Monday, October 31, 2011

October's Monthly Numbers... September's too!

My DH took the day off work today, so up until this point I haven't run today... will probably put off my long run until tomorrow which is the start of the new month, so I thought this was a good time to go ahead and post October's numbers.

Okay, I'll post September's numbers too, since I don't think I ever got around to doing that last month... oops.

Neither month's numbers are that impressive in the grand scheme of things. In September I had the back issue which forced me to skip a long run and shorten a couple of regular runs, but I really can't tell you what happened in October. I guess skipping today plays a part in that... if I had run today, my mileage would be up closer to 110/111 for the month. Oh well. Like all things, one set of numbers is not going to dictate my life. My monthly average is still pretty good and baring catastrophe, I will pop up over the 1K mark here in the next week or so. Yea! 

October Miles: 98.3
Total 2011 Miles: 982.8
Monthly Average: 98.3

September Miles: 103.1
Total 2011 Miles: 884.5
Monthly Average: 98.3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Totally off topic... but I just had to share

My DH found these through his Google+ account. They are so wrong in so many ways...

If you want to see the rest, here's the link...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Girlfriends' Half

Well, Sunday was the Girlfriend's Half Marathon. I guess as with most things in life, it was neither all good or all bad, but a mix of both. I had really hoped for a general leaning towards more of the good stuff, but I'll take a 50/50 mix, or whatever my personal blend was for the day.
For this run, they hand out necklaces at the finish instead of medals... cool!
On the really good side: I must say, I really like the Vancouver, WA runs I've done better than most of the Portland ones. Yeah, there are a few "can't miss" events in Portland, but overall, the runs in the 'Couv seem to be much more scenic, with less industrial areas to navigate... and so far, no trains to wait for. A common occurrence for many of the downtown Portland runs. Both the Girlfriends' Half and the Vancouver USA Marathon/Half had the majority of their courses along the Columbia River where there are many parks and running trails, not to mention gorgeous views of the river. Fortunately, for me, the hills in Girlfriends' were pretty insignificant compared to the VUM, but unfortunately, the worst hill is in mile 11-12, well after most of the gas tank (at least for me in this run) had been depleted of fuel.They also both wind through officers' row in Fort Vancouver; a scenic street lined with trees, historic officers' homes and a parade grounds that is now used more for Frisbee and picnics than it is for military exercises.

The weather on Sunday was great for running. It was slightly overcast with the sun coming out for a while during the race. The temps were in the 50's and there was only a slight breeze to contend with (of course, I felt it the most again during those last couple of miles). Most of us that live around here had been watching the weather with a nervous eye since it had rained cats & dogs for most of the previous two weeks. But the running weather gods seem to like the Girlfriends' Half... fortunately for us!

In other good news, I did make a new PR. My time was 2:43:32. Not anything too amazing, but it is about five minutes faster than my time for the Vancouver Half, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Too bad... I'm complaining anyway... My training pace for the last few weeks has been SO MUCH better than this. I was really anticipating coming in well under 2:40:00. I knew that 2:30 was probably asking too much, but everything pointed to 2:40 being a realistic goal. Alas, it wasn't to be. I prepped in the morning as I usually do for my training runs (not forgetting to take my coffee like I did for Hippie Chick) and thought everything was going to be fine. Nope. About mile 9 I bonked... hard. For most of miles 9 & 10, I ended up doing a pathetic combo of running and walking... heavy on the walking. I also had to play some serious mental games with myself to not break out the balloons and throw myself a big ol' pity party. I was finally able to convince myself that the whole point of the race, for me, is to finish... and even more to the point, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. This became my mantra.... and eventually it kicked my brain's ass into gear. Thanks to this and the gels they were handing out on the course (blech! I hate how they taste, but it's a much more concentrated shot of stuff than my Shot Bloks), I was able to pick up the run again... at least much better than I had been. Much more running and much less walking.

