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  1. BiscuitPusher

    To Cut Back or Not?

    Two weekends ago I had 7 miles on the training plan. I ran it, but the last two miles were rough. I had to take extra walk breaks on top of my 5:1 intervals and I was very glad to finish the run. After that run I was a little nervous about the 8 miles on the schedule last weekend. My shins were bothering me a little and my knee was starting to get a little achey -- I figured I would just run what I could and walk when I needed to. But the 8 miles went really well. The 5:1 intervals worked perfectly, and I finished strong and felt like I could actually go further if I needed to. However, the 4 miles on Sunday were pretty rough with sore, tired legs. I was thinking about adding a cut-back week to my training plan though. I honestly didn't spend a lot of time looking for a training plan -- I googled "beginner half-marathon training plan" and picked one of the first ones I found. I figured I have actually run enough halfs (18 I think) that it didn't matter much, I just wanted a plan to follow to help keep me accountable to my training. The plan is pretty basic. Run 5 days a week -- taking Mondays and Fridays as rest days. The long runs started at 4 miles, and then basically just added a mile each weekend, and the weekday runs went from basic 3 milers to slightly longer 4, 5, and 6 milers. Last week the schedule called for 4,5,4,4,8. This week it calls for 4,6,4,4,9. Next week: 4,6,4,4,10. and so on until it basically finishes at 12 miles two weekends before the race with a slight cut-back week the week before (long run on the week before the race is 6 miles.) All things considered it's a good plan for me. I have never been one to get caught up in tempo runs or speed work or anything fancy like that. I just like to run miles and try to go a little faster or a little stronger when I can. However, I was thinking about making this week a cut back week. Run 3,4,3,4,6 or something like that. Give my legs a bit of a rest and then next weekend make my long run 10 miles as-scheduled. Part of the advantage of that is I have a great 10 mile loop around the airport, but I despise trying to run an out-and-back on the loop for 9 miles. If I'm going that far around I might as well just finish it. This is silly I know. I actually went to the gym to run on the treadmill for my run this afternoon. It was warmer out than I like to run in (I hate running in the heat) and I figured the bouncy treadmill would give my shins and knees a little bit of a break. Plus I pulled my hamstring stacking firewood over the weekend. On the treadmill I listened to my audio book and decided to run without stopping for a bit. I managed the first mile at a 5.2 pace with no break. a 1 minute break and I ran another 10 minutes with no break. Then I switched back to my 5:1 intervals until I ended up finishing 4 miles. Now I have to decide what to run tomorrow. I could just stick with the plan and run 6 miles. Of course I don't have a 6 mile route I like much which always makes me cranky. Or I could cut back and only run 3 or 4 miles... decisions decisions. Although honestly, I think my biggest problem is that I don't like longer mid-week runs. My neighborhood basically tops out at 5 miles and that's running lots of awful cul-de-sacs on some pretty badly canted roads which my legs hate. Driving to other places to run annoys me since traffic is always awful in the afternoons and it just adds even more time to something that already takes a lot of time for a slow poke like me. I could run home from work. It's actually a perfect 6-mile route from door-to-door. But that means I have to actually plan it all out and prepare tonight and I just don't feel like committing to it. Yup.. laying it all out right here and I"m just whining and indecisive. Most likely I will end up running 6 around my neighborhood, but I guess we shall see.
  2. As blooped about a couple of days ago, I've been doing a lot of speedwork this year to reach my sub 25min 5k goal. As opposed to be super specific for this race distance, I designed my sessions based on the fact that I'm more likely to do it if keep it interesting and include a lot of different intervals as well as off track workouts. I have almost completed 2 cycles at this point, consisting of 10 sessions (10 weeks) each. Going into the second cycle of this I cranked up the paces I wanted to hit by 30sec (per mile) each. This has worked really well for me but others may have to adjust that, especially if you have done speedwork for years now and don't gain that quickly anymore. Anyway, for each cycle I've defined 3 different paces: S pace (short distance) = current 5k race pace minus 10 seconds (to be used for 200m, 400m intervals) M pace (medium distance) = S pace plus 30 seconds (to be used for 600m, 800m intervals) L pace (long distance) = M pace plus 15 seconds (to be used for 1000m or longer) Please note that there is an exception to applying the right pace for session #8 due to the high number of intervals. The paces are noted with the sessions though. My warmup/cooldown is always 800m but I know that's kind of short for some so feel free to alter. After every 2 weeks of workouts on the track, I do a workout that's off the track, e.g. tempo run, hill repeats. I have noted the order as session numbers. I've found this plan to be fun and am seeing big improvements. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Speedwork for loopsters.xlsx
  3. I had that conference call yesterday with all of the VetEx gang. I had many questions but they were all answered by the co-founder in the initial part of the phone call. However, there was one detail mentioned that I think may take me out of the running. They have plans for us to either climb Mt. Logan or Mt. Rainier next summer (2018), and for that I would also have to take off of work for an entire month. Ouch. I have recently applied for a job that I hope to get, and would start in December. Hey, I know I’ve only been working in this job for like five months, but can I take a whole month off? Thanks. Unless I could get them on board with how big this thing will potentially be, I don’t think that is going to happen. Either way, I plan to do all the training that I can even just for getting to bond with a new group of vets and learn some cool new skills. They talked A LOT about gear and said we would have nothing but the best. Those three training sessions that I mentioned are only the start of it. They will be having lot of other training on ice and alpine climbing, crevasse rescue, roping, repelling, and tons more. We will get EXTENSIVELY trained, trained more, and trained even more. They won’t let us go until they know we have everything down. They will also have a couple of experts to check us out as well. Since I am lucky enough to live in CO, where the VetEx HQ is located, I can link up with those guys any time. Now onto a really cool run I had the other day! (I’ve decided not to bore everyone with my daily training so I’ll just give you the cool