A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cruise Control

Wednesday night was another speedwork session at the track. Most of us are running the Race That's Good for Life 5K on Sunday so this was a workout targeted for that. The goal? Run one mile at goal 5K pace and try to imprint that feeling in your mind.

I was able to get to the track earlier than usual so I did a 2 mile warm-up on my own. Then I joined others in our group for another mile. Then we cavorted around the track doing karaokes, side gallops, high knees, butt kicks, and fast feet. I admit, I feel less stupid doing the drills on the track than I did doing them on dark residential streets.

After our warm-ups we launched right into our mile. My goal was to hit 8 minutes and I finished the 1600 in 7:56. My first 400 was a little fast but the last 3 were pretty even. Then we did 3x200 to work on leg turnover. Again, my first one clocked in at :52 but then next two were both :56. Right on pace.

We followed that with a 1 mile cool down before I rushed home to make dinner.

Did I manage to imprint that 7:56 pace in my brain and my legs? I don't know. I guess we'll find out on Sunday. My goal is to run as even of splits as possible. I'd like to NOT go out like a bat out of hell. If anything, I'd like my first mile to be a little slow. I'm notoriously bad at this but I'm going to try.

Of course, this all assuming that my newest left leg development gets better and not worse. On Wednesday my PT wrapped a band around my left leg and her hips and then did some crazy maneuvers in order to stretch my hip joint. On my way home after work the top of my left foot started hurting (feels like a tendon thing) and I developed a pins and needles feeling in the same foot. I iced the top of my foot after track because it was killing me. It still hurts today but only when I flex my toes or press hard on it and the pins and needles feeling comes and goes. It didn't' hurt while running last night, just afterward. Very strange. I emailed my PT to see what she thinks. I'm really sick of all these weird pains, though. I just want my left leg to get with the program!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

With Purpose

Kim recently attended a running clinic where a former Olympic trial qualifying runner spoke about the mental aspects of running. I asked Kim to share the info and one of the takeaways that resonated with me was that you should know the purpose of your run before you start.

Will this be a tempo run? Intervals? A nice, easy run?

I admit that since my injury cropped up in February my Monday night runs have mostly been purposeless. I was just happy to be out there and running. I wasn't thinking about pace or even sticking to my training plan.

Well, this Monday night I ended up running with a purpose. Although I didn't start out that way. Originally I waffled among running 5.5, 8, or even 10.5 miles. I decided that 5.5 was fine since I hadn't run since Wednesday. And when I started out I decided I'd just run whatever pace I felt.

But then Laura issued a challenge. "We're running 9 minute miles!" she exclaimed.

Okay. I can do that. I think.

Let's just say there wasn't a lot of chatting during this run. I could talk if I had to ("I'm okay!") but mostly I just tried to zone out and keep up.

How'd I do?

Mile 1 - 8:51
Mile 2 - 8:49
Mile 3 - 8:27
Mile 4 - 8:14
Mile 5 - 8:25
Mile .5 - 8:05 pace

Average pace - 8:31

Holy carp, guys! It's been a long time since I ran this kind of distance that fast. My last 10K wasn't even that fast! And I came so close to negative splits, too! If I wasn't refusing to look at my Garmin I probably could have run mile 5 faster.

My shin felt fine while running but my whole left leg is a little achy today. I'll have my PT work some more of her magic on Wednesday.

So thank you, Laura, for giving me a goal. Thank you, Phil, for giving me a rabbit. And thank you, Kim, for reminding me to run with purpose.

OPRC Monday Night Route by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Workout Wround Up

March 21st - March 27th

Mar 21

A very blah almost 5.5 mile run with the running group.

Mar 22

Rest day. Although in the evening I helped fill in the "No Parking" signs and haul boxes of race goody bags for my running club's 5K race: Race That's Good for Life.

Mar 23

4.22 miles in my in-laws neighborhood at 7000 feet.

