Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shorter Workouts

Yesterday I did 35 minutes on the elliptical machine, and this morning I did 35 minutes on the recumbent bike. Needing more time for rest, but have several other things gobbling up that time. *Sigh* In the immediate future, my department moves to a different building this coming weekend, and I'm scheduled to be interviewed by some people from Korea this evening (about the personal health benefits of rice!), so once these immediate commitments are behind me...

Update: I enjoyed my interview with the Koreans about brown rice. I was intrigued and impressed by the process, and they were very respectful and tried to make me feel comfortable. They filmed me making my rice supper, and asked me questions in the living room. They also shot some footage of George and me together, which was nice.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Eventhough I got to bed early last night, I'm still feeling tired this morning. Not sleepy, but tired. I thought about taking a break from exercise this morning, but decided to do some time on the recumbent bike and take it easy--did 5.05 miles in 40 minutes, nice and slow. The bike provided some respite for my left foot as well, which is being bothered again by plantar fasciitis.

Since rest alone isn't getting me back to square 1, it's time to concentrate more on some low-sodium nutritional things to help me out. Suggestions, anyone?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still Recovering

This morning I did 45 minutes on the recumbent bicycle, as my legs still felt like they needed some recovery time from Saturday's long run. Boy, it really took it out of me! We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Workouts

Yesterday's long run at Shelley Lake with the Galloway group was an eye opener! I continue to learn lots about my body and what I can do. I'm also learning more about what my body (and mind) need for me to push it to the limit.

16 miles was on the schedule for those of us doing Oct./Nov. marathons. I knew this was on the schedule, and I tried to be ready, but I wasn't as fresh as I would've liked. With group leader Kathy's company again, I ended up walking the last new miles, ending up with about 15.5 miles in a little under 5 hours. Can you say slow?!

Following last weekend's busy vacation (which included hiking), I had a busy work week getting ready for our move. One day I even moved a bunch of boxes and books around, which was a good workout but ended up being physically draining. And then there was the Thurdsay evening run at Bond Park, which was fun, but maybe not restful (especially after working out at the gym that morning!).

Yesterday morning I slept in a tad, so I skimped on breakfast, and ended up sucking down a couple of GU gels--can you believe that?! I need to work on breakfast before a long run, a banana at least!

I drank more water during yesterday's run, which helped a lot. I was glad to have the water bottle with me! We also had a snack stop (with fruit, fig newtons, etc) for the first time, so I enjoyed getting replenished. (The orange slices were especially awesome!)

When I got home, I showered and took a big ole nap! I felt tired for the rest of the day, but my legs started feeling better last night.

Today I've continued to feel tired. Last weekend's run plus hiking aside, this seems to be the longest I remember feeling this tired from a run. I need to figure out how to recover better. Maybe it's a matter of my body getting used to the extra exertion, plus extra rest and water--and good nutrition.

This morning I was planning to go to the gym and ride the recumbent bike, but I didn't feel like getting into my car. I put on my Garmin and went for a 40-minute walk, but the plantar fasciitis in my left foot, which reappeared yesterday, still gave me problems this morning.

I'm glad to have my second 20-mile running week of the month, but this was a hard-fought 20 miles! I'm off to take a nap!

Friday, July 25, 2008


OK, so I was tired again this morning! That's what I get for doing an evening run--but it was worth it! I did 35 minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym this morning. Tomorrow--long, long run!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Second Wind

I continued to feel tired all morning, but around midday I started feeling better, so I ended up joining the North Carolina Roadrunners Club's Thursday Trail Series at Bond Park in Cary. I did this run a couple of weeks ago and got lost a couple of times, so I was the last one in. This time, I ran a shorter distance (2.72 miles) while most of the group ran about 5 miles. Several of us ran the shorter course, so I didn't feel like a loner on a group run this time, and I enjoyed socializing with the other runners as people came back to the starting area. It turns out there were several Galloway runners there tonight, so it was nice to meet some people from other pace groups and talk about various races.

Another thing that made it fun was that I was a winner in the drawing again! (Last time I won a hydration belt, and I thought the group was trying to tell me something, since I was still on the course when I won it.) This time I won a cute wicking t-shirt! It's a little small for me, so I can swap it at the New Balance running store in Raleigh, I'm told. Sweet! :)

Shorter Workout

This morning I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, and that was it. It felt like plenty!

