Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Indianapolis Marathon - Week 8

Well, the streak is over. I missed miles last week. A lot of them. And, I really have no regrets. I think I needed a mental break and the hills in Kentucky are no joke. Here's the weekly recap...

Monday - rest (plan = rest)
Tuesday - rest (plan = 4)
Wednesday - rest (plan = rest) 
Thursday - 4 miles (plan = 4)
Friday - rest (plan = rest) 
Saturday - 4 hills & 1 mile hike - heck yeah I'm counting that! (plan = 4)
Sunday - rest (plan = 12)

This week, I took the pull back plan to a whole new level. I decided before I went to bed on Saturday night that I wouldn't run Sunday and I wouldn't feel bad about it. And, I didn't. We were in Kentucky on a family getaway and running would have meant three things...

1. Getting up early and still missing breakfast with the family
2. Shredding my legs on the hills 
3. Being tired and grumpy for the five hour drive home 

Not to mention, I had no way to drink water on the route and it was hot. I made the right choice. I'm sure of it. No regrets.  

This week will be better. Not worried about it. (OK - I'm a little worried because I have 16 miles on Sunday!) 

Here's a shot from my run on Saturday. It really was beautiful even with the hills and the heat!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I have already been dreading winter and summer isn't even over. (I realize I need an attitude adjustment.) I just saw this on my news feed. I hope they're so wrong. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Indianpolis Marathon - Week 7

This week was one for the record books! Not only did I run my longest run ever (yet) - 15 miles... I also ran 27 for the week which is the most ever (yet). And, it was yet another week in which I ran every mile and every workout. 

Monday - Rest (Plan = Rest)
Tuesday - Rest (Plan = 4)
Wednesday - 3 miles (Plan = Rest) I set out with good attitude and a good clip on this one but my stomach had other plans. I felt awful after mile two and barely finished three. 
Thursday- 4 miles - Hills (Plan = 4)
Friday - Rest (Plan = Rest)
Saturday - 5 miles (Plan = 4) I had to make up my mile from Wednesday and had my neighbor's company on this run. It's so much better running with someone!
Sunday - 15 miles (Plan = 15)

I have to say that this is one of my proudest weeks of running. I'm sure there will be more to come, but I was dreading this week a little because it was really the first week that is outside of what I have done in the past. I was very nervous that 15 would feel awful and that I would be sore and achy and tired after 27 miles in the week. 

Instead, I feel good. Tired for sure, but good. All 15 miles felt good today with the exception of some foot issues around mile 8. My right toes just felt awful - kind of like a cramp, kind of like a burning sensation. I'm off to Google that after I finish here. I was able to stop and stretch a bit and the pain diminished thankfully. 

I did lose track of my overall pace because of my new watch. (Side note: I really like it. The Garmin Forerunner 10 in purple, of course! It's super lightweight and very accurate based on the mileage markers on the trail.) I do need to work on the display though because it was showing the elapsed time and elapsed mileage and my math got a little fuzzy so I wasn't able to keep track of my pace. But, the beep at each mile is loud, so I was able to see each mile's stats. I like to see the time for each mile though so I can slow down or speed up when needed. Apparently, it has a setting that allows you to set a goal pace and then it beeps at you to slow down or speed up. I did manage to do negative splits though and my last two miles were some of my fastest, which is awesome. I finished with an average pace of 9:41. I'm hoping to finish the marathon at 4:10 which is a 9:32 pace so I think can do it. 

Today, I was able to really put my mind on auto-pilot and not worry too much about watching my watch and keeping track of miles until the end. At one point, I remember looking down and thinking, "Hmm... 11 miles. Wow, that was fast." Plus, I was running as the sun came up and was proud of myself for getting out of bed on a Sunday at 6AM to run. I did it on Saturday too. Overall, it was just a good run. 

I also received news that my mom officially signed up to run the first half with me! This is a good race to do that because the first half of the marathon is the same as the first 13 miles of the half. It cracks me up because she's training with friends of mine from high school. Who would have guessed that 15 years ago!?!? I'm hoping this helps with the first two hours of boredom during the race. She ran 7 on Saturday morning and I was super impressed with their pace!

I'm glad this is a step down week for me in mileage. I'm worn out! :) But, it's only for a week and it's still 24 miles or so. I slept from 8:30 (yes, on a Saturday night) until 6 this morning and took a 2 hour nap this afternoon. I plan to rest up this week too! I'm one tired girl!

I'll leave you with this picture. I was woken up from my nap this afternoon to this little Smurf-boy innocently watching me sleep. At least he's color coordinated!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Indianapolis Marathon - Week 6

Figured I'd better post about last week before this next week is over! It was a good week and I got all of my runs in again. And all of my mileage. Plus, my Sunday run averaged under 9:45 miles with most of it negative splits. I started slowing down around mile 10 and struggled a bit to finish. 

