Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend runs

Whew, what a weekend! Busy, busy but a lot of fun. Get ready for a photo collage!! 

Friday night I was able to sneak in a quick 4 miles on the dreadmill before heading out:


Today, I decided to finally go on a long run. I have been planning on doing my long run on Sundays, but it hasnt been in the cards for the past few weeks. I finally got my butt in gear and headed out to Alki.

 
Cheese!

The run started off fine, but I soon realized that having even a few drinks the night before just might hinder your running performance. I decided to keep running, but I to go at a slightly slower pace. There were also a TON of walkers out on the boardwalk. It was a little frustrating to try to dodge each person, their stroller and dog leash. Don't they realize that people are training for running on that stretch of road?!?! :)

On the boardwalk along Alki Beach, there are small metal plates and star constellations embedded into the cement. While running along, I happened to find my sign, Pisces. The constellation was above it, but I couldn't fit it into my picture without stopping for awhile.

  
 I'm a Pisces too!

About halfway into the run, I decided to take a quick stretching break, and I really didn't have much energy. I realized that I was at the point of Alki, so I took a *little* detour on a trail and found the beach.

  
 Standing on the bulkhead over the waves

Alki Beach Lighthouse

 
View of Seattle from the lighthouse

I probably wasn't supposed to stand there, but the house was abandoned. Awesome little beach right there, and a perfect spot to see the lighthouse! A lovely surprise on my little break. I ended up running back and even thought it felt like I was running SUPER slowly, it was still under 9:45/mile pace for 7 miles. Not too bad for not really wanting to run today at all!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and looong runs!! I'm off to watch the Grammys! :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

TGIF!!!

Ahhhh......TGIF! Somehow I had an insane day, and I'm still working late! Boo ending fiscal years at work! It will all be over soon though :)

Last night I had an amazing 6 mile late night run. There is something about running at night that I love....possibly it could be the fact that I am a night owl and insomniac, but I'm just guessing :) Luckily it was pretty warm and the moon was even out! The area I was running was very well lit and has a large curb and walking/running/wheels lanes so it is safe from traffic.  

"Dancing Running in the moonlight"

Either running at night or in the cold brings me to my next point - Spotlight on: 


The Under Armour Long sleeved Ts! I am absolutely crazy about this shirt that I bought a few months ago from Nordstrom. The UA TNP Long sleeved T is apparently part of their Heatgear line, which keeps you super warm. Whether it be running in the cold, wind OR rain, I have LOVED running in it. I sort of feel like a REAL professional runner/super hero in spandex while wearing it. 

The shirt is 95% Polyester/ 5% Elastane which seems to stay in place while running (meaning you wont run a few miles only to find your shirt is slowly crawling up your midsection!) It also has a 4 way stretch, yet is not too tight, which feels awesome while running long distances. I seriously need to buy more of these.....I mean, it got me through my first half:

 
Super sweaty UA teal long sleeved T underneath

The Under Armour tee retails at $29.99, and is worth every penny for its stretchy goodness. I might just have to pick another one up to run in tonight! Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Moon image found here

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Go, go, go, go!

I don't know about you, but I love running with music. Its not that I NEED the music (okay, maybe I do when I am on the dreadmill!) but it allows me to zone out while running or pick up the pace when I am dragging. I usually switch through my iPod or I Heart Radio app on my iPhone. And yes, I would be lost if I didn't have the radio! 

Anyways, while running the past few weeks, I noticed that I kept listening to a few select songs. Yes, most of the music has a quick beat and catchy hook, but I realized that most of the songs were by 50 Cent, Ludacris, and Jay-Z to name a few! I guess I really like to listen to rap while running...I have a feeling I really like 50 Cent because of this subliminal hint in his In Da Club song from a few years back:

 
Go, go, go, go!

If you are not familiar with the song, 50 is running on a treadmill in the beginning of it. I think this is why I listen to it. Although, I don't hang from the ceiling in my gym.....another favorite is 21 Questions, partially because of the "I love you like a fat kid love cake" line. And I do think about cake while running (kidding, I just thought it was funny).

