Showing posts from October, 2009

Great Pumpkin Fun Run 5K

I just got a 5K PR! Chip time: 23:32.

Yesterday I signed up for the Great Pumpkin Fun Run 5K because it sounded like a fun way to get my 5K pace tempo run done.

This morning, I drove into downtown Houston, shivering from the chilly 52 degrees. I parked and ran towards the start line with the race map in my hand. With only 15 minutes to find the start line, that was my warm-up.

I had a few things I wanted to do today and I actually did them all!
Hit start and stop on my Garmin when I cross the mats.Start closer to the front.Beat my PR of 24:01.Run a 7:36 average pace.Even if it feels really hard, keep running strong! In the first mile, a purple grape and Superman both passed me and then I actually passed Superman in the last mile! And you know he was running faster than a speeding bullet! ; )

Part of the race route was on the half marathon route I ran last Sunday and the running route I ran yesterday so the streets were familiar. So were the hills! I only had to run up a couple today…

Hello, Humidity!

My first thought when I started running today was that I should have posted yesterday.

Yesterday I had one of those great runs that makes you glad you are a runner - aches dissipated and people were smiling and singing along the running trail. Singing? Yes! : )

And I didn't think a post about today's run would be nearly as happy. It's the same old story... Hello, Humidity!

But then I crossed the street to run on the bike trail (south side of Memorial, for you locals) and the new sights helped. It was woodsy and quiet. After a couple of miles, I crossed the street again to run on the usual trail where I felt safer. I'll try that bike trail again when there are more people on it.

After awhile, the humidity didn't bother me and I was able to speed up. You never know what will happen on a run. Sometimes you just can't speed it up and sometimes you can. Maybe it was because I took in more fuel than usual: Gatorade every two miles except for mile four where I had Gu and …

Pre-race Anxiety Remedy

To do away with pre-race nervousness on race morning, do something scarier than running a race. Catch a ride on the back of your husband's speedy motorcycle! (OK, so he says he was going the speed limit, but it felt really fast!)

When we hit the road bumps, my hands were clenched in mortal fear around his waist and the rest of my body was flying through the air. And not with the greatest of ease! Yes, except for my hands, my whole body was hovering over the motorcycle!

And worries about the race? What worries?!

That photo was taken just after I finished running the Houston half marathon last Sunday and it was time to get on the motorcycle again... And I was smiling! It's the challenges! Isn't life fun?! Well, except for the helmet hair!

~Still Recuperating! Kinda Sore!

Koala/Luke's Locker Houston Half Marathon Race Report

Yes, I had fun, but I didn't PR. My gun time was 1:55:26 and I needed to beat 1:50:57. My Garmin says 1:54:01, pressed a few seconds after I crossed the finish line, but I don't know my chip time yet. The race site states that time corrections are being processed for specific runners. I'm one of them. And now, let's carry on with the race report... : )

It was hilly! So that's where Houston's been hiding the hills! There were some clouds, but it was warm (63* at the start) and I was drenched in sweat! It was windy! I know... So where's the fun part?! First, I have to tell you my little sob story... Don't worry. It's very little.

Just after eating a Gu gel at mile four (ate one at mi. 8, too), I meant to get two cups of water (because I knew I'd spill some), but I got a cup of water and Gatorade - my fault. I went forward anyway, then ran back, and then changed my mind and went on. Unhappy about that time waster and missed water, I put one ear pho…

Racewear & New Chip

Have you seen the new chips like the one on my shoe? I can keep it after the race, but I don't think I'll leave it on my shoe like I did the small round one I received at the '08 Houston marathon. This one is kind of big.
That other one was on a retired running shoe that I wore to my first visit with my new dentist a couple of weeks ago. He saw it when I was up in the chair and asked me about marathons. I had the water tube in my mouth and a couple of hands in there, too, but somehow I managed to tell him all about running marathons. Well, he asked!
The weather forecast for the Houston Half Marathon race day keeps getting warmer (66-80* that day) so I'm dressing for warm weather. See my race day outfit on Winnie the Pooh? Original layout? No?
I'm hoping the colors will make me easy to spot. That's what I thought when I wore an orange shirt, too. I was wrong. Orange was very in!
I ran four miles this morning and it was a chilly 53 degrees. I don't think I real…

Half Marathon Race Goals

There are only three days until the Houston Koala/Luke's Locker half marathon. Sunday, it's supposed to be partly cloudy (clouds are good!) with a low of 63*. That's a little warm, but compared to some recent runs, maybe it will feel nice.
The last time I ran this race ('07), it was about 55* and my finishing time was 1:50:57. My main race goal is to PR, but my next goal is to run at an 8:14/mile average and finish in 1:48. If I feel fine after mile 10, I'll speed up.
If I feel really good, I'll start out at an 8:10 average for a time of 1:47:04. Someday, I'd really like to run the half marathon in 1:45 (8 min/mile average). Here's the tool I used to get all of those numbers: Cool Running Race Pace Calculator.
Photo: A butterfly enjoying the flowers in my yard. Pre-race butterflies in my stomach aren't too bad for me this time. It's my third time to run this race and my fourth half marathon. It will be fun!

