Sunday, March 25, 2012


I have to accept the fact that I should not be running right now. The groin pull/strain/who knows for sure is not manageable anymore. During my last three runs, incliuding Saturday's 10 miler, it hurt - not stop running hurt - but definitely "hello pay attention to me hurt" Last night I could not find any sleep position that didn't hurt. :( Today I can't walk well. If I stand still it will hold my weight but as soon as I begin the motion of walking my leg gives out from. under me. When siting I can't get up without support. I don't have the strength to push up. Just now I couldn't lift it up on to the couch to put my legs out in front of me. Lehigh Valley is 5 weeks away. I've decided to take two solid weeks off from running. At the end of this week, if I don't see significant improvement I'll go to the doctor. I'm really hoping rest, ice an elevation as much as I can get away with will help. I should probably wrap it but I'm not sure what the best way would be to do that. *sigh*. Trying to find the silver lining- I'll use this time to get some Philyfit organization going. Just coming off the conference I've got a lot of ideas so it's good timing. Right? Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running for Time

This post could also be titled; check the battery level in the watch before you take it on a trip with you. I'm in Florida for the USAFit Organizer conference. Our afternoon schedule called for lunch followed by a demonstration of an advanced training program and then a group run. I participated in the ATP demonstration last year in Houston and decided to skip it this year. after lunch in 80+ degrees; it was the closest I've ever come to throwing up after a work out. Inatead I decided to go out for my own run first and grab something to eat after that. I changed for,the run, filled my water bottles and turned on my watch and was greeted with an obnoxious low battery signal. UGH!!!! I had not mapped out a route. I was going to do an out and back 5 miles each way. Now what? I want 2012 to be the year of no excuses. I'm not skipping my workouts for just ny reason. Fortuntely I had my gymboss with me. Given the heat, humidity, distance and my average pace on recent long runs I set the timer for 11 minutes run/ 1 minute walk. I figured each kingervsl pair would be close enough to 1 mile. I set the gymboss for 5 reps in one direction then turned around and set it for 5 again. Even if the total mileage was under 10 I'm ok with that. I ran for 2 hours. In the heat and humidity here that I haven't had time to acclimate to, that's an acceptable workout. No excuses.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 4; cycle 1 complete

This was week four of the running plan and the end of the first set. Here's how it went
Week 1 25 scheduled - finished 24.5; how silly right? Why didn't I just hang on for that extra 1/2 mile?
Week 2 25 scheduled - fininshed 25; that's better.
Week 3 27 scheduled - finsihed 27 with an awesome 13 miler on the Saturday
Week 4 13 scheduled - finished 9.

The groin pull starting rearing it's ugly self before the 13 miler. It faded away a few feet into the run though so I kept going. The same thing happened on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt it during the day - especially after sitting for any length of time but it would go away once I started running. On Thursday thought it stayed with me. I managed 1 of my planned 5 miles that day and it still hurt so I stopped.

Rest and ice are in order the next few days. I'm not scheduled to run again until Tuesday so hopefully it will heal enough by then.

Next week I'm back to 27. With the USAFIt Organizer conference on the wekeend I won't be able to do  10 and 5 on the the weekend as I would like. This is the beauty of this schedule I think. I won't get the 10 mile long run in but the focus on total weekly mileage forceds me to do back to back to back longish weekday runs instead. As long as I don't have too may weekends like this in a row I think it'll work out just fine.

Stay tuned. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I can do this!

13 miles today. I feel great. I truly do.

This is my increase week. After two weeks at 25 miles per week. I am due for 27 this week (Mon-Sun). I wanted 13 today so I adjusted the rest of my schedule accordingly. Tues - 2 miles; Wed - 4 miles and Thurs - 2 miles. Sat - 13 miles and Sun 6 miles.

I did my 2 miles on Tuesday at the Audobon Loop HILL. I need hill work. I parked at the gravel lot and jogged over to the hill for warm up. I set my gymboss for 30 sec and 15 seconds. When I got to the hill I started the timer. I ran steady up for 30 seconds then walked down for 15. I repeated this four times. On the fourth time I continued past the beep to the top of the hill (the old stone tower). I'm happy to say I was almost there anyway. I turned around and jogged back down and back to the gravel lot for a total of 2 miles. Eventually I'd like to  I will get to the point where I can do hill repeats from top to bottom.

On Wednesady I met John T at the Chester Valley trail for a little over 4 miles total. I like these weekday runs with John and other Phillyfitters. I end up going much faster than I would alone and that's good for me.

Thursday I taught new member orienation at work. Typically I bag my runs after NMO. I am drained after them. I love doing them but it's a lot of work being 'on' for 8 hours. And for a girl who prefers sneakers or bare feet even the smallest heel is difficult for that long. But I'm really trying to have no tolerance for excuses so I brought my running gear to work and changed there. I stopped at Ridley Creek State Park and went out for two miles. It was awful. I did it but it was awful. It hurt and I felt like crap. However, I was pretty excited that I did it anyway.

I came into today determined to focus on my breathing and my posture. My watch was set to beep at mile intervals where I could take a walk break. For the most part I stuck to that. There were a few extra breaks; at the turnaround, the restrooms and one stop for gravel removal from John's shoe. I ran the first 3 with Russ, Maggi and John T. The next 2 with Maggi and John and the remaining miles with John. Bless him for sticking it out when he had only planned to do 9 or 10. Running really is better with buddies. :)

Focusing on my breathing was to keep me from going out too fast. I decided it didn't matter what this did to my run pace I have 6 miles tomorow I didn't want to be dreading that. I focused on my posture to avoid fatigue in my neck and shoulders. It worked :). I'm happy to say the limiting factor in today's run was my legs. By mile 11 they were feeling quite heavy. Even that wasn't terribly bad. I was certainly happy to be done at 13 but I also felt like I could have gone another mile if I really had do.

I am really happy with the pace too. It was a comfortable I-can-still-talk pace. Yet when I checked it periodically (about once each mile) it was around 10:20-10:30. With the walk breaks the overall pace was 11:36. Not bad for me right now. I have a long way to go to get to my 2:15 half marathon but I also have 8 months to get there.

I was pleased that through mile 10 I was not looking at my watch begging it to move faster to the walk break. I was often pleasantly surprised when it beeped.

Next week is the 4th week in this plan I've worked up so only 13 miles total for the week. All I have to do is get through the 6 tomorrow. After the successes of today I'm NOT dreading that. Of course my legs might be telling me a different story tomorrow morning but I'll get through it.

SUNDAY UPDATE: I finished the 6 miles. My legs actually felt ok this morning. Alleve at bedtime helped. My brain however was a little skeptical. I debated going out of my neighborhood - maybe on some trail at RCSP. In the end I decided on two 3 mile ciruits around my house. This way I wouldnt have to carry my water belt. I left it on the front porch and stopped their for a drink after 3 then continued on. I set my gymboss for 3 and 1's but put it in my jacket pocket. I only wanted to use that for backup. I really wanted to continue with 1 mile intervals. I didn't have to resort to the gymboss. :) My pace was pretty slow but also fairly steady and I only walked at the mile breaks for 1 minute each time. So all in all a good outing.

Oh and someone commented that 2:30 is slower than 10:20-10:30 pace. That is true. I should have made clear that was only through the first 10. I slowed up in the last three.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Recap of my week.

Well I did it. It wasn't pretty but I kept my promise to complete 25  miles for the week. Today was a test of the committment and I'm pleased to say I passed. After yesterday's 10 miles on the hills I needed 6 more today to get to 25.

Emma and I met Pete and John at Ridley Creek State Park for some trail running. The first mile my legs were fine. After that they were a little annoyed with me. "Hello!!?? Remember the 10 very hilly miles yesterday?" It was tough to ignore the whining. I bailed on the last trail hill up the white trail. If you know the park this takes you straight up from the lower part of the paved loop to the upper. I chose to run back on the paved loop and met them at the parking lot.

This put just under 4 miles on my total. So when we arrived home I let Emma back in the house and headed out for the balance. It was hard but I can honestly say I did it.

Nest week is an increase week - 27 wth 13 mile long run on Saturday. But first, a rest day tomorrow :) :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Keeping up with myself; Lessons learned on a hilly 10 mile course.

Today, after much back and forth in the week leading up to it I finally settled on running the Quakertown Rotary Run for Youth. It is a 10 mile run that Maggi suggested - or as more appropriately HELPED Julius and I decide to run. I'm glad for her help.

I wanted to treat this as a training run. It was the right amount of miles; the race fee was for a good cause and given the weather conditions it was more likely I could run with people if I attended the race. As it turned out the rain pretty much stopped just before we started and the sun came out for my last half mile.

So as a training run I set my goal at anything under 2 hours. About 2/3 of the way through I was convinced I wasn't going to make it. I did not have my watch (I don't race with it) and being a local race there were no timers at the mile markers; only at the end.

This hills on this course made the 8th street hill in Media, the Audobon Loop and the Valley Forge loop look like child's play. We also had some nice long slow downhills and one 11% grade downhill but the ups got me. Good news is that the got my legs more than my cardio. I was also pleased that I didn't let the hills get into my head. I walked more than I would have liked but I still made it in less than 2 hours so all is good.

Maggi and Julius eventually (about halfway) put some distance between us and ultimately were a good half mile ahead of me. If it wasn't for Julius' tallness and Maggi's bright  colors I would have lost sight of them completely. It was after our separation that I heard footstesp behind me. Despite that this was supposed to be just a training run I couldn't help thinking I did not want to be passed or left in the dust by anyone else. This got me to pick up the pace for a bit and I'm happy to say it didn't hurt to do so - for a little bit anyway. I finally backed off again not wanting to risk not having anything left for the final hill. So the feet and the gentleman attached to them pulled up beside me and he said, "I'm having trouble keeping up with you". I replied "I'm having trouble keeping up with myself". We ran and walked side by side for another mile and then he too moved on ahead.

I got a lift at mile 8 because I never saw the number 7 on the road. Each mile was marked in green  chalk on the street in rather large numbers. Not sure how I missed it but it was nice to go from thinking I had 3 miles left to only having 2. :)

So today's lesson is DO MORE HILL WORK. Not that I didn't already know that deep down. I was pleased with my finish and pleased that I felt comfortable most of the time.

My schedule had 11 on it for today. I am happy with the 10 however and it's likely i'll do more than the planned 5 with the trail gang tomorrow so I'll still manage my mileage for the week. 21 down 6 to go.

Friday, March 2, 2012

7 miles on a weeknight

I am determined to keep with this new plan. Part of that plan is to presrve my weekly mileage. Wednesday night it rained buckets and then some. It was also very cold. If it's going to be cold and precipitate it should snow (but that's a rant for another time). Needless to say I bagged Wednesday  night's run.

I really wanted to make up those miles. A group was meeting at Oaks last night to run the Audobon Loop (4 miles). I was not excited about doing 4 with them and then 3 more. Fortunately it occurred to me (smack in the head occurred to me) that I could run 3 BEFORE the rest). And I did just that.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me last night. My comfort level for both sets was a 12 minute pace and recently I've been doing much better than that. It's ok that it was that way but I just wish I knew why. The only thng I can think of is that I did not sleep very well the night before. And now that I think some more my nutrition was not all that great on Thurday either. It could be something as simple as that.

Regardless, I managed 7 miles on a weeknight and including the travel time home and a 30 minute break between the first 3 and the last 4 (waiting for the gang to show up) I was finished before 7:30. This is good to know. There will be no excuses later when my mileage increases and I may need to do 7 on a weeknight to keep up.

Happy Friday :)