Monday, June 29, 2009

Hot in the city

Saturday morning - long run day - I got up around 6:45am and had some breakfast, then took a quick shower to wake me up, put on my running clothes and went out to stretch. It was already hot and humid out. I drank some water, grabbed my shuffle & garmin and took off. At first I ran south and there was a breeze so it felt alright, then I turned and went east with no tree cover and I realized how hot it was going to be. I did a 5 mile loop that ended up at the YMCA where I stopped to get a drink and weigh myself. I felt pretty good at this point - I was keeping up a good pace. I left the Y and decided to just do a 3 mile loop and end up back there for another drink before heading back across town. This time I stopped and again got a drink then weighed myself - I was already 3/4lb down. Not good when you are out for a 14 miler and you are losing 3/4 lb every 3 miles (especially when you're not a big person to begin with). I decided at this point I better not push it too hard - didn't want to end up passed out somewhere on the side of the road. I took off again - weaving my way through the neighborhoods and hogging up as much of the shade as possible - even stealing some water out of sprinklers where I could. My body felt good, but I was very hot and tired. I made it back to the house at 10.5 miles and got another drink and walked a few steps then went on to finish the last 3.5. Those were probably the slowest - the garmin kept registering 9:45 - not exactly where I wanted to be, but at that point I just needed to finish.
Regardless of the time and the weather I did finish it and it was good.

I did make a mental note about this particular run - I was running alone - for the first 5 miles or so I waved at everyone with little to no luck(when I run with Brooke we kind of take turns waving). After the first stop at the Y I decided I should take it down a notch and try to conserve as much energy as possible. At this point, for some reason people started waving at me - there were a couple ladies that even did the BIG wave - you know, hand off the wheel and moving side to side. Pretty impressive - it helped too. Maybe they could tell that the heat and humidity was zapping every ounce of my energy and were giving their little wave of encouragement. That's what I like to think anyway - and it works. It's amazing how there are times when you just don't have any more in you, but seeing or hearing just the right thing can propel you just a little further.
One of the big one's for me is when I see young kids - I don't ever want them to see me give up - I want them to know they can do anything.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Speed Racer

Such mixed emotions about speed work!
We waited till 9pm to go last night, but it was still 90 degrees. I ran to the track for a warm up - around a mile. After we got there we decided we would do some 300m repeats at 6min/mile pace (67.5 sec). We did the first one in 71 seconds and I didn't think I could go any faster, but the man convinced me it was just because we had not warmed up properly yet.
We walked 100m to recoup then went again - this time 65 seconds. I thought my chest would explode and wasn't sure how I would do another. We walked our 100m and got a quick drink and ran one more. I just knew it was slower, but it wasn't - exactly the same 65 seconds. I thought I just might lose my lunch so Brady suggested we run 400m at race pace. We had miscalculted what race pace for the 400m was and ended up running it at a 7:40min/mile pace instead of 8:45, but it still felt slow compared to the 300's.
So, another short break was had and we decided to do another round. First lap was slower again - 70 seconds I think. The second I thought I had slowed, but I think Brady just sped up - ran it in 68 seconds. The last 300m we did in 65 seconds again. We got closer on our next 400m race pace lap at a 8:20min/mile pace. It really did feel slow - that's a good feeling!

Overall I know speed work is helping me - I just feel so slow and like I have to work at it so hard. It's crazy to me that I can get my head around doing 26.2 miles, but it's hard for me to get my head around doing 300m at a 6min/mile pace - let alone doing 400m, or 800m. Ah, he says we'll get there. I feel like I'm giving it all I can for now.
The other issue I have is once I'm done I feel fine. Like I could do it again. So much different than a long run. When I finish a long run I need nutrients, water, rest and if it's a really long run I feel fatigue for the rest of the day. With sprints it doesn't matter how tired I get during the sprint when it's done I don't have fatigue?? And then there's the added humilation of putting down that I did 3 miles - that's basically an off day or a recovery day! It's just a different mentality - I can already see benefit though so I'm going to stick with it and hopefully one day I will be a Speed Racer - lol! :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Riding and Running

It's been a backwards week for me - been doing more riding than running - not nearly enough of either though. I'd like to blame it on the heat, but it's more that there is just so much to do in life lately. Enough about that though, this bleep is about what I have done.

