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Posts Tagged ‘marathon training’

I’m still here!

Okay, so here’s the deal. My updating has been non-existent this past week do to work. I know, I’ve said this before but let me explain. I work for a smallish (about 75 people) non-profit association. In other words, I work for our members. Everyday I strive to make their lives happy by designing pretty logos and fancy brochures in the creative services department. But that’s not all. I also kind of work in the marketing department doing random marketing projects, one of which is an 8-week marketing online course that started last week. I love what I do, but it’s hard because we’ve been short-staffed since major layoffs December 2008. Thus, I do the work of 2.5 people. Why 2.5? Well my department is the only department without administrative help, which led to lots of fights with the copy machine last weekend.

I’m telling you all this because it’s the reason why I haven’t been writing here. Today is the first day in a while where I haven’t had someone jumping in my office right at 8 o’clock. And since I spend all day at work on my computer, it’s the last piece of machinery I want to play with at home in the evenings. I’d rather play with a very loveable pup who currently runs around the house with a cone around his neck.

But no worries! I’m going to try really hard to find time for myself at work to calm down and write more. In fact, I vowed to Matt that October would be a recharging month because the marathon is 33 days away and I cannot run well if I’m stressed out. I have two cool races coming up at the end of the month, too. The Army 10 Miler and the Wicked 10k. It’s time to get back in action!

While I was not writing, some cool things happened…

  • My aunt and uncle had a beautiful baby girl, Ella. A new little cousin! She’s really cute. Like there’s cute, and then there’s Ella. ‘Nough said.
  • I’ve entered the paranoid stage of my training. People are dropping off like flies at work and I’m poppin’ vitamin C drops likes it’s in my job description. My hands are getting raw from too much Purell. I CANNOT get sick now. It’s not allowed.
  • I ran 18 miles last Saturday in gorgeous, chilly fall weather. I took 3 GUs and felt positively great the last two miles. I really wanted to get home and averaged a 9:35 pace for miles 17 and 18.
  • I visited the Newseum in Washington, DC on Sunday. By far, it was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. There were some pretty heavy exhibits displayed, like coverage on Katrina and 9/11; two displays mentioned April 16. The Newseum did such a great job of showing how people and communities really come together after tragedy and how important and influential communication really is in this world. Besides being super crazy hungry (due to the 18 miles) and being kicked out at 5 pm, Matt, our friend Hunter, and I could have spent hours upon hours in there. So much information in one building. I highly recommend visiting the Newseum if you’re ever in DC.

Anywho…the 18 miles on Saturday really boosted my marathoner ego because last year they were completed on an elliptical machine due to a knee injury. I must be doing something right because my body feels great this year. I have a low mileage week this week before my 20 miler in 2 weeks. That’s my last long run before tapering for the marathon!

I promise to write back shortly. Have a great Tuesday!

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Saturday: 16 miles; 2:55:07
Sunday: 2 mile walk with Scout

Let’s see. Where to begin. This weekend was busy busy busy. Besides sleeping in until 7:30 on Sunday (it was pretty awesome) and not doing anything productive until 10 am that day, I was on the go all weekend.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early for my 16 miler. Scout ran with me for the first 2 miles and then I was on my own. I don’t know what was in me, but the only route I wanted to run was my favorite 5 mile loop around me neighborhood. So after dropping off Scout I grabbed 3 Gu gels, my cell phone, my iPod, my pepper spray, and my Camelbak and headed out on my merry little way. I like my 5 mile loop because it’s challenging yet easy. If that makes sense. The first 1.5 miles is slightly up hill, then it stays flat with a slight downhill through a cute neighborhood before climbing back up and back down until I reach my street again. It’s great hill training for NYC.

I successfully looped 3 times, but I had my fair share of trouble. Besides running past the same yard sales 3 times in less than 3 hours, I…this hurts to admit…forgot to put Secret deodorant on my legs and chaffed really (REALLY) bad.

Let me be girly and explain. To prevent chaffing, I use unscented Secret deodorant around my sports bra and on my shoulders where my Camelbak straps rest. I also apply it on my inner thighs, because I’m not a skinny supermodel and my thighs rub together when I run. Fact of life. Halfway through my second loop I felt the burning and realized my mistake; it wasn’t pretty after that. Every few miles I had to stop and readjust my spandex shorts (I’m sure I scared the yard salers) so my legs wouldn’t touch. A few times I would readjust my shorts, run a few steps, cringe, and try to readjust them again. By the end, I was bleeding some and my inner left thigh was red and swollen. ouch.

