Tag Archives: great race

Good, Bad, & Ugly

6 Aug


On Saturday, I attended the Great Race Running Clinic.  It was anticlimactic at best.  There were only 3 PTs working on evaluations, so they got backed up pretty quickly.  We had been there an hour and they only made it through about six people.  When we noticed that I was still 40 numbers away from being called, we made a break for it.

I did do a running evaluation to get some great feedback on my running form.  We ran in a line down the room and a guy videotaped us.  Then, he played it back in slow motion and talked to us about what we could improve on.  Apparently I look like a shit show out there!  I cross my arms, I lean backwards instead of forward, and I occasionally strike my heel.  I basically do everything that I know I shouldn’t.

I got a coupon for $10 off Elite Runners and Walkers, so I kidnapped Christina and drove her to Monroeville and forced her to go shoe shopping with me.  Remember how the only shoes I’ve ever run in are my neon orange shoes?

Well, turns out that they aren’t even running shoes.  They also have none of the support I need for my pronation issues.  How this failed to occur to me, I don’t know.  No wonder I have shin splints all the time…I felt like a total newb! Here’s a list of reasons why

Well now I’m fully equipped.  Say hello to my new friends:


They are Saucony Progrid Mirage 2’s.  Since I have very little to compare their comfortability to, I was sold for 3 reasons: they were a good price (the Mirage 3’s are out now), they felt very supportive in my arches, and they promise to be incredibly durable so they will hold up midway through half marathon training this winter.

Since Great Race training officially started on Monday (omg) , they will be getting broken in pretty quickly.  Hopefully I can correct my form quickly so that I will be feeling good!  I’m also taking no prisoners in the clean eating department.

Last night, I worked up quite a sweat shelling edamame for dinner.  It’s becoming a new favorite because its so simple to make and tastes so delicious with just a dash of sea salt.


Sum Up Sun…err…Monday

22 Jul

Sometimes I make things up, maybe just to amuse myself.  Like that time I said I would be “pre-training for my upcoming 10K while on vacation.”  Riiiiiight.  Sure you will, Michelle.


What I did do was drink a lot of beer and think about what was going to happen when I got home.  Turns out, what happened when I got home was:  Lord Baby Jesus tested me.  He said “Bet you wish you got a few miles under your belt in not-so-humid NY state, dummy!”  And then He pointed a chubby little finger at Pittsburgh and there was ’round-the-cloth 100% humidity and 90 degree temps.  Sorry guys, I take full responsibility.


This week I ran.  I got up at 6:00-6:30 AM (AM means morning, remember!?) and I ran.  And even at 6:30 AM there was so much moisture in the air that I honestly felt it bearing down on me.  And I ran anyway.  I ran slooooooooow.  Slower than when I started running the first time.  And I walked.  I walked so much you’d think I was coming off an injury.  But, dammit, I pushed through and I ran because I knew the humidity had to break.  And when it did, running would seem easier.  And then, the humidity broke.  And running seemed easier.

Monday: Woke up at 6:27 am only because my phone started ringing.  Christina, who may or may not have still been asleep said something to the effect of: “Don’t all ready quit, babe.”  I lay there a few more minutes and then begrudgingly rolled my lazy self out of bed and put on my running clothes.  She’s usually right.  Afterwards, my core was sore like I had spent the morning at the batting cages.  And oh boy, did my quads ache.

Tuesday: I took Tuesday as my rest day (I had originally scheduled Tuesdays as rest days because I had to be at work bright and early, but that doesn’t apply anymore).  My muscles were still so sore.  When this happens, you can randomly find me in stretching positions throughout the day.  If my life was a reality show, this is where I would insert a montage of me in random positions in random places.  But, I don’t have cameras following me all day so just imagine me using the world as my barre.

Wednesday: Wednesday was a shorter run than I had wanted to complete, but I chose to listen to my body: the humidity and the aching muscles were telling me to take it easy.  Not being an overly dramatic fat girl here, cooling centers were packed all over the city and there has been a heat advisory all week long.  Knowing that I was going to have to pull a long day in the sweltering hot facility, I made the decision that was best for me.

