Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to Business

My knee is feeling much better after a few days rest. Yay! I was actually able to complete my 10mile long run this afternoon.

What went well:

The run/walk thing is working pretty well for me. I think this will allow me to complete the half marathon mostly pain & injury free. I'm especially pleased at how my knee is feeling after the run.

Nutrition plan is working okay. I carried three 8oz bottles filled with Accelerade, one 8 oz bottle filled with water, and a cell phone on my hydration belt. I carried two gels in my pockets. I took one gel at mile 5. Never took the other. I drank everything; it seemed like just enough. I think carrying the same on the half marathon, plus taking advantage of aid stations will be a good plan for me.

I decided to run in my new navy and orange running skirt. It was awesome. I definately want weather that allows me to run in that on race day. I'm also toying with the idea of wearing it for one of my sprint triathlons this year, the only downside is lack of padding for the bike.

What didn't go so well:

I'm not sure how to feel about my average pace of 12:56 min/mi. today. Here's the dilema. I'm actually supposed to be targetting 50-90seconds slower than my target race pace. I need to run just under 11:30 on race day, so 12:56 for my long easy run is just inside the window. Technically, it was a good pace for a training run. However, I'm honestly not sure that I *can* go much faster than that on race day. Once again, my splits show me slowing down by about 15-20 seconds per mile over the course of the 10 mile run. No negative or even splits for me, and it's not for lack of trying. So I couldn't speed it up for the last few miles today, why should I believe I can speed it up on race day for the whole thing?!?!


10 mile run accomplished. Run/walk interval working out nicely. Nutrition on track. Running skirts rock.

Confidence of hitting goal time, not so high at the moment. But we have a few weeks to work on that, right?!?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Week in Review

We're back home and I'm working my way through a huge pile of laundry while trying to stay awake and figure out what to eat for dinner.

I'll sleep well tonight, the travel home last night/this morning was exhausting!

We've been to Hawaii (Maui) before, but this was our first trip to the Big Island. It's definately big!! I learned that it's bigger than all the other Hawaiin Islands put together. It's quite amazing; it's almost like a little mini continent will a very diverse terrain: rainforests, a snow capped mountain, sunny beaches, lava rock coasts, etc. If you've ever considered going there for a visit, do it!!

I never got tired of the beautiful sunsets. I can still imagine sipping a pina colada and watching the sun go down. Ahhhhhh.

Husband, Son, and Daughter liked Hapuna Beach best, so much that we went back for a second visit. The beach has a very fine white sand and decent waves for body surfing.

Another favorite from the trip was Waipio valley. Husband and Son hiked all they way down (1000ft) into it, Daughter and I only went halfway. I managed to tweak my knee coming back up and had to take it easy on stairs for a few days and skipped my Friday run. Bummer.

While we were there, there was some excitement with the volcano. Kilauea had an explosive eruption for the first time since 1924 and afterwards started sending up ash instead of just gas/steam. Daughter and I got a fairly good look at it as we were flying in. We didn't make the drive to visit the volcano (much of the drive and overlook was closed off due to damage from the eruption) but I've been following along daily at the HVO website. Pretty cool.

This last photo is Mauna Kea with snow on it (north part of the island). We had a really clear view of it one day; other days, couldn't see it at all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Really, I'm training too!

First off, I know that I'm behind in cathing up with all of you. I'm very sorry about that. I'll catch up when I get home this weekend, I promise.

We still have a few days left here. A typical vacation day for us usually includes spending time at the beach or pool in the early morning, then cleaning up and heading out to explore the island.

We've been up and down the west coast, which is the dry side. There are several historic places to visit and learn about the history of the island. We've also explored the rainier side on the east coast which is where the waterfalls and rainforest areas can be found.

It's not all beaches and waterfalls here on the Big Island for me, I'm actually working through my half marathon training as well.

Before leaving, I made a point of getting in my long run for the weekend. I did the 9:1 walk run. I'm very happy with how that felt and even happier with my splits. I think the even miles were ones with two walk breaks and the odd miles were ones with one walk break. So it was fairly even once I got warmed up.

And on the island, I'm experiencing the wonders of oxygen. On Monday I ran 3 miles in just under 30minutes. And this morning, I ran 5 miles in just under 52 minutes, including walk breaks. What a different it makes to be at sea level rather than 5000ft!! Some day, I'd really like to do a race at a lower altitude.

That's all for now...have a great day everyone!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Checking in

We've arrived safely and are having a nice time.

I'm sure I'll have stories to tell when we get home.

But for now I'll simply leave you with a few photos.

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Working toward goals

The half mary is one calendar month from today. I'm going to take a risk and share my race goals. I reserve the right to modify as the race gets closer, but here's what I'm thinking:

A: PB with a finish under 02:30:00
B: PB (anything under 02:36:58)
C: Finish without pain
D: Finish without injury


With this in mind, I practiced half-marathon pacing and my run/walk interval on the treadmill this morning. I finished 4.5 miles in 51minutes. This is on track (barely) to my A goal *if* I could achieve it on the road and maintain it over the full 13.1 miles. I have no idea if that's possible.

In other news, Husband & I celebrated our 19th anniversary yesterday. We had a low key celebration because both kids were performing in band concerts yesterday, but I want to share something that he gave me.

He made this shirt for me. You should recognize the silouette from my blog. And it's on a technical t-shirt for me to run in. The really cool thing is that he hand cut the stencil and silk screened this himself.

I would have modeled it for you, but I wore it to the gym this morning and it stinks too much to put back on. LOL.

In other news, we're leaving soon for Hawaii, so if I disappear from blogland for a while, you'll know why.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So-So Saturday

The weather was actually beautiful this morning. Perfect running weather. However, I had personal commitments from early morning to mid afternoon and couldn't get outside to attempt my 8-9mile run until late in the afternoon.

When I started out, it was definately breezy, but the run seemed doable. It didn't take long and the wind started to pick up. At first, I just thought of it as resistance training. But the real problem here in New Mexico isn't the wind; it's the sand/dust that accompanies the wind. Soon, I was being sandblasted. It felt like someone was stabbing me with hundreds of needles, but the deal breaker was sand in the eyes. At that point, I knew I needed to throw in the towel. I ended up cutting it short by about 2.5 miles.

I'm not happy that I haven't done the full scheduled 8-9 miles. I'm cautiously optimistic that I still might be able to go the distance this weekend if I'm able get outside tomorrow early afternoon after church.

No matter what happens for the rest of the weekend, I am going to focus on a few positive things:

1 - I completed a 5.45 mile run. I didnt see a single other runner out there in the afternoon wind/sand storm. I rock.
2 - I tried a new run/walk interval. 9min run, 1 min walk. Usually I do this by distance instead of time (more like run .9miles, walk .1 miles). I liked this new interval and will try it again next time.
3 - I felt good when I got home. Really good. Except for the sand in the eyes. I had to take my contacts out immediately and clean them. But other than that, I felt good.
4 - I ran in one of my running skirts. Not only are running skirts cute, they are extremely comfortable. Running skirts make me happy.
5 - I *heart* accelerade. I've experimented with different flavors, premix vs. powder, etc in the past year. Right now I'm using on the blue powder kind. I think I've found my favorite.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Who Ticked off the Weatherman?!?!?


I was planning on getting in an 8-9 mile run this afternoon, but the weather is definately not cooperating. I'm not a happy camper - the forcast isn't looking much better Saturday or Sunday. Pout.Pout.Pout. :(

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hump Day Miscellany

1) Husband is ready to graduate to clipless pedals. Yay!! I told him to buy the shoes, and I'll buy the pedals. I love my speedplay frogs, so that's what I'm getting for him. Two sets, one for the mountain bike he commutes on, one for the road bike we ride on weekends.

2) My car has visited the shop every day so far this week and still isn't fixed!! Sigh. Without going into it, let me just say that I am not very happy right now. I give up on it this week, maybe I'll have the energy to try again on Monday.

3) After getting some nice outside rides in the recent past, I'm back to truly dreading the treadmill. It is soooooooo boring. Anyway, squeaked out 2 miles Monday and 3.2 miles today. Both times, it was a mental challenge, but I got it done.

4) I don't know why, but I'm starting to become obsessed with the color orange. My scooter is orange. My cool weather scooter jacket is orange. I recently bought an orange tank top to run in. I've been looking for an orange HeadSweats hat (I don't think they make that color though...boooooo). I want a running skirt with orange in it. OhMyGosh OhMyGosh OhMyGosh!! Today I just discovered that has one that is navy and orange *and* is on sale while supplies last until Monday. That might be too good for me to pass up...

5) We leave for Hawaii in 10days or something like that. Need to start packing this weekend.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's Sunday evening already?

Where does the time go, people?

I didn't do anything noteworthy on Saturday, but I am now the proud owner of a freshly rebuilt alternator. And we've learned that AAA tows 3 miles free and then $5/mile. You're jealous already, I can tell. It's running now, but I still need to take my vehicle in for servicing on Monday. Sigh.

Today after church, I had another chance to head out on my scooter. It is so fun! Right now I'm riding on side streets, practicing manuevering etc. I live on a gravel road and the turn onto the gravel is very iffy. The rest went well.

I need to keep practicing. I'll probably take the MSF class in a month or so, and really want to do so on my scooter vs. their bikes. Just need to figure out how to transport the scooter.

Anyway, after fun and games on the scooter, Bandit and I went on a one mile 'training walk' (obedience work for him). Then I went back out to run hills. I messed up and didn't turn my garmin on until I was well into the run, so no pretty graphs or numbers today. D'oh!

(Edit: I've included a photo of my Bandit throwing himself onto the Banco and giving sad puppy dog eyes because the master has left without him. One thing that he is not doing...BARKING like a mad dog. Also, I just realized that I have already run 20 miles month to date and we're just past a week into the month. I'm VERY happy about both of those things.)

Tomorrow, I plan to get up early and get to the gym for a treadmill run. That will be more of a challenge thanks to Daylight savings time. Then I'll drop off the car for servicing and walk to work from there. Wish me luck!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fabulous Friday

Today I did a swim/bike/run of sorts. It wasn't the usual triathlon type, and also wasn't a brick. But it was a fun and satisfying day.


I spent a lot of time working on form today. Was also happy with the 400 in the middle today. I think that concentrating on form paid off.

100 - W/U
200 - 2x100 pull - drills
300 - 3x100 fins - drills
400 - mod/easy timed (8:31!)
300 - 100/100/100 pull/fins/crawl
200 - 4x50 breast up/crawl back
100 - cool down

(Motorized) Bike

Here's the deal. I bought my scooter in early Feb. Couldn't ride it the first weekend because I hadn't taken care of insurance. I was sick for the next two weekends and couldn't do much of anything, much less ride. Last weekend I could have ridden it, but didn't. Today, I *FINALLY* took it out for the first ride.

It was a lot of fun! I'm getting more comfortable with balance and handling and such. Hope to ride more tomorrow. I'm anxious to turn this into part of my regular commute.


7 mile EZ run, minimal walk breaks. Once again, I have it broken down by quarter miles. Overall pace ended up 12:28 min/mi, distance was 7.11mi.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's on my mind?

I took Sunday as a recovery day. My legs appreciated that greatly. Monday was 2 miles on the dreadmill and some time invested in stretching.Today was my strength work.

Blah blah blah, pretty boring, huh?

So what's on my mind? I've realized that I am more excited about the upcoming half marathon than I was for any of my races last year. I have spent some time thinking about possible reasons:

1) Husband is running with me. Running with Husband is awesome. I'd rather run with him at any distance than race alone.

2) I'm not afraid. Last year, I was afraid of not being able to finish, being last, or generally being slow. These days I'm more concerned about not starting than how long it takes to get to the finish line.

3) This is MY year. I choose to live MY life, chase MY goals, and race MY races. And the upcoming half happens to be one of them. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Numbers, numbers, numbers...

I must be insane, because I decided to repeat my 6.25 mile run on Saturday. It was such a beautiful day and I've missed running outside sooooo much. I couldn't help myself. My overall pace ended up being about the same, but it breaks down differently. I took fewer, but longer walk breaks. I got a call during mile 5 and answered the phone because I thought it might be my family. It wasn't. D'oh!

Splits by Mile:
10:30 (all run)
13:51 (extra long walk break - phone call)
10:30 (all run)
10:06 (.27 miles)

After looking at the numbers for my 1 miles splits, I wondered if I might be better at pacing my actual run than I think. The first and last full miles were identical. The middle miles have wide swings, but they also include walk breaks of varying lengths.

So, I decided to break it down to quarter mile splits and chart it for further analysis. The walk breaks clearly stand out this way, as does my actual running pace, which still isn't as even as I hoped.

I now believe that if I can get more disciplined about when/how long my walk breaks are, I might be able to set an overall pace target (like 11:30) and hit it. What do you think? If nothing else, it gives me something to work on...

I tallied up my Feb numbers. I ran just short of an extra 10miles on the last 2 days of the month, so it boosted my mileage significantly:

Ran - 36.5 miles
Swam - 1000 m or yds
Strength Sessions - 6

In summary - the month got off to a good start, then wasn't so good in the middle, but ended great in my mind because I feel like I'm back in the game.

One last thing. I was tagged by Molly

Since it's all about numbers for me today, here's 7 number facts regarding my past few years racing:

1 – Number of times I’ve won an age group award (also number of participants that showed up in my age group that day)
2 – Number of years that I've done chip-timed events (yes, I'm a newbie)
3 – Number of races I DNS in 2007 (2x 5K, sprint tri)
4 – Number of triathlons I completed in 2007 (2x sprint, 2x oly)
5 – Number of races Husband ran with me in 2007 (1x5K, 2x10K, 2xhalf mary)
6 – Number of different distances that I’ve raced (5K, 8K, 10K, half mary, Sprint, Oly)
7 – Number of races I completed in 2006 (6x5K, Sprint)