Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recovered, Feeling Good & Dinner with College Friend

After starting the week a little tired, I am so happy to report Wed. and this morning I am feeling great. Ready to Go! Wed. am was my weekly am run with Amber. We ran in a hilly subdivision. Ok - I will be honest - we took some walking breaks. I thoroughly enjoyed every walk. I think it helped to create a very comfortable run after the 10 milers on Monday and Tues. All day Wed., I was surprised how I rebounded so quickly from the tired feeling from Monday and Tues.

So it's early Thurs. - feeling good - but this is a scheduled easy day. So even though I am "raring to go this morning" I will try to honor my rest day (probably 30 minute walk or bike). I have hill repeats on Friday am, and I want to be fresh for that run.

Monday I received an email from my first roommate from my college days at USM. She wanted to know if I would be available for dinner Wed. night. I was so excited for her to come to town. It's been several years since I have seen her. She did pass through town a few years ago and we had lunch. In 1986, (yicks!)she came from California to Southern MS on a tennis scholarship and her last semester, she ran cross country. (yes, she had some adjustments in MS.) I was on a volleyball scholarship. I was not much of a runner at the time, but I had run a few races and I always admired those who ran, and ran well. I met and started dating Chad that first semester @ USM. He was on a cross country/track scholarship. So, immediately, the three of us had running/fitness in common. They were the "real runners." I was the wanna be, occasional jogger. Anyway, because of her work, Heidi didn't make it to Hattiesburg until late Wed. night. We had a "much too short" visit. It was so nice to see her. Hopefully, now, her work will bring her back to the area a little more frequently and we will be able to have regular visits. (Heidi is a marathoner too)

Note: Heidi and Meg - this pic was painted by my sister Linde, after we visited Southern CA for the San Diego marathon. Balboa Park

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious - not me - I'm referring to the weekly mileage. The miles are coming "fast and furious." After the 16 on Sat., Sunday was going to be a lazy, easy day, but then Chad (Chad's the hubby) was motivated to lift weights so I thought it would be really good for me to do some weights while he is doing it too. So I had intended to concentrate on arm weights, but then I decided well I will just do a little leg stuff too. (I like to alternate so the arms rest, while I do the leg weights.) So I did primarily do arms, but I added some quad weights, and some squats and lunges. So needless to say after the 16 on hills and then the weights, the legs had a couple of things to say to me.

So Monday starts my week and I have 45 miles this week. So, Monday needs to be an easy 10 miler (as easy as a 10 miler can be). For the most part I felt good, but I could feel those legs. Went to yoga, feel the legs a little more. Need to get some extra rest Monday night.

Tues. - on the schedule today - a 5 mile tempo run with 10 miles total. I warm up with 2 miles @ 10:00 minute pace. Then the 5 mile tempo on the hills begins. It's hilly - want to get those hills in. I'm still running by heart rate. It took me a while to get my heart rate up to 161. It seemed that my legs didn't want to go fast enough on the hills to get my heart rate up to 161. It was really the downhills that created the problem. Anyway, I was at 1.5 miles before I was able to get my heart rate up. The tempo run went fairly well considering everything. (legs still a little tired, 10 miles on Monday, heat/humidity has returned, and the HILLS). My tempo miles went as follows: 7:57 - HR - 154, 8:51 - HR - 161 big hill area oops, but running by heart rate, 8:21 - HR - 161, 8:16 - HR - 162,
Mile 5 - NO GOOD OPTION - This mile had a long, gradual downhill, I am running what feels like, REALLY fast (did I say my legs are a little fatigued) to keep my heart rate up, my other option is to turn around and go up the hill which would immediately eliminate the heart rate issue. I opted to split the difference. I turned around and ran up for a little while and then finished downhill. Mile 5 8:10 -HR - 162.

So for the 5 mile tempo on the hills I averaged 8:19. I'll take that. I decided today was a great day to add another ice bath. So glad that I did. Feel so much better.

Currently, my biggest issue is I NEED A DRINK. Not even alcohol, just a Diet Coke. You see, I just ran out of DC's yesterday. I am going to try to not stock so many at the house anymore. I will allow myself some when I am "out and about" but I think it would be good to not to have an endless supply at the house. Now - anxiously trying to finish my work so I can go make deliveries and get the much needed drink.

Update on the weight goal - no movement so far this week. Dang it! But, no movement up is a good thing. With the extra miles, it's going to continue to be a tough challenge to get those final few off, but I am going to do it. No really, I'm not just saying it, before the St. George marathon (hopefully well before) I will be at my goal weight.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I LOVE a long run.

