runnerd excitement!

I’m EXCITED today! Let me give a quick run-down on the reasons why….

1.) I am meeting Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano tonight! And having dinner with them! So pumped. I’m such a nerd. They are coming to town for an event Saturday at 11 AM at the Princeton YMCA, where they will talk about their book Running the EdgeThe event is sponsored by a long-time customer of ours at the store, Tracy, and her fitness organization Bee Fit with Tracy. She graciously invited me to have dinner with them since we are partnering with her for the event! I was really disappointed when I learned that I cannot attend the actual event on Saturday because I have CPR training at the same exact time…and it is non-negotiable that I attend the CPR class on that particular day for reasons (also exciting!) that I will share very soon. Because of other very exciting plans on Sunday morning, I cannot work Sunday and therefore must work immediately after the class Saturday, or else I’d catch the tail end of the seminar at the YMCA. Phew. Anyway, I’m super excited to meet them both tomorrow evening, and I will try my best to keep any starstruck runnerdiness to a minimum (how do you do it all the time Megan?!). I suppose wine will help (or hurt?).

Speaking of the Gouchers, and runnerd status….

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2.) Kara Goucher did it! She signed with Oiselle!!! I had a feeling this was going to happen, with all the talk flying around (no pun intended) that she would follow in Lauren’s footsteps. In an interview with Competitor, she admitted to being turned down by Sally at first, then persuading her to come to a symbiotic, nontraditional deal. I thought this was especially interesting and speaks to the fact that she’s following her heart, and gut feeling, rather than a seven-figure offer (!!!). Although on a much smaller scale, this is the way I strive to make decisions in my own life, I believe that no matter the hardships and sacrifices I have to make along the way, staying true to myself and what I want and believe in will consequently be worth it if what I want is to live a happy and genuine life. So, kudos to Kara. Any decision that involves two or three rounds of tears and questioning one’s entire future is one that deserves the utmost respect.

3.) The Boston Marathon is one month from today!!! It’s starting to feel a little more real to me. Of course, I’ve entered that phase where I’m like, don’t do anything stupid, don’t do anything stupid all day every day, but I’m doing a pretty good job staying sane yet still training hard. My 15.5-mile run Sunday in between “long long runs” ended up being at a pace that was faster than I’ve been running for long runs – more on par with my long runs from the fall, which was nice. I went to a new chiropractor Wednesday, and it was a great experience. It was obvious I needed some adjusting, so I’m glad I was able to get in there and realign myself for the weeks to come…it’s nice to run the next day and not feel like I’m making anything worse! And, now that my specialist co-pay has somehow become $15 instead of $40…well, I just might be seeing a chiropractor at my leisure from now on. Cheers to that (and to being under 27 and my dad’s new job, I suppose?). I did two workouts this week, both of which felt really smooth. The second was a little rough because I had to alter my route (for 3 x 2 miles with 0.5 mi rest…same ~10 mi loop I did pre-Philly Half actually). More specifically, I got kicked off the towpath by construction workers. I was really pissed about this at the time actually, because getting off the towpath meant running on the side of a pretty busy road with a slanted, almost non-existent shoulder I never would have chosen to run on, ever. It also meant doing the last hard two mile stretch all uphill into the wind and in the sun as opposed to on a flat dirt path. Oh well. It was one of those workouts that made me stronger, I suppose. I ended up averaging 7:14 for the entire thing; much better than the 7:28 I ended up averaging when I did the same workout in early November. My fastest two-mile stretch was the middle one, probably because I was so angry at the guys on the trucks and also had to stop briefly to climb through bushes…13:19. The other two were “eh”: 13:49 mostly uphill and 13:59 all [unexpectedly] uphill. My recoveries and warmup and cooldown ended up being faster than normal, which made the entire run faster, 7:30-7:45 for those miles (oops?). In an effort not to get worked up again over the towpath thing, since I know the men were probably improving the path in some way, here’s a little PSA to drivers: move over a little more than you think you should. Runners are paranoid, and it may not be entirely their decision to run on certain busy roads. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, or just happens. They’re there. So, slow down and move over a little more so you don’t scare them half to death.

Part of the loop (downhill section) we did for our interval workout Tuesday. First time on a soft surface in sooo long!

4.) Long run plan for Sunday: 20.7 miles to Lambertville! You may recall that I ran to Lambertville (actually New Hope, PA, then back over the bridge) last February. It was one of my favorite runs of the year, and this year I’m doing the whole thing! It will also be the longest run I’ve ever done in training, and the longest run I’ll do until April 21. You bet I’m looking forward to this year’s recoverosas, but only as much as those Sourlands hills.

