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Magic Mile

Friday, March 12, 2010

Last night's workout was a hodge podge, but I ran, for the first time, a Magic Mile at 9:41, which translates to a half marathon time of 2:32:13. Both of last year's half marathons were under that time by quite a bit. I'll run another Magic Mile next week and see what I get. It will be interesting to see if this is a true predictor of race time for me.

In the middle of the 5-miler, I adjusted my course to run "That Hill." No repeats, just part of the route I was running. I made it up without walking, but just barely. When I reached the top, I had to walk for about half a block to catch my breath. My stomach felt like it was turned inside out.

The last mile or so I ran at a pretty good clip--several times I was running around 8:15, though I don't know that I sustained that pace for very long, but the run was faster than usual.

Last night was the last of the great weather for awhile. It's raining now and more is promised for the weekend. It's going to be a wet 20 miles on Saturday or Sunday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SORGIN 3/12/2010 8:32AM

    I always wondered about the magic mile, if it indeed was a good predictor for longer races. I haven't tried it yet. Thanks for sharing this and good luck on your 20 miles this weekend!

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That Hill

Monday, March 08, 2010

For the past 2 years I've run a 5K around campus in April, and today I sent in my registration for this year's race. It's held after work and is a fun race with entrants ranging from walkers out for a nice stroll to those who finish the race in 18 minutes or less (envy is a terrible thing). There are three hills--the first is within the first mile, moderately steep, but not too long, so it's manageable and after running it numerous times I feel I have conquered it. Not at a fast pace, but at least I can make it up without walking, but arriving at the crest with some huffing and puffing and grateful for a level run for the next quarter mile before hitting the second hill.

Hill 2 is short and not as steep as hill one. I can zip up and over it without any trouble and can enjoy the short downhill. That is followed by some more almost flat roads before hitting THE LIBRARY HILL. I don't know what it is about this hill, but I have never been able to get up it without some walking. It doesn't look a whole lot different than hill 1, but it must be steeper and a tad longer or maybe it's because it's at the half way point and I'm half tired or maybe it's just a mental obstacle. It looms above me like Mt. Everest. Blocks before I get there I begin dreading it. The energy just seeps out of my legs like an old car slowly dripping oil.

But tonight I conquered it. Not just once, but FIVE TIMES. Was it the warmer weather, the sun shining down on me, or maybe that bowl of oatmeal at 4 p.m. that gave me such a burst of energy and determination? I don't know, but I headed out after work with a spur-of-the-moment plan to beat that hill into submission before the April 16 race. I doubt that this war is over, but for now, I've won the first battle.

Onward and Upward!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIKIN_NURSE 3/10/2010 4:29AM

  i, too, hate hills!!! i'm not a runner - strictly cyling for me. fairly flat where i live. the big dam bridge has quite a slope up on either side (yes - that's its real name emoticon ) and it always intimidated me but when my cycling buddy finally got me to face my fear it was so empowering. i haven't ridden on the river trail and across the bridge since last fall so i'm excited to see if i'm any better at it. should be hitting that trail again after the time change!!

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JEN-HAIR-RUN 3/9/2010 11:20AM

    I am a hater of hills too. GOOD JOB!

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DRAGONFLY1974 3/9/2010 5:39AM

    WOOHOO!!!!!! Way to conquer the hill!!!

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DSQUARE22 3/9/2010 1:15AM

Keep at it!
Good luck in meeting all your goals!

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SORGIN 3/8/2010 9:23PM

    You rock! THAT IS AWESOME! You released that mental block, that is for sure! Now when you are in the race, you can remember how you tamed that hill not once but FIVE TIMES! Congrats!

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A Beautiful Day for Running

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Yesterday I woke up ready to emoticon. When I checked the weather Friday evening, Saturday promised to be in the low to mid 40s and emoticon. The urge to go running outside and enjoy the warmer weather was strong. I felt almost giddy. It was almost 2 p.m. by the time I wrapped up some house work that had to be done--the dust emoticon looked like they were forming an army, and I was afraid they might launch a surprise attack some night while we were sleeping. Cleaning house was followed by 30 minutes to decide what to wear. First, it was long sleeves and a mid-weight running jacket. Then it was short sleeves and the jacket. I finally settled on short sleeves under the long-sleeved top, no jacket. Turned out to be just right.

I strapped on my Garmin and headed south to run a new route. I planned on 2 separate loops -- the first started on country roads, but the run back would be along a major road. The country road was wonderful; just a few rolling hills, absolute silence except for the creeks swollen with snow melt and a few birds. I was about a mile into the run before I realized I forgot my Ishuffle. The second half of the first loop wasn't so nice. The road was busy and heavily canted on the shoulders which made my ankles hurt. Whenever the road was clear, I'd work my way back onto the road. It was a straight away so I could see cars coming from a long distance. At the end of the first loop, I stopped at the house and changed socks. They kept bunching at my toes and were really uncomfortable; never had that happen before, but I'll have to remember not to wear them to the half marathon.

