Monday, December 31, 2007

Smooth Move!

Since I had a later start going out running today, I could not run the trail near our house. The trail is closed after dark even though no one enforces it. There are deer out there and I don't really like the idea of one leaping in front of me so I skip the trail if I know it is going to get dark.

I went to MapMyRun to verify an alternate route that would give me the milage I wanted and still keep me in relatively familiar areas. To ensure this, I wrote the roads on my hand that would take me to a road I was familiar with.

I leashed up the dog and off we went. I consulted my hand to confirm we were on track and before I knew it, I was back in familiar territory.

As we passed by the road that lead back to the house, it was so tempting to just hang a left and go on home but I didn't. I kept going down until I got to my turn around point and then went home. When I got closer to the house, the run didn't feel like it was the distance I thought it was but I shrugged it off.

I downloaded the info and sure enough, it was almost a half mile short. Whaaaattt?? I went back to MapMyRun to see what I did wrong. The roads around here are kinda strange. The same road can cross a different road more than once. My first turn was a street too early, had I written 2nd Street Name, I would have been okay and gotten the milage I thought I had. Smooth...really smooth. Oh well, it was still a good run.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Grrr! and Woo hoo!!

I just noticed that my exercise ticker over on the left is no longer working. I have no idea how many miles I had on there, I am going to have to go through my logs to get a ballpark figure of my milage. I can get most of it from but not all of it. I kept an actual paper log (still do) when I first started to run. Once I started running with Chuck, I went to running-log. I also do Sports Tracks with my Garmin.

Word to the wise kids, back up!

I think I found my perfect running parter. It is my sweet dog, Tinsel. She really is the nearly perfect running partner. She is always ready to go, she never complains that I am going too fast or that I am going to slow. She doesn't complain it is raining, it is cold, it is dark, it is hot. She stays with me no matter goes on. She doesn't talk to me and she doesn't get offended if I don't talk to her during a run. She is always willing to give me a kiss and doesn't care if I am sweaty or I stink. Good girl, Tinsel.

Speaking of Garmins...I got Greg a Garmin Forerunner 205 for Christmas. I have to admit that I have a case of Garmin envy even though I am happy with my 201. I like being able to see my pace, how far I went...all the stuff that the Forerunner will track for me. I was admiring his 205 and he asked me if I wanted one for my birthday next month. Ya think? Of course I do! I went web surfing and found the best price on Amazon (where I got his) Then I went to since I knew they have a 110% price match policy. Sure enough, they had the same model for $255. After the price match, I got it from Zappos for $139. It has already been shipped but I will have to admire the box until my birthday.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dog Running

Now that my dog is a year old, she can come with me on some runs. Since it is sorta running related as well as dog related, I guess I will just double post the info here and on Tinsel's Blog Expect more heavy on the running here, more doggy there.

Tinsel has always gotten excited seeing me get into running gear because she knows I am going out on the trail. I have held off on doing any running with her because she is a puppy. Or, she was. She just turned a year old so her major growth is about done. She is still going to grow a bit but not any significant amount.

Just like a person, you have to build up your dog when running. She was not pleased with that, I don't think she ever went over a fast trot while we were out. We did 3 minutes of running (her fast trot and occasional bounce around) and then 2 minutes of walking. She did very well with it, stayed on my left side and kept a fairly loose lead.

It was raining and she seemed to love fording the creeks (I had stepping stones).

We did just under 3 miles so she gets tomorrow off and after checking her feet, we will run/walk again on Friday. The stinker, even after that, she was Miss Bouncy Happy Nutcase during class.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Unexpected repairs to our heating system have taken Disney out of the question for me. Even though I am registered, I can't justify the expense of flying, hotel and food in the face of this. Yeah, having heat in the winter is a bit more important. If this was a family expense, I could do it but I just can't bring myself to spend that much on me right now.

Even though I am bummed, I will try again next year. Both my husband and I are signed up for the GW Parkway 10 miler. He ran it last year but we will be doing it together this year. I say together but what that really means is that we will both be on the same course for part of the time. He will finish long before I will.

He is thrilled that he got a new Garmin for Christmas. Maybe I will get lucky and get a similar one for my birthday next month.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bruised Bone and 3/2

I mentioned a few posts back that I fell numerous times recently during a trail run. I thought it was possible that I chipped my kneecap since I have one spot that is still tender when touched. (I know, stop touching it!) I can't kneel on that knee either but other than that, have full range of motion. Now I think it is just a bruised bone and time will take care of it. If it gets feeling worse or hinders motion, I will get it looked at.

After running several times using a 3 minute run/3 minute walk, I was not too impressed. The walk felt like it was entirely too long. It is not a good sign when you keep looking to see if it is time to run again. This week, I switched to a 3 minute run/2 minute walk interval. Today was my first day trying it and I have to say, I liked it much better.

Not only did I run my route 3 minutes faster this morning, I also did not feel tired at the end of my run. It was a gorgeous morning for a run, in the mid 50's. I start my run when it is still dark out but it is light by the last part of the run.

I did find that I can preset my Garmin on interval training. This allows me to set it to beep at 3 minutes and then again at 2 minutes so I know when to run/walk. This morning I ran with my iPod, which I rarely do. It is down low enough so I can easily hear the Garmin as well as traffic and others around me. I may get my other mp3 player out since I can put scripture on it to listen to while I run. I guess I should find the charger for it, I have not used it since we moved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Six AM

It is just too stinking early in the morning to be up, let alone out running.

I have to get up at 5:40 am to get my 14 year old to his seminary class at church. I am back in the house by 6:05 am. Now, I could easily go back to bed until the other kids need to get up but I made the decision to go running. This knocks it out for the day, I have Greg at home (sleeping) while the kids are sleeping and I don't have to worry about trying to fit the run in later in the day.

Even with all that, it is still too early to be out running! I got on my running skirt, my shirt, got my reflective belt and even got my iPod...I was set.

I dropped Nicholas off and came home. I brought everything out of the house with me so I would not be tempted by anything going into the house. My iPod was dead. It was my own fault, I forgot to turn it off and the battery ran down. I don't normally run with it anyway so it was no great loss.

I ran 3 miles doing a 3 min run/3 min walk schedule. I started out in the dark and it was daylight by the time I was done. It was about 58F and just beautiful out. This is the first run in ages where I have not been totally dripping in sweat. It is also the first run since May that I have gone on without my hat.

