Last Long Run Before My Next Half

We were on vacation this past weekend  and I carefully planned for my long run. My husband agreed to take the kids to do something while I got my 18k (11.18 mile) lakeside run in. I set my clothes out the night before so that I would not disturb anyone on my way out. I mapped my 12.0 mile course with mapmyrun a week before we left. I was set.

Best laid plans….

My little guy woke up early and I jokingly asked him, “Do you want to go on a long run with Mommy?”  He lit up and shouted, “yes! Yes I do!!”

Not in my plan.

So I loaded him, his toy trucks, and ” the good snacks” up and we hit the road. The route I’d planned was all on the road and there was no way I’d take my kid on them with me, so I quickly re-routed us to the bike trail that ran nowhere near the lake. Sigh.

I planned to go one direction for 3 miles and then turn around to run back quick and drop him off work my husband at the condo, but he was so happy and content that we just kept heading north! I wasn’t familiar at all with the trail system, having never been on it, and ended up taking the long/wrong way north. When we were headed back (turned around with 9.6k left to run, so almost half way), I noticed a much nicer section of the trail that I’d missed on the way up, and it was more direct, so we got back to the condo with 5.1k left to go. My husband met me on the deck, took my son, and I was off for the final stretch of my run… And I went straight for the lake!  It was a nice way to finish my 11.94 miles!

I finished with an average pace of 10:08 which is great considering the stroller, the unfamiliar trail, all the stops to hand over snacks, the seriously deep rain puddles, etc. I was actually shocked that that was my pace!

Bring on my second half of the year… I’m ready!



Ab Check… and a Dose of Reality

The first time I trained for a 20k (almost a half marathon at 12.4 miles), I thought to myself, “I am going to lose so much weight!”

Guess what?

I didn’t drop a pound.

I gained endurance and a lower resting heart rate, but my weight and body fat didn’t change. You see, when you’re running 20-30 miles a week, you’re hungry all.the.time. You certainly burn a ton of calories while training for a long distance run, but you also take in more because you are always hungry.

I now know this and don’t expect to lose any weight while training, and I’ve learned to expect a slight increase in my body fat percentage since I don’t have the time to commit to weight training. I don’t even get upset, I just shoot to stay at a certain weight every Wednesday (145 pounds or less) and below a certain body fat percentage (24%). Today and yesterday, I was 144.8 pounds with a body fat percentage of 23.1%. Sure, I’d love to consistently be in the 22.x% range for body fat, but 23.1% with minimal lifting is absolutely satisfactory to me.

My abs have suffered along with my body fat percentage, and this is all due to my eating. I do serious ab work 5-6 nights a week (I can’t remember the last time didn’t work my abs) and they’re rock hard under there, but you can’t see them as well as before. They still look fine and good by most people’s standards, but I know they’ve looked better.

My “nice weather months” (mid-March through mid-October) center around running. November through February are for cross training, strength, and other fun stuff.

That’s just my reality.

4 Weeks Coolsculpting Progress and Round 2

I went in for my second coolsculpting session this morning and was super excited to show the technician my 0-4 week photos.  I took them last night and also this morning, trying to get the best lighting.  I’ve felt like I can see a change from the last photos to now (2 weeks in between) but you never know until you compare side-by-side.

The proof is in the pictures!

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Next thing I had to do was take a look at my 0 week and 4 week comparisons!

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When I went in this morning, I just smiled from ear to ear and told her how happy I am.  She was anxious to see the progress and I showed her my photos.  She was STUNNED to see such a change in just 4 weeks.  Remember, the big results happen between days 30 and 90 – so I have lots of room for more improvement here!  She took her own photos and we then discussed the second treatment we were about to do.

