Saturday, September 26, 2009

7 Miles.... goes nothing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009



And boy was it NOT.FUN.

I woke up at 6am this morning, grabbed a bowl of cereal and read a book for a little bit. It was still dark out and I'm a fraidy cat so I wanted to wait until the sky was a nice light blue before I headed out.

Finally, around 7:20am, I was dressed and ready to get the show on the road. I was not too pleased when I was greeted by a blast of humidity the moment I walked out the door. BLEH! I was sweating just making the walk to my starting point at the front of my complex!

I drove around to map out a few different route options last night (with Lily!) so I had a general idea where I was going. I've been using Map My Run to help plan my running routes so I wouldn't be running in circles trying to make the mileage. The part of town we live in actually has the name "Hills" in it and the area certainly lives up to its name, so I've found myself on a mapped out run going up about a 35 degree incline before. To avoid that from happening again, I map a run then drive it to check out the elevation. I don't completely avoid all hills but there are some areas more hilly than others. I've found a few flat areas that make the running a bit easier.

I decided to run with my water bottle today mainly because of the humidity. It isn't really an annoyance and I was glad I had it.

Overall, the run went decent. I was V.E.R.Y. S.L.O.W. I know I can run faster I think I'm just worried I'll exert all my energy in the beginning and not be able to finish the distance. That's what I'm most concerned with...finishing. And finishing without walking.

I did have to stop twice today. Once around Mile 2.9 and the second time around Mile 3.3ish. I had a TERRIBLE cramp under my right rib. I ran with it for about a mile, trying to rub it out before I finally had to stop. The same spot bugged me again less than .5 mile later. I don't know if it went away or my mind just ignored it because I didn't have to stop again. (BTW...I only stopped for about 30-45 seconds each time and I paused my workout so it didn't affect my time.)

There is one GIANT hill that you have to go up in order to get back to my apartment and it's in the last half mile. In all my other runs, I include it as part of my running route. After having run 5.5 miles, I wasn't too sure I would be able to get up that dang thing and I didn't want a stupid hill to be what stood in front of me and a 6 mile run. So when tracking my run last night, I decided I wouldn't turn around to come back until I was more than halfway done. That way, I would end right before the hill and walk home as my cool down. Well, I guess I either started to enjoy the run and didn't pay attention or I just didn't realize how far away I was because when I heard the little voice say "Congratulations! You have completed your goal of 6 miles." I was 2 miles away! YIKES!!

Pretty anti-climactic end to a run.

I'm not one to brag (okay, yes I am) but I guess you could say I ran 6 miles and walked 2 for a grand total of 8 miles logged by these feet!

I think I have yet to experience the "Runners High" everyone has talked about. My mom used to run all the time and she asked me, "Do you ever get the feeling that you can just keep on running forever?" "Um. NO." "Okay, you haven't experienced it [The Runner's High] yet!"

This run was TOUGH for me. I was panting and breathing heavily and praying for it to be over. At the end, I tried to sprint and go as fast as possible but my legs felt like spaghetti and I couldn't really go too much faster. It got me a little worried when I realized I have to run more than twice this for the race. I guess that's what training is for.

I like running around my neighborhood because it's convenient but I think for next week's 7 miles (OH MY LAWD HOW AM I GOING TO RUN 7 MILES?!?!?!?) I am going to try out one of the park trails in town. I ran a trail near my house last week and it was so pretty that I really found myself enjoying the run (and also found myself scared shitless and face-to-face with a deer...but hey I guess that's nature.)

I haven't loaded my Nike+ yet but I think my time was somewhere around 1:06ish minutes. Yeah a little slow, but I'm perfectly content with it.

Justin ran with me a couple weeks ago (actually, at one point he walked next to me just to prove a point at how slow I was...but in my defense he has super long legs and can walk really fast) and asked why I was going so slow...I told him I wasn't the least concerned with how fast I finished as long as I finished. And the good news is at least I know I'll run 13.1 miles in 5 hours or less...because that's all the time they give you!

See you next week when I add another mile to the mix!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stupid Nike+

So...I may or may not have finished my 5 mile run on Monday thinking I was the fastest person ever. When I told Justin my super-speed time of 42:55, he said "Great job!" all while still looking a little unconvinced because, well, let's face it - Bea Arthur and I run pretty much at the same pace. (Yes, the dead Golden Girl.) I just thought he was jealous of me and brushed it off.