To top things off, I helped Matt stain our fence that afternoon. A few times the stain splattered on my wound and it burned. Ohhh did it burn.

I’m better today! It’s all scabbed over and I should be able to run this evening if I wear my longer running shorts.

And as bad as this chaffing burns, it’s not nearly as bad as the injury I faced around this time last year. Sixteen miles was the longest I ran before I suffered a knee injury training for Philadelphia last year and I “ran” an 18 miler on my parent’s elliptical machine. I managed to run 20 miles before the actual marathon, but it was slow and choppy.

Right now, I feel great. My legs quickly recovered from 16 miles and I do believe I could have kept on going. I feel really good about NYC. I’m still not setting a time goal, though. With the crowds and hills and celebrity stalking (must find my new BFF Edward Norton), I’d only disappoint myself and I want NYC to be great. I have many more years ahead of me to reach goals (sorry Matt!), but I might only have one NYC. I don’t see myself entering the lottery again any time soon.

Sorry for the long post! Had to get a lot out. Tomorrow I have a cool new product to share with you that involves ditching my running buddies Dave, Tim, and Jackson. It’s called Audio Fuel and I’m excited to share it with you!

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Sunday: 11 miles; 1:55:something
today: rest day/walk

mile 1: The looming hill.

mile 2: Entrance to the dog park Scout can no longer attend as of Sunday. Dang county.

mile 3: Pretty white flowers.

mile 4: Weird looking tree bark.

mile 5: Starbucks. Ohhh how I wanted to stop in for an iced coffee.

mile 6: A consumed packet of GU. Not as good as an iced coffee.

mile 7: “Positively, my dear! No trespassing!” (said in an old British accent)

mile 8: A squiggly little tree.

mile 9: Deer that were far enough away for me not to be scared.

mile 10: A roundabout. My desire to find interesting things was waning at this point.

mile 11: My tired feet.

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workout: 6 miles; 1:02:46

  • 2 miles warm-up @ 5.5-5.9 mph
  • 2 miles tempo @ 6.1-6.4 mph
  • 2 miles cool-down @ 5.0-6.3 mph

My cool-down was all over the place today. I tried my hardest to keep my tempo at 6.3 today, so my legs were beat by the time those 2 miles were up. Without even thinking my hand hit the 5 mph button and I was basically walking, which slowed down my time. It’s all good, though. My body wanted need a little rest. I did step it up and push hard the last half a mile. I wanted to stop!

So I never posted an official workout schedule because I wanted to get in the groove with this new training. Now that my first two weeks of training are almost complete, I have a system going that leaves me fresh for every run and not tired or stressed. This is a huge improvement from my Philadelphia training schedule last year that left me over-mileaged and wacked out.

Here is how my training is shaping up weekly:

  • Monday: cardio cross train, usually a Biggest Loser or kickboxing DVD
  • Tuesday: speed intervals on the track
  • Wednesday: rest day; total recovery
  • Thursday: longer tempo run
  • Friday: cardio cross train and/or an easy run no more than 3 miles
  • Saturday: walk; strength workout
  • Sunday: long run

I know I’m only two weeks in, but I’ve been following this schedule for about a month now and it leaves me feeling happy and accomplished. And since I sneak in all but one workout a week in the morning, I have more time to enjoy family time after work.

Being successful in staying fit or training for a race is all about finding a routine that works for you. It’s really, really hard to follow a schedule that doesn’t fit your life; makes working out seem like a nuisance. If you’re routine fits your life, then working out is your everyday and it’s enjoyable. Cheers!

Okay. Those were my words of wisdom for today. I’m off to find food. So hungry! Why doesn’t anyone in my office bring brownies in the day I actually want to eat them??

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Sunday’s workout: 8 miles; 1:22:27
today’s workout: Biggest Loser Cardio max DVD; 50 minutes

I don’t have my Garmin with me so I can’t give you splits from Sunday, but no worries. They weren’t too impressive. I tried my hardest to stay around 10:15 minute miles and it was hard on the hills. I’m getting better with keeping pace at slight, long hills. But I can’t seem to manage the short, steep hills. *sigh* It’s so frustrating. I mean, I run up Mt. Everest (didn’t know it was in the ‘burbs of Maryland, did ya??) almost every Sunday and it always punches me in the face.

This morning I completed the entire Cardio Max DVD. wowzzas. That is all I have to say about that.

Since it’s Monday and I’m tired I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Ryan Adams songs, “Wildflowers”. Listen to this song. It’s so good. This weekend I read that he might do an acoustic tour this fall. Um, heck ya! Do it, buddy! Acoustic Ryan Adams is the Ryan Adams I fell in love with back in 2001. I accept his “Magjik” phase, but I’d really rather not talk about it.

Instead, I like to think about the summer when my college roomie, Jessica, and I traveled to see him in two different states in three days. That summer included the following:

  • me not being able to look at Ryan Adams while he was 15 feet away from me on the sidewalk
  • me semi-stalking Ryan Adams in a mall
  • me leaving Jessica pale-faced and sick to keep my front row spot right in front of Ryan Adams (she understood, such a good friend)
  • Jessica hitting the guy next to her because I complained he was on his cell phone when Caitlin Cary walked on stage to perform with Ryan Adams in a Whiskeytown mini-reunion (she got him off the phone!)

Such fond memories.

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Tuesday’s workout: 3.27 miles; 30:40
Wednesday’s workout: rest day

Last night I scared everyone away with my speed. When I got to the track, it was full of high school guys and they all left when I walked onto the track. I know, I’m intimidating. All 5 feet of me. Don’t let me scare you, though. Just don’t look directly at me when I fly by with my 8:35 minute miles that only last a minute.

The track workout was hard. I finished all six reps, though, because I didn’t want to be a failure.

I kept my warm up and cool down at 5 minutes each. Matt and Scout were waiting for me I knew they both just wanted to go home and eat dinner. Scout was getting mad at me, too. Every time I ran by and didn’t acknowledge him, he barked after me. He’s so needy.

After the third speed rep I wanted to quit. My legs felt weird. They didn’t hurt and they weren’t tired. They just were off because they’re not used to sprinting. My little leggies just weren’t meant for speed and more so for walking. In fact, I think my twitch muscles are missing.

I kid! But I do think I have slow twitch muscles. Here is an explanation of slow and fast twitch muscles:

Slow Twitch
The slow muscles are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel (known as ATP) for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, slow twitch fibers are great at helping athletes run marathons and bicycle for hours.

Fast Twitch
Because fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create fuel, they are much better at generating short bursts of strength or speed than slow muscles. However, they fatigue more quickly. Fast twitch fibers generally produce the same amount of force per contraction as slow muscles, but they get their name because they are able to fire more rapidly. Having more fast twitch fibers can be an asset to a sprinter since she needs to quickly generate a lot of force.

I know I can run for hours, but can I run at a decent speed for hours? It’ll be interesting to see where I am by the end of this training season.

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workout: track run!

My training schedule starts on July 5 and I’m 90% done with it. I just need to convert it to Excel, and then I’ll post it online. I’m very happy with how it’s turning out and I’m very excited to get training started. I’m going to use this week to get in the groove of things. I want to feel comfortable with training when it starts; I don’t want the workouts to seem too new.

I mean, I only have 130 days left until NYC. Need to get goin’!

So this morning I didn’t run and I’m running around the track at my local high school when I get off work. To ease me into speed work, here’s my plan for tonight:

  • 10 minute warm up
  • 6 x 1 minute fast followed by 3 minutes slow (meaning I repeat this pattern 6 times)
  • 10 minute cool down

Maryland’s currently in a 90 degree weather heat wave. It’s going to be another scorcher today, but at least the humidity is gone. I plan to hydrate all day and drink a bottle of orange G2. It’s not the best tasting stuff, very sweet, but it gives me electrolytes without a ton of calories.

Good News
Here is a unique way to earn money for charity. An Arizona golfer played 100 rounds of golf in 10 hours to earn over $3000 for the Arizona chapter of the Special Olympics. Neat idea!

The world is getting greener by the day. Virginia Tech’s Lumenhaus won the overall competition at the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe. Way to go Hokies! The house was set up in Times Square and featured on ABC’s Good Morning America. From the website, “the teams, which were selected from universities in the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany, were charged with creating houses that utilize energy-efficient technology and demonstrate that houses powered entirely by the sun do not have to sacrifice all the modern comforts and aesthetics homeowners are accustomed to.”

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