Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Nike Plus-iversary

I got my Nike Plus one year ago today. According to the website, in that time, I've run (or walked) 835 miles in 185 hours. Wow. 185 hours? That sounds both awesome and not enough. I don't go by the Nike+ calories burned estimate but if I did, 91,000+ calories sounds like some serious burn. Also, it says that my average pace is 13:21. That's not bad when you consider that I walk with the sensor sometimes. In that time, I've gone from Yellow, Orange, Green, to Blue. I want to turn Purple well before a year from now and increase my mileage over the next year in addition to running faster and injury free.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chi Running Clinic

On Sunday I went to a 4-hour Chi Running Clinic. I had read the book (a few times at least) and listened to the MP3 download many times but I still felt like I wanted help with the technique. Karen Smith of Go with the Flow teaches clinics in Austin. I've been trying to get it on my calendar for at least six months. One month it was cancelled. Another we were planning to go to the Renaissance faire (which we did not end up doing). Another month we went to visit my in-laws. Another month my sister and brother were riding the MS150 but my sister decided to only do 1/2 the distance which means I could have gone to the clinic but it was too late to register by that time. So this month I was finally able to go and I registered weeks ago to make sure it was on my calendar.

I had been wondering how we would do a 4 hour class outside but the instructor sent a note that she had moved to a location that would allow us to do it partially inside. When I arrived, it turned out that we would have the entire class inside. Given that it was 100+ degrees out, that was a good thing. The class had 6 students (3 women and 3 men) ranging from a guy who said that he runs 10Ks or 10 mile races at about a 7:10/mile pace and he wants to learn how to run right so he can get "fast" to a woman who has qualified for Boston but doesn't know if she will get in to me. I described myself for the class as having run for the past 1.5 years, done a HM, registered for 2 more, and I want to run easier and faster. I explained that it seems very hard and seems like it should be easier. The instructor assured me that it will become easier and faster and more fun.

The workshop was very active. We had very little lecture and mostly actually doing the posture, then jogging across the room with feedback. We had a sort of set of steps to get in the right posture, then did some exercises, then learned and did loosener exercises, then more exercises, then she videotaped each of us from each side and then we watched the videos back and talked about them. That evening she sent us a long e-mail with reminders of everything we discussed and attachments showing good form and some recommended exercises.

Interestingly the instructor is absolutely anti-Galloway. Anti-Run Walk Run. She says that it doesn't make any sense to keep changing your posture over and over. That you want to set your posture and maintain it. She also contents that anyone in any shape can run at 1 degree of lean for a long time. One degree of lean is basically the amount of lean that makes you have to step because otherwise you would fall and no more. So... a slow jog.

Each evening this week I have done some of the exercises she sent while watching TV. The hardest for me is managing to breathe into my belly while keeping my transverse abs tensed. Then I have used what I learned in class on my Tuesday and Thursday runs. I ran without music so I could just concentrate on my form and what I learned in the class. Tuesday I ran much farther than I usually do without walking but I did take a few walk breaks in my 35-40 minutes of running. This morning, I was able to run over 30 minutes (stopping at 1 traffic light), then took a 2 minute walk break, and then ran the rest of the way home. It's a big difference although I don't know that it's that much faster yet.

I can tell while I'm running that I still have work to do on my form and I can keep practicing. Someone in class asked her how long it takes to learn and she said that she still does a posture check and setup and checks her form on every run (and she's run over 30 marathons and 2 Ironman Triathlons). But she said that we should see a difference in a month if we work at it. I will be really interested to see how I do on my 9 mile long run this weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Last Week's Run

Yes. You read that right. Run. Not Runs. After my Sunday LSR which I wrote up last week, I took the week off from running to try and heal my blisters. They are much much better now so I did my 800 repeats on Saturday. It was my first time to do 800 repeats (or any repeats) and I followed the Galloway instructions as closely as I could. According to his formula, I would get the goal pace for the 800s by taking my magic mile time X 1.2 then divide by 2 because it's an 800 and subtract 15 seconds. For me that meant 10:40 x 1.2 = 12:48 / 2 = 6:24 - :15 = 6:09. So that was my goal pace for 4 800 repeats.

For each 800, I ran the first 400 (between 2:25 - 2:32), then walked 30-40 seconds as directed, then ran the last 300 or so. My times were 5:14, 5:16, 5:25, 5:25. I'm finding that both in these and the LSRs, I can run faster than the predicted or goal time pretty easily. Maybe this will get harder as they increase (I think 2 more repeats every 2 weeks). The entire workout from warm-up to warm-down (including picking up all the plastic bottles at the track for recycling) was 1:04 and 4.83 miles.

When I got home KeeBee wanted to run so she got dressed and put her stuffed puppy in her shirt so she could be pregnant and we ran to the pool and back (.5 miles).

Right now I'm at 66 miles in July so I've dropped off quite a bit from my pace earlier in the month. Yesterday I attended a Chi Running clinic but I'll post about that separately.

Looking at the graphic (which blogger isn't letting me post for some strange reason), I see that I also walked to the courthouse on Monday at lunchtime. That was 2.3 or so miles.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Running Shoes

Sunday I went and got fitted for new running shoes at one of the speciality running stores in town. I had been very hesitant to do this mostly because of the cost of the shoes there. My first pair of NB running shoes which I fitted myself did wonderfully. But the second pair (same style, size, etc.) have not done so well. I've had trouble with them slipping and feeling wide. Even pulling the laces tighter has not completely fixed the issue and at this point I have blisters on my toes that are not healing well.

This picture of my feet shows the current blisters. My right pinkie toe has blisters on top of blisters. It is discolored and ugly. The right big toe has a slight blister. The left big toe has a blister that is torn and the left little toe has a healing blister. I have been putting aloe on the blisters at bedtime each day. They only hurt when I'm not wearing shoes and walking around the house on the day after a run but they are still an issue.

The entire family went to the store and I told the salesman my problem and showed him my feet. Then I ran for him in barefeet, got my feet measured and he got some pairs to try and to run in. I asked him for his observations and he noted that I have very high arches (yes) and very narrow feet (yes again). I tried a pair of Mizunos, Asics, and Brooks and liked the Brooks best both because they had the least slippage and because they were blue rather than pink like the Mizunos and Asics. I can't see the model #/name on the box because they were marked in black marker by the store for some reason so I will have to find it if I want to get these again. The shoes were $100 which may be the most I've ever paid for a pair of shoes (not boots) but if they work well for me, they will be worth it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Half-Marathon Training Week #3 (Really)

Monday - Scheduled 35 minute run. 47 minutes, 3.23 miles. Included 5 minute walking warm-up, 10 minute walking warm-down. 3:1 slowing to a 2:1.
Wednesday - Scheduled 35 minute run with speed drills. 51 minutes, 3.68 miles including warm-up, down. 3:1 (x9) then. Did cadence drills (5) and acceleration gliders (5).
Thursday - Scheduled Easy walk. 58 minutes. 3.49 miles.
Saturday - I should have run but I woke up and it was raining and thunder and lightening and we had friends coming over for breakfast and I decided to wait until Sunday.
Sunday - (not shown on the picture). Saturday's 7.5 mile LSR. 1:56, 8.26 miles (14:07). Did warm-up, down and then 1:1 ratio throughout. Unlike last week I was able to maintain the 1:1 and didn't have to drop from that. I ran from 7:00 - 9:00 so temperature ranged from high 70s to mid 80s. That is a challenge and I can imagine it will become a bigger challenge as my LSRs get longer.

As slow as the LSR is, it's actually not as slow as the Galloway formula indicates for me. Their formula shows.

Magic Mile Time 10:41 x 1.2 to get Predicted race pace = 12:49/mile.
Predicted race pace 12:49 + 2:00 to get LSR pace = 14:49
LSR Pace + :30 for every 5 degrees over 60 or 14:49 + 2:00 = 16:49/mile.

I'm pretty sure that I could do a LSW(alk) at 16:49 or close to 16:49. I'm pretty much using the ratio in the book (1:1) and not pushing myself on the run and letting the pace go where the pace goes.

Oh, I also am pretty happy because I have an online friend who started posting on FB about starting to run. I commented on some of her posts and encouraged her to sign up for the See Jane Run Austin Half-marathon rather than the 5K and to look at the Jeff Galloway stuff. She's now fully training and committed to the half and it's awesome to read her enthusiasm and training reports every week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Revised Half-Marathon Training Plan

So last week I was looking at my plan to figure out my runs for the week and I realized that I had done the first 2.5 weeks of the plan a week off. The good news is that I'm a week ahead rather than a week behind. The bad news is that apparently I'm dumb. Or bad a planning. Or maybe bad at reading a simple table.

I also think that I'm going to shift the days of the plan so that the long run happens on Saturday rather than Sunday. I don't like one of the weekend days spent making sure to not do anything strenuous. I would rather spend Friday making sure not to do anything strenuous. Then Sunday I can hike with the family or take a walk or swim or whatever and not worry. So here's the revised plan:

WeekMonday DateMondayWednesdayThursdaySaturday
106/27/201130 min run30 min runeasy walk5 miles
207/04/201135 min run/MM35 min runeasy walk6 miles
307/11/201135 min run35 min runeasy walk7.5 miles
407/18/201145 min run/MM40 min runeasy walk4 x 800
507/25/201145 min run40 min runeasy walk9 miles
608/01/201145 min run/MM45 min runeasy walk6 x 800
708/08/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk11 miles
808/15/201145 min run/MM45 min runeasy walk8 x 800
908/22/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk13 miles
1008/29/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk10 x 800
1109/05/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk15 miles
1209/12/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk12 x 800
1309/19/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk17 miles
1409/26/201145 min run45 min runeasy walkeasy 5 miles/MM
1510/03/201145 min run45 min runeasy walkGoal Half Marathon
1610/10/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk4 miles
1710/17/201145 min run45 min runeasy walk6-12 miles

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week #3 (more on that later) Half-Marathon Training

I had a very good week of running and walking this week. Since I was on vacation, I got to workout in the daylight which meant it was warmer than I'm used to but also meant I could see and could listen to various podcasts. I totaled over 33 miles which may be my highest weekly mileage ever.

Sunday - Scheduled long run of 6.0 miles. 1:33, 6.87 miles (13:40/mile). That included a 5 minute warm-up, 10 minute warm-down, and 1:1 ratio.
Monday - Walked 1:04, 3.55 miles (18:08/mile).
Tuesday - Scheduled 35 minute run with a magic mile. I missed it entirely.
Wednesday - 1:28, 4.76 miles (18:35/mile).
Thursday - Scheduled 35 minute run. 51:31 4.18 miles (12:19/mile). That included 5 minute warm-up, 10 minute warm-down, and a 10:41 magic mile. Run/walk ratios varied.
The day also included an hour of kayaking, and taking the kids to Deep Eddy which was super awesome.
Friday - I walked home from the car place after dropping off the car for an inspection (they were out of stickers and said it would be a few hours). 51:02, 3.66 miles (13:55/mile). That speed seems quite strange but I actually used the GPS to get the mileage right. Then we walked to and from lunch which was about a mile each way and very hot. Coming home, I pretty much carried one of the kids or ChocolateDaughter's balance bike the entire way.
Saturday - Scheduled 7.5 mile (which I thought was a 7.0 mile run). 1:47 7.76 mile (13:49/mile) including 5 minute warm-up, 10 mile warm-down. I used a 1;1 ratio most of the time (31 times), then switched to 30:45 second. It was a very very hot run - about 80 when I walked out the door and up to about 86 by the time I got home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Last Week's Runs

Sunday - Was supposed to be a LSR of 5.0 miles. I went 5.65 in 1:15 which included walk to warm-up and warm-down. I started with a 2:1 ratio and then dropped to 1:1.
Monday - Walked 3.12 in 54 minutes at lunch. It was darned hot.
Tuesday - Ran 46 minutes - 3.37 miles. Walk warm up and warm down and 4:1 otherwise. I did my first magic mile in 11:22.
Thursday - 54 minutes. 3.76. Walk warmup and down. 3:1 otherwise.
Thursday - 18 minutes. 1.05 miles. Walked to and from haircut from tire place. Brutally hot.
Friday - 48 minute walk. 2.58 miles.
Saturday - 1:09 walk. 3.64 miles. First with ChocolateDaughter. Then without.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Baby/Big Brother Blankets

We just met our friends for dinner and I was able to give them their baby blanket and big brother blanket so I can now post pictures. The first blanket is the big brother blanket that I referred to when I finished it back in April. It is a replica of the Walls of Troy or the Chartres Cathedral maze (although it's technically a labrynth). One of the sites is a circle and the other is a dodecahedron (12-sided shape). I did the 12-sided shape. I loved making this blanket. It had to be roughly a multiple of 12 but I put an extra 2 rounds - one in the center and one on the edge so it was 38 rounds. It's worked to make the shape first (the blue etc. part) and then the white is top-stitched on top. Once I got the hang of the top-stitching, it was very easy to put the design on. The moms have already texted me to say that said big brother is thrilled and driving his cars on the maze over and over.

The baby blanket is the pattern that I've made about five times but I truly love this pattern. The yarn is very soft and nice for babies because they can stick their fingers through the holes and pull it up.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Last night I registered to run for Team Livestrong in the Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon next February. I'll again be fund raising to fight cancer and hope to raise $1000 this year. Last year I think I raised $940 so I would like to better that slightly. Any random reader who would like to donate can do so at this link. I'll do some e-mail, twitter, and Facebook publicity later in the year.

Now I'll tell the story of how I came to be registered and why I will be telling everyone that my race is sponsored by Jenny B.

I have an online friend named Jenny B. She is possibly the most selfless and altruistic person I've ever met (I haven't met her in person but we've texted, e-mailed, YiM'ed, and spoken on the phone so close enough). In the short time we've known each other she's donated blood or platelets repeatedly, gathered and then given away (including postage) 100 copies of a book to anyone who asked, shaved her head to support a friend who was going through chemotherapy, and fasted for 30 days so she could give the money she would have spent on food to feed the hungry. She also wanted the experience of true hunger. During her fast she would take food and walk the streets to meet people and ask about their experience of hunger and homelessness.

A few weeks ago she YiM'ed me and said that she has decided that she keeps giving and giving but never to her friends ("her peeps") so she wanted to ask me what she could do for me. I tried to blow her off saying that all she could do for me was to please donate to her local food bank. She said no go. She wanted to do something, give something genuinely to me. I said let me think about it. When I asked R, her idea was to ask her for maps for ChocolateSon. ChocolateSon loves transit maps and has a collection of them. When my brother was in Europe last year he started the tradition and brought ChocolateSon maps from Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, and more. I asked for people to send maps on my Facebook and people did. Well, Jenny B. travels so I asked her to send ChocolateSon transit maps from her travels. She agreed but said that it still wasn't enough. She wanted to do something for me. She kept suggesting paying one of my bills. I finally said that I felt really uncomfortable and felt like there are so many people who have greater needs than I do. That of course, got a very loving lecture from her on the need to be able to receive as well as to give graciously.

So obviously she would not be giving up on this. Well, I had seen a tweet from TeamLivestrong the other day that registration to join TeamLivestrong for the half or full marathon was only $20 for a few days (last year I paid $50 which was half the normal registration cost). I hadn't really decided that I wanted to run the half-marathon next year but it seemed like a great opportunity to take Jenny B. up on her generosity (and determination) so I asked if she would pay my registration for the race. She knows that I love running and she said yes. So last night I sent her all my registration info and she registered me for the race. I knew she had done it when I got an e-mail congratulating me for registering.

I love her generosity. I love her passion. And I love that I'm now registered with a chance to raise funds to fight Cancer.

Oh... so close...

I have never run 100 miles in a month. For the past few months, I have joined a 100 mile a month challenge on Nike Running but each month something has gotten in the way. This month I was going to make it. I was! Now it happens that the woman who sets up the challenges each month made the June ones go through July 2 (I'm not sure why) which means I was pretty confident I would make it. As of yesterday's run, I needed about 3 more miles which I figured I would walk this morning.
I talked to ChocolateSon about it and he was excited for me. Midway through the afternoon, we told R. ... who informed me that it was the 30th and I only had through midnight to reach 100 miles in June. Understand, I knew June had 30 days. I just thought yesterday was the 29th. Grr. Yes, I could have gone out and logged a few miles before bedtime but I let it go. Still, 97.93 is my highest month mileage ever.