Sunday, March 31, 2013

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

We made it to The Outer Banks!! Thursday night after Girls on The Run I packed up all my stuff and headed to Syracuse. I spent the night at my parents and we were up and headed out the door at 7am on Friday. We stopped in Binghamton for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then headed back on the road.

Apparently they spell things differently in Pennsylvania

Virginia is for Lovers

Our destination was Colonial Williamsburg. We spent the night there and then would continue to OBX on Saturday. When we checked into our hotel the suite was really cool and there was a Golden Corral in the parking lot.

Sunset in Virginia!

After we ate, we headed to Colonial Williamsburg to walk around and check it out at night. There were a lot of people out walking around and taking candlelit tours. Very cool! When I saw a runner heading down the main street, it was then I decided that I wanted to come back in the morning to do my run. Ronni and Dad decided they would come too and do a run/walk. I set my alarm for 7:00 and woke up first and was wide awake. I headed into the bathroom and got my running clothes on, all excited to run in a new state!

Running on historical land! 
We left around 8:00, plotted a course and off we went! I ran the first loop and they walked it. There were a lot of people running and biking and employees coming in for the day in their period clothing. We've been the Williamsburg a few times and I just love it, it really is like you are in a different world.

The weather was nice and cool but sunny. I got warm after the first loop so I left my jacket on the car and headed back for the second loop. Dad joined me and we did a run/walk around and Ronni walked on her own. At the end we all met up at a farmer's market they had set up on the modern side of the shops and stores. I got this amazing new Greek pastry that I had never had before. I forgot to take a photo because it was so yummy.

This will be my view for the week, not too shabby! It is a bit chilly today in the OBX, but I'd rather be in jeans and a sweatshirt then winter coat and boots. Happy Easter, long run and weekly recap in the next day or two.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week Ten Ends In Zen

If you read my Syracuse Half race report then you already know how my week ended. That 5 minute or so chair massage left me wanting more. I felt so bad for the masseuse who had to touch all those sweaty and stinky runners, myself included, but it was heaven! Week ten was actually pretty darn decent overall, let's recap, shall we?!

You know it is a good week when
Daily Mile says you're "Rockin".

Monday- Rest. Saved my other free yoga session for after the half, thinking I would need it more then. 

Tuesday- 7.05 miles at Cobb's Hill with Molly.  

Wednesday- Rest. Drama with workout gear. 

Thursday- 4.5 miles around Pittsford with Molly.

Friday- Rest.

Saturday- 2.3 miles around Cicero with Dad and Ronni.

Sunday- 15.22 miles total, 2 before 13.22 during the Syracuse Half.  

Total Miles: 29.07       Planned Miles: 29         
Total Marathon Miles: 190.34

Tuesday I convinced Molly to do the same route I did the previous week. We went up to Cobb's Hill and around it four times and then headed back the long way. However, towards the end we realized I must not have done the exact same thing, because we were ahead on miles and didn't have to go as far as I originally thought. SCORE!! Molly surprisingly liked the route as well and even though it can be mentally tough to go around the reservoir so many times there is a decent amount of variety overall. I also tried to challenge myself again by speeding up between different points, mostly light posts, and working in a little speed play. Getting a long weekday run out of the way early in the week is nice because then the end of the week isn't heavy with miles. Oh yeah and I got a new car! 

Same car I had, Nissan Sentra, but they
offered a free early lease swap!

I was excited when I woke up Wednesday because I got new spin shoes I was dying to try them out later in the afternoon. I packed my gym bag and headed off to work. I stalled at work  like normal and was getting prepared to leave when something clicked and I realized I didn't remember putting my gym bag in the car. I was so busy trying to pick up the apartment for the maintenance works and taking out the garbage, I totally left my gym bag on the floor in the bedroom. Exhibit A:
In the same exact spot I left it. 
Since I stalled and didn't realize it until too late, it would have been a pain to rush home to get it and head back to the gym. I just chalked it up to me having to get some other things off my plate and I ran some errands and had a productive night doing other things.

