Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh treadmill, how I love you

Well, I usually don't love the treadmill, but I have to this time of the year.  I forgot that last winter when I was a newbie, I ran the treadmill all the time.  In fact, I was scared to hit the pavement for a real run.  That is, until I had a 5k to run and thought that I better get used to running outside.  That was a big wake-up call because running outside was so much harder than the treadmill.  Fast-forward a year and I have run about five 5k's, an 8k, two 10k's, and a 15 mile race.

I decided that I would stop using the "it's too dark and cold outside" excuse and just go to the gym to run on the dreaded treadmill.  If I do go to the gym to run the treadmill, it's either early in the afternoon on my day off from work, or late in the evening around 8:30 after the evening rush of people has left.  Tonight, I decided to go to the South Charleston Rec Center.  I'm not a member of the rec, so it's $4 a visit, but I think it's very worth the money considering their treadmills have televisions on them, and they stay open till 10:00 at night.  My lame gym down the street has 3 treadmills and only stays open till 9.

I tuned into the Carrie Underwood special and started my run.  I needed to get a speed workout in, since the 5k is this coming Sunday and I haven't been running very much.  I did a 1 mile warmup @ 11:30, 4 x 1/4 mi @ 9:13 with 1/4 mile recoveries, and a 1 mile cooldown.  Actually, I did the first speed interval at an 8:48 pace, but that about killed me, so I droped it down a little, lol.  9:13 felt pretty comfortable, though, and by the end I was pooped.  It was probably my best and most productive run in a month.  It was a great workout.  I'll probably take tomorrow off from running, but if I feel skippy I may do the Wii Active or something at home after work.

Workout stats
Distance: 4 miles
Ave pace: 11:09
Ave HR: forgot the HR monitor on purpose, lol, it's been elevated since I've been a couch potato)

A little update

I know I have been MIA for the past two months.  I have definitely been taking a long break from serious running and working out all together.  After the Distance Run, I kind of went into my "fat phase", if you will, lol.  This is the phase where you really don't care about working out or eating poorly, you are happy and content just being and enjoying life.  That is, until you suck it up and get on the scale, lol.  I realized that during my training for the race, I simultaneously trained myself to eat whatever I wanted (example- eating wings, Chinese buffet, etc with the guys all the time) because I was burning it off running.  Exit running and combine that with still eating what you want and you end up with a couple extra inches on your waist and about 5 more pounds.  But, I have been happy, lol.  Except that I have a 5k to run on December 13th, the first in a 3-race winter series.  I have been out here and there running small distances, barely reaching 10 miles per week (ouch!).  I definitely have the cold winter weather blues, combined with the fact that it gets dark at 5:30 now.  I used to get off work at 6:00 and could run outside till 8:30.  Now, all I want to do is go home and get under the blanket with my kitties. 
New Years Resolution time is just around the corner, and I will revamp my eating and working out schedule accordingly, lol.  I definitely need a better plan for the cold winter blues time of the year.  For all you guys who have supported me through my tough training times, I'm sorry I haven't been around.  I will be back, I promise!  My 5k is next Sunday, so I will update you on that.  I'm proud of you guys, training and running your half and full marathons while I'm sitting on the couch!  Keep it up and run a few extra miles for me!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Long time no blog

Hey guys, sorry I have been missing lately.  My excuse is that I'm changing job locations, so I'm not going to be at a location where I have internet at my disposal all day anymore.  I used to work at a pharmacy in South Charleston, which is crazy busy, then started working at the new Charleston location, which is super slow.  Well, now I'm taking the assistant manager position at the South Charleston store, so I will be working there all the time and won't have internet.  The internet thing sucks, but that's the price I will pay for being asst. manager and getting a raise!

I ran a 5k yesterday morning.  It's the first race I have run since the 15 miler on September 5th.  I really didn't have a goal in mind.  Considering I've only been running 2-3 days per week and have had a hard time with speed work, I really anticipated having a pretty bad time.  But, I thought what the heck, I just like running the local races and getting the race t-shirt, lol.  Earlier this week, I did a speed workout at the local high school track.  My goal for that workout was to keep an 8:45 pace during the speed portions.  Surprisingly, I did it with ease.  I did a 3x800 with 400 recoveries.  Not a big workout, but something to get my legs moving at that speed again.  That gave me a lot of confidence back, since I have been having a horrible time with speed lately.

For the 5k I originally thought about treating it like a speed workout because I didn't think I could maintain the 8:45 pace I did during my track workout.  But, when I got there they had race bibs and the little timing chip and everything.  They never do that for the small local 5k's, lol.  I guess they just wanted to be high tech and have the results posted quickly.  Basically, when I saw that they had race bibs and timing chips my strategy changed.  I kind of felt obligated to give it my all.  I warmed up for about 3/4 mile before the race was suposed to start.  Then they announced that they were running behind about 10 minutes.  Crap!  I hate when that happens.  I decided to keep warming up, then luckily I came back right as they were starting the runners.  The weather was about 55 degrees and wet out.

I started out with an 8:30-8:45 pace and felt pretty good.  At the halfway mark I started to get a little tired.  I thought about walking for a few seconds at that point, but for some reason I didn't.  I was passing people the whole time, picking them off one by one.  This made me not want to slow down, so I just kept pushing.  When I got about a little over 1/8 mile away I saw the time clock.  It was about 26:50 or so, and I knew I wasn't going to PR (my PR is 26:55).  But, I started kicking really hard and finished in 27:11.  It was funny because this woman in front of me looked really shocked as I busted it out at the end and passed her.  For some reason I can pick it up at the end, even when I feel like dying, lol.  Needless to say, I was so surprised at myself.  Driving to the race I thought I would be lucky to finish in 29 minutes, but I did very well.  I only finished 16 seconds off of my PR!  I guess I found my speed, it just took some time and some rest. 

There are quite a few 5ks this fall, so I'm going to work on improving my time.  The next one is October 31st.  That's just two weeks, so I'm just going to shoot for less than 27 minutes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yes, I am still running

I haven't been very active lately on my blog or in general.  I try to take time out daily so I can read everybody's blogs and leave comments, but I just haven't had the time to.  So, I'm sorry if I haven't commented or read your blogs lately.  I'm struggling with my running.  I simply don't feel like doing hard tempo or speed workouts or doing the long 10 mile runs.  I signed up for a half marathon at the end of October, but some things have come up (things that I could put off if I wanted to) and I don't feel like training for it.  I am still running and will continue to run, but not on specific schedule.  I am still going to keep my mileage around 20-25 miles per week.  I enjoy my little 5-6 mile easy runs, so I will probably do a lot of those, and I'm still going to have a long run day, but I'm going to keep those about 8 miles.

I really want to lose weight.  I'm so horrible at it.  I don't know why.  The biggest barrier that most people have is exercising, and I don't have that problem at all.  I love to run and exercise, so that's not a barrier for me.  My barrier is eating anything and everything I want to.  I just have to teach myself (again) that I don't have to eat all the time.  It's so hard for me, because I'm hungry all the freaking time, and I can't stand to have hunger pains.  I have talked and talked and talked about how I need to calorie count.  I'm going to try to do it.  I'm also going to try that 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.  We finally got our rec room finished, so I'm going to give it a try.  I figure I can do that in the evenings and days that I'm not running.  I feel like I'm letting everybody down, especially myself.  I jumped right into that half marathon, not really thinking, not knowing how I would feel after the Distance Run.  On a positive note, I am doing the local Winter Series, a 5k, 8k, and 10k from December-February.  I did it last year, and that kept me moving during the winter.

I ran 5 miles early this morning on the treadmill at my local gym.  I hadn't run in 5 days.  I had to work Friday thru Monday, had a dinner with my sister and a birthday dinner to go to this weekend, so running didn't happen.  Bad Tammy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The speed blues

Speed!  Where are you, speed?  Come out come out wherever you are!  Speed!!!!

Has somebody found my speed?  If so, I desparately need it back.  I lost it a few weeks ago and can't seem to find it. 

I complained a few posts back about losing my mojo and how I've had nothing but bad runs lately.  Well, I had an awesomely amazing long 10 mile run on Sunday and have had some 5-6 mile runs here and there as well.  Distance doesn't seem to be a problem a bit.  I was afraid I had lost that, but I haven't.  However, whenever I attempt a tempo run or a speed workout, I fall on my face.  I just can't maintain anything remotely "fast" by my standards.  By fast, for me at least, I mean keeping a 9-ish pace during speed or tempo runs.  My pace for the long run is about 11:30-12 min/mile, and regular easy runs about an 11:00 min/mile pace.  I am fine with those paces, but faster is not going so well.  For example, I went out yesterday evening for a speed session, 7 miles total with a 1.5 mile warmup, 3x 1mi @ 9:00 min/mile with 1/2 mile recoveries, and a 1 mile cooldown.  I barely made it through the first speed mile (aka, I had to stop and walk a few times), then I gave up on the speedwork and ran the rest of the way at a slow 11:30-ish pace.  I don't usually give up on things, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the speedwork for that run at least. 

