Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunday's commute on my bike

Solo ride to work on Sunday...just me an my phone.  
It was such a beautiful day I had to stop and take a few photos along the way!






Sunday morning rides are so nice a quiet!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Running without my shirt

Tonight I went for it...the temps are heating up and I am seeing female runners all over in just their jog bras and shorts.  Well tonight I joined them...sort of.

I went out in my jog bra and running skirt.  It was a bold move.  I have not run without a shirt for about 12 years.  I asked my husband and his only concern was weighing the sun exposure and the moisture wicking properties of a shirt.

It was 5 pm when I headed out so the sun was not an issue and the moisture would just run right off of me!  The breeze off the water felt fantastic while I was near the water.  Other than that it was pretty much just plain hot out there.  If it did not get any warmer this summer I would just fine.

I ran for 9 miles this evening and walked the final 1.3.  It is a beautiful evening out there, a little hot for running, but perfect for walking or dining outside along the waterfront.

Right now I feel like I am between races.  My last half was a week ago and my next half is Jamestown in mid-July (race #2 in the UnitedHealthcare Triple Crown).  At least the race starts at 6:30.  I know it will be an early morning, but maybe we can beat the sun above the treeline!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Girls just want to have fun...Clam Shack and Carousel

Saturday we headed to Blount's Clam Shack to grab a little lunch.  While we were there we took a rind on the Crescent Park Carousel, ca. 1895!  It is always a great lunchtime break.

How long does my arm look?!?

Clam Shack - New England Clam Chowder & Clam Cakes!

Like I said 1895!  Interestingly the vintage horses have a 200 lb. rider weight limit.

No a/c here, just throw open the door and let the bay breezes blow through.

And the calliope played on...

Ain't she w beauty?

That's right folks...grab the brass ring and get a free ride.  Just make sure you don't throw it in the clowns mouth!

runDisney training miles friendly competition

Now that we have two runDisney race groups actively training I want to kick off a new friendly runner’s competition on my Facebook page "for the love of Disney running".
I want to know how many miles people are logging for each of the runDisney races!  Stop in each day and list your miles and let me know to which race you want them assigned (ex. 10 miles to W&D). 
Don’t worry about which race you will be running at Disney that weekend.  I want everyone who is running regardless of the distance to be able to participate. 
And for those of you who are running multiple runDisney race weekends, we will add your numbers to multiple tallies!
Every morning I will post the numbers and you can add your daily miles to the comments below!

(DL) Disneyland® Half Marathon Weekend: August 31, 2012 - September 2, 2012
(TofT) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend: September 28 - 29, 2012
(W&D) Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: November 9 - 10, 2012
(WDW) Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend: January 10 - 13, 2013
(Tink) Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: January 18 - 20, 2013
(Princess) Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend: February 22 - 24, 2013
Let’s get running and have some fun!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blackstone Valley Half Marathon Pawtucket RI

Start/Finish line photo pre-race - Blackstone Valley Half Marathon

On Sunday May 20th I ran my sixth half marathon, if I have not forgotten any along the way.  It was 15-20 degrees warmer than it had been just two weeks prior for my first marathon.  Boy am I glad that day was cooler.  I set out to run this race with a new plan and a new weapon, my Garmin watch given to me by my family as a Mother’s Day present.  My plan was to watch my heart rate and my pace splits, not every other stride, but occasionally.  I was going to try and be more consistent and not overextend early and die later.  I did a fairly good job at this.

We started near the river by Slater Mill.

The sun was strong!

The course was beautiful!  The first 2.5 miles were through downtown and into the warehouse district.  They had placed ribbon cherry blossoms in the trees.  It took me I don’t know how many trees to realize that that was what the pink ribbon was all about.  Then we headed into a residential zone west of the river valley.  After about mile 5 we were down along the river still headed north before dashing across the river for the haul back south to the city.  As the sun moved further overhead, and the temps climbed, we were protected by the tree cover and the river valley itself.  But let me tell you when we left the valley and headed back onto the city streets with 2.5 miles to go the heat was brutal.  We were running from one side of the street to the other just to run in the shadow of the warehouses.  The final turn with about a mile to go put us straight into the wind with the finish line off in the distance.  It was a test in how am I going to get there?  I made it one foot after the other and crossed that line in front of city hall!  With my water and Poweraid in hand I headed for a short wall in the shade to rehydrate and recover. 

