Saturday, July 30, 2011

Galloway Long Run #13 (Plus Pancakes!)

I had a 6 mile run/walk on this morning's calendar, and I'm happy to report that I completed it. It was a good bit slower than last week's run, but it felt really good to finish it AND stay on track with my training schedule.

I started at about 5:30 AM on the Bent Creek Greenway in Raleigh, and followed it to the Shelley Lake Trail. This YouTube video (done by someone else) shows my path today (though I went the opposite way around the lake):

While I was on the trail, I passed a number of other Raleigh Galloway runners, and it was fun, as always to see them out there. Even though I'd set out on my own this morning, the camaraderie among the group as a whole is very encouraging! Thanks to Ashby for shooting this picture of me in passing!

After the run, we had the annual Raleigh Galloway/ North Carolina Roadrunners Club pancake breakfast, cooked by volunteers who gave up their training time this morning to cook for over 400 runners! The food and company were great!

Here's a map of my run/walk course this morning:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Morning Run

It was another pretty warm, pretty humid morning, but it was a good run/walk. I went to the same neighborhood to run this morning, but decided to go in another direction. It was a nice change of pace, with a few sprinklers to run through, to boot! I ended up going 1.92 miles in 37 minutes, for a 19:14 average pace. It's nice when I can go a little farther AND a little faster than the last run! Progress doesn't always show itself in the numbers on every run, so I'll take it when I can get it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Morning Run

This morning's run was another score for the warm outdoors! I've just gotten into the habit of running outside lately, though it really helps that I'm able to get out there early, before work, instead in the post-work heat of the late afternoon.

Today's running assignment was 35 minutes (up from 30 minutes on last week's mid-week training), so I went to a nearby neighborhood to pound the pavement. I ended up going 1.81 miles in 35 minutes, mostly doing a 30/30 run/walk interval. I pushed the pace a little to get my average pace under 19:30, and ended up with a 19:20 average pace for the run. If it weren't for being cautious about a pulled back muscle from the weekend, I think I could have gone faster. I'll keep working on that!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Galloway Run #12 Complete

Boy, this morning's run was a hot one! I'm glad I started early, got about 3 miles in (starting about 5:10am) before the regular Galloway run at 6:30. The time & temp sign I passed on the course around 5:15am read 82F, and it warmed up pretty quickly as the sun rose. Those first 3 miles were relatively flat, but the regular course for the Galloway group was pretty hilly through the North Hills neighborhood. I was glad I only had two more miles to do. My new training plan called for 5 miles today, but I ended up doing 5.26 miles in 1:45:01, for a 19:57 average pace. It's my best average pace for a long run since shorter mileage in early July, so I'm pretty pleased with the progress, especially for a hot, hot day. The rest of the group did longer miles, but I was happy to complete the assigned mileage on my newest training schedule. Week #1 is in the books!

Afterward, I got a little bit of walking in by walking to the nearest Panera, instead of driving, to meet some Galloway friends for breakfast. From there, George and I went to a nearby gym that has a saltwater pool AND hot tub, great for soaking!

I'm still having some lower back pain, muscle spasms, I think, which I first noticed after the run. I did a little hand massaging, then foam rollering, but both hurt!! I'm off to try an ice pack.

Here's my course map of today's run.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another Treadmill Delay

I decided to head to the gym to walk on the treadmill this morning, but when I got there, I decided to walk outside instead! (Glad I had my Garmin Forerunner with me to help make it happen.) There's a paved trail that goes around my gym and meanders through part of RTP, so I walked around there for 1.5 miles in 31:16 minutes.

After the walk, I finally went inside the gym (first time this week!), and got a short bike ride and some (upper body) weights in for a well-rounded workout. I'm feeling a little tired from the workout, so I think (and hope) I'll sleep well tonight.

When I arrived at the gym this morning, it had a new name. Read all about the change here.

Meanwhile, I've dropped a couple of pounds in the past week, so there's progress again on the diet front. Yay!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Morning Run

I feel like I'm getting into the groove with the new training schedule. This morning's run was my second on the new plan, and my second outdoor run in a row. It feels nice to break away from the gym for my runs, even though I'm slower outside than on the treadmill. My weight training has slacked off this week, and I need to get back on track with that, but one thing at a time, I guess.

This morning's run was 1.53 miles in 30:02 minutes, slightly farther than Monday's 30-minute run, with 30-second run/walk intervals. I tried to pay attention to cadence this time, though I didn't bother to keep count. I got a good night's sleep last night, which helped too, I bet.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Week, New Training Plan

This morning I started a new training plan, Jeff Galloway's half marathon training schedule for a time goal. For now, I'm going to follow it as closely as I can, but I'll keep in mind that I may need to be flexible down the road and scale back a bit. Here's the link. Scroll down to the second plan to see what I'll be working on.

So, I did the 30 minute run on today's schedule outside for a change. I'd gotten into the habit of going to the air conditioned gym and running on the treadmill. Because I run more quickly on the treadmill, that's always a confidence boost. In the big scheme of things, though, running outside is more realistic, and allows me to track my progress on a wider variety of surfaces. Anyway, I ran through the Brier Creek Country Club neighborhood, and had plenty of company, including several dog walkers. (I enjoy seeing people's dogs, as long as they're leashed as I'm running by! Who knows, maybe being chased by a dog might help me with my speed, though!)

Today's workout: 1.51 miles in 30:01 min., 30 sec/30 sec run/walk intervals, sunny and around 75F

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back to Triple Lakes?

I'm thinking about heading back to Triple Lakes, the course of my first marathon, this year, but to do the half marathon instead. I still have some solid training to do, but I'm thinking hard about it! I just ran across a race report by "Barefoot Josh" (aka Josh Sutcliffe) for the Triple Lakes Half, and had to share! Follow this link to check it out.

If you're interested in learning more about barefoot running, Josh's site looks like an informative one, and if you're into North Carolina races (as he seems to be), maybe you'll run into him! (He'd be the one without any shoes, apparently!)

So, I haven't paid for this race yet, but will post, of course, if I decide to. If I can stay on target with my newest training schedule, it would be a great fit. I'd just need to be careful on the trail course and remember to use it as a training run.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Difficult Long Run

I had another challening long run today, but this time weather wasn't the problem. I think that lack of sleep and good nutrition over the past few days were the biggest factors. My right foot toe pain came on early today as well, at around two miles, which was surprising and discouraging. I'm icing my toes now as I type. I need to do more icing, in addition to getting better sleep and food inside of me.

Total mileage today was 4.1 miles. Blah on the time and min/mile average. I got it done. Tomorrow's another day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Who's On MapMyRun?

While I've been a member of the website MapMyRun for quite some time, I just rediscovered it this week! It feels like a fun new running toy, and I really like the various stats it provides (like elevation). I'm still getting acquainted with the features of the "plain vanilla" version, but it's fun to study the route(s) on a map.

I've decided to do about 4 miles tomorrow, and have mapped out a couple of different possible courses. I'll be starting with the Raleigh Galloway group, but will do shorter mileage than the group has planned. George and I will be doing the same mileage, so we plan to run together.

Are you on MapMyRun, what's your favorite feature? Is the premium membership worth it? If you're not on MapMyRun, check it out and let me know what you think.

If you're interested in being "MapMyRun buddies," click on my MapMyRun profile and click on "Add as Friend."

Clipart from

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Run Today

I'd planned to get a run in this morning, but last night's water aerobics class was a tough one! After the class was over, the instructor shared that she was a competitive swimmer for over a decade, and the drills she had us do were some of the things she did on her swim team. No arguments about that. It was a great workout!

Clipart from

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mile Repeats

I decided to run on the treadmill before work this morning, since today's heat index is in triple digits Fahrenheit, and I usually prefer to exercise in the morning anyway. My plan was to "get some running in," but it turned into mile repeats! This happened mostly because I had to go to the bathroom, but wanted to see how long I could last before I really had to stop and run to the ladies locker room! Maybe this is TMI, but it's how it happened to work out today. In retrospect, I'm glad I did it, and I can tell it was a good workout, more for endurance than speed this time, really. I did two mile repeats, which was plenty for my first time, especially since I ran without walk intervals for both! I've been feeling it for the rest of the day, in some overall tiredness. A good workout overall, though. In the near future, I think I'll try some shorter distance intervals (quarter and half miles) to change things around and work on my speed.

0.52 mile walk (warmup) in 10:05 (19:23 avg pace)
1 mile run in 17:24
1 mile run in 17:03

The second one was faster than last week's 17:22 Magic Mile outdoors, which reminds me how much easier it is for me to run on the treadmill in an air conditioned gym! Ah, well!

My upper body is sore from yesterday's strength training,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gym Workout

This morning I rode 5:04 miles in 31:02 minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym. My legs still felt a bit tired, probably from Saturday's hilly long run. I decided not to worry about it and moved on the the weights for some upper body strength training (machine and dumbbell combo). I felt like I had a good upper body workout this morning! I think that if  I can be consistent with the strength training (especially core and upper body), it could really help me with the running.

I'm still mulling over my long run last Saturday, and how hard it was. Part of it was the humidity, heat, and hills, I know, but it was my slowest average pace for the season! I decided to plug my most recent Magic Mile time in on Jeff Galloway's website, and it says I should be training at a 23:35 minute/mile pace for a half marathon! It makes my 20:26 min/mile average pace from Saturday seem pretty good. It makes me wonder if my Magic Mile last week could've been faster. Maybe, but it felt like a pretty hard effort. Well, it could be that I'm still doing a pretty short long run (6 miles this past weekend), and I'll need the cushion of the extra minutes when the longer miles kick in, especially while it's still so hot! But I also hope that my endurance and speed will continue to improve, resulting in a faster Magic Mile.

Meanwhile, I've been tweaking my half marathon training schedule a bit, based on my target race and class schedule for the fall. (I'm starting graduate school part time in August, and will have a class every other Saturday.) I'm actually looking forward to making it work. Weekend long runs will be more challenging on class weekends, but I'm determined to make it work!

Clipart from

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Galloway Long Run

This morning the Raleigh Galloway group met at the Athlete's Foot store in Cameron Village for our long run. This course has a reputation for being hilly, and it was very humid and hot today too! It ended up taking it slower than usual, but I made it! My goal for today was 6-7 miles. I did .20 mile as a warmup before the official group run started. Once the run got going, I made it to the bridge over I-440, the first time I've made it to the bridge this year, so it was a personal milestone. Making it to the bridge also meant I was at the 3-mile mark and had 3 miles to get back to my car! It was a long 3 miles back, and my 30 sec/30 sec run/walk intervals broke down going back. The pain in my right toes returned in the late miles, a little discouraging. I was glad to finish my longest run/walk of the season, though. Time on my feet. It's done.

.20 mi 4:19
6.02 mi, 2:03:00

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Another Magic Mile Test

George and I returned to the American Tobacco Trail this evening, this time to do a Magic Mile. I was concerned about doing a Magic Mile at the end of a warm day, but the sky was full of big, billowy, gray clouds, with a gentle breeze but no rain. I was pretty pleased with my Magic Mile time, a 22-second improvement over my last Magic Mile in late May!

Warm-up walk: 0.23 mi, 4:59 min
Warm-up run: 0.27 mi, 5:11 min
Magic Mile: 1 mi, 17:22 min
Cool-down walk: 0.40 mi, 9:00 min

I think I spotted a red fox running away from the trail, but I missed the black snake that a couple of people on the trail mentioned to me. :)

Monday, July 04, 2011

nOg Run #1

Nog Run by dukefan86 at Garmin Connect - Details
George and I joined the nOg Run Club tonight at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Raleigh. This is a run that goes on every Monday evening, but it's usually pretty hard for the two of us to make it there after work. Since we both had today off for Independence Day, we decided to shoot for it.
We made it there in plenty of time to sign the waiver form and get our little keychain swipes. After 10 runs, you get a t-shirt, and after 25 runs you can a mug. But it's more about the social run than the swag! I got 2.12 miles in, most of it by myself, but several folks helped me find my way on a shortened (by me) course. I only vaguely know my way around this area of Raleigh, but it was a nice course, and I look forward to doing it again. I finished in 40:01 min. (18:53 average pace). I ran/walked 30/30 second intervals, and was happy to get my average pace below 19:00 this evening.
Afterward, we enjoyed a light dinner outside in front of the pub with some Raleigh Galloway friends, and headed back home before the big thunderstorm hit.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Yesterday's Long Run on the American Tobacco Trail

Yesterday's Galloway long run was on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, one of my favorite places to run! I'm not up to the distance on the schedule, but I did do my longest run/walk total of the season, and I'm generally okay with that.
It was our first run starting at the new time of 6:30 AM. I enjoyed the slightly cooler temperatures; in fact, I arrived at 6:00 and got a mile in before the official run started. Then I joined the 17:00 training group, which is run/walking at 20 sec/40 sec run/walk intervals. I was at the back of the pack for most of my time with the group, but was able to hang pretty well. I suspect that their actual pace was a bit slower than 17:00, since I was able to keep up pretty well. Since I got a mile in early, I turned around at 1.60+ and headed back to yesterday's sponsoring running store, where I enjoyed a discount on a new pair of running shoes, Brooks Ghosts. (I walked in expecting to replace my Brooks Dyads, but learned that the Dyad line has been discontinued.)

Oh, on my run/walk back to the start (and the running store), I switched from 20/40s back to a 30/30 run/walk ratio, since I wasn't with the group anymore, and I was able to improve my average pace a bit.

Run #1: 1.02 mi in 20:04 min (19:42 avg pace)
Run #2: 3.33 mi in 64:04 min (19:14 avg pace


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