Showing posts from 2011

Break time

What a week it's been! Last week was finals week at school, and although I didn't have any finals I was very busy with final projects and group presentations. Luckily, the weather was very cooperative and I had some great runs. Unfortunately, my watch wasn't cooperating much, but here is a look at what workouts I did! Monday: 3 mile run on the treadmill with 30 minutes of strength training. Tuesday: 4 mile run around campus . I hit 200 miles on my watch, which means it took me 8 days less than the first 100! I can't wait to keep increasing my miles and see them add up! Wednesday: 50 minute power sculpt Thursday: 4 mile run around campus. It was sprinkling when I began, which turned into a downpour by the time I finished. I forgot how much I loves running in the rain! Friday: trip home! Christmas vacation starts! Saturday: off day Sunday: 6 mile run at North Park I'm so excited to start my marathon training plan, which I found with help of one of my running idols:

Finishing Up

At lot has happened since my last post. I went home for thanksgiving break and went running at home a lot, which was great to get back on track. While there, I ran a five mile race, the Turkey Trot . I've run the race in the past, but always the 5k, not the five miler. It was a great day and wonderful weather, and I got to run most of it with my friends. I've also been getting back on track with running at school. I'm almost ready to start my marathon training schedule and I'm SO EXCITED! Right now, I'm working on getting my endurance back and weight lifting again. I've done some great runs and can't wait to move forward with this! Here's a look at what I want to do this week: Monday: 3 mile run Tuesday: 3 mile run and half hour power sculpt Wednesday: 5 mile run Thursday: cross training Friday: 3 mile run Saturday: 1 hour run at home! I can't wait until I can start updating my blog regularly again. I have some great ideas to make it b


Well, I have definitely been missing in action for quite a while. It has been such an emotional and insane few weeks being a Penn State student. As a result, my training has suffered, as well as my updating of this blog. I have been getting back into running and working out; however now realize running the Nittany Valley half marathon is basically out of the picture. Not only am I not nearly in the shape required, as a result of the past few weeks, but the football team is one win away from being in the first-ever Big Ten championship, and as a result, the BlueBand would also attend. There is good news, though! I am back to running and lifting and working out ! Tomorrow for thanksgiving, I will be running, for the second year in a row, the Turkey Trot! I will be doing the five mile race. It should be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it. Other wise, I'm going to be looking into marathon plans and begin my official training for Pittsburgh! I'm so excited and

Training Weeks 6-7

Hello! Well, it's been a very hectic few weeks, and I have to admit that my training has suffered quite a bit due to life happening all around me. Last weekend, I took a trip home for my grandparent's 50th anniversary. Here's a picture of our beautiful family: We've had some unseasonably warm and beautiful weather in State College. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is a wonderful photographer, and took me to a gorgeous wooded area and got some pictures. Here's one of my favorites: I squeezed in some workouts and runs as much as I could. I did have a terrific run this weekend and did my longest training run yet: 9 miles. Even better news for me was the fact that my 9th and final mile was my fastest! (my Nike watch gives mile times for each mile run, then tells you your fastest and slowest miles). Here's a look at the runs I completed the past two weeks and used my watch: I'm now over 150 miles on my watch! I c

Training Week Five

What a week! I did my longest run of training so far (8 miles) and felt absolutely amazing during it. I also had a great interval workout on Wednesday that made me feel like I'm really getting into shape and it feels INCREDIBLE. Here is my week of workouts: 10/10/11: Stretching and 1 hour of strength 10/12/11: Treadmill intervals: 1 mile warmup at 9:00/mile pace, 7x400 at 7:00/mile pace, cool-down at 10:00/mile pace in between each, 1 mile cool-down at 10:00/mile pace. Total of 5.5 miles 10/13/11: Unfortunately my watch died half way through the run (I need to remember to always keep it charged!) so the rest of my run is highlighted in green. Total of 30 minutes, so I'm guessing a little over 3 miles. 1 hour of strength 10/14/11: Rest 10/15/11: PSU 23 - Purdue 18 10/16/11: Rest (Study Day..ew) This is going to be an easier week of training and I definitely need it! It's been a lot of hard work and my body is so sore. I'm loving adding mileage every week, so I ca

