Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My first real mental test

I'm having a horrible, busy day at work and I should really stay late and get some more stuff done but I think I'm already losing focus at 4:00 and that won't be a very effective plan. Plus, I think the only reason I am considering working late is that I don't want to run when I get home.

I should want to run -- I had a day off yesterday and I feel good today. I have good music and it's nice outside even if I want to skip the treadmill. Brian's playing volleyball so I don't even have to cook dinner when I get home.

I should also be motivated because we're kind of planning a last minute vacation to the Virgin Islands for 4th of July week and I should be interesting in running if I'm going to be in a bathing suit in 4 weeks.

I have to do 35 minutes according to the schedule. I don't know if my brain will be able to pull it off. I'm going to make myself do the 5 minute rule where I get dressed and start the workout for 5 minutes and if I feel crappy or still hate it at that point I can quit. My plan of attack is to go really slow so it won't seem to taxing.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Weekend Update

Well, for the 2nd weekend in a row I spent Saturday and Sunday morning running.

Saturday was the PFit meeting. That went well, I met some nice people who seemed a lot like me when it comes to running. They're slow, more used to walking, and not 100% convinced that running is such a great idea. One woman in particular was great -- we ran 3/4 of the distance together chatting away and the time flew by and it was easy despite the four miles of hills at Valley Forge.

My sister was not so lucky on this outing. She's already suffering from what we think is a bout of tendonitis and then she twisted her ankle on the run on Saturday morning. It's pesky but better it should happen now than closer to her marathon.

Sunday was the Teal Ribbon 5K in Fairmount Park. This was an adventure because it was the first time I went to a race by myself. I got there with plenty of time to spare and the race seemed pretty well organized for a first time event. They even had goodie bags which were filled differently for men and for women. I really wished Brian could have come with me so I could have seen the guy stuff. I got typical race goodies like a Clif Bar and a livestrong type bracelet only in teal for ovarian cancer. It also had nice hand lotion, a lighted compact and a lipstick holder.

The race itself got off to a late start but was on a familiar course because it's the same loop that the local Turkey Trot takes each Thanksgiving. I started out too fast, as is typical, but this time I blame it on listening to a young dad who was running with his daughter who was about eight I thought it would be smart to follow with them because he really wanted to help her run as much as she could if not do the whole thing. Things were good until we hit the 1 mile mark and I realized I was running just under 10 minute miles which is OK for me for about a mile but after that it got a whole lot harder! I stuck with them until the water stop at 1.5 and then never quite got the rhythm back and had to walk a few times and then would still find myself running faster than I wanted to.

The little girl ran into trouble around 1.5 also and was struggling and wanted to quit but her dad got her through it and by the end of the race she was happy again and extremely proud of herself. The volunteers along the course were really encouraging her and cheering loudly for her so I'm sure it was exciting and I'm really hoping that she won the 12-under age group award because she worked really hard. It was like a marathon for her!

Anyway, my finish time was 33:17 according to my watch and I'm pretty happy with that although I would have been much happier if I hadn't walked. I really need to practice running outdoors and I think at least one of my midweek runs is going to have to be moved outside.

Post-race was great. They had excllent soft pretzels (the real Philadelphia good kind) and bagels and yogurt and fruit. But the best part was they had big cups of fresh squeezed OJ. YUM! And since it was surprisingly hot that was an awesome treat.

My legs feel good after the two runs. Yesterday I had some of my typical knee stiffness but it was gone after a bit of ice and today I had no problems at all.

Tomorrow I plan to do a whole lot of nothing.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Holiday Weekend!

I am so glad that we have a three day weekend coming up! I haven't been on vacation since the Disney Marathon in January and that really wasn't much of a vacation.

Tomorrow I have PFit in the morning where we are scheduled to do a 3-4 mile run and then Sunday is the 5K for Ovarian Cancer. I am dying to skip one or both of these to sleep in but I probably will be good and go to both. My best friend's mom died of Ovarian Cancer about a year and a half ago so I will feel super guilty if I skip that event. It's also the first time they are holding it and I want them to be successful.

I'm kind of worried about having to do that many miles in one weekend but I'm sure I'll be fine if I just take it easy on Saturday.

Maybe this weekend I'll go get new running shoes. I wear Adidas Supernova Cushions right now and I kind of hate them. I need to buy new shoes for the 3-Day and for running and I'm not sure if I should have the same model for both running and the distance walk. I need a real shoe expert to help me choose something new. I will be bummed if they tell me to stick with what I have.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Do something good this summer - Give blood!

The PennJersey chapter of the American Red Cross is running a special promotion this weekend to encourage people to give blood.

If you give blood over the holiday weekend you get a baseball hat and entered to win a handfull of summer prizes like a Webber grill and some fancy steaks.

It looks like they'll be running a promotion all summer with scratch & win games for donors where you can win t-shirts and other goodies including a year's worth of gas for your car. Click here to sign up!

Late for work but it was worth it!

I forced myself to get out of bed this morning to run and I am so glad I did.

I am amazed at how much easier it is for me to get through a workout in the morning. The time just flies by. I guess it's because I'm still half asleep and my brain's complaining mechanism isn't fully activated yet.

I warmed up for 2 minutes then ran for the next 30 before cooling down for the last 2 or 3 minutes until I got to an even 3 miles for the session.

I started slow and ran in 5 minute blocks upping the speed every 5 minutes until I got to 5.5 and then backed down again in 5 minute blocks until the 30 minutes were up. I'm not sure that's really such a great plan but it seems to keep my mind from completely obsessing over the readouts.

Now that I'm actually at work I'd better do something.

Total time: 35 minutes Total distance: 3 miles

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Worst Run Ever!

This run totally sucked but I'm proud of myself for not giving up in the middle.

I had to run after work but figured it wouldn't be a problem since the PFit schedule only had me running for 25 minutes. I should have known things were going to be rough when about 2 minutes into the workout I realized that I had forgotten to use bodyglide and could already feel the rubbing. (I get awful chafe marks on my collarbones whenever I run if I don't use bodyglide.)

Then I noticed that my shorts (which I recently got at Target on the super ultra bargain rack) were all bunchy and kept getting throwing off my gait. Still, I thought, this is a short run. Just stick it out. I stopped thinking about my bunchy shorts only because I started to feel a sharp poking under my left arm. Turns out one of the underwires of my bra had decided to poke it's way out of the fabric and was jabbing me over and over again. Luckily there were a couple of the wristbands from the 5K on Saturday on the arms of the treadmill so I managed to use one of them to block the poking action of the underwire.

This run sucks -- and I'm less than 10 minutes into it. I'm completely uncomfortable but at least my legs feel good even if my clothes don't.

Then about 15 minutes into the run I get the most horrible side stitch! I don't get these much anymore and usually only outside when I totally screw up my pace because I try to keep up with the music in my iPod. I tried to breathe deeply, I tried holding the sore spot, I tried slowing down (and I wasn't even going fast!) Nothing really helped until I gave up and walked. I never stop to walk on the treadmill! I had to though, it was killing me. I walked at least 2 minutes maybe even 3 before I started to run again.

This is where I give myself credit. The usual me would have just bagged it at this point. The new PFit me decided to press on. [I need to point out here that this running program has given me back the feeling I had before my first marathon when I felt that if I skipped even a minute of any workout I'd never be able to finish the race. I don't know if that's good or bad.]

So I sped up again and finished the required 25 minutes of running. HORRIBLE.

Total time: 29 minutes. Distance: 2.5m

In other news, the new running playlist on my iPod totally rocks. It was the only good thing about the run.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Collegeville 5-K for Arthritis

Wow! What a totally fun event! This was the most low-key run I've ever been to but it was awesome and I can't wait to spread the word for next year.

This race (really more of a fun run/walk) for the Arthritis Foundation was held about 10 minutes from my house so couldn't resist going especially when Brian's company, Centocor, agreed to pay the entry fees for employees and their families. They wanted to have a strong presence at this event since it's main sponsor is one of their corporate rivals. As it turns out, Centocor had 75 entrants -- probably half the field. They were giving out all kinds of Centocor stuff for us to wear including t-shirts, wristbands and visors. Awesome!

The 5K course was through a bunch of neighborhoods and was quite hilly but very serene. There was one cute little family working a water stop for us and even though I wasn't thirsty I had to take a drink from the cute little boys working the station.

I was having trouble keeping up the running on the hills and my IT band was starting to make itself known so I didn't want to push myself at all. I wound up finishing with Brian in just under 36 minutes and when we crossed the line the race guy pointed mentioned that Brian was the first walker.

We went to the post-race area and got the most awesome giveaways! Bottles of Advil liquigels, real chapstick, Centrum vitamins, Alavert cold medicine. Good stuff. And the food! Donuts, bagels and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. Millions of bananas, Gatorade, iced tea, animal crackers and of course, water.

While we were eating they started with the awards -- I think just about everybody there got a prize! My sister got a gold medal for winning her age group (even though she was sick and almost stayed home because she didn't feel much like running) and Brian won an actual trophy and a really nice dri-fit shirt for being the Top Walker. It was great! They even had a bunch of door prizes so even if you didn't win an athletic medal you had a shot at something.

We had a really fun time and they did a great job with everything. I even e-mailed the promotions lady to tell them how much I loved it and that I planned to come back for sure next time.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

PhillyFit - 3m 31:14

Today was my first day at PhillyFit. Everybody seemed very nice and I think it's going to be a good group. They had cake available post-run so they can't be all bad, right?

The pace run was 3 miles. I knew that no matter what happened I'd be in the Red pace group (10 minutes and slower) so I wasn't trying to run fast for this test run. (They told us not to run fast anyway -- just run comfortably.)

I've had trouble keeping up the momentum when I run outside. I always wimp out and stop to walk even when I am running a distance I know I can do without trouble on the treadmill. It's odd and I guess it's because I have trouble controlling my pace. Today I started out a little faster than I wanted to and then couldn't figure out to adjust so I kept up the pace the whole way. I was determined not to stop running and get over the mental block that I can't run that far. Tempting as it was to stop -- I didn't and I managed to do the 3 miles in 31:14

I'm pleased with that even though I was one of the snails of the day. That's OK though because most of the red team seems to have joined last week and were out on their group run already by the time I got started. Next week I'll be able to see where I fit in on the snail scale within my own group.

I guess I don't care though. They always say that for your first marathon your goal should be to finish. That's my goal I guess but it's to finish faster than I have finished as a walker otherwise this new training isn't really worth it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Am I Goofy enough? I think so. Unfortunately.

I've done the Walt Disney World Marathon twice. I really had a good time both years but training for a race over the Christmas holidays is rough and last year, after the event, I decided I wasn't coming back in 2006. I needed at least a one year break.

Soon after making that decision I found out that they were changing Marathon Weekend so that the full and half marathons would be on different days. They also indicated that runners who participated in both events would get some kind of special reward. I am obsessed with medals and race t-shirts so this was a very tempting offer. Somehow, I managed to resist even when my sister signed up to do the set of races.

Every time I've been tempted I've managed to talk myself out of signing up because I have such a full training schedule this summer and fall. It's going to be hard to keep my motivation going for all those months and it's really a bad idea for me to sign up for the duo in January.

Yesterday, Disney sent out an e-mail promoting "Goofy's Race and Half Challenge". You get a Goofy medal if you finish them both plus you get the Donald (which I don't have) and the Mickey. I really, really, really want that Goofy medal.

It's a bad idea for me to sign up for these races -- it's too much training, it's a lot of money to spend on travel and race entries. It's just a bad idea but I totally want to do it.

My husband agrees that it's a terrible idea and he thinks I'm crazy to want all the medals (by the way, he has both the Mickey and the Donald). Unfortunately, he's a good (?) husband so he also said "I think you're crazy but if you really want to go I'll go with you."

It's a bad idea. I know it's a bad idea. I don't even like the race that much. I think I'm going to have to do it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Treadmill 5K - 34:44

I can not believe it but I think I might have to turn myself into a morning exercise person.

I got home from work tonight, ate a quick snack (TLC crackers by Kashi) and hit the treadmill. I wanted to be sure to run for 30 minutes straight or complete a 5K, whichever came first. (As if I could run a 5K in under 30 minutes!)

From the very beginning it was hard. Not the worst run ever but my legs were beat and my mind was wandering and I just couldn't wait to get off. I resorted to my trick of covering up all the readouts on the treadmill and trying to zone out as best I could but it was still kind of hard. The second half was much easier than the first half so I guess once I got warmed up things were better.

It was so different from the way I felt on Tuesday morning when the run felt great and invigorating and I was pumped up for the rest of the day.

I'm probably not going to run again until the weekend because I have the Philly Fit pace run on Saturday, which I'm guessing is at least 3 miles, and then the Collegeville 5K on Sunday. That's a little more than I'm used to so I think I may walk tonight or tomorrow but no running until the weekend.

Next week, when I have a "real" training plan, I'm going to try to stick with the AM plan.

Torn between two identities

I'm so excited about this running plan and I can't wait to really get into the thick of training but at the same time most of my running is tainted just a little bit by guilt.

My friends are walkers. I am still a walker and I feel guilty about wanting to run. The whole time I've been in marathon training, as a coach and a participant, part of the plan was to convince people that walking was OK. There was no need to run. A marathon is a marathon regardless of the time it takes to finish. I feel almost like I am betraying my history because I want to run.

I know that there isn't anything wrong with walking and there isn't anything wrong with wanting to get faster and become a runner but it still feels a little bit like by doing this I'm letting all of those other people know that I was lying when I said that walking was good enough.

I haven't embraced running enough to want to run a marathon. I still think that's a little bit crazy. I want more than anything to run a half-marathon. My first organized event was the Philadelphia Distance Run in 2002. I was a walker -- and not even the slowest walker -- but I was completely discouraged by being left in the dust by the masses. I can still remember that I felt like a party crasher that day even though finishing that race was a huge thing for me. I really want to run that whole race this year and eradicate that memory.

So much for that...

I skipped the morning workout - I am so lazy it's scary. Brian is playing volleyball tonight so I have no excuse to skip it tonight. Why is it so hard to get out of bed a half hour earlier than normal?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Morning Run!

This was great!

Brian had to get up to go to a training class so instead of rolling over and trying to sleep for another hour I got up and hit the treadmill. I went for 30 minutes total, 28 of them running, and covered about 2.75 miles. Not bad but I wasn't trying to do anything but get some miles under my belt before work. I'm happy with the effort.

I really can't wait until Philly Fit this weekend so I can put a real plan together.

I've been reading some of my old training logs from 2003 and I'm amazed at how much faster I was running back then. Surprisingly, I'm not discouraged by reading those notes though because while I was able to run at over 6mph I wasn't able to sustain that pace for very long. I can run steady for much longer than I could then and I feel quite sure that I can run a whole 5K and I wasn't able to do that in 2003 despite all the run training. I think I'm being smarter about things this time -- if not smarter, more patient. I don't want to get hurt. I have lots of big goals for the rest of 2005 and I don't want to derail myself early.

I was reading about the Philadelphia Marathon. That's not really a goal at this point. I know my summer/fall is going to be hectic enough and I probably won't want to deal with the marathon training after the 3-Day and vacation. Still....it's very tempting.

Brunch, Workout, More Eating

We took Mom out to brunch at the William Penn Inn. I ate like crazy and it was awesome. Then I went home and did some chores and hopped on the treadmill for about 25 minutes and then we went to Aunt Suzy's to celebrate Michael's birthday. We had steak and shrimp and ice cream. Yummy.

I'm not sure my distance or anything but it was somewhere between 2.5 and 3 miles.

Yard Sale!

Surprisingly, the yard sale was a success. People buy the strangest junk.

Take home: $167. If I include the $30 I got from selling flowers to Mom my total is $197.

It was a good first step.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Treadmill 5K

Ran a 5K after work yesterday on the treadmill. Pete the trainer was there to help.