Everything you ever needed to know

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Really getting down to business

With only 10 days left until the 10k race I know my training needs to step it up a little more for the last two weeks. Not so much that I risk injury but more than once or twice a week which I've been averaging. I'm not down on myself because of the training schedule - I've kept running and that's what is most important. So what if I don't get under 66 minutes for the 10k. I can run 6 freakin' miles.

But I do still have some goals and would like to at least get as close to 66 minutes as I can. So for yesterday's easy run I decided to run from work to home. My husband and I drove into work together yesterday so we didn't have to worry about two cars. I Gmap'd my route home and found a way to make it a 5k run. I didn't bring a watch with me so I have no idea of what pace I kept. I didn't try to make it fast and the only breaks I took where when I had to stop and wait for traffic before crossing a road.

Running in public is still a nerve-racking experience for me. It's not like the Greenway where everyone is participating in some type of exercise. I feel eyes upon me more and I really hate the fact that 90% of my town does not have sidewalks. I mapped the route to stay off of the busiest roads but unfortunately it was either running through the ghetto (not really but I'm paranoid) or spending about a half mile on a busy (sidewalk-less) road. I felt safer on the road.

It was a nice run. If I felt too tired I made sure to slow down the pace. I would tend to speed up if I really wanted to get through an area fast. Towards the end a couple of boys in a car decided to yell out at me. The annoyed part of me wanted to flip them the bird but the wary side of me just ignored them as to not antagonize the idiotic boys any more.

I'm not feeling as sore after runs anymore. I'm not as tired. This is a nice change. I'm not going to lie - spending a week and a half doing nothing was great for my knees. So maybe I can claim that my laziness last week was actually just being smart and giving my body a rest... Sounds good to me.

Today's plan are to cross-train in a Spin & Abs class at the rec center. Spin sounds fun actually. There are times when I think I have truly lost my mind.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Results 3/16-3/30

Even though this is two weeks worth of results it will be pretty darn easy...

3/16: nothing
3/17: 2 miles on indoor track
3/18: 6 miles on Greenway
3/19-3/26: Absolutely nothing
3/27: Mowed the front lawn in the dark (was supposed to have severe weather on Saturday)
3/28: 7 miles on Greenway plus mowing more of the front lawn (right before severe weather started)
3/29: finished mowing the back lawn and trimmed the edges. Great arm workout.

Mowing the lawn counts! We don't have a riding mower plus it was wet and knee high weeds. Ok, maybe not knee high but it was pretty thick.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I haven't done much over the past week and a half. My husband was out of town for a few days and then it was rainy and I was happy with being lazy and unmotivated. However, today I had motivation to go run. My motivation was having 1-2 hours by myself and that was good enough. Since the threat of morning thunderstorms (and tornadoes) did not materialize I went down to the Greenway. It was muddy and pretty empty even though the weather was gorgeous. My pretty shoes are all mucked up now. :(

I did a sloooowwwww seven miles. My time at the end was 1:29 (almost to the second). I will say that I did take three water breaks and a bathroom break at the halfway point but I was averaging 11-12 minute miles. I wasn't too concerned about my time since it had been more than a week since I had even attempted to exercise and the fact that I knew I was going for seven miles. I got pretty tired at the end. It was hard to start jogging again after my last water break but I feel fine right now. It probably helped that I took two Ibuprofen as soon as I got home.

I only have two more weeks until my 10K. I'm not at all worried about finishing it but it's doubtful that I'll do it under 66 minutes. It may be close to that but I don't know if I can get under it.

I have nothing else interesting or entertaining to write about. I'll try to be more clever this week but I just wanted the two or three of you that read this to know that I'm still out there doing my thing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reflection in a mirror

I basically wear about five outfits. I have more clothes in my closet than that, but the same 5 items are rotated throughout the week and if I delay doing laundry I look at the remaining clothes in a panic of "I have nothing to wear!" My husband looks at the same remaining clothes and says "you still have more clothes than me and we have 2 weeks of laundry to be done." I also adore cardigan sweaters. I even make my 1 year old daughter wear them because I think they're so practical and cute.

