Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Treadmill is IN!!!!!!

The Treadmill is IN!!! It is put together and ready to go. I must admit I have not gotten on it for more than 5 min yet. Tomorrow is the big day. I am off work and thought I would start my 8-9 week plan. I have not been walking or running so I will use these next few days to work up to Monday and start the Couch to 5K then. I am really excited and can't wait to get started!!!!!

Last Run of 2008

I ran earlier today and Angela is right--it was windy!! I don't think I can use that as my excuse though. Only 15 minutes again, for the second time in a row. I think I did about 1.5 miles which is acceptable but not good by any stretch of the imagination. My legs felt like lead the entire time, and my lungs were barely functioning. I hope I'm not getting sick again.

It is worth mentioning, as I did on my other blog, that we recently adopted a dog named Moxie. She is 3 years old, so old enough to go on runs, but she is just as out of shape as I am...I took her with me today and she was huffing and puffing right along with me. It's somehow comforting that she and I are on the same level, although I think she will get better than me pretty soon! Still, it's nice to have a companion on my runs, no matter how awesome she will soon be.

And on a sentimental note, while I think 2008 will probably go down in history as one of my worst running years (although that statement puts a lot of pressure on my future running self), it will always hold a special place in my heart because this was the year I finally got serious about running and my health. This was the year I did my Couch to 5K plan and actually saw it through to completion. This was the year that I was mad when I was sick because I couldn't run. This was the year I finally had enough of the baby weight (4 years later) and was ready to get rid of it. This was the year Angela and I started talking on the phone every day (sometimes multiple times!) so we could discuss running. This was the year I ran over a mile without stopping and didn't die. In short, I became a different person this year, and I love it.

Running again...kind of...

So I couldn't take it anymore. The sun is shining, and I have a new gadget to play with, so I headed out for some exercise. The plan was to run and walk, but really to do whatever felt comfortable on my knee, and in terms of breathing (chest cold in if I have time for this!). I didn't go fast or far - in fact, I ran just a little and walked the rest while the wind blew dirt in my face ('s really, really windy out there today!).  I completed just 2 miles in 26 minutes (didn't I just do a 5K in just two minutes more time?!), but it felt good to be running again, if you can call it that.

Another bonus - I was too lazy to actually drive anywhere to run/walk so instead, I discovered a terrific 2 mile loop in a nearby neighborhood!  I actually took a short-cut too, so I'm excited to get back to that area and discover longer routes!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick post!

15 minutes on the elliptical machine and yoga abs/relax workouts complete.  My knee started to hurt just a little today, so back to ice and aleve... I'm trying to be cautious, but this really is no fun...

Who Knew?

Still not running....but planning to do so this weekend, if the weather is nice, or next week if not. But who knew (I bet you all's me who didn't! :-) that a elliptical machine offered such a tough workout?!  I managed 30 minutes, but I have no way of judging the workout in terms of distance (doesn't seem that distance on one of these things is the same as running distance?), but I could tell that my heart rate was up and my legs were tired!  I'm going to try again today, and this time wear the heart rate monitor. 

Speaking of, if anyone has experience with, or recommendations for a good book about, heart rate monitors, let me know - it seems like a helpful tool, but other than calculating my max heart rate and setting the % based on that, I'm not sure I know where to begin! :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh Well

My run today was probably just a warm-up run for most actual runners. I did 15 minutes, and felt bad the entire time! On the plus side, I really didn't want to run at all, but I wanted to be able to post that I did something. I guess in that respect having the accountability of this blog is good. It would be too easy to go a week without running during this rainy holiday season.

The memory of my good run from 3 days ago is still with me, and I hope to have another one like that soon. I'll keep chasing that good run.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ok, not running...but moving...

So I'm still babying my knee....and that being said, I still feel the need to report my physical activity just to make myself feel better:

-- Yoga relax and abs routines complete
-- A one-mile walk through the neighborhood, with about a minute of "running" with Shelby at a 15-minute mile pace :-)
-- Three push-ups...and no, that's not a typo - I managed three whole push-ups before I collapsed on the floor...time to give a bit of attention to my upper body strength?

Better than sitting on the couch, feeling my butt expand....but not nearly as satisfying as a run.... 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mystery Solved!

So in an effort to give my knee continued rest, but not be so lazy as to feel as though my butt is expanding by the minute, Ed and I headed to the park, for what ended up being a "picnic" of sorts. But enough on that...see the eating diary for details on that. I HAD to move a little though, so I whipped out my new Garmin Forerunner 405 (Santa was good to me!), and Ed and I walked a lap around the track while Shelby rode her bike. The distance - 1.02 miles. Ed thinks it probably is exactly a mile, with my meandering from side to side of the track accounting for the .02. Good to know!

Oh, and I'm also going to post my other fitness activities for the day, as I'm committed to doing abs and yoga on a regular basis in the coming months. I did the yoga "Relax" and "Abs" workout this morning. I won't say the abs workout felt good, but it did feel good to do it...know what I mean?! :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day After Christmas

Yesterday I decided to take off as a Christmas gift to myself, but my husband made me look bad by going out for a run without me. Today, after we all watched "Kung Fu Panda", he started getting ready to go out again, so I knew I had to too. And believe me, I was not happy about it. We ran a route that I've never run before, and it seemed very long and full of horrible hills. My husband wouldn't let me stop running, something I was NOT happy about at the time, but of course thank him for now.

In reality the course wasn't all that hilly, but there were two notable slopes that we had to try extra hard to get up. My total time was 32:11 and according to Google maps, we ran 2.9 miles. I really, really, really hope that is true, because I was starting to get pretty discouraged with my 15 minute runs. I seem to be the type that has a few really bad runs followed by one good one, just to keep me interested enough to keep running.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Jog

The family and I ran today on a very torturous Christmas Eve run. The weather is very pleasant, and everyone was feeling very jolly as we started out. That feeling went away very quickly for me, as I struggled along at a snail's pace. I'm just not sure what is going on with me lately! I barely managed to eke out 22 minutes of running, with about a minute of walking at the halfway point. We covered about 2 miles and I am now collapsed. I guess my mantra has become, "It's better than nothing"!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Trying To Beat The Dark

Today was such a busy day that I didn't think I'd manage to get a run in. But in the end I psyched myself up enough about it that I sort of had to! I got all bundled up since it is so cold today (32 degrees with lots of wind!) and off I went. The only problem was, I forgot how early and quickly it gets dark this time of year. I hadn't been running for more than 5 minutes when it was almost totally dark. We have no sidewalks in our neighborhood, minimal lighting, and a ton of crazy drivers, so I had to get home fast!

I really picked up the pace and got back home safely. I only ran for 12 minutes, which was a bummer, but I covered over a mile, so that means a faster pace than usual for me. I guess it was better than nothing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reindeer Run - again!

I'll get right to the point - finished the Reindeer Run in 28:00 officially, but five seconds faster according to my own timekeeping. Either way, still way better than the first race!

If you've read Claire's post (thanks for the comment, by the way Claire!), she said she thought the course was tougher...I, on the other hand, thought it was ridiculously hilly and difficult - a fact that was confirmed later at a birthday party by a veteran runner who claimed that the course we ran today is the hardest 5K course he's ever run! The only reason I didn't sit down on the side of the road halfway up the toughest hill and cry until someone carried me across the finish line was the fact that Ed's friend Doc ran with me. Of course, he just did it to support me (I don't think he even breathed hard at any point during the race, hills or not) and it made a huge difference.  He kept me posted on our pace and distance throughout, and of course told me I was doing a great job, etc. I think I'm going to adopt him as my new coach, assuming he'll do it for free and promise never to yell as a form of motivation!

Reindeer Run

I wrote about today's Reindeer Run on my blog but I will put a few details here, since this is our running blog, after all. Today was a bit harder for me than the last race. I think the course was tougher; it seemed much hillier than the last race. Also, last time I had a really good "first run after not running for 2 weeks" kind of day, whereas this time I have been running here and there, but have only been managing about 2 miles.

Happily though, I completed it, with an official time of 37:50. I walked for about 90 seconds when we had about 1/2 mile left-there was a giant hill that I ran up part of and walked the rest to catch my breath. I'm glad I did because it allowed me to finish strong. My husband and daughter ran with me, and I loved that. I can't wait until Laura is old enough to be running with us instead of riding in the stroller.

I don't want to spoil Angela's post by giving away her time, so I'll just say this: she totally rocked it!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick run...