Thursday was going to be jammed pack and I was hell bent on not forgetting anything in the morning so I lined all my "ducks" in a row and realized that I probably looked like a crazy bag lady when I left for work.

School Bag, Lunch Bag, Running Bag, Girls on The Run Bag.

After school we had our first Girls on The Run (GOTR) session! GOTR is a ten week program where girls train for their first 5k and learn about healthy lifestyle choices, improving self-esteem, body image and giving back to their community. It is an amazing program that I coached last year and this year I roped Molly into being my assistant coach. I plan to dedicate another post all to GOTR so stay tuned. After GOTR, Molly and I scheduled a four mile run around the village of Pittsford. We started out with a pretty big uphill but at least we got it out of the way early. We headed towards the village and it felt great to not have a set route and to go with the flow. At one point we wanted to jump back on the canal so we may have done a little trespassing and mountain scaling. We wound up with more then four miles and may or may not have gone to Moe's for dinner afterward.  

Friday was a rest day and Saturday Rob and I headed to Syracuse. We did packet pick-up at Fleet Feet and they were even nice enough to give me a deal on a new Moving Comfort sports bra since the last and most recent one I bought from them completely broke down way too soon. After dinner Dad asked if I wanted to join him for a little walk/run on his usual route. I wound up walking with him the whole time and it felt good to stretch a bit and get a couple more miles under my feet. 

For week 11, I'll get a new distance PR of 16 miles as long as all goes as planned. Since we'll be driving and arriving in The Outer Banks on Saturday, I plan on figuring out an 8 mile loop and getting my long run done on Sunday. Here's to running in warm(er) weather and looking at ocean instead of snow!!!

Ever trespass on a run?

What is your favorite thing about running in a new location?

BONUS: Are you good at getting your workout in while on vacation?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Syracuse Half Race Report

So I am pretty tired from today. For the first time I ran 15 miles, I even went beyond 15! I was tired while running and am still tired. Not sure how to over come tiredness. Last night was the best nights sleep before a half marathon that I have ever had. The race, which was in its first year, was pretty amazing. The weather was comfortable, the course was good, the police and volunteers were unbelievable, cheering and dancing and playing music. My mom, dad and Rob we along the course and we so supportive to not only me but to the other runners in my general vicinity. Rather then bore you with words, I'll tell you in pictures! As far as my time, not my worst half or my best. Third best out of five, but I did hit a new distance PR and it feels great! 15.22 miles. (yes I'm counting the .22)

Before the race they held a "Harlem Shakes" dance off.
Not quite sure what that is all about.
In the starting chute ready to go!

I swear when I took this the Carrier Dome was way closer. Oh Well.

Check out that total distance, oh yea!
Enjoying a fake mountain dew and
the fact that I am standing still.
Line for the food, sure smelled good.
Best post race food spread I've ever seen.
This may all be my food. Maybe.
The race expo and area to hang out and eat.
Live entertainment.
Actual race time. #988.
Normally the massage places pack up
by the time we finish but this one was
open and had a short wait!

Great way to end the day. Molly on the left and me on the right.

Weekly recap tomorrow or Tuesday. Heading to the Outer Banks on Friday. Can't wait to share some OBX photos with you. Also get to do 16 miles on my own, oh fun!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week Nine Was Just Fine

Week nine was just fine. I didn't do everything I was supposed to, but I'm okay with that. Winter wont seem to quit and I am beyond frustrated with it. Here was my step back week, I may have step backed more then I was supposed to, woopsie.

Monday- Yoga.

Tuesday- 7 miles at Cobb's Hill.  

Wednesday- 1 hour spin and sculpt class at the RAC. 

Thursday- Rest.

Friday- Rest.

Saturday- 4 miles with Rob in Fairport.

Sunday- 2.37 miles on the treadmill with arms and legs strength training. 

