Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's on!

I felt so good after yesterday's 13 mile tempo run that I thought it was finally time to pull the trigger on this thing... so here we go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To the women out there...

... if you are layering multiple sports bras, there is a better way.  Seriously, go buy a Shock Absorber.

Due to a laundry crisis both of my Shock Absorbers weren't dry in time for my run yesterday so I layered 2 older sports bras... and it was terrible.  I mean, it did the job for motion-control, but I've never felt so sweaty, smothered, and miserable on a run in my life.  And I know some of you out there do this for EVERY RUN.  It seriously doesn't have to be this way.

Really, a Shock Absorber is expensive but it's worth every freaking dollar.

Monday, March 21, 2011

17 miler = finished!

So I posted this over on ol' Facebook, but well, y'know:
Finished my 17 miler!  K. met me at 530am, and we did 13 miles before we met the main group run at the store to finish the last 4.  So by 9am I had 17 miles finished, which is really awesome.  I don't know what my pace was (I didn't upload garmin data yet), but I felt pretty good--definitely a LOT better than I did on training runs of this length last training cycle.

Pretty much any run over 15 feels like a really long run to me, and I still get a little silly-giddy over doing them.  I took this photo while I was sitting on the floor at CRC; then I took off my shoes, ate a protein bar, had some coffee and hung out for about an hour, and went back home.  Considering i'd only slept 2 hours the night before this run (I know, right?)  I felt pretty decent.  Sam came over and made me pancakes, which was awesome of him.  Then Saturday night I slept um, until Sunday at 3 in the afternoon (eesh).  I guess I was a little behind on sleep!

So, check out this beast of a training run that's scheduled for this week (tomorrow, more specifically):
2 miles Easy pace
4x (5-6 min Tempo pace with 1 min rests)
1 hour Easy pace
15-20 min Tempo pace
2 miles Easy pace
.... yeah, this is going to suck.  Like I said before, it really seems like the Tuesday day of this Daniels plan is just there to make you get used to running while tired.  Last week doing an hour at easy pace after the tempo intervals was freaking exhausting... and this week I have to do more tempo pace after that, even.  Eesh.  And I'm hoping that rain holds off so it isn't even more miserable.

Further, I'm estimating that this is going to be about a 13-14 mile run, mid-week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another catch-up post..

So once again I haven't been around for an extended period... it was the end of the quarter and things got hectic, and then I took this past week as a kind of mental reboot from life. I even did a painting (my first painting in 7 years--best decision ever to paint again). So needless to say I'm feeling much better, and aside from some grading I still have another week to myself to work on writing and things before it's back to the full academic grind.  I've been trying to remind myself that life is full of choices and everything I do is a choice, not an obligation.  When I see things that way everything is a lot less stressful.

Here are some running-related things:

Two weeks ago I did the rainiest run I think I've ever done.  I met 2 women from the running group out in the suburbs at 530am, and we did 11 miles together before the big group run at 8am, when I finished my last 4. It was raining SO HARD... part of the time it was like torrential downpouring.  The whole area was flooded.  We ran through shin-deep water at one point, and ankle-deep water several times.  My feet were entirely saturated.  No major blisters or anything though... the only problem was some inner-thigh chafe from my shorts (I never get any kind of chafing unless there's major rain involved...bleh).  I wanted to write about this run because I had like a mega-runner's high after it (15 miles in the rain ... yeah kind of awesome).  But then I didn't.

Last week I kind of sucked at running.  I was supposed to run 35 miles or something crazy and I ended up missing a couple runs and doing only 14 miles (wow that was bad..)  It was the last week of the quarter and I failed completely at work/life balance and also felt sick-ish on the weekend.  The good news is I feel better.  The bad news is, I had a week of only running 14 miles right in the thick of marathon training.

This week has been really great running-wise.  I did 7.3 miles on Sunday, 10 miles (half of which was speedwork) on Tuesday, and 8.7 miles (half of which was speedwork) yesterday.  Tmorrow I'll get 17 in as a long slow run, which means my weekly total is gonna be insane... like 43 miles.  The 7.3 on Sunday only kind of counts toward this week's total, though... it was halfassedly the postponed long run from Saturday that I had missed, and it was pretty pathetic because I felt like crap.  So I guess all in all I'll have like 36 or 37 GOOD miles this week.

Yesterday was my first ever 2 runs in one day.  I was pretty psyched after that.  I did speedwork in the early afternoon and an easy 4 miles with the running group in the evening for a total of 8.7 for the day.  And I didn't feel that bad.  Legs were really tired and I did go to bed kind of early, and today I'm a little bit sore, but nothing too crazy.

