10/31/09

Happy Birthday to my Garmin.  It came one year ago today. After today’s run, it now has 650.69 miles since last year!  Hopefully I won’t be taking 3 months off for an injury this year. It’ll be fun to try to beat my yearly mileage by next Halloween!!!

I ran 8.26 miles today with Bertha in the country near her home. There were hills at every turn today! Whew!!!! I’m sure my rear end will feel it tomorrow. It was such a pretty area and I really think running those hills more would prepare me for my half marathon in April (8 miles of hills in that one!!!! – The toughest half marathon in the Northwest!) Good thing I have some nice ones to practice on now!

10/28/09

Man! Between this chilly, windy weather and the dark sneaking in on me sooner than I want it to, my outside runs are getting shorter and shorter.  Tonight’s temps are 39 degrees with winds about 20 mph. Dh didn’t want me to run. He thought it was too chilly, but I figured with my gloves and a hat, I’d be ok. The winds definitely slowed me down. I gave up pretty fast on the idea that this would be a tempo run and decided to just instead get as many miles in at a steady pace that I could while fighting the freezing winds and racing the last bit of light before dark. I only got 3.56 miles – and ran the last mile in total darkness. Argh!

At least I got out there. I found 6 cents on the asphalt during my last mile. Joshie was so excited when I gave it to him after I got back! 

I still need to run to the grocery store – so my shower will have to wait. I bet people will give me plenty of breathing room in the grocery line when they get a whiff of me.

10/27/09

After a really hectic day with the kids, dinner and a trip to the grocery store (where by the way I had to drive through the craziest weather I’ve seen in a long time…I swear about 50 tumbleweeds of various sizes came blowing across the road — one the size of a lion smacked right into my right front bumper – and I actually gasped when it happened – forgetting for a moment that neither the tumbleweed nor my van were likely to be suffering any real harm.) Anyways…. it was a long day – but I finally squeezed in a run on the treadmill when I came home from the store.

I have to tell you – this is going to take some getting used to. It’s just NOT like road running. It feel so awkward still! I can’t seem to find my rhythm. I miss the sights and sounds from the nearby fields and farms. But… considering the crazy tumbleweed-blowing winds out there – followed shortly by a torrential downpour — I suppose — I am glad I was able to get in a run at all tonight.  I did 4.25 miles. I was going for an easy run of 4 miles with an ave pace of 11:05 (per my smart coach maintenance schedule I just printed on Sunday) and things were going along swimmingly.. I’d hit 3.75 miles and decided to do a little sprint – had gone 1/8 a mile at an 8:30 pace and apparently my arms started flaying a little as I got into it – and WHAM – the dang key the treadmill has attached to my shorts was accidentally pulled out! DARN!!! I was so close to finishing with flair – and being able to write the exact duration and such of my workout. Of course, my heart was beating fast and I had to push all these unfamiliar buttons just to get going at the 11 mile pace again. DARN IT! I finished up the workout, cooled down and just estimated everything. Argh though!!! It made me miss running outside with a Garmin! SO much simpler!!!! 

I did crunches tonight (for the second day in a row) on my stability ball. I even used my 8 lb hand weights for a couple of sets. I’m slowly getting into my cold weather routine – just feeling things out and finding my way back to things I liked last winter and fall. I don’t especially enjoy weights or crunches – but I know they’re good for me. I’ve also been remembering to add some yoga poses to my stretching routine after every run. I know I need more flexibility so I’m working on it.

My weight is still hovering between 128 – 129 this week. I think it will start heading in the right direction again once my miles are back up to about 25 a week. I’ve been “reverse tapering” since the marathon – gently adding my miles back up to a maintenace level. Marathon week was 38.63 miles. The week after was 10.44 as I recovered. Last week was about 16 miles. I should hit 23 this week, so I’m getting there.  Adding that fourth run each week and having a treadmill should make it easier to get in my miles.

It really has been bothering me to see 129 so often again though. It’s usually my night time weight – but it reminds me how easily I can slip back into my old ways. I really don’t want to ever go there again. I was miserable when I was heavier. I think mentally there will always be this fear that the “fat girl” in me will always be trying to drag down the runner girl and defeat her once and for all. I’m rooting for the runner girl to kick the fat girls butt each time I lace up those Asics. It really is a constant battle. Maybe there will come a time when I don’t even worry about it anymore — but it’s still something I think a lot about at this point.

10/25/09

The clouds were a million fluffy pillows overhead tonight…..the mountains growing more deeply purple as the sun set, the leaves in piles deeper than my last run only two days ago – golden and red and brown. I aimed for every gathering I could find to give a satisfying KICK as I dashed through them. I admit to stopping to gather up a huge handful of brittle leaves just to toss them up in the air and watch them fall again – gently swaying to the earth, this way and that. It was a lovely run!

