Saturday, January 30, 2010

10 Things

10 Running Things That Make Me Happy...
  1. Gotta Run Now blog readers/friends. : )
  2. My street - I see runners everyday, all of the time. Inspiring!
  3. Pockets and safety-pins. I carry lots of stuff!
  4. Gels. Recent fave - gingerbread GU, but I'm anxious to try my new mint chocolate GU.
  5. Running on a dirt path on a cool day.
  6. Water fountains along the running route.
  7. Running in the snow - it only happened once, so it was exciting.
  8. Finding a Snickers candy in my post-run bag, secretly put there by my husband.
  9. Family and friends calling to ask if I survived the marathon or even won it - the jokers!
  10. A warm cup of cocoa w/peppermint in my cold hands after a chilly run.  
I ran 7.1 miles (9:16/mile ave. pace) today. It was a little chilly at 34 degrees F/ 2 degrees C so I felt tough getting out there! I had cold fingers beneath my gloves, a cold face and watering eyes just pouring tears (from the cold) and I kept hoping that it was warming up if only just a little. And yes, it was exactly 35 when I got home. ; )

Thanks, Suzy, for the 10 Things That Make Me Happy tag!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pancakes & Muffins

I ate one huge pancake at '59 Diner the other day - whole wheat with cinnamon are my favorite.

After tracking what I ate for a few days, I see that I need to eat more iron and potassium rich foods. I baked some delicious pumpkin muffins using Ellie Krieger's recipe. I added half of a cup of pecans and raisins for the added iron and potassium. My kitchen smelled like Thanksgiving!

I ran six miles yesterday and the 15 minutes of core work I did gave me some sore abs today, but a strong core will make me a better runner. Today, I rest. Have a great day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good Morning

After my six mile run,
I stretched and ate some pumpkin oatmeal.
Happy Running!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Running With My Dog

This morning, I didn't have any lingering marathon soreness, but my arms were sore from yesterday's Fitnessista Winter Shape Up workout. I put on my shorts and Houston 2010 marathon finisher's top. I was surprised I didn't see anyone else wearing their shirt on the running trail at Memorial Park. I thought there would be a mass of us and we could high-five eachother. ; )

I ran with our Weimaraner today. Zoe didn't pull on her Gentle Leader collar today, but she stepped on my ankle once (ouch!) and I nearly tripped over her twice. At least I didn't fall! We were okay with right turns, but turning left? Not so much! It only took one near-fall to learn that she needs a 'going left' warning!

So, Sunday I ran in the Houston marathon. Monday, I walked 20 minutes. Tuesday and Wednesday, I walked 4 miles. Friday, I ran 1/2 a mile. But today, today I ran five miles at 10:08/mile pace. I don't usually feel quite this good after a marathon!

I'm behind on adding all of my meals to Fit Day, where I'm keeping track of what I eat. I want to see if I'm getting enough protein and vitamins. As of right now, I'm four meals and one frozen yogurt snack behind.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Well-balanced Diet?

I signed up at Fit Day, where you can keep track of what you eat. It took some patience to input everything I ate yesterday, but that will get easier since there's a "recent foods" search I can use. I guess it's good incentive to not mindlessly eat! Do any of you use an online nutritional program that you like?

For the Houston marathon last Sunday, I didn't actually count the carbohydrates I ate three days before the marathon, I just put forth an effort to eat more of them. Next time, I'd like to.

I tried some Light Laughing Cow Swiss cheese on my sandwich instead of mayonnaise today. The cheese has half the fat of mayo and it tastes good - a good substitute.

After walking on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I finally ran today. It was only a half a mile as a warm-up before I did some strength training exercises, but it was a good, painless run. I think I'm almost completely over Sunday's marathon soreness.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finish Long Runs Fast

Running in the Houston marathon taught me that I need to work on endurance. I was running down a hill and about to run up it on the other side. There was a sign on the bridge that we were running under: 1 1/2 miles to go. It might as well have said: you've only just begun!

