Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome Splits and Long Runs

I have some runs backed up that I haven't really talked about since I had a little friend time. So instead of talking about them all in a long boring post, I will just talk about the most recent ones.

And those just happen to be my favorites. Is it weird that I have "favorite" runs? Probably. Oh well.

The first one was a five mile tempo run. Since I'm still new to the area (and lets face it I hate track running and really am making excuses), I have not found a track to run on yet. So when I do my tempo runs I will usually do them on the treadmill or outside but really informally. When I say informally I mean "sprinting to the next tree" or "sprinting for the last quarter mile", you know, things like that.

I also try my best to get negative splits. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I'm pretty bummed, when it does I do a little internal celebration (and maybe brag a little to the boy) :)

I went on a five mile run on Saturday and tried my best to get the negative splits. I think I am adjusting to the altitude change better because I am slowly seeing my times improve. This was the best one yet! Here are the splits:

Mile One: 8:45 <------starting out at a comfy pace

Mile Two: 8:30

Mile Three: 8:17

Mile Four: 8:14 <----two pretty even miles, but picking it up a bit

Mile Five: 7:36 <----WOAH!!!

Total time: 41:36

I don't know if there was a cute guy up ahead or a dog chasing me or what. But I booked it on that last mile! Those times were pretty average for me in Tennessee, but I haven't seen those kinds of numbers on training runs in Colorado yet!

The next run was my long run yesterday. I decided to just see how I felt since I had skipped my long run when my friends where here. Technically I was on schedule for 18 again, but I had skipped the 12 miler, so I knew I shouldn't push it too much. The boy told me to only do 12, in my mind I wanted so bad to do 18. I ended up compromising with my head and my body and only doing 15. Sometimes its all about compromise :)

I had also just read an article about going easy on long runs the night before from Runners World Magazine. I know a lot of us, me included, try to push it on every run because we want to get better. This article really made me think twice about being so hard on myself when I don't run my fastest on long runs. Here are some of the tips that I took away from the article:

  • Running slower allows your body time to recover and build a fitness bases. It also allows you time to focus on your running and not get burnt out.
  • 70% of your weekly runs should be easy running.
  • Your muscles need on average about 30 to 60 hours to recover from a hard run.
  • If your event is a marathon, your long runs should be about one to two minutes slower than race pace.
  • Easy runs allow your body to build up its fitness level, this helps your body adapt better to stress on the joints and muscles. It also helps your cardiovascular and respiratory system become more efficient so that you can run further and longer.
  • If your are breathing at a comfortable pace you should be able to hold a conversation and control your breathing.

Keeping all of these tips in mind, I set out for my long run and tried to pace myself a little better. I know my goal marathon pace it between 8 and 9 minute miles, so I tried to slow down to about 10 minutes miles. I am really bad at slowing myself down though, so some of my miles were a little faster. I still felt comfortable though, so I think it was a success! Here are the splits:

Mile One: 9:23

Mile Two: 9:17

Mile Three: 9:27

Mile Four: 9:23

Mile Five: 9:48

Mile Six: 9:21

Mile Seven: 9:06

Mile Eight: 9:09

Mile Nine: 9:13

Mile Ten: 9:09

Mile Eleven: 9:01

Mile Twelve: 9:04

Mile Thirteen: 9:25

Mile Fourteen: 9:25

Mile Fifteen: 9:01

Total Time: 2:29:03

Not too bad. Like I said I was aiming for 10 minute miles, and averaged about 9 minute miles. But I still would call this an easy effort. Success!

Today is a day off for me and I have a whole list of things to do! So I better get to that. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Do you slow down on long runs? Or do you still try to push it?

What are some goals that you are trying to meet this week?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where Have I Been?!

With this girl...


And this girl...


Two of my friends from Tennessee came to visit me all last week, and even though I technically wasn't on vacation, I sure acted like I was :)

The first couple of days my friend Jaime was here. She is a runner too, so of course she needed a taste of the Colorado altitude, so she ran a 5K the second day she was here!


Gearing up at the start



Unfortunately this was the first race that I had been too where I didn't get to run and was stuck on the sidelines cheering. Let me tell you, running the race is so much more fun. I give the boy mad props for coming to watch all my races because it is BORING!! I did get to see the first place guy cross in under 16 minutes though...wish I could do that!

The next day we visited the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO. Hey, free beer tasting at noon?! Can't beat that ;)


I'm not a humongous fan of Coors, but it is brewed in Colorado, so its practically a sin not to like it here. I do like Blue Moon though.


