Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lexington Half-Marathon Race Report

This past week was a fun training week. I'm in my taper now, but I was still able to get a good amount of miles in. It was also great getting to do some race-day simulation with the Lexington Half-Marathon yesterday!

On Saturday morning, I ran 10.25 miles with friends Sarah and Angela. They are both training for the Kentucky Derby Festival half-marathon in Louisville next month. This will be Sarah's second half-marathon, and Angela's first. They are doing AWESOME in their training, and I know they will be strong on race day. Our 10.25 mile run on Saturday was strong and steady, and I hope it was a confidence booster for them. They have logged a lot of miles over the past three months, and they are now entering into the taper phase. I wish I could be there to cheer them on in Louisville, but the race is the same day as the Country Music Marathon! I'll definitely be thinking of them during my race.

Saturday afternoon was absolutely beautiful - sunny and in the 60's. After picking up my half-marathon packet in Lexington, I sat outside in the sunshine and read for a few hours while Emma frolicked around in the backyard. This is our Saturday afternoon routine in the spring and summer and I love it! We had an early dinner of linguine with a spinach/marinara sauce and bread, and then headed into Wilmore to hang out with friends for a little bit. We got home early, and I was in bed at 8:45 pm.

On Sunday morning I was up at 4:15 making coffee and oatmeal. This has become my standard pre-long run/pre-race meal, and it has worked really well for me. I always have regular instant oatmeal with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and a sliced banana. This is also a meal that will be easy to recreate in Nashville on race day. As I was eating breakfast, it was raining cats and dogs outside - not a good sign! I was hopeful that the storm would move through the area, though.

The race site was only 30 minutes away, and we arrived at 7:00am. It was cold and rainy, so we ventured out to the starting line at 7:15 in search of port-a-potties and shelter. Luckily we found both right at the starting line! An article in the Lexington Herald-Leader this morning stated that there were 2,400 people registered for the half-marathon, with 2,250 finishers, so it was a fairly small race. Pretty big for this area though! And especially since this was the first half-marathon in Lexington. The race was held at Fasig-Tipton, North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction company. Some big name horses have come through Fasig-Tipton, including Seattle Slew, 2008 Derby winner Big Brown, and the 2009 Derby winner Mine That Bird. Needless to say, the grounds were beautiful!

The gun went off at 8:10, and off we went. The pack was pretty congested for the first few miles, but it was not too bad. It started raining again at mile 3 and gradually increased to hard, pelting sideways rain. Everyone was immediatley soaked to the bone! It wasn't all that bad though - it was kind of uncomfortable but not miserable. It was definitley motivation to run faster, though!

The course was a pretty simple out and back. We started at Fasig-Tipton, then followed Newtown Pike to Iron Works Pike, then looped through the Kentucky Horse Park, then returned to Fasig-Tipton via Iron Works and Newtown. It was really neat getting to run right in the heart of Lexington's horse farms. Race horses are a HUGE industry in central Kentucky, and Lexington is actually the "horse capital of the world." This was the race logo:

I felt pretty good during the race - my legs felt really good, despite having 10 miles on them from the day before. The only thing that give me issues was my lower back and shoulders. I know that I need to do more core work, and I think swimming more will also help with this as well.

Kelly set off on her own pace - she was seeking a PR and was really moving. We lost sight of her after the first few miles! Chris and I ran together - we both wanted to keep a nice, steady pace and would be happy with a sub-2:00 finish, but we figured we would finished sub-2:10. I didn't want to go all out for this race, so I wasn't seeking a PR. We did keep a nice steady pace, and I realized at about mile 8 that we were on track to finish right at 2:00.

Chris and I finished in 2:00 on the nose, a PR for me by 2 minutes! It felt great to be done. After getting my chip clipped off, I got some water and some wheat bread with honey - it was so good! Kelly smashed her previous half-marathon PR by 6 minutes, and Lindsay finished in 1:59. I think 2:00 was a PR for Chris as well. Overall, a GREAT day at the races!

