Sunday, November 21, 2010

Easy Sunday Run

Distance: 2.13 miles
Time: 26:20 min.
Pace: 12:20 m/mi
Time of day: 7:30 a.m.
Weather: 55F, cloudy, breezy. The weatherman is predicting a winter storm to arrive on Monday. But when is he ever right?

I was feeling the effects of my long run last night. My legs were stiff and the left hip ached. Some ibuprofen at bedtime helped. I was really pleased to wake up feeling great this morning. 

When I started running these 2 mile easy runs on Sundays, it took me almost 30 min. Although I am far from speedy, I am faster than I used to be and I think I need to change my Sunday run from 2 miles to 30 min. But obviously, not this week. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oh What A Beautiful Run

Distance: 4.1 miles
Time: 51.15 min.
Pace: 12:29 mile
Time of day: 10 a.m.
Weather: 50ish, overcast, but no wind.

It was a great run today! I ran a trail I had never been on before. I think sometimes I don't run because I get bored. I tend to run the same route day in and day out. But today I ran a trail in a neighborhood park that I've not run before. I have walked part of the trail, but that was a couple of years ago before I started running.

The trail is flat. I mean flat. The graph in Runmeter that shows elevation is a perfectly straight line. No ups, no downs, no incline. Flat. The trail is located close enough to the Mississippi River that it is in a flood plain. So that sounds really boring, but it's not. I ran through some woods and observed big, gorgeous houses up on the bluff. The train tracks run right by the trail so I saw a couple of trains rumble by. It is a circle trail a little over 4 miles long. Plus there is a short side trail maybe another 1 mile. I will definitely run this trail again.

It was a great run!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Distance: 2.71 mi.
Time: 33:08 min.
Pace: 12:45 m/mi.
Time of day: 6:45 a.m.
Weather: 37°F, sun just coming up; beautiful!

OK. I've not been very good about running or blogging or even blogging about the running I did do. I am trying to get on track.

Here's a summary of the month so far (includes today's run):
Distance: 10.75 mi.
Time: 2:12:05
Avg Pace: 12:17 m/mi.
Weight training: 1 day

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Lost Week

I have had a migraine headache all week and have not run. I'm pretty miserable. I've reached the endless circle stage. When my head hurts like this I can't lay down, so I don't sleep, so I become exhausted which makes my head hurt, then I can't lay down so I don't sleep so I get even more exhausted. Eventually I will collapse and sleep for 10 or so hours and feel better when I wake up. I'm hoping that it is soon. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rejoined the Gym

Today was my first day in the gym in about 6 months. I ran about 15 minutes on the treadmill and did some light weight lifting. 

When you are forced to cut household expenses you learn what is really important. The Love and I gave up our gym membership about 6 months ago to save money. He agreed to walk outside 4-5 times a week and I was running. I figured I could figure out a way to lift weights at home. However, cold weather is just around the corner and I am not doing any kind of resistance training. 

We were not quite as successful working out without the gym as we had told ourselves we would be. It was extremely hot and humid this summer which kept us both inside several different times. I just couldn't get my act together to do upper body exercises here at home. And sometimes we skipped because our schedules just wouldn't allow us to workout during the day. Plus, I think we both missed the option of working out at the gym. 

A couple of weeks ago we received a letter from our gym offering "amnesty" if you rejoined on a certain date. That prompted The Love and me to really evaluate our options. We visited another bare bones gym close to home thinking it would meet our needs at a lower cost. But neither of us felt very comfortable there. All the machines were really close together; it felt crowded. 
So we looked at the monthly cash flow and decided the gym membership is important enough that we will economize somewhere else. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween 10k Race

Distance: 6.2 mi. (10k)
Time: 1:18:50
Pace: 12:43 mi/min
Time of Day: 8 a.m.
Weather: close to 60°F., sun coming up over the buildings downtown; just a beautiful morning!

This race was a winner for me! 

I have been lax about running recently for a variety of weak reasons. I was out of town a couple of times, I had a miserable head cold for about a week, and The Love also was sick-just not the same times as me…really weak excuses. In fact, at one point last week I told The Love I wasn't going to run this race. But then I changed my mind and decided I would give it a go and if I ended up walking—well, walking was exercise and better than giving up totally. I also told him he didn't have to attend the race because it was just 6 miles, he had poker Saturday night, he was getting over his vicious cold, etc.

So I went to the race by myself. I found a parking spot pretty close to the finish line. Yeah! It was kind a weird being by myself. Running seems to me to be a group sport, especially this kind of race where the element of "fun" is front & center. It was hilarious to see all the costumes. Some were elaborate as in the guy with the refrigerator box-sized pink Cadillac that he literally carried the entire race. Some were just a token costume like the funky plastic head band. But there lots and lots of groups of people. I felt pretty alone at the start.

But as the race progressed I embraced that singleness. I watched my pace closely so I didn't get caught up in the out-of-the-gate-9-minute-mile. I set a goal to finish around 12:45 min/mi. As groups fell apart I chugged along by myself passing first this person and then that person. As I went up and down the hills I pumped my arms hard and slowed my pace slightly, using the downhills to recover. I did walk about 1/4 mile up a hill that was the 2nd of two hills in a row and the 3rd in a sequence of hills. That was at around 2.5 miles. But after that it was pretty smooth sailing. I fell into a groove a couple of times which was a great feeling. I finished pretty strong. 

This race brought into focus for me a couple of things. First, I am not as slow as I used to be . I was looking back at the first race I ever ran last February. It was 5 miles and I ran at a 13:01 min/mi. The Son ran with me as support and he kept me going. I believe I would have been much slower if I had been running alone. The Family ROC race I ran in September was a 5k and I ran at 11:49 min/mi. Half the distance of this 10k and I was less than a minute faster there. I am not speedy by any means, and I think I don't really care any more. I will continue to work on speed because I know I can improve. But I'm content with aiming for a consistent 12 min. mile. 

The second thing I realized is that I have a solid running base. I haven't run much the past month and I would have to look at my log to see the last time I ran 6 miles. But I was able to do it yesterday! I have a, dare I say, solid base to operate from. It is awesome knowing that I really can run 6 miles and feel good at the end.

The final thing I learned yesterday is that I can do this by myself. I navigated the race site before and after. I didn't forget where I parked the car. And most important of all I monitored my running, adjusting pace when necessary, motivating myself when needed, cheering myself along. I can do this. I missed having The Love with me yesterday (especially the towel he hands me at the end to wipe away the sweat). His smiling face at the finish line is a joy! But I did it all by myself yesterday. And that is huge for me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Piriformis Syndrome

In layman's terms piriformis syndrome is (a) pain in the butt. 

