Saturday, August 9, 2014

7 miles

Last night I felt like I was trying to start a cold, which isn't anything unusual for me, as soon as I start back into a running plan I come down with a cold. I decided that a dose of NyQuil and some sleep would probably help me out. It did, I slept for just shy of 12 hours, which gave me and the hubby a very late start to our 7 mile run. We had a quick breakfast and packed up plenty of water to take with us.

It wasn't until we were heading out the door that I realized that my Garmin wasn't charged. I knew that I hadn't charged it last night but I had charged it the night before and had only used it on the 4 mile walk that I had done so I was really confused why my battery was completely dead. I decided to grab my charger and plug it in while we drove to the park to do our 7 miles and my watch was only charged to 12%. I had wanted to run the Riverfront Trail and so even though it was almost noon and it was getting warmer we decided to drive to the Riverfront Trail head to do our 7 mile and to give my watch a little more time to charge. By the time we made it there my watch was at 24%, my husband told me to try turning off the bluetooth to try to give my watch a little longer run time, which was brilliant! My watch ended up being at 24% when I plugged it back in at the end our run.

The trail is really neat, it is 11.8 miles long and starts in downtown St. Louis, and runs along the Mississippi River on the Missouri side. We did 3.5 miles out and back, it was pretty cool, we started out by the old city power plants and walked along the levees and under the old railroad tracks. There were two rest stops in the 3.5 miles that we did, one was just a water fountain but the other had a water fountain, port a potties, and a building that has a deck with picnic tables that overlooked the river. It also had bike racks for all the bicyclists to park their bikes. We even saw a bike cop at one point which was nice to know that they have someone patrolling the area. The only thing about the trail that I wasn't a fan of was that several times we were passed by cars on the trail, there were multiple fishing areas and also in some of the industrial areas there was access to the river so people were driving on the trail at times.

During the first part of our run we were doing just fine and since my hubby needed an extra half mile, he quite literally ran circles around me a couple of times. I actually had a little bit of trouble keeping my heart rate high enough at first and found myself having to jog or power walk to keep my heart rate in the 137-147 range. The course was relatively flat except for a couple of steep hills where we got on and off of the earthen levee, that seemed to be the only time I was really have trouble keeping my heart rate in range. While my times are not the fastest out there I did complete all 7 miles and my slowest mile was 21:58 which is better than my five mile the other day.

Since I have been working out more in the past few days my work out clothes are mostly dirty, I ended up wearing a black of workout pants and a race top from last year. The top was a little uncomfortable and after a while I started to get really hot so I did something I thought I would never do in public, I took off my shirt and I bared my belly and my highlighter yellow sports bra. It took me a little to get over the initial "OMG I'm not wearing a shirt, people can see my fat!" but I did and no one seemed to care, maybe they thought something but no one said anything to me and no one fell off of their bike and I felt a lot better not having it on. I don't think I will be making it a regular thing but it was nice to cool off.

Overall it was a good day and a decent training run. I still feel weird calling it a run when my overall average pace is 18:45. I'm having a little pain in my left glute and I'm a little sun brunt on my face but I'm proud that I got out and did the 7 miles!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Good day

Well I managed to make it out for my run before noon today. I hit the same trail I did the other day but headed a different direction. It's been important to me lately to change up my route so that I'm seeing some different scenery. I really enjoyed my route today. It took me very close to my old house and back on a lot of territory that I used to run on all the time.

I had finally taken the time to set up a training plan on Garmin Connect and synced it with my watch so that I was able to set up a heart rate alert. I feel like this might actually be the best way for me to do the MAF training. Since I set it up for my assigned heart rate range and set it for 1 mile increments that's all it showed me. It showed my current heart rate and the distance left for that particular mile. I didn't start at the time or the pace and it didn't drive me crazy or upset me. My overall pace was 18:06 per mile and while that's slower than I'd like I'm really hoping that this is the key to getting faster without getting injured or giving up.

After my run, I came home and grabbed a shower. My mom came over and we went out to do a little shopping. We ended up at the local Fleet Feet store and I picked up a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14! My Saucony's are starting to get up there in miles and so I figured I should start working a new set of shoes into the line up before the marathon. I'm thinking that I'll probably actually wear these for the marathon, I should have plenty of miles on them to break them in by then. I think I'll definitely plan on wearing them on my 20 miler to see how they feel and have my Saucony's in the car as back up.

My new Brooks - ignore the KT tape I was teaching my Mom about using KT tape.

Tomorrow I have 7 miles on the schedule and hubby and I are planning on getting out fairly early to get it done together. I've been looking online to see if I can find a nice trail we can do our run on nearby, especially one where if he leaves me in his dust it won't be as big of a deal. I'm hoping this run will go well for me, I'm not sure how long it will take with my MAF training and I think I'm starting to get a cold. It always seems like the week I start any working out I get sick.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rain, rain and a little more rain

Today was the kiddos last day of summer camp and the last time we would see him for 6 days. He is with his biological mother until Tuesday morning. My hubby and I took him to breakfast before I took him to summer camp. I usually don't get up early in the morning, ever. So I figured since I was waking up at 6:45 am anyway I might as well get my run done early before it got so hot and sunny.

On our way to Cracker Barrel (hubby's favorite place to eat) it started to rain a little but it let up, though it remained grey and cloudy. While we were waiting for our food to come, we looked at the weather report. It showed a 100% chance of rain for the next 12 hours. While I have run in the rain plenty of times in the past I just couldn't bring myself to do it today. Usually I use the rain to motivate me to a faster pace but since I knew I was limited by my heart rate, I knew I would be out in the rain for at least 1 hour.

I stayed in my workout clothes for most of the day, I kept checking outside to see if the rain was every going to let up but it never did. So I sat there and pouted since I wasn't going to be able to work out. I'd already had a rough morning. I didn't get much sleep last night and woke up about 3 hours before I normally do, my weight was up this morning, I couldn't do my 4 miles, and I knew the reason I didn't want to do the 4 miles was because I'm so slow with this MAF training. It was so upsetting. I barely made it off the couch all day.

I did manage to get something accomplished today though, besides getting to spend some quality time with my boys I dropped off all the kiddos school paperwork at the district office, picked up some running shorts for my hubby and a new pair of jeans for me, made a bunch of stuff for the freezer and snuggled on the couch with my hubby. So all in all not a pointless day but a bit depressing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Sorry about the title, it came to me while I was doing my run. I have a bizarre mind and well I let it out of its cage while I workout.

I don't know why I keep going out for all my runs walks during the hottest part of the day. I knew that today I was going to get out and do something toward my goal of getting at least 20 miles this week. My schedule said 5 miles and I decided that I would do at least 3 and see how I felt. I decided to hit the same trail that I did on Saturday. I decided that I would head one direction for 1.25 miles and head  back to my car for some water and possibly some AC since the temp was 86 already. I finished the first 2.5 miles without much difficulty, though it was much slower than I would have liked. After I got some water and cooled down a little bit in my car I headed back out. I still hadn't decided exactly how many miles I would do but I knew I wanted at least 3 miles.

I made it slowly to 3.75 miles which was the turn around point for a 5 mile run but the 1.25 miles back proved to be very difficult. I was so hot and tired that I was practically stopped and still exceeding the 147 HR for my MAF. My pace slowed to a 25 minute mile at one point which is to slow for me to even actually walk. I was having to make myself take a step, pause, take a step, pause. I finally got to a shady part of the walking trail and just sat down. My heart rate was 153 at that point and I while I felt fine except for being hot I was starting to get frustrated with the MAF training. I decided to just walk slowly back to the car since I had less than a mile to go and not worry to much about my heart rate.

Honestly with my marathon only about 9 weeks away I'm wondering if I picked the wrong time to change up my training style. That being said I do feel like what I was doing before wasn't working because I was pushing myself to hard and I didn't stick with it. I am going to try my hardest to get up early tomorrow to do my 4 mile run in hopes that maybe if the heat isn't there I will be able to do the 4 miles in less than 90 minutes.