After finishing, I immediatley began to freeze. I had a change of clothes in my car, so I booked it back to my car and quickly and discreetly changed from sopping wet clothes to nice warm dry clothes. It was a beautiful thing. After the race, I went to Calistoga Cafe with Kelly and her husband Tony. Tony was our one cheerleader out on the course - we saw him around mile 4 I think, standing in the rain and cheering runners on. What a sport! I really wish Chad could have been at the race, but he had commitments at church that he couldn't miss. I am so excited that he will be there with me in Nashville!

At Calistoga I got chicken noodle soup, half of a chipotle chicken panini, some hot tea and a huge cookie. It was all so good, and it pretty much included everything that I was craving at the moment. Once I got home, I took a shower and then a 20 minute nap. The skies had cleared, so I decided to take Emma for a walk to stretch out a bit. Once we got we got about 4 blocks away it started pouring! So we had to book it back to the house because Emma hates the rain. I just couldn't escape the rain yesterday!

Overall, the Lexington Half-Marathon was a great experience. Since it was the inaugural race, I expected there to be some kinks. There were a few minor ones (i.e. parking and post-race traffic were a little crazy) but overall it was very well organized. It is a small race in a fairly small town, so I didn't expect all of the hoopla of a big city race. It was actually nice to have a more low key setting!

This is a pretty long post so I'll wrap it up. Here are some pictures from the race, followed by some cute pictures of Emma. She's been cuddling with Chad a lot lately and it is just so precious that I had to capture it on film!

Chris, me, Kelly, and Lindsay (with daughter Annabella) in our spring colors

Tony and Kelly at lunch

me and Kelly at lunch

A cookie the size of a small hubcap

Emma resting her booty on daddy's arm pit

My two sweeties relaxing on a Sunday afternoon

Monday, March 22, 2010

22.45 miles DONE

My long run went GREAT on Saturday morning! It was all I could hope for and more. Here's how it all went down!

Stats -
Distance: 22.45 miles
Time: 3:34:00
Average Pace: 9:31 minutes per mile

On Friday night, my goal was to relax and rest. I ate an early dinner at 5:30pm of whole wheat pasta tossed with marinara sauce and sauteed zucchini and spinach, accompanied by a piece of bread and a glass of water. Chad has been pretty sick all week, and his throat has been really bothering him. Dairy Queen blizzards sounded good to both of us, so we got them and then settled in to watch Miracle, the story of the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team. I've seen it a few times before, so I knew it would be very inspirational!

I actually stayed up until 10:00 watching the movie, which is so late for me! But I was resting on the couch under a blanket with a sleepy dachshund, so I didn't feel guilty for staying up late. I stayed awake for 99% of the movie - the 1% I missed was the final minutes in the 3rd period of the game against the Soviets....argh! That is like the "miracle" part!

I moved to the bed, and slept like a baby until my alarm went off at 4:15am. I hopped out of bed - I was so excited for the run! I got the coffee going and made some oatmeal with 1 tbsp. peanut butter and 1 banana mixed in. I drank a cup of coffee and some water, filled two water bottles (1 was just water, 1 was a water/Gatorade mix), got my ShotBlocks ready and prepared some post-run snacks. Then I got dressed, made some final bathroom visits, and then headed to Wilmore at 5:45am.

Somehow my bladder managed to fill to capacity during the 10 minute drive, but after a quick port-o-potty stop I was ready to hit the roads. I ran 5.8 miles from 6:10-7:00am, and then I met up with friends Sarah, Angela and Lindsay. We ran 10.2 miles together, which put me at 16. Sarah and Angela are training for a half-marathon, and they are doing so great! They will kick butt at the half-marathon in April.

Lindsay is training for a marathon and was feeling good during the 10 miles, so she decided to do another 6 with me. Lindsay is tiny and fast so I was a little concerned about being able to keep up with her for my final 6 miles. But she held back and slowed down a little for me, all the while pushing me to go faster than I would have if I was on my own, which was great!

During the run, I never felt like I needed to slow down or walk. We park and keep all of our water in the police station parking lot which is right in the middle of town, so we looped back by there about 3 times to get water. I ate ShotBlocks every 3 miles, and I never felt like I was on the verge of "bonking" or wearing out. The weather was perfect - sunny, clear and in the 50's - so it wasn't too hot or too chilly.

