Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ohh...possibly the best PR EVER!

So that's a lie, because the best PR ever will be a marathon PR, but anyways....

Rodeo Run Run-down:

Windy run, esp from miles 2.5 - 3.5 when we had a serious head wind and some hills. Nice cheer squad first couple miles.

My results:
Chip time: 1:11:22.08
First 5K: 36:47
Second 5K: 34:34
Pace: 11:28

Woot!! That's kicking the butt off my previous 10K time by 27:09 (or taking 4:24 minutes/mile off).

This also marks the first recorded time that my pace has been under 12:30 AND recorded negative split. Really, really cool moment.

This was the BF's first 10K (second official race) and he gets major props for beating his predicted time, coming in at 54 minutes. There is also a team member for my up and coming TIR debut who ran this morning as well, who came in faster then...well faster then I thought she would the way she's been talking about her own speed. Go her!

Go us!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Track part 3!

Tonight I had a track workout, and a bit of social time with some other HRTCers. Track workout consisted of:

800 m warm up
4x 300m with 100m walk breaks
500 m slow jog
4x 300m with 100m walk breaks
500 m slow jog
4x 300m with 100m walk breaks

So I didn't exactly follow the directions. I should have done another set of 4 reps, but I didn't (although that's still actually following the directions because it said 3 to 4 sets). The part I really didn't follow was the longer warm up and doing a cool down run.

From there we went to Ziggy's healthy grill for dinner. Nothing special, but I finally got to meet all the people who pass me out there.

In the HRTC forum, there's been a lot of convo about the Sunday bike ride. I hope everyone and anyone who reads this realizes I'm a newbie. Don't take me too seriously.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

HRTC Group Bike ride

This morning I got up nice and late (relatively) and drove out to the west side of town for a 20 mile bike ride with HRTC. I had been debating about not going, but the BF convenced me to go. My reasoning was that I was driving 100 minutes total for what might just be a 80 minute bike ride. But I did go and I have to say I have mixed feelings about having gone.

1) I am not planning a long distance competitive bike ride any time soon. The most would be a sprint tri. So really, sustaining any pace for a long time doesn't really do a whole lot for me now.

2) Commraderie amung bikers is NOT what I was expecting. At the beginning of the ride, I knew I would be sticking with the back of the pack. I rode pretty consistantly with another woman at the back. I was thinking for a while that she was making sure I didn't get too far left behind or something. Every once and a while we would pass a couple of bikers on the side of the road who were attempting to repairs bikes or the like, but other then that, everyone was pretty far ahead of us. At one piont another guy passed us from behind, but wasn't traveling too fast. This girl and I rolled up to a stop light, and the guy was waiting. After some discussion we realized that we weren't exactly sure which way to turn, and that we all were first or second time group riders. (the guy had done his first group ride last weekend). So basically three unexperienced and slower bikers were left behind. This was def not what I was used to. While running with HoustonFit, there was always someone my pace or slower. But I know that on my long runs with them, I always had someone running with me (usually a coach) In fact, on my first run, Coach Debbie and I talked so much we missed a turn! And then in trail running, I am mostly running solo, but plenty of people are thinking about me and always doubling back to make sure I am still back there with the group.

3) It was really good to get out on a stretch of road with my bike. I got a much better feel for the kind of pace I could put in, and especially I got a feel for using my gears.

4) Great workout. My pace was much slower then I thought it would be, but I did the whole thing and felt good, even though it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes.

5) I got a good feel for the things I need to change before my next long ride. My butt was very tired of the bike seat even by the halfway point.

6) Speaking of the halfway point, something I wasn't quite clear on when we started was that the 10 mile mark wasn't at the gas station everyone stopped at and where the 44 miler people turned. The 10 mile mark was pretty close to that stoplight the 3 newbies got confused at. But I did remember that the leader had mentioned a four way stop and then in a bit a gas station. So my odometer read around 24 miles on my bike, which gmap confirms.

