So weight is not a primary goal for me anymore, but fun to see my progress since I last reported it ...

149.8 (-31.6)
waist - 28.5 (-4.6)
hips - 39.5 (-3.0)
thigh - 23.0 (-3.0)
arm - 12.5 (-1.75)

Primary change I made? Weight training. I've been doing 3-4 days/wk of relatively heavy weights. I made no conscious changes to my diet other than increasing my protein intake (extra ~35g protein after each weight workout).

I'm relatively certain my increase in speed stems primarily from having less mass to move around...

Me Again

Not that I haven't been running the last (gosh, couple years) but if you still have me on your reader and you're interested, I've got a new zest. I've gotten leaner (-30lb), fitter, faster (7:40 mile), and have some new challenges planned (sub-2 13.1, my first 26.2) ...

Let me know if you're still with me. More soon!


Still Running ... not posting

So... haven't posted since May. I am still running (or more accurately, running again). I ran consistently in May and a little in June but then I sort of stopped until last week. Mid-June to mid-August consisted of finishing and defending my master's thesis, traveling from Indiana to Maryland and back, from Indiana to Wisconsin and back, to Maryland again, and then to Florida and back to Maryland (almost 5,000 miles). Oh, and starting my PhD. I am now living in a MD suburb of Washington, D.C. and it took me awhile to get comfortable with my schedule (which is insane) and running in this area (which I was very very afraid of when I got here). Amazingly, the 3-month hiatus from running had approximately zero effect on my running. I am still keeping about the same pace and actually FEEL better than I remember feeling before on runs (more energy, less wanting to walk). I put up 11 miles my first week back and with tomorrow's run it will be 15 this week. I hope to hang out in the 15-20 mpw range for awhile. I don't know how much I will be posting because I don't feel like I have anything of interest to say, but if people are still hanging around, make yourself known and I will post ... something ... for you! I love the running blog camaraderie.


As promised ... sort of.

There weren't too many pics of me from the race. Zero from the course itself -- Since I had my bib number on my shorts, I think my shirt may have been covering part it at times. There are some from the finish line but I'm kinda in a clump of people. My post-race photo turned out pretty good, though.


Indy Mini Race Report

I didn't take my camera, and pics aren't up yet from the race so I will post those later, but here's my (incredibly long, sorry) report:

We (me, my friend B, and her boyfriend E) headed down to Indy on Friday nite after work , went to the Expo to pick up our packets, and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Candlewood Suites, which was amazing. We had two rooms (bedroom that was about twice the size of mine at my apartment, and living area with a sofa bed), plus a kitchenette with a full-size fridge and stove, plus pans and dishes. This was great, because we made pasta and were able to make it the way we wanted without worrying about trying something new on race day. This was one of the hotels affiliated with the race, so we got a great deal ($129.00). It was about 2 miles from the start, but we decided to take a taxi downtown so we could leave a little later didn’t have to walk with all our gear.

I woke up before my alarm @ 5a. We ate breakfast (PB and honey sandwich on Wonder Bread and coffee for me) and relaxed while trying to decide what to wear. Settled on a lightweight long sleeve, but pinned my bib number on my shorts just in case. We scheduled a taxi for 6:15 and he got there a couple minutes early but didn’t mind waiting on us. He got us right into downtown close to veteran’s park. We stowed our stuff, visited the port-a-potties, and promptly decided we were overdressed. Took off the long sleeve, but forgot to bring the throwaway arm warmers I made out of socks and just had to suck it up until the start. I left B and E who were starting in corrals B & C, because they are waaaaay faster than me and trekked down to my corral – R. It took forever to work through the crowds to get down to my corral, so by the time I got down there, they were taking down the gates between the corrals. I barely noticed the start, since I was pretttty far away from the start line. It ended up taking me 22 minutes to shuffle to the start line after the gun, but since we were chip-timed, this was no big deal. Although there were a lot of people, I had plenty of room to run, and only had to do a bit of weaving early on.

I’ll break the running part of the race down into three 4-mile categories …

Part 1 (Miles 1-4) - What a Feeling 11:09 average pace
If you know anything about me, you know I don’t regularly run 11:00 miles. And if you know that, you probably are thinking I shouldn’t be running 4 miles at just over 11:00/mile at the beginning of a 13.1-mile race. If you’re thinking this, you’re right. But that’s what I did. I had no idea I was going that fast until I got to the first mile marker. At this point, I tried to slow down, but I was feeling good. So I apparently kept it up through the first 4 miles. I even PR’ed my 5K by about a minute, which is no good in a half-marathon. I remember virtually nothing about this part of the race, it (literally) flew past.

Part 2 (Miles 5-9) - The Track 11:53 average pace
Shortly after the Mile 4 marker, I bit it on some railroad tracks. I was going at a pretty good clip and fell hard. I am bruised today (knee, shoulder, hand, and face – nice job, Lisa) but it didn’t phase me – I got right back up and going. About 50 people came by and asked if I was okay – Nice, but embarrassing, ugh. After that, it was a quick trip to Mile 6 and the track. Entering the speedway was the coolest part of this race for me. I was feeling a little GI-rumbling, so I made a pit stop pretty soon after entering the track. There was no line, but I had to wait for an open one, and then when I got in there, I didn’t have to go. So I wasted probably 2 minutes on nothing – stupid. I also lost a little bit of my drive, but the track excitement kept me going at about the same pace (minus the time spent on the pit stop).

