Friday, July 31, 2009

Workout Results 7/30

I did the five mile run with keeping the HR at or below 142. It was NOT easy. First, no matter how slow I went, if I started to run at all (and I use the term "run" loosely), it would skyrocket. I ran most of the run at 4.0 mph, but again, most of the run was a walk. In fact, I could WALK at 4.0, which I did, and anytime I turned it into a jog, after 30 seconds, the HR would go so high that I would have to go back to walking. Frustrating to say the least. Oddly enough, I could bump up the running to 4.6, and have the same effect, meaning I could run at 4.6 for 30-40 seconds and then have to go back to a walk. Basically, anytime I ran, no matter at what speed, I could only run for about 30 seconds.

I don't know that I can do that and continue to train for the marathon. On the Mark Allen message boards, one of the other coaches responded to my post as well and said that often times, people fine that they start this approach AFTER their event, because they find it too difficult to train like this while training for an event. I thought as a compromise, what I might do is to make my weekday runs keeping the HR lower, and the long run, just run it as I feel comfortable.

We'll see how it goes, because this weekends run is a 12 mile run. Since we have pacers to run with, I'm going to run with the 12 min/mile pacer, and walk as I feel like i need to, doing my usual 5:1, or maybe even do 3:1. I will go by how I feel.

I'm also calling today to schedule an appointment with the sports clinic to get in and have my foot looked at. we'll see what they say, but I'm going to guess that I'll need some custom orthotics. I better get them made before my miles get too high!

Yesterdays stats: 5 mile run. 1 hr 14 minutes. Avg HR 139, max 163. 537 calories burned

Today's plan: Full body strength training. It will be the third one this week. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Workout Results 7/29

Tonight I did the Get Ripped strength training workout. It was, again, a really good workout. Jeff did the workout with me, which I really enjoyed because for whatever reason, the time seemed to go faster with him being there with me doing everything.

Also, today I posted to Mark Allen, an ironman triathlete who has lots of coaching experience in regards to heart rate training. He suggested that for the next six weeks that I train at or below my max HR of 142 and then I can pick it back up for the marathon. Its going to be tough to do, because that most likely means that I'll often have to walk to get my HR down. That makes it REALLY hard to get long runs in and done in a reasonable time. But I'm going to give it a go. Besides, the worst of the long runs aren't until september, so at least for the next four weeks, I can do my best to give it a go. I'm hoping that by training lower, that maybe I won't feel so nauseated after my runs.

No question that once the marathon is over, all my aerobic training is going to be in the aerobic zone, which means I'm going to really have to slow it down. The good news is, my workouts will probably feel like a piece of cake. The bad news is, no doubt I won't be burning nearly as many calories! It's a trade off I guess.

Tomorrow, its a five mile run. Bring it on!

Workout Results 7/28

I was scheduled for a 5 mile run today, but I ran six miles instead. I wanted to swap it with Thursdays 6 mile run because I don't have as much time to run on thursday and those extra minutes will make a difference. The run was better than the last couple of runs. First, my foot didn't start hurting during the run. So that was good. But geez, my heart rate was still WAY up. I kept bringing the speed down to see where I needed to be to get it out of the 170's, and even running at 4.2, which I can basically WALK, I could STILL only get my HR down in the 160's. The the thing is, I FEEL crappy when I run with my HR that high. Yet again, about an hour after the run, I felt sick. Nauseated. I'm sure it had to do with running with a high HR. i don't know what the heck is going on. This just really started.

Prior to the run, I met with one of the personal trainers at the gym, because I wanted to get some additional stretches for the calves, which are SO tight right now. She gave me some stretches to do, but also we discussed my foot pain. She said she had the exact same issue until she had custom orthotics. She also went through all the insoles and stuff like I'm doing. She also recommended doing an ice bath for that foot. Well, I tried the ice bath for it, and I could only handle maybe 10 seconds of the foot in the ice bath before it felt like it was getting a charlie horse. It's that feeling like my foot was getting an ice cream headache! Anyhow, even though it wasn't in there that long, I DO think that seemed to make a difference, as the foot felt much better throughout the evening and even this morning when I first got up.

Today I'll be doing a full body strength training. I'm very committed now to getting in a minimum of 2 full body strength training sessions each week. My pants have been getting tighter and I hate it. I just began a new challenge for 8 weeks with the online training group I work with, and Jeff is doing it with me. I think the challenge will really help to keep me focused with the food, the strength training and the running. I would just LOVE to shed some inches!

Then tomorrrow, its a 5 mile run, and friday, if i can squeeze it in, I may do another ST session. Looks like sundays will have to be my rest day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Back from Vacation

I've been off on vacation in Myrtle Beach, so I haven't had a chance to update the blog until now. This might be a little lengthy.

Let's see...the day we left for vacation, I got up early and did our 10 mile long run for the week with Kathy. We met at Glacier Ridge Metro park, and decided to try one of the trails for some trail running. It was mostly grass. What a mistake. In fact, the whole run totally stunk for various reasons. First, because we weren't doing the group run and wouldn't have water stations, I decided to use my new hydration belt. Big mistake. The stupid thing kept riding up on me. The water sloshing around didn't bother me, but the belt moving up on my waist totally bothered me.

Then, we ended up on the bridel trail, so we ended up having to watch out for big piles of horse poop. Between that and making sure I didn't twist my ankle in the divits along the trail, it was just not fun. We finally got onto some trail that went into the woods, which was really nice, however, it is obviously one not used much since Kathy and I ended up with mouthfulls of cobwebs as we ran through it! By the time we finally got onto a paved trail, we had only gone a few miles or so, and frankly, my legs were already tuckered out from running on the trail. It seemed so much harder than running on pavement. The rest of the run was lousy because I just didn't have the energy in me. I had to stop and do a lot of walk breaks.

Kathy and I each had ticks on us afterwards. Not good. We both seemed to agree that we will never do that again! Trail running just isn't for me I guess.

While on vacation, I did two 5-mile runs. The first one I did on tuesday, and it went great. The second one I did on friday. It was not a great run. I did it inside on the hotel workout room. The room was like a suana. In fact, I had wondered if it would have been just as easy or cooler to run outside! I even contemplated stopping at two miles, it was THAT hot. But somehow I suffered through it. To add to the already tough workout, my right foot and calf were really bothering me.

Saturday we had our drive home. 10 hours in the car. Each time we got out of the car, my right foot was really hurting me. I was limping into the rest areas. My calves were really tight too. I feel like I have really deep muscle aches in the calves. But the right foot, in the arch, feels like I'm walking on a ball or something.

Then yesterday, Sunday, I was scheduled to do my long run for the week. 11 miles. I went to the Y to do it. God, yet another miserable run. First, I could not for the life of me get my HR down. At only running 5.0 mph, it was in the 170's. What the heck? Do I dropped down the speed to try and get my hr down into the 150's. I couldn't get it down. I had to walk to drop it down. I finally found that by running around 4.2 mph I could get it into the 150's. But geez, I do my walk breaks at 4.0 mph! And you could say that I should throw out the HRM and go by how I feel, but honestly, I felt lousy when my HR was so high. My heart was racing, I couldn't catch my breath. I'd had a little bit of asthma over the week, so I wasn't surprised about not catching my breath. But if I was going by the RPE chart, I still could not carry on a conversation when my HR was so high. So I don't know what that all means. Am I overtraining? Am I getting sick?

It took me 2.5 hours to do the 11 miles. I had to walk the last 1.25 miles because my right foot and calf were hurting so bad. I can't even believe I made it the whole 11 miles. I really didn't think I would.

I went home, and took a cold bath to soak my foot and legs. I couldn't do an ice bath but figured a cold bath might do some good. I could barely walk later in the afternoon. Then I started feeling really sick. I took a short nap on the sofa, and felt like I had a fever. I was really nauseated too. Eventually it all passed. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. I went to bed at 9:30 and was still awake at midnight. I don't know if this is all related or not, but I really just felt like crap yesterday.

I'm feeling better today, but my foot is still hurting. It throbs even when I'm not walking on it. I'm icing it and taking ibuprofin. But to be honest, I'm giving some serious thought to ending the marathon training. :( I really don't like feeling this bad. I don't like being in this much pain. My right foot has always given me problems. I'm sure its plantar fascietis or something of the likes of it. Its just plain painful right now, whatever the problem is. I've tried to run through it over the past few months, but as my mileage is increasing, I just don't know that I can continue to do so.

I'm thinking...this is a really tough decision to make. I'll see how I feel as the week progresses.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Workout Results 7/15

This was a speedwork day. Kathy and I met at the track and we warmed up by walking a mile around the track. The instructions were to run 8-10 laps around the track about 3/4 of the way around, and then walk the last quarter of the lap and repeat. It was okay, but I struggled, mostly because it was really humid, so the air was really heavy. It was tough for me to breathe. But we did it.

Workout results: 52 minutes (includes warm up and cool down). 3.45 miles. HR average 134 (76%), Max HR 183 (103%). 357 calories burned.

We've moved the long run up to Friday since I'll be leaving for vacation on friday afternoon. We have 10 miles to do and we are meeting at a metro park to do it. I'm looking forward to running somewhere different, so I think it will be a good run.

Thank god for Kathy though. I could NEVER do this without her. I REALLY did not feel up to doing the speedwork and easily could have talked myself out of doing it. But knowing that I had to go because Kathy was going made me go and of course, I'm glad now that I did. Having a runnning partner makes all the difference in the world, and I would encourage anyone who is training for a marathon to get a partner (you just can't have Kathy!). :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Workout Results 7/13

Today was a four mile run. I ran it inside on the treadmill at the Y because I didn't want to run outside in the heat of the day. It actually went pretty well. I took it nice and easy. I was a little worried because I haven't had a day of rest since doing the long run saturday, but the run was actually pretty good. Tomorrow is my rest day from running. It might be a complete rest day, but I was hoping to do some strength training.

Workout results: 4 miles. 54 minutes. 458 calories burned. Avg HR 151 (85%), Max HR 170 (96%)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Workout Results 7/11 - 7/12

The long run on saturday was an 8 mile run. I suppose you could say we lucked out on the weather because it didn't start raining until after we finished our run, but it was really humid out, rain or no rain! We started out the run way too fast. What the heck was I thinking? I am NOT doing that again. It was tough enough with the humidity, but add in the way-too-fast pace, the fact that I ate like crap the day before, and it was basically a recipe for disaster. Oh, and we can also add in that there were some hills in this run!

The first half of the run wasn't all that bad, to be honest, but the last half couldn't be done fast enough. I had to do a lot more walking than usual. I also forgot to take my ibuprofin before the run, so my knees were kind of feeling it too. Anyhow, lesson learned. I need to really slow the pace down, ESPECIALLY for the long runs, and I need to adjust for the heat as well.

Then Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest. But I'm having to move all my runs up this week because we're leaving for our vacation on Friday. So since I'll be doing the long run Friday morning, I need to move everything up. So Sunday morning, I did a five mile run.

I thought that it might be pretty darn hard to do the 5 mile run after doing an 8 mile just 24 hours earlier, but really, it wasn't too bad. I kept the pace REALLY slow. In fact, my garmin showed me running anywhere from an 11 - 12:30 pace. But I didn't care. My goal was actually to keep my HR down, and it took going that slow to keep it to a reasonable level. Plus, it was hot. The temp guage at home said it was 64 when I left, but honestly, with the sun beating down, it felt at least 10 degrees hotter. But really, it was a good run. However, about 2 miles into it, my right foot started hurting. In fact, it was hurting enough that I had to walk. I thought I would have to give up the run, and hoped to even just make it home by walking. I didn't have a choice because I didn't have a phone with. I was limping. But after about 5 minutes of walking, I tried to run again. No dice. Walked a couple minutes more, and then tried running again. I wondered if the foot was hurting from the way I was running because I was running so slow. So I started running faster, and sure enough, the pain completely disappeared. I've had this happen before. When I run slow, I'm MUST be doing something that is putting extra pressure on that foot.

Anyhow, I eventually slowed it down again, and it was fine. No problems for the rest of the run. Then Sunday evening we went out for our weekly "family walk". We were about a quarter mile from home, and all of a sudden the bottom of the right foot started to kill me. Out of nowhere. The pain this time was closer to the heel though. I had to stop walking for just a few seconds , and then the pain went away. Anyhow, I don't know what is going on. I hope it will be okay for the runs later this week.

So, the plan this week is a 4 mile run today, Strength training Tuesday, Speedwork Wednesday, Day of rest Thursday, and 10 mile run Friday.

Workout results from Saturday: 8 miles, 1 hr, 43 minutes. 950 calories burned. Average HR 156 (89%), max 194 (110%).

Workout results from Sunday: 5 miles. 1 hr 5 minutes. 523 calories burned. Avg. HR 149 (84%), max 170 (96%).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Workout Results 7/9

Not a whole lot to report. Today was a scheduled 4 mile run. My body was actually feeling like it needed today to be a day of rest, but I didn't want to move the run to friday because its the day before the long run, and I knew I would need that day to rest.

I ran inside on the treadmill for the four miles. My HR was way up the entire run. Probably because my body is feeling it. It's the last mile, I played around with the speed on the treadmill. I figured for the last mile, I'd try and bring my HR down to a reasonable level. Like see if i could get it into the low 150's. Most of the run, I'd only been running at a speed of 5.1, and the HR fluctuated betweek 162 and 169. So I brought the speed down to 4.6. It only went down into the low 160's. Sometimes it would go down to 159 or 158, but geez louise, I do my walk breaks at 4.0, so its not like I really could have run that much slower! I'm guessing its a sign of overtraining or something. Not sure.

I was thinking yesterday about the whole HR training. Phil Maffetone has this program for HR training where you really need to slow the running down to bring the HR down so eventually you can run faster at a lower HR. I think after the marathon, and as I enter into the winter months when there aren't races and events, that I'm going to focus on getting the HR down.

Workout Stats: 4 mile run on treadmill. 50 minutes. 450 calories burned. Average HR 156 (88%), HR max 174.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Workout Results 7/8

The speedwork session was the plan for the day. Kathy and I met at the track and started warming up by walking and slow jogging around the track. When the others showed up, we started the speedwork, doing fast runs on the straightaways, and then walking the curves. We did that for two miles (8 times around the track). The total workout was 52 minutes long, and 4 miles. I burned 461 calories. My average HR was 154, and my max HR was 186.

My knees were hurting a bit when we first started the workout, but after I got warmed up, they were just fine. What is up with that? Overall, I'm feeling good though. I really am enjoying the speedwork.

Thursday is a 4 mile run day, and then saturday is the group run, and we're scheduled to run 8 miles. I sure hope the rain holds off on saturday morning. I've yet to do any running in the rain, and I can't imagine that 8 miles running in the rain would be much fun!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Workout Results 7/7

Today was a scheduled cross-training day. I want to make a big effort to get the weights in twice a week, so it was a strength training day for me. I decided to use an old Firm tape to workout to (Tough Tape 2). Unlike most of my other Firm tapes, it does not incorporate cardio, it is simply Strength Training. Well, I don't know how many years its been since I used it, but it has been awhile. I forgot how dated the thing is. First, the women were wearing panty hose and leotards, and the old reebok high top tennis shoes. Definitely back in the 80's! lol! Anyhow, I hated the workout when it first started. But once I got into it, it was a really good workout. I was working up a sweat, and I wasn't even using heavy weights. Because it's been awhile since I did strength training, I decided to go lighter than I normally would have. But it's a good thing. By the time we finished arms and shoulders, my arms were shaking. In fact, Zach wanted to play some basketball when I was done, and I barely had the strength to shoot the ball!

I think I'm going to look for another type of ST video though. I need something more current. I have a Cathe one, which is pretty good. But I need some variety. My Firm ones, the more current ones, are good, but I think I want something that is more focused on ST and not the mix of cardio and ST.

Workout stats: 36 minute workout. I didn't wear my HR monitor so no other stats to report!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Workout Results 7/06

I had a four mile run yesterday. I had to run it on the treadmill because of the temps outside. This was a tough run. I think the race on saturday had an impact. I decided that I had wanted to make it an "easy run" day, so figured I would slow down the pace to keep my HR down. Well, my HR just didn't want to stay down. I ended up running at 4.7 mph just to keep it reasonable (in the mid to high 150's). And I really thought that I was going to have to stop around the two mile point. I just didn't have it in me. It was one of those runs where my legs were feeling heavy, but worse yet, I just couldn't get my breathing pattern down right.

But once I hit 2 miles, things started to fall into place. I kept the pace slow. I played around a little with ways to get my HR down. Interestingly enough, a slight difference in where I hold my arms made a big impact on decreasing my HR. I played with it several times. If I kept my arms lower, rather than at a 90 degree angle, my HR dropped anywhere from 5-10 numbers! Keeping them lower seemed to relax my upper body more which I think is what caused the HR to lower. It's definitely something I need to start paying more attention to when I'm running outside. I will be really interested in hearing what they say if they do a form clinic in our training group.

I think another reason my HR may have been up is due to overtraining from the run on saturday. I think my body probably needed a little more time to recover after doing that run, but oh well. Today is a cross training day. I'm going to do weights this evening.

Workout results: 4.55 mile run. 59 minutes. 5 acceleration glides. 495 calories burned. Avg HR 150 (85%), max 174 (98%).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dieting and Marathon Training

Although I've not really gained anything while I've been running, I've not lost either. I had hopes that with all the miles that I'd be putting in for the marathon training that just MAYBE I could drop a few pounds. Maybe those 5-10 pounds that cling desperately to my body? But so far, no progress. I know part of the problem. I've been journaling my food for YEARS. It's an old Weight Watcher habit that I've not been able to break. And I know that I'm probably consuming too many calories. It's all about calories in versus calories out, right? Maybe.

I did an experiment a few weeks ago when I decided to do a one week free trial on Weight Watchers. The Weight Watcher program has you count points, but I tracked both points and calories. My daily calories came out to around 1000 calories a day with sticking to the alloted points, and I could add more in for the exercise I did on any given day. But honestly, I was starving on that plan! And I had much less energy making running very difficult.

With some playing around with the calories, I determined that I could lose on around 1500 calories a day. That seems to be my magic number. That is a slow loss too, at about a half a pound to a pound a week. I'm actually good with that. My problem since figuring that out has been sticking to that number. But I really feel the need to focus on the diet now because I feel like the extra weight is weighing me down, and I'd feel so much better with shedding some of it.

So I'm now beginning to focus on the eating. I think I do pretty well, actually, with eating healthy foods. I've got slumps now and then, but when I look back to how I was a year ago, or 3 years ago, its a drastic change. Slowly but surely I will get to where I should be in my food choices. But for now, I'm very pleased at how well I do. Where I fall short is sticking to the 1500 calories. I am a girl that likes quantity! I like to feel full and hate feeling hungry.

I figured that now is the best time to address the food issue during my training, because honestly, I have read so much about people gaining weight while marathon training. That is the LAST thing that I want to happen! Right now, even though the scale isn't showing a gain in weight, I feel that my clothes are fitting tighter. Oddly enough, I took my measurements last weekend just to see HOW much bigger I've gotten, and the measurements were the same as a couple of months ago, but I just FEEL bigger. I wonder if I'm losing muscle tone from not lifting like I was. I'd like to add in some weight training, but I'll admit, its tough. With four days of running, I'm hard pressed to find the time to get in the weights. But it looks like I'm going to have to make it a priority.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Race Report

I ran in a 10 mile Fourth of July Race this morning. Our long run called for a 7 mile run this morning, but hey, what's 3 more miles? :) I had run 2 miles on friday morning, as I was supposed to get three miles in on thursday and just didn't feel like it. I figured those three extra miles make up for that one mile I didn't run earlier in the week.

The race went well. Kathy and I finished in just under 2 hrs. We were really moving. We did the 4:1 run/walk, although missed a few of the walks early on. Anyhow, I'm pertty happy we finished in just under 2 hours. Our time was somewhere around 1:58:15. We were at the back of the pack, but we weren't the last runners to finish!

Running stats: 10 miles, 1:58:15. 1136 calories burned. HR average 92% (lol!...yeah...we were movin'!). Our overall average pace including the walk breaks came out to be 11:50.

And I felt pretty good after the race. I did, however, take a two hour nap this afternoon! I think that's because I got up at 5:15 this morning, not because I ran 10 miles! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The First Speed Work Training

Last night was the first night of Speed Work. Really, I tried to get out of doing this. Earlier in the week I sent Eric an email and said that I'd read that first time marathons shouldn't do any speedwork as it will lead to injury etc. He wrote back and explained why we're doing it, what we're doing, etc. and essentially convinced me that I need to do it. At least try it. So I decided I would go and if I hated it, I just wouldn't do it again.

So last night we were meeting at the store and running a one mile run to the track for our warm up. As I was driving to the store, I was wondering why I was dreading it so much. The harsh reality was that I was thinking how stupid it was that I was a 43 year old woman on my way to go run on the middle school track. And it just seemed "foolish". Then I started thinking how foolish it seemed that at 43, I was going to try and run a marathon. THEN, I started remembering everything about the mental aspect of training for an running a marathon, and how I need to get the negative thoughts out of my head, so I quickly made those thoughts go away. And by the way, I'm not going to "TRY and run a marathon". I'm actually going to RUN a marathon. I know I can do it.

Anyhow, Kathy and I ran to the school, and we did one lap around the track before Eric showed up. He gave us our instructions which were to run 8 laps around at an increased pace, then slow down for 200 meters, and then start the next lap. I honestly didn't think that I could do 8 laps. I wore my Garmin (and again, let me say how much I LOVE that thing!). When we were running, our laps were in the 8:30 to 9:00 min. per mile pace. So we were moving (well, at least for me!). I was really feeling the workout by the time we were done. But I have to say that I LOVED doing this. First, although it was hard, I actually felt better picking up the pace because it seemed to really loosen me up. My back, which usually really hurts in the lower back after a run, felt great. I need to look into why my back seems to tense up so much when I'm running slower. But it just felt great.

My knees had been REALLY achy prior to the run, and I was afraid that doing the speed work would worsen the knees, but actually, my knees feel really good today. Much better than yesterday. So overall, it was a GREAT workout.

Workout stats: 1 hr. 11 minutes. Calories burned = 600. Avg. HR 150, max 224 (yikes!). 5.65 miles run total.