Total Miles: 13.37       Planned Miles: 24         
Total Marathon Miles: 161.27

So you know it was a cruddy week when Daily Mile doesn't even give you a shout out on your stellar performance. I forgot to add my treadmill miles too.

No "epic" week this week.
Way to crush me Daily Mile.

The week started out great with a yoga session on Monday! Tuesday I had a fantastic run too. I headed up to Cobb's Hill and went around it four times. Then I headed back a long way and it wound up being exactly what I needed for mileage. I felt great when I finished, my pace was faster then normal and it was even still light out.

11:37 for 7 miles with hills, I'll take it!

This counts as being light out, right?
Wednesday I had my usual class at the RAC. We did different sculpt moves this time and did some ab work as well. Thursday was a rest day because Rob and I had the Addy awards to attend. This is where our annual photos have come from.

Ready five minutes early for once!
Rob's company didn't win anything this year but we had a pretty good time. It's always fun to get dressed up and have a night out.

The theme this year was inspiration,
hence the chalkboard background.
I was supposed to run Friday, I think, but was tired and it was probably cold and snowy. When I looked at the weather for the weekend it looked like Sunday was going to be the better day, so I did my shorter run Saturday and planned 10 miles for Sunday. Saturday I ran 4 miles around Fairport with Rob. This run kinda sucked. I had a really hard time keeping a consistent pace, I blame Rob since he is faster and I always attempt to keep up or keep close. I got really tired and really winded after a couple hills and had a hard time controlling my breathing. What's up with that? Not sure what my issue was but I was happy when it was over. Later in the day we drove to Geneva and I got new shoes to wear for spinning, we also went to the Nissan dealership to check out an early lease swap option they were offering.

New car, but same car. 
I was all set to do my long run Sunday and then I woke up. It had snowed over night and was dark, cloudy, cold and windy. My mind kept telling me to skip it and to not run, but my body kept preparing for a run. I was literally putting my water bottles together and talking my self out of it simultaneously. I figured if I wasn't going to do a long run, I should at least go to the gym and do some miles on the treadmill and do some strength training. I just couldn't get out the door to run. So I got ready and struggled through a treadmill run, not even 2.5 miles. At least I kinda made up my missed Friday run, sorta. I did arm and length strength training too. I keep telling myself at least I wasn't a total couch potato and I still got my sweat on. Week 9 is in the books and we are on to double digit weeks now, about half way too. This weekend I will/should hit a new distance PR and am doing it while running another half marathon. If you are in the Syracuse area come and cheer me on Sunday! Check out the "See Steph Run" tab for more info. Girls on The Run also starts this week so I am looking forward to meeting the girls and telling you about our experiences along the way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leave It To Beaver's Mom

So every now and then one of my favorite running blogs, Skinny Runner, does a post highlighting her readers in a variety of ways. I was one of her featured readers when she shared our engagement story and a link to my blog! One of my favorite features is something she calls Crappy Reader Race Pics. I'm sure you can figure this one out, but readers submit crappy race photos of themselves for all to see and judge and enjoy a good giggle. Hang in there with me, this is going somewhere good!

My mom is my very own personal race photographer, she is always on the sidelines cheering, ringing the cow bell and snapping away on the camera. I have a love/hate relationship with any running photo taken of me. I never look like what I think I look like. I don't often get the chance to see the photos because she normally heads back to Syracuse and stores them on her computer.

I'm sure you've seen this oldie but goodie!

