Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Power Ice

Yesterday after work I headed out with the Athens Running Company for one of their (back-to-) regular Thursday evening group runs. They did these for a while, then stopped, but now they're back! I've been struggling with motivation towards the end of this Run Streak, so I figured a group run was a great opportunity to ensure I went more than a mile on a hot, hot evening, and to avoid the treadmill at the same time. Success.
However, running at 6:30 in the afternoon also has its challenges - namely, that little thing called summer. You know, 90+ degrees and 90+% humidity. Gross. Count me out, mkay?
Maybe I should have stuck with the treadmill. Lucky for me, I got some frozen treats to make this heat-ridden time of year a little more bearable. We all know I'll run for anything frozen - popsicles, ice cream, ice-pops, daiquiris... you name it, I'm game.
Yes, that includes running to Baskin Robbins.
At any rate, my super awesome new friends at Power Ice sent me some samples to try a few weeks ago - I was super excited to finally try them because they've been taunting me in my freezer. I got to try two sweet flavors - Lime Kicker and Orange Blast. I've never been a fan of anything artificially orange, so I'll say that first as a disclaimer.
But these things were tasty! They recommend eating one 15-20 minutes before your activity and as soon after as possible to aid in cool down. I ate one on the way to meeting up for the run, and one as soon as I got home... 
So why is frozen so good for you? Does this mean I get to go eat ice cream before and after I run? Well I can't afford such things but I would love to inhale a BR double-scoop cone every day. Since I can't, I'll stick with these for now. 
{ info }
And best yet, these guys have only 30 calories a pop, aren't laced with caffeine and are gluten-free and kosher. Sounds like a good deal to me. 
{ info }
And now... lucky for you, they've let me decide to do what I want with my awesome stash of Power Ice. While I'd love to hoard them for myself, I decided to split each pack and send you your own 6-pack (three of each flavor) to try for yourself! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Giveaway is open through midnight on Wednesday, July 3. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Opinions are my own, but I hope you like these as much as I did!

Even if you don't win, PowerIce is offering all of you a discount code for 10% any order through July 19th. Feel free to share however you see fit! Discount code is Sporty10 and you can order at Power Ice

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Track Tuesday 20

The Run Streak has got my right calf all kinds of grumpy lately - not hurting, but certainly reminding me that I need to stretch more than I do - which you know, is like never. Seriously. Runner fail. After last night's progressive 3-miler, I should have stretched more than I did (which is not at all), or at least taken it a bit easier last night. Oops.

This morning was warm - almost 70 degrees at 5 am - and I felt it from the start. I knew we were in for a tough morning. Little did I know how tough. Coach Al's been talking about setting us out for a full 800m workout, but we haven't gotten it in yet. Today was the day...

800s. Here we go. He said I should be on track for about 3:30 in each 800 set - and well.. I delivered. At least one:

1. 3:30
2. 3:32
3. 3:34
4. 3:38
5: 3:42

I was supposed to set on the sixth with almost every one else and about 100m in, my quad seized again, like it did about two weeks ago. With all the traveling lately, I think it finally caught up with me. Not to mention having never done an 800 workout, setting myself up to be sure I'd make it through without hurting. Oh well. Set off on a cool down walk/jog, headed home, and walked Molly to really stretch it out. Tonight's agenda includes stretching (for real) and stick-rolling the heck out of my leg. At least the sunrise made it worth getting up.

Joining us for Track Tuesday this week? Make sure you link up in comments below!

How do you hold yourself accountable during traveling - especially with your fitness? And jumping back in the game after you're home and back in the swing of things? Tips?

Monday, June 24, 2013

#RWRunStreak Week 4


So, Summer Run Streak is winding down! We're headed into our last full week - the last week is only 4 days, ending on July Fourth. Can you believe it? How is June almost over? Insanity.

This week was just as long as last week and certainly made for a less than stellar set up for some good mileage. Traveling again makes for a really difficult time in adjusting and getting yourself out there - funny to think how committed I was last year and ran ... on a boat! Almost all my runs this week were on the treadmill, which we all I know I hate more than Gu (that's a lot, FYI), and was some sheer mental torture. Week survived, but not by much!

Monday, June 17: 1.25  miles

Treadmill miles, nothing terribly exciting. I tried to push it a little bit, and did this in just over 11 minutes for a low 9-something pace. Not bad, all things considered.

