Tag Archives: 5k

Staying Tough, Mentally

It’s almost August – I really don’t know where July went. I suppose I spent it logging miles, nursing my little hound, and teleworking a lot.

As of August 4, I have exactly a month until my Half! I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. The miles we’ve been logging (seven last weekend, six the weekend before, and five the weekend before that) have bolstered my confidence. Yet, I’m also scared out of my mind. 13.1 miles is a long way. I felt so accomplished last Saturday when we finished our seven mile run. As I cooled off and walked home with Hubs, both sipping our iced coffees, I realized that we will be running 6.1 MORE miles on the day of the race. Right now, that feels inconceivable.

I know I’ve come a long way during training. Where I am now, two miles, three miles, even four miles don’t seem like long runs anymore. These are no longer “stretch” workouts for me — instead they’re my evening runs. It’s what I do when I get home from work. I love that feeling and it’s so nice to see what my body can do. Around Memorial Day, I was worried about finishing a 5k. A month before that, I could have maybe run one mile (if chased). I really love the level of fitness I’m working toward. I love that I’m healthy enough to get out and sweat after a long day at work. It’s nice to know I’m pushing myself again.

I’m trying hard to stay positive and motivated. I try not to think about the mileage increases each Saturday. I just think about the next mile. However, I do catch myself sometimes thinking about Saturday’s long run in “how in the world am I gonna do that?!?!” terms. But, I get out and I do it. Having Hubs with me is super helpful and really spurs me on to keep running. I really enjoy the time we get to spend together on our runs. Even when we devolve into grunts and panted questions about which direction we’re going next, seeing him running beside me motivates me to keep going.

Have you trained for a distance race? How do you stay mentally tough during training? On race day? I’ll take all the advice I can get!!

Also, y’all, I am suffering from the worst planning mistake ever! My passionate love of college football (especially my alma mater, the University of Georgia) has collided with this race I’ve been planning for the past seven months. I failed to look at a football schedule. 😦 Georgia’s season opener, at the Georgia Dome, Saturday night prime time, on ESPN, is the night before my half. *Insert huge sigh here* I anticipate struggles sleeping anyway, so maybe it will be nice to have the tv on in the background as I try to fall asleep? Or, there’s always the chance I get sucked in, get worked up, and get little to no sleep the night before I run 13.1 miles. If that happens (and if we lose) I will be VERY, VERY cranky. All right, I’m done being melodramatic. It’s one football game, but I’m committed y’all!

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I Love June

Why is that? Because June brings my Birthday! It’s today, in fact! 🙂 I love birthdays and 26 is not disappointing!

It’s also a new month (and the halfway mark on the year). So, let’s see how I did in May…
1. Create half marathon training plan.
Check! I’ve been just about on pace with my long runs, but my overall weekly distance is NOT where it should be.
2. Complete six strength training work outs (2/6)
Obviously I, once again, slacked off here. I’m finding it very hard to make time in my workout schedule of runs to strength train, but I know it’s key to a successful race and fitness program. Sigh.
3. Read six books (6/6) 
Check! I’m reading about five simultaneously right now…
4. Of those six, read two classics (1/2) [Mansfield Park] and one non-fiction (2/1) [Bossy Pants, The House on First Street] 
Okay, so I didn’t read two classics and one non-fiction. Instead I read one classic and two non-fictions. I think that counts!
5. Beat my previous 5k time during this month’s 5k.
Going into this race, I was worried about finishing. But, I actually PR’ed! My new 5k best is 34:39. Onward and upward!
6. Eat at 3 new restaurants (3/3) [Lincoln – DC, Captain Billy’s Crab House – Southern MD, Eventide – Arlington]
While I visited three new places, I only had a drink at Eventide. I’m still gonna count it though!
7. Be more consistent with blogging! Post at least 16 times this month. (4/16) 
Toot toot! Here comes the fail boat… I suck at blogging lately. I think this is because my laptop doesn’t recognize the wireless in our apt anymore. I have live writer on that computer too. Our desktop is slowly dying and takes FOREVER to load pages. The combo = very little blogging motivation.

