Monday, September 28, 2009

Hard 14 Mile Run

I ran 14 miles at Memorial Park today. Ever since I started running at the park, I haven't listened to music while I run. I like to hear what's going on around me. Running without music has been surprisingly easy, but I wonder if it might have helped me in the later miles today.

If you lived in Houston, the first thing you would have noticed when you stepped out the door is that it was humid today. After I felt the humidity I decided that I'd be happy with ten minute miles. Somehow I was able to run the first seven miles with an average 9:30 pace. I wanted to keep it up.

That was hard to do in the second half of my run. The sun was out and it was hotter. I don't like to take walk breaks - it's hard to get going again, but I stopped often at the water fountains for a drink. In the twelfth mile, I changed my pace goal to "just keep running". The second half brought my total average down to 9:44, but I'm glad that I ran all of the way home.

Where would the challenge be if all of our runs were easy?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Would You Do For An Extra 6 Minutes?

I started out early, 6:51 AM to be exact. My plan was to run 6 miles at an easy ten minute pace, but then I started thinking...

I don't have a lot of time today, but if I run 9 minute miles, then I'll have an extra 6 minutes to clean up! So that's what ran through my head, six minutes, six minutes and look what I got for my splits: 9:14, 9:04, 8:44, 8:43, 8:56, and 8:58/mile.

Yahoo! I got my extra 6 minutes!

Friday, September 25, 2009

7+ At the Park

Today's running goal: seven miles with four of them "faster". And just how fast is faster? That depends...

Last night, I thought 8:00/miles would be mighty fine, but during my warm-up I decided that 9:00/mi. would be good, if I could. ; ) I just didn't feel like there were any fast miles inside of me today. Here's what I ended up with for my four "faster" miles: 8:59, 8:59 (like that consistency!), 8:35 (yay!) and 8:34/mile. So they weren't 8's, but they were faster than 9's! : )

That's a photo of where I usually begin my run at Memorial Park. The huge trees shade much of the path and the pine trees smell nice. After running about .3 mile here, I cross the street to run on the three mile crushed granite loop (really, it's just mostly dirt). After running on mostly sunny streets in my old neighborhood, I'm so thankful for the shaded trail and the water fountains. I'm spoiled!

Total Miles: 7.5
Today's temperature: 70*
Pre-run: 1/2 banana
During run: H2O
Post-run: chocolate milk and a little later, PB & Oats

I hope you get in a great run this weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How About 16 Miles? Today!

About 7AM today, I decided to run 16 miles this morning. I normally plan these long runs out a little farther in advance ; ), but there's a good chance for rain on my long run day this week (Friday).

Usually, I eat a healthy dinner the night before a long run, but last night I went to a baseball game. (Go Houston Astros! What?! You didn't know I liked baseball?! Me, either, but I had fun!) There's a lot of junk food eating that goes on at a game and I had it all including a huge ice cream sundae. No problems on my run, though. I worry too much!

During my run, I took a Powerbar tangerine gel at miles 5 and 11 and drank water, no Gatorade today. Normally, I'd eat more gels, but that was all that I had. Just two gels did the trick, though.

There was a cool breeze today and at mile 7, I remember thinking that I felt like I could run forever. Watch out, you know how those happy feelings fade fast sometimes! There was one part in the twelfth mile, where I felt hot, but soon I was running in the shade and all was well.

At mile 14, I headed home. I sped up (last 1 1/2 miles averaged 9:03/mi). It was only 72*. The sky was clear and blue. The rest of the route was mostly shady. My pace for the 16 mile run averaged 9:33/mile. What a great run!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where's My Treadmill?!

Can you find my treadmill?! See it back there by the window? I had to cut this morning's park run down to 3.5 miles because of the lightning and thunder. Too bad, but at least I only had 1.5 miles left to run, if only I could free my treadmill from the attack of the boxes!

I picked up the pace and ran home and there was my treadmill - trapped! Fifteen minutes later I had freed it. I watched the rain and lightning out the window and finished up my 5 mile run.

