Showing posts from 2008

Five Mile Solo Race

Today my plan called for a race, but there weren't any nearby so I warmed up for a couple of miles and then I took off, running at a pace I hoped I could keep for five miles.

I had to stop once for a passing car and stopped the Garmin (hope that's not cheating!) and I ran straight towards two little yapping dogs and right between them. Unfortunately (or fortunately), little dogs don't look very scary anymore compared to the pair of growling, barking Rottweilers I ran by last week.

My time was just one minute and six seconds over my goal time. I ran five miles in 41:06 minutes with an 8:13/mi. average pace. I was exhausted when I was done. Even my arm muscles felt like I'd been doing some weight lifting.

~Gotta Run Now

Christmas Day Run

We went to Florida for Christmas. I ran fifteen miles along Hwy 30A near Seaside, Florida on Christmas Day. It was probably the easiest fifteen I've ever run. Perhaps it was being in a new place, but better than just being in a new place, it was a really pretty place. Beside the running trail were pine trees along with palm trees, beach cottages and lakes. I crossed wooden bridges and I could see the beach from the trail. I ran two "faster than the others" miles at around 8:37 with an average pace of 9:22/mile.
After the run, I conducted an experiment. I skipped the ice bath. It was a good experiment. I really wasn't very sore after the run even without the ice bath.
We sat on the beach and read and walked up and down Santa Rosa beach, looking for seashells and finding two jellyfish. Later, we walked down to Deer Lake, too, where the top photo was taken.
Merry Christmas!
~Gotta Run Now

Marathon Support

That was hard! I just ran 11 miles. The goal: run at 8:55-9:07 pace (marathon goal pace plus 20 seconds). It's a wide pace range because I don't know if my marathon goal pace should be for a 3:45 or 3:50 finish. My average pace was 8:58 for the 11 miles. I think the Gu gels helped (one before I ran, another at mile 4 and then another at mile 8.5). Listening to music helped, too.
When I finished I was exhausted. I could not have run any more than 11. It reminded me a little bit of how I felt after the Seattle marathon (11/30/08)...
I ran through the finish line (looking at the clock). Ugh! Missed my goal by about 20 minutes. Someone handed me a medal. I looked for my husband. I just stood still thinking... I missed my goal again. What now? Sulk? I finished. It was hard. I made it through the finish line. I finished. Okay, I'm fine now. Where's my husband?
He found me and took care of me. I was so tired that it was hard to think. Everything was harder. (Is that what it…

Training Runs

I experimented with a new gel yesterday (Espresso Love Gu) and then ran into the wind for two miles and kept a decent pace. Maybe the gel made the difference.

I turned the corner and planned to run a faster paced mile - straight down a long quiet road. Although it looked a little boring, I was looking forward to it and then I saw something I don't usually see. A deer stepped out of the wooded area beside the road, looked at me, ran across the road and jumped over the neighborhood fence. Then I saw a falcon on top of a pole. As I ran down the street, it flew ahead of me: pole to pole to tree and then away into the sky. Right after that, my husband drove up after going to the store and before I knew it, the mile was over. Sometimes distractions are good.

After running today, my husband and I headed over to the Sugar Land 30K race. I would have liked to run in the race, but it's only been two weeks since I ran in the marathon.

~Gotta Run Now

Marathon #5:Houston

The Houston marathon held a silent auction today. Forty-five top bidders got a place in the otherwise full Houston marathon or half marathon. I added my name to the Houston Food Bank bidding list and then waited to see who outbid me. Ten minutes before the closing, folks jumped to the tables to outbid the others. It was a little tense. ; ) If you're running the Houston marathon this year, I'll see you there because I am, too!

I ran five miles this afternoon. It was 60 degrees and wonderfully sunny. I started running -excited about being registered for the marathon and feeling fast until my tight legs reminded me that I'm still in recovery mode after last Sunday's marathon in Seattle. No big deal, but I can't race down the road yet.

~Gotta Run Now

Seattle Marathon and my Garmin

When I ran in the Houston marathon last January, my Garmin stopped working. I think it was running under one of the overpasses that did it. So this time, before running the Seattle marathon, I learned how to reset my Garmin: hit the mode and lap/reset buttons simultaneously.

While I was running in the fourth or fifth mile in the Seattle marathon (in the tunnel maybe), my Garmin got stuck. I reset it and turned it on (because resetting it turned it off). It looked okay.

Then it started beeping (with a short tune) and showed me this message: speed up! That was okay because I had slowed down and it reminded me to push harder.

Then it started beeping even when it showed that my pace was okay. Not okay! Perhaps it set itself for a faster expected pace?

Then it started beeping every few seconds, or at least it seemed like it. Annoying, but I didn't want to turn it off (I wanted my mile paces to look at after the race) and I didn't know how to fix the problem.

Finally, when I had a minute…

Mt. Rainier from the Air

I took this photo from the airplane. My legs feel pretty close to normal now. Sitting down and getting up isn't a struggle like it was Monday (one day after the Seattle marathon). ~Gotta Run Now


We rode a ferry to Bainridge Island and saw 5-6 Orcas out in the water. We drove to Scandinavian inspired Poulsbo where we ate pastries, window-shopped and took this picture. The night time view of Seattle on the ferry ride back was quite a sight. There was a lot of walking today and it's getting much easier to tackle flights of stairs today than it was yesterday. ~Gotta Run Now

Seattle Marathon - Scenic

We drove along part of the Seattle marathon route yesterday (before going to the Seattle Museum of Flight, which was an interesting place to visit). I should have done this before the marathon. Here's a photo of one place along the route of the Seattle marathon - in the Washington Park Arboretum. It was nice scenery, but this part of the run (maybe mile 25) seemed to go on and on for much too long. Notice the hill. That's nothing compared to the steep ones along the route, though.

~Gotta Run Now

I Finished the Seattle Marathon!

I finished the Seattle Marathon. It was so hard! And now the "maybes" are running through my mind:

Maybe I shouldn't have stayed with the 3:45 pacer for the first eight miles. The first three miles were fast: 8:10, 7:43 and 8:16. I was worn out by mile 10.

Maybe I didn't push myself hard enough.

Here's my summary for the Seattle marathon. It was hard! I've never walked as much as I did today. I walked up steep hills and in the later miles, I even walked on flat land. I don't like to walk during marathons, but I was so exhausted. My finish time was 4:10:42 - not a PR, but I always follow that thought with: it was so hard and I wanted to quit, but I didn't. I'm really glad about that because the thought did cross my mind a few times.

A special thanks to my husband who guest blogged here today - that was a surprise to me. And I thought he just went back to the hotel and took a long nap.

~Gotta Run Now

Photos: At the starting line and getting the chip taken…

Live Blogging from the Seattle Marathon

Hello, I'm your guest blogger, Eric.
It's 9:00 a.m. local time.

I'm bored.
It's cold. I had to walk "4 blocks!!" back to the hotel. I stopped by the lobby to grab some breakfast. For breakfast I had:
1) a small blowl of fruitloops. These contain good carbs I need for quick energy just in case I decide to do something.
2) an egg and buttermilk biscuit smothered in sausage gravy. This contains more carbs that I might need. The egg adds some protein to help me recover from anything strenuous I might do.
3) made it back to the room and poured some ice tea and had a few cheddar cheese pringles just to top off my carb loading. I might have to jump up and change the TV channel by hand if the remote breaks or something.

