Thursday, March 29, 2012

My first run with SRR

D - Ran 7.36 miles total
1.6 mile warm-up run
4.06 miles - 33:54
1.7 miles cool down

Today I got to cross an item off my to do list: I met up with the Somerville Road Runners for there Thursday night USTAF certified 4.05 mile run.

I started off with a nice slow run from my house to the starting line: Just in time I might add. No sooner had I signed in, than we were off.

The run itself was not very social for me. I settled in about a block behind a group - and a bit before the group behind me. It was nice to not have to worry about where I was going, and it set me up for a pretty nice pace - i was going for half-marathon pace. It turned out to be 8:22 - which I would be happy with at RTR.

After the run, most of the group (pictured above) waited for the rest of the runners to finish before heading down the street for pizza and beer. That's when I met John. He's going to be running the Run to Remember as well in his first Half Marathon (if you're reading this welcome to a very addicting club). Considering he's posted a few very impressive 5k times (sub 20 minutes if I remember correctly) he might be able to pull in a sub 1:40 for his first.

As we were drinking a beer (which he nicely bought me since the credit card machine was down and I was sans cash) he told me about the one high school XC race he was in. His splits were 5:30, 7:30 then 12 minutes. That makes me feel a lot better about my New Bedford pacing "strategy".

Well - I am a fan of SRR, and will have to check it out again. At the very least to buy John a beer. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Training Schedule for M

D - Ran 6 miles: 53:10

Today winter seems to be giving one last reminder that I do in fact live in New England, and not Florida as the last few months' weather would suggest. I woke up a bit before 6am, and hit the road in 23 degree temperature just as the sun was starting to come up. It turned out to be a great, evenly paced run with very little traffic (pedestrians, runners or cars).

It was a bit tough getting motivated this morning. After two weeks of getting to sleep in, it's tough to pop out of bed. It doesn't help that I went to a Yelp! event that featured oxtail chili, jalapeno mashed potatoes, assorted cheeses and inspired Bourbon based drinks. None of that makes for a great eating, but not the night before you run snack.

I met up with my friend Michelle at the event. She is hoping to run a half marathon in 7 weeks... and hasn't really been training. She's done one before - so using my usual formula, I'm betting it's enough time. Of course, it really only applies to if you can train to finish, not to PR.

I've read over and over again that your weekly mileage should not exceed half of your total weekly mileage. To be safe, it should actually be even less than that. Also, you should not increase your distance by more than 10% for both the weekly mileage or your furthest run. Once again, this is just playing it safe.
So, someone who is comfortably running 6 miles as their distance run:

week 1: Weekly distance of 17 miles: Distance run of 7 miles
week 2: Weekly distance of 18 miles: Distance run of 8 miles
week 3: Weekly distance of 20 miles: Distance run of 9 miles
week 4: Weekly distance of 22 miles: Distance run of 10 miles
week 5: weekly distance of 24 miles: Distance run of 11 miles
week 6: Weekly distance of 26 miles: Distance run of 11 or 12 miles
week 7: Tapering week leading up to 13.1 race.  (mon: off, tues, wed, thurs - 3miles, fri- off)

It's not an ideal training plan, but it should get her across the finish line.

We also talked about cross training a bit. On Friday, I dropped my bike off at Paramount Bicycle to be tuned up (and some minor repairs). I really can't wait to start biking to work a few days a week again. Biking, elliptical, swimming and any other non-impact aerobic activity adds valuable time to training without the physical (and literal) beating of the pavement. I think, when trying to cram in a 7 week schedule, cross training might be the only way to cram in more 'mileage'.

Either way, I wish Michelle the best of luck!

Monday, March 26, 2012

62 days to go

D - Sunday: Ran 5 miles without a watch
Monday: Day off

A message from C on Saturday: "oi, ran 3 miles tippy cup style".

Tippy cup probably isn't a good thing - but New Bedford hosted a tough race, and it's only been a week. Which is why this week's plan was carefully crafted with the concept that our bodies might want/need two weeks of recovery.

