10/29/14

Finding my running groove again

I've been running strong and well this Fall and am finally starting to feel that I'm coming out of the running funk I had been in for a while. It had really been a year and a half, since the Carmel Marathon, where I just did not find my groove. Maybe it was because that race was such a big deal for me since it was my first Full Marathon? There was also the ugly achilles area injury last Spring that I had to work through. However, I am finally starting to feel back to normal again, if you know what I mean! It's making me super happy :)

My running fitness right now is pretty good and honestly, I'm at a great place to launch into a full marathon training cycle. I have a lot of healthy base on my legs and body, I've got my love of running back, and I seem to have "matured" with this sport more. I know more now how my own individual body responds to things, I know my personal niggles and warnings, I know my dietary responses more. It takes a while to get to know your body when you become a runner. I also am not taking myself too seriously now and just running for enjoyment. Oddly enough, I'm clocking some faster times again and feeling stronger than ever. It's too bad we're going to be ending the Fall season soon so there are no reasonable Full Marathons here to aim for any time soon. (I'm not flying to one!)

Running Times published the story of Masters runner Christine Kennedy today. I always enjoy these stories and they give me tremendous inspiration. I try to keep my "running chatter" to myself and a few friends now, so these type of articles are useful to remind me there are other "oldies" out there still :) Most of my friends "do not run".  I'm also excited about the upcoming NYC Marathon and have high hopes for Kara, Deena, and Desi!




I have a Half Marathon this weekend and I'm done with all of my runs until race day now. Neck down I'm feeling really good. I have some phlegm/mucus business going on neck up, so hopefully that will be under control by the weekend. I'm not feeling this race is going to break my current Half PR, but I'm hoping to break my last Half time. After this race, I'll have to think about some of my ideas going forward for the Spring. Part of me wants to try breaking my Half PR and focus on that, part of me still wants to try another Full Marathon. I don't know the right answer yet, but I do know that I plan to RUN and LOVE IT :)

On to updating my playlist for race day! One of my current favorite running songs is "I Lived" by One Republic:







Happy running everyone!



-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

10/21/14

Cat people know things and the Saucony Cortana running shoes

I'll be the first to admit that I have it easy in comparison to households with multiple children. No doubt! However, we're not a quiet household by any means. Besides our precious high energy 3rd grader who incessantly sings "All About That Bass" lately, we have a neurotic Schnoodle who shrieks at everything, a cool cat who loves chewing every cord he can get ahold of, and two hamsters stinking things up. We love them all dearly! When I return from my runs, the cat and the dog are almost always at the front picture window waiting for me. The hamsters have no idea ;)

Before I continue, I had an amazing 10 mile run this past weekend. I managed 6 tempo miles into this run. Amazing! One of those runs you just fall back in love with running all over again.


Happy runs are my favorite



Cat people know things


Thank you Purina for the comical tweet yesterday!  Cat people really do know :) You've reminded me that I haven't posted much lately about my furbabies!

Kitty Johnny Cash is so cliche with his printer worship. He may be unseen for hours, until the printer is turned on. His name is cliche as well. (Is that a stain in my carpet?!?! I need to go investigate that.)

Cats are so cliche


Saucony Cortana 3


My neurotic Schnoodle Agnes is always happy to see me when I come home from a run. If you follow me on Instagram, you've been seeing the Saucony Cortana 3 running shoes on my feet for a long time now. I think I've been in this make/model for 6 months now? I'm in LOVE with them! It's been a while since I've done any kind of shoe talk on my blog and I wanted to give an update, but Saucony already has the next version out. I haven't tried the Cortana 4 model yet and need to get in to a running store soon to try them on. I have 3 pairs of the Cortana 3s and they have some miles left to go before retiring them. I usually rotate between two of them, but the third still has mileage. They've really been a great model for me. I love the 4 mm drop and the extra comfort and protection from the road with these shoes. Fingers crossed the Cortana 4 model is just as fabulous for me!

Still loving the Saucony Cortanas


Let me leave you with this. I found it quite amusing :)

















Happy running everyone!


