Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recovery Mode... still

Well, yesterday I decided to give myself one more easier day of running. Instead of trying to push ahead with my long run in the middle of the week, my sister-in-law and I have decided to do our long run together tomorrow, assuming that I'm still feeling like I'm on the mend. Heather may have to bring her camera with her like she did during the Shamrock Run so she doesn't get completely bored out of her skull, but I am grateful that she's agreed to run this with me!

At first it looked like it was going to be a gorgeous day tomorrow with some sun and a high around 60º. Unfortunately, that has changed a bit and it's now looking like rain for most of the day - doesn't that just figure? Not sure if that will dampen (no pun intended) our motivation or not.... I must confess that 2+ hours of rainy running is not real appealing, but we'll see how it's going come morning.

Even though it was a light run yesterday, I've been trying to slowly but surely up my speed a bit. I guess it's kind of like my weight loss... it's not happening fast, but it is happening and every step in the right direction I look at as a positive thing. I noticed that the woman who won the Shamrock 15K clocked in with an average in the 6 minute mile range... I don't think I'll probably ever be that fast (really, that's not even an aspiration of mine at this point), but hopefully one day I can move beyond the 11½ to 12 minute mile!

Yesterday's Run
6.37 Miles
75 Minutes
5.1 mph

Monday, March 28, 2011

The wonders of modern chemistry... yeah, right!

Well, I made the mistake of running on Saturday. I was feeling pretty good and I thought I was up for a run, so I did my regular distance in an effort to try and make up for some of the workouts I had missed from earlier in the week while being sick. I ended up getting my full mileage in for the week, although I was still a couple days short of my normal six days of working out. Then, after that, my DH and I met my brother and his family along with my parents and we went out for dinner. I was glad to be feeling better and so proud of myself for getting back on track... or so I thought.

What I failed to take into consideration is that I had taken two Aleve earlier in the day... and since they are slated for 12 hours of relief, I completely forgot that these little guys were coursing through my system making me feel better under false pretense. Oops.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling absolutely lousy again. Obviously I had overreached myself on Saturday. Instead of easing back in, I came out with both barrels blazing and paid the price for it the next day... my sore throat and head congestion were back with a vengeance! I ended up spending the entire day on the couch yesterday and my DH was sweet enough to run out for groceries in the afternoon... an errand I had fully intended to do myself yesterday... or at least had planned on it back when the glow of Aleve was still coursing through me the day before! I just sat on the couch and nursed my throat, nose and fatigue while mentally kicking myself for my stupidity of the day before.

Well, here it is, Monday and I'm feeling pretty good (again) after yesterday's day of necessary slothfulness. Fortunately, today I am NOT lulled into a false sense of well being with medication, so I'm thinking this means I might really be on the mend this time. (I hope!) I did run today when all was said and done, but I did just a bit more walking than usual and I didn't do my long run, even though this is usually long run day. Since I knew going in this morning that I'm not under the influence of Aleve today, I'm hoping that I don't have a relapse again tomorrow like yesterday's and that today's feeling of recovery means I truly am getting over this bug. But I guess only time will tell!!!

Today's Run
6.3 Miles
75 Minutes
5.0 mph

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cough, cough, sniff!

Okay, I should have known better than to brag about how my running schedule was back on track. That was tempting fate just a little too much... about two hours after I posted that last blog entry, I came down with a cold, complete with sore throat. While the actual cold hasn't been too horrible, it has left me feeling completely wiped out. I have slept most of the last two days away.... not my idea of a fun time!

