Monday, November 19, 2012

Running? What's That?

Since October 21, I have run less than 30 miles. Total. I sort of forgot about running. I am still pretty active, considering I teach 14 fitness classes a week. And that is totally fun, but it's not the same workout as running. And I say that as an instructor who is really, really tough. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with running, I have to say, nothing really compares to the feeling it brings.

I did briefly consider changing my blog and twitter handles - but christensquatsandlunges and christendrinkswine didn't really have the same ring to them. So alas, it's time to run again.

I don't really have any races to train for at the moment. I am doing 2 5K's in December, but I've never really considered those something I need to specifically train for. My husband and I decided we would do something similar to what we did last year - run at least 100 miles between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. We are in luck this year - Thanksgiving falls early, so plenty of time to hit that goal. I created a dailymile challenge if anyone would like to do this as well!

Otherwise I'll probably be trying to run 5 days a week, with one day of speedwork and one day of tempo/inervals/something.

We ran last weekend while we were in Fort Worth, TX. I love the Trinity Trails there - it's a nice change of pace from city running.

We even did some trail running, which was great until the trail disappeared and the grass got taller. I am absolutely terrified of snakes, and all I could think was "rattlesnakes! rattlesnakes!". (I should add I never saw a snake, I just KNEW there might be one where I couldn't see it) I really started to panic - shallow breathing and all. Which doesn't really jive with running. Even though I didn't say a word to my husband (I like to pretend I'm a hardass, even though almost no one believes it), he knew I was freaking out and picked up the pace and got me out of there ASAP. What can I say, I'll never be an adventurer.

And then I didn't run at all for 8 days. I can't remember the last time I didn't run for 8 days. I kept intending to run, but somehow I always avoided it. We finally got out for about 4.5 miles yesterday, and I was happy to see I didn't lose much fitness in my break.

So this is the week I get my ass back in gear and put some miles on my shoes! And let's be honest, all those upcoming holiday treats aren't going to burn off themselves. And I really don't want to buy new pants.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baystate Marathon Recap: Crash & Burn, Baby.

So I ran the Baystate Marathon today. This was my first marathon since the 2009 Chicago marathon.

I now remember why I swore off marathons. The PAIN. OMG, the pain! I have so much respect for those of you that can run them and not come away hobbled. I am not that person. I seriously just don't want to put my body through it again. Halfs for this girl from now on!

So, anyway, a proper recap. So I cooked us a feast of grilled chicken and sweet potatoes last night, and we went to bed early (about 9 pm). I slept well, only woke up to pee once, and got up when my alarm went off at 4:30. I drank my standard 2 cups of coffee, and ate two rice cakes with peanut butter & a banana. We got ready and left our house at around 6:00 AM.

We got to Lowell a little before 7, parked in a garage less than a 1/2 mile from the finish/start line, and lucky for us there were bathrooms in the parking garage. They were clean, had toilet paper, and there was no wait. Very nice.

We checked our bag, and stood inside the high school for bit until we went out to line up at 7:45 AM. This race only has 1500 full marathoners, so it wasn't a problem at all to line up in the corral. I realized when we got out there that I need to go to the bathroom again - but apparently they only had about 12 port-o-potties at the start line (for 3000 runners! WTF!) and I knew I'd never get in one, so I just sucked it up and ran. (It turned out to not be a problem., I never had to stop on the course)
Before the start, sporting throw away gloves. Jazz hands!

jazz hands again!

So we take off promptly at 8, and I crossed the start line only 10 seconds later. There was little to no crowding, and I was at racing speed in no time. The weather was perfect - about 50 at the start, and sunny.

