Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Half Marathon Training, Week 3

Monday - Rest or XT


I am going to try this whole strength exercise thing again. I very quickly fell off the wagon due to a combination of time, not wanting to be sore for runs, and probably laziness during my last training stretch. I found the workout I will start with here. 

I am also going to do some hamstring curls. My knee is twinging when I run, and it makes me nervous. I used to have patella femoral syndrome in high school- possibly from volleyball and squats in the weight room for throwing during track season. I am wondering if I might have the same issue coming back. I don't think I need to go see anyone right now, and what I remember is working all the other muscles in my legs to try and compensate for my focus on the running set of muscles. 

Here is what I ended up doing:

Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift: 25 lbs, 2 sets of 10
Lunges:  2 set of 5 for each leg
Single-Leg Deadlifts: 8lbs, 2 sets of 10
Planks: 2 sets, 30 seconds for the middle, 15 seconds on each side
Single-Leg Hip Extensions: 2 sets of 5 for each leg
Hamstring Curls: 30 lbs, 3 sets of 10

I really wanted to make sure I was careful not to do too much. I can feel a little quiver in my quads, but hopefully any soreness will be minimal.


I am going to try and pay attention a lot more to my calories. I want to eat at a deficit- which I know is not ideal for training. However, I have to remember that I am not elite, and weight loss at this point would do huge thing for my performance. So I am still ballparking at 1200-1500 in order to lose weight, but also eating back calories from running. I am not strict, things happen, and I'm not trying to starve myself.

Calories in: 1624
Calories burned from exercise: 268

Tuesday - Fast Finish Run 1


I was feeling it a little in my hamstrings today. Definitely struggled to get out of bed.

Total Time: 54:23
Total Distance: 3.75 miles
Average Pace: 14:30
Average Heart Rate: 147
Calories Burned: 661

.5M Zone 1
1.5M Zone 2
1M Zone 3
.75M Zone 1

I went back and looked, I was probably not in Zone 3 using the calculator I have. I was in kind of a black home between Zone 2 and Zone 3. I will have to pay more attention.


Tracking calories makes me hate certain restaurants. Seriously, Abuelo's. Why can't you post nutrition information? Using My Fitness Pal has taught me that my guess on calories is usually way off base, so I hate trying to find the thing on the menu that is the least awful for me that isn't a salad. I settled on seafood tacos. Probably not great, but could be much worse. But my calories on my lunch are a TOTAL guess. 

Calories in: 2325

Calories burned from exercise: 661

Wednesday - Foundation Run 2


Today my hamstrings hurt even more. Despite my heart rate monitor telling me I still had room, I FELT like I was going harder- but a lot of that could have been the soreness. Definitely struggled to get out of bed AGAIN. I can't keep doing this and go any higher on miles because I will be running so late!

Total Time: 59.03
Total Distance: 4.00 miles
Average Pace: 14:46
Average Heart Rate: 142
Calories Burned: 665

.5M Zone 1
3M Zone 2
.5M Zone 1


I actually made a salad/side out of corn, black beans, red peppers, lime juice, and cilantro, and I LIKE it. I threw some chicken breast on it and YUM. So what if it called for onion and tomato? Why ruin a good thing?

Calories in: 2112

Calories burned from exercise: 665

Thursday - Speed Play Run 2


I tried this whole speed work thing for the second time. Since I couldn't get out of bed, I had to do it on my lunch break. And since I get sweaty, I can't spend as long cooling down as I would like because I have to re-beautify. Running at lunch is just an act of desperation. I know I have no motivation at night after my son goes to bed, and I have too much mommy guilt to run before he goes to bed.

Total Time: 34:28
Total Distance: 2.50 miles
Average Pace: 13:51
Average Heart Rate: 155
Calories Burned: 463

.5M Zone 1
.5M Zone 2
5 x 1 min Zone 5

I am able to get up to a little under a 9:00 mile pace at Zone 5. I definitely do not enjoy it.


