Father’s Day weekend

And just like that, it’s Monday already. The weekends are so short and go by way too fast!

Saturday morning Brian had tennis and as I mentioned, did something to his foot. He isn’t sure if he just landed on it strange or what but its tender and its best for him not to run on it until it feels better.

We had a dinner party that we were supposed to go Saturday night and being that he could run I almost skipped it too. It’s so much easier for me to get out the door when he comes with me. I wasn’t really feeling it but I had already skipped Thursday and Friday and kind of figured I wouldn’t get a run in on Sunday either. I finally made up my mind around 2:30 and headed out to the park.

It was overcast and warm but really humid. As much as I dislike running in the heat, overcast and humid is kind of my thing. Summer evening runs are my favorite! When I got to the park I was a bit worried the sky was going to open up wand storm at any minute so the plan was to stay on the main path for the first mile and go from there. Since I got a late start I was on a time crunch and wasn’t sure how long of a run I was going to be able to fit in.

I got to test out my new running skirt from Road Runner Sports, and balega socks which I had never tried.

run620

The skirt worked OK. It was a little big in the waist but the legs fit pretty good. I got a medium and a small would probably squeeze my legs way too much. And nobody wants to see that! I’m hoping this is temporary anyway since I have a closet full of running stuff that doesn’t fit just yet.

The socks were really nice. Super lightweight and the material is silky like? I am curious to see how they are after a longer run. I’m not sure if I like them better than the feetures or not. Time will tell.

I stayed on the main path for the first mile and ran the entire thing without walking. Before I hit the mile I kind of knew I was going to walk/run mile 2. I may like the humidity but I am so not ready for it yet!

Mile 1- 11:54

I still wasn’t sure if I was stopping at 2 miles or going to 2.5 so I took the side path for the second mile with the thought that if I did go until 2.5, I’d end up near my car. Mile 2 was not fun and I was starting to worry about running out of time. I walked more than I would have like for the first half and decided to end the run once I hit 2.

Mile 2- 12:32

I pushed as much as I could but would have liked to be closer to 12:15. Oh well.

weathergarmin

I knew the humidity was high but really, I didn’t think it was 95%!

I did end up leaving my house 15 minutes after the party started but we ended up not going to the party anyway. Long story but we had dinner with my sister in law, her fiancé and her son instead. Definitely a fun night.

Father’s Day. Ahhhhh, pretty sure it is obvious this is not a favorite day of mine. The hubby and I don’t have kids, only furkids, so its not a big day for our little family. My dad passed away in 1999 and my step dad lives in Florida. Don’t get me wrong, my step dad is a great guy as is my father in law but I won’t lie its a rough day.

From seeing all the posts and pictures on facebook, to reflecting on my own memories makes a sad day. I was 19 when my dad passed away and miss him a lot. I made sure to send my step dad a text so he knew I was thinking of him before heading out to an early lunch with my in-laws.

(My step dad and I at my wedding, my dad and I as an infant and my older brother and I also on my wedding day.)

run620 2

My step dad and my mom have been married for close to 25 years and I adore him. BUT since my older brother and I have been through so much together I had my brother give me away at my wedding and chose to do the father/daughter dance with my step dad. That way they each had a part of the “father” role on my special day.

I didn’t have a photo of my father in law when I made my little collage. He is a great guy! For lunch we went to Bahama Breeze. The food was really good but that particular location just opened a few weeks ago and still has a LOT of kinks to work out. I’d like to go back, but not for another month or so. It was busy and we had orders wrong and a table fiasco. Nothing major or anything like that but frustrating at times. The staff was great and went above and beyond to correct the mistakes. Once the newness wears off it will be even better!

The hubby’s foot still isn’t 100% but I may head out for a short run today anyway. There is a heat advisory for tomorrow with the temps in the upper 90s. Today is only 82. I’ll take the 82.

Dinner date and an injury?

I can’t believe it’s the weekend already!  

Wednesday I went back to the park for another run. Last week we did 2, 2.25 and then 2.5 and since we did 2 on Tuesday, 2.25 seemed like a good choice. 

