Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pack Mentality

-8 wind chill, yep that's what it felt like at the start of today's run.  This was my coldest run to date, and I felt every second of it.  What's more amazing is the power of a group.  I had no intention of running outdoors today.  I had planned on dropping off the map and heading straight to the treadmill.  Once I reached the coffee shop there were others who were as bundled up as me with the same thought.  We all showed up hoping there would be others, no one real excited about running in this, but all dressed to go.  It was running with others that got me out the door and kept me going for 4 miles.  Alone it would not have happened.  Just knowing that there would be others who could share in the misery of the wind made it more bearable.  I was behind 3 of them for most of my run and I kept moving knowing they were there and would likely notice if I slowed to a walk.  Once everyone got moving we did our different miles at different paces but trickled into the same ending point with the same red faces.  I'm wondering if I will see any of them at the ER later today for treatment of frostbite and mild hypothermia...

Miles trained today: 4
Need to register for another race, miss counting down to something....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My legs were there but nothing else

Running alone sucks but I got out there.  Warmed up outdoors before the dreaded track workout.  Things were going along fine until I had to come up Rochambeau, it's not a bad hill, but was just enough.  I stopped.  Hadn't planned on it but about half way up found myself walking.  It didn't last long but it was strange.  I've walked on runs before but have argued with myself about it, today the quads just gave up.  Not such a big deal until the same thing happened 3/4 of the way through my 3rd mile on the track.  It was feeling harder than the first 2 miles and I was tired.  Again I just stopped.  There was no argument and this time no attempt to start running again.  Walked a cool down lap and went to work.  It was likely a combination of my body being tired and my mind being elsewhere.  I was irritated about it on the way to work and then took a few deep breaths.  I ran 6 miles total today.  I've run 14 miles this week and am 4 days out from a hard half.  This is ok, it's perfectly ok. 

Miles trained today: 6

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


After Sunday I've been sore, very sore.  Monday was a rest day and I forced myself through an easy and very tight three miles yesterday.  Today I had to get back in the saddle, 5 miles.  I put it off as long as I could and came close to calling it off.  I'm at the point where I can get up from a chair without audible noise, the quads still yell out a little going down a flight of stairs, people have stopped asking if I need a wheelchair.  

I approached the treadmill with trepidation, spent longer than necessary adjusting my headphones.  Waiting for an excuse to head home and forget about it.  I don't really need to train for another marathon.  I started slow, real slow.  It didn't hurt as much as expected, before I knew it I was increasing the pace.  After 2 miles I hit mile 3 at goal pace and to overcome the boredom, spent the next 2 miles increasing my pace as much as I could.  In hindsight it would have been better to get through this run slow, but there comes a point in every treadmill run that I have the urge to end it as fast as I can.  

I'm hoping that the rest of the week I continue to forget about the damage done to my quads and focus on moving forward from the half marathon.  Not sure where I'll end up with miles for the week but it won't be for lack of effort.

Miles trained today: 5

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to the races

Today was the first of 5 half marathons in New York City.  I have to start with giving props to my sister-in-law who rocked her first half and made it look easy.  If she lived closer I would recruit her into joining the running club, with her long legs she could be a force on the roads!  

I knew at the start that this would be a struggle, the run yesterday combined with the end of illness.  But we were registered and going to run.  Everything I run going forward must have purpose and intent behind it.  My goal is a 4:40 fall marathon and I mean it this time.  SO to go and run this as fast as I can or to try to make it a PR lessens the impact it will have on the ultimate goal.  Today other than finishing, I wanted to work on my consistency.  Aim to have most miles at a 10:30 pace.  Success in doing this for 9 of the 13 miles.  I wanted to finish in 2:17-2:20, came in at 2:22.

So what went wrong in those 4 miles.  The course did not help, to call it hilly was an understatement.  The hills didn't stop, and did quite a number on the quads.  That said the fact that I was able to hold my pace for the majority of miles is a feat given how weak I am on the hills.  My run yesterday was a bad idea, I was going in on tired legs and 4 hours of sleep.  My outfit didn't help, I over dressed and suffered a little.  Next time no jacket.  I also went out too fast, not fast compared to others, but the first 2 miles were at 10:13 and 10:14.  Had I kept it slightly slower I could have taken 15 seconds off to 2 other miles and brought it that much closer to my goal.  This may sound like I am nit picking here, but I have to understand this.  All of it.  There were other factors, a little dehydration, no Gu, and poor nutrition the week prior.  These runs will help me move forward and I have to continue to improve.  