Nothing better than to get up to a few degrees cooler weather, have your hubby drop you off 16 miles up the road for a Sat. long run (knowing that you can be lazy the rest of the day, it's Sat.) Just me, the pavement, and my tunes. I LOVE IT. Let me also say, I do LOVE company on a long run, but a solo run is not bad either.

Thankfully, no near misses of any sort today. Halleluhah!

Plan for the day - run the first 4 slow around 9:30 pace and then I decided with the cool morning, to run the next 12 at race pace. I wanted to "test the waters" a little. So I ran the first 4 right on, at 9:30 pace (love my Garmin). Feeling good and ready to go. Next 12 as follows: 8:48, 8:51, 8:23, 8:37, 8:32, 9:04 - big hills, 8:50, 8:40, 8:51, 8:38, 8:43, 8:32. Yay! Loving that last one for sure.

You remember the doggie that followed me home? Well, Chad made it home yesterday, and we gave him a ride back to the area that he started to follow me last week. I mentioned to Chad that he would likely follow me again on my Sat. run, but we decided to go drop him off Friday evening. Sure enough, 6 miles from the house, doggie comes running up, happy to see his running buddy - ready to run. This time I am ready for him. I didn't want him to follow me home again, because I figured this time with the sunny morning, he was memorizing the directions to the house. So this time, I have my phone with me (so prepared) and I call Chad to see if he had made it back yet(after he dropped me off, he went to the track to run with Chris). He had, so I asked him to come and give doggie another ride home. I took a detour which worked out great for me. I took a right onto a road that I run sometimes (don't want doggie to get to close to "my road") This road is a slight uphill, but I was SOOOO looking forward to finishing my 16 miler on a downhill for a change, it made the gradual climb well worth it. If I finish my run as I normally run it, the last 1.5 miles, of the final 2 miles, is uphill. I dread it each and every long run. Especially now because I am trying so hard to finish all of my long runs a little faster than I have in the past. So thanks to the doggie detour, I was able to finish my long run on a slight downhill and then Chad picked me up. I had him drop me off again a half mile from the house to walk from there and let me legs stretch out a little, and cool down.

When I made it to the house Chad was busy preparing breakfast, mostly egg white eggs, with a little low fat cheese, and 1 T. bacon bits, and I started making the oat bran (1 serving - 1 c. water, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, a little brown sugar - let this come of a soft boil then add 1/4 c. Oat Bran and cook for 2 min. Yummo!) I gobbled up the eggs, and then headed for my ice bath. Since the oat bran is warm, I decided to eat it while soaking in the mandatory ice bath (mandatory for 16 miles up). (If you need instructions, just let me know.) After ice bath, shower, and then 20 min. power nap. Good to go, good to blog. Ha Ha

Awesome run! Awesome week! Finished the 40 mile running goal today. Sunday will be easy bike or walk. Next week - moving up to 45 miles.

I took some nice pics today on the run with the phone, but I realized I do not have a cable to get them off the phone. You will need to use your imagination here. I have "poor man's cell phone" - no cell internet. Do you see the trend here, poor man's tv, poor man's phone. Life is good though, even with poor man's stuff. Maybe I can get the cable off of Ebay.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Strike Three - Almost!

So I continue to be plagued with near misses. I told you about the two recent, but separate lightning days, now Wed. I ran on the Longleaf Trail. It is a 42 mile, Rails To Trails, paved running/biking path in South MS. I haven't run here in a month or two because I want to train primarily on hills, and the trails are flat. I decided to run on the trail on Wed. because I needed to run mile repeats, and I do not like to run mile repeats on the track. So I am about 1/4-1/2 mile into my warm up and I am even with a snake with his head up. Thank the Lord that he was on defense because I am telling you, when I swerved he was less than a foot from my leg. He could have easily "made me his next victim." (NOTE to SELF - start caring your phone again. You would think after the lightning I would have my phone with me all of the time)

I am beginning to think the trail is infested with snakes(I know they like the pavement). I do not use the trail often, but a HIGH percentage of the time either I see a snake or someone warns me about a snake. Someone please put some garlic out or something.

So my first thoughts about these near misses. Are these all warning to give it up and stay at the house? OR, better yet, maybe these are mental building episodes? If I am lucky enough to make it to St. George, I'm choosing to use these "near misses" to my mental advantage. (playing in my mind in Oct. - "I have been through lightning, rain, near misses with snakes,extreme heat in June,50 mile weeks, etc. surely I can run and "finish" this race.")