I was playing around the Nike+ forums yesterday when I read something about calibration. WHA? Supposedly, I was supposed to calibrate my Nike+ to run according to my stride. Yeah. Didn't do that. So, when using my sensor to run, I was actually running less than I thought. When that little voice would say "1 mile completed" it was more like "Not really 1 mile completed. But almost 1 mile completed. In like 2 minutes."

I was really bummed at first, thinking that my entire training had been a sham so far and I was pretty much back at Square 1. Then I realized that the only real long run I've had was 5 miles (but wasn't really 5), which felt awesome and I definitely could have gone farther. All of my other runs have been 3-4 mile runs that have actually been mapped out and I know the distance is correct.

Tonight was technically a night off but I wanted to get this bad boy in order before my long run this week. So I took my handy dandy Nike+ to a local high school track and ran around 4 times (I think it's actually the first time I've ever HONESTLY run a mile around a high school track...)to calibrate it to my running style and stride. I'm going to test it out tomorrow and see if it's still a lying biotch little off or if it's just right.

Which brings me to a question...

When I originally started my training schedule, I had the date of the race wrong. I actually started my 12-week training program 13 weeks before the race. The way the schedule goes now, starting two weeks ago, I run a long run every Saturday, each Saturday building up a mile. I started at 4, then 5 and it goes all the way up to 12 miles the Saturday before the race. Since I was a week off, I thought, "Hey! I can actually add one more week to my training and do 13 miles before the race! Then I'll KNOW I can do 13.1!" But now, since I had my slip-up with not really doing 5 miles this week (more like 4.1 UGH!) I have a decision to make.

Anyone who has ever lived with me or known me for a long time just shuddered, as making decisions isn't one of my fortes. For my run this weekend I can either:

a.) Repeat the 5 miler I "ran" last week and do the 6 miles I was supposed to run this Saturday next Saturday. This will mean I'll only get up to 12 miles before the race. I know this is how the training program is supposed to go, but I'm not so sure how confident I'll be going into a race having never run the distance before. I'm a little nervous about making the jump from 4.2 to 6 miles.
b.) Brush off last week's flub and go for the 6 miles anyway. Hey! It's just 1.8 miles farther than I actually ran! (Which, HOLY HELL IS A LOT FARTHER! come on, is that so bad?) This way, I'll be able to go 13 miles the week before the race.

Either way, I'll need LOTS of encouragement as I run my farthest distance to date this Saturday! This training thing is getting intense!

Monday, September 07, 2009

"Do you always find a new reason to shop?"

That question was asked by my fiancee last week when I came home with new running shoes. And then was asked again when my new iPod and Nike+ arrived in the mail. And when I bought my new running skirt...well, you can see the pattern.

I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty fun buying all these cool running gadgets. I keep telling myself I'm investing in my health, but I know deep down that I'm not going to run better just because I have a snappy new lime green iPod strapped to my arm [oh yeah, I had to get a new armband, too...oops!].

But seriously, all of my new purchases DO serve a purpose. And I haven't spent BOATLOADS on all my new stuff. Justin's aunts graciously gave me a $100 gift card to Dick's for Christmas and it had been burning a hole in my wallet since then. Everyone says it's very important to make sure you have good shoes. I had been working out in a crappy pair of Avias I got on clearance at TJ Maxx and I realized they weren't going to cut it. I went to Dick's and, after watching me run, the guy realized my feet pronate inward and decided a particular pair of Asics would help with that. Though they didn't have the turbo rocket engines to propel me forward like I was hoping, they get the job done and feel great.

Now onto justifying explaining my reasoning for the iPod and Nike+....

I've been following a blog for sometime, Roni's Weigh about a super awesome woman who documented her weight loss journey and is now training for a marathon. [I followed her through her first 5K, 1/2 marathon and now she's going for the 26.2...definitely inspirational!] She trains with the Nike+ and raves about it.

