Beautiful Day for a 9 Mile Run

A BIG congratulations to N & L--their first 9  mile run EVER--they are such naturals--they did great.  Moving along to the grove.

We hit the Henry Hudson Trail this morning at 10:30--warm and sunny out.  We choose an out and back run--4.5 each way.  It was hard but we felt good.  We took one .2 miles walk break and one stop 1/2way to fuel (oh yeah and a couple small stops to tie shoes--stretch)--but we really keep moving.

Kinda funny our last mile was as fast as our first.  I think everyone was happy with the 10:30 pace--felt good. (Con of course smoked us the last 2 miles--I guess the inserts work for him--no foot pain).
Avg Pace
100:10:01 1.00 10:01
200:09:59 1.00 09:59
300:10:23 1.00 10:23
400:10:48 1.00 10:48
500:10:59 1.00 10:59
600:10:47 1.00 10:47
700:11:21 1.00 11:21
800:10:14 1.00 10:14
900:10:01 1.00 10:01

Hammer House Love at First Ride

What is a Groupon?  Well, it is a group coupon.  You can sign up to receive offers daily via email, Facebook or Twitter--here is how it works:
  1. Get It

    Check your email, Facebook or Twitter feeds for daily deals on cool local businesses.
  2. Share It

    Groupons are more fun when used with friends. Pass along deals by email or broadcast them to your social networks.
  3. Enjoy It

    Print the voucher or bring it up on your mobile device, then present it at the business to get your deal.
The other day there was an offer from Hammer House a local spin studio here in Colts Neck that uses a unique spin bike that moves from side to side to engage the core muscles more. Their website claims:

"We house 20-30 RealRyder® ABF8 indoor cycling bikes in each of our studios. RealRyder® transforms the face of the traditional exercise bike and takes your workout to a whole new level. Unlike the traditional stationary spinning bike, our equipment allows you to steer, lean, turn and move side to side - constantly engaging your core muscle groups, upper and lower body to burn more calories and get optimal results. Our “rydes” burn 20% more calories per minute compared to the conventional indoor bikes. It truly redefines the traditional spinning fitness workout and is the closest thing to actually being on the road."

I LOVE LOVE LOVE spin--I am somewhat addicted.  Since I am 1/2 marathon training right now, I typically only have time for 1 spin class a week--but I look forward to it and love the instructor at the Y.  Unfortunately, my long runs for the next few weeks are planned for the day I usually take spin.  Two weeks ago, I attempted to spin at 7am and then complete my long run at 10:30 am--that was not as successful as I hoped.  

So when the Groupon offer came through the other day--$66 for 10 rides (normally valued at $190) and if you are a new customer 3 free rides---that is 13 rides for $66--it was an offer too good to refuse.  So I purchased the Groupon--very easy to do--all online and then you print out the coupon.  There is a money back guarantee--so no worries.  I then visited the Hammer House website to check out their class schedule.

They recently opened a new location near me in Red Bank but the studio in Colts Neck is right down the street---although, someone just told me the studio in Red Bank is near Starbucks---my addiction to spin and Venti Soy Lattes is well known--so maybe I will have to try the other location out too.

I reserved a bike this morning (using one of the free rides offered).  I even called before I went just to make sure it was free and that I was all set.  Everyone who works there could not have been more accommodating and friendly.  When I showed up--J (a friend) who works there got me all set up with my coupon so I could simply schedule the classes I want to attend in the future online.  I was encouraged to use the 3 free classes before "activating" the coupon--how great is that!

The instructor Kim was peppy and had the most amazing arms (I covet her muscular arms)---if they can guarantee me her body--I am hooked. The room has 20 bikes spread out around the instructor stage.  Some of the riders were hard core "Hammer House" addicts (in a good way)--one man was dismayed to learn that he had not reserved "his" bike and instead I had.  I told him not to worry--I understand the attachment a rider can have to their bike and I would just take an available one.  There were a couple newbies in class; Kim and the crew made sure everyone was all set--helping new riders like me adjust our bikes.  Kim jumped right into the class--dimming the lights and pumping the music up.

Now remember--I am a Spin Fiend--I knew the bikes were different but--MAN--this was a hard workout.  I know I was not moving the bike on the turns correctly--you are supposed to use your core and I was using my arms and shoulders---but Kim encouraged all new riders to ride at least 3 times--it takes about 3 classes to get in the swing of things (that is why they offer all new riders 3 classes).  Regardless--I got a great workout and I can not wait to try it again.

