Friday, March 27, 2009

Eventful Weekend: 8 Mile Run, 32 Mile Ride in New Bike, Hashing

(this is almost a week late, but better late than never :)

When I woke up at 5 am last Saturday morning, I never thought that an 8 mile long run wouldn't be the highlight of my weekend.

Long Run
The run itself went ok. I got through the 8 miles, but I had to walk a lot more than I hoped because my knee started bothering me a bit. I took it easy and stayed in the back with another runner in our group. Thank god she was there because the rest of our group completely lost us and she knew the route. We used 2:1 for the first 5 miles, then reversed it for the run back.

New Bike
After I got back from running, we went to breakfast and then to Orange Cycle to buy my new road bike. I got a Specialized Dolce Elite, pictured below, and I love it.

Specialized Dolce Elite (by Kitzzy)

I only go to ride it around the block for a bit before I bought it and we dropped it off at home on our way to the hash. On Sunday morning we went for a long bike rode the entire length of the Cady Way trail (and back) with some hashers we met Saturday night. The seat seemed to be adjusted wrong, so it wasn't pleasant by the time I finished the 32 mile ride, but she handles great. See details of the ride on dailymile.

Geocaching & Hashing

After we dropped off the bike at home, we walked to the start location of our first run hash.  We did a bit of geocaching on the way, took some photos, and had lunch at Ethos Vegan Kitchen, which was excellent. The weather was so perfect and we had a blast. Hashing turned out to be a ton of fun; I just wished my knee felt better so I could have run more of it, but it didn't matter. Hashing is sort of like a farklet run (though I've never done one) but with beer/soda at the end.

The basic premise is that one person (the hare) gets a headstart and lays out a trail with flour and chalk, then the rest of the group takes off running or walking and tries to find the trail. The goal is to get to the end--where beer, soda, water, and snacks await you--and also to try to catch the hare. Once everyone gets to the end, we for a circle, sing drinking songs, and find reason for people to drink. It is great exercise and too much fun for it's own good. It'd be a great team building activity.

You can learn more about the hash group at or hashing in general at

This weekend I plan a shorter long run and, if the weather holds out, another run hash on Saturday followed by a much needed game night. There is a bike hash on Sunday, but it is near UCF. That is a bit far for me to ride just to get to the start, so I'll have to try it in 2 weeks if the start location is more convenient.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Track Workout: Intervals Ladder

400/600/800 (3MR) 800/600/400 with 200 recovery walk or slow jog between each interval. 400 and 600 @ 5K pace; 800 @ 10K pace

I ammended it slightly to use miles and program the intervals in my Garmin since I don't think it can do distances in meters (if it can and anyone knows how, let me know).

I walked .34 miles to the track from my apartment, so I just ran an easy 1/2 mile at a 12:11 pace to warm up, then began the intervals. After the intervals, I walked for less than 1/10th of a mile and ran for a combined total of .55 mile at 12:26 pace. Then I walked another mile to Publix and home.

My 5K pace is 11ish, but I can't run that slow for short distances when I am not taking walk breaks. I also think it has probably gotten faster and I just haven't run a race since to confirm it. The program director said it's ok to run them a little faster as long as I am able to keep a consistent pace and not fade at the end. I think I ran them too fast last week since I was only able to do 1 set, so I decided to target a 10:00 pace for the 400s and 600s, and a 10:15 pace for the 800s and focus on keeping a consistent pace throughout the whole workout. I'm really pleased with my efforts. I probably could have gone a little faster, but I think this was enough of a challenge, yet not so fast that I wanted to die at the end. I'll probably try to speed it up gradually in upcoming workouts.