So my training this week:
Monday am 7 miles - 1:02 8:53 average - 5 miles near race pace.
Monday pm - weights, push ups, core work.
Tues - 3 miles easy @ 9:49 pace (tried to go to yoga, class canceled, bummer)
Wed. am - snake day - 6 miles total - 4 X 1 mile 7:26, 7:37, 7:34, 7:25
Wed. pm - weights, squats, lunges, core work, push-ups, planks, and some yoga poses. - 8 miles with Amber

I have been feeling great all week until mid morning today (Thurs.). Now I am tired and need a nap. Diet Coke will have to do for now. (Note to self - do not turn to food to perk you up like you normally do)
Low point of the week today - 3.5 lbs from the goal. Baby Steps!
Luckily Fri is a non running day. I will either bike or run for 30 minutes and hope to get some extra rest.
Sat. - 16 miles to finish up my 40 for the week. Yay! Will let you know how the 16 miler goes. Hoping for no near misses, of any kind, on Sat.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trying to figure it out.

Today I headed out for my tempo run along the LA Bayou to complete this weeks mileage. I warmed up with a mile, ran 4.5 miles for the tempo run, and then 12 X 13 second sprints, then a half mile cool down. Today I averaged 8:25 pace with an average heart rate of 161 for the tempo.

In continuing with my heart rate training, today the goal was to run around 161-163(85% of Max heart rate) average heart rate for the tempo. Normally, I run by pace, what I think I can run. In doing this, today, I would have attempted 8:00-8:15 pace for the 4.5 miles. I started the tempo run and was on target with my heart rate within the first half mile. (Question number 1 - should I do my warm-up for a tempo so that I am at my target tempo heart rate when I start the tempo run????) I ran by heart rate the whole way, except the first half mile when I was "getting my heart rate up to speed" I did look at my pace several times, but never adjusted my speed based on pace, only adjusting speed based on the heart rate. I must say that I felt better on this tempo run than I have felt for most of my previous tempo runs. After the run today, I know why, because normally I am likely running the tempos harder than I should be. Normally, I will kill myself trying to keep up with the pace that I think is recommended for the day. I do adjust my time a little for heat, etc. but I think I have been running them too fast.

Although I felt so much better today, and I feel it was a good quality run, I did not really like how my splits ended up (8:00, 8:13, 8:26, 8:45, 4:24). I am not sure if this is typical or not. Maybe I will become more consistent as my body becomes accustomed to running the tempos correctly (or is this the correct way to run the tempo, I am not sure). I am more or less "running in the dark" with this heart rate training plan. I do see how it will be a much better plan, but I do not know enough about it at this point to be sure that I am doing it properly. I do enjoy the challenge of running by the heart, and not the mind. I really prefer to run even splits so I really didn't like this data, but that's what my heart told me to run today.(in a typical tempo run, I do fade at the end, but my splits are much closer than this).

If anyone is educated on heart rate training and running, please give me any tips. Was it ok for my splits to be that different each mile for a tempo run? Should I do anything different?

I REALLY enjoyed this step back week. I ended with 25 miles with 3 quality runs. (hills, long, and tempo - love it). I had approximately 7 miles of walking, and 9 miles on the bike (I will likely get a few more easy miles on the bike this evening as I ride with Chad). I had one day of weights, and 3 days of "a little core work"

Week number 5 of St. George training coming up (10 weeks to go). Today I see that I have 76 days until the race (that makes me nervous). I still need a lot of training to get "ready" for the race. I have plenty of time, but it just makes me nervous. Yoga Breathing.... 40 miles for week number 5. Wed. - mile repeats, Sat. - 16 miles. The rest of the week will be "fill-in" mileage to get to 40 miles and recovery. Also another busy week of work, so it will be interesting. Will keep you posted as the week goes on.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Strike Two

This week is a blur.  Monday was filled with trying to finish up some orders so that we could leave for New Orleans on Tues.  Tues., Wed. and Thurs we were in New Orleans with Mom and my sister, Linde.  This week was a scale back week so this coordinated nicely with the quick trip to NO.  Monday evening after racing around all day, I head to the YMCA to run the big hill that goes from the Y up to the Shell gas station.  I had originally planned to run Honeysuckle hill which is a steep hill, but the rottweiler was out at the bottom of the hill so NOPE, can't do it.  I ran 5 miles.  I ran the up hills and the down hills hard with about 2-3 min. recovery between each.  This hill is not real steep, but it's long so it can be very effective.  What I ran was 1.1 miles.  This was a good start to the week.   The mileage goal for this step back week is 20-25 so the next scheduled run is not until Thurs.

