Monday, May 30, 2011

New Max Heart Rate

Friday night was the next 5k on my schedule.  It had been 3 wks since my last 5k, which translates to, 3 additional wks of quality training.   More importantly, 3 wks closer to summer in South MS/LA.    Not ideal for racing, but fun anyway (if you like near death experiences).  
The Scene -  Friday Night, New Orleans, 7:00 pm race time.    Let's review - my last race was 3 wks ago and I ran 7:43 avg.  Yes, I realize it's going to be HOT,  my mind thinks.....  even though it's hot, you have 3 more weeks of solid training in, and the temp will be dropping at 7:00.  Let's go for 7:35 pace.   I write 7:35 down in my "daytimer" because I'm modern and high tech like that.    (yes, I have previously mentioned the daytime, what can I say, I just like to write "stuff" down)

The official results haven't been posted, which is a good thing because this is a big, non-chip timed race.  (last year around 1500 runners)  It takes around 8 seconds before I arrived at the start line, so we will happily go with my Garmin time.   23:50 - 7:38 avg. 
Splits - 7:26 too fast(by 9 seconds), 
           7:54 too slow (by 19 seconds - near death).   
Shortly after the race, I look at my splits - the last mile irks me.   

I go into the Greek Festival area for just a few minutes.  I'm quickly uncomfortable with the crowds, and the lines are WAY too long so I bail.  I still have to drive another hour to South LA.   When I get back to the car, around 8:20, the temp is 84 degrees.  So at race time, I suspect the temp. was 85-86 degrees??, I feel better about my time.   

So in comparing my Garmin to Garmin time from my last 5k.  I ran 7 seconds faster and the temp was 5-6 degrees warmer this week.  Knowing the temp. has a big affect, I will call it success!

The 3rd mile was HARD - duh!!! It's a 5k, the 3rd mile is always hard.  This one was extra tough, with the extra heat.  Friday night, I pushed my poor heart to a new max. of 184.  (new Garmin, Dec. 2010)
               April 16th @ 65 degrees  May 7th @ 80 degrees  May 27th @ 85-86 degrees
Average Heart Rate 165                     168                                172
Max. Heart Rate      173                    176(the creep begins)    184

So I max.ed out my heart, and gave it ALL I HAD Friday night.    
7:35 goal for the day, 
7:38 reality with 85 ish temp. 
 a MAX'ed out heart 
7 seconds faster than last 5k
yeah, I'm OK with that!

2 more weeks of my 8 wk, 5k plan.  I am hoping to be a little more adjusted to the heat.  This race will add a new challenge.  The last 2 races have been evening races, 6pm, and 7PM.  The final race will be at 8:00 am.  The temp. will be cooler, but the humidity will be much higher in the morning.  The next 2 weeks will be filled with 8:00 am runs.  Most recently, I've been doing more, later in the day runs, to get ready for heat.   Now a little more race specific training (8:00 am) for the last 2 wks.  I've also decided to cut my mileage a little these last 2 wks.  I had planned to go back up to 50 miles this wk, but have decided, I will hang out around 35 miles instead.  Just feeling like that may be a good adjustment at this point.  

I was able to run with my honey on Sat. and Sun.  :)
It's Memorial Day - Chad had to work, but we will celebrate with crawfish tonight.   

I'm so thankful for all of our Veterans, our current military, and military families.  The sacrifices are appreciated!
God Bless the USA!

The training:
Ended the wk of May 16th with 50 miles

Week of May 23rd quality runs - Tues. - 12 X 200 @ :49 second avg with 30 second recovery.  Fri. - Greek Fest 5k
Ended this week with 24 miles.  (race wk - cut in mileage)

Things I wonder about??
Can it be, these 5ks are responsible for all of the gray hairs popping up on my head?  I wonder.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


thoughts from today....

as I walk back to the house, 
just completing my run for the day,
satisfaction fills the air,
satisfaction for my mind. 
satisfaction for the heart,
satisfaction for the soul.
The site of daylilies blooming all through the yard,
the smell of gardenia everywhere. 

