Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finally - a solo long run that I'm proud of!

Wow - less than four weeks until Disney! I actually had a pretty good run yesterday so I'm starting to feel a little less nervous about it. Let's face it, I'm training about half as I hard as I did the first time around. I might get a couple of short runs in plus a long run and that's about it. No cross training, no strength training (except for that one class that left me in pain for days), no yoga, no short run over 4 miles, etc... My current "training plan" (if you want to call it that) is pretty bare bones.

So anyway, yesterday, I was scheduled for a 12 mile run. I could have easily done it on the nearby trail but I know the trail can get sort of monotonous after awhile so I decided to copy my long run from the last week. I ran a 4 mile loop around my neighborhood that has some decent hill work twice and then ran the last four miles with an out and back run on the trail.

And it worked out great! Normally on these long runs, I always want to cheat and take too many walking breaks but this time I was really good. I only stopped to refuel with water and/or my sport beans (thinking about using those instead of Gu). The hills were tough but I think they served as sort of a fun diversion where instead of focusing on how many miles I have left, I would focus on tackling an upcoming hill instead.

I felt I ran at a comfortable pace and even with the hills, stoplights, dodging pedestrian and car traffic, and all my refuel breaks (which I took at miles 4, 6, 8, 10, and 11), I still finished the 12 miles at a 10:57 min/mi pace. I would be thrilled to finish with that as my marathon pace! But I know... 12 miles is a big difference from 26.2.

This weekend will be my peak long run of 18 miles. I had all these grand plans to run in different locations but I have a feeling that this one will also be in LG, just like all my other long runs. It's just so convenient and it's nice to be so close to home just in case. It definitely came in handy last weekend when I was freezing at mile 10 of my 16 mile run. So I ran the mile home, changed into a long sleeve T-shirt, put on my running gloves, and headed back out to finish my run. Sort of. I may have actually plopped down on my couch for a bit to rest a little. Or a lot. According to my Nike plus log, it may have actually been an hour long break. :) But I did finish the last five miles that day!

In other news, I won my first Nike plus challenge!

(But to be honest, I think Gee let me win.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Update on Nike Plus Challenge

Dude - my challenger is giving me a run for my money (pun fully intended). I thought I would sail through this challenge when I had logged 18 miles by Monday morning and Gee had a big fat ZERO.

And now look where we are!!!

Nippin' at my heels!

It's dark, I'm tired... darn you, Gee!


Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Virtual 8 on the 8th Race Report

I was able to sleep in for this raceSo I recently discovered a whole online community of runners with blogs just like mine! I've been having fun reading through a lot of them as it's cool to hear about other races and hear from other runners that have similar interests (and challenges!) as me.

Through these blogs, I learned about this "virtual" race called 8 on the 8th (8 miles on December 8th). And well, I had to run 16 miles anyway so I figured, why not?

Doing my long runs in preparation for the Disney Marathon has been tough for me, since I'm used to running these distances with a running group. I decided to split my 16 mile run into two eight mile runs.

I'm using the first set of eight for this "race". For this course, I ran my usual 4 mile loop twice, stopping only once for a water/gatorade break. This was definitely a slow route since I go through some of the neighborhoods where it's a bit hilly as well as through downtown LG where I had to deal with the crowds and stoplights and stuff. And it also didn't help that I didn't start until 1PM in the afternoon! It was primetime then.

It was funny because when I was running down Main St, I passed a lady walking her dog. I saw her again when I passed that area during the second loop. Looks like she had done a little shopping since I last saw her. She recognized me as well, and with an amused smile, she commented, "Wow, still going?" Ha - if she only knew! I think I was at mile 5 of 16 at that point.

Anyway, I finished the 8 miles in 1:33:59, 11:43 min/mi pace. Not my typical "race" pace for this distance, but I was proud of the fact that I only stopped at the halfway point to refuel and immediately got back to work. I tackled those hills on the second go-around just as I did the first time.

It was fun reading the race reports from other bloggers... some even included playful photos for their virtual race.

Anyway, that was the first 8. The second eight was not quite as smooth. I'll post on that next time. But for now, time to finish some work before getting some much needed sleep!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Live results tracking posted here!

My split times (10K, 21K, 30K, 40K, and Finish) for the Walt Disney World marathon will now be posted here. So check in here on January 13th to see how I'm doing! Race starts at 6AM and I will finish around 11AM-12PM. (EST, of course)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My first challenge!

Oooh... I am so excited - I just received my first Nike plus challenge!!! This will definitely fire me up :) Thanks, Gee!

Fighting the aches and pains

I woke up this morning feeling worse than I did yesterday. That strength training class really did a number on me. I guess I should have eased into weights instead of jumping into the one hour full body workout class. Maybe it's good that I didn't do any running yesterday.

Anyway, I have soreness in all sorts of unusual places for me - my triceps, abs, hamstrings, gluts, etc. However, I am proud to say that I fought the pain and still carried on with my 4 mile run this morning - with hills, too!

And I also don't feel so bad about my inactivity at the gym lately. My gym just set up online user profiles that tracks your gym activity. Here's what I found when I logged in today:

The following information represents your time at the club:

Current Month-to-Date:
0 visits (lie! I went yesterday!)

Current Year-to-Date:
110 visits

Your Average Visits per week in 2007:

Average Visits per week for other members at your club:
0.9 visits

Your relative percentile for visits:
in the top 10.6%

Not bad, right? Especially considering I pretty much skipped two months completely.

Anyway, last night I received something fun in the mail - my 2008 Walt Disney World Marathon Guide! I'm pretty excited. I'll provide more scoop in another post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Super sore...

I wasn't in the mood for a morning run in the rain yesterday so I went to Plan B. I ended up going to my gym after work for this hour long strength training class followed by a fake track workout on the dreadmill treadmill.

This is big for me - because unfortunately I haven't been to my gym in months!!! Well, except for the pre- and post-marathon massages. So sad when I think about the monthly membership fees that have been wasted...

I really liked my strength training class but wow, my muscles are weak! I used to go to this class all the time before marathon training kicked in. I used to try to do some stuff at home like push ups and abs and stuff while I watched TV but it's been awhile since I've done that. So I was really feeling it during class! We did a bunch of chest presses with the body bar and after that, we did push ups - my arms almost gave out on me! Luckily, everyone else was moaning and laughing at themselves so I didn't feel too bad.

After class, I went to the treadmill for some intervals. I did a short warm up run, followed by a 400, 800, and 400 at a 9:30 min/mi pace. It went well and I felt it was a good speed workout for me. I still don't enjoy running on the treadmill, but at least this time the 30 minutes just seemed to fly by.

I was going to run again this morning but didn't wake up in time. I was going to sneak out at 4PM to run on this trail near work, but alas, I got sucked into a conference call. Ah well, maybe I'll squeeze in another run on Sunday instead.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Dude. I woke up early, got dressed, waited until the sun came up a little and got ready to do my morning run. With my ipod in hand and house key pinned to my pants, I open the door ...





Monday, December 3, 2007

Training during the holidays... what was I thinking?

Apologies in advance, but this is going to be one of those whiny blogs. I knew training for Disney would be tough since it would include all those wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays. And boy, was I right!

For the last two weeks, my only workouts were two runs each week. Thanksgiving week was my 3 miler and the Turkey Trot 5 miler. And then I came home and did I jump back into training? Nope. I even had a packed gym bag ready to go in my car for the entire week, too. So sad. And it's hard to get the runs in during the week. The sun isn't really up until 7AM and then it's pitch black by 5PM! Lunchtime runs don't work too well for me since it would be take me too long to shower and get ready again.

Anyway, enough of the whining. By the time Friday rolled around, I forced myself to get in a short morning run. I was welcomed with a fun new surprise - frigid morning weather! I could see my breath when I got out there. I think I started out too fast in an effort to warm up a bit. But I pushed myself to do my 5K run and managed to finish with a 9:50 min/mi pace. So yay for me because I am always tempted to slow down and take walk breaks whatever distance I run.

The 14 miles on Saturday was tough since I haven't fully conditioned myself back into the normal training routine. But I did it! It worked out really well, too, because I hadn't run with TNT in awhile and lucky for me, they were meeting at 8AM at Campbell Park for a short run. That was about 5 miles from my apartment so I just left my house at 7AM, ran the trail to Campbell Park, met up with them for four miles, chit chatted with everyone afterward, and then ran the 5 miles back to my apartment - 14 miles total! Perfect, huh? Although, I was jealous that they went to Stack's for a post run meal while I still had to run home. My legs felt like jello by the time I got back! I went back into old lady mode limping around later that day but I was fine by that evening.

So now it's a new week and a fresh start to get the training going! For REAL, this time! Here's my goal (and by posting it here, I'm hoping it will force me to follow through):

Tues: short run
Weds: short run
Thurs: short run
Fri: rest
Sat: 16 miles
Sun: rest

I'm not sure what kind of short runs I will do yet. I normally have two: 1) my 5K run that I try to complete in under a 10:00 min/mi pace and 2) my 4 mi run around my neighborhood with some baby hills to get the heart rate up a little. My other options are a 5 or 6 miler to get a little bit of a longer run in mid-week or some speed training on the track.

Ideally, I'd like to squeeze one strength training class in as well so we'll see.

I could really use some good motivation right now - training by myself isn't working as well as I thought it would... :P
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