Archive for February, 2008

Recycling Brigades

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

This morning I got an e-mail from my friends at Clif which mentioned a new recycling  program designed to target the energy bar wrappers that are ending up in our landfills.  I went to the website which is run by a company called Terracycle and ended up signing up for the Energy Bar Wrapper Brigade, Yogurt Brigade, and the Drink Pouch Brigade.  For each Brigade a certain amount of the objects collected will equate to 5 sq. feet of rain forest saved.  I plan to advertise this at work and put bags in our office kitchens to collect items.  I will have to let everyone know how I do.  If anyone wants to join in on the fun you can sign up for your own brigade at Terracycle or I would be happy to collect items from my reading public.  If you are interested in donating to my collection just drop me an e-mail.  I e-mailed my friend to suggest that maybe it would be a good idea for her child’s school because you have the option of having the money from your donations go to a school or charity instead of towards saving the rain forest.

I have been MIA since the 9 on the 9th, but I did get a couple workouts in.  Yesterday was just a bad energy day so I missed my run.  Instead I did it this morning and plan to double up on my workouts by doing an upper body sculpting workout tonight.  Ok, so I typed it now that mean I have to do it!  Right?  My WAA miles this week have been a little lower because of the cruddy weather and such, but hopefully I can make up for it when things get a little warmer this weekend.

9 on the 9th

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Today was Nancy’s ever popular 9 on the 9th virtual race.  This was my first true long run since finishing the Disney Marathon, so I was very happy to get back into the swing of things.  Not to mention I had a birthday party today, bullroast tickets for tonight and reservations at Ruth’s Chris for tomorrow so I needed the huge calorie burn.  😉

I decided to make today and experiment.  I had picked up some Clif Shot Blocks and a new water bottle at the running store last weekend and hadn’t tried them yet.  I have to say I love the Clif Shot Blocks.  I hadn’t tried them yet because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to chew and swallow them while on the move.  After Pat’s account of how the shot blocks had an amazing effect on Karen I couldn’t resist trying them.  In the end I actually found them very easy to chew and swallow.  Actually easier so than my Sports Beans.  I will have to save the case of Sports Beans I have for my shorter long runs and get a case of Shot Blocks for my longer long runs.  😉

After the fiasco with my water belt at Disney I decided I needed to get a hand held water bottle at least until I lose enough weight that my water belt fits comfortably again.  I picked up the Nathan Quickdraw which is very similar to this model here.  It holds about 20 oz of water and the strap makes it fit comfortably in your hand.  I found it to be heavy at first, but I am not sure if it is because the bottle was heavy or if it was because of the intensive upper body workout I did yesterday.  After a while I kind of forgot it was there and enjoyed having the water at the ready whenever I needed a sip.  I didn’t overhydrate with it either.  My only true problem was the difficulty I had in blowing my nose since I had a bottle strapped to my hand.

I was very pleased with my run.  I had set out to do it in under 2 hours and came up with 1:58:05.  My splits came out thusly:

1 12:57
2 13:11
3 13:00
4 13:47
5 13:23
6 12:40
7 13:49
8 12:48
9 12:26

I am very proud that I had enough in the tank to make my final mile my fastest.  Still need to work on coming out of the gate so fast.  I have such a hard time slowing myself down when I head out the door.

Upper Body Ouchies

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Since I was suffering from tired legs yesterday I opted to concentrate on the upper body again today.  I dusted off an older FIRM workout that I have owned for several years and never done.  It was appropriately titled “Upper Body”.  After I got past the porn like music in the warm up I was greated by a very intense upper body workout.  I am going to be so sore tommorrow, but in a good way.  I must have done a hundred military presses and lat rows by the end of it.  I was surprised by the small amount of bicep work, but I think I got them covered between the several sets of push-ups.

Tomorrow is long run day.  I didn’t feel like the 6 miles from two weeks ago really counted as a long run, so I am looking forward to this.  It is actually part of Nancy’s 9 on the 9th virtual race amongst the blog running friends and folks over at Runner’s Lounge.  I plan on just taking my time and enjoying the run.  I believe I will set my goal to have it done in under 2 hours.  That is a pace of 13:20 and totally appropriate for me for a long run.

For WAA today I am giving myself 2 miles for the light aerobics of my Upper Body workout this morning.  I also walked the dog for 1 mile and plan to take her out for another 1.1 when I get home from work tonight.

