Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sorry, Mr. Yasso, But I Don't Believe You!

This morning I did my 10x800s. The weather was HOT, humid and muggy. I was sucking wind after the first one. I did a 1 mile warm up to the track, did my ten 800s and then 1 mils cool down back home. I always use my Garmin on this track bc the track has no markings and doesn't appear to be all that accurate as I've discovered on past runs (for the 800s I only run around about 1 3/4 times). Oh, and remember the last blog post where I said I rarely sweat?? Today my sneakers were squishy when I got home, that's how soaked in sweat I was. What a nasty, nasty morning.
My goal for each 800 was sub 3:25. I usually keep each one between 3:15-3:20 but with a 20 miler planned for tomorrow I decided to stick to 3:25. I do about 45 seconds to 1 minute recovery b/w each 800. I didn't know until last week that your recovery time is supposed to be however long it took you to run the 800 (i.e. 3:22 recovery). OOPS. This is how I've always done them so that's what I did today.
1. 3:22
2. 3:21
3. 3:23
4. 3:20
5. 3:20
6. 3:22
7. 3:24
8. 3:21
9. 3:23
10. 3:23
Average time for each 800 was 3:22, with my average pace being 6:44.
SO, If you think I'm going to run 3:22:00 at my upcoming marathon, think again!! lol. No freaking way. Thanks for your boost of confidence Mr. Yasso, but I don't believe you! Only time will tell!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Salem's Wicked Half Marathon

On Saturday, we ran the Wicked Half Marathon in Salem, MA (where the infamous Salem Witch Trials took place). It was an unseasonably HOT day, and it actually hit 90 degrees. The course was really nice, and winds around Salem and Marblehead, with some slight inclines and declines, but nothing too intense.

Ryan's Report:
I felt MISERABLE the entire race. My plan going in was to hover at a pace around 8:40 min/mile (about 10 seconds faster than marathon goal pace.) We did a mile warmup, and I was already feeling really hot. As soon as the gun went off, I knew it wasn't going to be my day. I had major stomach issues right from the start. It felt like a combination of rocks bouncing around in my stomach and a gremlin inside my stomach punching his way out. It was miserable. I suffered to hang onto 8:55 pace, and it was grueling. I usually love to run long distances, but this was a day where I just wanted to be done. I finished in 1:57:08, and it was one of my worst races I've had in a long time. I felt awful. Bethany came and tried to bring me in the last half mile, but I was too shamed and embarrassed of my poor performance that I told her I didn't want her to see me in such rough shape. Anyway, I felt better after the race, and I really love the race shirt. It's a long sleeve red tech-tee, with a cool black bat on it.

I drank some fluids and got something to eat and then felt better. We then decided to take the short ride up to Ipswich, MA to run on the Stone Cat Trails (where Bethany will be running her 50 miler in November, and I'll be running my first trail marathon). We found the trails, and popped into the woods for a few easy recovery miles. These trails looked really nice, relatively flat, very NON-technical (which Miss Bethany likes), and tons of snakes and chipmunks and other miscellaneous critters.

Bethany's Report:
I never have much to say in a race recap. I tend to just run and not really think about it. I had a good run. My plan was to run any pace under 7:50, my goal marathon pace. I started out on pace for a 1:38, which is reasonable for me but with the heat and the fact that I ran 31 miles 6 days earlier and I was out of work sick 2 days this week, I slowed down to a 1:41ish pace. My overall average was 7:41. I finished 10th woman overall (apparently I was 3rd before I slowed down) which is pretty rare for a race out here, most races here are VERY fast. I finished 7/172 in my age group. I'm glad I ran sub 7:50s, that's really all I cared about. If you count last Sunday to this past Saturday, I ran a total of 66 miles so I'm pleased with that. I went on to run 17.5 miles yesterday (I had to get in .5 because I ran 4.5 miles earlier in the week, I like a nice even number at the end of the week).
I got some chaffage on my back yesterday which was a first for me. I don't tend to get chaffage anywhere when I run. It wasn't from my bra but rather from my racing singlet (it was lower on my back) because my singlet got wet. I rarely sweat while I run, I'll finish a race and be bone dry so you know it's hot when I start sweating! I don't mind getting chaffage though because I love how it stings in the shower (true story!)

