August 2004 Archives

Monthly Report: August

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Running: 15:47:51 | 109.03 miles
Weights: 0:24:00
President's Challenge: 9981 points

No Title

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Rebecca, I highly recommend getting a pedicure if for no other reason that it's really nice to soak your feet in the warm, bubbly water and then have someone rub them. That more than the polish was what I was looking forward to. I think I'm going to have to make them a monthly treat - my feet deserve some pampering.

Richard, I think it's a cool coincidence about the race times. You're making a nice recovery from your injury, and I think the goals you posted sounded pretty reasonable. Oh, I had forgotten about that post about the RW calculators. I went back and re-ran my March 5K and April 20K times and it looks like my training times were more in line with their suggestions.

It started pouring about 30 minutes before I left work today. I wasn't too happy about that partly because I didn't want to run in a downpour, but also because I'd left my umbrella and jacket in the car. Luckily it had stopped by the time I was off work. I had wanted to go to the lake, but I was afraid it would start raining again. So once again, I just ran around here which meant dealing with the hill of doom (as I've started thinking of it). Contrary to the weather conditions, it felt kind of hot today and I ended up taking off my shirt for the last 1.25 miles as I couldn't stand it anymore. My Forerunner had some issues today (lost signals, dropped distance, mis-reported distance), but thankfully TopoFusion saved the day. I wanted to do this as a negative split run today, but I kind of faded towards the end. No big deal.

70 degrees | 10 MPH | 77% humidity
1 | 8:52
2 | 8:19 | 17:11
3 | 7:52 | 25:12
4 | 8:01 | 33:04
4.15 miles | 33:53 | 8:10/mi.

Slightly less ugly toes

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I really need to get on the ball in terms of replying/sending e-mail and commenting on other's blogs. I'm really far behind on both of those things, and there've been quite a few posts I've meant to comment on/leave congratulations. Hopefully by the end of the week, I can be back on track.

Richard, the last time I did a 10K was when I set my < 19 PR. The time goals I mentioned would break that time; but according to the McMillan calculator I should be able to run one at 7:13 pace. I'm not sure about that, but I do know that back in high school I should've been able to run faster but I think my 10Ks always fell during the "wrong" part of my training cycle. My 5K PR at that time calculates to 43:02, but I only ran 46:43. I have greater confidence in my ability to break the old PR partly because I know it should've been faster (and thus isn't as hard as the 5K one), but also because I ran a 20K at ~7:50ish pace.

Yesterday I didn't run, because it was a pre-planned day off. Instead I went and got a pedicure, in an attempt to make the toes a little less ugly. The technician didn't even bat an eye at my (still) missing toenail or the other fugly nail. The bad thing was that she somehow cut toe of my toes with the filing block, which kind of hurt. But overall, my feet look much better now.

Gotta go to work!

Catching Up ...

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Once again, I'm so far behind. I've been feeling kind of tired and worn down this week - I blame the Olympics because I was staying up too late each night to watch the primetime coverage. It was hard enough to keep from finding out the results during the day, but I knew I'd have absolutely no hope of not finding out once NBC had aired stuff (esp. since so many people at work were following the Olympics and talking about stuff in the morning).

About my naive 15 year old self's goals ... I think I figured some of the times out - I was just multiplying stuff (10K = 2 x 5K). I seem to recall that it took me awhile to realize that you couldn't do that; probably once I actually started racing the distances. I do have to wonder what other fun stuff I have stored away. I still haven't made it down to the basement to look.

Thursday: I got home an hour later than usual, because we had to go get my car from the dealership. My window regulator had died; I'm glad they were able to get me in so quickly and able to fix it in one day. It actually wasn't a bad thing that I wasn't able to run at my usual time, because it was really hot. Waiting an hour gave the temperatures a chance to cool down a little. I had thought about going out to the park, but didn't want to spend the time driving out there and back. So I just ran around the neighborhood.

83 degrees | 6 MPH | 46% humidity
1 | 8:26
2 | 8:57 | 17:23
3 | 8:56 | 26:20
4 | 8:55 | 35:16
4.02 miles | 35:24 | 8:49/mi.

