Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nike + iPod Sensor

No running or working out today. It's my scheduled rest day. Plus, it's been raining all day, as in thunder, lightening, rain. It's cooled off amazingly. Yesterday 95°F, today it's like 60°F. What a fabulous change!

So yesterday the UPS man left a little package on my front step. The Coach sent me a Nike + iPod Sensor to put in my shoes and track my runs. How cool is that?! She has had a sensor for a couple of years, I guess, and her handsome husband has one also. It came in very handy last Saturday for my big 10-miler. You know, when my Runmeter app failed me and didn't track my mileage correctly.

I feel pretty special and can hardly wait until Friday, my next run, to use it. It's already seated in my shoe just waiting for a chance to show its stuff!

Thank you, Coach!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Possessed and Pegasus Wins

Time: 35:07
Distance: 3.1 mi.
Pace: m/mi
Time of Day: 6:23 a.m.
Weather: 65°F. humid. It's going to be hot today.

My iPhone had problems this morning so my time & distance are approximate. I haven't had any trouble running with my iPhone since I upgraded to the iPhone 4. But this makes 2 times in a row I've had problems.

Last Saturday Runmeter didn't track all the miles I ran. I thought it was because part of the trail had tree cover. I just assumed the app couldn't get a good GPS reading. The problem today wasn't like that though. I was down to less than a mile to go on my run and the app "stopped", then the music started playing more than 1 song a time, the voice control app came on, then the music switched to an entirely different playlist, still playing songs really fast and overlapping each other. Seriously, it was like the phone was possessed. The music was weird, the voice control app kept starting and stopping, my Runmeter app kept starting and stopping. Finally, I just took of my headphones so I didn't hear all the weird noises. Once I stopped running I restarted my phone and that seemed to fix things.

Next subject…a couple of months ago when my feet were really hurting all the time, I bought a new pair of running shoes. I thought that maybe that was the cause of the foot pain. It wasn't. Things are better now. That's a different story.

But anyway I went to the running store to buy another pair of Nike Vomero's. That is what I started running in and have just continued to purchase them. They felt great except for the spot that always created a callous on my right foot. I figured it was just something runners had. But this shopping trip the store didn't have any Vomero's in stock. None of their other stores had any either so I bought a Nike Pegasus shoe.

Now, I know nothing about running shoes. I read the reviews but I don't follow the subject. I figure that's what the people in the running store are for. They should know which shoes will fit me and meet my needs. The Coach has worn the same style of Nike shoe for years. She doesn't even try them on anymore. That is what I hoped would develop with me and Vomero's. But it wasn't to be. So I was a bit apprehensive about switching model of shoes. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how the Pegasus felt when I ran.

When I figured out that the running shoes weren't the cause of my foot problems I decided to use the Vomero's for short runs and save the Pegasus shoes for long runs. Each shoe has it's own distinct fit and feeling but, I figured it would extend the life of my running shoes by switching back and forth. That was my thinking until my 10-miler last Saturday. I wore the Pegasus shoes and I noticed after the run that I didn't have the usual tender spot on my foot; no blister was forming. Wow that was awesome!

On today's short 3 miles I switched back to the Vomero's and sure enough, after just 3 miles I have the same red, sore spot. The callous didn't get a blister, but the area is tender. So I am a convert. Pegasus wins.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Amazing Run!

Time: 1:54:21
Distance: 10 mi.
Pace: 11:25 m/mi
Time of Day: 2 p.m.
Weather: 76°F. Sunshiny, slight breeze

Did you see the pace? 11:25 m/mi. Did you see that? Isn't that awesome!!!!!!! I have no clue where it came from, but I had an amazing run!

This past weekend I was in Chicago visiting The Coach (and grandkids). Saturday afternoon after soccer we headed out for my long run. I was apprehensive about the distance. I hadn't run 10 miles in a really long time. I left the headphones at home and told The Coach she would have to entertain me. The cool thing about running with her is that because she is in much better shape than me, she can talk while we run and I just listen and make an occasional comment. Cool! Thank you, Coach!!!

