Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Run of 2008

I decided to go to Shelley Lake this morning to do my final run of 2008. It was a beautiful morning, chilly enough to wear long leggings and a long sleeve t-shirt, but not cold enough for gloves or a hat. I just ran around, with walk breaks, and ended up doing 4.71 miles in 1 hour 18 minutes. It was a pretty slow average pace, but I felt like taking it easy today. I just enjoyed being outside and getting a little sweaty.

I ended up with 108.2 miles for the month, my second highest of the year. The highest mileage month of the year for me was back in January, and the third highest month was October. My total 2008 running mileage was 811.7 miles, a good bit short of my 1000-mile goal. I'll shoot for 1000 again in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Running Highlights of 2008

1) My mileage goal for the year was 1000 miles. I won't break that goal, but will finish with a little over 800 miles for the year. I'll shoot for 1000 miles again in 2009.

2) My highest monthly running mileage total was back in January, when I ran 114.3 miles. Looking back, this was a surprise to me, but not really, considering I had a groin strain in early February, probably from overtraining. In early March, I broke my nose (and fell on my right knee as well during that tumble), which put me out of commision for a couple of weeks. Building the mileage back up after those injuries was long and a bit tedious.

3) I signed up for the Raleigh Galloway Marathon Training Program in May, and decided mid-way to train for a half marathon instead. I finished the City of Oaks Half Marathon, my first one, on November 2 in Raleigh. I met a lot of fellow runners through the Galloway program, which was a big plus! I haven't met so many people at one short time frame since I first joined the Junior League, and college before that. I learned a lot from those runners, and appreciated their support through training and the half marathon race.

4) I ran a 5K PR in February at the Run for the Roses 5K in Raleigh. I first detected the groin strain during this race, which slowed me down afterward.

5) I logged new road race distances in the 1-mile and 4-mile. That means automatic PRs, right?!

6) I discovered several new running trails in the area, mainly with the Galloway group, but some on my own. I enjoyed outdoor training runs this year with the Garmin Forerunner I got for Christmas from my sister last year.

Today's Workout

I slept in a bit today, then puttered around and read for a while, so I had a late morning workout today. I ran for 40 minutes (3.32 miles) on the treadmill, then rode 17:02 minutes (3.33 miles) on the recumbent bike. No big deal. Wasn't in the mood to workout today, but not I'm glad I did.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December Running Goal Complete!

This morning I did 2.03 miles in 25 minutes on the treadmill, then 4.07 miles on the recumbent bike. With this morning's run, I broke 100 miles for the month of December! Yahoo!

I weighed this morning for the first time in a few days, and I was disappointed, but not surprised, that I've put on a little weight, so I probably won't succeed in my December weight loss goal. I'm getting back on track TODAY anyway!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Variety

This morning, my legs were still a bit tired from yesterday's long run, so I started on the recumbent bike, going 6.02 miles in 32 minutes. From there, I got on the treadmill and ran a short 2.11 miles in 25 minutes, then walked 10 minutes (0.61 miles) to cool down.

I'm only a couple of miles from hitting 100 miles for the month of December, and I'm excited about that! :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weekend Long Run

This morning I made it back to the American Tobacco Trail for my long run. At first, my goal was to hit 6 miles, but I decided to stretch a little further. Eventually, I'd like for weekly 10 mile runs to be a piece of cake for me, and I'm eager to get back up to that level, especially with the races I've got on tap for the winter. So, I stretched the distance a bit and ended up run/walking 7.15 miles in two hours, slower than the past couple of runs, but still not bad considering it included some walk breaks.

It was overcast again this morning, but still warm enough to wear shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt. Nice!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Back to the Gym

I returned to the gym this morning after a couple of nice runs outside. I ran for 40:03 minutes (3.33 miles) on the treadmill, walked for 5:07 minutes (0.30 miles), and then rode the recumbent bike for 20:01 minutes (4.52 miles). While I was riding the bike, the person on the bike next to me had a Self Magazine open to a 2-page ad, with several people I didn't recognize on the left, and a big yellow page with "100%" on the right. My eyesight wasn't good enough to figure out that the ad was for, but I got some inspiration from seeing "100%" over on the next bike. It reminded me that I should give 100% each time I work out or run outside.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Back on the American Tobacco Trail

