Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Road Rash

I can be a bit clumsy. I've fallen on my knees on more than one occasion. Today I added another injury to the list.

I was out with my running group, chatting away with my running partner. We'd passed a nasty stretch of uneven/missing bricks, crossed over a high hill, I was feeling great.

Then out of the blue - at mile 2.5 of a planned 3.5 mile run- I'm falling. Not sure what I tripped on, but I fell hard. Knees hit, hands hit - side of face hit. Short skid - just enough to rip some good amount of skin off.

My running partner was a bit freaked (luckily she had some water, I poured it over my knees for some relief). I got up, we started walking....and then I decided I felt good enough, so we started running.

We had started from my gym, so when we ended there the trainer that ran the group and the trainer that I was scheduled for a session with helped clean me up a bit. From there - off to the doctor's. No concussion but geeze - really bad scrapes.

I spent the morning icing my knees. I have a scrape on the side of my cheek next to my eye that is aching. I just came out of the bath and slathered on Neopsorin. And you know what? I'm still planning on running the 5K I have scheduled for Friday night.

(Where's that gif for crazy?)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simply Happy

Thank God for heat waves breaking. I love the heat - when I'm not running. I will go outside and take my shoes off to get as much heat as I can from the sidewalks. I'm like a lizard. When I'm not moving, give me as much sun as you've got! For a short time, that is. Why is it that sweating in the sun feels great when you're still, but sucks when you aren't?

With the heat wave I had decided to move my weekly long run to Monday. I am such the weather junkie now that I'm running; I want to know days in advance what I'm going to face.

Monday was a lovely day; not too hot, not too cold. I got my lazy butt out of bed half an hour earlier than usual (6 instead of 6:30), fueled with a bagel w/PB, and went to my gym.

I was due for 10 miles and instead of mapping out my route beforehand I decided to go a little random. I had ideas of where I wanted to go but didn't map it all out. It was basically a series of out and backs, centering around my gym. With my first out and back I missed a turn which made me realize how close my gym actually is to where I pick up the T. New route possibilities abound!

I ran 6 miles without stopping. I know most people say to take water in that time but for me I can't; I think it distracts me, really doesn't help. I stopped ~6 miles to take two shot bloks - Margarita - and drink water from a public fountain. My stomach usually can take GU and I actually like them but for some reason in the heat I just can't. I think I have to go out and buy more shot bloks for the next few weeks of training.

Kept running after the fuel stop. Lost a little momentum when I went through a park, but picked it right back up. Around mile 8.5 I got a minor stitch in my side and took a quick stretch break so that I wouldn't be in pain for the rest of the run.

Mile 9.5 - my gym was in sight and I really needed to pee. Ducked in quickly, came back out to loop around for half a mile.

Came back, stretched - felt awesome! It's been a while since I've been able to go those distances without walk breaks - basically, since summer started. I think I've got the exertion for longer distances worked out; I can definitely feel the difference between "can go forever at this pace" and "mid-range distances, but will exhaust over time".

I feel so much more prepared for my half in September. And I definitely feel happy with my running. I'm not the fastest, but I am doing it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Feeling Better

I almost met my goal from yesterday's post. Almost in the sense that although I didn't hit the full distance I wanted to, I felt like I made good progress towards being comfortable with the treadmill.

I got myself up @7 this morning. On a Saturday. Can't believe it myself. I'm either dedicated or getting old. Probably both.

Anyway, I decided that I wasn't in the mood for my regular fuel of an english muffin w/nut butter. Went with a bowl of Kashi Go Lean, walnuts, and dried cranberries. I should correct that - tried to go with that. I just wasn't in the mood for some reason. I ate maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the bowl and then covered it for later. Same with my regular morning Diet Mt. Dew - just wasn't feeling it.

