Sunday, July 12, 2009
DH and I met friends last night for pizza to finalize our vacation plans. My plan was to have a salad and 1 slice of pizza. We got there a few minutes late (had to sit in the car to wait out a torrential downpour) and there was already 2 pitchers of cold beer waiting. So, of course, I had to have a glass. Our friends live out of town and we only see them a couple of times a year, so there is always lots of catching up to do. The conversation was good and fast and before I knew it, I had downed 2 big glasses of beer. My self control after a drink melts like ice cream on a hot summer day. I ate 3 slices of pizza and came home and had 3 chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk.
The damage isn't terrible--the day ended at about 300 calories over my daily limit. Tonight we're going to a ballgame so it will be diet soda or water. And very light eating today--filling up with lots of vegetables. We'll be sitting in a box and hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, etc. are provided. The food isn't great, so it shouldn't be a big temptation to over eat.
Friday, July 10, 2009
This is going to be a fabulous but challenging weekend. This afternoon I'm going to the Arts Festival which is a mine field of good things to eat--dozens of food vendors with everything from chicken on a stick, to Kettle Korn, sausage sandwiches, ice cream, etc. All of my favorite things. I'm eating lunch in the office before I go, but I'll be staying at the festival until almost midnight, so it's going to be impossible not to eat there. Chicken on a stick is probably the healthiest of the choices, so that's the game plan. I am going to try very, very hard to stay away from the ice cream.
I missed running Thursday and planned to run this morning, but couldn't work it in. There will be lots of walking this afternoon, but that isn't the same as running. I'll just have to keep it in perspective--it's not the end of the training if I miss a day (but it feels like it).
Saturday we're going to dinner with friends to plan our August vacation. I don't know where we're going, so it's hard to plan what to eat throughout the day. And if others start ordering dessert, it will take a tremendous effort not to follow. Sunday is my day for the long run, but I'll need to fit it in tomorrow.
Sunday I'm floating down the Clarion River followed by a minor league baseball game. Friends will be packing munchies for the float, but I'm not going to take anything except something to drink. The ballpark food isn't great, so that shouldn't be too much of a temptation. Except if everyone else is eating, it's hard not to join in. It's not a ballgame without a beer, so that will be my reward for not munching on the float. If I munch--no beer ! That should be plenty of incentive.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
I thought that title might spark a little purient interest; it's so much more provocative than "Week Eight: Marathon Training." It's true--I am a cross dresser. This is probably a shock to my friends, but it's lonely here in the closet, and I thought it was time I came out or convince others to join me. So here is the truth: I wear cycling jerseys for running. There, I feel so much better. Are you still with me?
Cycling jerseys are constructed with roomy pockets (2 or 3) along the back of the jerseys about waist high. They're deep, so you can store an energy bar, small bottle of water, keys, ipod, i.d. or whatever. The pockets often have a little bit of elastic at the top so your gear doesn't slip out. Sometimes the pocket will be zippered. It's so easy to reach in and grab your ShotBloks or ClifBar.
Jerseys are made from technical fabrics (no cotton), so they wick the moisture away. And whether they're sleeveless, short- or long-sleeved, most have a fairly long zipper in the front so that when you get really hot, you can unzip it and get some air. You can choose between form fitting or semi-fitted. Mine are form-fitting and because of that, I watch my running posture a bit closer--rib cage up, stomach in, shoulders back. Terry, Title IX, Shebeest and others have beautiful styles and prints, which makes me feel a little fashion forward when I'm out for my run. I swear--I run better in my cycling jersey than in an old t-shirt.
Speaking of running better--this has been a fabulous week of training. I was in travel mode this week for work and a bit concerned that I wouldn't get all of my runs worked in. The trip got off to a bit of a rocky start, which turned out to be good for training. Still tired after last Sunday's mountain run, I almost instantly fell asleep on the plane from State College to Philadelphia. I didn't wake up until we had landed and people were de-boarding. I missed the announcement about where our luggage would be, so I followed the guy in front of me--not a smart move. After getting to baggage claim, I heard the announcement: 2Wheeler, you forgot your luggage at Gate F32; we are holding it for you. I was at the opposite end of the terminal, but I turned around and walked as fast as I could back to the gate, picked up my bags, and rushed to the shuttle area at the opposite end of the terminal to ride to C Terminal. When I arrived at C terminal, I looked down the length of the terminal and spotted the sign for gate C11, the departure gate for my flight to Connecticut. As I drew closer to gate C11, I saw that it was Gate 31. I looked around and guess what, there is no Gate C11. So, I turned around and rushed to another gate to ask where the heck I was supposed to be boarding. Gate B11 he told me. How far away is that I asked. Very far--down the hall, take the first left, go to the end, and take the last left. It's a good thing I'm wearing flats. About half way to my gate, I heard, "Last call for Flight XXXX departing for Bradley International Airport. Oh, @##%#)^&*@!!!. There was no way I was going to make it and the next flight wasn't until late afternoon. But things began to look up--one of the little shuttle vehicles pulled up beside me and the driver said jump in--I think I can get you wherever you're going. What a wild ride I had--he was dodging pedestrians, dinging his bell wildly whenever someone got in his way, zigged & zagged like crazy and got me there in time! I had no time to pull some dollars and tip him, but he definitely deserved it. So, all of that running around took care of the 30 minute walk scheduled for Monday. But I also got in another 40 minute walk after arriving at the University of Massachusetts.
Tuesday I ran for 45 minutes, then took another 40 minute walk. Wednesday I walked, and Thursday was all-day travel, so I had to bag that day. Friday, back in town, I did speed work on the track and ran some hills. Saturday was a day of rest, and today was a 10 miler.
I decided to run at the rails to trails again and to start at the mid-way point. When I pulled into the parking lot, an Indigo Bunting flew by. I took that as a good omen. Usually I run half the distance up, turn around, and come back to the car. But today, I ran 3 miles up the trail, returned to the car, then ran 2 miles down the trail and returned for a total of 10 miles.
Mentally, this was a much easier run. Knowing that after just 3 miles, I was on the way back felt wonderful. During the walk breaks, I scouted the edge of the trail for black raspberries. They were so good!! The running was easy and several times I almost over-ran the 8 minutes. Another black snake was on the trail and gave me a brief surge of adrenaline as I caught it out the corner of my eye. For the next few minutes on the trail, I shouted out warnings to the cyclists so they wouldn't run over it. I'm beginning to feel that the snakes are my friend--just when things are getting boring, they show themselves and roust me from my day dreaming.
At the end of mile 6, I was back at the car, drank some Gatorade and water--the break only took about 2 minutes. I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the final 4 miles. In fact, I was feeling very fresh and considering running beyond 10 miles. At the end of 2 miles, I turned around and headed back, and that is when I began feeling tired. I continued with the 8:1 run/walk ratio, but I was looking at my watch more frequently to determine when it was time to walk. At mile 9, I rallied and ran the entire last mile, even sprinting for a few yards at the end. Total time: 1:45:18 Pace: 10:50
I tried a couple of new things on this run that were helpful:
1. Carried an energy bar with me that I nibbled on at about every other walk break. Next long run I will carry something additional. Either another energy bar, Shot Blocks or Sports Beans. Running burns about 100 calories per mile, so replenishing some of those calories should increase my energy and stamina. I'm also trying to figure out what my stomach can handle during running. Today I ate a Nature Valley Yogurt bar.
2. Stopped about mid-way to chug water and Gatorade. No leg cramps on this run--hooray!!!!
3. Broke the run into sections--3 miles up & back; 2 miles down & back. Having those milestones made this run feel shorter. I'm going to look for ways that I can map a similar run around town.
Hope you are all having a great weekend.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Training is going well and I'm following the Galloway plan fairly faithfully. Runs have been 30-45 minutes and I alternate them with walking or cross training (weights/yoga). I've been so focused on running, that I've forgotten how nice it is to take an hour walk and really notice the neighborhoods, flower gardens, kids playing, etc. I walk every day--the dog has to get her exercise--but it's usually a quick 20 minutes in the morning and it's a bit rushed. But the long evening walks are very enjoyable and I can feel different muscles flexing and stretching.
