Jodi's Running Blog

Gotta keep going…

Intervals at Green Lake, Part 20

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Tuesday October 11, 2005 at 8:42 pm)

I stuck to my plan for weekly intervals – at least for this week. This time Daniel was able to accompany me, although we did not disturb Matt as he was post-call on a very busy oncology service. The weather was, again, absolutely gorgeous – low 60s/high 50s, clear skies, and not a cloud around the area. I loved it!

The workout began with a three mile run around the track at Green Lake (not the path around the lake, but the track at the local park), with the following breakdown:

Mile 1 – 8:34     Mile 2 – 8:29     Mile 3 – 8:47

Now, for the intervals. My goal was to run 4x400meter intervals with 400 meter cooldown jogs in between each one. The target time for each was to be <1:40 but I was trying to remain slower than 1:35 for consistency.

  • 400 meters – 1:32.38
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:31.18
  • 400 meters – 1:37.23
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:43.52
  • 400 meters – 1:37.62
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:38.97
  • 400 meters – 1:36.74
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:59.17

All in all, a successful interval day. I am going to do my best to continue a weekly speed workout, with intervals or fartleks or hills…we’ll see.

Also, I received my heart rate monitor strap in the mail from Timex today, so I was able to monitor my heart rate (154 average, 184 max) and caloric consumption (583). It’s nice to have numbers again. 

EPO testing featured0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Monday October 10, 2005 at 8:41 am)

This is a link to an article in The Seattle Times, sent to me by fellow runner Dick Michener:

It discusses the performance-enhancing drug EPO (erythropoietin). Erythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulates red blood cell production. We all have natural levels of it in our bodies or else we would all chronically face problems with anemia. People experiencing end-stage renal disease are often given EPO at dialysis as they lack the ability to produce and release adequate amounts of the hormone and, thus, often become anemic.

Below is the standard oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. The x-axis represents the partial pressure of O2, the form of oxygen we breathe. The y-axis is represented by the percentage of hemoglobin (the molecule on a red blood cell) that is bound to oxygen. The curve demonstrates that the higher the partial pressure of oxygen is, the more oxygen will bind to hemoglobin on a person’s red blood cells. Various conditions may shift this curve – among them is a higher altitude. Increased altitudes lead to a build-up in the bloodstream of 2,3-DPG, which shifts the curve to the RIGHT; that is to say, this results in a DECREASE in hemoglobin’s affinity for oxygen molecules, thus requiring either: A) higher partial pressures of oxygen to force binding between hemoglobin and oxygen, or B) greater production of red blood cells in order to function with a lower percentage of bound oxygen.


(Table can be found at )


Higher Altitude –> Increased buildup of 2,3-DPG –> Decreased affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen –> Receptors in body recognize the lack of oxygen saturation –> Stimulates production of erythropoietin –> More red blood cells are produced

What is amazing is that athletes will train at high altitudes as a way of naturally enhancing red blood cell production, and then run races at lower altitudes. At lower altitudes their red blood cells can carry close to a 100% oxygen saturation, PLUS they now have more red blood cells, so they can carry a greater amount of oxygen.

Some athletes, however, have taken to injecting themselves with synthetic erythropoietin in an attempt to achieve the same effect, and the powers that be are not happy with this. So read the article and learn something from it – and about the complications that have arisen as a combined result of human physiology and the desire to be the best.

Intervals at Green Lake, Part 10

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Thursday October 6, 2005 at 6:01 am)

On Tuesday of this week (October 4th) I ran with two friends and fellow residents, Daniel and Matt, at Green Lake. The weather was gorgeous – mid-60s, clear skies, not at all what I was expecting for Seattle in October. And the leaves are brilliant reds and yellows too! 🙂 We started by running the 2.8 mile trail around the lake as a warm-up, and then engaged in (drum roll, please) – INTERVALS. <gasp> I attempted several half-mile intervals when I first started training for the London Marathon. Daniel had done intervals two years earlier while training for a triathlon. Matt could not remember when he had last done them – and honestly, the last set of serious intervals I ran were probably in high school.

