Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trudging on through!

Week 5, Run 4: 4 miles in 36 min.

I guess what this run determined is that my body is definitely not used to working in the morning and running right afterwards. My last run was after work, but it was in the evening, and I had come home, relaxed, eaten dinner, etc. This 4th run was right after work, and I was so tired! I work from 6:30 am -2:30 pm, and usually when I get home I'm on the verge of crashing.

The benefit of the run was that it kept me from wasting my day. I ran, showered, then went out with a friend. If I hadn't run, I would have taken a nap and then been tired for the rest of the day. I find that if I distract myself through the 'sleepy time of the day' then I'm not tired for the rest of it.

New goal:
Stretch every day (not just after runs)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Ahh... fart city..."

Week 5, Run 3: 2.9 miles in 28 minutes

if you don't think farts are funny, don't read this. Also, what's wrong with you? They're hilarious.

Never has that line, whispered by my ex's younger sister at the tender age of 4 (who, consequently, is a month or two older than me), applied more to any situation in my life. But it must apply to us all at some point, I suppose, and tonight was my night.

It took me all day to get motivated for my run, which was supposed to be 4 miles around my neighborhood (and the bordering neighborhoods, i.e. in Bella Vista and Society Hill). I had an awesome dinner that consisted of a tofu and basil "ricotta" cream over whole wheat pasta and sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, and onions. Sounds good, right? I suppose the mistake I made was in my greens: Brussel's sprouts and cashews browned in a thyme lemon "butter" (SoyGarden). I love Brussel's sprouts. But they give you gas.

So, yes, I was a little gassy while waiting to digest this meal, but an hour passed and I figured I would be fine. I took off down the block and no sooner had I crossed Passyunk that one cramp hit. Then another. They were neatly positioned on either side of my abdomen, present but not mind-numbing, so I thought, "I guess I'll just keep going." I considered walking them off, but I didn't want to shorten my run and I had told Phil to be worried if I was gone over an hour, since it was dark outside.

"La-dee-da-da," I thought, sans music as usual. It was nice out in 'Philadelphia's First Neighborhood', so I tried to think about that instead. "Oh, look at that dog. Mmm, the scent of beer and cocktails wafting from those drunk people finishing dinner at the French restaurant." But it didn't work! Soon the pain was joined by nausea, and then the nausea became a feeling of food creeping back up my throat.

No. I would not stop. I could not stop. If I blew my run today I'd have to go through the same song and dance on Saturday (which is that I hate running after working in the morning shift so I put it off all day and it just hovers over me, making me feel bad). I was here, and I would finish it! The only thing that would stop me was if I vomited, and hey, if I vomited I guess I'd feel better and I'd still be able to run.

That was my thinking at the time, at least.

I ran about half a mile more when the reason for my cramp finally hit me (and anyone who may have been hiding in the shadows nearby): the Brussel's sprouts. Oh.

Needless to say, armed with this discovery, I was able to let off most of my steam (hardy-har) but I did not finish my 4 miles. I did almost 3, including a walked block, because the nausea persisted through to the end. I had an out a mile early, and I took it.

In other, non-fart related news, I registered for the Rothman Institute 8k in November. It starts just 15 minutes after the Philadelphia marathon, which my sister is running, and I'm so excited! I would have loved to shoot for a longer distance, but I thought I should get some shorter races under my belt before I tackle a half marathon. If I ever tackle one! Plus, I know I can do this without any problems.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The power of a porta potty.

Week 5, Run 2: 6.37 mi in 60 min, n/i cd.

Today was my first long run (I plan on doing another on Friday... maybe.) this week, and I was pleasantly surprised with the weather when I stepped through my front door this morning. The sky was completely clear and blue, but there was a nice breeze and it was about 70 degrees and not humid. Nice, I know! Last time I did my run I forgot to check what time I left and so I sort of estimated my run time. This time I took my cellphone and left it in my mailbox so I could see exactly when I left and returned! I'm so clever, I know.

