Monday, March 28, 2011

Is it spring YET?

I am done with snow. D O N E. It is almost April, and we have snow on the ground. Wrong I tell you. As bad as the weather has been, it did make not being able to run for 10 days slightly easier. Very slightly. Okay, it still drove me crazy. I had my wisdom teeth removed almost two weeks ago, and it was BRUTAL. Way worse than I expected. I was thinking 3-4 days off, and I'd be back. Yeah, not so much. To add to the fun, the day after my surgery, my dad called to let me know my Grandma had passed away. And I was still hopped up on pain meds. So, my husband got to drive us all the way to Washington, (me drooling all the while). Like most runners, without running I find it very difficult to process lifes various challenges. I felt rather numb, and couldn't place why. Running is such a huge part of my "me" time that it is when I do all my thinking, processing, venting, etc. You get the picture. 10 days was a long time to go without my therapy of choice. Saturday's run with A was discouraging. I felt out of shape, out of breath, and slow. 5 miles had never felt so hard-at least not in recent memory. My mouth still throbbed, which was equally frustrating. The good news, we stopped to shop afterwards and I found a really cute dress for $10. Sunday, we had planned to run together without a real distance in mind. If I needed a walk break doing 5, I wasn't sure how it would go. Thankfully, I was feeling much better and had remembered to take some advil in advance. We thought six, then seven. As our turn options became fewer, it was looking like around 8. I was feeling pretty good, just tired. We got almost back to my house, realizing we would be at around 8.5. A expressed her frustrating that Dailymile rounds up-so we went around the block. And finished at 9.4, kind of defeating the purpose-but my legs were DONE. Added to that, it had been snowing HARD the whole time. We were soaked. The flakes were pretty the first couple of miles; after that, not so much. Later that evening A texted me saying she had to finish to make it an even 10. I couldn't argue with that, and after a rest, what's another .6? So I asked my son if he wanted to come with me. He was so cute, and wanted to sprint and walk. We are still working on pacing. He and I ran .75. He was so proud of himself. I am hoping as the weather improves, the kids can come with me more for short runs. Like my cooldown. This morning was my first solo run since my break. I woke up at 4:30am (ugh) and looked out the window to 2 inches of new snow. Not so bad. I got dressed and headed out the door. The snow was crunchy with ice underneath. If I had known that, I would have found my yaktraxs. It was still snowing, and slick. I needed this run though. To think. To grieve. To zone out-running in the snow by light of a headlamp is funny that way. I came home with tired legs, a cold body, but a peaceful heart.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Run for the Music 10k

Saturday was the Run for the Music race. I was so excited to have a race to look forward to, even knowing I was not in shape for a fast time. Speed work needs to be added to my schedule in a hurry! The course is hilly, but I'd run a lot of it before so I knew what to expect.

Rewind slightly-went to the dentist last week for tooth pain. I have a wisdom tooth with a hole in it that is mega painful, and needs to come out. (scheduled this Tuesday for all four-ouch!)

Friday night my tooth hurt, and I wasn't feeling the best. Then the cramps started. Oh no, really? It couldn't have waited one more day? Sometimes they aren't so bad, other times they are debilitating. Guess which kind I was blessed with? Ugh!!! So I spent Friday night taking various drugs every two hours and keeping heat on my stomach. I did not sleep.

Saturday morning I got a text from A-"Excited to race?" Um, yes and no. I love to race! But everything in me wanted to bail. I had not signed up for this race ahead of time. I should just stay home. I got up, did my breakfast (with Advil) and figured I'd hope for the best. I would be happy with anything under an hour.

The race was put on by one of the high school bands, with a 1 mile, 5k, and 10k. The band members all ran with their instruments. Pretty hilarious to see the guy running with a tuba. Much easier on the flutist. People turned off for the 1 mile.

I was holding a comfortable 9:30ish pace, not wanting to go out too fast. It is uphill the first 2 miles, so I just wanted to maintain a good pace. There was a water stop at the turn around for the 5k. I would rather just be thirsty in a shorter race then stop. Most of the runners around me turned at the 5k, I kept my sights on a few in front of me.

Mile 2.5 is a BIG uphill into the park. I've run this park with A and it is HILLY. I got passed for the first time on this hill, but passed her before the top. I saw A on her way back already and cheered her on-speedy girl! (she finished first female 45:41)

The turnaround meant a great downhill stretch. I am realizing I am not a great downhill runner. Easier yes, but my stride isn't smooth. Hm. Something to work on. Heading back on the road I set my sights on 4 ladies ahead of me and started picking up the pace. The last slow uphill I started really feeling blah.

I started picking off the women ahead of me, passing all 4 with about half a mile to go. I was so glad to see the turn for the finish. What I didn't realize was, it wasn't the finish yet. I started my kick too soon. We had to run around the outside of the school and around to the track. I just wanted to be done! I could feel myself slowing down a little until we got on the track. I kicked with what I had left, swerving around walkers in the finish shoot.

Finish Time 55.37

My splits were not at all even, but hills and not feeling well, and whatever. I was thrilled to finish under a 9:00 average. Nothing close to the 50:00 I used to be able to run, but for now, I'll take it!

Today we were under a wind advisory with 60mph gusts, so no running. I woke sore from the race, which made me really happy. Sometimes when I'm not sore I worry I didn't work hard enough. I was sorry to not get a recovery run today, but the weather did not cooperate, and the gym was closed.

Plan for tomorrow: get up and run really early, if the wind has died down. Otherwise the gym during preschool. Surgery Tuesday, so not sure when I can run after that!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday brought to you by the letter R

This morning I got up at 4:30 to run before my hubby went to work, hoping for less wind. No such luck. Then it started to rain-hard. Ouch! Needless to say, my last mile was the fastest. I am excited about it getting lighter in the mornings, but if I am going at 4:30 I think it will be quite a while before I can go without my headlamp. Still trying to decide if early morning works better, or trying to squeeze it into busy afternoons.

There is a 10k on Saturday I am really looking foward to. I am not in 10k race condition, so I don't expect it to be fast at all. I have not worked on speed in a long time aside from throwing a few tempo(ish) miles in here and there. The course is a steep uphill, and a continuous uphill to the turnaround. The good news? Downhill to the finish! So, I am planning to keep the effort even on the uphills ad hopefully have some fantastic negative splits on the way down. Preferably without a sideache.

Because of my cold, I haven't run a lot this week. I keep feeling the need to add miles to make up for the lack on Sunday and Monday. Is it better to rest the day before a short race, or run a few miles with pickups to get the legs moving? Again, I'm not going for a PR here-just a decent effort.

1. Why is it so hard for drivers to LOOK right before they TURN right.
2. I need to have my wisdom teeth removed ASAP. I am trying to plan this around my running/racing-easier said then done.
3. PMS-speaks for itself.

I hope everyone is having a good Thursday! The end (of the week) is near!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The sniffles and a Massage

Saturday A and I ran 11 difficult miles on Saturday, in the rain. I felt lousy for most of the run. I had fueled badly for the run, and worse-for the whole week. I munched all week long and didn't eat real meals, and very little protein. It was one of those weeks when time just gets away from you and it's hard to fit it all in.

I shouldn't have been surprised to have a sore throat on Sunday, and a stuffy nose by Sunday night. I rested Sunday and enjoyed a pajama day after church. Monday I woke feeling lousy. I started on Zicam Monday morning, and spent the day sleeping on the couch. Two rest days in a row felt weird-but I know it was the best thing since I wasn't feeling great. I even skipped ballet Monday night (my hubby made me).

Tuesday I was still drinking lots, and taking Zicam. It seemed to be doing the trick, I was over the worst! I had a massage Tuesday afternoon that was horribly painful, (it was to treat chronic headache/migraine issues). She also told me my hip was out. After pushing and pulling and OW! It felt awesome!

So, that decided it for me-a short run was in order. I called A, and although she had already run, she was game for a few more miles. We did an easy 3.5. I felt tired, but my gait felt so much better than on Saturday. Who knew? The massage therapist said my left leg was probably almost an inch shorter then my right because of my hip. Huh. I'm hoping this can justify more (hopefully less painful) massages.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seattle RNR!

I am registered for the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon! Wohoo! I was hoping to be able to run this race again this year. I had such a blast running it last year with Zoe and her friend, and doing the bloggy dinner. Last year I was just coming back from my stress fracture, as in I hadn't run farther than 3 miles in 3 months leading up to the race. Not the ideal way to run a half!

So this year, I will hopefully be getting to the start line injury free, and be able to actually RUN and RACE the whole thing. Not to mention, since I am now training at altitude, I am hoping to get a solid sub 2 hour time.

My spring race plans are starting to come together I think, now I just need to work out an official training plan to go with it. It's been nice having the winter to just run and not worry about mileage, time or speedwork. Now I am feeling very ready to train hard and work towards improving my times at every distance.

Upcoming races:
March 12th Run for the Music 10k
April 9th Pear Blossom 10 miler
May 14th Run for the Birds 10k
June 4th Lake of the Woods 15k
June 25th Seattle Rock 'n Roll

Time to work out a training plan that will make me faster without hurting myself! Always a good goal.

Today is a rest day after yestedays 11 miles. I wanted to get in a few miles today, but have a sore throat. Here's hoping I just need one day off to rest!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

My brain is tired, and stuff is rumbling around in a very random fashion. I figured this is a good place to spew and make room.

1. I had a terrible migraine yesterday. Sometimes running helps, sometimes not. I tried to run. Epic fail! Almost crawled home after less than a mile. Not awesome.

2. It is staying light later! Which means I ran run some evenings with A. So great. She is speedy, and I need to work harder to be faster.

something tells me the didn't go right to bed

3. I really dislike doctors and dentists. They are necessary, but freak me out. So, I have been procrastinating finding a new doctor and dentist since we moved. Bad!

4. I am feeling burnt out on my DVDs and crosstraining. I need some new ideas!
5. When I do a workout DVD my 5 year old does it too, and tells me it's too easy. Add more! Sometimes I am annoyed, most often amused.

6. Cleaning house should count as crosstraining. Especially all the picking up, over and over and over. It's like core work, right?

7. My eating habits have been weird, and not in a good way. Munching and not eating real meals. I'm not sure why. I need to keep a food diary again.

8. Fitness magazine seems much more about looking pretty during/after exercise then actually excerising. But sometimes they have good workouts.

9. I am dreaming of being somewhere warm with no snow or wind!

10. I have been having runner's tummy troubles after long runs again. Not sure what to do about that. Any ideas? I have tried doing watered down gatorade instead of water as fuel, and eating something salty when I get home. I don't know.
I am still working on finding my living room floor. It's hard to do core work if there isn't enough space to lay down! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saturday's 10 miler

Winter weather has made a comeback around here, unfortunately. I had to get friendly with the YMCA treadmills again. Saturday's forecast was for cold. I had not gotten to run with my buddy A for almost 3 weeks because of traveling, (first her, then me). We were going to run together, not matter how cold! And because of the cold, we didn't really know how long we would run.

I got up Saturday morning and checked the temp first thing. It was -8. Yuck! The plan was to wait until around noon, hoping it would warm up. My husband got a good laugh out of how many times I checked the hourly weather, texting A all the while. Finally we decided on 1pm, hoping for the most sun. It had (thankfully) warmed up to 18 degrees. Not warm by any means, but better than -8!

We bundled up, and headed for the trail still deciding how far we would venture. We decided to run downtown, thinking it was about 4 miles. If we were cold when we got there, we could get a coffee before heading back.

It was actually 4.87 miles to the coffee shop, and by then we were reasonably warm. The thought of having a latte in my stomach for the 5 miles home did not appeal. A agreed with me, so we went into the store next door. I still haven't explored much of downtown, so the store was new to me. They had some cute stuff! So there we are, in our running clothes, the icicles melting off our eyelashes, shopping. The first thing I pulled that I liked was an $80 skirt! Oops, not my price range! A found a cute basket on clearance, and I found another skirt on clearance I wanted to try on. We asked the owner to hold them until we ran home and came back. She laughed and said she'd be there.

The run home was colder than ever, the downside of stopping! The wind had picked up a bit and made the last mile seem to take forever! We got to my house, I ran in to change and off we went. Coffee and shopping after 10 miles! A great way to spend a Saturday in my book. My husband said he's not so sure about us running downtown if we're going to shop while we're at it!