Initially Daniel suggested starting with eight sets of 400m with a cool-down 200m in between each and with a goal time of <75 seconds. After the first round it was obvious that are goals were going to change. Here is how the workout went for me (I don’t have each of the recorded times for my running cronies):

  • 400 meters – 1:33.93
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:37.77
  • 400 meters – 1:30.19
  • 400 meters cooldown – 3:15.83
  • did not participate in the third interval, but ran cooldown lap at 2:57.47
  • 400 meters – 1:32.38
  • 400 meters cooldown – 2:59.43

So in summary, I ended up doing only three 400 meter intervals, and it just about killed me (not seriously, but it hurt a LOT). So while I am growing more fit over longer distances, my sprinting could really use some work. The plan is to meet Daniel and Matt again next Tuesday for another interval workout, and this time I’m going to make it through all four. I’m also setting a goal time of beating 1:30 on all four of them. We’ll see what happens!

Salmon Days Rotary Run 10k – I went running with the salmon!2

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Monday October 3, 2005 at 7:08 am)

Yesterday I ran my first 10k since April 2003, a Rotary-sponsored event coinciding with Issaquah, WA’s “Salmon Days” festival. It was a terrific experience! I have posted results, pictures, and comments on my website at . This morning I am experiencing mild to moderate tibialis anterior soreness bilaterally, likely attributable to running six miles on pavement. I had absolutely no soreness during the race, which is wonderful!

Evan and I enjoyed the Salmon Days festival that followed the race. Huge salmon were trying everything to get upstream to the Issaquah Hatchery, where they were hatched and where they “wanted” to go to spawn. Many were so large they were forced to flop (for lack of a better word) upstream in shallower portions of the creek bed.

Heart Rate Monitor Woes0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Tuesday September 27, 2005 at 8:20 pm)

In February I purchased a Timex Ironman 30-lap heart rate monitor/watch (for women – it has a nice aqua rim!) and since that time I have been very satisfied with it. Upsettingly, about two minutes into my run yesterday, I felt the heart rate monitor strap around my chest give way. The best description I can offer is that the portion where rubber stops and hard plastic begins was cleanly broken. I called Timex customer service (and a real, living person was on the line within three minutes), and I was informed that I could send the strap to their repair center in Little Rock, Arkansas with a $7.00 payment, and I would receive either a new or repaired strap within seven business days within the date of receipt. Not too bad, eh? So I can live for a few weeks without calculating my caloric consumption during workouts. And I’ll have to figure out for myself when my workout is too demanding (usually the monitor beeps at me when my heart rate exceeds 172 bpm).

Oh, and I registered for the Issaquah Rotary Run 10k Race for this weekend (October 2nd). I am on back-up call at the hospital (i.e., I go in if one of my colleagues calls in sick), but the hope is that everyone remains well and I will run my first 10k since April 2003. The race is held during the Issaquah Salmon Days weekend, a festival celebrating the return of the salmon. I’ve heard the fish are very large, flopping in the shallow creek beds as they return upstream. We’ll see. It should be a truly Pacific Northwest experience, nonetheless.

Preparation for the Seattle Half-Marathon0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Friday September 23, 2005 at 5:22 pm)

The Sunday following Thanksgiving will present an exciting (and possibly chilly) distance running event for the Pacific Northwest – the HarrisDirect Seattle Marathon. Dick and Sandy Michener, fellow runners from North Carolina whom I met through an online running community, contacted me regarding this race and were kind enough to invite me to join them in the event. We decided to go for the half-marathon; for my part, I recognized that the stresses of the intern year of medicine residency would absorb much of my time and energy this year. At this point, I’m running four miles two or (if I’m really lucky) three times per week. I’m about to bump up the distance to create one longer a week supplemented with two shorter runs. This will be a half-marathon about fitness, a celebration that I will be nearly halfway through my intern year, a conquering of Seattle hills…?

A brief note on Seattle hills: they are steep. Did you know that the sidewalks downtown close to the water were raised about 12 feet, and then the second floors of some of the buildings in Pioneer Square became the ground levels? I learned this on the Seattle Underground Tour in June – before the sidewalks were raised, the incline from the water up the hill was ~48 degrees. Not sure what it is now, but I certainly feel each fraction of a degree as my legs pump me up the hill through the International District. My friends in the area tell me Seattle isn’t that hilly – that San Francisco is more remarkable in this category. I tell them we used to run on bridges and overpasses in Charleston in order to get the slightest incline for training.

I’m in Las Vegas on vacation this week – exercising will consist of running on a treadmill as it is a million degrees here and I’m getting sunburned THROUGH MY SHIRT. I’m not used to all of this after my pleasant, comfortable summer in Seattle. Was I a Carolinian at one point? Perhaps I still am at my core, but my skin, nose, and physiologic cooling system seem to have forgotten already.

Race for Life, Seattle Running and Other Matters0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Sunday May 29, 2005 at 3:18 pm)

First of all, I would like to congratulate my friend, Joy Dye, on her decision to run her first 5k race on July 17, 2005! As if running her race isn’t enough, Joy is also raising money for cancer research through Great Britain’s Race for Life program. I am always a fan of those who run in order to make a difference. 🙂 Joy is a wonderful person with a good heart, and we all know how important cancer research is, right? If you would like to contribute to Joy’s “race for life,” you can do so by clicking here.

Second, I have registered for the Seattle Half-Marathon, which will take place on November 27, 2005. Dick and Sandy, two kind and dedicated runners I have “known” only in an online context for the past four years, are traveling to the Emerald City for the event, and inquired as to whether I wished to join them. I believe this will be a terrific way to submerge myself in Seattle’s running culture, but I need to adjust to the hills before the day arrives!

I had been running short distances slowly about a month ago, until a friend reminded me that the orthopedist told me to take several months off. Even though I was feeling pretty good, I decided to listen to him and wait until June to run.

Back to unpacking the numerous boxes in my beautiful new home. Seattle is such an intriguing place, and I already feel very much at ease here. So here’s to the future!

I saw Paula Radcliffe!0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Friday April 29, 2005 at 2:14 pm)

As disappointed as I felt over not running the London Marathon this year, I have to admit – it was quite a thrill to stand with my husband, and father as a spectator just after the twenty-fifth mile. As a supporter (I believe the line from Grease is (paraphrased): If you are not an athlete then be an athletic supporter), I saw Paula Radcliffe run about two feet in front of us! Evan even managed to take a great Sports Illustrated-quality photo of her as she whizzed past us. The other female elite runners followed (the closest one more than three minutes later), women I have admired for at least five years now, including Margaret Okayo, who has, among her many victories, conquered the Boston and New York Marathons on more than one occasion. The sky was blue, the weather was just warm enough, and the excitement was contagious! I was mentally planning my preparation for stepping back into running in June after returning from an injury (see previous blog entry for an explanation). Throughout the rest of the day, we would be shopping on Bond Street or walking through Charring Cross, and there were dozens of runners with medals around their necks, enjoying the beautiful London day. We made a point of congratulating as many finishers as we could around town.

Click here to see all of Evan’s photos from our day at the London Marathon. If you continue past pages four and five, you will also see our pictures from our trips to Paris and Amsterdam. 🙂

Take care, fellow runners, and I hope we meet soon on the course.


April Experiences0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Monday April 11, 2005 at 11:16 pm)


Despite being unable to run long distances, I have had a remarkable number of running-related experiences during the month of April. This has kept my enthusiasm high, and I look forward to building my endurance once more. The SportHill attire awaits me.

