Friday, December 28, 2007

Podrunner Introduces a new Podcast called "Intervals"

If you have been reading my blog you know I am a fan of using Podrunner in my training. They offer music mixes at various BPMs to help keep me on pace. Well, DJ Steveboy just announced a new podcast which looks rather exciting. I thought I would pass it on.

New Podcast Launches February 1, 2008

Intervals is a new podcast of varied-BPM music mixes for interval training. "First Day to 5K," the first 14 mixes, take you from absolute beginner to 5K runner in nine weeks! P:I will feature sets for beginning, intermediate, and experienced levels, as well as sets for 10K and half-marathon training

Podrunner: Intervals will be produced by me, and hosted and mixed by DJ Beatsmith, the only DJ to have guest-hosted Podrunner (he mixed the popular "153 BPM - Hotfoot").

Podrunner: Intervals will be available free starting February 1 from iTunes or most podcast directories, or directly from or the Run Time newsletter. Music for P:I will come from Beatport, and we'll link to the original tracks.

Excited as we are, the Red Robot needs your help to succeed! Please tell your friends and gym buddies about Podrunner: Intervals, and post about it on any athletic forums or groups you belong to. If you know anyone whose New Year's Resolution is to get fit, P:I is your present to them!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Overcoming Exhaustion

After several weeks where I was working long hours, trying to keep up with preparing for the holidays, and trying to keep my training for the marathon going, I hit "the wall" after running almost 16 miles last Saturday.

Like most days, I was up early and running on about 5-6 hours sleep (I typically need 7-8). But I wanted to get the long run in before camping so that I wouldn't spend hours running during the camping trip. I got out and logged 15.77 miles in 3 hours 5 minutes - an 11:45 min/mile pace. Not too shabby for a long run. But the last 2 miles were really tough, as I ran out of gas. After showering and then rushing to get us packed to head to our campsite, it happened. I felt tired. Very tired. I could hardly move. As usual, I pushed to keep going.

After setting up the camper I laid down to sleep at about 8:30 pm and didn't get up until 8 am the next morning. I thought I had enough rest but I felt tired all day on Sunday. We rode our bikes down to the ranger station (probably about a 4-5 mile round trip) and I felt like I could barely make it. I took a nap on Sunday afternoon for about an hour or two. Sunday night I headed to bed around 10 pm and got up Monday around 8 am.

I finally felt human again. It was the first day I felt a normal level of awakeness. I should have run on Monday, but decided against it. We got out and enjoyed a movie and some camping activities. I didn't run on Christmas either. It was a busy day - and I figured I could run the afternoon we got home.

We got home around 5 pm on Wed and I still didn't run. Getting dark and feeling a little drag while unpacking the camper and the truck.

I got up this morning to run a 5 miler after about 7 hours sleep. I was keeping a pace of around 10:45 min/mile but I felt tired the entire time - and my heart rate rose early in the run. It definitely fell into the category of "hard runs."

I think I am still overcoming the tiredness from before camping - but I also suspect a poor diet (lots of red meat and other items) could be contributing. The camping trip helped tremendously - providing several solid nights of rest and just relaxing around the campfire. I think I needed about 3 more days of camping! But alas, I needed to return to work today.

My plan: Get plenty of rest now through the marathon (now just over 2 weeks away), and eat a healthier diet (avoid the sweets and not so much on the red meats).

Any suggestions? I need to find a bit more energy if I am going to survive Disney!

Oh, and we are hosting a BIG New Year's Eve bash at our some work to do to get ready for that event! (I know, I do this to myself....).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas Campfire

Santa brought me a new digital camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-W-80 which can also take video with sound!

So I am playing with YouTube to see if I can begin to bring some video to my blog. I am not sure why it isn't showing the beginning of the video as the background, but hopefully this will work.

Here is 1 minute of campfire for you to enjoy - no narration, just the sound of a crackling campfire on Christmas Day. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Tinkoff 1000 is in The Bag (as is my 20 miler)

Early this year, Adam Tinkoff, better known as the Zen Runner, inspired a number of folks to set 1000 miles as a goal for this year. Personally the most I had ever run in a year was in 2006 when training for the Disney World Marathon. I managed to finish around 800 miles. So 1000 seemed like a good goal to go for - and looked like good community fun!

I started the year with the Disney World Marathon the first week of January - that gave me a good head start on my 1000 mile goal. However, in February when I sought physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis, I ended up taking 4 weeks off from running.

