Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Marathon Training Has Started

To bring myself up to speed since my interest in blogging waned mid-March. I finished the 10K in 1:07:42, 1 second ahead of Mr. E. Of course the one second was due to the fact that my timing chip happened to pass one mat later or earlier than him, but it was one second! Ran a 5K in Mid-May at 33:08 (approximately). The course for that one was about 75% uphill with one REALLY steep downhill at the end. Not bad and got a cool medal.

Yesterday Marathon training started. 24 weeks of work for one race. The first few weeks are nice 3 mile runs for the most part, so I'm excited. The first group run was pretty good. I'm in the bottom 3rd time-wise in my novice training team, but at least there are people my speed! I think most of the slower people are doing the Saturday training instead of the Sunday one. Got to go with your schedule though.

I will try to be better about blogging with the Marathon team. We are scheduled for a half-marathon in August, so here's looking towards that!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tough Week

Well weight update first, was up 0.2 on the 23rd, but then down 1.8 on the 1st - so I'm down a total of about 6.6 now from January. That's good.

The running is just so off and on for me now. Some days I feel great and the runs are no big deal, and then others I feel like I"m just starting out again. It all really came to a head this past Saturday. Last Saturday was a 5 miler, and although I finished about 10 minutes behind everyone else - I ran the whole way and finished in just over an hour. About the same time as when I run it on the treadmill, except that we had to go up the big hill at the very very end, so I almost keeled over. Then came this weekend's run. The course had us going up the small hill twice. I made it about 50 minutes or so into the run and just couldn't move anymore. My legs felt like two steel rods that didn't want to move. I ran on and off for a bit, and then walked the last part with a "strong finish" of a jog as I came into the starting area again. At that point I found out that our 5 mile run was actually about 5.8. Of course, Mr. E told me that I really made about the 5 miles running before walking, but that wasn't the point. It was the first time that I hadn't finished. It had been a tough week at work and I'm sure there are a number of reasons and excuses, but it just hurt my psyche. Up to that point I could say - I may be last, but I never give up and I always ran the whole way. That isn't the case now.

Saturday spilled over into my confidence in the following run on Monday. Again, 5 miles was called for. As I stepped onto that treadmill I was sure I wasn't going to make it, there was no way I could get through it. I'm just not cut out for running distances. The marathon running was a pipe dream, there's just no way. But I started. And I kept going. It was tough about mile 3, but mile 4 wasn't so bad, and then I was through. I was sweaty and tired, but I'd finished. It was a huge boost to my confidence. Today is a tempo run - so I'll only do about 3.3 miles. Thursday is the first time it calls for us to run 6 miles. I am still a bit worried about that milestone, but making through Monday's 5 miles makes me think I might make it through those 6.

I'm pretty sure I'll be last again on Saturday, when we have to do another 6 miles. Hopefully it won't involve 2 hills. I'm thinking of brining my ipod along just in case I need some distraction while running alone. Here's hoping that I have more Mondays and less Saturdays (that is probably the only time someone has asked for that!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update 2/20

