Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back On My Own

Well, I made the hard decision to stop being coached for my running. I have mixed feelings, really, because it feels like giving up on running, but also realistic, at least for now. It also has forced me to start looking more seriously into other forms of exercise.

For instance, I looked at the Gold's Gym closest to home last evening, and was impressed by the amount of equipment, especially for strength and core training. There are also some cardio classes I could attend, plus there's a pool! The membership sales guy I talked with was surprisingly unenthusiastic, though. I told him my story--running, injuries, running, half and full marathon, wierd foot bones, and his reply when I finished, was, "Okay." I asked if he could give me a tour, and he said something like, "Okay. This is the weight equipment. Cardio machines. Pool's over there," with some walking in between. Can I look in the ladies' locker room? "It's over there to the left." I see you have a massage therapist, what are the prices? "They're in this brochure somewhere." I swear, he didn't ask me a thing about my goals, wishes, or impressions. Maybe he was on his way out the door when I walked in. He just didn't seem to be into a conversation about his gym. Business must be good.

Anyway, I have printed out the information on my employee discount and enrollment through work. I'll still probably go that route, then cancel my current gym membership if I like Gold's.

I'm continuing to exercise. I cut yesterday's speed workout short due to foot pain. Today I had to sub the elliptical for the assigned bike workout, and cut it short to get into work for a meeting. My workout life seems to be a series of short workouts lately, partly due to my body and partly due to increasing time at work. Interesting.

I'll miss working with my coach, and would love to work with her again if my orthotics work out in the winter!

Monday, September 27, 2010

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

This morning, I walked 2.17 miles in 40:04 minutes on the treadmill, and followed with some upper body dumbbell work, as well as some ab crunches and stretching.

Meanwhile, I'm pondering a phone conversation I had with my running coach last night, where we talked about the possibility of my backing off of running much of any distance for a few months, while I wait to order custom orthotics and my foot has a little R & R time. It makes the Outer Banks Half Marathon seem a little dimmer, but I'm not quite ready to give up hope of walking it, especially if I continue to work on my fitness level and weight loss.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday's Walk

I fell short of my 10 mile goal today due to my fussy foot, deciding to stop at 6.52 miles. I'm discouraged about not being able to get the distance in,  but I was pretty pleased with my overall average pace per mile of 19:29, especially considering the foot discomfort. It was a pretty morning out on the Crabtree Creek Trail, but started getting warm. I was thankful for plenty of water.

Still undecided about what to do about my half marathon in November. *sigh* One week at a time.

1) 19:53

2) 19:19
3) 19:04
4) 19:10
5) 20:00
6) 19:22
0.52) 10:10

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Do You Listen To?

This morning I hit the treadmill again, and had a decent workout, despite the pesky foot pain in Mile 3.

Walked 0.51 mi in 10 min
Ran 1.55 mi in 24 min
Pit stop here
Ran 1.03 mi in 16:00

Part way through, I decided to steer away from my workout music and return to an audiobook I've been listening to in bits and pieces, a book called Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill. I'm finding the audiobook a nice change of pace from the quick-paced music that encourages me to keep going when the pain in my foot tells me to rest it. Although the book has some Christian overtones that some might disagree with, I'm intrigued by what the power of personal belief can do. Part of running is mental, so it certainly applies in this area of my life! I'm also listening to this book with my work ears as well, especially as I work on my graduate school application. Having something to think about (besides my foot) as I run has been refreshing!

What do you like to listen to when you run? How does it help motivate or refresh you?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Week's Progress

Rather than the usual Tuesday speed workout, I had an easy assignment yesterday, since I did the Mag Mile on Sunday. I walked a mile to warm up (1.05 mi in 20 min), then ran/walked 2 miles easy (2.01 mi in 34:00). My legs told me this WAS an easy workout, but my right foot started bothering me in Mile 3. *sigh*

Today's assignment was a 50 minute bike workout; I ended up cutting it a little short due to time constraints, but I felt strong doing it. I finished 8:05 miles in 46:18, and average of 5:37 min/mile. That's pretty fast for me, especially over 45 minutes.

I'm scheduled to run again tomorrow, so I'll see how that goes. Saturday's a 10-miler. I haven't hit 10 miles this year due to my foot. Right now my plan is a walk it at a good clip and see how my foot holds up. My coach is very conservative about injuries, so we'll be talking after the walk.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Magnificent Mile

This afternoon was the long awaited (for me) Magnificent Mile Race in Raleigh! It was a clear, warm late summer afternoon, and as usual, I enjoyed seeing several running friends before (as well as after) the race. I just love race days, with the comraderie and anticipation in the air. I also love this race, because they divide the race into three heats: the men's and women's competitive, and the recreational. It's amazing to watch the men's heat, because the frontrunners are so fast, and in the races I typically run, I never get to see the elites at their best. Last year's winner (who was back this year) finished the 2009 race in 4:10. On the road.

