Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Singletree Trail - Wednesday, April 28

A semi-impromptu outdoor run. Wednesday is always our "longer run" day at the gym. But we had plans to go bowling at the same time we are normally gyming. So, I decided to leave work a bit early and meet L on an afternoon work break so that we could still get a run in, have dinner, and go out.

The weather was not nearly as cooperative as the last run, and I wasn't feeling very gung-ho about this one. 76 degrees, partly cloudy, and WINDY. I loathe the wind. It is my least favorite weather element. Not to mention RUNNING in wind is particularly obnoxious. But. The run was scheduled and I have come to the conclusion that (for the most part), I need quit being such a sissy about the weather. I am signed up for a ton of runs and the weather will most likely be less than pristine for most of them.

So anyway. The run starts off sucky. Big time. Running against the wind, at an incline, on rocky trail. Incredibly hard. The original goal was around 4 miles, and it became almost immediately obvious that was never going to happen. L was allowing a max of 40 minutes and our pace was certainly not going to cover that much ground, so I settled for less time and stopping at roughly a 5K. The only good thing about the first half of the run was the change of scenery. Almost every run I've done here in Colorado has some water (creeks or ponds), the mountains, and random "wildlife."

Posting this pic was made possible by the cool running pouch I got a few weeks ago. I've been wearing my neon green running skirt for just about every race - not just because it's awesome - but for convenience, as it is my only piece of running gear that has a zipped pocket big enough for phone and keys. So, I got the pouch so that I can hang onto my phone, keys, and gum for when I'm racing. I have been testing it out the last few runs, and so far it has been spectacular.  All it does is clip on a waistband, so far I've tried it on a pair of shorts and different running skirt, and I'm pleased.

The second half of the run was exponentially better. I could tell that I wasn't working nearly as hard, and I didn't have to look at my watch every two seconds to see how much longer we had to go. Check out the timing chart, you can certainly tell where the turnaround was (I forgot to hit the lap button). Where it looks like I stopped is where we had to open and close gates - you know, to keep the cattle from escaping.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Sunday, April 25

Shortly after completing my first half marathon, I realized I was insanely jealous of my sister's awesome watch. After some trial and error (I tried out the Forerunner 305 but it was WAY too big for my wrist), I ended up buying the 405 (in green). It turned out to be a great buy as Garmin is running a $50 rebate promo (plus I got 10% off the purchase of the watch).  Anyway...

My sister and I had a training run to do yesterday. The original plan was 8 miles. I was a bit concerned about the run. The night before I went to a concert with my boyfriend and had a few more beers than I had planned, woke up NOT feeling great Sunday. After my free Chipotle and a bottle of Vitamin Water I felt much better. I met up with L at her work and we drove over to the Sensory Park. I was also psyched to try out my watch that I've only used a handful of times (since most of my running is done inside on a treadmill).

It was a bit colder out than we had anticipated, but I was ok with that. I get REALLY hot when I run, so low 60's, overcast, and some wind turned out to be awesome running weather. The Big Dry Creek Trail is nice to run on because there are NO streets to cross. The run went pretty well for me, I was concentrating only on distance, not on time, so I was taking it pretty easy. I didn't feel like I had to walk, and I was pleased when we got done and had done 9.2 miles instead of the originally planned 8. I just have to say that I *love* all the cool information that the watch is able to provide me with.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, April 21

It was an awful, awful, awful run. Let me remind you that I just LOATHE the treadmill. Loathe. So, Wednesday nights at the gym are the only nights that I don't take a class, so I usually end up doing a "training run" - basically, run for an hour. I have been trying to increase my pace a bit - in preparation for the upcoming racing season. But it was awful. Just awful. I say this a lot, but it's like I've never run before. I'm tired and I'm hot. I know that part of the problem with my training schedule is that I am really limited on the "how and when" - meaning, I have to go to the gym at night so I have daycare. The kids (Ariel and my niece, Hannah) have to eat before we go, and they can't stay out too late (daycare closes at 8:30 anyway). So, working a full time job and not getting home until 5:00, well, you can see where I run into problems. I eat before going to the gym too, so I'm very often sluggish. The rare times I can run in the mornings are exponentially better. Anyway.

Last night I had the additional benefit of my left foot falling asleep around 45 minutes. It's not the New Balance shoes so I'm not sure what was going on there, but... it made for my run being VERY long. I really had to force myself to finish. Yep, a night when I get done and I wonder why I run at all. Blah.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Running is hard - One mile "sprint" and other musings

So I'm not one of those people that has "natural talent" at running. Meaning? Running is HARD. A lot of the time it is really hard. I don't even know if I like it. So keep all that in mind when you read this. For example. The Boston Marathon is today. Did you know that by my age and gender that I would have to run an 8:40 pace just to qualify? Madness. I maybe could run that pace for a mile. Certainly not a marathon!! With that said... Friday afternoons are a whole different type of workout. Sometimes if I get off early enough, I'll do a training run. I try not to do anything too elaborate because it is typically not a day that I run. But just for fun I did a "sprint" mile (keep in mind that this time includes about 30 seconds of walking and jogging up to pace).

