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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/21/2018 in Blog Entries

  1. 15 points
    I’ve been doing a lot of writing here - for myself mostly because it’s pretty mundane. But maybe someone has a lot of free time on their hands and enjoys sifting through my mess. And my return-to-running training log is here for the spreadsheet lovers. Week 1 - 2 Week 2 - 5.6 Week 3 - 12.4 Week 4 - 18.4 Week 5 - 23.7 Week 6 - 19.5 (10 miles on Monday of Week 7) Week 7 - 39.5 (10 miles from Week 6) Week 8 - 28.2 Week 9 - 26.3 (taper-ish for Augusta 13.1 race) Week 10 - 66.1 (Hinson Lake 24 Hour - lots of walking) Week 11 - 21.0 (reverse taper) Week 12 - 42.6 Week 13 - 38.7 Week 14 - 27.0** projected Week 15 - 39.2** projected race week It’s been years since I’ve felt truly invested in a marathon cycle. The first Boston Marathon I ran in 2015 was likely the last time I truly had a focus on marathon-specific training. After getting into ultras, the specific workouts of road racing were speckled throughout my running, but I relied mostly on mileage and experience to get me feeling confident at the start line of a 26.2 mile race. I am excited! When reflecting (& reading) about how I felt in late March and mid-July, I wish so badly to go back and tell myself it will be okay. Even the time between boots were filled with trepidation. Things weren’t clicking. And if I really reflect back about consistently feeling good about my training, it was late spring of 2017. 18 months is a long time to feel eh about running. Sure, I had some fantastic races and great experiences in those 18 months, but I also remember it just not feeling as good as it does now. I’ll pin the blame on overracing and overtraining, but that doesn’t mean I’d change any course of events. I’d hop in my Delorean and do the exact same thing. Stupid? Maybe. But I am not apologetic about my experiences that led me to today. Back when I was still in the boot, I made a couple of versions of my training plan to get to the start line of the NYC marathon. I gave myself plenty of fluidity in mileage, time frames, and workouts. They were all modified versions of the lowest mileage Pfitzinger plan - the same one I used for Boston 2015. The podiatrist said it would take about 5-6 weeks for things to feel good again. And up to a year of random injury site pain - some real, some phantom. It was hard to navigate the first few weeks because I became anxious with everything that didn’t feel great. And honestly, a lot of things didn’t feel great. Slowly, things started to return to normal. I noticed the first day I stood at the sink and brushing my teeth felt normal. I noticed the first day that I walked across the gym and my stride felt normal. I noticed the first day that I lifted weights and I could bear weight on both legs. I cross-trained between running and walking. I ran paces that were 3-4 minutes slower than my typical training paces. I exercised as much patience as I could stand. And things started to change. I felt stronger and happier. My stride returned to normal. Things were clicking again. Every milestone in the recovery process has seemed almost like the first time I’ve done it. Workouts that I’ve done hundreds of times suddenly gave me butterflies. And I loved having that feeling again! 20 milers were a dime a dozen in 2016 & 2017. But suddenly I had to remember how to do them again! Do I bring gels? Do I bring water? Is it better to do 2 out-and-backs or 1 longer followed by 1 shorter? It was like falling in love with running all over again. And here I am, less than 2 weeks from standing in Staten Island with 50,000 other runners, feeling ready to tackle 26.2 miles.
  2. 12 points
    I've been feeling decidedly media unsocial lately, to the extent that I had thought about not even writing this RR. I guess along with all the other skills I've never developed, I'll never develop the real hermit skills I need to disappear from the Loop or Loopville completely. I'm also pretty much a slave to tradition, and I've been writing about my running long enough now that a race feels incomplete without reliving it here. Not feeling the joy, though, so you aren't likely to find anything especially humorous. But it was a race and I ran it and I'm going to write about it, so grab a cup and settle in for whatever time you can stomach. After the year that has been 2018 (and I do plan - unenthusiastically perhaps - on recapping this whole disaster of the last 365 days), I wasn't on the fence about returning to the Delaware beaches for the second year in a row. My decision was made late because I wasn't sure about my training, given the lingering pain from Louie's meniscus tear and the surgical repair. Last year it was a foot problem after San Francisco that had me sneaking in to the marathon in Rehoboth. HotPinkSneakers had kept that under wraps until I got there, hoping to repeat the fun of 2012 in the Twin Cities. This time that seemed too obvious. But, after the slowest and most discouraging build up of my life, by late October I finally felt like maybe I had a half marathon in the old legs. I wanted a good double digit run to be sure, and that hadn't happened yet. Of course I also needed Mrs. Dave's approval of the finances. The house all the Loopsters were staying at was full, so I needed a place to stay off the street. I looked at flying Spirit to Baltimore like last year, then discovered that I had some miles in my Delta account that would let me go DTW to DCA for free. Airbnb had a house at a price not much more than the local hotels. This sort of came together quickly one Sunday evening, and I decided that if all three - fitness, flight, nest - were still available by the end of the week, I was going. I bumped into a neighbor who also runs during the week who told me this was a no brainer. Usually, that's the level of brains I use for decision-making, but I still waited for the weekend. Mostly worried about the knee. Delta thanked me for being a frequent flyer. I don't consider myself a frequent flyer, although I've done a bunch more in the last two years than ever. Good flight, though, and I was traveling light, with just a backpack. There were Loopsters at the airport - HPS, zamgirl5, gingersnapMKE - and it was a pretty short wait for RunEatRalph, who was making a long road trip from his place in VA, and had graciously volunteered to let a few of us pile into his wheels. The 2-1/2 hour drive from Reagan to the coast went pretty quickly. That Gingersnap can really talk. I can't, usually, but I said a couple of things that might have contributed. We stopped at a KFC for chicken tenders (Ralph and I were starving). We stopped in some other place for a few groceries for dinner. Once we got to Rehoboth, the rest of Friday was hanging out a little at the Dogfish Head bar, getting settled in the Airbnb with runningplaces9919, then making and eating dinner, and I mostly listened to the bigger and bigger group of Loopsters laughed and joked and I wondered if I was getting too old for this sort of gathering. But the food was excellent. RP and I called it early and drove the mile to our house. We'd tried a practice run to the Loopster house to see what made sense for race morning - drive or walk. The main bridge was closed, so we couldn't scout the route very well and decided that a drive and park was the safest bet. The little house was perfect for two guys with no intentions to party. Had trouble sleeping Friday night. Not normally a problem for me, but I was all nerves about the race and the knee and being with Loopsters after a long time. But eventually I dropped off and got a decent night's sleep. We were both up at 5:00. We didn't have the best parking, but it was within reasonable walking distance from the Loop house and the finish line. We gathered with the Loopsters and then walked to the starting line, just a few minutes before the start. Good thing, too, because it was cold. Just under 30o, which is a tough spot. Just on the border of whether to go with multiple layers. In the end, I had double shirts, shorts, double gloves and my trusty old Twin Cities headband. That turned out to be the perfect choice. I was cool most of the morning but never freezing, and never over heated. Plan for the day: My A goal was 1:45, or 8:00 pace. I was a little scared of that because I hadn't had a decent tempo run and about half of my long intervals were weak on the back end. But I'd done 6 x 800s on Wednesday at almost 3:30, so I thought I'd give it a go. I basically cut my 2014 Marshall plan in half. First 5K easy (8:30, 8:15, 8:15), then a bunch of 8:00's, and hope to have a little left to push for the final 5K. No hills because Rehoboth, so all I had to do was get into a rhythm and it would be great. The plan almost worked. Mile 1 was OK, at 8:38. I'd lined up behind the 3:40 pace group, forgetting that my slower start should have people passing me early. The first half mile I was seeing sub-8, so I dropped off some, even though I was a little in the way. Etiquette fail. But there were plenty of others slower than me and no one was really blazing the first mile weave, so I didn't feel too bad. Mile 2 was 8:18. Not perfect, but pretty close and no danger signs from the knee or from the ankle, which has been sort of bothering me the last couple of weeks. I haven't mentioned it, hoping it'll go away of course. The I get to mile 3 with a 8:15. No issues. Didn't feel all wonderful or anything, but that kept me from trying to go faster, which was smart. Not that I'm usually smart. I was keeping y eyes open for Loopsters on the course, and saw ocrunnergirl after the turnaround. Just behind of me was a couple of guys, and one of them was a loud-talker. I could tell you all about their jobs and their wives and a bunch of other things except it would not doubt be as excruciating for you to read as it was for me to listen to. Sadly, they were very nearly at my pace and I knew I didn't have it in me to push any more. A woman had something go wrong with her watch about then, and Loud-talker made it his mission to settler her down and mansplain how she'd be OK and she shouldn't let it ruin her race and that everyone else had a watch if she needed to ask where her pace was. She apparently did have it in her because she took off and got as far away as quickly as she could. I hope she finished well. Mile 4 - 8:08. This is where I figured that discretion would be the better part of valor and not panic about losing those 8 seconds. My effort felt about right. Pushing would only come back to haunt me later. And I hadn't had a sustained effort double digit run in over a year, so I had no confidence I could run down 8-10 seconds per mile for nine more miles. Head down and take it one mile at a time. That next mile was 8:03. I never felt great the whole morning, btw. The race was a grinder and I just hung in as best I could. Running that 8:03 should have given me a boost, but it barely registered. Back through downtown and past the finish area I started looking for Loopsters again. Corc-o-rama and PearlGirl were spectating and I expected them around there, but missed them I guess. Then as I approached the bridge (taking the sidewalk to avoid the open grating that everyone hates so much), I spied aschmid and slow_running ahead of me. I was gaining on them, but since I wasn't hitting my 8:00s I hadn't planned on seeing them until a little later if at all. I slowed a little to stay with them for a little, but lost them when we turned onto the road that went towards the gravel path The road was open and they had the runners restricted to the bike lane which was barely wide enough for two runners. I went in front and they dropped off. I followed two women running side by side all the way to the path. I didn't have the energy to try swinging out around them, and that would have put me outside the cones unless I put on a good surge which I wasn't prepared to do anyway. Anyway, with all that, Mile 6 was 7:54. Maybe I'd get a second wind and be able to push that last 5K after all. I haven't really had a chance to run with fuel this year, so I wasn't 100% confident about the Hammer Gel I'd brought with me. Normally I down one half way through a pikermi. The other thing I wasn't sure about was how easy it would be to get to it. The latest version of my C9 shorts don't have the normal pocket at the waist. There's a zippered one in the back. With the sand on the path making my footing sort of dicey, and my energy starting to flag a little, I lost 30 seconds for mile 7. 8:28. But, after fueling up I just needed to wait for a few minutes to feel rejuvenated, right? Nope. Instead, my stomach decided to treat my heretofore trusty Hammer Gel like a foreign invader. It also happened that I was now behind Loud-talker and his buddy again. Fortunately, they were working harder and not talking as much, but it worried me some. I worried more about getting to the POP at mile 8. And it felt like I'd added ten pounds to each leg. Please get me to mile 8! 8:18. The POP is at about mile 8-1/2. There was no line! Just a quick stop for business and I'd be good as gold again. Again, nope. I watched the watch that (still) has yet to be named count and count and count, while I tried to make sure there wouldn't be another pit stop when I came back through at Mile 10. One minute. Two minutes. THREE MINUTES! And I was finally on the trail again. So much better. Mile 9 counted out at 10:59, so it would have been one of the best of the day without the stop. The three minute break probably helped my last four and a half miles, I guess. So I'll take that little victory. Somewhere after that I saw NCAthlete coming back the other way. She was working and looking better than I felt (she always looks better than me anyway). Some people love trails. I don't mind them if I'm not in a hurry. The little path through Ritter Park in Huntington is a Loop-Marshall favorite. Not mine. Nor is this part of Rehoboth. Last year I stopped more times than I can tell you to shake rocks out of my shoes. This time I avoided that somehow (dumb luck), but the top layer was just sandy enough that the footing was a few degrees away from slippery. Added stress I didn't need. I couldn't wait to get off that trail. I saw aschmid as I approached the turnaround. She and Slow_Running had of course passed me while I was in the POP. I called out but she didn't look very happy. Found out later she'd also stopped at the POP, and was on her way to make a second visit. Never did see SR. Mile 10 was 8:11. Not great again, but now I only had a 5K to go. Like I'd been afraid, there wasn't much more I could put into my pace, and I mostly hoped I wouldn't slow down a ton, although that's exactly what I wanted to do. Grind. Mile 11 - 8:16. These were all supposed to be sub-8:00. Not this day. But I compared it to how it felt, which was more like 9:15, and also reminded myself that most of this year I hadn't been able to run at all. Didn't make me go any faster on that stoopid sandy path, but it kept my mind positive. I was actually running a race again, despite the fact that I really, really wanted to walk for 10-30 seconds. And the trail was ending, which was the best news of all. HoosierJill and SLCAthena were coming onto the trail, having way more fun than I was. My legs were feeling pretty dead, though, even after getting back on the road. 8:11. On the grates going back over the bridge, which didn't suck nearly as bad as the trail. I was actually passing a few people along here, too. My brain was off and I was mostly making sure I stayed on the route. Would have been bad to get lost. It was at Mile 13 (7:46) that I finally saw Corc and Pearl. They gave me a cheer and I kept up my not-death march. I've felt way worse in races, so this was fine. Not comfortable, but pretty good all things considered. Final .1 (.19 per Garmin) @ 6:56. Numbers. Official time 1:50:46 (8:27) 3 mile split - 25:26 (8:25) 9 mile split - 1:17:28 (8:36) Overall position - 337/1651 Men - 220/562 M 55-59 - 22/82 (just for fun, I would have been 6th in my next year's new AG) Two miles (6 & 13) @ sub-8:00 Slowest miles - 1 (8:38 - planned) and 9 (8:28 - fumbling with Hammer Gel) (not counting the 10:59 Mile 9, of which 3 were spent stationary) So, let me consider. First time training specifically for a half marathon. Ran zero miles for much of the year. Training was more or less spotty even after getting through the end of summer. Still getting older. 1:50 was my B-goal, so I can check that off. I'll also give myself an A for effort. Maybe it's just from not racing in so long, but I was never comfortable after the first three miles. Now for an easy winter. I'll run if I'm not too busy, it isn't too cold and the sidewalks are mostly clear. I can plan a late spring marathon (May?). Maybe something early in the fall and Disney World in January, provided I stay healthy. That's the only bucket race I have left and I'd like to get it done sooner rather than later. How's this for a race face?
  3. 11 points
    I feel like all my posts have been full of dread and woe for months as I complained about aches and pains and slowness. Yet here I am in the midst of Monster Month, with four weeks to race day, and somehow I'm feeling energized and optimistic! Go figure. Shouldn't I be exhausted and sore and negative about now? Well, not so much. Just finished my two biggest weeks, with 54 and 51 miles. And my gimpy ankle has healed up. My balky knee still aches sometimes, but less and less. It seems the prescription for healing was More Miles. Sure I'm sore and achey after my long runs, and getting up off the couch can be difficult. But by the next day I'm able to get back out there relatively unscathed. I guess this training thing works. It helps running in perfect weather conditions. Winter training sure beats summer training. I never overheat, and don't need to worry about hydration. Enjoying the beauty around here is good for the mojo as well. I've had several great runs along the Pacific coast cliffs nearby. There are some great trails there. I got to see a whale as I went by a whale-watching spot. I also enjoyed running with hundreds of butterflies as we are in the middle of a huge butterfly migration at the moment. I can see for hundreds of miles all across the LA basin and to the snow-capped local mountains as I climb over our local hills. It's pretty great. A week ago I did my first 20-miler for this cycle, to close out a 54 mile week. I expected to be tired and just go at whatever pace worked. I ran along the flat coast virtually the whole way and just enjoyed myself. The pace gradually dropped to about 8:10-8:15 for miles 8-19, which was about as good as I had hoped for. I didn't fade until the last mile when I started to wear out. My pace is still slower than a year ago, as it has been on all my runs, but I've accepted that. Just glad to get the miles in. Last Wednesday I repeated my 4x1 mile workout, and I was able to find more speed than a few weeks ago. I managed 7:00, 7:02, 7:00 and 7:16, which beat the 7:20s I ran before. That was encouraging, although still slower than last year. And I had nothing left on the last one. But still, encouraging. Saturday I ran a very hilly 13 with a friend and the pace was decent. Then when I got back to the car I realized I had lost my key somewhere along the way. Phone was locked in the car, and friend was running home. I had little choice but to run the extra 3.8 miles home. But I still felt pretty strong after 13, and it was another beautiful day, and it was all downhill or flat...so I trotted on home and was happy to do it and log more miles. So this week is not too tough, but it finishes with a 21-miler over a huge hill that is my usual pre-marathon litmus test. If I can do that without dying too bad, then I will feel ready. Right now I feel pretty good about it. All systems are go. My Boston goal is just to have fun and break 4, but I'd like to do about 3:45 if all goes well. I know I can run about 8 minute pace for 20 miles. It's all about that last six. Long term, I'm thinking Chicago 2020 may be my next one. So to qualify to skip the lottery I need sub 3:40... So many of my friends are fighting injuries, so I'm just happy to be healthy, and getting another decent marathon done. At my age, I never know when it might be my last. Enjoy your runs. Life is good.
  4. 11 points
    Pre-race After conferring with my coach weeks ago, we decided that the Mountain Mist 50k would be the best option for me to meet the required qualification for the Georgia Death Race - a 50k trail race in the last calendar year. The elevation and technicality would be a great tune-up and a chance for me to test gear and nutrition. Though I could have driven the 3.5 hour drive, gaining an hour crossing into Central Time, I opted to camp overnight at Monte Sano State Park. I left work at 2pm Friday to make it in time before sunset and was treated to a very beautiful drive through the tiny mountain towns of northwest Georgia/northeast Alabama. At the park, I went straight to the camp host to check in and got both a dinner recommendation and directions to the race start (more on that later). I blindly picked the camp site online and chose a spot that was nearest to the restrooms. My good fortune meant I was treated to a beautiful view of Huntsville and I arrived just at sunset. I made a quick call to Adam and then changed into running gear for a 2 mile shakeout run around the campground. I watched the big orange thing dip below the horizon and then headed out to packet pickup (at the lodge) and to grab dinner. I was a little worried about the camp host's recommendation at first. I had asked for a place that served pizza and beer and he asked if Italian would be okay. He explained they didn't really have many items with red sauce and yeah, they have some beer. I was picturing loads of fettuccine alfredo with goopy white cream sauce and reminded of when Michael Scott carbo-loads before the "Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure"5K and promptly vomits. But, the pizza was seriously some of the best I have ever had and the beer selection, while not vast, was a nicely culled collection of local favorites (re: Huntsville IPAs) and national specialties (Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout). I always like to err on the side of being really full before a race, especially an ultra, so I loaded up on a donut hole-esque dessert. Also, I just like donuts. I stopped at a gas station on the way back to fill up my tank, get some cold brew coffee, and a back-up muffin in case there was some tragedy with my overnight oats. Back at camp, I settled into my 0° rated sleeping bag (Everest testing), read a little of David Goggins "Can't Hurt Me", and fell asleep before 10pm. The sleeping bag was beyond warm enough in the 20°-ish degree weather. I actually woke up at one point and had to crawl out of it because I was too warm. The alarm went off at 6:20am and while I was cozy, I was also ready to get the show going. I changed in the warm bathroom and ate my oats. Just after 7am, I headed to the race start. I double-checked the map and walked about 5 minutes before I realized the trail was not terribly discernible in the winter and panicked that I might be late to the race. I turned around and decided to take my chances to drive up to the lodge. Again, I totally lucked out and parked just outside the entrance on the side of the road with just enough time to stand around and get cold before the start. Race morning I lined up in the first third of the pack behind the start line. In reading race reports and talking to runners who had raced it, I knew the first 20 miles were pretty runnable and the last 11 or so were tough. This was supposed to be a training run of sorts (though we all know I'm competitive so it's not like I wasn't going to give it my best effort) and I really wanted to just stay relaxed as much as possible. The first mile was pavement and I was far from warmed up. Everything felt stiff and stagnant and I was annoyed that despite taking it relatively easy, it felt awkward. We hit the fire road and things started to get a little better with softer footing and I tried to just stay with the little packs around me, only passing if necessary in this point. I didn't want to get stuck too far behind once we got to the single track. People were not really talking much around me at this point, which in retrospect, I guess I was closer to the front of the pack than I thought initially. By the time we reached the single track section and through the first aid station at mile 6.7, I just tried to stay as comfortable as possible. Any time I thought I wanted to pass someone, I gave it an extra minute or two. It's so easy to push in the beginning, but I didn't want to feel like garbage at the end. The course in this section was moderately muddy - bad in some sections, but there was definitely very runnable spots and I did feel like we did a lot of downhill running. There was some switching around of people at the aid stations as some people stopped for a bit longer. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade, a single pretzel, and kept right on moving. At this point, I was behind 3 females who were bombing the downhills pretty efficiently and I decided to stay in tow. Once we got into the section I would dub the "Power Line Field", I was relaxed and just enjoying listening to their chatter back and forth about various things. Once we reached the first climb, dubbed "K2", one of the girls jetted up ahead and while I was tempted to pursue her, I knew it was too early to get caught up in competition. I knew my skills lied in power hiking ups and I'd wait until the final 2 climbs to put on the afterburners. We still had 20+ miles to go. At the 11.9 mile aid station, I grabbed a cup of Mello Yello and filled up my water flask. I went trotting off down the trail and a few minutes past the aid station, full on Supermanned going up a tiny hill. Apparently I hit the ground with enough impact that runners in both directions asked if I was okay. Yes, yes, just a little blood mixed with hurt pride. My bib completely ripped off and I had to take a few extra seconds to pin it back on. But, once I was back on the trail, I started to feel great! It was like the fall had woken me up. The next section had a short little climb that led up to a section called "Stone Cuts". Giant slabs of stone with a trail that meanders through them. Runners had to squeeze through narrow cuts and limbo underneath low cave-like areas. It was really, really cool and despite the slowdown, it was pretty awesome to be "running" through natural wonders. From prior race reports, I learned that if you doubled your time at he mile 17 aid station, that would be the approximate time you could expect for the race. I came in just shy of 3 hours and was then just hoping to hold onto 6 hours. I was feeling a bit peppier in the next section and happy that there was finally a break to run without being so bunched up for a bit. There was a swift little descent full of rocks and then a bunch of muddy trail at the bottom before reaching the aid station just past mile 20. I was tempted to take a shot of Fireball at this aid station, but nothing was going inherently good or bad so I decided to stay with the status quo of Mello Yellow. The next section was the infamous Railroad Trail, a rocky nightmare of a trail. The only saving grace is that it was relatively flat for a couple of miles, but it seems as though I couldn't get much more speed because the footing was terrible. I got behind a group of guys who were talking like it was the first few miles of the race and let them lead the pack up the Bluffline Trail and the ridiculousness of the Waterline Trail. It is in this section that you use all 4 points of contact to hoist yourself over slippery rocks along a waterfall. Fortunately, I was still feeling spry at this point and my flexibility is fairly decent so I had no trouble with this section. I was laughing at how crazy it was, but I was actually having fun bouldering over rocks. Check out the runners in the top right of the photo below! Photo credit: Andy Highsmith At the top of the climb (sweet relief!), I took off down the Bluffline Trail and started to try to make up some time. I wasn't moving super fast, but I was passing a bunch of runners who had gassed out near the 24-25 mile mark. Once we reached the next descent, I started running with John and he nicely explained the final sections and what to expect. The mud was incredibly thick in the flattish section near the water and my tired legs were exhausted by the repeated pull of the muck. I was actually grateful for the climb as it was drier and I could actually gain footing. We didn't even stop at the last aid station and I noted there was 1.6 miles to go. Glancing at my watch, I saw it was about 5:40:XX. If the aid station sign was correct, I could still slip under 6 hours. Luckily, the trail was pretty flat and runnable at this point and while I didn't have a sense of how far we were, I started to see more hikers out walking their dogs - a sure sign we were closer to the trailhead. John was dealing with a side stitch and urged me to go on when stopped to walk. I stayed with him the first time and we started running again, but then I heeded his advice when stopped again and pushed for the finish solo. I heard the music of the finish line first and then I spotted the arch as I came around the final bend. I crossed in 5:55:42 according to Garmin. I stepped off to the side and waited to see John finish, giving him a huge high five as he also made it under 6 hours. Eventually, I headed indoors for the warmth and to grab my finisher's slate and age group award, a backpack. Takeaways: Food/Hydration: B Throughout the race, I ate 2 RX bars, 2 Spring energy gels, and a GU that I picked up from an aid station. I had 1 pretzel rod, 1 Oreo, and an orange slice. My hydration was mostly water, but I also took 1 cup of Gatorade and 2 cups of Mello Yello. The cooler weather made hydration a bit trickier and I think I should carry something with a bit of electrolytes like Nuun or Tailwind for GDR. I was definitely cramping post-race and it took a couple of cups of Sprite and food for it to stop. Also, I could have done a better job hydrating the day before. I avoided it because of the road trip and I think I started the day a bit dehydrated. Gear: C My bladder in my Camelpack was not secured in some sort of way so I was slowly leaking water for the first couple of miles in the beginning of the race. I think I didn't have the cap seal on flush and it sloshed out from the top. I still was able to drink from it through about 10-12 miles, but then it was just extra weight. I think I'd prefer to just rely on flasks as they are easier to fill. Plus, for some reason, the hose across my chest was SO ANNOYING. To be fair, I kept thinking it was good that my hose was annoying me and not physical pain. But I am going to have to mitigate those minor annoyances. Half capris were a good choice, probably should have just done a t-shirt and arm warmers. I really only needed gloves for the first couple of miles. Hoka Torrents proved successful on the mud, rocks, and gnarly trail. I have zero blisters and my Swiftwick socks were a great choice - despite me blowing a hole through the toe of one of them. Physical Training: A I'm officially in week 5 of my coached training and because this was a training race, I didn't have a true taper. In fact, I just came off my biggest true mileage week in over a year and ran 5 days leading up to the race, including a speed session on Tuesday. So while I am bit disappointed in my time for the race (I was hoping for 5:30 or so), I have to keep in perspective that I was not running on fresh legs and this was not the goal race. I ran a really patient race and fortunately felt the best at the end. Mental Training: A+ I never hit really high highs or really low lows in this race. The points that I wasn't feeling great really were just when I wasn't pushing on the gas pedal. And while I do love the endorphin rush of the high highs, I think it's actually better that things were just really steady-eddy. The course and the conditions of the trail could have beat me up, but I kept telling myself when it got tough that I like doing hard things.