So I'm obviously failing at making regular entries lately, guess I'll make a few of these just "updates" as of a certain date.
First - weight was down again this week - 1.6 pounds again! Yippee - that makes almost 5 pounds down from my high after the holidays. It just sucks how much slower it comes off than it goes on.
I don't like liars, and I really don't like when people just call it a "fib". I'm primarily griping about my workout on Saturday. Our schedule called for a 3 mile run - yay, step back week, phew. I should also note that I was sick all week leading up to the run and missed one weekly workout, did get all the rest in. So, there I am on Saturday morning with my over-sized snot rag.....on a side note I think that handkerchiefs are the grossest things ever, and yet there I was with a towel fully intending to blow my nose in it and carry it with me for the three mile run.... It was cold on Saturday and as the group got going, I was at the back by myself again. Although I didn't feel 100%, I actually felt pretty good during the run (if anyone asks I'll deny that I said that for the rest of my life), and even ended up passing a few people on the final hill. So I finished about 3rd from last. Stopped running, looked at my watch: 43:15!!!! On a normal day I do about a 12:00 mile, so 43:15 was completely out of left field. Just when I thought I'd lost my mind and must've crawled half the run, someone tells me that their GPS said the run was actually 3.9 miles. HOLY CRAP - That was 0.9 more than I thought I'd be running. What the hell! Don't fib to me and tell me there was a "short warm up" section built in - 0.9 extra miles is not a short anything!
In retrospect, that means my time for the run was pretty good, but I'm still more fired up about the whole fibbing about actual distance. I'm a beginning runner and I'm just stubborn enough that I'll finish the distance I have to finish, but don't go playing games with me or I'm not going to trust anything going forward.
The rest of this week has us building up to the longest run of the training program...so far...5 miles. Although that's the Saturday run, so I'm sure it'll end up being 5.6 or something.

Stop fibbing, just tell me what I need to accomplish.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weight 2/9, Week 2 Workouts, Group Workout 3

Weight was up 0.4 this week, I suspect it has something to do with the week of the month...enough said. I didn't do bad on Super Bowl Sunday, so I think this week will be much better.
Workouts during the week weren't too bad, although I didn't feel well on Thursday when I had to do my first 4 mile run (ever, I'm pretty sure). The "pace" run this week sucked too - it was the same as last week, but just really showed me that how I feel during the day impacts how crappy my runs will be.
Enough of the week, the big story this week is...we had to run UP the really really crappy hill. AND NOT ONLY did we have to run UP it, we had to run UP it at the END OF OUR 4 MILE TRAINING RUN. I'm not sure who thought that would be a funny joke for all us on the 3rd week of training, but trust me, it wasn't funny. I found myself doing the running version of crawling up the damned hill saying to myself "don't give up...don't give up... you can do it...you can do it." Not only that, but all the rest of the slow people seemed to have given up or gone to the easier group because I ran by myself for 85% of the run, until I came across a guy who had the flu all week and needed to take a breather in the middle of the run. I guess the only positive is that I didn't stop - not once. No matter how hard that hill was. People noticed that (well the couple that were near me on the hill). I passed someone on the hill, but once we got on flat ground, she smoked me to the ending.
I've decided the best way to describe my hill "technique" - if you want to go that far with it - is to compare the hill cycling styles of Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich (doping aside). Lance Armstrong was known for putting his cycle into a high gear and just peddling like hell up the hill, which in my mind converts to small, quick, short steps to go up the hill. This is what the coaches encouraged me to do ("ha," I thought, "I am going to get up this hill and not die, I'm not doing it your way"). At the other end of the spectrum, Jan Ullrich would drop his bike into a ridiculously low gear and essentially muscle himself up the mountain. That was me, I basically crouched and did a series of almost running lunges to get up the hill. I'm sure I looked like an ass - but when your biggest and strongest muscles are in your butt and thighs, that's where I defaulted to to get up the hill. Maybe next time, when I'm not already dead from the 3.75 miles of running by myself I'll take the time to try the "other" method. For now, I'm just glad I'm not dead....and I'm praying that we run up the other hill this week (yeah, never thought I'd say that).

Monday, February 4, 2008

Weight 2/2 and Group Run 2

I was a bit scared to hit the scale this weekend. It was a good week, but you never know how that'll pan out. Well, it was a nice surprise to be down 1.6 pounds! That takes me back to +22, and back to the weight I was the weekend of Thanksgiving. 2 more pounds and I have lost what I ended up gaining over Christmas. It is just not fair how it comes off soooo much slower than it goes on. UGH.

