Life as we know it

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My training plans

Starting next week, I am increasing my mileage again. By January I want to get up to a consistent 30 miles per week, and I want to run 10 to 13 miles without walk breaks. I ran 6 miles today without walk breaks, so 10 to 13 is a doable goal. Then I’ll start my marathon training in January.

Marathon training as in FULL marathon training. I’ve decided I don’t need to wait until September for my full marathon. I have plenty of time and I’m accumulating the experience, and my mileage base will be up by the time I start training. I’m going to run the Madison Marathon on May 24.

I had considered running the Green Bay marathon the week before with the Team in Training alumni, but really it just makes more sense to take advantage of the home race.

I’m skipping the MATC Turkey Trot on Saturday because that would have been my third race in three weeks. The last time I raced that much was in July, and that may or may not have contributed to my IT/knee issues that surfaced around that time.

The Berbee Derby on Thanksgiving day is my final race for the year. I am going to save my money to get the colder weather running gear so I can run that race, and outside in general. I really do think I can do it.

The first thing I need is a pair of gloves. Then a few more long sleeve shirts and a wind breaker. I need tights eventually, but I have discovered that layering a pair of capris with my long pants insulate my legs pretty well. And even if I can run outside in the cold, I don’t know that I would do it when its THAT cold anyway.

I also need new shoes again. I’m considering looking for a new shoe because I haven’t been a huge fan of the new style of the Brooks Dyad.

Anyway, with the gloves and windbreaker along with a proper warmup, I know I can do the Berbee Derby.

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Sorry I haven’t been a faithful blogger

I actually have plenty to write about over the next few days, I just don’t have the time to write it!

Doug and I went to Detroit last weekend and I’m still exhausted from that trip. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better rested and I can take a few minutes to write.

The last time I ran outside was last Monday. Its getting colder. And while temps are still reaching highs in the 50s, my asthma has really been giving me heck the last few weeks, so I’m hesitant to go outside. I need to buy some cold weather running gear, but I don’t want to waste my money if I won’t be able to use it. I don’t have any money to buy it anyway, but thats the current dilemma.

I’m hoping to just brave the elements and get outside today. The weather should be nice if the wind ever stops blowing. It gets so windy here in the fall. I’m hoping to get to the arboretum before the leaves are completely gone from the trees. Hopefully tomorrow will be it.


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I miss when dieting was easy

Believe it or not, it was easy for me. I counted carbs. If I stayed under 180 grams per day, I lost weight.

Unfortunately in the last three or four months, that stopped. With all my exercise I need more carbs, more food to sustain me. So I’m changing my diet to counting calories instead. And I don’t like it one bit.

I’ve been tracking my food most days and my calorie consumption is all over the map. Not to mention I need to watch out that I don’t consume too much fat or too many carbs!

I’ve been in this transition for almost a month now. I haven’t seen any progress. I get to the point where I feel bad about anything I put in my mouth. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Though I have decided to be happy with my current weight, I’m still afraid I’m going to gain it all back. I’m just wondering when this will become automatic again.

I am finally starting to weight train again. At least I weight trained today. I’m hoping to do it at least once a week, ideally twice. Tuesdays are good because I’ll do it after spin class and before I have yoga class. Hopefully adding these two components will add the routine change I need to spur the weight loss again.


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I need to stop selling myself short

Today I had another race where I had set my realistic goal and my hopeful goal. And today I had another race where I crushed the hopeful goal! My 5-mile time today was around 49:15. I had set my hopeful goal at 50 minutes.

This is telling me I need to stop selling myself short. Or at least be more optimistic in predicting times and deciding what I can handle.

Today’s race was great. It was chilly at the start, definitely more seasonable than last week’s 70 degrees. I don’t know what the actual temp was but it was predicted at 47. I was a little concerned since it was the coldest temp I’ve run in so far. But I dressed for it and ended up giving my jacket to Doug before the start. I wore a long sleeve shirt too.

I was a bit rushed to get to the start since I was dragging on leaving the house. I wasn’t in a hurry because of the chill. We got there about 15 minutes before the start and I didn’t get a shirt because they were out. I thought pre-registering guaranteed a shirt, but it didn’t today.

But I’ll get a shirt in November, they said. I’m really not upset, just a bit annoyed. But this cause is such a great cause, and they ran out of shirts because of the number of people who came out for the race, a very good reason.

But getting there late hindered my warm up process. I walked quickly to the registration and that was it. I didn’t really get to stretch much before the start either.

So at the start my chest got tight, as I expected from the temp. I wasn’t sure how my body would handle it. If I could keep running, etc. But I kept running and I was able to keep a good pace too. In fact, I didn’t stop for a walk break until after 3.5 because I had a side stitch. It was about a minute and I stopped another minute just after 4.

I really ran a great race for the first time without intervals. I couldn’t believe it! I maintained about a 9:40 pace for most of the race, but as I slowed down a bit with the side stitch, I finished with a 9:58 pace. I never knew I could run that fast, and sustain it. I’m still amazed.

