Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Late Sunday night after my 8 mile training run my left foot really started to hurt, kind of like the top of my foot.  It persisted through yesterday.  It was feeling bruised kinda... I don't know how else to describe it.  Dr. Google said it could be a fracture or extensor tendonitis... I don't think it's a fracture because it said I'd be able to find a spot to poke on a metatarsal where the pain would be unbearable, and instead of a spot it's kind of all over hurting.  Extensor tendonitis can be caused by tight calf muscles or forefoot striking too much in a regular running shoe.  So hell... maybe my gait is unconsciously changing from running in vibrams and now I'm forefoot striking too much to be comfortable in my running shoes??  I have no idea.

This was also the first run over 6 miles that I'd done in about 3 weeks, so it could be that...but if I get aches and pains it's always something on my right side rather than the left, so it's a bit odd and new.

I took yesterday as a rest day and I just headed out for 3 tonight in the vibrams (I couldn't bear the idea of putting the hurty shoe on, and I was too lazy to do 2 in the vibrams and then change shoes to add one more mile).  They were honestly fine for 3... my calves weren't tired from them any more, no problems with my arches or any other kind of pain or tiredness, and nothing about them seemed to be making the foot issue worse.  And I felt good.  My foot just hurts.  Now it's not really the top of my foot, but the bottom of my foot or kind of all over my midfoot.  I wish my stupid foot didn't hurt because this would've been a really good run tonight.

I thought if something was going to happen to me it would be while wearing vibrams, not while wearing my running shoes.  Maybe the switching back and forth is a bad idea.  I'm icing it.  We'll see, I guess.

I have observed a couple things:
1) Vibrams make me slow.  At the same heart rate effort that I run a 10 min/mile in shoes, I'm running a 12 min/ mile in the vibrams.  Pretty ridiculous.
2) If i try to pick up the pace, it's pretty difficult, and the impact on my knees increases (guess that's common sense).  In any case I don't think I'll be using these for any fast runs in the near future...at least until I'm more used to them.
3) coffee is still a bad idea before runs.  I swear I can feel my heart beating out of my chest. (heart rate observation #1 here was collected on a non-caffeinated run.. heh).
4) I have a blister underneath my big toe.
5) In spite of this odd foot situation I persist in thinking this is a good idea to get used to running in vibrams.  Anything new has a learning curve or a training curve or whatever.  We will see.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finished week 2!

Week 2 of marathon training COMPLETE!  I made two changes to the Higdon plan:
*I did my long run today (Sunday) not Saturday.  This broke up the back to back runs that were supposed to happen Friday/Saturday.  But I still only had 1 day of "rest" between runs so I'm hoping it was ok for this week.
*I did 8 miles tonight instead of 9.  But I hadn't done a run over 6 miles since about June 1 or so, so I'm figuring it's cool if I cut it a little short just this week --especially since last week was low mileage and this week I sprung right into running 25 miles total.

Tonight's run was really hot and pretty tough.  I ran the first 3 miles too fast, and the last 1.5 pretty fast, and then I completely sagged in the middle.  My feet are feeling kind of achy and I almost had that knee ache that I get when it's time to retire the shoes.  But I hope hope hope these shoes aren't done just yet and that the aches and pains are just from not doing a long run in awhile and also adjusting to vibrams for part of the week.  My calves were tight tight tight from the vibrams still, and I haven't run in them in several days.

The day after a long run is supposed to be a cross train day but since I did the run on a Sunday, I'm scheduled for 3 tomorrow.  Not sure yet if I'll do it or move things around this week, too.

My poor tired feet.
But yay! week 2 completed!

When I got up to get ready for my run, this was snuggled up against my front door:
What an odd place to sleep.  When I found her, her head was tucked under in that funny upside-down way that cats always manage... and she seemed startled, so I think she thought I wasn't home.  I know sometimes when I come in she seems to be behind the door or gets nudged out of the way by the door, so I wonder if she often sleeps on my doormat like this while I'm not home, waiting for me to get back.  Aw shucks, how cute.  I love this little one.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In which I discover that I am NOT bendy..at all

This week my legs have been so...freaking... tight.  Like not even just painful sore, like... actually tight.  I don't know if it's because I suddenly increased the amount I was running or what.  But wow.  It's even been making it so I can't sleep at night.  Basic stretching hasn't been doing much.

