Monday, June 29, 2009

OMG, I ran 10 miles!

So, I ran 10 miles on Sunday. I don't know what possessed me to do this. I think I just wanted to see if I could do it. I was only supposed to run 8. Another reason I did it is because I skipped my easy 2 miler on Saturday and felt guilty, so I figured I would add the 2 into my long run. I still cannot believe that I did it. I mean, that's double digits! When you say, "I ran 10 miles", you realize that 10 miles is pretty darn far! I never in a million years would ever have thought that I would be capable of doing something like that. I was always overweight in elementary school and junior high. Some of you know what it's like to be overweight growing up. I had a lot of friends, but there were always people that would make fun. I lost some weight in high school playing softball, but I have never been skinny. I've always stayed around 150-155 pounds since high school. It's just really satisfying to look back on that and see where I am today. I love running. It has given me so much confidence. I have never done anything that makes me feel the way running does.

I also approached this run differently in regards to how fast I ran it. I've been reading a lot about training programs and what the different types of runs you incorporate into your training plan do for your running, like the long run, easy run, tempo run, speed run, etc. There are target heart rate zones you should be running these in. For example, the long slow run should be run at a HR of about 65-75% of your max HR. For information on how to calculate your max HR with the new formula, see this article from Runner's World, or you can do it the old way by taking 220-age (Obviously this is only an estimate). The RW article talks about using a HR monitor and the benefits of knowing your HR. Another really great source of information about HR training is McMillian's Running. My max HR is 192, so on my long run I should be keeping my HR between 124-144. For me, this creates a problem because on all of my long runs my average HR is always around 165. There are two reasons for this: 1. I haven't been training long enough and am in not good enough cardiovascular condition to have a HR this low while running and 2. I'm running my long runs too fast. I'm always telling myself I'm too slow, so I try to run faster, but I may be doing myself harm, not good. I have read that training at a HR of 65-75% of your max HR will improve your running, and your HR will start to come down with continued training. I think that I have started off too fast for my own good. So, to make a long story short, I started this run will the intent to keep my HR around 135, but it resulted in a pace of around 13:30 min/mile. Now that is just ridiculous! I couldn't run that slow, it would kill me! So, I settled for keeping my HR around 153, which is about 80% of my max HR. That way, I kept a pace of 12:00 min/mile and didn't feel like I was as slow as a turtle. I think I'm going to start either taking a long walk once a week or use the elliptical, keeping my HR around 136 and see if that helps.

I know I would not have been able to run 10 miles Sunday had it not been for me slowing my pace down and watching my HR. Sometimes running isn't about running fast, but about running smart! I am going to start paying more attention to my HR during my runs and hopefully my running will improve as a result.

Monday was a rest day, so I did 40 minutes on the Wii Active and 35 minutes of my new Billy Blanks Ab Bootcamp DVD. Billy Blanks kicked my butt!!

Running stats courtesy of Garmin Connect:
Total miles: 10
Ave pace: 12:17 min/mile
Time: 2:02:52
Ave HR: 154
Calories burned: 1,083!! wow!!

Next run: Tuesday, easy 5 mile run
Total miles this week: 10

Friday, June 26, 2009

7 mile speed workout

Yesterday I did a 7 mile speed workout. I accidentally posted that I was doing a tempo run in a previous entry, then realized it was a speed workout. Yesterday's weather was not typical. It was about 70 degrees and felt really cool outside at about 10:00 and was very overcast. I piddled around the house, then finally got myself out the door. As I was driving down to the Kanawha Boulevard, I realized just how overcast it was and that I was probably going to get rained on. I considered turning back, but thought maybe the rain would hold off for another hour. I was wrong, lol. About 1/4 of the way through my run it started a steady sprinkle. Not too bad, I thought to myself. It started coming down harder at the halfway point. I have never been caught in the rain before. It was exhilirating! I actually kept to my speed pace much better and probably ran a little faster because I told myself I was trying to "beat" a downpour. There were people out walking and had umbrellas and here I am running. I really felt like a runner, as only "real" runners would run 7 miles in the rain, right? It felt good. I did a 1.5 mile warmup, then ran 3 repeats of 1 mile at 9:00 min/mile pace with 1/2 mile recoveries, then a 1 mile cooldown. The downside, was coming home later to news that my beloved Michael Jackson was dead. I was glued to the television the rest of the day. My husband and some friends were working on the rec room, so I ended up eating pizza for lunch and dinner, 4 slices total. Then, I was so depressed about MJ that I begged my husband to take me to Mayberry's for a chocolate hot fudge sundae. And yes, I ate it all by myself and it was delicious. Today, I'm jamming to MJ's tunes all day at work. I love you MJ!