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

10/16/14

Celebrating marriage with a 10 mile run and yummy burritos

Happy Thursday, almost TGIF, Throwback, whatever we're calling this day now of the week! I've got a little catch up to do on here. We had some internet outages over the past couple days at our home, combined with just being busy, so here we are at nearly the end of the week. I had a really strong running week last week with a speed workout, a hill progression climb workout on the treadmill, and then a 10 mile run on the weekend. I'm pretty pleased with how well last week was with regard to running! This week is coming together nicely too. I've wrapped up my week day runs and just need some decent weather on Saturday morning for a longish run.

Celebrating marriage with a 10 mile run


My hubby and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this past weekend, so I thought the 10 miler was fitting :)

10 mile run to celebrate 10 years of marriage


I am feeling so good with running and getting a little of my "mojo" back. My legs feel great, I don't seem to have any noticeable aches or problems, and I'm slowly getting a little confidence back. Despite all of that, I decided to scale back to the Half for the upcoming Monumental Marathon weekend. I am still not feeling like my achilles area injury from last Spring is completely stable and thought it best to err on the side of caution. I used the Air Force Half to gauge how that area was feeling and while it didn't erupt into injury, my body can still sense that it needs to be watched and that it is tender.

Again - I'm feeling great, my legs feel wonderful, but I just want to be sure. I've been running strong for several months now and don't want to ruin that area again. I've noticed the elites often take a very long time before returning to the huge race efforts as well. I no longer find injury an acceptable part of my running and want to make smart choices.

I'm looking forward to the Monumental! I have run that series every year for the last 3 years, so this will be my 4th time running. Fingers crossed that I am at the starting line! My only worry right now is if we will end up with rain.


Yummy burritos!


I haven't written in a long time about eats and I am overdue to update my blog on what all we've been eating. I'll have to write more later on foodish things, such as my current fixation on cabbage, but for now ... one thing we've been enjoying are burritos. I especially love sauteed or grilled bell peppers with them! They are a full meal-in-one with grains, legumes, protein, calcium via cheese, and greens. I like that this is a simple and healthy meal that any family can quickly whip together.  Here is how I make mine:

Simmer:
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 can of Amy's Organic refried beans
Half of the seasoning packet from Mrs. Dash's Taco Seasonings (to curb excess sodium)

Saute:
bell peppers or other veggies

Serve:
We fill whole-grain tortillas with this cooked yummy-ness and top off with some Cholula hot sauce (my favorite) or other hot sauces, cheese, and spinach

My daughter gobbles this up pretty quickly and I love how it has all of the good food groups in one meal :)




Happy running everyone!


-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

10/8/14

Fall is here, new running thoughts, life still needs to happen

Fall is definitely here and I've been enjoying the wonderful running weather. This is my favorite time of the year to run and I'm sure most runners agree! All of my running post Air Force Half has been strong and my legs are feeling good. I still have one more race on my schedule for this year and it's brought me to realize that I have made no plans for 2015 and I don't even know yet what they will be. I'm just enjoying each week of running as it comes and not having pressures right now has been so refreshing. The race I have coming up isn't high pressure for me, but I'll address it later on in another post.

Happy Fall running


My mind opened up to new running thoughts


The bad achilles area injury I had last Spring, my only full-blown injury ever with running, really opened my mind to new thoughts with regard to my running. As I've written quite extensively already, it made me change how I run and to use more of the approach Masters Runners would use. I've had much healthier runs since. It's also made me reevaluate my future approach to racing and what my goals are. It made me realize just how much I love to run, but I can do without so much racing.

My runs lately have been strong and I've been adding in some extra tempo miles each week. Even on "long run day", I try to nail a fast finish. I'm doing this for two reasons. First, since I run less days a week now to aid recovery, I need no junk miles. Each mile has a purpose. Secondly, I want to get out of my marathon pace ranges that I've been glued to for a long time now and find my speed again. I used to be speedier before I ran my first full marathon. I'm missing some speed!

I had a killer 4 mile tempo run yesterday and it reminded me just how much I've been missing short and fast. My husband has mentioned to me before that he thinks I should focus on shorter race distances again, especially since I never run them - who knows what all I could do there!


Life still needs to happen separately from running 


Races add up in cost, in stress, in family time taken away, and other sorts of sacrificial situations. I'm not an elite! I'm a regular person who enjoys running and while I  do want to run well and smart, I'm not someone (and most of us are just like me) who should be sacrificing other areas of living just to run. I need to take a family vacation and not stress about when I will get my daily run in. I need to go to my inlaws and not try to rudely squeeze runs in during the visit when I should be spending time with them. I need to find more time for reading, not just mindless reading before bedtime, but quality reading as well. My daughter's school work is getting harder and she and I need more time to work together in studying. In a nutshell - life still needs to happen separately from running. I'll still run races in the future, but probably not that many and they will be purposeful in terms of keeping me on track rather than aimed at PR'ing all of the time.


Beginning runners


I do think it is important to mention that when you are a beginning runner, dedicating a large part of your life to learning and growing with the sport of running is important. Until it becomes part of your regular life, it is important to dive in headfirst with enthusiasm and to put other things on hold. It takes a while for one's body to acclimate, to learn, to work through niggles and injuries, and to grow. Beginning runners do need races because motivation is still part of the learning process. My approach for myself now is as a seasoned runner and I wouldn't recommend my personal approach to a new runner. New runners - go into it with enthusiasm and make it your world! :)


Happy running everyone!



-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

9/29/14

A relaxing week of recovery, College football, a health scare and new handbag

Hello all! It's the start of a fresh week and I'm planning to get some miles back on these legs. After the Air Force Half, I actually took a full week off to recover. I normally don't take a full week after a half marathon, but after you've had one ugly injury, you start taking healing and rebuilding more seriously. I decided since I had a lot on my plate for the week anyway, might as well take a full week off. I had a fairly relaxing week of recovery, but by day 5, I started getting itchy to run again :)

College Football


We went to my alma mater's college Homecoming Big 10 football game and had fantastic weather. I try to get up to my school with my daughter at least once a year. No, we didn't win. We're not doing well lately with our Football program *sigh*  We did, however, spend time with the Veterinary school's roving Smithsonian Animal Connections exhibit that was managed by the Veterinary students. My daughter really enjoyed it! Veterinarian is still one of her "top jobs" ... we'll see what the future holds.

College Homecoming time

Enjoying the Veterinary exhibit at Purdue


A health scare and a new handbag


I had a breast cancer scare earlier this month. I haven't blogged about it and quite frankly, I'm emotionally drained from the experience to want to talk about it right now. I will later. Long story short, I had a call-back on a routine mammogram because there was a "change". I got released as "ok" now. I have quite a lot of psychological scarring left over from the ordeal and questions for the future, but for right now, I am OK. The clinic and my mom told me to get myself a treat. So I did.  :)   Ladies, treat yourself sometimes. It does the soul good.

The Coach Legacy Duffle in "Marine" color. It's a navy/dark blue with a hint of purple, depends on the lighting. This seems to be how the color usually looks in normal daylight. I thought this would be a perfect Winter handbag.

Coach Duffle in Marine color



Happy running everyone!



-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

9/25/14

Accepting you are a Masters Runner

Aging is hard for most of us to accept, especially those of us who enjoy working on fitness and health. We still feel young, yet our body's physiology is changing even if we can't easily see the signs. I've been appreciating the articles Running Times and Runner's World have been publishing regarding Masters Running. Two particular ones caught my attention yesterday and I thought it was another good moment to discuss something many of us have a hard time embracing: accepting you are a Masters Runner.

I was faster a couple years ago. I was also in a different running age division a couple years ago. I'm pretty sure I can run those paces again if I want to train for them - I don't feel the past couple of years have drastically aged me enough to where a PR is out of reach. I still have fresh legs since I'm a runner who came into this sport later in life.

When I spent last Spring with a pretty serious injury, my first truly serious injury, I looked back at what caused it and tried to understand the bigger picture. Nothing was apparent in training that could have caused it. Sometimes we think a shoe can make a difference, sometimes we know if we did too much too soon, yet none of that was evident. I decided to embrace the concept that I was getting older and that my body may need more time to repair and rebuild after each run. Once I accepted it and changed how I run to adapt more with the wisdom from the Masters Running community, I began having wonderful runs and a strong and healthy body again!

