Friday, March 26, 2010

Lactate Threshold Training Reminds Me of I Love Lucy

I've been doing a lot of research on the physiological process of running....mainly as a prelude to learning about various training runs.  (Well, truthfully, mainly because I'm a complete and total nerd, but that's beside the point!)

It used to be believed that lactic acid was a waste by-product of metabolism.  It also used to be believed to be the cause of muscle fatigue.  New research has contradicted that long-held belief.   According to this article:

Your muscles only contract when your central nervous system (CNS) tells them to. Your CNS does this by sending an electrical signal to your muscle cells. Your muscles contract when the electrical charge causes potassium inside your muscle cells to exchange places with sodium outside your muscle cells. During intense exercise, potassium ions have a hard time finding their way back inside the cells and they start to build up outside your muscle cells. This build up reduces both the electrical charge and the ability of your muscles to contract. In other words you begin to suffer from muscle fatigue.

This is where lactic acid comes to the rescue (emphasis added). Both studies showed that accumulating lactic acid is used to diminish the effects of the accumulating potassium ions, help them back inside your muscle cells and restore the function of the CNS signaling system.

Lactate threshold is the point at which lactate is produced faster than the body can use it for energy.   Now, if you've ever see the "Chocolate Factory" episode of I Love Lucy, you're probably already laughing.  If you've seen it, and you're scratching your head....or if you've been deprived, like my son (who had never seen it until today), here it is:

((Be sure to pause the music player before hitting "play" on the video.))

((That's as funny today as it was probably 35 years ago when I first saw it!!))

So, let me say it again.... Lactate threshold is the point at which lactate is produced faster than the body can use it.  Therefore, lactate threshold training (basically) increases the body's ability to utilize lactate.   (It would be like training Lucy and Ethel how to wrap those chocolates faster!!--The chocolate is the lactate, it needs to be in the candy box, it's coming through faster than Lucy and Ethel can handle it......)

According to this article, true lactate threshold training is done at speeds faster than 10K pace.  (Not short interval sprints, but extended runs.)  Running at paces faster than 10K is necessary to increase the lactate threshold, however, training at that intensity for extended periods on a consistent basis is not advisable, which is where tempo runs come in.  True tempo training is performed at paces between 15-45 seconds slower than 10K pace.  Tempo training is at the lower end of lactate threshold training, but is not going to be fast enough to improve lactate threshold.

The best way to improve your lactate threshold is by training at paces that flood your body with lactic acid long enough to train the body how to deal effectively with it.  Ethel and Lucy would never learn to wrap those chocolates faster if the conveyor belt never moved faster than that original speed, or just sped up in short spurts!!

Soon, I'm going to write a post on Hershey's kiss-wrapping training....he he he.  (I hope you never look at your LT/tempo runs the same way again!)  Now, go wrap some chocolate!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 3 Recap


Tuesday--My week should have started yesterday but I was (**cough** EXCUSE **cough**) sick.  I really did feel bad, but I found out today I can feel bad running or I can feel worse sitting at home in my jammies.  I behaved in accordance with a decision already made and joined my running group for a three miler.  The pace started out PAINFULLY SLOW.  If you recall, one of my coaches told me Saturday to slow it down in the beginning so that I can actually run that's what I did.  This was the first Tuesday run I've done the correct intervals the WHOLE TIME!!  (YEA ME!!)  The sacrifice was a slower pace overall.  I ran a total of 31 minutes and walked 6 so my average pace was 12:20.

Wednesday was a scheduled rest day, so I did just that-in my jammies with a box of Kleenex next to me all day.
Thursday I loaded up on meds and went out to do a solo 2.5 mile run.  After reading Lisa's fantastic post about living with integrity I decided to do what ever it took to finish my correct intervals.  I slowed my pace down a bit...and with only 2 very minor hiccups, I DID IT AGAIN (ran the whole time with the correct intervals-5/1)!!  That makes the first solo run I've finished with correct intervals....and remember I was sick to boot.  (I think I deserve a cookie!!??)  My average pace was 12:36.  I ran a total of 26 minutes and walked 5.5.  When I got home I did some calf and ankle exercises--much needed since I'm still having a very hard time with my left calf.

