4 Mile Variable Speed Run

Calories Burned Today
As I headed out of work to go pick up my darling daughter from school I passed my dear hubby running alongside of the road. I honked two little honks but I think he was oblivious to it or to the fact that it was me honking. I also foolishly hoped that this meant he would be home early and be able to cook dinner so I could put in some good running time.

Pineapple chips

Once home, I received a text and my plans changed. I will have less running time since dear hubby will be late so I am back in charge of dinner. I could have completely eliminated the run and focused more on better dinner preparations but instead, I ran. I opted to do 4 miles and randomly changed my pace. I ran on my 10% incline treadmill at home while my darling daughter sweetly watched some Curious George and treated herself to some homemade pineapple chips. She truly was a trooper allowing me to run in peace and get some miles in. Thank you darling daughter.

After getting us both cleaned up I finally got around to emptying the school bags and lunch boxes and turned to dinner plans. What on Earth was I going to do with dinner time just 30 minutes away? I ended up popping some zucchini souffles into the oven (and then microwaving them as they were taking too long) and sauteed some fresh mushrooms, orange bell pepper, and zucchini in lemon and butter (very little).

What's on my plate for tomorrow? Well, I already texted my co-worker to let her know I will be in later than usual since I really want to get some miles in before work tomorrow. I will make up some work hours this Saturday....I promise. She assured me I was good to go and told me to enjoy my run and you know what? I will!

Answering the blog question - where do I run?

run, Courtney, run had a great post on her blog asking where and when do people run or ride. I really enjoyed reading her post and decided my answer was going to be too long to just put in her comment box.

First, let me say I am so jealous that she has 20 miles of pathway just a mere mile from her house! It is stories like those that tempt me to move back to the mainland so I could live in runner's heaven. Although, I do realize running on Maui does have its own perks such as pretty consistent temperature and weather conditions year round.

Second, I tend to be a early morning runner with a vast majority of my runs starting around 4:30 am. It is quite dark at this time and that puts my run in one place....the gym. I could run on my treadmill at home but I try to remove myself and the noise out of the home so the rest of my dear family can sleep in bliss.

However, I am firm believer that all training should not occur on treadmills and come on, running outside is indeed so much better! For my long runs, I am definitely a road runner because I only know of one pathway (off to the side of a road by the way) and it is at maximum 7 miles long. Not really long enough for my running needs so yes, I run along highways and roads.

And finally, if I need to do a run in the afternoon or at other odd times, I run on my treadmill at home or around our neighborhood. Once again, this can become a boring since one loop around the block is only 1/2 mile and that is essentially the neighborhood. My darling daughter gets tired of the constant loops too.

But please note: I have a list of running rules that I adhere to like crazy.
  1. I never run roadside with my daughter in the jogging stroller! I may run on sidewalks, I may run in our neighborhood, and I may run up on Thompson Road, which is less traveled and more like a country road. 
  2. Roadside running must occur on roadways with shoulders, although at times I may have very small stretches down neighborhood roads without a shoulder taking me from one major roadway to another. 
  3. I run early when there is less traffic on the roadways.
  4. I always run against the traffic. I want to see what is coming.
  5. I keep my tunes down low so I can hear what is happening around me.
  6. I do not run in the dark. Yes, I know I can add reflective tape or lights so cars can see me but this rule is more because my field of view is decreased. I run solo and I want to be fully aware of my surroundings.
  7. I ask myself, is this a place another runners or cyclists would use? I tend to run in places where I may encounter other people out being active.
  8. I always wear my Runners ID.
Yes, the cars and drivers can pose an issue and ironically, the only time I had an issue was almost a year ago when I detoured from my roadside run into a nice neighborhood built around a golf course. There was less traffic and I felt this would be a safer place to run. A few miles later I encountered two large dogs running together off of their leashes. Hmmm.... There was no way for me to avoid the situation, no where to really go, so I tried all the sensible things. Stop running and perhaps they would pass. Walk slowly, be boring, perhaps they would go away. Nothing worked and in no time I had two large dogs jumping all over me. They were not being aggressive, just annoying me. So what does a runner do? I figured, hey, I will try to hitch a ride from cars going by me and really, they just need to take me 1/2 a mile or so down the road and let me back out. Of course someone would stop and help a runner, right? Nope. No one. They even seemed to go by me faster. I was fortunate enough that a lady turned the corner walking across the street and noticed my distress. She asked if I needed help. (Oh yeah....please distract these dogs so I can run on.) She called them over to her side of the road and entertained them while I very quickly escaped. Thank you nice lady!

And for a special treat I photodocumented my journey to work today so you can see some of the roadways in Maui. Why? Because roads are different everywhere and I really feel the roads on Maui are tame when compared to the mainland, although I am comparing them to roads around Texas. And please enjoy the sunrise with me!

 Okay, it is pretty dark but this is an intersection between two major highways here. Not a running choice for me. Way too busy and crazy!

Central town on the island. Not a preferred running spot. Too many cars. Too many lights.

 I haven't run here yet but wouldn't say no to the idea. Yes, plenty of cars going fast but it has a wide shoulder and is frequented by other runners. Wouldn't be my #1 choice but may be a good idea since the Maui Marathon course will go through here.

Once again, haven't run here yet but it wouldn't be a terrible thing and it is pretty close to the next interesection that I have run through.

Oh yeah, I have run this stretch and intersection for a few training runs and the Harbor to Harbor race goes through here too! 

 Very popular running stretch and seeing runners go by while I am working makes me jealous. It goes up to the intersection above and you can head off towards South Maui. Once again, may have fast cars but has wide shoulders and many runners.


Sprint Mommy Sprint!

I was up at 4:00 am again this morning. Quickly got into my running clothes, grabbed a mixed berry mix1, headed out the door, and hopped into the car. Just as I turned the corner I saw the orange glow of yet another cane fire. It wasn't blazing as crazy today as yesterday but as I got closer into town the smoke was miserable. All I could think was thank goodness I am driving away from this and to the gym to run...although I wondered if I now smelled like a cane fire.

My goal today was to do some speed work. I love intervals and I love speed training, really I do. And I am loving it even more because I am beginning to see the payoff in terms of increased speed and endurance. Yeah Running Mom!

Towards the very end of my sprint intervals my Nike+ got a little hung up. It honestly reported that I was going 0 mph....how funny since I was running my fastest sprint yet. It took a couple of minutes for it to register what I was really running even though it immediately adjusted from 0 mph to 3 mph. Trust me, I was indeed running faster than that! I wonder if my unit is getting a bit old....

