Saturday, February 25, 2012

SNOW!!! In February??? Where am I, back in WI or something????

On paper this should not have been a good run.
Elise has been not only teething her two year molars, but she also has had quite an awful bug complete with fever and not sleeping through the night.  Mike has pretty much stepped into the roll of Elise's caretaker, complete with him getting sick right after she did.  He tries so hard to give me breaks so I can still get my training runs in.
Last night though was the roughest night of the week culminating into about three or so hours of broken sleep for both Mike and I.  At several points throughout the night, I was tempted to text Alma, my running partner for the day, to tell her I would not be running first thing in the morning rather I would have to figure out a time to run later after somehow getting some rest.
As luck would have it, Ryan had a rough night too and woke for the day at 545.  I knew at that point there was no sense doing anything other than getting up and going for my run.  I knew Mike would be left dealing with the kids so I let him sleep for a bit until I had to leave.  I just had to go with what Dimity at Run Like A Mother always says "Don't think, just go".
I set myself up with just about zero expectations.  I knew I would somehow someway get 15mi in, but I figured it would be very slow and full of walking breaks.
I got to the rendezvous point (aka. The Sammammish River Trail head) and met up with Alma one of my diehard running buddies.  She and I have run in some pretty crummy weather together, including 7mi of pouring rain.  She paid me the compliment of assuming I was a Seattle-ite because I showed up and was willing to run in said pouring rain.  She lives in South Seattle and was willing to come up here to my neck of the woods to run.  Down at her house, no rain!  In fact it was pretty nice.  We started out and it was a really thick rain that quickly turned into flurries.  Well we were there so we started to run.  Wouldn't you know it, it started to really snow!
It may be hard to see but that was our view of the river with snow

Alma at the turn

Me at the 4mi turn

I had told Alma earlier in the week that we needed to keep the run slower.  She and I actually keep a perfect pace.  We get to talking and we sometimes pick it up, but for some reason I can feel us picking up the pace and can slow us down.  That is something I have yet to figure out how to do by myself.  When it is just me, I feel like I need to push and push and push faster and faster.  We kept it between 9-930 and that was great!
I won't lie things were getting tough near the end of our 8mi together.  I don't care what anyone including the Champion company says, their "Tech" shirts that are supposed to be wicking are NOT.  In fact they are horrible for long runs in general!  I felt like I was lugging an extra 20lbs!  Of course I was dragging along some extra lbs. The snow had turned to rain and had soaked us through completely!
In fact Alma was a true life saver.  She had along extra dry shirts and let me borrow one for the second half of my run.  I felt like a new woman, until I started running again.  Boy were those shoes wet and heavy!

I started out on mile eight pretty slow.  I went out without music because I wanted to see how that went.  I could feel how slow I was going so I checked the Garmin and wouldn't you know it, I was at about a 11mm.  I was like "I can go faster than this" so I just started running a little faster.  I had decided earlier that I would be ok with walking and I would just let the Garmin go.  I gave up checking it obsessively like I tend to do when I am going fast.  Instead I kept an eye on it to see my miles tick by and checked the pace every now and again.  Instead I just checked int with my body to see how I was doing.  For the most part I kept a pace that was really comfortable.  My breathing was easy I did not feel fatigued.
At about mile 10 I felt like I needed to walk.  I hadn't taken in much for fuel early in the run so I took a GU and had some Nuun.   I kept the Garmin going as I thought I would have to take a longer break than about 10sec. but I felt so much better I started to run pretty much right away.  I was back to feeling great!

