Sunday, November 30, 2008

6 Mile Long(ish) Run

I went out on fresh legs tonight and it turned out to be a really good run. I can't believe that I am getting faster - it is so exciting!!

7:07 (downhill from home)
7:57 (I could feel myself slowing down here which is why the next mile I kicked it into gear)
8:11 (uphill to home)

Average pace was 7:39 and BPM was 171.

Before the run I stupidly consumed a bunch of sour Jelly Belly's and then pistachios. Why? My stomach felt gross toward mile 4-5 but it wasn't too terrible. Just stupid.

Recap of the month of November's long runs:

11/9 - 7 miles/8:44/166 bpm
11/16 - 8 miles/7:55/??? bpm (no data on the HR, Garmin issue this day)
11/23 - 9 miles/8:18/168 bpm
11/30 - 6 miles/7:39/171 bpm

I just realized that I do not have my training plan for next week yet - I need to get that from Shawn soon. I am scared to see what he is going to have me doing next. My guess is that it will be more challenging, but I am really excited!

Weekly Goal Recap & Next Week's Goals

Despite the fact that I haven't completed today's run, I think it is safe to recap last week's goals. Here is the line up:

Goals For The Week (11/24/08)

1. Follow training plan. DONE (almost). I did everything except for today's 6 miler, which I plan to do. I also skipped the strength/stability on Friday but may make it up today.
2. Do Turkey Trot on Thursday. DONE!
3. Stretch more. Done! I did this more but not as much more as I probably should.
4. Do Trigger Point more. Done! I did this more but not as much more as I probably should.
5. Eat healthy and drink lots of water. SORT OF - I think I did better but not as well as I should.
6. Take vitamins. FAIL! I did not take one vitamin this week. Seriously.
7. Figure out this stress/sleeping thing. DONE - sleep has gotten better but the stress has also gotten better.
8. Don't get too mind f'ed with work. DONE!

9. Moderation over holiday weekend. SORT OF - I didn't overeat but did manage to drink myself into thanksgiving oblivion. Hot!
10. Have fun with family and friends. DONE!

I have decided to make next week goals more measurable so its not so wishy-washy, here they are:

Goals For The Week (12/1/08):

1. Follow training plan.
2. Stretch 15 minutes each day.
3. Do Trigger Point 15 minutes each day.
4. Drink 60 oz of water each day.
5. Log my eating each day (and focus on healthy foods!).
6. Take vitamins every day after a meal (one multi and one calcium).
7. Sleep well despite stress
8. Don't get too mind f'ed with work.
9. Moderation over Chicago visit.
10. Go to yoga once.

I am going to Chicago next Saturday on my way to DC for work. I'll be gone from home for five days so I really need to think about when and where to get in my runs. Most of these goals should be easy to attain, but I've found that moderation and Chitown just don't mix well. I might try to get in my longer run on Saturday before I leave instead of Sunday (when I'll inevitably be quite hungover). I love Chicago so so much though and would love to run along the waterfront to bring back some old memories. I can't believe it has been so long since I've lived there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

TG Turkey Trots

The infamous number-less bibs:

Pre-race crowd shots taken by my mom:

My dad and me post-race (he walked it):

Post-race climbing:

Happy day of sloth peeps!

I am so friggin starving but made the mistake of buying this huge bird that requires like five hours of cooking. I just want a heaping plate of stuffing!

I did the "Turkey Trot at the Zoo" put on by the ORCC. This was my first turkey trot ever! I love starting the day this way - brisk at the crack of dawn, busting out a few miles before jamming my grill full of awesome comfort food and wine/champagne. I am a woman of extremes so I love excess in either direction.

Anywho - last night I stayed up late for my parents arrival and slept on an inflatable bed. I did not sleep well and surprise, my alarm did not go off at 6 as planned, rather I woke up on my own at 6:30. (I hate my f'ing phone.) Had to rush and get the rents out the door. Took Max to the Washington Park stop which was totally convenient and perfect. Picked up the weirdest bibs that I've ever seen (no numbers, all the same), waited in a long line for the inside bathroom, ditched my parents and started searching for Sarah and Amy. These are people I've never seen before live but I figured I could seek them out based off of the internet still shots I've seen. I found them right away and we chatted for a while as the race coordinators decided to delay the start.

Finally we were off and I scurried in any direction to gain forward motion. There were walkers, kids, strollers to dodge. I'm not sure how long it took me to get some open space but it felt like a while. Once the hill became pretty steep I became obnoxiously fast and careened my way down as much as I could. I have a secret here people, and it is called gravity - you don't have to do any work! You can seriously fly if you just let mother nature take over.

Once I hit the turnaround I'd covered about 1.75 miles (according to my Garmin) and began the uphill portion of the race. The hills were not easy but definitely not as bad as I had imagined. Many times I want to just stop for a breather but I did not. I feel like I ended up picking quite a few people off on the uphill but then settled into a spot where I was basically neck and neck with a couple of peeps toward the end. I always feel awkward totally jocking on someone's behind, but what are you going to do? The last half mile was kind of weird, downhill but twisting and turning through the actual zoo on sharp corners. There was no way to tell when to really kick it in because I could not see the finish line. I crossed the line and stopped my watch at 3.96 miles and 30:30 time, which evens out to 7:45 miles. Not as fast as I'd hoped but better than I would have done a month ago. I think that had it not been for the clogged up start, or the massive few uphills I could have shaved off at least 30-60 more seconds. Who knows?

(I'm now finishing up this post a few days later, so nevermind the tense changing from the beginning...) Then after that we cooked the bird, went to my friends, drank wine and then we all died. (I stole that last line from someone else.)

Sarah put together a race report on the trot that is pretty awesome. I had no idea what this "shirt that runs" thing was until I just read the site last night. Pretty cool!

Now it is Sunday and I have to start running again. The last two off days have been awesome and today is only a 6 mile run. I have a feeling that my training is going to get increasingly harder over the next few weeks. I need to re-set my mind and think in terms of handling the load during work travel, etc. I think I am prepared but you never know.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The training plan is being followed. Work is getting better. I'm drinking more water. I'll be trotting tomorrow before I tackle this bird carcass in my fridge.

Run fast.
The hills are your friend.

FYI, BBNOTY is Michigan for "biggest bar night of the year" - has anyone else heard that term before? Its spoken like "BB-naughty" and it cracks me up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hot to Trot

Cadence Run On Track
edit | delete November 25, 2008

Distance4.03 miles
Time33 mins and 31 seconds
Pace8:19 min / miles
NotesI am sending you the whole list of data from this run. LOTS of info as I hit the lap button every 100 meters. For the 2 miles of cadence I only had a 7:53 pace; thinking I should have pushed it more because I am not really that worn out. Actually I am a bit worn out but that's because I've been up since before 4 a.m.! But on the track I felt fine.
ShoeGel Landreth (31.51 miles on shoe)

Ok, I'm obviously cheating again w/the cut and paste from Flotrack, but I really don't have much to add. Now that I'm home and sitting down I am totally exhausted. Must go to bed early!

On another note, I procured a 24 pound turkey this afternoon. Who knew how exciting that is! I was seriously beaming at the store. Clearly, this is my first time.

My Goals For The Week

It is 4:50 a.m. and I have been up for an hour. Yay!

I just posted a new "Goals For the Week" and would like to highlight this here:

  • 1. Follow training plan. I don't think this will be hard as this is a pretty slow week for me. That said, having guests in town always makes this challenging.
  • 2. Do Turkey Trot on Thursday. Alisa was kind enough to offer me her bib for this race since she's not going to be in town. After wavering on the offer and trying to come up with excuses I think I am going to do it. Thanks Alisa!
  • 3. Stretch more. I have not been stretching as much as I know I should. Luckily I haven't been that sore but I know this is important.
  • 4. Do Trigger Point more. This system is great and makes your muscles feel like they endured a professional massage. I should have more time to do this this week.
  • 5. Eat healthy and drink lots of water. This task has been just a given for the past two months and I had gotten in a good groove. Unfortunately I think I've been slacking on making this happen the last couple of weeks. Maybe due to work stress? I am going to eat more vegetables and less crappy snack foods this week.
  • 6. Take vitamins. Another thing that I've been forgetting. What is wrong with me? Just do it FGS.
  • 7. Figure out this stress/sleeping thing. Figure out a way to sleep soundly. If I wake up and it is past 4 a.m., get up and work rather than toss and turn for hours. I'll eventually sleep it off later.
  • 8. Don't get too mind f'ed with work. Meditate or do something to put this all in perspective. Do the major to do items, focus on what I can control and not linger on the things that I can't.
  • 9. Moderation over holiday weekend. Don't eat until I bust open or get really wasted. Just because it is TG doesn't mean all bets are off.
  • 10. Have fun with family and friends. I'm so lucky to have my parents come and visit and have friends nearby to spend TG with. I am really really lucky and need to be more cognizant and thankful for this. Be thankful FGS!

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Week Is Going To Suck

Montage from my weekend....

Girls night out:

Bonneville Dam and Powerhouse tour:

Columbia River - really windy with whitecaps:

Looking down from the bridge at Multnomah Falls (see my foot?):

The majestic Multnomah Falls:

Looking down the gorge from the Washington side:

Enough of that.

Regarding the title of this post...That is probably not a good thing to say considering it is a holiday weekend and my parents are coming to visit. That part doesn't suck. Work sucks right now and my attitude toward it sucks too. I'm waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats stressing out about work. In the morning I'm able to wrap my head around it but at night its not good. More bad news today about my projects. I can handle bad news but some good news would be good now and again. Maybe I just need to quit and become a full time homemaker. That would be nice.

Anyway, this week is a rest week for me so I only have 18 miles on my schedule. I did my strength and stability training (half-heartedly) tonight and no running. I have no running on Friday and Saturday either. My "long" run on Sunday is only 6 miles.

I have a track workout tomorrow that I'm looking fwd to - it is nice to feel some good old speed now and again.

Please cross your fingers for me that I can sleep this week and TCB at work and figure out how to cook this damn turkey.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

End of Weekend

Distance9.01 miles
Time74 mins and 50 seconds
Pace8:18 min / miles
NotesAvg HR bpm was 167. I started out at a clip that would have been otherwise reserved for a slow run - I was really tired (still) and didn't feel like pushing it. I know, lame, but true. Anyway, when I looked down at mile 6.5 I realized that the reason I wanted to train for races shorter than a full marathon was to incorporate more speed in my training. Also, I wasn't feeling bad, so why not crank it up a notch? The last three miles I kicked it in and finished strong. It felt good. Here are the splits:

Mile 1 - 7:54/148 bpm
Mile 2 - 8:21/167 bpm
Mile 3 - 8:31/167 bpm
Mile 4 - 8:50/165 bpm
Mile 5 - 8:42/166 bpm
Mile 6 - 8:35/169 bpm
Mile 7 - 8:03/169 bpm
Mile 8 - 8:02/178 bpm
Mile 9 - 7:48/182 bpm

Wow - I just cut and pasted this from my Flotrack log...looks pretty good. I am SO excited to get my new training plan next week! Below is Shawn's response to my run today:

Sweeeeet. Nice work. Things are looking good. I just wanted to mention that soon you will be doing the half marathon pacing during your long run. It will look something like this. 3 miles comfy, 5 miles cruise pace(half marathon pace), 3 miles comfy. This is kind of what you already do on Thursdays, but that workout will be replaced with a speed workout on the track. I'll work on it this week. It's so exciting. I can't wait.

Note the enthusiasm there? It makes me so happy to have a cheerleader on my side. Feels kind of frivolous but for the time I'm going to soak up every bit of attention. Aside from that I am really interested to see what the new plan looks like. I'm not really sure what my target race pace is right now....?

Some other comments on today's run - I did not lay low last night, I had a friend in town so the day consisted of mimosas, happy hour beers and a night out of sushi and more cocktails. I kept it relatively low-pro and would say I kept w/in my parameters of moderation. However, I tend to think that I could perform even better minus the drinks and indulgence. For now I will allow this behavior, but definitely not after the holidays.

Ok, rambling..... Have a great week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I have a lot of training to report but since all of this is in retrospect it pryyyryrry won't be a very good analysis.

Tuesday's run - speed workout
I don't remember anything about this. Here's how it went:

  • Warm up - 1.08 mi @ 7:41 @ 148 bpm (all downhill)
  • Interval 1: 2:00 @ .31 mi @ 6:32 @ 174 bpm/1:00 @ .1 mi @ 10:10 @ 178 bpm
  • Interval 2: 2:00 @ .28 mi @ 7:03 @ 181 bpm/1:00 @ .09 mi @ 10:42 @ 178 bpm
  • Interval 3: 2:00 @ .28 mi @ 7:02 @ 181 bpm/1:00 @ .09 mi @ 10:40 @ 179 bpm
  • Interval 4: 2:00 @ .28 mi @ 7:14 @ 182 bpm/1:00 @ .09 mi @ 11:28 @ 178 bpm
  • Interval 5: 2:00 @ .26 mi @ 7:35 @ 181 bpm/1:00 @ .1 mi @ 10:23 @ 179 bpm
  • Interval 6: 2:00 @ .28 mi @ 7:03 @ 181 bpm/1:00 @ .1 mi @ 9:48 @ 180 bpm
  • Cool down - 1.09 mi @ 9:29
Wednesday's run - 3 miles easy
I have stopped wearing my Garmin on these runs and it is great. I do my regular 3.5 mile loop and call it a night.

Wednesday bonus! Trigger Point
Coach Shawn came over and showed me the system. Um, it is AWESOME and freaks me out at the same time. More to come on this but for now I'm on track to become to most flexible injury-free freak out there.

Thursday's run - tempo gone awry
This was scheduled to be my tempo run but as you'll read below I did bunk today. I just couldn't do it. And I'm okay with that (sorta).

Friday's run - tempo run
I somehow managed to do this today. I really hesitated and sent the SOS call out (see post below) and finally did it. After a lot of procrastination I made it out, deciding that I could skip the speed/tempo. Once I got out I immediately got over the hump and gave it my all, here are the results:

  • Warm up - 1 mi @ 8:06 @ 171 bpm
  • 1.5 miles @ 7:32 @ 180 bpm
  • 1 mile @ 8:50 @ 171 bpm
  • 1.5 miles @ 7:34 @ 186 bpm
  • Cool down - .82 mi @ 9:17 @ 174 bpm
It felt pretty good. I'm so glad I did it.

Saturday's run - 3 miles easy
Got it done early and am now chillaxing on my davenport with my out of town guest from Michigan. Can you guess what we're doing? Yes, drinking mimosas. So screw off!

Love ya like a sis,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pep Talk

Yeah, I thought I was doing great and now I'm not doing so great. Yesterday was the first day that I didn't follow my training plan and I feel really bad about it. I was supposed to do my tempo run, but then mid-day I realized I would not get in everything I needed to do (other life-related tasks). So I decided I could swap Friday's strength training with the tempo run (this did sort of work out w/my life-related tasks). But then I did not do the strength training and today I do not want to do either and want to lay down and cry.
  • Sleep - really bad lately
  • Work - really stressful lately
  • Social - really busy lately
This could evolve into the ultimate storm if I don't put a cork in it soon!

Work - I have a huge project that is all my responsibility and it just let loose this week. It is all new for me and there is a ton to do and figure out. Now how to do all this while pretending that I'm not that dumb and playing politics that I don't know well. I work amongst my competitors for a client that might not renew our contract. It sucks. I also found out my employer is cutting back on merit increases this year and we're kinda getting a shitty deal. I guess I should just be happy that I have a job period, but christ. We work our asses off so cut us a break FGS.

Anyway, sleep - when I get stressed out w/work I can't sleep well. I woke up at 1:30 last night and couldn't get back to sleep. My mind spins with useless to do items running through it. I just want to sleep!

Social - I should not complain here but it is hard to deal with the work stuff and training stuff when people are sleeping on your couch all the time. I love my people, but come on people. Cut me a break FGS.
I got a good email pep talk from Coach SB today and I am going to listen to what he said, basically this:
Don't worry about doing the tempo if you're too tired. If you start the tempo and you're feeling good, then go with it. If you start itand feel like you're having to really force the pace, then call it andjust run easy.Everything will work out. Just stay positive and remember that youstill have a couple months of training. A workout or two won't be theend of the world. Life is about balance. Family is important, sociallife is important, career is important and our hobbies are alsoimportant. Just do what you can do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Strength/Stability Monday aka Roman Chair

Today is no running but complete the strength/stability program that Shawn gave me. This is the 3rd time I've done this workout so I am getting the hang of it.

I spoke w/him today on the phone about the knee thing - he asked some questions, I answered, and he's thinking it is not anything major, but we are meeting on Wednesday so will talk about it more then and look at it too. He did direct me to not do the side lunges of side plank today just to be careful. One of the more interesting things that he said was that the first 2 weeks of any new program are going to yield a lot of changes, both good and bad. So, as I'm approaching that 2 week mark I am starting to see that happening. Both bad (knee) and good (awesome run yesterday). I am really looking forward to more improvement as time passes. I am really excited to get better, faster and move in some sort of upward direction!

So, here's the results of the workout:

I did not do the side lunges or the side plank. I did more of the straight-on plank in lieu of the side. I am getting better at push ups (but only when I don't go all the way down, so I guess I am cheating). My knee feels okay. Some questions that I have on this routine are:

1. Should I add dumbbells to the lunges & squats?
2. What is the purpose of the balancing on one leg move? I wonder if I'm doing it right?
3. How should I do the back extensions? Right now I'm just on the ground belly down, lifting my lower back to raise my chest off of the ground. Previously I've used the roman chair to do these and like that the best. I do have an exercise ball at home, but I never feel like I'm doing them right on the ball.

(The above questions are obviously for Coach SB, but why not write em out here too?)

I love having an apt in which I can do this full workout. The ceilings are high, lots of space, the light is great and I have a fun view, day or night.

I love being in control of changing something, having the tools in place to make it happen, then executing. Maybe I'm just a control freak but I get off on this shit. Yesterday's run reeeeally was a confidence boost and I just LOVE that feeling. I hope there will more of those days than the others down the line.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heuristic Algorithm

I just completed my 8 mile run and wanted to write up a quick report. I did the Leif Erikson trail in Forest Park. Tons of people out, lots bikers and runners. Weather was great - sunny but crisp and cool. The big bummer of the day is technology-related. My Garmin died w/in the first mile of the run.

WTF?! This is the second time that has happened to me recently. I typically charge the Garmin through my computer, as this is how I connect to download the info. However, what ends up happening is that I turn off the device and for some reason, my computer makes it turn back on...its like HAL 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer) from Space Odessey. Anyway, what eventually happens is that my computer goes into hibernate and there my Garmin sits - on, draining the battery w/o any charge happening. So I guess the solution is to charge it from the wall.

To make things worse, I did not have a regular watch with me, so no way to even track what time it was. Luckily the trail I'm on has mile markers everywhere. I noted the time when I left my car and then when I got back. I'm subtracting 2 minutes for the porta john pit stop I are the results:

8.2 miles @ 1:05 - pace 7:55

I knew I did well on this run, I felt fast even on the uphills and really opened it up after my 4 mile turnaround. The run flew by and I didn't notice any real disturbance from my knee. The path is pretty rocky so I was ultra-careful not to step the wrong way and only once did I feel a twinge from the knee. So...that's good. I am just bummed out that I don't have the *real* data from the run. Even though I know how long it took me somehow I feel like I cheated? I do wish I could see the output from my HR and the elevation, but what can you do?

Pre-run routine...woke up after about 10 hours of sleep, drank about 40 oz water, two cups of coffee and one large piece of french toast leftover from yesterday's breakfast. I did the run at least an hour-hour.five after I ate and 4 hours after I woke up.

After my run I saw Jen and Zach on their bikes going to the same path I'd just run. I love living in a city where I run into people that I know! I took a pic of them on their bikes and will post it here once I get it uploaded. Good peeps.


Where to begin...? Sorry I FOTFOTE* this week. I guess I left off after my easy 3 miles on Wednesday.

Thursday's tempo run was good. For how crappy I felt before this run it is incredible that it felt so good, let alone that I even got out the door. I had a nasty headache and was hungry, so when coming home from the office, instead of going right out to run I ended eating peanuts and bread and lying on the couch. This headache would not go away despite taking meds. Anyway, Josh finallly busted my ass (aka gave me a hug) and I got out the door. I ended up just doing this alone because I knew I needed to be ALONE (considering my mood).

Somewhere in the first quarter mile my headache went away and I was off. This run felt really good. I set my pace for the two tempo miles based on feel and didn't check on the garmin at all. In fact, I had no idea my pace until I downloaded my data:

Warm up - 1.5 miles @ ~ 9:10 pace (avg HR ~148)
2 miles @ 7:47 pace (avg HR 179)
Cool down (2 miles) - 9:20 pace/Avg HR 170

Feel wise this was good. I pushed it on the tempo part but it did not feel out of control fast or tough. I did not feel like I needed to stop (which I had kind of expected?) and when the 2 miles was done I slowed back down to the cool down pace. I went faster than prescribed, but Coach SB said that is okay. In fact, here is his response to this run:

Great job Emily. You are just like me. It's OK that you ran it a bit faster. The only thing is that as these paced efforts start to get longer, I might expect you to run the whole thing at your new pace:) If the effort level during the 2 miles felt comfortable, then we may have to already revisit your paces. Do you think you could have held that pace and HR for 13 miles? That's the real question. Some of these paced efforts are going to get as long as 6 - 8 miles in length with the intension of preparing your body for the race. Keep that in mind while running these paced effort runs. That doesn't mean that I want you to sand bag. Also, running by feel will eventually be your best gauge. The best athletes pretty much know when they're at tempo pace or 1/2 pace just by feel. If you were going to grade the effort during the 2 miles between 1-10, what would it score? My best half marathons have always been painful and to set a PR it has to be, but you can't blow it in the first couple miles and limp home. That's what we want to avoid, but no one has ever had a breakthrough race by being conservative. We'll continue modifying next month. You will get faster. You already are. Your body is adapting and your running economy is already improving.

I like all of the questions above - could I have held this pace for 13 miles? Yesterday, definitely not....but maybe in the future as I get faster? It is hard to answer this question and I wonder for how long could I hold that pace? How would I grade my effort during the 2 miles? I would say between 7 to 8, but that rating for 2 miles is different than what I would rate it for a longer sustained effort. For a longer distance it would definitely be more effort.

So that was Thursday. Friday I had the day off of work to go wine tasting with some friends that were in town from Chicago. I woke up at my normal time and completed my strength training program before heading out. The strength training is good but I really need to improve my upper body strength; push ups are hard and I don't want them to be. I might also need to start adding weights to the legs portion as it is not very challenging. I don't know - I'll have to ask SB.

A note about Friday's wine tasting - never try to keep up on drinking with anyone from the Midwest. Let's just say that my weekly goal of moderation was a big FAIL. Not only did I get KO'ed by the powerful grape, but at one point I slipped while walking to the bathroom on wet tile and landed smack on my left knee. At the time I didn't really feel much pain, but Saturday morning I woke up with a purplish bruise covering most of my knee. I think I may have tweaked something on the fall because there is a strange pain when I bend in a certain way. I don't want to ignore this but I'm trying not to freak out about it just yet. I'm icing it in hopes it will pass.

3 miles easy... I am not a hangover-runner, so the fact that I did this run just blows me away. I did this first thing in the morning and it was gorgeous out, lots of people out walking/running, etc. My headache went away after mile one. I did not bring my Garmin or any sort of watch, so I'm guessing on the pace. Hoping to get hydrated enough for tomorrow's longer run. Taking it easy tonight.

This is today and I'm sitting here icing pre-run (does that even make sense? not sure, I haven't had an injury in 4eva), trying to drink lots of water and get some pep in my step. I have my running clothes on and will no doubt do the 8 miler today. It is another beautiful day in Portland and I am excited to get my heart going today. I'm hoping to do a new course today, through a park and on softer terrain.

In addition to the crack whore bruise on my knee, in general my lower legs have started feeling achy this week. Its not muscle-sore but rather other type of soreness, the only way I can think to describe this is bone-sore, but who knows what is smarting down there. I'm feeling shin splinty all over. Something tells me this could have a lot to do with the new shoes I've been rocking; the sales guy @ Fit Right NW told me to expect this so I'm not going to worry too much. But there are a lot of other new things I'm doing right now to my body, so who knows what the root cause is. For now I'm not going to worry about it too much.

To Do Today:
  • Run-->log the run
  • Results of my weekly goals
  • Set up next week's goals
  • A myriad of other BS that doesn't apply to mental/physical wellness (cleaning, ping-pong, etc.)
*Fell Off The Face Of The Earth

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hump Day

Super easy run tonight; ran down to the gym, did my easy 3 on the t-mill. No Garmin, no HRM, nuthin. Just set the machine on 9:30 and finished it. Weird running inside, more humid than I'm used to. I'm icing my shin right now.

Tomorrow's going to be hectic work-wise so going out for the tempo run may be tough. However, I've recruited a partner to come out with me so I think I'll be fine.

I got the best call from Coach SB today, wanting to talk about the interval workout and what it meant, how I did etc. I mean, how awesome is that? He's like Oprah friggin Winfrey but from Wisconsin. Anyway, I took a good page of notes from our conversation. Hey, I had just gotten done with a work call and I was in that mode! I haven't really shared any of this here, but basically I post my results after each run on FloTrack and Shawn comments on them daily. Think about how exciting blog comments are, well this is like that but way cooler. Its like Martha Stewart calling you to give feedback after you clean the house. Good stuff.

OH my god, I've had a glass of wine and I think I'm drunk. Good night homeskizzles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You a Real All-American Woman

A guy walking along the track tonight smiled at me and told me I was a "real all-American woman", yay?

Tuesday's workout:

Damn, these workouts always looks so simple on paper. If only. Suited up, wrote down my target zones/paces on my hand in Sharpie and headed down to the track sans iPod. It immediately started raining and became windy once I stepped outside, but I actually enjoy running in the rain so Mother Nature can suck it. Took me about a mile to get to the track. Once I got there I did all of my drills, strides and leg swings which probably took me 15 minutes although I did not time it. Maybe I'm putting too much into these, but I really get my HR going. I still think I'm doing quality, focused work but wonder if I'm going too much all out?

I gave myself a minute to get my HR back to normal and started the fartlek. Before I left the house I set up my Garmin for an interval workout which was great. I set it to 2 mins on, then 1 minute off and repeat 5 times, which was exactly what the workout called for. I have never used this function before and it was really easy to get set up and follow. I found out later that the erratic beeping does not mean that your interval just ended, rather it is about to end, so I basically ended and started each interval early.

Here are my results:
  • Warm up = .76 @ 8:55 pace (I really did do a full mile, my Garmin just did not capture it)
  • Interval 1 = 2:00 @ .28 mi, 7:03 pace, 173 bpm; 1:00 @ .1 mi, 9:42 pace, 180 bpm
  • Interval 2 = 2:00 @ .28 mi, 7:01 pace, 185 bpm; 1:00 @ .1 mi, 9:51 pace, 182 bpm
  • Interval 3 = 2:00 @ .28 mi, 7:12 pace, 185 bpm; 1:00 @ 478 ft (?), 11:02 pace, 181 bpm
  • Interval 4 = 2:00 @ .28 mi, 7:05 pace, 183 bpm; 1:00 @ 509 ft, 10:22 pace, 181 bpm
  • Interval 5 = 2:00 @ .27 mi, 7:26 pace, 184 bpm; 1:00 @ 46 ft, 11:20 pace, 181 bpm
  • Cool down = .98 mile @ 9:26 pace

TOTAL TIME = 31:05
AVG PACE = 8:35 min/mile
AVE HR = 170 bpm
My analysis on the intervals before reading the Garmin data: I put a lot into this today. True, it wasn't as gut wrenching hard as the TT last week, but it was still challenging. This time it was my legs more than my chest that was fighting back. I have put a lot of new strains on my body in the last month and week specifically that I think my body is going through an adaptation phase. I'm not going to lie...I am sore. I am also starting to get a bit of a shin splinty ache in my left leg. Should I ice or leave alone or what? I can't remember what I am supposed to do with those! But all of that said, I definitely had some left in the tank and probably could have cranked out a few more leks to my fart for sure.

My analysis after looking at the Garmin results:
Oh shit, I think I am in trouble. I did these WAY too fast. I should have been doing the 2:00 at a pace btwn 8:00-8:45. However, I must say that my HR did stay w/in the prescribed zone (ok, just barely above it) what does that mean? Also, my HR didn't have the chance to get back down after the faster intervals. Is my Garmin off, am I just weird or what?

Shoe report:
So far so good, although I don't think I could take them back now if they sucked. Got them totes soaking wet today.

Tomorrow is three easy miles which I really need....

Walking the Plank

Strength Training:
Yesterday was an off day for running, but part of the Coach Shawn plan is to incorporate weight training. I did the full workout at home in my apt and did not use weights. This was my first time running through this program, so I think it took me longer than normal. It was actually tougher than I had anticipated, which is great. I really need to work on my core, as the planks are tough. Also tough are the pushups - I had to compensate by dropping my knees for 2 sets. I kept my HRM on the whole session (just to see) and my avg HR was 137. I kept pretty sweaty the whole time, mostly due to the lack of breaks between sets. I did not use any weights for anything and there are a couple of moves I'm not sure that I did right (some of the different plane lunges and the stability balancing act). I am not feeling too sore (the day after), so we'll see if it kicks in tomorrow. All in all, I think this is a good workout and going to help me improve holistically.

Right after I finished this workout I ran down to the gym to go to yoga. This was by far the best class I've had at 24 hour fitness (instructor Claudia). We went through a lot of stuff and moved from one to the next pretty briskly. My legs were a little sore for all of the warrior and chair poses, but I managed. I really like the pigeon because of the deep stretch I get. I don't think the 24 hour classes really do much to help students focus on form, but hopefully I know enough from previous instruction that I'm keeping up with the right form. With the poses that I've never done before I basically follow what everyone else is doing and make sure I get a good stretch w/o tweaking anything or going too far.

Today's Run:
The plan for today is a fartlek workout; I think I'm going to do this on the track, which is a mile away so perfect for warm up and cool down. I'm doing a one mile warm up, drills, then 15 minutes of 2 min/Zone 4-5 HR and 1 min Zone 1-2 HR, the a one mile cool down.

I can't believe I am in week 2 already and have much farther to go. I want to stay as excited as I am now about all of this. I am going to try to keep motivated by doing what I've been doing - setting weekly goals, sticking with the plans and updating this and the Flotrack page. I have visitors coming for a lot of November so am going to have to really focus on making sure I get in my runs while they're here. It is so easy to slack when you're hanging out w/people on vacation.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Recap, Goals and Shoes

(Above photo courtesy of a fall day in Portland.)

I have a lot to say right now so I apologize for the long post.

Reflections on Friday's time trial...
After having more time to think about the TT I feel much better about things. I actually feel more motivated to get my ass in gear and improve. Shawn re-calibrated my HR zones and accompanying paces and now I have a more detailed training guide. I am super excited to see where the next three months take me and think we're on course to bust through previous results.

Sunday's run...
Sunday's run started out horribly. I got all geared up and went outside to 'find my satellites' only to find that the Garmin was not properly charged. Pissed, I went back to my apt and waited for 45 minutes for it to charge. After that I was off and running. Everything went really smoothly for this 7-miler. My task was to run in "zone 2" or aerobic endurance zone. This translates to 77-82% max HR (151-160 bpm) and a pace of 9:30-10:43 min/mile.

I went just over 7 miles, starting and finishing at home. This adds a bit of elevation but since I am starting and finishing from the same point it should cancel itself out. I did Springwater, weather was a little windy but perfect running weather otherwise. It didn't rain at all, which made me happy. Feel-wise the run was great. I am a little sore from my track workout the other day, but this eased and stretched my muscles and my legs feel better now. I did have a couple of moments where my stomach was not so great feeling but that is totally typical for me and doesn't really even bother me anymore. Ok, so the BPM and pace ended up being a little higher than prescribed: Avg HR = 166 and pace of 8:44 min/mile. The HR falls within the middle of my "zone 3" and the pace is in just at the beginning of "zone 4"....and I was supposed to do zone 2.

Overall it was a non-eventful run and felt just fine. After taking Saturday off completely it felt good to get out on fresh-ish legs. I was disappointed that I didn't see these three ladies out there, but maybe next time our paths will cross!

It should be noted that my morning meal was leftover vanilla latte (about 8 oz), lots of water (36 oz?) and a piece of toast with PB on it. I really wasn't hungry for the toast, but I knew that I needed some sort of fuel, so made myself do it.

After the run I took a shower and made myself an Anti-Oxidantosa: apple/blueberry/grape/pomegranate juice with champagne. Muy bueno.

New shoes...
I walked down to Fit Right Northwest, a great running store on NW23rd. I had never been before, but went on Coach SB's recommendation and it totally lived up to expectations. Andrew helped me find the perfect shoe. We started w/the treadmill/gait analysis and checked out my stride in slow-mo. (Kind of weird to watch yourself run from behind.) He does not think that I pronate enough to need a shoe that corrects/stabilizes. The shoes I've been running in (Asics GT-2120) do have the correction built in for a little pronation - they have the gray rubber in the sole so you can see where the extra stability is built in. Anyway, he had me test out several shoes - Saucony, Asics, etc. We did it with and without inserts and found the best feel

We decided to go with the Asics Landreth in the wider model. These shoes do not have as much support as I am used to, so I am going to have to pay attention in the first 30 days to the feel. Andrew also demanded (!) that I do a lot of stretching and follow Shawn's strength plan (Trigger Point - to be discussed in the future). I promised I would and he promised me that these shoes would take me to the next level! The best part about FRNW is that they let you return your shoes if they don't work out within 30 days. I am expecting these shoes to feel lighter than my previous pair and excited to break them in.

Last week's goals...
I basically met most of my goals last week, here are the results:
  • 1. Complete my Coach Shawn workout plan. (Including time trials at the track!) DONE!
  • 2. Go to "crazy weights" at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning. (DONE!)
  • 3. Continue to wake up at the same time as last week (become a morning person?) (As of Wed I'm 3 outta 3) 11/9 update - this was really hard but I did manage to wake up relatively early... Once I really get into my running I am going to make an effort to wake up at 6 a.m. and get my runs done before work. There is really no reason not to. Especially since I will have guests and visitors over the next month that will require my time and attention.
  • 4. Go to yoga (I'll say once, but go for twice) 11/9 update - I did go once, so this is DONE!
  • 5. Cross training (spin, hike, swim, etc.) 11/9 update - this did not happen.
  • 6. Moderation! 11/9 update - I think this worked out beautifully this week, even through celebration dinners nothing was completely overdone (except maybe my time trial).
This week's goals...
So far I really don't have much. I will probably add to this as the day goes on:

  • 1. Follow my training program.
  • 2. Moderation
  • 3. Yoga
Ok, I'm sick of myself now. Have a great day.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Time Trial

First let me start off with the bad news...I ran slower than I'd hoped. Oh yeah, and it sucked. Oh yeah, then I puked when I finished. Yes, seriously. More negatives are that running on a track alone sucks. I didn't have my ipod so maybe that was hard too.

On the positive side I am glad it is over with. Coach SB is a good coach. You can't improve if you don't challenge yourself. I will get faster. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Penny saved is a penny earned, etc.

Reasons why I ran slower:

1. My Garmin HR band kept slipping down my chest.
2. I drank wine and ate pizza last night.
3. It was just an off day.
4. I wasn't really running slow, my gauge of how fast I have run in the past is skewed (Garmin off, elevation favor, etc. who knows?).

I woke up this morning at about 7 and still felt really tired. My eyes felt like they were glued shut. I didn't think I'd had a lot to drink last night, but the wait staff at Apizza Scholls had an issue being able to keep water glasses filled. I did have about a half a bottle of wine before dinner, then another glass there. And pizza - so I think I had a lot of salt and alcohol in my system and not enough hydration! Anyway, I woke up feeling a little beat with a bag of nickels.

I ate a bagel w/butter for breakfast and coffee. Between then and the run I had about 50 oz of water and an apple.

I ran down to the track as a warm up (one mile) then we ran through some drills and went right into it. He didn't want me to wear my Garmin because he didn't want me to pay attention to the time. I had to wear it to record the HR info but I promised not to look (and I didn't). Every lap he called out the time - I can't remember all of the times, but they generally started at 1:45 and got a little slower each time. I knew right away that hitting a 14 minute finish was going to be hard. I would have to run 1:45 quarters the whole time and knew that was too hard for me today.

Regardless, I still pushed it as hard as I could. My legs felt fine but my chest did not - hard to tell if it was my heart or lungs, but probably both. Burning crushing sensation there - typical stuff when you're maxing yourself out. Mentally, running around a track alone that many times does suck. I haven't done it in years. I wish I could have pushed it harder and who knows why I didn't or couldn't. What I DO know is that it will get easier and I will become faster and that is awesome.

Overall I'm not really bummed out. I'm okay...ready for the next step AND a day off tomorrow!!!

Miles = 2.0
Pace = 7:37 (mile 1 = 7:24, mile 2 = 7:50)
HR = 185 bpm

Fake Plastic Watering Can

I don't like this whole writing before and writing after the run deal, but I need to do something. I am not into work lately. I am also preoccupied with the run I have to do today. Nerves - I am nervous about it and almost at the point where I am a little sick to my stomach. I used to compete and perform a lot when I was growing up and although I had to have gotten used to it, I remember feeling this way. Why in the hell did I put myself through this? I think at the time I thought it was character-building but I don't think it was. Makes me question what I want my kids to do (when I have them).

Anyway, I need to find a way to work around this and relax. It is not terrible - I won't let it be - but not totally comfortable either.

Here's the deal: I'm doing a time trail on the track today with Coach SB. It is our 1st 'session' together and will be used as an indicator of max effort, etc. So, we're going to time me doing two miles. I've been racking my brain trying to remember how fast I used to run this in high school. I mainly did cross country (5k) and the half and quarter, but I did get timed in a couple of 2 mile races. I kind of want to set a goal in my head (like 14 minutes) but I also want to remember what that paces feels like. Does it feel hard/bad? Will it feel hard/bad today?

I can easily run 8:30 miles for a long time. I know I can run two 7:30 miles in a row. But can I run two 7:00 miles in a row? What about faster? What about all that wine and pizza I consumed last night at the surprise bday party I was given? That was not part of the plan!!!

Ok, I seriously need to chill the F out. This is only going to take up like 15 minutes of my life. No need to stress. I'll report back later.


Thursday, November 06, 2008


What a nasty day outside! It is misting hard and the wind is blowing.

I just got done with my run and here are the stats:

Miles - 5.05
Pace - 8:28
BPM - 167

I ended up having to go faster than I'd expected to hit that 170 bpm mark...which could mean that I had my max HR wrong as based on my run last night. I think maybe I took it too easy last night? Who knows.... BUT, after a little resistance at first, it felt really easy to hit that mark.

Tomorrow is my time trial but tonight is WINE!! (How is that for logic?)

Drink Bacardi Like Its Your

I decided to write this before my run because I am procrastinating and also because it is my birthday and that's the one day you are allowed to do whatever you want.

  • I did not wake up this morning to go to the gym.
  • I did not run early, I am running this afternoon.
  • I love sour jelly bellys.

Anyway, I decided to recalibrate my HR zones and determined that if my *s l o w* pace is 113 bpm and that is 60% max HR, then my max HR is 217. Therefore, Zone 2 is btwn 130 and 150 and Zone 3 is btwn 150 and 174. Today's run is dictated as 5 miles in Zone 2-3. My guess is that this is more effort than totally easy (last night) but not too hard. I think that my pace that will match this is roughly 9 min/mile, but I will test this out tonight. My first mile cannot really count since it is all downhill, but I will start mile 2 at a 9:00 pace and see what my avg HR is after that.

I don't feel like I am done procrastinating yet!

Oh wait - I got my hair cut today and guess who I look JUST like:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New Music and Plodding Along

I have been under a rock for the past 15 years when it comes to music. I still consider my old standbys to be Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, REM - all stuff I grew to love when I was in high school! Also, I don't have a car and never drive around listening to the radio. I literally have no idea what's been happening since 1995. I listened to Fresh Air on my run tonight and heard an interview w/the lead singer of the Decemberists and I think I like them! Anyone else have music suggestions or updates that can help usher me into the new millennium?

Today was Day One of TTNL and the workout was extremely anticlimactic, but hey - I'm ready to go with the flow here..... The task, to run 3 miles at "Zone 1" pace. Zone 1 is 60% of max HR, which according to the old 220 minus your age, for me means Zone 1 is 113 bpm or less. I hit 113 bpm when I'm answering emails! After asking Coach SB if he was suuure that was right, he said just take it slow, slow like you could do it over and over.

So I took it REALLY slow and the results are....

Miles = 3.58
Pace = 10:30
HR = 139

I almost couldn't stand it going that slow. I couldn't go any slower. I felt like I was hopping in place. I don't want to offend any runners that read this, but just imagine running much slower than what you normally train at and this is it. Outside of that I don't have much to report on the run!

(Oh! I did see Jen and Zach running together in the opposite direction. I keep running into them! It was dark out but we recognized each other as we got close and stopped for a second to say hi. Those two need to enter a contest for Cutest Active Couple of The Year - seriously.)

Afterward I stopped at the gym and did yoga (another weekly goal crossed off the list) and my avg HR in yoga was 100 bpm and that includes warm up cool down, etc. I think I may just have a faster than avg HR? I guess women have faster hearts? I like to think of us like little butterflies and tiny little sparrows flitting all over town. Zip zip!


WAIT! How could I forget? Tomorrow is my birthday - you'd be remiss to not wish me a happy birthday... Tomorrow I'm "working", getting my hair cut, my toes did and going out to lunch! Oh yes, and running 5 miles in Zone 27.

Election Day and Early Morning Cheer

Wow - there is a lot going on this week. My excitement had been building for some time and yesterday it all came through in a terrible great rush!

My day started early, running through the rain to get to the gym and do a 6 a.m. class. I made it in time, but there was not any room in the class...I wasn't going to go home, so I carved out a niche in the corner. This is one of those classes that requires weights and unf the only ones left were really light or really heavy. I opted for light and doubled up at times. It was a decent class, but I think I would have gotten more out of it if I'd had better weights. All in all I'm glad I went and am going to try a similar class there tomorrow morning. Waking up and getting after it first thing really jump started my day and I was sooo crazy hyper when I got home I didn't even recognize myself. I am usually quiet and pissed off in the morning. So that's another awesome side effect of doing an early class.

Monday's run, as I mentioned was cold, wet and dark. However I really enjoyed it - as I was running over the bridge a train came by tooting his horn and for some reason I wanted to cheer and do the white people fist pump. I wore my HRM for the first time in ages, so here are the metrics on that run:

Miles - 3.84
Pace - 8:31
HR - 171 bpm

Screen shot from the Garmin software:

Me soaking wet after the run:

Ok, wait, so back to Tuesdee, election day....I basically could not get a handle on myself all day. I moved operations to the couch at about noon to start watching coverage while I worked. I left a little after 5 to do a happy hour/election coverage night w/a friend. I think the champagne helped ease things a bit. Historically, I was in the bathroom when they called the election, but came out in time to high 5 the rest of liberal Portland. It is all very exciting and I can't believe it is over with. However, I guess the party has just begun, right?

I am a little sore today from the class yesterday (in places I forgot had existed!), but will forge out for a run today/tonight. I received my first month's workout plan from Coach Shawn, but may need to rearrange some of it as my schedule is messy this week. Part of this involves a time trial on the track. He needs to see what my current racing pace is, so I am honestly a little nervous about that. But, it needs to be done so I just have to do it! I'll report on this later.

Some fall pictures from my hike last week:

I paid 10 cents for 2 hours - best parking meter ever (in Silverton, OR)

The first waterfall we saw on the hike

Scary Halloween looking trees:

Pretty leafy-laden path:

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm Done

I know, I'm sick of myself too... I just wanted to report that I did in fact go for a run in the rain tonight. It was actually coming down harder than I'd expected, but it ended up being a really enjoyable run. There were only 2 runners that I crossed on the first half of my run, so I felt kind of proud to have gotten out. I did not bring my ipod and it ended up being really nice to focus on other things. I had forgotten how much I used to love just thinking or zoning out w/o music. Maybe I will do this more often.

This also makes me wonder about safety running alone out there in the dark...should I worry?

Tomorrow - try really hard to wake up early for the gym @ 6 a.m. and run before 5:30 p.m. (so I can watch election coverage and hit happy hour - simultaneously!)...

Ok, I'm going to bed.

Apocalypse Eve

I love the rain. I love the rain. I love to run in the rain. I will feel the same way as I gear up, walk out the door and run in the rain. Right? Just keep on chanting...

I forgot to mention that over the weekend I registered for the CCRC Vancouver Lake Half Marathon on January 25th. Jen and I sourced it out the other day and she signed up too! I am really excited to have something real to train for and it is in a good time frame to get started now. Here is a pic of the where the race will take place:

(BTW...Mary Matalin has had some WORK done. Jesus.)

I met with my badass friend Shawn today to discuss coaching. It was great to talk about training with someone as enthusiastic about it as he is. We talked about some plans and ideas for training and he's going to help me out. I am really looking forward to working with him and can't wait to see where it takes me! I also gave him the link to this site, so HI SHAWN!!! Shawn is the leader of the crazy trail runners that I've been talking about, so you can see how passionate he is about this stuff.

Here are my goals for being a recipient of coaching:

1. Doing something fun and new
2. Taking this shit to the next level
3. Keep me motivated through the holidays and several visits from friends over the next few months.
4. Train specifically for the January 1/2 marathon

Not necessarily in that order, but those are some of my thoughts.

Some things that I should start doing - wear my HR monitor. I have the Garmin 305 which comes w/the HRM, but I rarely have used it. I probably tried it once when I got it then decided it was annoying. At that time I was satisfied with only a few metrics of measurement, and it kind of rubbed the wrong way, esp on the longer runs. Now, however, I think I could use the extra info and it can help with my overall training. I also need to do a time trial....5k anyone? This will help develop a baseline from which to gauge training.

Some other ideas that Shawn brought up are weight training and Trigger Point Therapy. There is a lot to hash out, but I'm very excited to get started!

Speaking of getting started, can't I just stay in tonight? I am cozy and it is cold and wet out and - look - starting to get dark. The jury is still out on this one, for now.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Freakin Weekend aka Freakend

I'm adding random photos to keep things interesting...this photograph is me, back in 2003 when I lived in Chicago. This was at a fancy Italian restaurant (Topo Gigio) that was across the street from me. I lived in a great neighborhood, tons of restaurants, close to the El, a block from my gym, half mile from the lake, a block from Second City, a mile from the Miracle Mile. I could go on. I truly miss Chicago, and the encounters you have with random 60 year old Italian men that let you wear their Rolexes, buy you Veuve Clicquot and then lift you off of your feet into their arms in the middle of a busy restaurant.


Ahhhh, Sunday evening. I did end up running on Friday evening, but only after I listened to Brit on repeat three times. There was no one out, everyone must have been out partying for H-ween? I stopped at the gym afterward to lift for a bit - probably 20 minutes, all upper body.

Saturday I did my cross training, a hike at Silver Falls State Park. The hike was about 6.5 miles, but I ran a good 2.5-3 miles of it to test myself out. There were only slight elevation changes on the sections that I ran, but it was still a workout. I did not have proper gear on so I got some fun blisters. Oh, and I did this after having a big lunch so I'm happy to report there was no barfing, but it did get close.

Today I got out for a 4.5 mile run. I tired to hit up the gym for a yoga class, but it ended up being completely full so I didn't do it. I did some upper body lifting, but pretty brief.

I'm thinking about trying to get in some yoga at home - you know, bust out some sun salutations to start the day right. Anyone have suggestions on what I could do at home?

Mileage Recap:
*Friday 10/31 = 5.05 miles @ 8:15
*Sunday 11/2 = 4.52 miles @ 7:51 pace (how did this happen?? My garmin must have messed up...I show my miles as follows: 6:43, 7:33, 7:56, 8:35...I was going fast, but geez...)

Follow up on last week's goals:
1. Run 20 miles - DONE!
2. Go to yoga twice - DONE!
3. Do some form of cross training (spin, hiking, swimming, etc.) - DONE!
4. Everything in moderation - DONE!

Next week's goals:

1. Run 20 miles minimum
2. Go to "crazy weights" at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
3. Continue to wake up at the same time as last week (become a morning person?)
4. Go to yoga (I'll say once, but go for twice)
5. Cross training (spin, hike, swim, etc.)
6. Moderation!

Also, my bday is next week so this moderation goal will probably be hard, as I know there will be food/drinks galore. Anyone have any ideas of how to pamper myself for my bday week? And, if you're in Portland, do you have any good dinner suggestions that would be fun for a group? Also, looking for a good brunch place....mimosas mandatory.

**I am so nervous for Tuesday**