Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ninth Half

I did a new half marathon this year.  Why not since I was already "trained up."  And I did it within 4 seconds of my best overall time, 2:36:34.  I know, not by any means fast, but I'm old and have only been doing this a few years, so I was very pleased with my time.
I was the Rockin' Santa half in Knoxville.  Oops, I've got the medal turned around.....I tried to do some of Jeff Galloway's, short turnovers which seemed to help me be a bit faster.  This year I"ve run more than ever, since I started almost 5 years ago.  I've put in over 600 miles!  My goal was 500.  I'm not going to try to increase it next year, but hope to do at least 500 in 2018. I just want to do enough to stay healthy, and it is so good for my mind/mood.  I took the week off running this week and by yesterday I was itching to run.  Went to the track for 3 miles, and it was wonderful.....for mind and body.

Hope all of you out there have a wonderful......
(my first attempt at calligraphy, on a ziplock bag)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Track running

I'm thinking that I should do more running on the track.  Maybe that is why my knees got a little sore -- all that sidewalk running. I did three easy track miles on Thursday and wanted to get in a few miles on Saturday as well.
The track I run on is close by and has this beautiful view of the lake.  Nice.  I wanted to do a longish run but was wanting to also pay attention to my body and not push it too hard, being only a week away from my last half, where I did push it quite a bit.  Tried something new.

I did my normal 4 minute warm up, then ran three miles at 90/30 intervals. Pretty slow.  Average pace (including the 4 minutes of walking to start with) was 13:05 minute mile. (I really need to quite counting my warm up in my time!)  My average heart rate was 136 with a max of 163.  Stopped to walk some.  I probably walked about a mile, then decided to see if I could run another mile with no stopping.  I was able to and it wasn't that difficult.  My pace was 11:08.  I was pleased with that.  My heart rate was higher, average of 154 and max of 175.  Sounds high, but mine is always pretty high with no puking or feeling faint.  It got up to a max of 208 for my last half.

I've been reading some in my old Galloway's Book on Running, and found he recommends this type of training.  Especially as we age, he said it is better to run less frequently but longer.  Take some time to walk, rest your legs, relax, and then do a few more miles.  Think I'll try to do this more often. I also read of a woman, who didn't start running until she was 47, who ended up doing 12 marathons a year! Eight years after she began running she settled on 2 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking and did her best marathon of 4:13, at age 55! That is awesome in my book.  I also want to try his accelerations.  It is supposed to improve your form.  I'll have to look them up on Youtube to be sure I understand what he recommends.

Isn't it great to read something that is encouraging to you?  No matter your interests or abilities, sometimes just reading how other people improved their lives, it helps you.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Secret City Half Marathon

This is the third time, I've done this race.  It is close, and not too many hills.  The weather was about perfect -- cloudy, mid fifties.  There was some wind, but it wasn't too bad.  I had prepared myself not to PR, with the knee problems I have been having.  I"m sure now it was just overuse.  I looked back at my calendar and I only had 6 days between my 12 mile and 10 mile runs.  I should have given more time after the 12 miler....and also do more leg lunges during the whole span of training.  First up, the pre-race selfie.
This is my cute friend.  She's fairly new to running, maybe only 2-3 years, but she's a natural.  A couple of years younger than me but in the same age group. She did great for her first half.  She beat me, but I knew she would, and very happy for her.
She finished in 2:37 and me in 2:39. We finished 10 and 11 out of 16 in our age group.  She is already talking about finishing better "next time."  Last year was my best time, at 2:36. There was no way, I'd beat that.  I was thrilled with my time. I expected anything from 2:45 to 3 hours. She had hoped to do better, but I think her time was really good for a first.  Her husband, sons, and grands came to see her cross the finish line.  My hubby went with me too, and treated me to Chick Fil-A afterwards.  Yum.
It was tough but the knees didn't bother me too much. Of course today, they are .....wowsers....knees, feet, and hips. I'll be fine in a couple of days and start planning my next one.  What races do you have on your schedule?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Still Running

Oh wow, I haven't posted in such a long time!  I am still running.  I've had my own training schedule to prepare me for two fall half marathons.  I went up to 13 miles in my training.  That run went pretty well. 
The first half came, and I was very sick with a head cold, and it was 100% rain and 51 degrees.  I wimped out.  A couple of days later I went out for a long run, 12 miles, and my knees were really hurting around mile 10.  What is up with that?  They never hurt!  Then two weeks later, I felt like I needed another longish run, so off I go to try to get in 10 miles.  It was about 65 degrees and 100% humidity.  It seems like it went ok, except I know I got pretty dehydrated.