Well, I've got about 3 hours before I need to walk the grueling 4 blocks back to the finish line to meet Tina. I've got to remember to bring her jacket and gloves. Maybe I'll take a short nap.
Too bad I can't track her live on the web. I reall…

Live Blogging from the Seattle Marathon

Hello, I'm your guest blogger, Eric.
It's 8:45 local time.

This marathon is substantially smaller than Houston. The recovery hall is maybe 1/10th the size of the GRB.

When the runners arrive at the finish line the are herded onto a football field, Mercer Stadium, and then hustled into a small recovery area. The marathon seems well organized.

Here's a picture of the finish line and stadium that she will finish in.

Live Blogging from the Seattle Marathon

Hello, I'm your guest blogger, Eric.

It's 8:30 local time.

Here is a picture of the runners looking back from the start line. Tina is right about where the red arrow is pointing.

I'm carrying Tina's water bottle, jacket, gloves and hand warmers. She decided she didn't need any of them.I'm going to head over to the finish line and recovery area.

Live Blogging from the Seattle Marathon

Hello, I'm your guest blogger, Eric.

It is 8:15 local time. And they're off!
It's not too cold. Tina decided not to wear the long sleeved shirt.
It is drissley (dirzzly? drisely?). The pavement seems a little slick.

Here's Tina just before they take off. She's hanging close to the 3:45 pacer.

Pre-Seattle Marathon Post

The big day is here! I woke up early (3:30AM) because I'm still on Texas time and finally got up at 4AM. I ate a vanilla crisp Powerbar and a banana. After looking through some Seattle visitor books and my running journal to remind myself that I can do this marathon because I've trained for it, I checked the temperature online and it's warmer here(52 degrees) than it is at home(50 degrees). I think I'll wear shorts, a short sleeved shirt and a long sleeved shirt over that. I'm not sure about the long sleeved shirt,though.
That's me in the center of the photo. My husband took the picture from our hotel window yesterday when I went for a run.
The start is only a couple of blocks away and that's why I don't have to rush to get ready this morning. That, and the marathon doesn't start until 8:15. But now, it's 6:57AM in Seattle and time to get ready.
~Gotta Run the Seattle Marathon Now

Seattle Marathon Tomorrow

Today we drove to Mt.Rainier. We couldn't see it because of the low clouds, but we went on a good hike complete with bridges over creeks and mineral springs that turned the water orange. (We did get a good look at Mt.Rainier on Thanksgiving as we flew into Seattle.)
I didn't want to run today (too tired), but as soon as I was running, it felt good. I ran four nice and easy miles near the Space Needle. We finally made it to the Seattle marathon expo this afternoon. I was surprised at how much smaller it was than the Houston expo.
Tomorrow, the temperature should be about 50 degrees at the start and there isn't any rain expected. The marathon doesn't start until 8:15 and we're only a couple of blocks away from the start line so I don't have to get up very early.
~Gotta Run Now

Two More Days

We saw so much today: Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, the cute, small town of Langley, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Village, the flagship REI store, and we took a ride on a ferry. We finished up the evening with a ride up the Space Needle.

I picked up my race packet and talked to a Seattle runner who's glad it's supposed to be so warm Sunday... maybe 43 degrees. Of course, it depends on your perspective.

~Gotta Run Now


Today I'm blogging from Seattle! I'm here for the Seattle marathon.

We went on a hike at Wallace Falls just outside of Seattle this afternoon. It smelled like Christmas trees. There was moss growing on the trees. Everything was green. We heard the sound of the river rushing over the rocks as we hiked up the steep path and down the steep path, too, to get to the Middle Falls. After 2 - 2 1/2 miles, we were rewarded with a great view of the waterfall.

This was our third attempt at a hike today. First, we drove towards Twin Falls, but never found it. Then we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls, but it was nearly all roped off because it was the site of a crime scene. So I was relieved when we found Wallace Falls (Yay!) and saw no signs of emergency personnel (Double yay!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dress Rehearsal

Today's Pfitzinger plan: Run 7 miles (2 at 8:35 - marathon pace) in the clothes I'll wear in the Seattle marathon.

Today I started out wearing shorts, a short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt with half zipper, and earband. I went outside and I thought I would turn into an ice cube. So back into the house I went to change into capris and to add my cap and gloves.

I saw another runner about a half mile into my run, "It's a little cold when you start out," I complained.

"It's nice!" he said. I smiled.

Nice? Okay, time to change the way I was thinking. Yes, it's nice that it's 39 degrees (feels like 35). It's good preparation for the marathon on Sunday. It's nice. It's nice. It's nice. Maybe if I told myself that a few times, I'd start to believe it. I didn't take my gloves and earband off until I'd run three miles.

I ran the fifth and sixth mile at 8:37 and 8:29 pace. The wind picked up when I was running those two mil…

Red Rock Canyon Run

My husband and I just got back from a trip to Nevada. While there, I ran in one of the best places I've ever run - a road that runs through Red Rock Canyon (about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas). I did my 15 miler there last Friday. The first 2.3 miles were all uphill (about 400 feet) and the rest of the run was mostly hills, too, but included downhills. The wind, the elevation and the hills made it a tough workout. The scenery was beautiful - red rocks everywhere. What a great run!

I ate a Powerbar vanilla crisp bar for breakfast and Powerbar vanilla gels at miles 4.5, 8 and 12. The Pfitzinger plan called for 16 miles that day, but I think 15 with lots of hills was enough. Only two weeks until the big day - the Seattle Marathon!

~Gotta Run Now

My 4th 20 Miler

Today I ran the fourth twenty miler I've completed while training for the Seattle marathon and I feel great. After fixing a problem with my Gatorade Endurance (I didn't add enough powder) and after a Garmin scare, the run went smoothly.

The Garmin problem: during my fifth mile, I hit a wrong button on my Garmin and saw a screen I had never seen before with the terrible phrase, "Low Battery". You don't want to see this at the beginning of a twenty miler. Maybe the battery was only low because it wasn't fully charged. Let's hope! (It never flashed the usual "low battery" message I've seen before that's shown in a small rectangle on the screen.) In the end, my Garmin battery never died. : )

It was windy today, but I worked hard to gradually speed up in the last half - hoping I could push myself if this were the real thing. Since I'm too lazy to post all of them, here are the splits for the last ten miles : 9:38, 9:26, 9:17, 9:16, 9:14, 9:…

Nancy Clark Article - Eat Cookies!

Today I ran three recovery miles at 9:50 and then 6 x 100m sprints in my fourth mile. Then I did 30 minutes of aerobics. I plan to eat some Tootsie rolls and candy corn tonight - no guilt. My sort-of-healthy tip: eat plain almonds with your candy corn. Almonds are good for you and the combo is yummy.
I came across an interesting article, Taming the Cookie Monster: Win the Battle Against the Munchies, by Nancy Clark that you can read by clicking my post title. I like any nutrition article that tells me it's okay to eat cookies! ~A Cookie Monster

17 Miles Again

I've been following one of the Pfitz marathon training plans and this was the third and last 17 miler in the plan this month. When I put on my running shoes this morning, I realized that I'm getting used to running 17 miles. As long as some pain doesn't pop up and it's not too hot, I know that I can run 17 miles.

My plan was to gradually speed up. Here's how it went: 9:45, 9:37, 9:41, 9:26, 9:19, 9:07, 9:15, 9:03, 9:24, 9:13, 9:14, 9:15, 9:09, 9:07, 9:08, 9:00, 8:45. The ave. pace: 9:16.