After not running for 4 days and treating my sore "hamstring" with heat and ibuprofen I was feeling better. That is until I ran a whole bunch of errands and spent a lot of time sitting in my car. The all-too-familiar pain returned with a vengeance. I did some online research and I think I have piriformis syndrome. Because I don't have, and have not had, any lower back pain, I don't think it is actually the sciatic nerve that is the problem. 

I did some online research and came up with lots of information on how to treat this problem. It is going to require lots of stretching and then strengthening of the hip area. I also found some great info in my book, Running Well

I am very frustrated right now. First I had the summer heat to deal with and now this. I just want to run! 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Christmas in September

Distance: 3.04 mi.
Time: 36:44 min. 
Pace: 12:05 m/mi.
Time of Day: 6:45 a.m.
Weather: 60°F, cloudy, cool, overcast

There I was pounding the pavement, planning future sewing projects, not really listening to the music playing in the background. Here is what went through my mind.

"What song is this? I don't recognize it. Oh, I guess it must be an Il Divo song. Hmm, the voice sounds a little shaky for Il Divo but I guess it must be. (pause & listen) A Christmas song? How did that get on my playlist? Oh, it's the choir at Bev's church. It's kinda nice actually. Reminds of the glory of God. (pause & listen to the song) Yeah, kinda nice, but definitely not a running tempo. Need to remove from the list."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Holiday Weekend Recep

Monday, Labor Day
Distance: 1.57 miles
Time: 19:54 min.
Pace: 12:41 m/mi.
Time of day: 8:30 a.m.
Weather: 65°F, sunny, warm, breezy

I had a weird morning and all before 8:30 a.m. I didn't sleep well, maybe 3 hours max. I had to get up early to go donate platelets at my local Red Cross at 7:30 a.m. Yep, that's right. Seven-thirty a.m. on a holiday! I am a regular blood donor but this would have been my 1st time to donate platelets; not that I hadn't tried before. I used to be anemic and get deferred. I've corrected that issue and I was pretty excited that the Red Cross had called me yet again to donate platelets. Unfortunately, the Red Cross scheduling office made an error and, "Oops, I'm sorry. We don't need your platelets at this time. But we appreciate you coming out so here's a coffee mug." What?? I was back home by 8 a.m. and desperately needing a run to help my mood. 

I hit the road sans music, off to just enjoy the run and soak up the sunshine. For once I didn't care about my pace or how many miles I needed to log. I just ran. It would have been totally awesome if I had remembered to pee before I hit the trail!

Sunday - rest

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Add Distance Slowly

Saturday, 09/04

Distance: 3.88
Time: 48:57
Pace: 12:37 m/mi.
Time of day: 10:35 a.m.
Weather: Absolutely fabulous! Mid-60's, sunny, bright, breezy

I was really looking forward to running Saturday. It was an absolutely fabulous day! A forecasted high in the low 70's meant I could run any darn time I wanted to. So while The Love was out getting a haircut, I was out running. 

I did pretty well. I upped my mileage from 3 to almost 4 miles. Probably I should have done just 3.5 miles, because I did have 2 1-minute walking periods. Not terrible, mostly an indication of too big of an increase. The good news is I felt great afterwards and all day. 

A bit of good news. I weighed and checked my body measurements. I have had a really stressful summer and with the heat & humidity keeping me from running I knew I had gained a couple pounds. The good news is that my body measurements stayed the same and the weight gain truly was just a couple of pounds. Although the stress is still with me, I believe I can manage it better with running thus eating less. I sure hope so anyway. 

New Pace Record

Friday, 09/03/10

Distance: 3.03 mi.
Time: 35:53 min.
Pace: 11:50 m/mi.
Time of day: 6:16 a.m.
Weather: 62°F, cool & damp from the rain last night. 

Wow! I was pretty fast today. I don't think I have ever broken 12:00 m/mi. It must have been the cool weather. As I was running I kept thinking, "Man, this is tough today." Hmm, not tough, just pushing myself. Way to go self!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Resting Again

Today is my regularly scheduled rest day. Rain in the forecast for the next 10 days, but I seriously doubt if it will have any kind of impact on my running. The last 2 times it was supposed to rain-nothing!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Look Back at Summer Running

Distance: 3.05 mi.
Time: 37:10 min.
Pace: 12:11 (m/mi)
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 72°F, warmer & more humid

First before I look back at my stats over the last 3 or months—I hit my 10 min. mark at .82 mi. again today! I wasn't sure I would make it because it was pretty humid and I was having trouble early on. But I pushed myself and I made it!

So here's what I did over the last few months.

Distance: 83:57 mi.
Duration: 18:25:17
Avg Pace: 13:14 (m/mi)

Pretty good  considering I ran my first half-marathon in April.

Distance: 34:07 mi.
Duration: 7:05:43
Avg Pace: 12:30 (m/mi.)

Wow! I really increased my pace but my total mileage is way down. A sign of the heat that was settling in. 

Distance: 62:47 mi.
Duration: 13:40:04
Avg Pace: 13:06 (m/mi)

A little slower pace but better consistency and total mileage. Most of the miles were logged before the 20th. 

Distance: 34.96 mi.
Duration: 7:17:38
Avg Pace: 12:31 (m/mi)

I ran only 6 days before the 20th. It was hot, humid & miserable. I just gave up. 

Here is what I think I learned from my first summer of running. Consistency is important. I learned that running several times a week, even if only a short distance, is much better physically and psychologically for me. I need the routine in my life and the daily dose of sunshine & being out-of-doors.

Better to run shorter distances more frequently than longer distances once in a while. When it is hot & humid I need to shorten my time and distance. Again, several short runs vs. one long run in a week is more beneficial. 

Just to remind myself, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this morning that this summer is going down in the books as the 4th hottest summer on record. There weren't any individual daily records set, but the consistency of 90°+ days and 70°+ nights is what made it so hot. I really am not crazy-it was hot, humid & miserable. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Personal PR

Distance: 2:03 mi.
Time: 26:38 min.
Pace: 12:08 (m/mi)
Time of day: 6:19 a.m.
Weather: 71°F, humid, overcast

So this is a little thing, but I need all the kudos I can get right now. 

My running app is set to announce time, distance & pace every 10 min. I have been trying all summer to break .8 mi. in the first 10 minutes and just haven't done it. Until today that is!!! I made .82 mi. in my first 10 minutes. Woo-hoo for me!!

