Showing posts from September, 2010

My Running Habit

Zoe and I ran four miles today, running to the bridge at Memorial Park and then back home. Here she is before our run, anxiously waiting for me when she'd rather be running. Too bad I always have to take 5 pictures of everything in case 4 of the photos don't turn out! ; ) Eventually, we were off!

Yesterday I ran 7 miles with four 5 minute intervals at 10K pace. If I use the McMillan Running Calculator, 3 out of 4 of my times were under the 10K pace (8:13/mi) which corresponds with a 4 hour marathon. My 5 minute splits: 8:03, 8:03, 8:08, and 8:17.

Many days I run, but don't post. In case you'd like to see my exercise schedule, it's at the foot of my blog. When I was a new runner, I needed lots of encouragement to keep running - it's especially hard when you're just starting out.

There used to be a blog I'd check before I ran, on those days when I needed extra motivation, where the runner blogged about her runs almost daily. Knowing that someone else ta…

Cool 20 Mile Run!

When I heard that it would be cooler today, instead of running 20 miles last Friday, I ran 20 today. How does 60-67F (15-19C) sound? 20 degrees cooler than Friday! The first half of the run I could hardly believe I hadn't hopped on a plane to a cooler climate. And when I finished, I wasn't nearly as tired as usual.
At first, I was going to drink Cytomax and eat two gels in a way similar to the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon fuel stops, but it sounded like too much trouble. For one thing, the fuel stops aren't evenly spread out. I had to make myself a cheat sheet to remember when to take a drink!
Plus, I like using gels. I get all of them in my mouth, unlike drinks, and they don't leave that sweet taste in my mouth all day, like drinks. So I stopped at a park water fountain for refueling about every 2 1/2 miles and brought gels and chews.
Pre-run: 3 Apple Cinnamon Nutri-grain cereal bars (360 calories) & water, ate until full During the run (and stuffed into my…

Add Pockets To Shorts

My shorts needed pockets so I cut out the pockets off an old pair of shorts (you could buy some polyester fabric instead) and handsewed them into my shorts. I sewed the pockets onto the front inner waistband. In the photo, the pockets are pulled out so you can see them.
Here's a photo showing how I cut off one large side pocket to be sewed into my other shorts. This pocket will hold my gels. The small "key" pocket will hold my small cell phone.

Yesterday, the Adidas Pacer waistband chafed my back on my 13 mile run so I cut a strip of fabric off the old shorts to sew over the waistband. That's what started me on the pockets. I saw those pockets in the old cut-up shorts and decided to add them to my new shorts.

I wore my shorts on a 6 mile run this morning and the pockets work! The items in my pockets didn't move around and were easy to get to.

The real test will be Monday when I hope to go on a long run. Update: they work!

13 Hot Miles

My big problem today was that at mile 10, I had to start taking running breaks because I was tired and hot - 79-84F (26-28C) today. I had planned to run 14 miles, but I cut that to 13 while I was out there. It was a tough run!
There was one other little problem. After a while I had a headache. I noticed that my earplugs were tightly tucked beneath my head visor strap, where I keep them when they aren't in my ears. I pulled them out from my visor and felt better right away. Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe not.

I weighed myself before and after the run and was surprised that I lost a little more than 3% of my weight even though I drank as much as I wanted every 2 miles up to the 10 mile mark and maybe every mile afterwards. I've heard losing more than 2% isn't good.

I ate some Nutrigrain bars and then a Gu gel before I ran. During the run, I ate a Gu gel at miles 4 and 8. I'd like to try eating more gels on the run - one every 4 miles since sometimes I eat one ev…

Fuel During the Marathon

The Pretty Interior of My Comfy Asics 2150's

I ran 3 miles with my dog and then I ran 6 marathon paced miles on the treadmill. After that, I ran 3 cool-down miles outside, stopping along the way to do some exercises like high knees running and skipping with high knees. I did those on a quiet trail so that I wouldn't have to skip-to-my-Lou passed anyone. ; )

I felt great before those exercises even though I'd already run 11 miles (a quick change of shorts and socks at the 9 mile mark helped), but after only 3 minutes of those exercises, I was toast and ran slowly home. Yesterday I read in the October 2010 issue of Running Times that those kinds of exercises are a good way to cool-down, in addition to easy running.