Saturday, I ran in the morning. Thankfully, the temperatures were lower than Thursday, but it was overcast and kind of dreary looking. I was worried about getting rained on, but the rain held off until the very end of my run and then it was pretty light. I threw in 2 tempo miles in the middle, and they felt kind of hard. I'm not sure how that bodes for the 10K I want to do either next month or in October (goal: 7:15-7:30 mpm). Just more reasons to add more tempo runs and intervals into the mix.

58 degrees | 6 MPH | 93% humidity
1.09 | 9:55
2.09 | 7:39 | 17:35
3.09 | 7:26 | 25:02
4.08 | 8:44 | 33:46
4.08 miles | 33:46 | 8:17/mi.

Today, I slept way too late. Probably a good thing considering how tired I've been, though. But I still had wanted to get going earlier than I did. I actually did go over to the lake today, to run along the river for the first time since the marathon. It was a nice enough run, I guess. I felt like I was dragging a little in places. My knees and hips were sore during the middle, which was odd. The injured leg was fine, aside from a little tightness after mile 10. But again, no actual pain. I did have a little speedup towards the end, but it wasn't really planned. I think I was just looking forward to getting back to the car, where my water was :) I finally remembered to bring a towel with me, so I was able to stretch without getting super dirty. I was also able to do my pushups and crunches, which was good because I bet I'd have forgotten to do them at home.

Today's run put me over 100 miles for the month, for the first time since May. I'm glad to have my mileage start get back up there; it's taken awhile since I'm trying to be good about following the 10% rule.

s: 61 degrees | 7 MPH | 88% humidity
e: 64 degrees | calm | 78% humidity
01 | 8:53
02 | 8:44 | 17:38
03 | 9:00 | 26:38
04 | 8:50 | 35:28
05 | 8:45 | 44:14
06 | 8:52 | 53:07
07 | 8:47 | 61:55
08 | 8:55 | 70:50
09 | 8:32 | 79:22
10 | 8:26 | 87:49
11 | 8:22 | 96:11
11.01 miles | 1:36:19 | 8:45/mi.

Training Week: August 23 - 29, 2004

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Running: 4:02:24 | 28.15 miles
President's Challenge: 2243 points | 77% to Gold

Digging through files

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Ok, a quick search of my files turned up no college cross country training plan. I'll have to look in the basement tomorrow. I did find something really funny, which I don't remember making. I know that I made goals for 1996 and 1997 at the end of the previous year; I wrote the goals down and hung them up on my bulletin board. But apparently, during the summer of 1994 I decided to set some goals for myself. Now, at that time I had run one season of track (as a sprinter with a 100m PR of 15.26) and was planning on running cross country and switching to distance in the spring. According to this sheet, I had also run a mile race (7:04) and a 5K (25:50). Somehow I decided that these were reasonable goals for me (to achieve by June '97):

100: 14.00
400: 65.00
800: 2:40
1600: 5:45
3K: 11:00 (orig. wrote 11:30, then crossed out)
3200: 12:00 (orig. wrote 13:00, then crossed out)
4K (XC): 14:22 (orig. wrote 16:00, then crossed out)
5K (road): 18:00
5K (XC): 20:00
8K: 28:45 (orig. wrote 35:00, then crossed out)
10K: 36:00 (orig. wrote 43:00, then crossed out)

What the hell was I thinking??

I honestly have no idea how I picked those times (36:00 10K? 18:00 5K?) or distances (I wasn't planning on being a sprinter again; why did an 8K make the list? why a XC 4K?) or what prompted me to change some of them. There are some calculations on the other side of the sheet (I can't tell what they are though), so it appears I put some thought into it. But it seems kind of random, and I'm fairly amused by this discovery.


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I can't think of a good title today.

I hate intervals!

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Thanks for the compliments, Richard and Susan. I am pretty happy (and surprised) with how well my running is going right now. And I've come up with a new tentative plan for the next year. The pace I've been running at is the pace I'd like to continue to have as my training pace. So I'm going to stick with the 10-12 mile long runs, aside from possibly the occasional 2 hour run. I'm going to build up my mileage by increasing my weekday runs. I also want to work on my speed to go along with the 5K and 10K races I'm looking at doing. Around November, the local race scene basically dies, so I'll shift into straight distance/base mode. And then come spring, I'm currently thinking of using either Pfitzinger's 18 week or 24 week 55 mpw plan to try to run a Boston Qualifier marathon. This is all just a tentative idea, but it sounds pretty reasonable for now.

