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.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Slow and Steady

On Thursday I was meant to run for 50 minutes (running 9 minutes, walking 1 minute).  But boy were my legs a little tired from the speed workout at the track on Wednesday.  So I used Thursday as a rest day.  It was wonderful.  I even went to bed early and woke up well rested Friday morning to tackle my run.  I wanted to keep this run nice and easy.  I went 4.44 miles.  It was beautiful outside.  I need to remember that running in the morning before work is so worth it. I'm going to try this week to do my Monday and Thursday run in the morning.  The only worrisome thing was my right hip started to hurt a little bit.  I stretched for about 30 minutes after and it felt considerably better.

Friday night I did some baking.  I made zucchini muffins.  I used this recipe.  They turned out yummy.  Not too sweet.  I'm going to use them for snacks and pre-run fuel.

I fueled my 10 mile run with 2 of the mini muffins I made last night.  They digested really well and I didn't have any stomach issues.  I went slow and steady today.  I finished in 1:44:34.

I slowed down my pace because I was worried about my hip but it didn't feel achy like it did yesterday.  I know that my hamstrings and IT band get especially tight and I haven't been stretching like I had the first couple weeks of training.  I also need to get new shoes (it's been a year and I've trained and ran for 2 half marathons with these babies).  I will most likely be heading to Elite Runners by the end of the month.

I'm working my way up to an ice bath.  The past two weeks I've just sat in the tub filled with cold water for 10-15 minutes.  It's actually not too bad once you are used to it.  

I'm running a half marathon in 3 weeks!  I'm signed up for the Aliferis Memorial Half Marathon in Alpena, MI.  Last year was the inaugural event for the half.  Hopefully the race directors took our suggestions and have improved it (there were not enough water stations and the course wasn't marked well-->some people ran about 2 miles out of their way).  I'm planning to run 3 miles before the race and then the half to get my 16 miles in.  I'm excited, mostly to see my family and to use my mom's foam roller (though I'm going to try to convince Matt to buy me one today).

'Til Monday! Happy Weekend

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Going to make this short and sweet so I can get to bed.

This morning I finished the second half of yesterday's 50 minute run.  It was cooler outside than in the evenings but just as humid.  It felt like I was running through pudding.  I don't know how I managed this but I ran 2.59 miles in 25 minutes.  I felt really sluggish but somehow my legs just wanted to go!

This evening I had a speed workout per my training plan.  On our menu for tonight was chicken wings (my husband and I plan out all of our meals two weeks in advance, go grocery shopping, then we don't have to figure out what's for dinner).  I knew a speed workout+chicken wings would =Katy feeling like crap.  So I had a peanut butter sandwich, watermelon, and water.  It ended up being the perfect fuel.  So here was the speed work:

Warm-up: 10 minutes
Repeat 6 times: 2 minutes fast, 2 minutes easy
Cool down: 10 minutes.
Distance: 4.29 miles

My husband and I went to the local high school track for this.  It was a lot of fun and I didn't have to worry about possibly getting hit by a car or something running around our house.

Let me just say that I will be glad when the weather is back in the 70s so I can run after work.

Off to bed!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Short and Sweet

This is what it is like right now in Pittsburgh:

As soon as I started running I knew I wasn't going to make it the entire 50 minutes that I was scheduled to run.  So I decided to split it up into 2 runs.  25 minutes tonight and 25 minutes tomorrow morning before work.  Now that will mean that I will run twice tomorrow.  But I'm o.k. with that because it is supposed to be cooler tomorrow (I'm crossing my fingers that it is).  

I'm just going to take a second to say how much the weather has sucked this summer in Pittsburgh.  I hate, hate, hate hot and humid weather.  My husband and I have not been happy campers this summer.  

O.k.  back to the run.  It actually wasn't bad because I knew it would be over soon.  I wanted to run faster than 10 minute miles and I succeeded.  

P.S.  Watermelon is the best post run snack!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Milestone, 3 Runs, and a Tip!

So I have passed the 200 mile mark! On Thursday I hit 200 miles since May 23 (my anniversary). I wanted a Garmin Forerunner 305 for my birthday. My husband gave it to me about 3 weeks early on our anniversary.
3 Runs
Thursday I did 50 minutes, running 9 minutes, walking 1 minute.
Distance: 4.67mi
Thoughts: This run was pretty easy but I had a very spicy dinner. It kind of made my throat burn!
Friday I ran 50 minutes.
Distance: 4.78mi
Thoughts:  I went right after work because it was only in the mid 70s. The weather was awesome. The run was not! I even went to one of my favorite trails in Pittsburgh. If you haven't checked out the north side of the River trail, it is definitely worth it. I ran on Herr's Island which has ritzy condos and lots of government buildings dealing with water.
Saturday Long Run-9 miles. I really love my training plan because it incorporates walking. 9 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking. During the walking drink from my knock off camel bak. It works awesome.
Time: 1:30:14

Thoughts: This run was great. When I finished I felt like I could have kept going! I ran on the Montour Trail. The trailhead is about a 10 minute drive from our house. This is the view I have for the majority of the run.

I drank diluted Gatorade and had some Gummy Bears during this run. It worked out well. Definitely had enough energy for the whole run. I fueled before hand with a sandwich thin with peanut butter on one half and chocolate peanut butter on the other.
Well I have a busy day ahead of me. We are going to a wedding and I have a bunch of house work to do.
Oh and the Tip
Put deodorant on before your long runs!   


