Friday, July 31, 2009

Excellent Easy Run

Today's Workout: 5.25 mile easy run, about 3/5ths uphill

Tomorrow's Workout: 8 mile run, no slower than 8:20 pace

Thought: "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." ~Henry David Thoreau

Today I ran one of my favorite runs and it felt great. It's not my favorite because it's flat because a large portion is uphill. It's a favorite because it's beautiful, and that's exactly what I needed today. I left my stopwatch at home and just ran and needless to say, it felt great. I'm excited about my long run tomorrow but am unsure how fast I should run it. I'd like to run 8:00 miles for my race next weekend. My schedule says to run at my projected half marathon pace + 20 seconds, but I'm tempted to run it quicker than that because I'd actually like to run the race a little quicker and I figure it's better to train for a little under your projected goal. If I just run the race at a 7:59 pace, I'll be the happiest girl this side of the Mississippi. I'm thinking I'm going to take off the 20 seconds tomorrow and shoot for an 8:00 pace. Any suggestions? Criticisms?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 miles

Workout Today: 5 mile progression run at an average 7:48 pace.

Workout Tomorrow: Easy run somewhere

Thought: “Life is a gift, given in trust - like a child.”-Ann Morrow Lindbergh

I found out a friend died today. We went to the same church and talked occasionally online, so we weren't that close. I just can't get out of my mind how precious life is! We have to make the most of what we've been given because we never know when it'll be over or taken away. Tragedy sometimes makes me feel sentimental and clingy so I thought I'd give my husband a break from my boa constrictor cuddling and come downstairs and write on my blog. I wish I could say these "seize the day" feelings were a lead in for an awesome run, but I settled for average today. Tonight I was supposed to run 6 miles but I ran 5 miles at a pretty good pace for me. I should have run farther but I've had a hard time getting into it this week. I've had a lot on my mind...(Just trying to figure out whether to go to grad school or not.) Usually, running helps me clear my mind, but I just haven't had it in me. The good news is, my legs felt fresh and strong after my run tonight. Hopefully they feel the same way this Sat. on my last semi-long run, (8 miles,) and on race day next week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cross-training and Regrets

Today's Workout: 1 hour of cycling

Tomorrow's Workout:2 miles easy, 3 miles at ST pace, 1 mile easy

Thought: "There are no regrets in life, just lessons." -Jennifer Aniston

Yesterday I thought that I would run hills today, but I decided to stick to what my schedule said and cross train. After reading a bunch of blogs of serious runners I've started to regret some of my training, and therefore, felt like I needed to start making up for lost time this week. Maybe that's what I should actually do, but I decided I'm just going to stick to the rest of my schedule and do what I have planned. I'm not sure if I'll meet my goal for my next half. I'd like to see the cup half full because a lot of running long distance is just mental. I've learned a lot training for this race though, and hopefully that will help me tap into something bigger and better when I train for my next one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Trial and Error Speedwork

Workout Today: 10 mile warm-up at a 10 minute pace. 2 (6 X 400) 1:30 RI, 2:30 RI between sets.

Tomorrow's Workout: 6 mile run 1/2 uphill

Thought: "There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open." -NIKE

To be honest, I don't really know how to do speed work. Shoot, I'm less than two weeks away from race day and I haven't even figured out what all the abbreviations mean on my running schedule. With that disclaimer, the following is a breakdown of my workout tonight. Basically, I had to run 400 meters 12 times in 2 different sets, so I broke it down below at a per mile pace, even though I was only running quarter miles.

1. 6:00 pace
2. 7:17
3. 6:35
4. 6:58
5. 6:58
6. 6:40

7. 6:07
8. 6:15
9. 6:07
10. 6:15
11. 6:20
12. 6:53

I realized I had more to give after my first set so I ran my second set a little faster. If there is a mathematical equation for doing speed work, I wish I knew what it was. I just try and run faster than my normal pace and hope that equates to being faster on race day. That being said, due to my own low standards, I met my goal during this workout. At least I'm attempting speed work now. I used to not even do it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

12 miles or something like that

Today's Workout: 12 mile intervals 1-3 miles at 8:00 pace, 300m resting interval, 3-6 miles 7:46 pace, 300m resting interval, 6-9 miles 8:00 pace, 300m resting interval, 9-12 miles 7:52 pace.