Friday should have been cross training, but unless cleaning house counts, I dropped the ball on that one.  (It could have been a rest day, so I don't feel like I'm "cheating", but I do want to do some cross training, so maybe I cheated myself??)  

Saturday I intentionally missed my (optional) group run.  In my "defense", I picked hubby up from the airport at 12:30 this morning, we got home and in bed about 1:30!!  I had to choose between going with the group at 7 on very little sleep or going solo for today's four miler.  I opted for the latter....and I DID IT AGAIN (finished the four mile run having done all the correct intervals)!!!  My average pace was 12:26.  I really have to thank Lisa again for her post on Integrity....


I'm learning that doing whatever it takes to behave in accordance with a decision previously made sometimes means it won't look exactly like I want it to.  When I started running with the slower group on Tuesday I thought I'd made a huge mistake because going that slow was almost painful.  I'm still not 100% convinced that going slow is the absolute best option, but I can say that going slower has lowered my heart rate, which I believe really has helped me be able to run longer.  (Based on my heart rate research...) AND, the whole idea of "running" full steam only to fizzle out before reaching my goal has been my MO for most of my life.  Maybe slow and steady really can work??

After doing research on heart rates, I was able to determine my max heart rate and training levels.    I think this explains why slowing the pace down a bit in the beginning has helped me run for a longer time.  I haven't decided if I like the trade because the pace feels SO SLOW.  I think what this tells me is that after I build up endurance I'll be able to (gradually) build up speed so I'll have both. 

I learned I CAN run with a stopped up nose almost as well as I can with a clear nose!! 

HYDRATION and FUEL are key elements.  (I'll talk about more these topics in a later post.)


Hydrate, fuel (see the Zone update below), continue to train with my heart rate levels. 

CROSS TRAIN!!  (Realistically this won't happen this week since my son will be in town!! **YEA**!!)

Next week's plan:
Monday 2.5 miles
Tuesday 3 miles (group run)
Thursday 3 miles
Saturday 4 miles (group run)

I think I had my first food hangover!  I ate popcorn at the movies and then the next day had STEAK and dessert (for hubby's birthday-dinner out).  I don't really know if it was the food or from being sick, but I had a marked decrease in energy the next day.  Even with being sick, going back to the ZoneFormula way of eating, I seemed to have much more energy, so I'm calling it a hangover.  This really does make me happy because I think it means I've been eating better. 

After hearing about fueling from Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, LD, I decided to increase my calories.  I'm not stressing as much about having an EXACT balance of 40-30-30, but I am trying to make sure I FUEL at the right times with a good balance.  Pretty much everything she said lined up with what I've been doing (except for the increase in calories and she suggested more carbs).

I also started using Daily Plate at  I really love this site and it's unbelievably easy to use.  I wish there was a way to link up the site to Daily Plate, or that the FormulaZone site had a better food diary....but, such is life-you can't always get what you want!  So for now, I'll be using the FormulaZone site for menu making and the Livestrong site for the diary.

Thanks for stopping in...come again soon!

Heart Rate Training Zones

The other day I talked about figuring out my max heart rate, which is about 200 as best as I can figure.  (Yes, it seems high....I don't know if that's good or bad, or if it makes any difference at all, but that seems to be what it is.)

Today I want to talk about what to do with that information.

**AGAIN, I am not a doctor, I'm not a trainer, I'm barely even a runner!!  Don't take anything in this post as advice....I'm just telling you what I'm doing.

The ultimate goal of training is to be able to run longer and faster.  The ultimate goal of training with a heart monitor is not only to be able to run with a lower heart rate, but to train smarter.  Running in different heart rate zones accomplishes different goals (ie endurance, fat burning, speed, recovery...).  (This is why it was so important to determine the max heart rate first.)


Based on a max of 200, my training zones are:

50-60% - 100-120
60-70% - 120-140
70-80% - 140-160
80-90% - 160-180
90-100% - 180-200

Some trainers recommend not running two consecutive days over the 70% level, setting that value (70%, or 140 for me) as the ceiling for recovery days. They say hard days should be run at the 85% level, if not higher (for me that would be 170+).