We have been sticking to a side path at the park because there are always lots going on with kids sports. Seems easier to stay on the path less traveled. 

The only problem is, it gets boring. It’s a strict path the dead ends at a road so you have to turn around and come back. One out and back is a mile so you have to do it twice. Boooooring. There is a beautiful neighborhood there so the plan was to get to the road, swing right and loop through the development and come back. The hubs knows that area, I do not but he said the neighborhood is a big horseshoe so stick to the Main Street and I won’t get lost. He knows my horrible sense of direction. 

I’ve been able to run a mile without walking a few times and was ready to push a bit more. Maybe to 1.5? I wasn’t really sure. I got to the street and made my turn into the neighborhood. The horseshoe was much longer than I realized! My garmin beeped at a mile and I kept going, I passed 1.5 and was still in the neighborhood. I felt ok so decided to wait until I got back to the path before a walk break. But when I hit the path I was so close to 2 miles it seemed silly to walk! 2 miles ticked off and I decided to run until I got to the 2.25 I planned on doing. 

I kept it slow but was able to run the entire 2.25 miles and I was happy about that!  It was also much cooler out and I’m sure that helped! 

Mile 1- 12:48

Mile 2- 12:38

(11:15 for the last. 25)

Progress. I have heard that it doesn’t take as long to re-build endurance after a layoff but I didn’t believe it. I’m still no where near where I was but I can see improvements. 

Thursday was planned for 2.5, but as I was leaving work I got a text message from my younger brother. He wanted to know if we wanted to grab dinner with him and his girlfriend. Um…yes! So we skipped the run and went to dinner at PF Changs. Family time is important and I cherish any time I get to hang out with them. 

Friday the weather was iffy so we skipped that day too. I don’t mind rain, thunderstorms are different! 

The Hubs did something to his foot this morning at tennis so we are going to ice it and see how it is. We have a 90th birthday party later so have to see where we stand. I may head out alone anyway but we will see!! 

Happy weekend!!!

Back at it: Week in review

It’s been a while since I posted here but that tends to be what happens when I stop running. My day to day life is not that exciting when I’m stuck in a cubicle for at least 9 hours a day.

I ran a bit here and there last fall and did still manage to complete 3 half marathons early this year so I suppose that’s something. Truth is, I still haven’t gotten into any sort of routine since moving over a year ago. There is no longer a nice little neighborhood to run through and driving 20-25 minutes to get to any of my trails makes it much easier to make an excuse to skip it. The hubby also wasn’t really into it so I had to go alone and that hardly ever happened.

Last week we both agreed enough was enough. We missed running and have both gained some weight that we aren’t happy about.

Thursday June 11th

Thursday night we hit the park for 2 miles. I decided to try a 3:2 run/walk ratio. I am horrible at set intervals but since it had been a while thought it would be better than trying to do it by feel.

park6

It was brutal. Of course last week summer decided to show up here in New Jersey and the humidity has been off the charts as you can see in that photo. It’s a bit hazy. I don’t think I snapped a pic of my garmin but I did 2 miles in 27:48, average pace 13:53

Mile 1- 14:42

Mile 2- 13:05

I am TRYING not to let these slow times bring me down but its hard. My last good run was in October – 8 months ago. It’s going to take some time but if I stick with it, it will come back!

Friday June 12th

Friday I went back to the park and did 2.25 miles. There was a heat advisory because we hit a record high (for this time of year) of 95 degrees and the humidity was up there too. I thought about skipping the run because of the weather but its almost summer and not going to get any better.

garmin63

29:21 with an average of 13:03. Better, but what made this run reassuring is that I was able to run the first mile without taking a walk break especially despite the heat. The second mile I did a run/walk, but not the 3:2 I had set. I really can’t stick to set intervals!

Mile 1- 12:26

Mile 2- 13:49

The last .25 was a 12:25 pace.

