Treadmill Tempo

I have a love/hate relationship with dreadmills treadmills.

 

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Loves:

  • Can use anytime the gym is open, regardless weather
  • Complete control over pace
  • Watch TV while working out
  • Safer before light/after dark

Hates:

  • Boooooooooooooooooooring!

 

Working during all the daylight hours requires me to hit the gym on occasion. My options are: treadmill or don’t run at all. I chose the former.

 

Today’s workout was a tempo run. I found that this is the MOST boring workout known to mankind that you could ever do on the treadmill. It usually involves holding a slightly uncomfortable pace for a decent amount of miles. Speed intervals go by quickly because you are constantly changing the pace and it seems to fly by. Easy runs are usually short, and I can watch tv or be otherwise engaged. Treadmill tempo runs are brutal.

 

I completed my 5.0 mile tempo run at a 9:13 min/mile pace, or 6.5 mph on the treadmill. I found it really hard to start running at this pace, but toward the end it got easier. My natural tendency towards negative splits (getting progressively faster) makes it weird to hold a constant pace for that long.

 

I think I may save tempo runs for the great outdoors if at all possible. 🙂

 

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I’ve been meaning to blog about the October grocery budget challenge but I keep forgetting. It’s going pretty well, but I’m finding that I’m eating a TON of pasta. I guess it’s no big deal since I pretty much crave it after any tough run (and those have been more frequent lately.)

 

I try to switch it up, but lately my go-to has been spaghetti-chicken-broccoli-alfredo. It’s exactly what the name says.

 

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For a jarred sauce, this stuff is pretty damn good.

 

 

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Do you prefer to workout in a gym or outside? I’m an outdoor girl! 

 

❤ MegaNerd

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Back to Double Digits: 10.0 Miles on 10-10-10

Welcome back to double-digit-land!

 

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I haven’t attempted to run double digits since January, when I ran the Disney marathon! I’ve been slowly building up for several weeks:

 

 

Considering today is 10-10-10 (October 10, 2010), what better day then today to try for 10 miles!? 

 

Last night, I had leftover Spinach, Chickpea, Butternut Squash, Gnocchi for dinner. I also ended up having a glass of milk and apple+pb before going to bed because I felt like I needed a second dinner.

 

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I woke up this morning around 7:30am and had a pre-run CLIF bar. I usually eat half for 7.0 or less miles, mainly because I’ll be back to eat a full meal in an hour or so, but I knew I would be eating for a while.

 

Food is fuel!

 

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It’s finally cool enough to be able to wear short sleeves when running if you head out before 10:00am. I haven’t been able to wear this shirt in quite a while. 🙂

 

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I set out this morning determined to finish under a 10:00 min/mile pace. I started off slower to save energy, and built up speed as I got farther along.

 

Around the 6 or 7 mile mark, I took a quick stretch break…

 

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…and had a CLIF Shot. I love the RAZZ flavor!

 

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After my mini-break, I continued on my merry way. I didn’t want to litter, so I used the litter leash to hook my used goo packet onto my amphipod belt. I feel so much of a difference when I take an energy gel on long runs rather than forgoing it.

 

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My favorite running song that pumps me up came on towards the end of my last mile: Kanye West’s Stronger. It was just the extra boost I needed!

 

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“…Work it, make it, do it, makes us, Harder, better, faster, stronger…”

 

I finished my long run in 1:36:21! I felt so much healthier, stronger, and more in shape then I did even a few weeks ago at Miracle Miles 15k.

 

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Mile Splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:12
  • Mile 2:  9:56
  • Mile 3:  9:45
  • Mile 4:  9:47
  • Mile 5:  9:43
  • Mile 6:  9:39
  • Mile 7:  9:17
  • Mile 8:  9:21
  • Mile 9:  9:30
  • Mile 10:  9:23

 

Hooray for negative splits! My average pace ended up being 9:38 min/mile!

 

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Aaaaaaah! This is so exciting for me! Not only did I get back to double digit runs, but I finished feeling stronger than I have in almost a year!

 

Because I want to track my progress in as many different ways as possible, I have started wearing the heart rate monitor part of the Garmin Forerunner. It annoys me to wear it, but I want to see if I can learn anything from the data.

 

Guess what?! That means I did 10.0 miles, below a 10:00 min/mile pace, before 10:00 am, on 10-10-10.

 

Holy nerd alert. I better stop now.

 

❤ MegaNerd

The Whole Nine Miles

I feel like my old running self again!

 

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After MONTHS of knee injury, major life changes (a bad breakup and graduation),  a lack of motivation, and just a general feeling of running defeat, I finally feel like a runner again! 😀

 

I know that running doesn’t define who I am as a person, but I struggled (mentally) with taking so much time off. Running has been a big part of my life for the past 4 years, and suddenly it wasn’t there anymore. I went from being one of the fastest in my group of running buddies to the slowest. I wasn’t really enjoying my short, slow runs all summer.