As I ran down the hill, I read that sign and I stretched out my arms, just to do anything that might help. I didn't even notice the people on the side of the street until they put out their hands and high-fived my outstretched arms! Funny! 

I need to change the way I do my long runs. I ran some 18's and 20's. Here's how my three 20 milers went:
  1. 9:09/mile average pace. I finished with two faster miles (8:55 and 8:42). Marathon goal pace for a 3:50 finish is 8:47.
  2. 9:10 average pace. Pace for mile 16 was 8:47, mile 19 was 8:43 and mile 20 was 8:55.
  3. 9:35 average pace on a hot 70 degree day. I started at 10:00 and ended at a 9:13 pace.
(I ran the 2010 Houston marathon in 4:05:35 - 9:22/mile average pace.)

I ran the last 20 miler 3 1/2 weeks before the marathon and it did me in. First, I felt like I had shinsplints. After that, my right ankle hurt. I ran about 42 miles in the three weeks before the marathon. Not enough miles!

Still, I don't blame all of my poor endurance on the aches I had. Jon Warren, Rice University track coach, says that we ought to be running 4-6 marathon paced miles at the end of our long runs. I hope to run more marathon paced miles at the end of my long runs.

Photo: Brett Gotcher (in the white shirt), who finished in 2:10:36, said that the last miles were tough for him, too. Made me feel better!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Houston Marathon Video

Update: I added finish line video at the end of this post.

I wore the CamBall  video camera on the side of my visor. The video begins just before we start and ends as we run up over a bridge.

I could hardly feel the CamBall on my visor and I'm glad I wore it. The battery lasted an hour.

In this Finish Line Video, I'm the runner on the right side wearing a pink top who is raising her arms for a really, really long time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Houston Marathon Race Report

My Houston marathon  finishing time - 4:05:35! That's a 9:22/mile average. I was running at a great pace for the first 14 miles, thinking I was going to finish in 3:50 and then... Well, the best I can give ya is that I just plain got tired!

Here are the mile splits: 8:44, 8:40, 8:35, 8:32, 8:28, 8:44, 8:34, 8:34, 8:52, 8:54, 8:40, 8:40, 8:46, 8:47, 9:20 (mile 15), 9:14, 9:00, 9:12, 9:26, 9:36, 9:39, 9:39, 10:22 (mile 23), 10:20, 11:11, 10:44, and 10:27 for the last 0.2.

I thought running through Memorial Park would help me to run faster. I run there almost every day. Speed up to the park, Tina! Then run fast through it! At the 21.68 mile point, I was half a mile from my house and just out of the park, but running in a familiar place didn't help. Oh, and the 3:50 pace group? I looked, but I never saw them.

As always, the spectators who cheered were so encouraging. I high-fived some kids. They were so cute. I smiled for the first half, but towards the end, not so much. Some good things: my Garmin never died, my arms aren't sore (I think they're getting stronger), the hills in the first half didn't scare me this year. I saw my husband at the mile 15.5 mark where he handed out water and Gatorade and took some pictures, too, like the one I've posted.

4:05 is a good finishing time, but I was trying for 3:50 or 3:54 or at least 4:00, pul-lease! I need to look into how to improve, but I probably need to work on endurance. I haven't given up yet!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Houston Marathon Tips

I've run the Houston marathon four times and while I don't feel like a professional or anything ; ), maybe these tips will be helpful.

When you go to the expo, get your packet and t-shirt before you do anything else. One year, I went late on Saturday and didn't get the right shirt size - they ran out.

Getting There on Race Morning
Last year, I got there at 6:15. I had time to use the porta-potty, drop off my bag, talk to friends and walk to the start at 6:45 for the 7AM start. Tomorrow, my husband is dropping me off and I still don't know what time I'm shooting for! Here's a link to information about the freeways that are closed. Here's the route I think I'll take this year:

From a Houston marathon email: The I-10 (Katy) Freeway, just east of the Taylor/Sawyer Exit to east of downtown, will be CLOSED from 5:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on race morning. You may still get downtown on the the I-10 by moving to the far left lane as you pass either the Washington Avenue, TC Jester, Durham/Sheperd or Yale exit ramps. Stay in the far left lane and exit onto the Taylor/Sawyer HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. Single passenger vehicles ARE permitted to use the HOV on race morning. The HOV will take you into downtown to Franklin Street.