I took a beginner's yoga class for about a year when I was an undergrad, and I know I was a lot stretchier back then (and also a lot fatter, but that's another story.)  So I figured, what better way to stretch out and stop feeling like I'm hobbling along on tight muscles than yoga?  I know a lot of runners do yoga along with their running, so maybe they're compatible.  But after discovering there's no way I can afford to sign up for actual yoga classes, the other day I ordered this Athlete's Guide to Yoga book from the library.  It's not here yet, but I've been concerned that there's no way I'll be able to do it from a book anyhow, because I won't know how to sequence poses and will have to flip around in the book while I'm trying to do a workout.  Fortuitously enough I stumbled upon a blogger (Organically Me) who does yoga, and she gets her workouts from yogadownload.com.  There are short ones there for free, and longer ones you can pay for that are really cheap, for the most part.  I downloaded a 20 minute free Yoga for Runners one.  I figured I would try it later, but really, it's not as if I'm getting any productive work done right now anyway, so I tried it out.

Cue sequence of awkward events:
I make space on the bedroom floor and put my yoga mat down.  I shut the cat out of the room, print out the pose guide, and start the audio.
Just as I'm getting into the first downward dog, the cat appears out of nowhere (she opened the door! is nothing sacred any more?) and she gets on the mat directly under me and does a huuuuuuge cat-stretch.  Her favorite thing in the world is to sink her claws into my yoga mat (we've discovered this before), so this will never do.  Apparently she likes the mat for stretching, too.
So the sequence progresses and I recall how wobbly I am.  Remember, I am the person who was told by a Wii Fit that I have the balance of an 85 year old woman.  This does not bode well for yoga apparently.  I'm wobbling all over the place.  But I know it was never this bad back when I was in yoga classes.
Then I discover that I can no longer straighten my legs while trying to stretch.  This is new.  Before I was a runner, I was really flexible; apparently running actually DOES shorten your muscles. (?!)  So it's difficult if not impossible to get into the poses correctly; I have to keep modifying them, so I'm probably not getting the full benefit, but it was the best I could do.
This particular workout has a leg stretching sequence that looks easy enough on paper.

.....yeah, not easy at all.  The whole thing involved like one continuous stretch of my hip muscles, first on one side, then on the other.  Not to mention that my version of "leg high" and "standing splits" was somewhat of a joke and almost involved falling over.  It's frustrating because if I'm going to bother doing it, I want to be doing it properly.  I remember yoga being more difficult than I thought, but in the class I had it was difficult because of holding the poses, not because getting into the pose in the first place was awkward.  (though holding these poses was plenty more difficult than it looks, too...trust me.)

So, I finished my pathetic attempt at the routine (longest 20 minutes ever) and walked around a bit, and I have to say that my hips feel really stretched and a lot better.  My hamstrings and calves are still tight, but maybe because I wasn't stretching them enough.  And yoga always did make me feel good generally, which I'd forgotten about.  I want to keep doing this and I want to be doing it right.  So I think I'm going to see if I can do it now and then during the week, to see if it will help me be able to regain the flexibility I once had, and to see if that helps with running tightness at all.  Twenty minutes a day shouldn't kill me, and there are a bunch of different twenty minute ones I can download for free.  Sooo...stay tuned for more, I guess.

I wish the yoga download things were video and not audio, but it was ok having audio accompanied by a printable pose guide.

I overslept this morning and missed the group run at 8am, so now I have to do my 9 miles by myself later tonight, hopefully after it cools off somewhat.

Breakfast Eats

As I'm training this summer, I'm really going to make an effort to make sure my breakfast is awesome.  That means, you know, actually eating breakfast.... and a breakfast that doesn't consist of last night's leftovers or processed bread products like bagels or whatever.  I've noticed that I actually do feel a lot better when I eat a decent breakfast, so I guess I should (brace yourself for bad pun) *run* with it.

For breakfasts I'll be choosing among the following:
1) Smoothies (usually with greens in them).  This has worked out well for me for awhile now, as long as I have enough produce and frozen fruit on hand.
2) Smoothies-in-a-bowl (idea stolen from Organically Me)...so if I add kale to a smoothie and it's chewy and gross like I've noticed before, it will be less noticeable when it's in a bowl with other chewy things.
3) Oatmeal (overnight or otherwise--the reason I stopped making and eating oatmeal every morning was because I was sick of washing saucepans with scalded oatmeal on the bottom, but overnight soaking seems to be an alternative to cooking)
4) Soy yogurt with yummy things added to it
5) Sprouted things in a bowl with other things (haha, wow, that's nice and specific eh?  I'm thinking of sprouting buckwheat groats, quinoa, and sunflower seeds, like a kind of granola, and adding chopped fruit and almond milk--or just adding the sprouts to soy yogurt or smoothie-in-a-bowl)
6) Raw Green Juices (going to buy that juicer soon!  My garden is growing...)