During the rest of the year I focused more on preparing for my races rather than the 1000. I figured it would come if I trained as planned for the Marine Corps Marathon and the 2008 Disney World Marathon. And so, here I am - passing the 1000 mile mark on my last 20 miler run for the year. I have completed nearly 1007 miles.

Today's 20 miler was a really tough run. In anticipation of the temptation to stop early, I planned a route that did not return near my house until the very end - to get home I would have to complete the run :-). The initial miles were not very encouraging either. After 6 or 7 miles, I was beginning to feel it - too early for such a long run. But the early miles were not the easiest. In addition to the uphill climb from mile 2 to 4, I was running into the wind - forecast to be around 18-20 mph. I felt better at 10 miles just last week. But I was going to tough it out.

At about 9 miles in as I was about to make a water stop at my office, I ran into Shirley's husband Dave who was out for a bike ride. He was not looking forward to the run back toward his house, since the wind had been at his back during the first part of his ride.

At about mile 12 I was feeling the familiar soreness in the feet, but my legs were starting to feel sore as well. By mile 15, I was really feeling quite done, but was determined to get a full 20 miles in, so I settled into my mental push.

About 17 miles in, I got a little bit of a second wind. I was feeling good that I was headed toward my house now, and that the run would soon be over. Everything was hurting and I was ready to be done.

On the last .1 mile down my street, I ran a comfortable, fast pace to finish up the run. 20.27 miles in 4:11:21 - a 12:24 min/mile pace with an AHR of 157. Overall I am very pleased. All my miles were under 13 min/mile.

Now it's time to put my feet up and address some Christmas cards!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Good News and Not so Good News

The good news: I had the most incredible long run in quite some time today, logging 16.1 miles in 3:05. Besides the beautiful weather (about 60 when I started and 70 deg F when I finished - sunny) I was relaxed and just enjoyed the run. The first 10 miles were effortless and I had no aches or pains until 11-12 miles in. The last few miles were harder, but never really difficult. I started the run with the latest Phedip episode about Billy Mills and was inspired to play my Native American music playlist for the rest of my run.

I was also very pleased with my pace (11:33 min/mi - my goal was an easy long run, with walking breaks every 5 min. I wanted to be a good bit under 12 min/mi and I achieved that) and with my heart rate (AHR 153 bpm).

When I finished, I spent plenty of time stretching - something I am not very disciplined at doing, but is really needed with my many foot and leg problems, which brings me to....

The not so good news: This came later after sitting for a bit after running and showering. As I got up to walk, I had the familiar pain in my left foot that reflected my plantar fasciitis, which always acts up after a long run. But I felt the same sharp pain in my RIGHT foot/heel as well. A few presses on the heel revealed the familiar PF symptoms - now in both feet!

Advil and rest for a bit. I was hoping to get a few shorter runs in this week before running 22 miles on Sunday. This is my big 20+ miler before Disney. I may need to settle for some time on the elliptical machine in lieu of my shorter runs.

As for post marathon - it looks like I have some rehabilitation coming up after Disney (read that as break from running, cross training, and getting the ol' feet better). Sigh!

On a positive note, I now have logged 978 miles this year. Just 22 more miles to complete my Tinkoff 1000 :-).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reindeer Run Race Photo and Saving Memories

Just ordered this pic from the Reindeer Run - I was able to download the small version.

Today I was cleaning up my room and uncovered all the race numbers I have been saving. I really didn't start collecting them until last year - so I have all my race numbers from 2006 and 2007.

I also ordered race pictures from pretty much every race I have run.

Now what is the best thing to do with this stuff besides leaving them in a pile somewhere? I thought about putting them on the wall but it would fill a wall. So I figured I could put the race numbers with the appropriate picture in a photo album. I would save the wall for marathon stuff and significant events (my first 5K and my first half marathon). I looked at the scrapbook stuff but: a) I am not a scrapbooker and don't have the time to learn, b) the photo album stuff was cheaper.

Just lift up the page, stick in the stuff, and put the plastic back over it. A race number takes up an entire page. I can put pics and other stuff on the facing page.

As for all of the hardware I have collected....well, I will have to think of something creative. Right now they are hanging in a pile on the corner of a bookshelf.

Any ideas?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reindeer Run 5K - Full Race Report

Reindeer Run 5K
Maitland, Florida
Weather: Sunny
Racetime temp: about 62 Deg F

I got my kids out of bed at about 6:15 am - a bit early for them, but they were excited to be joining me for the Reindeer Run. For the kids there would be "snow" and a Kid's Run complete with Rudolph noses and jingle bells.

