Monday, December 26, 2011

a thousand reasons but no excuse

My last post was on December 9th.  I hurt my back on the 8th.  I didn't run for 10 days total, counting a few days prior to the injury that I hadn't run.

I've run just 4 times in the past 11 days, since I determined my back injury was healed.

While it's understandable considering the holidays and craziness that surrounds them.  But it's not great considering I am running my first marathon, 26.2 miles, on January 22.

I have a thousand reasons.

First was the back, so those 10 days were a legitimate break.  I needed to let my back heal 100%.  I was scared to start back too soon and prolong my recovery by re-injuring it.  I ran 2 miles a week after my injury and felt pretty good, which showed me that I did the right thing by taking that week off.

And all of the sudden it was the week before Christmas.  Parties, shopping, activities.  The kids were out of school, we were juggling childcare, I was under some deadlines at work that were stressful.  Late nights.  Three weekend Christmas services I needed to be at.

A thousand reasons.

But honestly, truly, no excuse.  I could have put on my shoes and gotten out there.  I could have taken 30 minutes to just at least keep up the running.

If I didn't have a marathon coming up, I wouldn't be so frustrated with myself.

I planned to do a long run this past weekend.  I slept less than 6 hours on Thursday night, and only 6 hours Friday night and we began celebrating with family on Saturday morning.

I didn't do a long run.

I almost didn't run today.  I had to take my almost 8-year old shopping this afternoon and when I got home, I was so tired.  The little girls were clingy.  But my awesome husband pushed me out the door and I got 4.5 miles in.  My legs felt huge, clumsy and awkward the first mile or two.  Like they each had gained 5 pounds.  Which is entirely possible with holiday eating.

I believe in myself.  Even though I've been derailed, I trust in my training up to that point.  I have not lost what I gained.

On Saturday or Monday, I will do my last long run before I start to taper.  I'd like to run 20 miles.  I know I can run 14-16.  If I'm feeling good enough, I'll keep going.

There may be a thousand reasons, but I will stop making excuses.

Friday, December 9, 2011

silly injury

I had a whole post almost completely typed yesterday in an app I use on my phone. Then the app crashed and I can't get it open now. And my draft is lost inside it.

Long story short...I did Insanity Cardio Abs yesterday. Then I cleaned part of my floor on all four's. Then I was cleaning chairs on my knees and when I went to get up, I had crazy intense pain in my lower middle back and could barely get off the ground.

My best guess is the abwork and cleaning weakened my back and my muscles got really strained. Basically it sucks.

The hubs stayed home today to help out so I could actually take it easy. I can tell I'm slowly improving with rest, ice, heat and medication scored from family members.

It's still pretty tight and weak.

Looks like my 8-10 mile run tomorrow will be postponed. So bummed. But I've learned my lessons.

I MUST make abwork a more regular part of my routine because I do have a weak back, mostly caused by my pregnancies.

Don't do abwork on the same day I'll be bending, twisting etc. At least until my core is stronger again.

I am thankful this wasn't a running injury.

I do not enjoy having to sit around all day. I like being lazy, just on my own terms--haha! But I'm disciplining myself to rest. I know my back will recover faster that way.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to resume some life activities. And you know, training for the full marathon less than 2 months way which is beginning to breathe down my back!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

scared to run?

After yesterday's rough 18 mile run, I'm scared to hit the road for a few miles.

My body is recovering ok, but this is the sorest I've been so far.  I sprinted 20 feet this morning and it didn't feel so great.

But I know the best remedy for a sore body is getting those muscles working again and it may hurt for the first several minutes, but then things will loosen up and the healing process will continue.

I can honestly say though, I've never been scared to run before!

Perhaps it's even most important for my psyche.  I can't be intimidated by this run.  It will not beat me, I will not give up.

I'll be up early tomorrow for a short run and I'll report back.  I will do this.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

they can't all be good runs, right?

It's impossible to pinpoint where today's run went wrong, because it seemed to go wrong in so many places, on so many levels.  Let's just say I was holding back tears a few times, and I am NOT a crier.

I was nervous to begin with, since I knew my run would start after noon and there's no way I was going to NOT be on my feet leading up to that point.  Typically my long runs start an hour or 90 minutes after I wake up.

I ate a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and drank a grande coffee drink from Starbucks for breakfast and I ate a Fiber One Bar about an hour before my run and a few orange slices on the way.  I also drank 16oz of Nuun in the late morning.

As I started out, I felt good.  In fact I went out a little too fast, but slowed down after a mile.  Things were okay until miles 5-6 and I felt myself slowing a lot.  My right hip was really bothering me, I felt sluggish and everything was just bothering me.  Around 7.5 miles I stopped for about 5 minutes and did some really good stretching and regrouped.

By 9 miles, things were only worse.  My feet were hurting and different body parts took turns aching and yelling at me.  My shins, my ankles, hips, lower back, yup--everything.  I started taking walk breaks every 5 minutes or so.  My car was at the 11-mile mark and I was so incredibly tempted to call it a day.  But the walk breaks pepped me up and I kept on trucking.

Every mile seemed to get worse.  I put my Garmin on the "current lap" screen so I could monitor my walk breaks and it helped to not look at my overall time or distance.  Everything just hurt and my feet were the worst.  I miscalculated a bit and thought I may come up short.  I had to push until the very end of my route before I turned around.  And it just hurt.  I wanted to cry

I stopped my Garmin a few times to refill water or take in some nutrition slowly.  I needed every ounce of strength.  I pushed on and sometimes I took walk breaks more frequently, but mostly every 5 minutes.  I texted Bean to give him an estimate of when I'd be at the car to come home.  I felt terrible too because I had been gone longer than I'd hoped to be, leaving him with the three kids all afternoon.  He's fully capable and willing...we just work well as a team together too

Wouldn't you know, I got to my car at 17.5 miles.  I was tempted to stop, but I'd pushed it so far, I had to complete it.  So I ran past .25 miles and then turned around.  Finally---done.  My quads and my feet hurt so bad.

I started out at 10:30-10:45 pace, the middle miles were 11:00 and then the last several were 12:00 and then 13:00+.  It was ROUGH.  I was so disappointed.  My overall pace was 11:50, which is actually better than I was expecting, but quite off on my goal of 11ish.

Most of my runs were great.  What was especially frustrating about today was that last weeks 17-miler was a very similar route and it went great.  I pushed in the beginning, took it slower with my sister and then pushed again the last few miles for a great finishing time.  I ran twice earlier in the week and those were good runs too.

I guess my body needed to be broken down more.  Even though I was so disappointed by my pace, I kept telling myself that during the actual race I will be running for even longer than I did today, so it's all a part of the training.  I can't help my optimism.

There's no doubt the late day start contributed to my troubles.  I will really be working to avoid that again.  I didn't care for my nutrition today---Clif Shots and Orange Slices.  I've been trying a variety of things to make sure I find what I like the most. I am a big fan of Gu.  I think Espresso Love is my favorite although I usually alternate between caffeinated and uncaffeinated.  I also like Honey Stingers. I think that's what I'll stick with from here on out.

I am a little concerned about my shoes.  They were fine last week, but this week my feet hurt so bad.  I don't know if it's part of the breaking in/breaking down process and my feet are still adjusting or what.  I want to stick with them for a few more runs and roll my feet out some and see what happens.

Everything was just off.  This run made me doubt myself--can I really run 26 miles?  Can I really run for up to 90 more minutes than I did today?   I certainly couldn't have done it today.  What a difference a week makes.  Last week I thought "I've got this" and this week, I'm not so sure.

What can I do but just keep running and hope I recover and come back stronger.

Running in the afternoon meant the temperature was dropping by the time I finished and being soaked in sweat I got cold very fast.  I just couldn't stomach sitting in an ice bath.  I've stretched a few times tonight and I guess it will be a good experiment to see how effective the ice bath is in my recovery.

I needed to work this all out in writing in an attempt to help me understand and record my experience for help in future runs.

Any suggestions, advice or personal experience is always appreciated!  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Next up: 18 miles (in the afternoon)

I'm running long tomorrow.  In the afternoon.  Usually my long runs are in the morning, but tomorrow's schedule necessitates the afternoon.  I'm a little nervous about it.  I know how to eat and drink for a morning run, but what do I do when I'll be heading out around lunch time?  I know I don't want to run on a super full stomach.  But I don't want to be super hungry either.

My plan thus far is to eat a decent breakfast and a mid-morning snack and maybe 100-200 calories before I head out--and then I'll just have my running nutrition.  And maybe drink some Nuun in the morning also.

Last week I ran 17 miles and my plan for tomorrow is 18-19.  Next week I'll hit my first 20 and then drop back for a week.  I know I only need to run one 20-miler, but I think I want to fit in two.  We'll see how it goes!  My race is now less than 8 weeks away, so I need to solidify these last weeks of training since my initial schedule got altered.

