Thursday, July 29, 2010

Did You Know

Did You Know – You can walk 1 mile cutting a normal suburban lawn? I didn’t! I wore Mr. Garmin when I cut the lawn last Tuesday and I walked 1.2 miles in the 45 min of mowing the lawn.

Did You Know – That motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior, according to Wikipedia (the magic 8-ball of today). I’ve been lacking motivation lately. Steph and I have being stressing/worrying about how our house debacle is going to turn out. Then 1.5 weeks ago steph was in a car accident. Then this week we met with our lawyer to go over how the arbitration at our home is going to go and we are excited to have this phase coming to a close but there is still the big WHAT IF. What if we don’t recover anything? What if we don’t recover enough to fix our home? We just have lots of questions and not a lot of things in our control. I need a goal. I currently do not have a concrete goal. There are all the warm fuzzy goals but I need something to train for! Something to scare me into hitting the pavement at least 5 times a week.

Did You Know – You can take your shirt off at work, put a towel on and not have HR called? This week our group was asked to give a 10 min presentation about what we do. So, in honoring the Old Spice Man we created a 11 min video reply to questions collected from the organization. Each team member participated and it will probably be a completely awkward experience being in the room while people laugh at your 1 min video but oh well, laugh with them and hope no one calls HR.

Did You Know – That you can cover 4.5 miles walking a golf course? I brought my Garmin on a course last year to track how far I go. This Saturday we are walking the same course. I’m hoping to shorten that distance by keeping the ball in the appropriate fairway for the hole this year. After some golf the guys and I are going to hit up the Twins game. I’m hoping the eveing Twins game, lack of sleep, potential beer consumption doesn’t throw me off for our annual ride around Lake Pepin that we are doing Sunday. It is a 70-75 mile ride (depending on how much we ride around the small towns) around a wider portion of the Mississippi River that they call a lake. We will go down one side, probably the WI side, and then come back up the MN side 35 miles later. This is a great social ride; if anyone in the area wants to join us we are leaving the St. James Hotel parking lot in Redwing, MN at 7am. We usually average 17mph at the end of the ride, one year was 15 because we had someone bonk HARD. Pace will range from 17-20’ish depending on who is leading at the time. There are a few good climbs but mostly just small rolling hills and great scenery. Let me know if you are interested in joining us.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick update

Hi All,

I just wanted to give you a quick update of last week. I got in 2 of my 3 scheduled runs along with 2 sessions on the bike. One of the runs was a short recovery run. The other was my long run, which turned out to be longer than expected. I planned to do 7 miles before church Sunday morning. I mapped out a route Saturday night and went to bed after the strong storms blew threw. I got up at 7 am, ate a small breakfast and started getting my running stuff together. I have no idea what was wrong with me that day but it took me forever to find the bottles to my fuel belt (I have the two bottle version, LOVE IT). I didn't know if I would find any drinking fountains so I knew I should take a small bottle or two with me. I eventually found them and threw on my shoes and ran out the door. In doing so, I left lights on, left the TV on, forgot to lock the door. I forgot everything that morning! Then I forgot my route. I knew I had to head down one street for a while, then take a right and I would run to a lake, turn around and head home on that road making an elongated triangle or sorts. Well, 3 miles in I had to run to the porta potty for an emergency #2. When I started running again I must have turned the wrong way because it took me 2 extra miles to hit the lake...and when i got to the lake I was on the wrong part of the lake. :(

A nice man walking his dog gave me directions. I asked him where McKnight ave was and he said (pointing) a long way that way. I thanked the man and was on with my run. Now I knew how to get home but just to be safe I turned the garmin compass on and stayed true to that heading. The next two miles, climbing away from the lake, was uphill...a fair amount. My pace slipped from 10:20's to 11's.

I was feeling accomplished at the end of the run. I got up early, ran 7.5 miles, walked the last .75 extra back home and made some blueberry pancakes for Steph and I for breakfast. They were delicious!

So besides the slightly longer run, this week I've hit up a 50 mile bike ride. I threw a course together and it proved to be a really nice route. We had a fair amount of new roads, a couple large climbs but nothing too bad. We curved our way through quiet rural roads north of St. Paul. I honestly have to say that I will be doing that route again! Maybe solo, just to see what i can do on it.

