Monday, August 31, 2009

Really??? Another week gone already?

I have no idea how these weeks keep flying by so quickly, but it seems to have happened yet again.

This entire last week I was almost completely overwhelmed with a big research deadline for school, so it seems like all I did was write and run... but I managed to sneak in a little time for relaxing too. :)

Weekly runs still going on schedule. Just this morning I moved the starting pace of my AM runs to 9:50-- I increase my pace 10 seconds every 1/4 mile for 2 miles. And every week I move my starting pace 10 mintues faster. I've been working on this for awhile. I started it because it was taking me so long (3 miles or so) to get warmed up and run comfortably at my normal pace. It has seemed to be helping. Most of these morning runs I do on the treadmill because it's still dark outside. Speed running (which this is for me), is not my favorite thing. The last 1/2 mile of these runs I'm always SO tempted to stop. Why not? I'm usually in the gym all by myself. No one would know any differently if I quit early, or just blew off a few runs altogether and stayed in bed an extra hour. Yet I've found there is something addicting about making up your mind to meet a goal and sticking with the plan no matter what. Not once have I cut one of my 'unpleasant' morning runs even a tenth of a mile short. There is something very cool about starting your day with a challenge. I always know if I can make it through that last quarter mile, I can handle anything else the day may throw my way. :)

And yes, aside from being addicted to hard work and meeting my goals--- I never forget that there are more people than just me in this upcoming Texas marathon. This has been a fantastic week for mile adoptions and I'm so excited to introduce you to the newest sponsors-- hopefully later this week. :)

This week's schedule:
Monday- 2 miles/3 miles
Tuesday- 2 miles/5 miles
Wednesday- 2 miles/ REST
Thursday- 2 miles/3 miles
Friday- 2 miles/REST
Saturday- 11 miles... (6 miles with the training group, and then the DRC Breakfast Bash 5 mile race)
Sunday- Cross training day

Friday, August 28, 2009

Texas Marathon Mile 1 Sponsor

Jolee Swann

What is your hometown? Tucson, AZ

Where do you live now? In my lovely little home in Tucson

What is the farthest distance you've ever run or walked? I rolled over 3 times, but not in a row. I have been pushed in a stroller about 3 or 4 miles at one time, but I have a tendency to need to eat or have a diaper change if my parents attempt to go any further, but we are working it up.

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday morning? Giggling at the silly things my parents do to keep me entertained.

What is your favorite workout song, or song that gets you up and moving? The Ants Go Marching

What is the first thing you think of when you think of Texas? "Huh? I don't even know what Texas is yet. My mommy says she thinks of big cowboy hats when she thinks of Texas".

What is the bravest thing you've ever done? Being born UNDER WATER!

What is your favorite candy? Breast milk

What is the biggest goal you're currently working toward? Sitting up by myself.

Where is your next vacation destination? Grandparents' homes

What movie inspires you the most? My mommy and daddy won't let me watch TV or movies yet, they say I'm too young.

In which state would you like to see Anna run her next marathon (after Texas)? Utah, New Mexico or California (anywhere close to Arizona so we can come and cheer)

Why did you choose to sponsor mile 1? Because I am my parents' first baby and I'm in my first year of life. :)

Why did you want to become a marathon mile sponsor to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation? I want others to be able to have the treatment they need to fight their cancer and hopefully somewhere, someday, because of the help from my donation, someone will be able to get the treatment they need.

Note from Anna: Congrats to the youngest ever marathon mile sponsor!! You are adorable Jolee!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Texas Marathon Mile 4 Sponsors

Nelson and Kelly Prater

What is your hometown? Kelly- Denver, CO Nelson- Shreveport, LA (though I spent only a few months there. Most of my childhood was in Corpus Christi, TX)

Where do you now live? Garland, TX

What is the farthest distance you've ever run or walked? Kelly- 9 miles (March of Dimes Walk several years ago) Nelson- 26.2 miles (White Rock Marathon- 1997)

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday morning? Kelly- lounging in the pool at Emma's. Nelson- early morning DRC group run and then some baking.