Two days later, my knees are waking me up in the night with pain.  Seriously?  I know I need new shoes.  Mine seem to wear down after about 400 miles, and I can always tell.  I did my 10 miles in some new Brook Adrenalines, but did not like them.  Too stiff, heavy, and felt too short.  Returned them and ordered some Ghost 10s, which should be here about a week before my next half.  Love that if you order from the Brooks site you can run in them for 3 months and still return if you are not happy.

A question for you other late life runners.....have you ever gotten so dehydrated that your heart rate went really low?  My heart rate is normally about 140 something for an average in my runs, but can get up to 200 on a strenuous run and I feel fine, winded but fine.  I noticed yesterday I just didn't feel well for most of the day.  Didn't think to look at my Garmin until later and noticed my heart rate had gotten down to 34-44 for a bit.  My normal resting heart rate is about 56-60.  Maybe my watch was loose?  Maybe it was because I so dehydrated?  Maybe I am just getting REALLY healthy!  Ha. Today I feel fine and it is running between 51-65 or so.  Sometimes I wonder how accurate the Garmin wrist heart rate really is.  Comments?

Monday, August 7, 2017


Yes, soaked, but I don't care.  Today's schedule had me doing 3 miles, but since I knew I'd do 3 easy miles on Wednesday, I decided to go ahead and go for 4.  In the rain.  Not bad really. Guess, I've been doing this long enough now, that I know the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.

 Went to the track just in case it started thundering or lightening, I could get to my car fairly quickly.

Absolutely soaked to the bone!
4.01 mi
12:29 min/mi
Avg Pace
391 C

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Low humidity in August?!

Seriously, what was up with the weather on Friday and Saturday?  I think it was about 64 degrees with 60% humidity on Saturday morning when I went to do my long run.  I had eight miles on the schedule and it really wasn't too bad.
My running trail.....
 The sidewalk runs along the lake, around behind a ball field, back behind the historic fort, and up through the woods to the paved track.  I usually park here and know I am a mile from the track at this point. I'm doing pretty good on my half training.  I am giving myself plenty of time, and would like to work up to 13-14 miles.  I signed up for a virtual 10k on Solar Eclipse day!  Excited about the cool, keepsake medal.  What fall races are you training for?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Running in the rain

I hate summer running.  I am not a morning person and already get up at 4:30 2-3 days a week to get to work, so I just can't get out there early to run.  I'm much more likely to run at 8-9pm at night when I am trying to avoid the sun.  However, I love running in a drizzling rain.  Today was one of those glorious runs.  Even though it was on the track, it was cloudy, drizzly, I was basically alone, and I loved it!
I was hoping to do 5-6 miles.  I am wanting to try to start running longer since I can't seem to get faster.  Today, I was faster though.  It had to be due to the rain keeping me fairly cool. I did 6 miles with an average time of 12:50 per mile.  That includes 5 minutes of walking in the first mile. I sometimes change up my intervals but right now I am doing 2 minutes of running to 30 seconds of walking and that seems to work pretty good.  It felt so good today!  I've had the pleasant endorphins all day.  I never really try to run fast anymore. I watch my heart rate and since it tends to run high I try to keep it in a certain range.  Of course in races I do try to go faster. I try to follow Jeff Galloway's method of running 1-2 minutes slower per mile while training than you plan to do in a race.

