Friday, May 30, 2008

New running shoes (from Under Armour)

Under Armour's going to release its running shoes in the beginning of 2009. I'm kind of pumped to see what they look like.

I like my homeboy (MD alumn and CEO of my fave running apparel company ever) Kevin Plank's quote in response to this:

One analyst questioned how Under Armour was going to win over customers who were loyal to other brands.

Running shoes are the second-largest category of athletic shoes, with $4 billion in sales, according to SportsOneSource.

Plank said they would target a consumer who doesn't necessarily have an allegiance to a particular brand. He also said they would target athletes who run as part of their training. He noted that running apparel is one of the company's best-performing categories and that they would promote the shoe's technology.

"Our goal is not for people to trade one shoe for another," Plank said. "We believe we have a better shoe."

Interesting, interesting.

P.S. Peeps, please check out my post below and leave me some advice on bikes. I know next to nothing and could use all the advice I can get!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stupid Knee Take Two

Bahhhh my knee is no better. I don't think it's any worse, but it's definitely not better. So I'm not running again today. Please kill me now. (Ok not really, I'm just frustrated as all hell.) To those of you who asked, I don't think it's my shoes. I just bought new ones last month.

New plan: Rest today, rest tomorrow (which is a rest day anyway), try to run sometime this weekend, nothing strenuous just something short and easy.


Ok on to other really cool info:

I want this:

But it costs this: $599.99

It's the cheapest road bike I could find at any local bike shop. It's pretty and I like it and I want it because I can't tri without a bike. And I've been thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it and I think really want to try a tri. (LOL)

So I made a little deal with myself. Because I obviously don't have the money to spend on it right now, I decided that I would buy it for myself as my reward for finally losing my college weight. (The freshman 15 stuck around after the first year and then was joined by five of its friends so that means I've got about 20 pounds I'd like to get rid of.)

I don't think I'm going to do a specific diet or anything. I'm just going to pay closer attention to what I eat and try to make sure I'm eating healthy stuff.

We'll see how it goes. I really want that bike (or a bike, that one's on sale and has been discontinued so I may have to settle for a different model).

What kind of pointers do all you experience triathletes have about picking out a bike? I'll take any advice/help you can provide.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stupid Knee

I haven't run since my long run on Saturday because of my knee. I spent most of the holiday weekend hobbling around.

Yesterday it felt a little better and I thought about testing it, but decided it against it. I was on the phone with my mom who made a good point. She basically said, if I ran 8 miles last weekend, I will definitely be able to cover 10 in time for the race, even if I have to take time off and rest. But if I go back too soon and get hurt, there's a very good chance I won't be able to do the race.

Sometimes my mom's a pretty smart lady.

So I didn't run yesterday.

I am however, going to attempt to play tennis today. The knee doesn't seem to be acting up and I figure tennis is a good way to get a little bit of running in and see how it feels. If all goes well, I may try to get a shorter run in tomorrow.

This isn't exactly how I planned for my training to be going, but I'm fairly confident I'll still be able to do the race -- just probably not as fast as I would have liked to.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eight sweaty miles

I am really happy with today's run. I logged 8 miles in 1:28:35. That's no lightening pace or anything, but it's the first time I've run in warmer temps with the sun beating down on me and basically no shade for the entire run.

My times usually start to get a lot slower when it's hotter out, but today I was really happy to see that I kept a pretty nice pace on my long run.

It started out really well. My legs felt rested and ready to go. My knee wasn't bothering me at all and I just felt like I was flying. My right hip started to act up a little around mile one, but that passed sometime before I hit mile two.

At the beginning of mile three things started to get a little tough because my route is pretty hilly and my legs were getting a little tired, but I was able to push through to the next down hill knowing I would get a little bit of a recovery there.

Around mile four I stopped to walk and slurp down my GU. I'd say it took me about five minutes to get the thing open, gulp it and then chase it with some water. But I picked up running again and in the end it didn't hurt my time too much.

The back four miles were a mental marathon though. It was so hot. The shade was gone by this point. And there were hills. Lots and lots of uphills with very small downhills in between. I did a lot of talking to myself in those last four miles, but I never stopped to walk.

The only negative is that my left knee really started bothering me in the last mile or so. I'm icing it down now though so hopefully that will help.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

8 miles, 1:28:35

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Baltimore 10-miler training

I did my first official Baltimore 10-miler training run last night. I went out for six miles as day one of the plan called for. I felt pretty good throughout. My knee was a little sore at points, and it feels pretty stiff today. I was supposed to head to the track for more intervals today, but I might bag it with my knee acting up. There's no sense getting hurt because I tried to jam in some intervals.

