Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Year Running Anniversay...how did I almost forget.

I was getting an awesome massage on my shins last night when I remembered that this week is my one year anniversary when I started running.

Running has brought my husband and I together in a whole new way (not that we were lost before), it has given me peace when I needed it most, it has opened a new world full of new friends (both online and in person). What I forever must be greatful for is my health. Running has provided me the avenue to breathe deeper, live longer, and respect the body I've been given.

It wasn't an easy road to get to this point. I found out I wasn't only a high maintenance kind of gal, but I'm also a high maintenance kind of runner. After numerous different shoes, PT appointments and tears I found my running legs.

I have to believe Chris had some doubts I'd even like running, but he continued to support every crazy fad I tried to just get started with running. Love ya honey and you inspire me everyday to just keep on moving.

Thanks for reading everyone I appreciate all the support and I hope I can return it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, December 28, 2009

All I Want For Christmas......

When I last left you I was excited about logging a new weekly mileage high of 29 miles despite a failed long run. I was hoping Santa would bring me some fresh legs, and allow me to hit my goal of 30 miles in a week for Christmas. I won't make you wait in suspense by wondering if I got it or not. Nope Santa decided that this wish was not happening this week, and it was made evident pretty early.

Monday was a planned rest day, and after the somewhat successful Sunday run that I had I was very hopeful for Tuesday evening run. I was planning on getting 6 miles in, and set myself up nicely for the 30 mpw goal. My gut was telling me it might be a good idea to run past the CRC store (about 1.5 miles into my run). Good thing I did since my shins tightened up so bad it hurt to walk. I decided I was being told I needed another day off so I called Chris to come get me. So Monday was a planned rest day, and Tuesday and Wednesday I had two unplanned rest days.
Now here is the point that I must interrupt your normally scheduled programming about my running life to share some not so scheduled programming. Wednesday was a short day at work. I left the office after having gotten a good deal of work done, and also finding a massage therapist that was familiar with working on runners (I made my appointment for the Monday after Christmas). I was excited to get home, and begin my long holiday weekend. No more than 3 minutes after leaving my office I was sitting at a red light and then I heard it....crunch!

Well wouldn't you know Santa thought I needed a new bumper. The girl behind me thought she had a tad more room than what she did when she tried to switch lanes. So I got out of the car and asked if she was fine. Looking at the damage I was lucky my whole bumper hadn't fallen off, but it was going to need replaced. Then I began the process of gathering information. I was a tad nervous about screwing up and not getting what I needed (I'm a paralegal and it would not look good). Lucky for me I dealt with two nice insurance adjusters (maybe it was the holidays that had them in a cheery mood). The other driver accepted liability and lucky for me she had full insurance. Now I am just waiting for the body shop to call to schedule the care repair.

Christmas eve I ventured to a local park trail with Chris and tried for 3-4 miles ( I really needed to burn off some sugar and stored energy from the day before). The first two left me cursing my legs, but the last two miles things began to turn around for me (I finally had some hope). I decided after the somewhat successful run to rest again Friday in hopes I could get more than 5 miles on Saturdays long run day.

Christmas eve evening was a family get together. As Chris and I were gathering up everything to hit the road, he went to put on his watch and wedding ring (which he normally only wears when leaving the house). After checking all the normal sports he puts it, we began to scan the floors. After 15 minutes of searching and coming up with nothing we left. Three plus days later and even the trash was searched, but sadly the ring has not been found. I'm not mad, but just sad that it may be gone forever. Chris has really beaten himself up over the losing the ring, but these things happen. We are already looking for a replacement, but regardless it is just a ring that was lost not our vows.

Back to running, Christmas morning was wonderful. Like usual Chris spoils me, and even gave into a little item I had been asking for in PINK.

These calf sleeves are awesome!

After a day (or two) filled with family and food....lots and lots of food. I was ready for a longer run on Saturday morning. Lucky for me I got 7 miles in, and all were completed without any real pain. I tested my luck again on Sunday and got 5 miles done on the park trail. Even with the injury, holiday craziness, wrecked car, and lost symbol of love this week I still got 18 miles total for the week. Today I am going to see a massage therapist, and yesterday I ordered a new pair of shoes. Later this week I'll post about my thoughts regarding WHY I get stupid shin splints, and actions I need to take to prevent this in the future.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and now it's time to look forward to a New Year (along with a post on a reflection of this past year).

Week Four: Honaker's Road to Boston

Week four was not derailed due to the holidays, but carried on as planned. The total mileage logged for the week 70 miles. In addition to the new mileage high Chris has logged over 50 days straight of running (some call that awesome, I call that crazy).
His week looked like this:
M- 9.05 Fartlek
T- 12 Med Long
W- 7.01 Recovery
Th- 9.01 Tempo
F- 7.2 Recovery
S- 1.13 Recovery
15.03 Long
1.16 Recovery
Su-8.46 Recovery

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Chris and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (sorry a day late), and a Happy New Year! I'll be back on Monday to share some running and not so running related tails from this past week. Injuries, crashes, lost symbols of love my-oh-my what an adventure it has been this past week.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Push Ups, Ouch!

This week was the start of week four of the 100 push up challenge. As evidence by the below video's we are progressing along, sort of.

Although you will see me getting to a whopping 19 push up at one time, I have stalled at this stage. Unable to get past 19 push ups, I have gladly repeated the week 3 schedule, and will continue to do so until I can complete all three days.

Chris on the other had found an interesting way of getting an injury from push ups of all things (let me remind you the man runs over 60 miles a week, and has never had a major running injury). So last week what began as a bothersome achy big toe, ended up as tendinitis. How does one get a big toe injury, you ask? Take a close look at the video.

Yes the form could use some improvement, but ya know I'm a beginner.

See the stress his poor toes are put through? Someone needs to be wearing shoes when he does his push ups.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just keep on moving, right?

After last weeks oops, this week was all about "just keep on moving". I was pretty mad about only getting 24 miles last week, so I set out early in the week to make sure that didn't happen again.

Taking Monday off, I went out on Tuesday after work and got in a pretty quick 5.5 mile run. Again I had not planned it, but I managed to accomplish a good progression run. Average pace was 9:38 for the run, and then the next day was 5 miles on the treadmill. Thursday I went out for 4 miles, and got to my driveway at 3.9 miles. Instead of running circles around my street (like I normally do) for the last .10 mile I just called it a day. I was a bit more tired on this run and really felt it in my shins. I still ended the run with a 9:40 average pace, but I had a feeling I was going to pay for this last month of fairly fast runs.

Saturday morning I was excited about having my first long run in the snow, and I was planning on getting 11 miles completed. Mile one was cold and the legs just felt heavy. I tried to focus on my surroundings and relax. 1 1/2 into the run and I knew I was in trouble. I stopped to stretch my shins, and when it hurts more when your standing, then I knew this shin pain was the real deal. It has been a very long time since I had shin pain bad enough to make me stop running.

I knew if I kept on moving the tightness may lessen. I just told myself to keep moving and it would get better. Mile 2 1/2 the tears just started streaming, and all I began to think about was how I am less then two weeks away from my one year anniversary. My one year anniversary of consistently running is coming up, and I also began discussing my plans for training this year for my half and full marathon. I have so many goals for my next year of running, that it was just easier to cry as I tried to run back to the store.

After passing my house and fighting the urge to call it a day after only three miles, I saw Chris running with a fellow running pal. I focused on the two of them and just ran. I had stopped crying and was just trying to think of something else other than the discomfort in my leggies. As I got closer to the store the pain started to get weaker and weaker. I got back and the store was filled with other runners getting ready to start their own runs and I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I wasn't sure if I could go back out running, but I knew if I stopped for the day and only got 4 miles in I would be a wreck for the rest of the day (yep it frustrated me that much).

As I sat there waiting for 8:07 the shins didn't feel so tight, so I began to think if I just went back out slower then maybe I would be OK. That is what I did, I stuck with a great group of runners that normally run a tad slower than what I do on the long runs. I was hoping the slower pace would work, and I could make something of this long run after all this frustration. Each mile I was ready to toss in the towel if the legs felt bad, but they never did. I ended with 9 1/2 miles with a nice average pace of 10:17. The pace is a far cry from my 10 at 9:37 last week, but I think my legs were saying they couldn't take all the pounding and that I needed to respect that. Lesson learned, respect your body!