This was a day where the whole calorie counting thing seemed do-able. I wasn't starving, I liked what I ate, and I didn't eat a ton of calories.

Calories in: 1695

Calories burned from exercise: 463

Friday - Foundation Run 2


I was feeling the effects of the speed workout. It kind of amazes me that just running hard for one minute, five separate times, can make my muscles sore.

Total Time: 47:43
Total Distance: 3.10 miles
Average Pace: 15:23
Average Heart Rate: 143

Calories Burned: 554


Nothing too special here. It's probably not the greatest as far as sugar, but I love the dark chocolate spice smoothie at Smoothie King. It's discontinued, but they have all the stuff. It is also Friday, so smoothies are $5 for a 32 oz, which is actually cheaper than a 20 oz, but obviously more calories. I tried to just sip it over a longer period of time so I wouldn't need an afternoon snack.

Calories in: 2310

Calories burned from exercise: 554

Saturday- Long Run 1


It was not quite drizzling when I left, so I didn't bother with a hat. I was even feeling good so I went a tad longer than the 6 miles. But when I turned around, it was suddenly fully raining despite the forecast saying it wasn't supposed to start for hours. Ugh- all the water running down my face and pushing sweat into my eyes. At least it kept the temperature pleasant.

Total Time: 1:37:25
Total Distance: 6.50 miles
Average Pace: 15:00
Average Heart Rate: 146
Calories Burned: 1,171


I was doing not terrible on calories until I visited my family. Ribs, mac and cheese, and a few hours later we went out to a local ice cream shop with GREAT ice cream. There are some calorie listings, but I am really bad at estimating portions. I would say I did something between 500-1000 calories in ice cream from a small. It seemed like a very reasonable portion, definitely smaller than a small blizzard, but I think they use the good, full-fat stuff when they make it. 

Calories in: ??

Calories burned from exercise: 1,171

Sunday - Foundation Run 2


Nothing special here, other than the reminder of just how much slower I go in the heat. It's not even TRULY hot, but I went out around 12:30, and at 75 degrees in full sun it sure does FEEL hot. Also just another reminder to myself to try on EVERYTHING before I cut off the tags. I bought a second pair of capris, thinking they were the same ones I already wore once but in a different print. No, these have a drawstring that seems almost necessary to keep them up. Not a fan.

Total Time: 1:02:41
Total Distance: 4.00 miles
Average Pace: 15:41
Average Heart Rate: 146
Calories Burned: 749


I am finding myself wondering if I'm getting enough carbs after some reading. I saw numbers as high as 3.5x weight in grams of carbs. I'm not sure how realistic that is at my weight and with my calorie goals. I will have to investigate more.

Also, definitely binged on salsa con queso tonight while watching Game of Thrones- "Hold the Door!"

Calories in: 2199

Calories burned from exercise: 749

2016 Little Miami Half Marathon - Weeks 1 & 2

Well, I enjoyed the 10K for the Little Miami, so I thought, why not? Because my half marathon went so badly, I was definitely tender, but probably okay by the Wednesday after. I started doing some light running of my usual 5K loop.

I read the 80/20 book on heart rate/ effort training by Matt Fitzgerald and thought, why not? I might be getting pregnant in the next few months, so why not do a training plan where my heart rate isn't in the 170s all the time? Even if I had MONSTER gains, they would probably disappear while being pregnant and for the time after when I can't run. So this certainly can't hurt.

I did my testing according to the book and using his website and the calculator it links to here.

Here are my results:

Essentially, you take race times and it estimates the speed zones. Then, you warm up then run at the pace at the fastest end of Zone 3. Once your heart rate levels out, that is what you input as your LTHR, which then tells you your heart rate zones. I haven't done a 5K in about a year, but I used an estimate when I did this initially. I did go back in and put in a real 5K time here from an actual race. the determination of the speed for the zones seems heavily influenced by your fastest mile and 5K times. But, I put in a few numbers for my LTHR and it didn't really change my heart rate zones too much, so I think I'm okay.

What I found is I THOUGHT a 13:00 was an easy pace for me, though admittedly I don't do my long runs that slow. And I take breaks and pause my Garmin on my long runs... So I went out and tried running in Zone 1. I wanted to just scream. I can go faster than this! How can I get better if I do this! I know the answer, or book told me the answer, anyway. I am building up my aerobic endurance, which does not happen well at the heart rate I normally run at.

After I settled down, I realized that this pace is enjoyable. I could go forever! And I can listen to a podcast instead of music. Music allowed me to focus on something other than pushing through and wanting to stop. Now I don't really want to stop, and I am able to focus on something else because the running requires less effort.

Another item I noted after reviewing the half marathon plan in the book is that other than the long run, the workouts were time-based. After reviewing how many miles I would cover on even the longest time-based runs, I knew I couldn't take the plan as it read. No way those miles would be sufficient. So I emailed the author. He got back to me the next day and said at a minimum, he would assume a 10 minute mile to determine how far or long I should be running- which was a pretty big difference. I also agree that is a minimum. I'm guessing it could be anywhere from 7-10 minute miles.

As far as speedwork, I think I have to take those as they read. If it says a 1 minute interval, I will probably do a 1 minute interval. I have done so little speedwork that I don't think I can sustain maximum effort for 2x longer than someone else doing this program.

I counted back and realized I would have had to start my training the week after my my half marathon in order to do the full 15 weeks. I figured since I didn't seem to need very much recovery time, I could at the very least assume I had a decent base already and jump in a little late. I did my own running and started the program really in the second half of week 2.

I will say, I do a "group run" at my local running store. I have to use quotes because everyone there, literally everyone, is faster than me. I've accepted this and just used it as a way to get new routes and motivation. I'm not sure I can run 10 miles just on my own. But if someone gives me the route and I know everyone else is doing it that day, it somehow makes it easier.

And even though I'm the slowest person in that group, I still manage to have some amount of vanity because showing up for the first time, knowing I was going to run my Zone 2 pace, and even warm up in Zone 1, was hard to swallow. Zone 1 is 4-5 minutes slower than I would have started out at on any other long run. So if they thought I was slow before, LOOK AT ME NOW! Even better when we do an out and back, so they can see how far I HAVEN'T made it yet when they turn around. Oh well. I will just keep telling myself its worth it when I can turn around and have a big drop in my half marathon PR. Hopefully.

Since I am at a slower time at work right now, I'm also going to try and take the time to try and reign in my eating a little bit. We will see how it goes.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Flying Pig 2016

I spent most of the week staring at the weather reports. 80% chance of rain the morning of the run. As we got closer and the hourly forecasts became available, it was starting to look like I might only be facing rain in the last hour.

I had also decided because my training had fallen apart so much, that there was no way I could really push myself too hard. I was going to hope for 2:45, or about a 13 minute mile pace. Basically, I was going to treat it like a long run, but hope that the crowd and the adrenaline would allow me to pick up my pace a little and maybe I could beat the 2:45.

I got the the night before and it suddenly looked like there wouldn't be rain after all. So, I put on my favorite tank, my favorite capris, my new Spibelt, and my hat. I brought some Honey Stingers and what I THOUGHT was a fuel gel that I had already tried.

I got down there and realized I wasn't ENTIRELY sure where we started, though I had an idea. It just meant I wasn't sure the best place to park. I settled for a big landmark that I knew I wouldn't forget no matter how exhausted I was. Bonus: I got out of the elevator and there was an actual public restroom and not a port-o-potty!

I started walking down, realizing I was running behind. The first coral started while I was still walking! I never actually found the real entrance to my coral, I just slipped in through the fence. I was probably in the middle of my coral, though I wasn't entirely sure. We started and I immediately realized that while there were some runners, there were so many walkers.

