Sunday, August 31, 2008

Race Report: Nike Human Race 10K

6.3 miles in 1:22:16 (avg pace 13:04)! This is a distance PR for me and I did much better than I expected. But let's start at the beginning.

While my city was not one of the official Nike+ Human Race 10K locations, the Finish Line store at the Mall at Millenia organized a free group fun run for us to participate in this historic event. My official 10K that I've been training for will be in October, so I treated this as a training run. After last weekend's painful 5 mile run, I did not know what to expect.

I will be turning 30 and entering a new age bracket on Wednesday (9/3), so last night we celebrated my birthday with my family. We started the evening at Giordano's and loaded up on carbs with some yummy pizza, ravioli, salad, and lots of bread. Then we played 18 holes of glow in the dark mini golf, and we were in bed and asleep shortly after 10 p.m. We spent the night at my parents since they live closer to the Mall.

We woke up at 5:30 a.m., got ready, ate a banana and were on the road by 6 a.m. As I hoped, the free race shirt was the official Nike Human Race tech shirt (pictured above), and I am absolutely in love with it. We had to wear it for the event, and I was a bit concerned because I prefer to run in a singlet rather than a shirt with sleeves, but it was great.

Due to the store opening late and the amount of people attending needing to sign in and get shirts, the race actually started closer to 8 a.m. The route consisted of running 1/2 a mile, then 5 loops around a lake, then back out to the start. I was a little worried that the late start would mean it would be too hot and humid, and that the route would be hell, but the route proved to be great and the lake provided a nice breeze. I was sure to keep hydrated with my water bottle and the water stop at the end of each loop.

I decided to run/walk this from the beginning since the goal here was to finish and just cover the distance. I walked 30-60 seconds after each 1/4 mile or so (that works out to 3/1 or 4/1 ratio). This worked out great. My pace was fantastic and I finished the run feeling good and strong. I am thrilled with my time, since I was expecting it taking me closer to 1.5 hours, and Jason only beat me by 10 mins. Most importantly, I was not last! I even had mostly negative splits:

Since this was a little long and my first attempt at the distance, I'm hoping I can finish Disney's Race for the Taste in 1:15 or less. I'll have a bit more practice and miles under my belt by then, and I know I didn't really push myself that much today. However, I have to remember that the conditions are always different, but I can't imagine it will be more hot/humid than today.

I'll probably follow a similar run/walk plan for that race, though I may run every 1/2 mile instead of every 1/4 mile. I am not sure though, because taking the more frequent walk breaks does allow me to run that much faster. My running segments were almost all under 13 and I even got down to 8-10 paces. And the best part is that it almost felt effortless.

I can't wait until my next 5K on 9/13. I'm going to push myself to try to break my PR and run a sub-38 5K.

Did anyone else run the Human Race? How did you do?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running to work!

I ran 2.5 miles non-stop to work this morning. It was amazing!

I took it easy, but I still managed a sub-14:15 pace; I was expecting something closer to 15. I felt really good and strong at the end and could have easily done at least 3 miles, but it was getting late and hot. I will definitely do this again!

It's nice that my office has showers that make this possible. Since this was a bit spontaneous due to having to leave my bike here last night because of the rain, Jason was nice enough to bike to my office on the way to his and drop off a bag with clothes and my lunch. I left the house around 7:30 a.m (as he got up and began getting ready) since I didn't want to be here too long before him. We arrived about the same time since I ran a bit further than my office and took a nice long cool down walk.

Weather permitting, I'll bike to work tomorrow and leave extra clothes and food here, then run to work Thursday morning. If I already have everything here, I can leave earlier and easily get in a longish run midweek. Not only that, I'd be at work much earlier and then could leave early before the afternoon showers start.

I am also considering joining our local Galloway Training Program through Track Shack so I don't have to do my long runs alone, and I should be ready to run the 1/2 marathon in December. That would be so cool.

