Monday, July 27, 2009

Redheaded runners!

Thanks to my mom, I found this new blog! Woot redheads! While reading the blog, I found this site:

My new background is "Good Luck Charm" cause who doesn't need a little good luck at the races??

After reading through the blog, I got to thinking about how cool it was that she meet up with fellow bloggers to run. It's a cool thought, but for me, it presents two problems:

1) I'm so slow, its a burden for other people to run with me (BF loves me, so that's why he puts up with it)

2) Where are all the Houston Bloggers?

Speed Training and Core

Had another great morning at the gym! I started on the treadmill:

400 m 3.5 mph
400 4.5
100 5.5, 100 4.5, repeat 8 times
400 4.5
400 3.5

Total: 2 miles, 27.36 minutes

On to core!

The bridge for 30, then relax. Metronome for 14 counts (5 on each side). Then repeat 3 times.

Plank for 10 seconds, Hard Superman for 20 seconds. Repeat this 3 times.

Pretty great weekday workout.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

10 Miles with Houston Fit

This morning we got up and finally joined Houston Fit for a 10 miler. I was obviously the back of the pack, but had a very nice girl running with me for part of the run. She was behind me towards the middle and ended up getting picked up by the sag wag. :(

It was, as usual, hot out. I was def the last one in, but I'm not too worried about it because I know that will my speed training and with the weather cooling off I will get fast(er) again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tempo run and core workout

I did something amazing today. I got up at 5:30 to go workout! Ok 5:45, and was out the door around 6:15, but it was close!

I packed up work clothes the night before so I could shower at Crew and then go straight to work. I hope that soon I'll be able to get up at 4:45 and attend the 5:30 cardio cycling class, but we'll see.

To start I warmed up with 400 meters of a 3.5 mph walk on the treadmill (4:15 minutes). Then I kicked it up for a warm up jog and did 400 meters at 4.5 mph (3:20). Kicking up into the tempo pace, I ran for 1200 meters at a 5.5 mph pace (8:10). Then back down to 400 meters at a 3.5 mph pace. (4:15)

Total: 1.5 miles (20 minutes)

Movin on to the core:

Held a plank for 7 seconds, relaxed for 15 then held the plank for another 7 seconds. Then I did the superman (the hard one with both feet and hands) holding for 10 seconds, then relax for 15, then hold for another 10. Repeat this 3 times.

Move on to the bridge. Hold for 20, then relax. Metronome for 10 counts (5 on each side). Then repeat 3 times.

Showers at Crew are pretty decent. I made a mental note of things I needed to bring for next time. BF and I are going to put together a "gym" bag so that we can be prepared in the morning to go workout.

Sunglasses or no sunglasses?

A benefit of not wearing sunglasses?

No Ryan Hall tan line. Or wait, is that a good thing?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fitness Challenge Research

Using my new "race pace", I recalculated my V dot. Now that I have a better way to control my pace instead of just guessing, I'm going to try to use this information more effectively. Here is a handy link to explain how you should use the V dot information.

So basically for tempo (threshold) training, I need to hold the "hard" (read: uncomfortable) pace for an extended period of time. For speed (interval) training, I need to use short bursts of speed. Interval training increases your VO2 max (the rate at which your body consumes oxygen) while threshold training builds up a tolerance to lactate build up in the muscles (basically building up your pain levels, in a nicer way of putting it).

So, according to my Vdot above, I should be running I training at 5.3 mph, and T training at 4.9. It seems slow, but that article says a lot about how it is counter productive to run faster then that.

To calculate your own V dot.

Now, moving on to the core workouts!

I'm not going to talk to much about this, because I think the article explains it pretty well. Ignore the title please (I hate stuff that promises that you can lose weight or get in shape fast). The important pages are 2 and 3. Page 2 shows you where your core muscles benefit you as a runner, and page 3 shows you moves to do (without equipment) that can strengthen those areas.

So this is my plan. It's actually kind of stupid for me to post this, because I am giving BF the information on how to beat me in our challenge, but I think that's ok :) He will be a worthy opponent no matter what.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fitness Challenge is on! and Crew Gym

Getting more workouts in then just my long run has always been a challenge for me. BF and I are trying to fix that two ways:

The first is getting a gym membership. This will help for a variety of reasons. One is that I won't be able to use the excuse that it's too hot out to run/bike. Granted I'll still be sweating my butt off, but at least it will be in air conditioned comfort verses the 100+ degree weather. I will also be able to do more cross training, with classes and weights. My mom is really into spinning, and now that shes supplementing it with running, she's seeing great changes. I'm hoping that knowing how fast I'm going will help with speed training and tempo work. Also, I need to be doing a lot more defining of my muscles in order to get into the shape I want to be.

