Monday, July 30, 2007

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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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 thinking that we were finished, took everything away. So we started over and DH told the waitress that we'd be sure to leave the table in shifts from then on!

Running Summary for Week of 7/23/07:

Monday- 5 miles, 9:38 ave. pace (minimal speedwork)
Tuesday- 4 miles, 9:25 ave. pace
Wednesday- 6 miles, 9:18 ave. pace (tempo)
Thursday- 4 miles. 9:43 ave. pace
Friday- 9 miles, 9:36 ave. pace overall w/2 miles @ 8:55 ave. pace (long run)
Saturday- 5 1/4 miles 9:44 ave. pace
Sunday (Today)- Rest Day

Total Miles for the Week - 33 1/4

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, July 28, 2007

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 leg or one arm at a time and held it for 30 seconds, or lifted an arm and a leg at the same time.

For lunch, DH and I ate out at a new deli and I had a turkey sandwich with orange/cranberry sauce and potato salad. My new dentist, who is in the same shopping center as the deli, had a grand opening today and we walked down to the dentist office after lunch and took a tour.

After that, we did a little shopping and then we went to the library where I picked up a history book. After I got the book, DH told me that he started to read the book once in a bookstore and that it was kind of dry. He was pretty tired when he read it though, so maybe I'll try reading it when I feel wide awake and enjoy it.

~Gotta Run Now

Friday, July 27, 2007

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 Garmin, which gives me my pace, and then I usually saw that I was running too slow or too fast.

Whether it's translating Latin, making quilts, naming the stars at night or something else, I hope that you have something in your life that's a fun challenge, too.

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, July 26, 2007

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

Saturday, July 14, 2007

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 relief. But it never rained hard enough!

We had a great day! I hope your day has been a good one, too!

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, July 12, 2007

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 all of the baking ingredients were out, I started some peach crumble that I hope DH will like. (It's a new recipe.) You bake the top part on a cookie sheet and then pour it onto the peach mixture and bake the two parts together. I'm concerned that the top part (which is good - according to my taste test) will burn. I'll finish it tomorrow. If it works out, I'll blog about it. So if you don't hear about it, well, you know...

~Gotta Run Now

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

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

Monday, July 9, 2007

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

Saturday, July 7, 2007

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

Friday, July 6, 2007

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 80's, but I felt fine. I came home two times to get a drink of water. My average pace was 9:29 and my splits were: 9:27, 9:26, 9:38, 9:20, 9:28, and 9:34 min/mi.

~Gotta Run Now

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

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 7:51 min/mi according to my Garmin. I came in fourth place (out of 25) in my age group.

~Gotta Run Now

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Santa Barbara Wine Country 1/2 Marathon Race



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, miniature horses and we ran through Los Olivos, where a lot of people cheered us on. I tried to really pick up the pace at ten miles, but it was a tough race. I wanted to beat my previous half marathon time, but with all of those hills, I was happy with my 2 hour and 9 second finish time. My family was cheering for me at the finish line. : )

Some of those really steep hills reminded me of San Francisco. I'm not sure my family believed my horrible hill stories until my husband drove us along the race route after the race. He got out of the car and slowly jogged (really, he only walked!) up one of the hills to show me how easy it would be to run up those hills. He was teasing me, but the joke was on him when he looked to a side yard and saw that a homeowner was standing there and had watched the whole thing!

May 14, 2007-
I ran through downtown Solvang around 6:30 AM. The whole town smelled like Danish pastries because of all of the bakeries! I ran and window-shopped at the same time. When something in a store window caught my eye, like a quilt, I’d stop and look. This was just an easy run to stretch my legs after the race, but it was one of my favorite runs ever!

~Gotta Run Now
Photo: There's my husband beside me and our daughter running into the picture on the top of a mountain. The bottom photo shows me and my daughter (in the background) at the start of a hike in Sequoia National Park.
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