Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Human Body Baffles Me

That, my friends, is a bruise^^^^^^. I'm not really sure how to explain it, except it followed the discomfort I had with yesterday's run. It's the kind of bruise I have inflicted upon myself when in my clumsiness I smacked myself on a chair in passing or something like that. Things are sore today and feel a bit banged up and stiff in areas. I guess it isn't really excessively so though.  I did some rolling out, icing and wore a brace for a while and such yesterday and today. I don't really know what to say except that the human body baffles me sometimes. I'm sure I will still be able to get out there and run on Monday. I'm actually really looking forward to hitting the ground running and cranking up the mileage in April!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mileage Totals: {March}-ing Behind...

January Total: 56.8
February Total: 61.39
March Total: 52.49

Total: 170.68

Thanks to my shin, and the lack of mileage early on in the month, March was my lowest mileage month yet :( I am quite a bit behind (by 80 miles overall) :( I don't want to think about it because I can only go so far as my legs will let me without injuring myself. As per my workout plan for April, if I stick to it to the letter I will hit 80 miles. I need to be doing 83.3 miles per month so I am just not quite there!

But I have a few ideas:

Add one mile to the ends of shorter runs (3 miler to 4 miler, 4 miler to 5 miler) especially if I'm feeling really good.

Run more days of the week while keeping those extras a little shorter (3-milers).

In the evenings, steal away for 30 minutes to do an extra 3 miles on the treadmill (daily doubles)

On cross-training days, do like 2 miles as a warm up.

And Nine Turns to Five...

Ahhh, the journey of a runner.

There you have it...feeling injured, which is never good news. My left shin is banged back up(actually it is pretty localized to my superior/medial ankle region). I'm sitting here in my smelly, sweaty clothes with my left leg elevated, in compression socks with an ice pack wrapped around it. It's hurting. Nothing major I'm sure, but it was just one of those days. My first mile went great, but at about mile 2 and on my shin was just killing me...a throbbing type of discomfort which turned to pain. It would localize hear my ankle, then up the medial side, then throb deeper. I was really hoping it would go away but it just kept feeling worse and worse. I knew better than to push it but I was quite a ways from my house so I was forced to run farther than I would in the interest of avoiding injury. I was shooting for 9 but I'm not too bummed. As long as I didn't hurt myself bad.

The good news is that while it has been raining for 4 days now, I was able to avoid it. Everything BUT my left shin felt great, that is also good news. And hey, I did add 5 miles to my calendar so that's good. But I will be taking it easy through the weekend, icing, rolling and compressing my shins.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Garage Workouts Rock

Run/Workout: 3 miles
Location: My (newly cleaned) garage-Treadmill
Run Time (if applicable): 30:08
Run Start: 8:45 am
Temperature: ??
Weather: cloudy and pouring down rain outside, but dry inside! 


Today I continued on my half marathon training plan with three miles and added those strength training moves I'm glad I have started doing! 

10 minute walk warm-up
10 stairs
10 burpees
25 mountain climbers
15 heel raises
25 high knees (each leg)
25 butt kicks (each leg)
40 x-jacks

Then I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, which went fine! Listened to my iPod but didn't try to track my run, I just used the treadmill stats. I find it strange, but it seems like to me, the treadmill is harder than running outside. A 10:00 pace on the treadmill feels about the same exertion as 9:00 outside. Throughout the run, I did increase my pace gradually. Everything felt good. 

After the run, I walked for an additional 30 minutes; part of my weight-loss efforts.

40 classic crunches
10 push-ups
10 bicycles (each side)
15 tricep dips

Exercise photos. I am not one of those people who try to look all pretty and girly when I workout by the way! Here are a few examples:

 Mountain Climbers
 The stairs I climb

The moral of the is totally possible to get a good workout in your own garage! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Five Miles Plus Fun Extras!!

Today's Workout: 5 Miles on the treadmill! Yay! The sun is gone today, well not gone but hiding behind a whole lot of clouds. It has been sprinkling too and with the kids home for spring break, the most pleasant option was to use the treadmill. I added some plyometrics and strength training which was actually fun! Here's how it went:

5 minute Warm-Up
10 Stairs (we have a set of 16)
25 Mountain Climbers
15 Heel Raises
25 High Knees
25 Butt Kicks
40 X-Jacks (jumping jacks, only your legs cross instead of just come together medially)

Ran 5 miles (collaberated my Nike+ today too which was way off! The pace shown in the picture is not quite correct, but I haven't figured out how to get either the treadmill or the Nike+ to callibrate correctly)

Ended with:

 40 classic crunches
10 push-ups
10 bicycle crunches (10 each side)
15 tricep dips

It felt great! I felt like I got a good all-over body workout. I am going to keep incorporating these moves into my workouts.

