Saturday, July 31, 2010

Long Run... done!

Outdoor Run - Arvada Loop - Saturday, July 31


With no babysitting this weekend, we had to get up early (and I mean EARLY) to get our long run in before my boyfriend had to leave for work. I was up too late last night and really struggled to get to sleep, so when my alarm went offat 4:55 (yes, on a Saturday. yes, on my day off) - I was less than thrilled. But I got up anyway, had my Chocolate Peppermint Luna Bar (YUM!!!) and put on my newest running skirt!!! The skirts from runningskirts.com thankfully run a bit small so I was able to buy size 0... meaning I could get this one (on clearance and very limited sizes):


It was obviously still dark when we head out around 5:15. I hadn't done the loop before, but I was hoping it would be around ten miles and that we would get back in plenty of time for J to get to work on time. I just LOVE running in the morning. Low, maybe mid 60s and a slight breeze. Pefect. Pretty day out:






The first mile in was pretty tough. Uphill and I was slooooow... couple that with the fact I was still sore from yesterday's Vibram run and the lack of sleep, I was not entirely optimistic that we would get back in under 2 hours.

However, the run actually got better - which is rare for me. Tried the "Tri-Berry" Gu just before we hit 6 miles, and then (thankfully) the last 1.5 or so miles were downhill. Got back to the house with five minutes to spare! And I'm super happy to have my long run out of the way so early on Saturday morning. I don't feel the pressure of trying to get it done Sunday afternoon like usual! 10.43 miles - longest run in weeks.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Finally Friday!

I'm usually pretty drained by the time Friday afternoon rolls around and this week was no exception. Skipped the gym again last night for the free concert ("Boys Like Girls") at Elitch's. Had to get my last run for July in, so...

Outdoor Training Run - (West) Big Dry Creek Trail - Friday, July 20... VIBRAM!!


I haven't been wearing my Vibrams much. I had that trouble with my heel last week, so I took it easy and ran in my regular shoes. I decided I needed to either start running with them or not bother. If time permits, I like to get in at least a 10K on Friday afternoons. I decided to do the western part of my trail and then do the turnaround where I usually have to use the port-o-potty - which I figured was about a 5K each way. Pull into the parking lot - and someone stole the spot I always take...



I had actually gotten dressed at my office so I was able to put on my belt and get out to the trail right away (wearing one of my more obnoxious neon outfits):



Wearing the gorilla shoes:


It was hot (about 90), but since it was overcast it didn't seem quite that hot.



I knew it was going to be hard, so I took it easy and decided to pace better than last Friday (which I headed out way too fast and got pretty tired halfway out). I was feeling REALLY good the first few miles - almost like I enjoyed running. (Let me explain - I do NOT like the treadmill - which is what I have to do most of the time, so running outside is a ton better). I saw my llama again - this time he is looking up:


Got to the port-o-potty at just over 3 miles, and then I decided... why stop at 10K? I should aim for at least 7... so I head out a bit more and then did my turn around. It was right about mile 4 that I started to feel it. My calves and shins were starting to hurt a bit, and the ball of my foot (more on my left than on my right) was started to ache - like I was stepping on a tiny pebble in the same spot on my foot with every.single.step. Of course I was cursing myself in my head for going out too far with the Vibrams. This is probably only the fifth run I've done in one, and probably the longest by at least 3 miles. On the way back the llama was actually moving around a bit (see? alive!!)


Somehow, and without taking any unscheduled walk breaks, I made it back to the car. A tad bit slower than I hoped - ideally I'd like to keep all runs under 11 minute miles, but in this heat, I'll take what I can get, 7.08 miles in 80 minutes.

In other fitness related news... I have a serious problem. I am addicted to planning and scheduling races. I literally spend hours every week researching the best races and planning how to do them. Phew. I feel better confessing.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

10k, Baby!!

Treadmill training run - Wednesday, July 28


The best part of the days I *only* run is that I get to wear my running skirts! Today I was wearing the first one I ever bought - my neon green Adidas (due to the zipper back pocket, this was also my racing skirt for close to a year).

Anyway, I was actually (surprisingly) feeling REALLY good when I started out. For the last few months I've been pacing myself slower. Figuring that I usually do this too on my Sunday long runs, I've been trying to pick the pace back up. I know I'm slow, but I don't need TWO slow runs a week or I'll never get any faster! I was doing really well, and then I ran into my usual problem... I have to use the bathroom almost every single time I run on the treadmill. This time I made it just over 30 minutes in.

When I got back... blah... I really was not feeling it. Just in those couple minutes I seem to have lost a lot of my energy and I spent the second half of my run watching the timer on the treadmill. Which of course makes it drag... and drag... and drag...

Longest treadmill run in ages though (finally FINALLY over a 10K) - so I feel great about that. Also, my heel is still feeling ok, which is a good sign.


Also, I am down to my last month of fundraising for the Athens Marathon in Greece. I'm in the home stretch, I only have about 5% left of my goal to meet! If you have anything you can contribute to my cause, I would be ecstatic!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Monday, July 26

Let's just assume that it's ridiculously hot in the gym unless I specify otherwise.

I had been pretty tired all day - I had a full weekend of running, camping, fishing, etc. Sometimes the only "goal" I have when I run is to finish. Today was one of those days. I hadn't run on Sunday and I'm happy to report that my heel was feeling fine by the time that I started out. Same program I've done the last few weeks:


I had been pacing at 5.5 mph, but I was feeling pretty good even at the end so I sprinted it out and tried to hit 6 miles. Sigh... not quite fast enough:


In the past few weeks I've normally added another 15 minutes or so of jogging, but my niece had an accident at daycare (first time in weeks) so I got to cut it short a bit.

In other fitness related news... I got my new racing skirt!!! Luckily the color I was looking for (SnowBelle Yellow) was on clearance (what luck!) so it wasn't that expensive. I'm going to wait to post pics until I run in the full gear, which will either be August (if I do the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half marathon) or September (Kaua'i half marathon). I had already purchased one of the skirts from Team Sparkle, but I think I'll save that skirt for smaller local races because there aren't any pockets, I'm not 100% confident in the waistband for distance running, and well, I'm not sure how well it will travel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Majestic Park - Saturday, July 24

We had plans to go camping after A's gymnastics class on Saturday. Since I wouldn't be in town on Sunday afternoon to get in my long run I figured I'd go a day earlier. I wasn't optimistic about it going well after the pain I'd been having, but I got up extra early Saturday morning and decided to not go too far from home just in case it started hurting.

First off... what a difference 30 degrees makes!! At 7:15 or so in the morning when I got out of the car, it was only 67 degrees!! Majestic Park is only a few miles from my house but there are some decent sidewalks to run on and also some hills... plus it's in the city, so if I did need to call someone to come get me (worst case scenario) - I'd be easier to find. BEAUTIFUL day out:



I had the 9/1 plan (run/jog 9 minutes, walk 1) and it seemed to be working well. There is a small loop around the park that is just over a half mile that I wanted to test out how my heel was feeling before I headed out. It seemed fine, so off I went.

I really REALLY should get up and do this more often. It is so much more enjoyable to be running in the mild temperatures - and before everyone else is out for the day. I did my loop and due to time restraints - my long run wasn't as long as it should have been - just over 8 miles in 90 minutes. But at least my heel felt fine, and I didn't run on Sunday, so by the time I get to the gym tonight I think it will still be feeling good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - West Big Dry Creek - Friday, July 23

Hot. Hot. Hot.





I actually took the day off yesterday, hoping to give my heel/ankle time to heal. It was feeling fine during the day today, and even though I didn't have a lot of time, I was really anxious to try the Vibrams with the Injinji socks. I figured I had around 30 minutes to run before I needed to pick up A, and decided on the West Big Dry Creek trail - BUT run in the opposite direction to see where I would pick up the trail we normally run.

Putting on the shoes, I was concerned about how tight they seemed in the toe area, but once I really got moving it seemed like they were going to work fine. I kept glancing at my watch and I seemed to be keeping a pretty fast training pace. I didn't even take my first walk break until after the turn around point:



Then I seemed to finally realize just how hot it was! It suddenly felt like I was running uphill and I had to take a sort of unplanned walk break another ten minutes later... which led me to the random llama I saw (don't worry, he is just resting, I saw his head move):



I managed to get 3.35 miles done in just under 35 minutes - with three or so minutes of walking, a pretty decent pace. As soon as I slowed down, however, I noticed my heel was REALLY tender. The pain in my heel does NOT seem to be related to the shoes since I noticed it when I was running on the treadmill and I hadn't worn the Vibrams in over a week. Overall I think I will give a tentative excellent rating for the Vibrams. Wearing the socks and using some Body Glide and I did not have any new blistering. I definitely feel more when I'm running, but I assume that it's still part of the novelty of wearing them. My feet will probably get used to it.

I have a long(ish) run planned in the morning, but in the meantime I'm wearing the compression leg sleeves and putting some Icy Hot on it. I hope it will hold up one more day, I don't have a run planned on Sunday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, July 21

Long run Wednesday. Immediately I knew it was going to be a hard one. Hot like usual, and now I have the addition of a nagging pain on my right ankle... possibly my Achilles? I might have to take it easy for a while. I was intending to do a slower pace than I have in the past, but my heel/ankle was hurting more the slower I went. I sped up the last 15 minutes and it wasn't as bad.


I didn't get off work early, so I still haven't tried the Vibram's with the new Injinji socks yet. I did, however, order some of the toe-less yoga socks (striped of course) - and they are also pretty fabulous.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Monday, July 19

I actually woke up a bit sore from my run yesterday. That was different. Shockingly, it was super hot at the gym again, and I grudgingly did my 5 min warm-up and then dove into my hill program #6 - Aerobic Conditioning #1:


There are a ton of programs on these treadmills, but of all the hill programs, I find this one the "easiest" - maxing out at 3.0 incline. Especially being tired, I just couldn't bear to do a random program, which often maxes out at 6.0 incline - too much! I was tired, hot, but no more than usual.


Had a little extra time, so did another 15 minutes (a bit slower run pace):


After doing a hill program, the 15 minutes without incline almost seem "easy" - and I'm back to slowing down pace for long run Wednesday. Wore the Zensah compression leg sleeves again last night and my calves/shins are thanking me for it!

And in other fitness related news.  Got a few shipments in the mail yesterday. First, thanks to a blogger I follow (I would give her credit but I can't seem to remember which blog it was), I got my super awesome Road ID:


It will match my current race jersey, and will nicely complement the Half Fanatic singlet when I finally join!

Also - they're here!!! Advertised as a "party for your feet" - the Injinji socks I plan on wearing with my Vibram FiveFingers. I plan on testing them out on Wednesday.


I'm super psyched for the rainbow ones. I think those will be my race socks :D

Also, I'm only $182 away from meeting my donation requirement for my entry into the Athens marathon (which is coming up right around the corner on October 31... just over 100 days until my first marathon?!?!)

Here is the link for my donation site. $1, $5, any amount helps.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Teller Farms - Sunday, July 18

Sunday long run... this one was different because I actually went running with BOTH of my sisters (which is a rarity). I met up with L at her work and then we drove to west Boulder to meet W at the Teller Farms trailhead. It looked overcast, so we were hoping the temps would stay down a bit. Without planning, all of us were wearing combos of pink and black. Matchy, matchy! We headed out around 2:45 pm, and immediately I was happy to be on yet another different trail:



Five minutes in, we started getting rained on. It came down hard and fast (with a little hail). I'd take the rain (and yes, even hail) over 90+ degree temps and no shade any day!  The first 30 minutes were regular "run" pace, which W and L kept a bit slower (probably to humor me, I am slower than they are). The next 30 minutes were tempos (? or intervals?) - 1 minute fast (5K race pace) and 2 minutes slow (regular "run" pace). That did make for time going by faster, and I really appreciated those 2 slower minutes!

During one of the walk breaks after we got done with tempo (? intervals?), I took this shot - which shows the storm we ran through earlier:


At the last turnaround we were "running" (and I use that term loosely, I was barely moving faster than a walk) up a steep grade. We ran across a plateau in the open space:


And I encountered something besides weeds!


Stopped my Garmin at just under 1 hour 40 minutes (which included some stops, bathroom break, etc) and logged 8.81 miles. They were not easy! This was actually the shortest long run I've done in a few months, but I worked hard.

We had a few blocks to walk to get back to the car (through some pretty tall wild grass). I bet I got a thousand mosquito bites in just those few minutes. W realized at the parking lot that she had her car key... for the car she did NOT drive. And it was the one time she actually locked the car. Whoops :D

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - West Big Dry Creek Trail - Friday, July 16

I must be crazy. I certainly can go to the gym on Fridays, but I've been running outside anyway, even with tempertatures hovering around 100 degrees. I decided I didn't want to run anything I've done before, so I decided to try the other section of Big Dry Creek Trail - that we can't quite figure out how to get to from where we currently run. When I headed out:


I know I said a few weeks ago that you wouldn't catch me running in a bra top very often, but with it being so hot, I'm glad I have them:



You might notice I have the iPod shuffle replacement. Yep. I'm a total sucker. This time I'm trying the iPod Nano with an armband. It seems to be working well, although the case drove me nuts. I don't know why they don't keep in mind that you might need to adjust your volume while listening. I had to cut a hole in the plastic for wheel operation. I *swear* if this doesn't work I'm giving up on Apple...

Anyway, I was glad I remembered the water bottles for the fuel belt this time. There wasn't a cloud in the sky so I knew it would FEEL hot. I've been sort of tired and SORE all week, so I didn't head out very fast. It was hot enough that I was pretty much the only person out. I saw one or two guys on bikes, and a woman walking, but no other runners. It was pretty enough out, but it was OPEN space so no shade at all and not a whole lot to see:



I didn't want to be out longer than an hour. First, because I need to pick up A before dinner time. Second, it's ridiculously hot. Third, I'm sore and tired and not super motivated to be out. I'm running ONLY because it's on the schedule and I need the mileage. The way out was HARD. After the first mile, I could tell that I was running uphill. I don't enjoy running uphill anyway, but certainly not when it is sooo hot. I took more walk breaks than I usually do. I had no idea how far the trail even went, but I hit a good dead end point when I got to Standley Lake. REAL BATHROOMS WITH REAL RUNNING WATER! SCORE!!!


Definitely a good turn around point:


I knew the way back wouldn't be quite as hard because there would be some downhill. I actually was doing a pretty decent pace (all things considered) and felt pretty good. This is the last bridge, less than a quarter mile to go until the car:


Got back to the car and as I was unloading (and rejoicing at being back!) I realized that I had lost one of my water bottles. GRR!! I knew I had it the last time I took a drink... so I had to head back out and go find it. Those things aren't cheap! Luckily it wasn't that far back, maybe a quarter of a mile round trip. I didn't stop the timer for my bathroom break at the halfway point, but it was still slow going.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Training Runs - Wednesday, July 14

Outdoor Training Run - Davidson Mesa Open Space

This workout could also be called "Hello, Calves." Without having changed any other part of my workout, I have to assume that my calves being sore are from the Vibram FiveFingers I've been testing out. I have only run the one (treadmill) mile in them so far. I got off work early, and decided to do the Davidson Mesa Open Space loop (just under three miles) to test them out on trail. It was super hot again when I headed out around 2:30 - it was 93 degrees! I grabbed my skirt... only... it was my compression shorts (and by short, I'm talking "boy shorts" short) instead. Blah... ok.

HOT!!


The "shorts"


Heading out:


Thanks to the cloud cover, it didn't feel quite as hot as it actually was. The compression shorts totally threw off my vibe, and when I realized my regular pouch wasn't going to work and that I'd actually have to run with my fuel belt (even though I forgot the water bottles and was just going to run with a regular one), I ended up forgetting the water altogether. I realized it a few minutes out, but being pressed for time, I figured I'd be fine for 30 minutes.

So. First trail run with the Vibrams. They actually felt better than I thought (assumed?) they would. I certainly could feel it if I stepped on a larger pebble or something, but they didn't "hurt." And by hurt, I meant that the first few days I walked around in them, a plastic piece in the back kept rubbing on my heel. I had applied Bodyglide on my feet (specifically on the sides and heels) and I think it must have helped. Pretty day out:



With maybe 2/3 of a mile to go, I noticed a pain on the ball of my right foot, and a bit of pain along the heels. I of course pushed through and finished in just over 30 minutes. After I got back to the car, I took off the shoes and could see some blisters on my heels. Lovely... I haven't had blisters from running... well, ever. So now I'm either in the market for some type of sock-like contraption that will work with these shoes, or more training/suffering while building up calluses? Undecided.

Treadmill Training Run

Such is Wednesday. Well, after my run earlier, I met up with L for her company picnic. Catered by KT's BBQ, I tried not to overeat (I just love BBQ though!) Had a few ribs, sausage, chicken, potatoes, salad, veggies. Delicious! My parents dropped off the kids and after feeding them and letting them play at the park for a bit, we had to drive home and get ready for the gym. I apparently went the wrong way, got stuck in traffic and it took me over 40 minutes to get home (we're talking 10 miles? maybe 12?) Long story short, with everything going on, we got to the gym late. After a brief warm up, my calves were STILL killing me (yeah, because I expected my run earlier to fix that?) I started the run and was hot and fatigued - which seems to be the norm. It was a tough run, and I'm actually a bit surprised that I managed to get through it as well as I did.


Most fun part of the long run on Wednesdays? THE RUNNING SKIRTS!! Here we are, "matchy matchy" again:


In other random fitness related news.

In my never-ending quest to find awesome fitness apparel/accessories, I had come across some compression leg sleeves, manufactured by Zensah.  They could NOT have shown up at a better time for me to try out - remember, severely sore calves? I got them specifically to wear with the Vibrams - I wanted something footless, just in case.


So far, I give them an excellent rating! SO comfortable!!!

One more thing... I'm super psyched to report that we got into the BOSTON HALF MARATHON!!! No, you don't have to have a qualifying time for it, although they do kick you off the course if you can't finish in 2:30 - I have never seen a time limit under 3 hours for a half, so that is pretty intense. The race sold out in only 2 HOURS, so I'm glad that I registered as soon as I got to work in the morning. I'm excited to be a part of the 10th annual race - taking place on 10-10-10, how cool is that?? Which brings me to part two...

So my goal is to complete a half marathon in all fifty states. As you know, travel is NOT cheap. So being out here in the west, so far away from SO many states, means that I will have to do some double headers. Getting accepted into Boston means I will also be doing the ING Hartford half marathon the day before. Any suggestions you can pass on for training for this would be appreciated! I want to be sure I don't tire myself out too much. With Boston being the second race, I need to make sure I finish in the time allotted.

Lastly, I'm *SUPER* close to reaching my donation requirement for my entry into the Athens marathon (which is coming up right around the corner on October 31). Here is the link for my donation site. $1, $5, any amount helps.

Week in Review (May 16 - May 22)

Tuesday (22,341 steps) - Speed work! We had to drive alllll the way down to Greenwood Village for this one. 1.75 mile w/u 10 x 200m re...