Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Running Year That Was

It was an interesting running year, for sure. I must say that it didn't really turn out like I expected, but I learned a lot about myself. Some highlights:

1) I completed my first marathon, the Triple Lakes Race, in an other-wordly time of 10:55:43. It's rare that someone would be allowed the time to complete a marathon in so much time, but there was a 40 mile race going on at the same time. I ended up falling three times during this trail race, and spent a lot of time at the aid stations, washing out my knee and doing first aid things to it. I was determined to go the distance, and I'm glad I did.

2) My second marathon attempt of the year, about 5 weeks later, was a DNF. My left IT band got the better of me at the Outer Banks Marathon, which was a bummer. I loved seeing the Outer Banks again, though, and running past the Wright Brothers Memorial was a definite highlight.

3) I joined the Raleigh Galloway Training Group for the second year in a row. I dropped out of the group early last year to train on my own, but decided to come back this year, partly because George decided to run with the group as well! That was a lot of fun, and George's participation kept me going to the group runs all the way through the season this year. At the end of the year celebration, I ended up winning one of this year's inspiration awards for finishing the Triple Lakes Race.

4) I got to hear John Bingham talk at the 4th quarter meeting of the North Carolina Roadrunners Club. I've been reading his books and columns for several years now, so it was a treat to hear him talk in person. He was both funny and insightful, and really spoke to me.

5) I got to co-host an episode of a running podcast called the Runners Roundtable, and while I was nervous at first, I really enjoyed the experience! I hope to do it again sometime.

6) George and I ran our first race together, the Mebane on the Move 10K. It was my first 10k in years, and George's first road race ever. I was quite proud of him! He finished ahead of me by a few minutes, which was all good.

7) I started working with a running coach in December, the first time I've tried a running coach. This leaves me with high hopes for the coming year.

8) I ran (or ran/walked) 753.76 miles in 2009. I'm still shooting for that elusive 1000 miles in a year. I'm not sure if that's in the cards for me or not.  Time will tell!

Last Workout of 2009

I ended this year with the elliptical machine and a strength training workout. I started with 2.45 miles (35:14 min) on the elliptical, not a stellar performance, but it's a light cardio workout day anyway. I followed it with a variety of strength building exercises, some of which I added some sets or reps to. (Yay!) At the end, I stretched. All in all, a good workout.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday Treadmill Run

I got on the treadmill this morning and followed orders to run/walk 2.5 miles, with an ever increasing amount of running and less walking--yay! I did this on the treadmill again, which makes it all easier, but I'm doing it. I did the 2.5 mile stint in 38:10, faster than Monday's run, per orders from the coach. It felt good today, to boot. I stretched for about 10 minutes afterward, which my right IT band appreciated today.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Gym Workout and Weigh-in

I rode the recumbent bike for 7.8 miles in 45:05 minutes, then stretched for about 10 minutes and spent about another 5-10 minutes on strength training. Saw my new low-carb diet buddy again at the gym, and it was fun to talk with her a little more. :)

My first 5K of the new year is coming up next weekend--yay! I hope the weather is good, but either way, I'll be there! Now, if I can lose a few pounds between now and then, that would be great! Today I weighed after I woke up and used the bathroom, instead of waiting until after I lost some water weight from working out. I didn't like what I saw, but I have to think of the number as data, not as a measure of my self worth.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Treadmill Run

This morning I continued to follow Brennan's workout schedule, and ran/walked 2.53 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill. It was a better run than last week, felt like I was more in the groove. I hope it means I'm getting a little stronger too. :) I stretched afterward.

I had a nice conversation with a lady at the gym, the one I met a couple of days ago in the gym lobby. We struck up a conversation about weight loss then, and had an even longer conversation about it this morning. She was very inspiring! I got her contact information, and will drop her an email soon. I hope we stay in touch!

I started a new exercise log today--fun to think about the possibilities that the coming year will hold in terms of my running. One new thing I put in the section for today is this morning's resting heart rate. I think it'll be interesting to track that over the course of the year ahead. I wonder if the number will go down.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Bike Ride

It took me a while to get to the gym this morning, after a late night playing games at George's brother's house. (We had such a good time, that we didn't leave until midnight, and were still wound up when we got home! It was 2 AM before we went to bed--yikes!)

My workout plan for this morning was an optional 30-35 minutes of low intensity riding on the recumbent bike. I almost didn't go, but decided I'd feel worse mentally, at least, if I didn't go to the gym. I'm glad I did. It was a slow 5.23 miles, but it's in the books.

Tomorrow, I start a brand new exercise journal. Pretty good feeling.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday Run at the Gym

This morning I ran/walked 2.53 miles in 43 minutes on the treadmill, and it was one of those "tough" runs. I knew I could gut it out, but I just felt out of sync. I was glad I finished, and my left IT band and plantar fasciitis felt better as I went along. It was slow going at the beginning, though, and it was hard to recover my pace by the end to keep it line with earlier run/walk paces this week. I'm building my endurance back, though, and not every run is going to be a winner.

I had a nice little visit with another gym member on my way of out the gym, as we somehow struck up a conversation about weight loss. She gave me some good tips that helped her, included the book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, which I ordered from Amazon when I got home! Has anyone else read this book? If so, any comments?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I went to the gym this morning, and had more company than I expected. There were two people there when I arrived, and different person there when I left.

Today's workout was optional, according to my new plan from the running coach. I decided to follow it and walked 2.03 miles in 36:07 minutes on the treadmill. I followed it with 2.11 miles on the recumbent bike in 12:06 minutes.

My eye is feeling much better today. I had to delay my workout yesterday due to an early (thank goodness!) appointment with the eye doctor, who diagnosed a corneal ulcer on my right eye. It had been feeling very irritated, so I've been the eye drop queen (two types) for the past day. Minor bump in the road, in retrospect, but it was a little unnerving not knowing what was going on with my eye. Much better now!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Workouts

Yesterday I ran/walked on the treadmill for 2 miles (31:06 min), did some work on the ab crunch Nautilus machine, then did a light 10 minutes (1.34 miles) on the bike.

Today, I did 3.14 miles in 40 minutes on the elliptical machine, and followed with a 15 minute stretch. I'm still getting used to concentrating on one cardio machine when I'm at the gym. I got so used to hopping around on different machines that it's a bit of a challenge for me to just focus on one. I think it'll pay off, though.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Training Progress

This morning I did 2.72 miles in 36 minutes on the elliptical machine, followed by stretching and strength training, both upper and lower body. While my muscles ache a bit, I'm feeling the satisfaction of hoping that my muscles are getting stronger and benefiting from a more well rounded training plan. If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know I've stretched a bit and done strength training even less consistently. Well, I think THOSE days are over, and I'm looking forward to seeing how my body responds in 2010. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Week

It's the last full running week of 2009, and it happens to be the last week of pages in my paper workout log that I take to the gym with me daily.

Today I continued to follow coach's orders, and ran/walked 2.52 miles in 40:06 minutes on the treadmill. It was a pretty challenging run/walk for me, and I'm not sure why. It's the longest I've gone in a while, but I thought I was maintaining my fitness level better than that. I'm scratching my head on this one. I'm glad I made it to the end, and am surprised I finished in under a 16 min/mile pace today. Yep, I felt pretty sluggish. Maybe the fact that I'm on vacation and got to the gym a little later than usual had something to do with it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another Run in the Books

This morning I ran (on the treadmill) for only the third time this week, but I still have a weekly high for the month. It's been nice having running coach Brennan's guidance on the runs and cross training. One thing I'm not accustomed to is focusing on one cardio thing during a workout session; a couple of people have commented, after looking at my workout log online, that "you sure do do a lot of different things." I thought it was all about crosstraining, but truth be known, and both of those people said it, if I want to become a better runner, I need to practice being a better running. The other stuff is of secondary importance, and will help me become a better runner, but eventually, I'll be doing a lot more running than the other stuff (biking, elliptical, walking).

So, today, I did 2.29 miles of running and walking on the treadmill, increasing the amount of distance I ran, and finished it in 35 minutes. I also did some good stretching afterward.

Meanwhile, I found that online registration is open for the 2010 Run for the Roses 5K in Raleigh, so I'll be signing up for that after holiday shopping is over.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Next Race on the Calendar!

I'm happy to report that my next race is on the books, and the registration fee has been paid! It's the Run for the Young 5K on January 9, 2010, in Raleigh. It'll be my first post-DNF race, and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there!

Meanwhile, my training with the running coach's plan is going well so far, considering it's the first week and all. It's too soon to be noticing improvement, really, but I am pushing myself a bit on the workouts, and have incorporated daily stretching and lower body strength training twice a week. Brennan has me running just three times a week for now, probably a smart move since both IT bands have talked to me some this week. I've gotten religious about stretching because of that, as I'm eager for both of my IT bands to heal totally so that I can forge ahead.

While working out this morning, a new personal trainer at the gym approached me about signing up for a free consultation with him, and by the end of the conversation, he was "looking forward to working with me." Pretty hard sell. Thinking about it for the rest of the day, I think that paying for the gym membership and a running coach is plenty for now. In time, I could see myself having some strength training sessions with a personal trainer, but for now, I've got a full plate.

He seemed surprised when I asked him about his educational background, and replied that his BS is in something sports related, and he's in Duke's physical therapy program now. What else should I expect from a personal trainer? Should he/she have personal trainer certification, in addition to experience?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Runners Roundtable Podcast

Last night, I co-hosted a podcast called Runners Roundtable with Mike and Albert, and it was fun to do! It was my first time to do a podcast, and we used the website Talkshoe to record the call-in, live-recorded (and not-edited) podcast, so it was a big ole learning experience for me! It was a good one, though, and I would highly recommend the experience!

The guests on the podcast were Jan Seely, publisher of Marathon and Beyond, and Joe Henderson, a columnist for the magazine. I'd never heard of "Marathon and Beyond" before, and had a hard time finding it at the bookstore, because it's a shorter magazine, height-wise, than others, but it has a lot of great articles. I enjoyed learning more about the magazine, and found both Jan and Joe very personable.

The link to the show notes and last night's podcast is here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Run and More Stretching

Following Brennan's training plan for me, I did another run/walk today on the treadmill, going 2.28 miles in 36 minutes. It felt strange finishing my cardio so soon, but it felt like enough running for today, considering my left IT band and plantar fasciitis were peeping at me.