Today Chris and I enjoyed another snowy run, but this time at a local park. The trail had so much snow I ended up running on the road leading to the parking areas. I tried my newer shoes out too, hoping that would help my shins and vowed to keep the pace really slow. I wanted 5 miles to get a new mileage high week, but I knew if I was to do it pain free it would have to be a real recovery run. As long as I kept on moving I was going to make this week a success, and I managed to do just that. Two miles into the run the legs actually felt good and I kept the pace at recovery level, and then added two hill sprints at the end of the run. 29 total miles for the week, and another mileage high.

5 days until Christmas and I am hoping that I will be able to give myself a nice Christmas present, which only I can give. If I treat my legs right, and they in turn treat me right. I will attempt to log 30 miles this coming week. It would mean so much too me to have this goal accomplished....maybe Christmas miracles can happen.

Week Three: Honaker's Road to Boston

Note: I corrected the last post on Honaker's Road to Boston. This is the actual third week of training.

Mileage for week three of training......67 miles, which is a new all time mileage high for Chris. He also had two good quality runs. A fartlek, and general aerobic progression run which both went well. The biggest improvement was his long run this week. He took the first 10 miles easy and then the last 30 minutes moderate. Unlike previous long runs (which he was running a tad to fast), he didn't feel total drained the following day. This should make some difference in his energy level for this next week of training.

Some great news came in this week. Two of the top US men's long distance runners will be racing at the 2010 Boston Marathon, Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi (the 2009 NYC Marathon winner)will be trying to take the men's title. I have already offered my legs and feet to stand in line at the expo to get any racers autographs if they so desire. It is sure to be an exciting race!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boston Training

I figured I would appease the wife and write up a quick post about the Boston training program that will be taking over my life until April. I’ll give a little bit of background about my running life so far before getting into the nitty-gritty.

I ran for a few years for fitness off and on. For Christmas of ’08, Stevi bought me a Garmin Forerunner 205. It was the best gift I never knew I wanted. I didn’t do much with it until March or so when things started warming up and I was starting to run more often. Around that time, a business associate of mine was talking about running a half-marathon. I thought about it for a awhile and decided I wanted to run a half-marathon also. We started looking for smaller races and I signed up for a 5k in July 08, my very first race. I had no idea what I was doing. I remember being nervous (which Stevi thought was amusing) and I remember them not having my registration which compounded the situation. I ran my first 5k in 22:25. Hey, I might actually be good at this. It was around this time I started training for the Columbus Half-Marathon following a SmartCoach plan from Runner’s World.

Fast forward to the half which I ran in 1:37. Not bad, but not what I wanted. I ran an average of around 20 miles/week. I decided very soon afterward that I wanted to run a full marathon. I began training almost immediately after the half, building mileage and again following a SmartCoach plan.

I ran another half-marathon in the spring and got a 1:35, but I still didn’t hit the 7:15/mile pace I thought I should have gotten. I figured out too late in the game that in order to get where I wanted, I needed to be running more. I ran an average of 37 miles/week for the marathon and finished in 3:38. There are a ton of things I should have done differently, but I’ll leave that story for another time.

After the race, I set up goals for fall 2009. I wanted to break 20:00 in the 5k, I wanted a 1:33 half-marathon, and I wanted to get a 3:20 marathon. I followed a Pfitzinger 18 week 55 mile/wk peak plan, and added a few miles here or there when I could. I’ve learned over time that the key to building your aerobic capacity (which helps you sustain speed at longer distances) was to run as many miles and your legs can handle, and building that number safely over time. For this last training plan for Columbus, I ran an average of 51 miles/week with a peak of 65. All of my race times dropped substantially. I went close to 19:00 in the 5k, 40:00 in the 10k, 1:27 in the half, and finally landed a 3:08 in the marathon. I ran faster than that 7:15/mile I wanted for the half for the full marathon and Boston Qualified.

For Boston, my plan is to run more mileage and start to add a little more quality than the previous cycle. This time I am following a Brad Hudson inspired plan. This is basically a “write your own” plan as opposed to the cookie cutter plans I followed before. The plan is based on an adaptive strategy. You write your plan “in pencil” and make changes to the plan along the way based on progress and setbacks. It also incorporates some additional workouts that I have been lacking in the past.

Starting with a mileage increase similar to what a Pfitzinger plan has, I then filled in the key workouts.

Building aerobic capacity – overall mileage, medium long runs, long runs, progression runs, and threshold runs.

Building muscular strength to increase stride power and economy – hill sprints and strides.

Specificity of training for maximal effort over the marathon race distance – marathon paced runs.

The workouts will be adjusted based on self assessments of my fitness in each of these areas as the plan progresses. The goal is to get to the starting line for Boston injury free and ready to break 3 hours in the marathon (or come as close to it as possible). If you want to see my original plan and how it is progressing, you can see it here.

Mr. Jinx: Take One

We will take a pause from our regular scheduled programming to bring you this sort of cute, maybe funny video of Mr. Jinx tearing it up:

Thanks CJ for the inspiration!

P.S. On a running note, I have about 10 1/2 miles logged so far this week. I will have a 4 miler tonight before attending "Meet the Coach" night at our local running store that does training groups (personalized plans too). I'm ready to talk about what blood, sweat and tears I will be shedding during this training cycle.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oops Did I Do That?

Well this week ended with a new PR and then a sad failure (depending on how you look at it).

On my quest to hit 30 miles a week I went out hoping at minimum for 28, but would have liked 29 miles. Opps, missing Wednesday due to a late night at work ruined that one. I had to squeeze in my miles on a very windy Thursday, and then some more on Friday before I had 10 miles for my long run on Saturday. I put 5 miles on the treadmill Thursday and 4 miles on Friday (I never run on Friday and was worried about how I would feel if I did any more than that the next day).

I then planned on my 10 Saturday morning before heading out for a day of Christmas shopping with a girlfriend. Sunday I hoped to get in 4 miles to give me my minimum of 28. Well Saturday the temps where in the teens when I started running at 7 am. I went out for the first 5 miles alone, and then would do the last with the other Columbus Running Company runners. The first two miles were ok (9:30 and 9:40), but then I hit the down hill. 9:13, 9:09, and 9:06 for my final 3 miles back to the CRC store. I saw the times, but I was just so cold and wanted to get back to put another layer on. I kept telling myself that my last 5 miles would be slower since I would be with the group.

Well I was able to dial it back into the 10 minute pace for two miles, but the other three were again in the 9 minute range. I didn't think to much of it till I got home and saw I ran 10 miles in 1:36, ummmmmmm that doesn't sound right to me. I'm the worse person to do math in my head, but I was pretty sure that was faster than my half marathon 10 mile split. Opps....should I really be running that fast so soon after the half, I couldn't have gained that much fitness to warrant such a speedy run. I was certain my leggies where going to revolt against me on Sunday.

24 hours later, yep the leggies where screaming profanity my way and begging me to stay in bed. I did so for a bit, and even tried to will them into submission for one more 4 mile run. Opps, this time I lost and the leggies won. Try as I may to give them some rest and wait till later today to run, they had a stronger will power to fight my pressure. So I lost, and decided to nap with the furbaby and then address some Christmas cards instead (sadly I found I do not save addresses very well and have so many I wish I could send a card to). So I end this week with a mere 24 miles.

On another note I finished week two of the 100 Push-up Challenge. Monday I did 48, Thursday 53 and then today 60 (mind you this is all done in 5 sets with 1 minute breaks). 161 push-ups for the week, now that is a good opps.

Happy Holidays!
Stevi (& Chris)

Week Two: Honaker's Road to Boston

Week 1-2 recap of Chris's Boston training:

Week One: 65 miles
Week Two: 65 miles

Week two of training brings Chris too 37 days straight of days running (I call that a tad crazy, but that's just me), and a few note worthy training days. Monday was an 8 mile fartlek run, where he had a range of 6:34-4:56 fartlek paces (an Average of 7:37). On Thursday he had a 10 mile GA run with an average pace of 7:48. He topped it off on Saturdays long run with the Columbus Running Company group with a 17 miler and a 7:47 average pace.

An end to another successful week

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old Man Winter & Week 2 of "Honaker's Road to Boston"

Old man winter has arrived, but the running must continue (at least that is what Chris thinks). The last two weekend long runs have required tights, hats and gloves. I am still learning what level of layering I need, but over all it hasn't been too awful, YET. However, one lesson my dear readers I have learned while running in the cold. It is not the best idea to allow your body to cool down and then go back out to finish a run when temps are in the 30's or below. Let me just say the fingers turn into ice and the teeth chatter like a rattle.