What is your favorite workout song, or song that gets you up and moving? Kelly- something by Lady Antebellum. Nelson- something by the Gipsy Kings.

What is the first thing you think of when you think of Texas? Kelly- summer sun. Nelson- BBQ

What is the bravest thing you've ever done? Kelly- decide to stay home with the kids. Nelson- "I'm not brave".

What is your favorite candy? Kelly- Hershey's chocolate. Nelson- Haribo Gummy Bears

What is the biggest goal you're currently working toward? Kelly- going back to work. Nelson- 2009 Dallas White Rock Marathon

Where is your next vacation destination? Santa Fe, NM

What movie inspires you the most? Kelly- likes old movies. Nelson- Love Comes Softly, "I know it's corny, but I see Clark Davis as a role model."

In which state would you like to see Anna run her next marathon (after Texas)? "Gotta do the New York marathon sometime. I'd like to do that one myself."

Why did you choose to sponsor Mile 4? "I think that may be my last chance to run with Anna during the race before she leaves me in her dust". (Note from Anna: "I doubt that".)

Why did you want to become a Texas Marathon Mile sponsor to benefit the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation? "Because I think Anna is a hero, and I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part."

Note from Anna: I have the pleasure of running with Nelson in my training pace group this season. He always has such a positive attitude and is a friendly face to see, even rediculously early on a Saturday morning. Another big benefit of being in a pace group with Nelson is he bakes WONDERFUL food he frequently shares with the runners each week....granola, cookies, cake....Nelson keeps us all happy and well fed! I'm honored to run Mile 4 for Nelson and Kelly's sponsorship! Thank you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekly Training Report-- End of summer runner fun

There's so much I've been wanting to report I keep forgetting about- so I'll try to get a little caught up here. A few weeks ago I got the one item most distance runners swear they can't live without.....a Garmin. If you are not familiar with Garmin training systems- they are basically similar to a GPS system you'd find in your car, except it goes on your wrist. It tracks your time, pace, distance, calories burned, heart rate, calculates your route back home if you get lost, tells you what ingredients to put in your post run smoothie....okay, well maybe not that last one, but the rest is true. I got a GREAT deal on one at Best Buy. It's not the newest model, and what I don't like most about it is the size as it is pretty big, but it didn't really take long to get used to. And I've been loving running with it. It's great not being confined to routes with distance markers. It's also teaching me a lot about how my body feels at different paces, and teaching me to stay on more of a consistent pace as I have a tendency to be pretty erratic with pacing across longer mile runs.

Speaking of runs....I did several this week. :) Weekly runs still going as planned. I'm still steadily increasing the pace of my 2 mile morning runs and feeling good. Evening runs were all on my own this week as it was again to hot for me to run in the sun with the group. Saturday was a nice treat though as we finally had noticably cooler weather for our 9 mile group run. The route involved a LOT of long, gradual inclines-- which I actually found I enjoyed, although is definitely more taxing on your legs and breathing.

Saturday evening was the end of summer DRC picnic, which was all about eating, relaxing and having fun with some of my favorite people!
Hari (Oklahoma Mile 1 sponsor), Danielle (Oklahoma Mile 25 sponsor) and myself (Oklahoma mile runner). :)
Just a few of the Team Sprinkles officers-- Tamara, Pat, myself and Danielle
Chatting it up with 2 of my favorite people- Max and Denise (Oklahoma Mile Sponsors)
And what's a picnic without Sprinkles cupcakes? (Special thanks to Sprinkles for donating 7 DOZEN cupcakes to the picnic this year).
Max and Denise rode their surrey to the picnic, and were nice enough to let Danielle and I take it for a test drive--- after a few instructions of course:
Crazy driver:
Max giving us a little "boost" uphill. (You wouldn't BELIEVE the leg workout driving this thing is!... and after a 9 mile run!, well, Danielle actually ran twice that much... (Chicago marathon countdown- 7 weeks!)

