Thursday, July 31, 2008

In love...with my new socks

The photo is from early this morning - we had a Marathon Project practice and the coordinator wanted some photos for a funder. I'm all the way on the right - it's the only picture of me I don't want to burn. The rest show even more clearly just exactly how much weight I need to lose - a LOT.

I love my new, ordinary, nothing special, lo-tech Champion socks. I've had so much trouble finding and keeping socks this summer - I've learned that I hate those skimpy liners that are supposed to be hidden - they slip down and I get blisters. The ones I'd bought in the spring have mostly disappeared - one was in my daughter's drawer, one is on the floor of the basement and the rest...who knows? The ones I bought at the local "a-little-bit-of-everything" store (too small to be called a department store!) are cushy, comfy, and maybe a little to warm for a very warm day, but a big improvement over what I've been using. They take up all the extra room in my shoes so I get a nice snug fit, which I like. Happy feet makes happy runner.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Seven Miles!

It's amazing what one can do if one sets a goal and then works toward it in a focused and structured way. In February, I was doing run-2 minutes, walk-1 minute, for 30 minutes, covering about 2 miles, and that was a good workout. Five months later, I did run-3, walk-1, for one hour, 44 minutes, and covered 7 miles, (plus a little more) finishing with a strong 6 minute run (thank you Talking Heads for that little energy boost just when I needed it most) at the end. I decided to force myself to stick with the 3:1 all the way through, knowing I'd need the energy I'd saved for the end, and I was right - I feel fine now! (I could use a nap, but that's just because I haven't had a good night's sleep all week!)

The race is not til November and now I'm starting to feel really confident that I will be very fit for it. (Actually, a tiny voice is saying, hmmm....maybe that full marathon isn't out of reach! But I must squash that tiny voice!!!) And, by the way, my average pace at 7 miles today was a whole minute per mile faster than for 6 last week - 14:50 instead of 15:50. That's because I felt strong the whole way, I"m sure.

However, I still hate my HRM - it did a little better today, taking Michelle's suggestion to tighten the strap, but still often read out something weird like 78 when I'm sure I was in the 140's or 150's. I find that I'm usually working in the 148 range - if I get above 150 I get too out of breath and can't sustain it. I guess if I'm going to be using the HRM I should find out more about where I should be working and how to use those numbers to improve!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Hate my HRM

I haven't used my HRM much lately, and now I remember why - it SUCKS! It's a Polar, bought about a year ago. Not a high-end one - it doesn't have all the functions I wish it did (I bought it on impulse without really researching the various models). But I wouldn't care if it actually monitored my heart rate consistently. I wore it this morning on a 45 minute run. I'd say that it gave me an accurate readout for no more than half that time. The rest of the time it either read 0, or some absurdly low number like 69 or 76 when I was clearly in the 150's at least.

I don't think it's the battery in the strap - when I've used it at the gym the spinning bike picks up the signal fine. I think it's the watch itself - if I hold it right next to the strap it works, but who can run that way?

I really want to use an HRM for training and weight loss, but I don't have $100-plus for a new one! SO annoyed!

On the other hand, a 3 mile run now seems like a light workout- that's progress! We got our Marathon Project uniforms today - nice super-lightweight sleeveless jerseys , white with black stripes, and black shorts that I'm pretty sure I won't want to wear - no way even the XL will fit. Maybe I'll post a photo wearing it, with my super-cute new short hair.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Walking wounded

After my six-mile run yesterday, I went out for a 2 hour bike ride on the "new" bike today, with my sister in law - she was riding my trusty old mountain bike. I've been pathologically scared of falling off this one, and turns out I was right to be: after the whole ride, coming back up a very steep hill, I was trying to tack back and forth and when I was turning at the edge of the road I skidded out and fell down hill, taking all the impact on my left knee and right wrist. The knee is just badly skinned but the wrist really hurts. I've been icing it and took ibuprofen - and I suppose if anything was broken there's no way I'be typing right now, so it must just be a soft-tissue injury.

I officially give up on this bike and am going back to the Trek - I'd rather be slow, steady, comfortable and safe than fast, uncomfortable and unstable. When $700 drops into my lap I'll buy a Giant OCR2 or something like that.

Meanwhile, how does one figureo ut weight watchers points for bike-riding. According to their site, 120 minutes of "fast" cycling gets you 19 points. But for at least a third of the time, I'm coasting downhill! Should you only count the time you're actually working, I wonder?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Six miles.. but does it count?

It's my longest run of the year so far, and it was hot and muggy today. But here's how my brain works. Because it took me an hour and 35 minutes, a speed most people could probably walk that distance, because I walked as much as I ran on the second half (the uphill direction of the rail trail) it doesn't feel real. On the other hand I better start believing it because next Saturday I have to do 7! (Then I get to cut back to 4 or 5 the week after.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's HOT, It's muggy.

But I'm still kinda sorta on track. I ran 5 miles and a little more last Saturday, flat rail trail, felt fine after. (Not like the last time when I had to go lie down for like, 3 hours.) Good thing, too, since I worked the rest of the day for 10 hours straight at our Family Arts Festival. Ran hills on Monday - maybe 3 miles. Walked Wednesday for an hour. Walked yesterday for a half-hour. Today I will do basically nothing physical (just because of schedule complications) and tomorrow will get up EARLY and run 6 miles. Yes, six. I have decided to follow the Marathons for Mortals schedule. I like the discipline and structure of it. Though I must say, I hate how badly the book is written and edited. In fact it reads like it had no editor. It's baggy, shapeless (kinda like my lower half) repetitive, self-contradictory and disorganized. It tells you in 10o different places you should do strides and tempo runs, but neither is in the index and the brief explanations for how you should do them are nearly incomprehensible. It tells you you can use either a heart rate monitor or perceived exertion to measure how hard you are running, and then says you have to use a HRM or you're an idiot. Etc. But I like the friendly accepting tone and the emphasis on setting goals appropriate to where you are now.

I haven't swum in weeks (kids' camp schedules are a pain in the ass) nor ridden a bike or even had a spinning class. (The budget won't permit any more gym visits or classes anyway.) But I'm still running!

Just don't ask how Weight Watchers is going.