I talked to a neighbor during my run who asked about my running. When I told her that I was training for the Seattle marathon, she was so excited that I felt like I was training for the Olympics!

Do you know how much you're drinking during a race when you grab a cup of water? I've read that one swallow might equal one ounce, but I did a test today using a cup like I would in a race and I need two gulps of water to drink one ounce of water. Today, every two miles I drank a doze…

6 1/4 Miles at 7 1/4 AM

For breakfast this morning I had a few of my homemade pumpkin cranberry raisin walnut muffins. They taste good, but they're very dense (think "Texas mud"). Maybe it's because I forgot to put in the baking soda.

It was only forty degrees this morning at 7:15AM. At first, I wasn't happy about the temperature because I don't like pain very much, but it was a good chance for another Seattle marathon dress rehearsal. I don't like warm legs or freezing ears either so I wore shorts today instead of my capris and kept my earband on for the whole run: perfect. (I also wore two shirts and a cap. One of the shirts has long sleeves that I pull down over my cold hands at the beginning of the run.)

After a warm-up mile, I ran at a faster pace (8:44 average pace) for five miles. My splits: 8:45, 8:55, 8:54, 8:44, 8:23. Then I ran a slow 1/4 mile home.

~Gotta Run Now

17 Beside the Bayou (Mostly)

This was a great morning for a run. I ran seventeen miles at Terry Hershey Park. I really like the shady trail and hearing the water rushing along in the bayou. The temperature was 60 when I started. There are some hills along the trail I had forgotten about and I don't think I need any more hill work this week.

I fueled up with gels and water today, but I had a little water trouble. I drank the last of my water at mile ten. I thought I must be very close to a fountain when I came upon a big work truck in the middle of the trail cleaning up (tearing down?) a huge tree, probably because of Hurricane Ike. Rather than make them stop to let me pass, run to the water fountain, and make them stop again when I returned, I made a u-turn right there at 11.83 miles. I was hoping for a drink at mile 12, but that wasn't going to happen.

I ran back to the parking lot, eating gel at mile 13 (what will happen if I don't drink water with it like the directions say?) and got my drink at 13.3…

Running Warehouse

When I ordered my Mizuno running shoes last week, I received this Mizuno shirt for free! This is a picture of the back of the shirt. See the zippered pocket on the back? I wore this shirt over a short sleeved shirt a few days ago. It was about sixty degrees so I couldn't wear my new shirt for very long before I had to take it off and wrap it around my waist. It's comfortable and I really like the pocket that holds my phone or some gel.

The best part about ordering from Running Warehouse is that their shoes are sold at discounted prices. Two-day shipping is free and returns are free, too. If you sign up at their website, they'll let you know about the special deals like this one. Click on the today's title to go to Running Warehouse.

~Gotta Run Now

A Very Nice Day

My day started off with a great 11 mile run, which included hill work on the treadmill. I was so surprised when I went outside to finish my run (after the treadmill hills) to find that it was cool(in the 60's with no humidity). I had to go back inside and change into a warmer shirt. How wonderful is that?!

Around lunch time, I received the best gift - a phone call (which included singing)from my daughter who remembered that today I turned a year older.

This is a photo of my afternoon dessert: birthday cake ice cream and a chocolate cupcake without frosting. No frosting - so that makes it healthy, right?!

We have family visiting from California and took them to dinner at Papa's BBQ and then on a short tour of the city. Later, we came home and watched our homemade family videos. I know - surely, that's a form of torture! But, well... They laughed at the videos so maybe it wasn't too bad.

~Gotta Run Now

Seattle Marathon Entry and 17 Miles

I signed up for the Seattle Marathon last night. With so much going on lately, if we hadn't already bought our plane tickets, this trip would be a no-go, but maybe this trip will be a nice vacation - a special memory to look back on someday.

So I'm signed up and the training continues... This morning, stepping outside was like stepping into an sauna- so warm and humid. When I started, the temperature was in the low 70's and when I finished, it was in the low 80's. It rained. There was a hard wind. The sun beat down on me, but worst of all was the humidity. Today's run was so hard.

Maybe once or twice, I tried to speed up, checked my Garmin to see if I really did speed up and told myself that it was okay not to go fast today. My goal was just to finish the whole seventeen miles and I did. My average pace was 10:09/mi. Most frequent thought: I will (finish).

~Gotta Run Now

55 Miles Run this Week

I ran about twelve miles this morning. I changed the Pfitz plan a little for the day, swapping out two 1/2 MP miles for twenty minutes of hills.

I ran four warm-up miles: 9:46, 9:20, 9:31, and 9:31/mi. pace, at the park. I was happy to see those pretty pink birds again.

Then I picked up the pace: 8:31, 8:17, 8:25, 8:27, and 8:21/mi. (These numbers are the average pace I ran for each mile.) My goal for these miles was 8:10-8:25/mi. I did that for three (almost four!) miles, but it was not easy.

After the first mile, I didn't feel too bad because at least I was running under MP pace, which is 8:35 for a 3:45 finish. In the next mile, I played running games: run fast passed that man and that lady and to that pole and down that hill. I was pretty sure I couldn't play that game for too long, though. In the next mile, I thought I slowed way down and that maybe I should give up, but then I saw that my average pace was 8:25 and I knew I shouldn't be such a quitter - I was inside of …

That 20 Miler? Done!

I was up at 6 AM and running by 7 AM. The temperature today was about twenty degrees cooler at the start (57) than yesterday and my only problem (and I love to have this problem) was that I had to figure out what to wear for the chilly morning. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt with a long-sleeve shirt over that which I took off after an hour. That worked out perfectly.

I didn't have to do anything special today (no MP miles) so I just ran at a comfortable pace, which has gotten faster as the temperature has lowered. My average pace for the run today was 9:08/mi. I started slower than that and the last miles were faster than 9:08/mi. That's just how it worked out.

When I had about three more miles to run, it got kind of tough. I was tired and the wind had picked up. Unfortunately, the hills I'll be running up and down and up and down again in Seattle will be worse than the wind I ran against this morning. I didn't quit knowing that I have to keep going even when win…

6 + 6 + 2 = 14

After eating oatmeal out of my Houston marathon mug, I was ready for my run. I ran fourteen miles with an average pace of 9:11/mi. I felt pretty good since the temperature was in the 60's. I broke the run into three parts: two six-milers and a two-miler, going back home after each of the three runs to refill my drink bottles with Gatorade Endurance.

Unfortunately, I got chased by the same little yapping dog twice today. I think the dog's owner is using runners as her dog exercise service. The next time that happens, I'm sending her a bill!

~Gotta Run Now

My Snake Catch

Since I didn't run this morning, I spent the morning weeding. I found a snake in the yard, caught it, took pictures and then I took it down to the lake and let it go.

My husband says I have to catch a bigger one now. That's the one problem with doing something brave and courageous - people expect even more heroic actions. ; )

Update: My husband just looked at his snake book and my photos and thinks I caught a marsh brown snake which can be aggressive if threatened. When I caught it, I thought it was only a garter snake.

Seven Fast Ones

Today's running goal: run 15 miles with 8 miles at marathon pace, which is 8:35/mi. for a 3 hour and 45 minute marathon finish (my goal).

