Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap-Up and Inspiration

I made two resolutions in 2013:
  1. To lose 15 pounds and keep it off
  2. To run consistently
Looking back over the year, I'm pleased with my accomplishments.  I did lose 15 pounds, and I have kept it off.  I did it by making myself accountable, tracking food on myfitnesspal (MFP) and activity with fitbit.  Yesterday I celebrated my 365th consecutive day of MFP logging.  I'm pretty darn proud of that.  And I've been using fitbit for almost two years now.  I do love my data!

I ran 15 races in 2013.  Eight just for me, three with my dad, three with my son, and one with my friends Kathryn, Melissa, and Ann.  I got faster over the course of the year, taking my 13 min/mile pace to 12 min/mile.  My best race, the Susco 8k, was an 11:17 pace!  It is helpful for me to remember that all improvements aren't linear, and injuries happen.  I will work towards that 11 pace, but I will listen to my body and not push it. 

I am training with Potomac River Running and learning so much.  I took Running 101 this past fall.  I am currently in the winter program, which is a hybrid of begin/base/build and distance training.  I'm not fully in either group, and I'm looking forward to the end of January when the Cherry Blossom training program begins and I am solidly in a group again.

If I had a third resolution, perhaps it would have been to inspire my friends to achieve their own health goals.  I received two wonderful messages over the last 48 hours that made me realize how much this matters to me.
  1. From my friend April: Thank you Kim for motivating me!!! Kenny and I have signed up for this race!  I'm scared to death! Haha! I ran (walked most of the way!) my first 5K in October but REALLY want to learn to run. I love your posts about running so please don't stop. They truly do inspire me.
  2. From my friend Kathryn (on my MFP 1-year anniversary): You are such an inspiration to me! Your determination and dedication is...just WOW! Good for you, Kimberly. Good for you!   
Wow, these messages feel great!  I want to inspire others to achieve their health goals. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Packet Pickup for Fairfax 4-miler

I ventured into Fairfax and into my first Pacers running store.  I was curious about the packet pickup, since some of the Pacers races have simultaneous packet pickup at multiple locations.  I couldn't imagine how that worked.  Now that I know it seems pretty obvious.  They have computers at pickup and assign you a number when you check in.  So your bib number doesn't have to be at the "right" store - wherever you are and whenever you get there determines your bib number.  The race sweatshirt is awesome - love the art deco logo!  I did have a glow stick fail - I bumped my glow stick while trying on shoes.  They were kind enough to give me a replacement glow stick...which I promptly bumped on the door frame on the way out.  I did *not* ask for a third glow stick.  I figured at that point they would have made me for the high-risk klutz that I am, at least when it comes to glow sticks!

I tried on some shoes there.  I was running in Merrell pace gloves for the past two years, but my running coach and sports chiropractor both suggested that I might want to move away from the minimalist shoe given my recurring achilles pain.  I've been running in Saucony Guide 6 (conveniently on sale when I bought them because of course the Guide 7 was a week away from making its debut...).  I do like them, but they feel so substantial compared to the pace gloves.  And I suspect my form is regressing to the heel strike now that I'm out of the minimal shoe. 

Shoe shopping was a bust at Pacers because apparently they start at women's size 6.  I am a size 5, very rarely a 5.5.  I tried on some kids' shoes, but they felt clunky.  Now I know how lucky I am that Potomac River Running carries such a large selection of size 5 shoes.  Although I may venture back into zappos.com to try some other styles.  They have a great selection and it is so easy to return things to them.

I did find a couple of things at Pacers - a Brooks "run happy" t-shirt that I've been coveting for a couple of months and an elusive pair of XS balega socks.  Did I mention my feet are tiny?!  Most places don't even carry the XS socks.  The Marine Corps Marathon Expo was the first time I ever saw them (thank you, Fleet Feet)!  I also found some of the yummy chocolate mint gu that tastes like chocolate frosting.  I know it would make Rick sick it is so sweet, but it sure hits the spot for me! 

I saw a shirt while I was out that said "running is cheaper than therapy".  I love the message that exercise is great for your mental health.  The contrarian in me could think of many scenarios where running is actually not cheaper than therapy.  The gear, the race fees, the training...it all adds up!  And we don't even travel to races (yet?).  So maybe not cheaper than therapy.  But perhaps a healthier choice nonetheless.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Race Results Chart

Thanks to my brother Josh for sending me his awesome race results workbook.  I adapted it to capture my recent races.  I have another tab with my dad's races and a third tab with my races from 1996-2001. 

Embracing the Rest Day

I'm feeling sore after yesterday's training run.  Fortunately I'm not sore in any of my previously injured "hot spots".  My shins feel sore.  There is probably a stretch that I should have done?  It's been so long since my shins have been sore that I can't even remember what to do for prevention.  That's what google is for!

