Thursday, April 29, 2010

A great email from the Trail Marathon/Half Marathon cooridnators

Trail Marathon Weekend

Yo Dirt Runners,

'Twas a fine day in the woods, nary a wimp in sight! By now the wounds should be healing and the soreness subsiding, savor the pain, you worked hard to feel this bad! As we heard from many a runner, that course is relentless, hill after hill till the end. Would you want it any other way? Unlike a road race with P.R.s on the line, the trail offers a challenge that gets down to basics, where ego plays no roll, freeing our souls to run as one with the earth. The runners who hit the trail are a special breed, seeing you out there restores our faith in humanity.

The faithful crew here at Running Fit thanks you for your support of our stores and events. Because of your passion, we are living out our dreams.

We offer thanks to our awesome volunteers that gave up their time to make this run possible. We also thank Brooks shoes for their financial support ... and for giving us the Brooks Cascadia, the number one selling trail shoe in the world ... Because it rocks!

You all are officially qualified for the Serious Series, and a chance to earn the Series Finisher Pint Glass! Enter Flirt With Dirt quickly though, it will sell out, perhaps this week. Enter at www.runflirt.comand www.runlegend.comto complete the series.

Brag about your weekend by finding your photo at by name or bib #) and download a finisher's certificate at

Thanks for laying down some of your hard earned money and scarce free time on our little run in the woods!

Enjoy every step,
Your Faithful Race Crew at Running Fit

Watch-less Running

I have decided to leave the watch at home this week for all my runs. I've been spending so much time on training and working on my speed, that I have not had time to just enjoy a nice run in the spring weather. That is why I have made this week watch-less running week. No worrying out my pace, no worrying about my speed, just going out and enjoying the sounds, sites and smells of a spring day run.

For this week only!

Next week, I jump back into an intense 4 week half marathon training program. My first road half marathon is on June 6th and I have a set time I must beat! The next day, June 7th, is day one of marathon training. The next 5.5 months will be dedicated to running half marathons, running a couple short races (5K, 10K) and training for my October marathon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trail Half Marathon Review & Results

I must state this disclaimer: the race I ran in March is no longer a trail race. I will refer to that as a path race. What I ran on yesterday is a true trail! Steep climbs, sand hills, narrow turns, exposed tree roots/steps through out, etc... In fact, our total climb was over 1,000 feet. It is definitely technical and difficult! And now I can say I ran 13.1 miles on that trail!

I was so stressed about the weather. They were calling for heavy rain and I knew that would make an already difficult course, hell to run on! We lucked out! The weather was perfect; high 50's, light breeze and over cast. The trail was wet from the priors days weather so it was still very slick.

My dad and I had planned on starting in the 2nd wave, but due to waiting in line for the rest rooms, we missed it. We jumped into the 3rd wave, but my dad was having issues with his new belt. we jumped out, fixed his belt and ended up starting in the 4th wave. My dad took off like a bat out of hell, lol! There was no way I was going to keep up with him but I still had my work cut out for me. I had a ton of people I needed to get past. The first 2 miles were spent figuring out a way to get around the people that were already walking up the hills. Finally I fell into a groove and started passing. I felt like I was saying "on your left" the entire time! Around mile 8 I caught up with my dads friend Dave who had ran the training runs with his. he had started in the wave before us too. Catching him made me realize how well I was doing. I hung with Dave for about a mile. I figured that was the perfect time to chit chat and conserve some energy since I knew the "big one" was coming around the mile 11-12 marker. At about mile 9, I felt the need to pick up the pace and said bye to Dave. I cruised through the trail and finally reached the longest, toughest hill. I felt good and as other runners were walking the hill, I was able to stay strong and run!

Just past the mile 12 marker, I could hear the crowd cheering and the music playing. We come out of the trail with .10 miles to go. I had been running with a guy for the last mile and he shot up ahead of me. I looked over, saw my dad cheering me on and kick it up. I blew past the guy and crossed the line at 2:03:40.

My dad couldn't believe that I beat Dave! In fact, Dave came in 4.5 minutes behind me. What a great racing experience. So much different then road racing. I loved every second of it and look forward to 2011 trail half marathon!

Oh and just to show how hard this trail really is, the fastest female had a pace of 7:25 per mile and the fastest male had a pace of 7:03 per mile! Not your typical road half marathon times most are used to seeing.

Official results:

9:26 pace
7th out of 39 in age group
30th out of 279 women finishers
140th out of 601 overall finishers

I also have to add how well my dad did! Last year he ran this race in 1:59 with a 3rd place finish in his age group. This year he is a year older but shaved 3 minutes off his time! He finished in 1:56 and placed 3rd. Go Dad!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mother Nature, You Suck!