Last note:

I have noticed the last few weeks that I have a sort of natural "running personality". Everyone has a comfortable way that they complete a run. Sometimes a person has a tendency to start out fast, loose some steam and maybe finish strong. Some are really good at keeping a steady pace. Some have bouts of faster pushes mixed in with slower slogs. Others take regular walk breaks.

For me I have named my running personality the "Accelerator". It seems what works most naturally for me is to start out at about a 10:00 pace and I slowly accelerate throughout the run, the last mile or two almost always being my strongest. I know racing I start out faster and the whole run is a lot harder, but in normal, everyday runs I follow the "Accelerator" mode.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sandy Beach Run

This morning I got up in a daze as usual (I'm just NOT a morning person) , dragged myself downstairs to make a cup of coffee and tried not to look outside at the dark, cloudy grossness which was our weather for today. What a bummer crappy weather always is to me! Here in Oregon, it seems sunshine is few and far between these days, at least in Winter/early Spring. :( My mood depends so much on the weather, and while I try not to let it, it just does.  It makes me so happy when it is sunny, and likewise, so bummed when it is crappy out!
That being said...God must have heard my inner grumblings because just as the sun really started to rise, so the clouds began to dissipate! Yay for sunshine!!!
Oh glorious blue sky!!
So instead of the treadmill workout I had planned, I suited up and put on my older running shoes to hit the beach. I have wanted to incorporate more of these workouts for a while now, but running on the beach isn't all that great unless it is at least sunny. Otherwise it is just miserable.
Four miles on the beach was pretty fun. It is ALWAYS wonderful getting out in the sunshine and the ocean is just beautiful. The headwind from miles 1-2.75 sucked the big one but the last mile was great, and I f-l-e-w down the beach :)

Pace Stats- notice the Red/Orange heading S then the nice Yellow/Green heading North!
Mileage Stats
 I jogged lightly for a cooldown on the way back and headed home. It really was a pretty day
Tillamook Head at Seaside Beach

Lastly, I have added push-ups, crunches/bicycles and tricep dips to my routine. I do them after my run/during cool-down phase.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Running Stuff I Love, Springtime Edition

This, my friends is the Lululemon Scuba zip-up hoody. I tried it on last weekend while in Portland for the Shamrock Run. It is by far the most comfortable sweatshirt/jacket I have ever put on! It comes at a hefty price ($108) so I am thinking maybe for my birthday next month?? I can't justifying just plopping that kind of money down at the drop of the hat. It wouldn't feel right. But nonetheless, I LOVE this jacket.

I also love the Lulu logo on the hood.

I am an official believer in compression wear! My compression socks have worked wonders for me! I am now wondering about compression calf sleeves for running. My socks are very tight and have been useful for recovery, but they are hell to run in. I'm thinking that possibly if I find some calf sleeves (or socks) that are a level or two less compressive, I would love to run in them. And look at all the colors!!

I am also very intrigued by insoles. I am sure they would be a great help for my high arches/pronation. I had some molded at RoadRunner once, but again, they were pretty high-priced (around $80). I wasn't prepared to throw down that kind of money right then and there for insoles but I have kept it in mind. They felt really, really good. It was nice to feel the sole meet my high arch and offer support.

And now for some fun stuff!! I ran across an easy tutorial for tutu-making and it has gotten me all interested in a tutu! I have a sparkle skirt that I love but honestly it is getting worn out! I think I'd like to try a tutu, especially for the Disneyland Half in September. I have a running tank that I love in a pink pattern so I thought I could dress as one of my favorite princesses-Aurora.

There are also fun and easy ways to make these fabric crowns out of lace, modge podge and gold spray paint. Aren't they pretty?

To be continued...I have to get some stuff done today! Plus it's sunny out so I'm outta here!
The Continuance...(3/31)
Self-Tanning Cream: Let's face it, at this point in the year, my skin is pasty white and I get so sick of it! I do not believe in subjecting myself to voluntary skin cancer risk, so instead I slap on one coating of the self-tanning cream and I feel like a million bucks! Faux or not I don't care, it makes everything look smooth and tone and for some odd reason that in and of itself motivates me to get my workouts in! Weird? Maybe.

100% Whey by Muscle Milk in Chocolate: By pure happenstance my husband had purchased a bunch of this protein powder and not ended up using much of it. Since I don't like to waste "food", I have been using it to make my after-run chocolate shakes. I love it! I use crushed ice that I blend further, add milk and blend some more, then I add the powder and mix it all up. It really does taste like a chocolate milkshake and isn't too many calories (I think it comes to 140 calories for the mix and 170 calories for the fat free milk).

