Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The funny thing about this running thing is that I constantly find myself in situations doing something that is so unlike me.  I've mentioned being wimpy and oh boy, I define the word.  Scared of my own shadow as a kid, never one to try many new things that put me out of my comfort zone and certainly not one to actively seek out physical discomfort, I'm still a bit surprised when I go ahead with something I'd never had done before.  

It had been foggy the past two mornings so it didn't surprise me when I checked the weather first thing this morning and saw the Dense Fog Alert.  I debated, I did. But then I reminded myself I said I only wouldn't run because of rain.  And then I remembered all the bloggers that run in ice, snow, freezing temps, rain and the like and I decided I could handle a little fog.  

Let me tell you though, fog in the dark is creepy.  

But I did it, yes I did.  

When I walked outside it was eerily silent except the trees were cackling -- I think it was the moisture on the branches.  The cackling was so loud because everything else was so quiet. Visibility was about 50ft. so not too bad.  But when I turned on my headlamp, all I saw was water floating all around me and I was instantly chilled.  There was nothing to do at that point so off I went.  

It wasn't that bad but it was still creepy -- every time a leaf would fall I'd jump and I constantly felt like someone was going to jump out at me.  Also the run itself was difficult -- I'm terrible in the dark anyway and the headlamp was absolutely no use so I was even slower.  But it was also very very peaceful -- even more so than regular.  I never did warm up though and was very happy I'd worn my big thick gloves so my hands didn't turn white (which is always nice).  

So I guess this means I can run in fog.  A few modifications to what I wore and I'm set.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Recap and Misc Ramblings

Okay -- 5 weeks left of base building and I'm not really any closer to deciding what formal training plan to use.  Or if I get help.  I just can't decide what I want to do.  Ah well....best be making up my mind soon.

Last week was lovely.  My stepmom came into town on Tuesday and didn't leave until this morning (very early this morning I might add).  We had such a good time -- she's such an easy house guest and I love her to pieces.  We did a smidgen of shopping on Saturday in my little down town -- but otherwise avoided any big crowds in favor of drinking and eating.  Lots of drinking and eating.  Fun.

I still managed to get 32 miles in last week and 4 of the 5 days were when she was here.  I call that a success -- the old me would have just blown it off -- but the new, OMG, I have to run 26 miles in 23 weeks me was all about getting out for the run.

I did, however, miss the Turkey Trot.  My first DNS.  I had slept terribly the night before and woke up at about 4 and couldn't go back to sleep.  My stomach just hurt like hell too -  so I was praying for the rain that was predicted -- but when I got up at 6, no rain.  So I got dressed, ate a bit (usually that settles my stomach) and thought I'd be able to manage it all.  Then I got in my car and the rain started.  I hate running in the rain -- it just makes me cold and miserable.  I can handle it when it starts while I'm running but to start running in the rain is difficult for me.  This comprised with feeling miserable and tired, I just started to cry.  Pathetic I know -- but I took that as a sign I just wasn't up for it (mentally this time) so I called my friends and went back to bed for a couple hours.

Ended up being the best decision ever:

  • I got two more hours of much needed sleep.
  • Stomach was fine when I woke back up
  • The rain stopped (I think it stopped before I went back to sleep)
  • I missed a 21,000 person run/walk/chaos morning
  • and best of all I ran 5 miles later that morning with my boy!!!!!!
Happy Dance -- will take 5 miles with my boy over anything any time.  

So I pronounce my first DNS a success :) -- however, I don't plan on making a habit of it.  Until I got to the run with my boy part, I was feeling very guilty and pathetic.  

Okay -- weekly run summary (thank god for dailymile -- I already have forgotten what I did when):

Monday:  yoga.  Felt wonderful  -- 

Tuesday:  6.2 miles -- was off of work that day so did it when the sun was out.  That was nice.

Wednesday:  rest, was maybe going to do a small run but never got around to it.

Thursday: 5 miles with my boy!!

Friday:  6.2 miles.  Posted on DM that I was feeling the previous three days of drinking and eating!  ha

Saturday:  10 miles.  Felt decent though a bit slower than the week before when I did 14.  But overall lack of sleep this week was catching up to me.  Not sure why I had such a bad sleep week but I did. 

Sunday: 5 miles.  Thought I should go 6 and wanted to go 4 so split the difference with myself.  Not particularly pleasant but I got it done.  