However, that did give me a chance to refresh my knowledge on when you can work out or when you should refrain from working out during an illness. There are some basic principles, to follow:

  1. Do not work out if you are running a fever
  2. It's said you should do a "neck check" as part of your guide to whether or not to work out:
    1. If all your symptoms are above the neck (runny nose, sore throat etc) you're probably okay to work out
    2. However, if any of your symptoms are below the neck (fever, coughing, or fatigue) it's probably time to take a break from the workout
  3. Listen carefully to your body - if you are well enough to work out, you may still want to take the intensity level down a notch or two until your illness has completely subsided
Some other considerations to keep in mind:
  1. If you are sneezing or blowing your nose a lot, it might be preferable that you stay away from the gym... keep from sharing your illness with others. Sweaty towels, kleenex, etc. that might get accidentally laid down may provide the means of spreading your germs (Ew!)
  2. Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your gym bag to keep yourself as germ free as possible (just because you try to exercise good gym etiquette, doesn't mean everyone else will be as considerate)
  3. One of the most important aspects is to wash your hands frequently - this will keep you illness free and will also help if you do get sick from passing that illness on to others
In doing my research I also learned that while doing regular moderate exercise 3 to 4 times a week can actually help to boost your body's first-line defense immunity, when your exercise times go over 90 minutes, your body's immunity levels tend to go down. While this may, on the surface, seem like a bit of a bummer, I'm certainly not going to let it inhibit my training. Keep in mind that there are so many more advantages gained from the exercise and weight loss and they far outweigh the risks associated with that single long run that I do every week.

As is the case with so much of what we do during our regular weekly workouts, when we're sick, I think a little common sense goes a long way and of course, don't forget to listen to what your body is telling you.

Here's to being healthy long term!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a little running humor

For any of you who might have (even for a moment) questioned my knowledge/wisdom when I said in my blog post a few weeks back that as a runner the porta-potty is a fact of life and you need to get used to it, I give you the above cartoon!

For the first time today in nearly two weeks, I'm back to a regular running day today. Despite the fact that I was really hoping to speed up my time today with a little speed work (which didn't happen - I think I upped my speed a little too much at the outset and ended up walking a bit more than normal), it felt pretty good to get back into a more regular routine. I didn't have to make up any missed mileage today from earlier in the week, I wasn't out of town fighting my own lethargy, etc. Nope, it was just a day of straight ahead running for my set time goal for the day and then trying to not suck while doing it! Yea!!!

Today's Run
6.36 Miles
75 Minutes
5.1 mph

It seems I'm always learning something from long run days!

Monday was long run day. Well, at least it wasn't horrible! It had been a couple of weeks since I'd run over 10 miles in any single outing, so I guess that should make me feel a little bit better about it. I'm a week behind my original training schedule, but I'm not going to get too worked up over it. The original schedule had planned for a 17 mile run before the half. I'm thinking now that I probably won't end up being quite that ambitious. I'm now thinking that the 15 mile week will probably be my longest before the half. Since this is my first half marathon ever, my goal has been more about crossing the finish line than actually having a super time (relatively speaking), so I'm trying to stick to a plan, but I'm also trying hard not to get too worked up if the plan doesn't come off exactly as I'd laid it out many weeks ago. This whole training experience is a learning process... learning from those things that are going well AND those things that aren't working out exactly as I'd hoped!

Monday's Run
11.01 Miles
4.9 mph

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beach Access

Well, for the first time in my life on Friday, I ran on the beach. I’m not talking about the little hop and skip thing you do when playing with your dog. No, I’m talking about an honest to goodness run… around 5.5 miles.  Let me be the first to confirm for you that this was NOT the romantic image you may have built up in your mind... There was no Chariots of Fire music going in the background, no slow-motion shots of my hair bouncing in golden waves trailing behind me… anyway, you get the idea… running on the beach is tough!

My DH and I took advantage of a long weekend he had coming along with him taking a little extra time off, to set out for the beach for a few days. Normally, this would be an opportunity for me to indulge in a state of complete slothfulness… Often when we’re there, I pull my head out of a book or crochet project only long enough to go eat or do a little touristy shopping in town (even though I’m not sure we’re what could be officially designated as tourists). But now, with this half marathon looming out there less than two months away, I knew I had to get in at least a little mileage while there… and I also knew that relaxing, moonlit strolls on the beach weren’t going to cut it – even though sometimes we can end up covering quite a bit of distance during our walks, that still doesn’t count!

So, Friday I set out to prove to myself (and all of you) that yes, yours truly, could actually overcome my own inertia and work out while on vacation. Since we stay in a pretty small town and it’s only about 1 mile from the beach house to the end of town via the main, somewhat heavily traveled road, I knew that I needed to go to the beach to take advantage of large expanses of relatively quiet and definitely car-free environs. 

