Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Pictures

My 24th BDay at Disney

My Mom's 1st 5K

the husband's first 5k

Wine and Dine Half

The first run of 2010 - Can't wait to run another year!!

What are your best memories from the year?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Heat Wave

I ran in shorts today in the wonderful 54 degree weather! There were still quite few icy spots from the remaining snow, but the run was great - 29.6 miles in 35 minutes. I followed the run with a nice hour long hot flow yoga class.

I got my rental car today, so tomorrow I'll be able to get some errands done. I also have two new recipes to try out and share with you!

My Favorite Disney Dining

I have had only two bad dining experiences at Disney: Hollywood and Vine (cold food, empty buffet stations) and at Le Cellier (griztly meat, horrendous waiter). But some dining experiences are better than the rest.

10. Les Chefs de France. The food is standard French Restuarant, but Remy is awesome
9. Whispering Canyon Cafe at  Wilderness. Great American food with fun waitstaff
8. Bluezoo at Dolphin - Todd English's seafood restaurant
7. Artist's Point at Wilderbess Lodge
6. Cape May Cafe
5. Crystal Palace
4.Kouzzina by Cat Cora, but I love her so much it probably wouldn't matter if there was any food at all
3.Boma, at Animal Kingdom Lodge. African and Middle Eastern inspired food. Both the breakfast and dinner are great
2. Boatwright's at Port Orleans. Best sweet tea and cornbread ever.
1. Yachtsman Steakhouse

What are you favorite?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last day of work!

Until Sunday. But three days off is better than nothing! I am carless more or less (Mine is technically driveable but looks like sh*t, so I won't go anywhere in it, in case some one would see me and think Hey, that's Savannah, she works for giant fabulous car manufacturer and her car sucks. I shouldn't buy new cars from giant fabulous car manufacturer because I would wreck it too. Let me buy another foreign car that isn't wrecked. Sorry for the craziness, car people think this way) until I drop off my car and get a rental tomorrow, so I replaced the planned trip to yoga with a trip to the Y with the husband. The Y has a new seated elliptical like this:
I like it. Much harder to do that it looks, and made the back of my legs scream after thirty minutes. And the arms swing, so if you don't sit up straight, you can hit yourself in the ears.
I then lifted weights and stretched, and went for Mexican food with the husband.
Hopefully I'll get both yoga and a run in tomorrow.

What's your favorite piece of cross training equipment?

Character Dining at Disney

I am huge dork for character meals. So is the Husband (though he won't readily admit it, and tries to play it off as a love for buffets). Right now, the following restaurants have characters:
 At the  Magic Kingdom:
Crystal Palace - all three meals have Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. This is buffet style. I've been to breakfast and dinner here, and while the dinner is good, the breakfast offerings are to-die-for
Cinderella's Royal Table - Also has characters at all three meals. Typically has all Disney princesses. The food is ordered off a set menu, and when you arrive at Cinderella Castle for your reservation, a photographer will be on hand to take pictures of your group in the lobby, before you are seated. This meal takes 2 dining credits, and is nearly impossible to get ADRs for. Try as early in advance as you can.

In Epcot
The Garden Grill - Chip and Dale's Harvest Feast, dining only
Princess Storybook Dining Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion

At Disney's Hollywood Studios
Playhouse Disney's Play 'N Dine at Hollywood & Vine- has characters from the morning Disney shows
At Animal Kingdom
Tusker House - Has Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Mickey with "African inspired" breakfast food

Other Places:
Cape May Cafe - . Goofy, Minnie, and Donald are there for a breakfast buffet. The food is really, really good - this is the husband's favorite place to eat at Disney!
Chef Mickey's - Contemporary
1900 Park Fare - Grand Floridian. Breakfast has Mary Poppins and dinner has Cinderella
Polynesian -- 'Ohana Character Breakfast - every morning with Lilo and Stitch, Pluto and Mickey

Have you tried a character meal? Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Goals

I have a lot of hopes and wishes for 2011, but they mainly fall into these 3 categories:

  • I started 2010 with a 5k, and have been running all year, lowering my 5k PR and doing my first half marathon

2010 Resolution Run, Nashville TN, with LIZ!
  In 2011, I want to do more. Specifically, I want to run 11 half marathons in 2011. A few I have figured out, a few I still need to choose. I want to start training for a full, with a goal race in early 2012.