The first seven miles, I averaged a 9:37/mi. pace. Then in mile 8, I purposely sped up - trying for 8:35, but I ran it at 9:06. It was windy, but I doubt that was my major problem. It's just kind of hard for me to go from 9:37 to 8:35, but not to worry because... I did speed up later. I finished mile 9 with an 8:35 average. That's the goal pace! The last seven miles, I averaged an 8:36 pace. In the last mile, I even slowed down for a neighbor to tell me a joke. He was walking down the street and I had run by him and his wife about a half hour before. Here's the conversation:"I just saw your sister over there," the neighbor told me as he pointed down the street. "What?" I took my headphones out of my ears and slowed down.He repeated the joke. I laughed. When I got home and some of the blood rushed to my brain again,…

20 Mile Run

Hurricane Ike hit our house Friday - especially our roof. I just hope our neighborhood gives out a prize for the house covered with the most tarp! We have running water and electricity now and that's very good. I found some milk at the store yesterday and sometimes the gas stations near our house have gas. It will be a while before things are back to normal.

I had to skip a few runs because of Hurricane Ike, but I ran twenty miles yesterday - sometimes tip-toeing through the tree branches on the street. I ran the second half faster than the first half with the last five miles the fastest. The combination of the cool weather and the company I had for a little while made the long run easier than usual. The average pace for the whole run was 9:22/mile.

Ten Today with Hills

I ran nine miles on the crushed granite trail at the park. The loop around the lake is a little over a mile long, so I went around and around and around keeping a countdown in my head of the number of loops I had left to run. There was a cool breeze at one end of the lake. Unbelievable!

My splits at the park went like this: 10:06, 9:45, 9:40, 9:38, 9:35, 9:24, 9:21, 9:16 (I like the way my numbers came down) and then 9:39. Oh well! Time to cool down, I guess. Ave. pace: 9:36.

Then I drove to the parking garage where I wanted to work on hill work. (Closest hills for me - we live near Houston.) As soon as I started running up the ramp, I felt tired. You know - like I just ran nine miles. But won't I be tired when I get to the hills in the marathon? So, unless I can't walk tomorrow (!), I think it's good preparation. After going up the ramp the first time, it got a little easier and it was a good change from just running on a level path. I ran up and down the ramp for one mile …

Completed the Long Run for the Week

I ate a banana and an English muffin topped with honey and then I was on my way. It was hot (felt like temperature ranged from 83-87 degrees) and a little windy, too (which I didn't make up for with any speed - too hot), but I was glad about the wind - it cooled me off a little. My average pace for the 17 mile run was 10:12/mi.

I drank Gatorade Endurance nearly the whole way and I liked it. It looks like I'll be able to drink it when I run in the Seattle marathon. It would be nice to not have to safety pin gels to my shorts like I did when I ran the Houston marathon.

Neighbors were friendly and I wasn't chased by any dogs today. Even though I complain about the dogs sometimes, I'm fortunate to live in a neighborhood with nice neighbors and at least some shade. I included the shady streets in my run as much as possible.

Except for a minor stomach cramp in the eleventh mile, I felt fine during and after the run. Glad to be home and feeling like I accomplished something, I s…

Week 13 of Pfitzinger 18/55 Plan

This morning, after eating some Raisin Bran and doing some pre-run exercises, I ran two miles to warm up and came home for a drink and a drill. I did the Russian Dance drill where you kick straight legs ahead of you and run, sort of. ; )

I got another drink and then I took off for my four half-marathon pace miles, hoping for 8:30/mi. or faster becasue I ran my last half-marathon at an 8:29/mi. pace. The first mile, when I saw that my pace was sticking around 8:35, I figured I'd just have to be happy with that and hope I could keep with that pace for four miles. After about a half mile, I felt better, and was able to average that first mile at an 8:31/mi. pace.

In the second mile, I saw the dog named Angel. Saturday, her owner (a lady) yelled out to her, "Angel, don't chase the lady down the street. You're scaring her!" Today the dog came barking down her driveway and into the street, while her other owner (a man) ignored her - he continued to trim his bushes. I ran…

Gatorade Endurance

I ran 8.3 miles this morning. After running four miles, I had planned to come home for a drink, but not to race home. Unfortunately, I had to get home fast because of the new drink I tried, Gatorade Endurance (more sodium than the regular Gatorade). It tasted a little saltier (nothing to complain about) and I didn't think there was a problem until about 15 minutes after drinking it when I suddenly needed to use the restroom. Since the new drink is the only change today, I think that was the problem.

Why am I drinking Gatorade Endurance? That's what they offer at the Seattle marathon where I hope to beat my time of 3:54 (Houston marathon in January '08). I think it will be fastest to drink what they offer at the marathon rather than drink water and eat gels that I carry, which is what I'll do if I don't get used to the new drink. (For my local running friends, they give out Gatorade Endurance at the Houston marathon, too. See the sponsor page to read about it.) Over …

Pizza Night

Here's the pizza I made tonight. I topped it with mozzarella and feta cheese, basil, tomatoes, chicken, olive oil and on part of it I also spread some pesto. (The piece covered with pesto was the best.)
I ran five "recovery" miles this morning. Tomorrow morning I hope to run eight miles before it gets too hot.

Forty-one Degrees is Best

What's the best temperature for running a marathon? According to one study, it's forty-one degrees. That's good news for me! That's about what it should be in Seattle when I run the marathon. (Click on my post title for today if you want to read Matt Fitzgerald's article on running marathons in cold weather.)

I ran eight miles on the treadmill this morning with some hills included in my run. I know I wrote that I wasn't going to do any hillwork this week, but I thought the hills would make the run on the treadmill more interesting. It's easy to get bored while running on the treadmill if you don't do some speedwork or hillwork.

After a warm-up, I added some easy hills (1.5-2.5 % incline) to my flat (1%) run for about three or four miles while keeping my pace steady. (I didn't run up hills the whole time. I took 1% incline breaks.) Then I increased my speed a little, but went back down to 1% incline, and ran a mile before I brought my pace back down fo…

Twelve Miles on Tuesday

Sunday and Monday I did a couple of short runs and Monday I completed a dumbbell workout, too. Since this is a recovery week, I'll be running fewer miles and skipping drills and hills.

Today was the day to do my long run for the week - twelve miles. After eating some banana bread, I ran for six miles and came home for two minutes to stretch and refill my fuel belt bottles with Gatorade. After that, I was off again for another six miles.

Drinking Gatorade worked well for me today. I drank at every two mile mark, but not all of the 6 oz. bottle. A little later, I finished the bottle. This way, I didn't feel too full from drinking too much all at once.

There was a strawberry smoothie (yogurt, strawberries, milk, flax seed, and wheat germ) waiting for me when I got home. I was afraid that I'd be sorry that I added the flax seed and wheat germ because of their texture, but they seemed like strawberry seeds and weren't a problem. A little later, I ate a big spoonful of peanut b…

Olympic Marathon Party

Today I ran a little over five miles on flat land and I also ran for eight minutes up and down a steep parking garage. I was afraid I'd feel a little claustrophobic because I was in the covered parking garage today, but I didn't and it was a relief to be out of the sun.

I was a little tired after lunch so I took a nap and could hardly believe it when I woke up 2 1/2 hours later. I didn't know I was that tired!

My husband and I went to a friend's house for an Olympic marathon watching party. (Hi Pony & Faithy!) We had some of the best pizza I've ever had there. At our house, sometimes we get a little wild and add pineapple to our pepperoni and black olive pizza, but tonight I had chicken, basil and olive oil pizza. Really good!