The plan is to alternate a medium distance run (slated at 6 miles, but can be five if needed) with short runs (3 miles) then a ten miler over the weekend. The idea is that we can still work up an okay weekly mileage (28 miles) with plenty of recovery time between everything.

The plan there after is to transition back into the last half of Glover's training schedule - and hope that it helps us drop some time in May at the Run to Remember. (62 days to go - that's 9 weeks)

Excitingly: they will have GU and Gatorade and 10 water stations!
(thank you C for forwarding that email)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hold to reset

D - Ran 6 Miles: 56 minutes

Today I cleared the lap memory from my watch, and got back into running again; time for the Boston Run to Remember training schedule.

Apparently I didn't learn anything from New Bedford. The plan was supposed to be a nice slow run to get my body back into the groove of things. The last five miles was on scehedule... but somehow I cranked out an 8:15 first mile.

While I would love (and hope) to have 8:15 be my recovery pace, I'm not there yet.

Back to a relaxing weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

On a break

D- enjoying a few days off

It's funny to feel so bad about doing the right thing.

What started off as a day off after the half has quickly turned into almost a week. My hip is starting to feel better, and aside from restless sleeping - I think this whole resting thing is doing wonders. It will come to an end either today or tomorrow, but it's been a good break while it lasted.
Another 'on vacation' picture (Zurich,CH)
C and I (who I got to see yesterday on her way back from DC) aren't the only ones on a break right now. One of our favorite blogs, Ali on The Run, is currently Ali on The Rest. Her blog I Am Not Running The Eugene Marathon was picked up by Runners' World.

For me, I loved hearing her comment "I learned a lot about running, but I forgot why I started to run: for fun". It brings me back to how much fun it was to start logging miles again after 8 years. There is a very razor thin line between worrying about improving and still enjoying the sport.

The summer of 2010, when I broke my big toe in three places, I couldn't run (or really walk). This was, ironically, the best thing to happen to my comittment to running. It was 6 months of not running, and 2 months of not working out at all, that made me ache for the open road. I missed out on skiing... but aside from being cranky instead of excited when it snowed, it didn't bother me. I missed out on rock climbing, but I hardly missed it. I had to quit dodgeball, and while I missed my friends there - it was running that was physically and mentally torture to not be able to do.

So, I've fully embraced my week of recovery - but I am thankful that tonight or tomorrow (my choice) I can hit the road at will. And I know, when I'm pounding the pavement, even though I have lofty goals before I'm 34, I will be out there for the most important reason - for fun.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Bedford Half - D's Recap

D - 13.1 in 1:52:18
C - 13.1 in  1:56:06

New Bedford Half: D's Recap

I just dropped C off at the airport for her weekend of Job interviewing (Good Luck C!) and filed my taxes. Apparently, to get motivated, I just have to plan a hectic weekend and race 13 miles. I truly recommend that for anyone who needs to focus and get work done.

A little Green for St. Patrick's Day
As for the race itself, I'm proud of my showing, even if it's not a PR. First off, I shot out of the gate way too fast (... I guess my 2 years of making of C for that has come to an end). In my defense, my hip has been bothering me, and I didn't think I could run a sub 8 mile (let alone 2) - so I was focusing on not running too slow. Oops.

The, I stopped to use a restroom mid-race for the first time ever(only added 27 seconds, sorry if that's too much info). I felt dehydrated going into the race, and drank what I thought was just enough water.

Lastly, there was the course. It's not the toughest (Old Sandwich Road Race's final hill was probably worse), but the hills in this one make up for not being steep by being long and oddly placed. Hill one was only a mile or so in, hill two was from miles 11 passed mile 12. I happened to miss seeing mile markers 11 and 12, which accounts for holding back a bit on the top of the final hill thinking I still had over a mile to go - I was really beat at that point, but was refusing to walk.

When I told C about the saving energy in what turned out to be the last mile, she said "you should never coast in a race". I'll have to remember that after mile 11 when Boston's Run to Remember comes around - I will break 1:50 this year.

And, in addition to medals: New Bedford's post race snack was fried fish sandwiches (amazing) and clam chowder. They probably should get bagels for the non-fish eaters and lactose-intolerant, but for those that aren't, it was a great way to end the race.