She led me down this trail, past a carnival tearing down, several parks, beside the train tracks and then back the same way. It was so awesome! The Coach kept offering to slow down but I just got in this groove and kept going. I'm sure it helped that the entire distance was flat as a pancake, but still…I had an amazing run!

I am really psyched now. I am really looking forward to the 1/2 marathon in October.

I didn't realize I hadn't posted my runs last week. I have run since 9/1. None of them were as a amazing as this run, but here's a brief recap.

9/8: 5.08 miles in 1:02:01. JB Trail with lots of hills.
9/6: 3.12 miles in 37:00 on Telegraph Rd.
9/4: 7.93 miles in 1:40:49 on Grants Farm Trail
9/3: 3.05 miles in 36:39 on Telegraph Rd.

I've also been working out at the gym with my personal trainer. I believe I can safely say all that work is really paying off in my running. Thank you Kelly! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Time: 1:19:19
Distance: 6.16 mi.
Pace: 12:53 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:30 a.m.
Weather: 77°F., very humid

Oh man, it was hot & humid this morning. As promised by The National Weather Service, a heat advisory was issued last night through Saturday. The humidity started climbing yesterday and appears to be with us through the weekend.

I thought that since it was early in the heat wave and morning I would be o.k. running early this morning. But, whew!, it was taxing. I walked maybe a quarter of a mile on the way back. But I'm o.k. with my time today.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Swear I Will Never Miss Another Workout

Treadmill Warmup
Time: 22:20 min.
Distance: 1.75 mi.
Pace: 12:46 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:15 a.m.

I did a 30-sec sprint during my warm up for strength training today.

I have missed a couple of strength training sessions but I wasn't too worried about the new routine Kelly left for me at the gym. But, boy was I wrong. I managed to get through the routine, but man, it kicked my butt. I will definitely be at the gym again on Friday and I'm thinking about going again Sunday and then run on the treadmill for my easy 3 miles.

It's going to be hot the next few days. A heat advisory has been issued from noon Wednesday until Saturday evening. My training schedule calls for 6 miles tomorrow and 8 on Saturday. I might be able to do the 6 miles early tomorrow, but I'm afraid by Saturday the humidity will be too much for me to run outside. As much as I don't like to do long runs on the treadmill, I think that's where I'll be come Saturday morning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cooler Temps are so Cool!

Time: 39:34
Distance: 3.24 mi.
Pace: 12:13 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:34 a.m.
Weather: 61°F.

Easy run today according to the training schedule. The temperatures in the 60's are definitely working in my favor. It is supposed to heat up by Thursday, near 100° again. Yuck!

I had a migraine yesterday and didn't get to work out with Kelly. I'll strength train tomorrow, run Thursday, and strength train on Friday, Monday will be my rest day this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Sunday Run

Time: 53:00 min.
Distance: 4.14 mi.
Pace: 12:47 m/mi
Time of Day: 10:30 a.m.
Weather: 72°F.

Another really great run. I chose a trail I haven't run in a long time. It is a loop and flat as a pancake. I figured that after yesterday's long run I needed an "easy" route. It was a beautiful morning. The sky was clear and oh so blue. There was just the slightest breeze. I know the east coast is suffering with Hurricane Irene, but gosh, it is gorgeous here.

Tomorrow I have to 'fess up to Kelly that I haven't done any strength training since last Monday. (It was an awful week for me.) I am doing the 100 push-up app on my iPhone. Kelly incorporates push ups in my workout occasionally. I'm still doing "girl" push ups, knees on the ground, but I can do 25 of them. I'm so thrilled I can do any kind of push up that I downloaded this app to keep me working on them.

A Fabulous Run!

Time: 1:29:44
Distance: 7.0 mi.
Pace: 12:49 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:57 a.m.
Weather: 65°F.

