Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Triple Digits!

Nothing much going on but I had to post just to say...

I did over 100 miles again this month!!!

Austin Peay Homecoming 5K is this Saturday....in beautiful hilly downtown Clarksville.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sango Scamper

Chuck, Brittany, Denise and Jim

I am still excited about my 10K today. I ran this same course back in June, in the heat and humidity. It was my first 10K so I was pretty happy with my time of 1:17:53.

Today, it was 43F at the start with wind from the NW. I met up with my Half training group, Chuck told us before we ever got there that he wanted us to do a mile warm up. We passed Chuck coming back in from his warm up as we went out for ours. got us out for our warm up and we were set. The lady who owns the running store, Michelle, was there and asked if I was running with her at the back of the pack. I asked her pace and laughed when she said she ran Peachtree last weekend at 11:15. I told her that was a lot faster than I normally go so I would be behind her at some point. I just knew that I would be lucky to maintain a 12:00 mile for this run.

We walked to the start line and since there were only about 80 runners, the guy just said "On your mark, get set, GO!" The pack started out very fast, I looked and we were running 9:38 so I slowed way down and let everyone pass me. I had to let out a cheer when I realized I was the last runner.

Before we ever hit the first mile, I had pulled ahead of at least 2 runners so I know I didn't finish last.

I knew the first few miles would be kinda hard since it was uphill. What was amazing to me was that it was not nearly as hard as I recall. The temperature difference and running on hills routinely sure made it easier. Actually, the whole course didn't seem nearly as long as it did in June.

At the first water stop, Michelle was right in front me. I stayed on her until about mile 5.75, when she pulled ahead on the final hill. After the race, she told me that she didn't realize it was me until we were past the 4 mile mark. I told her if I had gotten close enough to her, I would have said hello but she was always about 20 feet in front of me.

Asexpected, when I came around a turn and towards a straight patch, Chuck passed me heading towards the finish line. Since he was the lead runner, he had a flashing police escort. His time was 34:xx Michelle and I both hooted and hollered as he passed us.

I was watching my Garmin at various points and was thrilled at my pace. I was running below an 11:00 mile nearly everytime I checked. I do think that mile markings on the road were off and I heard several others complain about it as well.

Of course, there has to be a joker on every course so the police trail car decided to do it. I was just about to mile 5 when he pulled up alongside me and asked if I wanted a ride. Ha, Ha. Put the donut down and join me. I politely smiled and declined.

As we got to the last hill, Chuck was coming out on his cool down run while Lucas (who went on to win the 5K in 16:16) was doing his warm up. There was another guy, can't remember his name but he was 3rd overall in the 10K. They passed me, yelling encouragement. As I was starting up the final hill, they came up behind me. They ran with me, yelling goofy stuff and encouraging me while giving Michelle, now about 50 feet in front of me, a hard time. When Chuck told me to sprint, still almost a mile from the finish, I told him I was not going to sprint until I was closer to the finish.

As I crested the hill, Grant, who was my 5K coach, was standing there. He came out on the course and paced me as well. So here I was, almost dead last (at least 2 behind me though!) and I had all these buff guys running with me and being my own personal support team.

"Get those knees up! Drive it home! You can do it! Come on Denise!" and similar stuff. As soon as I passed the 6 mile mark on the road, I did start to sprint. The crowd, small though it was, cheered and I believe I made it to the official time in just under 1:07. My Garmin said 1:07:02 Michelle finished just ahead of me, she was still in the finish chute when I came in.

I am still waiting for the official times to be posted but I know I bettered my previous PR significantly. My entire half group did so well.

Chuck- 34:xx
Brittany - 57:xx
Jim - 1:00:45 (he really wanted to break 1 hour)

According to the Garmin, I ran 6.31 miles at a 10:38 pace
1 mile - 10:00
2 mile - 10:42
3 mile - 10:43
4 mile - 11:00
5 mile - 10:49
6 mile - 11:09
.31 miles - 8:26

I felt really comfortable for most of the race, I would not have guessed I was running that much faster than I normally do. I really tried to catch Michelle but just didn't quite make it.