The run was slow going, slower than if I ran it. I don't know why I am surprised by that, I shouldn't be. I am walking a significant chunk, something I have not done before. I am confident that as I continue on and increase milage, I will see an improvement in times. I ran up to the high school since I didn't want to be out on the trail in the dark.

As I was coming back, Ryan was at the bus stop. He avoided eye contact and acted like he didn't see me. What a little snot. Still, I imagine at 13 I would have ignored my mother in similar circumstances. I know he saw me because I waved to him about a block away and he turned the other direction. Boy, maybe on Friday I should stop and give him a sweaty hug.

When I got into the house, it was still so quiet. No one was up, even Tinsel (the dog) didn't want to get up. Greg got up about 15 minutes after I got home. I think he overslept because he was dressed when he came down - dressed in work clothes and normally he rides his bike to work. He drove today, usually a sign he overslept.

I think I chipped my kneecap during the run on Saturday. It is so incredibly tender right now. I can't put any weight on it (like kneeling) or have anything touch it. Interesting enough, running and walking doesn't bother it at all. There is no pain (except if I touch it) so I don't think there is much that can be done other than ice it and take tylenol. I never realized how many things I did with knee until I can't. I closed doors, knelt on the floor, used it to block the dog or the kids, stop a door from closing.

Tomorrow I am just going to walk Tinsel at 6 am and then run again on Friday. I have another week before I start actually ramping up for the Goofy.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Denise Not only Fell, she really fell!

Now, for those who are puzzling over the title of this entry, look again. You will see that DNF is bold. You may know what it means, you may not. DNF stands for Did Not Finish. This is what you are marked in a race when you fail to complete the course for any reason. I was DNF for my trail half. There are loads of firsts for everyone and today was my first, probably not my last, DNF.

I had signed up for my Trail Half Marathon because it was local, it was a Half and it sounded like fun. Do a Half running through a park, in the trees, shaded with nothing but women. Who would not want to do this? Sign me up.

I read the website, I knew it was a trail...really, I did! It says right on the website "Forested, rolling terrain. Primarily single-track dirt trail" Well...that sounds pleasant enough, doesn't it? I just was not prepared for what this *really* meant.

It all started innocently enough. We gathered in the parking lot and the men sang "Happy Trails" to us and we were off. We ran along the road for about a mile and then were directed off the road onto a path. All was still good for about another mile...when the trail became more narrow, trees got closer, rocks took on a life of their own, roots would snake out across the trail in front of me and I am sure I saw a mountain goat merrily trotting along the 2" wide trail at some point. They would leave the path to leap among the Alps that were hidden in the trees. I knew before mile 3 that this was a recipe for disaster for me.

I can trip on a flat surface, on a calm day, while walking. Put me on an ungroomed path in the woods with rocks, leaves, twigs and roots...with sweat dripping into my eyes and it is a given I am going to take a nosedive.

My first meeting with the dirt/leaves took place right about the 3.5 mile mark. I did the cartoon fast run to attempt to catch myself and just managed to scrape my knees a bit more than needed. I brushed myself off and pushed on. I was nervous and slow before the fall, after the fall, I was becoming even more so, keeping my eye on any potential tripping hazard.

By the 6 mile mark, I had gone down numerous times. I must have stumbled on a passing gnat and took a pretty hard dive down. This one was hard enough to keep me down in a pathetic heap for a moment while I assessed if I was still alive. Since I had tears leaking, I assumed that meant I was alive so I cautiously made my way to my feet. I had cracked my head, landed on my hands, scraped my knees, ripped my number off and my hat was beside me. I was pretty sure my thumb was sprained.

At this point, I was fairly sure that if I continued on, it was just a matter of time before I fell again and actually would become seriously injured. Call me a weenie but I made the decision to walk when the trail was dicey and run if I felt it was okay. This meant that I was walking mostly with tiny areas where I could run a few feet. Even walking, I was tripping and crashing into trees. Graceful I am not. Put in there being tired and I probably was the cause of a lot of the tripping, not lifting my feet up enough.

Sooo...I did not make the cut off point in the time needed to get an official time. I was about 5 minutes over the time limit. I could have continued on the course and finished the entire 13.1 miles but truly, by that point, stick a fork in me, I was done. As it was, I did complete over 8 miles, which given the circumstance, I am incredibly pleased with.

Overall, it was an interesting race. I think I should have picked an easier trail to run a Half on for my first trail Half but it was still a good run. Now I know where it is, I can go out and practice on it. Yes, practice. Now I am determined to not let the course beat me next year. At least that is what I am thinking right now.

Today, I am sporting lovely bruises on my head, both knees, on my shins and above my knees in addition to various scratches and cuts. Did I mention the bruise on my palm and very sore thumb? I must have jarred a shoulder too. Ouchie.

Denise and trail running ....not a very good mix but darn it, I am stubborn enough to try it again just to prove to myself I *can* do it!

I did get to meet two fellow Forum members at the run. Becki ran the race (finished in just over 2:30...woo hoo!) while Alec ran a different trail in the park since he was not entered. There were a lot of running skirts out there as well.

This race was going to be my last official "running" race until after the Goofy. Starting on Monday, I am going to a run/walk training program to prepare for the Goofy. My first offical race using this method is going to be the MCM 10K in about 6-7 weeks.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm Melting....

You would think coming from Tennessee, land of heat and humidity, that running here in the heat and humidity would be easier. The temperatures are less, the humidity is less so why does it feel so much harder to run in it? Much as I dislike the prospect, I think after summer school is over, I am going to have to get up in the wee hours to get my milage in. likes me sleep!

I mentioned that some ladies from my WTP are continuing to meet on Monday evenings. Last week, three of us were there and decided that we were going to train, as a group, for the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon but in 2008. The three of us there have all done at least 10 mile races so this is a nice goal to look forward to.

As life has a way of doing so, I was not able to go out with the RR this past weekend. I had to pick up one of the kids by 9 am so there was no way to make a 5 mile run at 8 am and still get there by 9 am to pick her up. Bummer.

This week, there were four of us that met to run. Two of them are speedy bunnies, one is speedier than I am but stays with me and of course, there is me. I am still plodding along. I like running with others since it actually forces me to run faster than I would. When I am by myself, I tend to go along and not really push myself like I should.

After letting Jess, the lady who was not there last week, about our Rock N Roll plans, we decided to up the ante a little bit more and also go for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in April. This will be after my Disney runs so I should be good to go.

