Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I feel so Hardcore...

I have actually been doing some of my runs outside this winter! I got a pair of winter running pants for my birthday...Love Them:
They are nice and warm, although I have worn a pair of tight shorts under them for the last couple runs. For some reason, my booty/thighs were getting a little too cold still. This is my first winter actually venturing outside - I even ran in the fresh snow this morning!

Now, let me add a disclaimer here - not all of my runs have been outside. Most of my runs (during the week) are still on the treadmill because I really don't like running in the dark and I have a job to get to. But the last couple weekends - since I got the new pants - I have made it outside.

Let me tell you - running in the snow is no easy feat! Snow and slush move around too much under the feet. My outdoor pace has really sucked, but I am not concerned about that, I know that I am getting a good workout because I can feel it. I think that this will actually be good for my knees & ankles since they have to work harder to keep me stabilized.

Also - I was just looking at my mileage for 2009 (which isn't going to hit my 1000 mile goal) and I realized that I had at least one run EVERY week this year! I know that may sound like a small achievement for some of you, but I thought that was pretty cool. Next year...I'm gonna get that 1000 mile year!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Valparaiso Turkey Trot 10K Race Report

This report is a bit late (ok, it has been almost a month), but I wanted to at least have something to look back at in the future to remember this race. (I recently read through some of my previous race reports, and it was kinda fun remembering them and realizing just how far I have come).

So, this was my first Turkey Trot…and my first race out of town (was in Indiana visiting the family). The weather was not very cooperative - it was a chilly 35* with flurries at the start with the snow turning to rain by the finish.

This was only my second ever 10K, and my first one was well over a year ago. I have seen many PRs fall since then, and my 10K pace was out of wack compared to my PR times for other race distances, so I was pretty confident that I would be able to get a PR in this race (previous PR was 1:05:19). But my sights were set higher…I was hoping to finish in under an hour.

I had no idea what the course was like. This is not my neighborhood, I have never run anywhere even close to the area, or even remember ever driving in the area (although it is actually only a 20-30 minute drive from the house where I lived the first 18 years of my life). When we got there, my family saw the course map and commented on how hilly it was - umm, really? Well, I am still hoping for under an hour, we will see how it goes.

This was the first race that my parents were able to see me run - when you live a couple states away, it is pretty hard to turn up for these things. Also, my DP and our kids and DP's sister were there. I told them to come out in about 50 minutes to see me come into the finish - assuming the weather was still okay. To be honest, it was a little strange having them all there. I go to most of my races alone since they are usually so early in the morning.

The race start was a bit of a mess. There was both a 5K and the 10K and no one seemed to know which would start first. Originally, there were race officials telling everyone to get in the chute if you are running the 5K…but then they were saying that the 10K was starting first…Huh?? They didn't have any microphone/bullhorn/whatever they typically use to be heard at races, so it was kinda going on word-of-mouth anyway. Finally, shortly before the race was about to start I asked some people in the chute what race they were doing and they said 10K, so I figured I'd go ahead and jump in. Luckily, they were right.

Almost as soon as we got going my left foot got wet…AHHH! I didn't think I could run 6 miles with my toes freezing like they were for that first half mile or so. Thankfully, they warmed up and didn't cause any issues after that. The first 2 miles were pretty smooth sailing. I was cruising at about a 9:20 pace. Then I hit mile 3 and with it all those hills that my family had warned me about. Miles 3-4 were a bit of a struggle, but I just kept pushing myself. I kept reminding myself that it was suppose to feel like I was pushing the pace just a little bit (this was a race after all). My pace slowed down considerably during these couple miles. Mile 5 wasn't bad, I got to rest a bit from all those hills but continued to push consistently. Then came mile 6. Mile 6 was not fun, not fun at all. We turned onto a bigger road which was wider and completely open to the wind, which seemed to have picked up since the start. We were running straight into the wind and up a long gradual hill…then it started raining! I am talking about ice cold rain coming down pretty good (remember, it was just snowing an hour ago, so this stuff was cold). My biggest motivation at this point was to get to the finish line so that I could get out of the weather! Finally, I could hear the crowd at the finish line…then we turned a corner and headed into the parking lot…time for me give it anything that I have left! Unbelievably, the family was actually out in this weather to cheer me in - I waved to them as I passed and heard my daughter to cheering for me "Run Mama" how cute! As I crossed the finish line I knew that I had made my goal and it made that last mile worthwhile.

Race: Valparaiso Turkey Trot
Date: Nov 26, 2009
Distance: 10K
Official Time: 59:04
Average Pace: 9:31
Overall Place: 271/465
Place in Age Group: 17/42

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon - Race Report

Two years ago I watched some finishing footage of the Twin Cities Marathon...and for the first time, I thought "I can do that...I want to do that...I will do that one day" On Sunday, that day finally came.

My strategy was to start out slow. No, I mean really slow. Even slower than I had done my long runs. Why? Because I was afraid of going out to fast and ending with a crash & burn. I had spoken to the pacers at the Expo on Saturday and was told that they were all running even splits. (silly me, I assumed that meant that they would be running even splits...but more on that later) So, I decided to join the 5 hr pace group to get me started. If I felt good at the halfway point, I could bank some time along Minnehaha and the west side of the river before hitting the hard stuff on the east side and up Summit. (that was the plan anyway)

I spent the week before the race obsessing about what I was eating and how my legs were feeling. On Friday I finally felt like my legs were fresh and ready to go. We went to the Expo on Saturday where I got a handful of free samples and new pair of sunglasses that made me look fast (too bad it doesn't really work that way). I would have loved to look around more and maybe do some shopping since there seemed to be some good deals on clothes, but I didn't want to tire out my legs. We had lunch at Cossettas and dinner at Olive Garden - at both meals we could hear nearby tables talking about the upcoming race...and the OG is in the suburbs!

I actually got decent sleep the night before the race, although I woke up every hour from about 1 AM on...which turned out to be a good thing, since I mistakenly set the alarm clock for 4:40 PM!! So, a little after 5:00 I got out of bed/showered/dressed/gathered all my running crap/and headed out to downtown Minneapolis.

I parked a couple blocks from the Dome and as I walking found a $20 bill on the sidewalk - sign of good things to come? Let's hope. I got there, hit the bathrooms, and found my MN Running Wild team to hang out with before the start. It was great having them there, I am sure without them the nerves would have gotten to me.

Once in the corral I found the 5hr pace group and lined up just behind the balloons. I found another runner from the RW forums (well, he found me actually - thanks to my crazy striped arm warmers). Shortly after the race started we began to move toward the start line. I just made sure not to lose the balloons. Apparently it took 6 minutes to cross the start, although at the time I would not have guessed it.

