Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Longest 8 miles ever!

Run Time: 1:15 min Run Distance: 8.5 miles

So I switched my long runs to Wednesdays. Yesterday I was pumped to be getting it done earlier in the week. It's so hard to do a long run on the weekend because my mind is really back relaxing with Andy. So I figured out that I'm the most focused on the weekdays.

Anyway, I drove all the way home in rush hour again yesterday because there was no way that I was running 8 miles on the treadmill when it was so nice outside (plus I knew it was going to rain for the next few days). So anyway, the drive home was quite exhausting. I almost fell asleep at the wheel a few times. For some put me to sleep. Which really isn't a good thing when you are sitting in rush hour traffic trying to get home. But I digress. The purpose behind me telling you that is maybe to somehow suggest some sort of explanation for what happened later...

My 8 mile run was really a struggle. My legs were sore, which definetly is a first for me. I never get sore legs during my run. I'm thinking this may be caused by the fact that I needed to wear my old shoes for my run yesterday (cuz my new shoes were soaked still). But anyway, my legs did not want to move. I felt like a tortoise the entire run. Granted...according to my Nike+ I was running 9:30. Which is okay. BUT...I have a feeling my Nike+ system is a little off because I have yet to calibrate it. And I have tested it on the treadmill and it was off by a teeny bit. One of these days I need to calibrate.

But anyways, so thus the reason I ran 8.5 miles as well. I'm sure you are thinking, if she was struggling with 8...why did she go 8.5? Well it's because I was attempting overcompensate whatever goof ups my Nike+ system might have going on.

Anyways, the run was a big struggle. I was exhausted at 4 miles and I still had 4 more to go. But I trudged through and made it. I don't understand why it was so hard for me though. There are days when I can run forever (my 10 mile day). There are days when I HAVE to tell myself to stop but yesterday I was like pulling my legs and body through it.

And today...I'm sore. I had the hardest time sleeping last night. I woke up a million times despite the fact that I felt extremely tired. My muscles are so sore today. My legs feel like they are ice blocks. Ah! I hope my next long run isn't this bad!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why I Run

Run Time: 40 minutes Run Distance: 4 miles

It is either the greatest question you can ask a runner or the most dreaded question by runners. "Why do you run?" Most of the time it is asked in a sarcastic way . And usually the runner will have a long explanation in their head that can't translate into words. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn't run. But here goes my explanation:

I run because first of all it keeps me in shape. But that is only the outer shell to why I run. There are dozens of things that I could do to stay in shape but I continue to run. I run because it opens my pores. It makes me feel like I'm on an adventure. I get to explore and challenge myself in a way that I am not challenged anywhere else. I am able to push my limits. I am able to clear my head. I can feel the rhythm of my body as it charges forward and I can zone out if I want to. I can also be totally tuned in to my body and the way that it moves, pushing it further than it has gone before. Listening to the light tap of my toes on the ground and trying hard to make that tap quicker. Feeling the fresh air open up my lungs on a beautiful day. Running past the trees that have beautiful wood and flower smells to them. Running past the little kids playing baseball outside or seeing a father teach his kid how to ride a bike. You get to see a quick glimpse into the lives of the people in the areas that your run. Feeling the cool sweat on the back of your neck when your finish a run. Knowing that the next time you run, it will be a whole new experience.

Now it's your turn...why do you run? I know I'm not the only one who is asked this!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Running in a Storm: Not Suggested

Friday Run Distance: 5 miles Friday Run Time 41 minutes

Saturday Run Distance: 3 miles Saturday Run Time: 25 minutes

Sunday Run Distance: Unknown (3 miles??) Sunday Run Time: 30 minutes?

The good news: Friday's run was amazing. I was scheduled for a tempo run and somehow I ended up running at a pace of 8:15 for 3 miles. (Mile 1 and 2 were supposed to be warm up/cool down but somehow I still ended up running at a decent pace for those too). But anyway, I was very happy about the 8:15 min/mile.

Saturday's run was great as well. Woke up early so that I could get a 3 mile run in before the busy day.

