Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mind Games

This morning I headed off to the gymnasium to get in my 4-5 miles for today. After Billy's workout yesterday, my whole body is a little bit tired (in a good way) and I wasn't sure how motivated I would be today while running. Normally I listen to music when I'm running on the treadmill as I somehow find it to be more fun while running to music, but today I decided to switch things up and listen to a podcast.

The one I chose to listen to was a This American Life podcast, which until I was looking it up, I thought was called "Mind Games" (the reason for the post title today). Except now I realize that it was really called "Long Shot," which was still pretty applicable, since it seemed like a long shot that I'd actually complete all 5 miles. Really, I thought that I'd have to play mind games with myself in order to finish the 5 miles or even 4 miles, and it turned out that I was correct.

I ran the first two miles without a lot of trouble. But then I was tired and wanted to walk for a minute, which I did. Then I decided that I'd just run for one mile and stop again before doing two more. So, I'd have three chunks of running. That strategy sort-of worked until I was done with the third mile and realized that I didn't really want to run two more.

So, I ran one more. At the end of Mile 4, I was feeling like I'd be a big quitter if I didn't just do the last mile. Plus, I knew I needed to get in as many miles as possible this week, especially since I shorted myself by a mile (or two) yesterday. So, I decided that I'd do intervals in my last mile to make it go by as quickly as possible. And it totally worked!

Drew came by when I was running my last interval (at 9.5) and I ran at that speed for just over a minute or so and he said that I looked really strong and comfortable and that I really looked like a runner. Which is totally crazy to me. I'm not a runner! I'm supposed to hate running! But I will admit I like its simplicity compared to other sports.

In total, I didn't quite hit my mileage for the week, but next week is a fresh start and I'm just doing the best I can. I certainly think that I'll have to be more focused on this going forward, especially as the long runs get longer, so that I can make sure that I really can complete the half-marathon and still be smiling at the end (and maybe even sprinting!).

Running Miles 1-2
Time: 19:37
Distance: 2.00 miles
Pace: 9:48/mile
Calories: 228
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 167

Running Mile 3
Time: 9:11
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 9:11/mile
Calories: 121
Maximum HR: 184
Average HR: 177

Running Mile 4
Time: 9:52
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 9:52/mile
Calories: 121
Maximum HR: 179
Average HR: 171

Running Mile 5
Time: 8:47
Distance: 1:00 mile
Pace: 8:47/mile
Calories: 111
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 175

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not A Kettlebell Fan

This morning Drew and I went to meet with his personal trainer, Billy. We were supposed to meet him at 7:00 and in typical fashion, we got there early ... at 6:30. The only trouble with that? The gym doesn't open until 7. So, we spent 30 minutes walking around the drug store nearby killing time. And we didn't even buy anything!

We ended up meeting Billy a few minutes after 7 after getting to the gym and stowing our stuff. He didn't waste any time with pleasantries and had us get started right away. We started out with push-ups, my favorite (not!). Although I've come a long long way from when I couldn't even do one push-up. I think I probably did about 50 in total today, so that's a big difference.

To be perfectly honest, I can't remember everything that Billy made us do, but the better part of the workout was spent in the regular weight room. We did a circuit with push-ups and bench presses. We did some jump squats and lunges. Then we did a circuit with one-arm rows, lat pull downs, barbell shoulder presses and front dumbbell swings. We did that circuit twice with 15 reps for each exercise.

We also had to do this thing where he put a weight plate on the floor and we had to push it from one end of the room to the other. So, yeah, that was hard. I did that back and forth twice while Drew was doing jump squats and he had a fairly smug look on his face every time that I complained that it was hard. And then he did it (at a higher weight, to be fair) and he struggled just as much as I did, which made me feel better.

After spending a good amount of time in the weight room, Billy had us go to a special Personal Trainer loft area that I'd never been to before. Apparently that's where they keep the kettlebells. I've never done anything with kettlebells before, other than look at them at the gym or listen to Drew tell me about his use of them, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out I'm not a fan. I think it was really a factor of two things: (1) I don't think I'm coordinated enough for all this swapping hand stuff and (2) I couldn't really find the right weight to use - it was either too heavy or too light. I'd definitely be willing to give them another shot, but it wasn't my favorite thing to do.

At the very end, Billy had us hold plank position while he went to check on his next client. I totally cheated and put my knees down a little bit (he had us do it for about 2 minutes, I think), but Drew was a real trooper and stayed up the whole time. Very impressive. Then, to finish things off, Drew and Billy looped two towels together and did some macho pulling thing around the gym. From what I could tell, they mostly succeeded in ripping the towel. Maybe there is some pride thing there too. I don't really understand all that stuff, but Drew seems to like it.

After we were done training with Billy, Drew went to hit the showers and head to work for a bit. I really wanted to do some running, although I wasn't sure how well I would do after that workout, but it seemed really important to get some running in. I also thought it would be really good for me to run after doing another workout while I was tired as I imagine that at some point during my race, I'll be quite tired and it'll just all be good experience toward the end goal.

I needed to make-up Wednesday's planned run, which was 4 miles, including 4 x 1:00 AI + 5-6 GP, but of course I didn't do that. I ended up doing 3 miles with the intervals and then 4 pick-ups. I would have done more pick-ups, but I really thought I only had to do 4.

I did the intervals at 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5, each for 1 minute. The pickups I did for 30 seconds each at 9.0, 9.5, 10.0 and 10.5. Holy cow on the 10.5! It is definitely getting easier to do these intervals and pickups, which is a good feeling. Of course, I'm still not sure it's my first choice to do them, but I don't mind overall.

Of course, I messed up a little bit today and didn't quite get all the miles in, but I'm not going to feel bad about it and just keep moving forward. I'm hoping that the cross-training with Billy makes up for that a little bit.

Training with Billy
Time: 54:12
Calories: 525
Maximum HR: 173
Average HR: 149

Run (with Intervals)
Time: 31:14
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:24/mile
Calories: 383
Maximum HR: 187
Average HR: 171

Gentle Pickups
Time: 6:37
Distance: 0.75 miles
Pace: 8:49/mile
Calories: 72
Maximum HR: 182
Average HR: 162

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Not To Read

Ai yi yi. Why do I even pretend to follow this training plan of mine? I just keep switching things around all the time! However, I will admit, that I do need the guidelines of how many miles to be running per week and I figure if I get them all in, I should be okay in the end, right? Today, for numerous reasons, I decided to switch up today's workout with Saturday's workout. That meant that instead of doing the proscribed 4 miles, including 4 x 1:00 AI + 5-6 GP, I ran a 5K "race" (Saturday's workout).

Race has to be in quotation marks because what that really meant was that I convinced Drew to get his butt outside and run in the Park with me. I would have liked to have run in a real race and I tried to find one nearby with no luck. Also, this weekend is supposed to be really cold here, so it seemed like it would be better to get outside and push myself now before it gets brutally cold out there.

