July 2004 Archives

Monthly Report: July

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Running: 12:19:13 | 81.79 miles
Elliptical: 1:15:00 | 4.79 miles
Weights: 2:59:00
Walking: 3.68 miles
President's Challenge points: 9963

Being Adventurous

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In addition to figuring out how to fit exercise into my new schedule, I also need to figure out how to fit blogging about the exercise in.

Running after work ...

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sucks. Today was day #2 of running after work and I don't like it very much (yet). First off, it's a lot hotter in the afternoon than it is in the morning. And I'm hungry for my afternoon snack, but can't eat until after running or I'll get a cramp. I'm also not hydrated enough because I am not able to drink my usual gallons of water while working. And my legs are tired/tight from standing so much all day.

Whine, whine, whine.

I just went for another little 3 mile jaunt around the neighborhood this afternoon (and the leg behaved). Let me tell you, I am getting really sick and tired of that route because of the number of times I have run it in the last month. I've been running it 3-4 times/week; normally I have a little bit more variety than that. I should start going back over to the trail where I can run in the shade and see something other than the same exact boring thing every day. But I already just want to curl up on my couch after work instead of going back outside so it's probably better to just run from the house so that it's less easy to skip going.

Two mildly interesting things about today's weather: today marked the first day I've had in a long time with actual noticeable wind, and today is the first day since April (IIRC) where the actual temperature and feels like temperature weren't the same.

77 degrees | felt like 78 | wind 17 MPH | 58% humidity
1.0 | 8:58
2.0 | 9:05 | 18:03
3.0 | 8:52 | 26:56
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3.06 miles | 27:22 | 8:57/mi.

Thanks for the comments on the race and my leg, everyone. I wish that the stupid leg problem didn't overshadow Saturday (in my mind at least) because the race was pretty great. I'm pretty pleased with my race - and how can I not be happy with being only 12 seconds away from my PR? Especially when I've said many times how happy it would make me to come close to and/or break my high school PRs? And even though I think the 3rd mile marker was slightly misplaced, I hit that point in the 21s - which means I probably would've broken 22 for 5k. That's a minute faster than what I ran in March and faster than what the calculators predict based on my 20K (which I think was a good measure of my racing fitness).

But this leg issue ... it's getting old and frustrating. While I'm sure some of my choices since the marathon have caused the reoccurrences, I really can't figure out exactly what caused the problem in the first place. Looking through my archives, I did come across something interesting. In my report/recap of the 20K, I noted that I'd had something funky going on with my left calf but that it hadn't interfered with the race. Maybe there's a connection? But I still don't understand why, since I don't see any obvious flaws with my training (too sharp of mileage increases, lack of rest days, etc). I did get names of 2 doctors at the Clinic, and will try to call tomorrow to see if either of them can see me sometime soon.

But in the meantime, I've made at least one decision with regards to my running: I need to cross TCM off my "to do list." I was talking about things with the Engineer a few weeks ago, and I said that I have felt a lot of pressure (from myself) to get back on track because I'm supposed to be running a marathon in October. On Sunday, I was telling him about how I could probably still "do" the marathon, but he said he'd rather us just eat the entry fee vs. spending the money for the hotel and risking me get hurt more/again. Which got me thinking about maybe I should just write it off now as I think I'd be having a lot easier time accepting this lower mileage/training load if I were able to focus on just healing, and not getting ready for a marathon. So while I really hate basically giving them another $80, I need to not have this "deadline" hanging over me. (And as a sidenote: the only way I will be doing TCM in the future is if I get a free entry because I refuse to give them yet another $80 without me getting anything in return because I'm injured/unable to run).

So I think that my plan for now is to not worry about running a marathon this fall, and just work on rebuilding my endurance and avoiding injury. I did run 3 miles today and it didn't hurt, which was good. Hopefully having less pressure on myself will help get me out of this "funk" I've been in since the marathon. Overall, I really haven't felt like myself when it comes to running and it's kind of sucked. I felt like before the marathon, I'd gotten to a really good spot and now I've got to get back to there. I don't doubt that I can, it's just frustrating to have to re-build.

Sunday:
2.78 miles | 25:43 | 9:15/mi.
walk home | 0.68 miles | 9:59 | 14:42/mi.