Things I'm hoping to eat in these various breakfasts:
  • chia seeds (I think I'm going to buy some and try them.  I've been slightly afraid after trying hemp products resulted in me being so incredibly sick)
  • matcha tea
  • sprouts
  • more berries/cherries
I also want to try making homemade Luna Bars for quick on-the-go situations or afternoon snacks.
And I want to try keeping a jar of recovery drink around for post-run.  That stuff I was making from Brendan Brazier's The Thrive Diet last summer wasn't that bad... but it wasn't that good either.  But I might start making it again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I swear I'll shut up about Vibrams soon...

A couple of interesting posts on Vibrams (with videos):

This is generally a really cool blog, too, it seems.

I'm sore as all hell after that run tonight.  I must've still been on a runners high when I made my last post or something.  Going to have to take a day or two off from the Vibrams I think.  :o)

Also tonight on my run I passed a guy wearing something really unusual... internet research reveals it was these:  http://www.invisibleshoe.com/  Wow...crazy eh?  They looked horribly uncomfortable the way he was striding along, but this is one variation on the barefooting thing that I hadn't heard of or seen before.

training update, misc ramblings

Yikes... it's a hot one out there.  Thankfully the humidity was only about 55%, but whew.  Sweat and more sweat.  I think I'm finally getting used to the heat again though.  I've run the past 4 runs with little to no nausea, so this is progress.   I think Galloway said it takes 14 days to get used to heat, so that seems about right.

I've completed my first part of week 2 of marathon training, which meant 3 days of back to back runs!  I ended up tentatively going with the Higdon Intermediate I plan, with plans to back off to Novice 2 if this doesn't go well.  People (both on here and in "real life") seemed divided about which plan I should choose, but I decided I want to try for the challenging one and see how it makes me feel.  After two years of every-other-day running, I'm ready for a new style of training.  Anyway I can't say I did a full week on this plan yet (yeah, so it's kind of lame I'm even posting about it now ...)  but I DID do runs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  The usual weekly pattern for me is going to be 3 days running, one day rest, 2 days running, one day cross training, repeat.  (And before my training was more like run, rest, run, rest, rest, run--with some cross training mixed in on rest days).  Yeah, that was a lot of rest before, but whenever I tried days of back to back runs I'd start getting overly fatigued.  I think I can do it now, though--or at least I'm going to give it a try.  

I ended up picking up Higdon's book while I was in Louisville, so I've been reading that a little.  And one thing he says in there is that taking 2 rest days back to back counts as de-training (he says 1 day off can always count as rest, even if you've missed a  scheduled run--but that you should never miss TWO days and have two days off back to back).  If what he says is true, this means I've been constantly de-training myself each week on Thursday and Friday for 2 years.  Maybe I'd be making more progress if I wasn't doing that... so we shall see.  I know that realistically this summer I may not adhere to his training plan with godlike diligence since I have life to interfere, but the one goal I am going to really strive for is not taking 2 back to back rest days.  (So I can move runs around if I need to, to an extent, but not really miss them). 

So: Monday I did 3, yesterday I did 5, and today I did 3.  Tomorrow is rest (maybe swimming in the morning), and then Friday I do 5, and Saturday I do 8.  The Friday/Saturday combo is going to be where I really see how this goes, because I'm not at all used to doing a long run on the back of Friday run.

In Vibram news, I did a mile in them yesterday and 1.5 miles in them today.  I've been putting on the Vibrams for the first part of scheduled runs, then quickly changing into shoes and finishing the run.  I was going to do Vibram runs in addition to the regular training plan, but I'm quickly progressing in them it seems... and I'm hoping that soon I will be up to 3 miles and can skip the shoe-changing.

