Sunday, July 29, 2012

Paint the Streets 5K 2012: My Return to 5K Racing

I ran the Paint the Streets 5K on Saturday, July 28, 2012.  I decided it was finally time to try racing a 5K again after an 8-month hiatus.  My last 5K was the Turkey Trot, and I've only done a few 10Ks since then too.  I intended to do several 5Ks this summer, but after the Minnesota Marathon, I was injured and had to take some time off from running and then racing while I healed and recovered.

This race was a clean sweep of the top 3 women's spots for the Fleet Feet Racing Team.  My teammates Caitlyn and Jillian finished 1st and 2nd respectively.  I was 3rd.  I am extremely happy with this ranking, since there were two girls right on my heels that I managed to stay ahead of.  I am also happy with my time of 20:18.  It is only 3 seconds slower than my winning time in this race last year.  I felt pretty good throughout the race which surprised me because my warm up was horrible!  I would love a chance to improve on this time in another 5K soon.

20:18 8th OA, 3rd OA Female

These pictures are courtesy of a great local guy, Gregg Gelmis from We Run Huntsville, who takes photos throughout the race.

Start line (I am towards the right in pink shoes, second row)

I could feel my competition closing in as we finished the race!

Training for my 27th Marathon: Baltimore October 13, 2012

Most of my running group is training for the Seven Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga, TN on October 21. This is the first time four of them will have ever run a marathon.  It is an exciting time in our running group.  I am reliving some of the first-time nervousness and anticipation along with these girls.  They're up to a 14-mile long run and going great in these warm and humid Alabama summer days.

It's not in my cards to go out and repeat a state with my friends though, sadly.  I need to focus on marathons I can run with Rick to meet our 50 state goal.  I knew this all along, but I also knew that I could train with my friends, encourage them, and to be there to hear all of their stories or answer any questions.

And it turns out that I will have my own October marathon after all.  Rick and I feel good about doing one more marathon (yes, I know I said this last time).  He approached me about a month ago with one, and we agreed to go for it.  We are running the Baltimore Marathon on October 13.  Some of our friends are going to that one and we can meet up with them.  I don't intend to try to PR, but I will train and see what happens.  It's been hard to motivate myself for the full 18 weeks of training,  In fact, until this weekend I didn't even look up a training program.  I was living in denial for about a month there!  Plus, I wasn't feeling healed enough to think about another round of training.  Then, for a little while, I thought about just following my friends' training program.  But that isn't what is best for me.  I am feeling ready to tackle more lately.  I am mostly recovered from June.  I have done a couple of speedwork and tempo runs, getting better and feeling better each time.  I raced a 5K yesterday and got 3 seconds off what I ran the same course in last year.  It is time to put my heart and soul into the next 11 weeks (yes, I had to just cross off the first 7 weeks of this training program.  Just missed them completely.).  Below is Hal Higdon's Advanced program that I will attempt to follow for my marathon training.  Stay tuned.  The next 11 weeks should be interesting!
I'm starting at Week 8.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HTC Meeting Monday, July 23, 2012

Our local running group is called the Huntsville Track Club, or HTC.  Here is the link to the HTC's website.  I know I have written about the HTC on here before when I mentioned the benefits of joining the club (my favorites of which being the bi-monthly large newsletter and the fun and competitive "Grand Prix").  I love reading the newsletter with its articles from many seasoned runners.  I learn so much from them.  The Grand Prix is a fun local competition open only to HTC members.  All HTC members get scored on HTC events and try to win the top prize.  I actually don't know if there is a prize for the winner or not besides "bragging rights."  In 2004, I was entering a lot of HTC events and actually won my Grand Prix division.  It's fun to be able to say that, but I don't compete in enough events to even get close to winning anymore, nor am I earning enough points in the events I do compete in.  Like I said, check out the link above for more info on that.  The link also contains race results from all of our local races.  We refer to that link a lot in our house!

So the family membership to the HTC is only $15, and that is a great bargain.  Rick and I have decided to really take advantage of our membership benefits in the past couple of years.  We are very thrifty people, as OINKS like us usually are (one income, numerous kids).  HTC advertises its meetings as having guest speakers and free food for its members.  I love the idea of a free night of entertainment and food with friends!  We went to another meeting like this back in March of 2011 when Doris Heritage Brown (a two time Olympian) came to speak (see post here).  Tonight's speakers were locals--Jim Oaks and James Terwilliger (known as "Twig"), and the topics were the Track and Field Trials held in Eugene, Oregon and the Marathon Trials held in Houston, Texas.