stuff) Sunday- October 15th: Waterton Canyon – 8 easy miles @ 9:38 Those folks sitting there were fishing. There were lot of fly fishers out and I wanted to join them! Located just 12 miles from my house, is this beautiful place! I hate to admit it, but it was my first time there and I’ve lived here for four years! I hang my head in shame… There’s a big parking lot to park in and then you have to walk across the road (you drive in on) to get to the trail head. I’ve been to that parking lot before but run on a different trail that takes you to a big reservoir. It’s a dreadfully boring run and that’s why I hadn’t been back. I had no idea about this canyon though until W told me. Gorgeous… The road was nice and packed and actually felt like running on asphalt. I didn’t start running until around 10am because it had been in the 30s that morning. There were lots of folks out running, biking, and walking. It was such a perfect day and the fall colors were still booming there. I love to see all the different colors spreading over the hills. Look at all of those beautiful colors! I had gone about 2.5 miles when I came upon this lady shuffling along wearing a Camelbak. I just don’t see how people run in those things. I have a couple of times early in my running life and it just drove me crazy; plus, do you need THAT much water? Anywho, the road was wide enough for about three cars to drive down side-by-side. I was coming up on her and about to go around when she lurched to the side, to get out of my way, and stopped. She didn’t look at me or say anything but she looked PISSED. I think she thought I was closer to her than I was, and that I was just riding her heels. I was confused but moved along. About a mile later, I saw four HUGE big-horned sheep chilling on the side of the road close to a dam! I’d never seen one before and have been hoping to catch a glimpse of one here in CO. There are signs everywhere about them, but I never see them. Their big horns are so cool! Look at those horns! After four miles, I turned around to go back. It had been a gradual uphill so it felt nice to be going back down. I think the trail goes to five miles and then links up with the Colorado Trail. I can see myself going there for future long runs, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the trail looks like. On the way back, I saw more sheep! I guess they’d been grazing on the sides somewhere on my way up. They were everywhere and giving everyone a nice show! Little ones too! ❤ Be still my heart!! ❤ In the last half mile, I started to feel a pain in the ball of my left foot. It was a slight shooting pain and I thought I might have to stop, but it eased up. I’m hoping it was due to the fact that I wore my trail shoes on such a hard road. I’ll just wear road shoes the next time. I haven’t felt anything since then so I think I’m in the clear. This was one of the longer runs I’ve done over the last few months and it was amazing! It makes it go by so much better when you have all of this to look at. I will be going back there MANY times! Thanks for reading! Chris
  4. Hello again Loopsters! This is my first bloop in the loop reborn. It doesn’t look like I’ll manage to increase my writing on the new loop. But I’ll try…and try to be more interesting. (But this bloop doesn’t really accomplish that. More of a stream of consciousness about my recent training, and minor issues I’ve had) I am getting into the main part of training for St. Jude Memphis marathon. I’d love to go sub 4:30. That’s been my goal for how long now? It’s been more than a year since I completed a marathon. I’m feeling good but there’s been a couple set backs. A little more than a month ago I went to the chiropractor and mentioned that the side of my right heel hurt. He quickly determined that the real problem was in my calf. A quick press on a trigger point there confirmed it for me. Ow! My calf was super angry. I had a 6k race on that Saturday and he told me not to run before then. (So no running just for Thursday and Friday) He also said I should consider getting trigger point injections. I was not at all sure about that! My calf didn’t hurt except when someone pressed on the trigger points. But it was tight when I ran. After 2 days of rest the 6k went great (I placed 1st in my age group and was 9th woman overall – covered in my last real bloop on the old loop). My heel felt better by my follow up appointment the next week. I was even more unsure whether it was worth pursuing the trigger point injections, but they weren’t going to charge me more than the cost of a normal appointment, the heel felt better but the calf was still clearly very, very tight and angry. With such a tight timeline for my upcoming marathon, I don’t have time for injury so I went with it. Curiosity played a role too. For the next 4 weeks I went in once a week for the injections and massage. Each visit my calf got less tight and my heel pain was long gone. I still don’t know if I really needed the injections, but I do know they helped. I may very well have been fine without them, but I’m glad I didn’t take the chance. The other set back happed 2 weeks ago when just before I went to bed I started to feel really sick to my stomach. I went to bed feeling like I was going to have to get up again soon to…um, empty my stomach but I made it through the night (not sleep well at all, but without revisiting my supper). Tuesday morning I got up and still felt bad, but I got dressed hoping I’d feel better. I didn’t and just the walk to the bathroom left me all sweaty. Not good. Finally my stomach did give up. Ok, no workout, no run and no work. I spent the rest of the day on the couch, mostly sleeping and struggling to get water in. About 3pm I ate a little toast, and I had a small bowl of rice for supper but that’s all I ate. Wednesday I went to work, but still had no appetite. I managed to eat a little anyway. I went out after work to try to run. I made it 2 miles before my stomach started cramping and my legs said, nope, you are done for today. Gradually as the week went on I felt better, but my appetite didn’t come back at all even by Friday night before my scheduled 16 mile long run. I’d been eating so I figured I’d try and see what happened. I started running on Saturday and right from the very beginning my legs felt heavy. I hoped they would feel better as I went but they really didn’t. Finally at 11 miles in I called it a day. The following week was a cut back week, so I could attempt 16 again without getting behind on my plan. Finally Sunday night I actually felt hungry again. From there I did feel better. Last week I was able to all my runs in as planned. Attempt #2 at 16 went great – I even managed to run the last mile the fastest (something I’m doing to help simulate running the last mile of a race). I felt really good. Today’s run was great too. I’m feeling good, I hope I can keep this going. Sorry this bloop isn’t very interesting, and maybe kind of gross. Hopefully I’ll have more time to devote to the next one I write. And maybe there will be pictures…
  5. SandiBeach

