Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yesterday's Run/Walk on the American Tobacco Trail

Yesterday's workout assignment was 4 miles of run/walk outdoors, the farthest I've gone all year with running segments added. I was a little nervous about it, with recent knee troubles, so I decided to put speed worries out of my mind and just enjoy it!
I emailed my "new" running buddies from the pre-snowy Saturdays and races of late, but no one else was available for yesterday. I was a little bummed, but then remembered that I do like running on my own anyway, and to enjoy the time to myself. I wasn't sure I could make the whole four miles anyway, so I could just make the run my own.

I started out with a .25 warm-up walk, then started running the 1.5 mile segment. A little bit into the run, my right shin starting hurting a little bit, so I walked a couple minutes until it passed, then started jogging again. After that, I felt good! I took periodic .25 mile walk breaks after that, and the running continued to feel strong, though I was very, very conservative about my speed! I ended up doing 4 miles in 1:13:28, and finished with energy still in the tank. Good deal! My legs (and I) were kinda tired for the rest of the day, but other than that I felt fine.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just a Walk

I decided just to walk on the treadmill this morning at the gym. I had the nicest surprise when I got outside this morning--there was a light snow falling! Well, it was mostly light, but the flakes themselves were HUGE! It was so pretty, that I got a front window treadmill and just watched the snow as I walked. I never did put my iPod's earbuds in my ears. I walked 2.6 miles in 50:01 minutes, a pretty easy pace.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Little Running!

Well, I had a 2.5 mile run/walk on the schedule today, and I decided to try some running. I had to ride 6.01 min. (0.82 mile) on the recumbent bike while I waited for a treadmill to open up at the gym. When I hopped on the treadmill, I ended up doing 2.65 miles in 45 minutes, with some random runs mixed in with my walking. I ended up with an average pace just under 17 minutes, which isn't good, but I've done slower and called it running in my past.

Someone suggest I try a runner's/jumper's band below my fussy left knee, so I ordered one and it arrived yesterday. It's pink. Go figure. Anyway, I tried it today, and my knee felt a bit better during and after the workout. Maybe it's the power of suggestion. Maybe it's my body healing. Maybe the little pink thing works. Anyway, I'll have an easier workout tomorrow, I can tell. My legs are tired tonight, and my knee IS a little bit tender. I haven't actually run about two weeks, plus I stood at a retirement party for a couple hours this afternoon. Looking forward to stretching out on the couch with an ice pack (not a 6-pack!) this evening.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Elliptical Machine

I was happy to have an elliptical workout today, but by the time I finished the 30-minute (2.1 mile) assignment, my left knee was pretty tender. I'm asking myself when I should listen to my body and stop, and when I should ignore it.

I decided to stretch today for the first time in a week to 10 days, and I was pretty stiff. It was especially hard to stretch my left quads. I just went gently.

On a brighter note, I left a Bookcrossing-registered book (about weight loss tips) in a "new" location, on a bench in front of a nail salon near where I work out! The shelves at the Starbucks at Olde Raleigh Village on Edwards Mill Road are overflowing with books now, so I've decided to start branching out and looking to other places to leave books that other people might enjoy reading. There are several good spots near my gym.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Walking for Endurance

This morning's pre-injury assignment was a 4 mile run/walk with incline on the treadmill. I traded it in for 4 miles of walking on the flat treadmill surface. I had to break my walk into two segments because the gym treadmill stops at 65 minutes:

1) 3.52 miles in 65 min.
2) 0.58 miles in 10:08 min.

Truth be told, I wish I'd stopped after 65 minutes, as my knee was hurting again at that point. I'm a stubborn thing, though, and wanted to finish the workout! Now my knee continues to hurts post-workout as well. *sigh* A rest day may be in my future tomorrow!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Law Enforcement Torch Run 5K

It seems like this is the first pretty weekend we've had in a few weeks, so it was nice to wake up to blue skies for this morning's Law Enforcement Torch Run! I knew I'd be walking this one, as my knee is still bothering me a little bit, so I made it my goal to work on walking form a bit and finish strong. This was a pretty hilly course today, but I stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, and even managed to pass a few other walkers. It was a pretty big crowd for a February race, and quite a few walkers to boot. I was happy to finish with a chip time of 54:43 (gun time of 55:21), and 594th out of 645 runners and walkers.

