Monday, August 31, 2009

August Summary

August 2009
20 runs
101.9 miles
January 1 - August 31, 2009
116 runs
493.3 miles
12:22 average pace

My goal for the year (in January) was 200 runs, 800 miles, less than 12 min/mile average pace. I'm behind schedule, but I know that the miles are going to increase drastically during the next few months of marathon training. Just ran the math. To meet the goal, I'll need to average 21 runs and 76.7 miles per month for September - December. I'm pretty sure I'll meet the mileage goal since I'll be running the Chicago marathon in October and have tentative plans for another marathon in December. I will be close to meeting the days run goal, but may be short since I had to take so much time off in March due to illness. But should easily exceed last years number of days run (153). I seriously doubt I'll achieve the average pace goal since I'm doing a lot of long runs at slow pace, easy runs with dogs at slow pace, and trail runs at slow pace. Although I'd like to run faster, I'm enjoying slow runs with pups and on trails.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 11 of 17 Chicago Marathon Training

This was a great week of running! I ran 6 days; amazing! I loved the cooler mornings and even enjoyed running in the misting rain.

Monday: I got up later than planned. So I did 2.7 miles on the treadmill.

Tuesday: Don't understand why, but my Garmin battery was dead this morning. I ran the same route as Sunday so I'm assuming the mileage was 3: 1-ish mile loop with Tasha then 2-ish route with Riley. Used the stopwatch on iPhone.

Wednesday: Loving this cooler weather! 60 degrees Fahrenheit! 3.27 miles

Friday: 3.51 miles total = 1.26 miles with Tasha in 15:15, then remainder with Riley. 70 degrees; very humid.
Saturday: 3.48 miles. Easy jog without the pups in the rain. Kyra had a sleep over (Sophia and Bryn). The three girls plus two pups slept in Kyra's full sized bed last night! Riley normally wakes me up at 5:30-6:00 a.m., but since he was in bed with them, he woke them up instead. Of course, once 3 girls are awake, there is no getting them back to sleep. They played Rock Band on wii while I ran around the neighborhood. Sophia was surprised that I was back so soon. She later told her mom that I ran 3 miles in 10 minutes! Guess at 10 years old, it's hard to keep track of time when you're having fun with friends. I was flattered anyway. The photo was taken a few hours later at 12 Oaks Stable.

Sunday: 13.04 miles. Easy run in the light rain at the park in the afternoon. Enjoyed watching boys baseball as I ran past. Not sure which was more fun, running in the rain or playing baseball in the rain. Running in the rain pros: cooler. Running in the rain con: entire feet (top and bottom) are like raisins.

Monday: 2.7 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 3.27 miles
Friday: 3.51 miles
Saturday: 3.48 miles
Sunday: 13.04 miles
Days run this week: 6
Miles run this week: 29.00
Highlight of the week: Sophia being impressed with my 2nd place plaques and thinking I ran 3 miles in 10 minutes on Saturday morning! I wish!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 10 of 17 Chicago Marathon Training

So here's a summary of my week. YES!!! I'm finally getting back on track!

Monday afternoon I just wasn't feeling it so cut my treadmill run short at 2.24 miles. Then I went to "Curriculum Night" at my daughter's school and talked with Tonya. She said that she and Lisa planned to do their "long run" on Thursday and I said that I would take a vacation day and join them.
Wednesday morning I got up early and ran with the dogs, one at a time. It was great! I took Riley for 1.61 miles then did the rest with Tasha. Wednesday evening I set out fuel/beverages/clothes/etc. for tomorrow's long run.
Thursday morning I woke up and didn't feel too good. My tummy felt queasy. I almost called Tonya to cancel, but then thought that I should go run anyway since I had taken a vacation day and this would be a good training run to prepare me for the possibility of waking up on race morning not feeling well. So I met Tonya and Lisa at the park at 8:30 a.m. The park has an asphalt loop that is just shy of one mile. We started out walking then added in jogging. We walked up two hills and jogged the rest. DeeDee joined us for a few miles. Then later Bryan was coaching tennis lessons and would cheer for us each time we passed. I felt okay in the beginning, probably because we were all happily chatting and it kept my mind occupied. But around mile 11 I started feeling much worse. I almost quit, but didn't want to let them down. A mile or so later I told them to go on ahead, I needed to slow my pace. I slowed a bit and added in more walk breaks. I felt horrible, but didn't quit. Tonya and Lisa caught back up to me and they finished 18 miles as I was completing 17. They said they would wait for me. Bryan cheered me on each mile. I finally made it to 18 miles, in slightly over 4 hours. It was hot, humid, and I felt horrible. But I enjoyed running with Tonya, Lisa and DeeDee and hearing Bryan's encouraging cheers.
I went home afterwards and promptly became ill. (And this was before I screamed when I found Tasha lying proudly beside her kill (mouse) that she had brought inside.) I was sick the rest of the day and wondered if I would be able to pick my daughter up from school. Thankfully my tummy settled down enough for me to go pick her up. I wasn't sure if I was sick from the run or if I had an illness, but I realized later that it was definitely a virus of some sorts. Shortly after my daughter came home she became sick too. Bummer!

