Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just one long run to go?

A friend and I were talking today about how few long runs we have in these three weeks before the half.  According to the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run plan,  this Saturday and Saturday February 18th we have just three miles scheduled, leaving us just one really long (14 miles!) run before the half.  I am not sure how I feel about this….

On one hand, the pressure of just one more long run is comforting.  I have worked hard and put my time (and miles) in.  It feels good to know that it’s all downhill from here.  On the other hand, I feel like I need to keep pushing my distance.  Pushing my distance will help me both physically and mentally.  More long runs will improve my speed and endurance.  Long runs also condition me mentally to keep going.  I know the reason behind tapering it to give my legs the rest they need to perform on race day.  In a way, it still makes me feel uncomfortable.  I feel like I am going to lose some of my hard earned endurance by taking it easy now. 

How are you attaching this last month of training?  What are you doing to keep your endurance up but still give your body a rest before the big day? 

A dream is a wish…


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Four Weeks and Counting...

Here we are ladies….the home stretch.  We have less than four weeks until the Princess Half.  My running has been going great.  The Galloway Plan has been working well for me.  I feel really comfortable with my 1/1 or 2/1 intervals.  My speeds have been consistently at 12 minutes per mile during my maintenance runs and 14 minutes per mile in my long runs.  My longest long run has been 10 miles, where I maintained my 14 minutes per mile speed.  I still have three long runs and twelve maintenance runs before the half (wow that does not sound like much!)  I feel like I am ready, but I still have some things to figure out.  There are lots of little tweaks I need to make before then. 

  • ·       Outfit:  I have lots of ideas, but not the total package yet.  Rapunzel is my chosen princess, but I don’t have much of a costume yet.  I do have an Under Armour tech shirt in the prefect shade of lavender, a tiara Bondi Band and my Brooks running shoes.  I still need to settle on Sparkle Shirt and some fun accessories. 

  • ·        Nutrition:  My usual prerun meal is (don’t laugh!) a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and sugar free iced coffee.  I eat in my car on my way to the race.  Since this won’t be possible on race morning, I have been experimenting with different ideas.  My favorite so far has been an English muffin with peanut butter.  I was also happy with pop tarts.  During my long runs, I don’t eat anything.  I usually eat a Luna bar right after.  I have quite a variety of during race nutrition to test out, like Sports Beans, Honey Stingers, GU Chomps and Clif Bloks. 

  • ·      Timing and Intervals:  I have been very back and forth on this one.  My finish time is not that important to me, as long as I don’t get swept!  Do I take it easy and enjoy the race or do I push hard, giving myself extra time for photo ops?   I don’t want to be completely exhausted at the finish line, but I really don’t want to miss enjoying the race sights and sound, characters etc. 

  • ·        Sleep:  I am quite the night owl and I really don’t enjoy waking up early.  This will be problematic for race day.  I am not sure how to work on this.  We have a very early flight into Orlando on the Friday before the race.  I am considering making a very early breakfast ADR on Saturday morning so I am tired and fall asleep faster on Saturday night. 

How is your race planning going?  Do you have it all figured out?  What is left for you to plan in this last four weeks?

A dream is a wish…


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No More Long Runs?

There was a very interesting article in Runner’s World Magazine this month that I wanted to share with you.  It questions whether long runs are really necessary.  The author lays out a plan that basically includes a lot of sprinting and lifting crazy heavy weights in place of the traditional long run.  

I saw this article and thought I was very timely for where we are in our Princess Half training.  Most of us are at or near the longest of our long runs.  These runs can be up to 14 miles.  Mentally, this seems like a huge mountain to conquer.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to skip those really long runs but still be able to perform well on race day? I bet you are thinking—wait, don’t I need my long runs to build my base?  The author says no.  She says that the cardio conditioning that comes from a large number of sprints builds endurance faster than long runs.  To build muscle, she tells readers to do lots and lots of heavy strength training.  There are no easy runs or recovery days with this plan.  It is intense, but the author promises fast results. 

For now, I will stick to my long runs. This plan may be to intense for where I am right now, being relatively new to running.  Once I can run a whole 5k and hopefully longer, I may give this plan a try.   What do you think of it?  Is this plan for you? 

A dream is a wish…


***Pleasecheck out my Bondi Band sale!  All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Are You Mentally Prepared for the Race?

I just wanted to say thank you for all the support and kind words you have given me and each other after my post yesterday.  The reason I started this blog one year ago was in hopes that I would meet some wonderful ladies like you all.  I would never have made it without each and every one of you helping me out and cheering me on. 

The self-doubt seems to be affecting everyone.  After I posted yesterday’s post, I got so many emails and Facebook messages from other new and experienced runners telling me about their doubts.  Doubts of not finishing, of being swept, doubts of not getting a PR.  No one is immune.  Please know that it is natural to have doubts.  It is part of being a distance runner.  There is a limit of how far out bodies can take us.  The rest is mental. 