Running Idols

Forget the Olympians and runners who end up in every running magazine you see--give me the normal runners (now, please do not get in a huff--I admire and respect the professional runners--it is just that I am more "in-touch" with the idea of the average runner--people that I can relate to).  I will never be the fastest (well---maybe I should not say that---maybe at age 85 I will be).  I run because I love it.  It makes me feel good--healthy & strong.  A few weeks ago I read an article about a women 64 year old woman who runs 11 miles daily and has for the last 12 years--you can read about her here.  She inspired me--she looks so happy in the photograph and I want to be like her. 

Today on the Runners World Facebook Fanpage there is a post about a 95 year old Bronx woman took up running at 67---LOVE it, read about her here.  I love these stories--they give me hope.  As a runner who did not take up running until I was 39 (last year)--I find that some people love the fact that I run (regardless of how fast or long I go) while others seem to send me the "you are not a real runner vibe"--is it in my head?  I do not think so.  I have been dismissed in conversations when my 10-11 min/mile pace comes up---almost as if I was wasting their time talking about running. I have labeled these people "running snobs"--in their minds, they run--I jog.  Why do they care--why do I care---I run for me--I compete only with myself.  I am just as much of an athlete.  It would just be nice if everyone was supportive.

It is only the people who run because they really love it that get excited for me.  Excited that I have found the same "natural high" feeling that they have.  That encourage me to keep moving and support my running. My husband is a wonderful supporter.  Making time for me to run, driving the boys to and from activities when I have a run scheduled and most importantly acting in "AWE" of my run--whether it was 1 mile or 13 miles (regardless of the pace).

I will make it my personal goal to encourage others and support all other runners. 

5 Old School

5 Miles today.  I really wanted to run them before Breastfeeding Support Group today, but after Kenpo the bargaining began:
1) I would run 5 later
2) I would run 5 tomorrow on my day off when I had more time
3) I would run 2 today and 3 tomorrow--or vice versa
4) I would skip the run
After group my car thermometer registered 45 degrees--the sun was shinning---what was I waiting for.
I threw on the running clothes that I had all ready laid out the day before.  I wore tights (not lined) and a thermal long sleeve nike top---it was GORGEOUS outside. No gloves--no jacket.

The bargaining continued though......
1) I would just run 2-3
2) I would run 4 with hills--that was equivalent to 5
3) I would run 3-4 then walk the rest

I bargained with myself through the hills and then when I got to my house at 4 miles---I kept going.  5 with hills--DONE!
Today's song, Jump Around, House of Pain

Avg Pace
100:09:29 1.00 09:29
200:09:30 1.00 09:30
300:10:23 1.00 10:23
400:09:54 1.00 09:54
500:10:00 1.00 10:00

3 Miles--always better with friends

3 Miles at Thompson today with L and N.  Great run!  After P90X and Strength Training at Y--I was spent--but I knew I would get the 3 done.  Ran 1 mile slow and steady then we did 1:2 intervals of fast paced (no talking) with recovery (our slow and steady comfortable talking pace) ---we did intervals for a mile and then the last mile slow and steady.  

We were all spent by the end--but it felt good.  We pushed ourselves and I know we could have done more....
Avg Pace
100:10:09 1.00 10:09
200:09:15 1.00 09:15
300:09:36 1.00 09:36

Trail Run!

Finally we got a trail run in--OK, it was a paved trail, but at least we got out of our neighborhood.  I am grateful to live in a neighborhood that is runner friendly, but I need variety and I like running different routes with each run.  The monotony of the same route is enough to take the fun out of the run for me.

We had 4 on the agenda.  Con was trying out his new inserts---we tried to exchange his shoes for a different pair--but opted to try inserts instead.  I am against inserts and have doubts they are helpful, but his feet are REALLY flat and we figured it was worth a try.  He did not have the pain in his arches that he did the other day--but we need a few more runs and a long run before the verdict is in.
There were some areas of the trail that were icy---less than 1 %, so I was happy.  We saw plenty of geese and some other runners.  Con ran by his LAX coach----love seeing people we know when out running. Forgot my phone in the car--so no photos.  

