Monday, December 29, 2008

The Marathon & Me

I have mixed feelings on this subject. The marathon has played a big part in my life for the last five years. The marathon is what lured me to running in 2003. Before I could run 2 miles in a row I wanted to run Boston. I knew I would get there I just had to figure out how far I had to run. We have had our ups and downs but I have learned so much these last few years about running and living life. I have mixed feelings because I have decided that the marathon and I should part ways for awhile. We definitely need to take a long overdue break. I am ready to answer the call of shorter races and enjoy sleeping in and seeing my kids on weekend mornings while we enjoy a relaxed breakfast at home. This Houston marathon will be my last for some time though I don't know how long. I really feel the shorter distances will bring me much more enjoyment and greater accomplishments. I have always felt I was more of a middle distance runner. Marathon training has taught me a great deal about what I can accomplish and I have met some wonderful people that are now great friends. I have learned how to push through the physical and mental limits placed on me by myself and others. I am much stronger than I ever thought. I think I am more patient with others and more understanding when they attempt to bring me down. I have learned that is all about them and not me. I am so thankful for what I have been given and each day that I can run.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Race and Other Stuff

I actually ran a race recently and was happy with my time. The Ten for Texas was held later this year due to the hurricane. Last year I ran slower but placed better and this year the reverse happened. I ran a 1:10 and placed 4th in my age group this is a two minute PR for me so I can't really complain. There were lots of fast girls there so I knew I had some work to do. Erin sped by at mile 4 looking great and I never saw her again until I crossed the finish. Some of the others I was able to reel back in all the way to the last mile. Anyway it was a good race with lots of food after. On Tuesday I started feeling yucky and went to bed at 3 in the afternoon. Wednesday I went to the doctor and found out I had strep throat and then went straight home to bed again. This morning I felt much better but my throat still hurts. I am thinking more rest is in order this afternoon. I hope I can still do a long run this weekend, I need at least 17 miles.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Weekend Plans

I am tired this week and have a major headache this morning. I am not in the mood to work so I thought I would get off task and update the blog. I am happy about Tuesday but Obama is inheriting a big mess. This weekend is the 25K which I wanted to run but I know I am not ready. Again I will opt out of the race and go for a long run with the group. I would really like to run a Thanksgiving race but my experience with the TXU Turkey Trot was not very good last year. I really wish they would have a timed 5K event. The course they had last year was terrible and at the end of the race the 10K runners got stuck weaving in and out of walkers at the end of the 5K. This Thanksgiving we may just sleep in and have our own run in the neighborhood. I hope everyone has a great weekend and good luck in the 25K!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crazy Weekend

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween. This weekend was nonstop and included very little running. Actually I did fit running in just not in the traditional go for a run and complete this many miles. Mike was gone working with Rice football in El Paso so I was left to take the kids out to collect candy and get them to their games on Saturday. I worked a half day Friday and then got the kids at school so we could get home to carve our pumpkins before the nights activities started. My dad came over to see the kids and help out where needed. After a late night we were all exhausted but we were out of bed at a reasonable hour Saturday to get ready for soccer. There were snacks for the team to prepare and uniforms to gather and quickly wash. These things were done and we managed the throw everything in the car and only be a few minutes late to Tabitha's game. She played on one end of the soccer fields and Alex played half a mile down on the other end. I parked near his game to unload the snacks and drinks. He was in place with his team and then I ran back to watch the more of Tabitha's game which was starting the second quarter. I am happy to say just as I arrived she made a goal! I spent the rest of the time running back and forth to catch as much of both games as I could. We won both games! I think the parents thought I was very odd. Oh well I got to see the games and get in a little running.

Sunday I couldn't get up due to another late night. Mike's plane landed at 2 am and the kids were up and down waiting for him to get home. The day flew by with general errands to be done. I managed to get on the treadmill at 6 pm for around 5 miles of interval training. Hopefully today I will be able to make it to the gym and get back on track. I have races I would like to do this season but so far things have not lined up for me. I have also decided to change my plans and run the half instead of the full. I need to get myself in gear and switch over before it is too late. I have no idea when the deadline is...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Gym and Soccer Practice Running

Lately I have been either at the gym on the treadmill or running with Lucy (black lab that adopted us) while the kids are at soccer practice. Today I did my regular fast 3 miles at the gym during lunch. This week I have increased the speed yet again. I am still trying to adjust to the change but it is getting manageable. Hopefully a 5K will be in my future next weekend so I can figure out what the heck my VDOT is. I am ever so curious what my marathon pace should be. Thus far I have just guessed about the shape I am in based on my long run. Anyway my second run of the day was with Lucy at her pace of 11:30-12 min miles. She can go 2.5 - 3 miles at this point and it seems she is getting faster. Today when I stopped to give her a walk break she wanted to keep up the pace so we kept running steady. She is the best dog ever and such a good running friend even if we are very different paces.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yet Another Long Sprint

I went for my weekly Sunday sprint with the fast peeps. I was able to hold my own this week for a little longer than last time so that was good. I guess there is no half marathon in my future due to a conference I am attending Saturday. I would run if I had a quiet weekend planned but seeing as I would be paying to run I would like to go into the event rested which I know would not happen. I will settle for a long run with any of the group that happens to show or on my own. I will continue with the training in hopes that I can do at least one or two races before the marathon. I hope everyone got in a good run this weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Visitor That Ike Brought

We have been mulling over getting a dog for about a year. That is what we do with most decisions go back and forth and than something happens to make the decision for us. So a little more than a week ago we went outside to find a black lab in our yard. She was limping and hungry. Our neighbor gave us some food for her and she has been with us ever since. We went around the neighborhood asking if she belonged to anyone and I also called the local animal shelters, hospitals and the SPCA. The vet closest to us scanned her to see if she had a chip to identify her. No luck so we have welcomed her and tried to make her comfortable with us. I have to say she is the best dog and wonderful with the kids. She is very old but still has a lot of energy. I just feel bad for the people that lost her (if she was lost and not dropped off). I know many have lost all they had and maybe they just couldn't keep her but didn't want her to be put to sleep at a shelter. She has stopped limping and seems to have new life in her the past several days. I run with her in the morning and then do my own run later at the gym. I enjoy the leisurely runs with her in the morning. She is much more Mike's pace and he ran with her today while the kids were at soccer. I think it went well. I am going take her back to our local vet next week to get an exam and shots. We also need to get her a dog house because we have two cats that are rather old and have never lived with or been around dogs in their lives so she will have to stay outside. I am so glad tomorrow is Friday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moving On, Something Funny & Races

Sorry for yesterday's post. Maybe it went unread or unnoticed but I spoke of Sunday as "today" on Monday. The days go by way too fast for me lately. Anyway I went to my class at the gym yesterday and found out the trainer will be leaving the Y for a better job. He is moving on to take a job as a corporate trainer for Chevron. A much better opportunity for him but we will miss the hard workouts. I guess I will just have to get used to the new trainer or do the workouts on my own. Of course I am sure I will not work as hard as when I am in a group so that does suck. I was in a yucky mood after hearing that news and I went home to work. I found the video clip of Tina Fey on SNL as Palin and that instantly had me laughing despite my mood. She really nails the corny, cutesy, clueless quality of Palin. I watched the debate skit and the Katie Couric interview which were soooo funny. Definitely worth a watch. I have been debating about running the 10 miler this weekend but so far I am leaning toward not doing it. The weather never fails to be horrible and I always regret going. I think I will instead opt for 16 miles in the park and through River Oaks. I am sure that will be more to my liking. The next race up will be the Houston Half if the weather is favorable.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Long Sprint

Today was my long run and I covered around 15 miles (forgot watch). Really I did a 3.5 mile warmup and then 11.5 sprint. We just kept speeding up and I have to say I payed the price at the end. I am not too tired today. I also took a short nap when I got home from the park so that helped alot. Then it was time for soccer and brithday parties. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Relaxing Neighborhood Run

I opted for a nice run in the neighborhood this morning before the craziness of the day kicked in. The legs were still tired from Wednesday's workout but I soon got into a good rhythm. I have no idea what pace I settled into but I felt good so I went with it. Tomorrow I will go for a medium distance run at more of a tempo pace. Tonight we actually got to relax and watch a movie which was a nice break from working until 9 pm. Last night I made the mistake of watching the debate. I definitely watched way tooo much. Really it can all be summed up with Palin, yikes! Seriously troubling. I could say more but this is a running blog so I will refrain from long political commentary. I would like to see the Tina Fey interpretation which I'm sure is hilarious. I miss Saturday Night Live as I have to get to bed early for the Sunday long run.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Good Workout

I like class at the gym. When asked how many miles I run before class I answer only three. To the more serious running and racing people it is only three. The gym crowd looks at me like I run a marathon and then come to class which they think is an amazing accomplishment. I guess it is all relative. Many of my group there hate to run so I am bordering on professional to them. This can make you feel good. Anyway I did my faster three and felt good. I then went out to the field where the class was meeting. I was told to grab hand weights and bring those with me. The group was doing push ups, rows, and sit ups. When you finished twenty of each exercise you would run around the track and get your time called out when you finished one lap. When you started you were given a time to meet or beat. I had time for two laps and on the first I beat the time I was given which was three minutes. I did 2:45 on the first and 3:08 on the second. I felt like crap after the laps. The distance was just under a half mile. Not sure exactly. After each lap we would go back and continue more rounds of the exercises. When this was over we went inside to continue more weights. I am tired but this was a good workout. Time for cookies!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

More About Ike

This storm has touched us all in some way. I definitely have guilt over having no damage after the storm. So strange how we were left alone and others in our neighborhood can't even live in their houses anymore. So strange. I got the call to help a friend last night and to see the devastation they suffered was horrific. After soccer practice me and the kids headed over to Seabrook near Meador park and the trails. Our friend lives just off Meyer street and you can barely get down the street for all the debris there. The house looks like it is new construction from the inside. Everything has been gutted and removed. Today they are finishing the insulation. I went over last night to move some fish from their old tank to a new home. The wooden base of the old tank had to be thrown out. We emptied the tank and moved everything to the curb. I wanted to help with more and said I would be back to help paint the walls when they are ready and clean all of their belongings that were salvageable. So much more to be done and I just feel so bad about the situation. I suppose all you can do is help and be there...

So many need help. I think the running community should unite in some type of race or fundraising effort like the Hurricane Relief 5K or Take a Hike Ike 5K or something. Just a thought.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Seven Mile Morning and Class

I ran with the group in Clear Lake yesterday morning for seven miles and came home exhausted. I think I am still tired from Sunday's long run. I didn't give an inch on my workouts Monday and Tuesday which probably also adds to my lack of energy yesterday. I felt better in the afternoon and decided to head to class at the Y. I really started out not liking the trainer that leads the class when I started a few months ago. I now think he has grown on me and this class has made me much stronger. I have faithfully followed my weekday ritual of three miles fast on the treadmill followed by the cardio challenge class. I love this class so much because it is really tough. We do running drills, hills and various weight and cardio combos. Some of my fellow runners have seen this class in action and were a little afraid. I figure if I can get through I come out on the other side stronger and a better runner. Theo our leader is tough and a little arrogant at times but he really just wants us to get stronger and reach our goals. He definitely took some getting used to. I had to come to class for a few months before he would even call me by name. I found out later this is what he does to all newbies. You have to earn his respect and show that you will keep coming back and work hard. Despite his attitude toward me at first I knew I had to keep showing up because after one class I felt like I worked harder than running a marathon. I rationalized if I could build up my tolerance a fast marathon would be in my future. Let's hope this works!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The First Post Ike Long Run

I ran at Memorial park for the first time since the storm. I arrived about 10 till 6 and the place was pitch black and almost deserted, very strange. There was only one stretch of the trail lit which really made me uneasy. Against my better judgement I set off to do my loop before meeting Bayou City at 6:30. I got about half a mile and I felt like turning around as I kept seeing things in the shadows and I thought I may misstep and break an ankle. I kept going and came upon other runners with flashlights (something I will bring next week). I tagged along and made it through unscathed thankfully. The rest of the run went well and was spent mostly discussing who had power and who was still without. I was really tired at the end but I made it through between 14 or 15 miles (not sure watch flaked after first three). I will keep it there for another two weeks or so and then move on to 16 or so. I felt better than expected after. When we got home from church I took a much needed nap while the kids watched Harry Potter. I will be back to the gym the rest of the week.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life After Ike

Now that Ike left town Clear Lake is busy cleaning up the mess. Our house had only a few roof tiles missing and some debris in the yard. No trees or fences down in our yard. The kids are out of school and we are trying to keep them busy and productive. That is not an easy task. We are also helping in the cleaning efforts of family close by. I have learned a few things over the past few days:

  • Being in good physical shape really helps to get through being without power. The rest of my family felt the effects of no power this weekend much more than I did. Those long runs in the summer got me used to the heat and humidity more that I realized.
  • I can work longer in the yard than many of my family members and not get tired. Running has given me much more energy.
  • I can live without power if needed but water is something I would really really miss.
  • I am scared at how crippled we become without power.
  • I would still stay through the next storm. (I have stayed through many growing up in Houston. Staying enabled us to assess the little damage we did get while the storm was in progress and we were able to start cleaning and repairing immediately after. This really helped us being that we are self-employed and had to be back to work for our customers when they got back in town. I will also say we were not effected by the surge though we were in an evacuation zone so this is good to know for next time. I would leave if we were in more of a flood prone area.)
  • I am so thankful that we are safe and intact.

I did not run Saturday, Sunday or Monday and I really started getting restless. I got back to the gym yesterday. I will probably be on the treadmill for the next few days because trying to run around here is rather dangerous. There are lots of trees down and debris everywhere. I went for a run Tuesday outside and I thought I would break an ankle trying to dodge everything in my path. So that is life for now. My thoughts are with everyone as Houston makes it's way back...

Friday, August 29, 2008

When to Run

Some are morning runners and some like to run later in the day. Having run at both times I can now say I am an afternoon runner all the way. I like to run in the afternoon because:

  1. I am more awake and am not so afraid I will fall off the treadmill and make a fool of myself.
  2. I can run faster because I have been awake for hours and am warmed up.
  3. I don't feel exhausted all day because I woke up at 4:30 am.
  4. I can get all the thoughts from work out of my head and vent my frustration in a positive way by leaving it all at the gym.
  5. When running outside early I am always afraid I will trip on the sidewalk because it is so dark.
  6. I worry about the creeps lurking around at 5 AM maybe waiting for runners. It is just not safe for females to run by themselves in the dark, even in my comfy suburb.
Just to name a few. Of course when racing my only option is morning 99% of the time. This is OK every once in awhile. I am just really crabby when I don't get my sleep. So that's all I have to say about that!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

To Tread or Not to Tread?

OK so one of my favorite blogs brought about this entry. I know many runners feel strongly one way or another about the treadmill. What follows are my thoughts and experiences on the subject. I am definitely a fan of the treadmill for several reasons. When I first started running I had two really small kids and this was the only way I could run on a regular basis. I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I first tried to run at a 12 min mile. I kept it up and I developed my own mind games to get through the miles like two slow laps then two fast laps. I started raising the incline whenever it got easier. I ordered a few treadmill videos like Treadmill Challenger to break up the boredom. When I could finally run three miles I decided maybe I could join a group. I had been doing longer runs outside around the neighborhood by myself with no watch. I really had no idea what pace I was running when I was not on the treadmill so I thought I would probably be the slowest member of any group. I really didn't know anyone else that ran. Before I joined the group I tested myself in a local 5K. I got behind someone that looked about my age and size and stuck to them. The pace felt fine. We breezed through the first mile in 9 something and I got scared. That was three minutes faster than my normal pace. I kept going because it felt good (the course was completely flat). As we made the last turn I picked it up and passed my pacer. My finish time was 27:30 or something. I was so happy to break 30 min in my first race and not be last. I had no idea how fast people that raced were so I thought I probably needed to run at least under 30 min. Later my husband told me the overall female had run 20:40 or so. I wondered if I could ever get a time like that. I went back to treadmill training focused on getting faster and improving my times. I knew if I could run within two minutes or so of my goal time on the treadmill I would be there. I also joined a running group and found out I could run more miles with a group than on my own. I started training for the Houston Marathon because that was what they were doing. I secretly wanted to qualify for Boston there so I could run Boston as my second marathon. I ended up running a small marathon first before Houston and was so slow I almost gave up then and there. I think my finish time was 5:13 which is respectable but way off what I needed for Boston. When I went back to the group I had a new goal to run Houston and qualify or die trying. The coaches were very doubtful that I would ever make my goal and told me so. There was only one guy in our group that had qualified and he thought he walked on water. I knew I could keep up with him on the shorter runs but just needed more endurance and speed. I skipped the marathon that year and got to work for the next time. I did treadmill training during the week and longer runs on the weekend. I usually ran 16 or more miles every week to get used to the miles. My longest run before Houston was 24 miles. I knew I had to get close to the whole milage or I would crater in the race. This was more for mental reasons. My treadmill training consisted of 4 or 5 miles at no slower than 8:30. I needed to keep an 8:20 pace to qualify. This was hard at first but I started with 2 miles and worked up. I also kept the incline at 2% all the time. Lots of training programs say to run 1-1:30 min slower per mile on long runs. This has never worked for me, I have to run goal pace or faster or I will never be ready to run a marathon and hit the time. When I deviate from this I always miss my goal. I qualified that year with a 3:39 (needed a 3:40). After that I stopped treadmill training as much and tried other popular programs and methods. I listened to others and questioned what had worked for me. None of the other things really worked as well as the treadmill . I don't race much but I would like to do the warm up series this year. I have learned not to listen to others and go with what works for you and your body. Only you really know when to push it and when you need to back off. People who tell you things are not possible have their own issues and are probably just wishing they could be in your shoes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Maybe Not

I had a good 9 miles today and I hurt the last 3.5 or so. I was looking to run a strong 13 the whole way but couldn't pull it off today. I knew it would hurt when I added miles and kept the pace up so I should not be too surprised. I heard the usual you went too fast comments. This is just the way I do it and it hurts until I adapt to the speed. Maybe I am crazy but maybe I'm not...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another Long Run (Maybe I'm Getting Used to This)

The long run seems to be getting more tolerable. I went faster than last week so that was good. The legs feel good and I seem to recover from the longer workouts pretty quickly. Tomorrow I head back to the gym. I am so ready to see summer get out of town!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hard Workout (I'm Tired!)

More progress but I am tired! I guess progress will do that. I have become quite addicted to my gym workouts. Lately I only run outside 2 out of 6 running days per week. One of those is my long run which would be dreadful on the treadmill. I am greatly encouraged since my daily workouts are getting faster every week. I am sure if I gave away my paces every day like some other bloggers people might think I was crazy to run like that several days per week but it must be done for me to improve. I am feeling good so I think I will just ride the wave. Many times when asked I say I do not do speed work. This is true because I hate traditional repeats like 400s and 800s. Some runners think track is fun and I will never get that. I push myself on 99% of my daily workouts so pretty much everyday is speed but not in the traditional form. I have to fool myself otherwise I would never do it. So now I am looking at the race calendar and trying to decide where to test myself in the next few weeks. I may run this weekend or wait another two weeks. Decisions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Bright Side

Let's see there are some good things about today...