I took off a little too fast - the first couple miles were around 7:45. I reeled it back in and found a 7:55-8:00 pace, which I carried for for the first 13 miles. I intended to run 8:10, but honestly, that's really not that much of a difference. I crossed the halfway point at 1:45:06 - which is a half marathon PR for me. (cue ominous warning signs here)

By mile 14.5, I was feeling the crash already. I walked a few times and even stopped to text my husband that I wasn't sure I'd finish (he was running too, but battling a sprained wrist, ankle, and badly bruised ribs from a soccer match last weekend, so had to slow down bigtime to compensate). I sucked it up at some point and mostly ran (albeit, much more slowly) until mile 20.

The majority of the race was limited to the shoulder of roads meant for vehicular traffic only. I guess I am spoiled, living in Boston - I always run on sidewalks or bike/run paths. By mile 20, by left hip was in excruciating pain from running on the uneven shoulder! I had to stop a few times to stretch out my hip flexors. From that point forward, I allowed myself to walk a few steps every mile. It was the only way I could see finishing.

In the last few miles, we were running on a divided highway, limited to the shoulder, with some STEEP banking. My hip was in agony! The worst of it was in the last half of mile 25, which hobbled me to walk again. We finally came back into downtown Lowell, and even then I had to walk a few steps right before we hit 26. I don't recall ever feeling that level of misery in my past two marathons. I knew I'd totally blown my chances at BQ'ing, but I was hoping to at least PR. That was dashed when I turned into the finish and saw the clock. I finished in 3:56:04 - 6 seconds slower than my 2009 Chicago performance. Honestly, I didn't even care, because I was so happy that I even finished. I was about 15 seconds away from dropping at mile 15.
We didn't die.

But I did get very upset at the finish - because the water/food/gatorade station was almost a half mile from the finish line!!! This was my biggest disappointment in this race. To me, it was just totally unacceptable. After running for almost 4 hours, as soon as I stopped running, I needed nourishment immediately. I could barely walk because my hip hurt so bad. I also was really weak. It took me almost 30 minutes to get to the food tent - I had to stop and sit/lie down at least 4 times because I was so weak. Race directors - DO NOT make marathoners travel so far to get nourishment at the end of the race!!!

And THEN, when I got there, I had to wait in line (again, WHY with only 3000 runners??)! I had tunnel vision by the time I got under the food tent and had to just grab the first thing I saw with calories - a can of Pepsi. I crawled down on the ground right by the tent and drank it (yes, I did look insane, and I didn't care). I finally started to feel a little better, and I got up and grabbed some orange slices. My husband finished in 4:27, and they were totally out of Pepsi by that point. Ridiculous. We got some soup and then headed home.

I have to say I have mixed feelings overall about this marathon. I love that it was so close to my residence, that I could sleep in my own bed the night before, and I love even more that the entrance fee was only $70. The on course support was very good, and I have no complaints. The course was a little... boring. But I knew that going into it. But the experience at the end was just not good.

Eh, but it's over now. And I guess at the end of the day I'm happy I finished and that it was at least under 4 hours. I am disappointed with myself that I wasn't mentally stronger and didn't try to tough it out, though. I wish I wouldn't have given up so easily! It makes me feel weak. But then I remember that I did traverse 26 miles today, which is no small feat.

I also realize that from now on, I'll stick with half marathons. Or 10 milers. Or maybe just 5K's and 10K's. :)

Reward time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Time to Panic

So, I have done something mindblowingly dumb.

I have lost my #1 pair of running shoes. Well, it's not the shoes I'm so concerned with - I have about 4 pairs in my rotation - but I lost the shoes that have my beloved Footdisc (now called Currexsole) insoles in them. The insoles that I have used exclusively since March. So yeah, I'm panicking.

I have no idea how this happened. The only thing I can come up with is that I somehow left them at the gym. I teach a lot of fitness classes, and discovered in the first week that doing step aerobics, jumping, and lateral movements doesn't work well at all in my running shoes. I bought a pair of New Balance training shoes and they have been wonderful. So if I plan on running while I am at the gym, I take my running shoes with me and change into them. I tend to be very forgetful, so I guess it possible that I changed out of them and left them, even though I could swear I didn't. I checked with the lost & found, and they didn't have them  (insert super sad face).

