Last Sunday I made it to 14.5. It wasn’t pretty but I made it. Afterwords, I wasn’t as hungry or as tired as I had been when I ran the 13.4 miles. I think it was the psychological aspect of starting the treadmill three times as the club limit is only 65 minutes at a time. I’m still not entirely sure why there is a limit as the average time spent on a treadmill in my gym is probably around 35-40 minutes.
It’s interesting watching people come in and work out for an hour or two and then watching them leave while I am still running. I run on the treadmill because Portland is rainy and cold and I have access to water and a bathroom. Both of which are awesome. One of my goals is to run outside during my shorter runs weather and daylight permitting.
It’s weird but when I was running less than 10 miles at a time, no one ever paid any attention to me. But now its like I’ve been given access to a secret club. On Sunday I got a fist bump from a fellow gym member. He was impressed with my efforts and suggested several races I might want to think about. A lot more people have come out of the wood work asking to go run with me and several people have asked for my advice about running injuries or how to get started.
My advice on getting started running is to start. Put on your shoes and put one foot in front of the other. When you get so winded you can’t hold conversation, slow down. If you can speed up again after a couple of minutes, go ahead. If you haven’t been active in a while, see your doctor first. The ‘secret’ is to keep it up. Go out 3-6 days a week. Consistently. I run better when I lift weights 2-3 times a week. That’s my advice.
So here are the photos. It ain’t pretty but I did it!
Today I accomplished a goal that I’ve been working towards for a few weeks now. I’m very proud to say that I finally ran over 13.1 miles which is a half marathon. I actually ran 13.4 miles in 130 minutes. The first half I ran at an average of 6 miles an hour. The last half I averaged 6.3. My knees are still intact and my back is pain free. I am very aware of all the muscles in my upper thighs and my calves. They say hello (or something like it) every couple of minutes. And I’m tired. The kind of tired where any warm soft surface looks like a great place to stop and rest for a minute or so. I don’t think I have any more food in my refrigerator though. I’ve inhaled several mini-meals throughout the day including a black bean rice bowl, half a tuna sandwich, pickle, several bananas, peanut butter toast, and am eagerly looking forward to dinner.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of runner blogs. I’ve been focusing on people who have just begun running. Many of these blogs have pictures or charts that show the author’s progress. I think I should start photographing myself a bit more. So here are some photos of me before my run and after my run. I took the last photo after looking at the ‘after my run’ photo. I looked so tired and pathetic, I had to laugh. So I took a photo of myself.
Now after 13.4 miles:
After running 13.4 miles!
Sometimes I make myself laugh at how sweaty and tired I look:
Gotta keep a sense of humor!
I don’t know what my next little goal is. Probably 16 or 18 miles. It’s going to take me some time to work up to that kind of mileage. I’ve been invited to go run at Forest Park with a few seasoned marathoners for some trail running on Sundays. They leave for the park at 8:30 am. I don’t wake up early on the weekend. Maybe that will be my next little goal.
Posted in Aleta 2.0, Marathon training, running
Tagged 13.4 miles, Forest Park, half marathon, little goals, marathon, mini goals, running, seasoned marathoners, sense of humor, trail running
Normally I don’t advocate tearing pages out of magazines found in doctors offices but while I was waiting for my visit I found a recipe that I just couldn’t help but tear out. It was for shrimp packets. Now I love shrimp and I dearly love the convenience of cooking in foil packets. I cooked up the recipe on a whim Sunday afternoon and it was absolutely delicious.
I like to use recipes as a guide (except in baking where I follow the instructions like they are law). I substitute what I have on hand and add seasonings that are more suited to Andy and my palates. This particular recipe called for cannellini beans. I had a can of white beans. I think they are the same thing as cannellini beans are a type of white bean. The recipe calls for sliced tomatoes, lemon juice, graded lemon rind, and veggie stock. To me that just seems way too much moisture. So I cut out the veggie stock. The recipe also suggested serving the shrimp packets with bread. Sounds good but I didn’t have enough bread to spare for this. I served the shrimp packets over rice. It was excellent.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Tear off four sheets of aluminum foil
3. Clean up the shrimp (take off shells and tail)
4. Slice one large tomato into thick slices
5. Grade half of a lemon (about 1 tablespoon) and then squeeze all the juice out of it. Save juice
6. Slice some onions (recipe called for green but I used yellow)
7. Grab the Old Bay, pepper, and a little olive oil
8. Place half a cup (or so) of beans on foil
9. Top with some shrimp
10. Sprinkle with a little Old Bay
11. Place tomato slices on top of shrimp
12. Add the onion to your packet
13. Sprinkle a little olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, pepper, and so more Old Bay
14. Close up the packets but allow steam to vent out
15. Place all four packets on a baking sheet or other baking apparatus
16. Cook for 20 minutes or so. You want to make sure shrimp is done.
I placed rice in a bowl and dumped contents of shrimp packets on top- juice and all. I added a little pepper and thoroughly enjoyed the heck out of this super easy dish. I’m going to make this again tonight. But I’m going to add yellow pepper to the mix. Next time I might add broccoli. For a Mediterranean feel, add a little Parmesan cheese to the finished dishes. You could serve this over rice, fettuccine, angel hair pasta, or on top of garlic bread. And the best part is that clean up is super easy.
The first two weeks of marathon training, I was nauseous most of the day. Food didn’t really appeal to me. (I know-what a shock!) I just felt sick. Every night I had to force myself to eat more than a few bites. Frankly I wondered if that was going to be my life for the next year. But now I’m back to normal! Maybe even have made up for a lack of appetite. My new thing is that I’m sore in places I’ve never been sore before. My Achilles tendon hurts sporadically as does the bottom of my right foot. I’m not sure why but I’ve been stretching and putting icepacks on both places.
Sunday is my long run day. I’ve been steadily increasing my mileage by no more than a half-mile each week on that day. If I feel horrible, then I just run half a mile but if I’m feeling good then I go the full mile. The past few days my Achilles tendon had really been hurting. On Sunday I woke up and laid in bed for a good thirty minutes psyching myself up for the run. Hitting the 13 mile mark is really important to me because its half a marathon. It represents a milestone I never thought I ‘d get to.
I got all dressed up to go to the gym to run my 13 and was in a really, really good mood. I had enough water and had even eaten a little something to get me through the run. Both of my feet felt fine-no pain. I planned to run a negative split with the first 6.5 miles at around 5.8 miles an hour. For the last 6.5 miles I wanted to kick it up and run 6-6.2 miles an hour. Totally achievable.
I was 11 minutes into my run, completely on schedule, and then the lights in the gym flickered and then the treadmill stopped. For a moment I thought my side of the gym had blown a fuse. It’s an old gym and the electrical system could use some work. But then I realized the entire gym was dark. No power. At first I was pretty ticked off. I hopped off the treadmill and lifted some free weights for about five minutes. I thought about all my options weighing all the pros and cons. I didn’t want to get up early during the week to run so I had to do my long run on Sunday. I realized my best bet was to run outside. So I quickly jogged home and put on some warmer clothes.
I ran across the Hawthorne Bridge and down the Waterfront area. It was really cold but pretty dry. When I left the house, I worried that I had put on too many layers of clothing. But as the wind picked up off the Willamette River, I realized I could have put on even more and been very comfy.
I ended up running a lot more hilly inclines than I had anticipated. Hills aren’t my strong point and seem to absorb every bit of energy I have. At the very top I usually find myself shuffling stooped over like an old woman. I don’t want to tell anyone how long it took me to navigate the 9.5 miles I ran. Between the hills and traffic, it took forever. But the marathon has hills so I definitely need to start running a lot more of them.
Yesterday was also the New York Marathon. Celebrities like Alanis Morisette and Edward Norton both ran a good race and finished under 4.5 hours. The big news was that an American won-which is the first time since 1982. Meb Keflezig, the winner of the 2009 New York Marathon, ran the 26.2 miles in 2:09:15. All I have to say to that is Sweet Mary that’s fast.