned for and it wasn’t even all that great.

hello, my name is BOSU and I am here to pump you up!
I also received the BOSU ball I ordered earlier in the month this week.  However, the pump that came with it was a piece of crap and wouldn't work, so I messaged the seller and he contacted BOSU and they sent me a replacement pump that arrived in today's mail.  This pump was a hand pump instead of a foot pump and it worked fantastically!  I now have a fully inflated BOSU ball ready for me to use!  WOOT! 
I didn’t come into today’s weigh in really expecting much.  I think the way I worked out and ate this week were more in line with maintenance than with weight loss, so we’ll see.

Sigh. I go down...I go up.  I feel like I was fairly good with eating this week, but I did have a bunch of chocolate at the end of the day maybe that had something to do with it?  The fat girl inside me is whispering to just give up but I can't listen to that voice.  I won't listen to that voice. I *will* get back down in the 160's again and I *will* maintain it.  Anything worth doing isn't easy.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Austin Marathon 2016 Race Recap

This was my second time running the Austin Marathon (I also ran the half 2 years ago…so my 3rd time with this event as a whole).  This was also my first repeat marathon.  I had a goal for this race.  An aggressive goal.  I wanted to PR the marathon by over 14 minutes!  I had my Excel paceband maker that a friend gave me.  Last year I plugged in 11:15 min/mi, this year I plugged in 10:15 min/mi.  If I stuck to the paceband, that would have me finishing in 4:28:37.

Okay, let’s get this recap started!  First, the expo.  For such a major race, there really isn’t as many vendors as you would think there would be.  Usually I can find a couple things at the official merchandise booth that I want to buy, but this time, I didn’t like any of the shirts.  I only liked the hats and visors, so I picked my favorite and bought that.
I did find a “run Texas” tank top that was only $15 that I really liked.  At the same booth they had state run magnets, so I bought an Oregon and a Texas one.

I loaded up on Hüma gels too.  I love those things.  Them and Honey Stingers (the regular honey ones and the ginsting ones only, tho), so when I can get them at an expo for a discounted price, I load up.  They also had the mini Clif bars out for grabs near the packet pick up area, so I grabbed a bunch of those too.  I really love the participant shirt.  In my opinion, they got their money’s worth for this logo.
As a marathon participant, I also got a very nice messenger style backpack.

There were a couple photo-op spots in the expo that I took full advantage of.

After the expo, I met my friend Diana for lunch at Red Lobster and carb loaded with my usual shrimp alfredo pasta dish and some cheddar biscuits and then wrapped that up with the bananas foster cheesecake.   Then, for dinner, I met my friend Heather at her favorite little Mexican restaurant and got the taco salad.

As usual, I set out my flat runner the night before a race. 

Race morning.  I was so nervous the night before so I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep.  Good thing I got my iced coffee at Einstein Bros the day before when I stopped to get my pre-race bagel (cranberry!).  I needed that coffee.  Probably could have used a little more, but I didn’t want to get up before 5, so that left hot coffee before heading out off the list for the morning.  The night before, I had attached my heart shaped bib (OMG!  How awesome is that?) to my FuelBelt and loaded it with 6 gels.  I only need 5 to run a marathon, but I add the 6th for that “just in case” situation.  I prepped my pace band and put everything I needed into my new messenger backpack and set it next to my purse.

