Monthly Archives: February 2011

4.0 Mile Tempo Run + Thai Food

Tonight’s run was awesome.  I didn’t have high expectations for it, given that I am probably still recovering from the race on Saturday.  But the weather was perfect, I wasn’t sore and my knee didn’t hurt.  I felt a little tired, but I got over that quickly.

I did both “fast” miles at exactly the same pace:  8:45!  I started to feel a little nauseous a few times, and I noticed that it only seemed to hit me whenever our pace dropped below 8:30.  I tried to practice mind over matter and focus on my breathing… and it seemed to work.  More or less.  Nausea has been my downfall at the past two races and I’m determined to get past that.  Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:16
  • Mile 2:  8:45
  • Mile 3:  8:45
  • Mile 4:  9:48
  • Total:  37:34 (9:24 average)

After the run we rewarded ourselves with dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant.  I always order the same thing:  spring rolls with tofu and yellow curry with tofu.  It was delicious as always!  I also really like the Chang beer they serve there, but I didn’t have any tonight.

Any tips for fighting nausea while running?


Race #3: Rodeo Run 10k

The Rodeo Run was so much fun!  I loved the atmosphere – 15,000 racers and tons of spectators cheering us on.  It was well organized and the party after was fun too.  I didn’t make my time goal of finishing in under an hour, but I came close and still felt pretty good about the results.  Maybe I’ll get it next time!

Although the race wasn’t until 9:35, we got into downtown by 8:00.  We parked literally right next to the finish line and took a shuttle to the start.  I liked that they had water set up at the start line – I drank three cups!  It was packed, but we started between the 9:00 and 10:00 pace markers.  I felt so excited waiting for the start of the race – the adrenaline got me through the first few miles easily.

When the horn went off, it took about 3 minutes to cross the start line.  From there it was hard to weave in and out of people, but we took off.  There were so many spectators lined up through the first mile, it was a lot of fun.  I loved reading the different signs people were holding, including one that said we needed to hurry up because there was a bull chasing us.

The first 3 miles went through downtown and flew by.  But around mile 3, we left downtown and went over a bridge – that included a nice, steep, long (to me!) hill.  I wasn’t prepared for the hill.  We continued to run up the hill and it felt so good to reach the top and head back downhill.  And then we saw the first runner going by in the other direction – and I realized we were going to be crossing that bridge again!

Around mile 4 they had sprinklers for us to run under.  It felt great, but it was around mile 4 that I began to lose steam.  I kept it up a little longer, but when we hit the hills again during miles 5 and 6, I had to take a few walking breaks.  I was disappointed, but I felt so over-heated and a little nauseous, I thought a little walking would help.

During the last mile I was just thinking about how little we had left to go.  According to my Garmin, I hit 6.2 miles at 1:00:09.  I missed the hour mark by just 9 seconds!  But I wasn’t even close to the finish line.  I tried to sprint but I felt the nausea coming on.  I knew I had already missed my goal so I tried not to push myself to the point of dry-heaving again.  I felt a little disappointment as I watched a ton of people pass me during the last 0.10 miles to the finish line, but at that point I was just concentrating on keeping my legs moving.

But I must have been running faster than I thought.  I forgot to change the auto lap on my Garmin after our last speedwork, and I was stuck getting beeps at every quarter mile during the race.  Thanks to that, I saw that I ran the last 0.10 miles at an 8:42 pace.  Not an all-out sprint, but not as bad as I thought!  My splits:

  • Mile 1:  9:19
  • Mile 2:  9:23
  • Mile 3:  9:43
  • Mile 4:  9:38
  • Mile 5:  10:12
  • Mile 6:  10:01
  • Mile 6.0 – 6.35:  3:13 (9:10 pace)
  • Total:  6.35 miles in 1:01:30  (9:41 pace)

My official race time was 1:01:33.  I made it through my first 10k!  After we ran I stopped by a table for a power-ade type drink.  I felt better shortly after that.  We walked around to all the booths to pick up samples of different products.  It was a lot of fun!

I can’t wait to do this race again next year!

