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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Pegasus! Our New Puppy!

I LOVE DOGS!!  Ryan and I have been looking at puppies, rescue dogs, big, small short hair, and mostly skinny dogs for quite awhile now.  He isn't gaga over them, but I sure am. I used to have a couple Italian Greyhounds that I absolutely adored.  But I've been empty nesting it, dog less for about 3 years now. So last week we took the plunge and got a sweet lil Westiepoo named Pegasus.  I had chosen her name a few hours prior to picking her up and decided to name her after my 2nd favorite running shoe, the Nike Pegasus.  We picked her and a few things up last Wednesday, including her papers, and much to my delight her fathers name…Nike! I freaked out and yelled across the pet store to Ry.  The lady helping me looked at me like I was crazy, so I explained my excitement.  She just smiled.  I love coincidences so I was pumped. 

At first I had a lot of anxiety over house training and crate training her.  Like the kind that made me feel guilty for leaving the house.  Then during my tempo last Friday, I thought about the things I have given up for running.  The reality is I want to be a good runner, and if this lil angel face pup was going to stress me out so much that I can't live normally.  I wouldn't be able to keep her. So while running my tempo, I told myself if I was too stressed out to do it.  She would have to go.  GOOD NEWS!!! I rocked the tempo and came home to a clean crate with a resting puppy in it!  She has only had one accident in her crate since in the past 4 days and has taken a liking to being an awesome lil gal to train.  While it tests my patience to have to watch and care for something all of the time, it is good for me, and I am actually enjoying it.  Ryan is fantastic with her, and I think he secretly loves her more than he says he does.  Ill make him a dog guy yet! haha!!  

My training is going well and I am only a few days away from racing at the Perry Rotary Turkey Trot!  I can't wait to test my fitness level!  Last week at the track I had a pretty good session of 8x 1k repeats.  They felt hard from the first one, and never really felt settled, but I knew they were making me stronger for the upcoming track season and ultimately for the marathon I choose to run next year!  I was struggling on #7 but managed to only be 1 second off.  Finally on the last one, I knew it would take care of itself.  But for probably the first time I can remember, I was running as hard as I could and the last one didn't!  I was 6 seconds slow!  I really can not remember an interval workout where I couldn't hit the last interval, after making it through the rest of the workout prior.  It was a little weird.  I just looked at Glenn, shrugged, and said "well I guess I only had 7 in me" haha!  As expected the next 2 days I was tired, and kept the runs pretty easy.  Felt great on Friday once I got moving and ran a solid 8 mile tempo starting at 6:15 and cutting down to 5:34.  

I can't wait to get to the starting line on thursday and more excitingly to the start lines of 1 mile and 3k at an indoor meet at Kent Dec. 7th!  I am excited for a couple of races and then to get back to training for 5 weeks prior to my first track 5k of 2014!! 

Sleeping Beauty

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oh I Just Can't Get Enough

When I am not running I am usually thinking about running in some form or another. I have planned the vast majority of the last 18 years around easy runs, races, workouts, core, and watching others run.  I work in run specialty as a manager of a shoe store, so my day looks like this most of the time.  Wake up, breakfast, run, work in a running shop, get to talk to others about running, lunch, talk to my co-workers about their running, run again, dinner, hangout with Ryan or my running buddies, and get to bed so I can get up and feel good (or as good as possible) for my next run.

My dreams even look a lot like this some nights!

When I am sitting around doing "nothing" I am usually blogging about running, looking up races, reading coaching material, working on plans for the athletes I coach, reading other running material like race results, season polls, or other runners blogs, and looking over the years of data I have collected.  I have kept a running log since I started running when I was 12, so I can compare my current fitness to the past and I often do.  Some people think it is overkill, too much, and would make them hate running.  But not me it makes me love it more, get more excited about the community I am around as a runner, and excited about upcoming races.  I have a pretty single minded focus on running.

I love having my life filled with running!  I enjoy learning through others running and being a part of other peoples journey toward their goals.  It doesn't matter if they want to run for fitness or become an Olympian, I love it. Yes I am a bit of a dork and the number side of running appeals to me a lot.  I enjoy looking at workouts and hypothesizing what that means for my athletes, friends and my own upcoming races. I even go as far as to secretly write down times I believe people will race and get giddy when I am close!  I love it. I play fantasy track and field with myself, and when I guessed the outcome of the women's MAC meet in 2008 within .5 points for every team (there was a HJ tie I didn't account for) I proudly posted my three pages of calculations on my bedroom door for my roommates to see.  Yep I am a running nerd.  It doesn't overwhelm me, it fans the flame to make me want to do more to see what can happen if you, me, or anyone pushes their limits and gets rid of the doubt and just goes for it.  It makes me want to dream bigger, train harder, recover more effectively (a little less going out wouldn't be a bad decision on my part), and put my nose to the grinding stone daily to see what I am capable of. Our limits as athletes give us chances, and for me chances are the fascination.  Even writing this got me a little excited for my tempo tomorrow! haha! The fact is I JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH!

