Monday, October 31, 2011

Sloppy, Choppy, FUN!

I've been trying new routes to run.  Sometimes my fear of dogs limits my running to the same areas over and over.  I run the routes that I know are "mean dog free".   I guess because of  the high mileage of late, I'm kind of bored with the "same old same same old", which has sparked some courage to try to new routes.  Today, I ran in a small town near my home.  It was such a treat to run a new area, and I only covered a small area. 

My schedule for today called for 9 miles with 5 X 600 @ 5k race pace w/ jog 50%- 90% interval time between each rep.  Today, I ran these on the road, but I'm thinking I will head to the track next week.  I prefer the consistency of the track, and I like to monitor my pace for each 100.  

 This week begins my short, mesocycle 3 - "Race Preparation".  I haven't had any speed work on the schedule in a long time which means.....
it's awkward, it's sloppy, and it most definitely choppy....
it's FUN with a capital FUN!
No worries here!  Each week will become a little less sloppy and choppy.  It will never be very pretty, because MY running form is NOT that of a natural, or pretty runner, but that doesn't matter.  Each week it will become more natural, and I will feel like a "trackster", whether my running form or speed says so or not.   You guys know how I LOVE the speed work!  I've been anxiously awaiting this part of the program.  While I have missed my beloved "Yasso 800s" this training cycle, I'm really loving this "Advanced Marathoning" training plan.
(Advanced Marathoning Pete Pfitzinger * Scott Douglas 2nd Edition - I'm doing the 12 wk, 55-70 plan)  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

+21 = 70 miles = ♥ and :)

Today I had a SUPER 21 mile run to finish my 70 mile week.  I'm amazed how different my long runs have become this fall.  Is it the high mileage, is it the Supreme 90 day, is it the weight loss?  I would say it is most definitely the combination, the total package, having it's effect on my running.   If I had to rank the 3, I would put the high mileage at the top of the list.    I have concluded, for ME,  "more is more."   Several years ago, I tried the "less is more" plan, 2 separate times.  I believe it is a great plan, and I will likely go back to it eventually, but for ME, the higher mileage pays off.  I don't have children, have extra time to run, and so far, I've been able to handle the mileage fairly easily.  (handle it with rest, ice, nutrition, etc.)

I had my flu shot this week, so I'm hoping to go to Baton Rouge stronger than ever before.
Pics from my run today in MS
Had to take a pic of the greenery today.  When I started running today,  it was 40 degrees, so the green grass will  soon fade to brown.
I love these country roads that I run!
 6.5 miles on the Longleaf trail
Clyde Depot @ The Longleaf Rails to Trails

My week:
Monday - 9 miles (7 miles with Terri - fun!) with 10 X 30 second sprints at the end & Supreme 90 day (S90D) 
Tues. - 15 miles @ 9:28 avg & S90D
Wed. - yoga @ The Yoga Room & 7 miles @ 10:20 avg.,  recovery run
Thurs. - 12 miles on rolling hills, first 5 with Kelly, and then 7 miles of tempo @ 8:10 avg.  I had planned to run the tempo by heart rate today - goal 160 - but my legs said otherwise.  Couldn't get the heart rate up - AHR - 152 & S90D  (ice bath)
Fri. - 6.5 miles with Jen on the Longleaf trail, 10:35 avg
Sat. - 21 at 9:15 avg.  I averaged 9:22 pace up until 18, the last 3 miles I picked up the pace - 8:54, 8:21, 8:16.  (ice bath)  

Will have a little test of my current fitness next Sat. in Mobile, AL at my MOST favorite of all 10k, the Senior Bowl 10k.  I'm hoping the cold weather is around next weekend at 8:00 am.  I'm ready to RACE! 

I'm still plan to share some of the Nova Scotia pictures, soon.  In the meantime, the one at the top of the blog is Cape Breton, NS - beautiful, even when cloudy. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mt. Desert Island 26.2 Beauty and Ease

Bar Harbor, ME
Mom, Linde, and I arrived in Bar Harbor Friday night.  The drive from Portland to BH was dreary and sometimes raining, but we were excited to begin the week to see the beauty of the fall in the northeast, and I was on a mission to eat as many lobster rolls as possible in 1 week.  Success!
2nd Crow Athletic race (Lobster 10K a few years ago in Southwest Harbor, ME)
Caw! Caw! Caw!  Excellent Job!

My intention for this race was to run it as a training run.  My plan was to train through this race, so when I arrived at the starting line on Sunday, I had 44 miles for the week.  If you look at the elevation chart, you obviously notice that miles 20-25 are uphill on the chart, but you also see the chart shows bumps over the entire course, so I went into this one expecting hills, hills, and more hills.   As we drove the course on Sat., it was really close to what I had suspected, but I had no idea how my body would respond on Sun.  I had run Tupelo 26.2 in Sept. but the hills for MDI would be more challenging.  The only other hilly race that I have run is Boston. My first attempt at "racing" on hills, Boston 2010 - 4:08.

Sunday am, race start at 8:00, I'm in my room at 7:45 because the race is right outside my door.   We stayed at the Villager Motel.  It's NOT fancy, but adequate, and super convenient.  The weather was nice.  The day before, the winds almost blew us off the top of Cadillac Mountain, so I was a little concerned about the wind for the race.  It ended up being wasted worry because the weather was perfect.  We had a little wind, but nothing bad at all.  Whew!

Very early in the race I began chatting with Tim who was running his first marathon.  We ended up running together until somewhere around mile 16.   We chatted about running and training and we quickly realized that we both shared a passion for "the details" of training and data.   I quickly "got lost" in conversation and was amazed how fast the miles were going by.  Let's face it, I'm in Mississippi.  Let's just say.... running is not the number 1 activity in our state.  Yes, I do have running friends, but it's rare to find someone to chat with that enjoys the numbers, details, tough training plans, data, etc.,  like I do.   So Tim, thank you!  I enjoyed the conversation.  Several miles later a couple from Minnesota joined in the conversation.  

Here is a pic of my new friends.  (Tim is on the right - with the red shorts)
This was my first time to take pictures "on the run."  I had purchased a new camera just before this race and was happy with the way the stabilization feature worked. 
coming to the finish.....4:16
Today I felt GREAT the whole way.  I have run other marathons as training runs, but even when running a slower pace, I have always come to a point in the race where I was tired and ready to be DONE.  MDI was different.  I never felt tired.  My goal for the training run was 9:45 pace.  I ran the last 2 miles @ 8:47 and 8:03.  I ended up running 26.38.  I didn't pay much attention to the tangents today because it was a training run.  By the Garmin, for 26.38 miles, my average pace was 9:44.
Stats for MDI
334 / 925
Division - 17 / 69
9:48 avg pace for 26.2 miles

My personal observations after the race:
**This was the hilliest marathon I have run so far out of 21 marathons.
**I did not taper for this run, and in fact, I went into the race with 44 miles to finish the week with 70 miles.
**Even with the 44 miles prior the marathon, this was the easiest marathon I have run, to date.
**This means I'm getting in shape.  
 **MDI is my 2nd favorite out of the 21 marathons that I have completed.  St. George is still number 1 for me.  I'm sure running my PB (personal best) @ SGM has a lot to do with my ranking, but the beauty at St. George, UT is hard to beat.  Had I been racing at MDI, and had I finished with a PR (personal record), I wonder is my ranking would be different.  Possibly????  Both are beautiful courses, and both races are special.  

I was happy to finally meet Bethany & Ryan of Our Love on the Run
 @ MDI.  I have been following their adventures of running for a while.  (Bethany helped me with some of the details of my trip to Boston.)  ......bummed we didn't think to take pictures. 

Today, I'm 6 weeks away from the Baton Rouge marathon, my goal race.  
This week we toured Nova Scotia, and I took a recovery wk.  
I took Mon - Wed. off from running. (walked 30 min - 45 min each day, in various locations of Nova Scotia)
Thurs. - I ran 3 miles easy, in Bangor, ME. 
(we left Nova Scotia Thurs. @  3:30 am CST time, and it was Fri., 2:00 am CST when I climbed into bed at home in MS)
Fri - 5 miles easy and then I did Supreme 90 day - This was the first day,  of round 2,  for S90D.
Sat. - 8 miles easy.  Today, I felt tired.  I think the marathon, the wk of vacation, and the lack of sleep caught up today.  I slowed the pace, and finished the run feeling tired, but ok.  I will take it easy on Sunday.

The upcoming training wk will be back on my regular training program.  I have 70 miles with some quality runs in the mix.  Totally excited about the upcoming training.  

Once again I'm at my HAPPY PLACE.  
Training hard - that's the way I like it!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mt. Desert Island - 1 week away

This week has been a step-back week in mileage in preparing for MDI 26.2.   I finished this week's running mileage this morning with a 10 mile easy run @ 9:21 avg pace.
This wk - 41 miles running,  6 days of Supreme90 day, 1 yoga class, 2 mile walk, and Sunday will be a nice bike ride - 10-12 miles??  

