Thursday, September 28, 2006
My motto this week - "anything is better than nothing"!
Since there's not much to say today, check out this article about Lance Armstrong and his training for the 2006 ING New York Marathon (my all-time favorite marathon!):
Run long & Livestrong!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Yeah right...easier said than done!
I picked up the kiddo after work. To save time, we went through the drive-thru at McD's on the way home....something I prefer not to do, but felt it would be okay just this once. You begin to realize that you've done this "just this once" routine way too often when your almost 2-year old can say "McDonald's" and "french fries" before they know colors, shapes or their ABC's. I thought about this as I was driving from the pay window to the pick up window and all at once felt like a bad mommy. At least I knew she had a nutritious breakfast. And, I always pack nutritious lunches, even if she doesn't always eat them...that made me feel a little better.
By the time we made it home, ate our meals and got the kiddo to sleep (she did not want to go to sleep!), it was almost 9 pm. Then, after making lunches and getting clothes ready for the next day, it was 9:20 pm! Getting that 20 minutes on the treadmill was not going to happen. I have an accounting test on Saturday, so that is my priority right now. Another little speed bump encountered in the training schedule.
As I was getting my books out, I was questioning my sanity. Why am I going to grad school? Why did I think I had time to train for a marathon at the same time? Why does the hubby have to have an opposite schedule? Why won't my child go to sleep? When will I get a full night's sleep? Grrr... Then, I took a deep breath and realized all this complaining was getting my nowhere. So, I got over it and studied.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Holy cow, I am working on my case study using the laptop my wonderful hubby bought me for school and I notice that my network connection light turned on. Houston, we have internet...from my kitchen table!
Oh the joys of a wireless world! Now, I better get back to work before the neighbors are on to me.
Run long & Livestrong!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I started my run with Houston Fit. We ran from the park to the GRB on Allen Parkway/Lamar, stopping at Sabine for cold water and gatorade (thank you coaches!!!). It was the usual hot, muggy weather and I was hating life by our 2nd 1 minute walk break. I was already breathing hard, extremely sweaty and wondering if I was going to hang for a full 20. This was about the same time we saw Channel 11's Lisa Foronda. As we started getting closer to downtown, we began to notice a nice breeze which gave us a little boost. I ran the entire run with Francis, who I trained with for the 2003 NYC Marathon and Coach Joanne ran with us for a few miles as well.
Upon arriving at the GRB, we did our customary touching of the wall and made our way back to Sabine. We crossed the bridge, taking a few minutes to enjoy the pretty new blue lights and headed back on the Memorial side. We were a bit stumped when we reached the Waugh (aka bat bridge)/Memorial intersection. We stopped to figure out the "clover leaf" we were supposed to run and ended up asking another runner for directions. Basically, here is how you run the clover leaf:
- Go underneath Waugh Dr. and cross-over on ramp to get on the clover leaf
- Run on the inside & run each circle clock-wise
- start by running down the first turn and cross underneath Waugh Drive on the sidewalk
- Run up the grass on the other side which will take you back up to the top of the bridge.
- Cross the bridge and run down the Northeast curve and cross underneath Waugh on the sidewalk
- Run up the final curve (Northwest) and cross back over the bridge.
Got that? After the clover leaf, we ran across the footbridge at Jackson Hill...okay, by then we were walking up hills. Then, we followed Jackson Hill to Blossom (hooray for more water & gatorade!), took Blossom to Crestwood, Crestwood to Memorial Dr back to the park. Knowing that I've been a slacker lately, I talked my good friend Marlina into meeting me at the park for 2 more loops. I figured if I had someone with me, I would have to follow my plan to run 2+ loops around the park. Sure enough, Marlina was there and ready to run. Unfortunately, by this point, I was doing my best survival shuffle and not quite making the full five minute run segments.
The 1st loop wasn't too bad. I did walk more than I should have, but finished feeling relatively good. 16 miles down...my longest run since the Austin Marathon in February! We went for one more loop and I will admit, I did walk quite a bit. I felt bad making Marlina walk so much, but she was a good sport about it. We were lucky, because Luke's Locker was there with cold water & gatorade...thanks Luke's!!! Marlina is great at making interesting conversation, so that certainly made the loops go faster. We finished our second loop and ran a bit farther to get back to our cars.
Afterwards, I was tired, hot and sweaty, but overall not feeling too shabby. My legs were tired but strong. I noticed through the entire 2nd loop that my shoulders were really sore...probably because I tend to slouch when I'm tired. Overall, I wish I had not walked so much on that 2nd loop and I was still a little bummed that I was a bit short of the 21 miles. To make up for it, I ran a little over a mile on my treadmill when I got home...I know, I'm a dork! It's all psychological I think...the more miles I run during training, the more prepared I "think" I am.
So, the really long runs are over for me. Now, it's time to enjoy the taper (thanks Erin for putting that into perspective for me, it helped)!! Chicago will be my last marathon for awhile or at least until grad school is over in 2008. My goal from here on out is to just enjoy the rest of my runs and savor the moment I cross that finish line! I can't wait!
Friday, September 22, 2006
On a sad note, please keep the family of Officer Rodney Johnson in your thoughts & prayers.
Run long & Livestrong!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tonight, I did another 20 minute core workout for the arms, stomach and back. I skipped the lunges and squats because 1) they hurt my right knee (making it difficult to run) and 2) I figured my legs would be getting a good workout when I do my 20-miler this weekend.
Run long & Livestrong!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I woke up this morning with a start! I had forgotten to turn on my alarm! I squinted in the direction of my alarm clock. Whew, it was 5:05...not bad, I had meant to wake up at 5am. Then, the kiddo (who decided at 2 am that she wanted to sleep with me) stirred a little. I was afraid of getting up for fear of waking her. I remained still for about 5 more minutes and finally pulled myself out of bed. By the time I put my contacts in and threw on my running clothes it was around 5:15. Then, I did the usual hemming/hawing routine for another 5 minutes while stretching and flipping through tv stations. Finally around 5:20, I started running. I ran the 1st 20 minutes at an 11:30 pace, then toward the end of my run I did something odd...I sped up.
First, I just inched up the pace to 10:30. I did that for about 5 minutes. Then, for the last 5 minutes I increased the speed to a 10 minute pace. I was sweating profusely by the time I was finished, but it felt good to run faster. I felt like I was working hard. I don't know why I did that, or if it was a good or bad thing to do, but it made the run a little more interesting - that can't be a bad thing I suppose.
That's it for now, have a great Tuesday!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I managed to fit in 40 minutes on the treadmill before hitting the accounting problems. I have a test in 2-weeks, so I am getting nervous.
School all day! I knew I had an Accounting test in 2 weeks. What I just discovered is that I also have my 1st case study due the same day! I did manage to have a yummy lunch at Barnaby's and stopped at the downtown Foley's on my way home to look for some cute sneakers to wear around town while sight-seeing in Chicago. I know, I know...downtown Foley's is actually now Macy's. However, I have been going there since I was a little girl...my "Nanny" (Mom's Mom) used to take me there during the Christmas holidays and during the summer for back to school shopping. I will ALWAYS call that location FOLEY'S! I remember the grand window displays, the restaurant upstairs, the bargain basement and hot chocolate at Woolsworth...yes, I am that old! I did find some cute sneaks (which I ended up getting at a different Foley's/Macy's)...for 20% off too, thanks to my coupon!
Okay, I was stalling with my Foley's chit chat. Today, 11 miles was on the schedule. I did the usual bargaining with myself routine and decided that if I did 3 loops, I would be okay. I was dreading my run all day on Saturday. I mean, I have been getting up at 5 am all week to either run or do school stuff. I really felt like have a glass of wine or two Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday (well, as much as you can sleep in with an 1 1/2 year old early riser!). I even expressed my discontent to my hubby after school on Sat. Naturally, I didn't have wine or sleep in.
Sunday, I woke up later than I meant to. I couldn't find my favorite running shorts, which meant I had to wear the blues ones that ride up in the crotch area (TMI, sorry!), I could not find my watch for 5/1s, we were out of Gatorade and I realized when I arrived at the park that I did not bring a Gu. Yeah, I know, blah, blah, waaa, waaa! So, I again bargained with myself. I did this throughout my entire 1st loop...and, I decided to do 2 loops and go home. That way, I wouldn't be rushed trying to get the kiddo to our play group. Yeah, well at least that's what I convinced myself.
I'll be honest, this runner girl is getting burnt out. I am tired of training for a marathon. (I don't know how some folks manage to run 6 days a week...I couldn't do it!) I had talked about maybe squeezing in Sunmart or White Rock just a few weeks ago, but the thought of training beyond 10/22 no longer sounds appealing. Lucky for me, I have classes (and a final) the day of Sunmart, plus a final and a project due the following week. Looks like I'll be too busy with school for either run. Not that I'll completely stop running after Chicago. Heaven knows, I can't live without running! But, I will definitely shift my focus to family and school and getting in a workout a few times per week, rather than family, school and marathon training. I'm hoping only run a couple of times each week and mix in some other forms of exercise as well. Oh well, I'll figure it all out after Chicago. Only 5 more weeks!
Run long & Livestrong!
Friday, September 15, 2006
Tonight, the Houston Fit schedule = 40 minute tempo run. Well see...I have a bunch of accounting problems to do, so it will all depend on what time the kiddo is in bed and I have my school stuff together.
Runlong & Livestrong!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
After work, I headed to the park. With all the talk of cool fronts, I expected it to be slightly cooler than the 94 degrees displayed on my car's external temp gauge. But, the humidity was low and there was a nice breeze, so it wasn't too bad. The last time I ran outdoors after work was about a month ago. It was with the Night Crawlers at Lukes and Felix warned us about the 100 degree heat. I cannot remember the last time I ran at the park after work...it's been quite awhile! (BTW, this morning's temp was amazing..would have loved to run!!!)
Houston Fit's schedule said 35 minutes easy and that's what I did. I forgot my watch, so I have no idea of my exact time or splits. I do know that I usually finish a loop in 32 minutes, so I jogged past my starting point for another .25 and back. I think I've gotten used to running in the mornings, because the warmer temps made me feel as if I was going really slow...who knows, maybe I was. It did feel great to be outdoors mid-week, rather than on the treadmill, but I do admit that I prefer to run in the mornings now. By the time I got home, the kiddo was ready for her bath and bed. I'd much rather have the extra hour in the evenings with her!
Conditions - Memorial Park - 94 w/slight humidity
Total Run Time - approx 35 min
Total Distance - slightly more than 3 miles
Pace - ???
Run Long & Livestrong!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Good news, I just found out that the "Wings Over Houston" airshow is featuring the Airforce Thunderbirds this year! Okay, so maybe I'm a dork, but I love planes/jets and the Thunderbirds are my favorite air demonstration team! And, they have a female pilot for the 1st time ever!
Bad news, this year's airshow will be held on October 21 & 22nd...the same weekend as the Chicago Marathon. Bummer!
Thanks to me pushing my snooze button a couple of times, I only had time to run about 23 minutes instead of the 30 easy on the schedule. If I have time after the kiddo goes to bed tonight, I may try to squeeze in another short run. However, my Accounting class is kicking my butt, so any extra time tonight might need to be spent reading and working out my homework problems. We actually have class again this weekend, so I have less time to read all the chapters and I am already feeling really behind! I know that the more I stick to my training schedule, the better my run will be, so I am worried that my cheating on my training schedule is going to really make this marathon a tough one.
Conditions - Treadmill
Total Running Time - 23 minutes
Distance - 2.04 miles
Pace - 11:15
Run long & Livestrong!
Monday, September 11, 2006
I am sure I'm no different than any other American in that I remember every detail about what I was doing on the morning of 9/11/01. I pulled out an old journal I used to write in and looked at my entry from that day. I still get goosebumps from watching the footage and reading my account of that day. I don't know which images affected me more - seeing the gaping hole in the WTC, seeing the looks of horror on the faces of those who witnessed the events firsthand, the images of people holding the missing person signs around the WTC site, the dust-covered fire fighters searching through the rubble, or the images of candle light ceremonies to honor the fallen from around the world. I know it's been 5 years and the country and the world have moved on, but at the same time it's an event we will always remember. We should never forget it.
So today, I had planned to wake up and run a loop around the park...something I love to do! Then, after work, I would spend every spare second with the kiddo and hubby...another thing that I love to do. That's what the day symbolizes to me now - a day to do all the things you love. To treasure life and everything in it. When the terrorists attacked that morning, they wanted us to be afraid. In my opinion, the best way to show them that they didn't win would be to go out and live life doing all the things we love to do. Finally, once the kiddo is tucked away in bed, I will have a Milky Way. You see, there's someone I know who lost her husband on 9/11 and Milky Way was his absolute favorite candy bar. In honor of his memory, she asked that everyone have a Milky Way today and while eating it, not think about work, bills and everyday stresses. Instead, enjoy it while thinking of all the things you're grateful for. So tonight, I will think about how lucky I am to have a great hubby, a sweet daughter, a job, a roof over my head, and strong legs that keep running just to name a few.
Unfortunately, the kiddo had a high temp again, so the day isn't exactly going as planned. I'm working from home before taking her to the doc. But, I will enjoy spending the day with her and I will still have my Milky Way!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Sunday, I woke up around 5:30 and headed to the park for 4 loops. I was determined to actually make all 4 loops. If you remember my last Sunday 12-miler, it turned into a 9-miler and then into a 6-miler. I have a way of talking myself out of running the entire distance when I'm running alone. This time I decided to not even think about it. I was doing 4 loops and that was it. End of story. No negotiations.
My philosophy was to run at a comfortable pace and just take the 5/1 segments one at a time. Off I went, Galloway-ing it for 4 loops. The 1st loop went well. I felt terrific and energized. Well, that is once I got over my initial bitching and moaning about the humidity. The temps felt great (around 76), but the air felt thick. I was feeling gross by the end of my 1st mile. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know that I always complain about the heat, humidity, etc. Luckily, I usually get over it and just keep running. I think I would complain every time unless the weather was absolutely perfect...60 degrees and 30% humidity. Unfortunately, those days are far and few between in Houston, so you will hear me complain more often than not. Sorry!
I stopped at my car between loops and allowed myself 1 minute to grab some gatorade, water & Gu. My second loop felt very good and my third loop felt as good, if not better than the second! The fourth was a bit harder, but overall I felt strong the entire way. And, I checked my splits at every mile...much to my surprise, they were pretty consistent...between 11:27 & 11:32 every single time with the exception of mile 11. On mile 11, I must have slowed down quite a bit without realizing it, because I clocked it at 11:48. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this! Usually, when I run the long run with Houston Fit, we tend to keep a 12 - 12 1/2 minute pace. I think faster time was due to 1) the cooler weather or 2) the lack of chit chatting with my friends. Honestly, I'd pick the chit chatting with slower times any day. To me running over 6 miles alone is downright boring.
One difference over my previous long runs was that I just let my mind wander. Sometimes, I think I try to hard to come up with interesting topics to think about. Today, I just kind of zoned out taking in the sound of my steps on the gravel, occasionally checking out my fellow runners (noticing how graceful some of the faster folks look when they run), etc. I don't think I thought about work once, which was nice.
I was so happy to see my car again on that final loop, but little did I know that I was in for a big surprise. My car key was missing! I looked around the perimeter of my car and thought that I locked it inside my car. I just cancelled my OnStar service last week, but lucky for me it doesn't expire until next week! I spotted one of the HoustonFit coaches sitting under some trees and asked if I could borrow his cell phone to call OnStar. I don't know his name, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for letting me use your cell phone! OnStar opened my doors, but my key was not there. About that time, another Houston Fit coach jogged up and offered to give me a ride. I thanked her for the offer, but decided to look around a bit for the key and then call my hubby for help. I called my hubby and knew it would take awhile for him to get there, so what else was there to do???? So, I went for another loop! This one was more walking than running, but it gave me a chance to see if I could find my key. No luck! I had been meaning to make a couple of copies for months now, especially since my hubby had misplaced the only other copy several months ago. Luckily, we were able to locate that missing key by searching the house like crazy. Otherwise, I would have been paying the locksmith $150 for a new one (I also spent about 30 minutes calling locksmiths from Beck's Prime, just in case).
So, that was my weekend and my adventures. By the way, on the way back to the park to pick up my car, we got stuck in some major traffic. From the looks of it, there were about 10 cars involved in an accident. Many prayers to the folks involved...hopefully, no one was hurt!
Friday, September 08, 2006
As for running...Thursday night I ran 35 minutes on the treadmill at an 11 minute/mile pace. I know I mentioned before that the treadmill runs bore me to tears. Last night during my run, I stumbled onto another E! "True Hollywood Story"..this one was about one of my high school crushes, Micheal J. Fox. It was pretty interesting to see how this Canadian teenager moved to LA to become an actor, had a successful career in movies and television and is now a spokesperson for Parkinson's disease. Very inspiring! Unfortunately, it was a 2-hour THS...it's not easy to get your school reading done when you're busy watching TV. I'm usually not an E! viewer unless they're showing the red carpet coverage for the Academy Awards, but there's just something about running on the treadmill and watching THS that works for me. Weird!
This weekend the Houston Fit Fall group is running their 18-miler, so I'm sending some happy running vibes their way! May the temps be cool and your legs be swift! (ETA: I can't do the 18-miler with the group due to classes all day on Sat...I did 15 last week, which I hope will suffice for now.)
Run long & Livestrong!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday morning I ran 35 minutes at an easy 11 minute pace on the treadmill. There wasn't much on TV, but I managed to switch between the news and MTV to preoccupy myself.
Wednesday is my running "rest" day. I woke up at 5am to get some reading for my accounting class done. After work, the kiddo and I took a stroll around the neighborhood park and just enjoyed the nice weather. We stomped our feet on crunchy leaves and found golf balls from the driving range next to the park. The kiddo told me "I like goff balls mommy"...who knows, maybe she'll end up being a golfer someday! After the kiddo was in bed, I did the core exercises from "The Ab Diet Workout" minus the lunges and squats...my right knee bothers me every time I do those, so I'd rather be overly cautious until after my marathon. Then, it was another hour of reading accounting and organizational behavior...oh joy!
So thats the past 2 days in review...
Run long & Livestrong!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The park was pretty crowded already, which makes running there so much more fun and interesting. Normally on my weekday runs, I'm there so early that it's still somewhat dark. This time, it was daylight and I could actually notice things I don't normally notice. For example, some folks have some really cool running gear. I am such a minimalist when it comes to running. Here's my complete inventory:
- 3 pairs of Nike running shorts - 2 black & 1 navy (5 if you count the two pairs that I hate and never wear)
- 10 -12 shirts varying from tank to long sleeves - some are the freebie singlets from races, most are from the sale rack at Oshman's and a boring solid color. I have 3 or 4 that are my favorites and are worn over and over.
- 8 - 10 pairs of white "Wright Socks" - my sock of choice!
- 1 pair of Saucony Grid Stabil shoes - not the cutest pair, but they work for my over-pronation!
- 1 fuel belt - I've had mine since 2002...A must for the long runs! It has 4 bottles and 2 pockets that are great for carrying gu, cell phones, etc. I've thought about buying a new one, but can't seem to bring myself to do it...you know what they say, if it ain't broke....
- 1 Amphipod bottle - Great for shorter runs when no water fountains are in sight.
Add my stick of body glide, my Timex watch and a few packets and vanilla Gu and I'm ready to run! I have thought about buying a couple of those cute coordinating running outfits from Nike that I always eye at Luke's Locker, but just haven't done it. My theory is that I know I am going to look like crap when I'm running...red face, messy hair, etc...why bother with a super cute outfit? I'd rather spend money on cute work clothes or weekend clothes, but that's just me.
So back to the running...it was a mere 77 degrees on Monday morning and it's amazing how just a few degrees can make such a huge difference. Despite the humidity, it felt nice and cool. My loop was pretty standard, but I felt like I had more energy. I think it was partly due to the nice temps and partly due to the fact that I knew I didn't have to rush to the showers to get ready for work afterwards! I began my loop at the Mile 0 marker in front of the tennis center and finished at the Mile 3 marker that's just past the stretching area. For the 1st time in awhile, I actually captured my splits and kept myself at a pretty even 11 min pace, but speeding up just a bit at the end. After 2 weeks of doing weekday runs on the treadmill, it felt good to do loops at the park again...now, it may not feel so good on Sunday when I have to do 4 of them, but for now it was terrific!
Conditions – 77 w/70% humidity
Total Distance – 3 miles
Total Run Time – 32:30
- Mile 1 – 11:00
- Mile 2 – 11:07
- Mile 3 - 10:23
Pace – 10:50
I enjoyed the rest of the holiday, by taking some time to read my Organizational Behavior text at Starbucks before having lunch with my good friend Marlina...my 1st kiddo free lunch in months! And yes, I enjoyed two wonderfully delicious margaritas with lunch...YUM! Then, I headed home to spend the rest of the day with the hubby and kiddo. Man, I love holidays!
Run Long & Livestrong!
Saturday, September 02, 2006
We began the run at the park and headed toward 610 on Memorial, but stayed on the right side of the road. From there, we followed Memorial to Chimney Rock past Woodway to Tanglewood. We ran on the nice soft Tanglewood path to San Felipe and did the "Rose Garden Run" back to the park.
I ran a majority of the run with Julie, who I think had slowed down the pace quite a bit because I usually fall behind her by the 1/2 way point...if not before (she be a can speed demon!). Julie is awesome because she always manages to maintain an interesting conversation the entire route. Our topics today varied from our kiddos to running paces to new cars among other things. I had a weird feeling in my stomach the entire run though and I will admit there were a few times I thought I was on the verge of getting sick. Luckily, it wasn't too bad...as long as I could try to think about something else until the feeling passed. I don't know what caused that, but I hope I don't experience it again! By the way, we discovered another "bat bridge" along the route on Chimney Rock...and I thought all the bats lived on Waugh!
Other than the minor stomach issues, the run went well. Toward the end, I had a major bonk. We were pretty close to the park (past Crestwood) and I started to get cramps in my shins. I took an early walk break, which just made things worse. It made it more difficult to start running again and those weird cramps never completely went away until I was finished.
I originally wanted to attempt a loop around the park after the run, but was pressed for time and ended up heading home to shower and go to Weight Watchers. When I arrived home, I realized that it would take me less time to get ready with the kiddo at my parents house. Since the stomach and shins were feeling better, I hopped on the treadmill with the intent of running for another 30 minutes (all the time I had to spare before I had to get showered, properly primped and out the door).
Oh my God! After exactly 24 minutes (approx 2 miles) my legs felt like they could not take another step. They felt incredibly exhausted! It's been awhile since they've felt this bad! I decided to cut the run short. My legs felt so bad that I decided an ice bath was in order. I grabbed the ice container from the fridge and started to fill the tub with cold water. Once there was a few inches of water in the tub, I climbed in and sat down. Then, I slowly began to add the ice. If you've done this before, you know that the first few minutes are crazy cold. However, you start to get used to it and it works wonders for sore muscles. If you've never done this before, I'm sure you think I'm completely crazy!
After about 15 minutes in the tub, I felt like I could walk again. I continued with my day, which consisted of going to WW and heading to the "cry-baby matinee" with my Mom and the kiddo, then heading to the new downtown Starbucks for a tall, non-fat, no-whip Mocha! I figured after having movie popcorn with butter, that I better stick to the lower fat version of my favorite drink. By the way, we saw "The Illusionist" which I highly recommend! I will see anything with Edward Norton. The cast also included Academy Award Nominee, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel. The kiddo & I continued our girl's day by heading to Beck's Prime for dinner on the patio, a trip to the grocery store and a couple of fun-filled hours of coloring and playing. All in all, a great day!
Friday, September 01, 2006
I am going to have to buckle down and really squeeze in all 3 weekday training runs from here on out! There are only 7 weeks until Chicago, so we're in the home stretch!
I am really looking forward to tomorrow's 13-miler in the cooler temps. I am hoping to add an extra loop and make it a 16-miler since I will not be able to make it to next week's 18-miler due to school. However, the group is going to Otto's for breakfast after our run, which sounds sooooo much more appealing than that extra loop!
Run Long & Livestrong!