Monday, November 30, 2009

Homemade Arm Warmers

Arm Warmers
I bought some black tights with a gray paisley design at Marshall's for $7 and cut off the toes and the top section. I'll probably hem the edges later, if I'm not too lazy. ; )

It was a rainy and cold 50* this morning so I slid my arm warmers on, took a picture and was off down the road for an 11 mile run.

My arm warmers worked great. I slid them down over my hands at first. Brr... I slid them up high when I was warm and I slid them off and tied them around my waist when I was hot. They stayed in place on my arms the whole time and I don't think I sweat any more than I do when I wear my running gloves which are probably made with a special fabric, especially since I took them off when I warmed up.

Seven mile tempo run today... I didn't set my Garmin right (still learning!), so I don't know my mile splits, but that's okay. The point was to warm-up, run 4 hard miles, run for 5 minutes easy, run 3 miles hard and cool-down. And that I did!

Updated on 11/10/10: I never hemmed the arm warmers and they've been through many machine washes without a problem.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

I'm not anti-ear phones, but I'm thinking about running my next marathon without them - for the extra challenge. Yeah, just running a marathon is not enough of a challenge! ; ) Anyway, I ran 20 miles a couple of weeks ago sans music. It really wasn't any harder, but I had to slowly wean myself off of the music.

And there's the sweat in my ears. After very long, hot runs, my ears fill up with sweat making it hard to hear. I could do without that. After races, to stretch your body in all sorts of crazy ways - that's normal, but to shake your head hard to one side to get the sweat out of your ears - kind of funny. ; )

Today I was running down the street behind a walker who was wearing ear phones when she started walking into the middle of the street. I had to tell her three times that there was a car behind us before she heard me and got out of the way, shocked to see the car right behind her.

Today's accomplishments: Ran 9 miles at a 9:06/mi. average and saved one life. ; ) (Sometimes I exaggerate!)

Photo at top: Costume contest entrants at the 10K race on Thanksgiving Day. I'm not in the picture, but look for Prefontaine (!) on the right and the High-tech Texan at the microphone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

10K Race Report

Yesterday I finally ran a six mile tempo run at 10K pace - in the form of a race. I ran my first 10K, the Houston 17th Annual 2009 Sheltering Arms Turkey Trot! The race results can be found here. I'm bib number 2033.

Before the race, I ran easy for ten minutes. It felt good to run because I was cold - it was 46*. At the beginning of the race, there wasn't any problem with going out too fast because it was too crowded for speed. I didn't even get up to an 8:00 pace until the 0.3 mile mark. I stayed steady for the first five miles and then sped up a bit in the sixth mile.

It was in the sixth mile that one runner said something about pumpkin pie (Happy Thanksgiving!), but the thought of eating anything sounded anything but good at that point. Another runner encouraged me with "Go, Green!" (thanks to my green shirt). One runner yelled out "Push!" long and loud as he and the rest of us were closing in on the finish line. With that, I forgot how tired I was and finished with a smile!

According to my Garmin, I ran 6.29 miles in 49:02 with an average pace of 7:47. My mile splits were 7:48, 7:53, 7:51, 7:50, 7:49, and 7:40, with 7:20 for the last portion.

I waited around until 10:30 (the race started at 8) and even then the results ended up being passed around on many, many sheets of paper! I've never seen anything like it and I never did find myself listed. I'll post my chip time later, if I get one, but at least I have my Garmin time. Monday update: my chip time was 49:01.

Pre-race fuel: Cranberry Walnut Muffins
During: Nothing
Post: Strawberry-kiwi juice, banana, bran muffin, and for protein: the meat out of two kolaches (a roll with a tiny piece of meat inside) and finally some chocolate milk I had brought

video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Garmin Forerunner 310XT

There's my new Garmin Forerunner 310XT! That's how I wear it when I run - backwards. Besides, you could see photos of the front of it all over the net, but how many folks show you the back of it?! ; )

My Garmin 205 wasn't working right. Memories of the January 2008 marathon ran through my head and there weren't any sugar plum fairies floating around - just my Garmin 205 that said my pace was great when it really wasn't.

