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One step at a time

Today, I had planned to run 3 miles.

But really, it was a miracle I ran at all. Every time I do the Triple Crown and mini-Marathon, I experience a little bit of burnout afterwards and my motivation to run isn’t what it once was.


So I had to remind myself how much I do enjoy running and how good it makes me feel. Once I got outside and started going, I felt so much better!

I just did 2 miles (in 20:27), but last time I did 1.5, so I figure I’m working my way back up. One step (or half mile) at a time, right? I have a 5K race coming up this weekend, so I’m sure that will inspire me 🙂

After the run, I came back and stretched for about 10 minutes, including several spent in half pigeon pose, which I need to do more often — my hips have gotten so tight again!

Then I did some quick abs exercises: regular crunches (35), reverse crunches (35) and side-to-side twists holding a medicine ball (35 reps each side).

I don’t really have a plan for the rest of the week, but I think I will try to get in one more run before the race on Saturday and perhaps some weight training too. We shall see!

When you aren’t that motivated to work out, how do you get yourself out the door?

I love my shoes!

On Thursday, it was another hot one and even though I’ve been taking “break walks” and walking to and from my car at work (1.1 mile each way) every day, it’s been a little too warm and sunny for running, to me.

So I took it to the treadmill again, warmed up and ran 2 miles in 22 minutes. I started off slow and then sprinted at the end, just the way I like to do it.

I feel like I owe all these great runs recently to my new shoes!

They are so comfortable and even running on the treadmill doesn’t hurt my knees or feet at all. I usually buy a new pair of shoes every March, but I think I’m going to have to do so more often, especially if I’m going to be running year round now 😉

The best part is, I don’t spend an arm and a leg for shoes. I got these at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $37.99 and I went ahead and invested in their one year protection plan ($3.99!), which will replace these shoes should anything happen to them within the next 12 months.

Pretty sweet, huh?

What kind of shoes do you wear?

Itching for a run

As I was thinking about what to do for a workout today, I wasn’t going to run. I had planned on doing some light cardio and weights at the gym, especially since our weather was supposed to be more unstable including periods of rain or storms.

But…as usual, the forecasts were wrong and the weather was actually quite beautiful. I went out to run an errand before leaving work and I knew right then, I was going to run outside today! There was no way I was working out indoors on such a day. It was all I could think about the last hour of work 🙂

I didn’t want to do too much since I’m still technically recovering from the race on Saturday, so I decided to do an easy 2 miles in walk-run intervals (2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running, repeat).

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Time: 23:22
  • Average Pace: 11:41/mile

For me, that is a pretty slow pace but since I used walking breaks (to avoid injury) and it was 85 degrees outside, it was good for today.

Afterwards, I came inside, stretched the heck out of my quads and did some quick upper body weights and ab moves before going home for the day.

The run felt really good. Better than most 2 milers I’ve done recently. I think the 10 miler enhanced my confidence greatly. I could’ve run more than I did but I didn’t want to push it. I’m planning on more running tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes.


Yesterday, in preparation for my 10 mile race on Saturday, I decided to try out some walk-running. After chatting with some folks on Twitter and doing my own research, I came to the conclusion that I need to pace myself for this race. I found some really useful tips on Jeff Galloway’s site, which hit home for me:

Most runners will record significantly faster times when they take walk breaks because they don’t slow down at the end of a long run.

By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity.

Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair.

Sounds good to me! I’m going to try to use this method during the race to keep from fatiguing and also to speed up recovery. I am usually pretty sore after long runs so if walking breaks will help, I’m all for it. Still planning on some ice, epsom salts and Golden Tiger too though 🙂

It’s funny, I actually learned how to run using a walk-run method, but once I built up to the 30 minutes of straight running, I went to all running/no walking. In 2008, I ran my first 5k, 10k, 10-miler and half marathon, all without taking any walking breaks whatsoever.

I’m not that diligent in my training anymore, so I need to incorporate walking breaks now if I am going to make it through this 10 miler and upcoming half marathon (in three weeks)! I think I probably should’ve started this sooner, but oh well.

Yesterday afternoon, I headed over to a park near my work, where each lap around the track is 0.5 mile. I ran for 4 minutes and walked for 1 until I finished 2 miles. It was a little bit slower because of the walking breaks and the fact that it was 80 degrees yesterday (and sunny) but I’m still pleased with the time.

  • Time: 20:37
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Average Pace: 10:19/mile

Afterwards, I went back to the gym to stretch and do some strength training. I did almost the exact same routine that I did last time I strength trained, which was March 24th, dear Lord 😉

My back, shoulders and abs are sore today so I must’ve done something right 😉 I’m planning to rest up today and may even take a bath tonight to soak my legs since they have been a little bit sore this week.

However, since the weather is so nice, I have a feeling I’ll be taking a nice walk or two at some point today.

How do you train for long races? Do you run it all or incorporate some walking breaks?

Running with a purpose

Okay, I guess I should’ve thought of a better title since I’m not being serious. Sorry in advance if I mislead you 😉

My running partner was sick so I was on my own today. It was way too nice outside to spend 2 miles on the treadmill, so I hit the streets!

Distance: 2.08 miles

Time: 19:28

Average Pace: 9:22/mile

Holy cow! That is faster than my recent 5K pace! Why was I running so fast?