Let me tell you, although I knew on some level that running in sand is harder than running on pavement, the actuality of it still caught me a little off-guard. My husband’s advice before I set out? He thought I should run in the wet sand… thinking it would be more compacted and thus easier to run on… well, I’m happy to report that that is not entirely true. There is such a thing as too wet of sand. Sand that still has too much water residing in it from high tide ends up being extremely soft and squishy… nearly as hard to run on as too dry of sand. So, what you have to do is strike a happy medium and try to find the high-tide mark from approximately 1-2 hours previous, where the sand is neither too dry nor too wet. This is the perfect running surface because it’s soft enough for your joints to not feel much impact, but its firm enough that you can actually get some traction on it. The tricky part is that beaches are not straight, regular lines, so navigating this ‘zone of perfect sand’ requires a somewhat jagged, veering pattern that may have some onlookers thinking you’re a crazy, drunk runner.

Let’s go back and examine that statement about the irregularity of beaches in a little more detail. Yes, they are under Mother Nature’s domain and as such, they are not subject to the laws of plane geometry. In other words, NO flat surfaces, NO regular patterns and NO predictability. As such, I spent a lot of time running up and down small inclines, jumping across many rivulets that exit into the ocean, and navigating around tons (literally) of driftwood… anything from small pieces all the way up to entire tree-sized logs, not to mention avoiding waves whenever one would come up a little higher than normal. While all of this weaving in and out isn’t maybe the most fun you’ve ever had when going to the beach, it is really good for your workout as it requires an extra bit of balance and muscle brought to bear in order to stay upright (because if you fall at this point, the onlookers really WILL think you’re a crazy drunk runner). 

Finally I have to say the wind was NOT my friend Friday. If you run on the beach, you expect it, but that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it. In fact, I bucked a pretty heavy head-wind for a little over 50% of my run. The wind was strong enough that it impacted my speed a bit and it felt like impacted my ability to breath freely… something I hadn’t ever really given much thought to. Yeah, I’ve run in wind before, but a brisk, steady head-wind as I encountered on the beach is entirely different. It was strong enough that at a couple points it felt like the air was kind of being sucked out of my lungs and I couldn’t inhale deeply enough (although suspect that this is just my imagination). 

Still, I have to say that all these seeming marks against the beach run are maybe those things that make it such a great way to work out… pushing yourself against the wind to build up your aerobic capacity a little more, dodging obstacles to build your balance up and running in soft sand to build up your running and supporting muscles. Even though I didn’t run as far as maybe I would have liked to, the fact that I still felt this run many hours later (actually into Saturday) in my glutes and my hammies is probably an indication that this was a workout that was a good one (and a necessary one) nonetheless. I kind of wish it was something I had access to a little more often… although I guess the temptation to exercise my slothful side would probably be something that would show up a little more often as well… hmm… a little food for thought…

Friday's Run
Miles: 5.5
Time: 1:05
Pace: 5.0 mph
Beach Run!!!
Well, my DH and I ended up going out of town on the spur of the moment last week and I didn't get an opportunity to post any of my other runs for the week, so I'll try to make up for it now...

Tuesday 3/15 Run
Miles: 7.07
Time: 1:23
Pace: 5.1 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run

Monday, March 14, 2011

Portland Shamrock Run

Yesterday was the Shamrock Run here in Portland. Whew! What a morning! The run was attended by 32,000 of our closest friends, with about 7,500 people running in the 15K.

Our view of the starting line

My brother, my sis-in-law, her friend Nicki & I all ran in the 15K. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's 9.3 grueling miles... and for those of you who do run and are saying, 9.3 miles, that's really not so bad, well, let me show you the elevation map, just so you get an idea of what we encountered along the way. Heather had seen an elevation map that suggested it was entirely up then entirely down... well, as you can see from this, even once you're over the hump (literally), you still have some uphill work to do. It's not until you hit mile marker 6 that you actually are completely done with any uphill battles. As you can see from this, before it is all said and done you have climbed over 1,100 total feet (net gain of nearly 500).

