Friday, August 27, 2010
The verdict is still out on which will happen though. I got that practice run in. Last night I drove out to the Arboretum with a map of what I thought would be the race course (from the description). The drive took longer than expected and although the website says that they close at dusk, when I got there, they had a sign with a closing time of 1/2 hour earlier than what the internet said dusk was for our area.
Turns out that would have been precious time had I had the course right. I was sooo late leaving and the traffic was so bad that by the time I got there I realized that I had forgotten my headphones, so I had to run with no music and only my pedometer (which is actually quite accurate for steps, miles, time and calories burned)>
I started out at what I thought would be the starting point and yes, the first mile WAS definitely all uphill. Tried to pace myself, but the going seemed sooo slow. (Maybe because it WAS). Ran, and ran, and ran...even the remaining run after the first mile was more rolling hills than level or downhill. I got to the end of the run and was not even quite 2 miles!!!!! My time... we won't even discuss it.
This morning, though, I packed up the tunes, my phone with cardio trainer, extra water, G2, chocolate milk and a pnut butter & banana sandwich for post run and headed out to try it again. I got to the location and drove what I believed to be the route again, pushing the start and end back, but it was still no where near 3.11 miles. I headed back out in the car and passed the first turn thinking then, that the directions were wrong and that we didn't take the cut across the loop, but must have to run the whole loop around that side of the Arboretum. Turns out there is a second cut across, that didn't show on the course description. More likely, that is the one on the course description, but the one I had taken previously isn't shown and since it is at the top of the steepest incline on the course, I must have been HOPING that was it!!! Finished driving the course and sure enough...5K!
Now was the moment of truth. I drank a little more, hit the ladies room for one last pit stop and off I went. I think maybe the music helped, it sure didn't hurt, everything else did though. I nearly wanted to cry when I passed the first turn off. By the time I was running, it was afternoon and the temperature, although not very high, seemed brutal when not in the shade and the hills only made it worse. And I ran, and I ran, and I ran...I only walked for a few steps just after the 2 mile point to take a couple sips of G2 and when I hit what I now assume will be the finish point, GPS said 3.22 miles in 37:13. Not even close to a PR. My splits were 11:31, 11:28 and 11:29. I believe that computes out to a 36:00 5K. I was hoping to gain some time on the downhills, but that didn't happen. Seems even the downhills had some inclines and my legs were dead and my breathing was suffering, so my times did as well. I got it done though and now I have a starting point to work on for the next month until I need to take a couple days off to rest my legs. I know I'll need it!!! I'd like to be as close to 30:00 as possible, but anything under 35:00 and I'll have to consider it a success given the course.
My take away lesson? "Challenging", when used to describe a running course, means "BRUTAL or TORTUROUS"!!!
Tomorrow a couple of friends are running in a local 5K (just 4 miles or so from here). If I didn't think that my legs would be so totally wiped, I'd try to run there and back, but there is a major hill just prior to getting to the location and there is NO WAY I'm attempting that at 7AM after what I asked of my legs these past two days. Think I'll just drive over and cheer them on.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The last three days have been really long. I wasn't able to get even six hours of sleep any one of those nights and worked job #1 all three days. Needless to say, I'm beat. It's not quite ten, though, and I'm relatively caught up on Sparking, correspondence, laundry(just need to get it put away) and tomorrow I'm not working at the Depot, so hopefully only a short shift at job two later in the day. Plans are to get some extra sleep tonight, eat a good breakfast and then get over to where my next 5K is being held and do a long run. The course description says that the first mile is all up hill, so I want to see how much incline and what that does to my body and time. I also want to see how I do on the downhill. Got some advice about chi running and will see if the posture changes (mostly for the downhills) help. Really would like to do around 6 or better miles tomorrow, but, again it depends on what the hills do to me. Guess this is going to be a bit of an experiment. If I don't do at least 5, then I'll do some other cardio cross training later and or some weight training. Really hope that my body will hold up well enough to do the long run though. Anyway, won't make it through any of that if I don't get some much needed rest. Keep Sparking Everyone - Push it one step further than you believe you can go!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Today was a long day - full day (9 hours) at work, then errands, cook dinner, eat, get in a workout...still managed to do 30 mins., some pilates, some strength training and some hill work on the treadmill at 10% incline. Whoa, what a difference that incline makes! I'm hoping to do some if that hill work - just even a few minutes (5-10 a day) using the C25K interval program until I can work up to 10-15 minutes straight at 10% incline at 5.5 speed. It's a bit lower that I would like my speed to be, but I should be able to make that up on the downhills and I think given how the incline was affecting me tonight on 90-90 intervals with 4.5 walks, anything more would honestly be pushing it too much I think. We'll see. Food still good...looks like around 1700 is my balancing point except on long run days when I eat a little more. I'm trying to keep the fat in line and raise the protein and control the carbs, but the carbs seem to be what climbs the fastest. I'll keep working on that and maybe need to start eating more egg whites or egg substitute in the am instead of so much oatmeal. Also read something interesting about the benefits of using chocolate milk as a recovery drink...not my favorite, but maybe half and half w/skim or maybe half yogurt berry smoothie and half milk. Going to be testing that one out. Anyway, I'm late getting to bed, but if I hit it now, I can still get in almost 7 hours. Fitness is going to be a tight squeeze tomorrow and won't have a chance to run untill Wed. or Thurs now except the intervals on the treadmill.