Image5.) Yoga + beer. Well, I’m not excited for this anymore because it already happened. But I was. Also, I found out it happens every Thursday night, so I suppose I could always go again if I ever find I’m lacking excitement in my life (not for awhile at this rate…). Last Thursday I attended a yoga class at River Horse Brewery in Ewing with friends. The yoga wasn’t the hardest, but  I was challenged to do some things I haven’t done in awhile, which was invigorating. I was able to do Bird of Paradise for the first time ever. I remember a couple years ago I tried and it didn’t make any sense at all; my legs just didn’t want to do that move. This time, it happened really naturally and that in itself was super exciting to me! (I didn’t get my leg straight up, but it was a start…marathon-training hamstring status, what can I say….)

Running friends! Jane was the one who told me about the event. As usual.

Running friends! Jane was the one who told me about the event. As usual. 

View from the "yoga studio."
View from the “yoga studio.”

They said they'll fill anything...waterbottles, pitchers....

They said they’ll fill anything…waterbottles, pitchers….

…and of course, I did sell the girl who poured us our samples her shoes before the Philly Marathon. Of course.

6.) Trade a movie for a song? As you may know, I get super excited over songs that often get stuck in my head during runs. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately though. Any suggestions on what to listen to in preparation for my long run this weekend to call to mind if I happen to be alone in the countryside are much appreciated. In return, I will provide you with a stellar movie suggestion. This film has been referenced over and over by a regular group run attendee at the store, and he finally gave me a copy of the DVD when he learned I still hadn’t watched it yet. I ended up watching it on my bike trainer in my shed in the pouring rain the other night, and it was awesome:

Must see.

Must see. I f I knew how to write that in Italian I would. 

 That’ll do for my exciting news for now!

 

Mountain run, thousands, Nolcha Fashion Week, & other random things

Rather than write lots of separate posts, all published within an hour of each other, I think it would be more worthwhile to round up the past fast-paced and busy week in one post! September has indeed started fast from the gun, and there is plenty to write about already.

Sunday: we meet again, mountain

P1060070 baldpate mountain sign_0I mentioned in my last post that I revisited my former weekly long run spot. The route involves running up “the mountain.” Compared to some of the elevations I surely witnessed in the Pacific Northwest, this is not exactly a “mountain.” But, as I like to say, if it has a name, it can be considered a mountain. So, it’s a mountain if I say so. It was a nice, humid run up Baldpate Mountain, 10.00 miles even. It was my first time running up there with a Garmin, which was fun to analyze later. The view at the top was clear that morning, and I could see for miles across the river into Pennsylvania. (Side story: for years in college, I would say how I wanted to go on a picnic-date up there, and I finally did two years ago…except we missed the sunset due to an impromptu dog rescue, so it was very dark. Oh well.) One of the best parts of this run was that I started before 8 AM, and was even able to do some barefoot strides on the grass after, all before a busy day at work! I loved being able to say I ran ten miles up a mountain before work. It just makes everything after so much easier to handle.

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Here are some photos of parts of the route…(not mine).

view from near the top

view from near the top

baldpateTuesday: 6 x 1000m

The Intervals workout this week was 6 x 1000. I have done a variation of this (usually 4 x 1000 or 5 x 1000) several times in high school and college, on both grass surfaces and the track. I’ve always just tried to get around 4:00 or just under. I don’t remember ever averaging under four minutes, though, and I never did six. During this workout, however, I averaged 3:52 and I didn’t even feel as if I was giving it 100% (note: I am slightly concerned about my right hip flexor…there is no pain at all but I’m the most paranoid runner in the WORLD, I swear). That is a good feeling, to feel like I can hit those times with so much less effort than 4:00+ used to feel.

Nolcha Fashion Week…featuring OISELLE!

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In case you didn’t follow on Twitter, Wednesday Oiselle strutted their stuff on the RUNWAY at Nolcha Fashion Week in New York! This is exciting stuff – real athletes as models is a dream come true! I was more excited to see Lauren Fleshman, Sarah Mac, Kate Grace, & the other Oiselle gals than the new clothes themselves. It was a “I know you!” moment (as in, I’ve talked to you/met you, you may not remember this happening at all but I do…). And Sally, looking like the proud mother behind the scenes!

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Lauren looking fantastic after having baby Jude!

Lauren looking fantastic after having baby Jude!