Afterward, I had a great stretching session, which went on for about 15 minutes. Once I get on the floor, my right IT band felt as tight as my left, so I gave them some extra TLC. I also did some calf lifts and vertical leg lifts. It's nice to feel like I have permission to include lots of stretching now, as I've been bad about making time for it. Now stretching's on the schedule, part of the plan.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Starting With the Running Coach

Well, yesterday I started my workouts planned by my new running coach, Brennan Liming. It's felt a bit strange being out of control of planning my workouts, but then again, I've never done a lot of planning. Often, I would just show up at the gym and do what I felt like doing, and stop when I had to. Already, I've done a variety of things, all with some energy left to spare. I'm not overdoing yet, though it's been a little hard not pushing myself a little harder, especially on the treadmill and elliptical. I've felt a difference later in the day the past two days, though. My legs haven't felt sore hours afterward, and my plantar fasciitis has hurt less. All progress, I think.

Yesterday (Monday):
1) Ran/walked 2.1 miles (33 min) on the treadmill, measuring my run/walk cycles by distance instead of time, which was nice.
2) 10 min. stretching

1) Did 2.37 miles (30 min) on the elliptical
2) 20 situps on the stability ball, plus 20 obliques (1o left, 10 right)
3) I inserted some stretching here, though it wasn't part of the plan for today
4) 10 Superman moves
5) 2x10 calf lifts
6) 2x10 1-leg lunges

I was tired this morning at the gym, and kinda down, so it was nice to have a plan, especially with some new things to try.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Workout

I ended up getting a late start this rainy Sunday morning, then ran some errands before going to the gym. I decided to keep it simple by riding an hour (for 10.53 miles) on the recumbent bike, followed by some stretching. At home, I did some bicep and hammer curls with 5 lb dumb bells my sister sent me for my birthday. First time breaking the 5 pounders in, and it was fun being able to do some strength training at home--yay!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday at the Gym

This morning I slept in, and made it to the gym for 45:03 minutes (3.55 miles) on the elliptical before calling it a day. Then I met Teri at Shelley Lake for a quick photo shoot of me running a little bit. She's writing an article about John Bingham's visit to Raleigh a couple of nights ago, and wants to ask me a few questions tomorrow afternoon about my marathon and my impressions of Bingham's talk to the North Carolina Roadrunners Club. Pretty neat!

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Running Today, Plus John Bingham

Today I started with 5.3 miles (30 min) on the recumbent bike, then went straight to the treadmill, where I ran 1.41 miles in 20:04 minutes! Let me tell ya, it felt good! Once I warmed up a little more, it felt just right, so I went longer than the 15 minutes I was planning. I really enjoyed being able to increase my distance a bit. I finished with 15 minutes (1.25 miles) on the elliptical, a faster pace than usual for me, probably because I was pretty jazzed about the run. It's all still a pretty slow pace, but it's picking up!

Last night I attended the fourth quarter meeting of the North Carolina Roadrunners Club, and had the privilege to hear John Bingham speak. He was a very entertaining, funny speaker, and I'm so glad I went!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Elliptical

I started with the elliptical machine today, and it was nice to change up my routine a little bit!

1) Did 3.03 miles (40:02 min) on the elliptical
2) Rode 3.55 miles (2:04 min) on the recumbent bike
3) Stretched for about 5 min
4) Did 10 pushups

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wednesday Workout

1) Rode 6.15 miles (35:04 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Did 2 miles (25:16 min) on the elliptical machine

I was soaked before I even got to the gym, as it was storming big time when I went down to the parking lot of my apartment complex. I couldn't remember where I parked my car last night, so I ended up trying to put my car key in a couple of incorrect blue cars! Third time was the charm, but I looked like I'd fallen into the pool or something! I thought about going back up two flights of stairs to dry off and change shirts, but I had a feeling if I did that, I might not make it to the gym! As it was, I was on the fence until I pulled out of my parking space. I was glad I went--once I got there!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Still Working Out

Well, I've gotten behind by a few days on blogging, but I've continued to work out the past few days, honest! I ended up having a busy, but very fun birthday weekend, which included meeting with my new running coach and attending the Galloway training group's end-of-year party at Frankie's. It was fun to see everyone in normal clothes, with hair down and makeup on in some cases even! :) I was surprised to receive one of the Inspiration Awards given out for finishing the Triple Lakes Marathon in what turned out to be an all-day affair. (Here's hoping I get to go for a PR eventually!)

Anyway, today's workout:

1) Rode 6.73 miles (40:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.02 miles (15:04 min) on the treadmill
3) Cooled down with 0.38 mile (5 min) on the elliptical
4) Stretched for about 10 min
5) 10 pushups

Friday, December 04, 2009

Birthday Run

1) Did 3.08 miles (40 min) on the elliptical
2) Walked 0.70 miles (12:09 min) on the treadmill
3) Ran 1 mile (15:09 min) on the treadmill

It felt really good to run a whole mile on the treadmill, eventhough my legs (especially IT bands) were tight, and I didn't leave time for stretching this morning!

Today's my birthday, and I'm so excited about getting some dumbbells and a Jillian Michaels DVD from my sister! I actually asked for some dumbbells, and she saw the Jilliam Michaels DVD and thought I'd like it. The reviews for it on Amazon are quite good, so I can't wait to check it out! (Thanks, Lisa!)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thinking about Running

Well, I thought about running again today, but did more crosstraining instead. My legs just aren't quite ready yet, with the fussy IT band. That being said, I haven't made time fore stretching yet today, but I must make the stretching a regular part of my routine. My recovery and return to running depend on it.

1) Rode 4.07 miles (31 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Did 3.3 miles (45:04 min) on the elliptical machine (this felt great, and is currently replacing my running, I think)
3) Walked 0.60 miles (10:15 min) on the treadmill

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mid-Week Workout

1) Rode 3.25 miles in 20 minutes on the recumbent bike
2) Did 3.02 miles in 40 minutes on the elliptical
3) Walked 1 mile in 17:05 minutes on the treadmill

I felt like a crosstraining machine today, on the cardio machines, anyway. I miss the running, really miss it, but I don't feel physically ready to start it up again. Soon, I hope!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

This Week's Workouts

I've gotten a little bit slack about updating my workouts here on my blog, mostly because I was busy finishing the rough draft of my novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. I'm happy that December is here, but I really enjoyed channeling my writing in the month of November. My story as about a group of runners. Now, I need to decide what to do with this rough draft of a novel, which I titled The Finish.

Meanwhile, here are my workouts from the past few days:

1) Walked outside for 3.09 miles and 60 minutes. I stopped at a little family cemetery back off in the woods near this particular course that I take sometimes. It was both neat and creepy to be back there.
2) Did 0.75 miles in 10 minutes on the elliptical in the gym

1) Rode the recumbent bike for 5.55 miles in 35:03 min

1) Rode the recumbent bike for 3.51 miles in 20:01 min
2) Stretched for about 5 min
3) Did the elliptical for 2.32 miles in 30 min
4) Walked 0.56 mile in 10 minutes on the treadmill

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Late Workout

I'm just back from a late workout at the gym. After getting up early to work on my novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), George and I went to his brother's house in Apex for brunch with relatives in town for Thanksgiving. Since then, I've been writing away on my book again. I finally decided, about 7:30 or so, that I needed to get some exercise!

I got the gym a little after 8 PM, which felt a little weird since I usually work out early in the morning, but there were some other gym rats there for part of my workout. I ended up with a nice mix of cardio and upper body strength training.

1) Rode 10.51 miles (1 hour) on the recumbent bike
2) 2x1o reps bicep curls (1o lbs)
3) 2x10 side lateral raises (5 lbs)
4) 1x10 tricep extensions (5 lbs)
5) Walked 0.86 mile (15:05 min) on the treadmill

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Holiday Workouts

Yesterday (Thanksgiving)
1) Rode 8.75 miles (50:02 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for 10 min
3) 2x10 sets of pushups (not getting any easier yet)
4) Did 1.4 miles (20:10 min) on the elliptical
5) Walked 0.27 mile (5:01 min) on the treadmill

1) Did 2.36 miles (35:01 min) on the elliptical
2) Walked 1.13 miles (20:01 min) on the treadmill
3) Ran 0.72 mile (11 min) on the treadmill

I'm not sure what has me more tired tonight, today's running attempt, or two days in a row on the elliptical. The running helt pretty decent, but I'm weary of overdoing it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hour of Power (No,Just Cardio)

I actually logged 65 minutes of cardio this morning, which felt really good. I started with walking (2.13 miles in 40:07 min) on the treadmill, and followed it with 25 minutes (4.41 miles) on the recumbent bike. I didn't make time for strength training or stretching this morning like I should have, but the cardio felt sooo good. (Only bad thing was a few twinges in my left knee as I walked.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Short Run

1) Rode 6.75 miles in 50:01 min on the recumbent bike (wasn't paying much attention, so it turned out to be a lazy pace for a long time)
2) Walked 1.11 miles in 20 min on the treadmill
3) Ran 0.32 mile in 5 minutes on the treadmill, first try at running since the Outer Banks Marathon DNF. Body felt a little creaky, left IT band tight, some slight pain around left knee cap

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cardio and Strength Training at the Gym

I enjoyed getting to the gym a little earlier this morning. I did 6.5 miles (40:08 min) on the recumbent bike, followed by about 10 min. of stretching and 10 pushups. Then I walked 1.11 miles (20:16 min) on the treadmill (IT band talked to me a little bit), and ended with some bicep curls and tricep extensions. With the weight training, I am beginning to feel like Little Miss Crosstrainer, though I'm not doing much of it. Still, I think it's a good start.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Long Walk

I joined the Galloway group again this morning, and still walking, ended up covering 5.31 miles in 1:41:02, about a 19 minute pace. My left IT band was a little bit fussy, but not too bad. Still, I was glad I got out and saw the group and walked. The cooler temps felt really good, too! I met he group back at Panera Bread at the mall, and it was nice to meet a few new (to me) runners from the faster pace groups today. A good morning out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mixing It Up

1) Rode 5 miles (30:10 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for 10 min, mostly IT bands (the right one is bothering me a lot more today)
3) Did 5 pushups
4) Walked 1.10 miles (21:04 min) on the treadmill
5) Bicep Curls, 2 sets of 10 reps @ 10lb weights
6) Tricep Extensions, 2 sets of 10 reps @ 10 lb weights

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Workout at the Gym

I had a good workout today, though I didn't run. That's a nice hurdle to cross. I so miss running, but I am learning to enjoy other things, so I hope that will help me become stronger and better fit.

