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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/21/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 10 points
    Last year I was a last minute substitute on the 100 on 100 team. After successfully completing my 16 miles I was so happy and excited that I volunteered to captain the 2019 team. We had ELEVEN individuals who wanted to be on the team! 11! That’s how much fun this relay is. I put out an email asking for 5 people to send me money to cover the entrance fee.... I received 6 payments. Derp. Suddenly we had more members than allowed. I tried to be brave and rationalize that it would be fine if I wasn’t on the team. “You’ll be in the middle of moving.” “You’ve got a 3 day race coming up in October so it’ll be good to save the cash.” My mind wasn’t listening to the BS. Sometime in May or June GonzoRunner said the Wife wasn’t going to be able to run due to the fact that she was growing a tiny human. I took her spot so fast . It was like a smash and grab job. I volunteered to pick up Gonzo from the Newark Airport on the Friday before the race. KRG was having a serious case of FOMO and messaged me and asked if there’d be room for her. “Absopositively!!” So our team was: Leg 1,7,13 - Mrs. Bear in the Big Brown House— ie. Paige - a last minute fill in for Amber. Paige is F-A-S-T! Leg 2,8,14 - was the new guy Mikey — as in “ask Mikey! He’ll like running up Killington!” - GonzoRunner Leg 3,9,15 - ApplePie Leg 4,10,16 - Bear in the Big Brown House - ie. Pat Leg 5,11,17 - SlowRunning Leg 6,12,18 - ME!! #1 Cheerleader/Domestique Extrodonaire - KeepRunningGirl I picked up KRG and GR from the Newark airport on Friday afternoon around 2:00. We promptly hit traffic. A 4.5 hour trip took us about 5.5. My dream of sitting on the beautiful deck of our AirBnb was dashed. SR was already at the house. Paige, Pat and AP were running late. We all met up at The Garlic for some pre-race fuel. I’m pretty sure GR was pretty tired of us saying “Remember when...” and then bursting into laughter, but he was a good sport about it. After dinner KRG cursed the AirBnb owner because they only had a Keurig machine with DECAF k-cups. Everyone went to sleep agreeing that we needed to get the start earlier than our prescribed 8:30 am start time. At packet pick up AP and I asked/pleaded to start at 8:00 rather than 8:30. We were told no due to congestion at the transition areas. AP being the rule breaker he is (drinking alcohol as a passenger in a moving vehicle ... oh wait! This isn’t breaking the law in Conneticut!! (Or DE, or 2 other states! Who knew!!) decided that we should just go out with the 8:00 am people. We got a group photo before sending Paige on her way. We didn’t make the rookie mistake that we did the 1st year and leave transition. We had GR in position before motoring off to cheer him on. Offered to ApplePie during his run: I’m hoping others will write their race reports (I’m looking at you SR, AP, GR and KRG!) so we’ll skip to my legs. I was running the same legs I had the previous year so I had a better idea what to expect. Leg 6 climb - 558 feet. You run up a smallish hill and then free fall down a WAY too steep hill just to climb back up. SR slapped the bracelet onto me and I was off. I was feeling good and knew just run the leg my way. I ran up the first hill and then had to brake down the back side because it was so f-ing steep! On the way back up the hill called the Big Dog Hill I ran when I could and walked when needed. I made up the time when the road flattened out. 9:17 pace for 5.58 miles. I’ve gotten somewhat better at running hills. I slapped the bracelet onto Paige and she was off! Waiting for Pat to come in....I swear my arms aren’t as big as they look...I think... Our usual waterfall picture The only way we are ever going to have a covered bridge picture unless SR gives up this leg. Leg 12 was as flat as Vermont can be 252’ elevation gain. I was worried about using the POP before SR came in. Last year I didn’t get a chance to use it before taking off and my colon is just dumb...really dumb. You’ve heard of stage fright, right? Well, my colon has racing fright. I managed to zip into the POP before SR came in. Only #1 successful. Sigh. SR slapped that bracelet on me and by now the band was squishy and slimy from the sweat. Ewww! I charged off, feeling good because I knew it was relatively flat - which suits me just fine! I had a few kills. I came on a runner who was obviously struggling . I got ready to pass her when a pickup truck pulling a full sized camper passed a slower car! He passed within 12” of us! The girl said if her heart was spiking before it definitely was now! It was so irresponsible of that driver. 5.12 @ 9:07 I got to transition just as the skies were changing. A few drops of rain had started to fall. The skies were rumbling. I slapped the band onto Paige and she was off on her uphill climb. Let’s just say poor, poor Paige...but she actually enjoyed it! By the time SR was on his final leg we were behind our expected finish time by 30 minutes or so. Race officials were at transition saying you wouldn’t be able to finish if our runner wasn’t in by 11:30. I threw out the suggestion that if SR was okay running his leg after we stopped and rehydrated him that we drive to transition and I would start early. The team was in agreement and SR said he was good with the plan so our van drove to the transition area 15 minutes before SR ran in. I asked KRG if she wanted to run with me. She jumped at the chance. We were so thankful that she had been there for us ALL damn day! It’s hard remembering that you need to refuel your runner midway. In the past Christine.Eliz and Jen.m.Yee have done this. KRG was most certainly MVP! KRG and I set off into the night after checking in and making sure the transition volunteer knew our plan. My colon was rearing it’s ugly head. I can’t even explain. If KRG wasn’t there I probably would have made a dash for the woods! Lol. On the uphills I made her walk and then on the downhills I’d pull ahead. I was SO happy when we hit the final turn into the Okemo parking lot!! KRG and I were chugging along when suddenly a van started to back up right into me! I slammed my hand on the rear of the van and yelled. Thankfully I didn’t get squished by them! We charged up to the entrance yelling out our team # “180 180!” because it was pitch black! AP, SR, GR, Paige and Pat all followed KRG and I into the finish. 4.89 @ 10:12 pace with 386’ of elevation. Best feeling ever! And yes, we’ve already signed up for next year!
  2. 7 points
    The short: Mother Nature didn't want the Plaza 10K runners to have it easy this year, so she gave us 71 degrees with thunderstorms in the area and a dew point of 68. Historically I haven't raced well in these conditions, so I lined up ready to give it my all and to be thankful for whatever that was, without any specific time or pace expectations. I ran by effort and ignored my watch, and although I had an idea where I was at since the race had a course clock at the 5K mark, I was thrilled to see the finishing clock in the 36s as I came down the final stretch. My official time of 36:52 is 18 seconds off my PR, which I ran in 56 degrees on the same course last year, but it almost felt like a PR because it was much faster than I thought I would run in the weather we had. It is by far the best I've raced anything in temperatures over 70, and it felt so good after a disappointing 5K in similar conditions the previous weekend. My official results are here, and my Strava activity of the race can be seen here. I remembered not to stop my watch for once! On my drive to the race, Psalm 23 popped into my head The long: I had a hard time getting pumped up for this race because of the forecast. I was still feeling discouraged from the Brookhaven 5K, and the weather conditions were shaping up to be nearly identical for this race. I thought my fitness was there, but I didn't feel good about showing it in crap weather - plus optimism and denial hadn't worked the previous weekend! I was at this race solo, so this was my race day pic! However, as always I got excited when I got in the race environment and began warming up. This race is very competitive, so as usual one of my goals was to place as high as I could. My other goals were to get the best out of myself that day, and to not be afraid to hurt. The race started and I settled into the effort level that felt maintainable for 6.2 miles. Several women went out ahead of me, and I began setting my eyes on the ponytail closest to me and working towards it. I latched onto men here and there to help pull me up to the next ponytail. I passed Chander, who I ran most of Grandma's Marathon with, shortly after the mile mark and encouraged her to work her way up with me. The familiar course was comforting, although I caught myself thinking, "I remember how much cooler it was last year" a few times. Mid-race focus I was nearing a woman and feeling strong when we passed the 5K clock in 18:24. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or to breathe a sign of relief, since the pace felt hard but it also felt do-able, whereas the previous week I'd been nearly dead after racing a flatter 5K in 18:23. That gave me a nice boost and I accelerated past that women, encouraging her to work with me to catch the two ponytails ahead of us. A couple of my male pace buddies around mile 4 After that point I worked with a couple of men for the second half of the race. The effort was hard but I kept telling myself just to stay with them; they would get me in the 36s. Although I didn't have a time goal when I started the race, I sure had one after I saw my 5K course split, and that was to run something starting with a 36! I knew that wouldn't be an easy task, because the final 2 miles of this course have a lot of uphill and I've always positive split on it. Also, my coach told me that humidity affects us most in the second half of a race, which seems like a good explanation for why I positive split everything in the summer even though in general I consider myself a good negative splitter... I started to hurt really bad with 1.5 miles to go, but I was gaining slightly on a ponytail about 30 seconds ahead and wouldn't let myself give up, just in case! Running near the men helped a lot, but as they sprinted in the final 0.2 I didn't have much left to give - by that point I also knew that I wasn't going to move up or get caught in my female position. As I came down the final stretch, I saw that I was going to make it in the 36s and broke out in a smile! I remembered to not stop my watch right at the line in hopes of getting good finishing photos! The woman who won my age group was from Flagstaff, AZ Post-race, I ran an 8 mile cool down with great company, which has become tradition for this Sunday race that always coincides with marathon training (probably because I am always marathon training, bahaha!)! I felt pretty good on the slow cool down until we climbed a massive steep hill in the final mile, in search of Sharon's car... The race took about 8 photos of us finishing our cool down, hah! The more I reflected on my race, the better I felt about it. The woman who won the race last year in 34:36 ran 35:24 this time for second place, and she is in top shape preparing for the Twin Cities Marathon. Another fast female who ran 35:09 last year finished in 36:09 this year. I finished in front of a women I've never beat before, who ran 36:10 last year and 37:27 this time. Thinking about it that way, I felt that being 18 seconds slower than my 2018 time was perhaps equivalent to a 30-40 second PR, and this was sure a better checkpoint than my race the weekend before! Pretty happy with these grade-adjusted paces except for mile 6 and the final 0.24 - those show I didn't have much left to give! I wish mile 4 was instead mile 6 I wrote about my Plaza 2018 race here and my Plaza 2017 race here. Clearly I need to keep running this race every year, because I have never come away thinking it could have gone any better. I'm thankful I returned for the Plaza 10K magic in 2019. Psalm 23:1: The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want... 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. My course 5K splits were 18:24 and 18:27! Post-race brunch company Hahaha!
  3. 6 points
    I was the official tagger alonger at this year’s 100 on 100 this past weekend a few weeks ago. It’s really hard to describe and I always sucked at writing about Loopmeets so I’ll just tell you a bit about it. This year the team was fivestarks, Apple Pie, the incorrectly named Slow Running and Pat representing the OG, and Gonzo Runner and Paige bringing in some fresh (and very fast) blood. Fivestarks had made arrangements to pick Gonzo Runner up from Newark Airport on her way to Vermont. She graciously offered to let me start my tagging along there. It was a nice ride up. I love hanging out with these two and usually catch about half the NJ references. I haven't seen Gwen since the NJ half and Steve since Peachtree last year so there was a lot of catching up. I was supposed to be studying a little on the drive (more on that later) but I wound up chatting with the two of them with my book open on my lap the whole way up. You would too if you had been there. I’ll briefly recap race day but for the most part if you weren’t there, it’s your own fault for missing it. Wake up early. Drive. Hop out of the van to cheer. Drive. Hop out of the van to cheer. Snacks. Drive. Cheer. POP stop. Repeat until well into the night. Of course, along the way, everyone is joking around and having fun. I found out that I am incredibly bad at recognizing our runners from far away. I also found out that Paige, who is married to Pat, is crazy fast and completely fearless. She stayed out running during an electrical storm that had us all hiding in the van and, I suspect, other teams packing it in for the day. My favorite part of the day happened at night when fivestarks suggested that I run the last leg with her. I haven’t run in weeks because my back went out again and, on a good day, I’m a lot slower than her so I was a little nervous. Plus I was in very retired running shoes and a bra bra not a sports bra. BUT how many times would I be able to run through the backroads of Vermont in the pitch black with fivestarks? (Okay, technically the answer is probably annually but hush) So after a bit of finessing of the situation and deciding that I was not a bandit – I was a pacer – ignoring the fact that that pace is slower, we were off. Two things – Gwen is really fun to run with, she kept us on a nice clip without it ever feeling too hard or making me feel like I was holding her back. And it was dark. Like pitch black. It was kind of fun on the uphills because getting to the top would be a happy surprise. The downhills were fun too until I’d shine my headlamp out to take a peek and then get intimidated by how steep the hill was. I’m going to abruptly leave off there because I have more to tell about. Edit: I am captaining the 2020 team and I have to admit that after a few years of doing this with various people on the team, it really sucks that there are only six spots. I know we say this every year, but can't we have two teams? Please? Maybe a 12 person van with two runners out at once? Or two mini vans but our runners run together so we can still all mix in together? I'm just saying... So, I am studying to take my GMAT so I can start my masters this spring. I’m excited and scared and I’ll probably have to rent out my place and live someplace cheaper while I’m doing it. That part sucks but I am looking forward to a change of pace. I pretty much have to relearn algebra and geometry and even a lot of basic math for the test. It’s taking all of my time just keeping up with my prep class so I am going to defer NYC this year. I was behind on training anyway because of my back and don’t feel like I have anything to prove by gutting it out again this year. Edit: I was really happy about this decision until I was helping my RB strategize meeting up with her people at the finish, etc. Now I'm a little sad that I won't be running it but not sad enough to want to go into it undertrained. Am I soft? Maybe but I'd rather not kill myself trying to finish and then have to come back mentally and physically in time for Atlanta. So, I'm just going to focus on Atlanta. I have some more plans as far as school goes but I don’t want to say anything about it yet. Speaking of training. I just haven't had it since 2017. I really need to just commit myself and BE CONSISTENT but between injury, life, depression, weight gain, weight loss, falling off the smoking wagon, depression, getting back on the wagon, trying to maintain actual real life relationships with other human beings, and all the other things, I just haven't had a good season. I know that those are all just excuses but it doesn't help me get past that either, ya know? Sometimes I look back and remember 2017 fondly - waking up before dawn every day, running while the sun came up, that feeling of being on top of things, of accomplishing things, seeing my paces drop, seeing speedwork and hill work and running on dead legs pay off, and I think about how much I want to be back there. But then... I think that that was all I had then. Running could be the most important thing because it was everything. Do I really want to be back there? Really? But if not that then what?
  4. 5 points
    I think I might be falling in love with running again. Actually, with exercise in general. So, I guess with me. I'm falling in love with me again. Running has really sucked for a long, long time. And you know how that goes - it sucks, so you listen to excuses to not do it. Then it sucks more, so you avoid it more, and so on. Sprinkle that with back problems every time I started making progress and just life in general. Whatever, I talked about all of that on my last bloop. I kind of knew that I needed to go to the gym to work on my back problem but I found it really hard to actually do. I wanted to want to go to the gym again. I wanted to enjoy my time there. But I just couldn't get it started. I couldn't make myself want it bad enough. Discipline is a muscle and mine was just as soft and flabby as my ass. And running was a struggle. I went from being down to run whenever, for however far and whatever pace my RBs were going, to struggling to keep up, struggling to enjoy myself and struggling to not stop. I missed it and I'd get these little gems here and there - runs that reminded me of how running used to be - before it would go right back to sucking. I honestly thought about leaving running behind. Deciding that it was something I had done while I did it but that time was gone. Maybe I would revert to my old insomniac smoker self. Maybe it was time to box everything up and look for the next phase of life. Then I had a parting of ways with someone and literally that day, that moment, it all came back. All I wanted to do in the whole world was to go for a run. And it felt good. And I went to the gym and it felt like home. There was no more trying and wanting to want, it was like I stepped back into myself. I reverted to my larky athletic self. I feel optimistic about the future again. I don't care so much about pace atm, I just want that feeling. When you’re running and just running and your body is digging it and the endorphins are flowing and the miles are ticking by and all is right in the world.
  5. 5 points
    Tuesday - Myrna Trail. 6 miles. 77o. 17 mph. Cloudy. Out of the six miles there's about a half mile that follows a little trail through a couple of small nature areas. It ends (or starts, depending on which way I'm running) where Myrna Street ends, so I call it the Myrna Trail. Not really a trail, but it's more of a trail than anything else I get to see. Even picked up a spider web, so that's pretty nature-ish, right? Wednesday - Phoenix Lake. 3 x 3200 intervals. Total 11 miles. 70o. 3 mph. Mostly cloudy. I consider this the day the summer weather lost the war with fall. There may be some more hot days, but the trend is most definitely improving. This brings me to my "duh!" moment. I remember being so amazed in week 10 of training for Marshall how my speed jumped dramatically. Until this week, I'd always attributed it to some magical point in my schedule - so many hard runs and a threshold of mileage somehow. Nope. Just the early fall cool down. Five years I've been waiting for that magical return. And it came this week. Don't get me wrong. I've been working very hard and running plenty of miles. If it were 80+ outside this would still have been a sucky, struggling run. But this was a fun and fast, 100% in control, workout. #1 - 7:25 (flat) & 7:33 (28 ft up), #2 - 7:24 (20 ft up) & 7:25 (flat), #3 - 7:19 (30 ft down) & 7:27 (52 ft down, but 3 stops in the last half mile for traffic - grr). Encouraging. The last pair I ran into one of the local running groups. Probably 20-25 of them coming at me up the bike path. Running past a group like that during a fast interval never happens. It's always during a slow recovery so I look like a sloth, so it was nice to think I appeared like a fast old guy instead of a slow one. Thursday - Schoolcraft to Haggerty. 10 miles. 73o. 5 mph. Cloudy. Usually I'm pretty meticulous about my running routes. Lately, I've been less so. Just start out in the next direction counterclockwise from the last run, go as far as I think I need to to get the miles on the calendar and loop back (or run an out and back). This one gave me a couple of miles on a part of Schoolcraft I've never run on before. It's double-laned and separated by a big median, but the traffic is very light, even in late afternoon. Still probably should have crossed all the way over to run against the traffic on the other side, but I was feeling extra lazy and stayed where I was. I guess I was hoping for some more sidewalk than I ended up getting. There was an extra wide shoulder, so that helped. Still, every time a car came past in the outside lane, I got a little nervous. Not recommended. But it was a nice run, mostly at 8:30-ish pace, except for a couple in the middle where I had some climbing. Decided to duck into one of the community college buildings for a drink at their fountain at mile 8. Friday - Madonna. 6 miles. 70o. 8 mph. Cloudy. Interesting thing on this run was the guy cleaning out the bed of his pickup. He had a big shop vac and was grabbing one piece of whatever was in the bed at a time and taking it by hand from the end of the hose (it was too large to actually vacuum) and put it in a trash bag on the ground next to him. And that wasn't the weird part. Inside his open garage was a naked female mannequin. Don't see that everyday in a suburban garage. So many questions. Saturday - McKenna's Bridge. 16 miles. 63o. 7 mph. Cloudy. The sun did come out for the second half, but it was awfully nice for a long run this morning. Since I'd missed my first 16 miler, I was really looking forward to this one. Brought the Fuel Belt and two Hammer Gels (G every 2 miles and HG at 5-1/2 and 11). Picked up the bike path at Five Mile then followed it all the way to Hines Drive. Easy paces. Then there's the hill on Five Mile up to Sheldon Road. It's at about mile 7, and climbs 105 feet in the last 400m. There was a cyclist heading down, then up again while I was working it. He came down again before I reached the top. Getting his hill work in, too. Another runner passed in front of me as I entered Northville. I was slowly gaining on him until we got to the steepest part of the climb to downtown. I still had 6 miles to go and he looked to be finishing up, so I let him go, saving myself for the last few climbs I had and my plan for a fast finish in miles 12-16. Mile 12 is where the highest point of the run is, so I would cruise in from there. Miles 1-12 were all 8:40-9:00. 13-16 were 8:04 (-82 ft), 8:12 (-26 ft), 8:14 (-28 ft) and 7:53 (-37 ft). Monday - Lyndon & Merriman. 10 miles. 58o. 7 mph. Cloudy. In fairness, I ran yesterday and today in the morning, so it was dark and clouds had nothing to do with anything. Guess it would have been nice to see the moon and stars. This is my first of 3 longest tempo runs (8 @ tempo pace). Wasn't quite as fast as last week, but after the long week last week (58 miles), I'm happy with the effort, especially since I'm trying to work on pacing, and the pacing was better than last time. Plus, dark runs tend to be a tad slower since I have to concentrate on my footing more. 8:11, 8:10, 8:08, 8:07, 8:11, 8:06, 8:12, 8:04. Tuesday - Bates Burger Loop. 7 miles. 63o. 3 mph. Cloudy. This dark run was smooth from start to finish. About 9:00 pace until the last few that crept down to 8:50. I saw the other day that they finished the trail through the woods from Wayne to Gill Roads. I've decided not to run there in the dark because of the possibility of skunks crossing my path, or getting gored by a deer. When did I become such a scaredy cat? I was actually thinking about not seeing any wildlife in these two early morning runs as I bypassed the path for the quiet street when I saw a deer feeding on someone's flower bed. He/she watched me until I got 20-30 yards away before bolting off and into the woods behind the house across the street. Anyway, feeling good. Loving the almost fall weather. My only concern about NH is the hills since I don't have enough of those in my schedule. Hopefully if I take it really easy up them, they won't eat me up and ruin the second half. Lesson from San Francisco. As a youngster, I chipped one of my two front teeth a couple of times. It's been repaired a few times since then, covered with caps, had infections that may or may not have affected my life and running. Last winter I had a guy in there again to clean out an infection and he discovered a large crack in the root. Too big to repair or grind away the damage. It had to be removed and replaced with a permanent implant or a bridge. Being one of the fronts, it's a bad spot for a bridge, aesthetically anyway. Trouble is, with all the previous work up there, most of the bone in that tooth socket is gone, scraped away. So, now they have to try grafting in bone from a cadaver and hope it takes sufficiently to allow an implant attachment. Did the first part yesterday morning (hence the early run). Now I'm toothless for 4-6 months with my fingers crossed for the graft to work. I have an appliance as a temporary replacement but I have a bit of a lisp now to go with it. Finally, this afternoon T-Rex and I are driving back West for her return to school. Glad it's a cutback week. That's the reason for this morning's dark run. Hoping to make it to Cheyenne tomorrow early enough to get in the 12 miles I need for Wednesday. The other days I'll be at Dad's place, then flying home on Saturday. Most of all, hoping she keeps her anxiety under control and can stay get through the whole semester. Her and her mother, who worries even more than she does most of the time. Me, I just run. And, it's two and a half weeks to taper. How did that happen?