Now for D's mile breakdown (feel free to skip if you're not interested)

Race Pace: 8:34 on average... but seldom actually run at that pace

Mile 1: 7:55
Mile 2: 7:39
Mile 3: 8:43
Mile 4: 8:54
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 8:11
Mile 7: 8:02
Mile 8: 8:36
Mile 9: 9:06 (bathroom break)
Mile 10: 9:10
Mile 11:
Mile 12:
Mile 13.1: 1:52:18

So, as you can see, a bit of a pacing nightmare on paper. In actuality, I was adjusting for hills, dehydration, going out too fast and ... well loosing focus the last few miles. It was still a good race, and I'm now chomping at the bit to get to Boston R2R and finally break 1:50

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Politics on the run

D - Ran 3.05 miles 28:49

Run two of taper week: That means trying to keep it slow and steady and focusing on my form and... wait, i just missed my turn.... On a positive note: It feels funny to only be running 3 miles, but I think the rest period is doing wonders for my hip. I judged my run distance by feel and time, and came pretty darn close. 
Running for Office

Tonight, I came across an article in runnersworld about how far to train to run a half. I'm not sure how he reaches the conclusion that distance training isn't necessary for a half marathon because 5k elites can run it fine their first competition. For me, the double digit days make all the difference both mentally, and judging by how much quicker I recovered from my second half-marathon, physically. 

On a lighter note, there is a race I wish I could be in DC to cheer on. its a race made up of  "teams led by senators, representatives, cabinet or sub-cabinet appointees, agency heads, federal judges, or TV, radio, and print journalists." How cool is that?

Tapering week begins

D - 3 miles 27 minutes (Tuesday)

Welcome to tapering week! That means ridiculously low mileage going up to race weekend. Its a chance to gain some energy, heal a bit  and have C bounce off the walls for 6 days Until she blasts off the starting line like she's out to win the race.

In all fairness, she has gotten better at pacing
It is really funny how I spent the last few months arranging my schedule around my running (or vice versa) - and i was particularly successful at getting runs, some almost an hour, in before work. Now, with a set of three mile runs, I can get them in before or after work with no problem - and still go off and do other things.

It's almost like being on vacation... except going to work everyday and not going anywhere.

Monday, March 12, 2012

D and C Weekend Runs: Saturday 7.1 miles in 1:09 miles
                                        Sunday 4 miles in ??? (maybe C will update that later).

thank you
One week till the New Bedford Half! The good news is that's ten day forcast extends to race day - and it looks beautiful.

We're still trying to figure out if there will be gatorade at any of the water stops. The overview of the course on RaceVice (updated in 2010) says there was, but then on beginner tri-athlete the same year, a runner comments:
"Honestly, they had everything setup perfect. Shops had post-race discounts, tons of free food I skipped out on. Only improvement would have been Gatorade or something similar at the water stations."

In summary, I have no clue what to think, but I'm pretty sure I won't be running it with a water belt like C is threatening. I'll probably just grab an extra gel ( or 2 or 3) and I'll be fine.

This weekend C commented that I was "running funny". I asked her what she meant. "You're running like you're injured." It's funny how sometimes something just looks off because it is, even if you can't pinpoint the problem. I stided out a bit, and it felt better, but I kept finding my strides becoming choppy - trying to avoid putting weight on my right hip (which is a little sore).

I love my giant sunroof
So, I am still a bit nervous about racing on it this weekend. However, I'm able to hold a comfortable pace despite some hip discomfort when I start quickly or change directions too fast. I'm trying to spend less time sitting at work, and my co-worker (ex-runner) suggested lighter foam rolling - maybe I've been a bit too vigorous with it. Most importantly, it doesn't get worse while running. So - think positive thougths.