On Deck for June:
1. Get my mileage up! (0/4)
Right now, my training plan has me running 15 miles a week in addition to my long run. I’m definitely not there and I need to work on it! I will be aiming to run 10-15 miles each week.
2. Weight train (at least once a week). (0/4)
This is totally doable. If I don’t want to weight train and run on the same day, all I have to do is get myself into the gym or in front of the TV with my kettle bell ONE TIME a week. Do it, Anna. You will thank yourself.
3. Read three books that are non-fiction or classics. (0/3)
Again, trying to keep my reading varied. Hubs got me a Kindle for my birthday and I’ve downloaded some of the free classics. Hopefully that will help!
4. Get Laptop fixed. Seriously, Anna. 
I just need to take that sucker to best buy or something and get someone to tell me why the computer knows the wireless is there but refuses to connect to the internet.
(While I’m there, I should probably buy an external hard drive to back up our failing desktop…)
5. Make a savings plan for summer fun trips.
Hubs and I are fortunate to be going away for at least a weekend in July, August, and September. Super stoked for that, but since money doesn’t grow on trees we need to figure out how we’re going to pay for all this.
6. Make four new recipes. (0/4)
I cooked up a storm last month and want to keep that going! Being in the kitchen is becoming more and more relaxing for me.

Well, that should keep me busy for a month… especially considering everything else that’s going on!
– My 26th Birthday!!!
– Awesome friends (Dan and Kelly) move into our building
– Crawfish Boil with the Louisiana State Society
– Husband in Boston for a week
– Hosting book club ladies
– 4 Mile Twilight Race (my first four miler ever!)
– Finishing one project at work and simultaneously starting another

Hold on y’all! I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good month!

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Monday Delays

My body clearly was not ready to come back to work! I tossed and turned all night — it was one of those nights of sleep where you never really feel like you fall asleep. Oh well. I woke up to lightning in the distance and the threat of rain. Boo! Rainy Mondays are rough. However, it did give me a chance to try out my new rain boots and rain coat so I guess it’s okay. Despite being super tired, I popped out the door right on time and caught my train. My train had other ideas though; I guess it was tired too. Our train system had serious delays this morning which made me half an hour late to work. Ah! I barely made it to my little coffee shop in time for the early bird discount.

Never fear though, I’ve been a machine since getting in. And, I have happy hour to look forward to tonight. Hooray!

I’m wrapping up my lunch break and made the mistake of wandering over to Amazon and eyeing some things I want. Namely – a new iPod (since mine has started acting up), a web cam (for skype!), and some new moleskine volant notebooks (thanks to re-reading my paper journals). We’ll see what happens there. Anyone have a web cam they’d recommend? We have a relatively new Dell laptop it would be operating on…

Oh! And I also signed up for two races this morning. A 5k in May that starts just down the street from me and a 4 miler in June with Blair and Mia. I feel a sign up coming on for my Half in September. I just need them to run another special so I can get my registration on the cheap(er)!

Happy Monday Y’all! Hope it’s not rainy for you today!

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In Like A Lion

Y’all, it is March! I’m having real issues trying to wrap my mind around the fact that two months are already gone?! Also having a lot of fun thinking back to this time last year. I was in the last month of wedding planning and life was such a whirlwind. Now, I’m getting ready to go on my one year anniversary trip with Hubs!

I love a good list, so let’s look back at what I wanted to do in Feb and how well that worked out for me. Annnnnd, I’ve got some more goals for March.

1. Read five books (Check – Three Cups of Tea, Happy Ever After, You Know When the Men Are Gone, Firefly Lane, and She’s Come Undone)
2. One of those books, non fiction (Check – Three Cups of Tea)
3. Try six new recipes (Ehhh – 3/6) [Emily’s Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Kelly’s Chicken Parisienne, and Black Bean Veggie Chili] Side Note: The Chili came out of my new SlowCooker book for a Chili Cook Off at work. It won me the “Chili with the Best Texture Award” and I cannot wait to try more recipes out of there!!

1. Read another five books (0/5) This should be pretty easy since we’re taking our anniversary trip to the mountains for some serious relaxation! I cannot wait to sit on my porch/in my hot tub with a cup of coffee/glass of wine and read with the mountains in the background!!
2. One of those books, non fiction or classic (0/1) I’m reading Anne of Green Gables again via Daily Lit but I doubt I’ll finish it this month. There are plenty of other books I can turn to, including Stones into Schools!
3. Try out at least three new recipes (0/3) SlowCooker cookbook? I’m coming for you! I’ve already got plans this week to make a spinach and mushroom lasagna in the crock pot.
4. Write three letters (0/3) I started out with a resolution to write people more and I’ve sucked — to put it lightly.
5. Be able to run three miles straight This includes working on my half marathon training. Right now, I’m sucking wind and I’m ready to be a comfortable runner again.
6. Buy a kettlebell and do a kettlebell workout at least three times (0/3) I’ve been on the verge of purchasing a 15lb kettlebell for the past couple weeks (that and the half dozen books in my Amazon shopping cart). I just need to pull the trigger. I resolved to lift more weights so now it’s time to do it! Plus, a little tone in my arms for my cousin’s beach wedding in April wouldn’t be awful!