Tuesday we had a ride with SWAT - I rode with Brady and a couple other guys from the group. It wasn't too bad - they were a little fast for me so I had to draft, but it was great practice. I'm starting to feel more comfortable on my bike, in groups, and hugging someones back wheel. It was out and back and per gmaps pedometer it was about 24 miles. Still loving my new shoes and cleats. The only pain I'm having is fatigue/tightness in my shoulders. Maybe I'm still nervous, or I just haven't gotten my seat height perfect yet. I'll keep tweaking it all and eventually get better. For now I'll just be happy at how far I've come. (Knock on wood I haven't fallen in a long time!)

Yesterday I braved the 5:30pm heat and did a 6 mile run. Brooke rode with me. It was pretty good - ran it in 57 min - 9-1/2 minute miles. As hot as it was I was content with that. I want to do hills or track work tonight, but it needs to happen after we make a trip to Sarcoxie to see Grandpa so we'll see. If not tonight I'll have to hit it in the morning and I've been too tired to make myself get out of bed early! Must go tonight!

I've done some good things in my bit of off-season, but now it's time to get serious about training - no more skipping track days, or hill workouts. I have to commit. Of course, I have over committed to races so that will be an issue of how to fit training for all of it in - as always!

July 11 is the Tornado Alley bike ride - not sure if we are doing the 70+ mile ride or the full 110 mile ride, but either way it will be a lot more than I'm used too. I seriously need some seat time for that. Might try for a 50+ mile ride Sunday.
July 25 is the Dusk till Dawn Adventure race - for it I need to spend time trail running, single track riding and lifting upper body weights so I can survive the canoe. So, will Sunday be a 50+ road ride or a few hours on single track - argh, the decisions!!
The next major race - that requires lots of prep is Chicago Marathon - October 11. This requires running, running and more running - which I am planning to do Saturday morning. Might try to do a few miles of the run on the Ruby Jack trail to get some gravel road miles - not the same as trails, but closer than pavement.
Seriously - how do people fit it all in?? ;-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Riding with Cushion

After a long run/ride on Wednesday I was looking forward to a chill ride to Joplin last night. I left the house about 6:15pm - it was still a bit hot, but cooling down some. The wind was there - out of the southwest so that slowed me down a bit. Overall though I had no complaints - it was a good 15 mile ride - challenging, but allowed for recovery.

I got to the man's house, where we were meeting to pick up a couch and loveseat to take to my house. We got them loaded in the trailer and headed out - everything seemed to be riding fine. We stopped at Taco Bell for a quick dinner since it was already around close to 8pm, then headed towards the highway home. When we first got on the highway everything seemed to be riding really well - we thought the cushions were attached. About 4 miles shy of Carthage we realized they were not! We looked back and realized one was missing. We pulled over, not really knowing what our next step would be - we didn't know if it had just blown out, or if it had been miles and miles ago. I decided I would grab my bike out of the back of the truck and ride to find it. Of course at this point I'd taken off my new shoes and had on flip flips (not so easy to ride with flip flops & clipless, but I've done it a few times). So I take off riding on the highway shoulder towards traffic at dusk looking for a cushion. I'd made it about a mile when I spotted something in the road - I just knew it had to be it so I ride fast towards the shadow. I get there and it is indeed the cushion - only minor scuffs (it's a leather sofa) that can be buffed out. Then, I realize the flaw in my plan - how am I going to carry a cushion on my bike back the two miles to the truck. I pick it up and attempt to lay it across my handlebars - steadying it with one hand and trying to ride with the other. Because of the size it made me have to ride bow-legged. I'd say it was pretty hilarious to watch me!! If only I had a picture, but come to think of it - I might be glad I don't! ;-)

It was a ride I won't soon forget. Kind of glad today is my day off - who knows what exciting things might happen!?! Ah, now I have to focus on getting ready to run 18 tomorrow!! Good times!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Road Kill

So yesterday was my mid-week long run/ride day - wasn't really planning both, but sometimes that's how it plays out. I got up early and went for a 6 mile run with a 1 mile pick-up at the end. It went well - the weather was good and my body (especially quads) was not nearly as sore as the day before.

After work I had to go see Grandpa in Sarcoxie at the nursing home so we decided to ride there and back - it's a good ride on outer roads with some rolling hills - a little over 35 miles round trip. It was also my first chance to try out my new Pearl Izumi women's elite road shoes!! I'm not usually a 'pink' girl, but I really like these shoes - very sweet!