The organizers did a phenomenal job.  The only thing I wish could have been different was the start time given the heat.  Half an hour or an hour earlier would have made a huge difference.  It started at 8 am.  Maybe races in late May just should start earlier.  I felt sorry for the 5K runners who were going off at 11 am.  I was glad to be in my car on the way home at that point.  My husband said the thermometer in the sun was reading 82 degrees when I finished.   I figure that is pretty much what it was out there on the asphalt of the city streets although it might have been warmer.  There weren’t any clouds in the sky!

Bling around my neck and my new Garmin on my wrist!
It was a great day and I gave it all I had!

I did manage to PR but only by a minute.  I finished in 1:55.  I was the 17th woman in my age group (40s).  There were 85 women in their 40s preregistered out of a field of 600 men & woman.  I thought that was an impressive number of women in their 40s!  The course support was great.  There were plenty of aid stations.  I only took water on the course choosing to carry my own Clif Shot Blocks.  I was the 153 person to cross the line so I hope the supplies lasted for everyone, but based on what I saw I would say it was a grand success!  I love it when a local race organizer succeeds with flying colors. 

I love being able to scan my bib and get my results right there on site!

I had really wanted to do this race last year, but passed because it was so close to the Cox Providence race.  This year I decided I was doing both and registered early.  I find that if I don’t register early I often skip races all together.  Note to race organizers give me the race discount incentives to register early or don’t get me at all.  Last year I volunteered at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence because I did not think I wanted to do it one week after a local 10 miler and once I decided I wanted to there was no way I was paying the expo price so volunteering it was.  Which is something that I recommend all racers do to give a little back and gain the perspective that comes with being on the other side of the race.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Races Past - Races Future

So I am trying to remember how many half marathons I have run.  It does not seem like that many or maybe it is, oh I don’t know, let’s see…I can’t say for sure that I have remembered them all. 

Past races:
Cox Providence 2009
WDW Race for the Taste (10K) 2009
WDW Princess 2011
Cox Providence 2011
Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet (10 Mile) 2011
Newport 2011
WDW Princess 2012
Cox Providence (Full) 2012
Cherry Blossom – Pawtucket, RI 2012

Registered races coming up:
Jamestown - July 2012
Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence - August 2012
Newport (Full) - October 2012
Marine Corps Marathon - October 2012
WDW Donald – January 2013
WDW Mickey (Full) - January 2013

So that would make this past weekends Cherry Blossom Half my 6th.  I feel like I must have forgotten one or two, but maybe not.  I left the 5Ks off the list.  They were of course where I started and I continue to do them here and there for fun and to test my speed.  It is kind of fun to start and end a season with a 5K just to see how you are doing for speed.  

I run all of the 5Ks at Disney when I am down there for the longer races.  Who doesn’t love more hardware even if it is software?  I think they do a nice job with the medallions.  They lend a certain quality to their animated characters that medal just could not.  

Right now all of my medals are here and there around the house.  None of them are hanging.  They are scattered reminders of great running efforts.  Every now and then I think I should do something with them.  My race bibs are the same way.  Tucked in here and there in the cabinets, on my dresser, even in the laundry room.  I never throw them away.  Maybe someday I will put them all into a collage with a photo from each race.  I am not into creating a tribute to my racing, although I have thought about doing a poster with my character photos from my runDinsey races.  Those pictures just make me so happy!  

What do you do with your race mementos? 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Marathon and a Half Marathon with 2 weeks in between

When I was contemplating my races for May 2012 I was thinking I would do the Cox Providence Rhode Races half marathon and the Cherry Blossom half marathon in Pawtucket, RI.  There would only be 2 weeks between them.  I did not do the Pawtucket race in 2011 because the races were so close together.  This year I decided I would go for it and registered early.  Well you know how the Cox race went (1st Marathon)!  The next battle was how to recover and manage life to get ready for the next 1/2.