I’m trying not to think about the possibility that I could have maybe, possibly attended the after-party…because that would be too much awesome to handle. And I don’t have anything to wear (actually just kidding, I could conjure something probably. Just not anything like Fast K8’s shoes). You can view all of Oiselle’s runway photos here.

Boston registration

bostonreg

I can register for Boston tomorrow (well, today, at this hour)!!!!! I could have registered Wednesday had I ran two seconds faster…but it’s okay. Because now I get to register on….

FRIDAY-THE-13TH

YES THAT’S RIGHT, I GET TO GIVE MYSELF THE GIFT OF THE BOSTON MARATHON ON MY BIRTHDAY! Never mind that my birthday is on Friday the 13th…that’s just typical of the kind of things that happen to me. Rather fitting. I am okay with it.

That being said, I’m off to go have a good birthday. One last random photo:

nasa frogMind blown by this NASA frog photobomb right now. It’s kind of creepy that it looks like a person though. And then I think of how the frog definitely did not make it. So, on second thought, it’s actually quite disturbing.

New song of the week – check it out. Heard in Forever 21, not going to lie:

Last pre-race workout + Oiselle shorts review

Tomorrow is RACE DAY! It sounds so foreign to say that, because it doesn’t happen often….

My training over the past week has left me fairly confident in my ability to just run fast and have a good time, in both senses of the word. Last Sunday, I ran about 11.5 miles with fellow Running Company shoe nerds. We met at Summit Running Company at 8 AM…which felt like 7 AM due to DST (which, by the way, am I very glad is in effect). We set off towards the Watchung Reservation and enjoyed some slippery, muddy trails, then ran back to the store. Whenever I run with a group of guys (um…most of my runs), I’m never sure if I’m going to get dropped or not. Fortunately, I did not, but at times I could tell we were definitely moving up the hills. We chatted about work, past and present, for the whole run and it was lots of fun. The fact that we stopped after an hour and a half and that felt like a short run to me was very, very good. I like it. My only complaint is that I destroyed my white compression socks…which I wanted to wear in the race. My black ones were dirty, so I risked staining the white ones with mud. BAD CHOICE. The mud did not come out. Anyway, sock crises aside, we snapped a nice group picture:

RunC

Tuesday was my last PI workout before the half! We ended up doing our 30 minute tempo on an out-and-back, straight (but hilly!) road instead of the planned half-trail pond loop, because of  several inches of rain. I had no one to run with or chase, but I felt strong and it made me excited for Sunday. I don’t have splits, but I ran 31:59 for 4.7 miles of rolling hills. Afterwards, I did 4 x 1/3 mile around six-minute pace. At work last week, I found out that I could get a sweet discount on Oiselle apparel off their website. I have been searching for the perfect compression short for forever. I raced in Lululemon’s Groove Short last summer, even for the triathlon, and that seemed to be perfect. However, it’s not actually meant for running (or biking or swimming…), so the waistband is a little thick, and the inseam is a little longer than I would prefer. Oiselle is known for their top-notch, flattering women’s running apparel, so with my discount code in hand, I ordered the Stride Short. A four-inch inseam sounded ideal, and I am a sucker for reviews – the second I saw a comment claiming that they don’t ride up, I bought it. Luckily, they came in the mail in time for Tuesday’s workout! I tested them out and even before I began the tempo, I was convinced they would be my go-to racing short. Seriously, if you are still racing in Nike Pro shorts and yanking them down at the crotch, please buy these. I promise they will be infinitely better. No adjusting necessary (they were also true to size, fyi).

The stride short! And yes, I wore a tank top for the workout - it was WARM on Tuesday night!

The stride short! And yes, I wore a tank top for the workout – it was WARM on Tuesday night! And yes, I am in the fitting room at work because I spend too much time (and showers) there, you know that.

The ten total miles I accumulated that day didn’t leave me feeling too great Thursday, but the work is done and I am excited to see what I can do tomorrow! I was really nervous at work yesterday, and tried desperately to shake the nerves off. I think I will be fine once I start running tomorrow. Seeing people’s times from the RnR USA half and full today, I know I can accomplish my goal if I stay in it mentally…and if the hills don’t kill me. But let’s not talk about that.

In the meantime, I am staying off Facebook so I don’t see a thousand statuses and pictures involving St. Patrick’s Day, bar crawls, and beer. I am not sabotaging my race after all this training. I will resume celebrations tomorrow evening. Also – SNOW, DON’T YOU DARE STICK!