Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Numbers

Several other bloggers have summarised their running year in numbers, and I enjoyed reading them so much that I have summarised my year this way too.   I can't wait to compare some of these numbers to next year's and see the improvement!

But first I will start with yesterday's run, because I managed to take pictures on the new phone I got for Christmas!

10 - number of kilometres clocked
3 - number of pictures taken around Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct Harbour:

1 - number of pictures taken from inside the pocket of my pink running skirt ;)

2005 - year I started running
2007 - year I stopped running - with back pain :(
3/1/2012 - date I bought a new pair of running shoes and went for my first run in ages:

2/8/2012 - date I started Run To The Mountains and wrote my first blog post
8 - month I bought my Nike+ Sportwatch:

85 - number of runs with my watch
465 - number of kilometres run with my watch
56 - number of hours run with my watch
7:23 - average pace - that includes a few traffic lights and water stops!

10.39 - longest run in kilometres
31:21 - fastest 5k
5:05 - fastest 1k
8:14 - fastest mile:

3 - number of races this year
1/3 - approximate placing in the women's field
32:22 - time taken to complete the Devonport Classic 5k:

1:23:37 - time taken to complete Xterra Waihi Short Course - in the rain:

46:42 - minutes to complete Speight's West Coaster 6k Adventure Run
1 - bottle of Speight's recovery drink:

1 injury - a knee niggle
5 - number of visits to a physiotherapist to fix knee niggle

2 - pairs of running shoes
15 - number of running gear purchases this year
1050 - approximate dollars spent on running gear and races this year - who said running was cheap?!

$1050 - one of the best investments I've ever made
2013 - a year I'm looking forward to
100 - age at which I intend running to :)

Have you done review of your running year?  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so I can read it too!
Have a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Today's 1 Mile Time Trial

I was supposed to do a one mile time trial on Monday, but haven't been for a run for four whole days because I've felt a bit off colour, and no - it wasn't Christmas festivities!  I finally felt like I had energy to run today, so jogged down to the Domain to do a time trial around the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile.

I found out about the Peace Mile a few years ago when I ran a couple of Sri Chinmoy 5k races in the Domain (they were a lot of fun by the way!)  There is a sign on the fence near the Main Grandstand denoting the start and the route, but here it is spelled out to you:

I checked the distance on my watch just before finishing and had to run a few extra metres to make up the mile.  I wonder if the course is measured in the centre of the road, as I ran on the inner edges which may explain why I was slightly short.  I really wanted to make sure I ran a full mile by my watch - unlike my last time trial where I was 20m short and didn't break any of my records on Nike+ - so important!

As I was jogging to the Domain, I realised I had forgotten to look up my intended starting pace, so I had to work this out mentally which was rather hard when miles and kilometres are involved and you have been born and raised on metrics! I started out around 5:20 pace (actually a bit slower than planned) then increased as I felt more comfortable. Halfway around I realised I hadn't even started my watch and it was all a waste of time.  I stopped, decided to search for a much needed water fountain, had a bit of a rest, and started again - as you do.

Here's what I managed to pull out of the gas tank:

I will use the mile time to gauge my potential race times, training paces, etc, as the 1k time is only for the first kilometre and doesn't include the last 600m where I was actually running faster, so I would expect to improve on that in a dedicated 1k time trial.  Now we have numbers, let's play with them!

Fishpool gives a rough 10k time of 58mins for an 8 min mile, so I guess my 8:14 min mile would result in a 10k time around 60mins.  McMillan Running (love their new site!) backs this up with an estimate of 59:21 for 10k, and 28:35 for a 5k.  I really like how those numbers are under 60 and 30 respectively - my immediate goal!

What I love about McMillan Running is that your training paces are automatically calculated, as well as an approximation of your lactate threshold and VO2max.  I've been calculating training paces from my old Devonport Classic time of 32mins and they are feeling so slow and frustrating to adhere to - I'm pleased to know they have increased to times that feel more appropriate (to me)!

Recovery jogs - 7:00-7:30
Long runs - 6:30-7:15
Easy runs - 6:30-7:00
Steady state runs - 6:00-6:20
Tempo runs - 5:50-6:00
Tempo intervals - 5:45-5:55
400m speed intervals - 2:00-2:10
800m speed intervals - 4:10-4:20

(that's all going on the fridge door ;)

I am supposed to have another time trial in 3 weeks time, so that will be interesting.  I don't know if I will improve very much in 3 weeks, but I certainly will be more confident about running a mile at 5:00/k pace - maybe faster!


Have you ever done a time trial, or do you use race times instead?

Can you calculate miles, kilometres, and training paces automatically in your head? (I can't!)

Do you run each workout at a specific pace, or run as you feel on the day?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nike Girl

I didn't make the connection until recently that Nike was not only a popular running brand, but also the Greek goddess of Victory:

Nike at the Louvre - awesome even missing major parts
Knowing that she stands for victory, strength and speed, how can I not adore everything Nike now?!

During my run today I passed a girl wearing the same white Nike cap as me, then I realised that everything I was wearing except my shoes was branded with the famous winged Nike logo - Nike cap, Nike top, Nike shorts, Nike SportWatch, even my mini drink bottle was Nike!

Nike Ambassador!
The cap I bought in 2005 on complete impulse - I was at the counter buying something else, the salesperson was wearing one and I decided I needed one too!  I noticed them instore recently so they are still selling the same design seven years later!  I can understand why because it is the perfect cap - it has a large brim with a shady black underside, dri-fit fabric, the white is nice and cool to wear, and it still looks brand new seven years later.  My shorts are from the same era - though if you look closely they are quite faded, and the stitching around the leg elastic is going, but that doesn't stop me wearing them when everything else is in the laundry basket!

The SportWatch and water bottle are a more recent acquisitions that you can read about here and here, and the coral tank top is very new.  I think it is a nice mix of sporty and feminine with some ruching across the lower back and at the back strap - so cute I bought a black one too!

OK, this is a really bad photo...
Enough Nike, I do wear other brands too!

I never like to complain about nice weather, but it has been hot, sunny and humid most of the week and I'm really suffering on my runs!  I need to seek out some routes with more shade and sea breezes - or run early before it heats up!

Following the program in my book I am onto the beginners's first 10km schedule, and the training switches from time based to distance based.  There is a steady run during the week and some extra intervals, but the long runs aren't very long and only build up to 13km over 8 weeks - I can handle that!

Anyway, here's what I've been up to the last couple of weeks:

10-16 December 2012
Mon - Gym - cycling 30 mins + strength workout
Tue - Jog 2.5k, 4 x 400 fast (5:40)with 2 min jog recoveries, 2.5k jog
Wed - 5k slow
Thu - Gym - cycling 20 mins, strength workout, run home 3.5k steady (supposed to be 7k but I was too tired and I feel like I really need a holiday!)
Fri - Rest
Sat - 10 mins slow, 10 mins brisk (6:30), 10 mins slow
Sun - 7k slow around Westmere loop
I was supposed to go to the gym a couple of times this weekend as my month's free membership expires Monday, but didn't...

17-23 December 2012
Mon - Rest
Tue - Jog 2.5k, 4 x 600 fast (5:40) with 2.5min jog recoveries, 2.5k jog
Wed - 5k slow
Thu - Rest - run postponed due to Christmas party at work and consequent overindulgences!
Fri - Thursday's run - 7k steady (~6:45) Westmere loop
Sat - 10 mins slow, 25 mins fartlek along Cox's Bay route
Sun - 8.5k slow around Viaduct Harbour and back up Franklin Road

Next week I have a time trial - this will be interesting as it will give me an updated guide to what my training paces are really supposed to be.  I hope I'm not slower than last time!

Have a great Christmas and holiday season my running friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

RunLog + What I'm Reading

I bought this book in the weekend and I'm really enjoying it - Running to Extremes by Lisa Tamati:

Please excuse the post-gym pre-shower photo!
I'll try and do a review when I've finished, but if I'm a bit slow in that regard I can tell you now that this would make a great Christmas present for anyone interested in Lisa's adventures around the world as an ultramarathoner!

It has been a busy few weeks for me as I juggle 1.5 jobs, running, my physio exercises, and regular visits to the gym in an effort to maximise my month's free membership - sometimes I've felt like a full-time athlete!  Here's what I've been up to:
(warning: three weeks in one post!)

Week 1
Gym - cycling 30 mins

10 mins easy, 20 mins fartlek
My legs felt a bit tired because I increased the resistance on the bike yesterday - a bit too much obviously!

30 mins easy

Gym - workout routine + cycling 20 mins
One of the personal trainers at the gym designed me a workout routine and ran through it with me today on the equipment.  Most of it is upper body strength work - biceps, triceps, deltoid, lats, pectorals - with some core exercises (planks, crunches) and the leg press.  I plan to do it about 3x/week for the duration of my month's free membership.  I can't decide whether I like or dislike the gym, it is such a culture shock to me!

Physio appointment - exercise progressions and acupuncture
I have variations on the wall sit, raised leg bridges and single leg bends to work on over the next two weeks.

Today was the Speight's West Coaster 6k Adventure Run
My knee held up great!  It felt really stable and I didn't favour it running the downhills.

Long run - 60 mins
Slight knee niggle afterwards - probably overdone things a bit with a race yesterday followed by a long run today...

Week 2
Gym - cycling 20 mins and workout

10 mins easy, 1/3/5/3/1 mins fast (~5:30) with equal jog recoveries, walk uphill home

30 mins easy

Gym  - cycling, workout, and run home
My physiotherapist suggested going for a run after cycling for some reason I can't remember, hence the run home today.  As it happens he is a triathlete - do you think he is trying to convert me?!

Rest - much needed!
The truth - R arm bicep curls using a full champagne glass :)

35 mins easy
Finally figured out why my SportWatch hasn't been connecting to satellite all this week - because it was set on shoe pod!

70 mins easy - Meola Reef
This time I ran right around the perimeter of the peninsula, and came to a gate across the path, so I went through and whoops - found myself inside the dog exercise enclosure!  I'm not that comfortable around strange off-leash dogs but I convinced myself that owners who took their dogs to such places were undoubtedly responsible and their dogs would be too.  And I was right - I suffered no dog attacks or scary moments and I actually quite enjoyed it and will take the same route next time.  Conquer your fears!

Week 3
Gym - cycling 30 mins, workout
I have to admit that after my first gym workout my upper body muscles were sore for a couple of days!  Now they have settled down and this workout felt quite easy, I might increase some of the weights or repetitions where I feel I can next time.

10 mins easy, 3 x 5 mins brisk (~6:00) with 4 min jog recoveries, 10 mins easy
I think I need to increase my pace in my speedwork sessions as they feel a bit easy.  I have a time trial coming up soon and will calculate my training paces from that.

40 mins easy - Western Springs (green, windy paths, fun) and NW cycleway (grey, straight, flat, laborious)

Physio - massage, acupuncture and more exercise progressions - variations on the bridge and single leg bends.  I'm sad to say this was my last physio appointment!  Most people would be happy to see the end of their physio, but mine is so nice I've actually enjoyed going even though he sticks elbows into my hip and needles into my legs!  One thing that matters a lot to me is that he took me seriously even though I'm a beginner - I will definitely revisit him again if I have any other injuries that need sorting.


35 mins easy, with strides
Ran down to Cox's Bay, then stretched, and ran 3 rugby fields fast with rests in between, trying to concentrate on form.

75 mins easy
I loved my run today and felt I could go on a lot longer.  I ran along Ponsonby Road, down Jacob's Ladder to the Wynyard Quarter and back up Franklin Road to home.  I scouted around a bit trying to find a water stop to top up my little Nike water bottle (found some at Victoria skate park and Wynyard info centre) and took a GU Triberry gel around halfway.  I thought the GU Triberry was less sickly sweet than the other gels I've tried, and look forward to trying some more flavours over the next few long runs.

Wow - if you read all that you deserve a medal!

Have you read Lisa Tamati's book, or any other good running books?

Are you wary of strange dogs while you are out running too?

Wouldn't a map of Auckland's water fountains be handy?  (Maybe there is one on the council website)

Happy Running!
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