Saturday, September 22, 2007

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) and icing (right now, in fact).

But rather than focus on the fact that I can't run for awhile, I'm going to focus on what I can do. So, this afternoon, I went swimming, did some weight work, and did 50 crunches and 30 push-ups (a new high for me!).

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, September 20, 2007

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, they were gone. Too bad!

~Gotta Run Now

Monday, September 17, 2007

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 our dogs their breakfast and did some speedwork in my neighborhood.

Here's what I did: 2 x (3 x 800 meters) with 90 seconds recovery (slow jog) in between each interval and 5 minutes of recovery between sets. So, I ran 1/2 mile intervals 6 times. My 1/2 miles weren't exactly 1/2, but here's how it worked out:

.46 mile @ 8:49 pace (4:05 min)
.37 mile @ 8:33 pace (3:12 min)
.55 mile @ 8:34 pace (4:41 min)
.52 mile @ 8:26 pace (4:24 min)
.54 mile @ 7:04 pace (3:47 min) (Saw DH and waved good-bye during this one!)
.54 mile @ 8:21 pace (4:30 min)

My goal was just to see what running at 8:45 pace (my MP) felt like and I did that some of the time, but it was more fun to just run fast. I ran 8 miles today.

I came home and stretched, did a couple more exercises, and ate breakfast (that would be my second breakfast because I ate my first one at 4AM). I have a new maximum on my push-ups today-20, without stopping for a break!

I worked outside for about two hours this morning after all of that exercising and it was pretty nice outside. I was scrubbing our swimming pool, which beats weeding any day. I tried to tire our weimaraner, Zoe, out before I started working by throwing the ball for her a gazillion times, but whenever I stopped working to rest, she ran up to me with her ball. The trick is not to make eye contact unless you want to play!

~Gotta Run Now

Sunday, September 16, 2007

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 twelve miles, my toes were fine. These socks wick away moisture. They retail for $8.

Running Summary for the Week of 9/10/07:
Monday- 7 miles
Tuesday- 5 miles
Wednesday- 6 miles
Thursday- 5 miles
Friday- 4 miles
Saturday- 12 miles
Sunday(today)- Rest
Total for the Week- 39 miles

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, September 15, 2007

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. I weighed myself when I got home and I think I lost less than a pound, which means I drank enough on the run. I felt fine on the run - no cramps, exhaustion or anything.

After our run, we had a group stretch and a core workout. Then Margie challenged everyone to do a bunch of push-ups. It sounded a little crazy after all that we had already done, but I gave it a shot and did 18 - that's my maximum, so far.

When I returned to my car and opened my bag with my post-workout snack in it, I was surprised to find some Snickers candy bars in it thanks to my husband. Now, that's sweet!

He's outside on the riding lawn mower right now and I think it's time for me to get out there to do some yard work, too.

We have a movie night planned. We're ordering Domino's pizza and I'm sure popcorn and red licorice will be involved, too. It's a good thing I run!

Okay, I guess I put it off long enough. Now I really better go outside to work...

~Gotta Run Now

Sunday, September 9, 2007

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 group and ATP so I planned my whole week out just now. I'm not doing either schedule exactly and I'm moving the days around so that I'm alternating the hard and easy workouts. Also I'm slowly ramping up my weekly miles.

I found this information in my scribbled notes about choosing a goal time for a half marathon: run a half marathon at 5K pace plus 35 seconds per mile or current marathon mile pace minus 20 seconds.

I'm looking forward to running in some new socks tomorrow on my seven miler, in which 4 of them will, hopefully, be at 8:17 pace - 30 seconds slower than 5K pace.

Running Summary for the Week of 9/3/07:
Monday- 5 miles
Tuesday- 5 miles
Wednesday- 7 miles
Thursday- 5 miles
Friday- 4 miles
Saturday- Rest
Sunday(today)- Rest
Total for the Week- 26 miles

~Gotta Run Now

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fired Up 5K - Special Edition!

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 nervous about the fact that I didn't have the usual butterflies flying around in my stomach this morning like I have had before every other race I've ever run. I got myself ready, took care of the puppies, and checked the weather on-line to see that we had 75 degrees and about 90% humidity. It was a little humid, but (thankfully, right?!) I've run in humidity many times before so that shouldn't worry me.

We left home at 6:10, got to the race location and I picked up my chip before I ran a slow warm-up mile down the race course. I got back to the starting line at 6:50 and found my place at 6:55. I started out fast. I didn't worry about my pace - I just ran fast. I glanced down to see some quick paces on my Garmin, but I decided to just try to keep the pace and not slow down. It was fun - for the first mile.

Then I got to the turn-around, just before the 2 mile mark, where I had hoped to speed up, and I was tired. I saw ATP Coach Vince calling out our times at mile 2 and I yelled "Hi!" and waved. Other than that, I stayed pretty focused on running. I heard DH call my name and some people yelled FBF, my running group's name (I wore a FBF shirt). Thanks - it sped me up! Then I noticed Kim, who turned out to be the 2nd place winner in my age group, ahead of me. I was afraid that if I slowed down and couldn't see her anymore that I'd give up and slow down, so she helped me to go faster, too!

After the race, I ran a slow cool-down mile and when I got back, DH put three fingers in the air! Third place!

5K Race Results:
Mile 1 - 7:23
Mile 2 - 7:52
Mile 3 - 7:58
Last .11 - 7:31
Finish time - 24:14, average pace 7:47 min/mile

(My goal was to beat my best 5K time, which was 25:36.)

~Gotta Run Now

See my Guest Blogger's race report with photos here.
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