The weather couldn't have been better. That rain I was worried about cleared up about an hour or two before I got out of work and it was sunny with a little breeze in the low 50's. (A bit chilly for May but perfect for my run.)

Now I must got watch the Champions League Final PKs. It's intense!

6 miles, 1:06:17

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baltimore 10-miler

I registered for the race this morning at exactly 10:01. One minute after registration officially opened. (Paranoid about the 2,000 runner limit much?)

The Baltimore 10-miler is a brand new race in the city of Baltimore, which is one of my favorite cities to race in. It starts and ends at the zoo, which I think is kind of cool. And it's put on by Corrigan sports, the same people that do the Baltimore Marathon (bit of nostalgia here for my first big race.)

Because I loved the Baltimore marathon so much, this race seemed like a no-brainer. It also helped the you get a sweet polar fleece instead of a race t-shirt. Niiiice! (You know I love my schwag!)

Also they have race day packet pick up, which rocks because I won't be able to get down there Friday after work to do it the day before.

This means I am officially back in training as of today. Too bad the six mile run I'm going to have to do after work is most likely going to be in the rain. Curses!

The race is only four weeks away so training will be a bit abbreviated, but I'm not too worried. I haven't been that lazy after the half marathon, I've just been haphazard with frequency and distances run.

My plan is to modify Hal Higdon's Intermediate 15K plan. When I have all the kinks worked out, I'll be sure to post the official training schedule.

P.S. If anyone else is thinking of running this race, let me know!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tennis and maybe a race

Update: Apologies for how hurried this post sounds. I'm super busy but wanted to get something up here!

This weekend I did nothing but go to BBQ's and graduation parties in College Park. It was a great weekend, but didn't do too much in the ways of running and accomplishing things work out wise.

Last Thursday I played tennis with a girl I work with. We had a pretty good time. It has been ages since I've played tennis. It was nice to get outside and move around. I had been looking for a new sport to play because soccer ended :o( and tennis sounds about as good as any. I like mixing it up with sports because I run by myself but still like social interaction when I work out.

I'm going to try to squeeze a run in after work tonight, but I've got a work thing at 8 p.m. and need to grocery shop too so I'm not 100 percent sure that will happen.

I may have found a sweet 10-mile race to run. Registration doesn't open until tomorrow though, so I don't want to jinx it because I'm not actually registered yet. If registration goes as planned, I will fill you in on the details.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jess runs more intervals

Last night I headed to the track again last night for some more interval work. It's the first time I'd run since last week when I did intervals because I was super busy over the weekend.

My plan was from my friend Josh, the runner without a blog, who recommended I try 8x400's on 2:00 with 1:30 rest in between. This was a pretty good plan. But I modified it a bit because after the first one I knew 2 minutes was going to be too fast.

So instead I did 1x400 in 2:05 and the other 9x800 in 2:10.

I got really bad shin splints though. I probably should have stopped after interval number five, but I convinced myself I could push through the last three.

Probably not smart. But I did my mile warm up and stretched and then still got the shin splints. I only did a half mile cool down because they were really bothering me by the end.

Overall, it wasn't a bad workout except for the shin splints. And I checked out that calculator many of you recommended. My recommended time was 2:16-2:19, but I was running at 2:10 pretty comfortably so I think I might stick with that for next week.

4.5 miles, between 45 mins and an hour

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Little bit of lifting

I don't really have anything to exciting to say about today's workout, other than it was the first time since the race that I've lifted and that I've worked out in the morning. I get a little lazy when I don't have a race on the schedule. (Not that I haven't been running, just with no real pattern)

So I'm in the market now for a race. I'm eyeing a 5K on Memorial Day, but we'll see how what happens. I don't think you get a race shirt with it, and if that's the case, then I might look for a different one. It's all about the schwag lol.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jess' first interval session

Last night I did my first ever interval workout at the track. I have to give some props to my friend Josh (no blog to link too) for setting me up with the workout.

Josh is another runner who was on his high school track and cross country teams and still runs a bunch in college. But now he's laid up with a broken leg and it's going to be a little while until he can get back to running. In the meantime he's taken to helping me out with my training.

I'm pretty grateful for the help because I didn't know the first thing about doing a track workout. I mean I know the basics. Run a mile warm up, stretch, do some intervals, mile cool down, stretch. I also knew that a mile on the track is four laps. But that was about the extent of my track knowledge.