Today it was 34 degrees and I wore tights, shorts (my rear end gets really cold without them, which might be TMI, but oh well), a tank top, long sleeved shirt, wind breaker jacket, gloves and hat. And these really great socks that my mom got for me for Christmas that are longer than some of my others, which meant that I didn't have a gap between my tights and socks.

Before we left, I told Drew that I was fine if he wanted to run ahead of me. In some ways, it was motivational (as in, how much longer will it take me?) and in some ways it was pretty sad (as in, I'll never be that fast ... ever). My goal for this was to go out and maybe not give it 100% of what I had, but at least 90-95%. I really wanted to push myself a bit to see how I could do on time and hopefully come in below 10:00/mile.

Although we were supposed to be running a 5K (3.10 miles) the best route I could map out for us in a circle was 3.40 miles, which Drew said was fine with him. So, we started running and not long after that Drew double checked that I'd be okay if he ran ahead and then he took off. I could see him for a little while, but then he was gone and I was just left to plod along myself.

While plodding, all I could think about was the book that I'm reading right now. I'm not ruining anything for you (as it happens in the first 20 pages of the book) by telling you that you probably should not read a book about a woman getting raped & murdered in the dark while running in Central Park and then go running there in the dark. Not that I ever felt unsafe this morning, but since I'm already a worst-case-scenario kind of person, it didn't help matters any.

Other than my crazy thoughts, everything was going along just peachy for the first part of the run. I wasn't quite sure where the mile markers were, except for Mile 2. For some reason, that mile marker had stuck in my head and I reached that at 19:15 (9:37/mile pace). Not that I'm good at math and knew my pace while I was running, but I was really happy to see a number under 20:00. Of course, right after that, my brain tried to tell me that I should just take a little walking break. But, I didn't listen. And what's really funny about that is that most of the rest of the run felt like I was walking on air. It was just really quick and easy. I'm glad I broke through my mental barrier on this run and I hope I can remember to do that in the future, too.

Once I got to 72nd Street, I knew there was one tiny little climb and then it was all pretty much downhill or flat. I definitely tried to start pushing myself a little bit more at this point. By the time I met up with Drew (he waited for me to go home), I had a little more than 1/8 of a mile left to go. And I really pushed it. Drew asked me if I wanted a wing man for my run to the end and I said yes. Once he started running with me he said, "You're really moving!". Then, of course, he started to ask me some questions, which I was in no position to answer at that point if I wanted to finish, so I told him we could talk in about a minute.

When I got about 100 yards from the finish, I was exhausted and wanted to quit and I did definitely slow down a bit, but I'm really proud that I didn't ever stop running, even though my brain wanted to trick my body into stopping. I know that what I did today isn't really that fast in the scheme of things (Drew ran the same distance in 27 minutes and some seconds ~ 8:06/mile pace), but I was really happy with my time and effort today. When I got to the end of the run it took me about a minute to regroup and be able to breathe normally again, so I really felt like I left it all out on the course today. It also means that I am pretty certain that I ran a sub 30:00 5K today, which is super-de-duper awesome for me mentally! And since it's all mental, that's a big deal!

Run To Park

Time: 5:35
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 11:09/mile
Calories: 60
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 161

Time: 32:06
Distance: 3.40 miles
Pace: 9:26/mile
Calories: 448
Maximum HR: 198
Average HR: 183

Run Home
Time: 5:30
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 11:00/mile
Calories: 66
Maximum HR: 178
Average HR: 170

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The $722 Haircut

Last night Drew asked me if I was going to go to the gym today or not. I told him that he should wake me up and then we could go together. When it came down to it this morning, he woke up super early and I said I'd just sleep for a couple more minutes. He claims that he's "waking up" while he's putzing around, but I just can't understand it. I wake up, grab a bar to eat, throw on some clothes and shoes and go. What else is there to do for 20 or 25 minutes?

Anyway, he came back upstairs (I was still asleep) and said that he was off to the gym and that he'd see me there. Except that I didn't wake up. Instead I had a dream about having a $722 haircut (although I woke up before I got to see the final result, so it was a bit disappointing!).

I haven't been feeling too bad about not going to the gym every day because that's not the plan I have set-up for myself right now. According to the half-marathon plan, I only have to run 4 days a week and that's what I've been doing. Except that pretty soon I'm going to have to start triathlon training and that will most likely be 6 days a week, so I think I need to start doing something on some of my off days now.

So, I'm going to proclaim it here in writing that in February I'm going to try to be more proactive on pre-triathlon training and actually working out the plan I'm going to be using. I'm going to give myself the rest of January to be a little bit lazier and then in February I'm really going to try to get back into the groove of 6 workout days a week. Even if it's just yoga or the spin bike at the gym, I think it'll be good just to have that mentality. And I'm pretty sure the cross training never really hurt anyone.

Oh, and I guess I have one more goal that has been hanging over my head. I (embarrassingly) never finished my 12 Week Weight Lifting Plan. I did 11 of the 12 weeks and that was it. So, as a result, I'd like to finish that up, just to say that I did it. Even though it wasn't according to plan, that seems to be how life goes sometimes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Afraid Of Melting

Last night I told myself that I'd really try to get up and go running with Terrier this morning. So, when my alarm went off at 5:00, I rolled over and looked out at the patio to see that it was wet. I then looked at the weather on my telephone and it didn't say that it was currently raining, but there was a rain cloud for today's weather in general, so I decided that I'm too wimpy to chance it by going outside for a run. Although there is plenty of evidence to the contrary, I'm pretty sure that I can and will melt when rained upon.

So, instead I went to the gymnasium for another treadmill run. Even though I never talk to anyone other than Drew at the gym, I've been running next to another girl on the days I've been at the gym. She almost always picks the treadmill right next to mine, which is fine. I'd talk to her, but I'm generally there before her and we both wear headphones, so we just pound out our miles in silence.

Today's workout was 2 miles / 2 x [1:00, 1:30, 2:00] AI / 2 miles and I almost managed to follow the plan today, except that when I was doing the first two miles, I wasn't really paying attention (I was instead watching the Non-contact Boxing class in the studio in front of the treadmill) and I didn't look down until I was past two miles, so then I figured I'd just wait until 2.5, which is a nice round number.

Then it was time for the intervals. I have to say that I wasn't really looking forward to the longer intervals, since all of them that I've done up to this point were 1:00 long. This is what I ended up doing:

1:00 @ 7.0
1:30 @ 7.2
2:00 @ 7.5
1:00 @ 8.0
1:30 @ 7.5
2:00 @ 7.0

It actually went a lot better than I thought it would. Of course, for almost every one, I was staring at the clock just waiting for it to get to be the elapsed time so that I could slow down, but it certainly wasn't horrible. After the intervals, I did another 1.5 miles so that I'd do the total 4.0 miles and then called it a day.

I finished up with some stretching, 50 crunches and some foam rolling on my shins. Although my left shin was hurting slightly while I was running, it really didn't hurt that badly while I was foam rolling, which was encouraging. Of course, it always hurts when foam rolling, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it could be.

