Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog Pressure

Blog Pressure (blawg press-shur): NOUN; from the Latin Blogus Preshurus: the physical and mental pressure placed on a given run when it is known that performance will be posted on the Blog; see also Garmin Pressure.

Tonight's run was okay ~ not as good as Monday, not as not-good as last night. Hubby looked at me in almost-disbelief when I was getting dressed: "you're running again tonight? Didn't you just run last night?" Yes, it's unlikely for me to have back-to-back nightly runs during the week - simply out of time constraints.

Monday and Wednesday runs were Garmin-Free; tonight I decided to dust off my pal and take him out for a spin. As I expected, I obsessed over the data ~ although I think I looked at Garmie less than ten times during the run.....that's progress, yes???


Short Run:

Mile 1: 12:02
Mile 2: 11:37
Mile 3: 11:25

Total Distance: 3.0 miles
Total Time: 35:03
Average pace: 11:41

Thanks Garmie for the negative splits! I may take you out again every now and then ;)

And NO, I still haven't tried on the suit :I

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Evil has Arrived


I SO wished someone would have marked the box appropriately so I would not have been so utterly terrified when I opened it.


It went down kinda like this ~



Then out popped THIS little number~


Not the lady with the super nice body, just the SUIT. Apparently the nice body was extra, and it wasn’t on my order.

Tonight the real horror begins when I attempt to try it on. It looks pretty good ~ in the box.

Wish me luck.





Monday, February 25, 2008

A Good News, Bad News Kinda Day

But seeing as how I'm a tell-me-the-bad-news-first-kinda gal, I assume everyone is too ~ so here it goes.

Bad News: I ate like total crap today. I was weak and made horrible food choices. Somehow, some wicked chocolate just kept jumping into my mouth and I was unable to defend myself. Then it was all downhill from there ~ junk food city. But it was only one day, and I'm okay with it ~ time to move on. Tomorrow is a new day!

Good News: I had a beyond-fantastic run tonight. Right out of the gate, I felt strong and confident. By 1/2 a mile, I was in a groove and knew it was going to be a great run. I headed out early ~ right after dinner ~ with no Garmin, and no iPod. For some reason, I just wanted to enjoy running. My breathing, which I had so much trouble with on Saturday's long run, just fell right in check. I wasn't even the least bit winded. It is a great thing when your mind and body are both in check and the whole system just works.

I tried to work on running form as well. Lisa and I both commented on Mendy's great running form at RNR, so I worked to emulate that. It took a conscious effort to maintain a different running form than what I am used to, but it felt good. So thanks Mendy!! :)

And the best part of the whole run? I was CRUISING. This was no Slog, friends ~ it was a true, bona fide JOG :) Tonight would have been one of the nights that I would have loved for someone I know to drive by and see me running. I was smooth, and strong. For a fleeting moment, I really wished I had brought Garmie so I could relish in the stats of my good run.....I am certain that the splits were well under 12 minutes ~ and about 75% sure they were in the 11:30ish range. And NO walking. I was FLYING ~ Pokey Style :)

You just can't have a better night. A fantastic 3 mile run, walking in the door and having Hubby say "wow, that was quick," getting in a quick Light Saber fight with my preschooler and tucking my kids in to bed......it just doesn't get any better than this.

Junk Food Jog:

Distance: 3 miles
Time: Enough
Average Pace: Lightening fast Pokey speed

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Once you start running, the running actually isn't bad."

Words to live by from my trusty running partner as we plodded along a 9 mile route this morning ~ starting an un ungodly hour when the moon was still high in the sky. There should really be some sort of *rule* about running that early, but I haven't found it yet ;)

We headed out at 6 am ~ yes, really ~ Lisa willingly, without much duress from the Early Enforcer ~ agree to yet another early long run.

Since we were sans Pat, our usual main motivator, we had to come up with our own motivation for what turned out to be a long, slow, tired run. We were a little lacking in our motivational talk, and instead spent the last 4 miles being punch drunk and talking silly ~ anything to make the miles go by. It had been 2 weeks since my last long run and I felt every step, every breath, every mile of it.

