Posts Tagged With: speed work

The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

The road to the 2017 Boston Marathon has been covered with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. In 8 short weeks, my family will be heading north to Beantown. This marathon training cycle has been cut short, but because I was a patient patient, I feel good about where I am. I should get a Patient Patient medal, because this is the first time in a string of injuries that I didn’t sabotage myself along the way, and actually let myself heal. I should probably re-gift that medal to my husband for putting up with me in the process. That poor man.

Let me take you back to November. I had just come off the  NC Ironman 70.3 and had signed up for a few local 5k’s. On one of the first cold mornings on November 12th, I ran a 22:15ish 5k, and even got 2nd in the Old Lady division. I mean Masters Female. I felt great about where my training was and where I was planning to take it. Basically, I was going to pulverize speed in November and December, then add endurance in January, making the perfect storm of speed, strength, and endurance in April. My goal was to PR the race and return in 2018. Yeah….right (said like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space). I should have known there was a different path for me. Later that day, I felt my plantar return, and it was bad.

The 5k that shouldn’t have been.


I reacted very calmly  I freaked out. I was so upset. I kept trying to run, just a little, and it made my foot hurt so bad. Evidently, reading about it on the internets doesn’t make it go away, but I sure deserved a medal for that, too, and BONUS, I learned how to pronounce “metatarsalgia”. I tried to do bike intervals, only to realize it made my foot feel just as bad as running. All I could do was to bike easy and go to Orange Theory (using the GLIDER, of all things *shutter*, because dammit! I’m a runner, not a glider.). All right, I tried swimming, but after one day, my chlorine allergy made it almost impossible. I might have used that as more of an excuse than I really should have, but I hate swimming and I hate my reaction to chlorine (skin rash, yay me!). I don’t know why it was so bad when I swam in the same pool all summer, but it was bad. So I “couldn’t” swim, I couldn’t bike hard, and I couldn’t run. I was a peach to live with. I was like Cinderella, singing to all her animals. Yes, that’s what it was like to live with me during that time. (This is when my husband should’ve gotten the Medal of Patience.)

People, it was cold out, and I couldn’t run. I was missing it and I was missing out. The rest of November. And December. Then I decided, probably due to everyone and their “Countdown to Boston” posts, I needed to start running because I was going to run that damn marathon no matter what. I started with a few miles on Christmas Day, something I have never done before. It was my gift to myself, and wow, I felt God that gorgeous morning.

Merry Christmas

Then I came up with a plan to SAFELY build endurance through January. I was running again. My foot was ok. I alternated run days, I took it easy at Orange Theory. No speed. Then in the last week of January, I decided I needed to return to my coach and start speed again. I felt like I was second guessing all my workouts, I wasn’t pushing myself and didn’t know if I could or should, so coaching would benefit me the most. Coach Kristen has done really well for me, so I was so excited to once again, see those Training Peaks emails come through in the morning.

I don’t know how, but within the first week, I was meeting the pace challenges set before me. I was Maria, singing on the mountaintop.  I was back at track practice, my favorite thing in the freaking world when it comes to training. My foot was behaving.

Then. Then the shin splints started. Ugh. I started speed work too fast. It’s derailed my plans twice in the past. What do I do? Well, I knew my race wasn’t going anywhere and I knew ignoring them wasn’t going to work, so I gave myself a day off speed, gave myself some active release therapy, took a day off, and I was careful. Boom. Shin splints are minimal now. Key point: catch them and do something about it IMMEDIATELY and prevent them from occuring in the first place, i.e. STRETCH (and that damn yoga).

Just this week, I ran a 48:18 in a 10k race, again placing 2nd in the Old Lady division. Then Tuesday, I had 3 x 15 minutes at barf pace, and I seriously questioned if I could do it, mostly because I’d had a long run and an Orange Theory workout between that day and my 10k. I borrowed some of the faith my coach had in me, and I pulled it out. When I was done, I felt like a rock star, like I deserved a participation trophy of sorts, for believing I could do it enough to just try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.


I don’t feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I know there’s any number of injuries lurking around the corner. This morning, after another great track workout, several of my running buddies asked how I was doing, and I was almost afraid of jinxing myself by saying, “GREAT!”. But you know, when you’re out there getting it done, watching the sun rise, it really was GREAT. I told my coach to put “Do your damn yoga” in my plan after track, so I’ve been good about that. It’s funny that I’m responsible for a hundred thousand other things, but if “yoga” isn’t specifically in my plan, the chances of me actually doing it, even though I know I need to, dwindle down to close to zero. Pretty sad, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

So my goal for Boston is a BQ. A 3:44:59. That time won’t get me in for 2018, but that’s ok. At this point, anything is possible (thanks for that, Ironman), and it could be warm, it could be cold, it could be raining, it could be snowing. All I know is that I will do my absolute best with whatever the day gives me. If if one thing is certain, I know I’ll be there, and I’ll be happy.

