Monday, June 29, 2009

Zone 3 Run (heart rate training)

Today I had an 8 easy run to start my second week of training. As mentioned previously, I have a tendency to run too fast on my easy days so this training cycle I am going to be sure to be in zone 3 (for me is under 145) for my easy days. I started today at 6:30. The temp in South Louisiana @ 6:00 am was 82 degrees with a reported heat index of 99 degrees. It didn't feel that hot to me, but maybe so. In keeping my heart rate under 145 my pace ended up being 10:30 pace. This included 2 walking water stops. When I finished with the 8 miles, I ran 7 X 11-12 seconds hard, then I did a little stretching. Good start this week.

Back in MS now. Working late tonight. It's 9:25 pm and I am blogging, doing some embroidery work, and lifting weights. I also do push-ups, core work, squats and lunges. Too much multi-tasking. (I am bad about doing that)

Bridge Run Pics

As promised a few pics from the Bridge run yesterday in Larose, LA. If you look at the pic in the top left, I took this pic from the larger bridge, but you can see the smaller bridge in the background. The canal that you see is the Intercoastal Waterway. (obviously I still need to learn some things about posting pics on my blog. It will not let me move the pics around). (also ignore the date on the pics - should be 6-28-09.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cha Ching! Running pays dividends.

First week of training complete. It was a great week. Because of my "heat training" in preps for the Renaissance Half Marathon(June 13th), now I feel like I am finally running well in the heat. Well, let me say, as well as I can run in the heat. Even with the extreme heat in the Southeast, I am actually feeling better running in the heat this year, even with the extreme conditions than I have felt in other years. Last summer, I committed myself to changing my attitude about summer running. It's totally amazing what you can do, when you decide you REALLY want to try to change something. In past years, I basically just survived the summer with limited running because "it was too hot." Let me just say from experience. If you want to run in the summer, you can, and you can learn to feel better while doing it. From my experience last year and this year, it can take 2 weeks to a month to start to feel better, so hang in there guys. It will get better. Last year I made a lot of progress toward the goal, but this year, so far, I think I have adjusted even better than last year. We will see if it continues.

So Thurs. was the dreaded "Billboard Run" - It's funny, I say dreaded, but it's usually me or Jim that posts on the forum to announce the run. It really is dreaded, but it is a great workout, one that I will need to do many times between now and Oct. It has a couple of steep hills that really test you. Also, the last 2 times that we ran it, the dirt road has been really sandy in some areas, creating an additional challenge. Fun Stuff! We had 9 runners counting myself. It helps so much to have other crazy runners show up for this one. In fact, my post, on the forum always reads - Let me know if you will make the run, I will not do this run solo. We have a small core group that routinely shows up for this one (the craziest runners) and then today, we had 3 new runners that had never run this particular run. I had a total of 5 miles- 1 mile w/u and c/d, and 3 miles on the billboard run. Walk, run, or crawl this one, you are sure to get a good workout in, if you dare to show up.

On Friday I ran 4 miles in Golden Meadow, LA I forgot my Garmin, yikes! I am totally spoiled, and ruined. Now it seems like when I run without it, I don't know what I am doing. The biggest problem for me comes in that I really use it to stay on pace for hard days and easy days. On my easy days, I have a tendency to run to fast sometimes, so the Garmin helps me to slow down so my recovery day is truly recovery. So Friday's run was probably a little fast, but I felt good, especially the day after the Billboard hills. Sat. very easy bike ride/visit with the Chad and Scott as they ran. (they run around 7:00 minute pace or faster just for their jog - it's really disgusting).

Sunday - I have been looking forward to my long run. 10 miles today. As previously mentioned, most of my training needs to be on hills to prep for St. George. Normally, I try to do my long runs in MS because it is hilly, and because the humidity in South LA is rough. But this training cycle, doing the 9 day rotation, I will be doing my hard days as they come up. So after the billboards on Thurs. my next hard day is Sunday. So Sunday it is, and I am in South LA. No hills in South LA. The only option for hills is to run the bridges that go over the intercoastal canal. This is in Larose, LA. I found a loop that incorporates 2 different longer bridges in a 3.5 mile loop. This works out well because with the humidity I insist on hydrating often, and with the loop, I could just leave the waters near my car. Today, when I finished the run, the temp was 82 and I am sure the heat index was 90 something degrees. I sent a text to a runner that I met last year at a 5k, and she joined me for the first loop. After the first loop, this South LA girl headed back to the flats to finish her run. It's nice to have company on the long runs. I finished my run at 9:01 pace. It was only 10 miles but with the heat, I am happy to have completed this run, near my marathon race pace. After the run I walked for 3 miles, and then 5-10 minutes of stretching (pigeon pose is the best). Part of my walk was to take pictures at the top of the bridge, but I forgot to bring my cable for the camera so I will post those later.

