Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 13

1 mile today the 13th consecutive day of running. It almost felt like cheating. I felt like I could have gone further. And maybe when I get further into this I will boost my minimum to more than 1 mile. For now though I'm happy to still be doing it.

I'll be running most Saturdays with the group from here through the start of Phillyfit. I'll use that for my longest runs as best I can making up any difference on my own. I'd like to do trail runs with Pete's group. That will certainly keep my pace down for the longer runs. I can work on speed during the week.

One run at a time. :)

Right now looking forwad to trails tomorrow with Pete's group and New Years day run on Sunday with a bunch of Phillyfitters.

I just did some addition on my training schedule and as of tomorrow (assuming I complete the miles) I will have completed 40 miles since December 18. Not bad for half a month. And there are 99 miles on the schedule for January. At this rate I'll need to start breaking in new shoes in mid Feb to be ready for Lehigh Valley.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gymboss Fail

Today I went out for a run around Media. I took my gymboss not really sure if I wanted to do intervals or not. I strated off pushing the button on the Gymboss figuring I'd see how I felt after the first 3 and decided then. Well the Gymboss decided for me as it went kaplooey after the first interval. It got stuck on notifying me that the interval was over. Thank goodness I had it on vibrate not high beep or I probably would have had to go home. As it was it vibrated on my wrist for the entire 3 miles. I probably don't have to tell you how annoying that was. The upside is I ran about 99% of the distance.

I rebooted the Gymboss and it stopped buzzing. I think it needs a new battery. When it works though this is a fantastic tool for run / walk intervals. I can set it to whatever interval I want and I can have it vibrate when it's just me or have it beep loud when I'm with a group all doing the same interval.

Here's another challenge for this week. I had hoped to get a running buddy or two to meet me to run but I guess more folks have to work this week. I used up the rest of my vacation days. So the challenge is to keep getting out there Wed, Thurs and Fri alone. There are plans for group runs on Sat and Sun already.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day

So today would have been one of those days that I would have blown off if I were not trying to create a habit.

My husband and I had plans today to go to NYC for the day via train. We wanted to get the 8:09 out of Media and planned to be gone all day. (In fact, we just returned about a half hour ago). I set my alarm for 6 go up in the cold and dark and went out alone for a 1 mile run around my neighborhood. The alone is significant because getting up in the dark and the cold is not usually a problem when I'm meeting running friends.

So 9 days and counting.

Oh and 13 years since my husband and I met. Today is the anniversary! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Trail Run.

Yesterday marked the completion of one week of at least 1 mile running or walking. 6 of those days I ran. On Monday I walked. I've decided that from here on out if I decide to walk it should be more than a mile. But truly the purpose is to keep moving so it's not a big deal really. My total for the week; 19 miles.

I knew I wanted something a little softer on the knees today but I didn't want to ride all the way out to the Perkiomen or Betzwood trails. Pete, one of the Phillyfit coaches, runs on trails in Middletown Twp so I decided to check out that option. All these years and I didn't even know these trails existed. I decided on the Linvill Trail. Checking the map I felt comfortable that it followed a route that was safe for me to run alone. It was.

The trail was by no means flat so I power walked up the steeper climbs. I was not breaking any speed records but I was moving well the entire time. The trail was covered in leaves and in one spot they covered a puddle with a thin layer of ice which I ended up crashing through. It was cold! I was having fun.

The trail connects to the Indian Echo trail which I remember comes in off 352 where the (former, I think) Girl Scout Camp is/was. I ran 15 mintues out and turned around. It was very quiet and pretty. I saw a lot of squirrels and smelled a lot of wood burning from the fireplaces in the nearby homes (many of which I could see from the trail). It was a cold morining - low 30s- but clear blue skies.

I crested the last hill on my return and I heard the dog coming. I couldn't see it but I could hear the chain around it's neck and the footsteps (pawsteps) through the leaves. I stopped. Out of one of the yards comes this adorable sheep dog looking thing. It bouned up the hill, ears flapping and greeted me. Adorable looking or not I am not fond of strange dogs. "I won't hurt you, if you don't hurt me" I told the dog. The dog continued to dance around me urging me to continue to run. I didn't see or hear anyone at the house, but I was still a little hesitant to run as the dog would likely have tripped me up with its enthusiasm. Then I heard someone call "Maaaagiii". I looked at the dog "Maggi! Go home!", I said. To her credit she looked torward home but looked back with a tilt of her head that said, "Yeah, I don't think so".

Another minute passed and I didn't see anyone coming from the house and whoever it was didn't call again. So I decided to start walking toward my car and Maggi followed. I heard the storm door on the house slam and out came a man in sweat pants with bare feet trying to get a jacket on as he ran toward the trail. "She just wants to say Merry Christmas" he said. I smiled back at him. "She seems friendly enough". He called to her and she started to go to him so I continued my run toward the car. Maggi was beside me in a flash. I ran back toward her owner and she began running wide circles around us - just out of reach. If dogs could laugh, she was. Finally the man, barefeet and all, began running up the hill away from me and Maggi bouned after him. When she was a good distance, I hightailed it to my car laughing all the way.

I will go back to that trail. It was fun and there is much more to it than what I saw. I'm wondering if I'll meet Maggi again.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Running Streak

I hear all the time about people who have - or are starting - running, walking or other fitness streaks. I even signed up for one on Facebook. I'm not even sure why I did it. I will either keep one going on my own or not. I guess I did it for support. It will be fun to read what others do to keep their streak going and be motivated by the group mentality. Afterall, that's really what USAFit/Philly is all about isn't it? The power of the group helps keep you going. (Hmmm I think this is the beginning of a post over there). Focus, Paula.

The "I love to Run" streak starts January 1st encouraging folks to put in 1 mile per day. I decided to start mine already and 4 days later I really do think it has made a difference. I ran 3 miles on Sunday. On Mondays I get home late and I was tired and it was cold but I was thinking about the streak so after dinner I went for a 1 mile power walk. I ran again on Tuesday and Wednesday 3 miles each.

I also tried something different for Tues and Wed. I brought my running clothes to work with me and changed there. My thought was if I get home already dressed to run I'm less likely to bag it. I'm not sure if that helped or not but I did run immediately after getting home both days.

This morning I woke up extremely tired. Bone tired would be a good description. My legs hurt a little too. Not injury hurt. They are sore because I don't usually run this many days in a row. And I have not taken any walk breaks. (except for Monday of course). I know I'll run after work today. I might only do a mile but I have no thoughts of skipping it. I like this. :)

I've thought ahead to some events coming up that might normally disrupt my running schedule. But all I need is one mile a day to keep my streak alive. Even walking, I can finish a mile in less than 15 minutes. How hard can it be to find 15 minutes a day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Running a Half Marathon with My Daughter

I am excited. Emma has decided that she wants to run a half marathon and she wants to run it with me. About a month ago she sent me a message saying she wanted to and this past weekend we settled on the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon on April 29.

I am honored that she wants to do this with me. Her interest has given me renewed energy to train and major incentive to work hard this winter so that she won't leave me in the dust. Although this will be her first distance race she is 30 years younger than I. I know she'd wait for me at the end if we get separated but I'd love to see her through the whole race. I've written her a schedule and perhaps we can run some of the longer training runs together. Since we live about 45 min - an hour away from eachother that won't be easy but I'm sure we can work something out for a couple of weeks.

So motivated was I to keep up with training that I went out last night to run in the dark in the rain. I had appropriate reflective gear and a headlamp of course. I ran 4 miles without stopping (except at a few traffic lights) and felt awesome. Very different from Saturday when I struggled through run/walk intervals. Go figure. One run at a time :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Power of a Running Buddy

Today was my first run since the Philly Half on November 20th. I met John T at Forbidden Drive and we set out for a 5 mile run (roughly to Valley Green and back). I was really looking forward to this run today. I found myself getting really excited about the idea last night as I went to bed. No dread of the early alarm on a Saturday morning. I was psyched. My enthusiasm for running had returned. I lost it somewhere over the summer.

The morning dawned exceptionaly bright and clear. I arrived at the entrance to the trail about 7:45 and stayed in the car until I saw John coming down the street. It was in the low 30's and the car was warmer. John arrived and off we went.

We decided to run the first mile before taking a walk break then go for 1/2 mile chunks after that. Well at the first mile my legs felt great. In fact, they felt great the entire morning and could have gone for more. My lungs on the other hand were not happy campers at all. I was failing the talk test miserably. I wish I could say I have a cold and let that be the reason. I don't. We weren't going to fast either. We averaged just under 12 minute miles for the run which is about right for me for a Saturday run.

Plain and simple, I am paying for my two weeks off with no exercise whatsoever. I've got my mental mojo back but I have some work to do regaining my aerobic strength. No problem. One run at a time.

It's a very good thing I was out with John this morning. The temptation to turn around at mile 1 would have been great had I been alone.
5.21 miles
11:55 average pace
Clear; about 34 degrees at the start.