Saturday June 13th

Saturday morning I went to charge my garmin and the screen shut off. I went to google and found this to be a common problem with the 210 and a simple software update should correct it. I bought this watch as an upgrade to my 205. There wasn’t anything wrong with the 205, aside from the size of it. I really felt like I had a Cadillac on my wrist. I picked the 210 up at a race expo for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in Disney two years ago. I have had nothing but problems with it since. For the most part, its the charger. There are 4 prongs that take some maneuvering to get lined up just right to charge. I have no patience and get frustrated easily. When it shuts off, you have to do a reboot to get it back on. The problem is, to update the software I had to hook it to the computer. No big deal right? Ya well I had to connect the charger to get it hooked up. It took at least 5 times, all while shutting off and having to reboot, before I could get it to connect WITHOUT powering down. Then it took a few tries for the computer to recognize it. All of these issues are common among 210 owners. I was finally able to get it connecting and updated the software.

garminreboot

If the 220 wasn’t $250 I would have bought it by now. I love the look and function of the 210 but the frustration is totally NOT worth it. But I also don’t want to continue to spend over $200 every 2 years for a new watch. Lets hope the software update fixes all the bugs.

Once my garmin was charged and ready to go, I took my run to one of my favorite trails for 2.5 miles.

IMAG0480

I ran the first mile again without walking but my legs felt really heavy. At the time I didn’t know why but after I got home the hubs reminded me that we had already run two days in a row. I had forgotten we ran on Thursday. OOPS! Had I remembered that, I would have stuck to a run/walk instead.

garmin62

33:24, average pace 13:21

Mile 1- 12:46

Mile 2- 14:09 <—- totally dead after that first mile!

The last .5 was 12:56 pace

As you can see from my watch, we ran at 3:00 in the afternoon. It was hot. I knew it was going to be gross so in addition to my water, I packed a little bag of ice.

ice

I had this on my neck after the run and it really helped bring my body temp down. I think I might do this again.

Tuesday June 16th

Three days in a row of running wiped me out! Sunday and Monday were rest days. Tuesday was up in the air until last minute. We had plans to go to dinner at my in-laws but that got cancelled. There were thunderstorms in the area, again thanks to the humidity this week, but were hopefully to get a short run in.

The sky didn’t look too bad, until we got to the park. Directly over us was a HUGE storm cloud. It wasn’t raining yet so we both agreed to try to get the run in anyway. If it rained, we’d head back to the car.

Of course as soon as I started, the rain did too! It was a light rain and no thunder or anything so I didn’t stop. The rain actually felt nice because it was so muggy. Again I was able to run the whole first mile. I admit to pushing more than I should have but I did that because I wasn’t sure if Mother Nature was going to allow a mile 2. She did and it was much slower! I walked the entire first half of mile 2. Not pretty.

garmin61

2 Miles in 25:00, average 12:29

Mile 1- 11:36

Mile 2- 13:22

I was never a fast runner, but man do I miss my 10:30s!

The humidity broke a bit today and I think it is supposed to be in the upper 80s the rest of the week which is good. I’m not quite ready for those 90-100 degree days just yet!

Chicago Marathon Lottery

So the lottery selection was yesterday and I did NOT get in. Whomp, whomp.

I’m actually not as upset about it as I thought I was going to be. Sure I would have loved it, but I still have no idea how I would have been able to swing that trip. (Flights, hotel, registration) At least not THIS year. My hubby’s sister is getting married in September so we have a lot of things going on this fall.

The lottery process itself was interesting. I kind of expected a rejection email first thing in the morning. In reality, I still haven’t gotten one. They have an athlete center that you can check your lottery status on. It didn’t update to “NOT SELECTED” until almost 6:00 last night. When I didn’t have my acceptance email by 3, I assumed it was a NO and didn’t put much thought into it after that.

I like that you don’t have to pay anything to enter the lottery though and I will probably throw my name in again next year too. I mean, why not right? Though I do throw a side eye to people that get picked twice in a row through a “random lottery selection”

RunDisney Marathon Weekend registration also opened yesterday. I held my ground and didn’t sign up, but I still might. I have a lot of friends running that weekend and we would have a lot of fun together. But I also still want to run a fall marathon. We will see. I still have a little bit of time before I have to make any rash decisions!

Oh and my younger brother will be staying in NJ for another year or so and I might try to convince him he needs to run a full with me! Philly would have been my first choice but I had him run a half with me there so maybe I will look for one here in Jersey.

 

Marathon Monday! (and lofty goals )

I woke up this morning excited to watch the live coverage of the Boston Marathon. I’m also in the Northeast and the weather was really crummy. Downpouring rain and wind. Not fun conditions to be running in. After a small meltdown about not being able to get the feed to work properly, I was up and running. I didn’t have sound for the first while beacuse I’m really not supposed to use headphones at my desk. When it got close to the end, I gave in and plugged in. I was hoping for a USA win, but a good race all the same.

Qualifying for Boston is something I will probably never do, or at least not any time soon. I don’t see a 3:40 marathon in my near future that’s for sure! I also don’t see myself running for charity. Not because I think badly on that, just that I am not a great fundraiser. I really don’t even know where to start to raise that sort of cash!

I love watching marathons on TV. As cheesy as it sounds, it IS inspiring. My goal is not to BQ like a lot of other runners. Sure I’d love that, but again I’m realistic. My previous goal of a 2:30 half suddenly didn’t seem big enough.

Big-Dream-quotes-If-your-dreams-dont-scare-you-they-are-not-big-enough_

My current PR is 2:38:00 from Disney’s Wine and Dine 2013. My longest run was 10 miles and I stopped running for 2 months before the race. The week of, I ran 3 days in a row- 6 miles each. I didn’t really have a time goal going into that race but my PR was a 2:43 and I wanted to beat it. I pushed but I still think I could have done better.

Knocking 8 minutes off my PR would be great but considering I did no speedwork, no core work, no cross training, and didn’t even complete a training schedule, I almost feel like I could hit that fairly easily. So….I am upping my goal.

I want a 2:15.

That’s a 23 minute PR. That’s crazy talk! But I know I can do it with hard work and EFFORT. I haven’t picked a time frame or an “A” race for this just yet but hope to get that figured out in the next few weeks. A 2:05 would allow me to run WITH my brother, and even my hubby if he slows down a bit for me! Baby steps.

Now…off to research how the hell to get faster! lol (kidding….sort of)

RECAP: Rutgers Unite half marathon 2015

Going into this race, I had big plans to attempt a PR. My brother also wanted to PR. But of course that would require actual running and training leading up to race day. Neither of us did that. I gave up on my PR attempt a few weeks before the race but my brother was hopeful. My new plan was to hang back with my mom and have that fun mother/daughter time we don’t get that often because we live so far apart. Mom even said she was going to walk the entire race and just get it done. I know her better than she thinks and didn’t buy that nonsense a for a second.

My mom’s flight was delayed 2 hours Thursday night but she made it safe and sound. Friday my grandmother and uncle drove down to my house for a visit. My mom doesn’t get to see her mother and brother all that often so it was nice for them. We all went out to lunch and even my older brother and his family were able to come. Friday night we had dinner with my inlaws.

Saturday we headed up to New Brunswick for the packet pick-up. I don’t like driving in traffic, especially if I don’t know where I am going so I drove to my brothers apartment and had him drive my car to the expo. The expo was at the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center on Busch Campus- same as last year. It’s a small little expo with a few vendors here and there. We got our packets with no trouble and on the way out made mom pose for a picture.

rutgers4

She’s a good sport and cheeses it up for us.

We went to lunch, did a little shopping and came up with a game plan for race day.

I was going to drive my mom and I to the brothers apartment and then he was going to drive my car to one of the parking lots near the finish line. He knows the campus, I do not. The one lot was at the gym and he used to go there all the time so it seemed simple enough.

We got to his house and he wasn’t ready. Last year he was still sleeping! He was awake this year but couldn’t find his headphones so it took him a few to get out to us. We had plenty of time so it was no big deal. We found a parking spot without any problems and headed to the shuttle.

Once we were at the starting area, we really didn’t have too much time to waste before we could get into the corral. It’s self seeding so you kind of just hop in and try to get to the pacer you fit with. Rather than carry a sign showing the finish time, they hold a sign that shows minute per mile paces. The brother left us and made his way near the 9:00 pacer. We stayed near the 12:00 pacer, but off to the side to be out of the way.

National Anthem was sung and we were off! And of course, mom did NOT start out walking as she claimed she would! (totally knew it!)

I didn’t take a single picture during the race. So bummed about that. We had a really good first couple of miles.

Mile 1- 13:59

Mile 2- 13:20

Mile 3- 13:11

After the third mile I was afraid mom was going to tucker out. She had a lot of pep in her step and kept saying that her legs felt great. Her only issue was her breathing. She still hasn’t been able to figure that out. It is not easy and no matter how I try to explain it, she needs to figure out what works for her.

Mile 4- 14:14

A little slower, but not too bad!

Mile 5- 13:55

Mile 6- 14:13

Still doing good and I’m starting to wonder if she was going to be able to get close to a 3 hour finish. Then…she had to stop. There were no lines at the porta-potty there so we decided it was a good time to stop.

Mile 7- 15:49

Of course she saw that slower mile on HER garmin and started to lose it a little. She was upset that she lost so much time but refused to acknowledge that she stopped for a potty break!

Mile 8- 14:12

Mile 9- 13:59

Mile 9 was the turning point. She started the mile off feeling great but at the end, her one knee was done. She never has knee pain so this was new. She’s also never run on so many hills before. They weren’t huge hills, but more than she is used to and definitely more than I remember from last year!

Mile 10- 15:20

Game Over. She was hobbling and in pain. She didn’t want to quit but wanted to run and couldn’t. At this point she was hoping to PR but we weren’t 100% sure what her PR time was, but had an idea. (It is 3:12:xx)

Mile 11- 16:01

Mile 12- 16:19

It was still close, but with her not feeling any better and slowing up each mile I was more concerned with her finishing in one piece!

Mile 13- 16:18

We saw my brother and his girlfriend waiting at the finish and that gave her a little pep!

rutgers3

I have no idea what I was laughing at, but Mom was focused!

rutgers2

Official finish time 3:14:07

Two freaking minutes shy of her PR! I was so, so sad for her. When you are that close to a goal, and come up short it sucks. BUT the only reason she slowed up was her knee. She held tough when she normally checks out (mentally) so that was promising. (her overall average pace was a minute per mile faster than in February)

We hobbled over to the runner area for our goodie bags and this is the ONLY complaint I have about the race. The food bags looked like they had been looted! She had a pack of cookies and a yogurt. Mine had a yogurt and peaches. I wanted the peanut butter and jelly sandwich so went looking for one and exchanged my bag. Some bags had one item in them. The course was still open for another half hour and all those people probably had even worse of a selection than we did. Aside from that, the race was fun. The volunteers had a lot of energy and were singing and dancing and that’s always fun to see. There wasn’t much on the course as far as entertainment goes though. Last year there was a band between mile 12 and the finish. This year there wasn’t.

Mom wasn’t a fan of the out and backs because she said it messed with her head. She didn’t like being able to see how far she still had to go.

We sat down before heading back to the car and took a family photo. Pretty sure my brother picked this one because of how awful mom looks. Aren’t boys so much fun? lol!

rutgers1

I have no idea what my mom is doing! We were laughing and talking and I guess she was in the middle of something! hahaha!

My brother fell short of his goal too! He stayed with the pacer but they were running 9:45’s and he didn’t stay with them. At the end, the pacer was running 8:12’s and he couldn’t keep up. Next time! I would love to get fast enough to hold that 9:00 pace and run WITH him!

rutgers5

Half marathon #15 done!

 

 

RECAP: Philly Love Run half marathon

Last weekend my brother and I ran the Philly Love Run half marathon. Neither one of us had planned on running this race but I convinced him it would be fun.

I only knew about this race because CGI Racing hosts the Rutgers half marathon too. I had a really good experience last year at the Rutgers race, and really wanted to run in Philly.

The expo was at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies play. My brother went over earlier than I had planned because he was going to hang out a bit in the city. This worked out great for me because he was able to get my bib and save me the drive over. It was a really windy day and inside the stadium was bitterly cold.

They give really good swag too!

phillyswag

Long sleeved tech shirt, mug, and a voucher for 2 free Phillies tickets all tucked inside a clear tote bag!

I was out and about the night before and didn’t get home until 3:00 in the morning. That left 3 hours to sleep before a race. Not the best idea! The plan was for my brother to swing by and get me on the way to the start, we’d grab some coffee and go. He got to my house right on time but that’s when he told me the heat in his truck wasn’t working! Um..what?!!? It was 27 degrees out and windy. We need heat! We couldn’t take my car in case the hubs needed it (we only have one car) This is when I decided I would definitely grab a small cup of coffee. I usually don’t drink any before a race/run but since we were stopping anyway and I was freezing, figured a few sips wouldn’t hurt.

We found our way to the start easy enough but I didn’t read into the whole parking stuff online. I really didn’t even think about it. That was so stupid! Sunday morning in Philly is not a good time to be searching for parking. Typical city with lots of one way streets and no parking anywhere. We finally found a $10 park-all-day lot a few blocks from the start. We parked, paid and checked the time. Just after 8:00. OOPS. The race STARTED at 8:00, and we were just over a mile away. By the time we would have gotten a cab we could have walked so we started walking towards the start and hoped they would still let us go. They were starting to take down the fencing but we were able to jump in and go. Pretty sure we crossed the timing mats at 8:25, dead last. I’m not a fast runner and have started in the last wave/corral before, but never last! That was different.

start1philly

No one around!

At that point, our toes were numb from being so cold and the wind was pushing us backwards! My brother decided to stay back with this slow lady and we did a walk/run the entire time. The course was really pretty!

phillymariott

And it was a lot of fun passing places I know. Like the Convention Center and the Marriott that’s attached to it.

startphilly

Just about a mile in, we started to catch the tail end of the runners. We passed a few here and there before settling into a little groove and sticking with the same few people.

My hamstrings were on fire. This has never happened to me before. Usually I get shin pain for the first few miles and then they loosen up and it goes away. I’ve had knee and IT band pain before but never hamstrings. When I wanted to run, I couldn’t and it was frustrating. It kind of felt like something was taking the muscle and twisting it into a ball. I walked a lot more than I would have like and ran down as many hills as I could, knowing that would trash my quads later.

We talked and laughed and had a good time. We passed so many beautiful sections of Philly and I was bummed I forgot to take pictures! There were quite a few hills. I knew of one big one around mile 8 or so and when we finally got up it, the woman we were running near said “that hill was disrespectful” It was probably the funniest thing I’ve ever heard during a race.

The finish was at the Art Museum, you know…the Rocky steps. We crossed the finish in a slow and atrocious 3:19:18. A far cry from either of our PRs but since I can’t keep up with his normal pace, glad to have been able to stick together the entire time.

finishlinephilly
Art Museum

We got our medals and grabbed our food goodie bags. I tell you, they pack these bags! We each had peanut butter and jelly encrustable, philly soft pretzel, banana, butterscotch krimpet, a bite size peanut chew, and a water. We walked over to the Washington Monument to sit and snack a little before heading back to the car.

phillystatue

medalphilly

After we snacked, we walked back to the car and headed home.

Poor training, lack of sleep, and a late start did not make this a PR run but I never take races too seriously. I’m there to have fun and enjoy the course. This was a good one and I definitely hope to be able to do it again!

I bought a finish line picture yesterday but it isn’t available to download yet.

I’m getting excited for the Rutgers race this weekend, which will qualify me for half fanatics!

And of course, the picture was available for download hours after I posted my recap…

DFO_7442 (3)-(ZF-4587-54044-1-001)