Sunday, January 31, 2010

Running iTunes: Power Songs

There is so much I want to say about my iTunes that I can’t fit it all into one post! If you want to check out what I listened to when I was a half marathon virgin…click here.
I’m really not sure how I came up with that playlist other than that I liked those songs. Believe it or not I listened to that playlist on EVERY long run I went on. No shuffle. In a way it was pretty cool because I knew how far into my run I was based on what was playing. To this day listening to that playlist gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

Recently, WannabeRunner made a post asking her readers for some power songs that get them through a tough workout. I had another friend on Facebook ask for some running songs prior to her half marathon. As I’ve been working at getting this blog up and going again, I’ve been meaning to make a few posts about iTunes because my little Product (RED) Nano was kind of the inspiration for the name of this blog. Oh and that I have red hair.

No joke. My parents really were that creative/oblivious when they named me.

Last night I discovered through I could actually post the playlist on my blog. So Brilliant. Here are the songs I like for an extra burst of energy…explanation to follow. You may notice that a lot of these songs aren’t the current chart toppers. The reason why is right now I really like Do You Remember?, Bad Romance, and Whatcha Say.…. To put it in perspective…last year I really liked Single Ladies, Womanizer, and Just Dance. They just didn’t make the cut now that they are past their prime.

WHY I Like These Songs:

If You're Going Through Hell-- My all-time favorite Power Song! It's about not quitting and has a good cadence. If I really thought running was Hell I probably wouldn't do it so much, but long runs are tough. Rodney even keeps telling you over and over to not slow down:

"If your going through hell
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there"

This song really isn't the same when listened to in a car. And I realize its country. If you can get past that, it's very good to run to!

Stronger-- Yeah Kanye was an ass to Taylor Swift at the VMA's. He has this song though so I really couldn't hate him. Again I think it's the words that work so well for running.
"Work it, make it, do it, Makes us harder, better, faster, stronger!...N- n- now th- that don't kill me Can only make me stronger I need you to hurry up now 'cause I can't wait much longer."

Born to Run/Glory Days--
Born to Run would have to be the most cliche race song of all time. Of all time. Still, I like it, I just like Glory Days more. It's very rare for The Boss not to join me in some way on a long run.

Party in the USA--
So, my theory is that when Miley says "This is all so crazy" she's actually talking about running. Very, very girly. But, she's gotten me through more long runs that I can count!

Sweet Caroline--
So good. So good. So good! It starts out a little slow...but if you can make it to the "Bah Bah Bah's" they are fun and a good distraction from all else. I don't think there is another song quite like Sweet Caroline and for that reason I think it's a good change up from the rest of your playlist on a long run.

Hot 'N Cold, Girlfriend, Picture to Burn, According to You, Since U Been Gone-- Basically just a bunch of female singers getting pissed off. The undertone of "anger" seems to help me push myself. No, I don't drive around with Girlfriend blaring in my car. Yes, Since U Been Gone is an extremely old song. They all work very well to run to though...especially if you are a girl ;)

Ride Wit Me-- Old Schooooool. I googled the lyrics to see if anything even sort of applies to running. Nope. I just love it. It's pretty upbeat to run to.

Rocky "Gonna Fly Now"-- Some of my co-workers made fun of me for running to this song. All I can say is, how wrong it would be to stop to walk while this is playing.

Good Morning--(Haters). I'm still waiting for this song to get more radio airtime. IMO, it's even better than Ridin' Dirty. The lyrics as a whole are good if you're ever upset about anything.

Living on a Prayer-- I've been known to start a halfway point sing-a-long in races with this gem from Bon Jovi. This is THE song to listen to when you are halfway done. Good luck finding anything that is more applicable.

Forever-- Two words: Office Wedding. I liked it when it first came out. Comfort & Twitch's Dance on So You Think You Can Dance made it better. Then the YouTube Wedding Entrance made my day over the Summer. I wasn't expecting something like that to be topped...oh but The Office found a way. The original airdate of The Office Wedding was also my birthday. So it's kind of sentimental for me.

The Middle--I remember having a major jam session to this song with my friend Melissa (who I'm running the Monument Ave 10k with) in high school. We had recently gotten our driver's liscenses and felt "so cool" with this song blaring. We both still love it though!

Here It Goes Again--OK Go is on treadmills. Enough said.

All the Small Things--I like running to Blink182 a lot. This is one of their more mainstream songs that everyone pretty much likes.

