Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So I guess today was a good run!

This is a screenshot from my Nike+ profile - you may perhaps notice a pattern

Clicky for bigger version

Trying to figure out if I could run a 5k in 30 minutes was probably not the *best* plan for a day which I knew was going to be my longest run ever, but nothing ventured nothing gained I guess.

I would have preferred to be outside but the roads are still coated with ice here, so I hit the theatre room at my local Retro Fitness, hopped on a treadmill, and mostly ignored about an hour of the second Sherlock Holmes movie (I had seen it in theatres so it was just the perfect amount of distraction).

I ran at about 6.4mph for the first mile (which was well within the ranges of do-able) in the hopes of getting a sub 30 5k, but upon realizing I still had OVER FORTY FIVE MINUTES LEFT of my scheduled run reason won out and I dialed that down considerably for the remainder.

I'm still trying to get used to using speed versus pace so I think even after dialing it down I still ended up going faster than the situation called for, and that 10 minute long stomach cramp a bit after mile three was less than awesome... but now that it's over I don't have to think about it too much so I'm calling it good!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A quick update while I hydrate

I did end up downloading the Expereal app the other day and so far I've been exceedingly mellow at all the times it chooses to ask.

It gives me a reminder a set number of (random) times a day and I'm supposed to record my mood at that time. I set it to three because I like multiples of three and six just seemed too often. So far it's not terribly intrusive but I wonder if there may end up being a bit of bias as all of the times I'm likely to be too busy to stop and record my mood are likely to be the times I'm doing something really cool or really crappy.

I'm currently waiting for the 32 oz of water I just drank (just now!) to cycle through me enough to go to the gym without fearing a potty emergency halfway through my workout. I think a lot of my problems with running in former years can be pinned on chronic dehydration so I have a strict hydrate before working out rule.

I have a 32 oz water bottle which I try to fill and empty into my face twice a day. I have to have at least finished one bottle full before a run (more if it's later in the day) and I have to be peeing clear or close to it.

Not what I would call ideal running form
image via
I'm about two thirds of the way through the 5k to 10 program and today's workout will have a short tempo run, so here's hoping I can clear some of that out soon and get to the gym in that golden window between the after work and the after-dinner crowds. Looking forward to trying out some new tech today so hopefully more on that later.

Oh, oh, oh! While I'm thinking of it!

I'd be awfully jazzed if those of you who haven't already would go like me on Facebook!

Click this text to go to my Facebook page
There's a Facebook widget link over on the right side of the page for those immediate reward button clicky types.

I have been starting to post a bit of extra content on Facebook that I hope you will enjoy - mostly random links I find and the occasional pithy comment.

Click it! I know you're out there and I'd love to know more about who you are!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

...and how does that make you feel?

Anyone out there use (or try) a mood tracking app or program of some sort?

What do you think of the practice?

The theory is that memory encoding tends to operate on a negative cognitive bias, basically we are way better at remembering singular bad events than good overall feelings. That time you kicked the coffee table really hard in front of a hot date sticks around way longer than that awesome steamy bath you took four months ago.

It is likely that the baseline reality of the average person's life is a lot happier then they would necessarily report, so mood tracking attempts to provide a more accurate look at a person's general experience than their own memories
(sort of like a super fussy gratitude journal)

Fun fact - Mood rings suck when your baseline body temp is two degrees lower than average
Img source

I've been vaguely thinking about doing this sort of thing for a while, so my interest was definitely piqued when I read this article on the Expereal app from Greatest.

Of course if your life genuinely sucks you may want to pass, though by the same token this could be a great way to identify any hidden patterns in what may be stressing you.

On a related note: I've also considered the Thryve app (also found via Greatest) which has more of a focus on how food may be affecting our well being. I've had a history with some weird recurring stress triggered food allergies and an app like this could have saved me months of discomfort.

What say you?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Oh, hey wow... uh hi!

Hey, sorry everyone! Apparently I got a little wrapped up in the holidays.

So let's see, what has happened since last we spoke...

The Garmin/Nike+ converter thing I mentioned in my last post got fixed a couple of days before Christmas so I was able to upload almost all of my data to Nike+. In the process I figured out that I was less than 10 miles away from running 150 miles for the year so I made that my goal by New Years day.

I had the week off so I decided to put 5k to 10k on a bit of a break so I could do some outdoor running without any particular limitations. My one structured run during this stretch was a 2.6 mile Virtual run for the victims of Sandy Hook which I did on 12/23. I liked Running on Candy's twist and so I did 2.7 miles with the extra 0.1 honoring the memory of Nancy Lanza.

I slacked for pretty much the entirety of the rest of the week though to be fair there was a LOT going on and it didn't feel like much of a vacation. On the 29th I did an easy 5k run and tried out a screaming pink Underarmor shirt I got for Christmas. The weather has finally settled into the freezing range here and it was actually drizzling on me the whole time so I have been VERY thankful for the various pieces of cold weather gear I got from my boyfriend.

The pink Underarmor shirt went quite nicely with the cotton candy pink hair dye job I had gotten the day before. *grin*

The 30th was my birthday so I figured it was pretty reasonable to take a rest day.

That left the 31st to finish out my 150 miles for the year. I only needed 2.6 miles and had attended a pretty kickass party for a friend's birthday the night before so I didn't expect to exceed that by much or push it too hard speed-wise. Famous last words. Instead I found myself hovering around 10:00 for most of the run and finished out the year with new 5k and mile PRs!

Bringing in 150 miles for the year with a PR (and a snazzy new cold weather running jacket)

I took another few days off after that and then resumed the 5k to 10k plan back in the gym on Thursday. I also finally picked up the Zombies, Run! app as it is apparently half off again, though I haven't tried it out yet. I ran in the gym again on Friday and did another long run outdoors today beating my previous distance record.

Running in 2013

I don't have an specific "Resolutions" for this year, but I have come up with a few goals with regards to my running.

While I'm not planning to specifically run a mile a day, I'd like to run a mile FOR each day so that I hit 365 miles for the year. Seven miles per week is well within my current abilities so I don't see this being a problem by any means. I'm probably lowballing with 365 but it's a nice solid number and there's nothing saying I can't run more (aiming for double digits per week would be pretty cool I think).

Another goal is to run a sub 30 5k though really I'd love to see how close I can get to 28 by the end of the year. I wouldn't call that a goal so much as a mirage-like twinkle in the distance.

Once I finish 5k to 10k I plan to start half marathon training with a goal of not dying or hurting myself too badly at the Diva Half Marathon this coming October.

Clearly races are not a big thing for me (more to the point getting up early on the weekends is not a big thing for me) but I would like to hit a few more this year. The only one I'm specifically psyched on right now is the Color Run but I'm sure I'll find more as the year goes on.

The big list of runs I haven't told you about

12-11-12 5k to 10k wk3 d1
1.74 miles with an average pace of 11:30
20 minute "steady" run

12-20-12 5k to 10k wk3 d2
2.22 miles with an average pace of 11:16
10 minute steady run +5 minute tempo run +10 minute jog

12-21-12 5k to 10k wk3 d3
3.52 miles with an average pace of 11:21
40 min steady run

12-23-12 2.7m Virtual Run for Victims of Sandy Hook
2.7miles in 29:22 with an average pace of 10:50

12-29-12 Outdoor 5k run
3.1 miles in 33:40 with an average pace of 10:51

12-31-12 Outdoor 5k run PR!
3.1 miles in 32:07 with an average pace of 10:21

1-3-13 5k to 10k wk4 d1
1.79 miles in 20 min with an average pace of 11:10
20 minute "steady" run 

1-4-13 5k to 10k wk4 d2
2.5 miles in 30 min with an average pace of 12:00
10 minute jog + alternating 2 minutes each of fast running and jogging (three times) + 8 minute steady run

1-6-13 5k to 10k wk4 d3 distance PR!
4.16 miles in 45 minutes with an average pace of 10:48

As a holiday bonus for those of you who slogged through to the end, here's a pic of me getting ready for the 12-29 run looking like a chewing-gum-themed superhero with my ultra sexy cotton candy pink morning hair!