Love this Lulu skirt...but funny thing is that once you hit their website, the skirt is not available. Probably just not available yet.

"It's not sweat, it's pixie dust!" Shirt : This is too cute!

My foam roller: This baby will probably make my list more often than most other things. It saves my tendons and ligaments!

I will leave you with some Inspiration:

Leaving the Funk on the Road

Today I had the most stressful morning!! I had every intention and permission to sleep in but instead was awake before dawn thanks to my 6-year-old son. He also followed me downstairs as I trudged down to make coffee. Instead of waking up quietly and enjoying my 15 minutes of quiet wake-up time, I got to listen to requests for different breakfast foods and Angry Birds. I love my son, don't get me wrong. The things he was doing would be considered absolutely charming any other time of the day. It's just very hard for me to wake up that way. Shortly after, the other two boys arrived all hungry and grumpy. I plopped some pancakes and milk in front of them all and proceeded to try to get my head right. I ate some oatmeal with raisins and milk (no sugar...I'm actually doing really good about watching what I eat these days).
I headed upstairs to get dressed for my run and search for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Have I mentioned I am really not a morning person? I realize really quickly that I didn't have much to wear. I couldn't find a sports bra, no longer pants to wear and there was a river of clean laundry blocking the entire upstairs hallway. I sighed and half-dressed for my run proceeded to put the laundry away because I figured I would find what I needed along the way. Just about every 5 minutes, one of the boys is whining up to me, tattling on another one. My stress level was seriously elevating.

Eight o'clock rolls around and the next thing I know the boys are bounding through the house at full speed and full-volume playing hide-and-seek. They are nearly running me over as they fly through the hallway at fullspeed. Again, I'm glad they want to play with one another, but all of their high-strung activity and noise is driving me nuts!! All I want to do is get out there and run, leaving this funk that I've picked up this morning out on the road.
The laundry is just about put away, and I have settled on capri's a ragged t-shirt I usually sleep in, shorty socks that I don't really like because they go halfway up my calf and a dirty sports bra that I have had to dig out of the laundry. I lace up my shoes, instruct the kids not to kill one another and head out for my run. One mile in I am interrupted by my oldest son (in charge) calling me to tell me my middle son is mad and threatening to do dangerous things to the other ones. I double back and stop at the house, contain anything and everything that could be used as a weapon and threaten the kids with their lives if I have to turn around works. And the rest of my run goes smoothly and without a peep.

This is where everything turns around for the POSITIVE. This the whole reason why I run. A mile or so in, all of the stress of my morning melts off as I pitter patter down the sidewalk, listening to One Republic sing, "Oh, it's gonna be a good life..." and I'm agreeing. I'm loving life, I'm running in SUNSHINE :)

Here's my run stats:

My goal was 6-7 miles, and I did better! It just felt so awesome!! I stayed over 10:00 pace for most of the run too, which I was proud of. Longer runs are meant to be slow, and I really enjoyed the whole run.

It was pretty cold, probably a bit too cold for capris and a short-sleeved t-shirt, but I didn't notice. Nothing could get me down.
Favorite moments: 1) Running over Seaside's bridges and seeing the sunshine sparkling on the water, it was beautiful. 2) Passing the golf course and smelling the freshly cut grass. 3) Passing an older couple who were proceeding into the country club door and hearing the husband say, "Hey, she just ran past our house a few miles back." 4) Hearing Sonja Richards Ross say she was impressed with my dedication. Those "personal" voice-overs from elite runners never get old!
It was sunny, I had to wear sunblock and my hat.
Funny note...I never thought I would run in a thong before but I recently bought a few pairs from Lulumon and it was surprisingly comfortable! I think the barely-there factor plays a huge part! I think it helps to wear form-fitting bottoms too (flowy running shorts probably wouldn't feel the same as tight pants)

I tried to take a picture or two with my iPhone in some pretty spots but realized my armband covers the lens. Perhaps I might find one soon that does not.
I found a lot of places to run on the side of the sidewalk in the grass...much of which was mossy and bouncy and soft.
Did I mention the Vitamin D I got today because it was SUNNY?? Yes, it was sunny!!! I'm a happy girl!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Inspiring Mystery Woman

So for some time I have been meaning to write a little mention to this woman who I have observed in Warrenton. I don't know her personally, or at all. But I do know she rocks!

Some time months ago I randomly noticed this woman who walked really slow most days at the same time every day that I had to drive through Warrenton. I have seen her in different places on her route, which probably caught my attention most because she has got to walk at least 3 miles every day. I really started noticing when I saw that she carries an umbrella and walks several miles.  This woman doesn't let anything keep her from getting her daily walk! As the months have gone by I have noticed that she has gotten faster and faster. She walks like she owns the place! Then...