Maybe I'm wrong for thinking I could jump back into the same paces for my tempo and speed workouts that I ran the last month before my race.  Ok, after typing that, I really realize that I am wrong for jumping back into the same paces.  I did taper for a couple weeks before the race and I took a week off after the race.  So, in 3 weeks time, I lost my speed.  How ridiculous is that?  So, I'm not a genetically gifted runner, and maybe getting to a slow 9:00 min/mile pace takes a lot of work and lots of weeks of training for me.  I'm ok with that.  At least I still have my distance.  I just need to slow down my pace on these tempo runs and speed workouts.  Maybe I will regain some confidence if I just slow down the pace.  Maybe a 10:00 min/mile pace instead of a 9:30.  That's what I will do. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A redeeming long run

So, I had some crap runs last week.  I am still new to this racing thing, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel tapering before a race, running the race, then jumping back into training again.  My race was September 5th, then I took a week off with some recovery runs, then started back with a training plan this past week.  Every run this past week felt pretty bad.  Well, not too bad till I got to my tempo run Friday.  I felt like I had lost my endurance and speed.  But, I think maybe I was just having a bad run/ a bad week.  I had a 10 mile run scheduled for yesterday, which I ran today instead.  Considering my bad runs last week, I thought there was no way I could do a 10 miler, but I set out to do it anyways.  I secretly told myself I could stop at 8 if I needed to.  Well, I ended up having a great run!  To my surprise, my endurance/stamina was there and I was able to complete the run just fine and even pick it up a little in the middle.  That makes me so happy, and gives me some confidence.  My last post I was talking about how I felt like I didn't want to run anymore sometimes, but I think it's because I was getting burned out before my race and then had some bad runs afterward.  Honestly, long run days are my favorite.  I get to run at a nice, slow, comfortable pace and just enjoy my surroundings.  It definitely makes me feel a lot better when I have a good long run, and that carries me into the week on my next runs.

Running stats
Total miles: 10
Time: 2:02
Ave pace: 11:50 min/mile

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Case of the Lazies

Do you ever just feel like you don't want to run anymore?  I mean, I know this is something I shouldn't talk about, lol, but lately I have had this lazy feeling like that.  Like, sometimes I feel like running takes up a lot of my free time, when I could be doing "funner" things like hanging out with friends, watching football games, going to the mall, etc.  I'm sure most all of you who run regularly have to frequently tell friends/family you can't do something because you "have" to run.  They just don't understand, then I get asked why I just don't run tomorrow.  Haha!  I am running tomorrow, too!  Sorry.  I run 5 days per week, if I take an extra day off, I'm screwed and can't get my mileage in.  They just don't understand.  Anyways, I have been forcing myself out the door lately, against my will.  I have a half marathon to run November 1st, and I'm not just laying down and giving up because I don't "feel" like running.  I need to tough it out.  I know I will get out of this rut, it just really sucks while you're in it.  I'm so incredibly lucky to have friends on here and on dailymile to keep me going.  Thanks guys!

I ran a tempo run yesterday evening.  It was terrible.  Maybe I wouldn't have this "I don't want to run: feeling if my runs were good.  I was to run a 1 mile warmup, 4 miles at 9:35, and a 1 mile cooldown.  I could only manage 3 miles at tempo pace.  I think I took too much time off and ran too many lower mileage weeks since I tapered before the race the last week of August.  That pace seemed much too difficult yesterday, when just 3 weeks ago, I would've killed that!  My confidence definitely dropped yesterday.  I'm hoping that I bounce back pretty quick.  I'm sure I will after a few speed/tempo runs.  I'm supposed to run 10 miles today, but my Mountaineers are playing an evening game and it's hot and humid outside.  I might run it tomorrow morning.  If the sun goes away, I will TRY to get outside by 6:00 this evening so I can run and watch the game.  This chair is just so comfy!

Running stats:
Total miles: 6
Time: 1:02
Ave pace: 10:15

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the grind

Today was my first day back on a rigid training schedule.  I feel well-rested after some lower mileage weeks.  The week of the race, I had about 24 miles and last week I only had 13.  I think I really needed a break.  I'm not sure how to describe this, but I noticed that last few weeks of hard training that my tibias felt sore.  I'm pretty flexible and generally sit in chairs or on the floor in weird positions (I will sit with my legs folded underneath me).  I noticed that when I put pressure on my tibias they felt sore/bruised.  It's really hard to explain, but I know that they didn't feel right.  Now they feel pretty good.  Hopefully I can jump back into 30-ish miles per week without that feeling coming back. 

Today I ran an easy 5 miler.  I meant to run before the sun came out and heated things up, but I didn't.  It was about noon when I got outside.  It got pretty warm out, about 86 degrees.  I ran it in 55:55.  I thought that was funny.  Heart rate averaged around 157.

I'm supposed to run 5 miles tomorrow, but tomorrow is the one day per month I work out of town and will be gone from 7AM to 8PM.  So, I won't be running tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflections on my training

So, my big race is over and done with.  I reached my goal time and survived.  I was really fatigued the last 3 miles, and I keep wondering if this was because I exerted myself too much from the start and on the hills, or because I tapered a little too much, or both.  I guess I will never know!  Overall, it was a successful finish to 16 weeks of training.  I have built a good base of mileage at 30 miles per week, from nothing just 4 months ago.  I have a half marathon on November 1st in Pittsburgh.  I was sure to sign up for something quickly so I wouldn't completely stop running, lol.  I don't think I will ever completely stop running, but I was getting burned out of the intense training runs.  I think after this half marathon, I will relax my training in the winter to shorter distance races.  I plan to run a winter series of a 5k in December, an 8k in January, and a 10k in February.  That will keep me moving at least.

So, what changes am I going to make to my training plan?  I would like to work on speed.  I think I'm going to incorporate more speedwork into my plan, but nothing high mileage wise.  Going to the track to run a few miles of speedwork once per week should help with that without being too taxing.  That's all I think I will change running wise.

I would like to make serious changes to my diet.  My original goal for starting this whole running expedition wasn't to become a good runner, but to lose weight.  And guess what?  After 16 weeks, I lost like 2 pounds.  How ridiculous is that?  I simply eat too much.  I eat all the time.  And it's not really that I eat bad stuff, I just eat around the clock.  I have no will power.  My stomach tells me I'm hungry all the time, and I respond.  I really think I have a problem, lol.  And I don't want to hear, 'oh, but you gained muscle and muscle weighs more than fat,' or 'you lost inches, and that's what counts'.  No, no, and no.  I weigh 150 pounds, and I'm 5'3.  I am overweight.  I can plainly see that I have plenty of excess body fat on me.  Rubbish about muscle mass and such...the muscle is hidden under fat and I want it gone!

I think there are a couple of reasons that contributed to my failure to lost weight.  One is the obvious thinking that I can eat what I want because I will just run it off.  I get that all the time from my husband and friends.  If I eat something "bad", they always tell me it's ok I will run it off.  Another reason is that I overcompensate.  I think I need a pre-run energy bar or mini meal and a post-run recovery bar, when I really don't.  I eat enough for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to more than give me enough energy to run.  I don't need to eat that darn Zone Bar before my run.  I have to calorie count.  Period.  I tried to blog my food log and failed miserably at that.  It's difficult enough to write down what I eat, much less go to the trouble to format it in a blog.  I need to keep a personal journal of my food intake.  I did it 2 years ago successfully, why can't I do it again??!?!?

Cross training.  Period.  I need to do it.  On the days I don't run, I need to cross train, not sit on my lazy butt in the evil comfy recliner.  There for a while, I did a good job of going to Zumba and doing the Wii Active, then I just stopped.  I also tried to make weight training a priority (Sorry I failed at this, too, B.o.B) but that didn't work out.  I gave my friend Barbie the advice to schedule her runs in her calendar like an appointment.  I need to take my own advice and schedule my cross training in my calendar.  Weight training is going to make a huge difference in my effort to lose weight and shed some body fat.  I just need to do it!

So, those are the things I'm going to change.  Getting faster, eating better, and cross training.  Fingers are crossed.  If I fall off the wagon, I need you guys to send me a cyber smack in the face!  I know I can count on B.o.B. for this one, lol. 

Training for my November 1st half marathon starts Monday.  I switched my long runs to Saturday because I have been neglecting my husband with Sunday long runs for many weeks.  Sundays used to be our day to sleep in together and have a big breakfast.  Then, I started jumping out of bed at 7 or 8 AM on Sunday for my run.  He misses me, and I really miss our Sundays too.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Official Race Results!

Sorry I haven't posted up all week.  I tapered all this week, with a 3 miler on Monday, a 3 miler on Tuesday, and a 5 mile hilly run on Wednesday.  I worried that I didn't get enough miles in and that I tapered too much, but I felt really strong on my hilly 5 miler.  I managed a 9:30 pace on that course, which involved lots of rolling hills.  So, on to the race!

I woke up about 4:50AM to eat a bagel with PB.  I thought I would stick with what has worked for me.  I drank a PureSport electrolyte drink at about 6:30, an hour before the race.  I had tried this drink before my hilly 5 miler this week and felt great, so I thought I would do it again.  My stomach felt a little full for the race, and this worried me, but ended up not really being a problem.  Of course, I had the "race runs" this morning.  I get them every time I race.  I still felt like I needed to use the bathroom one more time at the start line, but obviously couldn't.  By the time I got to the hills, the feeling was gone.

My goal was to keep a 10:00 min/mile pace and finish in 2:30.  The weather was perfect again, starting off in the high 50's.  It was actually kind of chilly.  I felt really good.  I had a fully charged Garmin and iPod and my heart rate monitor, so I was all set.  I immediately settled into a very comfortable stride and felt great cardiovascularly.  I looked down and was running a 9:30 pace, which felt very comfortable, so I decided I would go with that and see what happened.  At the 3.5 mile point, the hill started.  I knew this would be my test because when you're having a bad day, the hills will kick your ass and send you home crying, but when you're having a good day, they aren't a problem.  Luckily, I was having a great day!  I originally planned on running an 11:00-ish pace on the hills, but again I felt pretty good.  I think I ended up having a 10:30-ish pace up the big hill.  I was actually passing people on the hills because I had been training on them for months, which gave me a lot of confidence.  I flew down the hill, trying to make up some time.  On this portion, I started to get a side stitch under my left rib, but it went away after about two miles.  When I hit the halfway point, I looked at my watch and it was exactly 1:15, so I was perfectly on pace for my 2:30 goal if I could just keep a 10:00 pace or faster.