I decided to do intervals today. In the past when I've done intervals, I've done them more as repeats (I guess) where I do them at the track and rest between them. I was going to these on the road, and run in between. I looked through my old logs, and found some fartleks that I thought about doing. But I remembered that they were pretty tough, and would cover more distance than I was looking to do today. I settled upon doing quarter repeats, with a quarter mile "rest."

Couple of annoying things about today. First, the stupid Interval setting on the Forerunner blows. The beeping was okay, but overall I'd say I should've just set the split intervals to 0.25 miles. My initial thought was to do 4 sets, and then a mile run home. So I set it for 6 sets, thinking that would be 3 miles. Apparently the last set just includes the lap interval, not the rest interval. The really annoying thing was that I couldn't find a way to review all the data. Since I was running during my 0.25 mile rests, I want to see the time data for those parts. But the Forerunner doesn't include those. Luckily, I was able to download the run into TopoFusion to double-check my distance and figure out the rest splits.

The other annoying thing was running the intervals on the road. I didn't plan my route very well, and ended up running one of my intervals up a steep hill. Oh, that was not fun at all. It was so hot outside, and charging up a hill sucked. I need to find out if there is a track I can use, because while road intervals are more representative of race conditions, I don't think they are as good for building speed. The dirt (we live in a new construction area) causes poor footing, and there are the hills to deal with. I should do hill work, but those are a separate workout from intervals in my mind.

Overall, it was a good, tough workout. I did end up running a 5th set, because I didn't want my last interval to be the one up the hill. And even though I was a little tired, I also wanted to push myself. Hopefully as I continue to work on speed, they will feel a lot easier.

74 degrees | 6 MPH | 82% humidity
1 mile warm-up | 8:48
stretch, drills

5x(0.25 mile hard, 0.25 mile easy), 0.51 miles easy
0.25 | 1:32
0.50 | 2:18 | 3:50
0.75 | 1:36 | 5:26
1.00 | 2:11 | 7:37
1.25 | 1:34 | 9:11
1.50 | 2:13 | 11:24
1.75 | 1:39 | 13:03 (uphill)
2.00 | 2:28 | 15:31
2.25 | 1:34 | 17:05
2.50 | 2:18 | 19:23
3.01 | 4:44 | 24:07
3.01 miles | 24:07

Training Week: August 16 - 22, 2004

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Running: 3:48:46 | 26.22 miles
President's Challenge: 2462 points

Long run day

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So how 'bout the women's marathon? I'm glad the Engineer made a trip to Home Depot towards the end, because ... um ... I might have had a tear or two fall when Deena Kastor moved into 3rd, and even more when she finished. I am the biggest crybaby when watching running on TV. She looked amazing at the end, and I was so impressed with how much she moved up. I am so glad I managed to avoid seeing the results beforehand (I just finished watching the coverage now) because I don't think it would have been as awesome had I been spoiled.

For the most part, I was pretty pleased with NBC's coverage. I didn't like how the commentators kept harping on Paula Radcliffe's size by repeatedly calling her the largest woman out there, but that could be my own issues. I really enjoyed the pre-race stories, especially the history parts. (It's still hard to believe it was only 20 years ago that they first let women run an Olympic marathon). The Engineer made a move to fast forward some of it, and was surprised when I stopped him. "It's just fluff," he said. "Yeah, but it's distance running fluff," I replied.

Anyway, I went out for a 12 mile run this morning. I ended up running almost all the way to the lake, which wasn't a bad out route. Coming back it kind of sucked because it was mostly uphill. I started getting slightly hungry around an hour, and my left leg started to get stiff around 8 miles. It never graduated into pain, though, which is good. I do take it as a sign that I need to give up the TCM ghost. I think I'll maybe hang around 10-12 miles for my long run, and work on bumping up my other runs. Other than the slight stiffness and the sucky hills, today's run was mostly okay. It wasn't hot, but kind of humid. I ended up taking off my shirt with 2 miles to go, and felt better immediately. Having the air on my belly and back felt much better than my damp-from-humidity shirt. Running home (the last mile) was kind of hard because of the wind. I ended up running a kind of convoluted route to try to minimize the amount of uphill I had to run into the wind.

