Saturday, December 26, 2009

Marathon Training Update = 10 Miles Solo!

This has been a great week of running milestones. On Tuesday and Thursday, I ran 5 miles without any walk breaks in just over 1 hour. This morning, I ran 10 miles by myself -- the most I had ever run without a group was 7 miles. I feel great knowing that I could easily train for a future half marathon on my own now.

After this morning's run, I've run 20 miles this week, which is a lot for a week when I don't have a really long run. I've run 79 miles in December so far, the most ever, and still have 2 more runs before the end of the year. I hope to finish the year with at least 555 miles. I'll write a year in review post next week after I've done all my runs for the year, which will include 2009 stats, graphs, and goals for 2010.

In the meantime, you can read the full details of each of these milestone runs at dailymile:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Marathon Training Update = 20 Miles!

Today I ran 19.9 miles in 4:32 @ 13:40 min/mile pace.  That's 10 seconds per mile faster than the 18 miler and it felt much better.

I woke up at 3 am before the alarm went off and was out the door by 3:40 am for a 4 am start with the Galloway group. I hurt, but hooray for another distance PR!

Despite the early start, the cold and windy weather, the constant running nose, a blister on each foot, and my now achy muscles, it was a great run and better than the 18-miler. Mentally, it was a piece of cake and the time flew by. We basically ran 5 4-mile loops, and that helped break it up and made it easier for my brain to handle.

I also did a better job with nutrition. I started with a strawberry/banana gu at mile 4 (yum) and 2 gu chomps at mile 8. I ate a gu roctane at mile 12, which pumped me full of energy for the last 8 miles. I ate 2 shot blocks around mile 15 for good measure, but I probably would have made it without it. The schedule to eat something every 4 miles / 1 hour and alternate between gu and blocks worked out well, so I think I'll use that strategy for the race. It's nice to break it up and not eat the same thing the entire time. I may bring along sport beans for extra variety and a mini luna bar because after a while I crave something with more substance than a gu.

The weather was a challenge, but probably better than hot and humid. It was in the 50s and windy the entire time. I wore my race ready tight shorts with pants on top, a tech shirt with arm warmers, my pearl izumi wind breaker, headband, skull cap, baseball cap, and gloves. I never warmed up enough to take any of it off! I couldn't wait to get home, get out of the wet clothes, take a shower, and get into some comfy sweats. I then did a few yoga stretches, ate breakfast, and put my feet up against a wall for about 20 minutes. I may need a nap now.

Overall, it was a great run and I'm pleased with my pace for it. I'm ready to tackle this marathon already, but thankfully we still have 10 weeks and two more long runs of 23 and 26 miles before the big day. Next week will test my resolve as I attempt to run 10 miles on my own while on vacation -- most I've done by myself is 7. I think it may be time to bring the ipod shuffle out of retirement for this one.

Here's the schedule of long runs / races until race day:
  1. 12/26 - 10 miles on my own in South Florida
  2. 01/02 - 23 miles!
  3. 01/09 - 10 miles
  4. 01/16 - 12 miles
  5. 01/23 - 26 miles!
  6. 01/30 - 8 miles
  7. 02/06 - 6 miles or Lady Track Shack 5K
  8. 02/13 - 8 miles
  9. 02/21 - 5 or 10 miles at Breast Cancer Marathon Relay in Jacksonville
  10. 02/28 - Gasparilla Marathon!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Improv Comedy

After a 4 year hiatus, I began taking improv classes at SAK again, 4 months ago. I had been so busy trying becoming an athlete, that I neglected exercising my brain. I haven't even had time to read. One day we went to see a SAK show, and I remembered how much fun I had doing improv. Shortly after I signed up for a class ti give me a reason to get out of the house that did not involve exercise :)

The funny thing is, I think that becoming an athlete made me a better improviser. One of the biggest challenges I face when doing improv, is that I think too much and thus do not take enough risks. Training for a triathlon was a huge leap of faith that required me to face my fears (swimming and open water) and take some risks. So when I started taking improv again, I jumped in with both feet and had so much fun. I still have work to do, but I've come a long way.

Monday night I graduated from SAK University and performed on the SAK stage. It was an incredible experience and I plan to continue attending their Monday night workshops to exercise my brain and continue the fun.

You can see the 15 scenes from the show in my YouTube Channel.

I'm featured in 7 of them: Blind Freeze, Categories, Do Run Run, Moving Bodies, Should've Said, Lines from a Book, & Crime Endowment


Sunday, December 13, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days

Running for 1 hour straight is the first thing I'm checking off my 101 Things in 1001 Days List. I planned to start tackling the list in the new year, but now this means it starts today, 12/13/2009, and ends on 09/02/2012.
  • I've already completed 3 of the tasks, and you can see them and details about them by clicking the "completed" link in the box to the right of the list or view the print version here.
  • Select the checkbox to the left of any of the tasks and more details will appear in the box to the right of the list, such as tags and notes. 
  • If you click on a tag, you can see a sub-set of all items on my list related to that tag.
  • Items with an asterisk (*) are things I've done before but not in a long time or that I want to make sure to do again soon.
If you are doing this too, let me know in the comments and post a link to your list. I can't wait to read everyone's list and see your progress!

I'm a One Hour Runner!

I am in awe of myself. I created a list of 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days. One of the items on that list is to Run for 1 hour without walking. I was going to start tackling the list at the beginning of the year, but I had the urge to run this morning and I did it!

I ran 4.5 miles in 1 hour @ 13:15 min/mile average pace without any walk breaks! I walked for 3 minutes at the 1 hour mark, and then I ran another 2.5 miles in 33 minutes @ 13:12 min/mile average pace without any walking!

