Saturday, January 29, 2011

Long Run at the Ranch 5K

Fantastic 5K at the Long Run at the Ranch today, our first 5K of 2011...

We met up with Kathleen, Darren and Emily when we got there. Really great friends to run with :).

The course was twice round a 1.5 mile loop and I took my camera for the first time. There were only about 200 runners so we were really well spread out and it was flat and open the whole way round. Together with the beatiful weather the running conditions were so perfect :)

At this race last year, Mike and I had PRs of 23:14 and 31:51 respectively. This year we had PRs again - but 21:41 and 28:24 this time! I was 6th in my group!!!

Here is the youngest participant of the fun run. When he crossed the line he said "can I get a bagel now?" - too cute:)

Mike came third in his age group and won another 'Running Man' trophy for his collection!

Now we have two, proudly on display at the Early home. From a decor standpoint, you really can't have too many...

And with two, you can make them 'fist pump' each other:)

And then Mike won the drawing for the cool sunglasses. What now!

This is exactly why we run...on a day like today - you just can't beat the feeling:)!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Florida Dirty Duo

We had such an amazing time at the Florida Dirty Duo race! At this event teams of two share one bike and alternate running and biking through a 6 mile obstacle course (including a mud pit:)) through Tampa's gorgeous Trout Creek park. Throughout the course there are various obstacles such as: tractor tire flip, tire run, steep hill climb, tunnel crawl, roll and pull, etc. Course terrain includes grass, dirt, jeep trail and single track trails and covers about 6 miles and 18 challenges.

Here is the 3 mile course that we had to complete which ended with the mud pit. Then you have to do it all over again covered in mud!

It was still dark when we arrived at the park ready to rock and roll...

We marked up the bike with painter's tape so that we didn't take someone else's by mistake during transitions...

Our team name was "the Sporty Forties" in honor of my BIG birthday coming up:)

Mike did the majority of the running and I biked trails for the first time!

The course started out with a three-legged potato sack race...

Later we had to hop in them to get to the finish...

And then there was the crazy mud pit!!

It was great to hang out with Amber and Chris ("The Honeymooners":))

We definitely got dirty...

After the race the kids were allowed to play in the mud. Mike ended up throwing Maddy in :)

I'm so glad I have Monday off to recover...I ache all over :).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weight a minute!

I was working diligently towards my goal of running a 5K in under 30 minutes when I suddenly realized that there may be more than one way to 'skin a cat' as it were. I found this little table on Runner's World that shows the relationship between how much faster you can run if you lose a few pounds in weight :)

According to RW author Amby Burfoot, the table is based on research that runners, on average get 2 seconds per mile faster for every pound they lose.

So, basically if my PR is about 30 and a half minutes and I lose just over 5 lbs I could be at goal!

Coincidentally this is almost the exact amount of weight that I've gained over the Holiday season. Not sure if it happened in Charleston where I was so carb'ed up that I actually had Mike take photos of me in front of a dessert bar no matter how much my enthusiasm was scaring the server behind the counter... could have been on New Year's when Catherine held me down and forced me to eat these...:)

Regardless, I've signed up for the new PointsPlus Weight Watchers program and so far it's going pretty well. I've found some great blogs to follow also including *Bitchcakes* (Click here) and the Retro WW Experiment (Click here) which is hilarious. On her blog, Mimi goes "Back in Time" and incorporates some of the original 1972 WW program recipes into her current weight-loss plan and writes about it!

Have You Met Jean?
Jean Nidetch - founder of WW
Since I was feeling a bit nostalgic I volunteered to try out one of the hideous recipes for myself. Here is my "guest blog" over at Mimi's (Clare's guest blog).

And here is the living proof that Mike and Maddy actually enjoyed it!

Groovy Jean!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Shoes for Mike!

We went to the fabulous Fitniche at the weekend to get Mike a new pair of sneakers. According to running shoe manufacturers you're supposed to buy new ones every 300 miles/6 months or so but Mike thinks that's a made-up conspiracy to get at his hard-earned money. So it took quite a bit of persuading that after 5 years or so he really could do with a new pair. Here's Mike's 'gait analysis' where they filmed him running on a treadmill and slowed it down on a TV to find the right fit just for him based on his footstrike.

First they put him on a treadmill...

According to Mike, in the next photo the store employee is looking up fancy terms on her computer like "over-pronating" and "cadence" so that she can hit him up for lots of money when he's too tired to argue...

Mike's feet - literally bursting into flames on the wide-screen...;)

He went home with a pair of Nikes in the end...:)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's a foot miracle :)

I've been suffering with a massive blister in the same place every time I run over about 3 miles for a while now. I've tried vaseline and two pairs of socks which definitely helps but doesn't fix the problem completely. I asked at our running store for their advice and it turns out that new socks are the answer! Apparently cotton retains moisture and you shouldn't run in cotton socks. Who knew?! I suppose it makes sense since you don't run in cotton T-shirts. Anyway, I wasn't sure if I believed it so I bought a pair (for about $10) and took them out for a long run. I had no blisters at all! None in over 5 miles! What an awesome discovery - thank you Emily from Fitniche!