We didn't have a fast day, but as this was my riding partners first time above 50 miles this year we took it easy. I ended with an average of 16.1 mph.

For the rest of this week I'm planning to get in 6 miles, 2 miles, and 9 miles of running and potentially another 30-40 mile bike ride.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A letter from Laurence and Mo

The past week has been tough. Jon has gotten in some form of work out nearly every day this week. He made us run 3 days , bike 2 other days and this was on our recovery week after that awful half marathon! Besides the half marathon this guy even made us go for a 56 mile bike ride though rural WI climbing 3,500 feet.

All of the runs were at an easy pace meant just to recover from last Sunday's half marathon. The bike rides on the other hand were pretty tough! Tuesday's ride ended up being 10 miles longer than expected and we ran out of water in 90 degree heat. Then this past Sunday we went for the 56 miler with two other. The first section of the route was fairly easy, going into the half way point the Jon's average HR was 132 (zone 2). We had some great weather, it was 80 degrees and partially cloudy. During the second half the wind picked up a little and was either in our face or from the right. Both folks Jon was riding with were strong riders but were clearly more comfortable drafting while headed into the wind. Jon pulled the two down a VERY straight stretch of rolling hills for 15 miles at an average of 19mph with an average HR of 152 (zone 3). Jon was working us a little harder and right in that fat burning zone, he is trying to kill us!

Over the past 6 weeks we've seen 6 of our buddies (pounds) pass away. If he keeps up this pace we (Laurence and Mo) will be nearly all gone by Christmas.

Send help!

Laurence and Mo

Monday, July 12, 2010

Half Marathon Race Report

I know it has been more than a week so I wanted to finish my race report and get it up. On a whim I signed up for the Inaugural Twin Cities Half Marathon that was being hosted by the same folks who put on the Twin Cities Marathon every October. I signed up as a scare tactic to make sure I ran as well as to run with a friend who was already signed up. Well, the scare tactic worked…somewhat. I wasn’t doing any short/medium distance training because I always and a reason why I should run during the week and then on the weekends I always pushed too far trying to build mileage during the long runs. I went from running 3 miles 2-3 times a week to running once a week at 6-8 miles. After each long run I was hurting! Either my IT Band was extremely tight or my foot/ankle hurt. IT was a lose lose situation.

(Porta Potty Line Pre Race)

So, onto the race. The entire week leading up to this race was super hot and muggy in MN. Race morning, at 5:00 am it was in the mid 70’s with 90% humidity. I got up super early and did my pre-race oatmeal breakfast and threw on my clothes and ran out the door. I was meeting Steve and Pharmie at their place in just 30 min (it is a 20 min drive). I knew first thing in the morning this race wasn’t going to be a great race, I had been sick for 3-4 days prior and the head cold I had was limiting my uninterrupted sleep. Pharmie, is a pharmacists…who would have guessed, game me some nose spray to take on top of the Sudafed (the good stuff…the stuff they swipe your ID for) and the cough drops. I was a little apprehensive, but I trust her…she is after all my sister-in-law now.

(Just after mile 2. Still thumbs up)

Steve, Pharmie and I jump in the car and make our way to the start. Pharmie and I are standing in the porta potty line when we overhear a man walking by; “well who do I need to talk to to get some porta potties on the race course.” Right away we think, oh no. There are already not enough at the start and there are none on the course, someone is going to have a really bad day. We stood in line for 30+ min and just made it as they were finishing the national anthem. The two of us hurried to the start line and wished each other well. We wouldn’t be running together today…I was hoping for a conservative 2:20 and she was hoping for a 1:50.

The beginning of the race was good for me. It was SUPER hot (maybe 80 degrees and 90%+ humidity) but I ticked off the first few miles at my goal pace, and got faster when the skies opened up with a generous downpour of cool rain. Steve got a photo of my shortly after mile 2, still thumbs up from Jon. I was having a good day up through the first few water stops. Splits went by slowly but surely until mile 6’sih….the first hiccup of the day. Pharmie had a friend who gave us some race course info that completely missed one major hill (in my mind). I was thinking, ok, he must have gotten miles 6 and 7 confused and this is the hill…just push up this thing and it is mostly downhill from here. I kick up it, a little slower than I hoped but I was happy…one of the two large hills was out of the way. Shortly after that, the next one. Ok. We are done with hills. NOPE. Mile 7, just as instructed, a monster of a hill…steeper and longer than both the other two combined. I was mentally defeated, it was getting hotter and I had convinced myself there were no more hills. I walked half of the hill and kicked it down the other side to make up time….not a good idea.