On the way out I worked pretty hard to keep up with the man on the hills and did better than normal - I was a little more tired heading back, but we kept up a pretty decent pace. About 5 miles into our ride home we were on a low travel outer road getting ready to meet a big SUV - no worries until we see some road kill on their side. We were a little scared that in their attempt to miss the road kill they may take us out so we're keeping a close eye on the situation - even slow down a little so we don't meet up at the road kill at the same moment. They don't swerve - they head straight towards the kill in an attempt to straddle it. It was evidently a little wider than anticipated because they were unable to clear it. As I'm cringing from the tires crushing bone I look back in the general direction and BAM! - I get hit square in the cheek with a chunk of 'something'. (UFRK) It was the size of a quarter - came flying up and straight at me. I'm not a veteran rider, but I've eaten more than a few bugs, had them fly up my nose, caked in my eyes, even felt the wetness from other riders elimination of bodily fluids (spit, snot, etc. - yuck!!), but this was a first for me - getting hit by road kill. Needless to say I was ready for a shower when I got home and not just because I was caked in salt from the heat!!
Let's hope tonight's ride is less eventful. ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Naked Feet

I received an email from my friend who works on her feet a lot saying she wanted to look at getting some better shoes. Attached to the e-mail was a link to a popular mechanics article from April talking about the big running barefoot debate. It's stuff I had heard and read before, but I took some more time and found a few other articles, including this one from MailOnline.
It really does make you wonder - are we wasting money and increasing our risk of injury with the shoes we buy? Especially running shoes?

I remember when I was little, growing up on the farm, we NEVER wore shoes. I could run down the dirt and rock driveway and never blink an eye. My feet were callused and used to the abuse. Mom would fight me to put on shoes to go to school or go to town. Of course as the years moved on wearing shoes became part of who I was. I had to have all the latest styles - including every color in the rainbow of 'jelly shoes'. Remember those things - molded plastic in every shape and color you could imagine? My grandma used to get on to me - telling me I would ruin my feet wearing those things - they didn't have any cushion or support she would say. Now I'm thinking we need a 'jelly shoe' resurrection - it's pretty close to barefoot with the added style and cool colors - lol!!

OK - joking about that - I really don't condone a 'jelly shoe' revival - they are gone and I hope they stay that way! But it did get me to thinking - were they really hurting my feet? My only problems with my feet, legs, hips came after I started spending good money on running shoes - of course I spent more money on good running shoes because I was doing more RUNNING - so which caused what??

The argument that the shoes we wear are making are feet week because they don't have to work makes sense to me. Does this lead to more injuries - it makes sense that it would. Does this mean I'll start running barefoot? Probably not, but I will make more of a conscious effort to wear shoes less. It's already the first thing I want to do when I get home and I don't think twice about heading out to the yard with naked feet. I just think there are still ways I could do it more and if that helps to strengthen my feet and prevent injuries even better. The biggest problem about running barefoot for me is the road debris - the glass, metal, or rusty nails you have the potential of stepping on. I don't know about you, but stepping on those type things is not fun for me and what ends up being worse is the inevitable trip the ER to get the dreaded tetanus shot. I can deal with a nail in my foot and the associated pain, but those tetanus shots hurt for days! :-O

Is there a reason that running in low mileage, cushioned shoes leads to a stress fracture and training in racing flats with little to no support gets you a marathon PR (and no injury)?? I don't know, but I think the possibility exists. There is something to be said for going more natural - be it the food we put in our bodies, modes of transportation we use, to what we wear (or don't wear on our feet).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Boomtown 1/2 Marathon

Oh race day - isn't it weird that it doesn't seem to matter how big or small a race is - it's still race day? 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, marathon, Adventure Race - they all come with some race day jitters no matter how many you do. The 1/2 marathon was no exception Saturday even though I was looking at it as just another training run. I probably wouldn't have even signed up, but 1/2 marathon's don't happen every day in this area so as a runner you have to do it - right? Show support for the local running community and all that jazz. Well, of course!

The CRC did our part - 3 of our 4 runners were out and ready to run at gun time. (And our fouth was our supporter extraordinare!!) It was 7am and a little hot but we were ready. Bart Yasso and Sara Reinerstein were there to start us and Bart even ran with us - pretty cool in itself. (And as a side note, we beat him by 8 minutes, but he did start behind us and has been battling lyme disease). The course was pretty hilly and I don't mean up and down, just up - lol - it seemed like it anyway. The first 7 miles went by pretty quickly, but it was around there that some serious fatigue set in my legs. They felt very heavy, but I could have tolerated that if not for the nausea & dizziness I was feeling. I'm pretty sure I have an inner ear infection - everything is still echoing in my head. Brooke kept me moving though - even when I wanted to stop we kept moving along. The last two miles were the worst - people passed us that I'm sure we could have beat, but I just didn't think I had anymore in me, but like Brooke says - you always have more than you think you do.