  5. 10 points
    Allow me to reintroduce myself. I used to post in the old Loop hosted on the Runner's World site. I was known there as Kingcoffee. I used to love posting blogs and reading other peoples blogs and comments. I stopped doing that because my life became so busy that I could barely find the time to run much less write about it. I started my own company and it took up so much of my time that I didn't have any left for much else. I thought that, if I started my own company, I wouldn't have a "job" anymore. I quickly discovered that I had traded my one job for 5. I posted one blog in this new Loop but I wasn't able to get back to it to respond to any comments or questions. I hoped at that point, to become a regular again but my life quickly returned to the hectic world of running the business, sleeping, running and family. I'm six years plus into running my business now and I think there may finally be time to be a regular contributor. With the extra time commitment of running a business, there has been less time for the activity of running as well. My running fitness has declined, partly due to aging but more so due to lack of training. I have been able to run more consistently lately though and I was able to run a faster 5k last year than I have been able to run for quite awhile. With being so busy with work, I wasn't able to sign up for many races since most of them are on Saturdays. I'm the type of runner who mostly runs, in order to be able to race. Luckily, Friday 5k showed up in time to save my running life. What is Friday 5k? So glad you asked. A runner who lives much closer to Dave (you all know Dave), started Friday 5k but he started it on the west side of Michigan because that is where he spends most of his weekends. Friday 5k races take place on prime numbered Fridays beginning in April and ending in September. There is no entry fee and no t-shirts or medals but the races are timed and you can see your results shortly after the race is over. The races are paid for through donations. The only requirement to participate is that you have to become a member but membership is free. There have been numerous different things thrown into Friday 5k's. At first, the races were held at different places and you only found out where the evening before the race. At the end of one season, we were invited to run all ten of that year's 5k's in one day. Most racers only ran a few of those races but I ran all ten of them in one day. There was a little walking in the last 3 races that day but mostly running. Another year, the races all had different names, complete with theme songs and special prizes. One of those races was called the Aim Low 5k. I received a prize, which was a book titled Aim Low. The book is hilarious and yet also poignant. Another one was called the Sunshine Day 5k and we finished the race to a recording of the Brady Bunch singing Sunshine Day. Somewhere there probably still exists a video of me, my son and 2 foster kids skipping toward the finish line to the music. Now the races are all held at the same venue but there continues to be different contests and prizes tossed into the mix throughout the season. For the last 2 years there have been teams. This year there are no more teams but there will be an event where racers start at different times which are based on there previous Friday 5k times and the idea is that everyone will finish close to the same time. Kind of a handicap race. Some of you may wonder why I switched my name from Kingcoffee to Runningthrumymind. The main reason is that I stopped drinking coffee. Also, I intend for most of my blogs to be about the things I think about while I'm running. I do my best thinking when I'm out running. Running, particular my long runs, usually become a form of meditation and my mind goes rambling around while my body rambles down the road, (or trail). I hope some of you find this entertaining and I hope to be able to continue to write these on a regular basis.
  6. 10 points
    "...goin wherever it leads..." Geez, it’s been awhile. Last time I blooped was what, well before Wineglass? Yep. I went to Corning and ran a half marathon with Aubree and Tim (it’s been so long that I have no idea what the loop names are anymore) and had a great time pacing with Tim for Aubree’s sub- 1:45. Some belated pics, because I know how much everyone loves to see #raceface. I also ran a 5k with Juliet, who is a tiny little bundle of running awesomeness... She was so determined to run a sub-30 5k. And she did. She was crying for the last quarter mile, she was in so much pain, but she wanted NOTHING TO DO with slowing down and calling a 30:xx good enough. Sprinted to the finish with 10 seconds to spare and then it was my turn to cry a little. This summer, she'll be registering for her school's cross country program and I'm excited for that. But much of last year was kind of a bust, running-wise. I went through a huge slump- one I might still be in?- after the cluster-fudge brownie that was Buffalo. Something about that race cracked me wide open. God, I hate that race. I still have nightmares about that race. But I try to chalk up the debacle to character building and all that jazz. Moving on. Summer proved to only perpetuate the running $h$tshow, though, with a crazy schedule at work, and insanely hot temps (for here) and my general apathy at running. Working every single Saturday meant I could hardly ever race and since I couldn’t race, my mojo wilted like cotton candy in a rainstorm. I didn’t wanna run. At least not long and not far and not much. Add to that the fact that C, the RB I ran with last year, had his divorce finalized, got a girlfriend and promptly stopped running. Cold turkey. BAM. I mean, I kinda get it... a single dad with 2 kids and a full-time job doesn’t leave much time for running with a friend once you have better things to do (literally? lol ). And the girlfriend doesn’t run. So it was back to solo runs. This time, no RB and still no mojo, except for Wineglass weekend. Then this year rolled around, and I finally said screw it to the job that was holding all my Saturdays hostage. I got a new job. More pay, similar work, and NO WEEKENDS. I don’t really enjoy it all that much and am bored but most people don’t love their jobs so why should I expect more? What people do love, and I am no exception, is weekends. Hallelujah, I get real weekends again. I was going to run a marathon this spring, at Glass City. Like, BQ attempt and all that. I even tried a few weeks of training. Ran long runs up to 15 miles. And then one day I just said, you know what? I don’t want to do this. It’s not fun anymore. I was skipping tempos and dreading long runs. Especially since the winter weather seems to drag on and on and on and not in a good way like in the Journey song. It’s March 3 and it’s 15 degrees. This is not funny. Or maybe I just didn’t want a repeat of Buffalo, where I trained through a cold spring and then showed up for 80 degrees and air like soup. Have I mentioned disliking that race? Wait a minute. When was the last time I had a spring/summer where I just HAD FUN? Where the whole better-get-your-ass-into-training-mode wasn’t like an insistent alarm clock going off in my head? When I did what I WANTED? Ruling out what I don’t want was the first step but the next step was asking myself, Peg, what do you want? Here’s what I want: I want to enjoy my life, my family, my weekends. I want to be able to run with friends at yackety-yak minutes/mile instead of being saddled to a specific pace for 15 miles. I want to race some short distances. Specifically, 5ks and 10ks, without worrying that racing in the middle of training will either hurt my marathon training or end in a crappy race. Or get me injured. I want to do track workouts of 400s, 800s, mile repeats. I like track workouts. I want to get out my road bike and I want to bike, a lot. I want to drive to other parts of town, or other towns, and run while exploring. I want my running and biking to take me to places and experiences. And I’d like to bloop/blog about said places and experiences… yes, I’d like to hang out here more. I’ve missed writing about running, mostly because I’ve missed ENJOYING running. Oh, btw, I want to start *gasp* running trails. 50k. Maybe a 50 miler later. Yep, you heard me. ULTRAS I need something new. I need a change. I want to love running again. Once warmer weather rolls around (based on current trends, hoping to be in short sleeves by Memorial Day), I want to join a group from around here that regularly spends Saturdays or Sunday afternoons in the summer running trails down at Oil Creek State Park. That’s home to the Oil Creek 100M, 100k, and 50k every October; ZamGirl has done that one (HOLY COW I JUST REMEMBERED A LOOP NAME! Oh, I haven’t forgotten Bangle and 5Starks and KeepRunningGirl and atombuddy and dammit I AM A LOOPSTER STILL). The trail running group is largely insane trail junkies who run ultras and 24 hour stuff and 100 milers. So I will be the newbie in the group showing up in track flats and an 8 oz handheld and no bug spray or toilet paper. But I have been the newbie at everything under the sun since 2007 when I emerged a blinking newborn (figuratively) into the real modern world, so what else is new? I blame any gaffes on my hair color and ask lots of questions and take people’s advice and so far I’ve managed to get fairly far on that. I’m a couple weeks in of just… backing off and running differently. I even started doing some runs watchless, aka going out there and running routes that I know are a specific amount of miles and estimating the pace based on time passed. That’s relaxing. Different for me, for sure. Next thing you know I’ll be inputting runs of 5.98356 miles when I do wear the watch, and not running 20 foot laps in my driveway to get to 6…. ….. Kidding, never happening, the neighbors would be so disappointed to learn that I am not certifiably insane and I dislike letting people down. I will revisit the Boston dream again. Maybe a late marathon this fall, for a 2021 shot. Or maybe I’ll do the Glass City thing next spring instead. Somewhere, sometime, I’ll have the laser-focus that I used to have. You know, where I did every single run at least 10 seconds per mile faster than I’m supposed to and got 16 PRs in one year and ran, what was it, a sub-1:40 half marathon? Sometimes I kinda miss the old 2013 or 2017 me sometimes. You know what I don’t miss? The injuries. 2014, 2015, 2016. Turns out the world doesn’t come to a complete stop just because I’m a little more chill about running. In the meantime, I totally revamped my training. NEW PLAN!!! 5ks, 10ks, so speedwork during the week, along with short easy runs. And longer training runs on the weekend, hopefully some on trails, but with the focus of time on feet and not speed/pace. A possible 30k in May, providing the 23 people ahead of me on the waiting list decide they have better things to do on a Saturday morning. Go shopping, people. Picnic. Family wedding. Help me out here. And then I'm eyeing a 50k in June. Then I’m kiiiiiiiiinda putting a 50 miler at either Burning River 50 or Finger Lakes 50 on the table... It’s on the way far corner of the table and it may topple off at any moment, but the fact that it’s on the table is progress. And then, there’s always the Oil City 100k in October. That’s not on the table, that’s just a tiny seed in my brain. But you know, little acorns to mighty oaks and that sort of thing. Let’s not even start on the Ironman I still want to complete someday. But I don’t want to ruin this summer by taking up swimming (shudder) again. I'm not Fish or stewmanji (god, I love the loop names coming back to me). I kind of like the feeling I have right now, of doing my own thing. A simmering excitement. Trying new things. Going off the beaten path. Doing what I want, running what I want. Stay tuned.
  7. 10 points
    Sweet Mags: What in the hell are you doing? Rob: What the hell does it look like I’m doing? I’m blooping. Sweet Mags: Good golly! I haven’t heard you talk about those losers- er I mean Loopsters in like a hot minute. Rob: Well, if you recollect last year was a bust. I ran like 3 miles total last year after screwing up my back. Didn’t even get to go to Rehoboth to spectate in a sparkle skirt cause I was sicker than a dog. Sad times. Sweet Mags: Oh yeah, I remember you whining about that. Well, I know you’re running again because I can smell your clothes. Gosh, I’ll remember the good times when your undies didn’t fill the house with the smell of hot garbage. I mean, I guess you’re in a better mood and less of an asshole now that you’re running again. Rob: Not just running. Also, sleeping and lifting. Sweet Mags: Lifting my turds out of the litter box? Rob: Weights, jerkface. Since December. It’s been a real blessing, Sweet Mags. It’s like all I had to do is get a lot of good sleep, lift weights, eat reasonably and the running came back. Sweet Mags! The running came back. Sweet Mags: Get a hold of yourself!!!!!! Rob: Never! It’s called a runner’s high and I’ll do anything for another hit. Even bench press with the meat heads and go to sleep early. Sweet Mags: You’ve gone mad. Mad! Rob: Anyway, it hasn’t all been good. There was that incident with the HOKAs. Sweet Mags: The marshmallow shoes? Rob: Yep. The shoes some people call hookahs and not in an ironic way. Sweet Mags: They were almost as fugly as your Altras. Rob: Don’t talk about my Altras. That’s a line you do not cross. Sweet Mags: So what was the deal with the marshmallow shoes. Rob: Well, you know I get a good discount at the running store I work at on the weekends. Sweet Mags: Why can’t you work at a pet store and get me discounts? Rob: Cause people who have pets are insane. Sweet Mags: I mean, you have a valid point. Rob: Anyway, I bought a pair of Hoka Bondi. You know cause the damn Clifton 5 is still to narrow for my hobbit foot. One run in and my knee was screaming. Not only that, but I felt like I was going to trip over my feet with every other stride. It was a nightmare. So I took them home and burned them in a sacrifice to the running gods. Sweet Mags: Did you make s’mores out of them? Rob: You know I can’t lie to you. I returned them and exchanged them for Saucony Triumph 5’s. Sweet Mags: That’s my boy Rob: Thankfully, the Saucony got their shit together after the very disappointing 4’s. Sweet Mags: The Triumphs are cool, but you know I’m a barefoot runner. I don’t need to be shod with shoes that are just going to impede my performance. Rob: The barefoot movement died. Sweet Mags: You died! Rob: Shut it! Sweet Mags: I’ve already ran 6 hundos this year. Rob: I’ve ran about thirteen miles in January and about that much in February and I couldn’t be happier. I did my first threasy in over a year tonight! Sweet Mags: What do you want, a cookie? Rob: A couple of eggs and a Greek yogurt would be bomb. Sweet Mags: Greek yogurt tastes like ass. Rob: You should know. Ok dude, I gotta finish this bloop. Go chase your tail. Sweet Mags: Tell the Loopsters they suck. I’m OUT!
  8. 9 points
    Ralston Creek 13.1 – Arvada, CO / Sunday, February 3, 2019 2/12 – Race per month 2019 goal In case you forgot, I have a goal this year of running a race (of any distance) each month of the year! This was my February race. I ran this race in 2014. The weather was pretty awful – cold, snowy, and the trails were pretty treacherous. At least one person had to have gotten injured during that one by slipping on ice. The weather is hit or miss this time of year so, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” I actually ended up having to wear the jacket that I brought because the layers I had on weren’t enough – Athlinks says the temp was 26°. However, this year was much different and it was about 47° and sunny at the start! I was in carpis and a thin LS shirt. The race director had reported the day prior that there were only a few icy spots on the course which were pretty negotiable – they even covered up a longer icy portion with carpet! They had eight port-o-potties at the start, which turned out to not be enough. W and I had gotten there about an hour before the start and just sat in the car. I didn’t realize what the PoP situation would be and didn’t need to go until I was ready to go to the start. The line was LONG. There was one single line for all of them, which I think was fine, but it was moving slow – they needed more shitters. I HAD to pee BADLY and there were tons of buildings around, so I had to stand in line. The announcer kept asking any 5K runners to let the halfers go first, since their race didn’t start until 15 minutes later. I got through with THREE minutes to spare! They still started about five minutes late. This one chick had a dog that piercingly barked through all of the announcements and I didn’t hear a thing. When we took off, that dog was raring to go and was pulling her down the road. I can’t see running with a dog for an entire half marathon. This was supposed to be a training run and I was supposed to keep the pace around a 9:20, but I can’t bear to run a half over two hours if I don’t have to. Once I started, the goal was to just go, not TOO fast, but just to go with what felt comfortable. I felt heavy and clunky when we started and wasn’t sure I’d be running under two hours. We ran on a wide road for about half a mile but then turned onto a smaller, standard-sized greenway that can comfortably fit about three-wide. It got really crowded and I was feeling claustrophobic. I got around as many people as I could and finally settled in. I’m #236. I was able to take my headband off after the first couple miles. After a fast-ish first mile at 8:24, I settled into a nice pace: 8:40, 8:46, 8:39, and 8:45 for miles 2-5. Until looking at the elevation profile, I hadn’t realized how much of a uphill the whole first half is, so that makes me even prouder of that pace! After mile 5, we hit a hill that seemed like it would never end. It wasn’t steep but it was long, over half a mile but I didn’t walk once. Mile 6- 9:24. I had to wear my runway Goodr glasses because I forgot my others. I also got a little sunburned on my face. Once I crested the hill, I wanted to try to make up some time because I could see the next and biggest hill coming up in the distance. It was hard to see it from so far away and see all the bright shirts of other runners in the switchbacks. Mile 7- 8:45. I took a run/walk approach to this hill, just as I did during the Mt. Evans ascent, and it really does help. When I was passed by a runner while walking, I’d end up passing them back when I started running again. This hill was about a MILE and I still managed a 10:18. It was basically all downhill after that and I wanted to make up time again. Race Character: “Alice” – I remember first seeing Alice in front of me very early in the race. Once I realized we were going at about the same pace, with her about 5 seconds ahead of me, I thought I’d try to pace off of her. She was very energetic and kept talking to the people she’d pass. She would hoot and holler even when no one was around. She yelled out after almost every mile marker. When we hit the half-way point, and actually at the 10K mark, she yells out, “HALF WAY THERE!” A few seconds later, and with the correction of a guy in front of her, yells out, “OOPS! SORRY! ALMOST HALF-WAY!” We did a bit of leap frogging up the hill, but she settled in again in front of me after it. Mile 9- 8:02. It had heated up by this point and I was getting a little warm. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and my inconsistent training. Miles 10 to 12- 8:28, 8:37, 8:53. I was trying to keep up the pace but was running out of gas. At mile 12, I was just trying to maintain and to keep it under a 9 min pace. I had nothing left in the last mile and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I let two ladies pass me in that last mile, one while I could see the finish line. Mile 13- 9:04. I had nothing left in the tank – just as I like it. I think the course was a bit long because everyone around me had watches going off well before we got to the mile markers. Mine was 0.25 over which isn’t insignificant – that’s a whole lap around the track! I was running the tangents as often as I could. Anywho, my official time was 1:57:00 on the dot. Good and surprisingly enough for 3rd place in the 35-39 age group! I almost didn’t even look at the results because I thought there was just no way I’d place. Alice finished about 30 seconds ahead of me and was in the F45-49 age group : ) We gave each other high-fives in the finish area and I let her know how much she helped me. The wind picked up after the race, and when I got tired of waiting for the awards ceremony, I went up to the table to ask about it and they just gave me an award mug They had awesome breakfast burritos and chocolate chip banana bread in the tents! Race Stats: (2019 vs 2014) Finish Time: 1:57:00 / 1:55:31 in 2014. UGH! I didn’t think I’d ran it that fast in 2014! Overall: 85 of 248 / 127 of 484. WOW! What a drop in participants!! Gender: 21 of 125 / 39 of 282 F35-39: 3 of 21 / F30-34: 11 of 63 Weather: ~50 / ~26 (Athlinks) Yeah, that was five years ago but I always want to do better. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER proud of myself and the effort that I put out. On race day, there is nothing I could have or would have done differently.
  9. 8 points
    It's 7:02 and I just hopped off my friend's Vespa at the entrance to the park. I run to Lakeside for bib pick up. The lady tells me, "It's 7:04." FuckFuckFuckFuckFuck. The race starts at 7:10 sharp and I'm still a good 10 minute walk from the start line and my left shoe is on wonky. My hair is stupid from squishing my ponytail into the helmet and my hat is in my hand. What does a ten minute walk translate to in running? I find out soon enough when I hear the horn blow and I'm still a few hundred feet away. I stop to retie my shoe and then pick up the pace to the start. I wasn't going to actually race this race. My lungs have been crap. I'm 30 pounds heavier than when I ran this series two years ago. I've been injured all winter. But I'm going faster than I thought I could and feeling okay. The back of the pack is already gone and they are starting to take down the cones at the start as I fly through. I start my watch. 9:05 Huh. I didn't think I could run this pace right now. It feels sustainable. Is this comfortably hard? I don't remember anymore what that feels like. I don't remember what I'm supposed to feel like racing. I wonder if it's my muscles or my mind that are out of practice. This feels good and I decide to try to stick with this pace. So much for not racing. I come up to The Hill and I still feel okay. I'm picking off people at the back and getting picked off by faster people who were late like me. I focus on my effort. This is the hardest part of the race. It's so easy to burn yourself out on this hill and it's only halfway through the first mile. I'm working but I'm not burning. My lungs aren't on fire. I think to myself that I may have just pulled off that whole "equal effort" thing that they are always telling you to do on hills but I never seem to be able to do. I reach the crest and start to gun it on the downhill. I refuse to look at my watch just yet. I don't want to feel like I should be doing anything more or less. I'm working but I'm not burning. I know I used to push it so much more but I just don't feel ready. I don't think I'll be able to keep it going. I'm not there yet. I get to the mile marker and peek. 9:23 Okay. There was The Hill. Shake it off and get back to pace. Mile 2 is some downhill and some rollers. I'm still feeling good and fast. I think I can ride it out at this pace. I glance at my watch 8:50. Holy shit. I haven't seen an 8 on my watch in forever. A little voice whispers that two years ago I was flirting with the 7:50's at this point in the race but I let myself let that go. Those aren't my paces anymore. I haven't put in the work for those paces and I'm so much heavier now. I let myself accept that I am working on both things but neither one is immediate. I hold on and click off the mile at that pace. Mile 3 starts on the big downhill. Here is the best part of the whole park. It's the payoff for The Hill and all the rollers. I fly and I start to get to that edge but I know I don't have the discipline to hold it. I let myself fly while I prepare myself for the next part. It's the worst part of the race. It's flat and wide and there's nothing to look at. I tell myself that I can not hold whatever pace I am at once I get to the flat and I need to be okay with that. I need to know it's coming and not see my slowing pace as a failure. I am on a downhill. I should be going faster here than there. I steal one glance at my watch. 8:19 Oh it feels so amazing to feel my legs move this fast. I let myself just enjoy it while lasts. If I could close my eyes and just feel it, I would. But I get to the bottom and the hard part begins. Every race in this park ends after this section and years of conditioning have taught me to hate it. This is where you hurt. This is where you struggle. This is where you do everything in your power to hold on. This is where your lungs burn and your legs scream and you have a million arguments with yourself to just keep going, keep pushing. I don't think of the distance. I know I'm slowing but I don't look at my watch. I set my eyes on each bend in the road far out in front of me. Three turns to the finish. Two turns to the finish. It's just after that last turn. I hear someone come up behind me and I let them kick past me. Don't chase them. You're not there yet. Just keep this pace. You're doing well. Just hold on. I cross the finish line at 28:18. And I'm so happy and proud of myself. I check my watch again to make sure. My running has been so discouraging lately, I had no idea I could actually push myself. Immediately I know that I'll be back for the rest of the series. Immediately I know that I want to find that edge again between as fast as I can and faster than I should have. Immediately I know I want to remember how to burn.