Today's run was awesome! The weather was great. Oh how I love even slightly cooler weather. I am just not a hot weather runner. But today, the temperature was in the 60's, the sky was bright blue, a light wind. Absolutely perfect conditions for a run. And run I did. I was scheduled for 6 miles but I felt great and decided to try a variation on my neighborhood 6-mile route. I didn't realize that little detour would add an extra mile to the route. But it was a great variation and I ran the complete route. I don't ever remember running longer than I was scheduled to. This was an accomplishment in a couple of ways.

First, I can physically run more distance than I thought I could. Second, I can run longer & further than I thought I could. I am a very emotional (Is that the right way to say it?) runner. The Coach frequently reminds me to "get out of my head and just run". So to run farther than the training schedule says is a big deal for me. I have to remember how great today's run felt and use it as a springboard for better running.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Resting Indoors

It is hot, hot, hot again today. The temperature right now is hovering around 100-101° with the heat index above 105°. Good thing today is my scheduled rest/day off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Got Lost on the Road of Life

Time: 45:07 min.
Distance: 3.76 mi.
Pace: 12:01 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:19 a.m.
Weather: 76°F. humid

I've been running. Honest I have. It's just that a combination of unrelated factors have hindered my blogging here.

First, The Son got engaged and married so I have been caught in the wedding crazies since April. Then, Google did some kind of update-thingy and I couldn't figure out how to access my blog. Anytime I tried to sign on I got a message that said I wasn't "authorized" to "access" this area. Hmmm? But today I was determined and, why, just look at what a little determination will do.

So, back to running…

I'm training for the St. Louis Rock & Roll half-marathon in October. I'm pretty excited. I've made changes in my overall fitness training which are having a huge impact on my running.

First, I am working out at the gym 1 day a week with a personal trainer, Kelly. She's pretty awesome and I love working out with her even when I can't lift my arms the next day. I started with Kelly to improve my appearance for the wedding, but it has been such a positive impact on more than just my fitness level that I'm keeping up with it. It's expensive so it is a sacrifice in other areas, but even The Love thinks it is worthwhile. The biggest area the strength training has impacted is my upper body strength. Even though Kelly works my legs till they quiver, the improvement in my upper body has had a significant impact on my running. I am more upright which helps my breathing, improves my form, and I hunch over less when I get tired. It's awesome! (BTW, I can now do 23 push ups and I just started body weight pull-ups. Oh yeah!)

Also, Kelly has taught me the importance of stretching after I work out. Both with her and on my own and also when I run. That has really helped my recovery after my runs.

Second, I incorporate short sprints in my warm up runs at the gym. I seriously don't understand how 2 30-second sprints 2x a week improves my speed, but it does. My shorter runs are almost 60 sec. faster than last winter. My long runs are still over 13 min/mile, but I am still adding miles at this point and am not worried about the speed.

Third, I went to a podiatrist about all the foot pain I had. My feet reached a point of hurting almost all the time. I bought new running shoes when my old pair had only 250 miles on them because I thought that was the problem. But the aches and pains continued. So I broke down, sucked it up and made an appointment. My last visit to the podiatrist was in 2002. And, you know those whitish-yellow orthotics he gave me back then? Well, who knew they were designed to be temporary, lasting only 6-12 months, not 10 years. The official diagnosis is plantar facsiatis. Oh joy. :-(

So the podiatrist gave me the following instructions:
  • No going barefoot at all—not even to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Get a pair of Crocs to use as house slippers.
  • Give up the floppy flip-flops. (Boo-hoo. I love my flip-flops all summer long!)
  • Wear only shoes with an arch in them, or
  • Use the "new" temporary orthotic insert until I get permanent inserts, or
  • Wear shoes with a 2" heel or higher.
  • Do 4 specific stretches before I run.
The immediate good news was that I had to go buy a couple new pairs of shoes to get me through the rest of the summer. The doctor also gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine to help heal the current inflammation. Now I'm taking some kind of mega-strength Advil-type medicine. I go back in 3 weeks to get my feet cast for the permanent inserts.

So all of this sounds old lady-like and ugly-shoe-like and no-more-cute-shoes-like. But it really isn't. I found some cute Crocs to use as my house slippers. Who knew there were like 50-million different styles of Crocs. And, I found a nice pair of Merrell sandals to finish out the summer. And, the absolute most important thing is that my feet don't hurt! At all! Anymore! Oh my gosh-it's a miracle! Well, OK, not really a miracle, but darn close. I love my podiatrist!

So now I am running pain free. My feet dont' hurt and with the stretching I do, my hips feel better. D*** life is good these days!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Strong 4 Miles

Time: 50:00 min.
Distance: 3.98 mi.
Pace: 12:33 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:20 a.m.
Weather: 63°F. cloudy, overcast, windy

I can't remember the last time I ran 4 miles. But I am working very hard to stick to my training schedule. I felt so good on my last 2 runs that I figured today would be a comfortable stretch and I was right. I should have eaten a banana before I headed out. I was feeling really hungry by the time I got back, even weak. I quickly ate a banana and drank some water but it took about 15-20 minutes before I felt better.  A lesson to be learned there.

Monday, April 25, 2011

At The Gym

I had a great strength training workout this morning. I really like the workout Kelly designed for me. Especially those little shoulder moves-the one where I do a total of 80 reps on each shoulder. Yeah, that one!

I meet with Kelly again Wednesday. No clue what she will have in store for me.

Oops! I Did It Again

Sunday's Run

Distance: 2.96 mi.
Time: 36:40 min.
Pace: 12:23 m/mi
Time of Day: 10:15 a.m.
Weather: 53°F, drizzling at start, cool, cloudy

The Love was concerned I would be cold when I appeared in running shorts and a short sleeved t-shirt. I assured him I would be fine. And, I was. A great run. It actually was a little over 3 miles, but I completely forgot to start my app until I had run a bit.

The Love dropped me off at the grocery store and I ran home. It gave me some different scenery and road to travel. With all the rain we've had a lot of the places I typically run are either muddy or flooded. So I'm pretty much running along the main road by house.

Oops! I Missed a Run

Friday, 04/22

Distance: 2.54 miles
Time: 30:04 min.
Pace: 11:50 m/mi
Time of day: 9:45 a.m.
Weather: 64°F, cloudy, rainy, windy

Today was a really good run. I ran at the school track and just for kicks I ran it the opposite direction. My breathing was good and my legs felt strong. This is a step-back week which is why I'm running in the 2-3 mile range.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On My Own

I had a total bummer of a day yesterday. The thunder was rumbling with flashes of lightening when I got up. No running in the morning. The afternoon forecast looked better and I felt sure that I would be able to run after my Weight Watchers weigh-in. (That was a downer. I gained .6 lbs.) There were severe thunderstorm warnings all evening. We had a tornado close by and it rained up until after 10 p.m. So I missed Tuesday's run.

However, with my workout paper from Kelly in hand I sweat through the gym routine this morning on my own. As I told The Love later, "It's not nearly as much fun when you don't have your personal trainer encouraging you." But I did it and feel really good.

Not every day is perfect I realize, but I'm glad yesterday doesn't happen very often.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mondays with Kelly

Monday's Workout

Second meeting with my personal trainer, Kelly. I had a great workout! Those biceps are going to be sore tomorrow! I'll workout on my own Wednesday & Friday this week. Due to a business trip Monday & Tuesday, Kelly & I will meet again next Wednesday.

I really like the workout she designed. It uses quite a variety of gym equipment. Free weights, machines, floor work, balance ball, and these little blue unstable disks I stand on to do bicep curls. It's also amazing how much I sweat! Apparently I wasn't working very hard when I was doing weight lifting on my own. I never, ever sweat that much.

This morning Kelly had me doing some side ab work. My right side was burning when she said, "O.k. now roll over and work the other side." To which I replied, "Yeah. I decided I only want my right side to be firm for the wedding pictures". She laughed and said, "Yeah, no!"

No Rhythm

Sunday, April 17

Distance: 2.01 miles
Time: 24:35 min.
Pace: 12:13 m/mi
Time of day: 6:30 p.m.
Weather: 73°F. A beautiful evening to run!

I was so sore Saturday evening from my new workout at the gym and then running Saturday morning that I could barely move. But Sunday morning I felt much better. My schedule didn't let me run until the evening but that was o.k. because it was beautiful outside.

Unfortunately, my run wasn't so great. I never hit a good rhythm. I was fast, then slow, then fast again. Breathing was just as erratic. My legs felt like big ole' tree trunks. But I stuck it out and made my usual Sunday 2 miles. That's a good thing.

2011 Dash for Diabetes 5k

Saturday, April 16

Distance: 3.13 miles
Time: 37:50 min.
Pace: 12:05 m/mi
Time of day: 9 a.m.
Weather: 40°F, overcast, drizzly, chilly

I set a goal recently to run one race every month. The half-marathon will be in October so I've scheduled 5k's and, hopefully, a couple 10k's over the next few months. Today's Dash for Diabetes was the first.

There was a really small turnout for the race, maybe 100 runners. Having never done this race before I don't know if this was typical or if some people skipped the race due to the weather.

The course was 2x around the perimeter of The Arch grounds. Thank goodness we ran down the one big hill. I'm not ready for any steep hills.

I had a great run and it's a great cause. Many thanks to the other runner who sprinted with me to the finish line.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hi, I'm Kelly.

My first session with a personal trainer is over. It was so much more than I dreamed it could be. Kelly is easy to talk to, but I can tell she won't hesitate to push me.

It was quite an hour this morning at 7 a.m. I was sweating profusely when we finished up. We didn't do anything really, really tough. I didn't spend 60 minutes doing crunches. Instead, Kelly showed me how to "engage" my core while doing all my other exercises. She complimented me on good form and said I was stronger than she was expecting. Nice to hear. My big weakness (aside from the soft, fluffy abs) is balance. Yes, it needs a lot of help. The good news is that you can see improvements in balance pretty quickly.

Kelly offered a serious workout, but I don't think I'll be sore tomorrow. Well, ok, maybe a little. She's good about explaining the whys and hows of each exercise. So I'm excited about my next session.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Feeling Good About Me

How does Jennifer Hudson sing it on those Weight Watchers commercials? "It's a new day; it's a new dawn, And I'm feeling good." I feel good about me today!

I signed up for 10 sessions with a personal trainer at my gym. I want to work on my core. It's very soft and flabby and I just really dislike it all the time. I know that it's possible to have great abs under a thick layer of fat. So I'm working on the fat issue by following Weight Watchers new PointsPlus program. I rejoined a month ago and I've lost 6.2 lbs.

I was talking to Coach Jeni today and told her that for the first time in my life I am in a place where I am doing this for me and my health. Always before there has been some external motivation, or in some cases no motivation, only guilt. I believe I got to this point by asking a simple question of Jeni in November 2009. "Do you think I could run a half marathon?"

That simple, timid question on an early morning walk became a journey to a more healthy me. While I want to trim down and tone up my mid-section so it looks better, I am primarily motivated by a desire to improve my health. I have experienced the huge positive impact running has had in my life and now I want to experience the positive impact of even better physical and mental health.

It continues to amaze me how running is such a positive influence in my life. Although I struggled last summer and really slacked off during the long, bitterly cold winter, I have never considered not running on a regular basis. Running is one of the top 5 best things I have ever done to improve my life.

So I eagerly wait to hear when my first training session is going to be. I know I will feel sore after those first few workouts, but oh, the end result is going to be awesome!