A light day as far as work (no one is open)

Not so darn hot

The rain has stopped just in time for a calm afternoon run

No stalling storms so I can meet the Clear Lake group tomorrow

Just to name a few and the kids got a day off from YMCA Day camp (which is growing tiresome to them). I called the Y in hopes that they opened this afternoon but it was no so. No treadmill for me today so I will have to start back on Thursday. This Sunday I need to step up the miles and go for 13 or so. I have not ventured beyond 11 in a really long time. This is not much more I know but I have been really struggling to keep pace. The treadmill is working so I will keep on chugging along.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Massage Gone Wrong

I had a massage yesterday at a nearby spa a friend recommended. I felt fine during the massage but afterward the guy says I should see a chiropractor because my shoulders and neck have a lot of tension. I shrugged this off and went on my way. Throughout the day I started feeling achier in my upper back and neck. Overnight I slept horribly and then woke up at 4 am to get an ice pack. After I applied the ice for awhile I tried heat. I felt better only for a short time. I have been trying to stretch it out while I sit at my desk but I am still in misery. I wonder if the "therapist" had no clue what he was doing or if he just brought out a problem that was preexisting? I felt fine in my shoulders and back when I went in. I really just wanted a relaxing massage. Either way I regret the decision now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday Long Run

Another weekend and another long run. This weekend was harder than last week. During the first couple of miles I felt like the heat was just sitting on my shoulders and I couldn't get enough air in my lungs. I thought I would be spent after 4 miles and at any minute the group was going to swallow me up. Despite this drowning feeling I survived and kept my pace steady with no one swooshing past. I am driving onward to my goal and the pace is going to have to get faster. For now 7:45 average will do and I can't imagine doing better until the end of the summer. Today I will speed up my treadmill workout which is starting to show results. I really enjoy seeing how fast I can go and getting in a few extra miles but not having to run more than 25 minutes. People keep asking what my next event will be. I am thinking of running Maribelle's 5K which is close to home and then perhaps a 5K or 10K in September. The main focus remains Houston marathon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Finances of Running

I guess since I discussed the politics of running I could also talk about the finances part. This of course is my least favorite part. So here goes. I could spend oodles of our hard earned cash on running stuff. I love the clothes thus Luke's Locker is a dangerous place for me so I just stay away. The race fees can also add up, if I could I would race every weekend just for a fun speed session. That would cost at least $80 right there. Additionally if I race my daughter wants to go, which I think is a wonderful thing for her being as only 32% of girls her age are considered physically fit (but that's another topic). So anyway $160 if we raced regularly. Gas of course is crazy and I live in Clear Lake so 3o-45 min one way trip is the norm if I race in town over the weekend. Coaching is something I have not invested in this season because it is just too much to justify trip cost and program cost. I also have had good results when I train on the treadmill even if I only run short miles so I would fall into the category of not being very "coachable". I do my long runs with BCRR and my membership fee is $20 for the year which is excellent. I only commute to run one day of the week and the rest I run with my friend Jackie in Clear Lake or head to the Y and run before I get the kids at the Y day camp. This season I am following Hal Higdon's advanced schedule which Jackie got free on the website. This schedule calls for several short marathon pace runs during the week, a medium length marathon pace run on Saturday, and a long run on Sunday. This works perfectly for how I have been training and I think it will bring better results for me this season. Now that I have a few years of running behind me this type of self training is possible because I know what works best for me. I have gone from newbie to Boston qualifier to beyond. I realize my situation is different and everyone has to find what works for them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good Long Run

Today's long run went better than expected. I haven't run to music for awhile so today I brought along my ipod and just ran in the zone. I managed to keep my pace in the 7:40s which I think is pretty good for this time of year. I would like to be closer to 7:30 but I will take what I can get through the rest of the summer. Lately I have been trying to just complete the miles and I think now my legs and lungs are getting used to the distance so I can now speed up. The rest of the day was busy and now I am ready for some dinner and relaxation. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Easy Run at the Gym

I headed to the YMCA today for an easy treadmill run. I didn't wake up in time to make it to my Kroger run so I had to get in on the treadmill. This has been a busy week so I am just trying to run whenever I can shuffle it in to my schedule. I got in to Houston so I am happy this week. Crazy that it sold out so fast, wonder if they will open another wave...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another Hot One

I was happy to survive my 11 miler today. I keep thinking this will get easier the more I keep it up and push through yet it is still misery for me at the end. Miles 8 through 11 are running on fumes and hoping too make it back to the zero mark not too long after the faster pack has finished. Each week I keep up a little longer but the last stretch might as well be heartbreak hill because that's what it feels like. I keep wondering how I will ever run a decent marathon when I am struggling through 11 miles. There is always the possibility of switching to the half which sounds really good after days like this. I guess it is still early so I will try to quiet my negative thoughts for now. I still have hopes in the back of my mind to qualify for New York (no lottery) and run in '09 but only time and hard training will tell. I hope everyone had a great 4th, good races, fireworks or whatever makes you happy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Politics of Running

I guess it is that time again. I am now down to maybe 1.5 readers so I will try to at least retain that. The upside to this is I can rant about something I have noticed in recent years that really gets me. I enjoy running with groups and I get so much motivation and energy from the wonderful people I meet running. The thing about groups is they always seem to want to get political and snippy with each other and get in the way of why we are there in the first place which is to run and enjoy each others company. I am with different groups all day for work and all I hear is gossip, complaints, in fighting, etc. I usually escape this through a good run but more and more the politics of running seems to get in the way. Throughout my running years I have run with several different groups and gotten some valuable friendships from each. I have become a better runner because of these groups. Two years ago I left the first group I joined because I was in search of more challenge and running politics had started to rear it's not so pretty head. I was tired of the in fighting and I was not enjoying running like I used to. I retreated to the treadmill and solo runs for awhile and eventually found other groups. The group I am with now seems to be mostly free of politics (as much as a group can be) maybe because I stay on the fringes and just stick to one weekly long run but it seems to work. They also reach out and have events with other running groups and promote an attitude of community. They recognize clubs and programs are there to promote running and a healthy lifestyle not behaving like my kids on the playground. I can accept it from kids but not adults in the running community that should be setting a positive example. So maybe it is time to let go of politics and just shut up and run.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday at the Boardwalk

Today I ran at the boardwalk in Kemah and we mixed in some hills at the parking garage there. I didn't feel like running the bridge today so we stuck to the beaten path. I felt beaten today after only 4 miles. Anyway I don't think I am a good morning runner. My alarm went off at 4:15 am and all I thought was this is way too early. I made myself get up because I knew someone was waiting and canceling was not an option today. I like Mondays and Fridays because I run in the afternoon before circuit class. My brain is too tired to think about much more today so I think this will be short if not sweet. Until tomorrow (or whenever I get myself in the blogging mood again)....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Monday

So we arrive at another Monday. Mine started busy and has now slowed a bit so I decided to update my 3 readers about my latest running happenings. Not much very thrilling though I made it to yet another long run yesterday which is really good considering my record lately. The long run was fine for about 5 miles then I started to hurt. Around 8 miles I wanted to give up and walk which is what I did for a bit. A fellow BCRRer came upon me and encouraged me to jog for a little while after this we picked up the pace for a few telephone poles and then had another recovery. This is how it went until we made it back to the 0 mark and I felt pretty good about my effort on the hard repeats. The heat really got me but I will keep fighting my way through and hopefully come out stronger and faster when the cool weather arrives.