Ran today for 20 minutes. Felt good to be back at it!

No run yesterday... :-(

Ok, so it's not that newsworthy, but I'm posting it anyway. I didn't get to run yesterday as planned, and I was annoyed all day as a result. I'm planning on running this afternoon though, and then taking tomorrow off in anticipation of 5K #2.... Hopefully, I'll have good news to report after today's run, and even better news to report after the race! :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Acceptable Run

26 minutes, over 2 miles, no walking, constant drizzle. I deem it acceptable.

Afterwards the husband and I did the "abs" workout on the yoga video. I can barely move now! That's hard work.

The Chatty Girl at the Gym...

So how do you make a run go by fast, but force yourself to go slower than normal in an effort to meet a time goal?  Pick the treadmill next to the chatty girl at the gym of course!  She and I talked during my entire run of 40 minutes (first 5 walking) and 3.5 miles, and as it turns out, we grew up in the same area of Pennsylvania, and she was familiar with a lot of the bars I used to frequent in college... :-) Overall, it was a great run, and one I'd label "easy" since I wasn't concerned about going a certain distance and I took my time. And, the bonus is, I really enjoyed running and socializing simultaneously!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Steps Back

If yesterday felt like I was finally taking one step forward, then today was two steps back! I ran this afternoon with my husband and we both struggled (me much more than him). I only managed 10 minutes, then walked 90 seconds, then ran 10 more minutes. I had planned on doing one more 10 minute circuit, but I was within sight of my house and just couldn't do it. I ran one more minute and collapsed at home.

On the plus side, our guilt over the bad run drove my husband and I to do some yoga for the first time ever. It was really hard! We were both sweating and sore by the end of the 20 minute routine but it made me feel better about the bad run. I hope to continue with the yoga and gain some more strength and flexibility. That can only help my running, right?!?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The stars aligned...and I've been converted!

So I've finally figured out that some days you'll have good runs, and some days you'll have not-so-good runs, and it really is all part of the process.  And I guess a lot goes into making a good run, like getting enough sleep, enough, but not too much to eat, not feeling too sore, and so on.  

But today....the stars aligned I guess, and my run was great. The temperature outside was perfect (it was about 60 degrees), so I headed to the track to battle the frustration of looking for my keys for a mere four hours today.  I ran 4 laps, which took me 40 minutes, during which I think I became an outdoor runner. It was wonderful to use time as a goal, and beyond looking at my watch as I finished each lap, I didn't care one thing about how far I'd gone, how many miles per hour I was running, or how many calories I was burning. And the best part....I got to run at my own pace, which meant slowing down going up "the hill" and speeding up as I felt like it. I know the treadmill is my best friend when it comes to fitting a workout into my day, and will continue to be for at least a while, but now I appreciate running outdoors all the more for it.   Oh...and I found my keys as soon as I got my purse where they always are...

Slowly Getting Better

I guess I'm slowly getting back on track. Today I was short on time but I still wanted to get in at least a 2 mile run. I ran for 22 minutes and was moving pretty quickly (for me!). I got 2 miles done, maybe even a bit more. Hopefully this next week will go well and I can get ready for the 5K on Saturday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Joint Run/Joint Post

I'll post quickly for both of us...Angela and I ran today around Hope Mills Park. We did one lap (about one mile), which was fine with both of us. She didn't want to undo her relaxing day, and I didn't want to die. We had Laura with us in the jogging stroller, and she kept taunting us, saying that she could run faster than us. Speaking just for myself: today, she probably could have.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Must have been the day for bad runs...

I had a terrible run too today - maybe it can be attributed to the weird weather?! I ran/walked on the treadmill, forcing myself to stay on for 25 minutes. At the 25 minute mark, I couldn't take another step, so I jumped off. I think I did just over 2 miles, but I know I couldn't have ran much more than half of that. After two days off, I expected way better, but like you, Claire, it was hot and humid in the gym...yuck...

The good news is, I'm sure there are better runs ahead for all of us!  

Worst. Run. Ever.

I hadn't run for 2 days (horrors!) so today was a "run or else" kind of day. It rained hard overnight and the streets are wet, but it was barely drizzling when I went out. What it is though, is humid. Pretty shocking for mid-December, and while I have yet to experience our summer humidity, this was pretty bad. I felt lethargic and I couldn't breathe. I have no idea if that had to do with the weather or just me being out of shape.

I'm embarrassed to report that I ran one mile. That's it. And I had to force myself to do that. The only plus side is that I ran it in 10:30, which is a quicker pace than I usually do. That in itself is embarrassing too. I long for the day that 10:30 is a super-slow pace. While I'm dreaming, it would be nice to be able to run more than a mile.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crowd photos!

Note that we can be identified at the back of all of the runners in one of these photos, if you look for Claire's green jacket - a good ego boost to start at this point, because we passed about two-thirds of these people (ok, so they were walking and pushing strollers...not the point!) about 30 seconds into the run. Yes, we're THAT awesome!

The Jingle Bell Jog - photos!

Monday, December 8, 2008

An experiment...

So I thought I'd experiment with my running today, and see what happened. I really wanted to see if I could run the distance of a 5K faster, so I focused on running exactly 3.1 miles. I started out at a ten-minute mile pace, then increased to a pace of a little over 8 and a half-minute miles, and then back to a ten-minute mile pace to finish. 3.1 miles in 28:40. I felt great throughout from a cardio perspective, but my legs got really tired!  I'm glad tomorrow is an off day for me, because I have a feeling I'm going to be a little sore! :-)

Recovery Run Part Duex

Today was another attempt at getting back on track. Nothing exciting to report...ran for 21 mins, walked 2, ran 5 more. Covered probably about 2 miles. It was cold today but not as bad as it's been. When my husband runs with me, he has been pushing the stroller for me since I still feel pretty winded while running. Hopefully I'll be back to pushing it on my own before too long.

I registered my husband and I for the Reindeer Run on the 20th. I hope I'll be able to do that race, it starts out with a huge hill which makes me nervous!

Jingle Bell Jog!!!

So rather than continue to wait for my darling husband to load photos onto my computer, I'm going to spill it regarding the 5K, and post photos later! 

Here goes....the Jingle Bell Jog was so much FUN!  Claire and I arrived together, figured out how to attach numbers and chips, froze our behinds off as we waited to start, then started late as we threw our stuff at Ed so we could catch up!  

Once we got started, Claire and I ran together for the first mile or so - and about five seconds into the race we decided that our fear of finishing last was completely unfounded....after all, lots of people walked the 5K, so finishing last would have been nearly impossible!  So what's the best part about the race?  PASSING PEOPLE!  I loved picking someone in front of me, and deciding that I was going to finish before that person. And I have to be honest - it was especially fun passing someone if that someone happened to be a boy! :-)

Results (time of course is off because we didn't start right away!): I finished in 33:01, I think... I was 23rd to finish, and the 12th girl to finish.  

It also must be noted that Claire did awesome, especially since she'd been sick and hadn't run in a while!

Next event....a 5K on December 20, then maybe a 10K????  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Recovery Run

Friday was the big 5K day, which I wrote about on my family blog. You can read about it here if you haven't already. Today was what I deemed my "Recovery Run", and that's exactly what it was. My legs were pretty sore, since I haven't run for a while and since the first mile of the 5K was entirely uphill. So I knew today would be rough. And it was.

It was downright cold today, so cold that my husband even gave in and wore a long-sleeved shirt and gloves on the run. This from the guy who ran in shorts and a T-shirt while living in Missouri last winter. I met my goal and ran for about 1.5 miles, then walked for 2 minutes, and ran a little bit longer. Altogether I ran for a little under 25 minutes, which I was pleased with. I am definitely getting back into running after being sick for so long, so I am making a point not to push myself too hard. 25 minutes of running with walking sprinkled in does not please me, but it's better than nothing! Hopefully in about a month or so 3 miles will be my "normal" run. I have a lot of work to do before then.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yesterday's run...

I ran yesterday, but have no idea how far or how fast.  I jumped off of the treadmill somewhere in the middle of the 5K program to get a drink of water, and apparently took too much time, so the treadmill reset itself and I had to start over. Overall though, it was NOT my best run, which is too bad because I was looking for a confidence booster for tomorrow. Oh well...I've finally concluded that I'll finish the race tomorrow, and not worry about the rest - besides...we'll get cool t-shirts!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Too much turkey?