I am loving my new shoes!  They feel different from any shoe I've run in so far (which has been 3-4 pairs of the same shoe) but it's been good.  I have had less hip/back pain this week than normal, so maybe they are helping with that as well.  Yesterday I pushed the double jogger for 5 miles and felt great.  I didn't use any Glide on my feet and I'm not getting the troublesome blisters in my arches either.

Christmas is going to be here before I know it...and then the race will be right around the corner.  I can't believe it!  I'm excited and nervous, which I'm sure is how I'll feel on race day as well.

I guess I need to start thinking about my next race and goal.  I think I may go for a 2-hour half again and beat my 2:09 PR hopefully.  Strength training and speedwork will be high on my list.

I'll report back later tomorrow or this weekend.

Check out this to see some other stuff I've been up to lately.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New distance record: 17 miles

I have been looking forward to Black Friday for weeks now.

But I didn't spend a dollar.

My 16-miler was three weeks ago and my longest run since then was just 7 miles.  And that 16-miler was rough because of the uphill route.  I knew I wouldn't be able to run long the past two weekends but I've had today marked on the calendar for a long run and nothing was going to stop me.  It couldn't be more perfect, a holiday, my husband home, making up for the gluttony of Thanksgiving and leftovers.

Black Friday was long run day for me today.

I set out, not knowing how long I would run.  I knew I could do at least 14, but I didn't want to commit to anything further in case my body wasn't up to it.  I ran 3 easy miles on Monday and 4 on Tuesday.  I mapped out an 11 mile route and then would run some miles with my sister who was going to meet up with me (yay for a running partner!)

This run felt great! By the time I got started, I knew I'd be cutting it close to make it back to meet my sister at our appointed time, so I pushed my pace a bit.  Miles 1-9 were mostly 10:30-10:45. My pace for most long runs has been more like 11.  My new shoes felt pretty good and my hip didn't bother me much until the very end.

In an effort to not be too late to meet my sister, I picked up the pace from miles 9-11, down to the mid 9:00's.  Her pace is in the 11:00's usually and I was totally cool with slowing down for our miles together.  That was part of why I felt okay pushing the pace on the front half.

At the 14 mile mark, my sister was planning to head to her car, which was 3 miles for her.  She always runs 3 miles, so I told her she was going to run 4 today!  We ran to my 15 mile point and she turned around to walk/jog back to her car (she actually completed almost 6 miles running and walking today, a big deal for her!)  I headed on a bit, deciding how much further I was going to go.  I realized if I ran just half a mile more and turned around, I'd hit 17 miles--one mile further than my longest distance.  So I did it.

The last mile or so, my body was hurting something fierce.  Not having the distraction of my sister made me aware of my aching hip and my sore feet.  My goal was to complete the last mile under 11:00 and I had to push it, but I came in just under 11.

My overall time was 3:05 for 17 miles which was my same time for my 16-miler.  Overall pace was 10:53.

This run again, boosted my confidence, as most of my runs do.  They help me believe in myself and trust that I am capable.

My ice bath on the other hand, was more painful than the run! I think I waited too long to get in and the ice had already melted and it took a long time for my body to adjust.  I need to remember to get in faster so my body adjust slowly as the temperature lowers.

I spent the next 6 hours on my feet, organizing my house with my sisters.  We got so much done, which was amazing.  And I will sleep good tonight!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm coming back

Last week was not a running week.  But that's okay.

My daughter had surgery, so she was my focus--as it should have been.  There are times that I need to put running & myself first.  But there are times that my family comes before any run.  And this was one of those times.

It kinda killed me that I missed the first 20-miler on my schedule.  But many have told me that I only need one 20-miler and there is plenty of time for that yet.

But this week I'm back! I'm excited to wake up early and run.  This is going to be a spectacular running week.  My kids are all off school, which means I can get back to the house at 6:45am when Bean leaves for work and still have more than an hour before I need to leave for work.

I'm planning 18 miles for Friday.  A perfect way to run off my Thanksgiving meals!  I really want to do 20, but my longest run so far is 16 miles and that was a few weeks ago.  So to avoid injury and continue to build up appropriately, I'll do the next distance on my schedule.  20 will still be there a week or two from now.

Lily is having a hard time sleeping right now.  Here's hoping I'll get enough sleep to run!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

run slow = run faster

I posted earlier this week about my treadmill run and how hard it is for me to go slow, especially on the treadmill.