I ran the Air Force Half this past weekend a little slower than I had two years ago, yet it wasn't drastically off in time. That tells me the Masters-style of training worked just fine. Had I focused a little more on pace strategies, I could have come in even closer to my previous faster time. The race also had a few crowding issues on the course that slowed us all down, so I factored in a loss of a minute or two from that as well. All in all, however, the Masters-style of training worked.

Air Force Half 2014 complete


I ran less days a week for the past couple months, allowing my body more time to repair and heal between each run. I made each run more useful. The shorter runs were still longer than what used to be short runs, yet each short run had tempo work built into them. The long runs were always run carefully and with a purpose of just putting easy miles on the legs.

I truly believe this concept from the Runner's World article on Masters Running holds true. We must set goals that are relevant to our age division and listen to our bodies. Deena Kastor's records from the past weekend were records in the Masters community, not her own lifetime PRs.

"As you get older, it’s important to refresh your goal times. This is especially true for seasoned runners who have been at it for years. Setting new goals every year–or at the very least every decade–can be motivating and uplifting. This is why races distribute age group awards that recognize the best performances at all ages. Rather than targeting times relative to when you were running your fastest, aim for ones that are competitive and challenging for you now."


What am I trying to convey? That we all have many more years of running ahead of us - and how we run will change over the years and that is normal!


Happy running everyone!



-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/

9/22/14

I ran the Air Force Half Marathon again

Hello! I've taken some time since my last post to reflect upon my thoughts and feelings with regard to how I want to continue running. I had the Air Force Half on the schedule for this past weekend and while I was feeling a bit non-interested in hardcore training, I knew I wanted to complete this race. I was committed to being there with friends and I like to participate in military-sponsored events like this since we are a military family. I ran the race and for the most part, came away happy. It wasn't my fastest Half, nor my slowest, but it was my first real race post-injury (Spring injury) and it went smoothly.

Air Force Half Marathon 2014 complete


My take-away thoughts ...

1) I did not trigger any injury again from what I can tell and I'm super happy about that. My main concern going into this Half was that my achilles area injury from the Spring would flare up again. It has been staying quiet for several months now, but there is still a whisper in that area as if it has known it has been injured and may not be fully healed. It stayed quiet and for that I was grateful.

2) I did not train for a Half these past couple months since I had a Full on the schedule. My pace strategies have been with a Full in mind so I knew going into this Half, I wasn't up to my peak Half fitness level. I was ok with that, this wasn't ever meant to be a PR-attempt race. It was only on the books for a fun Half in the middle of Full training anyway.

3) I came in at 2:19. When I ran this race two years ago, I came in at 2:12. This time it felt harder, but I'm assuming it is because of not being Half trained. I also forgot my Garmin at the hotel so I ran this "naked". I tried using pacers for a while to make up for that and it didn't fully work for me.

4) I enjoy this particular race. It doesn't have so much of the glamour and silliness of other more high-profile races. Plus, Americans usually WIN this race series. Don't take that as a negative thought against the international/cultural community; I only mean that it is nice to see Americans win sometimes ... too.

5) This Half reminded me that I have always LIKED the Half distance and I miss training specifically for it.


I seem to still be mentally ok with training after all. Just that I miss training for Halfs. I'm just not enjoying Full training. Full training is so much more intense and I don't find joy with it lately. A Half is not so overwhelming, all things considered, and I can still fit it into my regular life without feeling stressed and drained. So, all in all, the Air Force Half this past weekend was good for me. It reminded me that I do like to challenge myself now and then, I do want to run a couple races now and then, but I need to find my happy place within that framework.

I enjoy a good Half. I miss that the running community focuses so much on Fulls ... I wish we all would embrace other distances more. I'm also enjoying Deena Kastor's Half Marathon records from this past weekend as well ... it is a nice way to bring back the joy of the Half distance.

My Half PR is 2:06 and I still want to beat it some day. Maybe I need to get back to that focus. I've been on/off in the Full Marathon training world for the past year and a half since I ran the Carmel Marathon and can't seem to find my groove, yet the Half is starting to call me again.



Happy running everyone!



-----

Christina

I'm also found here:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinaruns
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/movablemom
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christinamoves
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MovableMom/