It really was a great run. It was a nice, cool day and everyone was fantastic. The official times should be posted later in the week and I will post when I get them.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Who would ever guess you could get giddy over getting a new pair of running shoes? I have been alternating between my New Balance 766's and my Reebok's. I really prefer my NB though.

The time has finally come. I keep getting a warning on my log that my New Balance needed to be replaced soon since they have over 300 miles on them.

This evening, after looking at several places online, I ordered a replacement pair of New Balance 766's. I actually would like to try some different brands but since I have the St Judes coming up, I am not about to mess with a winning formula and try new shoes.

My brand, spanking new 766's should be here in about a week and my current pair will be retired to lawn mowing and general wear duty.

Oh, speaking of shoes (which led me to think of socks) my socks have seemed to cured my blister problem. Since I got the ClimaLites, I have not had a single blister. Woo hoo!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

BTN ...or so I thought

I was just not feeling the run this morning and knew it was going to be a tough start. Jim and Chuck pulled ahead almost from the start and I know I slowed down.

The first mile is usually my most difficult, more so on this course since it is all uphill the first mile. I was still shocked and dismayed to see my Garmin flast at me 13:59 WTH? A fourteen minute mile??!! I knew I was slower than normal but I didn't think I was going that much slower.

The second mile was still over 13 minutes and it was really tempting to just throw my hands up in disgust, chalk this up as a BTN (better than nothing) run and go back to my truck. I didn't do that, I didn't drop to a walk. I knew that this run was going to be a mental challenge more than a physical one so I kept on going.

Samantha had said she would meet us out there to run but she wasn't there so once more I was running solo. There was a lot of military traffic on the roads this morning so I had nominal company. As I was approaching the 3.5 mile mark, Chuck and Jim were on the way back. They gave me thumbs up, shouted encouragement and kept going. We were doing 8 miles so I didn't have that much longer to go.

It took at least 20 minutes, so it seemed, for me to run that half mile to the turn around point. I turned around and started back. As I got near the 3.5 mile mark, I could see a runner coming towards me. It was Samantha! She took a wrong turn getting there but set out anyway. She passed the guys so she knew I was out there still. It was great to have her out on the course with me.

When I got back to starting point, the Garmin said 8.18 miles, 1:43:03 I have no idea how I managed to get an additional .18 miles on an out and back but whatever.

Now, when I downloaded the info from the Garmin, it gets even stranger. It says I ran 8.5 miles total. Remember the shocking (to me) almost 14 minute mile? Well, the reason is that it didn't actually mark it at a mile, it was 1.24 miles! My pace was faster than I thought it would be. I was not nearly as slow as I thought I was, I actually ran faster than I thought.

1.24 miles - 13:59 (11.17)
2.28 miles - 27:35 (13.06)
3.28 miles - 40:22 (12.43)
4.28 miles - 53:03 (12.38)
5.29 miles - 1:05:14 (12.08)
6.29 miles - 1:17:48 (12.32)
7.29 miles - 1:29:59 (12.08)
8.29 miles - 1:41:25 (11.26)
8.5 miles - 1:44:03 (7:55)

Lesson learned out of all this? Stop looking at the stinking Garmin! I was really good about not looking and have recently started peeking. After the second horrifying mile today, I actually switched the Garmin where I could not see any of the info. I was getting depressed about the info I was seeing, despite the fact that I didn't feel I was doing as badly as it was showing me I was.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I had Monday off, which is always nice following a long run. It was even more nice after 13.1 miles.

Monday I decided to go out on my sock quest. I had planned to go to Kohls and R3. R3 is closed on Mondays...whooops. As it was, I found what I was looking for at Kohls. They did have the Adidas ClimaLite performance socks.

So far, I have run a 4 mile run, a track workout (5 miles) and an easy 5K in these socks, in two different pairs of shoes with no repeat blisters. I think I have found the perfect thickness I was looking for. Of course, I will know better after my 8 mile LSD this week.

Yesterday, I met Chuck, Lucas, Brittany and Jim at the track for the weekly track workout. We ran around campus for our mile warm up (10:40!) and then headed into the track.

