Saturday, December 15, 2007

worst blogger ever!

so...yeah...umm....i PLANNED on updating this site weekly, after my runs.

but you know what they say about the best laid plans!


not that anyone is actually reading this or anything, but it's more for my own purposes.

I WILL someday go back and tell you all about my first 1/2 marathon (which I rocked in 2:46:46!!!) and my second 1/2 marathon (which i rocked even harder at 2:42:01!!! AND it was a hilly course!!!!!!) and my plans for my THRID 1/2 be done on my 35th birthday! And today's 20 (YES! TWENTY) mile run.

but right now, my legs are too sore from that run to allow me to concentrate enough to type about it.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

almost time....

It's 4am on RACE DAY! woohoo. Half-marathon race day that is. (not that you assumed I meant the marathon or anything :) )

I think I'm all set.

Wish me luck!

See you on the other side of 13.1!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

5 miles? Piece of cake!

Today's training run was 'only' 5 miles.

If someone had told me a month ago that I'd consider 5 miles 'nothing', I'd have laughed in their face!

Clearly, I am insane. : ) (if you have any doubt, check my last post re: the marathon-signing-up thingy)

Mentor Pat sent this run report from her Garmin:
Distance: 5.12 miles
Time: 1:06
Average Pace 13:04
Fastest Pace 10:40
Average Calories Burned 770

We ran a very pretty route north, starting at the Senior Center and going up through a shady neighborhood.

Freaking out a bit...


i just signed up for a ...wait for it....


It's the Surf City Marathon and it's not until Feb. (on superbowl sunday! So i'll be v.v.v.v. tired when I am cheering on my Packers later that day!) but I wanted to be sure I got in. They only let in 1000 marathoners and I heard it was 60-80% full. I ran the 5k for the same race event last year (had a friend who ran the half-marathon) and thought it would be cool for that to be my first marathon since it's too late to train/run the Chicago (that's umm...tomorrow!). The Leggers program has a 26 mile training run scheduled that weekend, so as they suggested to us (and I know I've mentioned on this blog before)- why not get a medal for it?! Plus, like i said, i ran the 5k at this event last year, so it's like a tradition!

I'm running in the Long Beach half marathon next weekend (scheduled for a 12 mile training run next, again, why not run an extra mile and get a medal!?) and I'm kinda freaking out about that too!!

only 8 days left to 13.1....yikes!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New Shoes!!!

I got new shoes!! yay!!! I bought them at a nice little running store not too far from where I live called Runnergy.

They are Mizuno Wave Nirvana 3s. I really like the Mizuno shoes. My first pair of "real" running shoes were also Mizunos. Mizuno Wave Creation 7s.

These were my first running shoes,

I bought them as a reward for loosing 50 lbs.!

So far, I really like the new shoes. They are a little wider than my old ones, which with my wide feet, is a nice change! The old shoes were a little smaller across the ball of my foot.

I wore them for the first time tonight for a 'fun run' starting at the Nike Womens Store at the Grove. A girl I met with the Leggers group and I went and did 3 miles there. I think we're going to try to do that run again! It's a great way to get our md-week training in and have a little fun socializing too! Plus, there's a Pinkberry at the Grove now, so afterwards I got my fro-yo fix (and she had sushi!)

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Not sure if you can read that clearly or not, but today we ran TEN MILES!!! DOUBLE DIGITS, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our mentor's 'results' are:
Distance 10.01
Time 2:09
Average pace 12:54 min/mile
Average calories burned 1600
I finished a couple minutes behind the group, but I *did* finish! And, unlike last week, I didn't end up walking the end. In fact, I dropped behind the group a little with about 1 mile to go, so I just ran at a bit of a slower pace the entire last mile, even the 'big' hill up from the pier!!! At one point, about 7-8 miles in, I had a huge spurt of energy and was struggling NOT to pass the mentors! Then we hit a walk break, and BAM! I started dropping back.
For the first time ever, I carried water with me, and it wasn't near as cumbersome as I'd feared. I also used GU for the first time. I think both of these things really helped my performance. I think I should have had 2 gel packs though, that might have helped give an extra little boost when I started dropping back. I did have 2 packs with me, but gave one to another girl in our pace group who also hadn't ever used gel.
My knees are a little sore, well rather, just below both knees is sore, it hurts to bend or straighten them a little. Other than that I'm not feeling too badly (yet).
My feet hurt a bit too, but I think that's cause I am pretty sure I need new shoes. My shoes don't have a TON of miles on them; 84.45 miles since getting my nike+ stuff. I logged 37.5 miles on them last year...but I'm pretty sure I didn't log every run. So, I'd guess they have maybe close to 200 miles. One of our mentors said that Mizunos are great shoes, but that she's heard that they break down quicker than other shoes. As soon as my legs feel better I am going to go to Runnergy to see what they'd recommend as far as new shoes go. If I like what they say, I'll be buying new shoes. Otherwise, I'll head out to RoadRunner Sports to see what they recommend. I bought the ones I have now (Mizuno Wave Creation 7) there and really like them.
Wanna know something really crazy? I'm thinking of running a half marathon in 2 weeks! We're scheduled to do 12 miles that weekend anyway, so, as they were telling us today, why not get a medal for it?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NIke Run Hit Remix Race Report

I did this race a week before joining the Leggers (Sept. 15th, 2007), but since I was using it as a tool to gauge whether or not I would join, and since the reason I *hadn't* joined the Leggers prior to the race is cause they weren't having a meeting that week cause they wanted everyone to run or volunteer in this race (so if i *had* already joined, I would have run this race as part of the group!) I decided that I should include this race report in this blog.

