I’m Back!

No, I haven’t left town or gone anywhere exciting, not yet at least.

I’m back to the pavement! After several weeks away from running, trying to give my pesky knee some time to heal, and working on increasing my strength (soon-to-come: unassisted pull-up), I’ve finally been able to officially start training for the Chicago Marathon!

I’m a week and a half in, and I’m absolutely loving living by my beautiful, colorful training calendar. Obviously having not run very much the past month, I’m starting out pretty slow with low mileage, but I hope to be working both (speed and miles) up in the very near future. I also want to keep focusing on strength training and incorporate a lot of speed training!

Last night the tall man (a.k.a. husband) and I hit up the track for some speed work. We did several 100 meter sprints, a few 200 meter sprints, then we split up and I continued with an 800 hundred sprint (um, can you call that a sprint?), and my fastest ever mile run…seven minutes and twenty-one seconds.

To some, that might not seem all that fast for just one mile, but when I pressed the lap button on my pretty little Garmin and saw 7:21 flash before my eyes, I was ecstatic! After watching the Olympic track trials on television, witnessing 200 meter times in the 20 second range, and then running my own huff-and-puff-tastic 200s in 43 slow and agonizing seconds, I thought I’d lost any resemblance of speed I might have once had. However, 7:21 is at least 15 seconds off my mile PR, so I guess somewhere in these quads of mine is some super-duper-fastness waiting to get out.

I have to give credit to my precious little dog Tia. We took her to the track with us so she could get some fresh air, and after Matt was finish with his workout he took Tia off her leash to play. I was halfway around the track into the first lap of my mile when I heard some cute little footsteps chasing behind me. After nose-diving in a hole in the grass and flipping three times, little Tia eventually passed me and stayed a few steps ahead of me the rest of the mile.

What a good little pacer she is. 🙂

And what a wonderful husband this guy is…

On Sunday he woke up at 5:00am (a huge accomplishment in itself), drove us an hour to downtown Kansas City, and ran the All Star Game 5K (third race ever) in the crazy midwest heat with me. #proudwife

I think I’m turning us into a cute little family of runners! Maybe. 🙂

 

Wanting and Wishing

My little sister has naturally curly hair. Beautiful curly hair. She has always had this curly hair…quite unruly at times, as evidenced by her third grade school photo in which my fifth grade self attempted to french braid it for the picture day.

She always wished for straight hair.

When I was little I had the straight hair, and wouldn’t you know it, I wished for it to be curly. My hair was long and boring, and all the cool kids had perms. Sure my mom fixed it beautifully everyday, curled bangs with a headache-inducing side ponytail, but I wanted more. This just goes to show that we all wish for the things we don’t have.

But, I’ve learned that it’s important to be careful what you wish for…now in my adult life I have this wavy/curly/straight/frizzy combo hair. Hair that doesn’t go out in public unless a blowdryer and straightener or curling iron has been put to it.

What I wouldn’t give to have my childhood hair back.

A few months ago, near the end of my spring marathon training, I told a friend of mine that I wished it was after my marathon and I could run shorter distances, less mileage, and strength train more. Long runs are hard and time consuming, and marathon training in general takes a toll on a person. I wished for the night I could drink a glass or two of wine and not worry about it hurting my long run the next morning.

And now that I can’t go on that long run…that’s all I want to do!

I vaguely scratched out a training plan for Chicago that started last week. By vaguely scratched out I just mean that I planned my long run schedule for each weekend. This past Saturday has an “8” written in the box.

I didn’t run eight miles. I didn’t run one mile. Girl, be careful what you wish for.

This morning I went out for a short “test” run, and fingers crossed, I think my knee is on the up-and-up. I made it a mile and a half, stopped for thirty minutes of a bootcamp workout in the parking lot with four other lovely ladies, then another mile and a half back home. All pain free.

The moral of the story friends? Be grateful for what you have going on right now. Today. I’m excited for my long training runs to come, but today I enjoyed running short, squatting low, and lunging forward.

And, I guess I’ll be grateful for this pile of frizz I have knotted on top of my head, too.

ang

Because I Love To Run

Guess what I’m doing on this beautiful day…National Running Day?!

source

…not running.

At first I was utterly disappointed about the fact that I am not running today. I love running, and not participating in this wonderful and challenging sport that I love on its own national holiday just doesn’t seem fair.

But yesterday, as the day went on, that little pain in my knee started to go away. This morning when I woke up there was absolutely no evidence of any knee pain.

And for Chicago’s sake (and successful marathon training’s sake and potential PR’s sake), I want to keep it that way!

So instead, I am going to celebrate National Running Day by spending some quality time with some weight machines and dumbbells…so that when it’s time I will be running better than ever!

