Sunday, November 30, 2014

10 Running Questions!

Less than two weeks until the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii!  In fact,  we all received our official bib numbers in the mail yesterday,  I still cannot decide if I am more in shock with the fact that I will be in Hawaii in a matter of days, or if I will be finishing my first marathon!
  Yesterday, I did manage to fit in a long run (12 miles)- unfortunately, shortly after, I felt super sick and am now unable to run today as I'm fighting off a fever.

  Since I am taking a day off from running, I figured I could put out some fun running questions that I found on the Another Mother Runner, from a few years ago!  Here's their post, play it forward!
Another Mother Runner-Running Questions

Here are mine!

1. Best run ever:   Probably the Seacoast 1/2 Marathon (pictured above.)  The Seacoast 1/2 Marathon was the first 1/2 I ever ran (in 2009), and except for the year that I was pregnant (and year after),  I have made sure to run it every year.  The first year, I ran it in just over two hours, the second year in two hours and 10 minutes, the third time (last year), 1:57....and this year, 1:45!! I took a whopping 12 minutes off of last year's time!  Everything felt great on race day, and it was nice to see that my hard work from marathon training paid off.  With the exception of the last hill, I felt great the entire run.  I wish I could say that that happens a lot, but it doesn't! My friend Mariette ran with me for the first 7 miles, which was a huge help.  Angela, helped a ton by being at two different race points to cheer!

2. Three Words that Describe my Running: Keeps. me. sane!

3. My go- to running outfit is:  I love my Saucony Bullet Capris and my North Face long-sleeved running shirt..I bought it last year, and it's so lightweight and warm.  While my bangs were growing out, I always ran with Lululemon's Bang Buster headband- it really stays put!  For sneakers, I rotate between the Saucony Kinvaras, Saucony Triumphs and Saucony Rides

4. Quirky Habit while Running:  If I'm listening to music, I won't look at my watch until the end of each song.  Other than that, I'm pretty un-quirky with my running habits, I guess!

5. Morning, midday, evening:  Before Max, I ran before work; due to scheduling, that doesn't work anymore.  Now, I run at lunch with my friends at work- it's a blast!  If I miss a run at work, or need to do a  double session, then I run after work.  On weekends, I run before or during Max's nap time.

6. I won't run outside when it's:  I'll run in mostly every kind of weather condition, except if it's really icy.  I tried to do a 7 miler the other day during the Nor'easter, it was so slippery that I spent more time shuffling than actually running!  I won't race in really warm, humid conditions- although, I guess I'll make an exception for Hawaii :).  I also won't run outside if I'm by myself, and in an area that feels unsafe.

7. Worst injury- and how I got over it:  in late Spring of this year, I had an overuse injury on my quad that came from too many races, and not enough recovery- or proper training.  I went to a PT and found out that I didn't use my butt muscles enough when I ran- I was given exercises to strengthen that area, and have been working on my booty since!

8. I felt the most like a badass runner when I:  finished my first 20 miler!

9.  The next race is:  Honolulu!! December 14th

10. Potential running goal for 2015:  I have a few! I'd like to break 22 minutes in a 5k, 45 for a 10k and get down to 1:40 for a 1/2 Marathon. I'd also like to run more 10ks- those are my favorite!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stitch Fix #8 and the Top #3 Things I've Learned From Marathon Training

Getting used to running at night in the pitch black 6pm.

As I get closer to the Honolulu Marathon, and very close to my three taper weeks (only three more runs until taper!), I've learned a lot about training for a marathon, here are the top #3 things!

1.  Marathon training is hard work, it's a lot of time and dedication.  There are no shortcuts!   Luckily, Angela designed a plan which is hard, but doable and allows me to work around my schedule.  I've seen real results, and big changes in my running!  

2. At least not for me, marathon training is not a time to go on a diet, or expect to lose weight.  While training for the Honolulu Marathon,  I have been hungry 24/7, all. of. the. time.  While I haven't gained weight, I definitely haven't lost any!  I've discovered how important eating enough quality carbohydrates (sadly, ice cream is not a quality carbohydrate) can be for affecting my energy levels.  I've been better at making sure I fuel enough on long runs, and have been experimenting with what won't make me sick during long runs.   I've also tried to eat within 30 minutes of ending a long run.

3.  It's okay to have off days, there have been a few days, especially during my 16 miler a few weeks ago, where everything just feels horrible.  I've learned it's important to listen to your body because if you don't, it really can set you back.

Three and a half more weeks until the big day!!!

Stitch Fix #8!

I was so excited to come home and see that my Stitch Fix had arrived!  Last month's fix was awesome, I ended up keeping everything!
  This month, I really liked everything right away, but only ended up keeping three things.

I received a pair of wine-colored corduroy skinny pants- loved them, they fit perfectly and could be dressed up or down.  Plus, I didn't have anything in this color, for pants  KEPT!

