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Showing posts from July, 2008

My Orange Shoes

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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

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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

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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

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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'…