New Schedule For The New Year

With the new year upon us and a new season of race training, I’ve been pulling the new practice schedules and working on an updated routine for myself for the next couple of months.

For the last few months, my schedule has looked something like this (give or take the swimming depending on facility availability and runs depending on weather):

Monday – lift; short, easy run

Tuesday – swim

Wednesday – lift; moderate run or cross train (cycling or elliptical)

Thursday – moderate run or rest

Friday – lift; cross train

Saturday – rest or long run

Sunday – rest or long run

I had been swimming with the local triathlon club but I think I’m going to go back to my local rec center advanced masters’ practices.  I enjoy the tri club swimming a lot but the facility is hard to get to and the practices consist of almost all distance freestyle.  This is great for triathletes, I realize, but it bores the heck out of me after a while and my first priority above all else is to enjoy what I’m doing.  The advanced masters’ practice is in a less-nice facility and isn’t quite as challenging as the tri club practice but it’s more interesting and easier to get to.

That said, here’s a tentative look at my new schedule for the next couple of months.  I may tweak this in a week or two after I see how it works out initially.

Monday – swim 6:20-7:20

Tuesday – lift & easy short run

Wednesday – swim 6:20-7:20

Thursday – lift & cycling

Friday – moderate run

Saturday – easy long cycle on my bike trainer

Sunday – long run

Since my brain is still focused on running races, I haven’t given a lot of thought yet to triathlons in 2010 despite the fact that I know I want to do at least one Olympic distance tri.  Once the year progresses a bit more I’m sure that will change so stay tuned if you have an interest in triathlon!

Hot Ham Water

Hello!  Merry Christmas to all and an early Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having a safe, warm, and fantastic holiday.

We visited D’s family for Christmas and ate mounds of terribly tasty treats.  My contribution was this peppermint bark (of course, would you expect anything else?).

It is for holidays and special occasions like these, where people make splendid, high-quality goodies from scratch with real ingredients and lots of TLC, that I save up serious splurges and “letting go.”  And boy did I ever. 🙂  I’ve probably eaten five desserts a day since Friday.  I have some exercising to do to work off these extra couple of pounds but it was totally worth it.

Exercise this week:

  • Sunday – 4 mile run
  • Monday – 30 min. lifting, 10 min. stationary bike level 6 over 85 rpm’s
  • Wednesday – 30 min. lifting, 1 mile walk/run through snow (had to turn around halfway because the snow was too icy and packed for running), 2 mile run on a different path

Big news, everyone

I am officially registered for my first half marathon. 🙂  I am so excited.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to do the Nashville Country Music Half that I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I am road tripping with a group of friends and we will split hotel rooms to save dollaz.  I am not a country music fan but I know it’s going to be a blast nonetheless  And also my first time visiting Nashville. Aw snap!  No, I don’t ever actually say that.

I pushed my training plan out a few weeks but otherwise it looks just like this.  Week 1 is actually this week!  I’m currently running enough on my own to satisfy the first few weeks of the plan so I won’t officially be following it until late January/early February.

News, everyone

I took this week off from work to catch up around the house and take a breather from work.  It has been wonderful.  I have cleaned out and reorganized our master closet, put together a 1,000 piece puzzle with D, exercised several times, grocery shopped, run payroll for D’s company, returned some things, cooked, read, blogged, caught up on some TV shows, and on and on.  Happy sigh.  Monday is going to be a rude awakening.

My list for the rest of my time off includes cleaning and reorganizing our master bedroom, shipping a few packages, and more quality time with D, who has also taken this week off.  Tomorrow morning we are doing a Movie in the Morning, complete with snuggling blankets, peppermint coffee, and banana steel cut oats.  I can’t wait! 🙂

Onto foodier things

My company gives out holiday hams to employees each year.  I don’t normally eat ham as I find it to be too heavy, high in sodium, and generally too salty for my taste, but, hey, multiple free dinners. 🙂  For those I make a once-a-year ham allowance.

