Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Swim and A Run

I was really mad when my alarm went off this morning at 6am, because I remembered that I had agreed to meet Marathon Mom for a swim. It was nice and cool out, June gloomy for sure. Despite the foggy weather, the pool was pretty warm and it didn't take long for us to get used to the water and start our workout. The plan was to swim laps for 30 min. and it was clear in the first two laps that I am not the swimmer that I used to be. I really never had much upper body strength and I can tell that I have lost what I may have once had. It felt like I was just kicking my legs and flailing my arms, and of course going really slow. A younger woman got in the pool at one point and started swimming laps so effortlessly, that I was kind of embarrassed. She seemed to be able to hold her breath for quite a while, and I wanted to ask her for swimming lessons. It was a nice start to the day, we will see if my arms and shoulders are sore tomorrow.

Tonight we convinced our husbands to joining us at COC for intervals with the SCR's. The track was crowded with football players, and the SCR group was mostly men, faster men. We ran 400's, 600's and 1000's (ugh!), and finished up with a couple of 200's. All in all it totaled 4 miles, and my legs were like jello by the time we were done! The more we do the intervals, the easier it gets, so I am glad we went, and I think the husbands felt good too! Now if we could have just gotten out for a bike ride, we would be on our way to training for the Ironman

Monday, June 28, 2010

Masters Team?

This morning Patty and I met at Central Park for a very foggy, early morning run.  My son had XC practice so it worked well that we met there.  We ran the course fairly quickly because Patty had a very full day ahead of her. We finished with an overall pace of 9.14, which is pretty good at that park considering most of it is a sand pit.  As we ran around the course we were greeted with various groups of high school runners getting ready for their season, some more organized and disciplined than others.  I have to say my son's school is not so organized or disciplined.

Since Patty had to leave to start her busy day, I decided to continue running slowly by myself while waiting for my son to finish his workout, but then I "ran" into my friend who happens to coach the girls of the opposing high school.  I decided to join her and her group of girls for another 1.5 miles around the park.  They were finishing a 40 minute run at what felt like a 10 min pace, something I could manage.  As we were running and catching up with each other's lives, she asked me if my friends and I would be interested in joining her and her friends to compete at Nationals for the Womens Masters division.  I guess the finals are in February.  She mentioned the 40-49 group, but I know there is a 50+ group for our older friends.  She said they are still looking for more women for their team and mentioned some of the ladies already on the team and they are all fast, so I'm not sure why she is asking if me and my friends would be interested.  It sounds like fun and something to focus on, but I told her I couldn't commit because of my upcoming school schedule.  She did say I could still train with them and do whatever I can.  Hmmm, sounds tempting, but I will certainly have to think about it.  I did have a lot of fun running with the girls though.  They give off a lot of energy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Run Worth Getting Up For!

I wasn't sure I should be running this morning, and getting up early to do it, was
really tough. I met Marathon Mom at Peet's, bright and early at 6:30. After last Thurs. nights run, my foot had been hurting, in the spot where I stepped on the rock, over a year and half ago. I have been worrying that I am pushing my luck running on it, so I did make a doctor's appt. for this coming Monday. Marathon Mom wasn't too excited about running either, she was tired and not feeling well, and has also been suffering with sore feet. The up side was that it was nice and cool at 6:30 in the morning. We started from Peet's and headed toward
South Fork, and took that to the gate at Wiley. We have done this before and it is right around 7 miles total, there and back. I have to say, that my foot felt pretty good on the run, and is not nearly as sore as it was on Thurs, in fact it doesn't hurt at all today! The run was nice, we didn't take the GPS and were able to run comfortably and talk the whole way. I think we needed a run with no pressure, to just feel like ourselves again. Marathon Mom was also pretty relieved that her feet felt better today, since she had gotten some new inserts.