  10. 8 points
    Remember that the little cold I had the week before last? Well I guess that took more out of me than I thought it did. I still had a little bit of a cough, I still had some stuffiness in my nose, but I felt OK. Anyway, I have a whole list of things it didn't quite go right in Vermont and I'll go through those for whatever they’re worth. Call it making excuses if you will, but when you have a decent training build up you sort of expect to do fairly well on race day. When that doesn't happen there should be a reason why. And in fact I think I have a few reasons excuses. Excuse number one. The weather. Leading up to the race - as is mandatory for runners – I was stalking my weather app pretty religiously several times a day and it looked like it was going to be amazing on the 26th, with temps in the 50s and low 60s, a light breeze, some cloud cover or a lot of cloud cover. Not bad for a spring marathon. Except that all changed a couple of days before the race. Suddenly, it was lows in the 60s, highs in the upper 70s, chance of thunderstorms in the morning and sun by late morning. Lots and lots of sun. I don't know anybody who likes running marathons when it's in the upper 70s with lots of sun. And it turned out that Sunday was exactly as forecasted. Excuse number two. Sub-optimal training. Yeah, I know in my last post I talked about how I had missed a few days here and there, a couple of long runs with the wedding and the funeral, but that I thought overall things had gone fairly well. And they did. In reality, though, that was more positive self talk than truth. I had one high mileage week that went really well, but the other high mileage weeks that I had planned turned out to be average or even below average. You can't fake marathon training. Excuse number three. Ankle injury! I suppose this one gives me license to actually call it a reason as opposed to an excuse. This was completely not my fault. I'm not even sure how it happened. But I'll get to that during the race recap, when I talk about the later miles and what the storm did to a very small part of the course. Excuse number four. Race day logistics. I think everybody knows how cheap I am. This shows up often in the lodging accommodations that I make for race weekends. On this particular weekend, I was at first shocked at the hotel prices in Burlington, VT. After I began looking and seeing what I considered outrageous rates, I was reminded that Burlington is on the shores of Lake Champlain and therefore sort of a tourist destination for many in upstate New York. I also remembered that race weekend was also Memorial Day weekend. And apparently Burlington – and the local hotels – is really popular on Memorial Day weekend. Ever resourceful, I looked for hotels in nearby towns, thinking I could find a much better deal. When I found a Fairfield Inn in Plattsburgh, NY, only 20 miles from Burlington, I jumped all over it. When we arrived at the hotel, and I talked to the desk clerk about getting to Burlington, she said, “Well, you can take the ferry or you can drive around the Lake.” Wait. What? Lake Champlain is a big lake, if you haven’t checked the map. It was not 30 minutes to get to Burlington like I had assumed when the Marriott app said it was 20.9 miles from the hotel. I was an hour and a half ferry ride or an hour and a half drive around the lake. After driving 10 hours from Detroit on Friday, we’d be driving three more hours (round trip) on Saturday, plus driving over the marathon route. The hotel was nice enough to give us a late checkout, and even said they’d extend it later if my race wasn’t going well. Excuse number five. A 45 minute late start. I suppose this should actually be part of Excuse number one, since the delay was for a mandatory starting line evacuation fifteen minutes before the start time, due to a fast-moving thunderstorm. For a while it looked like it was going to miss us completely to the south, but just as the cell hit the New York side of the lake, a big blob of rain peeled off and headed straight for us. Just as we were walking up to the start area, they were announcing the delay. We sat under the awnings of a convenience store across the street, watched a little lightning, heard a little thunder, and tried to stay mostly dry until we were given the all clear. On the plus side, the delay gave me a second chance to use the POP. Finished up with five minutes to spare and had zero issues in the race. After so many Code Abbys on training runs this spring, that was huge. I was also inside during the national anthem, so I was able to stay sitting down. Mrs. Dave was not a fan of the wait. Now, mind you, I’m not complaining. There has been little to no whining at the Schultz house about my monster positive split and 4 hour plus finish time. Sure, I wrote about BQ’ing again. But, seriously, it’s a spring marathon and I’ve learned many times that spring marathons and I don’t get along that well. I like my marathons cold. 30-40o cold. And, hey, since Rehoboth in 2017 I haven’t been able to run one at all, so getting to the starting line healthy and happy – even if I was a little low on mileage – was the real prize. I was already a winner. Flat Dave was ready. Vermont City is billed as a marathon and relay. You can run the marathon, or you can be part of a relay team, with options for two to five runners. If you want to run the half, you have to buddy up. In the past, I’ve sort of hated the relay runners, but I’ve changed my tune on this. Despite having runners passing me from time to time throughout the 26.2 miles, it was nice having lots of folks around the whole way. It also kept the spectators more involved since there was a near constant stream of racers coming by. Normally, by mile 14, it starts to get sort of lonely out there. I’m also a fan of their race course, even though it’s a tough one. It takes you out on three loops and an out-and-back section, all of which pass by the starting area, so your family and friends can see you multiple times without having to navigate street closures and unknown traffic patterns in an unfamiliar city. #1 is a 5K loop through some of the old city neighborhoods. Lots of trees and cool old houses. After that is a 10K out-and-back away from town on a winding parkway. There are three bridges that cross over the road, all with people on them, cheering. Section #3 is another 10K, this time a long loop through a more industrial area, a couple of nice newer neighborhoods to the half way point, and then some parks and rail trails back to downtown. Finally, there’s a ten mile loop that does a couple of pretty active neighborhoods and another park before the last four along a bike path next to the lake. It’s a net 100 foot drop from start to finish, with two ugly hills (each over 100’ in ½ mile) in Miles 9 and 16. The expo is medium sized. Plenty of vendors and sponsor booths. And free pizza for lunch! OK, so let’s race. Mile 1. 9:22. I was running a marathon! I started behind the 4:00 pace group. Figuring for a 9:00+ start. The first mile actually climbed 120 feet, but it didn’t feel that steep. I was fresh, I was happy, it was still cool, I was running as slow as my normal warm up pace. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not so crazy that I missed seeing Mrs. Dave and T-Rex. Big waves because I was running a marathon! I followed the flow, trying not to get anxious and weave past anybody. Mile 2. 8:40. Downhill to Mile 2, but those streets were pretty close quarters and often enough there was a truck or a car that hadn’t been cleared despite the signage that there was no parking that day, forcing us to bunch up to get past. Not as bad as Philly. Mile 3. 8:38. I passed the 4:00 pace group at about two and a half. This mile was kind of fun. There’s a pedestrian mall through the center of town and we ran through it twice. The first time was here in Mile 3, people sitting on both sides, separated from the course by a strip of caution tape, eating breakfast and cheering for us. Mile 4. 8:12. My cheering section was there, right on cue. Starting the out and back section was a steep drop (130’ in ½ mile), and then gentle rolling the rest of the way out. Here we saw the lead wheelchair racers coming back. The roadway tilted dramatically on the curves, which was sort of annoying, but since it wasn’t for long and it alternated from left to right, it wasn’t too bad. Pretty section. Mile 5. 8:28. Out here I was just trying to find a solid rhythm, something I could hold onto for the rest of the first half, then see what I could do in the second. This is where the marathon leaders passed us. About ten guys and then the first woman. Always fun to watch people running fast. Mile 6. 8:28. Same. The 3:45 pace group passed me coming back and I checked the time. I was just about two minutes behind them. Almost exactly where I’d hoped I would be by 10K. Mile 7. 8:23. The turnaround was just after the 10K point. I went wide and took it easy. Sweaty. It was humid. If the sun would stay behind the clouds, it wouldn’t be terrible. Mile 8. 8:32. Solid. Would have been nice to have someone to pace with, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Mile 9. 8:59. What goes down must come up. 130’ in a half mile to get back up to town level. Took it easy and it didn’t hurt. I was just about on pace according to my plan, and Mrs. Dave had gotten the tracking update that had my predicted finish at 3:45. What she said was, “You’re going SO FAST!” Mile 10. 8:18. This was the last time I’d be “going so fast.” This mile drops 120 feet in ¾ of a mile. I went with the slope and eased into the next section. A half mile later I was climbing again. Only 100 feet over the next mile, so there was that. Mile 11. 8:55. And then the sun came out. The sun was not my friend that day. It was only a mile and a half on this one section, but it was a straight mile and a half, oriented north-south (we were running south) with the morning sun nearly directly overhead. And that big bright yellow ball of fire might as well have been Kryptonite and I was Superman. I tried to stay positive, hoping that maybe the clouds would come back or that once I got to the top of the next hill I could recover. Or was I just fooling myself? Mile 12. 8:54. Made it to the top of the hill and kept the foot off the gas. Another mile to the half and then we’d see. At least the sun was behind me and would be for most of the next 10 miles. There was intermittent shade along the streets, too. Hopeful. Mile 13. 8:42. This was a nice area with plenty of trees as we wound through the neighborhood. BTW, if you don’t like lots of turns in your marathon (Sara, I’m looking at you), Vermont City is not for you. I counted 54 significant turns – not during the race obviously – ten just in Mile 13. Mile 14. 9:13. There was water right after the half mats and I took a quick walk break, gathering myself for the next nine miles. I passed the half in 1:54, still well on track for my 3:50 C goal. I had in my mind that if I could make it to Mile 22 where the final stretch on the bike path would be easy (haha!). Psychologically, this meant I only had nine miles to survive instead of 13. Mile 15. 9:00. And it almost worked. We spent the next mile on a bike path, near the lake and through a couple of park areas, mostly sheltered by more trees. Surely at this easy pace I could make it to the end. Mile 16. 11:15. Except I apparently forgot about the hill in the first half of Mile 16. It’s on Battery Street, the main thoroughfare between downtown and the lakefront parks. The locals call it Battery Hill. It’s almost exactly a half mile from top to bottom (or in this case, bottom to top). 94 feet. Mrs. Dave and T-Rex were there for me, and I stopped for a few seconds to shed my SPIbelt (now empty), and let them know that the next ten miles were going to be ugly. They were 100% positive. Easy when you aren’t the one dying of heat stroke at Mile 16, I guess. As I headed up the hill I felt my watch buzz, then realized that – like almost always – I’d forgotten to turn off the auto-pause. Oh well, the race was chip timed. Someone would have my accurate time. Not that it was going to be anything to brag about. I asked a guy about half way up the hill if he was responsible for putting that hill there. Not sure he understood what I was asking. Mile 17. 10:32. 17 was one of the few straight miles. Rolling terrain. I started switching my watch to see my heart rate, walking until it dropped back down to 130, then running again. It never got crazy high – close to 180 just once – but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Something to keep my mind occupied anyway. Mile 18. 9:34. 70 feet of down over this one. Half way through we started a couple of weird loops into and through some neighborhoods. The locals were OSOM. Beginning at the first corner, they had water, oranges, and ICE POPS! The sun had been out pretty much since about mile 14 and it was starting to bake. The yellow signs were out. I was soaked head to toe. Nothing I’ve even eaten in my whole life was as cold and refreshing. I had sucked down about two thirds of it (grape), when – BAM! – my ice pop popped out of its plastic wrap and dropped to the ground. I almost cried. Mile 19. 10:16. Out of the neighborhood and then into a park. I was grabbing ice pops every chance I got, which was pretty often. But not often enough. My seat on the struggle bus was secure. Mile 20. 14:47. Passing the Mile 19 flag, we exited a parking lot at the corner of the park into some woods. Remember that thunderstorm from before the start? Just inside those woods, the rain and the several runners ahead of us had turned the path into a black quagmire (I’ve always wanted to use the word “quagmire” in a bloop). Four feet wide, trees close on either side, caution tape designed to keep runners on the path. Except the path was more of a tough mudder obstacle. Most of us went to the left, but it was still rough and slow going. Single file, walking slow for the 50 yards until we spilled out into the next neighborhood on the other side. Such an adventure. I must have stepped wrong on something somewhere in there, because as soon as I started running again, I felt a serious pain in the front of my ankle. WTH? I stooped down and loosened the laces on my shoe, but it was to no effect. I hobbled and limped for several feet, then tried to run again. Nope. Now what do I do? Like always, one foot in front of the other. I loosened the shoe some more. Kept walking, testing a few jogging steps, walking some more. When I told the girls it was going to be ugly, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind. More ice pops, lots of walking, some guy with a garden hose. I tried to turn off the auto-pause, since I had nothing else to concentrate on, but couldn’t remember how to do it while I was running. Pretty sure there’s a way. Finally gave up after 2-3 lap resets. This was my Mile 20, and the first half of 21. Mile 21. 12:22. I stopped as I exited the neighborhood and asked a volunteer to borrow her phone so I could text Mrs. Dave to let her know how things were (weren’t) progressing, and suggested she call the hotel. I expected those last 5 miles to take a long, long time. Funny, though, as soon as I handed the phone back and started off again, the pain was gone. Like, really completely gone. Pinched nerve? Whatever, I wasn’t going to complain. At that point I could go back to worrying about the heat and my aching legs. That was also when the yellow signs that they’d been displaying at the water tables were replaced with red ones. Sweet. Mile 22. 11:43. There was one steep little drop, to a sharp left, then another left onto the bike path for the last four miles. I flew down it pretty fast, figuring I had nothing to lose. If I can believe Garmin, my pace down the hill was 7:15. Of course, it was only a couple hundred yards, so it didn’t do me much good either in the grand scheme of things. Mile 23. 10:33. My memory of the elevation for these last four miles was that it was mostly downhill. I expected to gain at least a little boost. It felt like it was uphill the whole way. And the path (and the trees lining it) was just wide enough that the sun had plenty of room to beat down on me. And there were no more ice pops. Mile 24-26. 12:22, 11:35, 11:07. Things were sort of blurry through here. I remember the lake being close by and wondering what 50 degree water would feel like. There was a girl and a guy swapping places with me and I’d catch snippets of conversation. She was from NYC but going to school there. He was local. This was her first marathon. Last .2. 2:08(8:31). This actually was downhill and I tried to come in at least looking strong. Mrs. Dave was trying to get a picture of me, but there were two people right in front of me, so I slowed down enough for the photo op, then sped past them and found the finish line. Not my best marathon. Not my worst. Official time – 4:19:42. A 25 minute positive split. But a finish is a finish. I’ll get another one under four hours some nice, cool, fall morning. Next came the painful walk back up Battery Hill. The same hill. That’s where we were parked. Then the 90 minute drive back to Plattsburgh, a slow shower, and – since T-Rex had work on Monday afternoon – we were on the road home. Yep. I ran a marathon, showered and started driving. Actually, Mrs. Dave was driving. Since we were close to Montreal and I’ve never been to Montreal, it seemed a great idea if we took a little detour north (maybe 30 minutes’ worth) through Quebec. Pcubed has an office there and I thought it would be fun to take a pic of it to show my peeps at work. Except when we got to Montreal, our view was completely blocked by a new bridge being built across the St. Lawrence River. This is the best view I had. And with the related construction detour and an accident on the freeway, my little half hour excursion turned into two hours. We got as far as Toronto and had to call it. Stayed the night there and drove the rest of the way Monday morning. Oh yeah, I drove for a few hours Sunday afternoon and when we stopped at the hotel in Toronto my ankle – the one that caused Mile 20 to be 15 minutes long – was painful and swollen. Guess it was a real thing, despite Miles 21-26 being pain free. It’s better today, finally, but I had to give it a regimen of ibuprofen and ice for a couple of days. Race photos were free to download thanks to a local race sponsor, Kenney Drugs. These four didn’t look too bad, and the finish line photo may be the best race pic I’ve ever taken. Hey, folks, I’ve run another marathon. Most of last year I spent wondering if that would ever happen again. Knee pain. Physical therapy. More PT. Surgery. Recovery. More PT. A painfully slow comeback through the late summer. Next up, #20. Exactly when or where I haven’t decided yet. Due to finances, I may try to stay close to home. Air Force is in Ohio. I still need Ohio. It’s also in September and I don’t know if I want to be ready for a marathon in September. I’d basically need to start training tomorrow. Nope. Maryland, Iowa and Tennessee are the next three closest states.
  11. 8 points
    Since Phoenix my muscles in my lower abdomen have been hurting every single time I run. It's so frustrating. (If I'm honest this pain started around Rehoboth -- December. I thought it would go away by now. 😕) Anyway I did a nice 6 miler last week that was fairly peppy but left me really sore. After that run I decided to pull the plug on running. We've officially broken up until 3/17. My Snowbuster entry is being submitted under the "Unconventional" Category -- a triathlon of sorts if you will. I laid out my plan. The 1st event up would be the stairmaster. You know that piece of gym equipment that looks like an escalator? I love that maachine!! Put it on intervals and the whole time you are switching between fast and slow. I had done a few miles on that the day before at a sub 9:00 pace so I set off at a more reasonable rate of 9:20 for 4.3 miles. Slow, fast, slow, fast. There's a little spot that can hold your phone so you can stream YouTube. I watched Josh Bridges (Crossfit athlete/former Navy Seal) do one of his crazy workouts while I climbed to nowhere. The time flew by as the sweat was flying. 40 minutes for 4.3 miles The next leg in my triathlon was rowing. I looked over and saw both rowers were being used but as I was finishing up one of the guys must've sensed that a race was about to start and cleared off of his erg. Transition didn't take long. No fancy gear or shoes since I'm a rowing newbie. One quick wipe down of the handles. I latched in my feet and set off to row for 10 minutes. The guy next to me looked to know what he was doing so I tried to match his stroke until got too bored and then decided to do more intervals. One minute hard, one minute recover. It is such a great full body workout!! My arms are going to look amazing if summer ever gets here! 10 minutes for 2.1 km As soon as I got off of the rower I had no sooner wiped it down and took a step backwards and the guy rowing next to me did a farmer's blow to each side. OMFG! 🤢🤮 Seriously so disgusting. Right on the rower I was just using. Ewwwww, ewwwww, ewwww!! Thankfully my triathlon had a break between the 2nd and 3rd legs. I took a quick shower and headed off to church. As soon as I got home the 3rd leg was starting. Amazing how I timed that! The 3rd leg was 1 mile elliptical repeats with 10 deadlifts and 10 back squats at 50 lbs after each mile. I added in the weights to make it harder because I know Dave will be upset that not one step of my entry was done outside. 3 miles in 30:50 (deadlifts/squat time not included) So there you go -- my Color Outside the Lines entry -- 1:20:50 for 4.3 climbing, 2.1 km rowing, 3 miles ellipticaling
  12. 8 points
    Hello again. I know, I just blooped. But hey, why not. Remember when there used to be twenty new bloops a day? You'd put one up and it would be off the front page in a matter of hours? Well, I just felt like writing again, so here I am. I'm tired and I feel old. Just finished a nine mile run with 4x1 mile intervals and plenty of rest in between. I was by myself running along the beach. It's a run I have done often before. Normally I run the speedy miles in the 6:40-6:55 range. Well, normally meaning in prior years. Today, with my slower recent speed times, I was just hoping to be close to 7:00, maybe 7:15. Well apparently even that was out of reach. After 1.3 miles of warmup, I tried to get my ass in gear, but I found myself at 7:17 pace and dying after 1/4 mile. Ugh. I had to pull back a little just to keep going. Pace dropped and dropped. After 3/4 it was 7:35. I pushed hard the last 1/4 just to get it down to 7:30. Phew. Trotted for 3/4 miles and stopped for water. OK, lets's do another one. It felt a little easier, as it often does once I'm warmed up. Still 7:25 pace felt like as fast as I could go. What the hell? Just no zip in the legs. I feel like my stride may be shorter since I'm tighter and sore. Of course all the miles I'm doing is a good excuse too. I got in a decent groove and pushed the second half and managed a 7:21. OK, well, better... I took a whole mile trot to recover (8:40), plus a stop break in the middle. The third one was OK, and I got to 7:19. But I was tired. I spent the next 3/4 mile debating whether I should just skip the 4th. But I figured I had to get home anyway. Might as well work hard and get it over with quicker. 7:40 pace felt pretty hard, but I worked it down to a 7:27 by the end. Best I could do. Damn. I used to do 7:30s for miles at a time - not that long ago. Oh well. I trotted home. Part of it's getting older. Part is I'm working back into shape and tired from all the miles. Perhaps my bum knee is limiting my form. Maybe some speed will come back. But I'm trying to accept the idea that it's a downhill curve from here. I'm watching my older club mates slow down so I can see my future. Of course they all still kick ass in their age group, and I'm not giving up. Just venting a bit. Still happy to get the nine miles in. Carry on.
  13. 8 points
    FULL DISCLOSURE: This is not an ad, but I'm totally going to be touting a product. Sadly, I'm not getting paid for this. It's winter. I have spring 5K plans. It's winter. Those of you who know me know that I really dislike running in cold weather. I also dislike running in the dark, trying to find a running buddy who goes my pace, and trying to fit my weekday schedule around a group run. Group runs are great, but the only time I've ever made a weekday group run work was when I paid for speed sessions. And it's cold. It gets dark early. It's cold and windy at lunchtime. Lately, the sidewalks are either snow or ice covered - or both. UGH. I'd have to go inside to have a safe, quality run. Enter Peloton Digital. Yes, that Peloton. With the $2400 bike and the $4400 treadmill. I do not own either, nor do I have plans to own them. I do have the app, which, let's me take live or on-demand Peloton classes. For the longest time, I didn't do any running classes. But last Tuesday, I thought, if I have to run indoors, I might as well be engaged in something while I do it. The reason why people would buy the bike or the tread is to be more 'connected' to the live classes - then you get to see the leaderboard, and can 'race' others taking the class. Me? I'm usually just racing myself, so having that access isn't that big of a deal to me. Let me tell you, it has been transformative. It's like I have my coached group workouts again. No pressure to go a specific speed, only what speed works for me in that moment. Do I get challenged? Heck yes I do. And I love it. Instead of just plodding along at the same speed, I'm speeding up and slowing down, changing the incline, or maybe just focusing on my heart rate to really get that endurance training in. It's seriously transformed the #dreadmill into enjoyable treadmill running for me. I really feel like I'm getting a quality workout in, and that I'm improving as a runner. For example, this past Sunday, we had another round of winter weather roll through, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" of ice along roads and sidewalks. And where water pools, there were mini ice rinks. AND there were 24 MPH winds, gusting to 32 MPH. I don't run in that sh!t. So, the future hubs and I went to the gym, where I did a 10 minute warmup class on the Peloton app, followed by a 45 minute funk run. I ran up and down hills and did some speed intervals, topping out at 5K speed. It's two days later and I'm still on the high of killing that run, which otherwise would have been a boring, 4-mile plod. I've already become attached to one instructor who ran a sub-3:00 marathon in 2017. All that to say … I'm really excited I discovered the joy of these classes for indoor running. It's injected a new level of excitement that I just really need right now. They also do outdoor guided runs, which I feel like could be nice or be a disaster - what if I'm running a hilly route and they are all like, 'SPRINT!'? But, I will give those a try when it gets nicer.
  14. 8 points
    Hey you! With the running injury. You identify so much as a runner that you are currently calling yourself an injured runner to explain your lack of running. We know that every serious runner has been injured, yet that doesn't make it any easier when you're the injured runner. It's so easy to lose track of how it feels to be sidelined when you're not, no matter how many times you have been before. The hole in your daily life seems ever-present. This wasn't your plan, and you may never embrace it or even get beyond disdain for it, but it isn't about that. It is about adapting to the new plan. God's plan is better than anything we could dream up, even though it often doesn't feel that way, especially for us Type A planner runners. When our plans don't work out, it's because He has better ones. Trusting that is hard no matter how strong your faith. But faith also means knowing that tomorrow will be better than today. You'll be back there; never lose that faith. It may not be tomorrow, or the next week or month or even year - or without false re-starts and bumps in the road - but you will get there. Never stop fully believing. It's okay if your belief falters sometimes though; don't feel guilty if this happens. It's okay to not be positive at all times. It's okay to mourn for the races you're missing. It's okay to be disappointed as the DNSs accumulate. It's lonely. It's likely many of your closest friends are runners, and you're not seeing them as often since you can't meet to run, plus no one wants to talk about cross-training (including you!). Maybe not running makes you less energetic and social too. It's okay that as you become more and more excited about your friends crushing races, that you become more and more sad that you're not. Other runners often say, "It's only running," but it's okay to disagree with that. Sure, it IS only running, but it overflows into countless other areas of your life. People tell you to do the things that you avoid when you're training, but maybe you realize that you don't feel like you miss out on anything at all? You don't want to stay out late or have another glass of wine or go camping or skiing. You want your normal routine and passion back. People will say "enjoy your well-deserved rest" and "your body needs a break". It's okay to roll your eyes when they turn away. They have the best intentions, but they don't understand. It's okay to feel bad about how upset you are about not running. It's okay to think, "Who am I to be so distraught over this when so many people have so many bigger problems?" while simultaneously having a breakdown. Big goals take big risks, and any time you are training for PRs you are riding the line between running your best and getting hurt. Take what you learned about yourself and move forward. Address your weaknesses; this will help your injury recovery plus it will also help your times later. And finally, keep calling yourself a runner; you still are. Signed, A runner with injury experience *A couple of posts by others that really spoke to me during my injury can be found here and here. **I wrote this while was injured, but didn't hit publish until I began running again. I had this fear that I might never run again and then what right did I have to tell anyone else who was injured anything? But I ran a glorious 64.8 miles last week! I made this face most of the time I was injured
  15. 7 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.
  16. 7 points
    I normally don't do monthly reviews, but May was just such a special month that it deserved it's own highlight. And, the reason why I don't do monthly reviews is because it takes me a good 4 weeks to write one (I started this June 12th).I entered the month of May with high anticipation, lots of exciting things on the calendar. I was nearing the end of the best half marathon training cycle I'd ever had, and also nearing the end of 10 months of preparation for the biggest event of my life thus far: getting married.The wedding was probably a really great representation of me & the hubs. There was chaos and stress leading up to it, then a delightful & casual rehearsal dinner, a quiet & simple ceremony (with a few goofy moments) and then a reception that can only be described by the shrugging emoji. I learned that I am a terrible party planner and that I should just hire someone to do something on that scale in the future. <-- Hopefully I'll never have to do that again. So many friends and family helped out and I am forever grateful that they put up with me that weekend. If you want to see more wedding photos, check out the blog our photographer did. After the excitement of the wedding weekend, I came back into the office to catch up on emails, and found out I had been selected for a major national honor: the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health list, selected by the de Beaumont Foundation. The list recognizes leaders in public health who are strengthening communities with new ideas, creative problem-solving, and innovative solutions, and I am so proud to be included in this year's list. The list of leaders and their accomplishments highlight the kinds of solutions and innovations that will be needed to improve the health of communities across the country. It's a thrill to be included among a group of public health professionals who embody the values to collaboration, creativity, and innovation that are so critical to advancing the field and improving health. All the honorees. Can you find me? I had to keep it a secret for a whole week, and when that announcement was finally made, I was able to turn my focus to the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Half Marathon, which I wrote about earlier. I smile thinking about how I smashed my previous PR by 7 minutes and now am hungry to do more, when less than a year ago I was questioning whether I ever wanted to do another half marathon. Funny how a little success after so much struggle can change things. All that hard work and it was finally time for my new husband (!!!) and I to go on our honeymoon. We spent a week at El Dorado Royale resort, nestled along the Carribean Sea between Cancun and Tulum, Mexico. This is absolutely a #nonsponsored recommendation, but we had a delightful time, the food was delicious and we felt so rested after that trip. Or, we would have, had we not been flying home the night a mile-wide tornado hit the area, left a shit ton of debris on the airport runway, and caused us to spend from midnight until 4 am in the Wichita airport. A 5AM arrival when you should have gotten home at 10PM the evening before isn't exactly restful. But I digress. Mother nature strikes again. Here are the two best photos that represent what we did on our trip: dressing up for dinner and lounging by the pool. That was May. I've decided it's my good luck month, because it's also the month I met my husband, got engaged, and even set on the path that lead me to my current career, hitting grad school on the way and, most relevant for this blog, running. I told my husband that I just might get an emerald birthstone ring, because this month has given me so much over the years. I still have 3 5k's to write about from June, so based on the timing of this, expect those in August 😂
  17. 7 points
    The traffic girl on the morning news is always crying for the weatherman to forecast afternoon highs in the 80s. What's wrong with her? End of Week 3. Feels like I'm starting to settle in to a nice training rhythm. Hitting all the miles, dialing in on GMP better. This is how it's supposed to work. Forty miles total. Tempo Monday - Cloudy. 71o. No wind. Four miles that I ought to be able to run at 8:00-ish easy. And I probably could have, except I started out at 7:36. I've also learned over the years that once I start, it's hard to slow down. I guess that's why I need all these weeks to try and get it right before race day. That also would explain why it's so common to crap out before reaching the end of a marathon. Anyway, 7:46 followed by 7:48, and then I was dead. So I walked a couple hundred yards, wondering what to do about the rest of the workout. Then I ran 7:32, showing I likely could have muscled through another mile at 8:00-ish and it would have been a good day instead of a failed tempo. Maybe I'll remember that this week. Tuesday Recovery - Cloudy. 76o. Nice breeze. Averaged just about 9:00, faster on the front end than the back due to the wind and the slight downhill on the way out. Felt sort of OK, which is about what I expect the day after a tempo that was harder than it was supposed to be. Wednesday Intervals - Clouds and sun. 79o (ick!). Moderate wind. Was going to do these 6 x 800s on the track, but when I got there and saw the crew working on the new turf, I also saw some other official-looking guy who informed me that the track was closed for the construction. The crew was there last week, but this guy wasn't. So I pretended I wasn't planning on running there anyway and talked to him about how it was good there were added two lanes to the track as well and that I was happy to do my workout on the streets. Does that make me a liar? So, half a dozen half miles at 7:24, 7:19, 7:25, 7:32, 7:28, 7:15. Eventually those should be down under 7:00 pace, but this is good for now. At least I finished them all on schedule, unlike Monday. Thursday Recovery - Rain and 64o. Windy. Felt better than Tuesday, no doubt because the temp was more runner friendly. I said rain but it was pretty mild. I wore my hat but didn't really need it. 6 miles @9:00. Friday Miles - Sunny. 78o. Breezy. Much better, despite the heat. 8:40 average for 6 miles. Saturday Pace Run - Sunny. 65o. Almost calm. Nothing like an early morning run. By early I mean about 7:00 AM. Sun's up by then, but it's still nice and cool. Couple of easy miles followed by 4 at something close to GMP, but without stress. If that's slower than GMP, so be it. Should be 8:30, plus or minus. 8:24, 8:27, 8:20. 8:12, 8:29 (so I did an extra - sue me). Not perfect, but in the neighborhood, and I felt strong so it worked. Spent the rest of the morning working on T-Rex's new fan belts. The power steering one was easy, but the A/C and alternator was a pain. The adjustment was too well hidden to get any leverage on it by hand, and no room for tools. So I spent two hours trading between a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a tie rod end puller, rotating it a quarter-turn each time until I could get the new belt on (after I just cut off the old one). As always, I saved over $100 and I have more time than money, so ...
  18. 7 points
    Two weeks ago, it rained Monday through Friday and I was over running in the rain. If you live within a 6 hour radius of Atlanta, you probably feel my pain. So. Over. The. Rain. I took my speed workouts to the treadmill and cranked it up to speeds that were close to what I had been running on the track. I noticed after my Tuesday workout I had a bit of soreness in my foot (the same one that wore a boot last year) and then again after my Thursday workout. I had one of my biggest training runs scheduled that Saturday and went in filled with trepidation. Running had been going so well since last August and I had just a few weeks left before toeing the line at Georgia Death Race, my goal race for the spring. I told Chantal and John I was a bit nervous about my foot as we climbed up and down Coosa and the DRT, but the off and on soreness was manageable and I was relieved when we made it to John's car parked at Skeenah Gap, 6.5 hours and over 7,000' of climbing later. However, the pain intensified through the evening and after texting with my coach, we decided it would be best to give it a few extra days rest. I ran again on Wednesday and it seemed to be okay enough. I finished up the rest of my workouts as planned for the week and ran 2 hours at Sawnee Mountain with Steve, who was visiting from Michigan. That evening, the soreness was back again and I was feeling really frustrated. My coach gave me a pep talk, filled my workout calendar with swimming and cycling, and I tried to keep from panicking. Somehow, the week off of running wasn't too bad and aside from the boredom factor, I was actually feeling good about giving my heart and lungs a good workout, but keeping my foot happy. As it got near to the end of the week, my foot was feeling better, but I was full of nerves wondering if I was going to mess something up by even running a few miles over the weekend. And I was signed up for a trail marathon with over 4,000' of elevation gain. After conferring with my coach, we ultimately decided that I could just do the 5.7 miles out and back in the beginning and pull the plug if it felt terrible or go up to 2 hours and just have a planned DNF. I was actually okay with the planned DNF. I thought I'd have more fear about it (and spoiler alert: maybe I did?), but it actually seemed like it was the right thing to do so I wouldn't ruin the rest of my spring. I stopped early at Hinson this past year and the sun still came up the next day so maybe somewhere in my head, I knew the only person that would even remotely care would be me. Thursday night, my plans came together thanks to Dan and I was going to be riding with him, Gary, and Jeremy on Friday. We all met at my house and Jeremy graciously made the drive to Charlotte in heavy traffic and rain. Everyone agreed on burgers at a place in downtown Charlotte and I wolfed mine down in minutes. Though I wasn't particularly tired, I managed to fall asleep somewhere between 9:30-10 and slept really well. We got to the starting area just after 7:00 a.m., picked up our bibs, and dropped off our food donations. I saw a few familiar faces like David, Jenster, and Laurie and got a few photos with friends before we got started. At the race start, a bunch of people took off down the fire road and I tried to settle into a comfy pace. I didn't have any dog in the fight and wanted to just run some miles without pain. After a week off of running, I felt really, really fresh. My legs were poppy and I felt like while I putting in some effort, I was also super comfortable. I cheered everyone on as we saw each other through the 2.8 mile turnaround and then started chatting with Kent who had been keeping nearly the same pace as me from the beginning. We had a few miles for me to briefly explain I had been contemplating bailing at the first aid station, but I was feeling so good (and pain free!) that I wanted to try to make it the 2 hours instead. We hopped onto the single track at mile 5.7 and I was surprised to find the next section very, very runnable. The miles ticked off and I barely looked at my watch. Kent and I talked about any and everything runners talk about it - races, running, family, jobs, etc. He was keeping the pace conversational and it was exactly what I needed. As we neared the 90 minute mark, I took a moment to try to text my coach to ask what I should do because I was feeling so well that I wanted to run more than 2 hours. Unfortunately, I didn't have any service and I kept checking every 10 minutes or so hoping I could get something to him quick. We came up to the 11.7 mile aid station at almost exactly 2 hours and I let the devil and angel on my shoulder hash it out as we grabbed aid. The smart, good, angelic runner would have dropped at the point and begged off a ride to the start. The dumb, bad, devilish runner prevailed and I guiltily felt like I stepped off the high-rise diving board as I knew this meant I was 99% committed to finish by opting to go on. There would still be a chance to drop at the other aid stations, but I knew it would tough to make that call. The next section to furthest aid station is considered one of the gnarliest. Sasquatch Summit is full of boulders and hand-over-hand climbs and is followed by the Soul Crusher, another gnarly climb with steep grades. I was loving this part of the race and all my vertical training made it seem really, really doable. When we got near the aid station around 17 miles, I was still in great spirits. Jeremy looked surprised to see me still running and gave me a double high-five and Dan, not surprised at all at my dumbassery, also gave me a high-five. I grabbed a pickle and a handful of chips and topped off my soft flask with a mix of Gatorade and water. Kent told me the next section was kind of boring and while I wasn't looking forward to boring, I was happy to be cruising comfortably and not in any pain. We got passed and passed people a fair amount in this section and added another runner to our caravan who is also running GDR (& Western States!), Brett. The three of us navigated to the last aid station together and then took off down the trail, fists full of pickles, Oreos, and chips. The mud was extra sloppy in the final miles, but I have been running in mud all winter. I just plodded right through it and laughed as splattered across my legs. The rain had held off, I was just a few miles from finishing a race I thought I'd DNF, and I was having so much fun just running happy. Even Hallucination Hill didn't phase me. I was just plodding along between Kent and Brett, yapping away and swapping stories (and maybe taking a few selfies). Brett decided to hammer out the last 2ish miles solo and took off towards the finish. Kent and I continued along and though our conversation quieted a bit, we still were in good spirits as we came into the final stretch. Once we saw day hikers and heard whizzing cars on the highway, we knew the finish line was close. I came in with the biggest smile, happy my devilish move paid off and that I could go home with my heart full. I gave Kent a fist bump and then swapped war stories briefly with Gary and Jeremy while we waited for just a short time for Dan to come in. Everyone was happy, exhausted, and caked in mud. The rest of the day sealed the deal on a really fun 32 hours. Some things will have to remain like they do in Vegas, but let's just say I'm never sorry to have another adventure to say remember that one time....
