Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Thoughts on Running

Now that's it has been 24 hours since I did my longest run ever and I didn't do any workout today because my legs were so darn sore, I thought I would put down some random thoughts I have had about running.

I can still hardly believe that I ran 11 miles. I first talked to The Coach about wanting to run the Go! St. Louis half-marathon Nov. 12th or 13th. I started training the following Monday, Nov. 16th. That is just a little over 4 months ago. When I stop and think about it, I am amazed at what I have accomplished in the time since that first walk/run on a cold, rainy, dark morning.

I tend to downplay my accomplishments but honestly, I've accomplished a lot. It has taken determination. And I could not have done this without the support of The Love, The Coach, and The Son. The Love has worked his schedule around my running; he never blinked an eye when I took off during the day to run. When I needed something, he made sure I got it. In addition, his belief in me that I could do this has brought me to tears more than once. The Coach has been fabulous. In addition to developing a comprehensive training program, she, too, has supported me with confidence. More than once, she has picked up my flagging spirits and re-energized me. She answered every question I asked, even when it was probably inconvenient for her. She has truly been the back bone of my training. The Son, while playing a smaller role, has nevertheless been instrumental in helping me on the LSRs every weekend. He has quite a talent for keeping my pace steady and encouraging me on the final miles. I honestly didn't think I would be able to run the last 2 miles yesterday without him. But as I became tired I tried to tell myself what I thought he would be telling me if he had been running along side.

So with all this support and love around me I was quite surprised last Saturday at my sewing event for the negative reaction I received from other women about my goal. I ate lunch with a group of women that I know only slightly, through my monthly ASG Neighborhood Group meetings. As we talked about health and middle age the subject of exercise came up and I mentioned that I was training to run a half-marathon. Much to my surprised the women responded with only negative comments. "You shouldn't run because it makes every thing droop." "My doctor told me never to run. The constant pounding wouldn't do anything good for my body." "You're going to get arthritis in your knees and then you'll be sorry." Whoa! I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

I certianly don't expect people to fawn over me when I talk about running and my goal. But, several other people who know I run (and now that I think about it, they are all men,) have responded to me with comments like, "Wow. That's awesome." "Wow. A half-marathon, huh. That's a really long way." "That's great. Good luck." Stuff like that. I am really blown away by how negative these women were. I don't know what was going on with them, but I hope I learned that when someone tells you about a goal in their life, give them some positive feedback. What they are doing is important to them and they deserve all the support and encouragement they can get. Who cares if their goal doesn't appeal to you. The fact that she is moving forward in a positive manner is awesome!

OK. That's the end of my rant. I just had to get it off my chest.

I rested today. I am surprised by how stiff and sore my legs are. Probably due in large part to the half-hearted stretching I did after the 11 miles I ran. (Isn't it so cool that I ran 11 miles?) Tomorrow is a 6-mile run. While I think it would be easy to talk about how it's only half of what I just ran so it will be easy, I don't think so. Six miles is still a distance for me to go. But I am totally up for it. Should I take my grocery list with me as I run to the grocery store and back?

All By Myself

Monday Stats (Official Clocked Stats)
Distance: 10.74 mi.
Time: 2:21:52
Pace: 13:12 min/mi
Time of day: 4:45 p.m.
Temperature: 51°F, clear, sunny, cool in the shade, slight breeze

My Runmeter app stopped clocking my run 1/4 mile before the finish line. My music had run out and I was trying to restart the iPod app. So I really did run the entire 11 miles on the training schedule. Yeah!!!

I ended up running the trail by myself. The Son had another engagement, and knowing I could not postpone the run one more day, I took off all by myself. Eleven miles is almost 2x the distance I have run by myself. The Coach ran 7 miles with me and The Son has run 9 miles and 10 miles with me. Now, as The Son pointed out this morning, I am a solo double digit runner. Very cool!

The run was made more pleasant with the use of Body Glide on some areas where I was chafing. I am still having a problem with my iPhone armband when I run without my jacket. It rubs and pinches and while the Body Glide did help, I still have a red welt on my arm this morning.

I am so excited that completed the 11 miles on my own. I think that way down deep I questioned if I could run long distances solo. I want to-I just wasn't sure I could do it. But I can and I'm really excited about that.

