49 degrees here in NE today--but feels like 20s or 30s with the wind.  Please Please Please let there be NO WIND on raceday. This is how I look (red hair and all) in the wind.
Met the ladies, N and L,  at Thompson Park for 4 miles today--glad to have the company. 

I ended up wearing my cold gear--but ditched the jacket 2 miles in.  We started out strong and kept it there--a tempo run.  L had her longest run ever (11 +) yesterday so running fast was hard, but she did it.  Whoo--hoo--look at those negative splits. 

Avg Pace
100:09:30 1.00 09:30
200:09:27 1.00 09:27
300:09:16 1.00 09:16
400:08:38 1.00 08:38

4 Miles, 3 Soccer Games, 6 Lax Scrimmages--Oh My!

4 on TM before running out to a day filled with BOY activities.  I was happy to get the run in even if it was on the TM.  I hit my groove at mile 3, but if I wanted to shower before running off for the day--4 was it.

Today's Song, New Age Girl, Deadeye Dick

10 on TM

Ran Ran/Walked  10 on TM today--I am so pissed at myself.  It was COLD here in the NE today----25 degrees with a windchill of 17-35 mph.  I can try to blame my anger over this awful run on Mother Nature, but it is my own fault.  I should have sucked it up--there are only 3 weeks left before the race and I do NOT feel prepared.  Isn't the whole idea of training and re-reunning a race that you actually improve.  Well, I do not feel like I have improved.  

Once I got my mind mentally wrapped around doing 10 on the TM, I jumped in with a positive attitude.  I loaded up "Eat, Pray, Love" on Netflix, placed my water and iPod next to me, and covered up the display with a dish towel--I was all set.  

Not even 40 minutes into the run--I felt like I "HAD" to walk---I could not run 10 on the TM.  I am not a happy camper right now.

Next Saturday we have a 13.1 race training run planned.  I think Con is going to have to miss Sat morning soccer practice so we can actually do the run--I think I am going to have to switch some runs around this week, just to give me back some confidence.

Mother Nature--Make up your mind!

I had the opportunity to run outside with a friend today after strength training at the Y, but is was COLD, and DREARY, and flurries of snow were still coming down.  I actually backed out---YES, I AM LAME.  I imagined that running on the TM in shorts and my sports bra while watching my DVR'd The Good Wife would be better---Boy, was I wrong.

The rule is OUTSIDE v TM--OUTSIDE wins!  It was not that cold.  It was 35---and although, I had put my cold gear away already (last Friday it was 70 degrees), I should have sucked it up and gotten my butt out there.  Mentally I was so done with the cold.  40-50 degrees is OK--but 35, windy, overcast, and snow flurries beat me today.

Of course after banging out the 5 painfully on the TM, the sun breaks through the clouds and shines like it is a beautiful spring day.

Glad to get 5 in today before possible SNOW tomorrow--WHAT!

5 in Thompson today with L and Ni--missing Na today.  We keep it steady the whole run--nice tempo run (except for mile 3 where we were slowing down--my fault, I needed to catch my breathe).  I felt sluggish today---no pain, legs felt good, just body weary.

Windy---but we were shielded from most of it on the rugby track.  We decided to head off the track at mile 4 for a much needed change of scenery.   Surprisingly we kept the last mile strong despite the wind from 4-4.5 miles.  At 4.5 miles when we changed direction, it was like magic--NO WIND--nothing.  It is weird how that happens.  It was not like the wind changed directions or was coming at us from a different direction--it just stopped.  I felt strong that last 1/2 mile-but then again I was running to my car :)

Topic of discussion today--potty breaks and chia seeds, which seem to go hand in hand.

Here were our splits:
Avg Pace
100:10:07 1.00 10:07
200:10:04 1.00 10:04
300:10:15 1.00 10:15
400:10:06 1.00 10:06
500:10:05 1.00 10:05
600:00:46 0.09 08:41

4 Recovery Miles???

Headed out in the neighborhood for 4 recovery miles.  Was planning on "just running" and not thinking about running---if that makes sense.  I felt good after yesterday SLOW 12.  I have been worrying about my knees--both have felt twitchy lately, but thankfully NO PAIN--just twitchy (if you know what I mean).

