Saturday, November 26, 2011

First run in the new shoes

I just finished my first run in my new Mizuno Wave Riders!

And the verdict is... LOVE!!  One thing I was worried about was the size of the shoes.  I'm normally an 8, but the fitologist (love that word) at Run For Your Life recommended I size up to a 9 so my toes wouldn't be pressed right up against the front of the shoe.  He said if I was dealing with that for 13.1 miles, my toes would hate me by the end.  I took his advice, but I was a little worried I would feel like I was running on boats today and trip over the big shoes.  It ended up not being an issue at all!  I actually really liked how my midfoot and arches felt snug and secure, but I had all this delightful room for my toes to spread out!

When I first started out, I could really feel in my legs that I was running a little differently.  I think it was just the adjustment to the different kind of cushioning in my new shoes because the soreness only lasted for about a minute and then I was fine.  I also felt some minor soreness in my feet at different points, but again I think it was just adjustment to the shoes.

Overall, it was an excellent run!  Because my cough attacked with such vengeance last night, I decided to just do a 30-minute run today.  My initial goal was three 10-minute running segments punctuated by 2-minute walk breaks.  But once I got going, I just kept talking myself into running further (this was mostly to do with my desire to time my walk breaks to coincide with going up a hill) and ended up running 21 minutes before taking a 4-minute walk break.  I finished up with a 9-minute running segment and ended up completing 3 miles at 34:05!  Now if only I could hit 3.1 in that time...

The biggest indicator of how great my shoes are came at the end of the run.  I came inside to do some stretches because my shins and calves are usually pretty tight, even after a short run, but when I got into a nice down dog, my legs felt just like they did before the run!  Not tight, not cramping, just warm and strong!  But I'm still sitting on the couch with my ice packs on, because my ice packs make me feel hard core and I've missed them :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Trot!

Well, after my run last Wednesday, I really started to feel the effects of the cold I was trying to catch.  I decided to rest on Thursday in hopes that I would be better by the weekend, but the cold just kept getting worse.  I'm pretty sure the cause was me not getting enough sleep last week.  I ended up leaving work early on Friday and not working at all Monday and Tuesday of this week.  I was already taking off the rest of the week because of Thanksgiving.

I've been steadily getting better with lots of rest and yesterday I finally felt up to running again!  My husband and I had been planning on doing our own Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving for awhile so I was excited I was able to participate!  I did decent, but I could tell I hadn't been out in awhile.  I was able to do two 1.5 mile segments with a .25 mile walk break in between.  It took almost exactly 38:00.  My stats from Toby are decent--it's obvious that starting out I was having a hard time finding my groove and my happy pace, but I got there after about 6 minutes.  I was really pleased with it and very happy to be back out again!

I was really starting to feel like a lazy lump again and I was worried about falling behind on my training!  I'm about 4 runs behind, including a 6 miler, which I'm hoping to complete either tomorrow or Sunday.  I'm all better except for this nagging cough, which has decided to really bother me today, but the hubby and I have been very busy doing Black Friday shopping so I think I just need to take it easy the rest of the night!

Speaking of shopping, Pete had an early Christmas surprise for me today!  He wanted to drive to Charlotte today to check on some deals for him, so while we were up there he suggested we stop by Run For Your Life, the running store that's near my yoga studio that I've wanted to check out.  Then when we walked in he told me we were stopping so that I could get custom fitted for new running shoes!!  That's where I was planning on getting them when I needed new shoes, but it was really exciting to go ahead and get them!  The staff member who assisted us was excellent.  He talked to me about what kind of running I was doing, whether I was having any pain or issues, and then he watched me walk and run.  He said that I'm running pretty neutrally, so that's great!  I tried 3 different pairs, ran in each one, and ended up doing a side-by-side comparison of Nikes that were similar to the shoes I had and a pair of Mizunos.  When I put them on side-by-side, the difference was obvious!  The Nikes were sliding around my foot and felt cushioned, but not secured.  The Mizunos had more arch support but also felt snugger through my midfoot and didn't slide around at all!  I can't wait to try them out on the's hoping that will be on the 6 mile run this weekend!  After I picked out the shoes, the staff member suggested some good technical socks and also talked with me about different gels and energy boosters that would be good during my long runs.  I plan to start trying those soon too!  I have the very best husband! (He didn't get left out of the Christmas fun...we also got him a brand new road bike from Bike Line so he can get ready for his triathlon in April!)