March 31st was the last day I reported for medical duties as a medical student. I awoke early on April 1st, loaded my remaining belongings (clothes, books, kitchen appliances, etc) into my car, drove to Irmo, SC, and unloaded them to be moved to Seattle, WA a few weeks later. I then returned to Charleston, where the traffic was horrendous for a Friday night. Then I remembered – the following day Charleston would host the Cooper River Bridge Run, and I had agreed to be a medical volunteer. When I awoke the following morning, it was raining hard enough to slowly flood the parking lot outside of my apartment building. I splashed through the water, picked up my friend Joshua (who was running the race), took him across the bridge to the starting line, returned across the bridge a second time, and parked my car about a mile from the finish line, and thus, from the medical tents. Most medical students wanted to be in the tent designated for emergenices, but I volunteered to head to the first aid tent, figuring I would have more autonomy.

The inside of the tent (I’m not kidding here) looked and felt like a swamp. The watery mud rose above my ankles, blackening my white Brooks Adrenalines. The wind was whipping the side flaps up, spraying us with rain. The cots we had set up for injured runners were literally blowing out of the tent and around the field for festivities. It was a terrific experience, though. I had the pleasure of assisting many runners, some with minor bleeding from ruptured blisters and others who had slipped, fallen, and were bleeding from knees and palms. Miraculously, no one required sutures. In any case, it turned out to be a great day, and I gained much experience in disinfecting and cleaning debris from wounds (as painlessly as possible). Best of all, though, I was able to watch the top ten finishers cross the finish line. This was my first encounter with the very lean, perfectly-built-for-running Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes. Their compositions are so difficult to describe, but as the wind blew I was half expecting them to blow over because they were so thin. As Linus Maiyo crossed the finish line, I thought, Well, he just won $5000. Winning time: 29:30.

That evening, after spending time with friends, I spent the whole night packing my suitcases for Seattle. I departed the morning of April 3rd and arrived in the afternoon. It was the greatest feeling to see my husband in the city where we will be living for at least the next four years.

So aside from the Bridge Run, I had another running-related experience this morning. My husband receives a membership to the Pro Athletic Club in Bellevue, WA as a job benefit. We were offered one week guest passes to check the place out. It is HUGE! To give you a brief overview, there are five swimming pools and muliple large fitness rooms, each with about 25+ treadmills and as many stationary bicycles and elliptical trainers. There are also indoor courts for squash and racquetball, indoor tennis courts (use of these requires an additional fee), a spa offering massage and other services (also not included), a bistro, a coffee shop, a store selling athletic attire, and the list goes on. There is even a station where someone can purchase flowers. My favorite part, however, is the locker room. The women’s locker room (the only one about which I can write accurately) is not only very spacious, but a wing of it includes three whirlpools, two saunas, and multiple showers. In the common area of the locker room (across from the private rooms with tanning beds) are leather sofas, televisions, and a gas fireplace. I spent an hour working out there this morning, and then nearly two hours enjoying the locker room! Alas, the fee for spouses is more than I am willing to relinquish at this point in my young life, so I will be perfectly happy working out at the University of Washington. I have not yet visited their facilities, but they also look quite nice from the street. 🙂

So now life begins in Seattle, a fitness-conscious city full of runners, cyclists, and pedistrians at every turn. It might just be the right place to keep me motivated as my life as a physician begins.


Cooper River Bridge Run 20050

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Tuesday March 29, 2005 at 5:22 pm)

My injury is keeping me out of the race across the Cooper River Bridge this weekend. One of the largest 10ks in the nation, Charleston hosts the Cooper River Bridge Run annually as thousands come from around the region for a beautiful, scenic, and exciting road race. In order to make the best of a disappointing situation, I will be volunteering with the medical team. Hopefully my services will not be necessary during the race, but if they are I figure I can put my medical training to good use while allowing myself to experience the excitement of the day.

The local weather forecast here in Charleston is calling for clear skies and 60 degrees at 8 AM when the starting gun is fired. This is perfect weather for such a race! I have run this race twice – once in colder conditions, and once in 80 degree weather. I’m thinking 60 sounds ideal.

I also have less than ONE WEEK of medical school remaining! After finishing this month of psychiatry, I am leaving for Seattle, then for a two-week vacation in Europe (much needed!). Then, it’s back to Seattle for a while until graduation arrives in May. There is much to which I can look forward, and I do so much anticipate being able to run again in June.

Take care, fellow runners.


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