Saturday, May 30, 2015

Run Fifty-Four: Probably a Best-Best! On the Road

The map is entirely messed up because of
a GPS fail. Definitely my best ever road
run, but I don't have the stats to show it.
I had the most awesome run on the road today -- I run the same route when I'm at home, so I know how far I've gone in the past before I needed to walk and then when I could start again and how far I usually go. This was without question my best run ever on the road. 

Unfortunately, I had a GPS issue during the run, so the map is all messed up. The distance (2.60 miles) is an estimate, based on previous runs and how much farther I went. I can't be certain that this was my Best Run Ever!! but I think it was. 

It certainly felt like my best run ever -- went further, breathed better, had less fatigue in my legs, and generally felt like awesomeness all the way around the loop. 

I loved it! 

I didn't get out until pretty late in the day, because we're on a huge Clean All The Things! binge today. (A couple of weekends of fun in a row has left our place a total mess and we're addressing the problem this weekend.) Fortunately, it was late enough that it had cooled down quite a lot so I was able to go on the road. If I'd gone out in the heat of the day, it would have been to the gym. 

In related news: I'm at the half-way point on my weight loss goal. When I started in January, my weight loss goal was to lose 64 pounds. I have now lost 32 and have 32 more to go. In five months. Not bad. Not bad. :D 

Next run is scheduled for Monday. The weather is supposed to be rainy, so I expect I'll be in the gym. Goal for the run: Beat my last run!! :D It's going to be tough to beat it, but I bet I can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Run Fifty-Three: Twice in a row!! :D

Two bests in a row!! :D :D Happy dance! 
Two best pace-best distance runs in a row!! It's like best squared. :D Of course, I'm just nibbling away at it a hundredth of a mile at a time. 

But hey, I'll take it. And the aggregate is pretty cool -- a slow but steady improvement. Not that I wouldn't love a big, noticeable jump. I would totally love to have some great big leap in performance. 
I might get one after I speak to an allergist next week (one of the topics on the agenda is the exercise-induced asthma).

Even if I don't get a big jump, continual slow improvement works pretty well too. :D Right now at this stage in my life, what's most important is that I'm having fun running (which I am). If I'm enjoying it, I'll keep doing it. And if I keep doing it, I'll keep getting better and healthier. That's way more important in the long run than how fast I improve. 

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. The weather report has been inconsistent (some say rain, some don't). I expect whether I'm inside or out will depend on how early I get out as it's been hot and muggy here -- so either I get out early when it's still nice or I go to the gym. Either way the goal for the run is to get another best-best. :D 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Run Fifty-Two: Best Pace and Distance!! :D :D

I thought I'd gone well, but not *that* well!
Patrick and I went on a long hike (just a squish shy of seven miles) on Saturday. It was awesome but pretty rugged -- we went up to a mountain ridge with a nice view both east and west. It was a lot of fun, though I did get my first ever injury on the trail. (I stepped on a stick and wound out with it jabbing into my shin.) Fortunately we both carry first aid kits, so Patrick doctored me up on the trail and it appears to be just fine. Anyway, minor boo-boo aside, it was a great hike. Once again, I did really well as far as endurance and go-up-hill-ability. Delightful!! 
Us at the top of our hike on Saturday. The little guy on Patrick's
shoulder is Wilson the Bison. He's our adventuring companion
 and traveling buddy.

Anyway, after our awesome hike on Saturday, I decided to go to the treadmill today rather than run on the street. My feet and legs are a little sore from the hike and I wasn't sure how the cut on my leg would react to the pressure of running (as far as bleeding through/around the bandage I have on it). I didn't want to wind out a mile from home with my leg bleeding or my foot going gimpy.

I wasn't expecting for it to go as well as it did. I mean seriously, y'all!! I was thinking that I'd have a serviceable run -- getting out there and doing more than nothing at all. Instead I got a totally unexpected Best Pace and Distance!! :D Woo hoo!! I did a lot of running at 4.5 miles an hour and a lot of walking at 3.5 mph. That's awesome!!

And I felt really good the whole way -- I didn't have any trouble with my the cut on my leg (or the sort of latent blister on my foot) or anything. Awesomeness!

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. I expect, based on the weather reports, that I'll be in the gym on the treadmill. Goal for the run: Keep getting better and keep feeling *awesome* about it!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Run Fifty-One: The Road Was Wonderful!

Best Pace!! It wasn't a best distance only because I
didn't go for another 30 seconds.
I'm starting to feel like the Black Lab in one of our favorite Onion Articles ("Dog Experiences Best Day of His Life for 400th Consecutive Day") -- every run is pretty much awesome every time. I think I've had two that were not-awesome. And a small handful that were merely good. 

That's very cool! :D

I'm actually really surprised that I didn't go further tonight, though I will say that I matched my best distance with 30 seconds fewer on the clock. I sort of lost a bit of the thread with my five minute cool-down (the one on the clock) -- normally I keep up a bit of a head of steam for that (then cool down for real after I stop this clock) but today I forgot. If I'd remembered, I would probably have gone further and had an even better average pace.

