I’m still running

I’ve missed posting for the last two weeks, not because I haven’t been running but because I just haven’t sat down long enough to pull it all together. I won’t bore you with all the weekday runs as they’re just normal stuff, but I want to share the last two ‘long runs’ from the weekends.

September 13 – Hit the Brixx 10K

As a part of the Half Marathon training we signed up for a few races, last week was a 10K. After running 9 miles the week before the thought of 6.2 miles was refreshing – that is until mother nature decided to turn up the humidity again, UGH!

Before I get into the running details I have say that I was quite disappointed at the organizers of the race – typically Run For Your Life does a better job. Believe it or not we had a difficult time finding the starting line (huh?) and once we were there we couldn’t spot anyone that was controlling the start. The start time was supposed to be 7:45 but the sea of people started to move around 7:30 however we quickly realized they were just moving everyone to the actual starting line. About 7:50 the sea of people started to move again and this time it was the actual start…there was no gun firing or anyone with a megaphone…it was just really different from many other races I’ve run. The other issue I had was that the last 2 miles of the race was not marked very clearly, many times I wasn’t sure which way to go but because I could see other runners ahead of me I just followed them. The last complaint was getting out of the parking garage – we sat for almost 40 minutes even though everyone had validated parking. After all that, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for that race again.

Now on to the actual running. As I stated the humidity was just unbearable, it felt like I was running in soup. I ran out of ‘steam’ after 4 miles and took several walk breaks before finishing strong the last .25 mile. At mile 4 I had to stop and stretch because my glutes felt like the were cramping up on me; I had water with me and there were two water stations during the race so not sure what was going on with my glutes :-s

9.13.14

9.13.14 pace

September 20 – 10 mile training run

After the issues I had at the end of the 9 mile run I was a little apprehensive about doing 10 miles. The one major difference today was the weather – thankfully the temps have dropped and so has the humidity – YAY! The temps this morning were in the mid 60’s with little humidity – what a blessing!

We met up at the same location and ran the same route as before since we knew it actually covered 10 miles. I did pretty good until 5 miles, then I started taking a few extra walk breaks. At the beginning of mile 9, mother nature called and thankfully there was a Bojangles right there for a pit stop (I figure that added about 5 minutes to my overall time; I didn’t stop the Garmin because I wasn’t sure how to resume it… so mile 9 stats look pretty bad). After the pit stop I got a second wind and finished the last two miles pretty strong; in fact my legs felt pretty good and I knew that I could’ve done a few more miles – that’s a great sign!!

During the 9 mile run I stashed a bottle of water at the turn around point but this time I tried something new. I had read several articles that having chills during a run on a hot day signals early signs of heat exhaustion (whoa!) so I wanted to make sure I was refueling my electrolytes. I found tablets called “Camelback Elixir” which when mixed with 16 oz water provides all the electrolytes needed. I mixed that up the night before and stashed that bottle at the turn around…I wonder if that had something to do with my second wind?

The first stats below are from the C25K app – I was able to pause it during my ‘pit stop’ so the overall time should be pretty accurate. It’s encouraging to see my overall pace under 14 min/mi…woohoo!

9.20.14 c25k

 

9.20.14

9.20.14 pace

 

 

Training continues

This week the training runs continue to get longer…today was 9 miles! But first let me share with you the run from Wednesday.

Sept 3: Planned workout 40 minutes alternating 7 min run/1 min walk

The weather just won’t let up, it was hot and humid again so it was back to Anytime Fitness for a treadmill workout. I decided to plug into the TV on the treadmill and watch a little HGTV to pass the time which helped distract me from thinking about running. I set the run intervals at 4.8 and the walk intervals at 4.0. Based on an article I read last month, I’m not really pushing the speed too much as I’m trying to build endurance. I think it’s working because I didn’t feel worn out at the end of the workout.

9.3.14 mmr

Sept 6: Planned workout 9 miles alternating 5 min run/1 walk

Today’s weather was a little bit better than it had been all week. When we started it was 70 degrees and humid but it was also overcast so we didn’t have to deal with the sun. I made sure I ate enough before the run as I’m sure that was my problem two weeks ago when I ran 8 miles. We met at the shopping center at the bridge and had decided to run an out & back route. I had mapped it last night and decided I was going to put a fresh bottle of water at the halfway point which I did on my way to meet up this morning.  I felt really good through 3.5 miles when I took an extended walk break to eat a few shot bloks and then fell back into the 5/1 rhythm.

