Showing posts with label summer running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer running. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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.

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 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 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 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?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Trail Run

I decided to go to the park and trail run this morning. Skimming my training calendar revealed all my July runs were street or treadmill runs. No wonder my knees felt crabby after my last run! I usually mix it up better than that. 

The tree cover on the trails is pleasant and keeps me from getting up at the crack of dawn. The hilly trails force me to follow my training guides "easy pace" "no target" directions.  

I took easy pace to a whole new level this morning. 9.75 miles with an average pace of 11:40. It took an hour and 54 minutes. Miles and time were really odd stopping points for me today but my willpower was ebbing.
The park in Dec. 

My fastest mile 10:23 and my slowest 12:51 lol That's almost like dawdling! I actually knew I was running this slow and was telling myself to put a little zest in my step, but I swear someone slipped lead weights in place of my insoles today. I never really felt overly thirsty or even over heated; I just couldn't find any energy in reserve. I had been feeling under the weather this week and took three rest days so I was anticipating feeling totally energetic. Ha! I try to finish my runs on a strong pace, but that little pick me up didn't happen today. Accomplishing something and feeling it was just a lackadaisical effort makes me want to go back and do it again! 

This is my longest distance to date and yes it would have been nice to just round it out at ten miles, but by 9.6 miles I was running by my car and the water was inside! I had a hard time going by a few times just to get to 9.75 miles. I just couldn't make myself run the parking lot to get to ten. Sitting on sofa now that seems silly, but at the time I was just ready to stop and stretch! 

Maybe next time I'll make it to ten-the pesky training guide says I am supposed to do it again next week. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quick Thoughts Before Bed

Tonight's  run was full of interesting challenges. Of course some of it was my own doing, but I guess every day can't be perfect. 

Let's begin with last night. I had a good uneventful run after work and went to bed. Last night I dreamed like crazy, I also got up in the middle of the night all stuffy and miserable and had to take medicine. I woke up with a splitting headache and exhausted from my dreams. My dreams seemed very real ,were very intense, and didn't have a happy ending. I wonder if cold medicine gives you crazy dreams?

So off to work I go not feeling very well, which made me not eat much all day. Mostly just watermelon all day because I think the cold medicine makes me feel dried out. I planned to go out and get lunch this afternoon and couldn't because we had some folks come in unexpected. When I could have finally gone to eat it was 4:00 and I get off at 5:00. 

So I arrive at Martin's salad bar pretty hungry. By the time I was home and had gobbled my salad it was about 6:20 and the plan was to run at 7:00 p.m. with Kasey.

We started out pretty well, but my tummy starting gurgling a few miles in and then the bloating started and the nausea! Ugh!! I hate feeling bad on a run. I made it to the 45 minutes I was supposed to put in per my training guide, but that was 4.40 miles. Kasey made to 4.5 miles, I just couldn't make another tenth. I hate stopping at odd distances, but today my bloated belly said stop. Then of course it rained on us on the way home. When it pours! I am still glad I got my run in though. I actually felt cold I was so wet! It has been a long time since I could say that.

So tonight I learned: only eat a little bit no matter how hungry you feel if you are going to run. I hope I remember this in the future. 

And I have to share a picture of my birthday gift from Kasey. My new super cute running belt. I love it!

From Hippierunner- it's so cute

We got rained on and all my makeup was running down my face lol and for the first time in along time I felt cold after I ran!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I am starting to embrace running intervals. I tried to do these outside and trying to clock watch (actually watch watch) is tooo much while trying to not miss a dip in the sidewalk, etc. I decided intervals needed to be a treadmill activity.  My training guide called for 2 min. x 7 with a 1 min. recovery run in between. I totally stuck to the plan today at gym and it was rather enjoyable. It's easy to bump up pace and stay right on to the minute. First threshold I tried 6.4 (9:46 pace) which was a bit to slow, so I used 6.6 (9:29 pace) for the rest and a 5.8 (10:47 pace) recovery. I ran out to 30 minutes at 6.7 (9:20 pace) so I think I will start with that pace the next time I tackle intervals. It's a challenge trying to figure out what threshold is. I can go faster, but I wanted to do the same pace and be able to sustain it.

Next round of intervals is 3 min. x 5 with a 90 second recovery run. I will try to tackle the 9:20 pace and see how it goes!

My goal is really not to run faster, just be a stronger runner. 

I would love to hear about your interval experiences as well.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Break in the Temperature 10K

Update : How did I do that?! I am going to write it off as old lady brain. A 10K is 6.2 miles but for some reason it j-u-s-t popped into my mind I was .10 of a mile no PR today. So guess what, next break in the weather I have a goal to work on! I am leaving the post here I guess.

Original Post: 
This morning I decided I didn't need to run with bats, but I still got out pretty early. According to my training guide I was supposed to do intervals.  I have discovered, for me, that it's just easier on the treadmill to do timed intervals so I decided about an hour run would be the goal. The temperature was 67 degrees when I left home, it was humid but still more manageable at that temp than what I've been dealing with the past month. I didn't feel like I was having that great of a run, but I realized at mile five I would be close to my PR from the Monument Ave 10K 1:01:40. Soooo, that gets my wheels turning and I ran a fast last mile and I got it! I know it's only 4 seconds but after the past few months and some really discouraging runs this is a much needed confidence boost. Sadly today it seems the humidity is creeping back, but at least this gives me hope in the fall I will have a more enjoyable experience running again.
My goal for the 10K this year is an hour...or less (smiles)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

PR-What a way to Wrap Up the Week

Thursday is my Friday in the summer. I work four ten hour days so leaving on Thursday is always a happy time.  Today when I walked out of work I was pleasantly surprised that the suffocating humidity was finally taking a break! It was 81 degrees which feels so much better when humidity isn't 96%. So of course on my ride home I am thinking I need to run to enjoy this. Since I just ran 8 yesterday I figured 3 or 4 would be just about right. 
I ate and set out about 45 min. after digesting and thought maybe I should do 5 easy miles and just enjoy this. However, sometime after mile 2, my first peek at my Garmin, revealed my pace was better than I thought. Love that! I thought I really need to push my self and see if I can PR today. I have struggled in the heat so much I just wanted to see a decent time...
There it is! It's just seconds better than my fastest street 5K, but I'll take it.

I was pushing the last mile and I was getting a little cramp, but it's so much easier to think and breathe when you aren't suffocating from humidity! Go figure, right. 
I guess I could have set a new lap and ran for a few more miles, but nah! A quick walk with a few sprints home. 
9:49, 9:34, 9:08 happy dance 9:08 is a PR mile for me.
You know that just makes me want to go do it again!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Running with Bats

Yep, that's right I went running with bats. I won't say exactly how early, but it was before the birds chirp!