Below are my times for each run interval. I'm not sure how the pace is different for the 800s when the time was the same *shrug*

time / pace / distance

2:32 / 9:58 / .25
3:43 / 10:03 / .37
5:07 / 10:12 / .5
5:07 / 10:14 / .5
3:41 / 9:54 / .37
2:25 / 9:58 / .24

Monday, March 16, 2009

Running Long(ish) again

I set out to run 5 easy miles this afternoon, using 2:1 intervals, to be in better shape for my first long run with the Galloway group this weekend. However, the heat/humidity got the better of me and I called it quits after 4 miles. It was probably for the best since the most I've run until now in the last 5 weeks was 3.1 miles, and I should be building back up slowly. This could be another reason this was hard, but I think the humidity had a lot more to do with it.

This run reminded me why I don't do long runs on my own; because I hate carrying water with me, but there is no way I can run more than 3 miles in this weather without some water. I'm sure I would have quit sooner if I had not brought some, but 12 oz was barely enough for the 4 miles. Jason is a sweetheart and ran with me, walk breaks and all; that helped the time go by much faster, but I was still dying towards the end.

My knee on the other hand felt great--no twinges at all! I was worried my left hip would hurt since that's where I fell on from my bike, but other than some scary bruises on my left thigh, the legs feel fine. The scrape on elbow on the other hand still hurts like hell. I need the skin on there to hurry up and grow back already.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wildman Triathlon

Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy)

Since Jason doesn't blog, I figured I'd blog about this event for him :) He completed his first Sprint Triathlon yesterday, the Wildman My First Triathlon: 400m swim, 20km Bike, 2.75 mi run.

Official Stats:
  • swim = 0:09:08.157
  • t0 = 0:02:20.298
  • t1 = 0:01:55.829
  • bike = 0:39:01.238
  • t2 = 0:00:25.531
  • run = 0:26:54.090
  • Total = 1:19:45.143

We got up at 4 am so he could eat breakfast and head over to Moss Park before it got crowded. We got there about a half hour too early, but got a great parking spot. He took a short nap in the car while we waited for the transition area to open, then he got body marked and setup his transition area:

Body Marking (by Kitzzy) Setting up Transition Area (by Kitzzy)

The Swim
We met up with Christine and took some photos, then headed to the beach to wait for the start of the swim leg. They started in waves and because he was doing the My First Triathlon, he had to wait until most of the sprint swimmers were finished. He completed the 400m in 9:08. From Jason's dailymile log: "My first lake swim was quite different than what I was expecting. Training in the pool was so clear and easy. The lake... it was like swimming in tea. You couldn't see 6 inches in front of your face so all of the comfort I'd developed with swimming in the pool was completely lost."

Ready to swim (by Kitzzy) Jason by sunrise (by Kitzzy)

Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy) Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy)

The Bike
He completed the bike leg mush faster than expected: 12.40mi in 39 minutes, for an average pace of 19.1 mph! From Jason's dailymile log: "The bike portion of the tri went great! I was pushing pretty solid the whole time and realized how much I want to upgrade to a nice lightweight road bike."

Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy) Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy)

The Run
He veered a little of course and ran a bit further, but still made great time: 3mi in 26:54 for an average pace of 08:58. From Jason's dailymile log: "The run was... interesting. I tripped on a root just as I was starting and scraped my knee up. Then about a mile and a half in, took the wrong route because it was poorly marked and ended up running an extra 1/4-1/2 mile. I finished the run with an all-out sprint which was totally awesome."

Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy) Wildman Triathlon (by Kitzzy)

See more photos and video at

2008 in Review & 2009 Goals

I realize that I am 2 months late for this, but I just never got around to it before now because 1) I was on vacation; 2) I was training for my 2nd half marathon; 3) I was recovering from my 2nd half marathon. So without further ado, here is a quick review of my first year of running and my plans for the 2nd.