It seemed like we were going awfully fast during the first mile, but for some reason I didn't believe my Garmin when it said we were close to a 10:00 mile (I thought we would be around 11:30). In hindsight, I should have believed both the Garmin and my body telling me that this was not the slow pace that I had planned. We finished out the first mile with an average pace of 10:06 and suddenly the pacer told everyone to move to the side and started walking!! OH, I get it now! They are doing a run/walk...that makes sense now. BUT, I don't want to do a run/walk...just a slow run. So, I continued to run ahead of the group and forced my speed to a slower pace. It is so hard to slow down when you have already gotten into a bit of a groove at a higher speed.

For the next 10 miles I managed to keep the pace between 10:30 - 11:00, and slowed down just a little more between there and mile 15 where I found my family. The trip there was great. The spectators and voluteers were amazing - better than any race I have ever been in (of course, this was the biggest race I have ever run). Running around the lakes was cool, since I have done that so many times in training. I ended up abandoning my vest at Lake of the Isles because it was getting too warm. (so, now I need to buy a new vest). Anyway, just after the 15 mile waterstop I finally saw my family...the kids had signs that said "Run" and "Mama" and apparently had been practicing cheering. It was all so sweet I wanted to stick around for a while longer, but had to move on. Unfortunately, as soon as I started running again my knee locked up on me. I could barely move it. I walked a little ways, stopped and stretched it out, tried to run a bit, stretched some more, more walking, built back up to a run, and finally about a half mile later it was moving normally again. I was so relieved - I thought for a moment there that I was going to have to drop out! But once it stopped hurting, it didn't start again.

I was able to hold a decent pace until I hit mile 21...at which point my pace started steadily dropping and I started walking more and more. I knew I was starting to struggle, and still had a few miles ahead of me, so I started walking the uphills to conserve my energy for the downhills & flats. I mean, I was practically running up the hills at a walking pace at this point anyway! This last 4 miles were harder than I had anticipated - but in a different way. I was at a point where I wasn't really feeling any pain, it was just difficult to make my legs keep moving - but I knew they wouldn't stop until I crossed that finish line.

Finally, I saw the Cathedral. I decided to continue walking to the top of the hill so that I could run it in from there. As I passed under the huge American flag across the road I saw my family cheering from the sidelines.

I did it, I did it! But really, crossing the finish line was somewhat anti-climatic. The sense of accomplishment was tied more to all the training that I had done, that I had actually stuck with the program, I didn't slack off, I pushed through the long runs, and just as the final leg of a long journey...I ran 26.2 miles. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast - one of the most exciting and difficult things that I have done - but it was just a piece of the overall marathon journey.

I have already started to think about what I will do differently for my next marathon (which I am thinking will probably be in 2011): 1) more than one 20 miler 2) slower long runs - for more time on my feet 3) more hill work 4) get faster - 5 hrs is a long time to be running 5) plan for a place to meet the family after the race (my cell phone wasn't getting a signal so I had to wander around looking for them).

For now though - I am planning to focus on more crosstraining (swimming & yoga?) and get some speedwork back into my week - I actually miss doing intervals! Oh, and I still want to try for a new PR in the 10K ...it is the only distance that I haven't PRed this year (I haven't run one in 2009).


Race: Twin Cities Marathon
Date: Oct 4, 2009
Distance: Marathon
Official Time: 5:04:35
Average Pace: 11:38
Overall Place: 7311/8432
Place in Age Group: 521/629

Monday, September 21, 2009

City of Lakes 25K Race Report

This race was a little rough, but in a way I am kinda glad. I learned a couple lessons (that I SHOULD have already known).

1) Diet the night before the race really does matter (and Japanese steakhouse is a poor choice for me). I woke up Sunday morning feeling a little sick to my stomach, I think dinner was just a little too greasy (but I LOVE Japanese steakhouse!)

2) If you think you are starting too fast, you probably ARE! Yes, I made this rookie mistake. I was planning on taking it easy and going for anywhere in the range of 10:30-11:00 pace. So, during the first mile when I checked the Garmin and saw that I was at 10:15 what did I do? Yep...I kept up that pace for the next 5 miles!! I guess I figured that my last HM back in May was at 10:30, and I have been working hard since then so maybe I would be ok? Well, anyway after the first 10K my pace started to steadily decline until I was close to 12:00 miles. I was able to kick it up at the end and finished the last .7 mile (per the Garmin) at around 10:30.

So, I am thinking maybe I will start with a pace group for the marathon...just to make sure I don't do this again. If I start with the 5 hour group, that should keep me slow enough early on and I can speed up later on if I feel comfortable...I am thinking Nokomis to the Franklin bridge would be a good area to bank some time if I am feeling strong.

Race: City of Lakes
Date: Sept 13, 2009
Distance: 25K
Official Time: 2:25:36
Average Pace: 11:06
Overall Place: 289/324 (women only)
Place in Age Group: 32/41

Monday, August 31, 2009

A View of the Finish

This weekend I went out with some fellow runners that I hooked up with on the Runner's World forums. I had my first (and only scheduled) 20 miler ahead of me. The group was meeting up at the St Paul Cathedral and carpooling over to Lake Calhoun to run the last 20 miles of the Twin Cities Marathon route. Since I am no where close to most of their speeds, me and one other runner decided to meet up at Lake Calhoun about an hour earlier and get a head start on the group.

We started out together until we made it to Lake Harriet, where I stopped off for a minute. We ended up meeting back up around Lake Nokomis and ran together until past Minnehaha Park. Unfortunately, around Nokomis we missed the turn to get back on Minnehaha Parkway and ended up adding about 1.5 miles to our run!

Around mile 15, I was still feeling pretty good and strong, so I decided to pick up the speed a little - the rest of the run I was on my own. I was able to keep up a pretty decent pace for a couple miles and then I hit the hills! Why would anyone put these hills this close to the end of a marathon? I walked up a couple steep hills with the hopes of keeping some energy for the infamous Summit hill.

Finally, I turned onto Summit and started the long gradual climb. The hill here didn't bother me, the worst part was stopping at the stoplights...my legs wanted to either keep going or stop - not this stop and go stuff! It was so hard to take that first step after each time I had to stop. Somewhere along here my Garmin informed me that I hit the 20 mile mark...but the Cathedral was not yet in sight. I think mentally I started to stop here - I was out for a 20 mile run, not 21.5 after all. I felt really good though at the 20 mi mark (well, considering I had just run 20 miles that is) and had maintained an average 11:15 pace, which I was very happy with.

That is about when I hit the point where Summit turns...and gets steep! I did quite a bit of walking up that hill. For some reason I got a stitch in my side (that never happens) but I pushed through until I came over the hill...to a wonderful view!! As you top the hill you pass the St Paul Cathedral, which itself is great sight, and the Capital building is right in front of you with downtown St Paul spread out to the right - it is a great view...but what makes it even better is knowing that the finish line is right in front of the Capital only a few traffic lights ahead (about a quarter mile) and it is downhill from here! I will say right now...this is probably where I will start crying on Marathon Sunday. After 21 miles mostly by myself I got a little emotional...I can just imagine doing that surrounded by lots of other runners and knowing that I was about to finish my first marathon!! ONLY FIVE WEEKS TO GO!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm gonna blame the rain...

I woke up to my alarm Sunday morning - same as usual. I knew it was suppose to rain, so I looked outside before I started getting ready...no rain, just a little wet. So, I grabbed a PBJ sandwich which I ate while playing on the internet for a few minutes. I put my running clothes on and started getting all my gear organized. Then I went downstairs to clean up a little bit before heading out and what did I hear? A sudden downpour outside! I went to check it out and during the short time that I was looking out the window I saw three lightning flashes. So...I went back to bed.

I woke up again to the sound of the kids wanting out of their cribs. "Up, up, up. Up, up, up." you get the point. I looked outside and the rain had stopped but it still looked horrible outside. I ate a giant muffin and debated going out for my run...eventually I decided I should just do it! So, I finished getting everything together...my belt, garmin, gels, visor, mp3, chilled water & choc milk for the drive home...and headed out to the lakes. Yeah, I know I said I was going to try to avoid the lakes, but I figured that way I wouldn't end up 9 miles from the car if it started downpouring again.

The run started a little tough. My legs felt heavy and the muffin felt like a brick in my stomach. I headed around Cedar Lake first. Normally I could make it around fine without stopping/walking (it is about 4 miles around) but this time I struggled a little and walked a few times. I stopped back at my car at 4 miles and took my first gel then headed toward Lake Calhoun. By the time I made it about halfway around Calhoun the clouds were pretty much gone and the sun was beating down on me. I thought the threat of rain had passed, so I went on to Lake Harriett. At this point my knee was starting to bother me a bit, but it was kinda off and on. I stopped for a potty break and a gel while at Harriett (around mile 9). I was actually feeling better and thinking that I would actually make it through the run.

Then I started back toward the car again around the other side of Calhoun. Sometime along here the dark grey clouds returned, this time with a whole lot of wind! I was preparing myself for the oncoming deluge. I stopped again for a potty/stretching/water refill break at Calhoun before heading back to Lake of the Isles.

About a half mile around LOTI my stomach suddenly started doing flips and I had to walk. I had two choices...I could hope that this would pass and continue the 2 miles around the lake, or I could turn back and make it the half mile back to the port-o-john...I went with option 2. Afterwards, I turned toward the car (only about a half mile away at this point) and decided to call it a day. I made it 13 miles. Very disappointing.

But, I am gonna blame the rain. If it wasn't for the rain, I wouldn't have gone back to sleep and ended up eating that muffin when I got back up. I also wouldn't have been so miserable in the humidity. Plus, I would have already finished my run by then...instead of being a couple hours later. Yep, it was definately the rain's fault.

So, looking at my schedule...I had a 13 miler planned for next week, followed by a 20 miler on the 29th. I don't want to be too tired for my 20 miler, but I don't want to jump from a 15.5 to a 20 either. I think I am going to attempt the 18 miler next weekend then take it a little easier during the week before my 20 miler to make sure my legs get some rest.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Week 11 - Still In Progress

Recap of the week's training (so far):

Monday - Scheduled rest day - rode the bike at the gym for 5 easy miles.
Tuesday - 5.7 mi easy - I had a little trouble keeping it slow at the beginning, maybe it was all that fast running last week? The first 2 mi were about 10:00 pace and by the end I was struggling to keep the pace under 11:00.
Wednesday - Floater rest day - I was just too tired to get out of bed in the morning. I was exhausted all day long.
Thursday - 8 mi easy - I was still pretty exhausted, though not as bad as yesterday. I felt ok until about 6 miles into the run when my stomach cramped up on me. I had to walk much of the last 2 miles back to the gym. I tried out my new hydration belt today - much better than the previous one, but still something to get used to. I only had 2 bottles on it and it felt kinda heavy. I am thinking for the marathon I will just carry one bottle and the pouch and rely on the water stops for most of my hydration.
Friday - 4 mi easy - I finally felt a little less tired this morning. I ran the 4 miles on the treadmill (cuz I had an early meeting that didn't want to be late for). My legs felt a little tight, but overall pretty uneventful run.

This Sunday I will be attempting to run my first 18 miler! I am a little nervous about it. I am not sure where I will be running...I want to try something different than the Lakes, maybe I will do Summit to prep for the marathon? But then I will have to deal with the Summit hill on my first 18 miler... I think maybe just moving from 15.6 miles to 18 miles will be enough challenge. Also, somewhere with some water would be nice, so that I can only carry one bottle since I am not quite use to the weight of the belt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 10 - A Little Speed

Recap of last week's training:

Monday - Scheduled rest day - I actually felt pretty good considering I had just run 15.6 miles the day before.

Tuesday - Floater rest day - For some reason, my ankles/shins/calfs decided to tighten up Monday night and were still pretty tight Tuesday morning, so I took my extra rest day (I have an 'extra' floating rest day planned into my week)

Wednesday - 4 mi interval run on the treadmill - I forgot to grab my Garmin, so I decided to hit the treadmill instead of the trail (no, I'm not dependent on the GPS, not at all :) I did a nice relaxed pace with 10 pick-ups of 6.2-6.5 mph. A little speed felt like a nice change.

Thursday - Unscheduled rest day - I woke up with pink eye, called off work, and pretty much just stayed around the house all day.

Friday - ANOTHER Unscheduled rest day - Just didn't manage to get my butt outside to run.

Saturday - Scheduled rest day

Sunday - 11.5 miles at the Lakes - I parked at LOTI and did 2 laps of LOTI, 1 lap of Calhoun, and 1 more lap of LOTI. I left everything but the mp3 and a key at the car and stopped each lap for some water/gel. I was feeling good, so I thought I would pick up the pace for this "shorter" long run of ONLY 11 miles (who thought I would ever say that!) I ended up averaging 10:08 per mile!!! That is WAY faster than I was expecting…plus, I negative split it! My fastest mile was mile 8 @ 9:43. Besides the humidity (I was seriously dripping after the first mile) it was a really great run.

I had a cutback week planned…just wasn't suppose to be cutback quite that much. But, I feel somewhat rested and ready to do some serious training this week.