Proudest moment of the week was finishing the 12 miles. First, it meant that I ran the longest training run ever. Second, it meant that I ran every run and ran every mile for four straight weeks. That is an accomplishment in itself. 

Monday - rest
Tuesday - 0 miles (plan = 4) 
Wednesday - 4 miles (plan = 0)
Thursday - 0 miles (plan = 3)
Friday - 3 miles with the jogging stroller (plan = 0)
Saturday - 5 miles (plan = 5)
Sunday - 12 miles (plan = 12) 

Total = 24 miles (plan = 24 miles)

The greatest part of this plan is that it is on four days a week so I have some flexibility on my runs. Unfortunately, I didn't plan great for this week and ended up with 20 miles in three days which is a lot for me. Although, for this coming week, I'll end up with 20 in two days. So, it's good practice. 

All in all... It's been good. I think my metabolism has finally caught up. I'm hungry all the time and I'm eating a lot. Yet, I'm still maintaining my weight and maybe even down a few pounds. 

15 miles for my long run this week and I'm stressing a bit. Last week, I had the run in before church and hoping to do the same this week. Means starting at 6:15. Marathon training means sacrifice and I'm definitely sacrificing weekend sleeping in time. But, I make up for it with Sunday naps and before I know it, I'll be able to nap to the sound of football in the background. :)

Early morning shot of the Pennsy Trail from Sunday. It turned out to be pretty hot!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Memory Lane and Two Confessions

After reading an article in Runner's World about the new one-mile races that are popping up, I got an urge to finally do something I've thought about often. I've been racking my long term memory to come up with my mile time in high school, so I decided to dig through my basement boxes to find some records. No luck. My best recollection is that I struggled to break 7 minutes and only did that once or twice. Which, I might add, would not have been enough to keep me on the team if there were any competition for the "distance" running events. In fact, all slow runners were delegated to the distance group.

Why do I care? Well, it's really pretty simple. I'm in the best shape of my life. I think the almost 34 year old version of myself would put up a good fight with the 15 year version of myself, even if I have gained a pound a year. :)

After the marathon, I'm thinking that may be a good goal to tackle. Beat the 15 year old me at the mile. I have a message into the daughter of one of my coaches in hopes that I can find that time.

I may not have found my mile time, but I sure did find some other good stuff. My favorite find is the travel journal from the trip Tom and I took to Europe right after we graduated. More blog posts on that one to come!

This is the oldest photo I found. This is my brother, Matt, who looks so much like Jack its crazy. This was at Grandpa Paul and Ellie's as I remember the step stool that was used as a high chair for all of us. Brings back so many good memories.

Fast forward to high school. Here is a post card I received from Tom when he was on vacation to Myrtle Beach. This kids, is what we did before texting and Photoshop. 

Apparently, cutting out faces and putting them on bodies was a common event in the Joyner Household. I remember getting this from Tom's mom when we were dating. I fit right

Confession #1: In high school, my parents were generous enough to send me with the French Exchange group from the high school. We all attended one party while there and I had enough forethought to save the bottle cap from the first beer I ever drank. My French is still good enough to know that this was a twist off and probably the French equivalent of a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sorry to disappoint you mom and dad and Madame Waite. I really only had one beer. Ou, en Francais? Un Biere.

Moving on to prouder moments of high school... There was a time when I ran for every office that came up for an election. If there was a vote, I was a candidate (except for homecoming and prom court - never got to endure that one). This was a sign my dad made for the campaign of Junior Class President. I'm not sure it made the cut amongst the ones hung in the halls of NHS. I lost this race and every one before and every one after until... read on...

She wins! She wins! After something like 11 elections, I finally won one. At this point, it was a running family joke. I was a big fat loser but felt nothing like one. :) Turns out, Senior Class President meant little more than organizing the first reunion. It didn't matter - Mom and dad put together this poem to celebrate! 

You did it! You did it! You did it!
Ms. President of the Class.
How many times did it take until,
finally good things came to pass? {Actually? 11 times}

We knew you could do it.
We never lost hope.
You're such a great person,
No one thinks you're a dope!

Being strong and yet tender,
you're the perfect mix.
You're the very best leader
for the Class of '96! {Editor's note: I was the Class of '97 but '96 does rhyme better with six}

And now, Ms. President,
What do you think?
You're really left your mark
on NHS, Inc.

Your class must be proud to put you in the lead 
It was you that they wanted,
You would succeed.

We're proud of you too Saz.
No dream could be better.
Than to live each day,
knowing you're our go-getter!

We love you Sara!
Dad, Mom, Matt & Max
September 23, 1996

I'm pretty impressed with this. I remember when I was in junior high and I caught a glimpse of my mom's high school yearbook and thought, there's no way I can live up to mom's high school career! She did everything! Well, right now, I'm looking at that poem and thinking, there's no way I can live up to that kind of support to our kids! But, I sure will try!

