Monday, February 28, 2011

Recovery Week Runs

Last week I took it pretty easy, partially because my legs were really tired.
Sunday - The Half-Marathon! My Nike+ read only 11.64 and I didn't get it calibrated between the sun and exhaustion and stepping around people. Obviously I ran at least 13.1. I read that the average marathoner runs an extra .75 miles in a marathon from going around people or not taking the absolute shortest route around a corner. I could believe that I ran an extra .4 for 13.5. Oh, and 2:50:24 was the official time.
Monday - We took the kids out on a balance bike ride/ walk. It was about 1.25 miles but I upped the calibration trying to get credit for the distance of the Half during the month.
Tuesday - 3.08 miles. 43:08. Really I run/walked 30 minutes and then walked 15. I realized immediately that it was a mistake because my legs were just so tired.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - Slept.
Saturday - 5.82. 1:06:06. 11:21/mile. Again my legs were tired. I ran/walked about 40 minutes, then walked the rest of the way. Considering the amount of walking I'm stunned at the speed but I used my GPS so I know the mileage is right.
I also started walking the stairs at work like my co-worker suggested. I've been taking them first thing in the morning and then again later if I have time when going to the restroom or anything. Tuesday - Friday I did 7, 5, 7, 5 flights so 24 for the week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Half-Marathon Thoughts

My half-marathon run has come and gone. You can see pictures and results over on the family blog. Some further thoughts:
  • My time was not as good as I hoped. The hills took more out of me than I expected and I wasn't used to running in the humidity. My co-worker who ran the marathon for the umpteenth time said that for the marathon course the wind was really a factor and was on half-marathon as well. She estimates it put 20 minutes on her time.
  • I really went in circle about what to take, what to wear, what to carry. Until a week out, I assumed it would be cold and had a new pair of running tights. But it was not cold so that left me with shorts. I'm still not as happy running in shorts as I wish, dealing with the creep of the legs and chaffing. I also wanted to eat a banana ahead of time and we didn't have one. I knew I didn't want to wear my usual hydration belt because the placement of the bottles is awkward on my arm swing. Our race goodies included a free spibelt and I decided to wear it. The pocket was super stretchy but it still wouldn't hold my phone, key fob, work id, 2 gels, energy bar, and bottle of body glide. I bought a small bottle of body glide at the expo but even that didn't fit. So I sliced off two slices and wrapped them in saran wrap. It turned out I didn't need to worry about it as most aid stations had people holding out either tongue depressors or just gloved hands coated in Vaseline. I had my sister carry a energy bar and she gave it to me at the 5 mile mark.
  • I parked near my work but couldn't park at it. I was glad for my id so I could use the bathroom in the building rather than the porta before even starting. I arrived before 6:00 for the 7:00 race. We didn't cross the start line until about 7:22 and it occurred to me about 7:05 that I should have just hung out at my building, gone to the bathroom about 7:00 and then stepped into the crowd as it passed my building (about 1/2 block before the start). As it was I only had to make one potty break on the route but that cost me 3-5 minutes.
  • As I ran I saw many people with Livestrong cards on the back of their shirts that said "I run in honor of" or "I run in memory of" I wish I had gone and gotten them too and mine would have said "I run in memory of Grandpa Joe, Grandma Fanny, Grandma Ruth, Aunt Rita, and my mother." and "I run in honor of my friend Sue."
  • I can not even describe how much it picked me up throughout the race to have encouragement and cheering from both my family and friends and sometimes total strangers. My brother brought a big pot and banged on it with a stick and I could hear it for blocks. I saw my family 3 different spots during the race and my nephews ran up the biggest hill with me. I also saw 2 different sets of family friends - both unexpected and both very appreciated. But also, just random people who sit and cheer for everyone who comes by or people who read your tag and say "Way to go, Debra!" really helped me. At mile 9 a huge contingent was cheering for Team Livestrong participants and that both cheered me on and made me cry.
  • Some people are at the marathon course and standing there watching and not cheering or waving or anything. Really? We ran by the school from the deaf and deaf people were cheering and clapping! Doesn't it seem like any one would if they were there?
  • I tried to clap for most of the bands and thank volunteers and police officers.
  • My half-marathon medal is rockin cool. I may frame it just because it's my first.
  • As soon as you finish a 1/2 marathon, people start to say that if you did a half, you should do a full.
  • My co-worker said that one of the things that helped her most on the hills is that she takes the stairs at work and even takes them during the day if she has time, riding the elevator down to the ground level and walking back up when she goes to the restroom. I started today so I've done 4 flights this week.
  • I raised $888 for Team Livestrong. I surpassed my goal and still expect a donation from my oldest sister. A few people who I expected to donate didn't but many people I expected nothing from donated $10 or $20 or even $50.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Last Week's Runs

Last week's runs were pretty paltry by design. In other words: taper week.
Tuesday - Scheduled 5.0 with tempos. Actual - 5.01 with tempos. 55.06. 11:00/mile. I calibrated it against IMapmyRun/GPS.
Thurday - Scheduled 4, actual 4.08. 48:15. Really, really humid. 11:48/mile. Again, calibrated against IMapmyRun/GPS.
Saturday - Scheduled 2, actual 2. 23:01 11:23/mile. Calibrated. Still humid.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Last Week's Runs

I feel so much better than I did a week ago about my runs and my run distance. My runs last week:

Tuesday - Scheduled 6.0 miles. Actual 5.63. 1:03. 11.07/mile. I took my new phone and used IMapmyRun to find out the distance of my run. It's a route I do pretty frequently in the mornings and I believed it was between 5 and 5.25 miles. Turns out it's 5.63 miles so I'm right about where I thought and I was able to calibrate my nike+ better. The temperature was 34 when I started and when I finished which is pretty near my limit but I felt comfortable.

Friday - Thursday was supposed to be a 6.0 mile run. This was 4.88 to make up for it. 53:13. 10:54/mile. On the treadmill so boring and slow. It could have been a little longer but I'll believe the treadmill distance.

Sunday - Saturday was supposed to be a 8.0 mile run. I did it on Sunday. 1:32:33. 10:53/mile. I love the way the graphic evens out your walk/run periods if the run is long enough. This looks like I just ran a steady speed as opposed to 5 run/1 walk the entire way. ChocolateSon always loves the end part where I "fall off a cliff." Really, it just takes me a few seconds of standing there trying to stop the sensor or calibrating to the phone or whatever. Speaking of calibrating, at the end of the run, the phone said 8.48 and the nike+ said 8.24. I brought the Nike+ up to the phone but I feel they're really reliable now.
I feel pretty good and excited and terrified about the half-marathon in less than a week. I don't think I'll fall over dead or anything but it will be a real challenge. My sister and her family are coming to town to cheer for me which is awesome. And I know my brother and family are going to as well. He just texted me to get my bib # so he can follow me on his IPhone too. I don't know whether I feel "ready" but maybe I never will. I think mostly I'm worried about logistics: sleeping well, getting up at the right time, dressing right, what to eat and when, how to carry what I want, etc.
I raised $788 for Livestrong which is over my original mental goal of $750 and over the required $500. I feel good about that. There are a few people who either said they were going to donate and never did or who didn't donate and I expected them to. My oldest sister made no donation in spite of the fact that I donated to a charitable run for her in November and that she and I sat together with our mother as she died of cancer. You'd think that would sort of make it an important cause. Still, I know that it's not that she doesn't want to donate. She's just sort of forgetful and a person who doesn't follow-through.
Wow. 6 days away.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last Week's Rotten Runs

If that looks really rotten, it's because it is. I did very little running last week due to a combination of reasons summarized as bad sleep, my wife having a nightmare so I stayed in bed to comfort her rather than run, and 2 days of kids up too early so I stayed home so my wife could sleep.
Wednesday evening I ran at the gym. I don't really know how far it was. My Nike+ said 15K+ while the treadmill said just over 5.5 miles. I didn't go the full 6 because we had dinner plans. I split the difference in calibrating the Ipod but that's too fast (clearly given the speed). If I agree with the 5.5 miles that would be 12:30 miles. Not unreasonable.
Saturday should have been my longest run of my half-marathon training. But a combination of big fight the day before, bad sleep, upset stomach, and being in a hurry to get home so we could go out of town cut it short. I ran on the treadmill (different treadmill) and according to that machine I was crawling. If I accept that treadmill's total I ran 7.81 miles in close to 2 hours for a 15:00 mile.
I can't imagine that my speed was that different between Wednesday and Saturday. If I believe that my IPod has been calibrated correctly in the past (I've compared distances to driving my car and once to my wife's smart phone's application) my running speed is between 11:30 - 12:30/mile depending on how I'm feeling that day and run distance. If I say, ok, I ran 12:30/miles Saturday then I ran around 9.2 miles and if I guess slower than that at 13:00 it would be about 8.84 miles. Either way, I didn't do my pre-half long run.
I think what has me so concerned about the calibration is simply not knowing whether I'm doing enough to train for the half-marathon. If I ran 11 miles the past two weeks, I feel good about it but if when I thought I ran 11 miles, I ran ... 9 miles or less, then I feel pretty worried.
This week's schedule is a 6 mile run tomorrow, 6 mile Thursday, and 8 Saturday. Assuming I can run outside tomorrow, I plan to use my new phone to map it on GPS and then calibrate the Ipod to that distance. It should give me a good idea whether my runs have been accurate in the past.