4.62 miles total. I warmed up, then ran 4 miles (including one, long, killer hill that always has me huffing and puffing) in 43:34. My ave pace was 10:53 — pitifully – THE pace I was going for in the marathon.  Hey, it’s ok, though… It’s becoming my new “comfy” and I’ll get it right next time around.  I cooled down, overcome with the tantalizing aroma of pizza wafting from a neighbor’s house as I drew closer to home again. Mmmmmmm – I want pizza now!!! Cruel neighbor!!

10/23/09

What a gorgeous fall day! How satisfying is it to kick through piles of golden and burgundy leaves on a run?! I found I could stretch out my hand and brush against the trees to set off more leaves drifting to the ground as I went too. I found the mountains against the horizon to be more blue than usual against the sky. It truly is a perfect day for a run.

Though my legs were slow today, I did enjoy the scenery. My only real mortal fear – one I’ve never been warned about in any of the training books I have on running – was beets! Big, enormous, sugar beets, specifically! They look like overgrown potatoes. They were everywhere on my run today! Scattered and broken into pieces like a pumpkin thrown into the road. It didn’t take long to see where they were coming from. Every few minutes I was passed on the road by another monstrous truck, with it’s open bed filled to the brim with the offending tubers. I hugged the side of the road as closely as I could, imagining how painful it would be if one of those uncovered beets came rolling off the top of the small mountain in the truck and hit me smack in the head.  Hmm…. I wonder how I’d look wearing a football helmet while I get my runs in over the next few weeks? This, my friends, is the reality of being a country girl on the run! It’s not all sweet-smelling cowpies and neighing goats, you know. There are real dangers out here. 

Today’s run – 7.10 miles. Long, slooowwww distance.

10/22/09

I finally got to use the treadmill yesterday afternoon right before Wayne came home from work – yes, BEFORE he came home. This is certainly cool!  And to think, all this time I was wishing Rebecca would turn 13 sooner so I could go for short runs in the neighborhood while she watched the other kids now and then!  Now I can do it in the comfort of my own home. Pretty nifty!

After giving the treadmill a 2.5 mile whirl, I can now confess that I apparently am one of those people who feel that the treadmill is harder than running on the road! At least, in terms of pacing! I did play around with some of the features and speeds and had a good time with that. At one point I was doing 7:30 min miles – but that lasted all of one minute before I was certain I was about to fling into the wall behind me. 

It definitely felt like I had to work harder to run my usual “comfy” pace and I would argue that when I tried running by “feel of effort” the pace numbers did not match what I’ve grown to know as my own particular pace. I think this just means I’ll have to get used to the differences, huh?  I did like the two speed fans! Very nice! It was fun checking my heartrate, too. I’ll have to research it a bit, so I understand the range I’m supposed to aim for when working out and cooling down. Should be fun!

I spend part of yesterday typing all of my workouts from June – now into my excel worksheet where I have a nice, tidy, account of all of my workouts since the day I started exercising about 18 months ago. It was interesting to see that I’ve now done 201 workouts to date! That doesn’t seem like much when you think about it.  It was also really cool to add up the exact mile I’ve ran. Turns out my feet have now carried me 863.88 miles!!!! Not bad, huh?

10/21/09

For those who didn’t see my FB link — here’s the race I did last weekend (that is the race I crashed last weekend).  I’m in the second row of photos, second photo from the left (I’m wearing an orange shirt and black tights). Hee hee. There are a couple more of me two pages back from this – and I look like I”m dying out there going that fast!  Guess I’m more of a distance runner.

http://www.backprint.com/lost_photos…36&CAT=0&SUB=0

10/20/09

Brrrr…it’s cold out there today – about 43 degrees and breezy. Got in 6.23 miles in 1 hr 8 min with an average time of 10:56. Ouch! ouch! ouch! That’s how I feel.  This little running group is FASTER than I am used to for a training run! Mile 5 was 9:59 for instance. My right hamstring and ankle are protesting now. It was nice to try something different, but I am really hoping I can get that treadmill we’re going to see tonight. It would certainly help me get in my workouts without having to get up at 4 am or run in the dark. Wish me luck tonight! I hope it’s what I’m looking for!!!!

10/19/09

My friend Emily just did a marathon in China this weekend!!!! She did it in 4:37!!!  She JUST ran the marathon I did (she was pacing her best friend, Davina since it was her first marathon – and she ran it unofficially sort of as a training run in prep for this race.) That’s amazing to me — two marathons only two weeks apart (they ran my marathon in 4:45!) WOW!