It would be a pretty perfect day if I didn't have this cough!  I'm so ready to be healthy again and running regularly!  I also haven't been to yoga in a week and I'm feeling desperately tight.  Next week I'm going to start afresh and go to sleep earlier so I stay healthy for my workouts!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back from the Big Easy

I haven't blogged in awhile because I just got back last night from a trip to New Orleans!  The trip was a surprise for my dad's 50th birthday and we had a really great time!  I had been looking forward to the trip for awhile and the opportunity to explore a city through running, however, NOLA had other plans for me!

The first few days there were 22mph winds sweeping through the city and it was just too cold and too much of a struggle to fight through that wind!  I made do with the treadmill at our hotel and was pleasantly surprised that I ran at an 11:19 pace for two 15-minute segments with one 3-minute walk break in between.  I could really tell a big increase in my fitness from the last time I ran on a treadmill, and I could also tell the difference between running on a nice flat surface and up and down all the hills in my neighborhood!

After the weather perked up a little bit I still didn't get to run outside because there was really no great area close to us.  It was a week of short runs--two 30-minutes and one 3-miler--but the sidewalks were so cracked and uneven that I think it would have been a hazard to run on them!  I did see some people running in the grassy area between the streetcars, but they had to duck out of the way when two streetcars passed each other and I decided not to mess with that.  But on my second treadmill run I completed the entire 30 minutes at an 11:19 pace with no walk breaks!  I felt great and strong through the whole run and it was very motivating!

I meant to do all three of my runs for the week in New Orleans, but too much rich food and the desire for more leisure time with my family caused me to only complete two runs.  I'm okay with that, though!  There was one day where I considered running, but we had done so much walking the day before I just felt like I needed to rest.  I've been trying to keep the mantra "listen to your body" in my mind and give myself rest when I need it so that I don't overtrain or make myself sick.  So far so good!

So tonight I completed the 3-miler that I missed in New Orleans!  I really think I could have finished the whole 3 miles without stopping, but a challenging hill prompted me to take a .2 mile walk break.  It was a really great run, though!  When I started, the manner in which I was running can only be described as buoyant!  It was 70 degrees outside, dark, but it felt wonderful and I was really happy to be back home and running outside again.  I was bouncing along cheerfully, until I peeked at Toby and noticed I was bouncing along at a paltry 12:45 pace.  So I curbed my bounce and focused on maintaining my happy pace of (roughly) 11:30.

Tonight was also the first time I wore my headlamp.  I felt like a giant dork, but it was actually very comfortable and helpful on my run.  I wore this headlamp from Athleta and was very pleased with it!  It wasn't too tight, it stayed in place, and lit my path very well.  I felt safe from passing cars and I was able to see the road in front of me so as not to slip on any pine cones or trample through piles of leaves.  Sometimes when I wear things snugly around my head during a workout I'll get a headache, but I didn't have that issue with the headlamp.  It's also a delightfully girly shade of pink, which is just an added bonus!

I've been paying close attention to my 5K time during my recent runs.  Running 3 miles in under 30 minutes is definitely on my list of 1-year goals!  Tonight I was right at about 36:00 when I hit the 3.1 mile mark.  When I was running in 2009 I ran in one 5K race and finished in about 38 minutes, and I was pretty darn slow.  I would really like to blow that time out of the water!  I'm not sure the event timing was all that accurate, but I've got 38 minutes fixated in my mind nonetheless.  I'm happy to have beaten it, but I want to pulverize it!

When I got home I enjoyed this post-run pumpkin spice protein smoothie!

