Chloe + Corinne's House

A single girl living with her little dog, trying to navigate the world.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I did it all for the pie!

I haven't gone for a run since November 2nd, when I ran a rather sad two miles.  I was just a teensy bit nervous about running five miles with no extra miles on my legs at the Columbus Turkey Trot....but my mother had paid for my entry and I'd been looking forward to it for a month!  I didn't look up any info about the trot until this past Wednesday at 4pm, and I wish I'd paid closer to attention to that info!  I knew where it started and ended, and I knew that it ended on an uphill note, but that was about it.  I had a vague notion of where on OSU's campus I'd be too but that's really not important.  I also signed up for Salt's virtual run, so that was a cute little addition!

Mile 1 - Downhill, woo hoo!  Lots of walkers and people with dogs who didn't know how to behave on a leash.  I also kept thinking, who on earth brings a tiny little dog on a five-mile run? Some of the pups just didn't look like they were going to last much more than a mile!

Mile 2 - Lots of walkers still.  I know I'm a slower runner, and I know that this turkey trot is a family tradition for many people, but I'm pretty sure many of these people should have known better than to plant themselves in the 12:00 minute/mile group and walk five-across-with-arms-linked.  Also, I was thirsty!!

Mile 3 - I don't remember much here except that I finally got my water station and was suddenly running next to The 'Shoe.

Mile 4 - YAY sideways snow and high wind!  And now I have to go back up the huge hill I went down earlier!

Mile 5 - Sideways AND a headwind.  Fantastic!  I started thinking about Kara Goucher and the elite runners who had to run into a headwind for 16+ miles at the NYC marathon.  I just dug deep and finished as strong as I could.

My splits sucked.  I had to take a couple long walk breaks because of side stitches and going a little too hard in the first two miles.  I finished in 1:03:38, so it wasn't terrible.  I know I can do better though.  Maybe next year will be a repeat!

Now that fall training is over, I'm at a bit of a loss.  I don't have any official races on the horizon.  I'm contemplating the Pro Football Hall of Fame half marathon at the end of April, and of course I'll be back for the Nationwide Children's half marathon in October.  The HOF race is very new, so it's a much smaller field, but I like the finisher goodies and want to run someplace that's not Columbus.  I have a new training plan to try locked into my Nike Running app, and my goal for the winter is to maintain my legs and improve my fitness level.  I'll be working hard at the gym over the coming months to lose some of the weight I've managed to add to my frame.  I'll be shooting for 5 miles per week minimum of running.  I also have a few things in mind to try when it comes to training this time around (Garmin vs tech-free, music vs no music, and more).  Nowhere to go from here but up!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

I really suck at this

Watching the TCS New York City Marathon today, I realized that I still haven't posted my recap of the Columbus half marathon!!!!  Life got in the way a little bit, but quite honestly, I kept getting distracted by getting back into the gym and a tiny little Min Pin who likes sleeping on my lap all the time.  I'm definitely needing a legit daily blogging challenge to get back on track!

So let's go back in time two weeks to Sunday October 19th.  The quick version of this recap?  I had three goals:

  1. Finish around last year's time of about 2:58:00 (easy goal)
  2. Finish in 2:45:00 (most likely goal)
  3. Finish in 2:30:00 (good but unlikely goal)

Official finish time of 2:44:58

Garmin time of 2:44:52

I could tell during my long runs that an 11:30/mile pace just wasn't going to be do-able to reach goal #3.  My calf was doing much better, but I was still struggling with pacing properly.  I would be happy with a faster finish time, so I'm content with where I finished.

Nothing about this particular race day really stood out, and I was so focused on that goal time that making mental notes about anything didn't happen unless it was truly incredible.  This isn't exactly the most interesting race recap, and for that, I'm sorry! Enjoy this second list of memorable moments!

