Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hills

Today's workout called for 30 mintues with hills.

I woke up this morning tired. I did not improve as the day progressed and by the time I arrived home from work I was ready for a nap. I am determined not to skip workouts this year - barring injury I want to at least try each one. I can always bag them if I get out there and I'm still not up to it and I have done that. So I had a quick sandwich with Dave before he went to do softball. Then I headed to the couch to sip water and watch Action News for an hour. I could feel myself slipping so I also grabbed a handful of M&M's figuring the sugar rush would help get me out the door.

I ran an easy mile over and around to 8th street. I did remember a water bottle this time and put it down at the bottom of the hill. I don't think I put as much effort into it this week as last week but I did manage six times up the hill (one more than last week) and then a slow jog home. The running energized me (or maybe it was the high of knowing I fought through and finished..maybe a little of both).

After returning home I showered and headed to Kohls with my coupons to buy much needed socks and underwear. TMI, I know but that's life.

Monday, June 29, 2009

2 miles easy

Today's schedule calls for 20 minutes. It's easier for me to plot distance. I hate looking at my watch all the time to see if I've gone the time yet so I plot out 10 minute miles for the time alotted. Since I don't run 10 minute miles I run more than the alotted time but that will not kill me! LOL

I had a nice run down Providence Road around Meetinghouse and Farnum then back home. It is a rolling hill run. I liked it. The weather helped. 80 degrees or so and very very low humidity.

Tomorrow 30 minute hill work out. 8th Street here I come!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Definitely the half

Today I took a walk. It was another gorgeous day (two in a row) and I went for a 6.25 mile walk. I almost forgot how much I really enjoy walking. While out I mulled over quite a few things. The one I want share now is my decision to run the half marathon in November rather than the full. Given that the entrance fee goes up after June 30th, I decided the time was now to figure out what I wanted.

I will do a marathon again. I really want to. Before I do Philadlephia again, I'll do a full somewhere else. If you've been reading this blog you know that when I run I have two goals. To have fun and to finish. Although I don't always put them in that order they are. I finished Philly on November 22, 2008. I am very very proud of that. I worked hard, set a goal and did it. I finished.

I did not have fun.

I fell at mile 12. I struggled up Lemon Hill and by mile 17 I had to walk. I walked most of the miles from 17 to the start of 22. I cried through Manyunk. I was cold, tired, out of energy and desparate to get to the end. I couldn't quit though. One of the runners from my group passed me going the other way and turned back to hug me. Bless her. I made a point to thank her later and she never said a word about it again. Bless her.

All negative thoughts left me when I crossed the finish line to find my daughter and husband cheering wildly. They had waited in 26 degree weather for much longer than needed (Since I had to walk some) and they were cheering like crazy. I love them! And then when I got home I found my sisters had kept running emails between them tracking my progress. I love them too.. (the sistere I mean..although the emails were good :) ) Reading those made me smile and feel so good. That people cared enough to do all that and that I finished were the things I focused on in the months following.

I will train with Phillyfit as if I am running 26.2 in November but I will only do 13.1 (and then stay to cheer like crazy for the full marathoners). I will work hard this season to get stronger and to solve the fueling problems that caused me to hit the wall so early. And I may succeed which means physically I could be ready to run the 26.2...but I am fearful that I will get out there and the memories of how it felt will do me in.

So this year I will run two half marathons. One in September (Philly Distance Run) and one in November (Philly Half Marathon). And then I'll decide when and where to run a full marathon in 2010. After I complete one elsewhere successfully I'll return to conquer Philly. I know there are other full marathons in the fall of 2009, but my vacation time and budget will keep me from being ready in time or to travel to them.

So I've made my decision, it makes sense and I'm good with it.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Signs of improvement

Today was an 8 mile run with Phillyfit. We met at the vistors parking lot at Valley Forge. Apparently there is a problem with our old meeting spot. I think the park wanted to charge us or something like that.

Anyway, I headed out with a group of 7; Angie, Doreen, Jeff, Brenda, Samantha, Maureen and I. I really should know better than to try to keep pace with Doreen and Angie (Jeff said the same thing at the end of our run) but it felt comfortable so I did. The good news is I kept pace with them for just about 5 miles. Then I had to drop back. Samantha dropped back with me. That was nice since we had not met yet so we had a lot of introductory talk to keep us occuppied.

It was pretty humid when we started today's run. We headed out over the betzwood bridge which may open to car traffic some day. Some day for Betzwood is defined about the same as "some day" was defined for the blue route and we all know how quick THAT was. If you don't know, the blue route planning started before I was was born and has only opened about 18 years ago; and I'll be 50 this year. Do the math..

Meanwhie Betzwwood is a convenient way to get to the 422 bridge over the Schuykill River and on to the Schuykill River Trail. We headed torward Oaks our previous meeting spot and turned around just before we got there. Most of the run was shaded except for the portion as you go outside of Valley Forge Park along 422 to the Perkiomen Trail. Dubbed the Sahara by some for its lack of trees. The exhaust fumes and car are somethign else too! LOL. This is where I had to drop back on the return trip.