Oh, and I got my HR monitor back with a brand new battery, so I'm back to having calorie and heart rate stats!

Run #1
Time: 25:02
Distance: 2.50 miles
Pace: 10:00/mile
Calories: 303
Maximum HR: 182
Average HR: 170

Aerobic Intervals
Time: 15:06
Distance: 1.61 miles
Pace: 9:22/mile
Calories: 238
Maximum HR: 190
Average HR: 177

Run #2
Time: 14:44
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 9:49/mile
Calories: 201
Maximum HR: 186
Average HR: 181

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There's A Pool I Haven't Been To Yet?

This afternoon Drew made me go to the Terrier swim. And I was not happy about it. I was napping very happily on the couch and he woke me up and told me that it was time for me to go swimming. I will say that he was in charge of making dinner and it was a surprise and it was supposed to be "really good for swimmers". So, I was left with little choice but to tell him that I was mad at him and head off to swim practice.

I should also mention that the Terrier swim practice has moved to a new pool, which is further away from our apartment and it was raining, which didn't help matters at all. I knew in my heart that as soon as I got to practice I'd be glad that I went, but it was just the walk there that was pretty miserable.

The pool is just okay. It's 4 lanes (our old pool was 5), but this should probably really only be a three-lane pool because of how narrow the lanes are. We were lucky that there were only 8 people there total (two to a lane), otherwise I think it would have been a lot less fun to swim. This pool is also in yards instead of meters, so it's a bit shorter than our old pool too. The showering facilities at this new pool are a little bit better, though. Oh, and this new pool is HOT. Really hot. Uncomfortably so when seriously swimming. I actually had to concentrate on not overdoing it. Next time I'll be sure to bring a water bottle in an effort to curb the heat.

Megan was coaching today (I think she's my favorite swim coach) and we did a more drill intensive workout than usual. She explained that in the off-season she really wants us all to be working on things that we knew we were doing wrong last season but didn't fix then. For me, that'd be bi-lateral breathing. Ick. I just love to breathe on the right. It feels so natural. But, I'm going to make a conscious effort to work on it.

This was today's workout:

300 swim
200 pull
100 drill (one arm)

Main Set
8 x 50 drill down, swim back
25/50/75/100/75/50/25 (0:15 rest)
6 x 75 (0:15 rest)

For the drills in the warm-up, I did one armed drills (alternating left and right each 25 yards). During the main set, Megan gave us 4 different drills that we did twice. The first drill was fisting - where you make fists with your hands instead of having an open palm. The second drill was zipper - you roll onto your side, pretending you were zipping up and then down a zipper along the side of your ribcage, then taking a full stroke before rolling over to the other side. The third drill was 3-3-3 - where you take three strokes with your right arm, three with the left and then three alternating. The fourth drill was 12 o'clock - where you roll onto your side, lift your arm that is doing the stroke up to 12 o'clock (the ceiling) and then bend your elbow and enter into the water. I was not very good at the 12 o'clock drill, mainly because I kept forgetting to bend my elbow and then I'd laugh and get all sidetracked.

The second part of the main set was a build from one length of the pool to four and then back down to one length. By the last length we were supposed be going at 100%. I'll be perfectly honest and say that I did not go quite as hard as I know I'm capable of during this. I was already pretty tired from the run this morning (not sure how well that bodes for my half-Ironman triathlon, but I'm trying not to think about it now) and with the pool so hot, I knew that there was no way that I could push myself to 100% and still be functioning. So, I probably did it at about 85-90% and was okay with that effort.

The final part of the main set were the 75s that were pretty brutal. We had to breathe every third stroke on the first 25, every fifth stroke on the second 25 and every seventh stroke on the third 25. I'm just going to go ahead and say right now that seven is a lot of strokes. I definitely cheated twice on this and took a breath after the fifth stroke, but I did the best that I could. I also really hung out on my side getting a super deep breath, so I wasn't very fast while doing this. But, I guess it was good practice for my bilateral breathing!

We finished the 75s right at 5:30 and there wasn't a cool down other than a really hot shower (I guess they really like hot water at this gym ...) and walk home. At least it had stopped raining by the time I was walking home. And I came home and had a fantastic dinner and watched some football. Not at all a bad evening and I have Drew to thank for it!

Time: 60:00
Distance: 1.05 miles (1850 yards)
Pace: 57:08/mile

Off The Well-Paved Path

On Friday I stopped by the athletic gear store (I wanted to write sporting goods store, but all I was interested in were the clothes) and I found a windbreaker that was 42% off the original price, which seemed like a good deal to me. So, of course, I had to try it out today.

The weather this morning was 35, but felt like 31. I wore running tights, tank top, long sleeved shirt, wind breaker, gloves and an ear-band (I couldn't find my running hat). I briefly considered that I probably was wearing one too many layers, but I figured I should just wear what I had on and figure out how I was feeling once I got going. It's a lot easier to take stuff off than it is to put it on when you're not at home.

I jogged to the park (without a whole lot of traffic stops) and right when I got there, I realized that there was some sort of race (a half-marathon, it turns out) going on in the park. That meant that I wouldn't be running on the road and I'd have to figure out some sort of other plan. I didn't really mind. I was just aiming for something between 3-4 miles and figured if I ran around for 40 minutes I'd most likely reach that goal, so that's exactly what I did.

I ran along the bridle path and I really had to guesstimate my mileage since the path not on Gmap Pedometer but I'd guess that I ended up running about 3.70 miles. Maybe it's a little bit more or maybe it's a little bit less, but that seems like a pretty good guess in my mind. The path was filled with people walking their dogs, which was sort-of fun watching all the dogs having fun playing with each other and also sort-of scary.

In the mornings, people don't have to keep their dogs on leashes, which is fine with me for the most part. It just gets a little bit scary when bigger dogs are running around (or straight towards you) and you don't know why. I definitely stopped to walk more than once when I wasn't sure what a dog was doing and I didn't want to aggravate it or surprise it. I've been bitten twice before (nothing serious, thank goodness), but once was when I was running and I'd prefer not to repeat that again!

I basically ran up to the Reservoir then around the bottom of the Reservoir and then back home again. Once I reached the end of the park, I did some stretching to keep my legs happy and then I headed home. I had a lot more traffic on the way home than I did on the way there, so that's why it took me that much longer. I don't think I was running any slower.

My new jacket worked out really well. I was a tiny bit too warm, but nothing that was unbearable, so now I know I probably only need one layer underneath the coat at this temperature, which would have been my guess anyway. Live and learn!

Run To Park
Time: 5:15
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 10:30/mile

Run In Park (Bridle Path)
Time: 39:40
Distance ~3.70 miles
Pace: 10:43/mile

Run Home From Park
Time: 6:07
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 12:13/mile

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Never Really Do Those Programs

This morning Drew and I went to check out the Reebok Sports Club. I had been there before a couple of times with Laura, but Drew got another free 5-day trial and wanted to check it out for himself. (Laura, don't worry, I didn't use the hot tub without you!) After going through some boring administrative stuff and finding out that it costs almost three times as much as our current gym, we went off to do our thing.