  19. 7 points
    I was hesitant to write anything about this, and it isn’t about running (until the end) or outdoor adventure, but I just need to write it out. I am 37 years old, married with no kids, and am currently on birth control. But you’re 37, and married, and you don’t have kids yet – why are you on birth control?? I was pregnant once, a LONG time ago, but had a miscarriage. 99.9% of my female relatives and friends either have kids or are pregnant. I can’t tell you how difficult it can sometimes be to be me, at my age, with no kids. I’m past the point of being depressed/upset/angry because I don’t have any yet, and am now in a very comfortable place of it’ll happen when it happens and when we are ready. I am also past the point of getting sad when I’m constantly asked when it’s going to happen or if I even want kids. I’d like to share a “use your fucking head” PSA, in case anyone isn’t aware of what you shouldn’t say to a woman (even if they are a relative or close friend – ESPECIALLY then): Do you have kids? If someone has kids, you’ll likely find out within two minutes of talking to them. Do you want kids? Are you ever going to have kids? Are you trying to have kids? Your clock is ticking/you aren’t getting any younger, so you better hurry up! This may be the worst of them all. YES, I actually have people say that to me. <while holding a baby> You need you one of these. When are you going to have one of these? You won’t look like that after you have kids or You only look like that because you haven’t had kids yet. Enjoy it while you can! Get the fuck out of here. You are so great with kids! You should have one. There are more, many more, but these are the big ones. Just don’t fucking do it. You never know what someone is going through and these words could have a VERY negative impact. If someone wants you to know something like that, they will tell you. I hear that it doesn’t even stop after having a kid because people want to know when you’ll have another one! For fuck’s sake! I decided to go back on the pill last year when I was still on the Denali team. I was that committed at the time to ensuring I’d get up that mountain. This led us to coming to the decision that we’d wait a little bit anyway because I just didn’t feel ready, and there were things I still wanted to do while my body was still in it’s current condition. Plus, we’ve also thought about the fact that there are SO many people in the world already, and so many kids out there who need parents. It’s an incredibly tough life decision – of course those who love kids would like to have one that looks like them and has their traits. I get that our bodies are made for reproduction, but the world doesn’t currently need more people (in my opinion). Now for the main reason of writing this post: When I went in for my appointment to get the BC pills, the doctor told me how risky BC is for women my age (over 35) – something about blood clots. I got the pills but they turned out to be the wrong ones. I’ve been feeling very moody since I’ve been on them but just thought I might be going through an adjustment phase. I wanted to give them some time to see if it’d work itself out. It didn’t. This past week has been the worst yet – terrible mood swings, feeling depressed and emotional for no reason, and getting headaches everyday in the evening. I got home yesterday, with the intention to go out for a run, and started sobbing on the way home – for no reason. I got home and just curled up in bed. I couldn’t even force myself to go run. Enough was enough and I think I finally put the pieces together enough to realize it was the BC pills that was doing this to me. I guess guys go through things, but I just feel that this is an ongoing battle throughout a woman’s whole life. When you have kids, your body and your life is forever changed (not all bad, obviously). If you don’t, people look at you and wonder why and always have to pry. Some days are just harder than others but you learn to roll with the punches. I am very happy with my status as the woman that I currently am. I am healthy, apparently look younger than 37, and I have nieces and nephews (and kitties) that I absolutely adore and can share my love with. I love them all and feel so lucky to be an aunt. I adore kids. I may or may not have kids in the future. They may or may not come out of my vagina. Only time will tell. Well, I went in a whole other direction than just writing about BC pills making me feel so bad that I didn’t want to run, but I think all of this is really good share. There aren’t a whole lot of late-30somethings in my situation. Please be courteous. Think before you speak. Thank you for reading, Chris
  20. 7 points
    Hello, hello, hello! Here we are already into the last week of January. Time is flying by, so we’ll probably all be singing Christmas songs again before we know it. I’ve been posting for several weeks about how happy I am to not be training for anything and that I’m enjoying running just to run. Welp, time’s up. At 13 weeks to go until Kentucky Derby, it’s time I start to do a little more than just run for fun. I still haven’t decided how I’m going to treat this race, but I want options. This means I need to get myself up at uncomfortable paces again. The track is SO miserable in the winter so I might not start that up for another month or so, but it’s tempo time! I plan to add a mile or so to a weekly tempo run every couple of weeks. That should get me to a fast half marathon distance by race day! This week in running has been pretty chill for the most part. Chill as in both laid back AND cold. I think I’m starting to figure out how to properly dress. Shut up, weather app. You don’t know anything! Monday was 4 FREEZING miles with running buddy Brooke. The bridges made some awful sounds as we ran across them. Luckily I work with some sharp engineers that came up with some solid explanations. Brooke said it was like the bridges that collapse as you run across them on Super Mario games. We did pick up the pace a bit haha. Tuesday was more cold and more coffee. We didn’t take any pictures though. Step up, Wade and Alissa! This one was another 4 miles. There was talk of a 5th mile, but I just wanted the coffee. I didn’t run at all on Wednesday through Friday, which wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I got sick (again!) and figured I needed a break. I didn’t take a total break though at least. I managed to work out pretty hard with kettlebells on Wednesday and I played some basketball on Thursday. Friday just ended up being a little too busy. That happens. I wasn’t exactly ALL better. I look awful. Saturday I ran 7 miles. For the first 2 or 3, I felt pretty good! After 5, I started to feel pretty run down (pun intended). Sometimes you think you’re all better after a good night’s sleep, but there’s a little bit of sickness still there. That was this morning. Oh well, I don’t think I broke anything haha. I’ll be working on a training plan over the weekend to ramp up to be ready for the Kentucky Derby Mini. I wish that I was a little more fired up mentally, but I think that’ll happen. It might just take a warm day. Hurry up, Spring!
  21. 7 points
    I ran 2,500 miles last year and only raced once, in March. Okay, well I did a Turkey Trot too, but it was with no bibs or chips, just a timer. I think I was top 5 though. I started 15 or so feet from the line and had to work my way through the crowd as I gained speed. About 100 yards in I had to dodge a little kid (8yr old?) who had sprinted and was now bent over with his hands on his knees huffing and puffing. With 3 more miles to go he was in for a long morning. I continued passing crowds until about half a mile into it and then found folks running around my pace. First mile was a 6:43. Some downhill and extra effort had me passing a few more folks. A younger, college guy started pacing with me and we traded spots some. Some friends of his cheered him as we went by. Some uphll before hitting mile 2 caused him to drop back slightly, but he was on my heels and stayed there on the next downhill into mile 3. Mile 2 was a 6:33. A flat greenway took us back to the finish. I used to mile repeats here when I lived closer to it. I got into that zone and though maybe a sub 20 was possible, but just ran. College guy couldn't keep up. I had seen what I thought was the lead guy not too far out, though I knew I wasn't going to catch him nor the 3 or so folks between us. I crossed the line and I think the clock said 19:something, but my watch read 20:04. I figured the clock was not quite right because I didn't start my watch until I crossed the start line, a few seconds after the go gun. There were no awards or anything after, just water and snacks. My son and a nephew crossed a couple of minutes later. I then jogged back onto the course and caught up with my daughters, nieces and sister-in-law who were in fast dog-walking mode. A good day! I signed up for the local Charlotte marathon which is in November. I haven't had much motivation to start any kind of training yet. However, I have running buddy Tim who is training for Boston, so by default I'm somewhat training for a marthon. My marathon last March got me a BQ, but I was *only* four minutes and 10 seconds under my age requirement. The cutoff was 4:52 under. Oh well, I wasn't dying to go and mainly applied just because of RB signing up. Tim has high hopes and aspirations for Boston. And so far his training is going well. He wants to possibly place in the top 3 for his age group, which at Boston, ain't easy no matter what your age. He is 63 and needs a low or just under 3 hour finish to do that. So, damn! Yesterday (Sunday), he had 18 miles with 10 @ marathon pace (suggested target = 6:50) and wanted me to join. I do not have that speed or endurance, but agreed to start with him and fade accordingly. I did cut back the warm up miles to 5ish though. He didn't. I had mapped out a mostly flat and somewhat downhill 10 miles for the fast miles. That worked out well, but the wind yesterday morning managed to situate itself to be in our faces on all of the uphills. I fell behind as predicted after about 2 miles. I stayed pretty close though through mile 5, then he stayed stronger as I faded a bit more. My goal became to keep the overall under 7 minute pace. My slowest was 7:12, but I finished with a 6:57 average. The last two miles were a gentle downhill plus a tailwind. that helped me keep it under. RB Tim held on for a 6:47 overall! He is inspiring me and this run with him gave me a bit of a confidence boost to work a bit harder and maybe get more motivated.
  22. 7 points
    Happy New Year, Friends! I hope your year is off to a great start – I know mine is! I was all over the place in 2018 and I feel like I’d need to write a novel to recap it. I went back to see if I’d actually laid out any goals for the year and I didn’t. My main focus was getting ready for Denali, and we know how that ended, but we also know how much good came out of it. 2018 Stats: I didn’t do the best job at keeping my training log going all year, which has become a new 2019 goal. I’m pretty good at logging everything on Strava but I’m not sure how accurate that really is. It said my longest run was 18 miles but it somehow forgot about the 50K I did – but here is what Strava says: Days Active – 142 Most Active Month – June Total Miles – 723.6 Total Running Miles – 522 185 Hours 62,124 Elevation Gain Races – 9: NFEC D.C. 50K, Colfax 13.1, Mt. Evans Ascent, Leadville Heavy Half, GTIS 13.1, Estes Epic, Veterans Day 5K, Pumpkin Pie 5K & 10K, and Rehoboth 13.1. Those are some pretty darn good races! No wonder I ended up getting shin splints! 2017 wasn’t the best numbers year, but it was my comeback year. I’ll always love 2017. Much more consistent in 2018! After I withdrew from the Denali team, I thought I had something to prove to myself. I was certainly wanting to make some big moves with some very aggressive goals – like Marathon Maniacs and building up to run a 100 miler. How can I go from training to climb Denali to anything less awesome? I’m an open book and not afraid to change goals that I’ve already made public. While those goals are completely realistic for me, I don’t think it’s the right time for them yet. I need to focus on getting as healthy and strong as I can, while also getting there the smartest way possible (I keep saying that, I get it). I’ve never allowed myself to train properly, so I should definitely get that tuned in first. One of my best-good friends (as Forrest would say), Kelli, is a fitness instructor at our awesome sauce wellness center. She has been trying to talk me into becoming one as well. I’ve been afraid of the time commitment and worried that it would get in the way of other things. However, the more classes I take, I’m really starting to think that I could do it. When I was deployed in Afghanistan, the only thing to do outside of work was to workout and run. When I wasn’t running, I was on a spin bike with playlists that I pre-made just for spinning. I even thought back then that I’d make a good spin instructor. I’ve worked out for a long time, and even took a weigh lifting class in community college WAY BACK, so I’m familiar with lots of different exercises. Soooo… in February, I will start the ACE (American Council on Exercise) program to become a fitness instructor! I think it lasts about FOUR months! I will be attending an info sesh pretty soon and will have more details. The classes I will likely teach are spin (which I will have to get separately certified for), barbell strength, and HIIT. I’m super excited about this! This will allow me to learn a lot, workout A LOT, and become a smarter athlete! While I do want to focus on getting strong, I am still a runner (duh). Yesterday, I registered for the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon which is the last weekend of April! I’d initially had a goal of marathon PRing but I’m not sure I’m officially going for that anymore. I’m already two weeks behind on the start of training – but if I keep training smartly, it may happen on it’s own! I just want to have a happy and healthy marathon. Once I accomplish happy and healthy, then I can start setting time goals. Things I want to do in 2019: Become a Fitness Instructor Work on pushups and pullups – I like to be able to do 50 and 10 correct form/full range Climb more 14ers in the summer Run a happy and healthy NJ Marathon 13.1 PR at Rehoboth (of COURSE I’ve already signed up!) I am still just as fired up as I was months ago, but now I’m ready to focus that fire in the right places. I’m excited about all the places and adventures that I know 2019 will bring! I’ll see some of you lovelies along the way! Best wishes to you all for your own happy and healthy 2019!! Thanks for reading friends, Chris
  23. 7 points
    Happy Friday! Today is my one year anniversary! No, not THAT anniversary (I’ve been married for 14 years now). It’s the anniversary of that time I ruptured my Achilles tendon in a basketball game. I’m telling you, the injury was life changing. Ben and I at the hospital. That little elf made me feel much better about it. So one year later, here we are. I’m back to running. I’m back to marathoning. I’m even back to basketball! I said I’d PR a race within six months of being fully back to running. That didn’t quite happen. I might run a fast 8k today just to get that PR. Anybody know of one? All in all, everything feels pretty normal now. It’s even normal enough to run a marathon now, which is what this post is REALLY about! WARNING: It’s gonna be load and detailed. Look away, non-runners. Hehe. I had plans to run a few days of easy 3-4 milers the week of the race. I ended up running a 1.2 mile run before quitting and another 3 the next day. That was it. My beat up hip/quad were scaring me. I figured the miles weren’t going to get me more ready, but they certainly might have hurt me. Normally, I’d have been FREAKING OUT about skipping a bunch of runs, but not this time. I guess I had a calmness that goes with not trying to qualify for Boston, or PR, or anything really. Rehoboth Beach is about 6.5 hours away from Lynchburg. I planned on running 2 miles to shake the travel off of my legs, but I had 2 beers instead. I blame the company that I chose to keep. The morning of the race, I always wake up pretty early. Rehoboth’s start time is 7am and I was up by 5am. This doesn’t seem THAT early but since we had about an 8 minute walk to the starting line and there isn’t much of a crowd to fight through, it was MORE than enough time. I decided to do things a little differently than in the past. Generally I eat something, but I keep it to a minimum. This time around I FEASTED. I had a peanut butter bagel, a banana, a BCAA drink and a cup of “from the hip” coffee (thank you, Mr. Bacon). I figured if God blessed me with an iron gut I should take advantage and load up! The weather was set to be COLD (like sub 30) so there was much confusion about what to wear. As my running buddies know (mostly YOU, Alissa), I tend to overdress for these occasions. I rolled with shorts with compression socks and a short sleeved shirt with armsleeves. I had a Buff on my head, pirate style to match my pirate shorts. I dressed for mile 20 and not mile 0. I hope you’re proud of me! I DO wanna be a pirate! Several of us started out together and then we all sort of branched out and did our things. I ended up running a ton of the time with Mr. Bacon and Carissa. The first few miles were right on pace with my goal, which was to run. I felt very comfortable, other than the nagging discomfort in my quad that I’d been avoiding all week. Amazingly, it wore off after the first 4-5 miles or so. The rest paid off (I think). Around mile 8, I definitely warmed up and was feeling good. The pace noticeably sped up. At mile 16 I was feeling GREAT. I started the countdown from 10 in my head (I hear that works, Mai) and was thinking about the great 10k that I was going to finish with. Then mile 20 came. I finished up all of the Gu and caffeine I had left (I needed more). Mr. Bacon stayed with me, even though he had more left in the tank. He ran a GREAT race despite being unprepared. I finally talked him into leaving me behind shortly after. Miles 20-24 were the typical craptastic miles that they always are. I maintained better than I have for some marathons but clearly I slowed down. There were some short walks. Honestly, I was SO HAPPY at this point knowing I was definitely going to finish that my motivation to push through kind of ran out. I mean after all, I ruptured my freakin’ Achilles. The last couple of miles come back into town and it’s like a little victory parade. I saw several people that had come in from the half and were there to cheer us on and that really helps. I ate some Red Vines (not Twizzlers) that somebody awesome had a bucket of. I seem to be happy enough. I’ve looked worse. I saved enough energy to enjoy the amazing beer tent and post-race festivities. Don’t ask me how. I guess you just have to want it badly enough. For dinner I had TWO meals at the same time, a steak wrap and a kid’s chicken tenders with fries. They were like the best chicken tenders I’ve ever had, but there were only TWO. Come on, man!!! This is my Rehoboth experience in photos. Sunday morning I gathered myself together and drove six nine hours (thank you, snowstorm) home to Virginia. I was EXHAUSTED but so thankful that I got through the storm and got to see and hug my wife/kids. I really wasn’t sure I’d make it. The roads were SCARY. I really don’t feel too awful for having run all those miles when I was already not feeling great. I’m going to run tomorrow and see how it feels. I’ve had faster marathons and I’ve had slower ones, but this one will ALWAYS be special. When we’re young we feel invincible. That feeling doesn’t die until you’re knocked to the ground. Getting back to this makes me feel a little bit invincible again.
  24. 6 points
    I really enjoy the Rock the Parkway half marathon, and it's one of the few events I run year after year: 2015, 2017, 2018, and now 2019 (I wanted to run it in 2016 too, but it didn't work out that year)! This year I planned to wait until the last minute to commit to running it, since it was 3 weeks after the Chisholm Trail Marathon and because I wasn't running well enough to be competitive until fairly recently. The marathon went well enough that I thought I could run a half time that would be in contention for a top 5 female finish at Rock the Parkway, and my recovery went very well too, so I was in. It helped that I received an email from the race director inviting me back to build this year's elite field! I didn't taper for this race (78 mile week), but I felt fairly fresh going into it. I figured that I was in shape to run about 1:24 on the hilly course, but initially my main goals were to be competitive and to negative split (having fun is a given!). However, the day before the race I read my 2018 race recap, which reminded me that I'd set a Missouri state record for females age 37 in the race last year, which quickly turned into me looking up the record for age 38. It was 1:24:58, so my secret goal because to beat the record. I thought it would be pretty close, because I was pretty confident I was in 1:24 shape, and perhaps a little arrogant about the accuracy of my race predictions after I'd predicted my marathon pace exactly and also remembered the time I made a marathon pace band that was 2 seconds off my actual finishing time. I knew I wasn't in PR form, but I felt confident I was going to have a good race for my current fitness level, although I don't really know why. My realist husband thought that a 1:25 would be a really good day, but I didn't let that sway my 1:24 feeling. Preview, because I wanted this to be the first photo Race morning came, bringing great racing weather - high-30s and sunny. My friend Jessi and I carpooled over to the race from my sister's house, which is less than a 10 minute drive. Due to a road closure, I had to drive a different route to the race than I usually take, and it threw off my parking plan, so we ended up sitting in a traffic jam of runners' vehicles until I decided to park on a side street that I figured was about a half mile away from the race. We wanted to run at least 2 miles to warm up anyway, so it worked - plus if I'd waited it would have cut into our warm up time. Between the parking fiasco, chatting with Jessi, finding a bathroom, sorting gear, and getting in about a perfect warm up (2.5 miles + strides and drills), I never really even thought about the race. No pressure! On the starting line, I saw two fast women who I knew could currently beat me, Pasca and Raquel. I also knew that Jessi was much more fit than me, but I didn't see anyone else I knew would be faster. I hoped I could take 4th. After the gun, I was immediately in 4th behind those three. There were several men around and in front of me, but no one to settle in with. I made the start photos I'd decided prior to the race that I wasn't going to look at my watch at all. This course is too hilly to run an even pace even if you are watching it, I'd run it mostly without looking last year, plus after my recent marathon went so well with no watch-watching I've become even more committed to not doing it in races. Mile 1 felt like the perfect pace for 13.1 miles at my current fitness. Miles 2 and 3 are pretty much all uphill, and I kept telling myself to be very conservative and hold back on the climb. By then the field had thinned out more and I could see several men I wanted to chase down, but I made myself be patient. I maintained effort through mile 4, then I gave myself permission to up the effort a little bit, because I was getting into a groove and feeling good! This is why you shouldn't run even pace in this race Based on a little almost switch-back turn between miles 5-6, I knew I had a very solid 4th female, and baring disaster it was unlikely I was going to move up or be passed. I wanted to see where my fitness was, so I kept time trialing and pressing ahead, picking off men as I could. Fun note: after the race sorted out in the first couple of miles, I didn't get passed by anyone. This race always makes me a little nervous during miles 6-7, because I can tell there is a lot more downhill than uphill as it rolls through some neighborhoods and by one side of a park. I enjoy the downs, but I know I'll have to run back up them in the next couple of miles. There is a climb in mile 8, and it's funny how that hill seems so much worse some years than others! This year it did not seem too bad, and I continued to pursue and pass men who were ahead of me. Really, the course as a whole seems much more hilly some years than others, and this year it felt less hilly (in 2017 it felt mountainous). Cruising along solo | tucked my gloves into my sports bra around mile 4 Somewhere between miles 8-9, I felt like I had enough gas left in the tank to push a little more for the remaining distance, so I did. I also decided I was going to look at my total time on my watch at the mile 12 mark to know if I'd have a chance at the state record time. This gave me a checkpoint to look forward to before the finish line! Around mile 10, I caught up with a man and encouraged him to push ahead with me. He'd been running pretty steady and it had taken me many miles to gradually pull him in, so I figured we could help each other to a stronger finish. We ran side by side for about 1.5 miles, which was nice after having no one to run with for most of the race. He then fell back a little bit, and I pressed on, feeling strong and frequently thinking, "I feel better here than I ever have at this point", "That hill was much worse 2 years ago", etc. When I hit the mile 12 sign, I took a look at my watch, and I knew I was going to get the record and probably run in the 1:23s, so I pushed to finish it up at fast as I could. I had a side ache during the last mile, which made it seem longer than any other mile of the race, but it's also a fast mile (downhill). It was my first sub-6:00 mile post-injury, in 5:55! Grade adjusted it was only 6:09, but I'm still counting it (although I have since run a sub-6:00 in training at the end of a tempo workout). Miles 11 and 12 were also faster than I'd run any other miles post-injury, at 6:09 and 6:07. My final 5K was 18:48, which I was ecstatic about because I wouldn't have even thought I could run an open 5K in that time right now (and maybe I can't, I need 10 miles at tempo to warm up!). I finished in 1:23:35 with a smile on my face that was even caught in some finishing pictures! Happy finisher! I am smiling & not stopping my watch, but I still managed a weird photo with my gloves tucked under my sports bra strap & weird arm swing...future goals! Splits Splits on left/grade-adjusted splits on right The women's race was pretty anticlimactic competition-wise; the top 4 women were in the same positions from 200 meters in. 5th finished 4:01 behind me, and 3rd was 1:39 ahead of me (although I think she was farther ahead earlier on), so nothing was close. Jessi finished in 2nd in a blazing PR of 1:17:25, and I was so happy for her! For me, getting the age 38 state record was my personal victory, and running faster than I expected was really exciting. Although I was incorrect on my time prediction, I nailed my 4th place female prediction, haha. While I ran faster on this course in 2017 and 2018 (1:23:15 and 1:22:42), my time wasn't drastically slower this year, and my final 5K this year was the fastest final 5K I've ever run here! Although I've run several halves faster than this (I'm not even going to count how many, probably 8+), this almost felt like a PR because it was by far my best performance thus far post-injury. A couple of months ago I couldn't even run a 3 mile tempo in 6:23 pace! The post-injury break-throughs are really sweet. I felt the same way after the Chisholm Trail Marathon (nowhere near a PR but celebration for a post-injury best). I guess that although I've run these paces before, I certainly don't take for granted that I will ever do them again, or even that I'll train or compete again. Throughout the race I thanked God that I was out there racing so many times! Official results are here. My new state record can be seen here. Jessi & I waiting for the awards I ran into my college friend Codi after the race - I hadn't seen her in over 10 years & was so pumped! After the race, Jessi, Raquel (3rd female) and I ran the worst cool down course ever (about 100 ft elevation gain in 0.8 to get to the car). Jessi and I changed our shoes and grabbed jackets from the car, then we all made our way back to the finish line area. The announcer was calling our names and saying we needed to go to the awards stage for awards that were about to start. We cut our cool down short to go to the awards, which we then waited 40 minutes for. The overall awards ceremony was also hilarious because no one was actually watching it. I cheered as loud as I could for Jessi and took pictures of her receiving her trophy, and she did the same for me, but we were each others only fans, haha! We then finished the rest of our cool down mileage holding our trophies, back up the 100 ft climb to the car. Oof! Poorly attended awards ceremony My new coach (more to come about that!) was really optimistic about my performance 3 weeks after a marathon and building towards my next marathon in 10 weeks. I'm excited to keep putting in the work! I'll get to see Jessi's marathon debut in person at Grandma's Marathon in 10 weeks too! "Their trust should be in God, who richly gives all we need for our enjoyment." - 1 Timothy 6:17b
  25. 6 points
    For March, I barely ran just over marathon distance the whole month and only ran six times. But you know what? They were all happy runs! I had definitely thought I’d run more than six times but that’s how it worked out and I’m good with it! I really feel that March was a chill out and reflect month because I certainly did a lot of both. I’ve been taking the barbell and spin classes regularly, and had many dog-walking miles that add up. JFRing + enjoyable classes + dogs = HAPPY PLACE I also chose not to run the 30K that I was signed up for and highly untrained for. Sometimes you really DON’T need to suck it up and tough it out. Since I didn’t run the 30K, I still needed a March race so I signed up for a local 5K that was held on Saturday. Dirt Coffee is a local non-profit coffee shop whose proceeds go towards employee people with autism and providing scholarships to families in need and their caregivers. So grateful that my registration fee went towards that as well!! Friday night, we got about 3″ of snow at our house. When I headed out for the 5K, it was quit chilly but really clear and crisp. The ground and trees were covered in snow, but the roads and greenways were clear – that’s my kind of snow! This was going to be a small race (64 people actually) so I didn’t feel the need to get there too early and even picked up my bib that morning. I parked on the street, right beside a McDonalds, and was able to use their bathroom – SCORE! I had on a thin base-layer top, tights, and my owl earmuffs and felt pretty comfortable. Owl earmuffs! They are unbelievably warm! My goal was to go fast and just try to maintain it. Even though I hadn’t been running much, and certainly not doing any speed work, I knew I could still run a decent race. The trails were completely clear except for under and over bridges; I think the wind had blown while it was snowing because it blew some underneath the bridges – I did have to slow down a tad for those. As usual during races, I was chasing ponytails. I can tell when I can possibly pick someone off so I just focused on that – everything was feeling great! There was one tiny “hill” where I actually passed three ladies. The next one was up ahead and had a GIANT orange puffy jacket on. If you are good enough to run that fast, don’t you know better than to wear a puffy jacket to run in? Even if it were colder, you wouldn’t choose a puffy jacket, right? I passed her just after the turn-around and I could tell she didn’t like that. She passed me back, but only for like 100 yards. I stepped on the gas and never saw her again. The next one I really wanted to pass was running with TWO dogs, but I just couldn’t catch her. I was losing steam and just held on to what I had left. This course was GREAT because, while it was an out and back, you ran beside the Platte river on one side, crossed a bridge, and ran back on the other side; the only part we re-ran was the last quarter mile. I could hear the finish line cheers before I even knew it. 5Ks are tough but MAN they go by fast! Oddly, there was no water at the finish or anywhere on the course – there was coffee though! I didn’t hang around long because I was there by myself and just didn’t want to stick around. The coffee shop was offering a free beer in exchange for your race bib but I like keeping those! Results: My pace was actually 8:07 based on the 3.16 my Garmin recorded. Yessssss! I loved this race because of all the things I’ve already listed but it was also just very simple. No race shirt (thank you!) unless you paid extra for it, and no finisher medal. I do like my medals but I don’t need one for every single race. Race 3/12 for the year, complete! The next day, I ran 6.5 miles at the monthly bRUNch run and had chicken and waffles and a screwdriver afterwards! If you’ll notice, there was at least one ! in every paragraph The NCAthlete in RW Loop writing days use to use a lot of those.... This shit is getttin’ good, folks! JFR friends!
