Thursday, January 28, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Tip of the Week: Runners sometimes find it difficult doing the long runs, particularly on hot days. One secret is to stop frequently to walk, even if not forced to do so. Walk, grab something to drink, then resume running again. It will make the miles seem much easier plus you'll train yourself to go from running to walking to running during the race. Drinking is important too."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 1 Program, Week 5.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday


or This?

It's nice to add a fresh, pleasant aroma to any room in the house, and there are several options to do this.  The plug-in uses electricity, the generation of which adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.  The plug-in unit is based on a disposable scent bottle that must be replaced regularly. 

The reed diffuser works very well, the scent lasts a long time, and the components are used over and over.  After a quick web search, I found that there are scented oil recipes available online that help the DIY'er to make diffuser refill scent at home!  Most home-made substitutes for common commercial products can be made more economically, and ingredients may be purchased in bulk, which reduces product packaging. 

I cringe at the thought of the word "disposable!" So many products are disposable, or dependent on a disposable component. Advertising makes it sound so easy. Just use it and throw it away! Well, there is no such place as "away." Everything has to go somewhere. That "somewhere" is usually a landfill that is filling up with wasted resources!

Consider ways to eliminate items that use unnecessary electricity!  Consider ways to eliminate as many "disposable" products from your life as possible!

Think Green and live Green!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Every moment of life is precious and magical. We experience this not by striving to be happy, but by focusing, in a relaxed way, on the present moment. Most unhappiness comes from regrets about the past or worries about the future, both of which are greatly diminished by gently focusing on the present moment."

(from Yoga Demystified - The Wonder of Being Alive,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Tip of the Week: If you are training through the summer, one way to avoid hot weather is to run early in the morning. The days are longer. Use these extra hours of daylight to get out before the sun rises too high. Temperatures are cooler, the air cleaner and the scenery prettier in the hours around dawn. If work schedules force you to run midday, be sure to wear a cap to protect against the sun--and drink plenty of water! If you are training through the winter, midday may be the best time for you to run."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 1 Program, Week 4.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

                          This?......................... or this?

                           This?.......................... or this?

(Click on photos to enlarge.)
More and more people are getting into paper recycling.  That's great!  There is also a growing awareness that, even if all paper is recycled (which it isn't), reducing unnecessary use of paper is environmentally beneficial.  Reducing use reduces demand, which reduces consumption of resources, energy use, and pollution that result from the production and distribution chain.  Many people are using paper twice before recycling! Doing this could greatly reduce paper use, proportionally reducing the environmental effects.
The photos above illustrate what I've been doing in my office.  Instead of using post-it notes and pads, I use the back sides of printed pages, making homemade "pads" of two sizes by cutting the 8 1/2" x 11" sheets into quarters or eighths, and keeping together with a binder clip. If a note just has to stick to something, a very small peice of tape works well.

As an alternative to consuming new resources, consider ways to use existing resources a second time! 
Then recycle!
Think Green; Live Green!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marathon Training Program: Weeks 1 - 3

I began my marathon training program on 28 December, 2009, 18 weeks from my scheduled race, The Gusher Marathon, in Beaumont, Texas, May 1, 2010.  I've been using Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 marathon training program, and set it up on a Google calendar, embedded in this blog. (See the "Marathon Training Calendar" post from 9 December). 

The program consists of 5 running days per week.  The structure is: easy cross-training (no running) on Monday, a short run Tuesday, a medium-distance run Wednesday, and another short run Thursday.  Friday is a rest day to prepare for a medium-distance Saturday run, followed by a long Sunday run.  So the cycle is short-medium-short-rest-medium-long-easy.  That alternates the stresses up and down, and brackets the back-to-back medium and long with rest and easy.  The structure makes a lot of sense.  The mileage builds from an early weekly low of 22 miles to a weekly peak of 44 miles.  The weekly mileage increase follows a cycle, also.  In each three-week period, two consecutive weeks increase mileage, and the third week steps back a little to provide a little recovery before the next push upward.  Mileage tapers off in the last 3 weeks to allow recovery from the training.  The process will culminate with the marathon race at the end of the 18th week.