The gym was packed. On a Saturday morning. It was crazy. Although the gym is really fancy and they do have a lot of nice amenities, they really pack things into the space that they have, which doesn't make it that much nicer in my mind. We found treadmills in the weight lifting area that weren't as busy as the rest of the cardio area.

When we got on the treadmills, Drew said "I never really do any of these programs on here, maybe I'll do one of those today." Meaning these programs (sorry for the bad cell phone picture):

So, I never really do these programs on the treadmill either. I normally just press Quick Start, put the incline up to 1% and adjust my speed as needed. I figure if Drew could do one of these programs, I could too. I chose one of the Cross Country programs and started running. This is what my course looked like:

OK, so in the picture, it doesn't look that bad. It was really hard. It was also practically impossible to run quickly (as you can see from my 5.0 speed in the picture). I really wanted to quit after a mile. And by quit, I don't mean stop running, I just didn't want to do this dumb program anymore. But I did it anyway. I slogged it out for an hour (the limit on the treadmill) and I definitely had to walk more than once and even on the parts I was running, unless it was flat or close to it, I was pretty slow. I figured that was okay. I decided that it wasn't going to be the end of the world if I ran slowly uphill. I need the hill practice anyway and I might as well try it out on the treadmill.

It also made me realize as I was running that I have no idea what the terrain of my half-marathon is like in Atlanta and maybe I should research that a little bit. I mean, there probably isn't any point in practicing hills if there aren't any on the course, right? (I'm totally kidding, by the way, I realize that there is value in hill running no matter what).

After my hour expired, I still needed to run at least 6 miles and I wasn't quite there yet, so I did another 0.80 miles on 0% incline. I'm not gonna lie. I started out at 1% and decided after about 30 seconds that I had done enough incline work for the day and 0% was probably okay for 0.80 miles!

I guess I should also now mention that I technically did Sunday's workout on Saturday. I'm really bad at following this plan, huh? The reasoning was that I'm hoping to run tomorrow and go to Terrier swim practice and I thought I'd be a lot more likely to go swimming if I made Saturday my longer run day and Sunday a shorter run. So, at least I screwed up the plan on purpose today!

After the running was done, I met Drew on one of the basketball courts at the gym and we shot a couple hoops. I was really rusty, but I think he thought that I was okay for a girl. We shot around for about 10 minutes and then headed to the locker room to change out of our sweaty clothes so that we could try out one of the classes that the club offered.

We decided to try the Athletic Stretching class. It was an hour-long class that incorporated some yoga moves with some regular stretches. Some of them were really hard (mainly because I'm not the most flexible person in the world), but I left the class feeling pretty good overall. I'm really glad that we did the class and I think something like that could be really beneficial on a weekly basis. So, maybe that means I should really start going to yoga instead of just saying that I'd like to start going to yoga.

Run #1
Time: 60:00
Distance: 5.20 miles
Pace: 11:32/mile
Calories: 650 (according to treadmill)

Run #2
Time: 7:53
Distance: 0.80 miles
Pace: 9:51/mile
Calories: 98 (according to treadmill)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Same Old Treadmill

This morning I got up and was determined to do the actual workout that was proscribed according the half-marathon training plan. I got to the gym and got on my regular old treadmill. And it is old. I'm guessing that it's one of the older treadmills at the gym. I like it because it's on the end of a row of treadmills so there can only ever be one other person next to me, I can sort-of see the big TV with the close captioning (good for seeing headlines on the news in the morning) and I can also people-watch when there are classes in the exercise studio.

Today's plan was 4 miles and then 4 gentle pickups. And that's what I did ... sort-of. To be fair, I did the whole workout, just not exactly in the order described. I ended up running three miles, then doing the pickups, and then finishing with one last mile. I was running a lot faster today in general, especially on the last mile where I really pushed myself, so it was nice to see that I am capable of doing that, even if it's not long-term.

I was a little worried about the pickups today after yesterday's pain near my knee (it's really above my knee on the inside), but it went fine! I did four of them at 9.0, 9.5, 9.6 and 10.0 speed. I did each pickup for 30 seconds. I actually even did the last one at 10.0 for a little bit longer because I wanted to get to a nice round number on the time.

I'm quite happy to report that my knee felt fine today. I think it must be related to sprinting and perhaps my form breaks down a little bit, which causes that muscle/tendon/whatever is under my skin to just get a little bit tweaked once in a while. I'm of course going to keep an eye on it.

I was glad that I broke up the run the way that I did today. I really considered just pooping out and not doing the last mile, but instead I decided to run faster than normal just to get it over with. I really hate how this stuff has a mental component. I kept telling myself that I wasn't tired but I still really wanted to stop and quit. But, I didn't and I guess that is good for something (plus, I really did run a lot faster than usual!).

Run #1
Time: 30:22
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:07/mile

Time: 8:00
Distance: 0.76 miles
Pace: 10:31/mile

Run #2
Time: 8:58
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 8:58/mile

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Quite According To The Plan

Well, we made it home safe and sound from Barcelona and that means that it's back to the old grindstone as far as half-marathon training goes. I woke up early this morning in order to make up a little bit of the mileage that I didn't do and since I could have probably gone to the gym yesterday when we got home (Drew managed to go) and I opted to sit on the couch and catch up on the DVR, I figured that even though Wednesdays are typically rest days, I should suck it up and get running.

Right as I was walking out the door, I realized that I had no idea what the plan was for today. I ran back in, looked at a print-out I have at home, and then headed off to the gym. Except, apparently I'm a really bad reader since I thought that I was supposed to be doing this: 4 miles, including 4 x 1:00 AI + 5-6 GP when in fact I should have been doing this: 2 miles / 5-7 x 1:00 AI / 2 miles.

Not really that big of a deal when you look at the total mileage and I don't really know that it matters in the long run, but it does bring up a question that both Kristin and I had about the "including" in the first workout. I thought that they were part of the 4 miles in the above workout not in addition to. I did, however, think that the 5-6 pickups were in addition to the 4 miles. I guess it doesn't really make a huge difference, but I'm going to keep thinking that when it says including, it means including.

So, I did my four miles with 4 intervals thrown in. I did the intervals at 7.5, 8.0, 8.0 and 7.5 respectively. Nothing too exciting. There was some sort of a class going on in the studio in front of the treadmills that kept me entertained for a part of the run. I also tried listening to some different music (a bit more mellow than usual) and somehow that really helped. Not sure it helped my pace any, but it was a nice change.

After the main run, I did my pickups. Apparently I really can't read because in the plan that I thought I was doing, you were supposed to do 5 or 6. And I somehow thought that I was supposed to do 7. Oh well. Didn't hurt anything. Well, that's not entirely true. I did all the pickups for somewhere between 20-30 seconds. I did the first 4 pick-ups at 9.5 speed. Everything was going fine until the 4th one. And then I got this shooting pain right above my right knee.