The 5K was to begin at 8 am so I wanted to get there between 7 and 7:15 am to beat out most of the crowd and get a decent parking space. We got there in good time and got the kids signed up for their race. Next we stopped at the registration area and said a quick hi to Shirley. Then I prepped for my race - Icy Hot and some warm up jogging.

This was a fun run - but even without the timing, Trackshack had set up signs showing folks where to line up if they expected to run at a 6 min pace, 7 min pace, etc. all the way up to 10 min or more. I dutifully lined up between the 9 and 10 min/mile signs - expecting to run around 9:30 min/mile. It was a large crowd - probably over 2000 runners.

Once the race started it took nearly 2 minutes to cross the starting line where I started up my Garmin. It then took the next mile to free up from the start congestion.

A frustration here: I was passing up WALKERS during the first mile, who must have lined up with the 7 min/mile group. It was difficult to get up to my target pace because of the slower walkers and runners who lined up close to the starting line. I didn't let it get to me, though. After all, this is a "fun run" and for many of the walkers, they probably didn't even know what the signs meant.

I began to think that this was probably not a good race to go for a PR and began to run through all the reasons why it might not happen. Let's see - one, losing time at the start with all the walkers. Two, not very much sleep for most of this week - I was not running fully rested. Three, not sure my calf was up to the job.

When I passed the first mile marker, the clock time was over 11 min, but my Garmin told me 9:30, so I was on track for the PR so far. I pressed on.

The crowd had thinned into the 2nd mile so it was easier to run. I ran through the water stop but slowed to get a cup and take a drink. I was thirsty but wanted to keep moving.

I hit mile 2 just under 19 minutes - still a 9:30 pace. But I was really winded and didn't think I could keep the pace up. The calf felt fine but my heart rate was way up. I have an alarm on my Garmin that goes off when I hit 180 bpm. It was tweeting at me around 2 miles into the race.

I took a few 15 sec walking breaks between miles 2 and 3 - I just couldn't keep going, even by slowing my pace. My 180 bpm alarm kept going off and folks around me were wondering what was up with my watch. I was just beginning to think that I was just going to have to walk longer when I saw the 3 mile clock ahead. If I passed it before 29 min on my Garmin, I could make it with the last tenth of a mile.

I sprinted in through the finish and hit the stop button. 29:28!

The final stats:

Final time: 29:28
Pace: 9:28 min/mile
AHR: 172 (very high for an average)
MHR: 188 (this is a new high for the year)

Garmin measured a total distance of 3.18 miles and had my mile splits at:

Mile 1: 9:20 min
Mile 2: 9:11 min
Mile 3: 9:28 min
Finish .18: 1:27 min

I didn't see Shirley at the finish, but figured I would catch up with her later. I found the girls who were ready to munch down some of the Christmas cookies and hot chocolate in the finish area. They also played in the snow (a pile of icy stuff). Then they ran their kids runs - each receiving a ribbon.

It was truly a fun run!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Still Ramping Up for Me!

As I watch a number of you ramping down your running for the year, I am slightly jealous and would like to ramp down with you. However, I still have a few running things to get done over the next few weeks.

1 - The Reindeer Run - this 5K is tomorrow. One of my goals this year was to break 30 minutes in a 5K. Although this is a fun run, I am going to use my Garmin to measure my progress. Because my calf was not doing so great after OUC, I waited until this morning to go for a run. It felt pretty good - but began to feel a little tight when I tried to speed up. My cunning plan: get to the race early enough to warm up well, lots of Icy Hot, and in the event I start to feel anything strange, back off and just enjoy the fun run.

2 - The Tinkoff 1000 - Not discussed too much lately, I am about 40 miles away from completing this goal - so I think I am going to make it! I have reduced my mileage with some of the issues with my calf - but I should make it before the end of the year.

3 - The Walt Disney World Marathon - This race is coming up on Jan 13th which I am hoping to run with my husband. He continues to struggle with foot issues which may cause him not to run it this year. I have just over 5 weeks left for the race and with that a few 15+ milers and a 20+ miler before tapering down. I am still hoping for busting 5 hours. One disadvantage of this race is that you are peaking out during the holidays. Ah well, maybe that is an advantage to stay ahead of all that consumed holiday cheer.

After Disney, time to take a break from training. I have been training pretty steady since May...I am ready for a break!! :-) Although the first thing I will be doing after the Disney Marathon is sign up for the 2009 Goofy Race and a Half. Sign up starts the day after the marathon, and the Goofy spots fill up fast.