Mar 24 and Mar 25


The weather was perfect and there was just enough snow to ski both Thursday and Friday. All told we skied for approximately 5 hours both days. The first day went well until I inexplicably forgot how to get off the chairlift which made me frustrated and angry. Still, I managed to move on from the beginning hill to a "more difficult" blue square run.

The slopes were relatively empty on Thursday which was nice for me. I hate having to dodge people or worry about cutting someone off. Friday morning was also nice and empty. And, thanks to some coaching from both Jason and his mom, I finally remembered how to get off the chairlift without falling.

By Friday afternoon I was flying down the slopes significantly faster than I had been on Thursday. For only being my fourth day of skiing ever Jason tells me I was doing really well.

However, skiing did highlight the fact that my left leg is much weaker than my right. I guess that explains all the weird left leg issues I've been having (shin, adductor, hip flexor). Something to bring up with my physical therapist next time I see her.

Still, once I got my "ski legs" I was having a blast. We've got to figure out a way to do this more than once every other year.

Mar 26

Rest day. Technically it was a travel day but the problem with going from west to east is that you lose so much more of your day. No pre or post-travel workout for me.

Mar 27

I probably should have gone for a run but I just wasn't feeling it. So instead I decided to get in a strength training workout. Yeah, my body wasn't feeling that either but I pushed through. Probably stupid but too late now.

3 sets of 10 deadlifts
3 sets of 10 dumbbell shoulder presses
3 sets of 10 pullovers
3 sets of 10 lunges
3 sets of 12 Swiss ball crunches

Total mileage: 9.68
Total strength workouts: 1

Well, THAT was a low mileage week. But, I expected it so it doesn't bother me. Sometimes running has to take a backseat so that you can enjoy all the other things life has to offer. Like skiing :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Too Good to Pass Up

I'll be honest, I had no plans to run this week after Monday night. Tuesday was busy from start to finish and Wednesday Jason and I flew to Flagstaff, Arizona to visit family. And go skiing (more on skiing in the weekly summary post on Monday). Between the travel and the plans to ski I didn't figure I'd get in a run.

But when we landed in Flagstaff with plenty of daylight and free time before dinner I knew I had to go for a short run. The views are too good to pass up.

Of course, since I hadn't originally planned on running I didn't bring any of my usual running stuff. I only had an older pair of running shoes, no Garmin, no visor, no running socks.

What I did have were running tights and tops since those make great skiing base layers. I borrowed a hat from my mother in law and decided my regular socks and older shoes would be okay for a short run. I also have a GPS app on my iPhone that would do just fine as a Garmin substitute. Although, really, with the elevation I usually just run for time and not for distance when I run in Flag. Going from 600 feet above sea level to 7000 feet above sea level makes a BIG difference!

The paths that cross through my in-laws neighborhood are beautiful. I knew if I stuck to those there was little chance of getting lost. Plus, I had my phone with me just in case I needed to navigate. So I just enjoyed the views, nodded at all the people walking their dogs, ignored my pace and ran for 45 minutes.

After spending the day on airplanes it felt great to get outside in the crisp mountain air. I'm glad I was flexible enough to make due with what I had and get in a run. Like I said, it was too good to pass up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

Blugh. Monday night's run felt like death. The company was fine. The pace would normally have been easy. The weather was dry and cool. But my legs just felt like lead. I think Sunday's race took more out of me than I thought. It wasn't until we had to stop for a red light at mile 5 that I even felt warmed up. Thankfully both my shin and my adductor felt fine during the run but both are a little achy today.

Monday Night OPRC 5.5 Mile Route by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Also, my hips ached yesterday (and a little today). When I told the physical therapist that on Monday afternoon she said, "Good! That means you used them. They've decided to join the party as opposed to just go along for the ride."

I guess I've had a string of good runs lately that one yucky one was bound to happen. To be honest, I'm a little glad I'm traveling this week so that I have some schedule-enforced rest days.

