Friday, July 30, 2010

In the Mailbox?

This morning I tested out the new shoes again. I walked down the driveway wearing my old asics and carrying my new shoes. I stashed the new shoes in the mailbox and then ran down and back up my road.

When I reached my driveway, I switched shoes and set out again down the road. I felt the same knee and IT band pain after just a few steps and it only intensified as I ran. Sadly I think these new shoes are going to have to be returned to the store.

3.2 miles at 8:08 pace

Today I am off to Blueberry pick with my mom! And tomorrow I am going on a 10 mile run! The cooler temperatures in the morning have been nice (60F) but the humidity is still pretty high!

Have a great weekend! YAY it's Friday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shoes and Books

Yesterday was Tempo at the Track Tuesday

2 mile warm up
1.5 mile @ easy
3x 5 minutes at Tempo with 2 mins recovery jog
2 mile cool down

The goal tempo pace was 7:15 min/mile but I exceeded that and averaged a 7 min/mile pace. The second set was my fastest where I almost made it three laps around the track in 5 minutes. The final set was the toughest where my legs felt dead but I didn't drop off the pace too much which was a first. Every time I would pass the coach on my recovery jog, he would pull me aside and talk to me about something - form, training, XC running. I am not sure how I feel about XC running - I swore I would never do it again after completing a XC race called Tour de Pain in the summer of 2005!

Second pair of new shoes bought and this time they actually made it out of the box and onto my feet. The guy at the running store suggested Saucony shoes for both Brian and I. He said that they have a wider toe box and more heel support. Brian ran in his during the race last weekend and loved them.

I did a quick 2 miles this morning with the new shoes (ProGrid Triumph 7) and felt intense IT band pain. Of course this could have been caused because I was running just 10 short hours after completing the track workout. Or it could be the shoes. I plan to test them out again Friday and see what happens.

I finally broke down and paid the 50 cents my library required to place a hold on a book in order to request Run Faster by Brad Hudson. This book has a ton of good stuff in it! It is like a mini running gold mine! The one thing I found the most important out of everything was the concept of hill sprints.

"...These brief, maximal-intensity efforts against gravity offer two key benefits. First, they strengthen all of the running muscles, making you much less injury-prone. They also increase the power and efficiency of your stride, enabling you to cover more ground with each stride with less energy in races..." (Full article from RunningTimes HERE thanks to the Running Laminator)

The key is to do start small, doing 1-2 hill sprints (on a hill of 6-8% grade) of 8-10 seconds after a regularly scheduled easy run. Seems pretty simple - might be worth giving it a try and I know I have plenty of hills around me so that shouldn't be a problem!

I also checked out American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield which is supposed to be a fictionalized account of the life of Former First Lady Laura Bush. The whole time I was reading the book, I just couldn't relate the main character of Alice to Laura. For a great book review, click HERE. I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it was 558 pages long!

Happy reading and running!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten Ugly Men 5k Recap

Thank you so much for all the comments on the running skirt post!! Every comment was so nice and really made my day!

Saturday was a warm day. I don't remember exactly how hot it got, but the meteorologists had been predicting a high of 90F. Fun.

I picked Brian up at 7:30am and we headed to the race which was taking place in a local park. Start time 9am. I ran this race two years ago so I knew the course but that really didn't make a difference.

After a super short warm up, we stood at the start and waited. We watched all the other people gathering at the start. There was the really tall, tan boy who shaved his legs. There was super skinny, super fast woman of two kids. There was my old college track teammates and also my new track club teammates.

I wanted to run well and fast. I did not account for the weather.

Soon enough we were off and running. We started on the park main road and then crossed over a bridge and made a loop back to the start. As we hit the bridge for the second time, I start getting passed by a lot of girls. I didn't think I was going that slow so I stayed at my pace and then I saw her. She was a high school soccer teammate of mine, and she just whizzed past me. I pretty much lost it from there. She had always been a better runner than me but I didn't think she was running races at all, I hadn't even talked to her since 2003.

I hit mile 1 at 6:34 and kept going. I thought I was doing great, right on pace but I was mentally losing it because I let that girl get to me. I let being passed get to me. We continued through the park and I just kept going slower and slower. Approaching a small hill I wanted to stop and walk. I wondered why was I out here running this race. Why was I doing this to myself?

I want to forget the rest of my splits from this race. I continued to run but I had no heart at all. I even let the girl pass me whom I had picked out pre-race as "the girl I must beat".

But what did I expect, right? I mean three races, in three weekends and I just thought I would be fine. I never let my body fully recover with all the races and then the tough Tuesday track workouts with the club.

It's a good lesson to learn, plus I just need to get my butt in gear and start training harder. I also think I don't race well in heat but really who does?