  1. I'm a fan of the combined start/finish area.  There were definitely some issues, but I feel like the hiccups that were experienced were mainly because it was the very first year for this change.  People weren't using the family reunion area for that reason, so there was a HUGE backup where all the runners were exiting, which was made worse by the gear check pickup being right in that same area.  I'm sure next year it will be even better.
  2. I'm also a fan of the new route for the most part.  Some areas were definitely a bit more narrow (read: crowded) than I would've liked, so I can only imagine what those areas were like for mid-packers.  Running past the hospital was a great change.  I mean, it's the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon!  We should totally run past the hospital!  Seeing some of the patients and medical staff was a great change for sure.  
  3. During my long runs on the Heritage Rail Trail, I would see a lot of the same people.  There was one couple, dubbed Mr. & Mrs. Gazelle by yours truly, who ran beautifully and made six to seven minute miles look easy.  I was somewhere between miles 2 and 3 when I glanced over to the right side of Broad Street, to see the really fast people making their way back up Broad Street nearing mile 7 (it may have been mile 6).  Who do I see?  Yup, Mr. & Mrs. Gazelle, once again making it look so effortless.
  4. Also during my long runs, mile 6 was nearly always my fastest and I would hit the wall around mile 8.  Sure as s**t, mile 6 clocked in at 11:14 and mile 8.5 I hit the wall hard.  No amount of Gummi Bears or salted caramel GU would cut it and I ended up doing a walk/run combo to the end.
I did it!

I know what I need to work on now, and I do plan on running a spring half marathon next year.  I've run in Columbus three times now so will definitely be looking for races outside of Central Ohio.  Right now I'm thinking of the Pro Football Hall of Fame half marathon in April but nothing is certain yet.

My next race is the Columbus Turkey Trot, a five-miler on Thanksgiving Day.  That's the only thing I have planned for the holiday!  I did join two running groups with the intention of getting out of my solo-runner head space.  We'll see how that works out!  As an only child and single 30something, I'm used to doing everything on my own.

Anyone else run Columbus?  What do you think of running clubs/group runs?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Blame it all on my roots.....

**********Just realized today (10/20/14) that I never actually hit PUBLISH on Saturday.  Whoops!  Columbus Nationwide Children's Hospital half-marathon recap to come later today!***********

I showed up in boots....oh wait, we're not on a Garth Brooks fan site.

My work life has been exceptionally busy since my last post. The days were long and exhausting and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was hop on the computer and write something!  Hers a quick recap of my training........


I missed only one long run (my second eleven miler, which was the week after peaking at twelve miles) and a handful of shorter ones here and there towards the end. I missed the short runs because I was getting done at work too late. I don't like running around my neighborhood after dark because only about one quarter of the streets are actually lit!  The Heritage Rail Trail is my go-to spot for running since it's so close but since I don't have a headlamp (and don't plan on getting one) my options become a bit limited once the sun sets. The treadmill and I have an icy relationship, so I try to avoid hanging out with that machine at the gym.  The missed long run was due to my right calf saying "I just wanted to be a jerk one more time!"  I've been stretching and rolling and using The Stick on a regular basis but I definitely didn't do it the week following that 12-miler. And for that, I paid. Got two miles in and realized that my calf was getting worse. So I turned around and went home!

I did find that changing my shoes was actually quite helpful as well. I really liked my Nike Zoom Structure 17+. They were comfortable, colorful, and felt good on my feet. I decided to try on a pair of Nike Lunar Glides when I was at my favorite running store and they were having a sidewalk sale. I'd been seeing and hearing wonderful things about those and the Pegasus and really wanted to try them on. One of the girls working said that for my feet, the Pegasus wouldn't be enough support, so on a whim I grabbed the Lunar Glides from a box under the table marked "Womens Size 7.5". I put them on my feet and actually said out loud "I'm not supposed to like you!!"  Since the Lunar Glides were a return because whoever bought them didn't like them, that meant I got those babies at a nice discount!

Tomorrow is race day, and I'm excited.  I have three goals in mind.  So long as I meet or beat one of those, I will be very pleased with myself!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Make it stop!

Dear legs - particularly calves,




Sooooo my calves have been giving me issues almost non-stop since I hopped back on the training bandwagon.  The first two miles are torture.  Usually my left calf is fine after about a quarter of a mile, sometimes more.  But the right one?  It hates me.  That one takes about 2 miles to finally loosen enough that I can comfortably run. 

