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.