Friday, December 17, 2010

The Pass Book

Yesterday was a big mix-up and I ended up not having pilates in the morning like I thought I would, so that meant no workout for me and my stomach has now been saved until after the Christmas holiday!  Truthfully, I think the rest was best for my cold anyway, so it all worked out.  Plus I got to have a nice egg and potato breakfast at my desk yesterday morning.

This morning Laura and I had made plans to meet at the JCC for a swim.  Last year, we both deemed it to be in the top two pools in the city.  Even though it doesn't even have a hot tub!  This year, we had saved up our passes from our fitness book for the JCC until the end of the year.  This was partly on purpose, I think, and also partly due to the fact that Laura and I both broke bones this year. 

I got there first this morning and the guy at the desk told me that the JCC no longer accepts these passes.  Oh, and they haven't accepted them all year long.  Which was bad news for me & Laura.  But, he was really nice and let both of us go in on a guest pass today.  Disaster averted! 

We got out to the pool deck and there was no one swimming in the Fast lane, so we both grabbed that before anyone else could.  We started by just splitting the lane, but the lifeguard came and yelled at me by the time I had finished my first 25, so circle swimming we went.  It wasn't a big deal or anything, it just most likely would have prevented anyone else from coming into our lane.  Which is exactly what happened near the end.

While I was swimming today, I was thinking that swimming in an Olympic distance triathlon is a long ways.  And even when you're swimming in a pool where the sun is shining directly in your eyes, it's still a lot easier to swim in a pool than open water.  That being said, however, I feel like I should get a triathlon on the books for 2011.  I'll have to do some research on that. 

As preparation for this unknown triathlon(s) in 2011, Laura and I decided today to buy the passbook again for next year.  We didn't get as much use out of it this year as we did in 2009, but we have a plan to change that next year!  

Tomorrow I'm off to Wisconsin to have Christmas Cookie Extravaganza, Take II.  I'll be back with a full recap after the weekend.  If last year was any indication, it should be a lot of baking and candy-making and a whole lot more fun! 

1000 Free
100 kick
100 free/breath control (zero breaths x 2)/breast stroke

Time: 26:31
Distance: 1200 meters = 0.75 miles
Pace: 35:21/mile

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas To Me!

On Monday I had the first part of my Christmas present to myself.  My friend Nicole became a Certified Pilates Instructor last year.  I took lots of other pilates classes with her when she was going through her certification.  I was really nervous to start again since I've been neglecting my core so well during marathon training.  However, I had really enjoyed pilates when I did it before, so I'm starting up again.  For now, I'm doing 5 classes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that will turn into more!

When I got there and Nicole asked if there was anything specific I wanted to work on, I just laughed and said my stomach since it hasn't been doing much work.  I figured that it wouldn't be a problem.  I mean, after only like three or four exercises, I was already shaking.  It was really nice to be back and I'm glad that I signed up for classes with Nicole.  Having one-on-one attention is nice so that she can make sure I'm keeping my form up while doing all the exercises! 

Tuesday Laura and I had made plans to meet in the morning before work, except that it didn't work out and we ended up not meeting.  So, I headed to the gym after work instead.  I started coming down with a bit of a cold and I knew that it probably wasn't going to be my best effort ever.  Plus, the small gym by our house was pretty much jam-packed. 

I got the very last treadmill available and the whole time I was running there was a bit of a line forming, so I felt like I really had to adhere to the 30-minute time limit that our gym has.  So, I ran three miles in just over 30 minutes and called that good.  I followed it up with 15 minutes on the stair mill, something I haven't done in a while.  Boy oh boy, did I forget how sweaty that machine is! 

After all that, I spent a lot of time stretching.  I know that I need to be doing this every time and there's no time like the present to start.  My legs were a little tired from pilates on Monday and some of the stretches that Nicole had me do then, so I figured that more stretching was probably a good thing. 

Today I'm taking a rest day.  From work and working out.  I woke up feeling even more congested and with a sorer throat than earlier this week, so I knew that if I wanted to feel better sooner, resting would be the best thing for me.  I'm flying for the next three weekend and that never helps me feel any better, so I thought this would be the best opportunity.  I've been planted on the couch sleeping and drinking lots of fluids and taking lots of Vitamin-C to try to nip this cold in the bud! 

Time: 31:27
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:28/mile

Stair Mill
Time: 15:00
Distance: 1.25 miles
Pace: 12:00/mile

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Treadmill

This morning I knew I needed to get a decently long run in. That didn't mean that I wanted to do it. Drew had to pester me repeatedly to get up and all I wanted to do was press snooze. I'm not sure how I feel about running in the cold and dark in the mornings on the weekend, so I opted to go to the gym instead.

Our regular gym by our apartment is under renovation, so  I went to the 24-hour gym fir the first time in quite a while. It's pretty small and they only have one of the best kind of treadmills, so I was lucky to grab that before it got really busy.

I ran 3.00 miles before I had to take a quick bathroom break.

I was really excited about the treadmills at this gym because instead of having a 60-minute limit like usual, they had a 97-minute limit. 97 seems like a really random number, but whatever it was, I was glad for the extension.

I ran the first 3 miles at 5.6 speed, which felt easy and relaxing. After re-starting, I ran the next 4.4 miles at the same 5.6 speed. I had a Gu around mile 5, just like how I've been training.  After that, Drew left the gym and I wanted to finish up and get home myself, so I decided to bump up the speed.

At first I thought I'd just do some intervals, so I bumped it up to 8.0. Funny thing was that it felt relatively easy. So I ran at 8.0 for the next mile and a half. Which was a longer interval than I had been planning on. And then I bumped it up to 9.0 for most of the rest of the run. I finished the last quarter mile at 10.0. I pretty much felt awesome after that and walked for a few minutes to cool-down before heading home.

It also made me realize that although I don't have a lot of races planned for 2011 yet, it doesn't mean that I can't start thinking about what my race goals should be.

So, with that said, I'm still planning on this marathon in January. After that, I think I want to focus on running a speedy 5K. There is a NYRR 5K (it might actually be the only one) in March. I did the race last year too, and it is a bit hilly, so I think "speedy" is something that is yet to be determined, but that's my next race goal.

It seems pretty reasonable to me to think that if I can run comfortably at a 7:30/minute pace or faster after running 7 miles already, this should be something I can achieve.  Although it's probably also a good reminder that a good warm-up is really important. 

I have to say that it's sort-of nice to have something else to look forward to. I do much better when I've got goals or races to train for.

Time: 31:59
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:39/mile

Time: 64:54
Distance: 7.00 miles
Pace: 9:16/mile

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too Much T.V.

Apparently watching TV at the gym isn't my strong suit.  Last night after work I headed to the gym to get a couple quick miles in.  Except that instead of just listening to my iPod as usual, I just happened to end up at a treadmill where ESPN was playing on the TV.  I was happily running along going nowhere watching the ticker scroll by with all sorts of interesting sports news when all of a sudden ... I had to get off or risk barfing.  It pretty much came out of nowhere, but all of a sudden, I felt really sick to my stomach.

I started walking for a minute to see if I could start running again, but it just wasn't in the cards.  I only really had 45 minutes at the gym and wanted to use them wisely, so I went to check out the other cardio equipment.  I thought maybe I'd do the elliptical, but they were all taken so instead I did the Arc trainer for all of 15 minutes.  I still wasn't feeling that great, so I ended up using my last 10 minutes for stretching.  Which is probably something I need to do more of anyway.

I was really bummed that I wasn't feeling so hot, especially because Drew and I had tickets to the Knicks/Raptors game last night, which ended up being a really exciting game!  After eating some pretzels and drinking lots of soda, I finally was coming around and feeling back to normal.

