Saturday, January 26, 2013

Runs For Cookies Virtual 5k

Out of all the SE Michigan running blogs, the most popular I know about (I'm guessing by a large margin - she probably gets 1000 hits for every 1 for me) is . It is with good reason. Katie, who writes the blog, has been featured on Dr. Oz and the Today Show because of her blog featuring her weight loss and running adventures. I have not yet met Katie in person, but I know we have at least one runner pal in common, Ty from This is How Ty Runs.

Anyhow, for her birthday (Happy Birthday!), she hosted a Virtual 5k Race. A virtual race is one that you do on your own, usually on a specific day, and report your results and such electronically. One actually pays for some virtual races, that are often for a fundraising purpose and even feature t-shirts, awards, etc. The Runsforcookies Virtual 5k was free, but you could print a race bib and there is a drawing for some prizes. (Hoping I win something when she draws Sunday or Monday - I like to win stuff!)

Many people ran on the treadmill, but when I got home after work, I figured if I was going to run, it would be outside. I was in a bit of a time crunch and it was cold and getting dark. I threw on some clothes that would keep me reasonably warm and left as soon as I could. There was a light snow and the roads and sidewalks were all snow covered, so I put on my Yaktrax. After a very short warmup, I started running. It was rough going, with the cold, wind and all. The Yaktrax helped as I kept my balance, but there was still some slippage.

I would have liked to run for time, but with the conditions, I was just wanting to get it over with. With all the slippage, I never really settled into a pace much faster than 9:45 min / mi, but was pretty consistent the entire run. My face and hands hurt from the cold, but I managed and completed the run just in time to accomplish the rest of my errands for the evening.

I think my face was still frozen at this point after the run.
I'm still not back on track with my running routine, but I'm trying... I had a long run last Saturday, gym with treadmill on Monday and this 5k on Friday. Will do something today (gym?) or tomorrow. I really need to get on the ball soon if I will have any chance of a PR for the Rock CF Half Marathon in late March.

'Tis all for now! Later!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 2013 Goalpost

I am more excited to lay out my 2013 goals than talk about last year. I think it is because, despite my progress, I feel like I have so much potential to be better, faster and stronger. I'm getting closer to some ideals that I envisioned less than 2 years ago when I made a commitment to running.

My 2013 enthusiasm is only slightly tempered by my recent cold, which has limited my 2013 mileage to well, zero. I'll be better soon and back at it soon enough. With that said, I'm gonna lay out my goals for the upcoming year, starting with my "big" one.

1. Run a sub 20 minute 5k race.

I was thinking about being able to do this from the start and I think this is the year it can happen. I have run races this quickly before, in high school many moons ago, and achieving this would be a big milestone. It won't be easy, as I need to drop over 2 minutes from my PR after dropping 2 minutes from last year.

To do this, I'm going to dedicate myself to some speedwork, which I plan to do in the early Spring. I've only done intervals a couple times, but have not yet had any consistent speed training. This will involve moving out of the comfort zone and routine I've developed, which can be scary, but one needs to train fast to run fast.

2. Run a sub 1:42:30 half marathon.

Last year, I met my goal of running a half marathon with a time under 1:50, running 1:49:09 on the difficult Brooksie Way course. I wanted to but 1:40 as my goal pretty badly, but I think my recent struggles to get mileage in and my other goal plans made me temper that a bit. 1:42:30 works out to a 7:50 pace for the 13.1 mile run. I think that is reasonable based upon where I want to be.

3. Complete a marathon, beat Subway Jared by one hour.

Eat fresh!

I signed up for the Detroit Free Press Marathon a couple days ago to both commit myself to doing my first marathon and to save a little money ($65 now as opposed to $125 in the couple months prior to the event). I've said in the past I don't want to do a marathon just to do it - I want to feel like I can succeed in it. I think this is the year.

As for the time thing, our family has a love / hate relationship with the Subway pitchman Jared. This relationship is complicated by pictures of him running that look vaguely like me running.

I don't really look like him other than the glasses and general hair color.
Therefore, to exorcise all Jared demons, I must beat his marathon time by over one hour. He ran the NYC Marathon in 5:13:28, therefore I must best a time of 4:13:28. I hope to beat this time by a good margin, but, at least as of this moment, I will not set any other marathon related goals. Finish, beat Jared by an hour, that is all.

4. Run 1000 Miles in 2013

I've put myself in a bit of a hole for this one, as I haven't run in 2013 at all yet. Not worried about it, though I'll need to work to get back on schedule. I believe that my marathon training will get me close to this goal and, as long as I keep it up in the cooler months, I should make it.

I have other things I want to do this year, but those are my main goals. We'll see what happens!

What are your goals for the year?

Are they all measurable?

