Thursday, August 28, 2008

I officially signed up for a few things this week...

9/7 - Indoor Triathlon (10 min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run)
10/4 - TC 5K (part of the Twin Cities Marathon Weekend)
10/5 - Volunteer @ the Twin Cities Marathon (my first time volunteering)

I figured since I didn't get into the 10 Miler, and I REALLY want to run this marathon someday (hopefully next year) I still wanted to be a part of it this year. Plus, I want to give volunteering a try. I signed up for "Fluid Distributor" in the secured finish area. This will be my first time even going to a Marathon, so I am really looking forward to it.


Wednesday - Slacked running-wise, no running. I did walk around the fair though, does that count? Fair food: Stay away from the fancy bacon items...they are not worth it. The old standbys are still yummy though...corn dog, cheese curds, elephant ear, warm chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday - 4.1 miles on the treadmill. Almost 3.5 miles were tempo at 6.0 mph with 2 very short walk breaks to take a drink (forgot my water bottle and didn't want to spill it all over myself and the treadmill).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Flying Fast...well, kinda...

I didn't find the "Pig Lickers" at the fair this weekend, but I did try the "Big Fat Bacon" - which I do not recommend. It is an extra thick slice of bacon (I think it is suppose to be 1/3 lb) on a stick (of course) cooked on the grill with some maple glaze. Ok, so this is probably something I should know better than to eat…but it is the "Great Minnesota Get Together" unusual things like that are allowed. This one was way too fatty for me though.

We are going back tomorrow with the kids, and I am hoping to track down the "Pig Lickers" which are crispy fried bacon pieces covered with chocolate…only at the Fair!

I've had a pretty good running week so far (although it is early). I think I like having my long run on Saturday better than Sunday. Then after my Sunday rest day I was ready to start the week fresh. Also, I may actually be able to make it to a group run sometime (the one at the gym meets Saturday morning).

Monday - I made it out for a 4.5 miler. I had to leave the house while it was still pretty dark to get it done in time for work…I am really not liking that. I am considering if I need to go get some visibility stuff (lights, reflectors, whatever) or if I should go ahead and move my runs to after work. It was pretty cool out, I actually wished I had gloves! I was plenty warmed up by the time I made it home, but the start of the run was chilly.

Tuesday (today) - I biked in to work again and decided to see if I could beat my old 1 mile time on the treadmill. I started at 5.5 mph and did a progression run where I increased 0.2 mph every minute for 10 minutes…brought me up to 7.5 mph! Then I slowed down the pace until I was right around 15 minutes. My mile time (according to Nike+) was 9:24, but I know I could have done better. My overall pace (including cool-down) was 9:39! That is flying for me!! If only I could hold that for twice the distance I could break a 30 minute 5K!! Maybe one day….at least it gives me hope for now.

I think there is a track about a mile from the office (and in the general direction of home) so I am going to see if I can find it on my home tonight. Maybe I will stop there next week on the way in to work instead of doing my short run here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

2 Hours, 3 Lakes, 10.86 Miles

I can barely believe I did it, but I just finished running the entire "Chain of Lakes" Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriett, and Lake of the Isles. Then I ran about 5 minutes past my car and back to hit 2 hours! I not only hit double digits, I kept going!!

Well, I just popped in cuz I was so excited...gotta go. We are going to the State Fair today. Maybe I will try some "Pig Lickers" (chocolate covered bacon).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Running Toys

I have been thinking lately that I really want a new Garmin. I have been having issues with the Nike+ lately, and I never really go to the website anymore. I figure I could sell my old Garmin (201) for about $50 and the Nike Sportband set-up (yeah, I know I just got it) for $30-$40. And I could get a Garmin 205 (one of the older models, not the sweet new ones that look like a watch, but the ones that are much smaller than my old one) for about $150. I mean, I would love one of the new ones, but they are more like $300. What do you think? Am I just being greedy? I know I don't really NEED a new toy, but I am willing to give up my old ones… But I already got some new running toys this year - the Sportband and a Polar HRM - I don't need it.

Maybe I should take a different route and try going back to the basics for a while instead. I could stop using the Nike+ and just time my runs. I could get the mileage afterwards (I am never really sure of my route beforehand) on runningahead/mapmyrun etc. I believe the term I heard lately is "running blind." Plus, I do all my speedwork on a treadmill anyway, so I have the pacing help I need there.

My latest progress:
Yesterday I did an easy 4.2 miles around the neighborhood. For some reason, I could have sworn it was further. I mean, I felt great I just thought I should have been close to 5 miles for the route I took.

This morning I did my easy 2 mile warm-up before swimming...16 lengths! Not that 16 is very impressive, but I am happy with it...I am showing steady improvement.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am amazed this hasn't happened before, but I overslept this morning. The alarm is always set for 5AM and I quickly turn it off when it starts (off, not snoozed) to avoid waking up the little ones in the next room. Then I doze for about 10-30 minutes before actually getting out of bed. Somehow I always manage to wake up in time to do whatever I need to do and get to work by 7:30ish. Well, this morning that didn't happen. I turned off the alarm at 5 and when I opened my eyes again the clock said 6:30!!

Luckily I had my stuff for the day packed and ready to go. So, I threw on my running clothes and grabbed my bag and headed to the gym for some intervals. Unfortunately I didn't have time for the 5 miles I had planned, but I made it just over 3 before I had to start showering etc for work. Well, I made it to work right at 8:00 - I can't believe I was still able to fit in a decent run. These are the days I am glad I live (and gym) so close to work!

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Week - Fresh Start

I feel like I was a bit of a slacker last week. I completely skipped my Wednesday run, only made it through 2.6 miles of my 5 mile Thursday (suppose to be speedwork) run, and ended up with a 4.2 mile long run on Sunday. I don't know exactly what the problem was. I just couldn't manage to do the miles. I guess my body forced me into an unplanned pullback week.

It is hard because the prior couple weeks were so good. I guess maybe I was trying to push it a little too much. I did get some good crosstraining in though. I increased my swim from 8 lengths in the previous week to 12 lengths. I also did some extra miles on the bike when I bailed on the second half of my Thursday run.

I have a good feeling about this week though. I feel much more rested and ready to go. I didn't do a run this morning just to make sure I am as rested as possible (only had a 1.5 mile recovery planned anyway). I have what I think is a reasonable plan for the week that gets me back to the 20 mile week mark with a bike day and swim day still in there. And hopefully this weekend I can pull out a 9-10 mile long run. I am feeling is going to be a good week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Skipped Run :(

I think today may be my first skipped run in a long time. When I woke up this morning, my stomach just felt tight - not sure why. It feels fine now, so no need to worry. But I had an easy 4 miler on the schedule for today. Normally, I would just make sure I get it in tonight...but I will have company tonight, so that is very unlikely to happen. I also don't have any extra days to fit it in. I have a 5 mile interval run tomorrow, 2 easy miles with some swimming Friday, and my very important preSunday-LSD rest day on Saturday. So, nowhere to fit it in! I may extend the 2 mile run on Friday to 3 or 4, depending on how I feel, but I don't want it to effect my swim too much either.

Oh well, I know it isn't that bad to skip a run now and then...especially since I am not truly training for any specific race (although I have a feeling I will be at the Monster Half in October). But since I have been so good lately, it sucks to know that I will be skipping it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nine Miles Down

I went downtown yesterday to run along the River Road...I had 8.5 miles on the schedule, but I figured I would play it by ear. I had a route planned out that was right around the 8.5 miles. I parked at the Stone Arch bridge (cuz I knew there was parking there) and had a 5ish mile loop to the south and a 3ish mile loop to the north mapped out.

I got to the parking lot right on schedule and realized I had to pee...and no bathroom/port-a-potty in sight. So, with that many miles ahead of me, I got back in the car and found a gas station before I started.