It's a computer chip you put in your shoe and it transmits your distance, time, pace and a billion other things to your iPod and to you while you're running. I've been running the same 3-mile route for the past couple weeks but I wanted to explore some trails around the area and needed to know how far I had gone. [I figured the park rangers wouldn't be thrilled with me taking Rhonda Honda barreling through their serene trails and besides, the last experience I had with taking her 4-wheeling didn't go over so well...just kidding Dad!] I told the guy at Dick's I was looking for something to tell me how far I'd gone...he explained that the Nike+ was "more for pace" and then tried to upsell me the $300 Garmin Watch...yeah, no thanks. The $29.99 Nike+ will be just fine for me, thank you. Now, I'm not planning on going all Jackie Joyner-Kersey on anyone's ass at this 1/2 Marathon, but I'd still like to beat the group of 65-year old Red Hats who are walking the race.

The Nike+ is made for special Nike shoes that have a slot to slide the chip in. I wasn't going to drop even more cash on the shoes, besides I already had my cute Asics, so I had to figure something else out. After MacGyver-ing a pouch out of duct tape, I secured my Nike+ to my shoes and headed out for my first run with it on Friday night.

And about 3 minutes into my run, it got flung out of said MacGyver pouch and flew into a bush somewhere. Lovely. I did end up finding it but resorted to purchasing one of these bad boys from Amazon:
I really wanted to run with it for my 4-miler so I had to MacGyver-mixed-with-a-side-of-Chuck-Norris a new pouch on Saturday morning. Happy to say, we had success! It's so cool to run and hear a chick say, "Your time is ____. Your distance is ______. You are running at _______ pace." After the run, I came home, plugged the iPod into the computer, logged onto the Nike+ website and it showed me a graph of my first run. I think I can upload them on here but I just have to become unlazy enough to learn how to do it. Until then, live with the image in your mind of me being the fastest person on earth and my graph displaying: ERROR. UNABLE TO REPORT GRAPH BECAUSE RUNNER IS SO BADASS AND RAN TOO FAST FOR OUR SENSORS.


I've gotten a little too ahead of myself, but the reason for the new jazzy green iPod is because the Nike+ wasn't compatible with my old circa-1965 first generation iPod. Thanks to Sharon, the nice lady at Apple, I had a new iPod Nano on my doorstep two days after ordering, for only $102, including shipping!

Now onto the running skirt...okay, okay, I didn't REALLY need one...but if I feel cuter when I'm running, I'll run faster. At least that's what I told myself when I was at the cash register at Marshall's.

I don't plan on buying anything else for my hobby at the moment, but I'm sure I'll find reasons to buy new socks, sports bras, tank tops, visors, sweat bands, gooey energy crap and, I'm not gonna lie, I may or may not have been eyeing those Energy Jelly Beans at Dick's...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

No More Happy Hours For Me...

NO. I'm not Preggo my Eggo.

I AM however running the 2009 San Antonio Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon!

Yes, I, Shelby Real Last Name Sugarbaker [gotta keep SOME anonymity...don't want any creepy guys following me around...Justin's bad enough! Besides, it's always been my dream last name...oh, Designing Women, sigh], the girl who would cheat on running the mile for the physical fitness test in high school["Yes, Coach Martin, I SWEAR I went around the track 4 times...YES HUH! I DID SO!"], the girl who would go to the gym, hop on the treadmill, run .6 miles and say, "Wow I feel great. Cardio workout's done" is running 13.1 miles.

On November 15th.

And may or may not be absolutely freaking out about it.

I've volunteered at the Va Beach RNR 1/2 quite a few times and a good friend of ours, Rachelle, ran it here last year (4 weeks pregnant!) in some obscene time like 1:46 or something like that. [Yeah, don't look for me in that pace group, you'll be sorely disappointed when you don't see my angry smiling, happy to be running face amongst the speedy runners.] I decided 2009 was going to be the year I, too, lost my mind joined the ranks.

I waited until the last possible minute to enjoy the discounted registration fee (You call $95 DISCOUNTED?!?) and officially signed up on August 31st. I had started a training program a week and a half or so before that but shelling out the bucks REALLY made it turning back now! I don't care if they have to drag me across the finish line, I'm finishing!

Y'all know how lazy I am at updating my blog things in life can pop up and interfere with keeping everyone posted on what I'm up to, but I'm really going to try to update this thing at least once or twice before the actual race. Maybe more. We'll see.