Monday, December 31, 2012

Training Plan Week 5 - 12/24 - 12/30

Planned:Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Thursday - 3 miles
Saturday - 8 mile LSR
Sunday - Cross-training


Tuesday - Christmas Day Run in the snow!  3 miles in 36 minutes (estimated only).  I'd never run in the snow and the snow started mid afternoon.  I had been saying that I wanted to run but the snow sealed the deal. I dressed and headed out.  Running out was straight into the snow and wind but coming back was pretty great.  After I got back, ChocolateWife took pictures of me. 
Thursday - 8.2 miles in 1:45 (12:48 pace) plus walking warm up/down.  It was still cold (41) but I realized that my LSR for Saturday would be a challenge to fit into the weekend and this afternoon opened up unexpectedly.  I had no long run stuff so I set  a bottle of water and lip stuff and a few cough drops by the gate and made a few passes.  Mostly this was a 1:30/:45 ratio. 
Friday - 3.05 in 37 minutes (11:58) plus walking warm up/down.  It was still cold out but a good run.  I set my watch and just ran in zone 2 which meant hardly any walking. 
Sunday - 11.05 cycling in 1:03.  We got my bike tuned up as my holiday present and they must have adjusted the seat post because my seat kept slipping and I kept stopping to adjust it.  I need to tighten the bolt but couldn't do it when I got home because my hands were too cold. 

All things considered, I'm rather happy with my week's workouts.  I only missed out on one workout even with snow, cold, family, Christmas, baby girl's birthday, and driving home.  Plus we got the car unloaded, six loads of laundry washed and folded, and some shopping done. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Training Plan Week 4 - 12/17 - 12/23

Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles at race pace
Thursday - 3 miles
Saturday - 7 mile LSR
Sunday - Cross-training

Tuesday - 2.8 miles in 35 minute (12:30) plus 1.2 miles walking warm up/down.  Not a good run.  Too many thoughts in my brain, not enough rest, phone call during saying that the refrigerator was not cooling. 
Wednesday - 3.6 miles in 41 minutes (11:16 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  It was >80 degrees, humid, and windy so I'm really happy with this for a race pace run. 
Thursday - too much chaos and not enough healthy food (no refrigerator) so I did not run.
Saturday - 5.5 miles in 1:13 (13:09) plus walking warm up/down.  Should have been longer but all the bad diet and gluten with no access to healthy food really got me.  I got very suddenly sick on the run.  Sick enough that I had to call the family to come get me.  I'm so glad that the refrigerator is working again.
Sunday - 16 miles in 1:20 on the bike. I went to the post office and mailed everything that needed to go out. Then continued.  Nice ride. 

Weight - probably unchanged and I've had very little control over my diet.  Last week the refrigerator was broken. This week we're at the in-laws'.  I'm trying to be pretty hard-core avoiding the gluten but otherwise, it's hard to eat healthy at all.
Fund-raising - my fundraising for Livestrong is going very well.  I got some donations last week (in response to my "hey the end of the tax year is coming"... e-mails).  I'm over $1100 of my $1500 goal. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Training Plan Week 3 - 12/10 - 12/16

Planned:Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Thursday - 3 miles
Saturday - LSR 6 miles
Sunday - Cross train

Tuesday - 3.44 in 45 (13:04) plus walking warm up/down.  Surprised at how slow this one was. I felt good while running.  2:00/:45 run/walk up and down some hills and on trails.
Tuesday - Core work for 30 minutes. I did the work after dinner and felt sort of crummy but got it done.
Wednesday - 12.75 miles in 1:00 biking. Schedule was wonky so I came home early and decided to take the chance to bike rather than run. 
Thursday - 4.15 in 50 minutes (12:02) plus walking warm up/down.  Ran a nice 2:00/:45 ratio.
Saturday - Core work for 30 minutes. I got this done before dawn so a good start to the day.
Saturday - Bike 13.66 in 1:06.  A very busy day meant I did my bike ride in the only time available. The ride was just lovely once I managed to avoid being hit by two different vehicles running stop signs at the same intersection.
LSR - Did not.  Sunday was not a good day.  Not good at all. Very upsetting and I'm still having trouble sleeping.  

Weight unchanged.
Feelings about weight unchanged.
My fundraising for Livestrong is over $950! 
Four more days of work until I have a week off.
I've biked/run > 1000 miles this year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Training Plan Week 2 - 12/03 - 12/09

Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 3 miles at race pace
Thursday - 3 miles
Saturday - LSR 5 miles
Sunday - Cross train

Tuesday - 3.9 miles in 47 minutes (11:56) plus walking warm up/down on the hills near/through campus.  This one felt really good and was faster than I expected once I got back to work and mapped it.  I ran 2:00/:45 intervals and thought that was a good interval.  I also stopped at traffic lights for 2-3 minutes so pace was even faster really.
Wednesday -  3.61 in 40 minutes (11:07) plus walking warm up/down.  This was supposed to be "race pace" and was even faster than I think of my race pace. First I did 3:00/1:00 intervals then I switched to walking 1:00 per lap on the track.  Distance is approximate but I would feel safe calling it 3.49 to 3.61 which would be between a 11:07 and 11:30 pace.  All still in a good range for me.
Thursday - Pre-dawn core work done pre-dawn.  30 minutes of the pre dawn work but mixed in ball crunches and metronomes.
Thursday - Lovely 11.72 mile bike ride in 1:00.  My intention is that it's ok to put in one bike ride in place of a run 1x a week if I can make it fit with my schedule.
Sunday - LSR 5 miles in 1:05 (13:00).  Very approximate.  I ran on the Trails at Walnut Creek.  I ran a 1:00/1:00 and took it pretty easy.  It should have been run Saturday, Bike Sunday, and core one of those two days.  Instead it was have a migraine Saturday.  Lay in bed. Groan. Moan. Take advil.  I wasn't totally useless, I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, we got the tree decorated.  It just wasn't possible to do any exercise. 

I got my replacement phone so I'm back to logging my food and trying to lose this weight.  I'm also feeling like this cough it finally moving on. 

What I learned this week (specifically Sunday):  Taking my key off my keyring and sliding it into the back of the armband for my phone so I can run with just that rather than the key fob only is a good plan if I know that my key actually fits and opens the doors.  I don't remember that I've ever tried to use the key to open the car door before (the car is 11 years old).  Either it never fit the car door or the lock is rusted or filled with dirt and grunge.  Either way, I found myself hanging out at the park for an extra 10 minutes while my wife/kids/dogs drove over to unlock my car for me. 

This week - 3 miles Tuesday, 4 Wednesday, 3 Thursday, LSR 6 Saturday, Bike Sunday, and core 2x.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Training Plan Week 1 -- 11/26 - 12/02

Yay!  Week 1 of my Training Plan. 

Tuesday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Saturday - 4 mile LSR
Sunday - cross-train
Tuesday - 3.29 in 38 minutes (11:28/mm) plus walking warm up/down.  Wow. I pushed myself on this one.  I ran 3:00/1:00 and for me it was faster than race pace and really working. 
Tuesday - 30 minutes core work.  Basically I did the pre-dawn routine with ball crunches mixed in. 
Wednesday - 3.15 in 40 minutes (12:39/mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I went easier than Tuesday with a 2:00/1:00 but really enjoyed the run.  I'm still struggling with a cough so it feels good to run hot and try and cough up the congestion.
Thursday - 3.43 in 45 minutes (13:07/mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I went back to my winter work schedule so I'll run at lunch time 3 days a week.  I love running at the park but probably lost 2-3 minutes waiting to cross streets.  Without street stops, my pace was more like 12:23.  I ran 1:30/:45 ratios and am considering dropping all my walk ratios to :45.  I feel like I'm mostly recovered by then. 
Saturday - Core work.  30 minutes of Pre-dawn runner's program with some ball crunches mixed in. 
Saturday - 4.8 miles in 1:00 (12:30) plus walking warm up/down.  Saturday was probably the worst I've felt as far as my cough and cold went.  But I went running anyway hoping the heat would help and it did as it has for weeks.  I felt very tight in the chest but enjoyed the feeling.  I wore no HRM because I didn't feel a need it on a LSR.  Unfortunately my phone had no music on it and wouldn't hook up any GPS so it was a naked run.  As it turns out the phone has nothing and after a while on the phone with the company I will be getting a replacement next week.  For the time being I'm using my old phone. 
Sunday - No workout but I knew that in advance. My niece had her fund-raiser for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah and I got up, drove to Houston, umpired, and drove home.  Tiring day but no workout.