Well, it was a nice day out. I was listening to my favorite Goo Goo Dolls songs on my iPod. My legs felt good…and…


Yep, about halfway through I got a serious urge to go even though I didn’t need to before I left. Note to self: always go, even when you don’t think you need to. This run turned into a mission to reach the bathroom as quickly as possible.

Luckily, I made it in time. And I have to say, perhaps I should use this method again if it means running this fast, ha ha. No, don’t think so.

I also had an awesome weight training session today but I’ll post about that later.

Answers to your questions

Lots of you have asked me how I calculate my distance, time, and pace. So here’s what I do:

  • I measure out the path I run on Map My Run. It helps to do this ahead of time, especially if you are trying to reach a certain distance.
  • I have a really nice $10 watch from Target that I use to keep track of my time (using the Stopwatch feature). I keep it running, unless I have to wait for a stop light, in which case I “pause” it until I start up again.
  • I calculate my average pace using Cool Running’s Pace Calculator. It’s the best one I’ve found, since I don’t have a Garmin or anything (yet).

Last run before the race

I usually don’t like to run much the day before a race, even a 5k, because I am always afraid of hurting myself or being too tired to run the next day.

But today I really felt like I needed to feel the road again, especially since I have only ran outside a few times this week, which have been the first in a long time thanks to a rather brutal winter we’ve had.

Today we just did two miles and when we started, everything was great. The path we took was familiar, so I knew right where the 1 mile mark is…I looked at my watch and saw 8:44! I couldn’t believe I was going that fast. So I kept on going.

Unfortunately, about three minutes later, I started to get some really bad cramps (the female kind, sorry guys). So I had to slow down a little bit and I’m sure I was making some great faces if anyone saw me. So the second mile was pretty slow but we still finished and stretched afterwards.

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 21:29

Pace: 10:45/mile

I feel okay now but I’m hoping that time of the month-and-a-half (long story) is not starting tomorrow. But I’m going to take good care of myself tonight and hopefully be good to go for the race tomorrow!

Do you rest the day before a race?

Have a plan?

On Wednesday, I was struggling to decide what workout to do that day.

Even though I am on a “training plan” for a half marathon, I know it is not realistic (or fun) for me to run 5 days a week and cross-train for one, rest for one. Boooorrrrinngggg. Plus, hello burnout!

So I’ve just been taking it week by week, day by day. If I feel like running, I’ll run, or if I can’t run I’ll do something else. Not to mention our lovely winter weather has intervened many times.

But this week, I have been enjoying a free 7-day guest pass to a gym, so the possibilities have been many. However, on Wednesday, I couldn’t make it to this gym (it’s girl’s night potluck night) so I had to get it in at work.

I decided to run 2 easy miles on the treadmill, then do some weight training.

Before I left work, I made a plan:

I’m guilty of going to the gym and doing exercise that I like and end up neglecting certain areas of the body, like my back and legs. So I wrote out all the areas first and then filled in an exercise for each one.

I also tried to choose exercises that I hadn’t done recently, since I also tend to get in ruts. I swear I’ve been doing chest presses for ages now, ha ha. It’s good to change things up!

The best part is, when I got done, I didn’t really feel like I had done that much but I was definitely a little sore today. I did every exercise on the list, 2 sets of each and 10 reps each, except for abs which were 25 each set. I think if I hadn’t written all that down, I definitely would not have done as much.

The 2 mile run was great too, I ended up doing intervals varying my speed between 5.0-6.0 mph and then sprinting at the end. I’m definitely feeling confident about my 5K on March 6th 🙂

When you go to the gym, do you have a plan? Or do you just wing it?

Back in the saddle

Oh, thank heavens I got to go to the gym again!

I’m praying that we don’t get anymore significant snowfall this year. It has really put a damper on my training efforts. I’m actually starting to get worried that I might not be ready for the mini marathon, but I still have a little over 2 months to go.

After a full 7 days of not running (gasp!) I finally got back on the treadmill for a quick 2-miler!

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 21:15

Pace: 10:38/mile

Then I followed that up with a quick upper body weights workout. Two sets each, 15 reps, except for side bends which were 25.

  • Chest presses (15 lbs)
  • Shoulder shrugs (20 lbs)
  • Bicep curls (10 lbs)
  • Tricep extensions (12.5 lbs)
  • Side bends (12.5 lbs)

It felt so good to work up a sweat again. I can’t wait to get in a good cardio session today, hopefully another run!

Not just 2 miles

On Friday, it rained all day long!

But, since the treadmill and I are slowly becoming friends again, I did a nice two mile workout on her at the gym after work 🙂

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 20:49

Pace: 10:25/mile

I was really excited to complete this two mile run and I think it was the first time in a long time that I haven’t thought of it as “just 2 miles” which I get in the habit of doing too often. Being able to run 2 miles comfortably is a huge deal and I’m thankful that I can!

It was a little bit slower than my last two mile treadmill run, but I am getting more comfortable with it and I have certainly been able to stay in the 10 minute range on most of my runs, which is a little goal of mine throughout this training process.

It ended up snowing here on Friday night and into Saturday, so I haven’t ran since then, but today I am going for a nice long run after work. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

How is your training going?