Friday, February 21, 2014


The day of the Columbia City marathon, Kelly asked what was next, aside from Disney, and I said with no hesitation that the next five months are all about getting faster. Surprisingly I've been able to stick with it. I HATE doing speed work! I'd rather do 5 slow miles than 1 fast one, I'd rather do hills than speed work, but unless I'm busy getting faster, I'm busy staying slow.

Time to woman up, put on my big girl pants and GET IT DONE!!!

This winter has been horrendous and with one exception, every single run has been on a treadmill. It blows. Yet, if I'm stuck in one place, going nowhere, let's get there fast!!! Variety works for me so I generally keep increasing the pace every 0.05 miles, or every minute, depending on the run.

On Monday I broke through my invisible barrier holding me just outside a 30:00 5k. After that, it was like a switch flipped. The next day I did 4.2 miles at 6.2 mph. That night I told Bill that in two more treadmill runs, I'd break one hour for a 10k - I figured I would do 5.2, then 6.2.

Thursday was gross. It was thundersnowing, everything was covered in slush and it was obviously going to be a treadmill day. I had my gym bag in my car at work so I had no excuses, and just before leaving work, I felt it in my bones. "If my car doesn't break down on the way to the gym, TODAY is the day to break an hour on a 10k," I emailed him.

I slow walked, I slow jogged for a few minutes. Then I shut off the machine, stretched out my quads, stretched out my hamstrings, spun the iPod to Ozzy's "I Don't Wanna Stop," and got ready.

It took me 5 seconds to get up to speed, then I just hung on. Some runs pass quickly, some I'm able to tune out mentally. Thursday I was all too aware of where I was in the distance, how much I had gone and how far I still had to go. I was counting down from 620 pretty much the entire way.

With 0.3 miles left, I started progressing the speed because I knew I was 5 seconds over with the time it took the machine to get to speed, and there was going to be no doubt on the time. I wasn't going to settle for a 60:00 10k. My #3 goal for the year is a 10k UNDER 1 hour.

Final time 59:45. Yeah!!!!!!!

Yet.... I'm not sure it counts. Nita says yes, absolutely, that it counts twice because I did it without race endorphins. I can agree with that, but I also see that I wasn't running my own pace, but keeping up with what the treadmill was forcing me to do. It was also done in my own little bubble, without any hills or corners, or people to dodge.

If this is the only time I do it, I'll always think "Yes, but..." Now that I've done it once, however, it's just the first time of many. It pretty much sucked, but easy doesn't do it! Hard work does it! See you at the finish line!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A treadmill run (yes, ANOTHER)

Hal's program had me running 14 miles this weekend. I've been completely neglectful of these long Saturday runs :~(

The only thing I've been managing is to keep up with my speed training, because that's all I can handle right now with the dreadmill being my only option.

Kelly had invited me to run 9 miles on Sunday, so I postponed my Saturday run to Sunday, then realized how cold and new snowy it was, so I bailed on that. I finally dragged myself onto the treadmill, where I finished 5.95 miles, which is my new PR for 1 hour on a dreadmill. Rather than increase every 0.05 miles, I increased every minute, going from 5.0 to 6.9.

Monday was back to the same dreadmill. I did 0.5 warmup, then 3.1 miles at 6.2 mph and the last 0.4 at whatever pace. It was originally supposed to be a cool down, but my legs felt good, so I kept pushing the speed every 0.05 miles. I know at some point I've done a 5k under 30 minutes, but it was in my mid-20s and not part of my current running life (which began October 2009 when I started training for my first marathon). Breaking the half hour mark had become a bit of a glass ceiling for me, that I could get so close but never crash through it. I knew today was that day and I made it happen. It had always seemed like a somewhat difficult feat to average 9:40s for that long, but after doing it, it wasn't bad at all. Next up: 4 miles at 6.2 mph. I'm going to break an hour on a 10k this year!!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Healthy food for lazy girls 2.0

Cook a pack of chicken (bake, grill, pan fry, whatever)
cook 1-2 servings brown rice
cook desired amount of peas and broccoli (or carrots, cauliflower, etc.)

mix together with 1-2 cans cream of chicken soup

top with fried onions, if desired

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mickey loves me!

Mickey Mouse and company sent a photo card this week. Nice :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Making peace with the dreadmill

I desperately want to be running outdoors. The worst times are when it's not even that cold but the sidewalks and roads are a total mess so I've had to make alternate arrangements all winter. Last weekend I joined the Y and discovered that the track can actually be worse than the dreadmill. It's a 1/10th mile lap, so it felt like I was constantly turning. As soon as I got in a few comfortable paces, it was time to turn again. So that felt unnatural. I had to remain mentally awake as well, both to avoid running into people, and to count laps. I managed to avoid the people, but kept losing count of laps. It's crazy to think how much I used to really enjoy the track.

