Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot To Trot Scouting Report

There are no running specialty stores down where I live, so normally I drive up to Atlanta to the Big Peach Running Company to try on new shoes about once a year. I noticed on the web site that they also had a store in Decatur which is where the Hot To Trot run will be tomorrow. So....I killed two birds with one stone. I got some new shoes (New Balance 1062) and then drove out to the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve to get a sneak peek at the terrain.

It looks to be a fairly tame course, mostly covered with wood chips, but with the potential to be muddy after 50 pairs of feet run over it 30-40 times. There are no big hills, but there are some ups and downs. There are also some places with roots and rocks to navigate. The path we'll take tomorrow wasn't marked, but I did take some representative pictures.

It also felt like it could be very mosquitoey, so my bug spray is already in the car.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No New 310XT

I had been hoping to be sporting the new Garmin 310XT by now, but alas, it was not to be. When I ordered it from Amazon, I was given an approximate shipping date of July 24th. Well July 24th came, and I checked my email 2-3 times (ok, it was closer to 10) hoping to get notification that my new best friend had been shipped and was on its way. Finally on the 25th, I got an email from Amazon. They had to back order it and it wouldn't ship until the middle of SEPTEMBER! So, it was time for option #2, rescusitate the original Mr Garmin. So, that's where I'm at now, Mr Garmin is in Kansas getting new innards and I'm running with a bare wrist. Its been difficult for me trying to train without knowing my heart rate. I would say I use the heart rate part of the watch for 75% of my information and the time/distance/pace part for about 25% of my information. Guess I'll just have to use the tried and true "talk test" for the Hot To Trot 8 Hour run on Saturday.

As far as training goes, I was able to get in a 4 hour and a 3 hour run/walk the last 2 weekends. For me, a ratio of 8.5 minutes running/1.5 minutes walking keeps me going for the longest time. So I will be starting with that on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it, looks like there is a good chance for rain, so I'll probably wear shoes that are coming up on retirement mileage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Streak Has Ended

I took a day off today. At first I felt bad about it, but now I'm telling myself I deserved it. I have run at least 30 minutes every day since the Grandma's Marathon Massacre. That adds up to 31 days and 221 miles. It also includes my very first interval session on the track and a 4 hour run in the middle of the day. So, yes, I do deserve a day off.

Its official, I am a Marathon Maniac. I finally submitted my times (and membership dues) and have been accepted as Maniac #1723. I did not order the signature singlet, though. I'm just not a singlet wearing kind of gal. I would order a tech T-shirt with the logo, but they don't offer those. Perhaps I'll just get the hat.

Finally, I was hoping to get Mr Garmin, II (I've got to come up with a new name) by Friday, but I rechecked my order and Friday is the estimated shipping date. Of course I went with the free shipping which means it will probably be another 10 days or so before he is on my wrist. At least I've gotten to the point where I'm only checking my wrist 2-3 times during a run to see if my heart is still beating.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

RIP Mr Garmin

My Garmin Forerunner 305 decided to die this week. I've perused the internet and called technical support and he is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably DEAD. (Yes, I called the Munchkin Coroner to make sure) I had two options - since it was out of warranty, I could send it in and for $79, Garmin would either fix it or send me a refurbished one. The other option was to buy a new 310XT that is waterproof, lasts up to 20 hours between charges, picks up satellites faster, and looks cooler. Guess what option I picked? That's right, a brand new Garmin 310XT will be on my wrist probably by Friday. I ordered it from, got free shipping and I don't have to pay sales tax. I'll let you guys know how much I love it as soon as I take it on a test run or two.

As far as training goes, its been going very well. I really like my coach, even though I think he's a little too easy on me, but I'm sure things will pick up as I get closer to my goal race in January. Today I ran 4 hours, and I ran between 10 AM and 2 PM in hopes of getting in some heat acclimation in preparation for the Hot To Trot 8 Hour run in two weeks. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. It only got up to 80 degrees by the end of the run and the dew point was in the low 60s. Certainly not an ordinary July day in Joja. Next week I hit the track again for another speed workout.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Name Change?

This morning I did my very first ever interval workout on the track. I have done intervals on the treadmill, but this is the first time I've done this on a 400 meter track. Its a little bit harder maintaining a steady pace without a giant rubber band forcing you to keep its pace.

I set my alarm so I could be out at the track before it got too hot. I managed to get out there at 7:00 AM and there were eleven other runners out there! Most of them had gotten up even earlier than me and all but a few were finished before I even completed my 1.5 mile warmup.

I have recruited my brother (Mr Sub Three Hour Man, or MSTHM for short) to be my coach, and he assigned me 8 x 400 at a 2:21 per interval with a 60-90 second recovery. My plan was to shoot for 2:15 to 2:21. After my 6 lap warmup at a 12:00 min/mile pace, I started my intervals. If I do say so myself, I think they went very well. Here are the times for the eight intervals.

2:14.00 Avg HR 152
2:15.32 149
2:13.90 151
2:13.72 152
2:12.75 154
2:14.55 154
2:14.41 155
2:02.73 160

My brother told me that consistency is the key, and I think I did very well on that, but I did kick it up a notch on the last one. Overall, I'm giving myself an A on my first interval session. I finished up with a little over 4 miles at an 11:45/mile pace.

If I keep this up, I may have to change my name from Jogger to Runner!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No Badwater For Me!

The Badwater Ultra Run is just 10 days away. This 135 mile race starts in Death Valley (often with temperatures up to 130 degrees) and ends at an elevation of 8360' at the Mt Whitney Portal. The last few weeks I have been trying to run at least one run per week in the middle of the day in an attempt to acclimatize myself for the Hot to Trot 8 Hour Run in August. I have found that my body essentially turns itself off when the temperature reaches about 85 degrees. No matter how slowly I try to run, my heart rate zooms up above 160 which for me is the danger zone. I still have over four weeks to continue to acclimate. However, this has been enough to tell me that Badwater is not in my distant future. Good luck to all Badwater participants, I admire your tenacity (even though I think you are at least a teensy bit crazy).

Here is a chart that I forgot to include in my last blog entry. It dramatically shows my meltdown at Grandma's marathon. This chart shows my pace per mile as it deviates from my average pace (which was a little under 13:00/mile). As you can see, I was trucking along pretty well for 15 miles, just slowing slightly, then, WHAM! You can also see where I ran with the 5:30 pace group from miles 21-23. Math and graph geeks enjoy.