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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Intervals

I flipped my workouts around this week. I already got a long run in so I needed to do my intervals tonight. My training guide called for 7 min. x 3 and a 2 min. recovery run. Seven minutes sounded like a long sprint to me so I decided to run a 9:40 pace. On my second one I bumped the pace to 9:30 for a minute and ran the last one at half 9:40, half 9:30. I ran one more minute at a 9:05 pace and then easy pace until I hit 30 minutes.

Short work outs like that really make me feel energized. I love the intensity and I love that it's over quick. I stretched and did some core work and didn't feel a bit of soreness in my knees. The perfect way to wrap up a week for me. Thank goodness for the weekend and a few days of peace.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Discomfort & Resolutions

Last night I ran a quick 5K 9:55, 9:38, 9:37 and I felt great. It's wonderful how much easier it feels to run now the summer heat has taken leave. I walked about 40 min. to cool down. I showered and went to bed about an hour later. Sometime during the night I woke up to pain and my knees were mucking up my mobility.

I've have been in therapy for my knees in the past. When they hurt it's miserable. They will not bend at all and the pain shoots up and down my legs over even the slightest movement. I decided sleep was the remedy and woke up to crazy dreams next. The only thing that helps at this point is my ice gel pack wrapped around my knees, an anti-inflammatory, and not being stuck sitting at my desk at work for 8 hours. It was easy to decide I needed a sick day, especially since my hubby and son have both been sick and coughing all over the house for a few days. I can feel it coming on so the extra sleep will help fight it off.

My knees frustrate me. I have done pretty well over the past 6 months so I shouldn't complain, but pain always makes me grumpy.

Therapy notes:
  •  I don't have a solvable issue, my knees aren't as mobile as the average Joe's and the inner knee strains.
  • My knee caps aren't positioned quite right but after lots of hours the therapist couldn't make any real change. I was probably born that way.
  • He said use them or lose them. Just rest when in pain.
  • Limit time pounding the pavement.
  • Ice.
  • Sitting is bad. For as much as I sit (work, no choice) he wants at least an hour of movement a day.
  • Always stretch, and when you think you've done enough stretch more.
My last strange symptom - during my last two bouts of knee soreness my wrists also blew up...weird right. My ganglion cysts in my wrists were inflamed and causing numbness in my hands. I can't make sense of it ether.

It's strange how random the soreness seems to be. In August I had a week I ran a 8 miler, a 9 miler, and a 10K and was fine. The next week I ran on the treadmill for an hour because it was so hot and couldn't walk the next morning. My recent flare up doesn't make sense either...Tuesday I ran a 15K and woke up Wednesday feeling great.  Wednesday evening an easy 5K led to the pain that started in the middle of the night.

As I write this I am feeling better and as usual I can't wait to get my next run in. I do get scared when I think of my age, 47. I know I need to take care of myself. It will take longer to bounce back from an injury and it's easy to gain weight at my age, so my goal is to keep moving!

Each race I have run I always look over the race results to see who the oldest person is. There is always a handful of 70 year olds. The half marathon I just ran had two 71 yr. olds who beat my time.
I love that. They are my inspiration and realization that I can age and still have fitness goals...and accomplishments

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Trail Run 15K

The weather continues to be amazing here, 70 with low humidity and a nice breeze; perfect running weather. I headed to my favorite trail and considered trying to do the four mile loop three times. That was over zealous I guess because I ended up finishing a 15K. My back up plan was 9 miles.  I want to be prepared just in case I decide to run another half in early Oct.

Since I am always slower on my hilly trail I planned to run around the loop with a decent pace first, take a water stop and do it again easy pace. I thought if I was feeling great I would consider a third loop...
So my first go was a success 9:56, 10:07, 10:33, 11:04 and a half mile in 5:42, that was a good trail time for me and it helped me to relax for my second go round.
I drank the water bottle I stashed at the mouth of the trail and went again.
10:50, 11:16, 11:13, 11:49 and I ran out and up the road to my car which was .80 in 8:27 which made a perfect 15 k distance.

I was sweating like crazy and with the sun going down I actually felt chilled. I couldn't wait to take a shower! There was no way I could of would of went again. It's really strange after all these months of suffering through heat, humidity, and nauseous symptoms, to actually feel chilled.


That's Baby (the cat)
I am happily on the sofa watching 19 Kids and Counting (what a nice family) happy I got my run done with my Zensah sleeves on.