  26. 6 points
    Hi. My name is Eliz and I'm afraid to go fast. I'm your typical Goldilocks character. I like to challenge myself (I go on adventures through the woods and have no problem staying with strangers that I have never met before), but I also like to be comfortable. In my ideal world, the temperature would always be 72 degrees, except when I'm running outside, then it would be about 68 degrees. The perfect shoe has a wide toe and about 1/4 inch of room from where my longest toe ends and the front of the shoe. Dress shoes would look like stilettoes but feel like running shoes. My pillows would always be fluffed just right. MJ would never raise her voice again. I would never burn my tongue when taking a big gulp of coffee. I want to go fast. I want to be faster, mostly for time's sake. I dream of the day where my easy runs are at least 10 minute miles. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid of pain, I'm afraid that I won't be able to tell searing-giving-your-all 5K pain from legitimate, you should stop running cuz your hip is falling off pain. Perhaps that's the Goldilocks in me, perhaps I have a little paranoia from all those years I ran with an injury that no amount of rest would completely heal, perhaps I just have a really unrealistic expectation of pain. In any case, I've realized the past few years that I am simply afraid to go fast, and it's been hindering my development as a runner. That's where that Peloton app has been pretty helpful. The coaches (that's what I like to call them, I think their job title is 'instructor') have set paces they tell you to go, which naturally are based on normal ranges for runners. So, on a treadmill, a 4.5 is a power walk, 5.0 is a light jog, 6.0 is a light run, etc. As a good student, I like to do exactly what the coach is asking of me, so I end up going a lot faster than I would normally go. Most of the time, it works and I amaze myself at how well I'm doing and how fast I'm going! There was one run where I got under 9 mm pace (for just a little bit, not average), which normally would seem untouchable to me at the end of a workout. There are other times where I have to remind myself to be humble. It's exciting. I haven't tested the speed outside - too much snow, or melting snow turned ice or too cold of weather. I am looking forward to see how things work out, though, and I'm really looking forward to that 5K in April. My only hope: that I can be brave enough to go fast and smash that previous PR. Gratuitous engagement photo (by the great Morgan Miller Photography)
  27. 6 points
    In the mood to do a recap of my 2019 goals and Boston training, not sure how long I'll be able to keep doing this but we'll go with it for now... 2018 was an ok year overall for my running, I ran most of the year, had a setback in June but got back on track in July. I completed two marathons early in the year and a few shorter races, had 0 PRs and ran slightly less than 2017. Not great results in races but grateful to be able to run period so that's why I'm going with an ok rating overall. I'm feeling very optimistic about 2019 coming off of a unsuccessful trip to CIM last month. I continued my streak of running at least 5K every day, up to 80 days as of today. I ran mileage of 41.7, 56.6, 55.1 and 62.1 leading up to this week which would be the first of my Boston 2019 cycle. First, goals for 2019. Enjoy the process This is the most important Run at least a 5K every day I attempted to do this in 2018 but got overzealous with my buildup after Boston and had a calf injury set me back 3500 miles this one is an arbitrary round number but I want to run more mileage and this would be a decent increase over my 2017 total PR in the marathon and 2 other distances I already PR'd in one other distance on New Year's day so had to go with two I posted a link on FB to my Boston Training outline that I'm starting with, will obviously tweak as I go with necessary changes. Here it is again for the sake of putting everything in one spot: December 31 - January 6 Monday 6.3 Miles in 0:52 - It was raining and I was home alone with my son so did a short recovery run on the TM at home. Had the annual New Year's Day 10 miler on Tuesday that is my benchmark for the spring and is a good workout to start the Boston cycle as it's very hilly. Tuesday 3 mile WU in 0:23 + 10 miles in 1:02:50 + 2 mile CD in 0:15 (15 total) - easy WU with some surges at the end to wake my legs up. My legs have been pretty tired, probably still carrying some fatigue from December but it wasnt a goal race so not really concerned. A friend of mine came out to the (public) park and ran the race with me which was awesome because we were completely alone from the gun. The race is a 10 miler and 5K and we had a huge lead in both immediately. We kept the race at a tempo effort since there wasnt really a reason to run overly hard and go to the well and stayed pretty consistent with pace until i took a nasty fall on some slick mud right before the 6 mile marker. I then spent most of mile 7 recovering, I ended up tearing my compression sock and had some sweet road rash down my right hip. I took the overall win and apparently PR'd at the 4 mile distance also, clearly I need to race that distance again. Cool down of 2 miles, legs felt pretty good after the effort so I know it wasn't a true race effort. I have been doing some good strength work since mid-December and I think that is having an effect already as my legs handled the hills much better than last year. 1:00 strength training in the PM Wednesday 7.25 miles in 0:56 - Easy run in the rain on tired legs. My hamstrings were a little tight from the workout / strength work but no soreness. Uneventful run except I got to see two friends crushing a 10 mile tempo, they're both OTQ marathon guys and looked incredibly smooth running around 5:00 pace. Jealous. Thursday 9.3 miles in 1:13 - Easy run on tired legs. I usually feel worst two days after a workout so not surprising although my bedtime routine is out of whack from the hoidays and I've been staying up too late also. I need to fix. 15 minutes in the gym Normatec boots after post-run stretching. Friday 7.1 miles in 0:56 - Another easy run on tired legs, went shorter today in advance of a big weekend. Watch was spazzing out and never got a gps lock, think the distance is a little short but not too concerned about a tenth or two of missing distance. 15 minutes in the Normatec boots after stretching again. I am liking them and this is bad, I will end up re-buying a pair for the house. Saturday 2.8 mile WU in 0:21 with surges + 2 x 1 mi in 6:03, 5:58 + 6 x 1:15 hills on a 9% grade + 2.4 mile CD in 0:19 (10 total) - the mile repeats was done on pretty hilly roads also, GAP says the efforts were 5:57, 5:45 and the hill reps were all within 4:46 - 5:17 pace. I have no idea how accurate GAP is but if it's close I'm feeling much less pessimistic about my lack of "speed." I have been reviewing last year's training and feel like I have less raw speed this year but a ton more strength, which I think is where I'd prefer to be for a marathon anyways so good? Sunday 17 miles in 2:14 - Legs were really tired to start. I did 5 miles solo, mostly on a grass/dirt track at the park before my friend arrived and we did 11 through some rolling hills in the parks. I finished with another mile and a half on the grass/dirt loop. Pretty uneventful except for again, how tired I was. I do not like hills right now, they are hard to get up! Took no fuel during the run, will continue to do this on all easy runs to improve fuel efficiency. Great first week. I'm tired but that's marathon training and truthfully I love it. I'm taking a big swing this cycle, going back to mostly self-coached and doing harder/different workouts to improve on my weaknesses so I can finally break an over 2 year old PR in the marathon. Happy New Year and happy training all. Thanks for reading.
  28. 6 points
    Good morning! It’s Wednesday, but it’s Monday. I’m still trying to figure out where I am and what I’m doing. Jet lag is REAL. Spent New Year’s Eve on a redeye flight from LA to DC. Most runners are somewhat goal oriented people, I think. With the new year here, lots of people are reflecting on their 2018 and thinking about what they want to do with their 2019. I figured I’d join in on the fun. 2018 Zero miles through April. I was still quite busy rehabbing my surgically repaired achilles. A lot of work went into coming back., and not just my own. I really have so many people to thank for help and encouragement. My first “run” came on April 6th on the Alter G treadmill. That was quite an experience and you can read about it here if you have lots of time to kill. My first REAL run happened on May 1st. Talk about a runner’s high… I think I was excited. First race back was a 5k in May. I was a little bit nervous and maybe even a little bit fearful. The race day butterflies were more like race day bats(?). I didn’t get TOO crazy, but it was my first time stepping on the gas pedal. Go Navy! Right around this point I was officially cleared! I quickly did what any goal-oriented runner would do upon being cleared and I started looking at marathons! On August 6th, I started training for round 2 of Rehoboth Beach. I had a first marathon nervousness going, but with that came first marathon excitement. There were plenty of ups and downs in the training process. For the first month or so, I was killing it, then 40 happened. The day after my birthday, my quad and hip started to hurt and they never stopped hurting. The right side hurt, then the left side hurt. I felt like I was running “through” something for most of my runs. I started to hurt even when I wasn’t running and to me that’s a real problem. I lost hope at times and there were thoughts of shutting it down and not running Rehoboth, but then THIS happened. Speed happened. Confidence happened. A fast 5k is exactly what I needed to get mentally ready for Rehoboth. I rested almost the whole week afterward, but that didn’t matter. I felt like I could finish no matter what and nothing was going to stop me from that. So I did… Rehoboth was full of ups and downs, but also the best post-race party there is. I ran without anxiety, maybe for the first time ever in a marathon. I was happy right from the start that I was back on that starting line. I didn’t care about awards, or BQs, or anything else (although my 3:33 time wasn’t too shabby hehe). It’s a great feeling! That leads me to 2019… 2019 I really liked the feeling of running Rehoboth and truly enjoying it. I’m not ready to give that up quite yet. I ran one little mile yesterday to start out the year. That’s all I felt like doing. As I said on Strava…No Challenges. No Streaks. No Goals. I’ll be running races for sure. There’s a happy medium where you can run fast and love it. I need to find that place and stay there for a while. Find your happy place. Eventually, my competitive nature will win out and I’ll need something more or something bigger. That’s ok. I’ll just enjoy that break while I can.
  29. 6 points
    In many ways I'd like to just forget all about 2018 altogether, move on to 2019 and see what's next, hoping for less drama and less trauma. On the other hand, maybe taking a quick review will help me close the door. Feel free to skim around and look for the high points. No need for anyone else to get all bummed out, too. First, running. I finished the year with 550 miles, according to my spreadsheet. I don't trust either Strava (574) or GarminConnect (533) for my official mileage total. Maybe I'll look into the discrepancy sometime. In February I was in the second month of a very slow buildup after taking December off with a hamstring strain, when my left knee started acting up. A week off didn't help. Neither did a few more weeks. When I went in to the knee doc, my insurance wouldn't approve his recommended MRI until I'd gone through six weeks(!!!) of PT. That helped exactly zero. The MRI, when I finally had it at the end of May (three months after the first problem), showed some minor damage and the doc recommended letting him go in and scrape it out. What he found once he was on the inside was a small tear of the meniscus. That fixed, it took a lot longer than I expected to recover. Plenty of rest, lots of limping around the office, a few little test "runs" in July, more PT. It was a long summer. Once I discovered that running didn't make the pain any worse, I started a slow build up at the beginning of September. It sucked worse than any getting in shape period I've ever had. Every single run was a struggle, and I don't mean my knee hurt. That's the only thing that didn't. The rest of me was a mess. But I was undeterred. By the end of October I had my long run up to 9 miles and thought I'd give the half at Rehoboth a shot, if the other dominoes fell into place. They did. Tried a 5k in November that went better than expected. Not blazing and I didn't feel great, but it was in the lower 20's and I didn't die. Rehoboth went sort of the same. Never felt the joy, but I didn't die and my time (1:50) was decent. So, I declared my knee 100% and it's been good since, both at work and running. I've been doing short stuff since the race. December weather has been amazing around here. Last week I switched my long run to Friday because 50 degrees and did 9. On Saturday it was 31 and expected to snow/rain. I beat the weather, but with 10 yards or so to the end of the run, that stupid hamstring tried to pop again. So I've limped into the new year for the second year in a row. Did an easy 4 on NYD and could feel it most of the way, although not badly. I'm babying it now with ice and IBU, so I hope if I'm careful and stay slow, it'll recover and get me to spring. But, hey, I'm running, which is 100% better than not running. Second, not running. I assume it was from not running at all in December (after Rehoboth) and really pigging out on holiday food, but my blood sugar numbers were mostly not good when I had my annual physical. Doc had me re-test in April, and although I'd gone out of my way to eat much, much better, I'd improved only the tiniest fraction of a point. Having another reason to run is OK, I suppose, but still. My PSA was also up from the year before (and the year before that), so he ordered an April retest of that, too. Just like the blood sugar, it jumped again. That resulted in a urology appointment and a biopsy, which was mostly positive, but not conclusive. It also resulted in an e coli infection that won me a 3 day stay in the hospital. Thank goodness for health insurance. The next weekend (the Sunday before Memorial Day), my mom died. It was an unexpected result from minor injuries she'd received when she and Dad were in a fender bender a few weeks earlier. She'd gone through rehab, had returned home just the day before, and woke up the next morning with breathing trouble. Pneumonia. She lasted about a week after going back into the hospital. She was 82. In July I saw a dermatologist about a couple of spots on my lower legs that came out of nowhere and weren't responding to anything we'd tried at home. He took them off and had them checked. Basal cell carcinoma. Not a big deal if they don't come back. Big concern of they do. I have to go in now a couple of times every year to make sure. My October PSA screen showed another increase. Next step was an MRI which looks mostly OK according to the report, but I'm waiting to hear from the urologist before I can declare this item closed, at least for now. On the plus side, Big Mac, my elder daughter who lives in Seattle fell head over heels for a tall sciency guy and they are planning an April wedding. T-Rex passed two of the four classes she took last semester (we dropped the other two early on). Still hoping for her to reach a more functional level of work/study. My granddaughters seem to get more adorable every day. 2019 I'm mostly comfortable now planning for a late spring marathon. I'd like to stay close to home and do Glass City with Mark and (maybe) Peg, or join the growing group of Loopsters in New Jersey, but those are both at the end of April, and that's a little tight for my slow training plan and the winter training uncertainty. Not to mention that they are two weeks after Mac's wedding and there is no running allowed that weekend - not good for late mary training. At this point I'm thinking more the end of May and Vermont City. I had penciled that in last year before the meniscus, so why not just do a reset? No plans at all for fall yet. I may skip fall and do Disney next January, depending on finances this year. Training will be less intense while my body figures out if it's really old already. I'll switch tempos to Tuesday and skip most of the intervals for the spring race. Didn't get into Hood-to-Coast again, but am still interested. Maybe I'll try to find another of those silly multi-day relays to do and see if it's as fun as I imagine. As for my non-running life, one more year closer to retirement. I'll keep watching the numbers and hope the economy doesn't crash too hard so I still have some savings as it approaches. Still a few years away unless someone gives me that winning lottery ticket.
  30. 6 points
    Ladies, I am emailing you all today to withdraw from the team. I no longer feel that this expedition is right for me. I do want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity and believing in me enough to be a member of this team, and to be a part of the incredible training that we have done. I’ve gained great skills and knowledge that I do not believe I ever would have received otherwise. This experience has shown me that my love of endurance athletics can be pushed even further than I imagined. You all are amazing women that I likely never would have met, and I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with you. I do hope that I can spend more time with you all in the future. Please let me know when/where I can return all of my gear. I want to give everyone who donated to my personal GoFundMe page the opportunity to have their donations refunded. If not, I will send you what I collected (after the fee was subtracted is was about $160). Ladies, I wish you all the best of luck and safety during the rest of your training and your summit attempt. I will be cheering you on and rooting for you! Let me know if there is anything I can ever do for any of you. Don’t be silenced, Chris I sent this out on Friday, October 26th to withdraw from the Denali team. It was a decision that I thought long and hard about and most likely bugged the crap out of all of my friends, seeking advice. This expedition no longer was a good fit for me and no longer aligned with my integrity and values. I won’t talk about many specifics but I wasn’t willing to accept that my role was only to “raise as much money as you can and get mountain fit.” I will never allow someone to continually speak down to me, not for any experience or opportunity. I wish these ladies all the best and will be rooting for them next year! Go sheros! This whole process was very hard and life consuming. I’m not sure that I would decided to take on something so consuming again. However, this experience lit a fire up in me and I am very grateful that I was able to go through those trainings and meet those amazing women. I certainly wouldn’t give that back. More amazing opportunities will come along. Thank you to everyone who followed along and supported me through this journey. It means the world to me. Stay tuned for my new and exciting 2019 goals!! Chris
  31. 5 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'
  32. 5 points
    Vertical Mile Challenge – June 15, 2019 Rocky Face Park | Hiddenite, NC Race 6/12 for 2019 goal! Halfway there! It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything, and that’s because my world has changed quite a bit in the last month. I’m now living back in my home state of North Carolina, and have a lot of time on my hands while I find a job. I haven’t been using all that time to run though. I’ve let the stress of everything (that I’ll write about some time) get to me and haven’t used running as an outlet for it, for some reason. Nonetheless, I was signed up to run the VMC and I wasn’t about to puss out of it – trained or not. An abbreviated version of the history of the race goes like this: In 2011, some dudes wanted to create a race in where you complete 5,280′ of vertical in the shortest distance possible. They happened upon a park that is 15 minutes from where I grew up, and voila! 2.2 mile loops, eight times, for 16 miles and 5,280′ of vert. All aboard the pain train! Jenster is the one that told me about this race. It was only $25 to register and is SO close to where I’m living and grew up. It was such a no brainer! I hadn’t ran in three weeks leading up to the race and finally got in a few runs the week of the race. My niece and nephew are great running motivators and ask me every day if we can go running! Jenster and I The race started at 8am, so I got up at 5:45 so that I could leave by 6:30, get a great parking spot, and pick up my packet. It was a cool morning, and in the upper 50’s when I got there. There were just over 200 people running, which is the biggest group they’ve had thus far. Word is getting out, apparently. There were plenty of PoPs and a bathroom so I even got to use a real toilet! The smaller size of this race was perfect. This shows the bit of pavement we had to run on and the part of the rock that people climb. Not knowing a bit of the course or exactly what to expect, I started in the middle of the pack. We ran for less than a quarter of a mile on pavement and then hit the trail. Right away you could see there were going to be lots of roots – they had spray painted most of them bright orange. It was crowded up until we reached the rock face about half a mile in. I was not warmed up enough before we started the hike uphill. My first start up the hill While it was still cool, you could tell that rock was going to heat up quick – there wasn’t a breeze yet either. The straight uphill portion was at least a half a mile long and felt like it’d never end. I was using the footwork I’d learned while mountaineering in the snow – taking sideways steps so that I didn’t burn up my calves. Others were also using the switchback strategy so as not to go straight up the rock, which I did some as well. There wasn’t a trail so you just made your own way up the rock face. At the top, they had a water only station that was stocked with ice cold water. It tasted like the best water I’d ever had in my life. When you get to the top, you run through the woods briefly and get to another small rock portion, then hit the woods again and start going downhill. There were lots of switchbacks, rocks, and roots. This was a great way to start my NC racing again! I actually missed those roots! Towards the end of the loop, you come to another rocky portion and this is the portion you can see from the parking lot. This is also the portion that people rock climb on. There was a really steep part that was killer on the feet and toes! Just before you get to the start/finish line, there are some rock stairs and then you’re back on the pavement. At the start/finish, there is a bigger aid station with food and other drinks. I didn’t get anything after the first loop and just kept going. I should also note that when I crossed the line, my watch was reading just under 2 miles. Focus! Just after I started the second loop, I tripped and fell. I wasn’t picking my feet up enough, caught my toe on a root and BOOM! It was enough to scrape the skin off the top of my left knee (the knee that ALWAYS takes the hits!) and a little off my other knee too. My left wrist was what I caught myself with so it was a little scraped up as well. I didn’t run nearly enough trails in CO so I’m going to love getting use to it again! NC trails are far better than CO trails, in my opinion. Anywho, I had a few people ask me if I was ok and I gave them a thumbs up. It hurt for maybe a 10th of a mile and then it was fine! Just a flesh wound! I told one of them that I was due for some trail rash. Scraped the skin right off! It wasn’t long before I started seeing people getting treated by medical folks. I was also hearing that they had received a 911 call from someone and were looking for them. Shit was getting real and we were all starting to see and feel the effects of the terrain and heat. I didn’t consume anything besides water until after the third loop, which was a Huma gel and half a banana. When I hit the halfway mark, it was just over two hours and I ate a lot more. I grabbed some Gatorade, a pickle chunk, half a banana, and took a packet of 3 salt tabs. It hadn’t even dawned on me that I should have brought more salt tabs. I was lucky I even had the one pack. This was definitely early on in the race… haha! I had been playing leap frog with several people and kept seeing the same faces. The winner had finished before I even hit the halfway mark. I was also getting lapped by some folks as well. At this point, it was hard to tell who was on what lap and you didn’t really know unless you asked. A lady came up from behind me on the first or second lap and was asking me what model of Altras I was wearing. She said she’d never heard of the Timps and would be looking into getting some. We’d run into each other during all but the last two laps and she’d started calling us the Altra gals. She would pass me on the uphill and I would pass her on the downhill. I even started to “ribbet” when I went by her – haha! That 57 year young lady ended up beating me by 20 minutes! By the way, that’s the farthest I’ve ever run in the Altras and they were great! I’m on the far left I started off fueling well but didn’t continue to. I wasn’t taking in nearly enough when I needed to. I was only drinking a cup of Gatorade and eating half a banana. One of the laps I dipped a potato in salt and ate that – all that salt tastes so gross! The sixth lap was the worst and I was feeling pretty bad by the end of the seventh lap. I had been feeling like I was going to cramp up since the halfway mark, and I was just hoping and praying that it’d hold off – that could be a serious game changer. I even thought about this race possibly being my very first DNF. My back was also getting super tight and I kept having to bend over to stretch it out. However, my brother, sister-in-law, and three kiddos had come out to see me finish! They were there in time to see me start the last lap. I got some food and talked to them for a minute. My nephew and nieces didn’t know what to think about how I looked and that I was scarfing down watermelon, pickles, and banana and drinking Gatorade – all of which I could barely carry over to the bench, haha! By that time, I was averaging 40-45 minute loops so I told them I’d be back in about that amount of time. As soon as I took off for the last loop, I felt re-energized and great! Seeing them was what I needed to finish strong! There was a much smaller field at that point, and I felt like I was way in the back of finishers. I was letting the aid station volunteers know that it’d luckily be the last time I saw them! When I crossed the finish line in 4:46, my family was there to record me finishing. My nephew thought my bloody knee was the coolest and he was getting down really close to look at it. He hugged me and told me he was proud of me, dawwww! It’s over! Race Stats: Starters: 203 | Finishers: 184 | Gender Place: 25/48 | Overall Place: 128/184 Garmin Distance: 16 miles (supposed to be 17.4) | Garmin Vertical: 4,091′ (not 5,280′) I noticed a comment on Strava that the course has been off every year and that everyone always gets the vertical amount that I got. That is WAY off, by more than 1,000′! I wasn’t getting the 2.2 miles per loop either. I thought that I wasn’t getting a good GPS signal. Maybe that’s still true? Surely it wouldn’t be off that much and they still claim it as a vertical mile race…. who knows. Post Race It’s been three days since the race and I have been SORE AF! Getting on and off the toilet is THE WORST. This is certainly in the top of times that I have been the most sore. This time last year I ran the Leadville Heavy Half and I think I was this sore after that as well. I plan to run this race again next year so this will just be the weekend of pain from here on out! I’d love to make this a yearly occurrence! I also plan to get out there and run and hike the course as often as possible. It’s so close! Hopefully I’ll actually be ready for it next year. I haven’t signed up for a July race yet but it will likely be a 5K with my 8 YEAR OLD NEPHEW!! Yaaaaassssss!
  33. 5 points
    At least, I feel the worst on Wednesdays lately. Since Tempo Tuesday is my only real tough workout each week, I've noticed that I really feel it the next day. To make things doubly interesting, I've also inserted a long-ish weekday run on Wednesday, so, tired for a long run. Last Wednesday was just OK. But what really kicked me in the gut was the shingles shot. Mrs. Dave and I are the age where we need to get a pair of vaccines for it. The first one (back in February) wasn't bad, but this time she had a fever the next day and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. That was on top of the Wednesday post-tempo hangover, so those 11 miles were a real struggle. On Thursday I laid on the couch after work and watched two movies - Small Soldiers, and something else equally bad that I can't even remember. But I was in absolutely no shape for a run of any kind. By Friday I was back to normal, though, and thought about stretching the miles to make up for it. Then I remember what a bad idea it is to try to make up miles, so I just went the 8 I had planned. They were pretty great - most of them at or near 8:00 mm. Not easy pace, but felt strong. Saturday's long was another debate about catching up for the 16 I'd missed the week before (did 10 after FIL's funeral), but discretion won again. 11 was the plan this week, and it also went pretty well. A little too fast at the end and a little too slow at the end. This was after seeing Endgame. I'm not happy with Marvel right now. No spoilers, but I disagree with what happened to ... nevermind. A careful, easy 6 on Monday, setting up for the longest tempo of this training cycle. 8 miles with a miles w/u and c/d, 10 total. I've been starting most of these too fast and dragging my tail on the second half. My solution was to run this as a cut-down, or a progression. Really careful at the start and as fast as possible at the end. In my head, the plan was to split it up into two miles segments, with a pair at 8:15, a pair at 8:00, then 7:45, and whatever was left for the last two. It ended up being an almost perfect progression. 8:12, 8:11, 7:58, 7:53, 7:48, 7:39, 7:36, 7:27. It was hard to hold back those first few - 8+ felt SO SLOW! - but glad I did. Those last two were tough. Then I mowed the lawn because with all the rain we had in April it was pretty out of hand. Really green but extra long. Anyway, it looked like that was the only time I'd be able to get to it and with more rain coming it was only going to get worse. Finished just before it got dark. This is the last big week. 60 miles. Looks like I'm going to make it.