We have reached the point in our training that our bodies are ready to race.  Now we must train our brains.  We must train our heads to believe in our bodies.  Instead of “can I do this?” tell yourself “I will do this.”  Will it be hard?  Yes.  Will it be worth it? Absolutely! 

What do you do to prepare yourself mentally for this race?

A dream is a wish…


***There are still lots of Tiara Bondi Bands available.  All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012


As the Princess Half nears (5 weeks!!!), it seems like some of us are experiencing a hefty dose of self-doubt.  As I read my Facebook news feed today, I see many of my Princess Half friends  post things like “what have I gotten myself into” and “Why is it when I run on the treadmill, I only do half the mileage that I can do when I run outside? Getting nervous about my mileage for Disney.”  I am not immune to this self-doubt.  Due to a very snowy weekend, my usual running trail that I use for my long runs is covered with snow.  I ran on the treadmill at the gym for an hour and a half, almost 7 miles.  I was spent when I was finished—both mentally and physically.  Although 7 miles is far from my farthest run, I was done.  My time was ok, but I kept thinking 7 miles will barely take me out of the Magic Kingdom.  How am I going to make it all the way back to Epcot? 

On my drive home, I thought about all the wonderful people I have met on this journey and how far we all have come. You all are so inspiring to me. Ladies--we are better than this. Enough with all of the self-doubt! We need to believe in ourselves and our bodies.  We all started at different places, but we will all end at the same the finish line.  Look how far we have come already.  We are to close for second guess ourselves now.  I will ask you what I asked myself:  Have you worked hard to prepare yourself for the race?  Yes.  Have you done the planned training?  Yes.  Are you prepared to push yourself hard on race day?  Yes.  Then you and I will both succeed!  Princesses, see you at the finish line!

A dream is a wish…


***Still need a tiara for the race?  Please consider buying a Bondi Band!  All the proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bondi Band TNT Fundraiser

I love BondiBands.  I cannot run or workout without one.   I have to many to count.  Bondi Bands were the very first company to believe in my blog and offer to do a giveaway for you.  I have an intense loyalty to them, so when I was offered the chance to do a Team in Training Fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I was so excited!  One of my favorite products helping out one favorite charities—sign me up!

Knowing that we are training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, they sent me a huge box of Bondi Band’s with tiaras on them—so cute and the perfect tiara for the Princess Half!  Bondi Bands are no slip, no drip headwear so you can look good and get on with your life.   The most important thing I was looking for in the Bondi Band was that is stayed put during my entire workout.  I always wear a headband when I work out to hold back all my long, thick hair.  I HATE when I have to slow down and readjust it.  I am happy to tell you that the Bondi Band did just as I had hoped…no readjusting during a long run or an hour spin class.  This is a huge plus for me.   Something else wonderful I have discovered about Bondi Bands over these past few cold, winter months—Bondi Band work as great ear warmers. 

 I have to admit it, I am a girlie girl.  I like to look cute when I work out. The Bondi Band looked good on me while I worked out and even after.  I often run errands on my way home from the gym.  The Bondi Band kept my hair in place and looking good during and after the workout. Since it does not look like workout gear, I felt fine wearing my Bondi Band to the bank and the grocery store on the way home from the gym. The Bondi Band headband is made out of Lycra, so it wicks sweat. Like many of you, I am a sweater when I work out. The Bondi Band held back the sweat from running down my face!  

Bondi Bands sold me a lot at wholesale cost, so all the proceeds go to TNT.  I will be paying the shipping cost, so every dime over the wholesale cost will go to this great cause!  For the bands, I am charging :

$10 for one

$18 for two

$25 for three

If you want more of than that, e-mail me.  We can work something out.  Please check out the pictures of the bands on this page.  If you see some you like, please e-mail me ( amysmith7@comcast.net)  and let me know what ones you want.   You can also find me on Facebook.  Please help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and get some cool headbands for yourself at the some time! 

A dream is a wish…


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meeting Your New Year’s Running Goals

I came across an article in Runner’s World Magazine that I wanted to share with you.  It is all about how to make your New Year’s running goals become a reality.  Lots of the goals discussed pertain to me.  Here are the ones I really like.

Race farther—for me, I would like to increase the distance I run at straight without stopping for a walk break.  I am happy with 13.1 being my top mileage this year, but running more of it is my goal for this year. 

Lose 10 pounds for good—in my case, it would be losing more than 10 pounds.  I thought that with running, losing weight would be easy.  I love how I feel after a run, but it makes me hungrier.  To fight that, I try to run late in the evenings so I am not so hungry all day.  This article offers some good weight loss tips too. 

