Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Monday, June 28

I'm never super motivated on Monday. It's the day after I've just done my longest run of the week AND it's the first day of work for the week. I was even less thrilled when I got to the gym last night and all the treadmills were full (except for the two that weren't working). After stalking the treadmill bay, one opened up. I was even LESS thrilled that it was one of the "other" style of treadmills. I don't know WHAT it is with them, but even running at NO incline it feels like running uphill. So, yay. Hill workout on an already tough machine. This was not the worst run ever, but I certainly struggled. It was hot, and the machine was awful. The program was tough - called "variety" - L's was even more challenging, so it could have been worse:


Capped out at I think 4.0, but a LOT of it was at 2.0 and 3.0 - which is pretty hard. Did pretty well, kept a pace of over 5.2 mph for the full hour without a break:


After that was finished, it felt quite luxurious to do a jog for another 20 minutes. I walked the first couple of minutes to lower my heart rate and still did 1.5ish. This was last hill workout before the Foot Traffic Flat - and only 2 more regular runs are scheduled. 1 hour (or so) on Wednesday and a few miles on Friday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Sunday, June 27

It was yet another hot day. Probably about 80 when we set out. Initial goal was 10 miles, and last week we discovered that from our current starting point, the end of the trail round trip is just about half marathon distance. This time we decided to see how far the trail went at the first fork in the road in the other direction. Added just over 2.5 miles to our run, so seems we can at least cap out closer to 16 miles with minimal street crossings.

I also had a different plan of attack to work in the walk breaks to keep my heart rate lower. Last week the breaks were based on distance, this time I was basing on time. So, run 14 minutes and walk 1. Worked out very well I think. In 1 hour 55 minutes we did 10.32 miles, a fairly decent pace. We also rationed water better this time - each walk break we drank 1/3 to 1/2 of the 10 oz bottle.

View of Westminster:


After completing the run, we had Sbux, and I'm pretty sure it was the best iced coffee with white mocha I've ever had. Next long run is our half marathon in Oregon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Davidson Mesa Open Space AND Treadmill Training Run - Friday, June 25

Yep. I did both today. First off, sometimes I don't really think things through. I knew it was supposed to be hot today. The forecast was 94 degrees, and in Colorado that is a DRY hot. No wind, no clouds. But I had this brilliant idea to do an outdoor (leisurely) run today anyway. I figure if nothing else it will be decent training for Hawaii. On my way home I always drive past this open space and I figured today was as good as any to stop and run, even though Bee Rad said this:


I slathered on the sunscreen, grabbed my hat and bottle of water and headed over to the trailhead to see what I was up against.


Then I noticed this:


Hmmm. Duly noted, I'll keep an eye out. Immediately I knew it was gonna be hot (duh, 99 degrees, remember??) Anyway, I was going to stick with my "jog 10 minutes and walk 1" plan. Worked pretty well for me. I was hot but not exhausted. And if it was 20 degrees cooler I could have enjoyed the view more. I have to admit that Colorado has some gorgeous scenery (which, I must add that the iPhone 4 takes a much better picture than the prehistoric 1st Gen I was using before):


The loop that I did was about 3 miles. Under better circumstances I would have either done it a second time or I would have crossed the street and done a quick jog around the lake.

But, in addition to it being the first time I have ever run in any weather over 90 degrees, it was also the first (and possibly the only) time I have ever run in just a bra top and running skirt:


Garmin info here (and W, the average heart rate looks pretty good!):



I still had some time to kill, and even though I'm still suffering from a cold, I feel better when I exercise, so I headed over to the gym. Apparently if I don't want to feel miserably hot in the gym, all I need to do is run outside in ridiculously hot temps. I opted for the "Progam #6 - Aerobic" for an hour again:


I even jogged another 20 minutes after that to total just under 7 miles. Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, June 23

I'm pleased with how my run went. I seem to be getting a cold/flu something. Got virtually no sleep the night before and I was very tired and congested by the time we got to the gym. I did my five minute walk warm up, and I was fully anticipating having to walk at least some of the hour. But, I didn't, and even though it was super hot again in the gym, I managed the full hour. And it could have been worse.


We were a bit pressed for time. Reason #1 - We got our new awesome iPhone 4's last night and of course we had to get them all synced. Reason #2 - We had a random guy stop us and start asking questions about the buggs. Reason #3 - 24 Hour Fitness cannot get their shit together! Check in and somehow they claim I have not paid Kid's Club dues and they are a week past due. I don't know WHAT they did when they revamped their policies last month, but everything is still the same and they are morons.

Less than ten days until the next half, and I'm relieved to be sick NOW instead of them (at least I better be cured by then).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Monday, June 21

What used to be a super easy day at the gym (BodyFlow - which is Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi) is now "hill workout day." We were sorta unimpressed with the "Kauai Program" that we did last week. We opted to do the Aerobic #6 program which capped at 3.0 incline. This is what the course looks like:


I managed to keep my pace of 5.2 mph the entire hour, which was hard since it was a billion degrees in the gym. Again.


Other than it being unbearably hot, it could have been worse.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Sunday, June 20

There were two purposes to today's run. I had my new "heart rate zone" to aim for, thanks to W's analysis of my last race. In addition to trying to keep my heart rate closer to that zone (162 bpm), we really needed to get some mileage in.

I was not too thrilled about heading out for our run. The forecast was upper 80's for the day, and it was about 80 when we headed out. I had filled all four of my water bottles on the fuel belt with ice water, and had grabbed some gels for the halfway mark. Initially I thought we would aim for a 12 mile run, but as we headed out and I was actually doing ok, I figured we would aim for closer to 14...

As often happens, it didn't really work out that way. L got a nasty cramp a few miles in, and with the planned walk breaks to lower the heart rate, it was taking a lot longer. And, we also figured out where the trail ends. (Only a few blocks from my old house). We are about 7 miles in, and decide to stop at Sonic to use the bathroom and get more water, as we have already finished all 40 oz I brought. Took the GU gels (L had vanilla bean and I had the Espresso). Plus a quick phone call to check on Hannah... Our break took a bit more than 10 minutes and I didn't stop the watch so that we could keep an eye on heart rate.


Right as we are heading back out it starts to rain. Not a downpour, so it was kinda nice. But, I think it was messing with my Garmin. It kept defaulting back to the time mode and I struggled to keep it on the training mode so that I could monitor distance and pace. Only rained for 10-15 minutes, then we were left with some sorta humid conditions that were less than ideal. Around the 9/10 mile marker I definitely noticed that I was feeling a little sore and tired, and we slowed the pace even a bit more. We took at least one unplanned walk break on the way back.

Longest training run ever at 13.25 miles:

Race - Joe Colton's Off Road 5 Mile Adventure Run - Rollinsville, CO (Saturday, June 19, 2010)

I was a bit nervous about this run. For a few reasons. I signed up without having any clue where Rollinsville is. I was having trouble getting driving directions since the start line was at a mile marker on a state highway. The race was supposed to start at 9, and I thought it would take about an hour to get there. The ultimate goal was to get out of the house by 7. All week long I'd been thinking about having one of the breakfast Subway sandwiches before my race (I like the Western with Pepperjack). Well, there was NOTHING on the way to the run when I googled locations, so I had to settle for going to one in the city. However. Only ONE Subway within 10 miles even serves breakfast before 8. Yes, I really did drive all the way to Northglenn to get my sandwich and coffee. And it was fabulous.

Then I started the drive. It was supposed to be HOT down in Denver, but since the race advertised "the most fun at 9,000 feet" - I wasn't too worried about the heat. I found my way with no trouble at all, and it was a beautiful drive up. Bee Rad handles fabulously on the mountain curves. Thanks to all the rain we've had it was green and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Found my turn off and then kept on the lookout for the infamous mile marker 21 where the race was to start.



Parked the car, and headed to get my bib. Got halfway there and realized I left my sunglasses and iPod (!!!) in the car. Went back to get them. By the time I got my bib and shoe tag it was almost 8:30 already. Got my shirt (which, by the way, is probably the best race shirt I've ever received) and realized I would have to go back to the car anyway. Good thing I did... my tires were about a foot over the white line and I was in the process of getting a ticket for having an "abandoned vehicle in the roadway" - Sigh. Had to move my car, which put me even further from the start line. Grabbed my gel and headed toward the start line, I had 9 minutes until gun time and I had to pee. Luckily they started a few minutes late and I literally stepped out of the port-o-potty and started running. The first mile was tough. For a few reasons. I was so rushed the last 30 minutes before the race that I didn't clip my pouch on properly. It fell off three times in the first mile. Also, the entire first half of the race was uphill. But, the course was beautiful:


See that chick in the back running with a double stroller? Yeah. I just *barely* got done before her. It helped that her kids kept throwing stuff out of the stroller and she had to keep stopping. Anyway, all I could think about was "Thank goodness for Newton and the laws of gravity - What goes up, must come down."  The whole first half was uphill, but as a result, the whole second half was downhill and so much easier. Having never run at this elevation I didn't know what to aim for, so my goal was 55 minutes for the 5 mile course. I ended up crossing the line at 54:07, so I was pleased.

Random guy who finished just behind took a picture for me:


And this is the creek that ran by the trail most of the race:


Official race results:


The course/race information is here - and this is the elevation profile:


According to my watch it wasn't at 9,000 feet though. There was a 10 mile and 15 mile race too, maybe those just kept going up and up...

Treadmill Training Run - Friday, June 18

It was over 90 degrees again when I was heading to the gym, and once again, it was sweltering hot inside. Really wish they would turn the AC up. It's really tough running when it is that hot, but I guess it is good training for some of the runs I have planned. Anyway, I got to the gym late and only had 30 minutes to run. I pushed it a bit more than I usually do on a Friday since I was on limited time. Again, it could have been worse:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, June 16

Oh... long run Wednesday on the treadmill... how I loathe you.

It was about 90 degrees out (no exaggeration) when we headed over to the gym. I knew that would mean it would be even hotter than usual, and the gym did not disappoint. Within the first few minutes, I was already sweating and I knew it was going to be a long hour. However, it was NOT the worst run ever. (Again?!)

Something to think about. I'm not sure if it is because of the hill workout I did the other day or because I've added a few more miles to my normal running week, but I was a little sore throughout the workout. Sore in my shins, and a bit around my right knee (which is NOT the knee I had surgery on that bothers me on occasion). Good news is that my quads didn't hurt at all - which is what I injured back in December.

Only took a brief water break around 4 miles, and while it was slow going, I managed a quicker pace than the last few weeks.


As an aside, I think I'm already wearing out my shoes. I'm on the lookout for a new pair that I'll probably need to buy and start training in sometime after the next race.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Monday, June 14

Treadmill run? On a Monday? But I never run on Monday... Well. I realized that Kaua'i Marathon is less than 3 months away, and we have yet to complete a  run longer than a half marathon. Training needs to get kicked into high gear.

Problem: Hills.  So I *finally* am able to get the elevation profile for the marathon. Um...


It's even worse than I imagined. Soooo much uphill. Which we have not trained at ALL. Blah. So the solution for that was this nifty program that I will call in future blogs - "the Kauai program"


Yes. It is just as miserable as it looks. Each dot represent just over 2 minutes. So only about 6 minutes were with no incline. Max incline of 7.0. I intended to do a slower speed, and walked a bit for the peaks. If this is ANY indication of what Kaua'i is going to be like, I might have to revise my goal to 6 hours. Eeek. Completion of the program looked like this overall:


The second problem being miles/time - so even though I had just suffered through an hour of TOUGH jogging (my calves were burning), I did another 25 minute slow jog with a 5 minute cool down:


It wasn't the worst workout ever, but, yeah. I can honestly say I'm not really looking forward to this part of the training.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek - Sunday, June 13

It had been in the upper 40's, low 50's for 2 days. Cold. Rainy. L was insistent on doing our long run outside (she is contemplating boycotting the treadmill). Luckily, by the time we headed out around 2:15, it had stopped raining, and although it was still overcast, it was a balmy 55 degrees when we headed out. I had every intention of doing 8 miles, but L decided we should go further... This is how gloomy it was at the 5 mile turn-around:



The trail we run is partially paved, part trail. It was WET. The parts of the trail that weren't paved were sorta like running in quicksand. Many areas that were paved were partially flooded. I was pretty happy that I had decided to wear my older running shoes. By the time we were done, I was pretty muddy.


 This section was flooded enough that a few ducks decided it would be a good place to hang out:


Of  note from today's run:

1. I finally used the Amphipod fuel belt. Wow. The thing is pretty awesome. I decided that as chilly as it was (and since we normally go out with nothing at all) that we would fill 2 of the 10 oz bottles. The belt actually came with 4, but since I hadn't run with it yet, I was not quite ready for so much. I was pretty happy to have the water after running 5 miles. Any warmer, and I'll definitely want the extra 2 bottles filled, maybe even with gatorade. Also, I had to adjust it a bunch the first few miles or it bounced around a lot. Other than that, it was fabulous.
2. For my birthday last month, W got me a heart rate monitor strap to work with the Garmin  - it was finally synced and ready to go (we were just doing it wrong... haha). As I thought, I work SUPER HARD when I run. I now have an additional nifty chart when I sync my runs on the computer. Here's what my heart rate looks like:

W is going to help after seeing some secondary information after my semi-impromptu race in BFE (aka Rollingsville?? Somewhere I've never heard of, and a lot further away than I thought).
3. In preparation of possible rain, I decided to wear a full hat vs. the visor. Any warmer than 55-60 degrees is probably too hot to be running in a cotton hat. Next run I may wear the hideous Canyonlands hat that seems to be made of mesh or something.

Anyway, the 10 miles were hard (as is evidenced by the heart rate chart), but it wasn't the worst ever. Hurrah.

Treadmill Training Run - Friday, June 11

I had high hopes of doing an outdoor run. Sadly, the weather was not cooperating. By the time I got off work is was overcast, cold, light rain, some thunder/lightning. So. Off to the gym I went for yet another run on the treadmill. I was thinking during that run (again), how much I just loathe the treadmill. My top dislikes:

1. It's hot. Seriously hot. All the time. There are maybe two fans over the treadmill bay, and they never have them on very high. There are no windows or doors to give fresh air.
2. They face mirrors. Seriously? As if running in place is not boring enough... now you can watch yourself run in place. Blah.
3. The timer. It's like a train wreck. I *know* I've only been running for 42 seconds. I know looking at the timer is going to make me wonder if time has stopped, yet I cannot help myself.

So. Yeah. I cannot stand the treadmill. Necessary evil, and all that. But... for the second time this week, it honestly could have been worse.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's a 1/2marathon-a-thon!!!

It’s a 1/2marathon-a-thon!

Who: Rebecca & Laura
What: Running 13.1 miles to raise money for the AHEPA to earn a coveted position (available ONLY to fundraisers) to run in the Athens Marathon on October 31, 2010 in Greece
Where: Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon in Sauvie Island, OR
When: July 4, 2010

In addition to raising money for a great cause, the top pledge will walk away with 10% of all money we raise (in the form of a Visa gift card)! Your donation to the AHEPA is 100% tax deductible and you will receive a receipt via email for your donation.

To pledge for Rebecca (aka Squirrelgirl):
Rebecca's Pledge Site


To pledge for Laura:
Laura's Pledge Site


FAQ:


Q: Where can I find out more about the AHEPA and why you are fundraising?
A: AHEPA and their involvement in fundraising for the Athens Marathon

Q: Is the 10% only for each pledge or overall?
A. The 10% award for the top pledge is pooled between both of us. Example: Rebecca raises $400, Laura raises $300. The top pledge gave Rebecca money. They would receive a giftcard for $70.

Q: I have already made a donation to either Rebecca or Laura, can I get in on this?
A: Any donations previous to June 10 are not included in the pledge contest.

Q: What part of my pledge is made public?
A: Pledges/donations are all visible through the link. If you choose to remain anonymous, there is an option to do so, otherwise your name is public, as is the donation/pledge amount. Also, your pledge is made through a secure website and we do NOT ever see your credit card information. Currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting my pledge?
A: All pledges must be submitted by 8:00 pm, July 3 to be eligible for the 10% prize. Of course, the donation links will be up until the end of August and we will graciously accept any and all donations.

Join our Facebook group here !!

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, June 9

Once again, I thought "it could have been worse" - and I meant it!! Only 3.5 days after finished my last half marathon, and time for me to run again. I planned on taking it slow and if anything hurt or I got too fatigued I would stop. Well, it didn't suck at all, and I ran the full hour (a bit faster than the "slow" pace I'm supposed to be doing). I consider that a win:


It should also be noted that I also did a 5 min walk warm up (which I never do) and was followed up with a nice walk on level 5 incline (which I also never do). The bugg is now a constant reminder that if I have the extra time and energy I should do just a little more. I need to shed what I gained during "May Madness"

In other sorta-but-not-really fitness related news... I sorta get obsessed about things (if you hadn't noticed). Last month I had done a custom hoodie - which I realized I haven't worn, or photographed. But, it IS summer, so I'll get to it. In the realm of "customization" - I also decided, hey, it would be neat to add something to it. FINALLY (after the company doing it wrong the first time), I have the first in the series:


So, the patch has the course, city/state, date, and time (the one shown is L's, she is faster than me). The colors are custom and no, it wasn't random choosing those colors! I plan to do the patch colors being as close as possible to the race shirts (which for Canyonlands were this hideous lime green and royal blue).

There you have it, I probably have all sorts of OCD, but I think it's pretty awesome. Now to figure out how and where to sew these on the hoodies.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Half Marathon #2 - Mickelson Trail - Deadwood, SD (Sunday, June 6, 2010)

My dad offered to drive us to Deadwood for the Mickelson Trail Half Marathon, which was awesome. Also along for the ride? My 4.5 year old daughter, Ariel:


The drive up was nice, although we were somewhat rushed. Ariel and her cousin had their gymnastics mini-meet in the morning (which we did not want to miss), and yet we had to be IN Deadwood by 6 pm to pick up our packets.



Other than some minor road construction, we luckily did not encounter any problems.

We made it to Deadwood:


A few things we did not take into consideration... having NO cell service. I remembered the name of the hotel where pack pick-up was, but after driving through town and not seeing it, we stopped at an information stand and picked up a local map. Got there in plenty of time... 4:30 pm. The expo was... meh. Not too much there, and all the apparel was expensive. My dad was planning on driving us in the morning, so after clarifying with some of the volunteers, we decided it was best to get dropped at the bus service instead of being driven to the start line.

The sponsored pasta dinner was $20 a head (!!!!) so we opted to eat near our motel in Spearfish, SD... our choice? Applebee's. Loaded up on carbs (which I've never done pre-race before) and shared a 24 oz can of Bud Light with my dad. Tried for lights out around 9:30 since we had to be up by 5. And that's when all hell broke loose. Pool hours in the motel? Apparently until 10 pm. And boy, did those people take full advantage. Screaming, yelling, etc. Until probably 10:15. Finally started to doze off... when Ariel wakes up for the first time (11:27 pm, yes, I looked). She was sleepwalking again. Calmed her down, put her back to bed. Tried to fall asleep. She woke up again... somewhere between 12:30 and 1 I think but I didn't look at the clock. Woke up again around 2:45... I finally fell asleep "for good" around 3 am. I had a nightmare about oversleeping and not waking up early enough to get to the start.

Anyway. Woke up at the scheduled time, got ready, and headed out only a minute or two late. (Shocking!!) My dad dropped us off at the busses:


There were visible signs for the full marathon busses, we had to ask to find out where to go for the half. Found the bus, sat in the back. I was pretty happy that they had the heat on. Having no cell service I have no clue what the temp was, but it was chilly and we opted NOT to do the drop bags (which, looking back, I totally would have done if I had prepped properly). So. Off we go... we are driving. And driving. And driving. Everyone on the bus is in good spirits, joking about "you aren't taking us to the full marathon start, are you?" Then we hear someone say "You missed the turnaround" - um??? Apparently our driver didn't really know where he was going. It was good that there were people on the bus that were familiar with the course. AND that we had over an hour before gun time. Dropped at 7 and nothing to do until 8. So, we have a quick breakfast (I had an English muffin with peanut butter on the bus, but still had a Luna bar). And of course, the ever-so-fun port-o-potty lines).

Lined up with the 10 minute milers about 15 minutes before the gun:


L started off in front of me before I ever crossed the mat, which was fine. Like all races, I didn't want to start out too fast, so I hung in the back a bit and tried to stay out of the way while I found my pace. By about a mile in, I was feeling pretty good and found a woman to pace with. I was pretty good when I checked my watch and regularly saw that I was pacing under 10 minute miles! I lost my pace partner around the second aid station, and got behind these three girls. They were fascinating. Not a single one of them had headphones in:


The girls actually paced really well for me and I followed them all the way to the finish line. The one in the middle (tank top) I sprinted past in the chute, but the other two took off about a half mile before the end.

iPhone picture quality sucks, but the course was pretty and I tried to get a few shots, although most of them are blurry/dark:




The course measured long (13.34 miles vs. 13.1) per my Garmin, but I felt pretty good the entire race. I briefly walked long enough to slam Powerade at 3 or 4 stations, and 2 "fifty step" walks around 6.4 and 12.5 miles. Still sprinted the last .1 like I always do (and passed at least 3 or 4 people that last .1 mile, hahahaha).

Overall? Extremely pleased. Shaved over 9 minutes off my last half time, and got done feeling good, NOT like I had never run before. Psyched that most of my splits were under 10 minute miles! (Combine the first two splits for the first mile, I hit the lap button early:




The shirt (awful!!):



My first finisher's medal!


Treadmill Training Run - Friday, June 4

I was on the fence about what to do for my last workout before my next half marathon. W had suggested that I work on the "fast feet" - well, it was 94 degrees when I got off work, so I didn't even want to TRY an outdoor workout.

I decided on... slow warm up:


Then some "intervals" - which were really hard... I haven't done those in months. I was doing 2 min fast and I think it figured out to 4 min slow. Well, I ended up only doing about 2 sets before I started feeling really... "blah" so I decided to rest a bit and did some walking:


I still had some time, so I decided to do another jog/run at a faster pace than the warm-up:


Decently hard day on the treadmill, but I was feeling good about the miles and pace, and felt about as good as I ever do when I finished. Next time I run? 13.1

East-West Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, June 10 Highlands Ranch, CO Half Marathon #164 Weather - SUNNIEST AND HOTTEST EVER I started watching the forecast about a...