Cha Ching - the best part about today's run was, I found a roll of string, and $4.90. Now that is exciting. Also, I felt good on the run. Yay! First week in the bank, and it was GREAT. I couldn't expect any better than what I did this week. Finished with 29 miles, one day of arm weights and ab work, a little biking, and 5 miles walking. Missed my yoga class - must make it to at least one class this next week.

Week of June 29th (13 weeks to go) - 34 miles this week, yoga 1-2 times, hopefully 1-2 weight workouts. Busy week of work on tap this week too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So it begins - St. George Marathon Training.

Wed. - June 24th - 101 days until the St. George Marathon in Utah. (See new count down counter on the right side of the blog.)

As previously reported, Monday, June 22nd was the official start date for training plan for the St. George Marathon. The plan I decided on will be similar to the plans that I have used in recent years, with one big change, this time I will be using a 9 day rotation plan. For the past few years, I have used the Furman plan a couple of times, after that, I keep the hard workouts from the Furman plan, but added 2 additional running days. So basically, the recent plans have been 3 hard workouts per week - track, long, and tempo or race (mostly race because I hate the tempo runs) with 2 easy running days, and 2 days of walking or biking. This time I will do a hard workout and then have 2 easy/active recovery days. So it would be Tempo, 2 easy days, hill repeats or track, 2 easy days, long run, 2 easy days. So I will have a long run every 9 days, a tempo every 9 days, and a hill or track workout every 9 days. I wanted to try this for a long time, but it's hard to coordinate with a running partner because your long run days are always different days of the week. My training this summer will be a lot of solo work (my running partner is pregnant - so excited for her) so it will be the perfect time to try the 9 day rotation. I think I will like it. I love the hard workouts. The 2 days of recovery will help me to be fresh for my next hard workout, and I will be anxious to run hard. The other big change will be consistent, true tempo runs. Not being a fan of the tempo, I have used racing to sub for my tempo runs. While racing has helped me tremendously, the 5k racing is not a true marathon tempo run, the pace is too fast for a true marathon tempo run. So this time, I will still do some racing, but I will be sure to do consistent tempo runs.

Week 1 - 30 miles
Monday - day 1 - 5 miles with 3 tempo miles. South LA - Have I mentioned the humidity in South LA - it's crazy - in the southeast in general for the past 4-5 days the heat index has been well over 100 everyday. This is not typical for June, more like August. I learned several years ago (the hard way, of course) that hydration is the most important part of trying to have a good summer run. So Monday morning, after driving out to drop waters along my route (a pain yes, worth it, yes) I started my run around a little before 7:30 am, already too hot. With the extreme heat, I make sure to hydrate every 20 minutes, so this basically interrupted my tempo run. I ran a 1 mile warm-up (w/u), then 1 mile of my tempo, and then stopped for water. I started back with 2 miles left for the tempo, and then 1 mile cool down (c/d). It was going about as well as can be expected for day 1 of the program and the heat, but about 2.5 into the tempo, when you are just trying to finish, I had to make a left hand turn. I make the turn and look down the lane and see a garbage truck. Have to finish the run, have to follow the garbage truck, not good. Finally, I was able to pass the truck and finish the tempo. Had some more h20 and finished the 5 miles. Although the tempo was interrupted by my water break, the water takes priority. Finished with 5 minutes of stretching doing several yoga poses. (tempo miles - 8:36, 8:24, 8:28)

Overall, good day, happy to be back in training. For me, the training is the best part. I am not a great racer(I love the racing, it's just not my strongest part), but I really get into the training. As you will see, I like to get very technical about my workouts. It keeps me entertained.