Since this race starts and ends in downtown Austin and I work in downtown Austin, I just park at my work garage and walk the 8-ish blocks to the start line.  Since I’m prior military, I got a little “armed forces” logo on my bib that would give me access to the military VIP area.  However, where it was located was a little inconvenient, and by the time I got done with the port-a-potties it was already almost 6:45, so I just warmed up and found a good spot in the corral.  Once the starting horn went off, it took about 4.5 minutes for me to cross the starting timing mat.
I always sign up for runner tracking on myself when it’s available and this time was no different.  I crossed the 5k mark at 33:51.  The 10 mile mark at 1:43:20.  I reached the 13.1 mark at 2:14:06…that’s a new 13.1 PR by over 4 minutes!!!  However, my pace was far too fast.  My average for the first half was 9:54 min/mi.  I crossed the 18 mile mark at 3:07:11 and my pace had slowed to 10:52.  I made it to the 20 mile mark at 3:28:32 and had picked up the pace by 10 seconds.    Then I made it to the 23.1 mile mark at 4:01:18 and had picked up the pace another 7 seconds.  I crossed the finish line with a time of 4:35:15 and an overall average of 10:30 min/mi.  That’s 15 seconds slower per mile than my target. 
I ran so fast in the first half and it caught up to me after mile 14.  Mile 15 I was able to pick up the pace a bit and get back on target, but that was the end of that.  The rest of the race I was at least 10 seconds per mile behind my target pace.  Last year, after mile 19, I was able to pick up the pace pretty well so I was fully expecting to be able to do that again this year.  But, nope.  That caught me off guard and discouraged me a little bit, but by this time we were running through residential areas so there were LOTS of spectators cheering us on and that helped a lot.  Lots of them were telling us to dig deep, finish strong, push through.  That was exactly what I needed to hear. 

Mile 23 hit and for some unknown to me reason, my music stopped playing.  I think there was an error with the google music app that my phone uses because my headphones were still good on battery life and so was my phone.  I kept pushing the play “button” but it wouldn’t start the music again.  I was already struggling and was about a minute slower than my target time for those miles.  And now I had to do the final just over 3 miles without music.  Ugh.  Thank god that this was not a solo run because that would have royally sucked.  Like I said, there were LOTS of spectators and they were super awesome and supportive.  One guy told me to dig deep and I mimed a shoveling action.  He laughed.  I laughed.  It was great. 

Overall, I’m beyond happy with this race.  Sure, I wish I had done a few things differently.  However, even though I didn’t meet my goal of finishing sub-4.5 hours, I still PR’ed by 8:53 minutes!  That’s awesome no matter what.  I cut almost 9 minutes off my marathon time…in just 2 months!  I’ve got some more aggressive goals for my marathon future and they include A and B and even C goals.

Something I noticed when we weren’t even a mile into the marathon was that the insole of my right shoe was sliding backward.  There was a story back in September about elite runner Eliud Kipshoge who was testing some Nike shoes and as he ran, the insoles of the shoes he was testing worked their way almost completely out of his shoes.  That is exactly what I thought about as I ran and I felt it slide further and further back.  I was honestly expecting my insole to be sticking out of the back of my shoe when I finished.  It didn’t quite get that far, though.
Here's my beautiful new medal!

And, of course, the official photos!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Music Run Race Recap

This past weekend, I participated in The Music Run presented by 24 Hour Fitness.  Originally, when I registered back in December the website said that it started at 2pm, but sometime after that apparently changed the start time to 6:30pm.  Small hiccup.  When I registered, they had 2 registration options, there was the regular and the rock star.  With the regular registration, you got a snap bracelet (honestly, I threw mine away as I have no use for a snap bracelet, but my friend Heather gave hers to her daughter and she loved it), a unisex sized tech shirt, a drawstring backpack and your bib.  With the rock star registration you got all that plus a pair of 80’s style sunglasses, a trucker hat and an arm band for a cellphone.  While the trucker hat would have been nice, I didn’t need the other stuff and that registration was like $20 more, so I just got the regular registration.  I was excited because when I watched the video for the run, they showed these nice circular medals that had a play button on them.  Hooray, bling!

Anyway, I talked my friend Heather into registering too.  Since I had just run the Austin Marathon less than a week before this event AND I had run 7 miles that morning AND it wasn’t a timed event, I decided to stick with Heather.  She is just getting back into running and I wanted to support her.  This was her first 5K in about 2 years. 

Before the run started, we were all assembled in the Travis County Expo Center’s arena.  They had a concert stage set up and they had this musical group up on stage that pretty much sounded like they thought they were The Cure.  They weren’t bad, but the bass was way too much so we went outside and just chatted.  About 15 minutes before the run was supposed to start, we headed back inside.  At this point, they had started the Zumba warm up.