Drinking enough water and watching what I eat is going well although I'm not sure how much progress I'm seeing weight-wise in just the first week.  More importantly, I'd like for the entire family to completely kick this cold/cough rather than just sharing it eternally.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Need for Change

When I was a child, I had a pretty severe speech impediment.  I could not say Rs. I lived in a small town and the school system actually provided no-cost speech weekly speech therapy at the school. I don’t know and somehow doubt that this type of thing still exists in public schools.  There were no other kids at my school who couldn’t say Rs and the kids who couldn’t say Ws and I didn’t get along in the class so I had one-on-one work.  For many years I was not really aware of how severe my impediment was.  I only usually interacted with my family and friends and they were used to me and I avoided words with Rs in the middle or end.  Words that had Rs in the beginning allowed me "get a running start" at them and weren’t a big problem for that reason. 
But once my therapist tape recorded me.  I remember that it was right after Mother’s day and I had made my mom scrambled eggs but I didn’t know that you scramble them in the pan and not just in the bowl so they came out “rubbery.”  I talked about the day and my efforts at cooking and I specifically remember the words rubbery and scrambled.  After 3-5 minutes, the speech therapist played it back for me.  I broke down.  It was completely unintelligible.  I didn’t know I sounded like that. I couldn’t imagine how people ever knew what I was saying.  That was not what my words sounded like in my head.  I cried and cried and eventually the principal called my home and the housekeeper came and got me and took me home. 
I feel like I had the same sort of experience a few days ago.  My weight has been very steady and consistent for years.  I don’t particularly try to lose weight. I just workout and try to eat healthy and I fit into my clothes.  I am aware that if I lost weight I would probably run faster but I haven’t really been motivated to make that happen.  I’ll also admit that I feel like there’s some variable I’m not aware of.  When I go through periods of calorie counting, I always am under my recommended counts but don’t lose pounds. 
Whenever you run a race, there are race photographers and they snap thousands of pictures and then for weeks (months, more months) after the race they send you e-mails with links to let you buy the pictures.  I have never bought any because I’ve never thought I had a particularly good picture.  But this time I got an e-mail that there were 9 pictures of me from this race. I clicked through and just sat there in horror as I thumbed through the pictures.  I looked terrible.  Fat.  I looked like I was barely moving.  You know those shirts that say “In my mind, I’m a Kenyan” or something like that? In my head I am running well. I’m not fast and I know that but I love the feeling of moving and I feel like I look good when doing it.  And that I look ok in my running outfit.  But I looked terrible in these pictures.  My black shorts looked too tight. Or I was too big for them.  My long sleeve shirt was unisex so not fitted and my sports bra gave me a uniboob so from the waist up – yuck. 
I can’t look like that.  I can’t go on looking like that.  For the first time in my life I’m tempted to put that picture on the frig or door to the pantry or someplace that I see it all the time.  But I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to embarrass or shame myself.  I just want to look different.  And move differently. 

So Noom is my current plan.  I'm going to eat more healthy.  And less.  And I'm going to go from weighing close to 170 pounds to 155 or less. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Workouts 11/19 - 11/25

Considering that #1 it was Thanksgiving week and #2 I've still been fighting the cough, I had a pretty good workout week last week. 

Monday - 3.77 walking.  This was the day that I was worried I might actually be GETTING SICK.  I decided that running was unwise but I strapped on my backpack and walked to the store, bought some groceries, and walked home.  It felt really wonderful and I didn't start coughing until I got home.

Tuesday - 3.4 miles in 43 minutes (12:38) plus walking warm-up.  80 degrees out 2 days before Thanksgiving.  Still not feeling great but I just enjoyed the heat and the feeling of cooking that cough out of my chest. 

I really thought we would get Wednesday afternoon off work and that I would ride my bike but alas. 

Saturday - 30 minutes. Pre-dawn runner's core workout. I've been doing the pre-dawn routine but mixing in some ball crunches as well.  I'm really excited because I can now do the unilateral bird-dogs.  

Saturday - 20.2 mile bike ride in 1:38 (12.4 mph).  It was really gorgeous out and I really wanted to take a long workout and burn some calories.   Runkeeper was announcing every 5 minutes so every time it did, I pedaled hard for 50 strokes to make it a little more challenging.  This was the farthest I've ever ridden or run.

Sunday - 5.7 miles in 1:16 (13:19) plus walking warm up/down.  I considered this a LSR and did 2:00/1:00 then 1:00/1:00.  I didn't even check the Runkeeper cues, just ran and enjoyed it. 

Water:  I have been doing a good job of drinking water. I think I drank 64 oz or more every day that I tracked it (I didn't track while out of town). 

Snacking: Reduced but not eliminated. 

Noom: I'm using Noom for my calorie tracking pretty consistently. 

My Half-marathon training plan for the Livestrong officially starts Tuesday (11/27).  I've settled on the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan but I'll be adding in core work and possibly some strength work. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Workouts 11/12 - 11/18

This was the best workout week I've had in a while. 

Monday - 1.86 miles in 30 minutes (16:07) I went for a walk at lunch time during my work day.  I used RunKeeper to track my miles and speed and sometimes it told me I was walking 13.xx or 14.xx minute miles which is sometimes faster than I run.  Days like that make me consider giving up running and just walking and walking and walking. 
Tuesday - 12.2 in 1 hour biking.  I just took it easy and stretched out my knee.  I know that 12 mph is not a fast bike ride but right now it is sort of my benchmark (faster than 12 mph).  I was telling a co-worker that my biking is hampered by my fears.  I am simply afraid of riding fast or downhill or downhill fast. I'm the sort of person who brakes down hills and makes my wife drive the car on hills.  Perhaps I will become more used to it in time.
Wednesday - 4.0 miles in 50 minutes (12:30 mm) plus the walking warm-up down.  This was my first run since my 10 mile race and feeling any knee twinge. The knee felt very good with only slight twinge so I stopped at that point.  The entire run was in zone 2 and I ran "between the beeps."  On a related note, I finally got my new HRM strap which means I have a working HRM again!
Friday - 12.25 miles in 1 hour biking.  I got to work from home Friday so I was able to head out for a ride right after hours.  ChocolateWife and ChocolateDaughter have had a cold/virus for 2 weeks and I've been getting a cough but I'm very determined to fight it off.  I put on tiger balm and wore a longer sleeve shirt for the ride and felt good sweating it out. 
Saturday - Did Pre-dawn runner's core routine with some ball crunches sprinkled throughout. Really excited. Did all the #plankadays for the full minute and also was able to do the unilateral bird dog without modification - first time ever. Locust pose gave me a little trouble, partially because it is always hard and partially because the puppy licked my face, then bit my fingertips for the full minute.
Saturday - 3.8 miles in 56 minutes (14:44) Trail run.   Again felt very little knee pain or discomfort in spite of running on the trail.  My chest was a bit worse and coughing more but glad I got out and sweat a bit. 

Drinking water - I did a much better job drinking water this week. I don't know that I achieved 64 oz every day but I bet I drank more than 60 oz every single day and well over 64 quite a few days.
Noom - I began using Noom again to track what I eat every day.  I've used it before and ChocolateWife lost quite a bit of weight using it.  It's an app that takes you through a bunch of questions like what do you weigh now and what do you want to weight and how fast do you want to lose weight and how often do you exercise and then gives you a calorie allowance (mine is 1510).  Then you track your food intake by classifying food as green, yellow, red and trying to have 50% of calories green, 35% yellow, 15% red.  The program has some algorithm for increasing your daily allowance according to your workouts.  In the old version I think it raised your daily allowance based on your average workouts the previous 7 days or something but in the current is seems to give you 1/2 of the additional calories burned that day which I think is a pretty good approach generally. 
Weigh-in - I keep forgetting to weigh!
Plan - I've decided to use the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Plan but with the addition of core work and substituting bike rides for scheduled weekday runs some days (not more than 1x a week).  Officially that starts next Tuesday (11/27). 

All in all things are good.  Hopefully CW and CD are getting better and hopefully I will not get actually sick.  I've been trying to pick up a lot of household slack since CW has been sick and of course we have Thanksgiving this week.  But given that, things are fantastic!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Workout 11/05 - 11/11

Yes. That says workout, not workouts. 

I rode my bike on Saturday for an hour (about 12 miles).  It was a nice easy ride in beautiful weather and didn't seem to put any strain on my knee. 

Other than that I didn't get any workouts in.  I was still recovering with my knee and 1/2 the family is very sick with a bad cough and cold so I hate to then leave the house when I'm gone at work so much.  It doesn't seem fair.  I hope to start back to running on a schedule this week. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Training Plan for the Livestrong Half-Marathon

The Austin Livestrong Half-Marathon is February 17, 2013.  I'm finished with my paid training program and working with the coach, done with the Run for the Water 10 miler, and done with obsessing over the presidential election. 

It's time for me to think about my training plan.  Typically they last 12 to 16 weeks.  I've been looking at various plans with thoughts about tweaking them based on what I've learned from my work with the coach. 

Contenders and thoughts on them:
Galloway to goal plan - I've done this plan before.  It features 3 runs a week plus an easy walk day. The week day runs are basically timed runs and the weekend ones alternate between an LSR and 800 repeats.  This would be the easiest plan to do and easiest to supplement (more on that).  The plan would officially start 11/13 with a 30 minute run and a 5 mile run on Sunday.
Runner's World Smart Coach plan - The Runner's World site allows the user to enter some specific information such as a recent race time, race date, how hard you want to work, and race distance and it spits out a pretty detailed plan.  Start date could vary depending on when I'm ready to make the program spit out a plan.  Upside is that every run has very specific purpose and pace listed.  Downside is that all the Thursday runs (speedwork or tempo) require a 6 mile run which is (for me) a pretty high expectation and time investment for a week day run.  The other thing about the plan is that the LSRs start with a 10 mile run the first week and with the exception of a few recovery weeks all the LSRs are 10-14 miles. 
Hal Higdon - I've never done a Hal Higdon TP but I've heard good things about them.  The Novice 2 plan basically calls for 4 days of running a week.  T-W-Th are a 3 mile, 3-5 mile, and 3 mile run.  The Wednesday run alternates between a race pace run and a normal run.  The LSRs build from 4-12 miles with a week dedicated to running a 5K and another a 10K race.  The plan is 12 weeks long so it would start the week of 11/26.  So the difference between this and the Galloway is basically running T-W-Th rather than running T-Th/walk F and speedwork is every other W rather than every other Sunday.
No Meat Athelete - The No Meat athelete has an entire program called the Half-Marathon roadmap with workbooks and sheets and cds or maybe DVDs and a book and etc.  The book portion is available on Kindle for just 2.99 so I may buy it and see what it has to say.  I'm not sure that I'm going to find anything in a plan that differs significantly from the others listed above but it might be interesting to see what he says will be different for someone "running on plants." 

I'd like to make some decisions and settle on a plan in the next week.  Partially the choice depends on my knee.  Although I've never had any problems with my knee, it has been hurting since the morning after my 10 mile race. I will probably try to put on a brace and run this weekend and see how that goes.  In the meantime, I'm taking NSAIDs pretty regularly and resting it. 

Some factors that will influence my plan and my carrying it out include the fact that the training plan period will include both my childrens' birthdays and parties (or party if they share as they keep saying they will do), my niece's Bat Mitzvah, my niece's Bat Mitzvah project fundraiser softball game, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the start of the Legislative Session. 

Whatever plan I choose I want to also:
Become more fit (which is a more positive way to speak possibility into reality than saying lose weight).  That said, I'd like to settle at a healthy weight about 8-10 pounds lighter than I am now.  I also believe this would improve my running speed.  Two changes that should be simple but hopefully make a big difference are:
  • Making sure I drink 64 oz of water EVERY day by using the water tracking app.  I believe that I average about 40-50 oz of water and 20 oz of iced tea per day. I need to increase my water consumption and be consistent about it.
  • Not snacking after 8:00.  ChocolateWife and I have a pattern of watching TV, crafting, and having a snack in the evening.  I need to ... not (to put it simply).  Yes to TV. Yes to time with ChocolateWife. Yes to crafting.  But no snacking.  Or perhaps 1 evening snack a week on the day of the long run.
I will also supplement the plan with at least 2 and possibly 3 core workouts a week.  And if I can get an arms/shoulders or chest/back workout in as well that would be ideal but I'll concentrate on running. 

And I may substitute the occasional bike ride for a run or walk day.  I really enjoyed the bike rides in my plan with the coach and it seems like a good cardio workout but a change of pace that was refreshing. 

I need to make some choices (and need my knee to feel better). I've enjoyed my week+ of rest and I'm ready to get back to a plan!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Workouts 10/29 - 11/04 and Knee Pain

My workouts for last week are pretty paltry. 

Monday - Stretching & foam rolling.  45 minutes. 

My coach laid out a lovely recovery week program for me in spite of the fact that my 16 weeks were completed last week.  Unfortunately I didn't do any of the recovery week work with the exception of the day of stretching and foam rolling.  I woke up Monday with pain in my right knee.  I'm pretty bummed about it because I've never had any significant injury or pain from running nor in my knee.  When I was 11 or 12 I got my knee kicked out of place playing softball but that was a traumatic injury and I used crutches, did PT, and strengthened it.  So this feels very out of the blue.  My knee feels better than it did a few days ago but not as good as I'd like.  I need to continue taking a few more days of NSAIDs and hopefully by the weekend I will be ready for some light activity. 

I've been thinking about my HM training program and will probably be posting my plan this week sometime. I'm thinking of using a combination of the Runner's World Smart Coach plan, adding some core work, and doing the workouts with run/walk. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Race Recap - Run for the Water

Sunday morning I ran the Gazelle Foundation Run for the Water.  I think this was the sixth running and it benefits a program to dig wells in Burundi.  The race price was $39 before the end of August for a 10 mile race which is incredibly affordable. I think the 5K price was $19.  Our swag was a short-sleeved tech shirt and a few coupons.  We got a bottle of water at the finish and I'd pay $39 again for this race.

I've been really tired the last few weeks and skipped quite a few workouts including my last long run.  As late as Friday, I was apathetic about running the race.  I talked to a co-worker and basically came to the conclusion that I had already donated my money to a good cause and didn't want to get up early.  Then Saturday as the day went on, I got more and more committed and invested in running.  I slept very badly and was up well before my 4:45 alarm. 

Weather was predicted to be 41 at race start and as high as 45 by the end of the race.  I wavered on whether to wear shorts or tights and even put on shorts at home, then changed into tights at home, then changed back into the shorts after parking my car while sitting in the car.  The website says that sunrise was scheduled for 7:05.  The race booklet said 6:40-something and the sunrise calendar on my google calendar app said 7:42.  Ok...  I got downtown by 6:00 and parked my car on the street about 4 blocks from the start and finish.  I didn't need to be that early but better early than late.  It was actually about 45 degrees at start. 

I walked down to the start and paced around and did a little jogging and got a temporary tattoo.  I was trying to meet up with a few twitter/running friends but never found them.  My hair is flattened because I was wearing a hat but here's a picture of me at the start. I got the person standing next to me to take it on my phone.  It's the only picture I have from the race. 

My plan was to run 2:30/1:00 until about 7 or 8 miles and then extend that time if I felt good.  The race was a lot of uphill for the first 7 miles and then downhill from there.  The start was good and I crossed the start line when the clock said 1:00 (compared to 28:xx the last time I did the Livestrong).  I spent the first few miles making sure to get out of runners' way when I needed to walk and avoiding walkers and a few dogs.  Right near the start I saw a runner in a spider man costume, a girl in a Super girl costume, and a girl dressed as a popcorn box. 

The sun came up about 2.5-3.0 miles in and was blinding for a few minutes but then just became pleasant.  I was happy to have my hat and took it off and carried it a few times but generally felt like my clothing were perfect and comfortable.  I ran and visited with various people including a man in his 70s who has run 77 marathons starting at age 50 and was run/walking a 1:00/1:00 ratio.  We ran the last few miles together.  By mile 7 I knew I wouldn't break 2:00 but still wanted to beat my last 10 mile time which was 2:07 (actually I looked it up later in the day and it was 2:06:19).  I pushed at the end (last two miles at 11:23 and 12:23), sprinting the last 200 meters or so to clock 2:05:26.  I'd like to have seen a more than :53 improvement but I think this was a hillier course and I really enjoyed the race.  I simply felt happy.  I enjoyed running. I enjoyed the city. 

Perhaps I can expect no more from a race than to say I enjoyed it and felt happy. 

Splits: 11.52, 12:04, 12:53, 13:07, 12:08, 13:38, 12:57, 12:40, 11:42, 12:23

Monday, October 29, 2012

Workouts 10/22 - 10/28

Taper Week. 

It was taper week and I don't think I've ever appreciated a taper week so much or well.

Monday - I was supposed to do 30 minutes of core work by doing Diane's video.  I did 15 minutes while the kids were playing right before bedtime and thought I could do another 10 while they got ready for bed but getting them ready for bed took more than I thought.  And then I figured I would finish while the kids were in bed but the puppies never calmed down.  So... 15 minutes of core is better than no core. 

Tuesday - 2.5 miles in 37 minutes included lots of walking.  Walked to warm up, then jogged, then 3 x 5 minutes in zone 3 with 2 minutes between and then walking home.

Wednesday - I was supposed to do the 30 minute Yoga video. I did about 10 minutes and went "you know what? I don't like this" and quit.

Thursday - 2.36 in 32 minutes. Ran at 3:30 and it was 87 and humid out.  I'm so ready for the cool weather.  Did the warm up, 2 x 5 in zone 3, and came home. Then took the kids out to run .5 miles for their marathon kids. 

Friday - Stretching & foam rolling.  35 minutes.  Lovely in that "ow" way.

Sunday - Run for the Water 10 miler - 10 miles in 2:05:26. (12:32).  More in the race recap post. 

All in all a very enjoyable taper week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run for the Water Goals

Sunday (10/28) I’m running the Run for the Water 10 mile race in Austin.  The race starts in downtown Austin at 7:00 which means I’ll have to get up early, drive downtown, and park.  I don’t feel as well trained as I have for my previous races but I think that’s mostly an outcome of feeling so hot and tired on my runs all summer.  A few days ago I told ChocolateWife that next year the first time she hears me complain about the heat to tell me to join a gym and remind me how miserable I was running outside this year.  This morning it was 70 degrees with 97% humidity when I went out for my taper run at 5:00 am.  Sunday’s forecast calls for a low of 49, high of 64 and 20% chance of rain.  I don’t particularly want to race in the rain but I would love temperatures anywhere in that range. 

I feel hesitant to even set any goals for the race at this point but it’s nice to have something to shoot at so:

A goal – break 2:00.  I would have to run better than 12:00 miles and I don’t think it’s likely but perhaps I’m better trained than I know and cool weather could help me.

B goal – break 2:07.  I ran the Austin 10/20 in 2:07 which was 12:41 a mile.  Meeting this goal would give me a PR in my second 10 mile race.

C goal – break 2:10/finish. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Workouts 10/15 - 10/21

Eh. Yeah.  Another crap week in the books.  I think maybe this training cycle just went on too long for me.  I'll admit that when I saw the 14 mile run on this week's schedule I was shocked and overwhelmed.  I thought the week before a race would be maybe a 5-6 miler.  I checked with the coach and she said yep, that's the schedule. I think she indicated in the comments that I could alternately run 8-9 but I'm not totally sure.  But let's go in order.

Tuesday - Did Monday's Arms & core work that I didn't get done Monday because ChocolateDaughter would not GO TO SLEEP!  I did that work while I was home because ChocolateWife and ChocolateSon were both sick so I didn't do the Tuesday run.

Wednesday - I was supposed to do chest & back. Again the baby would not sleep and again I didn't.

Thursday - 4.1 in 52 minutes (12:40) plus walking warm up/down.  I had a super run. The schedule called for 5 x 8 minutes in zone 4 (up to obviously) with 2 minutes between and warming up and down. I didn't think I could actually run 8 minutes without a break but I did it not once, not twice, etc. but 5 times.  I actually think I was running faster on the last 8 minute interval than the first. 

Friday - should have done legs but dinner out/kids to sleep/apathy struck again.

Saturday - Stretching & foam rolling.  35 minutes of stretching and 15 minute of foam rolling.  Very good sessions.

Sunday - Was supposed to be the aforementioned 14 mile run with the middle 10 at marathon pace.  I just... I literally sat on the edge of the bed holding my sports bra and nearly crying because I felt so tired and just didn't want to. I couldn't even imagine running 5 miles.  Instead the entire family went for a hike/walk at a park we'd never been to (St. Edwards Park Trail) which was very nice. We took the puppies for their first hike and they did very well. 

I've got a 10 mile race in a week and I need to think about my goals.  At least this is a very easy week to get ready for that. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workouts 10/08 - 10/14

Another week of so-so workouts but this week for a very good reason.  ChocolateWife and I had our first overnight date since having kids (almost 9 years).  I shifted a lot of my workouts around through the week to prepare and then took Friday off work to run my Sunday run on Friday. 

Monday - Tabata Arms and Core.  A very good and hard workout.

Tuesday - Did Pre-Dawn Runner's Core Workout for 30 minutes.  Hard!

Wednesday - Ran hill repeats. These were scheduled for Thursday but I was not going to run hill repeats Thursday and then 12 miles on Friday.  It was 87 out and felt hotter than that.

Friday - 12 miles in 2:54 (14:30). This run was supposed to be 12 miles with 10 at marathon race pace.  I was thinking that marathon race pace should be about 13:15.  I got out there in the 75-80 degrees and 80% humidity and was just slammed.  This was as fast as I could manage.  I'm impressed that I got the miles in at all given how not in the mood I was. 

Nothing on the weekend! 

During our date we went to REI and I got a new pair of Brooks PureConnect running shoes.  They fit and feel like my Brooks PureGrit but are road shoes rather than trail shoes.  I had a 20% off coupon so the price was pretty reasonable. 

Next week is more lifting (no tabatas), stretching, and what looks like 3 pretty challenging run workouts - mile repeats, mile intervals, and then a 14 mile run with 10 at marathon pace on Sunday.  I'm sort of surprised about a 14 mile run a week before my 10 mile race.  I e-mailed the coach to say "huh... that's weird" and she said that it's what the schedule calls for but also said something about having a 8-9 mile zone 2 run on my description so I'm not sure what that means. 

I may go volunteer or at least cheer for a marathon that's about 10 miles from the house on Saturday morning.  I would have to go and then leave pretty quickly because ChocolateWife has an appointment at 11:00 but I'd like to put in an appearance. What are the odds of a marathon run at a place I run frequently and with only 150 runners?  I sent an e-mail about volunteering but haven't heard back yet. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Workouts 10/01 - 10/07

I had another so-so week of workouts last week. I missed/skipped (I think) 3/7 workouts due to different issues including very bad allergies and just a hard week.  The workouts I did do ranged from awesome to wholly unimpressive.

Monday - Tabata workout for arms and core.  Wow. This workout utilized 8 x 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 3 shoulder exercises, 3 arm exercises, and 3 core exercises (72 rounds in all).  It was very challenging and awesome. 

Tuesday - 4.0 miles in 50 minutes plus walking warm up/down.  It was Livestrong day so I wore my Livestrong shirt.  Had no music though. The run was a "do what you want" run so I ran mostly in zone 1/2 and some in 3 and even 4. 

Thursday - Hill repeats.  Did 5 rounds up about 1/4 mile hill pushing myself into high zone 4 to do it.  Then walked between repeats.  Total mileage was not high due to walking but workout was challenging.

Sunday - 7.5 miles plus walking warm up/down in 1:39 (13:11).  The middle 6 was supposed to be at "10 seconds faster than race pace."  I questioned the coach on race pace and got not a lot of guidance (disappointing) about "race pace".  Her answer was basically about zone 3 so I tried to run the middle 6 at zone 3. I did 3:00/1:00 for about 3.5 miles and then 2:30/1:00 for the last 2.5 (mostly into the wind).  My legs felt so tired and heavy.  I averaged 12:50 over those 6 which is comparatively slower than my usual "race pace" (slower than the last HM I ran and the last 10 miler I ran as well). 

I felt quite dejected by the Sunday run. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Workouts 09/24- 09/30

I had a good and hard workout week.  It was the first week (I think) that I've actually done all of the assigned workouts since I've had a coach.  I didn't do them necessarily in order or on the right days (which I think was to my detriment) but I did them all.

Monday - Arms & Shoulders.  Hard but worth doing. 

Tuesday - Chest & Back.  Very fast workout so I could then make dinner.  This workout should have been Wednesday.

Thursday - 3.00 in 42 minutes including warm up and down. Run. This was Tuesday's repeat session 5 x 400s.  I measured the 400 meters on my GPS on the sidewalk.  2:18, 2:11, 2:18, 2:17, 2:20.  Not quite as fast as I thought it would be but not bad either.  69 degrees and 91% humidity was particularly gross.

Thursday - 10.6 bike in 55 minutes.  This was actually Thursday's workout.  Maintained steady cadence.

Saturday - Did Friday's Legs session.  A little killer with 4 different lunges and 4 different squats repeated 2x each.

Saturday - 12.66 bike in 1:15.  Legs were sore but coach said take it easy so I did.  Nice ride.

Sunday - 8.0 in 1:45 (13:07).  Building endurance run on very sore legs.  I had a brutal headache and worked to improve it, finally deciding to go run anyway and see how it was.  Head not bad.  Legs hurt.  I ran 4 mile out and turned around straight into a hard wind so that made it even harder.  Zone 2 with 3 minute surges to zone 3 every 20 minutes. 

I also registered for a race last week.  The Run for the Water which is a 10 miler and which some of my twitter/running friends are running.  The price was right and I haven't had anything to freak out about in a while. 

I'll admit that I'm a bit bummed today about my running/fitness.  I'm following the instructions from my coach but this week I'm not sure that I'm seeing progress. My weight is exactly the same as it was the day I started this program and the same as 4 months ago and 12 months ago and 24 months ago.  I seem to be quite settled at this weight.  My coaching comes with a meal tracking thing and when I track, I don't usually hit the # of calories allotted for the day (particularly if I exercise) and if I believe calories in & calories out, I should be losing weight.  But I'm not.  I would agree that my arms are more buff but beyond that...  I just don't know. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Workouts 09/17 - 09/23

I had a good workout week but missed a few workouts for assorted reasons.

Monday - Should have been a special strength training session set up for running but I donated blood platelets instead (a double).  I hate missing a workout but definitely feel that donating platelets is more important. 

Tuesday - 3.2 in 40 minutes (12:30) plus walking warm up/down.  Zone 2. I started at 3:00/1:00 but dropped to 2:00/1:00 because I felt a little run down from the donation. 

Wednesday - Birthday, birthday, birthday! No working out: lunch out, dinner out, cookie for my birthday.  Lovely loveliness but skipped a strength session.

Thursday - Bike ride of 11 miles in 1:00.  Just lovely.  When I got back, I took the kids out to start their Marathon Kids sessions for the year with a 1/3 run around the block. 

Friday - Total Body Workout.  This was Wednesday's workout that I finally did on Friday.

Saturday - Bike ride of 15.5 miles in 1:15  Just lovely and wonderful. 

Sunday - 7.00 in 1:30 approximately. I had to guess at distance because I ran a trail run at Walnut Creek.  My GPS didn't pick up very well but it was so fun. 20 minutes in zone 2 followed by 3 in zone 3 throughout. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Labyrinth Blanket

I finished another (my 4th) labyrinth blanket this weekend.  A good friend asked me if I would make one so she can give it to a friend's son (the friend had a baby so it will be a big brother blanket).  My friend is knitting the baby blanket.  I said sure and she bought the yarn. I didn't think that the variegated yarn would come out well on the solid background but I gave it a try and it looks great.  She was very happy with it and I hope the big brother will be as well. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Workouts 9/10 - 9/16

I had good workouts last week and others that were non-existent.  Literally.  Emotionally it was a very hard week.  The fact that September 11th and my mother's Yartzeit occur within a day of each other means that I experience the grief of the entire country and then my own personal grief and it can really pull me down.  I used to think that missing my mother would get easier and perhaps on a daily basis it does but for big things/events/dates, it doesn't seem any easier at all.

Hmmm. I just realized the days on the image above are off by a day for Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps I entered them wrong on dailymile but I don't think so.

Monday - Arms & Shoulder workout.  A very good workout in the evening.  I'm feeling stronger with each workout.
Tuesday - 3.8 miles in 44 minutes (11:34) plus walking warm up/down.  I was thinking a lot about the 9/11 attacks and the first responders during this run.  Ran a 3:00/1:00 and felt really good and smooth. 
Wednesday - Friday - Stomach bug 1, ChocolateMe 0.  No workouts. I stayed home from work Wednesday and went on Thursday and Friday still feeling crummy.
Saturday - 12.7 mile bike ride in 1:03.  Very lovely day. I rode over through the park and to the end of town or very nearly so. Then back. 
Sunday - 7.5 miles in 1:30 (12:00) plus walking warm up/down.  Temperature was 65 with steady rain. I wore a hat and long sleeve tech shirt and was comfortable and enjoyed the run. It was 20 minutes zone 2 (run at 2:00/1:00) and then 3 minute zone 3 surges (all 3:00 running harder).  The pace was pretty good for me for a run that long.  I did some good stretching in the evening and am feeling just a little tightness today. 

I mentioned last week being excited because I can now use Nike+ on my new phone.  I've now gone on 3 runs with the phone and all three have stopped recording right around 30 minutes/2+ miles.  I need to send a note to technical support but if this doesn't improve, I will bag Nike+ and just measure mileage on RunKeeper/record on dailymile. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Workouts 09/03 - 09/09

I'm not sure whether it was a ... what do you call it? Step-back week? Recovery week? Easy week? last week or just cardio only.  I definitely liked it.  I know that I need to do strength and core work but neither are fun to me.  Just not fun.  Wednesday was actually the first scheduled day off since I started training with this coach.  (I took it on Tuesday).  I've missed some workouts but not had scheduled days off. 

Monday - 3.65 - 45 minutes (12:19) plus walking warm up and down. Was supposed to be biking but I went out to the garage and remembered that the cage for one of my pedals was half off and I didn't have the screws to reattach it. Since it was getting warmer every moment, I changed into running clothes and headed out to run in the low 80s with high humidity.  Blech. 

Wednesday - 3.57 - 45 minutes (12:36) plus walking warm up and down.  74 degrees with 92% humidity which is hard to breathe.  Ran 2:00/1:00 and felt faster than the stats show. 

Friday- ?? - 1:00 - Per coach this was a "naked" run meaning no technology.  No GPS, Nike+, HRM. Just run an hour.  The first half hour was mentally hard but then I got into it. 

Saturday - 1:30 bike ride.  I estimated the distance at 18 miles but it could have been anywhere from 15-19.  I had a really enjoyable ride. I'm supposed to maintain steady cadence for these but have a hard time doing that on undulating terrain and with stop signs, lights, dogs, etc.  My heart rate doesn't get as high as I feel like my legs are working hard. I'm not sure what that means.  I rode through Pflugerville a bit, then through the park and out Pecan and found this park that I never knew about (it turns out it's new).  It has paved trails through trees for maybe 1-2 miles. The strangest thing is that all the pedestrian/bike paths yield to the cars rather than vice versa. 

Sunday - 7 miles - 1:30 (12:51) plus walking warm up/down.  Per coach I ran a 2:00/1:00.  Might have been a lower HRM than it should have been.  My legs felt tired (no doubt due to the previous two days). 

Other notes:
My new phone came on Friday late.  We actually stayed at the house all day because we thought UPS would make us sign for them and didn't want to miss the phones. They came about 6:30 and didn't require signature.  My case came on Saturday which is good since I'm such a clutz.  Awesomely, my new phone will run the Nike+ running app so I ran with my phone on Sunday rather than my IPod and the foot clip.  I'm sure it's more accurate for distance although I guess the clip would come in handy if I ran on a treadmill. 

Our other question was whether we could listen to music from ITunes on our phones.  I found an app called Double Twist. It requires install on the PC and the phone but seems relatively easy to use.  It converted our ITunes music (or part of it) and then you can hook up the phone and select playlists.  There seem to be some issues with my not understanding keeping things up to date or something but I'm cautiously optimistic that it will do what it needs to do.  I ordered a arm band for ChocolateWife and I to share to go run with our phones and use them for music. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Workouts 08/27 - 09/02

I was on vacation all last week.  Ten days off with no need to set an alarm. That is huge for me.  Huge.

Monday - Arms & Shoulders with a bit of core routine.

Tuesday - 4.1 miles in 45 (10:58) plus walking warm up/down.  I ran a 2/1 per the coach's instruction to work on increasing my run/walk/run ratios.  Mostly zone 2 with a bit of zone 3. 

Wednesday - Chest & Back routine.  I notice that Daily mile sometimes shows the non cardio workouts on the graph and sometimes does not.  Maybe if I don't mark the time?

Thursday - 2.61 in 30 (11:29) plus walking warm up/down.  I was trying for negative splits running zone 2 in the first 15 and zone 3 in the next 15.  My HRM was totally dead so I ran by perceived exertion.  First 15 minutes was 12:00 mm and last 15 minutes was 11:02. 

Friday - Leg workout.  Basically lots of lunges and squats. 

Saturday - Diane's core workout.  I did the 30 minutes but felt very blah. Did not sleep well.  After lunch with friends we stopped at Target and ChocolateWife bought me a balance ball that is the right size!  That should help my core work. 

Sunday - 6.8 in 1:30 (13:14) plus warm up/down.  Mostly zone 2 with a push at the end.  This felt quite hot and hard and slow and the time shows. 

Week - I only missed one workout and that was a 35 minute stretching routine on Saturday.  I enjoyed all the work and this week is a sort of cardio only step back week.  It is the first time I've had any scheduled days off since I began the coaching. 

Weather - It is hot out.  I am not dealing well with it.  I think it is harder for me than in years past.  Partly that may be that due to the new puppies I am running more in the evenings than I have in the past.  And partly last year at this time I was doing long runs for my upcoming HM so I was setting an alarm for 4:30 or 5:00. This year I am heading out to run at 7:00 or 8:00 and it is slightly hotter.  I've considered joining a gym but I don't want to spend the money or have to go somewhere to workout.  One thing I love about running is the option to just walk out the door to run.  I guess in a few weeks, it will cool down and be easier.  My times seem slow and sluggish but I wonder if I am gaining speed and will see better times when the weather gets more reasonable. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Workouts 08/20 - 08/26

Yes. I did workout the week before last. I just never posted my summary here.  So I'll try to catch up with two weekly summaries today and tomorrow.

Tuesday - I did the Total Body Workout from Coach Jeff.  I skipped part of the core work because my stomach was bothering me (I actually stayed home sick it was bothering me badly enough). 

Thursday - Did Pre-dawn runner's core workout for 30 minutes.  It is so good and challenging.

Friday - 3.65 miles in 45 minutes (12:19) plus walking warm up down. It was 92 when I started and 87 when I finished.  Zone 2.

Saturday - Total Body Workout from Coach Jeff.  Should have been Friday but I didn't want to do it Friday.

Sunday - 6.35 in 1:30 (14:10) including lots of walking.  This should have been 20 minutes in zone 2, then 3 in zone 3, for 1:30 but I went out when it was too hot and couldn't handle it.  I ended up doing about 45 minutes running and the rest walking miserably.  It was about 95-97.  Too much. Too hot.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Workouts 08/13 - 08/19

I felt like I had a pretty good workout week last week. I missed one workout (Friday) but got the others done with some shifting. 

Monday - (not shown on the graphic for some reason).  3.5 miles in 45 minutes (12:51) plus walking warm up/down.  I wasn't scheduled to run until Tuesday but we had guests and it occurred to me that if I ran Monday evening I could avoid waking the household Tuesday morning early.  It had rained and the temps were down into the 80s but I ran through millions of gnats which was pretty gross.  Zone 2 run so pretty nice.

Tuesday - Arms/shoulders.  I went through the script of exercises 2x.  Definitely more doable with the weights than the last time I did it with books.

Wednesday - Chest & back strength training. Again through the script 2x. 

Thursday - 3.5 miles in 45 minutes (12:51) plus walking warm up/down.  I ran at lunch hour because I needed to work until 5:00.  It was 85 when I started and 92 when I ended but I ran at the (deserted) track where there is a water fountain.  Easy zone 2 and I worked on being relaxed and picking up my feet.

Saturday - 7 miles in 1:32 (13:08) plus walking warm up/down.  A bit slower but also longer than the earlier week runs.  Still mostly zone 2 but with 3 minute surges into zone 3.  This run was scheduled for Sunday but I went to Houston overnight to see my nephew in a play.

Sunday - Saturday's core workout and then foam rolling workout.  It should have been 30 minutes core but I got interrupted over and over by the kids and dogs and gave up after about 15 minutes.  I did 20 minutes on the foam roller which was both wonderful and terrible.  But watching the coaches' video did give me some tips on rolling that helped. 

Other notes:  My coach still wants me to work on eating more calories for breakfast and fewer for dinner.  I'm finding it a bit challenging, especially with the puppies pulling some morning time. 

I have not lost any weight since starting with the coach but then I didn't say that was my goal.  My goal is really to get stronger and faster.  I can't really tell if faster is working because how can I compare my times running in blistering hot weather to anything else.  It's very apples to oranges but I do feel happy with the coaching. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Work Stand up Desk

I’ve heard and read for months about stand up desks.  I’ve read that they are good for your posture and legs and back and just not sitting so darned long every day.  I’ve also read that you don’t need a stand-up desk; you just need to get up and walk around every hour.  I started talking about getting a stand-up desk months ago.  I remember that originally I didn’t want to do it before the Austin 10/20 (4/15). 

Well last month we were at IKEA and they had a $30 stool with a back and foot rest so I got it. I’ve read that it takes up to a month to adjust to the stand-up desk and that you want a stool so you can go from sitting to standing.  Then I did a request at my work for the adjustment to my cubical.  It took a few weeks for approval and communication but Monday the facilities guy came over and adjusted my desk.  What I first wanted was to have the corner piece (which includes a pull-out keyboard and mouse tray) and the short surface left of that raised but not the long surface.  It turned out that it wasn’t possible to raise those two surfaces due to the way the back of the cube is constructed but it was relatively easy to raise the long surface.  I had to give up an overhead/locking bin but I didn’t have anything in it anyway.  And I gave up a hanging file organizer which I could put back now that we’re not raising the short piece but I don’t really think I want it. 

So basically it’s been one full day of standing and I liked it yesterday. By the end of the day my feet and lower back were sore which I understand is pretty normal.  I’ve even read that you can burn up to 50 more calories an hour standing than sitting but that’s not why I made the change.  My co-workers have had mixed reactions ranging from “I want one too!” to “interesting” to “you’ll need knee surgery in a year.”

I want to give it at least a month to see how I like the change. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Workouts 08/06 - 08/12

Monday - Total Body Workout.  The same workout from Coach Jeff but a very good and thorough workout.  I borrowed some 10 lb dumbbells which made a big difference. I need some lighter ones for lateral & front arm raises but I think ChocolateWife has some. 

Tuesday - 3.6 in 45 (12:30) plus walking warm-up/down.  This was an easy zone 2 run (for me 160-170).  I'm learning and adjusting to this type of running. I wish I could learn to control my HR while running rather than feeling like I need to run/walk/run/walk to maintain the zone.  Also, it was 98 when I left the house and 96 when I got home so another brutally hot run. 

Wednesday - Core work 30 minutes.  On the schedule this was the Coach Diane core routine but I didn't feel like working at the computer (to watch the video) would work with the kids and dogs and etc. so I did did mostly the Pre-dawn runner's routine. 

Thursday - Skipped my workout and donated a double unit of blood platelets.  The donation went very well and only took 75 minutes to do the double. I thought I would make up the run on Friday evening and then double the Friday/Saturday workouts on Saturday but alas.  Friday evening was ... strained in the house and I never got out the door to run.

Saturday - Total Body Workout (see Monday) and then Yoga.  Both were good workouts and I feel like I'm gaining some strength and balance but still have long to go in both.

Sunday - 5.8 in 1:20 (13:47) plus walking warm up/down.  All zone 2 and this was much slower than I thought. I felt like I was moving well but the mileage shows only this much.  Still, the purpose is to build endurance which I think I'm doing. 

Other notes:
My coach looked at the food logs I'm keeping and commented that I should try to eat more calories for breakfast and fewer for dinner.  I think I'll find that challenging on both ends but am willing to give it a go.  ChocolateWife wants to make a similar change so perhaps our dinners will begin to have more salads and greens in them.

I had the comment of the week on Salty Running again.  It was about blood/platelet donation and they sent me a nice e-mail. I truly love the site. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby Blanket

Some friends are having a baby in a few weeks and the shower is this weekend.  I actually finished this blanket a month or more ago but just haven't remembered to post any pictures.  It is from a book of patterns I have that has sort of repetitive bodies but impressive borders.  Some of the borders are bigger than the bodies. 

You know what I've realized from this blanket? I don't like the blankets that concentrate on big frilly borders because I don't like doing the borders.  You always have to make some weird number of stitches around the edge like 392 or something so you have to do some, count, back up, do them again, count again, etc until you get 392.  And then you start and by the time you get to round 4 of the border, the count is off again.  I didn't even do the last two rounds of this pattern because I couldn't get the count to come out right. 

I think it's safe to assume that the blanket recipients are not crocheters (I've never heard them mention it or post anything on Facebook) and that if they are, they don't have this particular pattern book so they won't know the difference.  Only ChocolateWife and I will know that it's missing a bit of border.  Nonetheless, I think it looks nice and it feels quite cuddly so they will enjoy it. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Workouts 07/30 - 08/05

Recovery Week

I had heard these coaches discussing how they believe in every 3rd week as a recovery week but I didn't realize how quickly that would come I guess.  It feels like a very big change from my previous run schedule but I am trusting them...

Tuesday - 3.48 in 45 minutes (12:55) plus walking warm up/down.  It was an easy zone 1 run (124-159 BPM) and felt quite nice.  There was a bit of a breeze.
Tuesday - "Total Body Workout" - 40 minutes.  This is a fast paced video workout that cycles through 2 rounds of arms/chest/legs/back/core/... whatever else there is.  Good workout and challenging.  I should have done the workout on Monday but couldn't get to it because of our travel.
Wednesday - Should have done the 30 minute core workout but didn't...
Thursday - 3.65 in 54 minutes including walking warm up/down (14:47).  Was supposed to be Easy/Zone 1 and it was but it was also 7:00 and 99 when I left the house and 95 when I got home.  It was Brutal.  We're trying to shift my workouts to the evening for a few weeks while we work on having new puppies, otherwise when I get up at 5:00, I will wake the puppies and they will wake the family.  I guess the only good point was that since I knew what zone to be in, I wasn't questioning myself: should I run faster? should I push? 
Friday - Total Body Workout again. Still hard. 
Saturday - Beginner Yoga 30 minutes. The workout was challenging and of course extra hard to try and see the computer monitor. I guess as I do it over and over I won't care about the computer monitor as much.
Sunday - 3.45 in 45 (12:55) plus walking warm up down.  Again Easy Zone 1 run but this time at Walnut Creek Park. The day was gorgeous and I loved this run.  It was only around 85 or so. 

It looks like this coming week is similar but zone 2 rather than zone 1 runs. Also, I was going to buy some 10 lb dumbbells but I mentioned this to our friends and they said they have some unused so I went and borrowed them after my run.  This will be much easier than using books for the workouts. 

I'm still not signed up for a Fall half-marathon.  I would be happy to just continue this training with a coach without a goal race but if the coach says I should have a race to work towards, I will do so.  I'm very ambivalent right now.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Workouts 7/23 - 7/29

My workout week last week was not bad but not great either.  My coach gave me a workout every day and I did most of them, falling off when we went out of town for the weekend.  I don't think they are all showing in this picture though.

Monday - A scripted chest and shoulders weight lifting workout. I used books but the books are very inconvenient and it makes me consider looking on Craigs list for some weights.  I'm not willing to pay much since the last time I sold some I did so for $12 or $15. 

Tuesday - 3.16 in 40 (12:39) plus walking warm up/down.  This was designed as a zone 2 run with my new zone 2 between 160-170.  I had to take walk breaks but these were only 15 seconds or so long each time.  It was a good run.

Wednesday - Chest and back workout using books.  I wasn't in the mood but did it anyway. 

Friday - 2.69 in 35 (13:01) plus walking warm up down.  This was 30 minutes in zone 2 (2.27 in 30 [13:12]) and then 5 minutes pushing into zones 3 and 4 (.42 in 5 [11.54]).  "Negative split" run. This should have been Thursday's run but was not.

Friday - Core work for 30 minutes.

Sunday - Zone 2 run. 6.25 miles in 1:20 (12:48) plus walking warm up/down.  I was supposed to have finished with a 3 minute push but wasn't connected enough to have reread that instruction. 

I didn't log my food while out of town but plan do to so this week.  It looks like a recovery week with light runs and doing some strength training.  I need to double up as I wasn't able to get in the strength workout yesterday with the drive home, laundry, car inspection, and everything else. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Workouts 07/16 - 07/22

This was my first week working with my new coach.  For the most part the week was spent doing some tests to learn where I am and setting up a base of training:

Monday - 35:00 of shoulder work with a little core mixed in.  Basically it was 60 seconds on, 15 off for 2x through a circuit of shoulder work and a few crunches.  I used heavy books as my weights which worked well.

Tuesday - 3.16 in 40 minutes (12:39) plus walking warm up/down.  It was 74 degrees and 97% humidity and really miserable out.  The goal for the day was a timed mile run with 200 meters hard effort at the end to see my max or nearly max HR.  GPS was very spotty so my mile was perhaps 1.1 or 1.15 miles.  Slower than I've run a mile in the past 9 months or so but I still pushed it to get the HR (198) the coach wanted to know. 

Wednesday - 35:00 of chest/back work.  Again 60 on, 15 off for 2x through a circuit of work.  The books didn't work as well for this one as it was hard to hold them while doing the work. 

Thursday - 3.6 in 46 (12:46) plus walking warm up/down.  This one was a "Lactate Threshold test".  I looked it up to see what that means and according to it is the "Lactate Threshold (LT) is the highest exercise intensity attained before a marked increase in blood lactate concentration occurs".  So basically it was after a good warmup to run with high intensity for 20 minutes.  I managed 1.85 miles and av hr of 178 during the 20 minutes of the test.  The humidity was still 97 but somehow felt less oppressive but still pretty bad.

Friday - 35:00 Legs.  No need for books.  Lunges this way, that way, the other way, and all three ways.  Also some squats. 

Saturday - 11.75 in 1:00 on the bike.  I was supposed to keep it in zone 2 and at 85-90 cadence throughout.  I don't think I managed either but it felt like a good workout.  My legs were sore the next day anyway.

Saturday - I was supposed to have done a 30 minute core routine on Friday and didn't get to it.  I was going to do it Saturday but I woke up with a blinding headache, did the bike ride regardless, and tried to do the core workout. I made it 15 minutes in and gave up. 

Sunday - 4.75 in 1:00 (12:37) plus walking warm up/down. The direction was a zone 2 run to build base.  I set my watch and did just that and it was quite nice concentrating on form. 

The coach also asked me to start recording my food so I did Saturday.  It's very strange to record my food and especially to think that someone else will read it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Half-Marathon Training Program

Friday I signed up for a new half-marathon training program.  I actually signed up for the training before signing up for a race.  I’m leaning toward the Dare to Ascend half-marathon.  I think I’d enjoy a trail half marathon although I know a trail race is, by definition, harder and slower than a road half.  But I do like running on trails and the race is at the right time.  If the See Jane run Half Marathon were happening, it would be at the perfect time and would cost only $30 or perhaps nothing (I forget) but they are not running the race so that’s out. 
I’ve been feeling like without a goal race until next February, my training was just sort of plodding along.  I didn’t have a real compulsion to get out of bed and run one day versus another and while out on a weekend run, I didn’t feel like I was committed to any given distance or pace.  I would just run a bit and feel done and walk the rest of the way.  And the truth is that I’ve read blogs, books, recommendations, training plans, and everything else in the world and it’s just an overwhelming amount of input.  I can look at one plan that says run this much and these days and another that says the opposite.  One says race this often at race pace and one says don’t push too hard. 
One of the podcasts I listen to is produced by a set of trainers and he is frequently a guest on other podcasts.  One of the things I’ve heard him say is that every workout should have a purpose.  Another is that most people train too hard.  They are trying to do every run at race pace.  Both of those things really struck a nerve for me.  My race pace (based on Galloway formulas) would be 11:36 mm but I’m trying to do all my training (except LSR) at <12:00 which seems quite close to race pace.  So if not at race pace, how much slower should it be?  And am I training too hard? Running too long?  Too much?  Not enough?
So I signed up for some training that seems to be sort of hybrid pricing and setup.  The cost is not as high as one-on-one training would be but higher than buying a book or a prefab program or something.  I’m still trying to come to an understanding of the logistics of the training. It appears that I have a coach who will give me a weekly program that’s sort of customized and I’ll use the online tool to enter my training results, comments, metrics etc.  I don’t know how much direct interaction there will be.  Saturday she posted my first week of scheduled workouts which are sort of structured to give the coach an idea of my baselines.  It includes 3 strength workouts, 3 run workouts, 1 bike workout, and one core workout.  But the total time is just 5:55 so it’s not vastly different from my current time investment. 
I’m sort of simultaneously excited and anxious about the training.  I would certainly like some guidance and would like to see some improvements in my fitness and pace. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Workouts 07/09 - 07/15

My training week last week was pretty paltry but with mostly good reasons.  Ok. Maybe there is never a good reason for a paltry training week but I'm feeling optimistic about it all.  More on that soon.

Tuesday - 3.95 miles in 50 minutes (12:39 mm) plus walking warm up down.  I only ran a 2:00/1:00 because I planned (yes, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that) to run Wednesday as well.  The most notable things about the run were oppressive humidity and running past a skunk or skunk spray.  Wow.  That really lasts a long time when you're running. 

Tuesday - Pre-dawn runner's core workout.  30 minutes.  Always hard. Always good. I'm definitely gaining strength and balance. 

Thursday - 4.1 walking in an hour.  ChocolateWife had to go out of town to attend a family funeral so the kids and I walked to the elementary school (they rode bikes). Then they played on the playscapes while I walked in circles. 

Saturday - 6.5 miles 1:30 (13:50).  Wow.  It was only 73 degrees out but when I stopped running I checked The Weather Channel and it was 100% humidity. I didn't even know it could be 100% humidity without raining.  I did a 1:00/1:00.  Then walked home for another 2 miles in about 30 minutes. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Workouts 07/02 - 07/08

I had an ok workout week last week. Not great, not terrible.  I definitely do better when I'm on a workout schedule working toward a race.  Every few days I google half-marathons in Central Texas and look and then don't select anything.  I just don't seem to be able to find anything that's perfect (close, not too hot, cheap, etc.).  I've considered the Decker half which is in December and a few others. 

I'm also considering signing up for some online training.  It's not cheap but I would say it's reasonably priced.  I don't know that I want to pay during base training though; I think I only want to sign up leading up to race training.  It's something I'm considering.  Possibly I would ask for it as my birthday present since I always have so much trouble coming up with "things" I want. 

But without further ado and adon't:

Tuesday - 4.22 miles in 50 minutes (11:50 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I called this one running under a cartoon moon.  The moon was huge and yellow and it was one of those mornings when it is just a gift to be outside and active and appreciate it all.  Knowing that I was going to run the next day I only did a 2:00/1:00 but still was under 12:00 mm. 

Wednesday - 4.5 miles running and walking in 1:10.  I only ran about 2.5 miles after getting up and not in the mood but trying it anyway.  The humidity was just brutal. 

Wednesday - Did the pre-dawn runner's core workout.  This workout is so good and so hard.  I'm getting stronger in my core for sure but it's still a big challenge. 

Friday - 4.15 in 50 (12:02 mm) plus walking warm up/down.  I ran a 3:00/1:00 and it was quite clear and still.  Nice run. 

Saturday - Family bike ride. We all rode bikes to the park and back.  I would guess it was around 7 miles or so.  We let ChocolateSon lead the way and I just kept being amazed at how well he could ride.  ChocolateDaughter was on the back of ChocolateWife's bike. 

I planned a run of a few hours on Sunday but woke up very sick to my stomach and pretty much continued feeling crummy all day.