The other day I saw her jogging. So awesome. In the last 6 months or so she has gone from limping along to jogging confidently! I had to hold myself back from honking and rolling my window down to cheer her on.  Here is this woman who has no clue that I have observed her but yet she inspires me so much! Maybe I should tell her sometime, if she will slow down long enough :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Testing out the new Nike+GPS on 4 hilly miles

Run/Workout: 4 miles/Hills
Location: Irving St.
Run Time (if applicable): 37:58, 9:40 average splits (7:30 fastest, 11:30 slowest)
Run Start: 8:15am
Temperature:43 degrees
Weather:cloudy with patches of blue sky
Yesterday I took a much-needed rest day. Today I felt great! I finally got back out on the actual road. I used my treadmill all last week, partly because the weather was extremely awful (hail, snow, wind, freezing) and partly because it was all my schedule would allow. It was also in part to the newness of the treadmill. But it felt so great to be back outside! Nothing beats a great run outside. I missed this route and I haven't ran it in a while. It was like seeing an old friend ;) I am thankful it didn't rain and there was no wind.

At this point I am not expecting sun anymore :( Let's face it, its Oregon in late winter/early spring...the weather kind of sucks. I try not to complain and I take Vitamin D and sit in front of a S.A.D. lamp which all help. I think a vacation would help the some place sunny like Florida :) But back to running...
I'm loving my compression socks. My calves and shins have never felt better! It's amazing really. I would like to get more colors, or at least a few pairs so I can alternate them and wash them more often. Most of all I found myself just saying over and over again in my head, "I am so thankful" because my body feels healthy and strong and I got to go for a run today. I never want to take that for granted because it doesn't take much to get injured and you get stuck sidelined! So today, I was very thankful to be running :)
I downloaded the Nike+ GPS app and tried it out today. It's pretty cool and I guess it is much more accurate than the regular Nike+...but I'm not sure. The regular Nike+ chip in your shoe costs more-around $20 at the outlet store-while the GPS app is only 1.99.  The Nike+ tracks the shoe chip while the GPS tracks your iPhone...I'm not sure which one I like better. The Nike+ GPS is a bit flashier and includes your route and info including pace. It's pretty cool and I like it. Both have great voice notifications which I like. Today the Nike+GPS included a congratulations from Shalane Flanagan :) I like hearing the miles countdown in my head.
I wasn't sure if there was a difference in distance accuracy between the two apps. Today I was only clocked at 4 miles, and last time the same route brought me 4.5 miles. I guess it isn't a huge deal, but to me it is since I am tracking my mileage all year and I want it to be accurate. Mostly, I do not want to short change myself and say I ran further than I actually did. I'm thinking the variations are coming from the switch-backs from when I cross the road, and not so much the accuracy of the apps. It is very easy to add .5-1 mile when you cross the road a dozen times, depending on the length of run. Come to think of it, I stayed on one side of the road a lot today and may have crossed the road 2-3 times and I usually do it a lot more for whatever reason.
If you read my blog and have any experience with either of the Nike apps, will you give me your feedback? I would love to hear what other people would have to say about them!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Health Class Run. Where's the Sun? Races are Fun :)

Today I had a timed 12 minute run for my health class inside in the gymnasium. Obviously it was horrible timing being right after a race, but I got through it. I didn't do as well as I did for the pre-test 10 weeks ago even though I've improved. My body protested, naturally. I didn't even expect to do well and 8:07 per mile was pretty good!  After the run, I walked for 30 minutes to shake out my legs.

I guess I don't have much to say today. My legs are sore after running again today. Earlier I was feeling pretty much fine, but I saw first-hand why you are supposed to take a rest day after an all-out effort. I'm exhausted! Tonight will be stretching, rolling and tomorrow will be a rest day for sure!

On another note, the weather sucks here in Northern Oregon! When it's not raining, it is socked in and cloudy, and we've been even getting a lot of snow flurries and hail. It was cool the first 2 days or so and now I'm just depressed. I. NEED. SUNSHINE. I'm pulling out my S.A.D. light. And I am more thankful now than ever that we have a treadmill.

On a positive note, I can't wait to find another race. They are so fun! I really don't have a lot of time to do them and I'm thankful when they are close-by but that doesn't really happen too often. I'm looking at possibly sneaking over to Portland with friends April 21st for the Earth Day 5K. I think that would be an overall fun event.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 Portland Shamrock Run Race Report

Woohoo! I have officially completed my first race of the year! What an awesome feeling! I knew this race would catapault me into so me serious race training, and it did! I can't wait for the next race!