I went to the American Tobacco Trail to run this morning, totally on a whim! It turned out to be just what I needed, though! I ended up running 4.18 miles in an hour flat, even faster than yesterday's run (and a little longer, to boot!). This was one of those mornings when the run just clicked, a nice Christmas present to myself. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Outdoor Run

This morning, still on vacation, I decided I wasn't in the mood for the gym and the treadmill, so I decided to run around the neighborhood near my gym. The weather was nice, partly cloudy and around 50 degrees. I parked in front of my gym, strapped on my Garmin, and took off. Final run/walk tally was 3.32 miles in 50 minutes. The 15:39 pace is faster than recent non-race outdoor runs, even some that were flatter, so I'm glad to be picking up the pace a bit outdoors, which is a little harder for me to do than on the treadmill.

After the run, I rode on the recumbent bike in the gym for 20 minutes (3.7 miles).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Morning Workout

I was relieved and pleased to get to the gym already this morning! I started with 42 minutes (3.45 miles) of running on the treadmill, followed by a 5:05 minute (0.3 mile) walk. I rode the recumbent bike for 15 minutes and 3.16 miles. Workout finished--yay!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Late Workouts

I'm getting behind on my workouts and in my blogging! I have worked out the past couple of days, but they've been later in the day than usual. Although I've been recording them in my various paper and online logs, blogging has gotten away from me.

Yesterday morning I was the worship associate at church (a lay position that rotates among a number of us, who help the minister(s) on an assigned Sunday for both services), so I didn't work out beforehand. After church, George and both our mothers went out to lunch, and afterward I took a big ole nap! So, I didn't get to the gym until about 8:00 last night. It was hard to go, but I knew I'd be sorry if I skipped. I ended up biking for 25 minutes (5.14 miles) and running on the treadmill for 25 minutes (2.16 miles). It didn't feel all that good, but I pushed through.

Today is a vacation day for me, so I slept in and puttered around all morning. After lunch, I ran by the library, droppped some drycleaning off, and finally got to the gym mid-afternoon. I ran 4.05 miles (47:05 minutes) on the treadmill, walked 1.05 miles (17:01 minutes), then rode the recumbent bike for 2.13 miles (10 minutes). Again, not a great workout, but I pushed through it again.

I think I miss working out early in the morning. It's my routine, and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I've checked the workout off my list. A change in routine is well and good, but there's nothing like an early morning workout to get my blood pumping!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shelley Lake Long Run

I slept in until 9 AM this morning, which is really unusual for me! I was quite surprised, really. After puttering around for a bit, then running by the library to pick up some books, I decided to run at nearby Shelley Lake, rather than going to the gym or to the American Tobacco Trail, one of my favorite long-run haunts of late. Earlier this week, I'd thought I'd try to run 6-7 miles today, but since I've got a lot to do this afternoon, I decided just to try to beat last week's long run. I ended up running 5.41 miles in 1 hour, 33 minutes, besting last week's long run by less than a 10th of a mile! Woohoo!

It was a nice day to be running out in the middle of the day. The sky was overcast, and temperatures were in the mid-50s, perfect for shorts and a shortsleeve tee-shirt. I really enjoyed it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

1) Rode bike 20 min. (3.61 miles)
2) Elliptical machine 11:06 min. (0.90 mile)
3) Bike again 1o min. (2.06 miles)
4) Treadmill finally available 25 min. (2.1 miles)

All-over-the-place workout. But I got it done!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catching Up

I did exercise yesterday, just forgot to post. I ran 42 minutes (3.48 miles) on the treadmill, and then rode 3.13 miles (16 minutes) on the recumbent bike.

Today I mixed things up a little by starting on the recumbent bike. I rode for 17 minutes (3.28 miles), then got on the elliptical machine for 10:11 minutes (0.85 miles). Then I ran for 40 minutes (3.3 miles) on the treadmill. My total running mileage for the running week so far is 13.13 miles. Good thing I'm not superstitious!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Short Workout

This morning I ran 3.27 miles in 40:04 minutes on the treadmill. That was it. I was tired this morning, so I slept in a bit. I wanted to work out more, but I think my legs-and the rest of my body too, are thanking me for the rest.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Running Week

Last night, George and I went to the Raleigh Galloway training group's end-of-year party, and had a fun time! We had dinner and there were some awards handed out. George said at one point that he may even sign up for next year, which would be great!

Because we didn't get home until about 9:30 last night, and we're preparing for a church group to come to our house tonight, we didn't get to bed until after midnight! Soooo, it was hard to get up and work out this morning, but I made it to the gym anyway. I ran 31 minutes (2.52 miles) on the treadmill, then walked 12:04 minutes (0.70 miles). I decided to run another 7 minutes (0.56 miles), then got off the treadmill and rode the recumbent bike for 10 minutes (2.23 miles). When I wrapped things up, I was surprised to see that I'd hit an hour of exercise. Didn't think I had it in me when I started!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lighter Workout

My legs are a bit sore today after yesterday's long workout, plus a visiting to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (fascinating, but a couple of hours on my feet!). So, I took it a little easy in the gym this morning. I started with 31 minutes (2.56 miles) on the treadmill, then walked to cool down for 12 minutes (0.71 miles). After that, I rode the recumbent bike for 10 minutes (2.04 miles).

I noticed last night that registration for the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon on March 28 is open! Woohoo! I think I'll be signing up for that one soon!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No Race Today

George and I were up late last night after a fun dinner out with George's family at Lucky 32's, so I decided to ditch plans to run in a 5K this morning and just do a long run. Funny how the motivation wasn't as strong for me since I hadn't pre-registered for a race. I thought about it, though, and decided I just wasn't in the mood to compete this morning, eventhough the competition is normally with myself in these races (myself and the person in front of me who I'm trying to pass!). Part of it was that I had a busy day yesterday, and just wanted to workout and relax this morning. Part of it is that I just ran a 5K last weekend, and eventhough I pushed my mileage a little higher so far this running week, I don't know that I'd see an improvement in my 5K time in just one week. With the holiday gift-buying season here, I decided not to pay for a race just for the sake of running a race today. One of the races I was considering was the last race of the Second Empire Grand Prix Race Series, but I'm not in contention for a prize (no surprise there), and I've already missed enough races in the series so I can't get an automatic bid to the Series-end luncheon. Soooo, I just did my own thing this morning!

I was determined to do a long run today, even if it was on the treadmill. I ended up going 5.33 miles in 1 hour and 5 minutes, a pretty decent long-run pace for me! (The treadmill helped with that, no?!) Then I walked on the treadmill to cool down for 10 minutes (0.57 miles), and followed it with a recumbent bike ride for 5:01 minutes and 1.06 miles. Not a bad day's exercise!

I did have a workout yesterday, but just ran out of time to blog. Yesterday I ran 3.36 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill, then rode 3.35 miles in 15 minutes on the recumbent bike.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And More Crosstraining

This morning I ran 3.02 miles on the treadmill (36 minutes), followed it up with 15 minutes and 3 miles on the recumbent bike, then decided to return to the treadmill to walk for 10 minutes and 0.57 miles. I've gotten back into the habit of taking walk breaks at work, but I knew today would be rainy (forcast for rain was 100% today, and it has indeed been raining big fat drops almost all day). Another 61 minutes in the gym, though!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crosstraining Day

My legs are feeling a little tired this morning from the week's running, so I cut back on the treadmill a bit. I ran 2.46 miles in 30 minutes with a 0.5% incline. Next I rode on the recumbent bike for 15 minutes and 3.01 miles. The elliptical machine got some action today for a mere 6 minutes and 0.51 miles. I capped the workout off with another stint on the treadmill, this time walking for 10 minutes and 0.55 miles. Total workout time was 61 minutes.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

President's Challenge Goal

A couple of years ago, I started logging my exercise minutes on the President's Challenge website, just for kicks. I read the different "tracks," and decided to try for the "President's Champions" levels. It's on the honor system, and you just log the activities you've done, and it awards you points. When different levels are accomplished, you can order stuff-medal, certificate, stuff like that. Well, I zoomed through the bronze and silver categories pretty quickly. The gold level took a bit longer, but as I got near the end, I was a little dissapointed that this particular challenge would be coming to a close, eventhough it was virtual, and I was on my own with it. Well, when I logged the workouts that would end my "quest for gold" in March of last year, a new "Platinum" level popped up on my screen! I was glad to see that this challenge would continue, but I could tell it would take me a while to finish!

Well, I've continued to workout nearly every day since then, and would you believe I'm STILL on that Platinum level! It's been a year and nine months, and I'm still on the same level! I just did some math on the points I have left, and based on my daily points average, it'll take me another 337 days and change to finish this program off. Whew! Of course, no one's making me do this, and I'm logging my workouts for time and mileage elsewhere too, but it has been interesting to see how this has unfolded. Maybe I'll try to add some additional exercise in so I can get done a little sooner. In these busy times, I'll be glad to streamline my post-exercise routine and have one less place to record my my gym and/or running time.

Putting in the Miles

I've been inspired of late to work harder on building my base mileage, so I got on the treadmill first again today, rather than biking first. I just start out more slowly on the treadmill to warm up. So, I went 4.01 miles on the treadmill in 47 minutes, for an 11:43 average pace. This is fast for me, so I'm pretty excited. Now my legs are a little sore, but it's a "good" sore. No surprise there. Then I hopped on the recumbent bike for 20 minutes and 4.66 miles. There are two recumbent bikes at the gym I go to in the mornings, and I'm suspicious that they may be calibrating distances diffferently. Hmmm, anyway, it's what I have to work with. Since biking's not my primary exercise, I'm not going to fret over it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Back on the Treadmill

I have to admit, I was glad to get back on the treadmill this morning! I'm not much of a cold weather fan, and I really don't mind the treadmill.

I started out on the treadmill, running 3.1 miles in 37 minutes. Then I got on the recumbent bike for 17 minutes and 3.36 miles. I decided to get BACK on the treadmill for amother 5 minutes and 0.41 miles. Hey, I still had some energy in my legs, and I know I need to build my running mileage base. I feel pretty good on this end of it, a bit tired but not in need of a nap.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Outside Run

This morning I headed over to the American Tobacco Trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, for a long run outdoors. It was COLD, and I am not a cold weather person, but I did it anyway, going 4.22 miles in 1:10:00. It was nice to be outside, but I was also really glad to be done with it. I felt like I could've pushed a little harder, but the path was a little icey in spots. (I saw one guy slip and take a tumble! I stopped and made sure he was okay.)

Afterward, I stopped by the gym and rode 10 minutes (2 miles) on the recumbent bike. Nice way to wind down.

I ended up with 23.53 running miles for the week of Dec. 1, so I'm still on track for my goal of running 100 miles in December.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Race Report: 2008 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

I had a really nice race this morning in Raleigh! This was my second running of the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in Raleigh, a festive race for a good cause. The race starts and finishes at St. Mary's in Raleigh, where I went to high school, an added bonus. (I know how to get there, and it's always nice to see the campus again.)

Like last year, there were a lot of people dressed up in red and green, some in more elaborate costumes. I got there early to get my packet, and enjoyed warming up around campus. It was a chilly morning, but sunny. I was glad to have a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings on before the race, but warmed up quickly once the race started.

I only took a couple of short walk breaks during this race, which was encouraging. (I hope to return to running the whole 5K in time!) My running segments were fairly steady. With about a quarter of a mile to go, I felt a nice spurt of energy, which was soon aided by a nice downhill stretch to the finish line. (I can't believe I'd forgotten this nice finish from last year!) I ended up finishing in about 38:05, according to the clock, so I'm hoping my chip time will be even lower. Either way, I finished up about a minute faster than my last 5K, the Apex Turkey Trot two weekends ago! I finished last year's Jingle Bell Run in 38:02, so it would be sweet to beat that time too.

Before the race, I was starting to feel a little down about 5Ks, thinking I needed to start concentrating more on training for longer distances. But I really enjoyed this race day! I only saw one familiar runner person before the race, but I met a new runner at the starting line, a lady who has been kind of reinventing herself since the birth of her 3rd child. She picked up running a few months ago, and was competing in her 3rd or 4th race today. She's so psyched about running and getting fit, is running a race in Phoenix over Christmas, and can't wait to get her family to join her. (They don't know it yet, though!)

After the race, I saw a lady in a St. Mary's sweatshirt, and struck up a conversation with her. I thought she was an alum, but turns out she works part-time in the library, so we had fun talking about the school. She loves working there, and we enjoyed swapping library stories. On my way to my car a few minutes later, I ran into the lady who taught me piano there at St. Mary's! She's still giving lessons there, and looks almost the same!

All of this reminded me that participating in road races isn't just about the running. I love race days, and now part of that is the people I get to meet.

UPDATE: My official time was 38:02, which was the exact time I ran this race in last year!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Road Races: Local vs. Trips

Last Sunday, I asked George his thoughts about going with me to Virginia Beach next Labor Day weekend for the Virginia Beack Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. I asked so early because I'd gotten an email saying they were allowing $30 off the registration fee through Nov. 30. He said it was up to me whether or not to go ahead and sign up, but that he didn't know if he wanted to spend Labor Day weekend in Virginia Beach.

That's had me thinking about road races and travel, and how it impacts my budget, our vacation time, and my training time. Truth of the matter is that I'm still a back-of-the-packer, in all the distances I've raced so far. So, is it a good investment for me to travel somewhere overnight just to run in a race where I'll be in the last 5-10% of finishers? It depends on how interesting the location is, whether or not George's being there is important to me (local races not so much, but I'd want his companionship on a weekend getaway), how much money and time it would take to travel and stay somewhere comfortably, and how I'd expect to do.

In the big scheme of things, where would I love to travel to to compete in a race? The New York City and Boston Marathons come to mind, as do Disney World's full and half marathons. Otherwise, perhaps I need to focus my attention on being a better runner first. At 45, I'll never win any races, but would love to be an age group placer in time. There are a respectable number of races within driving distance of where I live, though I wish there were more 10Ks half marathons around.

I'm thinking about starting a budget line item (or maybe a money jar) for race travels, and see how the money adds up. Meanwhile, after December's festive 5Ks, I plan to start my Saturday long runs again in preparation for the Coach Bubba 20K in February. The Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon is scheduled for March, but online registration isn't available yet. We'll see how the winter/spring schedule shapes up, and decide on the Virginia Beach trip a little later. Maybe I'll save up for Disney instead!

Groggy Morning

Last night was the most solid sleep I've gotten this week, but I woke up feeling very groggy this morning! What's up with that?! I've had a hard time shaking the grogginess, even with exercise. Hoping to get more rest tonight before tomorrow morning's Jingle Bell Run in Raleigh.

I started on the treadmill this morning, so I'd be sure to give running most of my energy. I went 3.3 miles in 40:16 minutes, then hopped on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes (1.83 miles). I decided to finish up with 5 minutes (0.4 miles) on the treadmill. A decent workout, all in all, but not the greatest.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Birthday Workout

I made it to the gym this morning after sleeping in a little (a birthday present to myself!). I did 35 minutes (6.24 miles) on the recumbent bike, then 15:01 minutes (1.24 miles) on the treadmill. I wish I'd spent more time on the treadmill, but ah well. Tomorrow!

I did work out yesterday, but never got around to posting. I clocked 30 minutes (5.39 miles) on the recumbent bike, and 30:01 minutes (2.56 miles) with a 1% incline on the treadmill. It was a pretty hard workout, so I feel like my bod needed a little recovery time today.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Still Feeling Blah

I've give last night's sleep a C- or D+ thanks to the remnants of this blasted cold (and the one I gave to George), but I still made it to the gym this morning before work. I decided to start on the treadmill while the getting was good, since the gym's treadmills tend to fill up quickly in the morning. I covered 3.33 miles in 40:01 minutes, then hopped on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes (1.84 miles). I pulled back a little on the intensity from yesterday's workout, but could probably use a day of rest. Ah, well.

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Week, New Month

It's not often that a new month and a new workout week start on the same day! My workout calendars, both paper and online, have workout weeks that go from Monday to Sunday. It's kinda refreshing to see the #1 on a Monday.

I started out on the treadmill this morning to see how far I felt like going. I ended up doing 3.7 miles in 45:02, then rode the recumbent bike for 10 minutes (2.12 miles).

Betwen still not feeling well AND that workout, now I really do want a nap! I think I should've had a lighter workout while I'm still sick.

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