I'm On a Boat--Oh Shit, Get Your Towels Ready, It's About to Go Down! This song is hilarious. It's not very long, but I know every word so it's a power song for me. More fun in the summer though [sigh].

You're Gonna Go Far Kid--If you ever met me, this is probably one of the least likely songs you would ever expect me to run to. It has enough f-bombs that you can get your quota for the week, day, or hour... depending on how much you like sailing. I could never listen to stuff like this for an entire run. But it's a very good power song when mixed in with the others.

Low/Live Your Life-- I heard both of these played on the course of my first half marathon so they hold a special place in my heart. They weren't especially current on race day and everyone seemed to enjoy them. Live Your Life has a good overall message from T.I.
Your values is in disarray, prioritizing horribly
Unhappy with your riches cause you're piss poor morally
Ignoring all prior advice and forewarning
And we mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden aren't we?
Maybe not the most eloquent way of putting it. But, I get what he's saying. Money can lead to corruption. I'd love to do a fist pound+explosion with him.

I Get Knocked Down--This is a "Jock Jam" isn't it? I actually almost forgot about this one from Chumbawumba until it shuffled onto my iPod's playlist the other day. I very clearly remember how cool this song was when I was in 6TH GRADE. A lot that they say is really applicable to running. Just look past the fact that they are singing about getting wasted ;)

Another good way to find songs is to look at the top downloads on iTunes. If you've already discovered this, hopefully I gave you at least one more song to consider running to! Please feel free to comment about songs you really like for an "extra burst of energy!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

It Finally Happened!

So, it's been a goal of mine to run 6 miles in an hour or less. I wouldn't say that it's something I've worked hard at for very long. I just figured that if I could run a half marathon, I should be able to do this no problem. See, even Gatorade agrees with me.

Side note---I've decided I like Gatorade much more than Powerade. Although they are essentially the same.

Of course what you can do in the midst of training versus after a month of laziness are two separate things. Today I was in the midst of training, and today I ran 6 miles in 59:02! I just set the treadmill at 6.0 (10 min/mi) and cranked it up to 8.3 (7-something min/mi) on the last lap. I'm at a point where I really don't know what pace my body can maintain for extended periods of time. Could I handle 6.1 or 6.2? Probably, but 6.0 seemed like a safer option to make this goal a reality. As soon as I completed a mile, I knew that I was going for a sub one hour (six mile) run today! I felt mentally and physically ready to do it. Yesterday I ran 3 miles in 28:24.

It's still a little strange for me to care so much about times. But, if I want to get faster, this is essential.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The one downfall of cell phones is that they have completely eliminated the need for walkie-talkies.

We always had a lot of fun using walkie-talkies on family road trips. My dad and his brother would converse back and forth something like:

"Breaker, breaker. Come in. Do you copy? Over."
"Ren-10-10. Forty-NINER. Copies. Over."

"We're going to get off at Exit 249er for a pit stop."
"Roger. Over and out."

I'm not sure that they ever had a "normal conversation" on those things. That wouldn't have been any fun right?

I blame my fam, but walkie-talkie or not I never miss an opportunity to casually throw "Niners" into conversation. Tonight I completed a run of that length in 1:32:53.

(I caved and bought Marathon by Hal Higdon.) In the book, Hal talks about starting slow and having more energy conserved for the end. Tonight, I decided this sounded like a universal principal. Instead of setting the treadmill at 5.8 to start, I set it at 5.7. I knew at a 10:30 min/mi pace I wouldn't burn out and could finally take it farther with the treadmill than I have in a while. I pretty much maintained this pace until the last half mile. (Once I'm comfortable with 10+ miles again, I'll start playing around with when to gradually start picking up my pace. There's got to be a better way than a drastic burst of speed the last half mile.)

I've also decided I may not believe in 8 mile runs (when training for a half). I think I've only been on one in my life. EVER. For some reason this distance is annoying to me. If I'm going to run that far, I might as well run 9 or 10 miles. My long runs the past 3 weeks have been: 7 miles, 6.25 miles, and the Niner.

In the past 7 days I ran:
5 miles
5 miles

3 miles

2.5 miles

9 miles

It was a good week! It's also worth noting that something that was stressing me out for the past couple months isn't anymore. Without added worries, I seem to be better able to focus on the task at hand. And knowing that I'm back to a distance of 9 miles is a huge stress relief in itself. I celebrated with a Yuengling. I have to train for the post-race festivities too right? ;-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Higdon That Is.