I was worried about getting enough miles in per week on the Daniels plan but now I see that the first speedwork day of each week is actually speedwork+distance... you do some tempo run stuff and then you keep running for awhile while tired, presumably to get used to running while tired.  So, this speedwork day actually ended up being 10 miles.  I'm technically not supposed to be pushing my long runs over 2.5 hours, but I'm nervous about not doing runs that are close to marathon distance so I've kind of built the Higdon long run structure into the Saturdays of my plan.  I'll see how I feel after the 17 tomorrow and if it's simply too much to do a run that long on weeks when I have 2 days of speed training and pretty high midweek mileage, I might drop the distance of those weekend runs back down.  We will see.

Songs For Running Fast, Vol 1.

This song makes me run fast even when I'm tired.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Injury season already? +an early start tomorrow...

Last night's group run was plagued with injuries.  At least one person didn't make it out because of an achilles tendon thing.  The rest of us were a broken bunch... sore hips, swelling ankles, a calf problem, etc.  I guess even though it's only the start of March it's already high-mileage training for a lot of people... that and maybe all of the ice-running beat us up.  My mileage won't peak for awhile yet, but the people I've been running with are doing crazy ultramarathons and early-season marathons and things.

I'm having an insanely early morning tomorrow.  While I usually go to the group run that starts at 8am, a couple of people are meeting at 530am to get a jump on their longer runs.  They are doing 20 and 17 miles respectively and I'm trying to get in 15.  The plan is to do as many miles as we can before the 8am group thing, and then swing by at 8 to pick up the main group and do whatever miles remain for us.  Also, it looks like it's possible there will be a freakin' torrential downpour all morning.  I just finished packing my bag with a spare change of clothes for the drive home, my last 2 clif shots, a protein shake for the ride back, and bandaids and neosporin in case the rain causes blisters :\  Here's hoping my hip feels awesome.  I'm about to foam roll it out again.

I can tell it's going to be one of those nights where I'm thinking so much about the early morning that I won't be able to sleep.  The early start just makes a lot of sense for me though... it's been increasingly hard to keep going when I start with the group at 8 and the majority of people are doing shorter distances... I see all of these people turning back when I still have miles to go and I just want to turn back and have it be over.  It's like the whole run becomes me focusing on how everyone's already back having coffee and I'm out there running for 1000 years.  So this way I'll have the hard part over and just a few miles to do with the 8:00 folks.  We'll see how it goes.

Update tomorrow after the run!  Maybe photos for a change.  This blog is severely lacking in photos lately.

Earlier today I posted some stuff under my "What I Eat" tab.  I need to revise it and organize it a bit, and there's still more I want to add...but it's a start!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Speedwork and I are NOT friends.

I just finished my first speedwork session of this training plan.  I was supposed to do sets of 4 min hard with 3 min recovery jogs, to total 2.7 miles (sandwiched between warmup/cooldown).

As you all know, I just don't like speedwork.  It takes all of the joy out of running and makes it into work that I dread.  I've complained about this before.  If I'm running really hard I kind of disintegrate into a big blubbering wuss... I'm sure I was quite a sight today, making this terribly twisted-up tense face wracked with pain, wheezing really loud, making whiny noises, tears streaming down my face from the cold air and sun.  Words cannot describe how much mental energy it takes for me to complete a speed workout.

It is hereby resolved:  All days scheduled for speedwork must happen first thing in the morning.  That means I have a) less time to talk myself out of doing it, b) less time to dread doing it, and c) less likelihood of having any kind of heavy food in my stomach from earlier in the day.

Things I did wrong:

  • After the first 4min hard, my 3min recovery was more like "stop and die for 1 minute, walk for another 2, think about how terrible I feel and wonder why I'm even doing this for another 3, then finally start the next set."  So I may have rendered the entire first set useless by letting my heartrate drop too low and taking too long of a recovery.
  • After the second 4 min hard, I walked for 1 min before I started jogging the rest of the remaining recovery period
  • Instead of finishing out with 3min recovery jog and then a more extended cooldown, I just quit and walked home.
  • Instead of totaling 2.7 miles, it totaled 2.3 miles.
  • Ate soy earlier in the day before this hard run (learned long ago that tofu is a terrible choice on a hard run day... it just sits like a brick in my stomach and makes me feel sick on the run)
  • Had booze last night.  Not enough for a hangover, but still.  I need to clean up my diet... I've been eating like crap (post on that later).
  • Realized that for the last 4 weeks I was supposed to do strides at the end of a couple runs per week, and I forgot completely (oops).  I wonder if that explains why I'm this out of shape.
Anyway, yeah, that didn't go well.  By way of ending on a more positive note, things I did right:
  • The break after my second 4min hard was almost going to be a terribly long one like the first break was, but when the watch showed 3 mins I made myself start sprinting again.
  • I almost quit after 2 sets, but I made myself do a 3rd set.