I received mine a couple of weeks ago but had refrained from using it until after we returned from our Christmas visits.  We got home late Saturday night so I decided to cook it on Sunday.  Well, reheat it, really, as it comes pre-cooked.  My goal was to avoid a trip to the grocery store and use up leftovers.  I wanted to see how far I could stretch it.  I did end up having to go to the store today for essentials but I think I will be able to stretch it to Thursday, or possibly  even Friday. 🙂

Weekly Menu 12/27-1/1

  • Sunday – sliced ham, stuffing, broccoli
  • Monday – ham sandwiches, stuffing, broccoli…these sandwiches were much tastier than we had anticipated they would be!  Definitely worth two rounds.
  • Tuesday – ham sandwiches, broccoli
  • Wednesday – ham, bean, and veggie soup
  • Thursday – tentatively leftover soup
  • Friday – tentatively ham & veggie scrambled egg sandwiches

The ham, bean, and veggie soup (a.k.a. hot ham water) that I made today is really delicious and uses almost all leftovers from my fridge and pantry.  The only things not left over were the zucchini and mushrooms.  I had two bowls tonight and semi-seriously contemplated a third.

I googled ham & bean soup and found this recipe.  It became my inspiration, and from that I created my own version:

Ham, Bean, & Veggie Soup

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups low sodium organic veggie broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 oz. mixed dried beans
  • chopped veggies – onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, fresh spinach
  • garlic
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, no salt zesty seasoning to taste
  • leftover chopped ham – somewhere between 1/2 lb. to 1 lb.?  I just kept adding ham until it looked like a ham, veggie, and bean soup rather than a bean and veggie soup.

Directions:

  1. Cover beans with cool water in a large pot and soak for 8-10 hrs.  I set the beans out to soak this morning on my way to the gym.
  2. Discard water, rinse, fill pot of beans with 8 cups fresh cool water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes to soften the beans a bit.  If you use dried red kidney beans, be sure to boil for 10 minutes to remove the phytohemagglutinin.
  3. Discard water, rinse, fill with veggie broth and water as directed above.  Add all ingredients except for spinach and ham.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce soup and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the ham and spinach.  Simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the beans are tender.  My mom called at this point so the time went by quickly.
  5. Serve and yum.

Half Marathon Plan

I’m thinking of doing a half marathon.  I’ve never done one before.  Before this year I’d never even run a 5K but as of December 31, 2009, I will have done:

  • 4 5K’s – I walked the first one in June due to my knees, ran the second in August in 27:01, and have two more between now and the end of the year.
  • 2 sprint triathlons – August and October
  • 1 10K – October

I had so much fun 🙂 with the 10K distance that I decided within several days of that race to try a half marathon.  I know a couple of people who are planning to do the Shamrock race in March so that’s what I’m shooting for.  Now I just need to get up the courage to enter before it fills up.

I used the Runner’s World SmartCoach tool to train for my 10K.  Due to unforeseen circumstances I didn’t finish it completely but it got me far enough to be able to  race within 1 minute of the time it had estimated.  Not bad!  I’m going to use it again to train for this half mary knowing that things probably won’t go exactly according to plan but it should get me close enough. 🙂

I’d love to train harder than this but from experience I’ve learned I need to go as easy as possible on my joints.  I’ve used easy settings for this plan (currently training 6-10 miles per week, how hard to train: moderate) and will be using my usual walk breaks during both the training and the race.

