About Me

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Wife, Animal Lover, Pediatric Audiologist, Golfer, Skier, Childless By Choice, Half-Marathon Runner

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Bike, Limited Motivation and A Big Change

I haven't blogged in FOREVER! I kind of lost my motivation to do so after the half marathon. I ran the Buffalo Half and it was pretty much a disaster, mostly because it all of a sudden got REALLY hot, and also because injury had kept me from continuing my training. I have been running sporadically but not like I had been.The heat and humidity are making it very difficult, and it seems to zap my motivation. I did get a nice shiny new bike a few months ago, a Quintana Roo, which I love riding. I can easily go out and do 10 miles and have fun with it. That seems to be my exercise of choice lately. I am actually registered to do the Summer Sizzler Duathlon next month- it is a 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, 2 mile run. It is the shortest I have seen and the distances are not overwhelming to me. So my focus is really just keeping up with running as much as I can in the heat and get faster and better on the bike.

Another reason for my limited motivation is a very big life change. We are moving to Philadelphia in about 6 weeks! I got the most amazing job and I am so excited about it. Moving is scary and stressful, but I am hopeful that it will be well worth it in the end. We found a house and are currently working on getting everything in place as far as that goes. It's a really great house and I am really excited about it. It's a quick walk to the train, which I will take to work on most days. I am hoping that I will be able to get out and do some more running now that I will be living in a better neighborhood and will have so many new and exciting places to explore. It will certainly be an adventure!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Flower City Half Marathon

Well, I did it! My goal was to finish this race, on my feet, and with a smile on my face, and I did. My secondary goal was to complete it in under 2 1/2 hours, but I missed it by 3 minutes. You'll see why shortly. My longest run prior to today was 9 miles, because of injury and general life. I knew those last 4 were going to be tough, but I don't think I was prepared for how tough. I am really pleased to say that I walked for maybe one minute of the entire race- there was a nasty, steep, narrow cobblestone hill that led everyone ahead of me to walk. The footing was uneven and this was after another hill, at about mile 7 or so, so I decided walking was the safe choice. I also tried to walk around mile 11, but my foot wobbled when I tried to stop and I decided that I had to keep running (even if it was at a snail's pace!)

Mile splits:
1- 10:47
2- 10:59
3- 11:11
4- 11:17

Miles 1-4 went pretty well. I originally planned to start pretty slow and get faster as I went on, but after we drove the course yesterday and I saw the hills at miles 7-10, I decided to change my strategy. I thought if I started out a bit faster, I could bank some time for the more challenging terrain. It worked out well- my target pace to finish under 2 1/2 hours was 11:30. Awesome- I banked over a minute and half already and I was feeling pretty good.

5- 11:27
6- 11:22

Miles 5 and 6 felt a bit tougher but I kept my pace reasonable, banking another 11 seconds. I was pretty excited when I hit the halfway point at about 1:11 or so. Awesome- I was about 4 minutes ahead of where I wanted to be at that point.

7- 11:59
8- 11:58 
9- 11:45

Miles 7-9.5ish were pretty hellish (they WERE in a cemetery after all). The hill to get into the cemetery was cobblestone as I mentioned above, and this is the only place I walked, mostly because I was afraid of hurting myself. There were quite a few hills here, and my pace really suffered. I lost about a minute and 15 seconds here, but I didn't panic because I was still on target. The 2:30 pace group passed me here, but I felt confident I could move faster once out of the cemetery and I knew they were a bit ahead of pace too.  

10- 11:52
11- 11:47

Miles 10-11 were where I really started to hurt. Even though it was flat, I really couldn't gain any speed here. I was getting tired and my left leg was aching in various places. I also felt pretty sure I had a massive blister on my left foot. Lost some more time here.  The 2:30 pace group got further and further away. I saw my friends Bob and Nancy here, and that helped perk me up.

12- 12:36
13- 12:30

Miles 12-13- even though I knew I was in the home stretch, these were the worst two miles of the run. I was in pain and really wanted to be done. I would think I was moving faster, but I couldn't do it. I tried to stop to rub my leg, but when I tried to I got a bit wobbly and decided to keep moving. I knew I was going to finish but I thought it was going to take a really long time. I gave up on 2:30 at that point- I knew I didn't have enough left to make up all of that time. I am pretty sure I saw someone go into the woods to poop at this point. That's so weird to me- I never had an inkling that I needed to stop for a bathroom break.

.15- 10:22

The last .15- I saw my husband and in-laws cheering for me and I was able to surge forward. I just wanted to be done and get some water. I crossed the finish line at 2:33:08 and that is good enough for my first half marathon. Right now, I feel like I will never want to run again, but I imagine once my legs and feet feel better, I will change my mind.

Total: 3.15  2:33:08

The race was really well organized and started on time. The course was enjoyable, even with all the hills. I can honestly say I had fun (until the last two miles when I felt like I was being tortured). I am really proud of myself- I worked really hard and I did it!

My preparation really paid off. The clothing I wore was prefect. Carrying the camelback worked out well, and I can't imagine not having it. I did run out of water right at the end, so when the weather gets warmer, I may need to upgrade to a larger pack. I ate Chomps as needed, and they worked out great. I wore my calf compression sleeves, which were wonderful. I had no calf or shin pain at all. My new sneakers were really great. My feet felt good, until they just didn't, but that is to be expected. Overall, I think it went pretty well considering I only started running last summer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm Ready!

One week to go before my very first half marathon! I am getting pretty excited, I must admit. I had a decent week of training, and now it's time to taper. This week I only plan to run once, and ride my bike twice. I am taking Thursday through Saturday off so that my legs will be well rested for Sunday. The weather forecast has changed a few times already in the last few days. Right now it is supposed to be in the 50s with a 60% chance of rain. I HATE running in the rain, so needless to say I am keeping my fingers crossed that it changes. I've run in some nasty weather though, so I feel like I can handle whatever comes at me. I just want to finish and feel that I can do that no matter what. I have some soreness in my foot, but I think if I keep taking my motrin, icing and resting up that I will be just fine. After Sunday is over I plan to take a good week or two off to recover completely. I still have to tweak my music playlist- I need to have some slowish songs in the beginning. My tendency in races is to go out fast, but I know I can't do that if I am going to maintain or speed up my pace as I go on. I really intend to start slow and finish strong. I have my outfit all planned out- purple running skirt from Athleta, black underarmour short-sleeve top, arm warmers (too cold not too I think but I get too hot in long sleeve shirts), and pink calf sleeves. My bluetooth headphones will be all charged and ready to go, along with my Garmin and my ipod. I plan to carry my Camelback for water, as well as a package of Gu Chomps. I know there are plenty of water stops, but I really like to have water whenever I want it, which is usually often. I also hate dealing with all the people that bunch up at water stops and then I also would have to walk. I don't want to encourage myself to do that and plus I have done all of my long runs with the Camelback and it was fine. As far as the Chomps, I will try to eat some at the beginning and then maybe around miles 5 and 10. The only concern I have is that in the past, they didn't sit too well early in the morning. But I am hoping that since I will have already eaten breakfast and been up for several hours that my body will be confused and will tolerate it fine. Nothing else really works for me energy-wise- gels are gross and I don't care for Gatorade-type drinks. I feel like I am ready for this and I have trained hard. I definitely had some setbacks and didn't get in all of the mileage that I had planned to, but I worked hard. My goal is simple- finish on my feet, with a smile on my face. Oh, and if the clock reads anything less than 2 1/2 hours, that would be even better.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Absentee Blogger

Bad blogger, bad! Well, today is two weeks from the big half marathon. I haven't had a great month of training, unfortunately. I was sidelined by injury, then went away on vacation, came back and was still hurting. Stupid feet and shins. Last weekend I had a great 9 mile run, which did a lot for my confidence, but made my legs very tired for the week. I had planned to do two 3 mile runs and a 10 miler this week. Sadly, I cut the two short runs even shorter and didn't do the 10 mile run. I got a new pair of sneakers (Saucony Kinvara) in hopes that I can avoid further stress fractures in my feet. I was hoping to get the 10 miles in this weekend, but the weather did not cooperate and my legs really weren't ready. So I have a couple of possible plans. I am planning to run 3 miles after work tomorrow at the gym. Then on Wednesday, I am either going to run 10 miles after work or 6. If I run 6, I will run another 6 over the weekend. If I run 10, I will probably just do a short run on the weekend. Mentally, I think I am ready for 13.1. I am more worried about my shins and feet holding up if I do another long run beforehand. So we will see what happens. Hoping for good weather and healthy legs and feet for May 1st!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taking Some Time Off

I know I have kind of fallen off the face of the earth. Training was moving along nicely. I ran a new PR for the Bengal Run on 3/19, which was pretty exciting. Unfortunately after that run, my right foot starting feeling sore again. Against my better judgement, I ran the next day. I had a 9 mile run planned, and I am so stubborn and determined, that I did it. I ended up walking much of it, because of the pain in my foot. I knew what it was, but I went back to the podiatrist anyway. An xray and ultrasound confirmed that the stress fracture had either returned or never healed in the first place. I was feeling so good for awhile there too. So I haven't run in nearly two weeks. The timing kind of worked out though, since we went to Vegas for a week. We even brought our gym bags- but sadly, never even opened them! I ate like a pig and enjoyed every second. Although it was sad to come home, I enjoyed eating healthy food today and even got on my bike trainer for a 7 mile ride. I plan to re-evaluate after this weekend. I did a lot of walking in Vegas, so I suspect that may slow my recovery. I am feeling better but not quite right yet. The half marathon is a month away, so if I can't get back to where I was, I may have to skip it and plan for another one. But I am thinking that if I can get in a couple of easy 2-3 milers next week, and then get in a good long run the following week, that I may still be able to do it. I had planned on maxing out my long run at 12 miles, but I don't have time to do that now. I can still hit 10 though, and a lot of training plans are set up that way. And I figure, as long as my foot is ok, I know I can finish- even if I end up walking some of it. Who cares how I get there, as long as I finish on my feet?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I think it's time to write about something other than running. Yes, my blog is called D. Rock Runs, but I do other things too. I've seen this on a couple of other blogs, so I thought I would give it a whirl too since I like reading these.

(A) Age: 34 Sometimes I forget, and I think I am still 32. I have to do some math to figure it out.
(B) Bed Size: Queen, but I wish it was a king.
(C) Chore You Hate: Cleaning the bathroom.
(D) Dogs: Penny the Pug, Jack the Jack Russell/Beagle and Kira the German Shepard/Husky. Plus two cats- Socks and Abby.
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Coffee (regular with coffeemate or a non-fat latte)
(F) Favorite Color: Yellow and pink.
(G) Gold or Silver? White gold.
(H) Height: 5'1"
(I) Instruments You Play: Clarinet ( Any type, plus Alto sax and oboe)
(J) Job Title: Audiologist
(K) Kids: Never
(L) Live: Tonawanda, NY
(M) Mom’s Name: Sheree
(N) Nicknames: Dani, D, Shims, Rock
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? Never
(P) Pet Peeve: So many too list, so little time. Messy people are the biggest one for me.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: I can never remember quotes.
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right.
(S) Siblings: 1 younger sister
(T) Time You Wake Up? 4:45am if I have to run before work, 6am if I don't have to run, and between 8 and 10am on the weekend
(U) Underwear: Always
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Onions
(W) What Makes You Run Late: A little dog taking her sweet time to do her business
(X) X-Rays You’ve Had Done: Teeth, right foot
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Shrimp Scampi
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Bears

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chilly Challenge 5K

I have been dying for a nice day to run outside, and I finally got my wish today. Nice, as in not snowing and windy. As in 25 degrees, but sunny and no snow on the roads! I will take it. All I really wanted was to run a nice solid race. I set my Garmin Virtual Partner to a 10:20 pace. Because I didn't have time to get my long run in this week, my plan was to run a little 1 mile warm-up, run the 5K and then run another 4 miles afterwards. Yeah right :) Anyway my husband was nice enough to stay with me for the warm-up and we ran a nice solid mile. I felt pretty good and was hoping I didn't waste too much energy. I actually think it was helpful to run a little warm-up. My first mile was awesome. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my watch after the first quarter mile to see I was running an 8:45 pace. I have never done that before. Anyway I just kept at it and ended up hitting the 1 mile mark at 8:50. The next mile went by pretty easily, and although I couldn't maintain that speedy (for me) pace, I did run the second mile around 9:55, which is still faster than I have ever run before. The third mile was tough- I was getting tired and it was slightly uphill here. As I was hitting 2.5, I started to realize that I could actually achieve one of my goals for 2011, which was to run a 5K in under 30 minutes. I was running just over a 10 minute mile now, so I knew I had to pick it up if I had any chance. I picked a guy in front of me to pass and I turned it on full steam- finishing the last tenth of a mile at a 7:57 pace. I did pass him, and my Garmin time was 29:57. I did it! I didn't know if I would ever meet my goal, and here it is February, and I did it. I slaughtered my Virtual Partner too- my pace was 9:42. My legs were hurting after that, and although we tried to run another 4 miles, I could only muster another 1.68. We decided that was enough, and that my long run would need to be a little short this week. Normally a long run is far from running all out, and I really had nothing left at that point. It was a nice race and very well organized, with yummy chili at the end. Yay for my PR and yay for my husband who got a PR and placed 3rd in his age group today!