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Showing posts from 2007

Running Party

Thursday was a rest day from running and Friday I ran five miles with six one-hundred meter sprints towards the end of the run.

My running club had a group run early this morning and we ran near Finish Line Sports store and had a party afterwards with breakfast tacos and lots of yummy desserts. It's a good thing we don't have these parties too often.

One runner won some new running shoes in the prize drawing and everyone got their new running club t-shirts today.

I didn't worry about what my pace was today - I just talked instead. My average pace for this morning's twelve miler was 8:37/mile.

A runner who's training for her first marathon asked me if it gets any easier to run marathons after you've run one. What do you think? I don't really think so. I've only run two, so I'm really not an expert on the topic, but each one is so different and hard in different ways.

My first one was my favorite one and that makes my second one my least favorite, but not …

At Least I Ran Up the Hills

I ran fifteen miles at the park today.

Here are the mile splits:
Mile 1- 9:45/mile. I started at 9:30. The first three miles were a warm-up.
Mile 2- 9:21
Mile 3- 9:23
Mile 4- 8:35
Mile 5- 8:30 Ate a Powerbar strawberry/banana with caffeine gel.
Mile 6- 8:39
Mile 7- 8:56
Mile 8- 8:35
Mile 9- 8:55
Mile 10- 9:17 It was about 11AM and 67 degrees.
Mile 11- 9:29 Ate a Powerbar strawberry/banana with caffeine gel.
Mile 12- 9:03
Mile 13- 9:32
Mile 14- 9:30
Mile 15- 9:55 I finished at noon and it was 69 degrees.

Average overall pace: 9:10/mile

I had a goal: to run twelve miles at an 8:30/mile pace or better, but I couldn't do it.

I had to carry my water bottle in my hand today because my water belt rubbed my back raw on last week's twenty miler.

Towards the end of the run, I had a little trouble finding the path I wanted to run on. First, I ran one way and then the other and then back again.

Finally, I found the path, but there was a walker on it that I had to pass so I gave her a "Good morning!"…

Will Run for Cookies

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I got a phone call yesterday from my husband who was sitting outside our house roasting marshmallows. (How did we ever survive before cell phones?) So I skipped the cookie baking and ran outside before the marshmallows were all gone. I didn't run today, but I did make chocolate chip cookies!

The Longest Run This Year

I was at the park a little before 6AM today and one runner from my group was there. We waited twenty minutes for the rest of the group to show up, but in the end, it was just the two of us. She ran with me for seven miles before she headed home. She's headed to Boston this April. I hope I am, too.

I was absolutely fine on the whole run even though... it was 45 degrees and I was shivering when we started, I didn't have any music to listen to, and after running 18 1/2 miles my feet felt tired. But you know what? It wasn't that hard to run 20 miles. Even the 13 miles by myself was fine. I was tired towards the end, but not exhausted. I thought it would be a lot harder. And I even ran into a running friend along the way.

I ran 20.25 miles (even .25 matters when you've run 20) with an average pace of 9:27/mile. I picked up the pace the last four miles to about 9:06/mile.

Was it only yesterday that I mentioned my nice warm kitchen? Last night the heater broke! Let's see if …

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brrr....I ran 3 miles this morning with a 9:38/mile average pace. It felt like 34 degrees, if you consider the wind chill. I wore long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, gloves and a hat. Sometimes, the wind pushed so hard that I felt like I was running in place.

Right now, I'm glad to be sitting in my warm kitchen. The turkey is in the oven and the pumpkin pie is already made.

In fact, there is so much to be thankful for that I know that if I were to start making a list of all that God has graciously given me that I would be writing all day long and forever.

~With a Grateful Heart

Eighteen with My Running Club

It's done. By 8AM this morning, I had run 18 miles bringing this week's total miles up to 47.

I ran four miles with another runner and thought I'd have time to meet my running group before they left for their run. But when I got back to the parking lot, I thought I saw my green group running down the street, so I had to pick up the pace (6:28/mile) to catch up. I caught up, but they weren't my running group, so I ran back towards the start.

I found my group, but thought I'd better try running with the folks in the back of the pack so I slowed down. I saw some runners behind me that I thought I might run with, but when they caught up with me and started passing me, I saw that they weren't in our group. They were in the very fastest group.

So, I had to speed up again to catch up. If I lost the green group, I'd be running in the dark by myself, so I had plenty of incentive. I ran an extra mile or two after the group run for a grand total of eighteen with an avera…

Larabar Bar

Do you ever stand in front of all of those bars at the grocery store and wonder if any of them are edible? After you've tried a few, you might. This weekend, I was given some free samples (mostly from REI) : a cool mint chocolate Clif Bar, which I wrote about Tuesday, and a handful of Larabars. Here's what I think of of the Larabars:

Larabar Apple Pie- I really like it. Today, I found the Larabars on sale at a local grocery store (HEB) for $1. Normally, I think they cost about $1.30.

Larabar Cinnamon Roll- I really like this one, too. I looked for this at the grocery store today, but they don't carry this flavor. It's made of dates, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and cinnamon. That's all. Of course, you could always just grab some nuts and dried fruit and munch on those, but these are compact and might be especially good on a hike or plane trip, somewhere where you're short on space.

Larabar Cherry Pie- The cherry taste is too tart for me, even though I thought thi…

There's Good and There's Bad

I woke up about 5:50 so that I'd finish my long run before it got too warm and ate a banana and a mini bagel. I put some water, my sunglasses and a towel out on the porch for a quick water-stop. I took water and two gel packets with me.

Mile 1- 9:40/mile pace. The streets were quiet and peaceful.

Mile 2- 9:20/mile pace. I was happy with this pace.

Mile 3- 9:36/mile pace. I was running out of things to think about. I guess had about two miles of thoughts in my brain. Impressive or maybe - not really.

Mile 4- 9:24/mile pace. "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here." Remember that song? This is the first time I listened to it on my Ipod (given to me complete with songs). I never would have guessed that this song would be a running song, but, "Slow down, Lolly!" because my Garmin says my pace was 8:53 and I don't want to go that fast yet.

Mile 5- 9:21/mile pace. I recovered from my boredom.

Mile 6- 9:05/mile pace. I ate a mocha Clifbar energy gel. Surprise - it w…

Half Marathon Race Day Report

I ran in the Houston Half Marathon this morning. My goal was to run an 8:30 overall pace and I ran the race at an 8:29 overall pace. I ran the first half in 55:56 and the second half in 55:11. My official finish time was 1:50:57.