So, admission: this is not the first time that this has happened. But I just didn't want to think about it before as I thought maybe it was a fluke. It was a similar situation last time as well - when I was sprinting and it took maybe a day to go away (but only really hurt when I pressed on it). Like any good triathlete, I thought that I should just see how it felt if I kept going with the pickups, so that's what I did. I did three more pickups at 8.5 speed and felt fine. I felt a little twinge every now and then, but nothing major, so I was glad that I finished up the workout. I gotta say that these pickups don't do anything for my overall pace since there is so much walking involved as recovery in-between, but I understand the reasoning for doing them.

I'm going to try to follow the actual plan tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. I also should mention that my HR monitor had a low battery and I sent it in for a new one, which is why my statistics are so old school at the moment. I did get an e-mail that it's on its way back to me, so I'm hoping it'll be here by the end of the week!

Time: 41:37
Distance: 4.0 miles
Pace: 10:24/mile

Time: 20:37
Distance: 1.65
Pace: 12:29/mile

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blame It On The Rain

So far, our Barcelona trip has been wonderful! There has been a lot of sleeping in and staying up late and lots of tasty treats and eats! I will say that we haven't quite done the exercise that I thought we would, but this afternoon we were going to go to the Picasso museum and the line was ridiculously long and it was raining, so instead we went back to the hotel to hit the gym.

We got changed into our gym clothes and hit the treadmills. When we walked into the gym area, I kind of had a feeling that we'd be in trouble. The gym is right next to the pool (picture courtesy of Hotel 1898 website) and that meant that it was really humid and sticky in the gym area.

But, we started running anyway and it turned out that neither one of us really had that much fun running, I don't think. First of all, there was a TV showing a program about these guys who do Pit Bull Animal Rescue. Most of what the show entailed were blasting close-up pictures of dogs who had been in fights and their injuries all over the screen. Not exactly what I wanted to be watching. But we couldn't figure out how to turn the TV off or change the channel. I tried to just turn my iPod up really loudly and ignore it. Not so easy to do when it's 3 feet away from your face.

The run was really hot and sticky. I haven't been that hot when running in I don't know how long. Maybe ever. At the gym at home I normally get pretty sweaty and red-faced, but I had sweat on my legs, arms, I was just a gross mess. And I was stopping (slowing down, really) every so often because I needed to have a sip of water.

Before we got to the gym, I realized that we were in Spain and that meant that it was likely that these treadmills would be in kilometers instead of meters. So, I really had no idea how fast I was running. I kept it mostly between 9.0 and 9.5 kilometers/hour and decided that I'd just do a half an hour. However long of a distance that ended up being was going to be fine with me.

After our sweaty treadmill session, we headed into the pool. Oh, how I loved this pool. It was heated and had jets on the bench on the side, lounge chairs with jets, jets that would pound on your back and massage you. Why can't all swimming be like this? Here are some photos that don't quite do it justice ...

I know that this trip hasn't gone exactly as planned as far as exercise goes, but I'm not going to stress about it. We're walking lots and lots every day and I think that makes up for a lot. Plus, I'm on vacation! And we're going to go back to the museum tonight ... even more walking!

Time: 30:02
Distance: 4.60 kilometers (2.90 miles)
Pace: 10:30/mile
Calories: 335 (according to the treadmill)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This morning I got up and had sore calves. I'm not really all that surprised because I knew yesterday that I had skipped stretching and it wouldn't be good for me. I should have done it when I got home yesterday, but I had better things to do ... like making lunches and showering. I wouldn't have done it outside yesterday because I think I would have frozen my buns off, which left me with the soreness today.

Nonetheless, I trotted off to the gymnasium and hopped on a treadmill and started my workout. I walked for a few minutes as a warm-up and then set off running to do what is really tomorrow's workout of 4 miles plus 4 gentle pickups. The 4 miles went pretty well. I didn't really feel tired or anything by the end of them and I also thought that they went by faster today than they have in the past, which seems like a good thing.

I realized that I should mention that for all of my runs at the gym on the treadmill, I've been running at a 1% incline. I don't normally mention it because it's like second nature to me as I've heard that it is a better representation to running outdoors if you have the treadmill at a small incline. I probably won't mention it again, but I just thought I should state it for the record.

The pickups were actually pretty fun. Even though it looks like I was running slower on the pickups than I was for the actual running, it's really not true. I started out each pickup by walking at about 3.5 then would bump it up to around 6.5 for a few seconds before heading up to the peak for the pickups. I did each pickup for at least 30 seconds and I did them at 8.7, 9.0, 9.4 and 9.9 speed. Really, really proud of that 9.9 speed. Not that I thought it was at all sustainable long term, but I also didn't feel like I wanted to die after those 30 seconds, which seems like a good start! After each pickup, I'd go back to walking to get my heart rate down out of the high 180s and back into the low 160s before starting again.

We're off to Barcelona tonight and I'm not sure if I'll be blogging while I'm there, but I can promise that there will be some form of exercising while we're there, I'm just certain how much it will entail.

Time: 40:34
Distance: 4.00 miles
Pace: 10:08/mile
Calories: 513
Maximum HR: 194
Average HR: 175

Time: 7:17
Distance: 0.70 miles
Pace: 10:24/mile
Calories: 89
Maximum HR: 188
Average HR: 172

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Better, But Colder

This morning I had thought about getting up, braving the cold and running with Terrier. I woke up at 5:10 when my alarm went off, looked at the temperature of 29 and thought that it didn't sound too bad, but decided that it was too early, so I rolled over and snoozed for a while longer. I ended up getting out of bed around 6:00 right after Drew had left for the gym. He'd asked me if I'd see him there and I said yes.

When I woke up, I decided that I really would brave the cold and get outside for a run. I felt bad that I hadn't told him that I might run outside, but I figured he'd just think I was being lazy and sleeping and he wouldn't worry about me. I ended up wearing a tank top, long sleeved shirt, 2nd (warmer) long sleeved shirt, running tights, yoga pants, socks, gloves and running hat. Whew. That's a lot of stuff.

I decided to just start jogging from the corner of our block instead of walking to the park. I knew I'd warm up faster that way and it'd be a lot more enjoyable if I was warmer than if I was shivering and cold. My plan for today was supposed to be running 2 miles, intervals and then running 2 more miles. While I didn't do exactly that, I did come pretty close, so I'm really happy overall with the run.

I ran to the park and then ran once around the Lower Loop. I realized once I got to the 72nd Street Transverse that I could probably still have just met up with Terriers if I had run straight there, but by then it was just a little bit too late. Once I was finished with my lap of the Lower Loop, I did my intervals. I was certain that I was supposed to do 4 of them, so that's what I did. I guess that next time I should look at the training plan before I leave since I seem to have not remembered quite as well as I thought I had. I think I got today and Thursday mixed up. Oh well, at least I did some. Granted, I was supposed to do 5-7, but I think that doing 4 was close enough!