Once I got back, I headed out on my southern loop. I got a little over a half mile down the road before I hit the road block...road closed...OMG why did I not think about the construction for the 35W bridge? I tried to go around it, but after a few blocks I realized that wasn't going to happen. So, I turned around and headed back to the start. I crossed the StoneArch and headed out on my northern loop. Through a park and down a couple blocks and road closed! What is up with this? So, I went over a block and tried to find my way back toward the river, but I was essentially in a residental neighborhood at this point...I could do this in my neighborhood! Eventually I found a bridge that took me back across the river (not the one I had originally planned). And when I got to the other side, I found the "Grand Rounds" trails that run pretty much all around the city (This is the same group of trails that I run on around the lakes area). Now this is what I was thinking that running along the river would be! Unfortunately, I was back by my car way to early to call it a day. So, I headed back across the river and just kept going straight (at this point, I just wanted to get my miles in). I got to the end of the road, and not wanting to get lost this late in the run turned around and headed back. I got to my car (again) right about 8 miles...and surprisingly, I wasn't ready to stop yet! I decided on one more out & back to the Hennepin bridge (about half a mile away), and finished right at 9 miles! My legs didn't really get tired until around 8.5 miles (the last half mile was pretty tough).

Overall, although it wasn't the run I had planned, it felt great! I can't believe I am able to comfortably run that distance! Now there is nowhere to go except double digits!

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Swim Attempt

Wow - swimming is really hard work! I mean, I figured I would be a little sore (especially my arms, since I don't really use them much while running). But I thought I would be somewhat okay with the cardio aspect of it. Boy was I wrong! I swam one length of the pool and was breathing so hard I had to take a rest before swimming back! I planned on swimming for 10 minutes (that is the time for the triathlon), and I managed to do 8 lengths in that time - well, I actually stopped at 9:30, but I wasn't going to be able to do another length in the last 30 seconds. I also alternated freestyle with backstroke, since backstroke is much easier for me. So far, I am not sore - I will give it some time though to be sure.

Goal for next week - 10 time is more about getting in the distance.

Before the swim, I did an easy 2 miles on the treadmill. It worked out well as a warm-up for the swim.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

You Guys are Awesome!

Wow, you guys are awesome!! I actually considered the Monster Dash Half (and haven't completely ruled it out yet)...but it sounds like it was pretty disorganized last year. I have never heard of the Walker North Country one - I will have to check that one out.

Karen - I usually run before the little ones are awake - I kinda wish I could run with them more often, but I am not running in the afternoons this time of year! They will have to wait until it cools off a little before we are regular running buddies again.

(Just thought I would address a couple comments here first)

Here is the update: I have been playing with my training schedule (yet again) to see if I could work in some swim & bike without cutting back too much on the running. It turns out that I may be able to do it! Yesterday I biked to work and back, and was still able to do a short 1.5 mile run before work. So, I am thinking that I could do a day of bike and a day of swim on my short easy run days. I would still have 1 to 2 complete rest days. Here is a sample week:

Monday - Rest or 1.5 recovery (from Sunday LSD)
Tuesday - Bike 6.5 miles (to and from work) and 1.5 mile run
Wednesday - 5 mile easy run
Thursday - 6 mile tempo run (or other speedwork)
Friday - Swim and 2 mile run
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 9 miles LSD
Total Running Mileage = 25 miles

(Note that this particular week would be a couple weeks away) I think I am going to give it a shot and if I feel like I am overdoing it, I can always cut back on something.

Rachel - Good Luck on the Gopher to Badger Half this weekend!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just Chuggin Along

I have just been chugging along on my runs. I really wish I had some big race that I was training for...but nothing worked out for the fall. If airline tix weren't so expensive, I would be somewhere for a half-marathon, but unfortunately I can't bring myself to spend that much to go somewhere to run a race.

I am considering doing an "Indoor Triathalon" at the gym. Everyone swims for 10 minutes, then bikes for 30 minutes, then runs for 20 minutes (all in the gym). I know I can do respectable on the run, and I have biked to work a few times now, so I don't think I would embarrass myself there...but the swim portion scares me. I need to get to the gym early one day and see just how many laps I am able to do in 10 minutes. At least it is in a pool, and not in a lake like a normal triathalon. There are two dates I could do it (at different locations) one in September and one in November. So, I was thinking I could do the first one just to see how it is and if I like it I could make beating my Sept distances a goal for November. The problem is that I would have to cut back some of my running in order to fit in some swimming and biking training. I guess I am just afraid to cut back since I am finally at a good place with the running. If I cut back now, will I still have the motivation to ramp back up for a spring half?

Oh, and in case you didn't notice (cuz why would you?) I finally made it to 8 miles on Sunday!! Yippee!! **This is what I am afraid of losing**