It's kind of interesting how two 5Ks in the same city, just two weeks apart, can have such a different feel for me. At the Run for the Roses, I was the last finisher, with a time in the upper 40s. This time there happed to be more walkers, perhaps because this was for a different charity. Also, the Run for the Roses was on a Sunday afternoon, and this one was on a Saturday morning. Eventhough I finished with a slower time this morning than I did two weeks ago, and I'm still not 100% physically, I feel better about today's finish than I did two weeks ago.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Walking

After taking a day off from exercise yesterday, I walked again on the treadmill this morning. It was a great walk, but it was something. My knee is improving, but it's still a little sore, especially in the lower part of the kneecap. It's a mad dash to be both rested and ready to at least walk at Saturday's 5K race. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning at the gym. *sigh*

Monday, February 15, 2010

Runner's Knee Recovery

I've been keeping things low key since last Thursday. A little "Dr. Google" and I think I have Runner's Knee. Bummer! The low key (and some days no) workouts since then are helping me to heal, but I am getting antsy to run again! My workouts of late have consisted of walking pretty slowly and doing upper body workouts with free weights. That does help with the stress a little, but I'm eyeballing my spring race schedule and wonder if I'll be ready. Time will tell!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Taking it Easy

I emailed Brennan last night, and her advice was to stay off the knee through the weekend, plus ice and advil. If only I could stay home from work and REALLY stay off of it! It felt better this morning, but I'm still going to take it easy. I walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes (1.65 miles) pretty slowly, then did some upper body strength training with dumb bells.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ahhh, Rats!

My legs (and body, for that matter!) have continued to feel tired since Sunday's race, partly because of the hills and stress of a race, but also because of a cold that started Friday night, and flaired back up on Sunday night. The area above my left knee has been nagging me a bit more than the rest of my legs, so I've been giving it a little extra TLC. Last night, I noticed a bulge on the side of my left leg, near my knee, so I iced and soaked it as well. This morning, I went to the gym to try the bike workout in my schedule, and I felt discomfort around (mostly above) my left knee for the whole 11 minutes (1.32 miles) I tried to bike! I was hoping it would feel better after I warmed up, but no such luck. I decided to stretch for a bit and come on home. When I tried stretching my left quads, even THAT hurt that area above the knee. Ummm, ow! Rats!

Okay, these are signs that my body needs a rest, but of course I have a really busy day at work! Tonight, I'm in bed early!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tired Elliptical Day

My assignment for this morning's workout was 45 minutes in Zone 1-2 on the elliptical. Man, I took it really easy! My legs are still pretty tired from two days in a row of running. (Haven't done that in a while!) Today's totals: 3.2 miles in 45:13 minutes, followed by about 10 minutes of stretching. Nothing special, just a little calorie burn.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Recovery Run

Another run was on my schedule today. I was kinda surprised, considering I had a race yesterday afternoon. Plus, I didn't sleep well last night, partly because the nasal congestion from Friday flaired back up again. So I was pretty grumpy this morning as I started my run/walk. My assignment was to run/walk 3.5 miles, with a 1% incline during the running segments. I ended up doing 3.54 miles in 60 minutes, a pretty slow pace for me of late, but I was happy to complete the distance. It helped me to get over yesterday's race...a little. I'm still kinda perturbed about it, but I need to shake it off. It was a 2010 PR, and in the big scheme of things, that's what matters, right. I can't control everything in a race, so I just need to focus on what I can control--my own nutrition, overall health, and training!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Run for the Roses 5K

After having the Run for the Roses 5K on my mind for the last month, it feels good to finally have it in the books! It was a race of highs and lows, but in the end, I got a PR for 2010, and I'm pretty satisfied with that!

One of the highlights of the day was meeting Tracey Wilson before the race. I met Tracey online on the SparkRaleigh Team on, and learned that she was planning to run this race as well. We actually recognized each other from our profile pictures, which was a nice thing! We got someone standing nearby to take our picture together before the race to record the meeting--fun!

I warmed up with an 11 minute walk before the race, and thoroughly enjoyed being out in the sunshine this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, and after so many cloudy days lately, it lifted my spirits and helped me feel hopeful about the race.

The 5K started promptly, and the first mile went pretty well. In that time, Steph, an ERUUF and running friend who was doing some mileage before the race, caught up with me and decided to run/walk with me. It was nice to have the company as we worked through the miles. I'm usually going so slowly that I'm on my own with the running, so the company was good!

Somewhere between the 1st and 2nd mile, the police car at the end actually went ahead of me, and said we should consider running on the sidewalks when they were available! I was thrown off kilter by this, since I could tell by my Garmin that I was ahead of last month's 5K pace, and I've never had the police car escort actually pass me before. One of my mini-goals for today was to stay ahead of the police escort, so that unnerved me a little. Having Steph there helped me shrug it off, and we plugged along, mostly on the streets.

By the way, my prerace plan was to run for .60-.70 of a mile, then walk for .10 of a mile, then repeat throughout the race. I ended up doing a .70 run/.10 walk ration, partly because I wanted a PR, and partly to get done with it.

