Sunday, December 28, 2008

Long run

I did indeed do Thursday's run outside at the park where the TNT team usually runs. I will admit there was quite a bit of walking in there. The path had quite a few spots that were icy death traps.

On Saturday, the weather warmed up considerably. It was more than 50 degrees! However, I was feeling disgustingly lazy. So I slept in very late (no group run due to the holidays) and completely blew off my 10 mile run.

Fortunately, guilt got the better of me so I made up the 10 miles this morning at the gym. Go me! And I ran the whole thing, except for the 5-minute cool-down period that the treadmill at the gym does when your time is up. The treadmill only lets you program in an hour at a time so I had a 5-minute cooldown in the middle of my 10 mile run. Kinda weird, but it worked out well. I felt awesome after running. Then it was off to a family holiday gathering where I ate well, but didn't overdo it, and felt quite virtuous since I'd run off a good 1,200 calories this morning. :)

The taper is in full force - the longest run between now and the race in three weeks is just six miles. Three weeks! I can't believe it's almost here. I feel ready, but still nervous.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The taper

Now we're into the taper period before the race, so the miles will be decreasing up until race time.

I felt quite ill on Monday. Fortunately it was a day off anyway, so I didn't have to worry about running. On Tuesday, I felt much better so I headed to the gym after work for my five miles.

I still kind of mentally trick myself into running. When I started, I said to myself "just get through the first mile." Then after the first mile flew by, I said "you can stop at three if you want to." But of course when I got to three, I told myself just get to four. And when I got to four I figured I may as well complete the full five.

I feel great after I run so I'm not sure why I have to con myself into doing it sometimes. This morning I had four miles scheduled and it seemed to go by pretty quickly, despite the fact that all my weekday runs are happening on a treadmill these days.

Tomorrow is Christmas day and the gym doesn't open until 3pm. I'll be at my brother's house celebrating the holiday then, so if I'm going to do my planned five miles it will have to be done outside. I'm hoping there isn't any precipitation since I don't particularly enjoy running in the rain or snow. I'll do what I have to, though. I'll probably head over to the park where we do our weekly TNT group runs.

Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Final 12 mile run

We had a honking huge snowstorm on Friday so I was a little apprehensive about Saturday morning's group run. But kudos to the Metropark staff, because they did a great job plowing the parking lot and getting pretty much all the snow off the path where we run.

This was the final 12 mile run. Woo hoo! Now we're into the taper so the miles just decrease from here until the race on January 18th. I did most of Saturday's run on my own. Started out with a few people but they split off around 3 miles in because there were a couple of team members who had to run 20 miles for marathon training. So they were doing a different route than me.

I should have followed last week's successful run one mile / walk one minute plan. But I didn't. Why didn't I? Who the heck knows! Instead I tried to be all tough girl and run the whole thing. Which only led to me having really sore legs and walking more distance than I would have if I'd followed the run/walk strategy. Live and learn! I still feel like this was a successful training run. I'm fully confident that, barring some freak injury, I'll be able to complete the half marathon in January.

And when that's over, I'll probably sign up for a spring half marathon somewhere to inspire me to keep training. I really love the way I feel after I run.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last week's long run

Last Saturday was my second 12-mile run and the first one that I did outside. It was very cold, but it wasn't snowing and the path at the park was pretty well cleared off. Quite an improvement from the snowy long run the week prior!

I had a really hard time with the 12-mile run I did on the treadmill over Thanksgiving weekend so I approached this run with a different plan. I wanted to take a one-minute walk break after every mile marker. I was running with the TNT coach, who intimidates the heck out of me, so I ran the first four miles without doing the walk breaks. I finally decided to grow up and let her know what I wanted to do, which she was totally fine with.

So I took the walk break after each subsequent mile and it helped me so much. Thinking "I have to run 12 miles" is daunting to me, but thinking "just one mile until a walk break" is much easier. I was very pleased with the run. And my legs were super sore for the rest of the day, but felt much better on Sunday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Never thought I'd be a morning person

Okay, I'm still not a morning person, but I did manage to get up unreasonably early (4:45am) three days this week to go to the gym and get my scheduled runs done. I did six miles on Tuesday, four on Wednesday, and six on Thursday as per the TNT schedule. It wasn't much fun but I'm so glad I did it, because otherwise I would have ended up skipping runs due to a busy week.

It's amazing to me how many people are at the gym at that hour of the morning. The dedication is really impressive and inspiring. I don't think I'll make a regular habit of early morning gym visits, but I think I'll be doing it for at least until Christmas break rolls around.

Tomorrow I'll be running 12 miles with TNT. Fortunately, this 12-miler will be outside rather than on the treadmill. I really don't ever want to be on a treadmill for that long again! The only thing that will change my mind is ice. If the path at the park is icy, then off to the gym I'll go. I already fell on my butt on the ice once this week, while walking to my car. I don't care to repeat the experience!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Running in the snow

Today was another group run day with TNT. I was scheduled for 10 miles. When I woke up, the temperature was less than 20 degrees. Not unexpected for an early December morning in Michigan! As I headed out to the park where we run, I saw it was starting to snow. It was snowing fairly hard, actually, and starting to accumulate. A new adventure! I've never run in the snow before.

I went into the warming room where we meet and here's what I saw: two coaches, two mentors, one LLS employee, one LLS volunteer. NO other runners from the team! The coaches and mentors said "We were just talking about whether anyone was going to show up and we all said Cathy will be here." Ha! I told them I had strongly considered just going to the gym instead, but running 10 miles on the treadmill alone isn't my idea of a good time. I really enjoy the group runs because long miles are more fun with other people around and definitely better done outside.

So we headed out into the snow. It's kind of intimidating being the only team member there and having two mentors and two coaches focusing themselves on me. I tend to be a pretty slow runner and I feel more conspicuously slow with all those people paying attention to me. Everyone is really awesome and supportive, though I suspect the running coach is not too impressed by my pace. She's quite athletic and usually runs with another team member who is impressively fast and also athletic (in addition to being a very nice guy).

As it turns out, running in the snow is not totally fun but is WAY better than running in the rain. The snow accumulated quite a bit as we ran, so it wasn't easy going. My legs felt much more tired than normal so I took some walk breaks. We all had snow frozen to our eyebrows and lashes. My lips were blue, as usual!

It felt great to finish and I rewarded myself with a delicious oatmeal cranberry cookie. Yeah, yeah, rewarding yourself with food is bad, but the cookie was fabulous. Plus, I burned over 1,000 calories on the run so I can get away with eating one cookie. :-)