Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Resolutions

It's that time of the year again. First, I would like to point out that of all my fitness resolutions from last year I did accomplish one - completing a 5K.  I didn't get down to 169 pounds but up until Christmas, I did get down to within 4 pounds of that goal. I am proud of myself.

My fear for my resolutions is that I don't know enough yet, to insure I am setting practical ones. So, I will just throw them out there as they are.

1:  Cut my Race Pace from 12:49 to 10:59 or less.

2:  Complete the entire Get Fit Live Fit 20 week Running Course I committed to (without injury). I admit doing these twice a week coached workouts with faster more experienced runners, and doing them in the absolutely WORST weather of the year has me worried.

3:  Weigh 169 by Valentine's Day.

4:  Weigh 154 by July 4th.

5:  Lower my body fat percentage by 5% more by December 31, 2012.

6:  Run a 10K

7:  Lose enough inches in my hips that I can fit a Woman's Brooks Running jacket by 12/31/2012. 

If I happen to get to 145 pounds by the end of next year that would be an excellent surprise but at my age and with my battle with weight since menopause started this year, I am not optimistic about ever being back to my running weight from when I was much younger.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Indoor Intervals - P7 Stats

I still feel a bit confused about what I 'should' be doing to get stronger and faster and am anxious to start my coached program at the end of next month. For now, I am just pushing myself a little more at each workout, on the days I can grab the time to do it.

This morning I ran a custom program I made for myself that is 40 minutes long and filled with one minute long intervals. I call it my P7 workout. It is basically the following after 5 minutes of walking/jogging to warm up:

  • run 1 minute at level 5 (pace of 10.0 min/mi which is my GOAL PACE for 2012)
  • run 1 minute at level 4.4 (pace of 13.4 min/mi which is my CURRENT RACE PACE)
  • walk 1 minute level 3
  • run 1 minute at level 6 (pace of 8.3-8.53 min/mi!!)
  • walk 1 minute level 3
  • repeat over and over and over
I ran at or WAY above my current pace for 3 of every 5 minutes. In fact, level 6 is about 62% faster than my race pace..

On top of that, today for the first time -

  • I increased the incline from 0% to 2% on every interval excepting the level 6 intervals, knowing I could turn it back if needed. I didn't need to. 
  • I added a double interval level 6 onto the end today.

So although I started off feeling discouraged about still being a jogging slug, I realized that I AM getting stronger and faster. That was a good feeling.

P7 Workout Stats:

Avg HR: 148 bpm
Max HR: 182 bpm (never hit above 177 until the double peak interval at the end)
Avg Pace: 14:23 min/mi (includes the long cool down at the end)
Best Pace:  8:29 min/mi (peak intervals!)
Avg Run Cadence: 65 spm
Max Run Cadence: 84 spm

Quarter Mile Stats:

1 Ave Pace 19:43  Best Pace 15:27  Avg HR 105  Max HR 133  (warm up)
2 Ave Pace 13:08  Best Pace 10:07  Avg HR 146  Max HR 158
3 Ave Pace 13:16  Best Pace 8:46   Avg HR 148  Max HR 163
4 Ave Pace 12:56  Best Pace 8:51   Avg HR 157  Max HR 167
5 Ave Pace 13:04  Best Pace 8:53   Avg HR 160  Max HR 169
6 Ave Pace 13:29  Best Pace 8:38   Avg HR 156  Max HR 171
7 Ave Pace 12:43  Best Pace 8:37   Avg HR 163  Max HR 170
8 Ave Pace 12:13  Best Pace 8:39   Avg HR 169  Max HR 177
9 Ave Pace 14:44  Best Pace 8:34   Avg HR 167  Max HR 177
10 Ave Pace 11:06 Best Pace 8:29   Avg HR 173  Max HR 182

Weight today (POST CHRISTMAS OOPS!!!): 175

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter is Here

Hard rain has arrived. Steady all day. Non-stop. Sideways at times. I am not sure how this will be affecting my running, but I am about to find out this Sunday morning at 8:00am.

Workouts: Indoor Treadmill incline/intervals via iFit / Jillian Michaels programs

Weight: Dismal. I splurged this last week for the holidays. Gained instead of lost. 174.8

Monday, December 26, 2011

iFit Jillian Michaels treadmill powerwalk

Daughter visiting from out of state so I plugged in a iFit workout card into my treadmill for a quick 25 minute powerwalk.

Even though my heart rate never gets up on these workouts, I definitely feel it in the buttocks and legs.

The incline work is what makes this a challenge. 

Workout disc: Level 2 - Week 1 - workout #3 is 25 minutes long.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning 5K

I started off begrudgingly under a medium rain, and strong winds. Wearing my visor, my head was wet by the time I got to the street. I ran back inside and got my rain cap.

This run kind of hurt. I felt like I was running in deep mud. My legs just didn't want to move today and I felt like a giant day-glow yellow slug running along the highway. It took everything in me to keep myself moving. This run was WORK! 

Was it maybe too much pre-Christmas diet-blowing junk food the last two days? Did pizza put the whamo on my performance?

Luckily, the rain stopped shortly after the first mile. THAT was nice. I never felt wet though thanks to the great jacket and winter running wear I purchased. I never overheated either, though when taking over a mile of incline I did have to unzip the jacket for additional ventilation.  And then when running straight into the strong head wind it gave me a super-hero flying cape effect that was kind of cool.

Although I stopped recording at 3.13 miles, I kept going after as I wasn't even back into my neighborhood yet. I guess I miscalculated. The total miles done today were a very sloppy 3.49.

My 5K times are STILL coming in between 39:39-39:50.  RATS! At least I am consistent.

BUT!!! I suspect on a regular course I would definitely beat that. This course today was my hardest yet. It was the first one I did that had an incline of 3% or more, for a mile or greater. It earned me an icon on the workout when I uploaded it.

Also, although I was feeling really weak on the steepest incline and almost short of breath, I am proud my heart rate stayed at 170 and below. It made me wonder if my heart monitor was broken. I really did that??? If so, YAY ME!!!  :)


Distance:3.13 mi
Avg Pace:12:42 min/m

Faster full quarter mile:10:43 min
Min Elevation:214 feet
Max Elevation: 333 feet
Elevation difference:119 feet
Average Heart rate:151 bpm
Max Heart rate:170 bpm

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weight Update and Goal

Even though losing weight has been slow, it has been steady. This morning I weighed in at 173.2 which is my lowest weight since August 2009.  My blog entry last month on the 4th was written at 180 pounds.

Since the beginning, I had set a goal of 169 as my first big hurdle and 154 as being my ultimate goal.

I had hoped to weigh 169 by the Resolution Run which is now (sadly) just 16 days away.

Losing 4 pounds in 16 days can be done, and I am not giving up yet, but, Christmas is in just a few days and is followed shortly by New Years. If I miss my goal by a few pounds I will still be very proud of what I have accomplished.

TODAY: Ran 30 minutes on the treadmill, and went faster than any other 30 minute treadmill run. Was it fun? No. It was work, but I am not running again until Christmas Morning so I had to really make it count. :)

Running Christmas Morning?

YES!!! My daughter will still be asleep, Shelby and George won't be home until around noon so I am treating it just like any other Sunday morning workout. Trainer Bob would be proud.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Starting!

I am so excited! When I started in August I was at a certain percentage of body fat according to my fancy scale. Over the last months, I checked every few weeks at the same time of the day and it remained the same. My pants were getting loose and people were remarking on how I looked, but it stayed the same. My experienced running partner said not to be discouraged as it takes a long time to lose just a single percentage but once it starts, it starts showing results more quickly. Just don't stop running.

I measured today. My body fat went down 2%! This is the first time it changed and it changed by 2%.

I can't wait for the next tape measure day - January 10th.

Workout: Walked 3 miles and since yesterday was a long run, I only ran a mile today, alternating one minute sprints with normal one minute paces

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Was "One Of Them" This Morning - 5K

When I moved up here, I used to quietly watch and respect the runners that ran along the city provided trails in fog, rain and bitter cold weather.

There is a running trail not far from my home, and today I had this crazy spontaneous call to action when I was out front calibrating my shoe pod to my Garmin sports watch. A shoe pod tracks your stride/pace on a treadmill and to set it you need to run a small jaunt outdoors with the GPS activated. But, the next thing I knew, I was running all the way out of my neighborhood, past some watersheds and onto the city trail taking me up high over the 205 Freeway. I think I will blame it on my having watched the Tough Mudder promo video twice before I went outside.

I wasn't prepared for this much of a run!!!

• I had on thin shorts and it was COLD (37 degrees) and WET out under a thick mist, not quite a fog.

• Under my thin windbreaker was just a sports bra.

• I had no gloves on.

• I hadn't ate breakfast or hydrated properly for a run like this.

Still, my times were comparable to my official race times.

IN FACT: My time this morning on a much harder course, was faster than my November 5K's and just 24 seconds slower than my December 4th run and that is including stopping to jog in place at stop lights TWICE! HA!!

I will prepare next Sunday (Christmas morning) and try it again and see if I can't get out of the slow 39 minute 5K's.

But beyond all the numbers and stats - it was beautiful. I felt so proud jogging along without stopping in the chilly and damp morning air. I had the path to myself in both directions. Even when I felt weak, I felt strong remembering a post someone else posted recently:


Here is another reason for such slow times. This is the elevation graph - note the last half plus (2 miles) was mostly all UP HILL.

Yeah. I was slow. But I did it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Injury Prevention PreScreen Results

I am registered for a 5K Training Program that lasts for 20+ weeks and starts next month. One of the things they recommended was an Injury Prevention Pre-Screening at a local Physical Therapy Sports center here in the area.

Naturally, I was nervous. After all, I am 173 pounds and my prior running weight 12 years ago was 141. That is 32 pounds over my ideal weight. Did I *really* want to go and have someone tell me what I already knew? Especially when losing this weight has been such a slow and FRUSTRATING process?

I got there and was introduced to my PT. She had me do a variety of moves, stretches and flexes while she maneuvered, measured and watched.

She never addressed my weight, and did mention that my heel strike will be something addressed during the Training Program and not to be worried about at this point.

I rated "EXCELLENT" in most flexibility and strength tests.

I had "GOOD" in one (Glutes) and "FAIR" in one. It appears that I have very 'tight' iliotibial band that needs a 'lot' of attention. She gave me four stretches and exercises to work on.

I was very proud of my "EXCELLENT" scores.

Now I just have to work out the IT Band so I can prevent knee injuries.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Memorial Run for Randy Ehrhard

I wasn't planning on running more than once in January and registered only for one 5K until last night. The persons who put on the Turkey Trot 5K let us know that the gentleman who had the heart attack during that race (and later passed from complications of that and a second attack in the hospital) used to run with his church every January 1st. They are now making this years run open to the public as a Memorial Run to help raise money for his surviving wife and daughters.

I had never met Randy. I had never heard of him before Thanksgiving day. But, I remember Randy from his last run.

I remember seeing him, and those trying to assist him. I remember hearing him as I passed, and being told that a doctor was there, please keep moving. I remember being grateful that it was a doctor with him. I remember being confused when I heard the ambulance as it raced to the scene. It worried me greatly as I had incorrectly assumed by what I saw that he had just suffered a seizure. When they blocked the entire path off on the return of the run I was very worried. I learned on Sunday that he had passed 2 days after the race.

There was no way I was NOT going to register for this run. Drying my eyes, I completed the registration process, and then donated an extra bit through their paypal link.

I couldn't imagine what his family is going through. Surely I can do an extra run next month if it means helping.

RUN TONIGHT: 45 minutes. Ave HR 152. Peaked at 170 when I increased my pace .6 mph for five minutes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

30 Minute Run

Still running faster than usual, but not by much. Did notice that my heart rate peaked lower than the last two this week! That is a plus. Been feeling pretty lethargic and unenthused all week though. I haven't had a runner's high since the race on the 4th (8 days ago).

Tomorrow I am having a "PRE-assessment" done to determine my health, fitness and form for my 21 week running course.

I dread hearing out loud from a stranger the things I already know. The positive side is that the POST-assessment should be a much happier occasion.


30 minutes at 4.2
Average Heart rate: 153 (3 more than usual, but with a faster run and caffeine)
Peak Heart rate: 163
HR recovery: 117 at five minutes walking

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eating frustration

The weather has been cold, dark and miserable. I have been feeling the blues and frustrations that often come with the holidays (planing visits from the out of town family, budgeting, dieting).

And then I think there is just plain old hormonal blues creeping into the picture.

And after three days of eating more than I should have, the scale had already gone up several pounds.

I better get back on track tomorrow. It is just so discouraging that you can gain 4 pounds in three days and it takes two or more weeks to lose it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bah Humbug

It has been at or below freezing all day today with humidity in the 90's.

Even though I am inside, I can't get warm. This makes me lazy. I did not want to run today. Not at all. I wanted to make cocoa, put on flannel and cozy up with a good book and an electric blanket. I now believe it isn't all the foods out that make people slack during the holidays, it is the miserable weather!

I opened the window, put the fan in it (aimed at my back), and hopped on the treadmill to acclimate to running in freezing temps because of the upcoming winter runs.

I sped the treadmill up a notch tonight for the entire 30 minutes.

I wasn't cold any more.


30 minutes at 4.3 (ANOTHER increase!) right after drinking a can of caffeine. Ooops.

Average Heart rate: 154 (3 more than usual, but with a faster run and caffeine)

Peak Heart rate: 165 (with a faster run and caffeine it only raised 1! Woohoo!!)

HR recovery: GREAT! I was back down from 161 to 135 within a minute, 124 within two and 114 while still walking at five minutes. At least that is improving.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Back on the Treadmill

Trying to get over the vertigo (and failing to do so), I took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off. I figured that if I was nauseous and dizzy still it would be best not to push it. Especially since after Sunday's race (Heart rate peak of 191?!?!) and not sleeping nights due to the vertigo, it couldn't hurt to rest up and let the body heal.

Temps were 33 degrees and the roads are slick with frost and ice.

Treadmill: 30 minutes at 4.2 (I usually use 4.0) and it was awful. I wanted to sit down after just 6 minutes. Miserable. Last 10 minutes were the easiest.

Average Heart rate: 151

Peak Heart rate: 164

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Where I was and where I am going

Last night I got a really nice note from a friend of mine. He told me, "You've come so far!" and this made me think. I didn't feel like I had come 'far', so today I went through my blog and my records.

On August 28th, I ran out doors for the first time in years, and it was on a flat cushy high school track. Though I tried really hard to go further, I had to stop at just one half of a mile.

Yesterday, I ran on a not-so-flat asphalt road for 3.1 miles. That is an improvement of over SIX TIMES the distance and it was done in a less inviting environment.

Before my friends note last night, I was stuck obsessing on my low times and feeling a bit down on how much further I have to go. But looking back in comparison to just 3.5 months ago, I HAVE come a long way. My friend was right!! I am feeling uncharacteristically accomplished at this moment.

My next goals are to lose weight so I can run more efficiently/healthily.
  • I want to run without having to worry about all this weight pounding my knees when I hit the asphalt.
  • I want to run without stressing my overworking my heart while lugging this weight around.

If you think I am exaggerating the effects of my weight and it's impact on my runs, go to the store and pick up a 25 pound bag of dog food. Now, take that 25 pound bag and go run around your block. Feel that? If not, try running 3.1 miles carrying that. When I started out, I was carrying an extra 37.5 pounds with me on each run.

  • I currently weigh 173. I hope to weigh 169 by my next run - January 8th, 2012
  • I hope to weigh 148 by June 17th (the last day of my twice weekly Training sessions I will be taking Jan 30-June 17th)
  • I hope to be able to run a decent race and keep my heart rate in safe zones.
  • And most of all - in the next seven months I hope to graduate from jogger at a 12:49 minute pace to a runner at a 10 minute pace. That is a HUGE difference. I think I can do it.

My First Big One - Jingle Bell 5K

I had been sick the last three days with really bad vertigo. I woke up today still having the tilting floor with the turn of the head so I was just determined not to move my head a lot today. I had to at least try...

It was a chilly overcast morning along the (breezy) waterfront. Fingers were frozen and legs felt crampy even before we started. THOUSANDS of runners in holiday attire and gear showed up. Young ones. Old ones. Thin ones. Big ones. Costumes were every where. It was a party for all.

My main goals today were:

1) Keep my heart rate under 180!
2) Finish without stopping

I was worried about the heart rate because I was so excited at home that it was at 109 before I even left the house. My resting heart rate is 58!

I purposefully drank NO caffeine this morning.

I figured if I ran in my 13.3 pace I could stay under 180. Luckily this course didn't have a ton of hills and climbs because I was running under my pace a lot. In fact, it only had one steep climb and that was at the end. I didn't peak a 180 heart rate until I started taking that big one. I was yelling at myself as I was trudging up the hill, Don't stop! DON'T YOU DARE STOP!!" and a woman behind me laughed and said, "Okay! I won't if you won't" and we both laughed....and we both made it.

But my heart rate hit 185 at the crest. I backed WAY off and got it down to 176 which is acceptable that late into the race.

Then I heard yelling and looked up and saw the big FINISH LINE banner up ahead down the road. I wanted to sing. I started giggling. It was a good moment. Then I saw my friend Christine on the sideline (she had already finished) and I yelled out, "I DIDN'T STOP A SINGLE TIME!!" and she and others cheered. That felt great too.

As I drew nearer to the goal, I remembered all those days back in school track and decided to SPRINT as fast as I could the last two minutes. DUMB! DUMB! DUMB!!!

My heart rate hit 191 as I went under the FINISH banner. I felt dizzy and weird and a bit disorientated as they cut my timer chip band off my wrist. I was scared and walked it off slowly and taking deep breaths, relaxing. I got down to 155 within 2 minutes. But, that scared me.

I had no business letting my heart work that hard.

I won't do that again.

I have no idea what my time was (since I was so goofy after I crossed the finish line I forgot to turn off the timer) but am thinking it will be an average of a bit less than 13 minute miles. That would be nice.

The good news: I finished without stopping a single time.

I didn't even stop on that steep climb.

I feel strong. I may have ran slower than most, but I am a winner. I never gave up.

Age: 49
Weight: 173 (23 more pounds to go)
Distance ran: 5K (3.1 miles)
Official Finish time: 39:50
Official Pace: 12:49
Weather: Overcast & Breezy @ 38 degrees with 86% humidity (no precipitation)
Average HR during the race: 175 bpm
Peak HR during the race: 191 after a two minute sprint to the finish line. Before that, 185 cresting the steep hill.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Night Before the Big Run

It is 5:40pm. I will be in bed in just 3 hours. I still have some vertigo issues and am still hoping to be able to complete my run tomorrow.

Temps expected in the morning are between 27 and 31 degrees.

We will be running along the water front so temps might feel even colder than that.

Weather expected to be foggy foggy and foggy.

Bags are packed. Clothes laid out. Pre-race and post race foods and drinks ready.

The pharmacist suggested I take a Claritin in the morning. She said it might help with the vertigo and shouldn't affect my pulse or run. But, everything I read says to never do something for the first time, before a race. Scary. What if it DOES increase my pulse? I sure don't need that when I will be battling my HR all morning to keep it under 180 with all the excitement that will be going on.

Day before the 'Big Run'

Vertigo is still here. Suffered major bed spins just moving my head in my sleep this morning. Wanted to throw up they were so bad.

It is 10am right now. I just tilted my head down to look at the keyboard and the room tilted.

Sure hope this stops by tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vertigo Strikes

Last night was awful. Every time my head moved I was woken up with vertigo (feeling nauseous and dizzy). I have been having inner ear issues on and off for awhile and my referral to the ear doctor isn't until January.

When I woke up in the morning I was hoping it would diminish like usual. But it didn't. Every time I looked down at the ground (feeding animals, picking things up, doing dishes) the room spun. If I turned my head too quickly to the left or right, I again felt dizzy. Driving to the store was awful.

And it lasted all day.

I am so worried about Sunday morning. I have worked so hard for this for months and then to become sick just two days before the race is frustrating.

I have been drinking a lot of juice, eating blueberries and for the most part - resting.

Will I be better in time?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I hate crunches and can only do a few. I can not do a single plank style push up.

I learned today that it is highly recommended as part of my coming running/training program that I work on those as CORE strength and UPPER BODY strength are very helpful in running. Fortunately for me I won't have to work on flexibility of the back, hips or legs. 1 out of 3 ain't a total loss.

Also - time to give up my carbonated (calcium depleting) soft drinks.

Replace my morning Dr Pepper with ice tea?!?

Great. JUST Great.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alone in the night - simply awesome

41 degrees out. Dark. 83 % humidity.

I put my headlamp on, my reflective wear, kissed my husband and stepped out into the brisk night. I put my earbuds in as protection against the cold and wind, start my watch and I run.

I am alone. My breath is a thick fog before me in the light of my headlamp. No dogs bark. No one on the streets. I run.

I run through the neighborhood. Up and down hills. Some steep. Some gradual. Some short. Some forever long.

There are few street lamps on some roads. On other roads, there are none. But I have my headlamp.

I was aiming for 2 miles, but by pacing myself and dutifully watching my heart rate and pace, I felt like I still had something left in me so I finally turned on my Walkman MP3 player on (yes, my Ipod and Iphone are too large and heavy for my accessory pocket in my jacket)...and I run.

Familiar songs play and my energy grows.

Running down empty roads I enjoy seeing all the early Christmas lights. I listen to favorite songs.
Coming into the last ugly hill when my energy began to fade, one of my most motivational running songs coincidentally began. And I ran.

I finished 3.22 miles without stopping a single time. I finished without pain. I finished without ever hitting max heart rate.

It sure feels good.

AVE HR: 167 (very good)
PEAK HR: 178 on a hill (3 higher than preferred but 9 lower than last weeks race! YAY!)
% of Run that was flat ground: 0%
TIME RAN: 41.30
PACE: 13.2

Sunday, November 27, 2011

5K on the Streets

I am really proud: I ran 3.1 miles today on the street and only saw my HR hit 180 ONCE (I set the alarm to sound if/when it hit) and that was only during the very last half mile of my run while taking a very steep long hill from 169 ft elevation to 339 ft elevation (170 foot incline!). I only stopped running once (on that same hill) when I came across a truck literally parked ON THE SIDEWALK and ACROSS THE BIKE PATH.

TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED to squeeze through the thick brush and trees and catch my breath was .10 of a mile. Once past the truck I ran again.

I am really frustrated: Throughout the run my "CURRENT ACTIVE PACE" was showing between 10.50 and 13.15. A lot of 12's in there. A lot of 13's on hills. But when I downloaded my report it said my average pace was 14:00!!!! NO WAY!!

I am really proud: I didn't feel like running this morning. I hate mornings. I wanted to sleep in. I ran instead.

I am really frustrated:  Once I downloaded my report I was stunned. It said it took me 43:10 to run a 5K!! That is CRAZY! (But my moving pace was 13:40 which is 40:20 minute 5K which is still more than what the watch said!)

Then I noticed my split times (every quarter mile) and saw that according to the report, in eleven of the 12+ quarter miles splits, I STOPPED MOVING. LIES!!!

It also showed in the remaining quarter mile I ran faster than the actual time (HUH!?!?).

Granted, I jogged in place ONCE for about 8 steps at a stop light but that was only once as I had the green on the way out. To get a report showing eleven of 12 quarters had periods of non-movement is maddening.

I am so disappointed in today's post-run report.


Weather/time: started 8:48 am. Very overcast. 90-100% humidity. 47 degrees. Wind gusts clocked at 16mph @ weather station just blocks away. Threatened to rain but held off till I got home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rethinking and Adjusting

I read a lot online, and spoke to the folks at the sporting good store about the very high unexpected heart rate during the race two days ago.

  • My normal 30 minute run HR is an average of 160 with a 165 peak.
  • I was at 171 at just 1.5 minutes with an average of 180 and peak of 187 by 23 minutes.

I could understand if I had been getting those numbers before, but SOMETHING was causing it to spike so early and so high that I need to identify and eliminate from my future runs. I had never hit 180 before, let alone 187. SCARY!! I got weak quickly at after 2.1 miles I had to take my gloves off, and tie my jacket around my waist and walk a few times before getting the HR below 178 and running the last mile in.

I KNOW I can run the 5K non-stop if I can keep my pulse from spiking and going nuts.

What was different at the race that I didn't have in my two months of practice?

1: Most of my workouts are late afternoon. This was early morning. My earliest run in 12 years.

2: I had caffeine within an hour of the run. I normally drink it between 7 am and 9am. I normally run after 5:30 pm.

3: It was 95 % humid out (which makes for harder breathing/exertion) and most of my workouts were indoors or outdoors when humidity was much lower.

4: I had layers of clothes on (long running pants, jog bra, long sleeve running shirt, jacket, gloves and a rain cap with a lining in it). I normally practice in loose knee shorts, jog bra and headband.

5: There was a lot of people running a 9 minute pace around me the first 5 minutes (I am a 10.5'er to 11 on slow days).

SO! With adjustments, I am going for a practice run out in the neighborhood tomorrow.

1: I am going first thing in the morning. I need to get used to that.


3: It will be 100% humid tomorrow. Likely raining. Time to get used to it.

4: Wearing the same running gear EXCEPT I am not trapping the heat in my head with a lined cap! I bought a rain visor yesterday. Also, I will wear gloves with the finger tips removed.

5: I am running alone. I will be watching my pace via my HR monitor/GPS.

I can't wait to try this.....and I am SO thankful for these new shoes that make it possible to run on asphalt without knee or hip strain.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Trot 5K - My first race

7:00 am: Breakfast! Half of a whole grain bagel, with a light smearing of peanut butter, topped with bananas. Also, I had half a serving of greek yogurt and some sports water to chase down a Diet Dr Pepper. All 2 hours before running. Looking back, I would do that all the same, but cut out the caffeine. You will see why later.

8:00 am: We picked up my coworker and friend Karolyn on the way and we all remarked at the wonderful and very unexpected weather. It was supposed to rain. Instead, we had golden early morning sunlight on beautiful fall foliage.

8:10 am: We arrived at the park and found a long line of cars waiting to go in. We paid our $3 for parking and were fortunate to have got a spot (or so we heard).

8:15 am - 8:45: This was time spent in lines. Registration line to get our numbers (I got #241 which excited me because #24 is my birthday). T-shirt line to get our shirts. Goody bag line to get our goodies (which got stored in the car). Bathroom line. Then we got in line behind the starting gate.

This is when we noticed how many people were with us. It looked like it was far more than 1,300 people!!! There were tons of dogs and strollers. That worried me.

The fun part of the pre-race time was the music being played. "Take on Me" by Aha; "Final Countdown" by Europe; "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas. All the songs being played on the PA system were songs on my run playlists at home. I was so pumped up on adrenaline and caffeine (ooops) that I found myself wanting to go NOW!

8:45 - 9:00: The event personnel began trying to get runners to position based on their average 'times'. They had six minute milers at the front. Then seven's, eights, and from nine's on back it was a hodgepodge. I tried to figure out where other elevens were.

9:00 - 9:03: The start! However, moving over a thousand people off through a start frame on a narrow trail takes time. The race clock said 53 seconds by the time I got through. As I went through the start frame I started my timer/heart monitor and began recording my race. Photos others posted showed MOST of us starting our watches going under it.

We were a thick pack going up hill and onto an even narrower bridge. Not breaking any speed records....

Then when it flattened out and went along the parking lot, hordes (of smart ones) fled the path and ran through the parking lot to join back up on the path later. This added distance to their run so no one minded.

Jogging lightly on the straight-away as the pack broke up a little I had made a point to NOT LOOK AT OTHERS and people were passing me. I didn't care. I was a smart runner. Yup. I had a plan!!! I knew how to do this. I read about it. Just keep my own pace. So I did. Or so I thought.

9:03 - 9:26: I was parallel to the farthest parking lot of the park at just 3 or 4 minutes when I heard my watch beeping like I never heard it before. It was loud and annoying. I looked at my watch and it said: HR 182 "TOO HIGH". WHAT?!?!?! That isn't POSSIBLE! I hadn't even gone a quarter mile yet! NO WAY! I paid attention to my gait. People were still running past me. I still 'felt' like I was in my normal pace.

And a minute later the monitor watch began frantically beeping again. And a minute later. And a minute later. It was embarrassing. Next time I will put it on vibrate.

In fact, my heartrate monitor was yelling at me the entire run and I was getting nervous. My legs felt great. My lungs felt okay. I had no sweat on my brow. Why was my pulse so incredibly high? (It didn't dawn on me I had never ran within an hour of drinking caffeine before and then when you add that to the adrenaline of a large race - whamo!).

Shortly into the race at just before the quarter mile mark there was a runner on the ground trying to talk as people swarmed to help him and administer first aid. I thought it sounded like he had a seizure as he was slurring very badly. I slowed and someone told us that one of those helping was a doctor "please keep it moving".

And still that monitor of mine kept telling me HR "TOO HIGH". This concerned me. My 'max' heart rate is supposedly around 175. I kept TRYING to jog as slowly as I could. I wondered if I should just stop and walk and promised myself I would go a little longer. I practiced the breathing that always works at home to reduce heart rate. It didn't work.

I took my wind breaker off and tied it around my waist thinking if I could cool down that might help. It didn't but I felt better.

We were warned that part of the path was under water near the 5K turn around. I got there and volunteers were shouting we could turn around "It's alright" and "just a few more yards to the turn around". I, like most others, ran through the two large lane filling puddles. We cheered like children playing. It was actually my favorite part at that point. The cold water felt good.

I saw the 5K turn around and it was MUCH more than 'just a few more yards". Still, I jogged all the way to it, touched it and started my jog back. Then I saw throngs headed towards me. I jogged through the puddles and then went off the path....and walked awhile.

Yup. I took a break for a few steps until the throngs passed me and cleared the path enough for me to continue running. Excuse? Yeah. But I needed it. I started a light jog again and away I went.

Then ONCOMING traffic became HORRID. I was running into the throngs of slower runners, late runners and those running with dogs, children and strollers. I was coming up on others that had passed me earlier who were now walking in front of me side by side on the already limited space. I had a LOT of road blocks. I looked at my watch to see if I should sprint through and noticed the watch appeared to have stopped. I pressed SAVE just in case and was bummed that I might have lost ALL THAT DATA. Luckily, it saved the first 26 minutes worth (but no more).

I did a lot of dodging, weaving and cutting to traverse this section of the race.

Even with the walking parts, I was still maintaining an average time of 12:29.

9:26-9:30 am: During this time I did more light jogging than walking, but I did do a lot of the later. More than I planned. I can't remember much of that 4 minutes other than jog-walk-race walk-jog-walk-jog. I did get my heart rate down to the low 170's.

I did notice a lot of people cheating themselves though. People cutting across the grasses when the trail went in deep on curves, etc.

9:30 - 9:37 am: I decided to try and record more of the run. I pressed record and decided I was committed to run non-stop from then on. However, NOW I was sweating. NOW I was tired. NOW I was feeling drained and weak. It was HARD lifting those feet!!! I think I dragged them a few times.

On one turn close enough to hear the announcer calling in the first of the 10K runners back at the start, I noticed that the trail now had red ribbon and we were all being diverted through the grass, up a (ARGH!!) steep hill and through brush and trees, then back down the slippery steep muddy slope and across more soppy grass. I looked back and saw that the ambulance was STILL there from where that man had gone down earlier. That was worrisome. If it had been a seizure, they would have been done by then.

I later heard that he had a heart attack and 'it was pretty bad'.

9:37 - 9:40 am: I finally saw the far parking lot! I heard music! I wanted to STOP! lol This was the hardest part of the race. Then to make it harder, as I was running the path, those that had finished were lackadaisically walking back to their cars dead center on the trail (why?!?). Then, as I got to the near parking lot and the bridge that lead to the hill decline into the finish line, I had to run the gauntlet and much to my surprise - no one was cheering me and those with me on.

I had NEVER been to a 5K where those who were standing around after they finished (or the friends and families of runners waiting for them to come in) didn't cheer everyone in on the last stretch.

That was heartbreaking....until I saw George! He was photographing me and then he smiled and waved as I was kicking into my fastest sprints I could muster at that time.

I passed under the timer at either 9:40:34. Taking the finish time of 40:34 and subtracting the :53 seconds from when I went under the start bar (behind the crowds) nets a finish time of 39:41.

9:40-9:50: I drank water and half a banana and stretched. I felt my legs locking up so I told George I was going to go back and find Karolyn. They announced that the Polar Bear Swim would start in ten minutes and he promised to photograph it for me.

9:50-10:07: I walked and jogged back through the parking lot (off the trail) and then in the dirt and grass to the side of the trail (since there was TONS of racers still out there!!!) until I found Karolyn. I walked back with her. That really helped me a lot. I needed that walk. The perfect cool down.

10:07-10:30: Karolyn got some water, I got a half a bagel and she commented that her ankle hurt. I suggested we dip our ankles into the polar bear lake. Bless her heart she agreed! We went over to the lake, took both of our shoes off and rolled our pants up to our knees and stepped into the frigid lake. That was really cold but I think my feet and calves thanked me.

We walked barefoot to the car and went home. But as a note, as we were walking back, runners were still coming back in droves and we were cheering them on. A few of those who received our kudos looked and smiled or said thanks. :)


My actual run time for the 5K (of obstacles ) is: 39 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pace: 12:46


First 26 minutes - 2.12 miles (of the full 3.1 miles) worth of data:
  • Average Pace - 12:24 (included the periods of walking)
  • Fastest Pace - 9:53 (Whooops!!! Sure didn't feel like I got that fast)
  • Average Heart rate - 180
  • Highest Heart rate - 187 (in the second mile)
  • Time it took to reach Max Heart rate - 1:42 minutes (HOLY COW!!!)
  • Max elevation gain - 17 feet
  • Max elevation drop - 30 feet
  • Distance/time actually running - first 1.75 miles were non-stop. Then a few periods of walk/race-walk/jog alternating before going back to non-stop after I got my heart rate under 180 the last mile.

  • No caffeine before the run - I will have enough natural adrenaline
  • Watch my pace! - I didn't know how to on my monitor watch. Now I do. I should have never been running under 10 minute paces today and it sure as heck never felt like I was.
  • Find out today's official time - and beat it.

WEATHER/TEMPS: Race started at 40.1 degrees and was 40.3 at the end. Overcast. Humidity was 93%. Some gusts.

CLOTHING: Purple shirt TOO HOT. Gloves TOO HOT. No sweat band needed. Could had gone without the cap holding heat in.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Run Jitters

My first 5K in 12 years is just a little over 12 hours away.

Rain is expected and according to the event planners, they went out and ran the course today and reported that there are places in which the entire path is under 'an inch or two' of standing water. The race is on a path shared by 1,100-1,300 runners, joggers, walkers, and strollers both coming and going.

  • My worries are that I will either: Overheat in my winter runwear; be too cold; get too wet; dehydrate; strain my knees; or fight water on my eyeglasses (run without them???).

  • My hope is I will find others jogging in my weight/age range so I don't stand out like a sore thumb. I only lost a few pounds the last two weeks and am at 177 pounds today (might be 176 tomorrow??). That is huge compared to the joggers I see on the streets.

  • My focus is to just run MY pace as I predict that is going to be really hard for me when I see all the 8 min and 9 min runners take off around me (I am a 10 to 11 min runner under good conditions at this point).

  • My 1st goal is to finish through the crowd, puddles, rain and obstacles at under 35 minutes.

  • My 2nd goal is to finish without walking for any reason other than traffic jams of participants.

I am not having Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, but I bought myself a miniature 5.6 oz container of Dreyer's Drumstick ice cream. If I can meet either of my two goals, I will treat myself tomorrow night. If not, it will sit until the run in Portland 10 days later. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Parrot Crossing part II

Put on the new shoes, the long Nike cold-weather running pants (yuck) and ran 30 minutes on the treadmill. It is POURING out there in the dark winter night.

Decent run until at 22 minutes my parrot jumped off her cage and came running across the floor to me...just as two dogs and two cats went running for her.

Had to hop off and rescue her and that shot my pulse through the roof for a minute.

Todays run: 30 minutes non-stop.
Average Heart rate over the 30 minute run: 150
Peak Heart rate: 162

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Shoes & Evanescence

I was worried about the upcoming 5k's being on asphalt and was doing research. I found my Brooks shoes were great for control (overpronation) but not the cushiest. We went to Fit Right NW on Friday night and I told the sales person that I loved my Brooks, but needed something with more cushion...something for heavier runners.

He knew exactly what to suggest - Asics Foundation Gel 10's (that is the model, not the size!).
It felt like I was walking on pillows. I did a few little jogs and found the sole flexed (my Brooks felt like they had a cross bar through the sole), were lighter and did I mention the walking on pillows?
I bought them immediately. Today they fit MUCH more snugly than when I tried them on but I ran anyways. I LOVE THEM!!! No hip strain (great motion control) and no knee burn. They felt great.

Thank you Fit Right NW!!!

Todays run: 30 minutes non-stop.
Average Heart rate over the 30 minute run: 148
Peak Heart rate: 158 (Zone 5 but only for a few minutes)

Speaking of that elevated peak heart rate, that occurred at around the 22 minute mark when an Evanescence's song, "BRING ME TO LIFE" came on my playlist!!! I tried very hard to maintain my standard pace but still the heart rate shot up drastically during that song. I removed it from my long run playlist because I don't need to wear myself out any sooner than I would naturally. :D

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Uphill Gains

30 minutes non-stop: treadmill.

I hated my run tonight. It just wasn't fun.

Of course it was the first time I ran 75% of a 30 minute workout at a 2% incline. Not fun at all. Had to work on my posture the entire time. Legs and calves felt it for sure.

However, I feel AWESOME now that my post-run stretches are done.

Go figure!

Even though I was running at an incline for the first time on the treadmill, my heart rates today stayed much lower than on Monday. That is promising. :)

Average rate for the thirty minutes: 155 beats per minute

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I haven't run since Monday. And like most weeks, I won't be running until Thursday.

That makes for a long 72 hours. I want to run but Monday and Tuesday are filled with family and distractions. for me. It is raining, cold and windy and dark outside.

Maybe I should either move my treadmill to the garage where I won't see TV or be tempted to just sit on the couch after a long day with my husband on one of his few nights home when I am home - or - Maybe I should buy another treadmill so I can have one in comfort and one for Mon and Tues?

Maybe if I were rich!! Until then, I go without 3 days straight....and eat instead. This isn't helping.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heart rate confusion

I was reading last night that in a typical week, a runner should have several types of runs based on their heart rates and types of exertion. Since yesterday was a long distance run at a flat level with slight (normal) escalation towards the end, I thought I would try the type where you push it to the top then relax then push it. Problem was, I pushed it to 164 beats per minute as early as 6 minutes and my heart rate wanted to stay up there even during the two minutes of slowed snails pace running in between the sprints. There was no real ups and downs.

I am confused.

Either way: Ran 30 minutes tonight. The first 20 minutes had all out sprints for a minute, every third minute (for a total of six intervals completed between my normal pace).

Heartrate after the sixth minute into the workout I averaged a 164-166 heart rate.

The first 30 seconds after running (while walking through a cool-down) it dropped to 144 and by the 5th minute of walking was down to 94.

I need to read more on this. I am not getting it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

45 minutes of treadmill sand

The resistance on the treadmill (since it was serviced last week) is still taking getting some used to. It still feels like running in sand. I wonder what he did to it when he changed the belt, rollers and motor.

  • Ran 45 minutes non-stop at my easy/distance pace.

  • Heart rate @ 148 and 161 from the 6th minute on.

There was one peak at around 42 minutes of 164 but I made myself slow it up a bit. Might have to do with running so soon after my morning caffeine?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Treadmill Sand

Today was my first time on the treadmill since the new motor and rollers were installed yesterday. Immediately I knew that this was NOTHING like my what I was used to.

There was a rumble/vibration I could feel with every step, and it felt like I was running in deep if the resistance was somehow cranked up yet even at my normal casual pace setting I felt like I could barely keep up. At 4 minutes I felt strain and had to really focus on form and staying centered on the belt as I was struggling.

Again - it felt like running in deep sand. I hated it. Still, race day is coming so I ran my full expected 30 minutes.

My resting heart rate is 58. I monitored my pulse with a runners heart rate watch and found I was VERY steady IN THE ZONE at 148-154 beats per minute the entire 27 minutes before I cranked my speed up 15% for the remaining 3 minutes. My heart rate then hit at least 159, possibly more (I couldn't get a reading at the peak of my last three minutes).


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Night Run in the Rain - 11:30 min Pace

Since the races are so close, I thought I would try out my 'rain resistant' hat and jacket, as well as my new long sleeve running shirt and see if they would keep me warm and dry. I ran 1.5 miles non-stop tonight in a steady light rain to find out and learned a lot in the process.
  • My new hat is AMAZING!! Best purchase I made yet. My eyeglasses and my head never got wet and the built in sweat band was very absorbent.
  • My jacket worked pretty darned good in the rain, too. I never felt wet, it was lightweight, and I didn't get overheated even after 17 minutes of running with it zipped up over a long sleeve running shirt. Likewise, I never felt cold in the 49 degrees/rain.
  • My neighborhood has long stretches of road without any street lights. It got very dark twice. I couldn't even see the details of the road. Won't be doing that here again without some form of lighting with me.
  • My neighborhood streets have a lot of wet, slippery leaves on the sides of the road.
  • Not sure if cars could see the small reflective stripes and icons on my hat & jacket. Ordering adhesive reflective tape.
  • There is a lot of chimney smoke on cold fall nights in my neighborhood.
  • When your nose is running, it helps if you have something absorbent with you. Need to carry a handkerchief!!
  • My legs and knees felt better than I thought they would.
  • Going down hill is definitely easier than up hill. ;)
  • My pace in the dark, wet and hills was 11:30 minute miles. Hoping that improves.

I stopped only because I started feeling it in my shins (a first!) and right knee. I was so tense running in the wet dark that even my neck and shoulders hurt when I was done. I didn't want to overdo it. I got the answers I was looking for: My gear will be fine if it is raining or cold.

Below is the GPS graph showing the inclines/hills I ran tonight over the 1.5 miles.

My running cap is from Outdoor Research, and is called The Revel Cap.
My running jacket is from Brooks, and is a men's Brooks Essentials.
My winter running shirt: Brooks Epiphany for women.
My shoes are Brooks Addiction 8's .

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shorter distance - faster

A book I was reading suggested running all but one day a week and to mix up the types of runs.

Ran 20 minutes tonight.

- Ran my comfy pace + .3 mph faster for the first half
- Ran my comfy pace + .5 mph faster for the last half

Right leg felt better tonight.

Tonight's Challenges:
  • CRUDDY music came on twice (Tom Petty singing 'Breakdown' is not motivating)
  • Hot Flash hit at 6 minutes
  • At those speeds I had to keep focused on an upright posture

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weighty issues and Goals

It is getting close to my first two events. So quickly!

  • Thanksgiving Morning "TURKEY TROT": 5K walk/run. 17 days away! Not expecting great times as this is so packed most walk it. Maybe 45 minutes? LOL!!

  • December 4th "JINGLE BELL RUN": 5K in Portland, Oregon on the street. 27 Days Away! Supposedly this is the BIG one and I should be able to run as far as my body will let me that morning.

Current race challenge - I am still recovering from a mountain hike I took 8 days ago. Most everything is okay now, but my right upper leg is still feeling pull/light pain when lifted. My brother said it sounds like a groin pull that can take quite awhile to heal. Just take it slow and easy for now.

#1 GOAL:
  • Lose 5 pounds between now and December 4th. I hate to admit it, but today I decided to put the numbers out there. I weighed 180 pounds this morning. At 150 I used to be a lean mean running machine. But that is 30 pounds away from now. My doctor recommended no asphalt or concrete running until I hit at least 165-170 max but it looks like I will be hitting pavement somewhere between 175 instead on the 4th. Hoping I don't hurt my knees. If you want to know what that feels like, go grab a 30 pound sack of pet food and then run for 30-45 minutes.
Going strong - getting stronger! :)

TODAY's RUN: Ran around the block with my DORK golden retriever WAY above my pace. That was not the warm up I expected. Then, ran on the treadmill at a slightly faster than normal pace for 30 minutes non-stop. Did a LOT of stretching as that right leg is still a bit bothersome. BUT I DID IT!!!

By the way - this is me post-run today wearing my AWESOME Brooks running jacket (that can't be missed from a mile away) and my rain-proof running cap. I sure wish I could afford that jacket in every color. I bought it in Men's so it would be long enough to cover my hips. :D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I looked forward to running again all week, yet at the same time worried about causing serious injury to already strained and overworked muscles so close to the two races coming up.

I decided I would just run ONE mile tonight.

However, at one mile I decided to at least make it a true aerobic workout and go a full 20 minutes.

It wasn't pretty and I kept paying attention to my posture and legs. Am I turning in at the ankles or knees? Straighten up! Is that pain starting on my right leg? No? Keep going. Was THAT? Nope. Okay. Keep going. It was very mental. But oddly, there wasn't a lot of sweating going on tonight. I guess mental is just as hard on a workout as physical fatigue because at 20 minutes I was ready for my cool down.

However, I feel so good afterwards. I just feel stronger - physically, mentally and emotionally.

I needed that.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Setback

  • On Saturday my husband and I went on a hunt for some waterfalls in the Cascade Mountain range. We wondered why there were no trail guides for it, other than an occasional person's rough description of how to get there and one GPS point.

Long story short, there was no trail to the falls. It was a downward descent down a mountain side on a steep and crumbling lavic flow that had slippery moss and loose rocks. We kept going down, down, down and there was places so steep I sat on my bottom and scooted down. Loose rocks and slippery spots resulted in lots of startled frantic efforts to stay upright.

We did find the falls. I did get photos (see above). Then we went back up the middle of the rock slide. Straight up. At times, scaling the wall of loose rock with hands and feet. At times, sending large boulders crashing below us as they gave way. At times, wondering if we weren't a bit nuts.

We were both INCREDIBLY proud to make it to the top. It felt exhilarating.

  • Sunday, all the ankle twisting, knee bending, hip turning, and muscles involved the day before in staying upright on our hike caught up with me.

  • Monday, it was even worse. Simply stepping down onto the street off a sidewalk sent jolts up my legs! This caused me a lot of concern.

  • Tuesday, I tried a short run during a break at work. I had to stop at about a fifth of a mile as it still hurts to LIFT my legs.

My first 5K run is only 33 days away.

I am NOT giving up. But I **AM** taking it easy. If I have to walk some of the December 5K then I will have to walk it. But I WILL be there and I WILL finish it.

Live and Learn.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parrot Crossing!

I was running a decent run on the treadmill tonight. However, after only 32 minutes into the run I had to stop.

One of our two parrots had jumped down off her cage, walked past the two dogs and one cat, possibly even OVER them since the two dogs had been laying there at the dog gate staring at me as I ran. She came into the den and right up to my treadmill.

Oh well. Glad she was safe. Got a decent run in albeit it was shorter than planned.

Alternated my normal pace for 4 minutes with all-get-out 1 minute sprints. Rinse-lather-repeat.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Again - Ricky Martin to the Rescue

I normally take a day off between runs but I went for an easy 30 minutes anyways. Fortunately, it was easier than yesterday. Although it was a little rough between 12 and 27 minutes it wasn't at all painful or uncomfortable. Just tiring. Then at 27 minutes Ricky Martin's ALE ALE ALE song came on.

As corny as it is, there is something about the lyrics and the beat that really fire me up.

Although the goal was surviving 30 minutes, I ran 45 minutes. I like that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pushing Through

Pushing through discomfort and fighting the couch has been the biggest battle since I overdid it on the 10th. Hard to believe that was almost two weeks ago. Losing a week after really set me back.

My Turkey Trot walk/jog is just 31 days and 23 hours from now. Luckily, it is more walking than running according to the girls I will be with. They said that the path along the river is very narrow through woods and 1,000 others will be running up and back on it. All at once.

The Jingle Bell 5K run is 41 days and 22 hours from now. It is a run through the streets of Portland.

A coworker told me to just focus on strong 30 minute runs for now. The adrenaline of the actual 5K will push me through it all.

Who am I to argue? 30 minutes today. Slow pace, but stronger than two days ago.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's like starting over

I had over a week since my last nonstop run of a mile or more. It was really difficult. Also, my right upper leg/hip flexor is still feeling last weeks 75 minute run. I was so stupid.

Today, I ran 30 minutes non-stop (at an easy pace) and from the 22 minute mark onward, it was AWFUL.

Time is running out and I don't feel very optimistic about the December 5K right now.

Today: 30 minutes nonstop running + 3 one miles walks during work breaks = 665 calories

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 days break

I hadn't run since last Thursday. It was making me nuts. Especially since the 5K is looming so closely. But with a treadmill that is not working on inclines, a serviceman who hasn't called back yet (GRRRRRRR!), and not having the time alone while actually awake and feeling well, it just hasn't happened.

Tonight, even though everyone was home, I did a light workout anyways.

I did intervals of walking between intervals of 5mph and 6mph sprints. It HURT. I can't believe how hard it is after a break of just 5 days.

Total calories burned = 600.

300 on the treadmill + 300 at work (walking three miles during breaks)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Overdid it Monday

Still feeling some of the ramifications of my 75 minute run Monday. Today I just ran really hard for a mile (took another 16 seconds off my best treadmill mile time) and did walking and ifit stuff.

I will NOT be running 75 minute runs again until I lose at least another 19 pounds. My body let me know the last four days that was a mistake. I am adjusting my song list for Monday's accordingly. ;)


  • Walked during breaks: 2.5 miles
  • Mile Run: 11 min 16 seconds (awfully hard to do today)
  • iFit powerwalk: Max incline 7% and max speed 3.3mph for 30 minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blaming it on Ricky Martin

Today is my 'long run' day so I was determined to do 45 minutes. I felt strong at first and felt like I could have gone faster but knowing it was early, decided to stay the pace. At 45 minutes I was going to stop except I felt 'okay' and a good song came on - Ricky Martin's "Ole Ole Ole".

"Now is the time, don't ever stop
Push it along, gotta be strong
Push it along, right to the top
The feeling in your soul is gonna take control
Nothing can hold you back if you really want it!"

Well, I wanted it. I was singing at the top of my lungs, fist pumping and then the runners high kicked in FULL force at 57 minutes. Couldn't stop then at 60. Nope. Wasn't happening.

I was at 71 minutes when the music playlist ended. Somehow....that took away my mojo. I was exhausted. I hurt. I didn't want to stop then because that wasn't a number divisible by 5 (don't ask - I can't explain it) so I pushed through the last 4 minutes without music. Each ten seconds felt like an hour. But I did it.

Total run time NON-STOP = 75 minutes. important.

Headphones aren't allowed at 5K's.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

I. Hate. Mornings.

Really. I need to get over this. Most 5Ks are in the morning. But man oh man...Sunday morning workouts are always the pits.

Did hard intervals today. Really pushed myself and did faster/longer intervals but it is those minute walks in between that depress me. I wish I could run my normal pace AND do those mad crazy all out sprints.

Todays drill:
  • walk 1 minute
  • run for 2 minutes (1 mph faster than my normal pace )
  • walk 1 minute
  • run the fastest I can 1 minute (2 mph faster than my normal pace)
Over and over for 30 minutes.

I don't know what I hated most...the 2 minutes running faster than my norm or the 1 minute pushing death. ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Since my last workout was endurance (60 minutes non-stop) today's goal was speed. Could I beat my mile time?

Yup!!! Mind you, my treadmill time shows much slower than my actual track time. Here are some gains I have made on the treadmill in six weeks:

Aug 25th: 1 mile = 15 minutes "hard"
Sep 11th: 1 mile = 12 minutes 34 seconds
Oct 6th: 1 mile = 11 minutes 32 seconds

Goal: 9 minute miles

Total workouts today:
  • 2 miles during breaks at work
  • 1.46 miles (up hill/down hill) walking home from the auto shop
  • 1 mile speed test
  • 1/3rd of a mile cool down

Monday, October 3, 2011

60 minute run NON-STOP

WOW! What happened? I was planning on making myself stick it out for 45 minutes and it was a miserable first 10 minutes that didn't get much easier as I warmed up. In fact, my right shoulder started throbbing at 15 minutes.

Still, I was determined to just make it to 45.

Struggling, I made it less than gracefully through 43 minutes. Then a song came on. But not just any song. I was going to play a friends playlist tonight but decided to go with the highest octane list I could find instead and save his for Wednesday's workout. So knowing tonight was a rough one, I chose an 80's playlist some stranger made and right at 43 minutes came - "She's a Maniac" from Flashdance. And oh my! POWER-SURGE! Adrenaline rush. Runner's High!! WOOHOO!! Fist pumping even.

It didn't get hard again until the 56:30 minutes and it hit fast and it hit heavy. But by then, I was committed. I mean, you don't just run 56:30 and stop when 60 minutes is just 3.5 minutes away, do you??


So I did it. And guess what. Girls sweat. They really do. And old fluffy women carrying an extra 25 pounds AND enduring hot flashes do, too. But, that is okay. Right?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Problem With Mornings

.....Is they are so early. I just don't 'get' those people who prefer running in the morning to running in the last afternoon. Seriously.

Due to my schedule, if I don't cram a run in on Sunday mornings it will be a four day lapse between the Thursday and Monday night workouts. That is way too long (I am already bummed I don't have every other day as recommended) so I make myself get going and it is not fun.

At least it is practice for those blasted event organizers who set 5k's in the mornings. Thank goodness for those dear souls that set them at night (like the firefly run, the moonlight madness run, etc).

Workout today was weak: 30 minutes of running with one 3 minute walk in the midst and a fast and furious last quarter mile as my self-inflicted punishment. Followed by a 5 minute walk.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


George just went to work. It is too late for me to work out now as I would be up for HOURS after. Restless leg is bad enough after running right after work, let alone the equivalent of 2 hours after. Running every other day (optimal) is just not possible.

Tomorrow morning I will have to catch up and then again, Monday night.

So - this is what my weekly running schedule is proving to be:

Sunday mornings: before noon
Monday nights: right after work
Thursday nights: right after work

So in reverse, the days it is harder to is Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday. That is two sets of two consecutive days a week. In other words, after Monday night, there is NOTHING for 72 hours. Same thing after Thursday. Nothing until the 3rd day then it is two days back to back. No wonder I am having a hard time finding a consistent groove.

So realistically, I get two nights a week and one morning to run with my music cranked loud enough to make the floors hum. Hoping tomorrow morning is a good one as I just signed up for another 5k here in my area.

Also, hoping for much cooler but dry afternoons so I can run after work on the way home - before it is to dark at the high school to do so.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hot flashes and running

Hot flashes and running don't mix! There I was all ready to have a great workout and 6 minutes into the run *POOF!* thermonuclear blast from the inside. Skin on my face prickling. Heat trying to escape every pour of my body. Hair drenched. And it lasted throughout the first mile. I had it.

Switched to minute long sprint intervals for the next 21 minutes, then did some serious incline walking for an additional 20 minutes (up to 10%). Total workout time = 55 minutes

Monday, September 26, 2011

Keira Knightly

I searched playlists on Rhapsody and thought I would try Keira Knightly's "rock" playlist. Cranked it and away I went. Most of the songs were absolutely NEW to me and I loved that. I saved it to use it again.

Today's "easy" 44 minute workout (since the last one was a 45 minute run):

  • Powerwalk - Jillian Michaels programed 30 minutes (24 of it at 3.5 mph on 5%-7% inclines)
  • Sprints - 14 minutes alternating 4mph and 6 mph

Here is Keira's Playlist

Saturday, September 24, 2011

45 minutes - Nonstop

I was really dreading running today after this dismal workout week, but I made myself do it. I guess you can say that the 580 calorie slice of Key Lime pie at lunch inspired me to JUST DO IT.

Ran indoors on the treadmill 45 minutes without stopping or slowing a single time. In fact, as painfully hard as the first 7 minutes were, as as tedious as minutes 8 through 25 were, the last 20 were relatively quicker and easier. Go figure.

In fact, I sped up the last quarter mile.

I *used* to run 48 minutes a day. Pretty sure that is still a long way off but I AM GETTING THERE!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

BAD week

I am going to count this entire week a loss. A horrid workout Monday, no running time Tuesday or Wednesday due to photo shoot stuff, and dumb me put off last nights work out for this morning.

Little did I know I would wake up to raging painful sinuses today.

And I gained 3 pounds???

Tomorrow I wont have any me time either. This new schedule of George's is a challenge. I won't let it beat me. I have to learn to adapt to it.

Next workout time is Sunday morning.

For now, it is soup and the couch.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Disappointing Run

Can I blame it on having taken Dayquil (for the first time) earlier today?

I don't know what happened but I was just WEAK today. I was really struggling at 7 minutes and it took everything I had to make it a full 20 minute run before I stopped. That is pushing my progress back several weeks. I really wanted to keep going but it just wasn't in me today.

So disappointed.

Treadmill tonight:
  • 20 minutes non-stop at a mid-range pace (faster than usual but not sprinting)
  • 5 minutes at a very brisk walk at 3% incline
  • 5 minutes at a moderate walk at 0% incline
  • 3 minute cool down
Total calories burned? 300 according to the machine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Doing It

Woke up to a cold, damp gray morning and had no desire to run. Nada. Zip. But my dilemma was I only have so many hours a week alone to do this without an audience or distractions around me. That is why I don't run on Saturdays. NO TIME ALONE. And I only get maybe 2 or 3 hours alone on Sunday.

So, I made myself get up early. Go down a glass of juice, que some music and just do it.

Did I choose to do one of my longer or more difficult workouts? Nope. It was just 25 minutes of alternating (fast and furious almost makes you lose your balance) sprints every other minute.

Was it easy? Nope. I hurt. All over. Hip flexors, feet, even my shoulders and upper back (from arm swinging). Hurt hurt hurt. I sweat. All over. I wanted nothing more than to quit and go sit and vegetate on the couch.

But did I finish? YES! I did. NOW I can go sit and watch football.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weight Issues

My goal is to run the 5K in Portland, on December 4th, 2011. That is only 11 weeks and 2 days away. My doctor gave me clearance to run again, but I was told to avoid asphalt/street running until I get to a certain weight. Well, that weight is 22 pounds from now.

I have been running a little over four weeks. During those four weeks the scale has gone up and down and up and down the same three pounds. As of today, total NET loss = 1 pound.

Yeah, I feel so much stronger, my clothes are fitting a little looser and muscle weighs more than fat, but that isn't going to help my knees if I don't lose POUNDS before I hit the asphalt for December's run.

Feeling pretty discouraged about the weight right now. I think of every set of tens on the scale as a decade and I just want to get into my next 'decade' down. I am so close but it just isn't happening yet.

Today's workouts:

  • Walked two miles at work (1 mile per break)
  • Powerwalk - Jillian Michaels Level 2 week 1 day 3 on the treadmill for 25 minutes (7% incline!)
  • Sprint intervals at max speed every other mile for 16 minutes.