Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Racing!

Today has been a great day!  I signed up to do the Halloween Monster 5K on Sunday and I got out for a great 6.6 mile run tonight before the rain started.  I can't wait for a great Halloween race with costumes galore.  My plan is to race in my bumblebee costume.  I need to buy a base layer for my top.  I think the tank that I might wear under it at the Princess half would be a little cold.  We are looking at highs around the upper 40s to the low 50s at race time.  I am going to try and be the fastest bumblebee I can bee!

They are calling for our first winter storm in the next two days.  We might even get some wet snow.  It will be much worse further north in Vermont and New Hampshire.  It felt great running tonight in the lower 50s.  I was thinking that finally I don't feel like I need an ice bath when I get home.  I was 30 seconds slower per mile tonight in comparison to last week and I felt so much more relaxed.  It felt great!  I wasn't checking it every mile, it just took me an extra 3 minutes.  I love it when it just feels good running!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Summer is over - the Dairy-Bee has closed!

One of the best ways to extend summer is getting ice cream from an outdoor stand and eating it at a picnic table.  Well summer is over.  The Dairy-Bee is closed.  As we drove home this evening we saw the stand all boarded up.  She had posted that she was going to stay open through Halloween.  Well either the ice cream ran out or it just got too cold in the stand.  Either way she is closed.  Now we somehow have to make it through the dark days of winter until she opens again sometime in March.  She is always the first to open and the last to close of all the local ice cream stands.  So guess what we had after dinner.  That's right - ice cream!  What else would you have to morn the closing?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tonight I left my watch behind...

...and took my dog instead!  We went for a 3 mile run with lots of doggy "character" stops.  She would smell everything if I would let her.  She is a great running companion when I don't want to go too far or too fast.

So far the leaves are hanging in there.  They are still mostly green.  I think they are going to change and fall of the trees all at once this year.  Friday they will still be green and Monday they will be full of color and on the ground (or something like that).  I was just grateful that today it was 71 degrees on my way home from work.  Amazing!

Runner dog in the bay this summer.  Nice running legs eh!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Newport Half Marathon Oct 16 2011

This is how it broke down:
Chip time 1:56:42 = first half below 2 hours,
Average mile split 8:55,
296 of 1475 females in the race,
98 of 514 females in my age group.

So this race I was flying solo, totally unsupported. I had to go gear check and everything for the first time ever.

I woke up at 5:20 and was out the door at 5:50 on my way to Newport. I knew where I was going to park within 2 or so miles. My plan was to look at the map and directions for the final approach. This might have worked if it was not dark outside and if the race guys had printed it on something other than dark purple. Anyway I was able to "feel" my way to the approved parking lot and catch the shuttle to the start area with no wrong turns.

The wind and the sand were blowing down at the beach front start. I went through my regular routine. The temps were in the high 50s and I thought I might need a long sleeve over my short sleeve. I checked my bag with my post-race fuel and a jacket in case it never warmed up. I kept the long sleeve on and needed it until we were all pressed together at the start.  Then off went the long sleeve and around my waist it went.  That left my pink 2011 runDisney Mickey shirt in full view.  I was hoping Mickey would give me a boost.  I thought I heard a couple of nice shirt comments, but no go Mickey's.

I had lined up pretty far forward. It was a mass start that headed up the hill into town at about the 1/3 mile mark. I had been warned about the mob pushing its way up the hill. I managed just fine and hung with the speed of the pack, although it was faster than I would run the rest of the race.

The first 6 or so miles were into the wind which was blowing between 15 to 30 miles an hour. I just kept  telling myself that it was better for it to be in our faces for the first half rather than the second half. A lady at the warm-up area had sand gators on over her shoes.  She knew something that very few of the rest of us seemed to know. There is sand at the beach! Blowing sand, drifting sand, sand that wants to get in your shoes...
One of the reasons that I was drawn to the Newport race was the beauty of the route. Well I did not spend much time looking around. I was focussed on getting to the next mile marker.  When we got out to the 2 miles along the ocean's edge the wind was whipping up whitecaps. It was a little windy to truly enjoy running along the water. Although it was beautiful.

The funniest thing I saw along the route was a Segway tour of the Newport Mansions. We were all chugging along around the 8-9 mile mark and a group of five Segways came along in the other direction clearly on a tour. I know I was not the only one who thought about jumping on one. At that point I was really focused on just getting back to the beach and the finish line.

"The Marble House is just one of the Bellevue Avenue "Summer Cottages" featured on the course."  Yah...I missed the mansions.  All I saw was the driveways!

When we finally made the last turn headed back down the start hill and along the beach I was thrilled to be finished!

Check out the hair!  Still windy at the finish.  Mickey really wants my medal!

This was the view beyond the half finish.
The full racers headed off to the east to the beaches beyond this hill.
I tried hanging to the side and watching for a co-worker who was continuing on to do the full marathon. But my body would only tolerate that for so long and she might have been ahead of me. So I grabbed some food and beverage and went to stand in the bag check line. This was my first race that offered chicken noodle soup at the finish, which was amazing. The bag check line was not. It took at least 20-30 minutes to get my bag back. Then it was a quick shuttle ride back to my car. Standing in line for my bag killed me. I was doing okay up until that point. When I got back to the car I could really feel that my back was tight. I got on the road and made my way home in about 45 minutes. I was in no mood for a difficult drive and luckily I was able to make it without too much pain.

I will probably race this race again next year, although there were alot of other great races this weekend this year.  That's a year away so who knows!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

6 - 8.5 minute miles

Last night my husband and I discussed fueling for my runs.  It was 10:30 as the conversation wound down and I should have been falling asleep, but I was all ramped up and felt like I could go out for a run at that very moment.  Lucky for me I was able to turn it around and fall asleep with out much difficulty.  I love sleep and a need a fair bit of it to be functional during my work day.  Anyway I was quite excited to leave work today and get home for a run before night fall and the pending rain storm.

I tried having one of the Clif gel shots, Mocha with 50 mg of caffeine, before my run.  I usually have a snack when I get home, before I go out for a run.  So a 100 calorie shot is probably less calories that I would otherwise eat at that very moment.  I had a really fast first mile and felt fast (for me) throughout.  I felt like pushing it and so I did. I am trying to decide what kind of pace to go for in Sunday's half marathon.  Ultimately I think I will decide that the day before the race.

The weather looks like it is going to be great.  Probably in the lower 60s with a slight wind.  The course should be beautiful.  I am only doing the half, but one of my co-workers is doing the full as her first full ever.  Pretty impressive I think since her daughter just turned one.  I sure was not ready to run a full marathon when my daughter was one.

I wish I knew other people who where running the race.  I think I am going to wear my runDisney shirt.  Hopefully there are some other chatty runDisney runners in the race.  Disney always brings strangers together.

Another runner once told me that you should run with your name on your shirt. That way everyone will cheer for you.  I saw her plan in action and it really worked.  It might be time for a little duct tape lettering.  Does sweat set adhesive into tech shirts?  I hope not.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Longest...Run...Ever = 18.5 Miles

I headed out this morning with the intent to run a little slower and see if I could make it to a certain point 3 towns away and back.  It turned out it was 18.5 miles round trip.  I had my escape plan in place, one phone call away, if I really needed to be rescued.  I took 1 water bottle, 1 strawberry gel, and $5 with me.  It was in the lower 80s and the sun was brilliant.  I made it to my turn around at 9.25 miles and had my gel.  My bottle still had 1/4 of the water in it.  I had noted a Sip 'n Dip donut shop on my way into town and thought I could refill my bottle there and the plan succeeded.  There was a long line for donuts, but I was able to refill my bottle.

Yes...I passed up all of these yummy looking donuts.  Although maybe they might get me another 8 miles.  Maybe I should get one next time.  Does anyone train with donut fuel?
Thumbs up to the water break!

There are always people out fishing off the bridges on the Bike Path.

I did a repeat of my last long run and picked up a Coke with 5 miles to go.  It was funny watching people's reactions on the bike path.  Most people smiled when they saw the Coke.  A few people laughed in what seemed to be disbelief.  A few licked their lips and clearly wished they had one of their own.  Until 3 weeks ago I would have never even thought to grab a Coke in the middle of a long run, but I was interested in running a race where they were going to be offering flat soda along the course.  Anyway when I finally made it back to the house 3:25 later I was beat.  I don't know where I would have found 8 more miles in me to finish a full marathon.  Maybe if it was not so hot and the sun was not so strong.  I don't know.  Is a glazed donut the answer?

I needed just a little more shade!

Would you ever drink a soda while running?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Running Shoes!

I went to the store yesterday to face my fear - finding new running shoes.  I have been running Brooks Adrenalines for 5-6 pairs and thought just maybe it was time to do a little comparison shopping.  Well I walked out with a pair of Brooks Ghost 4s.  I took them out for a spin this morning.  I went 6 miles this morning before the temps when up to 86 degrees.  86 degrees on October 9th in New England.  Crazy!  The Ghosts are definitely different.  I could tell in the store that I was striking earlier with the heel on the Adrenalines.  The Ghosts just felt faster and I seemed to be running more on the middle of the shoe through the forefoot.  Is it possible that they could make me faster?  I don't know, but they feel faster.  It would reason that striking with the heel early would be like putting on the brakes every step.  Anyway there don't seem to be any issues with breaking them in.  So that is good.  I plan to run in them at the Newport 1/2 in a week unless something pops up during this week.

By the way - I asked the salesman how many miles one could expect to get out of a pair of running shoes and he said 200 miles.  Then he upped it to maybe 250 based on my shock.  How many miles do you go on a pair?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


6.6 miles - It was dry when I started and then it began to mist, then drizzle, and then it rained!  I made it back to the house as a wet rat.  All  I was thinking as I came back into my neighborhood was "Trick or Treat, I'm a wet runner on your street!"  I saw a few pumpkins along the way and I was carrying my flasher stick that I bought for $2.50 in the after Halloween sale last year.  It was a great buy with a flasher, a whistle, and a flash light.  When I am wearing my vest and carrying my flasher cars seem to see me from quite a distance away.

I have seen them for sale at Staples.  I got mine at Rite Aid.  I highly recommend it to all runners.  It weighs next to nothing and the leash wraps around your wrist and hand so that you aren't going to loose it.

What safety equipment do you run with when running at night?

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So tonight is the runDisney Wine and Dine and I am in New England.  I wish I was down there with everyone else, but given that I am not I though I would go out for a great run on my own.  It was another of my day into night runs.  I hit the bike path while it was still light and then switched over to the road when night arrived.  I left with my water bottle, but forgot a gel pack.  So as my energy began to fade at about 1:40 in I stopped into a convenience store and picked up a 16 oz. Coke.  Sugar, caffeine and flavor.  I nursed it over the next hour and it quickly went flat so there was only a limited amount of carbonation burping.  It really saved me.  Lesson: always run with $5 so that you can save yourself from bonking when you need to.

So how far did I go?  Sixteen Miles Baby!  Longest-Run-Ever!  I took Jeff's advice and went the distance and did not worry about how long it took.  I was running for about 2:55 and when I got home I could still stand, walk, and give myself a shower.  These are all great things in my book.  I don't know how many more miles I could have run this evening.  Over the next few months I just need to add 10 to that number.

So I hope all of you Wine & Diners have a great run and a fantastic time tonight!  I am with you in spirit.  I logged my miles, now it is your turn!