Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Okay - it's time I talked about this. Saturday's long run was a bust. I don't know for sure what caused it, but I didn't have 13 miles @ PMP in me Saturday morning. I really didn't pay attention to my nutrition beforehand and took off again, like an idiot, without haven't eaten anything but a bite of toast and a bite of the scrambled eggs I had fixed for the family. And I didn't think I needed my fuel belt or a gel for 13 miles, but I was wrong. I started out not feeling great, but okay. My pace wasn't too far off, but I never got to the point where I could pick it up to what it needed to be. Instead, it just kept dropping off. I was doing an 8.27 mile loop from my house, then had planned on doing an out and back for the final 4.73 miles. Instead, by the time I got to my house at 8.27 miles, I was dehydrated, exhausted, and could barely put one foot in front of the other. I considered shuffling along for the 4.73 mile out and back, and then I thought better of it. That's what I did the last go around for the Country Music Marathon, and I don't think it was the right choice. So I went on inside my house and called it quits. I was drained the rest of the day. I'll post some Garmin splits on this later.

Speaking of the Garmin, Jay, aka Tri-Dummy, left a comment asking what Garmin I use. Sorry for the delay, Jay, but I have a Forerunner 305. I used to have a 301, but I left it on my back bumper and it got crushed on the highway. I like the 305 even better, though, as I feel like it holds the signal better. Not really all that noticeably better, but for an anal person who doesn't like to be off even a tenth of a mile, it's better. ;) And I also think the HR Monitor is a little more accurate.

I had also promised Briar that we'd get the mountain bikes out Saturday and hit the trails with my sister, H, her new man, K, so I got about an hour rest and then we started loading up the bikes. WE HAD A BLAST!!!!! This mountain biking thing...well, let me just say I think I'm in love. We actually didn't get to ride very long before being run off by hunters - but I am craving, absolutely obsessing about going back. I shoulda bought this mountain bike a long time ago. Next time I'll take pictures for ya.

Friday, November 24, 2006

First Week of Taper

Week 14 of 16 is almost done. Here's what I've been doing:

Sunday I never really had a chance to go riding or swimming since J.T. worked all day and into the late evening. But I did manage to put in the CTS dvd and do the 60 minute time trial work out on the trainer. Monday I did nothing. Really no excuse there, I just didn't do a thing. Tuesday was intervals. FIRST said that I was to do a 10 - 20 minute warmup, then 8 x 800m intervals, and a 10 minute cool down. I could not stand the thought of running outside in the 30 degree weather on this day, so I took myself to the rec center and did the workout on the treadmill. Each interval was supposed to be done in 3:31 with a 1:30 rest interval, so I just set the treadmill to that pace each time and made myself get it done. While there are obvious disadvantages to the treadmill, you have to admit that it's easier to loaf a little on the track when it starts getting tough as opposed to when you are on the treadmill and vow not to reduce the speed. You are basically forcing your legs to get the job done, or face falling off the back and looking like an idiot to all those who were staring at you like you were crazy in the first place. About halfway through the 7th 800m interval @8.5 mph I was wondering if I'd be able to make it, and I had a vision of me refusing to hit the "down arrow" to slow the pace and eventually passing out and falling all over the place...haha...but nothing that dramatic ever occured. I finished up all 8 intervals and then went downstairs top play some basketball with my boys. The mind will try anything to convince you to go for the "down arrow" though. Wednesday was back to cross training, so I took off on my bike during my lunch break for a 17 mile ride including "Brinkley Hill". My mind tried to tell me I wouldn't make it up Brinkley Hill this time too, but I went right up, no problem. Wednesday evening I took Briar to the bike shop to get measured for a road bike, what he says he wants for Christmas this year. It looks like it's gonna be either the Felt f24 or the Trek KDR1000. If I can 1)figure out how to pay for such a thing, and 2)convince J.T. that it's a good idea(he knows that's what he wants, but he doesn't know what it costs yet....~sigh~) Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, the Mach Tenn Running Club held a group run with options of 5 miles and 8 miles. Since FIRST said my tempo was supposed to be 5 miles at mid-tempo pace (8:06), I chose the 5 mile route. And boy was I happy that FIRST said 5 miles, because the 8 mile route included the same Brinkley Hill I had biked up the day before. And one Brinkley Hill a week is plently, whether on bike or foot. The club had a good turnout, but I didn't have my best tempo run. I never did hit the target pace, and my heart rate averaged 170 bpm!!!