Runner's World
TRAINING: SMART COACH


Your current race time is: 0:55:28  for a 10 K
Your distance training goal is: Half-Marathon
You currently train: 6 – 10 miles/week
How hard you want to train: Moderate
Your long-run day: Sunday
Your training program Starts: Monday, 11/30/2009 and Ends: Sunday, 3/21/2010
Length of your training schedule: 16 weeks
Wk Dat Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
1 11/30
12/6
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
6 miles
2 12/7
12/13
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 3 mi
@10:49
7 miles
3 12/14
12/20
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 3 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
@10:49
9 miles
4 12/21
12/27
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 3 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 5 mi
@10:49
10 miles
5 12/28
1/3
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:43
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 5 mi, inc
Warm; 3 mi @ 9:08; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 6 mi
@10:43
13 miles
6 1/4
1/10
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:43
Rest
/ XT
Speedwork
Dist: 5 mi, inc
Warm; 2×1600 in 8:37
w/800 jogs; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 6 mi
@10:43
13 miles
7 1/11
1/17
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:43
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 5 mi, inc
Warm; 3 mi @ 9:08; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 7 mi
@10:43
14 miles
8 1/18
1/24
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 3 mi
@10:43
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 3 mi
@10:43
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
@10:43
10 miles
9 1/25
1/31
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 6 mi, inc
Warm; 4 mi @ 9:07; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 7 mi
@10:36
15 miles
10 2/1
2/7
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Speedwork
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 3×1600 in 8:32
w/800 jogs; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 8 mi
@10:36
17 miles
11 2/8
2/14
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 6 mi, inc
Warm; 4 mi @ 9:07; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 8 mi
@10:36
18 miles
12 2/15
2/21
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
@10:36
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
@10:36
12 miles
13 2/22
2/28
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 5 mi @ 9:07; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 9 mi
@10:30
20 miles
14 3/1
3/7
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Speedwork
Dist: 8 mi, inc
Warm; 4×1600 in 8:27
w/800 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 9 mi
@10:30
21 miles
15 3/8
3/14
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 5 mi @ 9:07; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:30
Rest
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 10 mi
@10:30
21 miles
16 3/15
3/21
Rest
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 2 mi
@10:49
Rest
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 5 mi, inc
Warm; 3 mi @ 9:13; Cool
Rest
/ XT
Rest
/ XT
Race Day
Dist: Half-Marathon
@9:11
Time: 2:00:30
20 miles
<!– REVISE YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM –>
Legend
Example What it Means
Easy Run
Dist: 2mi
@12:00
Run a total distance of 2 miles at a pace of 12 minutes per mile.
Speedwork
Dist: 5mi, inc
Warm; 3×800 in 4:00
w/400 jogs; Cool
Run a total distance of 5 miles. Your run should include:
– a warmup of about 1 mile
– 3 repeats of 800 meters each; each repeat should take 4 minutes
– a 400-meter recovery jog after each repeat
– a cooldown of about 1 mile
Note: Warmups and cooldowns are generally 1 mile each. But on some days, you’ll need to make them longer to reach the total distance for your run.
Rest
/XT
Take a rest day, or do moderate cross-training activity.
Race Day
Dist: 5K
@7:00 Time: 21:44
On a race day, run your 5K at a 7-minute per mile pace. Your time will be 21:44.
BACKGROUND AND SPECIFICATIONS

The RUNNER’S WORLD SmartCoach is a free, interactive tool that combines science, mathematics and 40 years of collective running wisdom to bring you a proven, individualized training program. You can return to it as often as you want.

My First 10K – Race Report

The day started out with a 4:15am alarm.  Way too early. Showered, changed into several layers as I wasn’t sure how the weather would turn out, made breakfast to go, kissed D goodbye, and was on the road at 5:30.  In the car I had a sprouted grain english muffin with natural pb and ab along with a few Laughing Cow cheese cubes and water.

The drive was dark and rainy but uneventful until I had almost reached the North Carolina border. A flashing sign warned me of high winds.  All of a sudden I was surrounded by fog so thick I couldn’t see past my headlights.  I dropped my speed by 20-25 mph and hit the flashers. Then the rain, which, until that point, had alternated between light and manageably moderate, started pouring sideways.  The wind whipped around my car and the roads looked like they were swimming.  All of this while it was pitch black outside and I’m driving through mountains with a bunch of semis and a severe drop-off on one side. For a brief moment it occurred to me that a race wasn’t worth the risk.  Just as I started to consider pulling over for a few minutes, the fog cleared, the rain died down, the winds stopped, and life was good again.

