Entries in Minimalist (5)


53F means running outside; Yolanda posts "In the Spotlight with Rick"

Last Saturday, I was at a youth retreat called "Happening" out in Gurnee. It was awesome! But because it is totally indoors, I did not get any runs in over the weekend. So, early Saturday morning before most people were awake, I decided to run around the edges of the large open entrance area between the outer doors and the door to the Sanctuary.

I ran the circumference twice at an easy pace and then at a much faster pace for two more laps. And then I kept doing that for about 10 sets. After the first five sets, I changed direction. By the end, I was all warmed up and feeling energized! I was wearing my house shoes (they have a rubber bottom) and didn't have my sports watch so I have no idea how far I ran or what the actual pacing was. The few people who walked in and witnessed this thought I was a crazy person -- one told me I was addicted to running and needed an intervention. Hahaha!

Today was different. First, it was 53F outside (and VERY windy)! So I just HAD to go for a quick run in the good ole outdoors! Grabbed my HRM, my Instinct shoes, running pants, short-sleeved shirt, and a light running jacket and headed out. It was a great day for running! The wind was pretty strong with gusts in the 20mph range, but that just added to the fun (the wind wasn't cold so no windchill). I ran for 3.3 miles at a 10:30/mm pace, with warm-up and cool-down segments. 40 minutes was all I could spare due to my crazy schedule, but boy did it feel great to just be outside and running with the wind, and the sun, and the fresh air!

This was the first time I ran outside in my Instinct (minimalist) shoes. I have to say that they felt really fine on my feet. The occasional tree branch, uneven pavement, slanted curbs, and grassy patches did not cause any awkwardness or discomfort. I was thoroughly enjoying the shoes. And when the run was over, my feet felt really good -- like I hadn't even been running. Score more points for the Instincts!

I am "In the Spotlight"

I had a pleasant surprise this afternoon! Back in January, an AMAZING person named Yolanda Holder asked me if I would share my journey with the readers of her blog "The Road to Guinness". In 2010, Yolanda became a Guinness record holder for the "Most Marathons Run in a Calendar Year" by a woman. 106 Marathons!!!! Isn't that just fantastic???! I think so! That is a feat that I just cannot even put my mind around, and yet she did it with style, humility, and grace.

So when she asked me if I would share my story, I wasn't even sure my story was worthy of being on the same web site as her own. But Yolanda insisted that her readers would find it encouraging and inspirational. So I put something together, along with several photos she requested, and sent it off.

I didn't really know when she was going to post it on her site as an "In the Spotlight" segment. So I was surprised and delighted to see it appear on her site this afternoon! If you want to read it, just click here.

For those of you who have been following my blog, you pretty much know my beginnings and goals for the future. I hope that having my story posted on Yolanda's awesome blog will inspire others to take that first step to a healthier and more active lifestyle.


A new Training Run PR! And a new Half goes on the calendar

Well, all the weather forecasters have been calling for this 6-inch snowstorm to hit Chicagoland (and particularly the county I live in).  When it started sprinkling at 4pm at the office, I decided to leave before the roads became congested and turn a 1-hour commute into a 3+ hour one (the longest snow commute for me has been 4 hours).

So as I am driving home, I call my running partner (my car has built-in 'handsfree calling' which is legal here in Illinois) to talk about races and to see if he might want to hit the gym tonight.  I mean hey, it is going to be snowing so what better use of our time than getting in a few miles!  He considered it but eventually learned his family had other ideas.  Oh well, see ya on Saturday for our long run, Mike. :)

He and I did agree to add another race to our schedule.  Mike and I are going to run the North Shore Half Marathon on June 10th which is organized by Ram Racing (who held the Turkey Trot 5K race I ran last November).  Mike had run it before and said it was a good race.  And the swag is pretty nice.  Half Marathon finishers get a nice medal, and all runners get a cool Track Jacket 'goodie'.  And, they host a post-race breakfast of pancakes, french toast, sausages, and bananas (similar to the Turkey Trot last year).  So I am excited!  That makes 6 Half Marathons for me this year.  (I will likely add two more by year-end and get promoted to a Two Moon Half Fanatic.  We'll see.)

So I go to the gym, get dressed in my running gear, put on my Instinct shoes, and head for the Treadmill.  I decided that tonight I was going to do a 'race pace' run instead of my usual Thursday easy run.  I want to see where I stand in terms of my 5K pace.  I have a 5K race on March 24th and I really want to PR that race.  So it's a month away and I want to see if I am in a good place fitness-wise to accomplish that goal.  And, quite frankly, I wanted to really test these shoes to see how they feel at my 5K pace.

So, I did my 5 minute warm-up walk at 3.5mph and then I was "off to the races."  I set the Treadmill to a 9:30/mm pace (6.3mph) and a 1% incline, clicked the Lap button on my Polar watch, and the trial began!  I ran really comfortably for the first two miles and then my brain started telling me I was getting tired (I really hate negative self-talk. Gotta work on that).  So I worked on focusing on my breathing and my form, and responding with "GRRRRRR!!!! I am fine".  (I think part of it was that I forgot my water bottle and after two miles, my mouth was getting dry.  I could've used a quick drink.)

But I kept running.  And found that I still had plenty of leg left.  In fact, for the last .20 miles I bumped up the pace to 9:00/mm just to see what that would feel like.  Oh I noticed the difference!  But I finished the 5K distance, and then did a 5-minute cool-down at 3.5mph before calling the run complete.

The results?  Well, the entire workout went for 3.80 miles in 40:10.  But the cool thing was that I beat my last 5K PR by three seconds, finishing the 5K segment in 29:27! Granted, it is only a training PR.  But still, it told me what I needed to know -- that I definitely have a chance at PRing my upcoming 5K race, AND, that I have enough in me to run it at a pace faster than 9:30/mm.  I am very encouraged!  AND, I ran it with my minimalist shoes with no discomfort either during or after the run.  I like these shoes. :)

So now, I will focus my interval trainings between now and March 24th towards becoming comfortable with a 9:00/mm pace.  And, I am thinking of running the 5K race in the Instincts rather than my Sauconys.

I am at 15.7 miles for the week so far, with a planned 8-9 mile Long Run scheduled for Saturday.  This will be a good mileage week for sure.  I really felt like a runner tonight.  It was great!