 Disclaimer - those are not my legs.  I'm not that hairy.

Each week my times have gotten progressively slower on my longer runs as my right calf continues to give me grief, and this past Saturday was no exception.  I felt defeated with that 13:58 average.  Yeah sure it's still a minute faster than high school but I still felt (and feel) terrible about it.  I didn't enjoy that 8-miler.  I was hoping that Monday would be a return to normalcy, with the first two miles being more walking than running and the last two miles being at a good near-tempo.  But oooooh no no NO my right calf had other things in mind.  My splits were awful.  I was nearly one and a half minutes slower than I was during my long run two days before!

Was I over-thinking things?  Stressed out to the point that exercise just was not going to help me at all?  I have no clue.  But I came home after that run and cried.  I was so disappointed in myself.  Normally I have the mentality "A 14-minute mile is the same as a 7-minute mile, all that matters is that you did it!" but I just couldn't get myself to believe that mantra on Monday.  That calf is just causing me so much grief!

I think part of it may be not enough stretching before and after runs.  My right left definitely felt tighter than my left on Monday, which makes sense since that's my dominant side/leg.  I've been looking up all sorts of calf stretches and exercises and am going to try to make it to the gym for vinyasa yoga classes.  I'm looking to set a real PR on October 19th!  I've got six weeks to figure something out.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

More training recaps!

I may have to start setting reminders about posting so that I don't forget all the little random thoughts I have!

Monday 8/25 - Four miles.  It was in the high 90s with 100% humidity so I chose to take this one inside at my gym.  I go home for lunch every single day and grabbed everything I would need....except for my running shoes.  I ended up doing 4 miles at a decent pace for me (13:15/mile) on a treadmill in the totally wrong shoes.  My feet hated me!

Wednesday 8/27 - Hill sprints for one mile.  Pretty sure I did not do a full mile.  I had a volleyball game at 7:15 that kind of messed up everything and ended up doing these in front of my gym, where there is a huge hill that's just a monster to climb.  I only ran about 1/4 of the way up the hill because it goes on FOREVER.

Saturday 8/30 - Seven miles.  The weather was slightly cooler than it had been on previous long runs but it was still toasty.  My calves did their usual "hahahaha, you think you're gonna move faster than a snail?!" for the first two miles.  Once I got the kinks worked out and finally got moving, this went better.  Still in the slow poke range but it was officially the farthest I have ever run while training.

Monday 9/1 - 3.5 miles in some really hazy, humid weather.  I decided to try a new route since I had the day off and drove up north about half an hour to start at Olentangy Parklands (plus I could swing by Road Runner on my way back home!).  I used to ride my bike on this trail as a kid and LOVED IT because it was super close to my house.  As an adult, on Labor Day, I was laboring!  Those little bitty hills that take you ten steps to go up?  NO FUN.  But hey I got some salted caramel GU afterwards.

Wednesday 9/3 - Hills for five miles. Again, volleyball game kind of got in the way.  Game was at 9:15.  I have to run Friday AND Saturday this week.  Sooooo I chose to go to Antrim Park (2.75 miles south of Olentangy Parklands) before volleyball.  I was supposed to do one mile easy, two miles uphill, and two miles downhill.  I live in Columbus where such hills don't really exist so I just did five miles that was a nice mixture of up and down.  My legs are feeling it today!  Mostly successful run, but again, those first two miles were nearly the death of me.

I need to figure out what the heck is up with my calves for those first two miles.  EVERY SINGLE RUN starts off like that.  It slows me down immensely.  I end up walking probably 75% of those first couple miles and it just saddens me.  Once the tightness is gone, it's great!  I gain speed and feel good and rarely add walk breaks!  It's just depressing to be SO EXCITED to run and then almost immediately be saying "What have I gotten myself into?!"  I've tried dynamic stretches, compression sleeves (which tend to make it worse sadly), and strengthening exercises while at work but it's not helping.  Next on my list of tricks to try is The Stick.  I got mine a week ago and I'm smitten.  Hoping that helps.  Taking a Good Form Running clinic at FrontRunner in Upper Arlington after work today so also think that may help.  I'll definitely be asking the awesome employees there for any tips and tricks.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday training recap

I really shouldn't do these on a Tuesday but well I was a bum this weekend when I wasn't busy!