Friday: I spent the day at home with my sick child. I started feeling better mid-day. I was so tired last night but the dogs kept waking me. So later this afternoon I decided to take Riley out for a short run so I could get some sleep tonight. I think this is the first time I've run the day after a long run! About a quarter-mile into our easy jog, it started raining lightly. Then it turned into a hard downpour. It was fun running in the rain! Kyra was sweet and dried him off in the kitchen. Too cute!

Sunday: It was a cool-ish morning, 62 degrees, YAY! It was so refreshing to go for a run in the cooler, less humid weather! Just did an easy 3.5 miles before church.

Monday: 2.24 miles
Wednesday: 3.09 miles
Thursday: 18 miles
Friday: 1.47 miles
Sunday: 2.97 miles

Days run this week: 5
Miles run this week: 27.77
Highlight of the week: long run with Tonya and Lisa
Goal for next week: run 5 days

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 9 of 17 Chicago Marathon Training

So here's a summary of my week. I didn't run nearly as much as I had hoped, again, but did run one more day than last week. Most of my runs were short ones with the dogs in the morning because I just couldn't drag myself out of bed in time to get in a longer run. This photo is of Riley snuggling with his current favorite toy; all tuckered out after a run with me. I had planned for 10 miles on Saturday, but started having tummy issues at 7 miles and simply called it quits after having to take a potty break. Hopefully next week will be better...

Wednesday: 4.03 miles
Thursday: 2.64 miles
Friday: 3.11 miles
Saturday: 8.3 miles

Days run this week: 4
Miles run this week: 18.08
Highlight of the week: ran one more day than last week
Goal for next week: run more days of the week

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week 8 of 17 Chicago Marathon Training

So here's a summary of my week. I didn't run nearly as much as I had hoped, but did get in that Long Run. I had planned my long run for Saturday afternoon because my daughter had horse riding lessons in the morning. I knew it would be hot and my daughter would be home, so I planned it for the treadmill in the basement. But shortly after we arrived home from horse lessons, one of my daughter's friends called and invited her to go to the park with them. I thought about changing my plans to outdoor running, but it's just too hot. I completed 16 miles on the treadmill while watching two movies. I took walking breaks while texting my daughter and a friend of mine. 16 miles on the hamster wheel isn't much fun, but at least it was conveniently located within a short walk of the faucet and toilet! Afterwards I took an ice bath then met friends for dinner then a neighborhood band concert. Fun times!

Monday: 3.09 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Saturday: 16 miles

Days run this week: 3
Miles run this week: 23.09
Highlight of the week: 16 miles...
Goal for next week: run more days of the week

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crowd Support/Evening Runner

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that early morning running on weekdays, just isn't for me. I tend to hit snooze too many times or reset the alarm clock and either don't have enough time to run at all when I get up, or have to cut my goal distance short because I got up too late. And on those rare days that I actually get up when the alarm sounds, I've had challenges with bonking. My body needs adequate fuel to run and a cup of juice or a gel just isn't enough to get me through 4-6 miles and eating something more substantial requires a mid-run pit-stop. Since I'm trying to get back into the training groove since there are only 10 more weeks until the marathon. After I reset my alarm clock twice this morning I vowed I would run this evening. NO EXCUSES. Driving home from work, after leaving a voicemail for Gordon of Running to Disney Podcast fame, I started thinking about how/when I used to run, many years ago, sheerly for the exercise/stress relief/enjoyment. Thinking back I realized that the majority of my runs were in the evening. I can remember running in the dark by moonlight much more often than runs at 5 a.m. And now that I'm writing this, I don't think I've ever run at 5 a.m. until this latest Chicago Marathon training schedule. When I used to run simply for fun, I recall a few times that I would get up early to run simply so I could watch the sun rising over the ocean (which doesn't happen at 5 a.m.). I remember years ago my neighbor tried to get me into walking with her and another neighbor at 5 a.m. I just couldn't commit to that crazy schedule (not to mention that I'd rather run than walk).

I worked late today since my daughter is with her dad. (I tend to leave the office early when she's with me so it balances out.) I arrived home around 7:30 p.m., changed into running clothes, consumed a vanilla Clif shot, and put the harnesses on the dogs. I've been trying to figure out what mileage is good for them. I used to occassionally take them on 2-3 mile runs (about once a month) and that was too much. So I took the advice of Chris Russell, hit reset, and started with shorter distance. One loop around my block is one mile. I tried this first (weeks ago) and they were still pulling me at the end. Last week I added a side cul-de-sac and they still had energy. The next time I added yet another side cul-de-sac to total 1.44 miles and shortly after 1 mile, they weren't pulling anymore, but seemed fine at the end. So tonight I added one more cul-de-sac for a total of 1.56 miles. This may have been too much. They slowed significantly at one mile and instead of them pulling me, I was encouraging one of them in the end. (Tasha, 5-yr-old husky mix was lagging; Riley, 1-yr-old golden still happily jogging). Not sure if it was the heat/humidity or if they're just still tired from yesterday's trail run. I'll give them a rest day tomorrow.

After 1.56 miles with the dogs, I dropped them off at home. After removing their harnesses and making sure they had plenty of water, I went outside and repeated that same route. I decided that since my average pace for the year is much slower than my goal for the year, that I would try to pick up the pace. I wanted a sub-12 minute average for this run. After the 2-mile beep said 12:09 (slower than my first mile), I flipped my Garmin 405 display to the total run average pace. I kept a close eye on it to make sure it stayed under 12 minutes. As I was exiting the second cul-de-sac, Wendy was driving home and she yelled "GO SAMANTHA!" out of her car window. I smiled and waved at this great pre-race crowd support! (She and DeeDee are going to Chicago with us but won't be running, just cheering.) Then on the next cul-de-sac, Susan and Sandy were outside and yelled encouragement. From that point on I knew the terrain was all downhill. I was at 11:41 average pace. I picked up speed in hopes of achieving 11:27 average pace since 27 is my lucky number. I hit 11:27 average about a tenth of a mile before home and then it dropped to 11:26. At first, I slowed down because I thought it would be cool to finish at 11:27 pace. But then I realized that was my OCD kicking in and I shouldn't slow down for a number. I picked the pace back up and ultimately finished with an average pace of 11:25 minutes per mile on a 3.09 mile run. Yay! It's not fast, by any means, but it's better than my goal average, so I'm happy.

So I've concluded that running in the evening is so much better for me than early mornings on weekdays. That last loop of crowd support from neighborhood friends cheering me on gave me an awesomely spontaneous boost! Plus, when I think back to when I just ran for fun, those evening runs come to the forefront.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week 7 of 17 Chicago Marathon Training

Well, once again I ran much less this week than I had planned. But on the positive side, I ran more than I did last week. I could list several excuses, but what's the point. They are just excuses. So here's a summary of my week.

Monday: 4 miles
Thursday: 5.04 miles
Friday: 2 miles
Sunday: 4 miles

Days run this week: 4
Miles run this week: 15.04

Highlight of the week: running in the rain, twice
Goal for next week: Get back on training schedule

Fun, muddy run in rain on trail with pups

Yesterday I felt horrible and skipped the 10-mile run. I thought about making it up today, but didn't want to compromise next week's training. Although I had really wanted to run this week perfectly according to the training schedule, I didn't. One excuse after another. So I decided that today, instead of trying to make up mileage, I would do a revitalizing, easy, fun run on a trail with the pups. I hoped this would reinvigorate me and be sort of a reset button. So after church, I ate a sandwich, changed into running clothes and loaded the dogs in the car. We drove to Sope Creek. Dark clouds loomed overhead and rain sprinkled on the car off and on as we drove the 26 miles to the trail. I wondered if we would get rained on while running, but didn't really care. There were only three other cars in the parking lot when we arrived. After paying the parking fee, we set off down the trail. Shortly into it, there was a tree down across the trail. Hmmm... what to do... We climbed over it through a narrow passageway between two other trees since the branches were huge over the trail. We didn't see anyone for a while, but when we did, my adrenaline rushed. We passed two men that didn't exactly look like successful businessmen. Since I hadn't seen anyone else, and the trail is surrounded by forest, I started feeling fearful. Why didn't I bring my pepper spray? And of course these two dogs aren't exactly guard dogs. Tasha would like a stranger to death and Riley would cower in fear. The adrenaline rushed through me and I pushed the pace with the dogs until we got to a side-path. I turned left and hoped they didn't follow us. Once I realized we weren't being followed, I relaxed a bit. I had fun running through the muddy trail. When we completed the loop that we were on, there were two more men, friendly looking, with three dogs that were a bit excited. So instead of heading back to the car (they were standing in that trail), I turned left so we could bypass the dogs (a husky, chocolate lab, and ???). We did another loop of what we had run earlier. In our last half-mile, it started raining lightly. It was refreshing and beautiful watching it rain on the small Lake Sibley. There was a father and young son fishing on the dock. How cute! We did a total of 4 miles in a little over an hour. Not the fastest pace in the world, since we walked up some steep hills and stopped a few times to look at trail maps and for the pups to drink out of creeks. But my goal wasn't running fast; it was to have fun. And with the exception of that first scare, it truly was a fun run. Tomorrow I'll clean all the mud out of the car...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

why do I run

Last night I got ambitious on Facebook and friended a few people that I barely knew from high school. One was a guy that I had a major crush on. He's a few years older than me and I was shy in high school. He was a cute, cool, smart, football player. I just admired him from afar. So after I sent the friend request he sent me an email. Amongst other things, he asked me how I got into running. So, in case you're wondering, this is my story...

I started running because of .... you guessed it... a boy. One summer of my early high school years (8th or 9th grade) my family went on vacation to Panama City Beach for a week. I met a guy there from Berrien County which is about 45 minutes from where I lived. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses, but back then kids didn't make long-distance calls. We wrote to each other several times and he said he ran track. He told me the date that his track team would be coming to my high school for a track meet. I went to watch him in the track meet the following spring. He was so cute! Since my high school would be going to his high school the following year for the track meet, I joined the track team so I could see him again. I've always been athletic, playing softball most of my youth, so running came naturally. I quickly forgot about him, but loved running. I ran track and cross country in high school. I wasn't fast, but I loved it! My grandfather died on my brother's birthday when I was in 10th grade. I didn't find out until after I had returned home from the out-of-town track meet in which I had run my best yet. He had died earlier in the day and I asked my mom why she didn't come to school and tell me before the track meet. She said that Papa would have wanted me to enjoy my track meet so she waited until I got home. In hindsight, I'm glad she waited.

I was already on the track team when Jeff moved to town. I can't remember if we started dating before or after track season, but he ran too. We used to go up to the track at night and run together. We usually did our own individual work outs rather than running at the same pace. Mr. Polhamous would be there sometimes pole vaulting and occassionally there were other walkers or joggers. If we were lucky, we'd be alone after dark...

I ran for stress relief during college and to keep in shape for Ultimate frisbee. I ran to stay in shape up until I had problems becoming pregnant. My OB said maybe if I added some body fat, my problems would resolve. I cut back on my mileage, gained some weight and it worked! After my daughter was born, my then-husband bought me a jogging stroller for Christmas. I had gained so much weight that it was difficult to run, but I started out slow and did an unstructured run/walk with Kyra in the stroller. But I had difficulty finding the time to go running because I was so exhausted being a new mom. I started running hard again as my marriage was falling apart. I guess it's just been a life-long passion that gets me through the tough times.

I started training for my first marathon after breaking up with the most significant relationship after my marriage, but I tore my ACL and meniscus doing something stupid (jumping on the trampoline) and that sidelined my running for a while. I was so depressed when I couldn't run for months after surgery. But I hung in there and slowly began jogging again. I registered for another marathon (Sarasota), but hurt my meniscus again and had to drop down to the half-marathon instead. I finally ran my first marathon last October and I'll be doing my second one, with two friends, in 10 weeks. I'm slow, but enjoy just getting out there and enjoying nature. If I lost 20 pounds I'm sure it would make a huge difference in my speed, but the more I run, the hungrier I am, the more I eat, and the pounds aren't falling off. Vicious cycle.

So, why do I run now? Because I love getting out there and enjoying nature, even urban nature... It's a great escape!