Friday, March 1, 2013

Fitness Friday: Taking a Break

I was lucky enough to get a break from the weather in New Hampshire,

and spend a few days soaking up the views in Florida.

I didn't realize how much I have been missing the color GREEN!

Like most runners, I take my running shoes on vacation. This was my first visit to my parents new place and the best way to really SEE the area is to go for a run. In true Floridian tradition, the morning I went for a run was rainy which makes it hard to take more than one picture while huddled under the protection of a tree.

The next day there was no resisting the beautiful sunny weather that came. I could have taken the typical mode of transportation,

but instead I took a nice leisurely walk. 

I might not have logged a lot of miles while in Florida, but I did relax and enjoy my break

Visiting Florida increased my hunger for Spring, but it also reminded me to stop and smell the roses of New Hampshire. Even though the weather may not be ideal at the moment, I can still get out and enjoy the pleasures of life here.

What are you enjoying right now?

Monday, February 25, 2013

TrainingTruths: A Work in Progress

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Only three weeks until we head to New York! Week 7 training went smoothly and I tried a new workout. Usually I just go out a log the miles, but lately I have been thinking about what I can do to improve as a runner and prepare to attempt a half marathon PR. 

#TrainingTruth: Running is a work in progress

Tuesday: My running partner was not feeling well, so instead of running together after school I hit the treadmill at home for my first Yasso 800 workout. After figuring out what 800 is on the treadmill, I went for it. It took me a while to figure out the speed for the pace I wanted, but here are the results from my first 6x800 interval workout:

1.5 mile warm up
.50 cool down 

After each 800, I did a 400 recovery. After doing some research, I found a treadmill cheat sheet that will help me pick the right speed to challenge myself a little more with my pace the next time.

Thursday: It was a tension-building day at work, so by the time we laced up for our six mile out & back run, I really needed it. What I didn't need was the strong headwinds and an obstacle course of snow & icy sidewalks. Usually I worry about my pace and going too fast, but the conditions forced me to focus on my running. Surprisingly we finished with a negative split.

Saturday: This week we followed the Manchester half marathon course for our long run. The hills were challenging and we kept getting caught at stoplights, but the overall pace was good. According to the McMillan Running Pace Calculator, my pace during long runs should be between 10:09 - 11:23.  
View from Mile 10

What are you working on?

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fitness Friday: There's No Place Like Home

The high school where I work is performing The Wizard of Oz. Last Saturday evening two of the kids, my husband and I went to see it. It was an amazing show and the student talent is out of this world!

from GHS Music on Facebook

Now, I'm not writing a musical recap, but the theme There's No Place Like Home has stayed with me since that night. It has been seven months since I was home to see my family and friends. Naturally, I miss them.

In May I will be going home to Cincinnati for a quick weekend visit and to run the Flying Pig Half Marathon. Even though I lived all those years in Ohio, I never participated in this event. My running adventures started about two years before I moved and they were small. My "big" race back then was this 10K and nothing at all like the 13.1 mile course I will be facing.

I love that I can combine running with a family visit. Unfortunately, my dad no longer lives in Cincinnati, so I have to make a trip to Florida to see him (yes, I HAVE to!). Lucky for me, that trip starts on Monday. 

Do you ever combine travel, family, and fitness?


Monday, February 18, 2013

TrainingTruths: NYC Half Week 6

Busy, busy, busy.

That is the best way to describe last week.  Between work, kids, sporting events, and appointments, it is nothing short of amazing that I was still able to get in all of my workouts. 

I'm feeling good about my running base - my average run distance is 6 miles. It's the long runs that always worry me. I have a tendency to go out too fast and run out of steam at the end. My goal is to train better so that I can finish stronger and feeling good. I'm planning to try some of the workouts mentioned in this Runner's World article.

#TrainingTruth: I'm never too busy to run!

Tuesday: 6 slushy miles. Cleanup from the blizzard was still a work in progress. The roads were in great condition, but the sidewalks were hit or miss. We made it out and back on our normal route, but we had to jump on the road at times.

Thursday: 6 mild miles. Sidewalks were in better shape and the mild 40 degree  temperatures were helping. It was a capris day, but my shoes still ended up soggy from the slushy puddles along the route.

Saturday: 11 smoothie miles. Winter weather greeted us again with 2+ inches of fresh snow, but we had already planned to run downtown knowing that the sidewalks would be in better shape and the roads are wider. It was challenging at times, but this was a good long run. Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious post-run fruit smoothie with a shot of protein.

How do you train for a strong finish?

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Inaugural Snowflake Shuffle

On Sunday my husband, my running partner, and I ran the inaugural Snowflake Shuffle in Bedford, NH. The weekend blizzard did not keep Millennium Running from putting on another fantastic, new event.

Once again Millennium Running had a sold out event. Check-in for bib and hoodie pick up opened at 8 AM for the start at 9:45. Despite more than two feet of snow falling less than 24 hours prior, the race site was in good condition and ready with the staple tents, pace markers, and port-a-potties.

Hundreds of runners were willing to brave the 14 degree weather, and at exactly 9:45 the organizers sent us on our way. The out and back course was mostly flat with one short challenging climb up a cul-de-sac just passed mile two. The city of Bedford provided police detail along the nicely plowed, closed roads, a few spectators braved the cold and sprinkled the course, and water was provided halfway for those that worked up a thirst.

The $30 registration fee included an awesome hoodie and post race pasta, bread, cookies and beer provided by the title sponsor and local restaurant, The Copper Door. Friendly faces served up plates of food and solo cups of Sam Adams.

For runners like me who hate to wait for official results, MR offered instant, personalized results at the finish line displayed on 2 flat screen TV's mounted on the Millennium Running Timing Trailer. All runners needed to provide was the bib number.

You would never know that this was the first running of the Snowflake Shuffle. Millennium Running did a flawless job organizing the inaugural event especially in light of the historic nor'easter. They even went the extra mile by arranging shuttles for runners forced to use overflow parking lots when mountains of snow encroached on space. 

This 3 mile fun run was not the first inaugural event that I have been to. Surprisingly, I have been to many. My first half marathon was also Providence's first Rock-n-Roll event. I was part of the first run across the Pell Bridge in over 25 years and I joined over 2000 Santa's running down Elm Street. Last fall I helped kick off a new Cape Cod race as a ZOOMA ambassador.

Have you ever participated in an inaugural event? How was it?