Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tempo Tuesday

Which really should be titled "Seven Mile Stroll at slower than Half Marathon Pace".

I am my own worst enemy.

So this morning was to be 1 mile easy, 2 miles speedier, 1 mile easy, 2 miles speedier and then 1 final easy mile. No probs I was thinking -- I nailed this run a couple weeks back.

So I head out at 5.15 this morning (and, thank god I did -- I know I promised myself I wouldn't complain about the weather ever since returning from hell Texas but pouring rain tonight in late June in NoCal?  really?) and felt great.  But by mile two I couldn't seem to pick up the pace -- so I mucked around for several miles trying to make it work and then finally gave up.  I still ran the 7 miles but there was no tempo anywhere and only lots of struggle.  I did decide to try to focus on form but even that backfired on me and by the end of the run, I was just a mess and my upper back hurt (usually a sign I'm too tired and not running well).  So I was all mopey (see last entry -- there's a theme) and wondering how I could just loose so much fitness in the week off and evaluating my goals and wondering if they were too aggressive considering my over all fitness level and did I really have proper training in me and blah blah blah.  

So as my brain was going on and on and on, I finally turned off my music (I was in the house by this time) and I noticed that I was wheezing (yes, apparently I can't tell other than hearing it!!  duh).  Oh right yes.  Running is fairly impossible when you can't breathe.  ACK!!!!!  I've got the inhaler, this problem doesn't have to happen.  I do this to myself but for some reason, I can't develop a 2 puffs before run habit. I do it about 50% of the time.

In fairness to myself, I've had the inhaler since last December when the weather turned cold and I had a ton of trouble with breathing and a friend suggested exercise induced asthma (who knew?).  I was actually excited to discover that possibly the breathing problems that have plagued any other fitness attempt in my life had merit.  I dutifully scheduled an appointment with the asthma doc and then passed all the tests with flying colors!!  My lungs were fantastic.  I am a runner after all.  But doc believed me and sent me on my way with an inhaler.  

So one would think that since it works I would remember to use it, but one would be wrong.  I can't seem to keep it in the right place (it is in the car when I want it in the house/it is in the gym bag and I don't see it/etc).   Today I thought possible I should get a second one -- and then one can stay in gym bag and one can stay on bathroom counter so I'd see it.  We'll see how that goes.

The drama.

So now I'm cool with it all -- we'll see how interval Thursday goes (just doesn't quite have the same ring as Tempo Tuesday does it).

In other exciting news, I fixed my shuffle.  Whoo hoo and happy dance.  Found a way outside of iTunes to reformat it and tada it was returned to factory settings and I was able to download play list.  $50 saved.

And in even more exciting news, I heard from my boy yesterday -- he's at boot camp and I've not spoken to him since May 2nd.  I've been worried but we were finally starting to see positive letters but this call was extra reassuring.  See, he's really not military material.  I mean, most people who knew him were shocked by his decision to join the Marines.  But alas, he's 19 so he gets to make these decisions on his own (and whoo hoo -- live with the consequences!!)  Anyway, he's sort of figured out that maybe this really wasn't for him either, but he's one stuck boy and the US Govt owns his ass for the next bit of time (verdict is still out on the path he's taking).  Anyway, seems the Marines teach all their recruits to shoot guns.  Who knew?  Probably everyone but me but there you go.  Anyway, seems my boy has marksman skills (or is that skillz?) and shot expert at the range -- thus allowing him a free 5 minute call home.  Boy calls his mom -- love that kid (thank god there is no girlfriend !!!).  He apparently required the complete adoration that only a mother provides -- yes boy, you are fantastically awesome beyond words times a million.  But it was all good and I'm actually a bit excited to go to his graduation end of July.

Signed -- queen of the parentheses.  I like it.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Gah.  I love the gadgets.  But today I hate them and am being all pouty about them.