It rained for the entire time we were out there, but fortunately, it wasn't a really heavy rain, just a steady gentle rain that soaked us clear through by the time we'd been out there for several hours between getting ready for the start, running the race and then hanging out for a few minutes after the race was over. Fortunately, I don't think any of us realized exactly HOW wet we were until we got home and started having to literally peel the clothes off. Heather and I even thought (not sure how we ever believed this) that our feet had stayed relatively dry... as if!!! My shoes are down in the laundry room today and they're still wet!

Thanks so much to Heather... she made the run a lot of fun for me yesterday. She ran the entire race with me, which she certainly didn't have to do, especially since my pace is much slower than her own, but it was fun to have her along with me and we tried to talk a bit as we gasped for air going up these hills. Also, Heather had plenty of time to stop and take pictures while I would plod on ahead, then she could sprint (aka fartlek!) to catch up with me. Unfortunately for me, this resulted in her getting MANY unflattering pictures of my backside. LOL!

We did some walking... especially on the uphills, but we really tried to limit out walks to one minute before starting to run again. Let me tell you, one minute goes surprisingly fast when you're battling a hill! As I was looking through other peoples' notes and blogs about this run last night, the general consensus is that this is a notoriously slow race (in other words, don't expect to set too many PR's on this run) and the other thing I've noticed is that this is a race that you either really like or really hate. Most people who have done this can't help but form strong opinions about it... most of it stemming from the hill work. By the way, in the above picture, we are getting ready to go up that large hill directly in front of us. As you near the hill, you can see people making their way up it, so you know what you're in for well ahead of time!
Heather got some great shots on our run... keep in mind we started out at river level...
 Despite the rain and the hills, I had a really good time yesterday. When you finish the 15K, they award you with a finisher's medal in the shape of a pint of Widmer Beer... which you can then go on to imbibe as part of your post-race reward as well (the actual beer, that is, NOT the medal!).
Me, loving the fact that there's only 0.3 miles left to go!
I would say that I fall into the "love" category of people who have run this race. In fact I will go on the record now to say I will readily sign up for this run again... assuming that I can talk my friends and family into doing the same.

Me crossing the finish line... I think this might be the ONLY picture Heather took of my front! LOL!
Heather, my brother & me after the run... believe me, we're wetter than we look!
Race results are not in yet, I will post my times when they become available. I think I did the 9.3 in right around 2 hours... not great, but then I wasn't out to set any land speed records either! Next year will be faster!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Late Bloomers on the run!

Well, tomorrow is the Portland Shamrock run... I've never run it before, so we'll see how it goes. Everyone, but everyone who I've talked to about it and has run it previously says it's a great run. So I'm hopeful.The only thing giving me pause is the fact that it's supposed to be rainy AND windy tomorrow. Not a great combination!

Me, Heather & my brother have all registered to run the 15K... so not only will we be wet, but we should be really wet by the time we get done with 9.3 miles. The upside to this is we will all have completed out long run for the week. Yea!!!

We have registered as a group... calling ourselves the "Late Bloomers." Referring to the fact that we started running (or went back to running after a very long hiatus) later in life. This is a run that a lot of people dress up for... well, we aren't getting too decked out, however, Heather made fun t-shirts (thanks Heather!!!)... of course they are green, so if you happen to be out tomorrow, keep an eye out for us... that is if you can find us among the 30,000 other attired-in-green runners out there!

Yesterday's Run
Miles: 7.02 (Yea! I made up my missed mileage!)
Time: 1:22
Pace: 5.1 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

...Yep! I have a spreadsheet for that!

Sometimes I feel like I am in contention for being one of the biggest dorks walking planet earth… I sometimes get off on some of most seemingly stupid things that I’m sure would have a lot of people scratching their heads and thinking, that girl is just weird! 