Our "prepare for crash" pose. Notice the cop car behind us-- clearly our driving abilities were suspicious from the very beginning. Fortunately we were not formally stopped, as I'm still waiting for my Texas Driver's license to arrive in the mail. :)And the biggest news of the week is that Texas Mile #1 has been adopted by Jolee Swann! That's two miles adopted out in the last 2 weeks which is fantastic!! I'll post the spotlights for both new sponsors shortly. :)

Training schedule this week: (Note that since school started again, the schedule has been switched up just a little).

Monday- 2 miles/3 miles

Tuesday- 2 miles/5 miles

Wednesday- 2 miles/REST

Thursday- 2 miles/3 miles

Friday- 2 miles/REST

Saturday- 10 miles

Sunday- REST

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekly Training Report-- Getting stronger

Again, what a week!! How quickly time flies. The majority of this last week I was on official vacation time from my job/school. My very good friend Cassie flew into Dallas from Arizona for a few days. Not only did we have a great time playing Dallas tourists, but I got to get in some of my training runs with Cassie as well this week.

Weekday non-group runs continue to go well. My 2 mile morning runs are focused on gradually increasing my speed over short distances. My evening runs are either with Danielle, which is fun because we do as much talking as running, or on my own. I also have a strength training program I've been incorporating 3 times a week--jump rope, ab crunches, pushups, tricep dips and karate squats. I've been gradually increasing the time and intensity on these workouts for a while now and they are really starting to feel like they are paying off and getting easier. I've also noticed a difference in my running, faster paces and hills both seem to come more easily. Marathon #3 may finally be the one I learn about the importance of cross-training.

Wednesday night was another planned group run that was too hot for me. I planned to put in 5 miles on my own but only made it just past 4 miles before my back was screaming at me to stop. And I've learned, when it screams, I stop! Managing my back allignment is a continual work in progress these days-- stretching, Tylenol, ice, heat. Fortunately it seems to be managed well right now and has just been more annoying than limiting. This will likely continue to be a struggle for a few more weeks while I figure out what's causing some muscle imbalance problems- then I'm hoping to get it completely resolved.

Saturday's run was a departure from the group run routine since Cassie was visiting; she and I joined Danielle for a 9 mile loop around the lake that was a lot of fun and felt fantastic. Well, up until the last three-tenths of a mile when my back got unhappy, but up until then it felt great!
After the run we went to breakfast at a nearby cafe where I'm becoming a huge fan of their French toast, and then met lots of other runners for an unofficial Team Sprinkles meeting.

This was an exciting week as mile 4 found a sponsor in the form of Nelson and Kelly Prater! I'll post their spotlight later this week so you can read all about them. Nelson is a member of my training pace group this season (training for his first marathon) and I'm very honored to run mile 4 in the names of Nelson and his wife.

I also officially registered for the Dallas White Rock Marathon today!

This week's schedule:
Monday- 2 miles/3 miles (another great workout with Danielle- now 7 weeks away from running the Chicago Marathon!!)
Tuesday- 2 miles/REST
Wednesday- 2 miles/5 miles
Thursday- 2 miles/4 miles
Friday- 2 miles/REST
Saturday- 9 miles
Sunday- Cross Training day

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekly Training Report-- Where did the week go?

I have no idea what happened to last week, but before I knew it, it was Monday again today. With the semester starting again soon there has been a lot going on, so some of the 'free time' I felt like I had this summer has slowly dwindled away and been replaced with all sorts of other necessary tasks...but my Texas marathon training has not suffered. Actually, I'm pretty convinced it's one thing I consistently do that keeps the rest of my life fairly together and balanced. You gotta love running for that!

This week was a little lonely as far as workouts go. My Monday workout buddy Danielle was out with a nasty bout of food poisoning. (Hint: Avoid Taco Bell). And due to my work schedule nearly all of my morning runs were pre-sunrise and consquently on the treadmill. I've discovered that between 4 and 5am MTV pretty much plays the same 4 songs over and over again. I'm wondering how much longer it's going to be before I get really sick of hearing them.