The rest of Saturday was spent consuming food and water. And I ate too much so Sunday I went out for a run to shake out kinks and get myself over the race. It worked because I felt better and I let everything go.

This morning's run was also good. A bright full moon greeted me as I started my run and I enjoyed being out in the cool morning.

Happy Monday!!

Run Like a Mother has an amazing post today. I strongly suggest reading it HERE.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Running Gear

Every time I go to a race, I always see women in running skirts and I really wanted to try one out! Nicole from RunnerNic was nice enough to send me a running skirt that she had that she wasn't using! Thanks so much Nicole!! When I got it in the mail I was so excited to try it! I would have taken pictures pre-run but this morning it was so dark out.

A little sweaty...

So I ran in the skirt this morning and I really liked it. This skirt has built in spandex shorts which was nice, they didn't ride up and I felt comfortable to whole run.

I did a fartlek run, as suggested by the coach from the track workout on Tuesday. My legs were still a little tight from the track but the burst of speed made this run very enjoyable.
I ran 15 x 1 minute fartleks with 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds medium easy.

Below is a picture of (one pair of) my current running shoes, men's Nimbus' (I also have women's 1150's). The men's shoes have almost 500 miles on them and are still going strong, the women's have 250 miles and feel like they are dying. I have always run in Asics but I am thinking of switching. Over the weekend I went to the local running store and tried on a bunch of shoes. I ended up buying a pair of Brooks but then returned them last night because I am afraid to switch. What kind of shoes do you run in? Why do you like them?

Saturday Brian and I are running in another 5k! Happy Thursday (almost the weekend!!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I like the pain

Good Morning! It's Wednesday!

Last night I went to the running club's track workout. I knew the workout ahead of time, I knew it would be a lot of mileage but I didn't think it would be that bad.

All day I was nervous but once I changed into my running clothes, I felt calmer and ready to go. I arrived, spoke with the coach who introduced me to another runner who was joining the group for the first time. We stuck together for the whole workout and I was so happy to have someone to run with who was my pace!

The workout:
2.15 mile warm up
4x400m with 400m recovery
5 minutes rest
2000m at Tempo Pace
2x Kenyan Surge Drill
2.15 mile cool down
Total mileage: 8.8 miles!

The 400s were great, we had a nice little group all aiming for 90 seconds.
400m in 90 secs - oh yeah this pace is great, I could do this all day!
400m in 93 secs - I paced this one, went out too slow
400m in 88 secs - thats a little better
400m in 85 secs - really fast, can't breath!

The 2000m at tempo really wasn't at tempo pace but I just thought of it as more working on endurance. Once we finished that we had 30 seconds rest before going into the Kenyan surge drill -

30 secs interval pace
30 secs easy
60 sec interval pace
60 sec easy
120 secs interval pace
120 sec easy

This drill was so tough after everything else. We skipped out on the last 120 secs of the second set because we were just dying. Finally it was time for the cool down, which we took nice and slow!

Although painful, I absolutely loved running last night! It was nice to have girls to chat with while running! After the workout, I drove home and proceeded to raid the refrigerator, which I regretted about 20 minutes later when I was laying in the fetal position on the floor. Note to self - Do not eat anything with mayo in or on it after a hard workout!

This morning I woke up feeling better, which was a relief and now I am just enjoying the day! Enjoy the day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back at It

This weekend I sort of got back into the groove of running. After napping Thursday afternoon instead of running, I headed out Friday morning for a peaceful hilly run. I did one of my favorite routes which is down the road, then into a private neighborhood on a golf course. I just love to run by the big beautiful houses and see the golfers out on the course. I had some emotions running through me, so my run was a little bit too fast.

5.23 miles/41:00/7:51 pace

Friday night I had kickball again and we had a double header for the game that was canceled last week due to weather. The second game started late, around 8:30pm, and we were playing in the dark which was quite tricky! Saturday morning, I once again awoke to sore muscles and went for a 3 mile slow run to try and loosen up my legs.

3.06 miles/25:44/8:25 pace

Sunday Brian and I headed to the Zoo for the Jungle Jog 5k. My legs were experiencing the second day soreness and I was actually glad I was not going to race because I didn't think I could move fast. It was hard though and I even started to sub-consciously scope out the other girls. I ran with Brian the whole way and just enjoyed the course. We ran around the park that surrounds the zoo and then through the zoo. As we passed the Polar Bears area, I saw the bear sitting there looking at all the runners going by. He had the funniest look on his face, as if he was wondering where everyone was going so fast and why weren't they stopping to look at him!!

Brian and I finished the 5k in 26:01 and 26:02 respectively and it was a lot of fun to run with him. Brian did not feel the same - he said that he doesn't want me to run with him any more because I make him feel slow. (Plus when I saw the Polar bear I may have started going faster because I was excited...opps!)

This morning I headed out for another 3 miles and my legs felt ultra dead. Maybe it is because there are so many hills around me! No matter what direction I go, its uphill!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Tuesday we had a ton of rain fall in a short period of time. I was sitting in my cube when I heard shouting. I soon realized what was going on as water began to seep into my cube. From there it was a mad scramble to get all the equipment and computers off the floor!! There was about an inch of water on the floor and we got sent home! Always something fun going on at work!

2. Morning running has been non-existent this week. I tried to pull myself out of bed this morning, but I just was not feeling it. Now that I look at the weather, I really wish I had gotten up since it is supposed to be 90F! This Sunday, Brian and I will be running a 5k at the Zoo! I don't think I will be racing this, hopefully just pacing Brian!

3. And now, Boilermaker photos courtesy of Brian!! Basically Brian took a ton of pictures, capturing my every step from mile 9.1 to 9.2! Wish I could show them all, here are just a few!

All the runners!

Brian and I!

Happy Thursday!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boilermaker 15k 2010

Saturday morning, Brian and I loaded up the car with pillows and suitcases and headed to Utica. This was my 6th year running the Boilermaker and yet I was still nervous. We arrived at Kim's parents house (Kim = my college roommate) shortly after noon, had lunch and then headed to the expo.

Just like past years we had a pasta dinner and then lounged around for the rest of the night, drinking lots of water. Sunday morning dawned cool and calm. I had toast with peanut butter before we left the house at 6:15am. The runners left first and headed to park at the finish line and then take the shuttle to the start line. There were seven total runners (six girls and one guy) this year in our little caravan, the most we have had in a while. We arrived at the street we usually park on and saw a man standing in the middle of the road. We parked and began to pile out of the car, while the man in the street came over to the car. He told us that we needed to pay for parking, even though it was a public street. Kim's dad proceeded to tell him that he had been parking there for 15 years for the race. The man backed off said he meant no disrespect, he just wanted to keep the street clear of out of towners. Weird and slightly scary.

The wait at the shuttles was short and soon we were on our way to the start line. Once there, it was a swarm of runners everywhere! A few of the girls in our group needed to pick up their bibs so they went off to take care of that, while the rest of us headed to our usual starting point - under the stop light. I was standing there for a while before I saw Margot (a college basketball teammate) standing nearby. I went over to her and found that she was actually going to be in my corral area so we agreed to stand together. Sadly I didn't see anyone else that I knew.

The corral areas are marked by colors that match the bib colors and I had a yellow bib. There were six corral areas, with yellow being the second to last area. As the race start approached, Margot and I moved into the yellow area and waited. It slowly began to fill up so that we were standing among hundreds of other runners, kind of claustrophobic.

Soon after the star spangled banner, the cannon sounded and we were off. Well not really, we stood there for a bit and then started to move forward. My legs felt tight and nervous and not ready to go.

Mile 1 - 7:36 Starting closer really has it benefits as I didn't do that much weaving around people. It just really makes me angry when I see a person with a bib color that says they are supposed to be running faster than me, but they are going ultra slow.

Mile 2 - 7:42 May have started too fast, but I just tried to keep the pace as this area was uphill.

Mile 3 - 7:39 This area was mostly flat and shaded which made me happy. My legs were feeling good and as I came into the 5k I started to feel the stomach/lung cramp starting. I held my breath and tried to switch up my breathing. The pain lingered but didn't get any worse.

Mile 4 - 8:02 Uphill into the golf course, my favorite hill because it is followed by my favorite downhill. I began to run with a group of about 4 other women and we stayed together until the end.

Mile 5 - 6:49 Wayyyy too fast! This was downhill but still, this mile really took its toll on me. This mile I ran with Elvis for a bit and also passed a few wheelchairs from the wheel chair race.

Mile 6 - 7:29 I took a GU (from the stash I had from winning Miss Zippy's Giveaway!!) in the middle of this mile in preparation for the tough hill in the next mile. It actually worked well and I felt energized.

Mile 7 - 8:19 This hill hurt and I slowed down a ton. I wanted to stop but I just kept telling myself, Get to that stop light (which was the top of the hill) and its flat.

Mile 8 - 7:25 Downhill again!! Yippie! This was also one of my favorite miles, so close to being done!

Mile 9 - 8:14 (+ 0.3 in 2:15) I wanted to walk SO BADLY in this final mile. I was dead tired but I thought about Brian waiting for me at the finish and picked up the pace for the final downhill. I knew I was going to PR but I saw my goal of 1 hour and 10 minutes slipping away. I saw Brian and then ran across the finish line and was done!

I was in a daze after finishing and my legs started to cramp. I walked around aimlessly for a while before collecting water and some snacks. I waited for the others to finish and didn't get to cool down properly.

