Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Summary

Well, my running goals for 2010 are 200 runs, 1000 miles, average running pace less than 12 minutes, 10K in less than 64 minutes, blah, blah, blah (race specific time goals)...

So, how am I doing?
  • Average running pace =  11:45, yay! (less than 12)
  • 200 runs/12 months = 16.67 runs/month.  I ran 16 times this month so I'm on target.
  • 1000 miles/12 months =  83.33 miles/month.  I ran 69.2 miles, so I'm behind schedule.  I would have met the mileage goal if I hadn't had this nagging heal pain...  Am pretty sure I'll make up for lost mileage in the future.
  • 10K in less than 64 minutes = ran 10K in 64:40 on 1/16, bummer... but the year has just begun...

heal the heel

My left heel/bottom of foot hurt worse than ever at the beginning of the week. I told Coach Josh I needed a week off of running. Biking/swimming would be okay. So that's what we did.  By the end of the week, my heel still hurts a little, but it is much better than it has been!  Hope I can resume running next week.

Monday:  Rest Day

Tuesday:  10.27 miles/40:50 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym.

Wednesday:  800 meter swim in 32 minutes.

Thursday:  12.52 miles/50 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym.

Friday:  Rest Day

Saturday:  800 meter swim in 31 minutes, 7.83 miles/30 minutes on stationary bike.

Sunday:  2.72 miles in 17:59 on bikes in neighborhood. Coach Josh had prescribed an hour on the stationary bike, but we had a busy day and I couldn't make it to the gym. So decided to ride my tuned up 1990s Trek rode bike instead. FAIL.  I had trouble shifting gears and in some gears it sounded like something was rubbing. At one point, not long into the ride, the shift failed and the chain came off. Walked the bike back home, changed shoes, pumped the tires on the mountain bike and then took it out for a ride. My cheap mountain bike has much better gear shifters! The ride was much better, but I ran out of daylight. Lots of lessons learned today.

Weekly summary:
  • Days/miles run this week:  0
  • Days exercised this week:  5
  • Highlight of the week:  (1) swimming; I love/miss swimming!!!  (2) Lisa and I decided to register for the Chicago marathon again! We had so much fun in 2009; can't wait to do it again on 10/10/2010!
  • Goals for next week:  run 3 days without my heel hurting worse

Sunday, January 24, 2010

heel hurts; major mileage cutback

As I may have mentioned in prior posts, or maybe not, my left heel/bottom of foot has been hurting for a few months, primarily when walking, not running. Last week it hurt during my long run and the pain was more intense the next few days.  So my running coach and I decided to do a cut-back week to give my heel a chance to heal.

Monday:  Rest Day

Tuesday:  40 minutes/9.64 miles on the stationary bike at the gym.  My local gym closed and consolidated with a new gym 11 miles from my house. I have been meaning to cancel membership, but glad I haven't gotten around to it yet. It was a bit of a drive, but I was grateful to have a gym membership. The new gym is very nice, but not nice enough to entice me to drive 20 minutes to get there. Will start researching closer gyms in the near future.

Wednesday:  Easy 3.12-mile jog with the pups around the neighborhood. 1 mile with Tasha, 2 miles with Riley (pictured with my daughter watching for the school bus to arrive). Didn't look at Garmin during run, just focused on enjoying the morning. Heel is still tender, but it didn't hurt during the run. Mile splits:  12:07, 12:21, 12:15.

Thursday:  Coach Josh prescribed 45 minutes on the eliptical. After about 20-25 minutes, I started feeling a hot spot/blister.  So I decided to switch to the stationary bike after 30 minutes/2.43 miles.  Rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes/3.05 miles to finish the 45-minute workout.