Today I don’t run because I love to run.

ang

Time For Chicago…Kind Of

This week marks the start of training for marathon number three!

Chicago!

Well, kind of. I’ve printed out blanks calendars from now through October, but I’ve only filled in maybe one fourth of the days. It’s always a tricky little thing deciding how I want to go forward with training…do I want to incorporate hills (ummm…not really, but I should), speedwork (heck yes!), strength, cross training, intervals, yassos, and so on and so on…? And by the time I fill in all the days, I probably will change it around a million and a half more times before October seventh. And then I have to consider how I am going to train while I’m on vacation at the beach in July. Where will I run? Will I want to run (or will I want to happily nurse a Corona hangover every morning instead?!) Do I run on the beach? If so, do I run with shoes on or barefoot? What if I’m running and I step on a seashells and cut my foot?

So many things to consider. Clearly all logical.

And as excited as I am to run Chicago, it still feels like a long time away.   Which, at this point, might be a good thing considering that as soon as my right inner thigh finally stopped hurting (last week!), my right knee is now hurting. Is there a correlation here (the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone…the knee bone’s connected to the shin bone…)? So frustrating.

I’m getting old.

So on top of my obviously logical concerns above regarding a training plan, how do I get started? Do I rest a little longer and postpone training to try to get my knee to stop hurting? Do I push through it like I did last summer and hope the pain goes away like it did last summer? Do I make my husband give me leg massages daily until it heals up? Do I yoga more? Stretch more (duh)? Roll more?

Too many questions and choices and decisions to make. All I want to do is run…and start running faster. And strength train…and start getting stronger.

So for now, that’s what I’m going to try to do.

ang

All I Want To Do

All I want to do is run. After completing a long training plan and running a full fast-for-me marathon I thought I’d be itching for a break from it all. My life has been all live-by-my-planner-and-training-plan for the past four months I thought I’d like the idea of relaxing, letting loose, and going with the flow for awhile. Yeah…that’s not so much the case. Since setting my new PR on April 21st, my mind has been stuck on one thing.

Running.

Running faster.

(Side note: Running a marathon is definitely worth a free beer. But notice that my Garmin says I that ran 26.49 miles. Point. Four. Nine. Not 26.2, but 26.49. Don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously pleased with my 3 hours 54 minutes and 1 second finish…but when my ticker had me clocking 26.2 miles in 3 hours 51 minutes…that extra .29 seemed excruciating, teasing, and downright mean. But I guess it was worth 2 free beers.)

Unfortunately, this urge to run has been halted by a little thing called finals week. And studying for finals week (which I should actually be doing right now for this phantom final that is in two and a half hours that no one truly knows what it’s about). And work.

(Insert dramatic sigh here)

But only two finals stand between me and summertime. Beautiful summertime…warm weather, bright sunshine, no tests, new training plans, speedwork, pavement to be covered. With this new amount of free time back in my schedule, the wheels in my head have been rolling with possibilities. I still feel like superwoman after my marathon, and reading other pretty bloggers recent marathon recaps, my motivation level is flying freaking high. With Chicago in my sights, I feel like the possibilities are endless if I put the work into it.

And that is definitely what I plan to do…only after I tackle this multiple-choice-but-all-the-answers-seem-right final. Running a sub-3 hour marathon seems more possible than this!

ang

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Race Recap

In true fashion of this training cycle I debated with myself today…write my race recap or study for my finals next week? Typically school would beat out training, although I’d usually still find time after schoolwork to lace up my running shoes. However, the endorphins have been slowly declining since last Saturday, and in an attempt to keep them alive I’m forcing myself to sit down and recap the day I ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz…the day I ran my second marathon…the day a ran a sub-4 hour marathon…the day I kind of got this feeling that I can do anything…and the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

I arrived at Garmin International where the race started and finished with enough time to make my final decisions on what to wear, pick up my packet, pin on my race bib, and dance in my car to a few songs.

I headed to the port-a-potties where I came upon a familiar scene. One year ago this is where I ran my first half marathon ever. And, one year ago I pretty much started my race from the port-a-potty. Luckily, I left myself with plenty of time to actually start this race from the start line.

Soon enough the race began and I was running. I didn’t have a detailed plan of how I wanted to run this race, I just knew that I needed to go out nice and easy, not too fast, and that I wanted to be under two hours at the halfway point. Before I knew it my ticker notified me that one mile had already passed…and at 9 minutes and 2 seconds. I had held back a little bit, but I was definitely worried that I hadn’t held back enough. However, I felt good, and plan or no plan, I just like to run how I feel.

The second mile…8:41. The third…8:38. Fourth…8:46. Fifth…8:37. Angela, you are running too fast. You are going to get too tired. I ate my first mocha Clif Shot at mile five, and I clocked in mile six at 8:37, and then mile seven at 8:27.