I woke up at 3:18AM, long before the alarm was supposed to wake me up at 4:15 (not only did I have to get myself ready, but I had to take care of our dogs, too), and finally got up and ate a banana and as many fig newton cookies as I felt like - 4. I drank some water and finished getting ready for the race.

We left home at 5:15 and probably made it to downtown Houston around 6:15. I picked up my chip, talked to some friends and ran 1/2 a mile to warm-up a little. I raced in shorts and two short sleeved shirts and that was just right for the cool morning temperature in the fifties. They had water set out already, which was nice, even though I had brought my own to sip on before the race.

When the race started, I had one thing on my mind: keep the 8:30 minute p…

Guest Speaker Gilbert Tuhabonye

I didn't run today, but I wanted to hear our running group seminar speaker Gilbert Tuhabonye and it was worth the drive to hear him tell his life story and to get some running advice, too. He told how God protected him during tribal fighting in Africa as a young school student and how he hopes to be in the Olympics.

Then he gave us some running tips. You really don't need to stretch before you run, but stretch alot after you run. If gels make you sick, make your own with honey. During the marathon, eat every 30 minutes or so. Keep your core strong - he does 500 sit-ups a day! Whatever your dreams - be disciplined and never give up.

While I was there, one of my ATP friends told me about another stretch I can do for my hip flexor strain. Another friend said she had the same problem one year and got a cortisone shot so that she could continue running. Hopefully, just taking off from running for a few days will take care of this strain. Oh, and I'm stretching (just finished that…

Hip Flexor Strain

My day started at 3:11AM. My days are starting earlier and earlier, aren’t they? I woke up in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, decided to skip ATP and turned my alarm off. My leg has been hurting a little and I wanted to give it a chance to heal before Saturday’s long run. Then I changed my mind and decided to go to ATP, but to take it easy. So I went back to sleep until 4.

At ATP, I ran 1 ½ miles. When everyone else sprinted, I kept my pace slow. After that, we did about 45 minutes of “improve your running form” exercises. Rather than run another three miles with the group, I went home and worked with the weight machine and dumbbells for about half an hour.

I’m glad I went to ATP because a fellow ATP’er told me that I have a hip flexor strain and she showed me a good stretch I should be doing. I'll take a break from running tomorrow to give my hip flexor some rest and ice it.

I forgot my dumbbells at the park. When I finally got a chance to drive back to the park, th…

Week 11 ATP (Advanced Training Practice)

What a great morning it's been!

We started a new phase in ATP and we seem to be focusing on our running form now. We ran a warm-up mile (8:41 pace! I was staying up with the speedsters today! Well, almost!) and then we ran two 30 second sprints with a recovery run and all of that totaled 1 1/2 miles.

Then we started the exercises. Most of them were new, except for the feet-elevated push-ups. (Are we cursed to do those forever?!) We did two sets of 15 of those. Those were one of the hardest exercises we did.

There was another hard exercise, but it was only hard because my ankles were tired of the repetitive motion of lifting my toes up (70 times) as I stood on my heels and leaned against a street-sign pole. The other exercises weren't that hard, unless you count trying to balance on one foot while doing various exercises hard. That's kind of hard, but not too bad.

After those exercises, it was time to do three miles of easy running, but rather than do that, I came home and fed …

My New Socks: Adidas Ultra Tech

Running for nearly two hours and sitting on the riding lawn mower for another two makes it easy to sleep through the night. I had a wonderful 9 1/2 hours of sleep last night. And surprisingly, I didn't wake up sore after yesterday's long run.

I didn't run today, but I went swimming this afternoon and later, we had grilled steak for dinner. I covered the steak with kosher salt for an hour before grilling it and then rinsed the salt off and patted the steak dry before grilling. It was good and didn't taste too salty like you might think - just delicious. The salt tenderizes the steak.

Last week, I bought some new socks that I like. I've run in my new Adidas Ultra Tech socks three times: on an easy run, for speedwork, and on a long run. I need socks with cushioning and they have cushioning at the heel, ball and toe of the socks. Usually, after long runs my toes are wrinkled like raisins after being in soggy, wet socks for hours, but after yesterday's long run of twe…

Twelve Miles Completed

Preparing for today's run really started last night with dinner: a turkey sandwich and potato salad. This morning, I woke up at 4:35AM and ate a banana and a couple of fig newton cookies and by 5:50AM, we were off.

Here's how the run went:

Mile 1 - 9:48 min/mi average pace
Mile 2 - 9:33
Mile 3 - 9:29
Mile 4 - 9:27
Mile 5 - 9:27 (Towards the end of this mile, I ate 3 black cherry Clif Shot Bloks. I like them.)
Mile 6 - 9:30
Mile 7 - 9:45
Mile 8 - 8:59 (Goal pace:8:45.)
Mile 9 - 8:46 (Goal pace:8:45.)
Mile 10 - 8:34 (Goal pace:8:45, but maybe this makes up for mile 8.)
Mile 11 - 9:17
Mile 12 - 9:20

Average Pace - 9:20 min/mi

I used my Garmin to remind me to drink - drinking whenever it beeped for each mile, when I remembered. The last time I ran with the group, I was surprised at how little I drank. Today, I drank Gatorade during the first three miles or so and water after that. Fortunately, volunteers put water out for the runners, because I drank all of the water that I had brought with me. …

Marathon Route Drive

I just ate some of the best watermelon I've had all summer - sweet and juicy. That's my kind of hydrating! It was one of those small, round ones and just the right size for a small family.

We were in Houston this afternoon and I saw the worst part of the whole marathon: the hill on Westpark near Wesleyan. It's some sort of overpass and it's near the middle of the marathon- maybe mile 12, I guess. Right after the hill, you take a right turn at a market on the corner. I'll be so happy when I get to that market- if I'm able to get that far without falling apart on that hill.

Then we drove down Post Oak. We weren't purposely following the marathon route; it just happened. I like that part of the marathon. There's shade along the way and it reminds me of the fun we've had in the Galleria area: ice skating at the mall and Easter egg hunts at the old FAO Schwartz toy store.

Good running group news: today I have all of this week's schedule for my color gro…

Fired Up 5K - Special Edition!

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Brought to you by your guest blogger, Tina's husband - Live Blogging from Sugar Land


And they’re off! It’s Tina, Number 347, leading the pack!