Couldn't resist showing my polka dots



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trail Day

The weather today is fabbbbbulous. Cool breezes, and low humidity. I left the house and headed to my favorite trail. I even got to sleep in because finally I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to try to survive and avoid strong sun and heat. I am not sure why but I put on my Brooks Ghost instead of my trail shoes today. The shoes are super comfy, but I really needed my trail shoes. Mental note - my shoes are not going to make me faster on trails, in fact I think these made me slower. My Brooks don't have quite the grip as my Montrails.


I took off for my first long run since my half. It felt so amazing not to be experiencing heat stroke like symptoms. I just tried to enjoy the run and I didn't check my Garmin for pace the whole run. I knew it was slow, but I tried not to let it bug me. I haven't been on this trail in almost two months. The hills were kicking my rear! No power running up the hills today, just trudging along at snail speed. I am going to have to work back up to powering the hills.

Today toward the end of my run I wondered how in the heck I ever lasted 13.1 miles. I tried to briefly talk myself into another 2 miles when I was nearing completion but my mental strength wasn't there today. I didn't really feel bad, but I couldn't find any reason to keep going either. I think I need to sign for another half and do it again. I need that extra motivation to push that far.

The good part of trail running is 8.6 miles and my hip isn't aching and I don't feel any soreness in my knees. I have to learn to enjoy a sense of accomplishment that isn't attached to fast splits.

10:05, 10:18, 10:34,10:56,12:13,11:31,10:24,12:31,10:39
1:35:06 avg. 11:03


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Feels Like 94*

I wanted to try to get 45 min. in tonight but with the shorter days and extreme heat (just go away already) it wasn't going to work out. I waited until as late as I could. It was still really hot; my Garmin stated feels like 94* and it really did. Truthfully, it just put me in a bad mood...isn't running supposed to release good endorphins? I have no tolerance for this latest heat wave.

Running a 5K tonight was worse than 13 this past weekend. I can tell quite a difference running on trail verses pavement. I am already aching in my left hip from tonight's run. I really do need to get back to my trail training. I realized this weekend what an impact changing surfaces has for me. Most of my runs in August were on pavement just because in summer the bugs are worse on the trail and it's just easier to walk out the front door instead of driving to the trails, but I am going to have to get back to going a few times a week.

I did receive my finisher photo tonight from my half marathon. I guess your first half picture doesn't have to be a glamour shot and this surely isn't, but I did feel pretty elated at this moment. Yep, it actually happened.
High Bridge Trail Half

Kickin' Intervals

6 minute @ 9:40 pace x 4 doesn't sound too intense but it sure feels it! It was humid last night so I was banished to the treadmill yet again. This was my first run after my half marathon. I felt pretty good and yes it's still hard to knock out 35 minutes on the treadmill no matter how far I run outside. The last set of intervals I did were four minutes with a 2 minute recovery and those felt tough. I have been doing intervals at a 9:10 to 9:40 pace so I did back it down since I knew I had to make 6 min. Next week my intervals are 7 minutes. I may get brave and try to bump the pace up. Timing my threshold pace and recovery does make the time pass quickly on the dreadmill and I do feel like it works my muscles in a good way.

I am back to trying to follow my training guide. I have been training for a 12 mile trail run in Oct.  I blew my plan by running a race a month early but I feel like following this plan helped me accomplish my goal.

I think I am going to keep intervals as part of my workout plan each week even if I am not training for an event. Now if the heat would just go away I could enjoy my long runs again! Summer was supposed to be over but today it sure feels like a 90 degree summer day I have been wishing away.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Morning After

Observations after my first half
  • I can feel a tightness in my rear and hamstrings I normally don't feel after I run. Not sure if adding the extra miles or not being able to get down on the ground and stretch right after the race is causing it.
I did walk and stretch for 15 min. before I got in the car to drive home. I had intended to bring my yoga mat and stretch yesterday and ended up forgetting my mat. I was so nervous in the morning before the event I couldn't really think straight.
  • I did develop a terrible headache about 4 in the afternoon yesterday and I was feeling unusually tired so all I could do was take a nap. After an hour nap I woke up feeling fine.
  • Today I woke up and my body feels like I worked out hard. I don't hurt anywhere but my muscles do feel tight and I feel like I need a day to recover.
  • I ran in a new pair of Brooks Ghost for the race. I broke the shoes in running a half in them and I have to say my feet feel really good this morning.
  • I realized today I forgot to put a little water under my heart rate monitor to make a good connection, so I don't think my Garmin was ticking quite right until I ran and started to sweat a little. That would explain my time being off the first mile. I knew it was fast but more in the 8 minute range makes sense. I keep saying I was nervous, but I really was just barely functioning. My mind was in overdrive so I guess it's a miracle I made it to the start finish line dressed with my headphones, IPOD, sport beans, etc...
  • Lastly, that's a long way to run. Trying to run that far on my own is going to be a challenge unless I find a hydration belt that doesn't drive me crazy when I run. I drank two cups of Gatorade and water when I stopped at mile 12 yesterday. I had been taking a little water along the way but I reached a level of thirsty I don't usually feel, so I knew I couldn't deny my body what it needed.
Overall it was a great experience and I feel like I was prepared strength wise even though I had never actually ran that much distance before. Do I feel confident now about doing it again? Honestly...no. It took so many factors to make a successful race for me I will probably still be all knotted up my next attempt at a half.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My First Half Picture