This morning I ran while my daughter rode her bike. The bike seems to be her new found passion in life. We started at about an 8 min mile and brought it down to 6:30 at the end so this was a pretty good workout for the both of us. She got some good practice for her upcoming kids tri on the 28th. I printed out a schedule for her and tonight we will head for the neighborhood pool after I pick them up. She will have to be able to swim 50 meters without stopping then bike 1 mile and run a quarter mile. The biking and running will be no problem and we are currently working on the swimming. She is so excited and thought it was really cool that you get to write your number on your arms.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back to Blogging

I guess I have sort of fallen off the wagon as far as blogging goes. I really have no main focus to my training lately except to actually run most days. I showed up for the Bayou City run yesterday and did pretty decently for the heat. I really just want to make it through these hot runs right now and not beat myself up about pace. The treadmill is where I try to keep the pace below 8 min miles so that this will become my all day pace and will be doable in a marathon around December or January. I have had some individuals attempt to lobby for San Antonio but I just think it is too much of a gamble. Some times the weather is pleasant but more often it is way too warm being early November. It is usually the weekend summer tries to make one last appearance. I liken this race to the Space City 10 miler which you know is always going to be miserable. I have pretty much given up on that event. Gone are the days when I show up to a death march. Anyway summer is here and now I just have to deal. The instructor in my circuit class has become fond of dragging us out to the dirt track at 4:30 pm for 12 minutes of sprinting during which I think my head will explode. I know it is only 12 minutes but man it hurts. So anyway onward and upward or something positive.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Killer Wednesday

I failed to wake up to meet the people at Kroger this morning so I had to pack my stuff and get to the gym after work. I managed to make it to the gym and warm up for a mile on the treadmill before my circuit class. I had the good fortune of being the odd man out when we picked partners so I got the teacher and he pretty much kicked my butt. We did a series of cardio drills with weights mixed in for 30 minutes straight. We then rested and went into rotating sets of weights, push ups, and three minutes of cardio for the next 30 minutes. I managed to stay pretty strong during this set but I wanted to collapse at the end. I was so tired and we finished up with crunches. I was the overachiever that finished first and got rewarded with our trainer telling me to do another set. Yea! I really wanted to run some more after but I was way too exhausted. I think it is time for some TV and bed...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday 5K

The family ran the Summer Kick-Off Run in League City this morning. There were a lot of people but not too many of the regular racers. I ran the race with my son Alex in hopes of getting him under 30 minutes. I have had a cold for the last few days so I knew there would be no PR today for me so I had planned to not run at all. The kids had other ideas so I started out with them and at the half way point Tabitha slowed down and I told her to just keep going at her own pace. Alex and I stayed steady until the last half mile where I encouraged him to speed up and give it all he had. I knew he still had something because he was talking the whole time. He thought he could not speed up but when he saw the yellow finish banner he took off. He ended with 30:24. He was very happy and now he feels like soon he will be under 30 which I think is awesome especially for a 6 year old. I think he does so well because he just loves to run , maybe it is genetic. The race took place at my old high school which has been remodeled since I went there some 16 years ago (how time flies). After the race we walked around to look st the new campus. That was strange because it was hard for me to remember where things were with all the new additions. Things look really nice now and they kept the open courtyard in the middle of campus. Anyway that was fun then we took a trip to Starbucks before heading home. Now I must get going so we can get some yard work done.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trying to Keep Up

I am going to the gym today. Really I am. I ran maybe three miles yesterday and did the class at the Y. I missed garages today because I just couldn't get myself up. There is not much time to run lately much less blog about running. OK I had better go now otherwise time will just get away again...

Friday, May 2, 2008


So I made it through the week and am feeling good that it is Friday. Work has calmed down and now I can focus more on running. That's what it's about right? Anyway I think I will opt for a long run instead of a race this weekend. They all seem so far away and I really don't want to drive for an hour to run 20 minutes give or take. I am just not in the mood. So maybe we will go to memorial or meet with Kenyan Way. I will wait to see what the people want to do. Not much else going on running wise. Wednesday I ran just under 5 miles at a relaxed pace. Today I have my circuit challenge class. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's Done is Done

So I guess what has had me so preoccupied is now over. Now I think a new phase has just started. I have learned so much about human nature this past few days. I would really like to think people are basically good but sometimes you really have to wonder. Yesterday I was really mad. This morning I went to the garages and took it out there. I wish I could be that angry before a race. This entry may be stream of consciousness and for that I am sorry. I just have so many questions rattling around in my tired brain. This last month I have been given an opportunity that is good for me professionally but has really disturbed me for many reasons. I have gotten to see some inside workings and I realized I am really naive and pretty much foolish. I have to remain vague in this area just to make myself feel better about posting this. Really this post is so I can empty out these thoughts and maybe gain some clarity. I was so angry I was near tears which I haven't been for years. What is it about a group that makes everyone cave under peer pressure? Behind closed doors everyone can agree but as soon as you have to stand behind what you think is right some (or most) cave like dominoes. I saw this yesterday but I was the only one standing by myself feeling foolish for believing what I was told. My eyes are opened now and I can't go back I just wish what I saw was not so completely disappointing. I guess these things happen to harden you against the world. Unfortunately this experience has also made me on the paranoid side and I think most people have a hidden agenda so this post may not be up for long. I don't think anyone who would know what I am talking about would read this but you never know. Until yesterday I thought I had a pretty good idea about people...