My Y contract allotted a 3-day window to terminate the agreement and get a full refund. I liked the sauna and the building is in a geographically desirable location, but those aren't reasons to stay with a gym. Besides the month-to-month option is convenient, but more extravagant than my budget allows (I'd rather spend the $ on a few more races or a new pair of shoes, new SmartWool knee socks, etc.), so after work on Monday I un-joined. Emily needed a specific reason why I canceled my agreement - "track is too small." *shrug* I left another gym previously because their pool was too small.

So it's back to the dreadmill. I don't like it, but I can deal with it. My main problem is boredom, so I have two approaches to dealing with it:
1. throw a towel over the display screen, oscillate among the 28 different tvs and try to shut off my brain.
2. VARIETY!!!!! Change it up every 0.05 miles, whether increasing the speed or the incline. Don't let anything stay the same for more than a minute.

It's miserable, but the good thing is I've marathoned before and it's not my first rodeo so I know I can get through it. I  keep hearing from people that it's supposed to be in the 50s next week, but I'm not seeing this forecast!!!! I sure hope they're right! Winter has to end at some point, right???

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated ultimate 4-hour cardio playmix

I've been adding to and tinkering with the ultimate 4-hour cardio playmix. Here's the most up to date version, which totals 4:26:57. In a perfect world I'll hear it once during a race and nothing else.

I Don't Wanna Stop - Ozzy Osbourne
Sound of Madness - Shinedown
Hate my Life - Theory of a Deadman
The Real Slim Shady - Eminem
Kiss Me I'm #!@*faced - Dropkick Murphys

For Those About To Rock - AC/DC
Something In Your Mouth - Nickelback
Good Vibrations - Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
Hate - Drowning Pool
Bad Girlfriend - Theory of a Deadman

I Love Myself Today - Bif Naked
Burn It to the Ground - Nickelback
Bodies - Drowning Pool
The Night - Disturbed
Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna

Whiskey Hangover - Godsmack
Girls - Beastie Boys
What's My Age Again? - Blink-182
Cryin' Like a Bitch!! - Godsmack
Skinhead On The MBTA - Dropkick Murphys

Funkytown - Lipps Inc.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC
Dragula - Rob Zombie
Step Up - Drowning Pool
Sports mix - Jock Jams  
Pretty Fly - The Offspring
Forget - Drowning Pool
Bleed It Out - Linkin Park
Whatever - Godsmack
Amazing Grace - Dropkick Murphys

Given Up - Linkin Park
No Brakes - The Offspring
Break - Three Days Grace
Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace
Faint - Linkin Park

Walla Walla - The Offspring
Monster - Skillet
Goin' Down - Three Days Grace
Do or Die - Dropkick Murphys
Little Smirk - Theory of a Deadman

I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Stay Away - Nirvana
Told You So - Drowning Pool
Take Back the Fear - Hail the Villain
Someone That You're With - Nickelback

Send In the Wolves - Destrophy
Hero - Skillet
The Good Life - Three Days Grace
The Good Left Undone - Rise Against
Flat On the Floor - Nickelback

Disturbia - Rihanna
Another Way to Die - Disturbed
Satellite - Rise Against
Indestructible - Disturbed
I Miss the Misery - Halestorm (My new favorite go-to cardio song!!!)

Welcome to the Family -Avenged Sevenfold
Animals - Nickelback
Come Out and Play - The Offspring
Awake and Alive - Skillet
Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit

The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson
Not Afraid - Eminem
Down With the Sickness - Disturbed
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix A Lot
The Night Pat Murphy Died - Great Big Sea

Irish Drinking Song
Lighters - Bruno Mars, Eminem, et. al.
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Get Thru This - Art of Dying
Devour - Shinedown
Tonight - Seether
One Step Closer - Linkin Park

Saturday, February 8, 2014

F*^% this winter!!!!!!

I've never been a fan of winter, but this year has been INSUFFERABLE!!!!!!! It's February 8 and the temperature hasn't been above freezing even one day since before Christmas. The cities have completely given up on road maintenance, and even if people shovel their sidewalks, there is still a bedrock of solid ice. How in the world am I supposed to run PRs this year when I can't even run????!!!!!!

In desperation I joined the Y today for a 2-month membership. I figured running laps at the track had to be better than the dreadmill. Yeah, not so much. I had completely blocked out how boring it is. My plan today was 10 miles, or 100 laps, but I gave up in utter boredom after 60. So that was a total waste of a Saturday long run.

If the lack of quality running isn't bad enough, I don't get paid for snow days either. Who ever heard of a job that punishes its employees financially for the weather? I'm ready, willing, able and WANTING to work, yet I've become a prisoner in my house.

The ten day forecast is a solid ten days significantly below freezing and snowing pretty much every day, of course. I can't win this winter. F winter!!!!!!!!! I'm so angry :(

Anyone know of anywhere to run outdoors that is cleared of snow and ice, that isn't I-75? That seems to be the only clear road :(

Friday, February 7, 2014

A speed workout

Well I'm back together with Hal, but doing it my own way. I'm back to the Novice 2 program, the one I used pretty much every time, but I'm adding a few features to make it more speed-centered. He doesn't even mention pace, just log the miles. I have to disagree with that, and focus on running every last mile at race pace. Some runs I alternate miles at race pace versus whatever pace. Eventually I need to change it to 2:1 and 3:1 until I'm doing it all race pace.