Let's go back in time to November when I am home visiting my parents in Syracuse. I had some time and decided to go through all of my running photos and save some on a jump drive to take home with me for nostalgia purposes. I was scrolling through the images and came across one from the Lilac Festival 5k that I ran with my dad last May. I busted out laughing at one photo that I don't even remember posing for. You may have already seen it on FaceBook:

This was actually from the 10k I ran after the 5k.
My mom and I got a good chuckle and I put it in my folder to save. I kept scrolling through the images and up came a horribly embarrassing, strangely awkward photo of myself with my dad. I gawked at the ridiculousness and said what a horrible photo it was. That is when my mom chimed in, white as a ghost, in all seriousness and said that she thought she had chosen that photo for the family Christmas card!!!!! I said there was no way on earth she could have chosen it, that my eyes are closed and that I look like a beaver. She said she thought it was the one she chose because it is not often that my dad and I are in photographs running together. I just kept saying no that she was crazy and that it was impossible and she just kept saying she was pretty sure it was. WHAT?!?!?! This when I called my dad over and he got a good look at beaver face and we both just couldn't believe it. Mom pulled up the Christmas card on the computer and low and behold that was the photo she had chosen to send to all of our family and their friends. Over 125 cards to be exact. My mom felt horrible and said that they were small thumbnails and she couldn't see my expression and that my eyes were closed. My dad and I just continued to mock her and make the beaver face.

What the heck was I thinking or saying or doing in this photo?!? For the next couple of races that my dad and I ran together we continued to make the beaver face for my mom as we passed her snapping away! We pretty much made the beaver face at any chance we could. Leave it to beaver's mom to completely embarrass you on the family Christmas card.

Ever have a particularly good or bad race photo taken?
Wanna share it? Email me:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week Eight Was Great

Wow, the slump of week seven is far behind me. The weather seemed more mild and the roads were relatively dry. Plus I got all of my training done and it's still light outside. Yup, week eight was great!

Monday- Rest.

Tuesday- 3.7 miles at Cobb's Hill.  

Wednesday- 1 hour spin and sculpt class at the RAC. 

Thursday- 6 miles on the canal with Molly. 

Friday- Rest.

Saturday- 13 miles from Charlotte.

Sunday- 3.1 miles with Evan. 

Total Miles: 25.8        Planned Miles: 25         
Total Marathon Miles: 147.9

I thought Monday was going to be a continuation of week seven. I came home and felt super lazy and didn't go to yoga. Then for a brief moment I thought I should go to the RAC and do some arm and leg strength training, and I just hung out on the couch for the night. But it is a rest day, so I rested. 

Tuesday I threw on my new tights I got on clearance and headed for the hill! Usually I go up and around the hill but this time I decided to do the prescribed route and do some repeats! Overall felt pretty good, way better then the previous Tuesday. Wednesday, same old same old with spin and sculpt at the RAC.

Thursday Molly and I decided to meet and run out and back for six miles on the canal. 
Okay, maybe not this canal ;)
When we left Pittsford I thought we would be okay for lighting so we didn't bring any headlamps or reflective gear. We saw lots of geese, some deer and had a bit of snow and ice to run over. The first couple miles were pretty slow going and took a while to warm up. I think I was struggling mentally knowing that we had to do 6 miles on a week night. As we headed farther and farther away from Pittsford I was quickly realizing that it was going to get dark sooner then I thought. Needless to say the last couple miles I picked up my speed to try to get back quickly, especially when I realized that neither one of us brought our cell phones with us. Okay, very bad planning, I know. Our last tiny bit running back into Pittsford was a little darker then I would have liked, but at least it was lit and other people were on the canal. Lesson learned!

Saturday's run was from the Port of Rochester in Charlotte, I have never run from there so I was looking for a nice change of scenery. We had 13 miles on the schedule and running that distance with no crowd or medal at the end, just. plain. sucks. Molly and I started out with the 12 minute miles and hung out around 12:30 for quite a while. We stopped to refuel and Molly to do a strip tease on the corner of a busy street and joined up with the 13's for quite a while. The route was to do a 10 mile loop and then go back out for 3 more. Since that has it's pro's and con's we decided to break off and go down Lake Ave for 1.5 miles and then come back and jump back into the 10 mile route. Looking back this was a pretty smart idea! Overall I love the route and discovered all sorts of new sides to Rochester I have never seen before.