It is great finding people who will run with me!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chugging Along

Wow, I didn't realize it has been so long since I posted. I am still running, still struggling to find the motivation to run.

I am meeting a few ladies on Monday evenings still and running with them. It turns out that one of the ladies lives about 2 blocks from me. We are both fond of running a trail near here so we are going to set up some time to run it.

Reston Runners are meeting near me this weekend as well. It is a five mile run. I have to be in Fairfax Station by 11 am so having the run near me will make it possible for me to go. Since it is right here, I don't have to worry about driving time and can make it back home to clean up before I have to dash out to Fairfax Station.

The weather was really nice tonight for our run, we did an easy 3 miles. We also, as a group, decided to run the Virginia Beach Half in 2008. Woo hoo!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Trail Half

Woo hoo! I got in! I got in! There is a trail Half Marathon locally coming up that I wanted to run it. There is a cap of 250 runners, there is no online registrations and it closes quickly. I waited until the registration was up, printed it out and rushed it to the post office. I sweated, hoping that I got in and was thrilled when I saw that I was listed on the list of entrants. There is a practice run on August 18th that I am hoping to make it to as well.

This week was the last week of the Women's Training Program. It ended with the Woman's Distance Festival 5K run. I entered it and Kaitlyn also wanted to run so I entered her.

We picked up our packets from the YMCA on Saturday. We got some good stuff in the packets too. Kaity got a pink and black preshrunk fitted cotten running shirt with the WDF logo on it. I don't really care for fitted shirts so I opted for a lime green loose t-shirt with the logo. We also got a beach ball and a beach tote with the logo on it. There was a pedometer and software too, as well as the assorted fliers and coupons (including one for 1 week free at the YMCA) I think the best thing in the packet had to be the hot pink socks from The Sock Guy. It has WDF, 2007 and says Hottie on the cuff. I appropriated Kaity's pair since they are too big for her.

Saturday had really gorgeous weather but it was pretty humid. The course was decorated with pink flamingos, signs and men in hula skirts with coconut bras. We ran part of the course out on the W&OD so had to content with other runners and bikers who were not part of the race. The race officials did very well with keeping the non racers off the course and out of our way.

I knew I had not put in the miles so was not expecting a PR but I did PR! I had my slowest 5K ever LOL Kaity came in a few minutes after me. We didn't win any door prizes but we had fun.

A few other ladies who took part in WTP plan to continue to meet so we will be running on Mondays still. This will work into the training plan that I am going to follow to train for the trail Half.

I am actually looking forward to getting in more miles once again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back of the Pack

It is interesting. I have said before that although my pace group for the women's training group is supposed to be 11:00 - 16:00 minutes per mile. I am generally at the back of the pack and I have been running just over a 12:20 mile. This means that it is a darn fast pace group.

As the weeks have passed, I have sped up a wee bit but several in the group have slowed down and are now running in the back with me. One lady, her name is Sue, thanked me for being a steady pace during the runs. So I have gained not only running buddies in the back of the pack, the coaches are also letting others know that I set a steady pace if they want to run back with me.

I signed Kaitlyn, my 10 year old, to run the 5K with me. They are going to have some serious goody bags for everyone running. I got her a skort today so she can run in a skort as well. We got a blue tech shirt as part of the WTP and they asked us to wear that for the race.

The Trail Half I would like to run opens up for registration in a few weeks so I have printed out a Half training program. Next week is when I will start that up and ramp up my milage once more.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Chicken Playing Squirrels and A Skirt Ambassador

I have been wearing my running skirt to the WTP for the past several weeks. People rarely comment on it although last week, one person did.

I am not sure why tonight was different. Maybe it was because there were less than 100 women rather than the nearly 300 usually there. I had so many people ask me about my skirt tonight. Several ladies said they have thought about it but worried about comfort. Don't worry! They really are comfortable..more so than skirts shorts (no one caught that error for a few days!) by a long shot.

Tonight we actually ran the Women's Distance 5K course. It is mainly out on the W&OD with a few little detours off on the side. It is a nice course although I don't much care for the incline at the 2.5 mile mark. It is not steep but it does go on for a bit to get you up and out of Sugarland Trail and then up and over the Fairfax County Parkway.

I went out entirely too fast although it didn't feel fast. I was running under 11:30....way too fast. I made an effort to slow down. Slow down? Why??!! Because this was a training run and I would rather run it easier than run it like a race. I ended up running at a 12:24 pace for the run. I would like to actually bring up my miles and bring down my time just a wee bit for the actual race.

It is hot and humid here, just like in Tennessee. The nice part is that I live right near a very shaded trail. There are parts of the run that are not shaded but big parts are shaded. Of course, there are also these annoying little black gnats too. Yuck!

Kaitlyn and I ran the Sugarland Trail last week and had a squirrel play chicken with us. We were almost up to the squirrel, who apparently was not aware of us (and we had not seen him) He started to dart out in front of us, which startled me and caused me to do the girly shriek thing, jumping back. He back up when I did and we stared at one another for a split second. Just as I started to move forward, he decided to try darting forward again. I waved my arms and he scampered off into the woods rather than crossing the path. Not even 2 minutes later, there was another squirrel sitting in the path, looking at us approaching. This stinker decided to stare us down until we could almost touch him before scampering off. Bold little squirrels in Virginia.

Did I mention that Lorrie, who I met in Cincinatti, convinced me to try running with a hat? I don't like wearing hats. She was firm in the belief that if I would try it, I would like it. She encouraged me to get a mesh hat. I found a lime green Runner Girl hat that I liked but I object, on principal, to paying nearly $20 for a hat after shipping is factored in. So, I resorted to eBay, where I got a Nike mesh hat, sherbert orange. I would like to find it in raspberry or lime but sherbert orange works. I have worn it a few different times and I have to say, it is not making my head nearly as hot as I though and it is really good at keeping my hair out of my eyes, sweat out of my eyes and the sun out of my eyes. So, for now, I will keep wearing it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Running Skirts

I bought a running skirt a few months back from SkirtSports and really liked it. I got it in the winter so never actually wore it outside to test it out. It is currently MIA from moving but I know it came with us. They are kinda pricey, even on sale. I was very pleased to see that Target now carries a running skirt and an even nicer surprise, they carry them in larger sizes.

I went to two different Targets near me and scored a plain black running skirt and a navy blue with sky blue trim running skirt. I was a little apprehensive about going out in public but I took it for a spin around the trail.

