Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moving Forward

Some days I feel like a hero running, and sometimes I struggle. So I can really appreciate the good days!
I have been running early Saturday or Sunday morning runs for several weeks now. I have been working my way up. First 5 miles, then, 6, then 7, then two weeks at 8 and May 4th will be a milestone for me, a 15K - 9.3 miles.  The race will be the first time I have ever run that far. A little twinge of worry pops up but I keep telling myself I am going to squash that. Usually the second time I tackle a distance I feel better about it, but I love races so I am going to just go, enjoy the run, and not worry about time.

The jump from 6 miles to 8 was easier than I expected. I had to work hard over the past few months to condition myself to get to 6. I had some bumps in the road trying to get there.  I had a handful of 5 or 6 mile runs I felt so exhausted from I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get there. My first 7 mile run on pavement my knees were so bad it took days before I could do anything. I knew I needed to change my surfaces after that and try to keep on. All kinds of hurdles: numbing feet, ice cold temps (before I figured out proper dress), headphones not working, too much sun, too late in the day, sore knees, have all led to solutions. The 5 and 6 mile runs are really what built strength and enabled me to enjoy the longer runs.

I always run with a visor, I’ve had skin cancer removed from my face and I feel better having a cover. The bonus is the sweat isn’t rolling in my eyes! So my really early morning runs (6:30ish), I still wear a headband, because I am spoiled now, who wants sweat rolling in their eyes.

My last two Saturday mornings it has been pretty cool outside mid 60’s and I have finished before 9:00 a.m. Such an enjoyable experience! The streets are quiet, the sun isn’t strong, and it just feels good to get up and go. I do more feel more energetic in the morning. I’ve had to work out for years after work, so you’d think my body would be use to it, but you can’t beat an early morning run!

Changing my surfaces for training has really helped me. A few times a week running on pavement and my knees were starting to ache more. Trying to stick to once a week for my long run on pavement and running on trails helped me a lot. Also, one short run on the treadmill each week has built endurance. I think a treadmill is harder than trails and pavement. It’s a different motion, so it has helped me to build strength in my legs. I had to start out trying to run 15 min. at a time and that felt like a victory. I have decided 30 strong minutes on the treadmill is good. I just can’t self talk myself into anything longer right now.
On one of my favorite trails

On trails I am always a little slower, but I feel I use my muscles a little differently and the trails have some hills.  I tend to avoid hilly runs on pavement, but I welcome the challenge on the trails. I am not as focused on pace as I am just accomplishing a distance.

I also realized I need a schedule that has enough recovery time. It's a challenge trying to get enough work outs in each week, but as I am more capable of longer distances, I find it easier to rest.

I do worry about the summer months; I do not like heat at all! I hope I can keep up with at least one long distance early morning run. I may have to use the treadmill more, but as always I will keep trying to find ways to adapt to keep moving forward.
I avoid these areas

Monday, April 29, 2013


Some days…

When the mind and body are harmonious you can accomplish great things. Unfortunately most days I can’t get them on the same page. 

Monday was one of those days. I always feel like I want to escape work and run. I thought I felt great, drank lots of water before I left work, went home changed, grabbed my Garmin and out the door. I like to walk for about 5 minutes to warm up and I felt okay. I hit the start button on my watch and off I go. Suddenly, I felt like I was pushing a wall, or pulling a two ton truck. About 1 mile in I decided my lofty idea of 5 miles was not going to happen. I tried to talk myself out of this, but it didn’t take long to realize that 3 miles would be an accomplishment for the day. I had rested Sunday and just walked so I really thought a quick 5 mile run would be reasonable…I am still learning. I have accomplished 6 miles one day and 5 the next, but bumping up to 8 miles for my long run really made the two day recovery necessary.

