Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Minor Victory: Workout Complete!

I was determined to finished today's speed workout, since I had to cut the last two run/walk workouts short. It feels pretty darn good mentally to have a complete workout under my belt, though my foot did hurt today! I kinda feel like I beat the pain, at least for today!

Before I left for the gym, I iced my foot and took some aspirin. The ice felt good at the time, but I'm not sure it helped.
-Walked 0.53 mi in 10:07
-Ran 0.51 mi in 8:05
-Ran/walked 2.42 mi in 33 min. (4*0.50 mi in 6:30ish, with a 2 min. walk between each interval)-my right toe bridge started hurting in the 1st mile here.
-Walked 0.27 mi to cool down

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Long Run Was a Bust

Yesterday's long run/walk on the American Tobacco Trail was supposed to be a 10 miler, but the pain in my right toe bridge starting coming on in the first mile. Yikes! I tried more walking, but once I started running again, the pain eventually became pretty sharp. I stopped at 5.31 miles (1:47:24), and drove to the gym, in hopes of giving my foot a rest, with a plan of getting more miles in. I walked 1.42 miles in 25 minutes, and decided to give my foot a rest and call it a day, exercise-wise.

So, I met up with some Raleigh Galloway friends at Panera. We often meet at the nearest Panera after a run. While they are known for the bready things, it's a place that pleases everyone. I often get the Greek Salad; yesterday's had some grilled chicken atop. Yum!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hill Work on the Treadmill

Today's run/walk assignment on the treadmill was since incline work, including 1 mile at 1%, another at 2%, and the last running mile at 2.5%, with some warm-up, walk breaks, and cool-down factored in. All told, I was supposed to "travel" 4.25 miles on the treadmill. The incline, I think, really did a number on my achy right toe bridge, and I ended up calling it a workout at 3.75 miles in 60:35 minutes. I felt a little bit wimpy for stopping, but I decided to do it anyway. I took some aspirin when I got home, and my toes felt better. :)

I'm still saving for custom orthotics, but that's been a little more challenging than I expected. At worst, come January, I'll have a fresh pot of pre-tax money on my HSA card through work, and can get the custom orthotics then. Of course, that will be after my half marathon. Then there's the concern, that even with the high cost, that they won't alleviate the toe bridge pain.

Another option I'm considering is that perhaps I should stick to shorter distances, and just work on getting faster on the 5K and neighboring distances, after I've completed the half marathon I've signed up for. I definitely don't want to throw in the towel on running, but I'm definitely frustrated by the physical pain it's causing.

Clipart from http://www.cksinfo.com/people/bodyparts/legs/index.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Speed and Endurance

Yesterday's speed workout was one of the most challenging I can remember. I felt tired, and wanted to cut it short, but it felt important to finish. In a mental way, and a physical one too, really, I feel like I'm banking tough workouts now for a payoff sometime down the road.

Ran 1 mile easy in16:08 to warm up
Ran 1.5 miles in 20:03
Ran .25 mile in 3:03
Ran .25 mile in 3:02
Ran .25 mile in 3:01
Ran .25 mile in 3:01
Walked .50 mile in 9:07

I was pretty wiped out afterward, but it was on to the day's work, which included my niece moving into her dorm as a freshman at the university where I work! (I didn't have to help her move in, though.) Even though I was pretty tired at work after that workout, I enjoyed the energy from the students, fresh-faced and excited about the new beginning. :)

I went to bed really early last night, so this morning I felt a little more rested, but still pretty tired. Luckily, I had a bike workout on the schedule, but was surprised to see it was a 50-minute ride at high cadence. I duked it out for the whole 50 minutes, good endurance practice for me, but I sucked at the high cadence part this morning. I was able to go faster some of the time, but had a hard time maintaining it. I finished the 50 minute ride with 7.9 miles. It feels pretty good to have completed it, but I'm already hoping for another early bedtime tonight!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Short Workout,and a Blogger Meeting!

I did a short recovery workout this morning. It was supposed to be a 30-40 minute bike ride, but the stationary bike I like at the gym was taken. Since I didn't have time to wait, I just hopped on the treadmill and had a slowpoke walk, 1.55 miles in 30 minutes.