I've always parked on the south side of the GRB convention center on the west side of 59, taking 59 to the Polk exit. Last year we paid $20 and then saw a $5 parking lot across the street!

I had some extra time since I didn't go for my usual Saturday morning run so I made jumbo apple pecan muffins for breakfast. Just a little carb loading!

Houston Marathon Tomorrow

Wow! Thank you for all of the votes of confidence! I'll try to stick with the 3:50 pace group tomorrow. I told my husband I'm running with them and when he sees them, I want to be there. I'm nervous, but hopeful, too.

Training has been fun -in a fun, hard kind of way! Now it's time for what will be like a party to cap it all off - the marathon itself. Can you believe that 250,000 people will be screaming our names and clapping for us all along the marathon route?

And when I see that finish line, just about when I think I can't take one more step, somehow, someway, I'll raise my arms and I'll fly across that finish line! This is going to be fun!

Thanks again! I'll be thinking of all of your kind words of encouragement during the race!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Houston Expo

I picked up my race packet and t-shirt at the expo and was surprised to walk right up to a presentation of elite racers. I found a spot just behind the news cameras and got a few good pics myself. There's a shot of Shalane Flanagan and Brett Gotcher speaking. They were all so glad to be here in Houston and excited about Sunday.

My expo bag is stuffed with goodies - Larabars, granola bars, peanuts (I'll take a few of those in my race bag for after the marathon) and enough reading material to keep me occupied all winter.

I think I saw the new finisher's shirts, at the top of the escalators where you pick up your packet. The shirt I saw was dark blue. I'm glad that they went back to the old tech fabric. Last year they used a fabric that's like cotton that I don't like as well as the usual tech fabric.

I was in and out in an hour, but I didn't go down every aisle like usual. Parking was easy. I parked on the street a couple of blocks away from the expo and it only cost 75 cents for an hour.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

3 Days to Go

Today I ran 4.65 miles in shorts in 50 degree drizzly, foggy weather. I ran about six 100 meter (0.06 mile) sprints so that my legs remember what fast is like. Hardly anyone was out running today - tapering, I guess.

In my car today, I sat at a red light around mile 22 on the marathon route. I always feel awful there during the marathon (I've run 4 Houston marathons) - so tired. Maybe this year will be different. The weather forecast looks good for Sunday - mid 40's to mid 60's and sunny. I can wear shorts.

I'm eating more carbs since there are only three days to go, but trying not to eat more food overall. I bought some more cherries (carbs: 0.6 grams per cherry) and I've made a good dent in the basket of clementines (carbs: 5 grams each).

I bought myself a sugary treat, too - one of those little cherry pies (like Hostess, but it's Mrs.Baird's). This pie has 62 carbs in it. Bingo! And look at those ingredients - cherries are listed first! It's nutritious! Double Bingo! ; )

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wobbly Video

It was an experimental run. I had my new CamBall video camera attached to my Spibelt - kind of makes it a real spy belt, but I tried not to act too spyish! It's the round ball on my belt in the photo. My husband bought it for me for the Big Sur marathon I'm running in April.

I wanted to show you the video I took, but I don't want to make you sick - all of that bobbing up and down might make you dizzy. I didn't know I moved up and down so much when I run. I don't know how to fix that.

I hadn't planned on adding commentary, but I did after all - very quietly, when no one was around. Too bad I talked so softly that you can't hear me, but that's as loud as I'm going to talk when alone and in public!

I ran 6 miles today: a two mile warm-up, three miles faster (8:32, 8:42, 8:40) with a one mile cool-down. I should have worn shorts, but I felt very wimpy and was afraid of being cold. I ended up rolling my pants up into capris after a mile or so. That worked!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

7 Mile Run

I just ran 7 miles on my treadmill. It faces the street and I counted 40 brave runners. That count is low for a Saturday, but it's only 23 freezing degrees outside.