Training Week Four

Hello! What a challenge this week was! Not only did I have to deal with a hectic exam and project week, it was a very busy week with other activities like band and dinners with my college. Unfortunately, this definitely affected my workouts this week and I got a bit off track. I also have a mild calf injury and had to rest it Saturday and Sunday (marching pre-game and half time didn't exactly help either..) One bad week won't bring me down though and this week I'm going to push myself to the limit to make up for it! Here was my week: 10/3: stretching and 1 hour lifting 10/5: ran without the watch, 30 minutes of running 10/7: 3 mile run (above), 2 hours of rock climbing 10/8: PSU 13- Iowa 3!! I finally figured out how to use the GPS feature of my watch and can map out the runs, alone with pace during the run, on! Now I can document and keep track much better. Also, Friday I went rock climbing for the first time! It was such a tough workout but a lot of fu

Training Week Three

" STAND UP and FINISH what you started " Bob Harper This was a really rough but fun week. I had 4 exams, countless hours of homework, 2 presentations and band practice. On the weekend I went camping for the first time ever, which was so much fun! I also incorporated an aerobic class at Penn State into my workout, which was a great change of pace and really enjoyable! I'll try to add another in the next week. 9/26: stretching and light plyometrics 9/27: 3.5 mile run: 27:00, 8:00/mile 9/28: 6x400 repeats on treadmill with 1 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool-down 9/29 : 3.5 mile run: 30:00, 8:32/mile Step Aerobics class- 45:00 9/30, 10/1: REST and CAMPING! 10/2: 4.25 mile run: 38:47, 9:07/mile Here's next week's schedule: 4 Stretch & Strengthen 3.5 m run 35 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest 3 m run

Training Week Two

What a great week! I was able to complete all of the mileage for the week and felt absolutely fantastic. I don't know if it's the cooler fall weather, but I felt really strong and powered through all of my runs almost effortlessly. Here's a look at what I did: 9/19: Stretch and some light plyometrics 9/20: 3 mile run: 25:12, 8:23/mile 9/21: 10 minute warm-up at 8:37 /mile 15 minutes at 8:04/mile 5 minute cool-down at 8:59/mile Total of 3.6 miles in 30:00 9/22: 3.12 mile run: 25:47, 8:15/mile 1 hour of strength (push-up intervals, sit up intervals, chest and shoulder exercises) 9/23: REST! 9/24: PSU vs. EMU! 9/25: 7.03 mile run: 57:47, 8:12/mile 100th mile run since July 1st! I was extremely happy with my workouts this week. Registration for the Pittsburgh Marathon opened today, and I am officially in!! I'm SO pumped and am looking forward to an easy week of training: 3 Stretch & Strengthen 3.5 m run

Training Week One

The first week of my official training is OVER. This weekend, the Blue Band went to the Temple game, so I was unable to run the weekend, but finished all the other workouts. Here's a summary of what I did this week: Monday : 30 min on bike, 1 hour lifting, 20 minutes abs/stretching Tuesday :3.34 miles: 27:00, 8:04/mile Wednesday : Treadmill intervals 1 mile warmup at speed 6, 5x400 going to speed 7.5, reducing to speed 5.5 for 400 m in between. 1 mile cooldown at speed 6 Thursday : 4.80 miles: 39:05, 8:07/mile 1/2 hour lifting Friday : Central York football game Saturday : Penn State vs. Temple game, Upper Dublin Spectacle in Sound festival Here is my schedule for this coming week: 2 Stretch & Strengthen 3 m run 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest 3 m pace 6 m run A little motivation for the w

Training Schedule

Now that the half marathon is only 12 weeks away, I am officially starting a training plan for it! I decided to try out Hal Higdon's Intermediate half marathon training. Here is what this week looks like: Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun 1 Stretch & Strengthen 3 m run 5 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength Rest 3 m run 5 m run I'll be able to have better updates now that I have an actual schedule to follow! I'm so excited to get started and tracking my progress! To get motivated, here is a great quote that I always keep in mind for everything from school work to running: If you fail to