Advertisements
Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

I Love This Commercial and Update Before Things Get Cra Cra

Watch this and try not to get all verklempt.

Seriously, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this commercial and what it stands for. Sometimes, aren’t we all the guy who comes in last but just never gives up? Does it matter what place we get? Isn’t the most important fact is that we are out there trying and busting our butts to get to where we truly want to go?

I love this commercial. This could be me in a few short weeks as I run my marathon. This could be me when Ironman Florida comes around. But you’ll never find me giving up. Hell no. I’ll never give up on my dreams. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

By the way, I had yet another interaction with Hal Higdon. I took a screen shot of it. Err merr gerrrd, HAL HIGDON AND I ARE ALMOST BFF’s!!!!! 😉 The subject was about fashion and races.

See, Hal is talking to ME!

See, Hal is talking to ME!

The weather has been quite difficult for those of us without gym memberships. Tuesday, school was cancelled because of the threat of ice. I didn’t even know we were supposed to get any bad weather at all until I got word on Monday afternoon that there was no school Tuesday. So much for those 800’s. It was 30 and raining and windy, so I decided to save myself from pneumonia and had a good, hard workout on my bike.

One hour with 4 x 7 min intervals at Z4

One hour with 4 x 7 min intervals at Z4

My friend, Amanda, and I decided to tackle her tempo workout together on Wednesday. Gulp. It was 5 miles at 7:30 pace. I figured that would be just as good or better as my two mile repeats I was planning for Thursday, so we got together Wednesday to get it done.

Man, isn’t running with someone else so much better than on your own? I mean, I love to run on my own, but for difficult speed workouts, it’s so much better to have someone to run with. We ran at Wrightsville Beach, since that’s where she lives and there’s a good straight road where we don’t really have to worry about traffic or making stops.  No one likes to be interrupted during a speed workout.  Right before we started, we both looked at each other with that “well, here we go” face. I have to admit, it didn’t feel terrible. It didn’t feel GREAT either, but it’s really not supposed to.

I forgot to mention that we had a lot of freezing rain on Tuesday and there was ice everywhere but the roads. The power lines and plants and trees were covered.

Ice at the beach.

Ice at the beach.

My kids had a lot of fun eating the icicles and I’m sure ingested tons of dirt along the way.  Nothing new. At least they were hydrating. So anyway, as we were running, a piece of ice fell from the power line and hit Amanda in the head. We didn’t find out til later that it actually cut her and made her bleed. I guess Ralphie’s mom WAS right, those icicles can be dangerous. Thankfully, she was ok and it was not a major cut, but it made us pay more attention to what was above us when we were running.

Two and a quarter miles into the tempo, I wanted to stop and breathe, which I slightly feel guilty about and am justifying with “it was a better tempo run than the two mile repeats” but I really wish I hadn’t stopped. It was maybe a minute or two and we headed back to finish our 5 miles with no more stopping. We ended up at 7:22 overall pace for the 5 miles. Whohoo!!!! And my legs felt it. When I got home, my dog was waiting for me, so I figured a good way to stretch out was to jog a little loop with her. She loved it.

Had to take a few minutes to enjoy the view and ocean sounds after our run.

Had to take a few minutes to enjoy the view and ocean sounds after our run.

There’s a reason why you don’t have two hard workouts in a row. My speed schedule is all off because of the dumb weather, but I knew I couldn’t do another speed workout today. I also didn’t really know what to consider the bike workout. I knew it wasn’t easy on my legs, but it wasn’t running. So, ????  I decided to just do the 5 miles on the schedule for yesterday. It didn’t feel bad, but I could tell my hammies and quads were tired. I could see how having back-to-back hard workouts can cause you to get injured or burn out. I did the smart thing and didn’t do it.

I’ve got 10 pace on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. THIS, my friends, will lead into my taper for the race. I think I almost threw up. It’s almost here. My son is turning 9 years old on Saturday and I have a lot to do to get ready for the family stuff we’re doing, the company we’re having, and the awesome Seattle Seahawks cake I’m going to make him.

Anyone else get hit with icicles? Running long this weekend? Want to come over for pizza on Saturday?

Categories: anything is possible, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, hal higdon training plan, interval training, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Mile-And-A-Half Repeats – Even Funner Than Those Mile Deals

I think I’m done punishing myself for being so leisurely about marathon training while in Vegas. Besides my house being a total disaster that I should be cleaning but instead, I am sitting right here and totally putting it off, we’re pretty much back to the same ole. Yippee.  The weather needs to go back on its meds, too. It’s cold, windy, rainy, warm, freezing, warm, then this weekend is going to be super cold. Like a high of 32. I know, I know, all you northern people are shaking your gloved fingers and stocking-covered heads saying, “You don’t know cold, lady!” But it’s cold…. for us. And for what I’ve pansied myself to since moving south.