Post race pic taken at Salem Willows. Yes, it was windy, but my hair looks like this all the time wind or no wind 

Have a nice week everyone

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Biggest Loser!! (I have a secret to tell you all...)

Okay, SO, did anyone watch The Biggest Loser last night? Ya know how they went to 7 different cities to weigh-in contestants? Well I went to the Boston taping! It took place back in May and it was SOOOO awesome!! I even got to see Jillian Michaels!!! I wanted to tell you all so badly because I know many of you watch TBL but I had to keep it a secret. Here are some pictures from the taping in May....
 Hanging out before the taping began, the whole thing took about 4 hours.

I tried to stay in the back of the crowd. As much as I like TBL, I felt like this event wasn't really for me. It was important for the people who were trying to lose weight/needing motivation be up in the front. There were people there of all shapes and sizes but I felt more comfortable in the back. There was 1 couple there that had to be close to 600 pounds each, it broke my heart, I hope they were able to make a positive change after experiencing the taping.

I was actually surprised at how pretty Jillian was in real life. Her body is slamming but I've never really been attracted to her face. In person I thought she was beautiful! She had the state police guarding her and whenever there was a break she would run back to her limo and wait inside. I was hoping she would interact with the crowd more. She seemed like more of a celebrity than a trainer. We also had to do a 20 minute workout by Jillian...I wasn't impressed. She made people do the same moves over and over for 20 minutes, moves that 300+ pound people should NOT be doing (i.e. 200 jumping jacks), all with ZERO safety cues. But people seemed to really enjoy it and I think a lot of people got the motivation they were looking for.

The 3 hopeful contestants

Getting ready for the step up challenge. The audience stepped along with the contestants as they made their way to 500 steps. It was fun screaming and cheering for them.
Some people were really out of shape and it was a hard/sad thing to witness.  Some people had to stop after only 50 steps. I just can't imagine not being able to step up and down, something that seems so simple/effortless to me was near impossible for so many people there, it was a real eye-opener.

Me and Fredo. It was awesome to see how excited the contestants were and to feel excited along with them. It was a little difficult to see their families, as they were all pretty emotional. Of course it was REALLY sad to see Elizabeth pass out, poor thing, my heart was hurting for her and her family, who were all there watching.

Me and Brendan. He said he ran the Boston Marathon before, but there was no mention of that on the show last night so I'm not sure if that's accurate. It was crazy, these 2 guys went from being average Joes to celebrities within 5 minutes.

The black team getting their shirts. We all got black shirts to wear too (see above pictures of me). Mark Kruger was the host and he did a great job! He and his brother Jay were on season 5 of TBL. Ryan and I know them both personally because they are in our running club. They are both wonderful people and AMAZING athletes!!! Mark is minutes away from a BQ. Both are running a couple marathons this fall and Mark and I are running the same 50 miler in November.

The black team heading off to the ranch. They had about 5 minutes to say goodbye to their families then off they went. (Jillian left immediately after the taping ended. In fact, she jumped into the car while it was still moving!)

I saw myself on TV last night 4 times. BUT it was so quick that you'd never know, lol. I paused the TV and took these pictures. I had my pink sunglasses on my head (we weren't allowed to actually wear them) so I was able to spot the bright pink in the sea of black, I'm pointing to myself and my friend Lindsey who went with me.

There's me and Lindsey again. (BTW, Lindsey is running the Disney Half marathon as her first half in January. She is the one I did Team in Training in honor of).

It was so exciting to attend the taping. I felt like I was surrounded by positive people who were making the first steps in achieving a healthier life, or people who had already lost tons of weight because of the show.  I wish the 2 (or is it 3 now?) Boston contestants as well as all the other contestants the best of luck. May they come to love and enjoy exercise and healthy eating as much as we all do!!!

A truly amazing and unique opportunity I will never forget!

Monday, September 20, 2010

CVS Downtown Providence 5km w/ Mom!

Yesterday, while Miss Bethany was out running 31 miles in preparation for her upcoming 50 miler, Ryan ran with his Mom in the CVS Downtown Providence 5km. This race was also the USATF Road 5km National Championship, so it attracted a lot of the country's top runners. There were a total of about 6,000 runners for the 5km, with a couple thousand more for the high school 3km, so it's a pretty big event. Ryan's mom had run about 4 other 5km and one 10 km race, but this was definitely the biggest one she's taken part in.