  6. 5 points
    August 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 375.8 - new monthly mileage PR! July 29-Aug. 4: 84.5 August 5-11: 87.3 August 12-18: 96.0 - new weekly mileage PR! August 19-25: 88.1 August 26-Sep. 1: 69.2 - scheduled cut-back week Races: August 31: Brookhaven 5K in 18:22 [splits of 5:48, 5:48, 5:59 (5:15 kick)] for 6th female (race recap coming). Although not the time I was aiming for, Sarah Kiptoo came to the race to break the Oklahoma state 5K record (which came with a very nice $$ bonus) but came up 1:04 short on the warm humid morning, and Brooks Beast professional runner Hannah Fields was 3rd in 17:48, which made me feel better. I never race well when the dew point is over 70! Although a slower pace than my 10K PR, it was the fastest I've run in a certified road 5K (I've run 18:18 twice but neither were certified), so it could have been worse! Post-race Workouts: August 1: 2 x 3 miles "moderate" (heart rate 150, no higher than 155), with 1:00 between during an 8 mile run. I hesitate to call this a workout, but it's faster than easy pace (although not hard, which I suppose is why it's called moderate, haha!). My mile splits were 7:19, 6:58, 7:01, 6:51, 6:57, 6:50 and I averaged right at 150, peaking at 156. The first mile was mostly up incline, which was why it was slower at the same HR. I used to run 6:5X all of the time and call it easy because I can hold a conversation just fine at that pace, but I'm learning more about the different HR zones and just because a pace is slower than tempo and you can talk doesn't mean it is truly easy! August 5: 12 x 30 sec hill repeats with wog (walk/jog) down the hill recoveries, within an 11 mile run. I continue to be amazed at how much my legs can burn from such a short time period of hard running! My grade-adjusted paces were 5:21, 5:02, 4:41, 5:05, 5:07, 5:18, 4:54, 4:51, 4:54, 4:49, 4:58, 5:03. A good title for this workout would be "the longest 30 seconds of your life", but I can tell hills are making me stronger. August 9: 5 x 1200 m in 4:09, 4:15, 4:19, 4:21, 4:23 with 3:00 recoveries (3 warm up with strides + drills, 2 cool down). My target time was sub-4:10, which was insane ambitious. Although my splits showed a solid regression, I was actually very excited about it because 1) I hit the insane target time for one rep, 2) I've developed enough speed to actually be able to start out too fast and fade on speed work (I used to be unable to get out too fast if I tried!), and 3) I split 2:46 and 2:47 for the 800 m splits on the first two reps, and I haven't run an 800 m in the 2:40s since high school! I used to be really reaching to run an 800 m in the mid to low 2:50s, even though I've run a 10K at 5:50. I also used to get pretty down on myself for not hitting my target times, but during this workout I embraced giving 100% of what I had that day and knowing that I was getting the benefits from it even if my times weren't as fast as they "should" be. It was 72* and 98% humidity, which isn't ideal, but we have those conditions pretty much every morning during the summer so it was nothing unexpected. Rebecca ran these with me and with no planning we ended up complimenting each other super well; she would get out faster and I'd be trailing for the first half of the rep, then I'd pull around her around the 600 mark and have a stronger second half. Always better together! August 13: 3 x (600 m, 30 sec, 600 m, 30 sec, 600 m) with 3:00 between sets (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down) in 2:07, 2:06, 2:08, 2:08, 2:08, 2:10, 2:11, 2:11, 2:11. This workout was in The Dew Point of Death (75*, air temp 78*) so I knew I'd need to adjust expectations and was happy enough with how it turned out. I was also out of town for work and ran on a track I'd never been to before that was about 10 minutes from my hotel, without my usual track work buddy. I've realized that I really struggle with negative splitting anything when it's humid out - as evidenced by my splits on every workout this month. Also, I would never have written a workout for myself that only had 30 seconds of recovery...ironically on August 5, those 30" hill repeats were the longest 30" ever, and during this workout the recoveries were the shortest 30" of my life. August 15: 8 mile wave tempo alternating 0.5 at tempo and 0.5 at MGP in paces of 5:56, 6:15, 5:55, 6:15, 6:04, 6:11, 6:03, 6:19, 6:05, 6:27, 5:58, 6:27, 6:08, 6:23, 6:21, 5:58 - 6:10 average for all 8 (2.3 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I have wanted to run a workout like this ever since I saw others running them on Strava, and I have given similar tempos to friends to do when I've helped them with training schedules, so I was really excited when I saw it on my schedule. It was sure a lot harder than running 8 miles at a steady 6:10 pace, that's for sure! The weather was on my side for this one, at 64*/dew point 63*, but I still faded some towards the end, and from 7.0-7.5 could not get back down to tempo pace - but after a straight mile at 6:22 I was able to kick it back to tempo for the final 0.5. This workout reminded me that one reason I love tempos and long races is because I get in a rhythm and stay there, which was not the case for this workout. August 20: 3 x (800 m, 40 sec, 400 m, 40 sec, 800 m) with 3:00 between sets in 2:51, 1:22, 2:50 / 2:50, 1:22, 2:50 / 2:52, 1:24, 2:53 (3.1 warm up with strides + drills, 3.6 cool down). It was "only" 73*, dew point 71* for this workout, and Rebecca and Scotty helped push me during it. Although I wished I could have kept the final set at 2:50/1:22, I was pleased with these results because they are much faster than I used to run 400s and 800s, with very little recovery within the sets. I've started looking forward to track workouts - they used to be my least favorite, but seeing improvements in my speed this summer has been very rewarding! August 24: 5 warm up, 4 at 6:25 (actual 6:22, 6:22, 6:19, 6:21), 4:00 recovery, 3 at 6:20 (actual 6:20, 6:14, 6:14), 3:00 recovery, 2 at 6:10 (actual 6:09, 6:05), 2:00 recovery, 1 at sub-6:00 (actual 5:55), 4ish cool down to 20.3 miles. I love workouts like this and it did not disappoint! I felt really strong, although I had to push to get that final mile under 6. Rebecca ran the warm up and 4 mile tempo with me, and it was 66 degrees, which almost felt cold. This was my best-fueled workout of the month, as I had Generation Ucan and nuun energy before, and nuun energy and an Accel gel during. August 27: 5 x 1000 m with 3:00 walking recoveries + 4 x 200 m with 200 m jogging recoveries in 3:33, 3:34, 3:39, 3:42, 3:41 / 0:39, 0:40, 0:40, 0:41 (3.5 warm up with strides + drills, 3.1 cool down). This was just not my day! I had a very stressful day at work the day before and woke up with a headache after getting minimal sleep the night before. If I hadn't been racing on Saturday I'd have bumped this workout back a day, but I just did the best I could with what I had! I ran this one solo, which is always much harder for me on track work, and it was 71*, dew point 70*. Doubles: August 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29 Strides: August 7, 30, and at least a couple before all workouts and races. Strength work: Weekly totals of 2:26, 2:08, 2:00, 2:27, 0:58 Yoga: Weekly totals of 1:05, 1:00, 1:10, 0:34, 0:30 Favorite workout: The August 15 wave tempo, since I've wanted to try one for so long! August 20's track workout was a close second though...and you guessed it, I counted the August 24 workout as my favorite long run. Post-run tree pose Happy people who nailed 800s & 400s during a heat advisory Rainy run Long Runs: August 3: 17.1 miles (7:30). Another enjoyable easy long run! Kristen and Rebecca ran this with me (Kristen all 17 and Rebecca 15), and it flew by. I was supposed to keep my heart rate under 132 for the first half, and was close at about 135 (which meant around 7:40 pace); then for the second half I was allowed to go up to 145 and maintained about 142 (which meant about 7:20 pace). Heart rate is so interesting! It was 72 degrees and 100% humidity, much like every summer morning in Missouri, and I have no shame running with a Fuel Belt on easy long runs so that I can drink along the way. August 10: 18.2 miles (7:16). I felt a lot better than I expected on this run, which is always a nice surprise! I'd run a track workout the day before and it was HUMID, but it was smooth for the most part (I did get hungry at the end!). I let Kristen set the pace because she had specific pace goals and mine was just "easy", we talked the whole way, and the miles passed quickly. August 17: 20.3 miles easy (7:49). I was glad this one was easy by feel - my legs were quite tired en route to my weekly mileage PR for the week, in addition to the August 13 track workout and August 15 tempo, not to mention work travel and getting up at 4:30 a.m. 4 days this week. I mention all of those things because I sure felt them during this run, oy. I ran most of the mileage with Rebecca and Casey, which was awesome as always and I'm glad no one was pushing the pace. August 24: 20.3 mile workout, described above. Oddly enough I think this was easier than the easy 20 the week before. August 31: 12.2 miles with the Brookhaven 5K (yes, I did a 6 mile cool down, oy), and then I had 15 miles on September 1. Favorite long run: August 24! After my favorite long run! Running highlights/thoughts/randomness: Humidity is the poor man's altitude training! I really don't mind training in it, but I loathe racing in it. I look to information like this for comfort, but what really feels good is when times drop in the fall! I enjoyed this post on an Audience of One. This, which was linked in the Fast Women newsletter this month. My favorite sentence: "The race is simply each of you seeking your absolute best with the help of each other." How we feel about a dew point of 76* Life highlights/randomness: The first weekend of the month included back to school shopping. The second weekend we attended a wedding. Albani started 6th grade! I also started school - teaching again as an adjunct at Missouri State. We went to Silver Dollar City with family the third weekend. Since this is a running blog I also have to point out that I ran 20 miles before the excursions. #poortiming The last weekend of the month we went to the Oklahoma City area for a Labor Day getaway and so I could run the Brookhaven 5K (Friday and Saturday in this adventure were in August, while Sunday and Monday were in September, so more photos are coming in next month's post...). After middle school orientation Wedding-ready 1st day of 6th grade! Traditional pick-up photo - Albani unhappy about my sweatiness (her bus comes at 6:45 a.m.!) Traditional Bandit photo Ready for our day at Silver Dollar City Quick photo after they took the one they wanted to sell us Tired baby Soaking wet children My first day of school! Myriad Botanical Gardens Henry Overhoaster Mansion Myriad Botanical Gardens Books: Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld Meb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi The Joy Project by Tony Reinke Night by Elie Wiesel Lottery by Patricia Wood The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan Theme of the month: Summer of speed - because did you see all those track workouts I did? Plus I raced a 5K - enough said.