    Week 9 of 12

    Life (wedding, moving, traveling- Yay!) took precedence over my running since around late 2014/early 2015. I’d still run a few miles here and there, but was averaging around 20 miles/month. For perspective, in 2012 I was just shy of 1000 miles for the year, with some months being close to 200 miles. Fast forward to July 2017. I was feeling very out of shape, and I had some free time to get back into running. For July and half of August, I ran after work through the neighborhoods around our house approximately 3 miles with a longer 4-7 mile run thrown in on the weekends. Hot and humid but I felt good. My DH (he injured his feet early July, or he would have run with me) was supportive and would push me out the door for runs, but I wanted to relax weeknights after work with him, so I would skip running many nights. Plus, the days were getting shorter, and I won't run by myself outside in the dark (too paranoid). So any serious training wasn't going to be happening. That is, until DH asked the brilliant question, “why don't you go to the gym and run before work?” Light-bulb moment/facepalm! Not sure why I didn’t accept this possibility before… I guess sometimes you need a different perspective to see things that are right in front of you. Either way, the training fire was now re-lit! I already woke up around 5 am, but if I adjusted just a few minutes earlier, I could get to the gym for opening at 5, run for approx. an hour, and still get to the office before 7! (7 am is a general requirement since I loathe sitting in any traffic in the morning.) Then at night, I could happily relax knowing I already ran. This worked perfectly! Now, I just needed a training plan and a goal race. I picked a 10K on 11/4/17 as a goal race and found a training plan on Garmin Connect for a 10K. It’s the advanced plan, which converting time into paces has me running 20-30 miles/per week on four days of running. Perfect. I could run only weekday mornings and have weekends for “cross training.” Cross training consists of house destruction/repair. What else would you do on a weekend when your house was built in the mid-19th century???? Generally, I get my upper body/core workouts by ripping down plaster ceilings, reinforcing joists, dry walling, and painting. Next training cycle will be a complete kitchen remodel, and I’m definitely looking forward to that one! I’ve followed the Garmin Connect plan quite closely, but pushed all the runs onto weekdays and reorganized them to not have hard workout on days next to each other, unless that was in the original plan. It’s mostly a time-based plan, so it takes into account different running abilities. Sometimes I convert to a mile goal for the day, such as for long runs. It just helps me mentally on the treadmill to complete miles so I can push the pace at the end a bit and get done faster. In my brain 9 miles sounds a lot better than 75 minutes...I can get those 9 miles done in closer to 73 minutes! (And, I mean, those less than 2 minutes just mean so much in a 75 minute run. ) I’m using a 10K pace of 6:58, and a threshold pace of 7:30 (sometimes 7:19). My hope is that this will translate to under 7:15 /mile for a goal of under 45 minutes for the 10K race. The difference is because I believe I run faster on the treadmill than outside (I run with a 0% incline, one of these days I'll bump it up to 1%. Maybe. Probably not.). Last week (week 9 of a 12-week plan) included the following: Sunday: rest Monday: 10 minute w/u at 8:20 followed by 2 x 2 miles at 6:58 with a 10 minute recovery at 8:34 between. Tuesday: 9 mile long run averaging 8:09, start at 8:20 for 5 miles then get progressively faster. (gotta save those 1-2 minutes!) Wednesday: rest Thursday: 15 min. at 8:34, 15 min at 7:19, 15 min at 8:20 Friday: rest Saturday (only weekend run all training cycle): 15 min w/u at 8:20 then 10 x 2 min at 6:58 (last one held for 3 minutes, with 1 min recovery at 8:34. Cross training: Paint dining room ceiling (made me much more sore than running did – my shoulders still hurt today (Monday)) It was a good week! Finished all the runs well, but definitely didn’t feel great for most of them, and Monday’s run was very difficult. Good thing I get to try that one again next Monday – Ha!
  6. I have some very exciting news to share. I wasn’t going to say anything about it for a while, but I really need to hear different perspectives on this. Veterans Expeditions (VetEx) is an organization that offers adventure opportunities to veterans at little to no cost, and much more. They do everything from: mountain biking in Moab, climbing 14ers, caving, ice climbing, AND hiking Mt. Denali in Alaska. Speaking of Mt. Denali… This peak (formerly known as Mt. McKinley which Trump is actually trying to change it back…ugh) is the highest point in North America. It is located in Alaska and sores to 20,320′. To put that into perspective, Mt. Everest is just over 29,000′. I have never had the desire to climb Mt. Everest because of all of the risk involved, not to mention the cost. It’s just not something I need/want to do. What does this have to do with my news? Well, after submitting my fitness resume to VetEx… I am a candidate to be on an all women, 10-person, veterans team to be the first ever to climb Mt. Denali, self-supported. I was incredibly STOKED when I found out that I was invited to train for this. No only would this trip be completely paid for (by gracious donors), gear and all, but it was also going to documented on film. I love the idea of being involved in something like this, especially considering the impact strong women are having in today’s society; just another way to create change and to inspire. I consider myself a strong woman (mind and body) so I would love to possibly inspire other women to think that way about themselves. However, I was looking at this mountain the way that I look at 14ers. I’m able to do those pretty