28 June, 2012

Just a List

Where to start?  Well, training is going fine.  I did a 4-mile run last weekend in 1:01.38.  I was hoping to complete in an hour or under, but this time is still under the 16 minute/mile pace I need for the race.  I had an epiphany of sorts on the treadmill yesterday.  I realized I needed to start pushing myself more on my indoor run days, so that my stamina will be there for the longer runs.  I also managed to increase my intervals to 25/35.  I tried 30/30 a few weeks back and thought I was going to die, so I've been at 20/40 ever since. 

Of course, with the longer runs, recovery time is starting to feel more important.  I have fairly mild shin splints that were actually sensitive to the touch until yesterday.  I still feel them with every running step I take.  I'm going to the chiropractor today, and can't wait to see how misaligned I am.

This weekend's run is only two miles, and since Jackie is in town I plan to run around the resort we're staying at.  It'll be weird to not have Scott biking down my heels, but I'm actually looking forward to going out solo.  Next weekend: 5 miles.

Oh, and my new quirk: watching the Olympic track & field trials on TV and referring to the runners as "my people."  Of course, the shot-putters are closer to my shape, but don't tell me that!

In non-runner news, I was covering another department's training while they were backfilling their training person who ran screaming to another position for all of April and May, and the beginning of June.  It was challenging, and I wasn't amazing for their area.  They needed more attention than I could give them, and their training scores suffered.  I know I'm not really to blame for that, but it was still tough for me to deal with.  I'm glad they are off my plate (except for the daily questions from the new training person, which I'm happy to answer) and am looking forward to starting a new and interesting project...once one comes along.

10 June, 2012

The Great Outdoors

I'm going to say something now that I never ever ever expected to say:  I think I might enjoy running outside better than running on the treadmill.

Sure, the weather is difficult.  73 degrees first thing in the morning isn't that hot, but the 90% humidity is definitely oppressive.  Outside, I also have bugs, people, cars, and an occasional pet to contend with.  But I also have a changing view.  I can focus on the running rather than on the treadmill timer telling me when my interval is ending.  I can't actually see the exact distance traveled every second, or the speed I'm going, so I just focus on what feels right at the time.

Yesterday, we were planning on heading over to the 2.5 mile trail around Wilderness Lodge and Ft. Wilderness.  We loaded up Scott's bike, and got out early enough to avoid the rain.  It started sprinkling while we were driving, so instead of driving another 20 minutes, we decided to just go through Independence.  We plotted a 1-mile course (yesterday's prescribed run was 2 miles - so this was an out & back) starting at the school.  The area around the school was dead silent and picturesque, but that early in the morning the neighborhoods we went through weren't much different.  We saw a really small alligator in a pond, some construction guys up on a roof, and not a whole lot of other creatures stirring.

Two miles is what I generally do in my 30-minute "conditioning runs" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I knew I'd be ok with that distance.  I've been doing intervals of 20 seconds running/40 seconds walking, and this really seems to work the best for me.  If I try longer running intervals, I can barely make it through 5 minutes before I'm winded and my face turns purple.  Even at 20/40, I've never gone the full half hour on the treadmill without skipping a run interval or two on the second half.  During yesterday's run, I hit every single interval, and really only half-assed the last one (which was up a pretty steep hill - I felt like I was jogging in place!).  I did the entire run in 30.15, which even on the treadmill would be a decent time for me.   My first mile was 15.05 minutes, which is almost a minute faster than my first outdoor mile last week.

Right now, I'd say realistically there's a 50-50 chance I'll complete all 10 miles of my race in time. But there's 17 weeks between now and then.  Anything can happen.  Next week's run is 3 miles, and Scott and I are both leaning toward going back to Independence.  This will be my first more-than-a-half-hour run, and I'm really excited about it.  

01 June, 2012


Just a quick update for posterity:

Yesterday, I ran my first mile in 13.58 minutes. 

Previously, my fastest mile was "14-something" in high school.  Now I can definitely state that this was my fastest mile ever.  Of course, I celebrated with shin splints and a blister on my in-step caused by my insoles shifting.

The official training plan started this week, which means tomorrow is my first Saturday outdoor run.  It's only a mile, but I know "real" running is slower than treadmill running.  I'll be happy to finish it in 15 minutes.

I need to grab my paperwork from the gym and start a progress chart.  I started exercising the first week of April, and when I first started my interval training my mile time was right around 16 minutes.  That means I dropped 2 minutes off my time in 2 months.  I realize that's a progress curve that'll start to level off, but right now I'm pleasantly shocked at my progress.

Now I just need to string 9 more of those together and I'll be ready for my race!  18 weeks to go... yikes!