And there she goes in a blur!

Apparently exceeding the speed limit, Tina leads a high speed chase as she tries to evade the police!!
Worn out from all of the excitement, Zoe and Dad take a breather!


Safely back at the pavilion, Tina accepts her 3rd plaace award, a beautiful and costly pen and pencil set... "Yeah, Tina - hooray!"


I'm so happy... I'm so happy!!!" :-)

The End You can find Tina's race report here. And DH is my dear husband. : )

Fired Up 5K Race Results

Happy Labor Day! I am the proud owner of a fancy-shmancy pen and pencil set this morning. And you know what's engraved on the side of my pen and pencil set? Fired Up 5K 3rd Place! This is the second time I've placed and it's still very, very exciting. Can you tell?!

DH, was my support person this morning. He was driver, bag carrier, photographer, and dog holder. Yep, Zoe the weimaraner got to go to the race this morning. This was her first race appearance and she loved all of the attention. DH said he had lots of people to talk to during the race because of Zoe, who has ears as soft as velvet. I didn't realize it until later, but the 1st place woman in my age group (who was very fast!) stopped by with her husband and kids and although she probably will never read this, I want to say that her kids are so cute and so polite - asking permission to pet Zoe and then thanking us before they left.

I woke up at 5:10 AM and ate a banana and two fig newton cookies. I was a little …

Sprint Like a World Champion

American Kara Goucher won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meter (6.2 miles) World Championship race last Saturday. She trained for running in the heat (race conditions were humid and in the 80's) by wearing a sauna suit, which is like wearing a trash bag. During the race she reminded herself of the 90 mile training weeks and the sauna suit and thought to herself, "Sprint!" Her finishing time was 32:02. To put that in perspective, she ran a 10K in about the time it would take me to run a 5K.

There were only 4 ATP'ers this morning and we started with a 1 mile warm-up, warm-up exercises, and two 30 second sprints. Then came the five 600 meter sprints followed by recovery walks/jogs and some tough exercises. Have I mentioned the 10 feet-elevated push-ups we're up to now? It gets harder next week. At the end of the 5 mile run, I did a one mile cool-down run.

And have I mentioned how hard those sprints were? Really tough. I tried to focus on one thought, "Sprint!"…

Flour on the Trails

Did you hear about the people in Connecticut who marked a trail for their running group with flour on Saturday? Some people thought that it was an act of terrorism and the whole thing caused a big fuss and closed an IKEA store for hours because the trail went through their parking lot. If you want to read about it, here are the Google search results I got for the story.

This morning, I ran with the ATP running group. After our warm-up mile, we did some stretching and ran two 30 second sprints and then it was time for the hard work.

We ran 5 sprints of 600 meters (3/8 mile) at 5K pace and in between those we ran a recovery jog and completed 5 different exercises, like 24 bench dips and 40 crunches. They were the same exercises that we did last week, but we did more reps today. We did 4 sets of each exercise because we did them each time we came back from a sprint and recovery jog, except the last time, when we cooled down with a 2 mile run.

I didn't push myself as hard today as I did …

4th Running Anniversary

We had a group run today. I ran a warm-up mile at 5:45AM. There wasn't anyone else going out for a run so I just ran by myself. I thought it might be good to warm-up before the green group started "racing" along. Also, I figured that the long run wouldn't be quite 10 miles and I wanted to run at least 10 today. I finished the warm-up, found the green group and we started around 6AM.

Here's how the run went:
Mile 1- 10:40 (warm-up)
Mile 2 - 9:14 (went out with the green group)
Mile 3 - 8:40 (see what I mean about "racing" along?!)
Mile 4 - 8:32
Mile 5 - 8:37
Mile 6 - 8:41
Mile 7 - 10:05 (water stop for rest of the group, slowed down to get a break and wait for them)
Mile 8 - 8:57 (running with the group again)
MIle 9 - 10:17 (running alone - can't stay up with the group anymore)
Mile 10 - 10:23 (stomach cramp, but I was going slowly anyway)
Last .84 - 11:23 (what's going on here?!)
Total - 10.84 miles

Too bad I didn't stop at mile 6 or so. I'd feel gre…

Homemade Pizza Again

I have had a pizza request for tonight's dinner. Have I been asked to call Domino's? No! DH would like me to make pizza here at home!

I'll be working on the dough this afternoon - mixing and kneading it. I'll use the Simply Recipes dough recipe and grill it just like last time. When I made pizza the first time, all three of us (DH, DD and me) worked on putting the toppings on and grilling it. That was fun!(If you want to read about the first time I made pizza, I blogged about it.)

Pizza Update: Dinner is over. I used a rolling pin to make the pizza dough really thin. DH got home in time to help me grill the pizza and put the toppings on. He made a pepperoni, sausage and black olive pizza and I made a grilled chicken and pineapple pizza. I only ate the chicken pizza tonight because I have a long run tomorrow and I wanted to eat a healthy dinner. We both liked the pizza!

Three Mile Run

I had a good run this morning. The humidity wasn't as bad as yesterday. Unfortunately, I just looked at my mileage on the computer and I only ran 3 miles, when I meant to run 3 1/2. I was using my Garmin's warm-up lap feature and I didn't realize that it counted my warm-up in the mileage count. No wonder I felt like it was a really easy run!

I did a 1/2 mile warm-up at 10:23 pace and ran 2 1/2 miles at 9:14 pace and then I stopped my Garmin. I cooled down by walking and slowly jogging for a little bit after that.

After I wrote what I thought of the PowerBar Shake yesterday on my blog, I received my PowerBar newsletter, which I haven't had time to read yet, but looks interesting. You can sign up for it at their site and you can find a lot of marathon information there, too.

The Annual Cinnamon Rolls

I was looking forward to this morning's run. I had planned to run 7 miles and try some interval training I've never done before called swing-pacing. I was going to run three to eight minute segments of 20 seconds faster than MP race pace and 20 seconds slower than race pace.

I ran two warm-up miles, drank some Gatorade and picked up the pace, but I wasn't able to keep a steady pace. I was either too fast or too slow, so I tried to set my Garmin to sound some alerts. First, I set it for three 3 minute intervals, but I couldn't see my pace in that mode. So, I changed the plan and just raced to mail boxes along the road with short recovery jogs.

My pace record is a little complicated today, but it will give you the general idea.
Mile 1 - 10:06
Mile 2 - 9:44
Mile 2.5 - 9:18
3 minutes - 8:41
3 minutes - 9:45
3 minutes - 8:21
3 minutes - 10:11
3 minutes - 7:29
3 minutes - 10:45
Mile 5.5 - 9:54
Mile 6.5 - 9:11
Mile 7.5 - 10:02
Last .25 Mile - 9:30
Total Today - 7 3/4 Miles (I underestimated …

Great Saturday Group Run

I was running with the green group at 6:20AM. My plan was to run 8 miles: 2 at an easy pace, 4 at marathon pace, and 2 at an easy pace to finish up. (This is a blend of my two running group's schedules for today.)

My average pace was 9:21 and my splits were:
Mile 1 - 9:10
Mile 2 - 9:06
Mile 3 - 8:50
Mile 4 - 8:52
Mile 5 - 9:26
Mile 6 - 9:28
Mile 7 - 9:44
Mile 8- 10:12

I didn't stick to the plan, though. I started out running faster than I thought I would, but with runners around to talk with, it felt easy and I didn't want to slow down. After two miles, I broke away to run my four marathon pace miles (hoping for 8:45-8:50), but I was only able to run two miles (nearly) that fast. After running four miles, I just had to slow down.

In mile seven or eight, someone ran by me and said something nice that I kept repeating in my head, "Lookin' good. Almost there! Lookin' good! Almost there!" I tried to run as fast as she did, which helped my pace.

But here's the best pa…

Homemade Pizza

I made homemade pizza for the first time ever! And (surprise!) my first pizza was good!

I used this recipe at Simply Recipes for the crust and followed the advice of one of the blog commenters and made the pizza on our grill.

My husband and our daughter helped me. This is not the norm in our house. It was fun!

We made two pizzas, a thick and a thin crust and had a thick home made pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, black olives, pepperoni, and sausage toppings. It took two hours and twenty minutes to make two pizzas, but it was worth it.

Shh...Don't tell my family, but I'll try to have healthier toppings someday. You have to start slowly on these things!

No Music Allowed

Do you listen to music on your runs? For now, I have banned music from my long runs. When I ran a marathon last January, somewhere around mile eight or nine the battery died on my MP3 player and I wasted time fiddling with it. I wondered: is my battery dead? Did I accidently turn it off? Maybe I can get it turned back on. Did I mute it? What's wrong with this thing? How will I run the rest of the way without any music? These are not the best of thoughts when you have about eighteen miles to run.

Of course, I could carry an extra battery or put fresh batteries in for each race, but I'm going to give this experiment a chance.Besides, at some races, headphones are banned so it's a good idea to get used to running without them. So, in preparation for races, I'm going to run sans music on long runs sometimes.

Today I was out about 7AM with a water bottle because it has been really warm lately. I ran 4 miles at an average pace of 9:21. My mile splits were 9:35, 9:15, 9:21, and…

Grilled Chicken Recipe

Last night, we had Grilled Bruschetta Chicken for dinner. We really liked it. One change that I made was that I used the Italian dressing I had on hand, which wasn't the one the recipe required. It was easy to make and healthy, too.

We stayed up late last night visiting with DD. It's nice to have her home.

This morning, I was running in my neighborhood by 7:15. I wanted to start earlier because of the heat, but the heat didn't really bother me too much. I took my belt that carries water and I was fine.

I ran 6 miles and my average pace was 9:33. My average pace for my miles were 9:31, 9:28, 9:32, 9:34, 9:39, and 9:34 min/miles.

~Gotta Run Now

Cookies

I ran in place when I first woke up to see if my knee had recovered. No problems today, so I got ready to run with my running group. We met at 5AM and started with a 1 mile warm-up run. We ran two 30 second sprints with a 30 second recovery and then added another one for fun. We stretched and did an exercise work-out. I didn't do what everyone else was doing today - trying to take it easy on my knees. I did 15 push-ups, 30 crunches, 30 lower back extensions and 25 squat and dumbbell presses with 10-lb weights. Then we ran through the park and the neighborhood.

Our mileage total was 4.45 miles. My mile splits were 9:07, 8:42(this includes the sprints), 9:41, 9:30 with 9:17 for the last .45 mile.

I haven't had much trouble with the mosquitoes lately. Perhaps it's the Repel, which has Deet in it, that I use before I run. Or maybe the park has been sprayed for mosquitoes.

DD just called to say she's coming home tonight and that she got a 4.0 in summer school (at college). :)

I…

ATP Running Group Week 5

It's hot and our air-conditioner is broken. The repairman is on his way to our house with the wonderful circuit board that will fix our problem and bring us some relief. Can't wait!

Our ATP running group met at 5AM and started with a warm-up mile around the park. Then we stretched, did a skipping work-out that sounds easy, but usually leaves me worn out and ran a couple of 30 second sprints.

After that, we did a work-out that included: 30 crunches, 15 push-ups, 25 body weight squats, 30 low-back extensions, 15 squat and dumbbell presses with 8-lb weights, and 20 lunges with 8-lb dumbbells. Maybe I'll use 10-lb dumbbells next time, which is what our plan calls for.

One of the other runners did a standing lunge that is easier on the knees which I copied hoping that I won't hurt mine. Rather than step forward for each lunge, you stay in a lunge position the whole time and just raise and lower your body without letting your knee go in front of your front toe.

Then we ran a cou…

New Weekly High

This is the first week of 2007 that I ran 35 miles!

If you have run a marathon this year, you have probably run that far already, but I hadn't. I did run a marathon in January, but I had a pain in my foot the week before the marathon and I took it real easy that week. In fact, I only did one run in the week before the marathon - a 5 miler. I didn't know if I would run the marathon until the morning of the race and my foot felt fine.

Yesterday, when I finished my group run, I was 1/3 of a mile short of 8 miles, which I had planned to run yesterday. So when the group got back to the starting point, I ran a 1/3 of a mile more. I needed to run 8 miles because I wanted to reach my goal for the week - 35 miles. It almost didn't work out again this week, but I finally did it!

I have my own four week plan where I keep adding one mile a week for 3 continuous weeks (I just finished week 3) and then have a recovery week (that's this upcoming week).

I'm in USA Fit and they give me…

First Green Group Run

I woke up at 5:10AM, ate a banana, and by 6:09 I was doing a warm-up run from our group run location. I was too late to run with anybody else, but I only had to run a mile alone before I made it back for some drill work.

Today I joined the green group for the group run. They run faster than the yellow group I've run with before and they run more miles. My ATP group suggests longer miles than my yellow group runs so maybe this will make it easier to get all of the miles in that I'm supposed to on Saturdays.

My average pace was 9:30. Here are my mile splits for the day:
Mile 1 - 9:22 (I was trying to hurry so I wouldn't miss anything with my group)
Mile 2 - 9:40 (beginning of green group run)
Mile 3 - 9:07
Mile 4 - 8:51 (I needed 2 MP miles today)
Mile 5 - 9:02 (I wanted between 8:45 and 9 for my MP miles, but this will do)
Mile 6 - 9:35
Mile 7 - 10:00 (Pretty tired by now!)
Mile 8 - 10:25 (long stop-light)

After running 8 miles, we stretched, did a core workout and I listened to the s…

Registered for the Big One Today

I just registered for the Houston Marathon!
The race will be January 13, 2008!

Our group run this morning was just too short at 3 1/2 miles. If I had been a little more awake I would have at least run another 1/2 mile, but I didn't think about it until it was too late.

My splits were 9:45, 9:24, 9:56 for the first three miles and 9:38 for the last 1/2 mile. My average pace was 9:41.

I was chatting with a running buddy this morning and could hardly believe what a small world this is when we learned that our families lived in the same little town in California when we were born.

~Gotta Run Now

Where's the Guacamole?

For breakfast, I made peach smoothies and then I played catch with Zoe, our Weimaraner, until she didn't want to play anymore. (That means that we played a very long time!)

This morning at church, the subject of getting up early to run at 5AM with my running group came up and the words "dedicated" (that was when I was talking with a running buddy) and "dumb" (this would be one of DH's no-good pal's comments!) both came up. Actually, I think it's a little crazy, too, but until I find a group who will run later in the morning, I guess I'll stick with it. At least as long as I can stand it!

We went out to lunch at Lupe's Mexican restaurant. The waitress brought us our water, iced tea, chips, salsa and guacamole and both DH and I got up to wash our hands. When we returned to the table, it was completely cleared off and wiped down. Did we come back to the right table or were we losing our minds? Yes and no. One of the employees came along and think…

Yellow Running Group Run & Core Workout

I ran with my yellow running group this morning. It's a lot of fun running with a large group and chatting with folks. It was muddy in some places and everyone was polite and yelled "Mud!" or "Step!" when we came to bad places in the sidewalk that could cause you to trip. We ran through a nice park this week.

Here is my average pace for my 5 1/4 mile run:

Mile 1 - 10:04 min. mile
Mile 2 - 9:50
Mile 3 - 9:33
Mile 4 - 8:58
Mile 5 - 9:59
Mile 5.25 - 10:53

My average running pace was a 9:44 min. mile. I ran mile 4 at marathon pace (MP) because I was running with someone doing their MP run. I thought it would be fun to squeeze a fast mile into my run today. It was, but I'm glad tomorrow is my rest day.

After our run, my small ATP running group did a core workout. The plank pose exercises that I did in the past came in handy today. A lot of the workout was based on the plank pose where you hold your body up on your elbows and toes, parallel to the ground. We lifted one le…

One of my Favorite Things about Running

Here's what I really, really like about running: I can wake up, throw on my running shoes and accomplish something that is going to make me feel great!

I ran 9 miles this morning. For the first two miles, the soft rain cooled me off. After running 6 easy pace miles, it was time for the challenge. Could I speed up for two miles? Yes! My running group's plan for the long run this week was to run two marathon pace miles (MP) during my long run again. Once I accomplished that, I ran a slow cool-down mile.

This was the plan for today:
Miles 1 through 6 - Run 9:45-10:00 min. miles
Miles 7 & 8 - Run 8:45-9:00 min. miles at MP
Mile 9 - Cool down.

Here's what I actually ran:
Mile 1 - 9:42 min. miles
Mile 2 - 9:47
Mile 3 - 9:47
Mile 4 - 9:46
Mile 5 - 9:45
Mile 6 - 9:41
Mile 7 - MP 8:58
Mile 8 - MP 8:51 Goal accomplished!
Mile 9 - 10:09

It was hard to run at a pace of 8:45 to 9:00 min. miles because I'm not used to running at that pace and, of course, I was tired. I had to keep checking my G…

Strength Rejoices in the Challenge

That means "Virtus Tentamine Gaudet" for those of you who read Latin. That's what I thought about on my run today - the English translation, that is. I was hot and tired and needed some motivation.

I ran four miles with an average pace of 9:43 min. miles. My mile splits were 9:40, 9:43, 9:44, and 9:45 min. miles.

~Gotta Run Now

First "Big Group Run" of the Season

Today our running group was warming up with a slow run at 6:15 AM. I was glad everyone ran at a slow pace because I knew that we were going to be working hard this morning. After the warm up mile, we did some drills that you wouldn't want to do if you were all alone in the parking lot on a major street like we were, but since we were in a group it was okay! The two 30 second sprints we did next were fun and we followed that with two miles. Then it was time to run two miles at marathon goal pace. I ran each of the miles at 8:55 minute miles. Then I ran the last mile at 9:25 for a cool down. We ran over 6 miles.

There were a lot of friendly runners in the group and it's easier for me to keep a fast (for me) pace when I'm with other runners. It was nice to have people to chat with while I run. I had a great morning.

We worked in the yard for hours before we finally had lunch and I was so tired that if it were to have rained so that we had to come inside, it would have been a re…

Let's Run!

I had a group run this morning. While running, I had a very slight pain once or twice on my ankle, but other than that, my ankle was fine. Running with the group makes the time seem to go by fast, but our group seems to be dwindling. This was our second day and there were only 5 of us. The group I run with on Saturday will be much bigger.

We started with a warm-up run and some stretches. Then we ran 4 miles (splits: 9:24, 9:20, 9:14 and 9:25) and did some strength-training exercises: crunches, push-ups, squats, and presses with dumbbells, etc. The mosquitoes nearly attacked me at the end and next time I'm going to try spraying on vanilla extract diluted with water and/or putting a dryer sheet in my pocket to keep them away. Either way, I ought to smell nice!

After my workout, I made some banana bread with walnuts for DD, who I'll get to have dinner with tonight. I used three bananas and I like the way I can taste the banana chunks in it.