So not the best run today, and a treadmill run, at that (yep, I've pretty much decided that I'm a wimp about running in the cold, especially when its windy!).  I ran 3.19 miles, took me over 30 minutes though...maybe 35?  I was tired, and stopped to walk for a bit in the middle. At least it was something. more run on my own, and 3 days, before the Jingle Bell Jog.  The countdown begins!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Claire, I didn't realize how brave you are!

I finally had the courage to register for the Jingle Bell Jog 5K and I have to say that until I did it, I didn't realize how brave you are, Claire!  I almost chickened out about 20 times during the registration just made it so OFFICIAL!  But, register I did....and the good news is, the forecast looks better for Friday, so I may not only register, but actually show up! :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Around the park...

So it was two laps around the HM Park for me today, as Ed and Shelby played on the swings and slides. Not my fastest (I think it took me 20 minutes?), or my farthest, but the weather was great and it felt good to run outside.  So this week's plan is to run on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday....and skip Thursday in anticipation of the big 5K on Friday.  The plan after the 5K?  New shoes, I believe...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today I went for a quick morning run with my husband and daughter to burn some calories before our yummy dinner at Angela's. My run yesterday left me feeling sore and tired, so I knew today would be a challenge...and it was! I managed 20 minutes of running (less than 2 miles) and came home with a sore ankle. I was pretty disappointed with my bad showing, but I have to be realistic-it's going to take me a while to get back on track. But overall, it wasn't a total loss: the weather was beautiful, it was nice to be out running with my family, and it's wonderful to feel like a runner again!

Now I'm off to make my contributions for dinner: mashed potatoes and peanut butter cookies. Yum!

Our own Turkey Trot!

Just a quick post during a cooking break to say Ed and I left Shelby with Ed's brother Rick this morning to get in a quick run - the first time Ed's run with me (and the first time he's run in a long time, period!). We did two laps around the Hope Mills track, walking/running. It was not the most challenging run, but it was wonderful to be together.  A great start to our Thanksgiving for we eat! :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What A Relief

It's been a rough week. Something has felt off about my life. I've been feeling stressed and overwhelmed, sick and tired, and generally grouchy. But that all evaporated today when I went for my first run in 8 days. What a relief to be well enough to run again. What a blessing to have a husband who could see my desperate need to get out of the house and do something for myself. What a joy to run through my neighborhood and see my usual sights. I was even happy to gasp for breath and feel the burn in my thighs. That's just how happy I am to be running again.

I went out today with the goal to do one mile. I knew I had to meet that goal or I would feel like I was starting all over again. So I was pleasantly surprised to be able to do 2 miles fairly easily. It took me 23 minutes, not so bad for a girl who was just in the ER on Saturday! I don't think I could have run another mile, but walking would have been no problem. If I continue to feel this good (or better), I know I can complete the race next Friday. Hopefully I can get in a few more good runs before then!

Another treadmill run...

So my schedule put me back on the treadmill this morning (I'm hanging out at Shelby's school using the free wireless internet and working out, waiting to participate in her Thanksgiving Feast!)... I had a great run though!  

I decided to keep with the slow pace and focus on endurance today, so I walked for three minutes, ran at a pace of ten-minute miles, and then walked for another two minutes.  45 minutes total....4.32 miles....  Oh, and the treadmill says I burned about 450 calories, which means I can have a bigger piece of apple pie at the feast, right? :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Back!!!!

So I finally am able to run again!  In fact, I ran my longest run yet - 4.27 miles!!!!  Since I've not had a really good run in a week, I took it slow - 10 minute miles, with just a few minutes running 9 minute miles - but it felt really, really good. I could have run farther, but didn't want to over do it on my first day "back." 

Oh, I suppose its worth mentioning that I ran on the treadmill today, after I said I was not going to until after the 5K.... I really needed a confidence booster though - I was starting to think I'd forgotten how to run...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2 hurt, but it was good...

Ran/walked two miles (two laps, which I guess is two miles?) outside this afternoon around the Hope Mills Park. I can definitely feel the effects of not running much over the last week, but it felt really good to get back to it. As pitiful as it was, this was my best run since last Tuesday (I think!), and I'm excited to get back on track (ha ha!).  No more running on the treadmill for me until after the 5K if I can help it - I've got to get ready!  

Friday, November 21, 2008

Treadmill Repairs - and a 10K?

Susan - what did you find out about your treadmill?  Hopefully it's an easy fix, and not too expensive. I can't wait to hear all about your running progress!  If I can do it, so can you!

By the way, girls - there's a Cinco de Mayo 10K in Fayetteville in May 2009 - I'm thinking that I can be ready for that for sure....anyone with me?!

I feel better about feeling worse? Seriously?

So I think it's official, and that I really have a cold. That actually makes me feel better in a strange way, because I was starting to wonder, "If I'm not sick, then what the heck is wrong with me and why can't I run?!" I did actually run sort of today....15 minutes of walking/running on the treadmill, all the while feeling like crap. I feel good about giving it a shot, but can't wait to begin actual running again......

If I can't run tomorrow, I'm going to devote the time I would have spent running to developing a formal running "countdown to 5K" plan!  Or maybe I should do that anyway...I'll figure it out sooner or later...or by the 5K, I guess...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hate Being Sick!

This is my first non-running post. I'm sick and I'm mad that I'm not posting today about my great run!! If this was just say, January, and I had no races scheduled, that would be one thing. But I'm supposed to run a 5K in two weeks and another one a few weeks later and I need to be getting ready!!

I did get some good advice today though from the dad of one of Laura's classmates. He said on race day (he'll be doing the 10K), he plans on wearing something to cover his mouth in the beginning of the run, so the cold air doesn't mess him up too much. He thought that would be a good idea for someone like me (he meant an asthmatic, not a loser, luckily), and even more so if I am still getting over being sick. I think Daniel has something like that so I will steal it from him and hope that it helps me. I know just what he means though-my run on Tuesday was almost painful in the beginning with the cold air just slicing my lungs. I'm sure that probably contributed to my current low health, but it was worth it since I loved that run!

Better days ahead?

Got on the treadmill today feeling great after two days off, and I had every intention of running using the 5K button... But, things didn't go so well! I couldn't get into a rhythm, and my legs got tired really quickly. I don't think I stayed on for more than 15 minutes. :-( I got a phone call at about that time, and I was glad for the excuse to be done with it.  I'm not sure what my problem was, but I'm sure I'll have a better run tomorrow. At least I tried... 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Definition of aspire: to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

Curosity has brought me to this blog and I could not help but be aspired. Is that a word? Not sure....anyway. I found the blog to be very aspiring and really wanted to get in on the fun. Running and fun somehow, however, are not two words I commonly use together. Maybe that is about to change. My first challenge is to get my treadmill fixed. Currently not in working order and has become more of a coat hanger, pant hanger and dust collector than an actual object to make me look and feel better. Will have to call and see if that can be fixed tomorrow. The idea of starting off running in this cold weather just does not sound like an option for me at this point. But big butt and legs were never my first option in life either. Missed out on big boobs option too. Anywho..........thanks for the aspiration from the blog which will aspire me to run. Can't wait to let you know how this goes!!!

5K (ish)

I'm off to take Laura to dance, but I had to share before I leave: I ran 3 miles today!! I've been feeling pretty sick and haven't run since Friday, and it's been driving me crazy. I went to the doctor today and she said my lungs are clear and hopefully I won't get too sick, so I felt good to go ahead and run today. Too bad I picked the first really cold day in a while. We even got snow flurries earlier this afternoon!

But I was prepared-Angela and I went shopping today and among other things (running shirts for her, candy for me-no wonder I can't run very fast!) we bought matching headbands that keep your ears warm and even have a hole for your ponytail. I was so excited to try mine out, so once Daniel came home we bundled up Laura and set out. I made Daniel push Laura this time to give myself a break.

I did my mile loop twice, and then an extra mile through the neighborhood. I'd say it was right around 3 miles, maybe a tad over. I finished in 36:30, not too bad at all. It was really cold, and got windy towards the end, but I was so excited to be out running that it was all worth it. I think though, that I tend to have pretty good days after I haven't run for a while, so I don't know if I'll fare so well again tomorrow. But if I still feel okay, I hope to run with Angela tomorrow. Maybe I can make it around the park three times!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love the 5K button....