I also ran this morning when I didn't really feel like it. I was hot all night and woke with a minor headache. It would have been really easy to just sit at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and avoid the effort and the sweat of running. I also would have missed that PR (above) and the great feeling it gave me. And, at the end of my run my headache was gone and I was feeling much better. Yeah me!

Weekend Catchup

Sunday, 08/29
I awoke this morning to much higher humidity. Since I had run 3 days without resting I chose to "rest" today. 

Saturday, 08/28
Distance: 2.51 mi.
Time: 31:27 min.
Pace: 12:32 (m/mi.)
Time of Day: 8:05 a.m.
Weather: 65°F, sunny, a little warm in the sunshine

I ran the local fitness trail and did a pretty good job, I think. This trail has several hills, one pretty big one. I planned my direction so I ran down it, but that meant I had to climb a couple of smaller, but longer hills. It was a great morning to run!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Love Lower Humidity

Distance 2.2 miles
Time: 25:55 min.
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 65°F, clear & cooler

It was a beautiful morning to run. With mornings like this in the forecast I am excited to be out of the road again. 

Monday, August 23, 2010


Distance: 2.21 mi.
Time: 25:55 min.
Pace: 11:45 (m/mi.)
Time of day: 6 a.m.
Weather: 65°F, less humidity, nice breeze--a great morning to run!

I printed off the original running plan from January of this year. In the first 3 weeks I run a maximum distance of 3 miles. That sounds so good to me. I'm not sure why, but I need the security of a written plan telling me it's o.k. to only run 3 miles. I let out a big sigh of relief as I put the schedule on the fridge. 

I also decided to not run the Lewis & Clark half marathon in October. I heard about a 5k run on 09/26 that benefits ovarian cancer and I'm going to participate in that. I have long had a small nagging voice inside urging me to be involved in ovarian cancer efforts. I have a direct connection to the disease; my mother died of it about 25 years ago. I will be running a more manageable distance plus helping out a worthy cause. 

Time To Push The Restart Button

Saturday, 08/21/10
Distance: 2.75 mi.
Time: 36.22 min.
Pace: 13:13 (m/mi)
Time of day: 7:50 a.m.
Weather: 70°F, cloudy, rainy, humid

My goal was to run 4 mi. today but I didn't. I managed to get in the 2.75 miles before I just gave up and walked home. Between the lack of consistent running and the humidity and the polish chipping on my toe nails and the scratch on my arm--well I just gave up. But I did some thinking as I power walked home. And I decided I would go back and start again. I would print off the first training schedule Coach Jeni provided me and rebuild my base and quit worrying about performance. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Wednesday was a rest day and today I had business meetings that kept me from running early. Now it's really hot again so I won't be able to run this evening. However---tomorrow morning I'll be out and running again. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Out With The Old, In With The New

I forgot to write about my running shoes!

Here's my first ever pair of dedicated running shoes after 359 miles and apprx. 6 months of wear.
Dirty & Worn
Where's the black part of the sole?

Umm, the left shoe heel is MIA!
The guy at the running store assured me I had gotten every penny's worth of wear from the shoes. I was a little disappointed that they lasted only 359 miles; they are supposed to be 300-500 mile shoes. But not so disappointed that it kept me from buying the exact same shoe only now in purple.
I love purple for a change!

I also bought some new performance socks. They are Balega and they cost about $10 a pair. These are what the salesman recommended after I explained the trouble I had with my Asics socks sliding down inside my shoe. So far so good with the Balegas--and they are very soft.

Sweat? What Sweat?

Distance: 3.24 mi.
Time: 39:53 min.
Pace: 12:19 min/mi.
Time of day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 61°F, lower humidity, slight breeze

It was so awesome to get out and run this morning! The cooler temps, lower humidity, and a slight breeze made it delightful. I was a little concerned that this second morning out, after 10 days off, would be tough. But, it felt great! 

I have mixed feelings about not running the last 10 days. It was very hot and humid-hence the Excessive Heat Warnings issued by the weather service. My philosophy is that I run to feel good, not kill myself. And the reality of the situation was that running in the recent hot weather was dangerous. But, I have this little part of me that never wants to give up or give in. Sometimes that gets me into trouble. However, I think I am getting better at balancing both aspects of my personality. At least I am working on getting better. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Running Shorts, Oh How I've Missed You!

Distance: 2.52 mi.
Time: 30:34 min.
Pace: 12:04 mi/min.
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 70°F, but lower humidity.

Finally a break in the heat & humidity. I haven't run much over the last 2-3 weeks due to the high heat & humidity. The weather service has issued Excessive Heat Warnings every day for about the last 3 weeks. Over the past week the nighttime low was not below 80°F. But this morning felt pretty nice and I relished getting out and running right before the sun came up. 

I will have to work hard to be ready for my next half-marathon the first weekend in October. But I have missed running so much over the last week that I'm ready to work hard. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Day, Another Run

Distance: 2.78 mi.
Time: 33:44 min.
Pace: 12:08 m/mi.
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 74°F Humid, yellow air day

Thursday's scheduled run was postponed till Friday. The heat index Thursday at 5:30 a.m. was already 87°F. Too hot for me to run in, especially since the weather guy was predicting cooler temps on Friday. For once he was correct.

I am reading a new book on running, Running Well.This book was highlighted in a weekly email from Borders and since I have this chronic sore left hamstring, I thought I would get this book. It focuses mainly on the mechanics of running and how to prevent injuries. I'm only on chapter 3, but so far I am finding it helpful. 

I used the warm-up sequence the authors offer. I'll give it a few more tries to see if it is more beneficial than the series of stretches I usually do. More importantly I used their stretching routine for after running. I think it was much better than what I usually do, which is the same stretches I use to warm up. All in all, I think the book is going to be a helpful resource in my library of running books, now totaling 3. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changing Shoes

Tuesday, July 13
Distance: 3.04 mi.
Time: 37:36 min.
Pace: 12:22 m/mi.
Time of Day: 6:20 a.m.
Weather: 75°F, even more humid (Can it get any more humid?)

By the time I closed the front door behind me on my way out, I was drenched. But off I went and despite the sweat dripping from nose and running down my face I had a great run. (Yes, I had a sweat headband on.) I felt strong. My legs felt strong. The breathing was working well. 

I attribute the feeling better to changing my shoes. Sunday I ran in my New Balance shoes and felt better physically so I have decided to do my short runs in the NB shoe. Since this is a step back week I will be running in the NB shoes all this week and into next week. I will be out of town Monday-Thursday next week. I'm hoping to get to Fleet Feet on Friday, 07/23. Saturday, the 24th, I have a 6 mile run on the schedule and I probably will run in my NB shoes for that. Then start breaking in the new shoes the following week. 

The bottom line seems to be that I have retired my first pair of running-specific shoes. A Moment of Silence please.

Simple Pleasures

Sunday, July 11
Distance: 2.15 mi.
Time: 26:16 min.
Pace: 12:13 m/mi.
Time of Day: 7:45 am
Weather: Hot, Humid

I ran on the school track while The Love walked. It was hot. It was humid. I was sweaty. 

Near the end of my run a mini-van pulled into the parking lot and out tumbled a dad with his 3 sons. The boys were young, maybe 5-8. They headed to the ball diamond and "played" ball. 

It was Miles', the youngest, birthday. And because of that he got to bat first. It was so cute. After a couple of strikes he did hit the ball--right back to Dad who was pitching. But being a great dad, he let the ball bounce so Miles could run. "Run Miles. Run!", was the chant from the other 2 brothers. Miles, of course, scored a home run! 

As I stretched I watched the game. The Love and I cheered when the boys each got a hit. It was a great moment. I was so happy that I was runner. If I hadn't started running I would have missed this. 

Oh Man!

Saturday, July 10
Distance: 8.0 mi.
Time: 2:03:50
Pace: 15:29 m/mi
Time of Day: 9:30 a.m.
Weather: 81°F at start, 96°F at end. Again, very humid

A later start, no breakfast, and not enough water combined to knock me on my ass Saturday morning. It was bad. I started feeling depleted at about 3.5 miles. I considered turning around then, but heck, it was only 1/2 mile more to my 4.0 mile turnaround point. By the 5.0 mile mark I had pretty much stopped sweating and began to feel woozy. 

There is a highway overpass that provides a large shady area at about 2.25 miles from the start (5.75 for my run). I made it to that point and sat down at the picnic table. A cool breeze was an added bonus. My water bottle was empty, but a water fountain in about another mile would allow me to fill it up. I rested about 15 minutes and took off. I was able to run only another 1/2 mile or so before I was in trouble again. So I walked the remaining distance. 

A bad outing for sure, but I wasn't going to push myself beyond reasonable limits. I was wiped out the rest of the day. For the remainder of the summer I will set my alarm to run early on my Saturday long runs. 

Cut It With a Knife-The Air That Is

Thursday, July 8
Distance: 3.12 mi.
Time: 38:18 min.
Pace: 12:17 m/mi
Time of Day: 6 a.m.
Weather: 78°F, humid 

Samo, samo. Man was it hot & humid. A typical summer day here. 

I think my shoes are worn out. My ankles ached when I finished my run and the bottoms of the shoes are looking really worn. I will be able to get new shoes in a couple of weeks but I think I will switch to my New Balance shoes for short runs in the meantime. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No Rest For Me

No running today, but I did do an upper body strength workout and my ab routine. Yeah for me!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Don't Want To Run But I Will

Distance: 3.98 mi.
Time: 51:02 min.
Pace: 12:49 m/mi.
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 76°F humid and cloudy

It was overcast this morning, but humid. A breeze from the south helped cool me all the way back. 

When my alarm went off this morning I was still so tired I slept an extra 30 min. At 6 a.m. when I usually go run, I was still feeling tired so The Love said, "Well, go lay back down," and promptly left for his morning walk. I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to nap on the couch. That lasted about 5 minutes before the guilt set in. I finally realized that I would feel better if I just went ahead and ran. So I did and yes, I did feel so much better afterwards. 

I think my shoes are beginning to wear out. I have logged 347.88 miles on them. Can you believe it? I can't. And they are not even 6 months old yet. (OK in 4 days they will be 6 months old.) Anyway, back to the wearing out issue. My big toe on the right foot is kind of sore and I can't think of any reason except worn out shoes as the cause. Plus, I'm down to literally the last layer of sole on my left heel. (There are 4 layers of rubber.) I wonder if my sore left leg has anything to do with the weird wearing pattern of my left shoe. I will have shoe money in  a couple of weeks. I'm excited to be purchasing my 2nd pair of running shoes! 

Hot & Humid, But Not Slow

Sunday, July 4th
Happy 4th of July America! I am proud to be an American and I love my Country!

Distance: 2.24 mi.
Time: 25:57 min.
Pace: 11:35 m/mi.
Time of day: 8:00 a.m.
Weather: 81°F with high humidity

Yuck! The humidity has returned in full force. 

I ran on the track while The Love walked. (He's doing great BTW.) At the end of my run I was hot, really, really sweaty and smelly. But mainly I was surprised at my pace. I felt like I was really struggling with the heat, but maybe it was just I was running so fast. (Well, fast for me!) 

I'm pleased that I'm not sore from my long run yesterday. Could be those Advil's I took. 

A Goal Achieved

Saturday, July 3
Distance: 7.91 mi. (I think it was a full 8 mi.)
Time: 1:47:11
Pace: 13:33 m/mi.
Time of day: 7:30 a.m.
Weather: 70°F at start, 81° at finish. Typical summer humidity.

Today I ran end to end of the Grant's Farm Trail! This has been a goal of mine for a while and even though I was scheduled to run 7 mi., I set my sites on the entire trail. The Love was so sweet to drop me off at the start and pick me up at the end. Isn't he the greatest? 

I did actually walk/run for about 1/2 mile around the 6.5 mark. But I was able to get back into run-mode, hung in there and finished pretty strong. I'm pleased with my average pace. It was a great run!

Catching Up Again

I got off track about blogging when I went out of town on business back on June 23rd. I was gone for 5 days and only missed 1 run. It was my long run that I missed though. But I'm back on track with my schedule now. 

The humidity had been just a little lower the last week to 10 days. It returned in force Monday. See the post about today's run. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Head for the Hills

Time: 26:53 min.
Distance: 2.15 mi.
Pace: 12:56 m/mi.
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.
Weather: 80°F, humid but breezy

A new route today. Instead of turning left out of my subdivision I turned right and headed out to run some hills. As I've said before, I live half way up a hill. At the bottom of the hill is a river. So I ran almost to the river this morning. I have avoided this area simply because it is all downhill on the outbound, and, of course, uphill all the way back. But it is going to be a good way to get in some hill practice. 

I'm pretty pleased with my performance. I didn't walk at all and to run up a fairly steady incline about a mile long at a 12:56 pace--well, I think that was pretty good. 

BTW, I'm feeling the ab workout yesterday. 