Now Sunday...I was supposed to get an 8 mile run in. It was kind of gloomy and stormy all day and so when it finally got a bit sunny out...I decided to head out. Well prior to my leaving, I saw "severe weather" alerts on the tv. I shrugged it off because so often those alerts don't really mean severe weather in your area. I took off running and noticed some really nasty looking clouds in the distance and some lightening. I was at Andy's house and I haven't ran over there yet so it was a challenge in itself just to make sure that I remembered my journey so I could easily return. Luckily, Andy had suggested I take my phone. I actually ended up needing it anyway because I had forgotten my Nike + receiver after charging it and thus couldn't figure out mileage. Anyhow...I'm headed out and as I saw the clouds I kept battling with "Should I go back, it is lightening," to "but Alien says that it's nice to run in the rain". And so I was waiting for the sprinkle drops, not really thinking about a major storm. But I kept on running for a good 20 mintues. But then, eventually the sky started to look really scary and I heard sirens going off in the town over. So I headed back. I texted Andy to let him know that I was headed back so that he could come find me if I didn't return within a reasonable timeframe. Just as I turn the corner onto Andy's pours. And I mean...not just a sprinkle. The street was flooding beneath my feet and my running shoes were soaked. Then the hail started in...Yes...hail...pelting my back! Andy called me and all he could hear was "ahhhhh!" So finally I made it Andy's house...soaked and looking like a wet dog. About 10-15 minutes later baseball sized hail was falling. I'm quite lucky I wasn't stuck in THAT. I'm pretty sure I would have been knocked out and on the side of the road somewhere.

Lesson Learned: Do not run when the skys are turning dark.

Oh and on a side note...there was a tornado that touched down a few towns over. (And if you've see the national that touched down about 20 miles away that devestated the town of Hugo.

Needless to say...I didn't get my 8 mile run in. But I'm sure to get it in this week because I've rearranged my schedule to have my long runs on Wednesdays to avoid the hassle of fitting it into a busy Sunday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

So unfortunately I have nothing to report for running. I actually used my rest day on Wednesday as a rest day because I was exhausted. Then Thursday rolled around and I ended up staying late at work and therefore had no extra time to fit in my 5 mile tempo run because my stomach was growling and I needed to eat or I would faint of exhaustion. So...thus I am fitting 5 mile tempo run in today and then shifting everything else to the right one day and filling in the other rest day they gave me. Yea...3 rest days...highly strange...but I do use some of them for cross training so that's good.

On a side note...I left my cell phone at Andy's house (the bf) this morning or lost it (one or the other). And yea...Andy has this dog that likes cell phones so I'm praying that he didn't try to "talk" on it. I feel sooo odd without it. And what is really sad is that I'm supposed to hang with some friends tonight but I don't have any way of calling them because their phone numbers are stored in my phone. I know that had absolutely nothing to do with running but I'm a little uneasy today because I feel like I'm disconnected from the world (without the net later too! ) I'm hoping it doesn't affect my run too much.

And memoir. Chris tagged me on this memoir game thing and I had originally planned on including spiffy pictures but I don't really have the time today. But here is my memoir in 6 words...

Ex-journalist. Soon Teaching. Now Running.

And I am supposed to tag 5 more people but all of the bloggers that read my blog have already been tagged! Yikes! I need to network more or something. So I'll just say, if you are reading this and you aren't a usual commenter, then let me know and then I'll tag you!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Monday: Eliptical intervals-30 minutes, bike- 10 minutes, 3/15 arm pull things @ 60 lbs, 3/15 chest press @ 70 lbs, 150 crunches

Tuesday: 4 mile run-35 minutes, .5 walk, 3/15 abductors @ 80 lbs, 3/15 adductors @ 70 lbs

I guess Monday was really supposed to be a "rest/x-training" day and I'm not used to this whole resting on a weekday thing so I ended up putting a lot of work into my cross training. I think I may have to readjust this schedule because weekdays seem to be so much better for me getting these things done. I know it would be better to spread my rest days out but I think they would at least be better suited towards the weekend. I have another one today and although my body is definetly telling me a rest is needed, my mind is going to tell me otherwise. I hate the idea of sitting in traffic to get home when I could be at the gym. I struggled through those 4 miles yesterday for some reason. I think it was because the treadmill I was on was near the window and it was soooo hot! That and my legs felt kind of stiff. I'm thinking the hard eliptical workout the day before did that...yikes.