easily and have never had issues with the altitude, other than huffing and puffing. I immediately went to Google to start doing my research on what I had gotten myself in to. HOLY SHIT. This thing is basically a mini-Everest. I basically disrespected this mountain out of the gate and that is something that should NEVER be done. Here are some of the things I have to consider, and some scare the SHIT out of me: I could be out there for a month. A MONTH. You have to slowly acclimate and must camp on the side of the mountain (see camps in above pic); sometimes you get held up because of snow storms and can be inside a tent for days. I will also need to take off of work for a month, and hope that my work will allow me to do so. I could react badly to the altitude, and could possibly die. I have been to 14K’, many times now, but that is different than 20K’. I have also never stayed at 14K’ for more than 15 minutes. Earlier this year, a group of three, from Nepal, climbed Denali; one of them collapsed and died coming back down after successfully summitting… He was an ultra-runner. Read the story here. I could get frostbite. I like all of my body parts and would like to keep them. Not only do you have to climb 20K’, but you have to carry all of your gear with you. You pull it on a sled to 14K’, then only have a pack from there. I worry about my back. I could die. There are these things called crevasses which are cracks in the glacial ice that often get covered up by snow, making you unable to see them. We will all be roped to each other in hopes that if someone falls through, they won’t fall too far. WTF? I do have a pretty healthy endurance background, and do feel like I am qualified to do this. I’ve ran 50, 40, and 38 mile races; two 50Ks and three marathons. I’ve climbed twelve 14ers and a few 13ers. Luckily, this climb would not happen until June 2019 so they are giving us A LOT of time to prepare. They are also conducting some training sessions next year and some of them are: Tomorrow (the 18th), we are having a team conference call to ‘meet’ each other and to ask questions. They are also meeting up in Moab to mountain bike, Veteran’s Day weekend, but I will be back home in NC visiting family. Mid-January: We are meeting in Leadville for a weekend of training; maybe doing a 14er? I’ve never done a 14er in the winter so that’ll be new and exciting. Late-March: Same as above. I’m sure we will be doing crevasse rescue training, ice climbing, and just getting use to the cold. June: Climbing Mt. Logan in the Yukon! THIS I would love to do! This one is still 19K’ but seems much ‘easier’ than Mt. Denali, based on blogs and others things I’ve read so far. You don’t even need ropes for this one. My plan currently: Just do the training and see how it goes. Ask lots of questions. LOTS of questions. Research, research, research! I do have to actually get selected for the team, so it’s not even definite just yet. If I make it past Mt. Logan, I should know how I will do at that altitude. I’ve been reading lots of blogs which has really been freaking me out. I get that each experience is different, but it’s just some scary stuff! This will be the biggest mental challenge of my entire life. That being said… Have any of you ever climbed Denali or something similar? Have you ever had a long-term outdoor winter exposure? Any advice for me? Please tell me all that you can. I would really appreciate it! Thanks for reading and stay tuned! Chris
  7. I've got 3 PTs who are all pretty great. Kayley evaluated me when I first started. Loved her from the beginning because she knew how important it was to me to keep moving. "Do all you want as long as there is no pain." I've only seen Toby once but he is a runner. He was amazed that I ran Boston and said if he was me he'd never remove the Boston shirt. It's kind of funny but I'm really weird about how my clothing fits and feels. I like looking at that shirt but not wearing it. Finally there is Josh. I've been to him the most. Josh loves all sports but is clearly not a runner. Here's our conversation yesterday: J: How do you feel? Me: I feel like I worked it. The hammy is tired. J: What did you do? Me: I ran 4 miles and I tried to do some speed. I wanted 5 1/4s but stopped at 3 because I knew it was enough. J: 🤔 So wait back up. Did run road or trail? Me: Road 2, trail 2. J: 🤔 Me: An out and back. 1 road, 2 trail/dirt, 1 road. J: Got it. So you ran 3/4 fast and it felt worked? me: No, I ran 3 x 1/4s. Josh: Right, 3/4s Me: 😠 Gah! No. I ran three .25 miles with rests in between. Josh: GOT IT! That's perfect! You ran and pushed it with rest breaks in between and now it's fatigued but not injured. And this is why I love Josh! He's letting me get back to running, testing it a bit and reigning me in when I need it. BTW It's a no to running the bridges this week....I asked and I'm 99% sure I'm going to listen. 🙄 Josh is the master explainer. Loves to talk. When I first started PT I was very frustrated because I tore my hamstring at the sitbone but whenever I would run it would hurt in the belly of the hammy and also down on the outside of my knee. "Why?" I asked<== truthfully it was probably more a whine or a wail but I'm telling the story here. He said to think of my hamstring like a rubber band. When I tripped the rubber band stretched as far as it could go and then gave way at the top. Apparently when it stretched out I put micro tears in the whole lateral side of my left hamstring. Toby tells me this makes me unique because most people tear or strain their medial hamstring. I always knew I was special!! 😏 I ran 14.5 outside last week and ellipticaled 2 miles. This week I've run 10.5 miles so far and planning on another 3 + 6 this weekend. My left leg is still weak compared to my right but Josh says we'll get it back to full strength. Guess what? I'm starting to believe him! Here's my mini training plan for Rehoboth.
  8. NCAthlete

    7 weeks to Rehoboth

    Winter is coming? Last Monday, it felt like it was already here because it snowed a majority of the day, but wasn’t cold enough to stick on the roads. That’s the kind of snow I can like. “That’s Colorado for ya!”, is said a lot around here and I kinda wanna smack the person that says it. Once October hits, you can expect snow at any point (in the metro area); I think it snowed on the 5th the year that we moved here (2013). It did already warm back up and is supposed to be in the mid-70s today. Thursday, October 5th – 4.1 miles with Belmar Run Club at Runner’s Roost – Lakewood I’ve been wanting to check this run club out for some time, but just haven’t. I haven’t had great luck with CO run clubs; they always seem cliquey and I always end up alone in the middle, or alone in the back. Who goes to a run club to run alone? NOT ME. I do all of my runs alone (not by choice) so I’d really like to at least have one run a week where I can run with someone. The two guys I met at the Baby Bear Chase 10K preview run were supposed to be there but didn’t make it. I thought: Oh great, I’ll be running alone. Again. I was committed to going so I drove to work (instead of taking the train) so I would be able to make it on time. I changed clothes before work and got there with plenty of time to spare. I started chatting with a women, Karen, who just moved here with her husband, from Houston, 7 weeks ago; that was ONE WEEK before Hurricane Harvey. How crazy is that?! They’d managed to sell their house just before that happened. When we started running, I actually ended up running with her husband, Dutch. We were running in Belmar Park which has a nice 2 mile loop, and I wasn’t sure if I was just going to do one lap or two. Of course I did two, and of course I ran it much faster than I’d planned. Running and talking can be very therapeutic and make the miles fly by. After the run, they traditionally go to Rocko’s Cantina for beer and food, so I went. Overall, It was great and I made new friends! I plan to go back this Thursday! Post run… Shortly after this pic, a big lab came over and made a home in my lap Friday, October 6th – Mt. Morrison: 3.5 miles; 2100′ of elevation gain I have previously written: I suck at hills. I just can’t run them out here and I really want to get better. I need more elevation/climbing training so I decided to hike up Mt. Morrison before I had to be at work at 10am. I woke up at 5am, got ready, and drove 10 minutes to the trail-head right by Red Rocks Amphitheater. Have I mentioned that we live in an AWESOME area surrounded by all sorts of awesomeness?? We do. It was almost 6am but it was still really dark. I needed my headlamp for the first 45 minutes or so. As soon as you get on the trail, it goes straight up; there are only a couple little flat parts on the whole trail. It was REALLY creepy being out there by myself; some have seen mountain lions out there and someone died over the weekend from a rattlesnake bite on a nearby mountain. I was the first on the mountain so I didn’t know what I might stumble upon (including homeless folks who are here for the weed), so I carried a pretty big knife in my pocket. After about 30 minutes, it was light enough to go on without the headlamp and I just kept chugging along. It looked like a storm might roll in and was really foggy; you could see fog/low clouds on top of Mt.Morrison. When I got to the top, I was in the clouds because i didn’t have a 360 degree view of Denver/Golden/Boulder as I normally would have. I was able to finish, head home to shower, and get to work before 9:30am. I felt like I’d already tackled a whole day! There was actually some rock climbing / bouldering involved towards the top. Saturday, October 7th – Woods Mountain (12,940′) Hike: 6.5 miles I had a 7 mile trail run on the training log but figured that this hike would be a sufficient replacement. Plus, this would help with my goal of being better at hills/altitude. I was a little sore from Mt. Morrison, especially in my quads, but it was a good sore. We knew it was going to be a windy day, but didn’t know how windy until we saw snow blowing off the tops of the Grays and Torreys 14ers, as we were driving down I-70. We’d intended to hike on Loveland Pass, but it was completely exposed and we knew it would be very windy there. So we got off one exit sooner to the Herman’s Gulch Trailhead. I was suddenly in a grumpy mood and didn’t want to deal with the wind/cold (aka I was being a baby). I said I would go as far as I wanted to and turn back when I didn’t feel like going any more. I also didn’t think I was prepared for a summit because of how sore my quads were. The trail started off below treeline which blocked a lot of the wind. It was gorgeous out and we had a spectacular view of the snow-covered mountains. Each mile, I told myself that I would just keep going to see how I felt. When we reached the base of Woods Mountain, I still felt great so I kept going! You basically have to make your own trail at that point because it was covered in snow. The wind looked and sounded much worse than it actually was! We’ve been on the side of a 14er before (La Plata) where we had to bend down so as not to be knocked over by the wind! I’ve seen people knocked over before! We got to the top, snapped a few pictures, started back down, and found a pile of rocks to sit and have some lunch. Summiting big peaks makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something amazing and gives me such a boost of energy! 12K’ wasn’t so bad and felt much easier than a 14er. Once we hit some of the snow-covered sections, I took off running! I am a pretty good downhill runner and am able to move my feet pretty well. It’s such a rush to slip and slide down a mountain, but still be able to maintain control. Once we finished, we stopped in Idaho Springs for a burger and beer. What a great reward that was! Thanks for reading! Chris
  9. StinaQ

