Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Extra Mile Podcast

In case you have not been reading Kevin's blog or the "What's a Few Miles Among Friends" blog, I am including a post to inform you of the latest running podcast. This one is a bit different in that the content will be developed by the listeners! We are looking for training updates and race reports in the coming months. You can send your audio files to Either Kevin, Nigel or myself will be pasting them all together for a nice little podcast each week!

Welcome to the Extra Mile Podcast :-)!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mystery Ache....and the 14 Mile Long Run

I have noticed lately that the top of the hamstring on my left leg (same side that I have the PF issue with) has been bugging me on and off. I don't know if I am over compensating because of the PF or if there is something else not quite right with my stride. It isn't bad - doesn't feel pulled - but it does feel tight and a little sore after running.

I am also wondering if I need to change to a new shoe since I am wearing orthotics. I have read in a few places that I may not need the stability type shoe I have been in (Brooks Addiction) because the orthotic is offering needed stability - that I may need to go to a more neutral shoe. I am going to go to a local running store that does gait analysis and see if they can help me analyze the situation.

I had a good 14 mile long run yesterday (longest run since my marathon in January). As usual it got pretty hot toward the end - but I made it at just under a 12 min/mi pace in 2:47:59. I could feel my left PF foot aching - in fact I started to get the "toe ache." This toe ache, I have discovered, is really an ache where the PF attaches near my big toe. As I got toward the end of my run I could feel the muscles in my legs tightening up so I could really feel it on my left toe and heel. After the run I stretched out and iced it for awhile. That seemed to help. By late in the day I was ready to walk around MGM studios for a little while. Today I feel just a little ache in my quads when going down stairs. My left hamstring and left calf muscles are also a bit sore. I am going to do some massage tonight - and try an easy 4 miler tomorrow morning. This is a recovery week after the big run.

Hubby is home so no more really early runs :-)!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Feeling Tired

Picture found at

Monday was my rest day - and rest I did - getting the kids out the door for their first 8 am karate camp. Then for me it was off to work. I needed to get up early for my runs this week so I could drop the kids at karate by 8 am - so it was important that I get to bed early.

Well, 11:30 pm is not really early - not when the alarm is set for 5:15 am.

At 5:15 am I felt so tired, but I pushed myself out of bed for my 5 mile run. I almost skipped it but I knew I needed to get out there. I had an ok run but ran positive splits. As the run went on, I got progressively slower. I promised myself I would get to bed earlier. At 4:30 pm I hit the gym and did my weight training. That went well but the pushups seemed harder. Still a bit tired.

Tuesday night I completed my routine with the kids and was about to get myself to bed before 10 when I got a phone call from a friend. I got to bed at 10:30 - not too bad. The weather report showed a chance of rain in the morning - so I would have to see what the conditions were when I got up.

At 5:15 am I felt even more tired than Tuesday. I got up and checked outside - it was quiet and I could see stars - no rain (darn!). I came so close to just going back to bed. After all, I have stuck so well to my program for the past 3 weeks, what is one day off schedule? I deserved a break and I was sooooo tired. But as I was debating this in my head, I was pulling on my running gear, sucking down a pre-run Clif Shot, and heading out the door. I figured I would wake up a bit more after getting out on the road. 5.1 miles later I was back, and I still could have crawled back into bed and gone to sleep. The run was ok but I felt tired the entire time. Oh and today is two run Wed....

I felt tired ALL day at work. Finally corralled the kids, prepared dinner, then took off for a short, easy 3 miler at around 7 pm. No rain and about 92 degrees and hazy - so it was still pretty warm. I took it easy, and unlike Sun my 3 miler was in the 33 minute range. I was just glad I could even do it. After all - I was TIRED.

So I now am looking at Thurs schedule and with work meetings and the need to pick the kids up by 5:30 pm, it will be challenging to get my weight training in. I won't have time to spend the cross training time on the elliptical.

I miss the extra pair of hands around the house. My husband called me from the top of a mountain somewhere in NC or TN. He sounded like he was having a great time. I really appreciate all he does each day - especially to allow me to train as much as I do!

Speaking of tired, I need to get to bed. At least I get to sleep in tomorrow until 6:45 am!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Think I Have Busted a Plateau

With all the "speedy" reports lately, something tells me that I busted a plateau. My schedule was a bit off today because I did my long run on Sat - and since I normally don't run on Monday, I thought I would go out this afternoon if my foot felt ok and do an easy 3 miles. EASY 3 miles. To make that point to myself I decided not to look at my Garmin until the end of the run (I still can't bring myself not to wear it....I am such a geek). I would hear the mile splits when they happened but not look at the times.

At 7 pm it is still warm - about 85 deg F and 59% humidity (not too bad on humidity). With the sun low in the sky it was not too hard to run in. So I took off on my 3 mile route - nice and easy. When I felt myself straining I just slowed it down. I did challenge myself by not stopping for walking breaks - just a brief stop (yes I stopped the watch) to tie my shoe.

3.1 miles in 31:40. OMG! 31:40 is almost the fastest I have run that distance all year! Just a 5K race and one fast tempo run exceeded that. I wasn't trying to run fast, honest!

I think that my overall pace has simply picked up. It doesn't appear to be a fluke.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Episode 7 - The Sound of Victory

This edition of Running Adventures takes you along on morning carpool, a walk through the neighborhood, and, of course, some running. Not the usual long run recording....due to technical and operator difficulties, I lost some long run audio - but never fear, there is plenty of running.

The results of last podcast's quiz are in. Maddy had the answer that Carolyn was thinking of. Kevin gave an alternative and valid answer as well. Thanks for playing!!! :-)

A focus in this episode is my quest to run the Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon while considering a young friend, Elijah Talley, who is battling neuroblastoma. He has a website where his family journal's his progress as he undergoes his second round of chemo. At the end of the podcast I have a shout out just for Elijah.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network includes:
"Flow on Waterford River" by Jim Fidler
"Someday" by Katy Pfaffl
"Canyon Serenade" by Michael Mucklow (for the Elijah Shoutout)

The opening music is "Super soul" by 4saisonz and the closing theme is "Adventures of the Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

What was I thinking?

When your 12 year old and 7 year old come to you excitedly and say, "We have developed a plan to have a sleepover and we will do everything, all you have to do is say yes," and they give you that cute, excited, and that "this would really make their day" look, - and you are flying solo with the kids - what is the right answer?

So when the word "yes" came out of my mouth, I was wondering if this was a wise thing.

So now I have 5 girls ages 7-12 at my house. Their sleep over has a Star Wars theme. So far they have played Star Wars trivia, pin the light saber on Darth Vader's head, and Star Wars musical chairs. We have every Star Wars movie on DVD, including the cartoon Clone Wars series. They have those ready to go as well.

They are having fun and it all is kind of cute. 1 hour down - and it is not quite 5 pm.

I can take joy in knowing that the parents of two of the girls indicated they have not had a night without kids in about 13 years. So my "yes" also has noble purpose.

So after I publish this week's podcast (one day late - sorry) I will head back into the other room to monitor the party activity and put the order in for pizza.

I did my long run this morning since tomorrow morning I have my young charges to feed. 10.15 miles in 1:59:01 - a good run at a good pace!!

May the Force be with you!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Speedy pic found at

I should preface this by saying that for many of my fellow runners, 10 min miles might be considered slow. For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that for me, 10 min miles are fast. It is all relative - and relative to my normal running, today I was speedy!

I felt pretty tired getting up this morning - and I was about 1 hour behind my usual time (it was almost 7 am) but today I was going to do a "quick" 4 mile run before taking the kids to Seaworld.

I took a Clif Shot before I started, queued up some good music on the iPod and set off. I felt a little winded but I usually do during the 1st mile. As the mile 1 alarm went off my time was 10:03. Hmmmm, 1st miles are supposed to be my warm up mile - how did I finish that one so quick? After a 30 second walking break I continued at a good clip to mile 2 - now the Garmin read 20:11. Still pretty quick - let's see how we do with a little Podrunner mix on. So at mile 2 I put a 176 mix on and continued to press. My heart rate was starting to get up there - and partway through 3 miles I was 172 bpm. But I kept pressing. I thought about folks like my mom - who would give just about anything to run like I could. She suffers from heart disease and emphysema - so I ran the next segment hard for her. As I turned the corner for the last .3 miles of my run, I was at 37 min and change. Maybe I could do this in under 41 min. I wanted to stop and walk but I pressed.