That is what I remember for a lot of the first mile, and for a good portion of the second. Dodging walkers. Sometimes they clumped up and literally blocked the whole street. At one point I just yelled "Coming through!" and pushed through a group. Maybe rude, but I couldn't get through in any other way. I didn't pay much attention to time because I was weaving so much. Later I looked back and saw that despite this I was running a sub-13:00 mile, which is all I could hope for.

It was around 2.5 miles that I realized my feet were wet, and before mile 3 they hurt. I wasn't sure if it was my socks being bunched up and wet or something else. Before much longer I realized it was the pain of blisters. I had been getting blisters on my long runs, but never this early. And they usually didn't hurt until I was done. Maybe this sounds overly dramatic, but every step hurt. And possibly because I was running a little weird due to pain, but my legs started to hurt as well. I recognized the pain as the one I had been feeling when I was adding a new mile to my long run, but this was what, mile 4? Why was I hurting already?!

I didn't realize at the time, but it was humid. I knew it was warmer than it had been for pretty much all of my runs in the past few months, but I didn't process that it was humid and it just made me sticky. The rest of the race was just a haze of making myself not stop. I was passing walkers the whole way, which doesn't seem possible. Shouldn't they have started behind me? When I got to the big climbs, my run was just as fast as their walk. The climb wasn't even that bad, just slow. What was bad was going down.

I never understood why going downhill was a bad thing. I watched the Boston Marathon coverage for the first time ever this year and they talked about it starting on a downhill and that being a challenge. I thought, why? Downhill is easy! Well, it just felt like my swollen feet were sliding further into my shoe and rubbing my blisters. Like the tops of my toes had a lot of pressure. I could feel the purple toenails coming on!

I alternated water and gatorade. I ate my honey stingers one at a time and finished them by mile 7. I tried my gel and realized it was a different one. It was honey stinger and the sugar just burned in my throat, so I had to throw it away. I ate a few pieces of gatorade energy chews they were passing out. I was so hot. It was supposed to be cloudy, but the sun was shining the whole time.

Somehow I finished. I never walked. I saw all the people at the finish line cheering and I got a little teary eyed because I had done it, but none of them were there for me. I got one of those shiny foil blankets right after, which was good because I got cold really fast. And that was when I realized the finish line was not at the starting line, and I had a walk ahead of me. Not one I would mind otherwise, but as much as my feet, calves, and hamstrings hurt, I didn't want to do it. And there was a LONG row of fenced in goodies that was going the OPPOSITE way that I had to go through. I couldn't find a gap in the fence.

So I trudged back to my car slowly. I figured if I sat down I might not be able to get up. All the people around me had someone helping them and I was wishing I had that. But, but the time I got back to my car I felt like I had worked out a lot of the pain in my calves and hamstrings. My feet possibly felt worse. I told my husband on the car ride home I was never doing that again before I lost weight. I was up about 6-7 pounds from when I started training.

I got back and got my official time. I had forgotten to turn off my garmin for a few minutes so I didn't even look. 3:05:06. I was really disappointed. People messaged me to congratulate me and ask how I did. I kept saying not well. I finished, but I should have been able to be faster than that. I wasn't expecting a breakout performance, but 2:45 seemed achievable.

By the afternoon I had decided I was at least doing a 10K in August. Before I went to bed I had decided I needed to do another half marathon.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 1/2 Pig Training - Week .5

Since technically next week is the first official week of the program, I'm calling this week .5. I'm going to be posting once a week outlining what I accomplished, how it felt, and anything else that might be interesting. While maybe I have a secret hope that someday someone else will read this and find it inspirational or at least interesting, this is mainly to hold myself accountable. If I enjoy this enough to do it again, then I can use it as a reference to see how far I've come.