Yes, this has absolutely nothing to do with running but stick with me it's eventually going somewhere.

Anyway, one of my favorite outfits is a pair of black slacks, a red short-sleeved shirt, and the white sweater. The basic colors make my brain happy. The slacks are long and wide and disguise the worst part of my thighs. The shirt is clingy enough to show that my waist has some shape but the sweater is more forgiving of the bulges.

I wore this outfit earlier this week (well I wear it every week) and as I was chatting with my coworkers I happened to look off to my side where my entire body length was reflected in a glass door.

It's been a while since I've been able to see myself in a full length mirror. I don't have any at home anymore. My bathroom mirror shows enough of me for the 5 seconds I appraise myself before going to work. So the image in the glass door was enough to make me stop and look for a few seconds. If my coworkers noticed they probably wondered why on earth I was staring at the door of an empty office.

If you were to ask me I would admit that there are many parts of my body that I hate. Parts that stand out and shout to the world; that say look at me, here's my flaws, this is why you should grimace and turn away. But when I looked at that reflection I liked what I saw. I looked tall and almost skinny (the heels I was wearing did give me some extra legginess.) This was a bit shocking.

For as much running as I've been doing lately my diet has been crap so I've had zero weight loss (or gain thankfully). My scale has been on the same three numbers (plus or minus one or two) for the past three months. I've stopped getting on the scale because it got to be quite irritating. So since I haven't seen any measure of my progress on the scale I've gone back into old habits of analyzing one part of me at a time and then that single part's flaws are exaggerated a hundredfold until I become depressed and go eat another cookie.

One of my problems (just one of many) is that my mental reflection of myself sometimes needs a reality check. This was just as true when I was heavier and I didn't see how much weight I gained when I looked in the mirror. But now when I look I still sometimes think I look just the same as I did 30 or 40 pounds ago. It isn't all the time but it still happens.

So this was a nice little reality check. Though my weaknesses in eating are preventing me from losing weight my thighs and rear are reaping the benefits of the time spent running. One the other hand my stomach wishes I would go to the abs classes again and my arms wonder if I'll ever pick up a weight but there I go again - making things more exaggerated and nurturing my narcissism.

I just finished reading The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl by Shauna Reid - amazing book, I'm linked to her blog in my blogroll. She too spoke of that inability to see your accomplishments but instead feel that need to explain to people that you were still working out and trying to lose more weight. This has happened to me a number of times. Someone at work will mention that I look like I've lost more weight and I can't just accept the compliment. Instead I ramble on about how the scale hasn't moved in three months, blah blah blah. As if I'm trying to justify why I still have fat thighs - in the end I'm the only one looking at my thighs.

So narcissism, distorted views of reality, and the inability to do laundry on a weekly basis. No wonder running is my therapy. I couldn't afford the real stuff.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm a people person

I got my long run in yesterday. A full six miles but the time was crappy since I stopped for three water breaks. But better to have a longer time than die from dehydration (yeah, I still need something to carry water with me). I took the extra time to drive out to the Greenway - my current favorite place to run - and it was PACKED with people. Geez, you get one day of temps in the 70's and people come out from under their rocks.

When I run I say hello to other runners and walkers. Even if it's just a smile and a nod of the head. But there are some rude people out there. However, that doesn't bother me too much. I just smile at them and move on.

I have met up with a nice person the last couple of times I've been on the greenway. He goes beyond the pleasantries and actually talks to you. And it's not a weirdo, why is this freak talking to me, kind of guy (believe me I've had plenty of those experiences I know the difference).

I think we should all be more like this. Shout out encouragements to other runners - we all appreciate it. Slow down your pace for a little bit to say hello and compare training notes. It helped give me that extra bit of energy to finish up the last two miles yesterday and I hope I can pass it forward to someone else the next time I'm out there running.