I have just finished logging some of my daily numbers and the above thought occurred to me. Now, since most of you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, let me explain…

I am basically a chart-aholic. I love to chart stuff and make Excel spreadsheets full of data. Then, even beyond making the spreadsheets full of data, I like to make the spreadsheets ‘pretty.’ (Thank you to my former boss, Jennifer, for instilling this little bit of twisted compulsiveness in me!) I will add all kinds of colors to the charts, if I can make them visually easier to read and I’m always manipulating the data in some way or another in order to look at the trending of my charts. Finally, if I’m in a really adventurous mood… hold on to your hats everyone… I will actually GRAPH the data. Okay, everyone control your excitement… I know it’s hard to contain yourselves, but really, it’s in everyone’s best interest to remain calm.

I started this strange little habit of mine a little over two years ago, when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and a tendency toward pre-diabetes. At the time, I created the chart I use when several friends (including my doc) and I were going to get together to try to do a weekly support group for weight loss. My intention was to bring the chart to the meetings, to keep track of my blood pressure and be able to show it regularly to my doc, which she had requested in order to make sure the meds were doing their thing (at the time my unregulated BP was in the scary range… around 200/100). I had also intended to share the blank chart with anyone that wanted it, so we could all hold ourselves and each other accountable (assuming each of us would bring our weekly chart to the weekly meetings we were planning to hold).

Well, as groups like this are often so wont to do, the meetings fell apart before they even really began, but despite that, I knew that my doc/friend would still insist on seeing my BP records to make sure that she/we had it well regulated… thus, I kept the chart going for my own records… and I keep it going to this day. I think it has been one of the tools in my arsenal of successful weight loss. This chart tracks my DAILY (yes, daily) BP, resting heart rate, morning (fasting) blood glucose reading, weight, and then it auto-calculates my BMI. It also has a place for recording how many minutes of exercise I do each day… this element was much more important when I was really struggling to get my minimum amounts of exercise in each day. I still record the time for every day I work out, but I don’t worry about what the time is as much anymore as making sure that I’m getting my mileage in on run days and getting at least 60 minutes of hard aerobic exercise on three additional days a week.

I’m sure some of you out there are reading this and freaking out saying, you’re not supposed to weigh yourself every day… isn’t that’s just a fast-track to frustration? Well, I agree it can be frustrating… IF you let it be. Instead, I have chosen to use it as a tool for my own self discipline. I know that my weight can vary (sometimes even as much as a couple of pounds!) from day to day, but the idea with the daily weigh-ins is to maintain the mental discipline to NOT be afraid of the scale and to NOT let the number dictate my day. Most of the time I’m pretty successful at this maintaining this mindset. It has also taught me that as long as the general trend of the numbers is in a downward direction, then that means that the numbers are not going up (aka I’m not gaining weight)! I know, this seems so horribly obvious, but when you’re doing this over a number of years, and have lost the weight as slowly as I have, I have to keep this specific premise in the forefront of my mind. I really don’t recommend this practice for everyone… only you know if you will be helped or hinderd by a practice such as this.

Well, this has been such a successful means for disciplining my eating (and exercise and BP monitoring and glucose monitoring, etc.) over the last couple of years that I have started charting lots of other things. Most people do not know that I am an aspiring writer… and in order to be a good writer, you have to write often (ideally every day). Since I can be a little slack (ok, lazy)… even though I love to write once I get started… some days it’s just tough to even get out the gate if I’m not feeling particularly inspired. I have found that tracking and charting the number of words I write each day and each week (similar to my weight loss/BP chart) is also coming in handy. This way I can see what weeks I’m on track for my goal (around 1,000 words a day – and ideally this should NOT be the same word written 1,000 times over) and what weeks I’m woefully short. I manipulate the data in all kinds of ways to see what my daily averages are over time and what my weekly averages are and then I can even try to figure out how much I need to write this week to reach my average weekly goal, if I have slacked off for, say, the last three weeks. 

Finally, I have also started charting my grocery bills ever since Heather got me going on serious couponing back in August. I track the retail price, the sale price and the out-of-pocket expense. Boy, let me tell you, the opportunities for manipulating the data on this one are almost endless! A source of endless delight for the über-dork that rages inside of me!