Do you have a favorite song to listen to? On the opposite end, I also like Bittersweet Symhony by the Verve as well. I haven't seen that music video, but I doubt they are hanging from celings or running in it.

In other news, I think I might have recruited my little bro to run in the Mercer Half with me! I cant wait....he'll do great! He has run a few races with me in the past, but this will be his first half marathon:

 
Little Bro and I at the Jingle Bell Run 2009


Dawg Dash 2009

If you couldn't tell from the picture above, he loves to pose for the photogs. I told him to try to make faces at them while running past, and lets just say he did just that. Plenty of finger pointing, faces, leaping and screaming. In short, he is my hero. Another post with more pic from him another day.....

I didnt run yesterday, but I am planning on running with JJ tonight! Super excited for a long run after I get home. Happy running! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obviously nuts....

Yesterday I was only planning on running a few miles on the dreadmill, since I had plans for later in the night. I walked down to my apartment gym (and by "gym" I mean 1 treadmill, 2 elliptical machines and 1 bike with a few weight machines...not that great) and noticed that there was another girl on the elliptical that was right next to the treadmill. The gym is so small that it is awkward to workout with someone in the room with you, let alone RIGHT next to you. I wanted to get my run finished, so I started right away.

After about 20 minutes of running and sweating side by side, the girl motioned for my attention. I usually zone out while running, so I eventually noticed when she was flailing her arms at me. I shut off my iPhone (I was listening to the radio, of course) and while looking confused said:

"Hi, did you want to use this elliptical machine? Ive can get off since I have been here for awhile..."

I told her thanks, but that I WANTED to run on the treadmill. She have me another look like I was absolutely nuts, shrugged, then started slowly moving on the elliptical again.

I realized a few things at that point:
  1. I had actually said out loud that I WANTED to be running on the dreadmill! (Okay, I guess I should say that I wanted to run in general, and the treadmill was my only option, but Ill take however it came out!!)
  2. The girl obviously thought I was crazy for running that long on the treadmill. Since there was other machines available, she was thinking I was just waiting to use her machine. SHE WAS WRONG.
Needless to say I was pleased. I ended up running the next few minutes at a faster pace :) Even though I only went 4 miles, she obviously thought it was a lot of time to be running (when really, this was a short run!) Haha.


Decent time for 4 miles

I went down to Nordstrom and they just received a new stock of Asics Gel-Kinsei 3s! (Kinsei 3s are in the store and not available online YET). I spoke with the salesperson and he said that they DID carry the Kinsei-2s, but stopped carrying them in 2008. This is the first time they have had them since! Ill take this as destiny....how random is it that I start looking for that exact shoe and they start carrying them again?? FATE!

Kinsei 3 version at Nordy's.....love it!

So, if anyone is wondering out there, I would LOVE a pair of 9.5 women's model, with the B width :) Thanks! I kid.....sort of.....Ill add it to my wish list.

Also, be sure to check out Zoe's blog Run, Zoe, Run and check out her handbag giveaway! So exciting!! :) I absolutely LOVE handbags, and these are pretty cute. Be sure to enter!

Happy running!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreadmills and Mystery Asics

I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend with the stomach flu, so no miles logged :( Too bad because I was REALLY looking forward to my long run on Sunday, but it just wasn't in the cards. With Saturday and Sunday out, I only logged 16 miles in 3 days last week.....not so good :(

Feeling better and rearing to go, I couldn't wait to get out to run Monday night. Unfortunately, I had to work EXTREMELY late and I didn't get home until almost 10 pm! Not so good if you were planning on a long run. I also had this face staring at me when I went to put on my running shoes:

Chloe, not wanting to play and not go back in her box

Finally at midnight (yes, midnight, I'm an insomniac) I decided I had to go down and run a few miles on the treadmill. I wanted to run at least 5 on Monday, but that was a LOT for me and the mind-dulling treadmill. I decided I would run at least 4, the see how it went from there. Before I knew it, I had run 4 miles in under a 10 minute pace, and kept upping the speed. Before I knew it I was racing to my 10k pace from last September!

 Longest distance in the past year on a Dreadmill

 
Woo hoo! New Dreadmill 10k PR!
 