Anyways, as far as that marathon's still a contemplation. I know we've been through this already. It's odd...I know I'd be ready and I really want to do it. The problem is that I don't know that I will feasibly have enough time in my day to train at that period in time. That and I kind of don't want to overshadow my raising funds during the half marathon...But I guess we'll see. I'm at least going to attempt to get in for the Twin Cities 10 mile. It's a lottery system to get in but then I could at least be involved with the whole big shindig that is the Twin Cities Marathon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quick Question

Okay so I have a few dilemmas. I know 2 blogs in one can tell where my mind is!

Chris's comment on my last blog made me actually pull out the training plan to take a look at it and thus began this cycle of thinking about running. I find it interesting how much running consumes your mind. Anyway...back to the question. I had originally planned on using the Hal Higdon Half Marathon training plan but at a sudden last minute switch, I went over and made a customized Runner's World training plan. The dilemma says I should be running most of my runs at a 12:18-12:26 pace. This is sooo much slower than what my pace currently is. I'm not sure how they calculated that pace but I'm going to feel like a tortoise trying to run at that pace. My average pace right now has been about 9:20. What are your suggestions? I'm thinking I should just ignore the pace guidelines they have completely and just pay attention to the distance and type of run (easy, long, tempo, speedwork).

Second...I think I still have this yearning to run the full Twin Cities marathon. I thought it was completely gone until I ran that 10 miler with no problem. I just don't want to add more stress to an already stressful time of year in which I'll have added classes. But anyway, I know I should put it off until next year ideally but just so you's on my mind...yikes.

And so it begins...

Running Distance: 6 miles Run Time: 55 minutes

I went for a nice 6 mile run on Sunday. Actually, it was rather tough. I don't usually run on Sundays but I missed Thursday and Friday's runs because of classes and a school board meeting for class. It didn't really help that it was a tad bit chilly and windy outside and my ears were killing me as a result. Somehow I made it back in a decent time...

Today is my first day of my training plan for the half marathon. I think I'm set to run 3 miles. It's going to be pretty tough to run these short runs on the days they tell me to because I tend to get carried away and keep running.

I checked out a book at the library that looks intersting. It's a Runner's World book on women's running. Hopefully I get to crack it open busy lately!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A New Distance PR

Run Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes Run Distance: 10 Miles

So yesterday was a very nice day by the time afternoon rolled around. I fought traffic just so that I could get an outdoor run in on the trails by my house. (In rush hour it takes me over an hour to get home so to avoid rush hour usually I go to the gym). Anyways, yesterday I hit 10 miles. Now...I understand that this is a big leap for someone who has been taking some lighter runs the past few weeks in an attempt to get rid of side stitches...but hear me out...

So I'm running....It's gorgeous outside, the wind is blowing just perfect so that you aren't blown away yet are nicely cooled. The trails are packed with cyclists, rollerbladers and a few fellow runners. I've found that it really helps to see other people when I run because then there are so many more distractions to take in. I was really enjoying this run and you could tell because before I knew it I was 4 miles out. Well, I really could have stopped there...but I wanted to see what was ahead. I've decided this might be a little trouble spot to my running on these trails. I keep wanting to charge ahead to see what's up there. Yesterday I ran clear into another city just to see what was ahead. But anyway, I went another mile and then turned back around at 5 because I knew that it would then be 10 miles by the time I returned. Although I really do still want to know what's out there...I guess I'll have to bike it someday.

But anyway, that's how I ended up with a 10 mile run. The run back was clearly not as exciting as the run out there. But it was odd...I didn't really feel exhausted or extremely sore. My body did start to shoot out some warning signals towards the end...however I finished feeling like I had just finished 3 miles. It was really odd. I didn't feel extremely exhausted right away. But I definetly feel a little more sore today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sick of 60's

X-Training Elipticals: 50 minutes, 3/12 chest presses @ 70 lbs

So today a good portion of us Minnesotans are excited because it is going to make it up to 65 or so today. Personally I'd like to see it hit 70. We have been below average in temps for 3 months now (according to Belinda Jenson, one of our lovely weather ladies). Come on though...throw some heat at me!

