Saturday, February 28, 2009

Icicle reporting in!

After running on the treadmill all week, today I made plans to meet my running buddy Vicki at the park at 7:30am to run nine miles. And wouldn't you know it, I woke up to a dusting of snow and 15 degree weather - the coldest we've had all week by far. But I was committed so off I went.

When I arrived at the park, Vicki was there and so were Debbie and Sue (former TNT mentors). Deb and Sue had planned to run starting at 7am so I was surprised they weren't already out on the trail, but it was nice because Vicki and I started out with them. Deb and Sue are faster than us, though, so after about a mile they started pulling ahead and Vicki and I stayed together.

Unfortunately there were some icy spots hidden under the dusting of snow. Vicki fell down twice and slipped once. I slipped a bit once but managed to stay on my feet. Vicki thinks she's going to have a pretty sore knee later so she planned to apply ice as soon as she got home. I hope she's all right, because she's running the Shamrock half marathon in Virginia Beach in three weeks so now would be an especially bad time to get an injury.

Despite the bone-chilling cold and major runny nose that comes along with it, it felt great to run outside for the first time since Valentine's Day. Vicki and I plan to meet again at the same time next Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather will be a wee bit warmer then!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Nothing much to report. On Sunday, I planned to do five miles but I did slightly more (5.37 - don't ask me why I stopped there because I don't know). On Tuesday I was scheduled for five, but I ran six just for the hell of it.

I'm scheduled for another five tomorrow, but I'm staying up late tonight to watch the Top Chef finale so I probably won't feel like getting up early to run. And I can't run after work tomorrow because I have plans already with some friends. So, looking like Friday will be a running day instead of a day off like it's supposed to be.

On Saturday I'm hoping to get some friends to meet me at the park. My schedule calls for only four miles, but since I cut my long run short last week I may aim for 8-9 on Saturday instead. Not if I end up treadmilling it, though. I'm just not that ambitious this week.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Should have gone outside

I didn't plan to meet with anyone at the park this morning because we were supposed to get 3-5 miles of snow and I am so over running in the snow. However, when I dragged my lazy butt out of bed at 11am, the snow was just beginning. So I could have done my nine miles and been home before the snow. Oh well.

I pretty much lazed around for most of the day and watched the snow fall. Finally around 4:30 I decided I really needed to get to the gym. I decided I'd just run five miles today. Then at the gym, shortly into my run I started watching an episode of House which really caught my attention, so I ran six miles instead of five just so I could see the end of the episode. As always, felt absolutely fabulous after the run. Nothing feels better.

More running tomorrow, I think, though technically I'm supposed to be taking the day off. But I'd rather take the day off on Monday, so I'm gonna switch up the schedule.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Redeeming myself

As mentioned earlier this week, I was all ambitious and did my Wednesday morning run on Tuesday evening instead. (Incidentally, the bad weather predicted for Wednesday morning never showed up.) So Wednesday became a day off and I was supposed to run five miles on Thursday. But I didn't, I was just feeling super lazy. So then I considered and rejected the idea of going to the gym before work this morning. Lazy again!

However, I redeemed myself after work by hitting the treadmill and getting those five miles in. It actually turned out to be a great run. I got into the groove almost right away and felt fabulous.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled for nine and it's supposed to snow several inches, so I won't be running outside. Looks like I have another treadmill run in my near future!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slight change of plans

Today was supposed to be a non-running day. However, the weather report calls for super-nasty snow and rain during tomorrow morning's commute. So I figured I should do Wednesday morning's run tonight instead, so I have some hope of leaving the house early and getting to work on time. (Which begs the question, why am I still awake when it's almost midnight?)

In any case, it was one of those runs where I didn't get into my groove until after three miles had gone by. The run was a one-mile warm up, three miles at tempo, and then a one mile cool down. After I completed three miles I didn't have to talk myself through every quarter mile any more. Some runs are just less fun than others for some reason, but I did feel great when I was done.

I think the main issues were that I was hungry and also I like to just go home and relax after work. All in all, morning running works better for me but tonight was good and I'm glad I did it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday update

This morning I was scheduled for a 5-mile easy run, so I woke up around 4:45 and headed off to the gym. As usual, the first mile was less than fun for me. I generally start out with a lot of whiny thoughts: "my legs are tired, I don't feel like doing this today, why aren't I sleeping right now?" I usually manage to push myself to positivity after the first mile or so.

Today "Love Shack" came on the video screens right around mile 2. It's impossible for me to be in a crabby mood and listen to that song. It perked me right up and the remaining three miles were terrific.

I was trying to figure out why running on the treadmill doesn't bore me as much as it used to. I realized that it's because it gives me great thinking time. Once the initial whiny thoughts subside, I think about other things like what's going on at work, what my plans are for the day or the week, and so on. Today I was thinking about strategies to approach a plan I'm doing at work and I felt a lot better after spending that time contemplating it. Not much else to do on a treadmill besides run and think so I like to make good use of the time!

Tomorrow is a scheduled day off but I'll be getting up early anyway just to do some laundry and play with my crafty stuff. I like to get up early every day during the work week even if I'm not running that day, in hopes that keeping a consistent schedule will be better for me than constantly changing my sleep cycle. Plus I can get a lot done in those couple of hours before I have to start getting ready for work. Love to start the day feeling productive!

I should be sleeping right now, so off I go.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Outside again

Today I had plans to meet some old TNT teammates at the park for a run. And when I woke up, I looked outside and saw a couple of inches of snow had fallen overnight. Ugh, I don't enjoy running in the snow especially when the flakes are still falling.

But since I'd already promised people that I'd be there, off I went. Plus I was going to have to run eight miles today one way or another, and it's definitely a lot more fun to run with people outside instead of all alone on the treadmill.

We met up in the warming room. There were seven of us. Two were walkers so they went separately and the other five of us headed out together. I'm the slowest one so eventually the pack of five broke up a bit and two went on ahead while three of us stayed back. The two who stayed with me, Josh and Debbie, were definitely running slower than their normal pace just to accommodate me but I appreciated it (even though I do feel guilty when I hold people back like that).

When we hit the water station at the 3.25 mile mark, up from behind us came another old teammate Neil. We'd thought he wasn't coming but it turns out he was just a little late so he hauled butt to catch up with us. Neil runs at my pace normally, so we were able to run together while the others went on ahead. So everyone had someone to run with and it was nice.

It was in the upper 20s, so really the temperature was quite comfortable. I was wearing a light jacket plus a winter-weight Nike shirt and ultimately I had to unzip the jacket. That shirt is WARM! I could have skipped the jacket entirely and been fine. The shirt is kind of fleecy on the inside and definitely keeps me toasty.

All in all, quite an exhilarating run and I'm so glad I went. Running has turned out to be not only great for my fitness and my mental health, but also a great way to connect with people and make friends. I love it! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

Here are five things I'm grateful for today.

1. It's the weekend so I get to spend lots of time with David.
2. I ran five miles this morning.
3. I ate a giant, frosted, heart-shaped cookie with M&Ms and I don't feel guilty about it because of point #2.
4. I'm pretty close to needing a new, smaller pants size.
5. I'm gainfully employed in a job that I generally enjoy.

The run was scheduled as an easy run. I wasn't really feeling it for the first three miles, but then I got into my zone and really enjoyed miles four and five. They flew by! And as always, I felt freaking fabulous when I was done running. Life is good, baby, life is good.

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today I did my first official "speedwork" session as part of my half marathon training. I have to admit, I was a little afraid of it when I saw it on the schedule. I don't like to breathe hard. :) The basic plan was one mile warm-up, then two 1-mile repeats at a fast pace with half-mile jogs in between, and then a cooldown. Total distance 5 miles.

The fast pace wouldn't be considered fast by elite standards, but it was challenging for me. I did ultimately end up enjoying it. It's fun to push yourself sometimes. When I felt a little bit like slowing down during the second fast mile I reminded myself that people on the Biggest Loser who weigh twice as much as I do are able to do this, so I can do it, too.

This Runner's World schedule I'm following is interesting to me. All the paces were chosen for me based on the previous half marathon time I entered. It only has speed sessions one time per month. There are also tempo runs every other week. And a lot of what are labeled as "easy runs" where the prescribed pace is much slower than my normal running pace so I confess I have been running faster than it calls for. It's very different from the TNT plan I followed, which just gave me a mileage total for the day without any directions regarding pace.

By the way, the guy on the treadmill next to me was doing one-minute intervals. During his speed intervals, he was going ELEVEN miles per hour. His rest intervals in between were about the same pace as my speed intervals. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Today was a better day

Today I managed to get myself up at a reasonable time and not lollygag around for hours. David and I headed for the gym and I accomplished the eight mile run that I was supposed to do yesterday. Felt great!

Treadmill running just isn't seeming horrible to me like it used to. I get into a zone and just feel great. It's amazing to me how much I love running, especially considering I used to think it was the worst thing ever.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

4 instead of 8

I bailed on the eight miler today. I ran four instead, which is what was supposed to be tomorrow's run. After sleeping so late and spending so much time sitting around after I woke up, I just didn't feel like taking the time to run eight today. Felt great after four, though, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.


Sleep has apparently become my priority the past couple of days. I was supposed to run 4 yesterday morning, but when the alarm went off at 5am I was exhausted so I decided to blow off the run. I'll make it up on Sunday.

Today I slept in until 1pm! 1pm! Who does that? But I guess my body must have needed it. I've been staying up late and getting up early for a couple of weeks and I just can't keep doing that. I'll be going to the gym in a bit to get my 8 miles in and I'm sure I'll feel much better after that.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Getting caught up!

Despite my absence from posting, I've still been running. My run with my old TNT buddies on 1/24 was the last time I ran outside - it's been treadmill all the way.

Probably my favorite run since then was on January 29th. I woke up unbelievably early that day (4am) and decided to head for the gym instead of going back to sleep. I had no particular running agenda because I wasn't training for a race. So I just ran for the pure fun of it and found myself doing seven miles. Seven miles on a treadmill would normally be boring, but I just got into a zone and really enjoyed the heck out of it. It just felt great to run.

This past Saturday, David and I were at a hotel up north because we had plans to go snowmobiling. I woke up half an hour earlier than I needed to, so I decided to hit the hotel treadmill for a few miles. That felt good, too. And it was a good thing I got those miles in because then I ended up throwing my back out and had to take a couple of days off from running. I was supposed to start my new half marathon training schedule yesterday, but I decided it was more important to let my back get better. I'm feeling great today so I started race training, just an easy four-mile run. Which felt great, and too short. I'm sensing a theme here - I'm really enjoying running these days!