Monday - Rest or XT


I normally don't run on Mondays anyway, usually because I stay up past my bedtime watching Walking Dead, and however much of Talking Dead I can stay awake for. Thankfully, the schedule calls for rest or crosstraining today. I took myself down to the gym to do this random runner leg workout I found on Pinterest. Now, I'm not totally gullible where I think if I found it on the internet and it says "runner," it must be good. I looked it over and it is more body weight or low free weight things, which appealed to me. And it is only 5 exercises, so it won't take a ton of time since I'm doing it during lunch. I found the workout here.

And here is what I actually accomplished:

Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift: 15 lbs, 2 sets of 12
Lunges:  2 set of 20 for each leg
Single-Leg Deadlifts: 8lbs, 2 sets of 10
Planks: 45 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds
Single-Leg Hip Extensions: 2 sets of 5 for each leg

So while it seemed not a big deal, I could tell when I was done I would be feeling it tomorrow. And I am. It hurts to go down the stairs.


I did okay today. A shake for breakfast, some cookies, yogurt, and slow cooker chicken and vegetables. The dinner and dessert were less healthy: sausage with mac and cheese and cherry pie for dessert. 

Tuesday - 3-5 Miles


Today I actually got out of bed to run. I set my alarm for 5:05, got out of be at 5:20, and was out the door at 5:40. I could really get a lot more sleep in if I changed some parts of that routine...

Total Time: 42:06
Total Distance: 3.00 miles
Average Pace: 14:02
Average Heart Rate: 162
Calories Burned: 615

Yikes! That time is worse than a normal bad run. I can only say that with sore hamstrings, quads, and glutes, it FELT like I was going faster. Everything I read says I SHOULD be doing some strength exercises, not just running or cross training. And maybe my muscles just aren't used to it- I've probably only done leg strength training a handful of times over the past year. All I know is, I am going to keep trying these exercises, but I'm going to be really careful that I am not in this condition for a race!


Today went a little better. Shake and raisin bread for breakfast. Banana and yogurt for snacks (and maybe a cookie or two). Slow cooker chicken and veggies for lunch. And dinner was chicken and spinach burgers.

Wednesday - XT


Today I just went on the elliptical for 35 minutes. I did the alpine pass setting, which is basically high inclines and then lots of downhill. Nothing too special here. I'm still sore in my hamstrings and quads.


Today was pretty much identical to yesterday, with the exception of pizza for dinner. I am weak. Pizza also involved pizza bombs, which are a deep fried awesome thing as good as it sounds. No dessert though, the pie is gone.

Thursday - 4 Miles Free Run


I don't think I made it out the door until 5:50. I actually laid there debating on going out at lunch to run instead since I am working from home today. After looking at the weather it turns out it was going to be the same temperature at lunch, so I might as well get it over with.

So this run is supposed to be a moderately hard run by feel only, no pacing myself with my Garmin. I feel like I accomplished that. I think my hamstrings are a little more sore from the elliptical yesterday. So while I didn't feel out of breath, I felt I was pushing myself because my legs were burning the whole time. 

After logging on and playing with some more features on the Garmin site, I noticed that my heart rate read as over 200 for several minutes early in the run, so I think my calories and heart rate are high. I went back and looked, I saw it happen one other time. I probably need to tighten the band or put a little water on it before I go out.

Total Time: 50:21
Total Distance: 4.00 miles
Average Pace: 12:35
Average Heart Rate: 174
Calories Burned: 827


It's New Years Eve. This is a day I celebrate with food. So far its has been pizza and popcorn. There is champagne and pasta in my future as well. However, we are going over to a friend's house who is vegan, so I should probably be able to control myself on the snacks. I don't care what he says, none of that food is "just as good." Vegan ice cream.... why?

Friday - Rest


I really did rest. I did practically nothing except visit family. I only had 2,115 steps for the day total.


I didn't bother to control myself. They set out so many finger foods! And sushi for dinner.

