Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suzanne's Blog: On Target, A Beautiful Sunset & I'm Ready to Run!

11 more days to go until the Urban Cow Half Marathon! I’m feeling really good right now about my training and preparations and I’m way ahead of where I was before I completed my first half marathon in July (unfortunately I had a hip injury during that training which impacted my training).

Last Sunday I didn’t think I was going to be able to get my long run in. I had almost given up then I decided that I just needed to get out the door and get going. To my surprise, I ended up having a terrific 9 mile run. I’ve never run in the evening (usually do not have the opportunity to with two kids) and I have to say that it was great. The weather was nice and cool (for here) and for some reason I caught my second wind right at the 7 mile mark and ran my fastest mile time the last 2 miles. Go figure! I also got to watch the sunset which was pretty beautiful and a good distraction. I was pretty psyched afterwards because it was definitely my best long run to date! Hopefully my 10 miles this weekend will go as well?! A girl can wish.

This week the plan is 2 - 5 mile runs and a 60 minute cross training session, in addition to my 10 mile long run this weekend. Wish me luck!

Next week’s schedule is easy: 4 miles, 30 minutes cross training and 2 miles before the big race on Sunday of 13.1 miles! Everything is all set as I made my hotel reservations and printed out the directions and information for packet pick-up. Very excited for my second half marathon adventure!

Also going to work on finalizing my playlist. Thanks Fruit Fly for the Cyndi Lauper suggestions – you’re right she definitely puts an extra step in your run when you listen to her! Did you like the Flo Rida song?

I’m also starting to research and plan my future races. It’s definitely been motivating to have races to look forward and it keeps me running so I don’t slack off too much. I’ll keep you updated on what races I decide to do. If I make it to Chicago for Thanksgiving I may end up running the Turkey Trot with Jenn – that would be fun!

Happy Running,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Suzanne's Countdown Continues: 17 More Days to Go!

Thought I’d post a quick update today to let you know that my workouts have been on track and going really well. Five miles is feeling easy right now – please don’t let me jinx myself – and I’m feeling strong. During my last 5 mile run I enjoyed listening to my playlist of Muse, Kings of Leon, Coldplay and Linkin Park. That reminds me that I need to start on my playlist for the half marathon! Any suggestions?

Cross-training is going great and has been a really good balance to my running. I’m learning that I just have to squeeze my workouts in and sometimes just getting myself out the door (or down to the gym at work) is the biggest challenge.

I’ve also been following Hal Higdon’s advice (see my last blog for the tips) and easing into my runs by walking first and it seems to make a difference. In the past I'm always in such a hurry to get a run in that I immediately start running.

In other news, my “big sister” Judy is going to run the Urban Cow Half Marathon with me – she also ran the SF Half Marathon with me – so I’m super excited about that! Did I mention that Chick-fil-a is providing food after the race? YUMMO (to quote Rachael Ray)!

My parents, girls and my Uncle Ray and Aunty Kathy (who are visiting that weekend) are also attending the race so we’ll have quite a cheering section!

Happy Running,

Friday, September 10, 2010

22 More Days to Go!

That’s right – 22 more days to go until the Urban Cow Half Marathon. It’s GO time people.

My training has been back on track the last 2 weeks and I’m feeling OK. For the last few weeks I’ve been battling tight hamstrings and lower back issues. I can’t remember my hamstrings ever being this tight…it was difficult to touch my toes!

After some regular sessions of stretching (which I need to do more of!) and using Dr. Pain aka the foam roller (can you say OUCH!) I was back to normal. So I’m glad to be feeling much better and it turned out I didn’t have to take a break from training because I had no pain when I was working out. Weird, huh?

Also wanted to share that I squeezed in a run in while I took my car in for an oil change. Dropped the car off and then went for a nice 5 mile run, getting back to the dealership in time to pick up my car and drive home. Have to admit I never thought about doing that before and it was a good use of my time plus no one had to pick me up then drop me off. Yes, I got some looks from people when I went in to pay – it was really hot so I probably didn’t look that great after my run – but I tried to look like I didn’t care.

If you’re on Facebook be sure to “friend” Hal Higdon. Not only am I following his workout plan for the half marathon but I love reading his tips everyday.

My favorite “Tip of the Day” so far are:

Ease into your daily workouts and pick up the pace only when you begin to feel comfortable. Johnny Kelley, who completed 58 Boston Marathons and won two of them, started each daily run by walking. You think that's a tip only for old-timers? Kelley used a slow start even when in his 20s.

With so many gadgets now on the market from GPS watches to heart rate monitors along with training programs such as mine which tell you how far and how fast to run on any given day, I sometimes feel we think too much. On at least a few days, leave the gadgets in the drawer and just go out and run at whatever pace for whatever distance feels right on that particular day.

Lastly, here are some new songs that I am really enjoying while running:
Mine by Taylor Swift
If I Had You by Adam Lambert
Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida
Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland

Happy Running,