  • I want to do more for other people. One thing that has been weighing on my heart is wanting to use running to do work for other people. Cancer has touched many people in my life, and I feel like it is such a giant that anything anyone can do to fight it is more than worthwhile. I have three mini goals with this: Run a race as fundraising runner for a cancer related charity; Participate in the local Relay for Life in June; host a 5k race with the help of the professional organization (Professional Managers Network) that I am a member of

  • Be less self conscious. Continue to work on the idea the number on the scale does not some how correlate to the value of the person on the other side. Still not sure how to do this one  . . .
What are your goals for the new year?

No good very bad day!

I got in car wreck on my way to work today. A little damage to both cars, no injuries, just a major inconvience. So I'll be spending my next few days with insurance adjusters and car repair places. Here's hoping the whole process goes quick.

I started my (pre-crash) morning with a 50 minute 4.56 mile run, followed with some stretching and homemade pizza. I only have one more day of work this week, so I made my list of "To Dos" for the time off.
  • Laundry! I'm behind to the point of it being ridiculous
  • Bake ahead - cook some chicken and do prep work for next week's meals
  • Clean out my pantry and fridge
  • Book flight to Disney
  • Clean out closet and get rid of some clothes I don't wear anymore
I'm hoping to start the new year out more organized. How do you stay on top of things?

Fine Dining in the World

An intro:
Disney has three types of sit down restaurants:
Wait-service, where you order from a menu and food is brought to your table
Family-style, where specific courses are brought to your table to served family style. This is also all-you-can-eat
Disney also has character dining, where Disney characters come to each table for photo ops. This is just as much for couples without kids (or maybe we’re just dorks).

Among the wait-service restaurants, there is a special category of fine dining establishments: the signature restaurant. There is typically a dress code, the service is exceptionally, and the food is divine. These include:

Victoria and Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Winner of Zagat's National Top Ten Restaurants and the prestigious AAA 5-Diamond Award, which serves a prix-fixe seven course meal
California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot® FutureWorld
The Hollywood Brown Derby at the Disney's Hollywood Studios
Citrico's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Flying Fish Café at Disney's BoardWalk Resort
Jiko at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Lodge
Narcoossee's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Artist’s Point, at Wilderness Lodge
The husband and I visit at least one each trip we make, with the goal of eating at all of them. We have been to Artist’s Point, which is worth the visit for the atmosphere alone, and to Yachtsman. That was the BEST steak either of us has ever had. More than worth the trip – too fabulous for words.
If you are on a dining plan, the signature restaurants (except V&A’s, which is not on the dining plan), each take two credits. Paying out of pocket, the meal runs hubby and I around $75-$100, so the dining plan really pays off in the case. Also, don’t be scared of the dress code. Hubby has worn nice jeans both times and fit right in.

Up next: character dining

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ipod running

Today I did my first treadmill run with my new Ipod - it made it better, almost tolerable, but still not great. My listened to the part of the first act of the musical Rent, and the storytelling aspect of listening to a musical was nice. I did two miles in 23:01. Why I am so slow on the 'mill? I then did lunges, squats, and lifted biceps and triceps, followed by ten minutes of abs and stretching.
Here's my workout plan for the rest of the week:
T: 45 minute run
W: Hot Power Yoga
R: 3 miles run
F: Lift
S: Running group fun run and party - 2-4 miles
S: 70 minute run

I use both time and miles for runs, depending on what the goal is. Typically, I only use distance for runs with other people or for speedwork, and use time for anything by myself.

I have two Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards to use this week! I'm in need of a shell-type jacket as well as hand-held or belt water bottle. (recommendations on either of those?)

I weighed myself today to assess the holiday damage since I've avoided the scale since Thanksgiving. I have guarded my weight like a sacred secret my whole life. But in the sake of honesty, of losing the "ashamedness" and celebrating what my body can do, and in a way to kick start my lean-and-toned goals for 2011, I'm going to share that number with you. Don't judge. 183.

That feels damn good. Do you share your number?