1) Rode 3 miles (20 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched (especially the IT bands) for about 10 min, including some yoga poses and the gym's foam roller
3) 10 pushups (I've signed up for a 100 pushup challenge on DailyBurn, and started the pushup count today. Uh, ouch!)
4) Walked 1.01 miles (20 min) on the treadmill
5) Did 0.71 mile (10 min) on the elliptical. (Okay, this may fall into the category of overtraining, but it felt good to push myself here!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Upper Body Strength Training

This morning I decided to shake things up a little. I started with an easy 2.06 (15:01 min) miles on the recumbent bike, easy mostly because my knee was being a little fussy (runner's knee?), then stretched (mostly IT bands) for about 10 minutes. Then I hopped on three different weight machines to work on my upper body strength. By the last machine, my arms were burning! I feel pretty good about that, as it reminds me that I could use more strength training. I finished up with 15:05 minutes (0.72 mile) of walking on the treadmill.

I am sorely missing the more intense cardio workouts (because of soreness), so I'm a little frustrated right now. I did have an interesting talk with a running coach last night about using her coaching service after the holidays are over. I'm encouraged by the possibility. More to come!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Legs Say, "Ouch!"

I went to the gym this morning, feeling guilty about overeating at our Covenant Group potluck last night. My legs are still sore enough, though, that I only did 1.05 miles (15:01 min) on the elliptical machine. The soreness in my legs is beyond the soreness of a hard workout, more like, "You push us too hard now and you'll be sorry! Give us a rest!" *sigh*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Workouts to Start the Week

I never got around to posting yesterday, but I did 2.1 miles (31 min) on the elliptical, then returned to Bull City Running and got fit for a new pair of running shoes and inserts. Yay! This morning I was chicken, though, and didn't try running in them. I did 5.62 miles (36:01 min) on the recumbent bike instead. I also stretched both IT bands for about 5 minutes this morning, which helped. They were sore after testing several pairs of running shoes yesterday. Better this morning. Hope it holds, want to run!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

American Tobacco Trail Walk

I'm back from a walk on the American Tobacco Trail, where I did 4.43 miles in 82 minutes and change. I went with the Galloway group, but decided to take it easy and turn around early. Still, I'm glad I did it. I enjoyed catching up with folks a bit, and it was the first run/walk since Triple Lakes where I really enjoyed the trees! :D Some leaves were still on the trees, but this past week's rain had brought down a lot of leaves, leaving a carpet of color on the ground. It was still cloudy and cool this morning, but very pleasant.

Afterward, I walked into Bull City Running Store to look around, and the owners asked if I'd had a good run. One thing lead to another, and we got into an interesting conversation about my shoes, and how I probably needed a different make and model. I'll go back there in a few weeks to get some new shoes. They were very helpful!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rest Day

I decided to take a break from the gym this morning, in hopes of running or walking with my running group this morning. I had a rude awakening a little while later, as I was walking down my apartment stairs to go to work this morning, that made me glad I hadn't gone to the gym! My left IT band hurt walking down the stairs, a sure sign that I need to give it a rest. *Sigh* I think it's time to pull out the one or two yoga books I have, and perhaps look into some yoga videos. I also have a good book on stretching and another on strength training for runners. Time to put some other things into action while my leg heals.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tight IT Band

I returned to the gym this morning after a rest day yesterday, and had a pretty decent workout, though my left IT band is rather tight.

1) Rode 5.72 miles (35:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched the IT bands for about 5 minutes
3) Walked 1.5 miles in 25:09 min. on the treadmill

I haven't decided yet whether or not to try to run/walk with the running group on Saturday morning. They'll be meeting at the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, a pretty easy course. Maybe I'll go and walk.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Gym Time

I returned to the gym this morning, planning to do a short workout. I ended up riding on the recumbent bike for 11.36 miles in 63:22 minutes. I got carried away, between the podcast I was listening to and the thoughts going through my head, and before I knew it, I had to stop right then and there and head home to start getting ready for work! It felt good, though.

I was thinking about the two marathons I've started this year now, and how neither one of them went like I expected. It's interesting, disappointing, enlightening, all sorts of things. Part of me wants to say, "Okay, half marathons and distances shorter will be good enough for me." But, a bigger part of me wants to have a better marathon experience, to nail it and get a marathon PR in a more "normal" time. I WANT to show the distance that I can do it, and do it decently.

Yesterday at work, several people asked me about the Outer Banks Marathon, and I did a decent job of putting on a brave face, but to be honest, I wish I could've told them I'd finished. I want to do it again and have the sense of accomplishment, not just of finishing but of improving as well.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday at the Gym

1) Rode 7.05 miles (41 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Did 0.75 mile (11:02 min) on the elliptical

I'm pretty sore from yesterday's OBX DNF, but it felt good to get to the gym and do some non-impact exercise. My body could've used the rest, I'm sure, but mentally, I needed to "get back on the horse." *sigh*

Outer Banks Marathon DNF

Well, the big news isn't what I hoped for. I was hoping to report a big fat PR, but instead, I had my first DNF, or Did Not Finish. I have mixed feelings about it, but am glad I went. George and I did this race together, and we both learned a lot from it.

We did run, by several accounts, the prettiest half of the course, and decided to stop there, as my IT Band continued to hurt, and George ended up with an unexpected knee injury, which he got diagnosed at the medical tent later. He has decided since then that it was probably caused by the new pair of shoes he had to by in Kill Devil Hills Saturday afternoon because he'd left his shoes at home! The pair he was sold was a size narrower than he's used to wearing, a recipe for injury, it turns out!

We were glad to get a half marathon in, but it's too bad we didn't get a finisher's medal for it. Sunday's race course took us through pretty neighborhoods and past the Wright Brothers Memorial, which was awesome! I took pictures, which I'll post later. We were impressed by the volunteers at the water stops and aid stations, as well as the crowd support along the way.

I'm still processing the experience, but here are some things I've learned:
1) I need to continue to work on speed, endurance, and weighht loss to improve my running.
2) Make a checklist of things to pack for a marathon out of town, and start packing earlier.
3) If George and I run another long distance race together, we need to get on the same page in terms of packing, shopping, and sleep, about a week in advance.
4) I need to work on stretching my IT bands more frequently, perhaps returning to yoga class.
5) I enjoyed running with George, and I'm glad we talked a bit beforehand about a game plan.
6) It might help to think about things to talk about ahead of time, when I'm planning to run a long distance with someone. Actually, it helped me to have George talk and be able to listen to him as I ran through some tough sections!

I've already signed up for my next race, a 5K in a couple of weeks. I need it to help me pick my chin up and keep going. I must remember to allow myself to rest and recover this week too, though.

UPDATE: George's and my split times didn't show up on the official race results! Arrrgh! It was one of those little strips that you pull off the back of the bib and loop on your shoe laces. George already emailed the company, and I will as well, after I get home and look at my bib number again (I don't remember it.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Back in the Gym

This was my first workout since Sunday (which I didn't post). I had a mild fever Sunday and Monday nights, and felt like I was fighting a bug, so I've been making it to work, but laying low otherwise. I'm resting up for Sunday's Outer Banks Marathon, as well as taking part in National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November.

Anyway, I wasn't sure how today would go at the gym, but I was looking forward to the workout! I did 6.23 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike and walked 0.60 miles (10:06 min) on the treadmill, both of which felt great! I decided to run next, and ended up doing 0.43 miles in 7 minutes, and was limping by the end because my left IT band was hurting! Yikes! I wonder if I can walk the OBX Marathon and finish in time. Hmmm.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Workout

George and I got up early this morning and joined Janet and Ellen at 6:30 at the American Tobacco Trail to run/walk for a while. Eventhough it was dark and rainy, we had a lot of fun talking and laughing, and the time went by quickly. After a while, Ellen, Janet and I turned around, while George continued on to the end of the trail. On the way back, I squirted my shirt with Hammer Gel AND my Garmin battery died, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the company! I called George after a pit stop at McDonald's at "my" end of the trail, and he decided not to do the return trip in the rain. I went and picked him up at the other end and brought him back to his car. After returning home and puttering for a while, I put on a clean, dry shirt and went to the gym for more exercise. I think I overdid it on the exercise, as my IT band started hurting during the treadmill run. Afterward, I got on the mat and stretched. I'm going to need to do a lot of that in the coming week! I'm getting pretty nervous about the OBX Marathon!!

Still, it was nice to return to some normal exercise after a wonderful vacation with George!

1) Ran/walked 5.68 miles in 1:47:00-ish on the American Tobacco Trail
2) Rode 7.13 miles in 36 min on the recumbent bike
3) Ran 1.03 miles in 16 min on the treadmill

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vacation Exercise

George and I are vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina, and we're having a wonderful time! My exercise schedule is off a bit, but I have exercised Tuesday, yesterday, and this morning in the hotel gym. I spend some time on the treadmill, but mostly I've been riding on the recumbent bike. The exercise change has been refreshing, and the extra rest has also been nice.

We return home tomorrow, and we'll be doing our normal long run on Saturday. It's been great to be away, but I'm looking forward to returning home refreshed. More soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yesterday, I did a 10-mile run/walk with the Galloway group that was kinda tough for me. My IT band and plantar fasciitis acted up, as did the wierd stuff in my right foot that comes and goes. It rained on us while we were out, but I didn't really mind the rain-it was a nice distraction.

This morning's workout was nice, though a bit later than I usually work out.
1) Rode 6.62 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.13 miles (16:02 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.35 mi. (6:09 min) on the treadmill

Man, I'm really enjoying the treadmill lately. Seriously!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Light Ride

This morning I rode 7.1 miles in 40 minutes on the recumbent bike. I like it when "just 10 minutes" turns into 15->20->30+ minutes of exercise. Of course, I wanted a light day today, because of tomorrrow's "long" run, but my runs are getting lighter due to OBX Marathon tapering. So.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good Gym Workout

1) Rode 6.35 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for about 10 min, especially the IT bands
3) Walked 1.03 miles (17 min) on the treadmill
4) Ran 1.10 miles (15:02 min) on the treadmill

I'm enjoying the treadmill lately, oddly enough! It's nice to work on going faster on the treadmill, eventhough having the "ground" under me being pulled is a help. Pretty good practice anyway, I think.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some Running

Well, I gave in and ran a little bit this morning, and it felt pretty decent. I still need to do some stretching today to make sure the IT bands stay on board, but I'm getting there!

