Friday, June 12, 2009
I headed out under gray skies last night to get in an hour run. About 20 minutes into it, the sky opened up and the rain began to fall. At times it was a hard rain, others a light drizzle. I felt at least 40 years younger--it's so much fun to run in the rain (at least when it's warm) and running in the rain felt much more refreshing than running in 98% humidity. It brought back memories of playing outside with my friends as a kid. Riding bikes & running through water puddles.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Last night our beginners' running group met to run 6 quarter miles with a limit of 4 minutes per quarter mile. The task at hand was to run up to the cones as fast as possible--if you finished in 1:58, then you got to enjoy a 2:02 rest until the next one. If it took 3:45, then you only had 00:15 to rest before the next one, which was back down the trail.
It was hot and very humid--they were calling for , but we didn't get one. The would have been . By the end of our runs, we all looked like we had been in a shower. My face was red as and sweat was dripping from my nose and chin and running into places I'd rather it not.
Going up the trail, I averaged around 2:13; going down the trail around 1:58. Surprisingly, the last run, which was down, was my best. That's because I pictured the coach as a big with floppy ears, and I was the fox. I came within 2 strides of catching him at the finish line.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Four friends started in Lockport, NY on Friday and ended in Palmyra, NY on Sunday, averaging about 28 miles per day. Even the most recreational cyclist could plan a trip along this section of the canal since there are so many communities to stop in for a rest.
This is the first trip in four years that we didn't have at least a few hours of rain. I'm so disappointed--I was looking forward to modeling the lovely and stylish hotel shower cap that I brought along to pull over my helmet.
The canal towpath is crushed limestone and well maintained; around Rochester it is paved. There are many small towns and villages along the way, so we cycled leisurely and explored a few. We saw some large boats and learned of a woman who was kayaking from Chicago to somewhere in New York all alone. Now, that is an adventure.
Friday (Lockport to Albion) was lovely, but with headwinds that made us hunker down low and pedal hard. We stopped to watch the draw bridges being raised and lowered to allow boats to pass through. In Medina, we stopped to take pictures in front of the large red apple--Medina is known for its apple orchards. In Albion, we stayed at the Fair Haven Inn and had a very nice dinner there. Everyone was very friendly.
Saturday morning (Albion to Rochester) started about 8:30 a.m. with breakfast at Tim Horton's. I must have my cup of joe. We stopped in Holley for their festival and walked down to see the falls at a small park. There a yoga instructor was giving a yoga class to young children. It was the perfect setting.
In Brockport, we stopped for "lunch" at an ice cream/chocolate shop and browsed the quaint shops. It was a lovely stop. In Spencerport, we rented tandem kayaks for an hour--what fun. That gave our upper body a work out and gave our legs a nice rest. As we were standing around deciding whether to have a bite to eat, a gentleman offered us his pizza that he had just bought. He said his eyes were larger than his stomach and he was going to throw it away if we didn't want it. So, we had pizza for a mid-afternoon snack.
That evening, Betsy & Cam, friends of one of our group, invited us to their house for dinner. What a treat!! Grilled sausages, rolls, fruit salad & mixed green salad. We have never eat so well on a bike trip. We were telling our hosts about the great ice cream we had in Brockport. That's when we learned that the man who had waited on us in the shop was their son. He works there part time while going to SUNY, Brockport. What a small world!!
Sunday (Rochester to Palmyra) we started at 9 a.m. so that Betsy could join us from Rochester to Fairport, where we would stop for a Canal Days Festival. She led the way and gave us a cycling tour of the University of Rochester, pointing out various landmarks and giving us a history lesson.
Fairport is a lovely town. There were dozens of arts and crafts vendors and food booths. After a walking tour of the festival area to scope out the great food, we went our separate ways to grab lunch. I had a wonderful freshly-made crepe filled with a southwestern-seasoned chicken and lots of greens. We all headed to the ice cream shop after lunch for dessert. We said our good-byes to Betsy & Cam, and then we were off to Palmyra. After Fairport, the trail is less populated and we pass through fewer towns.
When we arrived in Palmyra, our shuttle service was waiting for us and we headed back to Lockport. As soon as all of the photos are compiled, I'll post a few.
This trip was a welcome change from our usual 50-80 miles per day bike trips. On those trips, it's just pedal hard and fast and all we have ever seen is the trail. Plans are already underway for next year: Palmyra to Rome or Utica, or if time permits, to Albany.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It doesn't get much better than today. The was shining and a light breeze was blowing. About 5:30 p.m., I laid down my paintbrush and headed out the door for a short . But instead of running around town, I decided to try something new: running repeats up a hill.
