Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Blog Stop

I am glad you found me and stopped by!
I created a new blog stop at   moreclutterfromkaren.blogspot.com   where new posts are being added.

Karen

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Night Trail Run

"It's easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top."
-Henry Ward Beecher

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
-Jim Ryun

It was about 68 degrees after I ate dinner which of course is perfect running weather. I headed to my favorite trail and got a few miles of speed work in, covered the hills trying to tackle them with quick shorter strides, and even covered a mile around a huge grass field. Running grass was tough, but I enjoy changing surfaces as each provides a different challenge. I was dripping when I got through seven miles and since its rained a lot in the past week, my lower legs were packed with a thick layer of dirt. I couldn't wait for my shower.

Nothing beats a hot shower after a good run. I didn't want to get out! I am pretty sure if I don't break this habit I will have a record high water bill this winter. I can see where a hot tub would be a real benefit to a runner. My hip felt better after a steaming shower.

I uploaded my Garmin after I slipped my compression sleeves on and noticed I have a new trend happening lately. My heart rate is not spiking quite as easily as it used to. I am not sure how to feel about this. Yes, it means I am more fit and my heart is getting stronger, which is good since I am old, but the flip side; I am not burning as many calories. I am going to have to do some research about this but not now...The Voice is on!

Overall a trail run is a good way to start the week.





Sunday, October 20, 2013

Do I Need a Goal?

I have been following a training guide for the past few months to run a race I ended up not running in Montana. It was a 12.45 mile trail event. After my Danville Half debacle, flop, failure, (2:36:49) I was feeling dismayed. It's not the time that bugs me so much, it's that fact that I couldn't actually keep running the entire time and ended up walking. I decided I just needed to enjoy my vacation, run as much as I could, and avoid another disastrous race. My confidence was shot when I got off the plane in Montana. I am so thankful the Farmville High Bridge Half (2:13:03) went so well, it seems like a dream and gives me hope I may be able to do it again one day. I fully intended during vacation to try to run that distance again and as I sit here I am a little disturbed with myself  I didn't make that happen.

I really learned to like intervals following my three runs a week marathon training plan. The pretty Fall day and sunshine worked a little magic on my motivation and I ran intervals today on the treadmill...5 minute @ 9:22 pace x 5 with a recovery minute in between. I ended up bumping the last one up to an 8:57 pace. It really does help to pass time on the treadmill and it feels like a very different workout than pavement.

Training for a race did make me challenge myself and try new things but for now I am going to try to focus on strength training and maintaining the base I have. I read a quote that helped me:
"I live without goals, for the most part. It’s absolutely liberating, and contrary to what you might have been taught, it absolutely doesn't mean you stop achieving things."
Post written by Leo Babauta.



Vacation and Returning to Routines

It's no fun returning to your normal routine after vacation. After an average of 10 hours sleep a night and no alarms, setting the clock for 5:30 a.m. made me shudder. I could hardly sleep Thursday night, it's a good thing I returned to work on Friday I guess. One day to ease into it.

Running was great on vacation however my motivation since I returned home four days ago is a little low.

I did have one goal for myself on vacation and I am sad to say I didn't meet it. I wanted to run a half at least once while I had the benefit of crisp mountain air but my longest distance ended up being 10 miles. That seems to be some kind of personal wall for me and I need to find a way to crack it. Of course, I didn't carry any water for that run and that wasn't so smart, but finding that little extra you need to keep pushing evaded me that morning.
The invigorating mountain air was soothing for my soul.
Wrap up for vacation running:
Wednesday (the day I arrived) 3.11 in 28:44 a new PR for me. I had to look twice to believe it!
Thursday off
Friday 8.50 miles in 1:29:09  it was beautiful and I soaked up the views
Saturday 7.03 miles in 1:09:40 another good time for me, the cool air did wonders for me
Sunday 9.01miles in 1:32:49
Monday 8.22 mile brisk walk, my legs felt a little tired
Tuesday 10.02 miles in 1:41:20 I held my pace pretty good, but I should have gone farther
Wednesday (the day I left) 1.46 miles in 13:27 because it was drizzling and I needed to get showered and to the airport

That's the most running I have done in a week's time ever. My body held up pretty well and I didn't feel much soreness in my left hip at all. My hip has been a thorn in my side affecting my running, but it really didn't hurt until I sat on the plane for 6 hours cramped up. I have come to the conclusion the sitting is worse than the running. I think the 8 hours of sitting at work everyday is killing me. If I could walk away today I would be so happy. I don't do well trapped all those hours and as I quickly approach 50, my energy reserves are a little more limited than in my 20's and I resent I use up a lot of energy at work each day. After working for 32 years I am over it. Enough of that rant...