I've got to do better about my sunscreen though.  I've had a teeny, tiny little red place on my arm for several years.  It comes and goes.  The dermatologist burned it off two years ago but it came back.  i was pretty sure that it was basal cell carcinoma.  My sister had one in the same place earlier this year and ended up with a quarter size hole in her arm when they removed it.  Rarely they metastasize, but if not treated promptly can result in disfiguring surgery to remove them. Mine was tiny. So tiny, I was a little embarrassed to even go to the dermatologist about it, although I was pretty sure it was that type of skin cancer.  I'm glad I did.  It was basal cell carcinoma and I ended up with a 1/4" hole in my arm for the biopsy.
I always use sunscreen on my face and neck and even try on my hands because they are showing my age. I am not good about my arms or legs. I learned that the left arm is a very common place for it due to the driver's windows in cars do not have sun protection.  So now, I get to go to the dermatologist every six months.

I do a lot of thinking while I run.  Running on the track makes it easy to let my mind drift.  The miles passed quickly today.....if I am not praying (which I try to do), or listening to a book (not time to get my monthly book yet), I might work on a quilt in my mind - thinking of the design, color, quilting, I might go over a conversation I've had with someone where we disagreed. Many times I prepare a rebuttal in my mind, but never actually make that rebuttal.  I guess that is good, I get it all out of my system while running, so I don't say things I shouldn't face to face.  Does anyone else do that? Sometimes I analyze my Garmin data while running.  I'm a data analyst by nature and career, so I love all the data Garmin provides.  Most of my running time is spent thinking, but sometimes I just run, and do nothing but listen to my beeps telling me when to walk and when to run.  I hope I can do this for many, many more years. Best. Exercise. Ever.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Still here....

Wow, just saw that it had been April since I posted.....Goodness.  It has been a rough season of life around here. Mom went into Hospice care, and passed away the first of May.  I had company for two weeks around that time.  Just as I was getting back to normal, my son and family made a trip home and stayed with us for almost two weeks.  During which, I caught a terrible cold that lasted FOREVER......(whine, whine, whine - sorry).

But, I am working my way back to 3x a week runs, and hope to do some longer runs.  Did 5 miles Sunday night at 2 min running/ 30 seconds of walking.  Hot, humid, but felt so good to just get it done.  My heart rate was high, as expected and my resting HR that night was about 14 points higher than normal.  I just love technology, don't you??  Yeah, I sleep in my Garmin most nights.

Seen on my running trail.  Not really a trail, a concrete sidewalk.

I am also trying to cut back on my sugar intake.  I feel so much better but I haven't seen any pounds fall off yet.  I'm currently hooked on raw sweet potato slices. Yum.  Trying to eat more fruits and veggies.  I don't have a lot of weight to lose but would like to drop about 5-8 pounds to get to my so-called ideal weight (according to some health app I used).

Yay!  for running again!  Hope to do a fall half....need to sign up, don't I?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Virtual Half Marathon

Have you ever done a virtual race?  Since I was trained up for the Covenant half I decided to do a virtual half marathon last Friday.  I chose the Run at the Mill Half organized by the Run for God organization.  I love long runs. I slowed down and ran it more like a long training run than a race, but still, it is a HALF marathon!

It was Good Friday and the track was full of soccer kids and parents, so I had to run the lakeside trail four times. I loved hearing the Methodist church bells playing "Because He Lives" as I ran by it.

The weather was nice, the pace was easy, it was another great long run day.

And I rewarded myself with ice cream when I finished!

Yay for my 7th Half Marathon!  The shirt and medal are on their way!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Knoxville Covenant Half Marathon

I think this was my sixth half. It was my second time doing the Knoxville Covenant half.  The first time was three years ago and it was my first half.  It is very hilly!
 It was a fun start with "Rocky Top" playing while we waiting to cross the start line.  And we ran under this huge flag at the start.
Had I known I was only 8 seconds over my previous finish on this race, I would have given it a little more gusto when finishing.  I truly didn't expect to be able to run it as fast as I did three years ago.  I finished 19th of 58 in my age group and I was very happy with that.  The weather was perfect for it - about 50 degrees.
I also got a great parking spot right at the stadium around 6:30, an hour before the race.  In this race, you finish by running through Neyland Stadium and finish on the 50 yard line.  It is awesome!  I was able to attend the pre-race church service put on by Team4:13, which was really good.  After the race, I didn't stay for all the food because the hubby was waiting on me to get home so we could leave for Florida, and I was so close to my car, even my legs didn't complain too much for the short walk.