Tuesday was the really good 10 mile pace run, and Wednesday’s “easy” 5 mile run turned into a pace run, simply because once I started at a pace, I didn’t think I should slow down. Because that makes sense.  Then today? Erg. Today I decided to build on my mile repeats from last week and tackle mile point five repeats. Four times. Because I like to torture myself train. I knew it would benefit me more than 800’s would. I  knew it would be good for my mental strength to push myself really hard and not talk myself out of doing them or reducing the number.

I REALLY tried to talk myself out of the workout. REALLY. But I want to cross that finish line in just over a month with a PR. It takes work to do that. So it was time to get off my ass and get it done.

I headed back to UNCW’s campus, parked at the track, and warmed up for .7 miles. It was WAY warmer than what I thought it would be, and I forgot my short sleeved shirt at home, so I pulled up my long sleeves and dealt with it.  After whining to myself. There’s a paved trail that goes about 2 miles and then hits a road, so I figured that would be the best place to take on my 2400 m repeats. I put on my good playlist and got the party started.

What can I say about where my mind went during that first one? It’s not rated G for “good language”, that’s for sure. But I nailed the first mile and a half at a 7:02 pace. I was worried about my Garmin not working in the trees, so I was happy to see that the pace was accurate. I know the difference between an 8 min mile (I can talk a little) and a 7 min mile (I cannot talk a little), and am familiar with what’s in between, and it always pisses me off when I know I’m going faster than what the thing registers. I walked quite a while to recover from the first set (I was supposed to run .5 mi but I didn’t), was happy to have my breathing and heart race come down fast, and headed back to start set two. Here I go!

Set two had some head wind coming back, but I was able to keep the pace well. Garmin would change from 6:30 to 7:45 without me changing my pace, so I was slightly peeved about that, but the end time showed I did pretty much the same as set one. Then my Garmin had a tantrum for sets three and four. I have a landmark for one mile and the distance was off, but I think I pretty much stayed at the same pace, if anything, slightly slower, but still within the range I wanted to go. I REALLY wish I had an accurate measurement for the mile point five, so I knew exactly what my pace was, but I guess I’ll just have to measure a few times with all my Garmins to get it right next time. When I’m going in the lower 7 mm pace, and it tells me I’m going 7:45, 8:30, I get pissed. Is there a niner in there? How many times do you think I can use the word pace in this post?

After my workout.

After my workout. But at least the sun was shining.

I think I think I dialed it in pretty well today, and I’m really looking forward to having tomorrow off before the deep freeze 30. Thirty miles to run this weekend in the cold. BUT I get to run with some friends on Sunday, so I’m pretty happy about that. I may even head to the pool to do a little practicing of my new skeelz from  my lesson a few weeks ago, but will have to see how I feel. I’m in denial about the swim clinic I’m going to next weekend with Sheila Taormina. Yeah, I’ll be swimming with a freaking Olympic medalist (ya know, JUST the GOLD) and world class triathlete. I might wanna practice up a bit as to not completely embarrass myself. I know the point is to learn from her, but it’s still a little, oh, overwhelming to know SHE will be looking at ME while I’m swimming.

I know everyone has enjoyed me complaining about my Garmin and how hard my repeats have been, but really, I love them after as much as I hate them during. Doesn’t everybody? I know they’re working, so that’s really what it’s all about. Next week is a set of TWO MILE repeats! I’m already procrastinating that one!

How do you handle crazy weather changes? Do you like mile point five repeats? Would you be nervous about showing your skills/lack of to an Olympic gold medalist?

Categories: interval training, marathon, running, training for marathon hal higdon training plan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Mile Repeats: Do I Love or Hate Them?

My legs are tired. I’m distracted (more on that in the next few days). I’ve been neglectful in reading y’alls posts and responding to your comments. It will make sense soon. Since my last post on Friday, I’ve run over 45 miles, all averaging less than a 9:00 mile. That’s pretty good considering I wasn’t doing any speed work just over a month ago. Speed work. Yeah. I’ll get to that in a sec.

OH!!!! Remember I told you that I got a Facebook message from Hal Higdon himself??? Well, I emailed him the information he requested. Then what do you suppose happened?? HE EMAILED ME BACK. EEEEK!!!! It’s like if when I was a teeny bopper and one of the band members from Poison would have LOOKED at me (or in my general direction). Uh. Muh. Gawd. If I could bronze an email, I would.

On Saturday, I had a 10 mile run at no specific pace. I decided to let my legs decide what to do and didn’t look at my Garmin pace at all. It felt really good, probably due to lower mileage the week before, and I ended up doing them at an average of 8:24 pace, which is right where I want to be for the marathon. Yeah!  Saturday evening, I had a swim lesson that went REALLY well. I’m actually looking forward to putting some of the learning into action in the pool.

To keep me entertained before the 10 miler, I had a Garmin race to see which one I would wear.

To keep me entertained before the 10 miler, I had a Garmin race to see which one I would wear.