Back to the treadmill for me, and I took one minute off of my 5K time - 3.39 miles in 32:30. And I just realized that the 5K workout builds in two hills....duh!  Makes me feel a bit better though mentally (maybe those hills outside are not as scary now that I know I've been doing them on the treadmill?) and makes me feel a bit worse in my butt muscles hurt...  The bad news about going to the gym is that the personal trainer dude told me today that running does more damage than good!?!  WHATEVER!   How on earth can I take advice from a guy that would undoubtedly wear a bigger bra than I do?  Exactly....I can', make that WON'T!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Running Outside....

So I've decided that running outside is actually possible...although gentle breezes seem to turn into hurricane force winds, and gentle slopes into steep hills... Anyway, I ran today around the track at Hope Mills Park - with an audience no less, as Ed and Shelby went along to scooter, swing, and generally cheer me on. I made three laps in about 30 minutes, give or take a minute or two. Hard for me to say precisely because I was using the timer on my iPod, and didn't remember to stop or start it at the right times! Felt like I was crawling about half of the time, but Ed said I looked like I was "maintaining a good pace..." Of course, he couldn't see me when I was struggling up the "hill" by the cemetery! :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Slow Going

Today was a killer! I had the wind to contend with, not to mention a small child in a jogging stroller and all of her necessary paraphernalia (princess CD player, umbrella, sweatshirt, water bottle). I mapped out a 2 mile course before running because I wanted to get a good idea of my mile pace. I think in an effort to feel awesome, I ran the first mile relatively "quickly". Now quickly for me is not quickly for most people-my first mile was 11:30. Yikes. But here are my excuses: it was windy, I was tired, Laura is heavy, and I am getting a cold. All valid excuses, I suppose. I guess though, I am happy with that time because my second mile took longer: 12:45. I ran for a total of 24:25, and completed two miles. Our last leg of the journey, it was so windy that my headphones started to blow out of my ears!

I was so exhausted at the end and I know I could not have ran an extra mile. I could have walked another one no problem though, which is encouraging. Hopefully next time I run without Laura it will feel easier. This has been a couple of bad days in a row, so I am hoping soon I will have a good run!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Macaroni and cheese...

For future NOT eat too much homemade macaroni and cheese at lunch and then try to run, no matter how good it tastes!  

That being said, I actually did have a really good run this afternoon, but I'm wondering how good it would have been had I not eaten such a big lunch?!  Bottom line...ran at a slower pace than yesterday, with the goal of simply running until I was done running. Then a girl got on the cross-trainer beside me, and my competitive switch turned on (she of course, had no idea that I was "racing" her - or more like trying to outlast her!)....3.36 miles in 35 minutes, first three minutes and last three minutes were walking. Slower than yesterday, but still! :-)  

Jingle Bell Jog

I just registered for my first 5K race! It's on December 5th at Fort Bragg. I'm suddenly feeling very unprepared. Unlike Angela, I have yet to actually run a 5K!! Can I get ready in just 3 short weeks?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Finally had the nerve to push the 5K button on the treadmill, and I completed a total of 3.38 miles in 33:26 - both faster and farther than I've run yet....I'm going to have to reconsider the time of day I work out - these afternoon runs are so much better!

Going to locate the Aleve, and then go to bed. My legs are tired!

Treadmill Run

It's rainy today and I was looking for what I thought would be an easy run on a treadmill. Turns out I can't run no matter what the venue is! I really struggled today (again) and even had to stop for a moment to stretch out my ankles. I think I must just run in an odd way since I still feel bothered by my ankles.

On the plus side, I think running on the treadmill allowed me to run faster than normal, although it burned up a lot of energy! I ran for 25 minutes and was on the treadmill for 35 minutes altogether. Covered a tiny bit over 2.5 miles. I suppose that's quite an improvement from a month ago but I'm just not satisfied. I felt like I should have been able to run for 30 minutes today and covered 3 miles. My running over the next few days will probably include pushing Laura in the stroller which always slows me down. Hopefully next week I can get in a 3 mile run. I really want to experience that before the race.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Running

Today was another run around the Hope Mills Park. I went with a new friend who has run a marathon in the past, so I sure was nervous! I think I did a pretty good job of keeping up with her and we did 2 times around the track, which seems to be about all I can handle right now. She didn't have her tracker with her, but she thought it was only about 2 miles. I hope it's a bit more since I was feeling pretty awesome doing 2.5 miles! It took us about 22 minutes which was good, but I'm guessing she is probably right-my pace isn't quick enough to do 2.5 miles in 22 minutes. Bummer! I guess that means I need to kick my running into the next gear if I'm going to be ready for my first race on December 5th. That's only about 3 weeks away!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

At Least the Squirrel Was Impressed

I got another run in today, but I felt like I was about to collapse the entire time. My personal trainer (aka husband) and I ran the track around the Hope Mills Park and it was a rough run for me. Both of my ankles were hurting today, but I powered through and was able to do a little over two laps and run for a total of 27 minutes. The jury is still out on how to measure that track-my husbands says we did maybe about 2.5 miles. I have plans to run the track on Wednesday with another running Mom who has a tracker, so hopefully soon we'll know how long the track is!

On the plus side, a rather plump squirrel saw me running and I like to think he was impressed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

3rd Day in a Row

Quick recap - Walked 3 minutes, ran for 17 minutes, covered 2 miles! Didn't have much time, so I ran faster than usual to see what it felt like. My legs are tired, but if I wasn't short on time, I could have run farther. Surprising for my third day in row of running... Off to Birmingham...Happy Running! :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enough With the Wind Already!

I saw Angela's post from earlier and felt inspired (or guilty-you decide). So off I went! The wind today was really something and I felt like I was walking in place half the time. But I think I did a pretty good job today-30 minutes of running. Google Maps says I ran about 2.6 miles. I have no idea how accurate that is, but I'm encouraged. I probably could have forced myself to run another half mile if I had it seems a 5K will be doable! It's funny 5K goal doesn't seem quite so lofty anymore. I can't wait until I've done a few and can start worrying about a 10K.

A Good Saturday Morning...

Heading out the door, but before I do, here's a recap of my run this morning:

-- Walked about 3 minutes
-- Ran slowly for about 3 minutes
-- Ran two ten-minute miles (20 minutes total)
-- Walked for about 2 minutes
-- Ran the last 2 minutes...

Total time - 30 minutes
Total distance - 2.77 miles

Slightly better than yesterday in terms of distance....but it felt better because of the longer, quicker run in the middle...

I've finally decided I need a formal plan to make sure I continue to improve...and that I need a Shuffle, and new running clothes...

Friday, November 7, 2008


Really busy today, so a quick post....

Ended up at 2.67 miles after 30 minutes (speed varied).......felt good!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Taking the day off... I can run tomorrow, Saturday and least that's the plan....

Just so we can sound cool when we talk about running...

Common Abbreviations

Many of these are self explanatory; others you will find more info about below.

AG is Age Group.
AR is American Record
AT is Achilles Tendon.
BQ is to Boston Qualify as in qualify for the Boston Marathon.
C25K is couch to 5K.
CR is course record
DFL is Dead &$%&* Last
DNF is Did Not finish
DNS is Did not start
DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness
ED is an eating disorder.
EIA is exercise induced asthma
EPO refers to Erythropoietin; in the running context generally means a performance enhancing drug.
FE is a "forum encounter" -- to meet someone from here face to face.
FF is a fast finish
GA[b/] is general aerobic
[b]GPS is global positioning system; see Garmin below.
HR is heart rate
IOC is International Olympic Committee
ITBS refers to the illotibial band syndrome, a common overuse running knee injury.
LRS is local running store.
LSD is long slow (steady) distance.
MP is marathon pace.
MPM is usually minutes per mile
MPW Miles per week.
MHR is maximum heart rate
MTSS is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome; another name for "shin splints."
NB is New Balance, a shoe company.
NSAID is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug; ie Advil, Aleve, Motrin, etc.
PDR is Philadelphia Distance Run
PF is plantar fascitis
PM as used here is a personal message, a private communication
PR and PB is personal record or personal best.
PT is physical therapy.
PW is personal worst.
Quads quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh
RD is Race Director
RHR is resting heart rate
ROM is range of motion
RR is race report or running related
RT Running Times.
RW Runner's World.
SFX is stress fracture
TM is treadmill
USATF is USA Track and Field
WR is world record
XC is Cross Country
XT is Cross training

* General Running Terms

10% Rule is a general guideline that says don't increase your weekly mileage by more than about 10% each week. An alternate rule is Daniels' rule not to increase more than the number of workouts you do per week; i.e. if you run five times per week, then you can increase by five miles a week.