Tuesday, June 18: 2.10 miles
Travels for the week - do you know where I was? I got these miles done on a warm but beautiful morning - I think I was just happy to be outside and not on a treadmill! What a relief.

More on this locale later this week! 

Wednesday, June 19: 1.00 miles
More treadmill miles - woo?

Thursday, June 20: 1.00 miles
You guessed it - treadmill mile! I got back to Georgia early Thursday morning from a red-eye during which I slept maybe an hour and a half. It was pretty close to as terrible as you can get. I managed to get myself to the apartment gym Thursday night for a lousy, slow, stupid mile.

Friday, June 21: 2.32 miles
Despite being just as tired as Thursday, Friday morning was my only chance to get my miles in, so I got up and out the door before 7 to get some mileage in around the neighborhood. I wanted to go a little further but just couldn't get into it - and was pushing it on time anyway.
Friday night HP had a gathering at DBA BBQ (om nom nom) for part 1 of her going away celebrations. She's moving to San Francisco! I am so excited for her - but I know she's certainly going to be missed around here, given the sheer number of people that came out to celebrate. Dinner and drinks followed at the Family Dog - I drove home that night (which I regret) and managed to make it home at the ungodly hour of 1:15 am. Poor decision.

Saturday, June 22: 4.01 miles
I set off to get in a good run with the Road Runners this morning - but after that drive back from Atlanta, I barely rolled myself out of bed to even go. But I missed them so much! Only a few people split off do to the 3-miler, but I figured I'd suck it up and do the 6-mile loop, figuring that Peachtree isn't that far away and I haven't done any decent long runs in a while. Yeah, that sucked. I cut out early and ran back for an almost exactly even 4 miles.

Sunday, June 23: 3.11 miles 
Sunday was pretty stupendous - laundry, TV, and a whole lot of nothing. Olivia and I took the pups to the dog park; I came up with the genius idea of running home from the park afterwards, so I could be sure to get my numbers on the chart for today. That idea turned into the even more genius idea of me running to Baskin Robbins while Olivia dropped the girls off at home - so my run literally ended in the BR parking lot. Best. Idea. Ever. Highly suggested for a warm, summer evening!
Yep, good idea.

Total Week Miles: 14.79
Total Streak Miles:  61.26

Erica killed her half marathon yesterday morning and while Tina and I knew it was coming, we didn't entirely adequately pull a lead early in the game. So Erica's up for this week. Snaps for Erica! One full week left to go - who's going to pull ahead?

How did you do on Week 4?Do you ever run to go get ice cream and feel less guilty? Flavor of choice?

Monday, June 17, 2013

#RWRunStreak Week 3


So, Summer Run Streak Week 3 is now in the books too. This week was rough, after recovering from Sunday night's red-eye back from the left coast for the weekend, and trying to catch up on life and settling back in. I felt exhausted all week, like I never really caught up from 4.5 crappy hours of sleep on that flight back. With that, though, I managed to get in my miles, even made it to our 5:30 am track sesh on Wednesday, and to just keep going... as rough as it was!

Week 3 the books! Just over two weeks two go - can I pass last year's mileage? We'll see!

Monday, June 10: 1.01  miles

One easy quick mile after work to ensure I got my mile in. After wanting to do nothing but sleep, I'm happy I got this far!

Tuesday, June 11: 1.55 miles
Made up in the morning to get it done - got a little extra distance in, which felt good, but I still feel like I'm stuck in that 1-mile zone and would really like to bust out of that!

Wednesday, June 12: 2.75 miles
Back at track practice this morning and it felt soooooo good! An awesome half-ladder workout to start the day is a good day in the making. But you can read all about that here. And then, obviously, like most runners in America, I spent my Wednesday night driving just over an hour in each direction (okay, that's probably not the 'most' part) to get inspired with this:
I haven't talked about this yet, or in awhile, but yes, I have another marathon itch. Now knowing that I can even just do a 26.2 mile race is good, but not good enough. I hope to start training for a race in late fall or winter and see what I can actually do when I train for time. More on that soon!

Thursday, June 13: 1.30 miles
Done. It was supposed to storm nearly all of the evening, and it sure did - some nasty winds and beautiful lightning, but the power was flickering so much, I didn't even want to attempt a mile on the treadmill at the gym. So Molly and I walked about .3  miles and called it a day when the lightning came back full-force. Oh well?

