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Getting my run on.

Archives for June, 2009

1/2 Marathon Goals

It’s time to set some goals for the 1/2 marathon on August 1st now that I’m officially signed up for it!

I’ve been thinking about this.  My marathon and half marathon that I’ve done in the past have both been very slow.  Once due to IT band issues in both knees (marathon) and once due to completely not preparing for the race (half marathon).  I’m determined this time to not let either of those slow (pun intended!) me down.

Here’s my certificate from the marathon:

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And here is my half marathon certificate:

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See?  Slow!  Painfully slow!

This time I’m going to focus on two things:

  1. Run the whole race – No walk breaks allowed
  2. Finish in under 2:20

2:20 is roughly a 10:45 pace.  I did my 8 mile run in a 11:05 pace.  I did my 10 mile run in a 10:59 pace.  I did my 4 mile run today in a 10:09 pace.  I’m confident if I keep up my training that I can inch down to that 10:45 long run pace.  At least that’s what I’m going to shoot for.

This won’t quite get me to that goal #3 up there in the right hand corner (run a 1/2 marathon in sub 10 minute miles).  That’s OK though.  That can be a future race.  This time I’ll focus on just making this about a 1000 times better than my last 1/2 marathon.  Although that one did have free beer waiting for me at the end…

Registered!

Yep, I’ve registered for the Urban Wildland Half Marathon on August 1st!  I figured since I completed my 8 mile run on Thursday (11:05 pace) and my 10 mile run this morning (10:59 pace) that in 5 weeks time I could do 13.1 miles.  Yippee!

I was nervous about this morning’s run.  I kept telling myself that I was attempting 10 miles this morning.  After all, I had just run 8 on Thursday and that was my longest run to date this year.  I then did 3 miles on Friday and rested yesterday.  Could I really do 10 this morning?  But then this morning when I finally rolled out of bed (I love it when the kids sleep until 8:30am!) I wasn’t tired at all and with the help of some positive self talk I was certain I could complete it.  And not once during the whole run did I even contemplate walking.  It was great out there!

I’m sure the weather helped that though.  Our high for today was supposed to be 79F.  Considering it’s been in the upper 80′s and lower 90′s for the past week, today’s weather was a welcome relief!  The only problem was the wind – THE WIND!  The gusts were up to 38mph (as reported on the news).  For most of my run it wasn’t so bad, I was in residential areas surrounded by houses and trees.  A few gusts here and there to push me off the paved trail but nothing too bad.  However, one part of my run (I did a 5 mile loop twice) is about a 3/4 mile length of road surrounded by prairie and gravel pit.  Let’s just say it’s flat and the wind loves to whip through there.  That area of road always has snow drifts on it during the winter.  And today’s wind was a very strong headwind the whole way down that stretch.  I decided it was my time to be strong -Wonder Woman! – so I just put my head down, tried to keep my pace up and barrelled through.  It did slow my pace to about a 12:00 minute mile and it did bring my heart rate up about 10 points but muscle through I did.

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful.  I kept a running dialogue in my head, composing blog posts and rants about this person or that (I was using the run to blow off some steam – some people were really annoying me this week) and just generally kept myself entertained.  Since about mid May I haven’t been listening to music when I run.  It’s just me out there running.  I kind of like it that way.

Anyway, I’m confident now that I can do the half marathon.  I think it’s time to set some half marathon goals!  I’ll think up some and make that my next post I think.

4 Miles in Pictures

So, I took my camera with me on today’s sweltering hot 4 mile run.  Don’t worry – this time I also took my cell phone and some gatorate along with downing a PowerGel before I headed out.  I at least learned something from last Thursdays awful 5 mile run.  But – back to the pictures!

Here is what I see on my normal 3-4 mile loop around my neighborhood:

First up is the local Catholic school where Annika did her first two years of preschool:

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Next we have the corn field.  (Look how tall and healthy – definitely beats the old rule of thumb: knee high by the 4th of July)  Yay for being an outer ring suburb!

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Couldn’t leave out the local wild life!  Beware!  A bunny!  Who will eat all the strawberries in your garden!  Downright evil!

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From there we head around the loop and come to farm #1.  Ah, how serene…

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And then we run along to farm #2.  This one is much closer to the road and, ah, a bit stinky too.  I always want the wind to die down when running past this bustling agricultural center.

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We have a lot of horse farms in our area and this is just minutes from our house.  Even the horse had enough sense to find some shade.  By this time in my run I was getting a little overheated.  I started downing the Gatorade at this point to try and salvage what I could of the run.

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And what rural landscape would be complete with a little irrigation, huh?

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Of course next to an irrigation system you would find a hospital and clinic right?  Only in the outer ring suburbs!

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And next to the hospital?  Target!  It’s good and bad to have a Target within walking distance of home…

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And now we find ourselves firmly back in the land of suburbia – with rows and rows of townhomes.

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One more elementary school for good measure…

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And here we are back home in a sea of beige houses.  Gotta love suburbia and the planned developments!  Or not.

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And that’s what I see on my tours of the hood.  Oh so exciting and bustling!  And hardly a mature shade tree in sight.  Whee!

I suck and I know it

So, I, uh, didn’t run this weekend. At all. And I’m here to admit that to all of you. I did my miserable 5 miles on Thursday (too little nutrition and liquids, hot, sticky, nauseous – all around a bad run) and I did 3 miles on Friday afternoon. (wasn’t too bad – 10:14 pace.) Saturday was a planned rest day and then Sunday I was supposed to do 8 miles. And I didn’t.

Ready for the excuse? I was hungover.

There. I said it.

My sister’s bachelorette party was Saturday night and I had a good time. There was lots of champagne and wine and some Smirnoff. So, yeah.

Um, I had to have burned a few hundred calories dancing so there’s that, right?

Sunday morning I went to bed at 3am, was home from the hotel by 10am and then lounged the rest of the day sipping on water to rehydrate myself and to calm my stomach down. So irresponsible to the training calendar. I know.

To make up for it I’m going to bike tonight, run 4 miles tomorrow and then try the 8 miles on Thursday morning.

And I will go back to abstaining from alcohol for a good long while as well.

Exercising for Body Shape

Over at Bodies in Motivation, Karen posted her first entry to start her blog last week. In her first entry she mentioned that her doctor told her that for her pear body shape she should focus on 20% cardio and 80% strength during her workouts. A few of us in the comments were intrigued by that. Should you really change up your workouts based on your body type? Since I’m an apple shape (I carry all my weight in my stomach. My hips and thighs are relatively slim and trim. No saddlebags here. Just hideous belly fat.) I was wondering if that ratio would be different for me and what that ratio should be.

Of course I had to go off and google the crap out of that! I found a few articles that verified the claim that apples and pears (and other body shapes) should exercise differently. Interesting. To summarize:

Apples:

  • Stairclimbing
  • Walking on an incline
  • Running (Hey – I do that!)
  • Leg Squats, Leg Presses, Deadlifts

Pears

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical training
  • Leg lifts and dips
  • Push-ups, chin ups and shoulder presses

Why do this? Why vary your exercise for your body shape? I guess it depends on the results you want. Me? I want to avoid all the health issues that apples are more susceptible to like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and others. (To be fair, there is also this article saying body shape is not a factor – what do you believe?  Either way, who wants a fatty liver?  I don’t want a fatty anything!)  This is even more important to me given that my paternal grandmother died of a stroke at age 64. And that my father is on medication for high cholesterol. It’s important to me to decrease my waist measurement and it’s not all vanity. OK, there’s a lot of vanity in that desire, but there’s a fair amount of health concern too.

In order to lose this awful belly fat the fastest and most effective way, I’ll continue running and put in some leg squats now and then.

How about you? Are you an apple or a pear and do you care? Does it influence your exercise routines?

1st Annual Du at the Dam Race Report

Want to know how much I rock?  A whole bunch.  That’s how much!!

I got up yesterday morning not really feeling this whole torture-myself-for-two-hours thing.  I didn’t prepare anything the night before either.  I got up yesterday, got my water/gatorade bottles ready.  Grabbed a gu.  Kris had my helmet already in the truck and my bike on the rack.  I was set.  We loaded up the kids and headed to Dusty and Melanie’s house. (Melanie was watching the kids and Dusty was racing with us.)

An hour later we were at the park, unloading bikes, getting our registration – and body art!

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And those are the only pictures you get this time.  Because I forgot my camera at home.  Sorry.  Hey – I flexed while I took the pictures at least.  Look at the muscles people!  Or at least pretend you can see them please.  Ha!

OK, back to the race.  We had some time to kill so I drank too much water, took a short jog, stretched out, etc.  Then there was a brief pre-race meeting and off to the start line we went.  And somehow I ended up at the very front.  This can’t be right.  I moved back (there were only 65 people registered) because well, that’s just silly.  Me at the front.

The countdown and we’re off!  Well, they’re all off.  I started my normal jog.  I just was not feeling it yesterday morning.  My legs felt tired.  I was getting a shoulder stitch (not my side – up in my shoulder – what is that?!).  So, to not come in last I focused on someone in front of me and tried to run her down.  I figured I’d let the competitor in me take over and just go.  I almost caught her too! I had a little mantra I kept running over and over in my head too.  It went something like this: negative split this fucker!  I think it worked.

My time into T1: 29:39 – 3 miles – 9:53 pace!!!  (Goal was sub 10!)

And I was #55 overall.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, I overtook 2 people in transition.  Slow pokes.  And was out of there in less than a minute.  Gu’d up and ready to ride.

Off I went.  Pedal, pedal, pedal.  The whole course was on a bike path, not a road so you had to be careful for pedestrians, pleasure cyclists, random kids on roller blades – and other competitors coming back since it was an out and back course.  I cheered on Kris and Dusty as they zoomed by me.  My legs felt really tired and I didn’t have any other competitors nearby so I just went as hard as I could.  I kept my resistance on a somewhat hard ring and tried to keep my cadence up as much as I could.  And I kept repeating my mantra over and over again.  I guess it worked…

My time into T2: 52:13 – 14 miles – 15.5mph!!!  (Goal was at least 15!)

I had no idea how the bike went because the time was on the run side of transition, not bike.  So I just threw my bike on the rack, finished my Gu, gulped down some gatorade and took off.  My legs felt like jelly.  I was so tired!  I ran the first 1/2 mile back to the woods and a nasty little incline.  I couldn’t take it.  I walked for about 15 feet, almost off the course and then started running again.  I just needed a second to give my legs a break and my heart to come back down from supery-beaty-zone.  I don’t know how fast it was going because Kris had Scarlett. (Again!  I told him that’s selfish and I call dibs for August 1st when we’ll both hopefully be at different races.  Heh.)  That short walk though and I was good to go.  This course was through the woods (pretty course) but it was pretty twisty/turny so I couldn’t really see anybody in front of me.  Until I got to about the 1-1/2 mile mark.  That’s when I saw them.  One man and two women running up ahead.  That’s it.  There’s my rabbit.  Off I went.  I picked up my pace little by little.  Each time I’d catch a glimpse of them I’d run a little bit faster.  When we came out of the woods we had about 1/2 mile until the finish.  By this time I had almost caught up to the man so I ran past him and set my sights on the two women.  Push, push, push.  A little faster.  You can do it Kristina!

And I did.  With less than 100 feet to go I overtook them on the last little hill before the finish line.  And then I sprinted to the finish – where no one was waiting to cheer for me!  (I finished 3 seconds before those two women.  Hee.)

Finish time: 1:54:16 – last 3 miles – 10:14 pace (not too bad!)  I was 51st overall out of 60 participants.  I was 4/4 in my age group (30-34).  First through third in each age group got a medal.  Shoot!  New goal – get a medal!

I took almost 5 minutes off my Oakdale Duathlon finishing time of 1:59:44.  And that, is how much I rock.  (Plus Oakdale is officially listed as a 3/13/3 so I biked 1 mile longer too!)

About that finishing alone thing.  I was pretty upset.  I walked over to the snacks, grabbed a water and a gardetto’s.  While chugging down water I walked over to Dusty and said Hi.  He was, ah, surprised to see me.  He was like “You finished already?”  No, no Dusty.  Just here hanging out.  Heh.  I said yes – about 1:55:00 and he gave me a big congratulations.  Then I stalked off and sulked while Kris tried to find me and probably congratulate me.  I don’t know.  I was angry that he wasn’t there cheering for me at the finish.  He – was off getting a dry shirt to wear.  He finished 19 minutes before me and has to dink around getting a dry shirt while I finish?  Yeah.  Still annoyed apparently.  Whatever.  He’s proud of me and my good race.  I’m super proud of me and my race.  That’s my first sub-10 3 mile race I can remember!  I did it!  Sub 10!

Du at the Dam in the books.  Two successful races done this season.  I have two – three more planned for this year.  Whee!

Damn Knee

So, for the past week or week and a half my right knee has been twinging.  Yep, my IT band is acting up again.  It’s not painful as annoying so far.  What is it with me and knees!  They sure don’t seem to like me doing too much physical activity.  Get over it knees!  I’m trying to be proactive this time.  Last time I wasn’t and I ended up at the physcal therapist twice a week during marathon training and walking on and off past the 13 mile mark during the race.  Not good.

So, this time here is what I’m doing:

  1. Stretching.  I’m going to be doing the basics (quad/ham/calf/etc) after each run plus I’m going to add in some IT band specific stretches 3 times a day.  Here are some links I found for IT band stretches.  First, a great tutorial on what ITBS is with optional stretches at the bottom, complete with pictures.  Here’s another tutorial on ITBS and even more stretches for it.  And finally an article from Running Times on stretches and strengthening for the IT band and upper leg muscles.  I may start some of these strengthening exercises with my stretching.
  2. Ice.  I’m trying once a day to ice my knee.  If I can’t do that then I try at least to put some Ben-Gay on my knee in hopes that will help at least a little bit.
  3. Ibuprofen.  I’m taking 1-2 ibuprofen’s a day (one in the morning, one in the evening) to try and counteract the inflammation.

This better work!  I certainly can’t run a half marathon on a gimpy leg!  If it gets too bad then I may replace one of the 4 runs per week on the schedule with an elliptical work out.  That way I could still get the cardio in but it would be less stress on my knee.

Anything else I can do?  Besides stop running.  Don’t say stop running.

Duathlon tomorrow morning at 9am.  Be there or be square!

Training Like I Am

So, I’m still fence sitting.  And I’m still being peer pressured.  (Hi Jen!)  I’d really like to do the 1/2 marathon on August 1st but I’m scared I can’t get my body to cooperate.

So in order to make up my mind I’m training like I’m doing it and then when I feel confident, I’ll sign up.  So far, everything is going well.  The training schedule Jen sent me had us doing a 5 mile run this weekend (instead of long runs being on Saturdays I moved the entire schedule one day to the right so my long runs will be on Sundays – there’s too much scheduled for Saturdays this summer to plop that on top of everything).  And I did it.  I ran 5 miles on Sunday morning.  Granted it wasn’t the fastest five miles ever (averaged about an 11:30 pace) but I did it.  And you know what?

I sprinted to the end.  I could have gone farther – a mile or two.  My legs were fine.  My lungs were fine.  It was all good.

I was so happy!  Then I biked for 5 miles, got cold (it was misting out and in the 50′s) and went inside.  So much for that brick workout.

Today I had to do three miles according to the schedule.  Done!  I finished them with a 10:35 pace.  Not too bad!  I even threw in some sprints in there a couple times, sprinting for a block or a block and a half.  I was going as fast as a 7:08 mile at one point!  Too bad my heart rate was 180 during that!  I figure I have to add some fartleks into my training if I want to get faster.  I hate fartleks.  But, hopefully they and some other speed work will get me to those coveted sub 10:00 miles.  One can hope.

Bike day tomorrow (on the trainer) then 4 miles on Thursday then my second duathlon on Saturday!  If you’re not busy, I’d love some cheerleaders!

Blogroll Updated

I updated my blogroll today.  I’ve found some really great fitness blogs that I think you should check out.  I have to highlight one of them: DC Rainmaker.  His blog is incredible!  He’s set his sights on Kona and what he’s doing to achieve that is so inspiring.  Traveling for work?  No problem – just bring your bike, shoes and swim gear with you and get to it!  He even swam in Nairobi this week at one of the only pools he could find!  Plus, the pictures he takes and posts are awesome!  I want to start adding pictures to my training posts just so I can be like him (but with less expensive/nice camera equipment!).  Anyway, check out the new blogroll.

So, my friend Jen is doing a 1/2 marathon on August 1st.  I’ve expressed interest in doing it with her.  Another friend Jeanette facebooked (that is totally a verb!) that she’s feeling pressure to do it too.  (Side note:  You know what’s awesome?  Having a whole bunch of friends who run!)  Tuesday I put together a training plan and then immediately felt intimidated by the distances required and decided to sit this one out or wait for another run later in the summer or early fall.  Maybe I’d do a 10 miler instead of a 1/2.  But now with finding out Jen’s doing 3 or 4 mile runs (that’s my current capability too) and that Jeanette is thinking of doing it (running 4-5 miles I think right now) well then, why can’t I?

Because I’m not committed?  Scared?  Don’t want to come in last of the three?  (OK, there might be some truth in that last one.  Heh.)  Anyway, I’ve asked Jen for her training plan to see if the one I put together is anything like hers.  To see if I could follow hers without having to worry about my IT band issues resurfacing.  (too much distance too fast and I fear another flare up)

I think I might need to pep talk myself into this one.  Right now I don’t think I can do it.