As far as Boston training goes (I've titled it "Honaker's Road to Boston" since he is the only Honaker registered), Chris appears to be doing well. I am still trying to get him to write a post regarding his training, but until there you will have my observations. A month ago he decided to go from running 6 days to 7 days a week. He hasn't had a rest day in a month, and of course in good old Chris fashion everything seems to be going well. His weekly mileage is at about 62ish miles, and aside from hearing about nearly getting hit, or another dog chasing him all appears to be coming along. Since I'm talking about Boston, a great friend Chris has met was shut out of Boston when it closed so early in November (she was waiting to hopefully submit a faster time for a better placement after the Philly marathon). Well through some great connections her incredible story made its way to the BAA and she is in as a qualified runner. In a few weeks I will devote a whole post to her story, which includes running the Boston to Big Sur challenge for charity, her devotion to our country as a Marine, and her next venture as a business women with the development of "?" (I can't tell you yet, but let's say I was treated with an early sample of this product and my leggies couldn't have been more thankful after the half marathon).

Christmas is not far off, and surprisingly most of our shopping is complete, well except when Chris decided that he doesn't like what he got me. Every year it is the same story.....I try to find a present(s) that he would have no idea I would get for him, and he constantly says "oh I don't like what I got you". It's this cat and mouse game of expectations I have come to love this time of year. What has made it harder this year is that we are both out of creative ideas and had no choice but to rely solely on our Christmas list (which we provide with links to the cheapest place to purchase). On my side Chris has already seen the name of one box and knows exactly what's in that, and then ordered something I already got him. Chris being the ever so thoughtful gift giver he is, decided that I was in need of a gift more now than later, and he wanted to give me something else......thus explained why a pair of Nike running tights came flying at me a few days ago (which would made for a wonderful early Christmas present….thank you my dear). All of this wouldn’t be so funny if Chris and I didn’t LOVE shopping for Christmas presents for each other, it is what makes our Christmas special. So as the brave soul that I am, I will venture out this weekend into the vast oasis of crazy Christmas shoppers. With a great pal, we will tackle (and conquer) our last minute shopping needs. Now if only I can get my Christmas cards out this weekend.....I'll really feel accomplished.

Happy Holidays!
Stevi (& Chris)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fastest Marathoner

When I registered Chris for the Columbus Marathon, I also included him in the Corporate Challenge. The company I work for paticipates in this program, and spouses where eligible to be included too.

Well weren't we surprised when an email was sent naming Chris the "Fastest Marathoner" for his division. We joked about this little honor, and then said I wonder if there was an award...yep another neat little plaque to remember the Columbus Marathon from.

So with that and the rest of his bling this past year, I think I need to revise my list of goals. We really need to set up a "running room" for his awards and goodies from the races.

Happy Monday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The "List" is complete.....with one "Long Distance" goal

EDITED: Just added some notes about why I have certain goals.

A few weeks back I decided that instead of dreading turning 30 in January I was going to celebrate it. This past year has been a pretty big year for me, as far as testing my physical and mental strength. I wanted to go into 30 feeling stronger on the inside and outside than I did when I was 25. Lucky for me, I think I am.

So as a measure to continue this inward and outward growth, I put together a list that I call: 30 Goals in Celebration of Turning 30.
Rules: Each item listed must be completed and/or accomplished no later than midnight on 01/13/2011. For each goal reached I will post a review of the accomplishment on my blog.

1. Complete the 100 Push Up Challenge (actually do the final 100 push up routine since I have just started this challenge this week).

2. Begin and routinely do the 100 Pull Up Challenge (can’t even do one right now, so I need the 100 push ups to help me get too 100 pull ups).

3. Run a race with a friend(s) (actually run with the friend(s) just for fun. Racing for time, all the time can take the fun out of running. I want to love all of running, and that includes races).

4. Run a race with Chris (he may have to slow down a tad for me, but maybe by the fall I'll have gotten fast enough to make it above a jog).

5. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon (ran 2:08 this fall, and I know I can break 2 hours but by how much is the unknown)

6. Run a sub 24 minute 5k (eke that is going to be hard, but I'm hoping putting int the mileage will get me there).

7. Run a 10k (this is double the pain of a 5k, and that does not sound like fun at all).

8. Run 150 miles in one month (this just sounded like a good number; I should take a bet on how long it will take for me to get there).

9. Run 1200 miles in one year (again pulled this out of the air. Not sure with my training mileage if it will be possible. Guess I will see.)

10. Do Ab Ripper X routinely (I hate ab work, and never stick with it)

11. Get a promotion at work (sounds lofty, but I'm hoping a little focus and hard work will show enough to get this done)

12. Get a raise at work (goes with goal 11).

13. Learn to grill (I am not a cook, and grilling should not be just a mans job).

14. Cook dinner at least once a month (something different each month, again I am not the cook in the house).

15. Learn to make a signature desert (Chocolate-Whip-Berry Cake a.k.a Heaven Cake).

16. Read- To Kill a Mockingbird (nope never did read it in school).

17. Read- Catcher in the Rye (another classic that I never was asked to read)

18. Read- The Time Travelers Wife (now this one is a pure pleasure read, I have heard great things)

19. Watch- Casablanca (again another classic I want to be able to say I have seen)

20. Watch-Citizen Kane (and another classic, I feel like I have been missing something over the past 30 years).

21. Watch the TV series X Files (My love of the new show Fringe has me excited about this one).

22. Write in a journal (at least once every few weeks. I've said I was going to do this again for years, but never do. I'm hoping to recount my life story, kind of like the "I’ve been everywhere man" song).

23. Keep the Honaker Blog up-to-date (I failed at this before, so a great challenge over the next year).

24. Hike (walk or run) the 10 miles of Grandma Gatewood Trail - Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave (we did this foolishly almost 5 years ago and I thought I would die. It would be a blast to go back and do it again. This time enjoying the whole thing).

25. Travel to a state I have never visited before (I've got one on my list I should be going to in April).

26. Go to the Renaissance Festival (sounds silly, but I have a bad habit of saying "oh I want to go to that", and then never going. I have been thinking about going as an adult ever since I went to one when I lived in Sarasota Florida. It was in school and I was all dressed up in a big old dress (we were told to dress up). I'm going this year I swear).

27. Host a “family” get together at our house (Ok now I am sure this one has you saying "what?". It seems to be not such an easy thing to get visitors to our house. I am still clueless on how this goal will be accomplished, but I have the dream of a cook out, with family talking and having fun, ummmmm does this only happen in the movies?).

28. Have date night with hubby once a month (We were doing well for a few months, but then stuff happens. I think our definition of date night needs to be looked at, and included activities that don't always cost money. Hoping to find more creative ideas).

29. Paint, and decorate our master bedroom (bonus points for the hallways and extra bathroom. Going on our third year without working on these last remaining rooms in our house).

30. The final goal …………………………………Drum roll please…………………………………………………………………………………………………train………………and……………………run………all 26.2 miles………………of the 2010 Chicago Marathon!!!!!!

Well that's the list, and now I have to stick to it. The most note worthy item my 100% decision to train and run the Chicago Marathon. I had been avoiding the thought of doing a full marathon until I had a few years of running under my belt....well as they say I'm not getting any younger. It only seemed fitting that such a major challenge be included (heck I am sure I would have been called out had I left it off).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thankful Thanksgiving Holiday

It is fair to say that 2009 has been a trying year for many. It has also been full of blessings, blessings that Chris and I will forever be thankful for.

This years holiday celebration brought family together (some that had been apart for far too long). I will always be thankful that I have been given the chance to introduce my husband to this special family. In addition, to our new experience we revised a new tradition started last year, and got up early Thanksgiving morning to run in a good old fashion Thanksgiving race. Our pick for 2009 was the 4 miler Pilgrim’s Progress Run. Chris was excited to race a 4 miler (a first for him), and I was out on a mission for a fun run (having had two fast races in the last three weeks).