Like I said, different zones accomplish different goals:

Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up) --- 50 - 60% of maximum heart rate: The easiest zone and probably the best zone for people just starting a fitness program. It can also be used as a warm up for more serious walkers. This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. 85% of calories burned in this zone are fats!

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) --- 60 - 70% of maximum heart rate: This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories.
85% of calories burned in this zone are fats!

Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) --- 70 - 80% of maximum heart rate: The aerobic zone improves cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increases the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. More calories are burned with 50% from fat.  (This means you need to make sure you are properly fueling to train in this, and all higher zones--a topic for another day.)

Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) --- 80 - 90% of maximum heart rate: Benefits of this zone include an improved VO2 maximum (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise-yet another subject I need to do some research on) and thus an improved cardiorespiratory system, and a higher lactate tolerance ability which means your endurance will improve and you'll be able to fight fatigue better. This is a high intensity zone burning more calories, 15 % from fat

Red Line (Maximum Effort) --- 90 - 100% of maximum heart rate: Although this zone burns the highest number of calories, it is very intense. Most people can only stay in this zone for short periods. You should only train in this zone if you are in very good shape and have been cleared by a physician to do so.  

(By the way...the HR zones aren't just for can use them for any work outs.) 

After delving into this topic, I see now why I haven't been losing any weight with running--the calories I'm burning aren't from fat because I routinely train in the 85-90% range.   I learned a lot about fueling the other night after my group run from Tammy Beasley, RD, CSSD, LD, author of Rev It UP (The Lifestyle Diet That Puts You In The Driver's Seat).  It seems as though I've been eating too few calories and my body is trying to store them all as fat!!  (Everything I've been reading since then, from other sites, has confirmed this view.)  The good news is I'm lowering my lactate threshold and raising my my VO2 max.  (I'll talk more about these topics other posts.)

Since talking to my running group coach Tuesday night, I slowed my pace WAY down (to what I feel is an unnaturally slow speed).  I don't honestly think I can slow down any more and still run!!  But, I will say that I have finished the last three runs having done the 5/1 intervals (with only 2 little 'hiccups'), so it seems slowing down just a little bit has helped.  

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heart Rate Training

I'm finally sitting down to do some solid research on heart rate training.  I've talked about this before, but I haven't actually ever "finished" the task because there is a lot of seemingly conflicting information available on this subject.  It's going to require a lot of decisions on my part and I'd much rather have someone else just tell me what's right and what I need to do.

You might think talking to my doctor would be the best, and I did, in fact, do that.  She did some "research" and told me, according to the American Heart Association, I should train between 90-135 beats per minute.


On my first day of training, my heart rate was 113 when I stepped outside to start my walk.  The average for that first 30 minute, easy, 3.5mph walk (in 12 degree weather mind you), was 146.  Since I started "training" in January, my average heart rate (during walks/walluns/rulks/runs) has been 142, with an average max of 178.  The highest it's ever gotten to was 194, and that would have been at the end of the "race" where I sprinted to the finish.

I've said all that to say I think my doctor is WRONG...and also to emphasis the fact that I don't believe cookie cutter numbers work for everyone.  This is the whole reason I'm sitting here pouring over facts and figures and trying to determine what's actually best for me.

To be perfectly clear, let me say I am not a doctor, I don't even pretend to play one in bloggerdom.  You should not take anything in this post as "advice".  I'm writing more as a way to sort out all the information I've found.  Do your own research, talk to your doctor, make up your own mind about how you want to train.

The "standard" max heart rate (MHR) is supposed to be 220-age.  (The numbers my doctor gave me were based on this MHR and using 50%-75% as the training range.)  This site has a variety of calculators for different ways of determining MHR, but it doesn't have the Karvonen method (which relies heavily on your resting heart rate).   However, my personal favorite site for determining MHR (because it told me what I wanted to hear) is this one.

I have to say the reason this site "told me what I wanted to hear" is because there are several methods of arriving at the magic number, that all line up with what I already believe really is my MHR.  (Okay, to be honest, I haven't done all the tests, but the ones I have done line up with what I already thought it was.)

So, armed with a "definitive" number for my MRH...the question becomes how to use that information to set up a training plan (in conjunction with the mileage goals for each week).  That's actually harder than getting the number in the first place....because it requires me to decide what it is I hope to achieve with my training.

