Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So I need some advice from all of my "more experienced" readers out there.  As you can tell, I'm very new to the running world.  I've been going since March and I really love it.  Getting out and moving is great.  One of my biggest helps as I've entered this alternate universe is the internet.  It's how I've found training plans, inspiration, and support.  I also find many new terms and ideas that I've never thought about.

One thing that has truly intrigued me is speed work (or track workouts, intervals, whatever you want to call it.)  As far as I've been able to glean from my reading, it's basically running short distances (400 meters or so) at a faster-than-tempo-pace with the goal of improving your overall speed.  I've also read that it really helps with form, forcing you go align yourself in order to get to that speed.  Does this sound familiar?  Am I getting the idea?

So my question for all of you who have run for awhile is....When is a good time to start adding it in?  I've been fascinated by the thought of increasing my speed and really, it just seems like it would break up my workouts more, add some variety to my training.  I'm just curious if I should wait until I've been doing this longer or do it now?  Second question, Does it need to be done on a track?  I've seen both and I'm sure a track is better on the legs but I don't really have one nearby.  Should I wait until I can get to a track, or just do it around my neighborhood?  I'm not really going to go too fast, I'm still a slow poke, but I would love to have some short bursts of speed.  My other thought is to try it on the grass at a park.  That's bound to be softer than the road, right?

I hope you can help me with this.  I want to learn more about it and maybe try some.  Thanks for the advice.

P.S.  My legs are doing SOOOOO Much better since I started Yoga.  I went out yesterday and had no pain in my ankles at all and hardly any in my knee!  Yoga for Runners in my queue  for netflix.  I can't wait to try it out!


Avg. Pace
Avg Speed

5:00 (warmup)15:518
5:00 (fast)13:24-3
1:00 (slow)15:420
5:00 (fast)12:43-5
1:00 (slow)15:29-1
5:00 (fast)14:194
1:00 (slow)16:221
5:00 (fast)14:301
1:00 (slow)12:12-0
5:00 (cooldown)16:22-2

Saturday, June 25, 2011

That Evil "I" Word

No, it hasn't happened yet.  At least not that I know of, but this week I decided not to push it too far.  Yes, you all know what I am talking about.  You go and go and go.  It starts out a little sore, then it gets worse each time you run.  The dreaded "i" word that no runner want to hear.  Injury.  I've complained about my knee before, how it's sore, slows me down etc.  Well, after my 5k on Saturday I really began to wonder if I had done too much.  My knee was KILLING me!  I iced it and massaged my legs, rubbed it down each night, but it still hurt.  So, in lew of making things worse, I decided to take the week off.  Part of the reason was that it wasn't just my knee.  Yes the knee hurt, but so did my ankles.  Each morning I would wake up sore and stiff.  The walk to the bathroom appeared to be too much until each of the ankles popped.  It seemed that every night, all my joints would loosen and shift and in the morning I had to move slowly as they re-aligned.  Then the rest of the day I would have swelling reminiscent of my pregnancy days.  Not actual visual swelling, but pressure surrounding my legs.  Yeah, not good.

My workouts this week have consisted of slowly walking around the neighborhood.  It seems to help to move, just not enduring the jarring of a run.  In fact, one day I walked four miles.  I made sure to pay attention to my legs, waiting for any pain and stopping when I needed too.  I still massaged, warmed up and stretched my legs.  Finally, on Friday, I came to the conclusion that my muscles are just getting too tight.  Never in my life have they been so big or worked so hard.  With each day, they become tighter and pull my body in ways it has never been used too.  When I was in high school I did yoga often.  I was a dancer of sorts and needed to be flexible.  Yoga was a wonderful way for me to do that.  So reverting to my "younger" days, I dug out my "Yoga Conditioning for Weight-loss" DVD and gave it a go.
See the little curve on my shin?
Didn't used to be there!
I like to call this my "muscle shelf"
I have it on both legs now