When I finished baking the bread, since al…

Another Rest Day

I was ready to run at 6:30AM, but as soon as I took one running step, I felt the pain in my left ankle again. I decided to be safe and take another rest day. I'm disappointed, but hopefully the pain will be gone tomorrow. I can't wait to be running again!

So what does a runner/blogger do when she has a running blog and can't run? She makes peanut butter protein bars! The bars that I made taste like candy, but how could they not? The ratio of honey to other ingredients is almost 1:3!
I had my hair trimmed today and my hair cutter shared with me the story of how she came to America by boat (part of the way at least) from Vietnam in the 80's. She was only 25 and it took her a year to get here. She made the long trip with only her sister, leaving her parents behind. Her story reminded me of how grateful I am to have been born in America.
~Gotta Run Soon

The Mystery of the Ankle Pain

I've had a slight pain on the top of my left foot near my ankle since Saturday evening. I stopped running when I felt it on Saturday, but Monday I ran through it because I was with my running group and it didn't bother me until the very end of my run. Yesterday, I iced it and raised my foot thinking that it couldn't hurt to treat it like an ankle sprain.

This morning, I remembered that last Saturday afternoon, when it was so muddy outside after all of the rain, I wore my rain boots while I did some yard work. My boots had hurt the top of my left foot near my ankle every time I took a step so I changed into some other shoes. I'm taking a rest day from running and hopefully the pain will be gone tomorrow.

~Better Rest a Little

First Day with Running Group

Today was the first day of our marathon training in my running group. Starting at 5AM, we did a mile warm-up run.

Then we did some crazy drills. Everyone walk on your heels with your toes pointed out and then with your toes pointed in. Then skip. Then skip with your toes pointed out. Then skip with your toes pointed in. Then run and do a flying somersault through the air and land with your toes pointed out. Not really!

Then we ran around the half mile loop two more times, but we added some fast running. We ran one minute fast twice, and half a minute slowly as a recovery each time. Then we ran down the street for two miles, turned around and came back. We ran a total of 6 miles today and my average pace was 9:33.

Next we did some strength-training. We did push-ups(it's a good thing I've been working on those), crunches, dumbbell work and some other exercises.

~Gotta Run Now

Marathon Training Group

I joined a running group today. We'll meet three times a week and train together for the Houston marathon in January.

I ran a very short run this evening and worked out with weights and did push-ups and crunches.

~Gotta Run Now

Keep an Eye Out for Gators!

I wasn't very observant today. Yesterday when I went running I was on high-alert - checking all of the ditches for wild critters. I did notice the water in the ditches was much lower than it was yesterday.

I got quite a scare when something made a loud noise as I passed some high grass on the side of a road. I never did see what it was, but sometimes birds can be surprisingly noisy. Only a few minutes later, I forgot to look for wild things and drifted back into just running along, staring at the road ahead and listening to music.

At my planned turn around spot about 3/4 of a mile from our house, there were some guys who had hopped out of their work truck and were jumping over a ditch. When I got closer, I saw a 4-5 foot alligator in the ditch. It really bothers me that I didn't see the alligator the first time I ran by that ditch!

I ran 6 miles and it was a really hot run because I didn't start until about 9AM. I think the "feels like" temperature was in the high 8…

Freedom 5K Race Day

Happy Independence Day!

I woke up at 5AM and got ready for the 5K race. The starting area seemed pretty crowded (there were around 800 runners) and at the beginning of the race it was hard to stay at a steady pace with so many runners nearby.

I ran through the finish line and saw my time and could hardly believe it - 20 minutes and 34 seconds. I was just hoping to get better than 25:36! My speedwork had really paid off!

I know I've been working on my speed, but how could I have improved my time so much? I looked at my Garmin. Sure enough - 20 min. plus some seconds! So I really did finish in a little over 20 minutes! Good! Then I looked at my Garmin and noticed it - the number of miles I had run. My Garmin said I ran 2.63 miles and not 3.11! Now my time made more sense.

Later, I found out that the race was shortened because of high water in the area.

My race goal was to try to keep my pace at 8 min/miles and my pace turned out to be either 7:55 (I think that's gun time pace) or 7:5…

Santa Barbara Wine Country 1/2 Marathon Race

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I ran the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon before I had a blog, but I wrote about it in my journal.

In May, my husband and I took a 10 day vacation with our daughter and my mother-in-law and this race was part of our vacation. It was a great Mother's Day! Here are two entries I wrote in May...

May 13, 2007, Mother's Day-
Solvang, CA

I woke up at 4 am for the 7 o'clock race and ate a peanut butter Power Bar for breakfast and showered. I was starting to get nervous and trying to put off leaving for a few more minutes by stretching, but when my husband said he thought that I should leave for the bus, I left - a good thing, too. It was a chilly morning, but the timing worked out perfectly and I got a seat on a heated bus which took us to the starting line. I sat beside a runner who told me that she'd run in more races than she could remember. This was only my second half marathon.

We started the race in Santa Ynez, CA and it ended in downtown Solvang. I saw vineyards, m…

5 Miler

I ran 5 miles early this morning.

If I want to get up early to run, I have to follow these two rules:
1.When the alarm goes off, sit up right away.
2.Stand up right away, too.

You might like to sleep in your running clothes, too, but I haven't tried that yet!

I'm looking for a new marathon training plan. I looked through Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger & Douglas at the book store today. The Boston Marathon website has a marathon training plan, too.

The surprise ingredient that I put in a few of the cookies I made yesterday was chopped Butterfinger candy bar pieces. Those were good, but I prefer the plain old chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. DH, who is not a big cookie fan, said the chocolate chip cookies were delicious!

~Gotta Run Now

Cookies and Banana Bread

This morning, I ran a long run of 8 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace alternating water and Gatorade every 2 miles.

I ran on the treadmill today, but not because I was afraid of dogs roaming the streets again. I just kept putting my run off until it was about 9 o'clock and I knew it would be really hot outside by the time I finished my run, so I ran inside where we had the air conditioner turned on. I'm in that "in between races" time and since I don't have a major race planned, it's a little harder to stay motivated.

After lunch, I went to the grocery store and when I got home I started baking. Our daughter will be home next week from college and I made mini loaves of banana bread with walnuts for her to take back to school with her for breakfast.