No matter -- because it felt great. I ran way further without stopping (like I couldn't believe it!), had a wonderful kick of speed at the end, and felt really really great the whole way. The weather was beautiful and the birdies were singing and the lake was pretty. I got to be part of the Secret Runner Society with lots of other runners out on the road. And my wonderful husband is making us a delicious dinner as I type, so soon I will have food.

It's a great evening!

Next run would ordinarily be scheduled for Saturday, but we're planning on a hike out in the Appalachians so I'll be doing that instead. Unless something goes weird with our hiking plans. In which case, I'll be running. But I'm really hoping for the hike.

So the next run is really scheduled for Monday. Whether I'm on the road or in the gym will probably depend on when I go. We have the day off, so I'll have more flexibility than usual. If I get up and go out early, it'll be road. Otherwise, probably gym as it's supposed to be around 90 and very humid.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Run Fifty: A milestone!! :D

I had a little bit of a treadmill-operation
fail, but I think my numbers are pretty accurate.
And these numbers definitely match up with
how I felt. :D
If I'd known that this was Run Fifty, I would have tried to kick a little bit more out at the end and get a best pace and distance. As it is, I beat my previous best treadmill pace of 15:38 min per mile, which was awesome. I technically didn't beat my best distance, but my best distance number isn't quite comparable in terms of total time. 

So I did kick out a really good run for Run Fifty! Go me!! :D 

It felt really good too -- even when I was muttering and grumbling at the treadmill I felt light and was running very well. I even kicked out two minutes at my fastest pace (4.5 mph today) for the last two minutes of my running time. That made me happy. 

There was a huge thunderstorm while I was at the gym, but it had mostly stopped by the time I left, so I only got rained on a little bit. But I'm very glad I went to the gym -- I would have been soaked to the bone and out in the lightning and thunder. Not very tempting. 

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. The weather is looking like it should be lovely, so I hope to be on the road again. Yay!! Goal for the run: See if I can match my best pace and distance on the road (15:31 mins per mile, 2.58 miles, in 40:05 minutes). Beating it would be even better, but I haven't been on the road in a while. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Run Forty-Nine: Awesome-ish. By the right definition...

Still a little hurty about the shins from hiking
in the mountains. Didn't do too bad.
My shins have been a little hurty from hiking for the past two days -- and two days of getting out and doing lots of things hasn't really helped it much. We went up to the top of the highest mountain in Shenandoah National Park, which necessarily requires coming back down. I think it was the down hills that got my shins. Note, please, that I'm not complaining -- my knees don't hurt at all and in the Before Jogging Time they were not fun going downhill. 

Anyway, we did a lot of walking today at a neat market in D.C. before I went for my run and my shins were sore. So just getting out and going was a good thing -- not coasting on the seven-plus miles of hiking we did on Wednessday and Thursday as "good enough". 

I was on the treadmill because of a thunderstorm in the area. I did pretty well -- I had to walk more than I have been lately. Partly because of my lungs and partly because of my legs. But I still kept the pace up, kept going back to running when I could, and didn't fall off my best pace by too much at all. I'm pleased. 

Not sure I managed to get to "awesome", which was my goal for the run, but I'm still pleased. 

Next run is scheduled for Monday. I'm very much hoping that my shins won't be hurting any more by then -- though they didn't stop me today and they won't on Monday either. The weather is (prematurely) summery right now, which around here means "hazy, hot, humid, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms". So I don't know whether I'll be on the treadmill or on the road. It depends on if the thunderstorms are happening here or not. It also depends on how hot it is. Goal for the run, regardless, is to get back to "no hurting shins" pace and distance. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Run Forty-Eight: I really did run on Tuesday!

I felt so good when I was running on Tuesday!
I really did go for a run on Tuesday evening between work and our awesome, awesome anniversary dinner. It was actually an excellent run on the treadmill -- though the best distance in the picture can't be trusted because the time is a little longer than usual. (Only 30 seconds longer, but the best distance is only by 1/100th of a mile.) Anyway, I'm not putting much stock in that. 

What I am putting stock in is that it felt amazing -- light and easy and I could breathe and it was all really good. 

And then I came home and we had our anniversary dinner (steak with a bleu cheese pan sauce and roasted broccoli) and it was even better. 

It wasn't supposed to be a 4.3 mile hike, but we
got on the wrong trail and had to come
back to the car along the road. 
Wednesday morning early we went for a two-day trip on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. We drove down to the south end of Skyline Drive and proceeded north. We did a couple of nice hikes on Wednesday -- totaling about 3 miles -- then stayed the night at Skyland, a wonderful lodge in the park. We sat in our cabin and watched the sun set over the Appalachian mountains last night, then fell asleep really early. This morning, we got up and did another hike up to the peak of Hawksbill Mountain that was about 4.3 miles. 

The coolest thing about the hikes was that I could do them -- last year when we were on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had a terrible trouble with anything like hills when we were hiking. Even the shortest up-hills, I had to go very slow and stop often to catch my breath. It was disappointing and I was really upset with myself.  I love hiking -- getting out into the mountains and the trees and away from the noise is a balm to me -- so not being able to do it was incredibly sad. 

