Monday, July 26, 2010

Weeks 3 and 4 in review

So the blog-slacking has already begun.  I'd like to say it was because I was out enjoying my training runs so much that I just haven't had time to sit down and write about them.  Sadly, that's the farthest thing from the truth.  The past few weeks have been hard.  The heat and humidity are slowly but surely killing me.  My weekday runs have been okay, but then I haven't had to run over 5 miles for any of them! 

Week 3 started out with a rainy/stormy Monday.  I ran at the indoor track that day, and while I didn't feel bad, I didn't feel great.  I did however find sub 9:30 splits!  This is big for me.  The rest of the week was uneventful (well, minus my in-laws' business being flooded, my husband finishing writing his master's thesis, and working 5 days - usually only do 3).  The long run on Saturday was suppose to be 13 miles that week.  None of us at the running group were feeling it that day, so we cut it short at 12 miles.  It was slow and miserably hot and humid.  I hadn't prepared well for it nutritionally, so I was hurting.  I stretched frequently throughout the run, but my calves were still tight by the end of the run.  I wore my compression sleeves the rest of the day and felt great for my first run of week 4. 

Week 4 found me up at Lake Erie for a short visit.  I always like running in new places.  I only had 3 miles on the schedule while I was there, so it was short and sweet.  The rest of the week was manageable, but still not really enjoyable.  The long run of week 4 was a step-down week, thank goodness!  It was hotter and even more  humid that day and I was absolutely and completely miserable.  Of course my watch strap broke earlier in the week (and I tried to repair it with super glue, to which the glue ran into the start/stop button...grrr) so while I don't have exact splits, I'm pretty sure it was somewhere between 10:30-11:00.  Horribly slow and painful!  My exercise-induced asthma became more apparent and so did my calf injury.  I bought The Stick, as a way to help roll out the knots and kinks in my calf muscles.  I used it on my legs Saturday before bed and was more sore after using it.  I hope that's a sign of progress!  Not suprisingly, I've also been feeling twinges of shin pain, which was my downfall right before my marathon last year.  I just don't get what I'm doing wrong.  I'm taking it as easy as possible.  I'm stretching, I'm cross-training, I even started doing Yoga For Runners the day before my long runs.  I just have so much negativity attached to running right now.  I'm hoping that actually registering for the marathon will help to neutralize that negativity!  No backing out now!  My list of things to do this week is get my inhaler prescription refilled and make an appointment with the podiatrist....and oh yeah....try to find a way to enjoy running in this heat and humidity!  Until next week... embrace your pace and run happy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 2 Recap

Week 2 of training went on as planned.  Week-day mileage stayed the same, with an increase of my long run on Saturday.  I was able to avoid my Monday lunch-hour run, thanks to the 4th of July holiday.  I got up extra early and got in a pre-dawn run.  I forgot how peaceful and calm those dark mornings are.  What wasn't so peaceful was coming within 3 feet of a deer on the sidewalk!  Scared me to death. I expect to see deer in the wooded and more natural part of our neighborhood, but not on a busy 4-lane road!  My husband's aunt had a traumatic ( in the ICU for weeks traumatic) accident with a male deer about 8 years ago and ever since then, I just don't like running into deer.  Anyway, after a startled start to that run, things went smoothly.  I had (not so) graciously agreed to let my hubby run in the 4th of July 5K that day, so I hurried home to get him ready for his race.  If you're wondering why I don't mention my hubby more in regards to running, it's because he does it sporadically.  His heart and intentions are there....but his life is crazy busy and his knee isn't the most cooperative.  Regardless, he finished the race strong and it was fun to be able to cheer on all the runners on a very hot and humid morning.  The rest of the week's runs went on uneventfully and I finally got a new pair of shoes.  My Saucony Progrid Omni's will hopefully be a match made in heaven for my feet!  First time running in Saucony's.