Aerobic means simply that something requires oxygen. Aerobic exercise requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body's increased oxygen demand. Contrast with anaerobic.

Anaerobic means simply without oxygen or not requiring oxygen. This is exercise performed at a high intensity and requiring a rate of energy production greater than that supplied by aerobic respiration.

Base is how many miles you are running; for example if you run 30 miles per week, that is your base. This is somewhat simplified, but gives you the general idea.

Carb Loading basically this just means trying to maximize the storage of glycogen (a form of energy) in one's muscles before a race.

Chronograph is a fancy name for a runner's watch. The stop watch mode where you time your runs is known as the Chronograph mode.

Cross country is usually a fall sport at the high school and college levels; it is a running event in which runners must run a course consisting of varying terrain. In team events, the first five runners to cross the finish line score for their team. The team with the low score wins. 1 point is awarded to first, 2 points to second, 3 to third and so on. A perfect score in a Cross Country meet is 15 points.

Cross training is another aerobic exercise such as swimming, cycling, cross country skiing used to complement running or when you are injured and can't run.

Couch to 5k is a beginners running plan. Couch 2 5K site.

Doubles refers to doing two runs in the same day. Singles would be doing just one run. So if someone says "I did 50 miles this week, all singles" they are saying "I ran 50 miles this week, all as once-a-day runs."

Elite refers to those really super fast folks who usually don't have to pay for shoes because they get them sponsored.

Fuel Belt a type of belt you wear around your waist that has holders for bottles to carry fuel or fluids. Other types include Amphipod (a brand) and Camelbaks (which are like back packs that you carry water in0.

Gallowalking refers to walking at certain fixed intervals, such as one minute in ten, during long runs. The phrase is named for Jeff Galloway. Also called a run-walk.

Ghost Runner is the guy (imagined or not as the case may be) that is on your heels about to pass you, used for motivation to keep up the pace. (thanks to Chuck for this one.)

GU is a type of energy gel. It's a brand name, but it's used as a generic for gels. Gels are a semi-liquid sugary snack used for a quick energy burst. Sports beans are a jelly bean product related to GU. Cliff Blocks are another similar product. Hammer Gel is another product. Etc.

Hashers or Hash House harriers are self proclaimed "drinkers with a running problem."

Heart is obviously an organ in your chest, but it also is often used in running to refer to your courage, drive, desire.

Ice Bath is what it sounds like, taking a bath in ice to help prevent next day soreness.

Jog is basically running at a slower pace, often to recover between intervals. Jogging is subjective rather than objective. One person's jog can be another person's run.

Junk miles are runs at an easy pace done in order to reach a weekly or monthly mileage total rather than for any specific benefit. A lot of people say no miles are junk, though!

Laps and Splits are your times in a race or workout at several measured intervals. Laps would be this for example, a 36:00 minute 4-mile run might have mile splits of 9:00, 8:50, 9:10, 9:00. Splits technically refer to cumulative times, e.g. if you are running 8:00 min/miles, your split times will be 8:00 @ Mile 1, 16:00 at Mile 2 and so on. Negative splits refers to running the second half of the race faster than the first. The opposite is a positive split where you run the first half faster. Even splits would be running essentially the same time for both halves of the race. (Thanks to Toronto Guy for clarification on this one.)

Master is an athlete 40 years of age or older.

Out and back means a course you run out a certain distance, then turn around and run back. A loop is simply that -- you start in one spot and run in a big circle.

Personal Record or Personal Best means you ran your best time at the distance. Can be used as a verb "I PRed this weekend at the local 5K."

Pheidippides was this awesome Greek dude who ran the 24 miles or 39 kilometers from Marathon to Athens in 490 BC with news of a Greek victory over the Persians. After delivering the message, he collapsed and died. Marathons are named for his feat. (It's a long story about why it's 26.2 versus 24 ...)

Road Kill - You become road kill when during a race you are passed by a faster runner. (thanks to Chuck for this one)

Runner is a person who RUNS. Please stop asking what is the difference between a runner or a jogger. If you're interested enough in the sport to come here, the chances are excellent that yes, you're a runner no matter how slow or fast you are or whether you ever enter a race or not.

Runner's High is a feeling of happiness and euphoria following running. Seems to be caused by endorphins. Not everyone experiences it.

Snot Rocket is a way to clear your sinuses when you're running; as in "I launched a snot rocket." Ask the board for technique suggestions. Also known as a farmer's blow.

Sprints are usually the races 400 meters and below in track and field. To sprint means to run as hard and as fast as you possibily can, usually for a relatively short distance.

Streak means you run at least one mile continuously for such and such number of days, weeks, months, or years in a row. These can get VERY long.

Triathlon combines swimming, biking, and running, usually in that order. There are various distances.


* Medical Terms

If you have a medical problem, you should always seek the advice of a competent medical professional, not this board.

Acetaminophen is brand name Tylenol. A pain killer that does not have anti-inflammation properties. Compare with corticosteroids and NSAIDs below.

Achilles Tendonitis is a painful and often debilitating inflammation of the Achilles tendon (heel cord).
Also sometimes called Achilles tendinitis.

Analgesic a drug that relieves pain. Can be anything from Tylenol to Vicodin to even "harder" stuff ...

Anterior is front.

Bonk means to run out of energy, to "hit the wall" ... It's not fun.

Corticosteroids are drugs such as Medrol, prednisone, or cortisol. They are used to reduce inflammation by signalling tissues to break down. They are very powerful, useful drugs but have side effects, especially with long term use. Compare with NSAIDs (below).

Diuretic is a drug that increases the rate at which water is excreted through the kidneys.

Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are used by cells to give rise to nerve impulses and muscular contractions. In layman's terms: these are important. You can get them through sports drinks.

Hyponatremia literally means water intoxication. If you take in too much water during competition it can cause an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood. This may be fatal.

Illotibial Band Syndrome refers to pain in the fibrous tendon band (aka the IT band) that runs from your hip to the outside of your knee; pain is common in the outside part of the knee.

Lateral is outside or facing the side of the body -- i.e. wear on the lateral part of your shoe is wear near the pinky toe.

Medial is inside or facing the middle of the body.

Mitochondria is the "powerhouse" of your cells -- they provide energy for the rest of the cell by oxidizing nutrients to produce ATP.

Morton's Neuroma is an enlarged nerve that usually occurs in the third interspace, which is between the third and fourth toes. The most common symptom of Morton's neuroma is localized pain in the interspace between the third and fourth toes.

NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most are available over the counter (OTC) and include Aleve, Advil, Motrin, etc.

Orthopedist is a doctor who takes care of injuries involving bones, structures, etc.

Over training is when a runner trains too much too soon and leads to fatigue, injury and/or burn-out. Symptoms can include being irritable, a higher than fast heart rate, no desire to train, etc.

Patella is your kneecap.

Plantar Fascitis is an often chronic problem of the foot that can be very painful. Pain is usually located in the arch near the heel. In most cases of plantar fasciitis, pain is more severe following periods of inactivity.

Piriformis is a pain in the butt - literally! In more technical terms this is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve.

Podiatrist is a medical doctor specially trained to take care of feet.

Posterior is back or behind.

Primary care doctor sometimes referred to also as a PCP (primary care physican) is basically your family doctor. Often the first person you'll see for a running injury; they may refer you to perhaps an orthopedist or a podiatrist for further treatment. There are also doctors who specialize just in sports medicine as well.

RICE is Rest Ice Compression Elevation -- what you should do in general with an acute (new, fresh) injury for the first 24 hours or so.

Runner's Knee is a condition called Chondromalacia patella. That's why we call it runners knee. Toronto Guy adds: Runner's knee is also commonly known as PFS (Patello-Femoral Syndrome) It's your kneecap (patella) rubbing on the front of your thigh bone (femur). Most often caused by overuse - doing too much too soon - ostheoarthritis, insufficient muscle development and/or improper alignment, including wrong or worn-out shoes or running on slanted pavement.

Runner's Trots refer to gastrointestinal problems on the run. AKA "Digestion Disasters!"

Seamoiditis is inflammation of the sesamoid bones. In humans it occurs on the bottom of the foot, just behind the large toe. Pain in the forefoot under the pad of the big toe may be this.

