Thursday, August 14, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

I didn't EVEN post about my last run. It was a treadmill run from hades! I was all psyched up to have a great PR run, well maybe just a great run, but it was CARP! After a mile and a half of a 30 minute "easy" training run I was flat out burned! I had to turn it into an interval run because my body felt like it was made from lead from the waist down. I just wanted to cry! I didn't of course because who wants to walk through the gym with mascara running down your face and spotting your awsome, wicking, singlet?!?

Anyway. Today was to be a 35 minute run (Training for the SA Half). I have a meeting with my new team tonight so DH and I got up at 4:30 to run. It was only 78 degrees out! COOL! We decided to run around the block to the right this morning, which means we have more downhill early! Whoo Hoo! COOL and DOWN...Double score!

I really wanted to see if I could do the 5K in under 30 again...I have managed to do that one time in my very short running career. So I took off at a pretty decent did help to know that I would be going down the big hill very quickly. The first mile felt wonderful. The second was a little harder - but then that would be where most of the mile was going back UP the hill! The third mile was a better mix of up and down, but by then I was so wiped out I just wanted to be done with it, lol.

Here is how I did:

Mile 1 : 9:25 (I TOLD you it was mostly DOWN!)
Mile 2: 10:02
Mile 3: 9:44

and I did the last .19 at a 9:50 pace

A total of 3.19 miles in 31:02. Pretty exciting to see those 9's in there. I MAY just be able to beat that 30 minute mark at the 5K in September ... IF it cools down and the course is mostly DOWN that is!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beating your time from last week ~ Priceless is getting kinda scary around here. I'm starting to do things like track my my splits...try to beat the time I did last week....think about speeding on hills...What is going on?!? Is this some weird disease? I think it might be the disease called RUNNING!

We went back out to White Rock Lake again today. I was really tired. I didn't sleep as well last night, and we certainly weren't as well prepared this week as we were last week. We actually hit the snooze once! By the time we both got ready and got on the road it was already 5:30 instead of 5:00, so we had lost a half hour of cool time.

We started our run at about 6:00. There was more wind this week and the temp was in the mid-80's. There were also a TON of gnats out for the first couple of miles! GROSS!

My main goal this week was to improve on my 11:00 mile goal from the week before, so I set myself up to try to keep at a 10:45 pace. I think if I can just inch it up from week to week I will have to keep improving, right? DH took off pretty quickly, and I did a fair job of keeping up with him for the first couple of miles. But I started to worry about dying at the end so I slowed my pace a little. Now, for those that don't know - DH is 6'6" and I am 5"5 (if I stretch a little, lol) so my stride just isn't quite as long as his normally...I have to stretch it out to stay with him!

I checked our time at about the 5K mark and we were doing OK...about 33:05. Not good if all we were running was a 5K, but pretty good when you are doing 9 miles! I checked again at the 10K mark hoping that we would be a little under our time of 1:07:45 from the week before. There it was! 1:06:09, we had shave off a minute and a half! We were doing better!

I grinned at DH and told him we only had 3 more miles to go. Once again my goal was to simply beat our time from last week of 1:39:28. I was again trailing DH, but holding my own...specially after I thought I was going to have to stop and walk around mile 7. I just tried really hard to keep him in sight. He finished and kind of looped around and came back to get me. (He really didn't have to come back very far at all.) He helped me pick up the pace to finish strong and I stopped the Garmin at 1:37:37. A full 1:51 faster than last week. That works out to 48:06 for the first 4.55 miles, and 49:31 for the last 4.55 miles...pretty consistent. Now I'll have to start working on a negative split!

I did notice a few more things this week as well. This week we went forwards around the lake as opposed to going backwards like we did last week. Last week I was amazed at the split for Mile 5 ~ a 10:38 time. Well, this week I found out why...It was almost all downhill! The very last part of that mile, going that direction, is the spillway which is a pretty steep climb. This week we had the steep drop at the beginning of that mile, then the LONG climb for the last part of the mile...and we still did it in 10:26! I guess I did learn something from those hills last week. I'm anxious to get back out there next week and see if I can improve that mile split even more!

I do seem to be getting much quicker on the hills but the flats sometimes drag me down. I'm very glad I have the Garmin, it really keeps me focused. I did feel my toe swelling about mile 5 but toughed it out. By the time I got to the car I had a blister that had popped. This new one is on my fourth toe on my right foot. I think DH and I are going to our favorite running store today to check and see if they can recommend some socks for me so I can stop this toe damage before it gets any uglier!

Next week...goal 10:35 splits (at least 3 - 4 of them!!!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tough Enough

Yesterday was our LCWO...I knew we were going to run for about an hour, so I set a mini goal for myself...5 miles. I wasn't going to speed through this one. I learned last Sunday that my "comfortable pace" is about 11:00 minute miles so 5 miles should have been WAY doable.

We started running on the treadmill...set for 60 minutes...and I was trying a 5.7 pace (not 5.7 minutes, but 5.7 mph :) ... I ran that for about a mile (10:35) and then dropped to a 5.6 pace. I stayed there...about 2 miles in I wanted to walk soooooo bad. I had to really kick myself mentally...

OK, you KNOW you can run a 5K without stopping... There is NO excuse for you to be walking before you get to 3.1 miles girl, so just kick it and put one foot in front of the other and GO! At 3.1 miles again I wanted to just stop and walk, but I told myself that I could at least go for 4 the time I had done the 4 miles I convinced myself that there just wasn't that much more time - I should just gut it out and finish.