Friday:  Rest Day

Saturday:  Coach Josh prescribed 14 long slow miles.  I had high hopes, but it just didn't happen. FAIL. Kyra had a basketball game this morning. Afterwards, I changed into running clothes, ate lunch and drove to Alexander Park.  I went there because I knew there was a 1+mile soft-surface trail which may be easier on my heel.  I started having stomach cramps almost immediately after I ate a Clif Shot at mile 4. I managed to keep running for another 2 miles and then had to make an emergency bathroom stop. Upset tummy. No fun...  While walking to and then away from bathroom, I realized that my heel was hurting again. (It stopped hurting mid-day yesterday and didn't hurt today until this point.) Decided to call it quits rather than risk further damage.

Sunday:  Was supposed to run 3 easy miles, but my heel hurts too bad. Decided to go to the gym and ride the stationary bike for 35 minutes instead (7.88 miles).

Weekly summary:
  • Days exercised this week:  5
  • Days run this week: 2
  • Miles run this week: 9.37
  • Highlight of the week: grateful for procrastination in canceling gym membership
  • Goal for next week:  heal the heel

Sunday, January 17, 2010

less than stellar week

This week didn't go as well as I had hoped.  I need to get better organized/committed.  Too many mornings I slept late and didn't have enough time to get in all of the planned miles, or I made stupid mistakes like forgetting to charge my Garmin 405 the night before a race. Coach Josh scheduled 28 miles for me for this week, but I only did 25.12 and some were on different days than planned. But on the bright side, I may have missed a 10K personal record (in recent years) by 17 seconds, but I also ran the 10K on Saturday 17 seconds faster than the only 10K that I ran in 2009. This week's daily details are below...

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday:  Interval Day.  I increased the pace a little over my coach's recommendation for the intervals since the last time I ran intervals, 9:40 wasn't too intense. I did a one mile warmup (11:45), then 6x3 minutes at 9:30 pace with 2 minutes of walking recovery between each set. I followed that with a 0.9-mile cool down in 10:45 to equal the planned 4.5 miles. I could have done a faster pace for the intervals, but decided not to vary too much from coach's plan.

Wednesday:  I didn't get up early enough today to get the planned 3 mile run in. I did a core work out mid-afternoon between picking my daughter up from school and her dentist appointment. I was exhausted after her basketball practice and decided to just make today my Rest Day instead of Friday.

Thursday:  Progression run.  I ran out of time this morning so I did an unofficial (unmeasured/untimed) cool down by walking around in the kitchen making breakfast immediately after run instead of the official 0.5 mile cool down prescribed.  I ran a little faster than prescribed because 11:30 just seemed too slow. mile 1 = 12:17 (warm-up), mile 2 = 11:18, mile 3 = 11:17, mile 4 = 10:09, mile 5 = 9:17.

Friday:  Easy day. Today was actually supposed to be a Rest Day, but since I skipped the easy run on Wednesday, I planned to make it up today.  I didn't get up early enough to get the entire 3 miles in, but did manage to complete 2.29 easy miles.

Saturday:  Race Day.  I ran a 1.12 mile warm-up, followed by the Atlanta Track Club's Peachtree City 10K race, followed by a 3 mile cool down. I'm proud to say that I didn't walk, and I ran a slightly faster pace than the last 10K that I ran (Peachtree Road Race, July 2009). I wrote a separate blog entry for today's runs with many more details, so click here if you'd like to read more about today.

Sunday:  Recovery run. My heel (bottom of foot) still hurts this morning.  It is worse when I first stand up then eases a bit. I debated about running today. I decided to try the easy run as planned and if it hurt worse to run than to walk/stand, I would abort. It actually started feeling a little better at 1.5 miles but maintained a low pain level of about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being no pain to 10 being the worse pain ever.  Mile splits: 12:07, 11:53, 11:45.

Got my hair colored and cut today. Like the fiery copper color? I think I like the fuscia/pink of last time better, but change is always good.

Weekly summary:
Days run this week:  5
Miles run this week:  25.12
Highlight of the week:  coming within 17 seconds of setting a 10K personal record (since I started tracking 2 years ago; not counting my younger/fitter years)
Goal for next week:  follow Coach Josh's training plan perfectly; no excuses

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Peachtree City 10K

The Plan:  Last week my running coach (Josh aka Speedy Sasquatch) wanted me to run a 10K race. But there weren't any 10Ks within 50 miles of my house that weekend. So I asked if I could postpone the 10K to this weekend and run the Atlanta Track Club's Peachtree City 10K. He agreed, I registered for the race, and then he forgot about it when setting up my running schedule for this week.  When I looked at my week's running plan, he had listed 12 long-slow-distance miles (LSD) for today. So I asked if he had changed his mind and thought 12 LSD would be better than the 10K in preparing me for my upcoming marathon. He said he knew he was forgetting something when he set up my training week and came up with what he thought was a great idea. He changed 12 LSD to a 3 mile warm-up, 10K race, and 3 mile cool down for a total of 12 miles. Why did I ask?.?.?...  He suggested paces of 11:15 for the warm-up and cool-down miles and less than 64 minutes for the 10K. I told him I'd love to do the 10K in under 64 minutes, but not sure if I can maintain 11:15 for the cool-down miles after running what would be a fast pace for me.

Pre-Race Challenges:  Thursday and Friday I had an upset stomach. I was worried this morning when I woke at 5 a.m. still not feeling the greatest. I took an imodium and hoped for the best. I planned to leave home by 6 a.m. to arrive in time to be able to do the 3 mile warm-up. Unfortunately, although I had set out my running clothes, shoes, extra clothes, fuel, water, etc. the night before, I forgot to check the battery on my Garmin 405. So at 5:55 a.m., when I picked up my Garmin, I was unhappy to see that the battery level was at 11%. I opted to put it on the charger and leave a little later. I thought that if I didn't have time to run 3 warm-up miles, I should have enough time to run at least 1 or 2 and would make up the rest after the race. Thirty minutes later, the Garmin battery was at 41%; I hoped this would be enough to get me through the morning. I learned something new while watching the battery charge since I remembered the exact time I put it on the charger, the starting battery level, and the exact time I took it off; it charges at 1% per minute.

Because I desperately need to go grocery shopping, I stopped at McDonald's and had an egg mcmuffin for breakfast while I drove the hour and 15 minutes to the race. I stopped at the Chick-fil-A near the race start to use the bathroom. Then I took another imodium and prayed I'd be able to make it through the race.

Warm up:  I parked near the Glenloch Recreation Center and picked up my race number, 983, and d-chip. After quickly pinning on my race number and putting the d-chip on my shoe laces, I headed out for a warm-up run. I didn't have much time. I was over-dressed. I was cold when I got out of the car. I had on tights, shorts (because I don't like the way my butt looks in tights), a tight long-sleeve tech shirt, a short-sleeved tech shirt (because I don't like the way my upper body looks in a tight top), a fleece vest, a thin wind jacket, and my "toenails are for sissies" hat. During the warm-up I unzipped the jacket and then the fleece vest. Then I dropped them off at the car before heading to the start line. This is the first time I have EVER done a warm-up run before a race!  I'm actually glad I did because I usually end up having to take off a layer during a cool-weather race and wrap it around my waist; not today!  I was supposed to run 3 miles for warm-up, but since I had to take extra time to charge my Garmin, I only had time for 1.12 miles. My average pace for that distance was 11:22.

10K Race:  The race started at 8:30 a.m.  There were fewer people than I thought there would be. The 5K and 10K started together. We started on a road through a neighborhood and about a mile later entered an asphalt nature trail. My first mile felt surprisingly easy at a 10:29 pace. The best part of the race was at about 1.6 miles when a deer was startled in the woods and ran towards and crossed the trail just a few feet from me. WOW! I wished I had a camera, but in hindsight, it happened so fast that I wouldn't have had time to photograph it. Amazing!  Mile 2 was at a 10:20 pace and I felt good. Then I started picking up the pace and picking off runners in front of me. Mile 3 was in 10:01 minutes. At the 3-mile mark, the volunteer timer said the course was flat from here to the end. So I kept up the pace.  Mile 4 was 10:20. Then I realized the timer was wrong. I slowed down on the hills and tunnels which resulted in mile 5 being 10:40. On the hills, I repeated the mantra "no walk, no walk, no walk".  I felt dizzy going through the dark tunnels and am sure my pace slowed in each of them. During this mile, one of the people that I had previously passed, passed me back. I was really tired at this point and mile 6 was 11:08.  I picked up the pace a little on the last 0.2 but it was mostly uphill so I wasn't able to hit the pace that I wanted. I crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 40 seconds. I was disappointed that I didn't meet the goal of less than 64 minutes and that I missed setting a 10K personal record by 17 seconds. But... I was proud that I DIDN'T WALK, and was glad that my tummy felt okay. Click here for a link to the race results. I finished 9th out of 11 in my age group.