Avg Pace
100:09:41 1.00 09:41
200:09:35 1.00 09:35
300:09:40 1.00 09:40
400:09:02 1.00 09:02

Double Digits, Baby!

10 Miles today with Con--it was the furthest he has ever run and the longest run I have had since last year--Double Digits, Baby!  Here I am are pre-run:

Let me start by saying--this run could have been better.  We must have stopped a zillion and one times within the first 3-4 miles.  Con's arch was hurting him--every time we stopped we had to assess--is it achy or are you really in pain.  I know the mileage was freaking him out and I choose a route that was a 10 mile loop so he had to finish to get home (I would have run home for the car if he really could not run).  That being said we are headed back to Road Runner's today to try out another pair for shoes--they put him in a neutral shoe--but I think he needs a stability pair.

I tried to distract him with horses:
I did not know he was afraid of horses--he refused to pet them--they wanted the attention so bad---so I had to pet them
By 5 miles, I think it set in for him--he was doing it and he could do it.  We stopped at mile 5 at hi school for snacks.  Con had the cliff blocks-his favorite.  I had a granola bar. 

We ran by the old school house, the Gargoyle House (yes there is a gargoyle house--see one of the gargoyles below), and we stopped at the courthouse for water and to use the bathroom--Con said the water from the sink was terrible-tasted like iron.

It was so beautiful out--high 50s with a cool breeze.  The sun stated hidden for most of our run but it would peak out every now and then.  There is still a lot of snow out there, but it is melting.  Here is a view of Big Brook:
Our running pace was 10:39--but that did not take into account all our breaks so it really does not count.

51 degrees + Sunny = Perfect Afternoon Run

Con and started our day with Core Synergistics; day 16 of our second round of P90X.  I felt great.  My back is a little twingy, but NO PAIN.  I had breastfeeding support group to moderate and then a work appointment and all I wanted to do was run.  It was 51 degree and sunny here in the NE today--the warmest day in MONTHS.  You could even see grass in some areas---really.  Here is some grass in my front lawn:
I made it home sooner than I expected and got the kiddies off the bus.  Then I decided to sneak 4 miles in.  I am so glad I did.  I felt strong and HAPPY--I felt like I was running slow and steady, but I actually kept a pretty decent pace (for me), 9:26

Today's song, Rosalita, Bruce Springsteen:

Got my run in even with back pain

So after yesterday's snafu with back pain galore and tennis--I decided to skip P90X and my strength training and get a run in.  My goal was 5--I stuck to the TM since I was unsure of how I would feel.  I went really slow--think my walking pace but in a slow jog motion.  After a mile of this--I tried some intervals, but running slow just felt better.

The weather at the end of the week is supposed to be GORGEOUS--50s---so I am really counting on get a great run in--one of those "just for me" runs--on Th or F.

Subluxated Rib Head

I knew on Sunday when I was trying out Jillian Michaels' 6 week Abs for the first time ($10 target special) that I had "pulled" something--it was the kind of pull that I thought if I just stretched it out it would "pop" back into place.  A little "twingy" but no pain.  I finished the workout no problem; I did not even have to pause it.   

Con and I (and Ray--my hubby is now joining us for P90x--that is a whole other story) woke up for our 5:30 P90X workout yesterday morning.  Core Synergistics was on the agenda.  I love that workout.  I felt a little twingy in the left trap area--but no pain and it felt good to work it out. 

Monday am I play tennis for 2 hours at the Colts Neck Raquet Club--I love this time.  I started playing tennis about 6 months before I started running--what took me so long??? I like playing and the ladies I play with are fun.  I knew after the first few swings that tennis was going to be challenging.  Even though the "pop" was on the left trap area (yesterday during the video workout)--ALL the muscles in my upper back were tense and that tension lead to discomfort--leading to pain--leading to the point where I felt my back "seize".  I never quit anything, but I had to go home yesterday after 30 minutes of hitting balls.

I could barely get out to the car in the parking lot---I felt like I had to mobilize my left arm---any movement sent spasms through my back muscles--tennis was a colossal mistake.  I called Ray after sitting in the car for 10 minutes (with the car door open--I could not pull it closed with my left hand).  I did not think I could drive home, but I did it and then sat in the garage for another 15 minutes.  I could barely move.  

