Sunday, January 29, 2006


Today's run was incredible.....Dave and I got in the car and drove out to Wissahickon and did just under six miles. Pace was very fast but felt great two of the miles were under 8 min miles. How did that happen? I think my training is starting to pay off. This run felt great and I was shocked by how fast of a pace I was able to keep. Just beat the rain, but I can't complain about the weather. Its the end of January and it will hit 50 degrees today, feels more like April! This warm spell has definetely made getting out to run much easier and enjoyable.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Track Workout

I woke up this morning at 10:30 am, having slept 11 hours last night and feeling like my little cold turned into a train running through my sinuses and head. After some oatmeal, tea, and a healthy dose of OTC cold medicine, I headed out for my scheduled track workout with less than stellar expectations.

I was suprised though, at how much better I felt after getting outside. Such a beautiful sunny day albeit cold and windy, but I was glad to be outside. The plan was originally run down to the Franklin Field track, run 4-6 800m lengths at 5k pace (3:40-3:45) with a slow 400m lap in between.

I ended up doing 1.1 mile warmup, 5-800m lengths with 400m slow lap between of about 3:00, and 1.1 mile warmdown. Here were my splits:
3:36 (several people randomly started cheering me on, hence the faster time)

I felt like I could have done a sixth, but since I am feeling a little under the weather, I stuck with 5.

If I can run all my splits faster than my goal pace on a day when I don't feel so hot, then I think I need to adjust my goal pace for these interval workouts. Perhaps 3:35-3:40 is more realistic, or challenging, depending on how you look at it.

Anyway, this was a great workout today, and I felt really good doing it, even though I haven't done a track workout in awhile. Total milage including my in-between slow laps was about 5.7 miles. Next week I will aim for 6- 800m at a slightly faster goal pace.

Runs over the last week.

Haven't posted much in the last week.

Here were my runs the last week.
Sat 9.25 with the group. Felt great, picked up the pace at the end.
Mon 4.2 before work (night shift) Nice and easy miles.
Wed 4.3 Hills with Dave. This run gets easier every week. Unfortunately, Dave is not in shape for hills and thus spent much of the run cursing at me. I was just glad to have a running buddy though, expletives of not! :)

I am on my way out the door for today's track workout...Haven't done one in awhile. Will post later on that.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Running and women's safety

I just got back from my weekly hill run. ~4.3 miles with a couple of rounds on Lemon Hill. Lemon Hill is pretty deserted even in better weather when more runners are out in general, but today was the first time I ever felt threatened up there running on my own. It really stinks that as a woman I have to constantly be aware of my surroundings, where and when I run. A lot of the time I either run with my running club, and I have sort of made my boyfriend into a runner as he joins me so often for safety (and health) reasons. Today though, I when in the late afternoon and Dave was at work and we have some errands to run later, so it was now or never, and no running partner.

When I got up to Lemon Hill there were two cars up there with some shady characters hanging out. I ran by and continued my run as planned, making note, but just trucking along. On one of my passes of Lemon Hill though, the one car moved out of the place it was parked and actually seemingly started to follow me. When I turned down to head back to Kelly Drive, they took off in another direction. At that point I saw a young couple heading up Lemon Hill so I tagged along and finished my run as planned.

It sucks that I have to feel like the only places I can run have no hills (Kelly Drive and Center City), and that I don't feel safe when I am out trying to be healthy and training hard.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

5 Miler With the group

Ran up to the Art Museum last night to run with PRs. About 3/4 of a mile up there. Laura, who I hadn't seen in awhile was there. Ran with Laura and her crew out to the John Kelly Statue and back with Ryan. 4.4 miles plus the 3/4 for about 5.1 miles total. Pace ended up being 9:20. Not as fast as I had hoped considering that this was supposed to be my fast run. Ryan and I definetely picked up the pace at the end though. Everytime I run with Ryan I find that we tend to push each other in a weird sort of saddistic way. My recent experiences included setting out for a 6 something mile run (originally planned as an 8.4 mile loop) when neither of us had done more than 3 since doing the Marine Corp Marathon, and a Tuesday group run 2 weeks ago where we really pushed the pace down into the 8s.

