Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Week, in Updates

Get ready for a long post. Two separate sections: Lake Antoine Classic, and then Weight Watchers meeting notes.

Lake Antoine Classic 5 Mile Road Race
The Track:

Saturday was my 5 mile race. I had listed it as an upcoming 15K because that is what I had planned on doing...but I haven't been running as often as I should (as I said in the last post). In fact, I didn't even know how I would do on the five mile run. I went into it with extremely low expectations.

How did it turn out? Well, lets do the mile by mile breakdown.

Mile 1
I had decided before I ran that morning that I would walk a little at every mile marker. The most I had ran recently was 2 miles, and it wasn't straight, it was punctuated every so often by the dogs stopping to sniff, so I had plenty of breaks. Anyway, by mile one, I was praying for it to come. For some reason my right leg was falling asleep. I was getting passed by EVERYBODY. Because of my right leg falling asleep, I was running as if my right knee was attached to my left ear. It was terrible. I didn't know how the hell I was going to make it another 4 miles.

I came through the mile marker at 11:30 min/mile. Well...that's not as terrible as I felt I was running. Plus, I had ran slightly over a mile by this point- as any slow runner knows, we start in the back of the pack, so we end up running slightly farther. That made me feel a lot better.

Mile 2
Started this mile by walking for about 45 seconds. It was heavenly. I was able to shake out my leg and make it be awake and participate in the race. Races are much easier to run with both of your legs participating, FYI. The first half of this mile I was still on the long stretch of road that takes you out to the turn to go around the lake. This is one of the more brutal runs I do. It's flat and straight (and therefore boring as hell), the traffic is terrible, and there are no trees and its asphalt in August...therefore hotter than hell when the air conditioner is broken.

Finally by the grace of all the running gods, we made our left turn to go around the lake.

Then the hills started. Oh.

I did what I always do for hills- shortened my stride and quickened my foot strike, leaned into the hill, and powered up that fucker. I passed someone. If I have any talent as a runner, its hills (for the most part). I got to the first water station when I got to mile marker two and I could have kissed those people. I was told the first station was at mile marker I was SO EXCITED to see water. Poured one over my head and one down my gullet. I also used this opportunity to take an energy gel since I knew I would be out there for about an hour (remember how I'm slow?)

Mile 3
This was the best mile, by far. It was also the hilliest. Do I particularly LIKE hills? I don't think so...but they spice up a run. I get bored if the run is totally flat. However, this mile was the best not because of the hills (where I passed another two people), but because of the shade and the subdivision. I've ran and biked around this lake enough to no longer care about the lake scenery...but give me houses I can look at and people working in their gardens, and my mind can work up fun scenarios for said people to keep me entertained. This mile was one of the two places with shade, and it was the biggest place. Oh shade, bless you.

I was excited to see the water station at this mile marker too because I had assumed there would be water at miles 2 and 4 since seeing the first at mile two...before I had thought miles 3 and 4. Another on my head and another down the hatch.

I came through the mile marker at 37:30, so I was just short of on track to finish at under an hour if I pushed the last two miles. I actually got excited.

Mile 4
After mile 3 went so well, mile 4 was an absolute slap in the face. It was terrible. The sun was at full force now, and there was NO shade ANYWHERE during this mile. Just hot asphalt with no wind in any direction. And, back to the flatness. Boring. I had to walk several times this mile because of getting overheated like you would not believe. My heart rate was in the 190's, despite not really pushing harder than earlier in the race when it had been in the mid 170's or low 180's. I think my body was stressed and seriously overheating. I wish I would sweat more.

Came through at a disappointing 52 minutes at the mile marker. Another water station, which was a life saver. Without it, I'm pretty sure I would have walked the rest of the way.

Mile 5
Thank the lord, there was shade during this mile starting about half way through. And lazy rolling hills that didn't add a lot of difficulty, but a lot of fun and mental stimulation. This mile would have been great if I wasn't so mentally and physically defeated from the previous mile. As it was I was just getting though. I walked once. I was still able to push through the finish in...

1 hour 5 minutes 36 seconds (unofficial). Ugh.

I know I didn't have high hopes going into it. In fact, I KNEW I wasn't going to PR. So why am I disappointed? Because of stupid mile three. Because of coming through in a time that I could have finished in under an hour if things the rest of the race had gone ok. Not even WELL, just ok.

I guess everyone hopes to PR every time. You don't expect it, and if anyone asked "Can you PR every time?" You would laugh and explain the level of their naivety to them, but you still in the back of your mind have that little bitch who is whispering "Come on, just suck it up and do it, you can beat you old PR...I mean, that was pretty slow anyway, wasn't it?"

