Saturday, December 29, 2012

This week in review: not a lot happened

Last weekend I didn't have time to update because we flew to Texas a couple hours after I finished my solo 6-miler that morning. I was pretty proud of myself that day for a number of reasons: it was a chilly morning (though sunny, and the water on the East Lake golf course was beautiful), I had to run 6 miles by myself, and after a couple of miles in I hit my stride and felt great.

Then we went to TX, and I packed enough for three days' worth of running: Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Sunday happened: 4 miles on the trail with C, Boy's brother, resulting in a 5k PR (whoops!) Tuesday didn't happen: there was an electrical storm for about 4 hours that morning, lasting until around 8:00a, at which point the rain started to turn into sleet, which itself turned into snow, which lasted the rest of the day. Tuesday was also Christmas Day, so there was no slipping out with all the company over to run 3 miles. I got a mile in on Wednesday, but the path was treacherous with all the ice from the day before, and the grass/land next to the path was just uneven enough not to be safe. Our flight on Thursday was canceled and the rebook was for 6:00p, which was then delayed about an hour, getting us home after 11. So, no run on Thursday.

That brings us to today. I ran 8 miles at the river. This is, if I remember the nordic training from high school correctly, the longest I've ever run, and certainly the longest I've ever run without plyos or workouts in the middle. Go me!

Me, going. This is an accurate reenactment of my run today.
I also kept up, for the most part, with the fasties C and M. I had a nice time chatting and running and falling behind on the last half mile climb to the parking lot. I had a REALLY nice time having coffee afterward.


Average pace: 10:10 min/mi (10:17)
Distance: 8.03 mi
Time: 1.21.37 (1.22.34)
Average Heart Rate: 187 (235)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's been a nightmare of a week...

Anyone with access to broadcast or print media is aware of what happened in Connecticut. It's a horrible, horrible thing and brings a whole slew of horrible, horrible memories back. I'm not going to discuss it further here, beyond sending thoughts up north to those families, and the hope that they find comfort and solace this holiday season.

My personal trials and tribulations pale in comparison and aren't worth mentioning here. This will be a very brief post and recap:

I felt great on Sunday at the ride, even with a 5 mile run in my legs from the day before. That was awesome, so I did a loop around Stone Mountain park and STILL felt great.

I felt great on Tuesday, despite a nagging tightness in my right Achilles tendon, and had a good run.

On Wednesday I was not feeling amazing, and opted to run in the neighborhood at home instead of driving up to Brookhaven with the team. This turned out to be a good decision, as my tights wouldn't stay up and my jersey wouldn't stay down. I ended up doing 1.5 mi with Sikari in the dark, never having been so grateful for a run to be over. I did strength exercises on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I did not run on Thursday: I walked the pups with Boy for 2 miles and otherwise took the day off (beside walking to/from MARTA). I felt my Achilles really needed a rest. I did stretch.

This morning I woke up and felt good. My Achilles wasn't sore or tight, so I knew I had been smart to take Thursday and Friday off. We were scheduled for 6 miles, so after an hour of stretching clinics and other meetings, I set off with P on the 6 mile course (with new friend J, who was the only other full-distance runner there today, never too far behind). I eased myself into the run, keeping a light conversation with P the whole time. I didn't have any pain, and made myself stop at the water stops (except the last one, because it was so close to the end and I didn't need it).


Average pace: 10.47 (10.54)
Distance: 5.91 mi
Time: 1.03.48 (1.04.27)
Average heart rate: 153 (187 max)

I forgot to get a picture immediately after the run. Whoops.

All told, a good run. I didn't realize that my pace was as fast as it was, as I felt pretty slow the whole time. We walked for may 100 yards at around mile 4.5, but otherwise were pretty consistent. Afterward, I helped some friends move. Around then is when the pain started, and my Achilles was really sore. I need to be better about icing after runs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Love, Mom

I'm going to take a break from posting about training and TNT (and interrupt my mid-week blog silence) for a minute, and instead talk a little about the other (bigger) half of my life (my life is huge).

