Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

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

One more simple disposable vs. reuseable choice.

Using paper plates results in consumption of resources and generation of greenhouse gases throughout the production, distribution and waste chains, and paper goes into a landfill after a single use.

The ceramic plate may be used over and over for an entire lifetime.

Is it worth the waste of resources and the impact on clean air to avoid washing a few extra plates?

Please consider the impact of all "disposable" products!

Think Green and Live Green!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quote of the Week

"If you're starting out or trying to get to the next level, surround yourself with people who keep you motivated and energized - people who inspire you to achieve your best every day. When you do this, you can't lose."

Anthony Famiglietti, two-time Olympian in the steeplechase and two-time national 5-K champion

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marathon Training Program: Week 13

(Graphic from my page at  Mileage in the graphic is a little higher than below, because it includes bicycling miles.)

Week 13 was essentially a repeat of Week 11 mileage, the peak mileage of the schedule, following a reduced mileage recovery week.  Midweek: 5 miles Tuesday, 10 miles Wednesday, and 5 miles Thursday.  After a rest day Friday, weekend mileage: 10 mile pace run Saturday, and a 20 mile long run Sunday.  Total miles: 50.

The distances of the midweek runs have become routine, but the peak weekend miles continue to be extremely challenging. The Sunday 20 miler was gruelling, run while still fatigued from Saturday's 10.

I thought the second 20 miler was supposed to be easier than the first, but it wasn't. Unlike my first 20 miler, I ran today with no walk breaks, and finished 5 1/2 minutes quicker than the 20 two weeks ago. My legs really started screaming after about 16, and the last two miles were absolutely painful. However, I felt great afterward; the pains from the stress abated as soon as I stopped running, leaving a pleasant deep burn.   I saw a lot of runners out this morning, some alone, and a lot in groups of 3 or 4. I crossed paths with a group of 3 for a couple of minutes before they turned off, and found they are also running The Gusher May 1. One of them told me she was the race director, and was helping the other two ladies train for the 5K. They asked which distance I was doing, I told them the "full." We exchanged encouragements and continued in different directions.

Next week is another welcome recovery week, total miles: 34.

13 weeks down, 5 to go!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Rest: Despite my listing it at the end, rest is an important component of this or any training program. Scientists will tell you that it is during the rest period (the 24 to 72 hours between hard bouts of exercise) that the muscles actually regenerate and get stronger. Coaches also will tell you that you can't run hard unless you are well rested. And it is hard running (such as the long runs) that allows you to improve. If you're constantly fatigued, you will fail to reach your potential."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate Training Programs,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quote of the Week

"For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I'm more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics."

Lorraine Moller, Olympic marathon bronze-medalist

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marathon Training Program: Week 12

This week was a recovery week.  Total miles were reduced from 50 miles to 34, and the weekly long run reduced from 20 miles to 12. 

Tuesday's run was a little slow and sluggish; I still felt fatigued from Sunday's 20.  Wednesday's run felt pretty normal, and by Thursday, my legs felt the effect of fewer weekly miles.  Thursday's and Saturday's runs were both a little quicker than my typical training pace and Sunday's 12 mile run averaged 9:40 pace, my quickest ever for 12 miles.

Next week's schedule returns to 50 miles, with back-to-back 10 and 20 milers on Saturday and Sunday.

12 weeks down, 6 to go!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"There is no such thing as 'bad food,' only bad choices. There's even a place for burgers, fries and shakes in your diet. You just need to balance everything you eat. If you eat a well-balanced diet, that includes ample fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, you can avoid expensive supplements. Tape these words to your refrigerator: Eat a wide variety of lightly processed foods."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 2 Program, Week 12.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

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

Here's another simple disposable vs. reuseable choice.

Stryrofoam, or polystyrene foam, is produced from oil.  Oil is an irreplaceable resource with limited supply.  Unnecessary products that are made from oil raise worldwide fuel prices for everyone by increasing demand for oil.  Unnecessary use of oil also enriches ruthless dictators, some of whom support terrorists.

Each year, Americans throw away 25 trillion Styrofoam cups! Polystyrene foam is not easily recyclable because few recycling sites accept it.  Because polystyrene foam's weight per volume is low, transportation costs often make recycling prohibitive.  Even if it all could be recycled, it can't be made into new Styrofoam, so recycling doesn't reduce demand for new foam.  One Styrofoam cup takes 500 years to decompose!

It is so easy just to use a glass or ceramic mug for cold beverages, coffee or tea.  Many consumers will no longer purchase beverages from establishments that serve in foam cups.  In another developing trend, many restaurant diners are bringing their own reuseable containers for leftovers instead of requesting foam containers to take home.

I don't keep foam containers in my household.  I do keep a drinking glass and ceramic mug in my office to avoid using the foam cups in my workplace's coffee area and lunchroom.

Please consider whether you really need foam products in your life.  Eliminating these products is an excellent way to make a difference for the Earth!

Think Green and Live Green!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quote of the Week

"You will be able to run tirelessly
if you follow this simple rule:
run within your breath ,
do not run ahead of your breath."
Fred Rohe, The Zen of Running

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marathon Training Program: Week 11

(Graphic from my page at

Week 11 was the most challenging week so far, 50 miles total. Each day's run increased by 1 mile, and the week was capped by a 10-miler Saturday followed by a 20-miler Sunday.  Sunday's run was a new PR distance; passing the 19-miler from the previous week.  This week also saw a weekly distance PR, again passing the mileage from the previous week.