Countdown to the Rodeo Run

My first 10k is tomorrow!  I can’t wait.  There will be about 15,000 people running this race through downtown Houston.  I’m sure traffic will be a nightmare, but I’m excited to start the race.

Since we didn’t get to run the past two days, Maggie and I went for a walk instead today.  I thought it would be good to get some exercise in, but didn’t want to wear my legs out before tomorrow.  I hope three days of rest doesn’t do me in!

We took Bailey on the walk.  She loved the park!  I think she tried to greet every single person we passed.  She made a few doggie friends too.  They had a cute water fountain on the ground for dogs.  She didn’t quite understand it and got sprayed in the face a few times before taking a drink, but it was adorable.

Just over 12 hours until race time!

Light Speedwork

Tonight’s run was relatively easy.  It was a beautiful night, not too cold or humid.  And we only had 2.75 miles scheduled to run!  I wasn’t feeling too well after work today, but I’m so glad I made it to the park.  I felt much better after the run.

The plan was to do 5 speedy quarter miles with slow quarter miles before and after each one.  We mostly walked the slow quarter miles, but that was okay because we were extra speedy when we did run.  Our splits:

  • Quarter Mile 1:  1:51 (7:25 pace)
  • Quarter Mile 2:  1:47 (7:10 pace)
  • Quarter Mile 3:  1:54 (7:34 pace)
  • Quarter Mile 4:  1:54 (7:38 pace)
  • Quarter Mile 5:  1:51 (7:23 pace)
  • Total:  2.75 miles in 31:43 (11:32 pace)

It seems like a lot of people around me have been sick lately.  I’m doing all I can to avoid getting sick, but I wonder if I’m not fighting something off.  I better rest up before the 10k this weekend, no way am I getting sick right before the race!

My husband loves to watch documentaries.  I like a lot of them, depending on the subject, but there are many I could pass on.  We’re currently watching a movie called Paper Heart now.  It’s about a female comedian who doesn’t believe in love, but she meets and develops a relationship with Michael Cera.  I’m not sure if it’s a documentary or a mockumentary, but it’s more of a romantic comedy documentary, so I’m enjoying it 🙂

Do you like to watch documentaries?  Do you have a favorite documentary?

Change of Plans

 Half Marathon Update

Big news!  I am officially registered for my first half marathon!!  I had been putting it off for awhile because I wanted to feel comfortable with my training.  It’s a good thing I waited though – the half marathon I registered for is not the one I’ve been training for.  That one was going to be April 23, 2011.  I’m now registered for a half marathon on March 27, 2011!

I’m really excited.  This date worked better for my running partner, and after all the training we’ve been through together, I’d really like to run my first half marathon with her.  This date should also have better weather in Houston – hopefully not so hot and humid.  Especially since it starts at 6:45 AM – yikes!

I’m going to re-write my training schedule only slightly.  After the 10k this weekend, our planned long runs before the race will now be 10, 12 and 8.  Only five weekends until half marathon weekend!!

The Run

Tonight’s run was a 4.5 mile tempo run with Maggie.  It was supposed to be just 4 miles, but it’s looking like we might not be able to get runs in Wednesday, Thursday or Friday this week, so we upped the mileage just a bit tonight.  This is supposed to be my dip week, but I don’t want to dip too much.

It was cool enough tonight, but still pretty humid.

The humidity is draining, but I think we did pretty well considering the weather.  Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:25
  • Mile 2:  9:15
  • Mile 3:  9:22
  • Mile 3.0 – 3.5:  9:06 pace
  • Mile 3.5-4.5:  10:32
  • Total:  4.5 Miles in 44:09  (9:49 average pace)

I’m going to have to learn to deal with the humidity better if I want to continue to run in Houston.  We’re spoiled during the winter, but I don’t want to be forced onto the treadmill this summer.  To me this means drinking more water and being learning to be okay if I can’t run at the same pace as I was able to in 40 degree weather.  Any other tips for running in humidity?


A special thanks to Amy from Juice Boxes and Crayolas for passing along the Stylish Blogger award!  I love reading about both her running adventures and the funny stories from her 5th grade students.