We did strides first, 4x100. Since Brittany runs significantly faster than both me and Jim, Chuck had Lucas pacing Brittany for the rest of the workout while he paced us slower folks. We were doing 3x400/800/400.

Now, if you read this blog on a fairly regular basis...you know that I always doubt Chuck when he gives me a time to run. I don't doubt Chuck really, I doubt my ability and his faith in it. You would think I would learn but when he said he wanted me to do 400m in 2:00, I could not control the snort. He sighed and said I could do it since I did 2:15 last time in wind. Can you guess what happened? Yes, I did my first 400m in 2:07. Did I mention it was pretty hot? Seriously, we were close to 80F after being below freezing over the weekend.


400m- I am not sure of my time here. I twisted my ankle off the inside of the track right after we started. Naturally, I stopped, we checked it out and after Chuck made sure I was not in pain, I continued the lap. I am guessing it was maybe 2:15
400m- 2:23

After this set, I could feel where something was not right so Chuck had me just do a very easy 1.5 mile cool down (17:37). Based on where I was feeling not right, Chuck thinks I rolled my ankle and pulled a muscle. Once I got home, I iced and then alternated ice/heat.

This evening, I was scheduled for 4 miles. We had discussed this last night when I bobbled off the track. If I felt any pain or anything at all, I was to skip my run and just walk 2 miles. If I felt okay, I could do an easy 3 miles and it felt okay, do an additional mile.

I set out and towards the 3 mile mark, I could feel the same muscle so I called it a night at 3.15 miles (36:51) I am currently icing again. I will reevaluate again tomorrow before I go out for a 5 mile run.

I am not going to risk injuring myself so if there is any tenderness or feeling of not right, I am going to skip the 5 miles and walk 2. Of course, before my 8 miles, I will do the same.

On a non injury related note, on Runners World Forums, someone gave a link to Running Funky This place has the coolest running tights, shorts, shirts, capris...stuff! I really want to get a pair of tights. I can't decide on pattern though....too many to choose from. I am thinking a pair for Christmas!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Half Marathon Run

While it was not a race today, I still ran the entire distance for a Half Marathon! When I first started training for it, my goal was to finish. After I had been with the group for a bit, I revised my goal to finish in 3 hours or less. I then revised my goal yet again to finish in 2:45:00 or less. As you can see in the chart above, I finished today in 2:44:01

I know the Memphis course is not as hilly as where we have been running so I *think* I should be able to finish in well under 2:45:00 but I am going to keep my goal the same.

Today was the coldest morning we have been out running. It was 31F when we started. I felt seriously over dressed next to Brittany and Jim, in long sleeves, hats and gloves. I knew I would be tossing that stuff in short order so I didn't bother to wear it. I ran in shorts and a t-shirt...cotton at that! My thumbs were cold for about a mile and then I was fine.

Brittany wanted to get done so she took off and left Jim and I in the dust. She ended up running an extra mile since she was not sure of where the turn around was. I had put water there but it was in a tree line. Jim stayed with me until almost the 8.5 mile mark and then he had to go on ahead to make a soccer game. You can see my time take a nosedive once I was solo.

I have not had a chance to get new socks so I decided to try wearing double of my thin socks. It did the trick! I got no new blisters on this run. Woo hoo!!

Today was our last long run. We won't run any more long runs this far, our long runs from now will be under 10 miles.

Oct 21 - LSD
Oct 28 - 10K Sango Scamper
Nov 4 - APSU Homecoming 5K
Nov 11 - LSD
Nov 18 - Turkey Trot 8K
Nov 25 - one week before the Half
Dec 2 - The Half!
Dec 16 - Jingle Bell Jog

Thursday, October 12, 2006

In Search of Socks

If you recall a few weeks back, after my long 10 mile run, I had developed a spectacular blister on the bottom of my right foot.

I switched out shoes, changed socks and it healed. Fast forward to my 12 mile run this past week. My blister had healed, I was wearing thicker socks that prevented the blister from reforming and everything seemed okay. Except that I developed blisters on the ends of my toes.