Do goals help you or add too much pressure?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Recap Part Two Late

I decided that I am just too darn lazy to do as much of a 2nd part of a 2012 recap as I had planned. Therefore, I plagiarized myself and will add on to my 2011 recap. That's cheating, but it shows my continued progress. So, here it is:

Miles Run:
1997 to 2007 – a little more than zero.
2008 – About 25
2009 – About 25
2010 – 150 or so.
2011 – More than 450
2012 - Over 800

Days of exercise (running, gym, etc.)
1997 to 2009 – a few per year
2010 – About 30
2011 – Over 125
2012 - Over 150

Races run:
1997 to 2007 – Zero
2008 – One
2009 – One
2010 – Three
2011 – Seventeen (Eleven 5Ks, One 8k, One 10K, One Half-Marathon, One 4 Mile age-graded race, One 4.8 Mile trail race and One Obstacle Race)
2012 - Nineteen (Ten 5ks, One 8k, One 4.5 mile, One 5.5 Mile, Two 10Ks, Two 10 mile races, Two half marathons)

Fastest 5k Race times:
2008 – 31:56
2009 – 32:10
2010 – 28:10
2011 – 24:39
2012 - 22:16

Race Awards:
Prior to 2011 – One second place medal for “walking” during a race I ran.
2011 – One Overall 1st place, One age group 1st place, Two age group 2nd place, Three age group 3rd place and a Top 20 age-graded race award (8th). Finisher medals for Warrior Dash, Brooksie Way Half Marathon and Iron Turkey races.
2012 - Three age group 2nd place, One age group 3rd place and finisher medals for Shamrock N' Roll 10k, Milford Labor Day 10k, Crim 10 Mile, Rock CF Half Marathon and Brooksie Way Half Marathon.

Other Notable Items:

  • Won many items from blogs / Facebook including 4 race entries from Renewal by Andersen Detroit, a race entry and t-shirt from Run With Chocolate Milk (had to miss this race though), a 1BandID from Detroit Runner, and a customized tech shirt from Running, Living, Loving Blog. Yay!
  • Started training with my kids. Both ran races during the year and won something,
  • Went over 100 blog posts.
  • Did not significantly injure myself.(Always a plus)
  • Met a ton of my blogger buddies from the SE Michigan Running Mafia.
  • Ran with my Brooksie Way team and Indian Springs Meetup group several times.
  • Set 11 PRs (several multiple times, such as my four 5k PRs)
I had ideas about saying more, but that is enough. 2012 is soooooo last year. I'm looking forward to 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Recap - Part 1 - The Goals

Happy New Year!

I've been meaning to write this recap for a while now, but only now am doing it. I've been reading all the blogs from my Michigan and other blogger pals and thought I should finally do my post.

This is me running.
I suppose I have a lot to recap so I'm probably gonna take a couple posts to do it. This one will recap the goals I set at the beginning of the year and how I did in meeting them (or not meeting them).

1. Run a 22 minute 5k - Result: So Close.

This was a tricky goal to set. I wanted to say 20 or 21 minutes at the start of last year, but I think I've gotten pretty good at knowing my capabilities and I set this one just right. My best 5k time this year was at the Open Door Julie Run in June with a time of 22:16. I really thought I had it at that race, but I came up just short with a disappointing 3rd mile. I wanted to say I met this because the race had a clock time start and was slightly long, but the official time is what it is.

I knew that race was my last, best shot at 22 during the year, as I went into half marathon training mode after it. That training helped me for the next goal which was...

2. Run a 1:50 half marathon - Result: Done!

I thought this would be the most difficult of the goals to meet (and maybe it was), but I did it, running 1:49:09 at the Brooksie Way in late September. It was doubly sweet to meet this goal on that course, which is notoriously difficult. I dropped over a minute per mile off of my time from the previous year.

The Train (me) stands victorious on the mountain top!

3. Place in a "big" race - Result: Done!

I qualified this one by noting in my goal setting post that "Even though it doesn't have a huge turnout, the Julie Run is big to me". Well, I finished 2nd in my age group at the Open Door Julie Run in June, which means I can consider this goal "met"! That finish meant a lot to me, as this particular race is the first one I did before I committed to getting back to running on a regular basis. Placing in any race at that time seemed so far away.

4. Finish a 10k in 48 minutes - Result: Not Met.

Excuse time. I ran in two 10k races and neither one was the main race I was preparing for. In March I had a good effort at the Shamrock N' Roll 10k, finishing in 50:28, a 7 minute PR. I was on my way to getting this one, except that I ended up doing a couple 10 mile races and the 10k distance never ended up being a priority. My other 10k race was not planned as I won a race entry from Renewal by Andersen to the Milford Labor Day 10k. This race was a week after the 10 mile Run Thru Hell and on a hilly, un-PR friendly course. I did PR with a time of 50:16, but that is obviously not close to 48 minutes.

The thing about missing this goal is that I think that, in my peak shape from 2012, I would have beaten it handily. It was a good goal, but my priorities changed during the year (both in running and in life), so it didn't get accomplished. It won't stop me in setting a more challenging goal in 2013, but that is another post. :P

The Train is crushed, but he will chug on with bionic legs!

5. Run 900 miles - Result: Not Met.

I didn't want to set a mileage goal, but did anyway. I honestly thought I would have no issue with 900 miles, but I didn't know we would have a baby during the year (BOOM - saying that was shocking is way too mild) and I didn't anticipate that the mid-late summer months would be so personally challenging. I ended up running about 802 miles, which was up from just over 450 in 2011.

I am not troubled about not meeting this goal at all. I rarely passed on running when I was physically and mentally able to do so and when my schedule permitted. Therefore 802 miles is cool with me. Again, not meeting this goal will not prohibit a higher goal in 2013.


Despite only fully meeting 2 of 5 goals set at the start of 2012, I say that 2012 was an outstanding success. It was my first full year of running. The fact that I was active all year long was a huge accomplishment in itself. The goals that I missed, well, I didn't miss by much and they were well within my capabilities.

I will get part 2 of the recap done in the near future and then layout goals for 2013! Thanks for reading and for your support in 2012! I appreciate everyone who read and commented on my blog, twitter, facebook, dailymile, etc. during the year. You helped encourage me during the year and I hope I returned the favor in some small way.