Regardless, I ran 3 minute sprint durations today with appropriate rest intervals between. I felt really good being able to maintain the faster pace for a longer duration. My general plan was for my sprints to be 1 mph faster than my recovery pace and I stuck to it...okay, at the end I increased it by more but that is just me.

My approximate total distance: 3.35 miles

My approximate overall pace: 8'57" (and I was being really conservative in that calcualation)

My mental state: Awesome! I was feeling good and didn't even let the technological oopsie bother me.


What happened to the 4-mile recovery run?

I am feeling quite good about myself and my training. I had my longest run yet on Sunday. Sunday night my legs felt a little achy and I thought I would be feeling really tight Monday morning. Not so. I am not saying my legs were golden but I was able to get up and down and do what every mom of a preschooler does. Monday night my legs were getting achier and honestly, all I wanted to do was run to make them feel better. Do you ever feel like that? But no, I held myself in check since it was supposed to be a rest day and I am trying hard to respect those rest days (even if I do tend to get a bit cranky).

Today I woke just after 4:00 am with the intent to do a 4-mile recovery run. I was thinking a slow and easy pace with a maximum time of about 40 minutes. Yes, I do consider time even for recovery runs since I do need to head off to work afterwards and get in some good hours before picking up my darling daughter from school.

Once I started running my legs burned and ached. Oh my! It wasn't torture but I wondered where this came from. Okay, probably the 18 miles on Sunday but still. Fortunately, by the time I ran 0.5 miles my legs were already feeling better. The burning was gone but still some aching. Just over 1 miles, the aching was gone and I was feeling like me again.

I was listening to some of the new tunes I added to my play list and was really enjoying some new additions from this weekend. Thanks to a post on Kendrick Fitness, I had some new songs to my list I never would have added. (By the way, if you haven't read my interview with Kendrick Ribeiro yet, check it out and feel free to let me know what you think.)

Traditionally I listen to country music, or kid songs (remember, I am a mommy of a preschooler), and neither can always make the best running or power songs. Thanks to input to Kendrick's question about what people listen to, I added these songs to my list and loved them today: On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez and Push It by Salt-N-Pepa. I have seen many questions asking what people listen to and this is the first time I found some gems to add to my collection. What do you love as a power song?

But to get back on track. I was loving the music and it was sending wonderful vibes down my spine. I was loving my run and even though I was tempted to pick up the pace, I kept it steady. I was running 5 minute incline intervals and it felt good. But I didn't run 4 miles.....I ended up running 4.36 miles because Tall Cool One by Robert Plant started to play and I just had to keep on running 'til the end. My overall pace was 9'20".

And what am I thankful for this Tuesday?
  • A brand new mattress that is oh, so comfortable!
  • A new washer and dryer....thank you landlords!
  • Precious time with my family on Sunday --- a rarity for us to all have the day together!


My new longest run --- 18.08 miles

Yesterday was my scheduled long run in my training plan. The goal: 18 miles. For some reason this run has had me nervous for the past few days. I felt some self-doubt coming on and knew that made it even more important for me to achieve my goal. And that just added more stress.

My dear hubby had taken the day off, thank goodness I didn't have to complete my run in x-time, and after dropping me off at my starting point, he headed off to our meeting point with my darling daughter. My Nike+ immediately couldn't locate my sensor and after a first oh no I remembered what to do. I did the magic trick and all was good. I would be able to officially log and track the miles of my run. This is very important to me especially with a long run.

I started out my run and repeated to myself to not force the pace and aimed to slow down a bit. I do always have a tendency to start fast and today I wanted to run smart. I had packed a diluted Gatorade to carry and had 3 GU gels for the run. By the way, before the run I ate a Powerbar and drank almost all of a mix1. I should be fully fueled.

I felt fine and the first 6 miles were nice and flat. I felt I was maintaining an acceptable pace and checked in on it a few times to make sure I wasn't speeding up without being aware. I sipped some Gatorade every mile and had my first GU at 5 miles. Shortly after the 6 mile mark the inclines began. Nothing too serious yet. I had to come to a full stop at 7 miles to wait to cross 5 lanes of traffic. This made me feel a bit queasy but once I started running I was good to go. At about 7.5 miles I began my first decline. I opted to run the low road and get some shade since it was hot and the sun was bright. At 8 miles I found the shade but I also found a head wind that would remain with me the remainder of the course.

The shade didn't last long but it was a nice break. For a moment I thought to not make the detour because at the Maui Marathon I wouldn't be able to hide from the sun. But at the Maui Marathon there will be aid stations and wet sponges. I didn't have that. I had no water to waste. At 10 miles I took my second GU and this is also where I was running through the "city" or "town" and had to be very attentive to cross walks and lights. Fortunately, I made it through quite easily with very little stop and go and I was running solid again.

I was still feeling good. Enjoying the tunes and enjoying my run. I had checked in on my pace again and I was happy with it. Slower than my run last week as to be expected since I was trying to push my pace a bit then but faster than my pace for the 16 mile run. I was fine with the pace and knew the inclines were going to get a bit steeper. What I was more focused on was my Gatorade consumption. I was trying to be conservative but it was hot, I was sweating, and I needed to drink. At mile 13 I took a detour through a park and found a much needed water fountain. I took a sip and bad-tasting water has never tasted so good! I topped off my Gatorade bottle and felt I was all set for the final 5 miles. At mile 14 I took my final GU.

The final destination
At mile 15 I was greeted by a steep incline, which I knew was waiting for me. Hello Wailea and although the run up was slow going against a head wind that seemed to be stronger (and did I say steep already?) I knew there would be more shade around the corner. The final miles were rolling up and down and three runners passed me up. I tried to not get discouraged and told myself they could be at the start of their run, perhaps they aren't doing 18 miles today, and really focused on that they were all guys probably in the 20's. Not really equal competition is it? I resisted the temptation to race....don't really know if I could have...and made the final turn to my destination right before 18 miles. This is a downhill stretch and I felt ecstatic. Yes, I am the runner with the big smile on her red face running downhill wanting to cry with pleasure. I made the final loop and ran into my dear hubby and darling daughter at the beach shower....yes, almost literally ran into them. What a perfect way to meet the family after a run!

So what did I do post-run? I had a chocolate soy protein shake, a diet coke (decided long runs deserved this indulgence), played in the pool (it was cold for me....can I equate this to an ice bath?), and went with my family to a lu'au to celebrate our church's 100th anniversary. Doesn't everyone keep completely busy after a long run?

My overall pace: 8'45"

My splits:

Post run with tired girl
My mental state: I was full of self-doubt but overcame it with new tunes I purchased for this run. I kept telling myself I could do it and I would and took it one step at a time.


An Interview with Kendrick Ribeiro

At the beginning of the year I was introduced to the coach for the “Run Like a Diva” National Running Series. At the time, I didn’t realize the impact this man was going to make on my life and I hope the best is yet to come! What hooked me was the quality of information and the responsiveness of this remarkable man. So who is it?

Let me introduce you to Kendrick Ribeiro, a highly trained fitness expert, nutrition counselor, and coach.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What originally spurred your interest in fitness?
Kendrick answers: Growing up in Brazil, I was a huge fan of soccer as you can imagine. Having the desire to look more like my soccer heroes, I would do pushups and crunches daily. Beyond the physical benefits, I was also intrigued by the stories of individuals that would put in the hard work and get results, whether it was losing weight or training for a marathon. Fitness doesn't lie, it’s simple, you put in the work and sacrifice, you see the results whether your goal is to lose weight or run a marathon. It’s very similar to life and it made sense to me from an early age.
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: So true, when push comes to shove, you cannot hide or disguise your true fitness level. You are so lucky to have realized this at an early age and I am hoping my daughter learns that same lesson early on. She does seem to be on the right path so far!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: When did you realize you wanted spend your life providing great and useful fitness advice to others?
Kendrick answers: 3 years ago I had hit a slump in my personal training business where I started to think "The grass is greener on the other side" so I nearly started Chiropractic school but backed out because I was not 100% convinced that I would be happy doing that as a career. Not too long after that I was rejected from Med School. That rejection ended up being a huge blessing in disguise because shortly after that, I was called up to be The Diva National Running Coach, I was hired as an instructor for a personal training certification and MTV called me to be part of a new series (which never did air due to lack of sponsors). Things were happening. That was a huge life lesson for me; the temptation to quit is greatest just before you are about to succeed. It’s like running up a hill...you gotta keep fighting till the end. A few months later I was in Honolulu where I was approached by complete strangers from Australia, Japan and Hawaii and all of them sharing amazing life obstacle that they tackled thanks to my influence over the web...I have always loved fitness and being a coach and a trainer, but at that moment, I think that’s when it really sank in how much I can impact more than just my own one-on-one clientele in California.
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: That is an amazing story showing that blessings often come to us in disguise. I think what touched me the most was the analogy to running uphill and mentioning that we have a tendency to want to quit right before we succeed. I hear so many stories of mile 21 being the tough one in a marathon and it is so close to the end. I will make a concerted effort to remember this story when the feeling to quit comes, and it always will in any runner’s life, and focus on continuing because success is indeed just arond the corner!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: You maintain an ongoing and engaging presence on facebook – what is the greatest challenge in accomplishing this?
Kendrick answers: So far, I have had no problems. I've only had to block one person so far because she was being the negative bad apple..and I try to keep it positive and inspirational. I'm always checking facebook for any questions people might have. I'm a fitness nerd, so I really enjoy answering questions and doing some research on the topics that I'm not really familiar with. It helps me grow as a Fitness Professional. My biggest fear is not getting around to all the questions, but so far I think its going well.
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: Well it seems to be you are doing a great job responding to all questions in a timely manner and what a shame that a bad apple tried to slip into the mix. I am so glad you are a fitness nerd and am glad to see other people out there that are in love with fitness as much as I am. Perhaps one day my love might extend further than running but for now, running is the passion of my life...and is probably equally tied to family.

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: What is your favorite part of your job?
Kendrick answers: Seeing a client transform himself or herself. It’s amazing how their attitudes and mindset changes to a more positive one when the body changes. The 2 go together and life becomes a lot better. There is nothing more rewarding than playing a role in that transformation so that someone can live their life to its fullest.
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: Wow! That would be great to see the positive change in others and know you were part of it. Body image and self-image is tricky and so important. I must confess there was a time in my college years that I bloomed into a size 6/8 to a size 12. It was not a happy feeling for me and I knew I had to make a difference in my life. I enrolled in an aerobic running class, had a coach who encouraged me to run my first 5K by telling me it didn’t matter when I finished and promised me I wouldn’t be last. She did the race too and although we didn’t run together, she met me at the finish line and no, I wasn’t last. And neither was my sister who endured the race with me (although not always by my side due to her knee issues). Life happens and life changes. Years later pregnancy took a toll on me but I am glad to say I am back to feeling good about myself and who I am. And remarkably, I am in better shape now than at any other point in my life!

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: You provide a lot of nutritional advice, which is very much appreciated. But honestly, what is your decadent temptation when it comes to food? How do you deal with this?
Kendrick answers: I love a good All American Burger, Fries and Coke!  Pizza is up there too =) I basically love to eat! It’s all about moderation though. It’s like this, if you do have that junk meal, or one too many sugary alcoholic drinks, be sure to do an extended workout the next day. I love the credit card body analogy; if you love food like me, and love to eat whatever you see, then you are constantly charging your body. This isn't a problem as long as you pay your bills! Paying off your eating habits with fat burning workouts the next day is an easy way to keep up your body's credit score! If you simply can't say NO to food, say YES to workout!
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: I think this piece of advice is a great demonstration of how you can successfully impact the lives of others by providing advice in a way people can use and understand. You have given me the green light to say okay to a margarita tonight on date night and yes, I will pay my bill with a great run! However, what happens if you can’t pay the bill until 48 hours later? Is that still acceptable?

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: I must confess --- I have a love/hate relationship with Diet Coke. I really do want to cut it completely out of my diet but get huge cravings for it. Once I do drink it, it never tastes as good as I imagined but the cycle keeps repeating. Do you think I should refrain from drinking Diet Coke? If so, what is your advice to stop this cycle for good?
Kendrick answers: There is nothing wrong with a cold diet coke every once in a while, but you are right when you do drink it, it never really tastes THAT great. Looking at it physiologically helps me control crazy cravings like that. Artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas crater your blood sugar and make you crave more sweets later. So by overdoing the diet drinks or any sweeteners for that matter, you are tricking the systems inside your body causing you to completely destroy your healthy diet. Again, it goes back to moderation.
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: Oh yes, moderation is the key to so many things in life. Thanks for the feedback on this one. I guess I won’t kick myself too hard when I "fall down" and drink a Diet Coke in the future. But to those who are also trying to kick the habit, here is what I aim for. First, I do not go for another artificially sweetened drink. I feel this defeats the purpose because I am really trying to avoid that fake stuff as much as possible. I won’t give it to my daughter so why do I do it to myself? I really do love sparkling water. It gives me some of that cool buzz of carbonation but it doesn’t have the caffeine --- and I times I feel that is what I am truly craving. Now if only there was a sparkling water with just a touch of caffeine!  

{lifeasa}RunningMom asks: I am a running mom and my blog follows the challenges of incorporating marathon training into the life of a mom who has a preschooler and works full time. What piece of advice would you give me to be successful in my running that I can share with my blog followers?
Kendrick answers: I think most people with busy lives succeed when their significant others either take part in the activity or has a clear idea of your training schedule. This is not to say, you need to take your preschoolers on all your runs, because you do need that time for yourself to de-stress, but every once in a while, you can have the husband take the bike with the kid while you run....like a run date with the family. Sign up for races and have them come along followed by a special family activity afterwards so that everyone can look forward to that day. Don't spend so much time just sitting watching TV...if you have a treadmill, hop on that while watching your favorite show. Learn how to do intervals so that when you have days where you only have 20 mins to run, you can still knock out an awesome workout that’s equivalent to your 45 min regular run. Lastly, be efficient on facebook, don't spend all day there, get your K-Tip of the day and move on =)
{lifeasa}RunningMom responds: Great advice and you have provided some good insights on how I can refine my training and involve my family to a greater level. The one piece I am going to jump on now is the post-race family activity. I have always brought my family along and have tried to spend the day with them but now I think I will ask them what they want to do post-race. This way they have some buy-in and I feel that will make the family part more special and exciting for them!

I can personally attest to the usefulness of the information and K-tips Kendrick provides. It has made a dramatic difference in my life. First, I posted on his facebook page about my troubling piriformis muscle. He almost instantaneously posted that I needed to get a foam roller and start using it. I did. I am much better and no longer spend money on massages that don’t accomplish the same relief. Second, by changing my eating habits to his five meal a day plan outlined in his ebook, Why Fat Loves Women: How to Trigger Your Metabolism for Max Fat Loss, I have shed a few pounds and have more energy for running and for life.

I hope you stop by and visit Kendrick on facebook at Kendrick Fitness. Like his page, tell him {lifeasa}RunningMom sent you, and start receiving your daily K-tip!

Kendrick’s certifications:
*NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
*ACE Certified Personal Trainer
*ACT Certified Personal Trainer
*Sports Nutritionist
*Core Specialist
*Spinning certified
*Master Instructor for the Athletic Certification Training Commission (ACT)

Questions to my readers:
  • Do you already follow Kendrick Fitness?
  • Will you start following Kendrick Fitness?
  • Who inspires you?


Cross training guilt?

I don't what it is about me but for some reason I always feel guilty when I cross train. Logically I know it is good for me and will have positive impacts on my fitness and training; however, I feel like I am cheating on my running.

Today I woke up with the dream of cross training. I felt cycling was exactly what was on my plate for the day and had every intention to do so. Then I stepped into the gym and was greeted right away by the staff that traditionally works when I visit. Oh boy, the guilt resurfaced. He knows I run, will he see me as a slacker if I just hop on a cycle???

Needless to say, it spurred me into action and I did run 1.03 miles (a pretty small distance for me these days) and diverted to my original plan to cross train. So I hopped on over to the cycles and had a blast for 30 minutes. Why the switch? I felt if it was my dream this morning to cross train my body was telling me something. I do follow my training calendar but I also pay attention to my body (please  note, I did not say my mind....it can be quite misleading at times).

Am I happy with my workout today? Sure am! It is always good to change things up every now and then and do something different. My legs will thank me and perhaps my 18 mile run on Sunday (major nerves on this one) will be all the better for it!

Keep running!

P.S. I had the pleasure of interviewing one person who inspires me daily and has helped me implement positive changes in my life and fitness levels. Look for that interview here this weekend!


Getting it done!

What do you do when all you want to do is crawl back into bed, put a heating pad on your monthly aches (sorry guys), and go to sleep?

Me? Well as much as that is exactly what I want to do I know it is exactly what I cannot do. I am starting this post early as a verbal commitment to the world that I will not give into temptation. I will still do my run today and yes, I am convincing myself that afterwards I will indeed feel better. So now that I told the world (or will once I finally post this), I must run today after work and before picking up my darling daughter. Do you see success in my future?

And now hours later, I have completed my run to my amazement. Right before I was about to head out of work things got really messy for me (my Lil Sis can attest to that) but my stubbornness persevered and off to the gym I went. My goal was to run 6 miles today.

The run started out okay but I was quick to notice weird aches in my abdomen. Nothing excruciating and not really too painful just annoying, frustrating aches so I continued to run. About 1/3 of the way into my run something amazing happened. The aches vanished and I was feeling the lovely rush of endorphins. For me this typically manifests in a wonderful tingly feeling in my scalp. And yes, that would be me --- the only crazy woman in the gym running on a treadmill with a huge smile! It wasn't all fun and games as the final mile brought an additional minor ache for a moment but then I was transformed into the Energizer Bunny or something. I felt as if my legs were moving with no effort. I picked up the pace a bit to test them and they just kept going. I felt wonderful!

The end result: I discovered that running on what may be the worst day of a month for me to run turned out to be fantastic! But I must add a friendly disclaimer, just because I had fun this does not mean this would be the day I would want to race on or tackle my first marathon on. Just saying Mother Nature!

Total Distance: 6.02 miles

Overall Pace: 8'38"

Mental State: Determined!


We run as a family

Today I made two great choices. First, I opted to not wake up at 4:00 am to run before work. Before you say "shame on you", wait. Instead I got an extra much needed hour of sleep. Second, I opted to not run on my way home from work. Again, wait before you say "shame on you". Instead I texted my husband and said I was on my way home and that we should all go out for a run together. He agreed (that is amazing in itself because we don't often run together).

So for today I didn't worry too much about my pace. My goal was to run my 4 miles with my family and to have fun. I even stopped early on in our run to take a picture of the first horse we observed. It ended up to be the first, second, and only horse we saw this evening.

Usually this route is busy with other runners or cyclists but not so this evening. Perhaps it is the day or time of day as we used to head out here often on Sunday mornings to walk. Yes, I said walk. That is what we did weekly when I was pregnant since my doctor advised me not to run but that is another story. I am glad I wasn't focused on pace otherwise the frequent pulling over onto the shoulder and slowing down or even stopping at times would have drove me crazy! Oh, and we did see one other woman running!

Running Uphill
The run was great and I actually passed over the jogging stroller to dear hubby for the second half. This was his first time to run with the jogging stroller so perhaps now he understands how different it makes the running experience. But I pushed my darling daughter up the steepest incline to the second pole prior to the hand off and was grateful she didn't ask me why I was going so slow. However, on the way down she verbally expressed her glee with my speed!

And more uphill running
I think the only downside of the run was the amount of gnats that were out and about this evening. Perhaps it is due to the mistiness in the air but it is amazing how they congregate in regions. A few times I called out to my family to keep their mouths shut as I was the first running through the gnat cloud. My dear hubby had a chuckle at one point when I was waving my arm back and forth across my face clearing a breathing path. And yes, I consumed some gnats this evening (can we say extra protein) and even got one in my eye (which I had to stop to remove). At the end of the run my dear hubby looked at me and asked what was all over me. My reply, "bugs". He laughed.

I am so thankful that I had a shorter distance on my training calendar today and that I opted to share the running experience with my family. My darling daughter got out of the jogging stroller to run a bit at the end but the hill got to her quite quickly. She made it up running around at the park afterwards. I had the time of my life!

New Running Shoe - Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10th edition

I feel I have developed a huge love for running shoes, perhaps it is paranoia after coming off of a very painful injury or perhaps it is because I am a woman. Some women like heels and purses, I love running shoes and running skirts! But back to the point, I have become more in tune to my body and running mechanics; therefore, it is a natural transition to be more focused on my running shoe. I am also keeping detailed notes in my training log that includes the running shoe I am training in. My goal - to find the perfect running shoe for me for training purposes and for racing.

Nike Free Run
Traditionally, I was a Nike lover and as long as the shoe was Nike, I would purchase it. My selection criteria has really improved over the years. Now I look at weight and design. I also spend a good amount of time reading about proper running form, dreaming of not being a heel striker, and reducing my tendency to waiver a bit in my left hip when running. Yes, this is my weak point.

Reebok RealFlex
I really, really, really love the lightweight flexible shoes that I have trained and raced in such as Nike Free Run or Reebok RealFlex. You can read more about my take on this shoes HERE. But I am open minded enough to consider all the praise I hear about Brooks running shoes and they have a competition shoe I would love to try but it isn't available on island that I have been able to locate.

Brooks Adrenaline
This past weekend I treated myself to a new pair of running shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10th edition. They are still light weight but not as flexible as what I have been wearing. I bought them because they are a very comfortable shoe with plenty of room in the toe box and they hug my heel nicely. And it is considered a support shoe. I am intrigued by this because I loved how the Reebok RealFlex seemed to correct me rolling out on the outer edges of my feet when standing. I also bought this shoe because I needed to make a shoe purchase prior to the Maui Marathon. If I continued to train in my RealFlex it would result in too many miles in that shoe to race in. Therefore, I now have two pairs of running shoes I can train in and I cannot tell you yet what I will decide to race in.

How is the Brooks Adrenaline performing so far for me?

I did a 10.2 mile run in them on Sunday and felt wonderful. I typically don't do such a long run for an introductory run in a new pair of shoes but I couldn't resist giving them a try. I definitely felt as if I was striking less on my heels but I always worry that my perception of form could be wrong. I am going to have to arrange for some photo taking during another run to really assess my gait and heel strike.

I ran 3.14 miles yesterday in the Brooks and was equally satisfied. They are comfortable and once again, I felt I was striking less on my heels.

What is different for me right now? My quads are sore after my run on Sunday. Typically I feel little to no soreness in my quads as any aches tend to be in my glutes or upper hamstrings. However, I do know that every time I start training in a new running shoe my body does go through an adjustment period. Only time will tell which shoe becomes the perfect running shoe for me!

P.S. I ended falling in love with this shoe and ran my first marathon in it!


Thankful Tuesday and a 3+ Mile Recovery Run

You would think with the amount of running I do that I would remain stress-free but at times things can become frustrating. This in itself frustrates me because I like to think of myself as the type of gal who sees the glass half full and finds the silver lining on every cloud. And usually I do but now I am going to make a committed effort to identifying the wonders in life.

A fellow blogger at RunToTheFinish has an awesome practice of including a Gratitude Journal at the end of all her posts. I always look forward to seeing what she is grateful for and I find it quite uplifting. Ironically as I was flipping through a Shape magazine last night I read a brief blurp about someone (sorry don't remember who) who identifies one thing she is grateful for each day to help her focus on the positive of life. I must admit, I am now pulled into this trend and will post 3 things I am thankful for each Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because it marks the beginning of my work week, right now, and it is always good to start a work week out positively.

What am I thankful for today?
  • My 3.14 mile recovery run this morning. My quads and hamstrings have been aching since Sunday's run and I really hope this run does what is needed to work out those kinks. My overall pace was 9'07" and I wrapped up my training session with 10 minutes of good stretching.
  • My new running shoes! I got a pair of Brooks on Saturday and have tried them out for two runs now. Read about the new running shoes HERE.
  • Chocolate soy protein shakes! What more can I say?


Fast Running Mommy?

First, I have to say my mood changed a bit right now for the gloomier as I got a call that my mattress wasn't on the container and won't be delivered to me tomorrow. So sad.....

But once I get over that initial disappointment and convince myself it is all okay, I will get back to (okay, already there) to my initial happiness of the day!

It has been a fantastic day and somehow I scored and received solo mommy running time on Father's Day. This is the first week of the new schedule so dear hubby went in later to work (which also means he will get home later) and I get to run! This week I went down towards Kihei to run while my hubby played with my daughter at the park I was to meet them. My family eagerly got me out of the car and on the roadside to begin running so they could head off to their adventure. Okay, dear hubby wasn't in too much of a hurry. He did stay there packed on the roadside to watch me cross four lanes of traffic (minimal traffic) to get to a very cool cyclist/running pathway I have been dying to run on!

My run was fantastic! The pathway was as wonderful as I imagined. It was a good almost 4 mile stretch of relatively flat running. I initially felt fast and checked my pace early on and was shocked to learn I was running a sub-eight mile. So I guess I do run faster when I am not on a treadmill or pushing a jogging stroller! (I added this to answer a question in a post from a fellow blogger.)

Once I started hitting the subtle inclines here and there my pace would waiver a bit. However, as I look at my splits I realize I still maintained a great pace for myself and the slow down for more inclines seemed appropriate. My splits were 7'50", 7'52", 7'55", 7'54", 8'05", 8'07", 8'07", 8'09", 8'10", 8'11". My Nike+ also tells me my overall pace was 8'10" for 10.21 miles. I am happy with that but mathematically don't see how it fits with the splits the Nike+ also provided. Hmmm.... But I am not going to lose sleep over this (even if I am still on my old mattress) as I am so happy about this run because:
  1. I did it!
  2. I got to run solo and feel the breeze in my face!
  3. I maintained a pretty solid pace and didn't slow too much as the end!
  4. It proves I am indeed getting faster!
  5. My body feels great!
My goal was a tempo run today and I don't know if I fully achieved that goal. I could have perhaps pushed myself a bit more but was unsure of what to compare my pace too since I was running faster and feeling good so perhaps this tempo run was only a base run. Who knows? But I do know it was my long run concluding my "easy" week. Next week gears up Tuesday with an 18 mile run scheduled for Sunday. Wish me luck!

My run nutrition today was a Special K cereal bar crisp (about 100 cals) and a Gatorade PRIME01 prior to the run. During the run I took a GU gel (vanilla bean) at 5 miles. I can't believe how delicious this flavor is!!! After the run, I drank a low calorie soy protein shake (chocolate).

As a special note: About 2 hours after the run I ate lunch. I shared a chicken ceasar salad (dressing on the side for dipping please) with my daughter. I had to tell you this because I am ecstatic that my three year old now loves salads as much as I do...including the lettuce! However, there are NEVER enough tomatoes for us!


7.51 Mile Progressive Run

Yesterday's running goal was 7 miles and I headed out to achieve it after work. One thing I did learn, perhaps it isn't the best idea to eat jalapenos with lunch if you plan on running in a few hours. I wasn't really hurting per se but my stomach just wasn't as settled as it should have been.

The run was great all things considered. My legs did feel tired to start but I was able to implement negative splits in this progressive run..somewhat. My splits were 9'18", 8'33", 8'36", 8'32", 8'31", 8'30", 8'11". I really felt I did a better job of systematically increasing my pace and see I should continue to work on this.

My overall pace was 8'40" for a total distance of 7.51 miles. I did the final 1/2 miles at recovery pace for a cool down.

My mental state was good and strong. I have been training at a higher level and my body is feeling it, although in a good way. It would be so easy to just run slower and feel nothing but I truly feel that is just cheating myself in the long run. I just told myself to dig deep and that it was in there when I needed an extra boost.

What's on my mind? I am considering buying another pair of running shoes. In all reality, the pair now I shouldn't train in and run in for the marathon because that would result in more miles in a pair of shoes than I usually do. Thing is....I am thinking about trying a different brand/style....perhaps Brooks. I just don't know if I can find them on island and don't want to order shoes without trying them on first.


Running in Hawai'i

I love running in the Rainbow State and I often count my blessings about how I never really need to factor the weather into my training plans or running gear purchases. However, I can get a different running experience by choosing a different place to run.

Before I list some of my favorite places to run I want to give you a little idea of what Hawai'i is like. The climate here is pretty consistent year round with temperatures ranging between 65 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. December tends to be the rainiest and that is only about 4" a month. However, there are some places that are rainier than others.

Running on O'ahu

1. Kapiolani Park to Kahala: There are sidewalks and some trackway around Kapiolani Park. You can get some good shade under some trees and as you venture closer to Kahala, you get to incorporate some fantastic hill work into your runs.

2. Waikiki: I love, love, love running through Waikiki! There is a lovely stretch of cobblestone walkway along the ocean side and you will find lots of people running here. Just be sure to navigate around people walking with their surfboards or just out enjoying the day. It is an open sunny stretch to run along but there are some water fountains if needed. I would run from one end (Ala Moana Park) all the way to the other end (near the zoo and #1 on my list).

Running on Maui - I have more places to share here since I have done many more runs here.

1. Pukalani/Makawao: Makawao has an elevation of 1,600'. I love running here and you can run through a variety of neighborhoods or parks but just don't envision those mainland parks. It can be a hot run in the middle of the day if there are no trades but I love the up's and down's of the hills and the scenery is beautiful! The jacaranda trees are the best.

2. Kula/Keokea: Kula is more upcountry than Makawao and begins in elevations near 1,640'. The upper limits of Kula go into Keokea with elevations beginning around 3,600'. This is one of my favorite regions to run because of the uphill climbs and downhills. The scenery is beautiful with more jacaranda trees, farms, and cattle. When I run into rain this is usually the place but not once have I stumbled into a downpour. There are other runners here plus many cyclists. On a great day, I will venture all the way up Thompson Road.

3. Kihei: If I am looking for somewhere flat to run, Kihei is the place. I just aim to do early morning runs here before it gets too hot. Plus there are great sidewalks for running where I have no problem taking my daughter with me in her jogging stroller. Other times, I may run the upper road and venture towards spot 4 and meet up with my family at a beach.

4. Wailea: Here the run becomes hillier and more lush looking. The sidewalks are fantastic and you will be amazed by what you can see. As you continue south, the scenery because more natural (okay,  less shops and hotels) and the sidewalks will eventually vanish. On that note, the hills become more rolling too!

5. Kanaha: This is a nice flat course. I haven't ever trained here but have done plenty of races here and love it!

6. Lahaina: If you want to train for heat this just may be the place for you. Once again, I don't venture over here to train but the Maui Marathon brings you through Front Street and it was a great place to run! If I am ever on this side of town, I will pull out my running shoes and see where they take me!


6.18 Miles with a Sluggish Mind

I got enough sleep last night and I am well nourished, but I woke up feeling mentally sluggish about my training schedule. In all reality, I think it is because I am off my original plan as I am making adjustments to switch my long run day from Wednesday to Sunday. I shouldn't be so hard on myself. This is a great switch and possible due to my darling hubby changing his work schedule so he can go in later on Sundays. But it means this week things have been a bit crazy as I swap runs around to get me back on schedule (or should I say, on the new schedule).

Physically today's base run was wonderful. My legs are feeling strong, my pace is good, and at the end of the run I felt I could run more if needed. That is always a good thing! I ran 6.18 miles with an overall pace of 8'54". Not my fastest pace but not my slowest either so I am happy.

What's next? I am aiming for 7 miles tomorrow, 2 miles on Saturday, and my "long" run on Sunday --- 10.2 miles with 10K at tempo pace. I just need to decide if I am going to run, go home, shower, and go to church or just switch church to Saturday evenings during my daughter's "witching hour".


The Perfect Run

What is a perfect run? That is a hard question to answer because the definition of perfection can vary drastically between one person and another but yesterday I truly felt perfection in my run.

I have been under a lot of stress recently and most of it, I must confess, I put on myself as I constantly strive for perfection. To be a great employee, a wonderful wife, and an awesome, supportive, nurturing mom. No wonder at times I wish I could go back to those early years when it was more acceptable to throw a tantrum and stop my feet.

But no, moms can't throw tantrums and this running mom runs!

Due to putting in some work hours on Monday, I was able to leave work early yesterday. Typically this would mean I would go directly to my daughter's school and pick her up but nope, not yesterday. I decided I needed some "mommy time" to do what I love, run!

My goal was to run 4 miles and then go pick up my daughter. I had more than enough time to achieve this goal and I would still be picking my daughter up early. I enjoyed every foot step of my run and was able to run without a worry in the world! I didn't have to think about getting to work, which is often the case as I run before work a lot. I didn't have to worry about fulfilling my daughter's needs as she was at school being taken care of. I just got to run and be me and it was perfection!

I felt so light and bouncy and my ponytail was bouncing with happiness once again. It was the best run ever and I ended up running 4.31 miles because I didn't want to stop. I ran 0.5 mile intervals with varying splits (9'01", 8'04", 8'13", 8'10"). In all reality, I did run negative splits but I have noticed this is one flaw with my Nike+ sensor and I think it is related to stride changes when I really pick up the pace. My overall pace was 8'22".

Later that evening, I went out again to do a training run with my darling daughter and we encouraged Daddy to come along to. She ended up running 0.53 miles at a pace of 13'03". I am so proud of her and think that is an awesome pace for a three year old running in a hilly neighborhood. Gotta love it!!!


How to combine a slumber party with inspiration and running

I truly believe the small things in life make the biggest difference so I try to make the most out of every opportunity. This weekend was a girls' weekend for my daughter and I so I jumped at the immediate chance to make it special. It was going to be slumber party weekend!

I pulled out the couch bed and we were treated to dinner and a movie, her choice. My darling daughter selected The Little Mermaid. I often strive for movies she sees to be educational - either a true documentary or an educational children's video. The Little Mermaid is her occasional just for fun movie but being who I am, I incorporated plenty of learning lessons into the movie.

You may be asking, where is the inspiration and running?

That came next because are you really supposed to sleep at a slumber party? I let my daughter watch a "mommy" movie for the first time. I put in Ultramarathon Man that arrived via Netflix and was ready to have a great time. I wasn't sure if the movie would intrigue my daughter for long but it was already past her bedtime and I could watch solo if she chose to sleep.

Well, she didn't sleep one wink! She was in to the movie as much as I was. We laughed together. We cried together. We discussed different elements. And she was compelled to reinforce if I couldn't open my gel during a run that I could ask someone in a car to do so for me.

If you haven't seen Ultramarathon Man, now is the time. I found it quite inspirational and loved hearing the stories from all the runners. My daughter's analysis: I may have liked The Little Mermaid more because with your movie I had to think more. But then she has already asked to see the running movie again.

All I can say is that now it would be a dream come true to run with Dean Karnazes one day.


The Craziest 4.93 Miles

My running goal today: 6 Miles

I thought it was going to be easy to achieve this. The distance wasn't too long, I was highly motivated, and everything seemed to be in place for success. However, this run ended up far from what I originally envisioned.

Mile 1.03: My daughter looked up to me running on my incline treadmill with sweet eyes begging me to open the Jell-O for her. I stopped my run, got her situated, and thought I was good to go. You wouldn't believe how wrong I was.

Mile 1.77: My daughter has been complaining that she didn't want Jell-O for most of the past 0.74 miles. It was time to do something and completely abandoning my running goal didn't seem like the best idea.

I got rid of the Jell-O, pulled out the jogging stroller, grabbed a "drinkable applesauce" and a juice, pulled my daughter out from under the couch bed, and got her in stroller kicking and screaming every minute of the way. I opened the snacks and told her we are now going running together. 1 minute later, peace!

Mile 3.78: Peace doesn't always last forever but sometimes you can try to keep it. My daughter calmly asks when are we going home. I propose we head home now and get her into her running shoes and we can run together, the first time, side by side for her race training. The idea appeared to be well received until....

Is that more screaming I hear? Oh my, now what?

I was told I was a mean mommy and she is obviously very upset. I am now feeling like this has been the worst run in my life. But I do realize my darling daughter did stay up late last night and got up at the same time. Is that the issue? Once I comfort her a bit she admits Mommy isn't mean and we head out the door to run some more.

Running uphill
 Mile 4.33: We made it once around the block and my darling daughter has decided running uphill is indeed hard and running downhill is quite fun. She was eager to make it back to the house, said that was hard, and than exclaimed she wasn't even sweaty? I ask if she wants to go again and she jumps with joy....yes!

Mile 4.93: I added a little distance on this one in play when I passed the house. Plus in this one, I even got the joy of running and carrying my daughter for two very short bursts. Once to finish getting up the little hill that was hurting her legs. The second to give her a little breather as her stomach was beginning to feel the pain.

Running downhill
The end result: Less mileage than I originally planned but really, doesn't all the hard work and creative running strategies count for something? Today turned from the worst run of my life to the best. I ran for the first time, for real, with my daughter by my side. I took pictures repeatedly the first go around and put down my camera for the second. Thank goodness since I ended up carrying her some! And yes, my pace did slow down for the final 1.15 miles but that could have been 1.15 not run and isn't that a greater failure?


Sprinting for Sanity

Oh what a day it has been! It seems my little one is having a tough day today and after two quite remarkable temper tantrums, she zonked out on the couch. So what does a running mom do? After taking a moment to take a breath and gather my wits, I quickly jumped up, got into my running clothes, and hit the incline treadmill (in a positive way).

I didn't know how much time I would have. It stands to reason my darling daughter will take a good nap because perhaps tiredness was at the root of her issues but you never really know. To make the most out of what I was given, I did a 1 mile warm up before moving into some speed work. Today it was going to be sprints. I did a mix of sprints and what I call super sprints. Essentially, a super sprint is when I pick up my pace to the maximum I can sustain for 30 seconds. My sprints are designed about the same. They are at near maximum for 60 seconds. I placed 90 second rest intervals between them.

To make it easier to see, this is what I did:
1 mile warm up, sprint, rest, super sprint, rest, sprint, rest, super sprint, rest, sprint, cool down

My total distance was 2.11 miles at a 10% incline.

The end result: A happier mom! My head is clearer and I recognize that my daughter has the same strong will I have and for that I am grateful. When the naysayers tell me not to run, I run harder. When they say I can't do it, I prove I can. And even though today the temper tantrum that resulted from not wanting to take a nap was unacceptable, that same resolve will bring my daughter to great places later in life. We just all need to learn the right way to "stomp our feet" and succeed!

I run because I can

Not everyone is a runner but I am. It is a passion deep within that has been blossoming over the years. It makes me a better mother, daughter, employee, and member of society. I truly believe runners are a special breed and I have never met a runner who wasn't compassionate and caring. Runners care and runners stick together.

In my quest to find support on my journey to run a marathon I started to blog. It has been one of the best experiences in my life because I have "met" some terrific and inspirational runners/bloggers and have connected to some kindred spirits.

Today's blog is different as I want to highlight another blogger, Courtney, who combines her passion for running and beyond with a great cause. Fighting cancer. Cancer is scary and cancer can be so devastating to a family; however, I believe this doesn't always have to be the case. Courtney is a member of Team in Training and is raising funds to fight cancer. You can read more about what she is doing HERE. I support Courtney in her mission and aim to be a member of Team in Training myself one day.


Rest and Compression

My original plan was to run 4 miles today to make up for a sick day I had earlier. However, I smartly changed my training plan after reviewing my recent training. To stay injury free, I realize it is important to not increase your weekly mileage too fast or too much. The standard is 10%. If I did my run today and the ones slated for Saturday and Sunday, I would be risking injury and I do need to stay attentive to my recently recovered left piriformis muscle. So I opted for a rest day and know with my runs on Saturday and Sunday, I will still have an awesome high mileage training week before taking a recovery week next week, as planned.

So how am I feeling physically after my 16 mile run yesterday? Fantastic! My quads and glutes were aching a bit yesterday evening but I ended up trying on some new compression capris that arrived. I know many train in these, but I have heard it can just help you feel better after a run. With my personality, I was completely skeptical. But after having them on for awhile I noticed my quads and glutes were feeling perfect and my calves and feet were achy. I never feel achy here so has this ache just been overshadowed by my larger muscles? I must confess, I ended up falling asleep in the compression capris and woke up with no tightness in my quads or glutes and minimal tightness in my calves. Now I am thinking perhaps so compression pants or compression socks might be a nice addition to my running supplies!

P.S. My compression capris are an awesome bright pink!


My New Longest Run - 16 Miles

I tried to go to bed somewhat early last night in preparation for my long run today. When my daughter called my name in the middle of the night and asked to climb in bed beside me, I reached over to the alarm clock as I welcomed her beside me. Thank goodness it was only 12:30 am!

Once 3:40 am hit, I rolled out of bed and my stomach was already grumbling. I really don't know if it is a good sign to wake up hungry before a long run but I ate a tablespoon of peanut butter, drank a Gatorade PRIME01, and added a Muscle Milk light to quiet the rumblings of hunger. As I headed out the door I was greeted by the orange glow of another cane fire this week and noticed that it was already quite breezy. What a lovely way to start the day!

I started my run and didn't feel the immediate glow of happiness I did yesterday. Perhaps it is because my legs are tired or perhaps it is related to mental perception of running just 5 miles versus running a goal of my longest distance to date, 16 miles. Regardless, I pushed the thoughts to the side and set milestones to focus on during my run. First milestone, I will nourish myself with a GU gel after 5 miles.

I ended up taking two GU gels today. A strawberry-banana after 5 miles (delicious!) and a tri-berry after 10 miles. I really did feel good all things considered during the run. I was able to run negative splits but I did feel some minor twinges here and there in my left leg. Not pain, nothing too discomforting, just twinges.

My mental state: Overall I feel I did good. There was a time my mind began to wonder too much and my body began to ache with the thought of the total goal. I brought my mind back into focusing on the now and feeling the now. After telling myself to stay in the present I calmly counted to 100 while I ran to further clear my mind of those unneeded thoughts. It worked and I was able to continue to pick up my pace and maintain the negative splits.

My overall pace: 9'05". This is better than the pace I ran for my first half marathon but slower than my half marathon PR in February 2011. For that my pace was 8'47". I am happy with the results but think I just may be able to run a bit faster for my next long run. Only time will tell.

What did I do post-run? I took a cold shower, drank a delicious chocolate soy protein shake, and headed off to work. And as I walked into work I noted that those breezes have really picked up. It is going to be a beautiful windy day!


My 1st Marathon Dream

Okay, 3 months out may be too early to start having marathon dreams but I had the craziest dream Monday night and it is still in the back of my mind today.

I only have a brief recollection of the dream but we were all crawling to the finish line of the marathon and yes, I mean we were literally crawling on our hands and knees. I was in the front of the pack and we were being guided by the volunteer to the finish line, which was located inside of a building. I was looking all around for the clock to see how I was doing but there was none. Once I was informed I was at the end, which was not marked in any way, I popped up on my feet and strained to look at a piece of paper with every one's times. Amazing! I made my goal and with all my enthusiasm the dream ended.

The moral of the story: No matter how hard the race gets at least I won't actually be crawling in the race and the finish line will indeed by clearly marked!

5.03 Miles Varied Intervals

Yesterday I broke down and went to the doctor for this ridiculous nagging cough. It isn't the worst in the world but it is becoming quite annoying. What is the source? The doctor is a bit clueless, perhaps allergies mixed with a persistent bug. Darn those cane fires....

So my goal today was switched a bit. I opted to push my long run until tomorrow to give myself 24 more hours to get over the cough and ensure my chest is good to go. I moved my 5 mile run slated for tomorrow to today and I loved every moment of it. True to form, any coughing issues vanished in thin air when I ran. Why oh why didn't I trust my body to do this and bring my GU gels with me? I was feeling so good I would have gone ahead and ran those 16 miles but I knew the great feeling would end if I had no nourishment at all during the run. That teaspoon of peanut butter prior to the run wasn't going to carry me too long.

I ran varied intervals today and progressively increased my pace throughout my run. It was really fun to speed up, take a break to recover a bit, and speed up some more. I pondered how well this prepares my body for a long run where I should maintain my pace a bit better but convinced myself that it is a great training run regardless. How many times do we all change our pace in a race to get around an obstacle only to return back to our target pace? Plus, it is just plain fun and I need to incorporate plenty of that into my training so I can enjoy every step of my journey to a marathon.

Mental State: Fabulous! It was a fun run focused on speedwork and the time literally flew by!

Overall Pace: 8'31" and I am very happy with that! My last training run had an overall pace of 9'17".