Last night, we did a hill workout (6.26 miles total, 1:29:37) and the blisters were back with a vengeance and under toenails. Bye bye toenails.... I spoke to Chuck about these stupid blisters and how to prevent them. I didn't get blisters until I went over 8 miles at a shot. Basically, the thicker socks do prevent blisters on the bottom of my feet but they also make my shoes fit tighter, causing the blisters on the end of my toes. If it isn't one thing, it is another!

So right now my options are to stick with the thicker socks and get my next set of shoes a half size larger OR continue to find socks that are thicker than my previous socks but not as thick as my current socks. I really like the socks I am wearing, even if they do cost over $10 a pair. I can't recall the name of them, I got them from the local running store and I know Michelle (the owner) would be able to tell me the name.

adidas ClimaLite® No-Show Socks have been recommended by a lot of different people as have Balega Enduros. If it matters, my shoes are New Balance 766. I plan to get a new pair and am undecided if I will try out the 767. So, if you have any recommendation for a medium weight good running sock, feel free to leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just a short run

As I was getting on my blinkie lights, strapping on the Garmin and hunting down some shoes this evening, my five year old son watched me. He is used to seeing either me or his dad get ready to go run. He is fascinated with it and always asks how far we are going.

Iain: So how far are you going tonight Mom?
Me: I am going 3 miles.
Iain: Just a short run, huh, Mom?

3.1 miles, 38:31....a nice, easy run this evening.

Now, not that long ago, 3 miles was most certainly NOT a short run for me, it was my long run of the week. What a difference time and builing up a running base will do to you.

My week coming up. Normally I do my Friday workout with Chuck but since kids are out of school this week, I am doing the Wednesday evening session. Jim and Brittany should be there as well. That will be different since it is normally just me and Chuck on the track.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: Track
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 13 miles

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something Different

So I got up at the crack of dawn this morning...well, not exactly the crack but before 6:30 am. I made my sleepy way out to the back 40 to meet for a 12 mile run. I knew that Chuck would probably not be there but everyone else should be.

At 7:00 am, there was no one there. At 7:05 am, no one was there (there was an older lady walking a poodle..) At 7:10 am, no one was there.

Now, at this point, I have Angel Denise arguing with Devil Denise about just doing the run solo versus going home and attempting a 12 mile run from the house. Angel Denise won. I knew if I went home, I would not get the run in. I really was not happy about running 12 miles solo because I knew I would be slower than I could be and the chances of me walking were much greater. I put the cheese and whine down and started out on the 12 mile run.

.17 miles into the run, a blue PT cruise came whipping down the road...with Brittany! Brittany had been putting water out on the course with her sister, Brooke! Yay!! I turned around and walked back to the start so I could start again with company.

The run went very well despite my toes blistering. It was just below 50F when we started, just below 60F when we finished. Brittany and Brooke stayed with me up until about the 7-8 mile mark. I could see them the rest of the run, they finished maybe .25 miles in front of me. Below is the elevation graph and my mile times for the run. I didn't factor in the .17 miles/2 minutes I ran solo.

Friday, October 06, 2006


The truth was revealed this morning when I met Chuck for our friday run. He could laugh evilly since he was not running! He has a 10 mile race tomorrow so he came out to coach me.

You get so used to seeing people in shorts/shirts...running stuff. I didn't even recognize him at first since he was wearing pants, shirt, jacket, hat and had a dog with him. I actually asked if I could pet the dog, Dash, before I realized it was Chuck!

Today was a track workout. It was under 60F but I still had on no sleeves.. There was also a fierce wind blowing that felt like it was trying to push me backwards for half of the track.

After a 1/2 mile warm up (5:00), Chuck had me do 4x100m strides. The first one, I was actually leaning forward and it felt like I was going to fall flat on my face. The wind was also making me feel like I was going to tip over to one side. I didn't time my strides but did take a 15-20 second break between each one. It was just weird how he wanted me to do these, pumping my arms and lifting my knees almost in a pardody of what I normally do. He was happy with what I did though.

