Friday, June 30, 2006


Yes, it is me who is the doofus. I admit it freely.

i have been running at least three days a week, usually on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays. Since my coach (my, doesn't that sound impressive?) wants me to increase my running to five days a week, I decided to go running this evening. Greg came along pushing Rhys in the stroller.

I thought I was running at a pretty decent pace and was feeling pretty proud of myself. When we stopped, I was really disappointed to see my time was 42:14.

Okay, that is not a horrible time, really it is not. A few months ago, I would have been thrilled to run 3.1 miles in that time but not today. Why? Because my average time for 5K is under 38 minutes. Based on that, I felt that +42 minutes sucked, more so since I thought I had done well and felt like it was a good run.

Greg insisted that the route was longer than 3.1 miles while I insisted that I had checked the route numerous times and it was 3.1 miles. Just to prove him wrong, I pulled up the website and mapped the route yet again.

Whoops, I was wrong! The route that we ran was not 3.1 miles but 3.41 miles...which really makes a difference when you are calculating pace from your time. Had I only ran 3.1, I would have been under 38 minutes. So really, it was a good pace and run for me.

What a doofus I am!

On a nonrunning related note, I have pink eye in both eyes!! Yuck! I am on antibiotics and let me tell you, it was hard to stop myself from wiping at my eyes while running.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

St. Jude's...Here I Come!

So tonight was an information meeting about a half marathon training group that is forming. I was kinda undecided if I wanted to train for St. Jude's (run in December) or just hold off for the later training that is for the County Music Marathon (run in April).

After going to the meeting, I decided to sign up for this group. It is a small group, the one next year will be larger. I really like the fact that most of the runners, in an informal poll, are all at my running pace of....slower! Yeah, I should not be gleeful and really, I am not but it is nice to know I won't be trailing the pack the entire time.

Chuck, the couch, seems like a really nice guy. He is going to set up a list on RunOrgy for the group so that he can put out our weekly training schedule and we can log our milage in.

In a switch, he wants us running 5 days a week. I have been running at least 3 days a week so hopefully it won't be too much of a stretch to add a fwe more days. We are going to be meeting first thing in the morning, which I am less than thrilled with but can live with. It will make it easier since most everyone in the house will be asleep and it will also allow me to be here in the evenings for dinner.

Since we do live in a really humid and hot area, he wants us to up our water drinking and get in a gallon a day! Yikes, I need to up my water drinking.

I am pretty excited, I think this is going to be fun and I really am looking forward to my times/speed improving.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wilma Rudolph 10K Race

Rhys always seems to know when I have plans to get up early because he will wake up every hour. Sure enough, he was up at 1:30 am, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30 and we were up at 6 am.

Our race packet was actually quite nice. We had Avon samples, Arbonne samples, a t-shirt, pace chart, coupon for a massage and a lot of information. There was also coupons for runners ID bands...sorta like an dog tag.

We made it out there and there were not a lot of people, I knew in advance that less than 50 had registered. My running buddies were there and we tried to convince Samantha to run the 10K with us rather than hang out and wait 90 minutes for the 5K but she wouldn't do it.

We moseyed out to the start line, where I could hear perfectly fine in the back of the pack (which shows how small of a crowd was there) The gun went off and off we went. I figured I would be at the back of the pack and I was correct. Is it wrong for me to be thrilled to see people walking before the half mile mark? As long as they kept doing that, I knew I would not be the absolute last running in.

Before we hit a mile, Candi turned on her rocket boosters and she eventually finished about half a mile in front of me. I could tell Greg was wanting to move out even though he said he would stay with me. I told him to go ahead so once he turned past the first water station (about half a mile in front of me at that point) I never saw him or Rhys until I was at the finish line.

This was the first race I was in where the trail car was right by me and as long as they didn't offer me a ride, I figured I was okay.

It was about 71 out but very humid. The lower temperature made it much nicer and the rolling hills were not as bad as the evening we ran it last week (93 and 77% humidity that day)

About the 2.5 mile mark, there was a left turn to go do the 10K loop. Sure enough, as soon as I turned left, the lead runners were there going past the 5 mile mark. They all acknowledged me as they passed (since I was pretty much alone, people way in front and way behind me) and one guy told me I was looking good. Kind but I am well aware I am a penguin.

There were plenty of water stations with water and gatorade. At mile 6, there was a photographer (eek!) so I am sure I looked ravishing. You could see the finish line so I kicked it in and was telling myself to not be too disappointed to see it was over 1:20. Once I saw the clock, it was 1:17 so I really went faster and finished in 1:17:53 (I was off earlier and I think the official clock was off because it was changing from 49 to 50 when I crossed but oh well) Meredith, the race director took my number and Michelle, owner of the local running store, took my card.

While Michelle was filling out my info, she told me I was 3rd in my age group. Overall, I was 58/61 I wasn't last!

Then a volunteer and Michelle both scolded me for not taking any water at any of the stops. Now, in my training runs, I have not been carrying water. I generally have 2-3 bottles of water at the end though. If the temperature had been higher, I would have taken water but since it was not, I didn’t want to take any. I do have a water belt and will start running with it but I didn’t want to try it for the first time during a race.