We had discussed doing my belly fat, but she inspected that area again and said that there wasn’t enough fat there to do it, and that it would be a waste of the session and money.  She noted that some fat would freeze, but not enough to make a visible change because my issue is skin and not fat.  I was wondering this myself, so I agreed and we decided to do my left side a second time along with my right.  We did talk about doing my muffin top next year and she said that that would be the end for me, that there’s nothing else to do after we do my back if I decide to do so (she’s very honest and doesn’t want to treat areas that don’t need treating).  She hooked me up and I was settled in for another long 2 hours of stiff legs and no movement, but I knew it was worth it!

I took photos again when she pulled the applicator off and once again, there was “butter” under my skin.  Not as much, but it was there!  I can’t wait to see how this all ends up!  My 60-days post photos are scheduled for August 1 – but you know I’ll keep posting every two weeks here!

Here’s a quick , picturesque photo to put in your reader… I noticed that the default picture was no good for a reader after I hit “publish.”  HA!


Big Kid is Registered!

We were going to sign our almost 5-year old up for a 5k but decided a 1-mile race would be the best way to start. I found one so promptly signed myself up for the 10k and when I went to sign him up for the 1-mile race, noticed it was for  ages 9 and up. Gah! I’d already paid for my 10k.

After trying the contact email and having said email come back undeliverable, I checked the previous years 1M race results and saw a few finishers  ages 5 and 6. So… I signed him up! The system let me do it (but wouldn’t let me sign my husband up because he’s too old) so he’s doing it!


A Beautiful Long Run Monday

Today was my last “long run Monday” until my half marathon on June 4. My next long run will be this coming Saturday or Sunday while on vacation up north. I’ve mapped my route and it will be beautiful (lakeside)! I need to pull my long run back to the weekend to allow enough recovery time for the half… Because I’m totally going for a personal best on the 4th!!!

My kids had camp so I ran from their school/camp to our downtown river and back. The weather was perfect, the traffic was minimal, the paths were clear, and I had more than enough time! I had to stop for 3 pretty long stop lights and then took time to snap a few photos three different times, never stopping my tracking apps. When you race, your timing chip doesn’t stop for water breaks or photos or potty breaks, so I’ve broken the habit of stopping my timers when I run. This made for a terrible pace (9:35-9:42, depending on which app I trust), but that’s ok.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can just lock in and run forever, just taking in the sights and thinking through whatever is on my mind. I was turning around at 5.5 miles before I knew it and the run back really seemed to go by quickly (as it should being only 5.5 miles left versus, 7 or 9 or 10!). I even enjoyed the hills, and they were long and frequent!

Best long training run so far! I’m really looking forward to my lake run this weekend (18k so at least 11.5 miles).



Starting Them Young

We’ve been having the boys take part in the kids races after the 5k’s we run and they really enjoy them. I love watching them race and I really get a kick out of watching my oldest because he puts his everything into it! He runs so fast, so steady, so determined! He’s telling us that his next race will be a long one with Daddy, so now I’m looking for a kid-friendly 5k. I’d planned to start him in 5k’s next year, but he says he’s ready.

My kid can race!


Relay is DONE!

I did something on Saturday that I’ve never done and honestly, I’ve never thought of doing.  I ran a 75 mile relay with 7 other gals from sun-up to sun-down!

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We all met in a dark parking lot at 5:30 AM, ate the scrambled egg and cheese muffin sandwiches I made, and drove for an hour and a half to Jefferson to run the Market to Market Relay back to Des Moines!  Our start time was 7:15 and we got there with plenty of time to check things out and soak up the party vibe (these people know how to put on a FUN race!) before sending our first runner on her way!

We had 8 runners, so we each got to run 2 legs and one of us, our first runner, ran 3 legs.  Once our runners switched at an exchange point, we were back in the car and driving to the next exchange point.  I thought we would have a lot of time to kill at each exchange waiting for our runner to come in, but we really got there just in time for a bathroom break and the exchange.  We were constantly moving.