After having wonderful weather for all my training runs, I will now be blessed with heavy rain & thunder for my trail half. As if this trail isn't hard enough, we now get to deal with it being very wet & muddy. Looks like I may not reach my 2 hour goal time. Oh well, I will dress accordingly and hope for the best!

Sunday- April 25th
Rain / Thunder High
Wind: From NNW at 13 mph
Max. Humidity: 57%
UV Index: 4 Moderate
Sunrise: 6:39 AM ET
Avg. High: 62°F
Record High: 87°F (1990)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A good run with the husband.

I took him out for a 6 mile run last night. Last time we ran together was 2 weeks ago. At that time, we ran 7 miles at a 9:37 pace. That is slow for me, but I was fine with it because I was out with Chris and helping him improve his form. Anyway, last night we headed out for 6 miles. Unfortunately, a half mile in his left shin started to hurt. I suggested that we stop so he can stretch it. I really didn't think it was a good idea to run the 6 Mile route I had mapped for us, but after 2 miles, Chris said he felt good and wanted to continue on.

I was pacing him to run a 9 minute mile. Of course, he had no idea I was doing this. lol he did mention a couple times that he felt like we were running faster. I just blew it off. I did not want to admit to him that I was pushing him harder then he wanted. We ended up finishing 6.02 miles in 54:14 which made for a 9:02 pace. I was very proud of him! He was able to hang on and really push hard at the end. Next week I plan to take him out for another 6-7 mile run. This time his goal pace will be 8:55.

This was a nice and easy run for me. A good follow up to my 5 miles I ran on Tuesday. I hit the pavement pretty hard and ran my 5 mile route in 37:48, 7:33 pace. I am starting to see improvement in my speed. This is very encouraging! When I have a fast run, I start to think that I really can train myself to meet my marathon goal this fall. I am growing the confidence that I need!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekly Exercise

Monday: 5.91 mile run 45:54 7:45 pace

Tuesday: 10 x 400 @ 7:24 pace, .5 mile warm up/.5 mile cool down, total mileage 5.5 miles, abs, push ups 3 x 15

Wednesday: biceps, triceps, shoulders, 3 miles easy run on treadmill @ 8:20 pace

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: 30 day Shred levels 1 & 2

Saturday: 10.5 mile trail run 1:42 (shaved 2 minutes off from our previous run)

Sunday: biceps, back, core, legs, 4 mile easy run; 1.6 miles @ 8:20 pace, 2.4 miles @ 8:13 pace

Total Mileage: 28.91 miles
Weight: 121lbs

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Exercise

Monday: 7.07 mile run w/ Chris; 9:37 pace (ran slowly with Chris to make sure he could complete the run pain free!)

Tuesday: 5.94 mile run; 47:08 7:56 pace

Wednesday: biceps, shoulders, triceps, 3 mile run on the treadmill

Thursday: back, 5 mile run on the treadmill

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 10.5 trail run with Dad 1:44

Sunday: biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, core work

Total Mileage: 31.51
Weight: 121lbs

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Too much beer and a 10 mile trail run

Yesterday Chris and I headed downtown to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Indians at the opening day game. I told myself only 1 beer during the game. Period. We ended up getting downtown with enough time to hang out at one of our favorite sports bars prior to heading to the ballpark. I drank 2-22 ounce Miller Lites. Um, yeah talk about a buzz! I am not used to drinking anymore. We headed over to the ballpark and it was freezing! You know those little toy teeth that you wind up and the chatter repeatedly? That was me! During the 6th inning we had to leave. They were up 4-2, so we had the comfort of knowing we could make it back to our favorite sports bar and still be able to catch the rest of the game. Of course the place was packed, but we lucked out and scored a table. We both ordered a beer, and another, and another. My mom, step dad, brother and his girlfriend met us there when the game was over. At this point, I was buzzed and starving! Chris and I decided to share a pizza; Greek sausage and mushroom. I proceed to scarf down half a pie, covering each piece with loads of Franks hot sauce. Some of our friends from Chicago were in town for the game so they ended up meeting us at the bar. and again, I continued to drink more beer. What was I thinking? I had to be up the next day to meet my dad & his friend to run 10.5 miles on a brutal trail. Finally at 7:30pm we called it a night. I, again, made a horrible decision.

I ate Taco Bell...

I have not had any fast food in forever. I truly can not recall the last time I've touched any fast food, let alone craved it! I ended up in bed at 9pm feeling sick to my stomach knowing I had to be up early the next day to run. I made sure I took 2 aspirin (just in case) and drank a ton of water.

Well, I woke up today feeling good. Not great, just good. I had a slight headache but I got dressed, filled my travel mug with coffee, grabbed a clif bar & banana and made the 40 minute drive to meet my dad and Dave.