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Things have been really busy lately. I am still running whenever I can fit it in. Work has been all consuming lately and then the rest of the time I sleep or am with the family. Coffee has become a staple in my diet for better or worse. I try to make sure all of my workouts are quality but it is just hard to fit them in. Changes are happening everywhere. I personally like change and am not to resistant to other new ideas. This makes life interesting and keeps me wondering what will happen next. I don't however like confrontation and with theses changes coming about confrontation is inevitable. I know this is a good experience for me but it is still unsettling. I am talking about some decisions I have been called upon to make for work. Change is hard to deal with for lots of people and I have found recently it can make some down right hostile. I don't like people to be upset with me so this whole process has started to eat at me. The right choice of course is not always the popular one. So I am left thinking how does it end? That answer should come at the end of next week. Let's hope some people are still talking to me by then.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday, Blah

I went for a short run on the treadmill this afternoon. This consisted of a one mile warm up and then seven something the next two. After this I went to my class at the Y which by now is starting to not hurt so bad. I am getting to know the people and the trainer is a lot nicer now (he hasn't run with us since the first day). We did a 10 minute run and I tried to cover a much distance as possible then we did something like suicides down the field. We ended our outdoor session with a quick game of soccer. This was really fun and I have much more respect for what my kids do every week. I wish I didn't cringe when the ball comes my way but I know it is just about to hit me in the head! Actually our team did pretty good and I got in a few good efforts. We then went inside for weights, push ups, lunges, and ab work. Tomorrow is an early morning of hill climbing at Mount Bacon. Now I am ready to clean up and relax!!

Where Did That PR Go?

Well it seems many found theirs this weekend but mine has yet show itself this season. Really it is my fault for being a slacker lately. I did redeem myself a little by showing up at the BCRR run on Sunday and it was a good workout for me. I just need a kick in the butt and bad races seem to be what do it for me. I really hate speed work so unless I want to just maintain I have to come up with something. I guess I will keep racing and get back to more miles if that is what it takes. Oh well someone let me know if they find an extra PR laying around I could sure use it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Speed and Hills

Today I got myself up and met the group at Memorial for garages. I was tired at the end of the warm up so I knew this would not be an easy task. I managed to complete one garage and then I had to rest while the group started the second. I was able to go again for the last repeat and then I was exhausted for the cool down run back to the park. The humidity is definitely draining me. My legs were also tired from speed yesterday. I did a mile warm up at 8:20 and then three miles of 200 meters at 6:07 pace with 200 rest at 8:20. Toward the end I tried to run the rest period faster. After my speed work I went to the circuit class at the Y for my daily torture. That's about all lately tomorrow should be an easy 5 miles.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Recap

OK so here is how the weekend went running wise and some other things. I went back to my favorite circuit class on Friday and it was more manageable. The focus was arms and I felt like I was completely weak after I finished the class but my arms felt OK the next day. There was also more sprint type running but only about a third of a mile as fast as possible. The trainer was timing us and I didn't realize it till after the fact. I forgot what my time was but he actually said good job so I guess it was respectable. I made the decision to skip the 8K in favor of a long run in Clear Lake. I met the group under the Kemah bridge and from there we ran the boardwalk and the Seabrook trails and then back over the bridge. I think we ended somewhere around 12-13 miles. My legs were shaky most of the time but I hung in there and was really tired that afternoon. After the group hit the Starbucks at the Boardwalk I went home to get ready for the closing ceremony of Marathon Kids. The family went to Barnett Stadium and the kids ran the last 600 meters of their 26.2 miles. The kids had fun running on the track with their friends from school and then we went to lunch afterwards. When we got back my legs were still hurting and I took a long and much needed nap. I haven't done that in a really long time. When I finally pulled myself out of bed Mike and I went to see Run Fatboy Run. That is the most hilarious movie! I highly recommend it. This was the perfect movie to me because it had quirky comedy and running. What more could you want? We laughed the whole way through. After the movie we went and filled up on yummy Mexican food and margaritas. Needless to say I could not get up this morning for an early run so I will probably go out in a little while for maybe 5 miles. Hope my 6 readers had a great weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Hurt

I still hurt from yesterday. This will definitely be a complaining post so you have been given fair warning. I have a major pain in by back side region and I am wondering if I can even run today. I was thinking I should at least try so I can work through this and feel better tomorrow. I may just get on the treadmill and power walk this afternoon after I finish my work. I will wait till the Seinfeld reruns are on so at least I can laugh and be distracted from the pain of it all. I keep telling myself what doesn't do you in makes you stronger. Right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I think I found one of my new favorite workouts. The Y has a circuit class on MWF nights so I was curious and tried it out today. I thought it would be a good way to get the weight training I was missing and add some different types of cardio. I ran with the Clear Lake group this morning for 7 miles as a recovery from yesterdays fast 3 miles. This was a fun run with friends and some good girl talk.

OK now about the class. When I got there I was informed that it was hard cardio night. This of course is relative and I thought it would probably be much easier than a long run with Bayou City or Kenyan Way. Wow I was way wrong! The guy who led the class was rather hard core and really didn't like it when I was right behind him during sprints. I figured I should go pretty hard since I haven't put in many miles lately. He kept looking over his shoulder which made me want to pass him even more. Then he asked if I was actually trying to pass him in a shocked way. I just said yes. What is the deal with guys and not being able to handle it when a girl is anywhere near them during a hard workout? I have actually had guys zig zag in races to keep me from passing. Anyway we did some lunges in between sprints and then went inside to do more cardio and weights. The next set consisted of 30 minutes in which we cycled through push ups, lunges with a weighted bar and 3 minutes of cardio (I chose treadmill). During one of the sets I was on the treadmill talking and the instructor came by and said there should be no talking and told me to increase the speed ( I was at 7.6) and add incline. The others in the class were surprised and said he had never done that before. Great. Maybe this was payback for the sprint episode. After this set we finished with more leg weights and stomach work on the mat. I was so tired I drove home in a fog. I can't really remember the last time I was so tired. I will definitely be back. Man I hope that guy dosen't read running blogs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Is Less Really More?

I ran the Resurrection 5K yesterday for my third run of the week. Lately I am running more in races than training runs. Actually I am a bit curious as to how this could effect my fitness. Can you get faster on 3 days of running per week? The days I do run are a hard effort so really I am putting the work in and at the same time getting more rest between. A major drawback would be the cost of races every week but aside from that if it works I'm all for it. I remember an article I came across in Inside Texas Running some time back that talked about some really fast masters runners like Ino Cantu following a similar program with much success. This is appealing for those of us with busy schedules that don't like predawn running. So we will see how it goes.