I have some leg soreness that's likely due to the Vibrams (calf soreness for sure is the Vibrams... not sure about the quads and hips, but it seems like it's from the Vibrams too).  This is all just average muscle soreness though--no weird joint anything.  I do have a blister under my big toe on my right foot, though--it seems there's a hot spot in the Vibram somehow, and I'm hoping I'll get used to it.  And this morning the ball of my right foot felt a little bruised, but it went away as the day went on.  

Putting on running shoes today after 1.5 was really sucky... nothing like hastily trying to pull socks onto sweaty feet before your heart rate drops too much, and then it felt like I was running clumsily with bricks on my feet.  It's such a notable difference from Vibram running.

So basically getting used to the Vibrams has gone a little something like this:
Friday: 1 mile run
Saturday: several miles walking (this was so much worse than the running... ugh, my feet were so sore)
Sunday: grocery store walking (was sore)
Monday:  no Vibrams
Tuesday: 1 mile run
Wednesday: 1.5 mile run
Friday I'm going to try for 2 miles in them if I can.

I know you're supposed to take it slow blah blah and most of what I've read has suggested taking it MUCH slower than I have been (like they say it might take you a month and a half to get up to 2 miles, even).  But as long as I feel ok, I'm going to keep on.

So that's all that's been going on in the training world.  Oh, and I got one of these:  

...because I didn't want to have to keep taking my 4-bottle fuelbelt out for runs less than 8 miles, and it's too hot for me to have no water for runs as long as 5 miles (I'm a water-wuss).  It was great yesterday, except I did get some arm/shoulder soreness from having this weight in my little t-rex arms for 5 miles.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vibrams, Day 2

Some definite foot and lower-leg soreness.  I can feel all of these muscles inside my feet, mostly in the balls of my feet, and my toes.  It's very strange.

Today I wore them to walk around-- for a LOT of walking.  I was hoping it would loosen up the soreness, but I think I kind of got more sore.  The weird thing is, it's not like you can just be like "oh these shoes hurt, I'm taking them off and now I feel awesome."  ...because walking around barefoot hurts the same freaking muscles!  Ahhh!

Tomorrow after my shoe-d run I'll probably take them out for a short spin again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vibram update:  Sam watched me run in them and apparently while wearing the Vibrams I don't do that weird leg-kicking-out thing I always do while running.  They're correcting my form!


Vibrams are rocking my world!

So, as I mentioned before I finally caved and ordered some Vibram Fivefingers.  I ordered them from an online retailer who said they would be shipped in mid-June.  Then I checked the website while I was in Louisville (I mean cmon it's mid-June, where on earth are my vibrams?? I want them!!) ... and I discovered that they changed them from "shipping mid-June" to "shipping mid-July."  I call them and they're all "yeah, we can't help it, Vibram doesn't give us any information blah blah."

This is, of course, unsatisfactory.  I can't possibly wait any longer than RIGHT NOW.  Haha.

So out of the blue it occurs to me that maybe there are retailers in Louisville, and I have my car.  I called around and found them at several places.  The place that had the red color I wanted didn't have my size, but one place had black ones and another place had slate/lichen.  So I took a drive (bonus: also got to see more of Louisville) and ended up picking up a pair!!
(I swear to god I don't have cankles...every photo I took makes it seem so, though.)  

So I'm just going to cancel the online order.  

I took them out for the first run tonight.  With these you're supposed to start really really small, like half a mile,  because they cause you to use a lot of new foot/ankle/calf muscles.  I've decided that until I can use them for longer distances I'm going to do all Vibram runs without the Garmin, just taking my tiny sports watch and running based on time.  I think some low-tech runs will be good for morale, so I can just RUN and not think about pace and distance and heart rate and all that.  Vibram runs will be in addition to the regular training plan, since they're just short little baby runs for the foreseeable future.

This was possibly the best run I've ever had.  No joke.  It felt SO GOOD.  You can feel the ground while running!  And I could feel all these different muscles in my calves doing work, and my hamstrings.  It makes you be a forefoot striker, so now I know how that's supposed to feel (and it feels awesome).  I was planning to run for just 5 minutes tonight in them, but when I looked at my watch I was already at 4 minutes and hadn't turned around, so I ended up doing closer to 10 minutes.  It's going to be very very easy for me to overtrain while wearing these because it's the most joyous amazing delightful experience in the whole entire world.  Your feet make this teeny-tiny little "tap tap" sound, and you feel really light on your feet.  I've never been happier on a run.  My knees and ankles and hip didn't hurt at all, as they often do when I start a run--(that takes-awhile-to-warm-up feeling never happened while wearing these).