Anyways, I'm hoping to get an outdoor run in tonight. Yesterday I was planning on it but then just as I got off work it was raining and very chilly. Probably good anyway to save myself from the tempation of running when I should be doing cross training.

I don't have anything else large to report. Maybe later today I'll think of something greater to blog about.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A New Goal!

Run Time: 1:05 Run Distance: 6.25 miles Additional: 150 crunches, 3/15 @ 80 Abductors and Adductors

After running the Race for the Cure, I decided that I really did like the whole "running for a purpose" mentality. I saw crowds of people who were running because breast cancer had struck their family. My aunt had breast cancer and I did put a tribute tag to her on my back, but since I don't see her everyday and in fact don't see her much, it wasn't something that hit me really hard. I wasn't around to see her battle.

But there is something that strikes my family pretty hard. It is Neurofibromatosis. It is a form of a cancer that has taken the lives of my grandmother and my uncle at early ages and affected many more distant cousins and aunts of mine. It runs in the family and can also be inherited without a family tie. While they have found the gene that is affected by this disease, they have yet to find a cure.

I have decided to turn my half marathon into a fundraising event as well. I would like to reach $1,000. I believe that with a great network of runners and a family that knows this disease well, I can reach that goal. Please help if you can. Your support and thoughts are appreciated nonetheless. I now have a mental focus to complete my half marathon. I will be running with my grandmother and uncle in mind. I have added a widget to my blog to assist with donations.

On a side note:

Yesterday I ran...(drumroll please) without significant side stitches!!!! Yay!!! I did have a few very small ones in the beginning but I made it 6 miles without sharp pains!!! Woohoo!!

And yes plan was go take it chill this week. However I ended up in a packed gym yesterday. Every single eliptical and bike was taken and I needed some sort of cardio. So I jumped on the treadmill and ended up very suprised...

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Race!!

Yesterday was my first race. I'm going to post my race time underneath the story because you really have to understand why it was the way it was.

Anyway, I woke up at 5 am and got ready to go. Was feeling great yet a little anxious. I knew it was only a 5k and nothing to really sweat. I woke up Andy (the bf) around 5:45 am and we headed out the door.

We got to the Mall of America at approximately 6:45ish. It was freezing cold!! The wind was pretty fierce and it was quite chilly. I was lucky that I had brought my Nike running jacket but was really wishing I had a hat. (The hat I'm wearing I picked up after the race).

Anyways, Andy was there to support me but didn't run this time around. I'm grateful he was there. He walked over with me to the start line where two of our news personalities were announcing the start of the race. Andy took off in search of the finish line while I stood there and waited for the start. When the race finally started, I realized that my time wasn't going to matter at all. It took us a good 10 minutes just to clear the start line. There were 7500 runners trying to get through one street. The view of all of the people was spectacular though. I didn't really get to my own pace until about mile 1.5. I was actually shocked when we passed the 1 mile marker and I was still jogging and trying to weave in and out of slower runners. It was quite the experience because it really wasn't a race to was more of a greater race for a cause. But it was a good experience and supported a good cause which is what I wanted.

Anyways, I ended up doing a lot of weaving in and out of people and dodging people. I found a strategy to follow the faster runners because they cleared the crowd and all I had to do was follow.

I finished with official time of 31:00 with no side stitches (until I stopped at the very end!). But awesome! Anyways, obviously it took me at least 2 minutes to get through the start line and I would have had a faster time had I not been dodging slower runners but it was pretty good considering.

Along the notes of the side stitches...I may have potentially found the cause. The doctor was probably right with the pulled muscle theory as Andy was pushing on my side Saturday night to try to find the problem and Eureka...he hit a very sore spot on my right side. So it looks like the doctor may have been right.