Sunday was my 20 miler, and I was lucky to find some people to run with. Overall, it was a really good 20 miles filled with friends who made the time pass a lot easier than if I was running solo. Average pace was 8:54, which was faster than what I planned, but I was happy to go faster rather than slower.

I smile, but I'm not happy. My feet were frickin cold.

I smile, but I’m not happy. My feet were frickin cold.

I soaked in my 44 degree pool for 5 minutes, which is the most I could handle without my feet literally freezing and then they’d fall off and I’d have to go get one of those fake feet and it would probably look like one of those things you find in really nice men’s dress shoes.

Pre game cat nap. See what I did there? Cat. Nap.

Pre game cat nap. See what I did there? Cat. Nap.

I was happy that my long run fell on the Super Bowl Day, well, vice versa, so I was happy to eat a lot that night. I’m not a huge NFL team follower, more of a college fan myself, but we always eat, drink, and play silly games until the halftime show. I actually enjoyed the show this year, minus the Katy Perry beach ball outfit. I find it strange (at least for ME) that you are dressing your boobs up as beach balls. I guess she can, so more power to her.

My legs felt good on Sunday, even though I’d put 30 miles on them over the weekend. I ran an easy 4 on Monday morning and they still felt pretty good. Yeah for training!  I looked at my plan for Tuesday, which is tempo/speed day, and I had 7 x 800’s on it again. Hmmm. I really didn’t know if it was going to get me where I wanted to be for this marathon. I consulted a friend of mine who is VERY fast and has put together plans for herself and others. I asked her if I should do mile repeats, a tempo run, or more 800’s. She suggested I do mile repeats. Six of them. SIX. Oy. But after talking a little more, well, even before that, I knew it would be very beneficial to me if I did them. At a 6:55-7:15 pace. I think I threw up a little after reading that. But I want this marathon PR, right? Hell yeah! Well, you gotta do the work. It’s not going to be easy and it isn’t always going to be fun. So just do it.

Tuesday morning, I headed to the UNC-Wilmington track. There’s a one mile loop around campus that I wanted to run on so I wouldn’t have to look at my Garmin much and I could also grab water between each set. I was nervous. I always am, so there’s nothing new, but I got my game face on and prepped my mind to push hard. I’m glad my friend told me they were hard for her. I know they are, but hearing someone say it prepared me more. But running a marathon isn’t easy, so training for one shouldn’t be either.

I warmed up and started my first repeat. There’s some turns and a tiny bit of traffic to consider, plus a cold breeze, but I ended up finishing the first one in 6:52. Then the others followed. 6:55. 7:05. 7:05. 7:05. Then the last one. I have no idea what happened since I didn’t feel like I was struggling, but I ended up at 7:16 for that one, which pissed me off since I ALWAYS try to at least maintain if not pick it up for the last one, which is what I thought I was doing. Oh well. I did it. I freaking did it. And I wasn’t dead when I finished. I ran an easy 800 to cool down, and headed home to stretch, eat, and stretch more.

I love little teeny flowers.

I love little teeny flowers. I grabbed this pic after my mile repeats.

So anyway, do YOU like mile repeats? I don’t. But I do. But I don’t. But I do. I hate them AND I love them. You can learn a lot about your mental wherewithal during mile repeats. I went through all the stages of grief during those repeats. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. It’s kind of funny how it works. All I know is that I wouldn’t let myself give up. I REALLY wanted to slow down, to quit, to tell myself that I couldn’t do it that fast, that I could just do five instead of six. But I didn’t. I REALLY want someone else to run with me for next week’s set of 1.5 mile repeats. Seriously, that could make a big difference in the perception of how hard they are. Hopefully that will come together, as I’m already working on finding a  partner in misery.

What kind of speed work do you love to hate?

Categories: marathon, qualifying for boston marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Why Do You Run?

This week, Hal Higdon’s Marathon Facebook page asked a simple question. Why do you run? It took me just a few minutes to figure out what I wanted to say to one of my absolute favorite celebrities, but this was my answer:

“It is something that makes me truly happy and is my own. I think, I vent, I laugh, I cry when I run. I come back home happier, healthier, and refreshed, even after Advanced II training :)”

This is a VERY simplified answer to a question that could take me weeks to answer. My husband nods his head in agreement that I could take weeks to explain/talk about running, how much I love it, and why I do it.  I love to run. It’s a part of me, it’s part of who I am. I do it for so many reasons, but the first and foremost reason is that I love to run and that being so, it makes me happy.

If anyone read my Boston Marathon post about the expo, you’d know that I stalked Hal’s booth for over an hour and never got to see or meet him. What’s so great about Hal? Well, let me tell you. When I first started running for time, I read his books. All of them. Like in the Pixar film Ratatouille, Remy learned from a chef who believed that “everyone can cook”. I believe HaI teaches running to everyone and believes “everyone can run”. His plans are for everyone, the slower runner, the faster runner, the beginner, the experienced. I learned from him (a LOT), I did what he said, I learned more, and I got fast. I tried, I failed, but it wasn’t because of his plan, that’s for sure. I REALLY wanted to meet him in person and thank him for all the advice to me. I took his advice personally, so it was personal to me to thank him. I’m following his Advanced II Marathon plan right now, and it’s a very good, solid training program. I have full confidence I will be able to qualify for Boston again using this plan.