  7. 5 points
    It’s been awhile! My last post was my NJ marathon RR at the beginning of May. Shortly after that semester 3 of grad school started and then seemingly every moment of free time disappeared. It didn’t stop my running, but it’s been a busy cycle of sleep, run, work, study without time for much else. This was the most challenging semester so far, with Clinical Nutrition 2 and Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics. Lots of technical reading and then writing about it. Even when I could have found time to write outside of classwork, I didn’t want to. Eventually it got to the point I wasn’t even making it to the loop to read. I want to be better about that, but with year 2 starting in 2 weeks, I’m thinking I’ll probably still fall off of getting here. Classes went well, and they were really interesting. (I just hope this all pays off, in my darker moments I’m really afraid all this time and money I’m investing won’t pay off.) Running-wise I haven’t done too many races, but I’ve been keeping up with my day to day miles. The two races I did run are ones I try to do every year. I ran the Route 66 10k in Edwardsville IL. It was a cool morning for June, and I finished in 56:14 which is not a PR, but good for me lately (and even a “cool” morning in June is warm). I was 7th of 24 in my AG which is pretty good – this race is always on the faster side. The other race was the Steeleville IL Firecracker 3k. This race starts at 9:40am right before the parade so as usual it was boiling hot. I didn’t PR here either but I was within 10 seconds and my dad captured a nice “flying” photo as I ran by. I even got 2nd in my AG - which is still a really nice surprise for me. I’m not running a fall marathon this year. With classes and budget concerns I didn’t feel like this was the best season to work it in. (That said, I am planning on running one this spring and during the semester, which means I’ll likely be dragging school work along.) Right now I only have one race paid for, my 4th year running the Vine to Wine Half outside of Greenville IL. It’s a hilly race, and it seems a PR is out of the question due to a non-running related injury that has somewhat derailed my training. That race is in two weeks. Luckily I did 13.3 miles comfortably yesterday, so I know (baring any unexpected and unpleasant surprises) I will be able to cover the distance. It was a really nice run, best weather we’ve had in a while. But much slower than I would have liked. I ran from my house to the Missouri River. All taken in the park at the river. Much of the rest of my run was average suburbia, or on the bike/foot path under huge powerlines. Not in a straight line, but there are limited runnable routes to do that. We had major flooding this year but it’s hard to tell on the path by the river, it’s been cleaned up very well. Now that my injury is mostly healed, I want to get back to working on speed. It’s becoming more frequent that I feel like my PR days for some distances may be behind me. I hope that’s not true, and staying uninjured for more than a year would certainly be helpful. We’ll see. I’ll keep working on being the best runner I can be. I want to post a little more often and continue even during classes. I think I will probably add at least one more half marathon this fall, probably the GO St. Louis Halloween half. I get an extra medal if I do that one because I ran their spring half. I would want to come up with some sort of costume to run in if I did that. (Especially since I’m likely to be slower than I’d like.) But I want to come up with something really runnable and not to hot (though it is late October) so that may be hard. If anyone follows womenofrunning on Instagram I was the featured runner this past Friday! That was kind of exciting. Luckily, thanks to a Team in Training friend I had a nice picture to send them. Not exactly 15 minutes of fame, but fun.
  8. 4 points
    Total Mileage: 70.92In July, I tackled a Peloton Digital challenge, where you did a workout using the Peloton App every day. This could be any of their available on-demand classes: spin, running, strength, yoga, stretching or meditation. I managed to eek out a 'W' on this challenge, even though some of the workouts were done at 11:30pm that day. It was fun, but reminded me that being attached to any type of digital workout every single day is just too much for me; I need to be able to do my own thing in my own time. I suppose this is why the Beachbody or Daily Burn programs never worked out for me but I can spend 18 weeks training for a marathon.*shrug*Speaking of, I decided to start training for a marathon. Did I mention that already? I can't remember and I'm too lazy to go back and look. I haven't signed up for it yet; I'm testing the waters with a half marathon in October and then we will see where I'm at. In the meantime, I'm enjoying following a hybrid of Peloton's marathon training program (guided outdoor runs and strength sessions) and doing whatever the hell I want. I've also joined a late summer/fall speed session group, which meets on Tuesdays and have been enjoying getting in quality workouts where I "keep myself honest" on speed. I often surprise myself with how hard I am able to push while sustaining a pace. What this means for race days, I'm still not sure yet, but there is time to figure that out.Favorite workout:August 27: a speed session workout that included drills, hill repeats, & some light strength before we hit the meat of the workout: a 14 minute 'race simulation' on one of the local HS tracks. The workout was built like so:1:00 hard/1:00 recover - 1:10 hard/ :50 recover - 1:20 hard/ :40 recover - 1:30 hard/ :30 recover - 1:40 hard/ :20 recover - 1:50 hard/ :10 recover - 2:00 hardI was tired and told myself I wasn't going to push at 2 mile pace like suggested, but then the workout started, and I ended up with two rabbits. I ended up passing said rabbits a little over halfway through the workout and had one more rabbit, who I passed on the 10 second recovery (talk about the fastest 10 seconds of my life) and then passed me back because I had no rabbit to keep me going fast, LOL. I didn't pay attention to my splits, but was happily surprised with the paces when I looked at them later: 7:50 - 8:08 - 7:54 - 7:51 - 7:55 - 8:33 (when I passed rabbits) - 9:06 (had no rabbit)I also set a 1 mile PR during the first half of this workout and learned that rabbits are super helpful for keeping my pace honest.Favorite Long run: Oddly enough, the 8 miler where 1) I got lost cuz I missed one of the turns for the group run and 2) got hungry enough that my stomach started grumbling. This was also the run where it started to down pour a quarter mile before I was back at the finish. In that time I was fully soaked, squishy shoes and all. These moments aside, the run just felt good.I've started running back to back days on Saturdays and Sundays, which so far MJ has been tolerating. I still have low impact (re: recovery) spin classes I can take on the recovery days I don't feel like running, which I did do once because I just needed to give my knees a break. With my favorite crushed gravel trail out of commission due to the spring flooding along the Missouri River and my favorite local track under construction, I am hitting concrete and pavement much more than I usually do. MJ and my knees are feeling it. Here's hoping I can stretch and strengthen enough to keep them happy. Header photo: from August's trip to the zoo in Omaha, NE. What was your favorite run in August?
  9. 4 points
    It was supposed to be a trail run. Between the rocks, steepness, and my getting old, there was much more walking than running.. The snows of yesteryear await the snows of September. MapMyRun shows the average gradient as 7.8%. Maybe I can feel not so bad about it now.. Only one climb on the route, how bad could it be ? ha. One of the few runnable bits of trail, Once I could run all day up here. Now I have to take a rest, quite possibly more than one. Since I'm resting anyway and the fish are rising, usually pack in a rod and do a little fishing, while panting in the shade. Up at the end of the trail, a deep rocky lake below the Continental Divide. I heard voices, then saw four guys skiing down from the Divide on that dirty patch of snow. Saw them later and said it seemed like a lot of walking for a little skiing. They probably thought the same thing about my fishing.. Thunder rolled in and it was time to beat feet out again, past the pretty little streams. Torrential rain and hail on the way out. Usually September in CO is calm, mild and reliably sunny through the day. Now we broke the weather, anything can happen. On Saturday ran my annual race, 5k at church to fundraise for IOCC. Our friends Carl and Mary came to support the cause, Carl ran away from me (won in 20:18) and Mary walked with DW. My times at this race: 2013 22:37, 2015 23:25, 2018 24:27, 2019 25:50 A pattern emerges.. hm oh dear. Still running though, call it a win. I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet Had my head stoved in, but I'm still on my feet And I'm still, willin'
  10. 4 points
    Got over whatever that was at the beginning of last week. Maybe it was nothing, but it sure felt like something wasn't right. Took it easy on Tuesday and tried to come back on Wednesday. Wednesday, of course, is Interval Day. Last week (week 13 of 18) was time for the classic Yassos. 10 x 800. I'm not going to get into the debate about whether this is a marathon predictor workout, or even if it's a good workout for a marathon training schedule. I like 800s, and doing a bucketload of them is fun. It's a solid, tough workout. I'm going to do 12 of them in a couple more weeks. Before these, though, I had to go to the bathroom. There were two POPs set up outside the middle school track, but they were locked. Sad! Fortunately, there was something going on at the school and the doors were open, so I ducked in there. Now I can run. Warmed up with a mile and a quarter, then hit the gas. The key is consistency from start to finish. 3:43, 3:40, 3:43, 3:39, 3:39, 3:35, 3:38, 3:35, 3:37, 3:33. I'll take the 10 seconds of progression from #1 to #10 as a bonus. The wind was pretty strong (17 sustained) and gusty, and I'll blame that for some of the variance. Four or five people came and when while I was going around. After Monday and Tuesday, it was reassuring to feel 100% again. Out and back on Seven Mile for 6 miles on Thursday. That's 170 feet of climb on the way out. Combined with 20 mph winds it sucked a fair amount for the first half, but the return trip was a hoot. 9s out and low 8s coming home. Friday was just a really nice day. Warmer than I like for running, but the humidity took a steep dive and the wind was just enough to keep it cool. 8 easy miles and 8:50, sort of wandering around in a loose rectangle with some added pieces here and there when a road looked interesting. Since I missed my first of three 16 milers the previous weekend because of the trip to KY, I debated all week whether to make it 16 on Saturday or keep to the plan. In the end, I decided to stay on schedule, since the consensus has always been to not try making up mileage when you miss workouts. So, just 10. Ish. Almost fall. 57o, winds at 6 mph. Sunny. Just about perfect. And the run, oh my goodness. Some days you want to go faster and faster, right? But I kept the dampers on for most of it. 8:30-9:00. I've been thinking about hills lately and how I haven't gotten any. About 3 miles out I decided to extend this an extra mile and tackle that hill that I hate so much. Haven't been out this way far enough in a while. Went over it pretty smoothly. No hate this time. Coming back down the other side there were two college teams working out. One of the coaches is a friend from back when the boys ran, so I stopped for a few to chat and update him on the family. Stopped for a gel and water at 6, then made the last of the climbs before heading home. Took the last 4 to see if I could roll a fast finish. 8:29, 8:21, 8:02, 7:24. That would be yes. Yesterday's tempo was another winner. With the holiday, I slept in a little, took my time getting ready, and gave myself another test. Long tempos are probably the toughest for me, but feels so good when I can nail them. This is my third and last week of 9 with 7 at pace before moving up to 10 with 8. The big difference today was the morning run. Usually these are in the pm, which means they've been stoopid hot and humid since I started training in June. Still pretty humid, but at 65o, it could have been worse. 8:16 for mile 1 (which I missed checking, but whatever). For the other 7 I felt like the effort was even, so the small elevation changes probably explain when some were faster than others until the last one when I let off the brakes. 8:04(+17, -36), 8:02(+39), 7:38(-46), 7:41(-33), 7:50(+13). 7:10(-42). Worked in the landscaping yesterday. Discovered we have a yellow jacket nest tucked up under the edge of the new siding. At least it isn't bees, which is what I first thought when I looked at them on Saturday. Had a guy out today to take care of them. I moved some rocks around, set up some rain drainage away from the foundation and laid some mulch. New shoes on their way. I'm at 347 miles on my current Cumulus model. Wished they wore longer, but they're so darned comfortable. Calling it back on schedule. Suppose I ought to actually sign up for this race, eh?