It was pretty cool seeing how they brew beer. Its a process for sure! I wonder how the first people who made beer thought to do it? They told us that even the Egyptians brewed their own beers back in the day!   


Reaping the rewards of being educated all day. Listening to the boring lecture about many hops go into their beer and blah blah blah can only be interesting for so long!

And no trip to Denver is complete without going to a  Rockies game!



Sportin the purple and black!

Halfway through the week was my favorite part, because it was time for my bestie to come!


  Moe and I missed her LOTS!

Her number one request on her first trip to Colorado was to see the mountains. So I took her hiking outside of Boulder, CO.


The summit was almost 8.000 feet above sea level. And the view was amazing!!




And lastly to top it all off we had a day of Elitch Gardens!



I chickened out of this ride. But if you look closely you can see the boy and some of the other peeps that went with us!

Now everyone is gone and its back to work and back to normal life. I promise your regular running topics will be back shortly! That is why you read this right?!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Things Friday

Since this blog is fairly new I decided to let you guys in on a few things about me. Excited? You should be.

I figure I could probably do a different "five things" every Friday, so for the first one I thought we would start with the basics.

Five Things that Make Me Me:

1. I am the oldest of three sisters, thats right my poor Dad had to live in a house with four women. He got a dog as a companion...oh wait, she was a girl too. I think my dad probably has stock in tampons. ;)

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Allie, Kelly, Me, and Tatum

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2. I am currently two classes away from receiving my Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. That's people, watch out, I may be teaching your children some day!

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My best "teacher" pose...yes, I am holding an apple. Thats what teachers do, right?

3. My Second Family here in Colorado includes the boy, Moe (our dog), and myself. We're cute, I know ;)

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He also doubles as my race photographer/coach. He is pretty tough.


He also cleans up pretty nice too.

4. My third family is by best friends from back home in Tennessee. We have all been through a lot together (did I mention we were all coworkers as well?!) and I can honestly say that I love these girls more than anything. They truly are family.


Kelli has never smoked a cigarette in her life. This was merely a prop!


surprise engagement party 003  My best friend Kelli also just got engaged. She has a ROCK! and by that I mean this thing is freakin HUGE!

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I miss all these girls alot. But Kelli is coming to visit this weekend, so I am SUPER excited about that :)

5. I fell in love with running 3 years ago when I ran my first 10k. Since then I have done so many races I lost count. And I am now preparing for the biggest step in my running career...THE MARATHON, in two months! But you guys knew that, where have you been?!

First 10K 007

This is me 3 years after running my first race. It was cold, raining, and miserable. But I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT and I was hooked!



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Ok so there you have it. The top five things that make me me. Because you were really interested. I know. I know. Thank me later!

So now that you know more about me. Tell me something about you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

18 Miles...CHECK!

Today I completed the longest run of my marathon training so far. 18 miles! Oh yeah!
Last night I got everything ready...my camelback, my ipod, my garmin, my running clothes, my GUs...man it takes a lot to be a runner huh?!
I set the alarm for 6AM and went to bed ready to tackle my long run this week! I'm not gonna lie, I was DREAMING about being finished with this run. I know pretty nerdy. I kept waking up thinking it was time to get up. Man I really need to get more of a life outside of running! ;)
Before I knew it the alarm was going off and I was rolling out of bed to start my 18 miles.
I'm pretty sure that I was still half asleep for the first 3 miles, but after that I snapped out of it and really started feeling good. It is such a confidence booster when you can run like that and still feel good afterwards. Maybe I actually will complete this marathon! :)
I ate one GU at 7 miles and then the other at 14. And I stopped at 13 miles to refill my camelback. Here are the splits:
  • Mile 1: 10:08
  • Mile 2: 9:50
  • Mile 3: 9:32
  • Mile 4: 9:30
  • Mile 5: 9:08
  • Mile 6: 9:04
  • Mile 7: 9:03
  • Mile 8: 9:27
  • Mile 9: 9:06
  • Mile 10: 9:06
  • Mile 11: 9:22
  • Mile 12: 9:06
  • Mile 13: 9:25
  • Mile 14: 9:12
  • Mile 15: 9:02
  • Mile 16: 8:46
  • Mile 17: 8:20
  • Mile 18: 8:24
Total Time: 2:47:12 
Those are some weird splits! The first mile was slow because after about half a mile I got a nose bleed! I had to stop and walk for a bit and I almost turned around and came back home. But I kept walking and after a few minutes it stopped. I took it easier for the first few miles after that just in case, but it never came back. Weird huh?! I also worked on picking it up and paying more attention to my pace on the way home. The first half of my long runs I usually don't even look at my Garmin and just try to stay at a comfortable pace. I am pretty proud of my time thought, because I was really planning for about 3 hours.
Good thing I have the rest of the day off because I am taking it easy! I have a Target date with the boy tonight when he gets off work. Gotta replenish that toothpaste and paper towels. Oh we live exciting lives :)
I leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the Double Birthday Weekend:
Anyone else have any good runs this week? Any long runs planned?!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Double Birthdays!

This weekend has been CRAZY so far...and its not even over yet! Why you ask? Well, because not only was it the boy's birthday, but it was also our roomates birthday too! Pretty random huh?!

Well, their actual birthday was on Thursday, so we celebrated a little then...we celebrated a little on Friday...and we are having a cook out tonight for the BIG celebration!

On top of working all day everyday and all the "celebrating" that has been going on, I haven't had much time for anything else!

I did however, get my butt up this morning to get a run in before work and it felt good!

I did 8.5 miles at a 8:50 pace. Here are the splits:

  • Mile 1: 9:20
  • Mile 2: 8:55
  • Mile 3:8:43
  • Mile 4: 9:00
  • Mile 5: 9:03
  • Mile 6: 8:17
  • Mile 7:8:31
  • Mile 8: 8:10
  • Half Mile cool down: 10:14

Total Time: 1:15:31

When I got home I went for my go-to after run fuel...coffee, greek yogurt with banana, and wheat toast. Now its time to shower up, get ready for work, and then get ready to celebrate tonight!

Everyone with the boy and the roommate a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

What is your go-to after run fuel?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Running With Music: Good or Bad?

Listening to music while running, exercising, biking, or whatever physical activity you do has been something that has been debated for years. Does it just come down to personal preference, or is there actual science behind this debate?
A recent study done at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise had 12 subjects ride a stationary bicycle at a pace that they could sustain for 30 minutes while listening to a song of the subject's choice. In successive trials, they rode the bikes again, with the tempo of the music variously increased or decreased by 10%, without the subject's knowledge. The researchers found that the riders heart rate and mileage decreased when the tempo was slowed, while they rode a greater distance, increased their heart rate and enjoyed the music more at the faster tempo. (Hudson, 2010).
However, A 2004 found that runners performing at a pace where they were at 90% of their peak oxygen uptake enjoyed listening to music, but that the music had no effect on their heart rate or running pace, regardless of the music's tempo. (Tennebaum, 2010).
Here is a video that I found on the effects of music on athletes from BBC News

Dr. Karageorghis is a professor at Brunel Univeristy who organized a series of tests to study the effects of different kinds of music on athletes and runners. According to Dr. Karageorghis there are 4 different factors of music that effects athletic performance. These four things are:
  1. Rythmic Response: Your bodies response to the beat of a song
  2. Musicality: combinations of cords and instruments that effect our moods while listening to a certain song.
  3. Cultural Impact: Your personal response to a certain song based on social upbringing.
  4. Association Factor: How we relate to a certain song based on past experiences and life associations.
According to this, the science is behind choosing the right song for you that meets all of the 4 criteria for the perfect song to get you pumped up. So a song that you may love to run to, another person may not get anything at all from it.
Some runners find that listening to music motivates them to get up and go, while others value quiet while running so that they are more in tune with their bodies.
Really when it comes down to it, staying "plugged in" while running is a personal choice. I personally think that it is best to experiment with both "natural" running, and running with devices such as watches, ipods, etc.
There is definitely something to be said for just getting out there and having nothing else between you and the road. But something a little upbeat music can get you out the door and going, and there is nothing wrong with that!
Now that you have heard all the boring scincetific facts, I am going to bless you with some of my favorite songs to run to. Please don't judge :) And remember, according to good ol Dr. Karageorghis every song has different effects on different people!
Some of my ALL TIME FAVORITE SONGS include:
  • The Blackeyed Peas - Just Can't Get Enough
  • Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha
  • Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
  • Jennifer Lopez - I'm Into You
  • Shakira - Did it Again
  • Wiz Khalifa - Mezmorized
  • Kayne West - Im Your Pusha
  • Destiny's Child - Solider
  • Glee Soundtrack - Open Your Heart/Boderline
  • Paramore - Feeling Sorry
  • Eminem and Lil Wayne - No Love
  • The whole Girl Talk Album
  • Maria Carey - Side Effects and Cruise Control
  • Outkast - The Way You Move
All pretty random huh?! I change it up depending on my mood so my music changes alot. This is just a small sample of what gets my butt in gear during runs!
So what do you think, music or no music?
What are some of your go-to "pump up" songs?