Weekly Rundown 3.2 to 3.15

Hope everyone is doing ok out there. Up here in our corner in Maine, we are just starting to see the COVID-19 cases the rest of the county (and world) has been seeing.

We are fortunate that we are rural, so we can get out and enjoy some nature without running into too many others. If we do see others, we can smile, take a wide pass and keep going. I am so very grateful we can still get out and get some fresh air. I hope if you live near any outdoor venues, you are getting out and relaxing in nature too. Just stay safe and healthy. Reach out to family and friends, stay involved–just don’t get together or go shopping unless necessary!

Because of the havoc going on, I haven’t been motivated to put out my Weekly rundowns. But life goes on, right? And technology is our line to each other right now. Imagine if this had happened in the 80s: no tel-education, no FB or Instagram to connect to others, no online shopping to be done. Small blessings, right?

Week One: After my high mileage week, I decided to work on hills. The treadmill wasn’t getting me in shape for those outdoors runs. Since I am surrounded by hills, I was concerned that the 5k down in South Portland would also be hilly and I wanted to be prepared. The real hills were hard, so yeah, treadmill inclines were not as good.

Monday: off

Tuesday: AM mile accomplished in a brisk 8.28 with incline 3. Still using those treadmill inclines to try to get a little extra umph. Have to admit, after my hills, 3 was no big deal. Guess I need to go steeper.

Wednesday: off — not planned, but apparently needed.

Thursday: another am run, 2 miles this time. It was my first ever sub 16 minute 2 mile, so I was pretty pumped for the day. It was 15.58, but that is sub enough for me! And it was in my new New Balance Fresh Foam Vongas. Guess they are the winners!

Friday: Hill run. I decided not to go to far from home–literally. I did a 5K running back and forth between my 2 closest hills — x 2. I was probably never more than a half mile from home as I live on one hill and the other is a quarter mile away. I had never figured out how long they were before, but since I had the time….. The hill I am always complaining about in spring as I first have to run up is 450 yards. Now, that is one lap of a track stretched out –uphill. Plus. The hill that I live on is 600 yards. I am going to say I did some good hill work.

The hill I live on. My driveway is a bit past the pine on the right. My runs start out strong if I head up, but coming home is always easy!
The hill a quarter mile the other way. This is the steepest part before it curves out of sight. If I make it to the first telephone pole, I know it will get easier.

Saturday: 2.1 miles in morning on treadmill.. Knee kicked out in beginning, so I had to start at 4mph and work up to 7.2. Really wanted a 5K but ran out of time. I was going to see a Call of Wild with friends. By the way, it was awesome!

Sunday: Ran my 5K route from house. Had some wind on the way back but managed to run it in 34:48, faster than last time. In the afternoon my friend brought her greyhound over and we walked a hair over 2 miles to the end of road and back. It was fun to see her first introduction to the 2nd hill — she was not appreciative of it!

Week Two: well, after blowing the 25% rule and running hills, I was tired. I managed to not strain anything with my leap in activity, but dang I was tired all week. Legs didn’t feel too heavy, it was more that I wanted to nap…and nap….then nap some more. I did make it through tho 🙂 My Thirsty Leprechaun 5K that was scheduled for Saturday had been changed to a virtual run–we were invited to run a 5K wherever and whenever, then upload our time and print off a completion certificate. Our shirts were mailed out to us. I got it in record time! It is one of my better ones too.

Monday: off

Tuesday: after work run!! I was too lazy to get up in the morning, so I forced myself out the door (thank you daylight savings) after work and up the hill. I managed 1.79 miles in a fairly slow time (it was mostly uphill on the way out) and did a short yoga session to stretch after.

Wednesday: off. Apparently it is habit forming.

Thursday: a short yoga session after work is about all I wanted to manage.

Friday: disastrous workout. Tried new Brooks Launch 7s, ran .3 miles and decided they were NOT going to work. Traded shoes, finished mile but had no omph, so called it. There was that tired thing again. Took the Launch 7s back the next day.

Saturday: It was supposed to be the day of the Thirsty Leprechaun 5K, but since it had been cancelled my friend and I took a windy walk on Rail Trail with the dogs. We walked 3.4 miles, and it took about an hour with our pooches sniffing endlessly.

Sunday: 5k run for my virtual Leprechaun race. Decided to use my 5K course right out the door and managed to cut 2:10 minutes off my time from last week, finishing with 30:34. Not a great 5k time, but considering the 7 hills in the course, I was more than pleased with it. When normally I would be slacking off up a hill, I kept telling myself that if this was a race with people in front of me, I wouldn’t be slacking, so I didn’t let myself. I admit, I have tendency to “save” for later in the run, but then the run isn’t that hard and I never use it. I need to learn to run harder earlier on.

Speed. Or lack thereof.

A man by the name of Eliud Kipchoge set a miraculous time last October for the distance of 26.2 miles: 1:59:40.2. It was his second attempt for a sub 2 hour marathon. To bring it in, he had to shave 1 second off each of the 26 miles. Seems easy enough, but to lose focus for that one second could add seconds to each mile instead of shaving them off.

Kipchoge did it by picking a location he felt comfortable with, in temperatures that were peak for his running and with rotating pacers to keep him focused. Since it wasn’t official race, he didn’t qualify as an official world record. But he ran 23 miles in a row at a 5:19 pace.

Seeing as how I can’t run 1 mile in 5:19, I am suitably impressed. I am not chagrined, however. When I see a runner like that, I am inspired by what we can do. I don’t feel lessened because I can’t do it.

Kipchoge was already the dominant marathoner in the world. But he thought he could do better. And he did. I can certainly improve myself in my little corner of running.

I don’t compare my times to anyone but my own. So many things play into what kind of runner we are–genetics, determination, amount of time training, where and how we train. Frankly, I don’t want to run a sub-20 5K.

I like to enjoy my races. I go for the comradery, for the different courses, and to do better than I have previously. I really don’t want to spend the money and drive time just to run for 18 (or less) minutes.

I am always trying to increase my times and have better runs. But I don’t worry that my times are as good as someone else. My nephew is a foot taller than me, has 25 years on me and loves to train. I would be nuts to try to compare my time to his.

I freely admit I like to see where I place–and I am hoping to keep it in the top quarter of the racers. I look to see how far off I was from the person above me in time. But I don’t feel competitive with their time, only with my own. Keeps me much happier 🙂

Weekly Rundown

As January ends and February begins, I am feeling pretty good. I also have an early case of spring fever as January was rather mild for this corner of the northeast. The horses spent most of the month sans blankets, unless we were expecting precipitation, which was just as likely to be rain as snow. I got to go out for some runs and walk Daisy, and now I just want it to be over. Too bad we have two months left. I doubt they will be as kind.

Monday: off

Tuesday: AM run on the treadmill. I only did a mile, but it was a good brisk run at 7.0 to 7.6 MPH, in 8:12, that started my day off right. I had to water the horses in the morning too, so that was a little weight lifting, right? At this time of year I have to carry two five gallon containers out–not that they always have to be full. My next barn will be closer to the house!

Wednesday: I was lazy and didn’t get up early enough to exercise. When I got home I did 2 miles on the treadmill (16:17), then my Burpees for the day. I started splitting up the types of Burpees I was doing–and in sets of 5. I did them without a break, it just seemed like less if I was only counting to five before starting over (every little bit helps). I did a push up set, then 5 jacks, 5 regular, 5 more where I was on the balls of my feet during the upright portion (up and down), and then the last 4 with push ups again.

Thursday: off again. It is rare that I take two days off in a week. But if I do, it is usually Thursday that I run out of steam.

Friday: Last day of burpees! Considering how few I actually did for the month (280), I was very happy to see them go. I took Daisy for a walk, and I tried to slow her down so we could go further. She was pretty happy to get out, so that was difficult but we did do 1.7 miles. Hopefully she will be in shape when spring hits and we can go further and further! I had decided to slow myself down as well, realizing that I was always trying to improve my time and not doing any relaxing, slower runs. I went out to the Rail Trail early–man, was it chilly–and started without a real plan. My plan for my relaxing run ended when the little Endomondo voice said my first mile was 9:26. Then the little voice in the back of my head started wondering if I could do a sub 30 minute 5K. Turns out I can-barely. 28:55. Not bad for an mid winter run.

Saturday: had a busy day planned (shopping and Star Wars with the girls), so I started it out right by taking Daisy out for a brisk walk. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time so I let her go as fast as she wanted. We did a quick mile in 17:31. Might have been a little faster if I hadn’t stopped to take pictures!

sure was a pretty morning

Sunday: warm weather again 🙂 Decided to go out for 2 miles, at an easy pace–really! Now the hills on the way out helped, but it is so hard not to speed up. I always want to push. I had to keep consciously slowing down on my return. I was fairly proud of my 2 mile run that took 22:39. I followed that with 35 minutes of relaxing, stretchy yoga. My favorite is Candlelite Yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe. Definitely makes my run sore muscles relax.