Our trip to New Orleans was fun.  We went on a Swamp Tour.  Chad is from South LA and had never been on a "swamp tour"  He sees all of this, all of the time, but he did end up enjoying the trip.  We were introduced to some of the local pets.

Oh, I forgot to mention the lightning storm that almost ended our lives.  We are on the boat, waiting to leave and we can hear thunder rumbling in the distance.  Soon the storm is upon us.  The guide says we will just wait a few minutes and it will pass.  The lightning starts popping closer and closer.   We all look around at each other like we are all crazy, but at this point to get off the boat and get to the car is more dangerous than staying.  We did all eventually run to get underneath the porch instead of sitting on the boat.  This is truly the worst lighting that I have experienced to date.  My nerves are shot at this point.  When people start taking pictures, I jump as I see the flash of the camera, thinking it's lightning.  We eventually get started with the trip and the storm made everything nice and cool.

Below is a pic of Big Joe.  He is the guide's pet (the guide says they do not feed the alligators, but the guide doesn't always tell the truth).  It did make for a good swamp tour though.

The highlight of the trip was Cafe DuMonde.  You know I am "all about the food."  I did limit my visit to the Cafe to one time, so I think that is outstanding.   Normally, a 3 day trip would mean at least 3 trips to Cafe DuMonde.  We also went to La Boca for the steak eaters in the group which is everyone but me.  We went on the Katrina tour.  It advertised going through the 9th ward and seeing Brad Pitt's project and the Musician's Village project that Harry Connick Jr. is involved with.  We did go by, by the road that the projects are on.  The bus did not even drive by the projects.  That was very disappointing.  Not sure why, it may be a danger issue, but I think they should make it clear that you really will not see the projects at all.  Bummer!  We rode the trolleys to do a little site seeing and then Thurs. am we went to the Aquarium.

We left NO just after lunch.  We made it home in time to do a few things and then get ready for my 14 mile run.  Most of my long runs are usually am runs.  I had Chad drop me off 14 miles North on 4th St.  North of Audrey and Charles.  Normally, I run on 589 from Epley, but today with it being 6:00pm, I didn't want to be on the hwy at that time.  I should have taken my chances with the drivers.  I had not run on 4th & Victory Rd. before.  Chad dropped me off near Ralph Rawls Rd, on 4th St. and went to meet Chris to run from Jackson Rd.    I started running and about 1/2 mile into my run a pack of 6 dogs come charging out.  I almost had a heart attack, but thankfully, they were not real aggressive.  Most were very friendly, with the exception of one who wanted to be ugly.  It was fine, but now my adrenaline has kicked in.  I need to slow down the pace.  Then another dog, BIG, white,  like a German Shepard or something dog is just standing in the road.  Thankfully, thunder scared him back to the house, but again, adrenaline in high gear.  I finally make it to Oral Church and I am relieved because the rest of the run, I am familiar with and it should be smooth sailing as far as the dogs (but you never know when someone has a new addition to the fam).  Anyway, now my attention turns to the threatening skies all around.  I make it to Audrey and Charles's, but the weather is ok, I will keep going.  I cross over 98 and keep going.  At this point, it's starting to get ugly.  With 6.5 to go, the bottom drops out and the lightning starts popping.  I have already been in a lightening storm earlier this week @ the swamp tour.  As it begins to rain, a pair of dogs starts running my way.  Immediately, I realize they are not mean.  They run up to me.  One then heads for the woods and the other starts to follow me.  I try to get him to go away, but no luck.  Throughout the rest of the run, I look back and he is my shadow.  Now I start to worry about him.  As I cross the road for traffic, I call for him to cross with me, he listens and continues to shadow.  WE are both very scared and I think we are both enjoying the company.  (the insane enjoy company ya know)   We are making progress towards home.  With 3 miles left, Chad drives up.  At this point it is still raining, but the lightning is not near by.  He stops to see if I want a ride.  "No - I want to finish the run."  He heads to the house.   Shortly after he is gone, from out of now where, BOOM, the lightning is back and it's worse than before.  Normally, on a long, solo run, I carry my phone, but not today with the travels and rushing around I am out of my routine. (I forgot my Body Glide too, probably a good thing it was raining, no problems)  Two times during the run,  I turn around to run north thinking I will just run back north until it passes, that didn't work, it seemed to follow me.  I was freaking at this point.  Thankfully, God watches over fools.  Doggie and me finished the run.  He ran about 7 miles with no problem.  We were going to haul him back after dinner, but we went outside and he was gone.  This morning after Chad left (with the truck) he shows himself.  He is shy.  I put some food out for him but he runs to the woods. With all of the drama during this run, I am not even sure that it was good for me.  The stress during this run probably did more harm than the benefit of running.  I did figure out a way to run a long run with no pain.  With so much going on and fearing for my life (and the cool rain), I never felt bad on this run.  In fact, as far as feeling good, this is the best run of the summer.  The Garmin says 9:30 pace, I swear the last 7 were faster than that, but that's what it said.  I did get a water bubble in the Garmin and started to "freak out"  I can't go without my Garmin.  Friday morning the bubble was smaller and it accepted a charge, but I know getting water inside is not good.  YIKES!