Something else I'm adding is speedwork Thursday. Yesterday was 4 miles, but rather than just 4 miles, I plotted out my exact strategy, wrote it on a big index card and propped it up on the dreadmill.

Warm up:
0.0 to 0.4 miles - 5.0mph
0.4 to 0.56 - 5.1
0.56 to 0.68 - 5.2
0.68 to 0.8 - 5.3
0.8 to 0.9 - 5.4
0.9 to 1.0 - 5.5

Fast miles:
1.0 to 1.25 - 7.0
1.25 to 1.75 - 6.0
1.75 to 2.0 - 7.1
2.0 to 2.25 - 5.9
2.25 to 2.5 - 7.2
2.5 to 2.75 - 5.8
2.75 to 3.0 - 7.3

Cool down:
3.0 to 3.12 - 5.7
3.12 to 3.24 - 5.6
3.24 to 3.36 - 5.5
3.36 to 3.48 - 5.4
3.48 to 3.6 - 5.3
3.6 to 4.0 - 5.2 increasing the incline every 0.05

My hip seems to be feeling better, but now the 4th toe on my right foot is bothering me. It looks like it bled under the nail, which it did last year, always a result of too many miles on a dreadmill. It'll hurt for a few days, then eventually the nail will fall off. I'm sooooooo #$%^$% sick of this winter!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 Plans

I don't set New Year's resolutions. If I want to do something new or better, I start immediately. Every year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second is a chance to start over. What works for me is each January I take a few weeks and put some thought into what I'm going to accomplish that year.

Here's my 2014 list:

1. Run a marathon PR
2. Run a half marathon PR
3. Run a 10k under 60:00
4. Weigh and maintain x pounds
5. Save and maintain $x in bank account.

My race plans thus far are limited to two spring marathons (Toledo and Cincinnati) and two fall marathons, unless by some possible way I win the lottery for both Chicago and New York, then it'll be three. The more realistic plan is Detroit and Columbia City. I registered for Detroit, but I'm holding off on CC until I hear about the lotteries. I can register two days beforehand for the same price it is now ($60).

The only half I'm doing so far is the Rock CF half on Grosse Ile mainly because I like the shirt and it coincides with a 12-mile training run. I'll probably do a few more halfs, but nothing is definite yet.

My short races are the 5k and 10k as part of the Cincinnati 4-way challenge. This is probably it for the short distances, which means I have one chance at plan #3. Last year's Cincinnati 10k was my very first 10k, on the heels of three marathons in three weeks, and I managed a 60:33 so I really should be able to do it. If not I'll find another 10k and try again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A happy piglet

The Flying Pig marathon has pretty much become my favorite non-Chicago marathon, my favorite marathon for normal people, my favorite that I know I can register for every year. I often think I should skip it next year and do Pittsburgh, because that's the same weekend and I've heard good things about it, and it would get me my 6th different state marathon. Then I say no, next year. I mean NEXT year. I realized this week that I can't skip out on the piggie because they make a big deal out of runners who have done it every year and while I missed the first 14 marathons, I participated in the inaugural 4-way and maybe they'll make a big to-do about that eventually. Something special for the 4th running of the 4-way?

Speaking of the 4-way, they emailed happy news this week. They email an update every 2-3 weeks and this one was especially good :)
Would you like a medal with that Skyline Chili 3-way? Or 4-way? The Skyline Chili 3-way and 4-way challenge is back, and by popular demand, we're adding a new medal for those who participate in the events!... You've asked for a special medal for your accomplishments and we listened.
The extra 4-way shirt was ok, the plaque was nice enough, but what I really wanted was an extra medal. Thank you Mr. Pig!!!

Further update on March 5: So for your extra efforts, you'll get a special shirt, separate medal, a plaque to hang all four medals and a Skyline Chili gift card! [all this stuff is "free" because they don't charge anything extra for the 4-way beyond the cost of the 3 races]

They change their theme every year and I really really liked last year "The hero lies in all of us."

This year is "Pigcasso." When I first saw the ad in Runner's World I thought it was hideous, yet the more I see it, the more I like it. I'm not sure the poster will replace my hero piggie poster, but I decided I liked it enough to buy the "in-training" shirt, which I've never done for any race. The attention to detail is great - hard to see on the photo, but the date on the "calendar" is 4, which reflects the date of the race - May 4. Here piggie piggie!!!!

I've been rolling my leg like a crazy woman and got the knot super small so I was looking forward to running today, but it's snowing hard and snowing fast, so it might be postponed for tomorrow. Stupid Michigan winter :(

I never heard from the winner of the Spartan race giveaway, so I'm re-offering the free entry. The first person who emails - who had already commented on the post - will get it. trinity90578 at yahoo dot com.

Update: race entry has been claimed. Thanks for your interest.