Graduation came along and I found the usual award and graduation programs. My favorite is this certificate signed by our Congressman, Bob Ney. Congressman Ney got in some hot water during the Jack Abramoff scandal and did some time about 10 years after I received this certificate. I have another connection to Mr. Ney that you can ask me about in person some time. (See the smudge on his signature? I think I wet my finger and tried to smudge it to see if it was real. Why? No idea.)

One of my favorite extracurriculars I did in high school was Youth in Government. Not only did Tom and I start dating on this infamous trip, but it was a great learning opportunity. We spent the year preparing a bill and then presenting it to a mock committee and legislature. I know it's small print, but if you read the bill, I still think it's a pretty good idea, but likely impossible to enforce. 

Here's the gist... If you're under 21 and decide to drop out of school, you have to pass a basic skills test. If you're over 21, you have to either sign a waiver rejecting any public aid until passing the basic skill test or enter a GED program. If you're under 21, you must enter the program until you can pass the skill test. 

Sometime between high school and college, Tom's parents went away for the weekend. Tom, Eric and I got together to hang out and decided to take pictures with their camera. I think Barb & Vic were surprised to find these when they had the film developed!

Off to college we went. I found some super sweet notes from Tom in which he said he really wanted me to go to Miami with him. I don't really remember that but I'm sure it's something we discussed a lot! 

I couldn't believe how much mail I had saved from my freshman year! Mom and dad wrote a ton and then my cousins and aunts and uncles too. I remember going to the mailbox every day and being so excited to see something in mine! Again, something else I really want to do for my kids - even in this age of texting and Skyping. 

Here's one from my cousin, Nicole, who was in elementary at the time. She's getting married now! Time flies! Good marker work Nicole!

Can't get this one to flip, but it's from her brother, Ryan. Nice work!

And, here's a letter from a little one in our church youth group. We're Facebook friends still and I remembered that she used to be my pen-pal. Although, I'm not totally sure I ever responded. Sorry Katie. :) 

I must have picked up cross-stitching at some point in college. I vaguely remember it. Who does that?!?! I found this one in my bin too. I am kind of impressed but also kind of confused. What the heck is it?!

Finally, I'll leave everyone with this picture, which is Confession #2. On the left is my brother and on the right is Tom's sister, both in high school and probably under 16. They were visiting Miami at some point and we took this picture with our good friend and Tom's roommate. I'm so sure that our parents would have been thrilled to know this was going on. Turns out they both turned out to be pretty cool kids and weren't worse for wear. :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Indianapolis Marathon - Week 5

Week 5?!?!? Really?!?!?! This is going faster than I thought. And, I think, faster than I'm ready for it to go. And, by faster, I don't mean my times are getting faster because they definitely are not.

This week really did feel like a marathon training week and less like a "get a few miles during the week and then a longer run on the weekend" type of week. I can also tell by the way I feel today. First time in a while I've been sore. (I also feel totally stoved up and unable to relax through my neck and shoulders which I'm attributing to carrying a water bottle on the run. Blech.)

Sidenote - I totally owe lots of cute kid photos, especially the back to school ones. But, honestly, between the back-to-school craziness, the work craziness and the running, I just haven't had time. I'll get around to it. Someday.

Anyway, here were the workouts for the week. I did all of the workouts and all of the miles. Yahoooo!!!!! That is definitely the high point of my week!!!

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - 4 Miles - Hills (Plan = 4)
Wednesday - Rest Day (Plan = Rest Day)
Thursday - 3 Miles - Negative Splits - 9:29, 8:44, 8:20 (Plan = 3)
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - 5 Miles (Plan = 5)
Sunday - 10 Miles (Plan =10)

Total - 22 Miles (Plan = 22)

I felt slow this week. I felt slow last week too. My 10 mile run was at a 10:05 pace and felt long and hot. My goal is to finish the marathon somewhere around 4:10 or a 9:30 pace. I guess I'm not really that far off considering I always train slower than I race, but I still feel slow. And, 26.2 feels long. I'm probably mostly concerned that I don't feel remotely good while running the slower pace. It has been slightly hot, but so mild for a typical summer. I'm trying to keep the slower paces from getting to me. My feet hurt a lot on my last run too which wasn't good. Maybe it's time for new shoes?

One thing I added this week was negative splits. The concept is pretty simple. Each mile gets progressively faster. Training this way makes it easier (supposedly) to race this way. Basically, you run the first third of the race slower than pace, the second third on pace and the final third faster than pace on fresher legs. Sounds good although I'm not sure how it will work in practice. I'm going to implement a little of this on one run a week. Also trying to keep hills one day a week. And, I loved having a running partner on Saturday! Thanks Steph! 

22 miles for the week is good. That would be a stretch for me during the height of half training. Next week is 24 with a 12 mile long run. Based on how I feel today, it may go a bit downhill (figuratively, not literally) after this week. I need to drink more water and probably improve my attitude. I still know I can do it... it just may not be pretty! :)

Some views from my run north on 200W yesterday. Lots of corn and beans... Also, lots of beautiful weather!