My goals for this race were:
1) don't die
2) finish
3) finish in under 90 minutes (how long it took me to mostly walk 5 miles at the gym a couple nights before the race)
4) run as much of it as possible
5) if i could, run the whole thing (other than water stations and the turn, this is the goal I figured I wouldn't accomplish, but you have to have something to stretch for! right?)

well...goal #1-check...2-check...3-check...4-check...5-CHECK!!!! there MAY have been great-grannies walking faster than I ran most of the way, but I kept at a running gait even when it was slow!

We ran from the Collesium, where the 1984 (I think) Olympics took place up to the Staples Center and back. It was a nice course and mostly flat.

Carl Lewis and Serena Williams ran this race too. I'm sure they finished MUCH faster than I did.
My gun time was 1:09:22. My nike+ said my time was 1:06:09. There was a sensor error at the start line, so chip time is same as gun time, they just set everyone's start at 9am. I finished 4909th overall, according to the nike run hit remix website's results, but according to the results (which are probably more accurate), I was 5471th. For some reason (I think it's cause I had to wear a men's shirt - our shirts were our bibs and the women's shirts ran REALLY REALLY small) my age/sex division results are screwed up - it says under sex on my results 'u'. That really ticks me off, cause I had asked when they set my shirt up if there would be a problem with me being a woman wearing a # for a man and they said no. If my Division hadnt been messed up, I would have finished 634th in my division (W30-34) out of 1116 (not counting the other women in my division who had the same issue!) and 2546 out of all women (4401).

This was taken right before the turn into the tunnel at the end of the race (please ignore the muffin top and the lack of color coordination! We had to wear the shirt as our bib and the pants were the only ones I liked to race in!)

I'm a little sore but it was worth it. My WI wasn't good - but that's cause I weighed in after the race and had eaten bananas and stuff before and after the race and i was still wearing my race shirt (had to go right from race to WI).

There were bands playing on stages about every mile - they had Naughty by Nature, Sir Mix A Lot, The Sugarhill Gang, Dawn Robinson of En Vogue, and a finish line concert by MC Hammer (HAMMERTIME!) It was kinda cool, but at the same time very annoying, as (especially the first stage) 'runners' would stop to listen to the music instead of RUNNING and they blocked much of the road and weren't considerate to the runners trying to get past them!

They also had it set up so you could 'borrow' a pair of nike shoes and an ipod to try out the nike+ sport stuff. I already use that with my mizuno shoes (bought a thing on amazon from marware that lets me use it with shoes other than nike ones) so i didn't try it. I was a little surprised at how many people did, I wouldn't run a race in shoes I've never worn before!

Overall it was a fun day and a great race, the temp was a little hot, but not too bad.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jennifer, Start.... your...... ENGINE!

Ok, so I'm not a racecar, but I am training to be in a race! This morning I did my first "L.A. Leggers" run. And I couldn't think of a more appropriate title for the start of this 24 week journey. As it resembles NASCAR in several ways -

~It is physically and mentally demanding on a runner (driver)
~If I don't fuel my body (car) properly, I'll run out of gas and not be able to finish!
~We run around in circles! (Just really big ones!)

"But, Jennifer, why are you running in (ever increasing) circles?", you ask? Good question! Let me tell you why. (You might want to take a bathroom break, get a nice tall drink and get comfortable, cause this first post is a weeeeeeee-bit long, sorry about that!)

It all started a couple weeks ago on a dark and stormy night....umm..oops, sorry, wrong long story! (although, when I typed this it WAS a dark and stormy night!) Anyway, back to my story.

Over the last couple years, as I've lost more weight and stared getting more interested in running, a tiny little voice in the back of my head started telling me: "hey, maybe someday......wwwwaaaaayyyy far away, I'll decide I might want to maybe possibly run a marathon someday perhaps." But that voice was usually drowned out by the much louder screams of "Just go sit on the couch and veg out! (and eat lots of chocolate while doing it!)"

Then, a few weeks ago, I realized I was creeping REALLY close to a weight milestone I NEVER EVER EVER EVER want to reach again (I've lost, roughly, so far, 100 pounds) due to summer attacking me and my not really following the Weight Watchers plan 100% for the last few months. I knew that one of the major reasons for this gain was the fact that I've rarely (ok, pretty much never) worked out since the end of March when I did a 5k race immediately followed by a 10k walk with some friends in Agoura Hills. (yes, I know I haven't been making the best food choices either, but the almost total absence of activity hasn't helped!)