This weekend's group run was a "short" 3 mile affair. We started off going down a hill, which they promised us we would go up more than we would go down. The sad thing, this wasn't the hill we ran last week that I thought was the worst ever. This one is worse...much worse. So not only did I have to see what kind of "fun" lies ahead, but the last mile of the 3 miles was up that damned other hill again. Seriously! My goal is always to run (i.e. not walk) the entire course and to not be the last person back to the start. I finished the 3 mile course in 38:31 and was ahead of 2 other ladies when I finished. I think I actually beat an older gentleman too, but he turned to walk home just before the end of the course, so I guess it doesn't count. I actually had a running buddy for about .75 of a mile until she stopped to walk part of the course. Otherwise, it was just me again. The most interesting part of the whole weekend was watching the cars on the road avoid - or not avoid - the black ice that was out that morning. There was one full sized van that I think did a 360 after hitting it. What I don't get is how people didn't get that there was something in the road - there was a Sheriff's car sitting in the road and he had lit flares all around the black ice. There should be an auto revocation of licenses for people that are that dense.

Only other big news of the weekend was the purchase of a new pair of running shoes. Hopefully they will help with the knee pain I've been having recently. This week has 4 workouts, I think my rest day has to be Tuesday due to the schedule I have this week. Should be interesting - it includes a 4 mile run....

Friday, February 1, 2008

10K Training Week 1

Perhaps I was in denial (not the river in Egypt), or perhaps I just didn't look closely enough....but this 10K team thing is HARD! The plan calls for 5(!) days a week of working out of some sort. It was hard to always fit my 3 in before, so this has really called for me to make working out a priority in my life. Sunday was a rest day, but then I was back at it Monday through Thursday. Normally Wednesday is a rest day, but because of my Friday schedule, I had to move stuff up. The workouts looked like this: 2 mile run, 30 minute "tempo run", cross training (ellipctical this week), and 3 mile run.

First - I haven't run 3 miles in a row at any point yet. It just happens to appear there as if it's nothing. AND this weekend's outdoor run calls for the same 3 miles. A "tempo run" - lest you think it's fun - is a build up until you reach your ideal race pace and then a bit of a taper off. NOT easy.

It was the first time though that I've had problems with my knee. I think my shoes are wayyy too old at this point, so they are getting replaced. I hope that helps with the knee issues.

I think perhaps I'm coming upon my first real noticable change in running for me. Last night's 3 mile run took over 36 minutes for me to complete. But, I wasn't dying when I finished and I was able to do it all at the same pace. It's really the most effective I've felt my lungs to be at any point. I think working the 3 days a week helped get me there, but I suspect that my legs will finally start to get tired before my lungs do (which has always been the case before). Not knowing too much about everything, it just seems like this is a natural progression for a first time runner. This still hasn't really helped my mental process yet - I still don't like running and don't think of myself as a runner. I do feel though that I'm a bit tougher and am not going to give up on certain challenges as easily. This may all change if I have to run up that damn hill again tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Workout 1/23, Weight 1/26 and a New Phase

Again I find myself behind on my blogging...darn work. This week was another busy one. Went to the gym on the 23rd. Thankfully, it wasn't as full as it has been. The demise of resolutions is starting!! (I know I shouldn't be happy about that for those people, but I hate waiting for treadmills!) Set off on another 28 minute straight run. This time was not going to give into my old habits of giving up on what my body can do. I made it the whole 28 minutes without lowering my speed or my incline. It was truly a mind-over-matter experience. Something I didn't realize how important and significant it would be in the coming days.