  11. 3 points
    Classes have started again. I'm taking Research Methods in Healthcare and Nutritional Epidemiology & Health. and Well, technically they don’t start until Thursday, but the courses are open and I have a discussion post due Thursday, so I’ve begun working. This week shouldn’t be too hard but once things really get going I’m sure I’ll be back to my routine of sleep, run, work, study – repeat (with meals and snacks in there of course). It may be less intense than last semester but the stakes might be higher because this sounds like it's going to really be the groundwork for my thesis. Between my last long run and the race yesterday I came down with a cold. It pretty much took over my Labor Day weekend. I had a sore throat on Friday, felt kind of ok on Saturday morning, but felt a lot worse by Saturday evening, all through Sunday and for most of Monday. I skipped running Monday morning, but by Monday afternoon I felt good enough to tackle some yard work that really needed to be done. Once I got started on that I decided I felt good enough to get the mowing done. That went ok, and by Tuesday morning I was back to running. Since this was the week before my half I was tapering I kept it short. Because I’d been sick I also kept it easy. Thursday I worked in some fun when I went to dinner and visited the Missouri Botanical Garden’s special summer event “Garden Party Nights” with a college friend who has just moved to the area. We went to a tapas (and pizza, and Italian) restaurant. We split four different plates of tapas, the most interesting (adventurous) was the charbroiled squid. The squid itself didn't actually taste like much, but the seasoning was excellent. The texture was well, chewy. Not bad, but I’m not going to seek it out in the future. Mmm (?) Squid... Friday I had to get everything packed for an overnight trip out to my parents’ house because I was staying out there since they are 12 miles from the start of the race vs. 60. That’s worth an extra hour of sleep. I also ended up doing a lot of work to help them out, since Friday nights mean getting ready for Saturday morning farmer’s market. So I ended up standing and walking around for 3 or so hours I more than I would have at home. (I don’t think this really hurt my race much.) Flat Angela is ready Saturday was race day. I got up at about the same time I do to get ready on a weekday. I had laid out my “flat Angela” the night before so I got ready quickly and was at the start an hour or so before the race started. It was clear and cool, but it warms up fast this time of year so I knew I’d be hot by the end of the race. My friend Margaret and her husband were also running (she was doing the half, he was doing the 5k). We don’t run close to the same pace, so we weren’t planning on running together but it’s always nice to have someone else you know at the race. The race started right on time with just under 200 runners. Pre race. Totally the opposite weather of last year... It’s a small race on country roads. They don’t close them, but there isn’t a lot of traffic. You still had to be more alert for cars than most races. I went into this race, even before I caught the cold, knowing a PR was out of the question. With the cold I decided was just going to run, and not push too hard. It was a beautiful day. This time of year there are lots of flowers (mostly yellow) blooming along the side of the road and much of the race was just lined with flowers. TONS of yellow sunflowers (and other yellow flowers) along the route with a few purple flowers like the second picture thrown in... At one point we ran past a pasture with a few cows, and they were some of the biggest crowd support we had – it was funny how intently they were watching everyone run by. Since I kept it relatively easy I felt really good until about mile 11 when I started to get hot. But I was also trying to increase the pace just a little at this point. This is a fairly hilly race (for around here). I think we had over 900’ elevation gain (with 900’ loss as well since it’s a looped course.) I finished in 2:21:45. A personal worst for the course by about 6 or 7 minutes. The first three years were all within a minute of each other. I really hope this slower time was because I wasn’t pushing as hard – otherwise I’m slowing way down, and way too soon. This is probably the best weather out of the 4 years – last year was crazy rain and strong winds. That is a BIG medal. I wasn’t at all sore today, so that was the good side of not pushing too hard. I have another half in 5 or 6 weeks. I would like to push harder on that one. A PR still is going to be out of reach – I’d need faster than 1:59:10 to do that. Right now I don’t think I could hold that pace for much more than a 10k.
  12. 3 points
    Five days in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, paddling and portaging into the woods. It was wonderful but a very great deal of work. This boat is about 65lbs, 75 as carried with paddles and lifejackets strapped in. There's also a 30-40lb pack on my back, for extra credit. I thought about renting a Kevlar boat which weighs in about 42lbs. Next time it's Kevlar, just not tough enough anymore for carrying these loads around. The longest portage was half a mile, and quite long enough too. There were eight of us, three olds (me, DW, Jon) and the rest college kids. My son is a DIII competitive swimmer, the other guys are a competitive powerlifter and a rower, and a girl who is a soccer player. She was much the strongest of all of us, zipping back and forth on the portages with offers to carry any loads needed. DW carried about 80lbs. My younger son carried this pack over one portage, then asked, "Mom, why aren't you crying ?" Little does he know how strong his mother is.. Jon has a bad R knee and I have a bad L knee. We figured in a crunch we could lash our legs together, and get a tripod with two good knees on the outside legs. Once in camp it's a tough life. We did some fishing, embarrassingly I caught all the fish. My son in front in the pic below. I'd just returned to camp and caught a pan-size walleye right in front of the cheering crowd, who then all piled into the boats to see if there were any more. Unfortunately these aluminum boats produce quite a racket, think we scairt 'em all back into the deeps. At least I was able to show them all how to fillet a fish, using a canoe paddle for the cutting board, then let them all have a practice fish. Walleye is delicious, especially when someone else cooks it and cleans the pans afterward.. these are good kids. Young men and women, I mean. Duluth is a delightful town. DW is hatching a plan for us to drop off kid 2 at college next fall, then rent an apartment and spend a month in Duluth. Since all our work is through a computer anyway, we can work remotely. In actual running news: Most of my recent running has been up in the forest, with the dog off-leash to get his miles in. He is 11 now and starting to get dementia. The treatment is much as for humans, provide stimulation like daily walks and long runs, diet supplements, etc. The poor thing will stand in front of an open door and bark to be let in. Brooks came to the Runners Roost weekly run, and I won a new pair of shoes in the raffle.. I picked the Glycerin, which is the Brooks long-run max cushion shoe, but feels to me like a fine tempo and race shoe. Old heavy guys don't count shoe ounces anymore.. ha. Now I have to sign up for a race, to justify new shoes. Running buddy Carl has a daughter off to Burning Man for a couple of weeks. I've never seen him so freaked out.. tried to calm him down, but I think he won't be happy until she is back..
  13. 3 points
    I've been running this series for several years now. It's a series of 5 x 5k trail races from mid July to mid August. It is completely free put on by the Vineland Park and Rec Department. People of all different ages and abilities show up to take part. The Vineland Cross Country kids use it to get into race shape. Marine candidates have used it for PT. Moms and Dads who want to get some exercise run it with their kids. This race has some seriously fast little kids -- 13 year old ran a 24:05!! A 10 year old ran a 26:59! Crazy! The race has had tough weather this year. Two of the nights got cancelled for lightning. The race organizers could only reschedule one of the nights so this year was 4 x 5k series. I wasn't really sure what to expect last night. My left achilles/calf have been bugging me ever since I ran the road 5 miler 10 days ago. I've been laying off of running since last Thursday. I've biked some, tons of stairs and lifting <== all that because I'm moving. LOL (Side note: I'm so happy I can bike again! I haven't gone long but I did a bridge loop (22 miles) the other day and all was good the next day! The bridge loop has 4 bridges in it.) Last night's race: I did a little warm up jog and stretched everything out really well. My achilles/calf/heel I felt during my warm up. Ugh. The gun went off and there I was shooting out just like every other week. I guess I'm not going slow! I passed my usual people and settled into a very uncomfortable pace... and I was already regretting this by mile .3! We race down the street onto the grass around the stake and back onto the street. There's a slight uphill until you make a left and go down the loose dirt/gravel road. This section gets pretty puddle-y and normally I would try to keep my feet dry but as I was passing someone I stepped right into a puddle. Well, through the puddles for the rest of the race! We go around a stand of trees and through a grass field and make an immediate right so we can run up the little hill sideways. (Thanks, RD) Make an immediate left to a water station - um no, please just throw the water on me! It was humid AF (first time I've ever used that but seems appropriate here). Then we are back onto the road and hit mile one as we pass over the start line. 8:02 per my Garmin. I never look at my watch during races. Seems pretty pointless. If I'm not going as fast as I would like there's pretty much nothing I can do about it and if I'm going too fast I can't slow down because my legs NEVER listen. Mile 2 goes down the road, to the grass, around the stake, back on the road again but then heads left into the woods and around the lake. It's complete dirt and roots -- single track or double track <== is that a thing??) The trail undulates a bit but only 3 or 4 bigger (still pretty small) drops and climbs. This lady who always beats my by 10 - 15 seconds caught me here and I never caught back up. I stared at the back of her head for the whole rest of the race! Ugh! She's this short powerfully built Hispanic lady. Somehow we had shaken ourselves out into pretty much the correct order by the time we hit the trees. I think I passed one person and didn't get passed right until the end. Anyways I was dying on the inside, wondering if I was going to have to walk. Mile 2 -- 8:46. (It's always slower due to hills and trail) By the time I was finally on the other side of the lake I was just trying to convince myself to keep going. (I've managed to not walk during one of these races this summer! A PR for me! lol) The trail descends out of the woods to the stand of trees (that we raced around earlier) and then we head back through the field of grass, around the fence, sideways up the hill, past the water stop (please just throw it on me!!), onto the road, to the grass, around the stake, to the road and then one little last uphill to the finish line where I got passed by not 1 but 2 people! I have no finishing kick! Pace of 8:34 Final time of 24:34 -- a course PR of 25 seconds!! Wahoo! 4th overall female of 46, 1 of 6 in 50-59 AG. The course always measures short on my Garmin at 2.9-2.96 but last night my friend used Strava to track and the course measured at 3.06. I'd love it if the 3.06 was the actual distance! I won my AG for the race series. The lady who finished 2nd in the 50-59 AG kept me on my toes as she would finish each race less than a minute behind me. With Strava it keeps track of your history on courses that you've previously run. Fun to see my history on this course: 2016; 26:56, 26:18, 26:42, 25:46, 26:16 2017: 27:24 (right after my hamstring tear -- should've never run this one) 2018: 24:59, 25:20 2019: 25:28, 25:45 (It was 100*!), 25:09, 24:34 Fun to see the improvement! Thanks, Strava! Next up: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! The Vermont 100 on 100!