In other news I've run a couple of times without my Ipod. While it isn't horrible to run without music I do miss the beat. But I have to suck it up and deal with it because I know a lot of races don't allow them. I've tried to read, and reread the important info for Purity Dairy Dash:

Important Information
• No dogs, strollers and iPODS/Earphones allowed
while on the 5K/10K courses.
• 10K Course open for 11⁄2 hours.

I think that if you use a "," it should read "or" rather than "and." See look, it could mean "No dogs. Strollers and Ipods allowed." Right? Right? Ok, I guess they would have used a period or semi-colon if that's what they intended. I guess that they mean that no iPODS will be allowed. Bummer.

Yesterday I wasn't given a choice though, my iPod (ok what's the proper capitalization of letters in ipod?) ran out of charge about 1.5 miles into my running. It was a sad day in mudville but I guess I was able to better listen to my breathing, birds, and strange creatures running in the bushes besides me.

Lastly, new lesson learned after yesterday's run. If you splash a big handful of water on your head to cool you down don't be surprised when all your sweat mixes in the water and it runs into your nose and mouth. It's disgusting. I've learned my lesson.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Way off the training schedule. Oh well.

This weekend will be interesting since my husband will be gone Friday-Tuesday and I have to work on Saturday. I won't get any long runs in this weekend so I'm adjusting my schedule a bit and will try to get my long run today while the weather is still good. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain again. Ugh. But I'm having difficulty planning my long run since I'm working all day. I hope to leave early and let "M" pick up the kids from daycare thus leaving me an extra hour to get out there and run.

In my previous running entries I've talked about my love for Biggest Loser. So this season I've been more aware of anything having to do with running. First was the great Marathon debacle with Dane (what's up with that NBC?!). And last night's episode all of the contestants went home and had to run a 1/2 marathon as part of a challenge. After I got over the fact that some of them were calling it a "marathon" (yes, I was yelling 'HALF' at the screen every time they did that) I really got into watching them go. I thought, man I want to do MY half right now! I'm tired of running this same 6 miles over and over again. I miss that weekly challenge of building up mileage. So after this 10k is done I'm back to building mileage over building speed. I don't find a lot of excitement in building speed but I do find a lot of frustration. Whereas when I ran 8 miles for the first time it was only exhilaration.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Results - 3/16

Geez, this will be harder to remember since I didn't keep up with it last week.... :)

Monday 3/9 - sore knees, didn't do anything. Wanted to do something but didn't do anything.
Tuesday 3/10 - knees felt better, it was the last day of sunshine. Started off with good intentions of running 5+ miles but ended up somewhere around 3.5. Must get some type of fuel belt to carry water now that it's getting warmer.
Wednesday 3/11 - rainy and cold. The university was closed for spring break so I didn't have access to my gym. Did nothing.
Thursday 3/12 - trying to snow. Seriously? Got bored during Gray's Anatomy and started thinking about how fast I could truly run a mile. Dusted off the treadmill and ran a full mile at 7.0 speed (8:38/mile). Did it, was out of breath and coughing at the end but I did it.
Friday 3/13 - had the day off. Took my husband out to the greenway for a long run. I went a full 6 miles but didn't run the whole time due to gas pains and also spending quality time with my husband. While I did run I kept on a 10-11 min pace per mile. First mile was right at 10 minutes, second & third mile was more like 10.5. Last 2.5 miles were just under 11 min/mile.
Saturday 3/14 - More and more rain. Where's the sun?!?!? Grumpy.
Sunday 3/15 - Went for a three mile walk with the kids and started my garden. Enjoyed warmer weather but still no sun. Watched "The Spirit of the Marathon" on the documentary channel. Thought - maybe I CAN do a marathon one day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long run

Cold air, warm breath. Running faster to get warmer.

Hear the birds, the river, the pounding of feet. A shuffle behind you, he's back there somewhere.

Pass the walkers, some with dogs, all look cold.

Breath is louder, pace is slower, approaching zen if there is such a thing.

Take off the gloves but leave on the hat. Worries of hat hair might take your mind off of running.