I know that isn't that impressive of a time, but that is faster on the Dreadmill than I ran my first 10k back at the Iron Girl 10k last September. I'm so proud and I wasn't even trying until the last 2 miles! I guess this shows that I cant slack off and say that I cant run on the treadmill :)

UPDATE:
I did have time this weekend to unfortunately return my blue Kayanos that did not fit. While returning the shoes at Nordy's, I mentioned the the salesperson that I will buy another pair in the future, and that my old yet reliable pink Kayanos were working for now. She replied "we have never had a pink women's Kayano." Normally, I don't care about being right, but I knew for a fact that I bought my current pink Asics in 2008 and asked specifically for "Gel Kayano." Not wanting to start a fight with the salesperson, I left.

When I got home, all I could think about was proving the salesperson wrong. I looked in my pink Asics for a tag, but all the numbers were work off. I did notice a small gel tab on the back of the shoe that said "Kinsei-2" so I googled it.

THE SALESPERSON SOLD ME THE WRONG SHOE IN 2008!

I cannot believe it! The beloved shoes that I just ran my first half marathon in are not the shoes I was expecting!! How did this happen? I know for a fact I must have bought the shoe on sale for $120-140ish, where the Asics Kinsei-2 retail around $180!!
My mystery shoes: Asics Kinsei-2 for $180 (2007-2008)

They are still a wonderful running shoe, but I still don't understand how this happened. My friend worked in the Shoe division, and mentioned the shoes to me, which is why I asked for the Kayanos in the first place. Regardless, I have enjoyed running in them, but I do not believe that Nordstrom carries the Kinsei line anymore. They do have the new Kayanos though. Here is a link to the new Asics Kinsei-3 from the Asics website.

Asics Kinsei-3s (left) and the Asics Gel Kayano 16s (right)

Have any of you used the Asics Kinsei line? Do you know if they are better or worse than the Kayanos?

I'm off to run and dream about new shoes for after my half in March. I would love suggestions!! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Running, random and rambles......

After two annoying days off from running, I decided to go on a long 7 mile run last night. I have to say, I FELT GREAT! I was actually running a 9 minute mile pace, and it was really easy. I think it was the fact that I took 2 days off, but I could have easily gone faster! I love these kind of runs!! It might have helped that it was really warm last night, and I was wearing my old, comfy shoes.


I wish I could say the same for today....I am really exhausted! Not sure if it is because I didn't drink enough water, get enough sleep or what, but I am seriously dragging today! My triple grande, nonfat, no foam, light chocolate mocha just isn't helping me out!

Top Pot Doughnuts have the best chocolate in their mochas!

Also, a few days ago Zoë at Run, Zoë, Run awarded me the Beautiful Blogger Award (thanks!!). You are supposed to mention 7 things about yourself that people might not know, so here goes:


1.  I LOVE to read. My current favorites that I read in 2009 were:
  • Time Travelers Wife
  •  Middlesex
  •  Lovely Bones
  • My Sister's Keeper
  • Sarah's Key
  • If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I am always looking for new titles to read!! 
2.  I am completely obsessed with the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse series (movies and True  Blood series included). I cant help it, and no, I am not ashamed! v--v

3.  My ONLY allergy is to chlorine. Sooo annoying, especially because I love to swim.

4.  Most of my favorite foods are from Greece:
  • gyros
  • hummus
  • souvlaki
  • horiatiki salad
  • feta
  • galaktoboureko
  • tzatziki
  • avgolemono and lentil soups
  • baklava, the list goes on....
5.  The only sports that I lettered in high school were cheerleading and dance team. I was very athletic growing up and played almost every sport (soccer, basketball, softball, plus countless others while very young) but stopped before or during high school. I would run about 20 miles or more per week, but it was only to workout, not competitively.

6. I absolutely LOVE watching football (Go LOFA!!) and I am a season ticket holder to the Sounders FC (our new pro soccer team). I also had a partial season ticket package to the Sonics during their last season (it was really fun, and I miss them!)

7. I have a mini dachshund named Chloe. She resembles a rat-cow:



I am supposed to name 7 people to pass this on to, but I know for a fact that I have only a few people following me and most have either already done this post or don't have a blog. I would LOVE to hear from you guys on your 7 random facts! Even if you don't follow me, post a comment :)


That's it for today! I cant wait to get off of work and run a few tonight. Possibly trading in my bad Kayano's for a new pair. Ill keep you posted....


PS: If we were doing 8 facts about ourselves, my last one would be that I am team Conan! I have been watching him since middle school, and I am very sad he is going off the air. Everyone watch tonight if you haven't been...he is hilarious!


Image via facebook

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Run a mile in my shoes....

After coming back from a weekend on the island, I came home and noticed that I somehow forgot my running shoes! I kept the shoes outside after my hill run, because they were soaking from the rain and puddles. I wanted to run on Monday, so I decided it was time to break out my new pair of Asics Gel Kayano 15's that I bought a month ago (and by "new" I mean not used, I bought these on sale awhile back and I know they are the older version!!):

New Asics Gel Kayano 15's

Excited to try out the new pair, I started on the Dreadmill at a 9:30 mile pace. Within the first half mile,  I noticed that my right foot was starting to tingle. By the end of the first mile, it was COMPLETELY NUMB! Although it was not the best idea, I kept running for the full 4 miles I intended. Afterwards, I realize that this was a STUPID idea, and I could have twisted an ankle. Luckily I was able to regain blood flow to my foot after stopping the run.

Good news is that the numb foot kept my mind off the boring dreadmill. I don't think I will use this as a way to keep myself occupied next time.

A few hours later I was craving another mile, so I went back downstairs to run another. During the mile I kept increasing the speed and ended up at a 8:17 mile! Not that this is incredibly fast, but it is the fastest mile that I have recorded! I will have to actually run a mile to see what I can really do. Even though my foot was numb again, I'll take the starting PR!


New PR, on the Dreadmill!

I have NO idea why this pair of shoes is not working for me. I have had many pairs of Asics Kayanos, and they have all been excellent pairs of shoes. I am thinking that this pair must be mis-sized, or I somehow bought the wrong width. I am thinking that both the width AND the size are incorrect. I have a narrow 9-9.5 sized foot (big feet, I know) but this pair looks TINY on my feet (it is supposedly a size 9 2AA shoe). Usually I would like my feet looking small, but running shoes need to fit!

Needless to say, I had to take Tuesday and tonight off running because I didn't want to hurt myself. GRR! Tonight I thankfully got my old pair of Kayano's back. Due to the problems with the new blue pair, I am thinking about training for the Mercer Half with this old pair, then finding a new pair to start training with after that race.

 
Old vs New Kayano, does the blue look smaller?

Tread-wear on the shoes

Even though I have put many miles into the pair, I am very nervous about injuring myself with a new pair of shoes on the longer runs in the next few days of training. I really have not noticed any problems with the older (pink dirty) shoes, so I am hoping they will last. Is this a horrible idea? One of my friends who was training for the Seattle Half last November injured herself just 2 weeks before the race because she switched shoes. I dont want to take my chances again! Plus, those shoes are pretty dirty and I keep running in the rain....I would hate to trash a brand new pair!

2 days of running are getting to me.....I cant wait to run tomorrow!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chilly Hilly

Okay, I am posting this a few days late, but better late than never!

This past weekend I went to beautiful Bainbridge Island for a weekend getaway. Although I was pretty busy, I still wanted to get a run in. I set out to run a few roads I had never run before (I had run elsewhere on the Island, and love it!) Lets just say, it wasn't what I was expecting!