Also, I'm grumpy about the fact that although the race directors said there would photographers on the course on Sunday they got exactly ONE photo of me and my form is horrible and I'm staring at the ground.

There's not even a finish line photo of me. There's one of Jacob but he's literally the last person they got a photo of crossing the finish line. At least of the photos they posted. If only I'd been able to stick with him! I emailed the race photographer to see if perhaps there are any photos that haven't been posted or if they really stopped taking photos at the 2 hour mark.

To make myself feel better I decided to do a good deed and help out the doctor who diagnosed my shin splints. She's looking for people to fill out a survey about running injuries. If you have a few minutes, take the survey.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly Workout Wround Up

March 14th - 20th

Mar 14

7.82 mile run with the club

Mar 15

Rest day. Lots to do at work and then there was the Wellapalooza fair after work.

Mar 16

A total of 3.75 miles including my fastest mile ever as part of speedwork time trial workout.

Mar 17

4.2 miles at lunch. We got left behind by the guys but the two of us women powered through.

When I got home from work I joined Jason in the basement for a strength training workout.
3 sets of 10 squats
3 sets of 10 push ups
3 sets of 10 barbell rows
3 sets of 10 step ups
3 sets of 12 prone jackknives
3 sets of 45 second planks

Mar 18

Rest day! Unless you count the trip to the physical therapist.

Mar 19

Yoga class at the gym. I guess technically I could count this as a strength workout (we do quite a few Chaturanga poses) but I won't.

Mar 20

March Madness Half Marathon! Even with the soaking rain, the threat of lightening (and hail!), and the fact that I lost a glove on the course I managed to tackle the hills and finish with a time less than 30 seconds slower than my half marathon PR. My shin was none to happy with me afterward, but I still had a great time.

Total mileage: 28.87
Total strength workouts: 1

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness Half Marathon Race Report

I'm not entirely sure why this race is called "March Madness." It could be because it falls during the basketball tournaments of the same name. Or it could be because of the hills that are so substantial they have names. Or possibly because you have to be kind of mad to sign up for a race held in March, probably the most fickle month in terms of weather.

Speaking of weather, I agonized over what to wear for this race. The temps? Upper-30s/low 40s. Overcast. Rainy. Windy. Blech.

I ended up going with capris, short sleeves, arm warmers, and my jacket (which ended up tied around my waist).

As I've said before, I didn't have any plans to "race" this race and was just running it as a training run. I'd done no hill training. I'm not really in what I would consider half marathon shape although I know I can go run 13.1 miles with no problems.

So my friend Jacob and I ended up running most of the race together trying to keep each other's spirits up when we had to tackle hills or when the rain really started to come down.

About the rain: The funny thing about running the rain is that you don't really notice it until you're done. I mean, you notice it but you don't really notice just how soaked you've gotten until you get past the finish line and realize that you want to wipe off your hands...but there isn't a dry surface on you anywhere. Thank goodness I was smart enough to bring an entire change of clothes for afterward.

The race itself was lovely. Beautiful course that reminded me of a Midwestern version of Napa. No vineyards but plenty of rolling hills, grasslands, and even deer.

And in regards to those hills, I'll have you know I didn't walk a single one. However, there's this one hill called "10 Mile Hill." Can you guess why? You turn the corner just past mile 9 and you see it looming in the distance. I made it to the top without letting my pace drop too much and after that I was spent. I told Jacob to go ahead and I watched his orange hat fade into the distance. Still, I kept on and my overall pace stayed pretty consistent. I tackled a few more hills and tried not to count down just how much further.

But my feet were sloshing around in my shoes. I'd lost one glove somewhere on the course and although I was trying to switch my one remaining glove from hand to hand my hands were freezing and the glove was soaked.

Finally, I came to mile 12 and tried my hardest to remember everything Coach Holly had told me. Pick my feet up. Up my cadence. Swing my arms. It seemed to work because mile 12 was my second fastest! Although, I'd never been happier to see a finish line in my life.