At the halfway water stop, one of the volunteers (and someone I know through road racing) started shouting something to us, but we couldn't really understand what she was saying. Then we realized we heard something about sidewalks. It made me feel kinda strange, like I didn't deserve to use the roads because I was so slow. Besides, the asphalt is easier on my IT bands than the concrete sidewalks, and there's less of a chance for my clumsy self to trip and fall on the road. So Steph and I stayed put for as much of the rest of the course as we could, hopping on the sidewalks for only a short segment toward the end of the 3rd mile. Oddly enough, I ran into that volunteer after the race, and she had something to say about my lack of sidewalk use again! I mentioned that I made it to the finish safely, and she replied, "Thank goodness for that!" No congratulations or anything. George heard the exhange, and said, "Well, at least she cared." Hrrrmmmpphhh! (Am I being sour grapes about this? An unsportsmanlike race participant? I'm not sure. This majority of this race, including the last half of it at least, was on neighborhood streets that weren't all that busy, at least until part of the third mile when we did get on the sidewalk. The race information didn't mention a time limit, either.)

The North Carolina Roadrunners Club president was doing the sweep, and ran the last little bit in with us. Again, the additional company was nice, since there have been plenty of times when I waddled in on my own. George ended up spotting me on the way to the finish line, and he ran with us for the final bit as well. It felt a bit like an entourage! Oddly enough, the police car mentioned before was parked length wise across the street as we made the final turn toward the finish line, so that he was between us and the finish! Odd! There were enough of us together that he saw us, hopped into his car, and backed up for us to pass! (Okay, this shouldn't have been an issue!)

After the race, I met someone (Sarah) from the Durham Spark Team on SparkPeople, which was fun! TWO fellow SparkPeople--cool! I also had a nice chat with my running coach (who was the first female to cross the finish line today--congrats, Brennan!).

On the way home, George and I stopped at Panera, where I had a big honkin' salad, and gave George my side of bread. (Low carb dieting can be a bitch sometimes, but I felt pretty smug later!)

The official results are in, and I finished with a chip time of 47:58, and a gun time of 48:24! Yes, it's still mighty slow by most runners' standards, but it's race progress I haven't seen about a year. Taking off about a minute and a half is a nice reward, but I did finish last, 430/430. I have another 5K in a couple of weeks, so I need to stay focused. Can I break 45 minutes by then? We'll see! It's definitely time for me to look ahead, and not dwell on the small weirdnesses of today's race. It's over! Thanks for listening!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Just a Walk

I walked on the treadmill this morning, an easy 1.35 miles in 30:02 minutes. I was thankful for the easy assignment, as my legs are tired and a bit sore from yesterday's workout. Tomorrow is a rest day, a mini-taper for Sunday's Run for the Roses 5K. I'm shooting for a 2010 PR, though Sunday's course is hillier than last month's Run for the Young. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Maybe Fastest Bike Pace Ever!

This morning's workout assignment was to ride the recumbent bike for 45 minutes, with a warm up and cool down, with a Zone 3 ride in between. I take "Zone 3" as "peddle faster." I ended up riding 9.12 miles in 45:16, for a 4:57 min/mile average pace! FYI, that's pretty fast for me, especially over 9-ish miles and 45 minutes. I'm pleased with the progress, but have tired legs this evening! (Okay, not a bad thing!)

I did have a bit of an accident leaving the gym, though. I hit some black ice walking back to my car, slipped and landed on that darn left knee (same one I fell three times on during the Triple Lakes Marathon!). *sigh* I iced it before I went to work, and will ice it some again this evening. It isn't too sore tonight, but sometimes there's a delayed soreness, so I'm going to give it some TLC tonight. Tomorrow's workout is a light one, and Saturday is a rest day before Sunday's 5K, so the rest of the week's exercise should be easy! That'll be a good thing, as my body is telling me it needs some rest.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Faster Run!

This morning's workout assignment was to run/walk 2 miles on the treadmill. My usual mid-week run of late has been 3 miles, but Brennan is pulling it back a little because of Sunday's race. Well, I decided to work on my pace a little, and ended running 2.02 miles in 32 minutes, a 15:50 pace! I'm happy about breaking the 16 minute training pace barrier, but now I'm kinda sore! I'll ice and/or soak this evening.

Monday, February 01, 2010

No IT Band Fussiness Today!

I'm pleased to report that my IT bands did not fuss at me today, through 2.75 miles (46:06 min) on the treadmill, which included a 1% incline on the running segments (1 mile and .75 mile) of my run/walk workout. Eventually, I increased my speed as well, and nothing from the IT bands! Yay! I did have a good stretch afterward, and could feel them a little, but not much. I may not be totally healed yet....but it feels like it today, so I'll enjoy it for now, and keep my fingers crossed!


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