My Shamrock Run adventure started the night before the race. We didn't get a campground spot early enough so I put the feelers out and found a friend to carpool with. The night before, I laid everything out so that the early wake-up time would be simple and I could just roll out of bed, get dressed, make coffee and load up. I pulled together a cute St. Patty's Day outfit. Nothing new, just a bunch of stuff I already had.

0445 came really early. The good news is that while I had a little trouble falling asleep, I actually slept really well. It must be our new bed. Usually I wake up ten million times the night before a race, but I slept great! I got up, got dressed, braided my hair and washed my face, brewed some coffee and off I went! It was cooooooold. I met Crystal at Safeway at 0515 and we headed over Hwy 30 to Portland. Along the way we stopped briefly at Exit 21 S to get water and snacks and take a potty break at Starbucks. We arrived in downtown Portland around 0715, parked in a nearby parking garage and hoofed it down to the race start. It was SO COLD!!! Forecast had called for rain and possible snow so we had bundled up and anticipated an adventure!
We met my other runner friend who had graciously saved my butt and picked up my packet at the Expo days prior and after a quick hug and "good luck" (they were running the 15K) we parted ways. I hate those quick exchanges but there was no time to chat! After that Crystal and I hit up the bag check and then port-a-potties. It was turning out to be a pretty morning and the sun even peaked out for a few minutes.

Crystal and I prior to our 8K race:

The 15K had a delayed start due to Amtraks running over the course and they were starting runners in waves by pace(I think). After the 15K runners had all taken off it was our turn to get lined up! I found the 8-9 minute mile pacer and gathered with that group. Crystal hung back to wait for another of her friends who was bringing her race bib.

The race itself went well. I went out hard knowing it was only 5 miles and that I could hold a good pace for that long. I had trouble catching my breath at times but for the most part felt really good. There were quite a few people and that was a challenge but that is to be expected in a race the size of Shamrock.
Sometime around Mile 3 I got a minor sideache and had to work through it with breathing and slowing my pace a bit. Thankfully it subsided around Mile 4. Once I passed that last mile marker I knew that one mile left mean only one mile left to cut as much time as possible. Unfortunately Mile 4 also included the only hill, but thanks to hill training I took it ok. I wasn't fast, but I also didn't walk. Once I got to the top of the hill there were two signs. One said <----5K/8K, and the other said ^15K (meaning keep going up the hill). All I remember thinking was how bad I felt for those poor 15K runners who had to pass the turning point knowing that the shorter races were done but they still had more hill! After the hill I knew from checking the course map that there wasn't much left and the Finish was just around the corner. I started down the hill then watched a few people blaze by me before it clicked that I should take the hill fast. So I went all out down the hill then sprinted around the corner where I could hear the announcer at the Finish line. Glorious finish! :)

(photo taken later)

I clicked my Nike+ off and high-fived some strangers, then proceeded over to get some water and receive our checked bag. The 15K runners got some great medals! I think I need to get a new medal soon :)

Here were the results of my Nike+:

Apparently I did quite a bit of weaving in and out of people...enough in fact, to add roughly half a mile!

The official Shamrock Results were:

Melanee Berman, Age 30, 8K, 41:41, average pace 8:24 per mile

I was 57th out of 883 in my age division (30-34), and 264th out of 4070 overall women.

I am a math person, I like to do the math. That means that for the 8K, considering women in my age division, I finished in the top 6%! Out of overall women, I also finished in the top 6%! Wow, that really boosts my confidence. I am glad I like math :)

I am happy with both results! This pace in a race this long is really good for me, and I love that I can see from my Nike+ precisely how fast I was actually going(even though it doesn't "count" per say). And the good part is that considering this was my first time running an 8K, I PRed! :)

Immediately following the race, I started to freeze so I grabbed our stuff, changed into my new (awesomely green!) Shamrock shirt and bundled back into my fleece and jacket. There was free chowder and appetizers for runners and a really great band for entertainment. Overall it was just sooo cold.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm Such an Airhead Sometimes...


What can I say? Today was one of those days I DID NOT feel like running. I mean, I would have rather taken a nap or brewed a cup of coffee than jump on the hamster wheel. But nonetheless, I found myself this afternoon with some time and it dawned on me that a run would probably be a good idea. I've got the Shamrock 8K (4.95 miles) this weekend so I want to keep the blood  flowing through my legs early on this week. Friday and Saturday I will rest. (Oh...that's tomorrow...I just realized that. Yes, I'm feeling like the biggest airhead today).

