Monday, June 30, 2014

Cross training has begun!

I realized last week, and I think noted in my last post, that I need to do some cross training if I really want to improve and do so quickly. 24-Hour Fitness was having a special, so I took advantage of it and joined. I swam today, and it felt great...swimming isn't even like exercise to me. I mean, I feel tired after and I can tell I got a workout, but I don't have to drag myself kicking and screaming to the gym to do it because I love it. Nothing hurts when I'm in the water...which means it's a nice break for my aging joints. Plus, I can do other things like bike, zumba, or use the dreadmill when it's too hot to run outside. I figure the extra workouts will help my running pace improve, but also if I can get some weight off it should make running easier as well.

I had two good training runs last week, but I was nervous about Saturday. I had my 5-mile "long" run in the morning and then was going hiking in the afternoon. I didn't know if I'd be able to handle all of it, but I did! In fact, during the last 1/4 mile or so, when I was so tired and happy we were almost done, I was thinking that I was glad Grace wasn't there because she'd want me to "finish strong" and sprint to the finish. But when we started our last run interval and I could see how little distance we had left, I got a second wind and easily ran at a faster-than-normal pace...and when I was within sight of the finish line, I sprinted! It felt good to know I had something left in me. And I did go hiking that afternoon, and although I was not as go-getterish as I might normally be, I went for a couple of miles and had a good time. I wasn't even that sore the next day. OH--and because I messed up my schedule earlier in the week, I ended up running two days in a row with the long run being the second. That means my body wasn't as rested as it would have normally been, so I feel extra good about it!

So, much better outlook this week than last! I have my first event this Friday, the Folsom Firecracker 5K. Sunny is going to be my buddy and stay with me from start to finish...what a sweetheart! I'm a little nervous, but more excited. It's only 3 miles, and I've been doing that for the past couple weeks so it's not a big deal. In fact, this will just count for one of my training runs and I'll do 6 miles on Sunday. Think I can make it? I know I can!

Total for the summer: 35 miles

Monday, June 23, 2014

Running is hard

I'm feeling a little blue about running today. We upped our intervals last week to 2:30 run, 1:30 walk. It's been a little bit of a struggle, although I got through my "long" run of 3 miles today and hung in there although I wasn't pleased with the pace (14:18). I'm nervous about this weekend when I have to run 5, although now our "short" runs are all 3 like today so I guess that will help me get there.

I feel like I should be fitter by now, that it should be getting more manageable. I know it won't ever be easy, but shouldn't it be slightly less hard? I think this means I need to seriously start some cross training. The most likely way for me to do that is to swim, because I can always make myself do that, especially in the summer. I think I need to forego other financial things I was going to take care of and join a gym. Then I'll have some other options as well like zumba, yoga, weights, stationary bikes, etc.

Oh...and the bad news that really got to me was when I found out a few days ago that my normal loop at Southside Park, which I could swear I read online was a mile, is only 3/4. So these awesome times I was having of 10:30-11 minute miles was a lie! My speedy time is about 13:30. Damn! I need to get it under 13 by the time I start doing events.

Don't worry, I'm not going to quit. I have been through this before and know there are going to be down moments when you're working on something hard for a long period of time. I'll get over it...but...ugh. On the bright side, I treated myself to some running pants and a hat so now I'm pretty well outfitted. the pants are form-fitting capris and they don't look gross on my (at least to my eye), so I'll take that as a minor win!

Total for the summer: 24

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week two: further and faster!

Yesterday I went on my "long" run for the week. Four miles, and I was very happy to have the company of at least part of my running group: Tall Paul, Grace, and Dana. Always good company! I was smart this week and fueled and hydrated before I left the house, and I'm sure that made a difference.

Grace pushed us to go faster than I would have been inclined to without her, and we finished in about 54:30 (there were some discrepancies in the time, but it was somewhere around there), which is in the neighborhood of 13:30 per mile. I was very happy about this! My goal was to keep it under 15:00 and I more than exceeded that. This is probably the slowest I would want to be for the marathon, because that would take 6 hours to finish. We're aiming for a 5 hour finish time, so I'll need to up the pace a little more, but I still have lots of time to ramp up.