Anyway, I though I would do the hit route in my neighborhood--it is exactly 4 miles.  The first mile felt good, but imagine my surprise to see my HR went up to almost 200---whooooo there.  That can't be right.  Normally, I will spike a HR of 160 in the beginning of my run and then once I get my groove on it goes down to an avg of 140 (since I am on a beta blocker for high BP [genetics]--the high rate was even more of a shocker).  I felt fine and if I did not seen it in the garmin data, I would have never know.  Guess I better keep an eye on that.
Avg Pace
100:10:13 1.00 10:13
200:10:07 1.00 10:07
300:10:57 1.00 10:57
400:10:26 1.00 10:26

Today's Song, Moving On, All American Rejects,

Running Fast is Hard--But so is Running Slow

12 Miles today.  We planned on slow running the entire 12 (no walk breaks).  Our plan was 11-12 min miles, but as always I started out too fast <10---I felt great.  Con had to stop me and tell me to tone it down.  For the first time ever--the first 2 miles were my best.  Not necessary the best time, but I felt great.  I got into my groove right away instead of at mile 2-3.  I thought I could run forever---until I hit mile 5.

The Manasquan Reservoir is beautiful, but any looping and I think I am a goner.  My mind focusing on "having to do it all over again" and I am lost.  Funny enough, Con said the same thing to me in the car on the way home.  Next week for our 11 we are going to pick an out and back or long route with no looping.   

I focused on my form with the run and when my right knee started to feel twingy, I really tried to relax my extremities as Danny Dreyer advises.  I think the most effective Chi movement today for me on my run was "peeling" my feet up and focusing on a mid strike (full strike) when landing.

The most difficult pieces were posture and lean. I just do not have those down at all.

Even though our pace is where we planned--I  can't help but think---I am soooo slow!  Others can bang out 7-8 min miles with no problemo--my typical 10:30 pace is hard enough, but add any extra mileage on and I might as well be walking.  I think I walk a 12-13 min/mile.  I really want to do better in the 1/2 this year; my pace last year was 10:40--you can read about my run last year HERE.

Avg Pace
100:10:27 1.00 10:27
200:11:30 1.00 11:30
300:11:15 1.00 11:15
400:11:28 1.00 11:28
500:11:13 1.00 11:13
600:11:04 1.00 11:04
700:10:57 1.00 10:57
800:10:37 1.00 10:37
900:10:51 1.00 10:51
1000:10:52 1.00 10:52
1100:11:12 1.00 11:12
1200:10:44 1.00 10:44
1300:00:06 0.01 13:06

I don't care what the calendar says--Spring is Here!

5 Miles run today.  I have been re-reading Chi Running and I really want "it" to work.  The idea of running pain free where running is a practice and not an activity you do or task to complete sounds wonderful to me.  I love all the ideas and it makes sense when you see it on paper, but fine tuning the technique in a run is difficult.

Staying relaxed, focusing on posture with the slight forward bend, and the proper foot strike is hard enough--but then adding breathing into the mix--forgetabout it (said with a NJ accent--which in case you were wondering does not really exist--what most people think is a NJ accent is a Staten Island/NY accent from transplants to NJ).

Here is a shot of one of my favorite old barns at the start of the run:

I really focused on the technique (minus the breathing--I panted along as I normally do) and I would have sworn I was running my normal 10:30 pace for the first 3 miles, but look:
Avg Pace
100:09:29 1.00 09:29
200:09:43 1.00 09:43
300:09:42 1.00 09:42
400:11:47 1.00 11:47
500:11:11 1.00 11:11
600:05:06 0.52 09:50

Unfortunately I did not feel like I could run forever and I did not find my groove at 2-3 miles (where I typically find it)---so after the 3 miles, I decided to run the reservoir trail back.  Knowing it would slow me down and allow me to recover.  Miles 4-5.5 where on the trail.  I was able to pick it up (only slightly) when I hit the paved path for the last mile back to Cross Farms.

It was such a beautiful sunny high 50s day--I ran without music.  I really wanted to find that zen moment--but it never came.  Maybe next time...