  34. 5 points
    Last week was up and down some. After the good/bad Tempo Tuesday, I had a decent Wednesday (7), then a really good 6 miles on Thursday. There was trouble Thursday, though, because I wasn't running six miles - I was running ten. Just after six I turned into the wind for the ride home and ... BAM! Hit me like a ton of bricks. Back in mile 5 I'd passed a woman on the sidewalk, we waved and smiled. After a quarter mile or so of the struggle bus, she came past me from the other direction. She smiled and waved again, but I think my return was more of a #everythinghurtsandimdying grimace. Yeah, those last four miles sucked the big one. I thought I'd swing past and see how the new train through the woods was going. Turns out they've run a dozer through the woods but haven't made any other progress on creating a path, so it was a total mess from the recent rains. I had to walk for a quarter mile-ish, then finally abandoned the trail for a side road. My white shoes are still white, but they don't look new anymore. Then of course any bad run (even if it's only partly bad) sets the mind up for more bad things. Stepping out of the shower I felt pain along the inside of my left leg. Farther in than where I'd expect shins splints. And I haven't had shin splints since high school. So obviously it had to be a stress fracture, or at least a stress reaction. I googled a couple of things and asked Loopville. I was not encouraged. Mrs. Dave poo-poo-ed my theory. This was actually on Tuesday before the ten miler, and didn't seem to bother me when I was running or walking. In true runner fashion I decided to ignore it and hope it went away. If my Friday (6) and Saturday (15) runs were OK, I was prepared to take it seriously and count myself lucky I hadn't yet registered for Vermont. Getting ready for the six, I took a more careful look at the area and noticed some bruising. When I moved it away from the bone, the flashy part still hurt, but the bone didn't. Not sure if that's an actual medical test, but it made me think this was not a bone issue. The six went well. Fifteen on Saturday gave me 52 for the week and 167 for the month of March. That's the most in almost two years. That Saturday run was decent. I got rained on from miles 5-10, which was also when the wind was in my face and that kind of sucked. This was also opposite of my fourteen miler from two weekends before, when I started slow and finished faster. Partly because of the rain wind in the middle, and partly because the route had more elevation gain on the back half, until the last two miles. But I never felt as dead as I did on Thursday. This was just a good, long run. And with seven weeks to go, I'm feeling pretty confident. If the north Vermont weather at the end of May cooperates, I think I'll be set up for a good marathon in the 3:40-50 range. That's 2020 BQ territory and I'd be pretty happy with that (duh!). 56 miles this week, beginning with five yesterday. Felt tired, from last week I assume. No problem with the leg and the discoloration is fading, so I guess that means no sfx. This weekend was originally going to be my Pikermi tune-up race, but I couldn't find one. Now I'm debating whether to run a hard 13.1 or just have another long run - perhaps a MP test. Next week I'll be losing the back half of the week to the wedding, including a Saturday 16 miler.
  35. 5 points
    Flashback to the end of September 2018 (from memory): There’s a local 5K in the town by our house held by the high school every year. It’s a great race, we live within walking distance the start and finish, it’s reasonably priced, and supports a scholarship for a local high school student, so no excuse not to run really. Side note - the bakery in town provides cupcakes as prizes to the age group winners – best award EVER! This year it was 4 weeks after I was cleared to run- about 10 weeks after DD was born. DH said he would join me and push DD in the stroller, which kept me from trying to race…probably a smart thing. It’s the only organized race I have ever been able to convince him to do, plus, he joined me in the ice cream mental recovery 😊, so no time goal, but I wanted to run the entire thing. We started towards the back of the crowd and took off at a nice semi-easy pace. DD slept for the entire time, waking up at the finish, so I think she enjoyed it! The up hills got a little difficult, but we maintained pace. DH, not having run anything in over a year, and not used to running with the stroller, struggled a bit, which was too be expected, but I’m proud of him for not stopping. I felt pretty good, but I didn’t have the stroller. We finished in under 31 minutes, just under a 10 min/mile pace. Awesome for both of us! 😊 AND a very enjoyable run with the entire family!! No cupcake for me this year, but I hope to get back there again for 2019. (DH did stop by the bakery to surprise me with a purchased one though – Yum!) DD’s first 5K:
  36. 5 points
    January 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 262.7 Dec. 31-Jan. 6: 73.7 (2:42 strength training) Jan. 7-13: 76.5 (2:46 strength training) Jan. 14-20: 75.1 (2:29 strength training) Jan. 21-27: 45.7 (1:52 strength training, 2:00 cardio cross-training) Jan. 28-Feb. 3: ?? (3 as of Jan. 31, plus cross-training) Races: Not there yet! Amy makes winter running much better! Workouts: Jan. 1 - 3 x 1 mile repeats with 0.5 recoveries in 6:12, 6:18, 6:18 (2.1 warm up, 1.3 cool down). This was my first workout on my first official day back working with my coach; clearly he didn't hold back! I left my Garmin account connected to his coaching platform when I was building mileage post-injury, so he knew what I'd been doing, and it was pretty clear that my endurance was solid but my leg turnover/speed was in dire need of help, so this was where we started. The pace range he gave me for these was 6:11-6:18, and I feared that I wouldn't be able to do it but vowed to try. I had to really work to keep the final one in range, but I made it! Afterwards I told him he chose the perfect pace range for my current fitness, because this was challenging but do-able. If I'd have been in charge of my own workouts, I certainly wouldn't have picked mile repeats, and if I did I would have aimed for more like 6:30 pace, so day 1 being coached again showed me that I need to be coached (even though he gave me a workout and double on New Years Day)! Jan. 5 - fast finish long run, described below. Jan. 9 - 6.3 mile 3'2'1' fartlek (recoveries equal to next push, 3.2 warm up, 2.5 cool down). This was supposed to be 6 miles, but who is going to stop in the middle of a push? My push paces were 5:45-6:36, but mostly 6:05-6:15. It was very windy and I blame that for the inconsistency in pacing - the 6:36 was definitely all into the wind and the 5:45 was definitely all out of it! My average pace for all 6.3 miles was 6:50; pre-injury I'd average more like 6:20 on this type of workout, so it was pretty consistent with everything I'm running right now being 30 seconds/mile slower than what I was doing at peak fitness. I am choosing to be thankful for the opportunity to improve rather than upset about being slower, but sometimes not comparing is hard. Jan. 15 - 3 mile tempo (3.3 warm up, 4 cool down) at 6:30 average via 6:27, 6:33, 6:29. I ran with Rebecca, and our Garmins were significantly discrepant (her's said 6:19 average), so I would rather claim that since my goal was 6:18! We have had Garmin discrepancies on that course before, although not by that much and usually mine is the faster one, hah. We had very dense fog for this workout so it was also pretty much like running hard into a dark abyss, because headlamps are rendered nearly useless in fog (mine also iced over because it was 29 degrees!). I gave it my best effort, but it was honestly very disheartening to be unable to maintain the pace I've run for several marathons for a mere 3 miles after being back to running for 7 weeks. Jan. 17 - 4 x 0.15 presses at the beginnings of miles 7-10 within in 10 miler. This is just a tiny get-your-legs-moving/mix-it-up kind of workout, but it always serves as a good reminder that I actually can pick up the pace if I need to. My press paces were 5:54, 5:37 (downhill), 6:01, and 6:20 (uphill). This was run #3 of the month in cold rain, but at 42 degrees and no wind, it was fine, especially after my Jan. 12 long run, detailed below. Jan. 21 - 5 x 1 mile tempos with 0.25 recoveries (2 warm up, 1.5 cool down) in 6:27, 6:33, 6:30, 6:30, 6:33. I had pretty low expectations for this workout since we were in a wind advisory and the windchill was 2 degrees, and I suppose I met those expectations. I put forth my best effort and was consistent with my splits, which was really all I could have hoped for. When I stopped my Garmin it said I needed 3.5 days to recover, which seemed about right, haha! Doubles on Jan. 1, 7, 14, 21. Strides on Jan. 10, 20, 24. Favorite workout: Weeellllll, I can truthfully say that I was thankful for all of them, but not satisfied with any of them. Long Runs: Jan. 5 - 15.6 miles (7:27) with 3 progressive fast finish miles in 7:05, 6:52, 6:36. We had a great group of 7 for this run, although about everyone was doing different distances. Claudio was kind enough to fast finish with me, even though he kicked my tail on the final hill (without the hill, I'd have been in the 6:20s for my final mile, but even though my lack of fitness showed on the hill it was good for me to fight it). Dying less every week though! Jan. 12 - 18 miles (7:46) in 33 degrees and rain, with a windchill of 22. I learned a lot of things on this run, the most important of which was that I am never running that far in these conditions again! I ran a 5 miler in similar conditions the week before, and finished it toasty and dry, so I thought I would be okay...plus there was really no alternative since it had been the exact same temperate with rain for about 36 hours straight and was supposed to continue the entire day until it changed to snow overnight. I was afraid the roads would be a sheet of ice on Sunday so I didn't want to bump it a day (although in actuality they weren't too terrible and I ran outside the next day), and I couldn't wrap my head around running this on the treadmill. I felt decent for the first 10 miles or so, but during a patch of heavy rain even the awesome rainproof jacket I'd borrowed didn't hold up, so I was just cold, soaked, and carrying what felt like 15 lbs of water in my jacket, tights, socks, and shoes. We ran a big loop course to force us to commit to the distance (my idea, oy.), so there was no choice but to keep plodding along back to my car. On the road back there was a lot of flooding and standing water, so my shoes ended up extremely soaked and heavy (at that point the only alternative routes would have added 2-4 miles to the run, so I ran through the flooding but remembered why we don't run that part of that road when it's rained a lot). My only saving grace was that at the last minute before we started I grabbed plastic grocery bags out of my car's console and put them over my mittens, and with the way I had them tied up and gripped, my hands stayed dry. That is the only reason I didn't stop at 16.2 miles when I passed my car! This run confirmed my suspicions that I would have been among the people who died off at Boston 2018, because I definitely slowed and struggled, and felt like I was shutting down. I was with 3 friends, and Rebecca and Claudio went ahead and ran a beautiful negative split while I dragged my frozen self in. My body definitely isn't made for cold rain. Amy was also with us, and she ran Boston 2018 and said this run was colder but less windy (14 mph wind). I came very close to crying during this run, but at the same time I was sure glad to say I gritted it out and always thankful to run! Jan. 18 - 16.4 miles (7:37). I ran this one a day early to avoid another cold rain/ice/snow fiasco. I told my coach I had PTSD from the previous week's cold rain long run and wasn't doing that again! Missy was kind enough to run most of it with me - I ran about 3 miles, picked her up and we did 10 together, then I ran back home. I started at 4:44 a.m. because I had to be at work a little before 8:00, so it was still pitch dark even when I finished, but I was happy to have it knocked out to reduce weather-related stress! It was actually really nice, around 36 degrees and light wind, which is very warm for that time of day in January in Missouri (last year I had many morning runs in below zero wind chills). Jan. 26 - I skipped this one, because I learned from my September-November injury and the great tendon debacle of 2016. More details to come, but I just knew that if I ran this my peroneal tendon was going to get seriously injured, so I stayed home. I think my body hates winter. Better 5-7 days off now than 8 weeks off later! Favorite long run: I felt the best on the January 5 one! My body kind of went downhill after the Jan. 12 one... 8 degrees & pitch dark Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I started back working with my coach this month. I think my rapid mileage increase post-injury made it clear that I need someone to save me from myself, and my avoidance of workouts in December also showed I needed a push. He gave mile repeats and a double on New Years Day, hah. This article about CIM really illustrates why I wanted to run it in 2018 and hope to return in 2019! I have a long ways to go to get to where I want to be, though. I've been feeling discouraged about my paces, but I'm not sure what to do about it except to keep plugging along. I remembered why winter training stresses me out: winter weather uncertainty and my inability to control it! I also think my body responds poorly to winter weather (especially stupid cold morning lows); I recently realized that I have never had a good winter of outside morning running except in 2017, which was a very mild winter. In 2018 I had a serious winter slump (slowed and became worn down - some details here and here but I was relatively quiet about it), in 2016 I got injured, in 2015 I did okay due to running almost all of my weekday runs on the treadmill (manageable since I was typically running Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday), 2012-2014 I wasn't running much, in 2011 I got injured, and before then I ran mostly at lunch when I was at a different job. Look at that resting heart rate of 32! Average was more like 40. Life events: I have never done a word/phrase of the year before, but one came to me for 2019: "Lead me". I often question whether I'm making the right decisions, and what could be better than focusing on where God leads me? We had a pretty low key month; some weekends we didn't go anywhere except for church (and out running for me). Jon enjoyed cheering for the Chiefs, and Albani watches the games with him because he gives her candy when they score or make a good play. Albani is learning to play the recorder and practices a lot, which is both a good and bad thing! Nature loving on a 62 degree January day! I had some thoughts this month about changing my sport to bowling! Crazy hair day on little notice Her hair is supposed to look like pouring soda We had a snow day on Jan. 30 Recorder practice Books this month: Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld Time Keeper by Mitch Albom Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza Clay Girl by Heather Tucker A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick Theme of the month: Struggling. I came upon these verses at just the right time: "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5 I cannot run a 3 mile tempo at the pace I used to run for marathons, my mile repeats are at my goal marathon pace (or slower in bad weather), and my current all-out sprint is maybe my 10K PR pace...but I am sure thankful to be running regardless! At least my mileage is solid. I just keep wondering what I'm doing wrong because I really haven't improved in the 10 weeks I've been back to running post-injury... BUT! I am SO THANKFUL to be running! Especially after taking some time off with a little tendon scare from Jan. 26-Jan. 30, which was consistent with the struggling theme.
  37. 4 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.
  38. 4 points
    Two things I can think of why Monday's tempo went better than awful. The last few years I've needed a couple of days after donating blood to feel back to normal. So I had plans for an easy run instead of Monday's normal tempo. I hydrated more than normal, and it was only 65 degrees again. June has been pretty good that way around here so far. The week before I struggled to average 8:15's for 4 miles. This time it was a smooth 8:04. Tuesday was not bad, either, although there were stomach issues. Fortunately, I ran Kate's Loop again, which passes in front of a friend's house (Kate is their daughter, who's one of the kids in my Sunday School class) and the mom is a stay-at-home, so I knew someone was likely to be there and let me in. Worst case I could have made it to the park, but that would have added mileage to my day and I wasn't really feeling the extra distance. Interval Wednesday I went against my just vow to stay off of the track and went to the track. Since it hadn't rained for a couple of days I thought I'd try the shortcut through the woods. Bad idea. It was really messy and before I could get to the school grounds I had to balance across some fallen trees to stay out of several yards of standing water. There was a deer at the edge of the woods, watching me the whole time. She even stayed around for the workout. School is out for the summer and a crew was out installing new astroturf on the football field. But lanes 4-6 were open, so I used them for the 10 x 400s I was doing. These went OK. Not as fast as 2014, but I'm older now, right? The first 6 were all between 1:48-1:50, #7 was 1:53 and my left hammy started to tickle a tiny bit. So I switched directions, hoping that would take care of it, and it did. The last three were 1:43-1:43-1:42. Getting home was sufficiently difficult that I knew I'd done it about right. When I run this much it's harder to avoid repeating routes, so I've taken to running on different sides of the road and calling it different. Thursday and Friday were out and backs on Seven Mile Road to Hillcrest Street. 8:51/mile on Thursday and 8:40 on Friday. It was dark and blustery on Thursday in addition to being the day after intervals. Saturday I did 8, with 4 at GMP in the middle. I want to spend some quality miles at GMP this summer. I think I've missed that the past few marathons. It was a good day for it, nice and cool (65o) in the morning. I'd like to be about 8:20-30 for these. 8:17, 8:11, 8:23, 8:16. Too fast, and the legs let me know. I don't want to feel quite so beat at the end of the long run. More control. Anyhow, 39 miles for the week, exactly to plan. Quality runs were just about where I hoped they'd be. A very good Week 2. After the run Saturday I helped T-Rex with some homework, watched the final episode of "Good Omens", then did some work on her car. She'd been to the dealer earlier in the week for her (second) airbag recall notice and they did their "courtesy" 99 point (or whatever) inspection, recommending $1,000 worth of work be done on this 2001 Civic with 140K miles on it. I re-checked the things on their list, through out a couple that were obviously no needed, and spent $50 at O'Reilly's to get some new spark plugs and drive belts. Then we switched the plugs and looked for an small oil leak. The belts will have to wait until next weekend. Then dinner at Red Robin. I love the Banzai Burger. For Fathers Day I slept in until 7:00. Since I'd gone to bed early as well, I scored almost 9-1/2 hours of sleep. Nine and a half! Home made pizza, with a new, winner of a crust recipe, and apple pie (of course) for dessert. For gifts, they gave me a new grass trimmer (the old one died in smoke and flames two weeks ago) and a pair of Balega sox. What else does a Dad need? I got ties. Another 40 mile week coming up.
  39. 4 points
    Since I have a 10 miler coming up this weekend (Colorado Women’s Classic – my May race!), I thought I’d share this enthusiastic race report. I’ve been under the weather this week, and have been dealing with some heavy stress (which is probably why I’ve been sick), so I’m not expecting this weekend’s race to be quite as awesome as this one was. Nonetheless, I get to JFR around a bunch of awesome, inspiring women on Mother's Day! Raven Rock Rumble 10 miler – Lillington, NC November 20, 2010 The weather was absolutely perfect for the run on Saturday. It wasn’t too chilly (upper 40’s) and the sun was blaring. My friend Erin and I drove the 1:15 to the race location and walked the 1/4 mile to the sign-in table. It was a nice warm up! I decided to run in shorts and a sleeveless shirt because I knew I’d warm up after the first mile. Everyone else was all bundled up with their gloves and beanies looking at me like I was nuts. I started off kind of fast and knew that I should slow down. I couldn’t get myself to do it because I feel like a gazelle when I’m running on trails! Plus, right from the beginning it was single track and we were running single file. I would dart out and around someone the first chance I got. The trails were magnificent and covered with wet leaves. The wet leaves made it hard to see the roots that were sticking up in the path. Many people ate it, more than once, including Erin! There were some crazy hills and one even included some steps; the ones that take two steps per stair. That hill kept going and going and going! I actually ended up passing a lot of people on the hills. I couldn’t get myself to walk up them knowing I was in a race. I’m too competitive! At the turnaround I saw that I was the 8th female and knew I could catch a few of them. I passed several of them on the hills and just kept going. Throughout, I stumbled about four times, the last one being the almost fall but I never fell. Luckily! I did tell Erin that she was “officially” a trail runner because she fell and had blood Erin’s trail rash! The last hill was kicking my butt and I ended up walking for about 10 seconds. I had to keep going though because I knew if I walked for too long, it would be hard to start back up again. I finished in 1:26:47 – 1/6 in the 25-29 age group, and 3rd woman!!! They jacked up the results and left me out somehow. They recorded my time and are in the process of getting it sorted out I did get a beanie and a cool Montrail T-shirt I had a great race and am so proud of myself!! Yay me!
  40. 4 points
    The highlight of this trip of course was the wedding, but since there ended up being some interesting adventures besides that, it seems a shame to ignore all of it. There’s a ton of stuff from the last two weeks and just a little running. Feel free to skip whatever you like. A few weeks ago I had nearly reached my limit with Mrs. Dave’s mother of the bride crises. No way could I tell her to just chill the heck out, whether I agreed with her or not. Nor could I bring myself to give Big Mac a stern lecture about doing things her mom’s way. So, I was caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. In desperation, I called out the big guns - a couple of very close, very dear friends who I knew would be able to talk her down from the edge of the cliff - and asked them to weigh in on the wisdom of battling over things like the wording of invitations, and also giving assurance, that everything would work out in the end and it would be a lovely, beautiful wedding and everyone who attended would only remember how beautiful the bride was. They came through with flying colors, despite dealing with their own issues because they’re awesome like that. There was still concern over T-Rex’s dress, but that resolved itself with a week to go, so it seemed that we’d survived the worst. Unfortunately, my father-in-law (who was 88 and hadn’t been doing well for several years) took a downturn the week before the wedding, throwing another little monkey wrench into the works. I don’t mean to make light of his condition, but he had developed a pattern of falling into a health crisis for most of the grandchildren’s weddings. One time he tore a muscle trying to unclog the toilet and missed one. That story will live on forever. This time, he experienced severe pain and spent 3 days in the hospital, coming home just a few days before on home hospice. They had found a spot of cancer last year and because of his age and other issues had decided not to treat at the time. This time tests showed it had spread significantly (as expected), and it seemed the end was near. How near, no one could say - days, weeks, months. But, the family soldiered on, caring for him while preparations continued. FIL was not expected to attend, and we had a home nurse called in to be with him, with prayers that he would last at least through the day. True to my word, I did not run from Thursday when we left until Monday following the wedding. I thought about it every day, but never out loud. So proud. One of the early dates the Mac and Ben had was at a tiny hole-in-the-wall Italian place called Zouave near the University of Washington campus. They were walking past it and looked in the door, more out of curiosity than anything. It appeared to be closed, but the owner/chef saw them, asked them in and served them himself. Who does that? Anyway, the night before the wedding they took his parents and us there. It was pretty amazing food. The owner was overjoyed to see them and, after a round of hugs, gave them free dessert and a bottle of wine (which they don’t drink, but it seemed a shame to refuse - they’ll find it an appropriate gift someday I’m sure). Ben pointed out the place on the other side of the restaurant where they’d sat that first time and informed us that it was there when he’d known he was going to marry her. Wedding day came and almost everything went perfectly. Mac left her earrings at her apartment, but the brothers were staying there and brought them in plenty of time. In our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - we’ve been encouraged to use that whole, awkward mouthful - most are more familiar with the term “Mormon” of course), the preferred marriage is performed in our temples. We believe it gives a more permanent (eternal) stamp of divine approval. They’re generally small affairs with 20-40 close family and friends. We were on the high side of that. It was quiet and spiritual, just the way we like it. For the record, I did not cry (much). It had been a rainy morning - normal for April in the PNW - but by the time we went outside, it had stopped and stayed dry the rest of the day. Another little wedding weekend miracle. After a few pictures, the party moved to Anthony’s Pier 66. This place was as ostentatious as Zouave’s was understated. The food was just as good. Instead of a big reception, they had chosen to host a luncheon for the wedding party plus another 30 or so. (The real beauty of this arrangement was the zero amount of responsibility for setup and clean up for the family.) Despite the clouds that were still around, the view of Puget Sound was gorgeous. There was music, childhood slides of the bride and groom. Very relaxed, very casual. We toasted the new Mr. and Mrs. I danced with the bride. I may have cried a little. And then they were gone. They stopped on their way out of town and spent a few minutes with her grandfather, who was still alert enough to say “hello” and wish them a wonderful life. The wedding business properly disposed of, we took Sunday to recoup, look after FIL, and get ready for phase two of this trip. Also, I went for a run. Was going to go for 10, but sort of wanted to get as far as Green Lake. That ended up being an extra mile one way, so it was 12 miles. Missing half of the previous week and expecting to miss at least a couple of days that week, I decided it was fine. The first ten were pretty nice, especially when I picked up a running buddy at about mile 3. We ran to the lake at about 8 minute pace (dropping 100 feet per mile), talking about racing and training and stuff (he’s a tri-athlete but is doing more trail ultras lately). He broke off after that to go home and I climbed the 100 feet per mile back. The last two miles were a challenge. I also fixed the gutters on their house. While on the roof, I saw that the gutters needed a good cleaning. How does one live in Seattle and not take care of your gutters? There was an inch or more of leaves and gunk all the way around. What I’d figured to be a half hour of repair turned into 3 hours of sliding along on my touche, reaching in and tossing handfuls of the stuff onto the ground. There was 40 feet or so of TV cable running along the gutter. I kept wondering why they’d put it there since there wasn’t a TV on that side of the house. When I reached the end of the cable I discovered where they’d previously had an antenna attached to the roof. They had just left the cables there, through at least three changes of cable and satellite dish providers - who knows how many years? I took it down. Phase 2 was a short hop to Boise (uber-cheap tickets on Alaska Airlines) and a rental car to Idaho Falls to visit my dad. He’s 86. Considerable slower than he used to be, but still mentally sharp and as ornery as ever. Originally, this was also for T-Rex to visit with a “friend”. That plan had a hiccup when he announced that he had a serious girlfriend, but the tickets were already bought, so we just shifted the focus to grandpa. She’d also left most of her summer clothing at school before we decided that she needed to stay home this until fall. I had another run the next morning (Wednesday). Nine miles. I considered making it a tempo, but I wasn’t sure about how I’d do at 4,700 feet above sea level, and a couple of miles out it was hilly, so I just ran. It was chilly but with no humidity, shorts and double shirts with gloves was plenty warm. Had some stomach issues in mile 5, desperately enough that I tried stopping at a farm house. I figured at 8:00 am, someone would be up. I guess they much have been already out working because no one answered the door. Tried a couple more over the next mile (houses were all about ¼ mile apart, btw) with no success. No POP, no gas station, no forest, no hotel - literally, no place to go. Luckily, the urge subsided and I was able to make it back unsullied. 8:30-8:45 pace for most of it, despite the door knocking and the wind in my face on the way back. A little slower than most of my runs lately. Not bad. Here’s a thing about small town Idaho. Half of T’s clothes were in storage at her dorm, the other half was at my brother’s house. I called him on our way (about a half hour from Dad’s) to make sure someone would be home. “Um, no. we’re in Utah this week.” I asked him if there was a way to get into the house to get the clothes. “Just open the door. It’s open.” 250 miles away. For a week. “It’s open.” Anyway, about halfway between Dad’s and Rexburg, Mrs. Dave’s phone rang. Her dad had passed away just then. It was not a shock, like I mentioned before. His illness and dementia had been difficult for the family for several years, as it was for him. There was sadness of course, but also relief, and peace. Ever practical, Mrs. Dave took a few minutes to discuss and arrange with her mother and sister, then urged us to keep going with our plans. There was much more than I’ve put down here, but this is enough for now. T-Rex had done a great job putting her things together and it was a piece of cake getting what we wanted out and into our extra suitcase. We bought a few things for dinner later (Dad doesn’t cook much) and dropped her off to visit with the boy (the same one - officially now “just a friend”). We grabbed a sandwich while Mrs. Dave continued her discussions with her family about arrangements for their dad. The funeral wouldn’t be until the 27th, so we would finish our trip, go home to Michigan and then return for it. Next morning (Thursday) I went into town. I’ve always headed west and up into the hills before from Dad’s house, but I was still worried about the altitude and since I’d spent the previous morning climbing wanted to have a break. Was hoping to get to the downtown are, but by five miles I wasn’t quite there. Next trip to Idaho maybe. The advantage of running through miles of retail is plenty of opportunity to stop and evacuate, which I needed at mile 4. Having to pit stop on what seems like every single run is annoying. 8:20-8:35. Last year Dad bought a 1986 Olds 442. He’s pretty proud of it. As far as I’m concerned, the 80s-90s muscle cars are overrated, but we all went for a ride a spent an hour at the Idaho Potato Museum. Did you know the average American eats 120 pounds of potatoes a year? Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in her hair? Neither did I. Another thing about small town Idaho is that airlines aren’t very keen on flying there. Hence the Seattle-Boise and rental car arrangement. Flying directly to IF would have been crazy expensive. Our other reasonable option was flying to SLC and renting the car from there - about the same distance from IF as Boise. Anyway, the flight home from Boise was at 6:00 AM, so we drove the four hours that night, snoozed at a rest stop outside of town and got to the airport just after they opened for the day (BOI is not a 24 hour operation). Fun times with a 3 hour layover in Denver, getting into Detroit at 5:00 PM. Skipped the Friday run after traveling all day, and got up on Saturday to an all day rain forecast. This was technically a cutback week, but after missing my long run on the wedding day I wanted to get 16. But I didn’t want to run in the rain. Airplanes are germ carriers as well as people carriers and I’d just spent a long day in two that were half full of crying babies and toddlers traveling to grandma’s house for Easter. Plus remember I’ve decided not to run in bad weather this year. But it wasn’t raining yet, so I decided to break the 16 into 3 legs from the house like I used to do when I wasn’t sure I could run 16 miles all at once. 5-5-6 was the plan. Once I got going, though, 5 seemed a little short, so I went 6. Started slow, stopped (of course!) at a gas station at mile 3, finished the first leg in 52 minutes (8:40 avg). Windy, but no rain yet. Grabbed a Hammer Gel and a couple of swallows of G at the house. Those first 6 went so well I decided to do 6 for the second leg as well, thinking that if it started raining, I’d have at least 12 miles instead of 10-11. Leg 2 was 51:22 (8:34 avg). Still no rain. Felt a little creaky starting the last leg but worked it out in the first half mile and felt pretty good until the final mile, which sort of sucked. 34:12 (8:33 avg). So, the total for the 16 miles was 2:17:34, an average of 8:36 per mile. I’ve had 3:45-ish in my head lately as my target for Vermont, and this is easily in line with that. 3:45 is a 8:35 pace. Makes me wonder if I should shave another 5-10 minutes or so from that. Didn’t do much the rest of the day. Or the next. Got away with that because it was Easter Sunday. Work had a community service activity scheduled Monday, which was better than actually working. I helped assemble some new shelving for their records storage room. Destroying the old shelves was the more fun part. After that we reorganized another storage room and took a crap-ton of stuff to the dumpster. 6 easy miles in the afternoon (8:29 avg). Felt tired. Then Tempo Tuesday. This was 9 miles total with 7 at tempo pace, whatever that is. I like to think it’s near 7:30, but realistically I’m happy with 7:45. I also picked one of the more difficult routes, west into the wind and a steady climb on the way out, which would leave me gassed for the second half. I was actually kind of worried about it. 7:48, 8:11, 7:56, 8:01, 7:34, 7:43, 7:40. So, 7 miles at 7:50. Not stellar, but all things considered, close enough for this week. I’m OK with it. Today Garmin has my V02 Max at 50 and the race predictor has me with a 20:50 5K, 43:12 10K, 1:35:40 half and a 3:19 marathon. Haha. OK, time for some pics. First, the wedding. My 100% unbiased opinion is that Mac is the most adorable bride in history. These are just a few that I took with my old iPhone5. Sisters! Oh, and then there’s this from the Potato Museum. The story goes that a Hollywood columnist once said that Marilyn Monroe would look sexy even dressed in a potato sack. So her publicist had the brilliant idea to prove it. Sixty years later, I think they were right.