I am going to enjoy the rest of my Sat. watch some World Cup Soccer and maybe do a little computer shopping with my son. Marathon Mom is watching soccer in San Diego, before she drops her son off for soccer camp. If I could just get excused from Jury Duty, I could start to feel like I am on summer vacation!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Onions, Poop, Smog, and Mulch

The C.O.C. cross country course is a plethora of smells.  When it's hot out (and it was hot out tonight) COC always has an unusual mix of odor.  Tonight as C, Patty, Marisol, and I ran the dirt course, I was first overcome by the stale smell of mulch.  Then as we went further along, Patty kept saying she smelled poop (there were a lot of dog poop on the trail).  Then there's the good old onion smell, which smells like B.O.  Every year as I run the summer series, I always get a nice whiff of the onions and it just makes me want to gag.  Then as you crest the top of Killer Hill, there's the smell of smog, which makes me start wheezing. I guess we have either weak stomaches or strong noses because a fellow SCR lady had no problem with the odor and was running the course 6 times at a very fast pace.  We managed 2 circuits at a very slow pace.  Patty was feeling out of sorts from a day at jury duty, C was at a new job, Marisol has been home alone with the kids for the whole week, and me. . . .well I've been busy sitting all day scrapbooking.  Nevertheless, we ran the course pretty hard by our standards and managed a 10.24 pace for 3.4 miles and at the end none of us had poop on our shoes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dork with a Snork

I must have looked a little odd to the other lady swimming in our lap pool this morning.  At 7:30 this morning I showed up with my goggles, ear plugs, nose plugs, and a snorkel.  After running intervals last night with the SCRs, I knew I wasn't going to be running today, but I wanted to get some extra cardio in by swimming.  I was also inspired by another lady at the track last night who mentioned that she was going to skip running the next day and swim instead.  She looked like she was in pretty good shape, so I thought I should follow her example.  If it works for her, it's gotta work for me, right?

I was able to drag my 15 year old out of bed to come with me since he has done nothing but sleep in until noon and needs to get ready for cross country training.  He sat in the jacuzzi for the first part and then eventually swam a few laps.  I was pleasantly surprised how well the snorkel works.  It saves me from straining my neck and I'm able to continue swimming longer without stopping.  I feel like I'm still breathing hard and getting my heart rate up, but it's not a constant struggle for air.  I like this swimming in the early morning thing.  This way, no one sees me with all my gear and I'm able to swim nonstop for about half an hour, just in time to see the last few moments of the U.S. World Cup game and the amazing goal at the end

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Good Old Stand In

I have to give my husband credit, whenever my friends bail on me at the last minute he usually comes through and runs with me. Tonight, he wasn't too enthusiastic about going to do intervals with the SCRs, but he came anyways.  I told him there were a lot of slow ladies there last time, which boosted his confidence.  I didn't mention that my friends and I were the slow ladies.  Anyhow, it was a much faster group tonight, less ladies, more men.  Our workout consisted of the following:

4x400 regroup each one faster than the last
2X800 jog 200 after each set
400 recovery jog
4x400 regroup each one faster than the last
2 laps cool down
4 miles total

I did everything except for the last full 800.  I modified it and ran a 400 instead, but ran an extra lap of cool down. Our coach kept reminding us to keep hydrating and take the first few sets slower and not go out so hard.  When someone asked how fast to run the 800, I liked what he said, "just above walking pace".  Now that's my kind of pace.  I'm glad I wasn't last.  There were still some others behind me, but even if I was last, I'm starting to feel okay with that as long as they aren't waiting too long for me.  I like doing the intervals with the SCRs because I know that if I was running by myself, there is no way I would work this hard.  My husband was even glad he came and said he will join me again next week. Hopefully my friends will too.  It was so hot and humid that we both ran out of water by the end of the workout.  Got to remember the Gatorade.  As soon as we got home, we quenched our thirst with a nice cold beer.  There's nothing like a cold beer after a really hot run.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer is Here!

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer, when we have the longest daylight hours in one day.  Remarkably it has been quite cool, cool enough for us to run at night rather than in the mornings.  I'm sure by the end of July and into August, we're going to be feeling the heat, but tonight's run was actually quite pleasant.  We met at Cheese Park and ran down the east side of the river trail to Decoro and then back up the west side of the trail hoping to find more shade.  Well there really wasn't a whole lot of shade because the sun was higher up at this time of the year, but it really wasn't too bad.  I missed the breeze more than the shade.  I've been trying to push the pace more and I noticed we were running under 9 minute miles for the last mile and about 9.2-9.3 at other times, but our overall pace was still 9.4.  We must start really slow and the first hilly part must throw our pace off.

Everyone seemed a little dead legged with the busy weekend and day behind us.  Hopefully we will find some more energy tomorrow because it's interval time with the SCRs.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all our fathers out there!  Our running has been on hiatus the last few days and I was itching to go for a run today, but since it was Father's Day, I decided to give my hubby a break and let him sit on the couch and watch the World Cup Soccer instead.  This year must be the ultimate Father's day for my husband, World Cup soccer and Father's day falling on the same day.

I left my house rather early and headed for the switchbacks behind Helmers into Northpark.  I ran to the second bridge like we usually do, but instead of coming back the same way, I decided to run down Grandview back to my house.  I just didn't feel like coming back the same way.  Even though I haven't done any running for the last 3 days, my heels were hurting like crazy again.  I'm not sure if it's being on my feet or if it's the new sandals I've been wearing.  I found out that Patty ran this morning also (with her husband) and her feet are hurting her too.  The pain usually goes away after the first mile, but today it persisted.  I am starting to get worried, but I'm not in panic mode yet.  I think I need to start looking for new running shoes.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recovery Run?

As we (me, Patty, C, and Marisol) were running this morning from Peet's I was wondering why we were running so fast if it was supposed to be a recovery run after 3 hard days of running.  It must be because this was Marisol's first day of running in about a week.  Actually, the truth is we were not as sore as we thought we would be after doing intervals last night.  I'm not sure what that means. . . .either the workout wasn't all that hard or we're just in better shape.  I didn't turn off my GPS while we were stretching so I'm estimating that we ran around a 9.3 pace overall because every time I checked our pace it was always somewhere between 9.2 and 9.35, which is kind of where our tempo pace should be for now.  I did try to push the pace a little because I figured that if we weren't feeling all that bad, why not push the tempo.

Afterwards we were able to sit and enjoy our coffee while discussing the merits of a college education and of going back to school at our age.  As parents, we all want to encourage our kids to do their best and get the best education possible, but I also remember being at the end of high school and college and just feeling done and never wanting to ever open another book again.  I have to say that going back to school as an adult makes you appreciate it more because you know you are going to school because you want to, not because you have to.  Hopefully one day all our kids will appreciate their education too and how much we encouraged and pushed them to do their best.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SCR's Watch Out We're Back

I have to give Marathon Mom credit, she really pushes us to try things that are out of our comfort zone. For the past couple of months she has mentioned that we should join the SCR's for intervals on Tuesday nights. As far as C and I are concerned, we would probably prefer a root canal without anethesia. Somehow running 400's, 600's and 200's as fast as possible, coming in last and then doing it all again, is not the way we want to spend our Tues. nights. We showed up with the understanding that we would see who was there running and then decide. It doesn't seem like we discussed it after that, because the intervals were starting and we jumped right in. The group was missing the faster group that are usually there and consisted of mostly women. The women were faster than I was, except for the one, very friendly woman who said she was having trouble because she had In-n-Out for lunch. Well I say keep eating the In-n-Out, because if there is one person behind me then I don't feel so bad! We all agreed that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. I just need to go easy on the water, right before I get there, as it caused me some stomach distress in the middle of one of the 600's, but other than that I felt like it was a good workout.

I have run for three straight days now, and my feet are feeling it tonight. I am not sure when I will be able to run again after tomorrow morning, so I am going to just do it, and enjoy a little break. I was glad to find out that my friends have the same distrust of dentists that I do. I hate to blame all these things on age, because I know we are only going to get older, but it sure seems like one thing after another. I just wish I didn't feel like we had to send every dentist's kids to private schools, cause that is what it feels like. Thanks Marathon Mom for the push!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The First Day

Today was officially the first day me and Patty had off from work for the rest of the summer and as I woke to the alarm clock this morning, I was wondering to myself  "why in the world are we getting up so early when we don't have to?"  There are just some days when you wake up before the alarm and then there are those days you just want to go back to sleep and today, I just wanted to stay in bed.  I think I was just exhausted from a busy weekend.  However, as Patty, C and I were finishing off our final stretch at Central Park, I was thinking how glad I was that we were done before it got any hotter.  The thought of being out so early when we don't have to go to work isn't something I am looking forward to, but I know that if we want to stay out of the heat, I'm just going to have to suck it up.  We are also planning on running a couple of times in the evening too, that way Marisol can join us since her kids are off for the summer too.  I think we may have even convinced her to bring her kids in the jogger so she can still run with us in the morning.

As I mentioned earlier, I woke up feeling like I needed more sleep and continued to feel that way all day and wasn't really looking forward to an end of the year get together with some friends from work tonight, but I'm glad I went.  It turned out to be fun and the martini wasn't bad either.  I guess if you get a great group of women together and  you mix some alcohol with them, you're bound to have a good time, no matter how tired you are.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An Early Eight

This morning we met early (6:30) in order to beat the heat, but mostly because Marathon Mom has a busy day ahead. C and her daughter (just back from college) were waiting for us, and ready to go. We decided to go out 4 miles from Lowe's and turn around. C's daughter stayed with us for the first half mile and then got bored and took off. She passed by us once but was feeling good so kept going to get 10 miles in. It was a very uneventful run, nice to just run and talk which we haven't done in a while. We all have different plans for the summer, C seems to have found a job, Marathon Mom is going to enjoy her time off and spend her time keeping track of her 2 boys, while I am going to prepare myself and my son for going away to college in August. My youngest has been going to basketball camp at Valencia, and will start a summer math program next week, so it seems like there has been no downtime yet! Hopefully we can get in a beach trip, somewhere in between all the activity, and our running schedule!

We managed our 8 miles at a nice 9:45 pace, and I have to say that the earlier start really helped me. It was humid, but oh so much cooler. I just LOVE June gloom!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We ARE Fast!

Well sort of, considering what pace we normally run.  Tonight Patty and I did our interval training again and this time I actually used the lap timing on my GPS to give us a better idea of what pace we are actually running during the intervals.  We started out from Heritage and ran the following:

1/4 mi jog
1/4 mi @ 8.23
1/4 mi jog
1/2 mi @ 8.50
1/4 jog
3/4 mi @ 8.28
1/4 mi jog
1/4 mi @ 7.26
1/2 mi cool down

We both felt pretty good tonight and was happy with what we accomplished.  This was an eye opener for both of us as far as how lazy we have been on our runs lately.  We're hoping that the intervals will help with the tempo runs, the true training for races.  I would eventually like to see us maintain a tempo pace for 3 miles.

The other thing we wanted to do is have some kind of marker along the trail for when we do these intervals.  It helps to know how much further you have to go.  We thought about putting ribbons or flags up at every 1/4 mile or even spray painting the trail (shhhhh!).  We decided that we will use the existing Storm markers which are every 1/2 mile and just do 1/2 mile and mile intervals.  Then after all that, we realized it would be much easier to just do the intervals on the track with the SCRs.  Oh well at least we can use the Storm markers just in case.  Tonight was a good run on some very tired legs.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Taco Night

Marathon Mom and I decided it was time to move our afternoon runs, to 6pm because of the heat. This really threw off our dinner making plans, so we were lucky enough to convince our husbands to pitch in and get tacos started while we were running! It seems to take a few times to adjust to a new schedule, so I am sure it won't be long until, we will be doing both making dinner, and running.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to handle the "tempo" run that we had planned for today. My knee has been hurting, and a weekend of partying and running around cheering for my son, didn't help. We started a Bridgeport School, and headed toward the water pipe on the other side of Bouquet. We ran 3 miles, and the idea was to do a mile and half at a comfortable pace, and then a mile and a half at tempo pace, which is comfortably fast. We did the whole 3 miles, at 9:50 pace, but the second mile and half was at 9:15. It is funny because there were times during the slower half that I struggled and had trouble breathing, and times during our faster half, that I really felt comfortable, and was able to talk. I did notice that we were done faster than we usually are, and all in all, I felt good during the run, my knee hurt a bit at first, but then went away as we ran. Both of us are having problems with our feet, and are trying to decide if we need new inserts, or just new shoes. I am thinking I will start with the cheaper option and see if that works.

I had a great time at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon yesterday, cheering for my #3 son! He finished in 4 hours, which was about 30 min. slower than he wanted, but 15 min. faster than last year. He said he cramped up again after the halfway point and had to stop and walk. I know how disappointing this is to him, but he was in good spirits, and seemed glad to have us and his Grandma there cheering and chasing him. My mother-in-law, who lives in San Diego, wants me and my friends to run next year. I am not sure if I am up for running a full, or even a half marathon, and then waiting in line with the other 30,000 runners to get shuttled back to my car. I was sooo tired, but I couldn't complain because my MIL who is 78, cheered for every runner, and never said anything about being tired. She thinks it would be exciting for us! We will have to see about that.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Swimming Solo

I finally got the nerve to go swimming early this morning.  I was feeling rather sore and stiff from yesterday's run and the thought of being immersed in water actually sounded quite good.  I got there around 7:30 a.m. and there wasn't a soul around and the fog was just skimming off of the top of the pool.  I dragged my husband with me because it was a little creepy being there all by myself.  I stepped into the water and was pleasantly surprised at how warm it was and had no problem going under.  I actually wish it was a little cooler.  As I swam from one lap to the next, taking a break in between, I noticed how much harder I was breathing in comparison to our 10 mile run the day before.  When we do the long runs, I don't really feel my heart rate go up, just pain and exhaustion in the feet and legs.  Swimming gets my heart rate up immediately and has me breathing pretty hard. I managed to swim 8 laps in around half an hour and I was done.  As long as the weather holds up and I have company, I plan on doing this again.  Next time, I am going to try bringing my goggles and snorkel.  This way I can continue swimming without coming up for air and straining my neck.  I remember watching the high school swimmers do this during their training so it must do some good, not sure what though.

Today, Patty's son was running his 2nd Rock n Roll Marathon down in San Diego. I believe this is his 3rd marathon?  She will have to tell us all about it when she gets back.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

10 for 10

Today we (me, Patty, and C) did our usual long run of 10 miles and we started a little earlier at 6:50 a.m. since some of us had a busy day ahead.  Well it wasn't early enough because it was sooooo hot out there already by this morning.  I think 6:30 would have been a better start time.  Even on these long runs I try to have a goal and so I wanted to shoot for an average of 10 min pace for the entire 10 miles, which we did today but it was really hard.

Because we started earlier than the SCR group we were well ahead of them and the big group didn't actually catch us until we were almost on the South Fork Trail.  It felt like we were being swallowed by a stampede.  I am just so glad we didn't cut it short and actually finished the entire 10 miles in a decent time.  What's good is that we finished around the same time as the rest of them, so I didn't feel like we were the last ones in.

Our next run will be a tempo run of about 4 miles from Bridgeport.  Here's some info I got on Runner's World for tempo runs:

RACE Add 20 to 30 seconds per mile to a recent 5-K pace; 15 to 20 seconds to your 10-K pace. Faster runners should add the higher value (resulting in a slower tempo pace) because they often race at an anaerobic level; slower runners should use the lower number to ensure they're running fast enough.
So that means for me and Patty, we should be running around a 9.24-9.30 pace for about 35 minutes. I think we will start with a mile warm up and then try to hold that pace for the next 3 miles. Seems easy enough until we actually try to do it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Intervals Training

After our last run together, I decided we really needed a distraction and to set some goals every time we go out there and run.  Part of the problem with our runs is that we just go out there and run without any focus or plan.  I decided to change all that.  I think that every time we run, the goal should be either intervals, distance, hills or recovery.  It's really that simple.  Today we worked on intervals, we being me and Patty.  We met at Heritage where we would have a fairly flat and straight course.  Our plan was the following:

1/2 mile warm up jog
1/2 mile at 9 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/4 mile at 8.5 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/2 mile at 9 min pace
1/4 mile jog
1/4 mile at 8.5 min pace
1/4+ mile jog and cool down

At the end of our last 1/4 at 8.5 pace, our average was 9.09 which included the 1/4 mile jogs in between so Patty and I think we actually ran under our targeted goals.  Breaking it down this way really made it easier to run faster because we knew that it was only for a short time. Next time we said we would use the lap function on my GPS so we can get a more accurate rate for our intervals.    The only thing we wish the GPS would do is announce the pace every once in a while so I don't have to keep looking at it.  The goal is to eventually extend the distance that we can run at 9 min pace or 8.5 min pace. Interestingly Patty thought the 1/2 miles at 9 min pace were easier than the shorter intervals at a faster pace, whereas, I felt the opposite.  I feel better with the shorter and faster intervals.  Hopefully if we keep this up, we'll meet somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Me and Fido

The last couple of nights I have been walking with Fido after dinner.  We are both getting a bit thick around the middle and need to get more exercise into our daily routine.  People are amazed that I'm concerned about my weight with the amount of running I do, but in reality it probably isn't enough.

I read an article which mentions 5 key things that have helped people successfully keep weight off for more than 5 years.  Now that my friends and I are at that age where the pounds are harder to shed, I realized that I needed to change my lifestyle.  I also read that once woman hit menopause, we actually have to decrease the amount of calories we eat by about 200-400 calories per day.  That's depressing!

Anyhow, the 5 key habits are:

1. Eat your carbs.  To continue to fuel your running you need to eat enough carbs and they need to make up the bulk of your caloric intake.  However, the carbs should include complex carbs with lots of fiber, which helps your body take in less calories.

2. Take notes of what you are eating.  (This is the hardest for me)  This not only helps you be more aware of what and how much you are eating, but also gives you the added benefit of knowing what worked well before a run and what didn't.

3. Eat in the morning, don't skip breakfast and make sure it includes fiber again and some protein.

4. Weigh yourself at least once per week. Also very depressing.

5. Keep moving.  Try to exercise at least 60-90 minutes each day.

The link to the full article is below:
5 rules

I realized the running I am doing with my friends isn't enough anymore at this stage in my life.  I have to be moving more, hence I have enlisted the help of my dog, Fido.  He seems to be enjoying the new adventure and today I even talked him into walking along the bike trail to the gazebo and back.  It was about 2 miles round trip.  The added benefit to taking him for walks is that he is much more tired and less high strung, like it's owner ; )

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

M.O.R.E. Complaints!

This afternoon, I ran with Marathon Mom, and C from Cheesepark toward the trail, to Decoro and back up the dirt hill. It seemed like we spent the whole run, on a list of complaints, and then after we finished, complained about how hard the run was and how slow we ran. I am wondering how we can adjust our attitudes, so that we can look at the things we are facing at this stage of our lives, in a more positive light, like this....

  • Instead of Hot Flashes, we could call them Warm Fuzzies
  • Instead of Frequent Bathroom Breaks, we consider them a Welcome Rest
  • Instead of Slow Races, we consider them a chance to check out the Scenery
  • Instead of Sarcastic Teenagers, we consider them Brilliant and Witty Offspring
  • Instead of Dieting, we consider it an Alternate Cuisine
  • Instead of Unwanted Weight Gain, we consider it (OK, I got nothing)
Anyway, you get the idea, but I can't seem to think of all the things we were complaining about, maybe it was just about how hard the run was. We managed 3.14 at a 9.50 pace, but it was humid, and our legs were still feeling the 10K we ran on Sunday. Marathon Mom was wondering why it was so hard to run 3 miles, at such a slow pace, when we are capable of running 6 miles at almost a minute faster. Of course it wasn't a race, and I think we need some different scenery, or maybe just a better outlook! I am going to work on mine :)