We hit the trail at about 8:45-9am and it felt great!! The first couple miles were rough, but fell into a comfortable pace and ended up having a great run. I managed to only trip once but was able to catch myself and not fall. We finished the 10.5 miles in 1:44, 12 minutes fast then we did last week.

Today is when I finally realized what trail running is. I made sure to constantly pay attention to my footing without worrying about my time. Trail running is not meant for speed. I get that now and will make sure I remind myself again and again leading up to the race.

I guess this is all kind of pointless. I am just glad that the multiple beers and nasty taco hell didn't affect me the way I thought it would. I figured I would puke at least once. But that didn't happen. I felt great! And we'll be doing it all over again next Saturday. This time, it will be 12-ish miles. One last big trail run before race day.

oh and how can not mention my new shoes. They arrived yesterday! I didn't wear them on the trail but fully intend to wear them tomorrow. It's supposed to be a strength training day, but an easy 3 miles won't hurt. I just have to put those new shoes on. My feet are going to be so happy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mid-week Update

I planned a 7.07 mile route to run on Monday after work. Chris decided he wanted to try running the distance. He has not ran 7 miles since last summer. It was a slow run, but I was ok with that. I just wanted him to finish without having any shin pain. Which he did. So it was a success. We ran the loop in 1:08:06, 9:37 pace. Definitely my slowest run in a long time, but it was quality time with Chris!

I did head out yesterday to run on my own. I mapped out a 5.71 route to run. I was going for a hard, fast pace. I felt good at the end and added another loop up the block near my house for a total of 5.94 miles. Unfortunately, the wind was brutal for the first half of the run, so I didn't finish as quickly as I had hoped for. My time was 47:08, 7:56 pace. Not bad, but I was shooting for a 7:45 pace. I finished the night off with some core work too.

I have 3 miles scheduled for today, as well as upper body lifting.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekly Exercise

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: chest & shoulders, speed work; .5 mile warm up @ 8:41, 9 x 400 @ 7:30, .5 mile cool down @ 8:34 - 5 miles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 10+ mile trail run

Friday: biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, 3 mile run on treadmill

Saturday: 8.78 mile run 1:14:07 8:26 pace

Sunday: 30 Day shred levels 1, 2 & 3 (hoping to get a short run in after Easter dinner...we shall see)

Total Mileage: 26.78
Weight: 119lbs

I am very disappointed in how this week went. First, I took two rest days which I normally do not do. Second, my mileage is no where near the total I wanted to reach.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

10 mile trail report

As I stated in my previous post, my dad and I hit the Potawatomi Trail on Thursday afternoon. This trail is like nothing I have ever ran on before. The terrain was much more difficult than the previous trails. It's extremely narrow, lots of up and down, rocks, sand, tree roots, logs, man made wooden bridges, etc... Definitely a hard route to run.

My dad says it usually takes him about 1:40 to run this 10+ mile route. So that was my goal. To be able to run with him in his normal finishing time. about 1 hour into the run I fell. I didn't have any time to react so I planted my knees and face straight into the dirt. I must have tripped over a tree root. My dad was ahead of me, so I shouted out to him and he came sprinting back to me. I wiped my face and noticed blood all over my hands. I freaked. I could feel my lip getting fat. I grabbed my water bottle and used it to wet my face. I asked my dad to inspect my lip to make sure I did not need stitches. I thought for sure my teeth went through my lip. They didn't. It was split but on the inside. I had dirt all over my white running shirt, my hands were covered in sand, my face was dirty & scratched, my knees were scraped and I had a scrape on my right shoulder. I asked my dad what we should do and since he has never had to bail off this trail, he had no idea how to get back other then finishing the run. so we did. He would look back every few minutes or so to make sure I was ok. We ended up finishing the route in 1:56. Not too bad for falling and stopping at a well to wash my face and hands.

I felt so bad that I slowed down my dads run. He felt bad that I fell. I kind of feel a little hard core for falling and still being able to pick myself back up and run for another hour. And I will be back out on this same trail for another 10 miles on April 10th and to run my trail half marathon on April 25th.

Here are a few pictures of my injuries after I was able to clean them off. Sorry for the poor quality, they are from my camera phone.

Ignore the "deer in head lights" look on my face.

You can't see how fat my lip really was, but you can see the scratches above my lip, on the tip of my nose and on the bridge of my nose between my eyes.

Right Knee- which also happens to be what I call "my bad knee". Luckily, I landed on the fleshy part because as of today, I am pain free!!

Left knee- not nearly as bad as the right!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hit'in the Trails

I am meeting my dad this afternoon to do a 10+ mile trail run. This time we are headed to the Potawatomi Trail, also know as, the Pota. It's a great day to run this trail. 77 degrees and sunshine! bring on the shorts and short sleeve running gear!