Greg finished in 1:01 …he normally is right about 55:00 but with the stroller, he was off a bit. Looking at the results, I had 4 people come in after I did.

All in all, it was a fun race.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Melting......

Oh. My. Word.

I went out for my run this evening and I think I sweat off a few pounds. We meet in the evening, about 7 pm, so it is still warm but the sun is setting. You would think it would be a lot cooler. Ha!

It was 93 when we started our run and so incredibly humid. I run with a washcloth to wipe sweat off my face and usually it takes about a mile before I start to use it. Tonight, it was less than half a mile before it came out.

In spite of the temperature and humidity, we had a fairly decent time. Since we have the 10K this weekend, did 5K tonight. Our time was 39:00:49

Right now, one of my running buddies ditched out of the 10K and signed up for the 5K instead. My second buddy is still undecided :::sigh:::

I did have a break today, of sorts. Normally when I run, I can't stop and walk. If I walk, I just can't run again. Normally, if I feel the need to stop, I just slow way down. Today, Candi and I finished and Samantha was behind us. We walked back to Samantha and then ran with her to the finish! That may not be a big deal but it was a huge thing for me! I walked and was able to run again.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

New socks, old shirt, same sweat

I was not able to get out running this last week due to day camp. I was whipped by the end of the day and just didn't have the get up and go to run as well.

I had plans to meet my running buddies this evening but rain had us all backing out. By the time it was getting dark, it was clear so I nabbed a kid to come along on a bike and went out running in the neighborhood.

I noticed that I have a lovely tan line on my ankles from my ankle socks so I got some no show socks. You would not really think socks would make much of a difference but my ankles felt naked and cool this evening. It was really weird that I could tell my ankles were bare. It could be that the pair I wore this evening were too thin since they were significantly thinner than my normal ankle socks. I have some thicker no show socks that I will try next.

I have been running in a running tank top for awhile now, no sleeves and a blend of fabric that doesn't hold sweat. Since the temperature dropped, we just had rain and it was dark out, I (foolishly) decided to just wear an old t-shirt to run in. I was sweat soaked before a mile. Incredible how much that shirt seemed to weigh wet and the sleeves made me hot. Note to self: no running in 100% cotton shirts.

I discovered some more interesting facts during my run this evening, besides naked ankles and heavy shirts. I discovered that spray deoderant doesn't offer the same odor protection that roll on does. I discovered that a hill is still a challenge, no matter the temperature, time or relative humidity is. I discovered that I like having someone with me, even if they never say a word and are just on a bike riding beside me.

My time stunk...not really but I was slower than I would have liked. I know if I had been with my buddies, I would have been faster. I did 3.15 miles in 41:34 for a blistering 13:14 pace. Embarrassed

Edit: I went back and re-checked my route after running it with my husband. He swore it had to be more than 3.1 miles and I insisted that I checked and it most certainly WAS 3.1 miles. Well, it wasn't. It was 3.41 miles! That means my 41:34 time put my pace at 12:13!!

Isn't it funny, not that long ago, I thought going out for a 2 mile run was a looooong run. Now, I don't really like to run less than 3 miles since it takes me more than a mile to warm up and hit my running groove.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Ouch, I twisted my knee in such a stupid way. This week I am working as a volunteer ar a cub scout camp. There are about 240 kids that are spread out in a 30 acre park.

Since we are spread out, we have radios but sometimes we have to go out to track down a child or pick up something at a remote station. The park is not level but has large flatareas.

I was walking down to where the BB and Archery ranges are and stepped off a small incline. It was the kind of thing where you just bobble a bit and don't really stop...just make sure no one saw you looking uncoordinated.

I didn't think anything of it until hours later and my knee is sore. I guess it is a good thing I han not planned to run this week. I think it will be fine by my weekend run. That 10K is coming up fast!

It is nothing major, just aches some and is more annoying than painful.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fellow Penguins

I got this in email a few weeks back and I have to say, I love this author. I have his book, No Need for Speed and adore it. He has a way of articulating exactly how I feel about running. Check it out if you are so inclined.

The Penguin Chronicles: You may be a penguin
By John Bingham
May 16, 2006

I can see the finish line, and I feel an emotional rush that transforms me from a mere mortal into a mythical creature with winged feet. Well, OK, maybe not winged feet. How about a mythical creature with webbed feet? Forget eagles and sparrows, it's time to celebrate the power of penguins.

The runner as a penguin? No way! Gazelles, cheetahs, thoroughbreds -- the metaphors for runners always seem to conjure up images of fleet-footed creatures moving swiftly across the landscape barely casting a shadow. What those metaphors miss are the thousands of us who plod steadily along, undeterred and unmoved by glycogen depletion and lactic acid buildup.

You've seen a penguin run. A chaotic flurry of feet. A living testimony to the dominance of will over form. And many of us, those for whom a 10K qualifies as their long, slow run for the week, represent no less a victory of will over form. With the indomitable force of the glaciers, we plod and shuffle our way through race after race. More amazingly, to you eagles and sparrows, we penguins are having the time of our lives.