The second method is to get a little competitive. BF and I have decided that we are going to have 3 categories, and over the next 6 weeks (till September 1st) we will see who can improve the most in each category. So our goals are set as:

Running 1 mile
One minute of push ups
One minute of sit ups

So if I increase the number of sit ups I can do in one minute versus what the BF can do, I win!

So tonight we headed over to Crew Gym on Washington Ave between Shepard and Durham. We got the tour and the whole speech on the costs and benefits and stuff. It is a very clean gym. The weights and machines are well organized. We went at 6 pm on purpose to see it at rush hour, but it wasn't very crowded. There are two upstairs areas that look down into the main room - one for a stretching area and one for cardio. After the tour, BF and I were both able to hop on treadmills right away (although the first one I got on didn't work).

Man has technology changed. I haven't had a gym membership in a few years, if you don't include my school gym. When I was growing up I belonged to the South Shore Harbor fitness center down in League City (I loved their indoor track, although my parents certainly didn't get their money's worth out of my membership), and when I lived in New Haven I was a member of two gyms (a Bally's and then one small local one, where I took kickboxing). The small one in New Haven had individual tvs on each treadmill, which I thought was pretty neat. I used to go first thing in the mornings and run and watch VH1 (cause that was the time that it actually had music videos on).

Now, each cardio machine at Crew allows you to plug headphones into it and watch any of the 4 tvs above you. That's kind of a step down, especially for someone who is near sighted and refuses to wear glasses. But, there is also a plug for your ipod, so that you can charge it and control it on the touch screen! Pretty cool. The touchscreen itself is pretty nice, and allows you to 'watch' as you go around a track. Finally, the treadmill has a USB port, and at the end of your workout, it asks if you want to download your workout information to your thumb drive. I haven't tried any of these yet, but I'll report back when I do!

So to start I cranked the treadmill up and started a run.

400 m at 5 mph
400 m 6 mph
400 m 4 mph

Bathroom break. When I popped back upstairs, BF informed me he finished his initial mile run, so I hopped on the treadmill and tried to get my best mile in.

400m 6mph
300m 5mph
200m 4 mph
400m 6mph
100m 5 mph
100m 6 mph
100m 7.2mph

Nice little simulated "sprint" towards the finish. I didn't think I would pick back up to 6mph again at the end but I did. That led me to a 11:05 minute mile! Def the fastest I have ever attempted to run a mile.

So in total, that was 1.75 miles in 20:20 minutes.

FYI, BF smoked by at somewhere around 7:45 minute mile. That's why we're going by percentage increase. :)

Moving on, BF and I helped each other do the push ups and sit ups. BF opted to do crunches instead of sit ups because of chronic upper back/shoulder pain. I opted for push ups on my knees instead of on my toes, because, well, I'm a wuss.

In the one minute allowed, I got in 22 push ups, and then 22 sit ups.

So we'll see how this goes! Right now the gym membership is a 3 day pass to use in the next 2 weeks. It would be wise for us to shop around elsewhere, so we'll see!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

8 miler

We're gearing back up! BF and I went for a run this morning. We were out the door at 6:10 and headed off to do 8 miles. We ran down TC Jester, took a right on Washington, and weaved west and south until we hit memorial. Down Memorial to Picnic Lane and back!

It's nice that we're closer to Memorial now, because I think there will be more opportunities to exercise.

The run was hot, and we walked a majority of the way back. But there is a nice little hill on TC Jester for us to go over, and in fact, we actually saw a guy biking the hill, u-turning, and biking back up. Repeatedly. Now we know a place close to home to do hill training.

Sometimes I get a little down on the fact that I'm so slow. But then I think about all the people I started HoustonFit with last year, and how many of them actually made it to the full marathon. And here I am still chugging along. Go me!

Now we are caught up with Houston Fit, and will be running the 10 miler with the fall group next weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Just registered for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I feel so rusty!

Well, it's been two weeks since we've run, and we figured it's about time to get the shoes.

Today is also the orientation for HoustonFit's Houston Marathon season.

So we got up early and drove to memorial park to run. We started out going counter clockwise around the loop, but I think next time I'll try to remember to run clockwise because if you stay to the right, you're on the inside. It's a lot easier to go from the inside to the amenities around the park.

It was a little bizarre getting back into running. All of our lessons we had learned were out the window: get up early, use the bathroom first, wear sun protection, etc.

So we wanted to do two laps, but that wasn't going very well, and we wanted to make it to the orientation on time, so we just did one (with too many breaks).

The HoustonFit orientation is great, and totally motivating. It was especially interesting to hear it now, with two marathons under my belt, and to understand how completely true everything they say is.

Hopefully we'll be back into things quickly now that we're running with HoustonFit.