Tues - all the way to Gulf Shores, AL today. If you have every tried to run in Gulf Shores, I think it's the most humid place that I run, even worse than South LA. I started the run at 7:45 pm and I ran along Beach Blvd. to what we have always called "The Bunny Rd" (rabbits come out in the grass, late in the evening - named "the bunny road when we were kids - just a few years ago, ya know, ha ha). I ran a 5 mile loop with 2 water stops (around 9;30 pace), and then a few minutes of stretching. It was 90 degrees when I started, no telling what the heat index was, but overall it was a good run. I ran a lot of later morning runs in getting ready to run The Renaissance Half Marathon on June 13th. That "heat training" is really paying off now. I feel like I am very well adjusted to the heat and I have high hopes of being able to run a little faster in the heat, later this summer.

Today, was an easy walking day. I walked for 30 minutes in Gulf Shores, with my sister, Linde. After the walk, we packed up, and started the trip back home. So this evening I had to start catching up on work, watering all of my parched plants, now to the important stuff - catching up on email, fb, twitter and blogging. Looking forward to Thurs. run. We call it "The Billboard Run" - it's a 3/4 mile series of ugly hills on a dirt/sandy road. It's always tough. More to come.......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today, I met Amber (my great running partner) for a 6 mile run. It turned into an 8 mile run/walk - never mind - runner's code of silence. We had a great morning. We have missed our runs the past few weeks, so we had a lot of "life chatting" to do. Amber is going to add this one to the notes for the book she is going to write, so you can get the details then.

So, I get home from the run. Normally, I head to the shower. You see, when you run in South MS in the summer, it's basically like running in a sauna. Hot, humid and your clothes are soaking wet when you finish, especially if you are a heavy sweater, like me. Today, coffee was the first order of business. So I sit down with my coffee, check my email, and send out a Tweet, and the phone rings. It's a VIP, and VIP would like to come by and finalize an order that we have previously discussed (I am self-employed - I own and operate and embroidery business). If it's ok, VIP will arrive in about 30 minutes. "Yes, that will be good (screaming inside), come on over." Now - screaming out loud. Run across the yard to the shop, turn the a/c lower so it will be nice and comfy for VIP, run back across the yard, straighten the house in case VIP comes to the house, do a couple of things on the computer to prepare for VIP. OK - I am sweaty and nasty, yuck! Now - guess what? Only 10 minutes until VIP arrives - no time to wash nasty hair. Gross! (ok runners- don't act like this or something similar hasn't happened to you) (non runners - if you are reading this - I have just broken the runners code of silence - literally dirty little runner's secrets) Sometimes - to "get a run in" you will do "what you have to do" to get it done. (gross yes, necessary sometimes) Running is the priority. "It must be done."

So I take the fastest shower ever. Jump out of the shower, get dressed - must look somewhat professional for VIP. (VIP sometimes recommends books to read, such as Dress for Success, How to Succeed in Business, etc - can't look like a slouch today.) So what's a girl to do, throw on something presentable and blow dry the nasty, sweaty hair. Yes, I said it, no time to wash, just blow it dry and put it up in a barrett.

Good day - business has been REALLY slow. Finish meeting with VIP with an order, and good potential for future business. All in all, the VIP meeting was great. VIP is very nice, always has been. Hope VIP doesn't have time to read blogs. If so VIP would laugh, VIP has a good sense of humor.

Made it to South LA this evening to see my hubby, Chad. Oops - we had pizza. Now that's really not going to help with dropping the extra lbs. Life is short, and I can't live without pizza, don't intend to try. Maybe some extra running/walking on Sat?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Full of Enthusiasm

Getting so excited about my training. Still working on the plan, but I am getting close to finalizing it. Wait a minute, I'll be right back, it's Diet Dr. Pepper time. Grabbed some carrots too while I was in the refridge, isn't that exciting for a snack. On a mission to drop 5 more lbs. When I began this mission I had 11 lbs to lose. So I am doing ok, but the thing is, I wanted to drop the weight before my marathon training started. Don't think that's going to happen, exactly as planned, seeing that it's Wed. and my training starts on Monday. The original goal was to be down to my goal weight by July 1, so that might be doable, if I can stay on track. My other mission is to, of course, pr (set a personal record) in the marathon. (I know, me and all the other racers out there want that.) To do that, one huge step toward that goal is to drop the extra cushion that I have been carrying on my hips, butt, and thighs. I am really focused on the weight lose and I know I will get there. Maybe I have another pr in me too. To be continued.........

