Sunday, May 31, 2009

Speedwork on the track

I did my first ever speed workout on a track on Friday. In the past, I have had to do all my speed workouts on the treadmill because it's the only way I could keep my pace where it needed to be. Thanks to my Forerunner, I am able to take my speed workouts outdoors. I discovered that it is much harder to do this kind of workout on the pavement than on a treadmill. I'm also discovered that it's difficult to keep a certain pace. I find myself varying my pace widely, so I have to constantly look down at my watch to make sure I'm in my target pace. I did a 1 mile warmup, then I did 2 repeats of 1 mile @ 9:15 with 1/2 mile recoveries, followed by a 1 mile cooldown jog. I ran the whole time, and felt like I had enough energy at the end to keep going at a slow pace. Don't know if I could've done another mile at the faster pace. It was just nice to get outside. I do haven one complaint. There were several people on the track walking or jogging. There were some kids kind of making fun of me for running so much. I was thinking to myself what a bunch of dummies. I'm out there running my ass off. Come see if you can keep up with me kiddies! I bet you $500 you couldn't run 2 miles with me, much less 5! Go home and play video games.

I didn't succeed in getting any extra workouts in last week. I really tried to get to a Zumba class, but was confused about the schedule and showed up at the wrong time. So, this week I am definitely going to Zumba on Tuesday and Wednesday. That is my goal for the week, if I survive my 7 mile long run on Sunday! I have to work Sunday, so it may get pushed to Monday. I did succeed in sticking to my diet this week. Getting through a whole week on the diet is a big feat for me, but I did it! Goal #2 for the week - continue to stick to the diet.

Next run: Sunday (or Monday) - 7 mile long run....ouch

Last weeks total miles: 13

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Easy 2 miler with my new Garmin!

I FINALLY got my Garmin Forerunner 405 in today. I find Amazon Super Saving Shipping ridiculous because I placed my order on May 15 and just got it today. I know it's free shipping, but should it take that long?? Anyways, I was so excited to get it!

First impression out of the box: this thing is huge! I mean, I know I'm a girl and all, but I'm not a teeny tiny girl by any means. This watch is big. Wearing it anytime other than while running would be out of the question. Guys may be able to pull this off. I know Garmin is touting how this watch is smaller than previous versions and looks like a watch, but it is still bulky. I don't mind this, however, because of the valuable information it gives you.

Downloading the Garmin software and intalling the wireless stick took no time at all, and the watch linked to the wireless stick very quickly. The heart rate monitor also links up instantly. The software is nothing special. There is desktop software, and an online website that stores your runs, too. The online tool shows your exact route on a Google map, which is really cool.

As far as accuracy, it was spot on. I was concerned about its ability to hold a signal on the Kanawha Terrace because when I had satellite radio, it lost signal frequently on this road. Not the Garmin, though. Held signal the entire time, and was very accurate.

There are lots of bells and whistles on this thing, so I need to sit down and mess with the settings. I am very pleased with it! I was apprehensive about buying it because there are a lot of negative reviews about the watch out there. Now I realize the people that left poor reviews must not be technically savvy. You have to be good with electronics, or be able to read and understand the manual. If you can't do that, then you may have some problems. Bottom line, I love this watch!

Oh, and my 2 mile run was great!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Long run #2 - another 6 miler

Today was another 6 mile long run. I was supposed to run it yesterday, but the family reunion took up the whole day, and I ate too much. I started my run about 2:00 on the Kanawha Boulevard. I was worried because it was 80 degrees outside, but the sun wasn't really out so I thought I would be ok. I made sure I was well-hydrated and decided I would just slow down if the heat got to me. Surprisingly, I felt great the entire run. I didn't stop to take a walk break at all, and I didn't have to stop for water because I took a full bottle with me. This run was a lot different from last Sunday's 6 miler. Last Sunday I thought I was going to die! Today I felt great the entire time, and even felt better the last half. There was a 60% chance of rain, but I took my chances. It started to sprinkle the last 1/2 mile, and I had enough in me to increase my pace to beat the rain. Good timing too, because once I got on the interstate to go home, it started to pour the rain. Bottom line is I felt really good after my run, and that's how you're supposed to feel after a long slow run. This run really motivated me! That's why I like running - you really get to see yourself improve from week to week.