About 2 weeks ago, as I was trying to motivate myself to get out there and MOVE MORE (for non-Weight Watchers (ww) peeps, this is one of the 4 cornerstones of the WW program), I was browsing the blogs of some friends from my Stitch 'n Bitch (SnB) group. One guy mentioned this group he joined called L.A. Leggers. I checked out their website, thought they looked like a fun group, and that little tiny, back-of-my-head-voice stopped saying "eh, maybe someday......wwwwaaaaayyyy far away, I'll decide I might want to maybe possibly run a marathon" and started saying, in ever increasing volume, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to run a marathon in March!?" Eventually, the "Go sit on the couch and veg out!" voice was too hoarse from trying to stay louder than the 'marathon' voice that it just gave up and left (probably went to go sit on the couch.)

The Leggers group started about 8 weeks ago, so time to join was running out. It's typically a 31 week program and they don't let beginner marathoner's join much past the end of September. Since I had been to the gym approximately (er....exactly) once in the previous few months, I thought that a great (insane) idea would be to do the Nike Run Hit Remix 5 mile race on Sept. 15th just to see how well I could do with a distance longer than a 5k (3.1 miles for those metrically-challenged readers). I'd never run farther than a 5k before and figured if I didn't die, that maybe I could survive the training program.

I *did* go to the gym and do 5 miles on the treadmill on the Wednesday before the race just to see how long it would take me to do that distance (1:30ish if you're interested, and I was mostly walking.) Then I went home to check last year's results to be sure there were plenty of people with a slower time! (Don't want to be DFL afterall!!)

At the Nike Race, I did SO much better than I thought I was going to be able to do! I finished in 1:06! AND ran the ENTIRE distance, minus the water stations (2) and the turnaround. (which was my goal!) Pics are here if you're interested.

So, after that success, I decided I wasn't too out of practice to at least TRY to join the Leggers. As I told a friend, I can always join and decide later to NOT do the marathon, but I can't wait another month to decide to join.

Having commited myself to joining (paid in full and everything so I couldn't change my mind in the morning), I roused myself from sleep at the crack of OH-MY-GOD-WHY-AM-I-UP-THIS-EARLY-o'clock, otherwise known as 5am, and headed down through the rain to Santa Monica (why can't the traffic be as nice all the time as it is at 5am on a Saturday!?!)

"Wait, Jennifer, did you just say RAIN in LA?!?! Surely, that can't be right?! It doesn't rain in SoCal, does it?" Well, it rains about 3 times a year here, and usually it's not much above a drizzle. This was a full blown STORM!! (which, makes me go "YAY!!!" cause I love rain. Normally. Not so much when I am about to run 9 miles outside!) I did wonder if I was being sent a sign from above that I shouldn't be up this early and about to run 924 miles! (what, me exaggerate? never!) It did clear up before the run, and we even got to see a really cool rainbow most of the run. The end of the rainbow looked like it was at the finish line, but when I got there someone else must have already claimed the pot of gold.

As I said, this week's run was 9 miles!! Much farther than the highest mileage I've ever done before (that would be the 5 miles from last week!) I debated which pace group to join. I considered the 14 min/mile group, but when they left the starting point, I wasn't quite ready mentally to start. : ) Plus, that's the slowest pace group they have for running and I didn't want to start out there. My main reasoning behind that was: if I try that pace and can't hack it, then what!? I ended up going out with the 13s.

As we get farther into training, I am hoping I can move up into a faster pace group, and on shorter runs, I may decide to go out with a faster group (one of the mentors told me that this isn't uncommon). Of course, all the people in my group were really nice, so I'd feel like I was cheating on them if I do ever go with a different group!

One thing I like a lot about how the Leggers work is that they don't run non-stop the entire distance. They alternate running and walking (this week's split was 4 minutes of running and 1 min of walking) which is what you SHOULD do on long runs, but does seem a little odd to me, cause shouldn't a runner, um, RUN?! :)

As we started out, I felt like I was really holding back (which is what you're supposed to do!!) and I was thinking I should maybe have started with the 12.5 or 12 group. But I knew that by the end of the 9 miles, I would probably wish I HAD gone with the 14s. I didn't quite think THAT, but I did end up walking more of the last third than running. I felt really badly for our sweeper, as she had to drop back to be sure I didn't get left too far behind. Once we got about 1/2 mile from the finish I told her to go ahead without me.

The mentors emailed our group's 'results' this afternoon:
9 miles completed in 1:55
Average pace 12:55
Average Calories Burned 1450 (<---that's an extra 14 points I could eat today if I wanted to!!) After the run, they had a speaker. It was a woman who has set MANY records for marathons and was a big part of getting women's distance running in the Olympics. It was very interesting to hear her talk. I had just enough time to stop by my condo and take a shower before heading off to WW. I wasn't expecting to show much of a loss, as I don't normally eat anything before a weigh-in, but with the running, you need to eat and hydrate. Also, my muscles were starting to get a bit sore, so I knew they were starting to hold water. But I did manage to lose! 1.6 more pounds gone!

Tonight, I'm a little sore, but so far, not too bad. My left ankle and right hip are the places I am the sorest.

Sorry for the novel, future updates will most likely not be quite as verbose!