Later this morning, I got to meet Christina, runner extraordinaire and blogger of Lazy Bones Running, in the flesh! She's in the area on business, and she and her boyfriend came to town a little early to explore. It was so much fun to meet them both! After following Christina's blog for quite a while, and hearing her voice on a couple of podcast episodes, it was so cool to meet her in person! We had a yummy brunch at Guglehupf, then did a driving tour of the Duke campus and a walking tour of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Thanks, George, for taking this picture of the three of us:

Christina, John, and Lesley

Since I see the campus all work-week long, it was rather nice to see it through fresh eyes, and Christina and John were great company!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First '10 10 Miler in the Books

I finished my first 10 mile run/walk of the year, and while it wasn't pretty, it's done. I ended up walking more than usual, thanks to the right toe issues, and I wonder if that's why the distance seemed especially long today. Probably. I finished 10 miles in 3:13:02.

I've already taken a nap this afternoon, and am still pretty tired. I think I'm going to go read a good book and try to fill my mind with something else. I'm tired of pouting about this run. It's done. Time to move on. But note to self: try to get more sleep in the week ahead.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Little Bit Longer

This morning, I ran a whole two and a half miles without a walk break! It surprised me a little bit that I could do it, even with the "help" of the treadmill.

Walked 0.50 mi. in 10:15 (warmup)
Ran 2.5 mi. in 37:39
Walked 0.52 mi. in 10:00

I am pretty tired now, both from the workout and in general. I definitely need to work on getting more quality rest.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Speed Workout That Felt Long!

Today's speed workout on the treadmill must have been a good one, because it was hard today, and felt like it took forever to finish. I know that workouts like this will help in the long run (pardon the pun!), but this morning wasn't pleasant! Glad I stuck it out (though I considered making it shorter on more than one occasion)!

I'm hoping that all this speedwork and such will pay off on my next race, a 10K coming up on September 11. Still a little while longer to train, but it's less than a month away now! :)

Walked .51 mi, 10:04 min

Ran .51 mi, 8:00 min
Ran 1 mi, 14:03 min
Ran .51 mi, 6:05 min
Ran .50 mi, 6:44 min (didn't pay good attention to pacing on this interval)
Ran .25 mi, 3:05 min
Ran .25 mi,  3:04 min
Walked .28 mi, 5:04 min

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8 Miles on the Raleigh Greenway

Today's assignment was 8 big ones, and I'd been wondering how it would go. I was a little late getting started, because I took some time to roll my feet over a frozen water bottle I keep in the freezer.

I decided to run on my own on the Crabtree Creek and Shelley Lake trails this morning, rather than starting with the Galloway group, but was delighted to run into my Galloway pace group near the end of Mile 2! I ran/walked 1:1s with them for about 4 miles, and I think that hanging with them helped my pace a bit. My right toe bridge started hurting as usual, though a little later today, so I had to slow down a bit. They were doing 10 miles today, and since I only had 8 to do, I turned back toward my car at one point, while they went on.

The weather was overcast this morning, but still pretty humid, I thought. Still, it was a nice morning for a run outside!
I feel a little better about my run today. No mile splits above 18:59 (yay!), and more mile splits below 18:00. My average pace today was 18:11, a nice improvement over last week's 18:39 average pace. Was the improvement a fluke? Stay tuned for next weekend's long run!

1) 18:42
2) 17:59
3) 18:09
4) 18:58
5) 17:46
6) 17:39
7) 18:52
8) 17:26
.03) 0:32

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two Mile Milestone

Today I ran for two miles straight without walk breaks! Yay! Okay, it was on the treadmill, which made it easier, but still, it's a nice milestone. Now I have a 5K without walk breaks in my sights.

Walked .58 mi in 11:48 to warm up
Ran 2 miles in 30:06
Walked 0.54 mi in 10:03 to cool down

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Speed Progress (and in other ways too!)

I had another mile speed test, and despite a poor night's sleep last night, it went pretty well! Nice to see some progress, that's for sure! In fact, I think that's why I've been rather grumpy and negative about my workouts the past couple of days. I'm frustrated about my slow speed (especially on the weekends), as well as the pain in my right toes (which only happens when I run!). Here's this hobby, this sport that I enjoy, and it's causing me some stress and pain. *6!^$#@#

I need to keep the big picture in mind, though. This isn't reading, or stamp collecting, or another hobby that is more sendentary. It's a hobby that makes me want to push myself to get better, both physically and mentally. It's also become a very social hobby for me, which is one of the best (and very motivating) reasons to keep at it.

Good news is that the grumpies are starting to lift a bit. I need to remember to do other things besides running to balance out my free time a bit, in part to give my body and my mind a rest.