Got dressed, went to gym. My gym is doing a contest where every 5 days you work out you get a raffle ticket. The prizes are awesome - tickets to the Red Sox game, or even the rest of the year's gym membership for free! That's what I want! The reason I mention this is that this morning they were giving little gold smiley stickers at check-in; I think those who put them on the sign-up sheet get extra entries. Yay for non laziness!

Stretched out. Knee is feeling moderately good. Definitely not twinging as much. Wow - actually listening to advice to ice and take pain killers works. Who knew? (Insert roll-eyes here).

Jumped on the treadmill. Started slow, then once I was moderately warmed up, covered the display with a towel. I had set it to finish at three miles.

I had a good music mix, and varied my speed. Since I covered the display I don't know my peak, but I do know that I was pushing myself. Not to sprint, but definitely a few clicks down from there. As I went along I made myself focus on posture - was I leaning forward, was I too close to the front of the mill, where were my hips. I also worked on my breathing, trying to go deeper in to my lower abdomen.

As I said above, I didn't go the full distance. I made it 2.37 miles before I ripped the towel off. Once I did that I knew that I would be distance watching, so I just stopped.

My speed was moderately slow, but I think that I had more of a spread between my slowest speed and my fastest, so I don't feel as bad as I could. I definitely felt more comfortable than yesterday on the 'mill.

I am going to continue to get more practice on the 'mill. If it gets hot again here, definitely, but mostly as I get into the fall. I don't want to waste good running weather inside!

Overall - I say a B- on this one. But with a smile.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Worst of Both Worlds

I'm a pessimistic perfectionist. And it sucks. I never want to start anything because I'm sure that I won't be able to do it just right. I over think; I have to consider everything that might go wrong. And sometimes that over thinking makes me sabotage myself before I even start.

Take today's workout. I was scheduled to do 5 miles w/3 mile tempo in the middle. I had done two miles of tempo last week to great success. And sore legs for two days after, but we'll take that as battle scars. If I had been able to do today's tempo outside I would have been happy. I don't know if you've heard, though - the East coast is having a heat wave. I had been having problems outside when it was cooler; I know if I tried to take one step above a walk outside today, I will burst into flames. So - treadmill.

Let me back up a bit and say I have a certain fear of the treadmill. It goes back to this past winter when I was injured while training for my first half. I'm stubborn, so even though I was injured, I was going to keep training. And with the way the sidewalks were, I wasn't going to be doing it outside. I jumped (well, limped) on to the treadmill. It was a scary session. I hit a speed that I wasn't able to keep up with and my leg started twisting and sliding. Have you ever seen those videos of people falling off of treadmills? Those make me wince, not laugh. I just know that if I was to fall I'd do more than bruising. Negative thinking? Maybe. Anyway, the point is, I was terrified.

Since then I've done workouts on the treadmill. I've done some tough workouts - hills, speedwork. But there's always that fear in the back of my mind. It's even worse when my knee acts up, like it has been this week.

I did my 5 miles this morning, but it definitely was not a tempo run. It was around slow run time, mostly because I just didn't trust my knee to keep up. Let me say - after the workout my knee was fine - better than it has been all week! Probably because I finally listened to advice and iced it last night. I know I could have pushed myself harder.

So I'm disappointed today. I know that I psyched myself into a bad run.

My plan - a do over tomorrow. Not 5 miles - just 3. I am going to treat it like I was outside running. I will cover the speed display and go by effort. I will set it to go by distance instead of time. I will warm up slowly, and do my best to go faster each mile after that. And I will trust in my legs and knees.

I can do this. I know I can. I am strong.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trot trot to Boston...and look at that - I actually cooked!

Well, I say look at it, but don't provide any pictures. Mad photo skillz - I haz them.

To start with the second part of the title, I did make a wonderful dinner tonight. Thank goodness for Oh She Glows. I spotted the recipe for Perfect Veggie Burgers this week and just knew it was perfect for using some of the beans I cooked this week. I do have to say - these burgers are definitely not mistitled. They are amazing. The texture is just right, the beans/almonds/sunflower seeds combination is fabulous, and the spices are beautiful. I served it in a pita half with some sliced cucumbers and garlic hummus. Could definitely stuff more into the pita - might do that with carrots for the leftovers tomorrow. And maybe I'm used to tiny servings, but I made 14 when her recipe served 8.