At the end of three weeks, my training has stayed on track.  I've had two weeks of increasing miles, and last week was the first stepback week.  Next week adds 7 miles.  So far, I've missed one 3-mile run on one occasion to give a sore knee an extra day of rest, but have also added an extra mile here and there when I was really feeling good.  So far, so good--  3 down, 15 to go!

In the future, I'll blog less about individual run details, and instead post more of a summary (like this post).  If you want to look at the plan, it's in the calendar in the footer below all of the posts on this page.  If you click on the title of a daily run, the full description of that day's plan will pop up.  A second click will minimize it.  I've recently started using to log workouts, so if you want to see individual workouts, click  the dailymile widget on my sidebar.

Quote of the Week

More than enough is too much.

(from Tai Chi Heartwork,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Tip of the Week: Be flexible with your training, particularly while traveling. Don't be afraid to modify workouts occasionally when it seems appropriate. The general pattern of the program--the steady buildup--is more important than what you do on any one day. Don't get so hung up on your training schedule that you are unwilling to make adjustments when an opportunity for an interesting run develops."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 1 Program, Week 3.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Tip of the Week: Easy days are as important in your training plan as hard days. You won't get the full benefits of the progressive long-run buildup on the weekends, unless you rest before and after. Resting on Fridays and Mondays allows you to run harder on Saturdays and Sundays, when you will have more time for your workouts. The marathon is 17 weeks away, but your success depends on the steady base that you are building now."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 1 Program, Week 2.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Try living No Impact for a week

Try living No Impact for a week!

Check out the links in this post!  The No Impact Project is signing up participants for another No Impact Experiment, a "one-week carbon cleanse."  It will begin on 10 January, 2010.

I read about the first one in October, and was intrigued.  I signed up for the second one in November, and found the process to be enlightening.  Even though I already participated in many Green activities, I found that simply focusing on the program for a week and trying new suggestions described in the How-To Manual heightened my awareness of additional waste that could easily be eliminated from my life.

Most participants won't be able to use every suggestion.  I wasn't able to.  But the value of the exercise is that it enables us to discover that there are additional things that each one of us can do to reduce our impact on the Earth.  Was I able to live zero-impact for a week?  No.  However, the process did help me learn how to further lower my impact in certain areas.

"No impact" is probably not doable for the vast majority of people, but "low impact" probably is.  And the collective effect of many people lowering their impact would be powerful.

Why not give it a try?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Running: December 22 - 31

I'm a little behind catching up on the blog.  I began last week running fairly well, knee feeling stronger, and getting some distance and pace back. On the 26th, a twinge in the knee returned, which got a little worse as the week progressed.  I began my planned marathon training schedule on the 28th with a light cross-training day, which provided a little recovery time, and ran again on the 29th and 30th.  I decided to take an unscheduled rest day on the 31st to add to the scheduled January 1 rest day.  I'll try to get back on schedule on January 2nd.
  • Wednesday, December 30 - 3.0 miles, 28:59, 9.66 pace.
  • Tuesday, December 29 - 5.0 miles, 50:25, 10.08 pace.
  • Monday, December 28 - Began Marathon Training Schedule: Light cross-training.
  • Sunday, December 27 - 4.0 miles, 40:06, 10.03 pace.
  • Saturday, December 26 - 4.0 miles, 37:38, 9.41 pace.
  • Friday, December 25 - 2.0 miles, 19:42, 9.85 pace.
  • Thursday, December 24 - 4.0 miles, 38:08, 9.53 pace.
  • Wednesday, December 23 - 6.0 miles, 58:55, 9.82 pace.
  • Tuesday, December 22 - 4.0 miles, 39:52, 9.97 pace.