Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm back - Fist Pump

Holy crap. That's all I have to say about the last 4 weeks of my life. Moving on..... Workout-wise. I've been running, but not much else .Unless you include eating as a workout, in which case I'm in the best shape of my life! No swimming and I've only ridden my beauty (bike) once. What's that all about?! She's sitting in my living room on the trainer begging me to ride her....that's what she said....and I just ignore her. No more! Truth is, I haven't swam in weeks because I haven't shaved my legs. Yes, Seriously. No man and a cold ass bathroom makes for a very hairy woman. I'm going to Costco today to pick up a space heater until we redo the bathroom with radiant heating in those floors. I mean seriously, who designs a bathroom with the tiniest heater vent in the most obscure location that doesn't produce any heat throughout the space? A man who doesn't have to worry about getting goose bumps on their legs right before running a razor over it - that's who.
This is what my workout schedule has been looking like over the last few weeks:
Monday - nada
Tuesday - hills (my nemesis)
Wednesday - nada
Thursday - 'long' hills (my arch nemesis)
Friday - nada
Saturday - 8 - 10 miles on trails
Sunday - nada
So, obviously I have lots of room for more workouts.
Last nights workout -
4 x hills exactly 400 meters long
1st - 2:22/9:21 ave pace/172 bpm
2nd - 2:25/9:38/180
3rd - 2:30/9:55/181
4th - 2:32/10:12/181
not negative splits like they should have been, but I'm carrying about 10 extra pounds in the gut so shut it!
Here's to a happy healthy new year!
Fist pump.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Haitus

I have to take a break from blogging. I am up against major deadlines in the next couple of weeks and as you can see I just can't find the time to read or write. here is a recap of what I've been doing since my last post:
  • I got super sick and spent Thanksgiving alone in bed :(
  • At least I was too sick to care
  • Getting sick really set me back for those deadlines
  • I had to take a whole week off from working out and I ran for 30 minutes yesterday
  • Sore
  • I got my trainer, but I can't put it together
  • It's harder to not have a man around the house in the winter than it is in the summer
  • Dear neighbors: sorry about the leaves and ugly winter storm yard. I'll get to it when I can.

Obviously I have nothing noteworthy to blog about anyways. My last final - Dec. 17th. Then I'm a free woman and can resume blogging.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Life is Good

I've had some questions about my hubby and why he leaves so I'll address them real quick. He is a merchant marine which means he works on ships, however he is not in the military. Right now he's on an oil tanker and his schedule is 75 days on, 75 days off. It's a crazy schedule but really, it's all we've known (we actually met on a cruise ship we both worked on). Anyways, I thought it was important because I've gotten a couple of comments that were absolutely wonderful, but I am not a military wife and I feel strange being put on the pedestal that those amazing women belong on. I don't have to say goodbye for more than three months at a time and more importantly, I don't have to fear for his life while he's gone. Regardless of whether or not you support the war effort, it's astonishing really. I have a few girlfriends whose husbands are overseas and their strength blows my mind!
So life is good. I have a great family, wonderful friends, a beautiful home, the ULTIMATE husband, and recently (today) purchased this:

Orbea Aqua Dama TDI (with Campagnolo components)

Those hudz are soooo fugly! I had them change them out to black.

Much better!!! I'll probably change out the water bottle cages eventually too. I decided to keep the saddle though. I figured it would be easy to spot in transition.

New goal: Half Ironman. 2010

Monday, November 2, 2009

The begining of a new cycle

I am very excited to be back on track. I tried not to emphasize how truly disappointed I was in my marathon performance and results. I know you all understand the pain of training so hard with your whole being for that long and just having it fall out from under you on that one day. I did suffer from some post marathon depression. I tried not to blog about it to much since all of you left such awesome comments after the race report. I guess I didn't want to be a drag. Anyways, the month of October is behind me and I am super stoked about my new goals.
The next event I'm officially training for is:
Capital Peak Mega Fat Ass (that's really the name, I swear.)
They have a 34 and 17 miler. I'm opting for the 17 miler. It's all trail, all weather, all bad ass!! My hubby leaves this week so my desire to blog or do anything but hang with him has taken over. I'll be back when he leaves.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Race Report: Monster Dash 8k

I ran a race today. Did I mention that before? Probably not because I didn't intend to really 'race' it, but once I got there - well, you all know what's up. Pre-Race Since I didn't intend to race this I wasn't really too into race prep. I didn't wear my racing flats, I wore brand new shorts that I took the tag of that morning, and I didn't really take my usual pre-race routine before I left the house very seriously. The race was local. Very local. As in the start was literally right in front of the running store that my running group runs out of. I left the house 40 minutes before the race start. Got to the running store, said my hellos, shot the shit for a few minutes the headed out for my warm up. I did a short run, a few plyos and a couple of strides. Just over a mile. Then I was off to the start. Race So once the race started I got sucked in. I knew right away I was totally racing this for the best PR I could get. I ran the first half just under a 9:00 pace. At the turn around I was starting to fade but I didn't want to hit the wall so I slowed down a bit. Then when we had just passed the 1 mile mark guess what happened. A cop stopped the runners to let cars pass through an intersection. WHAT?! Oh, I was soooo mad. I was totally going to bust that last mile like I never ran a mile repeat in my life and boy was I pissed when I had to stop like that. Grrrrr. I totally understand that cars needed to go...blah, blah, blah, and if I weren't an athlete I probably wouldn't have understood...ONE FREAKN` DAY! One day. UGh. So anyways, that kind of pissed me off but I still finished strong. I got to the home stretch which was about an 800 meter dash around a corner and kicked it up about 20 notches. I totally chicked one poor bastard and then another. The second guy I heard literally sprinting after me and I was like, "Hell NO" and really let it rip. He didn't pass me and it was one of the best finishes of my life because of it :)! Post race Since it was such a small event (wasn't even chip timed) I just hung out at the running store with some of my fellow peers. Despite the forced stop at the last mile, I loved this race. I'm disappointed a bit because I hit the lap button on my garmin after we stopped at the intersection (when I realized it was going to be more than a quick minute at least) plus after my crazy ass sprint finish I forgot to stop my watch directly after so my splits are inaccurate, but this is my best guess 8k time. 45:00 minutes (conservative, rounded up estimate) 9:03 av pace/169 bpm (based on 45 minute finish time) That's an 11 minute PR!!!! Ok, granted the one and only other 8k I've ever run I was still a little drunk from drinking boxed wine the night before (yeah, not my proudest moment), but still. Yay!! I'm totally cool with that because I wasn't training for it, and more importantly, I was less than one month out from running a marathon.
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In other news I got my training plan for November. Project Suck IT: The Sequel is on!! Also, since almost all of you reprimanded me for 'quitting' the wine (actually, it was more like detoxing) you'll be happy to know I'm celebrating tonight. Wine and ice cream bars all around!! Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

.....annnnd I'm back

Well, almost. I haven't had wine or ice cream bars in like four days. More importantly, I haven't craved wine or ice cream bars in four days. Yay! I think I'm off the addiction. Also, I set up my weekly workouts for the next couple of months and will start up again with the running coach November 1. And I'm excited about it!!! Lastly, I had a swim today which I missed, which is not good. However, I do feel guilty about it so that's a good sign! (for those of you who refuse to feel guilty about missing workouts - spare me. Right now I need to feel guilty.) By the end of the week, I'll be a lean mean workout machine again....and I actually can't wait!! Plus my hubby leaves in a week or so and for those of you who have been following me long enough know that means I have nothing better to do with my time than workout and blog. Lucky you :) Happy Monday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Goals

I haven't really gotten back my motivation to workout. I've been lazy. Really lazy. Still drinking lots of wine and eating even more ice cream bars. I can't help myself. I've only run a couple of times, swam once, and rode the bike once. Pretty lame. I keep negotiating with myself: after today, after this weekend, one more day....you know the drill. Your all my witnesses, I'm giving myself until Monday....... The chief reason why I've been so unmotivated is because my calendar is empty. No coach telling me what to do, no training calender on the refrigerator to follow, nothing to keep me focused. I've been doing lots of searches trying to find races for 2010, but not alot is up yet. This is my plan for the rest of the year: Remainder of 2009: October 31 - 8k November 26 - turkey trot (undecided on whether to run the 5k or the 10k) December 13 - Off road Duathlon (7.2 mile run, 11.4 mtb) December 19 - 5k None of these will be "raced" they'll be just for fun. I'm especially excited about the duathlon. Should be cold, wet, and muddy. My major theme for the first half of 2010 will continue to be speed. Lots of short races. The second half I am hoping to do another xterra triathlon and maybe an ows event. Preliminary 2010 schedule: January 16 - Mega Fat Ass 17 mile trail run March 14 - 5k May 2 - Tacoma City Half Marathon May 17 - Capital City Half Marathon June 26 - Seattle Rock n Roll July 18 - OWS (1 mile or 5k) August 7 - Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon Augutst 15 - Xterra Portland I need to find a 10k to race. Hopefully something in April will pop up. I know Project Suck It made me faster and I just want to blow all my current PR's out of the water. These are my PR goals: 5k - 7:30 pace (23:18) 10k - 8:00 (49:42) Half Marathon - 8:30 (1:54) I haven't talked to Coach about any of these time goals yet. I know the 5k goal is doable for me, but I have no idea how the other distances stack up. I will start up my training with Coach officially in November. Also I have added an OWS to my calendar. I've been thinking that I need to do something different this year. I know swimming 1 mile is doable for me and I would love to attempt the 5k distance, but I'm no fool. I realize the amount of time swimming would monopolize training for that and I don't think that's what I want. Not when my running is improving so much. Also I would love to do the xterra portland this year, but August is a little sketchy for me. That's still a bit of time out right now I suppose. Obviously these are very preliminary races, but I need something to focus on right now before I turn into a piece of lard that can't get off the couch without maxing out her HR.
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In other news, my hubby and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary this week. It's actually in August, but since he was gone.....We went out to a great dinner. I had duck and it was sooooo good. I love fall menus!
Here are some pics from our wedding weedend on Orcas Island.
Cheers!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bloggy Update

I'm still alive. I just have been crazy busy eating, drinking, and doing school work. It's amazing how much of my time marathon training took up. I have been playing catch up in school and mid terms are this week. Blah, blah, blah, still hate it, but I picked a demanding major so I can't complain. I also am done in December so I have senor-itis which means I don't give a shit anymore. Ok, I do give a shit, but my discipline has seriously declined. I have some goals brewing for 2010, but I have midterms this week so I don't have time to discuss until Thursday. Quick recap - Took my hubby to a hockey game for his b-day which isn't until next month, but he'll be gone:(. It was fun. If I grew up in an area where hockey was big, I would have loved it since I love all things aggressive. It would have been the perfect sport for me I swear. My hubby grew up on E coast and played his whole adolescence and a little in college. It was a good time.
Workout news: I gained five pounds. Sweet. It all came in the form of wine and ice cream bars so really - it was worth it. I went for a run on Saturday for the first time (30 min only) and it was pretty awesome. I also went for a 4 hour mtb ride yesterday. It was an easy ride, but my quads were feeling in towards the end. Good muddy fun!! Need to work on technical skills, but only fell a few times. Unclipped one foot alot though. Use it or loose it.

after I cleaned her off a little. Lots of big puddles :) Good times.

She took care of me even though I haven't been taking care of her.

Also swam this morning. YAY. I heart swimming. I haven't been in the pool in ages and the last time I swam was.... August? This will be my regular thing.

One more thing before I go. Remember that post I did about jogger vs. runner when somebody called me a jogger and I cringed, yet didn't say anything because I didn't want to sound like a douche-bag. Well I was taking to a girl the other day about massages and I called the person who administers massages a masseuse and she actually corrected me by saying, "it's massage therapist." It was funny, she sounded like a pretentious bitch.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Race Report: Portland Marathon - the extended version

The day before: Portland is only a 2 hour drive from my hometown, but I am not very familiar with the city so we got there a little early to allow some time to drive the course. It looked pretty good. Lots of long flat stretches, with only one notable hill around mile 16. Nothing to be worried about. Checked into the hotel and hit up the expo. It was only around 3:00, but it was beginning to feel like a very long day and I decided right then and there that next time I have a marathon over an hour away I'm traveling two days before so I have the whole marathon eve day sans travel. Finally got some pizza for dinner and went back to the hotel to set up my gear and chillax. I was actually pretty calm, but I had a hard time falling asleep. I had some crazy ass sneezing attack that lasted almost 1/2 hour. I think they needed to clean their ventilation system or something because the air felt dusty. Ugh. Finally fell asleep around 11:00 and slept surprisingly well. Lots of visualization of strong running and joyously bounding across the finish line under 4:30. Marathon morning: Got up at 4am. Got ready. SUPER NERVOUS now.

I seriously didn't know if I wanted to poop or vomit for a good 45 minutes. As we were walking to the start (~1 mile) my stomach started FREAKING out. I've never been so nervous about anything in my life!

I had to stop at a hotel on the way to the start to go poop one last time. I was in major nerves-ville. Can you tell?! note about the outfit: I bought a cheap sweat suit and hat from target to throw away at the start so I didn't have to stand around in the chilly air freezing my buns off. I looked like a total nerd, but while everyone was standing around trying to stay warm I was nice and toasty. Suckas.
Once I got to the start area I did some plyos and light jogging to warm up my muscles and that really helped calm my nerves. Finally; I kissed my hubby good-bye, got my good luck wishes and went into the start area. I lined up with the 4:30 pace group. I was intending to stay with them and then if I had it in me in the last 3 miles speed up and give it all I had. My nerves had turned into confidence and I was so ready to do this.
Marathon:
note: I didn't set my Garmin to record any mile splits, I just wanted to keep an eye on my average pace (which was to be 10:18)
Miles 1 - 7: I have never run in a pace group before and it was so interesting. Everyone was kind of jocking for positions. I started out in the back and was just watching peoples feet in front of me hoping they didn't fall or trip and take me out. It was kinda crazy. Around mile 3 I had to go pee. Frick. I was so irritated with myself. There was a bunch of port-o-johns with no line at mile 5 so I ran across the course to pee quickly and forcefully. Obviously I lost the pace group, but I settled back into a 10:15 pace and felt great.
Miles 7 - 12: Around mile 7 my legs began to get a little heavy. I was actually slowed down to a 10:20 pace and was trying to figure out why I was feeling so fatigued. It was getting worse by the minute and I was starting to get pissed. What was going wrong? There was a turnaround at mile 9 that I was headed for which meant I could see all the faster runners on the other side of the road. I was trying to draw so much strength from them. They all looked so strong and graceful and I was feeling like a pile of lead. I kept pushing thinking my legs would come back and reward me for the last two weeks of downtime I gave them.
Mile 12: This was my lowest moment of the race. I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain this for the next 14 miles. My HR was already hoovering in the 180's and I was only maintaining around a 10:20 pace (slowly drifting though). I realized this was not going to be my day to hit 4:30 at this point. My legs were not having any of it. I saw my husband shortly after this point and I shed a few tears at the realization that all the work I had done to get here was not going to come to fruition this morning.
I really wanted to quit. Why bother going through with it? In the end I couldn't. I couldn't stop thinking about all the time, money and support that my husband invested into this goal. It was going to happen at least on some level. I shed my tears and slowed down.
Miles 13 - 19: After I came to terms with my loss of 4:30, I just plugged along. I walked through the water stations and gritted through it. As if my legs failing me weren't enough, I started getting THE WORST blisters I've ever experienced in my life! I could actually feel them pulsing and filling with fluid. My racing flats were failing me big time. I refused to alter my gait to accommodate them so I just literally gritted my teeth and tried to block them out.
Mile 20 - 21: This was another major low point in the race. I had enough of the blisters and I was just feeling sorry for myself. I was beginning to walk more and more. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Half-way through mile 20, I saw one of my friends from my running group. She ran to me and walked beside me for a minute. I will forever be indebted to her for the words of encouragement she offered me at this point.
Her: "You look strong girl. Keep going." Lie
Me: Wiping tears and snot from my face "This is not my day"
Her: "Yes it is! You got this. Your gonna just do a mile repeat. Run a mile repeat and then when you get to the downhill you can relax. Then your going to run another mile repeat at the bottom. That will put you at mile 23 and your going to bring it home."
Me: "ok"
Her: "feel sorry for yourself until mile 21 marker and then go."
Me: "ok" wipe tears and snot again. start running.
Mile 23: See my husband again. Feeling better.
Timing chip: 4:47:20/10:58 av pace
Garmin: 4:47:22/26.52 miles/10:50 av pace Ugh, I can't believe I ran an extra 1/4 of a mile.
Post-Marathon: These pictures say it all..........
After I took my shoes off I was much happier!
Post-marathon thoughts: Even though my marathon didn't turn out like I was expecting I did get faster training for it and that is a MAJOR SUCCESS. Right now I am swearing off marathons forever. I don't think my body was made for them. Will I do another, more than likely. My blisters are healing, but my ego is still bruised. I know you can't will em' all, but I am disappointed that I was not able to dig a little deeper. Of course I feel better about it very minute and when I think about the pain I was in for the majority of the race, I am actually quite surprised that I pulled out what I did.
This spring I'm concentrating on speed. Lots of short courses. 5k's, 10k's, halfs. Bring It.
I'm calling it....
Project Suck IT - The Sequel "Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointment"
Lastly, I just really want to say thanks to all you guys. Whenever I was feeling down or discouraged you all were there to pick me up and your support really meant the world to me. You guys are awesome!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Portland Race Recap - Quicky style

Chip time: 4:47:20 17 minutes from my Goal time BUT 49 minute PR. Good and bad I guess. Full race report soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let's do this shit

Thanks for all your encouragement for the last couple of weeks. I think I can safely say that I'm one of those people who HATES TAPERING!! Recovery weeks - fine, but tapering is a whole nother animal. Of course there were lots of unideal conditions surrounding me for this taper. Lots of distractions and stressors, but as the country song says, "sounds like life to me." I'm getting ready to head out of town for the big event. Goal: Sub 4:30 marathon Super Goal: as close to 4:20 as possible I know there are lots of other racers tomorrow and I hope every one of you kicks major ass!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2 days to go

This is not how I imagined I would clean up fourteen weeks worth of all-balls-out training awesomenses, but it is what it is and I'll make the best of it. I do feel better. Thanks for all your advice and encouragement from my last post. My taper has kind of been a mess. Getting sick and missing a day of school really put me behind. I only ran 11 miles last week and worse - the wind got knocked out of my sails and unmotivation struck. Also, my father in law was visiting and we are doing major renovations on the house right now so not my idea of a restfully, focused taper. I know I'm ready physically. It's the mental part I'm kinda struggling with right now. I almost feel like I'm in denial. Like I'm not really going to prove how hard I've been trianing for the last 15 blissful weeks. Maybe it wont hit me until I'm in the car heading down to Portland.... I have three days to get my shit together starting yesterday. Giveaway: Miles of Kate is doing a GREAT giveaway! Go check her out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm freaked out

So what's the worst thing that could happen to a runner who is less than two weeks away from their marathon? Ok, aside from injury. I GOT SICK! Ugh, so bad. Timeline: Sunday - run 21.25 miles (last run before taper begins) Monday - off, officially tapering. Yay!! Tuesday - light speedwork Wednesday - off, wake up feeling a little stuffy. get more stuffy as the day continues. go to dinner with my parents. more stuffy. pass out in truck on drive home due to exhaustion. from what, I don't know...(I wasn't driving:) Wednesday night - sleep horribly. off and on all night. getting worse by the minute. throat killing me, sinus pressure is making me want to cry Thursday - stayed home from school. drugged up and forced myself to sleep all day. Friday - feeling well enough to get out of bed Saturday - 1 hour easy run. HR was flying high. Took a lot of effort. Sunday - feeling better, but still stuffy. After yesterdays 'easy' run I'm stressing big time about the marathon HELP!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taper me baby

I officially started the taper at about 1:00 Pacific Standard Time. Project Suck It - can Suck It! I think it served it's purpose, but I'll be proving that in exactly 14 days.
Pre-run: My alarm clock has a satellite signal that automatically sets the correct time to whatever time zone your in, but last night I noticed that it said the time was 10:00pm, rather than the actual 9:00pm it really was. I corrected the time - noted that it thought we were in Mountain time and set it for a 5:30am wake up call. Fast forward to the morning. 5:30, alarm goes off. Get up. Forget about the alarm clock discrepancy. Get coffee. Go pee. Fill coffee cup. Sit down and start checking facebook. 15 minutes later look at the time on my computer. 4:45. fml. With all that extra time in the morning I went poop 3 TIMES. That's alot even for me. (Sorry to the weak hearted but you know these are important details to endurance athletes)

Mt. Rainier peeking out of the clouds on my drive this morning.

Run: 22 miles planned. Nice country roads for the most part. Perfect starting temp - 48*. Started out very slow. Goal pace for the first 20 miles was 11:00 pace. (:40 slower than MP), then with a couple of miles left, push it a little. It was pretty good. I was going through a few spells where I was feeling great, and then a couple miles later, "let's just get this damn thang over with so I can relax for the next couple of week." Hitting my gels and salt tablets like a good little girl. Around mile 15 I started getting that stomach gargling action. You know the one. Wtf? Again. I'm thinking I might dehydrate or lose 10 pounds in less than 24 hours at this point. Frantically start scanning the woods that are covered in bushes (meaning 10% friendly fire bushes, 90% sticker bushes). Finally find something that works. Ahhhhh, relief. Minimal scratches. A mile later I am starting to slow down and I end up running into (literally) a couple of guys that usually turn out for our group long runs. They were stretching out on the side of the road. I said, "let's go boys" and kept going. It was a good pick me up at that point, and I sped up a bit. Around mile 18 I started getting 'fuzzy' almost tripped and fell on my face (still to this day I have no idea how I managed to stop myself without using my hands which had a gel in one and a water bottle in the other). I really wanted to get this thing over with. I just put my head down so to speak and gutted it out. I didn't quite make it to 22 miles when I got back to the cars and I didn't feel going 3/4 of a mile was going to make the difference on marathon day. Post-run: I regret that decision at this moment because I feel like I took the easy way out. But really, is 21.27 miles ever easy? Legs very tired and very sore after this one. Btw - NEVER, NEVER use a pumice stone on your feet the morning of a long run. Holy blisterage! There's a reason why runner's feet are so nasty. It's called protection. 16.03 miles/11:11 av pace/151 bpm 5.25 miles/10:13 av pace/171 bpm

Start and stop of the long run. Deschutes River. Old Olympia Brewery in background. The salmon are fiercely trying to make their way up the river right now. I'm going back on Wednesday to try and snap some sweet shots of the flying salmon with my good camera. Will post pictures if it's a success.

Now I get to sit back and relax a little for the next two weeks. It's a great feeling to know all the groundwork has been laid. Here's to tapering.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you a runner or a jogger?

Yesterday someone asked me if I was a "jogger." It made me cringe. I didn't want to sound like an asshole and say, "No, I'm a runner," because non-runners don't know the difference. It was weird that I had that reaction though. I've read an article or two about what people consider 'runner' vs. 'jogger' but I never gave it any thought until that moment. Later that day I was at REI and one of the employees asked me, "Are you a runner?" and somehow I felt totally validated. "YES! I am." Ok, so I was wearing running shorts - but I like to think she asked that because I obviously have gorgeously strong runners legs, and it's my fantasy world so shut it. It was weird that both those questions happened within hours of each other and they both produced strong responses from me. Being called a jogger made me feel dirty, while being a runner somehow made me feel proud. In other news, I follow one of the fastest runners in the blogosphere (seriously) and she has THE BEST giveaway ever: a trigger point performance package. I've have wanted to buy this for myself for a while now. This is the first time I seriously don't want any of you to check it out a giveaway I've linked to my blog because that will only limit my chances, but in the spirit of awesome giveaways....good luck biathces. 22 miles on tap tomorow. Woot Woot!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Product Reviews

Disclaimer: none of this stuff was given to me by any company. I bought everything with my own cognizance.
Compression Socks:
After reading tons of articles and reviews on compression socks, I figured it was time to get myself a pair. There are sooooo many different brands out there. I had no idea. I ended up buying, Recovery Socks.
I'm not going to go into the details of what compression socks do and how they aid in recovery, their is plenty of information on that already. I will tell you that I did NOT feel sore the day after my long 3 hour + runs. I wear these socks after all my speed workouts, tempo runs, and long runs. They are not comfortable to wear to bed and they began to itch my legs and feel uncomfortably tight at the elastic band on top around my knee after a couple of hours. Since I was basically wearing them at least every other day, I thought it was best to get another pair so I could actually wash them regularly without having to strategize my laundry routine too much. My local running store started carrying them so I bought a second pair of a different brand. They are the same brand as those awesome compression shorts I just bought: 2xu. At $55 a pop they were more expensive than the recovery socks, but let me tell you - they are worth every penny!! So much more comfortable. I hate wearing the regular recovery socks now and they quickly became my 'back up' pair.
They are even labeled L (left) and R (right). Never mind that I had mine on the wrong feet. I've never been able to tell my right from my left and it's one of my quirks. You should see me take directions from somebody in the car while driving. They literally have to point which way to go directly in front of my face or else I will inevitably go the wrong way. It's weird, I know.
The best feature is the bottom. The gray area is an added level of comfort and I would actually consider wearing these on a speedwork run. WORTH EVERY PENNY!! Asics Armwarmers: The same night I bought the killer compression socks, I bought the Asics armwarmers. At only $8, in this case - you get what you pay for. I wore them for a warm up of only ~3 miles and holy chaffage. I actually had to cut my speedwork short because I was in so much pain I kept adjusting my gait and the last thing I need is an arm warmer to cause injury. To be fair, I am prone to chaffage in the inner arm area. I think it's because I have massive guns and a fair amount of fat over said guns. OK, joking about the guns, but not about the fat. I might try them again once the wx cools off with some of my new sweet sport shield (review below). No chance I'm wearing these at the beginning of the marathon which is what I was intending to do.
Sport Shield:
Before one of my long runs a while back I mentioned to a fellow runner that I had a major blister problem and I was getting sick of body glide. She is a major hiker, as in when I met her - her husband and son were gone for months hiking the Continental Divide. That's some serious shit. She brought me a new product to try: Sport Shield.
This stuff rocks! I like it better than body glide. It's much easier to put on since it a rolls on, plus it's a little more fluid than body glide. Easier to handle and not as messy.
Upon perusing the website I came across another one of their products, Blister Shield. It's a powder that turns into a wax like consistency once it gets damp (like with feet sweat). Since I am always looking for the next best thing to keep my blisters down to a minimum I bought some. LOVE IT!!
S0 you put about a tsp of the powder in your sock and then put the sock on. Genius!
By-by Body Glide:
Cookbook:
Lastly, I wanted to share a great new cookbook I recently discovered: Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Every time I go to the bookstore I eye ball it, flip through it, then put it back. I finally just bought it. I don't know why I him and haw at small purchases like that, but then don't think twice about buying a pair of $55 dollar socks. What's that all about?! Anyways, this cookbook seems to speak my culinary language.
I love to eat. LOVE to eat. Here is a quick summary of my food philosophy:
  • No (or very minimal ) processed foods
  • High quality cuts of meats and cheeses
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Less is more when it comes to ingredients
I haven't made anything from it yet since I just got it, but I have started flipping through it and so far I have a ton of recipes I want to try. There is also a ton of information on stocking up the pantry, tyring new types of whole grains and flours (think millet, and amaranth), as well as concepts such as cooking with color (which I totally dig). Plus, the author also has a website which I totally love, and have cooked many o` recipes from. I never knew she authored the cookbook I've been eyeing for the last couple of months. Clearly, this is fate.
The first recipe I will try: Seed-Crusted Amaranth Biscuits
One last thing - the cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook and now that I'm looking - I think her website is also vegetarian.
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So there you have it. I hope this post was at least a little organized since I wrote it over the last few days, and it gave you guys enough information if you were in the market for any of the above products. happy trails.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wicked good workout

Yesterday I did a sweet ass workout. Highly recommended for a confidence booster. Initially I was nervous for this workout, but it worked out much better than I anticipated. The workout: 3 x 3 mile tempo We drove to a spot that housed the perfect 3 mile loop, Chambers Bay Gold Course. Flat, fast, scenic, cool breeze coming off the Sound. Really perfect!! I am so lucky to live where I live. I'm kicking myself now for not taking pictures for you guys. I pulled this one off the Internet, but it doesn't even come close to how awesome it is. They are holding the US open here in a couple of years.

Anyways, back to the run. We did a warmup with lots of plyometrics then we were off. I wanted to take it super easy the first set, then push it the last two.

1st set - 29:32/9:47 av. pace/163 bpm

2nd set - 26:52/8:56 av. pace/178 bpm

3rs set - 25:46/8:30 av. pace/180 bpm

Major confidence booster. My It band is tight and I know it was the effects of that last set. I was thinking about some things that Running and Living has been talking about such as mental training and having the confidence to take risks. I wanted to take a risk and see what I was capable of. I was surprised at how 'easy' 8:30 felt. I could have kept going at that pace a little farther. That was a major confidence booster. Conversely, I learned that I'm not a major risk taker when it comes to training and I'm ok with that. I feel as though I am a bit of an injury prone runner and after being forced to take the first quarter of the year off due to injury, I'm just not willing to sacrifice myself that that again. Fortunately my coach takes a "Run Less, Run Smarter" approach to training and I think it suits me well. I never would have been capable of running a 8:30 3 mile tempo four months ago:)!!

Speaking of.... a great giveaway over at Running and Living. A new gel made with a natural sweetener, Agave. Go check it out.

This week will be an easy week for me. I guess you can call it a recovery week. I have my last long run of the season scheduled Sunday, a 22 miler. Bring IT!

Also, I've purchased a couple of cool products over the last couple of months that I need to share with you guys. This week will be a good time for that so stay tuned for a couple of product reviews. (not including the new compressions shorts - which I did wear for my tempo run and I think I kicked ass so there you go....)

Happy Monday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just when I thought I was caught up

This week has been a zoo. My hubby started laying our hardwood flooring a couple of days before school started. My priority was getting the office done. I love my office. In fact, I call it 'command central.' School started Tuesday and without an office, my life was a mess. I am not flexible when it comes to my organization skills. I can't just move my studies to another room. It's important to me that I have my office tools, my desk, my computer, my calculator etc...I was sans Internet for about 4 days and was surprised to see the Internet carried on like I never left. So I was back to square one yesterday. Finally caught up on blog reading and now I have to do another quick recap for the week.
4 weeks to Go (a.k.a Week 13 of Project Suck It):
Tuesday: I was still very sore from my 20 miler and I was starting to get a little freaked out. My IT band was VERY tight. So tight and in fact, I could no longer use the foam roller. I'm not sure if this was a result of rolling it to death or what but it was too much pain for me. I talked to coach about it and we altered the workout to a very light recovery run.
I also bought a new pair of compression shorts. They were expensive, but I loved them. They helped keep that tender area sucked in which was especially uncomfortable going downhill.
5 x Grandview Forest hill loops (400 meter loop)
2:25, 2:30, 2:32, 2:34, 2:34
Thursday: I was treating this as my long run day. I had a major bad ass workout scheduled, but considering my sore legs - we moved it to Sunday to give my legs more rest time. My legs were dead by the time the 1600 came around!
long slooow 4 mi warmup
10 different plyometrics
2 x Grandview Forest hill loops
1 x 1600: 9:41
1 x 800: 4:51
Total: 8.19 miles
Friday: 3 mile Recovery run.
I got a "Quick Release" massage. Ever heard of this? It was recommended by an experienced marathon runner I run with. It was interesting. The jury is still out if I like it. I guess we'll see how my muscles react to the workout Sunday. I am definitely sore today. Trying to drink lots of water to flush the lactic acid out.
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Tomorrow - 3 x 5k, 1 x 3200
Holy crap!!! Three 5k's. I'm nervous! Hopefully those recovery shorts will make me faster....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week 12 of Project Suck It

Since I majorly dropped the ball on logging my workouts for the last week or so I have to play a little catch up....you can skip this post because it will be boring, but I need to record some things for myself. Saturday (aug. 29 - last day of week 6): Reluctantly left the house early to go for my recovery "long" run and get it over with since the hubby was home. Uhg. 8 miles/1:23:10/10:23 av pace/157 bpm
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Portland Training Week 5 (a.k.a Project Suck it): Monday - 4 mile recovery run Unmotivated and tired. 3.86 miles/10:44 av pace Tuesday - 2 mile tempo, 2 x 400 w/ 400m recovery jog 2 mi tempo - 8:44 av pace/173 bpm 400 - 2:02 400 - 1:49 Thursday - 3 mile tempo 2 mi tempo - 9:35 av pace/179 bpm This was a rough workout for me. It was the first workout of this training cycle that I just felt tired. I had no gas left for my tempo run. I just couldn't do it. I cut out the last mile and made it a two mile tempo rather than 3. I had a 20 miler on the brain for the weekend and I thought it was best to conserve my energy. Coach agreed. Comparing Tuesday and Thursday it's pretty obvious - I went significantly slower and my HR was higher. I think I made the right choice which leads me to..... Friday/Saturday - piriformis This was the first time I had any symptoms of piriformis and it freaked me out. I used the foam roller like crazy and stretched it out all day Friday and Saturday. Luckily, my 20 miler was schedule for Sunday rather than Saturday so I had one extra day of rest. Sunday - 20 miler I woke up feeling refreshed after two days off and my piriformis was significantly better. I drove down to where we were meeting for our long run which was about an hour away. Hello FLATNESS!! The weather was INSANE. I saw rain in every shape and form that day (even hail). The first hour was just a steady wet rain, the second hour it completely downpoured monsoon style. It was f'n insane. I just kept thinking that if it's like this on marathon day - I wont be phased by it. The last hour of my run it had slowed to a light drizzle and even stopped for a little while. My Ipod never quit working believe it or not. I was a little worried about this. I fully recommend this Ipod nano case. I got it at Target for like 20 or 30 bucks. Money well spent!! They have black ones. Overall I ran this run waaay too fast, but it was flat and I was on cloud nine. I decided to bump up the pace at the 16 mile mark. miles 1 - 16/10:28 av pace/163 bpm miles 16 - 20/10:04 av pace/179 bpm 20 miles/10:23 av pace/166 bpm Fueling: I only took one salt tablet every hour instead of two because they got wet inside my fuel belt and the capsules started disintegrating. I had to kind of throw half eroded capsules in my mouth. Post long run thoughts: I was VERY sore from this long run. In retrospect I should not have run those last four miles so fast. I feel like what I'll probably feel like post marathon which isn't good. That's not what long runs are intended for. My planned MP is 10:20 for craps sake. My IT band is killing me and although I took an ice bath yesterday, I might do another today.
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I'm one month out from the marathon now and I really need to slow myself down. I am feeling so strong and all the speedwork is making me faster, but I'm worried about injury. I told Coach he needs to keep an eye on me very closely because I find myself wanting to go faster or go longer or worse - both at the same time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bullets

  • Life is good
  • Remodeling on the house is back in full on mode with the hubby home.
  • The day after he arrived we drove to Portland to pick up our flooring that was waiting for us.
  • We saved $700 in sales tax by buying in OR. Washington sales tax can SUCK IT!!
  • We're doing this with our kitchen appliances too
  • School starts for me on Tuesday
  • Ugh. not excited about it, but it will be my last semester which has taken for freaking evah
  • Not looking forward to being surrounded by a bunch of young liberal commies
  • The good news is that I get to antagonize them constantly
  • Which I enjoy very much because they like to talk incessantly about the church of Obama
  • Interviewed for a position at a CPA firm - keep fingers crossed
  • My hair girl left the salon
  • Got my hair done by the owner of the salon and she wasn't as good
  • Training is going awesome
  • 20 miler scheduled Sunday
  • I'm finally trying to catch up on your posts
  • The office is a mess (see bullet #2)
  • Forgot to mention lots of things here, but wanted to post something before you wrote me off

Thursday, August 27, 2009

(Im)patience

My husband's arrival is within the next couple of hours, so I though I'd better post one more quickly since I'll be sequestered for the next week :). He keeps getting delayed though. At first it was home by 4, then 6ish, then 9ish, now 10ish...Dear lord. I had to open a bottle of cab just to keep from going crazy.

First I want to give a shout out to my girl Amy. She's doing Louisville Ironman this weekend and has been training her ass off with blood, sweat, and tears all year. I wish her all the best!!

This is what I've been up to this week -

Tuesday: 2 mile tempo, 2 x 1mile
long warm up w/ plyos
2 mile tempo/8:51 pace/177 bpm
RI - 2:18
1600 - 9:00/178 bpm
RI - 4:46
1600 - 8:45
RI - 5:21
400 - 2:00
Total: 9.4 miles
I need to get a grip on these RI. Almost 5 minutes - that's out of control! Thursday: 5k tempo
long w/up
3 miles/8:50 av pace/170 bpm

Total: 10.6 miles

I did this tempo run solo sans running group. I wasn't sure how it would play out since I wouldn't have the faster runners ahead of me, but it was all good! Saturday I have a 12 miler scheduled. Peace out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tagged

I was tagged by SinGal, a really cool triathlon chic living in Vegas. She's about to release some "big news" that she's been holding out on us with for weeks. Go check her out.
So here goes:
1) Who is the hottest movie star?
This ones easy. Hands down - Mathew McChonaughey. I have been in love with this man forever. Maybe cliche, but I don't care. He's hot. I even have permission for my husband to sleep with him if the situation ever presents itself ;)

Come to momma.

The guy on the left is pretty hot too, although not a movie star he's still a celebrity of sorts. I'd take either one.

2) Apart from your house and car, what is the most expensive item you have ever bought? Does tuition count?

3) What is your most treasured memory?

I think it's actually a collective of memories. I loved all the summer camping trips I took with my family during my childhood.

4) What was the best gift you ever received as a child?

I remember getting this awesome record player for Christmas one year and my first album was the soundtrack to the move, "The Neverending Story." I listened to that record over and over. I still remember what the record player looks like. My sister told me she came across it a while back when she was going through some things at our grandmothers house. I loved that thing.

Anybody remember this movie?

5) What is the biggest mistake you ever made? This is a hard question. I've made lots of mistake. Lots. But it's hard for me to look back at my life like that because I am so happy and I'm not sure I would really take back anything I did for fear that my life would not be what it is today. I guess I could say that I wish I would have gone to college right out of high school, but then I wouldn't have gotten to travel the world and meet my husband.

6) 4 words to describe yourself:

resolute, libertarian, pragmatic, family

7) What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?

Finishing the Seattle marathon on November 28. I could actually describe this as both. It was my highlight because finishing a marathon should never be downplayed for what it is despite your time. It's a grueling battle. It was also a lowlight because the outcome was somewhat of a disappointment. But as everyone who has ever been disappointed with a race and has come back with a vengeance can attest to
"Ones best success, come after their greatest disappointment."

8) Tell me one thing I don't know about you:

I own two guns - A Glock 9mm and a S&W revolver. I sleep with one in my nightstand locked and loaded every night when my husband is away. I love going to the shooting range and if someone ever broke into my house I would no doubt about it -shoot first, as questions later. I also have a concealed weapons permit and always trust my instincts to tell me if I should bring one of my firearms with me if I'm driving somewhere relatively far, or going somewhere I'm unfamiliar with.

10) If you were a comic book/strip cartoon character, who would you be?

Invisible Woman! Hello, invisible force field.

Now I get to tag 4 other awesome bloggers and I choose: Miles of Kate Colorado Runner I'll Keep Tri-ing and Tri-ing She did Whatttt?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good News

First, the awesomely awesome GREAT news: My hubby gets home in less than a week!! I can hardly contain myself! Second, the other good news - I had a great 20 miler. It was supposed to be 18 miles and to tell you the truth I was kinda nervous about it (but in a good way). I was not looking forward to dealing with all the hills since we were staying local for this one. Turns out I wasn't really phased by it. I think we can put that little hang up to bed now! Pre-run: 1 hour before long run began - toasted english muffin w/peanut butter on one side, banana. During run: I took two salt tablets at start. I got lucky and had someone to run with for the first 6 miles, then just as she was turning back I met up with another girlfriend who only wanted to run six also. It was nice to have someone to run with for the first 12 miles for sure. I got a little lazy on keeping track of my gel intake. I never forgot obviously, but I think once or twice I kind of threw of the diligent schedule of every 45 minutes. It was all good though! I took my salt tablets on the hour every hour. I think these are crucial to my successful long runs. Once I was by myself I just worked it out. Dialed in my downloaded book on the ipod and got it done. My coach said if toward the end I was feeling good to add a couple of miles. I easily could have stopped at 18, but I as I was closing in I just kept thinking, "It's only two more miles - no big deal," & more importantly "I will thank myself for doing this come race day!" So I did it. I also finished off those last two miles as fast as I started this long run. HUGE success for me! 20 miles/3:33:41/10:40 pace/3,239 elevation gain Post-run: I stretched out for a while as I took in a bottle of Ultima and about 10 oz. of Endurox. Also did my ice bath, donned my recovery socks, ate my favorite post long run meal (Newman's Own Thin Crust Peperoni Pizza) and now a few hours later - laying with my feet up drinking my reward while catching up on the Track and Feild World Chapionships. I'm putting that 20 miler in bank and cashing it in on marathon day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thanks

You guys are AWESOME!! Seriously appreciate all the supportive comments. It really lifted my spirits. And you all nailed it - there has been lots of wine consumption here at will run for wine. I have also been turning to my workouts to give me some positive endorphins. 99% of the time I can choose to be in a positive mood. I am so so lucky in EVERY aspect of my life and usually I choose to meditate on my good fortune rather than my misfortunes, but sometimes it gets me. Feeling much better now. You guys rock!! . This is week 7 of Project Suck It and I gotta tell ya - I am getting faster. It's really working!
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Tuesday was my favorite speedworkout to date.
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On the agenda:
1600, 1200, 800, 400, 200
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1600 - 8:48/171 bmp
RI - 2:26*
1200 - 6:30/170 bpm
RI - 1:05
800 - 4:13/175 bpm
RI - 1:12
400 - 1:42/175 bpm
RI - 3:38
40 second Strideout .
*first RI was too long, but needed hydration
. I was about a minute faster than I was supposed to run the 1600 and 1200, but they were COMFORTABLE. . I think we are done with the core circuits and I have to admit, I haven't done any core since I stopped training for the SEALS fitness challenge. Yikes! What's my problem here? . .
Wednesday - 30 min recovery run and an OWS.
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It felt great to get back in the water. It's been over three weeks since I've even hit the pool and I was feeling a little guilty about it.
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Swam about 800m w/3x100 meter sprints
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Thursday was a 5k tempo run ..
5k tempo - 27:28/8:52 ave pace/177 bpm

I've been doing these after a long warm up so my legs do this tempo run on semi-tired legs. Plus the tempo course is a little hilly so it's a little bit of a hill workout at the same time.

Total miles: 9.22

Saturday is my first 18 miler of this training cycle. I am excited about it!

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Lastly, before it's too late there are a couple of great deals out there.
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Cross Country Squared and Chic Runner both have $100 gift cards to Dick's Sporting Goods which is an awesomely huge sports store. I'm sad there are none here in my area, but loved to shop there when I lived in Virginia. Lot's of good stuff.
I RUN LIKE A GIRL had one, but I suck and dropped the ball on the timing. I think its over tomorrow. You should still go visit her blog. She's super speedy and super fun.
Peace out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Survival Mode

I have been MIA from the blogosphere for a while. Last week was a very rough week for me emotionally and physically. In short, I miss my husband terribly. He has been gone for over 2 months and this is the time frame for me when even the slightest inconvenience turns into a meltdown. Over the last couple of weeks, I've to deal with some real drama, and without my hubby to lean on, it was only magnified. I don't expect my girlfriends who get to spend time with their husbands every night or call them whenever they want to understand the lows of this lifestyle but I've gotta tell ya - I've been feeling a little abandoned by them. I mean is a phone call too much? Usually the last couple of weeks I'm just trying to survive. bottom line - If anybody out there has a girlfriend who's husband leaves town a lot keep them in mind every once in a while. Throw a phone call their way. Invite them to coffee or dinner or anything that involves time away from a lonely house. Because trust me - if they aren't calling you, it's only because they're down and out and they don't want to drag you down with their mood. _
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Enough of the pity party. Here is a quick run down to catch up on my workouts: Last week: Monday: 4 mile recovery trail run Tuesday: 4 x hill repeat Wednesday: off Thursday: 5k tempo run ___ran at 9:09 average pace (after a long 6 mile warm up) Friday: off Saturday: 12 mile LSD ___Ran with a friend of mine who was faster than me. I slowed him down, while he sped me up. I ran this too fast. Ran the first 6.6 miles at 9:58 pace (20 seconds faster than MP). We stopped to check the map and stretch out, fuel etc. and I didn't hit the lap button so the Garmin recorded and overall pace of 10:35 - but I was actually about 10:00. This was a little too fast for me as my legs were tired (way to tired for a 12 miler) for a couple of days. Total miles for the week: 37.85
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I am way way way behind on your blogs so I apologize for not being a very good reader and commenter, but I am getting caught up.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long Run

Yesterday I ran my 16 miler. This was my first long run on the cycle. It seems a little crazy that I'm half way through this training cycle and I'm just now getting to my long runs. Coach has been having me do a lot of things that seem very counter intuitive/productive, but I'm feeling so strong and after that huge PR last weekend I'm not questioning - I'm just doing. The short version: My 16 miler was awesome. The long version: Last year when I was training for my first marathon (Seattle) I had a miserable 16 miler. My calves started cramping up and my feet were on fire the last few miles. I was probably doing around an 11:50 - 12:00 pace until I starting walk/running toward the end. I was pretty anxious to see how much I have improved. The night before I ate my new and awesome pre-long run/race dinner: pizza. Woke up: coffee, banana, bathroom, shower, english muffin w/peanut butter. The planned location for this run was about 45 minutes away. We wanted to run a course that was flat and mimicked the race course more closely. What a HUGE difference terrain makes! I had WAY more control over my pace. The strategy was to run the first half at 10:45 pace, then the second half a little faster. Coach would not let me use the lap function to see my mile repeats. He wanted me to "become a part of the course". I used my virtual partner screen and only looked at my pace screen to check on the distance covered. Miles 1 - 8/10:47 pace Miles 8 - 16/10:34 pace My body felt like it had actual momentum to push the pace and it was very comfortable to the end. I hope this is a preview of more successful long runs to come. Feuling: 2 salt tablets at start :45 gel 1:00 2 salt tablets 1:30 gel 2:00 2 salt tablets 2:15 gel Totals: 15.95 miles/2:50:23/10:41 av pace/155 bpm *I didn't take an ice bath and I'm regretting that decision today. During the drive back home I got so cold and started shivering. By the time I got home I just wanted a hot shower and food. No ice bath. Today I'm very sore and stiff. I don't care what runners world says - ice baths work!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Daydreams

First the not so good news. I am not going to be doing the Navy SEALs Fitness Challenge which was supposed to be this weekend. I have a 16 miler scheduled that morning and just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD, right? It's just not worth it to fit into my schedule. I've really enjoyed training for it though and I am definitely doing it next year. The good news is that gives me plenty of time to work on those pull-ups! In running related news, I am tired. I was spent for my Tuesday night speedwork. I don't know if it was a) I was more tired from the race than I had thought b) I was just having an off day c) both. I presume it was a little of both. plyos, core circuit, 2 x 1mile, 2 x 400:
Core Circuit:
2 x 15 push ups
.20 mile - 1:51/175 bpm
2 x 15 squats
.20 mile - 1:45/180 bpm
2 x 15 superman
.20 mile - 1:45/176 bpm
2 x 10 single leg bridge
.20 mile - 1:39/180
Speedwork:
1 mile - 9:00/178 bpm
RI- 1:03
1 mile - 9:16/180 bpm
RI - 2:51
400 - 1:59/172 bpm
RI - :43
400 - 2:06/177 bpm
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So I am 9 weeks out of my 16 week marathon training schedule. This is where I begin to look at my mtb - longing to ride it. I start thinking about my next race goals. What events will I do next year? When can I start base training for a tri? I know I need to stay focused on the goal at hand, but I can't stop daydreaming about some of my other racing goals. To end with good news remember how I was the drunk cousin at the wedding. Last night I met up with my cousin and one of her bridesmaids who I adore and is now one of my friends. I asked if they knew how drunk I was and they responded with an ENTHUSIASTIC "Yes!". Oh great. The good news is that I was, "a fun and happy drunk". Not the shitfaced idiot drunk relative that I originally feared. Thank God I didn't do anything stupid except for slap every female friend repeatedly on the ass and give lots of hugs and kisses. Still obnoxious, but it could have been much worse!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Race Report: Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon

HOLY PR SWEETNESS.
I SHATTERED my previous PR by 17 MINUTES.
Holy crap!
Race was executed perfectly - The plan was to go out easy the first few miles. Then hit goal marathon pace for the middle, then around mile 9 - hit it hard. What I actually did was way better!
Pre-race:
I was feeling so good going into this race. After my awesome speedwork session Tuesday my legs were primed up. Last night I had pizza. This seems to be working for long runs so I thought I'd stick with it. I had a 5am wake up call and did the normal morning routine. Coffee, blogging, poop, brush teeth, get dressed, head out. I decided I wasn't going to use the Ipod. I wanted to stay focused. We had the perfect weather conditions - crisp cool and right around 55*. PR weather! I took two salt tablets and I was off.
The race:
As I started the race I noticed very quickly that I had accidentally changed the field on my watch to show my my Average Speed rather than my Average Pace. Doh! At first I was mad, but then I just realized this was the perfect opportunity to go by feel and really see where I was at pace wise rather than force it. There was a huge hill at mile 5 so I knew I needed to reserve my energy for this.
Mile 1 - 9:59
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 9:27
Mile 4 - 10:04
Mile 5 - 10:34
I totally thought I was going around a 10:20 pace (which is my planned marathon pace). Holy cow!
I was feeling so good at this point. I had taken my first gel at mile 4.5 and I was able to cruise through the water stop without stopping since I was feeling so good and on a spectacular pace.
Mile 6 - 10:
I knew I was in the clear for the hills since we had officially left Gig Harbor (holy hills land). This is what separates holy hills land from the remainder of the race.
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I drive over this bridge every day. It's a toll bridge and I LOVE IT. Some of you may remember it by the name "Galloping Gertie" because it actualy collapsed in 1940. Very famous and interesting. Google it. Anyways, I've run over it dozens of times. It's almost exactly a mile long.
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This point becomes a factor at this stage of the race. What most people consider 'hills' are actually just silly little speed bumps to those of us who run in Gig Harbor. If I ever bitch about having to run up and down hills constantly -- please please please direct my attention to this race report. I can't tell you how many people I passed running up these little speed bumps. It was completely effortless on my part. I was literally passing people left and right which was a first for me. While they were huffing and puffing or walking up I was completely comfortable and barely faltered my pace. Usually I start out in the back and usually end up staying there. It felt so good and only fueled my fire.
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Mile 6 - 9:42
Mile 7 - 9:19
Mile 8 - 9:35
Mile 9 - 9:43
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At the 6 mile water stop, I took two more salt tablets and at about mile 8.5 I took a powerade chocolate gel. Gross. I tried it. Took half. Never again. Again, no walking just ran smoothly through.
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Mile 10 - 13.1:
This is the part where my coach told me to just turn it on. I was feeling so good, like I hadn't just run 9 miles. I knew I had a great PR in the bag so I just went for it. Granted the last two miles were basically all down hill because we started in Gig Harbor and ended in another city (Tacoma, WA). Nonetheless.
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Mile 10 - 9:22
Mile 11 - 9:06
Mile 12 - 8:25
Mile 13 - 7:42
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Post race:
Garmin reports 2:03:30. This is HUGE as my most recent half last September was 2:20. SHATTERED it. My coach is worth every penny!! It's so rewarding to finally see my hard work come to fruition. I'm on cloud 9 and drinking wine.
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But you want to know what really blows my mind? 9 out of the 13 miles were below (some of them WAY below) my mile repeat pace which is 9:50. CRAZY and counter-intuitive. My coach is worth every penny! btw, he took 2nd overall.