First off, my garmin.  I went to download the last two weeks of runs and poof the damned thing froze, requiring a reset which then lost all the runs I hadn't downloaded.  If this happened once, I'd be frustrated but would go on, but this happens fairly regularly.  I really wanted today's run as I hadn't even looked at the history on it yet and wanted it as a baseline to move forward from in the next two months.  It is just so so so frustrating -- I like to keep and track everything (the accountant in me) so when this happens I get all mopey and sad.  And mad.

I've got the Garmin Forerunner 110 and I like that it is simple and no bells and whistles but I'm thinking I need something more reliable.

And then the shuffle.  I spent the afternoon redoing the playlist I sync with my shuffle and then hooked up the shuffle to iTunes and apparently it is corrupted.  It did have trouble starting this morning so it didn't surprise me all that much.  iTunes asked me if I wanted to restore it to factory settings so I tried that and it still is corrupted.


They aren't expensive and I have had this since 2007 so I'm not horribly upset.  It just is one more thing I'll need to get and take care of.  What worries me a bit is did it die from sweat!  The last runs I've done I've been soaked when I finished -- and I clip the shuffle on the top of my skirt/shorts.  I'm not sure where else I'd put the darned thing but I guess if I get a new one, I'll pay close attention to see if it gets sweaty too.  You'd think it would be able to handle a bit of sweat since the darned this is designed for fitness (it is, isn't it?).

So poopy on the technical stuff today.

PS -- run went well.  I felt heavy and sluggish but finished at normal half marathon time for me and it was a 12 miler so that was good.  I still have 8 weeks to get speedier -- not sure if I'll get to where I'd hoped initially but considering how much life gets in the way sometimes, I'll take even just a smidgen of improvement at this point. July is going to take some juggling to get the long runs in as needed.  Ah well...as I say, it is only fun when it is difficult.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well I'm back. Boy is Texas hot -- you can hear about how hot it is and you can remember you survived living there for 12 years but until you are back you just don't know what hot is.  When we got off the plane at 11pm a week ago last Thursday night the girl just looks at me.  And I just said welcome to Texas.

We had a good visit and I learned I suck at running while on vacation.  Now in my defense, I'd need to get up at 4.30 to make it slightly tolerable and if you drink wine until midnight, it is hard to get up at 4.30.

Plus, humidity!!  Gah.

So I managed two measly 4 mile runs.  That's it.

Feeling panicked about training.  12 miles (in cool mid 50 temps first thing in the AM -- I LOVE Cali!) so we'll see how I do.  Surely you don't completely fall apart after a week.  Do you?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Since it is Thursday and I have three things, I thought I'd take advantage.

1.  Usually my Thursday intervals are done after work, at a community center track with my running girlfriends but because I'm leaving in a few hours to go out of town, I did them on the track at the high school down the street.  That place was a happening at 6am ... who knew?  I liked it though -- gave me a bit more energy.  I may have to do it more often during the summer at least.

2.  I've finally got a upbeat letter from the boy.  That was worrying me a bit -- 6 weeks of Marine Corp boot camp and nothing good to say. Which does seem understandable at some level but his letters were so negative.  But the two that arrived here yesterday were very positive and mature.  If the Marine Corps makes a man out of my boy they will have my eternal gratitude.  Maybe I'll even have to run their marathon.

3.  I'm outta here -- and lord I need the break.  Not many people go to Texas on purpose in the summer but call me crazy.  But it will be fun visit with friends and family -- so I'm good.  Girl is way excited so whoo hoo.  Go us.  Three runs.  That's my only goal.  Saturday -- I've got the 9 mile route all worked out.  I've still got to figure the Tuesday Tempo run out and then I'll just go to a track for next Thursday's intervals.  Wish me luck....

Ta ta...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bye bye last week -- Hello this week

Man, some weeks you just can't get it together no matter how hard you try and that was my last week.  From the Tuesday Tempo run that I couldn't complete (it was the humidity -- honest!), to the Interval Thursday where we did a mile timed trial and I lost my breath and just about died to the Saturday long run where my hip decided to hurt.  

I'd been doing well so I'm appropriately humbled.

But this morning.  Ah. This morning's tempo was a lovely run.  1 mile easy, 2 at mid tempo, 1 mile easy, 2 mid tempo and 1 mile easy.  I was FINALLY able to hit stride and felt great when done.

Whew -- at least the bad times don't last too long.

Off to DFW area late Thursday night through Saturday the 25th.  I lived there from 1988 to 2000 and still have a bunch of friends (that's what working professionally and having kids in an area does -- ties you to the people and the area).  Then my brother moved there 2 years ago -- so my daughter and I are just going to make the friends and family visit.  Will be lots of eating and visiting.  Instead of setting myself up for failure on the training front, I am only going to try to keep to my three runs for the week and not worry about any other cross training.

We'll see how it goes.  The temps will kill me I'm sure.

Back to work....

Monday, June 06, 2011

Humidity 1, Tricia 0

It poured Saturday.  Poured like we were in January.  Though not at hot.  But for some reason I neglected to translate that into higher humidity.  Duh.

I had to run Sunday because of the rain on Saturday and Sunday was one of those days where I was reminded why we train.  We, not the fitness reason, but the everything else reason.  Here's the stuff I know better but insisted on relearning on Sunday's 9 miler.

1.  When you are not cold at the beginning, do NOT wear long sleeved shirt.  I don't care if it is cloudy and you think it might rain, you won't want more clothes in the event of warm(ish) rain.
2.  When you've realized that long sleeved shirt is a mistake, take it off immediately.  Don't keep it on until you think you might die.  That's just plain silly.
3.  Get road i.d. or something.  You hate hate hate carrying your phone on runs.  It is heavy in the spibelt which then drives you crazy the entire run.  You'll never use it to take pics no matter how much you say you will. But you will feel like you need it when you are alone so if something happens, you can be helped.  Get road i.d. or even just write you phone number on your foot.  I don't know -- just don't take phone.

Well, that's not too bad really.  I felt more uncomfortable for just only having three things that I did wrong.  I did a few more things right, without really even thinking.

1.  Pick to run on a park trail (vs. trail trail) so there are water fountains.  I carried water which was smart but I went through it fairly quickly so it was good to be able to fill it back up.
2. Take a break at the half way point.
3.  Figure a way to wear spibelt so it doesn't make skirt ride up.  (I'm sure the people behind me appreciated that one!)
4.  Find boys (men!) to chase from miles 5 to7.  Keeps mind off misery.
5. Remind self that it will be worse when you are in texas in a week so just appreciate that it wasn't 90 with the humidity.

All in all, not a great run.  Did okay time wise but the first half I thought I might die -- legs felt so heavy.  The Gu and men chasing helped for miles 5 to 7.  But all in all, the humidity just kicked my behind.  The one I finally figured out how to cover up.

I was soaked when done -- the bill on my visor was wet.  I'm glad to say that mostly we get such nice weather here that I don't have to deal with the elements often.  Probably makes me extra wimpy when I do.

Last week:

Last Tuesday Temp (the 31st)
Did pretty well -- was worried because I had run 10 miles on Monday but I was able to mostly hold the paces I needed.  Fell off towards the end because of the wind. (Despite my address being California, our weather is from somewhere else).  But felt pretty good.

Thursday Interval (the 2nd)
Felt sluggish again....it took the first two sets to warm up (this after a warm up).  The more I'm doing this running, the more it takes me 2 plus miles to even think about increasing pace.  Weird.  But overall good run once my legs decided to move.

Other Stuff -- did okay.  Finally have a strategy -- so that is good.  We'll see how I do.  I've already sort of blown it but I can recover tonight.    

The geese were everywhere on Saturday:

This isn't that great of a shot but they really were everywhere.  This shows that the sun pretended to come out a bit.

I must stop complaining about the weather.  I must.