8:27…Angela you are seriously running too fast.

I was worried. I never trained to run this fast for this long. But my legs felt great and it was a gorgeous morning, so I just kept running. Mile eight…8:35, mile nine…8:30. Mile ten came in at 8:42 and I ate some delicious Clif bites. Around this time I was running near these two men who were very entertaining. I just listening to them cheer on each other and every runner that they came across. They seemed so full of energy I just thought to myself if I can stay near them then I’d be doing well. Mile eleven…8:38, mile twelve…..8:31.

Mile thirteen…8:26. Goodness gracious…that’s fast for me…especially at mile thirteen…especially since I had thirteen more to go. I reached the halfway point around 1 hour and 52 minutes. I just may have PRed my half marathon time, too.

As I was running too fast, but feeling amazing at the same time I was literally smiling the entire time. I even heard one spectator say around mile 20, “Why is that girl still smiling?” I knew a sub-4 hour marathon was definitely within reach which motivated me to keep going.

The second half of the marathon was an out-and-back on a paved trail. The trail was beautiful, and it was so lovely to be able to run for so long through the pretty trees and scenery. However, I knew that my family would be trying to find during the second half of the race, and running this trail was not going to be conducive to them finding me. My family was such a big motivator for me during my first marathon, I tried to prepare myself not to see them until the finish line this time around. Mile fourteen came in at 8:30 (you’re still going too fast), mile fifteen at 8:40 (downed another mocha Clif Shot and thought you are still going too fast), sixteen and seventeen both at 8:43, and eighteen at 8:50.

I reached the turnaround point and I knew I was on the final stretch. I was still feeling ridiculously amazing, but I knew the last part would be difficult. I kept running along, and as I passed a water station I heard the best sound ever. “ANGELA! It’s Angela! There she is!!!” my sister screeched as I ran past her. Somehow her and my dad managed to find me along the trail. I’d given my dad a map and my potential splits to help him navigate, but after being on the trail for so long I just didn’t expect to see anyone. Later they told me they had been close to leaving that spot because according to the splits I’d provided them I should have been coming from the other way. Little did they know that I was running like crazy that morning.

I saw them once again…I can’t explain the excitement I felt as I heard both of their voices. Later I saw that my sister had posted this…

Mile nineteen…8:48, mile twenty (and more Clif bites)…8:53.

About this time I had another very welcome surprise. I saw the most gorgeous six foot eight inches walking toward the trail as it passed along a main road. My beautiful husband also managed to track me down and give me some encouragement…he also added in there, “You are way ahead of your splits!”

After mile twenty ended my rein of sub-9 minute miles. Mile twenty-one…9:01, twenty-two…9:12 (I knew I had been running too fast), and mile twenty-three…9:20, I was slowing down quite a bit, but I knew without a doubt that I would be coming in under four hours. After mile twenty-three I felt really exhausted. To make matters worse, I had noticed that my Garmin had been ticking anywhere from a tenth of a mile to three tenths of a mile before I passed the actual mile markers along the course. My Garmin would notify me that I’d completed another mile, then two minutes later I’d pass the course mile marker.

Mile twenty-four…9:33. Come on Angela, you are almost there…less than thirty minutes more of running. When you are running for so long, it’s definitely okay to talk out loud to yourself. Keep going!

Twenty-five…9:34. Hold on girl. Keep running! Twenty-six…9:37.

I saw the twenty-six mile marker. I could hear the crowd at the finish line. I rounded the corner…I heard them announce my name, “Angela Habermehl, twenty-six point two miles…!”

I saw the timer…I saw the “3”…

3:54:01.27. Sub-4 hours.

And that’s when I knew that anything is possible. It really, honest-to-goodness, is. This whole training cycle I questioned my ability…my ability to actually train for the marathon, my ability to get faster, my ability to sub-4 hours. But I did it. I did it all.

I know that I had so much more than just my two feet moving one in front of the other working for me leading up to and during the race. My husband, dad, and sister who all came out to support me…my family and friends all thinking about me from home…people sending up prayers for me…that little redbird I saw the day before…all kept me going. So much more…thank you.

much love, ang

Just Maybe if All the Stars Aligned

I’m not even sure where to start this recap, so I’ll just start with my time leading up to race day. My thoughts are so scattered and random and I still feel like I’m riding on an endorphin high.

…definitely a high I don’t want to end.

As you know, one of my wishes this year was to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I knew I wanted to run a spring marathon, but I didn’t have high hopes that it’d be my sub-4 hour goal marathon. I put a lot of effort and time into my training, but not as much effort and time that I have put into nursing school. I knew that at the very least I wanted to PR…and to PR I’d have to get faster…and to get faster I’d have to do some speedwork…and I maybe did speedwork once a month. (Although, I have to give some credit to my lovely W.O.W. running gals…you three pretties dragging me along all those mornings definitely helped my speed!)