Am I out there to burn fat and lose weight?
Am I trying to strengthen my heart?
Am I training for endurance?  Speed?

What if the answer is "all of the above"??

I'll explore training plans tomorrow.  I're so excited you can't stand it, right??!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Only (I) Can Be Responsible for (My) Own Training"

All day I've been "trying to decide" if I'll actually go to my group run tonight.  (So much for behaving in accordance with a decision previously made, huh?)  I have an excuse....I'm sick.  My nose is completely stopped up.  My head feels full of honey.  My mouth is full of cotton.  I can't quit coughing.  My ears can't hear.  (Please, someone offer some cheese to go with my whine!)

I "skipped" yesterday's run (well, I didn't "skip" it, I just conveniently rearranged my running plan for the week to allow for a rest day yesterday).  I did this because I felt worse than crap.  Today...I feel even worse.

I'm blaming this on a curse I've had on me since the first time I sent a child to school sick.  See, when my kids tell me how bad they feel on a school day, I tell them if there's no fever or throw up, they're going to school.  Unfortunately for me, there have been more times than not I end up catching whatever it give me the "opportunity" to show them how to continue to honor responsibilities despite feelings.

I think it's really funny how this past week I've read about two different bloggers running while they're sick as dogs.  As I was reading I thought to myself how hard core they are and I wondered what I would do in the same situation.  Yesterday I found myself thinking how soft my own core is.


To top it off...I've started reading a Runner's World blog called "Marathon Virgin".  As "luck" would have it, today I went back to what I think is the beginning to find this little nugget waiting for me:
Only you can be responsible for your training, your body, and your performance....
((That wasn't the point of the post, but it's my take away.))

So, despite how rotten I'm feeling, in order to harden my core, and realizing I'm the one responsible for my own training....tonight I will behave in accordance with a decision previously made and join my running group for 3 miles.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 2 Recap


Well, I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but I've been "gone" this week.  My (inside-only, fully declawed) cat decided to take a vacation (read about that here...and be sure to read the following two posts as well as they're related).  Not only was I heart broken, but I've been having a hard time this week (more about that later).

Never the less...Tuesday night, despite the rainy weather and my heavy heart, I went to my running group.  They said we did 3.1 miles, but I only logged 2.88 on my Garmin.  They might have added in the warm up jog over to where we stretch, but I didn't count that.  I ran 30 and walked 5, but my longest running interval was 7:30.  It was the first one.  However, my average pace was 12 minutes.  I don't think that's too bad. 

Thursday I managed to force myself out the door for 2 miles.  I was feeling really bad about it because I didn't feel like I did very well...until I looked at the stats from the run.  Even though my longest interval was only 4 minutes (the first one), I did run 19.5 total (walked 6).  The best part was that my average pace was 11:45. 

Friday a friend invited me for a "little walk"...we went geocaching and ended up walking about 4 miles!

This morning when I woke up it was raining outside and 43 degrees.  I argued with myself all the way to the park to meet up with my group.  When I got there I asked someone, "is it wrong that I still haven't decided if I'm going to run?"  Suffice it to say, I wasn't "behaving in accordance with a decision I had already made"...but I did it.  In the wind and cold rain I ran 3.5 miles with an average pace of 12:04.  After the second running interval for me (which was the longest at 7 minutes), I ran with the run/walk group and stuck with the intervals the plan called for (5/1).  I ran a total of 36.5 and walked 5.5.


It's almost embarrassing to keep repeating myself...but again:

1) It's imperative to STICK WITH THE PLAN.  I've been trying to walk less so I don't usually walk the full time called for thinking I should be running more.  I talked to one of the coaches this morning and she told me to ...

2) Slow down in the beginning of my runs....and make sure I'm walking the full interval at a slower speed.  She said most likely the biggest issue I'm dealing with is a simple matter of conditioning.   She also said to...

3) Pick up my knees when I run.  (She didn't specifically tell me that, but she was talking to someone else.)  She said when you're tired you can have a tendency to shuffle along and that takes more energy and is harder than picking up your knees.  I tried it when I started getting tired; it really did make a difference!!  

