Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Best Laid Plans Go Awry

Distance: 7.5 mi.
Time: 1:52:55
Pace: 15:03 min/mi
Time of day: 11:30 a.m.
Temperature: 80F; sunny, hot, 66% humidity

I counted 11 people out running a 7:30 a.m. when I went to pick up The Love's car and drop off my car for a state inspection. It was a sign and I totally missed it! I was concerned about too quick of turnaround having run last evening. Oh how silly I am. Even The Love tried to tell me that I should run in the morning and not wait until afternoon.

I finally hit the trail about 11:30 a.m. My plan was to run 2 miles, then walk 1 mile and log 13 miles. Umm, yeah. That was the plan. It didn't work out though. I completely underestimated the effect of the temperature and humidity. It was brutal and with the lack of running this past week, well, all I can say is, I did what I could do.

I ran the first 2 miles and slowed down to a power walk. By the time I was at the 3 mile mark, I was hot, sweating profusely and not feeling well. I picked up the pace and ran about 1/4 mile before I realized I was in trouble. I started walking again and finally turned around at just under the 4 mile marker. I tried running again until I became light-headed and started feeling sick. I found a shady place to sit for about 5 minutes and then walked the remaining 2 miles back to my car.

I carried water but it was all gone by about mile 5. I realized that I really should have run earlier when it wasn't so hot and humid. I hope I don't make this mistake again.

So where does this leave my training and my readiness for the North Shore half-marathon?

I am going to pick up the training schedule with tomorrow's 2 mile run. I plan to follow the schedule as set out with 1 change. I'm going to run 2-3 miles on Wednesday since I don't get those miles when I strength train now. And when race day comes I will do the best I can.

4 Days Off = Oh My Gosh!

Friday Stats
Distance: 3.78 mi.
Time: 48:14 min.
Pace: 12:46 min/mi
Time of day: 7:05 p.m.
Temperature: 60-ish, overcast, cool; a pretty great evening for running.

Before I get to the running details, I got my nails done Friday evening and then ran home from the nail shop. This wasn't exactly on my list of routes to run, but The Love's car was in getting an oil change and he had to play poker, so I told him to drop me off at the nail shop and I would run home. And I did!

Now for the actual running. Coach Jeni told me that if I didnt get to run this week (while traveliing) I would notice a significant decrease in my level of fitness. Boy was she right! Running Friday night was hard. I had to push myself to not walk. There was lots of Duffy Moon reminders.

It felt great to get out and move again!

Now how do I get back into my training schedule?

A conversation with Coach Jeni this morning offered 2 options to return to focused training. The first option is to walk/run 13 miles today. Run 2 miles, walk 1 mile. This will get in the distance on the schedule. It will also give me an idea of what it is like to utilize a run/walk strategy for my upcoming race. The 2nd option would be to pick a distance I felt was challenging but still doable and run that, then just return to the training schedule tomorrow.

I opted for the first option. Part of our conversation today was that the North Shore race while it will be my 2nd half-marathon, it will be a completely new race. It will be a new course, a more hilly course, much warmer tempertures and I'll be running solo. The only thing the races have in common is the distance.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Long Talk With The Coach

I had a long talk with The Coach Sunday evening. I was feeling bad about my earlier run. And, with a travel schedule that will disrupt my running schedule again, I wanted to get her advice on how to proceed. As usual she was understanding, uplifting and practical.

The first thing she said was that Monday should be a fun run, if I run at all. Decide in the morning how I feel and if I don't feel like running, then don't. If I do feel like running, then just start out and run for only as long as it is pleasurable. Don't go out with any time or distance goal. Just run for the joy of it.

She also reminded me that I am a beginner runner. I have not built up a great deal of endurance or stamina and running the distances I did in the time frame I did really taxed my body. Don't beat myself up about a bad run, just accept reality and move on. Even elite runners have bad runs.

So here I am in my hotel room Monday evening. I didn't run this morning before leaving home because it was raining. I am exhausted after my day today. Making myself go get on the hotel treadmill sounds like toture. I am going to wait until tomorrow to run. I believe I will be at my hotel early enough that I can get on the treadmill before dinner.

A Bad Run

Sunday, 05/17
Distance: 8.0 mi.
Time: 1:49:56
Pace: 13:45 min/mi
Time of day: 10:25 a.m.
Temperature: 60F, cloudy, cool, rainy

Today's run was awful! Here is a list of what went wrong:
  1. I ran Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. and turned around and ran at 10:25 a.m. I had a situation of avoiding rain and hooking up with The Chef on business. The Chef lives very close to the trail I use for long runs so I didn't want to go to her house, come home, and then drive back.
  2. I forgot to carry my water. I realized this about 1.5 miles into the run.
  3. I was tired. I ran 12+ miles in the last 48 hours before heading out on this run.
  4. Again, my running app malfunctioned.
I wanted to run my regularly scheduled 11 miles Sunday, but I was worn out by 8 miles. In fact, I had to call The Love to pick me up and drive me back to the trail head where my car was parked.

Crazy Schedules

A crazy travel schedule over the next 2 weeks has my running training schedule all mixed up. So here's a recap.

Monday, 5/10
Distance: 6.37 mi.
Time: 1:19:59
Pace: 12:33 min/mi
Time of Day: 12:30 p.m.
Temperatue: 51F cloudy & overcast

Cloudy & overcast will be a common theme for the next couple of weeks. What happened to the whole "Aprl showers bring May flowers" thing? I am so tired or "cloudy and overcast".

Today's run was pretty good. I felt strong running at a 12:33 pace. My goal for the North Shore race is going to be a 13:00 min/mile.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

I did strength training on Tuesday & Thursday, but I'm miss the 1 mile warm up runs. Wednesday was a rest day.

Friday, 05/14

Distance: 5.12 mi.
Time: 1:03:38
Pace: 12:26 min/mi
Time of day: 4:30 p.m.
Temperature: 60-ish. Sunny, warm, slightly humid

Finally The Love's car was repaired and we went to Chicago to pick it up. I ran a trail near Coach Jeni's house. It was a pretty trail, muddy from recent rains, but still very nice.

Saturday, 05/15

Distance: 6.5 mi.
Time: 1:22:23
Pace: 12:40 min/mi
Time of day: 5:30 p.m.
Temperature: 60F, cloudy, cool, rainy

I ran today after spending 6 hours in the car which is what I did yesterday. But, and I hate to admit this, my running app malfunctioned in a big way and that throws me off. If the app just quits playing the music then I can adjust to that. But when it keeps switching off and on and playing the music in fast forward and then shuts off completely and then I have to restart the running app and then it stops and starts again--well, it just makes me mad and screws me up.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Long Run

Distance: 10.02 miles
Time: 2:10:13
Pace: 12:59 min/mi.
Time of Day: 2:15 p.m.
Temperature: 63°F, very windy, party sunny

What a great run today! I admit to being a little apprehensive after the issues I had earlier in the week but today's run was almost glorious. It definitely would have been glorious if I had run only 8.5 miles. The final 1.5 miles were work.

I deliberately started out very slow on this run. I kept my pace between 13:30 and 14:00 for the first couple of miles. Then I picked it up to about 13:20. I stayed around that pace until I reached the 5 mile mark and turned around. I picked it up a little more around 5.5 miles, 12:55-13:05. I was able to maintain that until I reached approximately 8.5 miles. The going got tough then and I know I slowed down some. I did sprint the final .1 mile but it was tough.

Overall I am really pleased with my performance. I was not worn out when I finished. That's a first for me after a long run. I have been coming home and just spending the rest of the day on the couch. But I felt really good afterwards except for one issue.

The one issue is that starting around mile 8.5 my butt muscles started hurting. And they hurt like heck! They continued to hurt all evening. It is weird.

Funny story about my run today. It was really windy and as I ran out I was running into the wind. I wore my jacket because it was so windy. I'm running along thinking how pleasant it was, so cool and all, my hair blowing in the wind, no sweat running down my face…Then I turned around and headed back. Wow! It was awesome having a tail wind. I was moving right along. Then the sweat started dripping down my forehead and into my eyes. I had taken a couple tissues in case I needed to blow my nose. Oh, no. They weren't used for my nose but they did mop up a lot of sweat. My jacket sleeves have dark streaks on them from wiping sweat away. That little indentation on your top lip? Oh yeah! Mine filled with sweat and then spilled over. And to think when I was young I didn't sweat at all. Gotta love aging!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Caught Up At Last

This is a recap of today's workout, actually posted today!

So the whole car repair issue has played a little havoc with my training schedule this week. I ran yesterday and strength trained today.

Another change is in the offing with regard to strength training. The Love and I have agreed to cancel our gym membership. The Love has started walking (and even running a little) on the school track nearby. He hasn't been to the gym in several weeks. If everything is perfect I go the gym 2 days a week. We feel that right now we can put that money to better use. We've been members of our gym for 10+ years. I feel a little sad about ending our membership, but come winter we can always join again. In the meantime, we will have saved some money which is a good thing.

I have some free weights at home. That won't be a problem. I can do lunges and squats in place of leg extensions and leg curls. That won't be a problem. I actually will do more ab/core work at home because I hate doing those exercises at the gym. The issue becomes how do I get in the warm up miles? Do they matter in the overall training schedule? Feel free to chime in here, Coach Jeni!

Almost Caught Up

Wednesday was my regular rest day.

Thursday Stats, 05/06
Distance: 4.27 mi.
Time: 55:38 min.
Pace: 13:02 min/mi.
Time of day: 4:15 p.m.
Temperature: 79°F, sunny and very warm

Back in mid-April The Love and I were in Chicago. The first night we were there The Love's car was hit while parked. The trunk became the back seat. Thank goodness no one was hurt in the accident. So for the last almost-month his car has been in the repair shop in Chicago. We are down to the final days. You know, the days when every afternoon you hear the repair shop lady say, "I'm sorry. We didn't get your car finished today. We hope it will be ready tomorrow." We've heard this every day for the last week.

How does the car story tie into my running? The Love & I thought we would be heading to Chicago on Friday to pick up the car. So I decided to run on Thursday and sacrifice my strength training if need be. As it turned out, of course the car isn't ready. And in true maddening fashion, the car repair lady didn't call until I had already started my run.

So now let me whine about my run. It was awful! It was worse than my first 7-mile run where I performed poorly. That time I was tired and slow. I can deal with tired and slow. Yesterday involved annoying aches and pains. So let's start at the bottom and work up.

My feet hurt with almost every step. I don't think my shoes were tied to tight. I actually checked them as I waited for a green light to cross the street. But something was clearly not right. It wasn't an acute, sharp pain; the darn feet just ached with every step. I did stop running and walked for a short time and that allowed me to push on and finish the course running. I can't help wondering if the weird way my left shoe has worn down has something to do with this.

My ankles and calves were so tight. (I know that isn't proper grammar and/or sentence structure, but it's the best way to describe the issue.) I was at mile 3.5 before my calves relaxed. I could not get into any kind of rhythmic breathing. I panted most of the way. And to top it all off, I forgot to put on my sweatband and salty sweat dripped in my eyes for much of the run. For the last 3/4 mile my mantra became, "one foot in front of the other". I'm telling ya', it was a bad run.

But now that I've captured it here, I'm putting it out of my mind!

Tuesday At The Gym

Wow! There's a whole different crowd at the gym on Tuesday mornings.

It felt good to get back to the strength training. I realized that with April and now May being so busy I have sacrificed this part of my training to get in my running. I was surprised to see on my calendar that I only hit the gym 1 time in April. The early part of the month was spent tapering for the April 11th race, then I had a week of rest afterwards, but still I am disappointed that I didn't make more of an effort to strength train later in the month.

May looks challenging as far as getting in all my scheduled workouts. I will be out of town part of next week and then all of the following week. I believe running will be o.k. but I'm not sure about all the strength training sessions. I may have to sacrifice 1 or 2 but I will definitely be more vigilant than I was in April.

Flip Flop

Playing catch up.

Monday's Stats, 05/03
Distance: 3.29 mi.
Time: 43:23 min.
Pace: 13:11 min/mi.
Time of day: 12:30 p.m.
Temperature: 75°F., sunny, hot, humidity on the rise

Two things about today:

First, I am swapping my Monday and Tuesday schedules as mentioned previously. I have a hard time motivating myself to hit the gym first thing Monday morning. I do, however, feel the urge to run on Mondays. So I'm going to try the swap and see how it goes.

Second, I was all excited about running today and really ran into a wall. The Love wanted to walk on the local fitness trail at lunch so I agreed. I figured I would run the outer loop and then a figure 8 to hit my 5 miles. It was hot and humid and that coupled with the hills really wore me out. I made the outer loop and started the figure 8. I was only about 1/4 of the way when I started feeling light-headed and slightly nauseous. I walked a while then ran again, ending at the car. I was o.k. but I'm not in this to make myself sick. So I'm  glad I listened to my body and stopped.

A question I had for Coach Jeni was, do I make up the missed miles later in the week? "Nope", she said. "They are just gone."

Can You Say Behind?

I am posting this info late. Today is Friday, May 7th. Where has the week gone?

Sunday, 05/02, Stats
Distance: 2.44 mi.
Time: 29:00 min.
Pace: 11:53 min/mi.
Time of day: 6:15 p.m.
Temperature: 65°F, mostly blue skies, slightly humid

I returned home from my Michigan trip. It was a great day to be out of doors and I logged my 2 miles in the early evening.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On The Road Dearborn MI

Friday's Stats
Distance: 3 mi.
Time: 39:26 min.
Pace: 13:09 min/mi
Time of day: 8:30 p.m.

On the road in Dearborn MI today. I'm working with my friend, Londa. I help with her creative sweatshirt jacket workshops. It is tons of fun.

Friday evening after a full day's seminar, a visit to a quilt shop and some dinner, I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill in the hotel. It was a pretty fancy treadmill. I had my own personal HD TV. Unfortunately, I didn't take my headphones to the exercise room. It worked out o.k. I jsut read the subtitles as they scrolled across the screen.

I will be home in time to run my regular Sunday 2 miles.

A Better 7 Mile Run

Wednesday's Stats
Distance: 7.01 mi.
Time: 1:29:41
Pace: 12:47 min/mi.
Time of day: 8:10 a.m.
Temperature: 50-ish

Wednesday's seven miles were a heck of a lot better than my last seven mile run. The first time I ran 7 miles was back in February when Coach Jeni was in town. I was totally embarrassed by that run. Today's run was really a great run. The ski was blue, the sun was shining, the temperature was pleasant. The smell of honeysuckle and orange blossom filled the air. It was glorious.

So why was I running on a Wednesday? I am out of town and knew I wouldn't be able to get in a long run on Saturday. So I did my long run on Wednesday. After running four miles Tuesday evening I was a little apprehensive about doing a long run Wednesday morning. I knew I would be resting on Thursday, six hours in a car, so I went ahead with the run. It has worked out o.k. I don't think I suffered from any over training.