Cool down:  After drinking a cup of water and using the bathroom, I started my cool-down run. I started slow and planned to go 5 miles. I ran through the soccer field to avoid the finish chute and then headed back on the race course. I said encouraging words to each runner making their way to the finish. My left heel, which has been bothering me while not running for months, was hurting now. The pain got worse as I ran on the asphalt trail. I decided to turn around and go back to the soccer field in hopes that the softer surface would be less painful. The surface was definitely less painful, but now I had another problem. My Garmin had a "low battery" warning on for the past few miles and it shut down completely. Since my heel HURT and I had no way of tracking time or distance at this point, I decided to call it quits. Later, after charging the battery, I learned that I went 3 miles in 39:20. Nowhere near the pace Coach Josh had wanted. Oh well...

Highlights:  The highlights for me were:  (1) didn't have to make an emergency bathroom stop, (2) didn't walk up hills, (3) saw a deer running very close-up, (4) came close to a 10K PR.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

Wow, it sure is CCCCOOOOLLLLDDDD!!!!  I did most of my runs on the treadmill this week. But I had to do the "hill repeats" outside. I probably could have figured out a way to do it on my treadmill, but decided to tough it out at Stone Mountain. I think I over-layered for that run. It was in the 28 degrees, but I still ended up sweating. Probably because I dressed for 28 degrees! My favorite run for the week wasn't really a run. Friday was my "rest day". It started snowing on Thursday afternoon. Schools were closed on Friday, and roads in my area were icy so I took a day off work. Had fun playing with my daughter in the snow in our yard. Mid-day we took the dogs for a walk and she challenged me to a race to the stop sign. After she won that, she challenged me to a race to xxxxx's mailbox. She won again. She's a sprinter; I'm not. It was much fun, none-the-less. The details of my running week are below...

Monday:  Rest Day

Tuesday:  It was COLD today!!! But on my training plan was hill repeats with push-ups and crunches between each. So I left work early, bundled up and headed to Stone Mountain. 1 mile warm up = 12:46; 6x40-sec up hill runs (fastest avg pace was on #4=8:31 avg pace; max speed was 6.4 mph on #2). 6x10 girlie push-ups (last 2 sets were challenging). 6x10 crunches (could have easily done more). 1.15 mile cool down. I did the push/crunch/run as prescribed by my running coach. Got a crazy look-back from a woman as I dropped to do push-ups, but she kept going. I bet if I had done this on a more crowded weekend day I would have gotten more stares or even comments. Felt good!

Wednesday:  3 miles easy

Thursday:  Progression Run; was scheduled for warm-up, 2 miles at 11:30, 2 miles at sub-11 minute pace/mile, then 0.5 mile cool down.  Got a side-stitch during last mile when I was running hard (for me). Haven't had one of those in years... breathed through it. Mile 1 = 12:00 (warm-up), Mile 2 = 11:28, Mile 3 = 11:27, Mile 4 = 10:46, Mile 5 = 9:50, 0.5-mile cool down = 5:19.

Friday:  Rest day.  It started snowing at 3 p.m. yesterday!!!  School was cancelled for today and the roads were icy so I took a vacation day from work.  Mid afternoon went on an untimed walk with my daughter and our two dogs enjoying the snow scenary. She challenged me to a few races to mailboxes/stop signs etc. She's a sprinter, and won every time. See the puppy and shoe prints in the snow? FUN!!!