I was really sore and tired after the run. And I made a big mistake by not taking the time to stretch really good before I got in the car to drive home. (The Son is so good about stretching that I feel I let him down by not doing a good job yesterday.) But I took a hot bath and was in bed by 9 p.m. I'm still a little sore today in the hip area, but other than that I feel great!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Catching Up-Sunday

Distance: 1.52 miles
Tiime: 17:00 min.
Pace: 11:11 min/mi
Time of day: 7:00 p.m.
Temperature: 53°F, cool evening breeze

Today's plan got all mixed up. Because of my sewing event yesterday I had planned to run 11 miles today with Scott. But it was raining pretty hard all morning and up until about 3 p.m. Being the crazy person I am I would have gone ahead and run, but Scott felt that the trail would be slippery and possibly muddy in a couple of spots. He was concerned that if I hurt myself I wouldn't have time to heal before the half marathon. We agreed to postpone the run until Monday late afternoon.

Around 3 p.m. the rain quit, the sun came out and Scott was off doing something else. I guess I could have gone ahead and run…About 5:30 The Love told me he was going to go walk around the school track about 6:30 (after the Elite Eight games), did I want to run while he walked. Yes I did!

So we headed up to the school and I took off. Take a look at that pace. I was flying! Unfortunately I couldn't sustain it and when I received a text message from The Chef that she had won 2nd place in her Hot Foods Team regional competition I slowed to a walk so I could text her my congratulations. I walked a couple of laps with The Love and by then it was getting dark so we headed home.

I was really pleased that I ran the pace I did. Even though it wasn't for a very long distance I think that short, fast runs help your overall speed. At least that's what I've read.

I am a little bummed. Just got a message from Scott that he won't be able to run this afternoon. I can't postpone this LDR any longer so I will run solo.

Catching Up-Saturday

Distance: 2.79 miles
Time 32:37 min.
Pace: 11:41 min/mi
Time of day: 4:45 p.m.
Temperature: 56°F. overcast, breezy.

Do you see that pace? I remember when my son registered me for the half-marathon he put my pace at 11:30. That was back in January and I had never even broken 13:00 min/mi. I couldn't conceive of a time when I would break a 12:00 min/mile. But look at that pace today! And, I ran it after being at an ASG sewing event all day. Totally cool!

Catching Up-Friday

Friday Stats
Distance: 6.26 miles
Time: 1:19:55
Pace 12:46 min/mi
Time of day: 3:45 p.m.
Temp: 50°F. Warm, sunny, beautiful day to run

This was the first time I've run 6 miles. I've run 5 miles and 7 miles, but never 6 miles. It's kinda cool because if I didn't have to carry anything home, I could run to the grocery store.  That's how far 6 miles is, 3 miles up and back. I find it absolutely mind boggling that I can run to and from the grocery store. It makes me smile with pride.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Hate It When That Happens

I have been unusually busy at work this week. And that's a good thing, don't get me wrong. But, in my line of business busy translates into starting early in the morning. So I haven't made it to the gym yet today. And I won't make it this evening. I need to rethink my workouts and figure out how to get them in.

Tomorrow I will need to run 6 miles in the afternoon. Saturday I am busy all day at a sewing event. Will I be able to hit the gym Saturday evening? That's a definite possibility. I could warm up for 1 mile, strength train, then run 2 miles on the treadmill. Sunday will be the LDR at 11 miles. Gee, I hope it doesn't rain. I think I will like running in the rain as much as I do sweating on the treadmill.

OK so I think that's a plan that will work. Now to implement it.

And, btw, I want to wish good, good luck to my daughter, The Chef. She has a hot food team competition this weekend in Indy. I'll be thinking of you, Sweetie!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Sad Day

Tuesday Stats
Distance: 3.88 mi.
Time: 51:24 min.
Pace: 13:15 min/mi
Time of day: 4 p.m.
Temperature: 75°F, warm, almost hot, clear, sunny

Tuesday was a sad day. When I arrived home after 2 important (aka stressful) sales calls I got the news my neighbor had died. Fred was a great guy. He was 69 and had been in declining health, but he was quite a guy. He loved for us to invite him over for BBQ on our patio. He especially loved The Love's smoked ribs. One evening as we sat around the patio Fred told the crowd that he was a big BeeGees fan. We all howled. Never, ever would anyone expect Fred to listen to the BeeGees. Mr. Rough Around The Edges. We all protested vehemently when he tried to tell us that the BeeGees sold more records than The Beatles and Elvis Presley. I still don't know if that is true or not, but we had a great time that night. We will miss him.