Toward the end of the men's heat, the women started lining up, and it was fun to catch up with a couple of runners, Barbara and Ruby, who were nearby. The "gun" went off, and the race started--uphill! This course goes up Hillsborough St., around the State Capitol Complex, and back down Hillsborough St., so luckily, it ends going downhill! Sweet! My goal was to beat last year's time of 13:37. It wasn't until the last stretch, when I was close enough to hear some finish times being called out, that I realized I could come in under 13:00 if I pushed! I dug deep and pushed for the finish line, stopping my Garmin just past the line at 12:58! Yes! I'm still waiting for the official results to make sure they jive with my sub-13:00 on the road.

This evening, I'm feeling suffiently "good and tired," so I feel like I left a lot on the course. I'm also glad to report that my foot was a non-issue at this short distance. I'll update with my official finish time/place when it gets posted.

UPDATE: My official time was 12:58, 180th out of 183 women, and 21/21 in my age group.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Light Week

I just realized I haven't posted since Tuesday! It's been a pretty light training week, which has been a relief in several ways. It's given my right foot a chance to rest, plus I've been uber busy at work. This morning I'll do an easy 30 minutes on the bike at the gym, then come home and get ready to head to campus for the Alabama-Duke football game. I'm excited to be seeing Alabama play football, even if they're probably going to do a number on my Blue Devils. If I can make it afterward, I'll join George's family for Yom Kippur dinner this evening after the game.

Tomorrow's the Magnificent Mile, a 1 mile race in Raleigh. This will be my 3rd year in a row of running this race, and it's one of my favorites. It's a distance my foot can handle, for sure, and I think all that my speed training will show itself for tomorrow's race. My main concern is feeling rested after the busy week at work plus today's activities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Speed Work-It's Feeling Easier

One thing I noticed about today's speedwork is that it's feeling a little easier in the midst of it, and I'm not feeling as wiped out afterward. It's nice to feel some progress. It has me looking forward to Sunday's Magnificent Mile!

Biked 1.36 mi in 10 min (warm up--biked the warm up because all 5 treadmills were taken)
Ran .25 mi in 3:02
Ran .25 mi in 3:01
Ran .25 mi in 3:01
Ran .25 mi in 3:02
Ran .25 mi in 3:02
Ran .25 mi in 2:59
Walked .10 in 2:00 to cool down

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Workout Week, and Maybe a New Attitude

This morning's workout assignment was an easy 30 minutes (2.12 mi) on the elliptical machine, so I followed it with some ab crunches (75 today!) and obliques (3 sets on each side instead of 2), plus some upper body strength training with dumbbells.

While I'm feeling a bit in limbo with my running, I have this gut feeling that I can work on getting stronger without using my right foot, right?! There are many things I CAN actually do to become a better athlete, while I rest and ice the toes and see if the orthotics will eventually help. One of the things I continue to work on is my weight loss, and that'll help too, I know.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Mebane on the Move 5K

George and Bert
This morning I did the Mebane on the Move 5K in Mebane, NC. George and I got there about 7 AM, and soon saw our friend Bert from the Raleigh Galloway Training Group. Bert was running his first 10K, and George was shooting for a 10K PR this morning. It was a slightly cool, overcast morning, pretty darn perfect race weather.

The three of us were busy chatting through the race announcements, so we were surprised to see the runners surging forward! I also missed the fact that there wasn't a timing mat at the front. I wish I'd scoped this out ahead of time, as I would've positioned myself a little better.

The running crowd thinned out pretty quickly, but Bert and I were run/walking in the same area for quite a while. I was a little tense in the first mile, but started to relax at the beginning of Mile 2. Unfortunately, my right toes started hurting so after, around my Garmin's 1.1 mile mark. I started taking walk breaks more frequently in hopes that it would help, but the pain was persistant throughout the rest of the race. Needless to say, I'm pretty discouraged by this!

Highlights of the race were seeing a college classmate volunteering on the course, a finished runner in a polka dotted headband hopping out of the crowd to run the last part of the race with me--just for encouragement, and then doing the same for our friend Bert (along with George).

Afterward, George, Bert, and I drove to Panera Bread in Durham and enjoyed a post-race meal. Their Greek salad is my usual post-Saturday-run meal, and it (and the company) lifted my spirits a bit.