I Felt Like 8

I had a nice run today. Normally, I know how many miles I want to run before I go out for a run, but after running twenty miles on Wednesday, I waited to see how I felt today before making any plans. I finished running six miles and was starting to go inside my house, when I realized I felt good enough to run two more, so I did. I ran 8 miles today at an average 9:55/mile pace. It was nice to just run as many miles as I felt like running.

10 Ways to Make Your Twenty Mile Run Last Forever

I originally just wanted to title this blog "20 on the 20th", but that was before I ran twenty miles today.

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." - Frodo, quoting Bilbo in JRRTolkien's Fellowship of the Ring

1. Starting at mile 14, stop to walk at every mile. Every time you stop to walk, stop the Garmin. Stretch during those walk breaks.

2. Stop to change out of your sweaty socks and shoes at mile 12.

3. Since it's so warm (80 degrees), you'll run out of water sooner than expected and you'll feel like you're dying of thirst. This will slow you down. When you pass the only neighbor who is outside, don't beg for a drop of water from their garden hose because that's the neighbor who didn't speak to you (thanks, see ya' or anything - maybe - would have been nice) when you …

Run Around the Lake & the Mall

When I stepped outside this morning, the humidity felt so heavy that I worried about running in it, but I had a great run today. My husband and I drove to the park and I ran 2 1/2 miles on the crushed granite path around the lake. The sun was shining and my face was pouring sweat, but the people I passed were smiling and I felt pretty good - running felt easy (9:22/mi).

Then we drove to a hill, which was a parking garage ramp at the mall. The clouds rolled in and it seemed cooler. I ran up and down the hill four times, running the last loop the fastest, I think (I didn't use my Garmin to keep track of my pace). It took six minutes. I actually had fun doing this hillwork.

To finish up, I ran up and down the white tile sidewalks (they felt kind of cushiony) in front of the stores at the mall. Looking in the stores, seeing the shoppers and smelling the food from the restaurants was a good distraction and before I knew it, I had run another mile (9:19/mi). What a fun run!

Later, I comple…

Blueberry Cereal Dinner

I took a complete rest from hard exercise yesterday. It's hard to say if I'm better for it or not. Maybe it's not something you'd notice right away or maybe it's not really necessary for me.

I started my ten mile run a little late (7am) this morning - I wanted to wait until the fog lifted. I drank too many sweet drinks (Gatorade and Powerbar electrolyte powder you mix with water) and I felt way too full from mile 7 onward. I had to stop and walk a few times.

Seeing the numbers on my Garmin when I got home made me feel better, though. Here are my mile splits: 9:50, 9:39, 9:22, 9:12, 9:13, 9:12, 9:20, 9:24 (the last 6 miles average 9:17), 10:10, 10:39 with an average pace of 9:36/mi.

Last night, we had cereal for dinner - kind of unusual for us. Before our daughter went away to college, I usually had our dinners planned out a week ahead. Nowadays, it's not unusual to wait until my husband gets home from work to see what he feels like eating before I make somethin…

15 Miles!

I ran 15 miles this morning! It was a good run. Why? Because I finished feeling good and not like I was going to faint or throw-up! The first thing I did when I finished my run was throw the ball for my dog, Zoe - something I've been too tired to do at the end of my runs lately. Then I stretched, dried off, took a mostly cold shower (hope that's at least slightly similar to taking an ice bath) and drank some chocolate milk.

Something different I did today was to drink smaller amounts of water at a time, but more often than usual. Drinking this way helped me not to feel too full. I took a Powerbar gel after miles 4 and 9.

After mile 8, I took a five minute break at my house and changed into dry clothes while eating some pretzels. They tasted good, but my mouth tasted a little salty and I was glad I took a gel soon after that.

After mile 12, I ate a couple of pretels and fig newton cookies and suddenly knew that was a bad choice - I was too full.

At the 13.71 mile point, the sun cam…

Running Drills

Yesterday I tried to increase my tempo run from the two miles I did last week to three miles. I warmed up for two miles and then I gave it all I had for 2 1/2 miles, but even my fastest mile was too slow (8:31, 8:38 and 8:49) and then I ran three slower miles for a total of eight miles.

I did do one thing right Monday. I changed into my Asics DS Trainers after running two miles. That meant I never ran in sloshing conditions (socks and shoes so wet I can hear them pounding the pavement). It also meant that my shoes felt great when I did the tempo run. There's a big difference between my Mizuno Wave Riders and my Asics DS Trainers (they seem to have more cushioning).

Today, I did a "B" skip running drill. I did it after I was warmed up from about half an hour of exercising and before my five mile run. I've started doing a drill on Tuesdays when I run. You can find lots of videos of running form drills demonstrated online. If you click on my post title today, you can see …

Tina's Peach Crisp Recipe

These juicy, sweet peaches made delicious peach crisp.

Since my husband didn’t care for the oats in the original recipe and I found a better way to make the filling, I took the original recipe for fruit crisp from my Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book and came up with this recipe. I’ve made it a few times this summer and have some peaches ripening on my kitchen counter right now so that I can make it again soon. This simple-to-make recipe takes about an hour from start to finish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For peach filling:
Peel and slice 3 cups (about 4) peaches and place peaches in a colander over a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons sugar to peaches. Stir occasionally while preparing the topping.

For topping:
In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in ¼ cup butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.

Place the peaches in an 7 inch (approximately) round baking dish. Whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch into peach juice to thicken juice. Po…

Ten Today

I ran ten miles today at a 9:35/mile overall pace. The last mile was nearly impossible to finish, but now that it's over it doesn't seem so bad. How quickly I forget!

Mile splits- 10:04, 9:41, 9:36, 9:28, 9:08, 9:19, 9:14, 9:22, 9:53, 10:07

In the last mile, I had to stop my Garmin and walk for a little bit. Then when I turned it back on, it didn't seem like it was working. It was, but I had to watch it and make sure the distance was changing. How long can it take to finish a mile? It seemed like forever.

Running Advice to Get Faster

Here's some advice from running coach Brad Hudson I found on the web at He coaches 2:13 marathoner and Olympic gold medal marathon hopeful Dathan Ritzenhein.

Run Faster, Expend Less Energy
"Whether you're trying to log a faster 10-K or just keep up with your bean-thin teen, the key to running more efficiently is to reduce the amount of time your feet spend on the ground. One of the best ways to do this is with hill sprints. Find a stretch of road with a 10 percent grade (think: bunny slope) and sprint up it for 10 to 12 seconds. Stay on your toes, lifting your feet rapidly and taking short, quick strides. Walk back down, rest three minutes, and repeat. Steadily work your way up to six to eight sprints. In so doing, you'll condition your fast-twitch muscle fibers--the ones that count in the 40-yard dash--to fire at maximum intensity, and your nervous system to relay signals more efficiently."

Build Speed Stamina
"Everyone knows that interva…

Gotta Plan?