View of Eagle Harbor from Winslow (image via)

I started out in Winslow and ran a few miles on one of the side roads. Even though I know the island well, it AMAZED me how hilly some of the roads can be! I ended up going just over 3.2 miles, but with the hills that I encountered, I was pretty exhausted! Luckily, I still ran a 10 minute mile pace (exactly!), but it was a struggle. The run reminded me of an annual bicycle race that is held on the island every year, called the Chilly Hilly. Little did I realize, that there is a good reason it is called that! The Chilly Hilly's bike course is roughly 33 miles and over 2,675 feet in elevation gain. Coming from an island that has a highest point of about 425 feet above sea level, that is a LOT of hills! I cant even imaging running that course:

Chilly Hilly route 2009, via Seattle PI

I HATE biking, but I really enjoyed my difficult but beautiful run. Guess I will need to start incorporating hills into my training for the Mercer Half!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Many the Miles

I had an ephiphany today: I was a horrible beginning runner last year! Yes, I put in the miles and had dedication and decent results, but without the training plan (see last post) and a place to keep logging my miles, I was doomed for something bad to happen or not progress over time. I need to keep counting my miles ASAP!

What is the best way to do this? After speaking to a few runners and looking online, I found that people either use a website to log their miles, or count them in a home journal or excel sheet. After backlogging as many runs as I could remember from last year that I happened to write down, I have a feeling that using an online site would be best for me. Now the question is, which one?

Here are a few options that I have seen:

DailyMile is a website which you can easily enter your workouts. You can choose between running, swimming, biking, fitness or any other workout you choose. There are options for route, distance, time, how difficult the workout was, and how you felt while doing it. There are advanced dropdown menus where you can add further statistics such as if it was a race (placement, gender,etc) weather, temperature, etc. The website also easily counts your miles per week, month, year and since you started. This can sync with Nike + and some other systems, but not Garmin.




Screencap of DailyMile found here


The interface is VERY easy to use and intuitive. Plus, it has bright colors and looks pretty. I hate to say it, but it reminds me of Facebook! It has a status like appearance for your past runs, but at least it is easy to use. Not sure on the technical abilities of all the functions though.

RunningAhead is a similar wesbite that has all of the information above, but a less appealing interface. While you can still add your type of workout, route, distance, time, difficulty etc, it has the race calculations, weather and other metrics on each form up front, which looks more crowded. This website has TONS of calculations and you can easily view your workouts on a month view, which is nice to calculate your weekly totals. It also records your PRs in races, and has extra charts to view your progress. The only downside is that it is not as easy to use as DailyMile, but I believe in time it will become easier to navigate. Downside right now is that it doesnt have an option for a cross training workout or elliptical. You have to choose "run, bike or swim." Granted I dont consider it in my mileage, but it is a workout I keep track of. However, it is compatible with Garmin products.


RunningAhead screencap found here

Out of the two websites (I signed up for both to check them out) I believe I will stick with Running Ahead. It might not look as pretty, but I plan on owning and using a Garmin Forerunner in the future, and I would like a website that will load my workout for me. Also, it has a handy feature that shows my mileage on my blog (look to the right!)

What do you all use? Is there something better out there that I am missing? I would love some input!

Also, Jill found an excellent Half Marathon Training Guide. It has multiple training schedules depending on your experience as a runner/how many miles you run per week. Thanks Jill :)

Have a great weekend! Im off to go run a few miles.....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

OFFICIAL training schedule

I was looking at a few articles on Active.com and Runnersworld.com and I realized that I didn't have a training plan for the Mercer Half on March 21st. Even though we are still about 8 weeks out, and I can easily run 6 miles without trying, I still need to have a schedule.

I don't know how I did it, but I didn't have a training plan while running for the Seattle Half in November. I talked to people and knew to slowly ramp up my miles per week, but I didn't even write my daily runs in a log. I started in July and was running roughly 5 times per week averaging 3-5 miles per run. By September, I ran my first 10k race (Iron Girl 10k) and began building my miles after that. One week I decided to go from running 6 miles as my longest distance to a 7.5 mile run, then a 9 mile run a few days later. Needless to say, I was injured my piriformis muscle quickly, and was out for 5 weeks prior to the race. Even though I was able to finish the Seattle Half, it was incredibly frustrating and stressful leading up to the race. I cant even imagine how I could have improved my time if I had actually run MORE THAN 3 TIMES IN THE 5 WEEKS LEADING UP TO THE RACE. I'm not even kidding....I knew running was mental, but there is so much more to this. But this will have to be another post...back to the training! :)

