Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A break in the rain

Today's weather forecast called for a 50% chance for rain. When rain is predicted, I'm usually torn between running outdoors and planning a good treadmill workout. In general if storm activity can be heard within 15 minutes of my alarm time, I'll hit the treadmill. Fortunately for me the rain stopped about 45 minutes before the alarm sounded this morning!

I finished a 3 mile Easy Run around the neighborhood during the calm between storms this morning. It was almost pitch black when I started the run which reminded me that it's that time of year where I need to be very careful (see "7 safety rules for running in the dark"). There's just two runs remaining on my training schedule before next Sunday's half marathon. I'm trying not to think about it too much. But, it's hard not to imagine what it will be like to run my second half.

After Saturday's 11.25 mile Long Run, I'm refreshed and ready for Sunday. I probably could have run 13 miles instead of 11.25. Goodness knows my body needs to rest. Saturday night I'll eat a chicken breast sub from Subway; get a good night's sleep; eat oatmeal for breakfast; and carry a couple of energy bars and 20 oz of PowerAde with me Sunday morning.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Motivation and Hydration


Yesterday was a good 4 mile Easy Run the day after an extremely challenging 8 mile Fartlek Run. Experts say an easy run is good the day after a long run to help the body flush unneeded by-products. I understand this in theory, but from a practical standpoint it's not easy to run the day after very tough run.

Many of my friends have shown an interest in running. But most find it difficult to start running or keep to a schedule. There are some days when I do not want to do my runs which is why I was motivated to write the article Staying motivated to run on Examiner.com. Hopefully runners will find this article, and future articles, useful as they embark their running journey!


This weekend's run is an 11 mile Long Run which will likely require about 1:45 minutes on the road. I have a terrible habit of doing my long runs after drink 5 or fewer gulps of PowerAde or Gatorade. And of course by the time I get home, I'm too drained to think about doing anything.

After reading Peter Sagal's article Fuild Dynamics in the October 2009 issue of Runners World, I decided to order a Nathan Quickdraw Plus 22 oz water bottle from Amazon.com. I like the idea of carry a water bottle, but I really didn't think I could wear a bottle on my belt. The Nathan Quickdraw Plus water bottle is worn in the hand. Most runners say they don't even notice it when they are running.

Well, I'm sure I will benefit from taking a sip or two every 20 minutes or so on my long runs. The Quickdraw Plus will definitely come in handy for my next half marathon too!
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Those Little Things!

Running isn't just about how far or how fast you go.  It also has a lot to do with how much rest you get, how well you manage your weight, what you eat, when you run, the environment, and how you feel.  But sometimes runs can be very uncomfortable or go completely wrong because of the little things that get ignored while you prepare to hit the road.

This morning I had a goal to run 10 miles.  I got myself prepared as usual except I decided to eat a light breakfast - a bowl of cereal. My plan was to run 3.5 miles to the Sauk Trail Forest Preserve; run the 3.5+ miles around the track at the Preserve; and, run 3-3.5 miles back home.  Well about a mile or so into the run I started feeling cramps.  The cereal wasn't agreeing with me!  Determined to get in a long run, I decided to keep ignore the cramps and keep going. 

The next problem I encountered was the heat. It was about 60°F when got out of bed this morning.  After walking and feeding the dog, making cereal for my son, and doing a few minor tasks, about an hour had passed and the temp had climbed to about 70°F. Oh boy, gotta hit the road now! When I hit the 3 mile mark, I had enough of the heat and decided to remove my shirt for the first time. By the time I got to the Preserve, I felt a lot better and the dense trees helped cool me down for the next 3.5 miles.  What a relief.

The last 3 miles seemed pretty doable: my body was not overhead and I didn't really feel the cramp. I felt pretty good until mile 8.5 when the cramp sort of took over.  The blessing is that determination took over.  I kept my head forward and prayed for strength while I finished the last two miles. I could have run another mile, but while make the cramp worse?  I walked the last half mile or so which was cool with me!

The cramp is still with me although I feel a lot better.  The picture is one of several deer I saw last weekend at the Preserve.  There was only 1 deer out during this morning's run probably because I started almost 2 hours later than last week's run.  I love this new route because there are sidewalks most of the way and a few inclines which give me a pretty good workout.

Week 36 & 37
I logged 29 miles this week: 5 miles on Monday; 4 miles Tuesday; 6 miles Wednesday; 4 miles Thursday; and a 10 mile
Long Run today, Saturday. I added a Hill Workout on Thursday which will improve my endurance.  Next week I'll do 30 miles:
  1. Monday: Easy Run - 5 miles
  2. Tuesday: Easy Run - 4 miles
  3. Wednesday: Temp Run - 7 miles 
  4. Thursday: Hill Workout - 3 miles
  5. Saturday: Long Run - 11 miles
Sunday and Friday are rest days!

In August I ran about 114 miles - the most miles I've logged in a month! I'm ready for the Cal City Mini Marathon in 3 weeks!
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