So, we round the corner to head up main street to the finish - around 5 blocks left and I feel like I'm going to pass out and I see the clock and see that we could make it in 2 hours so I tell Brooke to go on - knowing that her taking off is the only way I'm going to motivate myself to do it. She does and I start slower, but eventually my legs start moving faster than I thought they could - I think I startled her a little bit being right behind her, but we finished together over the line. What really sucks is they scored me before her even though it shows our time the same - I just realized this today. I assume they just went alphabetical since we tied - not really sure. But I owe finishing this race to her and I sure didn't deserve to finish ahead.

She says I helped her through her Wichicta marathon - well, she's paid back any debt in full - she got me through this race and it was a tough one for me. So, now the score is even - it's about time we run a race where we both have a good day - how hard can that really be?? ;-) I have confidence our day is coming soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Race tomorrow

Boomtown 1/2 marathon is tomorrow and I don't feel ready - OK I said it out loud (sort of), but I just don't. I just haven't felt good this week - lots of reasons - hopefully none of which will be detrimental to my performance, but we shall see!
Breaking 2 hours will be the goal - I guess I have done that before - during a marathon - just not in an actual 1/2. How hard can it be to do it again? I'll have Brooke with me and it's in Joplin - so roads I know (but really, is that good or bad?? - sometimes the unknown is better).

I hope there is a post on here soon telling of a great performance!! :-)
Kind of excited about the banquet tonight - getting to hear Bart Yasso speak - that will be cool. Till then....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Early Runs

There's something to be said for getting up and running early - you know, before most people have even thought about getting out of bed! Our plan today was Brooke and I would each leave our respective houses at 5:10am - meet at our 1/2 way point - puts each of us at a mile - run 4 together and then we each run 1 home. We do this a lot - it just makes sense. So, I'm used to making the turn onto the road where we intersect and I start watching for her - always wondering if I was a little late, or if she's a little early, trying to predict exactly where we'll meet - it's silly, but entertaining for a few blocks. This morning was a little different - we ran 1/2 an hour earlier than our normal early morning runs so it was really dark. Running down the city street, street lights on, no cars out, nothing moving except the occasional bird - it's so calm. So, where we intersect there are very few lights and I have to strain my eyes to try to see if she's coming. Finally, I think I see reflections of something moving - it is her shoes - I still can't see her - just the shoes (nameless, faceless feet plodding along) - then the glow of the iphone - then I finally can make out her silhouette. It's always good to see her and know that I have someone to chat with! :-)

We had a good run today, our only problem came when it was getting closer to 6am and we had to start looking out for cars - I think everyone that is driving at this time of morning is still asleep - they don't seem to want to give us enough room and they sure won't wave. Maybe they just think we're crazy - and I guess we are a little bit, but when you're a runner you run when you can - whether that means 5am, 5pm, or sometime in between!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Random running thoughts

Today is/was my day off (from running anyway - I had planned a road ride for after work), but after Brooke let me know today is National Running Day we decided we had to get in a short run. The plan is for a 4 miler on the lunch hour (which is probably good since the ride may be cancelled due to some needed rain heading our way). Anyway, I didn't even know there was such a day, but there is and it's here and we have to run - right?? We are the CRC (Carthage Running Club), 4 members strong! ;-)

I was telling one of my best friends about today being National Running day and she said she had already got her run in. It just made me think how proud I was of her - she just started running a year ago (or is it closer to 2 years now?). She even talked her husband into it. They run in the mornings before work - a couple laps around their sub-division - they started out doing around 1.25 miles and are up to 2.5. I love getting other people into running! :-) Just wish she lived closer so we could do some runs together.

Last random thought, at least for now, is speedwork. I've started on my training for Chicago marathon and am following a schedule put together by my man. He's just sure I can improve my speed. (we shall see) Part of the plan incorporates speedwork so we headed out to the track on Monday. I hadn't been on a track since highschool - it felt pretty weird. We did 200 & 400 repeats to get the feel of it all - we went back and forth between running them fast and running them at my goal race pace. It's amazing how out of breath I got during the quick runs - wow - but I recovered fairly quickly and was able to go again. On the bike ride home I was thinking that wasn't a very good workout, so few miles and I'm not even sore...that feeling lasted until I got up the next morning for a 7 miler. That's when the fatigue set in! I felt like if I didn't consciously think about moving my legs forward they would just stop. I guess it took more out of me than I thought - I'm anxious to see how the next session goes!!