Tomorrow's Workout: unsure

Thought: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." -Anatole France

I wasn't supposed to run my 12 mile run in intervals today, but I did. I don't know how that will translate race day, but I hope it doesn't set me back too badly. The positive thing about today's workout was that I hit my goal race pace, (8:00), and didn't ever run slower than that. I don't know why I decided to run intervals...because I was lazy I guess. At any rate, I haven't been really in the mode for running long distances because of the heat, so I'm glad that run's over and it's time to taper.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blading with the Baby

Today's Workout: Rollerblading 5 miles with Baby J

Tomorrow's Workout: 12 mile run

Thought: “Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.” -Henry Kissinger

Today Baby J and I headed to the river trail to go rollerblading. The trail is the only place I feel safe blading with him because I'm not the world's best stopper. There are probably better things I could do for cross training, but I've decided that I want to cross train with Baby J more so I can spend more time with him outside and feel like training isn't ruling my life, just enhancing it.

I really hope my children enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. When I take Baby J, whether I'm rollerblading or running, I don't bring my music so I can talk to him and point things out to him. I don't think he understands half the stuff I say, but I know someday he will, so that's all that matters. I think I get more out of having him with me than he does at this point. At any rate, I had a fun workout today and I'm pumped for tomorrow's 12 mile run.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feeling Back on the Horse...Speedwork

Today's Workout: 5 minute warmup. 2 X 3200. First 2 miles 7:24 pace, 400m resting interval, Second 2 miles 7:19 pace. Holla!

Tomorrow's Workout: Rollerblading with Baby "J."

Thought: “Never, never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill

I took a few rest days because I was feeling really negative about last week's runs. Yesterday, the esposo came back from his backpacking trip. Consequently, I wanted to get back on board with my training and make today count at the gym.

Often during interval training, my times get slower as I go on. After my first 2 miles (or 3200m), I felt like I needed to prove to myself that I was fast and strong, so I decided to do the next 2 miles at a faster pace. Granted, the difference was only seconds, (a 7:19 pace in comparison to a 7:24 pace), but it was a small accomplishment for me today and it felt good. I walked out of the gym feeling fast and strong, and that was exactly what I needed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Resting and My Favorite Summer Salad

Today's Workout: Rest

Tomorrow's Workout: 6-7 miles, hills with Baby J in stroller

Thought: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

Since the esposo is out of town and I had a cruddy workout yesterday, I decided to take the day off. I realized today while menu planning, that I have one more week than I thought I did before my next half. That is a very good thing! Since my 10 mile run didn't go so well this week, I'm excited to have a 12 mile run, then 8, and the following weekend is the half. My best half-marathon experience happened when I ran a half marathon 2 weeks before the actual race, so I'm glad that I have that 12 on the schedule 2 weeks before this one.

Anyways, I thought I'd start sharing more recipes on rest days. Here is the recipe for my favorite summer salad. I never measure the ingredients, but you don't really have to. The recipe is self-explanatory. The esposo and my brother love this recipe as well. It's a great side to a lot of things. On, I evaluated my diet and realized I need to eat more vegetables. So, this is a great way to get those greens in. If I was going to create my own world, it would definitely have a lot of strawberries and balsamic vinegar in it. They are the perfect pair.

Strawberry, Walnut, and Balsamic Salad

Mixture of Baby Spinach and mixed greens
strawberries, sliced
raw walnuts, chopped

Two parts balsamic vinegar to every one part olive oil
Oregano to taste
sugar to taste (optional)

(Make the dressing a few hours beforehand so the flavors meld together.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Terrible 10 mile run

Workout Today: 10 mile run at a crappy pace. (Just under 10 minute miles.)

Workout Tomorrow: Not sure...

Thought: “The people and circumstances around me do not make me what I am, they reveal who I am”- Laura Schlessinger

Today I really had one of the crappiest runs of my life. I decided to do my long run early this week because the esposo is going backpacking and I thought I should make sure I got it in before he left. So, not only did I do it two days early, but I decided to go running outside at noon. I don't mind hot weather running, but running 10 miles in the heat, I found, was almost unbearable.

I became really depressed around mile 3-4 when I started to really slow down and couldn't get my mind off the heat. I was hoping for a really awesome run as I taper down for my next half. Next week I run 8 miles on Saturday for my long run, and then the next week is the race.

Anyways, back to my nasty run, the sun was blazing, and I kept playing mind games with myself to keep going. I drank all my water and had to stop to refill my water bottles and drench myself in a water fountain at mile 6. I felt like a new woman for awhile after that, but then it became drudgery again.

One of my favorite things about running is how amazing I usually feel after wards. I didn't feel that today, and I'm still in a bad mood. I've been doing a lot of speed work at a much faster pace than any training I've done for past half marathons. Consequently, I've been hoping that will translate into an awesome PR in my next race. Today totally made me doubt myself and question whether I'm a better runner, or just worn out.

I've been having so many awesome runs, I guess maybe I needed to be brought down to earth and realize that knocking 4 minutes off my half marathon time isn't just going to be handed to me. On a positive note, I wanted to stop running so badly today, and I didn't. I kept on trucking. That's the only positive thing I can think of about this experience. (That, and the course was really beautiful.) Oh, and strawberry shot blocks aren't half bad.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So I'm a Blader...

Workout today: 4 miles of rollerblading on the river trail with Baby J.

Workout tomorrow: 10 miles at an 8:00 minute per mile pace

Thought: "It's better to play than do nothing." -Confucious

I thought I'd swim or cycle today, but the esposo found my rollerblades in a box and I couldn't resist. At one point in my life, I loved rollerblading. Since moving to Utah from California, I hadn't really done it because I live in a pretty hilly place. I decided to make the effort to go to the river trail though, and it was totally worth it. Baby J seemed like he enjoyed himself too. Sometimes you just have to kick back and enjoy the world around you...and so we did. Tomorrow I'm doing my long run because the esposo is going camping this weekend and I didn't want to have to put Jackson in the gym daycare for too long. At any rate, the outdoors during the summertime ARE AWESOME!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speed is Your Friend

Workout Today:10-20 minute warm-up, 3 x 2000m (400m RI), 10 minute cool-down

Workout Tomorrow: Swimming for 45 minutes? Maybe Spinning.

Thought: “I am suffocated and lost when I have not the bright feeling of progression.”- Margaret Fuller

I decided that I'd put the workout I was supposed to do and then put what I actually did so it will be easier to look back and see what I changed. I did a 5 minute warm-up and then did the 1st 2000 meters at a 6:58 per mile pace. I walked for the 400 meter resting interval and did my second 2000 meters at a 7:03 per mile pace. My 3rd 2000 meters was done at a 7:14 per mile pace. I didn't cool down. I had never done 2000 meters as speedwork before and it made me mentally push because it was 1.13 miles instead of a mile...The weird distance made me half to adjust my mind and I think that worked out well. (Atleast, it seems like it would since half of running is mental.) I was hoping to maintain my 6:58 pace for all 3 2000m intervals but I guess I was glad I stayed close. I'll take it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rest and Recipe

Workout Today: Rest

Workout Tomorrow: Spinning for 45 minutes

Thought: "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -John F. Kennedy

It has been nice to have a rest day today. I've found in my training that sometimes rest days are just as important to me as an intense workout days. Our bodies need to repair. I love cooking almost as much as I love running. My husband and I have been gradually overhauling our diet in the hopes of living a healthier lifestyle. I've always thought food was a good thing, and therefore, "diet" has been sort of a cuss word to me. I can make healthy changes in the right direction, though. That sounds so much more positive. Usually, I have a smoothie for breakfast, but in an effort to diversify my diet and be more cost effective, I've decided to eat oatmeal every other day.

I found this recipe by Ellie Krieger, one of my favorite Food Network chefs, who makes great, healthy food. She knows how to use spices so things still taste good. I thought her oatmeal was simple and fulfilling. I used to not like nuts but they're growing on me, and are so healthful too.

Vanilla Spice Oatmeal

* 3 1/2 cups water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
* 2 cups old-fashioned oats
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Pinch nutmeg
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus more, to taste
* 1 cup lowfat milk, divided
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Stir in the oats and raisins, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, place nuts, if using, in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

When the oats are cooked remove pan from the flame and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Swirl in the brown sugar and place the oatmeal in serving bowls. Pour 1/4 cup of milk on top of each bowl, and top with toasted nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Note: For a quicker version using quick cooking or plain instant oatmeal: Cook the oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Stir raisins, brown sugar, and nutmeg into the cooked oatmeal. Top with milk, nuts (toasted or un-toasted) and cinnamon.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

15 miles? Check.

Today's Workout: 15 miles at an 8:14 pace

Goal Workout tomorrow: NONE

Thought: "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." -Thomas Jefferson

Today I ran 15 miles, which is further than I've ever run in my life. I also ran it at a faster pace than my best half marathon pace, which was 8:17. Granted, I did it on a treadmill, but I wasn't completely stoked about this run today and I came and conquered. I hope getting these long distances in, and doing speed work, translates into meeting my 1:45 goal for the Provo River Half, August 8th. I'm not the best at following schedules and I felt like my trips to Hawaii and California the last few months really set me back. Consequently, today gave me a little hope. I'm excited I get to rest tomorrow! Shoot, I deserve it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Everyone Needs an Easy Day

Today's workout: 6 miles- easy pace, over 1/3 uphill. Outside.

Goal Workout tomorrow: either 45 minutes of swimming or stationary cycling.

Thought: "If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail." -Unknown

Today I was supposed to cross train, but I decided I needed to get out and run outdoors since the other two runs I've done this week were on the treadmill. I don't mind the treadmill. I actually like it. However, nothing beats the freedom of the pavement. I ran at 2pm today which was probably not the smartest idea because it was blazing hot, but it's over. I did it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Workout: 5 min. warmup plus 10 X 400m at a 6:44 pace with 350 yard resting intervals. No cooldown.
Goal workout tomorrow: 6 mile run outside. Half of the course is uphill.
Thought: "I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas." -Albert Einstein

I did the workout today that I didn't do yesterday. Yesterday was just one of those days. Although I didn't work out yesterday, I was really productive and watched Michael Jackson's funeral. I don't know if he did bad things to children or not. What I do know though, is that he made the best of his talents.

At the funeral, Martin Luther King III quoted a poem his father also quoted in a speech that I can't get out of my head. It's really cliche, (maybe that's why it's stuck up there,) but it resonates with me because of my imperfections and desire to be better. I'm only 5'3", but this girl loves to run, and I intend to be the best 5'3" runner I possibly can. I'm not a perfect mom, a perfect pianist, or a perfect cook, but I try to be better at those things too, and hopefully one day, I can look back and see how far I've come.

So, before I put you to sleep...Here's the poem:


If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a shrub in the valley---but be
The best little shrub at the side of the hill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
We can't all be captains,
We've got to be crew.
There's something for all of us here;
There is big work to do, and there's lesser to do
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway, then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun, be a star;
It isn't the size that you win or you fail---
Be the best of whatever you are.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Progress Today

Workout today: 4 miles at a 7:36 pace on the treadmill.

Goal workout tomorrow: 10-20 minute warm-up, 10 x 400m (400m RI), 10 minute cool-down

Thought: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Tonight was one of those workouts I was fighting to finish. The last time I ran was 6 days ago because I slacked off while visiting my family and I have a feeling I'm going to pay for it this week. My half-marathon is getting closer and I really want to meet my 1:45 goal. (That's an 8:00 minute mile.) Hopefully I tear up tomorrow's speed work, and get prepared this week for my 15 miler this weekend. I've never run farther than a half marathon so it should be interesting.

I'm seriously going to start blogging again...

So, I've been letting my 2nd running blog go to the crapper, but after not running at all on my trip to CA, and having no one to be held accountable to, I decided that I need to really start blogging about running again. I'm running my 4th half marathon on August 8th, and I hope taking 5 day breaks like this hasn't made all my hard work go down the drain. I had a great trip to CA, but I'm going to make sure I get back on board this week. Bakersfield, (where my parents live,) was just so bloody hot!I should have gotten out in the mornings but I was lame, and didn't. Anyways, I have 3 key runs planned this week: speedwork, a 5 mile run at race pace, and the other is a 15 miler, and then it's taper time. Since I only did one of my key runs last week, I'm not sure if I'll do the whole 15 miles, I haven't decided yet.

PS- The picture is of my new Mizuno Waverider 12's I received for my birthday. LOVE THEM!