This was the best purchase ever and I wish I'd gotten some long ago.  I hope the leg-strengthening process goes smoothly and that I can transition into doing some longer runs in these instead of shoes.

Happy feet!  I want to go run more RIGHT NOW!  Damn this slow muscle-building process...hehe.

I can run faster than this boat full of dirt...

 This boat....
....pushing this huge shipment of dirt...

Victories:  gotta claim 'em where you can.  I outran this boat for like 2 miles until the trail dead-ended.  Heh.

Anyway, Louisville.  I did a run along the Ohio River twice, once with a camera and once without.  The bummer about this week was the incredible outrageous heat in Louisville.  When I got off work at 5:00, for 4 of the 7 days that I was there it was 94+ degrees (a heat index over 100) and high humidity.  I didn't want this to screw up my training, so like a good little runner I went out for a run anyway, but the heat was WAY too much.  For the past 7 months I've been operating under the assumption that my max HR is 208 bpm, according to my Garmin and doing the mile sprint test.  But apparently if I'm running in 94+ degree weather with humidity, I can actually get my HR to go up to 210.  Lemme tell ya, that doesn't feel good.  So for that really hot run, I only did about 3.5 miles and had to take some walking stops, and I couldn't get my heartrate to go back down, and I was getting a lot of muscle cramping (too much coffee all day probably, really dehydrated, and then running in heat like that = bad idea.)

So after that run I was a bit scared about heading out there again for another one like it.  I tried to get up for an AM run, but in order to get back and get to work on time I would've had to get up at 530, and I was still trying to make up for the lack of sleep I had in the preceding week.  While I set an alarm I just couldn't do it.  But the next evening it was a bit cooler, and I waited until a little later in the evening and headed along the river again, but this time also ran some around downtown.  The river was pretty, but smelled pretty strongly of sewage.  Running downtown was actually really nice.  My hope was to run to the University of Louisville, but I never had a chance to make it on that run.  Here's the route I did when I ran around the city:
This was a great little run, about 5 miles, and I had a really nice time.  It felt so good after sitting all day.  I wish I'd been able to fit in more runs like this while I was there, without giving myself a heat-induced coronary.  I have no idea about the safety of the areas I was running, though, and I kind of have a feeling it'll be one of those things where I tell a Louisville native where I ran alone at dusk and they'll be all, "You ran WHERE?"  The path along the river made me a little uncomfortable...there were a lot of people around but most of them (not to make a vast generalization, but I'm going to anyway) looked like they were either drunk or on drugs or both, and I felt very out of place; there were no other runners.  And parts of where I ran around downtown were pretty run down, at least outside the business district.  But hey, it was all ok in the end.

I met a really cool fella at work and was hoping he'd get some runs in with me, but he hurt his foot early in the week, badly enough to be limping.  And I met a hardcore triathlete at breakfast one day and he invited me to run with him, but I didn't call him since he, in passing, made a comment about how slow and pathetic his 8 minute pace was now since his knee surgery (and obv I can't even RUN an 8 minute mile...fast to me is like 8:30 or 9:00 and I can hardly sustain that.)  So, yeah.

So the good news was that I had one good run while I was there.  The bad news is that I had one good run while I was there :\  This was supposed to be week 1 of my Hal Higdon training plan, and between the long work hours, being exhausted beyond belief, poor nutrition (there was never any vegan food for me at the dining center aside from lettuce, and while I took a cooler of snacks, it was largely inadequate), and massive caffeine intake, and the hideous heat, I didn't do that well.

So I'm hoping I can get back on the horse this week right in week 2 of the training and make things all ok.  I don't anticipate any further setbacks this summer aside from one long weekend in July when I'll be in Chicago.  (Maybe a couple Chicago runs??)

Btw, this mysterious business I was up to in Louisville?  Scoring standardized test essays.  I read about 1700 essays over the course of 7 days.  Kill me.  (usually I do 2000 or 2500 in that same time frame, but this set of essays was more difficult to score than usual).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

There will be some posts coming up:
*the rest of my 10k report
*training plans (again)
*photos I take while running around Louisville

The past couple of days have been just crazy with trying to get my work done before going out of town for this job.  I can't wait to have my life back!  While in Louisville I'll be working basically 8-5, but I'm really looking forward to some reprieve from the usual daily grind (this means having my evenings FREE and TO MYSELF, GUILT FREE... a whole week away from dissertations and stress and all that.  Even if I'm braindead from the 8-5 workdays, these evenings will be very valuable.  Woo!)  I have plans to run around University of Louisville, and anywhere else that looks cool (and safe).  I haven't been to Louisville before really except for 2 very short visits: one for a conference, and one for a concert....and I didn't see much of the city in either case.