Surprisingly, my hips and knees felt great through the whole race. I never felt any pain from pounding out the miles which was nice. I just was so tired and my lung was cramping. All I thought about during the final mile was seeing Brian. Just thinking about him waiting for me, waiting to take my picture, made me run faster.

Today I am sore in the quads and I hobbled around work. Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates I am going to the group track workout after work to stretch my legs and see how I feel. I have some Achilles tightness so hopefully that will be gone.

The worst part about this whole race was that I have been sick to my stomach since yesterday. Every time I eat something, I feel my stomach cramping up. I have had this pain in the past when I have mistakenly eaten dairy after a run or race but this time, the pain isn't going away. My mom things my electrolytes are out of whack so now I am on a Gatorade diet to hopefully straighten things out.

And FINALLY my stats!

My secret goal was to PR at below 1:10:59 and I almost made it. (Last years time was 1:13:07)

Chip Time: 1:11:35 (7:41 pace)
Age group: 65/750
Female finish: 255/5115

Congrats to all the others who ran the Boilermaker!! Thanks for reading!! Pictures will be posted as soon as I get them off Brian's camera!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Summer Hours started this week at work. That means working Monday thru Thursday, ten hour days. Its a tough schedule, but nice having Fridays off all summer!

And we just lost power at work for about an hour. Not sure if it was due to the heat, but I honestly thought they were going to send us home for the day :(

2. This morning I headed out for a short run in 77F with 99% humidity. Wowee! Kept it slow and steady to get my legs ready for Sunday. Finished 2.35 miles in 20 minutes and then ate breakfast out on the deck!

3. The Boilermaker 15k is this Sunday!! I have picked out my race outfit and started to pack! There is going to be a record 13,000+ runners this year. Although the chances are slim, let me know if you are going to be there and maybe we will run into each other!

Good luck to everyone racing and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Melt your popsicle

It sure has been a scorcher outside lately. Yesterday the temps reached 94F and today is even hotter. Thankfully I am missing most of the heat as I am inside working.

In the case (which is my case) that neither your house nor your car have air conditioning, here are a few (interesting) things I have learned to help stay cool -

  • After a morning run, when cooling down is really not going to happen, opt for an extremely cold shower. This will not be easy, but it will be worth it when you don't start sweating again immediately after exiting the bathroom.
  • Try to avoid drinking hot coffee at work as this will just make you hot once again!
  • When leaving work, make a mad dash to your car and proceed to roll down all the windows and then zoom out of the parking lot to increase air flow into steaming hot car.
  • Once you reach home, proceed to change out of sweat drenched work clothes and into something else that you are ok with becoming sweat drenched.
  • Place a chair outside in a shaded area, optimally near a electrical outlet. Place a high powered fan in front of chair, plug into outlet and turn it on. Sit there and let the air blow over you.

So I am exaggerating with a few things on the list, but not having AC in the car is killing me. I have been driving the same car since I was 16 and the AC conked out about 3 years ago. Plus trying to cool down from the mornings runs has been hard when I am trying to get to work on time. I have been taking it easy this week with running as the Boilermaker is just 4 short days away!!

Hope everyone is staying cool! Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Tuesday Double: Tuesday after work I headed to meet up with the local running group. I had already done 3.5 miles of hills in the morning but the workout looked decent enough and I thought I would make it.

We did 2 miles warm up then started into 3x1000m (although the girls I was running with were doing 6x1000m in 3:55). My previous 1000m pace was about 4:04 so I thought I could just hold on for 3 repeats and would make it. Well the first one they went out way too fast and that pretty much killed me for the next two. I ended up running 3:49, 3:57 and 4:05 and then stopped. I continued to run the recovery jog with the girls and then we did 6x100m barefoot strides followed by a 2 mile cool down.

My legs were hating me by the end. I had no idea how much I had run but once I got home and claculated it, I found I had run about 8 miles with the group. That put me at a total of 11.5 miles for Tuesday and 16 miles in two days!! I haven't run that many miles in one day in 2 years! Surprisingly I wasn't sore on Wednesday but my body still feels pretty beat up. It was nice to have a group to run with, but these girls are FAST and they are all training for marathons so they run like 85 miles a week! I want to be involved in the group but I don't want to be pushed/pressured into increasing my miles right now.

2. June Running/Recap:
Miles Run: 98.3 - highest mileage month ever!

Highest Mileage week: 23.5 although this week is shaping up to be higher cause of my intense 16 miles in two days.

Rest days Taken: 8

Current Book: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane - not to the scary parts yet!

Current Colors: Yellow - there is just something about yellow right now although I do love pink too!

Current Goal: Stay healthy and run 1000 miles in 2010

Current excitement: 4th of July weekend and then Boilermaker!

3. Weekend: 4th of July weekend is coming right up and I can't wait to eat good food, watch fireworks and lay in the sun! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!