But…three weeks ago I set out for a twenty-two mile run. It was going to be my longest long run of this marathon training, and the longest training run I’d ever done in my life. I was terrified to tackle this, but excited to slaughter yet another seemingly impossible task. I started the run nice and easy…and mile after mile passed by…and pretty soon I was seeing some “8:XX’s” on my little ticker. I finished that run with an average pace of 9:12.

…and then I got this little feeling that sub-4 hours was maybe-just maybe-if-all-the-stars-aligned-possible.

The week leading up to the race was perfect. I didn’t go taper-crazy, my little runs seemed effortless, I drank lots of water, ate lots of carbs (like that is something new), and I actually stretched. I finished all my homework early so that I could have a clear mind on Friday, rest as much as I wanted, and have plenty of time to prepare my gear. I wanted to do everything that I did last August on race-eve that I felt was beneficial. I leashed up my little princess Tia and went out for a short two-mile run/walk. As we were strolling along a pretty little redbird crossed my path.

That’s when I knew I’d have someone looking out for me on race day. It didn’t matter if I subbed-4 hours or even PRed. I knew I’d have an amazing time.

And that I did.

ang

Just Got the Butterflies

I’m running a marathon the day after tomorrow.

I feel like I have been so nonchalant about this whole training process. With nursing school consuming so much more of my life than I’ve ever been used to, I just never had time to sit and think about what it is I’m going to be doing.

But it has finally hit me. I am running twenty-six point two miles in less than forty eight hours.

I just got the butterflies!

ang

Made It Official

I’ve been running.

I haven’t been writing much about running, but I’ve been running. I’ve listened to my little garmin chirp as it tracked mile after mile. A delightful little sound.

One of my goals this year is to run two marathons. I signed up for the Chicago marathon that is in October, and I’ve been training for a spring marathon. However, I have been afraid to fully commit and actually register for this spring marathon because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in all my training miles with nursing school.

Until today. I finally made it official!

My mind was pretty made up two Fridays ago, though. I crammed my face with carbs the night before and set my alarm to go off way too early for a Friday morning. I knew I’d need extra motivation for my longest run of the training cycle (so far), so I did the only thing I thought truly appropriate…

…switched the bright pink laces, of course!

The marathon is only twenty-five (what?!) days away, and this weekend I am going to attempt my longest training run ever…22 miles.

Please send your positive running vibes to my pretty pink laces!

ang

The Week I Didn’t Run, Eat Healthy, Blog, or Even Study Very Much

People have commented and complimented me for keeping up with my running plan and eating well during nursing school. I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. However, if you ask me how I do it…run, study, eat, study, study, study…the truth is, I don’t.

An entire week without running is not something I have experienced since my marathon last August. Instead of finding me on the treadmill or hitting the pavement, last week you would have found me cuddled up on the couch with two blankets, little Tia on the lap, a kleenex stuffed up my nose, and a coffee cup of TheraFlu steaming from the tv tray in front of me.

An entire week without running makes me nervous. What if my endurance is gone? If I’m going to stick to my plan I am going to run my first marathon of 2012 in approximately sixty days. That means I’m going to start seeing 14, 16, 20 mile long runs pretty soon. Um, what?!

I’m going to stick to my plan though. I know if I kick it back into gear again then I will be ready come sixty days from now. Eating healthy on the other hand…that one’s always a little tricky for me.

My plan was the make one healthy change to my diet each week. I totally rocked January adding lots of fruits and veggies, minimizing my soda pop and drinking lots of water. Then I amped up the coffee…then I ran out of fruit…then I ran out of time…then I forgot to make one healthy change…then I got sick (correlation here?!)…then I stopped trying.

So I need some help here. Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to do is just decide what my one healthy change will be. Does anyone have any suggestions other than servings of fruit and veggies? When it comes to what I’m eating I can use all the help I can get! I think for the remainder of this week I’m going to try to get back to where I was at the end of January, and for next week my goal is to simply plan ahead.

Last but not least, this poor little blog…has been…oh so…so neglected. Every now and then I check in just to make sure it hasn’t somehow vanished from the internet. The funny thing is that I actually have thought up quite a few of blog posts that I’d love to write…I just never get to it. What’s even crazier is that this month is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month…and I haven’t posted one time about it. Sad face. I still have a few days left, though, and National Eating Disorders Awareness week is coming right up, which is the anniversary of my discovery of the blog world…so you will hear from me again soon…I promise!

Until next time, keep on keeping on people!

ang