7) Uphill both ways????? It sure felt like it, although the out was definately worse then the back. I think it's due to the wind, although I swear the wind was blowing in both directions.

So overall, I'm not sure why I should bike with HRTC when I can just go over to the Rice bike loop and practice my sprints.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Introducing the BF to the trails

Today was my third trail run, and unfortunately my last for a while.

The BF came with me, and we were supposed to meet this guy B who never showed up. Name changed to protect the (not-so) innocent.

However, two others did show up...we'll call them M and S. Names changed to protect the victims.

So, M decided not to trail run, since none of the four of us knew the trails well, but out of the woods came Miles and Josh (the leaders on my first and secodn trail runs, respectively), and were able to offer us some tips to picking a path. So the three of us ran two loops in about an hour and 12 minutes. S was lovely company to have, and I don't think the BF minded our conversation too much.

Thanks for being good running buddies guys!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I miraculously found the missing peices to my bike and put it back together! WINNEEERRR!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ooo...not a good day for my bike. As ridiculously embarrassing as it is, I'm going to tell this story. I sat on my porch last night to try to figure out how to take the front tire off my bike so it would fit in my sedan (now that the BEAST is back with Enterprise).

The engineer that I am, I have multiple tool kits and may have been a little over zealous. I'll just say I used a screwdriver to get part of my brake off. What I didn't notice was that I left a spring and another metal piece just...hangin' out. So when I took my bike to my car this morning, I was walking down the stairs and heard something fall from the bike and hit metal to metal and then bounce around somewhere. I checked out my bike, not really seeing anything missing. I figured it was a washer, so I leaned my bike up against the stair rails and checked under the stairs for a washer. No luck. So I tossed the bike in and hoped it would go together anyways.

Fast forward to a few hours ago, got to Memorial for bricks with HRTC and realized that no, I was missing some serious peices. So, I tried to assemble the bike anyways and the brake was riding on the tire. *insert explitive here*

So to top it off, I'm not in a bad mood and worried that I can't fix my bike. But I think while I'm here, I should run. So I start off on the memorial loop, and I just can't make it. I go about half a mile and my lower calves are so damn tight, I wuss out and turn around.

I'm excusing myself a little by saying that is was my first solo run in quite a while (and I mean real solo - not back of the pack solo).

Here's to hoping I can find the parts and fix my bike by Sunday!! :(

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Austin Half Marathon 2009

(let me say that I am NOT writing this the day of the half marathon. blogspot has a nifty function that allows me to post date my blogs, so instead of passing out ungracefully in my hotel room, you guys think that I'm writing to tell you all about my race....)

Saturday started out at a nice chilly 50 something degrees. BF and I had laid all of our race stuff out that night, so we quickly got ready and moved out. In packing, I had remembered my headband but had forgotten my gloves (damn it) so at the expo Saturday I picked up a pair of gloves with the austin marathon logo on them. I also hadn't packed my fuel belt, with the truth being that I really haven't been using it lately. I've been sucking it up on my trail runs and running without water, which has been fine as long as it's chilly (although my face gets really hot when I run, and so I'm sure some of the H T Rex group was a little worried about my beet-red face and lack of hydration). Plus I knew the course would have water stops. I've had my eye on some of the hydration systems some of the trail runners have, so I purchased a new one. Plus some gu and I was all set.

Breakfast was a couple of fig newtons, mushy oatmeal with peanut butter, some milk, and a banana. All packed up and ready to roll, we went to the start line. Def not as impressive as Houston, but still pretty great. I saw a lo of runners in their Houston finisher's shirts. The race startesd a bit late as usual, and due to the single start (no waves) it was about 10 minutes till I actually got to the starting line.

The race starts on Congress ave, and follows Congress over the lake into South Congress area (or So Co as it's called). A majority of this is a gradual slope up about 200 feet in elevation. At mile 3 (roughly) you start to head back towards downtown, with the course gradually sloping back downhill. My time at the 3 Mile mark was 40:24 (a 13:28 min/mile).