We met up with a great running pal, Doug from CRC, and met his wife and kids before the children’s ½ mile race. It was cold, but we all had fun (some more than others. I'll try and post my video later). Chris walked away with a pretty good race, it was at least enough to get him first place in his age group and a $100 Dick Sporting Good’s gift card (final time 25:24). I ran with a running pal Patty and pushed her to a new 5k personal record in the middle of the 4 mile race (her previous time the weekend before was soft). After that point I hung with her for a bit until she wanted to walk and told me to take off. After a few up hills through the mall parking lot I finally found my fast gear and turned it on. Coming around the last curve I was passing people I had been cheering on several miles back, and then I saw Chris coming towards me (he always likes to run back and find me on the course). I yelled something like “Ya, ya honey I’m coming”, and a group of women laughed at me. I told them my husband was coming to tell me to get a move on. They said to tell him to shut up, I was busy taking pictures (they had been around earlier in the race when I was trying to run and take pictures). I laughed and stepped it up as I ran past Chris. Saw a few more people I thought I could pass, and then went straight into the finish line. My total time was 36:49 (my last mile was 8:30, I was happy with that). Collected our medals, and then put in a few more miles around the mall before heading home.

Saturday was our big day of cooking. We got up extra early so Chris and I could get our long runs completed, in time to head home and prep the turkey. Chris completed 15 miles, and I had a fantastic 10 mile run. It was a cold morning, and I got to pull out the running tights and gloves for the first time. Although I thought I would have a hard time running that long alone, it felt great to be out before the sunrise. I was kind of like a silly school girl smiling and having a blast. Once home Chris set to working on another fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. Family arrived later in the afternoon, and we all stuffed ourselves to uncomfortable levels.

The holiday season is officially in full swing at the Honaker house. We purchased our grown up tree, and decked the halls (and house) with bows, and wreaths. Chris began his official Boston Marathon training plan on Dec 1 (I’m going to try and get him to post some details on what he is planning for the next few months). I am still working towards reaching 30 miles per week, and ended this week with a new weekly PR of 28 miles. In addition, I also finally hit 100 plus miles for a month. I have been really close for the last few months, but always ended a few miles shy. Total November mileage was 108 miles for me, and Chris has a crazy 235 miles logged for the month of November (he doesn’t know the meaning of “taking it easy”).

Stay tuned for a post later this week regarding 2010 goals, and my list of 30 accomplishments for 2010.

OK this was my first attempt at video on the run.....I need some practice.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

5k PR's for Mr. & Mrs. Honaker, and What's Next

Bucks vs. Michigan today, and of course we kicked it off with a great 5k race. Weather was excellent with bright sun, and temps in the mid 40's. After my last 5k race two weeks ago I was itching to go out and give that sub 26 min goal a shot. I already had a minute PR two weeks ago, but given the difficult course I had to tell myself for the same effort I had to be able to break into the 25:XX range.

As for Chris, he was itching to for a little speed. He has not raced many 5k's this year, and his last one was back in September when he broke the 20 min mark with 19:24. For this race I know his goal was to take off as many seconds as he could from his previous time. He had already hit his 5k goal for this year by getting a 19:XX, but I was pretty certain he would like to get as close to that sub 19 goal as possible before the end of the year (shall I even dare say break that sub 19 goal).

The Buckeye Bash 5k is a charity race benefiting a local schools cross country team. Our local running store, Columbus Running Company puts on the event, and we knew it would be packed with some speedstars. This was all fine to us because it always works better to have some people to chase, then to be out there on your own. Before the race began I meet up with Lori, and Amanda for a one mile warm up. It was great to have a race with some gal pals, and to chat it before things got started. Like we thought the race was definitely bigger than the 68 runners it had last year. Several hundred had come out for a great day for racing. After Chris meet up with two other CRC Pickerington runners, Doug and Dave, I kissed him good luck and tucked in towards the middle of the pack. Knowing the race was not chipped time and that I only lost that sub 26 time two weeks by 3 seconds, I was hoping I wouldn't regret being back so far. Regardless the gun went off, and started the garmin. It took about 3-4 seconds to get to the start and take off running.

Mile 1: My plan was to hit 8 min/mile for the first mile. I have learned I do better banking some time in the beginning. I guess I feed of the energy, since the one time I played it safe I ended up walking.
7:57 mile 1 average time was and I am very happy with that. I've never recorded a sun 8 minute mile on my garmin before.

Mile 2: Mile 2 is always my issue mentally I feel I'm still too far away and I need to conserve my energy. Two weeks ago I had dipped to 8:40 avg for mile 2 so I knew I could slow down a bit, but I still tried to make sure I was more in the 8:30ish range. I also had some runners slowing up and down all over the place during this stretch. The faders where fading bad. Mile 2 8:31 still hitting my plan right on point (although I didn't know it out there sincceI forgot to look at my mile two split).

Mile 3: This is really the hardest mile 3 I have ever had. I had a side stitch that felt like it wanted to pop up every few seconds. I kept trying to focus on keeping my breathing as even as I could (in through the nose, out through the mouth). I never did get the stitch so I guess it worked. Once I saw 2.5 on the garmin I knew it was time to turn it up. I kept telling myself I could push for half a mile and then I saw the school. It was right there, but still looked so far away.
I waited for the turn straight back to the school and took advantage of a slight downhill. It was enough to get my legs moving faster and I tried to do what I've read in the books.....keep it going, don't slow back down. That gave me enough push to pass some runners, and then I turned for the last straight away. I knew my husband would be along the straight away some place and be looking for me to push hard. I got just to the point I could see the clock 25:1X and ticking...I knew I had my 25:XX goal smashed even if I let up some to finish looking like an alive runner, but I had never really pushed myself to get every second I could in a race before. Knowing Chris would expect nothing less of me, and learning how much those little seconds meant to me I pushed, and pushed hard.

(Sadly the best picture taken of me. I was not on the look out for cameras during this race.)

O.14 Mile: 6:53 average pace DANG!!!! Thank god no one had a finish line picture because Chris said I finally looked like I was in real pain, and ready to blow chunks. Well I didn't blow anything, but the kid I beat to the finish did right next to me in the chute. I never felt like I was going that fast, more like a slug across the finish, but regardless I am proud to have given it a strong finish.

I finally have a 5k time that I really think represents what my fitness level is. I also ran with my heart rate monitor and had an average of 188 and max at 204 (don't know resting rate yet I'll get it in the morning).

Chris was happy with his 5k results, though he thinks he "dogged it". He tried not to go out like a rocket which was difficult because the start line was crammed with a bunch of kids. His goal was to keep the pace above 6:00. After getting through the start line mass of runners, he began picking of cross country kids. His last .1 was 5:24 pace, and his heart rate never went above 190 (his max is 200). All things indicate he could have pushed it a bit harder, but who knows. Regardless, he came in around 19:11ish which is a PR for him too. It also sets everything up nicely for his goal of sub 19:00 in 2010.

Speaking of 2010, this was my last "real" race for the year. We both have a thanksgiving day race, but I'm going to run with some friends and have fun (maybe get a picture or video while out there). Chris doesn't have anything on the books, but that could always change pending some great weather. For now we will enjoy the holidays, and begin focusing on 2010 goals. With my 30th birthday just around the corner I've decided to prepare a list of 30 Things to Accomplish for my 30th Birthday. Day 1 will begin in 1/13/10 and end on 1/13/11. I haven't finished my list, but I am thinking of one pretty big and long goal to place on it. I hope to have my list published in a few weeks and at that time will share my big goal.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Live to run another race....

Last week I certainly had some left over pains from the gravel race, but by the weekend all was well again. I was looking forward to my weekend double digit run and the reward that awaited me at the end, pumpkin pie!

Chris was going to do a 15 miler (but if you count running with me too and from the CRC store then he did 17 miles), and I had my 10 mile run. I DO count the mile to the store, and then I planned on running with my long run pal Patty. She was doing the 5 mile loop, and then I would go out for another 3 miles by myself before meeting up with Chris for the cool down mile back home. The run itself was a run nothing to eventful to report other than I was too busy talking I never ate my cliff bloks (which until then I always did if I was running over 1:10). The first portion of the run was easy (Patty and I talk a lot), but when I went out on my own I kicked it up a bit and hit 9:38, 9:37 and 9:20. Now I know nothing to go nutty about, but the more I feel comfortable in the 9 min/mile pace range the happier runner I am. After my 9 miles I waited at the CRC store for Chris to finish and chatted it up with the other runners. My total average for all 10 miles 9:57.

That evening after a day of Christmas shopping we celebrated with some pumpkin pie for desert. For this next training cycle I have added an additional day of running to my week (from 4 days to 5 days a week). Sunday was chosen as the best day to toss in an easy 3 mile run. This is my second week running 5 days a week and so far I could barely tell the difference....let's hope this keeps up. I totaled my week out with 26 miles, and Chris finished with over 55 miles (I think 57 to be exact). Coming up next the Buckeye Bash 5k this weekend. Chris and I will both be running the 5k so check back next weekend for my race report.