Once I was back on the flat, I was relieved.  I tried to keep a 9:30 pace, but I was getting tired from starting out a little too fast combined with the hills.  I started slipping into the 9:45-ish pace.  Surprisingly, my daddy came out to cheer me on.  He showed up at 3 different points on the course, which was nice.  My husband, Eric, and a couple of friends were at mile 13 to cheer me on as well.  I seriously needed it because at mile 12 I really started to fatigue.  The idea that I had to run 30 more minutes seemed impossible.  At this point, I was stopping at every water station to take a 10 second breather and drink some water.  I was really struggling to keep my pace under 10:00.  At mile 14 I was so tired!  Fourteen miles was the longest I had ever run before, so I was ready for it to be over.  At this point, I had slowed to a 10:15 pace.  I just didn't have the strength left to muster up anything faster.  My heart rate was off the charts.  It had been in the 170's for most of the race, except the hills, but the last four miles on the flat it was in the mid 180's, reaching 190 when I hit the track to finish.  I reached Hansford Street and saw the entrance to Laidley Field.  I was so happy, yet so tired.  Seeing the end gave me some strength, and as soon as I hit the track, I found the strength to run a 9:00 min/mile pace.  My husband, dad, and four other friends were standing on the fence cheering me on, so I couldn't disappoint.  I rounded the track and saw the time clock.  It was still on 2:27.  Holy crap, I was going to break my goal of 2:30!  I held my pace and kicked it in in 2:28:05 (a 9:53 pace).  It was finally over!!!!!

Official race results (till the complete results are posted)
I finished 334 out of 482.  For those wondering, my running friend Andrew, who I train with sometimes, finished in 1:46, placing 47th.  You can see my splits here.

My legs, my chest, my ribs all hurt.  My legs are still hurting as I type this, lol.  The race was difficult, but I did it.  There was no way in my life I would have ever thought I could run anything more than a mile, and here I finished a 15 mile race, beating my goal.  Sixteen weeks of hard training and I did it.  When I decided to take on this race, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or what I would learn along the way.  Yes, I ran 15 miles, but I learned that I can accomplish something if I put my mind to it and have a good plan.

Thank you to all of my runner friends out there in the blog world and on dailymile.  I know for a fact that I couldn't have done any of this without the support of all of you each and every day.  This has been the best thing I have ever done for myself in my life, and I hope to continue running and taking on new goals.

I have one question: now that I have tackled the Charleston Distance Run, what should I change the name of my blog to? 

Monday, August 31, 2009

Refreshed and ready to run

I cut the end of my training week last week a little short mileage wise and am on my taper this week.  The race is this coming Saturday!  I'm getting really excited, especially for the race packet pickup/pasta dinner on Friday.  I was starting to get burned out pretty bad, like I didn't even want to run, but the rest I have been getting lately and the awesome support you guys have been giving me have made me feel much better!  I only ran 4 days last week, mostly easy runs aside from my 14 miler and short 6 mile tempo run, and took Saturday and Sunday off.  I feel much better today and am giddy to get outside and run after work.  I am running three miles today at a nice easy pace.  Who wouldn't look forward to a little enjoyable run like that?  After all these weeks of training, I feel like I have a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  You guys have reminded me that I have put in the hard work and am ready for the race, and that makes me feel really good!  Maybe that is what taper week is all about, relaxing before the race and looking back at all the work you've done.  I have let my diet slip up quite a bit the last few weeks.  I haven't really gained any weight, but am stuck at 150 pounds.  I'm ok with this right now.  After my race Saturday, I will be able to sit down and reflect upon my training and what I want to change.  I will be making a new training plan for my half marathon that is on November 1st.  I vow to stick with cross training, and hopefully a structured diet.  I am in a way baffled that I didn't lose much weight (3 pounds is all) during these 16 weeks, but in a way I'm not surprised.  A lot of the time I cheated on eating nutritiously (daily) and I know I was consuming too many calories.  My new plan will hopefully identify that, and I can come up with a diet I can stick to.  My goal for the next training period is not going to be to run a fast half marathon, but to improve my basic health, and this starts with a solid nutritious foundation.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Let the tapering begin!!

So, I had been contemplating on my big 10 mile tempo run.  I was supposed to run it Thursday, but it got pushed back because I was lazy on Tuesday and didn't run.  I got an email from a local running club wishing us good luck and reminding us to "tank up and start tapering."  It said "You can not make any more gains and can only hurt your chances for a good race".  I have read this type of advice before, but it was a reminder I didn't expect.  I began to wonder if a 10 mile tempo run would be too much a week out from the race.  I've never run a race like this before and have no experience tapering.  With that advice, on top of being a little burned out, I decided I would still do the tempo run, but not 10 miles.  I settled for 6 miles.  I'm glad I did that because at the end, my knees were rather sore.  The weather was nice out, just a little humid.  I forgot my iPod, so that stunk.  Overall, I wasn't really feeling the run, but I got it in.  So, now I'm going to sit back and enjoy my taper.  I have three small runs scheduled before Saturday's race.  I have two easy 3 mile runs and a 5 mile tempo run scheduled next week, followed by 2 days of rest and then the race.  That sounds pretty good to me!  My legs feel a little sore from all these weeks of training.  I should be fresh and ready to go come next Saturday!  I'm going to enjoy eating pasta this week, hahah.  Mmmm, Olive Garden!

Running stats:
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 59:48
Ave pace: 9:58; tempo splits: 9:33, 9:24, 9:22, 9:16
Ave HR:  166

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Somebody give me some motivation!

I don't know what's wrong with me lately!  I have been coming home and sitting my butt down in the recliner and taking a nap after work.  That means I have to force myself to get up and go run.  Then, I come back home after my run and go back to sleep!  I think I'm getting burned out all of a sudden, and it's scaring me!  Good thing my race is next Saturday.  I mean, I'm really excited and proud that I've come this far, but I think my body may be telling me it's time for a little rest.  After my 14 mile run Sunday, I took Monday off and was supposed to run Tuesday, but didn't.  I pushed that workout to Wednesday, then waited till 8:00PM to do it.  I ran 5 miles on the treadmill.  Tonight, I ran 4 miles outside in my neighborhood.  I didn't want to do that, I wanted to stay in my chair and watch a movie, lol.  I think I'm tired of having a structured running schedule with big 14 mile long runs and 10 mile tempo runs in the same week.  After my race next Saturday, I'm going to take a couple of weeks off from serious training.  I'm still going to run, maybe 15-20 miles each week, then jump back into a training plan again.  I have another half marathon on November 1st in Pittsburgh.  As long as I keep my mileage up between now and then, I should be fine.  I'm just going for the experience.  So, somebody please motivate me!!  My last big run before the race is tomorrow.  It is a 10 mile tempo run.  I'm not excited about it!  But, then I start taper for the race.  I'm almost done!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A glorious 14 mile run

Yesterday, I went out for my highly anticipated 14 mile run.  If you remember last week's long run was a complete fail, as I was having stomach issues and was running a quicker pace than I normally do.  I couldn't run up any of the hills and by the last two miles, I was walking mostly.  This run was a complete 180 from last week's run.  I felt amazing and killed those hills!  The temperature was unlike anything we have had here lately.  I woke up early as usual to beat the heat, and realized it was only 62 degrees outside.  I checked the and found out it was going to be in the 60's all morning and early afternoon, so I went back to sleep for a while.  I ended up running at 9:30, and on top of the cool temperature it was overcast, so there was no sun beating down on me.  It was the absolute PERFECT running situation and I thrived.  Now, if only the weather could do a repeat of yesterday for the day of my actual race!

I started off at the Capitol where the race will begin.  I was having some dificulty with the first mile, as I normally do, but I quickly settled into a groove and was fine after that.  There were several people out running the CDR course yesterday.  I wondered where these people have been because I have been religiously training on this route for weeks and weeks and weeks....14 to be exact.  I didn't encounter anybody on the hills, just on the flat.  My goal was to take it easy and keep between an 11-11:30 min/mile pace, even on the hills.  I think during the actual race I'm going to keep that pace on the hills so I don't wear myself out and run out of steam.  I was able to run that with ease, so I know I can push myself a little harder on race day if I want to.  I made it up the huge mile long hill with no problems and my heart rate teetering in the high 170's-low 180's.  I even had enough in me that I didn't have to stop at the top like usual, and I just kept going!  Woohoo, victory #1.  I did have to stop at the top of the next hill because it's just ridiculous.  It's an uphill that curves onto another uphill road, and it's just too steep.  But, I only walked for about 15 seconds, then I was back at it.  I stopped after the third hill for about 10 seconds, as I know this is going to be a crucial water stop for me.  At this water stop, the long downhill starts, which I just breeze through.  I don't mind having a slow pace on the hills because I can more than make up for it on the downhill. 

Once I got off the mountain, I ate some raisins and about 3 ounces of water and kept going.  I felt so great!  So great, in fact, that I found myself running about a 10:30 pace the whole rest of the way!  I wanted to slow down and take it easy, but I just felt so good, I kept on with the faster pace.  This is awesome because my goal pace is 10:00 min/mile.  If the conditions are similar temperature wise, I will definitely be able to bust out the 10:00 minute pace.  My legs started to feel heavy at mile 13, but I think it was mostly mental.  What a time to start having mental problems during a run, lol.  I just had 1 mile left, 2 if I were running the full course.  My husband was waiting for me at mile 14 to take me back to my car.  As soon as I saw his truck, I got a burst of energy and picked up my pace immediately.  That stupid mental block that was telling me I was tired was just a bunch of crap.  I had plenty left in me. 

This run gave me so much confidence, which I had lost from last week's run.  I proved to myself that I could manage the hills and the long distance together.  If the sun peeks its head on race day, I may struggle a little, but the race starts at 7:30 so I should be fine.

My splits:  11:19, 10:53, 10:53, 10:51, (hills-11:13, 11:16, 9:56, 9:22), 10:35, 10:38, 10:33, 10:33, 10:33, 10:30

Total miles: 14
Time: 2:29:12
Ave pace: 10:39
Ave HR: 163
Calories burned: 1688

Next run: Tuesday 5 miler

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Speedwork, oih!

