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A final run before the snow hits

Friday, November 11, 2011

I was hoping to do a long run today. We got delayed a little trying to set up my husband's new heart rate monitor. So my long run was only slightly longer than my regular runs, 5.1 miles with several steeper hills.
It was amazing to see that even my husband who can run a 9-minute-mile had to slow down to a walk for some of the steeper hills. His speed was about a 10-minute-mile over 6 miles today and given that he is already at ideal running weight and has good cardio-vascular fitness already will probably not improve as much but is still considering trying the Maffetone method to train for our next half-marathon on March 5 next year.

Here are my results for today:
avg. heart rate 131 bpm
total running distance: 5.1 miles
total running time: 1hr. 12 min.
avg. speed: 4.2 mph

My leg muscles felt a little tired in spite of having had two days off from running. I wish I could have run longer, though.
I suspect that it takes a lot less stress than I previously thought to affect my pulse while running negatively. Today I had some mild stress, just some scheduling issues involving things that were out of my control and I think the mental energy it took to deal with them affected my running. It was only during my run that I decided that some issues just aren't that important that they deserve affecting my running. Making a conscious choice about priorities helps.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 11/12/2011 9:01AM

    Great job! You inspire me.

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KKINNEA 11/11/2011 6:02PM

    You are getting awesome results with this. I may look into for my June marathon.

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VEUVEGIRL 11/11/2011 5:52PM

    You got out there. Great job!

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2 rest days and an appeal to get involved

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two rest days in a row is not what I had planned but I had no time for running these last two days. I did manage to get an hour of walking in with the dogs and some of it turned into jogging. I'll plan my long run for tomorrow.

For those of you who haven't seen it in the groups where I have posted I wanted to draw attention to the GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling issue. This is not about party-politics but holding our elected officials accountable for their promises. Here is a short video clip:


Right now the only way it is possible to avoid GMO foods and all the Roundup that they are sprayed with is to buy organic and not everybody can afford that. The other issue with GMO foods is that the company that sells most of the seed has what is close to a monopoly on the world-wide seed market.


4 weeks since the first MAF test

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Here were the results from the first MAF test from Oct. 11:

Mile 1: 3.7 mph
Mile 2: 3.4 mph
Mile 3: 3.2 mph
average speed: 3.43 mph
average heart rate: 132-33

Today's results:

Mile 1: 4.3 mph
Mile 2: 4.1 mph
Mile 3: 3.8 mph
Mile 4: 3.6 mph
average speed: 3.95 mph
average heart rate: 132

The improvement in 4 weeks is significant. I not only got faster but also went from running 3 miles for a regular workout to running 4 miles. If I continue to improve at this rate than I should be able to run at about the same speed as before I started with a heart rate of 132 instead of about 15 bpm higher.
One mistake I made is to eat a cheese bagel about 3 hours before my workout without any protein or fat. All those carbs are probably the reason my blood sugar was getting low during mile 3 and 4. I noticed that my energy dropped off significantly and it was harder to run even at the same heart rate. White flour is just as bad as sugar for stable blood-sugar levels.
Overall I'm very encouraged by the improvement and by how easy it has been to do the running. Slow but steady progress is great with me.

And here, just for fun, a little infomercial about barefoot that I just discovered:



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHOOLNURSE86 11/10/2011 2:43PM

    Very interesting blog! And I agree, if I eat some sort of "white" carbs before a run, especially without protein...my blood sugar plummets and it just goes downhill from there.

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KKINNEA 11/9/2011 12:59PM

    Great results on your experiment! The "bad carbs" are always what get me too - you can feel the bottom drop out.

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A run and another rant

Monday, November 07, 2011

Today I ran 4 miles on a chip-sealed road. Mile 1 was level, mile 2 was uphill, mile 3 downhill, mile 4 level.
Here are the results:

Mile 1: 4.1 mph
Mile 2: 4.0 mph
Mile 3: 4.8 mph
Mile 4: 4.0 mph
average speed: 4.2 mph
average heart rate: 131 bpm

This is a slight improvement over my last run on this road a little more than a week ago.
Tomorrow is treadmill day.

Now to the rant: As I'm listening to the Dr. Oz show I hear them talking about desserts that are allowed on their program. One is a berry crumble that has 3/4 cup of white flour and 2/3 cup of brown sugar in addition to the berries. The next one is a strawberry-mango smoothie that has mango juice, honey and low-fat vanilla yoghurt in it making this a sugar-bomb. How about the advice not to drink your calories? The third one is chocolate-banana wontons. Wontons are made with white flour unless you make them yourself. The smoothie has a point value of 4, the other desserts of 5. I'm not very familiar with weight watchers but I bet making the berry crumble with whole wheat flour and Xylitol would be much better for you, the smoothie could be made with fresh mango and strawberry, plain yoghurt and stevia, the chocolate-banana wontons would not taste bad if you left out the wontons or added a few nuts. Dr. Oz, you know better than that, I'd give you and weight watchers a C- for this one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 11/8/2011 5:04PM

    Thanks for the comments guys. emoticon
you are right about the servings. I'm not saying I never eat sugar and white flour, it's just that I don't like WW or Dr. Oz to recommend those to anyone, especially to eat dessert daily, when there is better options. Anyone with that kind of authority needs to be held to a higher standard because people give them so much more credit. I guess it's a lesson in learning to use our own judgement. emoticon

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MIRAGE727 11/8/2011 1:17PM

    I appreciated your view on your running. I need to be more on my heart rate and pace. I agree that the foods mentioned did not have total healthy ingredients White flour is "da debul!"
I am so sensitive now to what experts are suggesting. Thanks for sharing and be well!