I viewed a few of the training schedules, and most consisted of a longer run on the weekends, tempo or interval speed training one day, and a few shorter runs throughout the week. Also noted was the 2 days of REST per week, usually following the longer distance run. Since I do most of my running outside (except for the few occasions on the DREADmill) and I do not have a gym membership, I found that most of the training programs for beginning/intermediate runners included 4x400 interval speed training on the track, which would be difficult on the roads I run (although I could improvise by sprinting blocks in Downtown Seattle....hmmm, maybe not!) I then made up this basic schedule for the half:

  
 Super high-tech photo of my chart

  
And yes, I did put a logo on it for inspiration :)

I figure running between 20-30 miles per week is enough training for the half, right? Since I injured myself so easily by overusing the piriformis muscle, I figure that the mileage is only miles I run, and not time spent on the elliptical machine. By the way, running and elliptical are NOT the same, but at least it is some cardio.

Does anyone else have a plan for running a half, or do you just run?

After making my beautiful color coded chart, I ran 6 miles in the wind. I literally thought I might be blown off the sidewalk! Even though I was running into the wind, I somehow managed a 9:20 minute pace per mile. Not bad for not trying to run fast, I thought it would have been more like 11 minutes per mile! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

El Niño!



"I am El Nino. Yo soy El Nino. For those of you who don't habla espanol, El Nino is Spanish for: The Nino." 

 I hope you all have seen this clip....if not, go here to watch. Chris Farley was hilarious!

Anyways, while on my 4 mile run last night, I was amazed on how unseasonably WARM it was. Don't go and grab your bikinis and shades now, it's still cold, but it was about 15 degrees warmer than I expected. Although it was 9 pm, windy and raining, it was still a warm 54 degrees! I mean, there were a few gusts out there that felt easily into the 60's! I felt like I was running through a tropical breeze!! I kept laughing to myself because all I could think about was Chris Farley...

Not sure if this is an El Niño or La Niña year (I have actually seen reports that it could be either. I believe El Niño makes the winter's warmer, but El Nina makes it warmer and wetter. So far we have seen both this year!!) but I love that it is not absolutely FREEZING when I am running. I don't mind running in the rain if it is above 50! Ill just have to remember to bring my fleece jacket to keep me warm on the drive home :(

Hopefully it will be that warm again tonight on my run!

Image from here

Monday, January 11, 2010

REGISTERED : Mercer Island Half Marathon!

Exciting news....I signed up for the Mercer Island Half Marathon! The half marathon will be held on March 21st and the event series also includes a 10k and a 5k as well. I am so excited for my second half marathon!!



This event includes a technical t-shirt and will be chip timed. The race is $60 from now until March 19th, then the fee can go up to $70. This race does not have the same killer hills as the Seattle Half, but it does seem to have more hills with a higher elevation gain. It should also be much less crowded, as this event is expected to bring in around 4,000 runners, while the Seattle Half had over 12,000.

I'm SUPER excited! This time I will plan out my training in advance. **Crosses fingers for no further injuries!!** Now off to errands and run!!


Benefits: Colon cancer prevention, Swedish Cancer Institute

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Afternoon at Greenlake




Today was an unusually warm and bright day (55 degrees and some sunlight!!) so I packed up and headed out to Greenlake. It was easy to find parking away from the main part of the town (not near the Bar and Grill or Starbucks) so I headed down to the lake. Apparently everyone else in Seattle had the same idea of spending the afternoon at Greenlake! There are two courses that you can take around Greenlake, the inner or outer loops.


Greenlake map via Valentine's Dash
Inner Loop (blue) 2.8 miles
Outer Loop (purple) 3.1 miles

 The inner loops was COMPLETELY packed. There was no way that you could even walk through without getting in the path of others. Although this is the more paved, even and scenic route around the lake, it would have been HELL to try to run through the masses of walkers, dogs, strollers and people sipping their lattes.

I decided on running the outer loop, which was empty. Although it was muddy from the rain and had a few puddles, it was fairly flat and seems to be lit at night (a good thing to keep in mind for night running!) I was able to easily run the first outer loop once around, but quickly became tired from not eating beforehand. I ended up finishing just over 4.1 miles around in about 43 minutes (had some trouble with my radio app on the iPhone which made me stop TWICE!)