Still, I can't help but wonder where my mid to low 8 days have gone. I used to come out and run a fast pace being 8:15-8:30, a bit slower than race pace with exception of marathons. I guess I shouldn't get too discouraged though, as I was able to keep that pace as recently as my training for the Marine Corp Marathon this past fall 2005. I think that with time and the better mileage I am putting in compared to last winter, my times will come down.

For a long time I was a proponent of three days per week, but recently I have picked up a modified version of a half-marathon training plan from Her Sports. I am usually not a big fan of woman targeted fitness magazines, as they tend to be a little "soft" and very geared toward weight loss and not really toward fitness or competition. But this magazine is pretty good. I picked up a copy at the expo for MCM, and it has a good mix of novice and advanced advice and focuses mostly on running but also covers triathalons, biking, hiking and other sports.

So in this training plan I do 4 days running per week
1. Hills 45-50 min
2. 40 min easy
3. Long run 6-12 miles depending on the week 2 of these are at race pace
4. Hard day (tempo, intervals, 50 min) depending on the week

And then 1 day of cross-training 45 min

The thing I really like about this 10 week plan is that it consistently includes hills (my addition to the plan) which will help for Caesar Rodney. The original plan also included 5 days per week of running...but I scaled it to 4.

I am on the 3rd week of the plan, and so far so good.

So far this winter has been much more active than last winter, but to be fair, the weather has also been milder. But I will take what I can get.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What I am reading

Sorry for all the posts in one day. I am just excited about this new blog....
On the way home from Mugshots, I stopped at the library for some new reading material. I picked up two books. The first is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. The second is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Both are classics I probably should have read in college but never did. I will probably start with A Clockwork Orange as it is slightly less intimidating.


Yes, I am a 20-something and I knit....What's on my needles right now? Meema's Marsupial Tote from the ever-popular Stitch 'N Bitch. Pics to follow. I picked up this project after I got frustrated with a pair of socks that I ripped out twice because they were too small. The tote knits up quick with two strands of Lambspride Worsted on Size 15 Circular needles. Pictures to follow.

I taught myself to knit about 7 months ago when I had a month off after graduating nursing school. I come from a long line of knitters. My grandmother, mother, sister and aunts all knit, but I am pretty much self taught.

I feel less lazy if I have created something crafty while watching tv....

Running Goals for the Year

So last winter I had a lot of trouble with motivation. I never wanted to run, so I never did. Having goals has always helped me to stay on track, so here are my goals for the year:

1. Run Caesar Rodney Half Marathon in a time under 1:50. My last, and only half was the Philly Distance Run in September in a time of 1:53:34. I realize that this goal may be a bit lofty as it is more than 3 minutes off my best time and on a fairly challenging course. So far setting the bar high has kept me running even in the cold. I have signed up to be part of a women's team with my running group the Philly Runners. You can see more of my race results on this website. Here is a picture at the Race for Clean Air in April 2005.

2. Complete my third marathon. My two previous marathons are Philly in 2004 and Marine Corp Marathon in 2005. I haven't decide which marathon I want to run yet but the options (so far) are Chicago, Nike Women's in San Francisco, Philly, NYC. This is, or course, a goal hinged on staying healthy and injury-free.

3. Complete Broad Street Run # 3 in a PR time.....I am hoping that by staying on top of my training it won't be a struggle to get in shape for this. Running that half in March should help :)

That's it for now. More to follow.

My first posting

Hi my name is Rachel. This whole blogging thing is new to me and this is my first posting. I don't really know what this blog is going to look like, but we will see in time. I hope that this blog will serve many purposes including a place for me to put my poetry, running, reading, and life thoughts. So here goes....