There were some big white banners with limerick lines on them. I think most of them I missed, and even if I caught them, I don't remember what was said. Cute though. I also saw a spectator handing out mini cupcakes (yum) and a group called F.I.T. (Friends In Training). One girl had lost 140 lbs! Go her!

At mile 6, it's over the lake again. Left on Cesar Chavez. I don't remember too much about this part, except for passing a bunch of restuarants and houses. Temperature wise, I spent most of the race taking my gloves on and off. The headband came off around mile 3, but my hands would get too warm and then get too cold. Thank god the water belt allowed me to tuck the gloves in and not lose them! At about mile 9.5 we turn onto Enfield Rd. Enfield is the lovely portion of our run with some steep slopes. It is also where the sun decided to come out and shine right in our faces (I had also forgotten my beloved Astros ballcap to protect me from the sun) The first hill is immediately at the turn, with many more to follow.

At mile 10, my time was 2:06:52 (12:42 min/mile total, averaging 12:21 min/mile in the 7 miles between). Specifically memorable hills were just before mile 11 (when you go under Route 1) and just before mile 12. Mile 12 was by far the worst one. I managed to run up the thing but at the top I was breathing so hard and my heart was pacing so fast I had to slow down to catch my breath.

From mile 13 on it was nice and downhill. I got a good sprint into the finish line. Grabbed water bottle (a tiny little water bottle that I finished before I got to the end of the chute).

Here is the course map:

And the elevation:

At this point, I don't know what my time is like. I came into this race not expecting to do anything amazing. Just finishing was my goal. On our way back to the hotel we saw the results stations and hopped in to grab our times. I knew that I ran the 2008 Houston Half at a 12:36 mile pace - and my results printout said I ran Austin at a 12:36 pace! Unfortunately I didn't know what my time was but I was eager to go back and look.

Houston half:
chip time: 2:43:31.7
pace: 12:36/M (from the results page)

Austin Half:
chip time: 2:45:06
pace: 12:36/M (from the results sheet and my own calculations)

So it appears that the pace calculation for the Houston Half was off. So when I recalculated it, I got 12:29 min/mile pace for the Houston Half. Hmm...

So I was very glad to have such an amazing pace for a difficult half marathon, especially for just having done the Houston Full 4 weeks ago.

Now I get to be really excited about my next half marathon - Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. Althoug there is no existing course information for the Angie's Half, it is advertised as a fast and flat course. And in clear lake, I have no doubt of that being true (unless we're running the kemah bridge, but I can handle that!) So I am very much looking forward to a PR. And adding more medals onto my wall!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

HRTC Track workout (part duex)

Second track workout of the year. I biked there, yay!, so it was like a mini-brick actually. Although I biked and ran further then HRTC does on their Thursday bricks. It's about a 3 mile bike ride to the track, which I did in about 20 minutes. Traffic was ok to deal with. Actually West U is great for biking on the sidewalk cause it's about 5 feet away from the street. So if I did happen to hit a bump and fall (again) at least I wouldn't fall into the street. Plus the people are nice. I only had a few walkers in my way and they all went to the side for me. I even had some cars who were waiting on the side street to turn onto the main road who realized they were blocking the pedestrian path and backed up for me. The major charlie foxtrot I hit was that by the kroger, on the east side of the street, there is construction going on. So I had to get off my bike and trudge through the mud. Which got me significantly dirty. Since it was still daylight, I managed to read my odometer. I was biking, at my top speed, around 14.5 mph. At least I think it's mph. Maybe I should look...