Not only did I make the banana bread, but I also made lots of cookies. First, I made chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. I used 1/4 cup of cookie batter for each cookie. I think they're the largest cookies I'…

Jamba Juice BOGO Coupon

At 6:11 I made it out the door for my 6 miler after eating a banana and taking care of the puppies. I tried to keep the pace fast(8:45) for miles 3, 4 and 5, but that 8:45 was hard to reach.
Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 10:01 (warm-up)
Mile 2 - 9:27 (speed up in preparation for mile 3)
Mile 3 - 8:49
Mile 4 - 8:49
Mile 5 - 8:46
Mile 6 - 9:58 (cool-down)

I'm glad that I got up early to run. It wasn't too hot yet. I did the sweat test and I couldn't wring any sweat out of my clothes after my run. I hope that's not TMI!

I followed up my run with:
push-ups- 14 (a new high!)
v-frame- 3 min. (another new high!)
crunches - 4 sets of 25
plank pose - 3 min.

Today's bird sightings: cardinal (1), owl (2), and blue heron (5).

If you like Jamba Juice smoothies (I sure do!), here's a link to a great BOGO coupon that's good through the fourth of July: http://www.jambasummer.com/freesmoothie/thankyou1.htm Thanks, DD, for sending me this link!
~Gotta Run Now

On the Bookshelf

After eating a bagel, I ran five miles. It was hot and humid and for the first half mile, I just put one foot in front of the other and thought about how glad I’d be in 50 minutes. I saw 8 blue herons, a dead snake and pink, purple and yellow wildflowers this morning.

My mile splits were: 9:54(warm-up), 9:34, 9:31, 9:41, 9:46.

After drinking a glass of chocolate milk, I worked on strength training: dumbbell squats, seated rowing, bench press, curls, and tricep kickbacks. Then I did the four exercises that I do every weekday: push-ups(13), v-frame(1 ½ minutes), crunches(100) and the plank pose(2 minutes).

Have you read any good running books lately? I went to the library today and as usual, I left with an armful of books. I picked up Running with Angels by Pamela H. Hansen. It’s about how Hansen achieved her goals of running a marathon and losing a hundred pounds. The book inspires me to achieve my goals, which brings me to tomorrow’s goal.

My goal for tomorrow is to run 3 of my 6 miles at…

This Joke is Getting Old!

Today is a rest day from running, but who knows - if it doesn't rain this afternoon, maybe we'll go for a swim.

DH is on the phone with my mother-in-law and he just told her that I was third place in my age group in last week's 5K. And the answer to the first question that popped into her mind was, "Yes, there were more than three in Tina's age group!"

That's the first question that my daughter asked me, too!

~Gotta Run Now

A Happy Ending

Yay! I ran a four mile "easy" run and just kept a comfortable pace the whole way without worrying about what it was and my average pace was a "fast for me" 9:23.

When I shared this with someone in my family, whose identity I will protect (!), he teased with, "That's more than a minute slower than your last 5K race pace!"

My mile splits were: 9:22, 9:23, 9:14, and 9:33.

About a mile into my run, my right foot had a slight pain that worked up into my leg so I stopped and did a few ankle twists and stretches. I took off running again with no problems.

After running two miles, a soft drizzle of rain began. It was great!

Yesterday, I read an inspiring story about a runner, Danelle Ballengee, who fell and was severely injured on a run in Utah in December of 2006. As Ballengee lay on the desert floor for over two days, she wished she could tell her loved ones how much she loved them once again and she had a deep desire to keep on living. And live she did!

Do…

Acts of Kindness

I woke up around 5:30 and ate a chocolate-flavored Powerbar. I prefer the peanut butter bars, though - they don't seem quite so much like eating a candy bar for breakfast.
After taking care of the dogs, I put a large cup of Gatorade and another cup of ice water on the porch for my drink breaks during today's long run. I ran back home for a drink every 2 1/2 miles or so, drinking water first and then Gatorade and then back and forth like I might do at a race.

Dividing my ten mile run into 4 parts made the 10 mile run seem easier to accomplish. It was so hot and humid this morning that I had to wring out my shirt and shorts before I came inside the house because I didn't want to drip on the floor.

I had planned to run at a 10 to 11 minute mile pace. My average pace was 10:05. The average pace for each mile was:

Mile 1 - 10:05
Mile 2 - 10:01
Mile 3 - 10:04
Mile 4 - 9:59
Mile 5 - 10:05
Mile 6 - 10:17
Mile 7 - 10:06
Mile 8 - 10:09
Mile 9 - 9:55
Mile 10 - 10:08

During mile 6 or 7, DH called …

Six Miler

It was about a half an hour into my run before my legs stopped feeling tight this morning. After a warm-up run, I wanted to run at 5K pace (8:15) for 1/4 of a mile and to run a recovery jog for two minutes, eight times. My pace for those 1/4 miles was:
8:24, 8:22, 8:28, 8:12, 8:40, 8:32, 8:35, 8:19

I think I could have done better (I'm a fairly optimistic person :) ), but I started most of the splits too fast and when I saw that I could slow down, I slowed down too much.

I ran a total of 6 miles this morning.

Push-ups: 12; Crunches: 100 (4 sets of 25); V-frame: 1 1/2 minute; Plank Pose: 2 minutes

DD asked a very interesting question when she found out that I placed third in my age group in the race on Saturday. And the answer is, "Yes, DD, there were more than three ladies in my age group!"

~Gotta Run Now

Happy Father's Day!

My husband and I woke up at 6AM. After a Belgian waffle topped with strawberries, we were swimming in the Florida ocean by 8AM. After a little shopping, we'll drive home. It's been a great vacation weekend!

~Gotta Run Now

Gary McAdams Summer Sunset 5K Race Day

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Blogged at 7:20AM -
I woke up at 4:45AM, but the race doesn't start until 6pm! I always wondered if I woke up early on race days because I was afraid the alarm wouldn't really go off and I didn't want to miss the race, but I guess that's not the case. Maybe I'm just excited to wake up in Florida at the beach.

Yesterday, my husband and I picked up my race packet in Pensacola at the running store. If there's such a contest, the nice ladies who gave me my packet would win the prize for "Friendliest Race Packet People".

Blogged at 3:40PM -
We went swimming this morning. The waves were gentle and the water was warm.

My running clothes are on and my race number is safety-pinned to my shirt. I've got the usual pre-race jitters. I hope that the heat doesn't slow me down too much - it is 88 degrees in Pensacola right now and the race starts in about 2 hours.