The days before I decided I was running a half marathon are starting to get hazy to me now. It's been over a year. I'm actually trying to figure out what it was that made me decide I was running a half marathon to begin with. I think it was knowing MULTIPLE people who did one. Then after hearing about the "fun" element of long races: music, costumes, medals, and beer and reading a couple running blogs... I decided I liked all of these things. Why not try combining them all and commit to more than a 10k?

Oh wait that sounds too peachy-keen...I also was frustrated with a boy. It's such a weird circle because the more frustrated I am with life, the closer to obsessive my running becomes, yet the more endorphins I have, and I stay generally positive :) When those endorphins start to wear off, it's usually time to go on a run again. I'm convinced that a lot of the world's depression and obesity problems would be solved if people would just run. Maybe even a decrease in crime. Think about it. How many criminals do you see showing up to run a marathon? Or even a 5k for that matter.

Hahaha, I went there. I live right outside of DC. How could I not? I'm very serious about the positives of running though.

As hazy as my pre-long distance running days are becoming, so is the time before I knew of Hal Higdon. I REALLY wish I could remember who originally told me about Hal Higdon's plans. I would thank them. I know there's a lot of "I found a plan online" that gets tossed into conversation. And this is mainly because if someone doesn't run saying "I used Hal Higdon's plan" means very little. Last year after hearing his name a few places, I Googled and printed off The Half Marathon Training Plan for Beginners. I gave myself more than 12 weeks, every run happened; I still have the piece of paper with all the check marks on it.

Since that first half marathon, I'm definitely still using Hal's plan as a guide, but I run what I feel like when it comes to distance/frequency. Ironically, my short run distances tend to increase as my long run distances do. I don't know if it's because my body wants a challenge or because Hal's whispering in my ear that I should do it. "Come on, do it for Hal."

A couple of my friends and I talk about him as if we know him. "Hal would be so mad if he knew we (fill in the blank.)" "Hal would be proud of us today." And most-recently "IDK My BFF Hal." The other thing that I like about Hal is that he has plans for all levels of runners. So it's not like I'm going to "outgrow" his recommendations.

I've recently been picking up his book Marathon every time I go to a bookstore. I think this is a good book to read regardless of if you or *cough* I ever decide to run a full. His life is so fascinating. And the principles are pretty universal. Now that I've read the first few chapters of this book for free, I'm probably going to cave and buy it. Then I'll have some reading to do before bed. My own personal "Goodnight" from Hal Higdon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where did THAT come from?!!

Okay, so guess what, I've convinced yet ANOTHER friend that he needs to experience the joys of running!!! I tend to have this effect on people. I can't help it. And, as a disclaimer, it's not my fault New Year's Resolutioners are basically sitting ducks.

They want to get in-shape/lose weight/still enjoy foods they like. *Cough. RUNNING. Cough. Cough.* WOW, I just now had to strongly fight the urge to type #justsayin at the end of that sentence. #TooMuchTwitter?

Anyway, a good friend of mine as of yesterday has decided to run a 5k in 2010. He's not yet at a point where he can run 3 miles without stopping, but he's setting goals for himself, asking me lots of questions, and I have no doubt in my mind it will happen for him. I told him if he went running, I would too. (He lives in OH-IO, so this is long distance accountability.) I was thinking about taking yesterday off. I hadn't slept enough...and yeah... five runs in a week... is a lot more than the three I had been doing when I was being lazy.

Let's just say that run did NOT go too well. I ran 2.15 miles without stopping; it would have to be one of the WORST runs I've had in a loooong time. My calves felt super tight. My legs felt leadlike. It seemed to take forever to get to 2 miles. I even felt hotter than usual. Aaaand I had this kid next to me start at my treadmill pace then just kept pushing himself faster and faster. He glanced at me enough that he was either trying to race or be impressive. Either way I didn't need it. I don't "race" strangers at the gym. He was really distracting. The only thing keeping me from feeling entirely defeated when I left was that Hal does call for a couple 2 mile runs in his training plan. And the idea that "something is better than nothing."

Today, I told myself I was going to take the night off. Relax. Have a drink. Go to bed early. And get back into the swing of things Thursday. For whatever reason tonight I decided I'd feel better if I went on an easy 3 mile run. I had some time to kill before meeting up with a friend. I walked in the gym and instantly had to tell my co-workers "Yeah. I know. I said I wasn't working out today. But here I am." --One of the perks of working at a gym is that when you come back to workout, you feel like a celebrity.