I paid a zillion dollars and ordered another pair of insoles on Amazon with Saturday delivery, so I guess I'm breaking the cardinal rule of marathoning - never anything new on race day. I don't know what else to do. I do have a few pair of Superfeet insoles that I ran in quite a bit in years past, but after doing a short 4-miler today in them, they feel very stiff and bulky.

Bahhhhh I am so mad at myself. If I was one of those people who run multiple marathons a year, this wouldn't be such a big deal. But I guess I have so much riding on this one, something going wrong just sucks. Sucks a lot.

UPDATE: THE SHOES HAVE BEEN LOCATED!!! I somehow put them in a box that was headed for the recycling bin. Yeah, I have no idea either. I might need to have my head checked. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

0 Week - Marathon Time! (PANIC)

So the week has finally arrived - it's time to run 26.2.

I wish I could say that I felt super confident about it. Unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes and training doesn't go as planned. My mileage has taken a major nosedive in the recent weeks (even more than a standard taper should). I am left wondering if I ruined all the hard work I put in over those miserable, hot summer months. I am also left wondering if my body still knows how to run long. Is this what taper crazies are like? I was under the impression all you crazy people were referring to not being able to run a bazillion miles a week during taper. I definitely don't miss that. But if the taper crazies are about being worried over actually being able to run 26 miles, then yes, I have that.

I'm trying my best to demonstrate as little as possible in all my classes this week. I think for the rest of the week I will set up stations or something. Something to keep myself from doing leg work!

I only ran a few times last week. I had some extreme gluteus medius soreness in the latter part of the week, and thought at this point it was better to rest and let it subside as fast as possible. I didn't exercise at all on Friday or Saturday.

Monday - Taught 4 classes. Lots of lunges and squats. 2 miles on that weird elliptical/stair climbing machine, 2 miles on the treadmill.

Tuesday - Taught 2 classes

Wednesday - Taught 4 classes, ran 2 miles on the treadmill

Thursday - Taught 3 classes. OMG my glutes hurt the worst they have ever hurt in my life. I am not sure why, but running was out of the question.

Friday, Saturday - nada

Sunday - Oktoberfest 5K. We were running way behind and realized the only way we'd make it to the race was if we ran there. So, we ran 4.5 miles to the race, got there 5 minutes before the gun went off, and then ran the 5K.
4.5 mile warm-up - 8:51 pace
5K - 3.22 miles (I really need to stop weaving so much), 23:08, 7:11 pace. 

I didn't intend on running fast in the 5K, however, seeing people pass me in costumes was maddening. Also, we started way in the back (too packed to work our way up), and I always get crazy trying to get around people in the first mile. People, if you plan on walking the entire 5K, DO NOT start up at the front! /soapbox

Anyway, the race was a lot of fun and there was lots of free pumpkin beer and pretzels afterward. They also had a dance-off, which was pretty hilarious to watch people breakdance in German costumes in the rain, before noon on a Sunday. We then got brunch, froyo, and took a nap. It was a good Sunday indeed.

So now I'll just be spending the rest of this week silently panicking. And foam rolling. And trying to sleep!

Scenes from the week:

This is what I saw when I went to bed one night. Yes, the dog got under the covers by herself. Guess this is what I get for going to bed late... 

Bulldogs are 6-OHHHHH! We were so stoked we wore matching sweatshirts. I know, we are so THOSE people.

Made it to the race! Just barely. K had to run with a backpack because there was no time for bag check! He finished about 40 seconds after me. I WIN.

 And the fashion portion of the week:
I bought this dress for our upcoming ball. Sadly, it did not come with red hooker shoes. Also, I need to hem almost 6" off of the bottom. Oh, the perils of not being 6' tall, apparently. (I should probably expect this when I only spent $45 on the dress).
The best red shoes I could manage. I cannot do giant heels anymore. I'm hoping the red distracts from the fact they are sort of granny shoes. Don't hate, at least I won't be hobbled after 30 minutes in them.
And I ordered this necklace to wear with the dress. My only criteria was 1) bright, 2) not cost a bazillion dollars (who the hell spends so much on costume jewelry? I'm looking at you, JCrew). $12 on eBay, done!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hi there! I'm still kickin' it.