I got to bed a little earlier last night, after a busy evening of shopping, but I'm still feeling a little sluggish. It feels like it's taking me a little longer to recover from hard workouts. Maybe I'm just stubborn about getting to bed a little earlier on a regular basis. I am doing more long/hard workouts with the marathon training, so in theory I should expect to need more rest. I'm also trying to drink more water, and am contemplating how to change my diet to boost energy without taking a lot of supplements and stuff (beyond a comprehensive multivitamin).

Any ideas, anyone?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Rest

I got to bed a little earlier last night, and felt more rested when I woke up this morning. I need to continue the earlier bedtime!

I did 50 minutes (3.46 miles) on the elliptical machine this morning. My pace was a little slower than usual for me, but felt fast enough. Perhaps there's still some residual tiredness from the trip. I'm also hyper-aware of this coming weekend's scheduled 16-mile run.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back Home

This morning I went back to my regular gym, but was still tired from all the weekend's activities. I surprised myself by going 35 minutes on the treadmill (running the whole time) for 2.57 miles, followed by 15 minutes (2.58 miles) on the recumbent bicycle. I'm still tired. Need to make a habit of getting to bed early this week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vacation Exercise

George and I have returned from a surprisingly active vacation in Winston-Salem! On Saturday, I got up early and hit the hotel fitness center's treadmill and ended up running 10.31 miles in 2:28:09, a 14:21 pace. For me, that's pretty good! I did more running than walking, instead of doing my usual walk 1/run 1 minute for long runs, because I was in a hurry to finish the 10 miles on my marathon training schedule. I ended up overshooting the 10 miles because I ended up doing the running in segments. (First I had to make a pit stop, then the treadmill would only go 65 minutes, then my paper training log slid off the ledge on the treadmill and got caught in the little red "stop" cord, which made the treadmill stop after 4 minutes and change, stuff like that.)

After that, my legs were pretty tired, but George and I set off for Pilot Mountain State Park. There, we started down an easy path with several scenic overlooks (and chances to rest!). When we came upon a sign for another trail, a "moderate" 0.8 mile loop, George was eager, so I agreed. On THAT trail, we came across yet another trail sign that marked a 2-mile "strenuous" trail. George was beside himself to do it, saying he wanted some strenuous exercise like I'd already had, and he wanted me to come along. I balked in a major way, but finally agreed to go along. Boy, was it strenuous! I thought I was in decent shape, but learned a lot about my legs and 10-mile runs followed by hiking. I was pretty uncomfortable by the end of the hike, and was thankful for an offer of water from another hiker along the trail. I was glad to make it to the end, and learned something about my mental as well as physical stamina.

I didn't get up early to exercise yesterday morning, but George and I visited Old Salem in Winston-Salem yesterday afternoon, and though it entailed more walking, it was informative and delightful, really. My legs and whole body were still tired from Saturday, but I'm glad I did it.

This morning, still in Winston-Salem, I got up early and headed out for a run, but my legs just didn't have it in them. I tried several times to get going, but it just wasn't in the cards. I ended up walking 2.54 miles in 50 minutes around part of the Wake Forest University campus. I'll try running again tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation Workout

This morning I had the luxury of staying a little longer at the gym, since I'm off work tody. I started with 15 minutes on the recumbent bike, then 45 minutes on the elliptical, and then six minutes on the treadmill. A little bit of almost everything--it felt good. I could've done more, but George and I are heading to Winston-Salem today!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This morning I just didn't feel like exercising. I had another late one last night (didn't get home until 10!), so I was feeling sluggish when I stumbled out of bed. The outside air helped, so I decided to run outdoors, first 5 minutes, then another 5 minutes, and I kept going until I'd logged 33 minutes and 2.22 miles. (Cool the way the numbers worked out!) The 14:53 average pace is pretty good, considering my weariness. I'm tired of being tired in the morning, and need to work on winding down and getting to bed at a better time.

I did a run/walk combination again, but this time I tried some different things, like running from point A to point B instead of worrying so much about the time. That was a nice change of pace.

As I type right now, I have the "Today Show" on in the background, and they're covering the Cary, NC, jogger who went missing and was found murdered a couple of days ago. It's a very sad story, and it's made me even more aware when I run outside. I miss my iPod when I run outside, but I usually don't feel as safe when I run with an iPod outside the gym.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Elliptical Day

This morning I hopped on the elliptical machine, and got a 45 minute workout in.