This year, because of running, I didn't have to stop once on any of the up-hill hikes, not even for a moment, not even going up to the top of the mountain. I'm crazy pleased about that. 

So with a run on Tuesday, my next run would ordinarily been today, but instead we did a big hike and it was awesome.

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. We've got some plans and the weather seems like it will be dodgy, so I'll probably be on the treadmill. Goal for the run: Be AWESOME! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Run Forty-Seven: Another Best Pace & Distance on the Road! :D

Woot!! Not a huge improvement, but I'll take it!
I didn't get out onto the road until kind of late but when I did, I ran well. Best pace and distance! :D Not by much, but by enough to count. 

*happy dance*

I didn't do my plan of seeing how long it would take me to go 3.1 miles at "go" pace -- because I got off late and I wanted to be home before dinner was ready (which is just about now, so this is going to be a short post). 

I had a nasty calf cramp (like a charley horse in my calf) in the middle of the night last night that woke me up and I can feel them lurking around now that I'm cooling off. But they didn't bother me while I was running, so that's all good. 

Next run is scheduled for Tuesday. Ordinarily it would be Monday, but we have a friend coming over. I don't have any idea if I'll be on the road or the treadmill so my goal is to just keep getting better. And to try and be quick about the run and getting back home -- Tuesday is our anniversary and we have a nice dinner planned. :D

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Run Forty-Six: Treadmill Awesomeness!

Absolutely kicked it on the treadmill!! :D
This is my best treadmill distance and pace by a *lot* -- my previous treadmill best in 40 minutes (approximately) was 2.46 miles. I felt good, I ran well (at 4.3 miles an hour) without any cramping or hurtiness, and it was just *good*! 

I probably could have been on the road tonight, but I didn't trust the weather. I also wanted to see how I'd do on the treadmill. And I have to go to the gym at least 3 times a month to feel like it's worth it, and I wanted to get going on May's visits. And I wanted to, so there you are. 

I seem to do pretty well when I change environment -- even just going back to the gym (or back out on the road). Maybe I should alternate. Does that make sense? I'm not sure. 

Anyway, that was an excellent run and I'm completely delighted. 

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. I'm not sure what the weather is supposed to be like, so I've no idea if I'll be on the road or on the treadmill. Goal for the run, if I'm on the road: This is more of a plan than a goal but instead of going for 30 minutes of run time (plus five minutes each of warm-up and cool-down), I'm going to see how long it will take me to go 3.1 miles (with my usual mix of walking and running) or until I'm too pooped to go further. On Monday when I was on the road, I stopped when my time was up but felt like I could have gone more at my "going" pace. Goal for the run, if I'm on the treadmill: Possibly the same as if I'm on the road, otherwise try to feel as light and free as today, only at 4.5 mph.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Run Forty-five: Fun!!

Good run, felt pretty light for the start. Not a best
pace or distance, but they can't all be.
It was another glorious evening today, though warmer than Saturday afternoon. It was around 80 degrees and I could definitely feel it, especially when I  got home -- I was super sweaty and overheated. I'm glad I had a water bottle along with me (I always do) because I definitely needed it. 

I don't know if the heat is why I didn't quite beat my best pace and distance. I know I got very briefly distracted by a bird (maybe an Eastern Kingbird but I didn't get a good look at it) but I hardly broke stride for that. I did  run for about 10 minutes straight, then intermittently after that, but less than on Saturday. 

Anyway, I felt good, I had fun, it was a nice evening, and I'm happy with the run. :D 

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. The weather report is looking pretty dodgy -- storms and rain -- so I may be back in the gym. Goal for the run, if I'm in the gym: Beat my best treadmill run (or see how far I can go at 4.5 miles an hour). Goal if I'm outside: Feel light and easy and get back to my best.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Run Forty-four: That was great!

Best Pace AND Distance!! *happy dance*
Today's run was *awesome*!! Best pace AND distance!! (I deleted the one with the seriously wonky and non-comparable numbers so I was comparing apples to apples going forward.) Not by just a little bit either -- at least by my standards -- that's 5/100ths of a mile further and ten seconds less per mile than my previous best pace and distance. :D 

(Since I normally go up by 1/100th of a mile at a time, this is a huge jump.)

I ran for 10 minutes mostly straight (I took a couple of 20 or 30 second walk breaks), then walked and ran for the other 20 minutes of running time as I felt able. I ran for the last minute or two of the 30 minutes as well, so I finished good. My lungs feel good and I haven't coughed since getting home. It was just awesome all around. 

I also saw an American Goldfinch and a Catbird while I was running, which was cool. They're both common (but not ubiquitous like Robins, Starlings, and English Sparrows), but they're both pretty and cool to see. 

It was just amazingly awesome in all ways! 

And now my wonderful husband is making us Cubano sandwiches and some sort of potato dish for dinner. Life is good!! 

Next run is scheduled for Monday. If the weather forecast is accurate, I'll be on the road again. Goal for the run: Do it again!! :D