5 min warm
28 min run (5.1 MPH)
5 min cool
2.96 miles (or close to it)

Saturday was both a weigh in and the beginning of a new phase in the marathon training. It was the first day for the 10K training program. The program runs for 10 weeks and prepares us to run a 10K on April 6. I thought the whole "couch to 5K" program would prepare me for this, but I'm not really sure. The program has 3 levels - walker, novice, and intermediate. The intermediate group is described as those who have been running prior to starting the team and can do 6-9 miles a week without any major problem. So Mr. E and I decided to join the intermediate team. The program involves 4 workouts during the week and then a group run on Saturday mornings. Of course, the intermediate team meets first at 7:30 in the morning...ugh. This meant we have to get up early enough to go weigh in and then drive to the workout. After a really long week, with many meals out, I was up 0.2 pounds. Disappointed to be up, but this week hopefully will be better. That was the least of my worries ... we were off to run 2 miles, outside, in the 29 degree weather. After a short "warm up", off went the intermediate group, and immediately I was about 4 people from the end of the group. The course for the day was down a hill for the 1st mile, and in the tradition of all that goes down must go back up, the 2nd mile was almost all the way up hill (and not a small hill!). Although I pretty much almost brought up the back of the pack, I did manage to run the whole way and not walk. Towards the end of the big hill I came upon another woman who had smoked me the first half, but part the way up the hill she started walking instead of running. By the time I got to her, she started to run again, but I passed her and gave her a "come on we can finish this" and did end up finishing in front of her. My total time for the 2 (plus a little warm up distance) course, was 30:58. I didn't die!!!!

This week has 4 more workouts before next weekend's 3 (eek!) mile run. Here's hoping the course on Saturday doesn't involve "The Hill" (it deserves captial letters).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Workout 1/20 & Weight 1/19

I'm a little behind on blogging...so I'm cramming it two into one. After not weighing in last week because of being out of town for a wedding, I was a bit apprehensive on Saturday. Thankfully, it was good news - down 2.0 pounds! That brings me back down to +23.4 and at least shows that dedication makes progress, even if it's slow.

As for the workout - whew, what a few weeks I've had. It's the new year gear up obviously! Anyway, Mr. E and I went in on Sunday to work out. The place was still pretty full - alright already, some people need to break those resolutions!!! We managed to get treadmills, but on opposite sides of the gym. I think I like that better. I know he's working, but I don't have to watch him as he smokes me! I was forced to watch some bizzare lifetime movie called "i accuse" about a small town where a woman accuses the beloved town doctor of rape. Seriously, not a good movie, at least without the sound. Did get me through my workout though. Upped the time this week to 28 minutes of running.

5 min warm at 4.0
28 minute run at 5.1 down to 5.0 for the last approx. 1/3
7 minute cool (even 40 minutes total)
Distance 2.90 (or something close to it, I think....)

This weekend is the first run of a new training program for a 10K this spring. Although I haven't finished "couch to 5K", I feel accomplished because I've gone running at least 1 time a week since we began, with most weeks going 3 times. It's a step in the right direction, but I know there is a looooooooooonnnnnngggggg way to go before I'm even close to being ready for a marathon. One step at a time right....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Workouts 1/13-1/15

Well the remainder of last week was shot between long work days and travelling to Oregon for a wedding. Actually it wasn't so much the travelling as packing. Mr. E and I were going to work out on 1/10, but by the time we got out of work we had enough to do just to pack for our pre-dawn flight the next day. Saturday was wedding day, not much time there. So Sunday we got up and hauled ourselves to the hotel gym. Get this, the hotel has 2 gyms. 1 which I'm sure is extremely nice, but they charge you an arm and a leg to use it while you stay there (I'm sure it goes towards buying nice things for the owner's grandaughters/daughters who can't seem to stay out of the press....), or they have the "other" gym where the rest of the world who's company isn't picking up the tab use. Mr. E and I got there and there were 2 treadmills open (out of 3) - good. I got on one and it was broken - bad. So I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine while Mr. E ran. Monday we were to fly out at just after noon, so got up early and went back to the "other" gym. Same 2 treadmills open. This time I got the not-broken one and Mr. E did the elliptical. I'm not sure men can look manly on an elliptical, but that's another subject. Anyway, it actually went pretty well for having been away for 5 days or so.