Look behind you and he is gone. All alone now. Glance at the watch. Still on pace.

Quarter miles go by quickly. A good run when the appearance of mile markers surprises you.

Almost halfway done. A little slower. Over the bridge and water.

To the head and turn around. Keep jogging until a pain. Sharp and sudden. Double over. Darn gas.

Walk the bridge and bend over. Jam your fist into your side. No longer happy or zen-like until you look down and see him coming.

Walk a while, talk together, breath is normal. It's cold again. The pain is gone.

Good-bye my love, 2.5 miles to go. I'll see you at the end.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hitting the pavement

I finally felt well enough (knee and hamstring wise) to get out again yesterday afternoon. It was almost 80 degrees and felt like I was sludging through a swamp. I can already tell that running in the summer will not be my favorite pasttime. I tried a different pair of shorts but still felt uncomfortable in them so I think I'll stick with the running capris that I got for warmer weather. I should have brought water with me. I was drenched in sweat and thirsty after 1.5 miles. I also had to use the bathroom - even though I went before I left. All in all it was a hard, unsatisfying run. My original plans were to go 6 miles but I think it was closer to 3.5 miles when all was said and done. But I'll get out there again. My knee feels fine and I still have that 10k to prepare for.

I finally registered for the 10k. I was getting to the point of backing out of it if I didn't register for it. So my countdown has officially begun. One month from today I'll be trudging through Nashville at the back of the pack thinking, why did I want to do this?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Accepting limitations

I really want to be outside today. I really want to run. But while I could go outside and enjoy the day I really need to give my knees at least one more day to heal whatever damage I did to them last week. They are still sore! The best weather we've had so far this year and I can't run in it because I pushed myself too much last week. So instead of being annoying and moody about not running (believe me this isn't annoying and moody- those musings would be much worse) I instead focus on the extra family time I had this weekend being outside with my family. Too many times you want to buy into the attitude of giving it a 110% and nothing less but that all or nothing approach is what made me quit so many things before. Perhaps I can start the anti-motivational motivation lectures? Here are some topics for my workshops...

Feel Like Crap? Great you should! Now give yourself a few days off to feel better. Just don't indulge in those candy bars - yes I see you looking at them in the checkout aisle.

Didn't achieve your goal? 99% of us don't. Now let's be more realistic.

Tomorrow is another day but today is pretty nice too. Balancing procrastination with reality.

You aren't an elite athlete no matter what that Nike commercial says about your shoes. Deal with it.

Aaah I could think of these forever. It's good to have a back up plan in case higher education decides it no longer needs my services. Just think of the motivational speeches I could give after that....

Weekly Results - 3/2 through 3/8

Monday 3/2
Stuck somewhat to training schedule and ran an easy (inside) 3 mile jog at 10:40/mile. No pains really and I felt great the whole time.
Tuesday 3/3
Didn't exercise since I worked through lunch in order to go to a Dr's appt. Could have exercised later in the day but was frustrated and a little depressed that Dr. couldn't see why I was having cramps.
Wednesday 3/4
Did the speedwork training as called for in my schedule. Didn't enjoy it but felt good about myself afterwards.
Thursday 3/5
Took my son to a very frustrating eye Dr appt and didn't have time at lunch to do any of my XT classes. Instead left work a 1/2 hr early to go workout. Decided that weather was too gorgeous for me to be inside and what I really wanted to do was jog. Jogged my neighborhood 3.05 miles under a 11 min/mile pace. Last 1/2 mile was very tough due to wind and probably my workout from yesterday. This particular path also has a few hills. According to Gmaps I burned 438 calories so hopefully I undid some of the damage I did by eating McDonald's for lunch.
Friday 3/6
Did Fluid Fusion as my XT. It's a cross between ballet and pilates. Didn't feel like it was all that hard at the time but the next day I woke up very sore - as if I hadn't exercised in months.
Saturday 3/7
My knees were too sore to run. I wanted to. I wanted to push it and just run through the pain but I accepted the limitations and settled for a walk with my husband and kids. I iced my knees.
Sunday 3/8
Still too sore to run. Another weekend without a long run. I walked 3 miles with the family and could feel the pain just in walking. Will never do Fluid Fusion while in a training program again. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's like high school all over

