Everything you ever needed to know

Monday, September 28, 2009

I think it was 10 miles, it better have been 10 miles

I ran a slightly different route that can't be completely mapped on Gmap so I can't be 100% sure I ran a full 10 miles but I think it was pretty darn close. I am glad that I threw in an extra 1/2 mile in the middle as my poor muddled brain was trying to do math while running - not a good combination for me. In all it took 2 hours and 13 minutes but I'm shaving a couple of minutes off for stretching after the first 1/4 mile and breaking while I trying to figure out the distance by adding numbers in my head. So per mile it broke down to 13:05 which is slower than I hope to go on Saturday but I won't be stopping as much on Saturday. I think right now I'm looking at more of finish time between 2:40 and 2:45 - unless I have an extra energy boost from race day excitement.

I felt good throughout most of it. The last 1.5 mile was hard but it was more mental than anything else - yes my legs were tired but my brain was more tired (darn mental math - that must have really worn me out). I got to the end, happy that it was done. Happier that I had a Chocolate Toffee Power Bar in my car. God it was so good - especially combined with stretching.

The first two miles were in a park that didn't have many people going through it. I was able to see 3 wild turkeys and a deer while I was out which is always pretty cool. I then saw a stray dog which was not so cool. I decided to make my turn around a bit sooner so as to not come in contact with said dog. A little more than half way through was when I had my mental math breakdown and had to call home so my husband could read my notes back to me. This is why I need clearly marked trails or roads that can be mapped easily. Or perhaps it's time to suck it up and pay for a GPS device so I can stop trying to make my brain work so hard when really its only thoughts should be "breathe, left foot, right foot, breathe."

Boy am I sore though. Next week will be very tough. Those last 3 miles are going to be hard for me. I know enough to trust the people that say the race adrenaline will kick in and you'll be fine - but I also know myself and the shadeless portion of that race and know that it will be a tough go.

So my results from last week didn't meet the plan:
Wednesday - 3 miles & Sunday 10(ish) miles
Total: 13 miles

This week will be iffy too. I leave on Wednesday for a conference and won't be back until Friday night. I plan on taking tapering to its full advantage and not doing much this week training wise. I want to get out for a walk today to work out the lactic acid in my sore muscles but beyond walking I might not get much else done this week.

Right now though, those thoughts about someday doing a marathon are feeling quite beyond my reach. I just can't psych myself up to run for 5 hours. How do people get mentally ready for that?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

8 days to go

This isn't exact since I didn't account for the .1 mile at the end but it does give you an idea of what my per minute splits need to look like.

I did run last night but forgot if I was supposed to go 3 miles or 5 miles. Since I tuckered out at 2 miles I decided that the plan surely was to only go 3 miles. I had to run inside due to the (never ceasing) rain. It turned out to be a good thing that I did stop at 3 miles since I already missed two phone calls from my husband trying to tell me that our son had a 104 temp. The craziness of the week just doesn't end.
Plans are still to run 10 miles this weekend. It will be the first time I've ever gone that far. I hope to keep 12 minute averages for this run and need to remember to bring some type of watch with me. And perhaps a strong man or woman at the end to carry me to my car.

Still coughing but that didn't bother me too much during my run last night. Small favors I guess.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is why I wasn't going to get the flu shot yet

I get the flu shot every year and every year I get sick right after getting the flu shot. Not with the flu - but with something. So this year my plan was to delay getting the flu shot until after October 3rd so it wouldn't interfere with my training plans.

Germs don't listen to my schedule.

I'm not sure I have the flu, it might just be a cold but along with the congestion it's just worn me out. I hate to think of walking from my bedroom to the kitchen so getting out and jogging a couple of miles (10 was the plan for Sunday) just isn't going to happen.

So fine. You win germs (yet again). I'll only have one more long run before my 1/2. I won't get in the planned mileage over the last two weeks. My time will suck on the 3rd but I'm still going for it. After all $70 is a lot of money to me. I just hope I feel better by Wednesday so I can still get in some mileage this week - that gives me 2 more days to recover. That's enough right?

Stop laughing you evil germs.