Shin Splints is pain anywhere between your knee and your ankle. Could be a stress fracture, medial tibial stress syndrome, compartment syndrome ... Multiple causes, multiple solutions, even possibly multiple possible injuries might be causing it. Very common, especially in new runners. Toronto Guy adds that: "Shin splints are more of a symptom of an underlying condition than a condition in itself. One other reason could be inflammation of connective tissue (periosteum), known as periostitis. Shin splints are typically manifested as anterior (front of lower leg) or medial (inside, facing the other leg) pain. A pain in the back of your lower leg is not shin splints, it's probably a calf strain."

Stitch is a side cramp, usually on the right side.


* Types of Runs

These are some different types of runs you will see referred to on the board. All of these types of runs are done to accomplish different goals and objectives.

"_______ pace runs" refer to running your predicted or expected race pace. So if a workout were to call for doing miles at "marathon pace," that means running at your predicted marathon pace per mile. That could be anything from 5:00/mile for someone fast to 12:00 minutes a mile for someone slower. A 5K race plan may call for doing intervals (explained below) at your 1 mile race pace. A good way to figure out your expected paces is to use an online calculator. The McMillian Calculator is excellent.

A tempo run is a run at around your 10K race pace (or about 80-85% of your heart rate or so). Traditionally tempo runs were 20 minutes or so in length, but they vary. It's often described as being "comfortably hard" -- it's a challenging, but managable pace. You want to finish a tempo feeling challenged, but not exhausted. Most tempo runs consist of ten to fifteen minutes of easy running, then the tempo part, then ten to fifteen minutes to cool down. Tempo runs build speed and teach your body to run at a certain pace.

Related to tempo runs are cruise intervals. Like tempo runs, these runs are designed to help you learn to deal with the accumulation of lactate; they are sometimes called lactate threshold runs. Don't worry too much about what that means right now. Cruise intervals are usually 3 to 15 minutes in length, with 1 minute or so of recovery for each five minutes of run time.

A fartlek is a fun word that you can say and make non-runners snicker. It simply is an informal way of doing speed work. It's a Swedish word meaning "speed play." In a fartlek, you would run hard to say the next telephone pole, then slow down, then run hard again to the next object. It's just basically bursts of speed in the middle of a workout. It can be easy or hard. There's no set distance or speed, it's very loose and informal. Fartleks are good for a beginning runner who wants to dabble in speedwork.

Intervals (sometimes called "repeats") usually refer to track work, though you can do them elsewhere. Usually intervals consist of a set distance (say 400 meters, 800 meters, a mile) that you run at a set, usually fast pace. Between the intervals, you would recover by either jogging slowly or walking. People often do them on the track because the track is obviously measured. An example of an interval workout might be 4x800. This means you are going to run four sets of 800 meters (or about a half mile) at a certain pace. Between those faster runs, you will walk or jog to recover. Often an interval workout will give you the pace you're supposed to run and the time you should take to rest. Usually rest time is roughly equivalent to how much time it takes you to run the distance. So in our 4x800 example, if you were doing the 800s in 4:00 minutes (8:00 mpm pace), you would take about 4:00 rest. Intervals build your pace and speed.

Some types of intervals ... Repetitions which are a form of intervals that are faster and shorter than VO2max intervals with full recovery betwen them (usually 4-6 times as long as the repetition). These are used for improvement of anaerobic capacity, running form and running economy. Ladder which means an interval workout of increasing interval lengths, such as 200-400-600-800 meters. A Cutdown which is the opposite of a ladder or an interval workout of decreasing interval lengths, such as 800-600-400-200 meters. Pyramid is a combination of a ladder and a cutdown, such as 200-400-600-800-600-400-200 meters. (thanks to Jim2 for defining several terms in this section.)

Just a brief word about the track .... If you visit the track to do a workout, know that most tracks are 400 meters in length. (There are some quarter mile tracks, but most are 400 meters.) A mile is roughly equivalent to 4 laps around the track. A mile is actually a little longer than 1600 meters. If you want to do a true timed mile, find the common finish line. (It's usually located at near the end of the straightaway in front of the home stands. Usually has numbers painted there.) Go back 9 meters and there should be a line. Thats where the mile would begin.

Long Runs are typically 25-30% of your weekly mileage or so and are usually done once a week. These are usually done at a comfortable, fairly easy pace. We often refer to them here as LSD -- long, slow distance. An appropriate long run distance is determined by your goals. A long run might be anywhere from 5 miles to 25 or more (for an ultramarathoner).

The easy run or a recovery run is simply a run at an easy pace done for recovery purposes or just simply enjoyment. Most of a beginners runs should be easy runs.

Jogs usually refer to slow running done to recover between intervals. Runners and (especially) non-runners will sometimes use the term "jog" for a slow run for exercise. Runners tend to prefer to refer to what they do as running; but usually know that if a non-runner refers to you as a jogger, they probably don't mean any harm.

You will also hear about hill repeats -- these typically are runs up a hill to build strength. I personally hate hill repeats, so I prefer to run hilly courses instead.

Strides are short, controlled bursts of running of 50 to 150 meters designed to improve efficiency, work on form, etc. Often done at the end of a run.

Warm Up is a period of slower running prior to faster running. Cool down is slower running at the end of faster running. This is also sometimes called a warmdown.


* Runner's World Plan Terms

These are quoted from Runner's World from their training plans. If you're following one of their plans and you're lost on terminology, this may help you out.

AI or Aerobic Intervals. You push the pace. But just a little. Find a tempo that feels somewhere between comfortable and "Hey, I'm workin' a little here." Don't run this too hard. Trying to add too much intensity while you're also increasing mileage spells I-N-J-U-R-Y. When you finish the timed AI, jog very slowly until your breathing returns to normal, then work back into your regular pace. On all other days, just run your assigned miles as you feel.

GP or Gentle Pickups At the end of your run, walk for several minutes, then slowly increase your leg turnover on a flat stretch for 100 meters--the straightaway on a track--up to the point where you start to breathe hard. Hold it there for 10 to 20 meters, then gradually slow down. Walk to full recovery before you start the next one. The purpose of both AI and GP is to improve your stamina, leg speed, running efficiency, and to make your normal pace feel more comfortable. What's more, this kind of up-tempo running adds variety to your training. Always a good thing.

Pace Intervals (PI): Relatively lengthy repetitions at your goal half-marathon per-mile pace to build endurance and develop pace judgment.

Cruise Intervals (CI): Run at 10-K race pace to promote stamina and the ability to run strong when tired.

Speed Intervals (SI): Run at 5-K race pace to promote relaxed speed and a sense of comfort at your considerably slower half-marathon pace.

Strides (S): Over 100 meters, gradually accelerate to 90 percent of all-out, hold it for 5 seconds, then decelerate. Walk to full recovery after each.

Fatigue Fighter Intervals (FFI): FF Intervals combine Speed and Pace Intervals nearly back-to-back-to-back (very short recoveries) to work on maintaining pace and staying relaxed as you gradually tire. Yes, they're challenging. Jog five to seven minutes easy between sets.

Long Run (LR): This means a moderate pace (roughly 60 to 75 seconds slower than your half-marathon goal pace); Long Run Stamina (LRS) means to run 3 to 6 miles at half-marathon goal pace in the middle third of the run; Long Run Fartlek (LRF) means to alternate one minute at 10-K pace with one-minute jogs in the middle third of the run; Long Run Fast Finish (LRFF) means to run the final 15 minutes at 10-K pace.


* Physiology Terms and Abbreviations

Economy: in simplest terms how much oxygen you use when you run.

Cardiac Drift is where your pulse and heart rate increase despite the fact your pace stays same -- often is due to dehydration or a rise in temperature. Also called "cardiac creep."

Kinesology is the study of muscles and their movements.

LT means lactate threshold (see tempo runs).

Lactic Acid is a substance which forms in the muscles as a result of the incomplete breakdown of glucose.

Stroke volume is the amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contraction.

VDOT comes from Daniels' book "Running Formula" -- it is a measure of your running ability based strictly on race performance. From your VDOT, you can estimate your performances at other distances or get the speeds you should do certain workouts at. VDOT is kind of like a practical or effective measure of V02Max (see below). Here is a VDOT calculator.

vLT means the velocity (pace) at which lactate threshold is reached.

VO2Max is the maximal amount of oxygen that a person can extract from the atmosphere and then send to the body's tissues. You can use your current VO2Max to estimate your times for intervals, for example. (Find your vo2max by entering a recent race or run time.)

vVO2max means the velocity (pace) at which VO2max is reached. (again thanks to Jim for contributing here.)


* Race Related Terms

Aid Station also called a water stop is a place along the course where you can get water, Gatorade, etc. In ultras, these may have many amenities; in a local 5K, probably just water.

Anchor Leg means the last leg in a relay. More commonly used in track.

Award Ceremony is held at some point after a race to hand out awards to the winning runners. Check with the race director for details.

Bandit is someone who runs in a race who hasn't registered. This is frowned upon.

Bib is what you call your race number. In running, it goes on the front of your shirt or shorts.

Boston Qualify (aka BQ): To meet the standard to urn in the Boston Marathon. The Boston Qualifying Standards from the Boston Athletic Association. Sometimes used as a verb -- "I BQed at Chicago."

Chip refers to a little thing you tie on your shoe that measures finishing time when you cross a mat in a race.

Chip Time In chip-timed races, time elapsed between the moments a runner crosses the start and finish lines. For elites who line up right at the start, chip time equals gun time. For everybody else, chip time is usually better than gun time, because it takes some time to reach the start line for runners who are lined up at the back.

Chute typically found at the finish line of a race -- usually a roped off area where the officials collect the tear off part of a bib or order the runners as they finish.

Clydesdale a larger runner, usually who meets a certain weight requirement amount. Used as a division in some races. Sometimes the female Clydesdales are called fillies; this is also sometimes called the Athena division.

Corrals In large races, participants are often divided into starting corrals based on their past performance or expected finishing time. The goal is to ensure that slower runners do not get in the way of faster ones.

Draft to run behind someone, so as to let them break the wind resistance.

Expo is often held before larger races like marathons, where runners pick up race packets and get race/running related gear and goodies. (Thanks to Digital Man for this one.)

False start means to jump the gun. Much more commonly used in track and field than road racing.

Gun Time Time elapsed between the official start of the race, and the moment a runner crosses the finish line. Race start used to be signaled by a starting gun, hence the name. Today it's mostly air horn. (Thanks to Toronto Guy for contributing several in this group.)

Hardware refers to winning some sort of an award at a race. "I brought home hardware" means "I won an award."

Kick is usually used as in "finishing kick" -- simply means running harder at the finish line, the last final sprint.

Kilometer is about .62 of a mile. 5K = 3.11 miles. 8K = 4.97 miles. 10k = 6.22 miles. Etc.

Marathon a distance of 26.2 miles, or 42.2K.

Metric Mile is the 1500 meters.

Pack runners who run in close proximity to one another.

Point to Point means you start at one point and run to the next. So a point-to-point 5K would start at one location and finish at another location 3.11 miles away.

Rabbit is someone who goes out with the intention of setting a fast pace in a race, but then often drops out.

Relay where one runner runs one leg or section of the course, then passes off to another ... etc. In track, the relays commonly include the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 4x800. The team is made up of four runners; each runs one leg of that distance. This is pronounced, by the way "four by 100" or "four by 800." These might also be called the 400 meter relay or 3200 meter relay.

Relay Meet usually refers to a track meet where the events are mainly relay events rather than individual events. When I ran track, we had some special relay events like the 4x1600, Sprint and Distance Medleys, etc.

Sandbag means to act like a slower runner or say things to mislead your opponent into thinking you're not competition.

Steeplechase a long distance track event that involves hurdling and a water jump.

Stick is the baton carried by relay runners in track and field.

Sub is used often to say "sub-3" or "sub-20" or "sub-30" ... It simply means to run underneath that time. A "sub-3 marathon" means the runner ran the race in less than 3 hours, for example.

Surge to run faster in a race as a tactical matter, often to try and drop (lose) an opponent.

Tangents Refers to shortest possible distance along a curved race route, which includes the tangents of every turn. Official race distance is measured along the tangents. "Running the tangents" means staying as close to the optimal route as possible in order to improve race performance.

Taper is where a runner cuts back mileage before a big race like a marathon or even a shorter race. Tapering runners often get cranky and/or sort of paranoid since they aren't running as much leading to jokes about taper madness.

Trash talk means to you run your mouth about how great you are and how you're faster than the other person. Opposite of sandbagging. Also called talking smack.

Ultramarathon is simply any race that's longer than the marathon. All marathons are 26.2 miles. Common distances can include 50K, 50 miles, 100 miles, or even longer than that.

Wall a sudden bonk, often occuring around mile 20 of the marathon.

Waves Refers to staggered start when different corrals depart at different times to accommodate all participants within limited confines of a race course.


* Shoe and Gear Terms

Body Glide is a lubricating product to prevent chafing and skin irritation. Some runners use Vaseline or even deodarant instead. You can get body glide at a running store.

Cushioned refers to a shoe designed for a neutral foot that does not overpronate or that may supinate. Supinaters land on the outside of their feet.

Dual-density: This is often called a medial post. The length and strength of this post determines how much motion control the shoe offers.

Flats: are very light weight, minimal shoes used mainly for racing.

Foot strike refers to how your foot initially impacts the ground as you run. There are heel strikers, midfoot strikers, and forefoot strikers.

Garmin refers to Garmin Forerunner line of handheld GPS devices. They use satellite signal to track your location with some degree of accuracy, and then calculate and display your pace and distance in real time. Their display can be customized to suit your training needs. Garmin devices can be programmed to alert you of your pace or distance. (Thanks Toronto Guy -- see his post neat the bottom of page 2 for more info.)

Last: A shaped piece of wood or metal on which the shoe is built. There are three kinds of lasts: straight, curved, and semi-curved. Straight is usually found in motion control shoes built for overpronators; Semi-curved is the shape found in stability shoes built for mild pronators; and Curved is the shape found in cushioned shoes built for underpronators.

Motion Control are shoes that offer the most over-pronation control. Over-pronation is where your foot rolls over to the inside too far. Usually you can tell your overpronating if you have excessive wear on the inside part of the forefoot of the shoe.

Orthotics are orthopedic devices that are used to alter or modify foot function and are designed to treat, adjust, and support various biomechanical foot disorders. These can be simple over the counter devices, or they can be expensive custom made devices.

Outsole : the hard (usually carbon rubber) bottom of a running shoe that actually makes contact with the ground.

Pronation: the distinctive, inward roll of the foot as the arch collapses.

Ride: this is what a runner refers to explain the transfer between heel strike and toe off.

Singlet is a light weight tank top like jersey worn by runners, usually in competion.

Split shorts are higher cut running shorts often used in racing.

Spikes: are flats that contain spikes. There are spikes used for cross country and for track. The spike for a sprinter will look different than the spike for a long distance runner.

Stability refers to a shoe designed for an average arched foot; it offers some degree of motion control for normal pronation.

Supination is where one's foot rolls to far outward during running and walking. Supinators tend to wear down the outsides of their shoes, even when they run in a neutral shoe. Supination is less common than pronation.

Toebox front portion of a shoe's upper where the toes are placed.

Under pronation is simply not rolling far enough. It is different than true supination.

Upper: this is the thing that holds your foot in place and protects the foot from rocks, brush, etc. Usually consists of a mixture of mesh and synthetic leather material.

Wicking fabric refers to technical fabrics that draw sweat away from the skin. Also might be referred to as say a "tech shirt."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Did We Just Do a 5K??

Today Angela and I ran together for the first time since we both started our running routinues. We ran the track at Hope Mills Park, which is a lovely and "gently" slopping course. In between Angela's long, graceful strides and my short, choppy ones, we managed to find a pace that we both could deal with. We did a great job and I think we really pushed each other. I know I definitely ran faster than usual. In fact, we ran so fast that we covered 2.5 miles in just 22 minutes!!! Is that even possible? We are pretty confident in our calculations, so we'll just go with it.

Overall, we traveled well over 3 miles, probably close to 3.4 miles. We were out for 36 minutes total although the last 5 minutes or so was a rather leisurely stroll spent discussing our awesomeness. I can't wait until run the course together again-I know it will only get easier. I remember going to that track last year and pushing the girls around in their strollers. I never imagined we would run the entire track-twice!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Running in the Rain

I feel so official as a runner now. Today I ran in the rain. Although it wasn't the rain that bothered me-it was the wind! I felt like I was walking in place most of the time. I'm not sure the distance I covered-I know it was over 2 miles but not by much. I'll probably hop in the car in a while and go map it out. I ran for 28 minutes straight and was out for a total of 34 minutes.