Meanwhile, I am losing a toenail and it is in that very disturbing phase where it's lifted up and you can see underneath it.  As usual at this point it doesn't particularly hurt, but it kind of makes me cringe thinking about the fact that I can completely see underneath a toenail.  Ack.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back-to-Back Run Days: Opinions?

Ok so I'm looking at Higdon's Novice 2 program or his Intermediate 1 program.

Novice 2 looks good because it has 4 run days a week which is what I'm used to and 4 days a week keeps me from getting burned out.  It allows me time to rest in between and leaves time for work.  But doing "what I'm used to" isn't necessarily my goal here.  I'm looking to raise my mileage and get more fit.  Also this summer I have a fellowship so don't have to physically appear anywhere during each week--I'll just be working from home.  So I have more flexibility than usual.

Intermediate 1 looks good except there's one thing that concerns me:  he has you doing runs at race pace the day before a long run.  Am I seriously going to be able to, for instance, in week 7, run 7 miles at race pace and then the very next day do a 14 miler??  Holy crikes.  Anytime I do a race-pace run I always have a rest or cross day after that.  I'm afraid I might not be able to *DO* this one... and how demoralizing would it be to start my first marathon training program and feel like I'm failing the whole time from not being able to keep up with the program?  I have to say that as a runner feelings of failure are the biggest thing I battle--more than any kind of physical limit, I know I'm really held back by demoralizing thoughts and negativity.  I should post about that sometime.

But Novice 2 looks easy.  It's very much what I'm used to and thus maybe too easy?  Except that it has 3 runs back to back mid-week and higher mileage, of course (I usually run Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sun... this is getting mixed up a little now that I've been doing Saturday long runs, though...but as you see I'm used to having rest days or cross training between run days).

So should I "man up" and try the more challenging program and see if I can do it?  If I *can* do Intermediate 1, I'd feel a lot more prepared for the race than I would doing Novice 1, I think.

I'm also going to continue my swimming lessons this summer so there will be some swimming mixed in with the program, as long as I can handle it.
Also, I have to confess that I've made a running splurge.  I've been eyeing Vibram Fivefingers literally for a year and a half, and couldn't afford them/didn't want to spend the money, but I promised myself that I could get some if I wanted them when I finished the first bit of my dissertation.  And it's not quite done yet, but it almost is, and these were backordered until mid-June, so it all seems like perfect timing.  And after my brother and 2 other friends have gotten some, I can hardly stand it I'm so green with envy.   So I'll be needing some low-mileage runs as I ease into the barefooting thing...so for awhile my midweek runs will have to involve running a loop around my apartment for a shoe-change, or some other sort of plan that injects short runs (and we mean really short here... like you start running 0.5 miles because you have to strengthen your feet and calves.)  This is largely going to be an experiment and I do not have the goal of barefooting this marathon AT ALL... just hopefully working with barefooting to improve my form and correct my overpronation, if possible.  But, more on that later.

Opinions on the training program?  Can a runner like me who's used to putting in only about 25 miles a week seriously adapt to doing a run at pace followed by a long run the very next day?

Really surprising how timid it's making me feel to step out of my half-marathon comfort zone...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Columbus 10k Race Report! Part 1

My first 10k ever this morning!  I think it's kind of funny that I did 2 halfs before ever doing a 5k, and then just now did a 10k.  But my first race ever was a 5 miler, so I guess that's kind of close, so maybe this wasn't that "new" after all.

First off, I want to review the actual race itself.  Then tomorrow at some point I'll post about my experience.

I can't say enough about how amazingly well done this race was.  It was put on by Columbus Running Company, the store that created Cbus Pacers (the group I run with on Saturdays).  I feel bad saying this but I kind of wasn't expecting much since this was a smaller race organized by a (very)small store (after the race S. said to me, "Once I saw what the mile markers looked like, I thought 'Yeah...there won't be any water at the water stops...")  The mile markers were these little plywood A-shaped things that looked about 75 years old with painted on numbers, heh.  But both he and I were heartily proven wrong.

