Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I decided to drive to the park for the run. The gates were already open when I got there at 7:30, a little late for me. The signs say the park doesn't open until 8, so I was surprised that I didn't have to park along the road and jog in. At first I thought, "Oh cool!" But I ended up have to share the roads with some cars and the air with a few swarming buggies. It felt good to get a good run/walk in though, 4.05 miles in a little over an hour.
For good measure, I stopped at the gym on my way home and got 20 minutes in on the recumbant bike. It was nice to show myself I still had some energy left.
After being a bit out of sorts over yesterday's long run, I really enjoyed running on my own. My introverted running self got recharged.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Once I got to Shelley Lake (where the group met to run this morning), I had a hard time finding a parking place, for starters. The Raleigh Galloway training group as a whole is nearly 400 strong, and while there are group members absent on any given Saturday, there are still a lot of group runners there each Saturday morning. As it happened, the local Team in Training group was out running around Shelley Lake too, in addition to the normal traffic (which often includes some North Carolina Roadrunners Club running groups too). Crazy tight parking, but I ended up creating a parking place under a tree, so my car was nice and cool when I got back to it.
I found my 13:00 group leader and told her I was going to join the 14/15:00 group today, and she said, "Okay, well go ahead and sign in on our board." Another 13:00 pace groupie overheard me, and it turns out her mom is one of the 14/15:00 group leaders, so she introduced the two of us. That made me feel a little better.
Once I got to my adopted group, I asked about the 12 mile plan for today, and the leader said, "NO!" This group was running 10 miles, all we needed, considering the planned races, she said. She was adamant about it. I backed off, but felt a little put off. I was already feeling a little tenuous over switching groups.
Today was group and pace group picture day. I participated in the Raleigh group photo. My 13:00 pace group opted for a pace group photo, but the 14/15 group I was running with today wasn't going to stay for a photo, so off I went with them, missing out on the photo shoot with the folks I've been running with for several weeks. So, I was still feeling a little out of sorts.
We walked for a little bit to warm up as usual, then we started the 1 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. Without meaning to at all, I was at the head of the group, sometimes by a good bit, and the leader lady had to keep calling me back to run with the group. This was pretty frustrating--for both of us, I'm sure. I introduced (or reintroduced) myself to everyone in the 14/15:00 pace group, and they're a friendly and determined group of people. I found out that another lady in the group, Gloria, is also planning to run in the City of Oaks Marathon, and that was a treat to learn. After a while, a lady in the pace group came up to me and asked if she'd like me to have her run with me in the 13:00 pace group for a while, then rejoin the 14/15:00 group later in the run. I jumped at the chance! Nancy turned out to be a long-time runner (and professional personal trainer) who's running as a guest with her sister, a first-time runner in the 14/15:00 pace group. It was nice to be back with the 13:00 group, still at the back of the pack but with willing company.
At the half-way point, we rejoined the 14/15:00 pace group, and at first I felt a little out of sorts again, as people were already into conversations. But I overheard Gloria talking with another lady about music, and the other person mentioned a washboard band she was in while in school. The school I went to had a washboard band, so I started singing their theme song and suprised her! Yes, it turned out we'd been to the same school, St. Mary's, though at different times. She graduated from the junior college division when the school had one, and I graduated from the high school part several years before. Still, it was great fun talking to her about it! To add to the connections, we found out our first-date anniversaries with our boyfriends is the same day-Halloween! :) Unfortunately, I don't remember this person's name, so I'll have to get it next time.
