Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Speed is Relative

I know I'm not supposed to compare my times to other people. But I can't help thinking that if I was faster, I could run more in less time. It's not about the numbers so much as that the coyote (the runner) and the bike geek war over who gets to do what. I know. Life is rough when your biggest problem is which of the things I love to do should I do more of!

Today's workout was 7x800s. I don't have a track near me so I do intervals on the bike trail. It's mostly flat and most of the sections are 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and even some 1 mile sections. So all my intervals aren't exactly the same because I'm varying where I do them. I suppose I could use one section (which I sometimes do for 400s). I'd rather use more of the trail. It's more interesting that way.

Today's 800s went pretty well. I was off the pace slightly from what I'd hoped. I'd plugged Saturday's 10K into Greg McMillan's Pace Calculator and it said my 800s should be in 4:18 at the slower end. Mine averaged 4:20/4:22. Funny thing is that the hardest part of intervals is to not daydream during them. If I don't concentrate, my pace falls off. I caught myself daydreaming twice today. I was already thinking about next year's races. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Focus on the now! I don't listen to music when I do intervals for that reason. I get distracted by music and find my pace following the music.

I've been busy the past two days:
Monday - 22 mile bike commute & core/legs/arms work.
Tuesday - 15 mile bike commute
8 mile run.

I also signed up for the Labor of Love, Love Me Two Times 1/2 Marathons @ Lovell Canyon, NV. And I joined the Fat Cyclist for Lose 10 Pounds by Christmas. And I am going to try 30 Runs in 30 Days with Libor and the other trifuelers. It's a traditon that Libor has been doing for a few years. Which should help me with the Daily Mile Challenge to Run 100 Miles. Whew. That's a lot of stuff. If this doesn't keep me on track thru December, I don't know what will. I'm not really expecting to lose 10 pounds by Christmas but I would like to see if I can lose a few pounds. And definitely not gain weight. Especially when I'm in Arizona the week before Christmas. Without my bike. Gulp.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leap Fearlessly

I bought a small piece of art by Kelly Rae Roberts called "Leap Fearlessly". I've decided that's going to be my motto for 2011. I've been wanting to sign up for the Lovell Canyon Love Me Two Times Half Marathon (a half marathon on Saturday and then another on Sunday) and a 50K but I've been putting it off. This week, I'm going to sign up for the Lovell Canyon and get serious about finding a 50K to do. I just have to figure it I want to use the Seattle Marathon as a jumping off point or if I want to do one in the fall.

Now that I've decided to go for it, I'm kind of itching to do one sooner than later. The only thing is that if I do it right after the Rock & Roll Seattle, then I shouldn't push the pace at the Seattle and I do have my 4 hour marathon goal to consider. I have to think about that a bit. But I will definitely sign up for or pick a 50K by December 31st (in case I pick a fall one and registration isn't open yet).

Fear has been an on-going battle for me. It's the thing that kept me from living life. I know it's one of the reasons I used to weigh 300+ pounds. It was all about "what if I fail" or "what if I'm not perfect". Well I finally learned that I'm not perfect. No one is. And I'm okay with that. I'm even willing to fail. I knew that was a possiblity for the 10K yesterday. I could have blown up and ended up walking. But I went for it anyway and look what happened - a PR (I'm still excited about it! Woo!).

So no more fear. If there's something I want to do or want to try, I'm going to take that leap of faith without fear and reach for the sky.

Now for some stats...

Today I ran five miles in my Five Fingers on the bike trail and then rode my mt bike for 2 hours. Tired at the end because of the headwind but I felt better after I ate lunch so I decided to ride over to the mall to pick up Meb's book "Run To Overcome". Total workout time for the day 3hrs 45 min, most of it easy. It was a gorgeous day in So Cal. A little on the cold side (44 at the start of the run and 47 for the bike in the morning) especially with the wind but at least no rain!

Gotta go...need to download some fresh music for this week's 18 miler. I'm looking forward to it.

Leap Fearlessly!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K

Today was the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K. I ran it last year and I wanted to run it this year to see how much I've improved. I have a year of marathon training under my belt, I started doing speed work and tempos since then, and I've lost 25lbs. All signs pointed to a PR.

I think the kicker was a tempo run I did last week where I averaged 9 minute miles over the 5 miles of tempo. I figured with the hills and the mixture of pavement and dirt at Bonelli, that I would plan on a 9:15 pace. But a part of me was dreaming of 9 min miles! So going into the race, these were my goals.

A goal - 55:55, 9:00 per mile pace
B goal - 57:28, 9:15 per mile pace
C goal - beat last years time of 1:02:35

The B goal was what I told myself I would be happy with and what I should plan for. Normally, I would set my garmin for the race distance and the pace I wanted to go and then track my progress so I didn't get too far off it. But I've been reading Matt Fitzgerald's Run:The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel and I just finished it last night. I decided to go by feel for this race instead of by pace. I was a little nervous but I figured that I could do it.

