Thursday, June 30, 2005

35 minutes running - 3.1 miles

This turned out to be a pretty good run!

I didn't try to go too fast. (Do I ever?) I just kept steady and every so often I'd bump the pace if the music dictated it. My goal for this session was to run a 5K without taking any walk breaks. I've done this in the past but not recently and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and that I didn't have to depend on the intervals.

I am very slightly concerned about some discomfort I have in my left calf. It's just a little bit sore and I notice it mostly at work when I'm crouched down digging into file cabinets. I think it's probably related to the shoes I've been wearing (not running shoes, regular people shoes). It doesn't hurt at all when I run and I'm hoping that doesn't change.

Final time: 35:13 5K
Best song: Bright Side of the Road - Van Morrison

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I'm putting this here just so I don't forget when it happened.

I think I had an ocular migraine today. Or perhaps a migraine with aura.

I was trying to read a magazine while I was eating breakfast after my run and I noticed that some of the words were a little blurry. I thought at first that my glasses were cruddy (they were, but cleaning them didn't solve the problem). Then I thought maybe something was in my eye. Nope. Looking around the room I didn't seem to have a big vision problem. Maybe some slight fuzzy spots but when I tried to read there was no question that something was wrong.

I closed my eyes and I could see in my right eye a bright zig-zaggy design like a backwards C. It was almost like the bright flash you get after somebody takes your picture only this wasn't a round spot and it was more yellow and white and shaped like a vibratey zig-zag.

I felt perfectly fine, although now I was worried that I was starting to go blind, and I finished my breakfast and drove to work. By the time I got to the office, it was gone.

I felt fine at first but after I was here for a bit I developed a headache that was cured by a single Motrin. I don't know if the headache was from the weirdo eye thing or from the fact that I didn't have my normal cup of coffee on the drive in. (I was too hot to want to drink a hot drink.) I did have a diet Coke on the way to work so there was some caffeine in my system.

When I got to work I started to comb the internet and looked up stuff about eyes and exercise and ultimately found pages like this one with a picture that was surprisingly similar to what was going on in my right eye today. My zig zag faced the other direction and wasn't quite that colorful but the zig zag semi-circle was right on.

I read more here and learned that that crazy vision thing can be caused by the eyes or by the brain and that usually if it's the retina the zig zag goes away when you cover your eye. Not so with me, so I think my brain was responsible.

The stuff I found online said this could happen once in a lifetime or frequently so for now I guess I'm just going to wait and see.

Memory Problem

I know I got up and ran today but I think I must have been 90% asleep while I was doing it because the whole morning is pretty much a blur.

I know I walked for the first 4 minutes because I felt really stiff when I got out of bed -- after that it was completely uneventful. I was holding the iPod and using headphones because Brian was still trying to sleep and that meant that I had to stop after 20 minutes so I could take a drink. (My iPod stops working if I clip it to my waistband so I had to slow down and rest it on the console to take a drink.) I couldn't tell you what any of the music was though -- it was completely uninspiring.

I did 30 minutes of running after the 4 minute walk and that was that. I was slow -- 3 miles total.

It was hot and even after taking a shower I couldn't seem to dry off. I was standing in front of the fan trying to get dry so I could put on some clothes. Gross. I just checked the weather channel and the humidity is 84%.

I can't wait until vacation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bad decisions!

I decided not to run on Monday while I was still working at the triathlon on Sunday. My legs were so stiff from standing all that time I decided that they deserved a nice day off on Monday, especially since I wanted to sleep as late as I could. I was planning on meeting my sister from Virginia for dinner after work so any running would have to be in the morning and I thought that rest for the legs and the brain would be a good thing.

Today, I should have hopped out of bed and run for at least a half hour and maybe 45 minutes. Instead I got up kind of early and then ate a slow breakfast and watched the episode of Hell's Kitchen that I taped last night. Watching that stupid show got me to work later than usual and I can't run tonight because we're going to the book club meeting to meet the Freakonomics guy.

I'm not skipping the meeting and I'm not about to get on the treadmill at 9:00 at night, so that means I MUST run tomorrow and Thursday. No excuses. I can make the Saturday run with the group but then I leave on vacation and while I do plan on bring my running shoes and trying to fit in some running I can't really expect to do much other than loaf around and swim.

Today was just a bad decision made out of sheer laziness. I really can't afford to do that if I want to get better at running. I'm not sorry that I skipped Monday but today was just lame.

Wow! What an amazing day!

Sunday was the first ever City of Philadelphia Triathlon. It was an Olympic length event with about 1400 athletes participating and it was my first time as a volunteer and to see a triathlon in person.

It was awesome! It was an incredibly long day but I can't wait to volunteer again. We got down to the race at 4:30 in the morning, about a half hour before the transition area opened. It was still dark as they led those of us who came early to our posts for the day. I hated getting out of bed at that crazy hour but it was totally worth it because we got really cool jobs! We were working on the course at the end of the bike leg where the athletes had to dismount their bikes to get back into the transition area. At first there were three of us at this spot. Me, my sister and this other guy who had also never worked at a triathlon.

Our job was to do a few things:
  • Keep the crosswalks & streets clear so spectators didn't get in the way of the athletes running their bikes into transition
  • Warn them to slow down and dismount their bikes by a certain line marked on the course. If they weren't off the bike by that point they could face a 4:00 penalty!

We really had no idea how to effectively perform these duties but by the end of the day, and with a little help from a USA Triathlon marshall, we got the hang of it. Mostly it meant we had to wave orange flags around while screaming variations of "OFF THE BIKE" and "DISMOUNT LINE! DISMOUNT LINE" over and over again for about 3 hours. Luckily as the day progressed we got more and more helpers so the job got less overwhelming.

The bottom line was that we were in a pretty chaotic spot, filled with action. I mean, they were hopping off their bikes mere inches from me. One poor guy crashed and got buried under his bike right there at my feet. It was nuts. Plus, watching what they do -- yanking their feet out of their clips and slowing the bike down with bare feet or running in their bare feet. It's painful just watching it! They're a little bit crazy, no question about it.

This was probably where the most spectators were besides the finish area, and it was noisy and busy and just completely awesome! We got to see every person go by and when the last guy came through on his bike we took off and watched them on the run course. The day was hot -- especially on the run where the last few miles were in full sun -- so these folks were beat and it was fun trying to give them even a tiny boost to help them get to the finish line. I can't even imagine how they must have felt. We were tired and sore and stiff from standing and yelling for eight hours so I can't imagine how drained they must have been at this point in the day.

I've been combing the internet to see reactions to the race and I haven't seen anything negative yet! Everybody seemed to love the course and they found it to be well run. I suppose all the other volunteers figured out how to do their jobs by the end of the day just like we did.

One other exciting thing was spotting (and briefly talking to) Clinton from TLC's "What Not to Wear"! I have to say, he was not impeccably dressed like he is on TV. I don't think that he would have survived a session in the 3-way mirror in the getup he had on.

Other fun notes:

I spotted an old co-worker who was watching his friends in the race. I haven't seen him in 10 years so it was fun to catch up with him.

I recognized one of the athletes as a kid I went to high school with and haven't seen in nearly 20 years. I had a clue about him because his last name was printed on his T-shirt but I still didn't make the connection until he smiled at us clapping on the sideline and his face transformed right back to the 13 year old I used to know.

We also spotted the woman we met at the MORE marathon and cheered her into the finish area. She's pretty amazing and we remembered that she was worried about making the cutoff but she did it. She couldn't believe that we remembered her and kept an eye out for her in the race.

The whole day was just really fun. Almost as much fun as being in a race myself!

I also observed that to a person, the triathletes were very nice. The ones we talked to were all pleasant, had great things to say about the race, and were very grateful to us for being volunteers. Plus there were a few folks who hung around to watch & cheer along the final finishers and I thought that was great too.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Long Run - 7 miles?

Philly Fit met today for a trail run. It was neat to run along the river on the gravel trail but at times it was a little tricky because the terrain was pretty uneven. I didn't have any trouble though other than getting filthy dirty and getting some tiny pebbles in my shoe that made the last mile or so pesky.

I only timed the portion of the run on the gravel river trail -- nobody seems to know for sure what the distance of the trail is (I have to go to VF website and do some research) but consensus was 6 miles round trip. My time: 1:08:56. That's an 11:29 pace. I can't seem to get away from that. I did the 4/1 interval. I am still really conflicted about that. It really seems like cheating to me but I can see that it works. I feel great post run, pretty good during the run, and I passed a bunch of people who had started before me. It seems to be working. Maybe I just need to try a different (longer?) interval.

We also ran from the visitor center parking lot, across the river bridge and to the trail. My guess is that this is a mile or maybe even a little more than that. On the way back, I walked the first half and ran middle and walked the end. I guess my total for the day was somewhere between 7 and 8 miles.

I went shoe shopping after the run. I need to get another pair of shoes and maybe two because I'll be putting in so many miles for the runs and for the 3-Day. I was feeling a little thrifty so I didn't want to buy a new pair just yet but when I discovered a pair of Gel-Nimbus VI (the previous model of my current shoe) I snapped it up for the bargain price (ha ha ha) of $99. I read online that the only real difference between them is a narrower toe box on the VI than in the VII so I went for it. The best part is that they are pink. Love 'em!

I think that between these two and the supernovas I'll be good for the halfs and the 3-Day and then I can get a new pair for Philadelphia Marathon if I need them. I'm not 100% I'll be wearing the Supernovas at all for the 3-day though, so I may need another pair yet.

Tomorrow is the Philadelphia Triathlon and I'm volunteering to help. I have to be there at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am but it should be a fun day. I'm a little worried about the athletes though -- it's going to be a really hot, humid day. Not ideal for racing.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Running Alone is hard

I decided to go to the park tonight to run because it was such a nice night. Overall, I think this was a good idea but the run was kind of difficult. I am not good at running alone. I have no ability to judge my pace and I tend to run too fast and then suffer for it. Last night was really no different than my other experiences.

I stared out with a plan to run 5/1 intervals. That was OK and I did fine with this for the first mile. I was running a little fast though and had some stiffness in my shins that threw me off a little even though it was gone by the time I hit the 1.5 mark. At 1.5 I walked 2 minutes instead of 1 because I was wrestling with my water bottle that I kind of hate.

I decided that to switch to 4/1 intervals for the second half of the run because it's easier to do the math that way. I know that sounds stupid but for me it's much simpler to do. I felt OK though all of this but I knew that I was going faster than I should during the run portion and then walking too slowly during the walk breaks. It was kind of a disaster although I think I managed to keep the same pace I normally run on the treadmill so I guess it was OK. I covered 3.5 miles in the official 40 minute required session. (Pace: 11:26)

I still had to get back to the car so I kept up the running intervals although I didn't really time them from this point I just winged it and pushed to get in an even 4 miles before heading home. I got to mile 4 in 45:44. (Pace: 11:26 -- how's that for consistent!)

Overall I guess I did OK but I'm not really loving the intervals. I mean, it's easier than running the whole time, and less intimidating, but I'm not sure that it's really what I want to do. I think I'm this method as a way to make it easier when I should be pushing myself to learn how to do this running thing the right way. Still, I think it's my only option at this point. I think I need to accept that I'll be doing this or something like it in my races this year and hope that maybe my next efforts can be with sustained running. I have to remember that this is all new to me still and I have to adjust to it.

The good news is that what I'm doing is clearly the right thing as far as my body is concerned. I've had virtually no pain from anything and usually by now I'd be having some kind of IT band issue and that's been held off so far. Even earlier this spring when I ran the same route I tried last night I had to cut it short after about a mile because my knee was killing me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Hills

I've been to Valley Forge Park more times than I can count. I've walked the loop more times than I can count. I've even run part of the loop a handful of times. I know there are hills but they never killed me in quite the way they did last night.

I met Brian at the park and we hit the trail. I had forgotten my watch so I was depending on him to keep track of the 45 minutes of running I need to do. We warmed up by walk the first half mile or so and then we took off on the real workout part. He was doing his super fast walk and I was running with him. The first mile, maybe even mile and a half went fine but after that it was rough! I'm not sure if it was the hills themselves or if I was running too fast or if it was just a mental thing but I had a hard time keeping up any sustained running.

I tried, but it killed me, and Brian quickly pulled ahead of me and stayed there for the middle mile or so before I managed to catch up with him again. At the end of the second mile, which contained quite a few big hills, I swore I was going to stop at the top of the next hill and walk back to the car. Luckily, Brian was there to keep me from giving up and he told me I only had about 11 more minutes to go to hit 45. So I pressed on, running and walking kind of randomly until I hit the 4.0 marker on the trail. At that point, he told me that I could stop and I calculated that I'd covered about 3.5 miles in the 45 minutes. That's not great, but it makes sense considering that I had done 3.75 at home last week on the treadmill with way easier hills.

We walked together back to the car so the total miles for the day was the full loop: 5.5 miles.

I still can't believe how much harder it was than going on flat ground. I felt far worse than I did after six miles on Saturday. I'm really curious to see how the next run goes. I also think that I want to keep coming back to VF on Tuesdays to see how I progress on this trail. I know I can't get any worse (I walked a lot and not fast!).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sunday Walk - 4 miles

This was totally uneventful. We just went for a stroll in the park. I only had 4 miles on the 3-Day schedule and that's all I did. My legs were surprisingly tired so I wasn't in the mood to push myself and Brian wasn't either, which is strange for him.

Monday has 35 minutes easy running. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Philly Fit - 6 miles 1:09:10

I got up early and arrived at the PhillyFit meeting place a half hour before the scheduled meeting. There were a handful of red team members there because last week our Coach told us to meet him early and he'd head out with us. Unfortunately, this didn't actually happen this week so I got up early for nothing. Very pesky.

When we headed out on the run I got elected to be in charge of timing our run/walk intervals. I think this was because I'd been out early with the Coach last week and because I might have been the only person with a watch. Anyway, we started out with a plan of doing 4/1 run to walk intervals and planned to make the intervals longer as we warmed up.

This soon proved to be a poorly executed plan. The small group I was timing was quickly revealed as having different levels of comfort with running at the pace I set. (I have no idea what that pace actually was.) Soon, there were three of us running together and 2 others far behind. I was having a really hard time communicating the plan to everybody and while I like helping people who are struggling I was pretty annoyed that I had to be dealing with this dilemma. I am not a coach right now and I wanted to concentrate on doing my own thing and not cow-towing to the stragglers. (I have no beef with the slower runners, by the way. My beef is with the coach and his assistants. One of them should have been with us in the back of the pack.) Anyway, at some point maybe about a mile into the run, the coach gathered us up together and made the three of us who were faster wait for the slower runners. I'm not quite sure why. We also picked up my sister at this point.

We continued running at the 4/1 interval until the turn around spot. By this time, one of us had broken out and was a little faster. One of us had developed a painful IT band and decided to walk and one of us had decided to slow the pace during the run segments. The other two slower folks were nowhere to be found. The result of this was that I ran the whole 2nd half of the long run by myself. I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

I kept up the 4/1 ratio because my brain was working pretty well with that and I didn't want to monkey with the plan. Over the 2nd half I caught the IT band walker, and the girl who had pulled ahead. I actually passed her and the people she'd been running with who had started out ahead of us at the beginning of the run. By the time I hit the six mile mark I was just seconds behind one of the coaches and another runner who I hadn't seen since we'd started the run.

My final time was 1:09:10 and I thought that was pretty good considering that I stopped all together for a minute or two to wait for people and didn't run as fast as I could for parts of this. That's an 11:31 pace and that's just about what I run all the time on the treadmill. I didn't struggle at all on the run except for a few minutes about a mile from the finish when I got a hint of a side stitch. I walked about a minute earlier than the watch suggested, breathed and took a drink and I then started up again without trouble.

My legs felt great the whole time and the next day too, so I'm happy. I don't want this timing job next week. I want to do my own thing and improve. I don't want to be responsible for the other runners. Maybe that makes me a jerk but I'm not in this to worry about them. I mean, I want to be nice, and encouraging and everything, and I'll still try to do that, I just don't want it to have a negative effect on my own progress.

We got snazzy PhillyFit t-shirts and Lance Armstrong type wrist bands that say "change your life". They're ugly grey but a cool idea.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Official Race Times

I'm having a slow day so I thought I'd post my official race times here for posterity. I only listed my chip times.


  • Bermuda Walking Marathon 2002 6:51:10
  • Rock'N'Roll Marathon San Diego 2003 5:58:00
  • Disney Marathon 2004 6:01:01
  • Disney Marathon 2005 6:06:03


  • Philadelphia Distance Run 2002 2:58:02
  • Rock'N'Roll 1/2 Marathon VA Beach 2003 3:05:15
  • Rock'N'Roll 1/2 Marathon VA Beach 2004 2:53:52
  • MORE 1/2 Marathon 2:49:11


  • Jingle Bell Run 2002 39:33
  • Run with Aimee 2003 32:32
  • Jingle Bell Run 2003 38:44
  • Collegeville 5K 2005 35:51
  • Teal Ribbon 5K 33:17

It's interesting to note that my half-marathons have gotten better every time (with the exception of Rock'N'Roll 2003 when I literally only walked over 5 miles once between the marathon on Memorial Day Weekend and the half marathon on Labor Day Weekend) but my full marathons have gotten worse every time after the huge leap from Bermuda to San Diego. I wonder why that is?

The 5Ks are kind of a mish-mash of walking and running so there's not a whole lot to compare there but the last two I did were running and I improved there, so that's good.

Treadmill 5K

Last night after work I hit the treadmill for the "tempo" run. I really have no idea what that even means. The coach told us to run out 10K pace or comfortably hard. I run every workout comfortably hard so this wasn't such a big help to me.

I wound up running a little faster than usual and then stopped and walked for a minute or so when Brian came home and then finished out the time at about my normal pace with a few minutes of faster thrown in for good measure.

When it was time to stop I saw that I was very close to the 3 mile mark so I decided to keep going until I hit the 5K point and then cool down. I think I made this decision mostly because the Foo Fighters came up on the iPod and it was my favorite running song so I wanted to keep going.

I was giving myself some brownie points for going a couple extra minutes but today when I look at the master schedule I see I was supposed to be running for 35 minutes not just 30 so the Foo Fighters kept me honest!

Anyway, the 3.1 was done in about 35:40 and while that's not fast, it does include 2 minutes of warmup and a couple minutes walking while I talked to Brian so I don't think it's so bad. I'd be happier without the break in the middle but I know I'll be walking here and there during my actual race so what's the big deal about doing it during training?

The run was good except for slightly tired legs. I think that's because I didn't eat anything in the car on my way home from the office like I usually do when I'm planning on running. My only ache is in my right big toe. How odd is that? I've had this toe bug me in the past where it just feels like it needs a good crack or something. Yesterday it was totally bugging me even before I ran. Didn't bug me during the run but after the run I would say that while it didn't actually HURT, I was more aware of my big toe and it's joint than I normally am. Talk about a lame "injury".

Today is a day off and Philly Fit tomorrow morning. We're doing 6 miles again and this time I'm going to make sure I actually time the run.

Best Song of the Day is a tie!

Original Winner: Looking Good and Feeling Gorgeous - RuPaul (I got this from somebody else's running iMix on iTunes.)
Second Winner: All my Life - Foo Fighters

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What exactly is a hill?

Shockingly, I did manage a workout last night!

I got home from work, set up the fan to blow right on the treadmill, and hopped on for my hill workout. The schedule called for 45 minutes but I didn't have quite that much time between when I got started and when I had to run out to pick up Brian (his car is still dead).

I was planning on using a pre-programmed hill workout on my treadmill or the Pete the Trainer hill workout but ran into trouble when the treadmill program was too slow and Pete's was too long and fast. I decided to set off on my own and just kind of wing it.

I ran the first five minutes then kept the same pace but started upping the incline every minute for the next 5 minutes. Then I put it back to it's normal setting of 1.5 for another five minutes. I think that got me up to an incline of 4 before I went back down. I found when I got back to the flat setting I wanted to go a little faster so I upped the speed every now and then. I did this little routine twice and that took me to the 20 minute mark when I decided to walk for a couple minutes to dry off and drink some water. I started running again and did another 20 minute set although the second set was probably flatter and faster than the first set but I did throw in some hills but never up to 4.0 again. By the time I hit the 40 minutes I realized I had to slow down and cool off before jumping in the car to get Brian so I walked the last 2 or 3 minutes until I got to 3.75 miles and then I quit. I think the time was 43:36 or something when I stopped.

I'm satisfied with the whole thing. It felt good and I know I could have done the whole 45 if I didn't have a time constraint and I didn't over do it. I'm happy with it since that makes four days in a row of decent exercise and that's pretty remarkable for me.

I am very curious about what a good incline setting is for simulated hill work and if I really was wimpy with my chosen settings.

Best Song of the Run: I've Done Everything For You - Rick Springfield

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Training plans derailed

I was supposed to get up and run hills today but that was not to be. Brian's car died yesterday so I had to drive him to work today while his car is getting fixed.

We came up with a great plan for after work -- I drive from work to Valley Forge and he walks from his office to Valley Forge. This way we both get in our exercise before going to pick up his car at the shop and we miss the worst of the traffic by working out when we'd normally be stuck in gridlock. We are prepared to go with this plan but this morning the very first thing we heard coming out of our radio alarm clock at 6:45 this morning was "If you aren't already done with your outside exercise today, don't bother." It seems that the head/humidity combo is going to be extra horrible today and the weather people are really hammering home the concept of taking it easy. My choices are:

1) suffer through the outdoor hills in the killer heat
2) go home and rig the fan and do the hills on the treadmill
3) skip the workout today, do the hills tomorrow AM

I am leaning towards option three but no decisions have been made yet.

Yesterday I picked up a new water bottle to run with. I don't love the bottle that came with it -- it has a very strange drinking apparatus but the holder itself is very compact and seemed to be the most comfortable at the store. I am looking for it online but I can't remember what the brand is. Something I never heard of before but I know it starts with the letter E.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I have to start running outside!

I thought I'd die it was so hot on the treadmill this morning! I even dug out a fan to blow on me but it only hit me from about the knees down so it really was pointless. I need to find a better spot for it before tomorrow of I need to take it outside -- and that will mean getting up even earlier I think.

I did my 30 minutes today only I wimped out on the last 2 and walked them instead of running. I was just so hot and sweaty I couldn't force myself to do it. WIMP! I was running slow too so I only covered 2.75 in my 32 minutes including the warm up and final 2 minute walk. Other than being a total sweatball the run was good. Probably because I never pushed it above 5.4 (11:06?) and most of it was at 5.2 (11:30 or so). I get really worried about not making myself go faster but I know that that is dumb. This isn't about fast for me yet - or at least it shouldn't be.

We walked for about 7 miles yesterady so despite skipping my Thursday run I'm only one mile in the hole according to my master schedule.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to do 45 minutes of hills. I'm not sure if I want to go to Valley Forge to run the loop or break out Pete the Trainer & his hill workout. We shall see.

Best song of the run: Lose Yourself - Eminem (who probably would have died had he known he was followed by Barry Manilow! I love the iPod!)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday Long Run - 6 miles

Today was good. I have no idea how fast or slow I was other than to say that the first three miles took about 36 minutes.

The "red team" coach for Philly Fit sent out a note this week saying that he'd meet people a half hour before the scheduled start today in case anybody wanted to beat the heat (weather was expected to be in the 90s with high humidity) and run early or if folks just felt like they needed a little more time to cover the distance. I wasn't sure if I was going to take him up on the offer but since I was awake and ready to go for the early start I went for it and I'm glad I did.

Only one other red group member showed for the early start so we had kind of a private session with the coach. He started us out with a 4 minutes running with a 1 minute walk break and eventually built that up to about 7 or 8 minutes of running with 1 minute walk breaks. It was great -- I never felt winded or stressed for even one second of the run. I'm sure that I could have run faster than the pace he set but if I did I don't think I'd feel nearly as good as I did when the run was over. The other runner, was struggling to keep up with us and walked a lot more than just during the official walk breaks. That gave me a confidence boost to see that I wasn't the slowest kid on the block! We kept up a pretty good pace for the first set but slowed some on the return because we didn't want to lose the other new runner. She developed a blister and that added to her less than perfect cardio situation it took a little bit longer. I don't think I sacrificed much by going slow -- especially in the heat -- but I think it was good for us to encourage her as she struggled and not just leave her in the dust.

We did the run on a gravel paved trail that runs along a creek and it's almost entirely shaded which was very nice and made today a lot more bearable than usual. I walk on this path a lot and it was interesting to do it as a runner instead. The time went by a whole lot faster than it usually does, for sure.

I made a point of starting my watch when we set out but I was a dope and didn't turn it off when we stopped! I know I finished a couple of minutes ahead of the other runner and we did a great set of stretches that took at least 10 minutes. By the time we headed back to the car my watch said 1:37. So....I'd guess the six went by in 1:25 or so.

The coach said he'd be available for this early group run every week and I think that for now I am going to stick with him. I am a little bit afraid that it was too easy but I think at this stage of my running career easy is good.

In other news....The new shoes worked out great! I love them! I need to get something other than my current water bottle carrier to run with. It's bounce-o-rama with that thing. I can't decide if I should get an amphipod thing or a fuel belt. I think I'd probably like the amphipod better but I might opt for the one that carries more fluid.

There was a picnic after the run which was nice. I met a person who has done the 3-Day before and somebody else who actually did Bermuda! Shocking!

Tomorrow the 3-Day schedule says I need to do 4 miles. I think I'll do at least 5 and maybe some more but probably not too much more because I want to run on Monday.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Evil shoes

The cute pink Lands End shoes gave me ugly blisters/raw spots on the back of both of my ankles. Most of the time they don't bother me but they KILL in the shower when they soap gets into them and then they really burn. I'd hate those pink shoes for doing this to me but for the fact that now I get to keep the cool blue Keens. (Assuming that they don't give me blisters when I try them out next week!)

In other news: I let the heat get to me. We're having a heat wave and even though my house is air conditioned it still feels hot all the time. This morning when my alarm went off I was just hot laying in bed and I couldn't bear to get up to start running. That was a bad decision because it's only going to be worse after work. I could try to run outside but that would probably be even more horrible and frustrating. Perhaps I should take the day off and let my blisters heal?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Look at this fabulous medal I'm going to get!!!

Shoe update

The Keens may be staying afterall!

I'm wearing the pink Lands End shoes today and while they've been great at home on the weekends they have given me a blister by 1:00 on a work day! It's rubbed raw right at the back of my heel but only on one foot. I don't think that is suitable behavior for vacation shoes.

I just had to raid the first aid kit at work and it didn't have any bandaids so I had to rig up my own bandage using gauze and scotch tape. I really hope it gets me through the afternoon -- I am not looking forward to walking on gross work carpet in bare feet.

The most awesome ugly shoes ever!

These are the Keen shoes I bought at the running store over the weekend. They cost a million dollars and they are so ugly they are cool. They are also the most comfortable shoes in the world. I'd say that they're like super springy sneakers and Birkenstocks combined. Awesome!

I am really dying to keep them so I can wear them all summer and take them to St. Croix. But I already have a perfectly good pair of Tevas that I bought for Hawaii last year and a pair of excellent pink mesh waterproof sneakers from Lands End (only $29) that will do just fine for St. Croix. I wore the Keens around last night but I know it's not smart to keep them. I could spend $84 on a lot more practical stuff than redundant shoes, right? I wonder if I can find a bargain pair leftover from last season somewhere on the web.....

Love the morning, love the shoes!

I totally overslept today but since I have plans after work I decided to run anyway. It's also going to be 90 degrees today so I thought earlier had to be better. I was also anxious to try out my new sneakers.

The 30 minutes seemed to fly by today! The shoes felt great and I wore the underarmour shirt I got for Christmas that until recently was too skin tight for me to wear even in the privacy of my own home. I'm still not sure I'd wear it out in public (because the contrast between the tight shirt and my not tight shorts makes me look like the most ridiculous pear woman!) but it worked for inside.

Besides the fact that it was sweltering in my house (I really need to start running outside during the week) the time flew by and the shoes felt great. I love them! I did the 30 minutes with 2 minutes or so of warm/cool on either end.

Final totals: 34:30 and 3 miles even.
Best song of the run: Vacation

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sunday - New Shoes + 8 Miles

Do you love my cool new running shoes? They're pretty hideous but the feel great. At least they felt great in the store -- I haven't actually done any running or walking in them yet so keep your fingers crossed.

I've been so sick of my stupid Supernovas that I needed a change and I hope these were the right choice. Later I'll tell you about the completely frivolous pair of Keen shoes I bought to take to St. Croix. I still might take them back but they are a totally awesome sneaker/water shoe hybrid.

Brian & I went for a walk yesterday that was supposed to be short and kind of easy but turned into 8 miles at a fairly fast pace. It wouldn't have been too bad except that it was close to 90 degrees outside and very humid so we were both kind of grouchy by the end of the trip.

Things got better when we stopped for mexican food and frappuccinos on the way home. I give big thumbs up to the new Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino as a dessert. Yum!

I was supposed to get up and run this morning but decided not to since I'm a big slug. I can either run tonight or skip it since yesterday wasn't really a rest day. My legs are a little tired -- not painful but I can tell that they've been used so I'm going to play tonight by ear. Tomorrow morning I'll be running for 30 minutes for sure.

My snazzy new Asics Gel-Nimbus VII

Saturday, June 04, 2005

5 miles!

I made a pact with myself before bed on Friday. If I woke up and saw even one molecule of rain I was blowing off Philly Fit and sleeping late. I was not motivated nearly enough to run in the rain.

Since it was pouring when I went to sleep I thought I was off the hook. I almost didn't even bother to set the alarm.

Guess what? When I woke up it was dry as a bone outside. So I got dressed (reluctantly) and set out for Valley Forge. About five minutes into the ten minute drive the misty drizzle started to come down. Should I turn back? I very nearly did but then I decided that was embarassingly wimpy even for me so I kept on going.

I made it to the park just in the nick of time because they were heading out for the Betzwood (flat) trail just as I pulled into my parking spot. My new friend from last week was there too so I was glad I'd have my new running partner to stick with for the 5 mile run.

Things were good and we made it about two and a quarter miles before we stopped to walk at the big downhill slope that was covered with mud. (There was misty drizzle coming down). The second half of the run was a little more difficult -- we walked back up the big hill and then ran most of the way back. I think we too two short walking breaks. We made it back to the starting point in 58 minutes. That's really slow but I don't care to much. It was good enough for this early in the training plan.

I felt fine afterwards. No problems with the IT band or anything and that's my biggest concern at this point.

Sunday is a rest day and then Monday I'm supposed to do 30 minutes. That doesn't seem to awful but Tuesday's 40 minutes of hills seem a little scary. I may concentrate on the marathon schedule and do 30 and 35 minutes instead.

I'm thinking of heading to the running store on Sunday to see if I can get some cool, comfy new shoes and get somebody's opinion about shoes for running vs. shoes for the 3-Day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Morning Run - 25 minutes

I was torn between running the half-marathon schedule (30 minutes) or marathon schedule (25 minutes) today. I chose the marathon schedule since 1) I am lazy and 2) I kind of want to do the Philadelphia marathon even though I'm not sure I'll feel the same way come November.

It went pretty quickly and I didn't try to be speedy at all. I adjusted the pace every now and then if the music begged me to do it. 25 minutes running, 2 minutes on either end walking and I managed a total of 2.5 miles. Not great, not terrible.

I learned today that my iPod loves Jim Croce since for some strange reason it played 3 songs of his in a row as I ran. I give thumbs up to Rapid Roy and Don't Mess Around with Jim as running songs. Bad Bad Leroy Brown isn't nearly as good but I can't really say what's different about that song.

In other news, we booked the trip! St. Croix here we come!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Partial Credit

I will give myself credit for actually getting on the treadmill and running a little bit. I only stuck it out for 20 minutes though instead of the full 35 the schedule dictated.

I think I was more interested in working on the vacation plan than the running plan and I came up with the excuse while I was running that I felt kind of beat because of donating blood on Monday. That might be legitimate, right?

Anyway, I figure 20 minutes is better than zero minutes and Thursday will be better!