Taper Week Mid-Week WO

Today I ran my last hard run before the Koala/Luke’s Houston Half Marathon this Sunday. I wanted to run two half marathon paced miles sandwiched between two warm-up and two cool-down miles, but the humidity slowed me down to closer to marathon pace.

If it's humid on race day, I'll need to revise my goals. Maybe I could just call it a long marathon paced training run. But really, whether it's humid or not, race days are fun days and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for all of the encouraging comments!

Another Armadillo

I headed towards my usual running trail at the park and spotted an armadillo coming out of the woods. It ignored me and crossed the street where a patient driver slowed to a stop and let it pass. Armadillos are funny looking animals. This is my second sighting since we moved into a house a few blocks away from Memorial Park in Houston.

A few days ago I walked into the same woods that I saw the armadillo leaving and took a picture of this berry plant with clusters of purple berries - a black nightshade, I think. This is the first time I've seen this pretty, but poisonous plant.

I ran an easy 4 1/4 mile run this morning - conserving energy for that half this weekend.

Speedwork Before the Half Marathon

I ran over to the park, got a drink of water at the tennis courts and crossed the street to the 1/4 mile track, a new place for me. One speedster just finished flying around the track and left. So, clockwise or counter-clockwise? Inside or outside lane? I don't know what the 'rules' are, but I went with counter-clockwise (that's what the last runner did) and middle lane, unless I was passing and there was room on the inside lane.

I 'sort of' followed this plan: run 5 x 800m. with 90 second rests with the first and last at the fastest pace and the middle one at the slowest pace.

My minute/mile pace for the 800's along with interesting details ; ) :
7:497:10 I saw someone I recognized during this one and waved. Yeah, I'm running at a 7:10 pace and I can wave, too! 8:01 See what happens when you brag?! Let that be a lesson to me!7:317:20 Started this one smiling (because it's the last one), but ended up looking very, um, let's just say focused and dri…

It's Cooler!

Yesterday was a great running day! It was only sixty-seven degrees and it was a speedwork day. After a 1.5 mile warm-up, I ran a mile four times with four minute rests (get a drink of water and run easy) in between. My goal was 8:09/miles and I ran them in 8:00 - 8:08. I tried to memorize the feeling of running at that pace - my goal pace for the half marathon.

Of course, racing is going to be a little easier. Everyone else will be running their fastest. I'll try to be fast, too! The people who stand along the road and cheer will push me forward. I will listen to all of their encouraging words. And I'll believe them!

I ran 4.5 miles today. There were lots of people out there enjoying the cool 58*. Lots of cheerful smiles and hellos today. : )

Photo: After my run at Memorial Park yesterday, I went back with my camera to take pictures along my running route. There were a handful of butterflies there fluttering around these flowers.

My Happy Foot

Here are my comfy ASICS 1140's I wore today on my pain-free 6.56 mile run. : ) I only meant to run 6 miles, but I forgot to keep an eye on how many miles I had run when I was running up and down the hills.

That was the last part of my workout, though. I started with a warm-up and then I ran for 25 minutes starting slowly and ending at a faster pace. And then, a few hills.

But let me tell you how my morning started. (I'm really going backwards this morning!) My hubby found me at the computer (we just moved into a teeny-tiny house and somehow it's hard to find each other!) and he told me to be careful on my run.

"Oh yeah, I'll come back if it hurts," I told him. But he wasn't talking about my foot. He was talking about the heat! So he left for work and I started running down the street. It felt so humid - about 80*. My foot felt fine, but I forgot my wash cloth to wipe my sweaty face. My visor felt like it was strangling my brain! I turned around at the 0.05 m…

Probably No Big Deal

Yesterday at the very end of my run, the top of my left foot hurt and it hurt a little when I walked, too, later. I iced it and thought it was nothing, but I felt it again when I started out on my easy run this AM, so I cut my run short and walked home. Better to miss an easy day than to keep running and cause a bigger problem.

12 Mile Run at Memorial Park

I had a great 12 mile progression run this morning at the park. It didn't feel that humid and it was only 67*, but my legs just didn't want to go faster than 10:00/mi for the first three miles. The next three miles averaged 9:40. That's better!

I ate a tangerine with caffeine Powerbar gel at mile 4.5. At mile 5.5, I started my music. I haven't listened to music on the run in weeks so it was a nice change. At mile six, there was a short rain shower and a breeze that cooled me off and I wanted to run faster. Isn't that the best, when you would normally be tired, but you feel great and want to run faster?!

I sped up in the last six miles, with the last four miles averaging 8:39 - faster than I had hoped I could run, but I felt that good! Smiles all around! : )

Cool Run!

57 Degrees! I finished up my 50 mile week on a high note - a cool morning! Saturday morning runs are fun. We live on a popular running route (the bike route which leads to Memorial Park) and there are always lots of runners all along my route on Saturdays. It's almost like running in a race, but not as fast. Well, not today ; ) - it was just an easy-paced 4 1/2 mile run. Have a wonderful weekend!

10 More Humid Miles

This whole week has been so hot and humid. I had planned to run 10 miles with 6 fast miles (may have been too hard even in cool weather!), but when I saw that it felt like 90* at 7AM, I changed the plan: run 1 mile fast, run 0.75 mile fast, run 0.5 mile fast, and run 0.25 mile fast with slow running in between the intervals. Sounded doable even in the heat and if I felt good, I'd do the whole routine twice. (I didn't.)
After a 15 minute warm-up, I started on the fast mile, hoping for at least a 9:00/mile. Got it - 8:26! I gave all I had in the first mile, though - the rest of my timed intervals came out at 9:03, 9:05 and 8:24. I ate a gel, got a drink, and sat on a bench. I didn't really think about it - about sitting, but I was so tired - and there was that nice bench. I made myself get up and stretch. When I started running again, my legs were heavy - I sat too long.
I ran five more miles which included an unplanned run home for some cold Gatorade (it tasted so good) and …

A Humid 8.6 Miles

First of all, the humidity here in Houston was a big deal if you were outside this morning - it felt like 90-93*. Hot!

I stepped onto the road in front of my house and headed towards the park. A few runners ran by and I wondered how they could run so fast on such a hot day. I ran onto the park loop and I was glad that I wasn't the only one running in the heat.

I ran down the path to the downhill/uphill portion of the loop. The rest of the Memorial Park loop is flat, and today this is where I planned to get a little hard work in. I ran the downhill/uphill part 4 times (fairly fast) finishing with (fairly fast) strides at the end of each one on a flat part.

I was drenched in sweat and it was running into my eyes. I forgot to bring a wash cloth (I cut one in thirds for running with). I saw someone with a towel and thought, I'd pay her for that, but I didn't have any money. Probably a good thing!

I ran back around the rest of the loop and stopped at the refrigerated water fountain…

Wildlife On My Run

I've been told to look out for coyotes in Memorial Park. Each morning when I start out running on the woodsy part of the trail, I look into the trees for coyotes, wondering if they'd watch me run by or if they'd run away. Once I saw one at Memorial Park in Sugar Land (Houston suburbs). It stood quietly watching as I ran by.

At the end of my five mile run this morning I saw something that I couldn't quite figure out trying to cross the street from the park into my neighborhood. I got out my camera phone, just in case it was photo-worthy. I got two pictures of the armadillo before it took off into the trees at the park - my first time to see an armadillo at Memorial Park in Houston - probably the first of many.

17 1/4 Mile Run

So the training continues and today I ran a little over 17 miles. I never had any pain (knees just felt a little tired when I started back up after a water break at 15 miles) and I never felt like I couldn't finish. I pushed myself a bit to get a 10:03/mi. average pace.

It was a warm 75*, but the clouds kept me from feeling too hot. And, of course, the trees along the path helped, too. I would have liked to have run a little faster, but since it was warm, I didn't push too hard.

I wore Drymax socks. Twice on my run, the air flowing through my shoes felt nice and cool like a fan was blowing on them. Maybe it was the occasional breeze. Nice.

I meant to just run 17, but my calculations were a little off. Told myself I'd stop at 17 if I needed to, but I didn't.

Clif Shot Bloks

Last Monday I ate 3 strawberry Clif Shot Bloks at miles 5 & 9 of my 14 mile run. Today around mile 4 I ate three cran-razz Bloks. Both flavors were good - they taste like candy.

I like the packaging, too - a long strip. It was easy to squeeze them out of the package one at a time while I ran. And I surprised myself - I can chew (with my mouth closed - that's important!) and run at the same time! Monday I noticed little things like that it was taking me 1/4 mile (a long time!) to chew three Bloks, but today I just ate them without even thinking about it - a good thing. They still take more time to chew than it takes for me to swallow gel, though.

A Great 9 Miler!

After a two mile warm-up and two fast miles (goal: marathon pace) with a four minute slow-run rest in between the miles, I ate three Clif Shot Bloks. Yay, candy break!

Then I ran two faster miles (goal: 1/2 marathon pace) with a four minute slow-run rest in between the miles. Towards the end of the first mile, I saw some Army men standing and waiting with stop watches. I imagined that they were timing me and I ran faster. What?! You don't make up silly stories to help yourself run faster?! And a little later I saw Army runners coming towards me. They ran in boots and long pants (humid today and about 80*). Go, Army, go! That was my fastest mile!

I ran easy for four minutes and a runner just happened to slowly jog up beside me and start running fast just as my watch beeped: Go! So there we were racing down the path together! We were side by side until the other runner suddenly stopped to walk. Seemed like a good time to turn around and say, "Come on!" So I did. The other ru…