I'm happy to report that I hit my A goal! Well 55:56. And that even included some balance beam walking across two boards that spanned the stream we had to cross in mile 3. Here are my splits for the first 6 miles:

1 - 8:18.66
2 - 8:25.90
3 - 9:13.05 (with the stream crossing)
4 - 8:46.35
5 - 8:57.59
6 - 8:46.64

And the last .2ish miles were actuall .46 per my garmin - 3:37:32 (a 7:55 pace!). I don't think I could have been that far off the tangents so I'm not sure about that.

Anyway, it was a great run and I would say that I gave an even effort all the way thru and really kicked it after mile 6 on my garmin. The hills were easy and I think the running that I've been doing there has really helped. Best part was a high-five I received from another woman at the end of the race. We had run together thru the whole race (not intentionally, we just seemed to be the same pace). I lost her a little at the stream and then caught up to her on the uphills but she would pass me on the downhills. At the end, we passed a few people and then after mile 6 when I turned on the turbos, I finally left her behind. She congratulated me for "smoking" her at the end. I told her thanks too for pushing me thru the race (because she was my rabbit - which I didn't tell her).

Today was a great day for racing...Hit my A goal, PRd this race by 6 1/2 minutes, and I was 4th in my age group (out of 13 in the 40-44, 24/126 for women, and 80/236 overall). I treated myself to a half slice of Meat Lovers and a half slice of Hawaiian at New York Pizza Company to celebrate.

I've been thinking that I need to rethink this whole "I'm a penguin" thing. In the book, Matt talks about Haile and that he "ran faster because he tried to run faster". And he also says "chasing personal bests encourages your mind and body to conspire to allow you to run faster than you ever have before". If I stop putting limits on myself and instead dream big, I'll see what I'm really capable of. And I think that's exciting.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Half Marathon

The plan for this week's long run was a 13 miler. Since I'm doing the 10K on Saturday, I ran the 13 miles today. Actually, it ended up being 13.41 miles so I could make it an even 2:30. It was a great run through Bonelli and I hit lots of hills while I was in there. I can feel it already.

I have so much to be thankful for - my family, my friends, my cat, my job, my health, riding & running. I got to travel this year to Oregon and New York to run marathons. I've never been to either state and I had a great time exploring Eugene and Albany. I'm so happy that I'm still bike commuting and that the LBS boys keep my bikes rolling. It's allowed me to save money, travel, race, and buy a new (used) car.

Life is good and I'm happier than I've ever been. Who could ask for anything more?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheeky Coyote

I saw a coyote on my run this morning. I am running a 10K Turkey Trot on Saturday so I'll take that as a good sign. Anyway, he was watching me as I ran by him and didn't seem scared. Interesting that he didn't take off like they normally do when I see them. Hopefully, he isn't too used to humans because that won't bode well for him.

So...he watched me as I did 5x1200s today. They were kind of sluggish but it was a pretty good run. Workouts for yesterday and today:

Monday:Bike-2 hours 15 min of bike commute and extra to spend money at Borders!
Tuesday:Bike-1 hour
Running-7.2 miles @ 9:33 pace for 1:08.42

It's probably best that I didn't leave it all out there anyway since I have the race on Saturday. It should be interesting. I'm 20 pounds lighter than last year. And I have a lot more endurance and speed work and tempos than last year. And I'm regularly including hills in my runs now. Who knows what will happen. My only goal is to beat last year's time. Well, that may not be my only goal. I did look to see what the top 3 times were for my age group last year...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You Never Know

It rained this weekend but I got all my training in and then some. There's no rest for the wicked.

Saturday - 16 mile run w/last 6 miles at marathon pace (10:10)
10 mile spin on my commuter bike
Sunday - 5 mile run
10 mile spin in the morning/15 miles in the afternoon

I've been doing a lot of reading about running lately. I just finished Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich and I'm currently reading Running Through The Wall: Personal Encounters With The Ultramarathon by Neal Jamison and Run: The Mind-Body Methond of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald. They've got me thinking that I've been putting limiters on what I'm capable of and I need to become more of a dreamer.

I've been thinking of myself as a slow runner, a Penguin. But can I get fast? What, if any, are my limiters?

I ran a 5:12 for my 1st marathon. But I my calves cramped at mile 18 and I did a lot of walking after that so I didn't consider it a true marathon run.

I ran a 4:40 for my 2nd marathon. No cramping this time. Woo! But I bonked at mile 24 for two reasons - nutrition (not enough calories in) and starting my final 10K kick too early (mile 18ish). The run was going so well that I thought I had enough in me to push the last 8 miles but I miscalculated. So I was happy that I PR'd by 32 minutes but still not satisfied that I got it right.

My next marathon is in February - The Lost Dutchman. I'm going to go for a 10:10 pace for this one so it should be a 4:25 finish. Am I ready for that? I think I will be. My training seems to indicate it and I think I can do it. No, I know I can do it.

But here's the thing. Now I'm thinking that I have a 4 hr marathon in me. And I'm thinking I just may go for that for the Seattle Rock & Roll in June. You never know.