You've seen us at the races. Or at least you've seen us at the races that are out-and-back courses. We're the ones with huge smiles on our faces. We're the ones coming across the finish line as you're getting in your car to go home.

Are you a penguin?

You may be a penguin and not even know it. Take this simple test:

1. At your most recent race your goal was to:
a. set a new national age group record.
b. finish before the awards ceremony was over.

2. The food at the end of a race is usually:
a. a selection of fresh fruits, cookies, sports drinks, water.
b. bruised bananas and broken bits of oatmeal raisin cookies.

3. At a recent marathon you:
a. ran negative splits after mile 15.
b. stopped to get the rest room key at a service station.

4. At the finish line, the people are:
a. screaming because you just set a new national record.
b. related to you.

If you've answered 'b' to any of the questions, then you're a penguin.

Running from failure

It may surprise the eagles to know that we, the penguins, are really and truly doing the best that we can. One cannot undo the physical effects of 30 or 40 or more years of neglect and abuse in a matter of weeks or months. What one can do is to slowly but surely undo the years of emotional neglect and abuse of the soul.

We penguins run with more weight than the eagles and sparrows. We run carrying the burden of failures past, present and future. We drag with us our failures as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters. We carry on our shoulders the accumulated residue of diets that didn't work, exercise programs that didn't stick, and resolutions that were never kept.

Our running shoes are really erasers. Every step erases some memory of a past failure. Every mile brings us closer to a clean slate. Each foot strike rubs away a word, a look, or an event which led us to believe that success was beyond our grasp.

You may be a penguin, or you may know someone who is. The running community has barely begun to attract and embrace the penguins in their midst. We're out there. We're looking for any chance at all to prove to ourselves that we can do it. We need to convince ourselves that we can persist against the odds. We're waiting to prove that we can succeed.

Applause for penguins

A word to the race directors: Most of you are, or were, probably at least sparrows, if not eagles. Most of you continue to be involved in the running community because of the pleasant and positive experiences that you've had. Most of you cannot imagine running a 10K in 60 minutes and being thrilled.

But, believe it or not, there are thousands of penguins out there shuffling and scuffling their way to the finish line. For them, as for me, the miracle isn't that we finished, the miracle is that we had the courage to start.

If you want to do the nicest thing imaginable for the penguins, give us a round of applause at the beginning of the race. Let us take a minute to congratulate ourselves for standing at the starting line. Let us hear, maybe for the first time in our lives, the sound of a group of people cheering for our accomplishments.

Nearly everyone will be gone by the time we reach the finish line. If we're going to hear the cheers, it'll have to be at the beginning. Once the race starts, as the eagles pursue absolute perfection and the sparrows reach for a new personal record, the penguins will be engaged in the search for their inner child. Our run isn't measured by the clock. Our run is measured only by our own will.

So, fellow penguins: UNITE. We, the webbed-footed wonders will prevail. We don't march to the beat of a different drummer, we ramble to the syncopation of our own existence. We run free of the constraints of VO2max and lactic acid. We seek a higher order of satisfaction.

And yes, fellow penguins, we are athletes. We are, perhaps, the greatest of all athletes. Whatever your chosen method of play, whether it's running, bicycling (oh yes, there are cycling penguins!), water aerobics or anything else that gets you up and moving, you're an athlete. You personify the very best of the athletic ideal. Waddle on, friends, the future is ours.

I did 4.5 miles this evening in fastest 4.5 miles to day. My pace was 12:46 woo hoo!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Six Miles

We have moved where we have been running from the school complex to the fairgrounds park. We have a nice, level 1.5 mile loop.

Since one of my kids has twilight camp this week, I was not able to meet Candi and Samantha at our regular time to run. I decided to run on my own and the other two would be there by my final lap.

A friend of mine said I probably wasn't pushing myself as much as I could when doing my training runs. Tonight, I decided to try pushing myself a bit.

My first half mile, I ran harder than I normally do (based this on my breathing and the "Ohmygosh! I am gonna die!" feeling). I went back to my comfortable running pace but each time I hit a shade spot, I would lengthen my stride just a bit for maybe .2 of a mile (or until I hit the "gonna die!" spot) I did this for my entire 10K. I normally go faster my last .2 of the run anyway but today I got a stitch so was only able to pick up the last .10 mile (the route I run is marked every .10 miles)

Given that I started at 6;15 pm, the sun was still up and it was darn hot even though it was only 83 out. I "cheated" and checked my stopwatch at various points. My first 1.5 miles was 17:13. The next time I checked was at my one hour mark and I was at 4.85 miles. That was already an improvement because the other day, 4.5 miles took me just over an hour. I was not expecting much difference when I finished my run.

I set a PR!! My time for 10K was 1:16:41 That is almost 7 minutes off my previous best 10K time! What I find even more incredible about this is that I was running solo since my group normally runs at 7 pm but since I had to pick Kaitlyn up by 8:15 pm, I could not run at 7 pm. After a few laps, they joined me. Even though I was on my last lap and they were on their first, I stayed consistantly about .15 behind them. Not bad considering they were fresh and I was about to keel over