Weekly Results 9/13-9/19
Sunday: 8 miles, 1 hour 40'ish minutes
Monday-Tuesday: didn't get my 2 mile run in
Wednesday: 5 miles, 55'ish minutes
Thursday-Saturday: Sick
Total - 13 miles, lost 2 miles from plan due to sickness

Revised plan for 9/20-10/3
Sunday-Tuesday: Recover from sickness
Wednesday: 5 mile, easy run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 2 mile, easy run
Saturday: 10 mile easy run
Sunday-Monday: Recover
Tuesday: 3 mile, easy run
Wednesday-Friday: Rest, walk
Saturday - half marathon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

They're not lying about cross-training

My schedule got a bit off this week though I'm still on track for the overall # of miles to do. I did one extra mile on Sunday and one extra mile last night so that makes us for not doing 2 miles on Monday - though it probably would have been better to do the short distances than combining them together.

I did a 5 mile jog last night and since we had about an hour of no rain (constant rain here for 3 days now) I went outside to the greenway. I had about an hour of daylight left as well though the last part of my run was done a bit faster since it was getting darker and I don't want to be alone on the greenway at dusk. So if you need a good motivation factor at the end of the run - use fear. It will keep you going. My time was somewhere between 11 to 11.5 minute miles so it was a good run for me. I had a blister on the bottom of my foot though - probably caused by the other shoes I was wearing yesterday and then aggravated by the run. And I was SOOOO sore at the end of that run.

I came to the realization that cross-training is missing but I just don't have the time to get it in over the next couple of weeks before the 1/2. I need more squats and lunges in my life (good grief - who says these things?). My hamstrings are much weaker than they were before. Who knew all that grunting, sweating, and cussing really was helping me?

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts from my corner - nothing new or exciting. I'm coughing again. Yay! Congested lungs and half-marathon training. Perfect combo...

Monday, September 14, 2009


I recently learned that there's a phrase used in sports (maybe other places too) that if a guy is beat by a girl he's been "chicked". I find this amusing and not insulting. Especially since I was completely beat by two 70 year olds on my long run yesterday and think that there should also be a phrase called "gramp'd". Not that it takes a lot of effort or skill to beat me and there are a ton of older people that can blow past me but I found it particularly defeating on Sunday when not one but two 70 year olds ran past me with very little effort. But more on that later.

The scheduled plan for Sunday was 7 miles but I kept the option of going 8 in my mind as I ran along the greenway. After all once you get that far along adding another mile really doesn't make a difference. I started the run with a mindset of not wanting to be there at all. My muscles were tight and I was feeling lazy. Plus I already had to pee and there wasn't a bathroom where I started. I knew I'd have to go 1.75 miles in before being able to stop. But I also knew that once I got started that I would feel better about things (except for the need to pee).

I definitely felt more energy on this run. Thank God for carbs even though I can also say good-bye to any weight loss. I even thought about not stopping at 1.75 miles and continuing on to 2.8 miles for the next bathroom but common sense made me stop. I didn't want to stop because I knew I would lose my momentum and that proved to be true. It took a few minutes before I was able to start jogging again. I spent an unusual amount of time looking at the fish hanging out in the shallows of the river.

I got to the 3 mile marker and was passed by a woman in pretty good shape which at least inspired me to keep going before taking another walking break. However, after climbing a short hill I did have to stop and breathe. I kept going past the 3.5 mile marker knowing that another 1/2 mile wouldn't be a problem. But then I couldn't find the 4 mile marker. I knew about where it should be and it wasn't there. I ran a little further thinking that maybe I was mistaken and it was the next marker down but even in that state of mind I was able to realize that the four mile marker had disappeared and the next marker was 4.25. So I turned around and took my walking break. I could feel real soreness in my right hamstring this time so I did a little stretch.

I think I allowed myself a full 1/4 mile walk before jogging again and it was shortly after that where I was passed by the old lady jogging along in her cute tank-top and shorts. I knew that she had just started so I took some small comfort in the fact that of course she had more energy, she hadn't run 4 miles yet. Then I was charitable and hoped that I would still be running when I was her age. Then I was petty when her husband passed me by too. So I picked up the pace and let them be my pacers for the next mile and a half. They started slowing down and I was able to pass them but that was a mistake in that I was going too fast and needed a walking break. So they passed me by again and stayed in front of me for the rest of the time. But I was thankful for them because they did set a good pace for me to follow and made me think more about keeping up with them rather than on how tired I was and how slow each marker was going by.

I finally finished and had a total running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is a slow time but is actually on pace to what I expect my half-marathon to be (12 minute mile averages) so I was happy with it. I did shave off a couple of minutes for the bathroom break and I had to stop for a train (there's one portion where you have to run over the tracks).