Wednesday I ran an easy 3 miles on the treadmill. I put it off till the absolute last second, till it was too dark to run outside, and the gym was closing in 30 minutes, lol. I got to the gym just in time and put in my baby run. I ran it in 31:11.

Thursday, I took an off day, in anticipation of a 10 MILE SPEED WORKOUT!!!!! For some reason, I was not looking forward to this one! I had to be at work at 12:30, so I planned on running in the morning. I woke up and it was pouring outside. I started to panic! I was like I HAVE to get this run in TODAY!!!! I contemplated running the darn thing on the treadmill. Yikes! Then, I called Andrew to ask him what he would do. "Run it in the rain". He said that without even thinking about it. Ok, I'm going to run it in the rain. I'm just that hardcore, lol. Then, when I got to the boulevard, it completely stopped raining, not a drop the entire run. And I almost did this on the treadmill!

Enough about me being a weenie about running in the rain. I mean, I was going to be soaked with sweat head to toe anyways, so what's a little rain? On the plan was a 1.5 mile warmup, then 5 x 1 mi @ 9:05 with 1/2 mile recoveries, followed by a 1 mile cooldown. The run ended up being pretty good, except that I had to pee really really really bad from the get-go. I stopped at a park-type place to use the restroom, but they had the doors locked. I guess they only unlock them when there are true events going on. So, I ran half of the run thinking how badly I needed to pee the entire time. I stopped at our lovely State Capitol Complex to use the bathroom there. Such relief! The first three speed intervals weren't too bad, but the last two I had to fight for. I guess it's not speedwork unless it's at least a little difficult. I started getting side stitches under my left ribs again. Not sure why that's been happening lately. I stopped to walk and that calmed down, so I was fine after that. My Garmin was actually working properly this time, and let me hit the lap button, so I was able to get true feedback for each speed interval. Last time it wouldn't let me hit the lap button, so I had no idea during the run. The last speed interval mile was a tough one, as it always is because there's this stupid (small) bridge on the way back, as well as 3 streets to cross, that seem to slow me down at the end. Just as I'm typing this, I realize my Garmin is dead, so I have to post my splits from memory: 8:58, 9:05, 9:03, 9:02, 9:18. Not bad at all! I remember it took 1:43 to run the 10 miles, so I think my average pace was around 10:13 or so. I will update this post once my Garmin is charged.

So, I'm taking the day off today. I had another baby 3 miler scheduled, but I have to run 14 miles tomorrow, and I just don't want to run today! By the way, tomorrow's 14 miler is my LAST LONG RUN on my training plan before the race. Wow, I just realized that my race is exactly 2 weeks away!! Holy crap, I am going to be like a hyper 10 year old ADHD child that whole week before the race. I'm already starting to get really really excited! Next Sunday, I start my taper. It's what all the big boys do, so I'm going to do it too. I guess you don't lose much during taper time. I'm just kind of nervous not having a long run in there for 2 weeks. During my taper week, the longest run I have is a 5 mile tempo run. My legs will sure be fresh for the race!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Progressive 5 miler

I ran a moderately tough 5 miler this evening near my house. This guy, Andy, on dailymile, does these progressive runs where each mile he runs is faster than the last. He's an awesome runner and puts in a lot of miles each week. I accidentally did a progressive run last week, and I realized it after I looked at my splits. I just felt very strong during that run and found myself picking up the pace each mile. Today, I did it again. I didn't set out with the goal of a progressive run, but after the second mile I felt like I could do it. It actually makes the run a lot more interesting, as you compete against yourself to beat your last mile. The last mile you run is your fastest, so you end up pushing pretty hard. Here are my splits: 10:31, 10:21, 10:11, 9:59, 9:34.

Total miles: 5.01
Time: 50:41
Ave pace: 10:07
Ave HR: 166
Calories burned: 598

It was hot and muggy outside. I sweat a lot anyways. After the run, I came home and ate a homemade chicken and dumpling crockpot recipe I made. It was quite yummy, but I definitely ate too much. My tummy is very full right now :(

Next run: Wednesday - easy 3 miler and strength training
Total miles this week: 18

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New car and a few runs

Wow, I haven't made a post in over a week! I have been out of town a few days, away from blogger world, and I have missed a couple of runs this week. Not important training runs, but the mileage runs.

Sunday was my long run. I hit a new distance, 12 miles, woohoo! This was actually a pretty significant run for me, which should have its own blog post, but I just didn't have the time to do it. I decided that I was going to run the CDR course, complete with the 5 miles of hills. Until this run, I had done all my long runs on flat ground, and I had done the 5 mile hill portion by itself on a separate day, usually running it with Andrew. So, I needed to incorporate them both together in one run. With the race being less than 4 weeks away at that point, I needed to see if I could manage the distance and the hills. I had to work that day too, so I decided to run the 12 miles before work, at 5:30AM. I have never gotten up that early to run before, I mean it was still dark for the first 3 miles! It was actually kind of scary, running all alone out there in the dark in the wee hours of the morning. The sun finally came up when I started up the first hill, and I felt a lot better. I was running at an 11-12 minute pace from the start, and surprised myself by keeping an 11:30-ish pace on the hills. I will be happy if I run the hills at that pace even during the race. I don't want to wear myself out on the hills and not be able to finish. I handled the hills well and ended up back on flat ground. At about mile 9 I was wishing it was over, lol, but I kept going. Every muscle and bone in my legs hurt when I finished. I stretched my legs a little when I finished and they felt much better. At work, I was fine and my legs didn't bother me at all.
Running stats:
Total miles: 12 miles
Time: 2:15:35
Ave pace: 11:15 min/mile
Ave HR: 164
Calories burned: 1435

Monday and Tuesday I didn't run at all. Eric and I were on the road, looking for a car to buy. We actually ended up in Lancaster, PA, which is 6.5 hours away from home. I had planned on running Tuesday, I even took my running clothes with me. I woke up Tuesday morning and started getting dressed, then realized I forgot my running shoes. I was soooo mad! So, I missed a 4 mile run that day. Wednesday, I got up early to run a quick 4 miles, then we went to Ashland, KY all day. I ran it in 42:38 with an average pace of 10:37 min/mile.
Thursday I ran a 9 mile tempo run. I ran a 1 mile warm-up, 7 miles at a 9:35 min/mile pace, and a 1 mile cooldown. I ended up keeping a quicker pace, which surprised me. I ran each mile a little faster, with the exception of the last tempo mile. It got really dark and I had to come back over the bridge again. I just didn't have the strength in me to run it any faster. My splits: 10:42, 9:35, 9:32, 9:32, 9:27, 9:24, 9:23, 9:38, 11:26.
Thursday's running stats:
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:28:44
Ave pace: 9:51
Ave HR: 172
Calories burned: 1064

I had another steady state run scheduled for yesterday, just 3 miles. But, I had to work about an hour and a half away and didn't get home till 9:00. So, I missed another run for the week. I'm planning on running this evening, probably about 5 miles. I have 13 miles scheduled for tomorrow, so I don't want to wear myself out this evening.
So, you guys are up to date on what happened with me last week. Sorry to be away for so long!


This is what I missed my run for.  My 2006 Subaru WRX STI.  I love this car :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthy pancake recipe

I ran 6 miles today at the gym on the treadmill. I usually don't like the treadmill, but I've been off from work a few days and wanted to get my runs out of the way in the middle of the day (sans the heat and humidity). Today I had some great songs playing on my iPod Shuffle, and I was lip singing the whole time, lol. The people at the gym probably thought I was crazy, running for over an hour and lip singing. I ran at about an 11:15 pace, so it took 1:07 to run.  After my run, I ate a Clif Bar and started in on some strength training.  I did well this week sticking to my strength training commitment.  I planned on going twice, as I knew I would be sore jumping back into it.  I did some upper body and lower body again.  Two sets of 12 of each exercise, including eights, lying dumbbell extensions, lat pulldowns, pushups, bench step-ups, good mornings, squats, and lunges.  No core workout today.

I have this cookbook that I bought about 2 months ago, The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno.  I have read the Eat Clean Diet, but never really tried it fully committed.  It completely eliminates all added sugars, and focuses on fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.  It doesn't even let you eat light flavored yogurt.  At the time, I thought it was way too strict for me, but it still had very good nutrition information that any healthy diet should be based on.  I may consider trying this diet again soon.  I highly recommend this cookbook.  There are lots of recipes using healthy foods such as quinoa and lentils.  Since I don't get to cook a lot, I haven't tried many of the recipes.  But, this morning I was craving some pancakes - healthy pancakes.  Sure enough, Tosca has a recipe for Power Oatmeal Pancakes.  I'm going to share this recipe with you because I think it's a great alternative to the unhealthy pancakes we typically eat.

Power Oatmeal Pancakes
6 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup oatmeal, uncooked
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking spray

1. Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites in a food processor and pulse or blend until mixture is uniform (when I did this it formed a big ball, I think because of the oil)

2. Pour blended ingredients into a bowl and add the egg whites.  Fold until just blended. (I suggest leaving the ingredients in the food processor and adding the egg whites to the food processor, blending until mixed).

3. Prepare a griddle with cooking spray.  Ladle pancake mixture onto griddle and cook until both sides are browned.

Nutrition Value (Makes 6 total, serving size 2 pancakes)
Calories 283|Fat 10.5g|Carbs 24g|Protein 21g|Dietary Fiber 4.5g|Sugars 0.3g|

After making these, I think I will change a couple things for next time.  I may try adding more cinnamon or add some raisins to the batter for some sweetness.  Tosca recommends eating these with unsweetened applesauce.  I topped them with bananas and applesauce when I ate them today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recovery Week and Strength Training

Sunday I took the day off, having just run the 10k on Saturday. I had to work anyways. Yuck. I usually don't have to work on Sundays, but it was my turn. I'm taking one for the team and am working next Sunday, too. Luckily the hours are 10-6, so I can fit my 12 mile run in before work if I wake up early enough.

