Friday, January 30, 2009


Spin Class:

Yesterday I went to the spin class at my gym. (Check! off the weekly goals list.) It was possibly only the 4th or 5th time I've ever been to a spin class in my life. Every time I go I think - man, I would be in incredible shape if I did this all the time. Then I never go again.

I got in a good workout and think I pushed myself fairly hard. Next time I'm wearing my HRM to see really how hard I'm pushing. I did sweat quite a bit and that always makes me feel like a bad ass. I want to go more often so I can prepare myself for riding my bike this summer. I have a hang up with the bike for some reason and now that I have my clipless pedals I'm terrified of the thing! I also plan to wear my shoes to the next session to get comfortable in them.

(I always think of how funny I would be if I showed up to a spin class with my helmet.)


I'm definitely going to do Week 1/Day 2 of the 100 Push Ups and 200 Sit Ups challenge. And I may do one or more of the following:
  • go running
  • spin class
  • yoga
This Weekend:

This weekend will be chockablock of fun activities:

We bought our honeymoon tickets last night to Hawaii for 10 days in November. Never mind that we don't have ANYTHING else planned for our wedding, at least we have the after party in place. Totally excited.

This Weekend's Racers:

Good luck to all of those people out there doing a race this weekend! I will be passing along speedy and happy thoughts and can't wait to read your race report on Monday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blowing It All Off

I blew off yoga tonight - the 3rd consecutive day I've blown something off. Yay for me!

What I did not blow off tonight was Week 1/Day 1 of the 100 Push-Up Challenge. I pretended that I did 6 pushups in my initial test (which I blew off) so today was: 6, 6, 4, 4, then maxed out @ 12. I think I could possibly move into the next category so Friday I'll step it up a notch.

In between sets I drank Pacifico and had lemon bars.

Then I noticed on the 100 Push-Ups website there was something about 200 I thought why not? (Adding that to my weekly goal on the sidebar.) I faked my initial test and started off with Week 1/Day 1: 15, 18, 10, 10, then maxed out @ 25. I did it on the ball. My core strength has always pretty much sucked so doing these consistently will help me.

I also decided to add rock-climbing to my sidebar. Again - it is in my living room so why not? I'm not going to live here forever so I may as well take full advantage of it, right?

Hump Day Update

I was going to run last night but blew it off, which was fun - I haven't done that in a while! Instead I made tacos and drank wine. Today I did manage to run almost 4 miles @ an 8:13 pace. It felt good, but not great. I'm just glad I finally got out there again.

I'm planning on doing day one of the 100 push ups thing tonight. I was going to do the test last night but I blew that off too. I'm guessing that I could do 6 pushups, so I'm basically starting from square one. If I find this level too easy I'll just jump ahead.

Also planning to go to yoga tonight....still deciding between bikram and vinyasa. I'm going to do bikram with Alisa and the Gazelle on Saturday so am pumped about that. I hope I don't pass out.

I weighed myself this morning and was happy to see that I didn't gain weight during my taper (or food/alcohol binging over the last few days).

I have not made any progress on the race/training plan for 2009. And yes, it is still stressing me out.

I have tried to make progress in the wedding department by searching for more venues. I did get my J Crew dresses in the mail today too! I tried all three on immediately. They're all cute/pretty but I wasn't wowed by any of them.

Just to keep it interesting, here is a photo of one of my favorite meals of all time - the Chipati. Made by Pizza House in Ann Arbor, MI. It is essentially a really fresh salad inside of a just baked whole wheat pita. Oh, these are sooo damn good, I wish I could have one right now!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vancouver Lake Half Marathon - Award Ceremony

Video of my glory moment - picking up my beer mug for a 2nd place AG finish! This is so lame and hilarious at the same time. I'm mostly just impressed with Zach capturing this and my ability to upload it to You Tube and link from here. Go technology!

Goals For The Week (1/26/09)

This week is a huge transition week for me - race is done, coaching is done, training is done and I have no idea what I'm going to do next. Some of these are old standby goals, but I definitely added some new and interesting things for me to try during this wonky week.

  1. Set up training/racing goals for 2009; pick out races to sign up for.
  2. Go to yoga twice.
  3. Start the 100 push up plan.
  4. Go to a spin class.
  5. Go to a random strength class at the gym (abs, circuit, pilates, whatever).
  6. Log food.
  7. Take vitamins daily.
  8. Drink 64 oz water daily.
  9. Don't get too wasted.
Setting up my training and racing goals for 2009 is really important. I'm not sure how far I'll get this week on that, but progress must be made, and soon. It kind of puts me on edge to not have a plan in place. But you already knew that didn't you?

I think yoga will be key this week to get my muscles back on track after the race. I have a yoga-buddy-friend and we might take the plunge this week into bikram. She's never gone before and I hope she loves it. I haven't gone to bikram in quite some time so it will be interesting to see if I actually still like it. (Go back, way back, MORE BACK!)

The 100 push up plan. Why not? Not sure if I'm going to go all the way through on this program, but I'm at least going to get started. It will give me something to do this week.

Spin class? Again, why not? Same thing with the random class - I just need to keep myself busy this week.

I want to keep up with eating well and trying not to drink too much. After my champagne overload last night I am definitely feeling tired today and allowing myself to take the day off. I'm going to put the above-mentioned workouts on my calendar tonight so that I can commit to them throughout the week.

Anyone have advice on how to deal with the post-race slump?

Weekly Goals - Recap

Goals for the week of 1/19/09 were:
  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat). Eat light, eat good shit...carbo load on Friday?
  2. Take vitamins every day
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Follow my training plan. This week it will be light, but I really need to focus on Trigger Point.
  5. Go to yoga once
  6. Drink VERY VERY moderately
  7. Don't freak out about work. (I think bad shit is about to go down and I'm NOT looking fwd to it.)
Here's how I did:
  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat). Eat light, eat good shit...carbo load on Friday? Done! I did fairly well here, managed to track most of what I ate and came in around 2200 calories per day. 2200 is the goal I'd had and what I estimated I'd need to just maintain my weight during the taper/less activity. Well, guess what? I gained at least a pound so I think this number was too high. I did feel like it was a lot of food, but now I guess I know. It is good to experiment.
  2. Take vitamins every day. Done!
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day. Done!
  4. Follow my training plan. This week it will be light, but I really need to focus on Trigger Point. Done! I stretched a ton and did Trigger Point a lot. This was my last week of 'official' training. Now I'm lost...
  5. Go to yoga once. Fail(ish)! Even though I didn't accomplish this I hardly see it as a fail. I had only a couple of nights that I would have been able to go and it just didn't work out. Given all the stretching I did, I don't think missing yoga mattered.
  6. Drink VERY VERY moderately. Done! I had two beers during happy hour on Wednesday and that was it. Good work.
  7. Don't freak out about work. (I think bad shit is about to go down and I'm NOT looking fwd to it.) Done. While I didn't freak out, my premonitions were accurate and two people from our team were let go. Yikes!

Vancouver Lake Half Marathon

Thank you so much for the comments left yesterday - so nice! Now, if you can stomach it, here is the lengthy, very complete race report.

Race Morning:

As I reported earlier I woke up to SNOW!!!

I ate a toasted bagel with butter around 7:30, had some coffee and some water. The water started running right through me so I sort of slowed down on it as I didn't want to have to pee every 5 minutes. Jen and Zach arrived at about 8:35 to pick me up and head to the Couv!

Race Site Prep:

On the ride over I chugged an Espresso Gu - with 2x caffeine! It was hard to leave the warm warm car once we arrived, but we had to pick up our numbers and get registered. I ordered a shirt too which is surprisingly awesome - although the size medium looks pretty small. Hopefully it fits. Once we pinned on our numbers we decided to go back to the car. I re-arranged my stuff so that I was only carrying what I wanted during the race and left to warm up a bit. I really didn't do too much to warm up, definitely not the long 15 minute run that I had planned to. My HR was already high in the 90s and my adrenaline was pumping. I jogged around for about 5 minutes, did some leg swings, and stretched a bunch. I used the porta john twice and hoped that I'd squeezed myself DRY for the rest of the race. Who wants to stop to pee during a race?? I met back up with Jen and Zach at the starting line.

Race Strategy:

Before I continue I must state what I had developed as my racing strategy. Having this in place was extremely helpful to making the goal. I have never really done this before because I've always been pretty laissez faire about racing. Not to mention that I don't race often! And most of the things I've choen to do are one-and-done type deals. When I ran the Chicago marathon I just wanted to complete it - never anticipating doing one again. The Alcatraz swim was once in a lifetime too and all I wanted to do in that race was to not get eaten by a shark or succumb to hypothermia. All those races required no strategy but mental strength to get through. Which is kinda wishy-washy.

Back to the point. My real goal of the day was to finish under 1:44:48 (8 min miles). My plan was to run the first 6 miles at an 8 minute pace, then after that turn on the juice and start basically a tempo style run for the next 5-6 miles. Then for the last 2 miles just bust ass.

At the Start Line:

Jen and I took off from the start to do a few strides to get our bodies in motion. We still had on our warm ups at this time. As you can tell from this photo (courtesy of Zach) it looks damn cold out! Look at all that pretty snow in the trees.

Since we were right up front there were several "elite" athletes nearby which was cool. Jen asked me what my HR was.......136! Jesus Dumphy, sloooow down. This had been after standing there for a few minutes, no action. I was definitely pumped and excited and ready to do this thing.

And They're Off!

Once the "gun" sounded we started our Garmins and took off right at the front of the pack. I wanted to be right in the front so my finish time was really my finish time and not the minute it took to cross the start line. Probably overkill for a race this small, but it was fun to be right up there in front. Fun until hundreds of people seemed to pass us! Kind of a confidence killer, but I knew the people passing were serious runners - they all had those transparent legs where you can see each tendon, ligament, muscle striation, etc.

Jen and I were sticking together and had our Garmins in sync. We knew we went out fast, especially hearing others around us estimating their own pace to be "6:40" - WHAT?! Jen made the smart move of checking at the 0.50 mile point and we were at 3:35, or a 7:10 pace. Definitely not the plan!!

We hit mile 1 at 7:29.

The 1st turnaround was at mile 1.5 and we realized that we were actually not the last people in the pack, plenty of other racers behind us which helped a bit w/the confidence. We realized that we could drop back the pace a bit, so the next 2 miles just kept on going.

Mile 2 = 7:49
Mile 3 = 7:42

Mile 3 crosses the start line again. Jen told me to go on at that point and we split; I think the last words I said to her were "I am about to black out." What I meant was that I needed to get inside my head because I knew I'd be all alone for the next hour +. It was so nice to have Jen there so I knew it was going to be mentally tough for the rest of the race. I felt really comfortable with the pace I was keeping thought and knew that I could keep it up if I focused enough.

At this point the course goes off the road and takes a turn onto a paved path. This path was covered in slush puddles that were pretty slippery (see photo above). I ran along the side where there was still some white snow because it wasn't as slippery to me. This continues along the 6 mile turnaround and back to the start line again, which is also mile 9. On the trail stretch I just focused on keeping my pace under 8:00, knowing that after the 6 mile turnaround I would attempt to kick it in more. I passed a few people and was able to admire the front runners coming back toward me. I tried not to focus too much on what was going on around me because I was really trying to focus on me and getting in my zone. Right before the turnaround/water station I choked down 2 shot blocks so I could have something to wash it down. I saw Jen right away and I think we high fived (?) - it was great to see that familiar face again. Miles 4-6 felt like they should have been a lot faster - I think it was the slippery surface that was slowing me down.

Mile 4 = 7:44
Mile 5 = 7:49

Mile 6 = 8:00

Here are some photos of that turnaround:

(I love that 1st one with the boat in the background - I might have to order it.)

Then I was at the point where I needed to kick it in and I did. Miles 7-9 I managed to pick off a few more people which was awesome. I kind of stopped paying attention to each mile's pace; I knew I was running faster than 8:00 miles and didn't want to start calculating and re-calculating final numbers in my head.

Mile 7 = 7:38
Mile 8 = 7:39

Mile 9 = 7:44

I saw Zach a little before the 9 mile mark, as I was getting off of the trail; he snapped this shot:

After mile 9 I started to feel the pain - we went back through the start line again and are back on the road at this point. I could feel every step on the pavement and the earlier efforts were starting to catch up with me. I had only a few miles left and knew I just needed to grind it out. This section of the race is basically no-mans land... My only friend at this point was an elderly man that I passed who I honestly think may have been about to collapse. The sound effects that accompanied this were extremely troubling so I sprinted past him just to get away. There is a turnaround at 10.5 so I tried counting all of the women in front of me - I guessed it was somewhere around 15-20. Awesome! My goal from here until race completion was to not go above an 8:00/mile - which I only wavered by 1 second in the final mile.

Mile 10 = 8:00
Mile 11 = 7:55

The 12 mile mark is ONCE AGAIN the start line (this was getting old) and I was so happy to see that I had only 1.1 mile left! Again, that last stretch was treacherous! Basically alone until the last quarter seemed to go on forever. And I guess the reason it went on forever was because there was more than 1.1 miles left, THERE WERE 2.1 MILES LEFT. (I only caught this mistake after I just re-read the report - what a dumbass. But it does explain a lot.) I kind of let myself slow down a bit because I knew I was was well within my goal time AND there weren't any women behind me threatening to pass. (I only had one person [a dude] pass me in the last 8 miles of the race and the little bastard did it right at the end!)

This is a great photo that Zach took passing through the trail toward the finish line...I love the composition here!

Once I started seeing spectators again I kicked it in and finished somewhat strong. There were several people I knew waiting at the finish line which was an awesome way to end it all.

Mile 12 = 7:57
Mile 13 = 8:01
Mile 13.1 = 1:05

Finish time = 1:42:38

Jen wasn't far behind and finished really strong as we cheered her in. After a few minutes of calming down and drinking water we went to check out the results tacked up on the wall (like finding out if you made the high school musical). I finished 2nd in my age group! Jen finished 3rd in hers!

I got choked up around mile 8. I am such a cheeseball, but I was seriously so happy that I was doing it. I was overwhelmed that I was able to do what I'd set out to do and it made me happy and teary all at the same time. Do you ever imagine yourself giving an Oscars thank-you speech? That's what happened. And once I recovered in about 2 seconds I realized I still had 5 f'ing miles to go....I snapped back to reality really quickly.
After brunch I went back home with my friend Anne to eat more (I could barely eat at brunch!?) and drink champagne. Boy did we drink champagne. That's when I started uploading all the pics from the day and realized that so many of them are totally disgusting. Seriously, I look horrendous when I run! I'm trying not to let that overshadow the race though...

I am still so happy with how this race worked out - I trained hard, stuck to a plan, created a racing strategy and actually did it! I still can't believe it. It was so fun, but now it is Monday and I'm back to square one..... Any ideas on what to do next?

Some additional pics from the day below....

Wintery branches on race day:

The last mile with the melted branches dripping down:

Em and Jen with our race medals:

At the awards ceremony with our mugs:

Damage to my skin from the heart race monitor being on for 6 hours:

I told you the pony was unruly - new nickname for it is Carmen Electra:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Race Report (truncated)


More results and pictures to come once I finish my mimosa(s) and eat a full wedge of brie.

But seriously, I had a nice race and finished much faster than I had anticipated. It was a good race and I was able to use my training and stick to my plan and not have too much get in my way. Jen and I both placed in the top 3 in our age groups and got winner's beer mugs. I will let her fill you in on her race, but I think we both had a great time. Zach gets special spectator awards and serious kudos go to him for standing in the cold for 2 hours, cheering us on and taking tons of pictures.

I'll do a quick word explosion on my initial thoughts and idea which I will follow up on later:
  • HR before start = 136
  • in the zone
  • snow
  • slush
  • wet
  • slippery
  • getting passed
  • passing others
  • chafing
  • glee
  • high fives
  • 11 minute PR
I am so fucking happy that this is over with!

Happy Race Day!

Good morning from the land of.....SNOW! Yes, it is snowing here in Portland and must have been for some time as it has accumulated all over the place. Temps still report 34* as the current temp, so I'm going to stick with my plan for garb.

I didn't sleep the best last night but that is okay (I got 10 hours Friday night). I was up at 5:45 this a.m. and drifted in and out until about 7 - 45 minutes before my alarm. It is all good. It is 7:45 now and I have had my coffee, water and bagel and will get dressed before Jen and Zach arrive at 8:45ish.

I am really excited! I haven't done a real race in SO long (not counting the Turkey Trot) and I am pumped! I am sure the course is going to kind of suck (multiple out and backs) and there probably won't be too many spectators, but that is okay. There will be several familiar faces there at the end and I think a fun time will be had by all.

Can't wait to give you the report later on today!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anal Pre-Race Stuff

I ran very slowly down to the track today, which is about a mile away. I kept catching myself going too fast and drawing it back in. Once I got to the track I did a couple of laps of strides, then stretched for a while before running home. My legs are sore still from either the time trial or maxing out on stretching this week. Really all that remains is soreness in my right quad but at this point what can I do? I'll keep stretching today and lightly use the quadballer. I was toying w/the idea of an ice bath but come on, who wants to do that, plus I think it is too late anyway.
  • Weather: During my run it was ~40* and cloudy. I went out in 3/4 tights + short sleeve under a long sleeve and no hat.
  • Legs: The bottoms felt fine and I think even if it is in the 30s tomorrow I'm going to go with these, just to make sure I don't overheat.
  • Top: This was fine and what I'll do tomorrow, but I will add gloves. If I get hot I can ditch the gloves and roll up my sleeves.
  • Dome: No hat was fine for temp control, but something has to be done about my growing hair. My hair is fine but there is a lot of it and my ponytail is swinging around like its in a cabaret show. Must tame. I am going to bring a hat with a brim in case it is raining cause I don't want that stuff in my eyes.
  • Nutrition: I stopped and grabbed some Gu and Shot Bloks for the race tomorrow. I haven't completely decided what to eat for breakfast tomorrow, but want to consume it by about 2 hours before the race so it is totally digested. I'll probably just stick with toast or a bagel and maybe a scrambled egg. Water and some coffee for shiz. I may do some Gu or Shot Bloks right before the race. Along the course I'm going to bring some Shot Bloks and suck 3 down at the halfway point. For dinner tonight I'm going to eat something bland and pasta-y (pierogies anyone?). And I'm going to eat early, take a hot shower and get in bed!
  • Pre-Race Plan: Jen, Zach and I should get to the start at 9:00, which will give us time to get our race packets, pin our numbers on (assuming they have them?) and start warming up. I've never been big on warming up because I'm usually so nervous I just want to chat and mildly freak out. But I think it is a good habit to get into so I'm going to follow the advice of the coach by spending about 10 minutes on drills (like before my track workouts), then running very lightly for 15 minutes, just to get the body warm and ready. I want to be done w/all that by 9:45 so we can get to the start. I guess that give me only 10 minutes to register and put my bib on but that should be fine.
Can you tell I'm getting excited? And I'm sorry to say this may not be the last time you hear from me today..... I AM SO ANNOYING.


Goals/Training Recap/Next Steps


I am finally posting my race goals as well as some thoughts on my training, next steps and plan for 2009. Some of this is incomplete so look for more on coaching thoughts and 2009 goals later.

1. Race goals:

  • Worst possible outcome - missing my alarm and not doing the race all together; car accident on the way to the race, appendectomy before/during the race.
  • Least acceptable outcome, but goal-reaching nonetheless - let's say I make it there and manage to run healthy but finish with a crappy time. This still falls under success, but barely.
  • Goal A - Breaking my previous 1/2 marathon PR of 1:53:31.
  • Goal A+ - Breaking 8:00 pace (finishing under 1:44:48).
  • Goal A++ - This goal is the stars-align-and-the-spirit-of-Paula-Radcliffe-enters-my-body goal. I.e., anything a lot faster than A+ goal!
2. Training recap:

In reviewing my training over the last few months I came up with a list of wins and losses - me vs. the training:
  • Training WINs:
  • Increasing mileage - I started off barely running 10-15 miles per week and culminated in over 30 in my biggest week.
  • Successful track workouts - I learned to love the track again! At first it was definitely a cautious step back in, but now I'm feeling it and want to keep doing it.
  • Good long runs - my favorite long run was my fast 14 miler with Shawn, but mostly just seeing overall improvement from week to week.
  • Strengthening my heart - my HR during my runs has become distinctively lower over the course of the three months. I'd like to have a RHR from October to compare to but I don't. One good comparison is my 1st TT @ 185 avg HR to the more recent TT of 183 avg HR (the latter run being a minute faster and no upchucking).
  • Coaching - I will have more to say on this later (note to self to remember: reasonable tempered training, focused sessions, confidence building, no amateur burnout, etc.)
  • Feeling good - along with eating better and drinking less (sort of) I feel pretty great.
  • Looking good - I lost some weight too and can tell I'm stronger - since I looove muscles this is great.
  • Training FAILs:

3. Next steps:

First will be post-race mimosas, huge brunch, then sitting on my ass all day watching movies. I am really excited about that! After I wake up Monday feeling sore and hungover, the real next steps begin...

I can't wait to have some time to get into Bikram and some weight training for a little bit. I think this is what I'm going to do for the month of Feb. And what are these programs like the 30 Day Shred (abs?) or the 100 push up challenge. Worth it?

4. Plan for 2009:

There are a few definites that I have going right now:
  • August/September - Look The Best In Your Life Day (wedding)
  • October - Portland Marathon
There are a couple of things that I could do this year:
  • set a 5k PR
  • continue to improve my half marathon
  • jump on the triathlon bandwagon
Some local races that I might consider, depending on what my goals are:
  • 3/15/09 - Shamrock Run (5k, 8k, 15k)
  • 4/5/09 - Run For The Roses (5k and half)
  • 5/3/09 - Eugene Half Marathon (also 5k on 5/2)
  • 6/13-14 - Blue Lake Triathlon (Oly on 6/14 and sprint on 6/13)
  • Hagg Lake Tri?
So that's all that I've got on those topics. I've had a lot of fun training and am excited about the race tomorrow. Jen is running too so please send us good vibes between 10 a.m. and noon (hopefuly only until say 11:44 a.m.) Pacific time tomorrow. There are no timing chips so I'm going to try to get to the line when the race starts. We'll see how successful I am. It is also going to be pretty cold (I'm guessing under 30* at the start?), so attire will play a key part in staying comfortable during the race.

I leave you with my plan for the day:
  • short easy run
  • closet re-org
Peace out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


No running talk here I guess, just getting ramped up for the race, starting with....BEER carbo load tonight. Jen and Zach and I had a fabulous blogger meet up tonight. It was dancing on tables, puking on waiters, getting kicked out: FUN. You shoulda been there, butcha wernt.

I think I've been tagged by Alisa and I think what I do is talk about things I'm obsessed with? Here we go:
  2. JUNK
  3. LISTS
I want to kill a brazillion birds with one stone. Help me find ways to do it.

I love thrift stores, garage sales and stuff that other people don't want. Shit, I love stuff that I don't even want. I consider this part of the streamlining as well - reusing stuff to streamline. Doesn't that sound nice.

I have lists of lists of lists. Help me figure out ways to streamline my junk into a list.

I have between three and four monitors going all day. F5 constantly while eating, drinking reading, talking on phone, balancing the budget, updating the schedule and IMing all at once. When I make coffee I am filling up the pot with water, grinding the beans and cleaning the counter all at once. Streamline that.

I just ordered THREE online. I'm so excited - I am going to be a bride! I hope they fit and look awesome.

**that is all**

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time Trial

Wow, my energy level today has been through the f'ing roof. Ever have those days where you feel fired up and are getting shit done? I'm there right now and I wish this would last forever. I don't think I did anything different to get me this way either. Last night I had kind of a nice/big dinner out, had some wine (2 glasses), got a decent amount of sleep (~8 hrs), made coffee like normal.... What could it be? I wish I knew those answers, because if there was a pill that did this I'd take it every day.

I'm MANIC!!!

So anyway, today was my infamous two mile TIME TRIAL. I've been a little quiet talking about it because I didn't want to psych myself out leading up to it. I've actually been relatively calm about running lately and not feeling nervous/anxious about performance, so that is wonderful.

I pleaded w/my coach to let me do this on a marked path, but Shawn told me that I had to do it on the track again. He wanted to keep the variables as close from the last one. So, FINE, the track it is.

Before the run I had plenty for breakfast and snacks; here's what I ate:
  • 8 a.m.: water, coffee, 2 pieces of toast (one jam, one butter), scrambled eggs (about 1 egg)
  • 10:30 a.m.: more coffee, water, yogurt
  • Noon: apple, water
  • 1:45 p.m.: water, Vanilla Gu just before my run
That's about 600 calories. I had no issues with my stomach during the run either!

I got down to the track to find the Portland State University track team working out - damn them! It was kind of inspiring to watch them warm up and do some intervals, but then they luckily left for a road run so I had the track to myself again.

I'm still not at the point where I trust my own pacing which is why I get anal about the Garmin. Instead of just going balls out for the whole run I wanted to set some expectations - my goal was to strive for 7:00/miles. I decided to manually hit the lap button on every quarter; I set my Garmin so that I could view the data fields for:
  • current lap (so I could check at the 200 to see if I was pacing right)
  • last lap (so I could look down at any point as see how I did on the last 400, not just when it flashes the last lap for a few seconds)
  • total distance (in case I forgot what lap I was on!)
So after some drills I hit the line and took off! My first lap was way fast, as I knew it would be. I dialed it way back after I saw the time for that lap and kind of hit a groove on the next one. I really focused on my breathing and stride and did the military chant (left right left) once I got in the right pace. Last lap I just tried to bust my ass and was getting to the point where my breathing was just OOC. Whatevs. Here's the stats:

Lap 1 = 1:34
Lap 2 = 1:48
Lap 3 = 1:47
Lap 4 = 1:49

Mile 1 = 6:58

Lap 5 = 1:49
Lap 6 = 1:51
Lap 7 = 1:49
Lap 8 = 1:44

Mile 2 = 7:13

TOTAL = 14:14
Avg HR = 183

(I know that doesn't add up right but I think Garmin rounds #s or something.)

Comparison to the last TT on 11/7/08:
  • no vomiting this time
  • one WHOLE minute faster!
  • avg HR less by 2 bpm
I'd like to think that I was totally drained and cashed after this but so far I feel fine. I could have maybe pushed it more in the middle by a few seconds per lap but I'm not going to over analyze here (right).

So glad about how I did and I feel great! Maybe all my energy is this damn taper - I love you taper! I'm excited for the race this Sunday and have been doing a lot of thinking on race goals, training recap and 2009 goals that I will share here soon.

I also added more peeps to my sidebar that you should check out sometime! Oh, and the significance of the pony pic is nothing other than making you smile. How can you not smile at that?

Notes to self: weather was sunny but track partly in the shade, mid-4os, I wore shorts and short sleeve + long sleeve drifit shirts (had jacket on during warm up/drills)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

I am doing well with my daily morning schedule and I think it is making my days feel more structured. Yesterday I made the bed, got dressed, cleaned up made coffee, ate breakfast - all good things - however, I failed to take a shower all day. I spent most of the day looking like Aileen Wuornos. It was gross. And I'm never letting that happen again.

And I never made it outside yesterday either. I didn't even leave my building! How lame is that? I know this sunny weather will be gone soon too, which makes my decision even more aggravating. I did do my trigger point and stretching so that is good.

Anyway, today I went on an easy run around the waterfront loop and it was fantastic. Sunny weather and tons of people enjoying it. I am in a great mood because of the inauguration too.

Total Miles = 3.87
Avg Pace = 8:28
Avg HR = 157

I thought a lot about my race this weekend during the run and it was good to start preparing. One can never be too prepared!

I'm off to enjoy more nice weather and chill with Jen at a coffee shop.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Lost The Last Part Of The List!


OMG, I am so happy. (Isn't that insane?) Now my life can get back to normal, right?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekly Goals - Recap and Next Week

My goals from last week were to:
  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat)
  2. Take vitamins every day
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Follow my training plan
  5. Go to yoga once
  6. Drink VERY moderately
And here's how I did:

1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat) - DONE!

I managed to pretty much track everything everyday. While I didn't necessarily eat the best foods at all times, I was aware of what I was eating and that was really my main goal. Despite not being very strict I still put in under 2000 calories each day, so I think that is okay. I also was given the suggestion of tracking calories through and I checked that out too. I don't think I have the discipline to actually log everything on there, but it is a great resource for nutrition and maybe some day I'll use it on a daily basis. Thanks to Rife with Possibilities for the suggestion! I was also reminded about how the calorie counting practice can sometimes lead to bad things, which I agree with too. At this point in my life I think I'm finally figuring out what balance is and how to implement moderation in my life. I will always strive to achieve this. Bottom line, if you start seeing my ribs through my shirts in photos that I post, please admit me into an institution. Thanks!

2. Take vitamins every day - DONE!

There is one day that I can't remember if I did this, but honestly to hit even 6 out of 7 days is a big WIN in my book. Placebo or not....I'm feeling great.

3. Drink 64 oz of water each day - DONE!

4. Follow my training plan - DONE!

5. Go to yoga once - DONE!

6. Drink VERY moderately - DONE!

I set this goal too late, as Monday I had a mini-bender (not really) of my own at home and shamed myself into adding this goal. Since then I was able to keep my shit in check despite various social obligations, which is unbelieveable.

I can't remember the last time I had this big of a success rate. Perhaps I'm making it too easy on myself. Next week's goals will be similar:

  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat). Eat light, eat good shit...carbo load on Friday?
  2. Take vitamins every day
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Follow my training plan. This week it will be light, but I really need to focus on Trigger Point.
  5. Go to yoga once
  6. Drink VERY VERY moderately
  7. Don't freak out about work. (I think bad shit is about to go down and I'm NOT looking fwd to it.)
I can't think of anything else right now - but I think this looks good.

Wrapping it Up

Sunday = Funday

Where has this weekend gone? I'm not ready for another M through F again, and I also can't believe that next weekend is my f'ing race. I am excited and nervous, but also sad that this stage of my training is over with. Sometime this week I'm going to try to lay out a few things on here: 1. Race goals. 2. Training recap. 3. Next steps. 4. Plan for 2009. That is a lot, but the shit needs to happen.

On Friday I was a little sore after the Thursday track workout, but mostly lethargic due to no running scheduled for the day. I was actually really annoyed that I couldn't run. It was such a nice day out, so I decided to go for a long walk around the hood and do one of my favorite things: thrifting. I went to as many thrift stores as I could find and made them my bitch. I got a few fun things and that made me reeeeeally happy. Plus, happy to get outside and enjoy the sun.

Saturday I went for an easy 3 miler, then drove all over the greater Portland area. It was a fun little ticky tour but by the end of the day I was exhausted.

AVG PACE = 9:09

Today I drove around the greater GREATER Portland area, looking for places to get hitched. Another long exhausting day. I should have done my run 1st thing in the morning, but we wanted make the most of the sunlight hours, so we left. I ended up running at 6 p.m. after having a late lunch:

  • grilled cheese
  • tater tots
  • Rainier (beer)
Despite the shit I had in my system the run went fine. Started off sketchy with lots of wardrobe malfunctions culminating with my screaming on the Hawthorne bridge out of frustration. Once I got over myself I did okay and ran the regular loop twice.

AVG PACE = 7:59
AVG HR = 161 bpm

I made my goal of this one to keep my HR under 169, which is the high range of my Zone 3. In looking at my Garmin I was surprised to see that I kept having to put more speed on to jack up my HR. I think this is a good problem, meaning that my heart doesn't need to go as fast to get the work done. I don't know....probably will have to consult the coach. In the end, based on my frequent checking of the Garmin for HR, I figured I'd go higher than the 169 avg, but I clearly didn't. I hate to depend on the Garmin so much, but until I know my body really well (which is taking a while...) I need to monitor it this way. The problem now is that I'm not getting the information that I need (i.e. average HR so far, or whatever you would call it). I gots to remember what to change my settings to before going on a run instead of afterwards when I recap since it does me no good.

This week is the final countdown! I only have TWO workouts this week - one easy 3 miler and one two mile TIME TRIAL. I am going to see if I can negotiate with the coach to allow me to do the TT on the marked path instead of the track. I kind of loathe a two mile TT on the track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how I've improved since then.

Have a good week people. Stay strong. You can do it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Speedwork

I am writing this at 6:00 p.m., after JUST finishing lunch. Something came up at work just as I was about to go to my track workout (already running late at the time), so I had to take care of that and by the time I got home, settled, etc. it was just late. I'm finding that the best time of day for me to run is after I've been up a few hours, had breakfast and time for it to digest, but before I get hungry again.

My run was fine, I ran down to the track to do 2 miles of cadences 100 meters on and 100 meters off. After painstakingly analyzing this data to come up with averages I was disappointed to see that I shorted myself on the fast parts by quite a bit. According to my Garmin (which can never always be trusted, the little devil) I did the following:

  • Fast bits = .885 miles @ 5:59 average pace
  • Not fast bits = 1.19 miles @ 7:33 average pace
Total Miles = 4.34
Average Pace = 7:39

Average HR = 167 bpm

(this includes both warm up and cool down)

I didn't feel very fast today...maybe it is because I was listening to NPR and not jamming to music. Maybe next time I'll nix the damn ipod all together. There were tons of people out there running, including a coupla chicks that I swear were doing my exact same warm up and then speed work. They were in fantastic shape and definitely had runner's bodies. I pretty much hate them.

Back to the misproportioned fast/slow cadences. This track must be a bit more circular than I'm used to. I should have started and stopped the fast cadence a little before and after the straightaways. Oh well, next time.

*That is all*

Wait - no it isn't...i'm making green bean casserole for dinner tonight.

Calorie Counter

Trust me, I don't absolutely love monitoring my intake of food, but unfortunately I am not one of those people who just doesn't need to worry about it. Since I've begun my little taper, and also realized how many pounds lately I have lost I've become a little paranoid about putting ##s back on. I just can't disregard how much I am eating right now. I don't want to go bananas and end up gaining any weight.

So, I consulted my coach and the internet and put together some calculations. I've done this before, but it is always good to get a refresher...

From the Discovery Health website I found the following:

Basal Metabolic Rate

You expend energy no matter what you're doing, even when sleeping. Thus your Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day - a tempting idea for some. If you've noticed that every year, it becomes harder to eat whatever you want and stay slim, you've also learned that your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as you age. Likewise, depriving yourself of food in hopes of losing weight also decreases your BMR, a foil to your intentions. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down.

There is a calculator on that site that gives me a BMR of 1,372.

Then I got this info from Coach Shawn:

Anything you do outside of that is extra. Running adds calories, walking around adds calories and anything else that requires movement. If you have a sedentary job, add about 40%. That brings it up to about 1,820. If you run 5 miles and burn 400 calories, add another 400 to the mixer. Now we are up to 2,220. Anything else is just added as you go along. I would imagine that on a regular day you are burning anywhere from 2,250-2,500. That means that if you eat that many calories a day, you will maintain your current weight. This is a guess. I'm running 4 miles with speedwork which means I will probably burn about 2,270 total calories today. (1372 BMR + 548 [40% extra] + 350 [my run] = 2,270)

This is mind-blowing to me! Eat 2,270 calories to maintain my weight today? Awesome! I've been tracking my cals the last few days and every day has come in less than 2,000 (if I'm calculating it right). AND THIS INCLUDES ICE CREAM! Can this be right?!

Has anyone tracked this before and how do you think the BMR formula works out?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

3 Miles of Pickups

I am going to recap my not yet complete day by saying I did okay with my new to do list and goals. I did everything I was supposed to do to make me a good work from homer. But alas, it didn't work all that well. I am having a really really hard time focusing on work right now, even when it is slightly critical.

I just finished Eat Pray Love and want to learn how to meditate.

I did my planned run today which was 3 miles total with 5 pickups. It went well and the weather is really great so I can't complain.

Total Miles = 3.07
Avg Pace = 7:27
Avg HR = 170 bpm

Now I'm going to end my day for reals and go look at a house then maybe get some sushi. After the pistachios this morning I managed to eat pretty well and not max out. I had a cheese/spinach/tomato sandy for lunch and a banana, then drank some more water. So far it looks like I've consumed about 920 calories (and burned 315 of those!). If I don't blow it at dinner I should be okay.

As I mentioned, I am kinda crazy right now hence the multiple posts and personalities.

Additional Goal For This Week

I remembered last night (after downing way too much wine) that another one of my goals is to drink moderately from now until the race. My revised goals for the week are:

  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat)
  2. Take vitamins every day
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Follow my training plan
  5. Go to yoga once
  6. Drink VERY moderately
This morning I started my new morning routine and successfully completed all of the following:

  1. Make the bed
  2. Shower/groom
  3. Get dressed
  4. Make coffee and brekkie
  5. Clean and set up shop for the day
It felt pretty good but I'm still having a hard time being focused on work. Cleaning and setting up shop for the day was tough - even though the place didn't seem that dirty or disorganized it took forever to do this and I really didn't get started on work until 9, which is terrible. I'm going to make a point of cleaning up as much as I can the night before. Duh!

I am trying so hard this week to moderate my eating too, but it is really difficult. Here's what I've consumed so far today:
  • coffee - two cups
  • H2O - 32 oz.
  • english muffin with butter
  • yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
It is 11 a.m. and that's about 430 calories so I wrong to think this is a lot of cals so far in the day? The real problem is that I'm practically sitting on my hands to stop myself from eating more. I'm going to focus on making a good lunch, eating it somewhat early and have it all digested for my afternoon run.

Am I being crazy about this right now?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bang On My Drum All Day

I never intended to use this site to post anything other than running and training related stuff. I think that may change now from time to time. I'm finding that I need to keep myself more on the ball with items not related to training and this is the only place for it.

Sure, I have to do lists, and calendars and personal goals, etc., but I have been less than diligent on keeping those items up lately and it is really starting to throw me off. I feel like I am scattered over the place a lot of the time.

A big reason for this is that I started working from home full time last summer. When I moved from Seattle to Portland in August not only was I working from home 100%, but I was also away from my real office with no easy chance to stop by if I wanted to.

Don't get me wrong, working from home is great...most of the time. I've found, however, that I need structure and routine and depending on oneself for all of that is difficult. I mean, sure I hated the bus ride to work but it gave me structure - wake up, shower, get dressed, walk to bus stop, ride bus, read or work on bus, show up. All of those things are items easily checked off of a list - there you go, before you even started your real day you already have accomplished some things.

Another change is that I've taken on greater responsibility with my job and am in territory that is totally new to me. I find that if I am not super super organized while managing this project I fall apart (mentally, emotionally, etc.!).

So, I'm going to somehow use this place to help keep me going, at least for a little while. This article got me starting thinking....

First stop on this venture is starting a morning routine; here are the 5 things I will start doing to kick start my day:

  1. Make the bed
  2. Shower/groom
  3. Get dressed
  4. Make coffee and brekkie
  5. Clean and set up shop for the day

Making the bed - listen people, this is harder than it looks. I rarely walk past the bed after I've left it until I fall back into it.... However, I feel that my house is order when this is done so why not?

Shower/groom - ok, seriously, when you don't have to see anyone throughout the course of your day and you don't need to...why? Why do it? Especially when I have a run or workout planned within hours this just doesn't make sense. As you can see, it is so easy to just blow off a morning shower because you can skip straight to the coffee/toast/whatever of your day. I've already managed a way to shorten my beauty routine*, so the least I can do is this.

Get dressed - I often just come downstairs as-is. It is damn cold in my apt and my jammies and fleece-galore do me just fine. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to replicate the office-life and actually don a brassiere. Right?

Coffee/food - the coffee part is easy and not something I'm worried about accomplishing. I need it dammit. But the food part, I could do better at this. Rather than drag out my morning until like 9:30/10, I'm going to prep my breakfast and eat it at a place other than my desk. Then I'm done. Also include vitamins and at least a glass of water in there. (Birds...stones...etc.)

Clean/set up shop - my workspace and living space are all located in the same huge area. I love my apartment but since I have to share my office with my living room and kitchen, things can get complex. Often I'll find myself drawn to stopping work just to clean up a mess or sweep or put something away. No more. I'm getting this part done before I officially start work. That way there will be no distractions once I get to it.

Once I am done with my race I am going to change this up. I may start getting in a bike ride (gasp) or some gym-based workout in the a.m.

What is your morning routine? Is it the same everyday? Does it work for you?

*leave-in conditioner!

Next up:
  • Getting out of the house
  • Organizing the work area
  • Time management

Goals For The Week

Wow, I guess it has been a while since I've solidified my goals for the week on here, so I'm back at it again.

  1. Watch the nutrition (track what I eat)
  2. Take vitamins every day
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Follow my training plan
  5. Go to yoga once

Nutrition - the next few weeks I will have to watch what I eat more carefully than I have in the last 2.5 months. My training and mileage is slowing way down and I need to keep my intake and weight in check. I actually asked Shawn yesterday if he thought I should lose a couple of pounds before the race and he yelled at me: "NO!" He said any attempt to do that now would be totally drastic and could mess with the fitness I've built up. Duh, just another psycho question from an amateur athlete. He did caution me about eating too much because of the slowdown in training. So, my goal is to maintain where I am for the next two weeks and not gain any weight before the race. I am going to achieve this by stocking my place with healthy foods and log what I'm eating. I had been really consistent with doing this, but dropped off around xmas time. Such is life...

Vitamins - I've also fallen off the wagon here, which is so ridiculous. It may be a placebo, but I honestly think I feel better when I take my vittles and it is so easy to do. So I just need to do it (and have already done so today, thankyouverymuch).

Water - another thing I'd been good with and dropped from my daily to do list. Just do it. Drink the friggin H2O dammit.

Training - obviously this needs to be done. This week my training also includes stretching and Trigger Point specifically which is fantastic. I NEED to do these things and know how beneficial it can be. So, MWF this week is dedicated only to stretching and TP.

Yoga - this falls somewhat into the stretching category for me. I always feel great afterward too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last Big Run




It was a tough run, I am surprised and pleased at the results, AND (after I win this pistachio-eating contest with myself) I am going to pass out.

To bring you up to speed, today's run is the peak of my three month half marathon training plan that I've undertaken with an awesome coach & friend, Shawn. There are exactly two weeks left before the race and today is my longest and most difficult run of the whole program. The run is 14 miles with the middle 7 miles @ race pace (7:55).

I have had similar training runs prior to this, but none as long or with as long of a tempo portion in the middle. For example, last week was 11 miles with 5 tempo miles and a couple of weeks before that was also 11 miles with 5 tempo miles. However, neither of those runs went off smoothly - one was riddled by blizzard conditions and I did it on a treadmill, the other was broken apart by me stopping to tell everyone my big news. So the point is that I had no idea how I was going to perform today.

Luckily I had Shawn with me to guide me through it, and boy was I glad he was there! I learn so much from him each time we talk shop so I basically had a closed audience session with him for at least 2 hours - sweet! Aside from the conversation, he was there to set the pace for me, calculate splits and motivate me to keep going.

We went to the Heritage Trail in Vancouver, WA. We were going to do the actual Vancouver Lake half mary course, but it was confusing to figure out the actual course (lots of out and backs). We opted to run this trail because it has a great surface and is marked at every quarter mile. This way we could gauge the real mileage and not rely on the Garmin. The trail is 3.5 miles long which would be perfect out and back twice for the 14 miles.

So, here are the results (keep in mind that all miles were continuous except for 2 brief breaks after the warm up and before the cool down):

Mile 1 = 8:05
Mile 2 = 8:26
Mile 3 = 7:56
Mile 3.5 = 4:17

Mile 1 = 7:30
Mile 2 = 7:37
Mile 3 = 7:37
Mile 4 = 7:41
Mile 5 = 7:48
Mile 6 = 7:32
Mile 7 = 7:44
Tempo Avg Pace = 7:38 (holy!)

Mile 1 = 8:44
Mile 2 = 8:46
Mile 3 = 8:31
Mile 3.5 = 4:13

Total Miles = 14
TOTAL Time = 1:52:43 Avg Pace = 8:03 Avg HR = 179
I just broke my previous 13.1 PR in a 14-mile run? Awesome.

Oh boy, this was tough, but seriously not as tough as I'd imagined. The warm up felt fast and it was...definitely faster than I usually go on these runs, but hey, I was with the coach and what he says goes, right?

During the tempo run it was definitely hard, but after the 3rd mile I was totally doing okay and feeling the cadence (left, left, left right left) and my breathing and kinda hit the zone. Of course I had Shawn guiding me through and I was able to have some conversation back and forth during this part. I started to feel the effort during mile 4 and 5 and you can see that I slowed down, but Shawn brought me back and we sped up a bit for the last 2 miles. Was I glad to finish this 7 mile stretch.

The last 3.5 miles were good but still tough. I was trying so hard to keep up a respectable pace and I feel comfortable with the results.

(I am going to need to wrap this up quickly as I am losing concentration and focus that only wine can cure.)

The overall run was just awesome. Like I said I got a lot of good info from Shawn during the run and really tested my limits. I am feeling really good about the progress that I've made over 2 and a half months and hopeful that the future can bring more. We ended the run all sweaty and muddy which made me feel even more like a badass (see pictures below). I feel prepared for a good race and have a good strategy in place to go as fast as my body and mind will take me. Man, it was awesome to have Shawn along to push me today, but if I can do this on my own during a race then I will really feel accomplished!

I mentioned above that I broke my half marathon PR on this run, and this run was 0.9 miles faster than a half! My one and only half marathon was Seattle in 2004 and I definitely did not train as hard. The course was also really hilly. Anyway, if I'd stopped today at 13.1 I think it would have been about a 1:44- yowza!

(As a side note, a little pre-race info (this helps me for future planning): Woke up at 8 a.m., drank about 10 oz coffee w/Splenda, one vanilla yogurt, half piece of bacon, an eggo and a bunch of water over the next 2 hours. Started running at about 11 a.m. During the course of the run I drank a few sips of Shawn's HEED potion and ate 2 Shot Blocks each before the tempo part and right after. I hate eating those, they get all stuck in my mouth and are just nasty in general. But...I can see the benefit so will continue to take them on longer runs. I didn't have any negative stomach issues afterwards, so I guess that is good.)

Here are some photos of our run today:

Go Bostad!

Obligatory mud shots:

This picture doesn't do justice to the nasty hairball/snarl that I created while running today. I still don't know WTF happened???

Friday, January 09, 2009

After Hours

It is 10:30 on Friday night, which is considerably late for me. I am enjoying the last of a bottle of champagne that a friend from far off sent to me as congratulations and thinking of her with every sip.

I am starting to get sore from my track workout yesterday. I wasn't very sore until just about an hour ago when I stood up after dinner. But the weird thing is that it isn't muscle soreness, it is joint achy-ness. It isn't that big of a deal, and it loosened up after I started walking, but is there. A little earlier in the night I had twinginess in my knee, just out of nowhere! How can my body be doing this to me?

Again...nothing major, just little things that annoy me. Little things that didn't happen when I was a sprightly 80 pound 7th grader. (And of course it is really smart to compare yourself to the person you were 17 years ago.) Bottom line is that I wish my body could bounce back quicker but it can't and it is fine. Nothing major, just annoying. I just don't like aging!

I am really looking forward to my easy run tomorrow and my not-so-easy run on Sunday. 14 miles, half of which will be at a race pace of 7:55/mile. And all with my loving, trusting awesome coach Shawn. After this there aren't too many hard days before the big race. I have been training for three months for this race and it is about to be all over with in 2 weeks. Ahhhh, life.

I Wanna Run!

Today is my day off and it is surprisingly killing me! I want to run, can't I run? I have all sorts of energy and apparel why can't you just let me do it?

When did I turn into this person?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Need for Speed

Hey there, ho there.

It is 4 pm and I have spinach tongue (but I love it and how Popeye-ish your arms look!) and am a sticky/post run/unshowered mess. Now that you have the visual...

Today was my track workout! I was strangely looking forward to this and didn't feel any anxiety or stress beforehand. (Not that I usually do, but you know, I usually do. Actually, I feel the same average stress level on most runs, even the super easy ones. The average stress level is relatively low as compared to things like...considering Plan-B, waiting to hear back on a job interview, being tailed by a man that is dressed like and looks like Mephistopheles while running or deciding whether that tofu is really over its use-by date. You've all been there I'm sure. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm typically a mess, a hot mess [or a tranny], so I was happy to realize that this week I wasn't!)

I had serious problems with my Garmin but they were mostly user generated. I simply didn't think about the programming beforehand which resulted in many resets and bad data-gathering. One interesting thing is that Garmin thought my miles were shorter than the track did. I still timed my mile intervals to the track, not the Garmin. It was only a 0.2 mile difference, but that meant about an 8 second increase in the interval which is clearly significant.

I did manage to capture the data that I needed - the MILE INTERVALS. My workout was as follows:

  • one mile warmup
  • drills
  • the actual workout
  • one mile cooldown
The actual workout was this:

  • one mile between 7:00-7:10
  • 5 minutes rest
  • repeat two more times
My results:

  • Mile 1 = 7:02 (185 bpm)
  • Mile 2 = 7:00 (185 bpm)
  • Mile 3 = 6:52 (185 bpm)
How do you like the consistency on the HR? Wow. I really didn't know what to expect of my performance beforehand, so I just tried my best to stick with a consistent pace that targeted my goal time. Once I got into the groove it felt better. The first mile kinda sucked, but I definitely felt my limbs loosen and my stride lengthen and become easier on the 2nd mile. The third mile I tried to do it basically as balls out as possible. It wasn't as much of a mind fuck that it usually is which shows that I'm becoming more comfortable on the track. (Which is awesome!)

My last mile I had an audience - the ambulance. For some reason there is ALWAYS an ambulance hanging around within a block of the track, most likely because of the proximity to the hospital there. This time they decided to park in a position where they could watch the show. It made me feel a little bit safer, but also run faster because they were hot. Hot in that EMT sort of way. The back turn of each 400, there they were - watching. It made me run faster; I mean, who doesn't run faster with an audience of hot men?

This was the 2nd best EMT experience of my life. 2nd to the time that these guys below decided to advertise their phone number to my then co-worker/friend Liz and I while driving from Berkeley to Walnut Creek on highway 24 (fall 2006).

Feel free to give these bad boys a call.

I digress.

I gave myself the 5 minutes in between the intervals to slow down and I noticed that my HR typically dropped to about 120 bpm before I was ready to start the next mile.

Yes, the miles felt hard, but I know if I kept up the speedwork I could do them faster. Knowing this makes me not want to stop now, or after my race. I haven't had this much growth physically/athletically in a really long time and I'm thriving off of it. I am definitely going to keep up with speedwork after my race.

For the record, the pre-workout food and water consumption was as follows:

  • coffee (approx 2 cups)
  • water (maybe 20-24 oz)
  • bagel, toasted, one half butter the other cream cheese
  • vanilla yogurt
This felt like a good combo of food. I wasn't full in the stomach when I ran (my last item was consumed a couple of hours before the run), and I only had limited gagging occur. Oh! I also made marine snow TWICE before my run, so I felt nice and "clean."


I couldn't let this picture go either. Another pose in my Cake-sponsored t-shirt. This time in the tights that someone attempted to buy me so my ass would never sag again. Alas, they were too tight for me, espesh in the calf-age, so had to be returned. Thank god for that Nike employee pass.

Next big day is my 14-miler this Sunday, which I'm doing with my Coach! I am really looking forward to running with him, as we haven't done this yet.

Sick of myself. Good night.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Popcorn Time

I deserve this...

3 miles easy is dunsky. And of course I ran into Jen and Zach on the path too - Jen on the bike riding alongside Zach doing his "easy" run (too fast for me!). I love how Portland is a big small town.

Ok, for those of you who are The Office fans, please download the NPR Fresh Air episode from 12/30/08. Interviews with Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson. Awesome! (I think Terry Gross wants to bang Rainn - she actually snorts from laughter at one point and it is really cute.)


Back in the sweet saddle of procrastination. I am actively procrastinating many work-related items as we speak as well as my puny 3 mile easy run tonight. Thank god I have until tomorrow to do my mile repeats on the track!

I looked back at my times yesterday, still in disbelief at the 7:40 pace, wondering how I could re-calculate it to compensate for my downhill. I know that the uphill on the way back could sort of do it, but I decided to pretend that my first mile was a whole minute slower, which would add 12 seconds to my overall average pace. So I'm going to say that my pace for this run was actually 7:52 average pace. That is still okay right?

Popcorn has been on my mind for about 2 hours now and I can't handle it. I am definitely going to purchase some downstairs. I live in the same building as a big grocery store and it is way too easy. I decided that I would wait until returning from my 3 miles though, so I am showing a little restraint. I also am dying to max out on red wine alone tonight, but I will not. I must keep myself in good shape for my track workout tomorrow.

Yes, that is the plan.

Bonus picture of me on xmas day receiving a bizarre personalized t-shirt from my sister that says, "Going The Distance" then my full name. I sort of wish my social security number was on there too. PS - I'm doing a yoga pose that replicates the screen print too. My family is awesome.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gusts and Thrusts

(The gusts being the wind and the thrusts of me powering my body through it.)

So today's run was supposed to be the exact same as last Tuesday:

Mile 1 = 8:45
Mile 2 = 7:30
Mile 3 = 8:15
Mile 4 = 7:30
Mile 5 = 8:15

Some of my lessons learned from last week were to not stop, avoid wardrobe malfunctions and push it a little harder on mile 1, given that it is downhill. Also...set my Garmin so that I can see time for the specific lap I'm on and not just the instant average pace. This theoretically should help me pace myself better...

Here are my results with HR per mile:

Mile 1 = 7:09 (150 bpm)
Mile 2 = 7:26 (181 bpm)
Mile 3 = 7:50 (176 bpm)
Mile 4 = 7:33 (188 bpm)
Mile 5 = 8:30 (187 bpm)

TOTAL = 7:40 (176 bpm)

I have to admit the wind was really strong anytime I was heading South or West, which is basically half of my run. From what I remember, the particularly strong gusts were during mile 2, the 2nd half of mile 4 and the majority of mile 5.

Mile 1 - this felt lickety split, but it is downhill fgs and as my HR indicates, it was not a big struggle to go this fast. I don't know how I can do this run better other than to start from a different point. Hopefully the uphill on the last mile evens this out. I don't know.

Mile 2 was my first "fast" mile - supposed to be 7:30. I really focused on getting my pace right and did a better job this time. However, the wind was blowing in my face for the first part of this mile.

Mile 3 - I slowed down quite a bit and had the wind at my back...this felt fine.

Mile 4 - back in the fast lane again and right after I started this mile I turned directions and hit the wind again. I looked down at the halfway point of this mile and it was exactly 4:00. Damn! That is an 8:00 average and I wanted to hit 7:30, so I sped up...clearly enough to get in at a 7:33 mile. Phew.

Mile 5 - this was wonky...everything was into the wind and uphill. I did my best to NOT stop (running through stoplights, going around the block if I had to, etc.) and managed to do it pretty well. It was a tough tough 8:30 mile!

Overall I am pleased. I feel okay, not too worn out. Don't know if I could nail that pace for 13 straight miles, but for now this feels okay and I know that I don't need to run that fast during the race.

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Week Of The Rest Of My Life

Thank you so much for the congratulations! Crazy enough, I ran into THREE bloggers on my run yesterday and got to show them the ring before they read it here. How fun is that?

So yesterday's run was to be 11 miles with 5 miles of race pace (7:55) in the middle. The other 6 miles at zone 2-3, which is a wildly large range. I always try to stick to the lower end of that, which is about an 8:15 pace (unless I'm going downhill and then I can go however fast I want!). I woke up about 9 a.m., had a cup of coffee, one piece of buttered toast, two pieces of bacon (eww) and a bunch of water. I let that digest for a while and hit the road by 11:07 a.m. Here is how I did:

Mile 1 = 7:38 (149 bpm)
Mile 2 = 8:05 (167 bpm)
Mile 3 = 8:20 (173 bpm)
Mile 4 = 7:40 (180 bpm)
Mile 5 = 7:56 (180 bpm)
Mile 6 = 7:35 (175 bpm)
Mile 7 = 8:05 (183 bpm)
Mile 8 = 7:47 (183 bpm)
Mile 9 = 8:23 (179 bpm)
Mile 10 = 8:04 (182 bpm)
Mile 11 = 8:00 (183 bpm)

TOTAL = 7:57 (176 bpm)

Let me explain some of the fluctuations above...I stopped at the end of Mile 4 to show off my ring to Gazelle and Junk Miles. I swear I only stopped for 30-60 seconds, but this would have contributed to my slower HR during mile 5 (it was the same as 4 but I would guess it would have increased had I not stopped). Then, right at the beginning of mile 6 I ran into the Ambitious One and stopped to show off my bling there too.

I am super impressed with my overall pace and want to take credit for it, but I feel that stopping twice holds me back from doing that. I still did okay.

Once I picked back up at mile 6 I did not stop. It was a tough run from there on out - my legs were tired, specifically my joints up in my hip area. Maybe I should have done my track workout on Thursday instead of Friday and given myself more time to recover? Had I not celebrated my engagement as much in the preceding days I bet it would have left better. It was also cold out there and took my legs a while to warm up. I don't feel like I ever did get fully warm, which sucks. Afterwards I stopped at the fountain to talk with Alisa who was waiting for her hubs. In the few minutes that we were talking we both got really cold as our bodies cooled down. I had to leave here there waiting so I could run home to a warm shower. Sorry Alisa, I hope he didn't take that much longer to finish!

I was pretty exhausted after the run, but not ungodly tired. Today my left shin is a little splinty but I'll ice and do some TP to soothe it.

This week is going to be tough. Today is off, thank god. Tomorrow is a 5 mile tempo-ish run with lots of speed built in. Wednesday is 3 miles easy. Thursday is a track workout with mile repeats (!!!), then a couple of easy days, then a big 14 miler with 7 mile of 7:55 pace built in. Help me! I'm looking forward to it though. The race is only a couple of weeks away and I'm excited for it.

Have a great week peeps!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't found the time needed yet to put together my new year's intentions, but one was recently handed to me on a silver platter:


Whoo hooo! I am really excited. Really really excited. I love the ring, love the guy. This was a great way to start 2009!