So, here are the numbers:

Walked 0.52 mi in 10:08
Ran 1 mile in 15:03
Ran 1 mile in 11:58 (Mile Test)
Ran 1 mile in 13:58

Monday, August 09, 2010

Yesterday's Raspberry

Yesterday's workout got a raspberry, but I was glad I did it once it was over! (I was also glad it was over!) My assignment was a 60-minute ride on the stationary bike at the gym. I was dragging yesterday, so I didn't get to the gym until early afternoon. (My normal workout schedule is early morning, pre-work.) Saturday's running grumpiness was creeping back into my workout, and then I had to ride on the "icky" stationary bike, since someone else was using "mine." It was interesting, though...once I hit the 15:00 mark, the ride got much easier mentally. I knew I could finish it once I got a quarter of the way there. Funny how that works, those little benchmarks in our heads. When I'm running, the current mile seems more doable once I've covered four tenths of that mile--"downhill from there."

Anyway, I ended up riding 10.2 miles in 60 minutes.

After I got home from the workout, I decided to call a nearby Foot Solutions store to find out their hours. As it happens, they were open yesterday because of North Carolina's tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend. I called at 4:20 PM, and was at the store 20 minutes later! They were closing at 5:00, but the lady stayed open longer to evaluate my feet. The consulation was very interesting, and included some computerized measurements of my gait. I explained the issues with my right toes and the pain after 2-3 miles, and she agreed that custom made orthotics may well be the way to go ($400 a pop there, expensive whether I get them at Foot Solutions or through the podiatrist!!). So, we're going to try a special toe pad first, which I should be able to pick up later this week (hopefully before Saturday's long run!). It felt good to make some progress on having my right toe bridge feel better during my runs.

This morning, I was back on track, at least in terms of an early morning workout. I felt pretty tired, and was eyeing the shorter end of my 30-40 minutes elliptical assignment. when I first started. By the time I hit 30 minutes, though, I was good for another 10.  2.82 miles in 40:03 minutes, before it was all over.

Image above from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?picture=raspberry-background&image=3424

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Grumpy Run

Today's long run was on the American Tobacco Trail from the White Oak entrance, one of my all-time favorite places to run now, but it was a "grumpy" run! Actually, I was the grumpy one, not sure why, but I just couldn't shake "grumpy" loose this morning. Ah, well, at least I finished. It marked the end of this recovery week, so it was a pretty short one, 6.5 miles in 2:01:09.

I tried run/walking 1:00/1:00 for most of today's run for a change of pace. As usual, I started to fade in Mile 3 when my right toe bridge started hurting. *sigh*

Mile splits:
1) 18:23
2) 18:10
3) 18:34
4) 19:01
5) 19:00
6) 18:34
.50) 9:26

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/travelpig/33313158/

Friday, August 06, 2010

Another Run/Walk in the Books

Last evening's plans to run outside after work were thwarted by a thunderstorm! So, it was back inside on the treadmill for a 3-mile run/walk. The assignment was to walk .5 to warm up, then run/walk 2 miles doing a 4:1 minute run/walk ratio, with 6*2:00 pick-ups, then walk another .5 mile to cool down. (You see where this would've been easier outside?!)  It was a little awkward on the treadmill, but I finished up 3.03 miles in 47:01 minutes. I was surprised that I survived doing the pick-ups on the treadmill--they're a little easier outside!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Back in the Gym Today

After yesterday's outside walk, I was back in the gym this morning for a 50-minute bike ride, plain and simple. 8.51 miles in 50 minutes, and that was it (well, that and a good stretch). 50 minutes is a little longer than I usually go on the bike actually, so it was a little bit of endurance work. My legs are still appreciating the recovery week. I'll do a little bit of runing tomorrow, rest on Friday, then run/walk 6 miles on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Recovery Week

I'm enjoying this recovery week, I must admit. I've been a little tired lately, the kind of weariness that feels like it's coming from pushing myself in the heat. So, yesterday I did an elliptical workout (2.9 miles in 40 minutes) and a little bit of upper body strength training. This morning's assignment was a 2-mile walk, so I went to a nearby neighborhood and completed 2.05 miles in 40:07 minutes. I pushed a little bit to get my average pace under 20:00, and ended up with  19:34 average pace, okay for a recovery week. My walking pace is something I need to continue to work on, especially outside and away from the assistance of the treadmill's belt and gym air conditioning.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Some Calf Exercises to Check Out

One of the runners in my pace group was having Achilles tendon issues yesterday, and as it happens, one of the running blogs I follow and checked this morning, RunnerDude's Blog, had a new post about calf exercises, which can help with Achilles tendon issues! My running coach prescribed calf raises to me early on, and of all the exercises she's told me to do, calf raises have been the most neglected. In the YouTube video below, RunnerDude demos several good calf exercises and stretches. The video moves quickly and has some good background music. Check it out!


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