The people on the course were fabulous. Both the event volunteers and all the fans lining the sides of the roads with their cowbells and noise clackers. It was great to have such awesome cheering and some really cool empowering signs for everyone to feel their strength and their fierceness (to use a much overused cliche). I was a little concerned when I first learned that we'd be using mostly public restrooms in the parks and in establishments that had volunteered their potties for the race (such as the restaurants along the way), but I am happy to report that my worries were completely unfounded. There were plenty of opportunities for potty breaks for anyone who need them. I only had to stop once and the restroom I stopped at only had three women in front of me in line... much better than the bathroom Heather & I decided to skip at the Shamrock Run that had closer to 30 people in front of us! Yikes!

The only crummy encounter I had with anyone all day was with the manager directing parking lot traffic at the Fred Meyer. And while she wasn't rude to me, personally, she was definitely harried and willing to share that put-upon attitude with all of us who got stuck while she directed cars out of the lot. Of course, this was pretty much during my "bonk" phase of the run, so I wasn't pre-disposed to cut her any slack on her attitude. I'm sure she had drawn the short-straw among all the Fred Meyer managers working that morning and was just really struggling with her happy face by the time I got to that point in the race. I might not have been any better had I been in her position!

There were lots of activities and festivities for anyone who wanted to stick around after the race. I didn't stick around as I was feeling pretty wiped out after the race and sitting around in sweaty race clothes with even just the slight breeze blowing was pretty miserable for me. I told Heather that I looked like a drowned rat after the race, and looking at the photos from the professional photographer pretty much confirmed this without a doubt. I don't know how those women do it who come across the finish line looking only slightly the worse for wear. That will NEVER be me. LOL! It took me a little bit to feel up to driving home, but once I did, I hoped in the car with heat on high to keep me from going hypothermic during the drive. Once I got home and jumped in the nice, hot shower, I began to feel like an actual human again. Yea!

To celebrate my accomplishment, my DH and a friend of ours took me out to City State Diner for breakunupper. I think that's what they call it when you cram breakfast, lunch & supper all into one meal. For those of you who live locally, let me personally recommend City State to you. It's off 28th & NE Burnside. It's a little loud and a little hip (lots of piercings & tattoos, but hey this is Portlandia, isn't it???), but they have awesome food. For me it was a great reward for a job (mostly) well done.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My new sports bra

Sorry to my SIL!!! I keep forgetting to post this, and I promised her on Saturday that I would!

After much research and consideration I finally laid out the money for a new sports bra. I ended up with a Moving Comfort Juno this time. Last time I purchased one it was a Moving Comfort Fiona and while I like that one quite a bit, I like to change things up from time to time.

Since I'm a woman with an ample chest (normally a 38D) and I do not like to have any bounce at all while I run,  I'm always looking for good sports bras that do the job without costing as much as the national debt. And while the Juno has a fairly high MSRP ($52), I was able to find it on Amazon for significantly less, especially in some of the less popular colors. I ordered what was called "Seaglass" (see picture). It was supposed to be an aqua-green color. Alas, it veers more to the green than the aqua. Oh well, it goes under my tech shirt, so it's not that big of deal.

The reviews for the Juno are pretty good. Most people on several different sites like the bra and highly recommend it for larger breasted women (C Cup +). The common complaints I read were that many people found the bra to run a bit small and that it could be a bit tricky to put on or take off since it is a hybrid sports bra (a racer-back bra with a series of hooks as well). I wasn't worried about the hybrid part of the equation since I've had similar bras in the past and have learned to get past that problem by hooking the bra where I want it in advance and then just pulling it on over my head like a traditional racer-back bra. The too small issue was another issue altogether, so I went onto the Moving Comfort website and filled in the measurements to get their sizing recommendation... they said I should wear a 40D. Okay... so I was willing to take their suggestion and order that size.

I busted (no pun intended!) out the new bra during Monday's long run. Maybe not the smartest decision as you never know what kinds of issues you might encounter but I decided to risk it anyway. I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

My first impression of the bra when I tried it on Sunday night (well before my run on Monday morning) was that I was a little concerned it might be too big after all. I like my sports bras to have serious compression to keep everything rigidly in place. I don't give a flying leap about the possibility of uni-boob issues that many women complain of as long as there is ZERO bounce (who cares what it looks like??? I'm out there to run, not to worry about some fashion statement!). I adjusted the straps which helped my initial impression of it being too big and then after feeling a like an idiot with a few minutes of jumping up and down in my bedroom in the new bra, I decided to take it out for a spin on Monday.