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Can power walking be counted as a training run?

Yesterday I had every intention of getting up early and getting my training run in. Well, that didn't exactly happen. So I decided that I would go right after work. Well yesterday in Pittsburgh it was muggy and hot. It felt like walking in a bowl of cream of potato soup.

I had to run a bunch of errands yesterday so I decided to walk to Oakland, run my errands, and walk back to Shadyside. I wore my Garmin and I walked 3.56 miles in 1:01.

It started raining huge fat drops just as I was finishing up. And when I got out of work it was still storming. So I decided that today my power walk would count as my training run. Now I wouldn't suggest doing all of your marathon training as power walking unless you are going to power walk the marathon. But I think that once in a while, when life is working against you it will just have to do.

Going for a 50 minute easy run in a little bit per my training plan. I just finished dinner about 10 minutes ago. I haven't had too many problems with running after dinner as long as I wait about an hour after I'm done eating. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Official!!

I bought my plan ticket to Santa Barbara last night! It's really sinking in right now that I'm actually going to be running a marathon.

This past weekend, my husband and I were in Michigan for a family reunion. I ran 8 miles on Saturday around my parent's farm. It was a pretty great run. I finished in 1:20:31. The temperature was in the mid-60s and it was overcast. Perfect for a run...not so perfect for a family reunion.

I'm using a training plan I found in Women's Running magazine. It incorporates walking into the long runs. So I run for 9 minutes and walk for 1 minute for the designated mileage. For 8 miles it wasn't so important. But I think for the higher mileage it will be very beneficial mentally.

Confession: I'm supposed to run Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Confession: I didn't run Monday or today.

But I believe that every training plan needs flexibility. I've been really busy with lab because I am submitting a grant that is due tomorrow. So my plan for this week is to run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We'll see how that goes. I haven't run four days in a row in...forever!

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Running Story-Part II

Half Marathon

I had a lot of life changes the summer of 2009. I was newly married. I was going through the most stressful part of grad school (the comprehensive exam). AND I was training for my first half marathon. My husband and training definitely got me through the stress of grad school last summer.

Anyway, I used the training tool to make my training plan. My furthest training run was 10 miles. I felt very prepared for the half. My goal was to complete 10 minute miles.

The race was on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. The conditions were perfect. Not too hot or cold (which is an issue in Northern Michigan at the beginning of September). I finished in 2:05 and some change. I killed my goal. It was the best feeling crossing the finish line. I almost cried. Oh and because the entrant number was so low I came in 2nd in my age group! Woohoo!

After MathAfter the half marathon I took a little break from running to recover. Then my husband and I signed up for the half marathon relay in the Spirit of Pittsburgh. I was to run the first leg and he was going to run the second leg. But when I got to the exchange point I decided to keep running with him. I can't remember what our time was. I think 2.5 hours. We really took it slow! It was fun though (for me anyway) but I haven't been able to get my husband to run another race! I'm thinking he didn't think it was as fun.

I ran another half marathon (the Pittsburgh Marathon) this past spring. Training for a long distance event in the spring is difficult when you live in a cold and snowy climate. I'll probably talk about that more later so that I remember for next year. Basically the racing conditions sucked. It started drizzling/raining after I finished the first mile. I had a killer blister around mile 6. But I finished in 2:12. Only 5 minutes before the guy who won the MARATHON crossed the finish line. Hey, I kind of beat an elite runner...or not!

During my training this spring I had no aches and pains. That got me thinking about tackling a marathon. And that's when I signed up for the Santa Barbara Marathon on November 6, 2010. My best friend is going to grad school at UCSB. So I'm going to take a little vacation to see her...and run a marathon.

TrainingI'm two weeks into marathon training. I've noticed some tightness in my hip but I've been stretching it out regularly and the pain is about 98% gone.

GoalsFor this blog, I have a few goals. I want to document my training (including my cross training) as well as how I'm preparing for the marathon mentally and nutritionally. I'm also trying to shed a few pounds so hopefully this will keep me accountable.

I'll share the past two weeks of training a bit later! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My running story-part I

Some people start running because their doctor told them they needed to lose weight.

Some people start running because it was just something they were born to do.

Some people start running because they have to look good in that bikini.

I started running because I started hating the gym and I needed a way to burn off some steam from grad school.

That was in 2008. I started the C25K program. I used these podcasts. Everything was lovely. I was running in Schenley Park every other day with my fiance (now husband). I even did a couple of 5k races. And then IT happened. Yup, I got injured. I'm not really sure what happened or how I was injured because I never went to see a doctor (I know, I know!). All I know is my left knee hurt all the time and if I sat indian style for a while it was really hard to walk. So I didn't run. I went back to the dreaded gym. I didn't run from September 2008 to April 2009.

I married my best friend on May 23, 2009. The month before I decided to try out running again to deal with the stress of wedding planning and preparing for my comprehensive exam in grad school. Guess what? My knee felt fine! It was awesome. I loved that feeling of running again. I kept it slow and easy. After the honeymoon, I decided I was going to participate in the Aliferis Memorial 15K (there is also a bike race/tour and 5K). Much to my surprise they scratched the 15K and made it a half marathon instead. And that's when I decided I was going to be a runner and train for this race.

I'll continue more tomorrow!