Thursday, December 30, 2010

Running is part of my routine

I feel like I've reached that point.

That doesn't mean every run is welcome or even great. Yesterday for example was pretty sucky; my chest was tight, my legs felt like lead. I was more glad than usual to be finished my five miles after struggling through every one. Yet, I did it. Never thought about giving it up and was ready to go out again today. And today's WAS great!

I started a few weeks ago determined to get a routine going. I feel like I'm there. I look forward to getting out there. Sometimes with more enthusiasm than other times. If I find a day that I can't run when planned; I find myself trying to adjust rather than giving it up entirely just because I had to adjust. I'm not making excuses. I'm being realistic about how long it should take and just doing it. It's hard to put to words how this makes me feel. It has had an effect on my outlook toward the running but also on the actual running itself. I like it :)

Tomorrow is a day off. That's another good side effect. I feel that I've earned this day off. I dont feel like a slacker. Anyway, tomorrow is a day off and on Saturday I start my official training schedule for Gettysburg. 8 miles on Sat and 6 on Sunday. We have a Phillyfit meeting set up for Saturday to celebrate the New Year at 10 am. I'm looking forward to see who shows up.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve run with friends

Today, Friday, I met with a few Phillyfitters at Valley Forge Park. This was my fourth day in a row this week. I'm pretty impressed with myself. I typically only go 3 in a row. I had a lot of fun.

We met at the parking lot below the visitor's center and went around the loop (about 5 miles). There were 9 of us. 4 of us dressed in Santa hats and bells in honor of the day! It was a gorgeous day today. Blue skies, lots of sun. It was very cold too but the sun really makes all the difference.

When I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off I was momentarily not thrilled. However, I really glad I went.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hey baby, it's cold outside

This week should have looked like this

Walk-3mile-4 miles-3miles-rest-5 miles-4 miles.
It ended up like this
Rest-4 miles-2 miles-off-rest-5 miles- 6 miles

Monday it was too cold out to walk. Running is one thing but walking is tougher.

Tuesday the temps were not even at 30 and the wind chills were approaching the teens. I am determined however so I layered up. Three layers on top, two layers on bottom, two pairs of gloves, a hat and my ear covering head band. I put Aquafor on my feet and my face. The aquafor worked really well. I missed the spot just under my chin and the difference was very obvious. I did a nice 4 mile loop around the edges of the borough with some extra loops up and down some side streets off 252. I was amazed at how comfortable the run felt. I just ran… no worries about pace.. I just ran. The last half mile was a bit of a struggle. My lungs were starting to feel the cold and I felt like I was straining. I finished 4 miles in sub 30 degrees (and dark) though. I’m very happy.

On Wednesday it was about 5 degrees warmer and not quite as windy. I dressed the same except for only one layer on the bottom and went out for 2 miles. It was uneventful and at the end I still had a good amount of energy left. That was a nice feeling. Wednesday was also my birthday which is why only 2 miles. I had a birthday date to get to. :)

On Thursday it snowed. I would like to run while snow is coming down but I determined it unsafe this time. The conditions were particluarly icy and I don'thave the yaktrax yet. At least one of us (me or the cars) should be steady on the road.

On Friday I planned to make up Thursday's run. But I didn't. I felt an extra layer of tired that I didn't think I wanted to work through. It's possible if I had I would have felt great but I didn't really think so. Considering I fell sound asleep on the couch right after dinner, I think I made the right choice.

On Saturday, I had a fantastic 5 mile run with Helen, Sammy, and Mary Kay at Valley Forge today. Cold but sunny. We did 3 and 1's. I felt really good. Changed my mileage to 6 for tomorrow. I think I'm ready and that will keep my mileage up for the week after losing Thursday.

Today I went out for 6 around Media. It was only 27 when I left the house but my extra layers and Aquafor kept me comfortable. I wouldn’t say this one was easy but for once my mind was stronger than my body. It was all about finishing; 11 miles for the weekend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First full week of training for Gettysburg Marathon

So this week (Dec 6 - 12) was supposed to be my first full week back to training and then .. well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. That's ok though, I'm determined not to let little things (or big things if I can help it) wear away at my attitude. This week should have been

Mon - Walk
Tues - 2 miles
Wed - 3 miles
Thu - 2 miles
Fri - rest
Sat - 3 miles
Sun - 4 miles

Well on Monday I had to work a 12 hour day and didn't arrive home until after 9 PM. Bone tired. I don't want to walk at night especially that tired. So I skipped it. I also realized that I have to work Saturday and combined with the Phillyfit party Saturday evening I will not get out to run. So I redistributed my miles like this:

Mon - OFF
Tues - 2 miles  - I ran my 2 mile hilly run. In Media it's easy to run a hilly run. They are everywhere. It was very cold (low 30s') but I did well and felt great. I'd like to do that run at least once a week; either by itself or in combination with something else. It has one long slow hill and one short steep hill and the route goes up AND down both.
Wed - 3 miles.  - On the way home from work I heard it was 31 degrees out. For an instant I thought about not running. Then I remembered that my first two marathons were in similar temps. If I could last over 5 hours, then certainly I could manage the 3 miles I had planned for tonight. I did. Once I got started I was fine.
Thu - 3 miles.  - The weather was even colder tonight. 29 degrees. I thought twice about going out. Then I looked at the forecast for next week and found out it will be even colder. *Sigh* so if I bail now what am I going to do next week. So out I went. And you know what? It was ok. I did the same 3 miles as last night but in reverse.
Fri - 2 miles - still cold but in the low 30's now. Great 2 mile run. A little rebellion from my legs at the end. I think that's the first time I've run 4 days in a row.
Sat - rest
Sun - 4 miles - Today's run ended up being 5 miles at the VF loop. Sammy C and I made plans to meet there this morning at 9:00. Sammy didn't make it but since I was there I went out. It was a very windy run .. so windy that the water coming out of the fountain was blowing sideways in one gust that of course came by just when I wanted a drink. It was humid out from all the rain in the morning but it did not rain at all while I was out there... and it was 50+ degrees! :)

So I did a total of 19 miles for the week. I ran all my running days and skipped the walk day for another day of rest. That is a good week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hello again....

My blogging for the past six months was over at the USAFit/Philly blog. It might be confusing to keep two blogs but I think, I'm going to keep my personal training stuff here and just comment on group stuff over there.

So, I'm back.......

It's time to start thinking about training for Gettsyburg. I've decided to use Hal Hidgon's Intermediate I schedule with a few modifications. I'm reversing the Saturday and Sunday schedules so I'll be going long on Saturdays and shorter on Sundays. That's the habit we've gotten into with Phillyfit and it works for me. I like the idea of running again on Sunday. When I trained for Goofy I ran back to back Sat and Sun and I believe I was in the best shape of my short running career at that time. The second mileage day is shorter in this plan but still I think there will be benefits.


I haven't read the descriptions for each day of the schedule yet but at first glance there doesn't seem to be any hill, tempo or speed workouts. So I've made my own notes to add those on the Tuesday and Thursday runs. Of course a lot of that depends on the weather. If it's icy or snow out just getting the miles in will be the priority. My primary goal is not to miss any workouts. That means all the runs plus core workouts on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. An 18 week schedule will start the week between Christmas and New Year's Until then I added my own distances (starting this past Sunday) working up to the 'official' start on December 28th. I have plenty of cold weather gear and I plan to ordre a pair of yaktrax in case we get another winter like last year. I'm determined not to let the weather stop me.

I admit to a small reservation about two 20 milers but I think if I stick to the schedule I'll be ready when the time comes. I'll take it one week at a time. Worst case, is I skip the first 20 miler and just do the second one. I really want to try for both though.