After the run Molly and I had the kick off party for Girls On The Run. I'll be head coaching again and have asked Molly to join me as my assistant coach. Can't wait to tell you all about it! I had an amazing time last year and learned so much from the girls. Do you know any elementary or middle school aged girls in the Rochester area? It isn't too late to register!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week Seven: Not In Training Heaven

The excitement and fun of training has worn off!! Winter Warrior has ended. Now what do I do? Help, I need motivation. Week seven was my worst week of training yet. I think physically I was tired from the half marathon on Sunday. Mentally, and a little physically too, I am SO over this winter and dealing with snow and cold. He are my cruddy stats:

Monday- Yoga at Molly's Yoga Corner.

Tuesday- 4.25 miles at Cobb's Hill.  

Wednesday- 1 hour spin and sculpt class at the RAC. 

Thursday- Rest. 

Friday- Rest.

Saturday- 5.1 miles alone around Fairport.

Sunday- 6 miles from FF Brighton with Laura & Molly. 

Total Miles: 15.35        Planned Miles: 22         
Total Marathon Miles: 122.10

The week started out okay enough. My lovely Fiance´ bought me a special treat for my new half marathon PR. I was sore, hence the giant bottle of ibuprofen in the background, but thought it would be a week of the same old routine.

My running gals and I like to mix these
with some white wine, oh yea!

Monday I enjoyed some stretching and relaxing at Yoga, so glad I have a couple more visits. I forgot how much I was missing and needed the sessions. Tuesday I had my appointment with Dr. Burton and he worked out my hips a bit, but mostly focused on my tired calves. I blame the tightness on slipping and sliding around in the snow. Oh and maybe on my lack of adequate stretching time. Then I headed to Cobb's Hill. Where I proceeded to have the slowest, stiffest, pain in the butt run in a really long time, maybe ever. My time was embarrassing, but as bad as I felt, I did manage to do an extra repeat after I went up and around. Take that non-cooperating body! When I woke up Wednesday morning my calves felt perfect, I couldn't believe the difference. Dr. Burton is the man. In the afternoon I headed to spinning and my week was on the right track. Then Thursday came. I normally get a run in Thursday night, but Rob and I had our engagement photographs scheduled. I fully intended to get my run in afterward. We had issues with the session and I got moody and sabotaged my own workout by getting chinese and cupcakes. Okay, no big deal I'll get my run in Friday night instead. My sister called during the day and needed help picking up the kids in the afternoon and one thing lead to another and I wound up hanging out there longer then expected and again no running.

How could you leave this smiling face?
She even had a stomach bug.
That's okay I told myself, I'll only be a couple miles behind for the week. Due to Molly's schedule we switched our long run to Sunday so I got my butt out the door on Saturday and did my Sunday mileage, with a couple extra miles to try to make my deficit not so big. My run was faster and better then I anticipated and I felt pretty darn good! Have I mentioned how sick I am of cold and wind and snow? Last year was my first full winter running outdoors and it was so mild. Ugh. So spoiled. I am ready for dry roads, warmer temps and the smell of spring in the air.

Laura, Molly and I met at 7am at FF Brighton and went out to do 2 six mile loops. It was clear early on that the second loop wasn't happening, as per my running pals and my own body. Every little bit or so my body felt tired and my legs were heavy, other times I felt pretty good and moved right along. I thought about running around the store by myself just to add a couple more miles on and I talked myself out of it. I figured Rob had to run and that we could get a run in together later in the day. Well that didn't happen either.

It's funny how mental running is. I think my body would have been totally capable of doing more miles, but I talked myself out of it on multiple occasions. I need to get my head back in the game because I'm not even half way through training yet. One perk of the week was that at the Freezeroo race last weekend I won a Road ID gift certificate! I already have a Road ID bracelet and even asked for more bands for Christmas, but I didn't get them. I guess that race turned out pretty decent after all!

How do you tell the difference between 
physical or mental fatigue?