I treated myself to a new hydration belt…which should be arriving today (hopefully). I went with the Amphipod runlite 4. It probably has more than I need, but I like that it is so flexible. You can take off or add bottles and pouches. You can place them anywhere on the belt. And you can put them either vertical or horizontal. I am hoping I get it today so I can try it out on my 8 miler tomorrow before using it on my first 18 miler this weekend.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Half Done...and Half Done!!

Wow, it has been awhile since I have updated this, huh? I guess I have been spending all my time running and haven't had any time left to blog about it! (or something like that...)

Anyway - this past week I hit 2 big milestones in my 2009 goals...well, halfway that is. I wrapped up week 9 of 18 of my marathon training plan, and I hit 500 miles for the year - halfway to my 1000 mile goal! Yay!!

My long run this weekend was 15.6 miles...my longest yet. I ended up doing 5+ laps around Lake Harriet because I didn't want to have to carry my stuff with me. I briefly stopped at the car each lap to take a drink/gel/whatever. It was nice to not have the belt strapped on me. I have been having issues with my knee still and I was wondering if the belt was throwing off my stride...nope that wasn't it, the knee still bothered me. Also, I have a belt that holds one big bottle (instead of those little fuel belt bottles) and all of my bottles leak - leaving me with a wet bottom! Does anyone have any advice on fuel belts? Do you have one that works well for you? Does it leak? I am thinking of trying out one with the little bottles next time I am at the running store to see how it feels. I really want to have my stuff with me during the marathon and not have to rely on the water stops.

From here on out on the plan I get a pull-back week every other week. Depending on how it goes, I think I may try to do the long run during those shorter weeks at a faster pace (since I am running so many new distances PRs now, I barely even look at the pace...just aim to finish the mileage.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Marathon Training Week One - Complete

I decided to go with Hal Higdon's Novice 2 training plan for my marathon. I was considering Pfitz, but decided I didn't want to do that many miles for my first marathon...maybe next time :).

Week one went well. It was actually a little easier than some of my weeks lately (I was preparing for Pfitz). That was a nice way to start the training though...I know I can do it.

Monday - Cross training: 6 miles on the bike.
Tuesday - 2.92 miles. I think I overdid it yesterday, my legs felt tired and heavy.
Wednesday - 5.23 miles. Feeling better.
Thursday - 3.17. My heel has been hurting the last couple days, did I step on something?
Friday & Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 8.2 miles. Heel is feeling better. Overall, this was a pretty decent run, just a little chilly (48* when I left the house).

I am excited for week 2...17 weeks to go!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mississippi 10 Miler

Sorry I haven't been a good blogger lately...although I have been reading all of yours. I have finally broken down and gotten into facebook so now when I am on the computer I am usually working on my farm or restaurant or doing a job for my mafia.

I have been doing pretty good about increasing my mileage, although it is tough to get out for the weekend long-runs.

Last weekend I ended up running my first 10 mile race. It was the most low key race I have ever run. The start line consisted of a crack in the sidewalk...seriously - I heard the woman on the phone figuring it out right before she announced "Here is the start, line up here." It only cost $15 though and was a decent course with a good group of runners. I could have used a spectator or two at a couple points to push me on, but I still did ok. I managed to run the entire race...not one step of walking and finished with a good average pace. Somewhere around the fourth mile my garmin got off track with the course and I had a little trouble telling exactly how I was doing, so I was happy when I crossed the finish line in exactly 1:43 (I was going for somewhere between 1:40 - 1:45).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Race Report

This has got to be the most beautiful race I have run yet. The course was great - it wound through the Lake Minnetonka area through a variety of terrain, through neighborhoods, on the side of busier streets, on some country roads, and of course along the lake itself then finished on about a mile of gravel trail. There were a good number of hills, some of which were quite steep, but not too many long ones. It was a nice variety and therefore would be hard to get bored. Add to that the most gorgeous weather we have had all year (50s-60s with a little sunshine for the race) and you get a very enjoyable race.

I decided to try something different for this race...audiobooks! I have used them in the past, but haven't in a while...and not at all since I have actually been able to run for more than an hour. An old friend who happens to runs marathons suggested trying it for my marathon training. I got something from the library loaded it on my Sansa.

Since I wasn't expecting to do all that well, I barely looked at my pace, I just ran what felt comfortable and enjoyed the story and the scenery. Each time my Garmin beeped to tell me I had finished another mile I was surprised...especially when I would see what my pace was for the mile! I took a Hammer gel between 4-5 miles which really helped (I don't think I have used one since my last HM in October) and I wished that I had another one for around mile 10. The last couple miles were a little tough...I really had to push myself not to start walking during the last one. I only walked a few minutes total (to take the gel and fidget with my Sansa...next time, I'll put the whole book in a playlist!)

In the end, not only did I PR (by 11 minutes!!) but I beat my 2009 HM goal by 3 minutes and finished in 2:16:40!!

This morning I am stiff. I tried to run on the treadmill and my legs wouldn't work right. I did a few miles on the bike instead (with no problems). Hopefully tomorrow I can start on that marathon training...

Race: Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon
Date: May 3, 2009
Distance: Half Marathon
Official Time: 2:16:40
Average Pace: 10:26
Overall Place: 1403/1754
Place in Age Group: 303/403

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Early "Taper" Week

Yeah, that's what I was doing last week...tapering for this weekend's half marathon...just a little early...I wanted to get a head start.

Ok, ok. But I was traveling for a conference and had some trouble getting in miles. I was outside Phoenix where it was in the 90s (my body is definitely not ready for that yet) and the fitness center cost $20 per day!! Does that include my own personal trainer? Do they have solid platinum treadmills? WTH? So, I got in a couple very short runs but that is it.

I have no excuse why I did absolutely no running over the weekend though.

This week, I really don't want to overdo it. I know my body likes a bit of a rest before a race and I have a half marathon on Sunday (my first of the year and second ever). Oh yeah, it will also be my first 13 mile run of the year, and my second double digit run of the year. Yeah, I was hoping to be a little more prepared for this race, but it is a little late to do anything about that now.

I finished my other half with an 11:17 pace (2:27:40) and struggled quite a bit through the last couple miles. Ultimately for the year I would like to finish a HM in 2:20 (10:41 pace). I think for this race I will shoot for an 11:00 pace which would put me somewhere under the 2:25 mark. That is about where I have been running my long runs, so it should be doable. Then, next week I get to start getting more structured with my running and start somewhat of a training plan for the marathon. I think I am starting with a Pfitz 55 mpw plan (which I will try really hard to stick to). I am starting it a couple weeks early, but I figure that way I can have a couple bad weeks here and there and not really get behind in the training.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Update

After registering for the Marathon on Friday I was feeling all motivated and confident and was planning a 13 mile long run for the weekend. I really wanted to get in the 13 miler since I am only 2 weeks out from a half marathon, my longest run so far this year has been 10 miles, I was hoping to be more prepared than I was for my half last October, and I don't want to run too long the weekend before (I know that my body likes to be good & rested before a race).