Finally we had an exciting night in the Honaker house last night. Chris and I both obtained the newest edition of Mizuno Wave Rider 13’s. Chris loves his Wave Rider 12’s, and I am moving up in the running world and adding a second shoe into my running shoe rotation. Currently I run in Nike Vomero’s which I love, but they are feeling a tad heavy at times. The Mizuno is a lighter shoe which is important when wanting to run faster (I won't be expecting miracles).

Have a great week!
Chris & Stevi

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ohhh That Hurt!

Yesterday was the first time, in a long time I was really in pain after running. I certainly gained a new appreciation for people that run off-road/trail races. My leggies were just all ache (it even woke me up), and into the day on Monday. I was going to do 4 recovery miles, but my right leg was in so much pain I decided to move it to today.

So yesterday I did some hip hikers, balance on a pillow (cheaper than paying for the disc thingy), lunges, and other strength moves. I then spent a good 15 minutes with "The Stick" rolling my legs out. They are feeling 80% better today, and I hope to get in those 4 slow recovery miles on the treadmill. Chris was much tougher than me and got 6 miles in yesterday after work. He said it was a fairly painful run (this is coming from the guy that rarely feels injured).

This week's focus will be to just get the miles in, and add a few strides after one or two of my runs. I have another race in a week and then a 4 miler the following week. That's three races in one month, which is a first for me.

My miles for this week should get me back to pre-half marathon mileage peak:

On a different note I am on the hunt for a new pair of running shoes. I am going to keep using my Nike Vomero 4's, but with my mileage I'll go through them every 3-4 months. They aren't cheap, and it would be better if I could rotate in a cheaper pair of shoes (and lighter) for some of my lower mileage days. The owner of our running store (Columbus Running Company) is on the hunt for a 7.5 Muzino Wave Rider for me right now (I guess 7.5 size is popular). I'm looking forward to having a lighter shoe to run in. Although I LOVE my Power Pink Vomero's, they can feel heavy at times.

On a non-running note, I was super excited to get a package from Estee Lauder yesterday. I LOVE free gift time, I always try to pick up my make-up staples when a free gift is being offered. I hit the jack-pot this time. I got a full size face and eye cream, advance night recovery, full compact of ten eye shadow shades, and much more. On top of that I also got two free samples of more face creams. I will never have to buy the full size stuff if I keep this up.

That's all for now....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Duo Age Group Awards and a PR too

This morning was a semi-reluctant race morning. Chris had his 10k which he was not all that up for, and I had a 5k which was my semi-secret 5k fall race goal.

Back in May after running my first 5k in 28:28 I set a fall goal time of 26:XX. I had 4 5k's over the summer (one that I totally bombed on), and the other two I ticked off some seconds in the 27 minute range. I thought I was capable of 26:XX back in September, but I missed in by a few seconds. I was having a hard time pushing myself to the point of pain (which my running husband tells me is needed to get a full test of my potential). With my half marathon only three weeks ago, I was still tired from that experience. All in all I just didn't know what I was going to do today or what I was capable of doing.

The race was held at a local metro park, and the advertisement said paved/gravel surface with rolling hills. WELL......note to self take better note of the course description. The gravel was NOT nice crushed gravel, but real rock size gravel. Oh and the hills, I live in central Ohio and we just don't have hills. Somehow they made a park out of a surrounding flat area, and tossed in some wonderful hills. Chris was in his racing flats and could feel every stone when we went out for our warm up mile. From the start we had no idea what type of hills we would come across along the course, but lets just say that our training runs did not prepare us for what we had today.

The 5k started off 10 minutes before the 10k, so I gave Chris a good luck kiss and set off to line up. With no chip timing system I wanted to get close to the start, but not have a bunch of people passing me. Well I never had to really deal with other runners passing me. I had one girl start next to me, and take off in front and then one person that actually passed me on the course (it took a lot for me not to go after her, the the gravel kind of stopped me).

Mile 1 was 8:15, I have never in my life ran a mile that fast (let me note I have never tried to run just 1 mile all out either). I saw on my watch that I was pulling a pretty fast time, but I told myself to just go with it. Mile 1 also had a very steep hill that I lost my footing trying to go up and slid a few times.

Mile 2 was 8:41, I got a side stitch and knew I had slowed down to try and get rid of it. I also had some very consistent rolling hills and I spent a lot of time watching my footing because of the gravel. I remember thinking that maybe I would just have to can a PR, because I was having such a hard time.

Mile 3 was 8:24, I kept telling myself I was good as pushing it that last mile and I just needed to do it again. I really tried to focus on points I knew on the course that meant I was closer to the finish, and I think it helped. I also saw Chris go by me at this point and he was 4th or 5th position. Again the hill that I had the most trouble going up, gave me issues going down. This time I almost fell on my butt, somehow I managed to hold on and online slide and roll a ankle or two.

As I headed down the straight away and rounded the turn I saw the clock tick of 25:54. I knew I was at least ten seconds from the finish and although ecstatic to hit my fall goal time, I must admit I was a tad crushed to watch 25 minutes pass me. 26:09 is what I have on my Garmin and that meant a 1 minute PR.
As I crossed the finish line I was handed a race award, and then collapsed on the ground for a few minutes. A few minutes later I actually looked at the award and was pretty surprised to see I won 1st in my age group 20-29.

After I was done I waited for Chris to round the finish for his 10k with a fellow runner from the CRC group. The first 4-5 runners in the 10k were pretty spread apart (which included Chris). The first guy came by with room to spare for the second place finisher. As Chris rounded the corner as the 4th overall male finisher he looked strong and came across in 41:XX. It wasn't a PR for him, but he also wasn't really expecting one since he wasn't feeling 100% from the marathon 3 weeks ago. Even without a PR he came across well in front of the 5th place finisher, and won 1st in his age group 20-29 too.

Up next for me will be another 5k in two weeks. If all goes well I may just see if I can take off those last few seconds to get me into the 25:XX range....we will just have to wait and see.

Have a great week!
Stevi & Chris

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where can I get some of that speed?

Last Sunday was a great day for American distance running. Even if you don't follow running you have to smile at the news that Med Keflezighi was the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years.
Chris and I joined other runners at the Columbus Running Company store in Westerville for another group run (we also do the group run on Saturday mornings in Pickerington), and then watched the marathon at the store while downing some great pancakes. It was fun to watch and cheer on the runners with other runners. Last week was also a week of first for me. I successfully ran 5 days a week. I previously only ran 4 days a week, but I decided I wanted to add another day. Sunday seems to be a great day to get an easy 2-3 mile run in.

After a weekend of great running (well beside a weird stomach crap I got on my Saturday run) I started the week dreading the time change. Monday I put in an easy 4 miles on the treadmill (I have vowed to make Monday recover days since I've never ran three days in a row before) so no issues with the time change, but Wednesday was a different story. I really wanted to go to the running trail, so I hurried home after work hoping that Chris and I could get our run completed before is was too dark. Oops, not sure what I was thinking, but when it says sunsets at 5:30 that doesn't mean it will still be light outside 30 minutes after sunset. I got pretty spooked several times, which made my 5k pace mile pretty easy. Chris ran by a deer that he could nearly touch, and then the Park Ranger decided to tell us just how bad we were for being out on the trail that late. That will be the end to my trail running till the sun decides to stay out for a little longer. On the plus side, I had a really good 5 mile tempoish run with a 9:30's average pace.

Thursday we both stuck close to home and ran in our neighborhood. I dressed up in my new Nike pullover we got on clearance (thanks to the hubby for my awesome present), and then strapped on two reflective bands and a blinky light. Drivers had no reason at all to miss me on the road. I decided to try and make my own 4 mile loop that would take me by the CRC store, and then back home. For once I was able to figure out my path with no issues, and finished my run thinking "this running thing is easy". Now that was an exciting thought last night. I just sort of thought for the first time since I started running how effortless that run was. The best part was I ran it all in under 10 minute miles. Now I know for my other running buds that is really slow, but I have only started running any training runs under 10 minute miles over the last 2 months. It use to be only on speed workouts with the fast CRC runners was I able to run under 10 minute miles, Now my body just does it on it's own. I feel like I am shedding my beginner runner shell.