I'm debating whether or not to join a group run tomorrow morning. I sway between two different frames of mind:

  1. I'll be the slowest in the group and thus will end up running by myself and feeling bad about my running abilities.
  2. They won't run far enough for me. But I know that's very unlikely, it's just my wounded pride trying to flip the situation in my favor. :)

I see groups running together when I'm on my lonely long run and I think, man that looks like fun. But I'm not a fast runner so I do worry about the pace even though this group specifically says "all paces welcome." But does that mean they really have all paces come or just that they're a group that's generally comfortable running together but they put it out there that others are welcome?

I should just suck it up and try it. I just don't know if I will this weekend. :)

Today's plan is to XT and then go to Subway for lunch. I'm feeling my right knee and calf muscle a bit from yesterday's run.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Up & In

When a runner has thighs like I do - oh wait, real runners don't have thighs like I do because they have no fat on their body. Ok, if someone likes to run but has thighs like I do then running in men's soccer shorts is not the way to go. The legs of the shorts just kept riding up as I took an impromptu (off training schedule) jog this afternoon. This is why I've avoided wearing shorts while running but the sunny weather suckered me in. In addition to that annoyance my underwear was also "wedged in" a.k.a. a "wedgie". In spite of these factors I still enjoyed myself. It was a stress reliever and a celebration of warmer weather yet to come.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Speedwork is not delightful

You know why I didn't use to like running (or soccer or basketball)? Because of sprints. They make me feel very inadequate and out of shape. That being said I survived my first speedwork training and even felt good about myself afterwards. Which is not the same thing as enjoying my first speedwork training.

The warm-up mile was easy enough. I did 8 laps around our indoor track (6.5 laps is a mile) then I switched to the treadmill to keep me on pace. I set the first 1/2 mile to a 6.3-6.5 and walked the rests at a 4.0. The last 1/2 mile was the hardest but I just clicked through every .01 of a mile. Then I went back to the track to "cool down". Getting back into a jog was extremely difficult. I thought of myself as being in a race where you just get through mile by mile - or sometimes 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile. I finished strong and felt great.

I think I deserve a special prize since I also did speedwork training despite a cold and headache. But I've learned that exercising through a cold feels pretty good - unless it turns into bronchitis which happened last fall.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


From http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/trainingcalculator/

Based on a 5 kilometers race at 00:31:10, your projected finish times for the following distances should be:

1500m 8:41
the mile 9:22
3000m(3k) 18:07
3200m(about 2 miles) 19:24
5000m(5k) 31:08
8000m(8k) 51:14
5 miles 51:33
10,000m(10k) 1:04:55
ten miles 1:47:29
a half marathon 2:23:07
a marathon 4:58:23

Weather.com don't you be teasing me!

This weekend's forecast - 66 degrees and cloudy. Ooooooohhhhh great weather forecast! Of course last Thursday it said there was a 10% chance of rain and it rained all day.

I'm trying to figure out how I'll exercise today. After yesterday's great run I want to run again but I know tomorrow's speedwork will take a lot of energy and I should rest up. I won't get to my regular lunch time aerobic classes because I'm leaving work early for a doctor's appointment (will find out how those pesky cysts are doing).

I want to get outside again but the weather is too darn cold. I feel like a caged hamster and am really depending on that weather forecast to be right. Otherwise weather.com will get a nasty little email.

Work is super slow right now so I can spend extra time reading articles and mapping routes. I found a way to add mileage onto the Greenway once I get started on my "super long runs". The max you can get on the Greenway is 9.5 miles (round trip) but I found what looks to be a decent path that will add on 5 more miles (round trip). I won't be running these distances for a while but it's nice to know they're out there.