1) Rode 5.56 miles (31:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.40 miles (20:07 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.60 mile (10:19 min) on the treadmill

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Stretching

I decided not to run today, but to crosstrain and stretch my IT bands instead. I hope this helps my race prep! Yikes!

1) Rode 5.41 miles (31 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Stretched for about 10 minutes, including yoga poses
3) Walked 0.60 mile (11 min) on the treadmill

The IT bands are feeling a bit better now. :) Maybe I'll get back to the gym this evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bike Ride Today

This morning I rode the recumbent bike for 35:08 minutes and 6.30 miles. It was a pretty good workout, and I'm glad I did it. I was surprised that my legs weren't up for running, though. I'm feeling twinges of the IT Band Syndrome that plagued me earlier this year, so after I returned from the gym this morning, I did some yoga stretches to help the IT bands in both legs. On the way home from work this evening, I bought some more Epsom salts. I see more soaking baths in my near future!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yesterday's Long Run (Plus the Gym)

Well, I didn't end up going 26 miles yesterday, as I thought I might. One of my Galloway group leaders suggested against it (she suggested 10), and when George and I got to the group run meeting place yesterday, we talked with the assistant program leader, and he advised against it too, suggesting 16-18 tops.

So, I decided to see how my body felt, and after almost 10, I felt a bit creaky, like I was still recovering from the marathon two weeks ago. So, I stopped after 9.72 miles (3:04:31) of run/walking with the group at Shelley Lake. I was able to keep up with the group yesterday at this slower pace, and that was an accomplishment for me. I was desperate for the running companionship, but got tired of looking at the trees, both feeling spillovers from my 11-hour marathon (much of it by myself) in the woods, I'm sure. Part of this training is mental!

So, I headed for the gym, and rode 2.12 miles (12 min.) on the recumbent bike, then ram 1.02 miles (15:03 min) on the treadmill. Later, after a late lunch with running friends at Panera, I returned to the gym for a 30-minute ride (5.33 miles) on the recumbent bike again.

It all added up to a good workout day, I think. I slept in this morning, and have had a restful day so far. I may just take a rest day, or perhaps I'll do some light exercise later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Taking a Rest Day

I got up at my regular time this morning, but hit the shower instead of the gym, to make sure I'd take a rest day from exercising. Tomorrow's a scheduled 26 miler on the training calendar. Since I've already done 26, I don't know if I'll go the whole way. I'll see how I feel.

I'm glad I'm taking a break today, though, as my legs feel tired from yesterday's workout. Gotta rest up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back in the Gym

Had a really good workout at the gym this morning! I pushed the pace a bit, especially on the bike and the run. It was one of those sessions where I could've kept going if I didn't have to get ready for work. :)

1) Rode 5.56 miles (31:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.55 miles (31:08 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.60 miles (10:13 min) on the treadmill

I also took a walk this afternoon at work, after the drizzle stopped, and it felt refreshingly good to walk outside.

In the "equipment" department, I bought some WrightSocks last night at REI. I asked for recommendations for treating blisters after my first marathon earlier this month, and a couple of fellow runners in my Raleigh Galloway group recommended these socks. I have a mega-run Saturday morning, and I'm hopeful that they'll help.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Running

I got a late start at the gym this morning, and had an early meeting at work, so I had to cut my workout short.

1) Rode 3.53 miles (20 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.10 miles (15:16 min) on the treadmill

I didn't feel too bad about the short workout, as George and I had a surprisingly nice run/walk together last night after work. We ended up going 2.06 miles in 34:19 minutes near Brier Creek. It was the first time George had run in that area, and he liked it! It was a short run, but a good one. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I overslept this morning. Still made it to the gym, but only did 30 minutes (5 miles) on the recumbent bike. Better than nothing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ahhh, Massage!

I had a massage this evening! Yay! What I want to know is, how can something feel so good and hurt so much at the same time?! I hope my upper back will feel as good as the rest of me does really soon.

Meanwhile, I did go to the gym this morning:
1) Rode 6.1 miles (36 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.4 miles (20:11 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.33 mile (6 min) on the treadmill

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More Running Today, Plus the Gym

This morning I rejoined the Galloway running group for a 10-miler and the annual Scavenger Hunt. I was still feeling a little tired, but wanted to see everyone. I enjoyed talking about the marathon experience, though in retrospect I was pretty negative about it on the run. It was fun seeing everyone, though. The Scavenger Hunt allowed us to stop every so often and take pictures of our group in front of various things along the route. I enjoyed the chance to take a breather. The route was in two sections, and I decided to stop after 4.84 miles (1:31:31).

After the run, a number of us gathered at the Starbucks on Lake Boone Trail, and the marathon experience got retold there, with a more positive spin. It was nice to get some feedback and encouragement there, as well as to be a part of other running conversations. Good company.

After lunch, I decided I have some kick left in me, so I went to the gym and rode 6.25 miles (35:03 min) on the recumbent bike, followed by 1.05 miles (15:13 min) on the treadmill.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Short Bike Ride

Well, I made it to the gym for 2.02 miles in 15 minutes on the recumbent bike. My blisters are better, but my knee still hurts a bit, and I'm still kinda tired. Had leg cramps in the middle of the night last night for the first time in ages. *sigh* Still feeling a little more beat up than I'd like. Any suggestions out there?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another Run

I went to the gym this morning, still a little creaky from the marathon. It felt a little strange, yet too familiar, to get back into my running shoes this morning. I walked 1.66 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill, then ran/walked 0.66 mile in 10:02 minutes on the treadmill. At home now, I'm feeling tired, and I still have a full day's work ahead of me.

I wonder if I'll be ready for the Galloway group's 10-miler on Saturday. Hmm. Right now it's sounding a little painful, but it might feel differently when I'm with the group. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Race Report: 2009 Triple Lakes Marathon

Well, I did it! My first marathon, the Triple Lakes Trail Race, is in the books! It's still a little hard to believe, eventhough I'm living through continuing, though subsiding, aches and pains.

I left home about 5:30 Saturday morning, and watched the nearly full moon set as I drove west towards Greensboro, North Carolina. I got there about 6:50, and learned that the race director had decided to let the early bird marathoners start at 7:00, rather than 7:15 (as published on the website). I had to hustle to get myself together at the start, but was happy to get the show on the road. I'm glad I got to see both Wendy (fellow Raleigh Galloway Group runner and social networking friend) and Amy (a coworker at Duke) before the start, as I didn't see them again on the trail.

The first mile plus was on pavement, but the rest of the course was on single-track trail. It was a very pretty course, taking in Greensboro's Watershed Trails, through the woods and around Lake Brandt. The course itself had a fair number of roots, rocks, holes, etc., enough that it took a fair amount of concentration to keep upright. I didn't do a very good job of that early on, falling three times in the first six miles of the course! Two falls were around mile 4, the other around mile 6. I walked it in after the second fall, and took advantage of first aid supplies at the next three aid stations. I decided that as long as I could walk on my bum knee without any pain below the skin surface, I'd try to keep going. It got to the point where I broke the race up into smaller goals. When concentrating on each mile ("Do the mile you're in!") got too tedious, I would shoot for the next aid station. I'd tell myself I could decide whether or not to stop for good at the next aid station. At the aid stations, I got more liquids and food, and where needed, I got extra water to clean out my knee wound, as well as antibiotic ointment. I decided to pass on the gauze and tape offer, for fear that the tape would restrict my movement.

The aid stations got better stocked as the day progressed--unusual, huh? (Most aid stations tend to run out of things for us back-of-the-packers.) There were more food choices, as well as gu gels, at the later stops. The last stop had some defizzed Coke, which was amazingly refreshing (partly because of the caffeine)! In addition to the extra nourishment, I got more chatty with the aid station volunteers as the day wore on, because I was out there on the trail for stretches all alone. Usually I savor running/walking time to myself, but I got pretty bored and lonely out there on the wooded trails.

As the miles wore on, I began to feel blisters form on my right foot. By then, it was hard to know which leg to favor, since my left knee was the injured one. I gritted my teeth and chugged on.

With a mile or so left to go, George showed up on the trail, and was a welcome sight! He had run with the Galloway group in Raleigh Saturday morning, and his mom (another saint!) brought him to Greensboro so he could drive me back home in my car! He came bearing an extra water bottle, and was great company for the end of the race! He told me that former coworker Gina and her husband Steve had stopped by to try to visit with me at the finish while I was still on the course. (What a shame that I missed them!) What a delightful surprise to find that Wendy (fellow Galloway runner) had stuck around to see me finish my first marathon! She finished about three hours ahead of me, so it was quite sweet of her to stay, considering her drive home.

It was such a relief to cross the finish line! I wasn't as emotional as I thought I'd be, just incredibly relieved to be at the end of the path. I ended up finishing in 10:55:43, a disappointing time and last place marathon finish, but I'm sooo glad I finished the distance. It would not have been a shame to stop early, but I do feel pretty satisfied to have logged the distance I said I would. This was a major athletic feat for me, no matter what the time.

[I learned afterward that my official time at the race was logged at 9:55:43, because I was rushed at the beginning and didn't realize that I needed to let a race official know I was starting early. NOW that makes sense, but I just didn't think about it at the time (nerves?), and nobody mentioned it! Also, the race director had decided not to bother with timing chips and mats.]

On the way home, George ordered me a tomato and mushroom pizza, and had it delivered as I took my ice bath. The 9:15 PM pizza meal was my first meal of the day (I'd had a banana with almond butter for "breakfast," and then the race course foods for the rest of the day), and it was the best pizza in the world right then!
I spent the day after the marathon resting, drinking liquids, soaking in the tub, and eating in bits and pieces. I also went to the CVS Minute Clinic for suggestions for my blisters and my knee. (I felt kinda like a wimp for going, but I was so uncomfortable!) The lady I saw just suggested soaking my blisters in Epsom salts and using detergent to scrub the dirt out of the knee I fell on (three times!). Soaking in a warm bath felt good, but the knee scrubbing fell short of a fun time.

Things I learned about myself by doing the Triple Lakes Race:

1) I can do 26.2 miles in one day. And I'm certain I can do it faster than I did last Saturday.

2) "The Wall" can happen earlier than Mile 20. For me, it happened after the second fall at Mile 4 in this particular race. The last 22 miles, they were very long. I hope that the "The Wall" will be MUCH later down the road for my next marathon.

3) I need to come up with a list of more things to think about when I'm running long mileage. I depleted my "alone time" topic reserves during this marathon, and that surprised me. (I usually exercise and run alone, except on Saturdays with the Galloway group).

