Friday, March 27, 2009

Saw that FOUR!

Last week was a little discouraging, I felt like I was stuck at a weight plateau and my motivation was just failing a bit. I did get through my 8-miler last week and this week was 8.25. Next week, outdoor runs will happen! Maybe not all of them but at least one will be outside. Also, today's weigh-in was a nice way to end the week- drumroll please, 149.8. That's 11 pounds since the start of the year, and I'm out of the 150's for what I wish I could say would be the last time in my life. I would like to think so, but we'll see what happens down the road. For now, I can proudly state that I can no longer race Athena, I'm an Age Grouper from here on out.

I went to core training again and I have to say that there are some things I can do now that I never thought I'd be able to do. When we're using the swiss balls, I can pike up into a full pike position, I could never do that before. I can do a solid backbend, and when we're doing heel touches, I can lower my heels all the way to the floor without putting my hands under my lower back. All good things, but I've still got a way to go.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Comfort Zones

I hit the treadmill for a 5K today and decided I was going to push it. I started out at 8:49 pace for 1.6 miles, I notched it up to 8:41 pace for 1.1 miles and then the final 0.4 miles was back at 8:49. Grand total: 27:19- my fastest 5K time ever. If I had my water bottle I would have kept up that pace, I think, but I was really pushing it and needed the dial back just a little. It didn't really feel much easier, but at least I finished without throwing up, something I was worried about at one point. I'm pretty pleased because last April was my personal best 5K at 27:41, and I've still got five weeks until that race. Could I potentially come in under 27 minutes?! That would be awesome. I pushed that comfort zone today.

However, I've got to move off the treadmill, my other comfort zone, and get outside. All of my training has been indoors thus far, because my asthma is really aggravated by the cold weather and because I'm running at 5:30am and I'm a wuss about the potential wildlife with raccoons and skunks around. But, I don't know how to pace myself for personally propelled running anymore. A treadmill is easy, dial in a pace and boom, steady pace. I've got a high boredom tolerance I guess, as long as I've got my iPod, or even the TV sometimes, I'm alright on that dreadmill for long periods- at least up to 85 minutes. That's how long I was on there Monday for my 8-miler. I maintained 10:21 miles for the whole 8 miles and really it felt like just about the strongest run I've ever had. The treadmill also helps me to push at times when I'm sure I would slow down under my own pacing. I've got to figure out how to start out. I don't want to start too slow and cheat myself on a good workout, but I don't want to take off blazing and blow up five minutes into a run. I know this is something I've just got to do, can't wish it to happen. I supposed if money were no object I would invest in a heart rate monitor with pace output, but right now that's not a very feasible option for my finances. I was hoping to one day invest in a Polar S625 (or something like that), so I can make cool graphs and stuff, but maybe that's more than I need and a more basic one would be worth the money. Maybe I'll see how the outdoor runs start out and evaluate from there. A couple more weeks and it will be warm and light enough to hit the outdoors.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Status Quo

Nothing too exciting to report, but it was a pretty decent week. After a great start Monday and Tuesday, I was a little stiff and sore so Wednesday's run was a bit shortened. Thursday was a good strength training workout, yesterday morning the run was not quite what was planned but then this morning I actually got my butt out of bed and put in three miles on the basement treadmill. All in all it was a 16 mile week with two strong strength classes. Monday is planned as my first 8-mile run. At my pace I might not quite complete the 8 before the 90 minute time limit on the treadmill runs out, I'll be about a minute short. I suppose I could always start the treadmill again and finish, but I'll likely hit 8 miles in the cooldown. By the time I hit 9 and 10 mile training runs I'm hoping I can start outside and put in a couple miles and not need to spend the whole time on the treadmill. But, we'll just see what happens. Overall I'm very happy with how training has been going and I'm confident that I'll be able to complete the distance in seven weeks.

A bright spot for the week was that I hit the ten-pound mark for weight loss. I was at 150.8 yesterday morning. And that's fully clothed at the gym so I'm flirting with that Athena limit, guess I'll be racing age group from here on out. If I can keep up the approximately 1 pound a week loss until the race I'd be under 145 at the starting line, a number I don't think I've seen since 2000. My ultimate goal is to be at 140 in October, our tenth wedding anniversary, to be back at my wedding weight. I think that's reasonable at this point, although I have no illusions that the last 10 will be easy, I think those are always the toughest.

We're up for a day of play with friends and then we're hoping for a trip to the playground with grandma and grandpa tomorrow. Spring is on its way!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the long and short of it

Yesterday's long run was 7 miles. It started well and then at mile three my stomach started rumbling. I got off the treadmill and took a pee break. From mile 3-4 I wasn't sure my stomach was going to hold out, but then from 4-6 it felt fine. Mile 6-7 was sort of ugly, but it got done. Final time: 72:02 for 7 miles. I was at 10:21 at first and ended at 10:32 pace. I was happy with that.

This morning was strength class so I went for a short speed run before class. My 1-mile time was 7:52. Then in strength class I did 2 sets of 10 full pushups.

A pretty good start to a week if I do say so myself. Here are a few more recent pictures to share.

Princess with her home-cut bangs.
The boys at the local aquarium, right after Spiderman fell in a puddle.
When a snowball's coming your way, little brothers are a good shield.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Recovery Week

I've never done any sort of training that was intense enough that I had a recovery week in the middle. It was sort of cool, but I realized that I may want to be a middle distance runner. (Of course I realize everyone has a different definition of distances and to an ultra-marathoner I'm obviously still a low mileage runner) But, I've always considered anything in the 5-10 mile range a middle distance. Once you get beyond 10, that's long distance to me. It was nice to be on and off the treadmill in 30-40 minutes, but I felt like I wanted to go a bit longer. I didn't, because I want to follow the training schedule, but 11.2 miles for the week, which I had never even done before 8 weeks ago, seemed a little anti-climactic. I'm going to get back on the strength training this month, although I had to miss Thursday morning because I pulled a much-of-the-nighter with Princess Wednesday night.

We had such a great day today. We had 12 inches of snow on Monday, so there was still a bit left this morning, so we went out a built what is likely our last snowman of the year. It was already over 50 degrees at 9am, and he's already fallen over because of the melting over the course of the day, but it was a nice day to play in the snow in our snow pants and no coats. I was wearing a t-shirt and running pants with my boots because it was so warm . Then the boys and I went to a grammar school carnival where they won some prizes for tossing bean bags and we found some cheap books- always a highlight of my days. The whole family took a walk down on the boardwalk near the beach and we skipped rocks, found shells, ran some races and just had a great early taste of spring time. I love winter and the snow, but getting back to hikes with the kids and days at the beach is very appealing. Here's a picture of Mr. Snowman with the kids.