We conjured up a few whopper-stories that we had planned to post to help justify our splits :P, but I figure it's just best to come clean: it was a tough run. We ended up a mile short of our goal due to time constraints brought on by our slower-than-usual pace, and ended up with an average pace of a half-minute per mile slower than our 11 mile run two weeks ago. *sigh*

But we got it wrapped up and called it a day ~ a run is a run is a run! Not sure why we were both so tired and sluggish (part of me was wondering if it was the calorie-cutting that I did this week??), but we got 9 miles on the books, when we could have been at Starbucks sipping lattes :)

Next time, Lisa just needs to bring the Thin Mints :)

In other news, I finally got my new kicks today ~


They are the new, Asics Gel Kayano 14. I had the 13-model as my last pair and LOVED them ~ it was unfortunate that they are being discontinued. This new model should be just as good or better ~ I hope they treat me as well as my last pair did. I was long overdue in getting new ones!

I also had the pleasure of running into Eric and his family at RoadRunner Sports! Apparently, great minds think alike :)


Long Slow Run:


Distance: 9.01 miles
Time: 2:01:40
Average pace: 13:31

Friday, February 22, 2008

It’s amazing what a little will-power can do ~ I am already down 2.4 pounds for this week!!! And my *real* weekly weigh-in isn’t until next Tuesday!!!



It just reaffirms for me what I already knew ~ I am totally capable of eating healthy and being responsible ~ just most of the time I choose not to. Okay….I am so done with that.

I’ve gone back to the Weight Watchers program (not the meetings, just the program) and have been counting points religiously. In addition, the plan for the coming weeks includes the following focus areas:

  • Water ~ like, LOTS of it. I’m back on track with keeping myself adequately hydrated for weight loss. The phrase that runs through my mind is all about “flushing out the fat.” Gross ~ but highly effective thinking ;)
  • Calorie control ~ via the Weight Watchers system. I don’t need to attend meetings to know how I should be eating. I know what I need to do ~ and am doing it.
  • Higher protein and lower carb intake ~ this has worked well for me in the past. Protein is always a good thing when I start to plateau in my weight loss, so that along with the fact that I need protein for muscle strength while training, makes it a perfect goal.

Wanna meet my newest friend?

I LOVE this stuff. I tried it on a couple occasions in the past after a long run, but now I try and squeeze one a day into my diet. Only 30 calories and 5 g of protein ~ plus some hydration benefit.

I also have added this (see below) into my regimen as a late afternoon snack, instead of other crap I had been eating. They are higher calorie (3 WW points) at 190 calories….but with 15g of protein. Such a deal.
And finally, there is carb control. Based on some advice stolen from Lisa’s doctor, along with what I already know about my body, I am working on cutting out bread. Maybe not entirely ~ I love my 5-point Subway 6 inch sandwich just a bit too much ~ but I have definitely cut back. I’m also only allowing myself the whole wheat pasta when I decide to indulge in that carb-festival. Pretty easy changes to make overall ~ with a ton of potential benefit.

I already feel better, just by the mere sake of eating better. It makes me wonder why I always let myself slide back into the rut of crap eating again….. the goal is to not let that happen again :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhhhh....

Another Garmin-free continuous run last night – just over 3 miles.

But I need a better word than *continuous* run……how about endurance run? Or wait! I know!!!

S.L.O.G.

Unlike it’s cousin the WOG (a combo of walking and jogging) the SLOG is just what you might expect ~ a slooooow jog.

That’s what I have been doing ~ and loving every minute of it.

I like kicking Garmie to the curb during the week and just running for running sake. I say I don’t care about my pace, but the truth is ~ I do. I can’t not look at the Garmin and just run ~ I stay way to focused on how slow I am running, how I should be running faster, and what my splits will look like when I post them.

FOOEY!

My new way is much more fun. Garmie is still invited for the long runs on the weekends, and will get re-introduced to my weekday short runs after a while ~ but for now all is well.

Garmie will just have to rest until Saturday’s 10 miler with Pat & Lisa.



Gadget-Free-Slog:

Distance: 3+ miles
Time: Less than 3 hours
Average Pace: Slow and wonderful

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wear the Fox Hat

Sometimes I get emails that just make me laugh out loud for no real, apparent reason. This came from my brother ~

video


I'm happy to report I was down 1.6 pounds on the scale this morning after 2 days! Yeah, yeah, I know it's mostly water weight, but don't burst my bubble will ya? :P

And the best news of all today came from Pat's blog, about the new Tumbleweed Recreation Center being open! This is literally a mile from my house.....so I could run there, workout and then run home in a snap! And as Pat pointed out, it is free until April (and I like free). I am soooooooooo there......maybe even tonight!

3 miles on the schedule for today ~ I didn't make it out of bed and onto the dreadmill at 5:30 am as planned ~ so I'll get it done tonight :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

No Garmin ~ no watch ~ no problem.

Just me and the road for a slow, continous 3 miles tonight [translation: no walking]. I had a few issues with my feet going numb (a blast from my sorted running past), but somehow worked through it.

The realization hit me this weekend that I leave in 4 weeks for Hawaii. You know what that means?


A SWIMSUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*gasp*

So other than making it through the Valley of the Sun HM alive, I have but ONE goal for the coming weeks ~ lose 8 pounds by my vacation.

That's 4 weeks @ 2 pounds a week. Totally do-able if I behave myself.

That also means running for weight loss....not just training. Which takes me right back to slower pace, continous runs during the week.

Sure makes it sound easy :P

Garmin-Free-Continous Run:

Distance: 3.0

Time: Enough

Average pace: Blissfully unknown

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pokey vs. the Pavement

And the final score.............

Pavement: 4.75
Pokey: ZERO


This morning I had my tail kicked for just shy of 5 miles, on a route that I have run more times than I can count.

The entire time I was commiserating over why this run stunk so bad ~ could it have been that I hadn't run in just over a week? or because of a week of extremely bad eating? or being exhausted? or having cramps? or waking up at 2am with a throbbing headache?

Gee, the possibilities were endless. It was quite possibly the worst run I have ever had.

The plan today was for 13 miles......yes, 13 miles........3 of which were going to be done at a 5K race with Lisa (but sadly, logistics and both of us being a bit out of sync kept that from happening), and then another 10 mile slow run after the race. So I guess it appears that I came up short of the goal, huh?

Oh well - I got out and slogged about my neighborhood for 4.75 miles and called it a day. For a couple of the miles, I am sure I walked more than I ran, but at least I was moving ~ I had wanted to stay in bed and drink coffee :)

The highlight of my run was having "POKEY" yelled out of a passing car in my neighborhood, and getting to stop and chat with Carolyn for a bit (Lisa's pal, GGT)......lucky for her, she was going shopping instead of shuffling around the neighborhood like me :)

I guess I am just happy to have posted some miles finally. My poor WAA team is not going to like me for Week 3......I don't think I charted a single mile.

Lisa and I chatted after her eventful morning this morning (and KUDOS to her for getting some serious mileage done when she wasn't really feeling up to par) and made a change to the schedule up to Valley of the Sun ~

Saturday, 02/23: 11 miles
Saturday, 03/01: 6 miles
Sunday, 03/09: Valley of the Sun Half Marathon!!!

We upped the mileage for next week to help balance th e lower mileage today.....hopefully it will all work out! I am hoping for a much better and more productive week...


13-minus-a-few-miles-training run:

Distance: 4.75 miles
Time: 1:00:59
Average Pace: 12:50

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Road ID


Since I lost my last one (think it got tossed out with the shoes), yesterday I ordered a new ROAD ID. I always figured that I'd hate to be passed out along the road somewhere, with vultures circling and no one has any idea who I am ;)

So today I get this *sample email* that I can send to all my friends, with a valuable $1 off coupon. The email made me laugh, and I'm always out to save a buck or two ~ so I figured it was post-worthy.


Hey Everyone,
I just ordered one of the best products ever. It's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out. Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.


When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksKaren351475

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 03/16/2008. To order, simply go to RoadID.com or click the link below:

http://www.RoadID.com/?CID=ThanksKaren351475

If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6335.

You can thank me later,
Karen


Oh by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding, and the owners are very smart and good looking.


Happy almost-Friday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back from the Deep Freeze



That picture pretty much sums up my visit to the Midwest this past weekend ~ a frigid 3 days in Davis, Illinois ~ where this Arizona girl was just a wee bit chilly!

With wind chill, temperatures were -30 for most of the weekend.




But now I am home ~ and thawed ~ and just generally back to being a slacker.

I got a 30-minute treadmill run in last Friday morning before we left town, and there has been no running to speak of since then. I was supposed to get up this morning for the same, but apparently I was just too comfy to get out of bed. So TOMORROW……tomorrow it is.

I have a long run planned for this weekend ~ 13 miles ~ part of which, might be running a 5K with Lisa on Saturday morning. I am still contemplating the race, wondering if it’s a smart idea to go run a 5k race, and then expect to tack on another 10 miles afterwards. Not sure.

What I am sure of is that I need to get my butt in gear. I’m not exactly acting like a person that has another half mary in 3 weeks – a race which I am expecting to be a good one.


You all know I need it ~ and maybe some of you do to. So let’s get moving!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Back to Basics

That is where I am heading ~ back to the old days, circa December 2005 when I took my first attempt at this new thing called running.

The goal back then was to somehow, someday be able to run for 30 consecutive minutes. I started out running 1 minute, and walking 1 minute. Then 2 minutes, 1 minute…..until one day, I knocked out 30 minutes on the treadmill and I was ECSTATIC.

Then I started focusing on mileage….and that is when things changed. In order to go farther, faster ~ I implemented the walk break. Based on information from Jeff Galloway ~ pioneer of the “Galloway Method” ~ it was a perfect fit for a rookie runner. It allowed me to “go the distance” ~ and it worked for me. And like many things, it has served its purpose, but it is now time for a change.

Now it is back to the basics for this Pokey. I have GOT to get myself back on track for continuous running ~ at least for short runs.

There are a couple reasons:

First, I allowed my body to be conditioned to the walk breaks. There was a point when I could run for 45-60 minutes no problem, albeit very slow. Now I have taught my body and my MIND that I need these walk breaks ~ and I don’t. Or I shouldn’t.

Second, I need to lose weight. I have 13 pounds to lose to hit my first weight goal; 23 would be my final, *ideal* goal (although I’m not sure if it’s realistic for me). I need to use running to help me lose the weight – and it isn’t going to happen with the walk breaks. I need 30+ minutes of continuous cardio-running to get the pounds off.

So last night, in my first effort to step back a bit and rethink my running plans, I set out for a TIMED RUN. Very reminiscent of my early days, the only goal was to run for 30 minutes ~ and not a moment more.

And funny enough ~ just like Lisa has also discovered ~ I CAN do it. It isn’t an issue to knock down 30 minutes as long as I have convinced my stubborn mind that it is possible.

So the plan now becomes this:

Timed short runs during the week - at least 2 (preferably 3, but I’m trying to be realistic) – of 30 minutes each. I may even stop taking Garmie and revert back to my old running watch and just set the timer and run. Then after a couple of time runs, I’ll resurrect Garmie and check for any pace improvement. Once I feel like I’ve tackled the 30 minutes at a good pace, I’ll keep adding 5 minutes until……..well, you know.

Long runs on the weekend - keep with the interval running/walking. I am nowhere ready to try and tackle a continuous long run – and the walk breaks serve a purpose in my current race training.

It’s amazing what happens when I run without an iPod ~ I had this all figured out by the time I got home last night! Who knew that so much enlightenment could occur in a mere 30 minutes?


Timed Short Run #1

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 2.4 miles
Pace: 12:34

Monday, February 4, 2008

Race Bibs + Rain = Happy Pokey

You know you have TRULY become a runner when you have a near nervous breakdown about the silliest of things ~ being out of Gu packets, having your Garmin die on a great run, getting ready to head out for a long run and finding that your favorite shorts are still in a smelly pile on the bathroom floor ~ you know, running stuff.

Today I had a major meltdown over something new: a race bib. I got a great idea from the Spirit of the Marathon movie about keeping all my race bibs on a metal ring, in order of their occurrence. I figured that surely this beats keeping them all tacked to the side of my refrigerator, so today (after finally purchasing the metal binder ring at Target) decided to organize all my race paraphernalia.

Now imagine my distress when I discovered that my bib from Big Sur ~ my very first half marathon ~ was MISSING! I knew in my brain exactly where it was ~ I had made sure to put it in my dresser drawer for safe keeping with all the other Big Sur stuff ~ and it was GONE.

I went in to a tailspin…..tearing apart drawers and their contents, calling hubby asking if he knew the location of my precious piece of paper, and just generally being a lunatic. How much would that suck to lose the bib from your very first half mary?

Thankfully, I am not being committed to the institution just yet ~ the bib had somehow snuck out of the top drawer of my dresser and into the second drawer which houses some of my running wear. It must have wanted to feel at home ;) WHEW! Dodged the insanity bullet for another day.

Here’s what my bib ring looks like:

Obviously, I haven’t run a lot of races, but I think it’s a nice start.

In other news, my plan this week was to work on short runs (I guess I mean, like actually have some weekday short runs ~ I’ve been slacking on this the past few weeks) because I won’t have a long run this weekend since I’ll be out of town. We are heading to Rockford, Illinois area to visit some of Hubby’s extended family and get to meet our cousin’s new baby boy! I am excited – but being gone really requires some additional planning on my part.

Today’s plan called for some slow, consistent running. Translation: No walk breaks.

So I headed out about 4:30 pm (a totally new running time of day for me) since hubby was home and holding down the fort ~ and I planned to cover up Garmie and just trudge along at the slowest pace possible – and run for 3 miles continuously. I have run 5 mile Pokey-runs with no breaks before, but it is time to start making them a habit.

It was very cold and windy outside ~ mid 40 degree temps and cloudy following a ton of rain earlier in the day. But being in AZ, I headed out wearing my running shorts and a couple of layers on top. I figured it would suit me well.

So I trudged down the road, reminiscent of my very first days as a runner ~ pulling down close to a 13 minute pace (or so I thought - I didn’t look at Garmie until I got home). Yes, folks….it IS possible to run that slow ~ trust me, I know all about it.

Mile 1 was slooooooooow and good. Everything felt good – legs, mind, breathing. I knew after that point that there would be no reason for me to walk today.
Mile 1: 13:08

Mile 2 became a bit eventful. I was still scooting along and feeling great. My only problem was about Mile 1.5 when it started to rain. UH-OH. It was a good thing it was time to turn around and head back. The rain wasn’t bad, and funny enough I found it a bit motivating. I had no real idea of how motivating it would be until a bit later.
Mile 2: 13:04

Just after the completion of Mile 2, the sky totally opened up. The wind was blowing, the rain was pounding and I was FREEZING. I pulled my top layer shirt over my iPod and cell phone that was strapped to my arm, pulled my visor down and GOT MOVING.

The next mile was a total hoot. I got honked at, stared at, and offered 2 rides along the way. I was drenched from head to toe. My shoes were soaked and I could barely see thru my sunglasses because of all the water. I knew I was moving fast ~ and even chuckled to myself along the way. What else was there to do but laugh???

The last .4 mile was the worst, turning north right into the wind and rain. My visor was nearly over my eyes at this point and I kept my eyes on my feet. Then it happened: HAIL. There were small, half-a-dime sized hail pelting my legs and my neck – and sticking to my shirt. I was covered in white dots!!!! It hurt like mad hitting my neck (my shirt was a v-neck), and my only consolation was being less than half a mile from home. It was a HAIL of a run!
Mile 3: 11:15

Did you all see that?

It wasn’t a typo.

Today I ran my fastest mile ever ~ in the cold, rain and hail. Who knew that is what it would take to get this Pokey moving? That being said, I also had a great, slow warm up period, which I’m sure was also a big help. But it is definitely amazing the motivation that the elements can provide.

The best news of the day? 3 miles, baby ~ all the way ~ no walking.

Now if I wake up tomorrow and don’t have pneumonia, then this will definitely get chalked up as a FANTASTIC day :P


Short-Wet-Pelted-by-Hail-Run:

Distance: 3.0 miles
Time: 37:27
Average pace: 12:29

Saturday, February 2, 2008

9 on the 9th + 2 for good measure

I just finished reading Lisa's blog, and for some reason my dear running partner wants all our readership to believe that we set out this morning~ at 6:30 in 36 degree temps, in the DARK ~ to simply complete our 9 miles for next week's race.

TRUE, TRUE ~ I did notify the race director of our schedule conflicts and our intent to run the virtual race this weekend instead (any particular shade of red, Nancy?)......however, in order not to mislead our readership.....Lisa and I didn't exactly run 9 miles and then feel so overwhelmed with energy and spunk that we just decided to add on another 2 miles!! HA!

Nooooooooooooo. The REAL story is that my Mileage Maven dictated the 11 miles on today's schedule ~ the 9 miles for the 9 on the 9th was just an added bonus.

The real truth is also that we were a couple of TIRED chickies long before we ever even began.

That being said, I have no complaints about today's run (that's because I used up all my complaining from mile 8-11 :P


Here's the scoop:



We ran a relatively long portion of the run along the Hunt Highway, a 2-lane road that runs right along the edge of the desert (where Lisa and Tewonda have sometimes been known to travel). How can you not love a long run when you get to see this?
The vultures were circling over us for a bit, but I guess in the end they figured out we were just slow ~ not dead. I told them to come back in a few miles and they might have a chance ;)


For the rest of the Event Photos, you'll have to visit Lisa's blog. I realized today that she is also the TRC Staff Photographer. Next long run I might actually have to put on some makeup and do my hair :)


The last few miles of the run were tough ~ my calf muscles held up great again (knock on wood) but we were both just exhausted. We did practice some good self-talk along the way ~ "I am stronger. I am stronger. I am going to die, but I am getting stronger" ~ you know, that kind of stuff. Somehow we managed to hit the target once again.


Final Data:


9 on the 9th Report:

9 miles ~ 1:48:06



Long Run

Distance: 11.0 miles

Time: 2:22:45

Average Pace: 12:58