My official time is 2:13:03              average pace 10:10

I'll take that!

HighBridge2.JPG

My First Half Recap

I woke up today drove to Farmville and ran my first half marathon. My longest distance before today was 9.75 miles. I was a bundle of nerves on the way west. I was afraid I would end up walking at some point and I started telling myself, "I feel great and I can run it".  I got to the start line about 10 minutes before the start and crowd was probably under 200 people. I knew we would spread out and I was hopeful I could find someone to pace myself with. I realized about 2 minutes before go time I forgot to lock satellites on my Garmin. I was still extremely anxious and nervous. The clock started before I had set my Garmin and I hung back and I think I was about the last person to go.


The pack started out pretty quick and I just went with it till I carved out my own little space. I started talking with a runner and he helped me to pass the first several miles at a PR 10k pace (for me). I like being challenged and I really think my time would have been significantly slower if he hadn't ran with me (thanks Todd!). About a mile before the turn around point I started talking with a lady that was tri training. I am not usually a talker when I run but talking made those miles fly by and really distracted me from concentrating on my overwhelming nervous sensation.

It was good to know at the turn point it would be a shorter run back. I was feeling pretty perky, and I was happy I had paced record time (for me) up to that point. I knew I needed to back it down and I felt relaxed about an "easy pace" back. Participants were pretty spread out at this point and I was on my own for motivation.


Official time - 2:13:03
I didn't feel any real fatigue until somewhere between miles 10 and 11 and that was first time I felt really thirsty.

Mile 12, I stopped and drank two cups of Gatorade. I just couldn't get enough down while still moving and I needed a restroom break which resulted in the 11:58 mi.

The last mile did feel really long! I really couldn't have picked up my pace if I wanted to. I am glad I ran it "backward" - faster at the start. It made me feel more confident when I did back it down and it really helped my time. 

I did take sport beans and ate the bag along the way. Perfect energy snack from JellyBelly.

Today the cool temperature, the drop in humidity, friendly runners, and shady trail helped to make my first half a great memory.

This is a really bright orange.

My medal (smiles)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Some Days are Go Days

When I run alone I often just scoot out with a loose plan and readjust the plan as needed. The heat has caused me to function like GPS.  I leave the house with a route in mind and recalculate when I feel off  (based on how well my body is tolerating the humidity). 

There was a break in the humidity today so no excuse, just go run.

I thought easy pace and maybe I can get a decent distance in. My last long run was 9 miles on August 18th. I have run several times since but all under 4 miles. I realized shortly after taking off  I probably couldn't get more than 7 in before it was too dark so I figured I just better go hard a few miles and burn off the Milky Way (mini) and pound of Humus I ate earlier. 

When I started off  I felt fatigue in my legs and recalculated my 7 miles into a 10K. I kept trying to pace myself, but when I slowed down I felt worse, it was really exhilarating just to keep pumping hard. 

What always puzzles me is that I can't really predict how I am going to feel once I start running. I experienced a little of the "lead legs" when I took off, but by a few miles in I had a decent rhythm going and was jamming to my music. I feel good I pushed myself today. Some days just aren't meant to be an easy pace kind of day. 
 9:33, 9:35, 9:38, 10:12, 10:00, 9:52 , and .2 @1:45

This is a good time for me.  Just once though, I'd like to shave it to under an hour even if it's 59:59. It'd be a bonus if that happens at the Monument Ave. 10K this year.

I love my Brooks, for short runs they are super comfy, but I am not sure if they are the perfect long run shoe for me. 

Still on my search to find something super cushy under the ball of my foot. 


Cool air makes me think of Fall - my favorite time of the year. Oh, I am wearing my compression sleeves while I write out my thoughts. I seriously love how they feel. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Do You hear Cheering?