Stats courtesy of Garmin Connect:
Miles: 7
Ave pace: 10:25 min/mile
Time: 1:12:54
Ave HR: 168

Next run: Saturday easy 2 miles (or more if I'm feeling skippy)
Total miles for the week: 17

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP MIchael Jackson

I am in tears. I absolutely love Michael Jackson, even though it has not been acceptable to love him over the past 10 years. Nobody can deny that he is the true King of Pop and influenced the music industry in more ways than we can ever appreciate. I was really looking forward to his comeback tour in England. This is truly a devastating day.

I am in mourning. I will be eating icecream later. This is horrible.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy 2 miler

Ran an easy 2 miles this evening at a nice park hidden away near a friend's house. Felt great. I have no idea what my pace was or how long it took me because I forgot my watch and was having a good time with friends. They were walking while I ran. I seemed to recover well from the 8 miler on Monday. I did Zumba and a Turbo Jam Abs workout on Tuesday.

Next run: Thursday, 7 mile tempo run
Total miles this week: 10

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long Run #5 - 8 miles

Had a great long run today. I had planned on running it this evening, but as I looked at the I realized it would be better to do it before noon. Usually 11:00AM is still too hot, but it was about 72 degrees and not too humid, so I thought I would go ahead. Glad I did because the weather felt good. It was sunny, but there was a nice breeze. I ran 8 miles on the Kanawha Boulevard, nice and flat with great scenery. I ran from Drug Emporium near the Patrick Street Bridge to the State Capitol and back. I felt good througout the whole run and kept a pretty constant pace.

Stats on
Total miles: 8
Average pace: 11:20 min/mile
Total time: 1:30:42
Calories burned: 966
Ave HR: 168

My heart rate seems to always be too high on my long easy runs. I just couldn't get myself to slow down. I still felt great at this pace. I'm hoping with continued training it will start to come down.

Next run: Wednesday - easy 2 miler/hills at the end
Total miles this week: 8

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Run for Your Life 5 Miler

Yesterday I ran the Run for Your Life 5 Miler. I didn't really know where they got that name from, till I realized it was because the course involves a 2 mile stretch running up to Spring Hill Cemetary and running in the cemetary! The slogan for the race is "the toughest 5 mile race around". That is probably an understatement. Even though I live in WV (the mountain state), most of the 5k's and other local races are on flat land, with the exception of races at Coonskin Park, the Charleston Distance Run, and this 5 miler, of course. Needless to say, the treck up Farnsworth street leading up to the cemetary was pretty brutal. I would compare it to running 119 in the CDR, but with a couple steeper points.

I started off the race feeling great. I wanted to maintain a pace under 10:00 min/mile, which would be a challenge for me. I had just come off that aweful tempo run on Thursday morning where I couldn't even maintain a slow pace. I brushed that off and didn't even think about it. Every day is a new running day, and you never know what you're going to get! So, I started off and the first mile I ran at a 9:40 pace and felt pretty good. I noticed, however, that my Garmin hit the 1 mile mark before the actual 1 mile point, which was marked with a water station. I didn't think much of it. The start of mile 2 began the climb up Farnsworth. The beginning of it is more like an on-ramp and wasn't too bad. I slowed my pace down to an 11:00-11:30 min/mile to help conserve energy. This road was long, and I had to stop and walk at about mile 1.5. I did this running/walking thing the whole way to the top of the hill, till I got to the cemetary. The road got really steep, and there was no way I could run it the whole way. There was another water station at mile 2. I got a drink, then started running again. I had to run a mile in and around the cemetary before coming back down again. The cemetary itself was comprised of lots of rolling hills; nothing too steep, but still hilly. Somehow I fell into this groove. My breathing felt great, my form felt really natural, and I felt really strong all of a sudden. I was able to tackle the hills without slowing much. It was a difficult run in the cemetary, but I felt very strong and confident. At mile 3, I headed back down Farnsworth. I was in autopilot at this point, just cruising down that hill! It felt awesome. I had a pace of about 8:30-9:00 down the hill. Once I got to the bottom at mile 4, it was flat from there. Ahh, the home stretch. I still felt amazingly strong. I'm thinking to myself, "where is this coming from??". I usually am struggling pretty bad at this point in any race. At mile 4.5 I started to feel the energy let up a little, but I kept my pace. At this point, I realized that my Garmin was reading a lot farther than the course was. I KNEW I would finish this race in 50 minutes or less. Then, I saw the finish line and the time clock. It said 53:30!! WTF?? I looked at my watch and saw that it read 5.28 miles. I was irritated, but then also determined to cross the line before it hit 54 minutes. I don't know where it came from, but I started an all-out sprint to the finish. I mean, I don't think I have ever run that fast before in my life. And I felt so strong! People saw me sprinting and started cheering for me. I guess they saw the determination on my face. It was amazing. I crossed at 53:58, lol.