So two times this week I have been caught in lightning storms.  I feel if there is a third time, I will be OUT.  Either by a lightning strike or the stress is going to kill me. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Garmin - Best Friend / Worst Friend

This pic was taken on the way to the LA Catfish Festival 5k (3.1 miles) in Des Allemandes, LA. This is a pic of a South LA sugar cane field. Just 1 minute before this pic, the sun was a beautiful reddish orange. Sorry - by the time I pulled over it had already changed.

Nothing really out of the ordinary today about the 5k, except that it has been a little while since I have run one. (trying to focus on the marathon - it's hard to do that - the variety of racing keeps me entertained). Warmed up 1.5 miles, ran some strides, and then we are off and running. I hoped to run 7:40 pace (typically my "hopes" are always a little faster than what I end up running, but it gives me something to work toward). Today was my 4th time to run this race. The last time was in 2007 and I ran 24:12 which, at the time was a new PR for me. I remember being very excited to have run so well, especially in July. At the time, it proved to me my training was going well and paying off. Fast forward to 2009. Finish the race and they call out 23:31, very excited, I haven't been doing 5k speed work, wow. Very next thing - look at my Garmin to see if I have the same time. I have 23:32 - GREAT. Next thing - look at distance 3.01 - DANG! (this all happens within 10-20 seconds of completing the race). So my adjusted time for a 5k would be around 24:11, I guess. (mile 1 - 7:41 yay, mile 2 - 7:45 not bad big bridge, 3 - 7:59 - dang, .01 - :06)

So I am thinking back to 2007, I had just looked up my 2007 on Friday to see what I was in for and what I needed to do. You always want to do a little better than last time (it is a sickness for sure). As I am driving back I am thinking I didn't see any notation of a short course, unless I overlooked it in my notes. What happened? I always note short courses - what I ran, the incorrect distance, and a guess of what my 5k time would have been. So after a quick trip to Wally World (need to pick up some Blue Bell for my sweety, etc), I make it home and look back and realize that I didn't get my Garmin until August of 2007. So the 3 other years I never knew the course was short and in 2007 thoroughly enjoyed my PR.

Garmin - can't run without it, love all the data, love to run on pace, love the heart rate monitor, etc. - Best Friend.
Garmin - today for a moment in time, I was thrilled to have ran a time of 23:32 for the 2009 Catfish 5k (3.1 miles), no this year the Garmin tells me that I have only run 3.01 miles. Worst Friend.

Reality is a real downer. Today, if I had not run with the Garmin, I would have left that race with the best of attitudes toward my training. I would have been saying to myself "my training is REALLY paying off. I ran 23:32 and I haven't been doing speed work for the 5k." It would have really pumped me up to continue with my marathon training knowing that I am running strong.

I did run with that Garmin and I know that I really ran around 24:15 today for a true 5k. At first, I am bummed. So typical! This is what I do after a race. First, (unless it's a pr) I am bummed - why this, why that, etc. Then as I think about it more and more, I start looking at the positives. So here we go - today my adjusted time was around 24:11. Now I know that I need to go back and adjust my 2007 (39 years) time and the adjusted time would be around 24:51. So today, this 41 year old, ran a better time than 2 years ago with few 5ks and practically no 5k training (other than mile repeats and hill repeats - which are good for 5ks, but for me to get faster in the 5k, I need the 200s & 400s). Maybe I'm not over the hill after all. Also, 24:15, for a July 5k is not too bad (at start time it was around 75 degrees with heat index of 89). Would I like to be faster, of course, but I will take it. It could be a LOT worse. I won the Ladies Master's Award. (it was a small race, but I'll take it) (also won a door prize, an XL COKE tee - another sleep shirt - cool). It was hard to get out of bed a 5:00 am to be there for the 7:30 start, but it's always so worth it later in the day. Fun!