I also want to finally check out Fleet Feet. I had avoided it thus far since I still sometimes feel like I'm only pretending to be a runner. I have no problem with my current running shoes (bruised toenails aside) but I know they won't last forever and would like to get an expert's opinion on what shoes I should be wearing. Of course I'm also way cheap and it was hard enough to pay $70 for my current shoes. Then when you think of buying up to 2 pairs a year. There goes my normal clothing allowance (like I said, I'm way cheap and daycare for two is way expensive). If nothing else I'll get a fuel belt which I'll definitely need once I start training for the half.

This is like the start of any relationship. You're so eager to find out EVERYTHING about the significant other and everything is VASTLY interesting to you. I wonder if in 3-5 years the fascination will pass?

Monday, March 2, 2009

That's how it's supposed to feel

Today's schedule called for an easy 2 mile run @ 12:43/mile pace. I really have to ignore that 12:43 because an easy pace for 2 miles is a 11:00/mile pace for me now. Now if I was running 6+ miles I would be closer to that 13/mile. I read on another article that easy is not so much your pace as the energy you expend. If you can still talk but not sing you're at the right pace.

Since I didn't do my long run this weekend I pushed the schedule a wee bit and did a 3 mile run at 10:40/mile. It felt great. I could have gone much further but I didn't have the time, it was boring to run inside, and I still have a speed workout this week so I shouldn't push my easy run. I'll get my long run in sometime soon.

But the whole time I felt great. Never winded or worn out. It felt good to feel good running again. I also tried out my new running clothes. New things are fun.

Monday Results - 3/2/09

Each week I'll recap the previous week's exercise/running.

2/21 through 3/1
Saturday - 2/21 *I won't normally include two Saturdays but since this is the first weekly results I wanted to add this one.
Ran 6 miles in 67 minutes on greenway - it was cold and windy. Running in the wind sucks. Felt extreme pain in pelvic area and dealt with more uterine cramps afterwards. Am waiting to see if this pain is due more to running or my ovarian cysts.
Sunday - 2/22
Wanted to run but forced myself to take a day to rest. Should have at least walked but ended up doing nothing.
Monday - 2/23
Was going to work out at lunch but husband said "let's go out to eat!" I eagerly accepted. Evening was too busy to do anything.
Tuesday - 2/24
Thought I would be able to work out in afternoon since I took time off to prepare for my Mardi Gras party but I ran out of time.
Wednesday - 2/25
No more excuses! Went to rec center for a tempo run. Training schedule said to go 5 miles: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at 11:04, and 1 mile cool down. I started first mile on indoor track and tried to make it a 12 minute mile but that's hard to keep that slow. Switched to treadmill and ran @ 10:40/mile for 2 miles. Couldn't make it a third because I hadn't eaten a real breakfast that morning. Will know in the future to eat more than pecans and yogurt before a tempo run. Cooled down for less than a mile. Had right hip pain, I think it's due to my back - the right side felt tight before running. Did stretching that focused on that side.
Thursday - 2/26
Continued cramping and ache in lower back. Went to 30 minute Abs & Tone class for XT. Holy crap she worked our glutes.
Friday - 2/27
Schedule said to XT today but since rain will impede my long run this weekend I decided to do an easy run of 2 miles with my hubby. I didn't keep the time but it felt like a 12 min. pace. Had a little bit of right hip pain towards the end but it wasn't anything too bad.
Saturday 2/28
Didn't do any exercise but ate quite a lot of yummy-not-so-good-for-you food. The weather was pretty rotten but for a few moments it stopped raining enough to make me tempted to get outside. However I had just showered and done my hair so vanity overcame running temptation. Sunday 3/1
Lots of snow outside. I shoveled some of our driveway. Does that count?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What they don't tell you about running...

Poor toes. The one on the right has come off and will start regrowing again. The one on the left is turning darker by the day. Gross.
In other news I still have hope that one day spring and summer will come (in spite of the 4 inches of snow we had overnight) so yesterday I bought a warm weather running outfit. I was super excited to buy a size medium in pants - even if they are exercise pants that tend to be baggy. :)