Then Chuck had me doing 3x1200m. He said he wanted me to run a lap in 2:30. I just raised an eyebrow at him and he laughed at me. Usually, when we do these, Chuck runs with me and I start out way too fast. Today, I was all by my lonesome from the get go so found my stride much easier.

My first 1200m was 7:17 (9:42 pace!!) with a HR of 160 at the end.
Second 1200m was 7:28 (9:57 pace!!) with a HR of 164 at the end
Third 1200m was 7:35 (10:06 pace!!) with a HR of 156 at the end.

I had 1/2 mile cool down at 5:22

We have never done heart rate before but he said he wanted to see it in 160-189 and that it was good that it was consistant for all of them. I think he had planned to do one more 1200m but my shins started to hurt. I need to ice again.

I am just really stunned at those pace times because it didn't feel like I was going that fast. Chuck thinks I would have been faster if not for the wind. He said he could see me slow down in the wind.

Next up is a 12 mile run on Sunday. Chuck is not sure he is going to be back so Mr. Garmin will be our coach and tell us where to turn around. He said he would like to see us complete it in 2:15:00, I am thinking over 2:30:00 is more likely.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This Week

Here is the week at a glance for me. I get an email from Chuck that tells me what he wants me to do for the week. I meet him on Fridays.

Mon - Off
Tues - 3 Miles
Wed - 5 Miles
Thu - 3 Miles
Fri - Track @ 8:15 AM Muhaahhahahahhaha
Sat - Off
Sun - 12 Miles (Back 40)

I noticed only 2 of us out of the group got the evil laugh next to a workout with him. Is this a good thing or should I be worried??

I really like the fact that we have kind of an easy week here...at least until Friday and the long run.

We are having really warm weather too, feels more like late Spring than Fall here. I am still running in shorts and no sleeves. Of course, I run in shorts almost year round, it really has to be darn cold for me to not wear shorts.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Century City!

Can you believe it? I was actually kinda stunned when I saw my numbers creeping up for the month of September but I closed out the month having run 115.28 miles!! Compare that to the less than 24 miles I ran in March, when I first started all this. I am so excited about this, I hope I am always this excited about my running.

As expected, Chuck gave us an easy run this morning. Rather than the 11/12 on the schedule, he had us run a slow, easy 6 miles. Of course, Chuck took off at the 3 mile mark and ran 16 miles to our 6. It was just Jim and I out there running. Since Jim and Chuck were in front of me after about a mile, I pretty much ran this 6 miles solo...even if I could see Jim most of the time.

Where we run has such interesting road names. We run along a road called Jordan Springs Road....with no spring that I know of. We have roads called Boiling Trough, Hell Cat Trail and Ghost Corps Trail. Today, we ran just past Ghost Corps Trail and turned around.

I think I may bring my mp3 player on the next long run. I don't mind running like that but maybe music would make the miles go by faster. As it is, on longer runs, I think about all kinds of things. I plan my day, I decide what to do for dinner and in the case of today, I started planning for a Pack Meeting.

I am not sure if I ever mentioned this but I am Cubmaster for a pack of Cub Scouts. I have almost 50 boys from 1st grade to 5th grade. I also am the Webelos Den Leader and just because, I also am on District Roundtable Staff (Tigers Breakout Leader) My friend, Angie, is the District Popcorn Co-Chair with me. Shhh...don't tell but we are also working on District Cub Bowling and Day Camp/Twilight Camp staff. Can you tell I love scouting? They are getting used to me saying "Yeah, I can be there but not until after 10 because that morning I have a 10K race" I was more than a little irritated that Council Pow Wow was moved from its normal date in January to December...on the day of my Half! This will be the first time in several years that I missed Pow Wow (a load of fun)

It was a gorgeous day out, it was sunny and in the low 50's. I actually wore a regular cotton shirt and didn't get too hot. Of course, had I been running 12, I would have had a no sleeves running shirt on (and I did have one in my truck...just in case)

12:02 - 1 mile
12:01 - 2 mile
11:58 - 3 mile
12:13 - 4 mile
11:50 - 5 mile
11:00 - 6 mile
Total running time: 1:11:09
Average Pace: 11:52