Monday, August 25, 2008

10K Training Week 4

After my great run last Monday, I did not run again until Thursday. Thanks to TS Fay, I had to resort to the treadmill!
2.16 mi / 00:30 (13:54 pace)

This was my first run on a treadmill (at a 1.0 - 1.5 incline). Since wannabe-hurricane Fay decided to over extend her welcome, I had no choice since I haven't run since Monday. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but I really can't imagine running much longer on it. It was extremely boring and monotonous, and I couldn't help but focus on the damn display telling me how long and far I'd run.
On Saturday, I attempted my longest run yet of 5 miles. I finished it, but it was painful:
5.0  mi  /  01:17  (15:25 pace)

This was really tough, even with scheduled walking breaks. I clearly started too fast because of the cool weather, and I lost steam at the end. I was barely jogging during the last mile because I had side stitches on both sides, and every step hurt. I pushed through the pain and finished it with what resembled a running motion as best I could :)
I did not run this morning and rain prevented me from running after work. My plan is to run to work tomorrow morning and have Jason bring my clothes on his bike, then I'll bike home since I had to get a ride from work and leave the bike there today. If that goes well, I may bring extra clothes on my bike on Wednesday, and run to work again on Thursday. On Saturday, we're taking part in the Human Race 10k as a fun training group run.

Since I'm logging & blogging all my runs on the dailymile (which also posts to kitzzyruns on twitter), I'm just going to post a summary each week here unless I have anything significant to say about a particular run or a race report.

Monday, August 18, 2008

10K Training - Week 3 Run 2 & 3 + Week 4 Run 1

I got caught up last week in the excitement of going to Disney and forgot all about this blog, but it was a great week of running.

On Thursday, I had a pretty good run. I started much faster than usual, but ended up slowing down at the end so managed to average the same as Tuesday's run (2.5 in 35 minutes). However, I had nearly even splits throughout the run, which is really unusual for me (I usually have negative splits):

Pace splits
mile 1: 13:50
mile 2: 13:50
finish: 13:57

On Sunday, I ran 4.5 miles!! This was was my longest run yet, and it felt great. I controlled my breathing the whole time and, while I was breathing hard at the end, I was not out of breath. I only stopped twice, but I stopped my watch so I actually ran 4.5 pain-free miles. Right after this run I went to Disney and walked around for the bigger part of the day. I think that was actually a great way to recover from this run.

Today I overslept so I did not run in the morning; however, since it had just rained and there was a break in the rain, I went running after I got home from work. I only ran 2 miles, but I did it in 26 minutes with identical even splits! I know a 13 min/mile pace is slow for most of you, but this is fast for me to maintain as a consistent pace for a whole 2 miles--and this includes about 1 minute of walking too.

This run felt amazing as if I was just gliding on the road. I now understand what triathletes say about running after biking because I was running fast, but it did not feel like it. I feel like I could have run the additional 10 minutes scheduled for today, but I had pushed myself enough and didn't want to break something. I figured a hard 26 minute run was just as good as an easy 35 minutes. I am very pleased with this run.

PS - I'm still slowly losing weight, but I am trying not to focus too much on it since I am at a healthy weight. You can see the stats on the right.

PPS - I still have invites to the dailymile; if you need one, send me your email at kitzzy [at] gmail [dot] com.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10K Training - Week 3 Run 1

2.53 miles in 35:02 minutes (13:52/mile pace) at 6:30 a.m.

Today's run was great! I slacked off and did not run or bike yesterday, so I was out the door by 6:30 this morning. I pushed myself a bit and ran 2.5 miles in 35 minutes without any walking breaks. The best part is that the run felt great and I was hardly out of breath. This confirms that my lackluster performance last week was due to the heat and I was just not pushing myself at all. This pace felt good. Perhaps I'll try that 5k this weekend after all, but I'm going to wait until later in the week to decide that.

Splits (pace):

Mile 1 = 14:45
Mile 2 = 13:48
Finish (.53) = 12:16

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yoga for Runners (Revisited)

I made a post back in May with yoga for runners resources. I thought I'd revisit it for those new to this blog and to recommend a few more sites and DVDs.