At the end when I was stretching I decided that you all needed to have my point of view at the end of the run....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Results 9/6-9/12

I completed my goals for my second week in spite of getting sick and feeling some sore muscles in my left lateral hamstring and right shin. The pain didn't linger and went away with ice and ibuprofen so it's nothing to worry about. It did keep me from cross-training since I thought it was better to rest the muscles than wear them out. Some of this I've already blogged about but here's the recap:

Sunday - 6 miles, some walking included and almost had a head stroke (will summer ever end?)
Monday - Labor Day, couldn't get away from the kids and hubby plus it was still hot
Tuesday - stayed home sick but did get my easy two mile run in (19.30 minutes)
Wednesday - did three miles after work/teaching classes. First 2 miles in 19.10 minutes, had one lap walking break, last mile somewhere around 9 minutes - it's actually a little off since I count 6 laps as a mile in my time and it's actually supposed to be 6.5 laps. So you can probably add on another 45 seconds to any estimation for a half lap.
Thursday - Iced sore hamstrings.
Friday - woke up early enough to run outside before it got too blasted hot though it was still too humid for my liking. Got 2 miles in, didn't time it but tried to stay slow and take it easy on my hamstring.
Total Miles - 13

If I only had 1 week to complete my 1/2 marathon we'd be doing pretty darn good right about now... BTW the carbs came back on Wednesday and there's no more talk in my house about going carbless. I'm particularly enjoying Einstein Brother's Power Bagels with peanut butter. Yum yum.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I've stopped using the treadmill

Besides the fact it's just plain boring...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time, is on my side.... Yes it is.

You knew it would happen. I get back into the grove and despite all my claims of "I'm not doing it for time!!" I start thinking about my times again. Even though I haven't been able to run straight through a long run I start thinking about times.

What's wrong with my head?

I then try to justify it by saying, well you're being realistic. You're using the pace calculator to see what averages you need to stay within 2 hrs 45 min or 2 hrs 30 min or 2 hrs 15 min.... So on and so forth. (FYI the difference between 2:15 and 2:45 is more than 2 minutes per mile - sheesh.)

Realistically I don't think I can plan on anything faster than 12 minute averages. Even if my first few miles are closer to 10:30 or 11:00 the last few miles will definitely be much slower. So right now if I were to guess my finish time will be somewhere between 2:30 and 2:45.

I also had a moment last night after my 3 mile run where I thought, "am I really running a freakin' 1/2 in 4 weeks? What on earth am I thinking?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Germs, not the swine kind

Of course I get into my second week of training again and I get sick. Of course! But it hasn't stopped me yet. I may have missed work yesterday but I did get my 2 mile run in (even though it was supposed to be Monday). Actually I wasn't so sick that I couldn't have gone to work but since I'm in a univeristy I 1) didn't want to spread my germs around, and 2) be in an environment with even more germs with an already low immune system. I did however run at the gym but since I didn't change there or use the equipment plus I washed and santized my hands a couple of times I think I'll be okay. I just ran on the inside track.

When I started there were a couple of girls on the track that weren't exactly athletic. That always makes me happy. I fell in place behind one girl and thought she was running an easy pace and decided just to pace her and let her lead since I didn't have tunes to keep me entertained (still need to charge the iPod). Unfortunately she wasn't going too easy and soon I found myself having to pick up the pace to keep about 5-10 feet behind her. I chuckled to myself on the third lap that this is what I get for being cocky. She did eventually start going slower as she finished up her run so I felt some small accomplishment in passing her. I did my two miles in good time. The first was right around 10 minutes and the second was just over 9 minutes. I felt really good running though the end of each mile was still tough. I guess it's beginning to fall back in place some.

Small favors are that my germs seem to be more throat related than lung and I'm not too wiped out so I can keep running. Next is three miles. Hopefully it won't be too hot after I teach so I can get outside, if not it's back to laps on the inside track. Boring... Must charge iPod tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The long, long run

I stuck to the plan and went 6 miles on Sunday. I didn't necessarily run 6 miles but I went 6 miles. At the beginning of the trailhead you have the sign with the rules. The speed limit one always cracks me up since I know I'm running so slow.

So it wasn't the best conditions for a long run. As mentioned earlier we're cutting carbs and even though I did eat a power bar shortly before my run it only lasted about 3 miles. The temps weren't horrendous but it was very warm and humid. My iPod lost its charge and I left my charger in the office so I had no tunes. Plus I'm fighting some kind of illness. But I know I don't have time for excuses - there's only 4 weeks before the 1/2.