  14. 2 points
    T-Rex and I left at 3:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday last, hoping to get as far as Peru, and maybe Moline before we stopped for the night. This was a cutback week for me, but I still had a bunch of miles to run. My plan was to try to make it to Cheyenne early enough to find a place where I could do Interval Wednesday that night, then a recovery run Thursday before driving out for the third leg of the trip. I might miss Friday with everything we needed to do moving into the apartment, but an early flight on Saturday would have me home in time for a short long run (10 miles), so I'd get all (or almost all) of the cutback week's mileage done. If you didn't know, any trip in that direction really depends on Chicago area traffic. Ever since we started making these drives to the mountains in 2002, there's been construction in one place or another (usually several places) on I-90/94/80 from Michigan City to Joliet. This time, it looked like clear sailing for once. Just as we were getting confident of a once in a lifetime pass to the prairie, a wave of brake lights appeared. After a mile or so of super slow and go, and looking at the traffic on T's phone, we took an exit and tried for a bypass. It worked! We were able to re-enter I-80 just a couple of miles later beyond the construction zone, and get back on schedule. I remember the early 70s when there was a national speed limit - 55 mph. Not much difference driving across town, but it sure adds up over 1,800 miles. Past Peru, Lasalle, Princeton, Geneseo, Moline. It was still early, so we booked a Clarion in Iowa City for the night and drove on. I love technology. Except when it doesn't work. Despite the confirmation in the app AND the email from Clarion, our reservation wasn't in the system. Not a huge deal, since they had plenty of vacancies, but not at the price I'd gotten, by $50 or so. Not cool, Clarion. Taurus, the desk guy offered to let me have the senior discount (turns out I'm old enough to get it anyway, which was only $5 more, but there was a principle involved, so I called the 800 number and asked what happened to my reservation. He didn't know, either, but it was shown as "cancelled" on his screen (somewhere in India, of course). He agreed to re-book us at my original price and we were set. So, humanity wins this one. Not only did we get to Cheyenne, we went all the way to Laramie before stopping the next day at 5:00. That gave me enough time to run. I swear the Indians are taking over this country. I have four of them on my work team right now. Of course 90% of any Help Line is based there. The guy at the Fairfeild Inn was Indian. Raj. He was extremely pleasant, capable and was excited to tell me a good place to run. Turned out there was a greenbelt just across the highway from the hotel. Her recommended driving there, since the overpass had narrow shoulders and no sidewalks (thanks for nothing, Laramie), but I had a driver with me so it worked out fine. The Laramie River Greenbelt is a great place to run. It's about 5k from end to end, almost completely flat, right next to the river almost the entire way. There's one park about halfway through with picnic tables, play equipment and (fortunately for me because I always need one nowadays), a couple of POPs. I had 5 x 1.5 miles scheduled for this week. The park ended up being a mile into my first interval, so that broke it up a little. I intended to be flexible for this because - I forgot to mention - Laramie is at 7200 feet above sea level. Lack of oxygen does weird things to your brain. My watch beeped at a mile, but I thought it was beeping for the first interval (1.5), so I slowed down to jog for a half. When it beeped again, I took off and it wasn't until it beeped again much sooner than I expected that I realized I'd rested during the last .5 of the first 1.5. Interval #1 had only been 1 mile. I adjusted by extending Interval #2 to 2 miles. Altitude does fun things to your legs, too, btw. That first mile had been 7:49 and felt harder. The next two were 8:02 and felt the same. #3 was a little better at 7:51, but I could tell the last two were going to be a struggle. Despite that, it was cool and the wind was almost cold. And I was hardly sweating at all. Normally, I'd have been soaked by 4 miles out. The greenbelt seemed pretty popular, too, for a Wednesday evening. I probably passed a dozen or more people out walking, biking or walking their dogs during the hour and a half I was out there. The trail was a little more open on the south end, where there's a big loop that's about a mile and a quarter. I ran around it three times and then headed back to the hotel. #4 was 8:06 pace and #5 was 8:00. Not as fast as I'd run this at home, but 7200 feet. Satisfied. Siri directed us to a local Mexican place for dinner, but it was closed when we got there at 8:00, so we drove around and ate at Qdoba. Next morning I got up early enough to be running at sunrise. Mrs. Dave thought it was a little "extreme" that I was running again, since I'd just run the night before. She thought we should have been driving already. I figured I'd want to spend the evening with my Dad when we got to Idaho. Plus, since we'd made it all the way to Laramie, Thursday's drive was a "short" one - 7 hours. Stopped in Pocatello to get toilet paper at Costco for the apartment. Mrs. Dave is convinced that was worth it. I'm not, but I try to keep harmony as best I can. We did dinner with Dad and called it an early night. Next morning we met with the adviser at CEI (College of Eastern Idaho) about T's status getting into their MA(Medical Assisting) program next fall and then drove the last few miles to Rexburg. Took most of the day to get her settled in, groceries bought, roommates met. Had dinner with my two brothers and their wives, along with Dad who drove up. He took me back to his place after we said goodbye to T-Rex, fingers crossed and prayers said that she'll make it through better than the last time she was here. My flight on Saturday was supposed to leave at 8:30 am. The IF airport isn't usually busy on a Saturday morning, and even when it is, it isn't. Let me back up to 4:15 am, when I was awakened by a text from Mrs. Dave, telling me that my flight was delayed an hour, I was going to miss my connection in Denver and I should try to catch the 5:30 flight. Get up, get dressed, packed, wake up my 86 year old dad and drive across town to the airport in an hour and 15 minutes to "maybe" get on an earlier flight? I didn't think so. This would have been helpful information the night before. I was set up to get texts and app alerts from United, but nothing had come about the delay. It wasn't until I was sitting in the gate area, having been re-booked on a flight out of Denver SIX HOURS later than my original ticket, that I received the messages from the airline. Thanks, United. Maybe they'd figure something out and still get me to Denver in time. That almost happened. We touched down in Denver at 11:35, but the gates were two far away and after taxi-ing the hundred miles between the runway and the terminal, it was almost 11:00 before I watched them pushing the plane - MY PLANE! - away from the gate. So much for getting home early. As it happened, T-Rex's roommate had been delayed out of Detroit and was also stuck in Denver. So we had lunch together and hung out until her flight to IF. Mine left at 5:30 and landed at 10:20. Long day in the airport. Good thing the next day was Sunday, so I took it easy and tried to recover. Because this is the last big week (60 miles!) and then it's taper time. I'm ready for that. And, of course summer decided to come back for an encore this week, making a disaster of a tempo run yesterday. I actually had low expectations. Just was feeling drained, I guess from the travel of last week, but started out decently, with 8-ish miles. But by mile 3 I could tell it wasn't going to happen. Made it through 5 and that was all she wrote. Could barely muster a slow jog for more than a quarter before I'd have to walk. Fall is going to feel SO good, assuming it gets here in time for the race. Someone tell me it's going to be cool in New Hampshire on the 5th. This has been quite the roller coaster of a training schedule.
  15. 2 points
    Big Mac and the new SIL came in for a visit last weekend. Got all my runs in around the related activities, though. Only a few grumbles from Mrs. Dave about doing 15 miles on Saturday, but I went out early enough it wasn't so bad. More on that run later. Last time I was grumbling about my performance running through Hell. Apparently I'm not ready for hills. I felt like I wasn't ready for running, but the next Monday restored my faith a bit. Monday is tempo day, you know. This run was almost a success. I've decided to give myself some more slack in my pace goals until the weather breaks, and this run was the perfect example. It also reinforced that I'm nowhere near as dialed in as I need to be on GMP. This was supposed to be 6 miles at pace. I ran the first four faster than that. 8:12, 8:01, 8:09, 7:36. It wasn't 90 degrees and there was some shade, so I must have thought it was fall already. Stopped at a POP in the park, then sped off at the same crazy pace for another half before I realized that I was going to die. So I shut it down and walked/jogged for a quarter to get it back under control, followed by one more mile at too fast pace (7:37). I liked the speed, but am disappointed I can't get the pacing right this summer. I've done this before, haven't I? Tuesday was a not bad recovery run around the Bates Burger Loop.7 miles @ 8:42. Dragging some at the end. This being my first week at full mileage AND full effort, Wednesday Intervals was back. This one was 4 x 2400, with 800 recoveries. 12 miles total. This one was a winner. I had to keep a much closer eye on the watch than I like, but I was able to just about nail all 4 at 8:00. (8:02, 8:03, 8:03, 7:49). Paid for it on Thursday, though, that's for sure. 8 miles at a more pedestrian 9:00, and it felt slower than that. But those are just filler miles, so whatever. Friday was a quick 5, to get done before the kids' flight came in. We took them to Buddy's for some Detroit style pizza. The one request SIL had was for some experiences that would give him a true taste of the area. Most people we asked suggested different restaurants, which seems weird to me. But I'm always up for pizza. We didn't go downtown to the original location because of time constraints, but the pizza was great. I'd been sort of dreading the thought of Saturday's 15 miler, worried about the humidity and my lack of endurance lately. But I tried not to over stress and just focus on the run. No pressure. No pace. Relax. Was out the door at 6:15, just as it was getting light out. Of course there was a stop at the park POP. Brought fuel with me. A couple of swigs of G every two miles. A brief walk at 5 and 10 while I downed a Hammer Gel or a Honey Stinger Gel. My last trip to REI they only had Montana Huckleberry (which is my favorite) and Vanilla (not), so I thought I'd try a couple of the HS. The honey is nice and they went down as easy as the HG, so I may include them in my regular supply. This one was a fruit punch. Tasty, and you can taste the honey. Two miles out I had a text from T-Rex. Big Mac and SIL needed the password to the wifi. Why am I the only one who remembers that? And why is that the only thing I can remember? Had to make another stop at about 6-1/2 miles. There was a couple of miles of road work happening, and they had POPs up every quarter mile. Convenient. I'm just small enough that my fuel belt is on the edge of being too big. It also loosens a little as the run goes on, so I have to adjust it from time to time. What happened next was this. As I pulled on one of the straps, the velcro that secures the ends together came undone, and I found myself with the end of the belt in one hand and the rest of it flapping out like a whip. I grabbed the other end and re-attached it, tightened it up and settle the belt around my hips. About a mile later, I noticed that the left side end was swinging much more than normal. Normally I have it tucked underneath the pouch that holds my gels and my phone. I take the phone with me on long runs for Mrs. Dave to find me. It was gone. GONE! The pouch must have slipped off, I could only hope at the point where I had trouble out of the POP. So I turned around and ran back the mile, and there it was laying on the sidewalk. Since I was running a big rectangle route, I was able to just cut off where I turned back towards home to keep to my planned mileage. Whew. Just as important, I had a pretty nice long run. The rest of the weekend was packed with Detroit stuff for the kids. We spent the rest of the morning downtown, had Detroit coney dogs for lunch, drove through Brightmore to see the bad/sad side of town, went to the beach and toured the Ft. Gratiot lighthouse. Too much sun and a ton of walking. Their flight out was early evening, so I waited until after to take my Monday tempo run. Still too warm, but I liked the extra shade and slightly cooler temps. Had to change my route mid-run because one of the bridges was being rebuilt. Didn't feel very good, but the paces were OK. 8:13, 8:33, 8:26, 8:18, 8:20, 7:58, 8:01. Traffic lights made this a little more like a 7 x 1600 than a tempo, but still a good run, and my longest tempo to date. At this point I'm stalking the weather forecast like my marathon is in two weeks, looking for the highs to drop into the mid-to-low 70s. Yesterday's 6 miles were slow and sticky. This weekend we're headed down to Kentucky for a final visit with the granddaughters before they move to Texas. That will likely cut my runs down or out completely. I may shift some of those miles to next weekend, which was going to be a short one. Pics of the weekend. The Dequindre Cut used to be a tramway, abandoned for many years. Now it's a park with a walking/running/biking path and anonymous artwork under all the bridges. Belle Isle sits in the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. It's also a park with a small aquarium (boasting the only complete collection of gar species in the world), a yacht club, lake, science center, swimming beach and this huge fountain. There's also this monstrous slide that you can ride for a dollar. We all went down it. After running 15 miles that morning I was the slowest to the top. I am not ashamed. The Ft. Gratiot lighthouse was built in 1829. It's 82 feet tall. We climbed the 94 steps to the top (again, I was last). The view from up there of Lake Huron is pretty spectacular.