I had dreams back in May then it got positively sizzling hot

I ran a 15K in May and thought it's not that much farther to run a half. "Keep training and go for it - run a half marathon in August!" I was so excited, but by July I had to wave the white flag and accept that wasn't going to happen. The heat, humidity, and sun were tough on me this summer. I even took a break from exercising last week because I felt exhausted, but I know it won't last forever and the idea..."Run a half....run a half," swirls around in my head all the time. 
Summer running miles:
June- 70 miles 
July- 88 miles 
August- 72 miles 
Very few of the above mentioned miles were easy and smooth. The numbers look okay, but I remember how they felt. LOL
I welcome cooler temperatures with arms wide open. If you hear cheering it's probably just me the first 60 degree day of Fall.



Is is December yet?


I like having a race goal.  I like running longer distances and the sense of accomplishment when I am done and I like the calorie burn. I like feeling stronger. What drives you to run?

Breaks and Fatigue

August 24th ended a streak for me. 4 workouts a week for the past 14 months. My work schedule this time of year is always crazy. 49 hours last week actually made it pretty easy to take a break from exercise. I hate to admit it but I feel my body really needed it. The pain in my hip never goes away totally anymore, it has varying degrees of discomfort, but it's never totally gone. I worked out one time the last week of August. Just once all week...ugh. It was a good work out day...the morning was 3 miles of intervals on the treadmill and a mile cool down...and the evening I walked 4 miles and ran 2...but that was it all week.

So time to begin a new streak right? I hope so...I got out this morning even though the humidity was about 96 %  I ran my 5 mile goal. I recently signed up with @mommyrunfaster for the Fall series of 5 and 10 mile runs. I felt pretty good for a 5K run...



I know I have issues - I had to stop and admire my Garmin. This summer hasn't seen many happy running moments so a 5k in under 30 minutes feels like a victory. I expected to feel all energetic after the four day break, but I was exhausted after this. My next mile was 11:16 which helped me recover and I ran 10:10 for my last mile. I was surprised by how fatigued I felt after such a big break and I am working on a new plan. My new favorite running shirt seems very fitting today.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Break In the Weather

This morning I "blended" in with the a training team for a half marathon with my running race buddy Kasey. What a great experience. Soooo different than trotting around here at the crack of dawn solo. I like the big pack feeling; it was like a race day.  Today's laps 10:33, 10:02, 10:09, 9:38. It felt great to run in cool air. Air that felt light and crisp verses the past few months where air is like a blanket. The break in the humidity makes for a happy attitude.

I actually ran 2.2 more miles after we came home, but it was still shy of the 90 minute run I was supposed to check off today. The temperature was still workable but it was too sunny for this ginger by the time we drove home. Next week...long run.
I have my compression sleeves on rejuvenating me.
I am addicted to Zensah

Black is not kitty cat friendly. Otto is sticking to my sleeves

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Compression Sleeves ~ Thumbs Up!

The past few weeks have been rough. Lots of up and downs; feeling hot then too cold, feeling fatigued, feeling anxious, not able to sleep enough and in general a lack of motivation. Procrastination is at an all time high...my house is filling up with dust bunnies. If I had to choose to breathe I would be in trouble.

That being said exercise has been taxing. July I struggled through crazy humidity, hot temps, and getting up at 5 a.m.to run. August has been better weather wise, but my body is hitting some kind of wall. I have felt the "lead weight legs" for most of my runs this month. Even after three rest days I just feel leg fatigue when I start running. I have scraped through this, but I am not breaking any speed records. Thursday I ran 8.6 miles in an hour and a half. Friday I ran just shy of 8 miles in 80 minutes. In the past I haven't been able to run on back to back days so I should celebrate getting stronger even if I do feel challenged. 
Yesterday I ran in compression sleeves for the first time (because the temps were cooler). I am in search of a "lead weight" cure.
I love the pink                                                               


I love the squeeze feeling! I need to wear them a few more times to give a thorough opinion, but I love them. I do think they are actually going to be more effective for recovery after long runs. I am wearing them today and I feel energetic and ready to go after just a few hours rest. I think these will be great when winter rolls around. I like my calves warm in the winter and these will be perfect. I need two pairs now, one to run in and one to wear after... :/ No one said running was cheap!

This morning, Saturday, I decided to bike. My legs felt too fatigued to run. Biking is also great for recovery.
I am going to keep working my "lead weights" and stretching and try to push through this latest wall.
Running...will it ever feel easier?