That's a total of 7 miles of pure running bliss at an average pace under 13:30 min/mile, and I felt great! My knees were a little achy, but they are totally pain free now. The most I've ever run without walking was about 42 minutes and maybe 3 - 3.5 miles, so this is a huge accomplishment for me. I also did not think I'd be able to run it this fast (I know this is slow, but it is fast for me without walk breaks).

When I set out to run this morning, I just wanted to get in a few extra miles to make up for missed runs this week and cutting yesterday's run short. I figured running 1 hour straight without walking was a bit ambitious since I had already run 8 miles yesterday, but I was feeling good. I told myself I'd shoot for 45 or 50 minutes instead, but by then what's another 10-15 minutes? :) I started nice and slow, just under 14 min/mi, and tried to pick up the pace after 30 minutes to average at least 13:45 min/mi. Before I knew it, I was close to 13:30, so I had to try to reach that and I smashed it! I am amazed I had that much energy to push that hard at the end.

I probably could have kept running for more than 1 hour without walking, but I didn't want to press my luck. I still wanted to get in 7 miles, so I started running nice and easy for another 30 minutes after the 3MR. This was a much shorter run, and I was full of energy, so I was able to pick up the pace a tad more sooner. I'm sure I experienced the runner's high today, because I could have run forever. If my knees hadn't protested, I probably would have kept going :)

Now I'm rethinking some of the items on my list and may still tweak it a bit, but it's pretty close to final. So, what's on your 101 Things in 1001 Days list? :)

PS - I am a slacker and still need to post my race report for the OUC Half Marathon last Saturday 12/5 and yesterday's Reindeer Run 5K. In the meantime, you can read my mini reports on dailymile by clicking on the links in the previous sentence.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Race Report: Reindeer Run 5K 2009

This will be sweet and short. The Reindeer Run 5K is a christmas themed fun run, so I set out to make the most of it with bows on my shoes and a santa hat on my head. I was pleased it was warmer than last year, and I could wear shorts and no sleeves.

Marathon training schedule called for 10 miles, so Jason and I ran almost 5 miles to the race with the Galloway group using 1:1 intervals -- we planned to run 4, but got lost on the way there. Since I planned to run another 4 miles back to my car after the race, I ran the race w/o walk breaks (except for 30 seconds at the water stop) at an easy with mom. We stayed together the whole time. I was actually having a hard time keeping up with her during the first mile because I was tired from the previous 5 miles. We were both getting tired at the end, but I dug deep and encouraged mom, and we sprinted together through the finish line in just under 40 minutes. We planned to run back, but one of my toe nails cut into my other toe making it bleed and I could not find a bandaid, so we got a ride back to the car with my parents. I do not have any data for this race because my Garmin died before I started to run, but it's oddly liberating to run without it from time to time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Race Report: OUC Half Marathon 2009

I finished my 3rd half marathon, in the rain, just 40 seconds slower than last year. Even though I did not meet my time goals or PR, I'm proud I put forth my best effort until the end and did not let the scary weather deter me from attempting this race. Most importantly, I didn't get hurt and thus I'm still on track for my target race, the Gasparilla Marathon on February 28th. I still cannot believe I've run 3 half marathons in the last 12 months, and will be running my first full marathon in less than 3 months. I can't wait! Before I delve into the full race report, below are my race stats.

Race Stats:
  • Clock - 2:41:08 (2:41:49 in 2008)
  • Chip - 2:39:36 (2:38:56 in 2008)
  • AG - 160/182
  • Gender - 881/1011
  • Overall- 1900/2093
  • Garmin - 13.25 miles in 2:39:40 @ 12:02
A lot of people I know also ran this race, including my Dad and Jason (this was Jason's first half marathon), and mom ran the 5k. Many of them met at our place since we live 2 blocks from the start. Because of the crappy weather, we stayed in my apartment until the last possible moment. Luckily, I was still able to find Carlie and Penny before the gun went off.

The weather turned out to be just about perfect for running. It was overcast, but warm enough for shorts. We got sporadic light drizzling starting around mile 3, but by then we were nice and warm so it was welcomed. Carlie and I were making good time and having a blast. We got to the halfway point in 1:15, on pace to meet my goal of a 2:30 finish, but it all went downhill from there.

I didn't bring my own water and my mouth felt really dry, so I ended up drinking way too much water at the mile 6 water stop as I washed down a gu. I had started out too fast, and I started to slow down and could not recover. I simply could not get my legs to go any faster and then I got a side stitch that lasted for 2 miles.

The side stitch eventually went away, but then it came back with a vengeance on the other side for the last mile. I tried to run through it, but it was so painful that I just wanted to curl up into a ball. I still kept running as much as possible, and would have finished in 2:35 were it not for the stitch. I still held hope that I could dig deep for a final sprint and at least PR by a few seconds. However, as I turned the corner for the home stretch, my calves and hamstrings cramped up and I could not speed up. I kept running as best I could and finally crossed the finish line completely spent. I still feel I ran a good race, and got a 10K PR, but will work hard after the marathon to improve my speed and run a sub-2:30 half marathon in 2010.

Mile Splits

mile 1 - 11:37
mile 2 - 11:49
mile 3 - 10:58
5k - 35:41 
mile 4 - 11:17
mile 5 - 11:20
mile 6 - 11:05
10K- 1:10:31 (this is 5 minutes faster than my 10K PR!)
Half Way - 1:15:09
mile 7 - 12:11
mile 8 - 11:40
mile 9 - 13:26
mile 10 - 12:35
mile 11 - 12:24
mile 12 - 13:15
mile 13 - 13:08
finish - 11:17 (.25 in 2:45)
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