I changed into my running clothes and headed out for my scheduled 5 miles. I carried water but it was pretty much gone before I hit 2 miles. This was my first time running in any kind of heat and I was surprised at how it affected me. I decided not to push it because I didn't want to set myself up for a migraine. (Bright sun sometimes is a trigger.) Because I had to juggle the rest of my week to accommodate an all-day sewing event on Saturday I plan to pick up the missed mileage Friday. So here is what I plan to do. Wednesday-rest day; Thursday-strength training; Friday-6 miles; Saturday-2 miles; Sunday-11 miles. Then back to my regularly scheduled training.

Sunday's run could be interesting…rain is in the forecast. It could be good practise for running the half-marathon in the run.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar--I mean Another Strength Training Session

Distance: 1.1 mi.
Time: 15:08 min,
Time of day: 6:15 a.m.
An easy warm up for strength training

Not much to say about today's workout except it felt good. I am continuing with the same routine I have been using, but I think I will look at changing it after the race. Two reasons for this: 1) After 3+ months I think I need to challenge my body with something different. 2) I'm getting bored with the same thing every Monday & Thursday.

Over the weekend I was reading in one of my running books about how to get the most out of yourself. "Some athletes and coaches suggest that the ability dig deep and persevere is all that stands between you and your potential." I'm liking this. I can dig deep. "To do well, you have to push yourself. You have to keep going. You have to go beyond what you think you're capable of." I can push myself. "Ultimately, the ability to cope mentally with tough times may be what separates the best from the rest." I want to be the best I can be.

I now realize that running is much more than just going outside and running fast. I am frequently humbled by how much training is involved to be able to run a half-marathon. It takes works to get my body in shape; consistent physical training is needed. But I think that my mental training is actually more important than the physical training right now. I need to train my mind to know I can do this. I need to dig deep into the head and believe I will cross that finish line sprinting.

Three weeks remain until the race. This is the last week of increased road miles. Next week I start to taper. I need to work on mind training for these next three weeks.

Quotes from Runner's World Complete Book of Running copyright 2009

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rain Rain

Distance: 2 mi.
Time: 26:12 min.
Pace 13:06 min/mi.
Time of day: 9:15 a.m.
Temp: 36°F. 30°F WC. Rainy, cold

The rain and cold drove me to the treadmill this morning for my recovery run of 2 miles. I was feeling a little stiff and sore from yesterday's 10 miles. I'm really glad for the 2 miles this morning. I feel so much better now. I didn't push myself, but ran at an easy pace never going faster than 5.1 mph on the treadmill. It was all good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Can Run 10 Miles

Distance 10.05 mi.
Time: 2:11:56
Pace: 13:08 min/mi
Time of day: 10:56 a.m.
Temp: 45°F. Cloudy, cooler than it has been, slight breeze from the north

I am a double digit runner. That's what my son called me because I ran 10 miles. And, I ran it pretty strong. And I ran it at a 13:08 pace. And I sprinted at the end to finish. I am really happy with my run today. I believe I met all 3 of my goals for today's run.

A couple of notes about today's run:
  • My upper body got tired with about 1½ miles left. My left arm was really bugging me so I handed off my water bottle to Scott and he carried it to the end. I think that keeping my water bottle in my jacket pocket keeps my left arm slightly raised which caused it to tire out. (Is that the right way to describe it?) It felt so much better when I removed the bottle. I think I may need to carry a throw-away bottle of water on race day.
  • Every time I started to get tired I picked up my pace slightly. I am learning that it takes way more energy to run slower. (My apologies to Coach Jeni & Scott for making them run slow when they run with me.) So when I started getting tired I reminded myself not to slow down but rather speed up ever so slightly and regain my pace.
  • Keeping my back straight, running upright, really helps the breathing which instantly provides more energy.
I did pretty well keeping my arms moving straight ahead and not crossing in front of my body. And my breathing was much more rhythmic and regulated today. Yeah!

And one final lesson…Too much coffee before running means I have to stop at the Johnny On The Spot. But, hey, I ran 10 miles today!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Distance: 5.2 mi.
Time: 1:04:06
Pace: 12:19 mi/min
Time of day: 6:50 a.m.
Temp.: 36°F no wind chill, cool but clear. A beautiful morning to run.

Well now I know why I spent 3 days immersed in blackness.

This morning's run was awesome. I set a goal to run 5 miles in 60 minutes and although I missed it by a minute and a half I still shaved more than a minute off my best 5-mile time. That feels good. I also focused on steady breathing. I changed my mantra from 'slow and steady' to 'steady and strong'. I feel that phrase applies not only to my breathing but my pace and effort as well. It helps propel me up hills and keeps me even on flat stretches. I also chant, "I am strong. I run strong". In fact, I chant that alot.

I'm excited to run with Scott tomorrow. These are my goals. 1) Run the first half at a 13:15-13:30 pace. 2) Pick up the pace on the 2nd half to around 13:00. 3) Pick up the pace for the final quarter mile so I finish strong, not stumbling like a drunken sailor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Painful Admission

Distance: 2.0 mi.
Time: 24:22 min.
Pace: 12:11/mile
Time of day: 6:30 a.m.

For reasons I don't entirely understand I spent the last 3 days in a black cloud of depression. I have experienced episodes similar to this one all my life, most of the time they were more severe, sometimes lasting for weeks or even months. I hope that my awareness of what was happening along with coping techniques I have learned in therapy, helped lessen the severity and duration of this episode. There isn't much good to be found from an episode like this but I did try to look for something positive and here is what I discovered.

My training suffered. I didn't workout at all Monday. Despite good intentions I was able to run less than 3 miles on Tuesday. Wednesday, my usual rest day, was just that even though I did not need the physical rest. I forgot my gym bag this morning so I didn't do any strength training, but I did run 2 miles on the treadmill. The upshot is that I am behind on my road miles this week, plus I haven't done any strength training at all.

I "wanted" to run each day. I thought that if I got outside in the sunshine, was physically active, I would feel better emotionally. But I couldn't do it. It was just too much mental effort to get up and go. On Tuesday when I did finally go out about 6 p.m., the run was awful. My iPhone wasn't operating correctly which drives me crazy. And much to my surprise while my breathing was good, my legs, knees and feet hurt. Every step was a huge painful effort. And when I got home, the pain continued all evening and all night. I couldn't find a comfortable position in which to sleep because my knees and hips hurt. I don't know what was going on with all the aches and pains but it was enough of an excuse on Wednesday to forego any running.

Just as I'm not sure why the black cloud descended on me, I'm not sure why it started to lift Wednesday evening. But around 8 o'clock I looked around me and realized I was watching TV with utter chaos and disarray around me. I got up, picked up the area, turned off the TV, did the dishes, and generally picked up the house. I did 94 sit-ups, brushed my teeth, washed my face and put on clean pajamas before going to bed to sleep.

I feel better today. The clouds in my head are breaking up. I have a list of things to do today to help me stay on track. I feel bad about the 3 days I lost. I can't get back the training time. I cannot do today all that I could have done in those 3 black days. I can only move forward from where I am. I am thankful that the blackness lasted only 3 days. I am grateful that The Love gave me some space and time to deal with the situation. I believe that my running helped me out. The very public goal I have was ever present in my mind during the last 3 days. I believe that having that goal, knowing my family believes I can do this and not wanting to disappoint them, kept me from sinking completely into depression. Thank you, Family, from the bottom of my heart.

I will run my 4 miles tomorrow, perhaps stretching it to 5 miles in an effort to get in all my road work this week. Scott and I have already made arrangements to run together on Saturday for my scheduled 10 miles. These are positive steps. I still have time to grocery shop and do a couple of errands for The Love before he gets back in town this evening. I can't waste time bemoaning the last 3 days. I have things to do, people to see…and running to enjoy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mixed Up Week

Monday was a bad day. After not sleeping well for 2 nights I was exhausted Monday morning. I laid down around 6 a.m. and slept till about 9 a.m. You'd think I would feel better, right? Wrong. I woke up in a cranky, crabby mood that lasted all day.

I had several things that just had to be done at work so I missed my strength training workout. As first I toyed with the idea of running to just feel better and skip the whole strength training workout. Then I thought I would be able to just flip-flop Monday's and Tuesday's workouts but unexpected car repairs shot my afternoon. By 4 o'clock I wanted to crawl back into bed and kick Monday down the road.

However, despite trouble getting to sleep last night, I woke up this morning feeling better and realized that Monday would be my rest day. Today I will run my scheduled 4 miles; Wednesday I will strength train, Thursday I will run 4 miles, and pick up the 2nd strength training workout on Friday. Saturday will find me back on schedule with a 10 mile run.

Sometimes Monday's just suck. But the workout week is not lost, just reaaranged. Thank goodness!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just a Quick 2 Miles

Distance: 2.1 mi.
Time: 24:14 min.
Pace: 11:32/mi
Time of Day: 11:15 a.m.
Temperature: 45°F, 40°F WC. Cloudy, cool, rainy

Just a short, quick 2 mile run today. I can't believe I can actually say that. Six months ago 2 miles seemed impossible. My pace was good especially since I ran on the road, not the track.

Had a great converation with Coach Jeni. We discussed different pacing philosophies when you race. She starts slower and saves energy and momentum for the last half. It is called negative split when you run a race faster in the last half than the first half. However some people run a steady pace. What will I do? Hmm, no clue at this point. We also discussed eating before the race. I know I will need to have some kind of nourishment before I race. (I wake up hungry.) So I need to figure out what works for me over the next few weeks. I'm thinking that pancakes are definitely out.

So here are the things I need to think about and work on to get race ready:
  • stamina and endurance
  • breathing
  • form as it relates to my arms
  • nutrition: before race, during race
  • water intake
How silly I was to think that all you did was go out and run!

Also, kudos to my handsome son, Scott, who ran the St. Patty's Day 5-miler in 43:28!

To (Double) Knot or Not?

Saturday's Stats
Distance 5.24 mi.
Time: 1:05:11
Pace: 12:36/mi.
Time of day: 12 noon
Temp: 45°F, 39°F Wind chill; cloudy, cold, rainy

Today was a great run despite the cloudy and cold weather. I had a great pace and felt strong throughout the run.

I learned 2 lessons today.
  1. I will double knot my running shoes from now on. This is the 2nd time I have had to stop to tie a shoe. I don't want that to happen during the half-marathon so the answer is, definitely double knot.
  2. No pancakes before I run. I made pancakes for breakfast for The Love and me. I waited a good 90 minutes before heading out to run. Honestly, if I had had to run more than my scheduled 5 miles, I think I would have needed to stop and throw up. Despite 7-Up when I got home my stomach was upset most of the afternoon.
Today was a really good run and I'm pleased with my training progress.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm Workin' On It

Distance: 3.27 mi.
Time: 39:54 min.
Pace: 12:13/mile
Time of day: 7:15 a.m.
Temperature: 45°F, Cloudy & cool

I was able to get my run in this morning before the rain started. I continue to work on my breathing and keeping my arms from crossing in front of my body.

I am really having trouble with my breathing. I realize I am inhaling way too shallow, but when I try to breathe deeply, I seem to take too long and then I get completely out of breath and end up gasping for air. I'm not sure what to do at this point, but I'll keep on working on it.

I think I mentioned after last Saturday's LDR that Scott pointed out to me that instead of keeping my arms going forward when I run, I let them turn inward, crossing them across my body. He & I hit upon the word "pivot" to remind me to keep my arms pointed forward. So I have been very conscious this week of making sure I pivot my arms, keeping my elbows close to my sides, with my hands pointed directly forward. Again, I'm working on it.

On the fashion front…What else could I possibly say about running and fashion you ask? Well, The Love was out of town three days this week. This morning when I put on my jeans he groaned and said, "I wish I could send you to the store right now to buy a smaller pair of jeans." Nice compliment. Thank you, Darlin'. But he also reminded me of a couple of pair of jeans I had put away because they were too tight. I dug them out and one pair fits pretty darn awesome! I can fasten the second pair, but in reality, they are still too tight for my taste. So even though the number on the scale hasn't moved down all that much, running has definitely toned and tightened my body.