Slow runs are important for multiple reasons.  Slow runs make you run faster.  Just like sleep begats sleep in babies.

My belief in slow runs was solidified on Tuesday.  I may not like them, but I do believe in them.

This week's speedwork called for tempo miles at 9:34.  Since my daughter had surgery this week, I did my speedwork on Tuesday before my next few days were devoted to her.  I confess, a lot of my speedwork has been on the treadmill, or at the park loop which is about .4 miles around.

But I decided I just needed to hit the streets and see what I could pull off.  One of the main reasons I've done so much speedwork on the 'mill and at the park is because I didn't have a Garmin and it's not too easy to track pace using the Nike+.  But now that the lovely Garmin graces my wrist, I have no excuses.

I had about 45 minutes to run, so I decided I'd warm up for a half mile or so and then speed up.  I think my warm up was more like .6 or .7 miles because it took a bit for the Garmin to pick up a satellite signal (always happens when I don't turn it on while I'm getting ready).  It felt like it took forever to get my pace down.  But I kept pushing it, focusing on small quick steps with my feet and pumping my arms.  I finally got to a mid-9 pace and thought "this isn't so bad, I can do this."

My husband drives the car I had when we got married.  It's a lovely blue 1998 Saturn SL-2.  It's paid for.  I bought the car used while we were dating, mostly because it was the nicest vehicle in my price range and had super low mileage.  The Saturn isn't a speedy car. But she's pretty consistent.  One of my best friends got married a few months before me and four of us drove my Saturn to Vegas for a girls weekend before our weddings.  

There are some long inclines as you drive from San Diego to Vegas.  My friends nicknamed my car "Connie Constant" because if you got her to a 60-70 mph speed as you started an incline, she'd stay there.  But if you were going slower--there was no way she'd pick up any speed while you were climbing.

I'm learning that this is my running style too.  My body loves that 10 minute mile.  Lately, my "natural pace" seems even slower since I'm doing so many long, slow runs.  But when I can get my body going, those faster paces aren't too bad and I actually maintain them.

Tempo Mile Splits

Mile 1- 9:30, yahooo---below my goal pace of 9:34

Mile 2- 9:18, not sure what got into my legs, but I actually kept dialing back a bit because I kept
speeding up.  There was some downhill the first part of this mile, but even with small inclines later my pace was smokin'.

Mile 3- 9:36, this mile had a lot of short stretches, turns, and corners which always mess up my groove and I was feeling the speed a bit too!

Mile 3.5- 9:04 pace, took advantage of a big downhill and just booked it to the end!

This run seriously boosted my confidence.  I was running without music and it gave me an opportunity to think about my speed and realize that if I can just get up to my desired pace, it's not so hard to stay there.

Another reason I love my Garmin.  Seeing the mile pace helps me so much--I know when to speed up, I know when to slow down.

With every run, I believe in myself more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When a treadmill is a good thing

Many people call the treadmill the "dreadmill" because they greatly dislike running on it.

I don't love or hate the treadmill. Overall road running is best. But there are times the treadmill is necessary or your only option. Those are the times I'm thankful that I have an old creaky treadmill in my garage.

Although I feel like I owe my neighbors an apology because I realized that my treadmill is creaky enough to be heard across the street. It's so old though I'm afraid to lube anything because if I broke it somehow I would cry. Literal tears.

I woke up this morning in a fog. Mondays are like that. Especially when you were away from the house for 10 hours on Sunday. I knew I would regret not running. My last run was Friday and I won't be running Wednesday maybe Thursday too, due to my daughter's surgery.

I dragged myself out of bed and even thought the sun was rising, a mindless run on the 'mill was the best I could motivate myself too. I pulled on a new long sleeve running shirt (with thumb holes, rad) I picked up at Costco.

I made it to the treadmill and disciplined myself to a slow run. That's my weakness on the treadmill, I go too fast. I can make myself run pretty fast on the treadmill but that's not always good for training.

My shirt kept choking me. I'd pull it down and it would creep back up. My husband loves a tight neck on a tshirt. He won't even wear a shirt if the neck is too loose. I'm the opposite though. A turtleneck would be torture for me.

A mile or two in, I had decided to take the shirt back. It just wasn't worth the choking sensation. I was bummed because I like the fit and the thumb holes and it was so soft.

Then it dawned on me. Could it be on backwards? It was my first time wearing it. I pulled it off my neck, glanced down and sure enough--there was the tag imprint.