Weekly Rundown 4/22-4/28

Nothing very exciting happened last week. I ran, walked Daisy (she’s up to 3.5 miles now) and shook my fist regularly at the sky as the rain continued to fall. My knees were a pest and achy again–I blame the rain and damp.

We did have our American Heart Association 5K in Lewiston.

Since his heart attack, my husband has trained to be an advocate for them, and he was asked to speak before the walk. In true Stevie fashion, the speech was at 9AM and we got there at 6:45. Which was fine except the sunshine we were promised went away by 8 and I was left freezing.  Fortunately, the rain didn’t fall, but I definitely learned a lesson about taking more layers!

It was pretty empty when we got there, so we volunteered to help set up.

However, the rest of the day went well. The speech was great, and he even got nabbed by the local news to speak. We had a team of 10 walkers, so it was fun to talk with everyone that came to support us as we strolled. Some people (like our neighbors!) we hardly ever see, and it was wonderful to catch up with them.

The sky was gray, but the crowd didn’t mind as we headed off on the start of the walk. 

The walk took us along the Androscoggin River, and the falls were definitely thundering after our rainy spring

We can’t wait to do it again! Which is good, because apparently we are doing it again in Portland at the end of May 🙂

 

And on the third day of Spring….

….I ran outside!

I know I have done a couple runs, but they were generally to get somewhere. Today I ran just to have a nice long run out on the road.

I am proud I did because it was spontaneous and the weather was not promising. Blue sky and sun always invites us out to play. It is harder to motivate yourself to get out the door (instead of downstairs on the treadmill where you can watch tv) when there are looming gray rain clouds out there. I thought it would be raining when I got up, and when I realized that it was light out and still dry, I thought I should actually run outside.

I ran my personal 5k route (it is actually a hair over, 3.3 miles, so a good trainer) and made it up all the hills (there are nine of varying size). I am betting it was the stairs I did throughout the winter on my walk breaks at work. My time wasn’t all that great, but with hills and first run of the season, I can live with it.

I almost beat the weather. I had just hit the 2 mile  mark when I saw the first floating snowflake. At least it wasn’t rain! Within half a mile it was a steady snow/sleet mix hitting me in the face. But it was still a wonderful run, and being outside was fantastic. And now on to the rest of spring (sans snow).

 

Goals

I tend to be fairly goal oriented – I blame my parents.  While I love running just for running, I am always looking for the next challenge. It is good to know what you are working towards so that you can keep getting better.

Some of my first goals were to run the Rail Trail (a 6.3 mile run) from Gardiner to Augusta, do a 10 minute mile out on the road (ya know, where there are hills and bumps and holes vs the treadmills where one can sleep and still manage not to trip), to do the Blinn Loop (5.6 miles) back to my house, and to run to the Bog road (5.3 miles).

One of my fav runs now is to the Bog road and back, I ran the Rail Trail last summer, I have managed the Loop (although I don’t like it), and I have done a sub-10 minute mile a couple of times.

So now I need some new goals. I have a couple fairly easy ones–I just want to run the 6.3 mile Rail Trail faster, I love shaving time off the Loop or the Bog rd, and I am aiming for a sub-9 minute mile out on the road.

But I need bigger goals,  right?

I have done two 5Ks this year, so now my goal is a 10K.  That is the race my dad ran most often, so it kinda has always been  a goal in the back of my mind once I started running road races.I dropped off my car at my mechanic’s down on Blinn hill and ran from there down to  the Dresden side and back to my house, which was a 6.1 mile run. I would love to run it from my house and back, which would be an 8 or so mile run. That goal may have to be next year. We will see.

I do want to say that I am not aiming for a half marathon–ever. If I put that out at any point, please feel free to smack me!

I have reached the point where even my “strong” knee is wearing a brace while running, so while I love running  5 or 6 miles (which is further than I ever thought I would run as normal run), I don’t think longer distances are a wise idea for me. I would rather run 3 to 6 miles for another ten years than go on longer runs and then not be able to run  at all.

I expect eventually the knees will give out on me, but I am going to baby them as much as possible to go as long as possible. After that, well, I guess I will be walking!

 

Weekly Rundown

I had a good week, getting my exercise in, and in some nice weather too.