This weekend Chris and I are supposed to do a local race (me a 5k and him a 10K). We both haven’t felt that excited about racing, but were hoping that feeling changes come Sunday. For me it will be about mentally wrapping my head around the pain you are suppose to feel when really racing a 5k (yes I am a whimp 100%), but Chris is still coming off his super fast marathon three weeks ago and is just not sure if his legs are ready for the speed of racing. On the plus and down side we may not even be registered since it is a roll over from a race we missed over the summer. The director is not the easiest to reach and with no race day registration, we may not even have a spot in the race.

Have a great weekend!
Stevi & Chris

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Now what are we going to do???

This week has been a much better running week then last, for both of us. Although Chris is dealing with a head cold, he has fought the desire to run too fast (but he is no longer at my snail pace at least) although he feels like he could.

I had a really bad run on Monday (pretty sure it was mostly my fault for running too fast), but I have seriously made up for it with two great runs so far. I also think my slow pace range is changing since I find it hard to stay above 10 minute miles (yes you read the right....I'm the beginner OK, LOL). For me this is a real breakthrough.

As I type Chris is sitting across from me putting the final touches on his Boston marathon training plan. All I can say is that he has read the Hudson training book from front to back, and I am pretty sure he is looking at peaking over 70 miles per week, eeekkk!

As for me this week started what I am calling my 30 Miles Per Week Build-up Plan. I ended my half marathon training peaking at 26 miles (I had four weeks at that). I've decided (or Coach Chris has suggested) that to get me to the next level I will need to get my mileage to a steady 30 miles a week, and then work on more quality runs (i.e. hill sprints, tempo runs). I have never focused on running certain runs at certain paces, and I think this introduction along with the modest mileage increase will help me a ton for my spring goal half marathon (Either Capital City Half Marathon, or the Indy Mini-Marathon).

Sunday the last big fall marathon will be taking place in New York City. Ryan Hall and Paula Radcliff (my two favorite runners to watch) look to be in top form, and ready to inspire thousands of young runners. I also want to give a big old GOOD LUCK COLLEEN at Ironman in Florida next weekend. She trains so hard, and sooooo long I am just in awwwww of her dedication. Colleen, Chris and I will be watching for you to cross next Saturday night and sending you tons of well wishes all day long (seriously she will be running, swimming and biking for well over 10 hours).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

On the Road to Recovery

This week has been all about getting our legs to move up and down stairs (seriously we learned that walking down sideways or backwards helped), and then learning to run again.

Surprisingly my shins, nor my calves hurt at all this week. The quads and hamstrings were on revolt. Chris has felt the most ache in his knees, but both of us had most of our issues with our right leg. On our first day back to running my pace wasn't that bad, but I did look like I was a pirate with a peg leg. Chris, on the other hand, had the slowest run I think he has ever experienced, around a 10 minute mile.

On Thursday evening we met up with a group of runners from the Columbus Running Company for a Dead Mans run. It was a 3.1 mile fun run through a cemetery, and then we cooked out afterwords. Never in my life will I ever be able to say that I beat Chris at anything running related, but Thursday was just my day. As the main group went ahead (none of them had just completed a marathon 4 days before), Chris ran with me. As we went along Chris's legs were moving better than the day before, but mine where doing even better. We played follow the leader for the 3.1 mile fun run and I am happy to report I was the leader.

Today Chris had his revenge and was able to take off ahead of me on our Saturday group run. Ironically, my legs were great. My stomach was just not wanting to be bounced around. I feel fine now so no worries of illness, but maybe next time I should have something to eat (even if it is a short run). Next week we both start ramping up the mileage, and I will start my 3 month build up to 30 miles per week (yes call it conservative, but it's a living plan and can always evolve). More on what both of us are going to be running over the holidays at the beginning of the week. Till then, this is our recovery miles for week 1 post marathon (and half):

Mon: Rest
Tue: Rest
Wed: 2 (Stevi) 4 (Chris)
Thur: 3 (Both)
Fri: Rest
Sat: 6 (S) 7 (C)
Sun: ? maybe

A few pics from race day:

Running with my pal Lou.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Part Two: Mrs. Honaker's Columbus Half Race Report- The really LONG Report

Columbus Half Marathon 2009
Official Time: 2:08:32
Overall place: 3544 out of 6910
Gender place: 1660 out of 4113
In case you have not heard this before I use to, in the very recent past, hate running. I was never that good at it (except sprints in school), and normally had too many aches and pains that I would just give up. When Chris (the husband) went from running for fitness, too running in races I knew I was in trouble. I decided that since I no longer was dancing, or doing any physical activity (if you don’t count walking the shopping malls), that now would be the time to get my butt moving and try running AGAIN. Once again a few weeks into picking up a pair of shoes at the sports store, and going out for some runs (not having a clue how far or how fast I was running) I got pains in my shins. The shin splints persisted through last fall (this time last year I couldn’t run two miles without pain), and I asked Chris if I could go to a doctor to have it checked out. He agreed and after several failed attempts I was finally successful with Active Release Therapy. In December of 2008 I had several weeks of treatment, and began running in January of 2009 (and I haven’t stopped).
Chris was running his second full marathon, and was going to try for a 3:10 (his Boston qualifying time), so the nerves in the Honaker house where high. We got up at 3 a.m. and I had toast, peanut butter, and honey with my half a cup of coffee. I also sipped on some water that morning….and I will later learn that I should have stopped earlier in the morning (more on that later). After getting dressed and layering up with throw away clothes for the COLD morning we had, 30 some degrees that morning, we were in the car by 5:45 a.m. and headed to the race start.
Parking was uneventful, but as we were driving down to the race I had that feeling in my stomach that said I better hit the porta-potties FAST (ummm I thought by getting up so dang earlier I would avoid this exact issue). We got to the start before the masses, and had an easy time getting a potty (I had a fresh one which was nice if you had to use one at all). That was over and I met up with a friend that was also running the half marathon and my other special best buddy that came to the start to wish Chris and I luck. A little after 7:00 a.m. We said good bye to Chris because we could see people pooling into the 3:10 pace area, and I didn’t want him to fight for a spot. I then handed my phone and camera to my friend’s parents to hold so I would have easy access to them after the race, and then went to check my race bag of clothes that we wanted for after. This is when drama event ONE happened….my recent nightmare almost came true. I already had my bag tagged with name and Bib number so I just handed to the attendant and they tossed in the mass of other bags. Not 5 seconds after I turned around I realized I had left my water bottle handheld that contained my shot blocks in the bag. I darted through a mass of people and yelled at the attendant something I doubt she understood other than knowing I needed my bag. As I started looking through the mass of Black bags I panicked when I couldn’t find mine right on top….seriously it had only been 5 seconds since they tossed it into the truck it had to be there. What felt like 10 minutes of searching I am sure was just a few seconds, but I found the bag and said WOW hope I got the worst over with. My nightmare of being out on the race course and no one giving me my shot bloks was NOT going to come true.
After that heart pumping adventure I had to pee, and badly. It was not 15 minutes till start and with friend and her family in tow I went in search of a porta potty. We waited way to long for one, and getting in an out I had about 4 minutes till the start. Drama event number TWO coming right up. Now with 4 minutes to the start and the number of people in line still or not even in line was just baffling to me. I had spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what pace group area I wanted to start with, and I was determined to get lined up with them. Now I am only 5’4” and so I bent over and screamed “excuse me” and “opps sorry” as I weaved in and out of people just hanging out. The start line had fences along the side that I knew would be easier to jump over then come through the back which was bottlenecked with 5k walkers and runners that started 30 minutes after us. As I make my way just about to the fence and I see the 4:30 pace group (for the marathon) I feel this tug on the back of my neck. I try to move forward, but someone has grabbed me. I turn around and this 6’2” plus guy has a hold on my hoodie and my hair. I ask him and not so nice words what he thinks he is doing, and he said I would need to wait my turn like the rest of the people. OK dude first off you have NO right to put your hands on me, secondly you were not even a runner , but a spectator, thirdly this wasn’t some single filed line waiting for a bathroom or something….I was trying to get to my race start. I responded with I am just trying to get to my race spot, and get your hands off of me. At that point he still had my hair for the 10 seconds that this craziness took, and the crowed was so bad I really couldn’t give him a swift kick like I wanted too, so yes I resorted to violence and took a swing at his stomach. It was very much a girly swing, but hey I needed him to let go, and the other people around asking him what he thought he was doing didn’t make him let go so I just did what I thought I needed to do. Now that my heart was really racing….I dashed to the fence and begged for a spot to crawl into. I another gentlemen kindly let me in so I took a deep breath and told myself that everything was fine…the worst of the day was over.
About 5 minutes after what sounded like the start my area began to move along. People started dashing across the start line and my number one goal was to not get caught up in the excitement…FAILED (please not the splits I list are from my garmin, which I questioned several times while out there)

Mile 1: 8:42 I actually saw this on my watch, but my effort level didn’t not seem to match up. I mean this is my 5k pace I am trying to get. I have the 4:20 pace group behind me, but right behind me. I ask them what pace he is trying to hit and he said 10:15ish. I decided to just keep going and just make sure I don’t get too far ahead of the 4:30 pace group.