6:30pm came and went.  Finally, at 6:40 they announced that in 5 more minutes they’d be opening up the starting area.  Really?  15 minutes after the posted start time we were finally going to start?  So far, Heather and I were not impressed.  They did wave starts every couple minutes.  As we were waiting our turn to start, they were throwing glowsticks and these foam tubes with little green LED lights inside.  Heather and I both managed to get one of the foam tubes.  We also snagged a foam rocker hand.
It was finally our turn to cross the start line.  Heather and I started running, weaving in and out of people.  At first, we were cruising along at about a 10:10 pace.  I was like wow, this is great!  This was my first ever night running event.  As we came out of the arena, there was a drum line.  Oh my how I love a good drum line!  As we made our way to the parking lot, you could see all the people that started before us snaking across the parking lot with all their glowsticks and lit up foam tubes.  It was pretty awesome to see. 

I started getting into the spirit of the run and as Heather and I ran along I said “maybe I will do this run again next year if it happens again.”  She agreed it would be fun.  We decided that if we do it again, we’ll go buy a BUNCH of different colored glowsticks and bracelets and just cover ourselves with them.  Despite my initial annoyance with this event, I started really, really enjoying it.  They had music stations along the route.  There was Pop, Country, Dance, Hip Hop, and Rock.  Each station had 5 songs that it just rotated through.  There were a couple stations that were lit up with blue toned lights and they were taking some pictures.  However, I cannot find anything on their website about accessing those photos. 

Heather was able to run the first .6 of a mile and then we switched to speed(ish) walking.  We did run the downhill portions, but for the rest of the run, we walked fast.  I didn’t care, though.  I was spending time with one of my greatest friends and supporting her and helping her make progress toward her goals. 

As we made our way along the course, the same drum line that greeted us as we exited the arena reappeared a couple more times.  YAY!  There was also a woodwind and percussion band and half of them were dressed as pirates.  ARRR!  There were also a couple fire dancers!  Oh and there were oodles of classic cars and trucks!  They were parked along the course with their headlights on to light up the course a little bit.

As we made our way toward the finish line, which was back in the arena, I noticed that people were walking back out of the arena, leaving by way of the actual course.  And none of them had medals.  Hmm.  We crossed the finish line and I checked my Garmin.  45:42.  An average of about 15 minute miles.  Not bad for walking most of it!  Heather and I both grabbed a Propel electrolyte water (I don’t recommend it, by the way…unless you like water that tastes like salty tap water, of course) and a Gatorade granola bar (pretty tasty!).  We wandered a bit to see if we had missed something but could find no station handing out medals.  Ugh.

After a few pictures, we decided to head home.
When I got home, I checked their website and sure enough, they say they offer a party instead of medals at the finish line.  Really?  I know their promo video showed them handing out medals to people finishing the run.  Whatever.  It was still lots of fun and I had a great time with a great friend and that’s what it’s REALLY about!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chocoholic Frolic Race Recap

About a year and a half ago, I ran the Hot Chocolate 10K in Austin, TX.  It took us around the parking lots and the parameter of the Circuit of the Americas F1 race track.  I wanted to run that race again last year, however when I emailed them about the 2015 date they said they had no foreseeable plans to return to Austin and that I should look into the Dallas race.  Hoping to find something chocolate related and closer to Austin, I discovered the Chocoholic Frolic 5K/10K.  They were having a special on registration when I discovered it and it was $29 to register…so I did!

