Saturday, September 11, 2010

New shoes

I got new shoes!  And I've ran 22 miles in them so far.

Last Saturday (over Labor Day) I ran in the Aliferis Memorial half marathon in Alpena, MI.  I PR'ed too.  I finished in 2:04:31-ish.  I also tacked 2 miles on before and 1 mile after in order to meet my 16 mile training plan goal.  That Saturday was cold and overcast.  I was worried it was going to rain but it held off until the afternoon. My legs were pretty sore on Saturday but I felt normal by Sunday.  Must have been the turkey dinner my mom made for lunch after the race (my mom and dad did the 18.5 mile bike ride and my older brother ran the 5K).

I took a running hiatus until Thursday due to busy-ness for work and school.

Thursday I ran 60 minutes (6.06mi) after work.  The weather was perfect.  Mid-70s and overcast.  Unfortunately my new shoes started bothering me.  The side of the shoe kept rubbing on my right ankle bone.  I'm going for a run later today and again tomorrow.  I'm wearing taller and thicker socks.  So we'll see if that helps.  If not, I'm going to have to take the shoes back to the store.  I don't think it is right to pay $100 and not have the shoes fit comfortably.  But I'm having an ethical pull that I'll have put over 30 miles on them.

Last Thursday (before Labor day weekend) I went on an early morning run from my lab into Oakland to drop off some library books.  I then took a jaunt into Schenely Park.  Here are some phone pictures that I took on my run.
This pond/spring was NOT dried up less than two years ago.  I'm glad the city of Pittsburgh is planning to restore it.  It made me sad to see it in this state.

Phipps Conservatory

Cathedral of Learning

Be back later with my run recap!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It has been scorching in Pittsburgh.  Way too hot to run after work which has become my habit lately.  My boss is Australian and she said that it actually feels like she is back home with this weather.  She was been in the U.S. for about 15 years and this is the very first time she's ever felt like that!

Monday morning's 60 minute run got pushed to Tuesday morning.  The morning was really cool and made perfect running weather.  I wore this pair of shorts that I hardly ever wear running and got chafed...but only on one leg.  It was kind of weird.  I ended up going about 5.7ish miles.  The route I ran has this killer hill.  I even hate walking up it.

Wednesday called for a speed workout.  2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy.  I don't really like doing speed workouts on the road or a trail.  I have been going to the track.  I'm not really sure the policy of going to the track in the morning because school is in session now.  I know it is fine to go in the evening as long as there is no sporting event.  So the 'dread'mill it was.  I really hate running on the treadmill.  It bores me to tears and usually can't make it past a mile.  Well, I figured out the trick for staying on longer.  Intervals!  I did 7 sets of 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy.  For the hard I ran 7.0-7.1mph and the easy was 5.2-5.5mph.  My last easy was 4 minutes long and I completed 3.03miles in 30 minutes.

Does anyone else feel like their stride changes on the treadmill?  I noticed that mine did and worked really hard to make it more natural.  I felt like I was heel striking more.

I'm getting new shoes tonight!  Look at these bad boys!

Definitely need to get some new ones.  I have noticed that my left knee has started to twinge, which is what happened last year when I needed new shoes.

Gearing up for my 16 mile run/half marathon race this weekend!  Heading out for an easy 50 min run right now.  Happy Thursday :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010


My legs were feeling a bit tired, so Matt and I took a power walk around the neighborhood.  We went 3 miles in 50 minutes.  It was great to take it a little bit easy and catch up with my husband.  We also left around 8pm, so I was glad to have him once it got dark out!
Taken on our honeymoon...not Thursday's walk!

I've been trying to lift weights twice a week while marathon training.  Before I started training I was lifting 3 times per week.  I knew that once I was running so much that I would not have the energy to lift that often.  I started the program outlined in the book "The New Rules of Lifting for Women."  As a 2x P90X graduate, I have to say that I like The New Rules better.  There are 7 stages and I'm on stage 4 right now.  I'm looking forward to stage 6 when we work doing a chin-up.  I have never been able to do one and it is on my life goals list.

I also did some baking.  I adapted Angela's Carrot Cake Power Scuffins.
I am calling mine Chocolate Coconut Carrot Scuffins (got to love the alliteration!).

  • Flax egg: 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water, mixed and set aside for 5 mins
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (though I think vanilla might be better)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded or grated carrots (approx 2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix flax and water in medium bowl.  Set aside.  Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through brown sugar).  Add wet (oil, yogurt, vanilla, and carrots) to the flax egg.  Add wet to dry and mix just until incorporated.  Add coconut and walnuts and mix to disperse.  I got 17 scuffins.  I scooped 1/8 cup onto silpat mats.  Bake for 25 minutes.

These smelled awesome and taste great.  They aren't super sweet and I found that they were perfect for pre-run fuel.  

I ate three of my scuffins with peanut butter and a bunch of water before my run this morning.  I also packed one for a mid-run snack.  I was on my way out the door and turned on my garmin.  My low battery alert popped up.  Not sure how that happened.  I came back in and charged it for 20 minutes but it still died on me during my run.  