Disney Dining Part 1

One of the things that I most look forward too any time the Hubby and I go to Disney is the food - Disney is a foodie's paradise. I'm going to do a few posts in the next couple of weeks to highlight my tips and favorite places for dining on property at WDW. One thing I learned quickly is the need to have advanced dining reservations (ADRs in disney-fanatic speak) for any sit down meals you want to enjoy. These can be over the phone or online - has a very comprehensive dining guide with menus for all on-property restaurants and a complete guide to dining plans and the reservation system.

Before any trip, I like to map out each day and determine where we'll be in the evening and start making dinner reservations from there. Trust me, spending a day in Animal Kingdom and then having to rush from bus to bus to get across the World for dinner the Contemporary is no fun. I start with dinner because 1) the evening spots fill up the quickest at the more popular places and 2) knowing what time we'll eat dinner helps me decide if I need a lunch reservation or if a late breakfast would work better. Typically, we eat two meals a day at sit down restaurants and have either a light breakfats or mid day snack as our other meal.
Personally, I don't eat the fast-food counterservice type food at home, so we don't eat it at Disney, either. It is good quality and tastes good in the few times I've had it, but I'd rather savor the experience of eating than gobble down burgers. And the Husband would throw a FIT if I even suggect a fast food place.
I make a spreadsheet to capture my tenative choices, the park we'll be in during a given day, and how long transporation will take between the places, and then use that to make ADRs. For example:

3:45 Leave for Race
6:00 Race Start
9:30 Back to hotel
10:30 Shower, change
12:00 Leave for epoct
1:00 San Angel Inn
Magic Kingdomn - monorail trip
8:05 Cinderella's Castle Dinner

One caveat to the system: many places only have a few tables for two at any given time but have several for larger parties. However, the online system only places 2s at two-top tables. If you are a party of two and can't get an online reservation, you'll be better off calling the dining number, which can override the system and put you at a larger table.

Up next: where to go?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Recap

I am working four days this week, so no major time off for me. I promise a longer recap post with pictures on Thursday, when I'm not rushing back and forth to work. I hope all of you had a lovely holiday!

A quick recap:

Christmas Eve:
 - Strength training session at the Y
 - Last minute shopping with the Husband
 - I made a batch of the blog-famous cake balls!
 - Gift opening and dinner at my parents

Christmas Day
 - No run - serious migrane
 - Gifts to each other at our house
 - Drove the threeish hours to my inlaws
 - Gifts and presents with them. Ate a very interesting raspberry and chocolate triffle
 - Came home, became quickly addicted to the Storage Wars show on A&E

Favorite gifts: yoga class passes, new Ipod shuffle, several running books, and new Northface. My six-year-old one looks like it has bad mange, so this is a nice surprise. (Also, fyi, if you are short like me, you can wear the little girl's sizes for less than half the price of the adults'.)

 - Grocery store
 - 5.6 miler in 1:06. Super icy, thankfully didn't bust my hiney on the ground.
 - Work

What was your favorite gift? Are you working this time of year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Running in cold and snow

I'm working a "split 16" today - 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, off, then 10:30pm to 7:30 am, so my run was nice and short to allow me to get some sleep in the middle. I did two miles in 21.06. It was almost 40 degrees this afternoon, which felt like a heatwave.

Given the upcoming cold front and all blogger dealing with cold weather, I thought I'd put together a post on my tips for running in the winter. I absolutely hate the treadmill, and try run outside in every conidition. Here's what I've learned:
  • Obey the 20 degree rule: dress like its 20 degrees warmer than what it is. Also, the longer or harder the run, the warmer you'll get. I wear more for 2 mile recovery runs that speedwork or long runs.
  • In heavy snow/rain, hybrid trail/road shoes, like my Asics Gel Enduros, provide somewhat better traction that their road counterparts
  • Cover your ears! It's amazing how much more comfortable this makes running when it's breezy
  • Keep sports beans and gummies in a pocket close to your body - they will get stiff from the cold without body heat to keep them warm
  • An insulated bottle, either carried, in a belt, or a handheld, won't freeze like a non-insulated bottle will
  • Change quickly post run. As your body chills, the sweaty clothes will make you feel miserably cold quick. I typically change in the car as soon as I get done.
What's your best advice for winter running?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Record Breaking Run