4) I did pretty well last week with nutrition the week before the marathon. My gauge is that I utilized the two available porta-potties (only two, can you believe it?!), but didn't have to hold "it" uncomfortably for any of the race.

5) I ran out of water/Gatorade once on the trail, but made it to the next stop okay. Otherwise, I did a decent job of drinking and rationing my water/Gatorade between stops, which were usually about 4 miles apart.

6) Saying mantras on the trail helped a lot, but I had to change them up every so often. Being by myself for long stretches allowed me to say them outloud at times, which helped. The word "finish" factored in more than once. Popular ones for me were:
*Do the mile you're in.
*Got-ta fin-ish

7) I have friends who care about me, and are happy that I've tackled this marathon thing. Their support before and at the end of the marathon (and since) have been heartwarming. I also got a good bit of encouragement from other runners along the trail, a number of whom asked me how my knee was doing.

8) I found a lot of extra determination on the trails, and what a pleasant surprise that was! Sometimes my feet were on automatic pilot, but I almost threw in the towel a couple of times. I'm glad that something deep down pushed me to keep going.

9) My blisters and bum knee have hurt worse than my muscles since the race, and I'm not as tired now, a couple of days out, as I was after my 18-mile training run. I can tell I put my body through some trauma on Saturday, but acute injuries aside, I don't feel as bad overall as I expected. I'm still getting to bed early, but I feel like I'm healing.

10) I'm not as fond of trail runs, especially single-track trails, as I'd hoped. I'm too new of a distance runner to be tackling challenging single-track trail runs, and the run/walk in the woods was less enjoyable than I expected. (I assumed the course would be a sufficient distraction.) Maybe it was the falling-down stuff that make it kinda miserable, but I'm not in a hurry to do another trail run like that. I'd signed up for another trail run, the Medoc 10-Miler in Hollister on October 17, and had an order in for a new book on trail running that's coming out in January 2010. I'm bailing on the 10-mile trail race in favor of training near home, and I've cancelled the book order. Training time is too precious (and so is new book money!), and I need to focus on getting ready for the Outer Banks Marathon early in November.
11) I have a lot of admiration for all the runners who finished in front of me, including my Raleigh Galloway Training Group friend Wendy, who walked a course PR by over 40 minutes on Saturday! I also have a lot of gratitude for the volunteers who talked with me at aid stations and checked up on me in the last miles, as well as for the race director, who allowed me to finish about three hours past the posted time limit for the marathon.
So, three days after Marathon #1, these are my thoughts. I'm certain I'll continue to process the experience for a while. Corny as it sounds, I do feel like my life's changed because of my first marathon adventure. It'll be interesting to see how my running changes because of it.

Back in the Gym

I returned to the gym today in my Teva sandals to ride the recumbent bike only. I still have blisters on my right foot, and my left knee, well.....

So, I went 7.5 miles in 45:04 minutes, and got caught up on some of my podcasts on the iPod. I was nice to get back to the gym! I hope to get to running again soon.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my race report. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

First Marathon in the Books!

I finished my first marathon, the Triple Lakes Race in Greensboro, NC, yesterday! It was a tough one for me, but I crossed the finish line and got a finisher's medal. Today I'm nursing some blisters and a knee I fell on THREE (count 'em) times on the challenging trail course.

I started on a race report earlier today, but haven't been able to finish it yet. I plan to finish and post it here this week. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tomorrow's the Big Day

Okay, this is the final countdown! My first marathon is tomorrow! It's going to be a training run, but it's still exciting--and daunting!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rest Day, Two Days to Go!

I'm not even getting near the gym this morning, and boy, it feels strange!! What's a gal to do?! My legs are feeling pretty tired, so I think that taking a rest day is good, especially since my marathon is TWO DAYS AWAY! Yikes!

Funny, I've been doing things this week that remind me of going on vacation. First, I've been obsessing over the weather on! I'm pleased to say that the chance of rain on the marathon course is now 0%, but there goes the cloud cover too! Oh well!

I've also been running errands, things like grocery shopping, that I won't want to do for a few days after Saturday, if I can help it! I also got my car serviced last night--oil change and fuel system service. It got me home at 8:00, much later than I wanted, but this morning I'm glad that's out of the way. (The little "Maintenance Req'd" light had been flashing at me! I don't want any dashboard lights flashing at me on Race Day Saturday!) I've even been cleaning out the inside of my car over the past few days, and plan to take it to the fancy car wash today or tomorrow. Having a clean, organized, well-maintained car is a nice mental boost, and taking care of my car is a nice, productive distraction from the race.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Workout

1) Rode 2.08 miles (15:01 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Ran 1.36 miles (20 min) on the treadmill
3) Walked 0.65 mile (11:03 min) at a 1% incline on the treadmill
4) Ran 0.76 mile (11:02 min) on the treadmill

I tried out my new running shoes today, trying to decide if I should wear them Saturday, or stay with my old ones. Same shoe model, just new. They felt good.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Treadmill Run

I hopped on the treadmill this morning and had a good run, 4.27 miles in 62 minutes. It felt good to run in air conditioning and have an easier time pushing the pace. Okay, I'm a wuss this morning, but I just wanted to get some easy mileage in! :D

Saturday's weather forecast calls for a 40% chance of rain, okay with me as long as it doesn't actually rain! The course is mostly on dirt trails, and I'm not interested in mud! But overcast, that would be great! Bring on the cloud cover!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tired Workout

I thought I might run a little bit this morning, but ahhhh, I needed a rest. I was tempted to sleep in totally, but decided to go to the gym anyway. I rode 5.35 miles in 31 minutes on the recumbent bike. It was a tired ride, but I burned off a few calories!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Busy Exercise Morning

I started the day by running the Anna's Angel's 5K. (I'd registered to run the 10-miler, but decided earlier this week to back down to the 5K.) It was still raining a bit when I got there, but it slacked off, then stopped. It was still overcast and fairly cool, so I was happy about that. Still, it was just a so-so race for me, time-wise. I finished in a little over 47 minutes (still waiting for official time). It was a decent speed+miles workout for me, especially since I did 6 miles yesterday, but still, I'm a bit disappointed in my time. Need to work on my speed!!

So, after the race, I went to the gym, and rode 3.75 miles (21 min.) on the recumbent bike, then ran 1.12 miles (15:01 min) on the treadmill, while I brooded about my speed. The extra workout lifted my mood a bit!

One nice thing about the race--I got to see several fellow runners I know from Galloway, NC Roadrunners Club, races, and Web2.0 stuff. I always like running into other runners I know at races! :D

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Short Long Run Today

This morning I ran 6.04 miles with the Galloway group, and I did it in 1:48:36. It was a pretty slow pace, but I was able to keep up with the group, and at the end, was even at the front of the pace group. It felt good to finish with the group, even if the pace was a little slower.

Our base mileage at this point is usually 10, but our small group today had various reasons for most of us being good with 6 today. (Two in our group kept going for 10, good for them!) I have a 5K tomorrow morning, so I'll push the pace then and see how I do. I'll finish up some mileage afterward, I hope, to round out 10 run/walk miles for the weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nice Thursday Run

I had a nice run in the Brier Creek Country Club neighborhood this morning! I ran/walked, usually at a 1:1 run/walk ratio, but sometimes I ran an extra minute or so. I ended up run/walking 3.68 miles in 60 minutes, for 16:17 average pace.

Mile Splits:
1) 16:47
2) 16:00
3) 16:32
.68) 10:41 (a 15:37 pace)

I enjoyed running into Brigitte while I was on the road! It's the first time I've seen her running by accident. Her bright smile boosted my pace a little, I think! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Light Bike Ride

This morning, I rode 5.52 miles in 41:01 minutes on the recumbent bike. I'm tired this morning, after having post-work meetings the past two nights, in addition to yesterday's speedier pace. I'm already thinking ahead to the marathon on October 3, and how I need to get more rest between now and then.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just Runnin' in the Rain

I had a delightful run in the rain this morning, and to think I almost took a rest day! I overslept, feeling tired this morning, but I decided I'd go do SOMETHING at the gym. When I stepped outside, it felt so nice that I decided to run afterall. I ended up running 2 mile outdoors in 31:33, a 15:48 average pace, pretty decent for me outdoors lately. By the time I started running, it was starting to sprinkle, so I left the Garmin in the car, and both the rain and the quiet were refreshing.

After the run, I went inside the gym and rode 5.37 miles in 30:01 min. on the recumbent bike.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Workout

1) Rode 5.2 miles in 35:03 minutes on the recumbent bike
2) Did 0.80 miles in 10:17 minutes on the elliptical machine
3) Walked 0.33 miles in 6:02 minutes on the treadmill

Still a bit tired from the weekend running and Rosh Hashanah services on both Saturday and Sunday, plus megacleaning our apartment last evening for a meeting at our place after work. Extra rest is not coming easily for me these days, which is a little worrisome, since I'm feeling pretty tired overall from pushing the running. *sigh*

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recovery Workout

This morning I did a short workout: 3.11 miles in 20 minutes on the recumbent bike, then 1.08 miles in 15 minutes on the treadmill. Probably would've gone longer if I hadn't had other plans for this morning. In retrospect, I feel like it was just the right amount of time. I've been pretty tired today.

I got an email back from the contact person for the Anna's Angels races next Sunday, and I will be able to switch from the 10 miler to the 5K if I want to. I think I'll probably do that! Whew! I don't think I want to be racing 10 miles six days before a marathon--what was I thinking?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hooray for Long Run Progress!

I had a 10 mile run scheduled for this morning, and almost backed out, or made it shorter, but I stuck it out and am glad I did! Yay! I ended up running the 10 at Shelley Lake in Raleigh in 2:57:42, a 17:46 average pace, the best Saturday long run training pace I've had since June, and that was when I was still building up to 10 miles (but hadn't made it yet)! I even had several sub-16 min. miles this morning!

All of this on about 4.5 hours sleep, to boot! Long day yesterday, plus George and I found out late that we were going to have to join his family for Rosh Hashanah services mid-morning. So, we started running early, though not as early as we'd planned. The first mile was a little tentative because it was so dark outside, and it had been raining, so it was a little hard to tell if the dark spots on the path were just leaves, or water puddles, or perhaps slippery mud/leaves/debris.

After about three miles, we took a pit stop at McDonald's, then George took off sooner and a bit faster, and I went at my own speed, sometimes doing 1:1 run/walk, sometimes doing extra running minutes. We met at McDonald's on the way back and ran/walked the final three miles together.