I drank Cytomax at miles 3, 5, 7 and 9 on this 12 miler.

In the past, I've tried gels and water only during marathons or alternating gels/water with Gatorade and I can't say for sure what's best for me, but I'm going with what's easiest this …

Hillwork on the Memorial Park Bridge

From home, I ran two miles to a Memorial Park water fountain and ate a Powerbar gel. The strawberry/banana flavor is very banana-flavored. (I ate one at mile 6, too.) I crossed the street and ran through a couple of pine trees and to the bridge.

I topped the bridge and made my way down the other side and under the bridge, up to the top of a hill beyond the bridge and came back to run back up the bridge.

I went back after the run to take photos.

Beautiful flowers and native grasses make this a pretty place.

Soon I was on the downhill side of the bridge with the breeze cooling me off. I ran to a pine tree where I made a u-turn and did it all again. 
I ran 6 miles of hills except for one sprint after a couple of lost runners who asked me for directions. I mistakenly gave them bad directions and when I realized that, I sprinted back to catch them. I clocked a marathon paced mile there! I wasn't thinking about the heat or my pace - easiest MP mile ever!

These short hills are what I trained…

18 Mile Run

I carried Cytomax with me today, the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon drink, and drank 6 ounces every 1.5 miles. After 7 miles, I felt good enough to speed up and ran 6 miles faster than the rest of my miles. My best: 3 miles at 9:05/mi pace. (I need to run 9:10/mi pace for a 4 hour marathon finish.) My 18 mile average was 10:15/mile and it was 86F/30C degrees when I finished.

I had a painful twinge and wondered if I should stop, but it mysteriously went away. And I was awake 1 1/2 hours in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep, but no problems today. It's kind of good to have problems before the marathon to see how things work out. 

And I'll end this post with an interesting search phrase that led someone to my blog, "i had a banana split, now how many miles do i have to run."

Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Vacation

With less than 5 weeks until the Denver Rock 'n' Roll marathon, I've made a few plans for our Denver vacation. We'll fly from Houston to Denver.
Friday is marathon expo day.

I hope I get to meet Happy Trails for dinner Saturday!

Sunday, October 17, is marathon day!
Monday through Wednesday my husband has a conference in Denver. It just so happens that the marathon fell on just the right day - when we'll be there. That's why I get to run this marathon!
We won't have a car until Wednesday after the race, but we're staying near the 16th Street Mall where I'll get plenty of post-marathon walking done - window shopping. And then I hope to have lunch with Run with Jill Tuesday!
Wednesday we're heading to Estes Park for a few days of hiking. We'll stay at Woodlands on Fall River. We'll have wifi, a refrigerator and a laundry on-site. It's near one of the Rocky Mountain National Park entrances, 1-2 miles away maybe.

I've started receivin…

Personalize Your Training

9/11 - America Remembers Today I enjoyed running in the mass of runners at Memorial Park, something I miss when I run on the  treadmill. I finished my 7 miles feeling strong, probably because I drank more than water. I drank citrus Cytomax, the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon drink, which tasted good, maybe less sweet than Gatorade. I received my 1.5 lb. can of Cytomax yesterday - only three days after ordering it from All Star Health for $16.54 total - a good deal since the retail price is $22. I drank 7 oz. every 1.5 miles, which worked well for me on this hot, humid day.

Here's some fun news! Over at RunnerDude's blog, I asked Matt Fitzgerald a question, which was chosen, and I won Matt's new book, RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel. I'll end this post with my question and Matt's answer, which reminds me to be creative in my workouts and to personalize them just for me. Good advice!