Thursday: Thursday I had 30 minute cross training on the books, so I did what any chubby girl would do in 100% humidity: walked.  I actually walked for 43 minutes, clocking 2.38 miles.

Friday:  On Friday morning, the humidity unforgivingly down to 65% and I knew I had to try and push myself.  In an attempt to not be thwarted, I decided to switch up my route and drove down to the new portion of the Great Allegheny Passage at the Waterfront.  Best decision I’ve made all week.


The trail is new so it’s in great shape and newly paved.  Best two things:  its much flatter than the uneven city sidewalks I’ve been frequenting AND a tall fence on the one side offered shade the entire way.  Loved it.  I stuck with my training plan and did a solid 2 miles, at my fastest pace of the week.


In this direction, I could run the entire way to The Point, in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh.  If I turned around and ran the other way I could Forrest Gump it all the way to Washington D.C.  You can read more about the Great Allegheny Passage here.

Saturday: Saturday was supposed to be a cross-training day, but after one very very very long day at Changin’ Time I opted to relax.  Don’t want to burn out!  I also didn’t want to give myself any reason to punk out on my long run scheduled for Sunday.

Sunday:  I had built myself up for Sunday, the anxiety was building for days.  Why am I always a nervous wreck?  No clue.  I wasn’t sure the weather would cooperate, I wasn’t sure my body would cooperate, I wasn’t sure of anything.  It’s not like I’m able to roll of bed, put my shoes on and head out the door either.  I have to get up, let the dogs out, let the dogs back in, give the little one food and water, open Changin’ Time by 8:00 a.m. and by that time I’m just all flustered.  In fact, I forgot to go to the bathroom on Sunday morning, so for the first half of my run I was thinking about how awesome it would be to come across a bathroom.  Or how horrible it would be to poop my pants.  Anyway, I parked down at the Waterfront near Lowe’s theater and picked up the GAP trail behind Mitchell’s Fish Market.  I ran all the way to the Carrie Furnaces, where I knew there would be a bathroom to use, and then turned around and ran back.  I paused my workout and instead of hitting “resume,” I hit “save.”  I was completely irritated at myself.  I like things to be orderly, dammit.  Needless to say, I was not mentally in a good place on Sunday.  I was bored with the trail, which seemed to drag on in a straight line with nothing fun to look at.  I felt like I was walking a lot more than I should’ve been because of the humidity and being a fat mess.  But honestly, when I combined the two legs of my run into one, the numbers were nothing to be ashamed of: 2.71 miles (I had 2.5 on the books) at 13:23 pace with a negative split! I’ve got to learn to not be so hard on myself.  And go to the bathroom before I leave the house.

I like keeping track of my improvement each week.  Seeing these numbers get better is hugely motivating for me, like carrots on a stick.  Except I’m not a donkey.  Although donkeys most definitely run faster than me.

This week’s stats are next week’s carrots:

This week I clocked 8.21 miles.

My fastest pace was 13:20.

My furthest distance was 2.71 miles.

“Great” News!!!

1 Jul

I’ve got a “Great” big announcement!!

No, Christina didn’t take the hint from SCOTUS and buy me something shiny.  Instead, she bought me my entry fee for The Great Race!!!


Ahhhhh!!!!!  I’m actually going to run the Great Race!!!  I’m actually going to run 10K.  Oh my Lord, I am going to run 10K.  Every time I think about it I feel a little bit sick.  And excited.  Very, very excited!!  I’m a mess.  Christina is all ready sick to death of hearing about it, so I’m sure that you guys will be too pretty soon.  🙂

90 days.  In 90 days I will be running my first 10K.  My longest race ever.  Hell, my longest distance ever.  I have never surpassed 3.5 miles.  Oh, but I will.  Soon, I will be telling 3.5 miles to eat my dust.

I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring, considering I’ve taken an entire month off of doing anything fitness-related.  Geez, you win one little medal and you start to feel like you don’t have to work at it anymore…


What, that’s not true?