2008 in Review

During my first 8 months of running, I completed:
  • 1 2-mile race
  • 8 5Ks
  • 1 5-miler
  • 2 10Ks
  • 1 half marathon
Here is a closer look at my progression.
Races Completed in 2008
  1. 03.29: CNLBank 31st Annual Winter Park Road Race 2 Miler - 28:54 (clock)
  2. 04.12: Windermere Run Among the Lakes 5K - 44:38 (watch)
  3. 05.03: Disney's Go Red for Women 5K - 41:46 (chip)
  4. 05.14: Run for the Trees 5K - 42:57 (chip)
  5. 06.14: ORC Race into Summer 5K - 40:17 (clock-manual)
  6. 06.28: Wee Little Virtual 5K - 38:15 (watch)
  7. 08.31: Nike Human Race 10K - 1:22:16 (watch)
  8. 09.13: Autumn Rock n Run 5K - 38:08 (chip)
  9. 09.27: Miracle Miles 5K - 35:38 (watch)
  10. 10.12: Disney's Race for the Taste 10K - 1:15:52 (chip)
  11. 10.19: U Can Finish 5 Miler - 57:24 (chip)
  12. 12.06: OUC 1/2 Marathon - 2:38:56 (chip)
  13. 12.15: Reindeer Run 5K - 33:50 (watch)
    2009 Goals
    • sub-30 5K
    • sub-70 10K
    • sub- 2:35 Half Marathon
    • first Sprint Duathlon
    • first Marathon
    • (maybe) first Sprint Triathlon
    2009 Planned Race/Training Schedule
    I have not registered for many races yet as I like to complete one race before registering for the next, but here are some of the ones I'm considering so far. I'm still in search of my first marathon this fall somewhere in Florida (not Disney), so if you have suggestions feel free to post them in the comments.
    • 03.12 - Began Galloway 10-Week Maintenance Session
    • 04.16 - Corporate 5K with UCF/CDWS
    • 04.25 - Run for the Trees 5K
    • 05.16 - Left Behind Half Marathon (conclusion of Galloway Maintenance Session)
    • 06.06 - Begin Galloway Marathon Training
    • 06.28 - Baldwin Park Sprint Duathlon (may do one in April or May in St. Augustin if I'm ready sooner)
    • 09.12 - Lighting Run 5-Miler

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Bike Crash

    Aftermath of Bike Crash (by Kitzzy)

    Yesterday's TIART at the Runner's Lounge was, "Only in Running ..." I'm a day late, but here's my contribution:
    Only in running do you fall off your bike and your first thought is, "I hope I can still run" :)
    We rode our bikes to Orange Cycle this morning, had some lunch at College Park, then rode back. The ride was great and uneventful, until I turned onto the driveway to my apartment, slipped on some leaves, and wiped out. I landed on my side and I think my left hip took the brunt of the impact, then my head. Thank god for helmets!

    Aftermath of Bike Crash (by Kitzzy) Nothing is broken, but I have a big nasty scrape on my left elbow (I think 1 layer of skin is gone), a small gash and scrape on my right knee (why is it always my right knee!?) and bruises on my left thigh/hip that are slowly materializing and changing colors before my eyes. Of course, this would happen the one time I forget to wear my cycling gloves, but my right hand just has a tiny scrape.

    My biked may have looked worse than me, as it layed in a contorted heap on the ground. The front wheel and handlebars were twisted to one side and Jason thinks that the breaks may be broken or at least need to be realigned or popped back in. So I may be getting a new bike sooner than planned, though I planed to start seriously looking next week anyway.

    Aftermath of Bike Crash (by Kitzzy) I really did think about how this would affect my running schedule as I was falling or as I layed on the ground--it all happened so fast. I amazed myself with how much I have changed. Had this happened last year, it would have ruined my day and I would have used it as an excuse not to bike or exercise for a while. But today I just popped back up and started immediately analyzing the damage and thinking about what I could do to ensure I was back running and biking as soon as possible. I was laughing and smiling almost immediately as Jason took photos of the damage.

    I've somehow transformed myself into an athlete and suddenly find myself seeing a whole new world I never knew existed--or at least it seemed so far away that I never thought I'd be part of it or get to even peak through the fence. Now I can't imagine it being any other way, and I look forward to where the next turn in the road will lead me.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Track Workout: Intervals

    I find it amusing that I should read this post on intervals over at Half-Fast the day before my first interval track workout. I flirted with intervals once before, just after I had finished C25K, but it never went anywhere. During my half marathon training, we had the option of doing track work on Thursday mornings but I lived too far away then to get up early enough to be there by 4:45 am. Now that I am less than 5 miles away, I figured I'd give it a try. It went pretty well and getting up at 4 am to do this wasn't too bad, but I may opt to do this workout on Wednesday nights with the WRAP program instead, since they meet at a track within walking distance from my apartment.

    So on to the workout ...

    6-8 x 400 @ 5k pace
    200 recovery walk or slow jog between each 400
    1 or 2 sets with a 3 minute recovery after the 1st set

    Since my millage has been low lately, and my pace slowish, because of the knee/foot issues I had after the half marathon on 2/8, I didn't want to push it too much, so I opted for just one set of 6. The knee felt fine, but better safe than sorry.

    Warm up:
    nice and easy 1 mile in 13:05 without walking.

    I ran the first 2 intervals using the track as my measurement, but it was dark and I was confused as to where the halfway point was for the recovery walk, so after 2 intervals I decided to set my watch to do .25 mile / .13 mile intervals. This ensured I ran a consistent distance for each interval for better comparison, and that I wouldn't have to worry about where on the track to run or walk.

    Here are my times for each run interval:

    time / pace / distance
    2:39 / 9:23 / .28
    2:26 / 9:26 / .26
    2:19 / 9:08 / .25
    2:15 / 8:58 / .25
    2:11 / 8:43 / .25
    2:11 / 8:44 / .25

    Cool down:
    After the 6th interval, I walked for a bit then jogged 1/2 a mile at an 11:53 pace, then walked one last lap for good measure. My right knee and thigh felt a little tight, but no real pain to speak of. Including the warm up and cool down, I ran 3.7 miles in 43:55 for an average 11:52 pace.

    Except for the 1st 2 intervals, I'm ecstatic to see these negative splits, and the 1st 2 intervals I attribute to the confusion. These times/pace seem really fast to me. I do not run sub-10 5Ks, and certainly not sub-9, but I didn't feel like I was exerting myself that much.

    Maybe I am supposed to average a 5K pace when you include the recover jog/walks? If so, then I need to walk/jog faster, or the more likely reason is that I simply do not push myself enough at races. It could also be the effects of my bike and swim cross training coming throuhg.

    Either way, I am very happy with this workout and look forward to the next one. I know what you are all thinking, that I am crazy for wanting another date with intervals, but we're still in the honeymoon stage of our relationship. Give it time ;)

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Mile Repeats & Why I Take Walk Breaks

    I set out to run without walk breaks today, for at least 1 mile or 2, and essentially ended up running 1-mile repeats with a 1-minute walk break between each mile. I really pushed myself to run each mile straight and ended up with pretty nice negative splits:

    mile 1 = 11:44
    mile 2 = 11:28
    mile 3 = 10:19

    I was really struggling during the last mile; my breathing was labored, yet controlled, and my legs felt like they were going to fall off, but I wouldn't let up on my pace. It felt really good, but it also served to reinforce why more frequent walk breaks are such a great idea.

    Last Tuesday I ran the same course and I walked every half mile or so for a total of about 5 minutes (or ~5:1). The 3.1 miles took me 35:24 for an average pace of 11:25, with the pace of the running segments ranging from 11:33 - 10:19.

    Today I only walked for about 2 minutes, and the 3.13 miles took me 35:34 for an average pace of 11:22.