So what’s going on in March? I already mentioned that we’re spending a week (five nights, really) in the mountains for our anniversary trip over Hubs’ spring break! I think we’re also trying to get away the night of our actual anniversary too. By the end of the month, I swear, I’ll be able to run a 5k without keeling over and, hopefully, I’ll be another five pounds lighter? (I’d settle for three though!) I also really want to have meals with friends more. I enjoy cooking for people and also delight in being cooked for. 🙂 We have a lot of really great friends that share similar sentiments so hopefully we can capitalize on that. Oh, and I want to spend some good, quality time with all the amazing women in my life. I was having margaritas with Blair and Mia the other night and I was thinking about how blessed I am to have so many strong, positive, supportive women that have my back.

All right, enough prattling. I know I still owe y’all a review of Restaurant Eve and it will be even better now because Hubs and I went back last Friday. (Oh yes, we did!) So, stay tuned for that. Time for me to valiantly resist my chili cook off induced coma…


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A quick recap from the newlyweds:

  • I spent last week traveling for work and still managed to get in a few runs. Behind schedule, but got on track for last weekend’s 5k.
  • Tom and I are (mostly) moved into our new apartment. We’re sleeping on a mattress on the floor (wooo!) and have so many bruises and cuts, but I love the new place.
  • Said new place has TONS of kitchen toys spread out. I’ve spent the past few days pawing through wedding present cookbooks.
  • Moving, traveling and finals (for Tom) lead to a deadly combo which annihilated our 5k ambitions this past Sunday. But hey, at least we got a sweet tech-tee for our money? Next year GW Parkway, next year!

I’m back at work for a week or so before heading to the West Coast. Moving killed my running this weekend and the weather was FOUL this evening. I’m hoping for a decent run tomorrow evening. Regardless, I don’t think the approaching quarter marathon will be a 100% running event for me. It would be wonderful if it worked out, but right now I’m not optimistic. I hammered out a 5k Thursday am, but prior to that the running has really been touch and go. I need to not let this get me down — time to stay on the horse! My current goal is to finish the course in 80 minutes. That allows for some walking and a little over a 12 minute pace all told. We’ll see.

Aforementioned kitchen tools and cookbooks have me rather inspired. I’ve got hoardes of recipes in my head that I want to try. Tom and I are putting together a yummy sounding crockpot dish sometime this week. Expect recipes to come kiddos!

Time for me to head to bed soon. I need to rest up so I can’t use the “I’m tired” excuse for not running tomorrow evening!

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My Dream Race Plan

Last night, I had a few minutes to kill before going out for dinner and drinks with Tom’s work folks. So, I made my dream race plan. Basically I just scrolled through a Washington, DC area race calendar and picked the ones I want. If I have any say so, here’s what I’ll be running in the next six months:

April 25: GW Parkway 5k (Tom and I are already registered to this)
May 9: Pacer’s Running Festival Quarter Marathon
June 5: Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure 5k
July 4: Go Fourth 8k (5k today was canceled – planning to transfer my registration to this race)
July 24: Crystal City Twilighter 5k (who doesn’t love a race that ends with showers, beer and a party?)
September 25: Clarendon Day 10k

I figure, keeping in mind the races I want to run will keep me training. And, by gradually increasing my mileage I keep making things a little more difficult and keep upping the ante.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a 10 miler or a half marathon that suits my fancy someday soon.

Like I mentioned, our 5k this morning was canceled due to snow. I plan to hit the treadmill for at least 3 miles this afternoon. I wish I could run outside, but I’m still not willing to chance breaking or spraining anything! I’m also aiming to run tomorrow and Monday. We’ll see how that works out. This weekend will probably be a big eating weekend (last night was, tomorrow is a friend’s Mardi Gras Party and it’s the last few days before Lent starts and I say goodbye to candy until the beginning of April). I figure a few good runs will balance things out and keep me grounded. (I’m much less likely to drink too much if I know I need to run in the morning.)

With that, I’m off. A few more things to do productivity wise and then it’s time for a date with the gym…

PS. Anyone who wants to run any of those races with me — just let me know! Company is awesome and I doubt I can convince Tom to pony up for all that…

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Registration x2

Okay, so after an evening of pawing through DC Racing Calendars and looking at race web sites, Tom and I signed up for two races!

* By George 5k at Hain’s Point on 2/13

* GW Parkway Classic 5k on 4/25

Eventually I’m going to need to pick a race with a longer distance. For right now though, I’m content with running a couple more 5ks. However, there is an 8k on March 14 that I’m considering running. My only concern is injuring myself less than two weeks before my wedding. All I need is to twist an ankle, trip/fall/skin up some part of myself, etc. It’s definitely still under consideration though.