Rodney Yee is my favorite yoga instructor. All his DVDs are excellent. Here are some of my favorites that I've tried.
  • A.M. and P.M. Yoga - 20 mins -- he leads the a.m practice; Patricia Walden leads the p.m one; they are each 20 minutes
  • Power Yoga - Total Body Workout - this one 1 hour yoga practice is a really good workout. Don't do this one if you are looking to relax, though it does offer that benefit too, but you'll break a sweat.)
  • Yoga Conditioning for Athletes - this DVD includes a 1 hour practice geared towards athletes plus several sport specific mini workouts (cycling, running, golf, swimming, and tennis) about 3-5 mins each that can be used as a pre/post run stretch
  • A.M. Yoga for Your Week - this DVD has 5 different 20-25 minute yoga sessions to start the day: staning poses, back bends, forward bends, twists, and hip openners. They are great to start the day or as a cool down stretch after a long run.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

10K Training - Week 2 Run 4 (long run)

I was supposed to run 4 miles this morning, but it was not meant to be. I got up at 5:45 a.m. and had a cramp that I could not shake. I took a 1/2 mile warm up walk around the block and it seemed to ease up a bit. I decided to try to run and see if it would go away. I took it super slow and it seemed to disappear. The first 3 miles of the run went pretty well, and I only took 30-60s breaks after each mile and to stretch my foot. I got a real bad cramp during the last mile, and I had to stop a few times to walk it out. It got too painful so I called it quits at 3.5 miles and walked the rest of the last half mile home. This is getting really annoying because I felt fine otherwise and could have totally finished the 4 miles, but the cramp was too much. Arg!

Anyway, it was not all bad. I was carrying my water bottle and it was not that bothersome. It actually helped me minimized the vertical movement of my arms because the more I moved my arms, the more the water splashed. This may be a great training tool after all :) I didn't bring my ipod either, which I think really helped me focus on my breathing. I wasn't as bored as I thought I'd be. I joined the dailymile and got challenged to see how many people I could get a greeting from during my run. That helped past the time. Here is the tally = 7:

- 1 guy getting ready to run/walk
- 2 walkers (3, but 1 was part of a pair and didn't really acknowledge me)
- 2 walkers with dogs
- 2 cyclist (4, but there was a group of 3 and I only caught and exchanged greetings with the last one in the group)

I think I'm definitely not doing that 5k next weekend and will try the 4 mile run again instead. Right now it is more importatnt to build back my endurance and be ready for the 10K that trying to run a race. I know I would not do my best and be able to PR, so what's the point? =P

Friday, August 8, 2008

10K Training - Week 2 Run 3

An easy "no rules" 1-mile run this morning. I feel like I just ran to be able to get 4 runs in this week. My heart was totally not in it this morning and I just did 1 mile real slow (1.5 if you count the warm up and cool down walks). I am having a real hard time getting my breathing under control lately. I'll blame the heat since everyone else is doing it =P I may just start running every other day regardless, according to the time/distance in my training plan, which means some weeks I'll run 3 times and others 4 times. I rather do that than run twice in a row or have 2 days off a week in a row.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

10K Training - Week 2 Run 2

2 miles in 28:15 (14:13/mile pace) at 7:15 a.m.

I almost didn't go run this morning (I know, this is becoming a pattern). I tried pilates on Monday, and today my abs were killing me. I got out there anyway. The run went well for the most part. I was actually running a tad faster than my previous runs, but it felt comfortable. That is, until the last few minutes when I began getting a cramp in my lower abdomen. I pushed through it until I hit 2 miles, then walked the rest to get to 30 minutes. I could barely even walk those 2 minutes and felt ill when I got home. I headed to the bathroom, but that was not it. So I just laid on the floor until it passed.

To make matters worse, I'm still having issues with my headphones, so I took them off and stuff them in my bra. I think I'll run without music from now on because that's better than dealing with the damn headphones. I am just not sure how that's going to work when I am running for an hour instead of 30 minutes and I have to deal with hearing the sloshing of my water bottle.

Has anyone tired dailymile? It is new and soon to have twitter integration. I have some invites if anyone wants to try it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

HYC Check In

I'm going to keep it short and sweet today. In fact, let's use bullets:
  • Last week was great as I got back to running/biking and began my 10K training. I ran 8+ miles (plus 2+ miles in warm up/cool down walks) and biked 20+ miles.

  • I was down to 126.8 lbs on Saturday; a few bad choices over the weekend had me back up yesterday, but it's back down to 127.8 this morning.

