Sunday, October 30, 2011

14 Miler

Yesterday we got several inches of snow.  We went to our friends' fall barbeque anyway.  It ended up being quite an adventure to get there as the plows had not been out and we had to take a detour due to fallen trees and branches.

That picture is from 3pm.  We got more snow over the afternoon and evening but I didn't take any pictures because I was too busy being angry/in denial that there was snow accumulated on the ground in central NJ in October.  That's supposed to be an upstate NY thing. 

It turned out our friends' house had lost electricity.  So burgers on the grill became burgers on a frying pan over the gas stove top in candle light.  Somehow a whole day of nothing wore me out and at 7pm I was fighting off falling asleep.  I managed to stay awake for a movie then went to bed early.

- - - - -

Sunday I was able to get in my long-awaited 14 mile run.  Luckily it was in the 40s and sunny so most of that snow melted.  I refused to let Mother Nature deny me the pleasure of fall running in shorts and a long sleeve top, so I thumbed my nose at her and ran in shorts anyway.  Dan and I headed out together on snowy/icy sidewalks then we parted ways before the first mile.  I headed for roads with wide shoulders that I thought would have less snow.

I ran the next 13+ miles by myself, no music. I liked Alyssa's split scattergram from a couple weeks ago and I'm borrowing the idea from her to display my splits in a more interesting manner.

14 miles/2h 24 min. Avg Pace: 10:19
I was pleased with this run and felt surprisingly good the entire time.  I treated it as a practice run for November 20th (sort of).  Except that I ran it at 3pm instead of 7am.  But I did wear my new shoes and I spaced my gu the way I plan to for the half marathon (:55 and 1:40, which worked out to be mile ~5.2 and 9.8).

This training run turned out to be the same average pace as my May half marathon.  It makes me wonder what I will be capable of in 3 weeks!  I'm not really sure what my goal pace will be... according to the FIRST program, your training paces are based on your most recent races, not your goal time.

Somewhere hidden on the FIRST website I read that your Half Marathon race pace should be your most recent 5k pace + :35 seconds.  For me, this means my August 5k... so 9:38, or a ~2:06 half.  I should probably look this up and confirm this soon.  Maybe I need to check the book out of the library again...

Did you get snow?  How did it impact your weekend?
Anyone use the FIRST program and know how to determine race pace off hand?

Stay tuned for a Road ID review in the next day or so.  Blogger sadly ate that post Sunday night and I want to take the time to re-do it right.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I got my whistle!

Remember this trail half marathon last month? I got my finisher's whistle in the mail yesterday!

I must say, I'm pretty excited.  I have already worn it around the apartment and taunted my dog with blowing into the whistle.  I'd like to think it was kind of like the Pied Piper but with dogs instead of rats.

This is probably my number 1 coolest medal.  Number 2 would be my medal that doubles as a bottle opener from this May.

In other news, after a rousing afternoon of speed work...

Goal pace for 2000m aka 1.25 mi intervals was 8:52

...I made Moroccan Lentil with Chickpea Soup.  Recipe is from Wegmans.  Not to be confused with a previously made Moroccan Lentil soup.  After Dan and I each had a large bowl for dinner, we have leftovers to last a family of 7 for the rest of the week.

Perhaps I should have halved the recipe?

What's your favorite race medal and why?

Make anything good for dinner lately? I need some new ideas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Kicks

Last week my fabulous new running shoes arrived!

I still plan to wear my older, current pair of shoes (with ~230 miles on them), but I will begin to wear the new pair for longer runs.

I returned to the 2100s after a summer with the 1100s.  The 1160s were ok but on longer runs I feel like I over-pronated more, especially with my left foot.  I say this because the insides of the balls of my feet (near the big toe joint, to be super technical) got a little more callused. So I guess that means I do still need more of a stability shoe after all.

L to R: 2150 (muddied from Trail half), 1160, 2160

The new running shoes also look fabulous with a skirt.  Not really, but I was too eager to try them on after work that I couldn't be bothered with changing.

I'm happy to report that I wore them for my 5 mile mid-tempo run on Friday and my 10.5 mile long run yesterday with no rubbing or discomfort.

Speaking of my 10.5 mile run.  It was supposed to be longer, but it turns out the sun is setting earlier these days than I realized.  I was still operating on the assumption it was getting dark at 6:30.  I don't think that has happened in a few weeks though. 

At about 4:20 on Sunday I headed out for what would have been a ~2 hour and 15 minute run along the canal.

Goal pace was about 10:35.  I ran the first four miles at 9:55, 10:14, 10:40, and 10:45.  I made a conscious effort to slow down for the second mile.  Miles 3-4 involved some tricky parts, however, like navigating past this giant mound of clay-like dirt and construction equipment rebuilding the washed-away towpath (twice).

Step 1: Climb over dirt pile.

Drop off to the left. I walked immediately next to the construction equipment belt-thingy.

The right side was less of an option.

After navigating that obstacle, I got to see another section damaged from flooding.

There used to be trees between the path and the road up and to the right, now there are just big rocks and the path is really bumpy.

I ran a couple more miles: 10:09 and 10:54 while navigating around several families with children running around/riding their bikes diagonally across the path near my turn around point.  After turning around I ran two miles in 10:05 and 9:57, motivated by the quickly setting sun, before I needed to navigate the big scary construction equipment again.  That mile was 10:49.

I ran another mile in 10:11...this is quite impressive as I averaged this pace despite attempting to jog/walk while calling my husband to let him know I was still 2 miles from home and on the towpath.  Note: it is very difficult to maintain a running pace and speak on the phone intelligibly.  He decided to come pick me up where the trail meets the road so I didn't need to run on a not-well-lit road as it got dark.

Here it was about 6:04pm, and I still had 2.5 miles to go.

Overall: 10.41 miles, 10:27 average pace,
(10:18 average moving pace if you want to account for some traffic crossings).

Moral of the story: 1. New running shoes are fun.
2. Check sunset times as daylight gets shorter so you don't get stuck running in unsafe conditions.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Does reading about fast runners make you faster?

Apologies in advance, but there are not many pictures in the post...except for a couple of screen shots of my running splits.

So I put off Sunday's long run until Monday morning.  I had an appointment early in the morning which meant I had to take half a sick day from work.  So after my appointment I had a couple hours until I had to be at work- perfect for my long run. 

I ran this at a comfortable pace and tried not to stare at my watch, taking a cue from Alyssa and Kara with their no-Garmin sub-4 marathon last weekend.  I'm pretty sure just reading about their amazing Baltimore Marathon experience improved my training.

I didn't go full No-Garmin, or I wouldn't have these splits.  And it was still on auto-lap, beeping every mile.  But the goal was to not keep my eyes glued to my Garmin like I sometimes do.  Maybe it was the cool 60 degree day or that I took a rest day the day before or maybe listening to music helped, but I was surprised with my paces.

A couple things... I only had time for 11 miles and change, not the full 13 as per my training plan. I guess I will do a slightly longer long run this weekend, then maybe scale back the following weekend?

Also, my long runs are supposed to be half marathon pace plus :20 or :30 per mile -- which would mean 10:25 or 10:35 based on my most recent half marathon.  These yet still comfortable! I am hoping that means with a couple more weeks of speed work until the Philly half marathon I will have a good shot of improving my time.

Speaking of speed work, this was my Wednesday afternoon:

Goal was 10 x [400 @ 2:05, 400 rest].  I did it in the rain.  I'm pretty pleased!

This morning before work, at the crack of dawn, I fit in a 5 mile mid-tempo run.  Goal pace was 9:33-ish and I ran my five miles at: 9:41, 9:38, 9:33, 9:34, and 9:32.  This pace felt a little harder than my last mid-tempo run last Friday.  Despite it being tough, I wasn't too far off with my paces.  This was also my first run in my new running shoes - no need to break them in, they were perfect straight out the box.

Off to host my brother-in-law and his girlfriend as they visit the great state of NJ this weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Belated Weekend Post

Friday  after work I squeezed in a mid-tempo run before happy hour with Dan and his classmates? colleagues?  I was pleased with my ability to swing by the grocery store on my way home, squeeze in a 4.5 mile run, and freshen up (The run should have been 5 miles, but I was urgent to get home to shower, walk the dog, and get out the door in a matter of 10 minutes).

Goal pace was 9:33.  Keeping my eye on the clock and the downhill at the end of my run contributed to the too-fast last half mile.

Saturday we went for a ~16 mile bike ride. 

The first 6 miles was on muddy canal towpath, which I did not photograph because I was occupied with not falling into the canal or mud. In addition to muddy spots there are still spots where the towpath was flooded from the hurricane.  All the smaller gravel was washed away leaving bigger gravel.  It doesn't appear to have been fixed yet.

We stopped mid-way along the towpath to take some pictures.

Here's a not so muddy part of the towpath:

After 6 miles we got off the towpath and decided to stick to the roads and we biked another 10 miles.

My legs felt tired on our bike ride, especially on some of the hills toward the end.  Perhaps spinning on Thursday night and a Saturday bike ride are too close together.

This can count as dinner, right?

Sunday the bananas I picked up at the store Friday afternoon already looked like this:

So I turned them into this: 

Then we went to a greyhound adoption group (the one we got Molly from) fundraiser at a local winery.

Molly made some friends:


And we picked up some wine and random locally made salsa & pickles being sold at the event.
Then we came home and made apple crisp.

There are seven apples in the apple crisp.  And there are still 10 apples leftover.
We're debating trying to make apple sauce...or just making another apple crisp.

Because my legs were tired on our bike ride Saturday I decided to postpone Sunday's long run until Monday.  I think it was a good idea to give my legs a rest instead of having a crummy long run...My legs hadn't had a day off since Tuesday.

What was the highlight of your weekend?
Anything fun planned for next weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ladies' Night

...but not the kind at a bar on Thursday nights during college.

On Tuesday night, a running store in the City of Brotherly love hosted a "Ladies' Night" sponsored by Nike.  There was a Nike fall fashion show, snacks, and drinks. The event included $20 store credit, 10% off Nike purchases, Nike grab bag items for all that came, and some prizes being raffled off.  Also, I had a gift card for this store that I've been sitting on since back in May.

This trip also gave me the pleasure of driving through the "Occupy Philly" demonstration across from City Hall at rush hour.  So people with ridiculous signs like this were crossing the road each time the light changed.

Since we cancelled cable this summer and I only look at the newspaper every other day or so, I didn't realize what it was until after I got home and thought about it that night (I also didn't realize these protests were sprouting up in places other than Wall Street).  What pained me the most is that the maker of this sign -- which I did see in person -- did not know how to make a proper %.

Back to running.

For the "grab bag" item, we could pick between a headband/earwarmer, a white hat, and a drawstring backpack- I chose the headband because I have plenty of hats and a couple of those backpacks and only one thermal headband.  Sadly my name was not called for any of the raffles (including a head-to-toe outfit including shoes!), but I did use up my store credit and gift card. 

I came home with this:

It's my first time trying the Miler tee, but I really like it! It fits well and is very soft to the touch. I want a long sleeve one too! Luckily it's not cold enough for the ear warmer yet. The socks are the same kind I got from RRS last year, and I still like them, so I thought it was worth getting more.  I have the Fiona bra already in a different color. It's not the "sexiest" sports bra, if such a thing exists, but it's very supportive.

Wednesday after work I decided to try out my new shirt on a run.

I am SO serious about speed work.

My plan was to run 1 mile warm up, 3 x [1600m@8:45, 400m rest interval], 1 mile cool down.  

It was almost dark out by the time I got outside (hence my white shorts and reflective headband).  It was about 60 out, and there was a light mist which was actually refreshing toward the end of my run. 

Check it out:

Success!  And I have the sweat to prove it.  Molly also looked on.

Verdict: I really like this shirt!  It's female-shaped, but not too thin or clingy.  There are mesh panels along the side for ventilation.  Reflective logo on the front left chest, each sleeve, and back.  Actually that back tab at the collar is for "cord management," but I don't really see myself using it to wire headphones through.

Most importantly, the miler tee was clearly what made my mile repeats successful!

Oh and tonight I went to spinning, but didn't stay for the abs class.  Work kicked my butt today/this week and an hour of spinning was good enough for me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Miles

Thanks for the shoe feedback in my last post.

Saturday, Dan and I rode our bikes 15 miles, got lunch, then rode 15 miles home.


We ate at a place with outdoor seating.  The weather was perfect for being outside - mid 70s and sunny.  We got sandwiches then split a piece of pumpkin cheesecake.  As good as a cold beer sounded, we stuck with water.  One of the last times we did this, we got beer at lunch and I think we/our legs got tired on the way home as a result.

Check out how low the water in the canal is, I don't get it.

Half of the distance was on hilly roads; half was along a towpath.  The hilly part is probably laughable for those of you reading that live in more mountainous areas.

Proof that I was there too.

Part of our adventure included navigating past this sign/fence, about 3 miles from our destination.  They are still rebuilding parts of the towpath and the spillways after the flooding from over a month ago.

Another guy on a bike came along a couple minutes later while we were contemplating our course of action and he said that last week the path was fine past this sign.  That was good enough for us.  We squeezed ourselves and our bikes between the fence and the trees/scratchy bushes and kept on going.  We only had one beeping bulldozer to pedal past (surprised they were actively working on a Saturday). 

 Only got a little muddy going through the work zone on the way home.  Molly made sure we were ok.

We got home RIGHT before sunset...good timing.  Total bike ride was ~30.4 miles.  Some Victory Festbier was enjoyed upon returning home.


I went for a 10 mile run.  This was my longest run since the trail half marathon.  And aside from races, this was my longest run since September 4th.  Less than half of my miles were on a trail through a park, the rest was roads.

I ran 10 miles in 1 hour 46 minutes (10:33 pace).  Looking at my current plan, that's about Half Marathon Pace + 30 seconds.  My plan has HMP + 20 for that run...but considering it was 85 degrees out (yikes!) and I biked 30 miles the day before, I think I did ok. 

It was warm enough that I went through my entire 20 oz handheld water bottle and I refilled it from a park drinking fountain about 2/3 of the way through my run.  I snacked on some Peach Tea Gu chomps that I picked up at the expo last month.  I really like that flavor!


Thanks to Mr. Columbus, it might have been a long weekend for some, but not for me.  I worked today then went to boot camp at night. 

Over the course of an hour we did lots of: planks, crunches, Russian twists, pushups, weights for triceps & chest, lunges, squats, some laps around the indoor track, bosu ball lunges and squats.

Once again, I'm sure I'll be sore in the morning.  Hopefully not as bad as last week. Tomorrow will be a rest day though!

What's your favorite class at the gym?

What's the best thing you did this past weekend?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Spin Fail

Thursday night I tried to spin.  Look how excited I was.

 Take 1 and Take 2.  
Both are included because of Molly Waffles lurking in the background.
Check out that downward dog.

But I got to the gym with over 10 minutes to spare before the class started only to find it was full.  I thought I'd be ok because last week the same class was only 2/3 full.  I incorrectly assumed the beginning-of-semester hype had worn off. 

I was disheartened.

I wear different shoes for running than I do for spinning, so I did not want to stick around at the gym to play on the treadmill.  And it was nice out, so if I as going to run it would be outside, not at the gym.  I drove home and saved up all my leg energy for Friday morning when I planned to get in a run before work.

Then because I was dressed in workout clothes for nothing, I took the above two thumbs-up pictures after I got home.  Tricky, I know.

Friday morning I was proud of myself for waking up shortly after 6:30 am to slowly begin getting ready for an hour-ish long run.  I laid everything out the night before and yet somehow it took me 20 minutes to leave.  I think I did hit snooze once though.  And I may still have been half asleep while trying to put my contacts in.

I ran 5 miles at an average pace of 10:45.  It started off at a comfortable pace, and when I emerged from the park my pace quickened by about :40/mile.  It wasn't quite the 6 I had hoped to get in, but I'll take it.  It's the longest I have run since the trail half on the 25th.

After work, Dan and I pumped up our bike tires after neglecting them for the past month.  We went for a quick almost-4 mile bike ride to make sure our bike muscles still worked.  It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend so I'm hoping we can go for a longer bike ride.

Now for an important question.  I'm going to buy another pair of running shoes soon.

I really liked my Asics GT 2150s that I wore this spring and summer.  I put 400 miles on them.  They have held up really well!  Over the summer I bought the slightly less supportive and slightly lower heeled Asics 1160.  There's nothing wrong with them, they've been an ok pair of shoes, and I ran my Philly half in them.  I don't think I ever reviewed them though.  They have about 200ish miles on them right now, so I will still wear them, but I wanted to get a more cushioned pair for my upcoming longer runs.

I'm 99% decided on returning to the next version of the 2150: the 2160.  I know color is not the most important factor in a running shoe.  But since I know this style works for me, I'm going to worry about color.  My last few pairs have been white + blue or white + pink which is kind of boring.

Check these out!

Grey + yellow is one of my favorite color combinations.  Unfortunately that's only for the trail shoe.  And while I run in parks, it's not the bulk of my running and my November half will be on roads.  So I guess I just wanted to give Asics some credit for a nice grey + yellow shoe.

The two colors I liked better on the road version are above.  Neither really matches my existing running "wardrobe" so that's not a consideration.

Which color combo do you prefer:
Grey + Green/Yellow   --Or--   Grey + Light Blue + Orange?

What are your weekend plans?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...