  16. 1 point
    Tried to run a 7 mile tempo yesterday. The warm up mile was slow, slow, slow. Usually I have a bit more pop on Monday after Sunday off. Figured it would shake out like normal. Nope. Felt like I was carrying twenty extra pounds. WTH? After the first half mile I slowed, thinking maybe I'd just do the 9 as a slow run, but just a few steps later I slowed to a crawl, stopped, then just headed back home. Stopped at the Speedway to use their facilities and thought maybe I'd finish off with the Laurel Park Loop, to give me 5 easy ones if I couldn't do the 9. Crossed the street at the light, and a half mile later turned left to cut the whole thing to 3-1/2. So, what the what? This was after 5 hours in the car, driving home from the weekend with the granddaughters. I don't recall having any particular fatigue from driving. And I didn't even drive the whole way. Just half. Hadn't spent the drive eating junk food, either. It was cool with a light rain, so conditions were as good as they've been in weeks. GD#1 came down with some strep throat on Saturday, but I've had no symptoms myself, unless this crazy fatigue is one. Last Wednesday was a weird one. 11 miles total, with 6 x 1600 and 800 recoveries. All 6 were under 8, and 3 at 7:30. Drenched in a downpour in the middle of the 3rd one, which was fun. Thursday's easy 10 turned out to be about 8 with a 2 mile WOS (walk of shame). I was just gassed. It was warm but not humid so I figured it was going to be a nice, easy one. Left over from Wednesday? Friday I got up early and did 6 before we left for Kentucky. Nice, nice, nice. Cool and comfortable. Way better than Thursday. Right after that we drove down. DS1 got a promotion and they're moving the family to Dallas (Mckinney) next week, so this was our last chance to have a visit be a quick weekend drive. Not that we've seen them very often anyway, with his travel schedule for the last few years. Anyway. Saturday morning had 16 on the training plan, and while I couldn't justify that much time on the road in Lexington, I did get in 10 easy, relaxed, comfortable miles early in the morning before spending the day with them. There was a neighborhood association picnic, and then a couple of hours at the pool. I haven't spent any time at a pool in I couldn't tell you how many years. Some diving, although none of them pretty. I did win the family cannonball contest. They had a 20 foot climbing wall that I accepted the challenge to scale. I wasn't 100% confident there, either, but I did make it to the top both times I tried. Nothing like the 9 year old, but not bad for an old man. Sunday was quiet. No running. No sun. No serious activity. I got decent rest all three nights. So I'm at a total loss why yesterday's tempo was such a complete bust. And this morning I woke up feeling like I needed another 2-3 hours of sleep. Today is warm and humid. Don't imagine I'll be trying to add anything to the 7 on the schedule. At least it looks like the worst of the summer is over, so the weather should be giving me a break after this. Can you believe it's less than 6 weeks to race day?
  17. 1 point
    When I laid out the plan for a fall marathon, I of course penciled in a Saturday for a half on the 17th of August, the end of week 10. Despite the fact that with an early October race, this would make it a half marathon in the middle of August. What kind of idiot runs a half marathon in August? This kind, of course. Then, to complicate matters, Big Mac and the new SIL planned a visit to the mitten state. Although he's a well-traveled young man, he's never been to Michigan. Why they thought the middle of August was a good time to do it, I haven't had a chance to ask yet, but whatever. They're coming. And they're coming next weekend. August 17. Since I couldn't move their date, I did the only thing a man who's been married for 37 years can. I moved my race. The week after turns out to be the only weekend we have to visit the granddaughters in Kentucky ... FOREVER, since they're moving to Texas next month! (Promotion for DS1, so yay for them, but Dallas is a long ways.) Move it another week? That would certainly be an option, but it so happens that the 40th annual Run Thru Hell was scheduled for August 10 this year. A week earlier than I'd prefer, but "only" ten miles. Seemed like a reasonable substitute to assess where training is about half way through. The Hell Creek Campground (next to Hell Creek Ranch, just outside of Hell, Michigan) is about an hour from the house, far enough from the city to make you wonder why you'd ever live around all those people. It's a nice drive, too. They announced about 500 runners between the 10 mile Run Thru Hell and the 4.8 mile "weinie run". I got up at 5:30 (my normal weekday alarm time), had a leisurely breakfast and collected my gear, forgetting nipple bandaids, and extra shirt and a towel. You'd think one day I'd make a list so I wouldn't forget things. But I always forget to do that. Arrived in Hell with 45 minutes to spare, walked over and got my bib. While I'd just looked up my number to be sure I wouldn't ask for the wrong one, I still switched the last two digits and asked for 368 instead of 386. So, small moment of panic when they couldn't find me. Took a little 2 mile warm up. My plan was to so a couple before the race and a few after, giving me a 15 mile total for the day. It's been a few years since I ran here and I'm always surprised by the hills. I determined to go slow and even walk if the effort became less than comfortable. I'd only missed three days of training with the pulled muscle, but almost three weeks of less than planned mileage and no speedwork made me wary. I was not where I'd hoped to be nine weeks in. And since this was my first week back at full training miles, my legs were feeling it already. Arrived back with just enough time to stop at the POPs. This would be my only chance, too, since they didn't have any on the course and requested the runners not to stink up the neighboring farmland. There were no clouds, but the temps were low enough to be encouraging at least. Lots of trees for most of the route as well. I didn't need to check the humidity. I could tell it was pretty high. Not as bad as most of the summer, but no joke after a few miles. I lined up in the middle of the pack, given my low expectations. 9:00 miles? I'd hope to average about that and maybe push it on the second half. That was what my brain said anyway. Turns out my legs had a different plan. The first two miles were in agreement with my head. Easy on the early first mile (9:05) and a half climb, then an smooth cruise down through mile 2 (8:18). Most of the runners around me were at or near the same pace, so I was happy to have chosen my starting spot wisely. Plenty of shade. I remember there was more sun in the second half, including a stretch with it in my face, so there was that to look forward to. Mile 3 was mostly flat, 8:38. 8:24 for mile 4, which had more drop than climb and would turn out to be my last good mile of the morning. Oops. Mile 5 starts out with a significant drop, but it's just a tease, because then it follows that up immediately with the steepest and longest climb of the race. 90 feet in about a third of a mile. I expected my legs to protest about here, but I wasn't quite ready for how loudly they'd be screaming. No worries, though. I'd just walk up the worst part of it and recover on the way down. Mile 5 - 9:24. Not bad. That sort of worked for the next mile, from 4-1/2 to 5-1/2. which happened to be a gift back from 90% of the previous climb, except then then next hill was right there and I was toast. I don't have to get all the way to the end of a run to tell things are going to be ugly, and I knew the second half of this one was going to be the kind that makes me wonder if I should just give up running altogether. I'm obviously no good at it anymore. Mile 6 was 9:14, and the last of the serious hills, but the damage was done and it was fatal. My race was over. My Garmin pace chart looks more like an EKG, with shorter and shorter high points. And the sun! Don't even get me started on the sun. In my face and it seemed there was no place to hide. What happened to the trees? I struggled through as best I could. Water at every stop. Down my throat and over my head. I'd forgotten my 5 mile gel until 6-1/2. Not that it would have done any good. Final 3 miles - 9:37, 10:42, 10:10, 10:18. Drank another gallon of water at the finish, choked down a couple of cookies, stumbled to my car for the Gatorade I'd brought with me. The race only had water, btw. Then went to check my official time. 1:33:50, just like I had on my watch. And - surprise - 5th in my AG. Normally this would not be a cause for celebration, and after this awful of a run, I didn't care a whole lot. But one thing this race does different than any others I can think of is pass out a boat load of hardware. No finishers medals, but 6 deep trophies for all age groups. So, I got a trophy. 🤣 Anyway, back home for a long nap and cutting the grass while I licked my wounds. As far as having an idea of where I am with training, I have a long, long way to go. And some serious thinking about my pacing plan for New Hampshire. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few more weeks then the summer starts to wind down, but today I'll admit I'm a little discouraged.
  18. 1 point
    I’ve been following very loosely a RunSmart training plan. By loosely I mean if it says run 6 at 9:11 pace I run 6 however quickly or slowly I feel. It’s been hot and I’m mostly running on trails so I figure I can be loose with the pace. I’ve been using my Vineland Trail 5ks as “speedwork.” This past weeks race was canceled due to lightning and general flooding. Boo!! I did some speedwork on Friday. The speedwork was 8 x 400s. I ran them between a 7:35-7:50 pace. I was just trying to hold a good pace and not kill myself. They felt pretty good. On Friday my husband and I went to Philadelphia overnight and stayed with friends. On the way home the shore traffic was backed up on the AC Expressway. Waze had us get off and take a side route. Sadly traffic was backed up there too. The car behind us didn’t realize everyone had stopped and plowed right into the back of us. I was in the passenger seat holding my phone. My phone and sunglasses went flying. The phone hit the dashboard and ricocheted right into my cheek. You can’t make this up. So now I’m sporting a nice shiner. On Sunday I woke up and felt pretty good until my back popped out. Not sure if it was from the accident or just age. In case you’re wondering I’m lining up all of the excuses of why my race might not go well— speedwork, hot, black eye and back pain. The race wasn’t until 6:30 pm so I had time to stretch, roll my back (which popped back into place FTW!) and hydrate. I borrowed my husband’s car to get to the race. It was so humid and hot that I thought about just going home, but since I still needed ~6 miles I decided I’d just run easy if that’s all I could manage. Very small race ~ 150 people for a 2 mile or 5 mile race. The gun went off and my legs took off. I haven’t done much running on pavement so I was interested to see how it would go. The race was in the very southernmost part of New Jersey— Cape May. We ran mostly along the water and a few neighborhoods. The turn around point was at the Cape May Ferry Terminal. I could hear the loudspeaker announcements for cars and passengers to load the ferry. It brought back good memories of Rehoboth. The 1st mile I felt pretty good and clicked off an 8:20. The 2nd mile was another 8:20. The 3rd mile it was so hot. I was taking water and sipping some and dumping some on my shirt. Mile 3 - 8:34. By mile 4 I had caught up to a young girl who was clearly over the race. We leap frogged back and forth- she walked, I walked and then she walked again. Mile 4 was my worst “I’m over this” mile at 8:44. For the final mile we turned into a neighborhood that had some blessed tree shade. I was able to pick it back up. I came up to barricade that had a cone pathway through it so I thought we went straight. The policeman who was standing there didn’t say a word. Thankfully a volunteer down the street screamed at me that I was supposed to turn. I had enough kick that I actually charged into the finish line - 8:23. 5 @ 42:31 ~ 8:30 pace Pretty happy with that! Getting there!