I was originally going to stay at a hotel in San Antonio the night before the race, but due to finances, had to cancel my reservation.  It was only a 1.5 hour drive each way.  I did practically the same distance drive to packet pickup and then for race morning when I ran the Army Marathon last year.  So, Saturday afternoon, I drove down to Sports Authority to pick up my packet.  Instead of the standard t-shirt for participants, we got fairly nice ¼ zip pullovers!  On the left breast area is an embroidered logo that says “I run for chocolate” and then on the back is the logo for the race…not embroidered, though.  It has 2 zip-to-close pockets.  My only issues with this pullover is 1) the sizing.  It’s unisex so I ordered a medium, but even though I don’t have a super hourglass type figure, it’s very shapeless around the middle and a little billowy.  And 2) no thumbholes.  Seriously?!?!?!  No thumbholes in a pullover?  Despicable!
Since the packet pickup was at Sports Authority, they of course had 15% off coupons for all participants.  However, the 2 items I found that I just could not live without (a purple running skirt and a yellow-green tank top) were on the clearance rack so that coupon didn’t apply.  Boo!  All participants also got a nice reusable shopping bag with the Chocoholic Frolic logo on it.
Race morning, I got up around my usual time to get up for a local race as the start time for the 10K wasn’t until 9:30!!  Whoa!  But, it was freaking cold out (below freezing) when I left my apartment shortly after 6am to make the drive down to San Antonio.  I put a long sleeve white shirt on, then put my INKnBURN Miko top over that, then just one pair of red long capris and one pair of socks.  To wear until it was time to start the race, I put on one of my Old Navy jackets with thumbholes and a pair of track pants.  I was leaving so early because I was hoping to exchange my medium pullover for a small one and wanted to get there before anyone else to have the best chance at getting a small.  Well, sad news, they had no more smalls.  Ugh.  So, I’ll just sew the sides in, but have to be careful not to accidentally sew the pockets shut as I would really like to keep those as usable.
There were port-a-potties, but not many and they were not well stocked with TP.  I now (about time, right?) understand why people bring their own tissue when they run races.  Duh, there’s only so much TP in the portas!  

When the 10k start time rolled around I was sooooo ready to go.  I had a lot of nervous energy to burn off.  At this point, I am only a week until my attempt at a major marathon PR at the Austin Marathon, so nervous doesn’t really begin to describe how I am feeling during this time.  Anyway, the plan was to run at or near marathon goal pace. 

The course for the 10K was a double loop of the 5K course.  It wasn’t a super scenic course.  The first 1.3-ish miles were across a parking lot and part way down the frontage road, then back across the parking lot and then we ran through a series of soccer fields…that was nice and green and some trees.  The whole area is sponsored by Toyota so all the soccer fields were named after Toyota products (ie-Camry Field, 4Runner Field, etc).  Then we ran around Morgan’s Wonderland (a small amusement park and also the charity beneficiary of this race) and then made the loop again.  The course was short by 1/10-2/10ths of a mile.  So, it’s a good thing I wasn’t going for a new 10K PR…however you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on my official average pace of 9:29 min/mi (Garmin pace of 9:46 min/mi).  That’s about 30 seconds faster per mile than I meant to run it at.
My official results…I placed 48th out of 129 in my division (I’m not sure if this is age group or not) and then I placed 98th out of 333 females and 136th overall (393 total participants).

After you cross the finish line they hand you a water and I completely missed the chocolate bar handout (was able to go back later after I realized I didn’t get one and they gladly gave me one).  You are funneled to the events center where there are bathrooms (with TP!!!) and then you can get your chocolate fondue with dipables (pretzels, Nilla wafers, an Oreo, and half of a banana).  Since my friend Jennifer wasn’t able to run this race due to not feeling well, I didn’t hang around.  I did enter the drawing for a Yeti cooler. 

Would I do this race again?  Maybe.  I think if I had to choose between this race and the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas (which was the same weekend, this year at least), I would choose the Hot Chocolate.  I do love that they gave out pullovers instead of t-shirts.  I am not happy that I didn’t get a medal.  If I had run the Hot Chocolate, I would have gotten a medal.  But, if I had run the Hot Chocolate, I wouldn’t have had the option of canceling my hotel reservation as it’s about a 2.5 hour drive each way to Dallas.  So, there were pros and cons to each.  The race was fairly well orchestrated, so I have no complaints about the race itself.  I hope they consider issuing medals in the future.  They could really compete with the Hot Chocolate series if they did that.
 Got a chocolate bar instead of a finisher's medal.
 And, of course, fondue!

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