A few more views from Montana. I loved my time there :)

It was looking a little like Fall


I love the peacefulness


Hungry Horse Dam- the peaks in the background are Glacier National Park

One of my run routes

Path around the Lake in Whitefish

Monday, October 14, 2013

Montana

My frustration with hot humid weather had peaked just before vacation. I took three days off after the Danville half. Wednesday when I arrived in Montana, the cool air revived me and I went for a quick run. I ran a 28:44 5K. I broke a barrier (under 29:00) I thought was unattainable for me. I ran a cool down lap and stretched out and started to rethink my retirement from running.This week was much needed and right on time. 

A path I have been runnng on



Morning Views
 

By Whitefish Lake


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Danville Half Marathon

D stands for Danville as well as disaster. That sums it up, but I'll fill in a few painful details.

First, there's the latest heat wave in VA. I am so over it! Arrrggghhh...I had high hopes when the wonderful Fall air hit a few weeks ago, but I should have known, karma seems to be trying to pay me back for something awful I did and gifted me with an 89 degree day with 88% humidity.

Second, the late start time at 9:00 a.m. made most of the running in full sun. If they had started earlier it would have been a lot more enjoyable.
  • I never run that time of day. The course had very little shade; strike one.
  • I have been sick with a lot of stuffiness and a sore throat for a few weeks now. Even after antibiotics I still don't feel 100%; strike two.
  • The past few weeks I have felt overly irritable and very warmmmm..I've had an unusual amount of headaches which I think are hormone issues or really lack of hormones; strike three.
 So I left the house and tried to be optimistic, tried to ignore how dang hot it was, and tried to be in denial that the odds for a good day were stacked against me. I only exercised one time this week trying to rest and hoped the fatigue I've been dealing with would go away. I tried to focus on the fact that I needed a good calorie burn and I was going to get one.  

Fast forward to mile three I considered just leaving. I was getting nauseous and having flashbacks of summer running. My summer runs were enough to cause post traumatic stress disorder. Mile four I talked myself into finishing even if it was super slow. Mile five I started walking trying to cope. Mile nine my left foot started burning and I considered leaving again. Mile ten I realized there were no port of potties on the course...geesh 13 miles is along time and I had to find somewhere to duck and go. That took four minutes because I had to wait until no one was passing....really!? only port of potties were at the start finish area. Lastly, for all miles listed above my legs felt like I had lead weights in my shoes, which really disappointed me since I had rested so much.

When I finally got to the end I could not wait to get out of there and shower. I didn't even ask anyone to take a picture. I did speak briefly to one girl in the parking lot and she said she wasn't feeling well, she was having a hard time with the heat. I also spoke to an older man who was parked near me who had run a lot of half marathons. He said this was the slowest one he had ever completed, he had to walk a lot at the end. Someone else heard him and commented this was their worst race ever. I suppose that should make me feel better, but it doesn't.

It was a two hour drive home. I had lots of time to think about how bad I sucked. I think I may retire from doing races. Races are only fun when you have a great one.
Open road - cruise control :)

On a positive note - driving west in the state means very little traffic and cruise control rocks when your legs are too tired to push the pedals and it saves lots of gas.
I have gas left over :)















Side note: I did drive to Danville to stay the night so I could sleep in. The hotel screwed up the reservation so I didn't have to pay for the room, however my room was facing a patio to a pub that was about 3 ft. away. There was a live band playing and it was a loud! I took two Benadryl and went to bed. I did have a place to shower after the race and it was free. Would it go smoothly though, of course not. The room key didn't work when I came back all yucky. All I could think about was soap and shampoo and the swipe key wouldn't work. I ran to the office and the guy swiped a new one and that didn't work, so I had to keep running back and forth until the desk guy finally let me in. How much can I complain though, it was free.

The race bags they gave out were a cute Halloween theme. The medal is not really a medal, it's a square.

Overall 2:36:00   avg. pace 12 min. a mile. That's a big fall from 2:13:03 Thank goodness I have that time. I actually considered not crossing the finish line so that time wouldn't be recorded forever, but I resisted the temptation. That's the best I could do and that's the time I have to live with.  
Cats were happy to see my suitcase. I don't think they cared I was gone.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Glimpses

I am snuggled up on the sofa, compression sleeves on, muscles feeling used up, watching the Real Housewives of  New Jersey season finale. I still don't feel well, the second dosage of antibiotic helped, but I still am having a hard time swallowing. I hate being sick like this. My energy level is zapped and I am achy but not quite bad enough to be in bed non stop.

I knocked out eight miles this evening. I left the house and thought I would like to get eight in, but I wasn't sure if that was doable since I really am kind of blah. Starting out I had the fatigue feeling again but I pushed through and I hit a 5k in 29:48 which helped motivate me to keep moving. During the run I hardly looked at my pace. I am trying to adjust my movement based on how I am feeling. When I hit mile seven I was pretty close to home and I really wanted to call it a day, but I pushed myself to turn and run one more mile. This will be my last long run before my next half so I wanted to push myself when I really wasn't feeling up to it.

