Category Archives: Nike+

Long-run Sunday!

My favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, I measured out an 8 mile route in the car, and figured I’d do something between 7 and 8 miles. With the last 1.5 miles of the first half being uphill, it ended up at 7.5. I brought along a Nutri-Grain bar, and it really helped–today’sย  7.5 miles were faster than than the 7 miles on Tuesday! AND I resisted having a frozen pizza afterward. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s success in my book.

beginner half marathon week 4

As a result of the messed-up long run schedule, I ran 3 times this week instead of 4, and still ended up with over 19 miles. Next Saturday is my first 5K, and possibly 4-5 miles the next day, so it’ll be two weeks before the next long run Sunday. (I’m sure the race t-shirt will make up for it.)

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Filed under 31560158, Half Marathon, Nike+


Oh, how I love Friday. Today is particularly lovely because 1) it’s a much-needed rest day, 2) I have precisely ONE MONTH left of work (four weeks from today–>big celebration), and 3) I just bought my ticket to Colombia! Five weeks from Tuesday, I’m off–nothing I love more than a new country, and this will be my 34th.

Yesterday, I did 4 miles, which were all right. Once again, I was surprised at how much food impacts my runs. I remembered to time my meals yesterday so that I’d run about 1.5 hours after lunch, which seems to work well. Naturally, I was delayed, forgot to have a little snack before the run, and wasn’t as energetic.ย  Oatmeal or something small and carb-y before a run makes a big difference. Note for next time, I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the run graph–I wonder if I should pause the Nike+ during walk breaks?ย  Someday, I’d like to run a sub-10 minute mile.

half marathon week 4

Have a GORgeous weekend!


Filed under Half Marathon, Nike+

Nike+, you’ve done me wrong

As you know, I adore long-run Sunday. Today was particularly exciting because it was to be the first time I’ve gone six consecutive miles–I’ve been excited all week. So this afternoon, hydrated and fortified with oatmeal, I headed out into the cold desert to find a new route. Down a dirt road I drove, through one of those trailer settlements that are so common in the remote parts of the West, past scads of cows, until I reached a nice turnaround point.

It was a glorious run. I had the nicely rolling road to myself, and didn’t stop once to walk. When the Nike+ called out the halfway point, I turned around, terrorized a few cows as I ran behind them for a mile, and reached the car without even a hint of exhaustion.

Suspicious. Then, when good old Nike+ informed me that I’d just run 6 miles at 8:19 per mile, I knew something was up. Sure enough, when I measured the distance in the car, it came out to about 4.7 miles.

I’m so, so disappointed. This was going to be a big milestone, and the worst part is that I could have easily kept going for that extra 1.3 miles. The culprit? Recalibrating the stupid thing on a track on Friday, running with a longer stride than normal. boooo So, I’m going to count today as Tuesday’s run and move the long run to Tuesday.

Here’s the run graph, which I can’t change on the Nike site. I didn’t go 6.27 miles, and I didn’t burn 801 calories.

half marathon training long run

And here’s the week, with the aborted, dead-legs attempt on Wednesday:

higdon half marathon week 3


Filed under 31560158, Half Marathon, Nike+

Running makes me hungry

I have to laugh when people say things like, “I run so I can eat pizza,” because oh, how I get it. If I didn’t have 35 pounds to lose, I’d be all over that. ๐Ÿ™‚ But for now, healthy it is. And because I am only down .5lbs from last week (booooo)–and because those blank spots on the Nike+ weekly graph are maddening–I’m going to try to do something physical every day. This is particularly important because my job means sitting on my ass, all day long.

I took advantage of the lovely day and went for a walk, which Nike+ seems to think was a run, because 492 calories seems like an unreasonable burn for a leisurely 4 mile walk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Interestingly enough, my pace varies more when walking than it does when running:

Half marathon training walk

Hunger is definitely becoming an issue, though. The day is fine but come nightfall, I’m starving…and craving the junkiest of junk food. What foods do you eat to fuel your runs without piling on empty calories?


Filed under Nike+, Weight Loss

Half-marathon training: week 2 recap

Happy Valentine’s Day! Aside from the endless romantic comedies on TV (no complaining here–I love a good chick flick), it’s passed without incident or interest. For the past several years, I’ve been out of the country on Feb. 14. There’s not much of a market for pink and red cards in Nepal or Nicaragua, so Vday hasn’t really been a part of my life for three or four years. ๐Ÿ™‚

Regardless, I found myself eating ice cream for breakfast. (I bought it last night and was giggling in the store because it looked like preparations for the stereotypical single-girl Valentine’s pity-fest. Not my style a’tall.) I followed the breakfast ice cream with breakfast Oreos.

I’m not beating myself up, though, because Sunday is long-run day! I really, really look forward to long runs because I adore the idea of breaking personal distance records…and at this stage, every new mile is a personal record. It’s a celebration every week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s week 2 of the Higdon half-marathon training plan (click to enlarge):

Higdon Half Marathon Training week 2

I couldn’t bear to do just 4 miles today, especially because I did 5 two weeks ago. (PS, the chart above starts on Monday.) So, this was my week according to Nike+:
half marathon week 2

You might note that today has over 8 miles. No, I didn’t run 8 miles. I did 5.55 according to the Nike+, and then worried that the distance might be off, so I did another .5 on the walk home from the endpoint. And because the desert back roads of this town are still unfamiliar, I took the wrong road and walked two extra miles.