Monday I ran an easy 6 miles in Saint Albans. It was very nice out, about 78 degrees and felt rather cool. My tummy started playing tricks on me and I stopped to use the bathroom halfway through, but other than that it was a nice run.

Run stats:
Distance: 6.01 miles
Time: 1:07
Ave pace: 11:16 min/mile
Ave HR: 145
Calories: 731

Tuesday, I woke up early to go to the gym and STRENGTH TRAIN. I got there about 6:45 and warmed up on the treadmill for 5 minutes. Then, I hit some core training on the bosu ball. I love that thing. I moved onto upper body. I hate my arms. I mean, they are somewhat toned and when I flex, I have big muscles, but when they aren't flexed they are just fat, lol. I need to really work on my upper body. For lower body, I focused on my hamstrings and some single legged movements. My thighs are big, so I'm looking forward to leaning them out a little and sculpting them. Anyways, here is what I did:

2 sets of 14 - standing biceps curl 2 sets of 15 - good morning
2 sets of 12 - dumbbell flye 2 sets of 12 - bench step-up
2 sets of 12 - lat pulldown 2 sets of 12 - single legged squat
2 sets of 12 - bench dip 2 sets of 12 - reverse lunge
2 sets of 12 - lying overhead bar press

I didn't want to start off too difficult because I didn't want to be sore all week. I'm a little sore today, but I should be fine to go back for the same workout on Friday. I'm doing two days of strength training this week, then next week I'm going to bump it up to three days.

So, B.o.B, where is your strength training workout?? (a little friendly motivation)

By the way, as you know I'm always trying to eat better. I was checking out this blog called Chocolate Shoestrings. She is having a giveaway on her blog for the book Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes. Check it out!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday's brutal 10k

So, Saturday morning I ran a 10k. It's only the second 10k I have ever raced. The first one I ran was back in February, and I finished it in about 1:02. It was a very flat easy course. At that time, the longest run I had completed in preparation for that 10k was 8 miles, and I had only run that once. So, obviously I am in better running shape now than I was back in February. I set a goal for this 10k to finish in under an hour. I thought that would be pretty easy considering all the speedwork and tempo runs I have been doing.

What I didn't realize was that this 10k was at Coonskin Park and that there would be some hills involved. Lots of hills actually. Once I realized what was in store for me, I really started to doubt the under one hour goal I had set. The first mile was decently flat, and I started off at about a 9:30 pace. The first lengthy hill slowed me down a little bit, but nothing major. The second hill started separating people a little. I started passing some people, yay! Then, there was this huge downhill. We ran to the entrance of the park, then turned around and headed back. Realizing I would have to run up that huge hill I just ran down, I slowed my pace a little. Then, the most annoying thing happened. These stupid cars were trying to get by us. We had runners on both sides of the road, and some of the runners had stupid iPods in their ears and couldn't hear us yelling at them to let the cars by. I am guilty of running with my iPod, but I always keep the volume low where I can hear things going on around me. I could tell the driver's of the cars weren't very happy. I don't think the race organizers did a very good job of trying to control traffic. There were only a couple signs up that said watch for runners. I mean, it's a state park with little to no traffic, but still.

Anways, back to the race. At the top of this hill, there was a flagger person waiving the 10k people to the right, up this crazy steep hill. I look up and my heart sinks. This is probably the steepest hill I have ever seen, much less attempted to run up! I saw 3 people ahead of me, and they were walking the hill. Very smart idea. I decided I would walk the hill too. That was even really difficult! It was not just a steep hill, but it was long. My calves weren't used to that at all and were aching. I got to the top, huffing and puffing, my strength drained. The people ahead of me were still walking, so I walked a little more to get my strength. The rest of the course on the hill wasn't bad, just small rolling hills. The 4 of us started running again. There were 2 guys and a girl in a bright pink shirt. It took me a good 1/2-3/4 of a mile to get all my strength back. But once I did, I was right back to it. I passed one of the guys. Then I passed the other guy. It was down to me and this chick in the pink shirt. I'm actually very glad this girl was in front of me because she really seriously motivated me to run harder. I was determined to catch her!

So I'm on this hill loop, which is a good 2 miles, trying to pass this girl. GOSH, I can't catch her! I'm picking up my pace in the straight, flat areas. I actually felt a lot stronger on the second half of this race, particularly the last 2 miles. We are starting to get close to heading back down this steep hill. I'm still trailing this girl by about 200 yards. I start down the giant steep hill, half afraid I'm going to fall down because it's a little wet, and half afraid I'm going to hurt my knees if I run too fast down it. I made it to the base of the hill and the flagger is cheering me and tells me it's all flat from here. I have 1 mile left. I know this, and from somewhere deep within me, I start running this incredible pace. I don't know where it came from, but here it was. I was running so fast, and it felt amazing. It didn't feel like anything could stop me. I'm glancing down at my watch and I'm in the low 8's. I couldn't believe it! I'm running faster than my 5k pace, and all that after running that damn hill! I see this guy ahead of me, and I pass him. I have my eye on the pink shirt. She's tired, drained, and I am on a mission. I surge past her, and keep going, speeding up a little. I hit the 7's. WTF?? I've never run under an 8 min pace! I'm huffing and puffing and feel like I'm going to die, but the finish line is just ahead. I make it. They didn't have a time clock, so I looked at my watch and it was 58:41. I couldn't believe I finished in under an hour! I thought the hills definitely ruined my chances for that. I walked for at least a minute. I felt so victorious. I'm not sure how I finished in my class because they haven't posted the results or official times. I know I didn't get 1st or 2nd, though. It didn't matter to me. I passed the girl in the pink shirt, and found this speed locked away deep inside me.

I guess those 12 mile long runs and 8 mile tempo runs really help out. When those other people were struggling at the end, I was running the fastest times I have ever run. I'm posting the splits, but these aren't accurate because my Garmin only read 6.01 miles, not 6.2.


After looking at my HR during the run, I realized I didn't push myself hard enough. I think I was being very reserved at the beginning because I was afraid I was going to lose steam and not be able to finish. I actually really psyched myself out before the race, thinking to myself that I couldn't do it, couldn't finish, couldn't do it in under an hour. The mind can really screw with you. Now I know that I had plenty more in me and I could've finished even faster. Next time, I'm going to go into a race telling myself that I'm a running machine (lol) and I'm going to give it all I got from the beginning. I'm well trained, I've put in the speedwork, I've put in the tempo runs, and I've put in the long runs. Why did I doubt my ability?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Easy run & Call-out to B.o.B.

My husband woke me up this morning getting ready to go to the gym. He’s not as hard-core as me about working out, he usually goes twice a week. A while back he got really serious and went every other day. He doesn’t do any cardio, just lifts weights, but he gets a good cardio workout doing that because he lifts at a pretty high intensity. Anyways, seeing him getting ready made me get out of bed and go to the gym with him. It has been pouring the rain for the past couple of days. I decided I was going to run an easy 3 miles and then do a little lifting. I didn’t want to do too much because my 10k is tomorrow morning and I want to be fresh, with no muscle soreness. I felt really good during the 3 mile run, running at an easy 11:15 pace on the treadmill.

After the run, I did some situps on the incline bench. I honestly haven’t been to the gym in a while, doing most all of my running outside and my core training at home. It’s nice to change up the core training a little. Usually the incline bench awakens my abs and I really feel it the next day. After that I did a couple of different upper body strengthening exercises. I did this thing that a personal trainer showed me once. I think she called it eights. You do 1 set of bicep curls, 1 set of hammer curls, and 1 set of curls where your arms are angled at the side of your body (not sure of the name of them). These sets of 8 repetitions each are done back to back to back and you really feel it! I then used the lat pulldown machine for a couple of sets, and finished with two sets of the lying tricep extension. Not a lot of strength training, but getting me back in the spirit of doing it.

I don’t know why I don’t make strength training a priority. I’ve been focused so much on getting my training runs in that I don’t think about anything else. And while running makes me feel great and has taken a few inches off of me, there’s nothing like the sculpting that strength training can do. I feel incredibly amazing and sexy when I have been strength training. So, B.o.B, I am calling you out, girl. I will commit to it if you will. Starting this coming week, I’m going to strength train 3 days per week. This probably means I will have to get up and go to the gym in the morning before work, and then run after work some days of the week. Let the strength training begin!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bad week & prepping for a 10k

This week I decided to change up my running schedule a little bit because I have a hilly 10k this coming Saturday, and I didn't want to overdo it. Sunday's 12 mile tempo run must've taken something out of me for this week because I haven't felt very good on the other two runs I did after that. Obviously, I took Monday off. I didn't even cross train because I worked all day and didn't plan ahead very well. I could've went to Zumba, but forgot to bring my clothes with me to work. I planned a 5 miler on Tuesday, which turned into a 4 miler because my tummy started acting up around mile 2.5. Wednesday I didn't do anything again, not even cross training. Today, I had an 8 mile speed workout scheduled, but decided to cut it way back because of the 10k Saturday. I ended up only doing 4 miles (1/2 mile warmup, 4 x 1/2 mile @ 8:30 w/ 1/4 mile recoveries, and 1/2 mile cooldown). I can't say I didn't feel good today, I just didn't WANT to do anymore. I felt like I could've done another mile of the speedwork, but didn't feel like it. That's no excuse, and I better get out of that thinking quick! I'm going to do a light 3-4 mile run tomorrow at an easy pace, then my 10k Saturday I'm going to try a 9:15 min/mile pace and see how I do. It's supposed to be hilly, but I'm not sure just how much. The good thing is that next week is a recovery mileage week. I enjoy recovery weeks because I'm nice, refreshed, and ready to jump back into the harder runs the week after. I think I definitely need it. I'm going to try to get quite a bit cross training in, hopefully strength training. I really need to stop talking about strength training and just do it. Somebody make me do it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Long run turned into Tempo run

I skipped out on my Saturday 3 miler. I didn't mean to exactly, but that 8 mile speedwork on Friday wore me out. Plus on Saturday, I had to work 9-2, then I had a birthday party to go to at 6 and I didn't want to have to shower and get all glammed up again, lol. Anyways, so I planned on 12 miles for my long slow run on Sunday, then I get this text from Andrew at about 9:00AM asking me where I'm running. He has been doing a lot of cross training but hasn't jumped back into his intense running regimen. He wanted to run with me because he knew that I would keep a nice slow pace, and he wouldn't push himself too hard (his typical 7 min/mile pace!) I knew what this meant for me, though. I usually run a 12 min/mile pace on my long runs, but I didn't want to put him through that, haha. So, I used this run as a chance to see if I could maintain the 10:00 min/mile pace I want to run for the Charleston Distance Run. A 10 min/mile pace for him is slow and for me is fast, lol. I have been training at slower paces and faster paces, but not at the 10:00 pace, so this would be a good test. If I could keep up that pace for 12 miles, with about 6 weeks left of training I should be fine for the Distance Run, as long as I don't wear myself out on the hills.