Thinking about all the stuff I chart, one of the areas I have not started tracking on a chart yet is my actual running mileage. I’m starting to think that this might be a good idea… although I generally know approximately how much mileage I run each day, a chart would let me be specific (she rubs her hands together in anxious anticipation) about the fractions of a mile that tend to add up over time. It would allow me to see how I’m doing compared to the half-marathon training schedule to make sure I’m on track. The other benefit I see to this is that it would allow me to track the mileage on a pair of shoes… and this might be the most important piece of information derived from a chart like this… I pretty strictly adhere to the “running shoes are only to be used for running” rule so that I can sort of have an idea of the time/miles I’ve put on a pair of shoes and I make sure they’re replaced regularly… and for this reason alone, the new chart is sounding better and better. Yes, I know, I am truly an über dork, didn’t I tell ya?!?

So, after all this, you can see that my suspicions about my dorkiness are pretty well founded. So much so, that I think I will throw my hat in the ring for the prize of dorky woman of the year. What do ya think? (Oh yeah… 1,289 words to add to my writing chart for today… yea me!)

Today's Run
Miles: 7.21 (trying to make up some of my missed mileage from Monday)
Time: 1:26
Pace: 5.0 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run

Monday, March 7, 2011

Can I have a do-over???

This is the closet door in my sewing room...
Well, for those of you keeping track, Mondays are generally my long run days. I take Sundays off so I'm rested and ready to go the distance (pun intended) on Monday. After lo9king at my schedule, which I keep posted to the closet door in my sewing room, I realized I didn't have to 11 miles today, I was only scheduled to do 10.5 miles... yea! I was really dreading the idea of an 11 miler today. As it turns out, the dread was maybe self-fulfilling prophecy... even though I didn't have to do as much mileage as I had originally thought.

I started out not too bad this morning. I was planning on doing about a 50/50 (or thereabouts) split of street and treadmill running, knowing that I would need a bathroom and PowerBar break at about the halfway point anyway. My first couple of miles went pretty good, but things rapidly went downhill from there. By the time I was at around 4 miles, I HAD to go back inside... nature... 'nough said. But even by this point I wasn't feeling completely on my game... I was having one of those days where you look forward to every slight downhill, no matter how small so you can get a little break. Anyway, I decided that was close enough to halfway to finish up the remaining 6.5 inside.

I went inside to jump on the treadmill and I must confess that things did NOT improve once inside... Heather would tell you that things NEVER improve when she gets on the treadmill, but I'm not usually that way. Anyway, I did another hour or so of run/walking and by the time I reached 8.8 miles, I had reached the end of everything I had in the tank, both mentally and physically. I didn't think I had done really anything different as far as preparations go between this week and last week, but the results were drastically different... so in retrospect, I am wondering about a few things which may have been different.

  1. I ran completely indoors last week... normally that's not too big of a deal to me, my indoor and my outdoor runs generally are about the same. However, it was pretty cold out this morning and I'm wondering if it didn't take a little extra oomph just to keep warm (even though I thought I felt pretty warm through the whole thing, who knows what my body was really feeling).
  2. I'm not sure I was as hydrated before hand as I should have been. I haven't ever really monitored my hydration before a long run, but I'm getting enough mileage on long run days now that it might become more important.
  3. Did I drink my smoothie far enough in advance of my run for all the nutrients (carbs & proteins) to make their way into my system? I try to give it about an hour between smoothie and run time, but I'm not sure that I had given it a full 60+ minutes today.
  4. I may have set out at too fast of a pace initially. I was surprised when I calculated my pace that it wasn't really all that slow... and I walked a LOT during the 2nd half of the run today, which probably means that I had a fairly fast pace (for me) at the outset. 
  5. One of my meds changed... sort of. What I had been taking as a 2-meds-in-1-pill and was taken in the morning has, as of yesterday, changed to a 2-meds-in-2-pills with one taken in the morning and one in the evening. They are the exact same meds, just distributed slightly differently throughout the day. 
I'm not sure that any one of these is the reason or if my body is just feeling a little more physically weak for some reason... or it could be a combination of any of the above. I haven't been keeping a running journal, per se, but I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to start to see what is going on on good days vs. bad days.