  19. 1 point
    July 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 310 July 1-7: 53.3 July 8-14: 70.9 July 15-21: 81.1 July 22-28: 70.9 July 29-Aug. 4: projected at 84 My best photo of the month Races: July 13: Sweatfest 2 mile in 11:38 and 10 mile in 1:06:16. This race lived up to it's name, with temperatures of 80-85 degrees and a dew point of 76 degrees for the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. starts. I jumped in this one for fun and because the state records were weak in those distances, but I wasn't sure what to expect considering a) the weather, b) I'd done no workouts or long runs for 3 weeks, c) the racing when I'm usually sleeping thing, and d) running after eating 3 meals through the day when most of my runs are done fasted. But I had a lot of fun! Workouts: July 5: Light 8 mile progression run: 7:56, 7:44, 7:34, 7:24, 7:16, 7:07, 6:54, 6:38. I love progression runs, and I really loved this one because it was pretty easy the whole way. This week was still a marathon recovery week, so I had lower mileage and no true workouts. July 9: 5 miles "moderate" (heart rate 145-154) in the middle of a 9 mile run on rolling hills - 6:54, 7:01, 7:08, 7:08, 7:01. Running this by heart rate instead of pace was neat because it corresponded with a pretty consistent grade-adjusted pace (all right around 7:00). This was also not a true workout, but it was something different. July 13: The Sweatfest races were my first full-fledged workout after Grandma's! July 16: 8 x 1:00 hill sprints, also known as the hardest 8:00 of running in my life (4.3 warm up with form drills, 3 cool down). On our warm up, I told Rebecca, "It's only 8:00 of hard running" and later sure regretted that comment. Rebecca ran these with me, which helped me tremendously because she has great speed and hill strength, and Sean and Jeff also ran hill workouts at the same time, so there was a party on this hill before 6 a.m. We did reps 1-4 and 8 on one hill and reps 5-7 on a steeper hill (they are adjacent, in a bowl shape). My grade-adjusted paces were 5:33, 5:26, 5:27, 5:23, 5:28, 5:30, 5:38, 5:40. The steep hill is so difficult that 7:55 pace equates to 5:28 GAP. I think this was supposed to be a "light stimulus" workout, but it was no joke. July 18: 5 x (2 x 200 m, 200 m rec, 1 x 400 m) with 3:00 between sets (2.5 warm up, 2.5 cool down). Whaaat?! A workout like this is certainly my weakness, which is probably why I needed to do it! My splits were 38, 38, 80, 37, 38, 81, 38, 38, 81, 38, 38, 80, 38, 38, 81, which was really solid for me. My fast friend Rebecca ran this with me, which helped tremendously just like on July 16. I felt like I lost about 10 lbs in sweat during this workout at 77*, dew point 74*, but it is easier to do a workout like this than a long tempo run in the heat. July 22: 6 x 2:00 hills + 5 x 0:10 hills (4 warm up with form drills, 1.2 cool down). My main take-away from this workout was that I like 2:00 hills a lot better than 1:00 hills. Maybe I just had a better day, but I didn't suffer nearly as much on this workout than on the July 16 hills - or maybe it was because I gained a lot from the July 16 hill repeats. It was hard but not death! My grade-adjusted paces were 5:45, 5:39, 5:39, 5:47, 5:45, 5:40 for the 2:00 repeats. My 10 second sprints ranged from 4:20-5:01 grade-adjusted pace, although I doubt a Garmin is very accurate over that short of a distance (I had the durations programmed in so my watch would beep, so it took my splits too). Rebecca ran this with me, and we compliment each other really well on workouts like this because she is faster/stronger at the beginning of the reps, and I am stronger at the end. #bettertogether July 25: 10 x 1:00 on/1:00 off after almost 5 miles of easy running. Why is running hard for 1:00 so hard?! My push paces were 5:39, 5:37, 5:20, 5:42, 5:41, 5:24, 5:38, 5:23, 5:45, 5:22, with the grade adjusted paces being around 5 seconds faster on most because I ran this on rolling roads. I was solo for this one and definitely missed Rebecca! July 29: Broken miles track workout - 4 x (1000 m, 60 second jog, 600 m) with 3:30 recovery between sets. I thought the pace goals my coach gave me were insane ambitious (3:31 and 2:03), but I figured out what my 200 m splits needed to be (42 on the 1000s and 41 on the 600s) and went for it! Rebecca ran part of this with me. When we started our warm up it was raining moderately hard, but it appeared that the storms would stay south of us. By the time we started rep 1, the rain had lightened up and the only minor problem was soaked shoes. I hit my 1000 in 3:31, splitting 42s the whole way, and my 600 in 2:03, splitting 41s the whole way. I was really pumped about the 1000 especially, because just in April I was excited to break 3:40 in a 1000. I also felt like I could maintain that pace for 4 more reps with walking/standing rest like we had, so I was excited! We started the second 1000 and I was through the 200 in 42 and the 400 in 84 - spot on again. Then the storm came! For the second half of that 1000, the winds picked up (later I learned they were gusting to 40-50 mph) and the rain picked up so much that I could barely keep my eyes open as it pelted my face. I managed to finish that one in 3:35, although I couldn't see my split at the time. I then took the 60 second jog and managed a 2:09 600 m. At that point Rebecca decided to run back to her car (we park about 1.5 miles away and run our warm up to the track), and I was left with the dilemma of what to do. I was very invested in the workout and was too far in to move it to the following day, so I just kept going, even though I knew I wouldn't hit my times during the storm. The third rep was the worst - wind, pouring rain, flooding on one curve of the track (I am now ready for a steeple chase water jump), and my shorts were so soaked I could barely keep them up. But I put my head down and kept going! That set was 3:52 and 2:14. When I started the final set, it was still bad, but on the final lap of the 1000 it let up. I managed 3:43 for that one and then got my final 600 almost back on pace with a 2:04 in light rain. In hindsight, I should have stopped after rep 2 for 10-15 minutes and waited the worst of the storm out; I think I could have hit my times that way. However, that would have probably made me late to work, and at the time I didn't have any way of knowing how long it would take for the storm to pass (my phone was 1.5 miles away in my car). So it is what it is! Based on how I felt at the beginning I think I could have hit the splits or come close throughout; I have a hard time getting out "too fast" in workouts because I don't have much speed...although this workout showed me I am improving on it! I do not think I'd done a 2:48 800 m as an adult until this workout! Doubles: July 8, 11, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31 Strides: July 3, 12, and at least a couple before all workouts and races Strength work: Weekly totals of 2:10, 1:18, 2:15, 2:05 Yoga on several occasions (weekly totals of 1:26, 1:20, 1:57, 1:25). I started entering it into Strava but quickly forgot, much like with strength training. But this was proof that if my coach tells me to do something, I do it! I learned that I feel so good afterward, I actually like it... Favorite workout: I think I ran best on the July 22 hill repeats, but I actually kind of liked the July 18 track workout, at least after I'd finished it, haha! This is how we feel about track workouts Coaches Elise & Nora walk/ran & cheered us along on the track! Warrior 2 pose We didn't even plan this neon day, & we still almost got hit by a car that didn't look before turning Long Runs: July 7: 10.2 miles (7:11) - my longest run that week, so I am counting it! The middle 6 miles were "moderate" (6:50ish). July 13: 16.5 miles total, with the Sweatfest races plus warm ups and cool downs. July 20: 15.2 (7:45), with the goal of keeping my heart rate under 132 for the first half and under 144 on the second half, which equated to around 8:00 and 7:30 pace, respectively, in the heat. I ran this chatting with Kristen and it flew by! July 27: 15 miles (7:13) with Rebecca, Claudio, Kristen, and Paul. My goal was to have my heart rate around 140, and I averaged 141 so I'd say I did well! It was in the low 60s for this run, which felt amazing. Favorite long run: July 27, since it was in the low 60s and with great people! July 27 long run crew (minus Paul) Miles of smiles with these two! Running highlights/thoughts/randomness: If you don't subscribe to the Fast Women newsletter, you should. It's a weekly goldmine or running news and links! You should also follow Salty Running - hilarious and running-related! Start with this article about Grandma's. My coach's recap of Grandma's is here. Another good Grandma's re-cap here, and I agree with her that although there were a ton of women who ran very fast, there were also a lot who didn't run nearly to their potential, and it's not really clear why (the sun did not help!). We watched a lot of the Grandma's Marathon coverage video on YouTube. I can be seen stumbling in finishing, being checked on my the mascot Grandma, and being grabbed up by two volunteers at about 4:41:35. My fast friend Jessi was interviewed by a Kansas City new station after netting her OTQ at Grandma's (I even popped up in a photo that was shown). Her story is pretty amazing! Our running group continues to grow, with the addition of two fast women this month (marathon PRs of 3:01 and 2:55, chasing sub-3:00 and 2:45!). Jessi & I attempting tree pose after a run in Kansas City This arrived! I'm on the left beginning to bend over Grandma came to my rescue (I do not remember her at all) Life highlights/randomness: Jon and I had a low-key 4th of July at home with just the two of us, which was really nice with as busy as we've been. Albani spent a few days with Jon's parents and lots of cousins. We continued to sell Ibbetson Berries at the Farmer's Market - Jon and Albani sold on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and I helped on Saturdays and July 4. We pay Albani hourly and she is saving half of her income for her first car in less than 5 years (!!). She also has an emergency fund, per Dave Ramsey's advice. After a month, our cats began loving each other, mostly. We took a Saturday day trip to Rogers/Bentonville, Arkansas. We attended the Hot Wheels Legends car show, which my parents were showing in. We then went out to lunch with them and toured the Walmart museum before heading home that evening. We also took a weekend trip to Southeast Kansas for my father-in-law's birthday celebration, which included lots of family fun and food. This one loves her fireworks - she spent hard- earned blackberry money on these After much ado, our cats are now happy together She is an amazing salesgirl The washing machine is really fun to attack My saleswoman skills don't match Albani's, but I took over on July 4 when she was at her grandparents & I was off work Dressed up to celebrate a friend's marriage Week after the 4th sparklers Nugget loves laying in bowls set out for garden picking Albani got a new bike Hot Wheels car show + hot weather Hot Wheels car show Walmart museum The cats are friends now, mostly Kittens and cousins in Kansas My niece Iris and I coordinated outfits... Books: Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner Run by Ann Patchett Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff Related: I learned that an author that I really like, Elin Hilderbrand, runs 2 hours a day (RW article here)! Theme of the month: Sweat. It was July in Missouri, after all. This is our sweat pose
  20. 1 point
    I know every summer we all talk about it being hot and humid. And every year this is true, but this summer in NJ and Delaware it has been an inferno. For the past 5 days the temperatures have been well over 100* and yesterday we had feels like temperatures of 113*! Seriously this is not Atlanta or Orlando. I’m back at my free summer 5k trail series. The 1st race we had really nice temperatures of 82* and lowish humidity. I saw lots of the regular people there - the guy who my husband loves to hate, his wife, the young high school girl who always goes out way too fast and then sounds like she’s having an asthma attack, the guy who started the series, etc. I believe there were roughly 150 of us. The course starts on the road and quickly goes to grass, back on the road, to a dirt road and field before heading into the woods on single track. Last year I was close to beating the guy who my husband loves to hate. I was within 30-60 seconds of his time. At the start of the race I had no time goal. I was just going to put in a solid effort. When the race started I couldn’t believe how easy the pace felt. I kept waiting to blow up and have to walk. Never happened. Finished in 25:28 - 30 seconds off my fastest time last year. I ended up passing the GMHLTH in the first 1/2 mile and never saw him again. Last week for the 2nd race the temperatures soared. Earlier in the day it was a feels like temperature of 108*. I told my friend that the race was all about survival. All we had to do was get around the course. Temperatures had cooled to a pleasant 98* by race time. Lol. Somehow I still finished with a time just 15 or so seconds slower than the previous week- 25:45. This first week I finished 6th female and last week I was 5th. The really great thing about this race is that it caters to everyone— super fast track kids to people who have never run a 5k. The series has 3 more weeks. They give out prizes for top 3 overall and then 3 deep in each age group. So far I’m 4th overall and 1st in 50-59. The ladies ahead of me in the OA category are 3 minutes faster each race. I’d need one of them to miss a race to move up in the OA category. My training for the Trailfest has been going pretty well. I managed 33 miles outside last week in the Hell’s Kitchen Inferno. And this morning I somehow knocked out my 10 miler in the feels like 100*. As long as I stay under the trees or in shade I seem to be okay but the minute I step in the sun I die. I’m going to go for a fast 1/2 marathon either before Trailfest or after. Looking at AC 1/2, Cape Cod 1/2 or ?? I also keep eyeing up marathons. I know. Dumb to even think about another one yet, but I’d love to get a qualifying time for Chicago to be able to run next year. Really hard making plans when I have no idea what my current pace is.
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