We got to the race in plenty of time, picked up our t-shirts and goody bags (CVS really puts together swag bag for the participants!) We hung out on the RI State House lawn, waiting for the race to start, while the Rolling Bones, a zombie-rock cover band played. Mom was a little nervous as we got to our starting corral, but I knew she'd be alright.

Here we are before the race.

We started out maybe a little too fast, got caught up in the rush of the excitement of the start, but we settled into a nice 11:00 min/mile pace and continued strong the entire way. We never stopped to walk, and ran continuously the entire way! There was even a bit of an incline the last half-mile, but Mom actually sped up a little and powered up that last incline and across the finish, for a time of 34:18. So proud of my Mom, she did so well!

Now, here's where the race report gets really sad. As we crossed the finish line, we saw the very sad sight of a man lying on the ground, with a crowd of medics/EMTs performing CPR on him. We said a quick prayer for him, hoping that he would make it through, as the ambulance took him to the hospital. We kept following the local Rhode Island news to see if there were any updates on him, and today the sad news was confirmed that the 29 year old young man had passed away. It's so sad to think that he probably woke up yesterday morning looking forward to a fun 5km, excitedly got to the start, just like everyone else, ran his race, and then in a blink of an eye, it's all gone. A sad reminder for all of us that we must cherish every moment we have. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this incredibly tough time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What Would You Have Done???

Yesterday I went swimming at my gym but the usual lifeguard was not there, instead there was a sub who was..SLEEPING?!?!?!? I swam in the pool for at least 15 minutes before he noticed I was there! There were about 6 other people swimming as well, including 3 old ladies using pool noodles (gotta love "lap swim" at my gym...NOT).  The lifeguard had his hood up tied tight around his face and was completely bent over, head-in-lap sleeping. Every breath I took on his side I'd check to see if he was awake but NOPE. I was getting really annoyed. Obviously I feel safe swimming without a lifeguard but it's the "what-ifs" that were scary and bothersome to me. What if one of those old ladies needed help?  What if 2 swimmers collided? (BTW, that happened to me there once, a girl just entered my lane and swam right at me! OUCH) What if a kid wandered into the pool area from the connecting locker rooms? I'm sure a splash would wake him, but would it? He didn't hear me enter the pool...
Eventually he did wake up and then he got out of his chair and walked around the pool, (making a conscious effort to stay awake, good choice). I was still really peeved and in the end I told the front desk the lifeguard had been sleeping. They were pissed and one guy took off running to the pool...not sure I'll ever see that lifeguard at my gym again and I'm okay with that!!!!

What would you have done??

Monday, September 13, 2010

Race Report: Nahant 30K

Yesterday we ran the Nahant 30K for the second year in a row. This race is a GREAT tune-up for a fall marathon and nothing beats the HILLY course!! Everything was well organized, the course was marked MUCH better this year! Instead of a T-shirt we got arm warmers, so it was nice to get something different.
The race started at 8:30am and this year we could actually see our surroundings! Last year it was cold, rainy and foggy and we were unable to see the spectacular views along the coast, or should I say cliffs. This year we were able to see the Boston skyline off in the distance so that was nice! It really is a pretty course, all along the water through the quaint town of Nahant. In order to get to Nahant you have to drive about 1.5 miles on a causeway so it feels like running on an Island. The hills and ocean made me think I was running on Bermuda! Another thing we like about this race is the course, we were able to see each other 4 times in passing, we even got to slap hands at one point, lol.
Neither one of us "raced" this race, we both treated it as if it was our fall marathon with a nice an easy warm-up and then we eased into our marathon goal paces (MGP). Both of us held our MGP was relative ease and we both ran dead-even splits. According to our Garmins, my  average pace was 7:50 and Ryan's was 8:49. Ryan is hoping for under 3:55:00 (his PR is 3:56:xx) and i'm hoping for 3:28:00 (my PR is 3:29:13) or faster. I would love to hit sub 3:28 because my first and second marathon times were 4:54 and 4:58, I'd love to officially take 1.5 hours off my slowest marathon, which at the time was difficult!