You’re supposed to share seven things about yourself and then pass the award onto 5 bloggers.  I actually received this award back in January (click the link to read seven things about me), but I think it’s fun, so I’ll share again.  Instead of seven things about me, you get seven things about Bailey, my puppy 🙂

1.  We adopted Bailey from the local SPCA.  We didn’t know it at the time, but she was sick with distemper.  Distemper is a neurological disease, and many puppies don’t survive it.  We are incredibly lucky that Bailey made it through, but she does have a permanent leg twitch as a result, in her back left leg.  However, her leg twitch certainly hasn’t stopped her from running and playing like a normal puppy!  This is me and Bailey the day we adopted her:

2.  We’re not sure what kind of dog Bailey is – our best guess is some kind of lab mix, but we think she might also have boxer and/or greyhound in her.  She was in a litter of 3 puppies – she was the brown one (named Nestle at the time) and there was a golden one named Butterscotch and a black one named Cadbury.  All were very cute but we were set on wanting a chocolate lab mix.

3.  Bailey likes to help me blog.  Actually, I think she kind of hates the computer because it takes away time spent with me.  Sometimes she will paw at my keyboard (she’s broken 2 keys before) and other times she will try to lay her head across the keyboard when it’s on my lap.

4.  Bailey was a pumpkin for Halloween.  We couldn’t get her to wear the hat that came with the outfit, and the pumpkin costume didn’t last very long – just long enough to take a few pictures 🙂

5.  Peanut butter is her favorite food, but when Bailey was sick I made her white rice, and she got pretty excited.  She also loves ice cubes and comes running whenever she hears the ice maker on the fridge running.  She won’t go for the ice cube if it falls on the floor, I have to hand it to her and then she runs off with it.

6.  They never last long, but Bailey loves her stuffed animals.  This dolphin was her size and lasted longer than most, but she eventually managed to eat all the stuffing out of it.  I miss the dolphin because she would drag it around everywhere with her.

7.  Bailey went on an 18+ hour car ride with us when we drove to my hometown in Ohio for Thanksgiving.  She surprisingly did extremely well in the car and slept most of the way!  For a dog with her energy level, this shocked us.

Rather than passing along the award (because I’ve already seen it on many of my favorites!), please visit my blogroll for some of my every day reads.  And if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged to share seven things about yourself 🙂

Joining the Double-Digits Club

It’s official – I’ve joined the club!  Maggie and I ran 10 miles for the first time ever yesterday.  If you had asked me just a few months ago, I never would have thought that 10 miles would ever be possible for me.  It’s such a great feeling.

We ran at the Buffalo Bayou.  It’s such a great place for a long run.  The other option would have been a little over 3 laps at our normal park.  I actually considered carrying my iPhone with me to take pictures as we ran, but it was an overcast day and I didn’t want to hold it the entire time.  Someday I will need to take a camera though – it’s just a beautiful setting, and I am so surprised we have something like that so close to downtown Houston.

Although it was overcast when we started, it was humid and became sunny very quickly.  It’s much more difficult to run in humidity because I can feel my heart rate rise quicker and the humidity can hinder your body’s ability to cool itself through sweatingDue to the weather we quickly discarded our initial goal of finishing in 1:45 (which would have been a 10:30 average pace) and instead decided to just focus on finishing.  This was hard for me because I live for specific goals, but I think it was for the best.

The first four miles were good, all completed at around a 10:15 pace, but it was the fifth mile where the impact of the weather really seemed to hit. The bayou has quite a few hills, and it was at this point that we decided we would walk up hills.  I think this strategy really helped because it gave us a brief opportunity to cool down and lower our heart rates before running again.

We also took our Gu during the fifth mile.  This time we had the tri-berry flavor.  This one is definitely my favorite, so I think I’m going to stick with it.  The aftertaste didn’t seem as bad as the vanilla or strawberry-banana.  I think that the Gu really does help with energy levels, and it kept us going after the rough 5th mile.

I ran out of water around the time we hit 6 miles (I was just carrying a 16 oz water bottle), so at 6.5 miles we stopped at a drinking fountain to re-fill our bottles.  My legs didn’t really hurt or feel tired until the 7th mile.  I felt like this was a good accomplishment – I felt out of breath and tired from a high heart rate much faster than my legs felt tired on this run, and that’s how I would prefer my runs to go.

I kept expecting to find more energy as we had less than 3 miles to go, but it was hard to keep pushing on.  We continued to walk hills and I have to admit I would get a little excited each time I saw a hill coming up 🙂  During the last mile and a half or so I felt a little nauseous, but not nearly as bad as I felt at my last 5k race.

The last mile was really difficult.  I usually think the last mile is the time to push through all the pain and give it my all, but we did walk a little hill during the 10th mile this time.  We ran all-out for the last quarter mile or so, but all-out at the end of this run was not like all-out at the end of most of my runs.  We finished in 1:46:16, just one minute and sixteen seconds slower than our initial goal.  Not bad! 

Our splits:

  • Mile 1:  10:16
  • Mile 2:  10:15
  • Mile 3:  10:16
  • Mile 4:  10:13
  • Mile 5:  11:13 – Gu + began walking hills
  • Mile 6:  10:57
  • Mile 7:  10:54
  • Mile 8:  10: 22 – must have gotten our second wind here!
  • Mile 9:  11:10
  • Mile 10:  10:37
  • Total:  1:46:16 (10:37 average pace)

Since I didn’t take my camera phone on our run, we attempted to take a few pictures after the run.  I’m not very good at self-portraits 🙂

To celebrate the distance, I made us some Strawberry-Almond Butter smoothies.  They were a little strong on the almond butter and tasted “healthy” but it was refreshing after the long run.

In the smoothie:

  • 1.5 cups light soymilk
  • handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3-4 tbsp almond butter
  • 8-10 strawberries

It feels great to be a member of the double-digits club and I enjoyed that feeling all day 🙂  I also rewarded myself with some good foam rolling and stretching.  I’m a little sore today, but not too bad!

How do you reward yourself after a long run?

5 Miles of Speed

The title of my post is a little mis-leading.  It was really more like 3 miles of speed with very slow half miles before and after each one.  It was also more like 6 miles with all the walking Maggie and I did that was not captured by my Garmin.  But my Garmin is kind of like Facebook – if it’s not recorded, it’s not official.

The weather was beautiful today which made it difficult to be inside all day when I really wanted to be outside running!  It cooled down just enough for our run.  After the trouble my legs have been giving me this week, I was a little nervous about attempting speedwork, but so glad I did!  My legs aren’t feeling 100% but were probably about 80% better than they were earlier this week.

We jogged the first half mile, but then walked most of the half miles between the speedy full miles.  I couldn’t be happier with our speedy miles.  Not only did we finish each one in less than 9 minutes but we had our fastest mile ever:  8:35!!  Our splits:

  • Speedy Mile 1:  8:46
  • Speedy Mile 2:  8:49
  • Speedy Mile 3:  8:35
  • Total:  5 miles in 53:52 (10:47 average pace)

This run felt a little rough as we were doing it, but I felt amazing after.  I can’t wait for 10 miles this Saturday!  It’s been on my mind all week.  I’ve always heard that your first double digits run is a big deal.  One way I like to pump myself up for the 10 miles is to read recaps from other people who have run 10 miles.  Here are a few for you to enjoy:

  • Amy ran 10 miles for the first time just recently – and followed it up with 12 the very next week
  • Kelly and Megan recently ran 10 miles – and accidentally ran through the finish line of a 5k!
  • Jill recently ran an unplanned 10 miler
  • Kim did her 10 miles on a treadmill.  I’m very impressed!
  • Caitlin’s post on the first time she ran 10 miles
  • Janae ran 10 on her birthday – while watching the last 10 miles of the boston course.  This girl is so inspiring!
  • Tina ran 10 miles through Boston as part of her marathon training

Have you ever run in the double digits?  How did you prepare?  How did you reward yourself after the run??  If you have a recap, please leave your link! 🙂