Sadly, due to some snafus, Jason missed getting any photos of me. Hopefully the race photographer got a few even though I never saw him. But, it was wonderful to have Jason there supporting me. He's such an amazing husband to get up at 5:30 AM, drive, and then stand in the rain for 2 hours.

Yep, I said 2 hours. Technically, 2:01:49 to be exact. I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to race this and yet I still ended up only 28 seconds slower than my half marathon PR. I think this means that on a flat course I have under 2 hours in the bag.

The rest of the crew did well, too. We even had a 1st place in age group from one of our members!

This race sells out super fast every year. In fact, you have to get up at 6:30 AM on December 31st to sign up. And I can see why. It's challenging, the weather is unpredictable, but the course is lovely and it's small and friendly and well-run and there are hot soft pretzels at the finish! Plus, don't you think saying you ran a race with "madness" in the name makes you sound a little badass? I feel a little badass. Even if I did have to take a nap.

Time: 2:01:49
Average Pace: 9:16
Overall Place: 709/1027
Overall Age Group Place: 39/57

March Madness Half Marathon by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Little Recovery

Since we moved our speedwork session to Wednesday night this week I was finally able to get out with my lunch time group and run on Thursday. And I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect day.

Well, except for the wind.

Regardless, Thursday was the perfect remedy for the winter blues. 60 degrees and a little overcast. I wore shorts and a short-sleeved shirt but could have easily gotten away with a tank top!

I ran with the other woman in the lunch time group and we pushed the pace a little fast on our first mile. She was crying uncle so we slowed down. I didn't really mind, though, since I was counting it as a recovery run after Wednesday night's time trial. A nice, easy, 4.2 mile recovery run.

Lunch Run North by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

I love being able to run at lunch. Sure, I go back to the office looking a little ragged but as long as I don't have any afternoon meetings, who cares? My boss is great about it and my coworkers don't even notice. The only downside is that I'm RAVENOUS for the rest of the day.

My shin was a little achy afterward but it's nothing a little ice won't fix.

Good thing, too. Because I've got a half marathon on Sunday! I've said before I'm not going to race it, especially because of the hills.

So, yeah. 13.1 mile training run (with medal) here I come!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mile Time Trial

Last night we met at the track for the first time this season. Thankfully the college track team was done with their workout so we had immediate access.

We did our standing drills, a mile warm-up by running around the block and then our usual running drills (skipping, side galloping, strides, high knees, and butt kicks) for another half mile.

Then we tested out our pacing by running 200 meters. Almost all of us ran WAY too fast. Okay, got to learn to dial it back a bit.

Then we moved onto the workout. Run one mile.

That was it.

Just one mile, you're asking? What kind of workout is that?

Well, this was a mile time trial. For those of us who didn't run on a team in high school or college it's a new concept. Run one mile and aim for your best time. Essentially one mile all out.

"But I don't know what time to aim for!!!" I whined.

Coach Holly looked at me and said, "7 minutes."


For reference, I believe the fastest mile I've ever run (if the Garmin is to be believed) was 7:39.

But Coach yelled "Go" and off we went. I hit the 200 meter mark right on target but I admit to slowing down a little bit. Something about the second lap on a 4-laps-to-a-mile track just psychs me out. This is how it goes:

Lap 1: Balls to the wall. Oh wait, don't go out too fast.
Lap 2: Two more of these????
Lap 3: One more after this. I can do it.
Lap 4: Almost done! Push it push it push it.

So my final mile time last night? 7:31

I'm pretty sure that's my fastest mile ever. Excellent.

This gives me a great base to work from. And I think I have a little more in me. I'm looking forward to finding out.

Total mileage plus cool-down: approximately 3.75 (I forgot to use my Garmin for part of the warm up and all of the cool-down)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Wellapalooza of Running

It's only Wednesday and it's already been a week full of running-related events!

On Monday night I did the "8" mile loop with the running club (we cut off a bit so it's really more like 7.8). The run was fine (and even a tiny bit faster than last week) but my shin was a little achy afterward. Today the PT told me I should definitely ice it after runs when it feels achy so I'll have to start doing that.

Monday Night OPRC 8 Mile Route by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

After Monday night's run a group of us went out to dinner. Of course, we talked about running but we also talk about other things. It's always a good time and I got to gorge myself on sweet potato fries. Win win.

On Tuesday night I coordinated a booth for my running club at a local health fair. The Parent-Teacher Organization for one of the local elementary schools put together an event they called "Wellapalooza" and invited health, nutrition, fitness, and environmental organizations in the area to promote their wares. I believe the idea was that it would expose people to the different resources available to them if they wanted to make changes to their lifestyle.

We brought fliers for our 5K race, our youth mile race, our 5K fitness walk as well as a brochure I made about the club itself. I also printed out copies of the Couch to 5K program which caused some controversy among my other booth-manners. Did I mention I was the youngest person at the booth by at least 35 years?

I figured that since this was a fair designed to encourage people to exercise or eat healthily or just start paying attention to their carbon footprint a handout on learning to run would be a great thing to have. Apparently the old school of thought on running is just to get out there and do it. Run til you can't run anymore, then walk, then run again until you hit 30 minutes. I'm sure that works for people who aren't particular fans of structure or who have a certain level of self confidence. For other people, I think the Couch to 5K plan has been instrumental when beginning running.

I know when I started I couldn't go for more than 15-20 minutes on the treadmill. I'd run for as long as I could and then I'd stop and feel defeated. Outside I couldn't even go that far. It wasn't until I joined the Beginning Women's Running Group and learned about building up using a method similar to Couch to 5K that I made any progress.

Unfortunately not many people were interested in our booth on Tuesday night. The set up for the fair was odd so not many people made it where we were located. And those that did stared as us warily as they walked by. Some laughed and said "I don't run!" Most people were not interested in hearing more about our fitness walk (I could practically see them thinking 'why should I pay money to walk around the neighborhood?') and even the kids seemed skeptical that they could run a mile. Which means we didn't give away much information. Still, I'm hopeful that perhaps just seeing us in our red shirts may have planted a seed in someone's mind. And someday one of those people will decide to try that Couch to 5K plan. And someday that person will find themselves running almost 8 miles as a regular run.

You know, like me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekly Workout Wround Up

March 7 - March 13

Mar 7

After some debate, I decided to run 7.79 miles with the running club. I'm glad I did.

Mar 8

No workout of any kind today unless you count hosting a 100+ person conference and walking around in high heels all day. My feet were killing me by the time I got home and I collapsed into bed at 9:30 PM.

Mar 9

Wednesday was my first physical therapy session for my shin. We determined that my left hip seems to be asleep on the job so she gave me some exercises to wake it up. Specifically clams and leg lifts against the wall.

After work I went to the gym and did a 5 minute warm up on the stationary bike that actually bothered my shin more than running ever does. Weird. Anyway, after that I launched into a weight workout:

3 sets of 10 squats
3 sets of 10 push ups
3 sets of 10 seated rows
3 sets of step-ups
3 sets of 12 prone jackknives

The seated row felt a lot easier than it used to. I'm guessing all that rowing we did in CrossFit gave me a better understanding of what I'm supposed to be doing.

Mar 10

Intervals with the running group on Thursday night for a total of 6.34 miles. And, of course, my PT exercises before bed.

Mar 11

Rest day! Unless you count physical therapy where we mostly worked my calves. Plus, my legs still felt pretty shredded after Wednesday and Thursday so I thought they needed a break.

Mar 12

9.34 miles with the Saturday morning crew.

Afterward I scarfed down second breakfast and then went to the gym for the vinyasa yoga class I've been taking a few times a month. I thought it would be a good way to stretch-post run. Well, actually taking the class after a run made me question whether or not I'm doing more stretching or more strength training in there! I definitely did some of the easy versions of several poses when given the option. Still, I like that class so I think I'll keep it in the rotation when it fits.

Mar 13

I signed up for foursquare for the sole intention of being able to check in at the gym and get more points at Earndit and since my basement doesn't count as a gym, I figured I'd go to the real gym and do my strength workout.
5 minute warm up on the elliptical
3 sets of 10 deadlifts
3 sets of 10 dumbbell shoulder presses
3 sets of 10 wide grip lat pulldowns
3 sets of 10 lunges
3 sets of 12 Swiss ball crunches

Strength training with heavy weights is definitely a trade off. On the one hand, you feel badass and, well, you also look pretty awesome. On the other hand, well, your hands look like this:

I think I either need some weightlifting gloves or figure out how to build up calluses faster.

Total mileage: 23.51
Total strength training workouts: 2

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alarms < Running

When my alarm went off at 6AM on Saturday morning I had one of those moments when I couldn't remember where I was, what day it was, or why my alarm was going off. I think my house was actually colder inside than the air temperature outside. Makes getting out of bed and getting dressed for a run rather challenging.

But, as always, I'm glad I did it. I did the short route since I'm planning to run a half marathon next weekend. So I only ran 9.4 miles. Still, the company was good, the wind was only bad in a few spots, and my shin didn't bother me much.

Afterward, though, the back of my calf was (and still is) super sore. The deep tissue massages and the exercises I'm doing at physical therapy may be making me stronger but they're also making me sorer. Ouchie.

I'm pleased with the pace for this run (average 9:33 minute/mile) since it didn't feel too hard and I was able to pick it up for the last little bit and it still felt okay. I'm totally not running the half marathon next weekend for time (I've been told it's quite hilly) but it's nice to know I'm doing okay after taking last weekend off.

Saturday OPRC Run by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, March 11, 2011

Et Two?

My legs felt shredded from my Wednesday night strength session.

I was still tired from hosting an all day conference on Tuesday.

It was colder outside than I originally thought.

But I decided that running on sore legs is good practice. And that running would give me more energy. And I had a jacket so what did I care about the cold?

So I went out there and pushed through a seemingly easy workout.

But it wasn't easy. No way.

We started with our usual drills (including push-ups!) and did a 2 mile warm-up. Then, after we decided who was doing what, we started our workout. For me, that meant 5 repeats of 2:00 minutes at one mile pace. Recovery meant jogging back to our start point.

Now, I'm not sure what my one mile pace is (I'm hoping to find out next week) since I've never run one single mile all out. So, I just pushed it hard. By the start of the 5th repeat I was pretty tired of this whole thing. Which I think is a good sign.
2.05 mile warm up - 10:02 pace
1st 2:00 - 7:10 pace (.28 miles)
2nd 2:00 - 7:04 pace (.28 miles)
3rd 2:00 - 7:12 pace (.28 miles)
4th 2:00 - 6:57 pace (.29 miles)
5th 2:00 - 6:54 pace (.29 miles)
1.22 mile cool down - 9:38

Total mileage: 6.34

Riverside Speedwork by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Now, these paces might look amazing (and they are, don't get me wrong), but a little fancy math (okay, the Cool Running race pace calculator) shows me that they really aren't all that much faster than I was running 400s last summer.

Well, okay, maybe they're a little faster.

Aside from marveling at my relative speediness, I have to say my favorite thing about running with this group is how supportive everyone is. Our "coach" truly believes in every one of us and is so encouraging. We all know one another's goals and look forward to seeing everyone achieve them.

And hopefully next week we will actually be able to SEE each other. Daylight saving time, here we come! Let's bury those headlamps!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday Glad-day

I debated long and hard about how much to run on Monday night. The training plan said 8 miles. The doctor said 5 miles. My body was tired and I had to be up EARLY on Tuesday and had a busy day ahead of me. But I hadn't run since Thursday and I was feeling like a slacker.