I'm out of town the rest of the week so my workout schedule looks like this:
Wednesday-yoga in the hotel room
Thursday-treadmill for 3-4 miles
Saturday-Probably an additional rest day since I will be traveling.
Sunday-long run

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hot Time, Summer in the City

Non-running day. I worked on abs this morning. I think my abs are really weak which, in turn, adversely affects my running. I have noticed that as I get tired when running I tend to slump forward. I thought I needed to strengthen my back, and I probably do, but I also think that it might be due to weak abdominal muscles. Gotta keep working on strengthening them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Excessive Heat Warning—No Kidding!

Run Time: 24:16 min.
Distance: 2.03 mi.
Time of day: 5:33 a.m.
Pace: 11:58 m/mi.
Weather: 75°F, humid

The Love woke up early this morning, took one look at the The Weather Channel and woke me up to go run. At 5:30 a.m. it was already 75° with high humidity. 

Sunday's are my easy run days, after a long run on Saturday. But since I was running on the track I took advantage of the flat surface to do a few speed workouts. Not wanting to overdo, on a couple of laps I went all out for 50 yards. It's a start. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Long Run

Run Time: 1:07:40
Distance: 5.14 mi.
Time of day: 6:59 a.m.
Pace: 13:10 m/mi
Weather: 70F, cloudy, slightly humid but a nice breeze

I had a great run this morning. My last run longer than 3 miles was back on May 29. So even though I felt great, I capped the run at 5 miles. 

A big thunderstorm rumbled through the area around 3:30 a.m. It cleared some of the humidity and left a nice, but short-lived breeze that helped propel me along. I felt really good running. Less humidity made breathing easier, but after about mile 4 my legs began to feel the workout. It was a good kinda hurt. 

There is an excessive heat warning for the remainder of the weekend. Good thing I only run 2 miles tomorrow. I will get up do it early. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Me and Wii

Rest Day

Since I don't have a gym membership any more I have to do strength training, etc. at home. My fabuloso kids gave The Love a Wii for his birthday earlier this year. We have played around on it so I am looking to it for fitness workouts on my non-running days. 

The strength training section focuses on the lower body, but the Yoga and balancing sections are great. Also, I did the beginner running activity and was smoking! 

I also have a plethora (inside joke) of fitness videos I can utilize for general body toning and upper body workouts. So I think I'm set.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A New Goal and A New Training Schedule

Time: 38:19 min.
Distance: 3.09 mi.
Time of day: 6:50 a.m.
Pace: 12:24 m/mi.
Temperature: 76°F. Humid, overcast, getting ready to rain. (In fact, it started pouring down rain as we closed the garage door after running.)

I have decided to run the Lewis & Clark Half Marathon on 10/3/10. And, with that race now on my calendar, I worked out a training schedule yesterday. Because I am still a beginner runner (as Coach Jeni occasionally has to remind me) I had her review my schedule and make appropriate changes.

So my actual goal is to finish this half marathon around 2h 45m. That will shave about 10 min. off my Go!St. Louis race time. Coupled with the warm weather and the need for speed, I have my work cut out for me.

So where did this decision come from? 

In the goody bag from the Go!St. Louis race was a postcard about the Lewis & Clark race. I had laid it on my workstation back in April as a reminder that maybe I would want to run in the race. I was cleaning off my workstation last week and picked it up. "Hmmm," I thought. I mentioned the possibility to Coach Jeni and she thought it was a great idea—an early fall race would be a great reason to keep running all summer. 

Yesterday I was going through a stack of CDs & DVDs I had accumulated around my computer and found one I had received back in January when I bought my running shoes. It was a program that originally aired on PBS about training for and running the GO!St. Louis Marathon. The program follows 3 or 4 runners training for the half and the marathon. It was so inspirational! It brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. It reminded me why I started running in the first place and how good I feel when I run consistently. 

So that did it. I immediately worked on the training schedule and sent it off to Coach Jeni. It officially starts Monday, 06/21, but I got back out there today and will run again Saturday and Sunday. I'm so excited!

North Shore Half Marathon - Not!

Sunday, 05/13/10 - North Shore Half Marathon/5k
Time: 37:15 min.
Distance: 5k (3.11 mi.)
Time of day: 7:15 a.m.
Pace: 11:50 (m/mi)
Temperature: 63°F, cloudy, cool, light rain—A perfect day to run!

My enthusiasm for and commitment to running flagged the last month. The abrupt change in weather on May 21st really played havoc with my mind and my body. 

Up until May 21st the weather had been cool and rainy with highs in the 60's. On Friday, the 22nd, the sky cleared, the clouds parted and summer descended in one fell swoop. The temperatures soared to the 90's with humidity levels in the 60-70% range. It has remained like that ever since. 

My body had no time to acclimate and I found myself struggling to run 8 miles on my long run that week. That failure weighed on my mind and I started a downhill slide. I switched to running early in the morning (5:30-6 a.m.) and still I struggled. The air was always heavy and thick. My legs were wooden. I came back from my runs completely wiped out. I realized there would be no way I could log enough miles to be ready for the North Shore Half. No problem! I would run the 5k instead. 

But that decision allowed me to slack off training even more. After a week had passed I was beginning to feel like a quitter. So after a couple bad starts, I started running on the school track while The Love walked. With his encouragement I ran a couple of miles everyday. The race was approaching and on Friday, 06/11, I logged 3.1 miles. 

The race Sunday morning was really good. I paced at 11:59 m/mi. I even passed some other runners. I feel good about my performance, but a part of me wishes I had been able to run the half. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Best Laid Plans Go Awry

Distance: 7.5 mi.
Time: 1:52:55
Pace: 15:03 min/mi
Time of day: 11:30 a.m.
Temperature: 80F; sunny, hot, 66% humidity

I counted 11 people out running a 7:30 a.m. when I went to pick up The Love's car and drop off my car for a state inspection. It was a sign and I totally missed it! I was concerned about too quick of turnaround having run last evening. Oh how silly I am. Even The Love tried to tell me that I should run in the morning and not wait until afternoon.

I finally hit the trail about 11:30 a.m. My plan was to run 2 miles, then walk 1 mile and log 13 miles. Umm, yeah. That was the plan. It didn't work out though. I completely underestimated the effect of the temperature and humidity. It was brutal and with the lack of running this past week, well, all I can say is, I did what I could do.

I ran the first 2 miles and slowed down to a power walk. By the time I was at the 3 mile mark, I was hot, sweating profusely and not feeling well. I picked up the pace and ran about 1/4 mile before I realized I was in trouble. I started walking again and finally turned around at just under the 4 mile marker. I tried running again until I became light-headed and started feeling sick. I found a shady place to sit for about 5 minutes and then walked the remaining 2 miles back to my car.