Spring actually came to our corner of Maine this year, unlike the last two years when it was like living in Seattle (nothing against Seattle, but if I wanted their weather, I’d move there). I got to walk outside in the sun three out of four days at work, which made me very happy. As long as I get some sun and fresh air, I am a pretty happy person.

Monday: an evening walk with my husband and Daisy after work. We did  1.4 miles at a fairly brisk pace, getting ready for our 5K walk on Sunday.

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: I planned on a morning run on the treadmill, but that fell apart. The good news is that I got to run 2 miles out on the road when I got home from work. Outside is always better.  My knee felt very strange as I started down the driveway, badly enough that I decided I would stop if it didn’t get better. It hurts occasionally as I run, sometimes in different spots in the same run, but never for long. This ache was different, but also wore out before I went my first quarter-mile. I have decided that if I can run it out, I will keep going since if I stop every time it twinges, I will never run! Afterwards I did a (very) short yoga session to stretch out.
I follow that immediately, of course, with: if you are seriously hurt and it does not go away in a few minutes, STOP!! Better to rest now than not be able to do anything later! Or permanently hurt yourself.

Thursday: a quick morning run on the treadmill. Now that I have my 2 miles below 18 minutes, if I make my lunch the night before, I can stay that extra five minutes in bed. It’s the small things, really! I did a fairly slow pace, doing the first in 9:10 and the second in 8:40.

Friday: I went out for a long, relaxing run. I did my favorite path that takes me 5.22 miles, and I was surprised I managed to cut off 2 minutes from the last time I ran it. Guess those quick miles on  the treadmill are helping! There are quite a few really large hills in the route, which makes it odd that it is my favorite. I think perhaps I just like that I can do it.  Later in the afternoon I took Christopher Robin out to the riding ring. I rode bareback, and while he did fill out a bit over the winter, hanging on was definitely a good workout for my legs.  He did exceedingly well, considering our normal disagreements about what we should be doing. He must have decided he likes me!

Saturday: I took Daisy out for a brisk 2 mile walk and then did an extraordinary amount of weights. No, it wasn’t really all that much, but seeing how I have been only doing 15 minutes recently; when I stopped and realized I’d done 38 minutes, I was like, wow. I did an extra set of reps and added some floor exercises to my session, which added up. In the afternoon, I slipped a saddle on Charby and went out to the ring with her. It all went well until I spontaneously decided to canter. Christopher Robin, who’d been grazing next to the ring, immediately decided he must race about too. I pulled Charby in before he decided to run circles around us, bucking and kicking. Ponies! I’ve been thinking about fencing the ring, and now I just might.

Sunday: my husband and I went down to Portland for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. They push a lot of cardiac research through, and my husband feels (quite rightly) that AHA probably saved his life. We didn’t raise as much as we had wished, but every dollar helps 🙂  As we got out of the car and I stretched, I said “huh, what did I do to make my arms and shoulders hurt?” Then I remembered the weights Saturday. Oops.  The walk was wonderful, however. It was billed as a 5K, but they admitted upfront before they sent us out that it was really 3.5 miles. It looked a bit like rain, but it never did. Which was great because it was pretty warm and we would have baked if the sun had come out.

Weekly Rundown

Last week was a good week, but  it just flew by. I never seemed to have quite enough time to exercise. Looking back, most of my sessions were fast and short, but I felt pretty good after doing them.

Monday: as usual, I took Monday off. I did get home and lunge Charby and do some groundwork for 15 minutes, much to her annoyance. But then I gave her dinner and she forgave me.

Tuesday: I did another morning run on the treadmill. I am still seeing just how much I can push it–although a little less cuz the previous week did tire out my legs. Need a little break before I go too hard again–but this morning I did my first mile in 9:03 (which is faster than my normal first, usually I push harder in the second), and my second was 7:44. I was pretty excited with my first sub-eight minute mile 🙂 When I got home that night, I stretched out with 13 minutes of yoga before heading out to feed the horses.

Wednesday: I hopped on the treadmill to walk before work for a simple 20 minute mile, and it felt pretty relaxing! A good way to start the day.

Thursday: I had planned on a morning run, but of course that didn’t work out. So when I got home I did a quick (9:30) mile, followed by 11 minutes of stretch-y yoga.