 

I think training for the upcoming 15k was just what I needed to lift my spirits, and set me back on track!

 

Last night, I had a yummy pre-long run dinner with my second family at Tijuana Flats.

 

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Sorry about the blurry picture. I ate a black bean burrito with tomato, onion, peppers, cheese, and a side of guacamole.

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I also had a bud light lime to go with!

 

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After dinner, I came home and laid out everything I needed for my morning run. I was very nervous and excited to attempt my longest run since the Disney marathon back in January!

 

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I forced myself to eat about 3/4 of this CLIF bar… blech. Normally I’m a huge fan but it wasn’t sitting right this morning.

 

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After a mini-mental-pep-talk I headed out the door!

 

Over the river and through the woods…

 

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Until I reached my goal of 9.0 miles! The whole nine miles, complete without any problems. Other than my stomach hurting.

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Mile Splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:16
  • Mile 2:  9:56
  • Mile 3:  10:08
  • Mile 4:  10:11
  • Mile 5:  10:23
  • Mile 6:  11:44 <—walk break to eat Clif shot !
  • Mile 7:  10:36
  • Mile 8:  10:35
  • Mile 9:  9:40

 

Total Run Time: 1:33:31

Average Heart Rate: 163 bpm

Average Pace: 10:24 min/mile

 

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Considering I just ran a moderately fast paced 5.0 mile run yesterday on the t-mill, I was shocked at how awesome my legs felt after this run!

 

Someone please remind me NOT to eat dairy products in the days leading up to next Saturday’s 15k Race. Other than that, I think I’ve got this.

 

❤ MegaNerd

Weekly Run Down

This week has been an epic running week indeed!

 

I did two things this week that I haven’t done since the Disney Marathon:

  • I ran over 20 miles in one week (20.5, but still over 20!)
  • I ran a 8.0 mile long run!

 

I feel like 8.0 miles is considered a long run for me right now. Seven didn’t feel terribly hard, but this morning’s 8.0 miler was a mental and physical challenge! I got plenty of sleep last night, and woke up before it was scorching hot, but I think that I could have been dehydrated. I forgot to bring a water bottle, which was a big mistake!

 

Before setting out on my long run, I had the last of my CLIF kid  Z-bar stash. I’m liking this s’mores flavor! These seem to be enough fuel for a run, yet doesn’t leave me feeling like I have rocks in my stomach while I run.

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I completed my run in 1:21:07, which sadly is only a few seconds longer than it took to run a 15k (9.3 mile race) last year. Le sigh.

 

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I know I won’t be breaking my PR at this year’s Miracle Miles 15k. There’s only two weeks left to go, and I am tons slower than I was at this time last year. After taking what turned into months off of running, I’m honestly really glad to have a goal to push me to get back to the distance even if I’m not speedy.

I got back from my run and promptly jumped into a cold shower. I can’t stand sitting around in sweaty clothes!

 

Breakfast consisted of fat free vanilla publix yogurt, strawberries, and dark chocolate granola.

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YUMMY!

My other weekly runs leading up to today’s long run included:

 

Tuesday

I ran 5.0 miles before work! Yes, I woke up at 6:00am and got my behind out the door! I wish I could keep this up. I held my pace around 9:41 min/mile and finished in 48:25.

 

 

Thursday

Plans fell through to run 6.0 miles, because of a thunderstorm. I waited until after work to run because I was too lazy to get out of bed early and do it. I ended up running 5.0, which is still not too bad! I completed the run in 49:05. My legs felt really heavy after a 10 hour work day. I have to try to get out before work so that I don’t feel so tired!!!

 

Saturday

I slept in, and met Mark the gym because it was way too hot by then to run outside. I ran 2.5 easy miles on the treadmill while he lifted weights.

 

5+5+2.5+8= 20.5!

 

Last week, I set a goal for myself to run over 20 miles, and to complete an 8 mile long run in preparation for the upcoming race. Feeling like  I have something to work towards motivates me like nothing else! I tend to treat my running as a priority rather than something on the back burner that “I’d like to do if I had time” when a race is on my mind. My goals for next week are to run 22.0 miles, and wake up before work to get my miles in.

Do you set weekly mileage goals for yourself? How does your attitude towards training differ when you are training for a race vs. just for fitness?

❤ MegaNerd

The Fiddler’s Green

Even though I have lived in Orlando for 5 years, I’m always discovering places I haven’t been before!

 

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Debbie and Mike have been talking about the Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub pretty much since I have known them! Since they are on vacation and have limited time in Orlando, I let them decide what things they missed the most, and the Irish pub was number one on the list!

 

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I started out with a Shocktop Beer.

 

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Mike ordered appetizers for the table: Potato Pancakes with cheddar, and wings!