My Question: I use the book Run Faster to come up with workouts…

Accept the Pain

Running in high humidity is like giving an elephant a piggy-back ride through the desert. Yesterday's humid run was supposed to be easy, but I sat down often and when I was done, I was so done!
The only good thing about that run was that I chatted with a lady picking plums for jam and pies at Houston's Memorial Park, where I run. She said that there's more fruit at the park - grapes, blackberries and mulberries, too. I'll be on the look-out.
 Since I've had enough of the humidity, I ran on the treadmill today: 3 x 10 minutes at marathon pace (8:45/mi, today) was the plan. It was easier than running in the humidity, but it was still hard. Want to slow down the hands of time? Hop on a treadmill and run fast. Suddenly one minute seems like three!
During a drink break, I thought about the words on my shirt (Accept the Pain) for maybe a little too long. I didn't want to start the 3rd ten minute interval. What was I afraid of?! A little pain? Well, yeah! And of flying…

A Hot, Humid 9 Mile Run

77-83F (25-28C) degrees w/ 79-98% humidity# of miles I wanted to run hard/fast: 4 # of miles I ran hard/fast: 2-3# of times I stopped running to walk, sit or stretch: I lost count!# of brown cicada carcasses I noticed on a brown tree trunk after I took my hands off (stretching): Stopped counting at 12!# of times I felt sick to my stomach: 3, after hard miles and hills. Seeing all of those carcasses didn't help, either! # of times I told myself I'd run the entire 1.25 miles home: 1# of times I stopped on the way home after that: 3# of short hills I ran up without stopping: 4 out of 4 attempted!# of miles I ran today: 9!

16 Miles

Only 6 weeks until the Denver marathon! Today's plan: run 5 easy miles (MP + 1 min), 5-7 hard miles at goal marathon pace (8:47-9:10/mi for a 3:50-4 hour finish) and then finish up with easy miles (any pace).
Before the run, I ate a banana nut Odwalla bar with ice water. Into my Spibelt I put my key, phone, gels (for  miles 4, 8 and 12) and pepper spray. I put another gel and a small cloth in my pocket, to wipe my sweaty face.

The first 10 miles were not too, too hard (I didn't meet my goal pace at mile 1, but I don't worry about warm-up pace), but by the time I got to the 6th hard mile (mile 11), I was only thinking: icing, icing, icing - anything over 5 hard miles was icing on the cake! Then came the hardest mile, the 7th hard mile (mile 12), which took all of the determination I could muster to finish... And a good song on my Ipod shuffle! 
My mile splits for the 7 MP miles: 9:08, 9:00, 8:53, 8:53, 8:47, 8:46, and 8:37. After the MP miles, I was exhausted. Average pace fo…

9 Mile Run

I haven't had an outside run with good mile splits since July, exactly 5 weeks ago - until today!
There were a couple of little problems, like a bug flying straight into my eye (I got it out right away) and my Ipod shuffle wouldn't turn on again even though I thought I'd fixed it.
And my Garmin didn't get the first .7 mile of my run for some crazy reason. User error? Though this might not be the very best time to mention it, there's a great giveaway going on for a Garmin Forerunner 310 XT. (Contest is over.) I've been really happy with mine, most of the time. ; )
I sped up after a few miles with miles 5-7 averaging 9:09, 9:18 and 8:56. It's still warm (80*), but it was cloudy so the hot sun wasn't beating down on me. Average pace: somewhere around 9:40.

While I ran, I listened to my breathing and my shoes hit the dirt and when I was almost home, to the thunder booming loudly in the distance. With the run finished, I drank some chocolate milk and stretch…

Let's Go to the Zoo!

I ran 5.8 miles with Zoe today. I carried cold water in my fuel belt so that we wouldn't have to stop at the luke warm water fountains today. Cold water is the best! Just as I was heading over a bridge, my husband drove underneath it while on his way to work and I waved - made me happy!

While waiting for a light to change, a park maintenance person told me that you really don't need to hit the button at the crosswalk. What?! He said that it's all psychological, that the button is there just to make us happy because we think we're doing something to change the light. I did a very, very short google search on this and it looks like some work and some may not. Hmm, not too helpful! ; ) As for me, I'll be pressing that crosswalk button. I just hope that man doesn't see me press the button - he'll be laughing at me, for sure! ; )

Monday afternoon my husband and I wanted to do something different so off to the Houston Zoo we went. We hadn't been there for yea…