Here is a shot of my favorite part of the reservoir trail:

and here is a funky 5 trunk tree:

I Am Such a Geek

Met L, N, and N at Thompson today--we had 4 miles of intervals on the schedule.  The plan was to run 1 mile around the rugby loop at regular pace (10:10-10:30) and then hit the paved trail for 2 miles doing intervals of 1 min (run until almost out of breathe) and then 2 minutes regular pace (or even slower) BUT---the dirt track was so nice on the knees and N's glut was bothering her.   N & L took the lead and N and I stayed behind with her glut--but our pace was nice and steady.

Unfortunately, I can not see our splits--Garmin Connect is down until tomorrow and Garmin sync with Dailymile is not working---UGG.  I am such a geek--I want to see my splits, my heart rate---all that glorious data. 

4.41 miles with avg pace of 10:17--that is just not enough information for me:)

Hit the Trail

I hit the reservoir trail at Thompson Park today---it is a 1.5 mile trail and if I start over at Cross Farms in Holmdel---I can get a 5 mile run in (3 miles trail)--perfect!  I actually planned this run for the group on Thursday, but I wanted to see if the trail was OK, since I had not run it since November.  

I had my Monday morning tennis clinic (one hour instruction with one hour of doubles play) and then I headed over to Meridian Occupation Health in Holmdel to get my PPD read (negative--such a pain to have it "read" and I actually have to have it repeated on Friday, as if a repeat test 7 days later will pick up recent exposure---yesh!--I recently accepted a position as a PerDiem nurse in the OB clinic.  I am excited to get back into the "hospital " system.  I love having my own company, but I sometimes feel like I am missing out on things.  This position opened up and it is perfect for me.  I can't wait to get started; orientation is in a couple of weeks.).

Cross Farms is always cold--it is a perfect location for a wind farm (you heard it here first Monmouth County).  I changed from my tennis skirt into my Nike cold gear sweats--I love these pants (I have 3 pairs to prove it).  I ran with music for the first mile, but when I hit the trail, I took the earbuds out.  I wanted to run and think; unfortunately, the park is doing some major grounds work that involves "clearing" different areas of "infestation", so the sounds of bulldozers was all I heard--this took away from the scenery big time.

Here is some signage posted at the track around the rugby field:

Note, they did not say what caused "infestation"--pretty vague signage, written with the intent to make people happy with deforestation, but I am not sold.  I loved the rugby trail loop, an old horse trail a little over one mile long.  The best part of this loop was that you did not feel like you were running in a circle.  The natural foliage prevented you from visualizing other parts of the track, so you just felt like you were running in the woods.  Running around and around again in a circle sounds tortuous to me and is the main reason I have never actually run on a track (when I start to incorporate more speed work into my agenda, I will stick to flat routes instead).

Here is the new view of the back 1/2 of the trail which used to be completely "woodsy"---so depressing to me:
The reservoir trail was as gorgeous as ever it was unfortunate that the sun did not make an appearance until after my run was completed.  Here are a few photos of the trail:

I got the 5 in--it was not my best run ever--meaning I did not feel as strong as I should have.  It was a hard run and I sucked wind, but I am glad it is out of the way.  This week I am going to try to make my runs a little longer and see how I feel.  

I made an awesome dessert yesterday.  I actually got the idea from Woman's Home Journal--please do not judge.  My mom gets a free subscription when she orders it and has it sent to me.  Typically the magazine has nothing of interest in it (to me)--but this one recipe caught my eye--so easy and get this--I actually had all the ingredients.  Usually when I think a recipe looks good, it requires food shopping at several different stores to actually round up all the ingredients that are required.  So I gave this one a shot--SUCCESS.

I will call it, Casi's Jam Rollups (I do not typically make sweets--I am a "salty" girl, but I could not resist):
Pie Crust

1) Spread sugar cinnamon mix on your counter top
2) Roll out pie crust (right from the box--who has time to make it from scratch) and place it right on top of the spread sugary concoction--I even patted it down to make sure the sugar stuck
3) Evenly spread jam on the pie crust (raspberry is my preferred jam)
4) Crush pecans (handful) and spread evenly on top of jam
5) Roll the pie crust into a log
6) Slice log in 3/4 of an inch pieces
7) Place on cookie tray and bake at 375 until crispy on outside (the jam will leak out a bit--but trust me, the caramelized jam tastes delish)

Quick and easy---guaranteed to satisfy any sugar craving you may have.
Avg Pace
100:09:34 1.00 09:34
200:10:49 1.00 10:49
300:11:26 1.00 11:26
400:11:50 1.00 11:50
500:10:06 1.00 10:06

Beautiful Manasquan Reservoir

We have been waiting to run at the reservoir for a long time---today was the day.  10 on the agenda.  Con had an impromptu soccer practice scheduled from 9-10:30--but we had a group run planned at 10:30 and N was planning on meeting us--so told Con's soccer coach we would have to cut out early.  I don't know how we are going to plan our next long runs on Saturday's around the soccer and Lax weekend activities for all the boys.  It looks like he will have practice again next sat morning--I guess we will have to move the 12 miles to later in the day so he is not completely spent.

The wind was about 15-20mph and I was fearing a run like last week---but we lucked out.  The wind around the reservoir felt good and was NOTHING like the wind at the beach.  There were little white caps on the water--it was beautiful. 
N couldn't make it.  So we headed out.  For me the first 2-3 miles are always the hardest--it takes me awhile to find my groove--you know the pace where you just feel like you can keep going and all is "good".  I struggle those first few miles contemplating if I can even finish the run--mental mind games--"Why do I think I can run--what makes me think I am a runner---who am I kidding---3 miles is good, why do I want to run 10........." the list goes on and on.  Con was losing steam at 4--but I convinced him we would break at 5 for water and a snack back at the car.  The water level was high--this area is usually open to walk on, I had never seen the water level up to the retaining wall before.
Here is Con at 5 miles--he LOVES the Cliff shot blocks--we have only had the cherry flavor--we will have to try the other ones out.  He looks thrilled---Had to convince him to finish the next 5 with a promise of Jeff Galloway's 4:1 run/walk.  I actually wanted to compare the 2 halves of the run to see which pace was better and how we felt.
We actually did better (only slightly) running the first 5--we did walk run for miles 5-9 and then ran out the last mile. Here I am post run.  I could have run 3 more--it would have been messy--but I could have done it:)
Avg Pace
100:10:15 1.00 10:15
200:10:14 1.00 10:14
300:10:28 1.00 10:28
400:10:48 1.00 10:48
500:10:17 1.00 10:17
600:10:54 1.00 10:54
700:10:58 1.00 10:58
800:10:51 1.00 10:51
900:11:35 1.00 11:35
1000:10:23 1.00 10:23
1100:00:56 0.10 09:37

No Sports Bra--No Problem

Breastfeeding support group today---I love group BUT hate missing my run on these days, so I packed my bag with everything I needed---I even remembered tissues BUT guess what I forgot.  Yes, my sports bra.  Now, granted my A/B chest does not need much support, but I had NEVER run without a sports bra.  I contemplated passing on the run and going home--to run in the neighborhood, but I really wanted to run the trail around the library.  It is packed dirt and my knees where feeling kinda twitchy PLUS I promised someone I would measure the trail distance.

The signage at the Town Hall complex states the trail is 1.5 miles----NO WAY---I knew it was less but I did not have any GPS runs where I had an accurate reading.  I guessed it at 1.1 miles--it was 1.11 miles :)---this is way different that 1.5--how many people run there thinking they are running a 1/2 mile more each loop than they actually are???

Back to the bra--I decided to run in my regular bra---not ideal, but after the first mile I forgot about it---guess this is one time where having small breasts can work in your favor (trust me--there are not many of those times).
Avg Pace
100:09:36 1.00 09:36
200:09:52 1.00 09:52
300:10:20 1.00 10:20
400:10:24 1.00 10:24
500:10:15 1.00 10:15
600:01:32 0.16 09:41

Today's Song, King of Anything, Sara Bareilles (this is not her singing--but love this version on You Tube):

Still Fighting the Good Fight

I have been fending off a full blown illness since last week when all 3 kiddies were home sick from school.  Saw my Dr. yesterday for BP check (genetic thing-my vegetarian diet and obsessive workout schedule have no affect on lowering it--only meds will do) and my doc confirmed HUGE amount of fluid/pressure in right ear--not a surprise to me, since my head feels like it is going to implode.  Congestion is moving down to the chest as it always does--still hoping the Vitamin D and oil of oregano will keep it from turning into bronchitis---since I started taking vitamin D in the fall/winter 3 years ago I have not had bronchitis or the flu--which for an chronic asthmatic is a huge feat.

The run today was challenging--chest felt tight, but thankfully N keep me moving.  
My goal was 3 and I really wanted to do intervals--but I was lucky to be able to keep a steady pace. 
Avg Pace
100:10:10 1.00 10:10
200:10:03 1.00 10:03
300:10:00 1.00 10:00
400:04:50 0.49 09:52

Gale Force Winds

This was a hard one for a myriad of reasons:
1) Con was recovering from illness--1st run back
2) I was starting to come down with something
3) THE WIND--or should I say GALE FORCE WINDS at beach (was high 50 degrees with supposedly 10-12 mph winds--but at the beach it was 20-30 mph from the S--we felt like we were standing still and got wind burned on all exposed skin areas).

11 miles on the agenda--we decided to do a Jeff Galloway run/walk 4min/1 min--and that would have been just find if not for the WIND.  

I was actually really excited for the run--I was ready--it was the first long run in a while where I just felt like "I got this".  Here I am pre-run in my Badass Mother Runner shirt:
We started our run in Spring Lake--in hindsight this was a HUGE mistake.  The wind was from the S so this meant we would be running against the wind on our return.  We knew that when we started and we thought it would make for good preparation for our run since wind at the beach is very common.  What we did not count on was the increased wind force--when we started the wind was probably 12 mph--mid run it really picked up to 20 mph (felt like 30-40)--we were screwed.  It was beautiful out but getting very cold--our lack of gloves and ear covers which was originally a good idea was quickly becoming catastrophic (OK, maybe I am exaggerating).

We planned to run 5.5 out and back to get our 11 miles in.  Once we hit Ocean Grove, Con was wiped out and thirsty.  We ran down Main Street and stopped for water and a delicious slice of banana walnut bread----Forget the Cliff Shock Block--banana nut bread in now my favorite energy food mid run.  We stopped at the little coffee shop that I like:
We had a little further to go before we could turn around and head back to Spring Lake---so we headed into Asbury Park.  Now by this time everyone we passed on the boardwalk had on winter coats with hats and scarfs covering their faces.  It seemed all the runners we saw were headed N with the wind---Lucky Dogs.

Now I am an old OG girl so the fact that they dismantled the Casino was such a sad sight---Good time there--Good times.
We did see some SUPER COOL art work/graffiti--Does anyone know who put the art work up?

Eventhough the run kinda sucked--it was kinda good too.....

Life gets in the way

My house is going to be quarantined--Con was home from school M-W, Finn T-today, Ronan W-today--all suffering from vague viral symptoms.  TIRED (F just falls asleep where ever he lands), C threw up-just once, lack of appetite,  low grade fevers (not worth medicating), cough (that comes and goes)--and general malaise.  Now they are really healthy kids---take vitamins, vitamin d, and oil of oregano daily--I think they probably had/have the flu, but their bodies were fighting it off.  

C headed off to school today--I am expecting a call any minute.  He had not missed school  in 2 years and I know the guilts of missing all that school work this week was killing him--plus he was mad to miss P90X and running (I don't know where he gets that from).  

I ,however, feel good--I started to feel "blah" the other day--but I bulked up on the vitamin d and oil of oregano (anti-virals)--plus I have been trying to get all my exercise in--but it has not been easy.  Of course I had the whole week planned for workouts and the weather is GORGEOUS---sunny in mid 40's and I just had to bang out 2 on the TM (5 yesterday--it was tortuous)  :(  

Hopefully everyone is on the mends and I can get some trail runs in next week--rumor has it Manasquan Reservoir is runable.

Running away from illness

2/3 of my kiddies are home sick today and with Ray out of town this week for work--it just figures.  Since Con is one of the boys home he was able to keep an eye on Finn while I got a quick 3 miles in.  I feel great---but I had this feeling that if I did not get the run in, I would be next and I hate feeling sick.   I have been bulking up on the Vitamin D and Oil of Oregano (anti-virals) since they all starting complaining of vague symptoms this weekend.

Got the three in--ended up with negative splits.  Tried to keep my turnover quick with shorter strides the last mile: 
Avg Pace
100:09:37 1.00 09:37
200:09:34 1.00 09:34
300:09:31 1.00 09:31