Another thing that may have helped our pace was that we dropped to 1:45 for the walk intervals instead of 2 minutes. This week we go to 2:30 run/1:30 walk, which is the hardest intervals I've done to date, so it was a way of sort of easing into that. I was nervous doing that on a long run, but I hardly noticed the 15 seconds difference. Running 2:30 will be a little hard at first since the last 15 seconds I'm usually ready to stop, but at least I have some shorter runs at the nice, flat park to get used to it before we do it on a long one again.

Anyway, so I felt good about this week's run. I was tired of course and I am pretty sore today, although that might have  had more to do with ballet class on Saturday than the run. It feels really good to see my progress and know I'm improving.

Total for 100 Mile Summer: 17 miles

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Getting my groove back

Just got back from today's run, and I'm thankful today is cooler than the last couple days, because I got a late start! I felt quite strong today and finished the first mile in 10 minutes on the dot, which is probably my fastest ever. I felt good about it but decided I'd be sorry if I tried to keep up that pace for another mile so I dialed it back a little and finished in 20:50 total--again, probably my fastest time ever. I feel good returning to my former pace and besting it, although we'll see how I do over longer distances since I still haven't returned to where I was at before when I could run 3-5 miles without much problem. Gratefully following Kim's ramp-up training schedule!

This weekend, my long run will be 4 miles. I imagine we'll be on the river trail, so my goal is to do it in under an hour, or sub-15-minute miles. I'm interested to see how it goes since last week's 3 miles was a struggle, but my short runs this week were easier than last week's so there's that.

Total for the 100 Mile Summer: 13

Monday, June 9, 2014

One week complete

I completed my first week of training on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to week 2. My two-mile run at the park went well on Thursday, but then I went out on the American River Trail with my running buddies and  had a really hard time. I was huffing and puffing during the very first run interval, even though I'd warmed up by walking half a mile from the car. I think this was partly from not eating until the drive over--not enough time to get the nutrients into my system, so I need to just get up earlier and eat before I leave. Then, it was a bit warmer, which I'm not acclimated to yet, and of course even though there aren't huge hills, there's still quite a bit of up and down on the trail vs the park. However, I pushed through and kept up my intervals (as in, I didn't skip any run intervals) for the whole three miles. I was proud of myself for pushing through!

This week, I still run just 2 miles on my short runs but push up to 4 on the weekend for the long run. Hopefully I start getting acclimated to the heat soon!

Total miles so far: 7

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Second Day of Training

Today was a great day. It was my second official training run, and I'm to run 2 miles all week so that's what I did. However, I felt stronger and fitter, so I went a little faster and averaged 11:45--much better than sunday and I wasn't as out of breath. Then, I went for a 2.4 mile walk to the bank. Then, I went swing dancing! Whew! I'm going to sleep well tonight. Although I did take about a two hour nap after the walk.

Total today: 2
Total for the summer: 4

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Training begins!

Today was my first official training run for the CIM. Since I was sick the last two weeks and inconsistent for a month or two before that, I only made it two miles. However, it was good to get out there and get started! I was tired at the end, but I still had the energy to go to the farmer's market and the grocery store, so that's good. Bought some fruit, which I'm usually too lazy to eat, so I have something good to eat after runs or during the long ones.  My friend Andee gave me a running watch which I haven't really figured out how to use yet except for the total time.

I joined, so send me a friend request: (I think that works)

Also, my friend Rita invited me to a "100 Mile Summer" challenge, where you run 100 miles between June 1 and September 1. This is just over a mile a day, so my training schedule should get me there easily, but the more goals and milestones I have, the better. Looking to do a 5k and a 10k this summer and then a half marathon at Urban Cow in October. Bring it on, bitches!

Today: 2 miles. Pace: 15:25
Total: 2 miles