I turned around for the finish at 11.5mi.  I actually ran into a Leap Day 5k race.  I actually was fun running against the traffic of the race.  A girl even said "Great Job-Keep It Up"  I of course told her great job back.  It was fun to see all the couch to 5k runners/walkers.  I remember when I started running and it made me happy for them that they took the plunge.  Lots of grimaces but even more happy faces.  I caught a few giving me funny looks but when you have snow on your hat, dew and steam coming off your pants and you are soaking wet when it is not raining (because it finally stopped dumping on me) you stand out as looking a little funny!
These are actually black running tights, but you can see the dew accumulating on them.  There is steam as well, but that is hard to capture.
I got to 13mi and I had to take a quick break, partly because it was time for fuel and partly because it kind of took me a minute to realize how far I have come in my training.  A half marathon is just a blip on my Garmin instead of an accomplishment.  WOW!!
Today's Half Marathon.  A little slower than the last, but I also had less weight to push around that time!
After a quick pic and some fuel, it was time to finish.  Only two more miles and I actually felt like it would be no problem.  I in fact had to remind myself to slow down for the last mile.  I had done such a good job of sticking to a good pace, I needed not to hurt myself in the last mile.
I finished with these splits:
Avg Pace
It wasn't all sunshine and roses though.  I normally am kind of picky of what food I eat the night before.  Last night supper was KFC as I took Elise to the Dr.  Not only was it KFC, but I shoveled it into my mouth at break neck pace as I was starving!!  It lead to a really funny tummy first thing in the morning and before my GU at mile 10, I actually threw up a little in my mouth and it was horrible.  Thank God the GU kept it down!  I also realized in my last mile I had to pee so bad it was killing me!  I was not going to stop to go in the field because of two reasons.  One-I was too close to the end to take another break and two-I was pretty sure there was not a chance in HELL I could hold myself in a squat position  for even two seconds let along long enough to actually finish the job!

I've noticed these posts get longer as the miles get longer.  no surprise there.  I did find something interesting this week to make me want to keep even more details from here on out.  I was super stoked to find out that Blurb will turn your blog into a book very similar to the photo books you can make online.  I have pretty much decided that I will be making one of these as a gift to myself after the 26.2.  This also means I will be keeping even my small weekly runs on here so I can have a diary of all of my training.

Well that is it for today.  I had a long story to tell, but I sure am glad I got it down.  
Happy Finishing Face

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Midweek Motivation

Due to the fact that we love our "occasional" nanny and she had a lot of open hours this week, I got to run outside today!  I didn't even plan on it, but my lovely nanny suggested I go out to run.   What a novel idea?!? It was actually a gorgeous Pacific NorthWest day complete with sunshine!

Today was basically a sort of tempo/speed work day.  The training program I have chosen to follow really does not go deep into specific workouts.  It is more of run X amount of miles today.  This means most times, I just try to pick up the pace a bit for some period of time.  I also generally do this run on the treadmill, so I also didn't have a good feel for how fast I could go outside.

With all that in mind, this was a fun little run.  Let's go over it...just because :D

Mile 1: Well this was a bit of a stinker because at 0.60mi I realized I had to pee really really bad!  I was on a pretty public trail, but luckily enough for me, the grass was tall and it is pretty flat so I could see I was free of peds.  Of course though, I pop-a-squat and wouldn't you know it-a cyclist comes flying by!  Lucky for me, my hot pink shirt somehow camouflaged me in the high grass enough so he paid me no attention.

Mile 2&3:  Nothing to eventful.  I had my iPod on shuffle through my 25 most played songs.  I figured this was a safe bet as most of the songs I play are for running purposes.  For some reason though, every slow song I had played during this time and it was getting a bit frustrating....grrrrr.

Mile 3.5:  The turn.  I took a quick break for a Gu and a nice sip of Nuun.  Then back on the stick.  Not sure if this is why my mile 4 split is so slow or what.  

Mile 4:  Irritatingly slow in retrospect.  Funny enough--it did not feel slow at the time.

Mile 5:  This was my perfect pace.  Everything came together and I felt like I could sustain this speed forever!  It was just a comfortable spot to be.

Mile 6:  I spotted a runner!  She was ahead of me by a bit and in my head it was race on!  Then somehow I got a rock in my shoe, so a quick stop to dump it out (I couldn't move it out of the way with my toe...grrr!) and  I lost sight of her.   Oh well.  Run On...BUT WAIT---There she is!!!!  Time to kick it into a higher gear!

Mile 6.5:  I pass her like she is standing still (ummm, she most likely was going a little more than a jog, clearly she did not get the race memo!!)  I decide I feel good and should keep up the pace and even push harder until I hit

Mile 6.80: Where I am running about as fast as my legs will take me--no that is not true--I was running as fast as my lungs were willing to let me right that minute.  It was not pretty, I could tell by the look on the older couples face as I ran by.  It really did not feel bad but I knew as soon as I hit 

Mile 7: This was it.  I needed to slow down.  It didn't matter though, my run for the day was done!!  I knew I had more in me.  More miles and honestly I think more speed.

I know this is not the way to do speed work, but right now this is how it will get done.  Next marathon I will do things the prescribed way, but for today this was good enough!

It is a lovely Sunshiny day in WA

Check out that Garmin!
Just in case you want to take a peak here are my splits:

Avg Pace

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"You Can't Always Get What You Want..." Sing it Mick!!

That is how I felt about today's run.  It wasn't the run that I wanted.  Period.  Unequivocally it was one of the worst runs I have had since I started running again.

I so look forward to my long run Saturday's.  I truly save all of my yucky feelings from the week and I shed them with every mile that ticks by.  Not today.  It seemed like the more I wanted to shed the week, the more I held onto it.  Nothing magically resolved itself like it normally does.

I can't say why this is.  There were so many things different about todays run that I am not sure I could even pin-point the culprit.  My guess is I just plain old changed too much up.  Let's look:

  • I ran alone for the first time on a long run since August.  Bummer
  • I ran a new trail I have never run.  Nice view and nice and flat for my legs. Bonus
  • Elise has been a cling-on all week so my toes went numb on my run as well as my foot hurting and my leg feeling out of whack.  Bummer
  • I ran with music for the first time since my last race. Normally Bonus... BUT
  • I somehow lost a playlist on my iPod and I could not get the right rhythm for my run.  Bummer
  • The weather SUCKED!!!  Started dry with a tailwind, nice.  Overheated at about mile 3 and ran in short sleeves until mile 5 when it turned grey and started to pour on me.  Then I turned around into the great tailwind and fought an even stronger headwind with pouring rain for the last 5mi.  Bummer!!
  • I smiled at every person I saw on the first 5-wore a constant scowl for the last 5.  Bummer
  • My left had swelled to the size of China  when I realized I was clenching my left arm to hold up the arm band of said iPod that could not produce good music.  Bummer
  • I ran with the MapMyRun app for the first time and Mike followed my progress and sent me a text of support.  BONUS!
  • Realized that 10mi is easier for me now than just a 2mi run.  Bonus
I really think that I will get over this and be happy about my run because overall I ran a great pace even into the headwind I ran under 10mm which is awesome!  I just feel disappointed.  I know every run can't be the best ever, but I just really needed today to be cathartic for me and it wasn't.  Maybe it is something greater.  I am still crying at the drop of a hat and in fact made Mike turn off a movie last night because I was getting too upset.  Instead we watched "Running The Sahara" which was an amazingly put together film.

The pic from the rotten run :P  If you look close you can see the tears just about to fall.

Well next week my long run will be 15mi long.  Let's hope I can get it all worked out by then.  Thanks for listening :D

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weepy Wednesday

This week I feel like I have a lot to say.  I was joking around with yesterday's post title, but as I was running today...7mi on the treadmill........I had an hour to think of a few things.  Yes, even watching "Downtown Abbey" doesn't keep my brain from wandering at least a little bit.  I realized that aside from the obvious physical benefits, running has given me a much greater gift.  So, here is my letter of Thanks to Running.  Oh and the title of today's post....not just Wednesday.  Not sure what my deal is but I have been moved to tears at least once per hour for the last 3-4 days.  Whatever this is I hope it passes!

Dear Running-
I have so many things to thank you for.  The inches my body has shed  that where hanging on like they thought I might get pregnant again and need a little extra fuel.
You have also given me the ability to burn over 1,000 calories before 7am.  Can't say it doesn't suck to be able to have a cookie or four without feeling like I will be 20lbs heavier.  Although you seem to have no affect on the amount of water I retain after eating a bowl of Pho'  on a cold rainy day.  Good Lord my feet were swollen today!  I really wish you could do something about that.

More importantly it is no secret that you have given me my sense of self back.  I had lost it for quite sometime and Sarah is firmly back in my body.  I missed her and I am glad she is back.

You also helped my finally shut the door on my depression.  It may have been Post Partum induced but depression is depression and it SUCKS!  At one point I had no idea how I was going to get through the rest of my life.  It's not that my life was bad, but there was no joy even in the good things. (like my daughters first year of life)
You have given me a great gift.  I get to fall in love with my daughter every day now and I am very conscious of it.  Sure I loved her and cared for her every day of her life.  I never wanted to harm her and I always did everything I could to make her life better.  Now though I literally look at her every day in a new light.  It is like I am seeing her for the first time and she is out of control AMAZING!!  My heart swells every time she breathes.  I can be moved to tears just by getting her from her room after her nap or in the morning after a good nights sleep.  She is so polite and so adorable and so completely wonderful.  I could go on for days about all the amazing things she is...but most of you have met her and know wonderful she is.  Some of you probably even knew it before I did.  Now there is no competition...I love her more!

Running, you have also given me back the gift of trusting myself, most importantly to trust myself as a parent.  For the last three years I have continuously read parenting books and baby books and weighed the pros and cons of a multitude of parenting styles.  I read mom blogs and submersed myself in everything child related.  It most certainly helped me figure out the parent I want to be, but at the same time it also could make me feel like I wasn't doing a good enough job.  If I did one thing wrong ie. shouted at the children, I felt like I had ruined everything for them for the rest of their lives!!
I don't feel that pressure anymore.  It has become very clear to me that parenting is a lot like marathon training.  You will have some ups and downs and some injury's along the way,  but if you keep following the training plan, listen to your own gut, and take stock of how your body feels, you will finish strong.  Same thing with parenting.  If it feels right, no one is getting injured (too much) and at the end of the day they tell you "I love you mom" you know you are on the right training plan so just stick to the course.

So thank you again running.  I will forever be in your debt-but you already knew that and you will never name a price, you will just always be there for me and I will always love you for that.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take Er' Easy Tuesday

Star Log -68 days and counting

Well, I am not quite half way there, but things are starting to feel really real.  I have come to realize that up until the past two Saturdays this was honestly very easy.  I kind of just pushed myself on every run.  Not only was I building up miles but I was building speed.  I think that my achilles tweak is what put me on notice.  I need to start really making my workouts a little more well rounded.

The funny thing is, I set up on the treadmill today put it on a .5 incline (to mimic the curve of the earth-or so they say) and put her on cruise control at 7.0 for mi one, 7.2 for mile 2 and 7.5 for mile three.  I felt out of sight!!  Nice, smooth, easy,  just like Hal prescribed.

The plans are coming together and in fact Mike and I are going to sit down tonight to make some travel plans-Happy Valentines Day!! I also got some great news from my mom that she and my dad are going to try to fly out from WI to be there on race day.  The thought of them even trying to come brings tears to my eyes.  I am so proud of myself, but to know that others are proud of me too makes me feel like a $1,000,000!!!!  Mom sent me a bouquet of flowers with chocolates (that I can now eat due to 1200+ cal burning runs)
Beautiful Spring Flowers With Note And Chocolates From Mom

I'm also starting to look forward to some more races, but I am having a hard time committing to anything until after the marathon.  BUT, the planner in me needs to get some ducks in order or I am going to have a major let down after the race.