Thursday, February 28, 2008

Run, Run, Run Beneath the Sun

After a slow start on Monday, this has turned out to be a pretty good training week. Yesterday I had a good interval workout on the treadmill, running 9 quarter mile "laps" at 8:57 min/mi pace with about half a lap inbetween - walking most then jogging slowly into the next interval. It was a great workout. I warmed down to round out the session at 4 miles, completed in 45 min.

Today I got together with a work friend (not the same one I ran with on Tuesday) who wants to get back into running. She was a great inspiration when I was preparing for my first marathon. She has completed at least 3 marathons herself. She is a run-walker much like me - so since she is just getting back out on the road, I let her set the run - walk intervals and we did 3.5 miles together in the cool, sunny 55 deg weather. It was very nice. I think we are going to make it a regular Thursday lunchtime thing! It is nice to have a regular running partner.

Tomorrow I need to make up the strength training I didn't do today. I will probably run a few warm up miles outside. I am taking advantage of the nicer weather while we have it!

Run strong everyone! :-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

I know that some of you are experiencing significant snow fall or cold at the moment. So it must be hard for you to imagine that I thought I was going to MELT during my run today. I knew it was warm and sunny, but once my friend and I got going, it was down right brutal! When I finished I checked the temperature... 86 deg F (with some humidity). Whoa!

We managed a mostly run and partly walk 4.25 miler in just over 50 minutes. It was better than a 12 min/mile pace, but by the time we were done, well it was good just to finish. I even resorted to marathon running tricks to keep going ("lets run to the corner before we take a walking break"). I do think that I do better running in the heat than I might do running in the snow like some of you do (brrrrr!).

I got in my strength training once things with my training are looking up.

Thanks for the encouragement on my last post, btw, and for bearing with me during my whinefest!

OH....and on the podcast comments - I don't mean to be soliciting comments about how great a podcast Running Adventures is (I mean, I hope you like it but I am not trying to toot my horn here). I was really looking for audio and written comments on who you, the listeners, are and what YOUR running adventures are like. I should have been more clear. A sort of Extra Mile Podcast kind of thing :-)

Run strong everyone!

Monday, February 25, 2008

10K Training Week 3 - Hanging in But Slow Start to Week 4

In week 3 of my 10K training plan I managed to get all the requisite running in along with both strength training sessions. Mondays seem tiring for me. I felt tired while running on the treadmill and during the weights. Maybe it's recovery from the weekend. In my previous training plans, Monday was my rest day after Sunday's long run. Maybe my body is expecting rest.

I had a nice 40 min tempo run on Wed morning with a brief stop to chat with one of the neighborhood runners. Otherwise, my shorter mid week runs have been without walking breaks! I did a couple of mid day runs at work. My Thursday workout ended up on Friday, but I got it done.

Once again on Saturday I did not cross train. I am not sure I will ever get to that part - so it appears 5 days of running is what I seem to manage - which has always been true of my training. 5 days seems to be my threshold. I had a nice 6 miler on Sunday, running about an 11 min/mile pace and finishing strong with my fastest mile. I walked about once per mile for 30 - 45 sec.

Now here is the kicker. Remember those numbers I started this all with. I started out weighing in at 129 lbs. At the beginning of week 2 and 3 I was 128.5 lbs (a little progress). But at this morning's weigh in I tipped the scale at 130.5 lbs. One step forward and two steps back (sigh)!! I guess I now need to work the diet thing too. My eating habits have been kind of erratic - lots of bad foods. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I didn't run at all!

Well off into week 4 I go. Today was run 3 and strength train but my schedule got away from me and I did neither. I will give it a go tomorrow with a 4.5 miler and strength training - it will make for a long lunch hour (actually 2) but I feel the strength training is important to get in. I hope the rain holds off past lunch - I can't bear to think of a 4.5 miler on the treadmill! I have gotten spoiled running outside.

I am tired...I'm headed to bed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Running Adventures Episode 13 - Knit Running / Next Episode Marks 1 Year!

Welcome to another episode of Running Adventures!

Episode 13 of Running Adventures is a bit shorter than recent episodes and begins with a trip to the craft store to buy knitting supplies for my older daughter. I run a somewhat warm and tiring 6 miler, with shout outs to Susan and Petra. My older daughter shares her usual variety of facts while talking about her new knitting hobby.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network was "John O'Dreams" by Jim Fidler and "Something Good" by Jupiter and Teardrop / Geoff Martyn.

The opening music is "Super Soul" by 4saizons and the closing music is from "Adventures of a Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I don't usually make a big deal about my podcast...I don't advertise or ask for votes or comments. They really aren't important to me. But my next planned podcast, Episode 14, will mark my 1 year anniversary as a podcaster - and I would love for you all to be a part of it! Please send me your audio comments or email comments to and I will include them in the podcast. My plan podcast release date is the weekend of March 7-9, so I will need your input no later than March 5th or 6th to include them. This will be a fun episode to put together! And thanks in advance for your inputs.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vote for Shirley!!!

In case you are not familiar with Shirley's blog, I just wanted the folks who visit here to vote for Shirley as she seeks support for her triathlon training. Here is a note from Shirley:

Dear Blogger Friends,

Just found out yesterday that I made it to the first round of Team Evotri, which involves the opportunity to win a cool triathlon sponsorship package (bike, coaching, wetsuit, etc). I need your help, though, as the next round involves voting by email. There are 10 folks in the round including me. Our 3-minute video applications, along with voting criteria, can be found at If you just want to view my video, go to All of us in round one have motivating/inspiring stories that got us there so I encourage you to view the other videos and judge for yourself whether you think I deserve your vote.

To vote for me, I need you to send an email to with my name, Shirley Pratt, in the subject line. The body of the email will NOT be read. Only one vote per person, multiple votes from the same email address won't count. Voting for round one closes tomorrow, Wed, 2/20, at 11:59pm PST.

If I make it to the finals, I will be asking you to vote for me up to 3 times. If you do not want to receive further emails from me about this, let me know. On the other hand, if you know others who might be interested in voting for me, please forward them this note or consider giving me a plug on your blog like Ellie did (thanks Ellie!). I’d be glad to return the favor in the future if the opportunity ever arises and would love to get to know more blogger friends. In fact, chances are I met you via someone else's blog :-)

Anywhoo, I appreciate any support I can get. If you’ve already voted, thank you for doing so, particularly if the vote was for me!

-- Shirley (

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Week 2 - 10K Training - Introducing Intervals

Well, I am still pretty much on plan, with some minor modifications.

Monday and Tuesday's runs were cut short because I had just a limited time to work out (I do these during my lunch hour). It seems to get a full run and full strength training session in with shower it takes me about 2 full hours. I try to block out the time, but sometimes meetings run long and other meetings get scheduled in.

So Monday's 3 mile run was just 1.5 miles on the treadmill with a full regimen of weights. I figured I would rather cut short the run than the weights, and ran just long enough to warm up for the weights. I felt tired on Monday - the weights seemed heavier than last week.

On Tuesday, I had to cut my 3.5 mile run short to 2.25 miles in order to make a rescheduled meeting. About 1 mile into the run it started to rain. Since it was a warm and slightly humid day, the rain actually felt great!

On Wednesday, I missed my training run. The day started with no motivation to even get out of bed and go to work. I had one thing I had to complete that day and figured I had a better shot at doing it from home, so I ended up working from home. About halfway through the day my motivation level picked up enough and I got the work done - but no run.

Thursday was the first day that went as planned. I was scheduled to run 4 miles so I set up my Podrunner to a 171 bpm mix and headed out. Instead of the usual out and back I did a different route, a sort of "around the block" run, which ended up being 4.3 miles. I ran it non-stop at a 10:41 min/mile pace. I felt great! Then hubby and I caught a comedy show for dinner.

Friday was scheduled to be a rest day but I wanted to try to make up my Wed run (as I did last week). However, it didn't work out. I was going to run after work but my boss invited me with a few others for a beer. And when the boss offers to buy you a beer...well, it is a good thing to go. So I traded my run for a beer. There is always Saturday....

Saturday is supposed to be a cross train day. I did my Wed training today instead. Today called for an 8x400 at 5K pace. I have never done interval training before. The only track that is readily available to me is the middle school track, which is too small (maybe .1 miles around). But I have my handy Garmin so I figured I would try to program in an interval training session. I set it up for .25 mile intervals with 2 minutes in between for walking breaks. I am terrible at knowing what pace I am keeping, so I figured I would run it comfortably hard using a 175 bpm podrunner mix.

I started with a 1 mile warmup run which I ran very easy at 11:15 pace. Then when I was ready I hit the lap key and off I went. I took a brisk pace, keeping my pace at 175 bpm with a good stride - something I thought felt like a 5K pace (though I did feel like I couldn't sustain that pace for 3.1 miles). At .25 miles it beeped at me and I began my walking break.

I should note that I decided to wear my contacts for the run vs my glasses...and I forgot that my 45 year old eyes can't see the small print on my Garmin very well when I do that.