I feel my body becoming stronger each day.
This brings a smile to my face.
I hit 45 and 50 miles per week.
What's in the numbers that makes me smile?
I'm not sure,
but it does.
I'm nearing another training peak.
It's a high, that I love and savor.
I've been here before, 
but each time is special.
I'm thankful !

Tonight I tried a Joy Baur recipe.
Mix together:
1/2 c part skim ricotta
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
"small" splash of milk

In a separate bowl, microwave a half cup mixed berries for about 1 minute--then stir warm berries (w/ liquid) into ricotta cream.  
(because I'm a sugar addict, I would prefer more SUGAR, but I resisted)
Stats according to Joy - 240 cals, 16 grams protein, 2 grams fiber

Back in Feb. I decided to plant a few "seed potatoes."   This was my first time to give this a try.  Not having much confidence in my gardening abilities, and because I already have WAY TOO MUCH yard work, I only planted about 8-10 pieces of the seed potatoes.   Today, I decided to do a little digging to see what I would find.
Not too bad for a novice.
no chemicals, no pesticides - I like that!
Wish I had more motivation to garden.  
There's something really nice about knowing where your food comes from.
It's also nice to know.....I did that! 
Wk of May 2nd - step back wk in mileage - 22 miles running, etc. 

Wk of May 9th:
quality listed below, and the other days were easy mileage days
*Tues - 12 miler

*Thurs. - 5 with a 3 mile tempo run 8:45 avg for the 5 miles - the 3 mile tempo was at 7:53 avg.

*Sat. - 8 X 400 @ 1:46 avg,  1 X 800 @ 3:41,  2 X 800 @ 1:43, and 1:42
Ended Sunday with 45 miles running, 5 miles walking, 2 days of weights, planks, squats, burpees, lunges, etc., and 1 yoga class
Chad ran with me for the 400 workout on Sat., and on Sunday.  On Sunday, I needed 4 miles for 45 miles for the week.  
sunday conversation with Chad, after the 4 mile run to finish 45 miles for the week.
Me: "that's 45, and that makes me HAPPY!"
Chad: "that's all it takes?"
Me: "pretty much!" lol !
I am a runner!
May 16th - this is week 5 of my 8 week 5k training plan
Monday - 8 miles easy, weights, planks, squats, jump rope, core work
Tues. - yoga class, 2 miles am, and 6 miles pm with 10 X honeysuckle hill (.21 hill) 1:52 avg
Wed. - 5 miles easy monitoring heart rate.
Thurs - will be a 12 mile run


Sunday, May 8, 2011

All for Me!

Sat evening, the hubby and I headed to Houma, LA to run a 5k @ 6:00pm.  While I spent most of my day, catching up on blogs, twitter, TV, reading a book, resting up for my evening 5k,  my honey was at work.  He worked, rushed home, took a shower and sat down on the couch.  About the time he was about to doze off, I announce it's time to leave.  He LOVES  ME! 
He was able to get a quick nap on the way.
As we set out, YOU KNOW that I QUICKLY notice the temp.  78 degrees!  We have a quick conversation, my typical , hot and humid chatter, but the bright side ..... at least it's cloudy.   So as the hubby fades off to dream land, 15 minutes into the drive, the sun pops out BRIGHT, and the clouds quickly fade away.  By the time we arrive in Houma, we gain another 2 degrees.   It's around 80 degrees at race time, but the humidity is not as bad as it typically is in South LA.  Always a BRIGHT SIDE!

My last 5k was 3 weeks ago, and the starting temp was around 63-65 degrees.  Since then I have "tried" to focus on heat training, but this spring has been unique for us.   Back in Feb., we had some unusually warm weather, and lately we've had unusual cool fronts (great for EVERYTHING but heat training, and Dufrene's Guide Service ).  As my luck with racing goes, the cool fronts have come when I'm trying to train to acclimate to heat for racing.  Whatever....

