Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Weekend

Yet again, I chickened out of a 5k.  The thought of 5k pace right now, even if it is only for a 400m lap around the track, makes me want to puke.  I'll get over that soon, I hope.  I missed the Running of the Bulls 5k Saturday.  Part of the reason was that I had traveled on back to back weeks and I was just tired and out of sorts.

I did what the plan called for on Saturday, 16 miles.  I didn't get after that 16 very hard.  I ran into a friend on the streets of Athens and ran his pace for about 5 miles.  After that, I did pick up the pace a bit, but it was getting hot.

The Sunday 10 miler just keeps going.  Running seems to be strong in the Athens area.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Do Over

I'm glad that I got a do-over this week.  Last week was so miserably bad.  No sleep, working late, terrible food, and 2 key missed workouts.  This week was much better.  I somehow made time to fit my runs in.  I had to cut one run a couple miles short because of time constraints, but I got all the quality work in on that one anyway.

Yesterday I did a 14 mile run along the Olentangy River.  There is a really nice greenway that goes along the Olentangy and Scioto rivers for miles and miles.  I did an out an back and negative split by 4 minutes.  I finished strong with miles in the 7:20s and felt great.  I especially thought the run was a good one since it followed a tempo run the day before.  The lower temperatures and humidity make a huge difference.  Still, though, 3:00:00 ain't in my 2010 Crystal Ball.

I've done all my running in the evenings this week because I've been traveling and working early mornings to coincide with the work day in India (great).  I MUCH prefer morning runs.  An evening 14 miler when you don't finish work until 6:30 will really mess up your eating schedule!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekly Report

I'll do anything to put off doing this weekly report that I have to do for work, including posting on this blog.  Ugh.  What did I do this week?  I worked.  Something tells me that won't be good enough. Anyway...

Today, I did a 5 mile tempo run.  The schedule called for 10 miles total with 5 at tempo pace.  Because of time constraints, I had to shorten that to 8 total.  I still managed 5 at (almost) tempo pace, 6:48 per mile.  It wasn't terrible.  It wasn't a suffer fest like a race, but I wanted to stop at 3 miles, at 4 miles, and at 4.5 miles.  But I didn't stop.  It was just a matter of being tough and finishing the run even though it was uncomfortable.  Today's run was 95% mental.  It was a little warm and muggy for the run, too, at 80F and 55% RH.  That's not North Alabama heat and humidity, but it's not exactly comfortable, either.

I'm considering 6:45 my tempo pace right now.  I am not anywhere near 3:00:00 marathon shape.  I won't be there by December, either.  Oh well.  I'll just try to run 26.2 miles as fast as I can and see what that number is.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cross Country Running Park

Believe it or not, before today, I had never run the course at the Cross Country Running Park in Huntsville.  Yeah, I know that's hard to believe.  I've never done the Sprint Tri.  I've never done the Recover from the Holidays 50k.  And, I have never done one of the summer cross country runs.  I really wanted to this summer, but with my injury, it just never worked out.

I suppose now I have officially been inducted into the Huntsville Track Club.

I volunteered to record splits for the run portion of the 30th annual HiWAAY Sprint Triathlon today.  It was a great event today, and I admire George DeWitt and all he did to pull this off.

After the last runner was in and we had cleaned up the tents, tables, etc. I took off running with Brett Wilks and Joe Francica on the cross country course.  Man, that's not an easy run.  I planned to do 16 miles, but it was just too hot and I really didn't have that much time.  So I only did 10.

Besides, I realized that I got confused looking at my calendar and I'm a week ahead in my marathon training.  So, THIS WEEK DIDN'T COUNT!!! :)  I'm repeating this week's schedule next week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Everything Counts

I need to re-remind myself of that.  I had an awful week in terms of diet and training.

Business travel is not as glamorous as some people think. There is no glamor in being prodded onto a metal tube like cattle.  There is no glamor in conducting business on a cell phone surrounded by strangers who may be listening to your conversation and noisy loudspeakers blaring gate change and TSA announcements. There is no glamor in cancelled flights and running from gate to gate trying to get the next flight to your destination.  There is no glamor in waiting in line and waiting on hold at the same time just to see which queue is shorter to re-book a flight.  There is no glamor in flying during dinner hours and landing after all the restaurants have closed and your options are a 24-hour drive-thru grease bomb or a vending machine.

In spite of all of that, I don't really mind business travel except for one thing.  You see, while I'm actually in the air or on the customer site, nobody is doing my job.  If someone would take care of my daily duties while I travel (and if my family could accompany me on every trip), I'd love it.  So that's what I do in the evenings in the hotel -- catch up for the day.  And that totally messes up my sleep patterns and my diet.

I had a horrible week of nasty fast foods and I took two zero mile days because I simply was too tired to run.

I wish this week didn't count.

But the up side is that I did get in an 11 miler with 4.5 miles at tempo pace on a surprisingly hilly route right along the Minneapolis side of the Mississippi River.  The run felt great, was very scenic, and I was able to hold about a 6:45 pace for the 4.5 miles.  It turns out that 75F and 47% humidity feels a LOT different from 77F and 95% humidity.  I wish I could have found a way to run in the morning when the temp was 58F.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Second long run

I planned to run the Brooke Hill Run for Awareness 5k this morning.  I ate a healthy, light dinner.  I got in bed early.  I set out my Fleet Feet Racing uniform.  I packed a change of clothes.  I packed some post race nutrition.  I set my alarm so that I would have time to register and do a full 3-4 mile warm up.  I even visualized finishing strong in blistering heat.  I had done all of the pre-race preparation (Well, except for the work on the track at 5k pace.  Details.)

When the alarm went off this morning, I just did NOT want to race.  I wanted to run, but I didn't want to race.  I feel bad because I had told the race director, a friend and Fleet Feet team mate, that I would be there.  Then I just wimped out.  I don't really want to know how badly I'm out of shape, I guess.  Racing a 5k would expose just how slow I am right now.  I was really afraid that I wouldn't be able to break 22 minutes and that I might lose my breakfast trying to do that.  I totally chickened out today. Call me a girl. Call me a coward.  I'm not proud of that.

Instead, I slept an extra hour and then hit the road from my house and ran a 16 miler.  The schedule called for 17 with 8 at MP.  HAH!  There was just no way possible to pull that off in today's heat.  I ran 16, and barely held on to an 8:20 pace at the end.  I was drenched in sweat, miserable, tired, hot, and discouraged after today's run.  I know that sounds negative, so I'll follow that up with this.  I'm glad I ran and I enjoyed seeing all the people I saw.  I mixed up the route a bit and saw some old sights from a new perspective.  (I've lived around Athens for 36 of my 38 years.  There are no new sights for me!)  It was a good run, but my body was ready to stop long before the run was over.

I guess my expectations are not realistic right now.  I decided to compare my runs this year with my runs at the same time last year.  I was quite amazed to find that my times, distances, and paces are nearly identical! I'm marginally faster this year, by less than 10 seconds per mile. The big difference?  It's been consistently 10 to 15 degrees warmer for most of those runs this year!  (Yes, I am a nerd that logs the temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed during my runs. So, that's not a subjective "it's hotter this year".  It has really been hotter this year.) So, I just need to stop complaining and thinking negatively and take what the weather gives me.  It's time to not be discouraged any more.  It's past time to start believing that I can accomplish my goals.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keeping on...

This has been a tough summer.  The heat and humidity started early, and with only a couple of days here and there, it has stayed consistently hot and humid.  Hopefully training through this will pay off.  In a way, I hate that I missed the early part of the summer.  I think gutting out a few more weeks of this brutal heat and humidity would have made me stronger.  That said, I'm ready for fall.  I'm ready to see if it's just the heat or if I have really lost that much conditioning.

Tuesday's run was about a 2.75 mile warm up, a 21 minute tempo run (6:44 overall pace, very consistent mile splits, 43, 44, 46), and a 2.7 mile cool down.  That 6:44 pace was much more difficult than it should have been. I could have run that pace for a little longer, but the heat was bearing down!  It was 77F with RH near 95%. I left pools in the kitchen floor (of course I cleaned up) as I was making my chocolate milk. I don't remember ever being that disgustingly sweaty and gross.

Today, I did spinning to give my legs a break from the pounding and to be ready for a big mid-week run tomorrow.  I followed spinning with a very lackadaisical effort with weights in the gym.  Is a lackadaisical effort better than no effort?  I hope so.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I met Shane in Decatur to attempt a long run.  I had no confidence.  I know that Shane is in much better shape than I am, and even when I'm in great shape, he's much faster than I am. The plan was for 18, but we did 16.  Wow, I was surprised.

I had several things going for me on this run.  I took a couple of easy days before today's run.  We had a small break in the weather (though it was HOT at the end, like 85F or so).  The pace of the run was modest (probably painfully slow for my speedster partner), and I fueled early and often.  But still, I made it 16 miles with no pain and I felt GREAT after the run.

I think I'm ready to continue with this marathon training thing.  Whether or not 3:00 is realistic still remains to be seen, but I feel ready to train.  I'm kinda excited about this.  I hated taking the time off.  I like running and I like higher mileage.  I broke the 50 mile mark this week with two days off.  I don't feel the least bit beat up for it, either.  (I know that will change.  Marathon training catches up with you and you inevitably go through a phase of feeling completely drained.)

Let's start week 2.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hot Hot Hot.

I was going to try to do 12 miles today.  I know I said that I was going to continue base building before marathon training and maybe do a 12 or 16 week plan instead of an 18 plan. Well, I looked at my training and realized that I have basically done the first of an 18 week program already.  If I did 12 today, I'd be right on schedule.

So I tried to do 12 today.  I got 11 done and probably could have done 12, but I ran out of time.  I looked at my watch at 9 miles and realized that I had to go straight home.  It turned out that home was about 1.6 miles away and if I was going to do 10.6, I may as well do 11, so I ran around my block to click off 11.

I'll say that it was as miserable as I ever remember a training run to be.  I struggled mightily to average an 8:17 pace.  I was drenched, hot, and tired.  But my leg felt great!

So, I may start marathon training this week after all.  I kinda already have.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Wow, I've gotten slow.  I attempted a tempo run this morning.  So, I knew that I wouldn't be cranking out 6:30 tempo runs like I was doing in prep for the Country Music Marathon.  That just wasn't a realistic expectation because I took what amounted to about 5 weeks off and because it is STINKING HOT!  So I opted for a more modest 7:00 pace.

I was struggling after 2 miles at that pace.  Really.  Struggling.  But I made it 3 miles at about a 6:55 overall pace. But I couldn't have maintained that for much longer.  I have work to do.  I'm pretty sure that I need to give up on 3:00 this year. It just doesn't seem realistic at this point.

I was glad to have Matt there to endure the misery with me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Marathon Training

An 18 week schedule for Rocket City would begin today.  I still feel like I need to do some more base building before I venture into a steady diet of tempo runs, mid-week 15 milers, and marathon pace long runs.   So for now, I'm still doing mostly easy runs and building my mileage back up. I'll re-assess my fitness and general feeling in a couple more weeks and may go with a 16 week schedule.

Another option is a 12 week schedule.  That's what I did for Nashville, and it worked out very well.  However, I rolled into that 12 week schedule with a very big, solid base.  I'm not sure that 12 weeks will get me to a PR in December.

The 10 miler was hot and humid, but fun today.