I set out to do 5 miles tonight, but given the below freezing temp and snow on the ground, I told myself I would just run for an hour and map the distance when I get home. I started out feeling strong, dodging some icy spots, but keeping a fast pace. It caught up with me though - I hit a "wall" at about 35 minutes in and had to walk. How is it that in 27 degree weather, wearing a tech shirt, light fleece, pants, and no other layers, that I overheat and get sweaty and miserable? Any cures for I'm-too-hot-so-I-panic-syndrome? After a three minute mental breakdown/walk break where I decided that I hate running and hate being outside and could be a happy voluptous girl at home eating cookie dough and not sweating in the snow, I was able to make myself run again. All in all, I walked a total of 10 minutes during the run today, not bad at all for me.

I was able to really fly the last 5 minutesm, and was winded by the time I got back to my car. Total time: 59:47. I mapped it when I got home and was AMAZED by the distance: 5.26 miles, for an average pace of 11.26. That's close to my 5K PR pace, and I was able to maintain it for 5 miles!! This pace would give me a 2:26 half, a full thirty minutes off my PR. It is very encourgaing, after a run that felt hard, to know all this work pays off!!

Only two more days until Chirstmas! What running gifts do you hope Santa is bringing you?

Cross training

The Y has free classes every year during the three weeks around Christmas, and last night I decided to conquer a few fears (bathing suit wearing, dancing in public) and go to Aqua Zumba. The verdict: fun, harder than expected! My arms are seriously sore today from pushing through water for 45 minutes. It's a not a class I'd  want to regularly, but it was a fun change of pace.

There is enough food in my office today to go into full sugar overload. I'm trying to convince myself that the peanut butter cookies with the reese's cup inside count as a viable breakfast food.

Is your office food of sweet treats?

*Also just wanted to thank my followers!!! So happy to have you along for the journey.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter wonder

I ran 3.6 miles last night in 37 minutes in pouring snow - not too bad for me. The arch of right foot is somewhat unhappy today, but everything else seems fine.

I was able to finish all but one item on my Christmas shopping list last night, so all that's left is wrapping presents.

In semi-running related news, I may be taking two classes in the Spring. They would be non-degree but could help me be considered for upcoming work promotion. The only bad thing? They are the same two nights I run with my running group! May be looking for a new group to run with for the semester. It seems strange to be contemplating school right now  - but it may very well be the best thing to do.

Are you taking classes?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eating Wrong

Let me preface this with a picture:
This picture is the reason I run. This is me, at 23, and about 200 pounds, give or take. I don't weigh myself for a variety of reasons, mainly because it turns me into a crazy-number-hunting-b*witch. This was during a research conference in Texas. I had no idea I was that big. I knew I was big, but not like that. You know what sucks? Weighing 200 pounds in Texas in July. Just miserable.

I have gone done 2 to 3 clothing sizes since then. I couldn't have run 2 minutes, now I can run for hours. But I'm still not quite I want to be. I'm a junk food junkie, I'll admit. It has gotten better-I didn't eat salad AT ALL until I was 22. I eat more whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protien that ever. But I think I could do better.
One goal for 2011 is to be more aware of my food. Of not eating whatever's easiest (vending machine popcorn  and M&M "trail mix"), but of trying to be a better runner by eating better. No diets. They just me grumpy. Just better food choices.

What's your junk food secret pleasure?

Quick question

Anyone else not close to being done with their Christmas shopping? I'm hoping to get some done after work tonight, but still have to buy presents for my boss, my Dad, and finish the husband's gifts (Note: I only buy gifts for 4 people total, and 3 aren't done. Yeah.). Are you ready for the holiday?

Short long run

I ended up cutting my planned 5 miles to 2.5 for a very good reason: movie night with the hubby! I'll do the 5 miles Wednesday instead of its planned 2 miler. Husband has been begging to see Tron since we first saw the Tron-covered monorail in Disney in May, and was super-excited to see it in 3D last night.

My review: better than I expected, but I really wasn't looking forward to it. I don't enjoy the original, though, either - maybe that's a generational issue, and I'm too young to appreciate it?