My family life was crazy in between!  My oldest daughter was in a professional production of the ballet Swan Lake.  This meant being at the theater for 2 nights of rehearsals and 2 evening shows.  The first rehearsal was on Tuesday night just as my legs were starting to recover.  It meant late nights hanging out with middle school kids in a theater basement.  At least I did not need to put in long miles.  I was grateful to have the time to focus on her!  The downside was it took a toll on my health.  By the final show on Saturday night I knew a sinus infection was coming on with respiratory distress soon to follow.  After much hacking all week long I started to feel better yesterday.  Or at least that is what I was telling myself.  95% was better than 60% and I was running this race.

This past Sunday was also Mother's Day.  I had decided that I really needed a better running watch if I was going to manage my running that way I wanted to and what do you family came through with a hug for my wrist!  I took my Garmin out running that very morning!

Loving my new Garmin & my Running Skirt!
I got in 3 or 4 runs this week with the watch.  I love being able to see my pace!

So what will I do differently this October when I do the Amica marathon in Newport, RI and then the Marine Corps Marathon in DC two weeks later?  I will make sure my commitments in between are kept to a minimum.  I will stay on top of my sleep schedule.  I will eat less pizza on the way to the theater (ie. eat healthier, because I am not rushing off to do something).  In other words I will manage my two weeks better, because it is that important!

As always I am open to your thoughts and suggestions.  This is something I am learning through doing and reading!

First Marathon Ever - Cox Providence

My first marathon was scheduled to be in mid-October in Newport, RI, that was until I started to feel like I might be ready and made the decisions to go for it in early May instead.  Back in March I started getting the feeling that I might be ready and increased the miles on my long runs just to see.

I was already registered for the Cox Providence Rhode Races Half Marathon on May 6th and all I had to do was switch to the full (easier said than done).  I emailed the race officials authorized the additional charge and thought I was all set.  When the day arrived to check my bib number I was still listed as a half runner.  The change had never been processed and I had not me charged.  The race officials at Eident Sports made the switch for me at the expo and I was officially a Marathoner to be two days before the race!

The weather on race day shaped up to be amazing.  It was in the mid 50s in the morning and climbed into the mid 60s during the race.  I went with my Nuu-Muu dress that I bought at the runDisney Princess Half Marathon back in February.  I wore my Under-Armor compress shorts underneath to prevent any chaffing.  26.2 miles is a long way to go and chaffing would have killed me.

I was able to meet up with another runDisney lover before the race.  Linda Bachand-Doucet is another great Rhode Island runner who I think would go to every runDisney race if she could.  Oh wait...that describes all of us.  Anyway it was great to meet her before I took off for the full and she took off for the half.  

This is Linda's photo.  Her cousin took it for us.  Doesn't she look so cute in her piggy tails!
Thankfully the race organizers had decided to send off the full marathoners half an hour before the half marathoners.  So at 7:30 we were off and there was no issue later on in the course with dividing the field.  It was really nice having the race sub-divided and the number of people out there bumping against each other in the first miles kept to a minimum.  

I was running with my Timex and trying to figure out my splits.  It seemed to be working okay.  Better than I can say for my system.  I was planning on eating my Clif Shot Blocks one every 20 minutes or so.  I think I managed to eat one, maybe two, then I grabbed a Gatorade and felt a bad feeling in my belly.  I was trying to make sure that I did not have system failure so I cut out the Gatorade and put  a call into field support for some Clif drink at the mile 11 rendezvous.  

I was on my hometown course so I was just ticking through the miles on familiar roads.  I felt like I just needed to get the first half finished so I could work on the second half.  The mile markers were a little screwy.  They had altered the course due to some construction that had not been completed in time and the markers were not always where they should have been I think.  Anyway you can't tell me I really ran a 7:30 mile for mile 11.  

Speaking of mile 11, that is where the rendezvous went down.  I was able to switch my water bottle for the Clif lemonade.  I thought "I can always grab water" - wrong!  Around mile 13 the aid stations started running out of cups.  Let me tell you a "swig out of the jug" is not my idea of good race support.  Water stations from that point on were inconsistent in their service.  

My family did a fantastic job supporting me in this race.  The rendezvous at mile 11 was fantastic.  I did not even know my older daughter was running along filming me.  I got my drink, my blocks, and a kiss.  Then I was on my way for more!

I think I hit my first "this is really going to hurt" moment around mile 12.  My next one came after mile 19.  I was able to run for a bit with the whole family in mile 19, even the dog.  But then I was headed up a long slow rails-to-trails grade that I just did not think about.  I did not realize what it was doing it me and my watch reported that that mile took me 19 minutes to run.  Shock and horror!  There was a real hill right after that, but it was one that I recognized as a hill, and I tackled it as a hill recovering to finish that mile in 15 minutes or so.  From that point I focused all my thoughts on getting one mile closer and enjoying my first marathon.  I just kept telling myself I needed to appreciate my surrounding and enjoy the effort I was putting into my first marathon!

With 2 miles remaining we ran through a park by the head of the bay.  Along the path were all of the tribute posters for loved ones lost and well wishes for those battling.  It is always a very moving experience.  I mustered whatever I had left and got myself to that finish line.  I was thrilled I had really done it!  I was there by myself, as I often am at races, standing in a sea of finishers and family on a beautiful day in my home city.  

The first half had only taken me 1:58.  I did not run hard, I did not hold back, I just ran.  The second half took a little longer as my splits began to slide and the effort began to get to me.  In the end I finished in 4:40 and was trilled.  I really had no idea how long it would take.  I thought if I could hold a 10 minute mile it would be around 4:20.  My first half miles were less than 10 and my second were more.  I realized I could not rely on the mile markers and time clocks (only every 5 miles) and I needed to get a better running watch.

Mother's Day was the following weekend and I received a wonderful hug for my wrist from my family!  It came in the form of a Garmin!  But more on that later...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

T minus 20 or so hours to marathon departure

Today's mission, which I have chosen to accept, eat lots of carbohydrates!

I do not need protein.

I do not need fats.

I have been instructed to raise my glycogen levels.  So if I want cereal after my pancakes I should eat it!  I feel like it is Fat Tuesday.  I am to eat more than I think I want.

Can you believe that such a day exists?

Well in my husbands learned opinion it is called the day before a monumental physical effort day!  I hope he is right!  There is still no way I am stuffing myself.  That would just feel too grose.

So increased carbohydrates it is and relax because tomorrow I will need tons of energy!

Cox Providence Marathon you are mine and I am yours!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cox Providence Rhode Race Marathon Expo

I am now officially running the Cox Providence Marathon!

I went to the expo to switch from the half to the full and get my bib and guess what...I got a generic bib (Bay State Race Services)!  They ran out of official marathon bibs.  They only ordered 1500 and they have over 1800 marathoners.  So for my first ever marathon I will be running with a no name bib! :(  Maybe I will write the name of the race across the top.  That's it, it is time to get creative!

I made it in and out of the expo and I only spent $3!  I bought a magnet from Women Run.  I thought they had a cool logo.  The expo had a few interesting vendors and some charities, but for the most part it was a just a pickup for race bibs and T-shirts (which are unisex and huge).  Get there early ladies, because you are going to want a smaller shirt than usual.  I wear a women's medium race shirt and went with the unisex small.  I put it on over my long sleeve and it seemed okay.  We will see when I take it for a spin the first time.

See you on Sunday everyone!  Race strong and have fun!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Race Paperwork :(

So I am all excited about running my first full marathon this weekend.  I switched from the half to the full a month ago, or so I thought!  Today they released the bib numbers and there I was still on the half list.  What a bummer.  It is funny how something so simple can make you question so much.  Well anyway on Friday I will be heading to the expo with an email in hand and a promise that it will all be okay.  There is just something about having your bib and the race being on the verge of really happening that is exciting and reassuring all at the same time.  Cox Providence Rhode Races marathon here I come!