  • While I'd like to get down to 125 to have a nice buffer away from 130, I don't think I really need to lose more weight because I am already a size 2 ( or 4 depending on the store/style) and I don't really want to look like a twig. I just want to lose the remaining belly fat and tone up my body, so I guess I need to focus on lifting weights and eating right.

  • I tried pilates last night and it kicked my butt, but I can see how it is a great core workout. I am going to get a beginner pilates DVD and try to do it on a regular basis. I'll alternate with yoga because I still like its relaxing and stretching benefits better.

  • We started a 30-day pescatarian challenge in an attempt to broaden our horizons and explore new recipes. If anybody has good resources for easy vegetarian / pescatarian recipes, please comment.

  • Does anyone use twitter? If so, follow my fitness updates at kitzzyruns or random musings at kitzzy. Post your username in the comments and I'll be happy to follow you and offer encouragement and motivation along your journey.
Hope everyone is doing well and has a fantastic week!

Monday, August 4, 2008

10K Training - Week 2 Run 1

2.07 miles in 30 minutes (14:34/mile pace) at 7:15 a.m.

I got a late start this morning at 7:15 a.m. I was exhausted and did not want to get up. I have a 10K in October and no time for slacking, so I sucked it up and got out there. The plan called for an easy run of 25-30 minutes. I thought I was going to call it a day after 20 minutes, but forced myself to do at least the minimum 25 minutes. I was close to 2 miles by then, so I kept going and then pushed a tad more to make it an even 30 minutes. It was a pain free run and my breathing was better; I was just tired.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

10K Training - Week 1 Run 4 (Long Run)

I got up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning and went for a 3 mile "long run." It kicked my ass! My legs were fine, but my breathing was labored. I guess I lost more cardio endurance during my 2 week hiatus than I thought. But I did finish it! :)

Let's count the ways this run sucked:
  1. I couldn't get my breathing right; I think I was out of breath after 2 miles.
  2. The foot pain came back after the first mile or so. I think it went away, but I really need to figure out how to keep this from happening every time.
  3. I got side stitches--on BOTH sides!
  4. I could hear the right headphone (and maybe the left one at the end) moving around in my ear and it was driving me crazy. This has been happening for a while and I do not know how to stop it. It did not happen when I first started running, but I think it manifested itself as I started running longer and faster. I got new Nike Sport headphones because I thought it was my old headphones, but it is still happening. It is the most infuriating thing ever and I can't seem to ignore it.
  5. I brought my water bottle and the sloshing of the water was driving me up a wall too. I am tempted to get a hydration belt, but I am sure that will have the same problem. However, at least I wouldn't have to hold anything, which is another annoyance in itself.
  6. In fact, I seemed to be hypersensitive to everything today because even my running shirt, which I've worn for the past 3 runs was bothering me.
With about 1/2 a mile to go, I veered towards my driveway, yanked the headphones off my ipod and and toss them with the bottle on top of my car. I felt like I was standing still during parts of that last 1/2 mile, but I forced myself to finish it. I feel fine now, but I am rethinking running a 5K race on August 17th. I think I should focus more on building my endurance backup before derailing it with a hard run on a 5k race. So I think I'll do one in September instead.

Weekly summary:
  • Mon - run 1.5 mi
  • Tue - rest / bike 5 mi
  • Wed - run 1.75 mi / bike 5.2 m
  • Thu - rest / bike 5.2 mi
  • Fri - run 2.12 mi / bike 4.8 mi
  • Sat - run 3 mi
  • (Sun - rest/yoga)
Weekly Totals:
  • run = 8+ miles 
  • walk = 2+ miles (warm up / cool down)
  • bike = 20+ miles

Friday, August 1, 2008

10K Training - Week 1 Run 3

I ran just over 2 miles this morning, without any walking breaks, and I feel fantastic. I think I am getting my groove back :) I really like running for time on shorter runs because I don't worry as much about speed. I simply run and enjoy it. The first mile today was pure bliss. I got that twinge of pain near my ankle again, but I ran through it. It wasn't that bad at all. It seems to come on after a mile or so and when I start to speed up, but goes away almost immediately once I start my cool down walk. I have my long run this weekend of 3 miles. That's not much of a long run, but I am easing back into things. I can't wait to be running 5-6 miles! :)
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