Monthly Archives: October 2012

Intervals and Other Insane Ways to Kick Your Running Butt

Here are some ideas to up your running game.  I’m not a coach, but I’ll pass on what I’ve done.  Winter is sometimes lonely for us runners.  Very few events, lots of cold and wind.  I’m not a winter person so I struggle during the cold months – especially during the years when I ran alone.  What keeps me going is my thoughts towards Spring events, less clothing, warmer temperatures, getting stronger underneath all those clothes and now that I have a team, I’m (almost) looking forward to winter training.

Cross training.  If you can’t get out there, do something else!!  Plus cross training has so many benefits.  I have a little weight routine I do in my living room plus I just added this baby to my arsenal:

Trainer for the bike. My bike didn’t have a quick release on the back tire so I borrowed Chris’ bike for the time being. I have a counter for my sweat rag and water bottle plus remotes to watch Netflix….  It’s all ready to go in the family room!

If you have don’t have as much time due to fewer daylight hours, or you can’t go very far on a winter run, here are some additional ideas:

HILLS:  Don’t make that face!!  Find a long one – one that will take you several minutes to run up.  This isn’t about going fast and super hard, it’s about steady and running strong.  Run up strong, slow run back down.  Repeat.  5-10 times.  You can do variations on this by going up 5 minutes, then down 5 or set a point to turn around.  Have fun with those hills!  They’ll make you stronger!

INTERVALS:  I love these!!!  Speed workouts are the best!  This isn’t for distance so you have to ignore the Garmin.  Do a warm up of 15-20 minutes and know what intervals you’ll do.  1 minute hard, 1 minute slow?  2 minutes hard, 1 minute slow??  And how many times you’ll do it. 5?  6?  10??  Get those babies done! Anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes hard and 1 minute slower.  Then do a nice, slow 15 minute cool down.  I like these because you never watch distance, you don’t really even watch speed.  It’s all about effort – what feels hard or slow to you.  Plus, they’re easy to do if you have a loop around a block or a bike path which are often lit up during those dusky hours.  I’ve even run a 3 mile bike loop in pitch dark – between street lights and my knuckle lights those are some of my favorite runs.

Shorter runs more frequently:  Use your lunch break, time before dinner, etc… and get in shorter runs but increase how often if needed.  You can still log mileage in shorter bursts.

I have knuckle lights like I mentioned and I love them.  I also use my trail shoes when it’s icy or snowy out on the road and when that’s not enough I strap on snow trax.  Also in my arsenal are Little Hotties Hand Warmers (I buy the case at Costco for $12.99).  In mittens, pockets, etc…  when it’s down to the 8* I ran in last winter or in windy weather, I stick them everywhere I have a pocket.

Get out there and get at ’em!!!  NO EXCUSES!!!!

If I’m willing to go out like this – you have NO excuse!!

Tuesday Morning Run

Bliss…. When you get up, get ready, don’t feel super excited because that bed was warm and cozy, it’s dark and cold outside but you know how amazing it will feel to log miles and be in the shower while other people are just waking up…  Even better when you dress right for the weather.  Even better than that is having a slow, easy run of 4 miles and just enjoying yourself……  That was my morning.

On Sunday for the 5K my goal was sub-24 minutes which I did with a 23:21.  I really, really, super secretly wanted to run a 22 minute 5K but it didn’t quite happen.  I can play the blame game – I was wearing a costume and the cape around my neck drove me nuts or that my son was right behind me and I wanted to check on him but really, honestly that’s all crap.  Not that there isn’t some truth to it, but I know I gave it what I had – enough that when I crossed the finish line I kept going to a quiet place and dry heaved.  Just twice.   I did my best at that moment but I know there will be other moments, other goals.

This morning was my usual “run in heart rate zone 2 for 4 miles” routine.  When I started training in zones, I got irritated running in zone 2.  It’s slow.  Going uphill I had to slow down so much I joked about how I was going to start sliding backwards.  But I learned.  About heart rate training and about myself – allowing myself to slow down and just freaking enjoy myself instead of going full speed ahead all the time.  Today I could say it was my “recovery run” from pushing on Sunday nights race but in all honesty, I enjoy these runs now.  My Garmin didn’t load – the only things working on it were the total time and my heart rate.  When I got down the road and looked I just shrugged.  Who cares??  I know where the 2 mile turn around is and all I really needed was my heart rate.  My total time for 4 miles was 39:42 and my heart rate stayed in zone 2.

