Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New run PR!

I am using a training plan from Smart Coach.  Today's run was supposed to be 5 miles with 3 miles at 9:33.  Because of commitments my children had after school today, coupled with my husband's decision to go out after work, I only had the time while my oldest was at cub scouts to run today while also being responsible for my other three children.  The four of us went down to a parking lot that is unused in the evenings.  They rode their bikes and scooters and I ran in circles.  I did not manage to get to the 9:33 time, but I did make it 9:41 and it turns out that is a PR for a run.  I have gone faster for longer, like in the half marathon last month, but for a run time this was my fastest non-race run.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Marathon Fear

So here is just one of the many fears that rattle around when I think about the marathon I registered for, what if running the marathon causes me to injure myself and derails the sport I am trying to incorporate into my life for good?  I've mentioned before that I use DailyMile to track my runs and to connect with other runners and athletes for encouragement and support.  It is a great site and I highly recommend it.  My fear comes from noticing that a number of runners who have already done marathons seem to have sustained injuries that keep coming back to haunt them in their training.  I remember back a few months ago when I was getting really bad hip pain after running.  It turned out that as soon as I started running in new shoes that problem dissipated.  I had read that shoes should last 300 to 500 miles and, being a frugal person, i figured I could get mine to work for 500 miles.  That turned out not to be the case, which was a a disappointment.  So my fear for today is that I will hurt myself, either during training or during the actual marathon, and that whatever that possible injury will be will stop me from being a runner.  Even seeing that in print makes it start to seem a little funny, but there, it is out there.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rain, Puddles, Kids!

Today while I was at work I came up with a plan to get a few miles in without using the treadmill and still watching the kids.  My plan was to go to the parking lot at the end of our street after the business closed.  We use this lot to run and ride bikes in as it is flat and at the end of a dead end.  Once the business is closed the only real traffic is people fishing in the creek.  The rain threw my plans but, right around five p.m. it stopped so we got ready and headed out the door.  Of course it started to mist again shortly after, but the kids were racing each other and I got started doing laps of the lot.  After a bit racing turned into puddle splashing which ended up being four very wet children.  I guess it was better than being cooped up in the house and I rarely let then just jump in puddles like this so it was novel and new.

The run was far from being my best.   Between keeping an eye on them, worrying a bit about it being slippery and just the blahness( not an actual word, but the best way I can describe how I tend to feel at the end of the day) of it being the end of the day, my first mile was slow.  My splits were 12:06, 11:04, and 9:43.  I think the term is negative splits as I did get faster, but how can you not get faster when you start that slow?  The last mile proves I can run faster, which I know from the half marathon, but I don't actually do it that often.  I wonder if I should be running faster or having fun and not worrying so much?  I printed out a training plan and on shorter runs I am supposed to do some part in the nine minute mile range.  I'd like for that to start feeling easier, and I would think with time it will.  I guess it is time to start experimenting with running with buddies more and with music to see what makes me more motivated and less prone to taking it slow.  I also think I want to print out a new marathon training plan.  The one that I have now only has me running three days a week, and I preferred my half plan that had me running four to five days a week.  I don't know that I will feel prepared enough on three days a week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

St. Luke's Half Marathon

Here is my first note to myself, even though I don't always feel like I look my best, I need to have someone take a picture of me on race day.  Before and after pictures would be the best.  So far I have been in nine races and I have almost no pictures to show for it.  This is a big deal sort of thing and I need to make sure I actually get in a few pictures!

So as you can gather from that, I don't really have a picture from my first ever half marathon.  Maybe I'll grab my shirt, medal and bib and snap a shot of them and post them later on.  I think one of the things I was most disappointed about picture wise was that there were professional photographers there and they took around 10,000 or more pictures of less than 4,000 people and somehow I did not get a shot going over the finish line.  I am blurry in the background and then gone.  I could pretend I was really that fast, but that isn't really the case at all.  Basically I came in on the wrong side of the finish line.  Everyone on the left got a picture and people on the right got missed.  I don't think that was something I could of known about ahead of time and at that point I really just wanted to cross that line and get a bottle of water!  I found myself running in a couple others, but I really wanted to see myself going over the line as a bit of proof to myself that I can and did run 13.1 miles in a race for fun.