Here's my workout plan for the week:

M: 3 miles
W: 5 miles
R: 4 miles
S: 6 miles

What's yor plan for the week?

Do you liike Tron?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I hate the treadmill, so generally I either avoid it like the plague, or try to make my treadmill runs go quickly. I did speedwork on the treadmill today: 1 mile warmup then 2 x800 at 1 mile race pace (8:50 for me). I following this with 20 minutes on the much-more-tolerable elliiptical, then ab work, foam rolling, and stretching. My "long" run, 6 miles, is tomorrow.

When I first started running, I only ran on the treadmill. It was "safe" and no one could see me in the loe-traffic courtside room at the local Y. I was afraid to go outside for a few reasons: 1, I thought my run-walk strategy would make me look ridiculous, and 2, I was afraid of the passerby making fun of a fat girl running.

I did eventually make it outside. And it was, and sometimes still is, scary. But anything is better than the treadmill.

Do you run inside or outside?

Coconut Water (a peer pressure issue)

I have been reading food/weight loss/fitness blogs for over a year. Thanks to them, I have learned to add pumpkin to my oatmeal,  love smoothies with spinach, and have more than my fair share of cookie recipes. The often-recommended Zensah calf sleeves? Love them - saved me during many races and feel so good I even slept in them during the height of the shin splint issue.

One thing I see popping up more and more blogs (and on Top Chef All Stars, if anyone else watches) is Coconut Water. People drink it with breakfast, and before, during, and after running. I thought it had to be great. So I bought two "juice boxes" of coconut water, one plain and one pomegranite acai. I tried the flavored one first, after a long run. It was cold and smooth - and tasted like a mix of cheap mouthwash, suntan lotion, and citrus. No go.

I chalked that up to the flavoring, and tried the plain juice box a few days later. Just not good - too pungent, too "lying in a tanning bed" tasting. Not for me - looks like I'll be sticking with G2 for my running hydration.

What have you tried from blogs that didn't work for you?

This is Miss Mo, about three years ago as a puppy. Thought you might need a little bit of cute.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Running Groups

Today was a rest day - caused mainly by a 16-hour work day. Long run tomorrow morning.

I ran by myself for almost a year, most of that time as a casual/occasional runner. In July, when I signed up to for my first half, I was running all my runs alone. I knew the local running store had a  group that met a few times a week, but I was too afraid to go.

I am slow. Runners, real runners, I told myself, were fast. And thin, and muscular. Not short, and curvy, and slow. So I ran alone. But as my total number of weekly miles increased, it got more and more boring to be myself. So I became brave, and went to a Thursday night run, telling myself I didn’t have to go again.

Surprise: There was a whole group of 12ish/13ish minute milers, who train and run marathons and other races. I was not exceptionally slow, and I enjoyed the camaraderie. I love my running group. When I had to miss three weeks due to shin issues, it was so sad to miss a time to gripe and sweat and share the running experience. I’ve learned about pace, fueling, and even recipes from my slow-and-steady pace group.

My advice: if a group around you runs locally, try to join. You don’t ever have to go back again, but you might want to.  

Do you run with a group?
My first race half was the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Hubby and I are huge Disney World fans – we go at least once a year. I was looking for a fall half, and getting to combine the race with a Disney trip was perfect.

My longest run pre race was 10 miles, and I had tapered way more than planned in hopes of clearing up shin issues. We drove to Disney (16 hours from here, staying overnight in Macon), went to the expo, and checked into our hotel. The expo was super organized and lines were quick, even though it was fairly crowded. We spent this trip at Port Orleans-French Quarter (please ask if you ever have Disney trip/accommodation questions!). I was worried about having enough time to go somewhere away from the hotel for dinner, so Husband and I ate the hotel food court. This was issue #1: The race began at 10:00 pm, and while I usually run in the evenings, I typically don’t eat dinner beforehand. I ate what I normally eat for lunch on running days, a cold cut sandwich.

I then showered and headed to the race with Husband. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve top, though my gut instinct told me to put a tank top on (issue #2). We arrived about an hour and a half early, way too early in retrospect, to be hanging around in 90 degree heat. At 9:30, they herded people into corrals and I said goodbye to Husband. I was in the last corral because I had not prior time, but maybe because this was Disney and/or the race had both a relay and a half marathon starting at the same place, everyone around me was a walker. I was able to inch my way up a little bit prior to the start.

The race began with fireworks, and though it was crowded, it only took about 5 minutes to reach the start. The course began (and spent alot of it's time) on roads throughout the park. I completed the first mile in 12:30. There were water stops every 2 miles near the beginning of the race, so I skipped the first one (issue #3). By the time I reached Animal Kingdom near mile 4, the water stop there was a godsend. I pack of sports beans around mile 4.5. I had only trained up to 10 miles before this race, and had done that on 1 pack, so that was my plan for the race. Animal Kingdom was gorgeous in the dark. Then back to the roads to Hollywood Studio.

My race plan was to run as far as I could before my first walk break, then run-walk the rest of the race. I made it just past mile 5. However, I wasn't able to keep steady intervals after that - I definately walked more than I ran. It was hot, and I was starting to feel super-tired, since it was 11:30ish at night. I made it to Hollywood Studios, Mile 9, at 2:05. Everything was starting to hurt. I passed up the Gu Chomps (Issue 4) for fear of getting an upset stomach. By mile 11, I was feeling exhausted and awful. I could feel the salt on my skin from all the sweat. I started taking both water and gatorade at the aid stations, which were every mile at this point. When I got to the final mile, I made it my goal to run as much of it as I could. It had an uphill very close to the end, but I made it - 2:56:54, 4 minutes faster than my 3:01 goal.

What was your first halk like?

Last Night's Run

I did four miles with my running group last night in 46:15,  with two walk breaks after 3.5 miles, thanks to some hip flexor tiredness caused by my pt. I can't believe I'm signed up for a half! I made hotel reservations for here:

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

I've stayed here on a few other Disney trips, but Husband hasn't, so it will be nice for him to experience a different hotel. Do you go to Disney?

Coming today: a recap of my first half, Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I am now registered for the 2011 Disney Princess half marathon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Change of plans?

I may be running the princess half marathon in Disney in Feb. instead of Mercedes!! I seriously wanted to do this race but didn't think it would be finacially possible. I'll be double checking my budget tonight - keep your fingers crossed for me!

Snowy running

I met up with my running group at 6 last night. My legs felt better from several 2-minute yoga breaks throughout my day yesterday, and the orthotics are finally not feeling awful. We had about 2 inches of snow to run through, and it was around 15 degrees. I ran past this gorgeous sight:

The run felt good! Nothing hurt for the first time in a long time. We did 3 miles in 32 minutes, fairly quick for me. My shins were a little sore afterwards, but icing and stretching made a huge difference.

I am always amazed at group runs and races by the varying amount of "stuff" people take with them on runs. I am super warm natured, especially if running, so last night I had on a short sleeve tech shirt, a zip-front tech pullover, nike cold weather pants, socks, running shoes, calf sleeve, sports bra,  and watch. There were people last night carrying and wearing lots more - from wool hats and scraves, to multiple pairs of pants, to headlamps. I'm not sure I could stand the extra weight! At most, I'll add gloves and a hat to this ensemble.

What do run with in cold weather? Why?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running sins

There are certain “rules” of smart running that beginning runners hear everyone: in blog posts, running magazines, forums. Things like the importance of cross training, strength and ab work, stretching, icing, and foam rolling. These tasks are supposed to reduce injury risk and improve running performance.
            So I did what any reasonable person would do: I took an “I don’t have time for this – I could be logging more miles approach” to running during training for my first half. Not wise. For my spring training session I have a few goals:
·         Lift at least twice a week
·         Continue to do PT-prescribed stretches daily
·         Stretch after running
·         Cross train twice a week
·         Ice achy spots (shins!)
·         Run quality workouts and easy miles

The other running mistake I made was not following a structured training plan. While I achieved both my goals for my first half (1, Finish, 2, Finish under three hours), I think I’m capable of a much better race. All I did last time was plan my long runs and run however I felt the rest of the time. For my upcoming half and-yet-to-be-decided-upon full, I’m going to come up with a schedule and stick to it.

What running mistakes have you made?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spring Race Plan

Sunday is a full-body strength session for me. There is a serious snow storm starting in my neck of the woods today, so I went to the Y early and spent about 45 minutes lifting weights before heading to the grocery. After yesterday's 4.6 miler (at a nice 11:44 pace!), my shin was very sore, but after ice and stretching, it's just a little achy.
I've been struggling, both with running with orthotics and with choosing races for 2011. I have three trains of thought:

 - Run Mercedes Half Marathon in Feb, run the half at Flying Pig in May, maybe run another local half in late May; Run 5ks all summer; run a fall full marathon, either Savannah RnR or Chickamauga Battlefield
 - Run Mercedes Half Marathon in Feb, run the full at Flying Pig or Cleveland in May and enjoy it; Run 5ks all summer; run another full in the fall, either Savannah RnR or Chickamauga Battlefield
 - Run Mercedes Half Marathon in Feb, run the full at Flying Pig or Cleveland in May and hate it; Run 5ks all summer; run two halfs in the fall, Savannah RnR and Monumental in Indianapolis

I'm scared of spring full. I'm scared of a fall full. Part of me doesn't want to reinjure myself, and doen't want to have to rush training to feel like I get everything in by May. Would more halves and better base building help me be more confident in a full? I don't know. All I know is a full (or two) is on the calendar for 2011. Just not sure where.

How do you choose races?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Who am I?

I'm hoping to better introduce myself as I begin training. Here's 10 basic things you should know about me:

1. I'm a runner. A slow runner. My 5k PR: 33.28, My half PR: 2:56:54
2. I have two dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy, and a Mini Schnauzer, CoCoMo
3. I work in the automotive industry, and love cars. Direct your car questions my way
4. I love to bake, cook, and generally play around in the kitchen
5. I'm a youngest child
6. I have a Master's degree in Applied Health Science and Ergonomics
7.  I run with a group organized my local running store
8. I have completed around 20 5ks since Sept 2009. Love them. I have only completed 4 without walk breaks
9. I love musical theater and reality tv
10. I've been married for almost 2 years. My husband is a mechanical engineer and a occasional runner who is passionate about music and mountain biking.

My Orthotics and me

I had been having shin pain on off since September, when I was training for my first half marathon. It stayed consistent - three places on my left leg - through the race and into November. The second week of November, I did two 5k races on the same day. By the second, I was literally hobbling, and you could see the lump on the front of shin. I made an appointment with an ortho for the next week.

The diagnosis: tibial stress syndrome, caused by severly flat feet and tighten hip/calf muscles. The "cure" was three weeks of physical therapy to address the muscles issues, and custom orthotics to keep them from coming back through correction of my whole mess of biomechanical issues.

I've been a cross training queen for the past two weeks, expect for a Reindeer Run 5k last Saturday. My orthotics came Wednesday, and I took them out (along with a new pair of Brooks Dyads, since my Lunarglides wouldn't even hold the orthotics) for a short run on Thursday. They give me a strange sensation of falling foward, and make muscles hurt that feel like they've never been used, i.e. I guess that's what they mean by "glutes firing" during running.

I went out for a 5-miler this morning, and I AM SORE, from the bottoms of my feet to my lower back to my shoulders. According to  the ortho, this is perfectly normal as I adjust to the new "gait pattern" and should go away in a few weeks. Let's hope so.

Do you have orthotics? How long did they take you to break in?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The journey begins!

Welcome to See Savannah Marathon, a blog to chronicle my trials and training as I complete my transformation from couch potato to marathoner. I began casually running in September 2009, completing 3 5ks that year. I got "serious" about running in June, and have since upped my weekly mileage, lowered my 5k PR by almost 2 minutes (33:34), and completed a half marathon in under 3 hours. I am not fast and am not athletic, but running brings me a sense of self-accomplishment I have never found in any other activities.

Recovering from serious shin splints and a myriad of other running issues, I was forced to seriously lower my weekly running distance, and then realized how much I truly love running and racing, and have decided that I want to complete an ultimate challenge: a full marathon.

Official training begins Dec. 13. Thanks for joining me.