I know I complained a lot in this breakdown of the how did I like it overall? I loved it! I'm proud that I'm able to run that far, even if it's slow. I'm proud that I got out there and did it, even though I didn't PR. And, I'm happy that this run reminded me that I'M A RUNNER. From not running consistently for so long, I had kind of forgotten that.

I also just looked at the statistical breakdown that cardiotrainer gives, and if I look at just the running parts, I was running at 5-6 miles an hour at all times. I was actually going 6 miles/hour quite a bit (for the less mathematically inclined: 10 min/mile) which is an amazing time for me. Pretty happy with that. The fact that I couldn't hold running for as long as I would have liked made perfect sense since I haven't trained as much as I should.

Enough about that.

Post Race, Nate and I (He did the 2 mile walk with some coworkers)

Weight Watcher's Meeting, Thursday

Went in with ok expectations. The week's previous weight had been 169 lbs. Dangerously close to 170's. I didn't track...but I kind of paid attention to what I was eating, and made better choices when possible.

Verdict? 170.6. I was stunned. I shouldn't have been since I had been not tracking and not exercising nearly up to my normal level...but I was. There I was, a year and some change from when I started WW's this time, and I climbed back into the 170's. There was no denying it, I'm a full 10 lbs up from this Feburary. I could have cried.

I didn't. Instead, after the main meeting topics were over, I raised my hand and said "Hi, I'd like to ask a favor. I have been struggling for months now, and I feel like the only way to turn it around is to pubically say my weight today so next week I can say it again and have it next time be lower."

My leader looked shocked, but nodded her head and said that yes, it would be ok to share my weight.


They asked what they could do to help me...and I honestly didn't know. "Well, what is the main issue you've been having?" "I haven't tracked in about a month."

My leader then said that her noon meeting has a traveling points journal- one person takes it for a week and writes her weekly stuff in it, then the next person, etc. I LOVED this idea.

I've been doing it for the last few days...and I can't express how much it's helped already. I've been writing everything, and really thinking about my food decisions before I do them because I don't want to have to write a bad decision in the book.

I can't WAIT to weigh in next week.

And...that's it for now! Thanks for reading my super long post!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm back!!

Hi all!

No, I did not get eaten on my vacation :)...I just got sidetracked. I'm still not back into the full swing of what I'm supposed to be doing for my half marathon training. I've not been running like I should be...but I have been biking!

Two of my friends at work are riding in the "Tour de UP" this week- a bike event where you bike 60 miles a day for 6 days out of 7 (they give you a rest day on Wednesday). I'm doing it next year. I would be doing it this year if I weren't getting married in 6(!) weeks and therefore have no money and no time. Anyway, because they are biking in it, the last two weeks have been a final push for them to be fully trained- i.e., they were cramming in a TON of long rides in preparation. I went along with them for two of them.

The first time was this-

(Image from CardioTrainer for Droid)

The second time was supposed to be just a repeat of the first...but we took a wrong turn and added about 6 miles to the route. (The route is too big for me to get in one screen shot...I could zoom out but you really lose the scale of the thing)

(Images from

So, these two bike trips got me thinking about the differences between running and biking. First off, biking is WAY easier. Which, I knew, but I didn't really think too much about. What I mean is this- the longest I've ever ridden on a bike before these two trips was 7 miles. Now, just consider that for a second...I went from 7 miles to 12 miles with no issues. Not only was my longest previous ride 7 miles, but since that ride, I've ridden no more than 3 miles at once. My 7 mile ride was about 2-3 months ago.

Then, on the next ride (which was two days later) I went from 12 miles to 18. After neither of these trips was I sore or tired or in any way felt as if I had done a strenuous workout. In fact, I've been more tired after a fast 2 mile run.

So lets do some math, because math is our friend! I went from 7 to 12, which is a 71% increase in mileage. Then, I went from 12 to 18, which is a 50% increase. Overall, I went from 7 to 18, which is a 158% increase.

Now, what if I could do that with my running? Right now, I can comfortably run 5 miles with no issues during or after. That would be going from 5 to 8.55 to 12.85 miles over the course of three days. I could be ready for a half marathon in one, two weeks tops!!

So anyway, now I'm interested in how cyclists train. For runners, increasing mileage by 10% each week (with a cutback week every fourth week) is pretty standard. What is standard for cyclists? Does anyone who reads my blog know?

Now, I should mention that I'm not saying biking 18 miles is easy. However, I run. I climb ridiculous amounts of incredibly steep stairs. I lift 50lb dogs by myself, and restrain up to 142lbs of dog (thats the biggest dog I've had come in yet). In short, I'm in shape. The best shape of my life.

And also, I just realized the whole scale of me saying "I rode 18 miles and wasn't sore". That's from Harrison, MI to Clare, MI (I grew up in Harrison). Holy crap.

I love running and what it has done for me!!