It starts out simple, breathing, standing and mild stretching.  I had forgotten how relaxing it can be.  You just focus on the in and out, loosening every part of your body.  After 15 minutes it was time for some of the standing poses.  Proud Warrior, Triangle, and others.  I went through each one, using the fully modified versions.  After about five minutes I began to notice something.  My feet HURT!  The rest of my body handled the poses just fine.  A little difficult, with a mild stretch, but oh the feet.  I have never had them feel so bad.  It was as if each muscle and tendon was stretched to the limit and was on fire.  Never having walked across hot coals, I can't be positive, but I'm pretty sure that's what my feet felt like.  In all of my stretching, even rolling my feet after each run, they have never gotten a workout like that.  You want to know the really funny part?  After I finished, my ankle pain was much better.  Apparently feet need to be stretched too.  Who knew!?   I don't know if that is a fact or if anyone would have the same experience.  I'm just glad I did it and I will definitely be adding Yoga to my workout plan. Now I just need to get a copy of the "Yoga for Runners" DVD I've been hearing about.

That said, we will see how I feel on Tuesday before I pick up the training again.  I only have one month left to my 10k and I am more than just a little nervous.  I mean, right now my distance pr is 4 miles.  Still two less than what I need.  If I have to, I will walk the course, but I really hope I can run it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Race Recap: Nibley Heritage 5k

First a few race shout-outs:

Congrats to everyone who ran the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay this weekend, including Hillary Frisbee and SupermomeE12 at See Mom Run Far  You people AMAZE me!

Yay for my sister-in-law who finished her first 5k!  She's been dealing with an injury so she walked it, while pushing her kids in a jogging stroller!  With all of that, she still finished in 48:40  Way to go Kendra!

There are sooo many more of you out there, congratulations to you all!

Now on to the main event.....

Here's the short version:
Small town, Fun run=mild disorganization but lots of people to talk to while we wait.
My goals: Well, I made two out of three.  I definitly didn't start too fast and I didn't run more than the 5 minutes. The time, well....My annual spring cold showed up...43:56 according to runkeeper and 44:13 by the clock.
5th out of 5 in my age group, not sure of my overall, but I know I wasn't last.

Long version:

Like I mentioned above, my annual cold decided to make a visit this week.  Each year as the season changes, I get this nasty cold where my nose closes off and my lungs seem constantly full of fluid and not air.  Really it's not too bad (meaning no trip to the doctor necessary) but this year it was just annoying.  I had finished my run on Tuesday feeling good and really excited about the race and my pace.  Then Wednesday, my little friend decided to show up.  I really thought I had avoided it this year, it usually comes around in April or May, but I guess with the late spring it was just delayed.  I took Thursday off, planning to rest my body because I really, really wanted to run the 5k.  I knew I needed to revise my goals, and I sort of did in my head.  I planned to simply finished and be proud that I had run another race.  Of course, that's easier said than done, I'm fiercely competitive with myself.

waiting for it to start
Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful.  Both Big D and I woke, got dress and ate some toast.  I was more than a little nervous but my lungs felt pretty good.  We headed out the door at 6:55 to walk down to the park.  The race was supposed to start at 7:15.  As soon as I saw the line waiting to get their bibs I knew it was going to be a later start.  We waited for awhile, got our bibs and headed over to the start.  As I looked back, more and more people were showing up.  It was a FREE 5k so I wasn't really surprised at the numbers, but I think the organizers were.  While we waited for everyone else to finish, I saw my parents walking down the street with my girls.  I had planned on just having them take pictures when we  went past the house but my dad wanted to get some at the start.  It's a good thing he did.

And they're off!
Finally, I'm not sure what time, they had all the people running the 5k group together on one side of the road and the 1 milers on the other.  We waited for a little bit, I got my music going and my runkeeper ready.  All of the sudden I heard people saying, "They've started.  Go, go, go."  I just laughed and started out.  I kept it nice and slow even though tons of people were passing me.  I just hoped not to be last.  Big D stayed with my for a little bit, but I knew he could go faster.  I told him to go ahead and I'd catch up at the end.  Five minutes into the race I thought, "Hey, maybe I can meet my goal."  I was feeling good, I started off at my normal pace.  It helped that the route was one that I follow quite often so I just thought of it as a training run.  I'd done this tons of times before, I could do it again.  I kept Big D in my sights deciding to use him as my rabbit.  As long as he didn't get too far ahead of me, I was okay.

