Saturday, June 28, 2008

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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

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 you know I'm listening!):

9:44, 9:40, 9:48, 9:32, 9:16, 9:26, 9:05, 8:13, 9:11, 9:32/mi.

Ave. pace: 9:20/mi. Still awake? ; )

Today's Deer Report: My husband saw a deer at 6AM this morning in the lot next door. We watched another one wander around outside tonight.

~Gotta Run Now

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

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

Monday, June 23, 2008

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

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Friday, June 20, 2008

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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

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 about why I wanted to keep going even without my Garmin. When you're running you have a lot of time to sort out the questions that plague you and I had 45 minutes to find the answer to my question.

I just like to run. The numbers aren't that important.

If only all of my questions could be answered as easily.

~Gotta Run Now

Thursday, June 12, 2008

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 very windy), what I ate and drank yesterday (a snack whenever hungry and lots of water) and what I drank during my run all worked together today. I hope to do a repeat next time.

~Gotta Run Now

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

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

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Python on my Running Trail

Sugar Land Memorial Park, Texas
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 pictures online and at the photos that we took of the snake. We think it might have been a boa constrictor instead of a python. They look a lot alike.

So today I ran five miles at an 8:50 pace and I saw a coyote, which was overshadowed by something more exciting - a sweet python!

~Gotta Run Now