Archive | June, 2013

It happened again and retail therapy

28 Jun

Late this morning, I met a friend from the Albany Running Exchange for a 10 mile run. (He couldn’t meet before 10 AM). I was a little nervous after how my last long run went, but the weather wasn’t quite as brutal today so I was optimistic.

I prepared for my run as usual with fuel and hydration, sipping nuun occasionally while on the run. Starting out, I felt great and my friend and I chatted on at a comfortable pace. The sun stayed behind clouds for the most part and there was a breeze. At the halfway point, I still felt pretty good. It wasn’t until mile 7 that I started to struggle a little bit. At mile 8.5, I had to stop and walk for a little while. I was able to jog the last mile, but I felt pretty crummy when we stopped. Of course, my running buddy didn’t seem to be affected at all.

I’m feeling pretty down about this, you guys. I will be certain to make my next long run as early in the morning as possible, no matter what. If the next one goes wrong still… OK, I don’t want to think about that.

I started to feel better after lunch and then I did a little shopping. Retail therapy cures all, right? I finally bought an exercise ball after talking about how much I should get one for like…2 years.

exerciseballThis is a great addition to our growing exercise equipment collection because last week I bought Mark his very own yoga mat for Just Because Day. It even has a manly tribal symbol on it! Now he doesn’t have to steal mine to do ab work.

yogamatsMy favorite purchase today was this Franco Sarto cross-body bag. I’ve been looking for a bag like this for traveling and this was a pretty good steal at $24.99.


I’ll be testing it out this weekend because we are off on another adventure! See everyone on Monday!


Hitting the track

27 Jun

For several weeks now, I’ve been contemplating how to go about increasing my speed to meet my goal of kicking my 14-year-old self’s butt with a sub-22:00 5K as well as improving my overall speed for longer distance races. I’ve done a few hill repeats, but mostly I’ve been trying to overcome my phobia of track workouts. That phobia is mainly based on memories of torturous 400m dashes and 800m runs during high school track and field. The rest of the problem was not knowing what kind of workout to do. I Googled different workouts, looked at a few apps, considered hiring an e-coach, thought about leaving work early to make it to a track workout hosted by a local running group. Ultimately, I decided to just find something and give it a try.


Luckily, I came across this simple workout, which is designed to improve speed for all distances. Perfect! I went with the “beginner” version.

600 meter breakdownsI ran to the nearby high school track as the warmup and did some stretching to loosen up my legs. After a little pep talk, I got started!

As I did each interval, the high school track days became clear in my mind. My mom watching from the bleachers, my coach with his loud high pitched mouth whistle, spending an entire day by the track waiting for your one event, time trials, relays, conversations on the bus, pushing beyond physical limits, celebrating victories and mourning defeats. A mix of nostalgia, pride, and anguish. Oh, track…it’s been so long. I’ve missed you. (I think…)


My splits:

600m / 2:20 time / 5:53 pace

400m / 1:32 time / 5:38 pace

300m / 1:11 time / 5:59 pace

200m / 0:44 time / 5:43 pace

For the cooldown, I ran nice and slow back home and stretched for a while. I actually really liked this workout and could see myself doing it regularly. Now that I have an idea of about how fast I can run these short intervals, I think I might tailor it to hit certain target times for each.

If you’re trying to gain some speed, give this workout a try!

A little added inspiration:

If you’ve got a favorite track workout, feel free to share!

The zoo and a run for two

25 Jun

On Saturday we headed out bright and early for a day trip to the Bronx Zoo with our friends and their little girl. None of us had been there before and we were all just as excited as the 3 year old!

Bronx Zoo 1 rbbI was especially excited to see the giraffes. Maybe I have an affinity for all things tall?

giraffeIt’s hard to tell, but there are baboons in this photo, along with the Nubian ibex. We ate lunch next to these guys.

ibexThere were so many things to see. We were there the whole day and we only got to see about half of the exhibits and animals!

zooanimalsIt’s hard to pick a favorite, but I did really enjoy the butterfly garden and I was pretty amazed by the tigers. It was truly a fun day and I’m so glad we took the trip!


Mark and I both had our long runs planned for Sunday morning, so we made sure to hydrate, ice, compress, and get some rest after all that walking! When the morning came, we slowly got ourselves out of bed, packed a cooler with runfreshments, strapped the bikes to the car, and went to the nearby bike trail.

First, I biked while Mark ran 3.5 miles. Since it was a pretty casual ride, this loosened my tired legs up. After a little stretching, fueling, and trespassing borrowing a construction site porta-potty, Mark hopped on the bike while I ran 9 miles.

runbikeloveBy the time it was my turn, it was after 10:30 AM and the sun was getting high and hot. I started out feeling pretty good and keeping a comfortable sub-9:00 pace. After the midpoint, I started to struggle. Despite sipping on nuun and water, downing a Gu gel, and pouring water on my head, the heat and humidity really got to me. I didn’t feel like I was in some physical shut down mode – just very hot and sweaty, so I kept going at a much slower pace and just took it easy.

hotrunI didn’t start to feel absolutely miserable until after I finished those 9 miles. The PowerICE electrolyte freeze pop was pure bliss (even though it was lime flavored) and I wish I had about a dozen more of them. I worked on cooling myself down and getting some recovery fuel into my body for a while.

My body felt really weak – I actually fell asleep on the 2 mile car ride home. As soon as we got home, I spent some time under the nice cold water from the hose. Then…I threw up. Twice. (You’re welcome for that.) After some breakfast,  more nuun, and a couple of short naps, I started to feel better.

I’m not a doctor, but I think I ended up drinking too much water and not getting enough electrolytes and fuel during the run in proportion to how much sweat I was losing. (If you’re a doctor or expert and want to help me figure out what went wrong, by all means please email me because the literature on dehydration vs. overhydration is really confusing.)

I’m usually pretty cautious about planning runs in the heat, but this run apparently had to teach me a few things:

  1. Start your run as early as possible to avoid getting the sun’s most direct rays and postpone it if you need to
  2. Don’t wear a black top, no matter how thin and moisture-wicking the fabric is
  3. Skip the compression socks if the heat and humidity are so high
  4. Don’t experiment with putting nuun in one bottle and water in the other on a long run in high heat and humidity
  5. Bring double energy gels on the run, just in case

And that is how my run started happy and ended miserably. If you’ve had a similar experience before, feel free to share!