Thursday, December 31, 2009
After a two mile warm-up, I ran six fast miles, hoping for goal 1/2 marathon pace (8:20): 8:17, 8:21, 8:22, 8:13, 8:05, 8:04. I ran 8.4 total miles.
The first three hard miles were fun. I'm doing it! This is fun!
The second half was hard. Faster! You can do it! Keep going! That's okay, though. I like hard!
Saw some nice people out there on the Memorial Park loop trail. One runner told me, "HopeYouHaveAHappyNewYear" as he sped by. It sounded like it was a one syllable word, but I got it! And wished him the same!
Photo: Memorial Park loop trail at night
Elderly people out for their daily walks were speeding by me. I tried not to look pitiful, but I couldn't cover up my slowness. One man looked at me and asked, "Knee or ankle?" and reminded me to ice it when I got home, which I thought was awfully nice.
Now that I'm home, I'm icing and I won't worry about the marathon in 2 1/2 weeks. That's plenty of time for an ankle to heal. (Do you hear that, Ankle?!)
Happy New Year's Eve to you!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
There's nothing like a couple of painful runs to make you thankful for the pain-free runs. I had to cut back on my running the last few days because my lower left leg hurt during a couple of recent runs. You know that feeling where it feels like there's a boa constrictor wrapped tightly around your leg?
I had a good seven mile run yesterday and a good five mile run today, except that I might have felt a teeny-tiny pain at the end of today's run, or maybe I'm just a worrier! ; )
Maybe my high mileage caused my trouble. Maybe I should have taken the day off after the 20 miler. Hopefully, running fewer miles now will give my leg a chance to heal. With less than three weeks until the marathon, I'm trying take it easy without taking it too easy.
Photo: Memorial Park trail on Christmas Day.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Photo: My gingerbread GU house masterpiece. You've seen it here first! All the rest are only imitations!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
I got a quick drink and started off again. I tried to stay close behind a faster runner, but his easy pace was my "I can't run one more step" pace. I slowly lost sight of him. That was helpful, though, so I worked on passing people along the trail. Pace for tempo miles 3 & 4: 8:02, 8:01.
One more quick drink and then I only had two more hard miles to run. It felt like my arms were pumping my legs - my legs were so tired. I was staring at the trail now, but encouraging myself with thoughts of stopping soon, very soon. Pace for tempo miles 5 & 6: 8:06, 7:55.
Then it was time to run home. It was a great 10 mile run!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
In '07, I ran my second marathon hoping to beat 5:07. Did it! 4:58 finish! (Pre-blogging days so there aren't any posts to link to.)
Then in January '08, I got a 3:54 finish! Maybe because...
- I ran more miles (1739 in '07 vs. 1442 in '06). My weekly highs got up to 55, averaging about 40-50 (vs. 30-40 in '06).
- I ran three 20 milers (vs. 2 in 2006).
- I started doing some speedwork in '07.
Then I ran two more marathons. When I ran the hilly Seattle '08 marathon, I had high hopes for a 3:50. Instead I came away with a 4:10 finish. A good time, but no PR or BQ. Still, I did have a great family vacation.
The Houston '09 marathon was only seven weeks later. I had foot trouble so, just like the first one, I was happy just to finish the marathon (5:08).
After I finished my first marathon, I wanted to run another one, but to run it better - that's faster, but smarter, too. I feel the same way every single time I finish one! It's a fun challenge!
Photo: There I am in the last stretch of the '08 Houston marathon. The high-fiving kids along the sidelines make you feel special.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I ran 12 miles yesterday and I ran 7.5 miles today. I heard one person describe the weather as a mess, but I liked it - almost 50 with a drizzle. I wasn't too hot or too cold, but just right and I was wearing shorts!
About posting miles and pace on my blog... I know that I like reading detailed running reports on your blogs. Running Friends, you're always inspiring me!
Friday, December 11, 2009
After warming up with a couple of easy miles, I headed over to the new hill area - a bridge with hills on both sides. I started out easy and progressed to the "I think I'm going to blow up stage" after a few minutes. One word kept coming to my mind on the uphill part: burst, burst, burst! That's what I thought my lungs would do! I sprinkled in some easy-paced, flat sections, too. A girl's got to breathe, ya know!
Then I ran on the flat loop to recover. The thought of too many more hills made me feel a little nauseous so I made a bargain - just do a few. I ran fast up the hill and there was that word again: burst! I think I'm going to burst! But it was over quickly because the hill wasn't very steep. Someday I'll post a picture of these "mountains" I'm running on and you and I can both share a good laugh!
Why, oh why am I torturing myself so? Well, there's this one horrible hill in the middle of the Houston marathon that gives me nightmares. Every time we drive up it, my poor husband has to hear me gripe about it. This year, I want to run up it strong! This year, me and that hill, we're gonna be friends.
OK, so... Thought much about preventing stress fractures lately? This has nothing to do with my hill work. I hope! I hope! But it might be helpful. Here's Gretchen Reynolds' article about preventing stress fractures I read a couple of days ago. Two main points:
- Run with short strides.
- Strengthen your calves. One way to do that is to stand up, raise your heels off the ground and drop them to the floor a dozen times daily. If you can remember to do these, they're pretty easy to do just whenever. I did some while putting on my make-up today. Don't worry, just while putting on foundation, not my mascara!