It has been over a week since my last post, and that is because last week/this week have been absolutely insane! Last week was Band Camp, which consisted of 3-a-day practices, most of them around 3 hours. I tried fitting in some running whenever possible during our short lunch and dinner breaks, but the work we were doing was exercise enough. This week classes began. I've been adjusting my schedule to make it as convenient (and, honestly, easy and enjoyable) as possible. I finally have it set, so I can start planning out workouts and my training. Here are the workouts I've done so far this week: 8/21: 5 mile run around campus, without watch 8/23: 3 mile run downtown, 27:00, 9:00/mile 8/24: 3 mile run on treadmill at 6.5 speed and 1.0 incline. 15 minute ab workout. 15 minute stretch Here is my plan for the rest of the week (now that I have my schedule set, I can start to plan out my weekly workouts.) 8/25: golf course run (around 5-6 miles?) 8/26: hour of liftin

And So it Begins...

Hello! I am back at Penn State for my final year much sooner than it seems possible. This year, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be a guide (section leader) for my section in the Blue Band. I had to come up a few days early for training and my audition, so I came up on Sunday. This is a very busy week for me, as we have Band Camp starting, which means 3 practices a day (around 3 hours each.) Yesterday I was able to go for a run in the morning, and I'm planning on running again tonight before (or after if necessary) a fundamental review. Here's the run I did yesterday: 8/15 workout: 5.3 miles 45:00, 8:30/mile Basically what I did was run back and forth around campus on all the main roads. I went down Beaver, College, Pollock, Curtain, Park and finally back to Garner where I started. It was so nice to run around campus and see everything again! I'm heading out to run again, then going to Blue Band (which will be my life this week...a workout by itself


I just had a terrific vacation this weekend. On Friday, I finished my internship and had a goodbye lunch with all the tech interns. Saturday I went to the Pirates game (my third of the week) and Train performed after as part of the Skyblast show. Then, my mom, sister and I went to Deep Creek, Maryland, which is only about 2 hours away from Pittsburgh. We got there on Sunday night and left Wednesday afternoon. Here's a quick summary of what we did and my workouts: Monday : racket ball, kayaking on Deep Creek Lake, tennis, mini golf, 3 mile run Tuesday : horseback riding, antique shopping, mini golf (again) 3 mile run, 1 hour weight lifting Wednesday : mountain coaster It was such a nice, relaxing trip. I got to squeeze in some workouts and tried to do as many activities as possible, even though the weather didn't exactly cooperate. Tomorrow I'm going to Cleveland for 2 days to go to an Indians game, then it's back to Penn State! Summer is over already,


If the word quit is part of your vocabulary, then the word finish is likely not. - B.G. Jett 8/3 workout: 5 miles on Rivertrail (different starting point!) 42:00, 8:20/mile In order to make sure my training is going well, I'm signing up for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon , which is December (or about 5 months before the Pittsburgh Marathon). This race seems like a nice, small, cheap race, so I'm really excited to do it. A few of my friends in the Blue Band are running it as well, so I'm hoping to run in under 2 hours this time! Here is a map of the course, which is at Penn State (perfect location!): It's hard to see, but it begins at the Ag Arena, goes up to Fox Hill Road, down to Houserville, and finishes at the Visitor's Center by Beaver Stadium. I'm so excited to do this course and see how my training is! I'm starting a half-marathon training plan by Hal Higdon which can be found HERE . With the 12 weeks of workouts, I'd be sta

Sense of Achievement

You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement. - PRE 7/27 Workout: 4 miles on trails at Riverview 7/28 Workout: 30 minute stationary bike 1 hour strength 20 minute core 7/30 Workout: 6.75 miles at North Park 57:05, 8:30/mile 7/31 Workout: Flag football game with the interns 4 hours of walking at the zoo: some elephants! look at the little baby :) a jellyfish, taken by another intern (Dan Koller, great pic!) we ran into a peacock that was just walking around the zoo So, I didn't hit my target as far as runs go, but I did have EXCELLENT runs this week! I felt absolutely amazing during my long run at North Park, and my endurance is definitely improving. This weekend I'm hoping to have a run of over 7 miles, and keep picking up a half mile every weekend. Thanks for reading! Pittsburgh M

Getting in the Habit

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going . - Jim Ryun 7/25 workout: 3.63 miles on Rivertrail 30:00, 8:15/mile Pittsburgh Marathon: 283 days

Border of Pain and Suffering

It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys . Emil Zatopek I just found that quote, and it could not explain my weekend better! I had two terrific workouts and am in absolute pain this morning (which is a good thing to me!) On Saturday, I biked for 30 minutes at the maximum resistance on my very old stationary bike, then increased my weight on about half of the exercises I did, and increased repetitions on the exercises I didn't move up. Overall my body was feeling very strong, but I was really sore the next day! Sunday I went out for a run while it was in the 90's, and ran on the trails in Riverview. I decided to run without calculating my distance or pace to just relax and run for time. I ran for about an hour, and it felt terrific to just enjoy the run and not worry about pushing myself to the limit! This week I'm hoping to run 5 days and lift 3. It's almost time for vacation (Deep Creek, Maryland!) and Blue Band, so I


Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. - Pre 7/19 workout: 4.70 miles on Rivertrail 40:07, 8:30/mile 7/20 workout: 30 min upper body lifting 3.25 miles at Riverview Park 26:00, 7:58/mile Pittsburgh Marathon: 289 days


Here are some pictures from the weekend: -Friday night, taken at the "water steps" on the North Shore by PNC Park. I'm on the left and my roommate Heather is on the right. Coordination was not planned. -Saturday afternoon at Station Square. This was taken at the "dancing waters", which light up and puts on a show to go along with music. Favorite with tourists! -Saturday afternoon at the Duquesne Incline. -Again from Mt Washington, further down the road. This is Heinz Field where the Steelers play! I apologize for the terrible picture quality, these pictures were all taken with my phone! Enjoy and have a great day!

Tour around Pittsburgh

Hello! Unfortunately, once again, my life is taking over my training schedule and I haven't been running as much as I'd like. This weekend, my two roommates for next year came to visit, as well as my grandparents, so I've been extremely busy! Here's a quick summary of my weekend: Friday: dinner at Atria's, walk around North Shore Saturday: kayaking on Allegheny River for two hours, walk around downtown, lunch at Primantis, walk to Duquesne Incline, walk around Mt. Washington, Duquesne Incline down, walk to Station Square, late lunch/drinks at Bar Bleu, fish and veggies dinner at home Sunday: church, mall, lunch/drinks/watched Pirates and World Cup at Rivertowne Tavern, walk around downtown and North Shore Monday: Hofbrauhaus with grandparents after work Overall, very busy past few weeks. Everything should be settling down until the end of my internship (a few Happy Hours after work but nothing more than once a week). Training should be back on schedule. Luckily

Back on Pace

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement." After taking a few days off from training, I'm finally back to it. I had to rest up to get over a few areas that have been bothering me, but I'm now back in action and feeling better than ever. On Tuesday, I rode a stationary bike for a half hour and did a weight lifting circuit. The two moves I did for legs were lunges and leg extensions , both of which I haven't done in a while. Yesterday, I got back to Riverview Park and did an easy trail loop that was around 3 1/2 miles with rolling hills. My average mile was 8:30, so it was a decent run. The quote at the top is by one of my favorite athletes and role models- Steve Prefontaine . For those of you who don't know him, do yourself a favor and read a bit about him here

Living the GREAT Life

Hello! What a weekend I had! Unfortunately, I didn't officially work out, but I did get to exercise some new muscles, which I'll explain later. This weekend was one of the best that I can remember, and definitely is the highlight of my summer. To start off, on Friday after work, all of the PNC interns were invited to the Pirates/Cubs game. I am a HUGE sports fan, especially of Pittsburgh teams, so I was really excited to go. This year I've already been to over ten games, so it's been a really special summer getting to see the Pirates doing so well. We had incredible seats (picture below) a few rows directly behind home plate. It was such a great game, and we ended up winning with Mike McKenry's first major-league home run. What an exciting, amazing game! On top of that, McCutchen and Correia got named to the All-Star team, and the Pirates won the series. Overall, a terrific weekend to be a Pittsburgher. On Saturday, two of my friends from college, Chris and Rob, cam

Looking for Results

Hello! It's been a few days since I've posted, and I've been quite busy with both training and work. After work on Tuesday, I went running at Riverview on the trails, like usual. I was expecting to go for an easy run, only one lap around the park, which is a little over 2 miles. Once I started running, though, I wanted to keep going and ended up doing 4 miles of trails. I felt really great, and stronger than I have in a while. On Wednesday, I had an intern activity after work and took that as my first day off in a week, which was a much-needed break. Yesterday, I decided to lift and had a terrific session. Here are the exercises that I did (3 sets of 10 reps per exercise, 10 pushups in between each) -military press -dumbell squats -bent over row -bench press -butterflies -calf raises -curl -skull crushers I felt absolutely wonderful and am really starting to see some results as far as my leg and arm muscles are concerned. This has definitely helped improve my speed as well

Fourth of July Weekend!

Hello! Happy (belated) 4 th of July to everyone! I had a fantastic weekend. It was nice to be able to relax and see some friends and meet new ones. Having a day off of work is also always nice! I was able to get in a few good-quality workouts this weekend, which I'm really happy about. On Saturday, I wasn't feeling so great, so I wanted to have an easy trail run at Riverview . Once I started though, I immediately felt better and ended up having a great run. I ran 3.58 miles all over the trails in a little under 30:00. On Sunday, I was able to go running at North Park, which is a really nice place that I like to run. There's a road going around the lake there, and it's 5 miles. The course is a bit hilly, which makes it challenging but it's a very quick run. It was an extremely hot day out, and it was a bit of a challenge to finish the run. I did the 5 miles in 41:00, which I was pretty happy about. I also lifted weights on Monday, which I haven't been doing late

Running, Running, Running

Hello! Yesterday afternoon I got the chance to use my new watch for the first time. Needless to say, I was extremely excited about it. I went to the river trail on the North Shore and ran towards the stadiums for a mile and a half then turned around and ran back. The watch shows all kinds of stats- distance, elapsed time, lap time (you can touch the screen and it'll mark your laps), calories burned, pace, and average pace. It was so neat running with it and knowing exactly what my speed was. I haven't been able to run much this week, so yesterday's run was pretty laid back and relaxing. Running along the river, especially on a weekend like this, is such a great experience. There were tons of people on their boats, playing in the water steps by PNC Park, running, biking, yacting, everything. I love being surrounded by people when I'm running to keep motivated and avoid slowing down too much. Overall, I really like the watch so far. I haven't plugged it in yet to chec
Hello! I wanted to share a link with anyone interested in starting running, for those living in/visiting Pittsburgh. We have some amazing rail trails that have been renovated cleaned up that run along all three of the rivers. There are a few different sections, and the one that I usually run on is along the Northshore and goes by both PNC Park and Heinz Field. I found a map that shows all of the trails: They're so much fun to run or walk on and offer some amazing views of the city. It always makes my runs go by much quicker, and they're relatively flat so it's not too hard of a workout. Also, yesterday for my birthday I got an amazing GPS watch made by Nike: which I'm VERY EXCITED to start using. I'll be able to track my miles, calories, average pace, and many other stats. I'll talk more about how I like it once I'm able to use it. It's been a very busy week so f

One Step at a Time

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best. Today has been a very reflective week for me. It's my 21st birthday, and as I was running along the trails in Riverview Park last night, I thought back over the past year of how much I've changed. I would say that I definitely matured a lot through the past 365 days in multiple ways. I'm much more career-focused after completing my first internship. Last summer I was a technology intern at Progressive Insurance, and working for 12 weeks in the field helped me realize what life will be like after college. That helped me focus on the past year of school, giving me the two best semesters of college thus far. This summer, I'm interning at PNC Bank as a technology project manager, which has already allowed me to grow in so many ways, both professionally and technically. It helped me to narrow my vision and realize my potential in the work place. Other big changes that I've gone thro

The Starting Line

A little background information to start out... My name is Gretchen, and I'm a rising senior at Penn State University. From the time I was 9 years old until around 18, I was an extremely active and competitive runner. I ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track, and loved to do road races all over the city of Pittsburgh. When I was a junior in high school, I went through a few injuries, and basically quit caring about running (and fitness in general). I picked up the saxophone and joined my high school's marching band, and went on to be a part of the Penn State Marching Blue Band in college. This past year, I decided to sign up for the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon pretty much out of the blue to get myself to start running again. Although I didn't hit my target time of 2 hours, and finished around 2:08:00, I re-found my passion for running, and it's changed my life. Now that we're all caught up, why am I writing a blog? I'm not a writer by any means (I'm in Inf