The worst thing was it was a rare high 40s-50 degrees with wicked wind--but warm wind--I had a solo run planned--I wanted to do at least 5 and run for FUN for ME--I was pissed.  I had the day off and here I was lying on the yoga mats in the sunroom--every breathe HURT!  I diagnosed myself with a subluxated rib head and laid with rolled up yoga mats under me to help relax it back into place.

After the Aleve  kicked in and I had been icing the different areas of my back for 2 hours--and after watching "You Again" on demand--after all if I had to lie still on my back, I had to be doing something--this movie was super-cute (Ray would have hated it and would have made snide comments all the way through--so I am glad I snuck it in)---I decided--Yes, my back hurts and breathing hurts--but I could run--I would just move my legs.  I convinced myself if I went slow I could do at least 3-4 on the treadmill.  After running a slow 1.3 miles (Yes, it took me that long before I knew I was an idiot), I called it quits.  I am an anal task master so missing that run was torture for me--sitting here the next morning I still feel guilty.

This morning I feel better--much better--it still hurts on deep inhalation, but nothing like yesterday; however, I am not going to risk it.  I am playing it safe--no P90X this morning--and no strength training at the gym--the guilt is awful and I know I will be dragging today as a result--I need the endorphin high to keep me moving. 
I am going to attempt a slow jog on the treadmill...........(to be continued)

Run/Walk v Run

7 miles today--this was our recovery week--we have been increasing mileage every 2 weeks with a recovery week in between; for example, our long run last week was 9 and next week is 10. Well, last week for our long run Con and I did the run 3 min/walk a minute (we had used this technique in the past)--Con had been struggling on our long runs and we wanted to see if this walk/run would help us get the run done.  We ended up with a slightly better than average pace--so we decided to put it to the test again this week.

L joined us on the run today---I was glad we were doing the run/walk because I took Spin this am at 7 and I knew that was not one of my better ideas since I had a long run ahead of me.  However, a Starbucks venti soy latte and Greek yogurt with granola later and I was ready to go.  

Take a look at this--today's run:
7 Miles Avg Moving Pace: 10:14 min/mi
Past Runs (over last few weeks--avg moving pace):
8 Miles 11:16 Pace
6 Miles 10:59 Pace
7 Miles 10:43 Pace
Avg Pace
100:10:05 1.00 10:05
200:10:01 1.00 10:01
300:11:08 1.00 11:08
400:10:11 1.00 10:11
500:10:47 1.00 10:47
600:10:40 1.00 10:40
700:09:54 1.00 09:54
800:00:01 0.00 10:12

Today's Song, Time of my Life, Black Eyed Peas (great pace keeper):

RRCA Running Coach?

4 outside with the ladies--a big thank you to L and N for coming out today.  I know I would have talked myself into the treadmill--it was COLD 25 degree when we started out.  Once we got started the sun felt great and as always, I was thankful for running outside instead of on the TM.  Negative Splits on first 3 miles--not too shabby neighbor.
Avg Pace
Summary 00:40:144.0010:03
100:10:17 1.00 10:17
200:09:57 1.00 09:57
300:09:50 1.00 09:50
400:10:06 1.00 10:06
500:00:02 0.00 09:41
So a few months ago I started to look into trainer options--personal training programs, running coach certifications, spin instructor certifications.  I came to a few conclusions:
1) Some of the programs were too expensive
2) Some were "gimicky"
3) Some were not regarded highly

Being that I am already a health care professional (RN/MSN)--I thought I could combine my career with my passion for exercise, but I could not find a program that seemed like a good fit for someone who already has a health care background and fit into my schedule and budget.  

I did like the idea of being an RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) running coach--I have a grand idea of forming an all womens running club here in my area.  I envision a group just for ladies with group runs scheduled throughout the week--different locations and times, so whether you are a mom, working woman, student, or retiree---new, seasoned, or returning runner--you will fit right in.  Women helping other women achieve their running goals--no judgment only support.

I signed up for updates on certification programs and unfortunately noted that the programs all feel out of my area---until I received an update a couple of days ago--a certification program is coming to NJ in June--YEAH!  

So I told hubby---no flowers (I don't like roses anyway)--I have the perfect Valentine's Day gift he can give me.  I am all signed up and I can't wait. 

