Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss for the Obsessive Compulsive Runner

For the last month or so, I've been trying to lose a couple of pounds, hoping to be healthier and also to be a faster runner. The way I'm doing this is to pay myself. For every day that I exercise at least 30 minutes, I put $5 in my running fund. Also, for every day that my caloric intake is 500 calories less than what I've burned that day, I put in another $5. Now, if I don't run or do other exercise, I take $5 out, and if I eat more calories than I've burned that day, I have to take out another $5. I track my calories at a really good website called, you can customize foods and get as detailed as you want. They also have all kinds of charts and things to track your progress. The money in my kitty will go to things like gym membership, new shoes, race entry fees, etc. So far this plan has been working very well, I've lost 6 pounds and hope to lose another 4 before my birthday.

As far as training goes, I ran 42.2 miles last week and am on track to run about 40 this week. On Saturday I will be running my very first ever trail race, the Thrill in the Hills Half Marathon. I've looked at the forecast and it looks like rain the day before and the day of the race. Looks like I'll have to be prepared to get muddy. My only goal is to not fall down. I have no trail running gear, no trail shoes, no gaiters, etc, so this could be interesting. I'll be back in a few days with the race report.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tough Week

This week I did "speed" work, hills, and my long run, all in a three day span. Thursday I was on the treadmill at the gym and did 3 x 1 miles @ 6.0 mph and ran a total of 45 minutes. Friday was the long loop around my neighborhood. It's about 2 miles and has one monster hill that Mr Garmin says its a 150 foot climb in a half mile. According to my calculator that is about a 5.5% grade. Today I did my long run using running and walking. I need to work on this. I tended to run too fast after my walk breaks, and the first five miles were actually faster than my marathon pace even with walking a minute every fifteen minutes. The first 1 1/2 hours were fine, but I struggled the last hour. (could be that the speed and hill workouts the previous two days factored into the struggling) Anyways, I covered 12.75 miles in 2 1/2 hours. Total mileage for the week was 34.7.

Here is a picture of the second half of the monster hill. The first half is curved, then it levels off for about 20 yards, then its uphill again.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I just found out that there is another excellent running event that occurs on my 50th birthday. The MORE Marathon in New York City is also on April 26th. For those of you who don't know, the MORE Marathon is only for women over 40 and last year 7000 mature women ran it. I think it would be a blast to celebrate my birthday that way. However, there's something about run/walking a 50K on my birthday that speaks to me. I've still got a lot of time to decide, and my training for either one will be the same. Actually it would probably be easier to train for the 50K since I am planning from the start to run/walk it and if I did the marathon, I would want to (of course) set a PR. Of course, I can always run the marathon next year, but how many times am I turning 50 and be able to do a 50K? Looks like I have some pros and cons to weigh in the next month or two.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Grand Prix #2

Above is a picture I took the other day running on the golfcart paths in Peachtree City. The loop I run on medium or long run days is a 4.67 mile loops with a lot of the scenery looking like it does in this picture.

This morning the cult I joined had its second running event and new member breakfast. The running event was a consistency run. The instructions we were given were to run to the Huddleston Elementary School and back. Whoever's out time was closest to their in time won. Only one problem, since I only run on the 4.67 mile loop, I had absolutely no idea how to get to Huddleston Elementary. I went to the back of the pack (there were about 40-50 runners) and asked if there were any 11 minute milers that knew how to get to the school. Fortunately for me, a very nice gal named Bonnie volunteered to run with me. Normally I run alone, so it was a refreshing change to run with someone. We talked about running, marathons, Kenny Chesney, and assorted other topics. The run went by quickly and I had a great time. At the finish, I asked the time keeper guy what the distance was, he said it was about 4 miles and that according to my time I had run 8 minute miles. Now, I know that that is impossible, so it must be that my new friend Bonnie knew a shortcut! Afterwards we had breakfast and conversation and of course I had to tell everyone about my very first marathon. All in all a very nice morning.

My training this week has been on track, except I did miss two days of running. Runs were 45-90 minutes and as soon as I finish this post, I'm out the door to do 7-8 miles for a total of 10-11 miles today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Virtual 5k

There's a blogger out there named Non-Runner Nancy who has just been diagnosed as being freakishly flexible. Unfortunately this means that she will probably have to really become a non-runner. Her friends are organizing a virtual Freakishly Flexible 5k on Valentine's Day and every one is invited to run. Check here for details.