As I started to walk I saw a pop up window say something about the lap button, so I hit the lap button and it started the next interval....yikes. Ok, I can run two intervals back to back since it is the first two. After the second interval, I figured out that if I just leave the watch alone, it goes right to the timed break, then beeps before my next interval.

After about 5 or 6 intervals I was feeling pretty winded. I was determined to keep the pace up during the interval and use the walking breaks to catch my breath.

When I got to what I thought was the last interval, I started to run again and after about a minute looked at the watch and saw it counting UP instead of showing the distance left to the end of my interval. It was then I realized that when it said 1 for the interval - it was telling me which one I was on, not how many I had left.

I walked for a bit, then did a slow warm down run home for about .8 miles.

Overall, I enjoyed the workout. When I downloaded the numbers it was surprising to see what I had done:

Lap / distance / time / avg pace

Lap 1 (warmup): 1.02 miles, 11:24 min
Lap 2: .25 miles, 2:11, 8:47 min/mi
Lap 3 (hit the lap button): 53 ft, 8 sec
Lap 4: .25 miles, 2:17, 9:10 min/mi
Lap 5: .13 miles, 2 min
Lap 6: .25 miles, 2:02 min, 8:08 min/mi
Lap 7: .12 miles
Lap 8: .25 miles, 2:04 min, 8:18 min/mi
Lap 9: .13 miles
Lap 10: .25 miles, 2:04 min, 8:18 min/mi
Lap 11: .12 miles
Lap 12: .25 miles, 2:02 min, 8:09 min/mi
Lap 13: .12 miles
Lap 14: .25 miles, 2:03 min, 8:15 min/mi
Lap 15: .12 miles
Lap 16: .25 miles, 2:07 min, 8:31 min/mi
Lap 17: .11 miles
Lap 18 (warm down): .81 miles, 9:14 min, 11:20 min/mi

Total: 4.69 miles, 51:41 minutes, 11 min/mi
AHR: 160 bpm
MHR: 180 bpm

I felt like I was a bit fast, but not that fast! That was not my 5K pace at all - my best 5K was at a pace of 9:38 min/mi. I guess I will need to adjust. Perhaps someday I will run a 5K at that pace :-)

Tomorrow's long run is supposed to be 6 miles. I am going to make it an easy run after today's hard workout.

In interesting training week, indeed!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Week 1 - 10K Training results

Great week for training!

So far I am on plan. I had two great strength training sessions and ran all my miles. Only modifications: Missed the Wed Tempo run so I ran it on Friday (which was scheduled to be a rest day). My Thursday run included a couple of laps around a small lake near work - through the grass. I wanted to see if that run was feasible to use as a good ankle strengthening exercise. My conclusion was that it probably was, but I pushed my hamstring a bit. When I did the tempo run on Friday - the hamstring hurt more - so instead of 60 min of cross training, I took a rest day on Saturday.

For today's long run of 5 miles, I went out really easy with a nice short stride - felt really great with my heart rate staying nice and low around 150 bpm for much of the run. On the second half I picked up the pace a bit, finishing the 5.12 mile course in 57:39 min - an 11:15 min/mi pace and run as a negative split (first half was 29:30). Oh, and no walking breaks! It was, by far, the best run I have had in some time! I kept it relaxed, so the hamstring only caused a few slight twinges but nothing really bad.

On to week 2....

Running Adventures Episode 12 - Working at Running

Night Blooming Cereus

Welcome to another episode of Running Adventures!

Episode 12 of Running Adventures begins with a ping pong game with my younger daughter. I have a challenging 5 mile run with a surprise eagle sighting, lots of talking this week about work - running - life balance. My older daughter shares a variety of facts while shooting some pool with me.

Featured music this week from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network was "Honest Days Work" by Burning Bush and "Running" by Inaia.

The opening music is "Super Soul" by 4saizons and the closing music is from "Adventures of a Deaf Dreamer" by Josh Woodward.

Have a great adventure in the coming week!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Weight, Body Fat and BMI

Since I am at the start of a new training plan, I figured I would baseline a few numbers (being the numbers person that I am).

Weight: 129 lbs

At the office gym, they have one of those machines that you hold in your hands and it determines your body fat and BMI. After doing just a little on-line research I found there is TONS of information on body fat and BMI - different methods of measuring and different guidelines for what is considered "normal." It is all very confusing.

The machine I used probably uses Bioelectrical Impedance to determine body fat - not the best method, but it is the one I have so....

