Thursday, August 30, 2007

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!" just like a world champion. ; ) Did I mention the hill towards the end of each sprint? I'm glad it's over!

My times for the 6oo meter sprints:
2:59 (Checked my shoelace that felt like it came undone - or am I just making excuses?!)
I'm learning how to use my Garmin which means that, finally, my times are accurate for this morning's run.

I'm planning on running the Fired Up 5K this Monday. If you pick up your race packet or register at Corelli's Italian Cafe, you get a free lunch on Saturday. I'm guessing that I'll be eating spaghetti for lunch on Saturday because I plan to pick my packet up there.

I got back home from the run at 7 this morning and I was outside weeding at 8:15. I'm taking a water break now. The temperatures are only in the upper 70's so far. It's time to get back outside to work on the yard.

~Gotta Run Now

Monday, August 27, 2007

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 last Thursday. Today, I was running the sprints alone and it was hard to motivate myself. My times for my last three 600 meter sprints were about 2:51, 2:50 and 2:47. (I ran the first two too short so I'm not listing them.) Last Thursday I was usually right behind a couple of runners and trying hard to keep up with them and that helped me to go faster. Hopefully, I'll try harder when we meet again this Thursday.

I ran 6 miles this morning and my average pace was 9:14. My average pace for each mile was: 9:09, 9:13, 8:52, 8:48, 9:49, and 9:31.

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, August 25, 2007

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 great about today's run! My average pace was 9:34 which sounds okay for a long run, but I had some problems today. I'm not sure why I got a cramp. I think I should drink more. I picked up something I've never tried before at the store today - Clif Shot Bloks that I'll try on my next long run. Maybe those will help with my endurance.

The last time I ran 10 miles, back in June, I had a pretty good run. I alternated with water and Gatorade, but today all that I drank was Gatorade. Also, in June, my last two miles were run at a 9:55 and 10:08 pace, better than today's last couple of miles.

I worked pretty hard today, though. We were supposed to run 3 miles at 10K pace according to our ATP running schedule, but I think I did 4 instead, so that's one good thing about today's run.
Today is my 4th Running Anniversary Day! I started running today four years ago and kept it up except for a short time when I had to take a break because of knee pain.

Speaking of special days, today is DD's birthday. She has started back to college and she's taking 18 credits so I don't think she has too much extra time for reading her mom's blog, but just in case, "Happy, Happy Birthday!" < : )

~Gotta Run Now

Friday, August 24, 2007

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.

Monday, August 13, 2007

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 how far I ran and I didn't realize that it was all on my Garmin.)

After drinking a glass of chocolate milk, I did a 30 minute strength-training workout.

I started a batch of cinnamon rolls this afternoon. I did most of the work today and tomorrow all that I have to do is take them out of the refrigerator and bake them for breakfast. In my cookbook, I wrote the date of the last two times that I made these rolls and the dates were August of 2005 for DD's birthday and August of 2006 on the last Saturday before DD went off to college. I don't know why I don't make them more often because I sure do like them!

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, August 11, 2007

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 part- tonight when I finally got a chance to look at my pace for this morning's run, I saw that the first two miles were pretty fast. So, instead of doing the middle miles fast, I did the first four miles at marathon pace for a 4 hour finish, which would be a great time.

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!

Friday, August 10, 2007

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 9:13. I felt great until I had run 3 1/3 miles. At that point, I was running towards the bright sun and even worse - I was right in front of my house. I just felt so hot! (I feel like a big baby when I think about some of you who are running in the even warmer evening temps, though.) Of course, all that I had to do was run a 1/3 of a mile past my house and then back home, and when I realized that, I felt better. For me, it helps to break my run into smaller segments like that. That last mile ended up being my fastest mile.

I did two hours of yard work after my run. If I had a choice, I'd rather run four miles than do two hours of yard work.

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, August 9, 2007

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


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 made chocolate chip cookies today. They taste great, but they spread out too far - they are 4-4 1/2 inches in diameter. Huge! I want them to come out thicker and to not spread out so much. I guess I'll just have to keep trying. :)

~Gotta Run Now

Monday, August 6, 2007

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 couple of loops in the park and through the neighborhood. We talked about all kinds of things: Fig Newton cookies, eating breakfast or not before a run, running marathons, volunteering for a running club - and that made the run seem to go by pretty quickly.

Today, we ran 4.42 miles. My average pace was 9:53 and my mile splits were 10:00, 9:37, 10:02, 10:03 with a 9:31 pace for the last .42 mile.

We ran about a mile more than last Monday, which was good. I'd like to run at least 4 miles if I'm going to get up early and drive all of the way to the park. Next week, we're going to do something new - speedwork. I'm looking forward to that.

DH has the day off and we went out to lunch at McAlister's Deli, a nearby restaurant. We saw a couple of people that we knew and stopped to chat - the man who sold us our house (we bought a "for sale by owner" house) and someone we used to go to church with years ago. We don't happen to live in a small town, but it seemed like it today. Nice!

The air conditioner is working now and it feels great! The heat was starting to make me feel lethargic, but I'm feeling better now. Time for some housework.

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, August 4, 2007

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 a training schedule (in fact, I get two because I'm in two USA Fit color groups) which I'm trying to mesh with my personal plan. One problem with the USA Fit schedule is that I can only see one or two weeks of the schedule at a time so far. If I had been in USA Fit before I might be more comfortable blindly following the plan, but I still need a plan where I can see the big picture in order to plan around events like holidays and vacations.

In addition to the "add a mile each week and recover one week" plan, I'm trying to get up to a 40 mile week by September 23 - that's 16 weeks before the Houston Marathon.

Running Summary for Week of 7/30/07:

Monday- 3.5 miles, 9:41 ave. pace
Tuesday- 7 miles w/hills
Wednesday- 5.5 miles, 9:53 ave. pace
Thursday- 6 miles. 9:20 ave. pace (tempo)
Friday- 5 miles, 9:33 ave. pace
Saturday- 8 miles 9:30 ave. pace
Sunday (Today)- Rest Day

Total Miles for the Week - 35(a new high)

It was hard to run 35 miles this week, but in order to gradually reach a 40 mile week by September 23, I wanted to run 35 miles. My week didn't start off well with that too short group run on Monday and I almost didn't make my goal when my group run was on the short side yesterday, but it's done. I reached my 35 mile goal.

This morning I had Raisin Bran cereal and a strawberry, banana, pineapple smoothie. To make the smoothie, I blended frozen fruit, plain yogurt and milk together - no orange sherbet this time since it's a breakfast smoothie.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

~Gotta Run Now

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 seminar on injury prevention.

I took Gatorade with me on my run and I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich after the run.

Last night, I made two peach smoothies for dessert. I blended two scoops of orange sherbet, 1 1/2 cups frozen sliced peaches and some fat-free milk. DH would only say that it was as good as Jamba Juice, which is very good, but I thought it was even better.

~Gotta Run Now
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