My Saturday morning run was anything but uneventful.  The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life was taking place in my city Friday-Saturday and the Mom's group to which I belong (but don't have time to really do anything else with....) had a team.  I've always wanted to be a part of this event, but having small kids and no camping supplies always presented a problem.  Not to mention I'm not the camping type, but it should be noted that I *could* suck it up for one night, in the name of finding a cure for cancer, if really pressed!  Anyway, the team asked if there were any moms willing to take a block of time out on the track, so that the actual team members could get some rest.  I figured I had 7.5 miles on my training plan for that weekend, so I might as well run them for a good purpose.  Lucky me pulled the 2:00-4:30am shift.  I went to bed around 9pm that night and set my alarm for 1:40am.  I feel asleep quickly and slept pretty good.  The alarm went off and I was ready to go!  I walked out the door hoping to find some nice, cool temperatures, but instead found heavy fog and humidity. Yuck!  I arrived at the stadium/track and it was alive with energy and enthusiasm.  There weren't a ton of walkers on the track, but there were probably 10-12 at any given time.  There was also a DJ blaring music and movies on a big screen TV playing.  I had hoped this run would serve multiple purposes: 1) help out my fellow Mommy teammates in supporting a good cause 2) calibrate my Garmin foot pod (my new Saucony's come with a handy pouch in the tongue of the shoe to put my foot pod in, but the readings were way off...more than usual) 3) try out some new nutrition items - Vitamin Water Zero for electrolytes and gummy bears for energy - with the comfort of a potty every 1/4 mile.  If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I have stomach issues!  So with that, I started out on my 2.5 hour journey.  I wanted to get my Garmin calibrated first and foremost, so I didn't have to keep track of laps.  About 3/4 of a mile into the calibration cycle, the DJ announces that it's time to start running/walking the other direction.  Great.  Needing the distance to be pretty exact, I hit stop on the calibration and start over.  My second mile goes fine and the calibration is all set up.  I test it out for 2 laps and it's right on.  Then it starts beeping.  I figured it was just telling me that I needed to delete some activities from the memory bank, so I keep running.  After about 40 minutes I decide to stop to take some of the Vitamin Water and gummy bears(I had my hand-held filled with plain water).  I look at my watch and it doesn't have anything recorded.  I need a new battery.  Great.  So at this point I'd done 4 miles.  I was hoping to get in at least 10 miles, seeing as that's what I did last week, even though my schedule only called for 7.5 miles. I was feeling pretty good, minus the sloshing of the fluid in my belly as I set out for my next 4 mile stint.  That subsided pretty quickly though and was happy to find that neither the gummy bears or Vitamin Water hurt my belly.  Yay!  I put on my iPod at this point.  Not that I wasn't enjoying the DJ, but when Phil Collins'  "A Groovy Kind of Love" came on, I had to call it quits.  I needed something that was going to energize me...not put me to sleep!  Miracuosly these 4 miles flew by.  SUCH a relief. Surely God's hand was there pushing me along.  I couldn't believe how quickly that time went.  I stopped again to have a few more sips of the Vitamin Water, stretched (my cranky left calf was starting to get tight) and then set out for the last 2 miles.  By 3:40 am, I had done 10 miles and was ready for a little breather.  In addition to my calf, my quads were also feeling pretty tight.  I walked another 2 miles, ran another mile and then finished with a half-mile walking cool-down.  4:30am arrived, I went home, showered, went back to bed and didn't get up until 11:00am.  No food, no water.  Just my compression sleeves and my bed...and it was great!  As an aside, for a chance to win a pair of Zensah compression socks, check out Tonia's giveaway!  Despite being in a haze the rest of the day, it was a great experience.  The track was lined with names of cancer survivors.  It was an inspiring experience, to say the least.  I thought about my young friend Taylor and Angel fighter Ellie - talk about Faith and endurance, and my many cancer patients that I've counseled over the years.  I hope next year to actually be a "real" member of the team. 

Next week is more of the same, minus the 2:00am long run!  I'm looking forward to going back to my running group on Saturday and then we head up to Lake Erie for our annual trip to Lakeside, OH.  There will be no 8 mile run along a busy 2-lane state route this year.  I'll get my long run done at home and then hit the road.  Monday I'll get to take an easy 3-mile run around the community. As stressful as vacations are with little ones, Lakeside is different.  I look forward to this time all year long.  Sadly, because of my job change, we only can spend 3 days there.   A little resting, a little swimming, a little bike riding, a little running...perfect!  Until next week ~ Embrace Your Pace and Run Happy~

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And so it begins....

As if I needed further reminder of what a horrible blogger I have become....I realized that my last post was my 100th post AND I celebrated my 1 year blogiversary on June 30th. Yay me!  But truly, I suck.  It's not that this isn't important to me, but the whole new job and being pulled in a hundred different directions has gotten the best of me.  That said, there's no way I can keep a daily log of my training runs like I did for my first marathon cycle (and really...who wants to read about but I hope to at least check in weekly with what's going on.

So week 1 went off without a hitch!  I did my first run of the cycle during my lunch break at work.  It was humid and overcast, but I only had to do 3 miles, so I managed.  I packed my running bag with extra deoderant, baby powder, facial cleansing cloths, baby wipes, a towel and some make up and was good to go!  Worked out fairly well, although I'd prefer to shower right after a hot run!  The next day I shipped the kids off to a summer "preschool" class and enjoyed sleeping in and heading out for my run around 9:30 am.  Although it was a cooler day than most we'd been having, the dingo was not so happy.  He attempted to lay down in a grassy, shaded spot.  He's never done that before.  I woke up Thursday to temperatures in the 50's and had another good run.  Saturday I headed over to do my "long run" with the running group.  My schedule called for 6 miles, but I was feeling good and enjoying the conversation, so I ended up doing 10 miles with the group.  Put me over the 10% rule for the week, but I felt good.

I was really nervous heading into this training cycle.  With a recent injury (which didn't bother me at all this week) and the knowledge of just what was ahead, I was scared.  It was good to start my training off on a positive note.  I am also really glad I started going to the running group.  It's nice to be around people who embrace their pace.  Although I run for the "fun of it" it's hard not to compare myself to others and feel badly about being slow.  Maybe in my next life I'll focus on speed, but the thought of heading to the track to do speedwork makes me want to vomit.  If this is what I choose to do for "fun", why would I want to vomit?  Seems almost like an eating disorder or something?!  Or perhaps that's just how I justify my laziness...

Besides just surviving training and running injury-free, my other goal of this training cycle is to not gain weight!  I will not allow the marathon-training-I-can-eat-anything-I-want-mentality to take over.  I'm staying accountable at WW and keeping at least one weight training workout a week.  The day before my long run calls for a "rest" day.  I think I'm going to stick to doing yoga that day, which will leave me with one full rest day/week (on Sunday).  I'm hoping this combination of aerobic conditioning/weight training/core work will help me to maintain my weight and keep me injury-free. 

Week 2 calls for the same running schedule, with an increase of the long run (although not sure what I'll do, as I ran more than that last week?).  I'm also way over due for new shoes.  I'm still in search of the perfect shoes.... Hopefully I'll find them!! 

~Embrace your Pace and Run Happy until next week~