Blogged at 10:45PM-
I'm back from the 5K and a walk on the beach and not only did I beat my best …

Florida Trip

I didn't do any running today, but this evening, DH and I went for a long walk along Destin beach in Florida. The sand looks like white sugar and the water is an emerald color. What a beautiful beach!

For dinner, we drove to Sandestin. We parked our car and rode on a boat to the restaurant which was in a little village called Baytowne Wharf. The village was lit with decorative lights and live bands were playing.

The smell of barbecued food pulled us into a restaurant and we sat down to eat at 9PM. As we were eating our beef brisket and baked potato, we noticed a bunch of people staring at the ceiling. Apparently, tree roaches like barbecue, too!

One customer chased the tree roach under the tables and across the floor, and it wasn't long before he yelled out, "He's dead." We applauded (DH started this!) and everyone cheered. The man bowed and bowed and bowed. He was having fun! Nothing brings a group of strangers together like a big bug!

The beach walk and the boat ri…

5 Mile Run

My average pace for my five mile run was 9:29 today.

We practically had a traffic jam of runners and walkers in our neighborhood this morning. There were three others out there with me and I hope the number grows. I like the friendly company.

My race day strategy for Saturday's 5K is to run at an 8:15 pace for the first 1 1/2-2 miles and then to pick up the pace if I can. My pace at my last 5K was 8:19. Hopefully, I'll finish strong, this time, by starting out at a slower pace. If I get a chance today, I'll look around online and in my running books for 5K race day advice.

Strength-building: dumbbell squats, seated rowing, bench press, curls, tricep kickbacks. (3 sets of each) I was able to increase the weight this morning. Weight training works!

Crunches: 100 (4 sets of 25)
V-frame: 1 minute
Plank Pose: 2 minutes
Push-ups: 12

We have our flag flying and I'm wearing my red flag t-shirt. It's a great day to say a prayer for those who serve our country. Happy Flag Day, Ameri…

5 Miles

I ran five miles this morning with an average pace of 9:34. The humidity didn't feel too bad this morning. A nice change!

Strength-building: dumbbell squats, seated rowing, bench press, curls, tricep kickbacks. (3 sets of each)

Crunches: 100 (4 sets of 25)
V-frame: 2 minutes 20 seconds
Plank Pose: 2 1/2 minutes
Push-ups: 12

Time for some chocolate milk! My favorite way to make it is to use fat-free milk with chocolate mocha syrup.

~Gotta Run Now

New Pink MP3 Player

I was looking forward to my run today because it was time to work on my speed. Not only that, but it was my first run with my new pink mp3 player DH found me at woot.com. (It works great. Thanks, DH!)

It was a "two loose dogs day", but at least they didn't chase me down the street. Too hot for them, I guess! While I was running, the temperature went from a comfortable 73 to a warm 83 degrees.

I ran a total of 7 miles this morning. After a 1 1/2 mile warm-up, it was time to begin my fast 1/2 miles with a 2 minute recovery jog. I did that 6 times and then just ran until I hit 7 miles for a cool down, which was about 1 1/2 miles.

My goal was to keep the pace for the 1/2 miles at 8:19 (5K pace). I didn't know what my average pace was for these splits until I got home and I was surprised when I saw how I actually did. Here's how it went and what I was thinking:

8:15 (A half mile is a long way. Maybe I didn't set my watch to beep after a half mile. Maybe I didn't h…

Restful Day

I'm taking a day off from running today after running 6 days straight, but we did go swimming after lunch for a little exercise.

This morning, a running friend told me about a local running group. They finish their group runs by 8 a.m. on Saturdays. So, if I join, I might be home from my Saturday runs before my husband even wakes up. But I might be so tired from getting up at 5(I hope that's an exaggeration!) that I have to take a nap once I get back home! So there's good and there's bad.

I just finished my Orange Ka-Bam Smoothie King smoothie. I had a good coupon: buy one 20 oz. smoothie and receive a free 20 oz. smoothie, so we went there last night for a treat. My smoothie was good, but it had 72 grams of sugar! I saved half of my drink for today and it was nearly as good as it was yesterday.

I like to make my own smoothies at home. I just throw a few items in a blender: a 6-8 ounce container of fat-free yogurt with some kind of fruit in it, half of a frozen banana, s…

9 by 9 on the 9th

I finished my 9 mile run by 9 a.m. (8:58 a.m.) this morning! My goal was a pace of 10:08-11:08 (hopefully, towards the faster end), so I'm happy with my average pace of 10:09. Around mile 7, there was some cloud cover and a light breeze, which made the last two miles easier. I drank some Gatorade every 3 miles. It felt good to cool off in the pool after my run.

I ran 33 miles this week and next week, I look forward to running in a 5K.

~Gotta Run Now

Time for an Ice Cream Cone

I ran two miles to the park, did a few pull-ups, and ran two miles back home.

After throwing the ball for our crazy Weimaraner and stretching, it was time for weight work.

Strength-building: dumbbell squats, seated rowing, bench press, curls, tricep kickbacks. (3-5 sets of each.)

Crunches: 100
V-frame: 2 minutes
Plank Pose: 2 minutes

This afternoon, I stopped by Maggie Moo's ice cream and bought an ice cream cone. I just had to use a coupon I received in my runner's goodie bag at my last race - it was weighing my purse down! The Better Batter (cake batter) flavor with Oreo sprinkles in an Oreo sprinkled waffle cone is delicious. Don't tell DD! She might be jealous!

~Gotta Run Now

Impact a Hero 5K Race Report

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Yesterday, I ran in the Impact a Hero 5K in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston. I beat all of my previous 5K times!

I decided to start out fast rather than to start easy and speed up later. It was fun to run fast right from the beginning, but I felt pretty tired when I got to the first mile marker. It was hot and humid, but the route was mostly shaded.

I'll run another 5K in a couple of weeks. I hope to keep my pace at about 8:15 in that race. In this race, my average pace was 8:19/mile.

At the race, I was able to meet two runners my husband knows, Karen and Tim, and a runner whose blog I like to read - her nickname is Pony. Pony and I just happened to start talking about running after the race and her blog came up. I was so surprised when I realized that I was talking to someone whose blog I've visited. It's a small world! Karen and Pony both placed in their age groups!

After the race I celebrated my 5K PR with ice cream from Dairy Queen. What a great morning!

~Gotta…