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TOWHEE 11/8/2011 12:31PM

    Not to defend WW or Dr. Oz, but the recipes are for multiple servings - 8 servings for the berry crumble, 2 servings for the smoothie, and 6 servings for the chocolate wontons.

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/8/2011 10:50AM

    I'm beginning to wonder if his promotion of Weight Watchers is such a good idea. There are quite a few unhealthy recipes like that in on their program.

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MARTHAWILL 11/7/2011 8:00PM

    Surprising- Dr. Oz is such a health guru. Missed the boat here.

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A perfect day

Saturday, November 05, 2011

I had a lot of good things happen today. It was one of those things you can't predict. I took my daughter to swim practice in the morning with the intention to run at the gym because the temps were in the mid 20's at 8 am. The gym wasn't open so I decided to visit the outdoor track of a nearby University. When I got there the sun had not come up and it was still only around 28 degrees F. I took 15 minutes to warm up and by the time I was ready to run the sun had come up.
I was the only person on the track the whole time. Since I had not had time to run the last two days and I had several hours before my daughter needed to be picked up I decided to do a longer run. Surprisingly I had a really fun time running on the track. Because the track was empty I had a very peaceful time running and could changed direction every couple of loops. Having such a smooth, well-maintained surface to run on let me focus on my form and, once I got in a good rhythm, on my thoughts. I felt blessed to be running in the sunshine away from traffic, knowing that I have a couple hours to myself.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere I had what I see as a revelation. It was about goals - goals for my running, goals for my life. As I thought about it some I found they fall into three different categories which are different than most people usually perceive them and than I had usually perceived them. Short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals.
The short term goal was to fully experience the present, my running at that time, writing this blog right now, because the present will not wait, we have to take advantage of it now. Many people thing of short term goals as goals for today or for this week, but those goals are really still out of reach and often we have very little control over our circumstances in even the very near future. The medium-term goals for me are a lot further away then I used to see them, not weeks or a few months, but 2 years away. In two years I want to have run a marathon, done enough strength training to where I can easily throw 50 lb bags of feed and 70 lb hay bales around. I could make those goals with the intention of reaching them in 5 months, but I'd have to work very hard to get there and may not enjoy the process of getting there nearly as much.
Then there are the long-term plans, what I call the 5-year plan. These are goals that I'm very far away from reaching right now and I really have no idea how long it would take me to reach them. In this category falls continuing to raise my daughter, a career change that would be fun to pursue, building long-term friendships. It's kind of like the stock market, you invest but know that it could be at least 5 years or more until you see a significant return. If you want to invest for only a short time the stock market is the wrong place.
The short-term goals I want to immerse myself in while the moment is here. I don't want to get distracted by things in the future that I may not have any control over. The medium- and long-term goals are like my beliefs, I want to hold them lightly, knowing that circumstances or my opinion or my knowledge might change, because I will learn more and have new experiences.
How does that all relate to running, nutrition and overall health? I can learn to go with the flow and enjoy opportunities as they present themselves. But I can also learn to let go of hopes that don't come true knowing that something better may be waiting just around the corner. Only God knows what is coming my way and the more open-minded I am the more likely will I see it.
To get back to running:
I ran 6 miles today at an average heart rate of 131.

Mile 1: 14:03 min. 4.2 mph
Mile 2: 14:57 min. 4.0 mph
Mile 3: 15:30 min. 3.9 mph
Mile 4: 14:30 min. 4.1 mph
Mile 5: 14:10 min. 4.2 mph
Mile 6: 13:20 min. 4.5 mph
avg. speed : 4.1 mph

This run was interesting because I slowed down first and then sped up. I'm wondering if it takes extra effort to run in very cold weather.

In the afternoon we went ice skating. I was able to join a set of group lessons at a discount because there was a lack of interest. I ended up having a 45 minute private lesson because of the lack of students enrolled. I finally learned 3 ways of stopping properly on ice skates and also learned a one-foot spin and a waltz jump. It was a blast and I'm hoping to get the chance to practice once or twice before next Saturday.
By the time my daughter and I were taking a stroll through the mall my legs felt pretty tired. Now sitting down at the computer is a treat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 11/6/2011 12:44AM

    Great blog. You've been very mindful in setting some realistic goals for yourself. Congratulations! Many just let their mind wander . . . while I can see you're quite the multitasker. What a great run!

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CHIBIKARATE 11/6/2011 12:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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