These guys pulled off a race that was better run than pretty much any race I've ever done.  It was at COSI, the science center downtown.  I feel really bad about being skeptical.  They've outdone all the major race companies, as far as I'm concerned.

  • We parked like... RIGHT THERE, not a huge distance away like usual with downtown races, because COSI has its own lot.  This meant I had time to run in and exchange my shirt for a smaller size and run back out to the car.
  • There was NO LINE at the restroom because we could use the restrooms inside COSI... this also meant NO porta-potties!!  (and if you know me, you know my special aversion to porta-potties... I never used one at all before until I became a runner)  So no lines, quick to run in and out, and clean bathrooms that didn't make me feel dirty.  This is a major points-scorer.
  • The shirt - a nice Mizuno tech shirt.  I had to get an X-Small so it's a bit snugger than I usually like, but definitely wearable.  It's dark blue and awesome.
  • The race started on time.
  • There was water and gatorade at each stop and it was organized--you always knew where to get which
  • The course was clearly marked, and at the one point where it was a little confusing there was a row of like 8 volunteers pointing you in the right direction
  • They had a person with a digicam taking photos at the start and finish, and they uploaded them for free (you just have to dig through and find your own)
  • Volunteers were all super energetic and fun
  • There was a free pancake breakfast after; S. and I couldn't benefit from that since he can't have gluten and I don't eat dairy/egg, but... it was a nice community building gesture on the part of CRC and the volunteers
So basically all of the things I've disliked about previous races didn't happen.  So CRC did an amazing job--I'm not even sure how they did it, maybe just with all of the volunteers.

This race rocked.  I wish I liked 10ks more and I wish I was prepared to run a HILLY course (ugh) but more on that tomorrow!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Food for an average day

In the spirit of trying to pay more attention to what I eat as I gear up for marathon training, I might start making lists of what I've eaten day to day (not every day... I'm far too lazy for that!)  But I've realized that I pretty much graze on whatever's around haphazardly, with the subconscious intention of making sure I eat some leafy greens and protein.  I don't really eat UNhealthy things much, but I want to make sure I'm eating enough variety.  I have a tendency to just eat one thing all day sometimes if I have leftovers around.

Hashbrowns (3 potatoes' worth, with hot sauce...probably a bit excessive and carb-y but so good)
2 glasses of 1/2 strength organic lemonade
2 leftover enchiladas (cannellini beans/black beans/spinach/cheesy sauce made from nutritional yeast)
fresh cherries (lots)
5 red radishes
8oz tofu scramble with lots of wilted spinach, tomato, cilantro, tamari
1/2 bunch of kale (as raw chips in cashew cheese)
1 apple

2c. coffee

Today was pretty satisfactory except for the sugar in the lemonade and hey, you gotta live a little.  A cooking-heavy day though; only my snacks were raw.  And I missed my smoothie today in favor of lemonade.

Don't worry, I won't overload the running blog with food posts :o)

Marathon Training Plan: here we go!

EDIT: So feedback is indicating that I should ignore old Jeff Galloway and use a Hal Higdon plan... people seem to think that a long run every other week is too "experimental" for a first marathon.  And there's concern that maybe mileage isn't high enough here. So... yeah.  Looking for another plan now.  Bah.

So here's my training schedule.  I may still make a few tweaks if I get any advice from other runners who suggest changes.  Click to make it larger, I think:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Woes vs. Victories...the battle is on!

See that little matrix of tags over there on the right?  I'm going to start using them.  And if you see "training woes" getting a lot bigger than "training victories", you need to kick my ass to stop being a whiner with a bad attitude.  Heh.

Marathon training...

....officially starts on June 6.  I'm nervous even thinking about it, even though the miles don't start to ramp up for awhile yet.

I guess I'm going to kick things off with a 10k on the 6th, and then I'm going to try to get on my training plan in spite of being out of town for work from June 10-18.  I know with this week-long job I can usually squeeze runs in in the morning before breakfast, but I don't know if I'll be able to squeeze in the necessary long run on that Sunday (and I'm scheduled for 11).  Also the last thing I need is to get lost in Louisville on a morning run and show up late to work (lateness is completely not allowed at this job..)  So, this should be interesting.

When I'm back on the 18th, I'll have about a month before my next out-of-town foray.  I'll post my training plan later this week.