4) Another runner was saying to concentrate on my arms....bring my elbows back, and make sure to keep them moving forward and back....  I don't think I can explain it in words very well, but it worked.

5) AGAIN...feelings lie.  I really felt like I had completely sucked during all four runs this week, but they really were not that bad when I looked at the numbers. 


Also, I plan to start cross training next week.  I didn't do it this week, and honestly since next week is spring break and my daughter will be home....I don't know if I'll really do it this week..but I'm going to plan on it anyway.
***My left calf is still bothering me a little, but I've decided it's just sore.  I didn't go back to Spine Care because I think it's something that will work itself out over time and I've got some stretches to do at home.  It "always" seems better at the end of the run so I don't think it's an injury...I just have to "woman up" and realize I'm no spring chicken anymore and little aches and pains mean I'm working!! cat did come home from his little vacation, safe and sound!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week 2/Day 1


I warmed up about 7 minutes, stretched, then I ran 2 miles...well, I ran 21 out of 25 minutes.  I started fairly strong and ran 5.5 minutes then walked 30 seconds.  That ended up being my longest running interval.  My average pace was 12:24, with the fastest being 9:00.  This was the first shorts-run of the season.  


I almost want to say I didn't learn anything on this run...but there's "always" something to learn, or something that's being reinforced.  I don't like to run at night.  I had a lot going on yesterday that caused me to have to put off the run until the end of the day.  I don't like that at all.  I'd much rather run first thing in the morning.

I've been listening to a podcast called Running Stupid...I'd link it but I'm not sure yet that I like it!!  But, he talked about something I had never heard of before called S-caps.  They are electrolyte tablets that help with cramping.  It's funny because just after I heard about them on the podcast I read this guy's post about a recent 50K trail race he just shredded to pieces (!!) and he talked about them as well.  Now, I've not yet had cramps while running, but I'm thinking I'll know what to take when I do eventually get to that point. 


Tonight's group run is 3 miles.  I haven't made up my mind if I'm going back to Spine Care today or later in the week, or maybe not at all.  I think I'll wait to see how I'm feeling after tonight's run.



Okay, we've been trying this "new way of eating" for a week now....I'm cutting my calories this week because I feel like I'm eating a ton of food on this plan.  Naturally, darling husband has lost like 6 pounds and I've lost (maybe) 2....but, such is life.  I do think I'm sleeping better...he said he knows he is, without doubt.  Interestingly enough, I "always" have at least one truly CRAZY dream, every night, but I don't recall having had one all week long.  I think that's very strange.  I have seemed to have more energy throughout the day.  The down side is that it requires A LOT of planning (my downfall), and is taking considerably more time and creating more dirty dishes!!  All-in-all, it's worth it!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week 1/Day 4


I ran with my group this morning--three miles!!  My left calf hurt a tiny bit, but NOTHING like it did before I went to Spine Care.

Before I looked at my times for yesterday and today, I was really thinking I did better today with the  group---but as it turns out, that's not so!  And I know why (see next section for What I Learned #1).

I was certainly not front, or even mid pack....but I was also certainly not last!  I started out doing four/one intervals, but changed that up some in the middle with some extra little walk breaks and then at one point I felt especially good so I just kept running--for EIGHT MINUTES!!  When I checked, it was just over the two mile mark (WIL #2).

My total time was 36:29, which would make it an average 12 minute mile (yesterday's average was 11:30).  My fastest pace today was 8:48 (yesterday's fastest pace was 7:42).  Yesterday's average speed was 5.2, today's was only** 4.9. 


#1)  I had longer walking intervals today than I did yesterday.  When I was by myself, most of my walk intervals were 30 seconds, today they were mostly 1 minute since I was trying to stick with the plan--but since I added a couple of extras in there it made for longer walking intervals.....

Well, let's see if that's correct....((WARNING...the rest of this paragraph is filled exceptionally boring statistics)) I ran a total of 30.5 minutes (.83 of the total time) and walked 6 (.16 of the total time).  Yesterday I ran a total of 19.5 minutes (.84 of the total time).  Well, how about wasn't that much better yesterday....except that my speed was a little bit faster.  I'm going to have to look at the mile breakdown to find out what my slowest mile guess is it's going to be the 2nd....because I really felt like the third mile today was pretty darn good.  ((I'm going to try to bribe my incredibly handsome and intelligent math wiz/running expert husband to help me with all the data I'm gathering about my runs so I can figure out where I'm slowing down  (WIGTD #1).