Saturday- 3-5 Miles


It took a little while to get moving, but I got out there. 

Total Time: 56:26
Total Distance: 4.50 miles
Average Pace: 12:32
Average Heart Rate: 171
Calories Burned: 900

I had that spike in heart rate again. No way my heart is actually beating over 200- I've done workouts where I thought my heart was going to explode and it was only in the 180s. I didn't feel like I was pushing TOO hard, but I was pushing. 

I also went to the meeting about the training that officially starts next week. I happened to sit next to someone as slow as me, so it's nice to know there will be someone there. However, she is going to run a different half marathon, so no running buddy for race day. I also learned that they have in-person speed work or road/hill training on Tuesdays. I really need to try and make as many of those as possible, but it is going to be hard to make it during busy time at work.


Shake for breakfast. Sushi for lunch. Skyline for dinner. Cookies, ice cream, and Mountain Dew. I'm not even trying...

Sunday - 30-40 Minutes Easy


I really need to work on discipline. Why does it take me so long to get out the door??

Total Time: 43:43
Total Distance: 3.25 miles
Average Pace: 13:26
Average Heart Rate: 154
Calories Burned: 580

I really did take it easy. I felt pretty good the whole time. 


Shake for breakfast. Pizza for lunch. Spaghetti squash spaghetti for dinner, maybe with a little bit of real pasta mixed in. But when I think of what I'm forcing myself to try and eat next week for lunch, I feel no guilt.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Running in the Rain

An Update on My Goals

Well after not posting and doing very little running, I am back! What can I say? I seem to use any excuse not to run. I did go check out my semi-local running store. The closest store kept not having their Saturday group runs when I was actually able to make it, so I moved on to the next closest store. 

What a crowd! I talked to the first person I saw. She explained that basically there is no official training program going on right now, which is when I will likely see people my pace start showing up. So, even though there are 50+ people there every Saturday, I end up running alone. However, many of them are running many more miles than me, so I am not the last one back. At least when I show up I know I can make myself do 6 miles.

So I found out they are starting half marathon training on January 9th. I'm going to an informational meeting on January 2nd. The schedule is set up to work with the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon on 5/1/16.
I'll admit, it is a little intimidating. My area is pretty flat, so not only do I have to train up an additional 7 miles of distance, I have to be able to handle some possibly extensive uphill  running- though mile 10.5 until the end looks mostly downhill. 

Despite how crazy my work schedule is going to be, I think this is something I'm going to have to do. I'm very demotivated. I'm up to 185 lbs (my low has been about 179 since I've started losing weight as a basis for comparison). I've been running about 2x a week- usually a long run of 6 miles and then a normal 3 mile loop I always do. 

And I've got to get started soon! I'm a little concerned that a sudden increase in miles might do some damage, and the first week of training calls for 13-16 miles, so I need to at least be doing 3 times a week for a few weeks before 1/9/16! So hopefully this blog will be about my experiences training for a half marathon pretty soon!

Rocking My New Gear

As additional incentive to start going out more, I did get a few new items for Christmas! I mostly ask for running stuff. I'm finally at that age where I don't really have many hobbies and since we live an apartment and have a toddler, I don't want a lot of stuff or knick knacks that can be thrown around!

My husband got me this Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. I have always made the excuse when I hear it raining in the morning that I can't go out, so now I have no excuse. I also got some new socks and some new capris. 

I had the chance to try out my jacket this morning. Other than being caught in the rain, I have never actually run deliberately if it was raining outside. This is also the first thing I've owned to run in that was supposed to keep out the rain, so I really have no basis for comparison. Overall, the jacket worked pretty well. I wore my armband and earbuds underneath with no problem. It has a brim on the hood, but I did have some trouble keeping it below my hairline. My torso was basically dry when I was done, but my lower arms were wet- which didn't make a ton of sense to me because they are all the same material. Overall I was pretty comfortable. The fit was a little off for me- I carry some of my weight on my lower abdomen so it was a little snug there. 