And one last item, Happy Birthday to my Favorite Youngest Daughter!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Looking Ahead

Distance: 1.2 mi.
Time: 15:00 min.
Warm up for strength training

First of all, I maybe should have swapped my Thursday/Friday workouts. It is, again, a beautiful day! The forecast was for cloudy skies all day Thursday with possible rain. But the dawn brought clear skies and abundant sunshine with temperatures in the mid-60s. Of course, the forecast for tomorrow is cloudy and rain. Maybe the weather guy will be wrong again.

I had a great conversation with Coach Jeni this morning about what happens after the half-marathon which is only 4 weeks, 3 days away. I have a couple of busy weeks following the race and I wasn't sure how much running I need to schedule. Also, what kind of training schedule should I be developing for after the race. We have no idea how I will feel about racing. So Coach Jeni suggested the following:
  • Keep running every other day after the race. The week after the race will be a rest & recuperate week so the distances will be shorter, but I definitely need to keep running. I haven't built up my fitness level to a point where I can take off several days so I need to keep to my every other day routine. If I am traveling someplace where I can't get outside to run, find a treadmill and do 2-3 miles on it.
  • After the race I can decide if I want to keep up the distance to run races or just want to run for the joy of it and the health benefit.
As usual, great advice from my coach and mentor. She's so smart!

On the fashion front, I went shopping last night with mixed results. The skort is out. Let me just say, I do not have Tina Turner legs. I ended up with 2 pair of capris and 1 pair of shorts. I couldn't find any shorts that I was comfortable in except for this one pair. I was reminded by the radio that it is only March and we can still have some really cool weather before it gets summer. So I decided that capris would carry me well into warmer months. Everything I bought was black which was a bit of a disappointment. Not that I was looking for a bright, look-at-me color, but I thought I might find something in a nice blue or maybe dark purple, but it wasn't to be. So I'm set now for a while.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh My Gosh! This Was Why I Started Running

Distance: 4.09 mi.
Time: 51:53 min.
Pace: 12:41/mile
Time of day: 12: 30 p.m.
Temp: 67°F; Bright sunshine, slight breeze

Oh my gosh! This is why I started running…to go outside on a beautiful, warm day, bright with glorious sunshine and run till sweat drips off my face and runs down my back and it doesn't even bother me and I feel absolutely great!

On a fashion note, I am going to have to do something about my running clothes. I ran today in capris (which were o.k.) and a long sleeved shirt (which was not). I chose the LS shirt because I just wasn't sure how warm it would feel. I wasn't "way too hot" or anything, but I will definitely wear a short sleeved shirt at this temperature from now on. The issue I am grappling with is I have only 1 pair of capris. So do I buy a couple more pairs of capris or just go ahead and buy shorts, because I don't have any running shorts? Such decisions. I don't think I would be comfortable in shorts right now, both because of the temperature and my not-so-chubby-anymore-but-still-not-svelte legs. Hmmm. What to do, what to do.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Resting a Day Early

Imagine my surprise when I awoke around 4 a.m. and realized it was raining. Hmm. What happened to warm and sunny? I swapped my rest day today and will run tomorrow when, even though it will be cloudy, the temperature is predicted to hit 70°F.

I was a little sore in my upper back and shoulders this morning after my strength training yesterday. But it was a good sore.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Is That Renewed Enthusiasm I Feel?

Distance: 1.17 mi/
Time: 15:00 min.
Pace: 12:49/mile
Time of day: 6:30 a.m.
Warm up for strength training

I was up and at 'em this morning, heading out to the gym around 6:15 a.m. I wanted to really work with the weights today since I had a couple of easy strength training sessions last week. I didn't push myself on the treadmill, just enough work to warm up the muscles. And I had a great strength training session.

This week is a step back week on the training schedule. And, for the first time I really understand the purpose. I ran a total of 28+ miles last week and I'm ready to take it a little easier this week. The weird place I feel it in my body is my ankles. Those bony knobs that stick out on the ankle--my are really tender. But other than that I feel great! And I'm really looking forward to running this week. Is that enthusiasm I feel?