Speaking of which:The best part about this weekend (other than getting to spend it with C) was that my sunroof was opened for the first time this season: I love my giant sunroof.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dear D

Wed- 6 miles, 57 mins
Thursday- 4 miles, 38 mins

Dear D, 

We actually ran together on Tuesday, not Monday, and it was 5 miles, in 49 minutes, in 17 degree weather.  You seem a little fuzzy on the details, so just thought I'd remind you :) Much Love, C

My running this week has not been stellar.  I'm still fighting the infamous cold and have felt very tired.  While today's run doesn't sound so great, the last mile or so was probably the best running that I've done in two weeks.  Silly sickness, go away now please.  Need health, want to race, want energy, sound like caveman.

After a very chilly run with D on Tuesday morning, the rest of exercising this week has been very hot, and not just because I ran in 65 degree weather today (jealous? I'm actually jealous of my "pseudo-spring" run today, it was so unexpectedly wonderful).  I've been working out in the heat because I tried out Bikram yoga with some friends Tuesday night.  For those not in the know, this means that I was doing yoga in a 100+ degree room for 90 minutes.  I wasn't sold on the idea then, and I'm still not, however we got a discount package so I'm giving it a try.

I looked sort of like this, only I was covered in sweat and falling over...
Things that I learned during my Bikram yoga experience:
1. I sweat a lot more than my beautifully glowing friends.
2. If you try to leave the sauna/oven/workout room before the session is over the yoga instructor will scold you.
3. I am actually decent at the yoga poses that require leg strength (like the one above, which I held until I lost my grip because I was so sweaty).
4. I will never be able to hold my foot with my leg straight in front of me because my arms are not long enough.
5. There is no such thing as too much water before a Bikram yoga session.
6. When a yoga instructor talks about "releasing toxins," he really just means you'll sweat a lot.  Clearly he needs to run more, and he'll release plenty of toxins.
7. No sport is as fun as running.

And we're back

C and D - Ran 5miles on Monday (together!) ... 50+ minuites
D Ran - Ran 6 miles 54:58

Sorry its been a while since we've posted. Part of the reason was a great end of the weekend visit from C, a run I'd rather not recap on Monday (lots of complaining on both our parts), some great frozen yogurt, and then catching up a laundry list of things... including laundry.
Zinga's in Fenway
The frozen yogurt was awesome. I got turned on to PinkBerry by another blogger, so I was excited to find a very similar place feet from my work's t-stop. Of course, not nearly as excited as C.

For now, as excited as I am about the race coming up (just over one week), I'm stressing a bit out about a random tendon (or maybe muscle) somewhere between my hip and my lower back. Fortunately, running at a reasonable pace doesn't agitate it, so I haven't had to miss any runs. Its just always amazes me how runners, myself included, can let the smallest things really gnaw at them. Of course, we always tend to ignore big blaring warning signs too (like running on a broken toe before its healed).

So: To foam roll, or not to foam roll - that is the question.
Wether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pains and aches of the inflamed tendon
or to take foam against a leg of trouble
and by rolling end them.

or maybe rolling is causing the problem and it needs rest... as I said, us runners really let things gnaw at us.

Monday, March 5, 2012

6 way intersection and other navigation problems

D - Sun: Ran 13.75 miles - 2hrs 12minutes (9:36 pace)
      Mon: Day off

As I've said, there are a lot of great reasons to switch up running routes once in a while. Of course, there are also some issues with new routes if I don't print out a map. A 13 mile run can gain some mileage (better than loosing some) when I hit a 6 way intersection I swore was a 5 way ... and there is only one street sign (not the one I'm looking for). Turning a few streets early doesn't help things either...
Otherwise the run felt great and fairly relaxing after a mile or so. I flew out on the first mile (8:36 I believe) and then settled into a comfortable pace (except when stopping to figure out what went wrong). The run took me out to a few new locations I haven't hit before - and I saw a few things that made me smile.
Why this run was awesome:
Unrelated photo of C and me (2008)
  • I had a short jaunt through a mud covered, but very pretty wooded trail around a pond.
  • I saw kids fishing, and I saw kids sledding (only this winter would both happen).
  • I went down a street I'd never been on and saw some of the coolest houses in the area.
  • The run was under ten minute miles - and I didn't feel like I was pushing myself
  • I saw owners throwing snowballs to their dog (who couldn't figure out why they'd dissappear when they hit the ground).
To wrap up a great day, C showed up at sixish. We went out to a great modern italian resturaunt, L'Impasta (I keep reading it as Limp Pasta... which I don't think was what they were going for). Nothing is better after a long run than a big plate of pasta. And truffle oil and wild mushroom housemade whole wheat pasta at that.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