The rain was pretty steady, not a downpour, but definitely not a drizzle. I only ran a little over 2 miles. Obviously my pants were soaked, as were my socks and shoes. There is probably some sort of trick to getting my shoes dry, but all I know is I'm not supposed to stick them in the dryer. So, they are just sitting in my bathroom with the fan on? I should probably do some research.

2.19 mi | 27:30 | 12:35 min/mi

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chubby Runner Problems

In an effort to motivate my husband, I offered to go with him when I forced him out of the house to do C25K. He complained and got crabby, but we made it to the park down the road after dinner. I turned on the app and we got going.

As I suspected, despite the fact that I often take more steps in a day than he walks in a week, his 6'2" body will just naturally go faster than the legs that come with my 5'2" body. I think the first few one minute runs he was going as fast as 6 mph. Even his walking pace put me to shame. However, I could see that it was quickly catching up with him. After the first few intervals he asked me to push the stroller.

The loop around the park is 3/4 of a mile. After the first loop I offered to take our son to the playground so my husband could keep going. I can honestly say this is not laziness on my part- my son has difficulty being confined and I could tell he was already getting bored.

But to get to the complaint the title of this post references... shorts. I see all of these runners at races in their short shorts- which I understand, I would LOVE to be able to wear shorts when I run. BUT, shorts are something that I am unable to wear. For the first few months when I started running I had just had a child, but even before that I felt so chubby that I didn't think I should show my legs in public. Why wearing workout pants that are nylon or spandex and fairly form-fitting is so much better than shorts? That I can't answer. But somehow showing the skin crossed the line.

This past summer I worked up the nerve to buy a pair of running shorts now that I was down 30 pounds or so. I brought them home and tried running up and down our long hall with them. They had spandex built in under the top layer, which seemed to solve all my problems! That week I tried to squeeze in a short run before dinner, so I thought I would try them out. Epic fail. As soon as I started going that spandex rolled up and the top material bunched up. I was showing FULL leg. I might have been able to live with the exposure if that didn't mean my thighs immediately started rubbing together. I can't say I started chaffing, but I didn't give my legs the opportunity to do that to each other. I turned right around and walked home.

So on this run with my husband I thought, why not try them again? Since I'm down 5-10 pounds from last time, surely this has to go better? Even though I wear the shorts around when I run errands and always have to pull the spandex down, somehow there will be a different outcome.

Well, the outcome was the same. I don't know why I bothered. And I can't help but wonder, how much weight do I need to lose in order for shorts to function properly when I run? And can I lose that amount? I ask this when I just had a work-provided lunch of a Potbelly sandwich, chips, and a giant cookie...

On a related note, I have these awesome C9 leggings or tights I wear to run in the winter. They are awesome, my legs are never cold. However, what I have discovered through several very nearly embarrassing sets of trial and error is that they fall down. Without fail. UNLESS, I wear cotton granny panties. And I say cotton because I haven't really gone through the effort to acquire granny panties in other materials.

Now, I don't know if this is a chubby girl problem, a flaw with the pants, or a general runner problem? I love the pants otherwise. And I can say that no amount of running around in my house allows me to identify this issue. Somehow going further without taking off the tag makes me feel bad, like going that 100 feet will cause me to have microscopic sweat that gets on the pants.

But, I haven't lost enough weight to make shorts an option, and I haven't gone down a size yet in the running tights. So for now, I will have to live with apparel not really designed for people of my build!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Panerathon Cincinnati 2015

On Sunday I ran in the Panerathon 10K. I knew nothing about the race, other than it was cheap, near my apartment, and I wasn't aware of any steep hills in that area.

My intent had been to do shorter, lighter runs all week after my great 6 mile run the previous Sunday. I took of Monday as usual, but that day I left to go to Orlando for a conference. Since I wasn't familiar with the area I thought I might be better off on the treadmill. My mistake! I don't know what it was, but as I was running the room started to feel like a sauna. I only ended up running two miles, which I guess is a light run.