What made me the happiest though is that to increase my running time I had to start around on my course a second time. I only ran a tiny, tiny part of it on the second time around, but I never thought I would be able to run the entire thing without stopping, much less go around again!

I'm off to the doctor today to get the official word on my ankle. Hopefully that word is awesome. As in, Claire, you're an awesome runner and should never, ever stop.


Ran just 20 minutes this morning, and covered only 1.75 miles. My legs are tired all the time! Of course, Ed says "just push through it...." So, I guess that's the plan. The good news is that I'm complaining about running only 1.75 miles! :-) That's progress!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Better Day....

A much better run today, which I attribute to the yoga yesterday, and/or the two Aleve I took before I went to sleep last night! Anyway, it's been a busy day, and I'm tired, so here are the details:

-- Walked for two minutes, then ran two miles at a ten-minute mile pace to hit 22 minutes
-- Walked for two minutes, then ran at 5.7 on the treadmill until I hit the 30-minute mark
-- Walked for two minutes while I emailed myself this information from my phone so I wouldn't forget!

Totals: 32 minutes.....2.96 miles.

Not sure I'm running tomorrow, but I'm leaning toward doing so and keeping Tuesday my off day...but as I said, I'm tired....I'll think about it more later.....

Lazy Sunday Run

Yesterday was an off day for me, so after much poking and prodding from my husband, we went on a family run this afternoon. It was sunny and pretty warm, and I struggled a lot today! I blame it on my lack of sleep after being up all night with my daughter, but I was still able to meet my goal of running for 25 minutes. I finished my two mile course and not much more. I was happy to get in at least one run this weekend though. I plan on going tomorrow but not on Tuesday since I anticipate being busy voting!!

My reward for running on Sunday: homemade mashed potatoes. Let's hope they turn out tasty enough to be a worthy reward!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

At least I ran....

I'm going to sum up today's "run" in two words: slow and stiff. I think my legs are still recovering from the long run I did on Wednesday (is that possible?), because I never found my rhythm this morning, and my legs felt like wood. Undoubtedly my worst run in several weeks. Oh well, at least I ran.... Total distance: 2.15 miles... Total time: 25 minutes.... My plan is yoga today to loosen up, and a great run tomorrow morning. Oh, and Starbucks....after the busy week I've had, a latte is in order!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thanks ABBA

After taking a day off to do lazy things like go to the doctor, the grocery store, and help put together a media center, I ran again today. My ankle was hurting (again) but I told it to suck it up and stop complaining. I usually feel much better after running for a few minutes. Today I bested myself again and ran for 25 minutes altogether. I was out for 32 minutes total. I drove my car around my neighborhood after I ran and was disappointed that I only ran for about 2.3 miles. Only 2.3 miles! What kind of person says things like that?

But the best part was that my overall course covered close to 3 miles which is practically my 5K! I don't think I'll have any problem meeting my goal of finishing in less than 45 minutes. My main goal is to run the entire time, which I'm working on. I notice that I even walk faster now. My warmup walk is getting shorter and shorter but I still walk the same length of street.

Today I'm thanking ABBA for my excellent run. Thanks for thinking up such clever, fun songs for me to run to.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

14 Hours Later...

Got up and ran this morning, 14 hours after the "big" run yesterday. Walked 2 minutes, ran 30 minutes and walked 2 minutes - 34 minutes total (I know, I all can add... :-)...covered 2.88 miles. My legs are tired, tired, tired. Feel good about getting up and running, but I'm glad tomorrow has to be an "off day" because of work!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Afternoon run....and a cookie...

So I really didn't think I could run in the afternoons... Why? Well, I've always run in the morning, so that obviously is the only time I really can do so, right? Wrong! I was so disappointed about sleeping in today that I forced myself to get on the treadmill at Shelby's school. I was absolutely convinced though that the time of day, combined with the pasta lunch I had, would mean I'd end up just walking. Here's what happened:

-- I walked for two minutes
-- I ran for 33 minutes, with a one-minute walking break at about minute 24
-- Total time - 35 minutes exactly
-- I covered just about 3.2 miles
-- My butt and legs hurt!

I can't believe I ran about three miles - who am I? What happened to the "real" me, that prefers sleep and laziness to running?!!

How did I reward myself? With a chocolate chip cookie of course! Yum! :-)

Injured but Still Running

I've already sustained my first injury! It's not exciting at all, just an ankle sprain from a few years ago that has flared back up. I don't think my original sprain every healed properly as my ankle still swells from time to time if I stand for too long. My ankle was fine the first couple weeks when I was mostly walking or doing equal parts walking and running, but now that I've moved to mostly running it has been causing problems. Most days it is sore when I start running and then is swollen by the time I've finished. I've been using ice and taking Motrin, and I have an appointment to get it checked out in two weeks. I'm not sure what the doctor could really do, since it doesn't seem to be sprained again, just sore. I'm hoping once I run more it will get used to it! Here's me putting ice on my ankle.

Wait, what's that on my ice pack??
It's Cinderella!! Because that's the kind of serious, professional runner I am.

And to make myself feel a little bit better, I'll share that today was another improvement day for me. 22 minutes of straight running, with a little over 2 miles completed. Can you believe that "Claire" and "running 2 miles" are appearing in the same sentence together?? I can't, but I hope that it stays that way!

Slept in...

Not that it's big news, but I woke up at 2:30 am and didn't fall back to sleep until 5 am - so I didn't get up and run.... I wanted to post this though because I'm surprised in how totally disappointed I am! Wow - it's like I actually MISS running. Who am I?! :-)

The day is still ahead of me, so a run is possible --- if anyone is up for pushing me around a track or neighborhood today after about 3:30 PM, let me know - I'll see how far I can huff and puff while pushing Shelby in a non-jogging stroller! If not, I run tomorrow morning....sleep-deprived or not!

Monday, October 27, 2008

One Foot In Front Of The Other

I'm so excited to be one of the Girls Who Run!! Angela invited me to join in on chronicling our running experiences, so here goes....

I can't quite remember my official start date, but I got serious about running about 5 or 6 weeks ago. And by got serious, I mean that I started to huff and puff through my neighborhood for about 60 seconds at a time. I was inspired by a website I had found that touted a "Couch-to-5K Running Plan".
The first week sounds pathetic (60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes total) but that was just what I needed to get started. And it was about all I could handle!

Now, several weeks later, I've noticed definite improvement. I can run for much longer stretches at a time and can handle running over a mile. To a seasoned runner, that probably sounds like a warm-up run, but for me, it's a big step!! Yesterday was my best total running time-20 minutes-although it wasn't all in one stretch. I have a long way to go for my 5K on December 5th.

And I'm putting this here to hold myself to it: someday I will run a Half Marathon!

My new website addiction


A Monday Morning Update

So my big run around the neighborhood took place on Saturday morning instead of Friday, and ended up being one lap - 1.3 miles, completed in almost exactly 13 minutes. Too fast for three laps right now - pacing myself outside (off of a treadmill) is hard!! But, I felt cool because it was raining and I stuck with it - surely I'm a runner now! Of course, my "I'm a cool runner" feeling quickly faded when I got home and realized I was wearing one blue shoe and one green shoe....I guess that's what you get when you dress in the dark!

Sunday....I rested....and ate all day!

Monday morning - better! I walked for two minutes on the treadmill, ran 2 miles without stopping (took me 21 minutes and 30 seconds) and then walked for a couple of minutes to complete 2.1 miles (or was it 2.2? I don't remember...) in 25 minutes. I could have gone longer with the running I think, but I was bored. Need a TV in front of the treadmill in a big way.... The funny thing is that I didn't really feel like running, but got dressed and so on, and then... "Hmmm...I guess I'm going to run, since I'm already on the treadmill..." Starting to feel like a habit! I'm going to lift weights today too, just because I'm in the mood....

Tuesday is my off day because of my work back to running on Wednesday!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Last Six Weeks

Running, running, running....well, more like walking very fast. But still, getting up at 5:30 am and running on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and running later on Sundays, has been a real accomplishment. Maybe its not about how fast I run right now, but just about running at all! A 5K quickly approaches though (December 20!), so I need a plan....and part of this plan is this blog. I intend to post progress, and frustrations no doubt, regularly...............

Today is Friday, October 24 - I'm going to try my first run away from the treadmill today. My neighborhood is 1.3 miles total, so I plan to run it twice. WIll post how it goes....