Just going along pretty well for me.  Trying to decide how to up the miles to 40 -- do I add a day and run 6 days a week or do I just run longer on the 5 days I'm running.  

So many things to decide.  

On to the week....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weekly Recap

pic stolen from website

I just signed up for the Shamrock'n Half marathon in March.  Aron suggested it on the run a week ago as the timing is good for a half before Eugene and she said it was fun. Sort of looks like fun from their website and it looks like they cap it at a reasonable number of people.  Or at least a number I can manage without loosing my mind.  So what the heck -- I'll definitely be looking to measure how I'm doing along about then.

I'm still researching what kind of marathon plan I'll use -- or if I want to find a coach.  There is so much freaking information out there it is a bit overwhelming.  At some point, I'll pick something -- I have to by Jan 1.  But until then, another build miles week.

Monday -- Scheduled Rest (note to self -- please do yoga on this day going forward, thanks)

Tuesday - 5.59 miles -- I was still feeling very tired from the previous weekend and I just cut the run a bit short.

Wednesday -- unscheduled rest.  I woke up at 4.45 (alarm goes off at 5) and felt so absolutely exhausted and remembered Tuesday and remembered that this miles build is a new concept to this old body and figured there was no time like the present to step back so I immediately passed out for an hour and a half.  I think it was the right choice.  I felt almost human the rest of the day.

Of course, as soon as I woke up I was ready to run but unfortunately I have this job that likes to see me by around 9am and there was no time.  (boo)

Thursday -- scheduled rest.  Wednesday was a wine night which means a nice dinner party with friends where we might just drink more bottles of wine than people who attend.  The day after one of those is always a slow mover and a planned rest day.

Friday -- 6.3 miles -- whoo hoo -- back in the game.

Saturday -- 14 miles -- was sort of thinking I needed to make up some miles from my extra day off and also not sure of what Sunday was going to be like weather wise and I also just needed to see if I could do it.  Kept a steady 9.30ish pace throughout the whole thing.  I thought I'd fade and while I certainly got tired and was extremely happy to be done -- this pace seemed doable.  It was conversational (!!) though I was all alone (sob).  I was going to try to keep it a bit slower but it seemed to be what my body wanted to run.

Sunday -- 4 miles.  Just to loosen things up again.  Was fine though the run ended in the dark and boy do I slow down in the dark.  I think because I just feel so unsure of my footing -- I dunno.

Anyway total was just shy of 30 miles (29.98 -- now if I'd realized I'd have run that .02 for sure!!).

Pretty low key week coming up.  A Turkey Trot on Thursday along with Thanksgiving being my favorite holiday of the season!!  All the good eats and no presents!!  Love.

Happy Happy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday Fun Day and quick weekly recap

Saturday Fun Day

If you call this fun:

We apparently did!  On Saturday I met up with XL MIC and  Aron for a nice 12 mile trail run around Lake Chabot.  XLMIC and I had been emailing a bit back and forth about coordinating our spring marathon efforts (my first, her first in a long time) so we could get together for some long runs.  She's been twittering and texting with Aron as well and as luck would have it, we all showed up to run.

And boy what a run it was -- I mean, mile 3 -- really?  That was the first point I thought I might die.  As I'd run the 11k the day before, I was already feeling a bit tired -- and when we got to that hill I really wanted to cry.  But the fact that I just met these guys kept me quite and I didn't fuss at all.

The views at the top were just lovely making it all worth while.    As did the company -- I really enjoyed getting to know these woman.  They are both fantastic and the conversation didn't waver once.  This was my first experience meeting online runners and it was a definitely a positive one (though I have had online friends become very dear real life friends as well so I suspected it would go well).  I look forward to running again with these guys and since Aron is training for a 50miler I think we'll all have plenty of opportunities to scale Mile Three again!

Oh and here's the gratuitous pre run shot of the three of us.

Last week's quick recap:

Monday -- rest day.  Seems to be the pattern.

Tuesday -- 6.2 miles early.  Enjoyed the bit of daylight afforded by coming off daylight savings time.  I know it won't last but I liked it just the same.  And I notice I speeded up as it got light out.  I apparently can't run in the dark.  Even with a headlamp.