So Monday when I was at Luke's Locker for the 10K race sign up, they showed me some new Garmin watches. I liked the way the 310XT fit on my small wrist. With the 310XT, you can view four data fields on one screen in easy-to-read numbers and there's a vibration alert for mile markers (or any distance you like) - helpful during a noisy race. There's a $50 rebate on it.

Unfortunately, the 405 didn't fit my wrist as well as the 310XT. I probably would have had to put my Velcro strap on.

Tuesday I went back and bought myself a Christmas present... My husband's idea and a very good one at that! And today my new Garmin 310XT and I ran exactly 5.0 miles at an easy pace, except for when I sped up to warm up because 40 degrees is kind of chilly and my toes were starting to go numb!

I'm running my first 10K tomorrow! Any tips for this first-timer?

12/15/09 Update: If you want to see the pace of your previous mile pop up in a small window as you finish each mile on the Garmin 310XT, set the auto lap for 1 mile and turn off the distance alert.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Garmin Woes


I ran 16 1/4 miles or so today. My Garmin Forerunner 205 lost the satellites numerous times, showed my pace was crazy fast and crazy slow and finally stopped adding miles even though I was still running. I was able to figure out my distance because I ran a route I'm used to. I had a goal of running 16 miles. The last four were supposed to be faster. I can only hope!

I reset my Garmin and updated the software. I'll see how it acts tomorrow. Hopefully, it was only a fluke.

If not, I'm looking at the 310XT (I like the four data fields at one time) or maybe the 305, but I don't know. I wonder if the 305 gets better satellite reception than the 205, which I have.

I think I took a Powerbar gel around mile 4, 8 and 11 (meant to take one at 12, but my Garmin said 12 when I hadn't run 12 yet, and I didn't figure it out in time). Bad Garmin! It also told me I ran a 6:57 mile.

Silly Garmin! If you're gonna lie to me to make me feel fast, you're gonna have to make it a little more believable than that 'cause that's just way too fast for me!

Now I wonder if I should run 5-6 with hills tomorrow and an easy 5 on Wednesday, or what. Little decisions that don't matter in the big scheme of things! Ah, the little ones are so much better than the big ones!

Picture: close to the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K race start

Friday, November 20, 2009

Drip, Drip, Drop!

I thought about running on the treadmill because it was raining, but instead I put on my hat and ran 6 miles outside. There were only twelve runners on the normally crowded park trail, but I have never seen so many smiling runners.

Like a little kid, I ran through small puddles and around big ones. The peaceful and nearly empty path was quiet except for the sound of the rain falling down around me. I had forgotten how nice a run in the rain can be.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Templates at Shel's Scraps

Yep, you're really at Gotta Run Now! I changed my blog template. The cheerful yellow rays remind me of sunshine. The vines remind me of being outside where I do most of my running.

If you'd like to see the other free blog templates at Shel's Scraps, just click on today's post title.

I ran an easy five miles today and then came home to pick up Zoe, my dog, who ran a mile with me. I'm almost over a cold I've had all week. Fortunately, it hasn't stopped me from running 'cause that would be no fun, no fun at all. : )

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garmin Velcro Wrist Band

The wrist band that came with my Garmin Forerunner 205 was knocking against my wrist bone and bruising it. Ouch! My husband found one for me at Amazon.com for about $20, including shipping.

Because the new band is Velcro, I can adjust it to fit my wrist. I don't have to remove the strap to load my workout onto my computer, but it's quick to remove (now that I've done it a few times) and I do have to take it off to wash it.

When I noticed the wrist bruise I did some experimenting. To keep the heavy watch face from hitting my wrist bone, I twisted my watch around so that it faced me. Since then, I always wear my watch backwards. It's easier for me to look at the inside of my wrist than the outside while I'm running.