As I sped up for the "finish" my Garmin started tweeting at me. My heart rate had exceeded 180....setting off the alarm.

At 4 miles I ended my run - at 40:24 min. This is a new unofficial PR for this distance for me. The fastest 4 miles I have run to date was 42 min - on a treadmill.

My heart rate maxed out at 182 - so I guess those calculators were wrong after all.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flexibility and a New Resting Heart Rate

Well I am flying solo this week, so to speak. My husband is hiking the Appalachian Trail with his brother for the next week and a half.

So my training schedule needs to be flexible. My older daughter is old enough to watch her sister for short periods of time - so this week it is going to be earlier runs and shorter in duration. Perhaps I will do a couple of days of 2 shorter runs.

Due to adjusting to the schedule and getting rained out yesterday afternoon, I missed my afternoon 3 mile run. I am not terribly is the first variation from my training plan in over 3 weeks. I still got a chance to do my strength training this afternoon while my kids played at a friends house. And I kicked butt on the elliptical. For the first time, I didn't feel like I was going to die after 15 min. I did 35 minutes instead of the usual 30 today. This weekend I will need to do my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday because of a scheduled sleepover Sat night. I will need to stay nearby for this 9 miler. I will probably just add a mile onto my neighborhood 8 miler route and stay within 2.5 miles of the house.

Now for you Garmin 305 or heart rate monitor owners....I wanted to measure my resting heart rate - and figured the best way was to hook my Garmin up and let the heart rate monitor tell me. So I placed the Garmin and strap next to my bed - so I could place it on when I woke up without getting out of bed.

The resting heart rate is 50 bpm. I saw it go as low as 49 once, but it pretty much hovered around 50 and 51. That is pretty cool. That means my heart is more efficient and can do with 50 beats what it used to do with 58.

I should recalculate my max heart rate. As I noted, I have not seen my heart rate rise higher than about 177 in quite some time. Last year it got to 189 bpm once. I have been using that for MHR. Using the formulas and calculators online, my MHR comes out to about 180 bpm. That is probably pretty close.

This will change my training zones slightly - even using 184 bpm as a max rate, my aerobic zone lowers to about 156 bpm. That is pretty consistent with my running lately. This means I may not be staying in my aerobic zone as much as I thought....which is good. A few times I wanted to push my anaerobic rate but wasn't getting there. Perhaps the calculation was wrong and I have been working it after all.


Episode 7 is just about ready and will probably go out tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Consistency and Heart Rate

Without really trying I had a very consistent 6 mile tempo run this morning. With the help of 174 and 177 bpm podrunner mixes I ended up with the following splits:

Mile 1: 11:06 (warm up and podcast recording)
Mile 2: 10:55
Mile 3: 10:58
Mile 4: 10:50
Mile 5: 10:49
Mile 6: 10:52

Total for 6.16 = 1:07:00

I am happy to see my average pace at 10:52 - under 11 min/mi. It is making me more confident that I can get my marathon pace down under 11:27 min/mi which is what I need to break the 5 hour barrier.

These splits, btw, are with 30 sec walking breaks at the end of each mile.

My average heart rate was 158 - and my max just 172. I think my max heart rate has dropped since last year. I will have to calculate it again. Last year my max rate was higher than the calculated rate because I used a number that was an actual measured high rate of 189. I haven't even hit 180 in my training this year. That is probably a good thing. I also need to measure my resting heart rate again. That may be slower than the measured 58 bpm I got from my doctor at my checkup.

Happy running all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What do you mean "I'm it?"

Ok, I didn't get it until I read Susan and Melissa's blog.

6 things.....

1. I worked as a DJ for my college radio station and ran it for one summer. After graduation I moonlighted on an AM station as a DJ on the weekends - was fun!

2. When I have time (which is hardly ever these days) my family and I like to play Everquest. My main avatar is a 68th level wood elf druidess. I also have a 52nd level dwarf fighter, a 44th level Vah Shir (cat person) shaman, and a 38th level froglok (frog) paladin named Frogfury.

3. My first job was pumping gas at a small town station in Vermont. Gas was still under $1 a gallon.

4. I play the guitar (play at the guitar more like it) and was in a small rock band in high school we called Starfire (I know - so 70's). I wrote the main song played at my wedding (pre-recorded).

5. My favorite sandwich growing up (no longer) was peanut butter and....mayonaise.

6. In HS I played the french horn in the band - played trumpet in marching band.

Not terribly weird, but uniquely me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Sound of Victory

This is me after completing my 8 mile long run in the Florida morning heat!

After getting some great advice from my friend Nigel on how to set up my iRiver with my mic, and having tested it yesterday, I set off on my long run ready to record some good stuff for this week's podcast. Last week I did not have it set up right and didn't get any of the good stuff from my 12 mile long run.

Well, unfortunately, I think the battery in the mic was used up did not work today! Grrrrr...another long run down the drain. Going to do some recording on Tues morning so I can hopefully get a podcast out this week. For the first time I don't have much material to work with!

My theme today (which you would have heard if I had recorded it) was the sound of victory. I was running in the hot weather, moaning a bit about the heat - but then just stopped complaining and said "Listen..." And if you listened you would hear the sound of my feet hitting the ground and my breathing. That, is the sound of victory, the sound of me getting stronger and healthier. Every time I felt tired I reminded myself of the sound of victory (thus the picture).

This week was my step back week and I was scheduled to run 5 miles, but that seemed too short for a "long" run so I went for 8. It was a very hot 8 mile run. For the rest of the summer I am going to have to get out there by 6 am to run. Finishing at 9 was tough!! Still not a bad time. 8 miles in 1:34:05, an 11:44 min/mi pace - which is great for my long run. I am trying to push the pace down toward my goal pace of 11:27 min/mi (to meet my 5 hour marathon goal).

After getting home I packed the kids up to go swimming at the local pool. They have a really nice kids play area and an Olympic size pool. We went yesterday afternoon and I swam about 14 times across the width of the pool (7 times back and forth). 15 minutes later I was exhausted! Today I did it again and it was all I could do to swim for 15 minutes. I did the crawl, breast stroke, or whatever - as long as I kept moving with short breaks at each side of the pool.

Swimming is a much more appropriate activity in this summer heat!

I need swimming tips - I won't drown but I don't do much more than that. I have never had lessons or been trained and didn't even know how to swim until I was around 10 years old. How often do I breathe? What is the correct way to move my arms, my legs, etc.? And with my hair getting in my eyes I think I will want goggles and maybe even a swim cap.

Anyone have tips for a beginner?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Running Right Along....

Pic from Race for the Cure 5K - my 5K PR of 30:03 min
I am in the third week of my training plan that has me strength training, cross training and running twice on Wed. I have to say that the plan is working extremely well. My average heart rate has dropped quite a bit while my pace has picked up. I think the strength training has made quite a difference. I ran 5.1 miles this morning at a 10:40 min/mile pace - I really worked it hard with a 180 bpm podrunner mix for the last 2 miles (which was hard to maintain) but with an AHR of 159. Then this afternoon I did an "easy" 3 mile run (I swear I was running easy)with only one 15 second walking break when I turned a 10:44 min/mi pace at an AHR of 149.

I know training is supposed to do this, but it just seems so amazing to me when it actually happens.

With today's 3.1 miler at 33:24 min, I think I can bust that 30 min 5K time I have been aiming for. My PR for the 5K is 30:03 min - run when I was in top form last fall.

Since last Friday:

Sunday: 12.66 miles in 2:31:12, an 11:57 min/mi pace
Monday: Rest day (I almost went running - was in a funk when I got home from work)
Tuesday: 5.0 miles in 53:11 min, a 10:38 min/mi pace

Friday, June 01, 2007

Running Friends Blogsite is Up!!

I know that we still don't have a final name, but I figured I would create it and we can change it later. The blogspot address is:

But the title of the blog can be anything. I made it "What's a Few Miles Among Friends?" for now.

I sent email invites to folks who I know email addresses for. The invites allow us all to post there. I am not sure it gives us edit capability - let me know. I think I can link your Buckeyeoutdoors training area if you can't.

Have fun!!