#2)   I was talking with one of the coaches Tuesday night and telling her toward the end of the second mile I felt great, like I could keep on going for miles.  She said we're training for 6.2 miles...I just have to realize the first two are going to suck for me, but the last 4.2 should be better!  I don't think it was a coincidence that I had my best interval at the two mile mark!  If I can hang on for two miles, I should have a better run experience after that.  I don't think for one second I've run long enough to get a "runner's high", but I can completely see how people would want to go run for hours on end.  I'm looking forward to that crazy as that sounds. 
...and, AGAIN, dress cooler than I think I need to.  It's going to start warming up outside, I've got to remember to dress cooler or I'm going to over heat.  The other day when it was snowing, I saw a guy out in that mess with shorts and a sleeveless shirt.  He was one of those 1% body fat serious runner types...I thought he looked like he could freeze to death.  But, my guess is he had been out there for hours so he probably felt perfect.

#3--stop using the word "only" (**above)....I'm a 40 year old, arthritic, recovering couch potato---there's nothing "only" about it.

#2.  Dress cooler than I think I need to!!!

#1.  Bribe my incredibly handsome, unbelievably intelligent, supremely macho, running statistic expert husband to take a look at all the data from my Garmin so he can help me figure out where I'm slowing down and how I can improve.
Yes, I do know I just started a little over 2 months ago ((TWENTY SIX TRAINING DAYS!!!))...and yes, I know if I just keep running I will improve...but I'm an optimizer.  Although I don't "connect the dots" between what I do and what happens very well, I do try very hard to look at what I'm doing and see how I can do better.   ....and Yes, I remember when I said I didn't care about my time...but I was obviously WRONG about that!!!  I think I said I didn't care only because I didn't believe I could really do it...and now, I believe I I want to do it as good as I'm able!!

I'm sure in about 3 1/2 weeks I'll be back to thinking I can't do it (notice the timing there)...or at least struggling with negative thoughts....and I hope I can remember to look back to this post because today (like Tuesday)...

I KNOW I CAN DO IT...and not only that....DO IT WELL!!!!!

Thank you for stopping in, come again soon!!


Week 1/Day 3


Well, I did something I thought I would never do....I went to a chiropractor!!  Having been an insurance adjuster for 10 years, I'm really not very fond of them...but Spine Care came highly recommended by some runners in the group (namely, my coach).  I have to say (after 2 appointments)...I'm very glad I went.  He told me I need to build up strength in my ankles and calves (which is what I thought), and my core.  He did not tell me I needed an "adjustment" in my spine-which would have made me run out screaming!  He did some electrical stimulation on my calf muscles and then had me do some exercises with a super heavy resistance band.  He also said I'd only "need" to go a few times.

I went to the first appointment on Wednesday and called it "cross training" I "rested" Thursday and ran two miles yesterday.  I did a seven minute warm up walk....and then I tried really hard to do the four/one intervals but I didn't make it.

I just looked at my time, and I'm actually VERY PLEASED...I did two miles in 23 minutes....average of 11:36.  I ran a total of 18.5 minutes of that time.  My average speed was 5:20, but my fastest speed was 7:80 ((pace of 7:42)).  That's better than I thought it was going to be.  My longest run interval was five minutes.

I noticed a MARKED improvement in how my calves were feeling.   After the run (and shower) I went to Spine Care for my second appointment. 


After looking at my stats, I'm reminded (AGAIN) that how I feel is never going to be a good measure of how I'm doing.

I CAN DO THIS!!!!!!  I can't remember if I said it in the post after the group run (and I'm too lazy to go look)...but Tuesday night was probably the first time I really thought, "I CAN do this" without having doubts.  I think I've pushed past the initial excitement of it, although I do still really love to run, it's not the same as it was in the very beginning.  I'm not saying I won't have doubts again, but I honestly see myself running the marathon in December....and maybe even doing an ultra after that.  