I sort of stopped blogging for a bit. It's been a bit of an adjustment to continue running at the same frequency, and teach 10-12 group exercise classes a week. I'm a very involved instructor, so I find it hard not to do the workout along with my participants. I want to show them proper form and keep energy high, so many times I don't even notice that I've done 50-75% of the workout myself. Doing that 3-4 hours a day means I'm left really wiped out and many times sore, which isn't so conducive to running!

So I stopped writing because I was a bit embarrassed at how little I've run over the last couple weeks.  I also came down with a bad cold last week, and it was all I could do to even drag myself through teaching, so running was just out of the question!

So the Baystate Marathon is two weeks away. Yikes! We got the chance to go to NYC two weeks ago, and we ran 12 miles over the Queensboro Bridge and through Central Park. It was incredible. And I will admit I came home with a bit of a NYC hangover - that place is just magical. Not that Boston isn't amazing too, but it's so much different than NYC.

Empire. Not a view from running. If you know me, you know this was from a bar.

Last week I only ran once. I know. Not exactly sticking with the plan! I just felt awful. I finally ventured out for a 20 miler on Sunday, but ended up slipping on some wet pavement about halfway into my run. I didn't fall, but I definitely overcompensated and my hip flexors ached and got progressively tighter as I went along. I was in so much agony by mile 17 I had to stop and limp home. :( So it put a damper on this week's running as well.

I somehow signed myself up for a 5K and a half marathon this weekend. I know. I really need to keep an updated calendar! I just did a few casual treadmill runs throughout the week between teaching classes.

The 5K was yesterday. The weather was gorgeous - 65-70 degrees and sunny. I told myself I was not going to race it - I was just going to run for fun. Well, that went out the window as soon as the gun went off! My legs felt fresh for the first time in weeks. The pack cleared quickly and I got into a good stride. Mile 1 - 7:13.  I thought to myself, there's no way I can keep this up! But then Mile 2 ticked off on the Garmin - 7:01. At this point there was a girl who was seeming trying to 'race' me, and I fell for it. She kept surging ahead of me, and then falling back. I got tired of it and just took off, ha! Last mile - 6:56!

I'm not sure I've ever run a sub-7 mile. I finished in 21:48 (7:01 pace, PR by 61 seconds!!!), which was good enough for 2nd in my age group! Although for some reason, even though this race had timing chips, they gave awards by gun time (which I didn't know about before and think it's ridiculous). So I was awarded 3rd, even though I ran 10 seconds faster (chip time) than the woman who got 2nd because she took off 11 seconds before I did. I have never won awards for running, so it was really cool! There were 100 women in my age group, so I felt like all this hard work had paid off.

I considered wearing the medal while I taught class

Reward - a croissant the size of my face

I actually got called into work yesterday to teach Bootcamp, so I ended up doing a lot more physical activity than I'd bargained for that day. This definitely played into my half marathon today. I woke up somewhat sore and knew it wasn't going to be a PR effort day. I barely slept - I tossed and turned and finally fell asleep somewhere around midnight, and was wide awake at 3:45 AM (and starving). I gave in around 4:30 and got up to eat and start caffinating myself.

I signed up for the BAA Half over 6 months ago, and it had really fallen off my radar. I honestly basically forgot about it until a week ago. I went in with no plan whatsoever, and even considered it just a training run for my full in two weeks. I met a friend there, and he and I got into the 8:00 pace corral. Of course, LIKE I ALWAYS DO, I got wrapped up in the heat of the moment and took off WAY too fast. Especially for someone with sore legs.