Of course, the first mile felt great. Then I realized I had to pee. Not horribly, but I was only 10 minutes into what I assumed would be an hour-long run. Actually, it's pretty amazing this hasn't happened to me before-- wait, it has, at the gym where there are bathrooms. There are no public restrooms that would appreciate my sweaty-self on the dirty streets of Philadelphia, so I guess I thought I'd just run as far as I could and then take it from there.

Well, bless you Philadelphia. You put porta-potties on the Schuylkill river trail.

However, they're disgusting.

They didn't smell, though, (are they magic? they will filled with goodies) so I just closed my eyes and did not touch anything but the toilet paper. They were exactly at my turnaround point, so I did my business and set on home.

The rest of my run was difficult. Whenever I reach 4 miles, my body starts to say, "Stop!" and I really have to push myself to go on. I don't listen to music when I run because I like to think about random crap, but this always backfires when the random crap becomes a little devil on my shoulder telling me to stop. Luckily the angel on the other shoulder is apparently much larger and more powerful than the devil, because I made it to the end without stopping.

I think I will try to enjoy this beautiful weather today...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Catching Up

Week 4, Run 2: 4 miles
Week 4, Run 3: 4.4 miles
Week 5, Run 1: 4.5 miles in 39 minutes

I sort of lost my blog updating motivation last week-- whoops! I'll do better this week, I'm sure.

This weekend eded up being busier than usual and I wasn't able to fit in my long run, so I missed a 4th run altogether, sadly. I plan on doing a long run both tomorrow and on Friday (my two days off this week) to make up for it.

Today's run was great, expecially since I didn't run all weekend and I felt like crap! Gosh, it sure is easy to get addicted to those endorphins, huh?

On another note, after this Friday I'll be working 7 days straight before leaving for California on September 6th. I plan on using Runner's World to map my runs on my 2 week vacation, and I can't wait to be exposed to some other areas! I've run in Covelo before, but never more than 2 miles, and San Diego will definitely be a new experience. I'm also looking forward to the lack of humidity and nice, cool mornings. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not much to say...

Week 4, Run 1: 4mi in 35 min.

Not much to report. I almost made excuses and didn't run, thinking I would be hurting from Friday still, but I did anyways and it was totally fine. I pretty much do that every morning-- fight it for a moment or two. My calf muscles are a little tight, though, so I guess I need to work on strecthing more. I keep meaning to get into yoga, but it's hard to find the time.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to do my long run on a convenient day this week, since I'm helping my sister move on one of my days off, but I should be able to figure it out somehow. Those six miles felt really good, just to know that I can do something I never thought I'd be able to do. To a lot of runners, six miles is nothing, but at the beginning of this summer two miles were my limit. I've come a long way and I feel good about it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Week 3, Run 4: 6.37mi in c. 1:07

Oh, baby. I did do my long run yesterday, 6.3 mi to be exact, and it was really hard. But I did it, without stopping, so I now I know I can. I thought my knees would hurt from running the two days prior, but they were fine the whole time... until now! This morning, they're KILLING me!

That being said, I'm glad I did my long run on my day off, because my muscles were tired for the rest of day and it would have been tough to stand at work. I will make that a habit from now on!

And now I have to go to work. Happy Saturday, normal people.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting a strong core

Week 3, Run 3: 3.22 mi in 30:00 min.

Whew! The knees are hurtin'.

I had an easy 5k run on the treadmill this morning, after finally doing some weights. My old swim coach (as in childhood, from when I lived in Maryland) is the Fitness Manager at the gym I now go to in Philly-- small world, eh? When I first joined, he set up a weight plan for me, and I do it sporadically at best. Yesterday he got on my case about it, so I promised I'd start doing it for real.

Realistically, I really should. Strength training will help me with running, keep me toned, and it's something to do while I'm waiting to digest my breakfast instead of watching TV at home. :) So I tried it this morning, and I'm feeling good.