Also, all that water wasn't the best idea so close to a run. Hydration is supposed to be good for you right?! I felt kind of sloshy, needed to use the little girls’ room and I am running in a neighborhood, so there’s nowhere to go. So now about a mile and half in, which makes me laugh, because I only picture myself feeling this bad attempting a half marathon or something; I have decided I will do 3.1 and head back home. So the gal that just ran an hour and twenty minutes on Sat. is falling apart after being in motion for 10 minutes. Good grieeeef!! I am scratching my head wondering why I really want to run at this point.  I feel like I am pushing a wall, I need to use the little girls’ room, my legs are feeling funny, and I had on a pair of socks that were just a little too thin. Yes, when you are having a bad day even the littlest things can throw you off. About mile two I was so miserable, I hit the stop button on my timer…as soon as I started to slow down and walk I thought, “No way!” I hit the timer and pushed out 1.2 miles to get a 5K done at least. I stopped at 3.1 and it was 30:57. That didn't look too bad considering how I felt. I continued to walk home 2 more miles and did some sprinting and walking to keep my heart rate up. I did get a better calorie burn than if I just walked, but it’s always discouraging to not be able to complete what you set out to do.

The Garmin I run with
  • I need to tackle a longer distance a few weeks in a row and get used to it, before I try to increase my shorter run that week. 
  • I also need to make Sun. a weight day and cross train and give my (almost 47 yr. old) legs the rest they need. An end of the day run really isn’t the best time for me; I am much better racking up miles in the morning. 
  • I will not drink and run! lol I drank about 30 oz. and that was too much. When I participated in the 5K and 10K this year, I drank about 70 oz. for the two days before each day race. Race morning I just have a normal cup. I already knew this worked…and trust me I won’t forget this again! 
  • Interval walking/running is something I haven’t been doing since I decided to run back in Jan. It felt good and I realize those short intense bursts will help make me stronger.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gotta Have Great Gear!

What I like…
Optimum performance = good gear. Gear matters! No matter what you do: run, walk, hike, swim, etc…but it seems with running little irritants are really magnified.
I wear Montrail Mountain Masochist II Women's Shoes size 8. I wear them all the time on pavement and trails. They are a little more elevated off the ground than a lot of running shoes and that seems to be what my foot needs. I have tried Nike and Asics and I had a problem with my feet tingling and feeling numb. Every once in awhile I will feel this on the start of a run with my trail shoes, but I can shake it off. In my Asics the numbness would just persist. 

What I need to run- Shoes √

Good socks-√

Body Glide-√

Bluetooth headphones-√

Running belt-√

IPOD Touch-√ (I have not joined the smart phone nation yet)

Danskin High Impact Wicking Bra-√
Garmin Forerunner- √

Danskin High Impact Wicking Bra- You can get these at some Wal-Marts and they are just as good as any name brand I have tried.

Wrightsock Cool Mesh II Tab Running Socks-Medium-are okay to wear to the gym, but for running –Not! (too thin for me)

Feetures Elite Light Cushion Tab Running Socks-Medium-yes!

DryMax Run Lite Mesh Mini Crew-Medium (M6-8)-my favorites!!

 Garmin Forerunner- something to track with is essential, I am a stats nerd and I love wearing a heart monitor so I can get an accurate calorie burn. Garmin Connect is user friendly and tracks all kinds of stats. There are maps, laps, splits, heart rate, elevation, you can make courses. It’s a good way to track your progress.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Monument Ave 2013 10K What a Difference a Year Makes

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love that quote...the 10K truly was a day I can smile when I think about it.

The announcer pumps you up to go. There’s lots of excitement. It’s loud! Kasey and I were ready and the plan was to finish in an hour. Her hubby was chewing gum and decided to get rid of it, he went to a trash can, and we never found him again. It was so crowded with people and they kept slowly moving us toward the front as they released each wave. It was sad to lose Chris, little did I know it wouldn’t be long and we would all be on our own.
Chris & Kasey pre-race

38,000 participants make for a very crowded start. We started in a 63:00 minute wave, 1500 people per wave. I expected everyone would start out running, well (sigh) the first mile people were dropping and starting to walk all over the place and the crowd hadn’t thinned out much at all, so lots of dodging was going on. Some folks never even ran. Took a few elbows, none intended, just the product of being packed like sardines.
Pre-race Kasey & me

The day went in a blur…I ran by so many cheer-leading squads, bands, people on their porches, dj’s, runners in costume, and well-wishers I can hardly recall details of any of them. I lost my running buddy early on and we had lost her husband before the event even started. I kept trying to keep tabs on Kasey, but there was so much dodging sometimes the “hole” wasn’t big enough for two people. That part was especially hard the first two miles, I just couldn’t believe how packed in you are. I ran by someone who was walking talking on her phone, lines of folks walking with arms linked, people stopping to watch a band; obviously everyone is not on a time goal. Throughout the race I had to so some self talking…I kept looking around for Kasey trying to keep up with her, mile two was the last time I remember seeing her. A few times I looked over my shoulder she was right there; I lost track of her again and saw her a little ahead of me. I lost her the final time with her ahead of me…thinking I must need to pick it up. I dodged a few groups of walkers and I never saw her again. This bummed me out when I couldn’t find her, but I kept telling myself to just keep going forward. We’ll have something to smile about when we meet up at the end.

So no buddies to help me keep pace. I hadn’t acquired my awesome Garmin watch (it would have been perfect) yet, so I had to pace off feel. You would think it would be easy to find someone around you to “keep pace” with, but I don’t recall seeing the same person twice. It’s a hard race to get into a rhythm. I had my pedometer on my IPOD running, but it was a little off the mile markers when I checked it and really you can’t be pulling it out trying to look at (it was so loud I couldn’t hear the announcements for pace from the app). A lot of the Monument Ave. 10K is on cobblestone road. You need to pay attention or you make catch a toe and go down.

Half way is exciting! The course turns and you know you made it half way. I remember picking it up and thinking I need to find a groove. Then I worried I was too fast and let my brain believe I may wear myself out. Mile marker four and five I felt like I had a pretty good groove going, but I never quite got the perfect mojo for the end. I wanted to sprint, but I didn’t want to go too soon…looking back I just wished I would have gone the first time I had the thought “time to take it up a notch” I felt slightly thirsty at this point and took water at one of the very last stops and then picked it up but I guess not enough! Or I would have finished in under an hour. There was lots of self talk during the event. “You feel great, this is easy!” and a borrowed mantra from a blog I’ve been reading (thanks Chris!)…” my world, my record, my pace” I thought of that several times, and then a new phrase popped into my mind, “my record I have to live with…and look at all year!” I wish I would have thought about that on mile 2!!! It was the motivation I needed to push harder and finish strong. Seriously, when I came in (after a bottle of water) I thought I could go run it again…lol yea, probably not, but it was nice to feel good enough to think so. I didn’t hurt at all! Hallelujah! My knees are a work in progress, and they will defy me at times. They stiffen, won’t bend, and rob me of sleep, but I keep finding different ways to train (trail running saved me) and that has cured enough of the ailment so I can push on, but that’s a different story…

Overall, I made my goal. I really wanted to knock it out in an hour. I ended up with 1:01:40 which averages to a 10:07 pace. 31:21 was my 3 mile point. For me that’s an accomplishment. Last year my overall time was 1:22:41 that’s 42:38 at the 3 mile point. I love numbers! You can see progress!
So even though I didn’t get to run with the two folks I went with, I still had a great day, went and conquered (almost) what I set out to do.

So next year…seeded wave! Big Smiles!! Half the people, only 700 in a wave and the opportunity to make a good stat I can enjoy for the year to come. I can’t wait!

The last mile of the 10K

Finish Line 2013!

2012 Monument Ave 10K-it rained that morning! Bad hair day lol