Anyway, my plan is now, to make up the rest of my mileage (about 1.7 miles) with my other runs this week, but that's really not quite the same as building up the mileage during your long run. Fortunately, I still have a bit of time before the half marathon in May, so this shouldn't (knock on wood) be a huge setback. Although, I will confess that even if it's not huge physically, it was probably more of a psychological blow. I'm going to have to fight that much harder with myself, mentally, next week to have the confidence in myself needed to get through the distance. But I guess training the brain is part of the whole training process, isn't it? Setting these goals isn't just about getting the body in shape, it's about re-formulating the way I think as well. It's a good lesson to keep in mind... for all of us! :o)

Today's Run
Miles: 8.8 miles
Time: 1:48
Pace: 4.9 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run


Sorry everyone, I meant to post Friday's run and I realized earlier today that I completely spaced it over the weekend. So here's the stats from Friday:

Friday's Run
Miles: 6.39
Time: 1:15
Pace: 5.1 mph
Part Street / Part Treadmill Run

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My speed is going up... sort of...

Yea! I actually made it outside today! It did rain on me a little bit, but really not too bad. In fact, at one point, there was even a little blue sky trying to peek out from under a curtain of gray. Of course that didn't last long and by the time I was done with my shower it was dumping rain again. I guess I timed it just about perfectly!

I tried to focus on pacing today. I didn't do a lot of walking, but I did walk at regular intervals. It seems contrary to what you might think, but walking for short periods of time at regular intervals really can speed up your overall pace. Jeff Galloway on his website strongly encourages these run/walk intervals... even for more advanced runners... as a good way to up their speed. The minute or so of recovery time during your walk will make you much better equipped to handle a slightly higher speed during the rest of your run and your overall average will increase.

I know sometimes it really feels like you're breaking up your run if you do stop to walk for even just a minute or so and it can feel like a total struggle to get the rhythm of your running stride back... just keep in mind that in the long run (yes, pun intended) after all this is a technique for long runs, not sprints, this really will be of benefit to you and your overall running abilities.

Now, if I could only learn to run in the snorkel and flippers that have been required for outdoor runs for most of this week...

Today's Run
Miles: 6.40 (this might be my best outdoor run to date... yea!)
Time: 1:15
Pace: 5.1 mph
Street Run

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sometimes I even amaze myself! :o)

Well, anyone that knows me, knows I've been dreading this milestone for days (if not weeks). I talked about it most of last week. Well, the day came that I actually had to run a 10 miler... and you know what? It went really well. Actually much better than I had thought it would.

I should confess, though, that this thing was unfortunately, done entirely on the treadmill. I had honestly planned to do a 50/50 mix (or thereabouts) of indoor and outdoor running. But, Sunday afternoon it started dumping rain and it continued all of yesterday without ever letting up. Even worse than me not getting outside is the fact that there's now bunches of flooding around the area.

Here's some of what I did yesterday that I suspect really helped me in my run:
  1. Green Smoothie (of course)! - But this time I added a little soy milk into the mix - gave it that extra punch of protein.
  2. Made sure I was well hydrated ahead of time
  3. Had one bite of a high performance Power Bar right before starting
  4. Had another bite of the bar halfway through the run
  5. Hydrated with Gatorade through the run - but not too much! I've been known to do that too and just end up feeling miserable while I run and have a sloshy belly. Ew!
  6. Intermixed the Gatorade w/ straight water. I don't like the sticky feeling Gatorade leaves in my mouth (even the G2 version), so a little water to rinse the G2 down
  7. On a more personal note, my monthly cycle also affect how well I run and right now I'm at a place in the month where I always do well... so that has to be taken into consideration as well

As for how I made it through 10 grueling, boring miles on the treadmill? I changed up my speed all over the place, breaking intervals down into 5-minute chunks of time... it's not a cure-all for the boredom, but I really didn't want to re-live the hypothermia that Heather experienced when she ran a half-marathon in this kind of weather last fall... it was well worth a little boredom.

What's next? Well, I think there's an eleven miler coming up on the horizon (aka next week)... let's hope it can go even half as well!

Yesterday's Run
Miles: 10.00 (yep, it's still going up!)
Time: 1:58
Pace: 5.1 mph (whaddya know, this one's going up too!)
Treadmill  Run