62-70 degrees | 12-17 MPH | 96-78% humidity
01 | 8:41
02 | 8:57 | 17:39
03 | 8:56 | 26:36
04 | 8:50 | 35:26
05 | 8:39 | 44:06
06 | 8:43 | 52:49
07 | 8:58 | 1:01:48
08 | 8:57 | 1:10:46
09 | 8:45 | 1:19:31
10 | 8:49 | 1:28:21
11 | 8:47 | 1:37:08
12 | 8:50 | 1:45:58
12.01 miles | 1:46:05 | 8:50/mi.

Bits and Pieces

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Lafe, thank you for the good computer advice. Unfortunately, the computer problems are hardware-related. The Engineer is going to take it apart tomorrow and hopefully will be able to fix things.

The weather here has been pretty nice - probably one of the few months were people in other parts of the country are jealous of MN. I can't really complain about it ... the cool/crisp air reminds me of fall and I love fall running because it was cross country weather. I wore long sleeve shirts a few times last week, but was still able to wear my shorts. I did pull out my cotton gloves for last Saturday's 6:30 AM 40-something degree run, but that's mainly because I always have cold hands and toes.

I decided against today's half-marathon. I realized that while the leg has been okay with 8-10 miles in the 8:50-9:05 range, trying to run 13.1 miles in the 7:45-8:00 range is probably asking for trouble. I think if I had a 12 miler under my belt it would be a different story. I could probably have done it as a long run, but I didn't want to do that. I have entered races without racing before; back in high school I used to do 2 winter racing series, and I only raced the first 1 or 2 races and just ran the others. But right now I'm kind of in "competitive mode," so running easy in a race setting isn't something I want to do.

I have some other races in mind, though. One that's really high on my list is the Mayo Cross Country 5K on 9/16. The high schoolers race before, and then they have an open race with no entry fee. I loved cross country, and am excited about the chance to run an xc race again. It's also worth track club Grand Prix points, as is a 10K on Oct. 30. I'm also eyeing a 10K and 5K in September, and a 5 mile �predict your time� race in November. I'm still looking into a 1/2 marathon: there are 2 in Illinois next month that could be options. There's also one in Des Moines in October. So we'll see.

I have to admit that I still have TCM in my mind. I took a look at my training for '01 and '02 and running a marathon isn't completely out of the question for me at this point. I think I could probably get up to 18 in the next few weeks, and that would probably be enough to get through a marathon. There are a couple issues with that idea, of course. The first is that doing so would involve some large jumps in my long run distance. While I did it twice before, it's hard to predict what's going to cause a re-occurrence of my leg issue. (Although my current thought is that it's a psychosomatic injury). Another issue is whether I want to do TCM enough to accept just �running� a marathon. Of course, just running it as a long run would be a PR, and that would make me happy. I don't know; it's a lot to think about. Right now, I'm just taking it week by week and seeing what happens. I am somewhat liking the short distance races I've done lately.

I am so upset about yesterday's Olympic coverage. I set the TiVo to record the afternoon stuff, because I really wanted to see the 10,000m. As many of you know, it was delayed but NBC showed it live, in its entirety, instead of cutting over to regular programming. Now, that is pretty cool - except that my recording was set for the exact amount of programming time so I only got the leadup (cool Billy Mills segment) and the first lap. ARGH! I really wanted to see it! And of course enough time had passed that I couldn't watch it on the buffer. Looks like I'll be padding future showings. Other than that, I've been semi-enjoying the coverage. I wish they would just show the tape-delayed T&F stuff together, so I wouldn't have to fast forward through all the other crap I don't want to watch, but that's okay.

I thought about doing a tempo run this morning, but decided to just run a fast mile in the middle of my normal 3 mile run instead. I didn't plan out the smartest route, as my second half-mile was slightly uphill. I somehow managed to run a faster last quarter, although I did have to stop at the end to try and catch my breath. I need to start doing some actual speedwork if I want to run a faster 5K, because I am definitely not ready to be running much faster than the one 2 weeks ago. I think I might pull out my '96 log and start doing some of my old xc workouts. I think doing that would help me improve my speed, and set me up to attempt to PR.

54 degrees | 3 MPH | 69% humidity
1.00 | 9:14
1.25 | 1:48 | 11:02
1.50 | 1:48 | 12:50 (3:36)
1.75 | 1:49 | 14:39
2.00 | 1:27 | 16:06 (3:16/6:52)
3.00 | 9:10 | 25:16
3.04 miles | 25:39 | 8:26/mi.