Towards the end I started to feel pretty fatigued in my back and shoulders, but my legs and lungs felt great during the run. Running with friends makes all of the difference - we kept a nice steady pace, and talked the entire time. This made the time fly by. We actually were at 22.45 when we were about 5 blocks from the police station, so I decided to stop my watch there and walk the rest of the way to stretch out a little before driving home.

I packed an apple, pretzels, chips and a Clif Bar to eat on the way home, but all I wanted was the apple. That was the best apple I have ever eaten! When I got home I drank chocolate milk and ate a few pretzels, and then took Emma on a 30 minute walk to stretch out. I really think this is key - taking a long, slow walk after a long run always helps me to feel much better the next day.

I could not believe how good I felt after the run. I had to run a few errands around Lexington shortly after the run and I didn't feel sore or tired at all! It was crazy! I had planned on laying in the fetal position all day and eating Taco Bell.

Chad and I actually went to Springfield, Kentucky on Saturday night with some friends, and we got home at 11:00pm. 11:00pm! Now that is late for me on a normal day, but after running 22 miles? But I actually was able to stay up that late. Running really gives me so much energy!

I did go straight to bed when we got home though, and I woke up on Sunday with no soreness. My legs felt a little fatigued, like I ran a hard 5k, but it was nothing like I expected. I attribute this to 4 things:
  1. Diet
  2. Training plan
  3. Diet
  4. Diet
Yes - your diet really does matter! I was very careful about what I ate all last week - making sure to get in lots of fruits and veggies, and cutting out the junk that I tend to eat like Taco Bell and cookies. I know that baked goods are definitely my weakness - I have such a sweet tooth! So I keep a stash of almonds, apples and Larabars at my desk now to satisfy my sweet cravings. I am 100% convinced that my diet this past week helped with my long run, and I am going to continue introducing more and more raw foods into my diet.

I am really, really looking forward to the marathon! My goal is 4:30, and I know I can meet this if I am able to keep a steady 9:30 pace. I am now in the tapering phase, so I know that my diet and nutrition will play a key role in these next few weeks.

Next up, the Lexington Half-Marathon next Sunday morning!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We Made It!

I'd like to say a huge, huge, huge thank you to everyone who donated to my fundraising efforts for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. With everyones help, I reached my goal - and I am actually $1.20 over my goal! A special thank you to my mom & dad who helped push me over the $500 mark with a second donation! Every dollar makes a difference, and I appreciate everyone's generosity.

This is going to be a big weekend! My sister Megan is doing The Pelican Challenge at the Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon this weekend in Seabrook, TX. The Pelican Challenge consists of running a half marathon on Saturday, and then running another half marathon on Sunday. I know Megan and all of the Bay Area Crossfit folks will do awesome! Go Megan!

I've put in some easy miles this week in preparation for my big run tomorrow - 22 miles! Here is my training log for the week:

Monday: 3.37 miles/30:35/9:07 average pace

Tuesday AM: 4.36 miles/39:46/9:07 average pace
Tuesday PM: 11.6 mile ride/50:45/15.1 average mph

Wednesday: 5.06 miles/45:42/9:01 average pace

Thursday: 4.34 miles/39:19/9:03 average pace

Friday: rest

On Tuesday evening, I went on my first road ride of the spring! It felt so great to get back on the road, and I can tell that my hours on the trainer this winter helped to keep my in good cycling shape. I rode with my friends Cody and Chris, and Chris rode his wife's recumbent bike! It was pretty hilarious - you do not want to be on a recumbent bike when you are dealing with some of the hills around here!

Last night, we got together with our friends in Wilmore for a delicious home-cooked spaghetti meal to welcome our friends Adam and Dru and their son Israel back to town for a few days. They moved to Missouri this past summer, and it was so great to see them last night.

Tonight Chad and I are laying low (he is sick - poor thing!) and watching Miracle. I've been trying to be careful with what I've been eating this week, and I've kept a very detailed food log in a Google Docs spreadsheet. I feel rested and relaxed, and I am ready to hit the road in the morning! I will be running in Wilmore, so my plan is to run 6 on my own, meet up with friends for the next 10, and then finish with 6 more on my own. It will be great to mentally break the run up into three segments!

It's 8:30 now...I better get ready for bed!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

6 Weeks

Six weeks until race day! I am still so pumped up about running the Country Music Marathon in April. My training has been so fun this past week as spring is finally here! I can finally run in shorts again! I've put the running tights up for good, I hope! We've had 50-60 degree temps each day and it has been heavenly. It's been kind of gray and cloudy the past few days, but I am so thankful that it is not bitterly cold anymore!

Training Log 03/08/10 - 03/14/10
Monday: scheduled rest day
Tuesday: 4.79 miles/44:16/9:14 average pace
Wednesday: 3.35 miles/30:39/9:08 average pace
Thursday: 4.34 miles/39:22/9:04 average pace
Friday: 45:00 on the trainer
Saturday: 1) 13.02 miles/1:59:16/9:08 average pace
Saturday: 2) Shamrock Shuffle 3k*/18:36/8:55 average pace
Sunday: rest day
*race report below

I've been having some soreness and pain in my right knee after runs and right at the beginning of some of my runs, so I started using a foam roller at night. My friend Lindsay let me borrow her foam roller and it is amazing! I've really been concentrating on my IT band (between my knee and hip) and my hips, and my knee pain is almost totally gone. Hallelujah! I've also found that taking Emma on a 30 minute walk after my long run really helps with my recovery. We don't walk very fast and she stops to sniff/pee/poop a lot, so it is a perfect way for me to cool down and Emma loves it, too!

I didn't plan on taking a rest day today but the time change threw me off, so I am taking my rest day today and will run some recovery miles tomorrow. I want to be smart about my training this week as it will culminate with the big enchilada...the 22 miler!! This will be my longest training run before I start to taper, and I want to make the most of it. My past few longer runs (16 and 18 miles) have gone very well, and I finished them feeling like I could run further. I will do the 22 miles in Wilmore which is super hilly, so the run will be physically and mentally challenging. I've heard that Nashville is hilly - bring on the hills! I actually really like hills.

When I run, I love listening to the Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast and the Two Gomers Run a Marathon podcast. Zen and the Art of Triathlon is always interesting, and I look forward to each episode. I save the latest episode for my long run because hearing Brett's training experiences always keeps me motivated and inspired to train hard and push myself to the next level.

Two Gomers Run a Marathon is absolutely hilarious, and keeps me entertained for hours at a time during my long runs. While I don't agree with everything they do (I'm a little concerned with their approach to training!) it is interesting to hear about two guys training and preparing for the their first marathon. Oh, and one of them got hit by a Smart Car a few weeks ago, so it has been interesting to hear about his recovery.

Fund raising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation has been awesome this week! I raised over $150 in two days! Thank you so, so much to all who donated. And if you haven't donated yet, there is still time! To make your donation, please visit

On Saturday, I did a 13 mile run at 5:00am, followed by the Shamrock Shuffle 3k at 10:00am. It was an great morning! I finished the 13 miles and felt great - I had a ton of energy and was ready to head into Lexington for the 3k. I went to the race with my friends Kelly and Eve, and Eve's 3 year old daughter Claire. Eve had Claire in a stroller, so our plan was to start near the back and go as fast as we could, realizing that it would be difficult to navigate the crowd. The Shuffle is a very family friendly event with lots of dogs and strollers, and the whole race had a very relaxed sense to it which was nice. I mean its only 1.86 miles, folks!

Since I had done 13 miles and Kelly had run 5 miles earlier, we figured we would run at a nice, steady pace. What we didn't plan on was sprinting the whole race! But that is what we did, and it was so fun! Eve is a very fast runner and she really worked the crowd with the stroller. If she saw an opening, she went for it and she went for it fast! I was laughing so hard because we were dodging walkers, dogs, kids, stroller and just flying through the course. It was really fun! But I was definitely tired, and we all were wearing down at the end.

I didn't even wear a watch to the race, so I'm not sure what our official time is. It was chip timed, but the website results don't have the chip times, just the clock times. So, our time was officially 18:36, but I think it was more like 17:00 if we account for the time that was ticking before we actually crossed the starting line. Whatever our time, it was still a lot of fun! Here are some pictures from the morning:

Kelly, with a "Luck of the Irish" door hanger pinned to her back

Kelly helping Claire out with some glitter

Eve, Claire and me

Kelly, Eve and Claire

The whole gang

Friday, March 12, 2010

We Have A Winner!