Friday: Usually, I have the day off but I worked half the day. And I had a vet appointment for Daisy in the afternoon (which is why I only worked half a day). I wanted to run in town on the rail trail before heading home, but I was worried about being late at the vet. I decided I better run in the morning, so I did 2 more miles on the treadmill in an easy 17:50–I wasn’t paying attention to my splits.  And good thing I did, after running around doing all my errands, I really didn’t have anything left in me to exercise.

Saturday: we had suddenly gotten 200 hundred Christmas trees to plant. I mean, we ordered them, but they called the previous Saturday and said they were ready, and we needed to come get them. I knew I was going to be worn out, so I got on the treadmill early. I decided to see just how fast I could do a 5K. I know I can’t do it out on the road, but one of my friends has a workout mate who did a 5K on the treadmill recently, and of course I wanted to beat her time. Not that I am competitive, or anything 😛 Anyhoo, I did a 25:40 5K, which put me in a great mood for the day. Which is good, because pulling a sled filled with soil amendments and trees around a field, and planting said trees, made my muscles revolt. We only got 138 planted, so there will be more to do later. But I slept exceedingly well that night.

Sunday: I had planned on doing a mid-length run, so I dragged my weary bones out the door, and was rewarded with a deer waiting a mile down the road. It was actually quite a beautiful morning, and I enjoyed the fresh air and blue sky as I ran. I decided to run my entire road, which is 2 miles to one end and back, and 1.4 miles to the other end and back, giving me a 3.4 mile run. I rode Charby later in the morning out in our ring (first time this year), she was very good and seemed to enjoy herself. Even Christopher Robin behaved himself, staying out of our way.  I did sneak in a two-hour nap with Daisy in  the afternoon, but I think I earned it!

 

Weekly Rundown

Well, it’s better late than never, too? Two weeks late, but I am trying to get back on track! It was my first race week of the year (my goal being 3 5ks).

I was uncertain on the best way to train, finally went for a lot of walking beforehand so my legs wouldn’t feel too tired. While that worked, I think maybe I could have run more? Missed the running. Which, of course, meant I was chafing at the bit on the starting line Sunday!

Monday: I am slowly trying to get myself motivated before work. Since I get up at 4:30 anyway, getting up a bit earlier to get on the treadmill is, um, difficult. But I am getting there. I did an easy mile on the treadmill, walking for 20 minutes. I wanted to lunge one of the horses when I got home, but there wasn’t time.  Which is why I started exercising in the mornings! And I am sure that they didn’t mind getting dinner instead of exercise.

Tuesday: took the day off.

Wednesday: had planned on doing yoga and weights, but as I forgot to look at the plan, I did another mile on the treadmill first thing in the morning instead. I try to plan my week out ahead of time to that it is fairly balanced. Also, on days I don’t have any motivation, it is already planned what I am going to do. This only works when I open my notebook and actually look at what I wrote. Ah well, at least I did something!

Thursday: a quick workout when I got home. I did 2×15 reps of weights, with 5 burpees in between, followed by 14 minutes of stretchy, relaxing yoga (yup, that was yesterday’s plan. I try to be flexible).

Friday: I did a fast 2 miles on the treadmill in 18 minutes before heading off for a long relaxing walk with a friend. We did 1 hour and 20 minutes on our local rail trail. Amazingly, there were still banks of snow down by the river, which was quite high and moving fast. But it was a bright, warm day and we had a great time. When I got home, Daisy gave me a pitiful look, so I took her for a quick mile walk too.

Saturday: another treadmill walk, this one 1.92 miles in 35 minutes. The rest of the day was spent running around with errands.

Sunday: my race! I had a great time with my friends, some of us ran and some walked. But we all had a good time 🙂 After I finished the run, I walked back to find them and walk with them. It was a great cool down. My run was pretty fantastic, and I thought I had a good time for the 3.1 miles. Definitely gives me something to do better than with my next race!

 

Outdoors, finally

I got my first outdoor run today!

Daisy and I walked out a mile, and ran back. We managed to run down a long, steep hill without incident (downhill is still harder than uphill), and Daisy managed to not stop suddenly in front of me with the result of me tripping over her. 

I did manage to pace myself better than she did, as she led me the first half  mile and I led her the last quarter-mile. All in all, an excellent start to our running season.

I expect this is a good point to announce that I am aiming for a 5k on Memorial day. I’d like to do a couple this summer, so that seems like a good starting point.  I know I did the obstacle course last fall, and it was fab (definitely going to try again this year); but I didn’t run it.  So I am pretty excited to get out and do a straight up road race.