Monday, December 17, 2007

Week # 5

Things are starting to get tough here on the "Road to Marathon." My weekday runs went pretty well. Had a do a few of them on the treadmill, due to being too tired and cold to get out of bed in the early morning hours. My longer weekday runs were outside morning runs, freezing cold and raining for both. Friday afternoon I started feeling a little "under the weather" and went home from work early to take a nap (and some vitamins). It didn’t seem to help and I felt sick and tired the rest of the night.

And then came the SNOW!! And I’m not talking a little dusting of the stuff, but inches and inches and inches. I woke up early Saturday morning to get dressed and ready for my race in Forest Park. I bundled up as best I could and headed out, excited and nervous. By the time I got to the highway, I knew there was no way I could run in this weather. The snow was still falling in huge wet drops and there was at least an inch of wet icy slush covering the roads. I didn't know if they would cancel the race, but with an already weakened immune system, I didn’t want to take my chances running 8 miles with cold wet feet. I hear pneumonia is not fun. This is a picture of Forest Park taken around midnight on Friday - it was MUCH worse in the morning.

Regrettably, this threw me off course for the rest of the day and I wasn’t able to run at all. A little nap turned into a longer nap; a couple errands turned into a long expedition; and an early evening wedding came much earlier than expected. So, I did not get my long run in for the week. I know – it’s very very very bad of me! Skipping the weekly long run is the cardinal sin of marathon training. Fortunately, we’re not too high in mileage that I can’t make it up one day this week (hopefully today or tomorrow).

In the world of fundraising, this was a great week!! I’m now up to $1,671 – that’s 66% of my goal!! I’m continuously pleasantly surprised to see where the donations come from – some of people that I least expected have really gone above and beyond to help out. As I get closer and closer to the finish line and I have to say that I feel great about doing this. Despite my complaining and protestations about early mornings and cold weather, it doesn’t compare at all to dealing with cancer or chemotherapy. Every time I complain I have to "remember the cause" and feel good that I’m doing something to help others in their time of need. I’m so glad that I decided to do this.

In non-running news, this was an exciting weekend. Two of our best friends finally got hitched! John and Brooke had a beautiful winter white wedding. Despite the snow it was a complete success, with great food, an amazing band, best friends and much excitement! I couldn't get over how beautiful and romantic the snow made everything look! Ryan and I had a great time. Congrats to you both and thank you for letting us be a part of it!

Weekly recap:
Monday: 4.25 miles
Tuesday: 4.4
Wednesday: 6.15
Friday: 5.6

Total: 20.4 miles

Monday, December 10, 2007

Week # 4

Another good week. My goal was to run 22 miles this week, which is exactly what I ran…despite skipping one easy run due to achy legs. I used to have bad shin splints and ITBS until I was "prescribed" custom orthotics for my running shoes. They work wonders, but I don’t want to push too hard if there’s pain (doctor’s orders). A little rest did the trick and I was feeling great for my Saturday morning group run.

It’s starting to get bitter cold and icy here, which has frightened me a little. I ran a few times early in the morning this week and froze the first few miles. Windburn and frostbite are NOT good. I’ve been starting my runs around 6:15 a.m., but it doesn’t get light outside until around 7:00 a.m. It was fine last week, but with all the rain and ice we received over the weekend, I may need a little more light to make sure I don’t slip or injure myself this week. Luckily we didn’t get the winter storm that was predicted to hit us last night. My dad said he could ice skate on his gravel driveway all the way down to the mailbox. Yuck! Really makes me wish we had "snow days" at work!

My weekly group run was rather uneventful this weekend. Back at Grant’s Trail and I didn’t have anyone my speed to run with. So it was a little lonely…guess I need to run faster! Although I did luck out because the 1.5 hours it took for me to do my 8 miles run was the only time all weekend it didn’t rain. As soon as I got back in my car, the rain started again.

This upcoming Saturday is my first race in the St. Louis Track Club Frostbite Series – 12k (7.45 miles). I’ll make sure to post a race report afterwards on how it goes. There will be six races total in the Frostbite Series, ranging in distances from 12k to 13.1 miles (half marathon). I think this will be a great way to stay motivated, work on race tempo, and help me set realistic time goals for the April marathon.

Fundraising has been a little slow this week…only a couple donations. I’m up to $855 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Every little bit counts! I know it’s hard with the holidays coming up – it’s a very expensive time of year (my bank account proves it). Maybe I’ll send out reminder emails after Christmas, which will give everyone a little more time to make their 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation before the end of the year. :) My recommitment deadline is January 28, so I’ve got just over a month to raise the rest of the money. I need to start thinking of a fundraising activity for January. Any ideas?

Otherwise, things are going well. Ryan and I put up our Christmas tree yesterday. We went to Kirkwood Farmer's Market and found the most perfect Douglass fir. This is my first real tree - and no expense was spared on this thing. I bought ornaments, garland, lights, bows, etc. from 7 different places! Yep, obsessed is the word you're looking for. I have to admit, I think it turned out beautifully. Very elegant. Mally hasn't seemed to even notice that it's there, but Jigs is completely fascinated by it. She laid on the carpet and stared at it for hours last night. Every now and then she'd walk over and bat at some ornament and then run away. It was very cute. I just hope all the ornaments stay on the tree for the next few weeks.


























Weekly recap:
Sunday: 3.3 miles
Wednesday: 5.3
Thursday: 5.3
Saturday: 8.1

Total: 22.1 miles

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Week # 3

This was a great week! I ran a total of 28.4 miles this week and got five runs in - two of them were even early morning before work runs! Pretty impressive, I know. I thought both morning runs were pretty cold (mid-30s), until my Saturday morning group run...which was 20 degrees with a little freezing rain and high winds to boot. But it turned out to be a really nice run. I ran the loop around Forest Park and met a few people on the training team there and really enjoyed running and chatting with others. I'm usually a solo runner with my headphones and iPod, so this was a nice change, it really took my mind off the miles. And it's also pretty nice going to the Visitors Center afterwards and getting a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

My early Christmas present to myself also showed up this week, just in time for my group run. The Garmin Forerunner 305. It's my way to make sure I stay motivated training for this race and give myself a little incentive (toys). I haven't quite figured out all the bells and whistles (it's so fancy!), but I love it already. Its a GPS receiver with a heart rate monitor that tracks each run and lets me analyze the data with interactive graphs that chart pace, time, distance and heart rate. The software allows me to overlay each run on a Google map so I can pinpoint specific areas of each run and see how elevation, weather and other factors affect my performance. It even lets me compete with a virtual runner that represents my timw/pace goals. How cool!

Ok, enough free advertisement for Garmin. Non-running-wise, the rest of the week was pretty busy. I had a wonderful dinner with the girls (and Auntie Alison in from Florida) on Monday night, got my teeth cleaned on Thursday (ouch!), had a nice breakfast at Edgewood on Friday to bring gifts for Stock the Store, spent the week doing securities research at work, and watched the Tigers blow the BCS championship Saturday night at home with Seth and Claire. So, other than the bleeding gums and the loss to OU, it was a good week!

Weekly recap:
Sunday: 6.25 miles
Wednesday: 5.3
Thursday: 5.5
Friday: 5.3
Saturday: 6.0

Total: 28.4

And I finished out November with a total of 63.9 miles (that's over 12 hours of running).