Saturday:  3.15 miles.  Was supposed to be a 10-mile long run, but I bailed after 3 miles due to an upset stomach. I had to stop twice to go to the bathroom during the 3 miles. When I had to go again, I decided to call it quits. I will try again in the morning to complete the "long run".  mile 1 = 12:20 (warm-up), mile 2 = 12:00, mile 3 = 11:58, 0.15 = 1:48.

Sunday:  Yay! So glad I bailed yesterday. Felt much better this morning! Did the 10-mile run as planned (for yesterday). Mile 1 = 12:38 (warm-up), Mile 2 = 12:00, Mile 3 = 12:01, mile 4 = 11:50, mile 5 = 11:53, mile 6 = 11:35, mile 7 = 11:39, mile 8 = 11:43, mile 9 = 11:13, mile 10 = 10:04. Amazed that I finished so strong! I'm so used to finishing slower than I start. Working with a running coach is definitely helping my running!  Thanks Josh!

Weekly summary:
Days run this week:  5
Miles run this week:  24.74
Highlight of the week:  hmmmmm.... walk with Kyra in snow... successful postponed long run.
Goals for next week: Set a 10K personal record.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

This week included the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. I completed all runs scheduled by my running coach. And I added a walk on January 1st, which was supposed to be my "rest day". I'm so used to running on 1/1, but honestly, my legs were too sore, so I opted for a walk instead.  All week I was worried about the 8-mile run scheduled for Saturday with prescribed paces and the instructions of NO WALKING.  But but but... I always take a 2-minute walk break every few miles to drink water. I filled a squirt bottle and gave it a try. I surprised myself.

Monday:  Rest Day

Tuesday:  4.5 miles in 54:18 (12:04 average pace).  Interval Day. 1-mile warm up, then 6x3 minutes at 9:40  pace with a 2 minute walking recovery between intervals. Followed by a 1-mile cool down. Wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Wednesday: Easy 2 miles at a 12:00 pace.

Thursday:  5.5 miles in 1:02:09 (11:18 average pace).  Felt really good about this run! plan was 1 mile warm, 2 miles at 11:30 pace, 2 miles at sub-11:00 pace, 0.5 mile cool down. Actual:  mile 1 = 12:27 (warm-up), mile 2 = 11:33, mile 3 = 11:27, mile 4 = 11:00, mile 5 = 10:05, 0.5 mile cool-down in 5:37, stretch.

Friday:  Today is a scheduled "rest day", but I felt the need to do some activity. I'm used to running on New Year's day. My leg muscles are sore from the hard running that I've done this week, so I took the dogs for a 1.06 mile walk around the block. So glad that I did! During the walk, I finally remembered where I had hid one of Kyra's Christmas presents that I had bought in early November. She was very happy to receive a new Vera Bradley purse and wallet! Merry belated Christmas present!

Saturday:  8 miles in 1:33:27 (11:40 average pace).  Ran as planned, except miles 6-7 a tad faster. I'M TIRED! mile 1 = 12:29 (warm-up), mile 2 = 12:02, mile 3 = 11:56, mile 4 = 11:33, mile 5 = 11:27, mile 6 = 10:57, mile 7 = 10:51, mile 8 = 12:11 (cool down), stretch, shower, eat, lie on couch...

Sunday:  2 easy miles in 24:14 (12:07 average pace). Really wanted to take a nap, but did the planned run instead. mile 1 = 12:09, mile 2 = 12:05.

Days run this week:  5
Miles run this week:  22.00
Highlight of the week:  Actually completed all schedule runs!!! My tummy didn't feel great Saturday during run, but pushed through it anyway.
Goal for next week: complete all scheduled runs

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Resolution: Reduce


My resolution for 2010 is to simply REDUCE. More specifically, reduce: weight, running pace, clutter, debt and purchases. I plan to track these goals in a new blog in hopes that blogging about progress will help with actualizing these goals. But of course, running related progress will be tracked here as well. Best wishes to all in 2010!