The weather was amazing. 50-55 degrees and sunny. We took off, and I knew I'd effed up by Mile 1. Garmin beeps - 7:23. Um, no. I maintained sub 8 minute miles through mile 6, which was just dumb. By mile 7 I was miserable and I feel the lactic acid building in my quads. I had a few arguments with myself, but in the end decided to be a reasonable adult and pull it back big time. Miles 8-13 where somewhere between 8:20-8:50. The course was tougher than I anticipated for sure. But overall I thought it was an awesome race.

Final time: 1:48:55, 8:19 pace. I'm not upset about it. I do really want that sub 8 pace half, but I know that if I want it, I have to plan for it - and I didn't do that today at all. Half Marathon #10 on the books. It officially ranks as my 3rd best time. It was a drama free race, and overall I think it was best for me to pull back and save my effort for 26.2 in two weeks.

Speaking of that. EEEEK. Two weeks! I am very nervous. VERY nervous. I am publicly admitting (to the 3 of you that read this hot mess) that I think a BQ is out of reach for me. I'm trying to be okay with that. My goal for the next two weeks is to stop doing so many lunges, squats, and jumps with my classes and really take care of my body.

Yes, it did. 

And honestly, after this marathon is over, I need a break from running. I've been consistently training for something since February and I am burned out. I will run casually but I don't plan on anything longer than 10K for a while! We are talking about buying bikes, which could be fun.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What have I been doing?

Not blogging, obviously. I've been to sore to type.

So, I finally got a job a few weeks ago. I started teaching fitness classes. I am teaching 10 classes a week. And because of several factors, I cannot just dictate these classes - I end doing 60-90% of each class. On top of trying to stick to my marathon training plan - running around 50 miles a week. Let's just say there's been a lot of ice baths, ibuprofen, and wine in my life recently. Although I might just develop the best ass in Boston at this rate. And also a side of thunder thighs if I keep doing this many squats a week (and I'd really like to NOT purchase new jeans).

I am really hoping that over time I am able to do less in these classes, because it's certainly affecting my running. I am left either too tired or too sore to effectively finish runs. Also, it has taken me a while to figure out how to fuel myself for all this. I only eat certainly things before I teach for fear of stomach issues, and then I try to run later and realize I haven't eaten anything but Larabars, hardbolied eggs, and bananas and 3 miles into a run I have a huge crash.

So anyway. Running. Yes, I'm still doing it. This past week went pretty well considering my body was on the verge of cutting me off all week.

Monday - Yoga

Tuesday - Taught Conditioning, Ran 8 miles, 8:18 pace. Felt totally effortless.

Wednesday - Taught Step Training. Ran 3.17 miles. Set out to do 9 miles with 6x1000 at 5K pace. Around mile 2 I realized I was so hungry that I might not even make it home. Stumbled to the nearest neighborhood and devoured a sandwich at Panera. I might have scared the other patrons.

Thursday - Taugh Conditioning. Taught Abs. Ran 4 miles on the treadmilll between classes. Those stupid gym treadmills autmatically forced me to cool down after 30 minutes. I was in the middle of a faster interval (7:15 pace) and I got irrationally angry and quit (I was going to do 6 miles). Dumb.

Friday - Ran 10.4 miles, SLOWLY. 9:30 pace. I don't think I've done a long run that slow in a long, long time. My legs and body were so spent that honestly I'm shocked I made it that far.

Saturday - 60 minute spin class. Yes, I might be a masochist. I want to eventually teach spin, but I need to shadow someone, so I chose to do it Saturday. It actually felt really good to do something low impact for a while. Although it left my ankles and calves sore. Yay. More ibuprofen.