It was really, incredibly comfortable! There was no riding up at all. It is a little shorter than my shorts are, so if nothing else, my tan line will be up higher this year. I even wore my running skirt last night to my Women's Training Program class.

For those looking, Wal-Mart also carries a running shirt. It is not as nice as the one from Target and only comes in black or white. In both the Target and WM version, the shorts underneath are not as form fitting as I would like. Still for under $20, they are worth checking out if you are considering a running skirt.

Someone asked me Why would you run in a skirt? Why not? I am a girl, why not look like a girl when I run? Beyond that, they really are comfy.

So last night was our second night of WTP. I ran with the beginning runners. At the start of the run, the coach said the front part of the pack would be at about a 11:00 while the back would be closer to a 15:00-16:00 We started running so I moved towards the back. We went just over 2.5 miles and looking, we did not run anywhere close to a 15:00! The slowest my Garmin said I went was 12:25. I don't think anyone was running slower than a 12:40 mile. It was a good run though.

I am in the air over renewing Fitness Journal for another year. It is Fitness Journal that has my map of running across the US. I really like that feature but there are so many FREE fitness logs, I don't think I am going to renew. I did add a ticker with miles run. It is not as cool as the map across the US but is that map really $40 cool? I don't think so. I have maybe 2 weeks left in my current membership and then I am not going to renew it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Women's Training Program

I joined a local Women's Training Program to get the oomph back that has been sorely lacking. The goal is a local women's 5K at the end of June.

Based on my last beginning running class, I was expecting maybe 50 ladies to be there. WRONG! There were over TWO HUNDRED!

After a short course outline, we seperated into 4 groups - walkers, walk/runner, beginning runners and advanced beginning runners. Right at the get go, they said "Speedy demons, if you run faster than a 9 minute mile, you are not welcome here! We have a different class for you" Hee hee

One of the instructors was a lady I had run with out on the club weekends, Tina, so it was nice to see a familiar face.

We did an easy half mile, then stretched, then did an evaluation mile to see if we needed to go into beginning runner or advanced beginning runner. I already knew I belonged in the beginning runners (11 min - 16 min mile pace) and since I did the Half yesterday, I ran it very easy and slow. We then went as a group for about a mile.

I think I am really going to like this group. We are free at any time to join a different group. If I am just not feeling it, I can go with the walkers. If I am feeling speedy, I can join the advanced beginners. The only man in the class is on a bike and he patrols the courses to make sure no one is left behind. There is a high number of coaches in each group so no EVER runs solo. Even during the actual 5K event, these coaches will be on the course with their group and make sure that everyone is doing well. We will get to run the actual course in a few weeks.

I thought of Clare, a friend up in Canada, during all this and wished that she had something like this near her. Clare has joined a few classes in her local area after being assured that someone would be at her pace and she would not have to run solo. In each case, she had no one at her pace and when an instructor ran with her, they made comments about her running faster and catching up. I know she was frustrated with her local running classes.

So, if anyone is thinking of joining a running class, be sure to check it out!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Flying Pig Half Marathon

When I made the decision to go for the Flying Pig, I didn’t know that we were going to be moving. Even when I found out that we would be moving several states away right as I needed to begin training for the full, I was confident in the fact that nothing was going to keep me from getting my training runs in.

Bwahahahaha…I was WRONG! Absolutely anything and everything that could possibly arise and keep me from running jumped out of the woodwork at me and threw themselves right at me again and again. I decided to skip the full and go for the Half instead.

Even a few days before leaving, I was debating on if I should even go because really, I knew that I had not put in the miles I truly needed to have been running in order to run the Half the way I know I could have ran it. Still, I decided to go for it, slow down, not worry about time and just have fun.

The Expo was great and I had fun wandering around it after picking up my packet. Some members of a Forum I belong to were going to be meeting at 2 pm for a course tour but I had no idea where so I called Luis, the coordinator, who was somewhere in the Expo. He told me where he was so I wandered that way to meet him. Since more of us were on the tour than he had expected, we went in two groups…Full and Half. Boy, let me tell you, taking to tour of the course certainly helped. It was nice knowing what to expect the next day.

After we went on the tour, we headed over to the house to meet up with others and head off to dinner. Dinner was totally insane. There was a lot of food, talking and a lot of noise. After dinner we all went our respective ways.

Sunday morning, Luis came by the hotel at 5:10 am to pick me up and off we went to Meters and Miles, the running store. I handed off my bag to Luis and caught a ride to start line Tanya. The amount of people was staggering. Mary and I hit the surprisingly well organized lines at the portapotties for one last stop before the start. We never saw any pace groups, other than 3:15, so we just kinda milled at the back of the pack. There were a lot of spectators still mingling among us when the gun went off and we had to weave around them to approach the start. I think we were about 6-8 minutes behind the gun when we finally made it to the start. The crowd support was really great.

I knew I had not really prepared like I should have (bad me!) so I was determined to take it easy. Take it easy, I did. I had allergies kicking up, giving me a pseudo chest cold, not fun but running helped. I saw Karen at Mile 3 and said hello to her. Just past mile 5, the lead runner of the Half passed by to many cheers. About 10 minutes later, the lead female whizzed past us on her way to the finish. Mary and I were close together until about mile 6, the climb up to Eden Park. That was the last time I saw Mary since I slowed on the hills and she just kept on going.

It was at this point in the race that I took some water from the water station and nearly hurled. Apparently, the water had been taken from the hose and it was foul and nasty. No kidding, my lips were numb and tingling and it smelled and tasted horribly of chlorine. I dumped it out, ate some Clif Blocks to get the nasty taste out of my mouth and continued up, up, up.

Now, I am not a fast runner to begin with and hills will make me even slower. I am putting out the effort but my pace suffers. Walkers pass me by going up hills, no kidding. One asked in a tone of disbelief why I didn’t just walk. I smiled and kept going. Later, two women walking behind me decided to discuss my running and go on to state that I should walk rather than just run slow because it is so much better for my body. Hellllooo! I have ears, I can hear you.

Things continued along well, I took some Gatorade over water because even though I don’t like it, it was better than the nasty water. About mile 11, my left calf started to cramp. I tried stretching it but it was bound and determined to cramp so I just ran through it. About Mile 12, I saw Karen yet again and knew we were almost done. You could hear the crowd revving up and that certainly spurred me on. When I could see the Finish Swine, I made my tired legs give everything they could to sprint past the line. My final chip time was 3:06:26 Since I didn’t have any grand expectations, I wanted to finish at around 3 hours so I was pretty pleased with my time.