Those events had gotten my heart up pretty well so by the time I pulled up to the race I felt practically warmed up.  I had 30 min. until the race started.  I went and picked up my packet.  Not the best swag but, hey, the race was only $20 so I really can’t complain!  The skies were overcast and drizzly with temperatures around 65* F.  It was pretty windy, too. Aside from the occasional downpour and gust, it was very comfortable running weather.  I wore a performance t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses to keep the rain out of my contacts, and had a Hammergel and Sports Beans tucked down my sports bra.

There were maybe a couple hundred people there?, most of whom looked like decent runners.  We all lined up and hit the ground running while hitting our Garmins as the gun went off.  Right about this time it also started to rain.

I haven’t looked at my Garmin splits yet but I know my first couple of miles were a little too fast despite efforts to control myself.  I felt really good.  I remember being glad I had my sunglasses as it kept raining.  However, I also remember that they fogged up a lot.  There were several hills in the beginning of the course but after about a third of the way through, the course flattened out and was great – smooth and even with lot of clearance on the pavement.  The course was also very well manned by volunteers and police and there were plenty of drink stops.

Miles three, four, and five were spent focusing on maintaining my pace but allowing some slowing if necessary to keep my energy.  I had a few Sports Beans around 3.5.  I was also taking a brief walk break about every mile or so.  It continued to rain off and on.

Toward the end of mile 5 I picked up my pace and tried to hold it all the way to the end.  I started to falter as I rounded the corner. I’d like to go back and tell myself to keep pushing it because I was seriously almost there!  Finally I saw the finish line and maxed out all the way to the line.

I could tell my hips and thighs were a little trashed afterward. Did some easy jogs, stretching, and walking for about 20-30 min. while getting drenched in the on-again, off-again rain.  I had some water and a banana.  It seems my stomach does best when I get something simple like sports drink, beans/gel, a couple of cookies, or a banana into it immediately after a race.  Let it digest and recover for a while, then eat a larger meal later.

By the time I headed back to the car, I was absolutely soaked to the bone…and realized I had no towels in the car.  However, I did have a ShamWow that my mom gave me a while back.  Yes!  I shut myself in the back of my RAV, toweled down with the ShamWow, put one of the seats down for more room, and changed into dry clothes.  So glad I had extra socks and shoes.  This is a lesson to always bring a backup set of gear to a race in case something fails/breaks/gets wet!

Of course, to spite the horrible weather driving down, the trip back home was absolutely gorgeous.  October in the Blue Ridge is breathtaking.


I don’t know my exact time but I think it was in the low 55’s (forgot to hit my Garmin again at the finish line.  I’m so bad at that game.).  Not my preferred goal, but at least I hit my realistic goal again.  I really enjoyed that distance.  I’d like to try something longer in the future if my joints can handle it but I made it through the 10K distance and would love to do another soon.

One thing I have noticed – I am more sore now after 55 min. of running than I was after 1.5 hours of triathlon.  It’s definitely not a gentle sport!  I have had a couple of black toenails for a while now and they were pretty painful after the race.  I finally got up the courage to do something about it.  I won’t go into details but let’s just say a sterilized needle does a lot of good.

So there ya have it.  The last of my races this fall.  It’s been a remarkable year. Two 5K’s, two triathlons, and a 10K in a matter of a few months.  I did not expect to be here after battling patellar tendinitis for most of the year.  However, rest and attentive care really do work. 🙂

wasn’t worth it for

Back on my feet.

Tonight was my first day back in the gym after the race.  It exhausted me and I felt like such a softie!  I did 30 min. of weights and then ran a little over three miles on the treadmill.  I got pretty light-headed and dizzy toward the end of the weights so I wondered if I hadn’t eaten enough carbs today.  I did have snacks after lunch but I guess they just weren’t enough.  It was ironic considering a piece I was writing today.  I snuck into the locker room before my run and had a Hammer Gel and was fine after that.