There! I wrote an entire post in which I did not tell you the number of miles I ran or the pace I ran. Whadya' think? Like it? Dying to know? Don't care? Just wondering!
Photo: The banner in my yard with last week's snow in the grass. That snow has melted, but in memory of that happy snowfall, I give you blog snow! : )
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I did a little more hillwork. There's a hill on the mostly flat trail and every time I came to it (every three miles), I sped up. The first time, a speedy runner raced up it and I tried to run as fast as he did. My 'current pace' at the top of the hill was 7:35! Zoom! The next two times I ran up it alone and my 'current pace' was only 8:00. Wanted: hill racers!
I ran behind a blind runner with a guide towards the end of the run. They have to stop a lot because they have to be especially careful when they pass people, making sure there's plenty of room for all on the path. That would be frustrating, but they were the picture of patience - two runners who finally passed the walker and found their running stride again.
Included today were 3 faster miles (8:43, 8:34, 8:34). I saw the pace for those three miles when I got home and I was happy, happy because the goal for those three miles was 8:47 (goal marathon pace). The average pace for the whole run was 9:18/mile.
Photo: Another snow picture taken last Friday at Memorial Park
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So today when I was running on the Memorial Park trail, I crossed the street to a new hilly path (too bad it's concrete) and ran up and down the hill slowly. Have you heard about all of the hills at the BSIM? I'll go back later this week to run up and down the hill faster.
My hillwork plan is simple... Run hills at least once a week. Increase the number of hills I run up and the length of the hill as my training continues. How do you do hillwork?
Today's workout: 8 easy miles followed by weight work
Photo: runner on the snowy trail in Houston last Friday
Just came across this article on hills: Active.com
Monday, December 7, 2009
I ran 12 miles with 7 hard. My goal for the 7 miles was 8:20 (1/2 marathon goal pace). When I ran slower than 8:20, I changed the goal to 8:30. Then I had a good mile so I went back to trying for 8:20. My 7 mile average pace was 8:24. I was glad when that was over!
Here's hoping you meet your speed goals this week!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Today's plan - warm-up, 1 mile at 8:15, drink stop, 2 miles at 8:15, slow jog rest, and 1 mile at 8:15 before a cool-down.
During my warm-up, the snow began to fall. I wanted to say something about it to someone, but the first people I saw were deep in thought. Finally, a runner said something about it to me! Unfortunately, my first words to him were slurred. My lips were numb from the cold! (About 35* with a feels like temp of 27*.)
I only missed my goal for mile 1 by two seconds and then I took a break. When I started my hard two mile part, I had trouble with my new Garmin - it was including that four minute stop where I blew my nose, ate a gel and got a drink with this supposedly fast part of my run!
I just wanted to quit when I figured that out. Before I figured it out, I was running lightning fast to get that average pace down and let me tell you, I was tired! I saw a water fountain. Should I stop there and regroup? Yeah, then I'd be rested. I passed the fountain and kept going. Yes! Keep going!
I tried to make up the time. I ran hard. That first mile with the break included (ugh!) was 8:33. The second mile was 8:22 and there was an extra 0.2 mile at 8:07 because I needed to run a full 2 miles. It's confusing, I know. Summary: I ran two miles with the first and last part fast and a short pity party in the middle.
Then I ran slowly for four minutes (planned) and ran my last hard mile at 8:08. I ran down the trail, feeling like I had not one care in the world with the beautiful, white snow softly falling all around me! A runner smiled and asked me how I was doing. Great! Just great!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The 2010 Boston marathon is full. Wah! Wah! OK, I'm over it! ; )
I'm 44 and will turn 45 next October. The qualifying time for a 44yo woman is 3:50 and for a 45yo is 4:00.
The qualifying results you get from late September (for example: 2009) until the next year around November (for example: 2010) or whenever the marathon fills up will be good for the next Boston marathon (for example: 2011) and the next (2012). Am I right on this part?
When I turn 45 in 2010, even if I qualified when I was 44 (like in January '10 at the Houston marathon), I only need to qualify with a 4 hour time to run in 2011 or 2012. Am I right on this? 'Cause when I cross the finish line, I want to know if I BQ'ed and I might not make it in 3:50. I've read the FAQ page at the Boston marathon site and it looks like I've got it right.
I'm still trying for 3:50. I'm not giving up!
The short story: I ran a 20 mile progression run (ran faster in the later miles) mostly on a three mile loop in 45 - 50 degrees (felt like 40 - 43). Have I mentioned the cold wind yet?
And the long story...
Last night, the weatherman said it might actually snow on Friday (long run day) so I decided to run 20 miles today.
I wore my Spibelt which held three gels, my phone and two tissues and was comfortable around my waist.
At mile 14.4 I wanted to quit, for not really the first time, but it was the worst time. It was cold and windy and sometimes I was even hot. I was tired of running. I ate my gel early and got a drink. Okay, why am I doing this? I want to! And I am not giving up! Ok, pity party over and done with!
Just then a speedster ran by. See? Just do what she's doing!
And then I realized that I was on my way home. There's something wonderful about knowing that you've almost finished running 20 miles. I ran the last five miles the fastest of all. Hello 8:43-9:03 pace! I felt better than I had miles before. Today's average pace: 9:10/mile.
After that cold run, came the Winter Torture Device - the ice bath!