Saturday was to be beautiful weather - in the 70's with a little sun and little wind. Sunday was suppose to be rainy with highs in the 40's. Can you guess which day I planned for my long run?

Saturday came along and I had a good few hours while I was waiting for my cat at the groomers (yes, I get my cat groomed). I got dressed, grabbed my water bottle, headphones, visor, and phone (for the groomer call), and cat. The groomer isn't far away, but I figured it would be a different starting point anyway. I dropped her off and realized that I had forgotten my Garmin! So, I drove back to the house and got the Garmin and headed out from home...leaving my visor and headphones in the car!! Seriously, how forgetful can I be? Well, I was already going so I just hoped it wouldn't be too sunny and tried to get a good running song in my head.

About a mile into my run (while singing "Up on the rooftop, reindeer paws (or is that pause?) Out jumps good ole Santa Claus" WHERE DID THAT SONG COME FROM??) I realized I was having trouble. Often it is a little difficult getting started, but by this point I should be getting into a groove. But...not so much. I felt like I was pushing really hard and was having a little trouble keeping it around 11:00 miles. My legs just felt like they had lead weights strapped on them. I pushed through a while longer and ended up cutting my long run a little short...yeah by about 10 miles!! When I got home I was beat and I had only made it 3.12 miles! Plus my knee felt like I had twisted it a little.

Hmmm, maybe I will try again on Sunday...

Sunday morning I did some shopping with the family while there seemed to be a constant COLD drizzle. I really wanted to get in some more miles, so when we got home I got into my running clothes. I put on a long sleeve top and my tights (they are pretty thin) and a jacket for the rain. I pulled on gloves and a winter hat to keep my head dry. Off I went...and it had stopped raining! Amazingly, it did not rain one drop while I was out for my run! Of course, that meant that I was way overdressed. I took a trail that I haven't been on in a while (since last year) and about a 1.5 miles from home I stopped to strip down. I took off the jacket and tied it around my waist, the gloves hung nicely from the jacket, but what to do with the hat? I was on a wooded bridge, and I decided to just tuck it between two slats of the railing until I come back through.

I was feeling good - but was afraid to go too far from home (in case it started downpouring). So, at mile 3 I turned around and headed back. As I passed over the bridge on my way back through I looked for my hat and it was nowhere to be seen! Who would take a hat they found alongside a trail? Oh well, I guess they needed it more than me (and it was seriously just a cheap couple dollar hat anyway). During mile 5 I realized I was going to cut the run at the 6 mile mark (I was thinking of adding some more mileage on when I got close to home) since my knee was starting to bother me...so I picked up the speed for the last mile...9:11 pace!! I ended up finishing the 6 mile run in almost exactly an hour - pretty cool.

Last night, my knee was killing me. I took the day off today (unplanned) and have taken some Advil which has worked wonders.

Friday, April 17, 2009


"Thank you for submitting your entry for the October 4, 2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon: Marathon."

Ahhhhh!!! I am so Excited! Nervous! Proud! Scared! Only 24 weeks to train!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Run the Valley 5K Race Report

I was hoping to run this one with the kids/stroller, but the weather ended up being a bit too cold. I also didn't know which race I was going to run until that morning (5K or 10K), but the cold made that decision for me too.

When I got there I realized I made a bad decision wearing my capris instead of full length running tights. My legs were freezing! Luckily the registration area is indoors so I was able to stay reasonably warm. I had both a fleece vest and a wind-breaker jacket on and took off the jacket just before the start. The crowd looked a little smaller than in previous years (this was my first ever race back in 2005 and my 4th time running it). I wasn't planning on running this one for time, so I lined up around the middle of the pack (this is one of the few non-chip timed races that I run). And we were off!

The only hills on this course are right in the first mile. Normally that drives me crazy because I have just started running again after taking most of the winter off and I get tired out at the beginning of the race. But this year I am much stronger having actually run this past winter and I thought it was nice to get the hills out of the way and not have to worry about them for most of the race.

When we got to the first mile marker I checked the Garmin and saw that I was just over a 9:00 pace...really?? That is faster than my current PR!! And I wasn't even pushing the pace! Right then the plan changed from "take it easy, enjoy the race, don't worry about time" to "I can PR if I keep this up!!" Plus, like I said, the hardest part of the course was over already!

So, I kicked it into a slightly higher gear and hoped I could hang on for the last 2 miles. During mile two I was actually still passing people. There is a water stop right around the 2 mile marker, but I skipped it and just kept going. Throughout mile 3 there was a kid that I kept playing leapfrog with...he would sprint a short distance and pass me, then walk to catch his breath while I passed him. He looked so defeated each time I passed him that I kinda felt bad for him.

I had a little energy left for a bit of a punch at the end and as I came around the corner (the finish line is sort of hidden in a parking lot around the corner) I saw the time...under 28 minutes!! I could barely believe it! I mean, I was originally planning on something closer to 30-31 minutes. Not only did I get a new PR, I also accomplished my 5K goal time for 2009!!

Just for fun, I looked up my times for this race in the past:
2005 - 37:15
2006 - 33:33
2008 - 34:05
2009 - 27:47
Quite the improvement, huh?

As I was sitting on the sidewalk eating my donut and cheering in the later finishers a girl came through with quite the crowd support...she was wearing a shirt that said she was the "Birthday Girl" the announcer said it was her 12th birthday. I thought that was pretty cute!


Race: Run the Valley
Date: April 4, 2009
Distance: 5K
Official Time: 27:47
Average Pace: 8:57
Overall Place: 62/199
Place in Age Group: 6/32

Where have I been?

Has it really been over a week since I blogged? Where has the time gone?

Well, last week was a good running week...this week, not so much.

Last week I had 3 easy runs between 2-4 miles each, one interval workout (I really do enjoy the intervals) that was 6.5 miles and a 5K race which I will blog about later (I will post a race report). I missed having a long run, but besides that it was pretty nice.

This week started out on vacation in the Dells - the waterpark capital of the world (or something like that). Amazingly, I actually made it to the treadmill Monday morning and went 2.5 miles, which was all I had time for because the park opened at 9:00 and I needed to get back and in my suit before the rest of the family left me behind. Tuesday I just didn't have the motivation to do it again. Yesterday was my first day back at work and I really wanted to sleep in...so I didn't make it to the gym. This morning I finally made it to the gym, but I was in a hurry again...I had an 8:00 meeting this morning which I didn't want to be late for. So, in order to get more miles into my limited time I upped the speed (logical, right?). Well, when I paused the treadmill at 3.4 miles I realized how dizzy I was getting (that's never happened before) and didn't think it would be smart to continue running like that. I finished out another 0.1 mile to make it an even 3.5 at a slower pace and wasn't feeling any better, so I got off.

So, that puts me right at 6 miles so far for the week! Not looking good. I really have to get a good long run in this weekend. I haven't actually made it into double digits yet this year and I have a half marathon in just about 3 weeks!! I was hoping to be more prepared for it. Only 2 more long run weekends left!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My First Almost 10 Miler of the Year

I had my first 10 miler of the year scheduled for this past weekend, and I was actually pretty excited about it. The furthest have run recently was 8 miles, which I had no problems with, so I figured 10 would be a nice distance.

Saturday (when I was planning on running) I ended up going out and eating way too much for lunch and missed my chance...so I figured I would just move the run to Sunday - no problems.

Sunday I woke up not feeling good at all - stomach issues and a little light headed. I felt much better after I ate, but still not 100%. However, I was determined to at least attempt the 10 miler. I decided to run close to home in case I needed to cut the run short. I started on my 4-5 mile route and about 2 miles in I noticed that they were done with the continuation of the regional trail (which takes me the first 2 miles of my loop). I was feeling pretty good, so I took the trail. The 'trail' (it is a paved path) ended up taking me to a park about 3.5 miles away from home. Not really knowing where I was (and stuck in a 'no outlet' neighborhood) I turned around and took the trail back to my loop. I took the longer version of the loop and passed my street at the end of mile 8. I wasn't done, although I was really starting to feel tired and beat-up. There is a loop that is just over a mile that I decided to tackle, thinking I would add an extra block to it to get me closer to 10. Well, somewhere along the ninth mile I hit a bit of a wall and just wanted to get home.

I ended up with 9.5 miles...not quite 10 miles, but not too shabby either - especially since I wasn't feeling great to begin with. I was expecting to be pretty sore this morning based on how I felt at the end of the run, but I don't feel too bad. I ran an easy 2 at the gym this morning - I would have gone 3, but I wasn't wearing good shorts...if you know what I mean...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick Update

Monday - Easy 2 miles to loosen the muscles after Sunday's race. I also got a little upper body weights done followed by 4.5 miles on the stationary bike.

Tuesday - 6 miles with intervals. I slowed down the speed sections to 6.2 mph and lengthened them to 0.25 miles for 6 repeats. Not exactly fast, but I was still recovering a bit from the race.

Wednesday - 4 easy miles. I wouldn't let myself push the treadmill over 5.6 mph.

My shins sure are looking forward to a rest day tomorrow…they don't like it when I increase mileage. Then Friday I have an easy 3 on the schedule followed by a 10 mile long run sometime this weekend. I just hope the weather turns out okay for a 10 miler! We got a little more snow this morning (nothing too exciting), but it has also dropped 30* in the last 3 days!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Human Race 8K Race Report

First of all, we had BEAUTIFUL weather for this race. A little windy, but the temps were about as good as I could wish for in March in Minnesota - right around 60* without too much sun. I went with my new capri-length tights and a thin long sleeve running shirt. It would have been better with short sleeves, but the long sleeves weren't too bad. I had to park a good distance away, and the 'event headquarters' were a good half mile from the start, so I got a decent warm-up before the race just walking to the headquarters and jogging to the start.

This is the only race that I have been too that had 2 different starting mats. Summit Ave is divided where we started, and the fastest men were to start on one side and the fastest women on the other. Everyone else could fill in on either side. Not that it made a difference for me, but I thought this was kinda cool since the women actually got a clear start without the men in the way. I started behind the women.

I stuck to my plan for the first mile...just under 10:00 mile. I felt really good, so I let my body set the pace for the next mile and it turned out to be right around 9:30. This seemed like a good pace, so I changed my goal to maintaining the 9:30ish pace until the end of mile 4. During the 'out' portion of the race we were running into the wind - I was glad because I knew I would be struggling during the second half if it was reversed. I was expecting some pretty bad hills on the course, since Summit Ave is home to the infamous hill during the Twin Cities Marathon, but it really wasn't too bad. Miles 3 and 4 I somehow managed to run almost exactly on my new goal pace of 9:30. The last mile started at the top of nice long gradual hill and I let myself take advantage of it. When I looked down at the Garmin I had to do a double-take because it said my lap pace was 8:19!! Whoa - I still have a ways to go to finish this mile! I continued to push the pace, though without the help of the hill I slowed down of course. I managed to keep the final mile under a 9:00 pace though!

I was surprised, but this was the first race that my Garmin matched the marked course miles pretty much exactly! My final chip time even matched to the second...and for that final time...47:03!!! Almost 7 minutes faster than my previous PR!! Average pace of 9:28 is the same as my current 5K PR pace! Only one minute faster to beat that 2009 goal of a 46:00 8K - my other 8K is tentatively planned for early June.

Race: Human Race
Date: March 22, 2009
Distance: 8K
Official Time: 47:03
Average Pace: 9:28
Overall Place: 714/984
Place in Age Group: 37/76

Friday, March 20, 2009

3 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles

It has been a rather slow training week for me. I did 3 slow miles Monday as recovery after my 8 mile long run on Sunday. Then, my calves were hurting Tuesday morning (weird, since they didn't hurt Sunday/Monday) so I took the day off. Wednesday I did some slow speed intervals, but once again only made it 3 miles. Thursday I attempted hills...made it 2 miles before I decided to get off and do some weights instead. I did run a fast mile afterward though, bring the daily total to 3 miles. This morning I was just too tired to make it to the gym. Tomorrow is scheduled rest day so that I am fresh for my race on Sunday. So, overall a pretty low mileage week for me.

Now about that 8K this weekend...

They said on the news the other day that it was suppose to rain in the afternoon! (my race is at 1:20) I still plan to go if it is raining, assuming it isn't too crazy/cold that is. BUT the family was actually thinking of coming, and they won't be there in the rain. I guess I will keep my fingers crossed until the race.

Looking at the map, it is an out & back up Summit Ave (the same road the Twin Cities Marathon goes up to finish). I am not sure exactly where the "Summit Ave Hill" is that the marathoners talk about, but I am assuming it will be uphill for the "out" and downhill for the "back".

Being the first race of the season, I really don't know what to expect time-wise. My main goal is to finish in under 50 minutes, which would be a 10:04 pace, but of course I am hoping for better. My plan is to start out keeping the pace just under 10 minutes and see how it goes. Hopefully after the first couple miles I will be comfortable enough to kick up the speed a little more.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Finally Thawing Out

We finally had a warm-up in the Twin Cities! I don't know what the high was yesterday, but when I was driving home from my run at about 3:30 my car said it was 57*!! It has been such a long cold winter that I just HAD to get out this weekend and run. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one who thought that.