Tomorrow - I will post a Reindeer Run race report!!! :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

OUC Half Marathon: Full Report

Race: OUC Half Marathon
Location: Downtown Orlando, Florida
Weather: Sunny, about 63 deg F at start, 72 deg F at finish
Final chip time: 2:20:42 / 10:51 min/mile
Overall Place: 1538 / 2049
Age (45-49): 58 / 97
Gender: 611 / 933

With a race start of 7:30 am, I wanted to be there about an hour before the race - just to secure good parking and to take my time getting to the starting area. Maddy and I were set to meet in front of Panera's near the finish area. I drank a Gatorade AM on the way in to downtown as my prerace nutrition.

I found Maddy and her friend Sheryl as I was heading over to check my bag of stuff. we used a regular restroom in the park before the race. I had a feeling I had not completely "processed" all of that Gatorade (but more on that later). Then we stood around and chatted while we waited for the race to begin. Sheryl was running the 5K so we said our good byes to here and lined up. Before we even knew it, the race was started! Maddy and I ran together for almost a mile until I let her move on ahead of me - I would try to find her at the finish. She was a faster runner and was not a walk break taker like I am.

Distance / Time note: I am going to go through my times via Garmin distance vs the markers on the race. My Garmin tends to hit the miles a little before the course does. By the end of the race the Garmin had me at a total distance of 13.4 miles. It took me about a minute and a half to cross the starting line.

I settled into a quick pace and hit the 1st mile in 10:04 (Garmin mile time). A little quicker than I wanted to be - but it felt comfortable. By the 2nd mile I had settled into a comfortable clip (10:19). I took 30 sec walking breaks at each mile and walked through the water stops. I opted to bring a few Clif Shots and drink the race water / gatorade offerings.

At about mile 3, the calf muscle that was hurting me on Thursday evening started to ache again. I focused on staying relaxed and keeping my stride short so as not to push it. I figured I could run through it so I kept going. Mile 3 came at 30:48 (3rd mile was in 10:25). At this point, I also felt the need to use a restroom (remember that Gatorade). In fact, I kind of felt the need to go at the start but, oh well. I figured I could bank the quick start to hit a restroom later. But since the need was not urgent, and there were lines at the port-a-johns, I kept going.

Mile 4 was a little slower at 10:58. Somewhere between Mile 3 and 4 I did my first Clif Shot. Mile 5 was in 10:40. On the course clock and the course 5 mile marker, I hit mile 5 at about 53 minutes.

The next few miles:
Mile 6: 10:26
Mile 7: 10:36
Mile 8: 10:52 (another Clif Shot around this time)
Mile 9: 11:01

By now I was starting to feel the run - my heart rate was climbing a bit and I was starting to look forward to the end. One group set up some signs - one which said "Aren't you glad it isn't 26.2?"

Another interesting observation: At one point, a motorist that was anxious to get around the race was driving on the sidewalk in the direction opposite our flow. So the car was on the sidewalk while the runners were in the street - how odd is that?

Mile 10: 10:33 (just a 5 K left)
Mile 11: 10:45
Mile 12: 10:37

Now in the last mile or so, I was feeling tired but determined to run. I took one last walking break at about 12.4 miles, then ran the rest. I thought alot about Susan running her marathon and Elijah and what a "marathoner" he has been through his recent treatments.

Mile 13: 9:59 (my fastest mile)
Mile 13.42: 3:33

Final on Garmin: 13.42 miles in 2:20:48
Average pace: 10:30 min/mi
AHR: 164 bpm
MHR: 186 bpm

As I sprinted in the last .1 miles, I didn't see Maddy - figured that she was going to look for me in another 5 minutes since I was ahead of when I thought I would be. My Garmin was tweeting madly at me for exceeding 180 bpm. I finished with 2:22 on the race clock and a final chip time of 2:20:42 - nearly 9 minutes better than my best half marathon distance (which was at MCM).

After the race, I looked around for Maddy and finally found her. I will let her tell you the story of her race. :-) I even helped myself to the free beer afterwards.

Maddy, Sheryl and I after the race in front of Lake Eola.

Maddy and I showing our Pray for Elijah bands (no we are not punching each other:-)

We hit the public restroom one more time (I never did use that port-a-john but waited until this time to go, then headed home. What a great morning!

OUC Half Marathon: Short Summary

Full (and lengthy) race report to come. Today's results - a PR!

My goal was 2:25. I finished in 2:20:42!!! I felt great in the run today although my left calf did start to hurt a bit after about 3 miles - it is pretty sore now. Hamstring is also a bit sore - so it is RICE for the rest of the weekend!

It was super seeing Maddy! More on the race and some pictures to follow!