I did the same thing I did last week. I'd run a mile and then have a short walking break (about 1-2 minutes). I brought water with me this time so I didn't have to extend my breaks at the water fountain. I did pretty well until 3.5 miles and then I could feel my energy just plummet. I could feel the heat more too. I had drained my two small bottles of water so at 4.25 miles I stopped at the water fountain to refill and felt light headed as I stood still. So I sat in the shade for about 5 minutes (maybe more) to cool down. After that I would walk a 1/4 mile and then run a 1/4 - 1/2 mile.

This is what keeps me going on the greenway - counting 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile

Soreness wise I was fine so I knew it wasn't my muscles as much as just not having enough energy to do it. So now I'll be eating more carbs the night before and day of my long runs. Anyway I'm not sure we're going to make it through this South Beach phase since the hubby is protesting a lot. I just heard of carb cycling which might make more sense for me while I'm running.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekly Results 8/30-9/5

Well I stuck to the plan for my first week (even though I technically didn't have a plan until Thursday or Friday). I won't do a play by play recall since I've already blogged about it but I got in 10 miles last week and am feeling pretty good.

Sunday - 5 miles
Monday/Tuesday - nothing
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - spin (1/2 hour)
Friday - 2 miles, 19 minutes 35 seconds
Saturday - nothing

The only run I timed was Friday since I was inside and could see the clock on the track. It was easier to stay on time since I was only going 2 miles.

This week's plans are listed below but the total mileage should be 13 miles. I'll try to x-train on Tuesday and Thursday with spin.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Plan (and a sore thumb)

Can a sore thumb be a good enough excuse that one should never do spin again?

Went to a 1/2 hour spin class yesterday afternoon for cross-training. I used to dominate spin - always wiped me out but I was strong. Yesterday I was sweaty one swearing under her breath at the perky instructor. I know it's good for me - it will help to build endurance but good Lord it was hard. I could feel a pulled muscle behind my left knee and my thumb (from where I "rested" it against the handlebars) is very sore today. The only bright spot was that I had an extra pair of pants in my workout bag so I didn't have to wear the pair that has a low waist line and therefore exposes my underwear when I'm on a spin bike. Nothing like being sweaty and having half your arse hanging out for the world to see.

So here's the plan for mileage (because one must always have a plan even if one blatantly ignores it):
Week 1 - 10 miles total, Sun LR 5 m, Wed 3 m, Fri, 2 m
Week 2 - 13 miles total, Sun LR 6 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 3 m, Fri 2 m
Week 3 - 15 miles total, Sun LR 7 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 4 m, Fri 2 m
Week 4 - 17 miles total, Sun LR 9 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 4 m, Fri 2 m
Week 5 - 27.1 miles, Sun LR 11 m, Tues 3m, Sat 1/2 marathon (13.1 m)

None of this will be done for speed though I imagine (and hope) that my speed will increase as the weeks go on and my body gets used to it again.

And to end another favorite song to run to (especially at the end of the run when you wonder why you even picked this hobby to beging with):

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Second Run this Week

My original training plans fell through so I didn't get my next run until Wednesday. I brought my clothes to work and changed after teaching my last class. I just ran around the neighborhoods that are close to campus. Some of these will be the same roads that I'll run for my half. I got pretty thirsty about 1/2 way through but didn't bring any water with me. I swear the total run felt like it was close to 4 miles but when I Gmap'd it later it was only 3 miles. But that's okay because 3 miles was my plan. I can't complain about the weather especially since it's still normally pretty hot in September. I don't feel as sore today as I did on Monday but my right shin did flare up a bit. I blame not stretching properly. I'll do another run tomorrow (hopefully) and my long run again on Sunday. Long run should be 6 miles - I'll remember to bring water with me so I don't stop as often.

The real problem is that hubby and I are trying to do the South Beach diet plan. I may make some exceptions to eat a controlled amount of carbs an hour before running that way it's burnt right off but otherwise we're following the no carbs for the first two weeks plan. But I know I'll need the carbs to make it through my runs. I have to make some diet changes though to see weight results. While running before I was just maintaining my current weight and doing some toning which is good but not enough for what I want to see. First I want to get comfortable in my current size (rather than the tightness that I feel) and hopefully go one more size down. I'm not talking drastic weight loss - probably just another 10-15 lbs. I know cutting carbs will help though it's harder to maintain over the long run. But if I can get down to the size I want and then can just maintain I'll be happy. I've talked before about how this is a life long process so I'll probably keep coming back again and again to this issue but that's okay. I just don't want to give up.