I breathed a big sigh of relief. I can keep the shirt!

Then I realized it was probably a good thing that I opted for the mindless treadmill run. If it took me almost 3 miles to discover that my shirt was backwards, who knows what would have happened if I was trying to run the streets.

Sometimes, a mindless treadmill run is a good thing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 11k

Adam Ricklefs
  Yeah! 6.83 miles

This exchange took place on Twitter yesterday. Just something random that I happened to catch. Or rather it seemed to catch me.  In fact, a friend had invited me to run a local race this morning, an 11k for Veteran's Day.  I was really excited!  But then the race location and start time was later (random changes just two weeks out from a race) and the changes made it impossible for me to run.

Since I should have run 18 miles (yikes!) this weekend and I can't, I decided to run as many as possible spread over a few days.

When I saw this tweet I realized the goal would help push me to more miles.  This morning I headed out, up my dreaded hilly route (which I could handle for a shorter run) and was able to get in almost 5.5 miles before I had to be home for hubs to leave.

Less than 30 minutes after I got home, Bean and Lily left and I went and hopped on the treadmill to complete the 11k.  My legs were screaming at me (and still are) but I did it! In about 68 minutes, which is a great pace for me right now for almost 7 miles.

In two days I've logged over 11 miles and I hope to run later on tomorrow or maybe Sunday to get in a few more.  Maybe even 7 to still have those 18 miles on my legs, just not all at once.

But after getting up early now on TWO mornings I could have stayed in bed, I'm looking forward to not hearing my alarm go off before 6am tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

running along

Hi friends, I'm still running along.  Running along a very full and busy life and fitting in the running of miles as well. 

16 miles was hard.  Well, my route was hard.  Mostly uphill the first half, which exhausted me for the second half.  I may not run that route again for a long run, but it was convenient because I didn't have to drive to the starting point.  I survived though and ran it in 3 hours.

My schedule calls for 18 miles this weekend, but I have an all day commitment Friday and Saturday so 18 isn't going to happen this weekend.  I'm okay with that though because I desperately need new shoes after the weekend I'll be able to get some!  I think my next long run will be much better having new shoes.

I'm still going to try to get some decent miles in over a few days this weekend, it just won't all be at once.

Keep on running friends!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

next up: 16

I haven't blogged in over a week!  I have still been training though.  My toddler was super sick over the weekend and then Halloween and then back to work and life.  Not much blogging time.

Last Saturday I ran my scheduled 6 miles, and they were awful!  You'd think after running 14 miles the week before 6 would have been a breeze, which is what I was expecting.  But it wasn't.

I didn't start my run until close to 10am (as opposed to the 7am starts I do for longer runs) and I was running near my house which is more inland (instead of along the coast).  So it was warmer.  I ended up being SO thirsty from about the 2nd mile on, but there were no drinking fountains and I hadn't brought water since it was a shorter run. 

I ran about 4 miles with a friend (and then she slowed down) and we went out a little too fast too since we were chatting.  I'm not used to running with people (although I definitely love it) so I probably used up too much energy talking.

But I got it done and was on target for my pace, even though I felt terrible.

Next up is 16 miles.  In fact, tomorrow.  We are out of town all day Saturday and I work on Sundays, so I had to get this run in on another day.  I did a little kid-swap with my sister-in-law.  She's going to watch my kids tomorrow while I run and then I'll watch her kids on Friday.  Sweet!

I mapped out a run from her door (just a half mile from my house) so I don't have to waste time driving and can get to the run so I can be done faster and spend time with my kiddos.  It's a bit of a funky route, but it gets it done.  I usually avoid longish runs from my house because there are a few big hills to contend with.  But I decided this week, I'll just have to get 'er done.  It's good for training anyways, right?

I ran 4 miles on Monday and I did the Cardio Recovery Insanity workout today, which is a lot of stretching and some yoga type moves.  I knew I shouldn't run or do anything with a lot of impact today, but I wanted to keep my body limber.

The next few long runs pose a bit of a challenge.  For some reason I erroneously copied down that next weeks run was 8 miles, when in fact it's supposed to be 18.  I am teaching a class all day Friday and Saturday, and so there is no way an 18-miler can happen.  I'm wondering if two or three shorter long runs on back to back days will achieve some of the same effect. I may be able to run 9 miles both Friday and Saturday.

I'm not going to let myself stress about it too much.  I know I will be able to complete 26.2 miles and I still have plenty of training time.  I don't like deviating from the schedule but it is what it is.  The week after is when my daughter will be recovering from her tonsillectomy and so that run kinda hangs in the balance.  But I'll figure something out!