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Let me set the stage for you: Sunday dawned a bright, sunny morning. The outdoor temperature was about 22 degrees. However, the constantly blowing winds (gusting over 35 mph) made it feel like 2 degrees. Yes, two. As in, the temperature was lower than the number of miles I was about to run.

Blair was an excellent pacer. Sporting pink and looking jaunty like Running Barbie, she was my personal pep-talker, pacer and countdown. She kept going, so I kept following. There were times I wasn’t sure I was moving anymore the wind was blowing so hard. But I finished. And, despite the AWFUL wind and weather, I finished in 34:53! Yesss — I was under my 35 minute goal!

Blair and I collected our swag (t-shirt, water bottle, chapstick, muscle milk, running stickers, completion medal, and some snacks) and headed out. I rode my high all day. Not only did I conquer the 5k under my time, but I did it in the worst weather I’d run in to date. I think I’m ready to try again — this time with less wind and a higher temperature. What are my odds for Feb 13th swinging more in my favor? I’m trying to talk Tom into running a 5k with me out at Hain’s Point. We shall see what the future holds.

Also, one final note on the race yesterday: just after Blair and I crossed the finish line it blew over. Yes, Blair and I are awesome!

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The final countdown

Today is my last run before Sunday’s 5k. The weather has cleared up slightly outside and I saved my ipod from the  freeze screen of doom, so I’m feeling pretty confident right now.

Tuesday I came home from work and tackled the treadmill. It was a little more of a mind game this time. I found myself becoming bored with the treadmill. Up until that point, whenever people told me they hated running on the treadmill compared to outside, I thought they were crazy. Yes, the treadmill is easier, but it’s also more boring. You’re not seeing anything new and you’re not getting anywhere. Boredom and all, my total running distance was 3.25! And, I never once had one of those “I really hate my life, let’s stop running” moments! Victory!!

Two things pumping me up for the run today:  (1) early release from work means I can start my run around 12:45 instead of 5:30, and (2) I bought some new music online and created a running playlist on my ipod. No more listening to T.I. on repeat. His songs were starting to automatically make my legs feel heavy. I’m hoping new music variety will add to my run today.

My only hesitation: water. I’m drinking a lot now. However, I don’t own a squirt bottle. I was supposed to go to the store last night, but getting home late from work nixed that. I’m hoping to run errands after the run and pick up running toys (headband, gloves, jacket, waterbottle, etc) also. However, I currently have to make do with what I have — which is a lot of wide mouthed nalgene bottles. I’m sure I’ll end up wearing more water than I get into my mouth.

One final question — anyone know how I’m supposed to spit when I run? I realized Saturday that it was essential to me actually feeling good on a run. Cause, really, who wants to run with thick saliva floating along in their mouth? I always spit into grass as opposed to hocking huge nasty globs onto the pavement for someone else to step on. However, if anyone has any tips on spitting with “grace” or on cutting back the number of times you need to spit — I would appreciate it. (Hooray awkward running questions!)

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At least I can blame it on being outside?

Run 2 while in Atlanta commenced on Christmas Eve at a local park. This was my first serious “training” run and it was definitely a wake up call. Thanks to advice from friends I was fairly well prepared for how to dress/what to expect in the cold. I borrowed a set of adjustable ear muffs from my mom and a squirt waterbottle from my step dad and set off. The first mile was a struggle. Drinking water definitely helped though — both with my overall feeling of well-being and with timing.  I cheated a bit and stopped by the car to drop off my jacket and pick up a pair of gloves. (I also stood around drinking water and catching my breath than I needed to really.)

Mile 2 was a battle. I mentally just didn’t have it. I finish up, stretched and collapsed into the driver’s seat. I was dizzy and not pleased.

Christmas morning, Santa-Mom brought me something that would change outdoor running for me: Nike+!!! Running friends have raved about this tool, so I was super eager to check it out. With a day full of Christmas eating to fuel me, I headed out this morning to test out my new toy and capitalize on my lessons learned from the previous run.

Something clicked. I felt great all the way through the first two miles. Instead of having to convince myself that I felt awesome (the mantra I repeat when I start to feel tired) — I actually did feel awesome. I did a modified third lap (which came in just under a mile) and went back to the car feeling much more satisfied. So, now I’m feeling like I might just be able to run this 5k all the way through come next weekend.

One other weird thing of note: my knees do not like outdoor running in cold weather. I find that they’re pretty sore as soon as I stop. This never happens on the treadmill. I suppose actual outdoor running is much higher impact. Hopefully this is normal…

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