The second loop was around town. Some nice rolling hills about the half way point, but most of it is relatively flat. Lots of people were out walking dogs and babies, and a few women were washing the outside of their windows--a definite sign that spring must be near (and a reminder that we should start washing windows at our house).

About 3/4 through the last loop I was feeling really, really tired. More like I was running a marathon than a 15-mile training run. But mentally, I wanted to keep on running. It had turned out to be such a beautiful day, and I wanted to be outside and enjoy every minute of it. I stopped at the end of 15 miles; Spring is coming and there will be many, many more sunny, warm days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLY1974 3/8/2010 5:37AM

    yesterday was my 15 miler..however...exhaustion and IT band pain..oh and my hsuband's requirement I get home by 10 so the kids wouldn't wake him up! Next week...19!

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TRILLIUM22 3/7/2010 11:01PM

    Those nice sunny days are great for running.

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JOVANB77 3/7/2010 12:46PM

    Sounds like you had a beautiful run! I got out yesterday myself because I haven't seen the sunshine in so long. Felt good. I wanted to keep going because it was so nice out. Its nice out again today so in a little bit I'm going for a run. Love it!

And congrats on running 15 miles! AWESOME!

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JUST_TRI_IT 3/7/2010 9:26AM

    Both route sound like such a great part of the sunny run. Glad your dust bunnies did not follow you out :)

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A Marathon Training Report

Thursday, February 25, 2010

As of this moment on February 25, there are 65 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes until the Pittsburgh Marathon. But who's counting? In-earnest training began January 1, but it’s been difficult to keep on schedule. The new year started out with me in bed for a week while I slogged through a horrendous cold followed by a week of recovery. Followed by traveling and another bout of being under the weather (no pun intended). But mostly I’m behind schedule because I’m a weather-weenie. A little bit cold today??? A little bit white and cold today??? A little bit windy, white and cold today??? All good scenarios for staying inside and skipping a training run. Yes, I’ve heard of a treadmill, but the machine turns into a dreadmill when I think of running hours and hours on it.

In between now and Pittsburgh, the Cook Forest Half Marathon is on my schedule, so I’m not being a complete slacker. Sunday I had a beautiful 10.34 mile run outside under sunny skies and temps in the 40s. Ahhh, this is what running is all about.

Tuesday it was back to the treadmill for 5.75 miles. The treadmill can be great for really pushing yourself. I did a quarter-mile walk for the warm up, then ran the first 1.75 miles at a comfortable 10 min. pace.

Then I decided to push myself to accomplish two goals: 1. increase intensity to burn some additional calories and see a couple of pounds fall off and 2. train at a faster pace so I can shave some time off my races.

I cranked the speed up to an 8:57 pace—way faster than I run out on the streets—and ran a 4-step ladder :
¼ mile
½ mile
¾ mile
1 mile

for a total of 2.5 miles. Between each running interval I walked ¼ mile. That last mile was a killer. I thought about running back down the ladder, but sanity returned and I finished off with a half mile walk. This turned out to be a fun run; I just need to be more creative when on the treadmill. To wrap up the evening, I did an upper-body workout on the weight machines for half an hour followed by 15 minutes of yoga and stretching.

The weather forecast doesn’t look promising for another outdoor run, so I guess it will be back to the gym.

Stay warm and keep moving! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UROPA40 2/26/2010 5:38AM

    Will be running Cook Forest at a much slower pace. Have taken a cut back week since my foot has been hurting. Will see how the run goes tomorrow unless we are not running due to a blizzard. I am not sure I could train for a full marathon and pretty sure if I do it will not be in the Pennsylvania winter. Suzy

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    Awesome, I will hope for cool clear weather for you this week.

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ELISEL 2/25/2010 12:40PM

    Whoo hoo!!

I hate running on the treadmill, but I hate the cold more. The longest run I've done on a treadmill is 7 miles and it was tough. I was able to get my 8 mile outside last week and I'm really hoping for a mild March.

I cover the screen with my towel and listen to a fast song playlist on my iPod. After each song I click the speed up one tenth of a mile until I think I'm half way through. Then I peek and if I'm lucky I am. After that I click the speed down after each song. These "games" help get me through the boredom of a treadmill.

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CHARITYCC 2/25/2010 9:13AM

    THANK YOU! It is stormy here in Boston, I ran out in the cold last night but did not want to have to do it again tonight. You just gave me a better outlook on getting on that treadmill.
Good luck on the training. I am doing Boston !

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SORGIN 2/25/2010 9:06AM

    You rock!

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For you, Marathoner

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


"A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." Henrik Ibsen

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLY1974 2/3/2010 10:25AM

    I really want to see that movie!

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