I'm a little apprehensive about tomorrow's run.  But excited too.  I can do this!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

how to alter my schedule

I recovered pretty well from the 14-mile run.  My quads had the most soreness, but it really wasn't bad at all. I learned today that my ice bath didn't have enough ice or water in it, so maybe that would have helped with my quads.  I knew I probably needed the water to cover my legs completely, but it was SO COLD!

And how awesome that they quote me at the end!

Monday morning in spite of my 7 year old being up at 5:30am with a stomach ache, I still hopped on the treadmill for a "shake it out" 3 miles.  It's still so amazing to me that often the best thing for soreness after a long or hard run, is another run.  The first mile or so was a bit painful, but after I was loosened up it felt great and I really cranked it up the last several minutes.

The 5:30am stomach ache turned into 7:30am vomit and a day working from home.  In spite of the change of plans and challenges that presented, I was calm, cool and collected.  Much thanks due to my run that morning.  Had I not run or waited until the evening, I would have been twitchy all day.  It really does pay to start the day off with a run.

It looks like my daughter is going to have a tonsillectomy in a few weeks, a few days before my first 20-miler.  It's hard to predict if I'll be able to do that 20-miler at all that weekend.  I'm not sure how to alter my schedule.  Here's what my long runs look like around the three 20-milers on my schedule.

Week 5: 16 miles (maybe I could make this one 20 miles instead?)
Week 6: 8 miles (not sure if I could lengthen this due to schedule that weekend)
Week 7: 20 miles (this is the one I don't know if I can do)
Week 8: 7 miles
Week 9:16 miles
Week 10: 20 miles
Week 11: 16 miles
Week 12: 7 miles
Week 13: 20 miles

I'd love any thoughts or experiences anyone has had with having to switch runs around.  I feel like it's important to get all three 20-milers in since this is my first marathon.

Who knows, maybe she will be a champ and be doing well enough a few days after the procedure to leave for the morning.  But I want to have a back up plan just in case.

I did a little bit of cross-training today.  Really looking forward to running some speedier miles in the morning.

Happy running friends!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

14 miles: a post almost as long as the run itself

Today's 14 mile run was much better executed than last weeks 12-miler.  Here were my improvements!

1.  Did a better job of mapping out my run so I wasn't confused, which I was at the beginning of last weeks run.

2.  Left the house on time and got started about 7:05am.  Last week I left late, made a pit stop for gas and then was super stressed the whole run, trying to calculate if I was going to get home in time to recover briefly and shower before the 4yr olds soccer game.

3.  Remembered to use Glide on a few trouble spots that I forgot last week.  Used more Glide on my feet to prevent blisters forming.  I got a good-sized blister on my right foot, third toe last week.  The area was bothering me while I ran, but I didn't realize a blister was forming.  With applying the Glide to it today, it didn't bother me at all!  I kind want to drain it, but since it's not hurting me, I figure I should leave it alone.

4.  Stayed calm and stress-free during my run.

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is a new personal distance record for me.  I've never run 14 miles before, only 13.1.

Overall, this was a good run.  As my mileage increases, but my pace stays about the same, this is a huge confidence booster for me.  I did struggle towards the end.  My body just hurt, I was feeling hungry and the rest of the fruit snacks I had with me just did not feed my belly!  It wanted a lot of real food at that moment.

I ran out of water towards the end and went a few miles feeling pretty thirsty because there were no drinking fountains.  There were quite a few earlier on the route, and I realized I should have used them instead of my water bottles and saved the bottles for when there were no fountains available.  Thankfully I knew there was one at the 13-mile mark and getting some water really helped spur me on to the end.

Wearing a belt and water bottles isn't my favorite, although I'm adjusting to it.  I will probably wear a belt during the marathon because I tend to want access to water whenever I feel the need.  During half marathons, I typically drink at some of the water stations, but enjoy having my own water too.  I think I'd really like to try a handheld bottle though.  I may feel more comfortable with that than the bottles on the belt.

For the most part, my splits are within seconds of each other.  I guess I'm a pretty consistent runner, at least at the "easy" pace.  I'm not sure what this means for race day.  I'm worried that I'll not pick up the pace a bit and run these same times during the race, when the idea is to run faster.  Hopefully the environment will give me that boost.