This was my run–it was an amazing route, but almost all a gentle downhill out of the mountains, which is killer for the quads–with a big dip for a shoe-tying stop and a walk a bit later:

half marathon week 2 long run

And then this is the walk from the run, with a .5 mile bit of jogging near the beginning:

Higdon half marathon training

So according to Nike+, I burned 1061 calories today–ice cream forgotten. And what a great run! And in week 3, the T/Th runs extend to 3.5 miles each, which I’m really looking forward to (To close this post and the day, I’ll leave you with two pictures from my run. Have an amazing evening and a beautiful Monday!

Half marathon training run

Beginning runner half marathon training run


Filed under Half Marathon, Nike+, Weight Loss

5 things this runner is grateful for

1. A great run on a bad day. This evening, I was exhausted and crabby, work was frustrating, my shoulders were tight, the couch was comfortable, the TV was good, and Friday couldn’t come soon enough. After much procrastinating, I reluctantly headed out the door only to have the most amazing, effortless (and fastest!) run of my short running career. Not only did I not take a single walk break for the first time in my time at high(er) altitude (about 5000 ft, a big deal when you’re coming from sea level), but I barely noticed my legs because of…

2. NPR’s “This American Life.” Oh, how I love NPR. I love the soothing voices and the way they calm my road rage. And, as it turns out, I love it for running as well. Although I usually listen to running podcasts, I made a last-minute decision to pull up the latest This American Life and was well rewarded. Instead of focusing on my legs and lungs, I was immersed in the story–and disappointed to stop running because it meant I couldn’t finish it till my next run. Because that’s the functionality of the…

3. Nike+. This little gadget is such a great motivational tool (and for $29, well worth it). Although it occasionally needs recalibration, it’s just fantastic. I love the 5K setting because it has a little voice that chimes in every kilometer to let me know how far I’ve gone. Plus, I was oh-so-pleased to upload the run and see that my average pace was just over 9 minutes per mile, with a bizarre 7:19 burst near the end. Which means that Lance Armstrong’s voice came on to tell me that I’d just run my personal best. ๐Ÿ™‚ And to think, I wouldn’t have gone for a run if it hadn’t been for…

4. My mom. I’m visiting my family for a month between crazy travel adventures, and she’s been great about getting me out the door when I don’t want to. She knows how to push me in a way that gets my hackles up just enough to goad me into running. And she does it when I’m making excuses, because she knows how important running is to me.

5. And finally, the post-run shower.
Especially when it’s extra-hot and extra-long. Add in a few stretches and it’s perfect. Is there anything more relaxing?

Oh, and one extra–tomorrow is Friday!!


Filed under Half Marathon, Nike+

Listen to Your Body!

A week ago, I bought a Nike+. If you’re not familiar with it, this little device uses a transmitter in your shoe to communicate to an iPod receiver the distance, pace, time, and calories burned for each run. Now, if you’re a gadget-hound like me, this is the perfect motivation. It records your run data and uploads it to the Nike+ website when you sync with iTunes, so you get a little home page where you can track runs, set goals, and participate in challenges.

The trouble is, the thing is so cool that it makes me want to run more just so I can see a taller bar on my bar graph of runs. During the first week with the Nike+, I ran 17 miles–significantly more than my previous week’s mileage, which hovered somewhere around 8 miles. It was just so exciting to see the miles add up and realize that I’m a lot stronger than I thought. One four mile run means I can do another the next day, right?

I survived that week, but this past weekend, I ran my first 5-mile long run, followed by a 2-mile walk/run with a friend. If I’d stopped at the 5 miles, there would be no issue. But I didn’t, and as a result of the 7 miles, have been dealing with an aching body ever since. Combine that with less sleep due to a crazy work schedule, and you’ve got the recipe for misery.

My hips ache, my right knee has a twinge, and the little tendons running from the outside of my ankle to the muscles on the outer right part of my calves are killing me. After much internet research, I discovered this post about stretching the peroneals, and it isolated the pain, all right. Ouch! I’ll be adding that to my regular post-run stretching routine. Since Mondays were listed as “Strength and Stretch,” I did some arm/ab moves and the Yogatic Yoga for Runners, and Yoga for Hips videos.

So much of my information about running comes from the internet, for better or for worse. Should I run through soreness? Google will know! After reading many, many message boards that said it is okay to run through mild to medium soreness, I set out for my Tuesday 3-mile run.

Turns out, I should have listened to my aching, exhausted body and stayed home. Today’s run was listed as 2-mile run or cross-train, and I opted to stay home with Jillian Michaels’ 30-day Shred (level 1) to get in some strength training moves and give my running muscles a break.

Lesson? Your body will tell you if you’re overdoing it. The hard part is giving it what it needs! Tomorrow is a 3 miler + strength…here’s hoping my legs are back up to full capacity.

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Filed under Half Marathon, Injuries, Nike+