Next run: Wednesday - easy 2 miler
Total miles for the week: 6

New diet plan

I've said before that I've been running consistently for about 10 months now, and I have failed to lose any weight. I like to think that I eat healthy foods and make good choices. But, the truth is that unless I know exactly how many calories I'm consuming, it doesn't matter how healthy I eat. If you eat too much, even if it's of a good thing, you're not going to lose weight. Also, eating healthy and watching calories is something you have to do every day, not just a couple days a week. I fall into this problem, because I will do really well for a 3-4 days out of the week, but the other 3-4 I'm cheating. Also, I was not consistently getting my miles in each week. I was lucky to get 2 running days in per week. Then, I wonder why I'm not losing any weight. Big dummy.

Reading this blog on Runnerdude's page the other day really got me thinking. Now that I'm training for the CDR and will be CONSISTENTLY running more than 15 miles per week, I need to pay attention to what and how much I eat, especially if I want to lose weight. His post showed me how many calories I need based on my resting metabolic rate, daily activity level, and running. Based on this algorithm, I learned that I need 2000 calories per day, not including running or exercise, to maintain my current weight. That's just based on my resting rate and daily activity level, which I selected as sedentary because my job doesn't require me to do much physical activity at all.

To lose weight, I know that I have to create a deficit in calories somehow, either through reducing food intake or exercising. I know that a pound is equal to 3500 calories. This means that I need to create a deficit of 3500 calories per week to lose 1 pound. Seems like a lot. I burn about 117 calories per mile I run, based on that algorithm. This week, I am scheduled to run 13 miles, which will equal about 1500 calories. That leaves 2000 calories for me to cut out over the course of the week, which is about 300 calories per day. Right now my training plan only has me running 3 days per week, which leaves 4 days that I can get more exercise in through cross-training. So, I can either eat 1700 calories per day and not add anymore exercise, or continue to eat 2000 calories per day, but add in more exercise. This all seems very complex and confusing. It's all a number's game, and I'm pretty good at math, so I think I can figure this out.

I will probably end up eating 1700 calories on days that I don't work out and 2000 calories on days that I do. Keep in mind that "working out" refers to extra workouts I get in during the week on top of my running. For example, the light gym day I had Saturday is considered a workout day. So, last week I had 3 running days and 1 workout day. If my math is correct, I should have eaten 1700 calories everyday, except on Saturday I should have eaten 2000 calories because it was a workout day. I hope that makes sense!

Today, I will begin calorie counting. If my calculations are correct, I will be a pound lighter next Sunday. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Light gym day

Surprisingly, I made it to the gym today. I tell myself I'm going to go lift weights a couple days a week, but I usually only get in my runs for the week and shrug off weight training. In my new committment to running, I recognize that I need to incorporate weight liftining into my training so that I am well balanced. I need to train my core muscles and my hamstrings. While the quads get a good workout from running, the hamstrings get neglected, and weak hamstrings can lead to knee injuries. I definitely don't want that to side track me.

I warmed up with one 10-minute mile. Then I did three sets of three different arm exercises, including push-ups, assisted pull-ups, and dips. In between the arm exercises, I worked on my abs. At the end I finished up with hamstrings. I kept my heart rate up pretty good during the entire workout, which lasted about 40 minutes. It felt good to get a strength training session in. It's a nice break from running. I hope to get two of these sessions in per week.

Hopefully, I will get my long run in tomorrow before the family reunion. I will thank myself at the end of the day when I feel guilty for over-eating!

On a side note - my Garmin is STILL not here. I find this pretty ridiculous because it was shipped on May 18. With the holiday Monday, I probably won't get it till Tuesday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday's Tempo Run

Thursday was a good day overall. Wednesday evening I ate very poorly for dinner because I was helping with the pharmacy move, but Thursday I got right back on track. I even had a Frosty-cino from Wendy's and still managed to stay under 1800 calories for the day. The Frosty-cino was sooo yummy! But, me being somewhat lactose intolerant, I should've known better. Basically dairy gives me horrible gas and bloating. Add a run to the mix and I get cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom. I know, I should've known, but I had been avoiding dairy for a long time and thought I'd give it a try.

I went home after work and grabbed a ham sandwich, waited around for an hour, then went to the gym at 8 PM for my run. I can't wait till my Garmin gets here so I don't have to train on the treadmill on beautiful days. Word to the wise - don't select the free Super Saver Shipping on Amazon. It literally takes forever. Just suck it up and pay the shipping. Anyways, I did a mile warmup at an 11 min pace, then 3 miles at a 9:45 pace, then a mile cooldown at an 11:20 pace. I felt good through the run, but was exhausted by the end of mile 4. Not to mention, I started getting random cramps halfway through from the Frosty I had eaten after lunch. Not doing that again! Overall, it was a great run. Now, I get 2 days off! I will probably go to the gym Saturday and get some strength training in. Sunday is another 6-mile run. Here's the problem with Sunday - family reunion with tons of yummy food. The goal is to get up and run before the family reunion....but I may end up pushing the long run back to Monday! Another goal for Sunday is to not eat so much that I am miserable and have to go home and sleep it off! Wish me luck!

Next run: Sunday (or Monday): Long run 6 miles

Total mileage for the week: 13! woohoo!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Long day, bad eating!

So I worked 15 hours today. I finally made it home at 12:30 AM and will be back at work at 9:00 AM. I normally don't do this, but the pharmacy I sometimes work is remodeling, so we had to move everything out of the pharmacy into a temporary pharmacy shack. This was a nightmare, and we had Taco Bell. I ate so well all day long, and have been for a couple of weeks now. I even had a bag of chocolate candy at work earlier today and only ate 1 piece! Well dinner was a disaster....I ate a bean burrito (fresco style), 2 tacos, and cinnamon twists. Then I ate a donut!! Ouch. Oh well. I hope one day I will learn not to be so weak during stressful situations. I will be back on the good diet in the morning. I don't feel too horrible because I have a nice tempo run to do after work. Hopefully I didn't ruin my weight loss effort for this week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easy 2-miler

I ran my 2-miler this evening after work around 8:00PM. It was so nice outside....a little on the cool side. I ran on the Kanawha Terrace in St. Albans. I enjoy running the Terrace because I can run right out my front door and end up on my route in less than 2 minutes. No driving anywhere to run. From my house to the high school is a little over a mile, so I ran to the high school and back.

Today I realized how much I enjoy running. When you're actually in shape, these runs are very pleasant. I used to blow these small runs off, but I know how important they are for building my mileage and clearing my head. These are the runs that take very little effort, and give you a chance to focus on just being outside enjoying your surroundings. A nice change from crawling to my car after my 6 miler on Sunday.

Next run: Thursday - Tempo Run
Dist: 5 mi - 1 mi warm-up; 3 mi @ 9:45; 1 mi cool-down

Total miles so far this week: 8

Long Run #1 - 6 miles

I went on my first long run of my training plan on Sunday. It was 6 miles. First, I did a walk at the State Capitol for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They raised over $120,000! It was a lap around the Capitol complex, which is actually pretty long. Anyways, I walked to the Kanawha Boulevard from the Capitol to do my run. Running on the Blvd is so amazing and beautiful. The Blvd is a stretch that runs from the eastern end of Charleston (past where the Capitol is) to the west end of Charleston at Patrick Street. A running marker to start at is the 35th Street Bridge. Once you reach the west end, you go over a bridge to the other side of the river into South Charleston and end up on MacCorkle Ave. This ends up being a 4 mile run from point to point. From there you can either run the other side of river back to Kanawha City, or you can continue into South Charleston.

Anyways, the river route is amzing. Here's a picture of part of the run:

photo courtesy of

The State Capitol is that little blob in the upper right on the left side of the river right above all those trees. This view shows about 2 miles of the Blvd. I think this is a fairly old picture, as things on the right of the river don't look nearly as developed as they are now. I will have to find a newer picture for you guys. But, anyways you get the idea of how pretty this run can be!

So, I felt good most of the run, till about mile 5, then I was struggling with it. I stopped at a couple water fountains for a few seconds to refill my little water bottle. I was going to make it! I started looking for the big green Greenbrier Street interstate sign. Greenbrier street was my final destination. About 1/2 mile out I could see the sign. A sigh of relief!! But this last 1/2 mile was really testing me. I passed someone I knew walking her dog and shouted "hi" at her. Almost there....1/4 mile left. I'm thinking, "come on, Tammy, you can do it". Elizabeth street. Just one block away! When I finished my lungs felt like they were going to explode. I was panting. So much for an easy run. I have no idea what pace I was going at the end....I started off at a very comfortable pace...probably around an 11 minute per mile pace. I'm not sure if I sped up or was just not in shape enough for that long of a run. I am waiting for my Garmin Forerunner 405 watch to come in, then pace won't be a question. I staggered back to the Capitol, collapsed under a tree and stretched for a few minutes. Then I staggered to my car, stopped at 7-11 and got a G2, and went home to rest.

Next run: Tuesday - Easy run, 2 miles

More info about the CDR

Here are some links about the Charleston Distance Run:

Charleston Distance Run official website - race information and last year's results

2009 changes to the course - an article about changes to the course for this year

The future of the CDR - and article about the possibility of changing the CDR to a half marathon

Currently, they don't have all the race info up on the official race website, but it should be there soon.

Introduction to me

Well, this is my first ever post as a blogger! I will tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Tammy, and I was born and raised in Charleston, WV. I graduated from West Virginia University in 2008 with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. I work as a pharmacist in Charleston and I also get to provide diabetes education. I have been married for a year now to the absolute love of my life. I have a cat, a hamster, and two birds, lol. Everything but children! We are waiting about 5 more years for that! I am obsessed with makeup, in particular M.A.C. makeup, and I spend way too much money on it if you ask my husband!

Ok, so this is a blog about running, not pharmacy, or makeup, or being married!

I started running about a year ago as a way to lose weight. Unfortunately, I have not lost any weight, but I am trimmer and it definitely prevents me from gaining! If I can just control what I eat, I think I would be ok. Anyways, to keep myself running, I sign up for every local 5k, 10k, or whatever there is out there to sign up for. I usually run at least one race per month...that way I keep myself training. My best 5k time was 27:52. The very first 5k I ever ran was the 5k in the Charleston Distance Run last year, in which I ran it in 30:33.

So that brings me to the Charleston Distance Run (CDR). This has been a local race for the past 37 years. Like I said, I ran the 5K part of it last year, and this year I want to do the actual CDR - the 15 miler!! I think I may be crazy. There are a couple reasons I am running this race come September 5, 2009. One is that I really truly want to lose weight. I haven't been logging enough miles to make a difference in weight, and I can't get myself to log more miles on my own. So, signing up for a 15 miler is my committment to log more miles. Another reason I want to run the CDR is this might be the last year for this race. In an attempt to draw more people to the race, they are considering changing it to a half marathon and cutting out the 6 mile hill section, making it a flat half marathon. I want to be part of something that has been a tradition in our town, and be able to say that I ran it. Before it gets changed to a half marathon, that is.

So, there you have it - my background and why I'm running a 15 mile race.

Stay tuned!