Saturday, November 30, 2013

Leaf Running

No Black Friday or Small Business Saturday shopping for me, but I've completed my third run for the week. This time I found another friend to run with who was willing to try the Galloway intervals with me.  The snow from last weekend is gone, just a bunch of crunchy leaves on the trail.
crunch, crunch, crunch
So perfectly timed thanks to my interval timer!

I have begun to notice issues with my left knee again.  I actually called the orthopedic last week to request another round of Euflexxa injections.  While I'm not thrilled that my knee seems to need treatment again, this is actually not a bad time of year to do it.  I'm hoping the medicine comes in next week so we can schedule to start early the week after that.  It will require me to take a break from running (but I'll probably try to run just a few intervals a couple times a week) for a few months, but I should be back in full force by end of January.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday

Remember when I mentioned LLBean allowing me to return my move master glide shoes that I bought in February?  Well they processed my return yesterday. Customer service like that really earns my loyalty.  I turned around and re-spent the refund (and then some) on a few items for winter running & dog walking.    
Sugoi SubZero tights & Sporthill Ultimate Visibility top
Got to try out the Galloway Interval Timer this morning.  LOVE.IT.  Oh my goodness, it is so much easier than doing the math while running.  Enabled me to enjoy my run.  I really think I must be a weirdo, because I didn't even balk at the 23deg temps.  It really does make for an exhilarating run experience.

I'm thankful that both kids will be spending Thanksgiving with us. Daughter drove home last night.  We both work this morning, but then she will help me begin to prepare the feast. Son flies in tonight, assuming his flight is running and on time.  That storm that came through our way over the weekend is wreaking havoc as it moves east.  Even though he is flying from California, I wouldn't be surprised if his flight is delayed.  Fingers crossed.

Hope you all are having  a Wonderful Wednesday too!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday was the last opportunity for me to run with my long time running partner and friend before she moves away.  I asked her if she'd Galloway with me and she obliged.  Actually she really enjoyed it.  Too bad we didn't think of this years ago!  Afterwards we had coffee and snacks and chatted.  I was devastated a few weeks ago when she told me she was moving, but there were no tears on Saturday.  Instead we shared laughter, smiles, and enjoyed this final time together. 

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

When the mail arrived, I was thrilled to find a small package containing my new Galloway timer.  Doing math while running is hard!  We had actually walked through one entire run section Saturday morning because I lost track of time.  That won't happen now.  Got it programmed for a 3:1 interval for Monday morning and set it aside.
Interval timer all set up for my Galloway intervals
But...that morning run isn't happening.  We also got our first snow of the season yesterday. Which means today the roads are icy.  The schools (even the university) are on a 2 hr delay. By tomorrow morning the snow and ice should be gone.  Who knows, it might even be gone by the time I get home from work today. But this morning, the roads are in no condition for running without modified shoes. I think if I lived somewhere that had more snowy/icy conditions I'd invest in yaktracks or make some screw shoes.  But since this only happens a few days each year where I live, so it's not worth it for me.  I'll just take a rest day instead.
The beginnings of the first snow of the season
The storm that passed through our way over the weekend is heading east.  Stay safe if it comes your way.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Four

Stormy Sky at Daybreak
Stormy Skies: We are currently under a winter storm advisory. The weather forecast for today and through the weekend seems ominous. However, I know from experience that stormy skies are a recipe for beautiful sunrises. I made sure to arm myself with my camera at daybreak to capture the moment!

I actually took two photos, the one I took a few moments after this one is much more pink/purple. But I think I like the contrast in this one better, so this is what I'm sharing with you.

Miscalculations: I was supposed to run with a friend this morning.  I was fairly sure she would bail on the run due to weather, so I made it a point to run late yesterday afternoon instead.  Looking at my data from the run (another Galloway style run-walk-run), I realize that I made a significant miscalculation

Allow me to explain.  I had been thinking that with a 3:1 run:walk ratio, that I would end up running 75% of a half marathon, 9.8 miles, and walking the remaining 25%. From a distance perspective, this is something I'm fairly sure my knee can handle. But while this is true from a time perspective, it is not true from a distance perspective!  D'oh! It looks like I'm running about 83% of the distance in my training runs, walking only 17%.  That means I would end up running almost 11 miles of a half marathon.  That sounds like a lot for my knee.  So depending on how it goes, I may need to modify the run:walk ratio, assuming I actually pursue a half marathon.  But then again, maybe with walk breaks, my knee can handle a longer distance.  Time will tell..

Keep on Steppin': My step count this week continues to go well.  I was wearing my pedometer when I went to the chiropractor yesterday and needed to take it off during the adjustment. I set it on the counter. She glanced over at it and seemed genuinely impressed with my step count given the early hour of my appointment.  Huzzah!

Random quirky pet story for the day: One of my cats likes to jump up on the desk and walk across my laptop before sitting down and watching me work.  Usually, when she does this, it results in turning off my wifi and taking a screen shot.  Every.Time.  It's frustrating, but cute.  Anyway, this morning she must have be resting on my laptop when I walked out to use the restroom.  I came back and she had managed over 1000 screen captures!  What the heck?!?!?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I decided in my head that I would try out this Galloway Run-Walk-Run thing, and by golly, I actually put it into practice this morning. 

Here are my thought after my initial attempt:
  • The 3:1 ratio seems like a good place for me to start.
  • I ran faster in the run portions than I usually do for a training run, this wasn't intentional, it just sort of happened.
  • I like walk breaks, who knew?!?
  • Timing this manually sucked.  A Galloway Gym Boss interval timer thing is on it's way, it just hasn't arrived yet.
  • There are two Galloway training plans for half marathons, one for those just wanting to finish and one for those wanting to finish within a certain time.  Since I haven't done a half marathon for 4 years and have been told that my half marathon days are over, I think I'll go with the "just finish" plan.  
  • I'm not fully committed to training for a half marathon, but I am committed to trying the Galloway method at least until the end of the year.
  • Jeff Galloway is nearly 70 and still running marathons, he must be doing something right.
  • I'm not sure any of my other running friends will do this with me, but I guess that's okay.
  • This whole endeavor has sparked some new excitement/interest that I haven't felt since I first started running.  That's got to be a good thing! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Miscellany

  • I'm probably one of the slowest people on the planet to get into the Christmas spirit. Everyone around me is anxious to start decorating for Christmas, start shopping for Christmas, etc. I, however, probably won't get the tree up until the week before Christmas. But my lack of spirit didn't stop me from joining a blogger Christmas card swap. Come join in the fun! Head over to Zaneta's blog and join the Christmas Card Swap.  
  • Back in February, I bought a pair of Merrell Mix Master Move Glide shoes from LLBean.  Then I bought a second pair from REI.  About 6 weeks later, I realized that these shoes were bothering my knee.  So I stopped running in them. Yesterday I was cleaning up the area where I keep some of my fitness things and remembered that LLBean has one of the most awesome return policies: 100% guarantee policy, regardless of how long you've had the item.  I had to check with a customer service rep just to make sure, but yes, they mean it. Talk about customer satisfaction guaranteed! So I boxed them up and dropped them off at UPS. I fully intend to purchase something else from LLBean when I get the refund, but I haven't figured out what that is going to be. In any event, they have earned a customer for life.
  • Maybe I'm crazy, but I think I'm beginning to love cold weather running. I find it exhilarating. I'm sure it helps that we hardly get any precipitation so I rarely have to worry about snowy or icy conditions.
  • Had a HATastrophe this weekend:  One of my beloved wool hats accidentally ended up in the laundry.  It's now child-sized. Wahhhh!! 
  • I'm super sad because my running partner is moving away at the end of the month. I don't even know how to verbalize my feelings about this, so I'll just leave it at that.
  • Have any of you ever used the Galloway method?  I'm getting the itch to run another half marathon even though my orthopedic doctor told me that my half marathon running days are over.  I was thinking of trying a Galloway 3:1 on my training runs and seeing what happens.  Since I'll be running solo for the foreseeable future, I figure it will at least give me something new to occupy my time while running. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mid-Month Tally

Since we've reached the middle of the month, I thought I'd check numbers to see how my month was shaping up.  Here's what it looks like so far:

  • Running: 8 times over the past 15 days, or roughly every other day for a total of 25.5 miles.  Nothing too far or too fast, just getting out the door and getting in some easy morning runs.   
  • Fitness Walking: I define this as intentional brisk walking of at least .5  which I've logged at total of 14 times over the past 15 days or roughly every day for a total of 15.1 miles.  I only logged 14 miles fitness walking last month, so this is really shaping up nicely.
  • Step Count: Averaging closer to 10K steps per day than my 12K step goal, but I feel this is still pretty good.  I'm wearing a pedometer and this counts all steps, not just intentional fitness activities and equates to an average of about 5 miles per day.
  • Cycling:  Nada.  I've actually had a few opportunities, I just have chosen not to ride.  Spending my time on my feet instead.
  • Other:  I've actually done some 'pseudo-yoga' over the past few days.  Maybe 10-15mins at a time. It's a start!
  • Favorite New Running Item:  Nike Mix All Time Jacket.  I realized that part of the reason I never run in the rain (besides the fact that New Mexican's melt in the rain) is that I don't have anything waterproof. Hey, when you get 9" or so of rain per year, it just isn't a priority. Well now I do, at least for chilly days. Got to test it by walking my dogs in a chilly 40s-and-raining afternoon. I think it will be good for running in wind as well, seems to do a good job blocking the wind and that is something we experience fairly often.  
How is your month shaping up?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Running on Empty

You may have picked up from my monthly summaries that I have traveled back to Ohio to see my Mom a few times during the past few months.  Her health is very poor.  Over the last few days she seems to have gotten much worse. It's not looking good.

This morning I needed my run just to stay sane. No Garmin, just me and my running shoes and some winter running gear.  I was out before the sun came completely up over the mountains and probably could have left my sunglasses at home.

However, oncoming traffic may have needed sunglasses; this particular jacket is a BRIGHT neon yellow.  I don't think this photo does it justice. It served it's purpose, I'm confident that I was visible.

I"m guessing I only ran about two miles. Afterwards, I took the dogs for a short walk. It helped.  I feel like I'm ready to face whatever today might bring...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Step Count Data

I've mentioned that I'm participating in a walk-for-wellness 10,000 steps per day challenge at work.  I thought that I'd share my data from the beginning of the challenge.

One thing that I've noticed is that my 'step count' was averaging closer to my personal goal of 12,000 steps per day until this past week.  Suddenly it has dropped closer to the 10,000 steps per day.  Not surprising, this drop in step count seems to correspond to the recent time change.

I'm not too upset with my drop in activity level, though.  I feel that I've been doing a good job of getting runs done in the morning so far, and really it's not very realistic that I would maintain the same activity level now that I had when days were longer. I do think I need to "step it up" and start walking my dogs in the morning since my normal routine of walking them after work isn't going to be happening.  It may be a good idea to add in yoga; that's not step intensive, but anything that gets me moving is a good thing.

I really like this challenge because it's giving me a measurable way to stay accountable to my fitness goals besides just measuring distance running, etc.  Have you ever monitored your activity level on an ongoing basis using a pedometer or similar device?  And what do you do to keep your activity level up when days get shorter?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Upside of Cold Weather Running

I admit it, there is one part of winter running that I love: that moment when I get to choose which fun winter hat to wear.  A few photos from over the years that show part of my collection.  Oh yes, believe me, there are more, many more...

Am I alone in loving the winter hat as a running fashion accessory?
Just a handful of additional hat choices (still not all of them!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

In Which I Need to Adapt

Not where each of you are on the continuum from "love it" to "hate it" but if you live in state or country or province that recognizes daylight savings vs. standard time, at some point you need to adapt when the time changes from one to the other.

This past weekend we saw daylight savings time come to an end. With that end, my after-work running also comes to an end.  But with change comes new opportunity! The time change affords me the opportunity to run in the morning before work, at least for a little while. And really, what better way to start the week than with a morning run?  So I donned my cold weather gear and met a friend for a run this morning. We plan to do the same again on Wednesday.

How do you feel about the time change?  Do you find that you also need to adapt?

[edited to add:  I live in a rural residential area with no street lights and no sidewalks.  I do not feel that it is safe to run after dark in my particular neighborhood.]

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Oct Tally

  • 178.2 miles by bike
  • 30.7 miles running
  • 16.0 miles fitness walking
  • ~12K steps per day on average
  • 1 bike event
  • 2 weeks alone with husband out of country
  • 1 trip to OH
  • 1 gym membership cancelled
  • 1 weekend with injured dog
  • My fitness goals were to run 3 x per week, get in 1-2 mid week rides per week + 1 long weekend ride per week, and achieve 12K steps per day on average.  I give myself a B-, C+, & A on these goals.  We also registered for the 100K ride and completed 73K of it.  I give myself a B on that as well.
  • I need goals for Nov/Dec and haven't determined them yet.  With the time change, it's going to get interesting.  One thing that I ought to register for right away is the Jingle Bell run; we do that almost every year.
  • Continue wearing the pedometer and aim for 12k steps on average through the end of the month