I caught my breath, then headed over to the table to turn in my popsickle stick. I was number 78 to finish. Not sure how many ran in it. I will have to see when they post the race results online. I asked a girl next to me, who was wearing a Garmin Forerunner 305, what her watch said the distance was. She told me it said 5.3. Mine did, too. She said she was going to email the race director to ask about the distance. I figure they will say this is the 4th year they have done this run, and it's been the same 5 miles each year, lol. But, I truly believe that it was 5.3 miles. The way I felt and how hard I pushed myself, there was no way I ran that race at a 10:47 min/mile pace. At no point during the race did my Garmin read slower than a 10:50 min/mile pace, except between miles 2-3, the hill part. I did forget to stop the timer at the finish, so it didn't stop at 53:58, it was stopped at 54:21.

Here are my splits from Garmin Connect:
Mile 1- 9:40
Mile 2- 11:56
Mile 3- 10:49
Mile 4: 9:19
Mile 5: 9:24
Mile 0.3: 3:10

Garmin Connect calculated my average pace to be 10:13. If I use this data and extrapolate it to 5.0 miles, instead of the 5.3 the watch said, it would make my average pace 10:47. I just don't believe that. Maybe I'm just being hard headed, or putting too much faith in the Garmin. It's not really that, it's the fact that I felt amazing during the race and ran my ass off. It absolutely did not feel like a 10:47 average pace, even with the hill portion. Oh well, 5.0 or 5.3, I felt great. It was probably the best race I've ever run and felt awesome in. I really had a good time and liked the hill challenge. At the end, I wanted some more, haha. I will definitely be doing this one again next year.

Next run: Sunday - long, slow run, 8 miles
Total miles for the week: 21 miles

Friday, June 19, 2009

My not so tempo run

I was scheduled for a 6 mile tempo run yesterday. Coming off my easy 2 miler from the evening before, I thought I could knock this run out. I felt so amazing on my 2 mile run, like I was superwoman, haha. I did the 2 miler at about 9:00PM the night before, then the Wii Active, finishing my working out at about 10 or 10:30 give or take. I woke up in the morning to run at 8:00. Starting off, my legs felt heavy. I noticed that my breathing didn't feel right and I was having a hard time. I just couldn't get into a groove. Then, there was road work on the Boulevard on a bridge, so I had to take a detour around. It was bad. I plain stunk. I think that I started off too fast, still on my high from the run the night before. I was supposed to warm up at about an 11:30 min/mile pace for 1 mile, run 4 miles at a 9:40 pace, then a mile cooldown at the 11:00 min/mile pace. My splits are as follows:

Mile 1: 11:02
Mile 2: 9:53
Mile 3: 10:06
Mile 4: 10:01
Mile 5: 11:13
Mile 6: 11:51

I was close to my pace the first 2 miles, but completely fell off after that, having to stop and walk several times throughout the whole run. It was really ridiculous. I mean, I couldn't even keep my normal pace! It was just a terrible run, but I'm not going to let it get me down. Runners just have bad days, and they are completely unexplainable. From now on, I'm not going to do a full workout the night before an early run. And, I HAVE to make sure I'm hydrated enough. I think that may have been an issue, too. I'm not going to let this get me down. I have a 5 mile race tomorrow morning, so I'm going to take today as an off-day, or I may get some core training in. I'm running the Run for Your Life 5 mile Race, part of the Smoke on the Water Chili Cookoff. It's supposed to be difficult, running up Spring Hill Cemetary. I'm going to take it easy and not kill myself. Hopefully, it will be a good day.

