Saturday, July 28, 2012

Long Slow Distance was Slow

The Buckeye Striders met at Sharon Woods park today to do our long slow distance. Several of us training for the Air Force Marathon (Half) were scheduled to do 8 miles today, so we started at 7 a.m.

When I say we were slow, I'm not exaggerating. We were mostly around 14:50 per mile with more than one mile slower than 15 minutes! Once we got slower than 15 min per mile, I went to the front thinking I could pull the group along. Nancy, Steve and I picked up the pace, but the rest kept chatting and slowing as they went.

Three of us finished our nearly 8 miles (It is a 3.8-mile loop)  in under 2 hours. The rest of the group -- who knows.

As I often have to remind myself -- it is a long slow distance day. Still, I don't think we have to go quite that slow!

Regardless, it was a fun morning and I feel great. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Faster than the Speed of Light

For today's speed workout, I wanted to see how fast I could walk a measured 1/4 mile. There are 1/4 mile marks along the roads at Griggs Reservoir, so I did the workout there.

After a 1-mile warm up, I walked as fast as I could for eight 1/4 mile speed spurts with a 2-min rest in between. My first lap was 3:03. I got faster until I reached my last "lap" in 2:49 -- which would be the equivalent of an 11:16 mile, if I could keep up that pace for that long. I noticed my feet were starting to slap the ground instead of rolling. As soon as I consciously worked on "rolling" my feet, my pace improved and I had my fastest lap!

Though I was having difficulty moving my legs any faster, my heart rate was not near my max and I felt as if I was not breathing my hardest. When I can get the legs faster, I know my heart and lungs are ready!

In my cool-down mile, the cover of my left Yurbud earbud fell off. (I hate when that happens.) I went back to look for the bright red cover, but had no luck finding it. Ugh! I ended up walking more than a mile at a pretty slow pace for about 22 mins while I searched.

My goal is to get down to a 12-min mile pace for a half marathon. And the only way to get faster is to practice walking faster. If I keep up the speed workouts, I'm sure it will come!

My 1/4-mile laps.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roundtown Classic 5-Mile Race Review

Buckeye Striders Pat, Nancy, Steve, Deb and me.
The Roundtown Classic in Circleville, OH was a fun event! A group of Buckeye Striders did the 5-mile race yesterday. There is also a 5K and kids fun run.

The course was a 1.25 mile loop in a park -- mostly on asphalt. There was a short section through a wooded area that was gravel. A line was painted on the trail dividing it in half. Signs indicated that walkers and slow runners were to be on the outside of the loop with faster runners on the inside. (Yes, that does mean that walkers went farther than the runners.)

The crowd spread out quickly, and it was pretty easy to pick up the pace. Because the loop was so large, the faster runners took a while to lap us, and it was pretty easy to pass slower walkers and runners most of the time. The only time passing was an issue was on the gravel section. It was narrower than the rest of the trail. Unfortunately, that is where we got stuck behind a couple of very slow walkers and run/walkers. We were behind them for way too long before we could pass.

The course was nice! We didn't mind the gravel because the wooded area was so pretty and smelled wonderful. It was hard to racewalk, but the section was not too long. The race organizes used fluorescent orange paint to mark any potential tripping hazards like tree roots! Overall the course was flat and in good condition.

After the 5K and the faster 5-mile people finished it felt as if we had more room and I moved to the inside lane and started to use tangents to walk the shortest distance possible. I could tell it made an immediate difference while passing some fast walkers on a curvy part of the trail.

I finished in 1:09:37 by my watch. My slowest mile was 14:16 and my last mile pushing hard and using tangents was 13:08!

After the race, there was a raffle with some nice prizes. We stayed for the awards because our friend Steve won his age group. Unfortunately, it was the last age group for the 5-mile race, so we had to wait for the 5K awards and all of the other 5-mile awards, but that was OK. Everyone seemed excited to see their friends winning prizes. They did not have separate walking awards, but Steve was still the fastest man in his age group.

The shirts are nice, but they are in men's sizes only. The small is large on me, but I understand that small races like this one can't afford to do women's sizes, too. The medals are great! The date of the race is on the back and the inside section spins. The awards were very nice, too. (We called them ice sculptures.)

This was a well-run and fun race! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a shorter distance event in Ohio.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do it Anyway!

Don't you hate it when people throw your own advice back in your face? Me, too!

Here's the back story.
A few months ago I listened to a podcast interview with Adam Carolla. Near the end of the conversation he gave some advice that stuck with me. He said something like this:
If you don't feel like getting out of bed, get out of bed anyway. If you go for a run and feel like quitting, run 1 mile farther. If you don't want to shower, take a shower anyway.
It hit me as so simple and so deep at the same time. I must have told everyone I know about this nugget of advice.

Jump back to today.
I had a long day, ran some errands on the way home and more after dinner. I had planned to do a couple of miles tonight, but it was late and I just didn't feel like it. Like an idiot, I said that aloud.

My husband turned to me and said, "Do it anyway." I looked at him in confusion. He repeated, "Do it anyway. Isn't that what that guy you love said?"

I laughed, put on my walking clothes and walked for 30 minutes. It felt great!

When I got home I thanked him.

In hindsight, the most amazing part of this entire story is that my husband listened to me when I talked about the podcast.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Long-Slow Training

My friend Deb and I met bright and early today for this week's long-slow distance. We are training for the Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton this September, and we were scheduled for 7 miles. We went to Sharon Woods, which has a 3.8-mile loop, and did two loops for 7.6 miles.

It was hot and humid, so we took it slow. We both laughed when we realized how slow -- 15-minute miles! Well, it was supposed to be long and slow. I guess we succeeded.

Despite the heat and speed, the distance felt good. And an added benefit was walking with Deb! I haven't had much of a chance to walk with her lately, and catching up made the miles go by much faster.

Definitely a good way to start a morning!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Without Power from Summer Storms

The tree that blocked the trail at Antrim Park from Friday night's storm.
My house was one of the millions without power from the storm that hit the Midwest and some Eastern states on June 29th. Luckily, the power came back on July 4, meaning we were without electricity for only five days. I say "only" five days because there are still plenty of people suffering without power. I feel extremely fortunate!

My family used to do quite a bit of camping back before our son started playing summer baseball several years ago. That means we know how to store and cook food without power and we are pretty resilient.

The only snag was the oppressive heat. We slept in the basement and yesterday I ended up hanging out at Starbucks and going to a movie. I don't know how people without a basement or a nearby movie theater survived!

Though we have power, we still do not have cable or Internet access. I will not complain with so many people without power still. And because of places like Starbucks, I can sneak in a few minutes of connection here and there.

Let's not forget about all of the people still waiting for power. Please keep them in you prayers. Let's also pray for those men and women working night and day to get the power back up. (They are working outside in this heat!) And if you know anyone who is still without power, try to offer some relief if you can.

I am confident this will be one of those events that in a few years we will say: Remember when ...

Happy late Fourth of July everyone!