I realize my last 3 runs have all been treadmill, and no it's not because I'm a wimp and can't handle the crappy weather we've been having. I have run in crappy weather before, and I'm sure I'll run in crappy weather again. The weather has definitely been crappy here lately.  But while the newness of the treadmill is gleaming, I'm going to take advantage of it. I think time of day is significant too...mornings you will find me running outdoors (kids in school), but afternoons I will most likely be in my garage because while I would love to run with my jogging stroller, my 6-year-old fights me because he says it is too "babyish" and he wants to ride his bike. He's soooo slow and can't go 3 miles yet so...the treadmill is a lifesaver in the afternoons.

The airhead moment was I was going along in my run, I checked my Nike+ and it read O2 deprived brain read 1.9 here I was all excited. "Woohoo! I'm flying along!" I thought. So I vamped up the speed and went for it for the "last half of my run". It wasn't until I reached the 3.1K that I realized, "OMG I still have 1.9K to go! I'm such a dummy!" Naturally the push had sort of depleted any glycogen stores in my muscles so I slowed it way down so I could make it the rest of the way. It is kind of funny...but a lesson in what NOT to do in a race! LOL

What, When, Where?

I have been analyzing races and stuff in my head this morning.

First, I have the Shamrock Run in Portland on Sunday (running the 8K) and I have been checking the weather. I hate Oregon this time of year. It has been stormy and rainy for like a week straight now and it does not look to let up at least as far as the 10-day forecast tells :( We live on the coast, and a lot of the time Portland will give us a respite from the weather. But not with this storm...and yes, Sunday it appears it will be rainy :(

I still really want to run the Shamrock bad because I missed the first run I wanted to do this year. I have the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Portland in May, and I need the Shamrock to catapault me into training for the half marathon.

Speaking of training, I am not following a training plan anymore. I did too much too fast with the Hal Higdon one and I don't like the low mileage weekly runs followed by a crazy long weekend long. I'm searching for something more my taste. I feel like I need to let my body work up to the mileage more. For example, if I have a 10-miler up ahead, I would like my body to be pretty used to about 6-milers. I have been there before and it is a comfortable place. Otherwise I personally begin to break down. And with that thought, I would like to add when you don't see a workout post from me, it is most likely because I am cross-training. I am cross-training about the same number of days a week that I run with a 3/3/1 ratio (3 runs/3 cross-train/1 rest). Cross training is usually the elliptical, a long walk, yoga, weights...and I am looking into some higher intensity classes such as boot camp and spin.

That being said, I am in good shape, I showed a few weeks ago that I can run a 9-miler and survive quite well if that were the case for a race. I would just have to suffer some aftermath.

So I have decided to kick the Newport Marathon off of my race schedule in order to give myself more time to properly train for the marathon I want to complete this year. It may end up being Portland, who knows? It turns out there are quite a few to choose from so that is not a problem. I also added a few smaller/close-to-home races that I know I will do this year as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mental Endurance and 4 Miles

Where: Treadmill


What a weird last few weeks it has been. A lot of the time, running as been the very last thing on my priority list, other times it has been the one thing I want to do most but just can't get to. The weather has been all over the place, as has my schedule. Finals are next week so I've been dealing with a serious juggling act. Somehow I have managed to run in the evenings (my least favorite time of day to run) and on a treadmill at that (typically my least favorite place!) But nonetheless...I run. :)

I am enjoying the treadmill, I have to admit it. Today I ran without my compression socks and what do you know?? My calves didn't burn. Perhaps compression socks will be a recovery thing for me, at least the ones I have. Perhaps if I get some that compress just a little less, I can wear those while running. Or maybe the key is just to alternate days I wear them with days I do not.

Today I still had not gone out and bought new earbuds. See in the last few weeks I have gone through the three pairs that were laying around the house. The first pair just ended up lost and gone forever, and the last ones two different children managed to break on two separate occasions. *sigh* So I had no music, but that's ok. I still synced up my Nike+ and went for it. One benefit that I have learned is that it forces me to push myself mentally. With no distractions, I am forced to really pay attention to how my body is feeling, and to continually think good thoughts. I think it is a good practice because as you know, so much of running is mental.

I like this because it's so true whether you are on a beach somewhere or just on the treadmill in the garage :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Sunday 5K

Wooo...Techy! So I finally learned how to take screen shots on my iPhone and I thought hey, it might be fun and easy to just post those results! It basically includes most of the information I post, save for weather and notes!

Lucky Us!! Tonight I tried out the new (old) treadmill that we were lucky enough to acquire for FREE from a family member (SCORE!!) and it works great. It is a Proform 735 CS model that folds and locks into place. It is supposed to be a space saver model. I guess technically I could put it up in our bedroom or extra bedroom but I just can't stand workout equipment in the main part of the house. It just isn't my style. So the garage will be it's home. I need to buy a treadmill mat of some sort or see if I have any spare rugs or mats to put down under it. I'm thinking podcasts or fresh music on my iPod will also be a must. I don't have much to look at other than my husband's tools and Coast Guard memorabilia.