I wave at everyone that passes me.  Mostly it’s a “Hey, I see you coming at me and I’m glad you see me” wave.  But people in my area have become familiar with the crazy lady running early in the morning in all weather, waving at them and now they wave first.  I get smiles, the “pointing gun” wave, genuine waves instead of just a raised hand.

This morning in 33* I felt happy.  Just plodding along in familiar territory, waving like a maniac and smiling because I got to go for a run.  That, my friends, is pretty amazing.

Reno 5000 Halloween 5K

What a fun race! Capped at 450 entries with lots of food, support, great race volunteers and a well marked course, this race is always fun! 9 kids and 2 parents entered. YAY!! A family affair for sure. Changes are happening as the kids get older – only my youngest is in the 1/2 mile “Fun Run”. All the other kids entered the 5K. We all run our own race and meet at the finish. I’m still (barely) the fastest but soon Taylor will beat me and he’ll never look back….. Until then, here are our results and a ton of pictures because, quite honestly, I’m biased and think they’re super cute and awesome.  6 kids as well as Chris and myself PR’d last night and one was the same as her best time.  SWEET!!! You can see by the results that Bri and Kezia ran together, Ashlea and Alana ran together and Olivia and Gabi ran together until the end.  Taylor was with me most of the way. There were 345 entries in the 5K:

Chris: PR – #95 Time; 28:49 Avg. 9:17
ME:  PR – #28 Time; 23:21 Avg. 7:32
Brianna: #140 Time; 31:16 Avg. 10:05
Olivia: #232 Time: 36:49 Avg. 11:52
Alana: PR – #166 Time; 33:19 Avg. 10:44
Nicolas: First 5K – #146 Time; 31:44 Avg. 10:14
Taylor: PR – #40 Time; 24:36 Avg. 7:56
Ashlea: PR – #167 Time; 33:19 Avg. 10:44
Gabrielle: Same as best – #233 Time; 36:55 Avg. 11:53
Kezia: PR – #141 Time; 31:17 Avg. 10:05
Samuel:  Half mile.  #14 out of 81 – PR 4:23

Running – Love Like Woe!!

For as hard as running spanked me Tuesday night, Thursday night was awesome. You just never know. We did some sort of interval thingy – technical, I know.  Warm up, 5 sets of intervals – running at different speeds for different time periods – then 20 minute cool down.  It felt amazing and the next day my butt hurt – good sign, folks, good sign.  It’s never a bad run, some are just more difficult than others.  Thursday made me feel amazing and alive!!

Super exciting things in my world.  Get a pen and paper and prepare to live vicariously….  Work went well Friday and Saturday.  Kids and I went to get pumpkins on Friday, then had a carving party Saturday night.  We also went to packet pickup Saturday.  9 kids and 2 parents running the 5K tonight in our Halloween get up.

THIS IS SO COOL!!  I went on Athlinks to look at my race results and double check my 5K PR.  For kicks, I typed in one of the kids names and we found all her results.  So I put in each child’s name and got all their results.  We wrote them out together and it was phenomenal to see how much they’ve improved.  The best improvement was Ashlea.  From her first 5K to her second she shaved 12 minutes of her time!!!  Gabrielle shaved off 11 minutes!!  When we all looked at how many races they’ve done and how much they’ve improved, the excitement level went up a few notches.  They remembered every race, what they liked about each one, which were technically more difficult, etc…  They all know they’re PR time and have a goal for tonight’s race.  A time to shoot for and see if they can beat.  Bri (who is 20 and technically an adult) and I hadn’t realized how many races she’s been in over the years.  She looked at it and said, “Huh.  I guess I really am a runner.  Also, I hit my peak at 14.”  Oh, well, we can’t have everything……  It was exciting for the kids to see their race results posted on a “professional” page.  Tonight’s race is definitely one of our favorites.  Best director, best food and swag, lots of energy.  Stay tuned…

Halloween Fun

I love Halloween but seriously the surrounding activities are getting crazy!! The kids have a church activity, a school activity, a friends party. 3 times to dress up. THEN we do the 5K race and the actual trick or treating……

Here are my rules of Halloween.  1) I help for the race and the actual trick or treating.  2) Once the kids turn 12, I don’t help.  I figure they’re old enough to help other little kids, have parties with their peeps, etc…  and are pretty much good to figure it out for themselves.  Yes, I’m a mean mom….

The cool part??  They get very creative and figure out inexpensive ways to make things…  Example?  Gabrielle wants to be Medusa.  We looked her up online and went to the dollar store.  2 pack of headbands and 2 packs of snakes.  $3.  Then green makeup at Walmart (in case you didn’t know, Medusa has green lips) for $.97.  We had a great time putting it together and she’s using an existing costume dress to top it off.