I did! I ran the entire hour, 5.75 miles... not the best I've ever done, but the first time I've been mentally tough enough to talk myself through the run. That was a major mental victory for me and I'm hoping that it will help me through some of the early morning, or hot runs I have coming up...and if I can continue that mental toughness I know it will come in handy for some of my races I have coming up too!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Ran The Rock

Today in an effort to make it to church to see our sweet grandbabies DH and I hauled our booties outta bed at 4:30 AM to go out to White Rock Lake for our long run of the week. Now you may or may not remember that we ran the Rock last weekend for the very first time and I thought that I was going to DIE! I also have lost one toe nail and will probably lose two more for my trouble! Needless to say I went out there today with a LOAD of determination and two goals in mind.

Goal number 1: Run outside for a minimum of 6 miles WITHOUT WALKING!!! Now I have done this a few times indoors on the treadmill, but I had NOT accomplished it outside EVER!

Goal number 2: Beat our previous time of 1:44:22 (or an average pace of 11:32).

We got to the lake and actually started our run at 5:49 AM. It was already about 84 degrees outside and do you want to know something else about 5:49 is still DARK outside! Makes it kinda hard to pace yourself with your Garmin when you can't see it...and of course, despite reading a post earlier this week about the fact that Garmin does have a backlight I totally forgot to check and see how to USE it!

I ran the first two miles "blind", but that's OK I ran them. It was actually pretty awsome running because this time I wanted to make sure I saw something other than the pavement. I looked up as I topped one of the hills and saw a beautiful sunrise reflecting off of a perfectly calm and still lake! Breathtaking! There were fishermen out in boats, waders, and fishing from the shore. I saw ducks, geese, and squirrels.

At the three mile mark we stopped at a water fountain to hydrate and I was still feelin' pretty good. I hadn't been struggling for my breath as I had been on my last "Rock" test and my legs felt awsome. So off we went again. At 4.25 we passed DS going the other direction. He had left the house after us, started later than us, but wasn't tooooooo far ahead of us...another positive to put in my head for this run!

I knew I was going to make my first goal when I looked at Garmin at the 5 mile mark and it told me that I had just completed a 10:38 mile. Whoa! Didn't feel like a As it turned out that would be my fastest split - but it was between mile 4 and 5! NOT at the beginning of the run ~ AND I still felt GOOD!

I kept my eye on Garmin and suddenly there it was - 6 miles completed and I hadn't walked a step! I finished a 10K in my normal time: 1:07:45, but I had done it with no walking and I was still feeling fairly strong. This is encouraging that perhaps when I actually run my next 10K in October I can be a little faster. I simply had to see how far I could make it without walking and I would have a new "BEST". (The farthest I had ever run on a treadmill without walking was 8 miles...I was secretly hoping to be able to at least make that on an outdoor run as well.)

I felt really strong and good until about mile is when my legs started letting me know they were there, and my breathing became a bit more labored, but I pushed on. At mile 7.72 you have to go up this slow grade...a killer at the end of the run but I was determined. I was sooooo close to my goal. I finally reached the top of the hill and started down running as fast as I could. DH was at the bottom of the hill waiting for me patiently. As I crossed the "finish line" and stopped my Garmin he said, "Congratulations, you just ran the Rock". I was soooooo happy because yes, I. RAN. THE. ROCK. All 9.09 miles without walking once. A new record for me! I also did it in 1:39:28, a full 4:04 faster than a week ago.

We headed back to the car, then to the gym to shower and get ready for church. I checked out the temperature - it was up to 89 degrees. We didn't see the kiddos during church, through a sad miscommunication my DD knew we were going to go running but didn't understand we were going out so early so we could still see them at church. They were kind enough to go out to lunch with us after so we could enjoy the DGKs and we had a great talk about running. Looks like one of these Sunday's DSIL may make the trek out there and run with us.

As soon as I got home I hooked up Garmin so I could check out my pace and splits:

Mile 1 : 10:55
Mile 2 : 11:13
Mile 3 : 10:52
Mile 4 : 10:50
Mile 5 : 10:38
Mile 6 : 11:00
Mile 7 : 10:54
Mile 8 : 11:20
Mile 9 : 10:55

I learned so much from this run. I really need to just go at my own pace and not worry about it so much...I can do more than I think I can...Running isn't so bad when you can breathe!

Guess I need to apply these to my next run too, huh?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hmmm, am I a REAL runner now?!?

I'm trying to decide if losing your toenails defines you as a real runner! In a previous post I mentioned that after my 9 mile run my two middle toes were swollen and turning black and blue under the nails with blisters at the end of each toe. Yesterday I was sitting at the computer and bumped my foot. I reached down to massage my aching toes and one of my toenails came completely off - the toe right next to my big toe! So now I have 1 toenail off and two black toenails....quite attractive, NOT! I've just about decided that this could be a break even proposition....the extra money I'm spending on good running shoes and bandaids will be recouped because I will not pay for a pedicure when I only have 6 toenails! I'll probably save money by wearing tennis shoes all the time too, no need to buy flip flops or pretty sandles to show off your pretty toes either, LOL!

Tonight I learned a hard lesson about hydration. I spent the day at my DD's (Dear Daughter's) babysitting my grandson while she and the girls went to Vacation Bible School. We went to lunch and then when we got back to her house we were looking at her homeschool curriculum until my DH called and told me it was time to pick him up from work...we had totally lost track of time! I didn't drink any water at all all day. DH and I went straight to the gym and hit the treadmill...I died at 2 miles...and I was doing so good too...9:50 pace - feeling pretty good...but at two miles I couldn't breathe and my legs were starting to cramp up, because we hadn't stopped anywhere I had no bottled water and I was dry, dry, dry. I ended up walking and running to finish out my 45 minutes (47 with cooldown) and could only manage 4.51 miles. Before I run on Sunday I will for sure and certain hydrate well before the run and hydrate during the run and hydrate after the run. Lesson learned!

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.