Get a new PR—5k’s are my most run distance.  It is the distance that I have raced most and it is the distance that I run during my Tuesday/Thursday maintenance runs.  On the treadmill, I have run a 5k in 37 minutes.  During the Turkey Trot, my 5k PR is 38 minutes.  In 2012, I would like to bring my 5k time under 35 minutes in a race.  One day, I would like to run a 5k in under 30 minutes.

Try “real” trail running—I run quite a bit on my local rail trail, which I call trail running.  In truth, this is probably not real trail running.  My trail is gravel.  I would like to try running on an actual dirt trail.  I love running outside, but hitting my same old trial is easy.  This year, I want to run on a real trail.

These are my running goals for 2012.  What are yours? What did you think of this article? 

A dream is a wish…


Friday, January 13, 2012

Fundraising 101?

This week, along with my normal running/workout schedule and my mommy duties, I have been learning how to fundraise.  Last week, I told you I joined Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to do the San Diego Half Marathon on June 3rd.  As part of the team, each runner is required to raise $2900.  I am a total newbie at this fundraising thing, so I have been reading as much as I could find and I have been getting ideas.  Here are a few of them:

·         Zumbathon

·         Virtual 5k

·         Bondi Band Sale (love them!!!)

·         Guest Hostess at local restaurants

·         31/Pampered Chef/Tastefully Simple Party

·         Super Bowl Pool

·         50/50 Raffle

This is the list I have come up with so far.  Many of the ideas, like the Zumbathon take a lot of planning—like finding the instructor and venue.  The virtual 5k would not require a lot of logistical planning, but would require a great deal of technical knowledge that I do not yet possess. One totally crazy idea I read was about an auction where the highest bidder gets to choose where the runner gets a tattoo!  If I get desperate, I may have to do that one, LOL. 

I would appreciate any fundraising help or tips you have to offer.  Have you ever done a fundraiser?  What worked and did not work? 

A dream is a wish…


*** I just got my 200th follower!  Thank you all!  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Are You a Real Runner?

The other day, a few friends and I were discussing if we are “real” runners or not.  We were discussing whether taking walk breaks excludes us from the runners club.  This left my confidence shaken and got me thinking—am I a real runner or am I just a poser?  Yes, I have all the gear.  I dress like a runner.  I know all of the runner jargon.  I show up at the events.  I finish the events…but no, I don’t run the whole time.  Does that make me not a “real” runner?

This all started when one friend told a story of talking with a coworker.  They were discussing how they both had run half marathons.  The one coworker asked my friend, “but did you run the WHOLE time, or did you stop and walk some of it”?  My friend had indeed stopped to walk some of it.  Her coworker scoffed as if she was better because she ran the whole time and my friend did not.  That comment made her question herself.  When she brought it up to us, I immediately told her of course she was a real runner—she put the time in and ran as much of it as she could, so yes she is a real runner. 

As much as I believe that my friend is a “real runner” the occasional doubts still live in me about whether I am a real runner or not.  I have been at this for about a year now.  Does that make me a runner?  My speed is not all the great—does that disqualify me?  I usually run about three days a week.  Is that enough to qualify me?  I have a subscription to Runner World Magazine—that has to qualify me, right?  Well, I have decided that I am a real runner.  I am a real runner because I tell myself I am.   If Jeff Galloway (Olympic medal winner) uses the Run/Walk/Run method, then it’s good enough for me!

What makes someone a runner?  When did you first feel like you are a runner?  What do you think of the distinctions some runners make between those who run the whole time and those whose who take walk breaks?

A dream is a wish…


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Team in Training

As you know, I have big plans for this New Year.  I plan to do at least five half marathons.  One of those half marathons I have planned is the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2.  To do this half marathon, I told you I was going to sign up with Team in Training through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Well, I guess it’s true that if you put it out there, the universe makes it happen.  Right after I posted about wanting to do the Disneyland Half with TNT, I saw on Facebook that TNT is having free registration this week.  As of right now, you can only sign up for races in the spring and summer so I am signed up to do the San Diego Rock n' Roll Half Marathon on June 3.  TNT assures me that when they start registering for the DL half, it is easy to switch races (although running in San Diego sounds pretty cool too!)

I am so excited about this!  I am excited about running the in Disneyland, but I am also excited about helping cancer patients.   I have spent a lot of time in the past three years in hospitals, especially the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.   I have had the privilege of meeting lots of families with children fighting cancer in the hospital waiting rooms, in the cafeteria and at the Ronald McDonald House.  The strength and courage of these families has always astounded me.  I had a hard time dealing with what was going on with my daughter and it was nowhere near as serious as what some of these families were facing.  I am so thankful I have the opportunity to help them. 

If you have any interest in joining me and doing a TNT event, the coupon code for free registration is GREAT DEAL.  So here I go with my first ever request for donations:  Please help me raise money tohelp fight blood cancer!  I will have a TNT button on my blog so you can come back at any time to donate. Thanks!

A dream is a wish…