It was also a fabulous day for a run. Hot of course - this summer is nice to be out in, unless you're running. Today I felt it but didn't over feel it, if that makes sense? I deliberately ran slow - the same pace as my long run last week. It was different than the last run however, as I ran the entire way. Go me!

I am in such a good mood. Seven weeks to big race!

Friday, July 15, 2011

What a difference a few days make

This week was AWESOME. My last post was a little bit down, but since then I've:

* Rocked out to a Monday night dance class. This is really fun for cross training, although to be honest I was a bit grossed out when the woman next to me took off her shirt (she had a sports bra, of course) and she was unshaven! Like fully grown inches long hair in her pits. I try to be relaxed/it's her choice about these things but I was just fascinated/grossed out.

* Ran with the Wednesday running group and had a really fun time. I was relaxed, it was a good pace, plus I get to practice having conversations while running. Plus the woman I talk to is really nice. Unfortunately I'm such a blonde at heart that I've already forgotten her name. Will ask her this coming Wednesday.

* Ran a tempo run Thursday. I hadn't done one of those in a long time; I rocked it! Aiming for a 10:30 for two miles. Mile 1 - 10:40; mile 2 - 9:53! Wow!

* Even with sore thighs from Thursday I did a tough core class Friday morning. Kept myself going through hills, speedwork, core intervals, and strength/cardio drills. I've even become so used to burpees that they are automatic with me.

I am working it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Disappointed but resolved

I did my long run this morning. I was not happy with the result. It was 8.2 miles, average 12:17 minute mile. When I look at the splits on my Garmin I was strong in the front miles and sloooow in the back.

I am definitely making some changes on my next long run.

* Instead of running with a water bottle on my back I will run with cash for water along the way. I think that having the water along the way made it too easy to "take water breaks" too often along the way.

* Recognize my weakness. If I walk once, I walk too much the rest of the way. I will aim to slow down next time when taking my gu/chomps/whatever, but not stop.

* There will be exhaustion. I will get hot. This is normal and good.

* Stretch longer before the run and during the week to make sure my hips don't seize.

* Take it slower up front. Practice this during shorter runs.

* Focus on posture. When I feel tired, take a breath and adjust.

* Plan for success; ignore what I did last week. I've done these distances before and done them well. Remember that.

I will be doing my best at the half in September. I need to learn these skills now for my future running. I won't always be running in 50 degree weather; I need to know how to deal.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Relaxing into Strength

I did a short yoga session today. 20 minutes, free podcast. I listened to it and followed along with the pose guide twice before I actually tried the practice. I have a fun, pretty yoga mat (very important, of course) that I got for Christmas and has been unused pretty much since.

I followed the practice very well and was able to do all the poses but at the end, I felt...disappointed. I really did my best and it was slightly straining. I can be a very tense person; my personal trainer is always gently yelling at me to take my shoulders down from my ears. So with this practice I felt like I wasn't breathing into the moves properly and reaching with my body.

It was a starting session so I've got room to grow. I'm happy I did it, and happy to recognize where I can improve. I hope to get to the point where when I finish a yoga session my body is so relaxed that I'm ready to fall asleep.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Ook ook

Yes - still monkeying with giving up Diet Mt. Dew.

And in other news, it's hot and sticky. Not the best for training. BUT - I had a fun run on Wednesday. I ran with the running group again, and as opposed to last week I didn't run faster, but I had more fun. I ran and chatted with one of the girls the whole way. In fact we were so distracted that we passed our turnoff! Shorter than planned distance, but fun nonetheless.

WFH/sick day today. Woke up achy, feverish, yucky feeling in the morning. Improved later, but still need to get on the ball about my arthritis medication. Part of the feeling this morning was achyness in both hands, which is a sign of a flare.

Other more positive achyness was in my thighs for the past couple days. I guess I overdid it in my training session Wednesday. Haven't had achyness in a long time because of that. Does me some good!

Long run on Sunday; maybe long walk on Saturday? Either way, mixed bag week, but ready for a good weekend!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Get that yellow-green monkey off my back

I've got a monkey on my back. It's yellow-green, fizzy, and has no calories.

Yes - I am a hardcore Diet Mt. Dew junkie. Secondary addiction to Coke Zero.

I've heard too many times the reasons diet sodas are bad for you. Bad for your teeth, bad for your bones, bad for your waist (according to recent data). I even believe that it contributes to stomach issues that I feel. Even with all of that - I couldn't give it up.

Note carefully the previous sentence. Couldn't. Not can't. That's because I promise myself from the end of this weekend forward; no more soda. I've given it up before and gone back, and even gave it up for Lent this year. I know I can do it.

I want to run the best I can and I fully believe that my hydration suffers because of my soda addiction. Time to go.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Up and at 'em!

You know you're serious about your training program when you get up and run @6:30 - right before you have to drive 4 1/2 hours.

I'm visiting my mom this weekend. Also visiting my mom are my sister, her husband, and their 5 kids (ages 11 down to 18 months). A little bit more chaotic than the life of me and two cats that I'm used to.

From experience I knew that there really are no good places to run around my mom's house. Well, she has a loop around her neighborhood, but last time I ran there I had some...slight pee-ness that sticks in my mind. I'll save running around there for my shorter run on Monday. Plus - boring. But - geese!

So - up at 6:30. Pre-run - full bagel + PB! Hold back the excitement! I seriously need to re-think my fueling. The bagel is good, but I usually do an english muffin w/PB which may not be enough.

Anyway - started run. Around mile 1.25, felt a need to do #2. Luckily there was a Burger King nearby, so quick pit stop and off I went! I planned some high hills early in the run rather than later, so I could use some energy at the start.

It was hilly, I was sweaty, but felt good mentally. Chocolate Gu @ mile 4; not sure if it was the weather heating it up, but it didn't feel right going down. Plus - spilled some on shirt and shorts. Maybe switch to bloks? Broke down a bit in the last mile. Planned on 8, only finished 7.58.

Post-run there were salt deposits on my face, as usual. I'm not a huge fan of salted food, so I'm a little concerned about the amount that comes out in my sweat. I do have margarita shot bloks, which have extra salt; will probably use them on my next long run. On the upside, I've found that running with a nathan bottle carrier centered in my back is very comfortable.

After that, long drive, greeted by loved ones!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Now that's motivation!

Late to the party, I know, but I just started reading Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

I'm only halfway through, and I want to go out and run hard. I've been slacking, I feel, and my trainer gently suggested such without even saying it (that's a skill!) by suggesting I incorporate tempo runs in my training. (Don't worry about my slacking on run-on sentences - I've got that covered! Also in overuse of exclamation points and commas!)

Anyway, short story shorter, a lot of the book focuses on working through the tough times when running. I've got to realize - it's not going to kill me. I can do more than I have been.

So - going forward:
  • I have one more session of core training. This is intervals of treadmill work (speed and inclines) alternating with floor core work (pushups, planks (side and regular), bicycles, wall sits, etc.). Since it's our final week we're going to be doing assessments. Goals - Work through the entire time of all exercises. Several times during the time we've had these sessions I've dropped to my knees on the floor or walked if on the treadmill. None of that. It's all mental. I know I can rock through this.
  • After the core training is done, Fridays will be tempo runs. I will have about 8 weeks until my half, so this is the time to kick into gear. Goal: Hit 9:30 miles by last session.
  • I ran with a running group this week. I will continue doing so. Goal: Drop speed on each run, goal of 9 minute miles. I expect this to be a longer term goal.

Overall goal - work it until it hurts. And know I can go further.