I carried water but it was all gone by about mile 5. I realized that I really should have run earlier when it wasn't so hot and humid. I hope I don't make this mistake again.

So where does this leave my training and my readiness for the North Shore half-marathon?

I am going to pick up the training schedule with tomorrow's 2 mile run. I plan to follow the schedule as set out with 1 change. I'm going to run 2-3 miles on Wednesday since I don't get those miles when I strength train now. And when race day comes I will do the best I can.

4 Days Off = Oh My Gosh!

Friday Stats
Distance: 3.78 mi.
Time: 48:14 min.
Pace: 12:46 min/mi
Time of day: 7:05 p.m.
Temperature: 60-ish, overcast, cool; a pretty great evening for running.

Before I get to the running details, I got my nails done Friday evening and then ran home from the nail shop. This wasn't exactly on my list of routes to run, but The Love's car was in getting an oil change and he had to play poker, so I told him to drop me off at the nail shop and I would run home. And I did!

Now for the actual running. Coach Jeni told me that if I didnt get to run this week (while traveliing) I would notice a significant decrease in my level of fitness. Boy was she right! Running Friday night was hard. I had to push myself to not walk. There was lots of Duffy Moon reminders.

It felt great to get out and move again!

Now how do I get back into my training schedule?

A conversation with Coach Jeni this morning offered 2 options to return to focused training. The first option is to walk/run 13 miles today. Run 2 miles, walk 1 mile. This will get in the distance on the schedule. It will also give me an idea of what it is like to utilize a run/walk strategy for my upcoming race. The 2nd option would be to pick a distance I felt was challenging but still doable and run that, then just return to the training schedule tomorrow.

I opted for the first option. Part of our conversation today was that the North Shore race while it will be my 2nd half-marathon, it will be a completely new race. It will be a new course, a more hilly course, much warmer tempertures and I'll be running solo. The only thing the races have in common is the distance.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Long Talk With The Coach

I had a long talk with The Coach Sunday evening. I was feeling bad about my earlier run. And, with a travel schedule that will disrupt my running schedule again, I wanted to get her advice on how to proceed. As usual she was understanding, uplifting and practical.

The first thing she said was that Monday should be a fun run, if I run at all. Decide in the morning how I feel and if I don't feel like running, then don't. If I do feel like running, then just start out and run for only as long as it is pleasurable. Don't go out with any time or distance goal. Just run for the joy of it.

She also reminded me that I am a beginner runner. I have not built up a great deal of endurance or stamina and running the distances I did in the time frame I did really taxed my body. Don't beat myself up about a bad run, just accept reality and move on. Even elite runners have bad runs.

So here I am in my hotel room Monday evening. I didn't run this morning before leaving home because it was raining. I am exhausted after my day today. Making myself go get on the hotel treadmill sounds like toture. I am going to wait until tomorrow to run. I believe I will be at my hotel early enough that I can get on the treadmill before dinner.

A Bad Run

Sunday, 05/17
Distance: 8.0 mi.
Time: 1:49:56
Pace: 13:45 min/mi
Time of day: 10:25 a.m.
Temperature: 60F, cloudy, cool, rainy

Today's run was awful! Here is a list of what went wrong:
  1. I ran Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. and turned around and ran at 10:25 a.m. I had a situation of avoiding rain and hooking up with The Chef on business. The Chef lives very close to the trail I use for long runs so I didn't want to go to her house, come home, and then drive back.
  2. I forgot to carry my water. I realized this about 1.5 miles into the run.
  3. I was tired. I ran 12+ miles in the last 48 hours before heading out on this run.
  4. Again, my running app malfunctioned.
I wanted to run my regularly scheduled 11 miles Sunday, but I was worn out by 8 miles. In fact, I had to call The Love to pick me up and drive me back to the trail head where my car was parked.

Crazy Schedules

A crazy travel schedule over the next 2 weeks has my running training schedule all mixed up. So here's a recap.

Monday, 5/10
Distance: 6.37 mi.
Time: 1:19:59
Pace: 12:33 min/mi
Time of Day: 12:30 p.m.
Temperatue: 51F cloudy & overcast

Cloudy & overcast will be a common theme for the next couple of weeks. What happened to the whole "Aprl showers bring May flowers" thing? I am so tired or "cloudy and overcast".

Today's run was pretty good. I felt strong running at a 12:33 pace. My goal for the North Shore race is going to be a 13:00 min/mile.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

I did strength training on Tuesday & Thursday, but I'm miss the 1 mile warm up runs. Wednesday was a rest day.

Friday, 05/14

Distance: 5.12 mi.
Time: 1:03:38
Pace: 12:26 min/mi
Time of day: 4:30 p.m.
Temperature: 60-ish. Sunny, warm, slightly humid

Finally The Love's car was repaired and we went to Chicago to pick it up. I ran a trail near Coach Jeni's house. It was a pretty trail, muddy from recent rains, but still very nice.

Saturday, 05/15

Distance: 6.5 mi.
Time: 1:22:23
Pace: 12:40 min/mi
Time of day: 5:30 p.m.
Temperature: 60F, cloudy, cool, rainy

I ran today after spending 6 hours in the car which is what I did yesterday. But, and I hate to admit this, my running app malfunctioned in a big way and that throws me off. If the app just quits playing the music then I can adjust to that. But when it keeps switching off and on and playing the music in fast forward and then shuts off completely and then I have to restart the running app and then it stops and starts again--well, it just makes me mad and screws me up.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Long Run

Distance: 10.02 miles
Time: 2:10:13
Pace: 12:59 min/mi.
Time of Day: 2:15 p.m.
Temperature: 63°F, very windy, party sunny

What a great run today! I admit to being a little apprehensive after the issues I had earlier in the week but today's run was almost glorious. It definitely would have been glorious if I had run only 8.5 miles. The final 1.5 miles were work.

I deliberately started out very slow on this run. I kept my pace between 13:30 and 14:00 for the first couple of miles. Then I picked it up to about 13:20. I stayed around that pace until I reached the 5 mile mark and turned around. I picked it up a little more around 5.5 miles, 12:55-13:05. I was able to maintain that until I reached approximately 8.5 miles. The going got tough then and I know I slowed down some. I did sprint the final .1 mile but it was tough.

Overall I am really pleased with my performance. I was not worn out when I finished. That's a first for me after a long run. I have been coming home and just spending the rest of the day on the couch. But I felt really good afterwards except for one issue.

The one issue is that starting around mile 8.5 my butt muscles started hurting. And they hurt like heck! They continued to hurt all evening. It is weird.

