Monthly Archives: September 2009

Running the Sahara

Running the SaharaWhether you are a runner or not – you definitely need to watch this documentary!!!  3 men set out to run across the Sahara Dessert.  It is a positively amazing endeavor and the documentary captures it so well.  Also be sure to watch the extra commentaries after you watch the film.  Wow.  It puts a tiny glimmer of doing something positively crazy into my brain.  Just a tiny glimmer though :)  I’ve seen it twice now, and the whole ordeal seems even more amazing after watching it again.   Here is a link to the film’s homepage.

(this is a picture from during their run) Runners

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Race for the Cure

I ran the Race for the Cure 5K today.   When I race, I always set a high goal and a low goal – low goal is something that I feel fairly confident I can accomplish; high goal is a stretch that I would be ecstatic if I accomplished.  Today, my low goal was to run under 21 minutes; my high goal was to run under 20 minutes.  I ran 20:47.  I’m happy.  I do wish my 3rd mile had been faster (my splits were 6:13 – 6:41 – 7:16).  The 1st mile is down hill, the 2nd mile is flat, and the 3rd mile has 1 hill and the rest is a very gradual uphill.  I was the 2nd place women (Gina Krabbendam won in 19:44 – she is A M A Z I N G!!!).

In a lot of ways, I HATE racing a 5K.  I’ve really come to prefer longer distances.  A 5K hurts so bad!  I like in the longer distances to start conservatively and to built speed as the race progresses.

I don’t think I’ll be able to get any more races in before the Philly Half Marathon in November.  I am so excited about that race! :)

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the past few days and a look ahead

Last week was a post-Cora high – 30.8 miles.  The week culminated in a 10 mile run on Saturday – 2 laps around the Racoon Mountain reservoir.  I ran with 2 of the girls on my team – it was a great run – solid pace.  It did POUR DOWN RAIN on us the entire 2nd lap, but that made it kinda fun! :)

Yesterday, we did a tempo run on the roads from Covenant (aka – BIG hills). Today was supposed to be an easy day, but I ran with my top runner so it wasn’t particular easy for me!

I may do a 5K on Sunday – it’s the Race for the Cure.  2 years ago at this race, I broke 20 minutes for the 1st time since high school.  While I know that won’t happen on Sunday, I hopefully can still race strong.

I am registered for the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 22.  I’m not following a training plan because I figure if I run with the girls during the week, and then get in between 10-12 every weekend, that I’ll be good to go.  I’ve been thinking about a Spring marathon, and have narrowed it down to a few options.  It’ll probably be a few months before I decide. So more on that later!

1 last thing – I’ve added a tab above that has a link to my online training log.  I recently discovered the website Running Ahead and I like it!  It’s a bit limited in a few areas, but I really like how when I open up my training log, it gives totals, a bar graph of my runs, etc.  Feel free to look at that any time.  I’m trying to include as many details of my workouts as possible.  Let me know any time if you have questions about specific training that I’ve done or your own training.

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Filed under baby, easy days, long runs, race

mile repeats

I ran mile repeats with the team yesterday – I don’t believe I’ve done those since 1998! :)  I had forgotten how tough they are and how long a mile can seem.  The girls did 4; I did 3.  My times were 6:39, 6:46, 6:50. I was quite happy.   And I will say – my quads are so sore!  Today is a much needed easy day.  We’ll run about 4 miles on the wet, sloppy trails.

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Filed under repeats, speed work, that feeling

tempo run

Today’s total was about 5 miles.  The middle 2.6 miles was a tempo run. I averaged around 7:40 pace for the tempo section.

Here’s the workout: I gave the team a set course to run – repeats on a 1.9 mile loop on our trails. Guys were to run 30 minutes, girls 20 minutes.  We did this same workout last Tuesday, and their goal today was to get further than last time (and most did!).   I struggled in the middle but finished strong.

Tempo workouts are so important if you are looking to add speed and strength to your running.  It not only trains your body to run faster for a sustained time, but it is also an excellent opportunity to train your mind to stay engaged and focused – which you have to do to push yourself to the “edge” (the place were you know you are working as hard as you can but not working so hard that you crash and burn before you finish).  African runners swear by tempo workouts and claim that it is these workouts that enable them to kick all white people’s tails.  Many of the top American runners are seeking to implement this strategy into their own running.  It seems like it is beginning to work.  The key is to run consistent for the entire time. To run consistent for a prolonged period, you feel like you are running harder as the workout progress because to maintain the same speed requires more effort the longer you go.  A key to doing this is keeping your mind engaged – if you tune out or think about how tired you are, you slow down.  Often this happens unconsciously.  I definitely struggled with that today – I tuned out and slowed down in the middle. I did redeem it a bit and finished strong.

And for the record, the past 2 days have made my legs S O R E.  I love it though :)  I was impressed with how many ankle handled the trails.  As long as I don’t bend my foot to the right in a certain way I’m fine!

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Filed under coaching, tempo

back at it

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  It felt SO GOOD to run yesterday!!!  I had jogged a bit a few times last week, but yesterday was my 1st real run.  The ankle felt good – a bit weak – but not painful.  And hats off to the trainers at Covenant for figuring out a way to tape my ankle without my whole foot going numb.  They do a no arch with only 2 heal locks and it is PERFECT – I can move my foot up and down with no hinderance but it protects it from side to side movement.

So yesterday’s run … I headed out with my girls, thinking we’d go to the stop sign on Stephenson Ave – 5.5 miles round trip.    My “superstar” as I call her wanted to go a bit longer, and she is quite directionally challenged , so I told her I’d go to the 6 mile turnaround with her. When we got there I could tell she wasn’t ready to turn around – so we went all the way to LMPC – 6.8 miles round trip.  I was sucking wind BIG TIME on the way back trying hard to keep up, but it felt so great to go on a real run!  And last night I had that great, all over sore feeling.

This afternoon the team is doing a tempo run on the trails.  I think my ankle is feeling good enough to run on trails but we’ll see how it goes.

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Filed under injury, that feeling

insight from others

My brother is a very good runner.  He has a blog, where he often talks about running.  His latest post is worth reading.  He references a high school teammate’s blog – another post well worth reading.

For years, I was part jealous part just plan annoyed that my brother ran so well.  It didn’t matter how well I did – he was always doing better – accomplishing more.  Looking back, I now see I was jealous of his work ethic. He sacrificed and worked so much harder than me.   He had a level of toughness that I flat did not have.

Now, I am so proud of him! I love to brag on his accomplishments.  He, too, has very much experienced the highs and lows of running.  In his early 30’s, he is loving running more than he has since high school.  I love reading his blog and the insights it gives into his psyche.

Jamey – thanks for motivating and inspiring me!

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Filed under WHY