What now?  Rest tomorrow, yoga to calm down the quads.  3o miles this week with a track workout.  Next week I start adding a second speed workout.  

Miles trained today: 13.3
(To the NYRR this is the 2nd race that we disagree about the mileage, not happy for that extra .2)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not a great idea

Today was the first day in a week that I woke up and actually felt ok.  No throat pain, no head congestion.  Great, I can finally run!  I should have kept it easy, kept it short.  In the beginning I wasn't sure how far I would get, I'm going to run within myself.  No need to be a hero, there is a half marathon scheduled for tomorrow remember.  I really like the route we had today, it's an out and back on the East Bay Bike Path.  I find that on the path I really get lost in the running.  We started out and of course I felt great.  After a weeks worth of rest the legs felt brand new.  I kept my eye on the pace ensuring that I wasn't pushing it.  Things felt good not too labored so I kept going.  Should have turned back after 1.5 miles, but kept going.  Hit 2.5 and was just too into it.  By the time I gave serious thought to turning back, we were only a half mile away from 4.5.  What the hell, I'm in it to win it now.  The problem with out and backs is that you have to run back.  I just felt light today, running felt nice.  I rarely feel like this on a run so decided to just enjoy it.  The air was crisp, I hadn't been outside other than to run to and from my car all week.  It hit me coming up that little hill, my lungs filled with fluid and I started to wheeze.  Oh well, no one is going to stop and give me a ride and it's too cold to walk the 2 miles back to the car.  I backed off the pace and dug in.  Finishing with a 10:18 per mile average I have to say I'm pretty pleased.  Faster than my goal pace for a possible fall marathon.  For a run on weakened lungs, and a weeks worth of poor nutrition I'll take it.  Here's hoping that tomorrow goes equally as well!

Miles trained today: 9
Days till the Manhattan Half: 0

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Choosing to run

I need to get my miles in, I want to get them in.  I do not want to run in 8 degree weather at 5am and am notorious for not running at night.  What to do?  In previous years I would have skipped my runs, put them off.  Never completed them and then been cranky come Sunday when I came up short.  This time I mean business, I won't get faster if I don't put forth the effort.  Today that means a treadmill run.  It was the lesser of 2 evils, barely.  We run in the morning and mentally because it's so dark I feel like it's that much colder.  There was little argument from the peanut gallery.  Get packed and lets roll.  I got my miles in and enjoyed myself as much as one can running in place for 52 minutes.  Not sure where I will be tomorrow, but am committed to balancing my treadmill runs with road miles.  If it could just be a little warmer it would help me!

Miles trained today: 5
Days till the Manhattan Half: 11

Monday, January 11, 2010

I can remember

I remember waking up for a morning run, even with the air conditioning on, it's still hot.  You know it's going to be rough when you are sweating before starting.  I roll out of bed throw on socks, sneaks, shorts and a tank.  5 minutes and I'm out the door.  The air is thick, it slaps me immediately walking out the front door.  Off I go, the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.  It only takes a few minutes before my sunglasses fog up due to the condensation.  A few more minutes before the sweat stings my eyes.  Going down the middle of the Blvd my legs and shoes are covered with the gray dust.  People are out everywhere, I have to dodge other runners.  I long for the short bursts of breeze that occasionally pass.  Staring ahead I focus on patches of shade, it always feel nicer in the shade.  

Clearly not the experience I had today, but man do I miss it!

Miles trained today:5
Days till the Manhattan Half: 13

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Damn you Gano St. Hill

Week after week you taunt me.  It's been years now and we still aren't getting along.  Can't you cut a girl a break.  I have not forgotten the hit you attempted on me 2 years ago, tripping me coming down you.  My DNA is likely still embedded in that damn sidewalk!   I don't understand, there are hills that are longer, steeper, harder, but still you fight with me.  Today we met between mile 2-3, things had been going well.  I thought I had you mastered today.  But then it happened, mid way up, things started to move backwards.  My legs were moving but I wasn't going forward.  1, 2, 3 other runners pass me.  I hate you and would like to petition the city to have you smooshed into flat surface.  

