Monday, March 29, 2010

The Return of My Running Partner-Duke

Some of you who have followed my blog may remember good and bad discussions about my running partner, Duke, aka "Dukas", "Dukey, "Dukas the Mukas".

This year, Andy has been riding his bike alongside me and together we have been training Duke to go the distance. This weekend, Duke broke new ground. He made it through a 6 mile run!! Granted, there was still some cheerleading to get him to the finish point towards the end. He started to lag right around the 4 mile mark and we had to keep telling him to focus.

Hopefully we will be able to get him to run even further this summer. How far do your dogs run with you?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Max Moto and Me

Let me introduce you new kicks. Nothing really suprising here. They are the new Max Moto +7. I actually liked my old Max Motos and they were starting to really wear down so it was time to invest in some new ones. I had a hard time tracking them down after going to a few stores that were sold out of my size--but finally hunted them down at Sports Authority. I usually buy my shoes from local running stores but they had them on sale and actually had my size!
This weekend's runs went pretty well. I had a 3 miler on Friday and Saturday and then a 5 miler on Sunday. My knee is starting to bug me a bit when I'm not running (the one that I hit when I took the tumble up the stairs). It is a pain I haven't really felt before--more on the interior right side of my knee. I'm hoping it just goes away because it doesn't seem to bug me too much when I'm running--just when I'm walking or getting up and down.
This week is going to be a bit of a challenge with fitting my runs in as I have night class 3 days this week. Tonight it supposed to be a "strength and stretch" night but I was thinking about doing tomm's 3 miler tonight so I don't have to worry about it tomm when I have class. On the other hand, I really want to allow some time for this knee to recoup from the 3 runs this weekend so I don't know what I'm going to do. I may just need to try to squeeze me 3 miler in on my lunch break tomm....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Wonderful Start

Tuesday's Workout: 3 miles-30 min, 150 crunches
Wednesday's Workout: 3 miles (5 x 400 intervals) 28 minutes, arm lifts

There is nothing like spring break to kickstart the running season. This week I haven't had class at all because both of the colleges that I attend are on spring break! How lucky am I? It just so happens to be Week 1 of my half marathon training as well.

I've decided to step up the training a little this year to increase speed since I am only doing half marathons. I will be following Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan for the most part. I will be substituting a few of my slow runs with some cross training on the bike since Hal doesn't really call for cross training in this plan and that is where he suggests it fall if I integrate it.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday's runs felt amazing. I think not having class really has attributed to the great runs this week so I am a little scared about next week's runs when I am for a lack of a better way of saying it, "run down" again. But we'll worry about that day when it comes. For right now--I couldn't feel better. I had a great interval run yesterday and I'm thinking that I might actually meet my goal of getting faster this year.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately--in the 60's. I've gotten a few outdoor runs in and am really excited for the spring/summer where I can actually enjoy running outside!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Your Left

Andy and I headed out for a bike ride this weekend. First, we took Duke (the dog) for a short 4 mile ride (he ran) before he got pooped out and we needed to return him to the house. It was in the 60's yesterday in Minnesota and Andy and I really couldn't resist riding just a little more so we decided to load our bikes up and head down to the Southwest LRT Trail going from Hopkins to Lake Calhoun (approx. 16 miles). All in all--it was a good ride. However, it was extremely busy around Lake Calhoun and every 30 seconds I heard "On your left" in my left ear. In fact, one time there was clearly a pack of people on my right when this woman came up behind me shouting, "On your left!" I wanted to scream back, "People on my right!!". I don't mind getting over but clearly when I don't have the option--then why shout at me to do so?

Anyways, this also brought up the point that either I am really slow or my bike is not equipped to go fast. I was pedaling at a consistent speed the entire ride in the highest gear I could (very flat trails). Everyone was passing us. Andy had to frequently coast because I was evidently not fast enough. Granted, I am still riding a mtn bike and most of them were on road bikes. Andy said we averaged about 13 miles per hour (he has a bike computer). I really don't know if that is slow--but it appeared like it was when everyone was shouting "on your left" at us.

I really do enjoy biking because it allows me to do some cross training with Andy. But I think I still tend to fare better in my old running shoes. :-)

Day 1 of half marathon training starts today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Busy Season

This year looks like it will be a very busy running season. I just signed up for another half marathon--the Minneapolis Half-- and will start training next week. I have also signed up for the Get in Gear 10k to run with the NF Endurance Team in April. The rest of the season has at least 2 other half marathons (possibly a third), the Twin Cities 10 mile if I make the lottery, and a few other 5k races. I'll post the full schedule soon.

I did get a run in on Monday but it wasn't the greatest run. My left foot and calf were killing me right away and I tried to run through it but was having some difficulty. I ended up running 2 miles before I hit the eliptical for 15 minutes. I was really frustrated and just wanted to go home but somehow convinced myself to hop back on the treadmill for another mile. I didn't get a run in yesterday because I had class until 10 and still have yet to manage waking up at 5 am. Tonight is Andy's birthday so I will be spending quality time with him and hoping that there is some time somewhere to get a workout in--but not entirely counting on it. If not, I hope to at least attempt the 5 am workout as I have night class tomm and Friday. If you haven't figured it out--this training for the half marathon is going to be a bit like a rubix cube with my time. Hopefully I'll figure it all out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Organizing a RACE!!!

Yesterday's Mileage in the Bank: 3 miles
3/12 abductors and adductors, 30 min on the "half-eliptical"

I've come up with some crazy ideas for fundraising for the NF Endurance Team this year. My cousin, Stephanie, has joined the team this year as well and we will be completing a few races together as "Team Highlighters". I'm hoping I find some snazzy bright yellow shoes to go with our highlighter theme...

Anyways, back to the fundraising. I thought up this crazy idea to actually organize a race. I presented it to my cousin and she thought it was a great idea. It turns out though--she doesn't want to do it up here in the TC but down in Kansas City (where she lives) because she has more pull with the city down there (she is a lawyer). With the whole student teaching thing looming over my head these days--I decided that perhaps she was right and we should just start with the KC area for now. This makes planning a little more difficult from a distance but I will figure it out. I don't want to divulge too much but we are really hoping to make this race a unique one. I'd love your input, what do you think makes a good race?

Spring is almost in the air. It has been 40 degrees here this week. I've seen many posts on facebook about outdoor runs lately--love it! I, myself, have not made it outside to run. I'm hoping I get one run in outside tomm. We'll see what happens.

OH! Almost forgot to tell you--I have updated my fundraising link on the left for this year's fundraiser. I am hoping to do raffles again this year for those people who donate and I will announce those as they come in.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

5 Mile Ride

Andy recently bought a new Trek hybrid bike for his upcoming birthday so yesterday we decided to take it out for a spin. I am still riding a cheap-o mountain Schwinn but it all works. It was almost 40 degrees yesterday so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the warmer weather.

We must have been going at tortoise speed because somehow we only made it about 5 miles in an hour--this is slower than what I run! Not entirely sure what is to blame for our tortoise speed other than a few occasional breaks and the fact that my bike was a bit rickety. The first break that we took was because my ears were killing me from the cold (I was not smart enough to actually put on a hat). I had to put my hood up over my head which made the task of looking for cars all that more interesting.

I tried to stand on my bike and ride a few times and the pedals were moving pretty stiff so I decided that wasn't working out so well.

Overall it was a good ride. For some reason--I never imagined hills would be difficult on a bike--but even in the lowest gear they were challenging on my bike. Andy came back to the house feeling like he didn't have much of a workout while my legs were tired from all of the hills.

Anyways, hopefully we continue biking as the weather gets nicer so I can actually put reason to buying a better bike.