After I had done my 4 intervals, I took off for a second lap around the Lower Loop. When I first started, I was trying to tell myself that it would be okay to cut it short, but instead I managed to stick with it without stopping or even hating it at all. All in all, a pretty good success for a cold run. I think I was dressed just about perfectly for me. I never got hot but I wasn't cold either. Only certain parts (bottoms of my ears where my hat didn't cover and my rear end) really ever felt cold. I actually wore my cycling gloves instead of my running gloves and they were really nice and warm. I might have to do that again.

The intervals are SO much better outside than they are inside on a treadmill. I didn't love doing them, but I did really like to see if I could go the same distance faster than the one before outside. I'm really thinking that I'll have to remember this next time I'm supposed to be doing intervals (even if it is cold outside)!

In total I ended up running 4.51 miles today, which seems like progress from last Tuesday when I only did 3.50. I'm planning on mixing up this week's plan a little bit because Drew and I leave tomorrow night for Barcelona! We'll arrive there early on Thursday, the 14th and we return on the 19th. I know I won't feel like running on Thursday after flying through the night, so I'm planning on doing Thursday's run tomorrow. As for the weekend, I'm thinking that I'll most likely get runs in, but I'm not going to worry if I don't hit my mileage for this week. I know I'll be doing lots of other walking around during the day, so it should all even out in the end.

Run #1
Time: 24:11
Distance: 2.28 miles
Pace: 10:36/mile
Calories: 303
Maximum HR: 182
Average HR: 173

Time: 3:44
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 7:28/mile
Calories: 43
Maximum HR: 185
Average HR: 166

Run #2
Time: 17:43
Distance: 1.73 miles
Pace: 10:14/mile
Calories: 246
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 182

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Double Double Your Enjoyment

This morning the goal was to run 6-7 miles in order to keep up with the training plan. Originally I had it in my head that I'd do 7 miles so that I would be able to say that I had gotten more than halfway there distance wise, but once I started running, I actually thought that it might be fun to see how long it would take me to do exactly half of the distance of the race.

So, I set my sights on doing 6.55 miles. I did the first 5 miles without anything too noteworthy. Just got on the treadmill and kept running. Once I did 5 miles, I then stopped the treadmill and restarted right away because the limit on the treadmill is 60 minutes and I knew I couldn't finish the distance in that amount of time.

I think that was the point where I started to get really tired. Even though I maybe stopped for at most 30 seconds, it was enough to trick my body into thinking that we could be done for the day and it was an uphill battle for me from there to finish. I did have to jump off the treadmill and count to 5 once after stopping/restarting just to catch my breath before finishing the run.

By the end of the run, I was really glad to be done and I walked for a while to cool down. I was really proud of myself for sticking with it and finishing the distance I had set out to do. I am a little nervous that I'll have to double that distance for the half-marathon, but I've got a lot of time to get there. I also was really impressed and proud of my time for the run. I had done the McMillan Running Calculator the other day (using my 10K race time of 1:02:12) and had come up with a half-marathon time of 2:18:24 (1o:33/mile pace). I sort-of freaked out when I saw that number because I had been thinking that two and a half hours was more likely and that extra 12 minutes is really a lot when you're running 13.1 miles!

However, after today's run and the fact that it's only Week 1 of training, I can actually see that maybe it's not so crazy to think that I could have sub 2:30:00 half-marathon time. I'm not going to get too excited about it yet or set any crazy time goals because it is so early in the training and I have yet to do any double digit runs, so I've still got a long way to go, but it's definitely a boost to see how I'm doing thus far.

In total this week, I ran 20.05 miles, which is right on pace with the 19 to 21 that I was supposed to complete. One week down, 10 more to go ...

Time: 1:07:29
Distance: 6.55 miles
Pace: 10:18/mile
Calories: 919
Maximum HR: 192
Average HR: 180

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I took another rest day yesterday. I was possibly going to swim with Laura yesterday morning, but she sent me an e-mail at 2:30 Friday morning saying that she was still working and she didn't think swimming was in the cards for her. I can't say that I blame her! I also was fine with the extra rest, of course. It is really funny to me that not that long ago I was really beating myself up for skipping workouts and now that my plan says that I only have to work out Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, I don't feel bad about not going on the other days. I know that I won't be able to do that forever, but it's nice to not feel bad about myself when I'm not going to the gym.

This morning I was planning on running in the New York Road Runners Fred Lebow 5-Mile Race. I went on Thursday night and picked up my t-shirt and number ... see ...

So, the t-shirt has a creepy guy on the front, but it's my first race t-shirt that actually fits, so I like that aspect. I also thought that picking up the t-shirt and my number before the morning of the race would inspire me to try running in 10 degree weather.

Turns out that's not the case. I skipped the race. Drew met with his personal trainer this morning and we were thinking that we'd meet after my race if I went and go for breakfast. However, Drew sent me a text saying that he'd left his phone at home and he was texting from his trainer's phone and I should just let him know what I was doing about going to the race. I texted back saying that I was skipping the race and would be going to the gym instead. When I got a text back saying "Wimp," I knew that Drew hadn't sent that! He's not that mean. It had to have been his trainer, Billy!

Truth be told, I do feel a little bit bad that I didn't make it to the race. Although when I was walking to the gym, it was really cold outside and I was wearing plenty of clothes and my winter coat! When I had mentioned to Laura last week that I was thinking of doing this race in the cold, she said that I should just do the distance at the gym if I really felt so compelled.

I listened to her wise advice and headed to the gym with the idea that I'd run 5 miles on the treadmill instead of the 3-4 that were in the training plan for today. The last couple of times that I've gone running on the treadmill, I've walked for a few minutes first to get warmed up. Normally, I then stop the treadmill and start fresh for the running so that when the mileage gets to the desired point, I don't have to remember that I also walked X miles beforehand. Of course, I forgot to start fresh today!

I was having an okay run today. I started at 5.5 speed and went up from there. I still had the problem of running into the bar and so I'd just bump it up by 0.1 every time that happened. I got up to 6.3 before I felt like I was running too fast and had to slow down again. The first part of my run, I was kept entertained by a guy in the workout studio in front of the treadmills. He was wearing construction boots, jeans and a t-shirt and he went through a really entertaining circuit of exercises for about the first 20 minutes that I was running, so it was fun to watch. I tried to take a picture with my phone, but since I was moving and he was moving, it didn't really turn out very well, so it's not worth posting.

Once I got to 4.0 miles, I was really excited that I only had a mile to go. Except then I realized that I had forgotten to reset the treadmill and I really had 1.25 miles to go. I'm not going to lie, in that moment, I got really frustrated and wanted to quit right then. Instead I hung on for another half mile and had run 4.5 miles. Then I ended up stopping and walking. While I was walking, I was trying to tell myself that it was okay since I had done more than the plan called for today, but I realized that I was being a wimp and I should just finish the 5.0 miles that I set out to do.