Pic: That's my Garmin Forerunner 205 with the Velcro wrist band and my dog waiting for her doggy treat. Good dog!

Monday, November 16, 2009

5 Mile Tempo Run

Time for another tempo run... Once again, I tried to get down to 7:52 for four miles.

I started out with a two mile warm-up. Then I sped up hoping to run four fast miles. In the first tempo mile I only got down to 8:15 so I decided to run five fast miles instead of only four. It sounds like some kind of punishment, but it really wasn't!

Then I ran the second tempo mile at 7:51. This was good, but it was hard to do. The last part of the mile I had one thought: stop at the next water fountain. That helped.

Word of the day? Persevere! I reminded myself to keep going, not to stop. Per-se-vere! Per-se-vere!

Tempo miles 3 and 4 were run at 8:01 and 8:16. When I saw the 8:16, it made me try really hard to speed up.

I can do anything for 8 minutes. I can run fast for 6 minutes. I can do this for four minutes. The last and fifth tempo mile was tough. Pace: 7:49.

So I ran two goal pace miles this week. Not my goal, but it's two miles better than I did last week so that's good.

Pic: Please pardon the trail dirt! Just wanted to show how I had to adjust my shoe last week - tucking the shoe tongue under the laces so that it wouldn't rub on a tiny scab on my leg. The scab is nearly healed now and I didn't have to tuck the tongue in today.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How To Put a Smile On Your Face

Set a goal. Make it doable, but challenging. Mine was to run 20 miles today at a 9:15 pace or better. That's about 30 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace.

Be prepared. I've slowly added miles to my workouts. I was pretty sure that I could run 20.

Eat. I took a tangerine Powerbar gel at miles 5, 10 and 15. I like the taste and this sweaty runner likes that it has 200 mg. of sodium, too. Today's temperature was 60- 70. I drank water every 2-3 miles.

Towards the end, when you know you will accomplish your goal, just try to wipe that smile off your face! : )

Pre-run: cinnamon raisin toast
Post-run: hot chocolate
Average pace: 9:09/mi.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ladder Speedwork


The ladder workout I did this morning was fun. It was hard, but I liked the variety in distance. I was glad that the distances became progressively shorter.

2 x (800m-600m-400m-200m at 5K - 10K pace w/1 min. recovery)
5 min. recovery between sets

The second time I ran the 600m was the toughest of all. I could hear myself breathing loudly and I should have relaxed my arms. My left arm was sore for about 15 minutes afterwards.

Today is Veterans Day. God bless America! Land that I love! Thank you to all who have served and are serving our great country!

Monday, November 9, 2009

4 Mile Tempo Run

I did a four mile tempo run today - four miles at half marathon pace without stopping.

I had hoped to get down to 10K pace (7:52), but I was happy that at least I got down to 1/2 MP (8:20). I was probably running a step or two below all-out - like I think I should for a tempo run. I've tried to think of some good excuses for my lack of rapidity.

But I couldn't come up with one. That's okay. : ) Maybe next week I'll get down to 10K pace for a tempo run.

Pic: I ran on this trail on the way to my usual park trail loop over the weekend.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Running With My Eyes Open

I was in my second mile of running on the trail when a runner came up beside me and said, "Awesome, isn't it?"

"What?" Did he read the back of my marathon finisher's shirt? Oh, wait! I was only wearing a plain, blue shirt. Did he think my easy pace was speedy? Nope!

"The blind runner with the running guide," he answered.

I didn't see them this time, but maybe they are the same two runners I saw a couple of weeks ago. Yes, they are very inspiring!

How'd I miss seeing this pair of runners? I was looking down. The same way I do when I run by this Sam Houston statue along the Houston marathon route around mile 10. At least, I think I pass it. I'm not sure. I look down a lot!

I looked up as much as I could for the rest of the run. (You do have to look out for a few rocks and holes.) I saw so much more that way: peoples faces - some struggling (yes! we have to work hard to get faster), some smiling : ), and even a possible hill for hillwork. And you know that's exciting!