And the winner of the Livestrong prize package is...Kelly Lawson! I will get the items to you this week, Kelly!

A HUGE thank you to all who donated. I really, really appreciate your generosity and support, and I wish that I had prize packages to send to everyone. Thank you again!

I'm getting ready for bed, because tomorrow will be a busy day! I will be up at 4:00 to run 14 miles at 5:00am, and then I'm going to a 3k race at 10:00am, and then I am hosting a party at my house at 4:00pm. It is going to be wild! But it will be a fun day with friends - I am looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One More Day...

Just wanted to post a quick reminder about the Livestrong contest!

I'm disappointed to report that no donations have been made towards the contest! This means that right now Chad's grandma and my sister's chihuahua have the greatest chance of winning the Livestrong package. You don't want to lose out to a chihuahua, do you??

Remember, just $5 can get you:
  • Nike LIVESTRONG low-cut dri-fit socks (2 pairs)
  • Nike LIVESTRONG stretchy headbands (set of 6)
  • Nike LIVESTRONG yellow bracelets
  • $20 Starbucks gift card
  • $50 Omaha Steaks gift card
To make your donation, please visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Virginia Trip pt. 2

...more pictures!

(Also, don't forget to enter the Livestrong giveaway contest!! Only 3 days left!)

One of the sweetest babies I know...

...until she attacked me!

Harper, wearing her hand-made "H" cape
(...and enjoying a Sam Adams)

Rob and Sarah

Charley and Kat
(Kat's shirt says "Where the Hell is Farmville, VA")

Amberly, me and Charley

Kat, Charley, Amberly w/ Harper, Sarah and me
(I have no idea what I am doing with my legs)

Virginia Trip

This past weekend, I went with three friends (Sarah, Amberly, and Charley) to see our friends Rob and Kat in their new digs in Farmville, Virginia. It was a quick and fun trip, and the weather was gorgeous! We had lots of great conversations, shared great meals, played with Harper, and toured Farmville.

We took a lot of pictures, so I'll put them up in two posts.
The gang, on Longwood University campus in Farmville

Posing in a metal car statue on campus

Harper...she is just so cute!

The Raborn Family

The gals: Kat, Sarah, Amberly, Charley and me

Thursday, March 4, 2010


First, I'd like to thank you all for your prayers and thoughts for my grandmother Mimi. She went in for a second opinion on Monday morning and received a much better diagnosis. She still has to under-go some tests and procedures, but her prognosis is much better. Thank you again for your prayers - they were definitely answered!

Now for a LIVESTRONG fundraising update! I'd love to reach my goal of raising $500 by the end of this month - March 24th to be exact. This will be one month before the Country Music Marathon on April 24th. I've raised $275 so far, so I have only $225 to go. To spice up the fundraising a little but, I'd like to do a giveaway contest here on the blog!

Here are the details: for every $5 you donate, you get one entry for the giveaway.
So, $5 = 1 entry, $10 = 2 entries, $15 = 3 entries, but $20 will earn you 5 entries!

The giveaway package will include:
  • Nike LIVESTRONG low-cut dri-fit socks (2 pairs)
  • Nike LIVESTRONG stretchy headbands (set of 6)
  • Nike LIVESTRONG yellow bracelets
  • $20 Starbucks gift card
  • $50 Omaha Steaks gift card
The package is worth over $100 in retail value, and it could be yours for only $5! The package may seem like a random assortment, but I tried to create something that all of my readers would enjoy. I know I have readers that run, readers that don't run, readers that like coffee, readers that may enjoy a nice steak package, and so on and so it is kind of a grab bag!

To make your donation, please visit

The contest will run for one week - from Friday March 5th through Friday March 12th. On Friday I will tally the entries, put them in a hat, and pick a lucky winner! The winner will be notified and announced on the 12th.

Its going to be wild around here over the next few days. I have an 18 mile run tomorrow morning, and then Chad and Emma will be bachelors for the weekend as I am heading to Virginia on Saturday with three friends to visit our friends Rob, Kat and Harper!