My time was much better than I expected it to be when I registered in December.  On the registration you were asked to estimate how long it was going to take you to run it and I put down 2:30 and I was hoping I was right.  That was the slowest pace group they offered and they warned if you couldn't do it in 3 hours you might be asked to run on sidewalks after they reopened the streets to traffic or take a courtesy bus.  My final time was 2:13:50 (not sure if I recorded that right or not.  According to their time clock it took me two hours, thirteen minutes and 50 seconds.  My watch said 25 seconds but I guess I need to go with the chip time.)  During my training I changed my goal to 2:20 and then in the month leading up to race day I decided to aim for between 2:10-2:20.  I was really happy that I made the goal I set for myself.  I credit part of making it with the training time I put in and the friends I ran with and with the fact that my husband ran with me.  We got an email the week of the race saying that you were not allowed to run with headphones, which both of us had been planing on doing.  Even though most of  my runs were done without them, I usually had someone to talk to, so going for two hours alone with nothing seemed long.  We didn't talk the whole time, just here and there.  More so in the beginning than as the miles went on, but knowing that I had someone to talk to if I wanted to made a difference.  No one would be looking at me like I was crazy if I just started talking randomly about something!

I practiced the course two times before race day, but a change was made due to a stone wall that was no longer safe along the course and it had to be rerouted after my first practice.  I had a chance to practice the change part a week or so before race day and it was the hill that gave me a problem during my one and only 10K.  That hill happened around mile 7 and when I look at my splits, that hill is what divides my 9 minute and some second miles from all the ten minute and something ones.  I really want to do this race again next year without that hill (I hope) to see how I do.  Of course I will be a different runner by then but I really would have liked to have seen my time the original way.  My splits were 9:43, 9:44, 9:26, 9:46, 9:43, 9:58, 10:22, 10:08, 10:35, 10:33, 10:48, 10:37,10:35, 9:59.  For me these are awesome times.  I tend to run in the tens and elevens most of them time.  It takes a race most times to get me to run in the nines.  I am in awe of people who can run under ten minute miles for all their runs.  I am not sure I ever see that being me, but I guess I can work towards it, maybe.  When we lined up we got behind the pace group for 2:10 which was listed as 9:55 minute miles.  We lost the pacer almost immediately even though we were running faster than that time for the first five miles.  Being among a group running a similar pace helped too.

This ended up being a positive experience.  I was tired and somewhat sore afterwards, but feel really good about what I've accomplished since I started running last summer.  I have some more big goals coming up!

Monday, February 20, 2012

How important are goals?

Running is something I toyed with for about a year, maybe more, before I committed to actually running last summer.  I would be reading Facebook and see all sorts of friends running in races or organizing races and think, "I should try that."  The I would remember that I hate running and it makes me feel like I am dying and think about doing it "someday".  Well last school year I started back to work and I gained weight so I tried out running for a few weeks, talked enough about it to have a friend at work suggest I enter an upcoming race, then stopped running for over a month.  Obviously I took it back up, entered the race and completed it and have gone from there.  But here is the thing, the real reason i took up running was to lose weight.  In the seven months that I have been running I have lost 15 pounds.  In my head when I started I was going to lose five pounds a month and by now I would have reached my goal.  Why hasn't that happened?  I added calorie counting in, most of the time at least, in October.  I use My Fitness Pal most days to track both calories in and those used by exercise.  Do I need to run more?  Eat less?  Relax more?  Get rid of some stress?  I am at a loss as to what goal to set next.  I can keep going as I have been and enjoy slow weight loss, but I would love to see it go faster.  Starting on Wednesday I am giving up potato chips and french fries for Lent and, as those are two of my high calorie fun foods, that usually helps a bit.  Plus my training should be upping my miles soon so that may help too.  I want to do this smart, and keep running as a healthy pursuit, but I am ready to feel like  me again and that still hasn't totally happened.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Training Plans