5 min warm at 4.0 MPH
25 min run at 5.2 MPH
5 min cool
Total distance (about) 2.7 miles

Then we were back at work on Tuesday (after getting home at about 1 the night/morning before.) Went to the gym after work. The new year's resolution crowd hasn't thinned out as much as I'd like yet. Mr. E was already there, but I managed to get the treadmill next to him. We've discovered that time goes faster if you're not staring at that annoying little clock on the treadmill, so I've become one of those people who covers up the display with the almost as soft as sandpaper complementary towel. I also have determined that not all treadmills are created equal and some are just either (a) faster or (b) lying. The same 5.2 MPH that I'd ran the day before felt sooo much faster! It may have to do with the difference between working out in the AM v. the PM, but seriously! I did slow down a bit about 2/3 the way through, but otherwise finished the 25 minute run. On the 17th we have the informational meeting for the 10K training team we are going to join, so that'll add a new dimension to training soon.

5 min warm at 4.0 MPH
25 min run at 5.2 MPH reduced to 5.1 MPH at some point
5 min cool
Total distance 2.74 MPH (and I went slower...some machine is lying!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Workout 1/8

So the week of New Years kinda became a lost week with travelling and stuff. I did however run from the beach to the sandbar and back to the beach (ok, so maybe 100 feet) in the Gulf of Mexico on New Years Day with about 500 of my closest friends at Flor-abama. If you've never done a Polar Bear plunge, trust me, it gets the heart pumping!

As for workouts, went on 1/5 to run on the treadmill. Not very successful. 'Nough said. But, back to work and back to working out this week. I decided since I did all the 25 minute runs outside and because of the week off, I would repeat the 25 minute run week on the treadmill. UGH. It really showed me how fast you can lose your stamina and training. Only a week away and I was hurting. I think the fact that the gym was about 80 degrees did nothing to help the situation either. I'm really glad I started this process right before and during holiday season, let me get through the first few weeks with the gyms fairly empty because everybody was going to start "after New Year's". Well, unfortunately, it's now "after New Year's" and there's about 3 times the people at the gym. Now getting a treadmill becomes an exercise in human observation and strategy. I mean there's a sign up sheet, but you really have to pick carefully to get the next available machine. As I walked in last night I heard an older gentleman who's a regular (even in the off season) saying, "It's PACKED in here" to which the other older gentleman (also a regular) replied "Oh well, just wait 3 weeks." It got me thinking how quickly that old "I'm going to workout and lose weight" resolution just goes away. It'll be interesting to see how the crowds thin out over the next few weeks. I'm going to pay specific attention just to see what the result is.

Oh, and weight posts. I have to admit, I suffered from the "holiday glut". I didn't eat a ton of cookies or pies or anything, but we traveled to the south where apparently they haven't really learned that there are ways to cook things that doesn't involve tossing them into a vat of boiling oil. Many, many fried meals and very very few vegetables does not a successful weightloss journey make. I came back at my highest weight in almost 3 years. SIGH. But, I am back on track this week and hope to make good progress before my next official weigh in. So, as of Saturday I was +25.8.

Workout stats:
5 min warm (4.0 MPH/2.0 incl)
25 min run (started 5.4 MPH for first 10 minutes at 2.0 incline, reduced to 5.1 MPH and 1.5 incline after that)
5 min cool down
Total distance 2.7 miles

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Workouts 12/26-12/31

I've fallen a little behind in blogging because I've been on vacation for the holidays. Regardless we did get 3 more runs in over the holidays, all at 25 minutes. I have no idea how far we went 'cause we were running outside in gloriously warm Alabama. 2 were around the neighborhood again and one was along a really nice nature trail. Anyway, back to civilization (also known as work), and the more normal schedule of Virginia. Runs will be inside again (too darned cold here!), but should blog on a more regular basis. The run on the nature trail was nice, hard 'cause of some hills, but it was nice to see how fast (relatively) the time went with the different scenery.

3 runs, 5 min warm and 25 minute run, varying cool down