Strike 2

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Once again, I had a post almost finished when the computer ate it. This time, my computer froze and I lost the post. And once again, I don't really want to re-type everything. (I'm getting pretty annoyed about this computer's issues). Short version of the post: running is going well, lower mileage/less structure seems to be agreeing with me, the leg hasn't bothered me at all, and according to several novice/beginner programs my training would be fine for a half-marathon this weekend. I don't know if I'll actually run it though, as I don't know if I am in good enough shape to run it as fast as I want.

65 degrees | 13 MPH | 48% humidity
1 | 8:46
2 | 8:54 | 17:41
3 | 8:41 | 26:22
3.10 miles | 27:12 | 8:47/mi.


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I am so far behind in posting and reading. I had a whole post typed out with what I've been up to and I must have hit the wrong button on the laptop because it just completely disappeared. Damnit!! The short version is that last week the Engineer and I went out a few times with friends, I had my last day at job #1, and we bought a car. I've also been running:

8/11: 58 degrees | 15 MPH | 65%
5.03 miles | 44:05 | 8:46/mi.

8/12: 64 degrees | 6 MPH | 56%
3.10 miles | 26:33 | 8:34/mi.

8/14: 45 degrees | 3 MPH | 90% | foggy
3.02 miles | 26:41 | 8:50/mi.

8/15: 61 degrees | 6 MPH | 72%
8.19 miles | 1:12:28 | 8:51/mi.

8/17:75 degrees | 6 MPH | 55%
3.01 miles | 26:10 | 8:42/mi.

8/18: 67 degrees | 10 MPH | 63%

5.06 miles | 43:40 | 8:38/mi.

I'm also trying to remind myself that running a half-marathon on Saturday might not be a good idea. I'm not entered or anything, but it's a tempting idea. Maybe if I could do it like a long run (I want to do at least 12 this weekend anyway), but I know I wouldn't be able to do that.

Training Week: August 9 - 15, 2004

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Running: 3:16:35 | 22.36 miles
Weights: 0:24:00
President's Challenge: 2220 points


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I finally got around to weight lifting yesterday. I didn't do a whole lot, because I was afraid of over-doing it after a 2 (3?) week break. I didn't run or cross train yesterday, because I thought my legs could use the rest. My left calf felt kind of tight all day, probably from the weekend's activities.

weight lifting | upper body

Today was kind of chilly! I was right that summer is ending; I don't think it got above 60 today. (As an interesting note: the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska was 67 while it was 50-something here in Minnesota. That's just wrong). I had to dig out my long sleeve shirts so that I wouldn't get too cold while running. I didn't enjoy running into the wind at all today, and I think it felt a lot harder than what Weather Channel reported. Oh well.

55 degrees | 14 MPH | 82% humidity
1 | 8:58
2 | 9:01 | 17:59
3 | 8:38 | 26:38
3.02 miles | 26:48 | 8:52/mi.

Training Week: August 2 - 8, 2004

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Running: 3:38:26 | 25.09 miles
President's Challenge: 2396 points | 116645 points total

Double Digits plus Dehydration

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Remember how last weekend I said that summer was basically over in MN? Yeah, I was wrong. I know that our hot weather isn't anything compared to what people on the east coast or the south put up with, but still. Today felt really hot, and I got really nasty sweaty.


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Murray 5K trophyToday I ran the Jessica Murray Memorial 5K, which was great in a couple different ways.

Mile 1 | 7:00
Mile 2 | 7:09 | 14:09
Mile 3 | 6:54 | 21:04

Watch Time = 21:36*
Official Time = 21:39

(* 53 seconds above my PR)

Full details here.

And my leg didn't hurt during OR after the race!

10:00: looks like my proofreading skills need more work. My time today wasn't under my PR, but over/above. I've corrected my mistake to make it more clear.


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Short post because I'm tired and in need of sleep.

My inner wuss/whiner/meanie was quiet for this run, perhaps silenced by my inner hunger.

71 degrees | 7 MPH | 45% humidity
1 | 8:34
2 | 8:47 | 17:22
3 | 8:44 | 26:06
3.06 miles | 26:34 | 8:42/mi.