I had high spirits that I could do this; at least Andrew was running with me and I push myself harder when I run with him. One problem, however, was that I picked a new 12 mile course I had never run before. I found it on a local running club's website, and it said there were some rolling hills. For some reason I didn't quite understand this when I read it. The term "rolling hills" didn't send out an alarm to me at the time. We get about 3 miles into the run and I start realizing the rolling hills part. Here I am trying to keep a 10 min/mile pace, which is hard enough for me to do on flat ground, much less on rolling hills! Needless to say, I was getting beat up by these hills, lol. But, we were keeping the 10 min/mile pace, except for 3 different occasions. In my opinion, keeping that pace for 9 of 12 miles is pretty darn good! At mile 6, we stopped and I downed some Gu and some Gatorade. The run back felt a little harder, as if the hills were harder. Probably just in my head. I had to stop at the top of one of the hills and catch my breath a little. I felt like that tiny bit of Gu was sitting in my stomach like a brick. It was probably just the fact that I was not only running hills at a pace that was difficult for me, but also a distance. I have never ran that many miles at that kind of pace. At about mile 8, it started pouring the rain. It felt amazing and energized me for a couple of miles. I had to stop at mile 10 and at mile 11 for a short breather. That last mile was the most aweful mile that I have ever run in my life! We probably ran it at a 9:45 pace, and I was cussing and whining and praying to Jesus the whole way. Andrew just laughed at me. Seriously, though, I don't know how I made it. I can't even explain how it felt, I was just exhausted. I crashed to the ground when we finished, a little delirious. I ate a Clif Bar while trying to talk to Andrew.

I know for a fact if I had not run with Andrew, I would've given up on the whole 10 min pace thing. I would've given up really early actually. For those of you who run solo or are afraid of running with others, you should try running with someone who is faster than you. You will be surprised at how far you can push yourself just by having someone else by your side. He knew I was dying, lol, and he would've slowed down if I asked him to, but I didn't, and I'm a better runner for it!

Running stats:
Distance: 12 miles
Time: 2 hours!!
Ave pace: 10:00 min/mile
Ave HR: 171
Calories burned:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another speed workout!

Friday after work I went out for another speed workout. I know I just did one on Tuesday, but that wasn't planned, and it involved 1/2 mile intervals, not 1 mile intervals. Plus, I can use all the improvement in speed I can get, lol!

I got off work at 6:00 and started running about 6:45 or so. I should've waited till about 7:30 because it was still sunny and humid outside during much of my run. I just thought I would save time by bringing my running gear to work and just running afterwards. Not next time! I had to stop a few times during my recovery jogs to get some water. Luckily, there was a Wendy's on my route, and they gave me a big cup of ice water. I couldn't have finished the run if it hadn't been for that break of a few minutes. I was supposed to do a 1 mile warmup, 4 x 1 mile at a 9:15 min/mile pace w/ 1/2 mile recoveries, and a 1 mile cooldown. I ended up doing the speed part at about a 9:00-9:10 pace. Because my recoveries were 1/2 mile, it kind of messed up my splits. The Garmin wouldn't let me reset my laps at the half mile, so I only know my true pace for two of the speed miles. Overall, it was a great run, just beat me down a little because of the humidity. The last mile of the speed portion was difficult to finish, but I made it through, thanks to the water from Wendys.

Running stats:
Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:22:53
Ave pace: 10:21
Ave HR: 165
Calories burned: 932

Next run: Sunday, 12 mile long slow run
Total miles this week: 26

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I need a day off!

I have been working out and running a lot lately. I feel like I haven't gotten much done the past two weeks except working, coming straight home to change, and then working out. I've been kind of tired lately, so I think I'm going to take an off day. Driving home from work, I just felt like relaxing this evening. Well, I will do my W1D2 pushup workout tonight. I'm going to do my 8 mile speedwork tomorrow after work, and then my 3 mile pace run on Saturday, then back on schedule with my long run on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Speedwork and Zumba

Today, I went to Zumba class at the YMCA. One hour of Zumba makes me happy :) This week I increased from 4 running days/week to running 5 days. Wow, I will be running five days per week for the next 6 weeks or more. There is really no where else to fit another running day in besides my Zumba day on Wednesdays. So, after an hour of Zumba, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill. My friends are beginning to think I'm crazy! It was a nice easy run, at about an 11:30 pace. After all of that, I did 2 sets of the good morning, and 3 sets of back raises to strengthen my hamstrings.

Tuesday is usually the day I run the hills with Andrew, but he is still out trying to heal an injury. The hills are too dangerous to run by myself (no shoulder for most of the run), so I decided to do a track workout. I did a 1 mile warmup, 4x800 meters at a 5k pace with 400 meter recovery jogs, and a 1 mile cooldown, for a total of 5 miles. My Garmin's battery was dead, which I didn't discover till I stepped foot on the track, so I really don't know how fast I was running or how long it took me. I assume I was doing close to an 8:30 min/mile pace during the speed part. I was really movin and was about to die by the end of each interval. It felt really good, and I had lots of energy the whole rest of the evening, and all morning today! I do have to complain about all the people who walk on the track and hog the inside lane, knowing there are runners on the track as well. It's common courtesy to walk on the middle or outside lanes when there are runners on the track, but maybe people don't know this?!?

Next run: Thursday, 8 mile speedwork (1 mile intervals)
Total miles this week: 19

Nutrition Facts for McDonalds

I have posted nutrition facts for McDonald's menu items that contain less than 500 calories and less than 20 grams of fat, with complete nutrition facts on my Food and Exercise Log blog. If interested, check it out. It may come in handy to print off!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Food and Exercise Log Blog

Well, I decided that since a running blog has done such a great job at keeping me running, a food log blog would be a good idea to keep me calorie counting! I think all of us runners should keep some kind of food log, so we know what types of foods affect our running. Mine is more for purposes of controlling my eating.

Here is a link to my new food and exercise log. In it you will simply find a log of everything I put in my mouth, complete with the nutrition facts, as well as simply a line about what physical activity I did that day. If you are interested in what I eat while I'm training, then check it out! You may discover some different foods to try. If this works and I actually start losing weight, then maybe it will inspire you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Calorie counting blah!

Ok, so a while back I made a post about losing weight as one of my goals and I calculated the number of calories I needed to eat to lose 1 pound per week. I never actually started calorie counting because it seemed that I was doing fine with just "watching" what I was eating and running. Well, that's not working anymore, lol. It seems like I'm always finding a reason to eat a meal I'm not supposed to or snack when I'm not supposed to, and because I do run a lot I think this is ok. Obviously it's not ok or I would weigh a lot less than I do! I'm so tired of jumping on the scale and occasionally seeing 150. I never ever ever want to see that number again! I want to get far enough away from that stupid number that no matter what my hydration level is that day (or whatever other stupid contributing factors there are), the scale will not give me that number. If I sound hysterical right now, it's because I am!!

Now, a couple of years ago, I calorie counted for 3-4 months straight, at 1300 calories per day. Boy, did I see results! I was treadmill running and lifting weights on a regular basis during this time, so the results were great. I reached 144 pounds, which is the lowest I've ever weighed, and I trimmed a lot of inches off. I feel like the only way for me to reach my goal is to resume this dreaded calorie counting again. Obviously, 1300 calories is crazy, especially for as much running as I'm doing. I'm going to shoot for 1600-1700 calories daily for this week and see what kind of results I get. Yesterday, I ate 1800 because I ran 11 miles and I felt like I needed to eat more. I'm going to play it by ear and see where this lands me.

Let the calorie counting begin!

Long Run #8 - 11 miles!!

Yesterday was the longest run I have ever done in my life! I am at a point in my training where I will be having these types of workouts. Until a couple of weeks ago, all the distances were familiar to me in past training, but now I'm venturing into new territory where I will be pushing myself farther than I have ever before. It's very exciting! I felt that way during my tempo run the other day. It seems like each run now is a test of my ability, and so far I have been up to the tasks.

So, I made some changes from last Sunday's 10 mile long run. Last Sunday, I ate half of a Power Bar during the run and ended up with horrible side stitches. Before yesterday's run, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and purchased Gu Energy Gel. Some runners on dailymile recommended it to me. The only flavor they had was tri-berry, so that's what I bought. I was also armed with three 6 ounce bottles of regular Gatorade. I have heard people complain that they can't take the energy gel and drink regular gatorade because it's too much electrolyte for them and they end up with a tummy ache. I am a super salty sweater, so I figured I would be ok. It didn't bother my stomach one bit.