% Body Fat: 24.6%
BMI: 22.7

According to the American Council on Exercise, a fit adult woman would be between 21-24% body fat. Athletes 14-20%. Normal would be 25.31%. I would probably rate myself as fit but not far so good.

According to the American Diabetes Association, Normal range for women is 15-25% body fat. Overweight would be 25.1-29.9%. Ok, squeaked into the normal category that time.

For age related measures, a woman age 40-59 years old should be 23-33% body fat. I am comfortably in that range, thank you very much.

I found another method for measuring body fat based on measuring my waist size, my hips, my wrist and forearm (along with height and weight). The result: 30% body fat (Sheesh, I don't like that number at all).

Now mind you, I do tend to sport a lovely "muffin top" with much of my wardrobe (covered discreetly by loose fitting blouses). A feature I would like to lose (and maybe someday run with just the running bra on)! Why does the situation seem to be worse on days when I am feeling especially "fat" (usually coinciding with the week before my...monthly friend)?

Ah well (sigh)! I have weighed 130-135 lbs ever since I got married over 17 years ago. I never look that heavy - folks guess me to be at least 10 lbs less. I feel pretty good where I am right now, but I think I could stand to lose about 5-8 lbs - so that is what I will go for, and in the meanwhile see where the other numbers end up.

Week 1, Day 2 10K Training:
3 miles, 32:09 (10:30 min/mi)
AHR: 161 bpm MHR: 183 bpm

Monday, February 04, 2008

10K Training Plan

Well, I have a plan!

My target race is the Winter Park Road Race, a local 10K event. I did a search on line and decided to give Hal Higdon's Intermediate plan a try. My challenge will be sticking to the schedule since there is only one rest day in the schedule. In general, the schedule looks like this:

Monday: 3 mile run and strength training
Tuesday: Run (3 to 6 miles)
Wednesday: Either tempo run or interval training
Thursday: 3 or 4 mile run and strength training
Friday: REST
Saturday: 60 min cross train
Sunday: 4-8 mile run

The plan happens to be 8 weeks long which is exactly how long I have until the WPRR. Seemed like a good reason to try it out! My training over the past 2 years has been a homemade integration of various training plans...designed to work around my schedule. This time I am going to try to work my schedule around the plan - with a combination of morning and midday runs. Maybe this combination will get me to a PR :-)

My only concern is to see how my PF (Plantar Fasciitis) does. I am going to push through the training, and if the PF gets to be a problem, I may replace the Monday and/or Thursday run with 30 or so minutes on the elliptical. I am not a fan of the elliptical machine, but it does give me the cardio without the foot pain.

Day 1: I ran 3.34 miles at noontime today - the temperature was around 80 degrees - which made for a rather hot run. I finished in 36:46, an average 11 min/mi pace. I walked a bit more toward the end as my heart rate was around 170 bpm in the final 2 miles. AHR was 167 (anaerobic - 85% max) and MHR was 187 (99% max). Still, I felt good on the run - a bit out of breath, but felt strong. In my weight training, I did two sets with the legs and 3 sets with the upper body, with a stab at some core work with planks and crunches until I felt the burn. My heart rate stayed in the aerobic zone for much of my weight training, giving me more calorie burn. 1 day down!

Next post - weight, body fat and BMI.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Has it been a week already?

The Shamu Rollercoaster at Sea World

This has been, well, quite a week.

I worked about 50 hours - and I have the tiredness to prove it! With all that work, I couldn't seem to find a way to get a run in. I did run 3 miles on Monday and walked about 6 miles with a friend on Tuesday. But that was it. I intended to get back to the weights but didn't do it. So I worked hard this week, but not on my running.

On the one hand, I told myself that I was still kicking back since the marathon (which I kinda was). When I did really want to run, my schedule just didn't allow for it. At the end of the week it came down to sleep or running. And I really needed the sleep.

Today I slept in! I didn't get up until I felt like it, somewhere around 10:30 am. Hubby had studying to do all day so I took it upon myself to get the kids out of the house and out to Sea World.

So we walked around Sea World from around 1 pm until closing time at 6 pm. It was a lot of fun. We played around Shamu's Happy Harbor when we rode the roller coaster in the video. It was a challenge (that I failed) to hold the camera still while whipping around from side to side.

As for my running, I have decided to get back into training with my first goal race the Winter Park Road Race 10K in March. I am hoping to do much more cross training - weights and elliptical work. I will have to be very strict with scheduling since the workload at the office will probably not let up for the next 90 days or so. The running is critical to surviving all of that so I will find a way!

Run strong everyone!