Sunday - Ran 17 miles, 8:49 pace. I wasn't even sure I could get out the door, and put it off until mid-afternoon. I eventually accepted my fate and set out to run the Charles. The first 8 miles were an enormous struggle. Only a few miles in I told myself it was okay to just do half now and half later that night. But somewhere along the way I zoned out and decided that if I ran far enough out, I'd have no choice but to run back (yes, I see the logic is flawed, but it worked).
I eventually hit a good rhythm after the halfway point and finished out pretty strong (and uphill to boot). I then came home and ate my weight in Chinese food and did hot/cold contrast therapy like it was my job. We have a separate tub/shower, so I fill the tub with cold water and sit in it for as long as I can stand (usually about 3 minutes), and then I get in the hot shower. I then repeat this process two more times. I swear it's the only reason I could walk (and do what felt like a million jump squats) today.

So, here I am. Trying to find a balance between training others and training myself for the next 5 weeks. Everyone talks about the 'taper crazies', but honestly, I'm looking forward to it. I am very grateful that I can run, and that I am ultimately glad I decided to take on another marathon, but I'm not sure if I'm cut out for marathons. I'm looking forward to toeing the line on race day and throwing down the best race I can, but after that, I am going to focus on more balance training and give my feet and joints a rest from the pavement pounding.

And now for the photo portion of my blog:

Planning a revolution
Our friends came to visit for the weekend and Molly and I ran into these lads. So of course we had to get a photo. I pinky swear I wasn't wearing a belly shirt (I am far too old for that).

Game Day ready
Kenny and Darla, dressed for our first SEC game. Hold the MFing phone, we beat Auburn! And we are now 3-0! Who is this football team we've gotten this year? I don't know how it happened, but I am thoroughtly enjoying it (we love our college football in this household).

You know you said it a Ron Burgundy voice in your head
And just because. HAIL STATE!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekly Recap - MOAR RUNNING

Look at me, doing a weekly recap the day after the week actually ends! What a novel concept. I am all-together lacking the part of my brain that is in charge of organization (it was taken over long ago by song lyrics and pop culture trivia).

This week started kinda shaky but ended up being just fine. I battle some headaches Monday and Tuesday, that got much worse when when I ran. I rarely ever get headaches. I have no idea what caused it - but I think it may have been a little dehydration and possibly some salt imbalances. I became more mindful of my hydration and felt much better by Wednesday.

My week looked something like this:

Monday: rest. My husband had been away for 10 days and I really wanted to hang out with him, rather than go to a yoga class.

Tuesday: Headache all day. Finally decided to run at 7pm. Major fail, threw in the towel at 4.6 miles, 8:37 avg. pace.

Wednesday: 4 miles AM, around MGP (8:00 pace). Ran to the grocery store. 5.5 miles PM with the husband, 8:18 pace.

Thursday: scheduled rest day, but I had mileage to make up. 4 miles, 8:35 pace.

Friday: Friday was a ROUGH day. I got late notice on Thursday for step aerobics audition on Friday morning, and I was really nervous about it and stayed up late practicing my moves. I couldn't sleep - I maybe got 3.5 hours of sleep and then proceeded to really blow the audition. I was so tired and so deflated after that, but still had 12 miles on my training schedule. It was also very hot by the time I got to run (11 am) - around 85 degrees. I struggled hard to maintain a 9:15 pace for 11 miles before I threw in the towel.

And if Friday couldn't get worse - around 8 miles into my suckfest run, I dropped the mic cover that had just been given to me at the audition (I'll need it for the classes I start teaching tomorrow) and the breeze picked up. I chased after it, trying to dive down and grab it at least 3 times. I finally caught it (whew) but not after my calve muscles had totally seized up and my entire right side hurt.

Saturday: Recovery - 5 miles, 10:00 pace. I seriously cannot believe my husband and I ran that slow. It was moving day in Boston, and we live in college student central, so it was really comical to see the moving day craziness. I probably had to dodge 100 tube TVs and at least 15 mattresses. Also, my calves were so sore from my stumbling the day before (see above) - they felt like I had golf balls in them. Not cool. But I felt much better after the run was over.