After the race I jogged another 2.5 miles to get me to 7 miles for the morning. I still need 3 more to get me to my planned 38 for this week. So this evening, like last week, I will opt to run a "2 a day" and get those other 3 miles this evening while Chad and Scott run so that I can have Sunday off from running.

Next week will begin week 4 of my St. George Training. It will be a "step back" week for me. The first 3 weeks went like this - 29, 34, and 38 miles. Next week, I will run around 25 miles. Monday will be hill repeats, but scaled back a little 5 miles total, Thurs. will be my long and this week is 14 so that will be the bulk of the mileage for the week, and next Sunday (July 19th) will be a tempo run - 4 tempo miles and 6 miles total. With the reduced mileage I will not have any easy running days (some call it "junk miles"). The other days will be either walking or biking.

Garmin you are still rated as Best Friend - even though you frequently bust my bubble, overall, you get a "big thumbs up." You and I have many more miles and memories to go - I hope.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A New Low This Week, But This is a Good Thing.

Thought I would give you a little status update on the weight loss goal. From this point forward, I am choosing to go with my lowest am weight each week(desperate), which for me is usually the middle of the week around Wed. or Thurs. It takes a little time after my weekend screw ups to repair the damage, and usually by Wed. or Thurs. I am back on track. So this week, although my weight fluctuates a lot, for a brief moment in time I can claim that I am now 4 lbs from my goal. The crazy thing is, if I could do better on the weekends I could get to my goal fairly quickly, but the weekend hits - BAM - Crazy! Marching on toward my goal even though my marathon mileage is picking up. (which means the appetite goes up, yikes!).

Wed am - I went to my yoga class @ The Yoga Room. It was a tough, sweat dripping, class. (it wasn't Hot Yoga, I just sweat a lot). It was a good class as always. I have mentioned it before, but I am a BIG believer in yoga for everyone, but, especially for runners. It's a GREAT compliment to running and I personally believe it helps to reduce injuries. It stretches and strengthens your body, especially the feet. Wed. pm was an easy bike ride with Chad (he ran and I biked). It's a GREAT way to visit with him. No phones, no computers, no tvs - my favorite time with him.

Thurs am - my weekly Amber run was today. Great 6 mile run on the hills. She introduced me to some great hill repeat hills that I will be visiting soon. Long and steep which ='s ouchee, but I like it. I love the hard workouts, when they are complete, of course.

Friday is a scheduled tempo day, but I think I will opt for a 5k on Sat. instead. It's been a LONG time since I have run a 5k and I am getting antsy, ready to race. It's been so long since I have been to a 5k - I will be nervous before the race. For many years, I was racing (2 miles - marathons) so much it was very rare for me to get nervous before a race. Currently, I am trying to concentrate on the longer distances instead of always multi-tasking with my training, so it's been a while. Not ready speed wise, for a 5k, but ready to test the waters. Will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't give up on "the plan" to early in a run!

(This is a sunflower that I planted from a seed @ the end of March) It makes me happy each time I walk out in the yard. Pretty!

Today the plan was a 12 mile progression run. I wanted to start out at 10:00 pace for the first 3 miles. (Let me just stop here and say - this is hard for me. I like to run even pace runs which typically turn out to be a little too fast in the beginning and too slow in the end.) The next 3 miles @ 9:30 pace, next 3 @ 9:00 and the final 3 @ 8:45 pace. Normally, when I start out I intend to start out around 9:00 minute, but I feel so good it turns into 8:45 or a little faster. So today, I use the Garmin to really stick with the plan for today. So, I am running and I am into the 2nd, 10:00 min. mile, and I am thinking 10:00 min. mile really should be any effort, this is not good. Immediately, I start thinking I will need to adjust my plan, there is no way I will be able to do the quicker times, if 10:00 is already an effort. I stop at 3 miles to hydrate (4-5 ounces of H2O). I start back and I am thinking, I will give this a try, but I really don't think it's going to work today. I am thinking it's the humidity (94% - 75 degrees and 82 degree real feel temp. @ 5:30 am). So I pick it up to 9:30, start feeling a little better, and now I'm thinking it's just 3 miles, I can at least do the 3 @ 9:30. I finish this part right on pace. (@ 5.5 miles I take a Gu gel so when I get to my water stop @ 6 miles, I will be finished with the gel, 4-5 ounces of water and pour the rest down my arms, refreshing.) By now I am feeling ok. I think I can run the next 3 @ the planned 9:00. No problem - get to my next stop which is Gatorade 3-4 ou./water 3 ounces and pour the rest down my arms. Now the challenge. The last part of my run is always a challenge for me. First of all, I'm just weak at the end of my long runs. I am just now, beginning to realize this is a mental thing more than a physical thing. The other problem is during the last 2 miles of this run, 1.5 of the 2 miles is up hill. So I am weak, and now I have to run up hill for a long time. Yikes! I wanted to do this segment at 8:45. During the run, I did adjust this part, and I committed to trying to run just under 9:00, for the last 3 miles. I was able to do the adjusted plan, for 2 out of the 3 miles - 8:50, 9:05, and 8:56.