The temperature was perfect - well almost perfect. When the sun wasn't shining, it felt great out, about 70-73 degrees. The sun wasn't shining for about half of the run, but the half that it was shining was difficult, especially because it was the last half of the run and I was getting tired. My pace started off around 11:50 min/mile and by the end had slowed to about 12:20 min/mile. I slowed down according to my heart rate, which I tried to keep under 150bpm. Apparently the heat was getting to me, so I slowed down. I think that my knees and shins are a limiting factor in my running. They start aching after I run long distances, I would say longer than 8 miles. There is a dull aching to them, not bad enough to stop running, but noticeable. When I have to stop for traffic while crossing a street, I can really feel my shins aching, then it subsides a little when I continue to run. Once I'm finished running, they ache for a little afterwards, but by the time I'm back at home they are fine, and they don't hurt the next day. I'm not sure if this is normal or not. I need to do some research on this. One thing I have noticed is that they used to ache during a 5 mile run and now they don't. I think that they just need to get used to the mileage.

Here are my splits and heart rates, as you can see at mile 8 the heat started wearing me down!

1 11:51@145bpm, 2 11:48@147bpm, 3 12:00@148bpm, 4 11:57@148bpm, 5 12:04@148bpm, 6 12:03@149bpm, 7 12:02@150bpm, 8 12:14@148bpm, 9 12:27@150bpm, 10 12:34@153bpm, 11 12:20@154bpm.

Total miles: 11
Time: 2:13:22
Ave pace: 12:08 min/mile
Ave HR: 149
Calories burned: 1233

Next run: Tuesday, hill run or speed workout
Total miles this week: 11

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hill run, Zumba, tempo run

I so need to stop slacking on posting my workouts. I feel like the last two weeks have gone by so fast! I do a workout, delay posting it, then before I know it, 3-4 days have passed and I haven't posted anything!

Monday was supposed to be a compete rest day, but for some reason I felt like walking, so I called up my friend Keely. She was up for a walk, so we walked 3 miles around Saint Albans. After that, I decided to start this hundred pushup program. I've been seeing a lot of people on dailymile doing this and thought I would give it a try. Let me just tell you, this program is no joke! First, you do a test to see how many pushups you can do in a row in good form. I was able to do 15. It takes this number and decides where to start you based on your level of fitness. So, for the first workout, it had me do 45 pushups, divided into 5 sets, broken down as 12, 10, 7, 7, and 9. I was struggling at the end, but completed it. But, the next TWO days, I was so sore I could barely move. This is a good thing, but nonetheless I was very surprised. My obliques were even hurting! I forgot how great pushups are for your core. I was supposed to do 2 more workouts this week, but I didn't. I have been falling asleep early this week and have been busy. I am going to start over on Sunday.

Tuesday was my hill run with Andrew again. This time was a bit tougher because I ran up 119 way too fast. I think I ran it at like a 10:30 pace, not intentionally. Whenever I run with Andrew, I push myself harder for some reason. I guess this is a benefit from running with others. He is a much faster runner than I am, and although he keeps whatever pace I'm running, I feel compelled to run faster so I'm not soooo slow, lol. Anyways, I booked it up the first hill and felt pretty drained for a couple of miles after that. I started feeling better, though and finished strong. Andrew was nursing a pulled muscle and was unable to run fast down the last portion of the hills, so he actually slowed me down this time! We ended up finishing the hills in the same time as last time, as the fast uphill was balanced out by the not so fast downhill.

Wednesday was Zumba for an hour and then some core training. I also decided to work on my hamstrings. I got this popular iPhone/iPod Touch application called iFitness. This application is worth paying for. It gives you so many different workouts, with illustrated pictures and instructions on how to do them. All I had to do was select the hamstring muscle group, and it listed a bunch of strength training exercises that work the hamstrings. I ended up doing the back raise, the lunging step up, and the good morning. I had never done the good morning before, and never would've thought it would do much, but I have been sore for 2 days after doing these workouts. I'm going to try to do these twice a week.

Thursday was an off day, as it was Eric's birthday and we had baked spaghetti and cake w/ice cream. I woke up this morning ready to burn off the birthday meal with a 7 mile tempo run. The plan was to do 1 mile warmup, 5 miles at a 9:45 min/mile pace, and a 1 mile cooldown. This was probably the first training run in a while to really test me and show me where I am physically. Aside from the improvment in my 5k time by a whole minute, this tempo run was either going to make me or break me. I had never maintained a pace like that for that long before. I ended up doing great. That pace was comfortably hard, but I knew I could run harder if I needed to. I really surprised myself today. I have been so happy lately because I have truly seen improvment in my times, endurance, and stamina. All the hard training is FINALLY paying off. For a while I wasn't able to see much improvment, but lately I've been seeing lots. I couldn't find my HR monitor this morning before leaving to run, so I have no idea what my HR was. I was so mad about that! Of course, I found the stupid thing the minute I came back home after my run. My right knee started bugging me at about mile 4, just a slight discomfort behind the knee. After the run, it really bothered me for hours. It would hurt just sitting there, and if I turned it or twisted it, it was uncomfortable. Finally early in the evening, it quit bothering me. I'm supposed to run about 4 miles tomorrow, then 11 on Sunday. Hopefully, it won't give me anymore trouble.

Splits for the tempo run:
Mile 1: 11:20
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 9:27
Mile 4: 9:38
Mile 5: 9:47
Mile 6: 9:35
Mile 7: 10:56

Next run: tomorrow, 4 easy slow miles
Total miles this week: 22

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seven Traits Award

I have been blogging for a couple of months now, but am still pretty new to all of this. Kristin passed on the Seven Traits Award to me. This is where I share seven things about myself and then pass it on to seven other blogs that I enjoy reading. Well, here I go.

1. I love makeup. Actually am obsessed with makeup and spend a lot of money on higher end brands like MAC. I watch a lot of youtube videos on makeup tutorials and have gotten pretty darn good. In fact, I did my friend's makeup for her wedding!

2. I am a pharmacist at Wal-Mart and I provide diabetes education counseling. My goal is to become a certified diabetes educator.

3. I love animals. I have a cat named Bizzle Cat, 2 cockatiels named Baby Bird and Sweety Pie, and a hamster named Ham Chop. I'm trying to get a dog, but my cat will not have any of that.

4. I enjoy cooking, but between working and getting my runs in I usually don't have time to do it. I can actually cook really good. My poor husband wishes I would cook more.

5. I'm into cars. I have a red 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe. It's a 6-speed manual transmission (yes, I drive a stick) with a cat-back exhaust and an aftermarket grille. My husband has a drag car, so it's something we both enjoy.

6. I have a shopping problem. If there was a local chapter of shoppers anonymous, my husband would probably make me go. Along with the makeup, I buy lots of clothes and jewelry. I have way too many clothes, in fact I have turned our spare bedroom into a walk-in closet. Due to my blessed wide feet, I don't have a shoe obsession because I can't wear most brands.

7. I hate to clean. It's just something I despise having to do on my days off. If you come to my house, it's generally not cluttered, but you will find the dishes sitting in the sink.

So, I will pass this Seven Traits Award onto the following bloggers:

Miles with Mickey
Never Quit Never Stop
26.2 Quest

This was fun, I enjoyed it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Long Run Woes - Long Run #7

Yesterday was my long run day, another 10 miler.

The last 10 miler I ran, I felt pretty good, but was completely drained at the end. I had run for 2 hours and all I brought with me was 8 ounces of G2. This time, I was much better prepared. I bought a hydration belt, which holds three 8 ounce bottles, from the Nike Outlet. Armed with one 8 ounce bottle of regular Gatorade, two 8 ounce bottles of water, and a half of a Power Bar, I thought I would be able to get through the run without any problems. The hydration part worked out very well for me, but the Power Bar part didn't.

I always seem to have problems when it comes to eating and running. If I'm going for a hard run, I can't eat any kind of meal within 5 hours of running, or I end up with side stitches. Generally, on slow long runs, I can eat a small breakfast and head out with no problems. Before the run, I had half of a 100% whole wheat bagel with 1 tablespoon of PB. I decided that I would eat the Power Bar at mile 6. This Power Bar was real chewy, which made it kind of hard to chew, so I ended up stopping for a couple minutes to chew up this snack and take a few sips of water. I started running again and felt pretty good till around mile 8, when I started to get horrible horrible side stitches. And these weren't normal side stitches, they were more like all-over stitches. I stopped to walk a little again to calm my stomach down, then started running again. Usually this fixes my side stitches, but not this time, and I ended up running the last 2 miles with an aching tummy, which made it difficult to breathe.

Next time, I am going to try half of a Cliff Bar instead. I think that it wasn't completely the energy bar's fault. At about mile 5, I noticed that my heart rate was slowly creeping up, and I was having to run at a slower pace to keep a lower heart rate. I was fighting this the whole rest of the run, and felt like I had to slow down quite a bit to keep my heart rate under 155. As you can see below, by mile 6 I had to slow down to slower than a 12 min/mile pace. I couldn't quite figure this out because physically I felt great. I was having a nice run, wasn't losing my breath at all, and here my heart rate is creeping up for no apparent reason. Maybe I wasn't hydrated enough. I must admit, I had slacked on my water intake the past week, but felt I drank enough the day before. Oh well, it's hard to really tell what made my body act up. I'm not discouraged at all, though. I will get back out there for my long run next Sunday and give it another try.

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1:59
Ave pace: 11:59
Ave HR: 153
Calories burned: 1133

Mile 1: 11:26 min/mile; 148 bpm
Mile 2: 11:49 min/mile; 151 bpm
Mile 3: 11:41 min/mile; 152 bpm
Mile 4: 11:57 min/mile; 155 bpm
Mile 5: 11:51 min/mile; 153 bpm
Mile 6: 12:01 min/mile; 154 bpm
Mile 7: 12:11 min/mile; 154 bpm
Mile 8: 12:13 min/mile; 153 bpm
Mile 9: 12:41 min/mile; 154 bpm
Mile 10: 11:56 min/mile; 159 bpm

Next run: Tuesday hill run with Andrew
Total miles this week: 10

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hill training, cross training, and more

Wow, it's been 4 whole days since I blogged last! I apologize for that, but I have been busy lately and went out of town for a couple days. Where do I begin?