MDI will be another training run, so the week of the marathon I will have high mileage.  The goal is 70 miles, with 26.2 miles being at MDI.  The plan is to run 15 on Monday, 8 on Tues., 11 on Wed. and 10 on Thurs.  Fri and Sat will be easy walking, and then Sunday, 26.2,  running on hills and spectating the fall foliage around Bar Harbor, ME.  I'm very excited to make the trip with my Mom and sister (Linde), and tour Nova Scotia with them.  Fun times ahead! 
2010 pic (Pg Berger's Photos)
This is what I'm excited to see!

This is what makes me say,  Oh My!

On Monday, I will officially finish the Supreme 90 day workouts. Woo Hoo!  I did it!  I made it to the finish! It has taken me 118 days to complete the 90 day program.  This week my results were confirmed when I took a follow-up DEXA FAT test.    Let me explain.  In May of this year,  I completed my 10th year of exercising everyday, yes, even when sick.  Thankfully, I haven't been too sick to at least get out and stroll for 30 min.  I should say,  10 years of "30 minutes of movement", every day.  There have been many days, when the "movement" wouldn't actually qualify as exercise, in my opinion, but I did complete the movement, each and every day.  I continue the streak, and will continue it until something forces me to stop.  So how does one celebrate????  This year I decided a treadmill vo2 max test,  with a FAT test would be something fun and interesting to do.  You see, I have entertained the thought of heart rate training, and even half  "knowingly"(meaning -  halfway or less - knowing what I was doing) attempted heart rate training a couple of years ago.  I enjoyed the attempt, but at some point into this endeavor, my Garmin heart rate monitor failed me, and I didn't replace it until last Dec. 2010, when I purchased a new Garmin 305 (my 2nd heart, hubby is my 1st heart, joke).   So, May 31st,  I went to have the VO2 max testing done @ USM, primarily to get the LT (lactate threshold) information for specific heart rate training.  As mentioned, I also had the FAT test done which was TOTALLY, 100% DEPRESSING, but VERY MOTIVATING!  Let me just say, the image from the DEXA scan of "those hips", and the "fat %age",  shocked me into reality.  

2 weeks later,  I started using My Fitness Pal (MFP) to monitor calories.  The following wk, I started the Supreme 90 day (S90D) workouts (similar to p90x).   On Thurs. of this wk, I was tested again for vo2 max and the FAT test.  Chris, the testing coordinator, wanted me to redo the vo2 max test because I'm somewhat claustrophobic, and we decided I stopped the test prematurely because I may, or may not have "almost freaked-out" with the mask obstructing my breathing.   This week worked out to be a great time to redo the test because I took the first test prior to starting the MFP, and S90D, and this week I'm at the end of the S90D program.  

For several wks, the results of my efforts have been physically visible to me, but I was TOTALLY STOKED to get the results on paper, in numbers,  and to have it reinforce my hard efforts this summer.  The final results - I'm down 14 lbs. and I've dropped 7.5% of FAT.  I mentioned on my last blog that I'm at a point where I no longer feel I need to drop any weight.  My current fat %age backed up my "happy weight feeling", EXACTLY.  So by thought and by fat %age (hard core fact), currently I'm at a good place.  
Obviously, both MFP and S90D  get a "thumbs up" from me.  I like and need the structure of the tracking calories.  This is true for my running, and my calories - I like and need a program.  The S90D has a lot to offer a runner's training.  It has some cardio, a lot of dumbbell exercises, some plyometrics, some short interval training,  and even some short, consistent stretching (which most runners hate).  I think it's an excellent compliment to a runner's training plan.  The best part, MFP is totally FREE, and S90D is only $20.00 at Target, WalMart, Bed Bath, & Beyond.  In addition the the cheap price, I like the fact that the S90D workouts are roughly 40 min., which includes 5 minutes w/u and c/d.  

(Note:  I paid for my S90D program, it was not given to me, and I have had NO contact with S90D, other than the occasional "tweet".  I was not asked to do a review of the product.  This is just something that has worked for me this summer/fall, and I wanted to share the results) 

So, by the numbers so far, MFP and S90D are both proven winners, but the real test will be in Dec. @ the Baton Rouge 26.2 mile RACE.  I'm hoping the weight loss, and gain in strength will result in another set of good numbers.  As always, too be continued.....

a couple of pics from  today's beautiful fall run, 
my favorite time of the year

One last note:  I'm NOT ignoring you guys.  Since my return to blog land last week, I have checked in with many blogs.  I have tried multiple times to comment on many blogs.  Some post and some do not.  After repeated tries to post a comment, I give up in frustration.  Not sure what's going on, but it's driving me nuts.  Is it just me?  Just know that I'm thinking of you guys whether my posts go through or not.