Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fastest 5K of the year

This year has been a real challenge for me. March 14 was the beginning of what turned out to be quite a decline in my running. That was the day I slipped while getting out of a bath tub and broke three ribs. It was 3 weeks before I was able attempt a run. I was just getting back in condition and on April 26 I had to stop running due to severe bronchitis. Once again, I missed a significant number of days of running.

Once I got over the bronchitis, it just seemed like I had lost all motivation to train. I was in poor racing condition and I really was not motivated to attempt a come back. My ribs still hurt and I just did not want to work hard at running.

That was my mental and physical state when we left home on June 20 with a plan to be on the road with our travel trailer for 2-3 months. It has been my experience that it is very difficult to train while on the road. That is when I made the decision to just enjoy the trip and run when I could. I did have a goal of getting back a solid mileage base. I accomplished that and along the way I did a 5K and a 10K race. Both were much slower than my usual times, but I just enjoyed the races and figured when I got home I would get serious.

After 10 weeks on the road, we arrived back in Hattiesburg on August 31, my first race was a 5K on Labor Day. My only goal was to not walk. I was successful, except I was still very disappointed with the 9:51 pace. I tried not to be too down and I continued to work my training plan. This typically consists of 22-29 miles a week, with speed on Tuesday and either a long run or a race on Saturday. Last week I did a 6 mile run so that is my starting point for the long run and I will attempt to work up to an 8 miler so that I can race 10Ks.

Today I raced a 5K with a goal of being under 30 minutes. I thought I might be able to get under 29, but that did not happen. My time was 29:07 which is a 9:22 pace. I am OK with that and I will continue to work my plan. Over the course of the next 4-6 weeks, I'm not sure when I will be racing. I have to go to Atlanta for a week and I'm having a hard time figuring out when to race and when to do the long runs. I'll think more about it for a few days before I come up with a plan of action.

In the meantime, I feel good and I will just keep on taking those baby steps as I get back in racing condition. As I told someone today, a couple of weeks ago I was in 1.5 mile race condition and today I felt like I was good for 2.25 so I am making progress.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Toe injury did not stop me

Last Friday I did a yoga class which was quite challenging. Toward the end, I was not paying attention and when moving from one pose/position to another, I did not lift my foot enough and when stepping back, I drug my foot. This resulted in the nail on the second toe of the left foot being pulled back from the toe bed. It hurt like Hell! I knew right away that it would be quite sore in the coming days. Sure enough, by evening it was throbbing with pain.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that I am really trying to get back into actually training and my plan called for a 6 mile run on Saturday. I figured I'd just get up early, probably have to drain any fluid from the swollen/painful area, and go ahead and give the run a try. When I awoke on Saturday, I was surprised that it was not as swollen and painful as I had anticipated. There was no fluid to drain. I headed to the Trace for my run. Although I had some discomfort, the only pain I experienced was when I walked a bit at the turn around and when I stopped for water. Running did not really hurt and I did the 6 miles at a 10:53 pace.

So far, the rest of the week as been good. On Monday, I got up early and ran 4 miles @ 10:43 before going to a yoga/Pilates class. Tuesday is usually a speed day and since I am trying to get back to the basics, I did what I call "introduction to speed" which involves doing 4 x 100, 3 x 200, 2 x 300 and 1 x 400 at 5K race pace or faster. I did them at just over a 9 minute pace with equal distance jog recovery.

One of the things that I really like about living in Timberton is that I can easily walk/run to the Family Y. From my front door, if I take the direct route, it is 3/4 of a mile. If I want to make it 3.5 miles or longer, there are all kinds of things that I can do to add distance. What I did was to go down Timberton and then left on Bonhome and then left into Tatum Park. I ran for 3 miles at 10:25 pace and walked on to the Y where I did my weights and then walked home.

Today will be a Pilates class, followed by 2 miles at an easy pace on the treadmill. Tomorrow, I will do a yoga class and on Saturday I will do a 5K race. My goal for the Labor Day 5K was not to walk. My goal for this one will be to get under 30 minutes, with a more lofty goal of being under 29 minutes.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Making Progress

On Tuesday I rededicated myself to my effort to get back into racing condition. For this to happen, I need to lose a few pounds and get back to a training plan and so far I am doing OK. It always amazes me how quickly my weight can go up and how slowly it comes down. Oh well, I am happy for any loss and will try not to complain about he slowness.

Back on August 22 my weight was 127.78. Then, the wheels came off. For a couple of days, we visited a friend who is a very good cook. Then, I had some other social eating challenges. By that I mean that we attended a couple of parties where there was a wonderful variety of very tasty foods. 