I was worried how the kids would do hearing a 30-minute presentation, but they did alright (we separated them so they wouldn't bug each other).  The presentation was done with Powerpoint slides, which made it very interesting to me.  Twig's presentation on the Track and Field Trials was the longer of the two.  It was very obvious that he enjoyed being at the trials and was so eager to share what he had seen there.  While in Oregon, he was able to go up and visit running legend Steve Prefontaine's hometown.  He spoke about meeting Pre's mother and seeing the track where Pre trained, his grave sight, and the scene of his accident with such passion.  It was very easy to get caught up in his excitement and to feel a little like we'd been there too. The pictures from the trials were very interesting too, and it was fun picturing Jim and Twig getting to see so many running celebrities.  The meeting was held at the Monte Sano Lodge, so our kids were rewarded for being good by a trip to the playground afterwards.  It was a good night of free family fun, and something I'd recommend you try out too if you are able.

Twilight 5K July 21, 2012 Volunteering

I still wasn't feeling ready to try a 5K this past Saturday, so Rick and the family decided to volunteer at another race!  We were able to help at the aid station by handing out the waters.  It seems like we get put in this position a lot when we have the kids with us, but that's okay.  There is actually quite a bit of skill involved with doing a good water hand-off (See Dana's blog entry about this here.  She writes about how to hold the water cup, how much water to put in it, etc.  Good advice!).  

We all had a few missed attempts, where the water just didn't make it into the runners' hands.  That makes me feel bad, even though sometimes it's really not my fault.  Luckily, there were many of us handing out waters, so people had a second chance to grab another one.  

As usual, the kids had many people taking water from them (our two kids and the race directors' little girl too). They always got a "thanks, doll" or "thanks, sweetie!" from the people who took the water from them. Our kids fought over who could use the two "grabber tools" that a guy had brought for collecting the used cups.  Isn't it great when work is made fun?

If you are local, this race is a great family race.  Like Cotton Row, it has a 1-mile fun run and a 5K. But unlike Cotton Row, the 5K has separate men and women start times (6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.), so a mom and dad could each get to run the race. As the name implies, this race is run at twilight.  Some people really like that, and for some, that makes it a challenge.

Katie and Julia hand out waters with the kids.

My hair looked like this in many pictures.
I guess I was whipping around to get another water quickly!

Trash grabber tool makes pick up fun!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fleet Feet Racing Team 2012

I run with a group known as the Huntsville Fleet Feet Racing Team.  From this website, 

The Fleet Feet Racing Team was created to increase awareness about Fleet Feet Sports, assist in marketing of the store and to provide unity amongst some of the most skilled runners in the local area. The 2012 team is a collection of runners who focus on building the sport in our community via stewardship, being a role model, participation in training programs, voluntarism and achieving competitive race results. They were selected based on the competitive performance, ambassadorship and volunteerism they demonstrated during the 2011.

The Fleet Feet Racing Team in Huntsville was created in 2004 to increase awareness about Fleet Feet Sports, assist in marketing of the store and to provide unity amongst some of outstanding runners in the local area. Our runners have historically been true ambassadors to the sport and are committed to running. In fact, our Racing Team typically comprises more than half of the top 10 overall and is competitive across all age groups for every distance in most North Alabama races.

Starting in 2009, Fleet Feet Huntsville began a transformation that included more stringent guidelines for team members and additional promotion of and investment in the team. For example, in an effort to market the runners on the team, Fleet Feet began a weekly blog that included who was racing, the races in which members were competing, race reports, and other activities of team members. 

In 2010 we began a formal partnership with Nike as the official team sponsor which can only have to benefit our team, Fleet Feet Huntsville and Nike.

For the 2012 season, Fleet Feet moved beyond a simple blog and developed a professional website for the team.  Also, additional team affiliates were added to the team which included Honey Stinger, Swiftwick Socks and FuelBelt.  