A navy blue sweater with a picture of a boat on it-  super cute, playful and retro looking...but, I was afraid that I would only wear it a few times, and was afraid that I probably wouldn't be able to pull off wearing it at work. - SENT BACK

A long, wool cardigan- I have been all about cardigans lately, especially long, bulky ones.  I was hoping that Stitch Fix would send me one, and they delivered!  This was warm, soft and bulky enough without being too overwhelming.-  KEPT

A wool, plaid. pastel-colored scarf- very cute, but I couldn't justify paying $40 for this scarf.  I'm not great at remembering to wear I didn't think it would make sense to keep this, still- it wasn't too bad- SENT BACK

Grey and Black striped top (pictured under scarf)- loved this, it was long, warm and super comfortable.  KEPT

All in all, great Stitch Fix! If you're interested in trying, here's the link!  

On another fun note, I was tagged to do a #stopdropandtakeablackandwhiteselfie- I joined in on the fun on Instagram and Twitter, play along!!

I was tagged by @happyfitmama to #stopdropandtakeablackandwhiteselfie, and list 10 things you may not know about me! I'll be tagging someone too, but please play along! 1.I'm a military brat, I've lived in Europe and the States and moved around a ton! 2. I speak almost fluent French and some German 3. Swimming is a sport that I can confidently say I am ok at- but, I prefer running 4. I've played piano for over 28 years 5. At 5'8", I'm still the shortest one in my family! 6. I love doing NY Times Crossword puzzles 7. I love people who aren't afraid to be a little bit weird 8. I am petrified of driving over bridges 9. I love the smell of hardware stores 10. Stowe, VT is my favorite vacation spot

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions!

 I love these survey/question things!  When Angela tagged me, I jumped all over it- so fun!

You mustache play along!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
  • Kai
  • Kay-Bee (my dad calls me that)
  • Mommy- by far, the best name
  • KayKay
Four jobs I have had:
  • Waitress/Ice Cream Scooper at the UNH Dairy Bar; obviously, this is listed first as it was the best job ever. I worked here during my Senior year of high school, and all four years of college
  • Corporate Recruiter (my real life job)
  • I worked as a farm hand at Tuttle's Red Barn during one Summer of high school- such a hard job!!
  • Bagger/Cashier at the PX in Baumholder - Freshman year of high school in Germany
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
  • Sound of Music
  • Napoleon Dynamite-  I'm embarrassed to admit that I could probably recite this whole movie by heart
  • Love Actually- it's cheesy, but I watch it every year
  • Pretty in Pink
Four books I’d recommend:
Four places I have lived:
  • Durham, NH
  • Brucken, Germany
  • Belgium (close to the SHAPE/NATO base)
  • Mt. Holly, New Jersey
Four places I have been:
  • Marietta, GA (to visit my best friends from Germany!)
  • Stowe, VT (love Stowe!)
  • Mont Tremblant, QC 
  • San Francisco, CA
Four places I’d rather be right now:
  • In the mountains
  • On a run
  • In my bed reading!
  • In Stowe
Four things I don’t eat:
  • Cheesecake
  • Meat (except for seafood)
  • Velveeta Cheese or nacho cheese- just everything about it is so gross to me!
  • Yogurt, no matter how much I try, I just cannot stomach the taste

Four of my favorite foods:
  • Pancakes
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Mexican food
  • Brownies or "Magic" bars that my mom makes
Four TV shows that I watch:
  • Homeland
  • The Affair (just started watching this, it's pretty good!)
  • The Mindy Project
  • Girls
Four things I am looking forward to this year:
  • Hawaii!!! 
  • The holidays
  • Running my first marathon
  • Tapering for said first marathon! 
*I just did for the rest of 2014 :)*

Four things I’m always saying:
  • For real? 
  • Seriously?
  • (insert something about Max potty training soon)
  • (insert something about running here)
Four People I Tag:
  • Since I'm not sure if more than three people read my blog, please feel free to take the survey in the comments!!
Feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tiny Beers, Flatbread, Friends and the Seacoast Half Marathon Recap!

Getting WILD with our 4oz. beers!

Today was the Seacoast 1/2 Marathon, it's a race I do almost every year, and was the first half marathon I ever completed! This year, I chose it as my tune-up race before the marathon in December.
 The Seacoast 1/2 is a fun, beautiful course that winds through Rye, New Castle and Portsmouth.  It's flat (except for a hill that feels like a mountain in the last 1/2 mile.)  
  Most years, I've gone into the race with a goal to beat 2 hours and to not walk.  The first year, I finished in 2:04, the second year 2:10, last year 1:58....and this year, with my training, I was hoping for at least 1:51.  My "secret" goal was to get down to 1:48.

   The night before the 1/2, Sarah, Kim (who just qualified for Boston, at the NY Marathon!), Angela, Mariette and I met for dinner at Flatbread in Portsmouth.  It was a blast, as always!  Mariette and I were the only ones running, Angela was going to be cheering us on, and Kim was going to be volunteering.  Mariette and I were going to actually split a beer...but the waitress pointed out that we could get "half" pints!  Hence, the miniature glasses seen above.  We all ordered our own small flatbread pizza,  I had the full intention of eating only half of mine....but ended up eating the entire. thing.   So very lady like.  It was good, but I had quite the stomachache...and wasn't sure how it fare the next day at the race!