    I essentially had the same results with a lot more effort today, and a lot more residual aches. This is not the first time this has happened either, so I know it is not a fluke. I'm just not sure it is worth it to put that much stress in my joints for such little gain--just to say I can run a mile straight--though it's nice to push myself every so often and remind my body what it is like to run without walk breaks.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Race Report: Disney Royal Family 5K

    The Princesses I was really disappointed in this race, but I should know better by now. All Disney races are overpriced, but the 5Ks are truly not worth it. We paid $40 for a non chip-timed fun run and a crappy rubber medal. The only reason we did this race in the first place was because mom wanted a medal, and I feel she was gypped. I ran one other 5K at Disney last year during their Minnie Marathon weekend, and wasn't impressed then, but at least it was timed and we got a decent medal.

    The Expo
    I had a pretty crappy day Friday to begin with, and encountering a huge traffic jam on the way to the expo did not help matters (there was a game at the sport complex; it would have been nice if they gave us a heads up on that). The expo was disappointing too.There was an abundance of pink and everything was geared towards the 1/2 marathon. They had display upon display of the 1/2 marathon medal and how you could turn it into a plaque with your finish photo, yet not a single glimpse at the 5K medal--now I know why. Even the shirt wasn't great, but at least the goodie bag was one of those reusable string bags--not like I really need more of those. I certainly did not feel the princess treatment; I think they put all their effort into the 1/2 marathon and the 5K was an afterthought. Why even bother?

    The Race
    The Princesses The course wasn't the greatest either (similar to last year's), as we run 1 mile in the parking lot and back roads of Epcot before we even get into the park. Needless to say, our spirits were a little broken going into this race and we weren't that encouraged to push ourselves, but we made the best of it.

    Mom and I ran the entire race together through the finish line. We even wore matching shirts. :) The night before, we tried to find some princess getup but decided against it. I kinda wish we had to make this more fun and ridiculous, but whatever. It was cold so the tanktops we found would not have sufficied.

    They had characters throughout the course and I wish I brought my camera like I wanted to and stopped at all of them to take pictures to really make the most of this. But I think I still had illusions of running a good race and maybe sub-35. I knew I was dreaming. I think we started too fast and she faded a little at the end. I felt like I could run another 3 miles because I didn't sprint as much at the end to make sure mom could keep up and we could cross together.

    Their post-race amenities always leave something to be desired. At least they had oranges this time, well tangerines that were not even cut. All Disney cares about is how they can squeeze more money out of you, and it shows. I think our local Track Shack does a far better job at organizing races and making them a great value for your money. After taking a few pictures, we headed out of the park and had a great breakfast at Perkins while talking about future races (not at Disney).

    What's Next
    I'm so done with Disney races. I may do the Tower of Terror 13K, since you get a nifty medal and a tech shirt, but I am seriously considering not even bothering. I just think my money could be better spent supporting local races, the businesses that sponsor them, and the charities they benefit.

    PS - We went to UCF in the afternoon for Jason to do a run-through for his triathlon, so I tried swimming a few laps. I did 150m, stopping between each lap. This is hard! But I am going to keep with it for cross training.

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    32 Mile Cycling Day

    I biked 32 miles yesterday: roundtrip to work at PII and to campus for a meeting. That's the most I've ever ridden in one day, and I'm still exhausted.

    The morning ride to work was very cold and windy. We all (as well as anyone who heard about our trip) thought were insane, but we're not quitters! It really wasn't that bad once we got moving. It just sucked when we stopped for water and had to get started again. That's when it felt really cold.

    I made it to work in less than 1.5 hours: moving time was 1:13:32 for 14:.3 miles (11.7 mph). When I got there, I was fully awake and ready to start the day. I did a few yoga stretches, then hit the showers. I had an incredibly productive morning, then I biked to campus for a meeting. I was amazed that my pace for that 1.7-mile ride was slower than the 14+ I had biked that morning, but I was carrying a huge bag on my back and my legs felt tired and cold.