The bra is a serious bra. It is lined with a fabric that is pretty heavy duty tech/silver infused. It forms the padded cups (such as they are) as well as provides an anti-microbial surface and additional moisture wicking. This is significantly different than my MC Fiona bra front, which basically consists of several layers of the tech fabric. As I mentioned above, the back is a t-back style with 3 hook/eye closures for an adjustable fit. The straps are hook/loop (aka Velcro) adjustable, similar to the Fiona. I love this kind of adjustments for shoulder straps, otherwise, I usually find myself so frustrated after a few times of adjusting traditional "slider" style straps that I actually end up sewing them in place!

When I started out running on Monday, I could feel just a little bit of jiggle at the very top of the bra. It is a v-neck shape, so it cuts just a little lower than I'm used to and while this wasn't really a bounce per se, it was a bit distracting initially. However, I must say within the first five minutes of my run, I completely forgot about the jiggle and didn't notice anything like that for the rest of the 2½ hours I was out. As for actual bounce, it was fine. I had adjusted the bra straps, as I mentioned and that seemed to do the trick. There was no bounce that I could notice and it was overall a pretty comfortable bra for me.

The only issues I had were two very small rub spots that didn't show up until well over an hour into my run. The first one was where the adjustment hooks are in the back. It seems like the fabric where the hooks/eyes are was fuse-finished, creating slightly hard (stiff) edges which started to dig in to my back over time. I'm hoping that with a few washings or at the worst, maybe a little trimming of the hard edges, this will resolve itself. The only other rubbing issue I had was with one of the shoulder straps. The placement of it once I adjusted it caused the tip of it to rest right on my collar bone. Once again, this issue didn't show up until well into my run, but I'm going to have to re-adjust the bra strap before my next run because a raw spot on my collar bone isn't pleasant.

Still, I have to admit that after a 2½ hour/13 mile run, the fact that I had only two very small raw spots from a brand new bra, was very impressive. I've had much worse chaffing from bras that were well broken in. So I think that is a testament to it.

One other note of caution before you run out and buy this bra for yourself is that it is a t-back style bra, therefore the shoulder straps sit much higher up on your shoulders, toward your neck, than a traditional bra would. This could become an issue for people who don't like bras that fit like this or don't want to feel the pressure of the support this close to their necks. I noticed it, but it didn't really bug me (aside from the already mentioned raw spot on my collar bone).

Well, my initial impression of the Juno would be a 4, possibly 4½ stars out of 5. I will try to check in again in a few weeks to let you know how we're getting on and to see if my review has changed any in that time.

Today's Modified (Long) Run
There's a half marathon coming up on Sunday, so I started tapering a bit today...
10.65 Miles
5.32 mph
11:17 pace

Trying to do a little catch up from last week...

Sorry for the late posting. These are my run times for late last week. I set another distance PR for my short run days on Friday. It was pretty cool, if I do say so myself!

Friday's Run
8.0 Miles (woo hoo!)
5.36 mph
11:11 pace

Wednesday's Run
7.1 Miles
5.30 mph
11:20 pace

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yea Me! A new milestone!

Whoo Hoo! As usual yesterday I did a long run. I hadn't really set out with a new PR in mind, but I felt pretty good while running and it just kind of happened. It was a PR for my long run only. It doesn't look so hot when compared to a daily run, but I don't care, it was still a milestone for me!

Yesterday's Run
13.0 Miles!!!
2:28:52 (yes, read it and be amazed with me, I actually hit 13 miles in less than 2½ hours!)
5.24 mph
11:27 pace

Friday's Run
7.1 Miles
5.32 mph
11:16 pace

Wednesday's Run
7.1 Miles
5.31 mph
11:17 pace