  41. 4 points
    When what you love doing becomes not fun anymore, you should take a step back and assess the situation, right? That is what I’ve decided to do with running, except the step back isn’t to not run at all but to just have fun with running again. Circa 2011 – North Carolina The thought of taking a step back or easing off scared the shit out of me. It wasn’t long ago that I started running consistently again. It was the end of 2017 and it feels just like yesterday. It was a dark time for me. Probably a lot less dark than the dark times of others, but was one of the darkest for me. I lost myself. I lost myself to the point of not knowing if I’d find me again. That’s some scary shit, folks. Since then, any major bumps that I’ve had have jolted me a bit. The love of running isn’t a straight or narrow path (Thank You, Jesus! Ok, sometimes it’s a VERY narrow trail ) and I need to remember that when those bumps happen – not get scared by them. At least I have people in my life that can help me get through any really tough business that I may come across this time. I’m officially running the 13.1 in New Jersey (I made the switch just after publishing my last post), and I’m ready to let the JFRing fully begin! Additionally, I had to take some unexpected time off last week because my grandfather passed away. Because of that and some other factors, I am NOT running the 30K in Moab this weekend. This will also be the second time I signed up for and missed this 30K, so I’m taking that as a sign that I shouldn’t do the race ever. Since I still need a March race, I’m going to sign up for a local 5K for March 30 whose proceeds go towards an autism awareness program.
  42. 4 points
    If you can name the song/artist I picked my title from, MAJOR kudos… I have this CD and use to wear it out in my teens! The artist is one of my all-time favorites. I promptly had to play this song on my iTunes when I wrote it in the title, then kept playing other songs – it’s been a while! This is my kitty, Gwen (Gwenie Poo). She was NOT impressed with the Super Bowl last night. Now that the car wrecking/buying shite is behind me, and I no longer feel like a raging bitch, I can get back to focusing on training and get back into a rhythm. While I was trying not to give myself a hard time about slacking the last couple weeks (considering everything that was going on), I did anyway. Each day I felt guilty about not sticking to the training plan. Yes, I have fallen a bit behind, but I will still run 26.2 at the end of April. If I don’t have any more setbacks, I still have a decent amount of training left and can possible still put up a great time. Anywho… Monday: I took a personal day at work because this was actually the day I was picking up Black Betty (bam-ba-lam). I waited around all day for the call to go to the dealership, but it ended up being 3:30 before they were ready. I decided to take a rest day since I ran my long run the day before. I did hate to miss Barbell. Tuesday: Treadmill Progression – Since I haven’t been running consistently, I haven’t been doing much speed work. However, I have been on the treadmill more than normal lately because of the weather. I am STILL liking the treadmill (I’ll never say loving). As long as I have some tunes and my Jaybirds, I’m good. This time I was planning to run 4 miles, with the same progression as the workout last week. It ended up being: 9:13, 9:03, 8:56, and 8:48. I liked it. Next week, I’d like to start at 9:03 and work my way down from there. I’m just kinda doing my own thing when it comes to speedwork. Wednesday: Spin with Coach Kelli – I always look forward to spin because I get on it and just go. I’m typically at least 10 RPMs over the range the instructors say that we should be in. Kelli teaches on Wednesdays and I love working out with her! She is definitely perfect for being a group fitness instructor, and she constantly keeps me motivated. I started spinning 15 minutes before class started which gave me an hour – I got in 14.3 miles. This is the view I had from the studio while spinning! Thursday: Matrix Treadmill PCT run! I had a busy Thursday planned and was needing to leave work at 2pm for an appointment that typically takes about three hours. AND THEN I needed to ensure that I was able to feed and walk my friend’s dog by 6pm (more on that in a minute!). I knew I’d be strapped for time and would absolutely need to get up early and run if I was going to get it done. I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night and was awake off and on from 2:30AM. I didn’t get to the wellness center and start running until about 6:30. I’d never run on a treadmill at the WC before and they have the Matrix ones. It lets you pick a workout and a place to run, and then you get to virtually run the course. I chose the PCT! I will say that I’m not sure I liked it all that much. Choosing a trail run wasn’t smart because I kept wanting to jump over rocks and felt myself leaning/shifting a bit in switchbacks! The workout was great though because it had some incline changes. I like not having to adjust the incline and also actually using incline on the t-mill; I’ve been keeping it at 0 on my other runs. I kept the pace on 9:13 the whole time until the last mile when I bumped it up to 9:03. Considering the inclines, it was a good pace! I had a 30 minute limit set and ended up with just over 3.2 miles. My friend has asked me if I will walk and feed her dog a few nights a week. Patches (Patch, Patchy Poo) is a very sweet dog and I love being around him. She adopted him when she was doing some volunteer work over in the Bahamas years ago. He’s such a good and smart boy and can be walked without a leash – he also stops when we need to cross a street and waits for me! Can I keep him? Haha! Anyway, I’m very excited about being able to see him each week and earn a little extra money in the process – it’s much needed right now! He doesn’t like his picture taken as I can never get a good one of his face! Ha! Friday: Threasy – While those in the North are freezing their jibblies off, it has finally been pretty nice here and melted a lot of the snow pack. I’ve been hoping to bump up my runs to four a week instead of three since I’m behind in my training. The fourth day would just be threasy and that’s what I did. Amy and I runched! Runch is THE BEST! I absolutely love using my lunch break to run outside, especially when it is gorgeous out. We ran around our usual group loop which takes us by Elitch Gardens, the LoDo REI, the Broncos stadium, and runs along the Platte River. It’s really a great loop and is perfectly three miles. Happy sighhhhhh Saturday: Hot Power Fusion Yoga – I thought about using this as a rest day, but I was really feeling motivated with how the week went and for my race the next day. I ensured I wouldn’t be dehydrated for race day by pounding lots of water this day. I always feel so refreshed after sweating buckets in this class. Namaste. Sunday: Ralston Creek 13.1 – Race Report to follow! I had a fantastically productive week, in regarding to training! It felt so good! January Re-Cap It was a bit of a rough month and start to the year, but maybe I just got all the shitty shit out of the way early in the year? One can hope. Running miles: 60 Not as much as I should have ran but it’s not bad! Higher than December but 5 miles shy of November’s total. Should only go up from here! Spinning miles: 50 (Nice!) Races: 1 – Resolution 5K New trucks: 1
  43. 4 points
    I heard the quote in the image above at an event I attended this morning, and it couldn’t be more perfect for me at the moment. I was thinking more about my decision to leave the team and how proud I am of myself for making it. I could have just sucked it up and/or brushed it off, but FUCK that. I had to suck it up and brush it off when I was in the Army, but we aren’t in the Army anymore, Alice. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always get the respect that you deserve. And don’t let anyone silence you. So, now that Denali is behind me for good, it is time to set some new goals. I am VERY excited about this! Training for Denali lit a fire inside of me - one that leaves me wanting to keep pushing myself further to do amazing things. Naturally, I immediately started to think of what those things might be… When I first heard of ultra-marathons and started running them, I toyed with the idea of completing a 100 mile race. After completing my one and only 50 miler (The Mountain Masochist 50 in 2012), I didn’t think I would ever be interested in going any further – that is, until I started preparing to climb the highest peak in North America! However, I am a terrible trainer. I rarely ever follow a training plan and I fail do the non-running things (like stretching, rolling, and other flexibility exercises) like I should. I am also set-back prone as well – getting some sort of minor injury or worrisome ache that sets me back in my training. So, there is no time like the present to turn myself into a well-oiled, training machine and go the distance! I want to work my way up to 100 miles as SMART as possible. I want to put in some kick-ass training, cover all the miles, keep my body healthy, and be ready to kill it when the time comes. This means doing lots of other “smaller” races along the way. I don’t even want to consider when I’d actually do the 100 miler until I can do at least two 50s without feeling like I want to die or getting injuries from them. Before I even do a 50, I’ll need and want to run some marathons. Since I won’t be running one at Rehoboth in December, I thought I’d pick an early/mid spring race. My first and obvious thought was VA Beach Shamrock (St. Patty’s Day weekend!). It’s in a close battle with Rehoboth for my most favorite race. But who needs to choose?! Another marathon that caught my eye was Salt Lake City, which is in April. Now, those two races are almost a month apart, and I’ve also thought of another fun goal that I could have for 2019. Become a Marathon Maniac! For now, I’d only get in at the lowest level which means: Since I won’t be doing the 2 marathons in 16 days, I’d have to go for 3 in 90; Yowza. Too much too soon? Most likely for now. Either way, I see this happening sometime along the way in training for 100 miles. 50 mile races that I would consider is a toss-up between Hinson Lake 24 Hour (September 28th, 2019 – and near my hometown) and The Bear Chase 50 miler (September 28- right in my backyard). I ran 38 miles at Hinson Lake in 2012 as training for the Mountain Masochist 50 miler. Since then, it has turned into an awesome Loop party, and the scene of some serious Loop Super Woman-ness that I want to witness! Also, there’s an amazing human (I’ll just call him Doom) that I met when I was in the Army and have always looked up to (no really, he’s a giant – haha!!) will be there as well!! I haven’t seen him in years and it’d be great! I think I know which race I’ll pick… These choices give me a year to train and get myself where I need to be. After that, I can assess the results, see how I feel, and then plan for another 50. With this schedule, I’d likely run the 100 in 2020, which I think sounds totally realistic. I will just have to ensure to do all that I can so that I don’t burnout before that. “Mt.” Hinson, haha (fellrnr.com) What can I do to help prevent burnout, you ask? Well! There are LOTS of miles involved in training for something like this. Why not incorporate other races into it as training runs?! I don’t have any specific races that I want to do yet, because I’m going to have to sit down and make a MASSIVE long-term plan, at least to give me an idea. I want to travel for races as much as I can as well, and hang out with some pals! (one of those is YOU, Abby!) Do you have any other suggestions to help prevent burnout? I am stoked for what the future holds for me and I’m excited to continue to remain a healthy and active athlete – but also to take that healthiness to the next level! I’m going to ensure I tap into all that my body has to offer so I can finally see the true potential that I have. I feel like this was a bunch of goal vomit, but…. BLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAHHH! (Haha!) Thanks for reading, Chris
  44. 4 points
    I'm such a whiner. Seven weeks since I started running again consistently. Mostly what I've done in those seven weeks is complain that it's hard and I'm slow. Beginning the first week of September: Week 1: 12 miles, 9:53 avg, LR 2 miles (9:41) Week 2: 14 miles, 9:17 avg, LR 4 miles (9:22) Week 3: 20 miles, 9:24 avg, LR 5 miles (9:25) Week 4: 20 miles, 8:55 avg, LR 5 miles (8:55) Week 5: 24 miles, 9:15 avg, LR 6 miles (9:27) Week 6: 24 miles, 9:05 avg, LR 6.5 miles (8:55) Week 7: 16 done, 8:48 avg (10 more planned, LR 6 miles) I'm looking at the numbers now, and they show a nicer picture than how I remember the last month and a half. After all, I'm coming off an almost seven month layoff, and the six weeks before that were a slow build up following a full month of post-marathon rest/recovery. Seven weeks to feel decent running again. Not so bad, really. I should feel good about where things are at this point. So I will. It's fall, the best time of the year for running. And I'm running. Yesterday I didn't feel like going. A little stress from work and worry about T-Rex (as always). I just wanted to take a nap and pretend everything was fine. But I went out anyway, because runner. And because it was 50 degrees and sunny and I know I'll appreciate it a couple of months from now when it's ten. Also, Thursday is weight day, which I hate. I skipped Tuesday because I got distracted with some early fall yard stuff when I finished running and then it was time for dinner and Mrs. Dave and I had an appointment at the temple so there was no time and I'll take just about any excuse I can think of to not do weights. Where was I? Of course my mind told me that a run when you don't feel like running is usually a good thing, so me and TYTBNW (the yet to be named watch) took off. No trouble with the knee. I'm calling Louie at about 95% most of the time now, btw. Most of my warm up miles have been between 9:30 and 10:00. This one was 9:06. Nothing worth dancing, but improvement is always nice. This is an out and back route past the high school to the Mobil station on the next corner. It drops slightly all the way out, so I figured it'd be slow coming back. 8:21, 8:23, 8:22. Did not expect that. Last week I noticed something in my mouth while I was brushing my teeth. Some discoloration and a big zit-looking thing on my upper gum. As a lad I hit my face on the edge of a school desk and chipped off a good portion of the front tooth. Ever since it's been a trouble spot. I had surgery to remove a large abscess there back in the late 80s. My dentist has been watching it on the annual x-rays forever. Anyway, I went in and he took another x-ray, which didn't show much change, but it's still there and there's another round of infection. So, I'm on antibiotics for a week and then we'll look at it again at the end of the month. Hopefully won't need surgery again. My point in mentioning this is that it could possibly be related to why even though my endurance is slowly building (about like it should), I haven't felt great. My running times included much more walking than I ever remember doing in my previous comebacks. I'd get a mile or two out and my legs would go dead and my heart rate would ratchet up. Talk about discouraging. If this infection has been enough to give me trouble, then once it's beaten down with the z-pak, maybe I'll actually feel good on the roads. Just a thought. Mrs. Dave sent me out early last Saturday. Granddaughter #1 was getting baptized, so we made a quick trip to Kentucky. The ceremony was Sunday evening, and we spent Saturday afternoon with Connor in Louisville. Ran in the dark for 6.5 miles and didn't feel half bad. Then we hit the road, had a nice weekend and came back Monday morning. My social media skills seem to be dying. I took zero pictures and posted not a thing the whole weekend. Is that bad? I still scroll through regularly and see what my peeps are up to, make a comment now and again, but mostly just give a quick "like" and move on. If it weren't for the Loop and Loopsters I might ditch FB and IG altogether. I've already left Twitter, and am not at all interested in any of the other SM apps out there. Happy Friday, everyone.
  45. 3 points
    The Short: I decided that running the Indy Women's Half for the third year in a row would be a beneficial fitness check and practice trip to Indianapolis six weeks prior to my goal race there, the Indy Monumental Marathon. Since the race morning weather left a lot to be desired (a humid 74 degrees), my goals for the race were to complete the best I could in the field and hopefully hit marathon goal pace. I am not sure anyone was more shocked than I was when I finished 3rd overall in a new half PR of 1:20:29. Although I'm still dying to add a sub-80 to my resume, I was pumped to PR on a day I was sure I wouldn't! My official results are here, the race leaderboard is here, and my Strava activity is here. Podium Stats The Long: My race in Indy last year did not go as planned; I started it slightly injured and finished it very injured, then was very unhappy about taking 10 weeks off running. On the other hand, my 2017 race there went well and was where I ran my previous half PR of 1:20:50. The event is well-done, the course is flat and fast, in 2017 and 2018 the temperature was around 50 degrees, and I was excited to return in 2019...until I wasn't. During the week leading up to the race, I became fearful about getting injured, only because I had at that point in my training last year. Everything felt fine, but I couldn't shake it. I was never worried about my race performance because I was just worried I would get hurt, which was odd because I am not superstitious or anything of that nature! I kept reminding myself that I'd started Indy already hurt last year, and this year I was going in feeling strong. Summer has really been hanging on this year, and although we got a couple of cool mornings during the week leading up to the race, the race morning forecast kept getting warmer as race day grew closer. When it was a couple of days out and looking like it would be 69 degrees with 100% humidity, my coach and I discussed a pace plan. She said she thought my training indicated I was in shape to run a 1:18 (6:00ish pace), but that the weather would slow me down by 15-20 seconds/mile. We decided that anything under goal marathon pace (6:17) would be a win. While I was disappointed that Mother Nature wasn't cooperating, this really took the pressure to hit any certain splits off. I didn't really taper for the race; although my weekly mileage was lighter than usual at 75, it was because I had Wednesday completely off. One week before I did a significant 20 mile workout, followed by days of 12, 9, 15, 0, 10, and 7 leading up to race day. My dad and I drove to Indy from my home in Missouri, leaving early Friday morning. We went to the race expo, explored the area a bit, and found our Bed and Breakfast by about 5:30 p.m. For awhile I thought I'd be going to the race by myself, so I wanted accommodations that I could easily run to the starting area from, but my thriftiness couldn't handle a $300 downtown hotel, and the BnB was only 1.1 miles from the start, in almost a straight shot (i.e., it would be very difficult to get lost!). We had several rooms, sspace to sleep 4, and free parking, and were pleased with the BnB (except they were very strict on breakfast times). Expo fun I was honored to be featured as one of the "Five Women to Watch" for the third year. When I picked up my race booklet and read about the other four women, I didn't feel like I belonged in the feature though. I thought it was unlikely I'd be able to beat any of the other 4, and there are always a few fast women who are not featured, so I predicted I'd be racing for 5-8th place. Look at those 4 ladies' credentials! When I woke up race morning and checked my weather app, it was even worse than I'd expected: 74 degrees. I was mentally ready for a warm one, and during my 3 mile warm up I decided I wasn't going to look at my watch. I'd had a sub-par long run workout the Saturday before in similar weather, and that day I couldn't get my pace down to 6:15 for the life of me, so I just didn't want to see splits in the 6:20s and get upset. I'd made peace with no chance of a 1:18, and I also felt that as long as I started and finished healthy I was in a great spot (what a difference a year makes!)! As the race started and everyone settled into pace, I found myself in a pack of about 10 women. There were two women out in front of us, although I suspected one of them was in the 5K (she was, and the other was Pasca Myers, a top contender). The other 3 women to watch were in the pack, in additional to several other women I recognized from previous years races. There is a lot of power in running in a pack, so I thought it was an ideal situation! The pace felt right effort-wise, and as the miles clipped away the pack dwindled. I settled in right behind two women in blue tanks, one of whom I recognized as Sarah Pease, a pro runner for Oiselle. By mile 6 all of the others had fallen off the pack and it was us three. The woman who wasn't Sarah (I'll call her the girl in the hat) was pushing the pace. I felt strong but not ready to pick it up, so I let her pull away and then it was me and Sarah. Since she is from Indy, many people were cheering for her so I just lied to myself that all the "Go Sara(h)"s were for me, haha! I also kept thinking, "How is this happening?!" in regards to running with her; she has quite the impressive resume and just competed in the U.S. Champs 10,000 m. I follow her on Instagram and she is a runner I really admire. Trailing the second female (Sarah Pease is behind her) I felt strong, but from the hair pin turn just after mile 6 I knew there were a whole slew of women not far behind, so it wasn't just Sarah I was competing with. I also had the second place woman in the hat in my sights, so I was pushing towards her. When we went up an incline between miles 9 and 10, I pulled slightly ahead of Sarah and thought, "Well, this is it!", although I still felt like I was in some alternative universe running with/ahead of her. The second place woman had a good lead on me, but I had over a 5K to cut into it the best I could, and I wanted to try, so that really kept me pushing. Focus Fatigue The race felt hard but also controlled the whole way. I felt like I could maintain my effort through the end, and the closer I got to the finish line the more confident I was about a third place finish (by around mile 12 I knew it was unlikely I was going to catch second). I smiled through the final mile and kicked it in, seeing the finishing clock in the 1:20s and knowing I'd somehow managed a PR, and hearing the announcer call my name and my dad cheering his heart out! My dad's video of my finish is here and is heartwarming. PR in sights I had to stop my watch at the line to capture the PR - I also had no plans to buy the photos! Drenched in sweat & happiness Since this month I had two performances I was happy with in humid 70+ degrees, I suppose I have to stop saying that I never run anything worthwhile in this weather; although I do believe I would have run significantly faster in cool weather, I held my own in this one. I have come to the conclusion that my performance in warm humid weather is less predictable. Some days it bothers me more than others, and I'm not sure what the difference is. Top 3 And although I sure still want to add a sub-80 half to my running resume, the confidence-boost I got from this race was just as good as if I'd have run a 1:18-1:19 in cool temperatures. Four weeks prior to running 2:47:14 at CIM, I ran a half marathon in 1:23:53 in temps in the 70s, so I was mentally prepared to be completely calm with a 1:22 half. Really, as long as I walked away from this race uninjured I was counting it as a huge success after last year, no matter what my time was. Now I just have to hope that fall arrives before the Indy Monumental Marathon on November 9! Either way, I'll be there fighting... "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7 Awards ceremony Top 10 Top 20 Oh the irony that they gave us scarves!
  46. 3 points
    Sitting here, wondering how this past summer managed to seem so, so long. Common wisdom and my own experience says that time goes by faster the older you get. But, I have to say that it sure seems like it has literally crawled since the end of May. Looking back, I can see that it was as full as ever with trips, challenges, running (of course), work and all the other things that make life what it is. Vermont was only four months ago? Feels like four years. Over 750 miles run on the plan, most of it in pretty uncomfortable heat and humidity. I will never move to Texas or Florida. In fact, anything south of Toledo is probably off my list of retirement communities, unless there's enough altitude or an ocean breeze to counter the heat. This is obvious to anyone who runs, but it's harder to run. I'm willing to slog through it - also obviously. The worst part is how much it messes with my head. So many questions that the training can't answer this time. So many tempo runs when I couldn't hold the pace for the whole run. Legs so tired on the easy runs that none of them were easy. And then let's talk about race day. What's a manageable pace for 26 miles? Is another BQ in reach? Am I even in shape for a marathon? I don't even know. Last week I thought the tide had turned in favor of autumn. Had some encouraging runs and solid workouts. Maybe now I could get an idea of where I really am for this weekend. Oops. The first two days of this week summer was back and my head plunged right back into the toilet. Now, it's too late to make up any shortfalls. Too late to try a few long runs and test out the pace. All I can do is remember that I've worked really, really hard for four months and cross my fingers that my muscles will respond to all that work. Last week: Wednesday - 2 x 3200 w/ 800 recovery, 1-1/2 w/u & c/d. 75o with a stiff, 20 mph wind. Most of the intervals were north/south on the bike path which also is on the lee side of the slope and behind buildings and trees, so the wind didn't play too much into it. Climbs about 90 feet in mile 2 of interval #1. 7:57 and 7:46. Interval #2 (back the other way) was 7:25 and 7:31. Guess it'll do. Thursday - 8 miles @ 9:00 minute pace. That's 9:00+ going out (and up 200 ft) and 8:10-50 coming back. Few degrees cooler than Wednesday, which was nice. Friday - 8 more @ 8:50. Heading west on Seven Mile I watched a big mess of clouds coming in, wandered through a neighborhood on the north side, then came back and was looping up around the shopping center where the LRS is when it started to sprinkle. Then to drizzle. Then to pour. I ducked into the store. I like being in a running store, but I don't shop too often, and I'd feel bad about just dropping by very much without buying something. Anyway, the two kids working there were very nice. Gave me a small bottle of water and some paper towels while we chatted about running and their school. The guy runs at a local university where a friend is the XC coach (he worked with my boys back in the 00's). The girl is two years out of college with an exercise science BS, getting some retail experience while she tries to get on with a shoe company. As it happens, an old Loopster works for Brooks in Seattle. Like a lot of the old crew, he's not active here and only occasionally on fb, but I sent her info on to him. If he contacts her and she ends up working for Brooks like her dream is, it'd be nice to be part of that success story. The rain finally let up enough for me to venture out and finish my run. Saturday - 10 miles. 65o, 1B% humidity. I wanted to get in some miles at GMP, but the legs weren't really on board with it. So this was just a run. The last couple were quick enough I guess. Went in the morning, but the humidity still kicked my tail. Drove down to Toledo to watch the BYU Cougars play the Rockets. Fun, exciting game, but the home team won, so that was disappointing. Connor had driven up for the weekend so it was nice to spend time with him. He's still looking for work in Public Health with his shiny new Masters degree. Monday - The final tempo run. Summer came back, apparently believing that it was still August. 77o. Sunny. Oppressive. Supposed to be 8 with 6 at tempo pace. The pace was pretty good (7:51, 8:09, 8:02, 8:01, 8:01, 7:54), but it was a 2 x 3 interval run instead of a 6 mile tempo. Had to stop at the top to catch my breath for a few minutes before I felt like struggling back. Mis-timed stop lights made most of the 6 miles sort of messy on top of that, so this wasn't my best run. Not that this has been my best summer to begin with. But, it's done. Tuesday - 3 miles. 88o. At least it was cloudy. If there was ever a sucky 3 miles run, this was it. Felt like 10 hard ones, and not in a good way. For this afternoon, there's a little 2 x 2400 waiting as the last interval set. It's cool and raining, so maybe I'll do it on Mrs. Dave's new treadmill, which she still hasn't ever used. Then we're on the road to Bristol (NH) for Saturday's marathon #20. Sometimes I think I'm out of my mind. Sometimes I know.
