Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

I admit it, I did not run today.  It has been POURING here all day.  I am not a fan of being wet or cold.  I kept telling myself all day—I will go out later, I will go out in an hour, I will go out when it stops raining.  Here is it, after nine PM and I still have not gotten my run in. 
My training has been going very well lately. At the Turkey Trot last week, I got a new 5k PR!  I have been trying to stick to the Jeff Galloway Disney Princess Half Marathon training plan as closely as possible.  My family is heading to Walt Disney World (yeah!) for a long weekend, to take in all the holiday spirit that WDW offers.  I know that I will miss my 30 minute run on Thursday and my long run on Saturday. This is making me feel even guiltier for missing today’s run.  Ugg! 
I am putting this behind me right now!  Tomorrow is a new day.  We will be on our feet doing a lot of walking at WDW this weekend.  When we get back on Monday, I will start my training up again.  What do you do when you hit a snag in your training plan?  How do you get back on track?
A dream is a wish…

Saturday, November 26, 2011

York YMCA Turkey Trot 2011

Instead of sleeping in on Thanksgiving this year, I decided to start my Thanksgiving off with a 5k race, the York YMCA Turkey Trot.  I got up before the sun came up, got dressed and looked over Black Friday Sale papers before my sister came over.  We headed off to the race early to be sure to get a place to park. 
When my sister and I arrived at the YMCA, we walked to packet pick up area since we both had preregistered.  The instructions given there were to look on a posted list for our name and bib number, then go to the bib table and ask for our assigned bib number.  Neither of our bibs were where they were supposed to be.  The volunteers were very less than helpful.  They told us to go inside and find the race director for help.  After looking for about twenty minutes, we found the race directors.  She went out to packet pickup with us and she quickly found our bibs.  The volunteers had gotten the bibs out of order and were unwilling to spend more than a second looking for our bibs.  You get what you pay for I guess.  Good thing we came early. 
Once the bib mishap was resolved, my sister I and went to meet up with a few friends and line up at the start.  I mayor and the head of the YMCA got the race started.  I really enjoyed the course of this race.  The race started on Market Street, running past the old town square that is over 300 years old.  We then run south toward York College, my alma mater.  The campus was empty, except for the runner of course.  I had never seen the campus so empty.  We ran past most of the dorms, then back into town on the rail trail.  The beginning, like most races, felt a bit crowded but the crowd spread out pretty quickly.  The end was also crowded on the rail trail, since the trail is only four feet wide.  I enjoyed seeing all the local families sitting on their porches cheering the runners on. 

I costumes for this race were great!  So many people and groups dressed up.  We saw one family dressed as chefs, ranging from a toddler to Grand mom.  There were also lots of turkey hats.  Our friends, Erin and Will, made some really cute shirts with “hand” turkeys and brightly colors feathers.
This race was a PR for me!  My time was 37:45.  The race contained two hills, one entering the college and one just before getting to the rail trail.  I ran most of the race, but walked the hills as not to get to tired or winded.  As I said before, this was a really good course.  There was a great mix of city and trail, mostly flat but some hills.  Everyone together celebrating was a perfect way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.  This is certainly a race I will be doing annually.  Thank you to the YMCA for organizing such a great event.
A dream is a wish…
***The winner of my Road ID gift card is Suzanne Westenhofer.  Please email me at amysmith7@comcast.net with your mailing address and I will get it right out to you! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dover 10 Miler

Today was the first race of the York Road Runners Club winter series.  It was a ten miler in Dover, starting at North Salem Elementary School.  I drove to the site and went inside to register.  Registration was very quick.  A huge plus to this race—no porta potties!  After a rather uneventful start, we were off. 
I was very surprised at how hilly this course was.  Jeff Galloway says that running hills will strengthen your legs better than anything else, so I welcomed that challenge.  This was my first race on country roads.  I have run plenty on sidewalks and city streets, but never on a country road.  I was very surprised how much of a pitch there was in the road. The pitch really bothered me.  I felt off balance and it caused a cramp in my foot.  To avoid this, I tried as much as possible to run toward the center of the road.   Most of the race was through rolling farm land. We passed cows, horses and chickens.  I could hear the sounds of hunters and gun shots in the distance. The turnaround point was by a bustling campground, complete with picnicker and horseshoe players.
I would like to thank the York Road Runners Club for being very patient with the runners at the back of the path.  I have been to races where the finish line was already taken down when I finished.  The YRRC still had the finish line going and were still cheering as the last few of us crossed the finish line.  Plenty of water, bagels and good old Pennsylvania whoopie pies waited for me at the finish line. My official time was 2:28:11, 14:29 per mile.  This time is very close to my previous 10 milers, the Rail Trail 10 miler in August.  My time in August was 2:26:47, but the rail trail is very flat.  I am happy with my time today because all the hills could have really slowed me down.  I felt like I could have keep going for three more miles and can finish a half marathon—Disney Princess here I come!  I look forward to the rest of the races in the YRRC winter series. 
A dream is a wish…