I'll start with last Monday 8/18 and see what all I remember!

Monday 8/18 - Ran 3 miles.  I honestly can't remember if anything exciting happened or even where the heck I did this training run.  I just remember doing it because it was on the calendar.

Tuesday 8/19 - I had a date!  With a boy!  So no running or gym on this day :)

Wednesday 8/20 - Ran 3 miles again, per my training program.  Normal hot and humid August weather made a comeback on this day so I knew I'd be going a bit slower than normal.  Only mile 2 was to be at tempo.  I had an early volleyball game and planned on going straight to the trail once we were finished but got caught up chatting with a friend.  Finally made it to the trail around 8pm.  Every time I started to walk away from my car, I'd realize I forgot to do something (i.e lock the car, take my phone out of its case so it would fit in the new arm band, left the water bottle behind).  FINALLY got going and was all pumped to run on a new part of this trail, since I'd never gone further than this one little curve.  I figured it out be a little more interesting, maybe have some more curves tossed in with some new scenery and boy oh boy was I WRONG.  I turned the corner and glanced long, straight shot.  That's when I realized that DUH it's called Rails to Trails for a reason!  Oh well.  Pushed through this run and came back when it was getting really dark and the bugs were so happy to have me for dinner!  Pace was around 13:30.

Thursday 8/21 and Friday 8/22 - These were both supposed to be gym days.  I did not go to the gym.

Saturday 8/23 - The calendar on my phone said "Run 6.2 miles at one to two minutes slower than race pace."  I went to bed feeling pretty good about that.  I may be a slow poke but I can handle a few extra walk breaks since the weather is so icky.  It was hot and humid.  VERY hot and humid even when I was up early.  Reminded me of Maryland weather.  And all I could think was "I have to run a 10k in this?!"  I was up at 6:30am, ate my chocolate chip bagel, then spent a good five or ten minutes squeezing into my CW-X Stabilyx 3/4 tights.  Felt like a sausage the entire time I was running.  The first mile was BAD.  The humidity was disgusting, and there was some kind of 5k the local high school was doing, so I kept getting passed by these little middle and high schoolers in their short shorts and tiny tank tops.  Second mile was a bit better, especially once I got past the turnaround point for the high school 5k and didn't have those annoying little chatterboxes around me.  Third mile when my GU kicked in, wooooo I was having fun!  Four was lackluster and I felt like I hit the wall towards the end of it.  Took another GU at mile five and felt a little better.  Then Macklemore's "Can't Stop" came on and I was back on for the rest of mile five and all of mile six.  I still had a few more walk breaks than I would have liked buuuut it was gross out.  I really didn't want to die from the heat!  Thankfully the sun didn't really make an appearance.  I completely soaked through my hat.  Literally, the hat was dripping pink droplets all over me as I drove home!  Felt pretty good afterwards though, despite the heat.  Average pace was 13:44 (a little more than two minutes slower than race pace but still a win because it was soooo grooooooossssssss).

A quick note about the CW-X tights.  If you have any kind of knee pain when running, BUY THESE PANTS.  Seriously, I cannot sing their praises enough! 

I bought a pair at Road Runner after the half marathon last October but never wore them.  After my Saturday long runs put me out of commission for the remainder of the day for two weeks in a row, I decided it was time to give these things a try.  I messed up my left knee in high school doing color guard, tearing my meniscus and partially tearing my ACL.  My insurance was crap and didn't cover the number of visits to PT after surgery that I needed.  I wasn't exactly the most responsible high school student, so I didn't follow through on my promises to keep doing the exercises on my own at home.  Fast forward 13 years and here I am with a weak knee and knee pain after runs longer than 4 miles.  I'm always fine by mid-morning on Sunday thanks to the use of my heating pad, ice machine, and puppy therapy (aka having the dog lay on my legs/knees) but I was still dreading Saturdays thinking about the runs getting longer.  I was also wondering if I'd really be able to go to work the day after the race in October.  I felt great after my 10k this past Saturday.  I had just a very slight twinge in my left knee the rest of the day and a little bit on Sunday but it wasn't anything that would hold me back from doing things with my friends.  Felt kind of the way it feels when the weather is changing and the pressure makes my knee ache.  Nothing crazy or unbearable at all.

This means that I'm actually looking forward to seven miles this coming Saturday!  This will be the longest I've ever actually run as part of a training plan (told you I'm not half-assing this training).  Son of a biscuit, I think the running bug finally bit me for real!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm not dead!!!!

So....where did I disappear to?  Nowhere really.  I just got busy with life and wasn't doing anything worthwhile around the house to make this little house/DIY blog seem interesting.  My life has seemed rather dull to me and I don't think I'm THAT funny so yeah.  I just never got around to updating anything and here we are, 582 days later, with a brand new update!

In those 582 days, I've run two half marathons, gained an indecent amount of weight despite all that running, stopped and started a bunch of little projects around the house and in my life, and just generally putzed around.  I've painted and re-painted rooms.  I've installed a new faucet and a new garbage disposal.  I've injured myself doing silly things.  I've read a lot of books, watched a lot of movies, gotten rid of cable, become very good at napping, and continue to really suck at cooking.

If you're reading this, you're probably wondering, why the heck are you back?  It's all Salt's fault.  As in, the famous Salt from Run Salt Run, whom I've been following online for quite some time.  Turns out, we even lived in the same apartment complex back in Baltimore, MD for a number of years and never even knew it!  So sometimes I get a little stalker-y on her posts......but thankfully she doesn't hate me for it!  Anywho, Salt aka Lauren, is a really awesome lady, and reading her posts for the past year or so have finally caught up with me.  I've finally been inspired to write about something.  And that something is.....if you haven't figured this out yet just wait for it....RUNNING!

Yes, running.  That sport that sometimes makes you go "what's wrong with that person?!"  I ran two half-marathons in 2013, the Capital City half marathon in May and the Columbus Nationwide Children's Hospital half marathon in October.  Between the two, I enjoyed the Nationwide race a lot more.  I felt it was better organized, I enjoyed the expo so much I went twice, and I really preferred the route and the amount of people I saw out there supporting us crazy runners.  At the Cap City, my time was terrible.  I didn't really prepare that much and just kind of winged it (such a bad bad BAD idea), finishing in a little over three hours.  But hey, I finished it, right?  Wrong.  I was mad at myself for my performance and convinced my mom to pay for my entry into the race in October.  I promised myself I would genuinely train this time around, and I did.....for about six weeks, off and on.  I think my longest run was 5 miles.  Again, BAD idea but this time I was a little more physically fit overall so it wasn't as bad.  Still bad of course.  So even though I shaved 15+ minutes off my finish time, I was still mad at myself.  I KNEW I could run faster than 13:58/mile because when I did actually train, I was running 12-minute miles.  I sat down and thought long and hard about where I'd gone wrong (besides not actually, you know, training).  I realized that my pacing sucked.  I was starting out much too slow and staying too slow.  My form sucked.  My breathing was all wrong.  If I was going to do it again, I was going to do it right.

I started working on my general overall fitness a few weeks later.  I compared the Cap City and the Nationwide runs and decided that I'd prefer to wait for the Nationwide for all the reasons listed above.  I dragged out signing up and waited until the race was at full price AND less than 500 spots available, but I signed up!  I had been training for a couple weeks at that point, so might as well sign up, right?  Sure! 

Well.....then I got horribly sick for two solid weeks.  I couldn't even walk up the stairs to my bedroom without nearly passing out.  So no gym, no running, NOTHING for two weeks.  UGH.  I wanted to crawl under a rock.  The good news is, I got back on track at the tail end of week five of my training plan.  If you're going to miss out on your training for an extended period of time, do it towards the beginning!!!  Sure, my body hated me on that first long run of four miles after two full weeks of no physical activity at all, but I've done worse (obviously) and didn't die.

This means now, you shall be blessed with multiple posts each week, detailing my running adventures, along with whatever else I feel like sharing.  So enjoy!  And hello to any new people!

PS - New blog title ideas are much appreciated :)

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