Sunday: 20 miles, 8:56 average pace. The weather was gorgeous - maybe like 70 degrees. We took it easy and just cruised. I really wanted to pick up the pace and GO in the last 5 miles but my husband was not a fan, so we stayed even. It was SO nice to finally have a long run that felt really successful. I feel much better now about how I will fair at the main event in October. I still think it's a long shot to BQ, but like I told my husband, what do I have to lose? I am just going to put it out there and see what happens.

And that's a wrap! Total mileage for the week: 54 miles. Another new personal high.

Scenes from last week:

Bit the bullet and just ordered boxes of chews and gels. It's like our little personal running store.

Christen wears lipstick (actually lipstain if we are being technical). I always feel SO weird wearing lip color.

My fortune cookie. Don't worry, I don't get it either. Side note: I met some girlfriends for dinner one night, and my husband ordered $50 of Chinese takeout. He should not be left alone, apparently. Also, I ate Chinese food for 3 days. I won't complain.

Recovery drink of champions. I hate protein powder. Milk has protein, it's real food, I like it. Win.

My girl, Darla, ruining my throw pillows. When I bought those I totally envisioned them being her personal perch (/sarcasm). Good thing she's cute.

I also did some cooking this week as well (GASP, I know). I made the Fit Sugar recipe for zuchini carrot bread that I discovered through SUAR. It was awesome. I actually cut the sugar in half and it rocked. Down side? My husband now thinks I should bake all the time (he can probably count on one hand the times I've baked something in the 7 years we've been married).

I also made the Chicken Enchilada Slower Cooker Stew from Frayed Laces. It was so easy and SO good. I actually used Trader Joes' frozen Soy-cutash (because I did not have black beans, and I love edamame) and I added a jar of Muir Glen Salsa just because, and it came out delicious. Further proof that slow cookers are amazing.

Onto next week! MOAR RUNNING, now with a side of fitness classes! I predict soreness in my immediate future...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Running. I'm still doing it.

No big shocker there. I was (fortunately?) blessed with the gift of stubbornness, so even when I hate it, I won't quit.

Last week was a recovery week, so my mileage was lower. And it felt SOOOO good. I swapped my LR to Saturday, because my dad came into town Saturday night and I didn't want to have to run Sunday morning (since he was only here for a little less than 24 hours).

Fenway nights (also, I now realize how much I look like him)
I was supposed to run 8 miles on Sunday, but I waited too late and ended up only doing 4. My week looked like this:

Monday: Vinyasa Flow Yoga, 1 hour, sweatfest! I am almost embarassed by how much I sweat in yoga.

Tuesday: 9 miles, easy pace (8:50)

Wednesday: 6.5 miles, easy pace with 5x800 in the middle. I was really tired that day and the 800s were a struggle. They went like this: 3:35 on the first two, forgot to time the third, then 3:43 and 3:37. Not terrible. I would like to run them again when I feel less drained.

Thursday: 4.5 miles, recovery pace (9:20) - made the mistake of running this one near a body of water at night. OMG bugs. I swallowed at least 4. As one of my DM friends said, extra protein for the day!

Friday: rest

Saturday: 14 miles, 90% MGP (8:37). AWESOME weather. Seriously, high 60's in August? It was amazing. Not pushing too hard, just ticking off the miles.

Sunday: 4 miles, recovery (9:20).

This week has been a little more of a struggle. I felt a little ill on Monday & Tuesday - I had a terrible headache for 2 days that was exacerbated by running. I think it possibly had to do with not drinking enough water or salt imbalance. I worked on that and felt much better yesterday.

And I will start doing my weekly recap right after the week actually happens, haha. I start teaching 5 fitness classes next week - I am so nervous but very excited and grateful to have some employment. It will also be interesting to see how this works with my training schedule. I am teaching studio classes that focus on step cardio/ strength training, so I anticipate I might have to go down to running one less day a week so that I'm not totally miserable and sore. But I am looking forward to the challenge!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back on Track

After I bitched and moaned my way through last week (if any of you actually read that drivel, I'm sorry) I ended up having a really good running week. I finally hit 50 miles! And I pretty much did it all with no real issues.