I was talking with some other running bloggers at the race yesterday and they mentioned the 8K next week. Originally I was not to enthusiastic about this race but I may just try to fit it in as my hard workout for this next weekend. The distance is interesting and I would like to see how close I can stick to 5K pace for this. My time for Saturday was rather disappointing but afterwards I found out the course was long so that made me feel a little better. So in the spirit of my new plan of the moment I have not run today but will try to get in a least one workout before Saturday. I like to keep things interesting. I have been told I could improve a great deal if I had more patience and would stick to a plan. That is just not how I work and I think that is why I am still running after 5 years. Now I must get to all the work that has piled up on my desk....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Run Since Sunday

Today I met Jackie for a run from the Kroger in Clear Lake. We made it the whole 7 mile route and it felt the same as when we turn and take the shortcut for 5 miles. I feel like a real slacker this week but I just haven't been able to get myself up in the mornings lately. It was very hard to not cancel this morning but I knew I needed the miles or the week would end with nothing. I have a 5K to run on Saturday so I guess that will be my speed for the week. I am fighting the urge to have another cup of coffee as I sit here at my computer. I would like to reduce my caffeine intake in hopes of better general health. I think all this is doing is giving me a headache. Today definitely feels like Friday but I guess that makes sense. I suppose I am rambling now but that happens when your alarm goes off at 4:30 am and you don't have the good sense to go back to sleep. Anyway most likely I will go easy tomorrow for maybe 4 miles and then run the 5K Saturday. I hope my 5 readers have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seabrook Lucky Trails Half

Today was my attempt at a longer speed workout. Things turned out pretty much how I expected they would. My time was 1:40:33 (my goal was anything under 1:40). So I missed my goal by 30+ seconds but it was warm and there was alot of wind in some areas of the course. This is always a really challenging run for me and I did better my time by 20 minutes from the last time. This race is unique with awards also because the top three overall get nice plaques and then they also give 10 year age group awards. I ended up third female overall so I got to bring home something nice for the awards shelf which is always fun. Afterwards I got to eat some really good food and watch the marathoners finish. The guy who won the marathon blazed the course in 2:38. He was so fast for that race that most spectators didn't even realize he was finishing (they thought maybe he was on a relay team or something). Truly amazing especially considering it is a trail marathon and four loops with windy conditions. I think most people had a pretty good day and I would recommend this race if you are looking for something different.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Trying to Stay Motivated

The last few weeks I have been trying to run at least every other day. I guess I feel directionless and work has been really busy so running has been put on the back burner. Next week I would like to get back to running garages again and doing a run longer than 10 miles on the weekend. I also have a resolution to go to the gym at least twice a week. I lost my ipod so that makes it all the harder to do those tough treadmill workouts. OK enough complaining and lamenting lost workouts. There are some fun races approaching that I have never run so maybe that will keep me focused or something. Anyway not much else to report.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

5K "4" Fireworks Update

Today we held the first year of our 5K benefiting the fireworks over Clear Lake for the Chamber of Commerce here. I was asked to be race director mainly because I was the only runner available and I opened my mouth about creating a race. This was formerly a walk (Crawfish Crawl) attached to the Crawfish Festival which takes place at Clear Lake park in April. This year we separated the run/walk and made it a "grown up" race with all the trimmings such as timing, awards and good food. On The Run was nice enough to step up and donate their services for timing and course equipment. We had a closed course entirely run on the UHCL campus and I think people really enjoyed this, lots of trees and wildlife. So far the feedback has been great and we plan to build even more and be back next year. We will keep the same course and some of the other unique touches such as the Sunday time and the award for the biggest group of runners. I believe we will change the 10 year age groups to 5 year so we can give out more awards (though we didn't have three winners in some groups). The YMCA was another wonderful sponsor that offered a year family membership as a door prize. We were very fortunate to have so many generous organizations involved and plenty of great participants. Now I can take a breath and get some sleep....of course there was no running for me today. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Little Speed

Yesterday I did a speed workout on the treadmill at the YMCA. The schedule for today consisted of 400's in 1:20 or so. Actually I got on the treadmill and after a mile of warmup I punched it up to 6:03 and just told myself to run until I got in a quarter mile then I jogged for a quarter and went again at the same speed for another quarter. I like to make up workouts as I go along. This is not at all scientific but it beats the boredom that usually sets in when I follow a real schedule. Things just go better for me this way so I follow the flow. I guess I got in 6 fast reps and then decided it was time to get the kids and go home for dinner. The treadmill gave me a headache but I know it will pay off. I will try to go faster or add incline once I reach 8 to 10 reps. Maybe....

Today I met the Clear Lake group for 5 miles from Kroger. This was a relaxed run for me as my legs are sore from yesterday. I guess it has been awhile since I did speed work so I shouldn't be too surprised. This weekend I think I will run the Race Against Violence 5K on Saturday. I have wanted to run this for several years but have never had the opportunity. I volunteered for the Women's Center in college and am amazed with the strong talented women they have on their staff that deal with tough situations everyday. Anyway have a great Wednesday!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Run, a Race and Another Monday

I met the Clear Lake girls for a 9 miler on Saturday that turned out to be a tough run for me. We started at the Kemah bridge and then headed for the Seabrook trails. The good conversation was all that got me through. I try to make it a policy to never discuss politics but I was glad for the distraction and debating. Actually we all agreed on this subject so there was not really too much to debate but it is always interesting to hear another angle on the world. Anyway it was humid and I swallowed some unknown bug at mile 6 or so. Wow that was fun. I hacked up a lung and then got through the rest of the run with no other problems. We went to Starbucks to relax and of course get some major gabbing in. I think this is definately my favorite part of running. I have met a bunch of really nice people in the 5 years I have been attempting this sport. This is what keeps me getting out there. Sunday was the school fun run which was a blast. There was a 1.3 K and a 5K race and of course my kids did the 5K. They are inching closer to finishing their miles for Marathon Kids. I think they have 6 miles to go. My daughter was first in her group (2nd grade girls) and my son was 1st in his group (1st grade boys). We let the kids decide where to go for dinner and after I helped clean up we headed to Pei Wei.

Today was rather uneventful with catching up on work and a quick 5 miler around the neighborhood. Now maybe I can race to the gym for some much needed core work.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Missed Marathon

I suppose I should update my three readers on the Surfside that was not to be. I woke up last weekend feeling much less than 100%. Mike was still sick from the previous week so we were thinking maybe this marathon thing was a bad idea. The temperature pretty much sealed the deal with a reading of 60 degrees at 4:40 am. So we ditched the marathon death march for a nice relaxing breakfast at La Madeline's. Definately much more enjoyable! So anyway now my schedule will consist of shorter faster training in hopes that I can improve my half marathon, 10 K and 5K times. I really like the half so much better, but I guess most sane people do. Not that I am sane but either way I really look forward to the shorter runs. Next up will be Rodeo Run. This will be a first for me and it should be interesting.