If you're a good teacher like me (ha!), it's that time of year when the thank you e-mails and we-appreciate-your-help gestures start to come in. Despite the stress of last-minute e-mails, requests for help, and "what do I need to know for the exam"s; despite the frustration that there is still a disconnect between knowing and doing for some students (as is the unfortunate nature of statistics), I love teaching. I have been forcefully reminded of that over the last couple of weeks.

It is incredibly rewarding and heart-warming to receive no-strings-attached displays of gratitude and thoughtfulness from my students, who are universally in the throes of agony and stress from finals week (and still several days away from the final for my class). Who does that? Good kids, that's who. I love teaching.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

This week in training: A Santa Ride, increased mileage, and cookies

That's right. Those of you who know me know that cookies play an integral role in my training, primarily via fundraising. Thanks to the lovely friends who were at the Santa Ride in memory of Warren as well as those other lovely friends who know good baking when presented with it, I raised another couple hundred dollars for LLS this week.

On Sunday's ride my legs were totally whipped from last weekend's track training, and I expect the same will be true tomorrow and every Sunday for the remainder of this season. I did my long run on Wednesday (4 miles!) and am pleased with myself for that. The big news is that today I ran (jogged) all of 5 miles with my buddy, C, who will now also be too tired to ride too hard on Sundays and will likely be my company for the rest of the season on that, too.

I didn't run on Thursday: I felt kind of icky the whole day and got home after dark. I realized when I got home that all my running clothes were dirty, too, so that sealed the decision to take a sometimes necessary off day. I did walk the dogs 2 miles yesterday (and after today's run, too, because why not?) in addition to shorter walks on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I've had plenty of time on my feet.

Today's stats:

Average pace: 10.50 min/mi (10.59)
Distance: 5.02 mi
Time: 0.54.22 (0.55.09)
Average Heart Rate: 157 bpm

Here we are after 5 miles. Check out my new hat! Also free!

I mentioned the wonky HR stats before our ride last Sunday and C suggested that I was wearing the strap just too low, since then I've had it jammed right up underneath the girls (and tightened a bit more for good measure) and I haven't seen the weird max or spikes that I was before. Problem solved, for free!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Track workouts are for the birds

Seriously, I was excited about the track workout today because it was promised that we would work on our form, breathing, and foot turnover. We did all of the above, which was great. It turns out that my focus on the position of my body, my arm pumping, and even counting my breaths is spot on. I am even right where I'm supposed to be with regard to foot turnover, taking 176 of the 180 recommended strides per minute. I think that's easily within a margin of error.

However, track workouts stink, because we stopped for 5+ minutes every quarter mile (one lap) to talk more. It got tedious and I got tired standing there. I did learn things (see above) but I would rather have learned first run later.

Anyway, today's stats:
Average pace: 9.55 min/mi (10.15)
Distance: 3.09 mi
Time: 0.30.37 (0.31.39)
Average heart rate: 201 bpm (which I tend to doubt)

After the GTS... Best caption for the face I'm making here wins.
No contest here, I'm clearly trying to squeeze one out.
As far as the heart rate goes, apparently this version of the HRM strap struggles when the band gets sweaty (all the time) or with dry-fit material (also all the time), and for a lot of people it seems to be most buggy right at the start of a run or ride and then balance out. That makes sense, as it would explain the normal average heart rates that I've gotten in the past as well as the weird spikes. It makes sense for today, too, because it was all starts and stops.

Beside the GTS today, in which we saw C from the KSR join the Team (yea! but she's too fast for me), this week I rode my bike twice (KSR and then Thursday's commute to/from school) and ran 4 times (TWRSa). Between that and figuring out that I need to look at calories in and out on a more micro view (daily vs weekly), I was able to lose 4 pounds this week. My body was just waiting for me to figure it out, it seems. So, some (not all yet) excess weight lost, some more progress made on the dissertation, and a bunch of cookies sold makes for a pretty satisfying week.