The track run was great. I got there a bit late, but was already warm (very warm) from the bike. So I did one 400m lap to warm up and then I did:

6 x 600 m w 1 minute rest (at half marathon pace)
5 minute rest
6 x 200 m w 1 minute rest (at 5K pace)

The last 200m my left hamstring started to go. twitching, tightening, cramping. I was worried that this would make for a painful bike ride home, but the bike back was much better. No construction on the west side of the street, and therefore it was a smooth bike back. So I totaled 6 miles biking, about 15 minutes of walking, and 3.25 miles running.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rodeo Run 10K

BF and I are running the Rodeo Run 10K. And I am realllyy excited about it. Why? Because my PR (and only record) for a 10K is SOOO SLOW. During the Houston Marathon I crossed the 10K mark at 1:20, which is significantly faster then I did during the Nike 10K. So this is going to be my first real PR in a race!

Unfortunately Austin this weekend will not be a PR, because the Houston Half Marathon that I did last October was my best run ever. I ran a 12:36 minute/mile, and just smoked it (for me).

Rodeo run is Feb 28th. Can't wait to post a new PR!!!

HRTC Meeting

Tonight was the first HRTC meeting that I could attend.  The best parts of it were that race directors came and talked about their upcoming races.  They handed out a calender for this season, and auctioned off race entries.  Unfortunately I didn't buy a ticket for the raffle because I didn't expect the meeting to go so long so I thought by leaving early I would miss the raffle.  Oh well.  Worst part?  Papa John's wheat crust pizza.

Something mentioned in the about me section is that I would like to explore the possibilities of where my new found athleticism will take me.  Usually what I was thinking was ultras, triathlons, or literally, where.  So here are two commitments I am going to make for those last 2 thoughts:

1)  Trigirl's Super Sprint Tri on May 10th.  Like, super sprint.  Which I realize is kinda cheating.  It's like saying I'm going to run one mile of a marathon.  But it's a start.  And specifically it will get me out to buy something to wear in the water.  And hopefully get me in the water.  Swim 200yds, Bike 8 run 2.  Thats the plan.

2)  Run the Burmuda Triangle Challenge.  Not only am I going to go and run this, but I'm actually inviting people to go with me.  I actually know people.  Who would want to do this.  Awesome.  The Bermuda Triangle Challenge is a 3 day event.  One mile run Friday, 10K Saturday, and a half/full marathon Sunday.  That kind of counts as multiple goals, right?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Trail run part duex

Saturday was a sad day without the BF (and I have to be sure to say this since he's like the only person who reads my blog :-P).  So I joined up with Houston Trail Running Extreme again and ran about an hour (maybe 5 miles) with them.  Man is trail running a workout.  I often have sore leg muscles that I didn't know could be sore.  Or existed.

And no I did not bike there.  It was a small crowd because a majority of the runners were either running the Rocky Raccoon 50/100 miler or at least volunteering there.  So it was Josh and Steve who joined me.  They were extremely patient, often running a head, but always making sure I never got lost.

No armadillos this time :(

Bike Path

Bike path from tonight's run. If you count the distance from my apartment to the start of the path, it's a 15 mile ride.

Bike adventure

One of the things I've wanted to do lately is start biking to my training. So I decided that I needed to test out the route to take to get places - Memorial Park, Lamar HS, etc. So tonight I grabbed my bike and got going. My path started as the "suggested walking path" by my iPhone. Through West U on the east side of Buffalo Speedway, to Kirby to get under 59. Then up Kirby, eventually making my way over to Shepard. This part had some pretty high traffic, so I tried to hop to skip streets when I could, and I don't remember exactly how I went. But I made it up to Memorial park. memorial park was actually the scariest part of my ride. It was so damn quiet and there was no one around. I almost hit an armadillo.