So the reminder for the day, is just because you feel bad, don't give up on the run or the plan too early. Yes, some days you do truly need to adjust a run, but most of the time if we push through a short period of time, we start to feel better. First get out the door, go for 1-2 miles and then decide. Same thing during a training run. If you would have asked me in the 2nd mile today, how I would finish this run, I would have said 10:00 miles the whole way. Instead, I ran the first 6 in 58:38, and the 2nd 6 miles in 54:10. Ok, so I didn't do the last phase exactly as planned, but I didn't go to 10:00 miles either, so today..... A GREAT Run! I am happy with it. My pace averaged out to 9:24 for the 12 miles. (this does not include my water stop time).

I have mentioned before how important input from others is so helpful for training. When I was working on "the training plan" for St. George, I was talking with Amber about it, and she recommended to try to focus on finishing my runs a little faster. "Even if it's just the last half mile, or last mile, really try to pick it up." I took that advice to heart, and I am working on it. So far, I haven't really picked it up too much at the end of my long runs, but I have maintained my pace, which is new for me. Normally by the end of my runs I am falling off the pace really bad for the last 2 miles. For my last 2 long runs - the final 2 miles - I was right on race pace. I think this will be an important part of my mental training for marathons. Typically, it's the last 6 that "get me." I am hoping training to finish with a little more quality will help me at the end of my next marathon. Thanks Amber!

It's really funny how you say things to people and you never really know how it will impact them or motivate them, or challenge them to a new level. That is partially why I started this blog. I hope that some time, some where along the way, someone else will find motivation, a tip, something that will spark them to the next level.

This little bird must have some babies nearby. It keeps sitting on the rail and tweeting at my "Little Cat." As you can see, she is so concerned. This is just outside my embroidery shop (Always In Stitches) which is across the driveway from my house (love that).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Garbage Trucks, Mile Repeats, and a Little Ab Work

90 days til SGM.
Sat. was my next hard day. The dreaded mile repeats.
Sat - am 7 miles total - So I head out to do my 1.5 mile w/u. Everything going nice and then the garbage truck passes (see pic). It stinks, luckily I am still warming up and not into the mile repeats where I gasp for air. So I finish the warm-up and start the first mile. The plan for the day was to HOPE to run 7:45 pace. Not sure if I can do that with the heat and I haven't run any mile repeats in a LONG time. Just before leaving for the run at 6:30 am it was 82 degrees with a heat index of 92. So I am thinking I will be doing great if I can run the 7:45s. I get started and then I remember what my friend Jim had emailed me earlier in the week. I am trying to start some heart rate training (don't know much about it) but this is what Jim had said in an email. He said "most runners run to hard on the easy days and too easy on the hard days." I know that I definitely have tendency to run to hard on the easy days, so I have been monitoring that part of my running with the heart rate monitor for a while. However, I didn't think I would fall into the category of running too easy on my hard days. It always seems to me that I am working REALLY hard. So, I am .3-.4 into my first mile repeat and I check my heart rate and pace. The pace was where I wanted, but the heart rate was not, so I picked up the pace. This is a SUPER example of why the heart rate monitor can be so helpful. I had planned to run between 7:45-7:55, when I checked the heart rate monitor, I was not in zone 5. I was @ 157 and 163 is the low end of zone 5 for me. It felt crazy to be picking up the pace, didn't think I could pick up the pace and hold it. I picked it up to 163 and stayed in the 163-164 range. I had 2-3 min. recovery and then started the second repeat. This time I monitored the heart rate the whole time and kept the heart rate between 163-167. If I had not used the HRM, I would have run these closer to 7:50 which, just as Jim said, would have been to slow on my hard day. So thanks Jim and others for good advice.

