Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend Recap-03/31/14

Well March is mostly over and I couldn't be more ready. We had a ridiculously long and cold winter here in St. Louis, which I know is a common complaint amongst most of us that live in the Midwest, North and Northeast. I am so ready for spring, however now that we're getting our first glimpse of it, I'm also getting my first round of awesome allergies (good think allergy medicine was on sale at Target this weekend). If anybody does need to stock-up on their allergy medicine, all Up & Up brands were discounted, which I combined with a Cartwheel coupon for an additional 10% off along with my RedCard 5%, so it ended up being a good deal. Just FYI.

It was a pretty good running/fitness weekend, but of course Sunday had the nicest weather and was also my strength training day so I didn't get to run in the sunshine.

On Friday evening Joe and I did the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Kick-off Weekend Virtual 5k. We decided to hit up Tower Grove Park, one of many city parks with a nice perimeter trail and pretty scenery (think fountains, lakes, gardens and turn-of-the 20th century pavilions). I was excited to do the Virtual 5k as it was my first "virtual race" but I felt like things were working against me from the very beginning. First I was wearing some of my "bottom of the barrel shorts". We had a back-up in our drain in the laundry room, which prevented us from doing a normal laundry cycle and really limited my gear options. I felt like I was tugging at them the entire time.

Secondly, I managed to get a rock in my shoe in the first 1/2 mile which required stopping and starting...annoying. Lastly I forgot to take my phone out of its case before putting it in my armband and by the time I realized it after the warm-up walking, I was already far away from the car so decided to just shove it in there...which made it stick out of the top of the armband and therefore it kept falling forward. So...this annoying combination lead me to an average pace of 10:45 which did not make me happy.

But not every run can be a great one and at least I did the 3.1!

Saturday was SUPPOSED to be nice, sunny around 65 for a daytime high and around 50 at 8:00 AM when I typically do my weekend run. Not so much. I went to my Weight Watchers meeting at 6:30 and there was frost on the car. I foolishly told myself it would still get to 50 by run time.

It was 31 at run time, which pretty steady winds out of the North. I've run in colder (if you want to run outside in  the St. Louis winters you need to be ok with below-20 temps) but as I was anticipating sunny and 50 it just felt cold and damp and yuck. I felt like I still had a good run though and did 6 miles with an average pace of 10:09, which I was happy about. However 10:00 is what I anticipate myself running as race pace, however I've been hitting it at most of my training runs because I have it stuck in my head for some reason.

After I returned from the run Coach Charlie decided he had to get right up in my face and help me stretch...

Question to those more experienced: do you think this means I need to speed up my race pace or slow down my training runs?

This coming Sunday is the Go! St. Louis Marathon weekend, and I'll be participating in the marathon relay as part of a 4 person team. I'm really excited to participate in this event for the first time and I really like the team aspect of it...we'll see how it goes.

How was your weekend, did you race?
When do you decide to take your pace up a notch?
To slow the training or pick up the race pace...what do you think?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Compression and Gu and Rollers...oh my!

So, if you've read my first entry yesterday and the "About Me" section, you'll see that I'm not necessarily new to running, but I am a bit of a racing neophyte. Reading other runners' blogs has been so inspiring and informational but also a bit overwhelming!

There seems to be so much competing information on the right gear, training programs, fueling strategies and recovery that I feel a bit frozen as to which way to turn. I know most of it will come down to personal preference and the "what works for me" strategy, but there seem to be a million things to try!

One of my first steps into narrowing down and trying out different strategies is my upcoming participation in Big River Running's Women's Running series which is "devoted solely to the unique needs and experiences of women who run". The series of clinics focuses on running nutrition, gear, injury prevention and safety over four weeks in April. I'm really excited about it not only for the information but I think it will be a great way to meet other local runners!

I will also be going to my first Big River group run with Joe on Monday after work. My friend Jessica (whose pic is in my previous post) started with Big River's group runs and then transitioned to their marathon training program for her upcoming Boston Marathon. So proud of her! (* I am in no way affiliated with Big River and I'm not receiving anything in exchange for the mention...just giving a shout-out to a local company that I like!)

The group run route is 3 or 4 miles, you can do a second loop around the park pictured to get you the additional miles. I'm guessing I'll end up going for 4 and Joe will end up going for 3.

This week's workouts have consisted of the following:

Sunday- 5 miles in Forest Park in wind gusts of about 30 MPH out of the North, which was pretty brutal. The wind brought my average pace down to 10:42, which was frustrating.

Monday-Core Concepts and Power Sculpt classes at the gym...oh so many burpees!

Tuesday-3.5 miles around Clayton (suburban area of St. Louis) on my lunch break, got myself back down to 10 m/m pace which made me happy.

Wednesday- rest

Thursday-45 minute spin class

Friday- Virtual 5k for Las Vegas Rock n' Roll Marathon Kickoff Night Run with Joe. St. Louis isn't hosting a run, so we're doing the virtual option. Hey, we could win entry to the race in Vegas, so why not?