So that very hard mile was followed up with a much easier 50 minutes on the elliptical.

Other random musings... so my sister and I signed up for the BolderBoulder on Friday afternoon. It is probably my least favorite race, but I sorta feel obligated to do it every year. It was the first race I ever did (in 2008) and I guess it's sort of a "benchmark" race to see if I'm getting better/worse, etc. Last year? Sucked. Bad. So I'm not especially looking forward to it. Anyway, we have always done open waves in the past, but needed to get into the fastest wave that the three of us could all do together. So basically we had to base it on MY fastest time (since both my sisters ARE faster). What an ordeal!! My fastest time was the 2009 ColderBoulder and since it is a sister run to the BolderBoulder the application states that they can look up the times for you and you don't need to bring in any documentation. Well. That was sort of misleading. They can look it up for you, it will just take forever. Anyway, in all the commotion, we got put into a wave MUCH faster than I am qualified for... but, if you are running this year, check out team Bee Rad in wave EB.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, April 14

Another sucky thing about training is having to run on the treadmill. After 6 years, it gets super boring. Last November, I changed gyms, opting to join 24 Hour Fitness - mainly because they offer classes and I was getting bored with my regular cardio. Being a single mom and having a four year old makes it next to impossible to do outdoor training. So. Here I am, training on my treadmill... which, at 24 Hour they make exponentially worse by parking all treadmills in front of mirrors. As if it's not bad enough already, you get to watch your fat jiggle for an hour. Anyway. Training yesterday was concentrating on 2 things. First, trying to speed up my 5K time a bit (for Warrior Dash training). Speed? Not my strong suit. But, the bitter determination of beating Rom has me motivated.

Then, slow down the pace a bit. Another problem with the treadmill is the max time is one hour, and then an additional 5 minutes allowed for "cool down" - so on a "long run" day, I will typically run the hour (Slow down a bit to a jog for the last 5 or after I've hit my 10K distance) and then do an additional program of walking. All in all, it certainly could have sucked more.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is gonna get expensive!

So the major hurdle I'm coming up against is... money. I used to think that time was biggest enemy, but no, money.

Races themselves aren't that expensive. But travel? Yeah. That can add up. Trying to get to all 50 states from a large midwest state? Not cheap. So I started thinking of ways I could possibly reduce some of that expense.

After some googling, I found a site that offers "sponsorship" to "everyone" - meaning, you apply and tell your story, and if you get picked, they will sponsor you. So, I applied, and here is a link to that site. If you think my story is worthy of some help, then please vote, thanks!

Half Marathon #1 - Canyonlands - Moab, UT (Saturday, March 20, 2010)

The Canyonlands Half Marathon is a lottery only registration, so we submitted our information in the fall and found out in December that our team ("Bee Rad") had been selected. Really? What are the chances? A half marathon? Wow... that's... far. I run mostly on a treadmill and rarely for longer than an hour. So to prepare for the event, we planned some longer runs, including a few races from the Winter Distance Series - one of which was a 10 mile run.

I pulled a quad in late December and my training suffered exponentially. I got new shoes, visited a chiro and completely withdrew from all running for a few months. I still did cardio (non-impact, like elliptical) to stay in shape. Luckily my injury finally got better mid-February (about a month before the race).

My sisters and I had planned a long weekend to drive to Moab for the event. We ended up leaving a day early because of weather (crazy Colorado mountain spring storm).

Race day was blue skies and not at all windy - but COLD!! The course is structured so you take a shuttle to the start line. Here is the view from the shuttle on the way up:

Unfortunately they leave you there HOURS before the race starts! I spent so much time being cold that I didn't have much time to worry about the race. Me (far left) and my two sisters at the start line:

I lined up with the 10 min milers (optimistic, I know) and off we went. By the time we were a mile in, I was finally warmed up and super happy I had stuck with the skirt and tank (vs. capris and short sleeve). The course was amazing! Mostly downhill/flat and very scenic. In shorter races I had always skipped the water stations and had never done mid-race "fuelling" - so my first attempt at "gel" was quite the experience.

My sister got a shot of me coming through the chute:

And... crossing the finish line:

My sisters and I had matching shirts made for the race, we got a team shot done after we finished - here is the backs with our names on it :)

The race shirt:

It was hard, but what a sense of accomplishment!! I had no idea what to expect out of my quad, so my goal time was under 2.5 hours - I killed it!

And pretty much as soon as I got that one done... the wheels started turning. Why do it just once, when you can do it 50 times, and in every state?

The Background

So, about 6 years ago I was in pretty bad shape. 40 pounds overweight, smoker, and overall unhealthy. I decided to start eating better and exercising (pilates and a cheap stairclimber) to lose the weight. After a few months, I got bored with my workouts and joined a small local gym. Once I quit smoking I was able to do a lot more cardio (DUH!!) and began running. I started racing a few years ago. I'm not that fast, but that doesn't stop me from trying!

Week in Review (April 2 - April 8)

Tuesday  (17,510) - Peloton before work in the office. Did my short cross training and left at lunch since Joyce is on vacation. Finally sto...