Samantha and I took two short walk breaks and made it the rest of the way not too far behind the rest. The best news for me is that I still have energy. Last year, each Saturday was consumed by running. I had little left in the tank for anything else. I planned almost nothing on Saturdays and if there was something to do (involving other people and being presentable) I would have to pop lots of aleve and try to take a nap before going out again. Today I finished, feel great and have enough left that I'm going out to mow the lawn (with a push mower) in about half an hour. I'm getting better!

50 here I come...kicking and screaming! LOL

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tempo runs

I'm not really very good at these. Today's schedule called for a mile warm up which i took nice and slow as it was almost 90 degrees and humid... then 2 miles tempo... I don't have a running watch so I have to go on how it feels. I managed about a mile and then slowed back down. I felt like I was struggling. I finished 4 miles total but it was about distance not speed. I'll try again next week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hills

On Tuesday, I did my first hill workout of the season. I did not do them with any consistency last season. I was focused on getting mile and minutes in. This seemed appropriate being that it was my first running year. This year I'm determined to follow the training schedule more closely. So I did 5 reps on the 8th street hill and ran one mile before and one mile after. 8th street is a killer once..5 times I thought I was going to quit. But I didn't so yay me! Note to self; bring a water bottle to store at the bottom of the hill. I was hydrating all day but breathing so hard made my mouth really uncomfortable.

Today is a rest day. I was going to take it fully to heart as I have been tired all day. But Im feeling better now and I think I'll go for a short walk. I'm hoping to run 4 days, walk 2 days (the rest days in the schedule) and rest on Fridays.

Monday, June 22, 2009

10-40

The last thing I felt like doing tonight after work was to run. So I went out for the "I'm going for 10 minutes and if I still don't feel like it, I'm bagging it". I went out very easy so as not to discourage myself too much. I ended up completing 3.5 miles in 4o minutes Yay me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Media Five Miler

Last night was the Media Five Miler. I took 1:27 seconds off last year's run with a 10:37 pace. It was a very humid night and I'd been having sinus issues for two days so all in all I am very happy with the results.

You can read about the race here if you like.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15

Today it was an easy 4 miles right after work. It's inetersting to me that a year ago I would have seriously struggled just at the thought. Tonight I looked forward to it.

As I ran I thought about strategy for the five miler on Friday. I think the key is to go out easy... even easier than usual. The first quarter of the race has two hills; one on front street then after rolling up and down a bit on Olive Street the 'big hill' on Eight Street. The key for me will be to get up these two hills without using up all my energy and mental resources. After cresting 8th Street it's pretty much downhill back to State Street. I can make up time through that portion then ease my wa across State Street and do the whole cycle again. Once I arrive on State Street the second time I'll kick it to the end.

I discovered today that if I slow to a walk break I am better if I stretch my calves before going into a run again. So instead of 60 second walk breaks; I'll go for 45, stretch and then back to running. At least that worked tonight.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A nice day for a walk...

...but that was after I finished my walk.

I went out for four miles this morning. The air was thick with moisture and very cloudy. It wasn't so much raining as it was simply condensing on surfaces including my skin. It was a pleasant walk anyway, mostly because I enjoy walking and it was a quiet Sunday morning in Media. The Bike for Sight event was set up by the courthouse. I wonder how the weather impacted the attendance? I saw few other walkers and joggers.

Just as I approached home the sun came out and stayed out. An hour later the humidity had mostly burned off and it was a nice day the rest of the day. Timing is everything.

My plan this week is to get out for easy runs on Mon, Tues and Wed somewhere between 2-4 miles each. Off on Thursday and the Media Five Mile on Friday. My goals for the race

1) Have fun.
2) Finish
3 Beat last year's time: Chip time 53:59/Gun Time 54:32

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Phillyfit Week Four

Five miles today in very humid weather. Despite some minor chaffing issues (didnt notice until I got home and into the shower ..ouch!) I did great and enjoyed it. That has a lot to do with the group. I run with the red group; 10 minute mile or slower. Emphasis on slower. It's all about fun and finishing. Lots of nice people and chatting with them keeps me at a good pace and keeps my mind off the miles. This comes in very handy later when the distances get longer.

When all was said and done, several people with fancy running watches said we actually did 5.5. The average pace of the 4-5 people that I stuck with was 10:28. Not bad for me.

There was a lot of chatter about half vs full in November. I really think I'm sticking with the half plan. I'm running the full schedule with the group but probably will do the half. It's hard though not to get caught up in the chatter about doing the full again. I havent registered yet so my options are open but I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it for this year. We'll see.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stop Look and Listen

Today I ran the Media Five Mile loop after work. Two loops, 2.5 miles each (duh). The cross streets for most or the route are stop sign controlled. It's fairly easy to get through. You have to watch of course but most of the locals are used to seeing runners and walkers out and will give you the right of way if you are close enough so you don't have to stop. One section, though, along State Street is traffic light controlled. There is enough line of sight however to check it out as you get close and if it's clear go for it. So that's what I was doing at one intersection. I was 3/4 of the way across the street when the 3 year old on his three wheeler calls out, "Mommy, she didn't stop and listen!". I had to slow down then to tell him, that yes, I should have and then apologized to the mom for setting a bad example. She laughed.
All in all the run, although I finished it with a couple walk breaks, was not a great one. I'd like to blame it on the humidity but that feels like cop out. I ran out of energy. I think I may have to start paying attention again to what I'm eating during the day. See if I can find a better balance for running.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thunderstorms

Well as predicted the thunderstorms rumbled through today. And they were (still are) doozies. So off to the gym I went after work. It was not a great workout but at least I did it. I really wasn't in the mood but I managed 20 minutes on the elliptical and another 20 on two weight machines. Tomorrow is another day :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long 5 or Short 5

I know 5 is 5 is 5 but mentally there are differences. Today I debated which route to take. The 'short' 5 is more compact in reference to my home so it feels shorter. It's also a flatter route. The 'long' 5 spreads out more away from home and has many more up and down hills. It just feels longer.
All day the skies were overcast and threatening to storm. Had it remained that way when I got home the decision would have been easy; the short 5 so that I could cut of quickly and head for cover should the storm materialize. But no, on the way home from work the skies cleared. So I opted for the long 5. Tomorrow the forecast is for more stormy weather so who knows what I will have a chance to do outdoors. Might as well do what I could while I could.
Considering the humidity and 85 degrees it wasn't a bad run. I did have to walk along a piece of Orange Street. I've run there before and it was fine, however, after getting into the middle of it I remembered that was probably on a weekend morning early, not at 5:30. Traffic was heavy and the winding road made me uncomfortable. So I walked about a 1/4 mile to get past that rough spot.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Phillyfit Week three

It's USAFIT-Philly this year. I really should try to get used to that.

Today, I met Angie at 7:45 for a quick 3 miles. Angie is faster than I and I pushed to keep up with her. I was breathing hard but felt pretty good after. The rest of the group gathered at 8:30 and we went for another, easier 4 miles with them. My knee was a tiny bit sore in the last 1/2 mile but it quickly went away when I stopped running.

It's nice not being one of the new kids on the block. I feel good being able to encourage some of the newbies. Having been strictly a walker before joining last year and making it to the marathon I find myself being able to offer a lot of positive and realistic encouragement.

I had recently decided to run on Sundays after our long run Saturdays but I may not get to that tomorrow. We have plans to go into the city to watch the bike race. There will be a fair amount of walking at least.

I registed for the Philly Distance Run (9/20) and the Ben Franklin Bridge 10K (11/1) today. I'll get to the Philly Half (11/22) later; spread the hits to my credit card out a bit and also Helen was going to try to get us all a discount code.

Doreen wants us to join her for a Tex-Mex 5k on June 24th in Bucks County. I'm debating. I've go the Media Five Mile on June 19th. I guess I could treat the 5k as a mid week run and have some fun since there are others I know going to it.... but I don't want to go crazy with race fees....

I'll decide later this week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New York Marathon

"They" say everyone should run this one if they get the chance. You have to run for charity or get lucky in the marathon lottery to participate. There is something about running through the 5 boroughs that is special. The people, the language and cultures. Maybe someday.

A NYT writer is chroncling marathon preparation for the year's race. Here's the link.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/marathon/

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rainy days...

... and thunderstorms threatening so I went to the gym tonight. I finished a total of 4.3 on the treadmill. 3.3 starting at 10:46 and increasing speed to 10:00 through the first 3, then 9:16 for the last .3. Then I walked on an incline for .5 and finished the last .5 at 10:00.

I am pretty sure the treadmill speeds are not the same as outside but I don't know how to convert so it is what it is.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

3 miles on the river

I was in Harrisburg, PA Sunday night through tonight for buisness stuff. I met a friend this morning for a run along the Susquehanna River. I am not generally a morning runner. Although it would be much nicer in the summer, I have trouble convincing myself to get out of bed to run unless others are waiting for me. I did it this morning becuase Terry was expecting me in the lobby of our hotel at 6 am.

We ran a total of 3 miles out and back from the Walking Bridge (to City Island) to Maclay Street. It was a nice run. I felt good and probably could have done a bit more but my friend didn't seem up for it so I said I was ok with 3. I'd rather have the friendship than the miles in this case.

I really do wish I could get motivated to get up earlier even on my own. Maybe I'll try again soon as summer weather is here. Not tomorrow though. I am back home again and really tired. Two days of meetings is tiring. It's weird how sitting around in meeting s all day can wear you out. It's the lack of real air in those rooms I think. I will try to get to the gym (if it storms as expected) or run out side tomorrow after work.