    Around 3 or 4 pm, we started to fade and get tired. While I did a test run with Jaosn on Saturday to see how the ride would feel, I only did it one way. (I rode the bus home as Jason tried to beat me home on the bike. I got off 3 miles from the apartment and we met up 1 mile later.) So I was afraid that my legs would be too tired and I'd be too exhausted after a full day's work to keep up. Surprisingly, we had a better pace going at the beginning of the ride because it seemed to be mostly downhill, but we started to fade a little towards the end and our average pace was a tad slower, but not by much: moving time home was 1:22:16 for 15.9 miles (11.6 mph). The weather was much nicer on the ride home. It was cool, but not hot.

    After we got home, we promptly walked to dinner because we were starving! I called it a night early to give my body enough time to rest since I intended to get up early to run before work. That sure didn't happen! My knee right knee, the one that's been giving me trouble running, felt a little tight and ached a bit after the bike ride. I woke to most of the rest of my body also a bit stiff, so I opted to do some yoga instead. That felt really good and I may do it again tomorrow morning. I have the Disney 5K race with mom on Saturday, so I'm letting my legs rest until then.

    Even though we're still feeling the effects of yesterday's bike ride, we plan to bike to work once a week. I think we just need an adjustment period. Our bodies and minds will get used to it after a few weeks and we won't feel so tired. We probably also need to eat more, and better, to make up for it. Eventually, we plan to work up to twice a week or more! I'm excited to embark in this new adventure in fitness. I'll probably buy a new bike road soon that is better suited for this kind of millage and duathlons :)

    In other news, I caved and registered for the 10-week Galloway Maintenance Session with Track Shack. I know I'll keep up with the long runs better if I have a group, and I'll feel bad not going after spending all that money. This will ensure I keep my bace and I am ready to start training in June for a fall marathon.

    I'm still choosing which will be my first marathon, so feel free to post your suggestions in the comments. I would prefer to run my first marathon in Florida so I do not have the added stress of traveling or running in unfamiliar weather/terrain (i.e. hills =P)

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Duathlete in Training

    I'm going to start training for my first sprint duathlon soon, within the next 2 weeks. Training for my first marathon is scheduled for June, but I need an intermediate goal to keep me motivated and fit until then. My target race is on 7/28 at Baldwin Park, but we'll see how things go (I have my eye on ones sooner if I feel ready before June).

    I mainly want to do a duathlon because I need a new challenge, but also because biking is the necessary cross training I need to avoid injury for my long distance running (since I suck at strength training). Since I'm going to be biking regularly anyway, I may as well put it towards a goal. And I can't very well let Jason show me up with his triathlon too much, can I? =P
    So anyone out there have duathlon experience and care to share your training tips or advice as I embark in this new crazyness? 

    Here is my plan so far (which is still a gooey mess and not at all set in stone):
    • The distance of the sprint duathlon is 5k - 13.4 - 2.5 (seem like really odd distances to me).
    • Every weekend (or so, to accomodate races as needed) I'll start doing run-bike-run workouts starting with short distances of 1-3-1 and add to one leg each week slowly. 
      • Maybe I'll keep the runs to 1 mile at first and increase the bike distance by a mile each week until I've reach 1/2 the distance of the race, then start increasing the runs by 1/2 a mile one at a time each week.

      • Or should I leave the runs at 1 mile until I cover the full bike distance and then add to them at the end since I need to work on increasing cycling speed more than the running?

      • I'm thinking these would replace my weekend long runs, but that might be ok because I probably won't be racing anything longer than 5Ks until then.
    • Additional weekly workouts:
      • bike to work with Jason and Amy at least once a week (30-32 miles roundtrip), eventually working up to twice a week. (We did a test run this weekend, which solidified my desire to try a duathlon. I'll post a separate blog post about that later.)

      • run 2 days a week for 2-3 miles each.

      • run a 5K race every 3-4 weeks.

      • cross training: yoga, kickboxing, abs

      • bring my bike to work for transportation between my office and campus for meetings and to get to other workouts at the gym. These would be short bike rides of about 2 miles each way.

      • bike or walk whenever feasible to run errands, to events, and to workouts.
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