Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quote of the Week

It's Thursday and I haven't done my Quote of the Week. Oh no! It sets the tone for my entire week. It describes what I have been feeling. If I have been struggling. Or not struggling. Ughh.

Well, since I feel like I'm on an exploration of the art of running lately, my quote this week is...

Thinking must be done first, before training begins.

Peter Coe

Whew. My tone is set. I feel better already.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is "comfortably hard" code for hard

So I’m trying to incorporate some tempo runs and speed work into my weekly mix. To get faster, you must run faster. Not that I’m all preoccupied with getting faster. But I want to get better. And with that comes faster. I think.

I’ve been doing some speed work for a while but I want more results. And everybody who is anybody (meaning the internet) says to do a weekly tempo run if you want to get faster and stronger. I actually had to look up what a tempo run was because I had no idea. People have mentioned them before and I just smiled and nodded my head like I knew exactly what they were talking about. Yes, I’ve been running less than a year so I should know EVERYTHING there is to know about running. Right? Right.

Now unfortunately, there is serious conflicting information out there regarding what a tempo run is, how you should do it, and for how long. Great. So how am I supposed to incorporate something into my schedule if I can’t figure out what it is?

Running Times magazine says:

Also known as an anaerobic threshold (AT) run or lactate-threshold run, the tempo run was popularized by Jack Daniels, Ph.D., about a decade ago. Here’s his definition, taken from Daniels’ Running Formula (Human Kinetics): "A tempo run is nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace." (He goes on to say that 20 minutes is ideal, but may be varied to suit the needs of a particular course.) Without getting too technical, threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production. Daniels states that this pace is, for most people, about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace.

(I kind of like the idea of being told how to run by a guy named Jack Daniels)

Runner’s World says:

A classic tempo or lactate-threshold run is a sustained, comfortably hard effort for two to four miles. The workouts below are geared toward experience levels and race goals.

And Hal Higdon says:

This is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two. I consider Tempo Runs to be the "Thinking Runner's Workout." A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.

SO what is it? I still don’t know exactly. I don’t really know what my 10K pace is. Or my 5K pace. I guess I need to run more 10K’s and 5K’s to find out. But I do know they all say that your pace should be “comfortably hard.” But how long do I run “comfortably hard?”

I decided to start small. I measured in miles as opposed to time. It’s easier for me that way. So I ran an easy mile. Then I ran a “comfortably hard” mile. Then I ran an easy mile. The problem was I my easy mile was too fast and my comfortably hard mile was WAY too fast. I wanted to die during the last mile. I realize I say that a lot. But seriously. Wanted. To. Die. There was nothing comfortable about it. It was just hard. And since I don't think almost killing yourself is exactly the results I should be looking for, I will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it gonna be like this every time?

I feel like after I complete a race, I have to start completely over. I feel like I did when I first started running. Miserable. Out of shape. Awful. Now, I realize that I’ve only done 3 races but it’s been the same every time.

I race.
I take a week off because I can’t move.
And then I start over.

The easiest 3 mile run makes me feel like I’m going to die. I want to stop. Throw up. Die.

So is it gonna be like this every time? I understood after White Rock. It was my first race. But it’s not getting easier. The races are getting easier. But the aftermath is the same horrible thing each time. I meet my friend Serene on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings to run. She feels the same way. We both want to die. And she’s in WAY better shape than me. It’s comforting to know someone else is suffering too. (And there is nothing wrong with finding comfort in someone else's misery so shut it!)

But seriously, it’s just so strange when you think about it. We never feel this way after a 10 or 12 mile training run. But a race. Man.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

YOU did this...

I have volunteered for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for almost a year now. Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been with Team In Training that long. And I can’t believe how my life has changed since that fateful day I walked into Market Street for the informational meeting. Ohhh how my life has changed. Changed all because of Team In Training. All because of LLS.

When I read the below, I couldn’t help but have the feeling that we had some sort of part in this. We meaning me and you. Now, I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s how I felt. Its how we should all feel. So, I wanted to thank all of you out there in blogland that donated to me and this wonderful cause. Thank you. YOU did this…

LLS Funded Researcher is on Time Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential People
Dear Friend of LLS:

I am pleased to share exciting news about Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr. Kwak was recently named one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People," for his role in advancing custom-made vaccines for patients with lymphoma.

Dr. Kwak, professor and chair of the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has focused his work on harnessing the power of the immune system of patients with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to fight their cancer. The vaccines are developed by taking proteins from the patient's own tumor, training them to find and kill lymphoma cells and then injecting them back into the patient. Currently in late stage clinical trials, the vaccines have been shown to extend disease-free survival for more than a year.

In 2007, LLS awarded Dr. Kwak a five-year, $6.25 million Specialized Center of Research grant, our most prestigious research award. These grants are distinctive in that they encourage at least three laboratories at the same or different institutions to work together. In addition to continuing his work on the personalized lymphoma vaccines, this grant is enabling Dr. Kwak to expand his research to develop immunotherapies for patients with leukemia and myeloma as well.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Kwak has been on the cutting edge of researching and developing novel immunotherapies that are already showing a clear benefit for patients with cancer. We are proud of Dr. Kwak's well-deserved recognition and are honored to have played a role in helping to advance this life-saving work.

To read more about Dr. Kwak's inclusion in the "2010 Time 100" please visit Time Magazine's website, and to learn more about our Research programs visit Please join us in taking pride in Dr. Kwak's achievements.

John E. Walter
President & CEO

Monday, May 10, 2010


My obsession with the Garmin has prompted many discussions over the last week or so. All about technology. It brings so much to the sport, right? How fast am I running? How much faster did I run today than I did yesterday? Exactly how many miles did I run? What is my average pace? My average heart rate? How many calories did I burn? And so on…

My Dad told me that “at some point you can just get too technical. If you feel like it was a good run, then it was a good run.” Simple.

I had a friend ask whether or not I thought she needed a heart monitor. Well, she didn’t necessarily ask me but she asked in the general direction. My immediate reaction was NO! Now, I’ve never used a heart monitor but I have run with people who use them. And my experience is they slow down and speed up according to the beeps of the monitor. But isn’t your heart rate supposed to go up when working out? And what about speed work? It’s gonna beep off the charts, right?! Anyway, I think Dad’s right…you CAN be too technical. Listen to to your body. You know when to push it and when to take it easy. Simple. Now does that mean I no longer want a Garmin? Of course not. Don’t be silly.

Sooo in keeping with today’s theme…I bring you the Quote of the Week:

“Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.”

Jumbo Elliot, track and field coach

Side Note:

I update my blog with my iPhone now because Blogspot has been blocked at work. What?! Yes, it's true. I guess they want us to use our time more productively. Rubbish, I say! Anyway, please excuse any typos or grammatical errors (Aunt D and Kelly). It is not an easy task.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Now what

This is the first time since White Rock that I'm not training for something. I thought I would enjoy the time off. Thought it would be a nice break. My family could probably use a break. But I'm lost. I don't know what to do without a training schedule.

It's been 3 days. That's enough of a break, right? Yea, I think so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about.
PattiSue Plummer, U.S. Olympian

Monday, May 3, 2010


Or explanation maybe…

After reading yesterday's post again, it seemed like I was complaining about my 2:12 PR. And the race. That is completely opposite of what I actually meant to get across. Most races are completely dependent on volunteers. The Gatorade was an issue. But again, these people are volunteers and I am SO thankful they are out there giving their time. As far as my PR goes, I am totally proud! It was just such a strange race for me. I was kind of all over the place. Which makes me think if I would have had an “on” day, I would have really been AWESOME.

Anyway, just wanted to clear that up…

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Left it all on the course

Sooooo I ran my 3rd Half Marathon today. Heels and Hills Half Marathon in Irving. 2:12:46 was my official time. It's a personal record. I should be happy right? Right?

I am happy. Kind of. But I'm also pissed. It was such a strange race. Super small. Like 1700 people. Great course. Flat. Fast. Gorgeous. Small.

But the water stops were not ready. The Gatorade was watered down. I got dehydrated. I ranged from a 8:30 mile to an 10:41. I couldn't find my groove. It was weird. But I left everything I had on the course...I think.

Either way, my new goal is 2:05. Why? Because 2:10 is just too attainable. Have I said that before?



We look so be done.

Thank you Jeff for being the official photographer and go getter of things. We would not have made it without you.