So, I bumped the treadmill up to 7.0 and ran for 0.25 miles and then bumped it down to 6.0 and finished the last half-mile really quickly. I was so happy with myself that I finished, even if I did take a two-minute walking break and I had to talk myself into it. It really made me feel better about the workout knowing that I did finish in the end what I had set out to do.

I did realize today that I think the treadmills are going to start being a problem pretty soon on my longer runs. Today since I didn't restart the treadmill, I was really close to running out of the 60 minute time limit they impose on you with the warm-up time at the beginning factored into the total time I was on. And I did have to restart the whole thing for the last half-mile, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish in 60 minutes. Considering the fact that tomorrow I'm supposed to run between 6-7 miles and I've been running over 10 minute miles recently, I'm not too sure how that'll work out. I guess we'll have to figure it out in the morning!

Run #1
Time: 46: 52
Distance: 4.50 miles
Pace: 10:24/mile
Calories: 667
Maximum HR: 193
Average HR: 184

Run #2
Time: 4:29
Distance: 0.50 miles
Pace: 8:58/mile
Calories: 66
Maximum HR: 195
Average HR: 191

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Keep Running Into The Bar

I ended up taking a rest day on Wednesday. I was possibly going to go swimming with Laura, but that ended up not working out, so I was fine with the extra rest. I know that just a couple weeks ago I was really disappointed with myself for not getting up early and going to the gym almost every day, but now that rest days are part of my half-marathon plan, I really don't feel too badly about it at all!

This morning's workout was a 4 mile run followed by 4 gentle pickups. Runner's World describes the gentle pickups as follows:

At the end of your run, walk for several minutes, then slowly increase your leg turnover on a flat stretch for 100 meters - the straightaway on a track - up to the point where you start to breathe hard. Hold it there for 10 to 20 meters, then gradually slow down. Walk to full recovery before you start the next one.

I headed off to the gymnasium this morning in order to get my run in. I was determined to stick this one out, even if it meant running slowly in order to do it. I just find the treadmill so boring and I keep wishing that it would warm up even by 10 degrees so that I could brave outdoor running! Although once I got outside, I actually thought that it wasn't too bad and maybe I should have run outside today.

Oh well. I got on the treadmill instead and pounded out my 4 miles. I did take a short walking break somewhere between 2 and 3 miles, which I felt okay about. My only problem was that I started running at 5.5 pace and then kept running into the bar at the front of the treadmill. So, I'd increase it to 5.6 and then 5.7 and so on until I was running at 6.0. I did increase it over that too, but then my heart rate started going crazy and I started coughing (always a good indicator that I'm not getting quite enough oxygen), which was when I took my walking break. I kept going back and forth between 5.5 and 6.0 the whole time to keep it interesting and to try to prevent myself from hitting the bar. I guess I could have just run right off the treadmill if it wasn't there today!

Then it was time for the gentle pickups. Reading this again, I'm not quite sure that I did them 100% correctly, but that's why this is a practice/bonus week and I should have all the kinks ironed out by next week (when I repeat these same workouts!). I ended up running as fast as 8.7 on the pickups, which I was pretty happy about, although I didn't hold it there for very long as it says that you only have to do it for 10-20 meters and 20 meters = 0.01 miles, so I tried to do it for at least 0.03 miles to be on the safe side. I also included my cool down walk in this time, so that's why the stats aren't so good on this part, even though the actual running part was pretty fast, I think.

I have a running race (outdoors) on Saturday that is a five-mile race. I'm still not 100% sure if I'll actually do it because of how cold it is supposed to be that morning (actual temperature around 20, but with the windchill it will feel like it's 10). I'm planning on picking up my number and t-shirt after work today, so hopefully that will be motivational enough. I mean, I can't possibly have a t-shirt for a race I didn't even compete in, right?

4 Mile Run
Time: 41:34
Distance: 4.00 miles
Pace: 10:23/mile
Calories: 557
Maximum HR: 195
Average HR: 179

Gentle Pickups
Time: 10:39
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 10:39/mile
Calories: 135
Maximum HR: 195
Average HR: 174

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Running Start

This morning I got up and looked at my phone to check the weather. When I saw that it was 22 degrees, I thought "that's not that cold". I then realized that I had gone crazy and I would be heading off to the gym no matter what for an official start to my half-marathon training program.

I'm going to be using a modified plan from Runner's World. There is a link to the plan I'm hoping to follow on the right hand side of my blog. I'll be running Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays. I will say right now that since I'm planning on running with Terrier on most Tuesday mornings, I might not follow this plan 100%, but since Terrier generally incorporates speed work into the workouts, I'm not too worried about it as long as the mileage ends up about the same.

The rest of the days in the plan are supposed to be rest days. I'm guessing that I won't take most of them as complete rest days and I'll likely either do some strength training or some light cardio on those days. We'll have to see how things progress. I'd like to keep biking and swimming a little bit during the next three months just to make sure I don't forget how!

The regular plan from Runner's World is a 9-week plan and I wanted to increase that so that I could use this week to see how I'm recovering from being sick. I also wanted to have another week later on in the plan where I run 11-12 miles, because I know that I'll feel more mentally ready on the day of the race if I've already run 12 miles on my own. Going from 10 to 13.1 seems like too big of a jump for me.

So, this morning I was supposed to do 2 miles, followed by 5 to 7 one-minute aerobic intervals and then another 2 miles. Since I had to do this workout on the treadmill, I already went into it knowing that I wasn't going to like it. I find it really hard to do speedwork on the treadmill. Not to mention that I don't really like the treadmill in general.

I started off just running at 5.5 speed. I think that is going to be my default speed for the next few workouts on the treadmill. It makes me not hate it and I think that's a big thing for me right now. I did the first two miles just fine. I did stop for about 30 seconds or so in the middle of those two miles to blow my nose and have a sip of water from my water bottle. The thing about that was that I learned something very important about the new treadmills at my gym: if you step off the belt and onto the sides of the machine, it will stop automatically since it can tell you're not running anymore. I'm really glad that I found that out before I started doing the intervals!

After the first two miles, I took a quick bathroom break and found myself a new treadmill. Well, technically an old treadmill, but a different one than I was using before. I started running again for just a few seconds at 5.5 and then decided that I would do the intervals at 7.0 speed. I did the first one and thought that it wasn't too bad. By the fifth one, I was exhausted and hungry and wanted to go home and eat some more. Instead, I forced myself to stay on for a few more minutes of running before calling it quits.

I have an entire list of issues from today's run, but I'm really trying not to focus on the fact that I didn't get the miles in that I was supposed to as this is just the first day and it's really a bonus week of running. But, my first issue is really with the treadmill. I find it really hard to do speedwork on them. It's really my own fault. I will be running at 7.0 for the interval in the plan, jump to the side once I've reached the time that I had to increase the speed. Then, instead of really slowing down like I should to recover fully in between the intervals, I just start running again at 5.5. I learned today that I'm going to be too tired too quickly if I don't get the recovery that I need, even if that means walking or really slowly jogging after the intervals.