Run stats:
Total distance: 6 miles
Time: 1:04:09
Ave pace: 10:41
Calories burned: 707

Next run: 5 mile Run for Your Life race in the morning
Total miles for the week: 16

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Easy 2 miler and Wii Active

I took 2 days off from running after Sunday's 8 miler/hill climb. I started to feel like a bum, not running for two days! I did go to Zumba yesterday, so Tuesday wasn't a complete rest day. I went out for an easy 2 miles this evening after dinner before it got dark. I'm not sure if I was just really feeling good today, or the hill climb on Sunday made me stronger, but I felt awesome running today. I ran the Terrace, which usually wears me out, but I hit every incline feeling super strong and ran a faster pace than usual. I didn't pay much attention to the pace on my Garmin today, just went by how I felt. When I got home, I did a 25 minute workout on the Wii Active. Still loving that game. It had me do bicep curls and shoulder presses, as well as some jumping and lunges. It gives me a good workout. In the morning, I have to get up and go do a 6 mile tempo run before work. I hate hate hate getting up early to workout. I highly value my sleep, lol. But, it will be nice to have it out of the way.

Running stats:
Distance: 2.02 miles
Time: 21:10
Pace: 10:27 min/mile
Calories: 245
Ave HR: 162 BPM

Next run: Wedesday, 6 miles total, 4 miles @ 9:39
Total miles this week: 10

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What a way to start off the week w/ Long Run #4

So Sundays are my long slow run days. I decided to start running on the CDR race course because of all the hills, which start at around mile 3.5 and last 5 miles. If you can get through the first 8 or 9 miles, the course is all flat from there. Prior to training for this race, I had never trained on hills. Actually, the only hill workout I have ever done was 2 weeks ago, when I did hill repeats. I know that I need to run hills regularly or I'm going to die come race day.

So, being the fifth week of my training plan, I decided it was time to run the course. I asked my friend, Andrew, to run it with me. He's the only runner friend I know that is capable of running this type of course. He can put in a 13 mile run at any given time, and runs about a 18-19 minute 5k. He trains on hills regularly, so this wouldn't be that hard on him. I was worried about holding him back because he trains at about a 7 or 8 minute pace even on his long runs, but he agreed to keep my pace, as he just wanted to learn the course. We started off at a 10 minute/mile pace, then on the hills it was about a 11 to 11:30 minute/mile pace. We started about 11AM and it was about 72 degrees and sunny. By the time we finished it was really hot and sunny.

We started off at the State Capitol on nice flat land, crossed the Southside Bridge, then hit the largest hill of the course, 119. This hill is a monster! It's about a mile long to the next road on the course and is pretty steep. Halfway up this hill I'm thinking to myself, "Tammy, what have you got yourself into. There is no way you can do this, this is a big mistake. You aren't trained enough to even think about running these hills". Andrew kept my slow pace, and I decided to walk a little about 3/4 of the way through the hill. We both walked for a little, then ran the rest of the way to the top, where we turned onto Oakwood Rd. We stopped to walk at this point as well, as the first part of the road is very curvy with lots of traffic. We started running again, and I really needed water badly. We continued left on Oakwood and finally came to a church. We took about a 5 min break there, as I used the bathroom and got some water. Andrew wasn't even breathing hard up these hills and didn't need any water. I'm so envious, lol.

We left the church and finally came to Bridge Rd. I knew that the next road we would turn on, Louden Heights, was all shady and downhill. I kept telling myself if I could just make it to Louden Heights, I would be fine. Bridge Rd had a few steep hills, and I did my best to run them. About the last hill on Bridge Rd and my quads couldn't take it anymore. I had to stop and walk again. My legs were feeling pretty week. All of a sudden, I saw the Louden Heights street sign. I'm screaming to Andrew, "there's Louden Heights!! We've made it!!" I was so incredibly happy all my energy started to come back. We turned onto Louden and it was beautiful. Lots of shady trees, just a great nature run. I felt great at this point. We were at mile 6 as we turned onto Louden, and it was about a mile to the end of the road back over the bridge. There was one somewhat lengthy hill about halfway through Louden, but I managed to maintain my pace and not have to walk. It was downhill again after that hill. We finally made it to the end of the hell course and back over the bridge. We had parked his car at the bottom of the bridge so we could hop back into it and drive back to the Captiol, but he talked me into running back to my car, which was about a mile away. I was pooped, and had practically nothing left.

I planned on only doing 7 miles today, but ended up doing 8. I couldn't believe I was able to run the hills and survive. There were brutal, but not as bad as I thought they would be. It was great to have Andrew there running with me, motivating me. There is no way I could've done that run without him there. Having a running buddy definitely pushes you to run better and further. Hopefully, he will run it with me every other Sunday. It's not exactly a safe course to run by yourself, considering there aren't any sidewalks on the hill portion.

Running stats:
Distance: 8.03 miles
Time: 1hr 30min 53 sec
Pace: 11:19 min/mile
Calories burned: 935 (though it is probably more than this considering the hills)

Next run: Wednesday, easy run
Total miles this week: 8

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I set a PR at today's 5k, yay!!

My goal for the 5k today was 27:30. I think I was over-shooting, but I thought I could pull it off. My best time to date was 28:15. It ended up being pretty humid this morning. I didn't realize my Garmin's battery was running low, so this morning when I turned the GPS on, I got the low battery message. Sick burn!! It had 15% battery left. I thought it would be enough to get me through the race, but it ended up dying on me at about the 3/4 mile mark. It said my pace was 9:00 min/mile when it died, so I tried to keep the same speed after it died and hope for the best. The clock still worked on it, so I had an idea how I was doing. I was running out of steam with a half mile left. My lungs felt like they were going to explode! I could finally see the finish line and when I got close enough to see the time clock, it said 27:40 on it. At that point I realized I didn't reach my goal, but I was determined to finish in under 28 minutes, so I used what little gas I had left and kicked it into high gear and finished with a time of 27:54-ish. I'm not exactly sure what my time was, but I know it was under 28. So, I was bummed I didn't reach the goal I set for myself, but when I turned my popsickle stick in, I realized that I was 2nd place in my age group. They did the age groups different at this race. Usually they do 20-29, but this race they did a 20-24 age group and a 25-29. I will be 25 next month, so I was still in the 20-24 group. I got a trophy! A real trophy! I was so excited that I got second in my age group and got a trophy that it didn't matter to me that I didn't reach my goal time. I still set a PR, which is great. I'm really proud of myself. My first 5k was last year in August, and I have improved since then. I'm starting week 5 of my 16 week training plan for the CDR, so I know I will continue to improve. I have several more 5k's and a 10k on my schedule before the CDR, so I'm hoping to improve each time. Yay for a trophy!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4 miler, Zumba, and I want more!

Yesterday I managed to work out twice in one day. This is definitely a first for me. In the morning I ran my easy 4 miler. It didn't go as easy as it should have. I was going to run it on the treadmill at the gym again, but I was determined to run outside on the Terrace. Like I have said before, running the Terrace is more difficult because of all the inclines. However, it puts me in much better running shape than just running on smooth flat course. It was 85 degrees outside and pretty humid. Luckily the sun wasn't beating down on me, or it would've been much harder. My heart rate is still pretty high for an easy run at this pace, but I think the inclines have a lot to do with that. I'm hoping it will come down to the low 150's with more training. My pace was pretty slow, but it's what I'm supposed to be training at. I try to aim for an 11:30 min/mile on the easy runs, but the heat just slowed me down.

Here are my running stats from the 4 miler:
Distance: 4.01 miles
Time: 47:11
Pace: 11:47 min/mile
Calories burned: 485
Average HR: 163 bpm

In the evening I went to Zumba. My good friend/Zumba instructor, Becca, finally came back from her honeymoon, so I was so excited to go to her class because she is the best. I got a good hour long workout there, then a group of us went to Taste of Asia for some dinner. I ate sushi, yum!