I didn't want to run because I was afraid it would hurt and that I'd be lacing up for nothing, but after a painfree warm-up, happiness set in. I picked the pace up to 9:09/mile. Maybe everything's going to work out after all. Only eight days until the marathon!

Photo: This house with cans all over it is near mine. The sign in front of it says, "Live by (the) golden rule."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Barefoot Running

Just last Saturday, a friend asked me if I ever ran barefoot. Me? No!

Fast forward to this morning. After taking a six day running break because of my hurt ankle, I tried running on the treadmill, but the front of my shoe rubbed against the painful part of my ankle/top of my foot so I took off my shoes and ran barefoot. My foot felt fine.

After a mile, I found my old, retired Asics DS Trainers because they have a lower top, which felt better than my Asics 1140's on my foot. I switched back and forth between the Trainers and barefoot running because I probably need to work into barefoot running gradually. I ran five miles today, which was great, but my ankle hurt just a bit later on.

Last year, I hardly ran during the two weeks before the Houston marathon because of a painful foot (different problem), too. In fact, I was pretty sure I'd be calling my husband to pick me up soon after the marathon started, but I actually finished it after all. If I don't make it to the start line, at least I've had a lot of fun running all of those miles in training. It hasn't been wasted time!

Photo: I received my marathon entry confirmation today.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Picked Fruit!

The grocery store had an after-holiday sale today. In my hands, I held discounted Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough, a can of Tootsie rolls and a bag of white chocolate chips, but somehow I resisted. I put it all back where it belonged, and instead I bought a pound of healthy, anti-oxidant rich cherries.

My ankle is still sore so I didn't run, but I did some floor exercises - leg lifts, core stuff, etc. Normally, I'd probably skip the extra exercising during taper time, but things aren't normal since I'm not running.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Party!

My right ankle feels better, but it still hurts. No running today or tomorrow. Looks like I'm in taper mode!

I had some fun in the kitchen today. I baked two cakes - a lemon cake and a chocolate mint cake. My husband and I took the cakes to a Christmas party tonight. We even had an ornament exchange. I know, Christmas is over, but it sure didn't feel like it. I think we laughed the whole time!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Race Results

4/25/10 Big Sur Marathon 4:19:50

1/17/10 Houston Marathon 4:05

11/26/09 Sheltering Arms Turkey Trot 10K 49:01

10/31/09 Great Pumpkin 5K 23:32 - AG 2nd Place!

10/25/09 Houston Half Marathon 1:55 Gun Time

7/4/09 Freedom 5K 25:22

1/18/09 Houston Marathon 5:08

11/30/08 Seattle Marathon 4:10

7/4/08 Freedom 5K 24:01

1/13/08 Houston Marathon 3:54:03

10/28/07 Houston Half Marathon 1:50:57

9/3/07 Fired Up 5K 24:14 - 3rd in my Age Group!

7/4/07 Freedom 2.6 Miler 20:34

6/16/07 Pensacola 5K 25:36 - 3rd in my Age Group!

6/2/07 Impact a Hero 5K 25:52

5/13/07 Santa Barbara 1/2 Marathon 2:00

1/15/07 Houston Marathon 4:58

10/29/06 Houston Half Marathon 1:59

6/3/06 Impact a Hero 5K 27:10

4/22/06 Sienna Family Fit Fun Run 5K 28:23

1/15/06 Houston Marathon 5:07

7/4/05 Freedom 5K 28:36

250 Marathons in 2010

No, that's not my goal! That's Martin Parnell's goal - Marathon Quest 250. He hopes to run 250 marathons in 2010 to raise $250,000 for Right to Play. He'll run 5 marathons a week, taking Fridays and Saturdays off to rest. He'll complete most of his 26.2 milers in Alberta, but plans to run official marathons like Boston, too.
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