Mile 2: 10:04 much better.

Mile 3: 9:49 About this point I am still dealing with people either speeding past me, or I am speeding past them. I can’t seem to find anyone looking to run and even 10 minute mile, and I can feel it is taxing me. I had been watching some multi-colored balloons in front of me a ways for awhile and wondered what that was all about. The pace groups did not have a 10 minute mile pacer, which I heard a lot were asking for, and it made me wonder if someone was doing it unofficially. Over the next mile I decided to find out.

Mile 4: 10:08 Between 3-4 I caught up to a group from a local marathon training club I knew about (my doc that cured my shin splints was their club doc, and a great marathoner too) from the area. I asked one of the men about the balloons, and he gives me the best news of the day. I don’t know her name, but she was the unofficial 10 min mile pacer and was guaranteeing that pace for the first 13 miles. I smiled real big and said that was all I needed, and joined the club.

Mile 5: 9:41

Mile 6: 9:42 I hit my local running stores water stop and took this time to refill my hand held water bottle. I lost the pace group, but was determined to catch up. Nerves made me dash after them too fast and I fought a side stitch for a few minutes, but luckily it went away. I also took three cliff shot bloks at this point.

Mile 7: 9:55 During the time I was running with the group I was always looking around having a blast yelling back at the crowd, and looking for my buddy Lou. I knew Lou was shooting for a PR and 2:10 time, and I really had hoped I would find him and be able to run with him just like my recent training runs. About mile 7 I look over to the side and right there in front of my eyes was Lou. This was the second blessing of the day. Lou and I met up, and I told him the 10 min mile pacer was behind us, and we never looked back (or saw the pace group again).

Mile 8: 10:03 Got rid of the ipod altogether. Never used it the whole race.

Mile 9: 9:43 This was when I knew that I had to keep the 10 min mile group well behind me and work to stay under this if I had any chance of getting my “secret” goal. Lou and I talked some on and off, but we both settled really well into a great rhythm.

Mile 10: 9:41 I never felt so close, but so far away. We were headed to an area I knew well, but I kept thinking how far it was even in a car. We also passed the worst music on the course…someone was signing Unforgettable. I was done nicely, but I wanted to yell this is mile TEN and we need a pick me up…..not snooze music. Even my 70 some year old pal Lou snarked at it…..he was looking for something to push him along.

Mile 11: 9:53 We were coming out of the beautiful course and getting ready to hit the straight away to the end. Wish I would have paid better attention to this time, but we slowed for a over head picture through the park and dodged some cramped water stops (oh I had to stop and refill too).

Mile 12: 9:35 The only discomfort I was feeling was by lower back. I had been an issue since mile 8ish, and it just felt like I was wearing a water belt. I could feel I was pushing Lou now, and I also knew that I had more still left in me (which was exactly how I wanted my first race to feel). We powered through the first of a few up climbs, and I felt great getting over it. Right before we hit it Lou gave me the go ahead to take off. I knew he wasn’t slowing off pace I was just going faster, and had more left to do.

Mile 13: 8:49 WOW I really had something left. I just kept passing one after another (and I was checking to make sure they were half runners, full runners didn’t count). I had the second up climb to take and I just kept powering pass groups of people saying “so sorry” a lot. I also worked hard to run the tangent and move towards the curb since the half made a sharp left to the finish. I didn’t want to waste road by taking it wide.

What I did forget about was up climb THREE, I kept thinking I just had to power up that last up climb then I had the fast downward finish to the end…..opps it climbed a bit more AFTER the turn too. No biggie though I powered that too, and actually was mad that the people in front of me on the downward finish were going so slow. I kept thinking of the power finish was I dreaming of having, but the mass of people in front of me just would not move. I actually went outside of the cones that were set up dividing the half and full marathon ( I knew the full was not coming through yet), and made my dash that way.

Crossing the line with arms in the air I cried, and then got a really silly picture. The mass of people being ushered in was crazy, and even more motivation to get faster for my next one. My back was really feel ing that swift finish now. I bit more of an issue finding my friends parents after the race, so I had no phone or camera to take pictures. When we figured out that I better get a spot to watch for Chris to finish we head back to the masses. I really love the finish area, but the organization is the worst to get around and we had to sneak through gates just to get up to the finish line. With about 15 minutes to spare we stand on some bleachers and wait. I think at this point I was cursing not having my phone to see his splits updated on TweetMyTime, but it also makes everything so much more exciting. I had a really bad view and knew that I was not going to see him till he was right under me….I also was trying to think of him and give him strength to finish strong. One after another runners race by, and I look at the clock wondering how long it took for him to get across the finish…..then she says it my much taller friend said there and YES there he was tattoos, arm pantyhose and all. With a big old smile on his face and one of the strongest finishes I have seen from him.

I’m screaming like a mad woman, and the tears start to fall. Again we dash through the gates (no one was stopping me) and I crash into him before he even got his medal. He is smiling from ear to ear and all we can say is “I did it”…”I Boston Qualified”. I am jumping around STILL and then we run into our doctor (mentioned earlier), and I start screaming he did it, he did it. At this point I don’t think he even recognized us. We both had hats on, and with me looking like a lunatic……ohhhhh he must have been scared (sadly I have an appointment to see him tomorrow, do I admit it was me and apologize).

The excitement didn't end there. A good old pal, friends from Runners World, and Columbus Running Company all continued the celebration at our house. This race for me and Chris was exactly what should happen when a runners dedicates themselves to their training. So many times outside influences we have no control over, take hold. No matter how much you worked it’s just not your day. Today we conquered that old myth, and on this race day it was our day.

Next we plan our trip to Boston, and I am going to work on building my miles to a steady weekly mileage of 30 miles per week (I’m at 26 now), before I start training at the first of the year for my spring half marathon. Right now I have a time goal I am thinking I just might be able to TRY and shoot for. I think I may wait until the training is under way before sharing with the public.

Part One: Mr. Honaker's Columbus Marathon Race Report


The Columbus marathon was my second ever marathon. I ran my first marathon in the spring of this year (Flying Pig) and finished with a 3:38. I was on track to finish in 3:30, but cramps slowed me up in the last 10k because of my low mileage (average 35mpw using SmartCoach). In the middle of my training I figured out that my mileage was too low. Although I tried to ramp up at the last minute, there wasn't much I could do at that point and tried to run a good race with what I had. I suffered in the last 10k and vowed I would do better next time. My goal when I started this cycle was a 3:20.

Over the summer I started training with the Pfitz 18/55 plan. I went from 4 days per week on SmartCoach to the 5 days on Pfitz and added an extra recovery 5-6 miles to make it 6 days per week. After recovering from my last marathon I jumped directly into 50mpw and started the 18/55 (18/65) plan there. I also added a couple of miles here and there when I could and overall averaged about 55 mpw.

I ran a few tune-up races in the last couple of months and was cranking out huge PRs from the added mileage. My 10k dropped by two minutes, my 5k by a minute, and my half marathon dropped by 7 minutes. I started reconsidering my goals for the marathon because I had smashed my goals in all other distances. In my half, I put up a 1:27:59 and then thought that 3:15 or even 3:10 was possible. I was torn because 3:10 was my BQ, but I also wanted to finish strong. I was right there for a 3:10 but wasn't sure if I would make it and could possibly have another huge fade at the end.

I had a few nagging injuries over the last couple of months of training, most recently hip flexor and IT band issues that flared up after I started adding the speed workouts in the late stages. I spent a lot of time with the foam roller and doing a lot of stretch exercises. Luckily I was able to keep the IT band problems at bay and had no problems when I started my taper. I followed the 18/70 plan taper since I was running the extra mileage througout the plan.