    Motivation Shmotivation

    I need accountability. There are random sticky notes around my house with motivational fitness quotes. Some of them have come down. The rest have become white noise that should come down. I read an article a few months ago about training with your cycle and adopted the strategy which basically gave me permission to take it easy on the days I feel most like taking things easy. According to the article however, the first week of my cycle is supposed to be the week to amp up the high intensity workouts. If you say so crazy. For two months, I've been trying this method, but staying in bed on days one and two. Yesterday was filled with crazy food cravings. I did fine at work. Then I came home and was researching those fitbits everyone seems to be wearing when suddenly I just had to have the butterfinger my boyfriend has been keeping on top of my refrigerator. Why he leaves these things at my house is beyond me. And it has been up there for a few months, but the urge to eat something sugary was so strong it was like my brain turned off until I was savoring every bite of that damned candy bar while hating the way my pants fit. This morning it was tempting to use my go back to bed it’s Day 1 excuse. But the articles I read said this should be a strong day to push myself and if I didn’t run I wouldn’t be able to report a week where I gave 100% Also: “The only workout you regret is the one you didn’t do.” or something like that. So I got dressed. Ginny refused to find a satellite this morning. I think she’s throwing a tantrum because I was looking at slimmer watches. I have my sights set on a the Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon next summer. I might consider new technology after that. I’d kinda like something I can wear all the time and I like the heart rate monitor feature on the watch instead of the chest band. I'm also intrigued by the concept of being reminded to move every hour since my job consists of a lot of desk time. I wonder if there are 250 steps between my office and the organ loft. No signal? Fine. I started the timer. I know the route. Past my friends house. We were going to summit Sehale this summer but cancelled the trip due to the difficulty of getting a permit to stay overnight and the fires which made for poor air quality and visibility. At community choir I invited her to run with me. She’ll consider a Saturday run but 5:anything am is insanity in her book. Flashlight in hand for the dark part of Regatta this morning. I finished the first mile by the elementary school and told myself the skip the walk break. My goal this week is the run the entire three miles without walk breaks. Mile 2 is all a slow decline. Mile 3 starts on a gradual hill. A girl came out of the one of the apartments and from several yards away I startled her with a cough. She stepped completely off the sidewalk and waited. Strange. I passed, said good morning and saw in the dim dark that she was holding a tree branch over her head. TreeGirl? I told myself I could take a walk break at the intersection where the hill crests, but that I probably wouldn’t want it. All downhill from there. Lies all lies. I ran through the traffic signal and kept on running. But it's not all downhill from here. At the corner I have another .2 miles to go and it's a hill. Not as steep as the hill on the back entry, but still, why must I finish on an uphill? I argued with myself all the way to the corner and then figured that I’d come this far without any walk breaks so why stop now? Sure Ginny wasn’t giving me distances this morning, but I knew from Saturday’s run that the 3 mile mark was the red boat. Finish strong. Finishing on a hill will prepare me to give a good final push on race day. I stopped at the boat. 36:27 Thursday I’ll run all the way to the corner. Thanks for the accountability guys.
  10. Runnerguymark

    Weather or Not

    Back in the days when I coached cross country one of the first things I addressed, at the start of the first practice, was weather and the cancellation policy. Basically the policy went like this: If the weather is bad enough to cancel a meet, then practice is cancelled. I left the parents an out (we're talking about fourth through eighth graders), but in five years of coaching I never cancelled a practice, and I only remember ending one early once. The point: I was going to be there for whoever wanted to practice. In secret I always hoped for one bad weather day early in the season, just to see who showed up. Those were gonna be the ones I could count on when needed, the ones who would do whatever they had to to succeed. This week I got the chance to apply the same reasoning to myself. I'm finally making a comeback after a couple years of injury, indifference, and other life stuff, and so far things have gone well. I'm in week ten of a fifteen week half marathon training cycle and have been hitting mileages and speeds I haven't seen in a while. Then came Wednesday: speed work, which as many of you know is my favorite something I wish I could live without. I also knew the weather forecast called for showers later in the morning, but if I went out now I should be able to get the workout in. Sounded like a good plan. Someone didn't check the radar. I ran a ten minute warmup, then launched into the first of the speed segments, 5 minutes at 5k pace. About a minute in I felt the first drops. By three minutes in it was raining pretty heavily, enough so that the rain drops that were getting in my mouth were causing me to cough. I finished the first segment and just about called the workout when I had several thoughts at once: The nearest possible shelter was about half a mile away, the dugouts at the softball fields in the park where I was running I'm already soaked WHAT WOULD THE CROSS COUNTRY KIDS SAY??! So I finished the workout. I even hit the proper times for the speed segments. Thursday I had a couple short slow runs on the schedule for recovery, managed to get rained on during both of them. Today, fourteen miles...in the rain. Tomorrow is a day off to drive to Georgia for a college visit where my son wants to go to school. I'd like to get a run in Sunday to take a look at the campus. The forecast says....
  11. ocrunnergirl