My marathon has a 7 hour course limit, which breaks down to a 16:02 average mile. If I'm starting with a 17:25 minute mile for my first mile I just don't know if I'm going to be able to do this. I want to do this and I am so tired of not keeping up with my training and not being where I want to be. 2 years ago I was doing 11:30 minute miles but I was miserable and hurting by the end of a half marathon. I just want to find the balance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

3 mile, 4 mile, and MAF training, oh my!

Monday the 21st, I took my stepson to the zoo for a few hours of entertainment on a long summer day, can you tell I'm getting ready for school to start back? We spent about 3 hours walking around the St. Louis Zoo. We had a lot of fun, even though it was quite toasty! Towards the end of the trip my ankle started to bother me and I had to limp back to the car. I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea to go out for a 3 mile run on a sore ankle (plus I had been walking around for three hours in the mid day heat.) After that it didn't take much for me to back slide and to go 13 days without a run.

When I finally did decide to go out for a run, I had 10 miles on the schedule and thought well maybe I'll do it, maybe I won't but at least I will get out and do something. The issue with that was that I waited until almost noon before I started my run. It just seemed like I had to work hard to convince myself to get up and get out the door for the run, then I had to decide which trail I wanted to run, I couldn't decide between just heading straight out of the door and running on the sidewalks through my neighborhood like I do for so many of my short runs or going to my usual paved trail that I usually run on. Neither sounded like much fun and the route in my neighborhood is so hilly and heat and hills just didn't sound fun. I finally had the brilliant idea to run one of the other greenway trails not to far from where I live now, that I used to run all the time before I moved in with my husband. I wasn't sure how far I'd want to go in the heat and I wanted to set myself up to pass my car at least once if I did a significant distance so that I could grab some water. I ended up turning around at 1.5 miles and heading back to my car. I was hot and sweaty and the 3 miles had taken me 56 minutes so I didn't figure staying out for 10 miles was a good idea.

I know that I had talked in the past about running intervals and how high my heart was getting. It honestly made me feel pretty miserable during my run times and after my run. I felt like I was setting myself up for an injury or for burnout. Let's be honest though I don't run frequently enough to truly qualify as burnout down the road. Recently I have been reading a lot of blogs on Maximum Aerobic Function Training or MAF training. It stresses the importances of runners having an aerobic base, which Dr. Maffetone postulates that most runners do not have. Many runners have said that they have faster paces even though at first you may find yourself slowing down at first. I've only done two runs in my MAF HR but I find I'm feeling better during and after runs even though my pace is considerably slower. Also I don't want to jinx myself but I have noticed I have finally broken through the little bit of plateau I've been stuck on in my weight loss.

As far as the actual concept goes in case you haven't seen it elsewhere

  1. Subtract your age from 180.
  2. Modify this number based on your own fitness and health profile:
  • If you have or are recovering from a major illness or are on regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
  • If you are injured, have regressed in training, have asthma, have never exercised or exercise inconsistently, subtract an additional 5.
  • If you have trained consistently for up to two years with no problems, make no modifications.
  • If you have exercised consistently for more than two years with no problems, add 5.
Because I'm 28 and I have asthma I have a maximum HR of 147 and it says to exercise within 137-147 range and I try very hard but I am having trouble figuring out how or if I can set up a heart rate alert on my Garmin Forerunner 220. So far I've done 2 "runs" (mostly actually walking) and I've actually enjoyed it. I really feel great and although it's slow I can complete the distance.

I'm hoping to do 20 miles this week, I did four miles tonight with my hubby, he did 5 miles. He is so cute, he walks with me for a bit and then runs ahead and then back to me, then walks with me for a little bit. I figure if I do 5 days, 4 miles nice and easy with 1 hatha yoga day and 1 rest day I will get my miles in without stressing myself out or hurting myself.