I ran once around the block, then when I came to the hill, I ran up it as fast as I could. At the crest, I turned around and ran down 70 paces--about half way. Turned around and again ran up it as fast as I could, repeating 3 more times for a total of running up the hill 5 times.
When I crested the hill on the 5th run, I continued to run around the block. Then I repeated the sequence once again. It only took about 15 minutes, but it was an intense workout. I may try another set later this evening.
My goal is to run up & down the entire hill 10 times without breaks. This will strengthen the quads, increase aerobic capacity, and in general, make me a stronger runner.
Slogans for a T-shirt:
Queen of the Hill
I've been to hill & back 10 times.
Over the hill -- and proud of it!
Raise a little hill!
Delirious; Hill-arious - it's all a matter of perspective.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last night I mentioned to Brian36 that if I got up and ran this morning that everyone would know about it because I'd be -ing all over the place. Maybe you can tell that I'm not normally a morning runner . So, for what it's worth, here's the story . . .
My goal this morning was to run for 1 hour. Over the last few weeks, Iíve only been running once or twice a week and none longer than 30 minutes. Itís cool today, but the humidity is near 100%. And, Iím without music; the ipod died a while ago and I havenít replaced it yet. All perfectly good excuses to skip out on this run, but I didn't give in.
The first mile started off slowly, but I felt good. About 20 minutes into the run, I started to feel light headed. I have low blood pressure, so that isnít too unusual. By concentrating on my breathing pattern and rhythm, I can control it. And if that doesnít work, then I slow down until it passes. Within a few minutes it had passed, so I continued through the park.
I love running through the park. Itís one way and very few cars go by, especially in the morning or just before it closes at dusk. There are speed bumps throughout and about every other one has 3 ft. letters spelling ďS L O WĒ painted in front of them. As I came up to the first one, I saw ďslowĒ and immediately felt my gait slow. Itís amazing how our minds control our bodies subconsciously.
At 33 minutes I finished my second lap through the park and Iím still on the other side of town. As long as my feet keep moving, Iíll definitely meet my goal. Breathing is going well, legs feel like theyíre getting a workout, but they arenít tired yet. My obliques are pulling a littleóI added a new exercise that focuses on them and they are recovering from that workout.
Fifty minutes into it, I had to run in place to wait to cross an intersection. Thatís when I felt the post-run ankle pain flare. Itís been going on for weeks, so a trip to the doctor is probably in order. I tried new (different) shoes thinking that might help, but it hasnít. I can take the shoes back and theyíll work with me to find the right shoes or maybe an orthotic placed in my right shoe will help. My self-diagnosis is that a nerve in the Achilles tendon is slipping out of its groove and becoming irritated.
The last 11 minutes were a bit of a struggle. While the ankle doesnít hurt when Iím running, I worry that by continuing I may be causing damage. On top of that, my legs were beginning to feel like rubber bands. Through training for a half marathon, I knew that when it came down to just 10 more minutes, I can herald my strength and push on no matter how I feel.
The last 5 to 6 blocks to home are a series of 3 hills ranging from long and gradual to short and steep. As I turned onto the first, I re-stated my goal to run for 1 hour and then I claimed a second goal: run up the first hill. I exceeded both goals, but it was a squeaker. I ran for 61 minutes and continued to run up the second hill for a few yards before walking the rest of the way home.
My highest heart rate was 180; average was 159. 180 is a bit high for me, but the average sounds reasonable. Cool down was about a 10 minute walk. The coach of our running group has us rest between running sets until everyoneís heart rate is at 90 or below. The quicker your heart recovers, the more fit it is. This is something I want to more carefully monitor in my training. It will ensure that Iím neither slacking nor over-training.
Later this morning Iíll drive the route to find out how far I ran. Overall, the run felt wonderful, and itís good to know that I donít have to start all over from scratch to train for the next half marathon in September.
Over the summer I will alternate biking with running. Cycling is my first love and it complements the running as it uses a different set of muscles. It also provides a day of rest for my ankle while still building aerobic endurance. In addition to the half marathon, I have scheduled a 3-day bike ride in early June, a metric century (62 miles) in August and a Century (100 miles) in October. Hmmm . . . thereís nothing on the calendar for July.
PS: 5.75 miles
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