Monday, February 28, 2011

Picking up Distance

Because I'm entered in the Emerald Across the Bay 12K March 20, I need to pick up my training distance a little. 12K is only 7.46 miles -- I know I could walk that distance tomorrow, but I haven't in a while.

I wasn't able to walk with the Buckeye Striders on Saturday, so I did a 4-mile route on my own Sunday. Not in the mood to drive anywhere, I left from our house, walked to the library 1-mile, did two 1.2-mile loops at the park, then walked home. It was relatively warm, though gray, and it felt good to be out.

The thing I don't like about walking this route is the traffic and traffic lights on the main street between my house and the library. Sometimes the cars can be loud, which is annoying, and if I hit the lights wrong, I end up standing at intersections longer than I would like. For example, heading to the library took over 17 min., but it took only 16 min. to return.

My goal was to make this a true long slow distance day. I didn't walk very hard, keeping my heart rate below 140. The main purpose was just to finish the distance.

So, that said, I walked 4.4 miles in 1:07, which would have been a 15:13 pace if I didn't have to wait at traffic lights. I'm happy with that. Speed workouts in the near future.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Eat Seaweed for Weightloss?

On, there is an article about eating seaweed helping to block the absorption of fat. Now I won't take fad drugs or weight loss drugs that claim the same thing, but eating seaweed to block fat -- that doesn't sound like a bad thing.

So, excited about this idea, I went to the Asian market down the street to find toasted nori. There were two problems with this plan: 1) I don't read Japanese or Chinese and most of the products in the store had very little English on them. 2) I have no idea what toasted nori looks like or where it would be.

I walked around the store for a while -- totally conspicuous as the only non-Asian person there. I looked in the snack aisle (I think it was the snack aisle), I looked at cookies, crackers and other treats, then I saw tons of different types of noodles, there were lots of packages of green stuff that could have been seaweed, but the only nori I found was a jar of shreded seaweed that might be for cooking. I bought it.

After getting it home I popped a big handful of shreds into my mouth. The texture wasn't bad, but the taste -- fishy! I don't think this is the "snack" I was looking for.

I'm not giving up. I'll try again and next time I will ask. In the meantime, I might try putting the seaweed I have into a soup -- a fish-based soup.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taking it Easy

Because I have been stiff and my IT bands have been sore, I decided to take it a little easy Saturday morning when walking with the Buckeye Striders. I was happy there were a couple people I haven't seen in a while and decided I would walk at Barbara's pace. We had a great time catching up and walking at a comfortable pace.

The funny thing was, at 32 degrees, it felt cold! We've had a pretty hard winter and temps have been much lower than average. Then this past week, the temps got up in the 50s and the snow melted. Now after being used to frigid temps, 32 feels cold.

Regardless, the easy pace did a great job of helping to relax my sore muscles. And later I was even able to get my husband to use The Stick on my IT bands.

It was a good walk both mentally and physically!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Stick is my Friend!

My legs are stiff! A few Nike Club Workouts, a couple intense walking sessions, ineffective stretching ... My legs are tight and stiff.

So after today's walk around Antrim Lake in the sun, I was sitting around feeling stiff thinking about how I need a massage, when it ocurred to me -- I have The Stick!

I have a love/hate relationship with The Stick. First, if used correctly, it is great for relieving the pain and stiffness in muscles. Second, in order to get that kind of relief, you have to really dig in with it, and that really, really HURTS! Is the cure worse than the ailment? I don't know.

The problem is, I can't apply enough pressure to get that total relief. When it starts to hurt, I stop. I can't help it -- I'm a wimp. What I really need is to get someone who doesn't mind causing me pain to roll out my legs. Before all of you come running to volunteer, I was thinking I would ask my husband.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

But it's a Good Sore

My entire body is sore -- my legs and hips, shoulders, abs and even my biceps. This is from a combination of Nike Training Club workouts and yesterday's racewalk workout. Whew!

To loosen up my legs, and maybe release some of the stiffness, I decided to take a casual walk outside in the sun. The temps were in the high 40s, the sun was shining and the day was beautiful!

There was one problem -- as I walked, the muscles in my legs and hips didn't loosen up. More than an hour later, I still did not felt any better.

Sounds like it is a good day to take off from exercise and it might be time for a little ibuprofen and stretching.

Getting Faster

I did another indoor track workout Saturday and it was great!

Because it has been extra cold this winter, I have not been outside as much as usual. This time of year I tend to not focus on speed, but just work on getting outside even if it is just in a heavy winter coat and boots. That is why access to an indoor track is so nice! Not burdened with winter wear, we can work on speed. And Deb and I both want to be faster.

We walked in the middle of the track. I have to admit -- I HATE being in the first two lanes. You have to go around so many more times to do the same distance. I would rather be in the outside lane (not practical with all of the people there hanging out on the edge), but the middle seems to be a good compromise. As we did last week, Deb was one lane closer to the middle and I tried to pick up the pace on the curves to keep up with her as she maintained a steady pace.

We started out a little faster than I should have. Still a little stiff and sore from the Nike Training Club workouts I did this week, I probably needed to warm up more. We picked up the pace and both of us were breathing hard while we walked. I kept up with Deb for the most part. There were only a few times when she got ahead of me on the curves and I had to work harder to catch up. It was great!

The only thing I didn't do is one lap as fast as possible. I typically like to finish with a fast lap to train myself to finish a race strong. It definitely helps -- I usually get a second wind near the end of a race and can go faster at the finish.

So, I think Larry would be proud of us! Two weeks in a row Deb and I have been working hard. We have faster leg turnover and I think we are faster too. (Yes, Larry, I am pumping my arms!)

I really hope I can keep up this faster pace for a long distance. I'm looking forward to breaking a 3-hour half marathon this year!

I wore the Chinese racewalking shoes. They are great because they are so light and flexible. This weekend my right ankle started to feel wobbly in them. I think ankle strengthening exercises are in order.

I wore my heart rate monitor yesterday. It indicated my peak HR was only 141. Hmmmm. It sure felt as if I was working harder than that. We used the 140 benchmark as our "pace" for a couple of half marathons last year. I felt as if we were walking much harder than we did in those races.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Track Workout Saturday

You know the weather is bad when you are looking forward to walking on an indoor track. Yep, it is winter in Ohio and the track at Capital University sounded wonderful for the Buckeye Striders' weekly walk yesterday!

My plan was to work on speed and form since it is so much easier for me to do that inside. Deb walked in Lane 2 or 3, Cheryl tended to be in Lane 3 or 4, and I was mostly in Lane 5. When we reached the curve of the track, I picked up my pace to try to keep up with Deb. It was challenging, especially when she and Cheryl started picking up the pace on the curves so I had to work a little bit harder. (Funny!) Despite the teasing, I was able to keep up -- most of the time.

I did feel faster and when I did my last half-loop sprint, I felt my form held up pretty well, too! I'm pretty excited because it felt good and Deb said she thought I was faster. (Thanks, Deb!)

In addition to the positive vibes and positive feedback, I can tell I had a good workout -- I'm stiff today. I'm stiff enough that I am limiting the number of times I make myself go upstairs for anything! (Ouch!)

So, though I'm looking forward to some sunny days and outside workouts, I'm really enjoying the occasional trip to the indoor track.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Sea Monster is Gone!

Today there was a little sunshine, so I decided it is time for me to get back outside to walk. Because it was only 20 degrees out, I bundled up in my heavy winter coat, some winter shoes and went out into the neighborhood in blue jeans.

I'm one of those people who walk the same route quite a bit. When I plan to be out for just a quick walk, like today, I usually head north and then do a quick loop around the "big block." When I do just one loop, I usually go a little bit farther down one block and loop back. It doesn't add much distance, but I like to go by the house with the great lawn decoration -- a giant sea monster. What I love about the sea monster is that it is in several pieces, and when put in the grass correctly, it looks as if it is swimming through the yard with parts of the body breaking the surface as it swims. I have wanted to get pictures of this guy for several months, but keep thinking I'll do it next time.

Well today, I was looking forward to seeing the sea monster gliding through the snow. I walked down the north side of the street, crossed over to where the sea monster lives, looked up and he was gone! The monster has been in that yard for so long, I can't remember him not being there. I could see the patches of green grass where the pieces used to sit with footprints leading toward the house. Darn! I never got a photo of it!

So I was somewhat depressed as I walked through the rest of the neighborhood, dodging ice patches and trying to avoid cars (because many of the sidewalks were horrible).

The good news is, I have broken the chain of dark grey cold days preventing me from going outside. It is time for me to get acclimated again, and this is the start.

Still, I'm going to really miss that sea monster!