ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
We had a great trip on the White Rim, and even though I wasn't in awesome cycling shape I managed to make it up the Shafer Trail without walking (though not without stopping to breathe. Other climbs I did have to walk a bit, particularly Murphy's). I didn't take photos, but if you haven't heard of/seen this epic trip you can look at my write-up from last year, which has links to two previous trips as well. Despite it being awfully late in the spring season, we had decent weather, not too hot. We did have some mechanical failures - one bike (not mine) and one support truck - so three of our group of ten ended up driving all the way out and heading home on day 3 (of 4).

As I was hoping, this trip jump-started my fitness somewhat, and I'm trying to keep it up. To that end I (gulp) signed up for a half marathon, the Thirsty Thirteen, which I ran in 1:44:53 in 2015 as my "comeback race" after recovery from a herniated disc. I half-assed the training, by which I mean I went on a month+ roadtrip vacation just before the race during which I ran twice (but hiked a lot), and the only reason I ran that well (relatively speaking) is that the race is net downhill (though there are some steep uphills). I'm just hoping to train a bit better, and beat that time this year.

My plan is to push my running from 4x/week to 5x/week, and bike 2x/week. I hate to admit it, but my running seems to improve more when I'm biking, perhaps because it is additional aerobic exercise without the impact (except when I fall!). I should probably lift weights, too, but that's so boring. I'm hoping we get in some backpacking as well. I'm still about 5 pounds over my preferred weight, and I'd sure like to drop that - but I hate dieting more than I hate being a little heavy!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
It is March! And just as this is the month when winter turns the corner and heads toward spring, I feel as though my fitness is, finally, doing the same. (And what's funny is that I just noticed I used almost the same phrasing in my first post in January, talking about starting over with the new year! Me and calendar metaphors...)

To recap a little: )

In November, I ran 17.6 miles. In December I basically didn't run at all. In January, as I was (in the words of my previous post) "preparing to begin to start from scratch," I ran 65 slow miles. In February, I ran 84 slightly less-slow miles. I am hopeful (see me knocking on this wood, here? Knock! Knock! Knockity Knock!) that in March I will finally get back above 100 miles!

I'm still a lot slower than I used to be, but it's been really interesting watching my pace vs heart rate improve. My easy pace heart rate is around 128-140 bpm; my average for a run is usually right around 136. Back in September and October, before I was injured, I'd run my easy runs at a pace between around 8:55-9:35/mile. In January, when I started running again, to keep my HR at the right level I had to run at around 10:30-11 minute pace - though running felt hard enough physically that I often ran even slower.

By the third week of February (a bit more than a week after the injection) I had my first run in which I averaged under 10 minute miles (a blazing 9:53 pace!) The next week most of my runs were 10 minute pace or under, and the next week - well, that's this week. And so far I've kept up the trend! \o/ Monday's run was the fastest yet at 9:42 pace (though the run included a half-dozen strides - short accelerations - which make the overall pace faster). Today was a slower but still sub-10 pace. And you know, I look at 9:53@133 today and compare it to 9:53@136 two weeks ago and it looks like improvement.

I've also been watching my weight come down; very very slowly, but it's coming down. I weighed around 115 in October, not the lowest I've been recently but a weight I'm happy with. Once I stopped running, it climbed, and I stopped weighing myself in mid-December because numbers above 120 depressed me.

The weight goes up, the weight goes down - at least, it's starting to! )

In less than three weeks I've got my first race of the year, the Canyonlands 5-miler that is concurrent with the half marathon I usually run. I don't expect I'll be very fast, but as most of the fast people run the half, I am likely to get a medal for top-3 AG, and possibly even win it. Then, in just under seven weeks: the Boston Marathon. I'd pretty much resigned myself to spectating, but I have a few friends who are injured and planning to run/walk at an easy pace, and I'm thinking that might be doable. I started my distance running with run/walk, and I know that this technique can be used to extend endurance and run farther with low injury risk. This past Saturday I ran (and walked) 10 miles, even though my longest run up to now has been 6.3, and felt fine. So I'm going to try to ramp up my long run with walk breaks, and see how things go.


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

April 2019

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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