So, in the end, I decided to run 8 miles.

Technically I've thrown my training plan out the window but I glanced at it today just to see what I would have been doing. 2.5 miles warm-up, 3 miles at 9:00, 2.5 mile cool down.

What did I end up doing? 2 mile warm up, 1 mile at 8:55, 1 mile at 8:28, 4 miles easy.

I ran the first two miles with some of the Monday night crew and the next two miles by myself. I was surprised at my pace when my Garmin beeped at mile 4. I knew I was pushing myself but I didn't realize just how hard. Interesting.

The last 4 miles I ran with Maribeth and we just chatted and I didn't worry about my pace. I felt good and strong.

My shin twinged a bit and I felt cold for the first two miles or so. I guess tights, a short sleeved shirt and arm warmers are just on the edge of comfortable for a 310F evening. But after I warmed up everything felt fine.

I'm so glad I decided to run 8 miles. I'm glad the run felt strong. I'm glad I pushed myself for at least a few miles. But mostly I'm glad I got out there. I think if we could bottle how I feel after a good run and sell it the world would be a much better place.

Monday Night OPRC 8 Mile Route by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekly Workout Wround Up

February 28 - March 6

Feb 28

5.5 miles with the running group.

Mar 1

3.8 miles with the lunch time running crew.

Mar 2

After a short (5 minute) warm up on the bike trainer I headed down to the basement to pick up where I left off with the New Rules of Lifting for Women program. Some things felt easier after a month of CrossFit but I didn't get magically stronger. Or maybe it's just because there's no one encouraging me to work harder when I'm alone in my basement.

Anyway, my workout consisted of:
2 sets of 12 deadlifts
2 sets of 12 dumbbell shoulder presses
2 sets of 12 pullovers
2 sets of 12 lunges
2 sets of 10 Swiss ball crunches
10 push ups

Mar 3

A total of 7.4 miles with mile repeats in the middle. This workout went really fast. I had no idea we'd run that far. Been awhile since I've run that kind of distance on a week night.

Mar 4

Rest day! I drove to my hometown to visit my mom for the weekend. Looking back over the past few weeks this was my first full rest day since February 8th. I think it was time for a day off. Unless you count dancing to the Black Eyed Peas in my parents' living room....

Mar 5

Originally I planned to run 5-6 miles with Mica but when I woke up at 7AM on Saturday morning the weather was doing it's best impression of Armageddon. Rain and wind were lashing my parents' house. Apparently it wasn't as bad on the other side of town but I just couldn't force myself to go outside in that weather. So, I took another rest day.

However, one of the reasons for visiting my mom was to work on my race scrapbook. Together we finished all of my races for 2010!

A sample

Mar 6

Another unscheduled rest day. Yes, this means I didn't run at all over the weekend. Instead I slept in, worked on my scrapbook, and visited with my mom. I also stopped by a friend's house to see her and her kids.

I feel a little guilty for not running, but, hey, technically I'm supposed to be taking it easy on my shin. And I still got some good quality runs in this week so I think I deserved the weekend off!

Total mileage: 16.7
Total strength workouts: 1

Friday, March 4, 2011

Start Being Awesome

Last night's speedwork was, in a word, AWESOME.

I think for the first time in my life I ran negative splits during mile repeats. And that's WITHOUT being able to see my Garmin.

I had no idea how fast I was going. All I know is that I was supposed to be hitting my goal 5K pace or thereabouts. Hmm, okay. I'll do my best.

Although I did whine that I'd just done that on Sunday at the 5K race.

But, I have to say, I did even better last night.

The workout consisted of our usual drills and a 2 mile warm-up. Then it was on to 3x1 mile w/5 minute recoveries.

Remember, I can't see my Garmin so I have no idea how fast I was going. Also, when I have it in interval mode it doesn't show me my split times so I had no idea how fast each mile was until I got home and uploaded (downloaded?) the data.