Thanks for slowing your pace and sharing before you sped on, Stranger! You made my easy 3.8 miler much more than just another easy run.

Friday, November 6, 2009

18 Miles: Done!

The park trail was quieter than normal. Perhaps we were all thinking of yesterday's Fort Hood tragedy so close to home.

I ran without music, only listening to my breathing and my feet hit the dirt. Midway through when I felt tired, I looked at people's faces instead of the path. A woman smiled, her long white hair blowing in the breeze.

Another runner ran behind me for miles. When I didn't hear her feet hit the ground, I wondered if I'd lost her. Come on, runner! Don't quit! She didn't. In fact, she ran ahead when I stopped for water. Too bad I couldn't catch up!

I tried to because my goal was 4 MP miles (8:47), but I could only reach 9:09, 8:57, 9:15 and 8:51 (this was mile 17). I used vanilla orange Roctane Gu today. The temperature climbed from 53 to 68* - great at first, but a little warm later. Maybe the extra sodium in Roctane gel (125 mg.) was helpful.

18 miles: done! And besides missing the MP goal, a small cut on my ankle and two tiny blisters, despite my thick Drymax socks, it was a good run if only because I finished.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

9 with 5 Miles at MP

What a nice day for a run! 52* today with a clear, blue sky.

After eating a piece of toast topped with peanut butter and raisins, I went for a run. First, I ran two warm-up miles. I ran by some trees with pink clusters of leaves that look like flowers until you get up close.

Then I stretched, drank some water and ate three Clif Shot Bloks before I started my marathon paced miles. The Boston Marathon training plan I'm using for ideas suggests a lot of MP miles. (I'm in Week 10.)

My Garmin beeped at the two mile mark and I sped up. At first, I was pretty sure I was going to miss my goal of 8:47. It's hard to jump from a ten minute pace to 8:47. (But look at all of the races. You go from standing still to running fast in a few seconds!) Anyway, I ended up being surprised: 8:50.

Same pace in the next mile.

I finally felt comfortable in the third mile, like I could finish the full four MP miles I had planned to run. Pace: 8:45.

The fourth MP mile was 8:33 and made me want to run another one. This is good! Ran it in 8:35.

I stopped for a drink and ran two more miles, nice and easy.

I hope you get a chance to get and there and run, too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tinalocks and the Three Hills

Once upon a time, there was a runner named Tinalocks. One morning, after some easy running, she went for a drive in Houston in search of a hill. She wanted to be able to outrun that big, bad wolf her friend had warned her about. She knew that hillwork would help.

Soon, Tinalocks came upon a hill. She ran up the hill, but it was too rocky.

Tinalocks ran to a second hill beside the bayou (pronounced BYE-oe in these here parts! and it's a river) and tried it, too, but it was too quiet there.

On her way home, Tinalocks came upon a third hill. She zigzagged up the smooth sidewalk three times. This hill was just right!

A little tired now, Tinalocks went home and ate some Apple Oatmeal, which wasn't too hot or too cold, but just right. The end!

P.S. Last Friday, I really did visit three hills. Today, I drove straight to the one that was just right.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apple Oatmeal

I dare you to make apple oatmeal faster than I can!

Put 1/3 cup water and 1/4 cup diced apples (I used a Gala apple this time) in one of your favorite mugs. Microwave this for one minute.

Stir in 1/2 cup oats (I used old-fashioned), raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar and milk.

AG 2nd Place at the 5K!



The Great Pumpkin Fun Run 5K race (in Houston) results have been posted! I came in second in my age group! It's my first time! (Twice, I came in 3rd - in Sugar Land and Pensacola.) I am so excited! So excited that I got out my energy gels and made a great, big beautiful 2 with them. Second place! : )

My chip time was 23:32! (Chip time shaved a second off my Garmin time.) Average pace - 7:35. Here's my race report, in case you missed it.

Oh, and next time... Yes, next time, I'll try to be more humble about it! ; )