My mile splits:
1) 19:32
2) 16:44
3) 17:44
4) 16:56
5) 17:32
6) 17:36
7) 16:57
8) 18:29
9) 17:50
10) 18:17

Friday, September 18, 2009

Light Ride

I went back to the gym this morning, and rode 5.25 miles in 30 minutes on the recumbent bike. I was torn between taking a rest day, since I'm still kinda tired and have a 10 miler scheduled for tomorrow, and getting some exercise in hopes that getting the blood flowing might perk me up a little. On the back end, I'm not sure I did the right thing by going to the gym, but there it is.

Tomorrow's 10-miler may be a bit shorter, we'll see how I feel on the roads. I'm gonna get out there and do something though, as I need to keep up my endurance.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back on the Bike

The recumbent bike seems to be my new best friend! While I am feeling better, I still seem to be in a bit of recovery mode from last weekend's running. I eyeballed the treadmill this morning, but just couldn't get back on it yet. So I rode 7.o1 miles in 46:02 minutes on the recumbent bike. I'll be running again soon, I know!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching up

Okay, I DID exercise yesterday, but wasn't in the blogging mood. I was still feeling pooped from the weekend, mostly, and felt like I did well to make it to the gym! I rode 4.63 miles in 36 minutes on the recumbent bike. Nothing spectacular. Bleh.

I had a 9:15 appointment with the orthopaedist yesterday to follow up on the IT Band Syndrome from the spring. She was glad to hear the leg is better, and was encouraging of my continuing to train for the marathon.

This morning, I headed for the gym again, planning to run some on the treadmill. I got there, and decided I couldn't pass up the cool temps and the big gray clouds. I was glad I had my Garmin Forerunner with me....I just put it on and started running in the neighborhood near my gym. It felt great to be outside, even if I still felt tired. My left foot's tender too, between the healing blister and the plantar fasciitis. I ended up going 1.75 miles in 31:12 minutes, pretty darn slow, but a good, head-clearing run/walk.

Afterward, I went inside the gym (finally!), and rode 5.81 miles in 30 minutes on the recumbent bike. Okay, my legs are a little sore from THAT! (It was a bit faster than I usually go!)

Monday, September 14, 2009


Okay, I am tired this morning. And sore. I think the adrenaline wore off overnight, and now I'm just beat! I did make it to the gym this morning, where I rode 6.73 miles in 41:01 minutes. *sigh*

I did eat better after this weekend's runs. I also took an ice bath almost immediately after I got home on Saturday. Still pretty tired, though. I also acquired three blisters from Saturday's running. Only one of them hurts, but that's plenty!! I'm a bit of a baby over blisters, partly because I don't get them very often (thank goodness!). I'm hoping it heals quickly.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Magnificent Mile!

I enjoyed last year's Magnificent Mile Race in Raleigh, NC, so much, that back in May, I registered for this year's Magnificent Mile, which was this afternoon! Little did I know in May that my training schedule would call for such a busy training weekend, but I had a good time anyway!

One of the highlights of the afternoon was meeting Sarah Witt, and her husband Jeff, before the race started! Sarah, a former runner, started the Mag Mile in 2006 to help raise money for monor neuron disease research, and has inspired so many people! (A little more about her story here.)

I was able to meet and chat with several other running buddies before and after the race, including Barbara, Pauline, Louise, and Ray. That's one of the things I love about running road races in the area--getting to see and encourage each other at these events!

Since I knew I'd be starting this race with the remnants of a cold, plus 20 miles on my legs from yesterdat, my expectations weren't very high. I was hoping to beat 15 minutes--seriously! I did a 1:1 run/walk ratio so I wouldn't die on the course, and ended up running the last bit, which was downhill--thank goodness! I ended up finishing better than I expected, 13:37 I think (best I could tell without my reading glasses). I finished last in the competitive division, but I'm not gonna let myself get discouraged about my time or my finishing place. I could've left a little more out on the course, I suppose, but not a whole lot, after yesterday's training run. My training is a work in progress, after all.

Next year!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First 20-Mile Day, including the Mebane on the Move 10K

I covered 20.10 miles today in 6:14:08, an average 18:37 pace when put all together! I started with a 1.1 mile walk warmup, then my first 10K in about 25 years! It was George's first 10K ever, so it was fun to be participating in the race with him! I finished in 1:39:11 (16 min. average), and he ran in 1:23:14--yay for George! :) It was a pretty course through a fairly small town, but it did have some unexpected hills. I was the last one to finish the 10K, and ended up merging a bit at the end with the kids and their parents in the Mad Dash--it was kinda cute, really!

I enjoyed meeting one of my Facebook buddies, Skylar, before the race. We also ran into Brad, current president of the North Carolina Roadrunners Club, and he took a couple of good pictures for us, one of George and me before the race, and another of me nearing the finish line! :) To top things off, we ran into a Duke classmate of mine, Greg, who lives in Mebane now. It was fun to catch up a tad and introduce him to George.

Afterward, I drove to the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, and finished off the mileage. It started out well, but then I sagged big time. George came to join me for the final miles, and his company (plus the water and cup of ice he brought) really saved the day! :) We finished with a good bit of walking, but we really picked up the walking pace for the last 5 miles or so. It felt good to finish strong, even if it was walking. Today's overall pace for the total 20.1o miles was faster than last week's 10 miler, as well as the 18-miler from two weeks ago. Of course, pushing myself in the 10K this morning helped with the average, and I did have a bit of a rest in the car, driving from Mebane to Durham to finish the mileage, but I'll take it--especially since I've been under the weather a little bit this week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Bike Time, Plus Garmin News

I went to the gym this morning and did an easygoing hour on the recumbent bike, covering 10.45 miles. My throat was a bit scratchy when I started, and I was hoping the exercise would scare it off, but no such luck. So, I decided to take a sick day today, and got lots of extra rest. I never did get any fever worth mentioning, but tonight, my throat still hurts, and my nose is getting stopped up. I wonder if it's sinusitis. Charming.

Meanwhile, my new Garmin Forerunner arrived today! Yippee! Just after it arrived via UPS, I decided to call the Garmin support number about my broken Garmin, curious about whether or not I'd thrown away money for the new running toy. The Garmin support guy was very patient, leading me through different things to try, and finally gave me the news that the internal battery was dead. I found out that I could send it back and get a replacement for $69! Heck of a deal! It turns out that George was thinking about getting a Garmin Forerunner, but was hesitant because of the price. Now he's paying the one they're sending back to me in a few days, so he'll have one too! Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More Treadmill Running

My new Garmin Forerunner hasn't arrived yet, so I headed for the gym.

1) Ran/walked 2.5 miles in 36:12 minutes on the treadmill
2) Rode 4.4 miles in 25:09 minutes on the recumbent bike

I miss running outside, but am enjoying the improvement in my average running pace. The plantar fasciitis is still bothering me some, but I'm working on it. Finally got hold of the foot stretcher thingy, which had been delivered to the apartment complex front office. I tried it last night, and am a little awkward with it right now.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Light Bike Ride

This morning I rode the recumbent bike for 8.06 miles in 51:02 minutes. Not gonna light the world on fire with this workout, but it was something. I'm a little sore and tired from yesterday's treadmill run, so I'll chalk this up to a bit of a recovery workout.

Meanwhile, I checked Amazon this morning for the tracking of my plantar fasciitis toy, and it turns out UPS delivered it to the front office of my apartment complex Saturday morning after they tried delivering it to my front door. They didn't mention that on the sticker they left on my front door! The sticker said they'd try to redeliver today! I was in the process of signing the back of the UPS sticker to leave on my front door before I left for work, when I decided to check the tracking info out of curiosity. It's been a few yards from my apartment for TWO DAYS!! I could've been using it!!!! Arrrggghhhhh! *sigh*

Monday, September 07, 2009

Good Workout at UNC Wellness Center

I decided to visit UNC Wellness Center after sleeping in a bit on this Labor Day Monday. I ran/walked 2.5 miles in 35:21 minutes on the treadmill, a zippy (For me! I'm serious!) 14:08 average pace, then just walked 1.53 miles in 25:06 minutes, still on the treadmill. I really worked up a sweat!

Afterward, I enjoyed the sauna, whirlpool. and swimming pool there for about 30 minutes total. Now I'm ready for a holiday afternoon nap!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Light Workout

1) Walked 1.77 miles (30 min) on the treadmill
2) Rode 2.15 miles (12 min) on the recumbent bike

Had planned to do some treadmill running, but decided to pass. My legs and body are still pretty tired from yesterday's run, followed by an employee cookout and season-opening football game at Duke. George and I only had about 30 minutes at home between about 7 AM and 10 PM yesterday, and that half hour was spend rushing to shower and get ready for the afternoon and evening events. All good, but I've been pooped today.

Yesterday's 10-Miler

I did arond 10 miles yesterday, but it was such a Murphy' Law morning, that I'm tempted not to post about it.

George and I decided to run on our own, instead of with the Galloway group. We overslept, then George decided he needed new shoes before he ran. We went to Raleigh so he could buy new shoes. Extra late start. Then, we went on a route that George had seen part of and wanted to try. I was hesitant, since I lean toward running routes I'm very familiar with. Since I admire George's adventurous spirit, I decided I'd try his route with him. Part of the path was nice and shaded, but part was all sun (which was way up by then), and part of this route had no path at all, but was running along some major roads and state highways. Some of that grass was mowed, some hadn't been in a while. George enjoyed forging ahead on this sort of route, in a Daniel Boone sort of way. It irritated me a lot yesterday morning, perhaps more than it should have!!

To top it off, my Garmin Forerunner started acting up, and then totally died around mile #7. Before that, the plantar fasciitis in my left foot started acting up AGAIN, probably from last week's increased mileage. Grrrr! So, I was slower than usual, to boot.

To add to the frustration, when we got home, I had a UPS sticker on my door! Aarrrrghhh! I started feeling the plantar fasciitis earlier this week, so Friday I ordered a foot stretcher thing to help with the plantar fasciitis, and paid EXTRA to have it delivered Next Day (which was yesterday). Turns out that paying for the extra fast service meant I needed to sign for it at delivery, and they won't redeliver it until TUESDAY!

Okay, I DID get out and do the 10 miles to stay on my training schedule. The whole experience just left me stressed out when running is supposed to relieve stress. &^@Q$$!!*!*\^@^@*#$@

Friday, September 04, 2009

Yesterday's Run=Rest Day Today!