The week leading up to the race I was feeling great. No pains anywhere and I had tons of energy. After the Chicago folks had such great races I started comparing my training and race times to some of the other MRT folks and decided that I would just go for 3:10. I might not make it, but I thought I would come close enough that I wouldn't crash hard at the end.


Breakfast consisted of the usual wheat bread toast with PB and banana and a bottle of Gatorade (same stuff on the course). I was carrying four servings of clif bloks with me and a bottle of water when we lined up. I also had a mini bagel in the car on the way there. I stop drinking any liquids two hours before the race starts to keep me from hitting the porta-johns twenty times before the race starts. I wore my singlet, shorts, arm warmers, hat, and gloves. The temps at 7am were hovering around 30 degrees. I noticed that people were lining up early, so I hit the porta john and got lined up (DW was running the half as well, so we said our good lucks).

Race starts and I am cramped in a sea of people in the 3:10 pace group. There were so many people jockeying for position that I wasn't sure if I could take it. I tried running a bit ahead but had to keep dialing back, so I tried to run behind the group. I had the Garmin on auto lap and tried to calibrate every so often, so splits are a bit off.

Mile 1 - 7:35 Great, I wanted to start slow and get up to pace. In the middle of this mile, some girl makes a dead stop to take her throw-away pants off in the middle of the pace group. I saw her at the last second and she almost got tackled from behind.

Mile 2 - 7:08
Mile 3 - 7:08
Mile 4 - 7:15

Water stops were terrible...couldn't get over in time and it was impossible to see ahead of me (I am 5'6). People were stepping all over each other and I am not a patient man.

Mile 5 - 7:00

Ran ahead of the pace group here to get a breather. I almost shoulder-checked a kid who kept zagging in front of me and making me dodge him. I was trying to be friendly with everyone but those people were focused and not really concerned about anyone else around them.

Mile 6 - 7:07
Mile 7 - 7:19 Took clif bloks
Mile 8 - 7:18

The IT band starts rearing its ugly head. I can feel some pain in the knee increasing and we are running on a street that is a bit cracked. Every time I would step wrong pain would go shooting up to my hip. I made the call to keep going and hope it works out.

Mile 9 - 7:16
Mile 10 - 7:01
Mile 11 - 7:03
Mile 12 - 7:08
Mile 13 - 7:02

I notice at this point that the leg pain went away while I wasn't paying attention. System check shows everything is ok again. Half people cut off so I hoped the group would thin out a bit. No chance. At this point I thought I only have to do that again, and I might have a chance at 3:10.

Mile 14 - 7:19 Took clif bloks
Mile 15 - 7:27
Mile 16 - 7:20

We started getting into some turns and uphill portions here. I remember thinking to myself that I was getting tired, but I still had plenty in the tank.

Mile 17 - 7:01
Mile 18 - 7:04
Mile 19 - 7:11
Mile 20 - 6:56 Took clif bloks

Pacer says we are doing great on time and want us to give him two good miles. There are some downhill portions on the course here and we are going to take advantage of them. I had lost some ground and used this opportunity to catch up with him.

Mile 21 - 6:58
Mile 22 - 6:56

At this point the pace group has thinned out entirely. The pacer is going to drop back down to 7:15 pace. I felt like I still had enough to go on, so I tried to hold it the best I could. I left the group and started passing people one after another.

Mile 23 - 6:58

One of my friends that was working a water stop at mile 6 on my running team jumps on the course here and paces me for the last few miles. I wasn't expecting him to jump in and it was a relief. I felt good, at first...

Mile 24 - 7:05

Full on GI issues. I'm getting used to this in races and I can never figure out what it is. No matter the distance, no matter what I eat, I always have issues towards the end of the race. Luckily, I'm getting so close that I think I can ignore it. My friend is pointing out people he wants me to pick off.

Mile 25 - 7:12
Mile 26 - 7:18

My friend jumps off the course and I give everything I have left. I don't have the .2 split because I forgot to stop my watch (as always).


Official time is 3:08:53. I Boston Qualified and got a 31 minute PR. If it weren't for the support of my friends in the Runners World 3:20 group, I don't know that I would have made it. They are a great group of folks and I am glad to call them my friends. Thanks also to the Columbus Running Company folks for the support and friendship the past couple of months.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brought Home A BQ & Two New PR's-Columbus Marathon Results

I wanted to do a quick update (longer race report to come tomorrow)on the Honaker's C-bus Marathon results.

We have a BOSTON QUALIFIER in the house, HECK YAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Chris brought home a 3:07:52, which included a 31 minute PR. I have nearly no voice and I am pretty sure my crying and screaming scared a lot of spectators and racers.

As for my first half experience.....I crossed in 2:07:31 Woooohooooo!!!!! It was far beyond what I was ever capable of doing my first time out. I made sure to stay on pace or above, and didn't feel the struggle till the last few miles. I had plenty in the tank to have a great sprint to the finish (which better mean a kick butt finish photo).

Thank you all for your support and I have a really LONG race report to post later (sadly with not enough photos).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Half & Full Marathon Eve

I few weeks ago I ran 13 miles in my training run while running with a local running group, Columbus Running Company. It was an awesome feeling, and one I had hope to have on my actual race morning. I ended up beating my original race time goal on the training run, and just had a smile that never ended on my face. With this being my first half marathon I am trying to stay away from setting any real time goal that may leave me anything, but happy with my first half marathon experience. So sadly I will not be sharing (until after the race) how I think I did as far as race time goes.

So the last time I had regularly updated this blog I couldn't even get through running two miles without stopping. Tomorrow I will complete 13.1 miles non-stop, and I couldn't be happier with how my running experience has progressed. Tomorrow I look forward to stepping in line with thousands of other runners and know that we each bring our own experience (or lack thereof), training miles, and purpose for setting the goal in front of us. As for Chris, he will be stepping into the same pace group he was in last year when he ran the half marathon. This year he will be shooting to complete that same pace for the full 26.2 miles.

So all that is left is for us to attach the beast of the marathon (or the half). Tomorrow calls for great weather, and both of us have stayed dedicated to our training programs, and must now just trust the hard work we have put in.
The race clothes are set out, and the carbo-loading is complete. Tomorrow we will get up at a dreadful time in the AM to be at the starting line by 6:30 in the morning. Thank you to all of our family and friends that tell us every day how crazy we are for running (we know you love and support us). Also to CRC running buddies and the Runners World forum runners that have been an endless source of information and encouragement, thank you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Most Important Meal for a Marathoner

Two days before the big race Chris and I had a lot to get accomplished. Expo, set out race clothes, clean the house (for the Dead Legs Party we are hosting ), and then prepare a big carb loading dinner.

We will close the evening watching Spirit of the Marathon, and then a good night sleep before we get up tomorrow for our pre-race run in the morning.

Check back tomorrow....when it will be Marathon Eve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Power Pink & Blazen Red.....

Over the weekend we had a small marathon shoe crisis, so I thought I would devout this post to what we will be relying on to fly us to the finish, our running shoes.

My race shoes have a special name that I have given them. I call them my Power Pink shoes:

I have been training in the Nike Vomero 3's since I was able to start running in January. Prior to finding the Vomero's I had tried four different shoes. Mostly do to my prior shin splint problems I really had some issues, and once I found the Vomero's I haven't wanted to change. I am hoping my Power Pink Vomero's give me an extra burst across the half marathon finish.

The real exciting shoes are the red blazing kicks....Nike Lunar Trainers.

Sadly this shoe is discontinued, and thus why we had a bit of a crisis. First a lesson in racing.....the lighter the shoe the faster you can run (if you are an efficient runner, which is not the case for me, YET). Since Chris is moving to a new level in his racing he has been playing around with different race shoes then what he trains in everyday. After a 13 mile run this past weekend in a very light race shoe, he began a slight panic because he knew the shoe was not going to carry him 26.2 miles. After realizing that the Nike Lunar Trainers would be perfect if only his toes didn't rub the edge of the shoe, we went out hunting. We ventured to our local running store, Columbus Running Company. Our local store did not have the half a size up Chris needed....so they called another of their locations. Fingers crossed I was ready to drive anywhere to ensure that this crisis was put to rest before Monday. Luck was on our side and the only size the store happened to have was the size 11 Chris needed.

A quick drive across town and a spin in the Nike Lunar Trainers a half size bigger....crisis averted. Now I am just hoping to get a picture on race day of flames coming out the back of these shoes as Chris crosses the finish.