Funny story about my run today. It was really windy and as I ran out I was running into the wind. I wore my jacket because it was so windy. I'm running along thinking how pleasant it was, so cool and all, my hair blowing in the wind, no sweat running down my face…Then I turned around and headed back. Wow! It was awesome having a tail wind. I was moving right along. Then the sweat started dripping down my forehead and into my eyes. I had taken a couple tissues in case I needed to blow my nose. Oh, no. They weren't used for my nose but they did mop up a lot of sweat. My jacket sleeves have dark streaks on them from wiping sweat away. That little indentation on your top lip? Oh yeah! Mine filled with sweat and then spilled over. And to think when I was young I didn't sweat at all. Gotta love aging!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Caught Up At Last

This is a recap of today's workout, actually posted today!

So the whole car repair issue has played a little havoc with my training schedule this week. I ran yesterday and strength trained today.

Another change is in the offing with regard to strength training. The Love and I have agreed to cancel our gym membership. The Love has started walking (and even running a little) on the school track nearby. He hasn't been to the gym in several weeks. If everything is perfect I go the gym 2 days a week. We feel that right now we can put that money to better use. We've been members of our gym for 10+ years. I feel a little sad about ending our membership, but come winter we can always join again. In the meantime, we will have saved some money which is a good thing.

I have some free weights at home. That won't be a problem. I can do lunges and squats in place of leg extensions and leg curls. That won't be a problem. I actually will do more ab/core work at home because I hate doing those exercises at the gym. The issue becomes how do I get in the warm up miles? Do they matter in the overall training schedule? Feel free to chime in here, Coach Jeni!

Almost Caught Up

Wednesday was my regular rest day.

Thursday Stats, 05/06
Distance: 4.27 mi.
Time: 55:38 min.
Pace: 13:02 min/mi.
Time of day: 4:15 p.m.
Temperature: 79°F, sunny and very warm

Back in mid-April The Love and I were in Chicago. The first night we were there The Love's car was hit while parked. The trunk became the back seat. Thank goodness no one was hurt in the accident. So for the last almost-month his car has been in the repair shop in Chicago. We are down to the final days. You know, the days when every afternoon you hear the repair shop lady say, "I'm sorry. We didn't get your car finished today. We hope it will be ready tomorrow." We've heard this every day for the last week.

How does the car story tie into my running? The Love & I thought we would be heading to Chicago on Friday to pick up the car. So I decided to run on Thursday and sacrifice my strength training if need be. As it turned out, of course the car isn't ready. And in true maddening fashion, the car repair lady didn't call until I had already started my run.

So now let me whine about my run. It was awful! It was worse than my first 7-mile run where I performed poorly. That time I was tired and slow. I can deal with tired and slow. Yesterday involved annoying aches and pains. So let's start at the bottom and work up.

My feet hurt with almost every step. I don't think my shoes were tied to tight. I actually checked them as I waited for a green light to cross the street. But something was clearly not right. It wasn't an acute, sharp pain; the darn feet just ached with every step. I did stop running and walked for a short time and that allowed me to push on and finish the course running. I can't help wondering if the weird way my left shoe has worn down has something to do with this.

My ankles and calves were so tight. (I know that isn't proper grammar and/or sentence structure, but it's the best way to describe the issue.) I was at mile 3.5 before my calves relaxed. I could not get into any kind of rhythmic breathing. I panted most of the way. And to top it all off, I forgot to put on my sweatband and salty sweat dripped in my eyes for much of the run. For the last 3/4 mile my mantra became, "one foot in front of the other". I'm telling ya', it was a bad run.

But now that I've captured it here, I'm putting it out of my mind!

Tuesday At The Gym

Wow! There's a whole different crowd at the gym on Tuesday mornings.

It felt good to get back to the strength training. I realized that with April and now May being so busy I have sacrificed this part of my training to get in my running. I was surprised to see on my calendar that I only hit the gym 1 time in April. The early part of the month was spent tapering for the April 11th race, then I had a week of rest afterwards, but still I am disappointed that I didn't make more of an effort to strength train later in the month.

May looks challenging as far as getting in all my scheduled workouts. I will be out of town part of next week and then all of the following week. I believe running will be o.k. but I'm not sure about all the strength training sessions. I may have to sacrifice 1 or 2 but I will definitely be more vigilant than I was in April.

Flip Flop

Playing catch up.

Monday's Stats, 05/03
Distance: 3.29 mi.
Time: 43:23 min.
Pace: 13:11 min/mi.
Time of day: 12:30 p.m.
Temperature: 75°F., sunny, hot, humidity on the rise

Two things about today:

First, I am swapping my Monday and Tuesday schedules as mentioned previously. I have a hard time motivating myself to hit the gym first thing Monday morning. I do, however, feel the urge to run on Mondays. So I'm going to try the swap and see how it goes.

Second, I was all excited about running today and really ran into a wall. The Love wanted to walk on the local fitness trail at lunch so I agreed. I figured I would run the outer loop and then a figure 8 to hit my 5 miles. It was hot and humid and that coupled with the hills really wore me out. I made the outer loop and started the figure 8. I was only about 1/4 of the way when I started feeling light-headed and slightly nauseous. I walked a while then ran again, ending at the car. I was o.k. but I'm not in this to make myself sick. So I'm  glad I listened to my body and stopped.

A question I had for Coach Jeni was, do I make up the missed miles later in the week? "Nope", she said. "They are just gone."

Can You Say Behind?

I am posting this info late. Today is Friday, May 7th. Where has the week gone?

Sunday, 05/02, Stats
Distance: 2.44 mi.
Time: 29:00 min.
Pace: 11:53 min/mi.
Time of day: 6:15 p.m.
Temperature: 65°F, mostly blue skies, slightly humid

I returned home from my Michigan trip. It was a great day to be out of doors and I logged my 2 miles in the early evening.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On The Road Dearborn MI

Friday's Stats
Distance: 3 mi.
Time: 39:26 min.
Pace: 13:09 min/mi
Time of day: 8:30 p.m.

On the road in Dearborn MI today. I'm working with my friend, Londa. I help with her creative sweatshirt jacket workshops. It is tons of fun.

Friday evening after a full day's seminar, a visit to a quilt shop and some dinner, I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill in the hotel. It was a pretty fancy treadmill. I had my own personal HD TV. Unfortunately, I didn't take my headphones to the exercise room. It worked out o.k. I jsut read the subtitles as they scrolled across the screen.

I will be home in time to run my regular Sunday 2 miles.