Sunday's 20-miler was a tough run, unexpectedly so, since last week's 19 didn't seem that difficult. However, last week was the first increasing week after a recovery week, so I guess I was a little fresher. Today, my legs started screaming at about mile 15. At mile 15, it was as if my legs knew they had run as far as they had last week, and tried to tell me that they weren't going any farther. So the last 5 miles were all about the mental battle. That is actually a good thing. It should be good preparation for the similar battle in the last miles of the marathon.

Next week is a very welcome recovery week.  The 10-milers drop to 6, and the 20-miler drops to 12.  Total miles: 34.  After that, the following week goes back to 50 miles total with 10 and 20 mile runs again.

11 Weeks down, 7 to go!   

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Occasional racing may be important for marathon success. Particularly this is true for Novice runners who have raced infrequently--or not at all--before catching the Marathon Bug. One reason for racing is to test your fitness: to get an idea of how fast a pace you will be able to carry in the marathon. Another is to test all your strategies from the shoes you'll wear to grabbing fluids at water stations. Leave nothing to chance. Too much racing, however, can lead to overtraining, so don't overdo it."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 2 Program, Week 11.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

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

Here's another disposable vs. reuseable choice.

Paper cups come from a "renewable resource." However, the production and the distribution chains for paper products expend irreplaceable fossil fuel and create greenhouse gases and other pollutants. They also add a lot of volume to landfills, and are slow to decompose. The point is that all disposable products turn resources into garbage after a single use, wasting fuel and generating pollution in the process!

A glass is used over and over, and can be recycled at the end of its life, making new glass products. 

I no longer use paper cups in the bathroom or elsewhere.  Instead I use a glass. Some green choices may result in an inconvenience or require a sacrifice.  This choice only requires washing the glass as needed.  Simple and easy!

This post talks about paper cups.  At this time, I won't even get started on foam!  Maybe next week!

Consider ways to eliminate "disposable" products from your life!

Think Green and live Green!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quote of the Week

"I do my best thinking when I'm running. I don't know why that is - everything seems to flow so easily. It's almost a spiritual thing for me."

Apolo Ohno, Olympic Speed Skater

Marathon Training Program: Week 10

This was a challenging week of training, 45 miles total.  The week contained rest days Monday and Friday, 4-mile runs Tuesday and Thursday, 9-mile runs Wednesday and Saturday, and a 19-mile run Sunday.   Sunday morning's 19-mile run turned out to be a breakthrough run. 

Sunday's run was a new PR distance; my longest previous run was 18.2 miles in October, 2009 so I expected it to follow the typical pattern and be really difficult toward the end.  However, a somewhat unexpected result occurred.  I kept expecting it to get really difficult toward the end, and it never happened! Sure, the little expected aches came as the miles rolled into the teens, and the pains at the end of the run approached expected levels.  But the fatigue factor I expect beyond 15 or 16 miles just never came.  In addition, the physical effects after the run were much less than I normally expect.  I've been accustomed to feeling significant deep muscle soreness in calves, hamstrings and glutes after my long runs, soreness that lasts for a day or two.  After this run, I had minor soreness for several hours after the run, and the soreness was almost completely absent by late Sunday afternoon.

These results are a tribute to the effectiveness of a great training program.  I'm using the Intermediate 2 schedule from Hal Higdon's Training Guide.  It is such a well-designed program!  Each week, the schedule alternates short and long runs with strategically placed recovery days.  Through the first 12 weeks, weekly miles increase two consecutive weeks, then step back for one week before increasing again.  The program makes steady gains by pushing the body just short of its limits, and backing off to provide needed recovery just when it's needed.

The schedule's peak distance is scheduled in the coming week, adding 1 mile to each day's run, 5-10-5 on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, and 10-20 on Saturday-Sunday, for a total of 50 miles.

10 weeks down, 8 to go! 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Training Tip Thursday

"Practice makes perfect. Practice not only running, but everything else related to race day. That includes equipment. Do you know what shoes you'll wear on race day? Buy a new pair now! How about shorts and singlet? Test your clothing in training to make sure nothing chafes or causes a blister. Do you expect hot or cold weather race day? Weather can be unpredictable. Will you be prepared if the temperature suddenly drops (or rises) 30 degrees on race day? Consider every scenario you might encounter."

From Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide, Intermediate 2 Program, Week 10.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday: Great American Cleanup, March 1 - May 31

Instead of the typical Green Choices Wednesday feature, I'll advertise the 2010 Great American Cleanup. 

The "Dont Mess with Texas Trash-Off" is scheduled for April 10, 2010. 

You don't live in Texas?  This is just one part of the annual Great American Cleanup; there are similar community cleanup events  scheduled in your state in March, April and May.

The following  is a release from the Keep Texas Beautiful website:

"The 2010 Don't Mess with Texas Trash-off will be held Saturday, April 10.

The Don't Mess with Texas Trash-Off is the single largest one day cleanup event in the state and serves as Texas’ signature event for the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program, held annually from March 1 through May 31.

In 2009, more than 72,000 volunteers picked up 8 million pounds of litter to help keep our state beautiful.

The Don't Mess with Texas Trash-Off is part of the partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation. Participants can receive trash bags, volunteer giveaways, promotional items, and more."

Last year on this day, I picked up litter in city parks.  Our participation sends a message to Texans everywhere that the smallest efforts really do make the biggest difference. Take pride in the fact that you were part of making our great state beautiful! Join in on this event and help make a difference!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Runners are no longer content with fitness but are seeking a new awareness of the self in the total experience of running - and more often than not they are culminating that quest by running a marathon."

George Sheehan