All of that was probably a big sign that I need to get out of the gym and back outside!  Even though it was 24 degrees outside this morning (with the windchill, felt like 13), I got up and went for a run.  I finally got to test out my new Garmin, which was exciting.  Although it did take a while for the satellites to find me.  Or me to find the satellites.  I'm not sure which way it works.  Finally, after telling the Garmin that I was not indoors or hundreds of miles away from my last location, it started working!

It started working at just about the perfect moment, too ... right as I was walking into Central Park (I started walking instead of running in the hopes that the satellites would find me more easily if I was moving slower).  I decided to run on the Bridle Path for a number of reasons.  First, because this marathon I'm signed up for is partially on a bridle path, so I thought I should get used to it.  Second, because I've never been sure how far it is since Gmap Pedometer is lacking the Bridle Path route in Central Park. 

The funniest thing about today?  Turns out I've been properly guessing the miles all along.  Who needs this fancy technology?  Either way, I think I liked the watch.  I still need to upload the software to my computer and see all the fancy stuff it can tell me, but I liked it.  I had set it to auto-lap after each mile, so it was nice to have that beep at me.  I did notice, however, that it's not so great at auto-pausing when you're totally stopped.  It takes it a while to catch up to the fact that you're stopped.  Which isn't a problem unless you're running on streets (like from the Park to my apartment) and you get caught at a lot of lights.  I'm wondering if I change the auto pause from stopped to a very slow pace if it'll catch on more quickly? 

Either way, I've got a lot of tinkering around to do still before I can really say what I think.  For now, I'm glad I have it and I'll leave it at that!  The one very basic thing that I've forgotten the last two times I ran outside is my Road ID.  I'm wondering if I shouldn't just strap it to my shoe so that I can't forget it!  Something about not having it on my wrist makes me more nervous when I'm running.  But I never remember until I'm already far enough away from home that I can't just go back and grab it. 

Wednesday Gymnasium
Running: 2.0 miles in 21:30 (10:45/mile)
Arc Trainer: 15 minutes

Thursday Central Park Running
Time: 56:09+5:00 = 1:01:09
Distance: 5.06 + 0.50 = 5.56 miles
Pace: 10:59/mile

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I feel like I've got plenty to blog about, but I just haven't had the time to do it. 

1.  Friday I ran 3.50 miles at the gym at lunch.  I wanted to run more, but I didn't feel like running more.  So I just did what I felt like.  I did the 5K portion in under 30 minutes, which I was happy about and then walked the remainder as a cool-down. 

2.  Saturday I worked all day and then went to a holiday party.  Fun, but exhausting.

3.  Sunday I went for my long run.  I used my new Camelbak.  Turns out that there is only one way to use a Camelbak and get water to come out of the straw.  I didn't have it that way for the first half of the run, which was perplexing at the time.  The second half was much more enjoyable with all the water I could ever want!

4.  I liked the Camelbak.  I'm reserving final judgment for later since I really liked the Fuel Belt at first and now you'd have to pay me to want to wear it (although I'm sure I will wear it again, I just don't want to do it right now).  So far, I didn't notice any bouncing around or anything, but I'm also sure that because I was so bundled up from the weather that I might feel differently about it in the summer.

5.  There are very few people out running now.  It's like a society of hard-core people out there running and biking.  Actually, I think the bikers are totally crazy.  They must be freezing on their bikes.  Running is cold enough. 

6. My Garmin arrived on Monday.  I was thinking that I would go for a run with it this morning and try it out, but that didn't happen.  I'm going to go ahead and hope that happens tomorrow.  Getting out of a warm bed to run in 30 degree weather with wind isn't all that appealing, to be totally honest. 

In short, "training" for this second marathon is going just about the same as the first.  Doing most of the running, but skipping some too.  Best part?  I'm not nearly as worried about it this time around as I was the first time.  However, I do think I need to keep getting myself outside and acclimated to this cold weather running. 

Treadmill Running
Time: 29:48 (5K)
Distance: 3.10 miles + 0.40 miles walking
Pace: 9:36/mile for the 5K

Time: 2:40:42
Distance: 14.20 miles
Pace: 11:19/mile