Let me back up and explain the extra cushion. Last year we remodeled our house. Basically, moved out, gutted the house, and remodeled. We started on Dec. 26, 2007, and finished in Dec. 2008. Thank you Jesus! Finally done! Don't think I will attempt that again. We will be stuck in 2008 for many, many, many years to come. It was definitely remodeling stress induced weight gain. So the mission continues, and hopefully, in the future I will find other ways to cope with stress. Maybe some meditation or something. Ha Ha

Back on track - I started the blog today to tell you about my run this morning. I met Kelly at 7am to run a new route in Lake Serene. I love running different routes, and especially new ones. I also love meeting friends to run. It makes the time go by so fast. I really enjoy the chatting & running. Seems I'm always multitasking. Like eating my carrots and blogging.
We ran 5 miles today at an easy pace. The loop is hilly which will be perfect training for the SGM. Great run, nice and easy, I like that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Week / New Focus

Monday starts my week for running so today I decided to go and run around the Lake @ Canebrake, 5 miles. I thought I would run easy today, but as I started running I decided that a few weeks ago I was consistently running tempos on Monday and this is the week to get started with that again. As I mentioned, I raced on Sat. so my tempo today was intentionally slowed. Canebrake is rolling hills so it's always a nice workout. Today I averaged 8:40 pace. When I think about that, summer 2008, 8:40 pace was just under my long run time. I have a lot of work ahead of me. The good thing is, I am up for the challenge. Have you ever been to South MS in the summer? If so, you know that the challenge will be large. I ran the Dublin Marathon in 2005. At that time, I swore to myself I would never run another early fall marathon because of the summer training program. As they say, "never say never." The St. George marathon has been on my marathon list for a long time, I made it in the lottery, so summer training it is. Utah here we come! (I love Utah, so pretty) Now the only thing to do is to embrace, love it, become stronger from it. I am trying to use this week as an easier week, with some quality. My "official" training for SGM will begin next Monday. I'm ready, waiting , and getting excited about the next challenge.

By the way - St. George will be my 14th marathon. Sometime soon, I will post a list with times.

On another note - my husband, Chad came home yesterday with our new zero turn mower. We have 3 acres to mow so we have been desperate to speed up the mowing each week. I went for a test drive today. It a little transition from our old mower, but it's fun, or it will be fun when I totally figure it out.

Need to go and call Kelly to see about an easy 5 mile run in Lake Serene Tues. morning followed with her yoga class.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Getting Started!

Where to begin? I am married! I am a runner! I am self-employed - love that. I am a yogini. I also bike and walk for recovery from running days. I occasionally lift weights. I do lots of yard work. I have 800-900 day lilies - did I say I do lots of yard work. We have 3 acres that we "keep up." I am a city girl at heart, but I need my space, so we live in the country, but near a small city. I am sad to say that it will be like the city soon. We live in MS, but we also have a place in LA so we are back and forth between the 2 states. No children - never wanted any.

Hobbies - running is my biggest passion. I am consumed with it. I have been running off and on for 23 years, but for the past 4 years, I have kicked it up many notches - more miles, more quality including track workouts, tempo runs, hill repeats. I run everything from 2 mile races to 26.2, but currently I am focusing on the marathon. I have ran 13 marathons.

I am currently 41. Last year, I started with a goal to PR (set a personal time record) in the 5k, I achieved that goal early in 2008, March 8, 2008, 4 days after my birthday. Like many runners do, instead of really enjoying that, I quickly moved on to the next goal. I decided that I wanted to PR in all of my race distances, while I was 40. 2 miles, 5k, 10k,12k, half marathon, and full marathon all before March 4, 2009. I am so happy to say that I achieved that goal. As I type this blog, looking back on it now, I realize it was a HUGE achievement. I am also currently realizing that I really didn't celebrate the achievement appropriately. Not to worry, it's not too late. I will take care of that. I achieved the last goal in Feb.2009. Now, I am sad to say, since my last pr in the half marathon (1:49:58 in Pensacola) in Feb., it has been downhill fast as far as racing is concerned. More about this later.

I ran a half marathon on Sat., June 13th, 2009, in Ridgeland, MS. Again, I ran poorly, but it's ok, I finished, and sometimes that needs to be the goal. (2:03 - long course 13.4, but I was still 2:00 for the 13.1 which is still slow compared to my Feb. race.)

Now the focus becomes the St. George marathon, in Utah, Oct. 3, 2009. I have to sit down and get a firm schedule in place. I like a hard copy schedule, so I stay on track for the full training plan. More later, as soon as I finalize "The Plan"