Part 3 –Kill Me Now --12:47 average pace
As I was exciting the track, I got a giant sense of doom. There were a lot more miles ahead of me and I was running out of gas fast. I was also experiencing an EPIC BodyGlide fail, blood included. I found a medic tent halfway through mile 10 and had to wait about 2 minutes for her to find the Vaseline, but it was SO worth it. I walked a couple times during mile 11, which I am really disappointed about now, but I don’t even remember why I decided to walk or how long I did it, but 10 (Vaseline wait) and 11 (walking breaks) miles were both just AWFUL.

The Finish (12:41) – 11:30 pace
Seeing the mile 12 sign lifted a HUGE weight off of me. This is when I got really upset about breaking down and walking during mile 11. I knew I could make it to the finish so I grabbed one more water and went for it. I was able to get my pace back to a reasonable place and finish strong. I passed a BUNCH of people in the last ¼ mile. At the finish, I ended up 19573rd out of 30156 total finishers, which is fine – I wasn’t trying to do anything compared to anyone else. I also ended up averaging a sub-12:00/mile for the whole thing, which doesn’t reflect my speed for most of the race, but I’m glad miles 10 & 11 didn’t completely kill me. My original goal was to be under 2:45:00, so I was really happy with my time despite the bad miles and the ~4 minutes I spent not moving forward at all. After the race, I collected my food, got my picture taken, and went to find B & E. They BOTH PR’ed (1:40 for E and 1:46 for B – told you they were fast) AND E asked B to marry him! AND she said yes!! We celebrated the 3 for 3 PR’s and the engagement with burgers and beer. All in all a great day.

As for my review of the race itself, I’m glad I did it. I’ll probably do it again because I am Indiana born and bred, so I think it’s a neat one to come back to. However, the roads are not great and I found the track difficult to run on due to the banking. I’m also fairly certain most of the 100+ entertainment groups weren’t there. However, other than at the start, I only felt the course was overcrowded once, and that was a weird, narrow sharp turn coming off the track. There were tons of water/Gatorade “pit stop” stations, with TONS of AMAZING volunteers. The post-finish volunteers were amazing, too. I had no trouble getting my medal, snacks, and picture in a timely manner so I could get back to my friends and sit down. Crowd support was alright, I guess. There were people out on the whole course, but no one seemed to be particularly excited. This was my first big race, so I have nothing to compare it to. The spectators may have had more energy for the front- and middle-of-the-pack runners. Again, all-in-all a good day, FANTASTIC weather and a good time that I am hoping to SMASH in my next half (to be determined).


T-minus THREE?! days!!!!

I apologize, like always, for never posting here.  I'm fairly certain I only have two readers (Aaron, Dani) but I like you guys and want to keep you updated and get your input.  If you've been checking in, I have been running and logging my runs on Running Ahead, as you can see on my tracker.  I've also been logging and more active on dailymile, which you should totally check out and friend me on.  I love it because I can put in little snippets (mini-blogging) onto my workout reports without feeling like I am boring the blogosphere with the mundane details of each run.

In current news, I am running the OneAmerican 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (aka Indy Mini) this weekend, as I've been building up to since February-ish.  


My "goal" is to finish under 2:45:00, but my primary focus is to complete the distance (not a problem, I did 12 two weeks ago), run the whole thing (except water stops, since I have not yet perfected running+drinking without inhaling water), and have a good time!!  I am already embarassed by my slowness, but am trying to think on the positive side about what a small percent of the population will even run this distance, and at least I am doing that!!!!

Also, because I've been "tapering" this week, I have a lot of ... something (anxiety/frustration/etc) today that I would like to run out, and knowing that I'm "not allowed to" makes it worse. So I mapped out my next cycle to start next week!  This next cycle isn't gearing up to anything specific, because I'm not sure when I'm moving and thus, what to register for. The goal is to stay in the 20 miles/week range (not quite up to your committment, Aaron!!) and also to add some mild, but more structured strength and speedwork. This means 5-6 days per week of running, so I hope to see some improvements. If anyone wants to virtually train with me using this "program," let me know!!


T-minus ... 4 weeks?? Eek!

I have been MIA (again).  I got sick sick SICK a few days after my last post (GI horror) and wasn't able to keep down any food or much liquid for 4-5 days.  I ended up taking SEVEN days off running, including a long run.  The first 3-mi run back was pure torture, but I did 8 miles (about 13:00 pace) Saturday and 5 (12:15 pace) this morning.  I am feeling a little un-fit, but closer to normal.

I (STILL) have several things I want to post about but time is short -- just wanted to check in.

p.s. If you check out my run log in the sidebar (powered by RunningAhead.com), it's probably up to date.  Even when I am super pressed for time, I log my runs almost immediately after I finish them.  If it says zero, I most likely need a kick in the butt.  If it doesn't say zero and you haven't heard from me, grad school has consumed me and I'll return when I find a fragment of free time.