March 27, 2011

It's official...

As seen in my email in-box today...

Dear Lenna,

Congratulations! You are now registered for the 2011 Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon...

I've made it official by paying for my registration, so it's no turning back now. This weekend was a drop down week with shorter runs for Tuesday and Saturday. Next weekend, we're back up to 10 miles, which I'll be running on my own and not with the group since I'll be out of town visiting a friend and her new baby girl (Yay!). It will be quite challenging to motivate myself to get out there alone and keep going for 10 miles, so I'll be looking for some new tunes to load up on my iPod to jam out to along that upcoming long run.

That's about it for now - thanks for all the support as I embark on completing my goal of participating in a half marathon!

March 19, 2011

Cincinnati's Bridges

9.3 - that was the mileage on this morning's Half Marathon training run that covered Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati. It was a beautiful morning and a great day to get out before the sun came up to take in some of the lovely sights in the Queen City. The thing about running in Cincinnati is that you'll no doubt find yourself pounding up and down some hills and what some people don't realize is that almost any bridge is actually a big hill. So when you set out to run 9.3 miles and you look at the route laid out by the running coach and you see 5 bridges on the turn by turn directions, there's a bit of an "ugh" feeling that sets in before you even start your first mile.Alas, I pushed ahead and got moving across the first bridge - The Purple People Bridge - this is a pedestrian only bridge, so it's a nice smooth concrete surface to run along. The bridge goes between Newport, KY and the east side of Cincinnati's downtown area, near the some popular park areas called Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove. On most of our runs, this is usually the first bridge we cross, so it's always challenging to start on a hill, but overall I don't find this bridge too tough to handle. Up next, the Taylor-Southgate Bridge - this is the bridge that I find gives me the most trouble. It's 850 meters, which is similar to the others, but for some reason it kicks my butt every time I cross it. And today, we had to cross it twice (gasp) - on the way out and on the way back - but I made it, thankfully. One awesome moment from today's run while on the bridge was that the sun was coming up right beyond the bridge, so it was a bit easier to focus on the beauty of that image rather than the pain my legs were feeling while running the bridge.

Bridge number 3 was the Licking River Bridge (click link for photo). This one runs over the Licking River in Northern Ky and there's a long gradual hill leading up the this bridge, so it's never fun to cross this one and the pedestrian lane is pretty skinny along this bridge which is well depicted in the photo link.
The fourth bridge of today's run was the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (the far left bridge in the photo). This one is pretty challenging, however I really like this bridge because of the views it gives you of downtown Cincinnati. It runs between Covington and downtown Cincy and it's right next to the home of the Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, so when it's football season, you might be able to catch the players out on the practice field.

So, there you have it - a quick tour of some of the bridges spanning the Ohio River that I traveled on by foot this morning. While very challenging, there's a part of me that enjoys the up and downs of the bridges. Usually the down part is my favorite but hey no big surprise there because who doesn't love a downhill!

March 15, 2011

Temptation Island...

That's where I feel I've been living lately when it comes to saying "no" or at least "not so much" to sweets these past few days. I've been full steam ahead with my training for the half marathon and even completed the 8.3 mile run on Saturday without much pain or discomfort when I was finished. So, while I'm pulling it together on the running side of things, I've been struggling with staying away from temptations when it comes to my food choices.

And it seems that sweets have been the culprit as of these last few days - cake and ice cream for a birthday party on Saturday night, more cake with yummy icing on Sunday evening at a neighbor's dinner get together, and then last night was the kicker...a reece cup blizard from the DQ! Now, I did share those last two items with JJ, but let's be honest here, I was the one who wanted them and since he's not huge into sweets, he only had a few small bites of each dessert.

I'm not really looking for any feedback or comments with today's post. I'm just putting it out there for my own benefit and need to "come clean" with myself, so that I can move on with things and get back on track. My water intake is up significantly and today's a new day - one where I will recommit myself to myself. I've got running group tonight, beginner's yoga tomorrow night and plenty of good food choices in the fridge for lunches and dinners, so I'm pressing on, despite this past weekend's minor set back!

PS - Did I mention there's been a huge family size box of Frosted Flakes in the control room at work...seriously...temptations are all around me lately!

March 09, 2011

I'm "flying"...

In response to the recent question I asked myself last week - click here for more details - I've decided to participate in the Flying Pig half marathon on May 1st. Just need to actually sign up and pay for the half marathon now, but I'm full speed ahead with my training and now working on making sure I get all my training runs and cross training workouts in during the week. I'm also going to start experimenting with energy products like gu gels and sport beans on my long runs.

So, the countdown is on: 52 days until my first half marathon

Up next: Thursday's shorter run (3-4 miles) and Saturday's long run (8.2 miles)

Today's question to those runners out there: what has been your experience with energy products? Do you like a particular kind or find that a gel works better than an energy bar? Let me know your thoughts and experiences!