Friday, June 14: 1.25 miles
Finally got my butt out of bed - it was way too muggy from Thursday's storm to want to run outisde, so I finished my Thursday mileage and added on a little extra to break past this exactly-one-mile funk.Screw you, #RWRunStreak, and dear self: you don't always need to be so competitive!
Saturday, June 15: 1.01 miles
It happened. Like much of this week, it happened just barely.

Sunday, June 16: 2.5 miles 
Here's a shocking revelation for you, friends: the faster you run on the treadmill, the faster it's over. I know, I know, you didn't see that one coming. You're welcome for making your dreadmill time now seemingly bearable. ;)

Total Week Miles: 11.37 mi
Total Streak Miles:  46.47 mi

A super duper shout out to Tina because she totally killed this week and pulled ahead of me by almost 4 miles, and ahead of Erica by nearly ten. Killer. Snaps for Tina!

How did you do on Week 3? Goals for Week 4?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago today (day-wise) I graduated high school (if it was date-wise, it was yesterday). Friday, June 13, 2003. Yep, we graduated on Friday the 13th! I think it turned out to be lucky, but that might just be me. There are a few times where I feel like No way it's been ten  years, and certainly more times where I can affirm that Yep, it's definitely been ten years.

I graduated 12th in my class of about 580 - I was really angry at the time that I just squeaked out of the top 10. Does that matter now? I'm going to go with no.

High school was an interesting experience. I joined soccer, of course, and started with the summer league that our varsity coach ran each year with local high schools, but also that he and the junior varsity coaches could scope out incoming players and see how returners were shaping up. I remember being a nervous wreck that first summer game! I wanted to play JV so badly. I made the freshman team (frosh/soph we called it) and made the A squad - there were so many girls that year, that the coach had three different squads (base, A and B). Depending on which squad you were on, you played either the main line up (base) or home (A) or away (B). I was thankful to have that at least, and certainly worked hard.
Freshman year soccer.
Sophomore and junior years I played junior varsity - finally - and was so excited! I don't remember what position I played sophomore year (I think probably midfield), but junior year I found myself playing sweep in back with my then-bestie, Erica, in goal. We were quite the team together and I absolutely loved taking on a new challenge in a new position. We moved together and played varsity together senior year, only I moved back up to half in a starting position on the left side. If I was along our sideline, Coach Bec would regularly shout commands or tell me what to do in Spanish; I still laugh at the thought of totally throwing off some opponents who were shocked that I'd understand every word he'd say to me - especially the girls who spoke Spanish themselves. More on Spanish later!
Varsity soccer, senior year.

My freshman year, by an odd chance because of a class schedule that I needed to change, I also ended up in journalism 1. I intended for it to be an elective, just to get me through, but ended up falling in love with the program. My senior year, I served as Editor in Chief of our paper and even applied to colleges as an intended journalism major. My journalism teacher and I had a deal - I'd go to college, get my degree in journalism, get my Master's in English, get my teaching credential, and by the time I was done with that, he'd be retiring so I could just take this spot. If that was only how it worked! - but it sounded like a good deal to me. I loved writing, and always had, so in the end journalism just seemed to fit.

My best friend my freshman year went to high school across town, at our rival school. She and I knew each other through soccer, having met in 8th grade, and connected over our love of the sport and obsessing over the Backstreet Boys. After freshman year, I went through this phase (that's what we'll call it, yes, a phase) where I wanted to transfer to that school so badly so I felt like I could fit in. Little did I realize, I was making friends and had plenty of people around me that would become some great friends during those years. Oh, fourteen-year-old drama!