Dress cooler.  The thing is I really HATE being cold.  Since I haven't been running as much as I'm starting to now, I've been okay most days, but I got very hot after the two mile run.  We'll start running longer distances each week so I've got to remember that.

Stick with the plan.

Cross train in earnest.  The chiro suggested a balance ball and resistance bands, but for now I have a great Pilates DVD that I'll break out.  I might even do that G-Ball work out again. 


By the way, the "new way of eating" is still going strong.  I've been having a really hard time eating all the food on the plan so I think I'll cut my calories down a bit.  I set up my plan for "moderate weight loss" so changing it will lower the count down just a bit for each meal, which will be good for me because I am not liking how full I feel after meals.  I know what I'm eating is very good for me and there's not one meal that's over 500 calories ((!!!)), but it's still a lot of food volume-wise.  (Darling husband has lost about 6 pounds, and is sticking with it.....I haven't lost any weight, but I think there's a biological reason for that right now, so I'm going to resist thinking about it for another week!!)

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Ways...


I started my "new way of eating" yesterday.  We aren't calling it a "diet" because the idea is that it will become the way we eat from now on.  I don't remember if I've talked much about it here...but I read a blog the other day that really got me to thinking (I'd link it if I could remember where I saw it...).  The writer talked about being on the Zone diet and how when she eats a lot of junk food she gets a "food hangover".  Many of the commenters have had the same experience.   A food hangover is not something I've ever had...but it sounds very interesting.

By that I mean I know how horrible an alcohol hangover feels...I have come to understand what drinking does to my body and why over indulgence causes me to feel so bad.  So, if the same can be true about food, that means there is a state of health that is superior to the one I'm currently in.  

Does that make sense?  

I know the food I eat is not just complete junk, but I also know I don't eat well.  If there is a way of eating that will result in feeling bad when I'm eating unhealthy foods--I WANT IT!!  That very idea is exactly why I don't drink very much anymore...because I can not stand the way a hangover feels.  It's just not worth it to me.  I want to get that same mentality about food!


The funny thing husband and I both ate considerably more food (in volume) than we usually eat in the course of a day.  But, there's a HUGE nutritional difference.  For instance, his usual breakfast is a sausage biscuit and two hash browns.  There's 720 calories, 46 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, and 64 carbs in that fairly small amount of food.  This morning's breakfast was two and a fourth egg white and cheese burritos** and 27 grapes for a total of 475 calories, 15 grams of fat, 43 grams of protein and 42 carbs.  The "plan" calls for basically eating all day (three meals and two snacks), but no one meal is over 500 calories, and snacks are about 200 calories each.

**That's two and a fourth burritos, not 2 1/4 egg whites....just wanted to be clear there.  

Did you know all the FLAVOR of an egg is in the YOLK??  (But so is the maybe there's a spice I can add to that burrito?)  :D 


As I always say...STICK WITH THE PLAN!!!  We're committed to doing this for three weeks before we evaluate if it's something we really want do.  The down side is, it's a lot of food which means the grocery bill was a bit higher.  But, at the same time, there were quite a few "staples" that I didn't have, so I don't think it will be as high next week.  Not to mention....what's health worth??

Thanks for stopping in....

What's that??  OH, you want to hear about my RUNNING???!  Sure, I can tell you about that, too.


I ran 2.5 miles with my group--well, with the larger group...I think someone messed up and put me with a sub-set that's faster than I currently am, so I was mostly with the slower moving group.  I haven't uploaded my time yet, but I ran most of it, and I WASN'T LAST.   Now, I'm not knocking whoever it was last, because he/she was out there just like I was....but, my semi-competitive nature just won't allow me to be last, even though my body won't allow me to be first!!  


Pain from an injury continues to ramp up, while pain from soreness will get better during a run.  I've been (mostly) experiencing pain from soreness.  I say that because (usually) I feel better at the end of my run than I do within the first few minutes.

Also, I am a BIG TIME whiney winnie butt!!  When I'm by myself I hyper focus on what my body is doing and I want any pain to STOP.  I'm a very "in-the-moment" kind of gal so I don't usually stop to think that in 2 miles I'll be feeling much better so it would be better to keep on going.  Running with the group really helped with that because I "had to" push through the aweful part.  