Anyways, after the race we went through all of the pink booths, gathered a bunch of crap and then went home. And here is a picture of Andy after we returned ...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ready for Pink

Run Time: 35 min Run Distance: 3.75 miles Eliptical Time: 30 Minutes Additional 3/15 Abductors @80 lbs, 3/15 adductors @ 80 lbs

So yesterday was horrible for the side stitches. I had them from the time I stepped on the treadmill until the time I stepped off. I tried so hard to get them to go away but had no luck whatsoever. So I toughed it out and figured if I could at least make it to my 5k mark I'd be okay. Then I hit the elipticals and did a moderate workout there. Not real pleased with yesterday's training but I can't really do anything about it. At this point I really wish I could just push some magic button and make these stupid side stitches go away!

Anyways, this Sunday is the Race for the Cure. I think I'm at least ready for that. And then dun dun weekend I begin official training for my half marathon (as in a set schedule of distances)!!

Oh and the no internet at the apt issue is hopefully going to be resolved. We were being internet pirates up until about a month ago the pirated people figured out how to secure their network. So thus leaving us without the free usage of internet. But soon I think I've convinced my roommate that internet is essential.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Fish at Sea

Distance: 7 miles Time: 1:16

Yesterday I was actually starting to feel better so I decided to go for a run. It was in the 60's here and actually quite pretty outside so I decided to take my new Nike + system to the trails. Well...I don't have the internet at home right now so I had no music on the Nano. BUT I figured out that the Nike+ system still works without it. So...yes...I was a dork running around with headphones in my ears and no music playing in them. But the Nike+ feature was excellent. I set out on a trail that I had been wondering about for quite some time and realized it goes clear into the Cities. It was so beautiful outside with tons of cyclists and roller bladers galore on the trail.

I loved being able to run outside and knowing how far I'd gone. However, I ended up with a killer dose of side stitches again. But for the most part I was able to control them. The real killer was the runny nose factor. My nose started burning something fierce at about Mile 3.5. So I began walking to try to prevent the running nose. And then realized hey...I'm going to have to make it home 3.5 miles! Yikes...forgetting about return time is not a good thing. The trail was just so beautiful that I wanted to keep going. Anyways, I ended up with some pretty bad side stitches part way through the return (while walking). But then they went away after a mile or so and I ended up running the last portion. It was actually an interesting run/walk yesterday. The Nike+ system told me that my pace was 8:10 which is actually greater than my pace on the TM so I figured this may have been why the side stitches were pretty bad. I have a harder time trying to stay at a slower pace when I'm outside. But maybe the side stitches will just go away and I won't have to keep worrying about it. One can only hope that some miracle will happen.

Tonight is likely my last workout before the 5K this weekend. I have class tomm until 10:00 pm and then class on Saturday. It looks like I'll probably be running the 5K in the rain and cold. But oh well...I'll deal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ugh, Sickling here.

Yes I've been absent due to a large amount of reasons. And I'm swamped at work now as a result so this will be short. I'm sick. Like fever sick. So there was no running this weekend. I did go to the doctor about the side stitches. He told me that I probably pulled a muscle in my abdomen and that the only thing I can do is "take it easy" and "readjust my goals for my half marathon". I'm not entirely sure I believe that it is a pulled muscle and I'm kind of stubborn in my ways and am probably not going to be "biking" it up like he told me to. He told me to not run as much. Yea....riiiiiiight. I need to be training. I wish I could get a second opinion but I fear another doctor telling me the same thing...

Anyway today has been horrendous and I must return to the piles of work on my desk. I will update sometime. And please do excuse the fact that I haven't gotten a chance to look at any of your blogs lately. I promise I'll do it when I have some time here. I hope your half marathon went well Alien!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The X-Training

Combined Cardio Time: 1 Hour Activities: Biking(1 mile?), Running(2 miles), and Elipticals (3+ Miles) Additional: 3/15 Abductors @ 80 lbs

So yesterday I had planned on doing some cross training. I had a good half hour on the eliptical and then attempted to do some interval training. Key word: attempted. I made it through one interval and immediately upon "slow down" the side stitch problem came in full force. So the rest of my very short run was me attempting to ignore pain.

So anyways, cross training successful. I'm supposed to be receiving my Nano soon so I'm excited for that. I'll finally be joining the Nike+ fan club. hehe.

I've found a link to some useful cross training ideas for runners. Take a look. Running Journal