Hard lessons, people, hard lessons.

All joking aside, I’m going to have to push myself harder than I’ve ever had to push myself in my life.  But you know what?  I need this.  I need to We are going out of town for a week on Thursday.  Lucky for me, we are going with Christina’s family.  Her step-mom ran the Pittsburgh (Half) Marathon last year so I’m hoping that we can get out in the mornings and log some miles.  That way, when I get back home I will know where I am as far as re-conditioning.  I’m training with trusty ol’ Hal Higdon again, the Novice 10K this time, which will officially start on August 5th.  In the meantime, I am hoping to log some easy, pre-training miles to get my endurance back up to post-5K caliber.

I also registered for the free running clinic on August 3rd, offered through UPMC Sports Medicine.  I’ve never been to a running clinic so I’m interested to see what they say about my form, the best shoe for me, and the ever-mysterious running fuel.  I get sad when I think about retiring the best pair of running shoes I’ve ever owned (which is a very limited category of shoes in my lifetime).  Alas, they are getting up there in mileage and will probably have to be replaced long before half marathon training starts this winter.

So there’s that.  Over the next three months, you are going to have to listen to my endless updates and rants and freaking out about phantom injuries and blurry pictures.


17 Jun

I am so predictable it’s nauseating.  I’ve been ashamed to even mention this here, but I have to if I want to move forward.

As soon as I get ahead, I completely sabotage myself.  I haven’t run since the John Thompson Memorial 5K.  Not one time.  That was 18 days ago.  I feel like a failure.  I can see my goal of running The Great Race slipping further and further away from me.  I’m worried because each day that passes and I don’t register, I may not get a spot.  Alternately, I’m nervous about registering and not being ready in time.  104 days is a long time.  But, the puppies have proven to be a hindrance to my morning routine.  One of my business partners sprang a trip on us and I had to pull 24+ extra hours at Changin’ Time.  Also, we are going out of town for a week in the beginning of July to a place I’ve never been.  I’m not sure if I will be able to run there – I don’t think there’s a gym and I’m hesitant to run alone in an unknown place.

Are these excuses?  Of course.  Do I feel as though I’m able to overcome them right now?  No.  And that sucks.  I feel so completely unmotivated.  I feel lazy.  I feel like I’ve gained weight.  Me complaining here isn’t going to change anything.  The only thing that will turn my journey back in the right direction is to lace up and get out there.  I’ve been telling myself that for weeks.  But, it obviously hasn’t been enough to do the trick.

What do you do when you get into a rut?  How do you snap out of it?

Let’s Regroup.

14 May

Last night, she♥ and I had a very difficult and heated conversation that has led me to reevaluate my summer training and race schedule.

The problem with being addicted to running blogs is that you feel like you have to sign up for a bunch of races.  I feel like I have to sign up for every race.  I have a problem.  I know.  Catching the race bug is a problem.

I’m finding that its distracting me from the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is that my goal is that half marathon, still so far out of my reach.

from familybalancesheet.org

I wasn’t ready this year.  And I won’t be ready by the time 2013 marathon season ends.  That stings.

But what I can make sure I’m ready for is a 10K.  And I mean really ready.  Not rushed and half-ass trained.  So yes, I’ve shelved the Man Up! 10K on June 16th.  It’s not the 10K I dreamed about anyway.  All the 5Ks I want to sign up for are distractions and I know that.  I’m realizing, always the hard way, that distractions lead to self-sabotage.  I want that half marathon too much.  No more distractions.

I’ve decided to spend the rest of my summer focusing on building a damn solid base for the Pittsburgh Great Race in September.  The Great Race has always been #2 on my race bucket list (the Pittsburgh Marathon holds the #1 spot) and I’ll be damned if I walk part of the way.

Completing my first 5K in early summer, my first 10K in early fall, and then focusing on training for my first half marathon (May 2014) is nothing to be ashamed of.  The time will come when I am able to run races on a whim, but I need to do this first.  I need to do it the right way and by that I mean, in a way that’s right for me. 

So that’s it.  Great Race or bust.


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