I have the day off tomorrow, so if my knees aren't hurting too much, I'm going to try to do my long run. Sunday's was great, but going to work afterwards and standing/running around for 8 hours was not an easy feat by any means. Anytime I run before work, my lower back kills me the rest of the day.. but the more I run, the worse it is. Naturally.

Well, time to hop on the bike and go slice bread! We've all got to earn a living somehow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When I grow up, I want to be a runner!

Week 3, Run 2: 4.28 miles in 37 min, n/incl CD

After my 5.4 miles on Sunday, I had planned on resting Monday and running Tuesday.. but you know, shit happens. And it did. So I rested both days, which resulted in me feeling incredibly lazy by the time night time rolled around, so I was pretty eager for a run this morning.

I had a pretty decent 4 mi. treadmill run. It's funny, because I think I'm beginning to feel like a runner. I'm not there yet. My sister EmLit is a runner, and both of my sisters are so inspiring to me. Someday, though, I would like to think of myself as a "runner", the way I now think of myself as a "musician" (that one was a long time coming!).

I also weighed myself today and found that I am almost 2 lbs. heavier than the weight I had gotten to earlier this summer through dieting, but I think I'm more toned, so I'm not going to worry about it. As they say, "Eat to run, don't run to eat!" I'm running because I love the way it makes me feel, I love the energy it gives me, and because I want to have a healthy anchor for the rest of my life.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Week 3, Run 1: 5.4 miles in 51 mins (9:28/mi)

First off, didn't run yesterday. I don't feel bad about it, because I actually hit the 4 run mark w/out running yesterday, and that's progress enough.

This morning, I had been planning on doing my "long" run, but wasn't so sure if I could do more than 4 miles outside. It was really nice out, though-- nice and breezy, pre-storm weather, and actually under 80 degrees! Amazing, I know. So I mapped out a route down to the Schuykill river and along it for a bt that equalled 5 miles total, and then I went for it.

The first half was really hard, and I all I could think about was how hard the run back would be. But once I reached the river and was treated to the cross winds, I found some hidden energy and perked up a bit. I felt like I was running really slow, but that was okay. I'm still a beginner. I used to live right around there, and last summer I ran along the river every day-- now that's a great place to run! Running further and further is like a reward for your efforts because the farther out you go the prettier it is.

On the way back I ran up the steepest hill so I could get it over with quickly, then settled down into a slower pace. It was then that I realized why the way out was so hard: it was all uphill! The second half of my run was all downhill and such a breeze that I tacked on an extra .4 miles and ended up finishing in 51 minutes.

And boy, did I stretch.

And eat a great lunch : see?

And now I'm going to work with a nice amount of endorphines, on a lovely rainy Sunday, feeling very proud of myself for sticking through that whole run. That was my first 5 mile-straight run in my life.


Friday, August 8, 2008

4 runs at last!

Week 2, Run 4: 4.04 in 35 min (n/i CD)

Once again, I woke up too late too run this morning, but I did make it to the gym this evening for a run. It's a funny thing, walking through my 'hot-spot' neighborhood at 8pm on a Friday night to go to the gym. Everyone is out and about, mid schmooze-and-booze, and here I am, in my gym shorts and running shoes. I always go back and forth about whether or not I like my neighborhood. I guess I'd rather live next to a less trashy night-life area, but you can't win them all. And it is nice to be within walking distance of everything I need (really, everything).

Good run at the gym, and a little self-congratulatory pat on my own back for successfully completing 4 runs this week. I decided not to focus on XTing since I ride my bike 3-5 days a week and that is XTing. If I'm up to it after work tomorrow (a morning shift! yay, actually!) I plan on doing a quick 2 mile run to make up for my shorty on Monday.

Until then, imaginary friends!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What does coffee really cost?

This morning, I had Phil wake me up when he woke up (I had instructed him to not let me talk him into letting me sleep again, so I didn't even try to) at 7:30. I ate breakfast, drank coffee, and watched an episode of Gilmore Girls.

