Friday, November 30, 2007

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!" before I got up next to her - I didn't want to startle her as I came up from behind. But she didn't hear me (headphones on) and when I got up next to her, she turned around and was so startled that she yelled. : (

The last five or six miles were not good. Nine-plus minute miles? Too slow. I stopped and stretched to give myself a short break. I felt sorry for myself. I got a drink. I tried to "conquer" the run -that's from a song on my Ipod. I remember thinking that if I could just run the last five miles fast, that would be good. But I was too tired.

So what went wrong? Maybe I'm trying to run too fast. Maybe the heat is to blame. Maybe I didn't eat enough carbohydrates in the last couple of days. Maybe I didn't drink enough on the run.

I just looked at two other schedules that I had been using and for this week's long run, they both had only four miles of marathon goal pace miles. At least I did have four miles within 9 seconds of my marathon goal pace today.

Sometimes, you try very hard and you still fail. Next week may be a better running week. Or it might not. That's how training for a marathon is. And that's how life is.

And now it's time to watch the movie 'Mr.Blandings Builds His Dream House.' Which reminds me, our front door has a new coat of green paint on it. It's the green of a fir tree...not a Fraser fir tree...but more of a California red fir tree.

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will Run for Cookies

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!

Friday, November 23, 2007

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 baking some chocolate chip cookies will warm it up.

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, November 22, 2007

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

Saturday, November 17, 2007

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 average pace of 9:27/mile.

My post-run snack was a Chewy Chocolate Peanut Snicker's Marathon bar and there's a good reason that they named it chewy. My jaw is still tired. I drank some chocolate milk, too. Have I had enough chocolate today? Nah.

Mile splits: 10:22, 10:28, 11:00, 10:37, 9:19, 8:34 (took a gel), 8:27, 8:51, 9:08, 9:07, 9:27, 9:18 (took a gel), 9:16, 8:54, 8:52, 9:02, 9:47, 9:42

Have fun, be thankful, spend time with your loved ones, run if you are able and I hope you have a good Thanksgiving week!

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, November 15, 2007

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 this would be my favorite of the flavors that I had.

Larabar Jocolat Chocolate Coffee- I was only able to eat two bites of this bar - coffee is just not my cup of tea. There are very few things that have coffee in them that I like. (One of them is Nescafe Ice Java Iced Coffee Syrup Chocolate Mocha flavor. This makes a good chocolate milk - great after a long run.)

Today was a scheduled running rest day and I'm ready to tackle six miles tomorrow.

~Gotta Run Now

Saturday, November 10, 2007

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 was good and tastes like a thick, not-very-sweet brownie batter. The one problem with it is that it's brown. I stuck the mostly empty packet in my shoe lace and thought that I was so clever. (Last time I had a used gel packet, I stuck it in my pocket and after my run, my phone was sticky.) More on this later.

Mile 7- 8:44/mile pace. I thought I had gotten through half of my long run and I was glad. Also, I remembered that my plan was to stop if my foot or my leg hurt, but they never hurt.

Mile 8- 8:39/mile pace. What does running at 8:30/mile pace feel like? I couldn't seem to find that pace. I slowed down. I sped up and back and forth I went. When I caught myself slowing down, I still had the energy to speed up, though. I realized that the midway point was after this mile. I don't know what I was thinking before.

Mile 9- 8:39/mile pace. I still can't find 8:30. I either run too fast or too slow - mostly too slow.

Mile 10- 8:53/mile pace. I was tired. Where's that Lolly song?

Mile 11- 8:59/mile pace. At 11:45 miles, I ate a vanilla Gu gel (I'm cleaning out my gel packets). I stopped to put my empty packet in my shoe when I saw the chocolate brown gel spot that had leaked out onto my nicest running shoes. I felt so miserable. I don't like to stop running when I'm on a run and I wish I hadn't stopped because I didn't start back up right away. I had a pity party instead. It was hot outside and only 8AM. (By the time I finished, the temperature was 75 degrees.)I walked for a couple of minutes. I stretched a little. I drank some water. How else could I put off running? Finally, I started running again and I decided that I wouldn't look at my pace for awhile because it was depressing.

Mile 12- 8:56/mile pace. I started feeling better.

Mile 13- 8:30/mile pace. And just after I thought that everything was going to be okay and that I would be able to complete my run... up ran Scruffy, a neighborhood dog. Her owners weren't home and their backyard gate was locked so she got 2 1/2 miles of exercise.

Mile 14- 9:06/mile pace.

Mile 15- 9:26/mile pace. It was 9AM and I should have been done by now.

Mile 16- 9:52/mile pace. A driver drove by slowly and gave me a lot of space on the road. It just seemed like the nicest thing anybody could have done for me. With only one more mile to go, I thought I'd be able to compete the 16 miles. My pace didn't matter, as long as I was running. I was so glad to be almost done. Fittingly, on this Veterans Day weekend, the song "I'm proud to be an American" played on my Ipod as I finished my run. The first thing I did when I got home was hang our U.S. flag.

Total miles run today:16 at an average pace of 9:08/mile

After the run, I stood in the pool up to my waist for ten minutes with a large glass of chocolate milk. It wasn't ice, but it was a chilly 62 degrees. It was painful for the first minute or two.

After getting out of the pool, my stomach started to hurt so I got some Gatorade and put my feet up before cleaning up. I felt better soon and stretched.

And that covers my run. Now you know what it was like running 16 miles this morning. My Garmin says I used up 1281 calories - no guilt for me when eating oatmeal cookies today.

My goal was to run 16 miles with 9 miles being marathon goal pace or 8:30/mile, which I did for 1 mile, but not 9. That's discouraging. There'll be more runs when I can try it again, though. That's good and that's bad, depending on how you look at it.

~Gotta Run Now

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