Ry and I racing this summer.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just a Few Weeks Until Racing Begins 2013-2014

Things are continuing to go well and I am getting excited about some upcoming races here in the near future.  As my mind drifts to the track day in and day out, I can not wait to lace up my spikes!  I love spikes!  They make me feel quick and ready to go! It is had to believe I haven't had these beauties on since August!
My Favorite spike Victory XC
I wear XC spikes for track, but these are no normal XC spike.  They don't have the standard rubber outsole, and they have a carbon plate for great energy return from all surfaces, yet they don't make me run on my toes quite as much, so my ever complaining Achilles keeps its little mouth shut! Plus who doesn't love purple and pink plaid?  

I will be racing in my flats one more time prior to lacing those bad boys up.  Thanksgiving in Northeast Ohio can be 60 degrees and sunny, well mostly sunny, we only have 51 days of complete sun here a year and the majority of them do not happen after September.  Or it can be 25 degrees and sleeting.  That was the case the last time I ran the Perry Rotary Turkey Trot in 2010.  None the less the course is quite flat and if you want to run fast, it is a great place to give it a go.  Either weather is fine, though I prefer 50 and overcast. I will grace the city of Canton in my spankies and sports bra once again this year and hopefully no one informs me to "put some clothes on".  You see, the last time I raced there my mom yelled that at me…she was joking.  But a good friend of mine didn't know she was my mom and nearly ripped her head off.  It was hilarious!  Thanks for having a good sense of humor about my attire mom! Ryan and Lizzie plan to race too and that will make the day even more fun! I am not sure how fit I am but since things are going well I will hope to run faster than I have there in the past 16:56. So my fingers are crossed! 

Last week's 10 mile tempo went off without a hitch averaging 6:07, and then tuesday's track workout was a little quicker, yet manageable with 12x600@1:56-1:57 so my legs won't be in shock coming though the mile around 5:20. Then its time to be tough, and see what I can do over the last 2 miles! 

After that I will get to lace up those beautiful spikes for a mile and 3k indoors at Kent on December 7th.   That for me is when the fun begins.  I set a goal of breaking 16:00 this year for 5k, and I hope to be seeing 16:teens indoors in order to get me into some bigger track meets during the outdoor season.  Being less than a month away from racing on the track has me feeling like Pavlov's dog when a bell starts ringing. 
Hopefully when we come across the finish line Glenn has a big smile on his face and keeps writing faster workouts to direct us toward our goals!  So over the next few weeks I head out the door, even in the snow I hate, because its almost time to let the fun begin!  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finally seeing a little fitness!

As the weeks progress since my injury in late August, I am FINALLY starting to feel like my old self!  I had a little Achilles flare up, but only because it was cold out.  After a little TLC and a massage, it is feeling a lot better!  For a few weeks I felt pretty terrible.  My easy runs were fine, but my workouts felt like I was in way over my head.  The times my watch was showing me lead me to a bit of a panic during intervals and I was worried I would be in this awkward sorta fit, but not ready to race phase for longer than I had hoped. But last week's tempo showed up and proved me wrong!  I was able to average under 6:00 pace feeling in control and comfortable!  I was surprised and excited.  My long run went as planned and aside from my achilles being a bit tender was fun and uneventful!

Tuesday track workouts have been a struggle during longer intervals, and running much under 5:35 pace was quite a challenge, so when I saw the workout on Tuesday night, I was a little nervous! 1600@ 5:35, 4x400@80, 1600@5:30, 4x400@80, and 1600@5:25.  But as the workout went I felt great and for the first time in over a month in control of the paces I was asked to hit. Jess and I were even a bit quick for all of them!  It was awesome to feel like things are going back in the right direction!

I plan to race a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning in Canton, and then it's to the track for a mile and 3k on Dec. 7th!  I am getting excited to see what sort of shape we are really in with some racing!
Relaxing with some pups while visiting Ry's family this weekend.