Miles trained today: 4.5ish
Days till the Manhattan Half: 15

Friday, January 8, 2010

Running for Mental Health

The last 2 days I haven't been motivated to get outdoors.  No good reason, the weather has actually been pretty good.  Both days though, I hit the end of my day and just didn't feel right.  Off enough to motivate me to hit the treadmill.  Both days glad I made myself go.  It was less about hitting my weekly mileage goal and more about clearing my head.  Finding a few minutes for myself.  When I run outside I find  myself zoning out, finding that blank spot and staying there for a few miles.  Inside it's a little different, I run with more intensity.  Every lap around that electronic beeping track on the display I increase the speed.  I get to the point where I am pounding out the emotion on the treadmill.  Today I noticed that I was glaring out the window, I didn't look like someone enjoying my run.  Almost slamming my feet down on the machine.  Getting off the treadmill I felt better, not 100% but improved.  I can only wonder what I would be like without the running inside or out.  

Miles trained today: 4.5
Days till the Manhattan Half: 16

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

drip, drip, drip

It started shortly after the marathon.  I haven't had a run without it since it started.  My nose is causing me big problems.  I'm not sure if it's my body's way of asking me to stop going out in this cold weather, but I can't get it to stop.  The dripping begins within minutes and once it starts there is no going back.  When I'm not running there is not dripping.  I know this is disgusting, but it's driving me nuts.  Don't touch my running gloves, ever!  I don't run with kleenex so just leave the gloves alone!  Don't worry I wash them after every run.  

Miles trained today: 4.5
Days till the Manhattan Half: 19

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Full Circle

Like many, my relationship with my in-laws has been rocky at times.  Today was one of those days where things came full circle.  Joe’s older sister, Jenn, started running last year after being there to cheer him on during the Providence Marathon.  It was soon after that we heard of her completing her 1st 5k and this fall we were able to run a 5k with her.  It didn’t take long before we convinced her that running longer was worth it and we made plans for a half marathon this January.  Today we had planned a 10-mile run together, her first time at hitting double digits.  This was going to be a memorable run due to the length and complicated by the surprise snowstorm that arrived with her this morning.  You could sense her excitement in the car on the ride over.  As we waited to see if anyone else would be joining us, I had a sense of pride.  I was glad to be a part of this for her, even if she didn’t recognize the importance of it.  There was one other club member brave enough (or dumb enough) to run with us.  We headed out and like most runs started with a quick pace and excited chatter.  After 3 miles things settled down, I assumed my role in the back and we pushed on.  I watched Joe run with his sister, sometimes appearing to laugh and talk with each other and other times just running.  They traded who took the lead.  For the last mile the three of us ran together, completing the whole 10 miles.  I never would have guessed that running would bring us all together.  Had you told me 10 years ago we would do this together I would have laughed.  Had you told me 10 years ago that not only would we do it, but that it would be the highlight of my holiday’s I would have laughed even harder.  Here’s to the 2010 Half Marathon Challenge with my husband and sister-in-law, there are no better runner partners out there and I’m happy to have her to share this with.

Miles trained today: 10

Days till the Manhattan Half: 22

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Birthday

It's been a year since my first post!  I've had a good time writing about my adventures in running and hope that from time to time others have enjoyed reading.  This blog has become a scrap book of sorts for me.  My training log is very dry: 1/1/103 miles on road, day time, tired legs, no pain; but my blog has allowed me to go back and remember what those miles were really like, to remember all that I have given to my training.  I don't remember the blog being a New Year's Resolution, but it might have been.  Over the next year I'll try to keep it going, blogging on days I have run about that run.  

Today's run wasn't as refreshing as I had hoped for the first run of 2010.  The legs are getting tired, 3rd day of a row running.  I still have several miles ahead of me this week and then another week of increasing miles before a recovery week.  So, the legs need to get over it.  Welcome back to training 6 days a week!  Just as I was feeling poorly about it, I scanned what I did on this same day last year.  There was a -10 degree wind chill and I was nursing a hangover, so my 3 miles was great compared to that!

Miles trained today: 3
Days till the Manhattan Half: 23