I am still trying to decide how to proceed with training. Right now I’m pretty much seeing how far I can run without stopping. On longer runs I am using longer intervals. I’m not sure what the best approach should be for marathon training, half or full, or when I would really start that.

As it is, I’m wondering if with my increased intensity I’m overtraining a bit. I’m feeling really tired even though I get plenty of sleep. It probably would be a good idea to decrease my miles a bit. The next race I was considering is in two weeks. That one is either a 5K or 5 mile… I’m not sure if I should run it or if I do, which race to run.

But for now, I’m just enjoying the surprises I still accomplish. I still feel like I can make my body do anything, just like I kept saying at the beginning! This is great!


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My 5-mile race goal

This afternoon I ran 5 miles on the treadmill because it was raining, though it actually stopped raining when I got to the gym. But thats beside the point.

I ran the whole 5 miles with only two minutes of walking! I wanted to stop many times but I just kept going and I was very surprised I could do it.

Today’s run definitely made up for my crash and burn run of Monday when I had to walk 2 miles back to my car.

I did run at a slower pace than I do outside, so I’m sure that affected the run. But I can’t run 12-minute pace outside, I’m always faster. Even when I actively try to pull back I am faster.

That said, I doubt I’ll run the entire 5-mile race without stopping or with only two minutes walking. I may still go with a different interval like 7 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Thats what I used in my last 10K.

My realistic 5-mile goal is 55 minutes. My hopeful goal is 50 minutes or under. The way I’m running lately, I could see how I might make that hopeful goal. We’ll see how it all plays out on Saturday.


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New PR, but not quite my goal time

The beautiful day Sunday was actually pretty hot for racing! Its funny because the October races start later since it is cooler in the mornings.

It was about 70 at the start but really humid. Ironically, this was probably my hottest race of the year. In waiting to start the Shamrock Shuffle on this same route in March my legs got really cold and that hindered my run. Sunday waiting for the start my feet got sweaty in my shoes and socks. Luckily that didn’t affect my run the way my cold legs did in March.

My feet didn’t affect my run, but the heat did. There were actually two water stops across from each other about a quarter mile from the turnaround. I skipped it the first time through but had to stop the second. I walked about 30 seconds for the water stop. So thats one reason I missed my goal time.

The second is that on the route there was construction in the middle of the library mall between State Street and Park Street where we turned. So we had to run around the library mall instead of through. So the course was a bit long. I set my garmin to 5K and it beeped almost a minute before I finished. And I don’t think I was that far off.

So yeah, my chip time was 31:23. I got a new PR by 10 seconds, so I’m happy about that. I am bummed that the elements kept me from reaching this goal. It seems kind of silly to be bummed about that. But I am.

The highlight of the race, making it my new favorite, is that they had Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cones at the end! And the other highlight was that I took Doug and I out to brunch at the Great Dane afterward. Now thats a good meal after a race.

I am likely entering a 5K on Nov. 1, so I will aim for an under-31 time then. I wonder what the weather will be like that day! This fall has been so all over the place, I hope its still nice enough to run. I’m not sure when to spend the money to register for this race or for the 10K on Thanksgiving Day. I know sometimes you sign up for a race and don’t run it and the money goes away, but I’d like to avoid that.

But I’ve handled the more chilly temps pretty well when I’ve run this fall. So I’m betting November will still be OK for racing. I probably will sign up for both races once I have the cash in a couple weeks.

Oh, and note to self: Don’t attempt a long run the day after a race, even if its just a 5K. Yeah, I felt so good at the beginning of my run yesterday that I went out 4.5 miles before I turned around, would have made it a 9-mile run. But between mile 5 and 6, my legs started yelling at me. Then at mile 7, they wouldn’t let me go anymore. It took a heck of a lot longer to walk those last two miles back to my car.


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Ready to race

And hopefully my first race since the half won’t be as bad as my first race after San Diego – that one was the 10K on the fourth of July where I went out too fast and got cramps, among other happenings.

I’m looking forward to another race downtown. Its so pretty there, especially now that the leaves are changing. Part of it is along the popular lakeshore path through the UW campus. Its a similar route to the 5K I ran in March, so I kind of wish I was running the 10K for a little variety. But I’m focused on my 5K goal for tomorrow. I would bet I could switch races, but I am looking forward to the 5K.

My goal is to run the race under 31 minutes. I ran 5K “race pace” on Wednesday and did it in 30:54. I hope I can accomplish that time again or even improve it. I totally didn’t expect my 31:33 PR last time and I never expected to beat it but now I think I will.

The weather is going to be beautiful too. The hour-by-hour forecast on weather.com says 68 degrees at 10 a.m. and 71 at 11. The race starts at 10:30. I won’t get the deep freeze waiting for the start like I did at the Shamrock Shuffle, the last time I raced downtown.

And the highlight will be our brunch at the Great Dane after the race. Doug and I haven’t gone to the Great Dane for Sunday brunch in such a long time, so this will be quite a treat.