And today I should have gone to the rec center to swim, but I didn't get up there. I won't go into the excuses I made to not go. Tomorrow is the long run of 13 miles, and it is to be done at planned marathon pace, which is 9:00/mile.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am thankful for...

- good health. So many around me are fighting illness and disease, but for some reason God continues to bless me and my family with good health. And I am so thankful for that.

- my kids. The heart of a child is so innocent and beautiful. I learn from my children every day.

- my family. What a blessing to know you can't screw up bad enough to for them to turn their back on ya.

- friends. I have so many friends in so many places, and I am so thankful for them all. From my old high school buddies to friends I've made in recent years to friends in this blogosphere who encourage me all the time. I could not be more thankful for ya.

- My Uncle Troy. He has been diagnosed twice with cancer, but is relentlessly fighting the battle and really kicking it in the ass.

- My friend Mary Jane - who is presently just past the halfway point of 12 chemo sessions that followed her surgery to remove colon cancer. And she still shows up at the gym at 5:30 a.m. most mornings. And at church on Sunday mornings. And she wears a look about her daily, along with her smile, that says "I'm not going down with this." She's a warrior. And for her I am thankful.

- J.T. - I'm not sure how he puts up with me. Unless he considers it even exchange for me putting up with him.

- new opportunities - I wanna seize every one of them.

- my grandmother, Ma. She is still here, and she blesses me everytime I talk to her. I can't wait to have Thanksgiving dinner with her. I am also thankful for past Thanksgivings with her late husband and my grandfather, Pop. Those are sweet memories that I will be forever thankful.

- the Thanksgiving dinners of the past with my grandma, Eliza Jane, who is no longer here. I don't think there is another person in this world who has or ever will think I am as wonderful as she did.

- Jesus Christ - who knows my weaknesses, loves me anyways, and forgives my sins.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's about time I posted these...

Briar rock climbing

Me rock climbing

Briar and Ranger Angelo at the edge of the cliff about to repel(can you tell he was scared?)

He finally made it off the cliff!

Me repelling (I was scared too!)

20 Miler Stats according to the Garmin


The Final 20 Miler

Friday morning brought my last 20 miler to the table. It also brought a target pace of 9:30, which seemed impossible, and temperatures of 34 - 37 degrees at 5:30 a.m. I was a little nervous about trying to hold a 9:30 pace for 20 miles, since my previous 20 milers were all around 9:45. But I was also somewhat excited to be at this point in my training program, so it wasn't difficult to get motivated for this run. I didn't take my preparation lightly when the alarm went off. I got on up, checked the weather forecast online, ate a Zone Bar with some Gatorade, and took my time to make sure I had everything I needed. One thing I didn't have were my Gu packets that J.T. had picked up for me at the bike shop the day before. So I had to find his keys and go outside to unlock his truck and bring them back in. After I did this, I headed to my bedroom to get my fuel belt out and put them in it. I keep my fuel belt in a drawer in my dresser, and being that I am not all that coherent at 5:30 a.m., for some reason I opened the drawer and dropped J.T.'s keys in and shut it back without ever realizing it. A few minutes later I thought "Hmmm...I never got my fuel belt out." So I went and got the fuel belt and finally got started on the run. Note: It never occured to me that J.T.'s keys were still in my dresser drawer.

I could tell after the first 10 steps that this was going to be a good run. Isn't that strange? From the start, I felt light on my feet was able to keep the pace down around 9:30/mile. I had on my UA Cold Gear tights, my UA Cold Gear Mock Turtleneck, a vest, UA gloves, and my Pearl Izumi ear warmer, but I still was a little cold for the first few miles. The sun coming up was beautiful, though, and I soon got warmer. I ran from my house to Interstate Dr and proceeded to do an out and back to the golf course on Hwy 55 (5 miles out and 5 miles back). At mile 8.5 I about got hit my school bus. The driver was waiting to pull out onto the highway from the same side of the road I was running on, and she was only looking for traffic coming from the opposite way. I slowed down to let her on out, but she kept hesitating, so I finally ran on along in front of her. And ofcourse about the same time she decided to pull out with no idea that I was in front of her. But I knew that this was the case, since she hadn't looked my way at all, so I kicked it into a sprint and got out of her way before she really got started anyways. I'm sure she was pissed at me, but I didn't really care. She could have atleast looked my way one time before pulling out. I mean, I was on the side walk after all - and there could be people on the sidewalks even though it is 6:45 a.m. in Manchester.