A Great Sunday Run

Distance: 2.1 mi.
Time: 23:36
Pace: 11:16/mile
Time of day: 11:00 a.m.
Temp: 50-ish, warm, sunny, slightly breezy

Sunday's are short, easy runs designed to make sure I don't get stiff and sore after my LDR on Saturday. I felt great Sunday. The Love Of My Life wanted to walk outside so we headed up to the middle school track. I decided the track would be a great place to work on speed and I'm really pleased to see that my pace was so good, 11:16/mile. I felt like I could have run another couple miles at that pace, but I didn't. Instead I slowed to a walk and shared a couple of laps with The Love. It was a fantastic workout!

Could that be enthusiasm returning?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Longest Distance Ever

Distance: 9.0 miles
Time: 2:00:03 hours
Pace: 13:25/mile
Time of Day: 9:45 a.m.
Temp: 45°F, beautiful, bright, sunny

I ran 9 miles today! Nine miles! Of course, I had my DS running with me and encouraging me, but I did the running! I ran 9 miles.

I felt pretty strong during most of the race, but the last 1.5 miles was a struggle. Scott was an awesome running partner. He encouraged me and supported me through the entire race, but especially that last 1.5 miles. I said to him at about 8 miles, "Don't let me quit." He responded, "No, Mom. There is no way you are quitting at this point. I won't let you." The other thing he said to me was, "The first 7.5 miles is just a warm up for this last 1.5 miles." It was what I needed at the time.

After feeling so completely worn down last Sunday with my 7-mile run, I am really pleased that today I feel great. I am tired and my legs are sore, but I didn't feel like collapsing at the end of my run today.

One thing Scott had me do today was stretch every time we had to stop and wait to cross a street. A couple of times I stretched my hamstrings. One time near the end he suggested I rotate my ankles to kind of stretch them out. That felt great. He also had me really stretch at the end of the run, which I believe helped me not feel so sore this afternoon.

We ran a completely new route today. It is a paved trail over an old railroad line. It is flat (as in no hills) and runs along a couple of streams. The sky was bright blue; the sunshone brightly; a light breeze. It was absolutely gorgeous! And, by the way, did I mention I ran 9 miles today?

A Beautiful Day To Run

Friday Stats
Distance: 3.91 miles
Time: 49:33 minutes
Pace: 12:41/mile
Time of day: 3 p.m.
Temp: 51° F. Bright, sunny, light wind, an absolutely beautiful day!

It was a beautiful day to run. I felt great! Nothing else to say!

Friday, March 5, 2010


I was MIA yesterday. No good reason. A lot of excuses but that's it. Time to move on.

I went to the gym this morning and did an abbreviated strength training workout since I missed yesterday's. I warmed up with a 3/4 mile run at an easy pace. Then did 1 set of 15 reps for each arm, back, shoulder, bicep & tricep exercise. I finished up with 60 crunches.

This afternoon with the warm sun shining down I will go out for my 4 mile run.

I have plans to run with DS tomorrow for 9 miles. We are going to run a new trail I discovered while researching trails on the internet yesterday. (I did do something running oriented.)

I was talking to The Love Of My Life this morning, telling him about the funk I find myself in right now. I think part of it is that I've not been sleeping good so I'm tired. I also admitted out loud for the first time that I am afraid of failing at race time. And I find I very easily could just throw in the towel and give up now. I know that in the long run I don't want to do that. I would be very disappointed in myself if I gave up now. Plus, I know I can do this. I just have to keep at it. The long runs are hard on me. No doubt about it. But as The Love Of My Life told me, the first time you run a new distance it is hard. But then it gets easier each time. Soon 7 miles will be as easy as 4 miles. I need to reach way down inside of myself and pull up some stick-to-it-iveness. I will not give up!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thinking While Resting

Today is my rest day. I'm going to swap Thursday's and Friday's workouts due to a scheduling conflict. I considered swapping Wednesday's and Thursday's workouts, but decided I really wanted today off.

I had a great session with Coach Jeni this morning. We talked mostly about how mental I am I need to work on my mental training. She suggested the following:
  • Clock the distance of my running route with my car before running so I know how far I have to go on The Road before I start out. This will eliminate any surprises like Sunday.
  • Quit running the short side streets and run straight up and back on The Road. This should provide a huge psychological boost by physically running a little farther almost everytime I run.
  • Practise safe running by being aware of my surroundings, turn down my music if I have to, run on the sidewalk when possible, and just go run on The Road.
She also reminded me to be sure to regulate my breathing. This will be increasingly important on my LSRs.