D - Ran 3 miles ... forgot to start my stopwatch

Today I woke up excited it was raining. Some days I'm actually excited about the rain itself, but that's usually when its 70 and it's a nice warm rain. The rain today meant a few convenient things for me:

I had an excuse to do my 13 miles tomorrow (when its going to beautiful). I've been a bit tired on my runs, had a really late night late at work, and haven't been drinking enough water. By themselves, those aren't enough reasons to put off a long run, but add in rain, and I think it will mean a much more productive run tomorrow.

I got to try out a new rain jacket I picked up a month ago (conveniently just passed the return by date) from Columbia. Fortunately, it worked out pretty well! Kept me dry, but didn't trap much sweat on the inside the jacket. Except the hood. My head was soaked when I got back, and I'm pretty sure its mostly sweat. So C, when you were complaining your jacket didn't have a hood, I'm not sure how useful they actually are.

The other item was a pair of tights. Yes, I ran in tights today. And it was amazing. And yes, I wore them under shorts. They're warm, and don't get soggy like long pants in the rain.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Milling About

D - Tredmilled 5 miles - 42 minutes (yesterday)
- Day off today! 
I think the ultimate mental endurance excercise for me is running any distance on the tredmill. I'd say I hate it, but considering the snow covered ice of an excuse for sidewalks, I'm happy to be able to run indoors. However, ten minutes into a tredmill run, I won't be about to admit it. It it wasn't for listening to Marathon Talk (which I love they let you download old episodes), or NPR I don't think I could do much past 20 minutes. One time, I just gave up on the tredmill halfway through a 6 mile run, and just went out into the freezing rain

Aside from staying safe and warm (too warm in my gym's case) there are a few advantages of running on a redmill.
  • Watching TV - I get to combine the two biggest time-sucks of my life into one awesome activity
  • An excuse to listen to PodCasts. (CarTalk, MarathonTalk, ThisAmericanLife, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me are some of my favorites to listen to.
  • I get to check myself out in the mirror while I run - no, not like Narcissus, but instead to watch my right foot hit in that funny way and try to stop it from doing that.
  • Setting the grade to 1.0 - I've found a slight slope to the tredmill can help on days I'm sore. It reduces the impact a bit, makes the run physically more challenging, and can be your excuse the guy next to you has his set faster (his slope is zero -pssh)
  • Setting the pace - tredmills, even if they're not super accurate, still keep a constant pace. This is tough on the streets, so its good to know you'e running consistently (or slowly pushing up the pace to 'beat' the guy next to you)
  • Because rules are meant to be broken - it's fun to see the signs "limit your time on the cardio machines to 30 minutes" (of course, I wouldn't do this during peak hours when anyone cares)
  • Shorts - yeah, it hasn't been that cold of winter - but I've been running in long pants since November. Its nice to be in short sleeves and shorts and still dripping sweat.
So, it's good to change things up once in a while - but I'm looking forward to running outside this weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grilled Cheese & Veggie Soup Kind of a Day

C - 5.1 miles, 50 minutes

What? Don't you serve your soup in a mug?
I'm more than ready to be done with this cold.  I lost my voice during class last night, and today's wet, cold rain probably didn't help.  I came home needing some type of a pick me up.  That turned into a grilled cheese and veggie soup lunch.  I made them at the same time I was making a smoothie and a salad, so there were fruits and vegetables all over the kitchen.  By the time I was done, the kitchen was some type of glorious, colorful fruit-and-veggie mess.  If not for the amount of butter and cheese that went into the grilled cheese, I would also call it a really healthy mess.

The soup- veggie soup with chopped up celery, carrots, and onions added
The sandwich- cheddar, goat and honey cheese, tomatoes, multi-grain bread
The C- much happier

I haven't been pushing myself during my runs this week because I don't want to make anything worse.  Hopefully it'll end up being a unintended, useful tapper...