 9:35, 9:44, 9:26, 10:09, 9:57, 9:58, 10:01, 10:11 a total of 1:19:08

Glimpses...I caught a look at myself in a window on my way home. My posture was a sad mess! All hunched forward...ugh. I need to work on that. It's a good thing I didn't see that in the beginning or I probably would have never got my run in.

Enjoying a yummy shake to recover

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interval Saturday

It's Saturday and I am feeling rough again, a repeat of last weekend that I didn't want. I have never felt a 100% since last week. I tried to rest a lot this week but I seem to be losing the battle. I feel okay for a day or so and then back to being achy with a sore throat.


The scene when I came home


The scene when I left for the gym








                                                          
I am trying to push through and get my four workouts a week in even if they aren't stellar. I did make it to the gym today and it wiped me out. I did intervals on the treadmill 5 min. @ 9:31 pace x 5 with an 11:06 recovery pace for one minute.  The first lap was tough, my body felt fatigued but that feeling quickly faded and it ended up flying by and I felt fine. I am always amazed that I can never predict how I am going to feel when running.

I did some core exercises and headed home for a shower. My shower was the best part of the day so far. I sure hope I wake up feeling better tomorrow! Found some left over antibiotics (two) so I hope it's enough to knock whatever this is out of me.

I went ahead and signed up for another half marathon next weekend. I seriously break out in a sweat just thinking about it. I still get nervous and run to the little girls room three times before I leave for a run so you can't imagine what a half does to me lol. I know I have issues...I am going to try get one more short run in and then rest through the week. My only expectation is to finish in under 2 and 1/2 hours...and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trail Run

Ten miles down tonight that started on the trails and ended up on pavement. It didn't matter where I ran, I was slow because it was super hilly. I am worn out from it, sitting on the sofa, and of course I must have a cat as close as he can get to me.
Otto is cramping my writing

I did run a new piece of trail and it was nice not knowing exactly what to expect. I needed a change from the normal loop I do.
  • I actually ran without my headphones. I did turn my IPOD on in my running belt and I really love having nothing on my ears!
The last few miles I left the trails and ran the road but it was rolling hilly and I struggled to keep it going. I actually popped out of the woods on a stretch that is uphill incline for about a mile. I kept telling myself it will make me stronger, but it was rough. Needless to say this wasn't my fastest run, but I did accomplish my distance goal. I am trying to not focus on my splits to gauge my success. My average pace was 10:51.

I am still undecided if I am going to attempt my second half next week, but hitting double digits helps me to feel more confident that I can do it.
I interrupted a snack

Monday, September 23, 2013

Trail Walk with a Little Running

Today when I walked out of work the cool air was to inviting to pass up. I decided to take a trail walk in an area I haven't been since last year. It felt strange to fill my camelbak and go. I love it for walking, hiking, and biking. I still haven't found the perfect hydration pack for running yet. 
When I finished the moon was out

I started off at a brisk pace and enjoyed the cool air. It didn't take long and I wanted to run some. No real plan just trotting along for the pleasure of it. Easy pace run for about a minute then walk for awhile. Running a little is okay with my pack on, but it does get irritating, so trying to wear it for even a short non stop run would probably make me crazy. Sometime during mile two my headphones started the warning bell so I knew they were going to die. Dead about ten minutes later. I didn't have anywhere to tuck them away so I wore them around my neck. I realized over the next few miles I liked the feeling of freedom with nothing on my ears. I turned my IPOD on and kept the music low. I enjoyed myself so much I think I will get brave my next run and try to just turn my IPOD on in my running belt and see how I do. I have never ran without headphones. Who knows I may love it right?

After I was on the trail for awhile I came to a turn I wasn't use to. I tried to take mental notes but you know trees and trail start to similar when the sun sets. Anyway, I took a new turn and came out of the woods in a whole new area. I realized there was another whole piece about two miles I had no idea existed. (Smiles) I think it's going to be my next run spot. It's actually not that far from the four mile loop I usually do so it will give me a change of scenery. Woot!  
In my excitement walking/jogging thinking about my new route I realized I needed to get back to my car.
The short version...
  • I made a wrong turn even though I made mental notes lol
  • It got very dark
  • My last mile I could have used a head lamp
  • Had my pepper spray in hand
  • Saw a huge buck who looked at me like, "Get out!"
  • Will plan better next time-darn short days
These are the kind of temps that make me want to be out for hours. I ended up taking a 9.20 mile walk in 2:13 my half marathon time, must be a good number for me, thinking I should buy a lottery ticket.