I continued to be at or near the front of the group, until we stopped for our final bathroom break at one of the park's restrooms. I wasn't going to go, but decided to at the last minute. While I was in the restroom, I thought someone else was still in there, so I said through the walls, "I'll be out in a minute," assuming "she" was heading on outside. When I got outside, though, there wasn't a single person in the running group left, and I wasn't sure how to get back to the parking lot! It was a surreal feeling, really. I decided to start heading in the opposite direction from the one we came in, and hoped to seeing something or someone familiar. I came to a fork in the path before that happened, but I saw someone coming toward me who looked friendly. I asked her which was the way back to the Seratoma Arts Center parking lot. (The arts center is next to Shelley Lake, and the parking lot there is the biggest of the Shelley Lake parking lots.) Her response: both ways! The expression on my face must've read: Okay, so which way is shortest?! She pointed to the left, and asked if I were part of the Galloway group. It turns out she was too, and was already done and walking around a bit. It was nice to meet someone new and have a little company for the walk in.
I ended up doing 10.01 miles in 2:54:00. I had to walk around the parking lot to log 10 miles on the Garmin, though I probably did a little more than 10. (I forgot to start the Garmin up at the very beginning, and then forgot to restart it after a couple of water stops.) My left leg bothered me again this morning. Susan suggested it might be Illotibial Band Syndrome or something similar, and she could be right. *sigh*
Once back in the car, I tried a Gu Gel I bought at REI earlier this week. This particular flavor was called Espresso Love, which is coffee flavored and has extra caffeine, among other electrolytes and vitamins. As much as I like the smell of coffee (not to mention the taste of coffee ice cream!), I'm not a big coffee drinker, so the taste of it after a run (did I mention it was hot outside this morning?!) wasn't very refreshing. Bleh! Oh well, it's fun to try different things, especially with recommendations from others. I still have a Vanilla Bean flavored Gu Gel to try, and a Honey Stinger Ginsting-flavored gel to test drive too. (The Honey Stinger Banana flavor sounds good to me, but didn't see it at REI.)
On her way out of the parking lot, Gloria passed me, rolled down her window, and asked me if I would be back next week. I smiled, and told her I would. (It was nice to be asked, eventhough she was probably alluding to the holiday weekend next weekend.)
I need to decide what to do about the pace group thing. I feel like I'm in between pace groups and don't have a comfortable "home" group, at least for now. There are worse problems to have, I know, but this is a several-month commitment of Saturdays I've signed up for (there was money involved) , and I don't want to dread going. There were certainly several bright spots today, mostly involving people instead of running, though. Perhaps I need to rethink my running goals for the rest of the year, and remember that the City of Oaks probably won't be my last marathon, and that the social aspect of running is a lot of run.
Have you been in a similar situation? If so, I'd welcome your insights!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I don't know what I'm going to do about my second run of the week. Tomorrow SHOULD be a rest (or at least a non-run) day, since I have the long run coming up on Saturday. If I end up going with the slower paced group on Saturday, I could get away with a run tomorrow, though, I bet. Decisions, decisions. I COULD crosstrain tomorrow, see how the run goes on Saturday, and run again on Sunday if I'm feeling up to it.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tomorrow, I hope to run!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Weight Watchers is going well, all in all, so far. One of the great benefits so far is that I'm drinking more water.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It makes me wish there was an in-between pace group, say a 13:30 group. The 14/15:00 pace group is too slow for me personally, but this 13:00 pace group seems a little fast for me right now.
I don't want to quit going to the Galloway group training runs, as I do enjoy the comraderie and advice I get from the fellow runners. I'm glad I finished the "run" this morning, and we did walk that last bit at a brisk pace, faster than I would have by myself.
In other positive news, I'm now over 50% of the way toward finishing the Platinum Award in the President's Challenge! I started working on this program on October 3, 2006, and I finished the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards in pretty quick fashion. The Platinum Award will take me a while, for sure. (Though these long training runs are helping me out a bit!) It's nice to have something long term to shoot for, even if it's not a really big deal. I haven't ordered any of the awards for previous level completions, but if they offer something for the Platinum level by the time I get there, I might just order it. It'll be like a finisher's medal for a very long race. ;-)
Friday, June 20, 2008
I rejoined Weight Watchers Wednesday evening, so yesterday was my first day of counting points on the Flex Plan. I'm glad to be keeping track of my food now, which will be a good habit to get back into. I signed up for the monthly pass to save money, and it also qualified me for eTools free. So I can keep track of my food and points online on the Weight Watchers website--right up my alley! (Thanks, Beth, for the inspiration!)