Despite my best intentions to get out the next day and just run outside, I ended up sick that night and the next. I got home Thursday evening, but didn't feel 100% Friday. On Friday I discovered that the race was on Sunday, not Saturday, which just threw a wrench in the plans I had made. My son was going to be at his grandparents' house Friday night since my husband had to work Saturday morning. I had planned a solo spaghetti dinner. And then we could also enjoy ourselves Saturday evening.

I have no excuse for not running on Saturday. I was just grumpy after my crummy week and didn't want to leave the couch.

I really struggled to get out of bed on Sunday. So far my race morning routine has been to have a shake or smoothie and some water, hang out, get dressed, and then eat a poptart or a piece of toast on my drive in. I did the same thing here, except I forgot to grab food before I left.

I got to the race and picked up my packet and shirt. I realized that since it was in the 50s, my normal tank top was leaving me a little chilly, and I seemed to be one of 3 people who was wearing one. I tried on my race shirt in the parking lot since it was at least short sleeved, but it didn't feel that comfortable for running since I got one that was a teeny bit snug. Is it terrible to change in the parking lot if you have on a sports bra? I feel like I got the side eye from some people. I certainly wasn't showing off, I was kind of doing it behind my car door, and I don't have much to be conceited about.

I had a little bit of difficulty finding the starting line, so I just went to the cluster of people and tried to face the same direction they were. I could hear someone was talking into a microphone, but it wasn't audible. I eventually heard the countdown and everyone started running.

I don't know if it is better to start in the back of the pack when you are slow, or in the middle or front. In the back of the pack it almost seems lonely and you don't really even get a sense of all the people. Further to the front you just see everyone pass you, and that speed can make you feel off on your pace. I found myself feeling slow compared to everyone else because they were passing me, but I looked down and I was running almost an 11:00 mile, which is way too fast for me to start with.

The course runs about a quarter of a mile back to a long road, where they have you run up one side, then back down the other. There are some gentle inclines, but nothing too bad. The 5K participants split off to go back to the Panera when they come back, but the 10K runners run past that entrance to the shopping center to a point further down the road where they turn around and do the loop again.

I once again found myself with the jog/walkers and some people who make me think, "Do I really look that slow?" There was even one tall man who was practically strolling and keeping up with my 12:00 mile time. But I like having some people around me. It gives me something to push for, to catch that person in front of me. There were even 5K people going so slowly that I was passing them when I got closer to the finish line!

At the finish line were some bounce houses, some fire trucks for kids to explore, and kids crafts to participate in, as well as food from Panera.


Here is my overall review:


  • Price
  • Not too many elite runners- which is good if you want to try and place. 
  • Location- very accessible
  • Cause- you can feel good because you are running for charity

  • Street cleaning- is it normal to see 3 dead animals on the road? And then since you are looping you see them more than once.
  • Food- if you are finishing near the end like me they only had a handful of plain and blueberry bagels left. That's fine, but the reminder that you missed out on cinnamon crunch and cherry vanilla because of the signs makes it sad. Most of the sandwiches left were Mediterranean Veggie. Having worked at Panera, I find that few people order that sandwich, so why would you make so many!? I realize that this is upsetting mainly because I'm a picky eater, so this is not a con for many.
  • Course- the repetitive loop was a little boring, but I do that on my own long run so I can't complain too much.
  • Walkers- while this was not a problem for me, I could see that there were a lot of people really taking their time and taking up most of the road. I started to see the faster 10K runners having to navigate around them a lot as they came back to do their second loop. 
Overall I would run this race again for the price. I'm a sucker for t-shirts. My time was great! I finished in 1:14:50, or a 12:03 pace. I didn't think I could possibly go that fast, which only makes me think more and more that maybe I should try that 15K.