The first mile I took it a little easy. I did manage a sneak peak at the Garmin and it said I was doing an 8:40 pace. Okay, that's a little TOO easy. I picked it up a bit but made sure not to run too hard.

The second mile was a little rougher but at least that one was slightly downhill. Still, I wasn't totally wiped at the end even though I pushed it.

The third mile felt tougher but about a quarter from the end our fastest guy peeled off from his last recovery jog and started running next to me. I was breathing hard and my legs hurt but he pushed me through to the end.

Then it was off for our 1.5 mile cool down and some stretching. When I got in the car I checked my Garmin activity history.

Mile 1 - 8:03
5 minute recovery
Mile 2 - 7:52
5 minute recovery
Mile 3 - 7:49

OPRC Riverside Speedwork - Mile Repeats by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Holy crap! Even during my cool down I felt like I was flying. And the best part? No leg pain! I think I was on an adrenaline high for the rest of the night.

Actually, I might still be riding that high. Now that's what I call a good run!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unexpected (plus Giveaway winner!)

My calendar was finally clear enough on a Tuesday that I was able to get out yesterday and run at lunch. Just me and four guys. That's cool, though. I spent most of the run chatting with our resident triathlete about area duathlons and triathlons. He's trying to convince me to do a triathlon. I say let me do a duathlon first!

Anyway, we were so caught up in chatting that I didn't realize how fast we were going. Turns out we did 3.8 miles at an 8:50 pace! Okay, THAT was unexpected. This was my fourth day of running in a row - something I hardly ever do. I'd run hard on Sunday and relatively long on Monday night. And I was mostly keeping up my end of the conversation so I obviously wasn't sucking wind too badly.

Amazingly, I wasn't exhausted afterward either like I usually am after a lunch run. My leg didn't bother me at all during the run and only had some minimal achy-ness later. And today it feels fine (as long as I wear my running shoes. Dress shoes are still a no-go).

Definitely unexpected. But welcome!

Lunch Time Run South by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

And as for who won the Element Bars Giveaway? The random number generator chose number 9 and commenter number 9 was.....my friend Mitmee! Congrats!

Sad that you didn't win? Don't worry, you can still order your dream creation. Element Bars is offering my blog readers 15% off if you use code eri15 at the checkout. Or you can use this link for 20% off a variety pack with free shipping.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Wrap Up

Well, February wasn't the month I had hoped it would be, but it definitely ended on a high note! A 5K PR and placing in my age group? Yeah, I'd say that's a high note.

I also ran 5.5 miles last night with my running group. First time in a month and there was quite the crew there. I finished with an average 9:22 pace which makes me happy. At this point, after two touch and go weeks and worrying that I might have a stress fracture (or at least the precursor to one), I'm kind of throwing my half marathon training plan out the window and just running what I can.

Which means that in February I ran a total of 56 miles. Actually, I'm pretty amazed at that number since I essentially took two whole weeks off of running. And I was spending a lot of time at CrossFit.

And what about CrossFit? For anyone who wants to strength train but lacks the motivation to do it by themselves, this is the workout for you. Strength training meets a class format. Teams, competitions, and camaraderie abound. It's not easy and you might get frustrated at times, but you will definitely get stronger and have fun. However, I think I've decided to take a break from CrossFit at this point and re-evaluate in the fall. I admit right now I'm kind of burned out on having to be somewhere every night after work when I have weights in my own basement. Plus, maybe by the fall the gym will have moved close enough to my house that I could walk there. That's the rumor anyway.

But, thanks to my CrossFit class I finished February with 12 strength workouts and crossed one of my 2011 goals off the list.

I'm looking forward to March because, hopefully, that will mean warmer temperatures, longer days, and, as long as I stay injury-free, my first half marathon of the year.

And tomorrow I'm looking forward to announcing the winner of the Element Bar Giveaway. Today is your last chance to enter!