It was really nasty out – cold, raining, dark, depressing – but I almost wondered if that was better than the human hamster wheel.  Good lord is it dull!  It did get better then longer I was on it and it helped to have others suffering along with me 🙂 but I can’t imagine doing most of my runs this way for the next four months.  I will definitely be running outside once I get cold weather running gear.

I kept my pace easy as I feel that’s the safest way to treat the final days before my 10K next weekend.  I’ve missed so many runs due to my back and general exhaustion that speedwork at this point would probably hurt more and increase my risk of injury than it would help.  It’s so important to build a solid running base before adding speed, plus you *can* get faster by running a lot of distance at a slower pace.  I hope to do an easy six or seven mile run this weekend.

In unrelated news, this is going to be my office starting in November.  It is a modest 133 sq. feet.  Please help me decorate it!

office

(Disclaimers: That is not me and this is not my stuff!)

Three Weeks Out

I’m three weeks out from my second triathlon. Yay! Tentative schedule for this week barring sore body parts:

Monday – 30 min. weights, 2 mile easy run

Tuesday – 2500-3000 yard swim practice

Wednesday – 5 mile run (either easy or tempo), 30 min. weights

Thursday – probably rest as it’s Girls’ Night

Friday – 30 min. weights, easy 6 mile run

Saturday – wedding, on my feet for 12+ hours

Sunday – rest or easy bike ride; quick run-through of transitions at home

The weather for this tri will probably be remarkably cooler than the last one. Need to look into this and figure out what to wear.

I was looking at the girls in my age group signed up for this tri and some of them are FAST. Holy crap. Like regional leaders fast. I think my original “realistic” goal of placing in the top 15 of my age group is still reasonable. My “preferred” goal of placing in the top 7 of my age group is probably a little unreasonable. I will be happy to get top 10. My “holy crap” goal of top 3 is still that – holy crap and highly unlikely. But it’s all good. It should be a cool experience to meet such fast girls and see how they race.

Goals

Yesterday’s spaghetti squash dinner was tonight’s leftovers and they were just as good.

I also made another batch of chocolate hazelnut bites because we’ve already eaten the entire other batch *blush*. In our defense it doesn’t make a ton but, still, we did eat more than we should have. This time I’m trying it with homemade granola that I bought at the farmer’s market this weekend. It is much less sweet than commercial granola, and also a bit softer, so I’m hoping it will create the particular taste and texture I’m looking for.

I’m well into my 10K training plan now and enjoying it, although having to keep to a fairly specific running schedule to allow for enough recovery time does make it a bit difficult to fit other exercising in. I shouldn’t do heavy legs on a run day of more than 2 or 3 miles. I shouldn’t do a long bike ride after a long run. I shouldn’t bike and run on the same day. I shouldn’t bike or run every single day. These are all self-imposed rules designed to protect my knees as they continue to heal. Along with all of that, I have friends and triathlon club members doing runs and rides of their own on which I would love to tag along, except it’s almost impossible for my schedule and their plans to overlap just right.

Anyway, because of that, I find myself a bit restricted in exactly what I can do each day. And usually I find myself doing it alone. However, D has started doing some of my runs with me and that is really nice.

I haven’t signed up for my next triathlon yet. It takes place on October 11. I’m sort of scared to make the commitment just in case something goes wrong in my 10K training and I tear up my knees. I am 4.5 weeks out from it and just realized that, if I’m going to switch over to clipless pedals anytime soon, it needs to be ASAP.

Here are some of my short-term goals. It’s nerve-wracking putting these in writing instead of keeping them in my head but now that I’ve stated them I’ve gotta make them!

October Sprint Tri
Realistic goal: Place top 15 in my age group
Preferred goal: Place top 7 in my age group
Holy crap goal: Place top 3 in my age group

October 10K
Realistic goal: Break 56 min.
Preferred goal: Break 54 min.
Holy crap goal: Break 53 min.

December 5K
Realistic goal: Break 26:50
Preferred goal: Break 26:20
Holy crap goal: Break 26 min.