Today's Song, Sexual Healing--Shaggy Remix--(Help--I really love this song--something about Marvin Gay and Shaggy together--love their voices--but, this version is not available on iTunes;(--I found a old Max-a-million version, but it is not Shaggy)


I was sitting down after our 5:30 am P90X workout--yes, my son and I get up at 5:30 during the school week to do P90 before he goes to school--cause' that is how we roll.  Actually, it is the only time that we have with regularity to do P90X--we are on our second round.  The first round this past summer was great--we both noticed big differences--my muffin top decreased in size and he actually had a 4 pack.

Anyway we noticed we were getting soft around the middle--for me-having a stomach that sticks out farther than your boobs is a deal breaker--we needed to do another round and bring it with our friend Tony.  We have a contest to see who can remember the most Tony quotes while we work out.

I knew I needed to sneak in 5 today and while I was thinking about how and when I could do it--I realized if I jumped on the treadmill before the two little ones got on the bus and then right after they got off--I could do 3 miles before and 2 miles after--is that cheating?  Oh well, it is what it is.

First 2 miles--.5 mile intervals--then the rest slow and steady.

Today's song, Timebomb, Beck

Thank you, Mother Nature

Con and I wanted to run our long 9 miles yesterday to avoid Super Bowl exhaustion---We are having family over later to watch the game and he had Lax this am--however, Mother Nature had other plans.  There was icy cold rain here in the NE yesterday and running 9 on the treadmill was NOT an option. 

It turns out today could not have been better for our 9 miles--high 30s and SUNNY---we definitely got our dose of vitamin d.  Thank you, Mother Nature  Here I am pre-run in the sun:
For those of you who do not follow this blog (the whole world minus a few nice souls)---Con has been having a hard time with the long runs lately--sore/tired/acting like a typical 13 year old learning how to endure---anyway, we tried new shoes--but really he just needs a new attitude--a "CAN DO" attitude.  He is a natural runner (great form) and he is strong----and he wants to do it (I do not force him to run).  He wanted to use a run 3 minute--walk 1 minute approach--we have done this in the past and it worked well---thank you, Jeff Galloway.

Our times are really not that much slower and on some splits faster than if we ran all the way through.  In fact, I have to look--but I swear the time is better than my last Sunday 7 mile run----maybe there is something to this run/walk thing.
Avg Pace
100:10:11 1.00 10:11
200:10:18 1.00 10:18
300:10:57 1.00 10:57
400:11:06 1.00 11:06
500:10:47 1.00 10:47
600:11:02 1.00 11:02
700:11:15 1.00 11:15
800:11:12 1.00 11:12
900:10:17 1.00 10:17
1000:00:35 0.06 09:53
Today's song, Outkast, BOB

4 done--9 tomorrow?

I have a long run planned for Sunday---but I think I need to move it to tomorrow afternoon.  Sunday am the boys have LAX practice from 7-10--and then we are having family over for Super Bowl Party.  Tomorrow may be our only chance.  Con and I were thinking of doing a run/walk approach.  He has not been able to do a long continuous run since our 7 miles weeks ago--so I thought Jeff G's outlook of taking breaks early and often may see him through--when we hit 6-7 miles--we can run it out.

We started P90X again--day 8 for us.  He wants the muscle definition--- I want to lose the extra 20 lbs.  Am I the only woman who does not lose weight when running?  I am a health food nut, exercise everyday, but I can't lose the poundage.  I tried on some of my work-suits the other day--NONE of them fit (size 4 no more)---depressing.  Yes, I feel good--but enough already---I am working hard--I want the payoff.

Ran on the treadmill today--and I probably should not admit it--but the run was not so bad--watched my DVR of The Vampire Diaries--yes, I am a teenage girl at heart--vampires--love them.  I can't wait for the latest season of True Blood to come out of DVD or the new season of The Walking Dead to start. 

Icy Trees

Today is my day off from running--I need it but I miss the endorphin high. It seems like I have not a truly enjoyable run in away--the runs I have been having feel good--but more like a task to be completed in my training program.  I have felt slow and have needed to walk more than I want to--and don't even get me started on the treadmill.  I need to reframe and fast.  I want to run tomorrow with no agenda---just to run for FUN.  I think my biggest hindrance is the same running route--I am grateful for a safe neighborhood to run in since the trails/paths have all been unrunable since Christmas--but enough already. 

Here is a picture from my run the other day--my icy covered trees: