Saturday, August 31, 2013

Selden Hills Fail

Ha ha ha ha hah Ha ah Hahaha Selden Hills Ha hah hahaa hahaa! *Sigh*

Let me tell you something. Sea Cliff has a few choice hills. And the St. James hill of Cow Harbor is brutal in it's own right. But, Oh.My.God. The Hills of Selden are ridonculous. 

I'm pretty sure I'm at mile 2 here, and you can see the next hill in the foreground, cresting just past the street lamp on the left..only to see the second hill continuing up behind it. Yeah. Compare it to the graph below, if you wish.

I probably would have felt more accomplished (despite the fact that I obviously could not keep my heart rate under 70% of max for any significant amount of time) if I had not gotten LOST. I thought I reviewed the route well enough, even writing directions down - but there were some street signs that were missing, and between my delirium and realizing I did not bring enough fluid and that I was going to get dehydrated really fast because of the humidity.. the whole thing was a big fail. But an adventure, none the less.
I did a lot of walking, no doubt.

74°, 87 % humidity, SSW 9

Miles: 7.12

Average heart rate: 149 (not too bad considering I kept getting into the 170's AFTER cresting the hills..)

Time: 1:35:17
Average Pace: 13:23

I think I might try it again, running with the group that runs it regularly. Or not. I don't know. It took me about 45 minutes to get there and a little longer to get home because of traffic on the LIE. I'm not counting that I stopped for Chipotle. That's a lot of gasoline.

I think I'm going to wake up some fast twitch fibers tomorrow morning and run 3 miles without considering my HR. That's if my calves and quads are not too pissed off at me in 24 hours.

And congrats to my sis for attaining 2 PR's- for a 5k and 10k!
As she tells everybody, "You're a Rockstar!"

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brief weekly report.

Tuesday morning, Aug 27th
 71°,  W 8 mph, 88 % humidity,  DP 68 

1 M < 65 % max - 137 bmp
1 M 80 % max    - 156 bmp
1 M < 65 % max   137 bmp 
The wind felt good, I felt like I could run forever. I refused to walk to bring my heart rate down when it got too high. It worked. I will need to remember the rates I set so I'm not left guessing during the run. I kept speeding up, slowing down, listening to Runmeter announce the changes. Toward the end of the run, I could not slow my HR down, however.

Wednesday afternoon, Aug 28th
77°, WSW 6mph,  77 % humidity ,  DP 70

5 M < 70 % max - 143 bmp
Boy, was it THICK outside after the rain. I was less afraid to run this workout after work because knew I would be running easy. I still had some difficulty, however. My achilles tendons were achy, probably from being on my feet all day. My legs felt heavy, and had a hard time getting my legs to swing easy. I could not keep my HR at or under 70% max.  Probably had to do with the humidity, plus the stress of the workday. There were lots of cars driving around, trying to get home after work. It seems patience for runners sharing the road with them at that time of the day is at an all time low. I ended up doing a fartlek or two, because, well, my heartrate was up there anyway. At the end, my overall average heart rate was 7 bpm over target rate. Major fail.

Thursday morning, Aug 29th
70°, E 7 mph, 90 %  humidity, DP 67

3 M < 70 % max  - 143 bmp
I'm a morning runner fershure! This morning I was better at keeping the correct heart rate. Although I must be feeling very good because my HR was creeping up and I was barely feeling it. I had no idea until Runmeter announced it. It was misting to barely a drizzle, and there were some nice, cool sustained gusts of wind which reminded me that autumn is on it's way. I've been running new and different portions of the neighborhood, and it made the run go that much quicker. At the end, my overall average heart rate heart rate was 2 bpm over target rate, but the humidity was high again. 
I'm thinking of driving out to Selden over the weekend and doing the infamous Selden Hills instead of the CH route.

Some comparison stats:

Date   Miles       Avg HR     Avg Pace       Time
8/24  3             144            12:49         00:38:45
8/25  5             143            12:12         01:01:26
8/27  3             144            11:32         00:35:02  (mixed 65-80 %)
8/28  5             150            11:38         00:58:40
8/29  3             145            11:30         00:38:01 

My ego is saying: "You're actually posting this crap?"

I have put so much faith into this type of training. It really just feels so counter-intuitive.  I'm really dying to try running back in the 170's again just to see if I feel any different, or if my 5k pace has improved. Since I've been back to training,  I could not run 3 miles without walking and could not break 9:30.  Cow Harbor is getting closer real fast, and I'm hoping this will pay off to get me at least to 58:18 like last year. I DO have to remember that I just ran the CH course only 3+ minutes slower than that just a few weeks ago. There's the silver lining.

A rest day is scheduled for tomorrow, so I should do it. Buuut, maybe I'll try another 3 miler after work if I'm up for it.  ;)

So far, 11 miles this week. Not too shabby. I haven't been using the Magellan, and I really don't miss it.

Over and out. 
And slow as shit.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Plugging along, ego in check.

64°, NW 4 mph, 85% humidity, DP 64%
Another beautiful morning, although I did feel chilled when I woke up and made my way downstairs. Whereas yesterday I went out in shorts and a sports bra - no tank (a first for me - it actually forced me to tighten my abs, dare I let it all hang out!), today I covered up because of the chill. I put a cap on too, to help limit squinting from the sun. My face felt more relaxed, and I thought the rest of me did too.

I turned off a great deal more of the notifications from  Runmeter since I wanted to listen to more of a podcast uninterrupted. Instead of reporting every quarter of a mile, it reported every mile, just average pace (not current), average heart rate, distance, and run time.  Runmeter would intersperse those mile notifications with alerting me to when I went over my target heart rate, and when I came back down into it. I was stressing out much less about how low my pace was then - and just enjoying the run. And boy, I sure enjoyed it.  Although, it's amazing how it's feels so strange to re-focus on a different aspect of  performance when you've been focusing on just one other thing (pace) for so long.

The bottom line here, is that again, I had no idea I had reached 5 miles. I was about 3/4 of a mile away from home when the program told me my workout was over. WHAT? My effort was so controlled, and I was so relaxed and fresh, that I was not anticipating ending the run. I'm also starting to get a feel for what 143 bpm feels like. I believe I'm starting to run based on perceived exertion.

Although I can't believe that things are working this fast, when I compared this run with my last, I've run 2 miles longer, at a 30 sec/mile faster pace. There must be another explanation, but I don't know enough to make the correlation.

Miles       Avg HR     Avg Pace       Time
3             144            12:49         00:38:45
5             143            12:12         01:01:26 

So, according to plan, tomorrow is a rest day. Tuesday morning I'm to run 1 mile at less than 65%, 1 mile at 80%, and 1 mile at less than 65%.  And that's a 'hard' day. Granted, I'm using the novice plan, but I chose to start with that only because I've been deconditioned. The book states that I can switch up to the intermediate level after a minimum of two weeks in the previous plan if need be. Because I'm pretty sure I want to do the Cow Harbor, I anticipate doing just that.  As of today, there are 2430 runners registered. I have another 2 weeks before the rates go up.

Run strong, everyone!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Beautiful Day to Honor my Heart..

79°, SSE 6mph, 38% humidity, DP 49%

Wow! What a beautiful day on the east coast!
I worked a half day, and decided that I would go for a HR run when I got home. I picked up my book, found the calculations I had made, and punched those numbers into a new activity on Runmeter. It seems that the runs I had tried previously I was attempting with too low a rate. Now that I have a better number for my max rate, this run, while still challenging, was definitely doable.
If I can keep my commitment and excitement level high, this just might enable me to run at least another 2 times a week. I'm just so SHOT when I get home from work. Emotionally, mentally, not so much physically. Perhaps I can reverse that trend with a 38 minute, 3 mile run - at ≤70% of my max.

That's exactly what I did today. So, the idea being, that after 4 weeks of adding this type of workout to my training, I should be able to do that 3 mile run in less time at the same heart rate. This would translate to better aerobic, fat burning metabolism (and sparing glycogen stores) for longer distances.
OooOOoh boy - this book is explaining everything in such a simple way. Truly, written for "Compleat Idiots" like me!

I was so surprised when Runmeter said that I reached 3 miles and the workout was over. I was not at all wondering when the run would be finished. All I was thinking about was standing tall (I was listening to a podcast describing running form from Runner Academy - the producers of one of the (IMHO) BEST podcasts out there), and the usual - not getting hit by a car, staying on the correct side of the road, etc. My breathing was natural and effortless, and nothing hurt.

A few times I let my HR get away from me - it must have been a natural byproduct of having plenty of energy (endurance) I suppose, from not taxing my heart overall on the run. 
Tomorrow is a 5 miler maintaining the same ≤70% rate. I can't wait. 

In other news, I recently bought, and demoed the Fitbit wrist band. Meh. I returned it after 2 weeks. The wristband did not have an intuitive display like the clip on model. I thought it was hard to use, and the website was unimpressive to me.

I am, however, really liking this new app for my iPhone - Argus. I use the pulse and sleep apps already by this company - and they incorporate that info plus steps taken, weather that day, calories burned, routes taken - just giving you an overall visual snapshot of your physical day. It will remind me to take my heart rate, or that it's been three hours since my last glass of water..

The only thing is that for some people, their phone is like an extra appendage. They take it with them where ever they go. For me, I forget to even charge it, or I leave it in my car, whatever. For the app to be effective to record the stats it needs to be useful, I really should keep it on my person most of the time.
Here is the screen shot for today.

You can see that because I use the sleep app every night, (bottom right) it also pulls in from my account with them how many hours I slept, and the approximate quality of my sleep. I love it.

Enjoy this beautiful weather, east coasters. Tomorrow promises to be another great day!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Catching up..

Tuesday, Aug 20th
70 degrees,  69% humidity
What a mish-mash of training this morning. I think I think too much. Wait. I KNOW I think too much. And this carries over into just about everything I do. Like this morning's training. I could not decide on a plan, so I did a little bit of everything. However, I don't think that's efficient.

While researching maximum heart rate formulas and training via HR, I did come across finding your max rate through actually running to find it. But I blew it off because, well, it would be so uncomfortable to do. It took another fellow blogger to reiterate just how logical it is to determine your rate by how high you can go. We are all biologically the same yet different, after all.

So, out to the track I went - walked once around the track, started up the Magellan, did a warm up mile, although, not really a warm up, I just got faster with each lap around - until I realized I was running out of steam before the last 200 meters where I'd need to go all out. I pooped out, walked for about 50 meters, and then started up again, trying to finish the mile as fast as I could.
I think I got my heart rate up to 182-185. And it was not pretty. I felt my legs and arms flailing all over the place, no control. I hope I provided at least a little bit of entertainment for the 5 or 6 other people walking around the track.

So, then I decided to reward myself with trying to keep my heart rate under 140 as I ran. Ummm.. no. That did not go over well. I found myself walking too much trying to control it after getting it up to cardiac-bursting level.

So, hey. How about doing 100's? I really LIKE doing them. And this time, I figured out that I have a LAP button on Runmeter. Let's see if that does what I think it should do. So, coming up to the 100 meter line, I hit lap, and started running. I tried to remember that I needed to increase my speed over the distance, and not to start out sprinting. That's how I tore up my quads last year. It turns out the LAP button did what I thought it would do. I averaged 22 seconds running 100 meters out of 5 attempts. That's about a 6:02 pace. I would have done more, but then tapping through the iphone case wasn't consistent, and I was smacking the stupid thing and the laps were going onandoffandonandoff.. ugh. Then I just jogged once around the track, stretched, and went home.
Totally not organized at all.

I've learned that my max HR is about 185. That's not too far off from the 178 I calculated using that formula that took into account the fact that I'm a 53 year old female.

I'm thinking next time I'll do 200's and see if I can run under 50 secs for that distance. And in all this testing and research into my capabilities,  it will be disguised as training.

Runmeter Data
Magellan Data I'm thinking about not using this anymore - Runmeter is much easier for me to read.

Thursday, Aug 22nd
75 degrees, 87% humidity, Dewpoint 70%
I knew I needed to start adding mileage, not only for the 10k coming up, but for my first half marathon in October. 
It was rough right out of the driveway, the humidity hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't think I was hydrated enough. I've been craving salt the last few days, which is not like me- I'm usually trying to fend off filling my maw with sugar.
During the first mile I realized that if I didn't start feeling better by the end of it (the first mile ends in a long, slow decline) that it was going to take all the will I had to complete the six miles. Sure enough, even that declining road did not bolster my pace or improve the way my legs felt or the way my heart was pleading with me to give it a break.
My right ankle started bothering me, then I felt the entire right leg get heavy and cumbersome.

Somewhere before mile 3 I lost the bluetooth signal to my new heartrate monitor. Then I lost the signal to my headset. But it could have been the other way around. Frustrated, I slowed down to a walk and tried to reset everything from my phone, shutting down bluetooth and turning every thing back on. I would say that probably took about 4 minutes. But, in that 4 or 5 minute walk, things started to turn around. My wind returned, my leg felt warm, as if circulation was returning to it. I started off running at a 9:30 right away, and for the first time, I felt myself smile. I should force a smile more often - because it stops me from scowling when I run. From then on, I think I needed to slow down and walk a few more times, just to drink my electolytes - but I was happy I stuck with it. Not so happy with my time, but I can blame the humidity on that. (Why not?)
I'm glad I got the miles in.

I'm working again Saturday morning, so I might go out for a bike ride after work, and try to run by the water somewhere on Sunday.

Runmeter Data

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Good Training Weekend..

Saturday, Aug. 17th
It was great being in Northport again. I had worked in Huntington and Northport for a time about 10 years ago, and the last time I spent serious time there was at last year's Cow Harbor. It seems every time I pass through, some thing else is going up, or businesses have changed hands.  It was good to be back, and it was especially good to run the course again. Well, as good as the St. James hill allowed it to be.
I have a love/hate relationship with this course. I've run it several times in the process of training for it, and then the actual race itself last year, my first year of running. The St. James hill is really gruesome. It's almost a mile long, with a 70 foot change of rise. 
I managed to run/walk the hill on Saturday morning.  I was so grateful it was over..and then I remembered the left turn onto Waterside Ave., at that it never ends. For the amount of work I put into it, (hate) I was very pleased that I was able to tackle it again. (love!)
I ran this in an hour and a minute. When I trained last year, my times were 1:17:00, 1:06:00 and 1:01:00. Racing it brought me in at 00:58:18.
The last 10k I ran, (the LI Marathon 10k with a bum calf) I came in at 1:00:33 - but that course was flat. I had expected to take at least 5 minutes off my 10k time with that race - I was coming from an 8:15 pace 5k. But, because of the calf injury, it was not to be. This year, with only a month left to train, 7 lbs heavier and deconditioned from poor training (I've only ridden my bike once this year, compared to 25 miles every other week 6 weeks before last year's race..) it will be interesting to see how I do - if I decide to register for it. So far, there are 1800 people signed up, they close registration at 5000.
Runmeter Data

Sunday, Aug. 18th
I finished reading Hal Higdon's novel Marathon. It was ok.  I stuck with it because I was interested in the goings on behind the putting together of a marathon. What I found really interesting, however, was the way he described one of the character's experience of running the race - the strategy, and how the character (a Kenyan) was feeling while running. Higdon describes the Kenyan as having a resting heart rate of 29 bpm, and a maximum rate of 160. I know the character is fictitious, but Higdon is most likely working with real numbers from elite athletes. The point being, I believe that I can probably be a better runner if I can train to run with a lower heart rate. I know I won't get to elite numbers, but what would happen if I could keep my heart rate as low as possible and learn to run faster and longer because of it? I've read plenty of blogs that tout that training according to HR is the way to go. And I've even seen tables of data that dumbfound me. Yes, Paul - I'm talkin' bout YOU.

So, I used various calculations, and let me tell you, there are a handful of different ways to arrive at your max heart rate. So confusing. One of the latest theories puts my max at 178 - taking in account my age AND sex. I found instruction that said I need to try to stay within 65-75 % of that number. 
I programmed Runmeter to alert me of my heart rate while out today, and I must say, although it was easier in the beginning and harder the longer I ran, I was surprised I was able to manage it. Earlier in the run I was able to simply slow my pace to bring my rate down, but as the run progressed, I found I had to walk to give me the control I needed. I was able to keep moving for almost 2 hours. I only covered 8.5 miles according to Runmeter, but I know I could have gone on for at least another 30 minutes. My legs were feeling it before I was even cardiovascularly spent. I really enjoyed the run. I found I was much more relaxed - it was a pleasure.
So, I've got to come up with a plan now that incorporates this HR training. I know I wanted to start training after work. It makes sense that this might be the way to do it.
I ordered Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot used off Amazon. Now that I have audio prompting of my rate during my run, I'm hoping this will spur me onto a better way to train.

Runmeter Data - first of three runs. I'll have to reprogram my activity to be unlimited instead of 45 minutes at a time.

Magellan Data - the whole 2 hrs. Avg heart rate, 130 bpm

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let it be, and let it go.

What a glorious way to start the day. Fifty seven degrees, 52% humidity, barely a breeze.
Getting dressed in a tank and shorts, I was feeling cold this morning, but I knew I would warm up after a mile in. I had no expectations as I started out except that I made sure Runmeter knew I was wearing a HR monitor. I did want to do more than 3 miles - but how many and at what pace, I could not even fathom. My running has been so inconsistent and my fitness so tenuous, I was just going to just be and let it go.

The cooler weather put me in brighter, hopeful spirits. My sister sent me a comment through Facebook which Runmeter audibly presented to me - that she 'liked' my run, and so I felt her virtual support as I made my way down the now boring route of my neighborhood.  My first mile felt fast, and it seems I ran it in 9 minutes. Not too bad. Everything is relative, so months ago, what would have seemed like dragging ass is now my 'normal'. I know that with the proper training I can get speedy again.  I thought back on the last 5k race I ran- which seems like YEARS ago fastest, at an 8:15 pace. I was so excited about it. I translated that into a reflection of my state of health and mental toughness. Recovering from an injury has not been easy, and even the toll it takes on those thoughts you carry with you in your head is an additional obstacle I have found I have to mitigate through.

I didn't want to walk, but found I had to in some spots. "That's ok", I said to myself.
I tried to lower my heart rate by controlling my breath, but it wasn't working. "That's ok - don't worry about it", I thought.
I tried to run by perceived exertion, but found my head interfering and that my thoughts were scattered, and poorly directed. "Don't be so hard on yourself", I consoled.

I didn't have to be anywhere until 10:00am this morning, so at 7:30am I was grateful for that, and just tried to let it be. 
I was very happy with 5 miles, and the 9:30 pace.

I've got at least a slow 8 miler on tap again this weekend. I thought about running the 5 mile race in Hicksville on Saturday, but it starts at 5pm! I'm still considering it -  it would be interesting to see how well I would do:
1. late in the day
2. first race after injury
3. and 5 miles

The last 5 mile race I ran I did it in 43:47. I know I'm not ready to beat this, nor come close. But this might be a good prep for the Cow Harbor 4 weeks from now.. it might give me some insight on what I might need to work on. Oh hell. I know what I need to work on. Endurance, heart rate, form - just getting in those miles! 
Meh, we'll see.

F* you, Magellan (I did NOT run 8 miles, as it says I did)
Runmeter Data (now with heart rate!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Duh. *Forehead smack*

What persuaded me to get out for a run today was trying my new heart rate monitor that will work with Runmeter and my iPhone 5. I've been putting off running AGAIN until I took what I hope will be the last of my medical tests. The result came in on Monday, and it looks like things are AOK, or at least until I'm able to talk to the Dr. herself, who won't be back from vacation until the 19th. The receptionist was kind enough to tell me that the results of my CT scan were 'normal' - but was unable to fax  it to me or read any more information from the report without the Dr. seeing it first. It makes me wonder if things were NOT normal, and perhaps critical - would I still need to wait another week before I could take further steps? I'll have to remember to ask her.

So, out I went, in 97% humidity and 74 degrees around the same ole' neighborhood, VERY slowly. I didn't wear my Magellan, because really, I didn't feel like being let down again. And I knew it was going to be a short one based on the humidity and the fact that it looked like rain was imminent.  It was a test of my HR monitor primarily, with just the secondary task of easing back into the run. 
Two miles is all she wrote for me today.
Imagine my surprise and then exasperation when I realized that I did not tell Runmeter that I had the device around my chest!

Well, there's always the next run. *sigh*

Runmeter (without my heart rate)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Slow and continuous..

Again, I had to force myself to get out this morning. "Just take another route",  I coaxed myself. "Do something different. Just go out and run." And, as usual, once I put my gear on, I was ready to go.  I failed to get out on Wednesday after work. I was stressed to the max with paper work, and I did the worst thing I could do..have coffee late in the afternoon. I was so wired that I took my heart rate while I was contemplating whether I should go out and run. 93 bpm!
Running can wait.

So, this morning after I was ready to go, I decided a mile out, and a mile back. That's it, nice and easy. I walked east down the hill instead of going west. By the time I reached the main road, Magellan had gotten a signal. I stayed on the sidewalk, which kind of kept me at a slower pace because it's mostly ill-kept. Between that and the puddles, I had to be careful.

To my surprise, I felt good for the first mile. I turned back into the neighborhood streets and took my usual route back home, for a total of 3 miles. Nice! Longer than I expected. My legs felt a little heavy than I would have liked, but more good news, I didn't stop to walk once. This is a first since I started running after that hiatus.

I think I might have felt a little runner's high for most of the morning. I wish that I could expect that every time I ran. There's really nothing like it.

Runmeter Data
Magellan Data

Monday, August 5, 2013

Good workout, poor metrics

I had a great workout this morning, even though I did not set Runmeter up properly. Magellen, on the other hand, my temperamental problem child - worked better then it has on the roads around my home. It must be a gps signal issue of some kind. I just turned it on, and let it go. I had pre-programmed Runmeter for 100's. But clearly, I did not do it correctly. I was setting features that I had not used before, and really had no clear clue as to what their purpose was. Things like "dampen fastest pace" and "filter GPS errors" and "summarizes into". Oh well.
I did something similar to ER's speed run yesterday. But my tempo run was not really a tempo run. I set it up for a tempo, but I don't think the announcements were guiding me through what my intentions were. Either way, I'll have to re-visit and re-vamp my activity profiles and set them up in a way that makes more sense to me. The only thing that was similar to ER's speed work was that I ran 3 miles before attempting 100's. I actually had more energy than I thought I would. And even though Runmeter was confusing the hell out of me, what I was able to discern was the time it took me to run 100 meters. I was running anywhere between 21 to 23 seconds. I have no idea if that is good or not. I think Bolt runs 100m in 10 seconds. I don't know what a 53 year old woman of moderate athletic ability should be running.

I did 7 full on and one last, half-assed 100. Because Magellan is so hard to read, I found a site called Unit Juggler that converted my seconds into min/mile pace. I was quite surprised to see that I ran those 100's anywhere between 5.6 to 6.2 min/mile pace. Holy crap. Here is what my Magellan graph looked like, from the warmup, to the 3 miler, to the intervals.

So, what are the implications of not so much running faster during 100m, but being able to train myself to run at a quicker pace for a longer distance?  I guess that's why the Yasso 800's are so important. Ugh. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I was able to keep my heart rate under 180 during all the intervals, which is important to me. I've read too much literature on the dangers of staying at an elevated heart rate for too long a time, from training to training, and year after year.

Well, I'll have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a way to track my interval training a little better, and to maybe do 100's and 400's next time.
Did I mention I love running on a track?

Problem Child Magellan - entire run
Runmeter Data - 3miles

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A short one, and an idea.

This morning I spent an hour on a stand up paddle board that I rented from the Waterfront Centre in Oyster Bay. A friend of mine was interested in doing it, and I was more than happy to try it. It was the most beautiful summer morning, and spending some time on the water could not be denied.

I found it came very easily to me after about 5 minutes. My friend had a harder time of it, but considering she turned 60 this year, I was filled with nothing but admiration for her efforts.

We hit Chipotle afterwards, so by the time I got home, I was a bit beat and feeling lazy and in need of a bit of a Star Trek fix.  I watched "Nemesis" - which I had no idea I hadn't seen before. My daughter bought me the original series movie BluRay box set for my birthday, and when Amazon emailed me and had the Generations 4 movie box set on sale for only 19 dollars, as they say, resistance was futile. I think Nemesis was very well done, perhaps the best out of the four. I still have a problem with the sound though - on all those movies. I have to raise the volume to hear the dialogue, and lower it for all the battle scenes. 

My initial intention was to food shop and cook for the week, but I also have tomorrow off with 2 appointments during the day, so I will try and make the best of my last day off for the summer and tackle everything.

I ran tonight! It became overcast and I saw the wind pick up a bit. I was feeling so lazy and unproductive, so I thought I should force myself up and out. It was 80 degrees when I started, and about 30 minutes later, it was 75 degrees. It drizzled ever so slightly, but the wind was gusty, just like a storm. I did not warm up with a walk, so I got winded quickly, and just gave up after 2 miles.

I will definitely get out again in the morning before my 11:15 appointment.

As I was sitting here gearing up to blog, I thought - "Gee.. I really suck at running in the evening. Why don't I practice doing that - even if it's only 2 miles after work?"
What a great idea, I think. I will get some additional miles in, and I will make sure they are super slow. It will be after work, and I will be in no shape to do any speed work anyway. Perhaps I will be able to get my heart rate lower.

I just re-read this prior to publishing, and it seems a little disjointed. Sorry. I'm not going to re-organize or correct it. My daughter just got home with food.  I'm going to have some pizza!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Deconditioned, or uninspired? Then, redemption.

Thursday, Aug 1st
My motivation is at an all time low, it seems. It could be the result of just not feeling like myself physically. I'm tired, low on energy at times, and I feel distracted more often than not. Getting out Thursday morning took more effort than it really should have, but even though I struggled with keeping a rhythm during the run, I was in a happier state of mind when I got back home.

There was another huge ass spider web on the side path to my driveway, and I'm glad I looked up when I did. There was a spider the size of my palm hanging right in the middle of the web. By the time I got my phone set up to take the pic, he had scrambled into the hedge. I hoped that by me tearing the entire web down again, he would get the message and move on to build elsewhere.

The run was short, I stayed closer to home. I ran some fartleks, but they were not as strong as I had run them in the past. My quads were just a little sore after my shower, which pleased me - at least I woke them and tore them up a little. I wanted to get them to remember what's in store for them in the coming weeks.

Runmeter Data
Magellan Data

Friday, Aug 2nd
With only 2 more days off for the summer left for me, I went to bed last night knowing I wanted to do a long run this morning. The question was where to run it.
I love running by the water, but with the humidity still on the high side, and little shade along the Wantagh bike path - I opted for the shaded coolness of Bethpage Park. I'm glad I made that decision. Two fellow bloggers,  Emerging Runner (Peter) and 50 is the New 30 (Paul) had me consider humidity and I was reminded of the toll it took on me on one of my previous runs. 

I had brought only about 8 oz of water with electrolytes, some gel and a trial packet of Energybits that my sister had sent me. I had a half a P90X bar and about 6 oz of dark chocolate coconut water on the ride to the park. A glass of cold pressed iced coffee started my morning.

 I was so happy to be there. I walked 5 minutes down the big hill leading to the south trail. I started my RoadID app (very cool- read about it here), my Magellan, and Runmeter. Ah! Just like old times - surrounded by my electronic sentinals! The last time I ran here, I had to turn around and go home only about 1/4 of a mile from where I started today, because of my calf seizing up. I sent positive thoughts out to the universe of potentiality - my calf will be fine this run.

And so it was, until about 2 miles in. Nothing major, just some tightening. I opened my stride up behind me, and bent my knees more when landing, and bingo... that released it. I did not even have to stop to stretch. However, I did stop to walk many times today - that was the only way I knew I would be able to go 5 miles out and back. I kept the volume down real low from Runmeter, so that I could barely hear what my pace was. I don't know how that helped me, I found myself straining to hear it at times. I think it may have helped me think about other things and just run. I was expecting to keep it at 11:00 to 11:30 - but I was surprised to hear mid 10's for most of the run. I alternated between really concentrating on my form, to zenning out, to worrying about how my quads and right adductor were feeling, to a myriad of other things that at the time I thought were important to think about and ponder on, but now for the life of me I can't remember what they were.
 At mile 5 and the turnaround, I took half the packet of Energybits. It was easy to swallow those hard little bits of grassy seaweed pellets, and I waited for the increased energy to kick in. I'm still waiting. Maybe I should have taken the whole packet?

My heart rate was good today. Although it kept bopping into the low 170's, today I did not feel as winded. On the contrary, I felt good cardiovascularly - it was the tiredness in my legs and back that had me struggling. Usually, it's the other way around.
I'm happy with Runmeters declaration of a 10:36 average pace, despite all the walk breaks.

Well, this is my entry back into some serious training. I have not yet registered for the Cow Harbor 10k in September, but I already paid for the Diva half marathon in October, which will be my first half.
I wish it were the other way around.
It's daunting, for sure-  every time I think about it.

Runmeter Data
Magellan Data  - will not upload the splits for some reason, or highlight the route I took. I sent yet ANOTHER message to them.