I didn't want to run the neighborhood again, but I didn't really have time to plan a route, so I figured I'd just go down to the Lakes…bad idea. I have never seen that many people there! And of course, most of them were wanderers who don't understand the ettiquette of the running paths - you all know them, they walk across the whole path, randomly change direction, come to a dead stop whenever and where ever they please. I still had a nice run though…nothing could ruin the great weather yesterday…not even having to walk/stop/dodge people for 8 miles.

This morning I took it easy for 3 miles on the treadmill.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Start of Racing Season

I officially signed up for 2 races this week...racing season is almost here!

I am currently registered for the Human Race 8K on March 22 and the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon on May 3rd. Now I need to get down to some serious long runs to prepare for the half marathon. My first (and so far only) half marathon went well up through mile 10 - then got pretty tough for the last 3 miles. I want to be able to confidently conquer the full 13.1 miles this time. Besides, that would set me up nicely for marathon training which will be starting right after the half.

This week's running has been going well. I did 4.65 miles of intervals on Tuesday with an average pace of under 10 minutes (ready to see that 8K PR get smashed?) Then on Wednesday I had a little bit of a tough time with 3.5 easy miles (I guess that means I got a good workout in on Tuesday :) ). Today was a longish easy run of 5.6 miles. Tomorrow is a rest day. Then, I am hoping to get outside for a good long run on Saturday - shooting for 8 miles - it is suppose to get into the 40s! I will keep my fingers crossed until then...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to the Real World

Well, the weather in Florida was beautiful. But I did a horrible job getting out to run (or even on the treadmill for that matter). Back to the real world, back to work, back to the cold dreary weather, and back to my running schedule. I am only looking forward to one of those things.

I realized yesterday that my next planned race is in only 2 weeks! I hadn't really been paying too much attention, but I just registered this morning, and the Human Race 8K will be here before I know it. Time to start thinking about my goals…I ultimately want to cut my 8K PR down by 8 minutes this year (yes, I know that sounds huge, but this PR is not in line with my others already, so the first couple minutes should be easy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Slacker...but at least I have been running!

It has been so crazy at work the past couple months - I am an accountant that has so much year-end stuff to deal with that it takes at least 2 months! Since I typically blog from work, that means that I haven't had much time to write anything. Well, the end of the tunnel is near…just a couple more weeks and I will be able to breath again.

I have been keeping up with reading all of my favorite blogs though…and have even managed to post a comment here and there.

I also have managed to keep up my running (although I honestly don't know how). I am really starting to look forward to warmer weather and earlier sunrises to get me off that treadmill! I have gotten outside a couple times in the last few weeks, but it is just still so cold. I was hoping to be able to move my long runs outside over the next couple weeks, but I can't stay outside for more than 3-4 miles, and that isn't a very long run.

Next week I will be in Florida! For a work-related turned family vacation trip (first part of the week is work, followed by a long weekend of family fun). Wish me luck on getting in some warm outdoor runs!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hard Workout Today...in a good way

I didn't get out to run at all this weekend, and that bothers me. I mean, it was finally kinda nice outside (well, it was likely pretty slick with the melting snow/ice everywhere) and I didn't get to enjoy it. Oh well, sometimes running isn't the most important thing in life.

However, I took it out on the treadmill this morning. I did a reasonably long run of six miles AND included some pretty good bursts of speed and ended up averaging too fast of a pace to really call it a true "long run" - it was more of a long fartlek workout. It felt pretty good though to push hard and still make it that far. I will definitely be taking it easy tomorrow...maybe a couple miles followed by a short swim?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Running on Empty

A little advice: If you wake up with your stomach growling, eat something before trying to run. I used to be good about eating something small before heading out for my run, but lately I have been slacking. I just haven't really been hungry that early in the morning. This morning I was. Yet, I still didn't eat anything. I went to the gym with plans to run a couple mile warm-up and then hop in the pool for some laps (I haven't been in the pool in a few months). The 'warm-up' about kicked my butt. I felt like I was struggling a little bit just to go 20 minutes. I still went to the pool and got in a few laps though.

This lesson has really helped me to understand the importance to fueling. No fuel = no energy = tough run!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Out of Town Running

I spent the weekend in Chicago visiting a friend. I wasn't expecting to get out for a run, but of course I took some gear just in case! Well, it turns out I did make it out - and the weather was beautiful...much warmer than it has been, and the Windy City wasn't even that windy. My friend lives right near Lincoln Park Zoo, which is literally on the shore of Lake Michigan. I walked about 3-4 blocks total before I made it to the lakeshore. Looking toward the lake, it was a gorgeous view - a few yards of snow with the light waves of the lake just beyond. One thing that is nice about a lake the size of Lake Michigan (as opposed to the Minnesota lakes I usually run around) is that you can't see the other side...it might as well be the ocean, the water goes right to the horizon. It would have been a perfect run, if the smell of exhaust didn't keep reminding me that I was literally running alongside a highway! It wasn't a very long run either, just about 2.5 miles (Oh yeah, I forgot to grab my Garmin too) because I only had a pair of retired running shoes with me that I had brought as comfortable walking shoes. Oh well, it was still a nice (and unexpected) run. Plus, I do enjoy seeing some new running scenery.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Running in Circles

I finally made it down to the Metrodome for "Dome Running". In case you are thinking…huh?...Dome running is put on by a local running group (mdra) in the Metrodome (where the Twins & Vikings play). You run circles in the hallway circling the dome. It works out to about 2.5 laps per mile, so much better than the indoor track at the gym! There is a fast lane on the inside which is for 7:00mpm or faster and an outer lane for everyone else (like me). It was much busier than I had expected. There had to be a couple hundred people there. But the 'track' wasn't bad at all. Everyone there was a runner, so they knew to keep to the outside when going slow and pass on the left and don't take up the whole hallway running 5 abreast etc.

It was so nice to get off the treadmill, although the scenery there gets old pretty quickly too…and it could use a hill :)

I was planning on doing about 6.5 miles, which would have been 16 laps. I have only recently started having a long run again (since Oct) so I had only done one run that was about 6.5 miles but that run was also on the treadmill. Once I started running and got into my groove, I was feeling good and figured I might as well make it an even number and did 20 laps instead of 16. I checked the chart (they have a couple around so you can easily convert laps to miles) and 20 laps is 7.91 miles. Also, although I felt like I was going pretty easily it turned out I was actually going at about a 10:30 pace!