I am surprised that my toes continue to give me this much pain, in what seems like shorter and shorter distances. I iced and ibuprofened both last night and this morning before the race, and even soaked my feet in epsom saltwater last night. I may have to wait until I can get the custom orthotics before seeing some improvement.

I'm still waiting on the official (gun only) time, but my Garmin (started at the start line, not when the runners started) says 49:48 for 3:12 miles.

1) 15:58
2) 16:03
3) 16:13
.12) 1:33

I would definitely recommend this race, especially if you like small local races. Mebane is a cute little town, really, and the volunteers were very friendly and helpful.  (The course had a number of turns through neighborhoods, but there were plenty of course monitors to keep me going in the right  direction.) The race director was very gracious is changing my registration from the 10K to the 5K earlier this week, which turned out to be a lifesaver for me today.

UPDATE: Apparently there WAS start line timing, just didn't see it. Results are in: chip time was 49:45, gun time was 50:30. I finished 156th out of 160 runners overall, and 17/17 in the women's 40-49 age group.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tomorrow Morning's 5K

Well, here I am, on the eve of another race, the Mebane on the Move 5K. It's been several months since I've done a race, but given the number of road races I've done over the years, I'm surprisingly excited about this one. My speed training has been going pretty well, and I got a pretty good night's sleep last night. (I need to follow it with another one tonight!)

My right toes are feeling okay, perhaps a slight, dull ache this morning, so I will do ibuprofen today, and ice this evening and again tomorrow morning.

I'm hoping to beat my Run for the Oaks 5K chip time of 46:53. Can I hit or break a 15:00 average for 3 miles on the road? I'll let you know tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back to Basics

I had a 40-minute, high cadence ride on the stationary bike today, and it felt surprisingly good! I completed 7.2 miles, which turns out to be a pretty zippy pace for me, especially over 40 minutes. Afterward, I took the time to stretch, and for the second time this week, did some upper body strength training with the dumbbells at the gym. I can tell I'm getting close to needing more reps and/or higher weights. I just need to be more consistent about doing the strength training.

Meanwhile, I got permission to transfer my weekend race registration from the 10K to the accompanying 5K. I'm feeling a mix of relief and disappointment in this. Since I did the 10K on this course last year, I've been really looking forward to going for a PR, but with the foot pain I've been experiencing, I've been dreading the distance this weekend! So, when I think about doing the 5K (everything else aside), I feel relieved, and have been looking at my most recent 5K times with a hope that I can have a 5K PR for this year, at least!

I feel, in some ways, like my training is going backwards, at least in terms of distance. So, I'm looking at how I can work my attitude, as well as some crosstraining, like the upper body weight training I've done this week. Another thing I'm mulling over is taking up a martial art. I wonder if any particular martial arts are a good match with running. Anyone know?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Getting My Mojo Back

Today was a work holiday for me, so I enjoyed sleeping in a bit and puttering around our apartment before I went to the gym. Today's 30-minute elliptical assignment turned into 35:03 minutes (2.54 miles), followed by some good stretching and, for the first time in a while, so upper body strength work. It felt really good to not feel rushed, and to be able to get to everything I wanted to. I also picked a diferent playlist on my iPod, and it was refreshing to be able to listen to some different music for a change. So many songs on my workout playlist mention running, or are songs I associate with running, so it was just nice to take a break from that. Don't worry, I'm not giving up on running! I'm just getting recharged! :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Another Short Long Run

Today's 10 miler was, well, a 4 miler in the end. I did get off the treadmill and onto the trails, this morning on the Crabtree Creek Greenway. It was a beautiful morning, the prettiest (=coolest) I can remember for a while. I tried a 1:1 run/walk ratio to see if that would help the foot pain, but no. Ahhh. I reluctantly decided to call it quits at 4 miles. Glad I got outside, but continue to be bummed by the foot.

4 miles in 1:15:01
1) 19:15
2) 18:39
3) 18:24
4) 18:42

Afterward, I went to the gym and spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine (2.8 miles). *sigh*

Next weekend, I have a 10K race scheduled. I've emailed the race director to see if I can switch to the 5K. I am getting tired of hitting pain on every run over three miles, and am looking to put some fun back in the process. I really enjoy race days, despite my slowness, and 5Ks are (relatively) quick and (mostly) painless for me. My foot and my mental game could use a respite, I think.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Pretty Good Run

On the treadmill...

Walked 0.51 mi. in 15:47 to warm up
Ran 1 mi. in 15:47, had to stop here for a pit stop (rats!)
Ran 1.5 mi in 23:39

My foot didn't start hurting until the last half a mile, and the pace (the assignment was to stay around 16:00) felt pretty easy.

I have another 10 miler on tap for Saturday. Hope I can pull this one off!


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