Saturday- Doing the Forest Park perimeter loop which will be my last long-ish run before the Go! St. Louis Marathon Relay next week. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful park so close to our house, it's got an amazing zoo, History Museum, Art Museum, Science Center, outdoor theater, miles of trails, lakes, etc. and all the attractions are FREE!!

Here's a shot of the lovely Forest Park I took while on a run last fall. That is the famous Art Hill, where people head to sled when it snows and the Art Museum looking over the Grand Basin.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great weekend and the Spring has sprung wherever you may be.

Food for thought:
What is your go-to fuel on long runs?
What is the distance at which you think you need to carry water?
What is the one running-related item you cannot live without?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Here we go...the year of the race.

Well, I told my husband I was actually going to do this, so here I am! I've done the "About Me" page to give an overview of myself but I realize that as a result of my blog title, people may assume that my name is Jaynie/Janie. It is actually Jayne and the only person that calls me Jaynie is my grandmother. I'll answer to pretty much anything though (within reason).

One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to keep motivated toward my goal of 10 races this year. I've completed two so far and have 4 more that I'm registered for, so I will need to add a few more to get to goal, and I already have some in mind.

The year started off with the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge Run here in St. Louis. It was a run to open a new bridge over the Mississippi River that was awesomely named for Stan "The Man" Musial, a long-time Cardinal great/Hall of Famer and hometown hero. His number was 6, so the race was a 6k in honor of that number. It took place on February 8th, and even though the race time temperature was 14 with crazy wind chills, it was so much fun.

Unlike a lot of annual races, this was a one-time only opportunity. A few hours after the race was over, the bridge was open to traffic and became part of the interstate little feet to ever pound over its lanes again ( really shouldn't run on interstate bridges). Plus the race started in Missouri and ran into I basically ran from one state to another (that counts as something, right?).

I am in literally 0 of the pics they have tagged on the race result site (apparently they thought A LOT of different people were me, of varying heights and genders) so I don't have any fun "action shots" to post but Joe (my awesome husband who ran with me) did snap this one on the bridge (oh yeah, it had snowed that morning too!)

I finished the race at 37:37 which is right about a 10 minute mile as a 6k is 3.7. I was pretty happy with that time as I've picked up some speed over the last year or so and being right around 10 feels good for me right now.

Two weeks ago was the St. Patrick's Day Parade Run in downtown St. Louis, which is a 5-mile race that precedes the parade along the route. This one is really awesome as the parade spectators are mostly already out and they are awesome cheerleaders (it might be because of the tendency of the spectators to have an early morning adult beverage or two, but hey...cheering is cheering).

This also randomly happens to be the largest 5-mile race in the country with over 20,000 runners (some of who pull a keg with them). It was a great time and I ran it in 51:13, which is just over 10 minute miles. It was significantly better weather than the February race, but it got pretty warm toward the end, into the 70s by parade time!

Before the start with two of my gal pals, Jessica to the far left (who is running the Boston Marathon in a few weeks) and Shannon

Next up for me will be the Go! St. Louis Marathon weekend on April 6th where I will be participating on a marathon relay team with my friend Courtney and two of her cousins. This will be my first relay and I'm really excited to be part of a team event like this, although I hear logistics getting from one leg to another can be a bit annoying when you want to support your other team members.

Here's a copy of the course Go! sent out to the runners, I can't decide which leg I'd prefer as the shorter legs are the hillier ones...of course.

After that one is the Girls on the Run 5k during which I'll be supporting my niece who is running it for the second proud of her! Here's a pic from last year's race.

Over Memorial Day Weekend Joe and I will be heading to Door County, WI for a long weekend. This is where we were married about 6.5 years ago and we try to get back there for long weekends when possible. Not only do we love it, it's a great place to take the dogs! While there we've decided to run the Jacksonport Maifest 10k, which looks to be a really scenic run in and around Lake Michigan.

The jewel in my race crown this year, however, is the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Miler on October 4th. This is the race that I knew I wanted to do as soon as the race bug bit me. Joe and I are both signed up and pumped for it. I'm a bit nervous as it's a night race and it will likely be pretty warm (not that STL doesn't get ridiculously hot, just not typically during race seasons) but the excitement far outweighs the nerves. This is NOT a race pic but just to give you a sense of our love for's us at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2012. We typically make it to Disney twice per year and LOVE it!

In July, I'll be joining a local running store's 1/2 Marathon training program to prepare myself for the 10 miler and hopefully the Rock n' Roll Half-Marathon that will be taking place in St. Louis in late October. I've cheered on friends there before and it seems like a really great first half-marathon.

I'll fill in with some other races, but that's what's on the books for now! Ok, that's a really long first post, hopefully you made it all the way through, I promise to try and be less wordy in the future.

I'd really appreciate comments and feed back! To get the conversation started:
What races are you looking forward to this year?
Have you ever run a Disney race?
Have you ever run a night race and if so, how did you modify your training?