After registering for the half marathon at the end of April I went online to Runner's World and printed out one of their training plans.  This is week three of that plan.  Starting last week I also get a weekly email with a training plan from Bart Yasso for the half marathon.  I've been doing a combination of the two plans and so far have been running more than they say to run.  The one from online has me running way slower than my normal.  Part of what I have been frustrated about lately is that my time from my first 5K to my most recent one has not improved much at all.  I know all courses are different and the last one was longer than 3.1 miles, but if I had been training as I should have been, I think i would have seen improvement.  I think I let myself run slower instead of pushing a bit to go faster.  These past three weeks I have been pushing more, not a ton, just putting it up .1 to .5 higher than easy for the speed on the treadmill and with this little bit of effort I have seen my time per mile getting better.  Next weekend is my first 10K which turns out is supposed to have a lot of hills, which I haven't really started training for yet.  I've been focusing on on thing at a time and for right now that is small speed increases.  I've been wondering how other people train.  Do you pay for a plan?  Follow one to a T?  Modify an existing one for you own goals?  Is there a right or wrong way to do it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eating Machine

This week so far is one of my worst on record calorie wise since I started counting again in October.  I just seem to want to eat all the time!  I am feeling stressed about a bunch of things and my children are picking up on this and pressing my buttons which is making it worse.  It actually started last week and I thought I had made it better by doing my long run Friday.  I hoped that would release the stress and burn off some of the extra calories, but I am still feeling a stress bubble inside of me.  Maybe tomorrow it is time to break out the yoga workout I used to love but haven't done in years.  Perhaps I need something different to calm me and ground me.  I just need to get in the mindset that each day is a new one and mistakes eating wise from today are left in today and I can do better going forward!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Extreme Shed and Shred

My goal last week was to make sure that I was doing some sort of cross training with the running and walking, but I didn't do so hot on that front.  As with a number of other goals I am trying to look at things from the perspective that what is done is done and I can focus on doing  better in the future, instead of beating myself up about slip ups or missed opportunities.

This morning I planned to run.  My children have been wanting to run with me so we were going to go to a park with a paved and marked track to run/walk this morning.  There is a sandbox in a separate loop and I figured I could run around that to get more distance in once they got tired and I would still be able to keep an eye on them.  Once I got ready I checked the temperature and it was only 20 degrees.  They would have never lasted long so I changed my plan and tried this instead.  Michaels recommends doing Level one and two at the same time, but with the kids around I opted for just level one.  The workout part is a half hour and then stretching and so yoga moves are the last fifteen or so minutes.  I know that is working out too, but it doesn't feel like it all the time.  I am glad I tried it, I think I still like the 30 Day Shred one better, but it is good to be able to mix things up.  Hopefully I will work myself up to the point where I am getting up early to do one of these before I start the day except on the days I have plans to run with friends.  I love when I get the workout in before I start the day and it isn't hanging over me for the day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Half Marathon time!

For a month or so I have been toying with the idea of signing up for a local half marathon.  I loved the idea of doing it, but was really worried that it would be too hard for me.  I've never run that far and haven't been running for all that long.  There was fear that I would embarrass myself or maybe not even be able to finish it.  Yesterday I did my long run and went 9 miles for the second time.  The first time was last month right before Christmas.  I didn't worry about speed just distance and running the whole time.  I took it slow but steady.  My training plan said this week's long run was supposed to be 8 miles at a slightly slower pace than what I did.  I don't know how important it is to follow a training plan to the letter, I've never really tried before, but I wanted to go for nine so I did.  I even thought about trying to go one further as I've never done ten, but I didn't.  last month the nine mile day left me really tired, this time I'm fine.  My knees were a little tired or sore, but otherwise everything was fine.  That run made my decision and I registered for the race last night.  If I have to walk for part of it, then I walk for part of it, but I feel like I can do it and will be very glad about my decision when it is all done.  It is still more than three months off and I am sure I will have some second thoughts along the way, but I am ready to push myself to meet this goal!