Fleet Feet Racing Team 2012 (Katie and Rick far right first and second rows)

As someone who didn't participate in many team sports growing up, I love that I now belong to this team.  We encourage each other and offer some great competition too!  It amazes me how some of these team members know my times better than I do.  We make an effort to know what races everyone is doing, but we also know teammates on a more personal level too.  The website I linked above has biographies on each person and a weekly entry about the races teammates have done or served by volunteering.

Women's Team
Lynn Curry
Candace Jacobs
Jill Koch
Katie Maehlmann
Caitlin Morris
Dana Overton
Lisa Rawlings
Christy Scott
Kathy Youngren

Men's Team
Donald Bowman
Victor Brown
Eric Charette
Marty Clarke
Jim Clemons
Erik DeBolt
James Falcon
Eric Fritz
George Heeschen
Andrew Hodges
Rick Maehlmann
Randy McFarland
David O'Keefe
Eric Patterson
Tim Pitt
David Rawlings
Greg Reynolds
DeWayne Satterfield
Brad Schroeder
Dink Taylor
Blake Thompson
Tim Vinson
Robert Whitaker
Brett Wilks
Brandon York
Robert Youngren

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Mommy is Pretty

Excerpt from my family blog:

"I feel like I am in a season of life where each moment is sacred.  The kids are at such precious ages right now--full of energy and innocence and blind obedience to us.  Trusting us to make the right decisions for them, when we are doing all of this for the first time.  I have taken more pictures then ever before, trying to capture it all, but it feels like I am trying to hold onto water as it slips out of my hands.  I feel the urge to freeze time right in this moment.  And then another moment comes and I like that one too.  I never expected parenting to be so full of constant change."

I am so honored to be a mother.  And even more so to be a mom who my son thinks is "prite" (pretty).  It is hard to put into words the feeling you get when your child pays you a compliment that you don't feel you really even deserve.  He doesn't know how long I felt so ugly--all the years I hated the way I looked.  He doesn't even know what anorexia is (though I could never forget if I tried).  How I wish I could protect him and his sister from ever having to learn about it.  How I wish he knew how a little piece of me healed when I read his precious words.  Standing in his kindergarten classroom with my hand clutching his flower bulletin board message to me, I did feel pretty.  But more importantly, I felt loved.  And that is when parenting is completely worth it.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Giving Up and Gaining

I recently made a tough change for me--giving up my Diet Cokes.  I had decided over a year ago to try to give up my two-a-day habit.  I wasn't comfortable with relying on caffeine to get through the day.  I didn't like the aspartame in the diet drinks.  My sister (the one with the Ph.D in Chemical Engineering) wouldn't touch the stuff anymore.  I knew it was a bad habit, but, like I told a few of my friends, it's almost like I liked doing something that I knew wasn't good for me.

Well, one day in May I just decided enough is enough.  I had dropped this habit when I was pregnant, and I could do it now in preparation for another possible pregnancy and just for me.  It was something that I wanted to conquer, so I did.  I had read a tip--don't just give it up cold turkey.  Instead, make a switch to something similar, like a different brand.  I originally gave up my Diet Mountain Dew habit this way--I switched to Kroger brand Diet Coke.  It didn't phase me at all.  This time, I decided to switch to Sprite.  Yes, full-calorie Sprite!!!!  I couldn't imagine wanting to drink that stuff, but sure enough, on my first day without Diet Coke I craved something in a can that first morning.  So I drank the Sprite.  And even a second one that same day!  At 140 calories a can, those calories added up quickly.

The switch was going fine until the marathon on June 3rd.  Yes, I made it through caffeine headaches and was even able to have two Diet Cokes in my fridge that I didn't touch for a couple of weeks.  After the marathon, I was injured and running less.  Those 140 calories a can were not getting burned off much as I went from 50+ miles a week to probably 20 miles or so.  I don't weigh myself, but I imagine that I began gaining weight from those extra calories.  I didn't know what to do and even contemplated going back to Diet Coke.

Thankfully, I gave it some more time and broke the habit for good.  It's been almost two months.  I now drink maybe 1/2 a can of Sprite a day.  I am back to running 40 or so miles a week.  I prefer a nice tall glass of water in the morning and even with dinner (my two weak spots for Diet Coke).  I have given up a bad habit and formed a healthier one instead--a good thing since temperatures have been record-breaking this summer, and I'm drinking all the time!