Saturday, November 19, 2011

York Road Runners Club Winter Series

Someone from a local Facebook running group I am in posted the other day about a local winter running series.  I wanted to let all my local running friends know about it. 
The York Road Runners Club Winter Series is a steal!  It costs just $22 to join the series of eight races.  You get one bib to wear to all eight of the races.  The races range from 5k to 10 miles, with an 8k, a 10k and a 15k in between.  I decided to enter the series as a way to keep me running during the cold winter.  I am not a fan of cold weather running, but the races will give me something to look forward to, and added reason to get out and run. 
If you are local to the area, I would love to see you at the YRRC Winter Series!  Time for bed, I have a 10 mile race in the morning. 
A dream is a wish…
***There is still time to enter my Road ID giveaway! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

100 Days and Counting...

Ok Princesses, we have entered the home stretch!  100 days until our sneakers turn into glass slippers, 100 days until we run! 

There is so much to do!  Finalize travel arrangements, find a killer outfit…and train! 

The travel arraignments will be the easy part.  I have the Bay Lake Tower booked already from February 24 to 29 with our DVC points.  We have season passes, so that is covered.  All that is left is to book air and rent a car.
I think I have my outfit planned too.  My plan is a yellow SparkleSkirt! with a princess tech shirt from Balancing Act Clothing.  I still need matching shoes--and a tiara of course. 
The Galloway plan has been going great for me.  For my 30 minute maintenance runs, I have been doing intervals of two minutes running and one minute walking.  For my long runs, I have been doing 60 seconds runs and 90 second walks.  These intervals are working great for me as I do not get winded or tired.  With this plan, I am doing 12 minute miles for my short runs and 14 minute miles for my longer runs. It is starting to get cold very quickly here in Pennsylvania, so I have accelerated my long run schedule a bit.  I am not much for cold! 
What do you have to do in these 100 days to prepare?  What is your plan? 
A dream is a wish…

***Don’t forget to enter my
Road ID giveaway!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safe Running at Night

Since we changed the clocks back a week ago, it gets dark here around 5 PM.  This does not give me much time to run when it is still light outside.  Since I am not a morning person, I have to wait to run in the evening after my husband gets home.  On my run the other night, I almost got hit by a car.  I run the sidewalks in my neighborhood.  I was coming up on a house when I saw a women quickly leave the house and jump into a car.  I keep running by the house while the she started the car.  Just as I was passing the driveway, she through the car into reverse and almost hit me.  Scary!  This got me thinking, was I being as safe as possible when I run at night? 
Here are a few tips I have come up with to keep us safe when we run at night: 
·         Run in a place that is well light so you can see other and they can see you.
·         Be visible.  Consider wearing bright colors, clothing that reflects light or even a head lamp or flashlight. 
·         Carry a cell phone. 
·         Leave the music at home.  Limiting your hearing will put you at a disadvantage when it comes to hearing cars, dogs, other runners or any other potential harm. 
·         Follow your instincts.  If you feel unsafe at any time, trust your gut and return to a safe place.
·         Vary you time and route.  Don’t make yourself any easy target.
·         Run with a buddy if possible. 
·         Run on sidewalks to put as much space between you and drivers as possible.
·         Carry identification, such as a Road ID
To keep all of you safe, I am doing a giveaway!!!  I am giving away a $15 gift card to be used toward a Road ID.  To read a previous Road ID review, click here.  To enter the giveaway, you must use the Rafflecopter form below and be a follow of this blog.  Good luck and be safe out there!!!
Do you have any other tips for running at night?  What time of day do you prefer to run?
A dream is a wish…

***Edit: Road ID must have loved this post because they just sent me an e-mail with coupon codes for all of you!!!

20% off until 11/28 with code pcSanta220
15% off from 11/29 to 12/6 with code pcSanta215
10% off from 12/7 to 12/25 with code pcSanta 210

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cross Training

Since we only run three times a week in the Galloway plan, I have been doing some cross training.  From the research I have been doing, there is conflicting information about how helpful cross training is to a runner.  From everything I have read, it looks like cross training its self will not make you become a better runner, but it can help you to lose weight, become stronger and improve your cardiovascular health.  Sign me up!!!
For cross training, I have been taking a spin class twice a week.  In spin class, you ride a stationary bike.  The tension in the peddles can be adjusted from easy impossible.   The rider can peddle at different speeds.  The instructor tells the riders how fast to go and how much tension to us.  It can be a killer workout!
On days that I do not run or spin, I do a Turbo Jam or Turbo Fire video.  These are great dance/kickboxing workouts instructed by Chalene Johnson.  The best part of these workouts, they burn up to 800 calories per hour!
For strength training, I have been doing a workout video series called ChaLEAN Extreme.  The theory of the workout is that by lifting heavy weights with fewer reps, you build muscle faster.  The instructor, Chalene Johnson (love her!), always repeats the phrase “muscle burns fat.”  I am all for that.  The workouts are intense, but not to difficult.  I will do a full review when I get farther into the program.  For more information, on Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam or ChaLEAN Extreme message me. 
Some other cross trainings I am looking into is swimming and Zumba.  Zumba seems like a lot of fun and is a great calorie burn.  Swimming is also a lot of fun and burns a lot of calories, but it can also help to build muscle.  Do you do any cross training? What do you do for cross training?
A dream is a wish…

The winner of my Balancing Act Clothing giveaway is Jennifer Wood!!!  Email me with your mailing address and what shirt you want!  (amysmith7@comcast.net) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Goals

I have been improving how long I can run without a walk break a little each run.  I can almost do my .8 of a mile neighborhood loop.  If it was not so hilly, I am sure by this point I could do it.  In the 5k I did over the weekend, I ran an entire mile without a walk break. 
For the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I plan to do the Galloway run/walk/run plan.  For my long runs, I also follow this plan.  For my two weekly 30 minute runs, I try to run as long as I can without a break.  I will give it to Jeff Galloway; my time is usually about a minute per mile slower when I run as long as I can before a break. 
I know I am never going to win any races.  I will never be a fast runner.  That is okay with me.  I only race myself.  As the Princess Half gets closer and as I enter more local races, I am amending my goals a bit.  My new goal for my local races is to run a whole 5k.  To run the entire race without a walk break.  My new goal for the Disney Princess Half Marathon is to finish the race with a time of 14 minutes per mile.  This will give me time to take pictures, but still not push myself to hard. 
What are your running goals?  How often do you reflect and amend your goals? 
A dream is a wish…
Don’t forget to enter my Balancing Act Clothing giveaway! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

5k MAG Wrightsville Bridge Run

This past Saturday, November 5th, I did a really cool run over a very old bridge.  I read about the bridges history and learned it had once been the longest wooden bridge in the world, 1.4 miles long.  It was damaged by ice and was rebuilt.  In the civil war, the bridge was burned to halt the advancement of the confederacy.  They later rebuilt the bridge out of cement. 
I woke up early Saturday morning for the run.  This was the first ever race I went to alone.  My husband or sisters usually go with me.  Since this was a close one, I went alone.  I met a friend there.  She met another friend there, so I had a few running buddies anyway.  It was so cold that morning!  I am a real wimp when it comes to cold weather.  It was about 34 degrees when I parked my car.  One good thing about this race was that it started just outside an elementary school.  Registration was inside that school.  There was plenty of room in the school to hang out and stretch before the race.  The best part of this race—no port a potties! 
The start of the race was rather uneventful.  Everyone gathered at the start.  The race organizer was speaking over a loud speaker, but it was muffled inaudible.   All of the sudden, the people in front of me were running!  Off we went.  The beginning of the race was down a very steep hill toward the bridge.  I stuck with my friends for about the first half mile. Once I got moving, I worked up quickly.  I was wearing an Under Armor tank, a Target C9 long sleeve compression top and a zip up jacket, with my Old Navy Yoga pants and Asics shoes.  This combo worked great for me for this run.
The view off the bridge was absolutely breathtaking.  I could look both ways up the river and see for miles.  The sun was slowly rising in the east, the direction we ran in the first half of the race.  I could see lots of geese swimming in the water.  There were few boats in the water.  There is a dam a few miles south of the bridge, so the current is quite strong in the area.  The water’s edge was iced lined.  The bridge was closed to traffic, so we had the whole thing to run.  By the time I reached mile one at around eleven minutes, I was being passed by runners on their way back.  Once I reached the end of the bridge, the turnaround was at a little tiny park.  It was just a small loop and back to the bridge we ran. 
One thing I really liked about the organization of this race was the every tenth of a mile, there was a large brightly colored flag.  These flags really helped me plan my run/walk ratio.  I was more tired on the return run that I was on the first half, but my time stay steady.  I was running at about twelve minutes a mile—that is until I got to the last quarter mile.  Once I got off the bridge, the last quarter mile was straight up!  I was paying for the nice downhill beginning.  I have never run up a hill like that.  It was as steep as running up stairs.  This really slowed down my pace and killed my PR. When I hit mile three, the clock read 36:40.  My PR on a 5k is 38:12.  With almost a minute and a half, I was close enough to touch a new PR.  I started up the hill, but quickly lost steam.  I crossed the finish line with a time of 39:02.  According to my RunKeeper, my pace for the last tenth of a mile was 15:42. 
There was a nice lady waiting at the finish to hand the runners a bottle of water.  I was feeling warm and sweaty, so I unzipped my jacket and waited for my friends to finish.  Bad idea!  As my body slowed down, my temperature dropped quickly.  I was still sweaty, so I got cold really fast.  I learned to welcome the warmth when running in the cold.  One thing I really like about this race was that the fastest runners were not the ones to win all the prizes.  This race gave out about 20 door prizes, ranging from $100 cash to gift cards to local restaurants.  I like this idea because most of us are never going to be elite runners.  It was nice to have the chance to win a prize anyway.  Over all, this race was a great experience.  It is on my list of must do races next year. 
A dream is a wish…
***The winner of my GU sampler pack is RunDreamCook!  E-mail me at amysmith7@comcast.net with your shipping address and I will get it right out to you!
***Don’t forget to enter my Balancing Act clothing giveaway!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Balancing Act Clothing

While searching for the perfect outfit to wear for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I came across a really cool site offering unique running clothes.  Balancing Act Clothing is a small business owned by Alissa Costello.  She is a graphic designer and a screen printer.  Balancing Act Clothing offers unique running clothes with inspirations sayings, as well as fun running shirts.
 Alissa designed a special shirt for both the Disney Princess Half Marathon and the Disneyland Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I had originally ordered the fairy shirt because I instantly fell in love with it.  When it came in the mail, I was very pleased.  The shirt was made of a light weight performance material.  The screen printed wings were applied very well, and then sprayed with glitter.  I wore the shirt the weekend to the Moon Light Run I did back in August.  I have washed and bleached the shirt many times since then.  It looks just as good as the day I first wore it.  I was so happy with the job Alissa had done on my shirt, so I “liked” Balancing Act Clothing on Facebook.  A few weeks later, she asked if there were any bloggers who wanted to do a review and giveaway.   Of course, I jumped at the chance.  
I love the shirt Alissa designed for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  It features a princess dress on the front.  You can choose one of five colors, one color for each princess.  I chose yellow because Belle is my favorite princess.  On the back of the shirt, you can choose one of four phrases.  I chose “Earning my Glass Slipper.”  This shirt is perfect to wear to the race because is it made of a wicking performance material.  I am thinking about wearing my Balancing Act Clothing princess shirt with a yellow SparkleSkirt!  How cute!
Balancing Act Clothing is so proud of all of you training for the Princess Half!   Alissa wants one of you to win one of her great shirts.    That’s right—it’s giveaway time!!!  For this giveaway, I will be using a new application called Rafflecopter.  To enter the giveaway, you must be a follower of this blog. Here are the ways to enter the giveaway:

2)      Follow Balancing Act Clothing on Twitter.

3)      Share this blog page with your Facebook and/or Twitter friends.  (To do this, click to the right where is says “Share this on Facebook” or “Tweet this”.

Each blog follower can enter the giveaway multiply times (like on FB and/or Twitter, share this page on FB and/or Twitter—earning one entry each day you share.  ONLY entries done with Rafflecopter can be counted.  You can enter until midnight Eastern Time on November 10th, 2011. Then I will choose a winner!  Check for a new blog post that evening to see who the winner is!  Balancing Act Clothing will send the winner a shirt.  Good Luck everyone! 

A dream is a wish…