I lifted weights afterwards, working on my chest and triceps, doing fewer reps than I'm used to since I've taken a short break from weight work and my arm muscles were tired. It felt good to do the exercises.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Houston's Memorial Park 7 Mile Run

Here's a picture I took of Memorial Park back in April when we stayed in town while our house was being remodeled after Hurricane Ike hit it in September '08.

Today I ran over to the park to run 6 x 800's. I wish my times were all less than 8:00/mi, but at least they were all faster than 8:30. ; ) It's still warm here - around 80. Soon, the weather will cool down and I think I'll speed up. Pace for the 800's: 7:51, 8:26 (got distracted just thinking happy little thoughts), 8:03 (focused now), 8:21, 8:21, 8:24 (I was getting tired and wondered if I should call it a day during this one), 8:20 (Tried to make it my fastest. Oh well!).

I ran between water fountains. There were two about 1/2 a mile apart so that worked out perfectly - getting my 20 swallows each time.

Pre-run: Cheerios, 1/2 banana
Post-run: chocolate milk (Ovaltine)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Negative Splits

Today I stepped out my door and three fast runners ran by. I hadn't done any fast running all week and felt like speeding up today. I ran the first three miles at a comfortable fast pace.

In the fourth mile I wanted to work a little harder. There was a runner ahead of me wearing a red shirt and running a little faster than me. I tried to stay with the Red Shirt Runner. I made it to a down hill portion and sped up. Now Red Shirt Runner was going up a hill. Could I keep up when I reached the hill? Yes! That was just about a marathon paced mile. Thanks, Red Shirt Runner!

Saturday is a big running day - the best and busiest I've seen so far. (We moved to our new neighborhood on Monday.) I think I ran by a couple of huge running groups in the last half mile - maybe a hundred runners. Really!

I didn't pay much attention to my pace on my Garmin and figured my splits would be all over the place, but I was happily surprised when I got home and saw my splits: 9:37, 9:18, 9:13, 8:47, 8:22 with an average of 9:03/mile. Yay for negativity!

Friday, September 18, 2009

10 1/4 Miles at Houston Memorial Park

I wish you could have seen my legs when I got home after my run this AM. There was a dirt line at my ankles!!! If we had the camera and computers all set up here at home, I would have taken a picture and posted it! Why? I dunno, really! = )

I ran around the three mile dirt path at the park three times and then (Yay!) all I had to do was run home. The ten miles went by quickly. Most people ran the loop clock-wise (I don't know why, but that's how I started out, too) so when I ran it counter-clockwise, I didn't have to pass as many people. : ) This was my third run at the park and I'm starting to recognize people and learn how far apart the water fountains are now.

What a lot of runners there were out there! At one point, I could see 25 people (mostly runners) ahead of me on the path. In my old neighborhood, there were some days when I didn't see anybody else, not even a stray dog. And that was nice, but change is fun. Yes, I'm having fun now!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We Moved!

My new house is full of cardboard boxes. I can't even smell them any more. I wonder if I smell like a box now. ; ) The good thing is that I can see the floor in almost every room today.

When you move, pack your running necessities in a suitcase like I did. You could just label a running box, but that bright red suitcase really stands out amidst the brown boxes.

I really like our new neighborhood. : ) I've run ten miles so far and all of the new sights have made the miles go by quickly. When I run, I just head down my street four blocks and I'm at the park with tons of large shade trees, plenty of water fountains and tons of other runners. What inspiration! I ran 4 easy miles today and I'm looking forward to a longer run tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home

On Monday, my husband and I are moving out of the house we've lived in for nine years. I'll miss the quiet roads that I run on. Since living here, I've gotten used to seeing snakes (mostly!) and alligators - sometimes even when I run! It's been fun being a country gal.

It will be a few days until I can blog from our new house which is about an hour's drive from our old one in the Houston area.

But as soon as I get the chance, I'll let you know what the running is like. We'll only be four blocks away from a park with a partially-shaded running trail with water fountains. That's reason enough to move. Right?! ; )

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Run, Zoe, Run!

So what do you do after a long run? Jump in an ice bath? Take a nap?
Meet Zoe, our Weimaraner. She just finished running ten miles - a record high for her! After our long run, she thought it would be fun to play catch. There she is flying through the air after her favorite ball. After quite a few throws, it looks like she's finally almost as tired as I am!


2 Miles at a Time

I took this long run two miles at a time. I thought my dog Zoe needed to stop that often for a drink on the back porch. Did you feel that humidity out there? By mile two I knew that today was not going to be a 16 mile day like I had hoped.

I ran one mile away from home, made a u-turn and ran back for a drink as many times as I could. And that was five. Ten miles today at a total average 10:12 pace with the last four miles averaging 10:40. Since I slowed down so much in the later miles, I thought the smartest thing to do was to stop and call it a day. Day! = )

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Flexibility

My hopeful goal was to run 9 miles with 4-6 faster miles at an 8:30 pace. After running four miles, I changed the plan to: just run faster than I would on an easy recovery run. : 0

My whole body was tired and hot. My stomach felt heavy - bloated, maybe. My Gatorade was too sweet, even though it's usually okay. I told myself, just move my legs and the rest of me will follow. It was true. ; )

It was only 72 - 77*. That's warm, but not too bad unless you're me running 9 miles. At least I finished the 9 miles (9:34 pace) and best of all, I didn't have to stop running and slowly walk home.

Pre-run: Cheerios, banana, milk
Post-run: chocolate milk

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last One - Best One

After a two mile warm-up, I ran 6 x 800m intervals. The first one wasn't too bad - I wasn't tired yet. ; ) After a couple of those, I wasn't sure that I could do any more, but after each recovery jog rest, I was ready.

I tried to focus on each interval rather than worry (too much!) about how I'd ever finish another. I had a couple of slower ones. Just make the next one better, right?

When I was almost finished with the last one, I felt like I really should be done already, as in, did my Garmin stop working? I tried to keep my strides short and my arms pumping and I think I ran hard right to the end. That was the fastest interval. : )

Pre-run: PB & J sandwich
During run: Gatorade
Post-run: chocolate mik

Thursday, September 3, 2009

15 Mile Day

There were a lot of waving drivers out on this good morning. : ) There were a couple of loose dogs out, too, but they ignored me after one of them ran in a playful circle ahead of me. : ) Already two : )'s - you know this is going to be a happy post.

The cool 69 degree start made my first mile feel easy - a big change! Today's goal was to run 15 miles - starting at an easy pace and gradually speeding up. I hoped I could start at a 10:00/mile.

The first three miles surprised me (9:46, 9:41, 9:41). At mile 4, I sped up to 9:31, a pace I stayed pretty close to right through mile 9. At mile 10, I worked hard to run faster and managed 9:11 and mile 11 was a 9:16 pace. Two weeks ago, at the 12 mile point, I had to stop running and lean up against a sign post because I was too hot. Today I passed the sign post and smiled! Mile 12 - 9:10. What a difference the temperature makes!

Nearly finished now! I ran mile 13 at 9:03 and smiled again. Mile 14 -8:50 pace. At the beginning of mile 15, I walked while I finished my Gatorade. For the first time, I felt hot. It was 83* - not as bad as it could be. When I realized that I had less than a mile to go, I felt better. Mile 15 pace - 8:42!

At the beginning of this week I had to shorten a run because my foot hurt. After that, I didn't have any more pain. That makes this week of 42 miles that much sweeter.

Pre-run: oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, brown sugar and milk
During run: Gatorade usu. every 2 miles except miles 4 and 10 - Gu gel w/water
Post-run: peach smoothie and an ice bath

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

9 Miles w/Some Hills

I ran nine miles this morning. After two miles at a tired, slow pace, I tried to pick it up for the next three miles (9:53, 9:50, 8:44). Well, I did get faster - three seconds counts, sort of. ; )

After running five miles, I was tired so I went home, stretched, and jumped on the treadmill for hills! I ran 3 x (300m, 200m, 100m) uphill (6%) at 5mph. Those 300 meters (less than 1/4 mile) were tough! And long!

And then I was even more tired so I got a drink, wiped my face with a towel and then I went outside to finish up my nine mile run! Oh, the things we do for a half marathon PR!

Just in case you ever think to yourself, I wonder if Tina ran today : ) , I usually keep my Training Log in the sidebar up-to-date. Happy running!
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