I had 2 cups of coffee, and I was still dozing off come 8:45 (15 minutes before my scheduled run). What's up with that? Am I really so addicted to coffee that 2 mugs does virtually nothing anymore? Or could this be a result of me running and not properly fueling myself? I know I get enough of the basic stuff, i.e. protein, fat, fiber, etc. but I don't really pay much attention to my iron intake or various vitamins. I'm going to start taking that multi-vit, I really am, and maybe that will make a difference. I wish people actually read this so they can give me advice.

Anyway, I moved my lazy butt outside and started my run, which I had mapped out using my training log from I thought 4 miles outside was a little ambitious, since that's my treadmill limit and I've only run outside once this summer (Sunday) and it didn't go well. Today, however, started out well, probably because my neighborhood is pretty and I recently discovered a whole area that I'd ever been before down Front St. There was a little path surrounded by flowers for a good 4 or 5 blocks-- nice! I baskd in "nature" for a moment or two before veering into the dirty city which we all know so well.

I really do hate running past smokers. I don't blame them at all, in fact I blame myself for mapping out a course that goes through one of the busiest areas of the city. But dare inhale next to someone enjoying their morning fix, and your throat immediately constricts. Ah well, lesson learned. Or maybe it wasn't really that bad.

Anyways, despite dirty Philly, I ran the full 4.1 miles. I didn't think I was going to make it at the end, but I found hidden strength and pulled through. Yay for me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Feeling better?

Back to the 4 mile treadmill runs, if you were wondering. Yesterday taught me that I definitely need to concentrate on that particular goal in which I run outside at least once a week. It also taught me that I might not be ready for a "long" run. I mean, 4 miles is long for me.

Week 2, Run 2: 4 miles, 35 minutes (CD not included)

When I started going to the gym and running on the treadmill, I was running at 5.6 mph. It slowly increased and now I start at 6.5 and end at 8.5 for a sprint. The main reason was to fit more mileage in the same amount of time, since it's a gym and you're really only supposed to do 30 min, which no one ever sticks to. Needless to say, I feel like maybe I should stop increasing (I do 10 min @ 6.5, 10 min @ 6.7, 10 min @ 6.9, 3 min @ 7.5, 1 min @ 8, 1 min @ 8.5.... how's that for complicated?) and just do 40 minutes at 6.7 mph. I don't necessarily want to be faster, now, but I would like more endurance.

My next run will be Wednesday, so I'll give that a shot!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Well, that was funny...

Week 2, Run 1: 2.4 miles, 23 minutes, give or take.

As I mentioned, a friend was visiting this weekend. I had planned on waking up at 7:30 and running before he woke up. However, 7:30 became 8:30 and he was already awake, too, so I decided on a quick run, instead.

I normally eat and drink coffee before running, but I just woke up and ran outside. It was my first outdoor run this year, and it was SO HARD. I did 2.4 miles and just that was a major struggle. Usually, with 4 miles, I feel like I'm pushing myself, but I could go on. Not this morning. I was breathing hard the whole time and counting every block.

I'm not sure why this is. I know running outside can be more difficult than a treadmill, but even now I'm exhausted. Am I really that addicted to coffee?

Well, in 2o minutes I'm leaving to bike to work.. maybe I can get in a power nap before then!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Slowly but surely...

In my previous entry, I talked about how if I wake up too late, I won't go running. The same applies to if I drink more than one drink the night before. Combine these two hindrances, and you've got one big "I'm not going to run today" and then some guilt to boot.

So, needless to say, I did not run yesterday. I also drove to work (so no 'I'll make up for it with my bike-ride) because yesterday was my last day in a 7-days-in-a-row workweek, and hell, I deserved it.

However, I did go to the gym today, even though I woke up at 9:30. I also set a PR! Not a big deal, since I guess I'm constantly improving, but I did 4.4 miles in 39 minutes, including the 2 minutes of cooldown.

Tomorrow, if I wake up, will be an easy run since Sunday's supposed to be long. We shall see.