George and I met his parents and aunt for dinner at Brixx last night, so as usual, I was tired this morning. When I got to the gym, I thought, "Okay, let's see what 10 minutes of exercise feels like." From there, I just kept adding a little bit until I hit 45 minutes. Sometimes I even had my eyes closed on the elliptical, something I could never do while running, but I was that tired! I'm glad I went and exercised though, and now I feel a little more awake.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the Run

I almost didn't run this morning, but I'm glad I did! I went to the gym initially, and had to talk myself into getting on the treadmill. When the "increase speed" button on the treadmill's console got stubborn, I got determined to run. So I put on the Garmin (which I had with me) and went running around the neighborhoods near the gym. I ended up going 2.93 miles in 45:42 doing a run/walk combo. I felt a little sluggish at first, but afterward, I felt good enough to get on the recumbent bike at the gym for another 15 minutes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On the Elliptical

This morning I did well to get in 30 minutes on the elliptical. I'm still feeling tired, possibly from the 13-ish mile run on Saturday, followed by 8 miles on the recumbent bike yesterday. I wonder if the tiredness could be from something else, but the weekend workouts are probably the culprit.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the Bike

I'm feeling tired this morning, and my hamstrings are sore, to boot. I made it to the gym this morning and did 46 minutes on the recumbent bycicle. I'm even more tired now. I wonder if I could've just used a day off from exercise. George and I are joining his family for brunch in a bit, but I see a nap in my future, like this afternoon!

I ran 20.88 miles this past running week, the first time I've had a 20-mile week in quite a while! Yay!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Long Run with Galoway Group

This morning I joined the Galloway training group again for our weekly long run. Different people are running different distances now, based on their target races and how they're feeling. I ran with the 14/15 min. pace group again, and was glad I did this morning, as I needed to pace myself pretty slowly for the scheduled 14-mile run.

Most of the pace group did 10 miles. At the end of the 10-miler, the only other person who wanted to go farther was Kathy, one of the group leaders. After a restroom break at Crabtree Valley Mall, the two of us took off again. (Unfortunately, I forgot to restart my Garmin Forerunner at first, but I remembered eventually!) I enjoyed talking with Kathy some more. She was good company for the extra 3 or so miles. My Garmin clocked 12.83 miles in 3 hours, 36 minutes, for a 16:50 average pace, pretty good considering we did a run/walk/run the whole way, except for the last mile or so, which we walked because my left leg was bothering me a bit again.

I'm feeling pretty decent, but need to take a nap this afternoon since George and I have plans tonight.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time on the Bike

After yesterday's workouts and lots of work-related walking, I am tired and sore this morning. I spent 30 minutes on the recumbant bike this morning, and couldn't wait to finish the very minimum minutes I try to do on a daily basis.

Bond Park Run with NC Roadrunners

I decided to join the Thirsty Thursdays July Trail Series of the North Carolina Roadrunners Club for their run at Bond Park last night. It was a 5K run for everyone last night, but it turned out to be a little longer for me!

I started out being able to keep the last person in view, but then they rounded a corner, and on down a bit, I totally missed a turn! By the time I figured out which way to go and did some backtracking, they were long gone. I was relieved to see the white arrows again periodically.

A while later, I saw another arrow that turned, but I didn't know if that was supposed to be the direction we took after the nearby tunnel, or if it meant to turn around. I went through the tunnel and made a left--for a while. Turns out I was supposed to turn around BEFORE the tunnel--and head BACK! Ack!

I did have a map, which wasn't very helpful for my first time running Bond Park. Thankfully, there were others out running and walking as well, so I asked for directions a couple of times to make sure I was heading in the right direction. I did enjoy the park when I wasn't worried about catching up or finding my way back to the boat house. I even spotted a bunny rabbit. :)

Needless to say, I was the very last one of the group to finish, so much so that someone from the group came looking for me. Funny thing is, I actually won one of the door prizes they were offering--a cool looking hydration belt! Figures that my name must've been called and I was STILL out on the course. ;-) (Guess they figured I needed some extra hydration if I was going to be running that long!)

I ended up running/walking 3.74 miles, thanks to the missed turns, in 54 minutes.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to go back next week. If I do, at least I'd know better which way to go! What would you do?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Running and Elliptical

This morning I ran on the treadmill for 21 minutes, then hopped on the elliptical for 21 minutes. Why 21 minutes each? I'm not sure, except that it felt like I was pushing past 20 minutes on each machine, a little extra umph.