Here at the homefront I am trying to wrap up the last minute details before my race next weekend. I will insert one more link for those who missed the last one I am also going to be helping out with the school 5K on Sunday so I can learn the ropes for next year. I think that will be a much less stressful race to direct with no sponsors to find and endless pavement pounding to get people to sign up. Soccer starts for the kids week after next so my Saturday racing options will be limited. That is my life for now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rest & A Neighborhood Run

I am pretty much in resting mode right now and focusing on things like work. I was also volunteered to be the race director for a 5K at the University of Houston Clear Lake on February 24th (more details can be found at and click on community events tab). I hope we have a good turnout since it is the first year so there will be some bumps in the road. I completely appreciate what race directors go through now. I was so oblivious to all the behind the scenes stuff that goes on. Man I will be glad to leave February behind!

Anyway I did an easy 4 miler yesterday and absolutely nothing today. Tomorrow I plan to run with the Clear Lake group for 5-7 miles and then maybe just call it a week. I guess I should be nervous about Surfside on Saturday but I am just hoping to have an enjoyable time and some good food afterwards.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My First 5K in a Long Time

I can't actually remember how long it has been since my last 5K. Anyway I decided it was time to get some speed back into my routine. I entered the Galloway 5K at the Kemah Boardwalk at the last minute in an effort to pep up my training schedule. The race turned out to be better than expected. I came in at 20:39 which was good enough for first in my age group. The lead girls were in sight the whole time but unfortunately I had no kick whatsoever at the end. I was happy to just coast in behind them. This gives me hope that with some speed work I may go under 20 sometime before the marathon season starts again in the fall. I guess after Surfside I can focus my attention on that goal. The race was very well organized with lots of family activities. My kids ran the 5K and had a blast doing arts and crafts at the post race party. Definately fun for the whole family. Well I must get to bed as I have a long run in the morning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Running

I thought I should update my blog and hopefully I can stay awake at my computer. Today was not fun but a good solid workout. Tuesday always kicks my butt. Anyway I got in 10 quality miles today and hopefully I can get myself out of bed tomorrow for another 12 or so. I thought it was supposed to rain today, let's hope it stays dry tomorrow. I am thinking of doing a 10K this weekend for a little speed work. I don't even think I know how to run a 10K at this point. Most likely I will just go out at marathon pace and end up with a really sucky 10K time. I guess a good goal would be 30 seconds or so faster than marathon pace? Who knows, perhaps just find someone I know has a decent time for that distance and try to hold on to them as long as possible. Sounds good to me.

Something else I was thinking about today. I realized my PR marathon was the first and only marathon I listened to music the whole time. I regret not doing this in Houston. The music helps me get in a zone and just stay in my own world. I really hate to hear breathing and stomping during a race(my own or others). I am getting my music together for Surfside and I hope it helps not only with drowning out the breathing but taking my mind off the wind and sand in my face.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Hills and Rain

I ran the parking garages again this morning in some really wonderful Houston weather. I guess I should be glad it wasn't pouring rain but it seems the warm weather is showing itself again. Not too much to write about lately just trying to keep up the training and getting back to the gym after a long layoff. When I went to the Y yesterday morning I attempted to log on to the electronic weight system they use and it said I had been terminated as a user. I had to find a trainer and re register. Man I didn't realize it had been that long, I guess I have been slacking in that area.

Now I am looking forward to my next marathon on February 9th in Surfside. I feel pretty good with Houston behind me and my legs seem ready to go again. I was tired at the end of our hill repeats today but the pace was a little faster than usual. I didn't do much recovery running after the uphills like I usually do and I had to just push myself to finish. All in all it was a productive workout and I know I have faster marathon times waiting for me. I would love to be able to get a fast enough time this year to qualify for New York without the lottery( 3:23 for my age female). I would like that to be my next traveling run. I must go now, hope everyone has a great night!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to the Treadmill

I am back to running again after three days of rest. I ran 4 miles yesterday and another 4 today both on the treadmill at home. I really want to incorporate more treadmill running into my schedule. There are several good things about the treadmill such as knowing exactly how fast you are going at any given time. On the roads I think I have a tendency to overestimate how fast I am going but the treadmill forces me to be honest with myself. I never have a false sense of fitness this way. Also like many this time of year I have the heater running in my house most of the day. When I am working out it does get hot but I feel like it is better to train in the heat whenever possible. So this along with a few outdoor runs will be my training plan for the next few months. We will see how it goes, it seemed to work a few years ago when I was training to qualify for Boston. Since that time I feel I have reached a plateau that I need to break free of. My longer runs outside are going to be at a faster pace to get me used to running at or close to marathon pace. I know many programs tell you to run slower for long runs but for me anytime I have done this it results in a slower marathon time. I just have to do what works for me so hopefully 2008 will be a fun year to race!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Marathon Blues

Another Houston Marathon has come and gone. Congratulations to all the runners! I have mixed feelings about this race. I trained harder for this race mileage wise and sacrificed speed work. I now see this is something that needs to be changed. I was on track until 15-16 miles in and then everyone but the kitchen sink started to pass me. I think even the sink was gaining at the end. Either way I finished and enjoyed seeing everyone out there. The crowd was tremendous. This was the best part at the end and they really kept me going when I wanted to throw in the towel and just walk off the course. After this marathon I said no more. I actually have at least one more because I signed up for Surfside last week. I think it will be a fun low key run. When Surfside is done I think the focus will be on shorter races and getting some speed back in my legs. I may do Houston half next year and then come back to the marathon the next year fresher and hopefully faster. I hope everyone has a great day and isn't in too much pain!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I suppose the resting phase has begun which leaves some of us with extra energy to burn. I decided to rent a pressure washer this weekend and clean our driveway and patio. Wow this job was really painful. I was so focused on getting done I didn't think about how achy my arms and back were until afterwards. I could barely move this morning and I was supposed to run for an hour. I skipped the run and ended up going at lunch. My back and arms still ache but I didn't notice it while I was running. The conditions were hot and humid and I was dreaming of cold weather for Sunday. I have decided to not get my hopes up for the marathon and just run how I feel. This will be my first marathon in two years so I would like to do better than the last one (3:29 in Austin '06). I think I can do that. I never seem to race well and so this year I am just going to enjoy it and see what happens. I hope everyone has a great run on Sunday!