From Memorial park I kept to the bike trail alongside 610 until SanFelipe. Turned left, then right on Westcreek. That was a quiet stretch, but there were people coming and going from houses pretty often, and no cars to contend with. From Westcreek to Westheimer, through a bit of HIghland Village. I stopped here at Lululemon, a yoga-based clothing store. I have a friend who has designed store fronts for them, and I've been on their mailing list. They have the yoga Sunday nights that I've been meaning to attend. I had gotten an email that they were having a party, but I didn't really think much about attending for some reason. When I biked by the party was still rolling (around 8 30). There was caperoria dancers performing, bites to eat, and a water fountain. So I took a peek around the store. Each store has a flip-page display (like the kind that you display movie posters in) that has information on the store, the community, yoga, etc. So I paged through that, and answered my most important question prior to attending a free yoga session - do they provide mats (they do).

Back on the bike down Drexel to richmond, to Weslyan, to west park (which has a bike path) and then down swamee to home. Overall, the route back from Memorial was much better. Less lights, less traffic, safe paths to take. However, the time was a bit longer then I had in mind. It took me almost 1 hours to get to Memorial, and then 45 minutes to get back. So if I'm meeting HTRex tomorrow at 7 am do I want to get up extra early and bike? Not really. But I should sometime to see how long it takes when there is absolutely no traffic.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On fire Wednesday!

Woot! Good workouts today. Yes plural!!!

This morning I worked out with my personal trainer Steve, which will be my last workout with him for a while due to financial reasons. But it was good:

5 minute walk at 3.2 mph
obliques/abs/hamstring leg curls
biking sprints
5 minute walk at 3 mph, 10% incline

I think that about sums it up. The bike sprints really had me pushing it. Steve told me to aim for 90 rpms but i got it up to 100 and kept it there, even though I struggled on the last sets.

In the afternoon, I joined HRTC for a track workout. It was pretty good:

800 m easy run
1000 m fast run (half marathon pace)
1 minute rest
6x200 m faster run (5K pace) with 2 minute rests between
6x100 m sprints with 100m walk rests

My sprints felt really good. Actually the whole run felt really good. The main problem I had with it was that I haven't run a 5K since August, so I don't really know what my pace is for a 5K. I think I was able to guess pretty well, cause I felt pretty good while I was running. It's got me thinking about a need to go do some smaller races. BF and I have talked about doing the Rodeo 10K the end of February, inbetween Austin and the TIR. We'll see.


Yesterday I was successful in sticking to my training schedule! A rest day, woot!

This morning, not so much. Alarm went off at 5 am, rolled over and reset it for 6:00. Then hit snooze, 3 times.

It is soo hard to get up in the mornings, esp when it is chilly out. And I refuse to turn on my heat in Texas. That's just lame.

Tomorrow - weight training in the morning with Steve, track workout with HRTC in the afternoon.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Light Sunday run

Just did a light run today with the BF. We kind of screwed up a bit. We were too lazy to run on Saturday. My line was, "we should sleep in while it's chilly out and we can get up early when it's too hot out to run later". And then we didn't bring running clothes Saturday night when we went to stay at my parents. So it would have been good to run before breakfast on Sunday, but since we didn't have our stuff, we ran after brunch. We didn't have enough time to get the run I wanted in (8-10 miles) with the superbowl later, but we did get a good 6 3/8 mile run in. We started at about 2. It was warm out, but it sprinkled through West U the first time, and then there was a GREAT breeze running through Main between Rice and Med Center. Some weird places on my legs have been in pain. I think it has to do with the trail run last week, because it's muscles on the sides of my legs. I need to get a good rubdown with the marathon stick.

Not pleased with my workouts this weekend, but at least I did get a run in.

Ideally my schedule for the week would look something like this:

Monday: rest/easy run
Tuesday: rest/Brian O'Neil's running club
Wednesday: morning weight train, afternoon Speed training with HRTC
Thursday: Bricks in Memorial Park with HRTC
Friday: rest
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Swim/yoga/bike

I would like to be biking to all workouts. It's a pretty ambitious schedule. It also doesn't leave a lot of room to fit in a hilly run, which I need to do in order to be prepared for my next couple of races. But this is mostly new stuff. So there may be something that I don't enjoy as much as I hope. So we'll see.

Thanks for reading :)