I ran a PDR today!  Running 14 miles really didn't seem that much further than a half marathon.  But it still feels great!  I'm guessing I finished around 2 hours and 30 minutes.  My garmin died at 13.68 miles.  If only it could have hung on a little bit longer :(

I ran on the Montour Trail today.  I about 4 miles away from the trailhead.  This way I was able to run through the awesomest part of the trail:

A tunnel!  It's pretty fun to run through.

O.k.  I have a full day of a little bit of relaxing and a little bit of work ahead of me.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Tempo

It rained tonight during my tempo run!  It was actually pretty cool because it started sprinkling halfway through my warm-up and picked up when I did my tempo and stopped raining after my last tempo.

On the plan for tonight was run hard (between 7:30 and 10 minute miles) for 5 minutes and then easy for 2 minutes.  I did this 3 times.  In all it was 41 minutes (including warm-up and cool down).  I went 4.08 miles which surprised me!

Isn't that a cool picture?

I'm still having a problem keeping full.  My stomach always seems to be grumbling.  I have an appointment with the dietician next Thursday.  I'm excited to see what she has to say.

Yesterday I did a 20 minute Yoga for Runners.  It felt good to practice yoga.  I seems to be fairly flexible...probably from all the stretching I've been doing after my runs.  That reminds me.  Need to stretch before I go to bed.  Night!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Catch Up!

Last Thursday I had planned to run 50 minutes (run 9, walk 1) but that didn't happen!  My leggies were tired after that speed sesh.  So Friday morning it was.  I don't really remember this run.  I'm guessing it didn't go to badly though because I went 4.72 miles.  I think the weather was a little bit cooler too.

Friday night I made some cauliflower macaroni and cheese to fuel for Saturday's run.  It was o.k. but not the best.  It did the trick though because I had enough glycogen to get me through 12 miles.  Saturday dawned bright and early because I knew it was going to be hot and humid.  I was on the trail by 7:45am.  I filled up my camel bak knock off with diluted gatorade on Friday and put it in the freezer.  Saturday morning I added some water.  This was awesome and really helped me get through my run.  It stayed cold through mile 10.  One mistake I made was not bringing any kind of sustenance for the run.  My stomach was grumbly rumbly around mile 7 and I want to eat my arm by the time I got back home.

I went on the River Trail in Pittsburgh.  It's official name is Three Rivers Heritage Trail.  It is an awesome trail system.  I almost always run on the North Shore Trail because the trail head off Beaver Ave. is not too far from my house.  I got to enjoy some lovely views of Pittsburgh and I was reminded that living here isn't all bad.  Sorry for the crappy photo quality.  It took these photos with my phone.
By the casino.  Dahn-tahn in the background.
Duquesne Incline

The best (worst?) part of this trail is the jail!  This building is old and decrepit but they still use it.  In all seriousness, I have never felt unsafe running by the jail.  There is always security patrolling and there is tons of barbed wire fence.  And for some reason the fishing must be awesome by the jail because there has always been at least one person fishing when I have ran there.  

Today was an easy run day.  I went 4.83 miles in 50 minutes.  My legs felt like bricks!  I thought I was flying and I would look at my garmin and my pace was 10:30min/mile.  But the weather this week is going to be off the hook.  In the 70s everyday.  I think I'm in heaven :)

I was looking ahead at my training plan and our plans for this fall.  My 22 miler falls on the weekend of Matt's cousin's wedding.  We are staying with my aunt and uncle Friday night and at a hotel on Saturday.  I think I found a trail near my aunt and uncle's so I'm hoping to get my run in Saturday morning before the wedding.  I don't think I would be very motivated to go after the wedding.  I was thinking of moving the 22 miler up or back a week.  But that weekend is 3 weeks before the marathon.  I don't really want to run 22 miles 2 weeks before the marathon and think it would be too far out to run 22 miles 4 weeks before the marathon.  But we'll see what happens.  

Cross training day tomorrow.  I think I will ride my bike (haven't ridden since July I think!) and lift some iron.  Night!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Who is tired from marathon training?  I am!  I feel like I can't get enough sleep.  I know I am not exhausted because I have tons of energy for daily activities and my training runs, but getting up in the morning sucks! I think I might not be eating something?  I'm planning to make an appointment with one of the university's dietitians so I can make sure I am fueling properly.

Yesterday I had another awesome run.  I had a library book to return and a book to pick up.  I decided to make it and errand run!  I ran from Shadyside to Oakland and back.  It was about 3.6 miles which took me 37ish minutes.  I ran around the block where I park to round out my 50 minute run.  I completed 4.92 miles.  It was kind of hot out but not unbearable like it has been for all of the summer.

Tonight, Matt and I went to the local track so I could do another speed workout.  10 minute warm up, 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy x6, 10 minute cool down.  I did 4.1 miles.  I thought it was going to be a crappy run because Matt and I had a miscommunication about when we were going so I chowed down on a bunch of honey wheat pretzels about 2 minutes before we left.  Surprisingly it was a fun run.  Speedy runs always go by really fast.

I'm off to eat some split pea soup and then going to bed!

I was looking through our honeymoon pictures today.  This is one of my favorites.