The group run Wednesday was scheduled to take place during a heat advisory-- so I decided it would be best for me to put in my 5 miles in the morning instead. But in classic Dallas weather fashion the group run ended up being cancelled at the last minute due to the threat of a sudden severe rainstorm. The storm never actually hit my neighborhood-- we just got lots of clouds and sprinkles (my favorite running weather)-- so I put in a short run outside. I don't know if it was the weather or what but this run was a blast! I ran 2 miles faster than I ever had before (30 seconds faster than ever before). I love it when that happens. :)

Saturday's 8 mile group one was a tough one for me. My back has been giving me problems and I wasn't in the best mood to start with-- but thanks to our awesome Coach Vicki and a few training buddies-- James, Ashley and Roxanne helped get me through it and made me glad I did. Fortunately it wasn't nearly as hot as last week, and the hills felt easier-- although I was pretty bummed out to get to our 6 mile water stop and find it was dry. :( Tambra is a huge help to DRC putting out water for all the runners along our courses each week, but rumor has it one of our coolers got stolen on Saturday-- so unfortuantely the water supply didn't go as planned.

Here's a picture Vicki took of our group (actually at that very water stop). See... I told you we had a much bigger group this season. :)

This week...

Monday- 2 miles/3 miles (So glad to have my buddy Danielle back!!!)

Tuesday- 2 miles/ REST

Wednesday- 2 miles/ 5 miles

Thursday- 2 miles/ 4 miles

Friday- 2 miles/ REST

Saturday- 9 miles

Sunday- Cross-training day

Thank you again to all the Texas marathon (and previous marathon) sponsors for your support. When weeks go like this last one and I'm stressed for time or not feeling great, you are a HUGE part of why I stick to my schedule and stay motivated to keep training. THANK YOU!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Looking for a sponsor to share a mile...

I have a potential Texas mile sponsor who would like to find someone to share one of the $50 miles with. If you would like to make a $25 donation and share a mile with Cristie, please contact me.
Thanks! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekly Training Report-- Sweat, sweat and more sweat

This may very well have been the sweatiest running week of my short running career. Hot Dallas summers get a nice reprieve with frequent rain storms-- but they bring high humidity levels with them, which we had the pleasure of running in this week.

Wednesday's 5 mile group run was TOUGH! Weather wise we're hoping that will have been the toughest of the season. Very sunny + very humid = bad combination. Most of us had broken a sweat just standing in the parking lot waiting to start. I really didn't think I'd make it through that whole run-- at least not at the pace of my group. But thanks to some great friends and several stops to completely drench myself in water at a few fountains, we did make it in on pace.

Saturday at least brought cloudy skys, but equally high humidity levels. The 8 miles with the group felt great! When we all made it back to the clubhouse I realized that everything I was wearing, from my shirt to my socks and shoes were sopping wet (and I hadn't made any dunking water stops this time). I tried to wring out my shirt and shorts before getting in my car and realized I created a big puddle on the pavement. lol.

One big concern for runners in this weather is staying hydrated. And one way to check up on your hydration needs is to weigh yourself before and after each run. I did this on Saturday morning and when I got home discovered I'd lost nearly 7 pounds that run!! Seven pounds of sweat-- hard to believe!! I drank a LOT of water this weekend trying to make sure I recovered adequately and I'm glad to report it appears I have.

In spite of the weather challenges I'm glad to report that I've really been feeling great on runs lately. I've been making some medication changes over the summer and they appear to be working well. For the last year I've used a breathing machine for treatments every 3 to 4 hours-- running or not. In the last month that breathing machine has stayed in the cupboard, and I love being able to go on long runs and not worry about bringing it! Life is good! :)

We're off to a great start on Texas Miles already!! Thanks so much everyone!! Please get in those sponsor spotlight pictures and questions so I can start showing off some of you wonderful sponsors on my blog.

For this week...
Monday- 2 miles/3 miles (with Danielle hopefully?)
Tuesday- 2 miles/ REST
Wednesday- 2 miles/5 miles
Thursday- 2 miles/3 miles
Friday- 2 miles/REST
Saturday- 8 miles
Sunday- Cross training day