Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Week 2 Monday's Run

I was scheduled for a four mile run on monday. I ended up doing it on the treadmill at the Y because, well, it was just too warm and breezy out for me to run it outside. It was a good workout though, and I did 5 acceleration glides at the finish. It felt really good to do those.

One of the things I need to start focusing on again is my eating. I'm still journaling my food along with my workouts, but I wanted to keep my food around the 1500 calorie range, and I've been up into the 1700's lately. I've also started eating more carbs than usual. It's great for helping fuel my runs, but bad for me in that it leads to some major bloating for me, which I hate and makes me more uncomfortable when I run! I need to find that happy medium!

Anyhow, for the record...yesterdays workout:

4.7 mile run on treadmill - one hour (includes warm up and cool down walk). Avg. HR 152 (86%). 518 Calories burned. 5 glides. Ran at 5.1 most of the run.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 2 Training

We had our first run at Easton this weekend. I am really glad now that I went, because the path we ran on was SO nice. Geez, I wish they had that on my side of town! It was shaded and just really nice. We ended up running almost the entire run instead of doing the run/walk. We ran with the 12 minute mile group. They went a little slower, and were running around a 12:30 pace which was actually a GREAT pace for me. It was comfortable enough to run the entire way at that pace. My knees were a little achy towards the end, but not terrible by any means. Anyhow, it was a very enjoyable run. I felt great afterwards.

So we begin week two training this week with runs Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and a long run on Saturday. Wednesday is supposed to be speedwork. I'm really unsure about that and what it entails. I may just shoot Eric off an email and ask a little more about it. Or maybe I'll just go and see how this first one is and whether or not I like it. Last night I was reading Galloways book and he was talking about how, for marathoning, doing one mile repeats has proven to give the best results for improving speed, but I really don't know exactly what that entails either! Again, I'll probably email Eric and ask.

I didn't get up at 4 a.m. this morning to do my run. I actually had thought of doing the run last night, but we (I should say "I") decided that Sunday evenings would be our family walk or bike ride night. We only walked two miles (I finally used my Garmin which I freaking LOVE!). But two miles was about as long as Jeff and the boys could take I think. Alex ran for some of it, and Zach rode his bike. So I'll be doing my four mile run tonight after work, and will be running it inside on the treadmill since its still going to be too warm outside.

I've also decided that I HAVE to get back to some strength training for my cross training. So twice a week (would love to get a third one in) I'll be doing "The Firm"videos. They provide me a full body workout, so I think those would be the best to follow. I also like that it also incorporates cardio so it gets the calorie burn up there. I might occassionally do a Cathe Video. Ideally I'd like to get those in on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, but I'll be flexible with it.

Next weekend, instead of the scheduled 7 mile run, I've signed up for a 10 mile race on the fourth of July in Hilliard. I'm actually kind of dreading it but for no reason other than its being run on the rails to trails path which is SO incredibly boring. But I know having Kathy there to run with will help tremendously! It sure does help to have people to run with!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursdays Treadmill Run

Thursday June 25th

Instead of getting up at 4 a.m. to run, I decided to make my Thursday runs a run on the treadmill. It gives me a break from getting up at 4 a.m. during the work week, and it also is much cooler running inside. It was only a 3 mile run that i had to do. I still can't figure out why my HR is always so high when I'm running. I tried to keep it low which kept me running at 5 mph. The funny thing is, if I ran faster than that, like 5.3 or 5.4, it still stayed around the same. If I went lower, it still stayed around the same. I don't get it. I just decided to run at what felt natural. I also did a few walk breaks, but not many. I think I did three total walk breaks for about 40 seconds each. I wanted to just use walk breaks when I felt like I needed them, versus doing them every four minutes or whatever. Basically, I just felt like running at the speed I felt like running and walking when I felt like i needed to. Every now and then I feel like I have the need to just run, and not be bound by any specific guidelines on how fast to run, how often to stop, etc.

When I finished, I felt great actually. It was a good run. One of those that when I finished, I felt like I could have gone longer. Today (Friday) is a day of rest, with tomorrow being a six mile run with the group run.

Run stats: 3.5 miles on treadmill. 45 minutes. 386 calories burned. Average HR 151 (86%) and max HR 170 (96%). Ran mostly at 5.0 mph with only a few short walk breaks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Yesterday was a crosstraining day for me, according to the schedule. I really was a little unsure what I wanted to do. I took a 3 mile power walk at lunchtime, and then went to the gym after work and did a 30 minute (6.5 mile) bike ride on the stationary bike. I really hate the bike, but I know that its a good crosstraining exercise to work on my quads to try and balance them out with the workout that the hamstrings are getting from the running. I was going to do some weights last night, but in all honesty, I just plain forgot about it! All night I kept thinking that there was something I needed to do, and couldn't remember what it was. It wasn't until I was going to bed that I remembered that I had wanted to do some upper body strength training. Oh well. I did, however, read up on crosstraining. I already knew the benefits, but my issue was deciding what is the best crosstraining to do in order to improve my running. Looks like it doesn't really matter in the end, but the bike and strength training seem to be my best options, so I'll be doing those most of the time for the crosstraining, as well as occassional walking (just because I like taking walks!).

This morning was another 4 a.m. run. The temps were around 65 degrees. I'm glad I got the run in, as there is an air quality alert out for today, which means with my asthma that it wouldn't be good to be out running today! The temps should hit 90. Yet another reason to not run later in the day. Anyhow, it was a 3 mile run.

I have another 3 mile run scheduled for tomorrow and then the group 6 mile run on saturday. I'm actually dreading the saturday drive. I don't love this idea of driving clear across town to go running. But I'll give it a try. Especially for these shorter runs. I can see where I might want to do it for the real long runs, but to drive 35 minutes to do a 6 mile run? Hmmm...seems kind of silly.

Running Stats: 4 a.m. run. 38 minutes, 3.2 miles. Avg HR 148 (84%). 332 calories burned. Temp was around 65 degrees. I felt good for this run. Plenty of energy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The First 4 a.m. Run

Monday June 22nd

Because the summer heat is upon us, I've had to make a decision to change the time I normally run. For the last year, I pretty much have run immediately after leaving work, starting my runs around 3:30 pm. But It's just way too hot now to run at that time. So, I've decided that I need to get up early to do these runs. This morning was my first 4. a.m. run.

I had everything laid out the night before...all my clothes, my heart rate monitor, my reflective arm bands, ipod, etc. I needed it to be as mindless as possible in terms of getting my butt out the door. That was good planning. The roughest part was simply rolling out of bed and getting dressed.

I had mapped out four miles the night before as well on www.mapmyrun.com. However, as I began down the street, it occurred to me that I might have to change my route. I don't know WHY, but not a single street light was working in my neighborhood. Fortunately, my street is at the back of the neighborhood and the next subdivision is only a block away, so I got their subdivision and saw that all their street lights were just fine. I now see why its been so easy for all the car break-ins to have occurred in our neighborhood! Anyhow, I thought maybe by the time I entered back into my neighborhood on the route I planned that maybe the lights would be back on. So I continued with my plan.

It is so peaceful at that hour. I had decided not to turn on my ipod, as I was concerned that if somebody WAS out at that hour, I needed to be able to hear, for personal safety reasons. You know, I really enjoyed running without my ipod. Next time I'm not even going to wear it. Just the sound of bullfrogs by the retention ponds, as well as my feet hitting the ground, and some occassional sprinkler systems going off. Really, it was awesome.

I only saw one person on my run, and that was about at 4:45 a.m. He was walking down the sidewalk, and as I ran by, he stopped and watched me. Kind of creepy. He probably wondered what the heck someone was doing out running at that hour! Little did he know that I was approaching the end of my run!

Anyhow, I ran the run as planned, without the streetlights. I'll call the city this morning to see about getting them working. Also, I did three strides after I hit the four mile mark and was headed home. That's the first time I've done those. I was supposed to do 4-10 strides, but whose counting, right? :)

I know this...running without the sun blazing down on me made a HUGE difference in how the run felt. It was one of the best runs I've had in awhile. Next early morning run will be Wednesday morning...my birthday!

Running info: 50 minutes, Avg. HR 152, Max HR 178, 470 calories burned.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The First Group Run

Saturday June 30th

Today was the first group run. We met in Dublin at the Dublin location of the Columbus Running Company Store. I wasn't sure how this would go. Other than the half marathon and 5K race I've done, I've not really run with anyone else, but actually, after running the half marathon and having company, I really think I prefer the group runs!

They had pacers for each group, and there were about 4 of us in the run/walk group and we were doing an interval of 4:1 for the run/walks. Jim was our pacer. We were scheduled for a four mile run. The run started a little after 8 a.m. due to some announcements. The run went well, but I agree with Kathy's comment made after the run that we really don't need a pacer. I think we do a fine job by ourselves. I'm still trying to deal with my intolerance to heat, which I think is a result of some medication I'm on. And that morning, although only in the low 70's, was still pretty hot for me, and as a result my heart rate was way up there for the duration of the run. It was in the 170's pretty much the whole run. I've figured out that when I run and keep pace where my HR is in the 150's, I feel GREAT. 160's is "OK", but I feel best in the mid to low 150's. So you can imagine how I felt by the end of the run with it having been in the 170's. Not great, by any means. Because it was a short run, it was okay. But I'm slowing it down next week. The heat is an issue and I'm just going to have to adjust my pace to deal with it. We seemed to be running around an 11:30 pace according to Jim's Garmin, which is great. I'm running around an 11 minute mile when the temps are not so hot. Sometimes even better than that. I put a call into the doc because of the heat intolerance. I go in a few weeks to have some bloodwork done to see if there is a problem, but he wants me on the meds a little longer.

All in all, though, the group run was good. Next week the run is at Easton. I certainly don't love the idea of driving clear across town for a group run, but I'll give it a try. It's a 35 minute drive there, so we'll see how much I feel like doing that on the weekends.

This week, I'm scheduled to do a four mile run tomorrow, with glides at the end of the run. Then wednesday and thursday are 3 mile runs I think. Maybe there is a four miler. I can't remember the schedule off hand. Anyhow, what will be challenging is that because of the heat (high 80's all week), I will be getting up at the crack of dawn to do my runs. 4 a.m. OMG. I am dreading it, but trying to tell myself how great it will be to start my day out with a run. We'll see how well THAT goes!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Marathon Training Kickoff Party!

June 11th, 2009

This blog is being created to document my journey on my quest to be a Marathon Runner. I'm beginning my training now to participate in the Columbus Marathon on October 18th, 2009 in Columbus Ohio.

It still feels a little awkward to call myself "a runner". I didn't start running until the beginning of August of 2008. I began by following the Couch to 5K program (see coolrunnings.com). I really just decided to follow the program to prove to myself that if I WANTED to, I could run three miles. I figured once I finished the program, I would go back to doing the other cardio stuff I much preferred. But I felt like I needed some sort of goal or something to strive for at that time. Well, lo and behold, once I finished the program I didn't want to stop running. Not because I found that I LOVED running, by any means, but moreso that after completing the program, I couldn't bear to let all the hard work that it took to get me to that point just disappear! So I maintained the running, by running 3 miles, 3 times a week. In January of 2009, a friend (formerly my kids babysitter), really encouraged me to sign up for the Commit to be Fit Half Marathon. I trained for the half marathon, and ran it with my friend Kathy (and another friend of hers). It was one of the best experiences of my life. (see my finish line photo! Oh, and that was NOT my Net time on the clock. I finished it in 2:42...not bad for my first half marathon). Really, after I crossed that finish line, I really felt like there is nothing in this world that I couldn't accomplish if I set my mind to it and really prepared myself to do what I needed to do in order to achieve it. Nothing could have said it better than John "the Penguin" Binghams saying... "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start".

After that race, I just knew I NEEDED to try to run a full marathon. First, I LOVED having a goal to train towards. I became so focused on that goal, and it really took my mind off of some of the difficult things going on in other parts of my life. Running became my outlet for stress. It helps me to clear my mind, and I felt better able to handle what life throws at me.

But I KNEW I couldn't just go into the marathon training without having some support. So Kathy and I are training and running the marathon together. We have joined a training group called The Sole of Columbus Running Training group to prepare for this journey. They are providing us with a training plan to follow, running clinics, group runs, etc. Last night, we had the kickoff party at Buck Mulligans Pub in Gahanna. We met a few people who will be taking part in the training, and everyone seems very nice, especially the guys from the stores that are running the program. I feel VERY comfortable with my choice of training groups. I'm most excited to have a group of people to do these long runs with on saturday mornings, as well as the fact that they will have water stations set up for us for those long runs! I did all my long runs by myself when I trained for the half marathon, and let's just say that is way too much time for me to be by myself thinking!

Our first long run with the group is on June 20th. Until then, I'm kind of on my own. I've been trying to increase my running to 4 days a week. I'm doing three short runs during the week of 3-4 miles each run, and then a long run on the weekend. Right now, I'm just doing between 6 and 8 miles on the weekend.

We should be getting our training program next week, which will outline the number of miles for each run. I should probably mention that when I say run, I actually do a run/walk. A lot of times I just run my short runs straight through, but for the long runs, I do walk breaks. Generally I do a 4:1 or 5:1 split, with four minutes running, one minute walking. I didn't start out that way when I did the couch to 5K program, but several people really encouraged me to try doing the run/walk intervals, and now I'm stuck with it. I just feel so much better when I incorporate walk breaks. Anyhow, I pretty much follow the Jeff Galloway run/walk program, and plan on doing that when I run the marathon in the fall.

I'm setting up this blog because I want to journal my experiences as I train for this event in my life. Someone asked me why I wanted to do this. You know, I feel pretty good about myself overall, but here's the honest-to-god truth as to why I want to run a marathon. There is nothing really special about me. I'm just your average person, living an average life. I LOVE my life, don't get me wrong. But really, there is nothing special about me. Well, there is a VERY small percentage of the population who has ever run a marathon. Being part of that group is something that sets me apart from everyone else. I just want this one thing to have as something that sets me apart from the average Joe.
And you know, I KNOW there are a lot of other people out there that can run circles around me, win races in their age group or gender group or whatnot. But I don't care. I didn't start running until I was 42 years old. I'm never going to win a race. I'm really doing this all for me, and not for anyone else. But geez, look at all the people that participate in races. Thousands. There are only a few winners that get the awards. But we're all winners, right? A lot of people can't even get out there to run. There was a quote I found on the web, and it pretty much summed it up for me...
" You need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don't run and never will... those who run but don't race...those who started training for a race but didn't carry through...those who got to the starting line but didn't cross the finish line...those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted. "- Joe Henderson"