I got my medal and then had to find where to get my chip removed (missed it twice before I found it) and then walk a pretty good distance to find some water and food. I knew my bag was somewhere and eventually asked a runner wearing a store shirt where the tent was. I found the tent but my bag was not there. I had to wait almost 2 hours before Luis came in and I got my bag. I looked for others but there were so many people that it was impossible. We should have coordinated that a little better.

Over all, this was a fun race for me. It was slow but I ran it slow. I felt good, I was not stressed as much about the time like I was in my last Half and I had fun. I saw the photographers on the course and posed for them, chatted with people around me occasionally, thanked the volunteers and police on the course.

While at dinner, Tanya said she had spoken to the one of the winners of one of the Flying Pigs, a marathoner who won several marathons. He had asked her what she was running and what she expected her time to be. She told him she hoped for under 6 hours but it could go to 7 hours. He told her, in all sincerity, that he envied runners like her! What? She questioned him on this and his reply, I thought, was pretty interesting. He was envious because he said he CAN'T run for that long, he could only run for about 2 and a half hours. Hmmm, I never thought of it that way. Still, given a choice, I would go for faster speed over longer time :grin:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Floating Down the River

Last week, while sitting in church, one of the speakers told how her family had challenged one another to run a Half Marathon. They trained enthusastically, held to their training schedule and completed the race, feeling a great sense of accomplishment. She found another Half to run and only one sibling would join her. This time, everything seemed to conspire against her and while she ran and completed the race, it was without the same sense of accomplishment she had felt previously. In looking at everything, she saw where she had been committed to the first race and had never really committed to the second one.

I have been floating down the Nile river since mid February. I have made some of my runs but like the woman above, everything seemed to throw itself down to block me from completing them. Moving, sick kids, sick me, foul weather.... I thought I was committed to my upcoming race, I wanted to be. I entered the race, I have hotel and plane reservations. It wasn't until I was sitting in that pew that I faced the fact that truly, despite what I thought, I was not committed to my race the way I need to be.

I docked the boat I was floating on and made the decision to switch from running the full marathon to running the half. The only thing I am in disappointed in is myself for not being honest with myself right off. I should have switched as soon as I saw what was going on but I wanted to prove I could still do it.

Another major contributing force to my loss of motivation is my loss of support. By that, I don't mean my family but I am a runner who needs to have buddies to run with. So far, I have not found that here but I also admit, I have been heartsick and not really looked. I just don't feel like I have clicked with the new running club but it is a two way street, I need to make an effort before I can write it off.

After I made the decision to switch, I joined a Women's Training Program...for a 5K. But Denise, you can run a 5K! You have run a Half for crying out loud. True but I am not doing the program for the training so much as I am doing to forge new bonds and find new running buddies. I want to recapture the joy in running that I had in Clarksville and that I lost some when we moved here.

So, for all that I have been running some, it was not what was needed to truly prepare for a full marathon. I knew it as soon as I saw it happening but I let myself believe I could overcome it.

Now, I am feeling a lot less pressure, I am looking forward to running the Flying Pig Half Marathon and I am excited to find some new running buddies. I *will* find people to run with. Heck, I know of at least one woman at church who runs, don't I?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Says It All

Short. Sweet. To the point.

Boy, this sure summed up my run today. I saw it while I was crossing a bridge on my 15 mile long run today and had to get a picture of it.

I should have known to stay home when I woke up with sinuses about to explode but I thought that running would clear them out. It was about 26F out, clear and sunny. It was beautiful...until the wind started to cut through you.

Last week, the trail was covered in ice covered snow. Most of that had melted off today but I would guess that about 20% of the trail was still covered in a layer of ankle breaking ice, making you walk. More than once I did the cartoonish windmilling of my arms to prevent from falling smack on my rear. We had to divert off to the muddy horse trail at a few points because it was so dangerous going through the ice. After being forced to walk gingerly so many times, about mile 6 I started to question if I should even continue or throw in the towel right there. It would still give me 12 but not the 15 I had planned. I decided to tough it out.

We made it to my turn around point, 7.5 miles from our start. I had some Clif Shots (Chocolate, yummy), some water and some Clif Blocks (CranRazz...again, yummy). I made the call home to let husband know we were alive still (I had my 10 year old with me)

Things went along fairly well until we were approaching the 10 mile mark. At this point, we came to one of the large ice covered areas we had to cross. I heard a sniffle and saw my loyal support crew was in tears. She was cold, she was tired and the ninny had a jacket that didn't zip. I know, bad mom for not checking but I thought she would have the sense to bring one that zipped. Had I known, I would have sent her back for the zippable one or if I had known after we got to our start point, I would have forced my jacket on her. As it was, my jacket sat in the van since I knew I would not need it. Anyway, she didn't want me to call back up to come and get her and wanted to finish the run with me. I took over pushing her bike through the ice, pushing her bike and pep talking her. This went on for a few miles before she felt okay to ride again.

At this point, my legs threw up their arms (if they had them) and said "What? Are you serious? You want us to start running again after that nice, long walk? We thought we were done here. (insert snort of disbelief) Sure, try to run...see if we cooperate." I pushed myself into a shuffle, not really a walk but a far cry from the run I had been at.

I was still several miles from my finish and everything just came crashing over me. What was I doing? Why was I doing this to myself? I looked at all the other runners who went breezily by me and wondered why I ever thought I could run, let alone run a marathon. I miss my running buddies, I miss my running coach, I miss the running store and people who were so supportive of me. Despite the fact I had hundreds of people on the trail with me, I felt like I was doing this all by myself and really, what was the point.

My pity party lasted about half a mile. At this point, a couple ran by me again. I had passed them going out and took note of them. We passed this time near a patch of ice. The man was talking to the woman as they crossed it. "A little to the left, good, now go straight. We are passing a lady and her daughter, same ones as before." Then he smiled at me and said "Great day for a run!" They continued on their way and I shuffled on my way.

What was so awesome and humbling about this is that the woman was blind. Her partner had their wrists held together by something and he was her eyes for this run. I can't imagine trying to walk that path, let alone run it in the dark yet she was doing it, smiling and going strong. It made me feel like a big ole weenie.

So, I made it back to our start, we got warm, we got hot chocolate, hot showers and my 15 is in the book. It is over, it is done with and I can just put it behind me.