I wish I looked better,
but here we are together
About 1.5 miles in I had my first little seeds of doubt.  My legs were starting to hurt.  Not, injury and I need to stop hurt.  More, I'm not getting enough oxygen and they have no energy hurt.  I couldn't breath through my nose at all and my lungs were really started to protest at all the fresh air.  I finally decided to slow down and walk a bit.  I felt much better and I could still see Big D.  I listened to my runkeeper and my pace was still good, I could make my goal!  It might be exactly the same as last time, but still....I could do it, right?  I started to run/walk again, though much slower.  The corner where we would to go past my house was coming up and I knew seeing my girls and my parents would give me a big boost!  I looked up, watching the people in front of  me, anxious to make that last turn.  Something was wrong.  Why were all the people turning left?  They were supposed to go right at this corner, weren't they?  Then I saw the pieces of tape that had been marking the path.  Sure enough they turned left.  I could have cried right there.  My mind shut down immediately and I knew I wouldn't make my goal.  I know I could have, my body had the ability but with only a quarter of a mile left my mind was just done.  I caught up with Big D hoping for a mental lift.  I should have known something was up, at my pace he should have been long gone.  His leg was hurting him.  He decided to walk the rest of the race so he wouldn't hurt himself.  This was the farthest he had ever gone and his body protested loudly.

So, here I was.  Almost at the end.  My husband was doing great, but had reached his limit.  I wouldn't see my girls till after the race, and I wasn't really even sure where the finish was.  I told Big D to call my parents and tell them to meet us at the finish.  I really wanted to make one last push and finish strong.  I took off jogging, got a little ahead of him and then I just....I couldn't make it over my mental mountain.  I should have stayed with Big D and run across the finish with him, but I really wanted to keep trying for my time goal.  In the end, I did run, not walk, across the finish, and I did smile.  I turned around to watch for my hubby and saw him cross just a few seconds behind me.  Turns out he decided he could run the last little bit.  It was good to see his face.  He finished his first 5k and I couldn't be prouder of him!

All in all, I'm really glad I ran.  Even though I didn't PR, I learned a little about mental toughness.  Mostly I learned that it's something I really need to work on before I get to my marathon.  Races don't always go the way you hope.  Things happen.  Some are caused by other people, and sometimes it's your own body not co-operating. The important thing is to get out and try.  If you don't try then you've already failed.

Interesting people I met:
There were a TON of my neighbors there that I didn't know liked to run....I'm definitely planning talking to a few of them about running together.  I just need to find a running buddy who goes at my pace.

When we started off, I noticed four ladies in matching blue shirts.  On the back it said, "This seemed like a good idea in January."  I was curious who they were and at the end  I got to talk to two of them.  They are a group of friends who have decided to all run 11 5k's in 2011.  I thought that was a really fun idea.  I may have to see if I can get a group together for something like that next year.

Those of you who follow on my facebook page already know about this last one.  While we were waiting around for the start, I saw someone exciting!  Justin, from Season 11 of The Biggest Loser was there. He was running with his son.  I really wanted to get a picture with him, but I was a little embarrassed to ask (you would think I'd learn after the last time and just do it.)  When everyone was standing around at the end of the race, I heard another lady ask for a picture and I took the chance.  I got one.  He is super nice and it turns out he live just down the street from me.  Small world.

Avg. Pace
Avg Speed

5:00 (fast)12:204
1:00 (slow)16:020
5:00 (fast)13:045
1:00 (slow)15:530
5:00 (fast)14:134
1:00 (slow)16:400
5:00 (fast)13:30-7
1:00 (slow)16:35-1
5:00 (fast)14:20-4
1:00 (slow)16:212
5:00 (fast)13:50-5
1:00 (slow)16:152
5:00 (fast)15:12-3
1:00 (slow)14:202
5:00 (fast)15:01