Those of you who have known me for any length of time know how much I love Blue Bell ice cream. I don't often buy it because if it is in the house, I will eat huge servings until it is gone. Monday evening I knew that I would be starting my "improved fitness effort" the next day. So, I figured I would go ahead and get it out of my system and have an ice cream fix so that I would not feel deprived as I entered my effort. I ate until I nearly made myself sick, but on Tuesday I was ready for the battle of the bulge and my return to training.

When I am involved in such an effort, I have to weigh each morning and keep track of my trend weight---a formula that involves smoothing of the weight curve instead of worrying about each day's weight. On Tuesday the trend was 130.25. Today I am at 129.78 so I am making progress.

I feel good about my exercise program. In addition to running the past four days, I have also done 2 Pilates and 1 yoga class, as well as two weight lifting sessions. I am getting back into the routine.

I am also wearing a pedometer and trying to keep my steps above 15,000 per day. Today, since I'm not going to run, will be hard to get that number.

Tomorrow will be a 6 mile run. I am actually looking forward to that!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Return to Training/Racing

The 10 week road trip is over and now it is time for me to return to training/running. If you read my recent entries, you know that I continued to run while on the trip. I also was very good about posting details of our trip, but there came a point when I was having so much fun that it became a chore to take the time to write an entry. Another issue was that we often did not have internet service or electricity so I just kinda gave up on the blog.

Now I am home and am getting back my discipline for training. Before I start the specifics of my plan. I need to give you a bit of background. I'll try to be brief, but I think this is needed s
o that you will understand how important running and competing is to me.

Back in 1969, I was a heavy smoker, heavy drinker with a heavy body. I had always been very athletic, but with the birth of our daughter, I was not as active and I just let myself go. The smoking and drinking really did not concern me as much as the fact that I was about 20 pounds overweight. Hollie (my husband) was a runner and he suggested that I try running as a way to lose weight. I went to a track and ran/walked a mile in 12:45. I was so proud---until I told him my time and he said, "I could walk faster than that."

I was pissed! So, I started going to the track every day and I would sprint as hard as I could and then walk until I could sprint again. I timed every workout. I kept doing that until I could run a mile continuously and then I worked on adding another and then another mile. I did that for several months until I got to where I could run 3 x 1 mile. At that point, I entered my first race---a one mile turkey trot. I was the only female and I won a turkey. I was hooked. The rest of the story is that I have been running and competing since then---nearly 45 years.

I like to tell people that back in my "previous life" meaning when I was much younger, I was quite fast with PRs of 19:52 for the 5K, around 42 for the 10K and 3:20 for the marathon. I trained and raced very hard and after all these years I still enjoy running and racing. I have had my share of injuries, mostly hamstring/piriformis which do sometimes limit my ability to train. As I have aged, I have had to make modification to my training, but I still love competing.

That takes me up to my current return to running/racing. For many reasons, I am not in very good condition. Early this year, I slipped in my daughter's bathtub and fractured 3 ribs. A couple of weeks later, I had severe bronchitis. Just as I was getting back into training, we went on this 10 week/12,000 mile road trip with our travel trailer. It was very nearly impossible to train, so I eventually reached a point where I decided to just enjoy the trip, run when I where I could and get back with my progam when I returned to Hattiesburg.

We got home on Saturday, August 31. knew I was not in race condition, but I went ahead and entered and ran the Labor Your Legs 5K on September 2. My goal was not to walk. I achieved that, but I was very, very slow. That got my attention and made me evaluate my current lifestyle. I am vowing to make some changes which I hope will result in my regaining my speed and being competitive. Mostly, I will be competing with myself. I have reached the age where many of my competition have either quit racing or passed away. I can usually win my AG just by showing up, but that is not good enough. I want to strive to be the best runner possible and that means I have to make some changes.

I don't want to share all the details of my plan. Those will come out as I make this journey. I have no specific goals except to run faster and longer. Some steps in doing that involve losing weight, increasing daily activity level, lifting weights, stretching, and doing Pilates and yoga.

I will try to post each day, but that will probably not always be possible. I would like to ask for your comments and feedback. That makes me accountable and it feels good to know that someone is reading what I am writing.

Here's my summary from the start:

9/2 - Labor Your Legs 5K @ 9:51 pace
9/3 - Pilates class, 3.5 mile Fartlek on treadmill @ 11:58 pace, weights & stretch
9/4 - 5 miles @ 11:14 pace on Longleaf Trace and then I stopped at the Y to do hamstring/piriformis rehab/preventive weights and stretches