Yesterday I returned to the trails of Umstead State Park, and ran a sluggish 3.03 miles in 56:02 minutes. The weather was glorious, but the run was a tough one for me. I knew it would be hilly, and wanted the hills and trail practice, but my body didn't cooperate very well. I got slower with each mile, unlike the negative splits in other recent runs. I'm still feeling fatigued from last weekend's 18-miler, eventhough I've gotten more sleep this week than I have in a while. It's kinda thrown me for a loop, really, this slow recovery from a run, eventhough it WAS a personal distance record for me. I need to work on ways to recover more quickly.

So, today is a REST day! Maybe I should've taken one of these rest days earlier in the week! Usually, I'm a little antsy on rest days from exercise (unless I'm actually sick), but today I'm happy as a clam to be leaving the running shoes under the bed. Tomorrow's soon enough.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Biking at the Gym

I hit the gym this morning and spent the whole hour riding the recumbent bike. It was a pretty slow and easy 10.12 miles in 60 minutes. I got a ton of sleep last night, but still feel like my body's in recovery mode from the 18-miler. I don't think I felt the residual tiredness this long after 16 miles. I did push the 18 miles a little faster, though. Maybe that's part of it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

On the Road Again

Eventhough I woke up tired, I decided to do an easy run today. I was going to go run on the treadmill in the air conditioned gym, but when I realized how nice and cool it as outside, I decided to run outside at Brier Creek instead. I started out slowly, but eventually started feeling better and picking up the pace. I pretended that the last mile was my last mile of the marathon, and boy, that helped too! Negative splits again today! Woohoo! I averaged a 16:22 average pace today, not great, but okay considering I'm still recovering a bit from Saturday's 18-miler.

Mile Splits
1) 17:13
2) 17:07
3) 16:43
0.66) 8:57 (on target for a 13:28 mile)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Workout of the Month

I'm still a bit lethargic from Saturday's 18-miler, so I walked for 1.8 miles (35:03 min) on the treadmill this morning. I didn't know at the time that I've logged 98.8 running miles for the month of August (my best since February), but it's probably just as well. I'm bushed! I see an early bedtime in my future!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slow Bike Ride

This morning I slept in and made it to the gym for an easy ride on the stationary bike, 9.2 miles in 55:06 minutes. I'm still a bit sore and rather tired from yesterday's 18-miler, but I'm glad I made it to the gym for a bit.

I'm off to stretch out and read, maybe even nap for a bit! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another Personal Distance Record in the Books!

I rejoined the Galloway group this morning for the 18 mile long run/walk mileage. I wanted to see everyone in the group and wish 1st time racers in next weekend's Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon well, and George also wanted to try running with a faster pace group for part of the morning. (George and I had done our own long run thing the past two Saturdays.)

So, George and I got to today's meeting place and started off with some other early morning starters at 5 AM, but the two of us kept a slower pace going and managed 3.9 miles before returning for the whole Galloway group check-in and send-off. From there, I started out with "my" pace group, but assured them that they didn't need to wait with me, as I was stocked with my Garmin Forerunner, a map, money, my cell phone, water and energy food, and my iPod.

Lo and behold, Jackie, one of the pace group leaders, and I started talking, and she ended up staying with me all the way until my mile 11.2! I kept trying to encourage her to go ahead with the rest of the group, but we had a fun time chatting all the way back to the Panera near our starting point (and a popular Galloway hangout after our long runs). George arrived at Panera shortly after we did, and after making a pit stop and refilling my water while George got something light to eat, we headed back out for the rest of my mileage. We ended up back at Panera with my mileage at about 16.7 miles, so I headed back out on my own while George headed into Panera to wait. I finished on my own, which felt both strange and refreshing. After expecting a lot of alone time and not getting any, I enjoyed both the unexpected company and the time at the end to dig deep by myself and gut it out.

So, I ended up finishing 18 miles using (mostly) a 1/1 run/walk ratio today, in 5:40:02, an average pace of 18:53. Yes, it's still quite slow, but the beauty of this number is that on my last personal distance record of 14 miles two weeks ago, I had an average pace of 19:06! Today, I averaged 13 seconds per mile faster, eventhough I was out on the course for an additional two miles. I'm pleased that the changes I'm making in my workouts overall are finally showing! I still have some hard work between now and the Outer Banks Marathon, but I am feeling encouraged.

Here are my mile splits:
1) 18:31
2) 18:06
3) 19:44
4) 19:58
5) 18:55
6) 18:03
7) 18:35
8) 19:04
9) 18:38
10) 18:47
11) 18:40
12) 19:02
13) 19:05
14) 19:25
15) 19:27
16) 18:46
17) 18:35
18) 18:38

Afterward, I finally had a bite to eat at Panera, and came home to a shower, then an ice bath! Ahhhh! Now I see a nap in my future! :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rest Day Today

No running or gym time for me today! My legs feel like lead, and I have an 18-mile run/walk on tap for tomorrow!

Part of the reason I have such heavy legs today is that I had a second run last evening, when George and I joined the North Carolina Roadrunners Club last evening for the last of their August Series runs at Umstead State Park. George still needed to get a run in, and I wanted some trail and hill work this week, but hadn't made that happen this week in a morning run.

Last evening's course was a 5K, but I turned around at "the bridge," and ended up clocking 1.9 miles in 32:06, a 16:56 average pace. I wasn't too disappointed, considering it was a second (and hilly trail) run for me yesterday.

Given the chance, I could lounge around in bed and read today, but alas, I'm off to get ready for work!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Negative Splits!

I got a late start this morning, so I headed over to Brier Creek, and ran around that neighborhood. I tell ya, having my average pace display on my Garmin Forerunner is doing wonders for my training! I ended up running 3.07 miles in 50:01 minutes, an average pace of 16:16 min/mile, more than half a minute faster on average than Tuesday! AND each mile was faster, again!

Mile 1) 16:42
Mile 2) 16:29
Mile 3) 15:46
.07) 1:03 (on target for a 14:22 pace, but that was just me pushing at the end.)

Whew, good run!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Workout

1) Rode 6.18 miles (35 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Did 2.03 miles (25:04 min) on the elliptical

It was the first time I'd been on the elliptical in a while, so it was a nice change of pace to spend some time on that machine.

Meanwhile, I've signed up for a couple of trail races for the fall, and I'm excited about those! The Triple Lakes Trail Race will be on October 3, and the Medoc 10-Miler will be on October 17.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Negative Splits Today!

This morning, I ran on the American Tobacco Trail again, and decided to take it easy, since I had a couple of challenging runs over the weekend, and have an 18-miler coming up on Saturday. I changed my run/walk ratio back to 1/1, with the option of running longer if I felt like it.

I ended up running 3.26 miles in 55:01 minutes, with negative splits on the miles! I was hoping for that, and worked on it a bit without doing the math in my head. I did do some extra running, and also did 4 fartleks, using different things (signs, trees, benches) as marks along the trail.

1 17:09
2 16:50
3 16:38
.26 4:23

It was a good run overall, though I'm still a little tired from the weekend running, and my knee is still feeling tender from last Thursday's spill in the state park. While the pace could've been faster, I am encouraged by the negative splits. With a distance PR coming up this weekend, I'm kinda in endurance mode this week, so I plan to get some extra rest and take care of my knee.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday at the Gym

1) Rode 6.3 miles (35:02 min) on the recumbent bike
2) Walked 1.8 miles (30:08 min) on the treadmill, with a 2% incline

I'm feeling a bit tired from the runs Saturday and yesterday, so today was a bit easier (and in the air conditioning!).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

Eventhough I did a long run yesterday, and partly because I did a long run yesterday, I went back out this morning, with plans to do an easy run on the American Tobacco Trail. I put my iPod in the armband again, and clipped on my Gymboss--BUT decided not to turn it on. Oh, how the Gymboss has made my run/walk pacing easier, but I just needed a break from the beeping sound!

So, I decided to run for a while and see how I felt, taking walk breaks whenever I needed them. I set mini-goals for myself, picking off benches, trees, signs, and people as needed to get a relaxing run in. :) I ended up with my fastest outdoor average running pace of the year!! Couldn't believe it! I ended up with 3.17 miles in 50 minutes!

1 15:51 min.
2 15:56 min.
3 15:37 (came up with a new mantra there!)
.17 2.35 (a 15:26 pace)

I felt pretty okay afterward, but this afternoon, as I'm writing, I'm tired! My knee's also bothering me a little from Thursday's stumble. Gonna try to take it easy this afternoon and evening.

Meanwhile, last night I finished reading the Carolina Godiva Track Club's most recent newsletter, and my running horoscope said, "Think through your training regime and don't overreact when it doesn't go according to plan. Just keep running along." Huh. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

10 More Miles in the Books

Well, today's 10 miles is in the books, and that's the best thing I can say about it, really. *sigh* Just one run, though, right? :> I think I had high expectations for it going better than it did, since I've gotten some great advice from fellow runnings, altered my mid-week workouts to include more and faster mileage as well as some hill work, lost some weight, AND took a rest day yesterday.

George and I set out 30 minutes ahead of the rest of the Galloway group, in part to try out a new run/walk ratio of 20 seconds running/40 seconds walking that Jeff Galloway suggested I use for long runs. (I emailed him a couple days ago about my struggles with my pace.) George and I decided we wanted to try going out slow, and going faster along the way, a try a negative splits. We walked the first mile, and started the 20/40 ratio in mile 2. My personal goal was to finish with an average pace of under 18 minutes/mile.

We both felt like we left a lot on the course, more than the numbers reveal. The heat and humidity did have an effect. One of my wishes is that we'd started out a little faster, walking less at the beginning.

1 20:45 (walk)
2 17:57
3 18:39
4 18:01
5 18:28
6 20:21 (after our McDonald's pit stop)
7 18:37
8 18:25
9 16:33 (Fastest mile, when we realized how slow our pace had been on G's phone calculator)
10 18:45 (Tuckered from picking up the pace in the last mile)
.38 6.26 (On target for a 16:51 mile, ran part of the way in)

Total for the run was 10:38 miles in 3:13:01, an average 18:35 pace, with 3109 ft. of ascent. I've put on a good face for George, but I'm pretty deflated about today's run.

Today was the annual Galloway pancake breakfast after the run. I had some orange slices and juice, but didn't feel like much else. *sigh*

I think I'll have a light run tomorrow to get back in the saddle. Meanwhile, I think I'll continue to tweak the run/walk ratio, as well as my workouts overall.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rest Day

I skipped the roads AND the gym this morning, taking a rest day before tomorrow's long run. Feels a bit odd, but it's also been a relief. My legs are still a bit tired from yesterday's hill work, so it was nice to sleep in this morning. I also got into work earlier than usual, an added bonus! :)

Here's to rest!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tackling the Hills of Umstead State Park

This morning's run was my first intentional mid-week hill workout, and it was an interesting one! I returned to Umstead State Park today, and instead of running the paved area this morning, I decided to shoot for the trails this morning. I missed the turnoff for the trails, but got a really good workout on the dirt and gravel roads instead.

I kept Tuesday's setting on the Gymboss pace timer to signal 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. There were times when I was tempting to keep running after 2 minutes, but since this was my first mid-week hill workout, I decided to see how this worked out.

The temperature outside seemed a little bit cooler than earlier in the week. It was still plenty hot, but just a tad more pleasant. Of course, the area where I was running had plenty of trees, so I'm sure that helped. Umstead is such a pretty place to run! I saw a deer in the woods today--nice! There were a few other runners and bikers out this morning, and I enjoyed the company.

I tried out my new iPod armband this morning, and it worked pretty well! It was nice to have my hands free from carrying things. The only downside of my morning run was that once, while I was fiddling with the iPod on my upper arm, I tripped and fell! Ouch! My left knee got pretty scraped up, but otherwise I was okay. A park ranger happened to come into view just after I fell, so he stopped to check on me just as I got up. I was sooo close that I wanted to make it to my car, so I assured him I was fine. By the time I got back to my car (continuing my run/walk ratio), the blood had streamed all the way down to my sock! Charming. Thankfully, I had a clean towel in my trunk, so I was able to clean up a bit. I cleaned up the wound after I got home, and my knee doesn't seem to be too much worse for the wear, other than the scrapes. I'll probably ice it after work, though, just to be on the safe side.

My average pace per mile was 17:14, pretty slow, but faster than some of my other mid-week runs this summer. I was a little tentative, not knowing how my body was going to react, and then, of course, there was the fall. (I've learned how to make my Garmin Forerunner stop automatically when I do, so that feature came in handy!) As I write this, I'm feeling a little stiff (mostly in the knee that I fell on), but I feel like I could've given a little more out there. Now I know.

I ended up run/walking 3.48 miles in 60 minutes.

Mile Splits:
1) 17:25
2) 16:38 (Better pace there! Wonder why.)
3) 17:44 (the mile in which I fell)
Last 0.48 of a mile in 8:13 (On target to be my second best mile)

I think my overall training plan will include three runs--one speed workout, one hill workout, and then the weekend long run, and crosstraining on most other days, with a rest/easy day on the day before my long run (which usually falls on Saturday). I may do an easy run on a crosstraining day sometimes. I'll see how it all goes, and tweak things along the way. I'm so eager to improve my speed and endurance! (To do that, I need to stay healthy too!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tired Bike Ride

I went to the gym this morning and rode 6.06 miles in 36 minutes on the recumbent bike. It was a tired ride from the start, but I did toggle the resistance between 6 and 7 to make things a little more interesting.

I plan to run again tomorrow, and am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On the Run Again!

I decided to hit the roads for a run this morning, determined to do something to run "outside my comfort zone." By the time I got to the neighborhood where I decided to run, I figured out I was going to set my Gymboss for 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking. I HAD been training at a 1:1 ratio, but I really need to work on both endurance and speed, and decided this was one way. Worth a try, right?

In addition to changing the run/walk ratio, I also reset my Garmin Forerunner this morning to record my splits for each mile as a lap time, something I had no idea the Forerunner could do! Thanks to this idea from Christina, I was able to find the Forerunner users manual online and figure out how to set that up (easy, by the way!). I can see how this will really help me analyze my training!

So, I set out on the sidewalks of a nearby Raleigh neighborhood I haven't run in for a while, eager to see how things would go. I decided to shoot for either three miles or 60 minutes of run/walking, whichever felt best, considering how I was already pushing myself with longer running segments. I noticed that the Forerunner screen flashed my mile splits for a few seconds each mile, but I couldn't make them out easily without my glasses. I could tell that the numbers were running in the 15s and 16s, so I knew I was doing pretty well (for me), though I was feeling pretty tired toward the end.

Much to my surprise, I ended up running 3.87 miles in 62 minutes, an average 16:01 pace! Okay, I'm really happy with that! It's my fastest outdoor running average in nearly a month, and the one time I averaged a faster outdoor average mile, I only ran 2.01 miles with an average 15:57 pace. I'm sure that, with more training and weight loss, this will improve soon.

My mile split times:
Mile 1 15:38
Mile 2 16:05
Mile 3 16:17
.87 14:00

One thing I'll work on in the future is doing negative splits, now that I've got the lap time feature figured out on my Forerunner.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back at the Gym After a Rest Day

After taking a rest day from exercise yesterday, I headed back to the gym today. I'm still a bit tired from Saturday's 16 mile run/walk on the American Tobacco Trail, but not as sore as I thought I would be! Still, I decided to save another run for tomorrow, and did some crosstraining instead.

1) Walked 2.06 miles (35:01 min) on the treadmill. I pushed the speed a little, but left the incline alone.

2) Rode 5.42 miles (30:01 min) on the recumbent bike. I pedaled a little faster, and did the interval program on the recumbent bike.

I've exchanged a couple of emails with Christina recently, and she's really got me thinking about my training, and how I need to step it up a notch and get outside my comfort zone, both physically and mentally, when it comes to my marathon training. There is a balance between pushing yourself and resting your body and mind a bit, of course. I'll want to listen to my body and try to prevent both injury and burnout. That said, I'm excited about this attitude shift, especially on the heals of my personal distance record 16 mile run/walk last Saturday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My First 16-Miler in the Books!

This morning, George and I decided to take a break from the usual run with the Galloway group run, and do today's scheduled 16-miler on our own. Actually, George hadn't ever planned on running 16 miles, but he decided yesterday that he'd run it with me, since I'd decided to strike out on my own this morning.

I decided I wanted to run on the American Tobacco Trail once again, but from the opposite end (of the Durham section) from where I usually start, near the Durham Bulls (local minor league baseball team--ever seen the movie "Bull Durham?") Stadium (they have a newer stadium, but the one in the movie has been renovated--yay!) and the American Tobacco Campus. I have to tell ya, it was a charmed run, even though my pace was slower than usual. (I know, I know, I've been complaining about my speed, BUT it was a nice run, nonetheless!)

We started the run about 5:35 AM, and it was still dark on the trail, which goes through some wooded areas (mostly) as well as behind some neighborhoods. As we started, it was a little creepy, so I was glad George was with me. It was another hour or so before we started having company on the trail, then it really got packed.

After walking as a warm-up for the first mile, we started our 1:1 run/walk cycles. While it was still dark, it felt like we were running through some cobwebs we couldn't see (which added to the creepiness we felt earlier)! Weird. Once the sun started to come up, we could tell it was an overcast morning, which was nice! On the first half of the run, we saw THREE rabbits, two together, then another one. We also saw a number of squirrels and birds, and heard a symphony of wildlife in the woods for a large portion of the morning. On a couple of occasions, I got chill bumps listening to the sounds around me on the ATT! George and I both took our iPods on this run, but never used them. (I'm glad!)

We made one pit stop at the Solite Park restrooms (a little smelly, but nice timing), then headed for the end of that segment of the American Tobacco Trail. There's a strip mall there, with a McDonald's in the parking lot, so we were aiming for that all along. After running 8 miles, we made a pit/refreshment stop there, which worked out really well, and then struck out again to complete the remaining 8 miles. Because the ATT in that area is 6.6 miles one way, we took a couple of detours along the way to make sure we got in the full 16 in one roundtrip.

George was such good company on this run. Toward the end, he made me start repeating mantras out loud, which felt silly at first, but it helped more then I expected! Even though he's a new runner (and maybe because he's a new runner), it was nice to continue discussing some of my recent frustrations about running--while running! I think that running this distance with me (a new personal distance for BOTH of us!) gave him a clearer perspective of what I've been going through.

Having George with me helped me to keep the 1:1 run/walk ratio going today, even when I got tired, and this was great mental as well as physical training. Once, toward the end, we walked two minutes in a row, but then started up again, and actually run the last quarter mile to the end of the trail without a walk break. More good mental training for pushing myself at the end of a run. I was surprised I still had gas in the tank to do that!

We ended up finishing the 16 mile run/walk in 5:05:36. About as slow as molasses, yes, but a good training run/walk, nonetheless. I'm feeling exhausted and rejuvenated, all rolled up in one! (Does that make sense?!)

Meanwhile, I've really appreciated recent comments here, as well as some helpful email advice from Christina. I'm looking forward to the challenge of fine-tuning my marathon training schedule. The running community (both virtual and in-person) is amazing, isn't it?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Short Bike Ride, Plus Marathon Lodging Booked!

This morning I rode 5.25 miles in 30 minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym. Saving my legs for tomorrow's 16 miler! Holy cow, I still can't quite believe I'm doing it, but I AM!

I'm more determined now than ever, because I got an email from another one of my pace group leaders yesterday, suggesting I pull back from the marathon and go for the half marathon instead. I'm healthy (except for some extra weight), just SLOW right now, and the marathon is nearly three months away! Still a good bit of time to make improvements, in my book, plus it should be cooler in November--which will help!

So, two group leaders--in less than a week's time (see last Saturday's post)--are trying to wave me off an event that's almost three months down the road, and I'm about half way through the training program! I've been gracious to them, but I am a bit disappointed in their timing. It feels like an ill-timed and premature suggestion. I would've appreciated advice on speed drills to try, or nutrition tips, or something. Granted, they aren't getting paid to be group leaders, and they're regular runners like me, only faster. ;)

So, I'm feeling a combination of discouragement and determination this morning. And I'm going to run tomorrow's long run on my own in the morning, instead of with the group. I enjoy the time to myself that running affords, anyway. I'm an introvert at heart, and savor the recharging time that my morning exercise usually provides. George may run with me tomorrow, but it's still up in the air.

Meanwhile, I've started doing some mid-week speedwork, and am working on my nutrition and weight loss as well. I'm thinking about finding some hills over in Umstead for mid-week training. I'm determined to make this happen, or pass out from trying! Marathon training is a journey, and part of the experience is learning about myself--my body, my mind, and how I can push the total package.

Meanwhile, I have made our hotel reservations at the Outer Banks for marathon weekend!! Woohoo!!

Okay, I'm not giving up!


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