The Inner "Critic"

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Weather was a lot better today. I came home from work and changed into my running clothes and then drove over to the DT. I had tried to think of a route around here, but every possibility just sucked. I figured a change of scenery would be good, and I haven't been on the DT in a long time. The DT was pretty nice this afternoon, with not many people out (no dogs!) and a lot of shade. I took off a little too fast, but then slowed myself down.

I've seen a couple members of the RBF talk about their inner critic. I've been having encounters with what must be his/her cousin. I don't have a good name for it. But every time I come up to a hill, I suddenly get this urge to walk. I don't know where that's coming from. I don't need to walk, and I hate walking up hills (old xc/track thing). But without fail, every hill I've encountered recently has been preceded with that thought. Kind of weird.

74 degrees | 14 MPH | 55% humidity

1 | 8:51
2 | 9:10 | 18:02
3 | 9:20 | 27:22
4 | 9:09 | 36:31
4.19 miles | 38:15 | 9:07/mi.

Rainy Tuesday

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>Lafe, I'm glad you came out of your dog encounter okay. I don't know if I will go that direction again, because I am really scared of loose dogs. At least when I have run-ins with them on the trail/bike paths, their owners are around to attempt to corral them. I won't run in rural areas because chances are good that the dogs lack owners, or have been left outside for the day and the owners are around. I'll keep the pepper spray idea in mind, though.

I went to TJ Maxx yesterday after work, hoping that they might have some long sports bras in. I forgot that the TJ Maxx here kind of sucks, but remembered once I started looking through the racks. I didn't find anything that would be suitable for running. The Engineer said something about maybe going to Minneapolis this weekend, so maybe I can look at the Marshall's up there or at one of the SportMarts. Since the SportMart here blows, I kind of assumed that they all did. But when we were at the Mall of America last month, I discovered that their SportMart actually had real running stuff - and a decent selection at that. So maybe one of the other Twin City suburbs locations is decent.

Running: 21.29 miles | 3:11:36
President's Challenge: 2026 points | 114,249 points total

Sunday Recovery Run

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Hodgepodge of stuff today ....

My leg behaved for my run today. I started out with my boring route, but instead of turning around at 1.5 miles I went a different way to create a large loop. I'll probably take tomorrow off, just in case. I think my plan for next week is rest, 3, 4, 3, rest, 5K race (??) or 3 mile run, longer run. The 5K race is a question mark because it depends on how my leg feels. Some people that the Engineer and I know are planning on running it, and it sounds kind of fun to go to a race with people that I know. I'm kind of curious to see what I can do for a 5K right now, especially after the 4 mile race.

In addition to having to change my marathon plans, I'm also having to change my half-marathon plans. I'd been planning on running the Holiday Inn 1/2 that's on the 21st. I think I have to give up that idea, because there's no safe way for me to be able to cover that distance in 3 weeks. But I still really want to run a 1/2 this year, so I've been looking around to see if I can find a replacement. The only thing I can find in MN this fall is in Detroit Lakes, which is too far away. There is one on 9/6 that's really close to my parents, but I don't know if that date is far enough away and/or if I have to work on Labor Day. There's also the Chicago 1/2 on 9/19. (ooh, there's also a Run Hit Wonder race in Chicago, too ... those sound so fun, but it's on a weekday). There's also the Des Moines 1/2 in October. So maybe I can find a way to still to race a 1/2 this year. But in the meantime, I think I'll probably just be running 5 and 10Ks this fall, which should actually be a fun change of pace. I haven't worked on being fast in a long time.

One thing that is really nice about MN right now is that I can go running at 10AM and it isn't too terribly hot outside. Runners in the south and northeast have my sympathies for having to deal with the heat and humidity. Summers in St. Louis could be pretty bad, especially with the humidity, and I used to get up at 6AM to run before it got too bad. Here, summer is on the way out already. We've actually had a pretty mild summer; I don't think we've had many days over 90. It almost, but not quite, makes up for the brutal winter. Almost.

I need to find a new long (tummy-covering) sports bra. Why does it have to be so hard to find decent, non-expensive running clothes?

68 degrees | 13 MPH | 78% humidty

1 | 9:12
2 | 9:13 | 18:25
3 | 8:54 | 27:19
3.06 miles | 27:47 | 9:05/mi.