I stretched more today before running. And I listened to Rodney Atkins' If You're Going Through Hell for all of mile 2.

Yo readers... I'm really happy for you.. and Imma let you finish...but Rodney Atkins has the best song to run to Of All Time. Of All Time.

Kanye. Interrupting. Never gets old. 5.8 felt like a fine starting speed tonight. My legs felt great. And mile 2 was pure bliss. After I saw that I was past two miles, I quickly decided I wasn't stopping at three. As I neared four miles, I knew this was going to be either a five or six mile run. At 4.5 miles I decided I should do 5 because I'm not letting myself skip out on the 8 miler later in the week. And I realized I needed to pick up the pace.

I ran 5 miles in 50:33. My last lap the treadmill was set at 8.5. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?!! Yesterday felt like Hell...and tonight I had all the energy in the world from listening to Going Through Hell? Bizzare. In a good way! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Speed Work


I really was a lazy bum after November 8th and until Christmas. I didn't stop running completely, but I also wasn't in as much of a "routine" when it came to running. I had nothing to work towards, my uncle was very sick, Christmas was going on, and lots of social activity took place. I ran every few days. Sometimes I did a 4 mile run. 5 and 6 both happened. 3 happened more often than any of the others. Basically a lot was on my mind. So much so that I didn't feel like running as frequently. Since Christmas...I've been getting back into a regular schedule. This past week has worked out to:

Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 6.25 miles

Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 4 miles

(I'll be running either Monday or Tuesday. And, no, my "weeks" don't usually start on Wednesday.)

If you are referencing the Hal Higdon plan for beginners, that shouldn't match any of them. Hal is my BFF (more on that later). But, I've only followed his plan religiously once. I make sure that I increase my long run distance by 10% each week and get more than one 10 mile run in prior to a half. But, I sort of just do what "I'm feeling" and 95% of the time that is at least 3 miles.

You may be wondering when I'm going to talk about Speed Work. Good question. I have a good answer: Right now.

Because my body isn't quite used to five workouts a week. [Lameeeee.] Saturday was a little painful. I think it was one of those days that I just didn't feel like running. I made myself go to the gym anyway. Typically I run on the treadmill without stopping. On Saturday I ran one mile at a 10:20/mi pace then walked .1 of a mile. I ran another mile at 10:20/mi pace and walked another .1 At this point I was pissed at myself for being so lazy. And pissed that the Saint's game was not on at the gym. For whatever reason the Gold's Gym in Richmond, VA doesn't get Fox. HOW Fox News was on and regular Fox wasn't coming through is beyond me. But I decided to channel my frustration and told myself:

"Guess what. Since you can't seem to commit to any distance worth noting, this is now a speed workout." I broke the third mile into four laps. I did 2 at a 8:00/mi pace. One lap a little faster than that. I don't remember the pace. And then for my fourth and final lap I ran it at a speed of 8.3 which i believe is about 7:15/mi pace. Between each "lap" I walked .1 or so.

Really this wasn't that hard. I don't even know if that's enough speed work to count as a "speed workout." But, it made me feel like I was finally doing something worthwhile with what could have been a "joke" trip to the gym. And like it was okay to go eat Buffalo Wild Wings with my brother and his friends while watching the Ravens-Colts ;-)

Today, I ran 3 miles at a 10:20/mi pace. After 3.15 miles, I stopped to walk. But decided I didn't want to end my workout only completing 3 miles. So after walking a lap, I ran a fourth mile in 9:35. Pushing myself to go a little faster and farther past what's comfortable. Somehow, I'm going to get faster. But, my body needs to get used to working out 5 days a week again. Meh.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The One-Two Punch (Round 2)

So, last year six days after completing the Shamrock Half Marathon I ran the Monument Avenue 10k. Not THAT big of a deal, but still in a way ridiculous because I was sore and not entirely rested.

Lets Compare and Contrast Round 1 [2009] and Round 2 [2010] of this One-Two Punch; I just caved and signed up for the 2010 UKROP'S Monument Avenue 10k along with the rest of Richmond, VA. I'm pretty sure the only way this wasn't going to happen was to force my family to keep the television off whenever I was visited them (yeah right) and avoid talking to all friends in RVA until the race filled up. The commercials and hype of this race are Just. Too. Tempting.

Side Note--Indiana Jones is the best running costume I've ever seen.

Round 1 (2009)
  • I ran the Shamrock Half by myself. I had other friends that I went to the race with but their pace was so fast they were in Corral 1, and by the time I made it to the starting line they were already 10 minutes or so into the race.
  • I ran the Monument Avenue 10k by myself.
  • I was laid-off in the middle of the two races
Round 2 (2010)
  • I will be running the Shamrock Half Marathon with my friend Meghan+accompanied by friends who are faster than us.
  • I will be running the Monument Avenue 10k with my friend Melissa who is only training for the 10k. She'll be well rested. She wants to get a time around an hour (as do I).
  • Job Security (Knock on Wood.)
I think it's going to help me a lot to have a friend by my side in each race. Also, Melissa caring about her time will probably help me to run faster. I just hope I'm not so burnt out that I have to say those four awful words "Can we slow down?" I doubt I will. Telling myself "This is Fun." "You're not that tired." "It's not that far." is really going to be what keeps me going (along with the distraction of conversation with a friend).

Distance wise a 10k is nothing if I'm in the condition to complete a half. But I guarantee I'll be fighting off thoughts like "I'm tired." "I'm sore." and "Why am I doing this?" And worst of all, I'll think about all the other people who are sitting on their ass/sleeping the Saturday after the Shamrock as a gift to themselves for all their hard work. Sometimes running is more of a mental sport than physical. And probably why I like it so much.

If you read my last post, as an update I only ran 6.25 miles. The treadmill and I haven't taken it to 8 miles yet in 2010. We will soon though.

I didn't record the exact time, but I was never going slower than a 10:20/mi pace. I just can't remember how far I ran at a speed faster than that. Probably like half a mile. Haha. This is what I LOATHE about training. I get to the point where 10 miles is nothing. Right now I remember exactly what that feels like. But thanks to the month or two I took off, I'm not quite there again [yet]. I could have done 8 miles the other night, but decided it would be best to wait another week based on how I was feeling/things I needed to do. I have over two months before the half marathon. Why rush to get back to a distance I'll be seeing a lot of before the end of the spring?

It's so tempting with a running blog to only talk about your best runs, but honestly that's not reality.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Have a Date Tonight!

I have a date tonight with a guy I’m really excited about. We’ve known each other for a while, and I know he’s going to light up when he sees me! I’ll be dressing casually because we’re just having a drink and watching college basketball at his place. It’s not so much about what time I get there, although the Duke game starts at 7:00 P.M. The most important thing is the amount of time we spend together.

If I had to describe him physically I’d say he’s so in shape he takes my breath away. In addition to that, he makes me feel good about myself. I always leave our hangouts with a smile on my face. Sometimes he frustrates me, but I know that he’s a strong supporter of me, even when I push his buttons. We’re not exclusive yet. One of the things I like about this guy is he’s all about taking things at a speed I’m comfortable with.

When I’m with him I’m not worrying about life’s troubles. I’m living in the moment. We watch a lot of sports together, and we conveniently like the same types of music.

I’m excited and have a few butterflies because tonight I think we are going to take it farther than I’ve gone in a while….

8 miles to be exact :)

Bahahaha, even when I'm married I will continue to cheat on my husband with the treadmill.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Turning a Hobby into a Career

Okay, just kidding. Yes, I like running/jogging. NO I will never have a job description that includes dragging an American flag around behind me. I will never even hit the splits that some of you who stumble upon this blog do. But, running is a hobby that I've stuck with nearly 6 years and my life wouldn't be the same without it.

Physically, I'm in shape.
Psychologically, I'm able to keep a glass is half full perspective most of the time. I really think the reason I'm a "positive" person is because of running. I just have all these extra endorphins and this pent up energy that can't help but spill out into other areas of my life.
And, seriously, I've had some cool experiences.
  • Pushing myself to both a 10k and Half Marathon distance
  • Seeing a proposal while running a 5k in Arlington,Va (That's the only proposal I've seen, thus far in life.)
  • Helping my mom go from not running in nearly 20 years to completing a 2 mile race
  • Completing the Army 10 Miler with my friend Meghan, who had never raced a 10k or completed 10 miles prior to October 4, 2009.
  • And this year I'm going to do a couple "costumed races!"
I like that I work at a gym where a considerable amount of people coming in share the same hobby. I get to meet people who are super hard core and it's inspiring. Running was always my "after or before work thing." But, I've recently realized that I could potentially have a career in the place I look forward to going...and not spend my entire day stuck in a cube.

So on top of trying to improve my splits in 2010, I'm going to try to make a "fitness industry career" happen. Sales specifically. Obviously, no job is perfect. But take another look at the expression of accomplishment on Kara's face. That's the same face someone makes when they reach fitness goals or have a great race. I've made that face a few times in my life. Working in an industry that gives people the opportunity to accomplish great things sounds fun. Now if I can just make it happen in 2010, my parents may go running around with an American flag in celebration.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

7 Miles (After Eating Sushi)

Just thought I'd throw out the fact that I went on a 7 mile run after eating sushi. I didn't try anything too extravagant tonight. The friend I was with seemed to want my recommendation on all items. So I went with "safer" choices: Salmon Avocado Rolls, California Rolls, and Tuna California Rolls. Ooh and edamame. Sushi is one of my favorite foods. Probably because its a way for me to combine my love for seafood and avocados.

When I lived closer to a sushi place I used to get it after waking up from a night out. My body is used to the cravings at times most people would NOT be in the mood. But still, I've never eaten sushi before a long run. Only after. I can't imagine that its a great pre-workout choice based on the flavor it leaves in your mouth. But I had dinner plans with a friend already set and this run NEEDED to happen since it didn't on Monday.

I completed my first 7 mile run of 2010 tonight in 1:11:19. Thats a 10:11/mile pace. I really think that running more than 10 miles before a half marathon is going to help my time tremendously. I'm very happy with this pace. It felt comfortable. It's just a matter of maintaining it the whole time.

Tonight at the gym I met a girl who has run 3 marathons. She hopes to soon qualify for Boston. I reallyyy just wanted to watch the Orange Bowl and keep chit-chat to a minimum. But, talking to her for the first 5.5 miles made them go by more quickly. And its just more proof of how friendly the running community is. She heard me mention to a guy who knows me that I am running the Shamrock Half Marathon and hopped on the treadmill next to me for her one hour run. She was giving me pointers on things she has learned over the years and said my form was good.
She encouraged me to eventually go for a full. Golly gee. Is that REALLY the next step once you have a few halves under your belt?

Right now I know I need to focus on the half marathon distance. But, I'll file away this [yet another] recommendation.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I Really Need Is an Open Road...

And a whole lot of speed. Ahh, Montgomery Gentry. I LOVE Country Music!!! I blame my parents and the fact that I grew up in Richmond, VA where everyone’s necks tend to be a little redder than up here in NOVA. I don’t really run to that much country music. BUT, I think I need to add this song to my iTunes. In my mind, it’s running related.
So what is this post really about? Let’s talk about the times I’ve hit thus far in my life…

3 miles: 25:49

10k: 1:02:53

10 miles: 1:44:01

Half Marathon: 2:25:45

If you want the details, read on:

Although, this isn’t going to be chronological, I will go in ascending distance order.

3 miles:

I started running senior year of high school. I did a few 5ks in college. They were on campus, so my finishing times were never officially documented. I know one was definitely under 30 minutes. I wasn’t planning on getting as hard core about I [sort of] I didn’t document on my own.

The fastest I’ve ever run 3 miles was on the treadmill a few months ago in 25:49. I was trying to impress a guy. He had to stop because his calves were tight. I out ran him and his legs are a lot longer than mine. So that was kind of cool.

Goal: I’m not a sprinter. The splits for my treadmill time work out to 8:36. If I could do that in an official race, that would be great. I think I had a ton of energy and determination that day. Note to self: Run a 5k with a boy.


My very first 10k was the Ashland Railroad Run in 2007. I finished in 1:02:53. Not too shabby for a girl who didn’t run track in high school. That’s the only 10k I’ve ever trained for.

I did the Monument Avenue 10k 6 days after my first half marathon. This was also two days after I got laid off. Roughly 24 hours after a ROUGH night. I’ll summarize with me being at a bar with friends and knocking over some other girl’s empty glass. She gave me a mean look. And then I said “I’m sorry, I was laid off today.” The guy she was with was super understanding and responded, “Ohh, well then you need to knock over a couple more before you leave!” The girl then smiled. 10 months later this still makes me laugh.

Anyway, I didn’t wear a watch or even think about speed in the Monument Avenue 10k. I was more concerned with how many cheers I could get for my Minnesota T-shirt. I think it was around 6. My time for this race is not as good as my first 10k… 1:05:45. But, it is what it is.

Goal: I want to break an hour for a 10k. This would mean the pace I’m running at is slightly under 10 minutes/mile. But, I’d also like to complete a 10k in under 1:02:53. I know I’m capable of this; I just need to sign up for a 10k that is not a recovery run. Wear a watch. And be more focused.

10 miles:

My friend Meghan happened to be training for the Army 10 miler this past fall when I was preparing to run the OBX half marathon. We went on a few long runs together, and I was talked into running 10 miler with her. This was the MOST ENJOYABLE RACE OF MY LIFE. It was the first race I ran with a friend. The DC crowd was GREAT. I was a general goofball, Hi5-ing anyone who cheered for my Minnesota T-shirt and and starting a BonJovi “Whoahh, we’re half way there” sing-a-long at the halfway point. I unexpectedly saw my friend who was volunteering at the mile 8 water station. He gave me my cup of water and a hug. 10 miles is not a joke, but for some reason I barely remember being tired or wanting the race to be over. All I remember thinking that was running related was around the mile 9 point, “I’m glad this isn’t a half marathon.” So I guess I was ready to be done or not feeling quite ready for an additional four miles. Meghan and I sprinted to the finish in 1:53:02. I wasn’t even that sore from that race. I’ve decided 10 miles must be my favorite distance. A lot happens between 10 and 13.

I independently completed 10 miles in 1:44:01 on the treadmill a few weeks before the OBX half. Which works out to a pace of 10:24ish per mile.

Goal: 1:40:00 I want to be able to run 10 miles at a 10 min/mile pace. Or maybe slightly under that. I don’t know when that will happen. But that’s my ultimate goal. And 10 milers are hard to find. So this may only be on the treadmill.

13.1 miles aka. The Half Marathon

Oh hey, Half Marathon. You are the distance I need to get serious about. Somewhere between 10 miles and 13.1 miles my endurance starts sucking. I didn’t walk/pause (except briefly at the water station) at either of the half marathons I ran. But my times aren’t really that different from each other.

Yeungling Shamrock Half Marathon 2009: 2:27:15

OBX Half Marathon 2009: 2:25:55 (1st half 10:42/mi pace…2nd half: 11:09/mi pace).

It’s worth nothing that the OBX half has a 4% incline hill between miles 9 and 11. I didn’t walk. A LOT of people did though. So many that I was getting frustrated having to run around them and jealous that they were more comfortable than me in that moment. I think if I had run the Shamrock again… I would have gotten a slightly faster time than 2:25:55 since that course is described as “fast and flat.”

Something else that could be to blame is that I only did 10 miles to prepare each time. Granted, I did three 10 mile runs before each race day. But 10 doesn’t equal 13. It’s more of a “Yay, I can be lazy because Hal Higdon says I’m ready being about to run 10 miles.”

So, Goal: Break 2:25:55. Maybe even break 2:20:00.

When I saw that I could run 10 miles in 1:44:01 on the treadmill I was really hoping to finish the OBX half closer to 2:15:00.

*This is a goal for 2010. This is NOT my goal for the upcoming Shamrock Half Marathon. The 2010 Shamrock is all about being by the side of my friend Meghan as she completes her first 13.1. If her pace happens to be faster than 2:25:55 (great), but breaking this time is not even a slight goal. Running the whole thing is.

The real question is what other Half Marathon(s) I’m going to run this year.

The VA Beach Rock n’ Roll (Sept) and Richmond McDonald’s [Loveee the Irony of that sponsor] Half Marathon (Nov) are both thoughts. But, do I want to do one closer to the Shamrock? Doing a 10 miler and Half a month apart from each other last fall was a perfect combo. I think it’s too early into my training to decide. I’m going on a 7 mile run tomorrow. Hopefully!

26.2 miles…aka: A Full-Fledged OhShitWhatHaveIGottenMyself Into Marathon

Bahaha. I just thought I’d type that to see what it looks like. I’m not sure if I’ll ever decide to do one of these. For enough reasons that this post will get entirely too long. My dad told me I shouldn’t even think about a full until a half marathon is an “easy’ distance for me and I’m running them faster than I am currently. I agree with both of his thoughts. So, let’s see if I can get faster and more used to 13.1 in 2010. The nice thing is now that I’ve done two, I’m mentally in a totally different spot.