Also, after the run you can go to this Peet's Coffee for a latte (which is MUCH better than Starbucks!) and you can look through Super Jock n Jill sports which sponsors several local races including the Torchlight training runs around Greenlake every Thursday in July. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

http://www.superjocknjill.com/


Friday, January 8, 2010

Mind over matter....

After running errands after work, it was already 7:30 by the time I thought about running. Since it was so late and I didn't know what I was up to for the weekend, I could either take the night off or head down to the dreadmill. I decided it was time to face the enemy....

During my hour of procrastination before the run, I decided that I had to do 4 miles on the dreadmill and something had to change from my last run. This time I had the tv on in the gym, and I covered the display, so I could not easily calculate my time or distance. I also had my iPod ready to flip through the songs.

This time the run wasn't as bad as before, although I hated almost every minute of it. I was going to take the advice from Jill and change the pace during the run. But I just wanted to make sure that I could finish the full 4 without stopping. At least I did the 4 miles in under 40 minutes!

Scoreboard:
Sarah 2, Dreadmill 0






Also, I added a new run in June on the Upcoming Races link on the right hand side of the blog. The North Olympic Discovery run is on June 6th, and includes a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k. The course for the marathon is from Sequim to Port Angeles, WA. It looks like a beautiful course, but I plan on running the Rock N Roll Seattle half marathon on June 26th. Maybe Ill make it to the North Olympic for a 10k :)

http://www.nodm.com/

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just a little 10k

After feeling exhausted and not running on Wednesday, I decided to take a long run. I bundled up and was ready to run 6 miles.

The run felt GREAT. It was one of those runs which you feel strong and that you could go forever. I love this sort of night! My pace was a solid 10 minutes per mile, but considering I ran over 6 miles at that pace (and it was chilly) I'm pleased. I was more worried about injuring my hip again if I ran any faster or further.

After the run I went to Google Ped to peg the exact mileage of my run. I actually ran EXACTLY a 10k (or 6.2 miles)!! My time was exactly 62 minutes, which was what I was aiming for. Not too bad for not running a long distance since the Seattle Half! :)





 Seattle lookout


 
Pre-run gearing up in the car

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The DREADmill!

I don't know what it is with the dreadmill, but I cannot stand running on it. I swear it sucks the life right out of me. I used to run on treadmills in high school with no problems, but after learning to run outside (even in the cold or rain) I am bored out of my mind running in one place. Even with my iPod or radio AND the TV in my apartment's gym on, I am bored and exhausted in minutes!

Last night I was going to either run 4 miles on the dreadmill OR 6 miles at Alki. I'm not kidding, but it is much easier to run at Alki for 6, and I would have better than a 10 minute mile pace. The treadmill is so repetitive AND I CANNOT STAND IT!

I started running and at first it wasn't a problem. I listened to the first part of my iPod mix, then became bored and started to switch songs. I felt that I had been running awhile and looked down to see that less than 3 minutes had gone by! The entire time after that I couldn't help but look down at the time elapsed, and then proceed to figure out how much more time I had left.

  
The DREADmill itself

Mission accomplished!

Delirious and a little too posed, ha 

Luckily I was able to run the 4 miles in just under 40 minutes, but it wasn't easy. I was thoroughly exhausted but I beat the enemy! I seriously don't know how people can run in gym's, it is mind numbing!

Scoreboard:
Sarah 1, DREADmill 0

Since it is already dark and I don't have time to go to Alki, I might be facing the enemy again tonight. Grrrr.... we shall meet again!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Updates and Research

Ive been bad....I haven't run the past 2 nights; I think the holiday craziness finally caught up with me, and I'm exhausted. I have been spending my time updating the blog and adding information from past races, etc. Even though I just started the blog, I wanted to back date races so I could easily find the links, my stats and pictures. After several people have viewed this blog, I decided to mix it up a bit and attempt to change the background/layout. Most of this is fairly easy for a newbie blogger like myself, but I wanted something more than what they have to offer. I found this current layout here, but decided to tweak the HTML so the columns would line up the way I wanted them to. I have to say, its not as easy as it looks! Granted I have NEVER worked with code before, but it is definitely an acquired knowledge! I wish that I had taken classes in college about this, it seems pretty handy now! I have to say that I am rather satisfied with my tweaking of the code :)

