Running Naked

Running Naked


I never run without my Garmin. Ever since I got it, it is with me on every run and I never would leave the house without it. My recent race meltdown makes me wonder if that is a good thing. Have I become overly dependent on the constant feedback from my Garmin and is it hampering my ability to listen to my body?

A recent article in Runners World discusses learning to run by feel. The article contains a lot of great tips on how to train yourself to run by feel and be less dependent on devices. Not only is the pace important but consistency. Can you hold the same pace throughout an entire run or race? Do you know what easy or hard paces feel like?

As I wind down the last two months of half training, I continue to use a plan that spells out what pace each type of workout should be.

Smart Coach Half Marathon Pace Information


I find this helpful because it keeps me from running too fast and missing the point of the workout but I wonder if it is necessary on easy days. There is more flexibility on the pace on these days and they are the perfect time to start practicing running by feel.

Smart Coach Half Marathon Pace Information Easy Day


My last race was a great example of the pace getting away from me. I started too fast and crumbled toward the end. If I ran more by feel,  the theory is that it would it have been easier to hold the my pace and less likely that I would get caught up in excitement of the race start.

So how can you become less dependent on your Garmin and better able to internally know what your pace is?

Use Your Breath

In The Complete Book of Running for Women, the author describes using two different cadences for breath and coordinating them with your stride. A relaxed run would have a 3:2 ratio which is three inhales to two exhales. A faster run has a 2:1 ratio. This gives a runner the ability to gauge if they are running too fast.The “talk test” also works here. If you are able to speak in complete sentences, you running at a comfortable or easy pace.

Leave Your Garmin At Home

An easy run where you are running a familiar route is a great time to run without a watch. This way you can run without the temptation to look at your watch and still estimate your pace based on when you finish. Setting the watch to a screen that does not display the pace or distance is another great way to run with a watch but not be a slave to your stats.

I am really interested in trying the tips in the Runners World article. The idea of being more connected to what my body is actually doing and less reliant in the analytics, can only make you a better runner.

Run The Mind-Body Method Of Running By Feel

Throw Away Your Watch – Learn To Run By Feel

Becoming A Body Whisperer

Learn To Run By Feel – Calibrating Your Inner GPS

Do you run by feel? What have you done to train yourself to do so?

How Not To Run A 5K

On Saturday I ran my first 5K since October. The Shamrock Walk and Run 5K and Jog With Your Dog race takes place in Winter Haven and benefits the Winter Haven library. I ran this race last year and loved that it is local (15 minutes from my house) and that it brings out a family atmosphere with the lots of families and cute dogs.

Shamrock Walk Run 5K Winter Haven Florida

Please allow me this rant about my race and I promise everything will turn out well in the end.

Forget Shit and Move On


So here is what went wrong. I am a slow runner which I have talked about at length on the blog. I want to be faster and am slowly starting to but the 5K distance is hard for me. I do better running a steady state pace for longer distances plus I have spent the last eight months (!) training for half marathons.

Racing Mistakes

1. Going out too fast.

Shamrock 5K Winter Haven Florida

Looking at these splits, I wonder who this runner is? I can run a mile in under ten minutes but not 3.10 of them. I even looked down at my Garmin and saw sevens. Sevens?! What on earth was I thinking?

The first mile is much faster than I ever run. My 5K pace should be about 10:30, so I do not know where 9:31 came from. Getting caught up in the excitement of the race is not good. It is hard, especially when you feel so slow, to let so many people pass you at the start. I have to remember to run my own race and not worry about what other people are doing.

2. Heat and humidity are a killer.

This race started at 3PM when the temperature was 80 degrees and the humidity was 62%. That is hot, even for this Floridian. Knowing this, I should have taken it easy.

3. You will pay for pushing too hard in the beginning.

By mile two, I had the most terrible cramp in my diaphragm that felt as if I could not breath. It was a sharp stabbing pain that would not go away. It got so bad that another runner asked me if I was OK and to make sure I told someone if I felt bad. I know I shouldn’t feel this way but that made me embarrassed.

4. There was no water on the course until mile 2.25.

This was not my fault but with the heat, I was dying for a drink earlier.

So what is the takeaway from this miserable race? I want to get faster and will have to put in the time and effort to do so. I plan on continuing with my half training plan until the Iron Girl Half at the end of April. After that race, the focus will be on shorter distances and lots of speed work. I have all my running books and past issues of Runners World spread out around my office and am digging through them to put together a plan.

At least I got a medal.

Shamrock 5K Run Walk Winter Haven Florida

What do you (did you) do to get faster?

Half Marathon Training Week Ten

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.