When it was time for my first leg, lightning struck and we had to wait 30 minutes before we could get on the course again.  There was a rule that if we had to wait more than 45 minutes, that the leg would be skipped and we’d drive to the next exchange point.  Another lightning strike happened within 15 minutes of the first one, which would have pushed us out 45 minutes but we were told to hang tight for an official ruling.  I was not happy about missing my leg because I’d skipped running the day before and was really hoping to run!  I decided to run to the bathroom quick as we waited  but as I was heading there, I saw runners hopping on the course and we were told that we could run at our own risk.  OK!  I skipped the bathroom and went for it!  I ran those 5.7 miles in 48:07 with an 8:26 pace!  It only rained for the first few minutes.  I passed 12 people and 3 people passed me, so I netted 9  😉

I came in strong and happy and handed off the timing chip to runner #8, my friend who invited me on this adventure.  Funny story, she lost the chip!  She had a rain jacket on and had the chip band on her arm and when she whipped her jacket off, the chip went flying and she had no idea.  The poor thing turned around and backtracked 0.35 miles before deciding to leave it and came in to the mid-way check point chip-less.  No one cared, they manually logged us in, and we were on our way again.  Being chip-less worked out great because then we could just high-five each other and not worry about putting the chip band on, starting our running apps, making sure music was on, etc. all at once!

The weather cleared up and we enjoyed the day, but man alive, we were tired!  By the time I was up to run again, I was just ready to be done.  I ran my 4.3 mile leg in 36:10 for an 8:23 pace so I was happy with that!  I was passed by 3 people but passed 5, so I netted 2  😉

Everyone ran way faster than they thought they would and our finish time was 11:45:06 including our 21 minute stop for the lightning – we were THRILLED!  We ended up placing 54th out of 102 female teams which isn’t too bad for a team of gals who expected to run 10:00 paces the entire way!

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I loved doing this, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again anytime soon.  It took the entire day and I was left exhausted and spent!  If I do it again, I’ll want to do it on a team with my husband.  That would be more fun for me!  But really, this was a blast and I’m so glad I did it!

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An Official 5K and Another PR

I had a 5K on deck for tonight in a beautiful little town about an hour away.  We ran this race back in 2008 and it has been my 5K PR for years and years until… NOW!

2008 stats:

393/1104 runners;  114/644 females;  21/83 in age division;  finish time 27:38;  average pace 8:54

2016 stats:

272/2098 runners; 67/1222 females; 4/94 in age division; finish time 25:47.5; average pace 8:18

I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!  FOURTH IN MY AGE DIVISION????  That is crazy!  Never, in a million years, would I have thought I’d be in the top 4% of runners in my age division.

My little guys ran a kids race tonight too, and they both did great and won a ribbon and a popsicle.  My big kid ran so hard and so fast, I had to take off after him to make sure someone was at the finish for him when he got done.  My little guy ran 5 blocks just to get to the race on time, and then ran the entire thing once it started.  They both had a great time, and that’s why I do this.  I do this so that they can see me having fun doing it so maybe, just maybe, they’ll think they’ll have fun doing it too!  So far, my plan is working!


Official – Because I Must Know For Sure

Do you know how hard it is to figure out if you’ve run a negative split when you don’t have an official “half way done” pace? Let me tell you, I had to think on it, and think hard!

I did have an official chip time for my first 10k, so I went from there:

6.2137 miles = 10k = 59:12 (9:33) (this is the official chip timing at 10k)

Official half marathon chip time was 2:04:18, so the time spent running after the 10k split was 65:06 (or 1:05:06)

A 10k distance is officially 6.2137 miles, so the distance spent running after the 10k split was 6.8863 miles


6.8863 miles = second half after 10k split = 65:06 = a pace of 9:27

So there I have it… My first official negative split… And now the formula to calculate it more easily next time… If there is a next time! Having the hills at the front half of the race helped, even if they weren’t that hard. If anything, getting them out of the way, and realizing they were easy hills, helped my attitude stay super positive!