It's pouring down rain today.  I'm thinking maybe I will do a little yoga later this afternoon for cross-training.  I wanted to go to family yoga at Beloved Great Falls with Freddy, but it is canceled this week.

Tomorrow morning I will go to Pacers Fairfax to pick up my bib for the Fairfax Four-Miler.  It will be my first time in a Pacers store, and my first Pacers race.  I'm so used to Reston and PRR that it actually feels strange to go to another store, and to go outside of Reston/Fairfax Corner.  Rick and Freddy aren't coming to this one since it will be dark and probably cold.  Hopefully I can link up with Gina and her friends at the race, or I might end up a bit lonely!  The course looks kind of blah, out and back on University with a loop around Mason.  Hopefully more scenic than it appears on the map!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

First Saturday PR Training run complete!

Last night I was as restless as if I had a race this morning.  I chalk it up to performance anxiety, mentally I think it felt the same as a race to my brain.  Which seems so silly in retrospect.  Part of my training will include getting this mental pressure under control.

So I awoke at 6:30 to the sound of Rhett (my cat) chewing on the race holder cords from my fuel belt.  I always thought it was the race number that attracted the cats, now I know it is simply the cords.  Mental note to put the fuel belt inside my bag the night before rather than laying it out on the dresser.  My alarm had been set for 7:00 and I would have appreciated that extra 30 minutes of sleep!

It was in the upper 20s and with a 5 mph wind.  I went with running tights over compression socks, and my nike element jacket over a long-sleeved fila shirt and cory vines racerback tank.  Plus warm gloves and a hat.  That felt good for the first mile, when I tucked my gloves and soon after my hat into my jacket.  After two miles I tied my jacket around my waist and put the hat back on my head.  I was comfortable for the whole run, and carrying the clothes I shed wasn't a problem.  So good preparation there, and it will help me plan what to wear for the Fairfax 4-miler on New Year's Eve which will likely be similar temparature-wise (but dark!).

For nutrition I went with the standard clif bar when I got up, along with coffee w/ chocolate almond milk.  I don't mess with that combo, I know it works well for me.  I had a gu in my pocket in case I went longer than planned, but stuck with 4 miles and the BBB folks so it wasn't necessary.  I did have a protein luna bar and some nuun after finishing up.  That seems to work well, too.

Amy is a tad too fast for me still, so I settled in a bit behind her and ran with Shawn.  Picked up lots of good tips about the school system and the IB vs. AP programs, which helped keep my brain engaged.  We went out the hilly side of the W&OD trail, the same hills that got my achilles in September.  It feels slightly tender this evening, but I think I stayed conservative and didn't overdo it.  I iced it when I got home and did some foam rolling and stretching.

I found out the Cherry Blossom 10-miler has its own training program and it is on Sundays rather than Saturdays.  This is so much better for our schedule (I will save a bundle on babysitting and Rick & Freddy will get to bond over weebotics class), so I'm relieved.  I will miss running with the friends I have in the DTP program, but it makes the most sense to switch to Sundays and train with the folks who are running the same race I am.  So that will start January 26, and in the meantime I will continue in the cobbled BBB/DTP program for another month.

I'm looking forward to some solid sleep tonight and feel good to have the first Sautrday training run behind me.  I wasn't sure what to expect or if I were up to the task.  It's good to know that I am ready for it and able to do it.  And I will be better prepared next time, now that I know what is coming!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Prepping for Saturday PR Training Run

Tomorrow I will embark on my first Saturday training run with Potomac River Running Training.  I hadn't planned on starting until mid-January, when babysitting is in place, but Rick has no clients tomorrow so I am unexpectedly going tomorrow.

I'm overplanning and overpreparing, of course.  I'm not sure how far I will run since I'm not really with a training group yet.  I get the emails for the distance training program, since that is technically what I am signed up for.  But I don't plan to start the DTP part of the program until January, so I've been sticking with the BBB (begin, base, build?) folks at the Tuesday night track sessions.  My training 101 friends are in the BBB so that is my comfort zone.

Tomorrow is definitely out of my comfort zone.  It will be cold, in the 30s.  Does that count as cold?  it could be a lot colder, of course.  But for a gal who likes to run indoors on the treadmill, it doesn't take much to count as cold.  So I'm trying to figure out what clothes to wear so I am comfortable and not overdressed.  I have all my gear laid out on top of the dresser and it looks like I am getting ready for a race - garmin, fuel belt, glasses, gu, road id, water bottle.  What am I forgetting?  What don't I actually need?  How long will I run?  Can I run with Amy or is she a little too fast for me?  So many questions.  I will just have to live into the answers.

Laying out my gear