It runs great! It's a little squeaky and dusty but for whatever reason, it offers a really soft foot strike. I don't know what it is, because honestly I usually hate treadmills and only use them as a last resort, but this one was not an unpleasant experience at all. I'm really thankful we have it.

Workout notes: A 5K felt great to accomplish. My calves were burning pretty good until about 17 minutes in where they slowly calmed down minute by minute. I am not much of an evening runner but it wasn't too bad. It didn't feel "easy" per say, but still good. Lastly, I discovered that the treadmill calibration was off and I went by my Nike+ stats instead.

Weighty Issues: I have come to terms lately with the realization that I could stand to lose 10 pounds. I carry it in my butt and thighs (and some on my arms) and I just know that if I lightened up a bit in my lower half, I would probably put less stress on my lower legs. Not to mention I wouldn't scare myself when I get a full posterior view!! LOL.

I know it will take 95% diet with me too, which is hard. I like food. I discipline myself in other areas, but food...that's a different story. I like to eat what I want, when I want it and I don't like fad diets! However, after a few diet logs I discovered that without a doubt my weak point is in the evenings. I come home tired, somewhat stressed and hungry. That is a recipe for disaster. And it's real people. All I want to do is eat a monstrous dinner and follow that up with sweets and late-night snacks. It's not a good situation.

However, I learned this evening that if I do some sort of exercise, my sympathetic nervous system kicks in and suppresses my appetite so I can have more control(and burn some calories at the same time). For dinner tonight I ended up eating a low-fat chocolate protein shake, almonds and brussels sprouts. Not that I would eat that every night, that was just what sounded good.

So my goal going into this week is to briskly walk on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes before dinner, just enough to get my heart rate up but not enough to end up dripping sweat. I usually have dinner ready early and I can steal away for that amount of time between kids' activities if I try. It's time to kick this thing into high-gear! Wish me luck!

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Favorite Running Advice Right Now...

The article, Get in the Lean Lane (McDowell, April 2012) in Runner's World this month had some great tips! It mostly had a lot of great weight loss tips, but the tips that hit home with me were these:
"Run, Run, Run...Start by adding easy miles, no more than a 10 percent increase a week. If you run in the morning, go for another two-miler after work. Increasing the distance of your long runs should be your last priority, because they require more recovery."
***This is so true! I have been looking at this all backwards! The plans I have been using increase long runs only while keeping "every day" runs fairly slow. This just doesn't work for me because something cracks...whether it is shin splits, IT band issues, whatever. My body seriously starts to break down after 7-ish miles. I like the concept of adding mileage in the evening to increase longevity. I think it will really help me stay healthy as my body gets stronger and adapts to more mileage. Now whether I have time to realistically do this is another story...
"...Cross-Train If You Can't (run, run, run that is...): A stress fracture or a case of plantar fasciitis takes you off your feet, so be smart about your training. If you're a beginner or an injury-prone runner, don't run every day; instead, get in at least three days of cross-training a you don't bring on overuse injuries. "
***Love this! Again it totally applies to me! I hate to admit this because I don't want to label myself or whatever but I do tend to be injury-prone. And it always comes about without warning. So far my cross-training has been some weights and yoga, but I think by adding spin classes and/or elliptical I can help shake things up and work on my overall fitness and muscle strength. I know it helped me a lot while training for the Eugene Half Marathon in 2010. I was taking boot camp class and spin class each week.
"Exercise Today: Run or Cross-train? Boehmer offers up this easy quiz to gauge what to do today. Circle the number that best relates to your situation:
How hard was your run yesterday?
1) Easy
2) Average
3) Unusually hard or long: speedwork or longest run of the week
How are you feeling today?
1) Great
2) Not too bad
3) I hurt more than I'd like to admit
How many days in a row have you run?
If your score is 7 or higher, nonimpact cross-training-swimming, cycling, strength training- is a good call for a recovery day."
***I love this so much!! I have known the importance of cross-training but I love this little quiz for testing what is best on any given day.
Lastly she touches on lifting weights, and what exercises are best for working large muscle groups. She recommends "squats, lunges, bench presses, and tricep dips" and I bet I could add push-ups and sit ups, etc. I like it. Just a few key exercises that work large muscle groups.
Anyway, cool article, check it out! I enjoyed reading about the weight loss tips as well, and I plan on keeping them for close reference!
(Credit Runner's World, April 2012: "Get in the Lean Lane" by Dimity McDowell)

Two to Work it Out

Run/Workout: 2.59 miles
Location:Irving Street, the easy part
Run Time (if applicable): 23:18, 8:59 splits
Run Start: 8:40
Temperature:50 degrees
Weather: cloudy and blah!