So I got the golf course and ran the half mile loop around the subdivision. I saw John Leighton picking someone up to school and he texted me saying "You are a freak-it's like sub-zero out here." And I saw several other friends taking their kids to school. And shortly after, around mile 11, J.T. calls me.

"Lana, did you use my keys this morning?"

"Yes, I had to get my Gu from your truck."

"Well I couldn't find them. I finally just took the kids to school in your car. Do you know what you did with them?"

"Well, they are either on the kitchen counter, my dresser, the computer desk, or the bathroom sink." (Those were the only places I could think of where I might have sat them down.)

"Well, I looked at all those places and couldn't find them. I'm waiting on Matt to let me in the office now. Just call me when you get done."

"Okay, sorry."

He wasn't real happy about that, but there's not much I can do when I'm 9 miles away. It didn't affect my pace though, by now I'm keeping all miles under 9:20 with very little effort. I had forgotten my heart rate monitor, so I couldn't tell what my heart rate was, but I would say it below 160. When I got back Interstate Dr. I realized I was going to be fairly short on the mileage, so I kept running all the way into town, then took a left Hwy 41 to head home. I noticed at the "3 miles to home" point that I was at mile 16, so I knew I'd have to run past my house a ways to get the full 20 miles. I didn't like the idea of that, but at this point I didn't really want to try to figure out another way to get an extra mile. Mile 18 hurt, mile 19 hurt worse, and I pushed mile 20 just because I couldn't wait to be done. I think mile 20 ended up at like an 8:45 pace or something. My final time was 3 hours, 8 minutes and some change. Average pace was 9:25. YES!!! This was the best long run I've had yet by a long shot. And gives me a really good feeling going into the taper. I'll try to post the long run splits later, as I don't have my Garmin handy right now.

Back to the lost keys though, I couldn't find them when I got home either. J.T. got his extra set and was fine, though, and about 4 hours later it occurred to me that I had put something in my dresser drawer that morning instead of taking out my fuel belt. So I went to the drawer and there were the keys. haha

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Week 13 Update

Ok...I'm a little behind with the blogs. But this week has been going well. Better than last week, for sure. I rested Sunday after Saturday's long run. Monday, the plan called for 10 x 400s, target time: 1:43. I did them at the track, and felt good the whole time. I think 400 meters is my favorite interval distance. The plan said to take a 400m rest interval after each 400, but I thought that was an awful long rest interval so I jogged most of them instead of walking like normal. Here's the results:

1 mile warmup: 9:16
10 x 400m:
Cooldown jog to the car.

Tuesday I had a superdeeduper bike ride on my lunch break. It was about 20 miles in an hour and 7 minutes, and it was one of those where I thought I wouldn't make it at first, with the wind and stuff, but that turned into a great ride and a rewarding workout.

Then, this morning FIRST said to do an 8 mile tempo at marathon pace(9:00/mile). It rained all night and was still raining when I got up at 5:15 to run. I started to go ahead and run outside, and then decided to just go to the rec center and run in circles on the 1/12 of a mile track. It wasn't that bad, actually, I listend to Steve Runner talk about Exercise Addiction on my IPod and then Tracy ran the last 3 miles with me and we chatted the whole way. My final time was 1:13:00 - a 9:07 pace. I'll take it.

Thanks to all of you guys who have left encouraging comments on my blog lately. I was about to hit a tough spot in my training, but you guys helped me rise above that. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! And concerning my final 20 miler scheduled for this Friday - I say BRING IT ON!!!...and then let the taper begin...ahhhhhh

Monday, November 13, 2006

Forward Movement

Sometimes I have family and friends to ask me how I can keep running for 20 miles or for 3 to 4 hours at a time. My answer to them is always that "I just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I reach the goal." I have always thought that distance running is a lot about patience. There is no room for getting antsy and trying to "just get it over with" in a 20 mile run. And there is no room for getting antsy in week 12 of 16 of a marathon training program. And although I have always considered myself a very patient person, I've been antsy lately. The upcoming holidays are making me antsy. The closeness of the marathon is making me antsy. The things that need to be taken care of within the next few weeks make me antsy. My runs that have been "off pace" are making me antsy. The dropping temperatures and the bad weather make me antsy. But none of this changes the fact that I had a 15 mile run to get done this past Saturday. And since I was coming off a terrible failed attempt at a 10 mile tempo at marathon pace, I had to bring myself back to the basics. Back to the bare bones, suck it up and put one foot in front of the other until you reach 15 miles. Here's how it went...