Mile 1- 11:03
Mile 2- 11:04
Mile 3- 11:12 (no idea why I slowed here)
Mile 4- 10:46 (pushing up a hill and then some downhill)
Mile 5- 11:00
Mile 6- 10:59
Mile 7- 11:02
Mile 8- 11:54 (gave myself permission for a little walk break at the halfway point)
Mile 9- 10:32 (A guy came up behind me and passed me, but then was running almost the same pace as me.  And he shuffled his feet--loud and annoying!  Even though we were going up a hill I had to pass him because I felt like he was slowing me down and I needed more breathing room!)
Mile 10- 11:02
Mile 11-11:01
Mile 12- 11:08 (starting to struggle!)
Mile 13- 11:12 (hurting!)
Mile 14- 9:59

Total time: 2:33

As always, I like to try to push it a bit more towards the end.  It's all about the mental aspect, proving to myself that there is more in my tank.  During miles 12 & 13, when I had thought I might speed up a bit, I was hurting and struggling.  Even though my pace was just seconds slower, it felt even slower than that.

Like I mentioned, I finally got some water as I was beginning mile 14.  The minute or so break and the water seemed to be the fuel I needed.  I was only attempting a sub-11 mile, but was pleasantly surprised to find this speed in me, a full minute faster.  I think my pace for the last .01 of the run was under 8:00!

It was great to accomplish this mileage today but I'm also excited that next weeks long run is just 6 miles.  That will be a nice break for me legs, and my family.  My girls are missing me these mornings.  I can't let the guilt get to me, but it will be nice to wake up with them and be home and head out a bit later for just an hour or so.

On my way home I bought a bag of ice for my first ever ice bath.  My two younger girls were very intrigued that I was in the bath, in my shorts.  Lily (2) was convinced I needed a bath toy and kept telling me "just one toy."  I finally relented to her putting one toy in the bath.  But then she kept adding more, and Gracie (4) joined in too.  Then they started playing with the toys in my bath.

See all the toys?  And Gracie playing?  The ice had melted at this point, but it was still plenty cold.

I asked my 7yr old to take a picture of me in the bath with the toys.  Lily wanted to pose with me, so she perched on the tub next to me and threw a leg up onto the rim.  See where this is going?

Yes her foot and leg ended up in the bath.  Why she was wearing only 1 sock, I have no idea.

The photo caught the aftermath.

I do think the ice bath helped.  My legs are fatigued tonight and there is some soreness, but it's not terrible.  I think there will be only twinges tomorrow.  Although I was tired most of the day, it helped that I was pretty active with the kids and family stuff going on.  There was very little sitting and relaxing today.  

Now if only I can win some compression socks in a giveaway....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  I installed a new comment system so it will be easier for me to reply to commenters!  Yay :)

2.  I had a tempo run on the schedule this morning.  3 miles at 9:30ish with a warm and a cool.   I confess, on tempo and speed days, I often blow off some or most of the cool down.  It would be nice to cool down for a mile, but it's also nice to sleep an extra 10 minutes.  True story.  I did do the Insanity stretching routine though.  I had to come inside to take care of some business mid-run, which lost me a few minutes too.

But I managed 2.5 tempo miles around the right pace.  I'll admit, it was a bit challenging.  I don't know if I would have been successful at keeping that pace had I not been on the treadmill.  Which is the beauty and the curse of the treadmill.  I can almost always run on the 'mill at a prescribed pace, which I do believe helps my overall speed--but I don't often get a chance to do speedwork on the streets, which is a hinderance come race day.  I've found that my Garmin is still useful on the treadmill because I can mark the laps and know my exact paces for each mile.

3.  On Saturday, I will do my longest run EVER.  At my last half marathon, I probably walked another couple miles after I completed my race as I found a friend and helped her complete the race.  But I've never set out to run more than a half marathon and this weekends training run is 14 miles.  I have no doubt I can do it, and I'll probably do okay with my pace too.  It's exhilarating and intimidating at the same time!

(who started Three Things Thursday on running blogs anyways?  I read it on several different blogs, so I decided to join in--when I remember--but it's always been a curiosity to me.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a day without a run

I didn't run this morning.

I ran yesterday evening (Monday).  I set my alarm to get up and run this morning, but I wasn't feeling it and knew it wasn't a "must-run" day.  So I slept a little longer and had a not so rushed morning getting out of the house with the kids.

But I was in a funk all day.  Just feeling discouraged about a variety of things, dwelling on things I'm frustrated with, feeling negative.