I just want to say how different I feel about working out and how working out makes me feel. I used to dread working out. I wanted so badly to just go home and sit in my comfy chair, watch tv, and take a nap. Now, I want to work out as much as I can. I really enjoy my running and training for races. I'm also really lucky to have found Zumba and that Wii Active game. It's so important to find things that you like to do and that keep you interested, and I really feel like Zumba does that for me. It's not like working out at all, and I get to hang out with my girlfriends at the same time. I just feel better all around. I have more energy and I'm in a better mood. I look forward each day to do something physically active. Plus, on true rest days, taking a nap is like a reward for all the hard work I put in all week and I don't feel guilty about it. I just feel so much better about myself!

Next run: Thursday, easy 2 miler
Next Zumba class: Thursday

Next race: Saturday, 5k

Total miles for the week: 8

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The new Wii Active

I absolutely love the new fitness game for the Wii, the Wii Active. I picked it up yesterday at a local game store. It is amazing and gives a great workout! For those of you who have the Wii Fit, this is way better than the Wii Fit, and this game allows you to use your Wii board for a lot of the exercises. The original Wii Fit game was nice, but there was no fluidity to the workout. You have to click on different exercises and you could basically just do the ones you wanted. The Wii Active has actually taken many different exercises and placed them back to back for you for a complete workout. You can chose the length of time you want to work out, anywhere from 20 mintues to 55 minutes (roughly). You can also set the intensity level at low, medium, or high. You get a personal trainer that will walk you through the exercises and motivate you. And, the workout is different everyday, especially if you do the 30 Day Challenge. For example, I did day 1 of the 30 Day Challenge and it had me walking, running, doing side lunges, kickboxing, punching, squats, curls, shoulder raises, and much more. I am actually sore this morning! The trainer told me that for my next workout, we will be doing different exercises. This is to keep you interested and wanting to work out. The game is pricey, at a little more then $60, and includes the game, a resistance band, and a leg strap. The leg strap is needed to hold the nunchuck so when you do kicking and lunges, the game will read your movements. You will use the resistance bands during the arm exercises. I just can't say enough about this game! It's easy to use, and I had no problem having the game pick up my movements. Bottom line, this game is amazing, and if you have the Wii and like to workout, then run out and get it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Easy 4 miler on the treadmill

I almost didn't run today! My husband and I don't get too many days off together, so I was very very tempted to just stay snuggled up with him in the chair. I was strong, though, and went to the gym for an easy 4 mile run on the treadmill. It was way too hot to run outside today...the sun is just beating down out there. Usually I will wait till the evening to run outside, but this evening is Symphony Sunday at the University of Charleston and I've been looking forward to going to that for weeks. The WV Symphony Orchestra will be playing all day, and there will be lots of food vendors and boat events on the river, plus fireworks tonight. I'm so excited! So, I ran on the treadmill. I went about an 11:30 min/mile pace. That pace was nice and easy and I felt great the whole time. I finished my workout with some abs. I really need to put together a good weight lifting routine, especially for my legs. I'm worried that I'm putting too much stress on my knees because my hamstrings are too weak. Any ideas on some leg exercises?

Next workout: Zumba Tuesday
Next run: Wednesday - easy 4 miler

Total miles so far this week: 4

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tempo run and a doughnut

Yesterday was National Doughnut Day. You've gotta love Twitter for such useless information. Actually, my husband made fun of me for knowing it was National Doughnut Day, but nonetheless he took me to Donut Connection to get some doughnuts. I told myself that I was allowed to eat a chocolate-iced cream-filled doughnut after my tempo run, and to reward myself for my first three weeks of training.

On Thursday I went to Zumba to get some cardio in after work. I tell you what, Zumba is no joke. I have noticed a nice difference in my body after adding 2 Zumba classes this week. An hour of that class and I'm sweating as if I just ran 5 miles. After Zumba, my friend Keely and I hit up a Mexican restaurant and ate vegetarian fajitas and rice. We skimped on the tortilla chips, trying to be good. She's been a vegetarian for 15 years, and I love vegetables so it's nice to eat out with her. I feel like I'm eating healthier.