As I was getting ready for Friday's swim, I noticed that I had left my Garmin at work. Since I don't work on Friday's and would not be back to the city where I work until Monday, I borrowed a friend's Garmin for my 15 mile run on Saturday morning. So I got up at 5:30 a.m., got dressed, ate a Chocolate Gu, walked outside and turned on the Garmin to find that the battery was almost dead. Obstacle #1 - No Garmin. So I calculated a 15 mile route in my head based on an 11 mile route that my sister had just run the day before. I added 4 miles to it and put on my sports watch to time it. Not ideal...I won't see my splits or know my pace while running, but it would have to do. Obstacle #1 - conquered.

So I put on my Pearl Izumi Whisper jacket since it stormed all night and still looked like more was to come and then strapped on the iPod. I had downloaded all the new podcasts the night before. I navigated to the podcasts folder, and found that for some reason the new ones did not synch to the iPod. Obstacle #2 - The iPod didn't synch. There was only one on there I hadn't heard. It was an October podcast of TriTalk, though, so I decided I'd listen to that and then just switch over to music when it was done. I took off and thought it to be so ironic that the TriTalk podcast had interviews with some IronMan finishers, and one of them talked almost entirely about "Forward Movement". Perhaps my iPod is smarter than I - I needed to hear this podcast!!! Obstacle #2 - conquered.

My target pace for this run was 9:10, but I knew I wasn't doing that during the first few miles. I did feel better than I had felt Wednesday though, and I ran all the way down McArthur St., then all the way down Royal Trail, down Hills Chapel Rd, and left on Doak Rd. Nobody was was messy morning...rain here and there lots of dark gray clouds. As I ran down Doak Rd., though, I looked over and saw Russell, a friend from the gym and from church, out sewing grass seed on his yard. I yelled at him and he yelled some encouraging words out to me that gave me a little boost. I ran another mile all the way through White Oaks and got ready to come out on the highway and head back in the opposite direction. I am assuming I had a tailwind all the way down Doak Rd and through White Oaks, because when I made the u-turn to come out on the highway the wind about knocked me down. Obstacle #3 - 15 to 20mph winds and rain. Then came the rain. The drops stung my face and I could barely move forward into the wind. I knew I had several more miles of this before I could turn again, and I recalled what TriMama said about the wind at IMFL:
"The wind was frustrating, but what are you going to do, quit?" -TriMama
I said repeated that to myself, got my butt in gear, and continued putting one foot in front of the other no mater how slowly it was. I realized I wouldn't be hitting target pace today, but I also knew I had to give my best effort at it. So I pulled myself all way down the highway until I came to the right turn at Hwy 55 and got some relief in the form of a crosswind. Obstacle #3 - conquered.

From here on out I dealt with hills, more rain, more headwinds, etc. but I kept running. I ran until I reached my house for 15 miles in 2:26:39. That's a 9:47 pace. That's a long shot from 9:10. But that's just the way it was on this particular day. I have barely been hitting target pace in the best of conditions, so I couldn't expect to do so while running into rain and 15-20 mph winds. I can say that while I didn't feel great, or really even good, I am cool with this run...And I am hoping my final 20 miler this Friday will be better.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Running Low on Desire

I hate to admit that, but it's true. And I'm not really sure why, either. I guess it could be some general fatigue setting in at week 12 of the training program, or maybe it's got something to do with the allergies and congestion that are keeping me from breathing easily, or it also could be that I am starting to get nervous and scared like I always do when such an event draws near. I always freak out and have this notion to just back out and forget the whole thing. Talk about being a coward.

So anyways, Tuesday morning I was supposed to hit the pool for a swim at 5:30 a.m., but I didn't get out of bed. And Wednesday morning I was supposed to do Week 12's tempo run, which is 10 miles at PMP(9min/mile), guessed it, I didn't get out of bed. So this morning I really had no choice. I drug myself out of bed and started getting ready while fighting the demons the entire time.