As noted, I've been trying to do better with "REALITY."  In the last 5k, I averaged 7:39 pace.  So today, typically, I would have rationalized that I have 3 additional weeks of 5k training behind me, so for this race, I should try for 7:30-7:35 avg pace, totally ignoring the heat of the day.  15 - 17 degrees is huge for me, especially when I haven't been racing at that temp.   Today,   I decided to try to go out around 7:40-7:45, adjusting for the heat, before the heat adjusted for me.  

The last race my hubby met me around mile 1, or maybe 1.5, and ran the rest of the way with me.  That's the first time he's joined me for that much of the race.  Today, he surprised me when he decided to register for the race, and run the 5k with me.  Wow!   I don't think he has EVER run a race "for fun".  Fun for him, I would be "racing."

Around mile 1, we were entertained by a guy running off of the course, grabbing a beer, chugging it, and then returning to the race.   We laugh about it, and I tell my hubby, "see what you've been missing?"  (he's always been in the lead pack, all out racing)  We're at 7:42 pace.  I'm actually feeling strong.  I can feel the training paying off.  Today, I feel stronger through mile one at 80 degrees, than I felt 3 wks ago at 65 degrees (7:38 first mile 3 weeks ago).  Progress, not by time, but by feel.  The positive -  I'm happy that mile 1 was close to the same mile 1 from 3 wks ago, when the temp was better. 

Even at mile 2, I feel stronger than I did just 3 weeks ago.  Mile 2 - 7:39

During the last mile, hubby points out "pigtail" girl up ahead.  Hubby is really competitive, Ginny is not! (except with HER personal times)  I REALLY wish I had  some of that competitive drive to BEAT people.  I know it would help my 5k times.  

I know HE really wants me to get her, I really want to run as fast as I can, so, I try.  He points out that she's probably, only, 20 years younger than I am.  I'm thinking, EXACTLY!  I'm not out here to compete with 20 year olds.  I did "get her."  Turns out, she's a 40 year old pigtail lady.  Which reminds me, maybe I will wear pigtails.  They make you look really young, from the back, for sure.  Ha!

Obviously, the last mile hurt.  I thought we maintained the pace, and maybe even picked it up, but upon review, the last mile was 7:52.

So I ended the May 7th 5k at 23:57.  Last night, I was disappointed with mile 3,  but today is a new day, and this is what I think about the race today.  

April 16th 23:31 5k- 7:38, 7:32, 7:48, :32 Garmin 3.08  63-65 degrees and strong wind 
May 7th  23:57  5K- 7:42, 7:39, 7:52,  :43 Garmin 3.10  80 degrees, mild wind in the last mile.

Most interesting stat:  April 16th @ 65 degrees  May 7th @ 80 degrees
Average Heart Rate   -   165                             168
Max. Heart Rate        -   173                             176
(the creep begins)

*I'm 1 week, post half marathon.


*I had some good "signs" during this race that I think will show themselves as I'm able to acclimate to the heat and humidity.  

* I can be in denial, or I can continue to acknowledge, the 3 lbs. gained after the Snickers marathon, in March. It DEFINITELY has an impact on my racing.  So, I can either continue to race with the extra lbs., or I can choose to do something about it. (broken record - sorry)  It is a CHOICE! 

*not only did I get the pigtail lady, we "got" the beer guy too.

I have 3 weeks of training until my next 5k.  I'm sure I will have ample opportunities to train for the heat.  (May is typically WARM in South MS and LA)   I'm excited as this personal challenge moves forward.  As the heat increases, the challenge for 5k improvement increases, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  

The blog title.... 
All For Me! 
  Today, I'm pretty sure, my hubby ran his PW (personal worst).  
He did that for me!
(after a long day at work)

Chad's sister and brother-in-law were at the race and we were able to chat, and have dinner with them after the race.  It was nice to see them, and have family at the race.    Andy came in 2nd in his age group, and ran a fast time, 21:33.  This is his 2nd race after many years of zero running.    Happy he is back at it! 

 dang it!  after, over a year of work, I still have high arms and thumbs up
when I get tired, argh.....

