Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I <3 my Shuffle!

Ok, so I just learned yesterday (by way of Urban Dictionary) that the above symbol <3 is supposed to be a sideways heart. I'm probably a bit old to be using it (I think it's reserved for 13-17 year olds) but whatever.

So my Shuffle has helped tremendously with my running. I totally love it! The "I'm going to get up early and run every day" I blogged about last week never quite came to fruition. Oops. Maybe someday soon. Last week I didn't run again until Sunday when I did 6 miles. Six was the farthest I'd ever previously done and truthfully, I was really worried as to whether I'd be able to do it again since my running has been slacking so much. I took it slow and started out with the goal of doing 5 and I felt so good that I decided I was going to do 6. It felt fantastic! Nothing hurt at all and in fact my biggest challenge of the run was getting rid of a side stitch at mile 3 after I was unable to control myself when "Midnight Train to Georgia" came on my ipod. Apparently belting out music at the top of your lungs (thank God for near-soundproof rooms) throws a wrench into your breathing pattern, causing stitches to appear. Oh well. But once that was gone it was smooth sailing again. I felt like I could (almost) go on forever...until mile 5 when I thought "Ok, it's a good thing I only have 1 mile left". Here's the dish on my time:

Mile 1: 11:34
Mile 2: 11:34
Mile 3: 11:34
Mile 4: 11:19
Mile 5: 11:06
Mile 6: 10:49

Although I took it slow to begin with (because I wasn't sure I could go that far again) I decided to push myself toward the end. I've come to the realization that I need to push myself a little bit more because that will bring a lot more progress than just moseying (sp?) along. I play it safe too often but am working on that. :)

Yesterday I convinced Dave to go to a trail with me to run. The trail is about 7 miles long (with plans for expanding it to 22 miles or something like that) and it runs along a river. There are tons of trees and it's perfect because while you're on the trail, unless it's high noon, odds are you've got quite a bit of cover from the trees, thus it's usually cool and comfortable. So we walked .5 mile, ran .5 mile, walked .5 mile, ran .5 mile and finished up with a .5 mile walk. It was great. And I saw a guy with a 2006 MCM shirt on. I was too embarrassed to talk to him but I got really excited because I immediately recognized it and thought "I'm going to have a shirt like that in less than 6 months!" After that we came home and I decided to run 3 more miles. Again, I felt great. I had some slight pain on the side of my right foot but it quickly went away and I finished strong.
Mile 1: 11:06
Mile 2: 10:42
Mile 3: 10:37
I have been wearing my old Asics because I can't find my Saucony's and am wondering whether the Asics are contributing to my legs and feet feeling as spectacular as they have. My dad will be coming up in a few weeks and as a belated b-day present we're going to a specialty store to get me properly fitted for shoes. I'm super psyched.

I hope everyone is doing well! Oh, before I forget, I want to get feedback on cross-training. How important do you guys think it is? What about weight training? At this point I'm not doing either but have been thinking I probably should. Happy Hump Day!


Irish Cream said...

Congrats on a successful 6 miles!

Also, I'm gonna have to go ahead and say that I <3 cross-training (why did it just take me like 45 minutes to figured out how to make the sideways heart?)! Honestly, I used to scoff at the idea of cross-training ("why cross-train, when I could just run more?!") But cross-training is the only thing that's gotten me through my little training "rough spot." I now believe that cross-training is the best thing ever (and in a bind, just as good as weekday runs--so long as you get your weekend long runs in).

I think the biggest advantage of both cross-training and weight-training (or any type of strength-training for that matter) is that they help you mix things up and keep things interesting. They give both your body and mind a break from the monotonous beating they inevitably take when running lots and lots of miles.

Oh, and my other new favorite thing (since I never ever stretch--bad Irish!) is pilates. I'm pretty sure pilates is going to make a big difference in my marathon training this time around.

MissAllycat said...

I love the <3. And I'm 27. :)

NICE 6 miler! Negative splits, baby!!

Rachel said...

I love the belting out tunes portion of this blog. It definetly put a chuckle in my morning.

I would say that cross training is really important. It really helps to break up the runs AND you can do it if you ever end up with a pulled muscle near your rib cage like I had (haha). But seriously, read some of Runner's World cross training tips. They have some good suggestions. Oh and the weight lifting bit is good for runners too. I don't really do a full scale weight training program but I do get some leg weight training and abs done. Ab work is really important because it stabilizes your organs when they end up jarring all over the place during a run (and prevents side stitches).

*jen* said...

Miss Allycat: you've got to check out the 2nd definition for <3:
I laughed so hard I cried.

EmLit said...

Okay, a few things:

1) you are never too old to use sideways hearts. My mom and I use them with each other when we chat online, and I'm 26. Plus when you use them with gmail chat they get converted into little red hearts which is adorable.
2) I'm glad that I was not the only one who made the "I vow to get up early and run every day this week" statement and then didn't follow through. It is so much harder than it seems, isn't it?!
3) As for cross-training, it is so important. Weight training is a great idea because it strengthens the muscles that you are using to run (and can therefore make you not only stronger but faster) and x-training in general is important to give your body a break from the pounding and the routine. Personally, I love yoga as a x-training activity but I think you really have to experiment to find what is best for you. I've always heard that the best things are exercises that work different muscles and that are also low-impact (biking and swimming are very popular for that reason).

julie said...

crosstraining (in the form of weightlifting) is something I wish I had done before I went and got injured. Cuz here's the thing: when you lift weights you strengthen yourself, and then you're not going to get injured as fast. I'm not a gym member and lifting 2x a week. Ideally, I'd do 3.

Run/walking like you did on that trail is something lots of folks do on marathons. I got beat by 2 min by a group of 3 folks run/walking. I just ran the marathon, slow and steady. I kept passing them while they walked and they'd pass me when they ran. We traded places like that for 26 miles but they beat me in the end. Respect.

Jillian said...

I actually have always wondered what the heck <3 meant. Wow, thanks for clarifying...I feel old now...

Anyway, I feel cross training has really helped me. I do elliptical, biking, and weight training mixed throughout my running workouts. It helps relieve boredom. I also read in RW that doing the same workout everyday will actually stop being productive after awhile. The body becomes so accustomed to the repetition, that it requires less effort/energy and is counter-productive in training. Interesting, huh?

It's funny you say that it's insane that we started training at the same time..and here I am doing an HM. I was thinking about it early this week how insane it is to ME too. I'm realizing how mental running is. I work with a guy that is a serious runner..he comes to work and says, "how many miles did you do?" everyday. I'd say "oh, 3, 4", or whatever I did. He'd come back with "Oh, yeah...I did 20 last night, felt pretty good." I think it made me think about the miles differently...more thoughts of "10 miles isn't much compared to his 20...I can do that"...I think back to 3 months ago..I couldn't even run a mile! I think the mind has more influence over things than we realize.

Keep up the good work and keep jammin to your shuffle!

Anonymous said...

Cross training is important, but be careful with weight training. Many people recommend not doing weight training while marathon training for one reason- you dont want to be carrying around more bulk. You would probably be better off with pilates or yoga (flexibility and a strong core are essential for injury prevention)

Mizoomo said...

Hi there! I <3 my iPod too. It's gotten me through some tough runs! I won't say too much more about x-training since everyone seems to have hit it, but I will say that I too am a big advocate. At first I said the same, "Why x-train when I can just run more?". Then I got injured. Turns out, running doesn't work ALL the muscles equally. If you do nothing but run, yes you will be fit, but you may have some imbalances which is not good. X-training helps to even things out. It'll improve your overall fitness AND your running! Pilates and yoga are great! If you want to do strenth training, low weight/high reps is often recommended for long distance runners. HTH! :-)

"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford