Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So trashy

Do people really throw away their clothes at races? I mean, seriously? I guess I have no concept of how that works, or if it's a good idea, or where you get clothes that are designated "throw away".

Do you go to the second-hand store before race day & pick out a disposable outfit for $5?

Do you go through your closet slowly and deliberately and decide which duds you can part with at the starting gate?

And further, do you just carelessly ditch them in a pile in the middle of the starting chute and never look back as 10,000 runners run over them?

Or do you actually disrobe before lining up and find an actual "waste receptacle" for your trashy articles?

Or do you start out fully clothed and take them off while running, tossing them to crazed fans spectators on the sidelines?

So much to learn!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nobody Said It Was Easy

...no one ever said it would be this hard...

11 miles was tough. My hardest run ever, I think. I've been working really hard at positive thinking, and creating my own reality when it comes to long running. My runner's book says that a 'mind over matter' approach is best, and that if I spend all day telling myself I'll have a great run, I will. I can't say that I thought only positive thoughts on Friday, nor can I say that I was looking forward to my long run. I was tired, physically and mentally. I didn't want to run, but I did it because I had to. Not really Because I Love It. I also faced the reality of running that long distance alone, up the Haul Road. Not a great idea.

I ended up running 2 miles around the Headlands, 1 mile down to the Haul Road, and then 2.5 up the Haul Road, and then back the whole was. Breaking up the run into 3 parts was the best thing I could have done, I believe, because it helped the mental exhaustion. The physical exhaustion, though, was probably not helped by the running in sand, running up stairs, running up pathways and hopping over logs. Good overall training and conditioning though!

I'm faced with actually having to register for a marathon now before fall races start selling out. Since I decided not to run Portland, I spent two weeks savagely browsing race listings until I found the right marathon. I've given myself another week to fall in love with it, and I'm smitten. I want to run the Half Moon Bay International marathon. It's so expensive, though, and I know I'll also need new shoes before September 25. It's a lot of money that I just do not have. I need a running scholarship. Plus my $95 entry to the Giants Race in August is no longer being funded by my family. Damn. I might not need much gear, but this is an expensive sport.

I have a wonderful plan tonight of E's delicious nachos (avocados are on sale! yay guacamole!), a running movie, homemade margaritas, and at least an hour of yoga -- not necessarily in that order. And P.S. My plan to get back to hot yoga this month has failed miserably. Partly due to excessive construction work, running late in the day when classes are held, sunny windy weather that does not make this body crave a hot sweaty yoga room, and the $13.65/class price tag. Got to get back into it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Only once a week?

I guess I only post once a week now. Really, it makes sense since there's not much excitement with 3 and 5 mile runs.

I don't even remember my 3 mile run on Monday. Except I think it was the run where E taught Maia the dog to pull him on the landboard. Sweet. She rocked it.

5 miles on Tuesday was rough. I ran on the FB Haul Road with Maddie on bici, and the whole thing hurt. Headwind. Sciatica. Hunger. All worth it -- Fish&chips, beer and Giants game (WIN!) at North Coast Brewery afterwards. Rockin'.

Wednesday's 3 miler was momentous because Maddie ran 1 mile with me. Yippie! I talked her and Manda into running the Giant Race 5K while I run the 1/2 marathon. Her first practice run went great, and hopefully we'll do another one next week.

Which brings us to the 9 miler yesterday. Mom was on bici this time and it was so wonderful. I don't know if I had a really slow pace and that's what made me enjoy the run? I consumed a bottle full of camelback solution and a bag of honey bee gummies. They were great.

My legs felt beat after, and I realize that on long run days I really need to get off my feet when the run is done. Otherwise the feet really start to get sore & painful. I've also been suffering minor sciatica in my right butt this week. It started after the 5 miler and flared up again last night. I rolled it with the roller and a baseball, but it still causes twinges when I sit for too long. I'm going to try and ice it, and buy some Traumeel for future buttular massages.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

8 miles

My first long run of my training cycle was only 8 miles, and I had no fear. No fear, but major, major exhaustion. Working on drywall has been really tough on my bod these past three days, and my rest-day massage was canceled on Thursday. Bummer. I remember finishing up work on the house on my rest-day and wondering what happened to my rest-day. Anyway, I spent the 30 minutes before the long run eating (I somehow became starving between 12:30 and 4:30), laying on the couch, and hoping for some extra energy to actually motivate me to run my 8 miles. Somehow I managed to get in the car, drive to the haul road with E, and start off. My pace was noticeably pathetic, but I remembered everything I've been reading about long runs, and that is to take it slow, especially in the beginning. E informed me I was doing about 10min/mi. Felt ok, but my stomach was revolting in the form of side aches and acidic burps. I knew better than to try and eat before my run, even if I was starving.

All in all, I averaged 10:23 for the first four miles, and 9:01 on the way back. I felt a lot better at the turnaround, and knew I wanted to pick up the pace and finish in under 1:20. So total first split was 41:30 (approx.) and second split was 36:05. WOW. :-) Total time for 8.1 miles = 1:17:35.

Cross training today. Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Goal pace

I've just done some basic calculations and discovered that if I run 9:09 miles I can finish a marathon in just under 4 hours. While this is a great goal to have, it goes slightly against the grain of 'why I run': for fun. I can pretty consistently pace myself in the mid-9s without ever looking at a watch. I usually run at the pace that feels good and while I don't have any grand plans or goals for my marathon, there's something about coming in under 4 hours that has appeal.

In a way I wish that I had had my garmin working at The Ave Half, or at the very least wish I could have gotten a 10k split like the rest of the runners. I'm curious how I paced that one, and pretty sure that I did do a negative split.

Last night's run was three miles and I broke it down into three negative splits. If I remember correctly it went something like 9:51, 9:38, 9:01. Now, the first mile was almost all downhill, mile 2 was mostly flat with a turnaround, and mile 3 was almost all uphill. Explain that! As I run more and more I realize that going faster becomes easier. I'm looking forward to experimenting with my comfort pace, which I believe is made possible by leg work, hill work and rest!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training. Running. Period.

I will have 5 period cycles during this upcoming 18 week training cycle. Not many bloggers (or runner's world articles for that matter -- I found one good one here) write about training, running and periods. I'm sure it's mentioned in passing, but it seems to have the potential to be really influential when deciding on a training plan, or even which race to run.

I'm sure many runners are on birth control and have some semblance of control over when they menstruate, whether it means skipping a period on race weekend, or designing an entire 18 week training plan so periods coincide with step-back weeks. But what happens when the race you really want to run falls on your "Red Tent" day, as I call it? How can you really be excited to run your favorite race, or even your weekend long run, when your joints ache, your migraine is in full swing and you're bleeding through tampons every two hours?

Luckily I have light periods. I can plan when they'll start (down to the hour) each month, and can count on them lasting less than 48 hours. I have had relative success with skipping periods a few times in my life, but wouldn't make it a regular event. I also notice that the more I run, the less premenstrual cramps I experience, and the more consistent my energy levels.

It occurred to me as I gaze at my newly printed training plan taped to my fridge that I'd better sit down with my calendar and redo the whole thing. Hal Higdon obviously didn't design this 18 week marathon plan (or any of his plans, as far as I can tell) with menstruation in mind. Or he thinks it should be ignored (?). I don't. I experience pre-menstrual joint pain and migraines, and definite low energy for at least two days. On Day 1, I usually feel light headed and my heart races when walking up the stairs. In short, I don't really feel like running.

I like the fact that running lessens all the potentially negative aspects of my period experience. I know that when runners talk about "going easy" or "taking time to rest" perhaps "period rest" falls under this umbrella. But I think it deserves special mention now and then because it's not something to ignore or sweep under the running rug.
Questions. Do tampons fit in the runner's belt everyone carries? Do aid stations stock tampons? Has anyone ever had a horrible race because they were bleeding out the entire contents of their uterus in one day? Has anyone ever seen a training plan adjusted around a 4 week cycle of step-up/step-down to accommodate periods? Skipped a period when it falls on race week? Why does no one talk about this?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why I changed my mind about Portland

My last five runs looks like this: 8 mi. -- 6 mi. -- 5 mi. -- 3 mi. -- 2 mi. -- What's next, a 1 mile run? Time to get the mileage back up.

I've changed my mind about Portland. After a bit of contemplation, and lots of research on desert marathons, I realize there's no reason to run in a city. San Francisco waterfront + Giants Stadium, maybe. Portland, nope. I know there are beautiful parts of Portland. I know it's a great city for many reasons. But I don't personally run because I love to run in cities. I run because I love to run in nature. And for this reason I'm going to continue my search for an October marathon I can run in nature, even if it ends up being the Humboldt Redwoods again.

Quite a few people in the last week or so have asked me why I run, and I realize after thinking about it that I run to see nature. I run because it's an awesome way to be outside and to --experience-- my surroundings. Walking, sure it's great, but it's slow. Running is quick and outside and real and smells like outside and feels like outside. It IS outside. That's why I run. Because I love being out.

It's only natural, then, that I choose a marathon that satisfies this in me. I feel wary about not having a set date anymore, but I also feel relieved as Portland is bound to sell out this week or next. I no longer have to worry.

I printed out my training plan to post on the fridge ~ whoopie!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Recap

May Recap
Miles Planned/Ran:
55, including my Half Marathon! (ran 70 in April!)

Rest Days Planned/Taken: ?
Highest Mileage Week: 17
Long Runs Planned/Ran: ??
Current Book: Just finished Zorro... waiting for Erin to finish Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: beer & lots of cheese
Current Obsessions: finishing the drywall
Current Drink: coffee & beer
Current Song: Eddie Vedder's new Ukulele album
Current Wish-List: new clothes -- I'd take anything at this point
Current Need: I guess I don't need anything right now, really, which is a "blessing"
Current Triumph: Having run my half marathon ever -- and taken it to the nest step -- training for a Marathon!
Current Bane of my Existence: drywall, and working at the Inn.
Current Goal: finishing the drywall & going to yoga regularly. Also, reinstating my love of running, and starting my Marathon training strong!
Current Blessings: Erin. I love him to death.
Current Excitement: finishing the drywall --