I'm going to use the 24 week/55 mile marathon training plan from Advanced Marathoning (1st edition) by Pfitzinger and Douglas, but I'm going to personalize it. I've penciled in next month's miles in my running journal (a planner I bought at Walmart for $4).
I did some warm-up stetching and then I took off for my eight mile run. I ran two miles away from home (in the second mile I ran five sprints with recovery jogs) and raced two miles back, trying to keep the pace fast all of the way. I stopped at home for a couple of minutes to stretch, get a drink and to wipe my sweaty face with a towel - the best part of the rest-stop. I ran an easy mile and then I tried to pick up the pace slightly for two miles before I ran a cool down mile.
After the run, I went shopping and an older shopper saw me loading my car with mulch and offered to help. I didn't take him up on the offer, but that was very kind! Do you know how heavy those bags are?! I think I've bought enough foo…

My Orange Shoes

Today was a long run day, but I'm taking a recovery week so it was sort of a short long run of ten miles at a comfortable pace (9:13/mile). A couple of weeks ago, I ran a ten miler at a comfortable 9:30 pace so there's a little bit of improvement. Maybe it's because of the last words I heard just before I left my house. My husband saw me in my orange (bright, bright orange) Asics DS Trainers and said, "Those shoes make you look like a fast runner!"

~Gotta Run Now

My Husband Catches a Snake

Yesterday, after we went for a run at the park, our dogs let us know that something was in our yard that didn't belong. Here is the video I took of my husband catching a non-poisonous snake that was on our back porch. If you're a snake-lover, don't worry, he only moved it away from the house. You'll hear my husband suggest I need to get closer to get a good picture, but I was pretty close to the snake. Really, really close!

~Gotta Run Now

Oops! 4 x 400 Meters

I planned to run four 800 intervals today. I looked at my running journal this morning to remind myself of my plan, but what was really on my mind was how glad I was that I was only running four of those intervals instead of six (because that was an option).

My husband and I drove to the park and I programmed my Garmin, but I had four firmly planted in my brain. I set my Garmin to run four 400's with two minute recovery jogs.

I ran at a warm-up pace for about a mile and then I threw in 6-7 sprints in the second mile. After running two miles, I started the 400's. The first two intervals were okay (in a hard sort of way), but the third one was so hard that I wondered if I could finish. The fourth interval was so hard that I thought if my Garmin didn't beep very soon I would just have to stop before the time was up. Then it beeped! Phew!

I ran about two miles in cool-down mode. Today's total run was 5 1/2 miles long.

After lunch, I got a chance to check out my numbers. Oops! …

Recovery Run

My favorite lunch is leftovers (so easy!), but since I didn't have any and a peanut butter sandwich sounded a little boring, I made this chicken and noodles concoction. I cooked some chicken, some noodles and some vegetables and put it all together with a spoonful of basil pesto and topped it with some parmesan cheese. I thought it looked good enough to take a picture.
I'm still confused about which running plan to use to train for the marathon. I was really considering one of Pfitzinger's plans, but then I came across Matt Fitzgerald's Brain Training for Runners which has a few plans in it... I ran a recovery run of five miles this morning at a 9:50/mile pace. I usually drink every two miles, but only wanted to bring one water bottle and planned to drink at the midway point. I was thirsty at mile two and had to get some sips at mile 2.3 and finally got a good drink at mile 2.5. I probably would have been fine waiting until the midway point, but when you're brain is…

Stray Dogs & Cars, Too

I ate some pancakes for my pre-run meal around 6AM and then I waited for the rain and thunder to stop. I waited and I waited. Since I didn't get out to run until about 9:30AM, I had another snack (half of a peanut butter and banana sandwich). It rained during the whole run, but at least the thunder and lightning had stopped.

At first, I felt heavy and slow, but once I passed the .56 mile mark (I checked my Garmin), I felt pretty good. Maybe I ate too much before my run. It was 81 degrees, but the rain cooled me down and it felt easier than usual to run eight miles.

In the first mile, I saw a familiar brown dog in the middle of the street. I walked up to the house where I thought his owner lived and rang the doorbell. No answer. I called the first number on his dog tag. The numbers were tiny and this dog was squirmy. I left a message at "somebody's" number. Then I called the second number on the tag and while I was talking to the lady on the other end, she walked up to …

A Better Twelve Miler

Because Hurricane Dolly might bring rain and wind to the Houston area tomorrow, this morning I decided to run my long run today instead of later in the week.

I ran twelve miles for my long run this week because last week I had such a hard twelve mile run. I thought it would make me feel better if I ran a decent twelve miles this week.

I drank Gatorade and had water with gel every couple of miles last week which made me feel terrible. This week I drank every two miles: alternating Gatorade and water. That worked for me today.

Today's run was so much better than last week's long run. I never felt like I couldn't run anymore. I didn't have to think up pep-talks. I was tired in the last few miles, but it was nothing like last week when I started out too fast. It's a good thing when a twelve mile run doesn't require everything you've got, but I'm not saying I felt like turning my twelve mile run into a thirteen mile run, either. ; )

Here are the mile splits: 9:4…

3 x 30 Second Sprints

Last night, I looked through my running journal to see if I recently ran at anywhere near my sprinting goal for today - a 7:07/mile pace - ever. I thought seeing some fast paces would give me a little confidence. I looked and looked and then I gave up.

This morning I ran a couple of miles to warm-up and then I started my thirty second sprints. The thirty seconds went by so fast that I didn't have time to think about anything except my running form. During my recovery jog, I checked my Garmin to see my pace - 6:29. I ran the second one at 6:24. Happiness! : )

After that, I was tired and thirsty and on my way home for a drink. At the last second I decided that I wanted to get the third sprint over with so I hit the button on my Garmin and raced home. I felt slow. I didn't take the time to check my time on that one and ran a few more miles to finish up my seven mile run.

When I got home, I checked the pace for the last sprint - 6:09. The numbers are already in my running journal. Ma…

A Good Run

I'm glad I woke up early (5:25AM) in order to get my run in before I got too busy today. I ran a little over eight miles with ten one-hundred meter (about 0.06 miles) sprints. My pace for most of the run was supposed to be a moderate effort and it was nice to not have the pressure of having to run at a specific pace. I ran the first 6 1/2 miles at a 9:21 pace and then I started the sprints.

I ran just a tad over forty miles this week.

~Gotta Run Now

It Looks Good At First...

I ran twelve miles with an average pace of 9:45/mile. I wish I could stop there, but it's not as good as it sounds.

First problem: I drank Gatorade or drank water with a gel every two miles until I couldn't stand it anymore. Next time, I need some "water only" breaks.

Next problem: I started out too fast and by the six mile point of my run, I wanted to quit. That's partly because I picked up the pace even more at the start of mile five, hoping to do two or three marathon paced miles. I felt good in the beginning of my run. The running felt easy. There was a breeze. I didn't want to slow down. Bad choice.

By the five and a half mile mark, I was spent. There was a walker with her dog (I was at the park today) who apologized because he was standing in the middle of the path and all that I could do was whisper, "Izzokay." Compare that a few miles before when I saw someone with a dog, I smiled and asked what kind it was as I ran by and then yelled back that…

Two Marathon Pace Miles

I ran seven miles this morning with two being marathon pace miles. While I was out there running, I decided that I'd run the two marathon pace miles at 8:47 for a 3:50 marathon finish. Since I was drenched in sweat and tired after running four miles (part of this while running from a dog), it was an easy decision to make, but maybe not the best time to make it.

"Hmm... Do I feel like running at an 8:24 pace or 8:47?"

It was a little bit hard to get down to marathon pace. Those two miles were run at 8:54 and 8:37. If you average that, (let's do that or I'll be unhappy with the first mile) you get 8:45 or 8:46. Goal accomplished.