I think I'm going to try out the North Carolina Roadrunners Club's "Thirsty Thursdays" July Series this evening. I'm not much of an evening runner, but I decided to try out another social running event. It looks like they're offering some cool door prizes, another reason to try it out! :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Shopping for Endurance Gels

Yesterday after work, I decided to stock up on some Gu Gels. I have some Honey Stinger Gels coming in the mail from (where they're cheaper than in the stores if you get free shipping), but I wanted to stock on Vanilla Bean (my favorite flavor) Gu Gels while I'm waiting for the Honey Stingers to arrive. Would you believe I stopped at THREE stores before I found what I wanted?! First I stopped at Omega Sports off of 15-501, but they only had Espresso and Chocolate-flavored Gu Gels, not so refreshing during or after a run, in my book. Next, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods, in the same strip mall. They had some other brands, but no Gu Gels that I could find. (I'm partial to Gu Gels, because they have about a quarter of the sodium of the others endurance gels, and I'm watching my sodium.)

I finally went to REI across from SouthPoint (AGAIN), where I was able to buy two BOXES of Vanilla Bean Gu Gels, plus an assortment of some other flavors to try. Unfortunately, there were only two boxes, or I may have bought at least one more. There are 6 in each box. Sometimes I use them during the week, in addition to my Saturday long runs.

I still like SportsBeans, and while I saw an assortment of them yesterday in the three stores, I've found that ordering them online from the SportsBeans website is handy.

Do you use endurance gels, drinks, bars, or other such things? If so, which is your favorite brand and flavor? Where do you like to buy them?

Low Battery

I was going to run outside this morning, but when I powered up the Garmin, it announced with a beep that it had a low battery. (I know how that feels sometimes!) I went to the gym and did 31 minutes on the treadmill for 2.63 miles, then hopped on the bike for 15 minutes (2.67 miles).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back on the Elliptical

Today I did 41 minutes on the elliptical machine for 3.02 miles. I feel a little weary after a busy Monday; I wonder, too, if I'm still a little "hung over" from all the running I did over the weekend. I'll take some walk breaks at work today to help get my exercise minutes higher.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Shorter Workout

My legs are tired this morning, so I stopped after 35 minutes on the recumbent bike, going 6.67 miles. Not a bad workout after a busy running weekend.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Can't Believe I Ran Again!

I got to my car this morning, intending to drive to the gym, but I ended up turning toward Brier Creek instead. I fired up my Garmin Forerunner and ran/walked 4.36 miles in 1:05:00! As much as I enjoyed being around people at Friday's race and yesterday's group run, I really enjoyed running by myself this morning.

Three days of running in a row, probably not so good. My legs feel suprisingly good today, considering.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Another Galloway Long Run

This morning I met the Galloway Training Group at Shelley Lake again, and decided to go with the 14/15 group again, especially since I did the 4-mile race yesterday. We did five 1-mile repeats with the intent of practicing getting closer to race pace. With the 14/15 pace group, the first couple of miles were that way, but the last three were slower. With my tired race legs, I didn't mind the slower pace. I started out as one of the faster people in the group this morning, but by the end I felt tired enough to slow down and talk more with people.

The group leader and I got things straight in terms of mileage this morning. Last week I was a bit discouraged because the group went a shorter distance than was on my training schedule for the City of Oaks Marathon, and the group leader insisted that 10 miles was correct. Well, it turns out that because I'd just (re)joined that group, she didn't know what my target race was, and no one else was planning to do the City of Oaks Marathon at the time. (Another pace group member has since let her know that it's her target race too.) I didn't think to tell her either.

I enjoyed talking with Leigh Ann this morning; she works with diabetics, so we had a lot to talk about. I also had fun getting to know Janet, whose twin sister, Janette, is running with the 13 pace group.

Because of the intended speed work, I ended up doing 8.02 miles in 2:15 today--faster than last Saturday, but a slower overall pace than yesterday (big surprise). I enjoyed the earlier meeting time today.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Four on the Fourth

I've been missing the road racing circuit lately, as I've been concentrating on Saturday long runs with the Galloway Training Group. So, today being Friday, July 4, I had a couple of races (at least) to choose from in the Triangle area, and opted for the Four on the Fourth in Carrboro, put on by the Cardinal Track Club.

The weather was really pretty, though a little hot and humid. The course was fairly flat, which was nice too! We ran through some neighborhoods near the start and finish lines at McDougal Middle School. There wasn't a lot of crowd support, but the people who were out were very nice. While I appreciated everyone who was out clapping for us, I especially liked seeing parents out with their kids, encouraging even us back-of-the-packers. What a cool way for parents to model good sportsmanship to their children!

I finished the four mile race in an unoffical (Garmin 205) time of 51:16. The Garmin actually showed 4.02 miles for that time, a 12:46 min/mile average. I did a run/walk combo, and was hoping to finish in under an hour. I'm thrilled to have an average pace below 13 minutes for the 4 miles. I ran more in the earlier miles, walked more in the later miles. I ended up finishing the race with a nice lady whose name I didn't even get, but I enjoyed talking with her as we ran/walked a good portion of the race near each other.
The only odd thing about the morning was having to do with the timing chip. As I was walking toward the registration area this morning, I noticed nobody with race numbers had timing chips on their shoes. I was suddenly a little disappointed, and was surprised at myself for missing the detail that timing chips weren't going to be used for this race. (It's okay if races don't-though most do these days--I just like to know, one way or the other.) When I registered and got my race number, it turned that the chip was in a pouch on the back of the race number! Interesting! The volunteers said there would be a place at the end of the race to put the pouch with the chip. Once I crossed the finish line, someone pulled out a yellow piece of paper that was in the pouch, but he missed the chip. I spotted a box full of the pouches with the yellow sheets (and chips) still inside beyond the finish line. I pulled the pouch with my timing ship apart from my race number and asked the nearest official-looking person about it. He hesitated, but put in it the box I'd spotted and said they'd work it out. I hope so! ;-) If not, at least I have my Garmin time.

This was my first 4-mile road race, so I'm excited about having this PR of 51:16 to break in the future.
UPDATE: Official results are in, and my chip time is 51:17:34. I finished 400th out of 411 finishers. The age group posted results only went three deep.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Much Is Too Much?

I had some leftover energy last evening, so I went to the gym and got on the recumbent bike for 30 minutes, then hopped on the elliptical for 21 minutes. Add this to the 41 minutes I walked yesterday morning, and I think I overdid it yesterday! This morning I'm more tired than I was yesterday morning, so I stuck to the recumbent bike for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Morning Walk

This morning I was pretty tired, mostly from yesterday's day trip to Merchants Millpond State Park and other spots between here and there, but perhaps from yesterday morning's workout as well. So, I just decided to walk this morning, and ended up going 2.3 miles in 41:07 minutes. That's a 17:53 average pace, which is pretty good for me, as I've been a slow walker in the past. Being under 20 minutes per mile is an improvement. The marathon training must be paying off! ;-)

I went to Weight Watchers to weigh in this morning, and have dropped 9.2 pounds in two weeks, which is pretty exciting. (I lost 5 lbs the first week, and 4.2 pounds in the past week!) The weigh-in receptionist said if I had another big loss this next week, then we might think about adding a point to my daily total (I'm doing the Flex Plan). I just smiled, but didn't mention that I've had a hard time staying under my points total as it is, but I'm still losing weight. I doubt that'll last for long, and I'll need to be more diligent with the points when my rate of weight loss slows down. Funny thing is, when I logged my new weight on Weight Watchers' eTools this afternoon, the site had me retake the Points Quiz, and it took a point AWAY from me! Ha!

I stopped by REI AGAIN this morning on my way home from WW, and stocked up on energy gels again. They're still having a sale on selected food products, so I decided to try a couple of different flavors of the Hammer Gel, Apple-Cinnamon and Raspberry. I tried them this afternoon, and while they were okay, I still like their Vanilla the best. Of the Gu Gels, I like the Vanilla Bean the best so far, so there is a trend. Ya know, I haven't heard anyone else mention the vanilla, but I've heard folks talk about the chocolate and espresso flavors. I think I'll continue to prefer a lighter flavor for pre/post workouts.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Treadmill Run

Eventhough I'm on vacation, I got up just a little later than usual, and headed for the gym. I did 30 minutes on the gym to warm up, then hopped on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It felt so good I bumped up the speed, as well as the incline, and clocked 2.55 miles! Granted, it helps some having the treadmill belt pulling you along. Still, I'll take the 11:45 avg. pace (no walk breaks!) today.

Thinking about running a Friday race. Suggestions from my North Carolina readers are welcome!

Meanwhile, I'm off to explore the NC countryside in an effort to visit some more counties on my North Carolina Odyssey Project. I'll be posting pictures and what not on that blog soon.


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