Doug and I met freshman year. We were originally in the same English class together (Mr. Lowell, sixth period), and when my classes changed (much like journalism above), I also ended up in his history class. Second semester we also had Spanish and math together and I spent most of the semester wreaking havoc with him in geometry (honors, no less) - either by sticking Cheerios in the ponytail of the girl who sat in front of him (she had some curly hair like nobody's business and would never know) and then laughing when he got caught sleeping against the back wall. We started dating junior year - yep, do that math. It's been a looooong time. :)
We were required to take two years of a foreign language in order to graduate (or maybe that was just California college admissions standards; now I can't remember), but I ended up taking Spanish all four years. I liked it freshman year, loved it sophomore year, and just felt that it came easy to me, so I stuck with it for two more years. During my sophomore year, my friend Stacy dubbed me "Mexican Megan," because of the ease with which I picked up the language and habits and how grammar worked. I continued to thrive and loved it - it also didn't help that our varsity soccer coach was our Spanish 3 and 4 teacher and I absolutely adored him. Coach Bec was funny, encouraged you in all aspects, and loved making fun of anyone who had those moments. I'll forever remember one test in Spanish 4, where we were learning new animal names and there was a photo of a whale; lots of people insisted that 'whale' wasn't in the chapter's vocabulary list and he looked up and said "Megan knows what it is." While it wasn't in the list, he had specifically pointed it out earlier in the chapter and said to remember it - so I did. Ballena, whale. The AP Spanish test was the only AP test I ended up getting credit for as I entered college the next year (ah the irony).

I was one of a handful of kinds that ended up going out of state to college - I think only a couple more because of athletic scholarships and opportunities, but at the time I was bound and determined to get out of California. Little did I know how homesick I'd become and that I desperately wanted home that first freshman semester - I had even looked intro transferring schools, going back home, and starting over there. I really struggled, but of course I couldn't tell that was going to happen. I was just excited about living somewhere new and finding a new home in Arizona!

I was a goody two-shoes in high school. That's still rough to admit, admittedly, but I can at least say it now, when ten years ago I probably wouldn't have told you so. I worked hard at my academics, earning the high grade on the varsity soccer squad senior year, and graduated with above a 4.0 with wieghted grades. I did soccer and the newspaper all four years, and worked my first part-time job the second half of my senior year. I was glad high school was done when it was. I was ready for a new adventure, and was certainly burned out by the time spring of senior year rolled around. My first C (ever, in a class) came in the fall in AP government, and I dropped it in the spring for a lower-level government class just to get through. I don't regret that - even though Doug and I just talked about those classes and how he thinks I could have gotten through. This is coming from the guy who also tutored me in AP calculus because I also hated math - ask me why I took that class, because I still couldn't tell you!

I wish I had more photos to share, but they're all at home at my parents' house. Maybe another day! For now, hope you enjoyed my high school ramblings - more to come, certainly. Our reunion is in October back in California (funny enough, where our grad night celebrations were), and I am hoping to be able to make it. More reminiscing to come then, certainly!

Did you go to your high school's ten year reunion? What were you like in high school?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Track Tuesday 19

The Run Streak hasn't really made my legs feel all that tired, surprisingly. However, I will say that after this morning, I was certainly feeling it.

This morning was warm, but not unbearable, but humid as you can only imagine. Even the fence was 'sweating' because the air was so thick. Nasty. Poor choice in wearing a short-sleeve tee (side note: need to order more tanks to run in this summer or I'll die). Al had us set up for a half-ladder workout: 1 mile, half mile, 400 m, and 200 m, book-ended by a warm up and cool down, of course.

The mile felt good - for once I actually felt consistent, and after it was done, Al confirmed that nearly every 400 lap was almost completely even. Success! The half mile was rough, but felt good and the pace was on target from the miler (even a little quicker). As we headed out into the 400 though, my quad totally seized and cramped and for once.. I stopped and got to the side. Walked it out for a bit, and let them finish and get their 200 m sprint too. Afterwards, I felt good enough to give a 400 a go - also a success, but certainly sore. Rolling is definitely in the future again today and for the next few - whew! Not a happy way to end the morning.

.75 warm up (8:00/10:40 pace)
1 mile (7:31/7:31 pace)
.5 mile (3:27/6:54 pace)
.25 mile (1:36/6:24 pace)
.25 cool down (2:30/10:00 pace )

I probably should have cooled down more but I knew I had a puppy waiting for me at home to get walking too, so that works out. I love Wednesday mornings!

Today is also set out to be an awesome day -- who all is going to see Spirit of the Marathon tonight? I absolutely loved Spirit of the Marathon - I watched it last year on the flight home from Hungary and felt totally and completely inspired. That was after only half marathon #1, a month before #2, and two months before what came to be the day I signed up for my first full. I tell you, inspirational!

Spirit II features "the personal journeys of a new cast of seven athletes as they run the iconic streets of Rome, Italy, the film also includes interviews with marathon greats such as Stefano Baldini, Paula Radcliffe, Frank Shorter and many others."
I'm heading down to Atlanta this evening after work to meet up with a few lovely ladies to take this all in. It's in theaters tonight only, so don't miss out if you want to find a little inspiration!

Joining us for Track Tuesday this week? Make sure you link up in comments below!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#RWRunStreak: Week 2 & Weekend Wrap Up


So, Summer Run Streak Week 1 is down and it feels pretty darn good. It's really motivating and fun to see the Twitter feed of all those participating - and using that as extra motivation when I need it most. This week was difficult - while I'm still enjoying running naked (sans-Garmin, if you're new to these parts) and running for the sake of running, it's tough to balance that with the thought that "I have to run today or I won't be streaking anymore!" It's going to take some fine-tuning the next few weeks as I try to manage that .

The Week 2 recap:

Monday, June 3 (8): 2.0 miles

By the time Monday evening rolled around, the last thing I wanted to go do was run - so I headed to the apartment gym, vowed that I'd only do a mile. I hopped and set the dreadmill to 9:40, just to push myself a little, and felt so decent (shocker!) that I kept on going and dropped the Mile 2 pace to a 9:31 (first 1/2), 9:13 (400 m) and 7:35 (400 m) pace. I was sweating buckets by the end. Success.

Tuesday, June 4 (9): 2.35 miles

I know part of my challenge has been getting up in the mornings - but especially on Tuesdays, I don't want to run in the evenings because of our Wednesday morning track workouts. Peeled myself out of bed and aimed to get in at least 2 miles - morning success! Beautiful morning temperature-wise and loved starting my day this way!

Wednesday, June 5 (10): 4.0 miles + 3.0 miles = 7 mile day! 
The first run of the day came along with my regular Wednesday track workout. Tough workout, but good. Surprisingly my legs weren't all that tired after work, and being that it was National Running Day, the ARR had a group run and cookout planned, even despite the thunderstorms schedule. 3 more miles on the day? Why not! 
ARR group runners.
Thursday, June 6 (11): 2.50 miles
Had to get in morning miles, as I was hopping on a plane after work to LA for the weekend - morning was cool which felt awesome, but per usual (thanks summertime), I was drenched in the humidity. A great way to start the day - hopefully I'll get more of these morning runs in again soon!

Friday, June 7 (12): 1.52 miles

I managed to convince Doug to come run with me! So we took a quick running tour of his neighborhood around the community loop. Intentionally did not get too far, as we spent the afternoon at Disneyland and were trying to save some energy and leg power for Saturday's 5K.
Saturday, June 8 (13): Ontario Mills 5K, 3.14 mi
My dad's first 5K! Doug and I went to run it as well, and in a last-minute decision, my uncle came and ran too! Fast, flat course, but after 10-11 hours on my legs at Disneyland the night before, it was a little hard. I PRed by 2 seconds, but know I could have given a lot more than that. Ah well, Disney was worth the sacrifice! :)

5K recap coming on Friday - though it's nothing to write home about, but it was a good race.

Saturday afternoon, Doug and I went to lunch with my grandparents and other uncle, to ensure I got some grandparent time in over my short visit home for the weekend. After that, it was finally relaxing for a bit and getting off to Cal State Fullerton and another wedding!
The wedding was absolutely beautiful - the aisle was through that canopied gazebo you see above there, and she had done nearly all the decorations herself. It got cool outside quite fast, but was a fun time. It was also odd only knowing Doug, and he himself only knowing about three or four other people there - a far cry from the Atlanta wedding we were just at in May!

Sunday, June 9 (14): 1.01 mi
Treadmill miles. Boo.

Looking forward to getting back in some outside runs this week - I need some morning sunshine boosts! There's been lots of rain lately, too, which has made for some new challenges. Moving on to week 3, and maintaining that first place status with Tina and Erica! Keep it up ladies!

How did you do on Week 2? Goals for Week 3?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Fun

Hello from sunny California! Not that Georgia isn't sunny, but hello, then, from sunny, dry California! I'm out for the weekend for one of Doug's co-worker's weddings, but took the opportunity to get to one of my favorite places ever:

WOO! Doug and I are playing around here all day today - so excited! We had a pretty good tradition of going every Christmas, but haven't made it in a few years for one reason or another, so he threw out the idea of throwing in a Disney Day while I was out this weekend. Yes. Please.

Tomorrow morning, Doug, and I are running a 5K at Ontario Mills - fast, easy, flat. Better yet, my dad is joining us - at 53, my dad's running his first 5K ever! I am so so so excited he's doing this with us and am excited to be able to cheer him in. So proud. More on that on Monday - but send him some virtual love tomorrow!

After that, it's the wedding and all kinds of related fun, chilling with my parents on Sunday, and then a red-eye back to Atlanta and straight to work Monday morning. Sounds like a fun way to end the weekend, no?

What are your exciting weekend plans? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day

Why do you run? Make your own at:
National Running Day 2013
I feel like I've really come to identify with the word "runner" over the last year. Not that I wasn't a runner before, because surely I'd put on whatever clearanced, or discounted running shoes I had and go for a jog here and there, but over the last year, I've certainly taken the term runner to full steam.

Since last year's National Running Day, I've:
  • Run 771.42 miles
  • Completed 23 races, ranging from 5Ks to my first full marathon
  • Ran my first full marathon!
  • Cut down my half marathon time from 2:18 to 2:01
Ran in races ranging from Disney World to back-woods Maryland at 3 am, pushed myself so much harder than I ever thought I could, and achieved so much. It's been a pretty incredible last 365 days. But enough about that... on to tonight's fun with the Athens Road Runners!

Wednesdays as you know, are track mornings for those that choose to peel themselves out of bed to be at the track at 5:30 am. So it was nice seeing a whole non-regular group of faces and some of the regulars too - 11 of us this morning! New record, and it was nice to have a little new competition!
We met up with both the Road Runners and the newly formed Couch to 5K crew - about 40 folks and the few mentors they have for the program already. The bunch you see above did our own easy 3 miles, and the 5K group did their own at their pace. Rockin' three miles for me after the morning we had! Happy times. Afterwards we all contributed to an awesome potluck BBQ at Memorial Park here in town. The rain held off - it didn't rain a drop during our run or during dinner. Thank you, weather, for cooperating.

And because it's National Running Day and I like fun facts... I leave you with a slew of them. The awesome folks at Running USA did a pretty large, comprehensive survey of runners (both men and women), though women's answers/averages are below. I didn't even include everything they reported, but you can read more here

Typical U.S. Female Runner
Average Age: 39.3 I'm 27.
60.7% Married Nope.
77.8% College educated Certainly am!
70.8% Earn a household income of $75,000+ In my dreams, yo.

Running History
Average number of years running: 9.6 You can say through soccer, I've been running since I was 5. But solely as a runner, on and off for 4ish years, seriously for the last almost-3.
Average number of running events participated in during the last 12 months: 7.1 Lots more than that! 23, as noted above.
49.2% have completed 1 marathon or more in their lifetime One and done! Nah, there's more in my future. Let's be honest.

Running Routine
66.8% Run/Jog 4+ hours each week In an average week, probably close to that. During this #RWRunStreak, a bit more than that!
76.1% run 12 months a year Truth.
Average number of days run per week: 3.9 On average, 4-5 days a week. Again, the run streak is a different story!
Average number of miles run per week: 20.2 Probably closer to 25 normally, but close!
64.8% describe themselves as "Frequent/Fitness Runners" I'd say so.

Average Weight: 140.2 lbs Few pounds off.
Average Height: 65.01 inches / 5 feet, 5 inches Add an inch to me.
Average Body Mass Index (BMI): 23.3 Almost spot on.
39.0% are content with their weight Meh. If I ate the way I should for the way I run (frequency), I'd be at least 8-10 pounds lighter. Content is a touchy word.
41.0% are content with their fitness level Yes!

Are you average female runner? What did you do to celebrate National Running Day?

Track Tuesday 18

Given that I skipped last week (completely), I was amped up last night about getting to today's session. Let's see how that worked out for me...

First off, seeing a 70 degree wake up call at 5 am is well... not nice. Also note that humidity level. Ugggggh. Good morning to me!

It was unbelievable to see eleven of us roll out this morning for our track day - the highest number we've seen on a Wednesday morning ever, and nearly double the norm lately (there's been about five of us for the last month or so). Quite a few newbies, including my friend Bettina, so it was awesome! As one couple said, "We've been avoiding it for awhile, but what better day to finally start than National Running Day?" Perfection.

Bettina joined ARR a few weeks ago, but hasn't made it out to a run yet because she's in training for her new job  and doing other important vet-like things. She asked me earlier this week about coming out on Wednesday, and lucky for her.. I convinced her to. I'm such the encourager. 

Bettina survived her first track day!
First the first time, Al set us up for a 200 m series workout - I've heard these are tough, but man! Are they ever. There were so many of us, we split into two groups and did them in sets, 200 m sprint followed by a 200 m rest back, and continued the cycle for a total of 8 200s for (most of) us, and up to 10 for a few folks who are all kinds of crazy pants. 8 was enough for me today - those suckers are not easy.

Being that I'm still running naked, and there were too many of us to time us all, we didn't get times for all of them, but I'm certain mine all fell between 35 and 40 seconds. Fast. And they hurt. And my legs are tired today, already. But what a workout - glad to have made it out of bed today, unlike last week!

Joining us for Track Tuesday this week? Make sure you link up!

Tonight I'll have another post all about our National Running Day celebrations with the Athens Road Runners - group run and a potluck BBQ tonight at a park in town. Pretty excited! And that's more reading for you - double post Wednesday!

What are you doing for National Running Day?

Monday, June 3, 2013

#RWRunStreak: Week 1


So, Summer Run Streak Week 1 is down and it feels pretty darn good. It's really motivating and fun to see the Twitter feed of all those participating - and using that as extra motivation when I need it most. This week was difficult - while I'm still enjoying running naked (sans-Garmin, if you're new to these parts) and running for the sake of running, it's tough to balance that with the thought that "I have to run today or I won't be streaking anymore!" It's going to take some fine-tuning the next few weeks as I try to manage that .

I remember this being a challenge last year, but not as much as I'm already facing. Again, maybe that mental battle this year...

So here you go... the Week 1 recap:

Monday, May 27: 1.55 miles

I think I forgot what it was like to run in the summer, legitimately. That you either run before dawn or practically in the dark because otherwise you'll drown in your own sweat. You're welcome for that imagery. It was rough.

Tuesday, May 28: 1.25 miles
Intended on only going a mile or so to save my legs for Wednesday morning's track session - so I took Molly along, to force myself to keep it slow. She was probably not happy with that decision, but it seemed to work out well for me!

Wednesday, May 29: 2.25 miles
And then I didn't get out of bed for my track day - just couldn't peel myself out of bed, but that was for the better because when I finally did, my tummy was not happy. So, in hindsight, suppose that was the smarter decision. I ran after work instead, and learned the tough lesson (again) that really, I should be getting up to do these miles in the morning. 

Thursday, May 30: 3.42 miles
Got up in the morning, finally! Had a lovely (finally) more than 2 mile run along the neighborhood routes. The weather was awesome - only 66 degrees - but add in that 97% humidity and I wanted to choke. Can't I just ask for that temperature without the extra blanket of moisture in the air? Please?
Friday, May 31: 1.01 miles
It happened. Barely.

Saturday, June 1: 4.5 miles
Saturday morning group run with the Athens Road Runners, of course! I was contemplating the 6+-mile loop with them, but my legs felt so heavy, I didn't want to push it any more than that. This is only Week 1, after all - there's more to come! Great run though, enjoyed it, and had a solid pace overall.

Sunday, June 2: 1.6 miles
I woke up too late to run in the morning, so opted for the afternoon. I knew it was supposed to storm at some point, so I sucked it up and went to go check out the complex's renovated gym. I'd been on the treadmill for all of 3 minutes when the sky burst open and it poured - so I got a great (seriously) cool-down walk back home. Treadmills suck, in other news.

Much like last year, the first and foremost thing I'm learning this week is that I really need to take the time to stretch post-run. Not that I'm feeling tight or sore necessarily, but after pounding the pavement for 39 days straight, I know my legs will appreciate it.

In Week 2, I'm looking forward to racing a 5K on Saturday (my first 5K I'm racing since I started track workouts three months ago, so I'm excited to see what I can accomplish) and cheering on my dad through his first 5K EVER, a weekend in California, and continuing this streak... and my current first-place standing!

How did you do on Week 1? Goals for Week 2?