The weight of life is heavy.  I am always stretched thin.  I rarely accomplish all that I'd like to.  The home-making items end up on the bottom of the list and don't usually get done.  This is often what nags me the most.  I have such visions of the home I could create, the meals I would serve, the quality time with my children, if I had the time and energy.

Yet I wonder, how much of my negative feelings today were related to not running?  Was my body missing those endorphins?

I talk often about how running is my sanity, and it really is.  But do I need my runs that much?  Are they that vital to balanced emotions?

This thought scares me a bit.

Because running every day isn't realistic and wouldn't be good for my body.

I know that running isn't the only key to sanity and feeling in control of my life.  I guess I need to make a point to utilize other mechanisms on the days I don't run.

You better believe I'll be running Wednesday morning.  After a day like today (which really wasn't bad in reality, just in my head), I am amped to put in some speedy miles.

I wish it was already the morning.

new commenting system

Testing my new commenting system!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I would like to blog tonight, but time and energy are waning.  So here's a little inspiration.

And maybe a question too.

I would say "I run, therefore I am a more balanced individual, a more patient mom, a more attentive wife, a more motivated homemaker, focused on my goals, both running and non-running related"

What say you?  You run and therefore, what?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

a quick review

So, I ran 12 miles yesterday.

But it wasn't easy.  Nor pretty I'm sure.

However, my overall pace was about 15 seconds under my goal.

New shoes are lined up for early November, and I think that will make a huge difference.  I've run over 300 miles in these shoes, which is perhaps on the lesser end of the life of a shoe, but I can tell they are causing issues for me.  Sore feet and calves, which aren't usually issues for me.

I'm still in the process of building.  This isn't called training for no reason.  If it was always fun and easy, I wouldn't be challenging myself.

Even though it a very fun run, I still felt great about it.  I did it and I stayed at the right pace.

Next week...14 miles!  I think I'll plan an ice bath for when I get home from that one.

This week in review:

Monday: 3 miles, 11:09 pace

Tuesday: 3 miles, pace unknown

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 3.83 miles, 10:24 pace, 2x1600 at 9:00ish with jogs

Saturday: 12 miles, 10:57 pace

Total miles: 21.83

Week 3 of marathon training coming up.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"I'm training for a marathon"

There is a running store less than a mile from my house, but I only recently started visiting there.  One reason being, I haven't been running enough to need anything running-wise.  But I often forgot about it, because it's tucked into an industrial park.

I'm hoping that over the next few months, they'll get to know me--and I'll get to know them better too!  Running community :)

I needed some nutrition for my long run tomorrow (12 miles baby) and my sister-in-law loaned me a belt with water clips, but the bottles were gone so I needed to replace them.  I was there a few weeks ago buying Glide and Nuun.  I think the girl who helped me last time recognized me.

Lily came with me, and she came in style.  She was bedazzled with about 7 stickers from the grocery store and doctor's office today.  And she was wearing big girl sunglasses with rhinestones on the side, carrying a doll in a toy dog carrying bag.  She instantly attracted their attention (it's a pretty small store, but they know their stuff) and a lot of the employees chatted with her and asked her about her stuff.  Lily always has 8,000 questions for what I'm doing too.

I picked up some Gu and Honeystingers as well as the water bottles.  It caused me to recall that when I ran my first half marathon in 2006, I had no nutrition with me!  I didn't even really know that I was supposed to take in calories during that long of a run.  My sister had been to the expo the day before and picked up some Gu, which she introduced me to and shared a few packets with me.

The guy ringing me up was super nice and chatty and asked what my plans for the weekend were--to which I responded, run 12 miles!  He asked if I was training for something and for the FIRST time, I was able to say "I'm training for a marathon."  We talked more and he said he thought the race I'm registered for is a pretty good one for a first marathon.  I guess the half marathon is pretty full, but the marathon doesn't attract as many people.  I'm not completely sure why that's good, but I'll take his word for it.

Maybe one day I can meet a running buddy there!  I know they have some trail running groups they set up, but so far my schedule hasn't been able to coordinate with their runs.

I can't wait to go back next month because I'm getting new shoes and I need them so bad and I'm excited to try various ones on and see what works best for me.  I've been running in Nike's, partially to use my Nike+ but now that I have a Garmin, that's not such a necessity.  Who knows what I will end up in.

I wonder if there's a point where I will dread my training runs.  So far, they still excite me.  Even though I'm running 12 miles on my 2nd long run of the training cycle.

If you are doing a long run tomorrow, I hope you enjoy it too!