One coach and I were talking during the last 1/4 mile.  I was saying that at that point I really felt like I could go another couple of miles.  She said that I might just have to resign myself to the fact that the first two miles are going to suck! 

The thing I have to keep firmly in my mind is that usually by the time that second mile is over, I'm feeling pretty good.


I'm also considering going over to Spine Care for a consultaion.  They were there last night talking to us about stretching.  ...Being a former insurance adjuster, I've never been too "up" on chiropractors...but, at the same time, I've dealt with a lot of people who seem to get a huge benefit from them.  I talked to the "dr" last night about my calves and she explained to me what was going on (which I understood, and it made sense, and fell completely in line with everything I thought, and everything I know to be true....and it's not something I can really explain in an intelligent way!).

Because I've had so many problems, she suggested (naturally) that I come in for a free consultation.  We'll see.

The schedule for today is cross train or rest.  I'm most likely going to opt for rest!!  The next group run is three miles, Saturday morning at 7 am.  It's in a park that I love...the weather is supposed to be perfect.  I can NOT wait!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

By the way, thank you all for your encouragement.  It really does mean a lot to me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week 1/Day 1


First of all...I really DID NOT want to get out there today.  I had a very busy day, it was really cold out there, I had a lot to do/not enough time... ***cough...excuse...cough***... but I DID IT!!  

Five minute warm up (.3 miles)...then I "rulked" two miles.  I tried really hard to make it running four minutes/walking on minute...and I did...for the first interval.  From there on it was mostly one minute running and 30 seconds walking.  Then I stopped my time and walked home (probably another 5 minutes and .3 miles).


I did something I thought I would NEVER, EVER do...I sat my fanny down in ice cold water for what felt like an eternity, but was most likely closer to ten minutes.  I felt really silly taking an ice cold bath  after only going just over 2.5 miles (not ice bath mind you, just ice-cold bath--I'm taking it one step at a time)....But, ice baths are supposed to be for recovering after "long runs", for fighting inflammation, and my calves are still giving me FITS.  They felt like they were on fire after my run I thought I'd put those flames out.


My husband was VERY disappointed...that he couldn't video the ice cold bath to post on FaceBook.  I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the police as loud as I was ...not... screaming.  It took every ounce of strength I had not to scream at the top of my lungs.  It wasn't even covering all of my legs, (just about 3/4ths up).   And...I think ice cold baths work!  The proof will be in the pudding tomorrow, so I'll let you know.

I keep being amazed that I can do more than I think I can.  I don't know when that won't surprise me anymore...but it wasn't today.  It was completely up in the air whether I'd do my run, whether I'd run more than walk, whether I'd finish...whether I'd actually sit down in that ICE COLD BATH!



Unless it's called off because of ice/snow, my first group run is tomorrow-two and a half miles!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

New Week-New Schedule!!

I went to my running group kick-off last Tuesday, and talked to one of my coaches afterwards.  She suggested (or agreed with my idea) that I rest until our kick off run.  That's technically tomorrow, but since there is a run on the schedule for today, I'm coming off my rest TODAY!!

I'm excited because today I go from timed running to distance running.  The mileage increases very slowly over the course of 12 weeks and will culminate with the Cotton Row 10K.

I think the thing that encouraged me the most was the fact that several coaches were sitting in my position a year or two ago!  Several have run half-marathons and a few have done a marathon...and a few have done several marathons!!  There was one very impressive young "girl" there who has run several ultra marathons.

It would be a gross understatement to say I'm excited!

I'll get on here later and post after my two mile run...but for now, here's the training schedule for this week:
Monday 2 miles
Tuesday 2.5 miles
Wednesday Cross Train or rest
Thursday 2 miles
Friday Rest
Saturday 3 miles
Sunday 60 minute walk or Cross Train
The walk to run program (which is probably the group I'm in since I am still walking during my runs) allows for an interval of 4 minutes running with 1 minute walking the first week.  I won't lie, I'm nervous.  I haven't run a solid four minute interval (except for the race, which ended up being 2.5K when I ran over 15 minutes).  But I have to do MORE than I've done in the past in order to IMPROVE!!

I'll let you know how it goes....