Half Marathon Training Week Ten

Key Workouts:

Easy Runs: 3/3

Tempo Run: 1/1 Five Miles at Tempo with one warm-up and one cool-down

Long Run: 1/1

Strength Training: 0/2

Cross Training: 0

Total Miles: 33.21

I did well with my runs minus cutting my long run short by four miles but I still did not do any strength training. This week I will do strength training on the same day as one of my easy runs.

I think one reason that I cut my long run down is because I am slow. Yes, you are supposed to run long runs quite slow to benefit from them but I am such a slow runner that my long run pace is like molasses. After this training cycle, the only thing I want to work on is getting faster. I find myself during tempo runs or speedwork, almost afraid of pushing myself. Afraid of being uncomfortable, of feeling out of breath. I need to get over it and trust that I am in good shape and feeling some discomfort is normal. Just need to get there mentally and trust in my training.

I am at the tail end of this Half Marathon training cycle and it will be interesting to see how/if I benefited from the speedwork I have done and the mileage increase.

Half Marathon Training Weeks Seven And Eight

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.


Not much to say about week seven. I was still very sick and was only able to fit in one run.


Week eight I was finally able to get back on track. Being able to breathe again and not feeling like complete death were also nice.

Key Workouts:

Easy Runs: 3 for 3

Tempo Run: 0 for 1

Long Run: 1 for 1 with the caveat that I had 14 miles on the schedule but ended up doing seven in the morning ( I had a meeting and did not get up early enough to do 14) and three in the afternoon. The afternoon run was supposed to be seven but just doing the three was difficult enough. Whenever I have a long run and a meeting or somewhere to be on Saturday, I rarely get the mileage in. I need to work on spending less time drinking coffee and looking at the internet in the morning and more time getting out earlier to start running.

Strength: Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones DVD

Total Miles: 22.31

During week seven, I adjusted my training plan (I’m using SmartCoach from Runner’s World) to increase my mileage. I have more time to run while looking for a job and want to focus on higher weekly mileage. My hope here is that this increase will help with my speed. The amount of time I am spending at home, it is nice to be out running. It helps clear my mind and focus on what my next step should be.

Training plans should be fluid and adaptable to life changes. It is a testament to how great the SmartCoach plan is that it is so adaptable.

Do you have a hard time getting back on track after being sick?

Half Marathon Training Week Six

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.


Not my best week. Being sick really sidelined my workouts.

Key Workouts

Easy Runs: 1 of 3

Speed Training: 0 of 1

Long Run: 0 of 1

Strength Training: Upper Body 15 minutes

Total Miles: 5

Planed Miles: 27

Not much to say about this week but I felt it was better to rest through being sick, then to push myself and make it worse.

I planned on racing this weekend but am not sure if I should in light of being sick. It is a 10K, which is a distance I love, and for a good cause.

Polk Race For The Cure

Would you race this close to coming off of a cold?

How was your training last week? Did you reach your goals?

Half Marathon Training Week Five

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow.

I finished December, and this week of training, with my best month of training yet.


This week was a step-down week, filled with all easy runs and my first week running for five days. I feel like I adjusted well.

Key Workouts

Easy Runs: Five for five

Cross Training:

Dance Trance (Still awesome and still have two left feet.)

No Yoga this week but was so hung over on Sunday, I do not think I would have made it. (Or that anyone would have wanted to be in class anywhere near me.)

Total Miles:19.94

Planned Miles: 20

Must strength train is going to be my new motto. I have another week where some days are two or three miles, so fitting it in should work.

I am surprised that running five days was easier than I thought it would. The most I have done before is four days but the way this plan introduces it on an easier week, I think makes it more mentally palatable. Waiting to see how it feels when there are harder runs in the schedule but so far, so good.

How many days per week do you like to run? Is there a certain point where you burnout? Did you skip any days last week because of being hung over?

Half Marathon Training Week Four

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page. I break my half marathon training down by week to make it easier to follow. 

Another week of eating and drinking plus lots of time off work. I think my training improved greatly with the amount of time off. Maybe I can have a two day work week with the same pay?


Key Workouts:

Easy Run: One out of two.

Tempo Run: Total of six miles with four at tempo.

Long Run: 12 Miles

Cross Training:

Dance Trace which I am still loving.

Yoga which I always love.

Total Miles: 21.06

Planned Miles: 24

I need to fit in more strength training and will need to give up having two rest days a week to do so. I run after work and before dinner during the week. Should I try strength training in the morning? I cannot push dinner back any later or we will be eating it the next day and J may file for divorce.

The reason I skipped the second easy run this week was because I was a little sore from Dance Trance and thought my long run would go better on fully rested legs. As my body gets used to Dance Trance, this may change but maybe a Yoga class the next day would work well.

How do you modify your plan to fit it all in?

Half Marathon Training Weeks Two And Three

If you would like to follow my other weeks of training, they can be found on my Workouts page.

It has been a busy past few weeks with all the shopping and pie eating. The weather cooling off is making running easier but I could do without running in the dark. I do enjoy seeing all the Christmas lights and wish my neighbors would leave them up year round. It makes the one and a half mile neighborhood loop, much more interesting.

Doing all of my runs, especially the longer ones, solo is starting to get to me. Even though I love listening to talk radio or Howard Stern, it would be nice to run with other people sometimes. The closest running club to me is the Lakeland Runners Club. I am contemplating joining in the new year.

Week 2:


I got in my speed work but my long run was a total disaster. I was supposed to run 11 miles but instead ran 4.27. At least the police were involved so I have some excuse but would have rather gotten in the mileage. There was zero cross training this week.

Key Workouts:

Easy Run: One out of two.

Speedwork: Total of six miles with 3×1600 with 800 jogs.

Long Run: 4.27 out of 11 miles.

Week 3:


This week I did every run in the plan plus three cross training workouts. I am so glad I finally tried Dance Trance but probably should not have done the class and then run 11 miles on Saturday. Everything hurt on Sunday. Luckily, I was able to make it Yoga and that helped immensely.

Key Workouts:

Easy Run: Two out of two.

Tempo Run: Six miles total with four at tempo.

Long Run: 11 miles

Do you run with a group or solo?

Any experience with joining a running club? I must admit to being a little nervous about it. (What if I’m the slowest person there and onward though my normal list of neurosis.)

Saturday And My Run In With The Police

Saturday started out like most days. I woke up before the sun came up, swearing that I would start my long run at six. I do this many Saturday’s but am really to scared to run in the dark by myself, so I always end up sitting around and drinking coffee. When the sun came up and I was able to drag myself away from the computer, I did end up getting outside.

I was supposed to run 11 Miles but knew I would not have time because I had a hair appointment at 11 and I am slow. An 11 mile long runs take around 2:26. So I decided to run for as long as I could.

My house is on a cul-de-sac and there are no other houses around us. I typically run around the cul-de-sac and noticed a car parked up on the grass near the pond. I went inside to let J know. J saw the car late last night parked there but thought it might be some kids. We decided to call the police, just so they could check out what was going on.

I went back to my run and then three police cars come barreling down my street. Then comes an undercover car. Being nosey, I keep looping around so I can see what is going on. Two people were in the car sleeping. The police end up arresting the man, not sure for what and the woman was let go. She took off on foot. The car was then towed. It is such a strange situation because we live in a fairly rural area, where there are plenty of places to park a car that are not near any residences. Not sure why you park next to a house with the lights on.

So with all this excitement, my 11 mile run turned into a four mile run. I am still so early in my training (week two) that I feel OK about missing it.

After the run, I did make it to the salon. I decided to go a little darker for the winter.

New Hair

(Please ignore the messy bed behind me.)

Have you ever discovered something on a run that made you call the police?

Should I get over my fear of running in the dark?

New Plan

My exercise sabbatical is over. This past week, I took a lot of time off work, enjoyed the holiday, and relaxed. Running my first half feels great but now I am ready to jump back into a new training plan. This time I decided to try a plan from Runner’s World using their Smart Coach program.

The selections I made to come up with this plan are:

Initial Weekly Distance: 21-26 Miles

Training Intensity: Moderate

Long Run Day: Saturday

This plan is 14 weeks long.

I consider myself a beginner and have been running for less than two years. This plan is more intense than my previous one but graduated enough that it will not be a shock to my system.

Monday: Easy Run Three Miles  & Strength Training

Tuesday: (Supposed to be a rest day but I have plans after work on Wednesday, so I am adjusting the plan.) Six Miles with Four at Tempo

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Easy Run Two Miles

Friday: Strength Training

Saturday: Long Run Ten Miles

Sunday: Yoga

I plan on adding daily stretching which will help with increased flexibility and muscle tightness. I have an AM Yoga DVD that I plan on using most mornings before work to make sure I get this in everyday. Having IT Band issues was not pleasant during my first half and I will do anything to avoid it. (Plus I can live without walking around with a slight limp and people asking me if I am OK.)

I only took a handful of pictures on Thanksgiving before the beer drinking and eating took over.


The table pre-food massacre.

Dennis and Mom

My Brother and Mother.

How do you come-up with a training plan?