I picked up my fresh water bottle but it was not actually at the halfway mark; when I mapped it out I didn’t know that we would be starting our run over the bridge and back. At that point I quickly realized that I was going to finish 9 miles a good distance from my car – ugh. I took several more extended walk breaks and stopped once to stretch my glutes and again to tighten my laces. The sun decided to make an appearance around 7.5 miles and then it got really hot. In the final mile I had to walk quite a bit because I started getting chills – I have never experienced that before. I wasn’t sure what my body was trying to tell me so I just walked until they went away. I knew that I was properly hydrated because I had drank almost two 16.9 oz bottles of water; I’ll have to search the internet to see if there is an explanation for it.

As expected, by the time I finished 9 miles I was just over a mile from the car so I had a nice long cool down walk, LOL! Other than the chills and a nice blister on the second toe of my left foot I think the 9 miles was quite a success. After each ‘new’ long distance my confidence is getting a boost – oh, one other accomplishment today, within the first mile of the run we faced a HUGE hill which I usually avoid at all costs. Today I ran about 3/4 up that hill before walking – woohoo!!!

9.6.14

9.6.14 pace

 

Holiday Runs

Even though it’s a holiday weekend I still completed my training runs…yay!

August 30: Planned workout 5 miles alternating 5 min run/1 min walk

Unfortunately the hot, humid weather didn’t take a holiday…ugh! I met up with two running buddies and we went to the path that runs along the Catawba River; at least it was mostly shaded at 8am. The humidity was thick and I could literally see it hoovering above the water. I paced myself pretty well trying to stay between 12:30-13:00 min/mile except for the couple extra walk breaks in miles 4 & 5. I forgot to start my Garmin right at the beginning so I had to run an extra .2 to hit 5 miles – it’s the OCD in me!!

8.30.14

8.30.14 pace

 

September 1: Planned workout 35 minutes alternating 6 min run/1 min walk

The humidity just won’t seem to let go of us and I  couldn’t muster the mental fortitude to run outside this morning so I went to Anytime Fitness. This weather is one of the main reasons I have the membership! After a 5 min warm up, I set the treadmill at 4.8 and started the workout; I slowed to 4.0 during the walk segments.  When I had completed 35 mins I was close to 3 miles that I kept going – again, the OCD in me!!

9.1.14 mmr

Is this getting easier?

August 28:  Planned workout 35 min alternating 6 min run/1 min walk.

It’s another lovely weather day with temps in the low 60’s – what a treat to be able to run and not get overheated! I decided today I would try to keep my pace right around 13:00 min/mi to work on endurance and I wanted to actually cover 3 miles. I knew this meant I would run a little over 35 minutes. The first run interval I was almost right on target 12:47 however the rest of the intervals all came in right around 12:00 min/mi. I was deliberately trying to slow down but it just wasn’t working  :-s

As planned, I ran a few minutes longer to hit 3 miles and I still felt pretty good when I stopped. This is encouraging after the hard fought 8 miles last weekend…luckily this weekend’s workout only calls for 5 miles…ha! Did I just say ‘only 5 miles‘ ??!!!!

8.28.14

8.28.14 pace

8.28.14 c25k

Today’s training run

August 26: Planned workout 35 minutes alternating 6 min run, 1 min walk.  I almost forgot my Garmin again but just as I was walking out the door it hit me!  Once I had that strapped on I started my warmup walk.

We’ve been blessed with a two day cool snap and the temp this morning was a refreshing 63!! Woohoo! Garmin says the humidity was up but I didn’t feel it. I decided I was going to run at whatever pace felt comfortable and I’d just keep an eye on my breathing to let me know if I was pushing too hard. I had to slow my pace a few times but overall I was comfortable in the 11 min range.

8.26.14

8.26.14 pace

Recap of the week

Once again I’m behind on posting my training workouts – so here’s all three sessions from last week

August 18:  Planned workout 36 min alternate 5 min run, 1 min walk.  Once again I forgot my Garmin so I only have the c25k app info.  I tried my best to keep my pace between 12:30-13:00 but I was a little too fast in the middle section.  I also forgot to set the app to Strict mode so the last walking segment would be included…not a good day for my memory!!

8.18.14 c25k

August 20: Planned workout 35 min alternating 6 min run, 1 min walk.  I’ll bet you can guess that I forgot my Garmin again!!  WTH is wrong with me, LOL!  Luckily I don’t forget my phone or I’d have no stats!!  Once again the middle sections are a little too fast but I still felt good at the end so no worries.

8.20.14 c25k

August 23:  Planned workout 8 miles alternating 4 min run, 1 min walk.  So at least this time I did NOT forget my Garmin!  The weather was not cooperating for my new ‘longest distance’ run and my body was not all that happy about it either! Garmin says the humidity was only at 83% but I can tell you it was MUCH worse than that.

I had one of my running buddies, K, along for the first 3.5 miles but she had to stop at that point because she had Lasiks surgery about two weeks ago and they told her to take it easy. Around mile 3 I started cramping – in my glutes of all places – so I had to stop and stretch. I was on my own after K stopped and it was hard to stay motivated. I took several walk breaks in the ‘back half’ and I had to stop for another glutes stretch break around 5 miles; surprisingly enough after that they didn’t bother me again. Around 6.5 miles my stomach started getting a little queasy and I thought I might hurl but I fought it off. I FINALLY made it to 8 miles and wanted to collapse in the grass right there but I was afraid if I stopped I’d never make it back to my car!  I walked very slowly to the parking lot and flopped into the front seat of the car.  I couldn’t get my shoes off fast enough, my feet were so overheated!  I noticed at that point that I had a nice little blister on the second toe of my left foot -ha, I never felt it while running.

I was thoroughly exhausted after those 8 miles and I’m wondering now if I didn’t have enough to eat before the run. I had some fruit, peanut butter on crackers and 3 shot bloks.  I took more shot bloks with me and ate those at miles 3, 5 & 7. I also drank 16oz water on and off during the run. I think the ‘soupy weather’ played a part because I talked with another runner today who said they went out for 13 miles and had to stop at 10 because of the weather.  I can only hope that the weather will cool down before my next ‘new longest distance’ in two weeks  :-s

8.23.14

8.23.14 pace

 

Playing catch up

I haven’t posted for the last ten days so I have several workouts I need to catch you up on…the most important one being yesterday – but I’ll start in chronological order.

August 9:

Planned workout = 4 miles alternating 4 min run/1 min walk.  As I’ve done so many times before, I started out too fast and I paid for it in the last two miles.  The overall pace wasn’t bad but clearly I need to do a better job of controlling my pace from beginning to end.

8.9.14

August 11:

Planned workout = 36 minutes alternating 5 min run/1 min walk.  I made a concerted effort to start out a little slower so that I could maintain that pace throughout the run and I’m amazed that I actually achieved negative splits!! That’s a first for me…woohoo!

8.11.14 garmin

August 13:

Planned workout = 36 minutes alternating 5 min run/1 min walk.  The humidity was just unbearable this morning so I decided to hop in the car and go to Anytime Fitness to run on the treadmill (at least I know my membership isn’t going to waste!!)  I started out with a pace of 5.2 mph and the last two intervals pushed it to 5.5 which gave me a great overall pace.

8.13.14 mmr

 

August 16:

Planned workout = 7 miles alternating 4 min run/1 min walk.  Ok, so I have to admit I was a little worried about this distance since I’ve never run that far before (10K is my longest distance) but I was running with my buddies and they gave me the confidence boost I needed.  We decided in advance that we would take a break at the halfway mark and walk that 4 min run interval so we could eat our choice of energy food (I’m using Shot Bloks).

We mapped a route along the main road in town so there was a lot of traffic passing by which offered a much needed breeze as large trucks passed, lol.  The weather was overcast and although the humidity was up, it didn’t feel awful.  I knew that I needed to really pace myself if I hoped to finish the distance and I happened to stumble across an article about ‘junk miles’ which described me to a ‘T”.  Based on this information, I decided I was going to start out even slower than I did during the week – running at a conversational pace.  I quickly found, for me, that pace is somewhere around 13 min/mi.  I had to really focus for those first few miles to make sure I kept my pace around 13, however after that I fell into a rhythm.  During mile 4 I had my planned walk break and nutrition; during mile 6 I doubled back to run/walk with one of my buddies.  She was having a little difficulty so I walked a little while with her.  During mile 7 my left leg muscles were letting me know they were tired so I took a few extra walk breaks.

I’m so excited/impressed that I completed 7 miles!!  Based on the information in that article, running for longer distances at a slower pace will build up my endurance and I can tell you that I felt MUCH better after those 7 miles than I did after 4 miles the previous week.  I didn’t have to stop one time because I couldn’t catch my breath and I didn’t get overheated either!! Wow!  I’m so glad I stumbled across that article!!

8.16.14 garmin

8.16.14 pace-elevation