If I run with a marathon pace group, my finish time goal should be either 3:40 or 3:50 (they don't have a 3:45 pace group). I could try for 3:40, but that would be a stretch (8:24 pace) and it might mean starting too fast and slowing too much and not even finishing in 3:50. On the other hand, a 3:50 finish would only be a four minute and …

Pictures at the Park

I had a little diversion during my five mile run this morning at the park. My husband took some pictures of me so that I could add a picture to my blog. The picture shows the park where I usually run when I blog about running at the park. When I run there I need to keep my eyes open for wild pigs, coyotes and snakes. I've seen them all there.

~Gotta Run Now

When It's Good To Be Wrong

Today the goal was to work on increasing my stride frequency. I followed a plan I came across that Greg McMillan came up with, which was to warm-up, run 10-15 sprints and 6-8 quarter milers (time should be 1:54-2:00 or about 8:00/mi and faster pace) and then to cool-down. How did the plan work out? I warmed up for a mile. I ran the sprints for one mile (I only had time for 9) and then I started the quarter mile work, with recovery jogs for half the distance.

The quarter milers were tough. By the third one, I was giving myself the "you're almost half-way done" pep talk. By the sixth one, I was telling myself, "Legally, you can quit. There will be no shame. The goal is to run from 6-8 of these." By the seventh one, the only one I went over my goal time with 8:21, I thought I should quit before it gets worse, but I didn't want to quit. During the eighth one, I was exhausted. I really didn't think I had anything left. I knew my time would be really slow, but…

Just Because

When I woke up Wednesday I was surprised that my heel pain was completely gone. I went for a run that morning. My mile splits: 9:34, 8:31, 8:40, 8:39, 7:53, and 9:29/mi.
I ran an easy five miles on Thursday and ten miles Friday. I kept the pace pretty steady for my long run at 9:30.
This morning my husband and I ran at the park. I ran six miles at a 9:30 pace. It was much harder than yesterday's run. I didn't have much energy left after yesterday's long run.

You know what my sweet husband gave me yesterday? Roses! Just because.
~Gotta Run Now

Freedom 5K Race Report

I found my place at the race start, chatted with another runner and soon it was time to begin running. I had trouble getting down to my goal pace of 7:34 and within the first half mile I thought that I'd already ruined my race. Not good! I didn't want to give up so early in the race so I started thinking like a cheerleader.

"Don't give up yet!"

"Way to round that corner closely!"

"Way to pass that runner!"

My finishing time was 24:01 minutes (7:44/mile average pace). I PR'ed by 13 seconds, but I wish I could have run at least one second faster. 24:00 sounds so much better!

This race made me want to push myself harder. Is it time to go running again? I'm ready!

~Gotta Run Now

Only 199 Days Until the Marathon

I signed up for the January 18, 2009 Houston Marathon! I was planning on running in the Kingwood marathon, a smaller marathon with only 300 runners, but I want to run in a pace group this year so I changed my mind and signed up for Houston. If I'm in a group, I should be okay even if I have trouble with my Garmin like I did in January... unless everyone else has trouble with their Garmin, too. Impossible, right?! Besides, running with a group will be fun.

I don't know which marathon training plan to use. The plans I'm thinking about are the Ultimate Marathon Training Plan - Advanced, one of the plans at the Boston Marathon website, or the 55 mile/24 week plan in Pfitzinger's book, Advanced Marathoning.

So far, my goal is 3:50:59 (to BQ). The first time I ran a marathon my goal was just to finish. The second time my goal was to PR. This will be my second time to try to BQ (and my fourth marathon).

I came across an article about running in the heat at the NY Times website t…

Mid-week Catch-up

Sunday, I ran five miles at the park. My husband, who ran with me, saw a feral hog near the trees on the back loop so later when I ran along that path alone, I kept my eyes on those trees. It was uncomfortable to run while looking off to the side, but I didn't want to get chased by a hog. The problem with keeping your eyes on the trees is that you miss what's on the path ahead.

I just happened to look down in time to see a red, yellow and black striped snake within a foot of my feet. I took a giant leap in the other direction and ran down the path - fast! I don't know if it was a poisonous coral snake, a harmless milk snake or something else. Later, when my heart stopped pounding, I tried to remember the little snake rhyme that helps you identify the non-poisonous snake: "Red touching black is a friend of Jack." Unfortunately, I twisted the rhyme up so that if I'd trusted my little ditty, I would have thought the poisonous snake was harmless, but I think I'…

Packet Pick-up Today

I picked up my race packet today for the Freedom 5K. Here's my new t-shirt. Racing will be fun, but I have my doubts about beating 24:14 (my last and best 5K time) based on my recent speedwork. I'm hoping just being in a race will make a big difference.
I ran five and a half miles this morning at the park. I warmed up and then I ran two sets of one and a half miles at a "faster" pace. When I finished the first one and a half "faster" miles (at 8:30) my face felt like it was on fire. I took a short "drink/dry off/stretch" break and was off again. My next one and a half miles was slightly faster (8:25). I ran a mile more at a comfortable pace (9:59).
It was so sunny, humid and hot this morning. ~Gotta Run Now

Good Enough

Today's goal: run 10 miles at 9:35 or slower except for two miles at 8:15.

I felt hot and sweaty in the first couple of miles - worse than usual, but a couple of miles later, I felt much better. Then I heard the barking.

This time, the loose dog didn't chase me down the street, but I sped up quite a bit (9:16 for that mile) when I ran by the dog and it was hard to slow down and relax afterwards. I know, I know... How hard can it be to slow down?

Later, when I had planned to speed up, I pushed myself for one and a half miles, but not two. Air? Where was the air? Sweat was dripping into my eyes and all that I had to wipe my face was my wet shirt sleeve. I hit mile 8.49 at the corner and I got a drink and I walked for a minute or two. One and a half miles would have to be good enough.

So I gave up on the speed, but not the ten miles. I slowed the pace down to "comfortable" and finished the run.

Here are the boring mile splits (at least that's what I've been told, so …

More Deer

I can hardly believe all the deer I'm seeing lately.

Yesterday I saw a deer at the end of the street when I was on my 8 mile run. Then I saw it again and again as I ran back and forth on our street.

This morning when I went outside for my 5 1/2 mile run I saw a deer standing close to the front of our house. I'm starting to get a little more used to seeing deer now and my jaw doesn't drop open now, but it's still a lot of fun to see them.

Update at 8:30PM: I just saw another deer just outside our back yard fence. If I ever get a good deer photo, I'll share it.

~Gotta Run Now

Upcoming Freedom 5K Race

'09 Update: Go to my updated blog post for 2009 Freedom 5K race information.

Posted on 6/23/08:
Yesterday I ran about six miles with some speedwork and today I ran some recovery miles. It feels good to run at an easy pace after a hard workout the day before. The humidity has let up a little in the mornings. Every little bit helps a lot.

Have you signed up for a Fourth of July race yet? It's time to sign up for the Freedom 5K in Sugar Land, TX. If you pick up your race packet at Raising Canes this Saturday, you get a free lunch. I hope I see you at Cane's and at the race, too!

~Gotta Run Now


Gotta Run Faster

The goal: to run 11 miles with miles 8-10 fast, but I also had some unplanned speedwork today.

Lessons learned before I reached mile 8:

I only have to run 8:23/mi to outrun a little dog.

I can run 5:26/mi when running away from a big dog!