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I haven’t ever tried a potato pancake before, but to me it just tasted like hashbrowns in a new form.

 

For dinner, I ordered a Burger! I haven’t had one since my post-marathon meal and thought it sounded good for some odd reason. I eat beef probably only once a year because I don’t like it all that much.

 

This burger was HUGE! As in… I could have easily split this burger with my girl friends Debbie and Joanna. We each ordered one and ate less than half.

 

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It was a really fun place to hang out!

 

After dinner, we went to Jeremiah’s Italian Ice for some Cake Batter flavored ice, but my camera died! I had to take a picture with my iPhone, but it didn’t turn out since it was dark outside.

 

Just know that it was delicious!

 

I went to bed with a bit of a tummy ache. My stomach isn’t used to eating so much grease in one sitting! YIKES! I had to head to bed early because I was almost doubled over. 😦

 

 

Debbie and I woke up before the boys got out of bed to meet her friend Joanna for a run. Luckily, I was feeling much better when I got up and was able to complete a 4.0 mile run in 42:51.

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Debbie and I were talking about how this run, which is now considered moderately tough, used to be soooo easy for us. It’s amazing how marathon training skews your perception of what is easy!

 

I was excited to serve Debbie my favorite breakfast ever:

 

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Kashi heart to heart, peanut butter, banana, and milk.

 

YUM!

 

We are off to tackle our day. Some more friends are flying in tonight, and I’m going to have six guests in my one bedroom 600 square feet apartment… it’s going to be crowded but fun!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Crutch to 5K

There are so many wonderful “couch-to-5k” plans out there for beginning runners needing a good place to start. What about those of us that get injured and have to start over?

 

I scoured the internet, and came up empty handed. I made up my own plan based on the fact that I know I can already comfortably run 2.0 miles at a time.

 

I now present to you the CRUTCH-to-5k plan.

 

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This plan is VERY simple. I really do not want to get injured again, so I am easing back into running very slooooowly. Speed work can come later, I just want to get back into the routine more than anything!

 

I plan to still do the same amount of cross training, but add in running. I haven’t really been consistently blogging my workouts, but for the past couple of months I have been biking 3 or 4 times a week, and strength training at least twice a week.

 

I am going to follow the 10% increase rule very strictly. Basically if I run x miles one week, I’m only going to run 10% more the next week. I figured out that its going to take me almost the entire summer to get back to my normal base of around 25 miles per week. I hope that being patient pays off!

 

This morning I met with Katy to run 2.5 miles around the lake.

 

 

Before I left, I fueled up with a banana and almond butter. My stomach is always growling from the second I wake up!

 

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I packed a Chobani yogurt with Kashi heart to heart and granola for my second half of breakfast to eat at work.

 

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Happy Running!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Miles that Mean Something

Having deadlines always pushes me to put forth my best effort to get things done. Signing up for races that I am not ready for makes me nervous, and motivates me to get out and run.

 

Considering my recent injury, my lack of motivation to run, and my love of racing, I have decided to pick a shorter race in the near future as a goal to work towards.

 

Race season is winding down in Central Florida, so the pickings are slim. However, for the past two years, I have really wanted to run a particular 5k in Tampa, but schedule conflicts have not permitted me to do so. I have decided to train and run in the Miles for Moffitt 5k on May 15, 2010.

 

Miles for Moffitt Logo

 

Moffitt is a cancer treatment and research center in Tampa.  This race raises community awareness and money for helping cancer patients. This race holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons, not all of which I can discuss on the blog.

 

As an 18-month old toddler, I was diagnosed with this crazy blood disorder that doctors thought was Leukemia at first. My doctors and parents were unsure if I would live! I received treatment here for a couple of months until my body recovered. Without Moffitt cancer I would probably not be alive today!!!

 

Don’t worry, I’m okay now! 😀

 

Fun Fact: I didn’t grow from age 18 months to two years old, and as a result I am a few inches shorter as an adult than I would have been! Makes sense now why my parents and little sister are 6-10 inches taller than me!

 

I am working on creating a plan for the next four weeks to get me comfortable running a 5k. I already know that I can run 2.0 miles, but I want to build up VERY Slowly and work on building up a little bit of speed before I work on endurance.

 

Just knowing that I have a race coming up made me motivated to jump out of bed and RUN! I ran 2.0 miles in 20 minutes and 30 seconds. It felt good to know that I am running for a purpose now even if I am tons slower than I used to be.

 

It was extremely foggy out, so I wore BRIGHT YELLOW!

 

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Now I’m gobbling up my Peanut Butter and Jelly Toast (so that I can make it to work on time! I have a feeling that a coffee stop may be in my future. 😀

 

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Have you ever done a race that has a special significance to you?

 

Running the Disney marathon meant a lot to me, because my mom ran it, too!

 

❤ MegaNerd