~Go back to bed...this don't wanna do aren't gonna hit your target are's still dark outside~

But I kept going back to all the other times I didn't feel like running, but went ahead anyways and had great runs. So I went on. I didn't eat anything, just took a sip of Gatorade as I walked out the door. About a mile into the run I realized I didn't dress warm enough. I was thinking it would be mid 40's to 50 degrees, but it was actually mid 30's, and all I had on was a long sleeve tech shirt and my capri tights w/out insulation. By mile 5, I was cold. I knew I wasn't hitting target pace, but most of my miles were in the 9:20's so I kept thinking I'd get faster and eventually make it up. But at mile 7 I started shutting down. I felt like I had no fuel left, and had to slow the pace to even think about making it home. By the time I made it home I was at 8.28 miles and could not even think about running the last 1.72 to finish. I doubt it would have even been beneficial at the pace I was running anyways. So I called it quits, went inside and got ready for work. Here's the splits:
Mile 1: 9:31
Mile 2: 9:20
Mile 3: 9:34
Mile 4: 9:22
Mile 5: 9:11
Mile 6: 9:25
Mile 7: 9:29
Mile 8: 9:42
.28/mile: 2:30

Total Distance: 8.28 miles in 1:18:08, 9:26/mile pace.

Not the way I'd like for my runs to be going with 4 weeks to go. I wonder if the half mary took more out of me than I realized? I've got to swim tomorrow, and then I've got 15 miles at a 9:10 pace on Saturday. Here's hoping things turn around this weekend!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Official Results and Intervals on the Treadmill

Well, the Team Nashville Half official results say my time was 1:52:05, and finished 5th place in my age group.

I rested on Sunday and did my intervals this morning at the rec center. I have been missing being at the rec center in the mornings and seeing all the people, so I did the 3 x 1600m on the treadmill. I did a warmup in 10:00 min, 1600's @7:16/mile, and a 9:40 cooldown mile. I also did upper body weights, abs, and lunges.

Congrats to Trimama, The Kahuna, etc. for a great IMFL!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tempo run, Team Nashville Half, and Goodluck to those at IMFL

First of all, I have to say that my thoughts, prayers and good luck wishes are with all those competing at IronMan Florida today. Especially TriMama, Nancy Toby , Shelley, The Kahuna, Bolder in Boulder and RoboStu- you guys ROCK!!! I just checked on TriMama and she is off the bike and is rocking the course!! I checked on Nancy and saw that she made it through the swim, but they haven't updated her bike time yet. You guys are all awesome!

Thursday's tempo run went okay, it was a 6 mile run with the first mile easy and the following 5 miles at target pace of 8:06. I got up and did the run at 5:30 a.m. was fairly close to the target, but never did hit it. Splits were 10:02, 8:22, 8:18, 8:09, 8:29, and 8:10. Total Time for 6 miles: 51:34

So I did nothing on Thursday, swam 2000 yards on Friday, and then got ready for the Team Nashville Half Marathon in Goodletsville on Saturday morning. Michele offered to pick me up at 5:15 a.m., and I took her up on it. We made the trip to Moss-Wright Park in Goodletsville just in time for the 7 a.m. start. It was a beautful morning to be running. I did this race last year without too much long distance training and kind of struggled through it to finish in 2:04 and some change. It's quite a hilly course, with 3 very significant hills that can really humble a runner. Today, I just wanted to break 2 hours. My PR for a half was set at the flat and fast Tom King Half Mary this past March, with a 1:51:02, but I didn't figure I could get close to that on this course. I started out around an 8:30 pace though, and didn't feel too bad, so I just kept trucking, and the miles ticked off. The first hill didn't seem as bad as I had remembered it, and the second didn't seem bad at all. After the second hill at mile 8, I picked out runners in front of me to catch, and continued to push my pace without blowing up. The final hill seemed a little worse than last year though, but I pushed up it and passed a couple more runners. When I made the final turn into the finish, I saw that the clock said 1:51 something, and I was pretty happy about that!!! I sprinted in and passed another runner, and my clock time was 1:51:37...although my Garmin said1:51:58...kinda weird, it looks like it would be the other way around..oh well. Anyways, official results aren't out yet - so I'll report an official time later. Michele did great as well, beating her time from last year by a couple minutes (her time from last year was already under 2 hours though). And since we had lots of obligations at home today, we didn't hang around - we headed straight home and got back by 10:30 a.m. Here are the splits according to my Garmin: