Monday, June 13, 2011

Track Run

1275 miles on the Nike plus site since I started April 21, 2010

Yesterday was cooler, in the high 60's, which made running much more enjoyable.  I ran on the rubberized track and managed to run 6 miles with an average pace of 8 minute mile.  I was surprised how much my pace quickened when compared to my last few runs.  The cooler weather made my 8 minute pace feel easy.  The amount of effort put into the run did not seem much different from the prior few runs, yet my pace changed from a 10 minute mile to an 8 minute mile. 

I am also keeping track of what I am eating, to see how that affects my performance.  I believe a high protein diet increases my performance.  Greek yogurt and some Kashi products offer good protein without too much fat or sugar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Continuing to Run in the Heat

1250 miles on the Nike plus site since I started April 21, 2010

I am continuing to run nearly every day.  Most of my runs have been between 4 and 6 miles.  I am having difficulty adjusting to the hot, humid weather.  Yesterday my four mile run felt like eight.  I find a mix of water and lemon/lime Gatorade seems to help keep me hydrated.  I have mixed in some Kayak workouts before my runs which helps to strengthen my upper body.  I did manage to put in a thirteen mile run two weekends ago when the weather was cooler.
The Nike + GPS is great, I love being able to go back and look at the mapped runs.  They show mile markers and fastest/slowest sections of each run. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nike+ sport watch GPS

1185 miles on the Nike plus site since I started April 21, 2010

I purchased the new Nike+ sport watch GPS last week and have now logged three runs. The watch setup was easy. I connected it to my computer and logged into the Nike+ site. My existing data was transferred onto my new watch. I was concerned the data might not go onto the new watch or the data might be lost, but all went smoothly. When you start a run the watch links to the shoe chip and the GPS and alerts you when it is ready to start the run. It only takes about 30 seconds to link to the satellites. The display is large and easy to read. It shows distance and pace however can be chaned to display different information. Viewing the data on the watch is much nicer than my old Nike+ sport band. After the run the watch links up to the site using a USB connection and downloads the data. The best part is the GPS maps your run, giving you mile markers and splits. This is definitely the best part of the watch. Every run is mapped out and stored with the rest of the data.

My motivation to continue to log miles on the Nike+ is definitely increased due to the new functions of the Nike+ sport watch GPS. I am looking forward to taking some longer runs and seeing the data mapped out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One year today... I began to log miles on my Nike Plus wrist band April 21, 2010.  I am in much better shape physically and mentally.  Physically everyday movements are easier, I feel stronger and more powerful.  I have less aches and pains.  All the other activities and sports are more enjoyable, because I perform better without running out of energy or strength.  Mentally I am more at peace.  I am able to have clear concise thoughts.  My mind is less jumbled, less affected by the multitude of everyday decisions.

Anyway here is the data from the year.

236 workouts
186 hours 30 minutes
1,105 miles
10' 07" average pace
133,796 calories

OK, time to get going on this year!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Week in Review 1,080 miles

1,080 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010
5.15 miles, 10' 53" pace, trail/track, sunny, 50 degrees, Vomero 5
5.11 miles, 9' 52" pace, treadmill, rain, Vomero 5
4.05 miles, 9' 51" pace, treadmill, rain, Vomero 5
7.09 miles, 10' 23" pace, road/turf, sunny, Vomero 5
5.15 miles, 9' 29" pace, road, sunny, 50 degrees, Vomero 5
4.02 miles, trail, cloudy, 45 degrees, Free
5.09 miles, 9' 31" pace, turf, sunny, 55 degrees, Vomero 5
35.66 miles this week, Sunday start day

The chip in the Nike Free Plus does not send a signal consistently, which causes the pace and distance to be inaccurate.  I replaced my old chip because I thought it was worn out, however the new chip has the same problem.  I can feel the plastic chip holder on the bottom of my foot.

So busy running I ran out of time to write.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Run of the week, Trail Run

1,037 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

3.21 miles, 9' 24" pace, stone dust track, sunny, 40 degrees, Vomero 5

5.04 miles, 11' 55" pace, trail/hiking, sunny, 55 degrees, Vomero 5

2.08 miles, treadmill, raining, Free

5.40 miles, 10' 05" pace, road/turf, cloudy, 35 degrees, Vomero 5
( data seems off, pace slow, chip may be worn out)

5.03 miles, 9' 07" pace, trail/track, 55 degrees, sunny, Vomero 5

20.78 miles this week, Sunday start day

My favorite run of the week was the trail run.  It began on a wide, fairly open trail.  Within a quarter mile the trail narrowed and became full of rocks and roots.  I felt awkward and clumsy trying to run on this rough terrain.  I found it difficult to watch the ground and follow the trail.  I continued on for two miles, trying to maintain pace.  Then amazingly something clicked, all at once I can follow the trail.  Look up find the path then back down at the ground to choose my footing carefully.  I use a short stride and take many small steps between the rocks.  Now I'm smiling and don't want to stop.  This is fun, different from the normal road or track.  No cars, no noise, nothing man made, surrounded by nature.  My trail takes me past a few rock outcroppings which overlook the open space.  Now I am begining to understand the popularity of trail running.  I can't wait to go back and take more pictures...having trouble doing this place justice with words.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day Off

Ocean Kayak
Seaquel Paddle
I'm not sure if I will run today.  The thermometer rose above freezing and the ice was gone from the harbor, so why not go kayaking for an upper body workout.  The water is clear early in the season, allowing me to see the bottom as my kayak glides through the water.  The sensation of floating on the water as the bottom passes by is relaxing.  My pace is smooth and constant for what I guess to be about two miles.  I stayed in the harbor because it's cold, windy, and somewhat dangerous to go off shore when the water is so cold.  I do wear a Kokatat semi-dry suit in cold weather for added warmth and safety.  This time of year I have the bays and harbors pretty much to my self.  Wildlife is abundant.  The sound of the water trickling off the paddle can be heard with every stoke.  The sun is shining keeping me warm despite temperature in the 30's.  This is a nice way to get outside and find peace.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Different Perspective

Age: 13   Height: 5-4   Gender: Female
Nike Moto 7

I watched as my dad stomped around our yard pulling out weeds from the ground with violence. He looked like an angry dinosaur and every time he came across a weed, he would attack it like it was some sort of prey. I knew he was having a bad day. I was a quiet church mouse watching him from inside planning to comfort him and ask him if he wanted to go running today. Finally I got off my lazy butt and asked him. He was thrilled by the offer and told me to get changed. Then we both got in the car.
                I told him in the car I needed to train for track, and that it starts on Monday. I was planning on doing 100 meter sprints and the mile run. I’ve never done track before, I’ve always ran cross-country. I know I’ll probably like cross-country running better than track though. I just like being surrounded by nature; to me it clears my head easier and faster. On a track sometimes I feel pressure by the eyes watching on the bleachers and the sidelines.
                When we got to the track it ended up there was a soccer game going on. So, it was crowded. “Great.” When we started running I realized it was so crowded that running was more like an obstacles course rather than a track! I love running but I prefer it in the woods, because of this reason.
                My dad and I started running a slow two miles. He told me it was a good pace, but it wasn’t good enough for me. I know when I do start to run track I’ll probably be one of the only girls running the mile! But it was okay because I was used to that. At my old school they only had cross-country, there were never a lot of girls on the teams. Good for me because that meant less competition for me! That’s probably why I won a first place ribbon last year. At my old school I had to run with kids a year older then I was because the year before that I put my name in the wrong grade… opps. People wondered if I was still going to run and I was like, "of course I’m still going to run!
                When I ran with my dad he talked a lot about breathing when you run. Like if you’re able to master breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth when you’re running you can breathe away your cramps. Or, when you sprint your breath turns into short fast breaths, then if you slow down your breath will go back to long and slow breaths. I tried it and it works! I love sprinting too. I felt like I was flying I was moving so fast!
                After we finished the two miles, we did one 8 minute mile. I forced myself to run that. It was definitely mind over body when I ran that last mile. Great runners push themselves to the extreme limits of what their body can do. My dad did it in his marathon. If you ignore the pain in your body and if you’re mentally determined to run something, you can! It’s pretty amazing how you can mentally run something.
                After our run my dad was over joyed! It was like running flipped the switch from mad to happy. I should try running when I’m angry and see if it helps. It was a good first run for the season. But I’m not sure if I’m ready for track on Monday. The fastest I’ve run a mile was 6minutes 55secounds, (so pretty much 7 minutes.) That was fast enough I told myself. I know the other runners can run it much faster. I hope I get lucky on Monday!
                                             From, the runner’s daughter

Two in One

1,018 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Morning run 6.02 miles, road, sunny, 24 degrees
Evening run 3.15 miles, 9:12 pace, rubber track, sunny, 40 degrees
21.55 miles this week, Sunday start day
Nike Vomero 5

I ran six miles this morning including a half mile on the beach.  Then split wood and raked the lawn all day.  In the late afternoon my daughter wanted to take a run, so we hit the track for three miles.  She beat me in a sprint at the end.  This all made for great day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

On Track and Free

1,009 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 5.05 miles, 9:06 pace, rubber track, sunny, 42 degrees
12.38 miles this week, Sunday start day

Now with a new Nike plus chip in my Nike Free's, I'm anxious to get out for a run.  In the late afternoon I found time to get to the track.  The flexibility of the shoe allows for more foot movement.  I can feel my toes pushing off the track at the end of each stride.  Every time I run in these shoes I have the urge to accelerate to a faster pace.

I do feel my foot muscles working harder when I run in the Free's.  They also make me concentrate more on my stride.  I can't get away with letting my foot hit the ground in any fashion.  Leg movements have to be precise, otherwise the foot hits hard against the ground. I think this would help build muscle and improve the efficiency of my stride.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worn Out Nike Plus Chip

1,004 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 3.14 miles, treadmill, rain, 36 degrees
7.42 miles this week, Sunday start day

I must have worn out the chip I put into my Nike Free's because it was not registering the correct pace or distance. I have had two chips for nearly a year. One chip in my Vomero 5's and one I took out of my Structure 12's and put into my Free's. I alternate shoes, so each chip should have around 500 miles. Luckily, I was on the treadmill which kept track of my pace and distance. The treadmill and the Nike Plus were always very close when recording pace and distance.

It felt great to be back running in the Nike Free's. They really do allow for much more foot flexibility and increased feel of the running surface. I can feel my foot moving as if I were running barefoot. The impact is not bad because there is some give to the treadmill deck. These shoes are just fun to run in!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crack of Dawn (1,001 miles)

1,001 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 4.28 miles,  road, cloudy/dark, 36 degrees
4.28 miles this week, Sunday start day

I rolled out of bed at 5:00 AM, slipped on my Nike Vomero 5's, and hit the road.  Even though it is dark, early morning is my favorite time to run.  The first thing I notice is the lack of background traffic noise which is constant throughout the day.  The birds are singing quietly and the trickling of a brook can be heard.  A nearly full moon peaks out every now and then behind the thick cloud cover.  It rained yesterday, leaving the air clean and cool with a little humidity.  Deep breaths clear my airways and awaken my body.  The echo of gobbling turkeys is heard in the distance.  

It is safest to run against traffic, as you can see the cars coming. However, being early morning no cars are out.  This allows me to run in center of the road where it is closest to flat.  The cant of the road puts uneven pressure on the body, so when there is traffic, I switch sides during a run to evenly build muscles. My stride is short, allowing one step to nearly roll into the next.  Each foot can almost move in a circular motion.  Eliminating the pounding the body receives with a longer, faster stride.    As I get closer to home I feel a gravitational pull toward the Keurig coffee machine.  The perfect cup of Green Mountain Donut House coffee awaits!  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Long Runs (Hydrate and Fuel the Body)

997 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 11.39 miles, 9.58 pace, road, partly sunny, 45 degrees
33.14 miles this week, Sunday start day

This morning I decided to go out for a longer run.  For breakfast I had a bowl of Kashi GOLEAN with banana slices and a little milk.  I find this a nice mix of protein, carbohydrates, and potassium to fuel me for a run.  Washed it down with a cup of coffee, which I know isn't the best for me, but it's so good.

I wear a belt on longer runs to carry two to three 6 ounce bottles and energy gel.  Today I had one bottle of water and one bottle of orange Gatorade.  This mix works for me.  Straight Gatorade is too sweet and water alone doesn't seem to hydrate sufficiently.  The sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, and sugar are replenished better by Gatorade.  I let my body tell me which drink it wants throughout the run.

Every five miles I like to have a Clif Shot Energy Gel, Razz is good.  I wash it down with water.  10 to 15 minutes after consuming the gel I can feel increased stamina.  So I used one today, when I ran the marathon I used four packets at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20.


986 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 6 miles, mixed surface, sunny, 65 degrees
21.75 miles this week, Sunday start day

On this run I maintained a comfortable pace, 9 minute miles, and meandered any direction I choose to turn.  I started on the road, turned off on some sidewalks, found a few dirt paths, crossed a few fields, circled two parking lots, and climbed a few sets of stairs.  I discovered areas not seen on prior runs.  What started out a three mile run turned into six.

Throughout the run I enjoyed the blue sky, sunshine, and nature all around me.  The twists and turns, along with the warm weather, made the time pass quickly.  

Finally, back in shorts and a short sleeve shirt after a long cold winter!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Migraine Headaches

Now I know why I had a nervous feeling yesterday.  Last night and this morning I have had a migraine headache.  I have been getting migraines for the past twenty years.  My migraines and allergy symptoms were getting worse as I got older.  The best explanation I've been given for the nervous feeling preceding the headache is the release of histamines by the body.  Not sure if this is accurate.

The only reason I mention this is because I believe people who suffer from migraines can benefit greatly from running regularly.

Since I began running regularly four years ago, My migraines don't come as frequently and are less severe when I do get them.  I have even gone for a run when my eyes began flashing (some people call it an aura effect) and relieved the symptoms of the headache which typically follows.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Treadmill Running

980 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 6.06 miles, treadmill, raining
16.56 miles this week, Sunday start day

A nervous feeling came over me today.  I wasn't comfortable and found it difficult to focus.  The sensation is that of being over caffeinated.  Fortunately, my cure for this is a run.

It's raining today, so I hit the treadmill in my Vomero 5's.  The treadmill can be boring, I need music or some sort of entertainment.  I loaded the Pandora App on my new iPad, tuned into my Zac Brown station, and started my run.  I wanted to chill out, get into a rythm, hear some wholesum lyrics, and cruise through six miles.  Country fit the bill.  My music choice is determined by my mood.  Sometimes Kesha, sometimes a quick mix of James Taylor, The Smiths, The Cure, Jimmy Buffet, Green Day, The Grateful Dead, Kesha, Sugarland, Zac Brown, etc.  An eclectic mix.

A few tricks I learned which help me avoid boredom and keep me motivated on the treadmill.  First, the time should be set for longer than you plan to run.  There is nothing worse than getting into a groove and having your program end prematurely. I often find I run the entire time, even though it's much farther than I planned at the start.

The second trick is to set a program which changes elevation.  When the treadmill raises to a higher incline, I find myself competing against the machine.  Knowing that after a few minutes the incline will decrease making the running easier.  It gives me goals to conquer throughout the run.

My treadmill is mediocre at best.  I have run on high quality treadmills at gyms or resorts and it makes a huge difference.  The decks are longer and wider.  The mechanism is smoother.  Many have cushioning built into the deck.  I only use mine when absolutely necessary so no need to upgrade.  Most days I run outside regardless of the weather.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back to Nike Vomero 5

974 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 5.31 miles, 40 degrees, cloudy
10.49 miles this week, Sunday start day

Today I switched back to my Nike Vomero 5's to see how the feel compared to the Nike Free's.  I instantly noticed a higher heel. The road feel and flexibility is far less when running in the Vomero 5's. They are also heavier. The cushioning however is far superior. On asphalt, concrete and other hard surfaces I prefer the Vomero 5's. Each placement of the foot is less jarring, more forgiving on the body. It's a trade off though, should I be fast and carefree or comfortable and secure? Depends on the day!

I guess the answer is one of each. Alternate between the shoes. It's better anyway to have two pair of shoes. Giving the shoes a day off, allows the cushioning time to expand back to the original shape. This helps the shoe to absorb impact. The shoes can also thoroughly dry between runs. All these little details help, especially during long distance runs.

Oh, one trick to help you extend the distance you run. Always finish the mile you started. If your planning on running about 3 miles and your at 3.25 go to 4. That last three quarters of a mile is a bonus. Think of it that way and it's easy!

Another thing I like to do, when running longer distances on a track, is run the far outside lane. On my track the inside lane is .25 of a mile, the outside lane is close to .3 of a mile. Every four laps is 1.2 miles when running the outside lane. Meaning you run fewer total laps while still covering the same distance.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nike Free Run Plus (day two)

969 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 5.18 miles, 40 degrees, sunny, 10:00 AM
5.18 miles this week, Sunday start day

BINGO. The rubberized 1/4 mile track is the perfect surface for my Nike Free's.  Soft enough so each foot landing isn't jarring, yet firm enough to be fast.  The surface of the track is felt with each step.  The flat surface allows the foot to land positive and secure.  I love running on this track, it has the BOING factor.

So this run did not start with bliss.  I over thought every detail.  Should I run or drive to the track?  Should I bring two pairs of shoes?  What should I bring to drink?  Will I be OK running another day on the Free's?  What should I wear?  Is it cold, windy?  It was pathetic.  (oh by the way I forgot to bring a drink)  For this reason I love running first thing in the morning, roll out of bed and go.  No thought, still asleep until the first steps are run.  After the run I am positive and energized, ready for the day.  Also, in the cold weather I can think of the warm cup of coffee waiting for me at home.  Nothing better than that in the winter!  My mind was all jumbled for the first few miles.  My body awkward, every movement over thought.  Then I took a couple of deep breaths, relaxed my mind.  By mile three my body moved on it's own.  I lost track of laps and time.  The Nike Plus watch is fantastic for this reason.  It keeps track and does the math so I don't have to.  My mind now relaxed could think clearly about family, friends, ideas, whatever.  One clear concise thought at a time.  Functioning at it's peak without interruption.  In the zone and at peace.

I run because it's what I love.  There's nothing I would rather be doing at that time.  I'm not preparing for a race, or trying to burn calories, not trying to impress anyone.  It's simple, primal, what humans did before any other sort of transportation.  What is ingrained in our DNA.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nike Free Run (the morning after)

It's the morning after my first run on my Nike Free Run plus. The balls of my feet are tender, nothing major but I can feel they got a work out. I don't remember ever feeling this with my other shoes. I also feel some tenderness in my lower back muscles. No big deal, well worth the experience. It will be interesting to see if my body builds these muscles over time. Also, to be fair I did run six plus miles three times this week. Each run I ended with sprints on the artificial turf field. Full speed one length of the field and jog back to the other end. Continue this over and over for a mile or so. I can't wait to try the Free's on the rubberized 1/4 mile track. That track is a joy to run on, soft and fast! It has been covered in snow for months, snow is gone now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nike Free Run plus (First Day)

Recent Nike running shoes:
Structure 13 (marathon shoe)
Vomero 5 (alternate between these and Structure 12)
Structure 12 (two pair)
Free Run plus (first day)

Male, 6'-0", 160 pounds, Age: 40

964 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 6 miles, 50 degrees, overcast, average 10 minute mile
22.7 miles this week Sunday start day

OK so I'm reading Born to Run and it got me thinking about barefoot running.  The book presents a strong argument for shedding those big cushy running shoes and getting back to basics.  Instead of taking off my Nike's and going for it barefoot, (I have to admit it did cross my mind on several runs), I put some thought into the process of shedding my trusted shoes.  Also, I hated the idea of not continuing to log miles on my watch.  So I went to the Nike website and found my answer Nike Free Run Plus.  These shoes would give me some protection, a barefoot feel, and I can insert the chip to log miles.

So, did they live up to what they promise?  Nothing can be decided definitively in one day, however here is my first impression.

First I went to my local store and found Nike did not ship any of these shoes to small francises.  Then I went to the Nike website and no luck getting my size, unless I wanted bright yellow.  I decided I couldn't handle the ridicule.  Then yurika Foot Locker in the local mall had the goods.

Enough BS let's get to the run.

So I'm so excited to strap on these ultralite, flexible shoes and give them a whirl.  I hit the asphalt immediately noticing the difference between the Free Run and the Vomero.  My foot flexes as it feels the contours in the road surface.  The grip of the road make my feet want to accelerate to speeds faster than average pace.  The weight reduction and flexibility wake up my feet and legs.  I feel the need to pull back on the reins in fear the rest of my body would fall apart.  Like boosting the turbo pressure in your cars engine.  It has incredible power and is so exciting to drive until the engine grenades. Broken parts and pieces fly, funs over.  There is an increased pressure with each foot landing which the impact is felt through the back, neck, to the top of the head.  So I change to a shorter stride, landing more on the ball of my foot.  Off I go in bliss for the next three miles!

Now it's time to hit the artificial turf field and let er rip.  I figure the soft surface will protect me from self destruction.  (had to take a break from writing to scarf down about a pound of chicken and a low sugar organic iced tea).  This is great!  It reminds me of running barefoot last summer on a sandbar in Cape Cod.  Soft initial landing then a firmer feel.  The next 2 miles my pace varies from a 9 minute mile to below a 7 minute mile.  I could run like this all day.  Freedom without the pain!  The faster the pace the better the feel!

OK next to the artificial turf field is a stone dust 1/4 mile track beckoning me.  The track is heavily run with thousands of foot prints.  It has been raining a lot recently so it's soft with a few puddles.  My foot contours to the track giving that great barefoot feel I'd come to love.  My feet and sole beg to go faster.  After lapping a walker for the third time on one of his laps he asks if there's two of me. Then he comments on my quick pace which boosts my adrenaline.  (my pace isn't really that fast but looks it compared to a walk)  I get a smile from another runner as I glide by.  It's amazing how a hello, an acknowledgement, a positive comment, or a cheer during a run or race can totally reenergize a runner.  Running mile six on the new shoes makes me think maybe I should explore this further another day!

After taking off the shoes I notice a tingle in the ball of my foot.  Like after a short barefoot walk on asphalt.  My feet definitely got more of a workout than normal.  No problem right now, we will see what tomorrow brings.