Around mile 8.5/9 I was in trouble. My pace was slowing and my body was giving me those small twinges that let you know it is going to cramp soon. I backed off hoping I wouldn’t lock up. I was mostly successful in that regard, but I was now running more than a min slower per mile, and even slower with any type of elevation. At this point in the race I had 4 miles to go, I knew I’d finish but what kind of shape would I be in at the end? I was having trouble slowing my heart rate down. Walking the water stops, and a little ways after then, I still couldn’t get my heart rate below the high 160’s (which is low zone 4 for me). While running, my now 12 min mile pace, my HR was up around 180. I convinced myself I only had a 5K left and pushing at zone 4/5 was ok.
The miles seemed to drag on and on. At this point the rain let up and things got hot. Things were miserable. I found a few folks to attempt to chat with on my short walk breaks to keep myself for maxing out my HR. Talking seemed to help, but then I was walking more and running less, that won’t get me to the finish line any faster.

Eventually myself and another girl put our heads down and went for it…we were less than a half mile away. We finished nearly right next to each other. We took at photo at the end and went to find our friends/family cheering us on.

My finishing time was 2:30:04, my slowest half marathon to date! Slower than the first 13.1 miles of both marathons I’ve run. This race did give me a lot of confidence, it was my longest run of the year and I knew I still had the mental strength it takes to conquer these types of endurance events. Overall, I’m glad I signed up for this half…my I vow to never sign up as a motivation for working out. If I sign up for races in the future it is to test myself and the training I’ve done.

(Finishing with a smile on my face.)

Thanks for reading.


(Pharmie getting close to the finish.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where I'm at and where I want to go...

Sorry for the late post! I've been battling a cold while trying to maintain active which has been draining.

In my last post I said I would update everyone on three things; my current state, current training, and goals. So lets get started...

I currently weigh in at 260. I'm not happy about that, just two years ago I was 227. I'm not happy about that, I'd like to get down to 230 and maintain my weight there.

I haven't been working out regularly. Over the past few months workouts have been hit or miss. I'm working on getting into a regular routine with my new schedule and slowly I've been getting in more workouts each week. I hope to keep that going and maintain at least 5 workouts a week.
With my runs being sporadic it has been hard to build mileage safely. For the past few months I've been doing short runs (under 5 miles) here and there. This past Sunday I ran a half marathon on four short weeks of training. I must say, I didn't have high expectations going into this race so simply finishing was a confidence builder. I'll have more on this later into the week.

My goals for running is to have three runs every week. I want to work on speed so I need to have 1 easy run, 1 speed workout (or tempo run), and 1 longer run. I've decided this is the year of the half marathon, so most of my runs will be to build and maintain a half marathon base while increasing speed. My short term goal is to PR at the half marathon distance, that means under 2:00:00. I was attempting to break two hours last year and in doing so, my time came in at exactly 2 hours. So I still have to break two hours at the half marathon. I'd also like to break 4 hours in a marathon, but that goal is a little longer out.

When it comes to biking, I don't have many racing goals here. I have never raced. I have a long term goal to break 5 hours in a century but having never actually riding one straight through that is an fuzzy goal. I'd like to become a stronger hill climber and improve my recovery time. When I group ride I tend to hang out at the 18-20 mph average. I'd like to continue to improve that and eventually carry this into a triathlon.

This brings me to my last section, to do a triathlon. I hope I can fit a late season sprint into my calendar this year. Next year I would love to work on swimming and get myself in shape for a half ironman. I don't think it is fair to have any time goals for a triathlon, so lets keep it as finish. I've got that long term, back of the mind, goal of doing Ironman.

So, there is the quick snapshot of where I'm at and where I'd like to go. I hope to be sharing weekly workout summaries along with monthly totals and running totals.

Thanks for reading.