As soon as I stopped, I realized I should have stopped a couple laps sooner. My legs are still a bit sore today, but I am sure they will be fine by tomorrow. Isn't it weird that sometimes you don't even realize that you are sore until you stop running? Or is that just me?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Challenge Isolation Indoor Track Meet 2009 Race Report

Once again I was impressed by the welcome I received from the other runners. This was my first track event ever. It was a pretty small group (at least compared to what I am used to at 5K events etc). There were enough people for 1-3 heats of each event. When I first entered the track I was wondering what I had gotten myself into...there were a number of people warming up that appeared to be WAY beyond my skills, and they were ALL men. Some of them were older gentlemen who had probably been running & racing forever (at least that was my initial impression). Then there was the group of guys who ran together in college a couple years ago. Well, I sucked up and went over to sign-up for my event. Immediately, I started to feel welcomed. People were asking what my 'specialty' was etc. Anyway, by the time I got signed in and started warming up, a couple other females showed up - including a couple young girls.

The first event was the 3000m run. I watched and cheered on the runners. Several other runners told me what to expect as we watched.

Next was the 1 mile...my event. The organizer asked if everyone had participated in track events before...nope, this is my first. He actually got excited and told me the rules etc. Then the race started. I took off on my first lap and when I came around I realized I was WAY ahead of my planned pace (uh-oh, usually not a good thing!) I slowed it down a little and fell into a pace that I thought I could maintain for another 7 laps. After about my third lap I realized just how dry my mouth was getting - WOW, they weren't kidding about that dry air in here! As I came around to finish my last lap and saw that the clock was right around 8 minutes, I about fell over from shock. I tried to sprint to the finish, but I had left everything on the track and could barely speed up at that point.

As soon as I stopped, I realized how bad my throat/lungs were burning - from the dry air. I had to go to the bathroom and thought I was going to puke because I was coughing so hard.

Overall, I cannot believe I actually ran that fast! My time was faster than my wildest dreams! I was actually dreaming for a 8:30 finish and...finished in 8:08.9!!

I stuck around for a couple more events before I had to leave to get to work.

One 2009 goal down...ran a 1 mile race.

Race: Challenge Isolation Indoor Track Meet
Date: January 18, 2009
Distance: 1 mile
Official Time: 8:08.9
Overall Place: ?/??
Place in Age Group: 1/1

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First Race of the Year...Coming Soon

I have officially signed up to run the 1 mile at an indoor track event this Sunday. By looking at the previous times, it will likely be my first DLF - but I am surprisingly ok with that. It is a rather small event (there were only maybe 10 people in each of the previous 1 mile races (2-3 heats). There are other distances too: 200m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, and a race-walking event. Depending on how the races are scheduled (order) I may decide to try out the 400m or 800m event too, we will see.

Today's run was a little harder than expected (though I am really not that surprised). It was just a 4 mile easy run, but it didn't feel all that easy. I am sure it is because of the hard workout I got yesterday with the 6.5 miles of speedwork. Therefore, I think tomorrow will be cross training day. That gives me Friday for another easy run day and then a rest day on Saturday before the race.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life in the Frozen Tundra

It is SOO flippin cold this week! I woke up to -14 degrees this morning. A few hours later it had dropped down to -20 (that was the temperature!) with the windchill it was -35!! So…I went to the gym again this morning. I can’t believe people actually run outside in this!

I missed a few days (ok, a week) of blogging, so here is the running update:

Tuesday – 3 mi w/speed intervals (4 x 0.1 @ 7.9 mph), Way too hot. I learned not to wear pants to the gym…the dirty shorts would have been better.
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3.6 mi w/hills
Friday – 2.1 easy miles
Saturday – rest
Sunday – unplanned rest

Monday – overslept (more unplanned rest)
Tuesday (today) – 5.5 mi w/speed intervals plus ‘fast mile’

I felt like such a slacker for going 3 days in a row without a run, that I really pushed today. It was suppose to be an easy run, but I got bored and started doing intervals. I did 4 or 5 (I lost count) 0.1 mi intervals at 7.5 (that’s 8:00 mpm!) with random rest periods between. I was more concerned about getting some distance in today though, so I made sure I have plenty of rest in between the intervals. The next thing I knew, I was about to hit 1 hour (the TM cuts off at 60 min) so I finished the first 5.5 mi in just under an hour. I got off the TM to refill my water bottle and decided to do one more mile…as fast as I could…I can’t believe I actually did it in under 9 minutes!! (8:49 to be exact) And that was after an hour of running! I believe that is officially my fastest unofficial mile time ever! Hopefully I can do that again this Sunday at my first ever indoor race.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday's Resolutions...

Apparently, resolutions start on Monday. It hadn't picked up at the gym yet, which I found a little odd...until I got there this morning! Oh well, it will only last a month or two. Really, I am not complaining though - I honestly hope everyone would stick to it. Anyway - 3.5 easy miles this morning.

I got a good workout in yesterday. It was pretty slow at the gym, so I did kind-of a circuit workout with push-ups, pull-ups, abs, and treadmill. My first time on the treadmill I just did an easy mile (warm-up). The second I did some hills. I haven't done hills on the treadmill before, but I was trying something new. I typically run at 0.5 elevation, so I increased to 3.0 and slowly decreased back down to 0.5 over a quarter mile. I did that twice during the mile distance. The third (and last) time on the treadmill I did an easy 2 miles to finish at 4 miles for the day. It was nice to break it up a bit, and I will surely be adding the hills workout to my runs now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gotta get off the treadmill

I really need a good long run. The longest I have run lately has been in the 5 mile range. I did 5.5 this morning, and while I was glad to have actually gone that far, doing it on the treadmill really isn't that satisfying. The thing that bothers me the most isn't the boredom...I have plenty of TVs to stare at, one of them with videos - and the sound that goes along with that one so I have music too. The thing that bothers me the most is the constant speed. Yes, when I run outside I run an average of X.X mph...but the entire run isn't at that speed! I try to adjust the speed up and down every half mile or so to give my muscles a little variation, but it just isn't the same.

There is an indoor track at the gym too - which I am planning on trying for the first time soon for speedwork - but I can't see going around the track 50+ times just for a midlength run (it is 12 laps per mile). I foresee shin pain from all the turning!

I actually made it outside for a couple runs over the Christmas holiday...then it got super icy around here! I have a fear of running on actual ice...it's not worth hurting myself. I think the ice seems to be getting better - so maybe I can give it a try again. But still, the cold prevents me from being outside for more than the hour I would need for a long run. (hmmm, maybe I just need to get faster?)

Maybe I can make to the Metrodome to give Dome Running a try? I just wonder if I can bring the kiddos...I don't know how tight the running area is, or how crowded it gets. I don't think it will happen if I can't bring the stroller along. **UPDATE - I contacted the MDRA and strollers are not allowed at Dome running...I guess that option is out**

Anyway...decent 5.5 mile run this morning on the treadmill...