I'd gotten back onto the website SparkPeople earlier this week. The food and exercise tracker didn't do it for me, though. And while you get points for doing different activities on the website, they don't get you anything (except for a virtual trophy). With Weight Watchers, you get activity points for exercise to add to your food points total, which is a little more motivation for me.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I think one reason I've been feeling some blahs with my running lately is that my target race is in November. I need goals a little closer in. One of my next goals will be to run a 5K without walk breaks, like I used to be able to do before the injuries.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
How can I make these long runs easier? Is it just a matter of doing them, and building endurance as I do the base mileage? Perhaps I should look at nutrition and stretching throughout the week, too.
The social part of the Galloway running group is getting me up on Saturday mornings--and getting me through the distance, too. I don't always want to be the caboose, though. I know, I know, it's not about who's first or last, so part of what I need to work on is mental toughness, perhaps.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
This morning I decided I needed a change of routine, so I got going a little earlier and drove over to Umstead Park for my run. It was so peaceful! I even saw a couple of deer, in addition to the birds and squirrels. The rolling hills were a pretty good workout, to boot. I went 2.58 miles in 41:24.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
I've been thinking lately about how expensive running can become! Running has been touted as an inexpensive and easy sport to get into, and I suppose it CAN be. I guess it depends on what your goals are. For me, the cost of running has increased as my goals have gotten bigger. The more expensive shoes and clothing, the hydration and nutritional needs of longer distances, entry fees and travel costs for races, and the Galloway training group fee, they all add up. There are lots of benefits for me, though, so I'm going to keep at it!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
With all the prep shopping and things I did remember for this morning's run, when I ran into Susan I realized I'd forgotten my Garmin Forerunner! Argh! Thankfully, Susan allowed me to bug her periodically for distance updates, plus the final distance and time.
Our 13-minute pace group took a couple of long rest/water stops at the restroom area at Shelley Lake, plus what seemed like a couple of long walk breaks (where there were a lot of hills). I think our total time (2:18:40) for the 8.25 mile run would've been shorter if we'd run more. I was eager to keep going when we were stopped for the restroom breaks, but didn't mind walking the hills too much. The area under my toes on my right foot was bothering me again today. I was able to run through it, but my runs would be a lot more comfortable if that pain would go away.
Thanks to Susan, I tried some Sports Beans for the first time today, and they were yummy! I must get some myself!
I decided to pass on the Run for the Quay 5K this morning. I enjoyed running it last year, but decided to keep on track with the longer run this morning. I hope to get a race or two in this summer, though.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I got a water bottle from Fleet Feet in Carrboro last night, and the wicking shirt came in the mail a couple days ago, so I'm hoping I'll be ready for tomorrow morning's 8-mile run!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
For the past two days in a row, I've measured my walking to/from my car, plus some walking breaks, with my Garmin, and I've walked over two miles each day (in the heat), in addition to the morning workouts. I wonder if that's part of the reason I'm feeling a little sluggish this morning.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Yesterday I had my last appointment with the orthopaedist. I've been so impressed by the doctor and medical staff there each time I've been. She (the doctor) was pleased with my progress, but wants me to stretch twice a day!
I took my Garmin 205 to work with me yesterday, and put it on for several walking opportunities: to and from the orthopaedist, a walk break around campus, and the walk back to my car after work. I ended up logging over two walking miles, very cool!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
I ordered a wicking shirt for running from Amazon.com last evening. (Amazing what you find on Amazon!) I hope it makes it here before Saturday morning. I have a busy week, and in-store shopping isn't normally one of my favorite things (unless it's a bookstore!).