Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Tempo Run, Last Day at Work, and a Funny Thing

First Tempo Run:

When I saw the forecast for rain this morning, I was really worried. I kicked myself for not running yesterday when I was scheduled to do it. But this morning there was no rain, and it was about 20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning, so in retrospect, I totally made the right decision!

Despite that, I felt like crap. I started running, and I just felt icky, slow, etc. I reminded myself that I was just wanting about 3.5 miles. I can do anything for 35ish minutes. First mile in 10-something (will retropost splits here tonight when I dl the data from the Garmin). Decided against doing a tempo since I felt so crappy. Then looked down a minute or two later and saw that I had dropped my pace into the low 9's. Fine, tempo it is. Dropped my pace further into the 8's. That was the goal of this, my first tempo run. Get an 8-something mile, and every time I look down at the pace, have it be less than 9. I succeeded. My heart and lungs sure felt it - I felt like I was back at C25K days, when running was really really hard (not just hard, like now)! The cool thing was that when I slowed down to recover-jog, I was actually running easily in the 9's, and it felt SLOW!!! So anyways, the third mile was 9-something, then .64 to home and off to work.

Last Day at Work:

I'm not leaving my company, just my department, but it feels like such a huge deal! I'm going to be doing something pretty much totally different in a totally different environment in a different location with totally different people and on a different schedule...

I'm strangely sad about leaving my current department, expecially given that I've been wanting to leave it pretty much as soon as I started. But they gave me a chance when I was fresh out of school with no pratical training, and for that I should be forever grateful to them. They also gave me the leeway to pursue varied projects that got me the exposure in the company that led to this new position, which is a promotion, baby! For that I am also grateful. And I've come to care about some of them in my own dysfunctional way.

With all that said, I'm so excited about my new job, and I can't wait to get started on Monday. I've got my Y membership all ready for the different schedule, I'm going to start with a swim focus since I haven't had access to a pool since August. I've got some of my stuff moved over to my new office. I'm nervous, but excited!

Funny Thing:

Last night I thought about this again, and felt the need to immortalize it. Last weekend after the 10K, Preston and I went over to his Dad's house. His step-mom's brother and parents were visiting from out of town. The brother (my step-uncle-in-law) said the funniest freaking thing.

The scene: my step-uncle-in-law is totally deaf, so he speaks with a sort of nasally toned voice with an impediment that is common for deaf people. He was hearing as a child, and has retained his Chicagoan accent on top of it. Now picture the guy, a little guy, hair in a ponytail, cut-off sleeved T-shirt, beer in hand. He was talking about how his son plays Warcraft too much - how he is addicted to the game.

"You know, they say that playing video games builds manual dexterity. But so does whacking off," here he made the universal hand gesture for jacking off, "and you don't see kids in their rooms doing that for 12 hours a day!!!"

That is all.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Recovery Run

My quads were really stiff on Sunday after the race (I don't think getting in the car for an hour+ ride right after running the race was the best idea...). Yesterday morning I went for a short "recovery" run. I felt slow, and I didn't try to push it.

Mile 1: 10:00
Mile 2: 9:51
Mile 3: 9:47
.63: 5:56 (9:25 pace)

My right quad acted up a little in the first mile - a sort of burning sensation in the outer part of the muscle that was pretty uncomfortable. I stopped to stretch to no avail, but by the end of the mile the feeling had dissipated.

Lifted last night, but stayed away from much leg work. Quads still a little tight today, but starting to loosen up.

More Calculator Fun

Just for giggles, I decided to plug my new 10K number into McMillian's calculator. Here's what it spits out:

1 mile: 7:54.3 (!!!)
5K: 27:23 (!!!)
5 miles: 45:23 (!!!)
10K: 56:53
10 miles: 1:35:19
Half-marathon: 2:06:35

If these are remotely accurate, and I hope that they are, then I'm due for some serious PRs this spring!

The training paces formally suggest something I've long thought: I'm probably botching my training a bit. As this blog shows (since I've gotten the Garmin, that is), I've basically got only two paces: 10s and sub-10s... I'm not very good at taking "easy" runs. Or long "slow" distance runs. I basically run everything at about the same speed. But you have to run fast to get fast, right? So here's what I don't know: since I can maintain around 7 miles at the 9:10-9:30 pace, then isn't that my LSD pace? So then isn't the deal that I should be running faster than that for my shorter distances and for my tempo runs and all? You know, so I get faster?

I was thinking that I should try a tempo run... just a 1 mile tempo section in a nice little 3ish mile run to start. But try to get that mile in under 9 minutes. Just to start, you know. Practice what it feels like to hold onto a sub-9 for a full mile. Then go kick some PR butt at the Park to Park 5 miler in a month.

Mardi Gras Beach Run Race Report

I wasn't sure what to expect from this race, given the crappy weather for the entire week beforehand, and that weather keeping me from running.

We set the alarm for 5:30 with the goal of being out of the house by 6:30. The drive was lovely - didn't even seem to take that long.

The night before I had planned on just wearing one long-sleeved tech. tee and shorts for temps around 50 degrees, but when I woke up I chickened out and went for two tech tees with the shorts, and it turned out to be the right move. I threw on sweats over the whole thing to wear until about 5 minutes before the gun went off.

We arrived about an hour before the 10K was scheduled to start. Made our way over to the Pavilion (may I just say that I looooooooove races with real bathroom facilities available. Love them!) for me to deal with my standard race morning upset stomach, and to get my race packet and chip. Headed back to the car to sit in the warm and I realized that I forgot to get the chip. No matter. Sat until 8:20 and headed back over. The weather the week before had left the area around the pavilion sand-muddy, and I was trying to be really careful to avoid getting my shoes wet. Got a chip and went to the top floor of the pavilion to watch the 5K start. The wind coming off the ocean was brutally cold. The 5Kers started about 10 minutes late, which left me 10 minutes to make my way over to the start line. The announcer started talking to the 10Kers right after the 5Kers took off, which induced quite a bit of a panic from those of us who had stayed in the pavilion to stay out of the wind and the way. People were running across sand-muddy country to get to the start line, only to wait another 5 minutes or so - it was a false alarm.

I ditched my sweats and seeded myself near the back of the pack. Preston snapped a few pics, and we were off!

I must say, I was thrilled with my seeding job. I picked off people steadily for the first mile, but it was a small enough race that I never got boxed in. In mile 2, I saw a beautiful pink bird flying over the tidepools. Looked like a crane, but pink like a flamingo. Preston says that he has seen wild flamingos in Galveston before, so that must have been what it was. I've never seen one fly; it was lovely. I was wearing my Garmin and I glanced down frequently to make sure I was holding a decent pace - just aiming for sub 9:30 the whole time.

I got annoyed at one point because it seemed like every time I went to pass someone, they sped up. I'd still pass them - it was inevitable that their bitch-asses were going down, but gah! Oh, the other small annoyance was that I put my chip on the same shoe as my RoadID. Big Mistake. Every step I took there was a small metallic clink. Just enough to drive me batty! Won't make that mistake again.

The out-and-mostly-back straightaway seemed long, but I used the Garmin to keep my head in the game, checking how far I'd come and how fast I was going. Then it seemed like before I knew it, I was passing mile 5 marker, and I turned on the burners and ran it home.

Here are the splits (via Garmin - the race mile markers were off):
Mile 1: 9:21
Mile 2: 9:28
Mile 3: 9:11
Mile 4: 9:19
Mile 5: 9:12
Mile 6: 8:52 (!!!)
.2: 1:28

56:53.1 for a pace of 9:10/mile. 4th (!!!!!) in my age group of 10 finishers. 99th place overall out of 177 finishers. Nice solid middle-of-the-pack finish. Nice solid age group finish - I actually could have gotten a medal for that because they gave them out to the top 5 in each age group. I just didn't stick around because I had no idea that I could possibly have been awarded anything! Nice solid first 10K, blowing my goal time out of the water!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Crappy Weather and Some 10K Goals

Well, there's been no break in the weather, and as I've been saying, I'll run in the rain, and I'll run in the cold, but I'm sure as hell not running in cold rain, so no run again today. I think this is actually the longest I've gone without a run in MONTHS. Not cool to go this long, but absolutely sweet that I've been that consistent. I did do a little recumbant bike ride this morning, and will do another this evening.

One of the reasons this forced running break is ticking me off so much is that I am going to run my first 10K this weekend, and I want to do really well. Experimenting with tons of time off before the race isn't my idea of preparing well, but whatreyagonnado?

Nevertheless, I wanted to run some numbers before the race, just to get an idea... McMillan's running calculator predicts a 1:04:28 based on my most recent race, a 5 mile PR back in November, a 1:01:38 based on my 5K PR of 29:40, and a 59:58 based on my 1/1 1 mile time trial of 8:20. My latest 6 mile run at about 9:30 pace predicts closer to a 59 flat.

With that in mind, what are my goals for the 10K this Saturday?
1. To finish.
2. To finish in 62 minutes or less.
3. To finish in under 1 hour.

I know from training that I can go the distance. I honestly believe that I can pull off a sub-hour finish. I really really hope I can pull off a sub hour finish. Beyond that, let's just see what I can do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wintery No-Run Weather

When I woke up this morning, I could hear the raindrops a-falling. I wasn't sure whether it was rain or just the breeze dislodging the drops from the trees, but either way I knew I wasn't interested in being out in the wet cold weather.

So, biked last night, Tae-Boed this morning, will lift tonight. That leaves the short run for tomorrow, and if I miss it then, I'll just skip it and have this week be my cut-back week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Garmin Data

After my meltdown yesterday, Preston was able to resurrect some of my Garmin data. So here are yesterday's splits:

Mile 1: 9:45
Mile 2: 9:26
Mile 3: 9:22
Mile 4: 9:23
Mile 5: 9:27
.1 Mile for Time: :48

Saturday's splits are un-resurrectable. But I'm really pleased with these splits. Really pleased. Who ever would have thought that I could run 5+ miles at a sub-10 pace? I sure as hell didn't.

Hamstrings are a little tight today. Going to go for a short, easy, 3-4 mile run tomorrow morning, then off til the 10k on Saturday. Love these short weeks!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Garmin.... Husband... Grrrrrrrr.....

Ran on Saturday. 6.79 miles in 65 minutes. No splits because my loving husband fucked up my Garmin.

Ran today. 5.6 miles in 56 minutes, with approximately 5 miles of it running and splits around 9:20-9:30. I know this because the Garmin (still fucked up) is now giving the lap splits on the watch, but not recording them for display in the computer.

That is in addition to not telling me my pace in minutes per mile. On Saturday it was telling me in miles per hour, and today it told me avg minutes per lap (wtf??). Totally useless. Option 1 requires on the run math, not my forte, and option 2 is *even more useless*.

Loving husband is going to pay. Oh yes, he is. We will begin by plastering this computer with messages to return the Garmin to its original working form. Oh yes, we will, Precious.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nice Little Run

Nice little run this morning. Took me a looooong time to get warmed up (about a mile), but then I settled in nicely. I lost my brain and forgot to focus on my abs until after mile 4, but then I started really hauling (right around 8 min/mi) without significantly more physical effort (I still find it mentally draining).

Anyways, I'm really pleased that with the warm-up and cool-down I hit 5 miles. That gives me 9 miles on the week, and with a nice long run this weekend, I'm hoping to hit at least 15 miles for the first time in a week.

Mile 1: 10:17
Mile 2: 9:41
Mile 3: 9:38
Mile 4: 9:40
.7: 6:01 (8:37 pace)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rain, rain, go away...

Not much to report. Yesterday morning was Tae Bo. Yesterday evening we braved the rain for Preston to C25K and me to lift. As I dreaded, it was still raining this morning. Now, I've been known to brave the rain for a run, but not in freaking forty degree weather. I rode the recumbant for an hour instead. I will either run tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on the rain stoppage.

My secret is out at work, thank goodness. Perhaps now I can scrape some of this pizza off my chin. My start date in my new position is Feb. 4. Yay!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Name that Critter

Went for another run this morning - I didn't really think about it ahead of time, but almost exactly 12 hours after my last run. It was pretty cold this morning, but other than that, rather uneventful.

Mile 1: 10:01
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 9:38
.63: 6:03 (9:33 pace)

I was playing an interesting game of "ID that 4-legged Critter" this morning. I've seen your standard dogs and cats around the neighborhood, as well as raccoons and opossums, and I'm always wondering when I see a critter up the road what variety it really is. This morning was a true mystery. I saw this dark quadriped waaaaaaay down the street running towards me. It was weaving from one side to the other, and moving fast.... I almost thought it was a rabbit. Then as it got closer, I changed my mind to cat, because of the shape of the ears. (I don't have the greatest vision, even with corrective lenses, so it takes me a long time to get definition on a critter.) Then it saw me coming and turned around and hauled ass back the way it came. I never saw it again. Its motion as it retreated was again rabbit-esque... wish I had a second opinion!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Core Running

Today I had "one more" of several activities to check off my weekly to-do list. I needed to do Core III. I wanted one more run. I needed to lift again. I did it all in that order.

What resulted was quite interesting. Core III activated my abs, which I then felt through my entire run. This refocused me mentally on my abs, and I used that focus to concentrate on good posture and active abs. And I ran fast (for me) with what seemed to be less effort (for me).

Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 9:24
Mile 3: 9:23
Mile 4: 9:32

Really really pleased with this run and my accidental finding. Will try to incorporate a core workout before a run at least once a week, now.

Then I lifted. I'm getting better at that too. Yay!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Opposite Way on Allen Parkway

Ran on Allen Parkway with Billy yesterday, but instead of heading towards the Bat Bridge as in the past, we went back towards downtown.

The splits:
Mile 1: 9:20
Mile 2: 10:31
Mile 3: 10:07

I have an explanation for this. Not an excuse. Just an explanation.

So we start running. I've really really been looking forward to running with the Garmin and Billy because I really suspected that I ran a lot faster when I was with him, and that's why I always kept having to take walk breaks.

I was sooooo right. That mile two includes a climb up at least 5 flights of stairs at UHD. After that, who can blame me for slowing down????

With that said, it was way fun. Running with Billy is so much more random and fun than running alone. He sees something cool. He runs towards it, dragging me along. I say runs, it is more like a loping trot, since I'm so slow...

Hey Billy - I'm scared you'll take me up on this, but... I'm starting to think that maybe we should try to go a little longer next time... 4 or 5 miles, maybe??

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Girl Stuff

I just ran down to the bathroom thinking I was going to vomit.

This has been happening a lot lately. I think my multivitamin is making me nauseous, but I had changed the order of intake of my food and pills (to fish oil, fiber, multi, food), and I hadn't had this problem for a week or two.... so I thought it was over.

Of course, there is always the little voice in the back of my head that wonders if I'm preggers. When your cycles are at least 6 weeks long, how do you determine if you're late??? When you are at 6 weeks and 1 day? I mean, seriously, WTF??

Classy, right? 'Cause that's how I roll.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

4 Mile Morning

Uneventful run, except that it was over 20 degrees colder than my last run!

I'll plug in the splits when I get home tonight, but I think I was running right about 10 minute miles after the first slow warm-up mile.... 4 miles in just over 40 minutes.

Oh, and I did pay attention to this. My hands got warm .94 miles into the run. That is exactly when my pace dipped below 10 min/mi for the first time in the run. Interesting.

And omg, I was having the weirdest dream when I woke up!! It was a combination, I think, of JaMIL, this woman from my in-laws' New Year's party (who reminds everyone of JaMIL), and the Golden Compass. I was running around this plush room locking millions of windows trying to keep her out, and she just walked in through the door. And then forced me to sit next to her, close enough that she was touching me (I have a large sense of personal space, apparently both waking and dreaming.) and I was filled with hatred and revulsion. Interesting. The dream was so strong that it was really all I could think about after I woke up until about .5 mile into the run. It was almost like it was still with me - wispy in my mind overlaying reality. A bit disturbing, really.

Mile 1: 10:32
Mile 2: 9:54
Mile 3: 9:59
Mile 4: 9:40

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

6 Mile Follow-up

Running 6+ miles makes me tired!!

For the past two weeks' long runs, I've come home and slammed a bottle of nuun (love this stuff!) and a bottle of water while I shower. Then I've eaten something. Then I've become totally exhausted, laying around and yawning uncontrollably for the rest of the day.

Then when I wake up the next morning, I'm still totally exhausted. I'm still yawning uncontrollably, at least for a few more hours.

Preston just sits around laughing at me.

So anyways, I think I need to hang out in the 6-7 mile range for my long run for a few weeks so that my body can get used to it.

Oh, also, after last week's run I found two hot spots on the ball of each foot and I've got a chafe scar from my bra. And my chub was seriously pissed. I just tried to stay off my feet, keep the chub covered, and it has all passed except for the chafe scar, which is still bugging me a bit.

Monday, January 7, 2008


"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." --Albert Einstein

Truth is my highest value. I mean, literally my absolute highest value.

Long ago I was burned by those who didn't tell the truth. Long ago I was burned by myself not telling the truth. Life is simpler, happier for me when truth surrounds me. I rarely even conceal the truth by omission any longer. Some of that comes from being confident in who I am. I no longer seek the approval of others, and value those who love me as I am all the more highly, and truth-telling informs that philosophy. But it is also simply easier. I don't skulk in dark alleys, flitting from shadow to shadow, always wondering if I'll be caught in a lie. And I am happier this way. I don't shy away from the conflict that truth sometimes bears, nor the pain. Because the truth is always better than a lie.

Which is why I'm being twisted and turned into knots over something that is going on at work. I've been offered another position in my company. But forbidden to tell anyone about it. I want this position, thus I feel I cannot disobey she who forbade me. (Though I have directly disobeyed with some friends, and hinted to others - those who I truly believe won't spread my secret.) But a registration for a conference has caused me to have to actively pretend that I am staying here, not just passively not mention it. And it is driving me crazy. Crazy!!

Someone who knows told me today that I should call her, and tell her how much this is bothering me. She said that I'm just too good of a person. I don't often think of myself as a good person. (Not bad either, I just don't really qualify myself in that way.) But I am certainly a truthful person, and authority is truly the greatest enemy of truth for me right now.

2 3 Mile Days

Yesterday I went out for a quick run. I wanted to get at least 1.5 miles to round out 10 for the week (don't want to end the first week of the year behind on goal mileage!!). I had drunk 16 oz. of water about 2 hours before leaving. I thought that was sufficient time to "process" the water before running, but I was so very wrong. I was walking my warm-up and I thought I might need to make a pit stop, but I was just going for half an hour or so, so I didn't stop. Big Mistake. I started running and I needed to pee. I was looking at every feature I passed wondering if I could take cover behind it and pee. In broad daylight. I realized that this wasn't going to work, and turned for home at just over half a mile. And proceeded to haul ass. (I really annoy me when I pull this shit.) I booked it into the house and into the bathroom. Preston came running down to see what was wrong, and then spent some quality time laughing at me. And then I headed back out to total up 3 miles. Other than the bathroom fiasco, nice little run. Oh, and hot!! 75 degrees.

Mile 1: 9:35 (this was with the first quarter mile being around 11 min/mi, so you can see how fast I was running home!)
Mile 2: 9:45
Mile 3: 9:40

Then this morning I headed out for another short 3 miler. I'm seriously considering running in the EP5K on Sunday, so I'll keep my runs short this week. It is freaking hot outside - 70 degrees at 5am!! I must say that my body is a little confused by the 40 degree 2 shirted run followed immediately by the 75 degree sleeveless shirt/shorts run. But anyways, I guess it better get used to being confused, 'cause we are in Texas, after all, y'all. I was a little slower this morning, but ok with it.

Mile 1: 10:25
Mile 2: 10:03
Mile 3: 10:17

I did have a creepy thing go down. I was running along and I noticed a white pick-up idling in a driveway. It turned into a regular traffic jam with another runner with their dog going by the other direction and a person taking out their trash (all before 5am!). But that pick-up idled until I ran past it (this took a while - longer than I could find a good reason for a truck to be idling on such a hot morning), and then it pulled out. I'm sure there's a good reason for it, but I was totally creeped out, and very vigilant for the rest of my run.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Loop 8

When I was growing up, there was a Loop 8 near my home.

Loop 8 shall be the name of the new route I ran today. It is 2.7 miles and shaped like a figure 8. It was really fun running a new route! I really enjoyed exploring a part of my neighborhood that I've never seen before. I even ran down a few cul-de-sacs just 'cause.

Then I tacked on 2 big loops, a medium loop, and a small loop on my regular route for a 6.41 mile run in 62:30 minutes. Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:51
Mile 3: 9:49
Mile 4: 9:46
Mile 5: 9:27
Mile 6: 9:40
.41: 4:04

It was in the low 50's, and I went with 1 l/s tech. shirt, and in retrospect, I could have gotten away with a short sleeve. It was freaking windy, which was not my favorite. Other than that, great run!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wussed out, or Smarted out?

This morning the alarm went off at 4:15 for my run. The heater was running. I got up and went into the bathroom, where my running stuff was all laid out and looked at the outside temp. 32 degrees. And the thermometer is mounted on the house, which means it always reads a little warmer than the air.

I stood there shivering and staring at the clock.

I felt torn.

I felt cold.

I went back to bed and snuggled my Preston.

When I got to work the desktop temp alert said 27 degrees, and this is farther into the concrete jungle (and therefore warmer) than home.

Just now I checked the weather and it said 37 degrees, with a wind chill of 32.

I may have wussed out, but I'm glad of it! I did Tae Bo instead (after sleeping another half hour), and I'll do a short run over to the gym for my biking and lifting tonight, then a couple of runs this weekend, when it is light out, and therefore more reasonable in the temperature department.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One Mile Time Trial

I wanted to start the new year off by running a one mile time trial to set a benchmark for future improvement.

I drank on New Year's Eve, but I super-hydrated during and after in order to reduce the effects the next day. So we headed over to the local high school track around 5pm when we had gotten back from the in-laws'.

It was freaking cold and windy. And I'm not talking slightly breezy. No, I'm talking 10-20mph gusts pushed through a building wind-tunnel windy. Preston bowed out after one lap around the track, but I was determined. I walked 1 lap, trotted 1 lap, and then ran all out for a mile.


I think it would have been faster if I could feel my feet. And if I wasn't running into a killer headwind for part of the time. So, under the circumstances, not too bad! And for once I can say that I truly had nothing left in the cardiovascular tank at the end. I felt like hacking up a lung for hours afterwards. But we headed over to the gym for me to bike and Preston to run his C25K. And then for me to lift.

All in all, quite a nice start to 2008.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 Goals

New Year's resolutions? Bah humbug. I have goals!!


1. Complete my first 10K race.
2. Complete my first Half Marathon.
3. Complete my first Sprint Triathlon.


1. Lose those last 5 pounds. (But only healthily - if my body wishes to keep those 5 pounds, then the resolution becomes maintaining my weight.)
2. Run at least 520 miles.
3. Bike at least 520 miles. (I know this is conservative, but for my first biking year ever, I think that is ok.)
4. I can't create a target swimming distance because I do not yet know what my situation will be throughout the year: will I only have the pool for the 3 summer months, or will I be joining a facility where I have swimming access year round? In a perfect world, keeping with the 52 weeks per year theme above, I'd like to target 52 swimming miles this year, or 1 mile per week. That will only happen if I get access to a pool year-round, but that is a distinct possibility, so I'll throw it out there with the understanding that modification is perfectly acceptable.