With the recent news of my non-fractured left tib-fib, I figured I would squeeze my calves into my compression socks and just see what happened. So I did just that. I treated it like any other running day, and I only gave myself the expectation to go a short distance, 2-3 miles. My warm-up was like any other and I was feeling the sting in my left calf, but I kept on working it out. My run was tough, the first 10 minutes felt good, smooth and pretty easy. But minutes 10-20 my calves were tight and burning! Some of that is normal for me but I wonder how much is just getting used to the compression socks? Either way, I kept working. I walked a little, stretched as needed, aimed for grass rather than pavement and made it up the hills just fine. I did a good cool-down and thoroughly stretched. 

My legs feel fine now too. It's weird... going up and down stairs and everything feel fine. It's like I "worked it out" or something, which I know doesn't make sense.  

Well whatever it is, I'll take it! 

I am going to aim for a 5K tomorrow :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good News! It's Not A Fracture...Now What??

Ok so I got the results of my x-ray today and my left tib/fib are fine, everything is normal. So I guess what's been going on is a very weird case of shin splits. Good news is that I have a treatment plan now. Stretch, ice, stretch, ice. Wear compression socks to run in. Don't run on pavement. Patience. Gosh I am really becoming a high-maintenance runner...;)

In addition, I will not be running on direct pavement for a while. I'm going to be doing circles on the track, and then maybe running alongside sidewalks or trails. I love trails, I just hate how they always feel remote, which makes me feel like they are kind of unsafe without a partner. So maybe I can get a running buddy to hit the trails with me at least once a week.

So overall this is such a relief! It gives me hope that it isn't something that will keep me out of running for months or anything like that. I've had a setback, but it is extremely temporary.

Tomorrow I plan on suiting up and hitting the high school track for a trial run. I will warm-up and do all that on the track, then see if I can do a few laps. I really hope so. The Shamrock Run is in just over a week, and I'd really like to complete it this year. The last two years I missed it and I'd hate to add a third year to that. It would almost seem like a "cursed race". LOL

Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Miles Is Better Than No Miles

Run/Workout: 2 miles
Location: treadmill
Run Time (if applicable): 23 minutes, 11:30 splits
Run Start:8:15
Temperature: N/A
Weather: N/A


Considering the week I've had, this was a perfectly fine workout. It felt pretty good. I rolled out my legs really good last night and this morning I'm feeling pretty good. I don't feel a lot of pain, but I do feel myself compensating for the weakness in my left lower leg. 

I started my workout with an extensive warm-up, just easing into every joint and movement. I started on the elliptical then moved to the treadmill to give actual running a try. I kept it really slow, easy and smooth. I felt like I was doing a lot of mid-foot to heel strike as I slogged along. I slipped on my compression socks afterward for recovery and I love them!! I think I may just end up buying a pair in every color. 

...I'm not sure if I will be able to make the Shamrock run with a bum leg! I haven't made the choice yet but we shall see tomorrow!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hurray for Compression Socks!

My left shin/tibia area is still hurting with each foot strike impact (I have been trying a few soft steps every day with no luck), although I have been resting it for the last few days. Yesterday we went for a family stroll that took us walking for a few miles. It felt ok but when I got back my left lower leg was just aching and aching. To add insult to injury, my IT bands on both sides have been painfully tight. It's funny because you'd think they would tighten up from over-use. In this case, it is from under-use.

I have been trying to stave off injury depression but it is hard. I know what is best for me is to rest until the pain goes away. I will get an x-ray this week and find out for sure what direction to take my recovery. So I guess I can officially say one of my New Year's Resolutions has been effectively ruined. Oh well. I will prevail...just carefully. But I really want to get out for a run! 

That being said, on the positive on our way back from a short camping excursion (at the best place to run by the way, Champoeg State Park...more on that later) we stopped at RoadRunner Sports. I love this running store. The saleswoman hooked me up with some great compression socks that I immediately fell in love with! I may never take them off! :) The best part is that it makes me still feel like a runner to have gear that applies to "time off" just as much as hard training.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mileage Totals Update


January Mileage: 56.8

February Mileage: 61.39

Longest Run: 9 miles

# of Runs: 30

Average Distance: 3.9 miles

Total Mileage: 118.19

So...considering I need to complete an average of 83.33 miles per month, I am still a bit about 50 miles! Yikes. But the first two months are the lower mileage months, I have to keep telling myself that. The good...I did increase mileage overall from January to February.