Keep Sparking everybody.....I need you with me !!!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Today is a very late work day. I start at 2 and work till 11PM. YUCK!!! Got some stuff done this am though. Besides the normal making bfast and lunch for sis and me and taking care of the animals, I got laundry done, got budgeting and financial balancing done, opened a new bank account and have my snack and dinner ready for work.
I was hoping to get some strength training and cardio x-trng done PLUS a little bit of training done for my next 5K. Got the strength training and cardio done - but when I got ready for the running (treadmill on incline) discovered that I had the old earbuds that have the broken wire....guess those need to get thrown out. It made following the C25K impossible - will have to work on that tomorrow. Trying to use that to train for the next event.I signed up this morning and it will be Oct 3rd (Sun). It is a challenging course. I haven't been there to map it out, but will definately do that this eek and try to do a couple test runs before the race. I know I won't be setting any PR's on that one...would like to finish in under 30, but that's not too promising either. The entire first mile is up hill!!! It is described as
Fall Color 5K Course Description
The Morton Arboretum
Sunday, October 3, 2010
• The challenging course follows the East Side Main Route through rolling terrain.
• The first third of the course is mainly uphill; the last third is largely downhill. Because of the early hills, many runners finish more strongly than they start.
• Much of the race course winds through shaded, forested areas that shelter participants from the wind and sun.
• The route is paved and will be closed to vehicle traffic the morning of the race.
Mile One: Uphill all the way! Starting in the Elm Collection on the East Side, the Main Route brings you around the Northwest side of Meadow Lake. You’ll climb a gentle uphill slope, then a steep incline to the top of Frost Hill (P3). Here, enjoy the gorgeous view of the DuPage River Valley. Then, you’ll wind around Crabapple Lake through a sunny, open area before entering a shady wood near Crowley Marsh. Tip: Don’t take it too hard on those early inclines or you may be burning by the end of Mile One!
Mile Two: Some ups and downs. At the Buckeye Collection, encounter another slight uphill. The route then takes you through the world’s premiere Oak Collection, where majestic oaks provide breathtaking scenery. Near P8 you’ll enter the East Woods. Look for blooming asters and goldenrods in the understory, and maples and oaks overhead. As you turn off the Main Route onto the cut-off road, there’s a steep downhill run. The course flattens out as you pass through a wetland area. Tip: If you’re a good downhill runner, you can gain a lot of time back on this part of the course.
Mile Three: One last hill, then a downhill finish. You’ll fight up one last 150 yard hill beginning at P14, where you join the Main Route again. After P15, you’ll follow some mild rolls through open woods. When you get to the Appalachia Collection, the lightly treed course features a steady decline that takes you through the China and Japan Collections. You’ll finish in the Elm Collection, near where you started. Tip: Since the race finishes with a long downhill, you can really burn up the road and finish strong!
Whew!!! I committed to this race before I even began C25K back at the end of March and it really means alot to me to do this race and do my best at it. My folks used to take us there when we were young and the day I race I will be two days older than my mom was the day she died, so it's kind of in memory of her. I was pretty young, just starting high school then.
Got to come up with a training plan for the hills. I seem to be improving greatly in both distance - 5K is a piece of cake and in speed - at least on the flats, but I don't have much opportunity to do hills, so that will have to be my concentration these next few weeks.
Is there any one out there with suggestions for uphill AND downhill - I know I will need to use the downhills to my advantage to pick up time.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So many times in my life I have jumped into something....worked hard, excelled at it, and then when the rest of life continued or I tried to incorporate something else into life, the very thing that I worked so hard at fell away and I lost all or at least most of the progress that I had made.
This time is going to be different....and the baby steps are what will make the difference. Just as a small child learns to walk with baby steps, then moves faster and faster as it becomes second nature, put something in the child's arms or blindfold her, and she revers back to the baby steps that kept her safe and standing on her feet.
So goes it in my life, as I work on my financial stability and security and job hunting. Just additional loads that I try to carry, but little bits at a time, so as to not throw myself and the program that I have embraced totally off kilter. I may get a little "off balance" for a day, but logging and blogging help me to review what is going on and keep me from getting totally out of control and off course.
Sparking is a great tool to apply to so many areas of life. I just need to learn in all other areas to slow down, do those baby steps, no matter how long they take to become habit and not expect perfection...just progress. I think I am learning!
Now, to follow through on one of the great lessons I've learned. Rest is IMPORTANT, and if I get to bed NOW, I can still get 7 hours sleep (well, almost).
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