Monday:
inactive rest, leg sore, lots of standing at work

Tuesday:
3.07 miles | 27:48 | 9:03/mi.

I Give Up

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Subject about says it all. My left leg hates me, and I hate it.

Very Short Race Report

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In my post this morning, I said I'd wanted to rest yesterday for today but didn't say what today was. Today was the Women's Race 4 Mile Run, which I'd been thinking about running. Aside from being too busy to post this week, I didn't make a big deal of running my first race-post injury because I wasn't sure how serious I'd be able to take the race. I've been feeling kind of down in the dumps lately, as I feel like my hard-earned endurance and speed are both shot. So a short race seemed like a good way to either make myself feel a lot better or prove myself right.

I need to type a real report, but here's the details for now:

Women's Race
4 Mile Run
July 24, 2004

1.0 | 7:06
2.0 | 7:29 | 14:36
3.0 | 6:39 | 21:15
4.0 | 7:32 | 28:48

Watch Time: 28:48
Official Time: 28:50

6th place Overall
1st place 25-29 age group

I think miles 3 and 4 are off a little, because 1) I doubt that I ran a 6:40 3rd mile and 2) I honestly feel like I ran the 4th mile harder than the 3rd, especially towards the end.

I spent most of the last mile mentally composing a post about my triumphant return to racing, as I knew I was going to come close to my 7 year old 4 mile PR (28:36). Unfortunately, I missed breaking it by 12 seconds.

And because it doesn't seem like I can have something good without something bad ... there is a chance that running a race (even such a short one) post-injury was a bad idea. I felt fine during the race, aside from the normal leg heaviness that comes from working hard. But once I started to do my cooldown, I started getting those twinges and pains from the injury. I cut my cooldown short, and got one of the nice volunteers to give me a makeshift ice bag. I sat with ice on it while waiting for the awards. Stupid leg! If it still hurts tomorrow when I go for a run, I'm going to have to look into getting an actual real specialist (maybe even one from the Clinic) to look at it, because I doubt my doctor will find/do anything.

Busy Busy Week

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This week has been so busy, what with the two jobs and all. I worked at job #2 on Tuesday from 9-5:30 and Thursday and Friday from 7-3:30. I worked at job #1 Monday, Wednesday (11:30-5) and Thursday (5:30-10). I have to work there this afternoon/night, too. I'm not completely sure that I'll be working there again. I talked with my manager on Wednesday to make sure she didn't think I misled them when I applied, and she said she didn't think that at all. But I'm still not sure if they want to keep me around for Saturdays.

Monday

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Thanks for the congratulations/good wishes, Mark, Susan and Jon. We had a pretty nice day spent at home, aside from a short trip out to get me a wireless mouse for the laptop. I actually cooked dinner, and we had cake. We had saved the top tier from our wedding cake, and it was still pretty good for having been in the freezer for a year.

Training Week: July 12 - 18, 2004

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Running: 3:06:56 | 20.19 miles
Weights: 1:28:00
President's Challenge points: 2374 | 110018 total

Short run

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I didn't run yesterday, because I had a 7AM meeting at work. I then didn't feel like running once I got home because it was already pretty hot out. I could've gone downstairs to elliptical, but I didn't feel like doing that either. So this week ended up including 2 rest days, but I think that's okay since I'm still recovering from that injury.

Longer Run

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It's kind of warm today, especially since I "slept in" until 7:30 and didn't get running until just after 8. I decided to do my longer run today, because I have a work meeting tomorrow morning (7-9:30, what a bunch of crap!) and I don't want to do my longer run on Sunday. I felt okay for most of the run - I did have a mile where I kind of faded, but I think that's because it felt hot and also because I didn't really eat enough before going running. I ran down the DT, so from 2.3 - 4.7 miles, I had shade. The rest was all in the direct sun. Legs felt okay.

Jon, I like shopping for running stuff. I could do some serious damage in the running store if I weren't making an attempt to keep my spending down. They have a whole wall of socks that tempt me, as do the fancy watches and running belts. And that's not even getting into all the clothes I could buy. I am kind of disappointed that my trips over the last couple of months haven't coincided with their winter running clearance. I had wanted to get a real winter running jacket, but not at full price (some of them were over $100). Living in MN and running outside in the winter, having a good jacket is a necessity. I also like being able to find clothes that actually fit me, but that's a rant for another day. Anyway, I hope your new shoes will be more attractive than mine. I hate all the silver on them - they are way too shiny!

Thanks for the "puke test" instructions, Mark. I have a hill pretty close to my house that would work well for testing purposes, plus there are little/no cars on it and no houses so I won't have people looking at me funny. I'm just trying to figure out when I can fit in a hard workout like that. It might have to wait until after next week; I'm hoping I'll be able to run a 4 mile race next Saturday, which rules out HR testing until afterwards.

I have to re-think my blog reading strategy. I've been using Bloglines for most of my reading for the last month or so, with the exception of a few blogs that don't publish Atom or RSS feeds. But it turns out that Bloglines isn't catching everything - for example, it shows Susan's last post as being July 3, but it turns out she's made more posts since then so I've been missing out. Maybe I'll just go back to manually checking the blogs every day, so I won't miss posts.

67-73 degrees | wind 5-9 MPH | 93-81% humidity

1.0 | 9:03
2.0 | 9:15 | 18:19
3.0 | 9:13 | 27:33
4.0 | 9:11 | 36:44
5.0 | 9:24 | 46:09
6.0 | 9:04 | 55:13
7.0 | 8:58 | 64:11
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7.06 miles | 1:04:32 | 9:09/mi.

weight lifting | upper body | 31:00

HRM Run #2

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Forgot to post yesterday, because it ended up being a pretty busy day. I continued on my quest to get up earlier, and got up at 7 and went downstairs to weight lift. I had decided not to run or use the elliptical so as to give my legs a rest. I think it helped because my calf was noticeably less sore yesterday and fine today. I then headed up to the Twin Cities/suburbs to run some errands, which ended up taking almost the entire day (at least it felt like it did).

The first order of business was a trip to the running store. I was hoping that a new pair of shoes would help alleviate some of the problems I've been having. While my shoes don't have a lot of miles on them (not even 200), I thought it was possible that I had worn them down in weird places. That's not such an odd concept ... In 2002, I was wearing Structure Triaxes and they were working well for me. But during/after the Chicago Marathon, something weird happened and I started wearing out the outer heel on my right foot and having a lot of back heel pain. We don't know if I just got a bad shoe, or if my wear pattern changed or what. But I got put in a new shoe model and everything was all good.

Before looking at the shoes, though, I wanted to look at the clothing section. I tried on maybe 10 different sports bras, before deciding on two. I got this Sugoi, and this Brooks, both in blue. I also picked up a new pair of shorts. I then headed over to the shoe section.

Ugh. I am not pleased with my shoe shopping experience yesterday. The guy that normally helps me wasn't there yesterday, so I had a different guy. And while he seemed perfectly nice, I don't know that he had much experience. He didn't really ask me any questions (like how much mileage I do, what I'm training for), and didn't really look at my old shoes until I specifically asked a question. I tried on a bunch of different shoes, but most were too big in the heel. I don't have a narrow foot, but my heel is on the narrow side. One reason I've ended up with so many Nikes is because they have narrower heels. The guy tried to put me in a narrow Nike, but it was so uncomfortable just putting it on that it wasn't an option. I finally ended up just going with another pair of Pegasus, hoping that it isn't the shoes that are the problem. I think the new colors are pretty ugly, however. The picture doesn't show it very well, but there is a lot of SHINY silver on the new shoe. I'll be looking forward to this pair dying so I can replace them with something hopefully less shiny.

After finishing at the running store, I then attempted to take care of an exchange at the mall. The Mall of America was the closest mall that I knew of, so I went there. They didn't have what I wanted, so I headed to another mall. That mall also didn't have what I wanted, so I was kind of annoyed. I was also really hungry, because I stupidly didn't bring a snack with me and had no cash to buy something. So I was driving home, kind of frustrated when I spotted the REI store. I've never been to a REI, but I've heard they are pretty cool. I decided to stop there, because I had a feeling they would sell Balance Bars/Power Bars, and I also wanted to look for a splash guard for my water bottle. I ended up getting some Clif Z Bars (chocolate brownie), which were kind of decent. I also found the splash guards, although they don't fit my bottle.

I'm running out of time, so I'll move onto this morning. I got up even earlier than yesterday, because I have an appointment at 9. I decided to strap on the HRM and run the 3ish mile route in the neighborhood. I have to say that I liked the early morning temperatures. I noticed that my heart rate stayed in the low 150s (even getting down to 146 at one point) when I was running on flat surfaces or downhill. But on the uphills, where I increased my effort, it climbed into the 160s and 170s. Of course, this is a completely inaccurate reporting, since my HRM has a low/no-frills watch. Basically, it has a stopwatch and it displays the heart rate. There aren't any lap/split buttons, nor can it recall my heart rate or display the max or average. So for me to actually know what my heart rate is doing during my run, I have to basically stare at my watch. Not always the easiest thing to do.

I did do a little bit of reading about heart rate zones, and found some interesting links that I'll have to come back to post. I did find something interesting on Marathon Guide - it said that the formula for women is (226-age) not (220-age). So using that formula puts my theoretical max at 201. And if I use some formulas that take resting heart rate into account, I think I found that my easy pace can be in the 150 bpm range. I'll have to re-read those articles, though.

Wednesday:
weight lifting | upper body | 29:00

Thursday:

3 miles | 27:49 | 9:16/mi.

HRM Run #1

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While I was home this past weekend, I borrowed one of my mom's heart rate monitors. I don't plan on training with one very often, since I normally wear my Forerunner and don't want to wear two watches. I've also heard that there is interference with the Forerunner and Polar watches. But I thought it might be interesting to see my heart rate on some runs.

I went out to the park to run on the bike paths this morning, since they are marked and I wouldn't need the GPS. I was running pretty slowly, but my heart rate jumped up immediately into the 150s, and wouldn't go lower than 155. There were parts where it went into the 160s, also. According to something I read a long time ago, an easy run for me should be done at 125-144 (based on my theoretical max heart rate, which is just based on age). I tried dropping my pace down even slower, but the heart rate still hovered around 155. It then climbed back to the mid 160s, at which point I said "screw this" and picked my pace back up. If I'm going to have my heart rate be too high, I might as well run at a pace that is slightly more enjoyable. I didn't feel like I was working that hard, and my breathing was really relaxed, so I'm not totally sure I understand what the heart rate means. I probably should try to do the "puke test" sometime soon to figure out what my actual max is, because maybe it's higher than the theoretical one.

I think I probably need to take tomorrow as a rest day, because I did feel pretty sluggish (as evident by my pace). That could also explain the high heart rate, as could the heat/humidity (I know the low 70s are THAT hot, but in the direct sun, it felt pretty warm). My left calf has been a little sore since Sunday, which is probably from all the walking I did that day. If I had been thinking, I wouldn't have used the elliptical last week and would've used that day as a rest day. Because as it turns out, I was basically active every day last week. Not a good idea right now!

low 70s | wind 5 mph | 93% humidity
1.0 | 9:37
2.0 | 9:28 | 19:05
3.0 | 9:40 | 28:45
4.0 | 9:35 | 38:20
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4 miles | 38:20 | 9:35/mi.

Training Week July 5 - 11, 2004

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Running: 2:45:51 | 18.76 miles | 779.58 miles YTD
Elliptical: 0:35:00 | 2.24 miles
Weight lifting: 0:30:00
Walking: 3 miles
President's Challenge points: 2497

So Much To Say!

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Having not posted since Friday, I have a lot to talk about! So here's what I've been up to for the last 3 days:

"Long" Run

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I did my long run for the week this morning. The title has long in quotes because I feel silly calling a 5 mile run my long run. I feel like I should be easily knocking out 15s and 20s for long runs, but that's okay. At least I have had 4 pain free running days this week. That's worth quite a bit considering the last couple of weeks. The run was okay, although I was a little inconsistent with my pace. I ran the hilly route near my house again, although I went a little bit further. The nice thing was that I didn't have to cross any streets or wait on traffic. I was tempted to go run through a field, but I don't know if that's allowed or safe or what. Our street backs up to some large fields, where they are starting to put in new houses. For some reason, that area looked really appealing today.

Cross-training day

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I decided to go downstairs and cross-train on the elliptical today, as I don't think running 4 days in a row is a good idea right now. I used the random program, and it was a pretty decent workout. My heart rate stayed above 140 for most of the workout, which was good. On some of the higher intervals, however, my heart climbed to 176 and I had to slow down so that it would go back down. I didn't mean to work quite that hard. Also, it turns out that the random program doesn't have a built-in cool down, but pushes you into the 5 minute cool down once your time is up. I need to remember which programs do that so I can get my timing right.

elliptical | 30:00 random level 16/5:00 CD | 2.24 miles | 523 cal.

Another sub-9 average ...

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Not much to write about today. I finally moved all the archives over from Blogger, and just need to fix a few old posts where the picture links were broken. I had to create titles for the old posts, and most of them are pretty lame. I'm not very good at coming up with titles anyway, much less for posts almost 6 months old. One thing I really like about the setup here so far is that I get my comments e-mailed to me. Aside from it being nice to be notified of new comments, it makes replying via e-mail a lot easier if I want to reply that way.

My run this morning was decent again, although I didn't run negative. I can't really explain the increased pace of this week, but I know it didn't feel at all hard today. My breathing was relaxed for the whole run. The return trip was slightly harder, but that's because it's uphill. It still felt mostly easy, though. I turned the auto-lap feature back on, since I knew I wouldn't have any stops and there wouldn't be any mis-measurements since I ran under completely open sky. The balls of my feet felt a little sore today. I think I need new shoes, and should probably look into getting some inserts with metatarsal pads.

55 degrees | wind 13 MPH | 88% humidity
1.0 | 8:53
2.0 | 9:02 | 17:56
3.0 | 8:54 | 26:51
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3.05 miles | 27:15 | 8:56/mi.

weights | upper body | 30:00

Another good run

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Today's run was also decent, with negative splits again. (Splits were 8:55, 17:33, 26:08, 34:17). My overall pace was faster than yesterday, but I didn't really feel like I was pushing myself. The hills felt a little harder, but I think that's probably because I haven't been doing a lot of hills lately. I will need to work on them before Twin Cities.

I got most of May and some of April moved into the archives this morning. I think I like TypePad so far, even if I can't figure out how to add plain text to the sidebar, or how to include SiteMeter code. I like the category idea, but am still trying to figure out what good categories are. I'll probably continue to play with that feature. I've moved my PRs into the "about me" page, and I decided to not bother trying to find a place to update the yearly/lifetime distance stats. I include the yearly mileage with my weekly reports in the training log summary, and can start including the lifetime miles. Updating the sidebar every day was kind of a pain anyway.

Not much else going on here. I think I want to get new shoes soon; mine feel kind of non-cushy in the forefront.

61 degrees | wind 9 MPH | humidity 93%
4.05 miles | 34:45 | 8:34/mi.

Once again, I got a late start to my morning. I slept about an hour and a half later than I had expected, but that's probably because I also stayed up later than planned. I headed for bed at a decent time last night, but the process of getting ready for bed caused me to not feel very sleepy. So I decided to watch the last half hour of Thursday's soap. I should've gone to bed after that, but I decided to watch Friday's episode, too. So I slept a little long today. My morning also started late because I noticed that the Engineer's laundry basket was overflowing, so I decided to start doing laundry.

While sorting the laundry, I started thinking about how old my sports bras are (of the ones I like, the newest is 2 years old). I had some slight discomfort while running on Friday, which was probably from the sports bras (although I guess it could've been hormonal, but I don't place a lot of stock in that). A lot of magazines say to replace them every year (or 9 months, something like that) because they lose their elasticity. I don't know about replacing them every year, but I do think a lot of mine have lost some elasticity so the magazines may be onto something. Add my slightly smaller chest to the mix and I've got some ill-fitting sports bras. I guess finding new ones will be my mission for the rest of the year. When I next go to the running store (sometime later this month), I'll have to spend more time looking at them. I wasn't overly impressed the last time I was there, though. An annoying thing is that I see some in the Altheta or Title 9 catalogs that look like they could be decent - but I don't like ordering stuff online without having a chance to try it on in person first. I don't normally have a problem returning stuff, but when it involves shipping it becomes a big pain.

Anyway.

I finally got out the door around 10:30. Luckily, it's overcast today so it wasn't that hot. It did feel kind of muggy, though. But I had a decent 3 mile trek through the neighborhood. My legs felt okay, aside from some slight acheyness in the right knee. I am not worried about that, though, because I've always had times where the right knee feels achy. I think it's because I run pretty much only on pavement, and that makes knees grouchy sometimes. But anyway, I ran negative splits, with the last two miles being well below 9 mpm. And it didn't feel too hard, so that's a really good sign. So I'm feeling more on the road back to where I was before the marathon, although I honestly have no idea what to do about training for TCM. I was planning on using Pfitzinger's 12 week plan starting next week, but considering it starts at 35 miles/week with a 13 mile long run, it's out of the question. I'll have to poke around Higdon's site and see if I can modify one of his plans.

68 degrees | wind 12 MPH | humidity 84%
3.01 miles | 26:26 | 8:46/mi.

Running: 0:56:55 | 6.1 miles
Elliptical: 2:20:00 | 9.06 miles
Weights: 1:32:00
President's Challenge points: 2445

Pain Free Run #2

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Another run with no pain, although I did do some road-running this morning. I was going to go out to the park, but then it looked like it might rain. I didn't feel like driving the 15-30 minutes anyway, and the thought of having to drive that back home while soaked from rain was really unappealing. So I decided to run around here. I ran on the right side of the road in the neighborhood (I didn't see a single moving car), and then caught up to a short bike path. I never see anyone on that path, so I ran in the center of it. It hasn't started raining yet, but it saved me a ton of time by running around here.

I had other stuff to blab about, but it's not coming to mind right now.

68 degrees | wind 13 MPH | humidity 73%
3.05 miles | 28:15 | 9:16/mi.

Back on the trail ...

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I went out to run on the bike path today. The annoying thing was that I had to stop at the gas station first - my car was pretty close to empty and one of my tires was really low on air. I would've stopped at the gas station after work last night, but I didn't have my credit cards with me or my phone so I could call the Engineer. So I had to go this morning, which added a bunch of time to my trip out to the park. The bad thing about that was that it was then close to 10 AM when I actually got running.

My legs felt fine, and I didn't have any pain problems (or warnings that it was going to happen again). I ran on the right side of the bike path, so my right leg was the "lower leg" in the areas where the path is slanted. The odd thing is that I felt like I was running much faster than I actually was. Not that it was hard, just that my pace should've been faster than what it actually was. I don't know if that's because it was my first run in 8 days, or because of the heat/humidity (I've been working out in the air conditioned basement, so I haven't been dealing with outside conditions lately). Not a huge deal, and not something I'm worried about, just something I noticed and thought was kind of weird.

low 70s | wind 12 MPH | ~80% humidity
3.05 miles | 28:40 | 9:24/mi.

weights | upper body | 30:00

Weird Mail

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I meant to share this a few days ago, but the other day I got an invitation in the mail to join the AARP. I'm not sure what the exact meaning of the acronym is, but it's something like the American Association of Retired Persons. I don't think you have to be retired, but you do have to be over 50 to join.

I'm 25.

The Engineer likes to tease me about being 30 (because 25 rounds up to 30), but even 30 is a long way from 50. How the hell did the AARP get my name and why do they think I'm 50? Weird! I was almost tempted to join (it's only $12.50/year), but they do ask for your birth date so they would realize I'm not old enough to be a member.

At least it was something other than the usual credit card applications I get in the mail. I swear, we get maybe 30 pieces of mail a week with probably less than 5 things that we actually wanted to get. Our snail mailbox is almost as bad as my e-mail box in terms of junk.

Running Break Day #8

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I've had enough of this cross-training crap! Tomorrow, I will go running. I think 8 days off should be a good break, right? It's the longest forced break I've had in a long time (maybe ever), and I'm tired of it.

Today I continued to change things up, and used another program on the elliptical. This time, I picked the "sports" program. Basically, you pick a baseline level and then anything above the baseline is "uphill" and anything below it is "downhill." I don't have the instruction book in front of me, but it said something about how this program is supposed to mimic the kinds of conditions you'd have outside with hills and valleys and stuff. It was a pretty decent workout; it did put me at maximum resistance a couple of times and it was HARD. My heart rate on the downhill parts dropped below 140, but for most of the workout it was above 150, and some of the hills pushed it into the 160s.

elliptical | 35:00 sport level 15/5:00 CD | 2.55 miles | 571 cal.