So, back to my tempo run and doughnut. I ran a little over a mile from a local church to the high school track, then ran 3 miles at a 9:45 min/mile pace, then ran back to the church. It was wet outside, but not raining. The run felt great. I used to dread running around a track. The idea of running 4 laps, much less 12, used to be so daunting. Now I can knock it out no problem. After my run, my husband and I went out to O'Charley's for dinner. I had salmon, rice, a side salad, and half a roll. And yes, I still ate my doughnut when I got home!

I was looking forward to yesterday's run because it was the last run of the week, and next week is a recovery week. I just have to run 3 days next week, 4 mile easy runs. Well, I do have a 5k next Saturday, but that will be fun. I get to run with a cop, lol. I feel like I need a little break, though. Training for a big race can wear you out, and I definitely don't want to overtrain and get injured or burned out. I'm not used to this consistent training, so my body is like, 'what are you doing to me??' I know I can do it though! Three weeks down, 13 more to go!

Next run: Sunday - 4 mile easy run

Total miles for this week: 15

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Easy 2 miler & hill workout

It's been a couple days since my last blog! I ran my 7 miler on Sunday, then on Monday I went to a Zumba class with a friend. I'm trying my best to fit extra workouts into my schedule on top of my running, and what better way to do that than to do some Zumba. For those of you who don't know what Zumba is, it's kind of like a group aerobics class, but it's got great dance choreography and is set to awesome Latin music and other popular dance beats. It's lots of fun, and I definitely get a good 60 minute cardio workout. Needless to say, after my 7 mile run on Sunday and my Zumba class on Monday, my calves were killing me on Tuesday so I took the day off. I pushed my easy run to Wednesday hoping my calves would feel better, and they did!

The Charleston Distance Run has a 5 mile stretch of hills...ouch!! I have never ever trained on hills before, so this will be difficult. Yesterday I did my first "hill workout", incorporating it at the end of my easy 2 miler, for a total of 3 miles. There's a part of Saint Albans referred to as "the loop" where the street loops around and heads up into the opposite direction. At the end of the loop starts a nice big hill. I thought I would tackle this hill. At the end of my 2 miler, I beared down and sprinted up the hill. The hill is 0.08 miles on my Garmin. I felt great running up that hill! I stopped at the top where it flattens, then walked back down. I ran this 6 times. I felt great the whole time, and the 5th time up the hill I started feeling it. I was breathing much harder and walked down the hill slowly. I was going to stop there, but thought I would go for one more, so that I would have about a 1/2 mile of the hill under my belt. That last interval was definitely more difficult! But, I felt awesome after it was over. People might not enjoy these workouts, but I loved it. I honestly like to do speed workouts and intervals because it changes things up and challenges me in a different way than the long runs do. I feel like long runs take more mental effort....just knowing I have to run 7 miles seems impossible, but I get out there and do it. The hill workout was invigorating. I will certainly be doing many more of these, so I hope that I keep liking them!

Next workout: Today - 60 minutes of Zumba
Next run: Thursday - Tempo run 5 miles total, 1 mile warmup, 3 miles @ 9:45, 1 mile cooldown

Total miles for the week so far: 10

Monday, June 1, 2009

Long run #3 - 7 miles

Yesterday's long run was my longest this year. I worked 10-6, then ran afterwards on the Kanawha Terrace in St. Albans. I usually like to do my long runs on the Kanawha Blvd, but I was running out of daylight. Running on the Terrace is a lot harder. It has lots of inclines, a bridge, and a very steep hill. Needless to say, I am in much better shape when I run the Terrace on a regular basis. I drank lots of water at work in anticipation, and sent my tech to Fazoli's to get me a small spaghetti towards the end of my shift. I have to say I felt a little tired. I never really understood what it really meant when people would say that their legs felt heavy, until yesterday. My legs definitely felt heavy and my calves were aching a little at the beginning. The thing that bothered me the most was that my knees started noticeably aching around mile five. I don't recall them hurting much during my last two 6-mile runs, but those runs were on the Boulevard, which is relatively flat. Maybe those inclines and little hills put a lot more stress on my knees. Regardless of the reason, I'm hoping that with continued training, my knees won't bother me. I have to run 15 miles for the CDR, and my knees can't be aching for 10 of them. Other than my knees, I felt good. At the end, I knew I could go further if I needed to.

Next run: Tuesday - easy 2 miler
Total miles this week so far - 7