Anyways… Davina and Emily are both part of a local running club. Bertha and I were invited to train with them twice a week and we’re going to give it a try tomorrow morning at 5 am!  That means I’ll have to get up at 4 am just to eat something and make it across town to join them! On the bright side, it’s at a gym, so when the weather is really bad, we can train on the indoor track – for FREE! I think we’ll be doing the outdoor track (it’s larger than an ordinary one. If I recall it’s 3 laps for a mile instead of 4.) Interestingly, this is where I first started as a runner. That same gym is where I first joined the running group with only 4 members – The coach, a 50ish man who just qualified for Boston two weeks ago, Davina and — me! I was just a beginner then and they were all pretty good runners already, so they’d take off and leave me in the dust pretty fast. It’ll be like a walk (or run) down memory lane running that same track again – only this time I’m no longer a beginner! That makes me feel good!

I’ve spent the weekend trying to find another treadmill on Craig’s list that’s affordable and seems durable enough for my needs. I’m SO nervous I’ll buy something that just isn’t right for me. My Mom swears by ProForm treadmills. She’s owned 4 over the years and she loves them! I’ve also heard good things about Nordic Track and know they tend to be one step above ProForm. I seriously have hardly any experience with treadmills though, so I really hope I find one that will be a good fit for the times this winter that the weather just will not cooperate.

My weight is 127 again. Maybe there will be no “bonus” weight loss from that marathon or my AF after all! I’m on day 8 of my cycle. Maybe I’m approaching my “set point”. That’s ok too. If I’m healthy and doing what I love and eating everything I like– I don’t think the number really is much of an issue. I really would like to use some of this “off” time from serious training to add in Pilates though. My midsection is as soft and squishy as the Pillsbury Dough Boy still, so some toning would be a really great idea for this time of year. I’m sure it would help my posture, neck and back pains too (I was in a car wreck that totalled my car when I was 20, so I struggle with pain most days to some degree. Better core strength would probably benefit those areas and I might have less pain! That would be nice!)

10/17/09

I feel like such a rebel!!!!  Bertha and I started on the last stretch of the marathon course – and about a mile in, a man asked us where “the race” ended. It took us a second to remember that this was the day that a big race was happening that we’d both wanted to do — the one that finishes at Boise State University right on the “Smurf Turf.” (I’m a BSU alumni and had NEVER been into the stadium before, btw!) We told him where the finish line was supposed to be and then Bertha asked if I’d like to go see the runners. I said, “Yeah” and we headed off in the direction the race was supposed to be happening. Within just a couple of minutes, we saw them!!! They were heading right at us and were turning onto a bridge – so we jumped in and started running with them too! 

We were about a mile and a quarter into our run already, and the 5kers were just about a 1/4 of a mile into theirs. It was a hoot!!! B and I just layed it on and started passing people. The pace was close to 9 min miles but we kept up! It was the PERFECT way to overcome my marathon’s bad ending, I swear! I practiced everything I had wanted to do right in the marathon. I kept my inner voice positive, I stayed even and didn’t fall back, I focused on one person, then another, then another to pass and just kept at it! When B pulled ahead for a bit, I reeled her back in and stuck to her like glue – until I had a surge of energy and then just kept moving forward. As I was running into the stadium lot at the end of the race, I started thinking “Crap! Now what?! Do I finish this thing or stop here???? But I just HAD to see that smurf turf – I’d made it so far! So, I kept going. I am SOOO bad, but I actually crossed the finish line – just at it turned to 27 minutes!  Go ahead! Throw things at me!!! I sneaked back out of the crowded chute after that just glowing! I cheered Bertha in, but she didnt’ cross the finish line.

We both went giggling to the football field, got to touch that famous grass and have not stopped laughing since!! MAN, that was fun!! If I’d realized we could have worked out our schedules we would have signed up and done it officially – but it was AWESOME to do it anyways! I haven’t ran a 5k since before I was married (about 12 years ago!)

Our total first run (including the easy, gentle, warm up was 4.24 miles in 42:41 min with an overall ave of 10:04.) We walked back to the truck afterwards for another 1.58 miles to cool down.

My splits for the 5k are a bit hard to say for certain since we were mid-run when we met the crowd. My third mile was 8:57, my fourth mile was 8:32 and my .25 mile before crossing the finish line was a pace of 8:12. I was FLYING compared to normal!  Most of the “race part” when I glanced at my watch I was doing 8:30 min miles!! Holy cow that was an experience! I know I’m not supposed to “race” so soon after a marathon – but I just couldnt’ help myself!