So suffice to say, when I got a message FROM HAL in my Facebook inbox, I freaked out. HAL HIGDON MESSAGED ME.

hal's message

OMG. It was almost like meeting Shalane Flanagan four days after Boston last year. I might have yelled, but I don’t remember. I might have peed a little too. But I was jumping up and down and twirling around like a 2 year old little girl who just met Elsa, so really, can you blame me? Me? In a book??????? Holy crap. More on that below.

ANYWAY.  This week has been pretty good as far as training goes. Monday was 4 easy miles, Tuesday was a tempo workout that would have been ok had I run it with someone else. It was just tough and I actually stopped for about ten seconds in the middle of the hard tempo part. I’m thinking I was still tired from the race, but I tried to suck it up, Buttercup. Wednesday’s easy 5 miler felt A-Mazing and ended up turning into a pace run at 8:13 average, so I was happy about that. It was cold (I know, I know, all you northerners and rolling your eyes when I say cold), but my pup wanted to run when I got home, so I took her out. She was so cute and bouncy as she played with the leash. She just loves the “cold”.

Scarlett and me. What a good girl.

Scarlett and me. What a good girl.

I switched up my workout for Thursday and ended up doing 7 x 800’s.

Pretty good pace, but why am I slightly disappointed?

Pretty good pace, but why am I slightly disappointed?

All of the 800’s were between 3:30 and 3:34.  I honestly don’t know if I should be more tired when I’m done. I was tired, but I wasn’t TIRED. Should I be stepping up? Should I be pushing harder to finish? I know I need to keep them consistent and not slow down as I go, but how hard should I push? Food for thought, time to bring out Hal’s book, isn’t it?

Friday is my day off, and I have to admit that I’m slightly anxious for the thirty miles to run this weekend (nothing new), ten on Saturday and twenty on Sunday, 30-90 seconds slower than race pace. My reward will be eating some good food without guilt on Super Bowl Sunday! Ha! I’m looking forward to the challenge though.

Anyway, I’m going to email the information Hal asked me for 🙂 and if I end up winning an autographed book THAT I’M QUOTED IN (he didn’t say he would send me one or that I would actually be quoted but I’m fantasizing about it), I’ll be sure to aim myself towards the yard, so when I pass out finding it in the mailbox, I will fall into the grass and not the street and get run over. Imagine the headline on that one. Then once I recover and explain to all my retired  neighbors that I wasn’t drinking and then explain WHO Hal Higdon is and that I’m not cheating on my husband, I’ll go inside and see my name printed in a Hal Higdon book and then pass out in the safety of my own home. Wonder if I should cover all the sharp edges?

So in keeping with that theme, tell me, why do YOU run? And should I fall-proof my house?

Categories: Boston Marathon, hal higdon training plan, marathon, qualifying for boston marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Tempo Tuesday

After pretty much not getting anything productive done (except running of course) for almost three weeks, yesterday was the first day back, as it was for many people. My to-do list is longer than Lindsey Lohan’s rap sheet, but I got a good chunk out of it done yesterday. Well, now that I look at the list, it’s still really super long. I guess it probably doesn’t help that I keep adding things to it, huh?

The good thing is that I’m running again and I decided on what to do with training/coaching for my Ironman. I counted the weeks. It’s in 42 weeks from Saturday. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or terrified….

Over the holiday, I asked a general question on the Facebook page Tri Talk regarding good books for IM training since I couldn’t afford a coach. I got several responses, but one happened to be from one of the coaches from the local group I belong to on and off, Without Limits. Sami is the Ironman Queen and happened to reply to talk to her about coaching and that we could work something out. I don’t know her well, but I do know she is the bees knees when it comes to Ironman. I didn’t want to pay for the coaching since I’ve spent so much on IM already plus all the coaching I’ve had for the running events, yadda yadda, money money, typical feeling guilty things for me spending money on my stuff. Sami and I chatted back and forth about trying to work something out, but one morning, I woke up at 5 am and all I could think about was the Ironman and coaching. I guess maybe it was a moment of clarity, because I suddenly realized that it would be absolutely stupid of me to pass up the opportunity to be coached by Sami, especially when she has so much experience and passion for the Ironman herself. And by the way, she has done TWELVE IM’s and qualified for Kona in November. So why in the world would I rely on books and the internet for information when I could have a personal coach for the biggest, most complex event in my life? I could have someone to work with, to ask questions to, to help me through something that is foreign to me.  So this late spring/early summer, I’ll be starting a plan with Sami to get me to the finish line at Ironman Florida in November. Clarity.

Gorgeous way to start 2015!

