Saturday, February 28, 2009

A couple of random thoughts on a Saturday night...

Random thought #1- I am starting to obsess about hills. The La Jolla Half Marathon is in eight weeks. I can't stop looking at the course map and the elevation profile*. Holy CRAP. That hill is GINORMOUS. That steep steep grade in the middle of the race is 420 feet in less than a mile! I have heard that it isn't even the worst part. Apparently the hill at mile 12 is the true killer. It is short and steep and right at the end to suck the life out of you.

Luckily, I live in a very hilly neighborhood. I usually don't like to run anything longer than a couple of miles here because that is the length of the flat route. Thursday, I took on some of the hills. One of them was ridiculously steep (214 feet in .14 miles) but I ran the entire thing. I doubled over, completely out of breath at the top, but I did run the hill. The other hill I ran was a bit better. It was 78 feet in around 1/3 of a mile. I didn't have much difficulty... until I learned that the big hill in LJH is much, much steeper. sigh. Next week I am taking on yet another (bigger) hill in my neighborhood. I am going to do everything I can not to let that race get the best of me.

Random Thought #2- I have been a big fan of The Biggest Loser since the first season. I love watching these people change their lives for the better. They lose weight through hard work and eating right. It is not all about cutting calories, but fueling the body correctly.

This week's eliminated player was shown training for and completing a marathon. Kudos. They went on to say that he finished in in 3:53! Holy cow... if a guy who just lost 100 pounds could do that, surely I could, right? Hold on. I've been reading this week that not only did Dane NOT run a 3:53 marathon, he didn't FINISH the marathon. WTF? At mile 17, he got in a car (reported to be an NBC production van), was driven to mile 20 and ran the last six. He was in danger of not making the cut off of six hours and they wanted to show him crossing the finish line... AT 5:53!

I am so disappointed. This leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. What else has the show lied about? I hope that they retract their report on Dane and set the record straight. I would hate to stop watching one of my favorite shows.

Random Thought #3- Good luck to all of you racing tomorrow! Terri, I know you have your four-miler. You'll do great! Irish Cream is going for a PR in a 5K! Good luck to anyone else I forgot.
Chris, I hope your race went well this morning. Did the cold temps get you moving fast?

Random Thought #4- It is after 11 p.m. and I am running fourteen miles tomorrow. What am I thinking? I really need to get to bed. I haven't run fourteen miles since before the marathon.

Nighty Night.

*Sorry for the poor quality. I couldn't seem to save the map from the website big enough to post. This image is from 2003, but it is exactly the same as what is on the website.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

yesterday's fitness fest!

I was in bed by 9 p.m. last night. I would have gone to bed earlier, but when you have two small children you still have to get them ready etc. before you can go down. Why was I such a slug? I worked my@$$ off yesterday.

9:00 a.m. -- taught a typical Stroller Strides class*.
11:00 a.m. -- Run 5.75 miles with a pretty major hill**.
3 p.m.-- Hike 3 miles. Gain of almost 1000 feet in 1.5 miles***.

*Here is what my Stroller Strides class consisted of:
station 1-
>dynamic warm-up

station 2- (We run or power walk between stations. It is 1-2.5 miles total for the class on an average day)
>Step ups onto 12 inch step (edge of a fountain)
>Step outs onto 12 inch step. Step on to step and then extend hip abductor out to side.
>Quad dips
>Static lunge with high knee lifts. Slow pace and double-time.

station 2-
>Bicep curls with resistance band anchored chest high onto a fence. Upper arms remain parallel to ground.
>Triceps kickbacks with resistance band.

station 3-
>One arm fly across chest with resistance band anchored onto fence. Add side lunge.
>One arm fly above head with resistance band anchored onto fence. Add side lunge.
>One arm fly sweeping under like an upper cut with resistance band anchored onto fence. Add side lunge.

station 4-
>Deep squats
>Static squats
>Static squats on one leg at a time

station 5-
>Abdominals (3-4 abdominal exercises with 10-20 reps each)

** My run constisted of running from Balboa Park down to the convention center and back. The return trip up 6th is the same hill that kicked my booty during the AFC Half Marathon in August. I did sort of a hybrid tempo run/hill training/speed workout. Whatever you call it, I was working hard. I tried to alternate the relatively easy miles with the miles where I really pushed myself (miles 2 and 4).

I am pleased to say that my second fastest mile was one with the most elevation gain. It was only 123 feet, but it sure felt like a lot. Here are my splits:

  • mile 1- 9:07
  • mile 2- 7:48 (this mile was completely downhill; I lost 107 feet in elevation)
  • mile 3- 9:01 (elevation decrease of 52)
  • mile 4- 8:34 (elevation gain of 123)
  • mile 5- 9:34 (elevation gain of 40--I was getting tired by this point)
  • .76- 6:49 (8:59 pace)

The good news is that I felt pretty strong. The bad news is that the La Jolla Half Marathon in April not only has a 190 foot hill, but a 420 foot mile-long hill!!! I have some work to do!

***My hubby and I hiked up Cowles Mt. to celebrate our anniversay. Other couples go out to dinner on their dates, we go hiking and mountain biking. I sure do love that guy! It is a relatively strenuous hike and my hips and hamstrings were killing me by the time we reached the top. Don't get me wrong, Kenny and I aren't all fitness and exercise. When we reached the top, we pulled out a bottle of chilled white wine and a couple of plastic wine glasses (that insulated wine carrier we received from our wedding sure does come in handy). We toasted to the eight years we have been together and the eighty years ahead of us. We ended the afternoon with an early dinner at a Thai restaurant close by. It was my kind of evening.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Giveaways are cool!

I need to figure out how to give away stuff on my blog!

Nikemom, over at Adventure Seeker, is giving away a pair of cycling gloves. Love it! Check out her giveaway here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ten miles: check!

I woke up feeling a little better this morning. My throat hurt a little, but nothing too bad. Once I woke up, had something to eat and some caffeine, it didn't hurt anymore. I was glad to run a little later than I had been. I met Laura down at Mission Bay at 8 a.m. Our schedule called for running at a 10-minute-mile. We planned on just running easy and not worrying about pace.

There were a few times when Laura pulled ahead of me a bit. I thought about telling her that I would stay at the slower pace, but my pride wouldn't let me. I had left my Garmin at home, but I did a pretty good job at guessing our pace. I knew we were faster than 9:30, but I didn't want to slow her down, so I kept going. When I put it in that 'higher gear', running a 9:30 mile is a piece of cake, but during a slow, easy run it isn't quite as easy. I didn't feel altogether relaxed. Afterwards, she told me that I should have spoken up. Maybe I should have. But I don't know if slowing down would have changed much.

We ran ten miles at a 9:20 pace. Phew! I am ready for a nap!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm tired!

I am not sure if I am coming down with something or if I have just pushed myself a bit too hard this week... Here is a recap of my workouts this week:

*teach an hour of Stroller Strides (a full-body workout, including resistance bands, cardio drills and abdominals).
*five mile tempo run at an average pace of 8:20.
*teach an hour of Stroller Strides
*teach an hour of Stroller Strides
* six miles at 9:33 average pace.
*teach an hour of Stroller Strides
*teach an hour of Stroller Strides

I really should take a day to rest, but tomorrow I have yet another Stroller Strides class to teach and need to do a long run on Sunday. I think I am going to bed early tonight. That is, of course, if I don't pick up Eclipse. I think I like it better than the first two!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 1 of Marathon Training: a mental battle

It was a three round fight. Thank goodness the correct side won.

Round 1: My alarm went off at 4:55 a.m.. Hmmm... I REALLY wanted to stay in bed. It was cold and dark. Seriously. It was in the 30's. That is COLD for these parts. I laid there for a few minutes. I was dangerously close to falling back asleep resulting in a TKO for today's training. But I dragged myself out of bed.

Round 2: I was sipping my caffeinated beverage* and checking e-mail, thinking that I really didn't want to leave the house. I started researching birthday party ideas for my daughter and thought that I could have an hour of uninterrupted internet time. While it wasn't raining like it has been, it was still cold. And I am a wimp. But I put on my tights, put on a layer or two (not too much because I thought it might warm up) and finally left the house.

Round 3: I sat in my car just outside the gates of Lake Murray. Damn... I had forgotten my gloves. I could see Starbucks beckoning me. It was very tempting to blow off a tempo run for a hot grande skinny vanilla latte. This was the easiest round to win. I had already driven all the way over there... I would be an idiot to give up now. So... off I ran. I won the mental battle!!

The physical battle wasn't too bad. In fact, there wasn't much of a battle at all. I felt much stronger than I did during my run a week ago when I felt pretty darn sluggish. Today I felt really good. Because I had dragged my heels, I was coming up against the clock. I decided to cut my warm up and cool down to half mile each instead of the mile suggested on my training plan. My warm up was a bit faster than it should have been. I was freezing! I did my first half mile at an 8:47 pace-- oops.

The next three miles were pretty darn speedy. Even though my training schedule said to do them at an 8:25 pace, I guess I was doing more of a speed workout. Here are the splits:
1- 8:06
2- 8:17
3- 8:07
My cool down half mile was run at a 9:13 pace. Not exactly slow, but it felt slow. I think I can run 9-minute miles for quite a while. That is a good feeling. Overall, my average pace for four miles was 8:20.

I am glad that I fought and won the mental fight with myself. I still think that it is going to be an uphill battle to get motivated to train this time. I need to get into the groove.

*I have been drinking Zip Fizz for a while now. My friend, Jen, turned me on to it. I am not an early morning coffee drinker unless it is loaded with syrup and milk in a latte. Soda is too much for my tummy really early (although I am known to have a Diet Pepsi in the morning with my Luna Bar). I like my caffeine sweet, what can I say. Zip Fizz has a bunch of vitamins in addition to caffeine and it does the trick for me in the mornings.


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