Sunday, November 23, 2008

Distance PR: 13.1! Let the Taper Begin!

Last Saturday was my last long run before the OUC 1/2 Marathon. The training schedule called for 14, but none of us really intended to run that far. According to my Garmin and Ascent, I ran 13.1 miles with a moving time* of 2:59:39 / 13:42 pace . Hell yeah!

It was really humid and we started out too fast, so I was already tired after the first 6-mile loop. Because of the heat and humidity, our water breaks were plentiful and long, and our walking slow, so I am hoping to do much better than this at the actual race. Hopefully the weather will be better too on race day.

My Garmin read 12.5 when we were done with the last loop, so a few of us ran a few laps in the track to get to the 13.1 distance. We decided to run it non-stop instead of using the intervals. I have no idea where I got the energy (probably the magical sports beans or the adrenaline of having come this far) to run straight at a pretty fast pace for .6 mile after running for 3 hours, but it served as good practice for the sprint I hope to do at the end of the race. :)

I was sore all over for the rest of the day (even in places I didn't even know existed) but thankfully I had no blisters or chafing. I felt great at my accomplishment and signed up for the OUC 1/2 Marathon that day. I now have 2 weeks to go and I am losing motivation for my mid-week runs. I just want race day to be here already! I guess this most be the famous taper madness.


PS - During the run, I found out that the Garmin has a limit on how many laps it can hold and when it reaches that it just stops. I knew it had a limit, but I assumed it would just delete old workouts to make room for the new ones. That is not the case so I had to keep deleting old workouts during most of the run because I wasn't going to risk not having a record of this run. I later found out I can delete all but the last 1-3 months in one fell swoop. It would have been nice to know that then so I would not have to keep doing it over and over.

* the total time was actually 3:12 if we count all the breaks between loops and at the water stops

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running Green

This week's topic for Take It and Run Thursday at the Runner's Lounge Blog is Running Green.

I try to live a pretty green life, even though I know there is a LOT more I can do. Some of the green things I do on a regular basis include biking to work (and anywhere else I can instead of driving), bringing my own canvas bags to the grocery store/farmer's market, and using my Kleen Kanteen water bottle instead of buying bottled water. I am sure there is more, but those are the big ones.

The November 2008 Issue of Runner's World was all about running green and they now have a Green Running section on their site. I am going to use one of their articles, How to Be a Greener Runner, as the basis for this post and a sort of meme. Below is a the list of "30 things even a busy, sane person (i.e., you) can do" and how my own habits stack up (written in green and italics below the items from the article).

Get to Workouts
  • Good: Bike to all group runs and track workouts.
  • Better: Run to a local farmers' market to buy produce.
  • Best: Start all your runs from your home or office.
What I do: I drive to my long runs with the Galloway group because it is too far, and too early, to bike there. However, I make it a point to make the most of the drive and run errands in the area, such as going to the farmer's market. Most of my other runs I do around my neighborhood so I do not have to drive to run. From time to time, I will run to or from work or bike to a local park to run.

  • Good: Participate in eco-conscious races (check out page 74 or go to
  • Better: Carpool or take public transit to get to and from events.
  • Best: Race in your hometown as much as possible.
What I do: Most of my races are within 30 minutes of my home and I carpool to them with Jason. We recently ran a race at UCF, where we work, and we biked there and to brunch after. It was awesome and I wish they had more races close enough to do this more often.

  • Good: Buy powdered sports drinks and mix them yourself.
  • Better: Wave away plastic race cups by carrying your own water in a secure container (like Amphipod's Hydraform Handheld Pockets).
  • Best: Use reusable bottles instead of throwaway plastic water bottles.
What I do: I don't drink sport drinks, so the first does not apply. I used to carry my own water bottle when I ran, but I find that it started to hurt my shoulder as I got faster. I guess this means I need to work on my form or get a fuel belt. I hardly ever buy bottled water any more and refill my own instead, but I do grab bottled water when at races. I do try to find the recycling bin to dispose of it. Now that I think about it, I will bring the bottles home and recycle them if I can't find a recycling bin at the race.

Buy New Shoes
  • Good: If you run on trails only occasionally, buy one pair of shoes that can handle light off-road use.
  • Better: Pick shoes that are made with fewer nasty solvents and recycled components, such as the Nike Air Pegasus 25 and END's Stumptown.
  • Best: Buy the Brooks Trance 8. Its midsole is made out of BioMoGo, a material that reportedly decomposes 50 times faster than conventional midsoles.
What I do: I have no idea how environmentally friendly my shoes are. I should look into this.

Buy Apparel
  • Good: Buy shirts, outer layers, and especially socks made with merino wool, a natural and renewable resource.
  • Better: Buy clothes made from recycled postconsumer polyester, like Patagonia's Capilene 1 T-shirt. And when you're done with it, Patagonia will recycle it into other apparel.
  • Best: Hold off on new purchases and wear your existing apparel as long as you can.
What I do: I have no idea how environmentally friendly my clothes are, but I do recycle my clothes by giving them to my mom or the local thrift store. Since I just started running, I've been buying a lot of gear, but I am going to try to make do with what I have for now. I do need a few things for winter running, but after that I am done! :)

Make a Difference
  • Good: Donate to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, local parks boards, or other organizations that create and promote new trails or running paths.
  • Better: Volunteer to clean up a local trail, or adopt a road you like to run on.
  • Best: Organize a recycling drive at a local race where participants can bring old gear.
What I do: None of these apply, but I should look into getting more involved in making my running community more green.

Care for Your Gear
  • Good: Restore the breathability and repellency (and extend the lifespan) of your waterproof gear by washing it with McNett's ReviveX.
  • Better: Reduce your consumption of plastic and water by switching to superefficient concentrated forms of laundry detergents.
  • Best: Wash your apparel in cold water and hang dry. (Bonus: Your clothes won't pill, and they'll last longer.)
What I do: I always wash all my clothes in cold water. I do not even know when was the last time I washed anything in warm or hot water. We recently installed a clothes line in the backyard, and I am actually enjoying hanging all our laundry to dry every weekend.

Fuel Up
  • Good: Recycle energy-bar wrappers with the Energy Bar Brigade (see, which up-cycles them into other products. For each wrapper you save, sponsors give 2 cents to a charity you pick.
  • Better: Make your own energy bars. You can buy mixes or see page 41 for a recipe.
  • Best: Eat one less serving per week of meat, which requires significantly more fuel and water to produce than other sources of protein.
What I do: Ever since I started losing weight, I've been trying to eat less meat as well. I go through phases, but I am definitely eating way more veggies than I used to and my meat portions are a lot smaller. I need to get back to Meatless Mondays.

  • Good: Run outside whenever you can (rather than inside on a treadmill).
  • Better: If you need snowshoes, a bicycle, or a set of weights, purchase gently used equipment rather than new gear. Try buying it from someone local through a resource like
  • Best: Leave your car in the driveway and bike or run to the gym once a week.
What I do: I hate the treadmill, so running outside is a given. I am in the market for a new bike and plan to check out our school's bike auction next week. I bike to work at least 4 times a week and to run errands whenever possible.

Deal with Old Shoes
  • Good: Wear them casually afterward. They may lack cushioning for a long run, but they're fine to walk the dog.
  • Better: Donate them to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program, which recycles the shoes to help surface new tracks and for other uses.
  • Best: Donate them to Soles4Souls, Shoe4Africa, or One World Running, outfits that give shoes to needy people. For more information, check out
What I do: I just bought my 3rd pair of shoes, but still using my 2nd pair. I mainly bought these new shoes now to break in a bit and wear at my first 1/2 marathon. I am using my 1st pair to bike and other non-running activities. I am going to look into donating shoes once I start accumulating more.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weight Update

I haven't posted about this in a while, mainly because my focus has been on running and I have mostly just been maintaining and slowly losing, but this has been an incredible week. I've only gone out to eat once so far, I've run or biked or both every day this week, I've been drinking water and eating fruits/veggies like crazy and it has really paid off.

I've shown a loss in weight every day this week. Yesterday I finally weighed 123, my lowest weight ever ... until this morning when I weighed 122.4! OMG! If I keep this up, maybe I won't ever see 125 again! At least 130 is long long gone :) The most I've seen lately was 128, and that was after a particular late night eating out. I am sure I will gain a little of this over the weekend because I plan to eat out at least twice, but I now know I can counter it with really clean eating and exercise the rest of the week.

I am so excited. I am only 1/2 a pound away from my goal of 122, which means I would have lost 30 lbs in about 9-10 months. When I started this journey, I had no idea I even had 30 lbs to lose. I went from a size 12/14 to a size 2 and I am now a runner training to run my first 1/2 marathon in 4 weeks! I feel so good!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Distance PR: 11 Miles!

I ran my longest distance of 11 miles this morning in 2 hours and 33 minutes. I was so exhausted after the run that I was falling asleep on my drive home. As soon as I got home, I feel asleep for about 3-4 hours, but I am glad I did it and it wasn't too bad of a run.

I knew this would be rough for serveral reasons: 1) I went to a party last night and only got 3-4 hours of sleep (plus 1-2 hours nap before the party; 2) my longest run before this was 9.6; 3) it was a chilly and windy morning; 4) I felt like I had to go during most of the run.

I was supposed to run 12 miles, but the group was divided between those running 8 miles and those running 12. Somewhere along the way, probably when I went to the bathroom, I missed the folks doing 12 so I did a few extra miles at the end on my own. This worked out better because I didn't think I should be jumping to 12 miles anyway. I still have one more long run in 2 weeks; as long as I can run at least 12 miles then I should be fine (we are scheduled for 14 but I don't think that is necessary).

I wore my RaceReady shorts with the mesh pockets and tested out running with my phone, camera, and several bags of sports means. It was too much and my pants were falling down until I remember they have a draw string and I tighten them a bit. Still, I think I will forgo running with the camera during the 1/2 marathon. I'll have my iPhone and can take pictures with that if I really want to (but I doubt it). The wind was really kicking and I ran with my long sleeve shirt the whole time. After lunch, I went to Ross and found a running jacket for $6 that I think will work much better since it has a hood and a full zipper so I could open it if I get warm but still keep my arms covered.

The OUC half marathon is only 5 weeks away, but I am confident that I can do this. This being my first one, I plan to take it easy, do my 2:1 intervals and just focus on finishing. I'll kick it up a notch for the 2nd one in Feb/March. I'll probably run a 10K next weekend, then take it easy until the 1/2. I need to fit in a 5K some time before the end of the year but I think I'll worry about that after the 1/2.
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