...saying a little prayer that I finish this race without a heart attack :)
Chad (hubby) in the white shirt running, oh so comfy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The ABC's of Me!

 I enjoyed reading these,  as it circled the blogosphere a while back.  I finally took the time....  Here ya go!  

About ME:

Age: 43
ed size: King- a must for a good night. 
hores I dislike:  cleaning windows, mowing the yard
ogs: one dog, love her,  but I’m more of a cat girl.
ssential start to your day: coffee & breakfast – gotta have it!
avorite color:   mostly earth colors and black, of course
old or silver:  White Gold
eight: 5’ 10
nstruments you play:  Zero
ob title:   self employed, owner of a small business = all titles apply to ME
ids:  ZERO – by plan
ive: Mississippi
om's name: Elinor
ickname:  None
vernight hospital stay:  with the hubby – THANKFULLY 0 for me :)
et peeves:  clothes taken out of the dryer, and put on top of the dryer
uote from a movie:   "I feel the need—the need for speed!" (I love track workouts)
ighty or lefty: righty
iblings: I'm the baby,  of 4
ime you wake up:  6:15 ish,  currently
nderwear:  it’s a secret!
egetables you don't like: green beans, cooked cabbage or cooked carrots
hat makes you run late:  Trying to get one more task accomplished
rays you had: teeth, wrist
ummy food you make:  upside down biscuits
oo animal favorites: lions, tigers, bears

Training this week:
This will be a step-back week in mileage.  
I've had 3 weeks at 40 miles (39, 40, 40),  and the half marathon, so it's a good time for a bit of a break in mileage.  No long run this wk.

Started the week out running easy - recovery days after the half on Sat.
Monday - 7 miles easy, weights, core work, burpees, squats, and lunges
Tues. - 3 miles easy with 6 X 10 second "pick ups"

Wed. - 5 miles - 
1 mile w/u 
3 X 400 with 1 min recovery,  @ 1:44 avg. pace (goal was 1:45)
2 X 800 with 2 min recovery,  @ 3:38 avg. (goal was 3:40)
3 X 400 with 1 min recovery,  @ 1:44 avg. pace (goal was 1:45)
1 mile c/d.
Thurs. - 7 miles on the bike.
missed my 2nd weight workout this wk, but hubby and I trimmed the tree limbs and weeds along the wood line of our property, so "trust me" when I say, I definitely had a workout.  
Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.
Enjoy It!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Renaissance Half

A great place for a race!

Friday afternoon, I drove a little over 2 hours to Ridgeland, MS. I picked up my packet and headed to P.F. Changs for dinner.  I had my gift certificate that Rock N Roll New Orleans sent after the race in Feb.  Sweet!

Sat. morning I was up at 4:00 for the 6:00 am start.  I stayed nearby, and with this being a smaller race, traffic isn't a problem.   The temp was around 55 degrees at the start, which is much cooler than I was expecting.  We have had several nights where the low has been around 70 degrees, so I was happy and excited about the 55 degree start.

My plan was to go out the first 2 miles slow,  around 8:25 pace, and then pick up the pace from there.  I warmed up a mile before the race.  As I made it to the start line, just before the race, I was not able to get to the 8:00 to 9:00 min. pace area, so I started knowing I would do some weaving.  Again, this is a smaller race, so it wouldn't take long to get with runners of my same pace.   
Mile 1
the 1st mile was not a problem because of the crowd, I struggled to get on pace. 
It's REALLY not a good thing when you plan to start out slow, and then you can't START the race, mile one,  at your slow pace.  

Mile 2
determined NOT to call it a day, and give up on racing
At this point in the race, I can still do a little math, and I quickly calculate at the end of the first 2 miles, I'm back on the plan.  
(8:24 ish avg for 2 miles)

Mile 3 - 8:22, Mile 4 - 8:11
Motto for the day
I can, I will
Mile 5 - 8:11, Mile 6 - 8:18, Mile 7 - 8:24
I can, I will 

Mile 8 - 8:26, Mile 9 - 8:48, Mile 10 - 8:39
I Can, I will, but....
my brain and body were not working together...
I guess I "could not,  and did not...
Ha Ha Ha!
I sure wanted to

I ran the Mardi Gras half in New Orleans in Feb.  For a couple of years now, I have been "drinking on the run."  I grab my cup, "crimp" it, and drink it on the run.  I had some issues in Feb., later in the race, with recovering after my water intake.  It's NOT easy to drink on the run, and it REALLY takes the "AIR" out of me in those later miles.  I realized on Sat. that it's the faster pace of the half marathon that creates the breathing issues during the later hydration areas. (not an issue in the marathon)  Seriously, after I finish drinking, it's taking me about a minute, or more, to be able to get my breathing calmed, and then try to get back up to pace.  On Sat., two of the stops were just before hills.  I was drinking while running up hill, and then trying to keep my pace,  and recover.  This has me wondering if I may do better to walk the last few stops.  Really don't want to do that because it's hard to get back on pace after walking, and the walking takes even more time.  Hmmm????

It's been thoroughly documented my lack of "hill racing" skills.  But then to add hills and trying to drink, race, and maintain my pace, all at one time - eek.  ....let's just say,   I haven't mastered that yet.  

Mile 11 - 8:39, Mile 12 - 8:41, Mile 13 - 8:42. .1 - 1:27
finally was happy to be done with the hills on the course and then was hit in the face with a strong head wind for the last few miles.  Fun stuff! 
I gave it what I had today, and that makes it a great race day.
13.1 miles
With each passing mile, I tried to get back on pace, but as AM noticed, my recent training has lacked tempo runs.  I most definitely need tempos to run well and "finish" distance races.
I am happy with the results on Sat.
I ALWAYS wish I could have finished a little faster, and I ALWAYS go into these situations thinking ....
even though my training hasn't been specifically for this race, I can do this, I'm in shape, and I can do more than I specifically "trained" to do..... in the early years of running, and training you can get away with this, and more,
because of the number of years that I have been training, and my age (which I hate to mention), I must be 100% focused on the distance to do close to my best.  

I'm continuing to "see this", "realize this", "learn this", but I'm a slow learner so it takes me a while.  I have to learn things over and over, and over again before I truly "get it."

Don't read this and think I'm disappointed with the day,
I'm NOT, at all
It's just "funny" how I continue to think I can pull magic out of my hat without being 100% focused on the particular race.

 A few other observations from the day.
This race was changed from June to April because of the heat in Mississippi.
I was disappointed at first because the half marathon, in June, in MS, was a unique endurance challenge.  A challenge that I enjoyed.
However, with the cooler temps, and the new green of spring, this is a beautiful course.  The cooler temps allowed me to see more because I wasn't in a "heat coma." Ha!  
 I took this pic because I love these grassy plants that blow in the wind.  Seeing it blow in the wind is calming and therapeutic.

If you are a shopper, you should add this as a destination race.  The Renaissance at Colony Park is an amazing upscale shopping area.  I'm not a shopper, definitely not an upscale shopper,  but the area is GREAT.

My training this week:
Wed. - am 5.5 miles - 1.5 mile w/u, 12 X 200 @ :51 second avg.(6:51 pace) with 31 second avg. recovery, then I went to yoga and we did hip openers - perfect! weights, and core work, and  Wed. evening was the 4.5 miles easy,  with Scott Jurek and Chris McDougall and friends.

Thurs. - walk 30 min
Fri - walk 4 miles
Sat. - race - 14.1 miles
Sun. - 2.4 miles, SLOW, recovery,  to get 40 miles for the wk
Totals - 40 miles running, 1 yoga class, 2 days of weights and core work,etc. and 6 miles of walking.

132 miles of running for April 

and now, 100% total focus on the 5k, a test of the mind - total focus!