  47. 3 points
    The short: I decided to jump into a race that my local running club OMRR hosts, accurately called Sweatfest, in Missouri's July heat and humidity. Albani and I both ran the 2 mile, which started at 8 p.m., and I ran the 10 mile, starting at 9 p.m. The state records in both events for my age were very weak, so I was able to break them. I also broke the overall female 2 mile state record (which was also clearly very weak - we all know short races are not my forte!) with 11:37 chip/11:39 gun (I should have gotten farther up on the starting line!). But the largest success of the night was that I actually fell asleep when we got home from the races! Official results are here. State records are here: 2 mile and 10 mile. We are very sweaty The long: The perk of running a Saturday night race: my house was spotless by 10:30 a.m. The downsides of running a Saturday night race: I spent most of the day not resting, and also worrying that I was either eating too much or too little or the wrong things (spoiler: it was the third). I remembered why I don't want to do any evening goal races; someone suggested the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas marathon to me for an OTQ attempt, but I think I'd have to be carted off to the looney bin by noon on race day if I tried that! I hadn't run this race before, but I usually volunteer at it, so I was familiar with the event area and course. Part of the "fun" of the race is that it takes place mid-July when it's inevitably steamy. They even have a contest for who loses the most water weight in sweat! There are 2 mile, 5 mile, and 10 mile distance options, with the 5 and 10 starting together and running the same course. OMRR selected these distances because there are not very many certified courses of these distance in Missouri, so the state records are easily attainable. The records for my age were 15:39 and 1:19:22, meaning that I could run my easy training pace and break them - if they had been fast I wouldn't have tried to break them in an oppressive summer night race! I ran the 2 mile course for my "warm up" (it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 76, so I was sweating just walking across the parking lot), did a few strides and drills, and lined up to see what these marathon legs would do. I didn't really know what to expect considering a) the weather, b) the time of the race, c) I hadn't run anything hard since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) I sure hadn't done any training for a 2 mile since, oh, high school! I also hadn't raced anything shorter than a half marathon in 10 months. I decided I was going to just run hard and see what happened. Thinking about lining up The first bit of the 2 mile Chasing two females Ditto As we took off, two females went out fast. One looked high school aged and the other looked around my age and very fit. There isn't much time to make up ground in a race like this, so I tried to stay relatively close. I passed the older of the two within a half mile, and then passed the 14-year-old at around 0.75 mile and told myself "now you have to hang on to this!" I tried to work up to each man who was ahead of me. The course had a hair pin turn at halfway, which was not easy to navigate running fast, but after I got around it I kept reminding myself to keep the pedal to the metal because the end was already close. I didn't look at my watch during the race, but my first mile was 5:39 per my Garmin. Towards the end of the 2 mile This turn was terrifying Final stretch As we headed back to the finish line, my legs started to remind me that this is not what we do! I kept trying to work up towards a man ahead of me, and caught him as I turned to go up an incline towards the finish (spoiler: he then out-kicked me going into the finish). I knew I had a solid female lead at that point, and the upcoming 10 mile was in the back of my mind, so I eased off going up the hill. When we turned down the final stretch towards the finish and I saw the clock in the 11:20s, I tried to really notch it down, although I'm not sure if I actually did. I finished in 11:37 chip time, which also meant I positive split like a champ (5:58 second mile per my Garmin, but Strava short-changed me and said the course was 1.99). It is always more difficult for me to negative split in any distance in the heat - hot races often end up being more like regression runs, which is not the ideal way to run anything, but what can you do? Seeing the clock at 11:29 Done! That's my fastest 2 miler as an adult, although I've run workouts pretty close to that (in better weather). All-considering I was happy with it, especially because the overall state record was 12:00. I am sure there are hundreds of females in Missouri who could run faster than I did, but lucky for me they haven't run a certified 2 mile road race in the state! It was also a good confidence boost that I may be able to try for a 5K PR this season, because I think I could have averaged about the pace I did for this race for another mile if it had been cooler and I hadn't been holding back for the upcoming 10 mile (plus I am actually doing a speed work block at the beginning of my next training cycle, which can't hurt). Albani ran the whole way in her 2 mile (no walk breaks) and finished in 22:06, for 4th in the 14 and under age group. She hasn't been running at all, but was really excited to do this race and is already asking to repeat it next year! She was disappointed that she didn't win an award, but I gave her my 2 mile trophy - we also realized that if I hadn't run she would have gotten 3rd in her age group, because the second overall female was 14, but don't tell her this. After watching her finish, I drank some water and ate some watermelon, we took some photos, I received my award, and then I headed out to jog a mile cool-down/warm-up. She begged to run this race, then made this face See, this turn was terrifying! Focus Look at that stride! Happiness Great finishing clock shot Me being a dork at the 2 mile awards I also wasn't sure how the 10 mile would go, considering a) the weather, b) it started at my bedtime, c) I hadn't run any long runs or workouts since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) it was my first time racing with a headlamp. I figured I'd start out at 6:30 pace and try to work down, maybe getting in a solid progression run and finishing at 6:00 pace, but I thought if I could average my marathon pace I'd be doing good (spoiler: I couldn't). Nick, a friend through my running club, was also running it with a similar pace in mind and we decided to run together. First 100 m of the 10 miler After the start there were 4 men ahead of Nick and I, but we didn't know who was in the 10 mile and who was in the 5. By the turn around at 2.5 miles we'd passed 2 of the men and were gaining on the others. I looked at my first split (6:23), told Nick I didn't want to go any faster, then just followed him. Coming back to finish our first tour of the 5 mile course, we passed another man and pulled up with another. The second went with us, and told us he was running the 5 mile. We ran with him until he started his finishing sprint and pulled ahead. Then we went through the finish line to start the second lap of the course. My headlamp is intense! I felt okay on the first lap, but I wasn't sure if I had the reserves to run a good second lap. I felt pretty dehydrated and took water 7 times during this race, which I have never done before in anything except a marathon! I could tell Nick felt a lot better than me, but I just kept telling myself to stick with him until the next mile. Then we'd get to the next mile and I'd tell myself, "okay, just until the next mile...okay, just until the turn around, etc." I was slowing down but I wasn't looking at my watch (it would not have mattered if I did). Around the halfway point of the 10 mile Just after the turn around at 7.5, I suddenly needed an urgent bathroom stop! I told myself, "Only a little over 2 miles left...you can run straight to the porta-potty by the finish line..." but as we came up on the mile 8 mark I knew there was no way I was going to make it. I told Nick I had to stop because it was happening one way or another, and I wasn't pooping myself unless it was en route to a 2:45 marathon! The perk of it being pitch dark out and not having any other runners close to us was that I just had to take one step off the course into the ditch. This has never happened to me before in a race except when I had cryptosporidum, and I blame it completely on the fact that I ate 2 full meals that included fresh garden produce before the race. But after I went, I felt much better! We won't talk about that car that suddenly drove by and honked at me (they were honking at everyone running though, at least)... Although I felt immensely better after my pit stop, I was still fading (the 10 miler was another solid regression run for me, hah!). Nick had generously run up a little ways and eased off the pace while I stopped, so I caught back up with him. I told him he could feel free to go ahead; I could tell he was much stronger than me. He said there wasn't any reason to; we would finish together (he also had a huge overall male lead and even if he kicked it in he wasn't going to run a great time for him). Although my last few miles weren't pretty, they would have been much worse if I hadn't been trying to hang onto him! Around mile 9 my shoe came untied, and by that point nothing really mattered so I quickly tied it. I was pretty glad to see the finish line coming closer, and I told Nick, "I am not kicking", hah. We finished side-by-side, although my chip read 0.22 faster than his so I technically won overall. I felt bad about that because he would have had absolutely no trouble smoking me if he'd wanted to! My time of 1:06:16 was a new single age state record for females age 38, despite being a slower pace than my half marathon state record. I stopped my Garmin for my pit stop and shoe tying, which took exactly 45 seconds together. I cooled down or a mile, which gave me 16.5 for the night and for my first long run after Grandma's. I grabbed my 10 mile award as soon as I could, but we still didn't make it home until about 11:15, so by the time I made a smoothie and showered it was midnight, i.e., way too late for me! The best thing about the race was our awesome running community and club. Albani said the best part of the race was the ice cream truck! Overall record Twins!
  48. 3 points
    March 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 320.4 Feb. 25-March 3: 90.3 (2:40 strength training) March 4-10: 86.2 (2:37 strength training) March 11-17: 77.7 (2:21 strength training) March 18-24: 71.3 (1:01 strength training) March 25-March 31: 50.2 (1:37 strength training) Matching March! Races: March 24: Chisholm Trail Marathon in 2:57:18 for 3rd overall female - because why not bust the rust with a full marathon after 6 months of not racing?! I was this excited before the marathon! Workouts: March 6: 5 mile tempo at 6:23 via 6:28, 6:25, 6:24, 6:26, 6:15 (3 warm up, 4 cool down). I figured if this workout went really well I could start at 6:30 and finish at 6:15, so I was pleased to do nearly just that! It was 11 degrees, which is colder than I'd prefer for a workout, but the wind was almost nonexistent, which helped a lot. Although I want to work back down to running my tempos 20+ seconds/mile faster than this, this was the best workout I'd had since my injury in September (a streak which continued through my other March workouts). March 10: 12 miles at marathon effort at 6:41 via 6:56, 6:49, 6:44, 6:40, 6:44, 6:44, 6:41, 6:44, 6:43, 6:35, 6:33, 6:20 (3 warm up, 3.3 cool down). Since this was my only long run workout, I really needed it to go well, and it did! The 6:20 final fast mile was certainly harder than marathon effort - but I was stoked to be able to throw that in there. I still felt pretty good afterward, and my cool down miles ended up being faster than expected (7:19 with a quick drink stop, 6:56, 6:52) and my average pace for all 18.3 was 6:56. I was super tempted to run 20 miles instead of stopping at my car at 18.3, but I didn't want to over-cook myself 2 weeks out from the marathon so I restrained myself. It was really nice to feel good enough to want to do that though! March 13: Progressive split tempos of 4-3-2-1 miles with 0.5 recoveries (1 warm up, 0.6 cool down). My splits were were 6:39, 6:40, 6:35, 6:33 / 6:37, 6:27, 6:30 / 6:22, 6:22 / 6:13. Since it takes about 10 days to get gains from a workout, this was my last real effort before Chisholm Trail and I wanted to make it count! I'd set my goal paces at 6:45, 6:35, 6:25, 6:15 for the 4 portions, but since we were in a wind advisory on workout morning I figured I'd have to adjust. Once I got going, though, I felt really strong and ended up exceeding those goal times (averages of 6:37, 6:31, 6:22, 6:13)! The 4 mile and 3 mile repeats felt brisk but comfortable. It's funny how 6:30-6:40 felt like a pace I could sustain for quite awhile, but dropping a little from that for the 6:22s and 6:13 was pushing a lot more. All in all, I was pleased with this solo workout in 20+ mph wind (I ran a 0.8 mile loop course so it split up the wind at least). I typically would run a much longer warm up and cool down for any workout (I need a 2 mile warm up minimum!), but the total volume of this as I did it was already 13.1 miles and I didn't think I needed to be running any farther than that 10 days out from my marathon. It would have been a better workout to do within a long run, but I didn't have any more of those left! March 19: A little final tune up of 3 x 1 mile at marathon goal pace (6:41, 6:38, 6:40), 0.5 mile faster (6:01) with 0.5 recoveries (2 warm up, 1.5 cool down). I ran this on gentle rolling hills to make myself focus on effort and not my watch. I was trying to stay between 6:40-6:45 on the miles, so I was very close. As per always, marathon pace felt awkward; I always want to either speed up to tempo pace or slow down to over 7:00, because it's not easy but it's not hard. I will never understand those people who say their marathon pace feels easy and run it or faster all of the time in training - I will never run mine in training without purposely targeting it! The faster half mile was the fastest I've run on anything except strides in about 6 months, so yay. Doubles on March 6, 7, 11, 14, 18. Strides on March 1, 9, 12, 18, 22, 23. Favorite workout: Both of the long ones - March 10 and March 13! Baby Peck is joining us for runs now! Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, it was again pitch dark when we finished our runs for awhile Sunrise miles at the end of the month! Long Runs: March 2: 23.2 miles (7:23). I was thrilled with how strong I felt on this run (more about it here). I ran by feel without looking at my watch, and was pleasantly surprised to see that my final 5 miles were 6:50-7:04 pace, which I figured was about my current marathon pace (I revised that to 6:45 after my March 10 workout). It's nice when your longest long run of your training cycle is also your fastest paced up to that point! I ran with Claudio and Rebecca (plus Jack for the first 8), and the miles went by very quickly. I drank both nuun energy and Generation Ucan before the run, and had nuun energy and one Accel gel during, which all sat flawlessly in my stomach and are all part of my race day nutrition (on race day day I eat breakfast 3 hours before also, and I take 3 Accel gels during a marathon). March 10: 18.3 miles (6:56), described in workouts above. March 16: 12.2 miles (7:25). I ran the first 3 miles with Amy, then the rest solo. I tried to run the final mile at marathon pace by feel, but it ended up being 6:26, so I guess I felt good, because that was faster than my current marathon pace! March 24: 27.6 miles via the Chisholm Trail Marathon (6:45 for 26.2) plus a little warm up and cool down. March 30: 12 miles (7:24), in a final blast of winter with Rebecca and Claudio. We had to start late due to thunderstorms, then the temperature dropped throughout the run and it was ridiculously windy. I felt good for being 6 days off a a marathon but knew I shouldn't push it, and this distance worked out well since that is what they were doing with their marathon tapers. Favorite long run: The 23.2 was fantastic! The marathon wins the favorite race category, clearly. :-) We approve of 23 milers Smile if you ran 23 miles! On March 16, Amy ran 22 & I ran a measly 12 Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I hit my first official 90 mile week on a Monday through Sunday week! I'd been hitting 90+ on the rolling 7 throughout that week, with a best of 93.5, but the Monday through Sunday total felt a little more official. I front-loaded the week slightly since we were supposed to have a snowpocalypse on Sunday, but I was able to run outside, albeit in a snowstorm, on Sunday morning. The winter weather didn't stop me from finishing the 90 mile week, but it did stop me from running any farther that day than I needed to get to 90 (6 miles)! The week was easier than most weeks I'd run in the 80s since I only ran 3 miles of it hard! I ran double digit runs on the treadmill two days in a row due to windchills below zero, on March 4 and 5. I can't believe I did this either! After some really bad weather runs wore me down in January, I decided I wasn't going out when it was below zero. I learned that I don't mind the treadmill when I go to my friend Amy's workout room while she does the elliptical next to me and we chat the whole time! People told me that fitness comes back in waves; often you don't see a linear decline in paces but suddenly things improve dramatically. I didn't believe that until it happened! I averaged 6:41 pace for 12 miles on March 10 during an 18 mile long run (then ran two 6:5X miles during my cool down), when not long before I could barely hold that pace for 3 miles. My March 13 workout was also a huge jump from anything I'd run in recent months, and in retrospect was probably overly ambitious to attempt, but I did it. I then ran a marathon at 6:45 pace when less than two months before I couldn't even average 6:30 on mile repeats. Although I hope to build from here, I was so thankful to have these break-throughs, and am thankful to be feeling SO.MUCH.BETTER. Maybe my body just hates winter! Post-marathon insomnia struck again; I couldn't sleep on Sunday night at all. I worked on Monday, and didn't feel as bad as I expected to. I recovered well from my marathon; I was a bit sore in my quads and hamstrings for two days after the race, then I was back to feeling pretty good by Thursday. I had a work trip a few days post-marathon that left me tired, but we had a lazy weekend March 30-31, which was nice! Rolling 7 day mileage PR I pulled out my screw shoes for a March 3 snowstorm run! I am often angered by how unhelpful this is; even after I ran a 2:57 marathon with it, it still predicted I could run a 2:40 marathon... Life events: Albani had spring pictures at school. Albani had spring break from March 11-15 (right after daylight savings time started, which I think is brilliant on the school's part). She and Jon visited my in-laws, and the Tulsa zoo with cousins. We started many seeds for our garden, and did a lot of transplanting. We had a great family weekend in conjunction with the Chisholm Trail Marathon, with my parents, sister, niece, and nephew. My 16-year-old niece ran my shake out run and strides with me the day before the marathon! School picture day Backwards night at Awana Art After my pre-marathon shake run Balloon animals at the marathon expo Cousin love Sister love Books this month: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold After Anna by Lisa Scottoline Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley Feared by Lisa Scottoline Joy School by Elizabeth Berg I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, & GPS Technology by Caroline Paul Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg Theme of the month: Giving myself grace. I have certainly learned that I can't force fitness or any certain paces, but that doesn't mean I still don't get mad at myself about that inability at times. In February I stopped trying workouts because I wasn't enjoying them and they felt terrible. This month I had the itch to get back into them, and I was nice enough to myself to celebrate each improvement instead of comparing to where I used to be. I went into Chisholm Trail knowing it wouldn't be anywhere near a PR, but ready to celebrate whatever the marathon brought! After the race, I didn't allow myself to be upset about narrowly missing 2nd place and not being able to reel in 1st, because I truly gave all I had that day and no one can do more than that!
  49. 3 points
    This week, anything that may try to work itself into being a sour, lemon head will be promptly turned into lemonade. After getting the past couple weeks frustrations out via tears and sweat, I’m done. Only sweat and silliness from here on out – hence the silly pictures throughout this post. I will say, my neck has felt a bit tweaked since the accident. I have full range of motion and there is no pain, but it constantly feels like I slept on it wrong. Just to be safe, I think I’m going to get it checked out. I don’t want to cause any long-term damage if there’s something I can do now to help it. Monday: Barbell Strength – All the sessions I missed during the holiday break really set me back as far as the weights I was able to do. Before break, I was able to have 10lbs on each side for biceps but am currently only able to do 7.5 on each side. Keep in mind, this class is high repetitions so that might not sound like a lot of weight, but it’s a decent amount when you’redoing lots of reps. I’ll get back there though! Tuesday: Treadmill “5K” – Much to my surprise, I’m enjoying doing some of my runs on a treadmill. I keep my $10 Planet Membership going because it’s so cheap, nice to have when the weather is bad, and is walking distance from the house (but I only walk if it’s really nice out – which means I’m probably not going if it’s nice out). I made sure my Jaybird earbuds were charged, and zoned out to music while I ran. Since I never listen to music when I run outside, it’s an added plus when running on the treadmill. I typically just stare out the window or the reflection of my running legs on the window glass. I did a progression run where I increased a .1 speed each mile. I didn’t touch the incline. Mile 1 – 6.5 or 9:13/mile (after it took some time to get full speed) – 9:18 Mile 2 – 6.6 or 9:03/mile – 9:03 Mile 3 – 6.7 or 8:56/mile – 8:56 Last .2 – 7.5 or 8:00/mile 9:03 average / 28:58 My goal was to run 5K and you’d think, as long as I’ve been running, that I would remember that a 5K is 3.1 miles and not 3.2. I did this two weeks in a row now so it wasn’t a fluke! HA! Wednesday 2fer: Spin – After a long day at work (normal hours – it just draaaaged), it was nice to get on the bike. However, it’d been over a week since I’d been to a class so my butt got sore pretty quick. It’ll be fine after the next class. I think it’s really important to let cycling newbies know that they will be sore until about the 3rd class, otherwise there’s a chance they won’t come back! Spin ended at 5:15 and barbell started at 5:30. This one is even funnier b/c I’m pretty sure that’s a dude in the picture! HA! Barbell – I was obviously a bit tired after spin and had planned for this class to be lighter weights. I basically kept 7.5 on each side the whole class, and didn’t use any weights for the leg portions. The instructor was new and it was her first solo teaching class. It was super rocky but I still give her A for effort. However, I just wasn’t getting enough out of it AND I just don’t think I want to be there until 6:15 every Tuesday night. I likely won’t go to that late class again. Those kind of 2fers sound good until you’re actually doing them. I think I’ll be sticking to Monday barbell, and spin on Wednesday with some extra stuff on my own afterwards – maybe just some pushups and pullups. Thursday: Group Fitness Instructor Info Sesh – I went to find out more about becoming a group fitness instructor. First off, now that I will have to start making car payments every month, it’s really effected some of my goals for the year. I won’t be able to travel as much for races as I wanted I likely won’t be able to sign up for and run a race every month AND I don’t think I can currently afford this course. I mean, I probably could but I want to be smart with my money. The class, which is EVERY Thursday night from February to early May (and you can only miss 2 classes), is $125; the ACE exam that I will have to take after finishing the course is about $300, and a separate spin certification is around $80-$100. There’s a chance I could afford it all, but I need to think in the present. Ultimately, I don’t think I’m going to do it – yet. They will be having another class in the summer which I can reconsider at that time. There’s always the option of becoming spin certified and just teaching elsewhere. I would love that! We’ll see… gotta be smart. Friday: I spent the afternoon at the Nissan dealership (like 4 hours!) and had just planned to look at some options – I ended up purchasing this… 2018 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X – 4×4 BABY! Meet Black Betty (Bam-ba-lam)! So many things about the interior reminds me of Bessie which is really nice. Plus, I kept the all-weather mats I had in Bessie and they [mostly] fit! I’m not the biggest fan of black and REALLY wanted blue, but you can’t be toooo picky when buying a used one. I love the name and that song is super catchy and bouncy! Black Betty doesn’t represent any of the supposed things that it did when the song was written (like a whip, a gun, or a vehicle to transport folks to prison), so she’ll make her own meaning! Saturday: This was one of those days that I reallllly needed to run, especially since I’d only ran once in the week and has 13 miles on the schedule as my long run, but I didn’t want to do anything. So I didn’t. Sunday: Long Run – Since I’d only ran once in the week but I really needed to get in some miles, I played it safe and only ran 10. I could tell I’d only ran once because I couldn’t even keep in in the 9:30 pace range. My legs were pissed at me for slacking and didn’t wanna go any faster. 9:48/mile average. Oh man! This tweet that I found totally reminded me of an embarrassing moment I had about 8 years ago! I was running with a new friend, for the first time, and we had left from her house. I wasn’t feeling well most of the run and REALLY needed to shit as we were getting closer to her house. She directed me to the bathroom upstairs so that’s where I did my business. When I flushed the toilet, it wouldn’t flush and overflowed onto the floor!! Yes, my shit went allllll over the floor. Apparently they’d already been having issues with the toilet. She insisted that I leave it and not help her clean it up! Now that the car-buying and insurance situation is behind me (hopefully!), it is time to move on and take back my weeks. It has been a really difficult two weeks, mostly mentally, but it’s time to get back to it. Let’s do this!
  50. 1 point
    November 2018 in Review Total mileage for the month: 114.3 (95 on the AlterG treadmill) -- in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232, July - 290, August - 357, September - 305, October - 10 Oct. 29-Nov. 4: 5 miles (all AlterG), 14:00 cardio cross-training, 2:40 strength training - which is a lifetime exercise PR week (yay?) Nov. 5-11: 11 miles (all AlterG), 12:00 cardio cross-training, 2:20 strength training Nov. 12-18: 36 miles (34 AlterG), 8:25 cardio cross-training, 2:00 strength training Nov. 19-25: 26.2 (19 AlterG), 7:00 cardio cross-training, 2:15 strength training Nov. 26-Dec. 2: projected at 51 (31 AlterG), at least 4:00 cardio cross-training, at least 2:20 strength training Note: If you aren't familiar with the AlterG treadmill, I wrote about the it here, when I strained a tendon in January 2016 and used it during recovery (also the last time I took any time off running!). It is much easier than "real" running, so counting those miles in my weekly mileage felt like cheating, but I covered the distance so I counted it with an *. Decorating our self-cut Christmas tree/bush in ugly sweaters & cozy pants Races: Nope. I missed the Bass Pro Marathon, which was slated to be my longest long run before the California International Marathon, as a pacer for a friend aiming for her first sub-3:00. I watched her win the race in 3:08, and watched three women I train with go 1-2-3 in the half. Although I had mixed feelings about going to spectate, I had a wonderful time seeing so many amazing runners who are also amazing people. Workouts: Nov. 8 - unstructured 6 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 50% weight, starting at 6:58 pace and finishing at 6:00 pace (6:37 average). This wasn't planned, but this was the first day my leg felt pretty good on the AlterG and I couldn't help myself! Keep in mind that these paces at 50% body weight are much easier than "normal" running, but I figured at least it was practice with faster leg turnover. This was also the first day I felt like there was hope for my injury. Nov. 14 - 6 mile tempo on the AlterG treadmill (5:40 pace) at 60% weight with 2 miles warm-up and 2 miles cool down, for my first double digit run since I got super injured in Indy! I decided to see if I could fit 10 miles into an hour session on the AlterG and was successful. Again, running on the AlterG is much easier than running outside, so I went by effort, although that is also deceptive because leg turnover, breathing rate, and heart rates don't coincide like they usually would. Afterward I found the table below that says it was about 6:25 effort (which I doubt), but at the very least, this had to be better for my fitness than the elliptical or spin bike! Nov. 19 - unstructured 9 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 65% weight in 51:40 (5:46 average pace). I didn't plan this one either but just kept cranking the pace down until I was at 12 mph (5:00 pace) for the final half mile. I don't even run strides quite that fast normally, so my legs aren't used to the turnover, but it's so much easier when the machine is supporting 35% of my body weight! Nov. 28 - 11 mile progression run on the AlterG treadmill at 70% weight in 1:02:50 (5:43 average pace). This is supposed to convert to about 6:25 average pace real running, but after returning to running outside I don't buy that (the AlterG is cheating, for sure, hah). I started at 10 mph and upped the pace by 0.1 each song until I got to an hour of running, then cooled down to 11 miles, making for my longest run on the AlterG ever (yay??). I was working hard by the end so that's what matters I guess. There is a noticeable difference between running at 60% and 70% weight though - and a HUGE difference between 50% and 70%! Moral of the story: don't gain 25 lbs. Full body strength workouts: I completed my full strength circuit twice per week and also did 10+ minutes of core work more days than not. Long Runs: None really, but I ran several 10-11 milers on the AlterG. While it's not like running outside, it's better for my training than sitting on the couch! On December 1 I ran 7.2 miles outside and tagged it a "long run." I hope to get back to double digits outside on December 8 as long as my calf still feels 100%! 11 miles at 70% Cross-Training: Yes x 1 million...but less than in October! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: The first half of this month was really hard for me. I tried to remain positive, because the fact is that all of us are in need of some type of healing, and if anyone seems like they aren't it's just because we don't see all parts (or even most parts) of anyone else's life. It seems cruel, but this world is quite imperfect. I mourned the loss of my training cycle, my loss of fitness, my weight gain, my energy dip, my mood slump, and everything else that accompanied my injury. I sure need running for stress-relief (I am not sure I could continue long-term in my present job if I could never run again, which also terrified me)! I started and erased many posts about all of this, then I read this post and decided I couldn't say it all any better than she did. Returning to running at the end of the month was oh-so-sweet! I started back on November 23 (Black Friday) with 3.2 miles, after a false start 2 miler on November 18 that showed me my leg wasn't quite there. I don't even care if I just run 5 miles easy every day for the rest of my life and never PR in anything again; I just need to run! For the first week I alternated running every other day outside with every other day on the AlterG at 70-75% weight. I have no idea how long it's going to take me to regain the fitness I lost - it does not seem that cross-training and the AlterG helped nearly as much as I'd hoped - but I am thankful for the opportunity to try. I have put CIM 2019 on my race calendar, and have 52 weeks to train for that! Life events: The first weekend of our month was dominated by the Bass Pro Marathon. Albani and I volunteered at the expo all day on Saturday, and then I watched the events on Sunday. The experience had some bitter-sweetness to it since I was supposed to be running in the event, but was overall a positive experience. We bought a power washer, and also re-did our flower beds. It was far too cold for both! I went to the MOABA (Missouri Association for Behavior Analysis) conference in St. Louis the third weekend of the month, and returned even more passionate about our science. Thanksgiving of course. We also cut our Christmas tree from my in-laws farm while in Kansas, and started decorating for Christmas. Don't you read comic books while volunteering at race expos? Repping OMRR This booth was a hit - they rotated critters about every hour We bought these Always take snacks appliance shopping! Cousins at Thanksgiving My dad in his brand new Tesla! Farm fashion Cutting our Christmas tree Climbing cousins Opting outside - we read our library books outside on what might be our last warm day More opting outside (it was 65*) Mismatched trees are the best!
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