Next week's long run is an "easy" 11 miles. Woo hoo! Who would have thought I would look forward to a "short" run of "just" 11 miles?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Food for Thought

I read a lot more blogs than I have listed over there (and it is not a reflection on those not listed, it just means I have not taken the time to add them).

I was reading Lisa's blog and she was singing a familiar refrain: How do I get my miles in during this crappy weather? Bill, who is someone who also reads her blog, made the comment:

Instead of saying "I must run 12 miles today", which may keep you out slogging through the elements long after you're spent, instead schedule a 90 minute run. Whether you run 8 miles or 15 miles during that time, what matters is that you did the time, which is what your body needs more.

It is such a simple thing but it sure hits home. It makes sense, doesn't it? I know that yesterday I was working hard and it took me 45 minutes longer than it should have. In the space of time I took, I should have been at nearly 16 miles rather than the 14 I had to fight to finish.

Maybe this is what I need to do during this crummy weather. I have a 15 miler on my schedule for Saturday. Maybe I need to not be locked into 15 miles but instead, say "I am going to run 3 hours"

I dunno.....I am going to think about this some more. What do those of you who read along think?

Saturday, February 17, 2007 the Books!

I had a 14 miler scheduled for today and I was not looking forward to this since it was very likely that it was going to have to be done on the hamster wheel. Eeek!!

We have been under a layer of ice and snow all week and I knew that the W&OD trail was just going to be a mass of solid ice. I drove past my starting point on Thursday and sure enough, a mass of ice is what I saw.

There was no way for me to defer this or even break it up since I need these long runs to get prepared for the Pig. I looked for someone to do this run with but no takers for my distance and pace. I could not even bring along my normal support crew since she can't ride her bike on this kind of ice. It was looking more and more like the hamster wheel was my only option.

After walking very gingerly on the ice near my house, I decided to try the Screw Shoe option that was posted by Aluy over on Runner's World Beginner's Forum. Since our cordless screwdriver is located in a box in our garage somewhere, we predrilled holes using a drill bit. It worked out great. I used my Reeboks since they are the shoes that have the most milage on them and I don't use them as much.

I went outside to test out the shoes and after watching my husband slide down the hill and around the cul de sac, I had no problems walking as surefooted as a mountain goat. Baa!

This morning it was 6F when I got up so I waited until it was over 15F before I set out. I figured even if it didn't work out and I was forced onto the hamster wheel, at least I gave it a shot.

The trailed looked okay so I started out. Right off, I had to go to the side because the tracks made before the snow/sleet froze made the footing too tricky to safely run. The side of the trail was mainly smooth and made running nice. Crunch, crunch, crunch is what it sounded like as I made my way.

About 2 miles into my run, some yahoo had been on the trail with an ATV, which is not permitted. This made the footing even worse but I continued on and eventually got to trail that was nice to run on. I passed a few people walking dogs, one runner sliding down a hill and that was about it. I made it to my turn around point in the time I wanted, it felt like a nice, easy 7 miles.

I called home so husband would know I was still breathing and not gasping on the side of the trail with a compound fracture. I pulled out of my stylish Charizard backpack (because I could not find my fuel belt...see cordless screwdriver above) some Carb Boom to take and planned to chase it with some water.

Now, here is where my brain left me. I could have sworn I brought 3 bottles of water with me, 2 for after the run and 1 to have during my run. Before I left my van, I pulled 2 bottles out of the backpack...which should have left 1 in there. What was left in there was...none. Apparently, I only grabbed 2 bottles of water and they were both sitting on the passenger seat of my van...right where I left them. Auuugghh!! Carb Boom is not good without that water chaser.

Things continued along well on my way back even if I knew I was going a bit slower. About mile 9.5, I noticed a new sound that was replacing my crunch, crunch, crunch. It was slush, slush, slush. On the heels of slush, slush, slush was a WHOOMP sound as I would crash through the layer of ice down to the snow below. This was not a fun time but I slogged through a few more miles of this.

By mile 12, it was becoming dangerous. I had sure footing on the smooth side of the trail but the sun coming out was melting it enough for me to fall through the crust and twist an ankle. My other option was attempt to run the middle of the trail, where the jerky ATV riders churned up the snow making it incredibly uneven and an ankle breaker. That left the final option...walk and pick my way through the crevices of snow to the end.

Broken ankle, twisted ankle or slower time but finish the milage....c'mon, it was not that hard of a choice. Today's run was about the milage, not speed so of course I chose to walk. I did try to run on areas where I could do it safely but it would only last a few feet before conditions made me walk again. This added a lot more time to my run but again, it was about distance, not speed today.

I saw my van getting closer and closer to me and then I was done! I did it!! I ran fourteen freaking miles SOLO, on an ice covered trail, in below freezing weather and I did it!! Yeah, pass the sling so I can rest my arm after patting myself on the back here.

I am glad I did it. Except for the last two miles, it was an awesome run and simply beautiful to be out running in the fresh air, hearing the birds and just running.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow, Ice and Buffy

Wowie, we got hit with some snow, ice and sleet...which made going outside to walk dangerous, there was no way I was planning to attempt to run on it.

It is not a secret that I am not a fan of the treadmill. It is a necessary evil, one that I deal with because I have no other viable option. I know a lot of people watch TV while on a treadmill but I never have. I tried to watch TV on the elleptical at the gym but I found it very distracting, all the other people and treadmills, different speeds and differing things on various TV screens.

I asked my husband to bring down a TV and DVD to the basement so I could try it out. We hooked it up, I popped in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never watched Buffy when it aired so decided this was a good time to try it out. Netflix delivered a new DVD today so the timing was right. I cranked up the volume on the TV, put on subtitles and off I went. Yes, before someone asks...I normally always put on subtitles when I watch DVDs since there is usually a lot of noise in my house.

I am amazed at how much faster my four miles went tonight as opposed to running with just music. I think it is because there is something to look at other than the walls staying stationary and it engages the brain, if only a little bit. I also turned off a few of the lights so it was dim...much easier to not look at the treadmill display.

I am not going to break any speed records on the treadmill but at least now, it will be marginally better than a visit to the dentist (no offense to any dentists out there...a very bad childhood related dental visit is the root of my dread of dentists)

Monday, February 12, 2007

With Great Apprehension and Trepidation

One year ago, I was feeling the above and much more as I made my way, in the early morning, down to the fairgrounds to meet with my Couch to 5K group. It was our first meeting and I was convinced that I was going to be the slowest, oldest and most out of shape potential runner there.

I can look back now and laugh about it but at the time, it was quite an intimidating thing and I almost went back home several times.

It was a large group, over 30 people and most of them worked together in an office. I felt out of place since I didn't know anyone. It was 32F, with snow and a cold wind coming off the river.

Grant and Michelle outlined the schedule for us and with little fanfare, we began the process to transform from couch potatoes to 5K runners.

It was cold, it was blowing snow and we huffed and puffed our way through those first 60 seconds of running. 60 seconds? Was that it? It certainly felt like it was a lot longer than 60 seconds. The 75 seconds of walking went by much quicker. We did this for 20 minutes our first time out. I was whipped but elated. I wasn't the oldest! I wasn't the slowest! I wasn't the most out of shape!

Now, today, I find myself in almost a similar situation. I am trying to make my way into a new running club, to find my place among them. Even though I have several races under my belt, including a Half marathon, I still feel very apprehensive in approaching the group. My inner loser raises her snide little head and makes me question things.

What if I am too slow? What if I am not serious enough? What if....what if...what if? What if I never came out? Well, that one is easy...I would probably end up slowly drifting away from running.

I beat that loser down, suck it up and meet with the group. I smile at the friendly faces, nod to ones that I recognize from the week before and make my way to the back of the pack. Sure, I am slow and will be one of the last runners in but so what? I am out there, I am running and I like it.

The feeling towards running and my view of it, a year after starting, is very different. A year ago, I had no intention of ever running longer than a 5K race and even then, it would be maybe a yearly event. I certainly had no intention of running a 10K, a Half Marathon, a Marathon or even more insane...a Marathon and a Half!! I am.

It has been a great year. Without the help of the Clarksville Running Club and R3 along with the support from Michelle, Meredith, Grant, Chuck, Candi, Samantha, Jim, Brittany, Lucas and the Runner's World Beginner's Forum, who knows if I would have stuck with it. Of course, some of my biggest fans and the ones who provides more support than you can believe are my wonderful husband and children.

In the past 365 days I have:

» ran six 5K races with a PR of 32:06
» ran an 8K race
» ran two 10K with a PR of 1:07:01
» ran a Half Marathon in 2:33:04
» logged over 619 miles total (since April 20)
» am currently training for the Flying Pig Marathon
» am resgistered for the 2008 Goofy's Race and a Half

Here is to many more years of looking back on running and reflecting on how far I have come in that year.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Easy Peasy Five

I have come to the conclusion that I am just going to have to suck it up right now and do my long runs solo. Well, not really solo since I plan to have my 10 year old ride along on her bike.

Right now, my running club meets for a 5 mile run on Saturday and a 10 mile run on Sundays. That is great except I normally can't do the 10 mile on Sunday and be back in time for church, which starts at 10:30 am. I thought maybe I would ask on the message board for someone else who is running my pace and on my schedule but I think I may be just out of luck.

Luckily, I do live right near The Washington and Old Dominion Trail This is an old railroad line that is now paved for more than 44 miles and is used for running, biking, skating and horseback riding. Since it does go on for a looong way, it makes it fairly easy to do long runs on it. I can just jump on it near me, run out however far I need to and then come on back. I would rather run with friends but this will work for me. I can still meet for the 5 miler on Saturday too.

For the last two weeks, I have met on Saturday and ran with two ladies named Donna and Tina. They were nice enough to not mind me horning in on their run and hanging with them. It is nice to have someone to run with, more so when you are new to an area.

Today was a prediction run, you had to sign up and predict your time. I didn't sign up but I had a mental prediction that I was aiming for. I actually beat what I thought I would run by 2 minutes. Of course, it is still slower than I would like but I am blaming the hills, ice, wind and cold. Yeah, that is it.

So, my schedule for this week is:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Off
Saturday: 14 miles
Sunday: cross

I would like to meet with the group on Saturday but I also think 19 miles in one day, even broken up, is probably not a good idea. I guess I could join the walkers for 3 miles rather than run the 5 miles

Thursday, February 08, 2007


SmileyCentral.comIt was 3F when I got up this morning! THREE!!

Three was the magic number since I had 3 miles on my schedule for the day but knew that I would never get on the treadmill tonight because of other things going on. I decided that I would just hold off today and go out in the morning for a quick 3 miles.

Wait a minute, what was wrong with going out this morning? Nothing other than the fact it was almost time for the bus and it was abouyt 14F outside. I decided to go for it so I raced up the stairs, jumped into my running clothes, spent a frantic moment looking for my ear warmer (never found it) and made it out to the bus to wave off the kidlets.

Despite the fact it was dang cold, the run felt nice after I warmed up. I had to watch my footing to be sure I wasn't going to hit any ice. Less than a mile into the run, I pulled off my gloves and pushed up my sleeves.

I was pretty pleased with my pace, after feeling incredibly slow on the treadmill. I was running uphill and still going faster than I do on the treadmill. Anyway...

On the way back, the wind kicked up and my ears started to feel abused without my ear warmer. I was less than a mile from home, knew I would be turning (and get out of the wind) so I just pulled on my gloves and ignored my ears.

I ended up doing almost 3 1/4 miles. Boy howdy, did my face sting when I got back into the house. Being outside felt so much better than running on the hamster wheel. I am glad I have the option of using the TM but I much prefer running outside.

I have tomorrow off before a 9 miler on Saturday or Sunday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Look at Me!

I feel like a hamster running on a wheel when I run on the treadmill. Run, run, sweat, sweat and you get NOWHERE! Of course, I do get the benefit of the workout but it is mind numbing and boring.

The weather has taken an artic turn and it is actually too dangerous to run outside. It was 5F outside this morning with wind chills dropping the temperature even lower.

I have never made it a secret that I dislike running on a treadmill but really, what other option do I have? I already feel behind in my Flying Pig schedule and taking time out for weather is just not an option.

I fired up my iPod yesterday, got dressed and made my way to the basement. I set the treadmill at 3% incline and slogged through to complete a 3 mile run. THEN I checked to see where I should have set the treadmill. Apparently a 1-2% incline is recommended. Oh well, lesson learned.

A painful lesson learned was to watch where my hands are. Once I get going, I sorta zone out and tend to drift over to the left when I run...not sure why. If I am not careful....CRACK!!! My knuckles will make contact with the bars on the side of the display. Ouch, it was a painful lesson that I was subjected to twice before I got it. I think I may have cracked a bone since I have a spectacular bruise on my left knuckles today. When I say knuckle..I mean the one where my fingers meet my hands.

I looked at my schedule and quivered inside when I saw that I was going to attempt a 6 mile run. Yikes! I had to really struggle to make 3 miles yesterday and now I was going to contemplate 6?

I did approach it a bit differently tonight. I made sure that I was wearing a wicking shirt (it got darn hot in my cotton shirt yesterday), I found my gum and I sternly told myself that there would be NO skipping songs on the iPod.

I threw my towel over the display (or I become like a lion watching an antelope limp by...just out of reach....I stare intently) and started. Oh, I also adjusted the incline to 1.5% (lowest it would go) I was sweltering within 2 miles and my wonderful, sweet husband kindly brought a floor fan and set it up to cool me off.

It was a much easier workout this evening, for all that I went twice as far. Having gum really helped. I always have gum when I run and it was weird to not have it yesterday. The fan blowing on me helped. I counted songs...I would check my display every 5 songs (about a mile)

I am slower while on the treadmill, when I crank it to my normal outside pace, I feel like I am going to fly off the back. I did my six miles though! All six of them! I am pretty proud of myself for doing that. It was very tempting to stop at 4, then 5, then 5.5 but I stuck with it. I am really hoping the temps are up next week so I can run during the week. The weather looks good for my 9 miler this weekend.

Friday, February 02, 2007


I am back! I have been without a reliable internet connection since we moved.

As soon as we moved, we got some bitter cold weather that has just hung out. I don't think we have seen above 40F in at least 2 weeks. I did manage to go out for a run the other night. I attempted the treadmill but it felt like a hamster wheel.

Tomorrow, I am going to go join the Reston Runners for a 5 mile run. Even though I am a few weeks behind schedule, I think I am still in good shape for the Flying Pig.

I got my Goofy and a Half registration confirmation in the mail. It is official now, I have lost what is left of my mind.

I am glad to be getting back into the swing of things and settling in.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Not Enough Hours

Between trying to get a house ready to sell and moving out of said house into a new house, my running has suffered. Add into that, no spouse on hand to help out... Pass the cheese to go with my whine please.

I admit it, I have slacked off in the past 10 days because I put other things in front of my running. I still feel I am in a good spot though and I should have a few days where I can get in some milage prior to the move. Once we make the move, I should be able to get back into my groove as well.

I did join my local running club via the internet. If I can really get motivated after driving +700 miles, I will meet them next weekend for a 5 mile run. We will see how things go with everything before I make a firm commitment.

So, in looking at my own merged Hal schedule, I have missed some longish runs, not major milage but some build up. I may drop back and go with more of the novice program until I can get settled in the new place and back in running mode.

It just sucks when I really do want to get my milage in and things just stack up and prevent it. I am a firm believer in being selfish sometimes and putting myself first but at this time, I just can't justify taking 2 hours to go run (yeah, for 8-9 miles, it would take me over 90 minutes). I look at everything that still needs to be done.

It will be easier once the move is made since husband will be on hand to help out in getting things set to right. In looking around, my neighborhood is a nice running area and the myriad of trails/routes around me are fantastic.

I want to wish my BF buddy, Vic good luck tomorrow as he runs his marathon debut in Houston. If you have never gone over to his blog, do it. I mean it. Now. Why are you still here? Vic is a total inspiration and is da man. He also has blue eyes to die for. What a hunk He is so going to rock that marathon!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Getting to Know Hal

<----Oh, before I start, did you see the nifty workout tracker thingy I put over there? I saw that on another blog and thought it was way cool. You can change the colors to match your blog too.

Hal? Who is Hal? Why, it is Hal Higdon of course! As I mentioned in my very brief New Years Day Post, I decided to meld his Novice and his Intermediate I marathon training program.

I am doing all the miles for Intermediate but at a Novice speedwork. I can hear many of you already But Denise, you NEED to do hills. The Flying Pig is a hilly course! Right you are but I currently live in a very hilly area. In driving around my new neighborhood, we seemed to have picked a hilly one as well. I don't think I have to worry about much about hills but never fear, I will get some hill work in before May.

Yesterday was not only my first run of 2007, it was also my first run following Hals plan. It was a really good run. I tried out my Saucony Hurricane's for the first time. Sweeet! They are really comfortable and I think I am really going to enjoy them.

Today, I had 5 mile up and wouldn't you know it, my Garmin fritzed out on me less than half a mile into the run. I am pretty sure that I left it turned on last night after I downloaded my info. No big deal, I kept running and took a stab at my time by looking at the clock when I got back.

My normal 5 mile route is actually just shy of 5 miles. Tonight, I decided to lap the parking lot at the school I run around and that put me just over 5 miles...yay!

Tomorrow I have an easy 3 miles on the schedule. I will be much happier when my husband gets to run with me again. Currently, my 9 year old rides along on her bike or runs with me. I just have to really make an effort to go out and run early since she has to go to school in the morning.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007!

Wow, 2006 was quite a year for me. There were so many twists and turns through the year, most I never saw coming or ever expected to take place.

Of course, one of the major ones is that I not only started running consistantly, I have stuck with it. It all began back in February when I joined a local couch to 5K group to train for a 5K race in April. A few of us in that group continued to run together and ran in several more races.

In June, I hooked up with a Half Marathon training group and began to train for the St Jude's Half Marathon. In about July or maybe August, I peeked back in at the Runner's World Forums, which I had actually joined several months before.

Between the encouragement I got online through the Beginners Forum, my Half group and of course, my family, I ran St Jude's and did very well.

Shortly after St Jude's, another big change was in the air since we are making a move to Northern Virginia. We have spent the last week there looking for a house. We have found it and expect to move there in the next three weeks.

So, what are my stats for the year?

Total miles run: 585.34 miles
Longest run: 13.1 miles
Average miles per week: 20 miles
Fastest race pace: 10:22
Total money earned: $47.50 (I put a quarter in a piggy bank each time I run)

Now, I have my goals set on training for a full marathon. I asked a few weeks back about various marathon programs and have decided to go with a blend of Hal Higdon's Novice and Intermediate I program for now. That may still change.

So, since it is 2007, I must have some goals, right? Well, of course I do!

Total miles to run in 2007: 1000
Longest run: 26.2
Average miles per week: 25
Fastest race pace: TBD

I am sure that I will modify these and add to them but for now, I have something in mind.