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 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'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...