I have also noticed that other running blogs have gadgets on the sides that keep track of their daily runs, YTD totals, pace per mile, etc. Considering I have been running for a few months and only tracking it randomly on my calendar, I thought adding the miles to a blog was a great way to do it. Not only are the other bloggers doing this, but they are using GPS devices to log the miles for them. What a BRILLIANT idea!


After doing a few hours of research, it seems that there are two main ways to log your miles electronically, through the Garmin Forerunner products, or the Nike + line. While the Nike + line ($19-29 for the sensor) is currently cheaper than the Garmin Products ($149-399) you need to have an iPod Nano or current model of iPhone to use this. It seems that this can be a good way to log miles (when you plug the iPod/iPhone into your PC, it uploads your workouts for you and keeps track. The downside is that the pedometer is not very reliable and you have to input what your pace per mile is....meaning if you tell the Nike + that you will run a 9 minute mile, and you end up running a 10 minute mile, your mileage and pace will be off. I don't know about you, but that isn't for me!


From learning that in the reviews, I would much rather prefer the Garmin Forerunner series:







 While larger and somewhat bulky, the Forerunner series all keeps track of your mileage, pace and distance through GPS satellites. You can also keep track of certain routes, elevation and calories burned per workout. All information can be uploaded (wireless or not) to their website. The 205 and 305 all have positive reviews for ease of use and accuracy, but some complaints about the larger size. The 405 can do all of the above with the addition of a heart monitor, but the software seems to have a few bugs (not to mention it is $299!). The only issue is that if you run on the treadmill (DREADmill) you will need to buy a food pod to count your miles. **Not sure if you can add miles to the Garmin website if you ran on a treadmill, this might be the only way to upload them.


Though models can vary in specifications and size, I think the Garmin 305 ($199) is officially on my wish list! Granted I have not used any of these products before, but they seem amazing, and that many user reviews cannot be wrong! I cant imagine running off my normal routes and literally "without borders." I am so used to running, keeping track of my time, then coming home to use the Google Pedometer to peg the route I took. This would be so much easier....


Yep, the Forerunner is on my wish list...
 


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Heat wave...

Well, not really, but it was unseasonably warm and beautiful in Seattle. It was 50 degrees and sunny out! An absolutely beautiful day to go for a run. Since it was sunny AND light out, I ran through Belltown and Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront. Along the way to Myrtle Edwards, I also run through the Olympic Sculpture Park.


Puget Sound sunset from the park

I have run this route many times before, and it is one of my favorites. There are slight hills, but not too strenuous. The path is also fairly flat, so you have no need to worry about tripping on roots or uneven pavement. The only downside to the park is that it is not well lit, so you would need to run during daylight.

I had thought that the route I took was just over 4.5 miles, and I felt pretty good running it. After getting back home, I noticed that it took me just over an hour (!!) Usually I run a consistent 10 minutes/mile pace, so I was a little shocked at my time. I immediately went to this website to track my course and found that it was a 5.8 mile run! That makes my hour long run a little more satisfying! That was just short of a 10k! Woo hoo!

Guess that just proves that you need to track your course! It can make a huge difference in your pace!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting it off right

Happy New Years! After having a little too much fun and staying up waaay to late, I took the day off from running. Since I had run the past 3 days, I thought that was okay to do (and I didn't want to injure myself by running too much again). I did accomplish one thing though, I signed up for the Henry Weinhard's St. Patrick's Day Dash


Sunday, March 14
3.8 Miles

Even thought this is a few months away, I thought it would keep me motivated and running in the meantime. I have wanted to do this run in the past, since the route used to go through Belltown (this year it goes on 99 and back) but it always falls the weekend or day before my birthday, which is March 15th. This year I plan on hopefully having people celebrate by running with me! Also, they serve green beer at the end of the race, which I think is excelent motivation for the run :)