Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goodbye, Charlie

1997 - 2009
I'll miss you, Charlie-man.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Me versus The Hill: Week 3

Tonight I ran the Horrible Hill route by myself! Running partner E. was busy last night, so of course I put off going for a run. I almost put it off again tonight, but finally, after I procrastinated a bit, I kicked myself out the door. That's a small triumph right there.

Then, I was tempted to run a different route and avoid The Hill. But no! I will conquer this route by the end of summer. And alas, the only way to conquer it is to actually run it. Another small triumph.

So off I went, peering warily at the ominous clouds. It looked like the sky was considering falling, but luckily, the rain mostly held off until the end of the run. And the sky did not actually fall, so that's good, too.

As far as how the run went, I discovered that it is more enjoyable not to be struggling to keep up with running partner E. At no point did I feel the need to keel over as I tried to catch my breath. However, the fact that I wasn't pushing myself as hard definitely showed up in my time.
  • Last week: 45:36

  • This week: 46:03

But, I definitely felt that I did better on the hills. I employed the strategy suggested by Ted of taking very small steps when running up hills. On the Horrible Hill, it actually felt like I was running up stairs. I think this definitely helped, as this week I made it at least 3/4 of the way to the top before stopping to walk. So thanks, Ted! And I ran most of the way up the hill at the end too!

Hills, I will conquer you!

Overall, definite improvements toward my goal of running the Horrible Hill route in its entirety. We'll see how next week goes when I'm once again trying to keep up with E.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two Weeks of Success

My running goal for May is to run three times each week. I'm at the half-way point now and so far, success!

The first week was tough. Running partner E. and I ran our regular Tuesday evening run, but then I procrastinated and was faced with having to run on both Saturday and Sunday if I wanted to accomplish my goal. I managed to get myself out for a run on Saturday, but running partner E. wasn't free for our regular Sunday run. Having only internal motivation to get me out and running two days in a row almost resulted in a fail for the week. But I persevered, and did squeek out a rather pitiful 2+ mile run late in the day Sunday.

With my 6 mile run this morning (with E.) I finished out a successful week 2. Horray! This morning's run was completed in just under 1:16, which averages out to about a 12:24 min/mile pace. Again, I'm apparently very consistent. This is almost exactly my time for this same route three weeks ago, before the Great Edinburgh Run.

I was able to keep up with running partner E. through about mile 4, before having to slow down. One thing I'm hoping is that the more consistent 3x/week running will help me get a bit faster to better keep up with E. Because even running just two days a week, she is getting quite speedy! Of course, E. also likes to push herself with sprints and by running faster up hills, hence, her speed demon qualities. Ah well, we'll see at the end of the month if there's a glimmer of hope that the increased mileage is having an effect.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Hate Hills

Yes, I know, it's a bad attitude to have, but there you go. Fitness-wise, I know that incorporating hills into my runs is a Good Thing. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

My current nemesis is this hill, the one that starts just before the mile 1 marker and goes up at a 4% incline for about a quarter mile.
I can make it about half way up before I have to walk, and at the top I have to stop and gasp for breath for a good 20 seconds.

Aside: The hill at the end isn't a picnic either. I end up walking partway up that one too.

This week is the second week that my running partner and I have run this route. Last Tuesday, I got an email from running partner E. saying she couldn't stand to run our regular evening route one more time. Could I find us another route? And I came up with this one, so I have no one to blame but myself.

This evening, as I was huffing and puffing my way to the top of the Horrible Hill, I decided that this will be my long-term goal for the summer. To build up to being able to run the entire route, including the Horrible Hill.

I still have a ways to go. Alas, my three runs last week, did not give me an instantaneous increase in speed and stamina.
  • Last week's time: 45:35
  • This week's time: 45:36
That's a very sad, 12:34 pace.

Ah well, at least I'm consistent.

This evening running partner E. finally confirmed what I long suspected: she speeds up on hills. It's almost enough to make me want to cry.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May Running Goal

Having goals. It's supposed to be a good thing right? Unfortunately, while I'm fairly good at coming up with goals in my head, I'm not so good at sticking with them.

Ah yes, this would be accountability. I generally have none, especially when it comes to running. Having a running partner keeps me running twice a week, and that's about it.

So, let's try this. I am publically declaring that I will run three times a week in May. That means just once a week, I need to get myself out the door without my running partner. It should be doable. Right? RIGHT?

It will also have the benefit of hopefully helping me get faster before my running partner leaves me in the dust in disgust.


So far this week, I ran on Tuesday (albeit on a new, hillier route, with one particular hill that almost did me in). So I must run tomorrow and Sunday. I can do this, even if the awful, ferocious winds we've been having for days on end don't stop. Right? RIGHT?

And if I do manage to achieve this goal, to punish reward myself, I will sign up for the Erie 1/2 marathon. Dear Bob, did I actually just type that?!?

Update: Week one, success! Although Sunday evening's 2.22 mile run was rather pitiful.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great Edinburgh Run, with Daleks and Stormtroopers!

So I ran in the Great Edinburgh Run today. And walked in it quite a bit as well. This was my second 10k race, but I was just not in the mood. My stomach was aching (thanks to what I took for the headache I woke up with), and my legs were tired for no reason I could figure. And there were hills. And I forgot tissues, so by about kilometer 6 in desperation I turned to wiping my nose on my sleeve, yuck. Given that I'm not one to really push myself on a good running day, I whimped out rather early. Whine, whine, whine.

But, it was a terrific day to be out and about Edinburgh! And I took my camera, because I was already planning to have fun with the race, even before I decided to whimp out.

The race started on the George IV Bridge, right in the middle of Old Town.

We started the race by crossing the Royal Mile and heading down the Mound for views of Edinburgh Castle and the National Gallery.

After a short jaunt through one of the Princes Street Gardens, we headed back up toward the Royal Mile.

Then it was down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament and and past Holyrood Palace. Most of the rest of the first half of the race was spent running below Arthur's Seat.

The middle bits of the race were less interesting, running through parts of the city that are certainly historical, but not really worth stopping to take a picture. One cool thing about Edinburgh is that the city is 3 dimensional. A bit more than half-way, we actually ran under the George IV Bridge where the race started.

The race ended with a run around the Meadows and back to George IV Bridge for the finish.

In all honesty, Edinburgh doesn't get much prettier than this. If you were ever thinking of visiting, now is the right time of year!

As in many races, there are the folks who like to take it to the extreme with their race kit. Or lack there of. Sorry ladies, I wasn't quite brave enough to snap a pic of the nearly naked guy, who was only wearing shoes and what looked like an adult version of underoos. There was also a guy running in a kilt. But the best costumes by far were the dalek and the storm trooper with cross-dressing Leia.

I just checked my official time, and I finished in 1:19:43. What?! I have how idea how this is possible given how much I walked. That's under a 13 min/mile average pace. Bah!