So Josh and I fiddled with my times and he suggested I try 6-8X600 on a 2:50 to 3 minute interval and recover for 200 meters in 90 seconds.

Here's how things went. I did six of the intervals and finished the first five in the three minutes. The last one I think took me a little longer. My problem was the recovery. Josh suggested I walk the last 200 meters so my legs wouldn't burn out too bad, but I couldn't walk it in 90 seconds. So instead I walked it in 2-2:30 minutes.

I also skipped the mile cool down because I wanted to get home in time for the soccer game. My D.C. United was playing the Chicago Fire on ESPN2. Both United and the Fire are home to a few Maryland soccer alums (see here, here and here) so I was pretty pumped. (Unfortunately DCU lost 2-0. I'll chalk it up to seriously uninspired play and a ton of injuries, including one of my favorite players.

Shame on me for skipping the cool down, but I stretched really well.

My legs felt dead during repeats five and six. It's been a really long time since I pushed myself in my running. Usually I just go out for a run and if I go faster than normal so be it. I've never really made an attempt to work at it. But I think it's something I'm going to try to fit in once a week or so.

Josh's suggestion for next week was to try 8X400 in two minutes, but I forget how much rest he suggested. I'll have to double check that.

4 miles total in intervals, total time somewhere around 45 minutes

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

News from Under Armour

Here's a quick tid-bit about my favorite sports apparel brand.

At a meeting yesterday, Under Armour said it has a prototype for a new running sneaker. I mean this isn't news exactly, I'd read before that some running groups in the Baltimore area were getting to test it out.

What is kind of newsy is that after the very successful launch of its cross-trainer over the weekend, Kevin Plank, a Maryland alum and CEO of Under Armour, said he eventually expects shoes sales to exceed apparel sales.

As a runner who has already found shoes that work for me, I don't really see myself switching brands just because the new shoes bear the UA name unless the shoe is super fabulous and far out performs my Mizunos.

I don't know. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Four Miles

Ok it wasn't really four miles, it was my 3.87 mile loop again. But four miles just makes a better title.

That's what I did yesterday after I got home from work. A nice 3.87 miles with lots of hills. I managed to slow myself down a little bit and this time finished the first mile in 10:30.

My legs were feeling pretty good most of the time I was running, only getting a little sore and tired right at the end, nothing a good stretch couldn't take care of.

It was really super sunny outside yesterday, although it wasn't too hot. I'm still not a huge fan of running in super strong sun, but I didn't have too much of a choice yesterday if I wanted to fit my run in because around 7 I was meeting people for work for drinks to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.

I didn't actually have any drinks, but it was fun to hang out with people from work. Afterward, it was off to a friend's place to watch the Hills and then have long life talks until 1 a.m., which was unfortunate for me because I had to be into work super early this morning.

So needless to say, no gym to lift before work today and probably just going to end up crashing when I get home tonight. Ehhh, it happens.

3.87 miles, 40:12

Friday, May 02, 2008

Two recovery runs

I decided the smart thing for my very sore legs was to give them some time off after the race and then try to get two nice slow runs in toward the end of the week.

Yesterday I planned to go for a nice easy 4 miles when I got home from work. Being the genius that I am, I thought it would be a good idea to do this run in my old sneakers because I thought they might still have some miles left in them. Bad idea, peeps. The pain started about the half mile mark. Shins, knees, hips, ankles. It was fun really it was. But I kept going because hey I'm smart like that.

When I hit the two miles at the 20 minute mark (Apparently I was flying for me!) I had to stop and walk. Unfortunately the two mile point is a half mile walk back home. So I logged 2.45 miles in around a half hour or so.

Today I learned from yesterday's mistake and wore the new shoes. Ahhh it felt so much better.

Again, I planned for a nice easy for miles. But for some reason I couldn't get myself to slow down the entire time I was running. I logged the first mile 9:30. For me that's blistering. I hit mile two around 19 something. I ran for a little bit more before I had to stop and walk in part because my legs were tired and in part because it was really hot outside and I didn't have water with me.

I did mostly walking for the rest of the time with a little bit of running thrown in. I went 3.87 miles in 42:51. That's not bad for walking from basically mile 2.5 on.

I don't know why all of sudden I can't make myself run slow. I was like screaming at my legs to slow down, but they just wouldn't listen. I mean I'm excited that I can go faster, but I'd like to be able to complete a longer run without having to stop and walk after the first two miles.

Thursday: 2.45 miles, 30 minutes
Friday: 3.87 miles, 42:51