That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Garmin Love

This is fantastic. I love having detailed stats to analyze.

Yesterday's run:

401 miles
Average pace: 10:11
Fastest pace: 8:30
1: 9:52
2: 10:13
3: 10:28
4: 10:01

It was way fun doing speedwork with the Garmin too. And way easier! I could do solid .25 mile intervals with 2:00 jog breaks, exactly, without having to do any math on my own. I ended up doing 4.5 miles (It said 4.41 at the end of my run. I ran laps around my car until it evened out. Heehee!) The problem was, as it turns out, doing speedwork in the snow is a real pain in the butt. Thanks, parks department, for doing such a freaking FANTASTIC job of clearing off the bike trail. I know nobody's cycling with the 10 degree wind chill, but there are still runners/walkers out there who would prefer not to add "gaping head wound after slipping on ice" to their list of injuries.


Anyway, I managed the speedwork, though it wasn't my fastest. Sprint pace ranged from 8:43/mi (first interval) to 10:26/mi (when the trail got ultra treacherous!) Yeah, it's really fun trying to run a quarter mile as fast as you can when it feels like you're running in quicksand and your feet are slipping backwards. AWESOME.

This is just going to make me a faster runner in good weather, right??

My goal is to run as much as I can for the next two weeks, because then I'll have two weeks off (during which I'm going to try to get in a little bit of much as I'm willing to do while on a cruise ship!) and then I'll be into the marathon training, which I think at that point will be LESS running than I've been doing. Just working on building endurance now so I won't lose as much while on vacation, and I'll have more to build on for the marathon training....which will probably take over my life for the next three months.

Can't wait!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

say hello to my leetle friend

I haven't been here in a little while, so here's the summary: holidays, busy-ness, eating too many cookies but using that as motivation to workout like a fiend. Donated blood and took a good week to bounce back; long run was 7 miles at a slooow 11 minute pace. That was a frustrating running week. I'm kind of over running in the cold but I've been doing an indoor endurance training class at the gym that likes to kick my butt.

Now that that's over, for the good news: my husband did a fantastic job playing Santa. Take a look:

No more crappy blackberry run-tracking apps!!! This will motivate me to get out there in the nasty weather for the next two weeks (before I go on vacation - yay!)

So anyone that knows cool tricks that one can do with a Garmin, I'm all ears. I haven't been able to figure out anything beyond the basics - of course, I still need to take it out for a run.

No more getting off my pre-planned route; no more estimating and falling disappointingly short - like what I thought was a 6 mile run on Christmas Eve only turning out to be 5.83. Plus I can track every step I take and how fast I take it. Just what every OCD hopeful marathon runner needs!

And also: I am officially signed up for the Flying Pig Marathon, plus a local training group (starts 1/4), plus I signed up to raise money for Girls on the Run while doing it. (See previous post about my experience as a running buddy!)

Note to self: need to do a 2010 recap post at some point soon.

Happy holidays, all!!

*edit to add: follow-up from last time: layering gloves = win. Vaseline on face = win. Haven't been able to try it in anything lower than the low 20's (thank God) but my face no longer hurts when the wind hits it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's freaking cold.

I ran 3 miles on the treadmill yesterday. Between the cold weather and the cold virus, I felt like doing minimal fighting; however, the cold virus is vastly improved. I still have mucus draining/clogging every orifice where mucus tends to reside, but the lethargy/malaise has gone away.

Today, I decided to see how brave I could really be. Weather channel said 18 degrees, feels like 6 with the wind chill. I wore two pairs of tights (yep, two), my generic brand tj maxx turtleneck base layer shirt that I am falling in love with, and a warmish adidas jacket, plus hat and gloves.

Verdict: I felt pretty comfortable, really. I was aware that it was cold when I stopped at traffic lights, but I didn't really ever FEEL cold after my first half mile or so. hands. The Target running gloves are obviously made for more comfy temperatures. Next time, I will try another pair of gloves over them. I hear a lot of people saying they run in cheap knit gloves, but those make my hands sweat so bad  - even when I'm NOT running - that I have a limited tolerance for them. But I bet I could layer them over the running gloves.

Also freaking face. My face HURT. It actually started to feel a little better, well enough that I upped my 3 mile run to 4 miles, but then every time the wind was in the wrong direction it would sting again. I was trying to remember my first-aid training and figured that if it was frostbitten, it wouldn't be hurting, so I was ok.

I asked on's facebook page and I was told to try vaseline on my face. I think it's actually supposed to warm up a smidge, but I'll try that trick next time I run outside again. Come to think of it, I might as well vaseline my hands to see if that insulates them from the cold a bit. That is, if my clumsy self can figure out how to put vaseline on both hands without getting it everywhere. (You're talking to the adult who still can't color with crayola markers without making her hands half-rainbow colored.)

I also want one of those burqa-looking hoods. Totally not trying to be offensive, that is what it looks like. And I do live in sort of a redneck area, so the reaction to me running around the neighborhood in that may be interesting. :) I have discovered, btw, that it's actually called a balaclava.

I still got a deep inner sense of pride this morning when I caught someone looking at me and I wondered if they were thinking, "That girl must be insane!" (Or person, since between the sports bra and stocking cap, I look slightly gender-neutral when I run....)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

...but I ran in it anyway!

I'm trying to get myself back up to a 10 mile long run on the weekend before I officially start the marathon training. But I'm still fighting with this cold, so it's not the time to do it! I ran 6 instead.

It's looking like today will mark the first measurable snowfall of this winter. (It snowed the other day, but I don't think it really officially stuck.) 30 degrees, feels like 24 with the wind chill, and the snow is piling up on yards and cars, but melting as soon as it hits the roads and sidewalks. Perfect.

I love watching snow. It's even fun to watch it while I run. And in tights, a mockneck base layer, a fleece jacket, fleece headband, and running gloves, I was mostly warm and toasty running in it. Except my face got pretty freaking cold, but I could bear that.

It's also fun that I only saw two other people out running, and a couple walking their dog. I'm one of the elite now, one of the brave, one of the adventurous - the few, the proud, the people who run in the snow. I thought those people were crazy last winter when I limited myself to the treadmill and the indoor track at the gym. Now I have become one of them!

The thing that does kinda suck is getting snow in your eyes and stuck in your eyelashes. Limits vision a little, but on a bike path, who needs to see?

I did feel kinda crappy in the middle of the run (this is starting to become a pattern with me.) I felt tired and my stomach started to hurt, maybe because all the extra cold-fighting vitamins were duking it out in there. But I kept going, and by the last mile, I felt awesome. I pictured myself crossing the marathon finish line, thanks to my dedication and snow-running. I started smiling and waving at cars. I wanted to yell, "I am one of those crazy people who runs in the snow! Yeeha!!!!"

As soon as I stopped running, the cold caught up with me. I had so much snow stuck to the fleece jacket that I looked like the love child of a human and Frosty the Snowman. And my gloves are pretty disgusting. Thanks to the cold (the virus, not the weather), I literally had to blow my nose into my hands several times. (I must say, the moisture-wicking property of those gloves is impressive. My hands remained snot-free!) It took a while to thaw out, and it only took a few minutes after getting home to start coughing and sneezing again. Oh yeah. I'm sick. I remember now.

Maybe I should've taken it a little easier. Maybe I will tomorrow. :)

Less than five months until the Flying Pig, when I run 20 miles more than I ran today. Holy crap. Part of me is way excited; the other part of me wonders if I can really make it. That's the part of me that had that thought as I was struggling with the 10k. Training group starts in January. Whee!

Also, endomondo, God love it, thinks I ran over 109 miles in 1:04 and change. It had part of my route right, and then it suddenly thought I ran way into Kentucky and back. It says my average speed was :35 min/mile. Obviously I need a Garmin if I'm gonna track my miles correctly. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Speaking of victories...

The scale pic inspired me. Take a look:

7/08. 160-something lbs.

Me with my mom, 10/08. Off the running bandwagon and pushing 170 lbs. (Me, obviously not my mom!)

In Jamaica, 1/10. Just over 160 lbs.

5/10, engagement shoot. Somewhere around 145 lbs.

6/10. Wedding - 140 lbs. 

Everything else- icing on the cake! Err, terrible analogy, but whatever. :) This is what some (mostly) healthy food and a running obsession can do.


Post-10k, I took an entire day off. That may not have been a great idea, but I sooo felt like running again. Actually, part of that was possibly my neuroses - namely, the "I don't want to get fat" neurosis and the "I don't want to lose fitness" neurosis. The first is pretty obvious - the post-thanksgiving syndrome at its finest. The second comes from reading an article about how absolutely important it is to maintain baseline fitness by not slacking on running during the holiday season. Well, that's how my brain read it. My logical side knows that it really just said that if you take a month-long break from running, you'll lose fitness.

Anyway....Saturday I ran 51-ish minutes. Minutes, not miles. I didn't even count miles. I ran around a park and parts of town that I never see, just running for the sheer heck of it, like I used to ride my bike when I was a kid. That was awesome. I was depending on my phone app to track distance....and for whatever reason, it never did. I'm guessing 5-ish miles. Then, huz was in the apartment complex clubhouse on the elliptical. Because I was keeping him company, I decided to see how fast I could do a mile on a treadmill. The result: 8:38. That is after a 51 minute run, and while wearing tights, a fleece headband, and a turtleneck indoors.

Next day, I wanted to tackle 10 miles. I made it slightly over 9. It was a dumb idea after my workout Saturday. Plus, I got screwed up mentally. I was trying to do two rounds of a 5 mile loop, but a few minutes after I started round 2 of the loop, I dropped my powerbar gummy snacks. Noooooo! I realized it sometime after I passed the 1/2 mile marker and went back and found them. Then I started running the loop the opposite direction. I made it another mile and a half, decided I was dying and I needed to go back. I was so tired and miserable it was ridiculous. But now that I look back on that....I ran 9 miles! My farthest run since September! I'll take it.

Monday - skipped the run, considering Sunday nearly killed me. Really. I swear. I did do yoga class.

Tuesday - 3 mile run. And another victory - I mastered THE HILL! The Hill is near where I live. Two years ago, when we moved in (and I was in ok shape, although 30-ish lbs heavier), I could not walk up the hill without stopping to catch my breath. Earlier this year, I could run up half of it before pretty much falling over.This road is a .23 mile, steep monster. And for whatever reason, at almost the end of my run, in the rain, I decided that I wanted to run up the hill. And I DID. It took me 3 minutes and I was about at walking speed by the top, but I RAN THE HILL! Then I walked down because I seriously can't begin to run down this hill without feeling like I'm going to fall on my face.

Yesterday - circuit training. And the beginnings of a cold. Yay.

Today - easy 3.1 that I MADE myself do even though I was considering calling in sick to work and it was 30 degrees. I decided to see if running somehow might make me feel better. It did. Holy crap. Even though my gloves are pretty much crusted with the mucus that was spilling out of my head, I busted two very good excuses this morning and ran anyway.

Tomorrow I may very well take a break. I'm still feeling like the queen of mucus, but for a short while, the run did me good!

And finally, one more victory I discovered after today's run:

Hello, high school weight! Haven't seen you for a while!!