My official chip time was 2:43:52 (8 seconds longer than 3 years ago) and I finished 19th of 58 in my age group (55-59 years old).  I was very happy with my finish.

The 50 yard line for the finish! I always say I'm not good enough to be competitive, but I'm competitive anyway.  I turned the corner into the stadium and saw the three girls in front of me.  I loved turning it on to finish before them....ha.  Made this old woman feel awesome!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Running Longest

Did 12 miles today.  I sure hope I didn't over do it.  My knee started hurting around mile ten. I just kept thinking, "I can do this.  I'll have two weeks to recover."  I needed some confidence that I can really pull the half off in two weeks.  I signed up for the Knoxville Covenant Half Marathon.  It was the first one I did three years ago.  And although I've run 3x/week since then, I am older and seem to be slower too.
I sure hope I didn't damage anything with the knee.  Ice, ibuprofin, rest.....and then on April 2nd I'll be ready to tackle that half!  The best thing about it, is you finish in Neyland Stadium on the 50 yard line!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Running Longer

Last week my long run was only 7 miles, so this week I was hoping for a good long run, in preparation for the half marathon that I have yet to sign up for.  It was rather cold, and I decided to do the treadmill. I am listening to a book on Audible and it really helps to pass the time.

I have never felt like ma treadmill was very accurate and even replaced the computer board.  It said I only did about 9.7 miles, and I know the 11 from my Garmin could be off, but I'm sure I did something in between the two.  Now to register for a half.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Running Long

The weather was perfect for a long, slow run yesterday.  Ten Miles!  I did my normal 90/30 run/walk intervals at a pretty slow pace and really, really enjoyed it.  Got to find a half marathon this spring!

About half on the lakeside walking trail and half on the track.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Running while traveling

I've been continuing my running and was even up to 9 miles before I left on my trip to see my grands.   I do enjoy finding places to run when I travel.  I've been in Cambridge, England for the last ten days.  My son is doing a part time job here at the University until the end of February.  After that, they will move back to Edinburgh, Scotland where he attends the University there.
 I was able to get in four miles on Wednesday and five on Saturday.  It is fun to run in new places.
 These are a few sights I saw on my runs.

But, of course the main reason why I am here is........
 these two cuties....
Emma and I had such fun playing in the garden, riding scooters, and swinging in the swing...well, me pushing her on the swing is more accurate.  I kept the kids one day so my son could take his wife on a day trip to London.
Then all of us did a day trip to London a couple days later.
I love the kids so much, but really do not enjoy traveling.  I am too much of a homebody.  Am anxious to get back to my own home, my running trails, and my sewing. I am hoping to do a half marathon this spring. I mean, I was up to 9 miles already, hate to waste it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Back to Jeff Galloway's Method

Well, I tried. I really did.  I just couldn't do the MAF training, so I have reached a compromise.  I am back to Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method and am trying to slow down my pace.  My watch was beeping all the time with my heart rate over the goal.  Now it just beeps at 1:30 minutes of running and 30 seconds of walking.  Did 8 miles today and it felt fabulous.  The weather was perfect at a slightly breezy 60-ish degrees. I was basically alone on the trail and track.

I even wasn't that tired afterwards.  I've slowed down considerably since I began trying the MAF. Today felt like it has been beneficial. My 'magic mile' (Jeff's one mile test) was 10:23 min/mi about 3 weeks ago. I am supposed to train at about a 15 minute mile pace.  I can't. I mean, I can't run that slow. I am so slow now, but even very slow jogging, and walking every 30 seconds, my pace has been around 14.  Today, I tried to keep it slow, but basically just ran by feel. It felt so good.  My pace ended up about 13:30.  Faster than he recommends but maybe I am getting stronger and faster! Slowing down enables me to run farther and supposedly that builds endurance. I hope to do another magic mile test later this week.

Today was a day when I felt like an athlete.  Strong, fit, and very thankful I can do this.