After my mediocre experience Sunday I have been thinking about running during every free moment. I think I've reached another point where it would be easy quit. I haven't built up that foundation that makes longer runs enjoyable so LSRs are taxing for me. I was exhausted the remainder of Sunday and have been in bed by 8:30 p.m. every night since. It would be easy for me to say, "This is harder than I thought; I don't think I can do this". I admit to having considered quitting Monday morning. But I'm not going to. I really, really, really want to reach my goal of running the half-marathon. And I really, really like the way I am feeling and beginning to look. I really really like running outside all the time, especially now that the weather will be warming up and the sun shining more. I've made it through all the snow and cold and clouds and grey skies, I now want to experience the beautiful weather when I run. So I'm in for the long haul. Many many thanks to my family for their suppport.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Distance: 4.11 mi.
Time: 53:13 min.
Pace: 12:57/mi.
Temp: 34°F, 23F° WC
Time of Day: 6:30 a.m.

Today's run was hard. I'm not sure what was going on. I was never able to get my breath in any kind of rhythm. (This is something Coach Jeni strongly suggested I work on.) I was breathing too shallow, but I just wasn't able to get into a deep breath cadence. Also, my legs felt like lead. I actually considered walking at one point. But, I reached way down deep and pulled up some fortitude then started telling myself, "You can do it Duffy Moon."

Probably the best part of the run is how I managed the one hill I still have trouble with. Jeni reframed my thinking to positive statements: "I am strong. This hill is mine. I run strongly up the hill." I used these positive statements to get up the hill in good order today. Thanks so much, Coach Jeni!

Monday at the Gym

Monday's Stats
Monday is strength training at the gym with a quick 1 mile warm up on the treadmill.

I did increase the weight I was lifting on most of the exercises. I could feel it by Monday evening, but today, Tuesday, I'm fine.

Yep, That Would Be 7 Miles Under My Belt

Sunday's Stats
Distance: 7.02 mi.
Time: 1:35:09
Pace: 13:35/mi.
Temp: 40-ish. Absolutely beautiful!
Time of day: 11 a.m.

I'm behind in posting…hopefully I can catch up now.

I ran 7 miles Sunday with Coach Jeni. It was one of the hardest thing I've ever done, but also one of the best. I certainly wasn't very speedy, at times Jeni had to prompt me to "stop walking". And I completely let my mind psyche me out when, thinking there was only 1/2 mile left to go, I realized I had a full mile left. I was really tired and wiped out when we got home. It has taken me until today realize the good in what I accomplished Sunday. But I'm really happy about my effort Sunday.

This distance required me to run a much longer distance on the road where I run. In planning the run I was uncomfortable with one section because there is a busy intersection, but when we got to that stretch I realized there was a great sidewalk to run on for about 1/2 mile which took care of my safety concerns.

Speaking of safety, Jeni made me realize that even though I thought I was being careful at intersections where I cross traffic, I really need to be a) more aware of the cars because they don't see me as easily as I see them, and b) don't be in such a hurry to cross the street. It's o.k. to wait for the light to change in my favor.

After the run, Jeni suggested I get Scott to run with me this coming weekend for my 9 mile LSR. (I talked to him last night and he said, "Sure!") Also, I have a session with Coach Jeni coming up before I take on those 9 miles.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Run My Life, Or Is My Life Running Me

Saturday's Stats

Mmm, no stats to report because as the heading implies, I thought I had time to run with Coach Jeni, but sometimes life is in control of me instead of me in control of life.

When the Sun Goes Down, It Gets Dark

Friday, 02/26 Stats
Distance: 2.09 mi.
Time: 30:53 min.
Temp: mid-30's
Time of Day: 6 p.m.

My schedule got mixed up on Friday and I ended up not able to run until after supper. Silly me. I figured that if the sun set at 6 p.m. I'd still have plenty of daylight to run 4 miles. Hmm. I forgot that when the sun goes down, it gets dark. And I didn't think to wear my headlamp. So there was I was running at dusk, getting darker by the minute with lots of evening rush hour cars turning into subdivisions and side streets. Not a great environment. So as I came up on mile 2 where I turnaround, I called The Love Of My Life to come pick me up. So while it was short run, it felt great. And, I'd rather be safe than injured or scared.