After that bit of excitement, I slowed down until mile 8. It felt great to pick up the pace for about 1 1/2 miles and then it was just plain hard for the next 1 1/4 miles. My face was red-hot. My entire body was drenched. I was miserable. But my Garmin showed that my pace was okay and there was only a quarter of a mile to go. That changed everything! I was able to finish mile ten strong.

I ran 11.12 good miles today. I averaged a 9:19/mi pace and miles 8, 9, and 10 were run at 8:29, 8:14, 8:17/mi.

~Gotta Run Now

Garmin-less Run

I woke up at 6AM, ate some Cheerios topped with half of a banana, dressed and started setting up my Garmin for my run when I got the "low-battery" message. Surely, it could last just fifty minutes or so. Right? Nope. 1/3 of a mile into my run, my Garmin was dead.

I had planned a speedwork session with a run of about 4-5 miles. I estimated the distance I wanted to run and did the speedwork by how hard it felt. Since I was running in my neighborhood, I think I may be pretty close on my distance guesses. If gas wasn't about $4 a gallon, I could drive the run and see how I did right now, but instead I'll check myself the next time I run that same route.

I think I ran a warm-up mile, three intervals (3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 mile) with recovery jogs and about a mile (plus change) for my cool-down.

When I saw that blank screen on my Garmin, my first thought was that I should just go home, charge my Garmin battery and run later. Instead, I kept on running down the road, but I thought …

Walnut and Blueberry Bran Pancake Recipe

I did a short run yesterday and we had a picnic at the park where we saw a baby armadillo digging around in the dirt. He looked just like those cute little stuffed animals you see in the stores here in Texas.

Yesterday, I made pancakes for lunch and I microwaved them for breakfast this morning. If you'd like the recipe for the Walnut and Blueberry Bran Pancake recipe I found in Runner's World magazine, click on my blog post title for today. I didn't follow the directions exactly: I used reduced fat milk and old-fashioned oats, but they were still good.

The plan for today was to run nine miles with two or three later miles run at half marathon pace, depending on how I felt. I haven't run a half marathon since last fall, but then my pace was about 8:30. Here are today's splits: 9:37, 9:36, 9:44, 9:35, 9:35, 9:30, 8:35, 8:21 and 8:41/mi. I drank something every two miles - alternating Gatorade and water.

I felt pretty good out there. Maybe the lack of wind (last week was…

Donut Run

National Donut Day was last Friday, and I didn't even get a donut! : ( That's a photo I took of a donut shop in Los Angeles while on vacation a few weeks ago, and I did get a donut that day. : )

I heard about a 5K race where you eat donuts during the race. You get points for eating donuts and get seconds deducted off your total time for the number of donuts that you eat. Will someone please put on a race like that in the Houston area?! Click on my blog title for today if you want to learn more about the 5K Doughnut Run.

I ran a little over 8 miles with six half-mile intervals today. My fastest interval was the last one. Yay! I ran it in three minutes and fifty-three seconds. Next time, I'm shooting for 3:50. It's great when my neighbors cheer for me. This morning, I got a "You go, Girl!" during one of those 1/2 mile intervals. It was a great run.

~Gotta Run Now

Happy One Year Blog Anniversary at Gotta Run Now!

Today is my blog's first anniversary. Eat a cupcake and put on your party hat! Thank you for reading my blog and commenting, too - that's one of the best parts of having a blog.

I ran eight miles this morning with some speed work included (1 mile, 3/4 mile and a 1/2 mile) and I wish I knew how fast I ran the intervals, but I didn't set my watch correctly.

I bought some Mizuno Wave Rider 11 shoes yesterday and I wore them on my run today. They aren't a new kind for me, just a larger size. Hopefully, I won't have any problems with my toenails turning purple and falling off now. Added later: That's a picture we took a few years ago when one of our puppies had a birthday. They each got a peanut butter cupcake. My daughter (who's away at college now) helped me to get them to sit and wait for their cupcakes.
~Gotta Run Now

Python on my Running Trail

Today I was finishing up my first mile at Sugar Land Memorial Park when I saw a 6 foot long snake. I ran up beside it and quickly ran off the path into the grass to put some space between us. Once I felt like I was a safe distance from the snake, I stopped and looked back.

At first, no one was around. After a few minutes, I saw my husband who was also at the park for a run. I waved my arms to tell him that I found a snake and that he should turn around. I guess I'm pretty good at pantomimes because he figured out that I had seen a snake. He gave me a thumbs up sign and started running faster towards the snake. That was not what I wanted!

He caught up to me and we found a pillow case laying beside the snake so we guessed that someone left their pet snake at the park. I called animal control and the snake was caught and taken to a Houston wild animal facility by the snake catcher. She thought he was a python and that he was a "sweetie"!

After our run, we looked at snake p…

Impact a Hero Volunteer

I didn't run in the Impact a Hero 5k this year, but it was still so much fun. At first, I manned a volunteer sign-in table. With that finished, I made it over to the starting line just in time to see the racers in their wheelchairs, the runners and the walkers take off.

I learned a little about traffic control (it can be dangerous) and then I found the best job - I pulled chips off shoes. My husband sat beside me and we had a little chip competition going - the one with the most chips wins. We applauded and cheered for the folks who finished the race and gave a standing ovation to the heroes - the soldiers.

My favorite sights: the soldiers finishing the race; the toddler with a big pout who didn't want to run the 1K when everyone else did, but changed her mind a few minutes later; seeing a seventy-five year old finish the 5K in less than 25 minutes (I'd love to do that when I'm 75); and the little boy who ran the 1K in his cowboy boots. I sure hope that lil' cowboy…

Memorial Day

I ran six miles with ten one-hundred meter strides this morning. My overall pace was 9:12/mi.

It was nice to see the flags flying. I hope you have a good holiday!

~Gotta Run Now

Afternoon Update: I don't want this to become a snake blog, but I saw another snake today when I was mowing in the front yard. We think it was a big, fat water snake. Three days in a row of seeing snakes is a bit much for me.

A Double Run Day

Yesterday I ran six miles at 6AM, wanting to run before it heated up. I did a warm-up run for a mile and a half and then I ran three minutes fast and followed that with a three minute recovery jog four times total. Then I ran nearly two miles to finish up my run.

In the afternoon, my husband surprised me and asked if I wanted to meet him at the park when he got off work, so I got some running clothes on, asked our daughter if she wanted to come along and bring Zoe, the weimaraner, which she did, and we were off. It was about 90 degrees, so we took it easy and drank lots of water. Zoe cooled off in the lake. I ran a little, walked a little and did hillwork. For hillwork, I ran up a "10 second hill" five times, sometimes with some family competition.

I ran four miles today in our neighborhood. It was a little tough because of the temperature - 77 degrees. I had better start out earlier tomorrow.

~Gotta Run Now

Back Home

See the yellow smile face cookie? That's how we felt while on our California vacation. We had a nice trip visiting our family. I took way too many snacks with me. As you can see, they have food in California, too.

Sunday I got a good five mile run in with hills and stadium steps at a nice park. The temperature was in the 60's. So nice. We hiked in the mountains that afternoon.

Wednesday we were home and I ran about six miles and the temperature was in the high 70's with the "feels like" temperature of 84 when I finished. After a warm-up, I thought I'd do some fast half-milers. Towards the end of the first one I decided that I'd do quarter mile sprints instead because that first half mile just seemed to go on and on and on.

Today I ran five miles (average pace of 9:31) and it was only about 70 degrees.

~Gotta Run Now