    I Struggle

    BTW -- ocrunnergirl = fivestarks Wondering if I should just have Cliff change me back to fivestarks. I like ocrunnergirl better because that's who I feel I am - a girl who grew up in Ocean City. Also belatedly I realized that it could stand for Obstacle Course (runner girl) but that was not intended. ____ My healing from the hamstring tear has been fraught with ups and downs. One PT tells me I'm fine to do anything that doesn't hurt. The next tells me that I can only do 1 mile 3 times a week. <== I kicked that one to the curb. I finished my 12 sessions of PT, but they recommended another 12 sessions. I'm calling it graduate school. I'm actually not struggling with this. If they want to point out my weaknesses and tell me how to fix them I'm all for it! I've started a very loose Higdon beginners plan to get me to be able to finish the Rehoboth 1/2. I started it late because who knew December was less than 12 weeks away?? I struggle with how many races I've DNS'd. First week called for running 15 miles total. I ran 6.1 of those miles. Ellipticaled, stairclimbed and rowed the other ones. I struggle with being smart. It seems not all of my speed has left me. I managed an 8:44 mile one day when running alternating light posts fast and slow. Two days ago I ran 4 at the park where I tore my hamstring. I wanted to be fast. I wasn't. I was in between and it didn't feel good. I struggle with remembering my paces and # of miles last year. I had my 1st session of Graduate PT yesterday. I told the PT about some pain in my hamstring. He graston'ed a little and said he felt it was just from my leg not being used to running. Thought I was okay to keep running - smaller steps, Chi running. My friend called and asked if I wanted to do a short run. Before PT I would've said no. I taped my leg and we ran a glorious 2 miles. It was slow. We chatted. It was perfect. I have so many hopes and dreams, but right now I don't know what to do with them. My strength is at an all time high due to cross training. As long as I can keep my running progressing I feel I could run a great Obstacle Course race. I'm signed up for one Dec. 9th, but with my friends and family. So a fun run. I could sign up for one in North Jersey in November but it's hilly and hills are not my hamstring's friend right now. I'm not willing to have another setback. I struggle with being too competitive. There's a marathon in Vegas in April of next year that I'd love to sign up for - Revel Mt. Charleston. I'm in no position to think about signing up for anything other than a 5k right now. With the Loop shutting down it was painful to walk down memory lane and see how fast I was and how far I had come. I struggle with feeling like I will never return to that. The PTs keep telling me I may look young but my muscles are those of a 50 year old. I also found out I have flat feet and should be wearing orthotics. Seriously? I struggle with getting old. I struggle with all of these being FWP.
  12. StinaQ

    Finishing the Week Strong

    This week marks the first week months? years? That I have put in 6 days of exercise. Monday: Elliptical 30 minutes Tuesday: Elliptical 30 minutes AND a full day without any candy or the Brownies that people bring into work. HUGE!!! Wednesday: Upper Body Weights Thursday: 3 mile run 38:53 (Another awesome food day!!!) Friday: 30 minutes Elliptical, Lower Body Weights New Leg Press PR: 210lb Saturday: 3 mile run A late night last night of pizza and movies at the BF’s=a late start this morning. Mookie came in for a rare morning snuggle and chatted with me while she played with the kittens who like attacking the blankets. Marco and Jacque. Polo lives with the BF. Jacque goes to his new home this week. At 8:30, I got up. “I need to go for a run.” While I ate some cereal and folded just enough of the laundry to decide the leggings I wanted were not in that load, she played with the lego’s I “borrowed” from Bobby a week ago to build a castle with my BF. I found the leggings I wanted near the top of the laundry hamper. They have pockets big enough to hold my phone so I could snap a few pictures for y’all. Breakfast in my belly, morning out of the way, I announced I would be back in about 45 minutes and headed out the door with Ginny. My head radio singing “I got a smartphone in my pocket and my left hand is sportin a 305” Bobby is 13 and all three of them are able to put meals together but I feel guilty leaving them on a Saturday morning. I used to plan my long runs for the weekend’s they were at their Dad’s… It’s been a little over a month since he stopped having them for the weekend. I agree with his reasoning, but not the decisions he has made to put him in this position. So, I have the kids 100% of the time and it’s good but if I wait for a child-free weekend to go on a Saturday run, it won’t be happening any time soon. When I returned I was pleasantly surprised by several awesome things 13 yo Bobby did in my absence: Bed made, showered and dressed, and then without being asked, he unloaded the dishwasher when he retrieved a cereal bowl from the machine of clean dishes If you had been a fly on the wall over the past few months, you would understand my astonishment. Hoping the praise and thanks will do something to turn this into a new trend. Same 3 mile route as Thursday but in reverse. Average Pace, 12:14 including walk breaks. Mile 1: 12:08 Mile 2: 12:21 Mile 3: 12:14 Thursday’s Average Pace was 12:57 Running that 3 mile route in reverse is faster. Running in daylight hours I get to see this: Top of Regatta aka “Resurrection Repeat Hill” in days of yore. No big hills today. I turned at the cross walk sign. Jingle Trail Run and Walk 5k at Camp Casey December 2. Filled out the registration form and wrote the check yesterday. Now where are my stamps?
  13. This week has kinda felt like week one of running for me. Those weeks where you just can’t get in a rhythm, can’t get the legs to move like you want, and just can’t find the pep in your step… those weeks only make us stronger, right? I know that it does but it can be hard to accept that at the time. Last night, I had 4 mile tempo @ 9:00 on the training log. I’ve been doing a mile warm-up and a mile cool-down before/after all of my speed work and I can certainly feel the benefits of it. I ran my usual route because the Bear Creek Trail Greenway is right behind my house; it’s just easy and beautiful, with dirt trails too. There is a .3 mile hill that leads down to it so I always have an uphill to finish on. As soon as I got to the bottom of the hill, I started noticing them; those things that “bug” the shit out of me when the weather is warm. Clouds and clouds of gnats. They hover above the greenway, and swirl around awaiting your arrival. They weren’t too bad during the first mile, but after that they progressively got worse. The trail gets a little…stinkier as you go too (sewage…gag). Also, I suck at tempos. I use to be really good at keeping a particular pace, but it has been so long since I’ve even worried about it. I could tell I was running too fast, but I was just aggravated that my Garmin wouldn’t stay put on pace so I could tell how fast I was going; it seems to just jump around the whole time. Instead of constantly looking down, I just went with it and knew I didn’t want to miss the mark; I’d just be fast. Whatevs. When I turned around at 3 miles, I knew I’d have to endure those cloudy fuckers again. The thought of it pissed me off… It was making the run much harder than it needed to be because I couldn’t breathe without using my shirt to cover my mouth. My gait was thrown off also because I had to use one arm to hold my shirt up. AHHHHHHH!!!! At one point, I stopped and said, “Fuck this!” I quickly started again and just wanted to be finished; that’s why mile 3 was so fast. I still had to get back home, after all. When I hit a cloud, it’d put my head down and could feel them pelting the top of my head, my sunglasses, my cheeks, and my hand. They weren’t the tiny gnats you might be thinking of… GROSS!!! When I reached the end and began my cool-down, I was glad to be done and to have surpassed my goal. I had planned to walk up that last hill, but I found some new energy when I hit it. Although I was supposed to be cooling down, I charged up the hill and felt the strongest I’d felt during the whole run. Finding those new pockets of energy, at unexpected times, is magic for me. It spreads over my whole body and almost seems to lift me up (literally) a bit. Things could worse. I could be injured or sick or in a place where running isn’t safe or possible. Look at this view?! So lucky to have this right behind my house… So I’ll just find the magic in the misery and chew on those nasty little winged fuckers. Extra protein. Thanks for reading, Chris
  14. The first two things I had for lunch. The last thing I had for a run/walk/hike/whatever the heck it is I'm doing these days. Gratuitous nature shots! I ran a bit less than I was hoping but didn't stress out about it. The weather was perfect and I saw only one other person so it was really relaxing. I lost myself a few times just chugging along and thinking... love it when that happens. Something that didn't quite work: I may need to get some new shirts sometime soon because this whole situation seems inappropriate. Something that totally worked: Chewie is a good boy and knows how to use the hydration pack. Totals, charts, splits and elevation! I didn't hit pause for any Chewie potty breaks but I'm not trying to impress anyone with my blazing fast times, haha. I had it in my mind to do this today and found myself waffling midafternoon whether to do it or not. Then I thought about what I could post and immediately went and got it done. So this new site has at least one confirmed positive effect!
  15. Avivocaruns

    Checking In

    Checking in from Derby City. Today was my first run in 4 weeks. I was training for the Kentucky History Half, but I got sick and couldn't run for four weeks without having some kind of relapse, be it epic coughing or a return of fever. So, I didn't. I needed the run. I needed to pound the pavement. My father is very sick. Part of it can be cured. The other part...well, we're not sure what it is. He had an MRI yesterday and will speak with an oncologist next Wednesday. Hopefully, whatever it is is treatable. I'm not ready to lose him, and that is my greatest fear. So I've been in tears most of the last few days and doing the bare minimum at work. But today's run was good. my pace was 12:40ish but it felt comfortable and that's where I am right now. My RBFF was with me and did a good job distracting me from my worries. It's also my birthday, so I'm glad I got to run today. I feel more like myself and less... like a drifter, just making my way through the day in a fog. I told her I wanted to run a marathon next year, but I want to take a long, slow training cycle so my body can be ready without dropping off the immune cliff four weeks before the race. I'm looking at Indy Monumental or Marshall. I hope to be around more often as I get back into running. My oldest will be four on Saturday and my youngest will be one next Wednesday (yes, the day my dad talks to the oncologist and it also happens to be his birthday). Hopefully my youngest starts sleeping through the night in the next few months so I can put my running plans in motion.
  16. Yesterday was less than great. Glad I only had 4 miles. Probably because it was over 80o again. Did you see what I just did? Superscripting text - that alone makes this better than the old Loop. After the run I did some lunges - something I figured would be a good idea to help overcome the lack of hills around here. Forget now who posted about it . Right hamstring didn't like it, apparently. Seems a little better today. Hope this doesn't require time off. Not interested in that. Bought a rear stabilizer link on the way home from work. The replacement went OK, but it seems a little shorter than the original. Leaves me with a little nagging in my head that it won't last as long as it should. The last part for the broken mixer came in the mail, so I installed that as well (5 minute job). Didn't work. Mrs. Dave's oral surgery follow up didn't go well. She's very upset - worried about looking like she's from a holler in the Appalachians for the next six months. Worse, I was all wrapped up in the car and the mixer repairs that I forgot to ask her about it and console her properly. (what's wrong with me? I forget everything) Then she asked me if I had the pictures of DS2 and his dog that I promised to take while I was in Louisville over the weekend. Um, that would be, no. (what's wrong with me? I forget everything) This morning she asked me if I wanted the green checkbook or the maroon checkbook. Why do I need any checkbook at all? OMG - the Hood to Coast application has to be postmarked TODAY! (what's wrong with me? I forget everything) Left for work early to drop it off at the post office because I'm sure I'd forget by the time I drove home this afternoon. That put me in the parking lot at work a half hour early. Time to read a little or take a quick catnap. As I'm setting the iPhone alarm, I notice that I'll need to switch the hour from 7 to 6 after I set the minutes. After I wake up at 7:22, I wonder why the alarm never went off. Because it was set to 7:55. That's right, I'd never reset the hour. (what's wrong with me? I forget everything)
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