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:
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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


  • 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