Ryan at mile 18.5. He looked great at the finish!! (we <3 this race, they even take free running pix for us!!)

Ryan right after he finished. I went for a cool down to top it off at 20 miles and I got back just as Ryan was crossing the finish line! Talk about good timing!

Both feeling confident for fall marathon PRs!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wedding Update (Save-The-Dates, Running Style) . . . and the Rest of Our August Vaca in Maine

Hey everyone, just wanted to give you guys a quick update on our wedding planning. As you all probably already know, we've signed up for our honeymoon marathon: Rock n Roll San Diego! Also, two days after our wedding we're planning on heading up to Pineland Farms in Maine to run a trail 50km.

We just sent out our 'Save-The-Dates,' and of course, they're running-themed. Ryan's brother took the picture, in York, Maine near Nubble Lighthouse. Ryan's cousin designed the magnet. Check it out:

And here are the rest of our pics from our August vacation in Maine after Run for the Fallen:

Ryan exiting the human maze. Ryan took 19 minutes. Bethany took 6 minutes. 

Ryan dominating the arm wrestling game in the arcade. Notice the sweat and the veins popping out of his forehead. 

Miss Bethany being a little kid and winning a bunch of tickets in a jumping game.

6 miles for 6 years. On August 24, we celebrated our 6 years of dating by running 6 miles. (You might remember last year's 5 miles for 5 years post.)

Ryan and his parents, who joined us on vacation in Maine for a few days.

Somewhere around mile 5 of our run. 

Well that's all for today. We're both racing this weekend, so we'll hopefully have some good news and a nice race report for you next week! Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cranberry Triathlon and Wapack Trail Race

Better late than never, here are some pics from Miss Bethany's sprint tri two weeks ago. Unfortunately she missed signing up for the Cranberry Olympic distance, so she had to sign up for the Sprint distance instead. She's more a fan of the longer distances.

Miss Bethany coming out of the water.

Miss Bethany cruising along on her 'Pinkie.' (She's in the process of getting a pink helmet.)

She also had a great run (sub 7:00 min/miles), and she was too quick for me, so I couldn't get a pic of her! She ended up finishing well in 6th out of 36 in her age group, not bad considering we've been primarily focusing on running this summer and her tris have taken a backseat.

Now this weekend, I took on a new challenge and ran the Wapack Trail Race with a couple trail running buddies. Knowing how technical this trail race was, Miss Bethany decided to sit this one out. This race was UNREAL. It starts in New Ipswich, NH and runs 9 miles up, over, and down four mountains (Barrett Mt., New Ipswich Mt., Pratt Mt., and Mt. Watatic), and when you get over and down Mt. Watatic, you turn around and go back the way you came, for a total of 18 miles and 8 mountain ascents and descents. Some of these ascents/descents are like 40% grade. It's one of those trail races where your feet just take an absolute beating, and ankles get rolled, and people hit the deck all over the place. I rolled my ankles about 100 times each, and probably had about a dozen close calls where I almost tumbled down a mountain, but I managed to avoid totally hitting the deck. It's a brutal race, but it is just so much fun. 

Coming into the finish line, back on normal terrain, still feeling good. Total time: 4:44, 18 miles, 8 mountains, 4000' of ascent, 4000' of descent.

The gang of trail animals after the race. What a good group, what a good day! These are some serious trail runners.

Here are some photos/elevation map of the race course:
(photo from
NOTE: I've been kindly informed that our race on Sunday did not reach this point of the Wapack Trail.  (All I tried to do was a quick GoogleImage search for a pic of the trail to give you guys an idea of what it was like, and I guess I failed - it all looks the same to me: roots, rocks, mountains, trees, etc.) Hopefully I WILL be able to run this part of the trail during next year's spring Wapack race which goes the length of the 21.5 mile trail. (Although Miss Bethany might have other plans for me, as the race is two weeks before our wedding.)

(photo from

 Elevation chart. Ouch.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We Just Signed Up For Our Honeymoon Marathon!!!

We just signed up for our honeymoon marathon: Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon!!! June 5, 2011!

On the Sunday after our wedding, we'll be running the Pineland Farms Trail 50km again, and then heading out to San Diego!