The running group ran "short ladders" on Tuesday. These are 2-person relays and the team runs 200 (meters? yards?) or half way around the track; then 400, 600 & 800 and back down: 600, 400 & 200 again. It was hot & humid and the run was more tiring than I expected. But I paced myself well so that I could sprint the last 200 of the relay.
Friday I ran after work--it was to be a 45 minute around town. But the humidity got to me again and about 25 minutes into the run my toes and calf began to cramp. I wasn't carrying water, so there wasn't much I could do about it. Slowed to a walk going up the hill and ran the last half mile to home. I did get in 45 minutes, but there was a lot more walking than I had planned.
Saturday was a glorious day off. DH and I went to a birthday party in the evening and despite the food temptations, I munched on fresh vegetables and fruits (no dips!!), drank diet tonic water, and had 1 slice of cake. It was just one of those days when sweets weren't much of a temptation.
This morning I ran a 10.6 mile race on state forest roads (a 9-miler was scheduled in Galloway's plan). I had no idea what I was in for, and had I known, I would have stayed home and run in town. I slept in, so there wasn't much time for prep--out of bed, change clothes, grab a quick bite and drive to the race. I arrived just a minute or 2 before it began, so there was no time for stretching or a warm up.
We had to carpool to the start area, and the guys I rode with started talking about the killer hills. Killer hills???? I didn't sign up for any of those. I just sat quietly and listened. We weren't five minutes into the race that I understood what they were talking about.
The race consisted of running up two mountain roads. These were not hills (unless you live in the Rockies). The first leg of the race was a four-mile run to the top of the first mountain. I started out with the 8:1 run/walk ratio, but before I was even half way up it had shortened to more like 6:1. Two other women ran with me and I enjoyed their company immensely. We were fortunate that it wasn't a very hot day and we were in the shade.
What a relief when we reached the summit. I was looking forward to a fast downhill, but the road was so rocky and in places had loose stones, that we could walk almost as fast as we could run. No one wanted to slip on the loose stones or twist an ankle or fall. But we all enjoyed the respite from the endless climb.
Water was provided at the bottom of the first mountain. I drank a couple of cups, chewed on some SportsBeans, and off we went again. We had maybe a half mile of level before we started climbing our 2nd mountain. This one was even steeper with 2 or 3 switchbacks. I was so tired, I can't even recall much of this portion of the run. We did a lot of walking. At mile 9, still not at the top, my toes and shins began twitching--a precursor to cramping. I walked backwards for awhile and that seemed to help. At this point, we were probably running for about 30 secs. to a minute, then walking a minute or 2. Our clothing was completely soaked through with sweat.
Just short of the top of mountain 2, we had another water break. It was very difficult to start running again after stopping. My hip & thigh were starting to hurt a bit and I was still fighting off the leg cramps. As soon as we crested the top, we took off downhill for the last half mile at an almost full-out run. We just wanted to get finished.
Most of the racers had already left by the time we crossed the finish line at 2:32:51. I came in last, and you know what, my world didn't collapse. It felt as good to finish last in this race as it did to come in the middle of the pack. This was one tough race--it's one of those that I call a "character builder."
When I got home, I took a hot shower and went to bed. I'm feeling pretty good right now--some soreness in my right thigh and ankle, but those are the usual places that give me some trouble. A half hour of yoga should help.
This week will be a challenge to stay on track--I'm traveling and will be in meetings all day followed by required social events in the evenings. And the weather report is calling for 75-80 degrees with a good chance of thunderstorms all week. I'm staying at a hotel on campus and it doesn't have a gym--we can use the facilities on campus, so I'll have to see how far they are from the hotel.
Next Sunday is a 10-miler. You can bet I won't be running that one up any mountains! Rails-to-trails----here I come!
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