Gorgeous way to start 2015!

My marathon is March 22nd.  I haven’t been doing much, if any, speed or tempo or hill work, because I don’t want to aggravate the grumpy old man, otherwise known as my shin splints. I feel very behind, but I am healing. Slowly. Thank God!

New Year’s Day started with a good 6.5 mile run with friends at Wrightsville Beach, followed up with a soak in the freezing cold waterway. I certainly didn’t want to put my legs into 50 degree water, but I knew it was the right thing to do considering my mileage that I did during the week and what was coming for the weekend. Let’s say that I wasn’t as brave as some other runners who put their lady bits into that cold water. I think I would have died.

The little ripples are from my shivering.

The little ripples are from my shivering.

Saturday I was lucky enough to have company for my 8 mile pace run. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely doable, and we got it done in average 8:20-something pace, honestly I don’t really know. My Garmin does not like trees or clouds, and since we ran in trees AND clouds, it said we were going 9:00 plus pace part of the time, which I know was not accurate. So I’m not EXACTLY sure what the pace was, and that irritates the crap out of me. I just estimate the best I can on Garmin’s fussy days. I think it’s related to my shin splints. Moody and grumpy.

I was a little nervous for Sunday’s 16 mile run because it was going to be warm and it was supposed to rain. Luckily, the rain held off, but it was just gross outside, like the air of a man’s dirty beard. Ugh. 72 with almost 100% humidity after not running in that for a few months was just difficult. I made it through, but I don’t have any idea of what pace I was going. Garmin had another funky day with the clouds, but mostly, it got turned back on somehow so was ticking away as I was driving home. I got home and the feast started. First, it was a berry smoothie. Then it was a 4-egg (1 1/2 yolks to 4 egg whites) scramble, plus about half a pound of spinach, ham, and cheddar. It was goooooood. I drank a Zip Fizz recovery drink, had an endurolyte pill, and several cups of water, some almond milk, and then some coffee. When the feast was over, I was happy to report that my legs felt just tired, I had no pain, and my belleh was full. Score.

Ohhhh, good.

Ohhhh, good.

On Monday, I had an easy 3 mile run, but because there’s an Ironman in the picture and I took on the slacker role over break, I knew I needed to get to the pool. I headed there first thing in the morning and was met with zero ability to swim. It was like I hadn’t been to the pool in months. Can you say “doggy paddle”? Oy. I made myself finish a mile and work on form – a.k.a. finding my form. After I got home, I headed out for a nice easy 3 mile run. My legs were slightly achy from the weekend running, but no pain. Could I be healed? Dare to dream! After my run, I got to working on my “Lindsey Lohan Rap Sheet” to-do list. I worked all day on the crap I should have done the last few weeks of December, and I felt good about what I got done.

As for today, ah today, today is one of those days that I will never quite forget, but I certainly do not want to repeat. I’ll call it the “Helga situation”, and was the final event wrapping up the accident that happened in August. I’m planning to write about that later this week assuming my to-do list becomes shorter as the days go by. Bonus was we walked by where they film “Sleepy Hollow” and I have proof.

When I got home from lunch with my sister to celebrate the ending of the “Helga Situation”, I decided to go ahead and knock out my run. I didn’t feel mentally ready for a tempo run because of everything and I was depressed from everything, so I thought I would figure it out as I went. Much to my surprise, I started out a race pace and quickly moved into my tempo pace, where I stayed for three miles, finishing 3.1 in 23 minutes. Not too shabby, especially with a belly full of Diet Coke and Bun Thit Nuong. I finished with 5 miles in 40 minutes, and I am so thrilled to 1) complete this tempo run in the first place and 2) report there’s no pain and 3) not throw up lunch. Faster-than-race-pace has been the big trigger with my grumpy old shins, so I was worried about this run, especially since I did bring it down to 7:00 pace and a little below for a while in the 3 faster miles. So far, so good!

Today was another reminder for me to always give it my best shot, even when I may not be feeling mentally or physically up to a certain challenge or workout. The rest of the week’s running is pretty easy, but this weekend will be an 8 miler on Saturday followed by 17 on Sunday. The weather looks cool and dry, so at least we won’t have “dirty beard” conditions to get through. I’m going to give this marathon my all, and next week starts more speed and hill training. I’m ready.

Have you ever been to court before? What do you do when you’re mentally DONE but have a pace workout?

Categories: coaching, go for your dreams, iron distance, ironman, marathon, open water swimming, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Two Beach Chairs and a Few Bruises

It’s not always often you go to the beach for a fun afternoon and end up at the police station. It all started when my kids and I decided to take my sister to the beach for a few hours on Friday. We chose Wrightsville Beach as opposed to Carolina Beach because WB is just a lot bigger and wider. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great. We picked up some food at the store and ate while watching the kids play with some other kids they met in the water.

On our way back to the car, we had to cross a normally busy road. The light was green for cars to cross the road we were crossing and no cars were around in any direction, so we crossed accordingly without pushing the button so the thing would flash for us to go. My sister and kids got through the intersection fine, but when I was close to reaching the sidewalk, a big red car came hurdling towards me to take a right turn. She stopped her car VERY close to my legs and I could tell she was noticeably irritated that I didn’t have a crossing sign and that I was in the road, albeit, barely in the road. I stopped in my tracks. She then was pointing at the crossing thing (What the heck IS that thing called???) mouthed, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO?!” to which I responded by standing right where I was, holding my arms out and saying, “Are you KIDDING me?”.  . Yeah, pretty dumb. For both of us. I was probably about two feet from the curb. This lady was in such a hurry that she barreled her car by me, skidding her tires as she went. (And she wasn’t some goofy teenager, she was 62 years old – old enough to know better.) I was holding two big beach chairs on my right shoulder, and when the car went by, it hit my chairs. I did my best to hold my chairs as close to me as I could. Part of me was so shocked, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. Who does that???!!!! Part of me was hoping to scratch the hell out of her car as she grazed by me, feeling lucking that I had the chairs as a barrier.

Bruises caused from the car that hit the chairs I was holding.

Bruises caused from the car that hit the chairs I was holding.

I looked at her car as she sped down the road and realized there was no way I could get her plate, so we just went on. A few minutes later, I started shaking. As we were putting our beach gear in the back of my Escape (I have to say it the way Dori does in Finding Nemo – “es-CA-pay”), another lady drove by and told us that she saw what the other lady did and got her plates, then made an effort to find and give it to us. She agreed to be a witness if it came to that.

Upon my sister’s repeated orders to GO TO THE POLICE, I did. No pedestrian should be accosted by a driver. I wasn’t crossing a street full of traffic and without caution. There were NO cars there, plus the light was green to cross. Yes, we will now wait for the little walk guy from now on, but still. Her hitting me was no accident, that’s for sure. Thankfully, the police were so good to me, showed my kids the fire trucks as I was doing my reports, and hopefully this will help teach the driver to slow the hell down.

It made me really think. We are so fragile. Had I been in front of her instead of beside her, she could have run over my foot, broken my leg, or given me a head injury. Yup, I should have kept going. We were both wrong, but I wasn’t the one in a vehicle that could easily kill someone. Part of me had the “deer in headlights” reaction, part of me had the “fight” reaction, which is why I stood my ground. Maybe the driver was in a hurry. Maybe she was upset. Maybe she was super late.  I don’t know, but there’s really no excuse for doing what she did, especially when there were two kids right there. Part of me felt sorry for her.

My sympathy runs deep for people like that driver.

My sympathy runs deep for people like that driver.

On Saturday morning, bright and early, I started out on my ride. I was on my own since I couldn’t find anyone to ride with me.  I only stopped twice, once to take my underwear from the innermost part of my crack, and another, to eat my test meal. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I’ll be buying more of them. Yum. At the first stop, I pulled off to the side, and I totally fell down because I totally forgot that I was clipped in. It was quite graceful, and thankfully, it didn’t hurt. I actually laughed and said to myself, “Well, I’m guessing that’ll be the last time I forget I’m clipped in.” Hopefully so. I readjusted my handlebars and went on my way.

car2

This was my total time, including the “fall” and my snack. I was a little disappointed in it, but hey, I’m still at the beginning of training!

I was on a highway with cars zipping by at 50-60 mph. Because of what had happened with the car the day before, I was a little more sensitive to the fact that these cars were so close to me. At some points, I was probably a foot away from a vehicle that, had the driver not been doing his/her job, would totally kill me. Some drivers gave me plenty of space when they passed, others couldn’t be bothered and gave me my foot and passed so close where I could feel the power of the car.

Life is so fragile. Not to make light of it, whenever I say “fragile”, I am always reminded of “The Christmas Story” when the dad gets his leg lamp delivered. Here, watch this.

Where am I going with this? Well, I think that we go on about our days, one after the other, many of us in a hurry to get to work, to school, to our kids’ sports, to our workouts. We get impatient at red lights, at a slow driver, at bikes in a two-lane road. We run in the street, believing the cars will go around us. While we go on with our business, we need to remember to be aware of our surroundings, to be a little more patient with others, whether they are driving WAY TO SLOW or just a pedestrian crossing the street after an afternoon at the beach. We need to be diligent while running, always paying attention and assuming the car doesn’t see us. Let the car go and use the pause button on your Garmin.  Give the bicyclist an entire lane when you pass.  Just slow down, wait for the moped driver to turn right instead of barreling around him/her. Don’t text and drive!!!! Leave earlier if you must. Get there late. It’s not a big deal if you consider that being in a hurry could cause you to make a decision you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Don’t live to regret that decision. Life is so freaking fragile.

That being said and because I haven’t posted much recently because I’m trying to absorb the last few weeks of summer break with my kids, here’s my last week’s workout recap:

Last Thursday, I went to the pool to work on my swim drills and get a mile in. It wasn’t very pretty and I decided it was ok that I never turn into a really good swimmer. I need to continue working on my drills to improve form while getting the distance in, whether I hate dislike it or not.

Friday was an easy 3 mile run with my dog while my kids rode their bikes along side.

Saturday was my 60 mile bike ride. It went well until the last 10 miles. I only said fuck twice too, so that’s good! Ha!

Sunday and Monday were off.

Tuesday was a 5 mile run with some faster paces worked in there.

Wednesday was an hour on the bike with some strength – ended up with 17 miles, which isn’t great, but I wasn’t feeling it. While at my son’s football practice, I got a 3 mile run in. It wasn’t speed per se, but the average pace was under 8, so I was happy with that. I know at some point, I got to a sub-6:00 pace. That didn’t last long, but hey, I did it! I love running.

This morning: Oy. Back to the pool. I REAAAAALY didn’t want to continue past a quarter mile. I knew that would be a really bad decision and would regret it, so I made it a mile. Am I crazy to even consider a full IM if I hate swimming just one mile? Is this normal? Do other triathletes have one sport they just don’t like but do just to be able to do triathlons???

I feel like I’m cheating on running while doing all this biking and swimming. I miss it. I miss the real stuff, the speed, the distance, the tempo runs.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the track next week. Ahhhh, running!!!!

What’s everyone else up to? Dreading the end of summer like I am?

 

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

If I Could Sell Endorphins, I’d Be $%^# Rich!

I was supposed to go to our group run on New Year’s Eve Day Morning, but the night before, I was EXHAUSTED. I made the difficult decision (I do really hate to miss speed workouts) that I needed to sleep in and if I had time that day, I would go on a run myself. I ended up sleeping until 8:30 that morning, which is about the time I would have been getting home from workout and drinking my coffee.  The sleep felt great and I had a zip in my step.  I filled the day with buying stuff for our appetizer-filled New Year’s Eve and Day football watching, making some of the appetizers, and then going out for New Year’s, so I didn’t get a run in.  My scheduled day off was New Year’s Day, so I was relatively conflicted as to taking two whole entire days off working out.  Eh, oh well. I realized that I hadn’t taken two days off in a row since the B2B in late October, so I thought I was due. After two whole minutes, the conflict was over.  I also knew I wouldn’t have the luxury of taking those two days off until April, so I took them when I could!

Fast forward to yesterday, the day I had another group workout scheduled, the day it rained the entire day. The workout was cancelled at a late hour, so as soon as my husband crossed the threshold of the door from work, I took off for my run in the cool rain.  I COULD NOT take three entire days off running, so I re-created a tempo/speed workout from a few weeks past.

Me looking like a goober before the run. Where's my smile?!?

Me looking like a goober before the run. Where’s my smile?!?

Over the holiday, I’ve been careful not to overeat too much, but I’ve had plenty of liquid carbs.  On my first mile, I felt a little like I had a “dun-lap”…. you know, “your belly done lap over your belt”?  I’d been careful not to overeat too much over the holiday, but yeah, it was time to get in a good run and get back to normal eating and drinking!  Anyway, my Garmin ran out of battery after the warm-up mile, so I irritatingly ran back home and got my other Garmin.  I was ready to go.

I did 10 minutes of about a 7:10-7:15 pace, followed by a two minute rest, TWICE, then did 5 minutes of a pace just a little faster than that.  After the first few minutes of the first set, I felt like I was floating.  It was great and the “dun-lap” feeling went away.  The workout wasn’t easy, per se, but it felt very powerful, and I wasn’t out of breath like I thought I might be.  I made sure to pick my feet up, watch for the UPS truck that almost hit me, and I kept at a steady pace. The endorphin rush in the middle of the workout came on very strong, and I could have kept going.  What is it with those endorphins anyway? Some days I get them, some days I beg and plead for them and never ever get them, and then there’s those workouts that fill you with a sense of power that you could accomplish anything.  “Let’s run ALL THE MILES!!”  (It’s similar to that post-race euphoria where you want to sign up for all the races, which is why, having learned the hard way, I imposed the one week moratorium on signing up for anything after a race.) If there was only a way to capture that feeling and then take a little supplement of it when we most need it, say, mile 21 of a marathon, I would certainly create it, invest in it, or just buy it!

Needless to say, I made a good decision to run yesterday.  I did yoga today, which always makes me feel like I’m a 4×4 piece of inflexible wood – seriously, I DO NOT get how some people can bend that way.  I still have some of that good feeling left over from yesterday, which is always nice.  Since it’s their last day of actual winter break, I’m taking my kids to the roller skating rink for a while this afternoon, and I will vow to not try and do any skating tricks and use up my left over endorphins and possibly meet my medical deductible early in the year. 🙂

I’ve got some miles to cover this weekend, but I plan to run where I can feel the ocean breeze and I look forward to my next endorphin rush.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.