So, in all, today wasn't a total bust. I ran, which seems like the very first step in this whole process. I will say that my legs are still really hurting from Sunday's lifting session, so I'm thinking that I might have to take tomorrow as a complete rest day in order to give them a little bit of a break.

Run #1
Time: 22:19
Distance: 2.00 miles
Pace: 11:09/mile
Calories: 265
Maximum HR: 182
Average HR: 169

Run #2
Time: 14:49
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 9:52/mile
Calories: 202
Maximum HR: 197
Average HR: 181

Monday, January 4, 2010

Danish Proverbs

So, I literally just hit the "publish post" button on my last post and got up to make myself a cup of afternoon tea. The tea bag had the following Danish Proverb, "He who would leap high must take a long run." I was thinking that was very fitting given the fact that I was just talking about running.

And, then, to make it even funnier ... I got back to my desk to receive this e-mail:

The Terriers are a tough pack, but running in “teen” temperatures pose a serious threat to the well being of our athletes. Please bundle up and bring your run inside where you will be safe and warm. See you next week when the temperatures warm.

So, needless to say, I won't be running outside tomorrow. But, I think I'll still stick with the proverb and go for a treadmill run tomorrow. I'm thinking that I'm going to start my half-marathon training tomorrow (eek!), so I'll post my plan for running then.

I Thought You Were Sleeping!

Last night Drew asked me if I wanted him to make sure that I got up and went to the gym this morning. I said yes, but that I would want to sleep in longer than he would because he likes to putz around more in the morning. I'm more of a sleep-in until the last minute and then put on clothes and run out the door kind of girl. So, when his alarm went off at 5:15, I was glad I'd be able to sleep for a few more minutes. He did come upstairs around 5:45 and I told him that he could go ahead and go to the gym and I'd just meet him there.

So, like usual, I kept sleeping. Unlike usual, I did finally get up and go to the gym. I wasn't planning on lifting today (I'm thinking I'll finally finish up my weight lifting book at the end of this week), so all I wanted to do was some quick cardio to prove to myself that I really am getting back into the swing of things. I'd also like to tell myself that I'm going to brave the really cold temperatures that we're having in NYC tomorrow morning and go running with the Terriers, so I decided not to get back on the treadmill today.

Instead, I opted to do the arc trainer. Full disclosure: I really wanted to finish my (overdue) library book and the arc trainer is a pretty good way to do that. When I got to the gym, I figured that Drew was in the weight room and that I'd see him soon enough. After a little while, I noticed him on one of the spin bikes, but he couldn't see me (the beauty of mirrors at the gym!).

I did 35 minutes on the arc trainer and then got off to stretch before heading home. While I was stretching, Drew came over to the stretching area to do some of his own stretching and he said that he thought I was just probably still sleeping since he hadn't realized that I was at the gym. I felt pretty proud of myself that although this wasn't a great workout by any stretch of the imagination, it was better than sleeping in and it made me feel better! Now if I can just talk myself into running outside in the cold tomorrow morning it'll be a really good start to the year!

Arc Trainer
Time: 35:00
Distance: 1.06 miles
Pace: 33:01/mile
Calories: 352
Maximum HR: 164
Average HR: 152

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stella's Getting Her Groove Back

We rang in the New Year very quietly at home. It is a weird experience to watch the ball drop on TV and then look out the window and be able to see all the fireworks going off in Central Park. And then when we turned off the TV to head to bed (at 12:10 am) we could hear everyone in Times Square yelling and cheering. Oh, the joys of living in the Big Apple!

I still really wasn't feeling that great over the weekend. Friday we took the train out to my dad's house in New Jersey and I don't think the train ride helped me any. Saturday we came home in the afternoon and Drew headed to the gym, but I took a nap on the couch. It really wasn't until Saturday night while I was eating dinner and actually really hungry for the first time that I started to feel more like my old self again. Finally!

That meant that this morning I would have to do what I said I would do and be better about working out in the new year and forget about the past few weeks of slacking off and sickness. So, Drew and I headed off to the gym together. I walked for a few minutes on the treadmill while figuring out my plan of action and as a quick warm-up (it's freezing outside!!).

After that I decided that I would finish Week 11 of my weight lifting program, which I thought I'd be done with before the start of the year, but getting sick has set me back a week or so. This was the workout:

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 180 lbs
Leg Press: 1 set of 10 reps @ 200 lbs / 1 set of 8 reps @ 200 lbs / 1 set of 6 reps @ 200 lbs
Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 25 lbs
Dumbbell Pullovers: 1 set of 10 reps @ 30 lbs / 2 sets of 8 reps @ 30 lbs
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 10 lbs (per arm)
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 1 set of 10 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm) / 2 sets of 8 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm)
Crunches: 3 sets of 15 reps

Um, so, yeah, not a huge fan of having to do only three exercises but do them each twice. I know that I didn't lift as heavy as I had in the past, but I figured because of all the repetition, it'd still be a good workout. It was also really hard for me. I normally don't struggle quite that much at these weights when I lift, so I know that part of that was that I'm still a bit weak from being sick. The crunches should have been with weight added on, but my stomach has been through enough the past week, I figured that just doing crunches was enough of a workout!

After the weight lifting, I decided to do something that I really hate and run on the treadmill. Really, I wanted to see how I felt while running since it seems pretty important for my half-marathon training that I'm really going to have to start in earnest very soon. But, I figured I'd just start today and get my feet wet. I set the treadmill pretty slow - 5.5 speed - and started running.

It was not horrible. I put a towel over the treadmill, so I couldn't watch the miles or minutes tick by. I also switched my watch so that I could see the calories and my heart rate, but not the time duration. I realized that I'm still in a pretty big calorie deficit for the past week and I definitely was this morning as well. I decided that I would give myself a 500 calorie limit for the weight lifting and the running as I wasn't sure it'd be wise to continue after that based on my nutrition.

I knew that my calories burned weight lifting were about 230, so I figured I had about 270 to go on the treadmill. They just ticked off really quickly. However, I didn't quite make it to 500 total. I started feeling a little bit faint and decided I didn't really want to actually faint, so I slowed down and just walked for a while to finish up my workout. I only made to 490 "strenuous exercise" calories. I think I'm just fine with that.

I was really glad to get back to the gym and while I didn't feel 100% while working out, I certainly didn't feel bad while working out. I think that as I eat more in general over the next week or so, I'll start to feel back to normal, but I was really glad to know that I could still run (although slowly) and feel fine and not winded!

Weight Lifting
Time: 39:41
Calories: 234
Maximum HR: 152
Average HR: 117

Time: 19:09
Distance: 1.75 miles
Pace: 10:56/mile
Calories: 256
Maximum HR: 188
Average HR: 179

Time: 12:58
Distance: 0.75 miles
Pace: 17:17/mile
Calories: 122
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 147