Ok, so Tuesday the 7th was my hill workout. Andrew and I ran the hill portion of the CDR again. The hill portion is a little over 5 miles. If you remember, last time I ran the hills was about 3 weeks ago. We ran it in the daytime, with the sun beating down on us. I had to stop several times and walk. Overall, it was a very difficult run. This time was completely different! We ran it about 7:30 in the evening, so it wasn't as hot. I felt so amazing on this run. Something was just different. Actually, the past couple weeks have been pretty amazing for me. It seems I have come to a point where running is no longer very difficult for me and I am able to get my runs in and feel very comfortable. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I can get out there and knock out my runs and feel great. Anyways, back to the hill run. My first goal was to make it to Oakwood Road without having to stop and walk. This is a little over a mile of running at a pretty steep incline. Sure enough, I made it to the top without having to stop to walk. We did walk once we reached the top, but not for very long at all and I was off again. From then on, I never had to stop and walk again. I felt great. I also tested out a new hydration belt I got from the Nike outlet. People had told me that they were annoying and not to use them, but I didn't have one bit of problem with it, and rather enjoyed not having to run with a water bottle in my hand.

Hill run stats:
Distance: 5.34 miles
Time: 56:47
Ave pace: 10:38 min/mile (Look at that pace!!)
Ave HR: 170 BPM

Ok, so next was a cross training day. I went to Becca's Zumba class for an hour. Did I mention how much I love Zumba. It's so fun to break up my usual routine with some Zumba. After Zumba I went into the gym and did a couple sets of dips, pushups, lat pull-downs, and curls, and then did some core training. Didn't lift as much as I wanted to because I was also being social with Becca, as I told her I would lift with her. Overall, it was a good cross training day.

Next, I went to Weston on Thursday (about 110 mile drive from my house) to work for 2 days. I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express (don't you just love their commercials) and luckily they had a "fitness room". Their fitness room was comprised of 1 treadmill, 1 elliptical, and 1 stationary bike. Lol, it was a cute little room. I can't complain, at least they had a treadmill for me to get my run in. I did 4 miles on the treadmill, which felt like it took forever! Since I've been running all my runs outside, I absolutely cannot stand to run on the treadmill anymore. I didn't wear my HR monitor, but I checked my HR at the end, and it was between 145-150. I ran the 4 miles in approximately 45:20 at about an 11:19 pace. Nice, easy run.

I was supposed to run another 4 on Friday, but with work and driving back home afterwards, I opted for a late night dinner and some putt-putt with my husband and some friends. I beat my husband, so that was fun. I'm going to run my 4 miles today after work. Sunday is my long run day, and I'm going to do 10 miles.

So, that is the recap for my week. Again, sorry I've been missing for 4 days.

Total miles so far this week: 15

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Easy 6 miler

So, back to the grind after the 4th of July/birthday weekend celebration. It was more like a binge eating fest for me, lol. I ate poorly at a cookout, then I got two birthday cakes and a dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Sheesh! I was supposed to run on my birthday Sunday, but I just couldn't get away. Yesterday, I planned a trip to the outlet mall in Jeffersonville, OH with a friend and new that would be an all-day event. So, I got up and ran 6 miles at 6:00AM. I never get up early and run because I tend to stay up later at night and value my mornings in bed too much, but I had to do it. It actually wasn't too bad. I remember trying to get up early to work out years ago, then giving up after 3 days, but that's when working out was a chore. Now that I enjoy running, I may be able to do the morning thing. It was nice to have it out of the way. I may try it out and see how I like it.

Back to the run itself. I was supposed to run 5, but made it 6 due to my poor eating over the weekend. I felt great, aside from needing to use the bathroom then last 3 miles, lol.

Here are the running stats:
Total miles: 6
Time: 1:09:34
Ave pace: 11:36 min/mile
Ave HR: 147
Calories burned: 713

Next run: Today; hill portion of the Charleston Distance Run (about 6 miles)
Total miles for the week: 5

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, today is my birthday. I'm 25 years old! Wow. I always thought I'd be married and having kids by the time I was 24. Well, I am married, but kids are far far away in our plans. I have too much running to do :)

I'm going to try to run 5 miles today and test out the shin.

I hope everybody had a good 4th of July. The weather kind of ruined it for us here :(

My Updated Training Schedule

When I decided to run the Charleston Distance Run, I started off with a 16-week training plan that I got from the Runner's World SmartCoach. The SmartCoach is a good tool for creating a training plan based on a current race time. It's very flexible and gives you a long run, easy runs, and alternates tempo and speed runs. It tells you what paces and how long to run. All in all, this is good for people who don't want to pay for a training plan, but still want something personalized. There are limitations to the SmartCoach. For example, the CDR course involves 6 miles of hills, but the SmartCoach doesn't incorporate hill workouts in their plans. Also, there was no option for a 15-mile race, so I had to select a half marathon, and then tweak the plan by adding more mileage.

I have definitely been neglecting my strength and core training. I try to get Zumba in at least once a week, and do the Wii Active, which has me do lunges like crazy. But, I need to fit more into my training plan and commit to it. I took the Runner's World training plan. copied it into Microsoft Word, and tweaked it. I incorporated the McMillan Running Calculator into my plan as well, which basically tells you what paces to run every type of run based on a recent race. McMillan's website also does a fantastic job of explaining the what each type of run is and the benefit you get from training in different heart rate zones. I am sharing with you my newly revised training schedule. I had 10 weeks left last week, so now I have 9 left.

Here's my new training plan: CDR Training Plan

Happy training!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I set a PR at the Independence 5k!!

I totally crushed my goal time in the 5k yesterday evening, completely surprising myself! As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my goal was to run it in 27:30, maintaining an 8:50 min/mile pace. Till now my PR was 27:55, which was on June 13th, about 3 weeks ago. I beat my old PR by 1 whole minute! My unofficial time was 26:55! Woot woot! I guess my increase in mileage and long runs have paid off. I cannot believe that I bested my last 5k by a whole minute. I'm still in shock right now, please excuse me, lol!

There were about 250 people running this 5k. I showed up about 40 minutes early to check in. I absolutely love the people who put the local races together and really appreciate the work they put into it, but I have to complain that they always run out of small and medium shirts. That makes me mad sometimes. I usually end up getting an XL for my husband. Anyways, so I warmed up a little bit, only a half mile. My good friend Andrew, who runs the hills with me, was there. He is really fast and his summer goal was to run a 5k in under 19 minutes. Good luck with that! We wished each other luck and headed toward the pack of racers at the start. The gun went off and there I went. I had my Garmin and my iPod all charged up. Of course, everybody starts off so fast, which used to be my problem. The Garmin has fixed that. I made sure I wasn't running too fast and of course ended up near the back. "That's Ok," I told myself, "I will be passing these people later when they run out of steam." I looked at my watch frequently and noticed I was running between 8:15 and 9:00 min/mile pace. I was running faster than I should, but I felt good, so I kept with it. At the halfway point, I started to question my ability to keep my pace up. My earbuds and the cord was bugging me and I was pulling on it, and messing with my watch. I started to freak out. Then I calmed myself down. I started to focus on my running form and my breathing, ignoring my stupid earbuds. "Smooth and steady," I told myself. I started passing people one by one. I passed a couple of really fit guys and it made me feel good, lol. When I had one mile left, I realized that I was going to be ok. I knew I could maintain my pace and make it, so I just kept focusing. I got into view of the time clock and it said 26:48 on it! Holy crap! I was going to beat 27 minutes!?!?! I kicked it in, as the people at the finish were yelling at me to bring it home. I estimate I finished in 27:55, but we will see the official time on Monday or Tuesday.

I was so happy! Plus, Andrew said he thinks he finished in 18:59. Sweet!! We both achieved our goals! The only problem was I noticed my right shin was really sore. I felt it when I stopped running at the finish. It was really bothering me. I think I stopped too abruptly at the end. I was worried, but not too much. I knew today would be a rest day and this coming week is a recovery mileage week, so I would be able to rest it. I didn't make top 5 in my age group, but there were so many runners I didn't expect to. I did get a cool orange towel for participating in all 4 runs in the summer race series, so that was cool. I came home after the race and ate, my shin still noticably hurting.

This morning when I woke up, it wasn't hurting anymore. Good stuff. But, I'm going to stay off of it today and test it on Sunday when I run 5 miles. I'm sure it will be fine!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Short tempo run and prep for the 5k

Yesterday I was scheduled to run a tempo run - 6 miles total, 4 miles @9:50. I debated on whether or not I should do this run because of the 5k that I have today. I didn't want to overdo it the day before a race. Good thing is the race is an evening event, starting at 7:30PM. So, I decided to go ahead with the tempo run, but just cut it short. I was running out of daylight also, so I kind of had to cut it short. I ended up doing a 1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ 9:50-ish, and about a 1 lap cooldown, for a total of 4.33 miles. I actually ran the tempo part faster than I was supposed to, as you can see in my splits. I felt really strong throughout the run, which I ran at the local high school track. I hope that I saved enough for the 5k tonight.

One thing I am worried about is what to eat today and when to eat. This will be the first evening 5k I have ever run. Most 5k's are early in the morning. I always skip breakfast and just sip a little water before the morning 5k. If I eat something, even 2 hours before, I end up getting horrible side stitches during the race, and that really stinks. I guess I'm going to try and eat something light around 4:00 and hopefully it won't come back to haunt me during the race in the form of a side stitch. I'm shooting to run the 5k in 27:30, which is a pace of 8:51 min/mile. My PR so far is 27:55, which is a pace of 9:00 min/mile. I hope I'm not setting my goal too high. I have felt very strong this week, so I'm hoping that will continue.

Tempo run stats:
Distance: 4.33 miles Splits: Mile 1 - 11:07
Time: 43:55 Mile 2 - 9:45
Ave pace: 10:08 Mile 3 - 9:44
Ave HR: 165 Mile 4 - 9:34
Calories burned: 515

Next run: Tonight's 5k
Total miles this week: 19