Take it and Run Thursday: Half Marathon

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Half Marathon….oh how I love thee…let me count the ways.  Seriously though, half marathon is my favorite race distance and I have tried just about them all…5K, 6K, 5 mi, 7 mi, 15K, and full (surprisingly no 10K yet).  The one I have enjoyed training for and running the most has been the half.  In fact if you recall from my post about Motivation last week I am scheduled for 7 races in the next year…3 of them are half marathons and I am contemplating adding another.  So why the half marathon?

  1. It a good challenge.  One of the reasons I love running is that I can constantly challenge myself and the half marathon is one of those challenges.  My goal for this year in fact is to try to improve my half marathon time and hopefully set a new PR.  Being a half marathon I feel like this a goal I can constantly work towards instead of having to set aside a certain amount of weeks for training.  Bring it on! 
  2. It is long enough be to called a “marathon” without getting dirty looks from other runners.  Many people don’t know the true distance of a marathon.  I have heard people new to the sport say they ran a marathon and you find out they ran a 5K race.  In fact last week I was watching a news story about a little boy who is a double amputtee and they kept saying he ran a “marathon”.  Their idea of a marathon appeared to be a 1 mile race.  While that is fantastic for that little boy and I can view him as VERY motivating he didn’t run a “marathon”.  Needless to say I scoffed a little at the misrepresentation of the news media on that one.  I would have been equally impressed at this little boy’s ability to run a 1 mile race without the let down of finding out it was a 1 mile race.
  3. You can run your long run without sacrificing your entire Sunday.  That was one thing that made it hard for me to get my long runs in for my full marathon training.  I had to sacrifice around 4 hours on the road along with 1 hour of prep time and a couple hours of recovery time.  For a half marathon I only need 2 hours on the weekend for my run and maybe the hour of prep time, but it doesn’t take me several hours to recover from my run.  In fact I can fit a 10 mile run in after work and before bed and don’t even have to wait for the weekend to come if I don’t want to.
  4. It’s all about the bling!  Yes, I will admit it, part of the reason I love halves is that it is long enough for you to get a medal.  I loves me my medals.  In fact if I am looking at a half and it doesn’t say I get a finisher medal then I stop looking at it, lol.  Hey, at least I am honest. 
  5. It is a very friendly distance.  Not that 13.1 miles is not a hard distance to run, but the people that run it are awesome!  They tend to be people that have been running for a little while and have run a few other races before so they have good road ettiquette.  Most of them are very easy to talk to and are more than willing to strike up a conversation to help pass the time whether you are waiting for the start or making your way to the finish. 
  6. My parents don’t have to wait too long for me to get to the finish.  I felt bad for them at my full marathon because they had to drop me off at the start at 4:30 for a race that didn’t start till 6 and then it took me 7 hours to finish.   Talk about a long day!  At least with the half they only have to wait for between 2 and a half or 3 hours before I get to the finish.   

I could keep going and going, but I think you get the idea.  I loves the Half Marathon and I am not shy to tell people I do!  😉 

Read more on half marathons from other Take it and Run Participants.

Didn’t Go as Planned

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

My run this morning didn’t go as planned, but I have to admit the workout I selected was very ambitious to begin with.  My intentions were to do as follows:
2 mi@4.5mph
8X(0.25@5.5mph+2 min@4.5mph)
2 mi@4.5mph
Hehe, yeah right.  I could tell going downstairs that my legs were a little more tired and a little tight.  I started out with my usual walk warm-up routine which covered .43 miles.  Then I did my stretching, topped off my water bottle, and hopped back on the treadmill to stat my run.  I figured out that the intervals were going to cover more than 2 miles and since my total target for the day was only 5 miles I decided to go ahead and only do 1 mi@4.5mph.  I then headed into my intervals.  I felt sluggish on the first one and it only got worse on the second one.  During the third one I started to feel tenderness in my right knee.  This is the point where I decided I had done enough intervals.  Considering last week I covered 1.2 miles in my speed training I guess covering 1 mile this week wasn’t too bad.  I ended up following the last interval with .15 mi of walking to bring down the heart rate and try to get myself to relax.  I then started jogging again at 4.5mph and finally finished my run at 2.8 miles.  From there I did a walk cool down of .2 miles.  My total for my run was only 3.1 instead of the 5 I was aiming for.  Better than nothing and I think I still accomplished something with my speed training.