It was delicious, but my blender is kind of so-so and didn't completely puree the raisin bits, so my smoothie was a little on the chewy side, which I wasn't thrilled about.  I've been thinking about getting something like a Magic Bullet to make smoothies, but I haven't decided what I want yet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Long and strong!

I had my most successful long run thus far today!  5 miles were on the calendar and my goal was to run in 1 mile increments with .25 mile walk breaks in between, five times.  Because of my struggles with pace and poor form in previous runs this week, I really wanted to focus on doing well at this run.  I read a few articles before heading out on long runs to remind myself on how the run should go.  I knew I needed to put a lot of effort into maintaining a slow pace that allowed me to finish strong without any huffing and puffing, but I also had to concentrate on keeping good form at that pace so that I didn't end up with leg cramps.

Well, I succeeded on both counts!  During my first increment I decided to keep running to 1.25 miles because of hill location.  I actually felt strong enough to maintain that ratio through the whole run, though, and I ended up with 4 1.25 mile running increments instead of 5 1 mile increments.  I was so excited!  I checked my pace with Toby frequently and tried to stay around 11:40.  Pete told me on the run this week when I had such horrible form that it looked like my legs were closer together than usual.  So today I listened for my pants rubbing against each other and if I could hear it, I adjusted my form.  It seemed to work well!  I also paid close attention to how my feet were hitting the ground and pushing off evenly from both feet instead of favoring the left.

During the last .25 miles of the run, I felt so strong that I sped up on the last leg!  I wasn't huffing and puffing, my legs were tired but not in pain or cramping, and I just felt amazing with the accomplishment.  I finished in 1:09:49, with a total of 5.75 miles including the walk breaks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Well, on tonight's run I was so concerned with not running too fast that I ran too slow!  One of these days I'm going to master pacing.  But anyway, I decided to do 5:1s because I wore heels today and my legs were feeling stiff.  One positive thing about the run was that my super slow pace gave me a lot of endurance and this is the first time I've really noticed a big difference in my endurance based on my pace. After the first two 5:1s, I went for 12:30 before taking another 1 minute walk break, and then did the last 7:30 without stopping.  We covered 2.8 miles in 33 minutes--not horrible, but not great.

My legs were hurting a bit during this run, but it's definitely because my form was super sloppy.  My husband said that I was running weird the whole time.  At the end of the run, I noticed that the ball of my right foot was sore like it had been running barefoot on the ground but I did not have the same feeling in my left foot.  I think I was pushing off on the right foot with all of my weight instead of distributing it evenly across both feet.

On Friday's run I'll definitely be focusing on finding my happy pace!  I told my husband that these 30-minute runs just seem so challenging to me, even more challenging than the 5-miler coming up on Sunday, because I just don't like running based on time.  For some reason I feel like I do better when I'm going for a specific distance.  He proposed the simple solution of making those runs 3-milers instead of 30 minutes.  I think I'm going to give that a try, because I'll feel like I accomplish more and I won't be watching the clock the whole time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some like it hot

And that includes me!  I went to my first Hot Vinyasa class tonight and I loved it!  I knew it sounded cool to me, but I wasn't sure I would actually like it.  I kept envisioning sweat pouring off me and feeling soaked and like I couldn't breathe.  In reality, the heat felt great and not humid at all, and I certainly sweated a lot but not inconveniently a lot.  I felt loose and limber and was rocking out my forward folds!  Afterwards the sweat dried fast (thank you luon!) and I felt cleansed and relaxed.  I hopped on over to Trader Joe's to pick up a few things and got a delightful juice, which I can't remember the name of now but it's green and full of vegetables, along with kiwi, banana, and mango, and delicious!  I also got some Mediterranean style hummus which I enjoyed for dinner when I got home.  All in all, an excellent evening!

I didn't blog last week's runs but they went really well.  They were short runs.  Tomorrow my first 30-minute run of the week is lined up and I'll wrap this week up with a 5 miler!  Woohoo!