A Better 7 Mile Run

Wednesday's Stats
Distance: 7.01 mi.
Time: 1:29:41
Pace: 12:47 min/mi.
Time of day: 8:10 a.m.
Temperature: 50-ish

Wednesday's seven miles were a heck of a lot better than my last seven mile run. The first time I ran 7 miles was back in February when Coach Jeni was in town. I was totally embarrassed by that run. Today's run was really a great run. The ski was blue, the sun was shining, the temperature was pleasant. The smell of honeysuckle and orange blossom filled the air. It was glorious.

So why was I running on a Wednesday? I am out of town and knew I wouldn't be able to get in a long run on Saturday. So I did my long run on Wednesday. After running four miles Tuesday evening I was a little apprehensive about doing a long run Wednesday morning. I knew I would be resting on Thursday, six hours in a car, so I went ahead with the run. It has worked out o.k. I don't think I suffered from any over training.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beautiful Evening Run

Distance: 3.97 mi.
Time: 48:51 min.
Pace: 12:17 min./mi.
Time of day: 7 p.m.
Temperature: 61°F. A beautiful evening to run!

It was cold and rainy Tuesday morning so I decided I would wait till later in the day to run, hoping the sun would break through and dry off the roads. I was not disappointed. The afternoon was beautiful but work related issues kept me from enjoying it. I finally was able to get out after supper.

I live on a hill. And until last week I had never attempted to start my run from my driveway. I have always walked up the hill, turned the corner and continued one more block, uphill, to the point where the road flattens out. Last week, in prep for the upcoming North Shore half marathon, I walked to the bottom of the hill and then ran all the way up to the corner. Last night I decided to start at my driveway and run my entire 4 mile course.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to run up the hill, turn the corner and continue running the entire time. I used to get winded just walking up the hill to my mailbox. (Don't even get me started on the insane idea the USPS had in the 80's of gang mailboxes.) Sometimes I get discouraged, thinking I'm not making any progess in my training. But last night's run was a big reminder that I am improving. It was awesome running up that hill!

As I ran I focused on breathing and form. Yep. My two favorite things right now. My form is getting better. I don't think I shuffled at all last night. The breathing still needs work but I do see some improvement. I believe I am breathing more deeply more often. It's weird, but I think when I slow my pace, for whatever reason, that is when I start the shallow breathing and shuffling of feet. Could it be that I need to push myself a bit to increase the pace? Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Problems with Monday

I'm having a problem with my Monday workouts. They aren't getting done!

I am totally unmotivated to go the gym and work out with the weights. I do, however, find myself longing to be out on the road running. I think I'm going to try switching Monday's and Tuesday's workouts and see if that feels better. Of course, I'll start that next week since I want to run on tomorrow, Tuesday.

Another Goal Reached

Sunday's Run
Distance: 2.45 mi.
Time: 29:02 min.
Pace: 11:51 min./mi.
Time of day: 10:30 a.m.
Temperature: 60ish. Cloudy, overcast, damp

I ran the fitness trail in my neighborhood. I mean I ran the fitness trail. I have walked this trail many a time over the last 10 or so years and frequently have wished I could run this trail. Since I started running I have run parts of this trail a couple of times, never making it the full distance. Why couldn't I run this 2.45 mile course? Well, being a fitness trail it has its ups and downs, and one really big up. Back in February, I think, The Son and I were on this course one Sunday, in the slushy stuff. I almost made it around that time, but I did have to walk a short distance. But this time I was successful!

I did the run sans music, focusing on breathing and form. Both breating and form require concentration or I fall back into old habits. I'm hoping that continued focus and practise will make the correct breathing routine and running form a habit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long Slow Runs, Again

Distance: 4.88 mi. (The mile markers on the trail said a full 5 mi.)
Time: 1:00:42
Pace: 12:27 min./mi.
Time of day: 8:05 a.m.
Temperature: 65°F. Cool, overcast, damp. It rained most of the night.

Today was my first long run post-race. I did pretty well overall, I think. But it took until mile 3 before I felt like I had settled in. The first 1.5-1.75 miles my feet and legs felt like concrete. And there were a few kinks to run out. But my time was good and I don't feel like I was really pushing on the pace.

I listened to music today for 2 reasons: 1) It helped pass the time. 2) I wanted to test my new breathing skills and running form without completely focusing on them. Let me just say, both need continued intense focus on my shorter runs.

The weather today was a first for me. Even though it was cloudy and overcast it was very damp and the humidity was up. Translated that means I sweat like a pig on today's run. But I am very glad I ran early because it has rained pretty steady since late morning.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yesterday and Today

Thursday's Run
Distance: 2.29 mi.
Time: 29:51 min.
Pace: 13:01 min./mi.
Time of day: 12:20 p.m.
Temperature: 65°F. (I forgot to log the temperature, but it was close to that.) It was a beautiful noontime run.

My first attempt at running up the hill in front of my house. I have to laugh! I live halfway up a pretty long hill. Coach Jeni told me earlier this week that from the bottom of the hill to about halfway would be good training for my next race. So today I walked out of the house, down the hill and stretched a little. I took off up the hill at a pretty slow pace (about 15:30 min./mi.). I did actually make it to the top of the street. At that point you turn, continue up the hill another block and then the road flattens out. As I said, I made it to the top of my street. That was my goal. I was lightheaded and breathing hard gasping for breath. But I didn't stop. I turned the corner and walked the remaining 1 block to the flat part of the road. My breathing had slowed enough that I started running. (Yes, actually running, with only one foot on the ground at a time.) I ran out of my subdivision and on to my usual 2 mile course.

It took about 3/4 of mile before I felt I have recovered from the hill. But, hey, that was my first time. It will only get better from here on out.

Oh yes. I swapped Thursday and Friday workouts. It was supposed to rain all day Friday so I decided to run Thursday and go to the gym for strength training on Friday. Which I did.

Friday's Workout
An easy 1 mile on the treadmill to warm up, then 1 set of each exercise to ease back into the strength training routine.

I need to increase my upper body strength so I don't slump so much as I tire during running. Besides, it makes me look better. And as I have said to The Son a couple of times, "It's all about the look." He'll understand.

Saturday is my first "long" run since the race. It is 5 miles. It is supposed to rain tomorrow also. But I think I will run in the rain (if it's not too bad) just for the experience.

It feels good to be working out regularly again. I understand that I need to give my body time to recover from racing and I understand that right now that takes me a couple of weeks. But, I miss the discipline of working out every day. I tend to get lazy when I'm taking it easy with the training. It 's a darn good thing I have such a great Coach to keep me healthy!