Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekly round-up

On Monday and Tuesday, I didn't run at all. That felt really weird to me. I did strength training on Monday, so I wasn't totally workout-free those days.

I felt pretty guilty about not doing anything on Tuesday because it wasn't pre-planned. I wanted to sleep in on Tuesday morning and planned to go to the gym and hop on the treadmill on Tuesday night. However, after work on Tuesday I drove to the gym and when I arrived in the parking lot I thought "I really don't want to do this" so I went home, instead. I think my legs just needed a break.

Wednesday morning I was back at it with 5 miles on the treadmill. I bumped up the pace every mile because I'm trying to get used to doing negative splits instead of always running full-out in the beginning and then crapping out at the end. I also went back to the gym after work on Wednesday to do strength training again. I actually made myself work my abs, which I hate to do, so it was nice to feel some ab soreness later in the week. :)

I have the world's greatest boyfriend, because David is very agreeable about doing our usual Wednesday "date night" at the gym instead of going out to dinner like we used to do. I enjoy eating out but it's so hard for me to keep myself in control when I go to a restaurant. Also, since I dedicated myself to strength training three days a week it really helps me to have that additional opportunity to go to the gym on Wednesday nights.

On Thursday morning, back to the gym. (Are we sensing a theme here?) I did three miles and then had some issues that caused me to need to stop. I'll spare you the TMI. :)

I went to bed at 9:15 on Thursday night. (Oh, I didn't mention that I also promised myself this week that I'll start getting more sleep and I was pretty successful at accomplishing that.) As a consequence, I woke up at 4am on Friday.

Okay, I also had to pee which seems to be a multi-time occurrence at night these days since I've become such a coffee hound (all decaf, though). Anyway, since I was up anyway and had planned to go to the gym for weight lifting, I figured I'd just go early so I could get some running in, too. So Friday was a kick-ass workout day. I sandwiched in two runs surrounding my strength training. All in all, I ran just over 5 miles and also lifted weights for 40 minutes. Woo hoo! I worked those darn abs again, so I'm feeling them again today which makes me perversely happy.

This morning I was scheduled for five miles. Normally I'd go meet friends at the park for a run, but it was supposed to rain today so I didn't want to commit myself to that. Turned out it was really nice out, 40 and sunny, so I didn't have to treadmill and could run outside instead. It was hard for me to motivate myself to take the first step, but once I got going I felt good and actually ran 7.5 miles instead of the planned five. I ran more miles than my schedule called for this week. Oops. :)

The schedule I'm following is aimed at the Bayshore Half Marathon on May 23, so next week isn't scheduled as a taper week even though I've got the Martian Half Marathon on April 5. We'll see how it goes, I may trim back the mileage a little bit from what is on the schedule depending on how I feel. I'll definitely take next Saturday as a total rest day, which will be easy for me to do since I'm taking a card-making class at the local scrapbook store at 10am on Saturday so I'll be up and out of the house early doing other stuff.

Must remember to go to the Martian Expo next Friday after work to pick up the ugly race shirt and get my race packet. =)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finishing out the weekend

I wrote a whole big post and Blogger ate it. Booo! Short version: I ran six miles today even though it was supposed to be a rest day. I will rest tomorrow instead. I backed off the pace to give my legs a break, but still it was fast enough to be a PR pace if I keep it up for a half marathon.

Running rules. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The speed continues

On Thursday, I went to the gym before work and ran three miles on the treadmill. Did it at a pretty slow pace. I went back to the gym after work with the intention of running more, but I got through a quarter mile and my legs felt dead so I just walked a couple miles and called it good. I strength-trained on Friday, no running.

Today, I met a couple of running buddies (Erica and Josh) at the park for a run. Josh is the person with whom I ran the first two miles of last Sunday's 4-mile race. He and Erica are much faster than I am. I was determined to see how long I could hang in there with them. Turns out that today the answer was seven miles. After that they started pulling away because I had to slow down a little bit.

The awesome thing about today's 10 miles was that my average pace was a mere 2 seconds per mile slower than Sunday's 4-mile race. I'm so amazed that I could sustain that pace over a longer distance. It was over a minute faster per mile than the half marathon I did in January. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will PR by a good chunk of time in one of my upcoming halfs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Still feeling speedy

This running faster thing seems to be sticking. I ran five miles before work this morning and my average pace was about 15 seconds slower than the race I did on Sunday. And that is still WAY faster than my usual pace.

After work it was in the 60s and sunny so I just had to get out and run again. I did almost three miles and my pace was slightly faster than this morning's pace. What is up with that? I guess running outside in warmer weather agrees with me because I just can't believe how much my speed has suddenly improved. Let's see how long it lasts! I'll be really interested to see what happens during this Saturday's 10-mile long run.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Corktown 4 Mile Race

Yesterday I went to Detroit for the Corktown 4-mile race. Corktown is a Detroit neighborhood, near Tiger Stadium, which apparently is the Irish area of Detroit. At least there are a lot of Irish bars there, and they have a St. Patrick's Day parade after the race.

It was gorgeous weather, almost 50 degrees and sunny. David came with me and we had plans to meet friends for a drink after the race. I went to line up and scanned the crowd of runners for people I knew, because I knew several of my TNT buddies were planning to be there. Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder and it turned out two of my buddies, Josh and Stephanie, were standing right in front of where I lined up. Another friend, Tim, came over so we chatted for a couple of minutes and then it was time to race.

Stephanie was doing the two mile race and was planning to walk/jog. Tim is a speed demon so he took off in front. Josh and I ran together for the first two miles. Josh is a much faster runner than I am but he was holding back a bit at first. And I was pushing myself because it felt good to have a challenge and also it's fun to race with someone else.

At the two mile mark, Josh said he was going to kick it into high gear so he took off. I kept pushing myself to keep up my same pace even though I didn't have him there any more to lead me. I could really feel it in my legs but it still felt good. Then I had some extra motivation around the three mile mark, because some guy near me kept horking up big phlegm wads and spitting them onto the ground. I freaking HATE THAT! It's so gross and I thought I was going to throw up, so I had to pick up the pace just to get away from Horky McSnottington.

I kept checking my watch and couldn't believe the time I was seeing. I ended up at the fastest pace I've ever sustained over any kind of distance. It felt so good to see that. I don't expect ever to be fast but it's nice to know that I still am able to improve from where I've been. I know this was a short race and thus very different from my upcoming half marathons, but I really am feeling hopeful about getting a PR at the Bayshore half in May.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This week's update

This week was mostly a treadmill week for me. Nothing really interesting to report. On Wednesday, I did two runs in one day for the first time ever. Ran 3 1/2 miles before work and another 4 after work. It just worked out that was how I could best fit my runs in this week.

Today Vicki and I met at the park for a run. I had 10 miles to do while she had 6 on her schedule. It was a bit colder than last week (around 25 today) but nice and sunny. Plus, once again we lucked out with no wind so that made it feel pretty good.

For some reason we were faster than usual today. It felt pretty good so we went with it. We ended up over 30 seconds per mile faster than our run last week. After Vicki left and I continued on, I thought I might slow down but in fact I picked up my pace by a couple of seconds per mile. I finished my 10 miles without any problems and now I have hope that I may actually be able to beat my time from the RNR Arizona half marathon when I do a half in May.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring has arrived

Today I met Vicki at the park at 7:30am for a 10-mile run. And what a wonderful change in the weather compared to last Saturday's 15 degrees! It was nearly 40 when we started out and it felt delightful.

Plus there was almost no wind, which was also a big switch compared to last week. In fact, there tends to be a lot of crazy wind at this particular park so it's rare to have a nearly windless day like we had today. It started raining about seven miles in so that felt a little cold, but fortunately the sky didn't really open up until we were almost done.

I really enjoy running with Vicki because we go at a similar pace so I don't feel like I'm holding her back, nor do I feel like she's holding me back. It works out really well. I'm already bummed because she's now tapering for a half marathon in two weeks, so next Saturday she's only doing six while I'll be doing ten. And the weekend after that, she'll be in Virginia Beach running the Shamrock half. So I will be doing six with her next Saturday and finishing the last four on my own, then I will see who I can recruit to run with me the following weekend.

Tomorrow I'm doing four miles, but it will probably be on the treadmill because it's supposed to rain all day and I don't particularly enjoy running in the rain.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nothing much to report

Just a quick update. Ran 4 miles on Sunday. Ate everything I could get my hands on during and after my nephew's birthday party. Ran 4 miles on Monday morning and felt thoroughly gross due to the previous day's eating excesses. Nice lesson learned there: stop eating crap!

I did six miles tonight and felt a lot better, though I wasn't really into it. It's supposed to get warmer later this week so I hope to get off the treadmill and back outside.