Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Crack

Or maybe the Florida sun fried our brains.
DH keeps hinting that Emily needs a new playmate, and wouldn't we want them close together in age? Then somehow last night I found myself surfing over to The Bump, getting all baby feverish.
What's the cure for baby fever? Oh yeah, cleaning up poopy diapers at home while your husband tells you he's out at a steakhouse with the flight crew.
(Ha. I finally slipped, if you didn't already know the little one's name :-)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back From The Keys!

How were the flights? Oh, we road tripped it of course! Such is life being married to a pilot. The last thing they want to do is spend their vacation in an airport or hotel.

We stopped over in Sarasota for the night on the way down and back. M's grandmom "winters" there, and it helped break up the drive into manageable segments. Once we got to the keys we spent our first 2 nights in Islamorada, then camped for 5 nights at Bahia Honda State Park.

I ran a total of 36 miles, along with miles of extra walking, swimming, and boating.

I'm so used to running rolling hills now, I found it oddly difficult to do a completely flat run. It felt really monotonous and I struggled to maintain a consistent pace. Have you ever experienced that?

It was strange to find a flat run to be more difficult, but I guess it makes sense. At home, even when I'm not doing an interval run per se, I still am. I'm working harder on the ascent then getting a slight recovery coasting down the back. So I need to practice running flat courses now? Hmm, it never occurred to me....

Compounded with other factors that come with being away from home, my runs were a lot slower than I would have liked. The 8 minute mile is the new 9 minute mile...I get frustrated when my pace creeps up there on solo runs.

Running at Bahia Honda. Action shots courtesy of the hubby.

Friday: 6 miles @ 7:52 pace
Saturday: 7 miles @ 8:14 pace
Sunday: off
Monday: 5 miles w/ stroller @ 8:50 pace
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 10 miles @ 8:21 pace
Thursday: off
Friday: 8 miles @ 7:58 pace
Saturday: off

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Off to Margaritaville.
See ya'll again soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

V02 Max Testing

To put it eloquently, this experience was SUPER COOL.

I’m a total geek when it comes to analyzing my training data, so naturally I was all over the opportunity to get my fitness tested in a lab.

To get started, they did a 4 point skin-fold caliper test, and took my height and weight. I stepped on the treadmill and was loaded up with gear: a heart rate monitor, a plastic headband with a snorkel-like mouth piece (think orthodontic headgear). The mouthpiece was connected to tube leading to a metabolic cart. And for the finishing touch, a nose plug.

They entered my body mass stats into the cart's computer, then we got rolling.

A maximal treadmill test protocol was used, with direct monitoring of respiratory exchange.

I began at a walking pace and every 3 minutes the incline was increased. Around the 21 minute mark, the speed was also increased every 3 minutes.

After 29 minutes, I’d had enough and tapped the handrail to signal I was done. I couldn’t rip mouthpiece out fast enough. I’m not claustrophobic, but I felt some panic. It’s stifling amount of gear!

Click on the thumbnails below to see the printout of my results.

I’ve never considered myself to be built like an athlete. I lack the inherent “gift”. I’m a runner who gets by on determination and hard work. Lots of time, and buckets of sweat, have gone into attaining this level of mediocrity. Ha. Take that genetics!

Well my V02 Max was 59.2 (ml/kg/min), which they told me was excellent for a woman. Not too shabby.

Now V02 Max isn’t everything. A high VO2 max indicates an athlete's potential for great aerobic endurance, but it can’t be used to determine the winner of a particular race. Lactate threshold is a more reliable predictor of performance, as it’s the amount of aerobic potential you’re actually tapping. According to the test, my lactate threshold was only 80% of my aerobic potential (VO2 Max).

So in summary, I have more untapped potential than I’ve given myself credit for. However, my training hasn’t been as optimal as it should be to utilize that aerobic potential. I need to put more emphasis on hills and speed work to improve my lactate threshold.

Beyond Smart Coach on, where do you come up with your training plans? Any books you’d recommend?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Once Was Lost

But now I've found my next race. A 15K trail race at the beginning of June.
No, I haven't run a trail race since high school cross-country (shout out to the class of '99). And no, I don't have any trails to train on before the race.
It's gonna hurt. I'm pumped.
I've got a sprinkling of 5 & 10K's lined up over the next few months, but this is something new and challenging to be excited about. It'll give me the fix I need until half-marathon (dare I say full marathon?) season starts up again in September.
I've never heard of the park where it's being held. It's about 45 minutes from our house. Our family fun for this weekend will include a trip there to go hiking. Even M sounds excited about it.
Oh, and if you have any recommendations for races please share. Have airfare and hotel points. Will travel.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Slacking (?)

Looking back on my numbers from last week, my workouts didn’t look much different than when I’m preparing for a race. What’s up with that? I was treating it like a rest week.

I realize it's all a head game. Not having an agenda for the day when I step outside makes me feel like I’m slacking somehow. And without a pace/distance expectation for myself (and a constant checking of the Garmin), my runs seemed like they were easier too. Does this happen to you?





On a side note: We still need to replace our refrigerator. M replaced the main control board (again!) and it seems to be working ok, but I want it gone. Any brands you'd recommend? We have a GE now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Day of Rest

Happy Easter ya'll!

We tried a new church this morning (yes, we're those people). We've tried churches at various points around the perimeter since we moved here, but never found a good fit for us. I've wanted try one that's near our house since we moved here, but was afraid to go by myself with E. I was paranoid that she'd act up and we'd make a scene. With my trusty assistant at home, today was our chance.

I really liked the sermon and people we met. E sat peacefully between us, taking in everything going on around her. And when in doubt, keep extra Cheerios on hand. They'll tame the most savage toddler.

Turns out the pastor's wife is a flight attendant....think that's a sign? He made a point during the sermon that despite all your planning, God will put you where your service is needed most...i.e his wife was stuck in Miami on a trip over Easter.

Today's exercise entails hunting for Easter eggs and spending time with the fam.

I'm not training for anything in particular at the moment, so there were no time/distance goals for the week. I did whatever I felt like for the day once I got on the road.

Here's what the week looked like:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 6 mi run @ 7:42/mi
Wednesday: 7 mi run @7:40/mi
Thursday: 5 mi run @ 7:51/mi
Friday: 4 mi run @ 7:37/mi, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: 5 mi run w/ stroller @ 8:32/mi, 35 min elliptical
Sunday: off

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Study Participants Needed - Great Opportunity!

Atlanta runners, get your VO2 Max tested for free!

A research study is being conducted at Georgia State University and is recruiting women and men age 18-40 who run 15-35 miles a week (who ONLY run, sorry no cyclists or triathletes). The other restricition is you can't be on hormonal birth control.

The test will take approximately 1.25 hours to fill out paperwork, go over protocol, take height, weight, 4 skinfolds, then the treadmill test.

If you're interested send an email to lquinones2@student.gsu

This could be you (without paying the $$$$)

image from