Sunday, February 23, 2014

Boston Marathon Countdown: 8 Weeks

It's hard to believe another 2 weeks have passed by and I'm 2 weeks closer to Boston!  Still, 8 weeks seems like a lifetime when I look at all the miles stretching out ahead of me.  I try to focus on one day at a time, one run at a time but being the planner than I am, it's hard to not always be thinking ahead.  Today I ran 14 miles through my neighborhood.  It was so calm and peaceful.  I started in the dark and was able to see the sunrise as I ran.  I had a lot of time to think, yet I was also able to just let my mind go.  It was refreshing to do that - to not look at my watch for mileage or pace, to not be worrying about tomorrow's run, or counting up the week's miles in my head.  I couldn't do it for the whole run but there were moments when I was able to just run and it was amazing.   

I wish I could say that all my runs were like that these past 2 weeks, but alas, they were not!  I've been battling a soreness in my left hamstring again that was creeping into my quad and glute.  We had some pretty cold weather again last week, not to mention a lot more ice on the roads that made running outside a little tricky.  I did a snowy, hilly 18-miler at Kensington last Sunday that was by far the most brutal run of my career.  

This past week was a little better.  I was on mid-winter break so I was able to get a little more rest than usual.  I got in some speed work on the treadmill a couple of times. Despite some intense snow/rain/ice storms, the roads actually cleared up and I had decently dry pavement to run on.  That makes such a difference!  

The next 2 weeks will increase in mileage again.  I restocked my Clif SHOTS in preparation!  I'll keep you posted!

Happy Running!

Previous Boston Marathon Countdown Posts12 Weeks14 Weeks, 10 Weeks

Monday, February 17, 2014

On the Run: Cupid's Undie Run 2014

This past Saturday I participated in my first Cupid's Undie Run, a 1-mile charity run on Valentine's Day weekend that raised money for The Children's Tumor Foundation. I hadn't been planning on doing the event but was gifted a free entry about 3 weeks ago (thanks to RUNdetroit) and couldn't turn it down!  I went to work promoting the event on my Facebook page and was able to raise $600.  Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans promised to match donations over $500 so that's actually $1200 towards the cause - wahoo!  (In fact, Detroit raised over $200,000)  Everyone who ran got a tee shirt and bag.  For fundraising I also got undies and a big plush robe.  

The run was at 2pm with a party in the Fillmore from 12-4.  When I walked in I felt a little bit like I was stepping into Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. It was quite a scene! I was a little nervous because I didn't go with anyone.  Thankfully RUNdetroit was one of the sponsors so after I checked in I found my way over to their table to hang out. Before long I ended up seeing another friend from the Saturday group runs who also was there on her own.  We were both so happy to find each other!

Although the temperature only reached 20 degrees by run time, the sun was shining and the streets were dry.  It definitely could have been worse!  The crowd was really pumped up and adrenaline was high so that helped, too.  We had to wait outside for about 5 minutes and then we were off!  It was a nice route down Woodward, around Grand Circus Park, up Broadway, past Comerica Park, and then back to Woodward. It was nice and quick and definitely the most fun mile I'd ever run!  I think I laughed the whole time. I must admit, it felt pretty exhilarating to be running through Detroit in your underwear on a cold February day!  But don't worry - I won't make it a habit.  (haha)

Check out this short video to get a taste of what the Undie Run was all about.

Afterwards I went straight back into the warmth of the Fillmore to collect my clothes. The party continued until 4pm but I didn't stick around much longer.  As much fun as it was to run in my skivvies, a hot shower and cozy pjs were calling!

Would I do Cupid's Undie Run again?  Most definitely!  It's a fantastic cause and so much fun!  

Have you done or would you do the Undie Run?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On the Run: Riverview Winterfest 4-Mile Run 2014

First race of the season!  While normally this would leave me bouncing off the walls with excitement, I was less thrilled than usual.  In part I was tired - I've been running a lot, and sleeping little.  But the other part - the bigger part - was the weather that morning. We got a few inches over night so the roads were completely snow-covered.  

I needed a total of 16 miles that day so I went out for a pre-race 12-miler in my neighborhood. It was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Kinvara GTX shoes that had arrived earlier in the week.  I also strapped on my Yaktrax for good measure.  They were the perfect combo for the conditions!  I wasn't sure about using them for the race but the roads were slippery enough with them I figured I better take them along just in case and scout out the course.

Good thing I did because the whole course was snow-covered.  So a new first for me - racing in Yaktrax.  I started up at the front of the pack and immediately there were a few fast ladies that went ahead of me.  My strategy isn't ever to fly out of the gate, however, and this race was certainly no exception.  After my pre-race miles and with the snow, I didn't really have high expectations but felt surprisingly good once I got going.  As I approached a turn-around near mile 2 I passed a girl and saw there were only 3 others ahead of me.  I was able to pass 1 of them just after mile 2 but I couldn't catch the others.  1st and 2nd place finished only 3 seconds apart.  I finished 3rd, 17 seconds behind 2nd place.  

Overall it was a good race.  I did NOT improve upon last year's time (haha - THAT would have been a miracle!) but was happy with my 3rd place finish and had fun with the run. It felt great to get out there and race again!  I also got this cool frosty pint glass for placing 2nd in my age group.  




Hazy Shade of Winter / The Bangles
California Dreamin' / The Mamas & the Papas
Snow (Hey Oh) / The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out / Bruce Springsteen
Love Like Winter / AFI
Snowsuit Sound / Sloan
Snowball / Devo
Immigrant Song / Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Cold Day in the Sun / Foo Fighters

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Boston Marathon Countdown: 10 Weeks

Snow, ice, cold, wind.  MORE snow.  Arctic Vortex #3.  

Calluses, blood blisters, regular blisters, frostbite blisters. Shredded quads from running in the snow. Torn up ankles from the road salt.  Frozen eyelashes.

4 a.m. daily wake-up calls to be out the door to run with the snowplows.  

THIS is the road to Boston!?!  

Here's a look at my mileage for the past two weeks:

I was rock solid this week, hitting the peak mileage for the first time ever.  I will admit that I took things a little slower this week.  I was tired after last Saturday's intense 16-miler that included 10 miles of heavy snow, followed by 10 flights up the new Z Lot in Detroit.  I was spent both Sunday and Monday.  My pace was embarrassingly slow.  In fact, by Thursday I woke up for my 10-miler and just couldn't do it.  I could not stand to run even one mile.  I was exhausted, both mentally and physically.  I knew I needed a break. So I went back to bed. 

That evening I had cycle and did manage to get in a quick 3 miles on the treadmill first, which actually felt really good.  I ended up with a snow day on Friday due to extreme wind chill.  Since I'd run less on Thursday and gotten more sleep I was able to get in my 10-miler on the treadmill that day.  Speed intervals helped pass the time.

Today I wanted to do 16 miles.  I had a 4 mile race so I did 12 miles at home before. I didn't run any of my miles at marathon pace as the plan called for but I did the best I could in the snow.  (Race report to follow.)

The next couple of weeks have a bump up in mileage.  Thankfully I have winter break coming soon so that should mean more sleep!

Happy Running!

Previous Boston Marathon Countdown Posts: 12 Weeks, 14 Weeks