This year, the Seacoast course was going to be different than before (because there are 89 bridges closed in Portsmouth right now.)  Instead of being a loop, the race was going to be a point- to -point race;  people were asked to park where the finish line was (the Portsmouth High School), and buses were provided to drop us off at the starting line in Rye (at Wallis Sands Beach.)
    Race morning, Mariette nicely picked me up at my house and we rode over to the high school together.  I had a bagel, almond butter and coffee for breakfast, and packed 3 Gu's to bring with me on the run.  The weather didn't seem too cold, but we were also not at the beach yet, and were both also wearing sweatshirts/pants over our race outfits.
  We got aboard one of the buses at 7:15, and headed over to Wallis Sands where it was MUCH colder.  We met up with Angela N. and Nicole, begrudgingly shed our sweats, and all did a warm-up together.  I had a GU 10 minutes before the start, and cued up my Spotify mix.  Before the race, I saw my friends Laurie, Karla and Patty- it helped to see more familiar faces as I was nervous!

  Angela N. and Nicole lined up around the 7:30 pace group, and Mariette (who just ran a marathon!) and I lined up between the 8-8:30 min mile pace.  Angela (my coach), had made me a pace band for 1:51, I knew to finish at 1:51, I had to do an average pace of 8:30 minute miles.

  The gun went off, and we all headed out! The 1st mile seemed like two miles, but I think it's because I was still cold, and because my Spotify playlist wasn't loading!  By the 2nd mile, I was running alongside super speedy Mariette, and was still feeling strong.  We were running right behind the 8:00/min mile pacer, the pace felt perfect and comfortable. 
  I kept waiting to get tired, and kept feeling like I was going to need to rein myself in, but it didn't happen!  I felt great!  I took a GU every five miles, and eventually, my music started working.  Right after the fourth or fifth mile, we passed the 8:00 min/mile pacer, and headed towards the 7:30 min/mile.   The spectators were great this year, and it was so nice to see Angela cheering for us!!

  When I got to the half way point, I was still feeling great! I saw that my 10k time was below 50 minutes!  I was still afraid that I was going to lose steam, but I think eating an entire flatbread the night before luckily worked for me!
  At mile 8, I hung back from Mariette, and tried to focus on staying right at, or below an 8:00 mile pace.  I was still feeling strong, until I got to the 12th mile....I had one mile left, and THANK goodness, Angela and her family had now moved to watch the race from the 12th mile marker.  I was so happy to see a friend, and shouted at her that I wanted a ride!

The last half mile was tough, I slowed my pace going up the hill and was really wishing to be done!  Luckily, the last 10th of the mile is all downhill, I ran as fast as possible to the finish line and my face lit up when I saw that my time was not 1:51, not 1:50, not 1:48....but 1:45!!!!!!!!!!!
  Not only was this a 10 minute half marathon PR for me, BUT it was a 13 minute PR on this course for me.  I'm not winning any awards, but it's so encouraging to see the positive effects of training!!

All in all, I finished 20th in my age group out of 254- (30-39 year old ladies), 53 out of 756 women of all ages,  and 173 overall out of 1,122 runners/walkers.  Angela N., Mariette and Nicole all rocked it (of course), they all finished before me and close to 1:40.   My friend Laurie got 2nd in her age group with a time of 1:35!

All so glad to be done!!  We're just missing Angela :(

It was a great day, I had so much fun, and as always, it was a fun course! I think I'm going to take tomorrow off from running...and then Tuesday, will try these new shoes that Saucony sent (thank you!!) I can't wait to write about these (they're the new Triumphs.)  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

3 Running Highlights of the Week!

Saucony Kinvaras, all around!

1. This week was my "cut back" week for marathon training; I was really needing a cut back week after not feeling well last weekend, and being over tired.  This week starts the beginning of the remaining six weeks of marathon training! Yeah!!! Six more weeks until Hawaii!!  

2. The NY Marathon today, so inspiring to watch!  Not only is 26.2 miles hard, but today's weather was horrendous- super windy, rainy/snowy and cold.
  Kara Goucher had her first race, post-injury today, and did amazing!  She's my favorite athlete!

3.  The Six03 Great Pumpkin 10k Relay!  Such a blast!  Saturday, Angela and me (team Pumpkin Pushers), Mariette and Nicole (team #islagiatt), joined around 86 other teams for a super fun trail relay at the Flagg Hill Winery in Lee.  Each team of two people would do 1.5 miles twice on a pretty, wooded trail behind the vineyards, all while using a baby pumpkin as a baton!

So. - there were great costumes, excellent beer, wine (and donuts!) afterwards and it was technically my first trail race (besides the Odiorne Point 5k.)  Nicole, Mariette, Angela and I had so much fun!! 

Team #islagiatt!

Team Pumpkin Pushers!

Running w. a pumpkin!