Wednesday -- 4 miles -- nothing eventful

Thursday -- slept

Friday -- Veteran's Day 11k -- super fun as already mentioned in previous post.  They still don't have the official results posted -- tomorrow apparently.

Saturday Fun Day -- 12 miles.  12 hilly miles.  12 Killer HILLY miles.  (I forgot to mention above that after I drove home, I almost couldn't get out of my car -- limped into my house -- pathetic)

Sunday -- easy 4 miles just to prove I could.

So I did 33 miles last week -- most weekly miles EVAH!  And other than a bit of quad soreness today, I'm fine.  So project build miles is going as planned.

Whoo hoo.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

National Veterans Day 11K

What a fun way to spend a Friday morning.  Yet another small event reminding me that I really really just love the small local events.

That being said, this was organized by a company out of Dallas and run in 9 cities and virtually across the country.  And as an inaugural event, they did pretty well.  It felt a bit disorganized at first (my bib didn't show up until Thursday) but when we got there it all ran smooth.  They were able to get all the people who hadn't registered all signed up and we were off right on time.  The course was an easy out and back and they had the best volunteers.  They were all teenagers and they were so darned nice -- they passed out water with encouraging words and did a bunch of cheering as well.  The ones handing out t-shirts and medals just seemed extra pleasant.  Not sure where these kids came from but they were an awesome bunch -- and that just added to the overall good vibe of the race.  It also helped that the temps were perfect (low 50's) and the predicted rain waited until we were all done before it decided to show up.

I went into this thinking I'd push it but just not sure of what I could do -- I've done no speed work since Sept and have been slogging along in my morning runs of roughly the same distance.  And I while I certainly wasn't going to break any speed records, I did manage to hold an 8.30 to 8.40 pace for the entire 11k, including the run back which was into the wind. I was happy with that since most of my early morning runs are anywhere from a 9.15 to a 9.45 pace and they feel like work.

But, the best part was I think I came in about 13th overall female.  Which really just cracks me up because you see from my pace I wasn't particularly fast.  But -- it was predominately male race (lots of current and ex military -- nice!) and just not a lot of females.  What was fun was as I was coming up towards the turn around (since it was an out and back) I noticed that it took awhile to see the first female -- then the second -- and then the third -- and then I knew I was getting closer and closer to the turn around so I started paying attention.  I got up to 12 girls ahead of me when I hit the turn around so for a flash I suddenly knew how cool it felt to be up there in placement -- even if not speed.  Anyway, I ended up passing one girl but then got passed by two others -- so that puts me at lucky number 13!!  But allowing for the fact that it was chipped timed, I'm really not sure.  The results aren't posted yet.

Anyway, it was a really good time.  I chatted with plenty of people on the route and everyone was happy to be out there.  It was also reassuring to realize my miles building isn't completely taking away my ability to push it when necessary and when I start speed work in January I should be in pretty good shape.  Yay!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Week 6 of project mileage ramp up and while my legs were heavy this week, they rebounded today and I feel very good.  I've been sleeping pretty well so so far so good.  I did another 30 miles this week, will do 30 the upcoming week and then do something more and then do the step back week as my Thanksgiving present to myself!  I'll have family staying with me so I might drink a bit too much wine and have too much fun.  I'm totally looking forward to it!

Well I did it - I went and signed up for the Eugene Marathon -- so it's official.  I've got my registration confirmation to prove it!  6 months or 25 weeks -- I'm both excited and scared.    I'm going to continue my weekly mileage ramp up through the end of the year like I've mentioned and then I'll have 18 weeks for the formal training.  I'm still reading a lot but am also thinking that now is maybe the time to get me some help on the training play by a more experienced person.  I know there are supposed to be no time goals for a first marathon but I know me -- I'll have a goal.  And it may go completely out the door (and I'm already prepared for that), I'll need the goal.  And it will be fairly aggressive (but achievable -- I know how to make SMART goals! ;)) because I just flat out don't want to be out there forever.

Anyhow -- we'll see where all this goes.

So last week's recap:

Monday -- Rest.  Love monday rest day.  Oh I did yoga but that almost doesn't count.

Tuesday -- 5.6 miles.  Was supposed to be 6 but silly me forgot my inhaler puffs and with the chillier weather I was just unable to breathe.  Combine that with fairly tired legs from the weekend before (hills!) and I just called it done a bit early.  This was also the day I had my first early morning scare.

Wednesday -- 5 miles.  Was supposed to be 4 but making up time from the day before. Legs felt a bit better and remembered inhaler so just a basic run.

Thursday -- 6.25miles Another slug fest.  My legs just weren't working.  Of course when I got home and could hardly walk I wondered if I was hydrated enough.  Two glasses of nuun later and I'm feeling perfect so I got my answer.  This week was a DUH week for sure.

Friday -- rest again.

Saturday -- 8 hilly miles at Rancho San Antonio park.  Was hydrated and puffed and body still working in slow mo.  The route we do is about a 700ft climb in 4 miles with the last mile climbing 350ft. so fairly intense hill.  We stopped at the switch back right before we headed up that last mile and I just shook my head at my friend and said I wasn't sure I had it in me.  She was having similar thoughts but we just started in and poof, the mile was done and we were at the top of the hill.  It seemed especially lovely up there that day and extra peaceful (not as many people).  Worth the run up definitely -- my friend and I just took it really easy on the way back down and just chatted.  We don't always do that so it was nice.  I finally got a second wind at 7 miles (actually it was my first wind -- ha ha -- I needed a 7 mile warm up apparently) and could have gone on a bit longer but we were almost back to the cars so just called it quits.

That same run did my quads in last week (because I hadn't done it in awhile) and while it was a harder run yesterday -- my body isn't fussing at me at all.  So that's good.

Sunday -- 5miles around the hood.  Easy peasy.  Would have been super speedy run as legs were fine fine fine FINALLY!  But, stomach was still not happy about the previous evenings wine consumption so I had to watch it.

And hey -- what about that NYC Marathon!  I actually watch it for several hours this morning before my run.  What fun!  That really might have to go on the bucket list.  47,000 people and all.  But first I suppose I should concentrate on figuring out how to run one of these things first.  THEN, we'll talk NYC.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Five

1.  I had my first early morning run scare last Tuesday.  About 20 mins into my run I'm standing at an intersection.  There were cars coming from the cross street so in an effort to be nice, I was waiting until they passed before I pushed the walk button.  So this truck passes and then honks and slows down (this at about 5.50am) and shakes his finger at me.  I've no idea why but he speeds off and I keep going.  Then, I get to the next block and he's coming down that cross street.  I was far enough away so not sure what was going on but he turns right (away from me) and speeds off.  Thing is, that is the way I was running and I just couldn't see what happened to him.  In hindsight, I should have changed my route but instead I kept to my route and was nervous until I got up to the gas station on the corner and headed back into the neighborhood.  Not sure why I did that (hey, it was early) -- but it was a bit before I stopped feeling nervous.

2.  I'm actually probably going to break 1000 miles this year and this is huge for me.   I never set it as a goal as I really didn't think I'd stay committed this long but it is looking like I'll squeeze in -- probably that last week in Dec but I'll take it.  Considering I ran 400 miles max (estimate from calendar and garmin I got mid year last year) in 2010 (from May 29th (first day of running) on).

At the end of this week I'll have 802 miles -- leaving 198 miles in 8 weeks or 24.75 per week.  Since I'm building up from 30 per week this is doable certainly.  That's exciting and I'm already trying to figure out what my 2012 goal will be.

3.  The rain appears to be here.  Yes, I live in a  weird place where it doesn't rain for 5 months (usually mid May to mid Oct) and we are late a bit for the rain (we had a smidgen early Oct but then amazing weather the rest of the month).  But alas, I see rain in my forecast -- and this wimpy runner hates her the rain.  I guess this will actually be the weekend I join the gym so I at least have a treadmill if I can't get myself out the door in the wet.

4.  One more week at 30 miles (next week) and then I'm taking it up a notch -- 33ish maybe.  35?  Still not sure.  So far so good but my body is definitely feeling it.  I'm more and more in awe of the super high mileage runners -- 60? 80? 100?  That just got more impressive.

5.  I'm going to run this race next Friday.  The National Veterans Day Run has races next Friday in 10 cities across the country.  I wasn't going to do it initially as it is a work day -- but heck, the race starts at 7:11 -- and is just minutes from my house.  I'll do a work at home day (thank god I can) and be working by 9 latest.   The race just seemed like something that should be done so an 11k on 11.11.11 it is.  I'm excited.