So I finish with the repeats and start the cool down. I need to get 3.5 miles in. Here comes the garbage truck again, he passes, he passes again, again, and just to make sure to try to get me sick, he passes one more time during my cool down. (maybe it was my new Nike running skirt, ha ha, no it's just them going up and down all of the side streets and my running route is coordinating perfectly, dang, bad luck today with the stinky.) During my cool down, I also worked on my abs and my posture. Trying to hold in the gut, and hold my shoulders back. For some reason it never becomes a habit. (can hear my yoga teacher in my ear talking about how runners have a tendency to "hump" the shoulders, and it get's worse with age.)

This was a tough run (not a big fan of the mile repeats) but I am so pleased to have run that well in the heat. You really can learn to run in the heat if you really want to You just need to take it slow and hydrate really well (before, during, and after). This comes from someone who just a few years ago took the summers almost off from running because "it's too hot to run and I just can't do it."

I still have so much to learn about the heart rate training. I am looking at some books to purchase to help me with, when to run in what zones. I am fairly sure for mile repeats, that zone 5 is the correct zone, but I am not even 100% about that. So let me just say that my training was great, if I was in the correct zone. Ha Ha Clueless about HRT! Rolling Eyes Laughing

Sat - pm - so I need 4 more miles for this week. I can either do them on Sunday, or opt for a "2 a day" and have Sunday off, from running. Chad(my hubby) and Scott (our friend) needed to run Sat. night so I opted to "get it done" I ran an easy 4 miles. Not too bad considering the earlier run, and the worst part - I FORGOT my Ipod. I HATE that!

Sunday am - Just found this link from Runner's World, and I will be using until I find a book worthy of purchasing. Yay! I was correct about the heart rate for the mile repeats.

Enjoying a lazy day with Chad (see pic) and Tiger
Today will be an easy bike ride while Chad and Scott run late this evening.
Finished week 2 with 34 miles of running, 1 yoga class @ The Yoga Room, 1 day weights with squats, lunges, push ups, and 2 days of core work.            

Week 3 - 38 miles

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Training Intensity Increases = Appetite Gone Crazy

Midway through my second week of training for SGM and suddenly, from out of nowhere the appetite beast "ISSSS BAACCKKK! I am picking up the intensity of my workouts, and I am adding some miles so I realize I need a more calories to be able to keep up the intensity, but all of the sudden on Tues. of this week, I am HUNGRY. I added some extra calories, some good choices, a few, not so good, just trying to fill up. Now my current weight loss has come to a STOP. I was able to drop the first 6 lbs without too much trouble, but now I am stalled out. The weekends continue to be an issue. I really do not feel like I am over eating (well maybe on the weekends), but the scale is not moving. Luckily, it's not moving up either. I am trying to up my protein intake to help with the increased appetite. Hopefully, that will work and I will continue on with the goal. I REALLY wanted to drop the weight before the training began so I was not trying to increase training and drop lbs. That is a LOT to ask of a girl, but I will continue on with the goal.

Week 2 training is going great. Tues. was another recovery day. I went for a bike ride at 11:30. It was such a beautiful day, breezy, hot, of course (it's south MS), but it was just nice to be out enjoying the beautiful day. Several times on my 10 mile loop, I wished I had the camera with me so I could share some pics with you. Maybe next time.

Wed. was the next scheduled hard day, tempo run. Last week I ran a 3 mile tempo, 5 miles total. This week I added a half mile to the tempo part. So today, I ran a 2 mile w/u, water stop, 3.5 mile tempo - 8:21, 8:16, 8:16, and 4:10,water, and then another 1.5 to finish with 7 miles. Before this run, I was a little nervous about it. I am not a big fan of the tempo run, but I think it is the missing link in my marathon training so I am committed to doing consistent tempo runs during this training cycle. I was anxious about adding the extra half mile this week. I actually felt good, well, as good as one can feel on a tempo run. The tempo part was on the flatter part of the 7 miles. My tempo pace was a little faster this week, than last week, yay!

Thurs. - today was my scheduled run with Amber. We ran 8 miles @ Canebrake. This is a rolling hill run. We chatted the run away and it was complete in no time. That's the great thing about a running partner. First, you have to show up, and then the time goes by fast.

Feeling really good about this week's training. My next hard run will be on Sat. This time I will be running mile repeats. It's been a really long time since I have run mile repeats. Mile repeats and tempo runs compete for the most dreaded workout award. I love track workouts, but I prefer anything from 800s down. I will start this week with 2 X 1 mile with 1 mile w/u and c/d. I probably will not even run them on the track. I will find a more entertaining mile somewhere, I'm sure.

I am getting the racing bug. Need to find a 5k soon. Starting to have race withdrawals. Maybe I can find a 5k this weekend instead of the dreaded mile repeats.