My training week looked like this:

Tuesday: 6 miles (treadmill, slow progression), lifted weights

Wednesday: 9.5 miles (5 on treadmill, 4 outside) in the AM, 4.5 miles in the evening

Thursday: 6 miles (recovery pace)

Friday: Yoga

Saturday: 6 miles + speed - 6x100m strides

Sunday: 16 miles (12 at 8:25 pace) AM, 2.5 miles with the dog PM

All in all it was a good week. I had a job interview for a fitness instructor position on Friday, and overworked my legs in practicing my choreography (I got the job!), and then my plan called for a speed workout on Saturday, so by Sunday my legs were really sore. I had aimed to do 12 of the 16 miles at GMP (8:10) but I just didn't have it in me, and I had to scale it back. The weather was beautiful over the weekend as well - both Saturday and Sunday's runs were done in sub 70 temps. It felt GLORIOUS.

This week has been fine as well. I hit the track today for the first time in a while to do 800s. Holy shit guys, 800s are HARD. And it didn't help that I didn't get to the track until almost noon (read: HOT). I did 5x800 with 400 recovery in between. The first two 800s were around 3:35, and then I forgot to time the third one (doh), and then 4 was 3:43, and the final one was 3:37. I feel like I could do better, but considering I haven't run on the track in months, I'll take it.

I am so stoked that cooler temperatures are finally within sight. I am over the dog days of summer.

Darla even got into running last week! She is decidedly not a runner dog - we've tried many times. But she did go out and do a 2.5 mile run/walk with me on Sunday night! I am a proud mama.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


That's what I'm doing. The last week of marathon training has been a total struggle, and I feel like a failure.

Exactly like I felt here. Defeated. Failing.

I have yet to be able to get my mileage over 45 miles for a week, and with only 9 weeks left until the marathon, that really, really worries me. I'm starting to think I'm just not cut out to run marathons. I'm also really starting to think that my goal of a BQ is just not possible. How the hell am I going to maintain a 8:12 pace or less if I can't even make it more than 12-13 miles at a time without wilting?

My longest run to date has been 15 miles. I missed my 18 miler due to the foot injury, and then this past weekend we only made it 13 miles before I threw in the towel (it was supposed to be 20-yikes). We were out of town in CT and it was mega hilly there, and it was super humid. I never felt like at any point in that run that I ever reached a 'groove' and the entire 2 hours felt like an enormous struggle. Also, it feels ultra pathetic that it took me over 2 hours to run 13 miles. A 9:23 pace should be easy. And at 13 miles I had to just stop. This all does not bode well for the actual marathon.

I'm thinking I'm feeling really defeated by this training program (Pfitzinger). It seems like no matter how hard I try, I can't ever consistently hit all the mileage/speed goals. My legs are constantly sore, and my average pace has slipped further every week. I don't really know what to do. I think a large part of this problem is training in the peak of the summer, when the heat and humidity are inescapable. Also, running more than 5 days a week seems to just kill me. Last week the plan called for 3 of those 5 days to be in the double digits, which meant for me there wasn't enough time for my body to recover in between for me to be able to successfully tackle the next one.

I'm not even sure what the point of all this is - if you are still reading, thank for listen to me bitch and moan. :) I think I'll try to read a few more blogs and get some inspiration back (like Kris's amazing mileage!).

Friday, August 10, 2012

A post wherein I whine a lot

So I haven't posted in over a week. Sue me. :)

Truth be told, I don't have much to say. I am at the point in training where the mileage is increasing, and combined with brutal August temperatures and humidity, I am pretty miserable. I wonder daily why I'm doing this to myself.

Also, I briefly injured myself over the weekend. I made the classic mistake of switching shoes mid-training. I bought a pair of Brooks Green Silence on a killer deal - marked down to $49 and I had like $21 reward dollars, so they were uber cheap. I was really excited about how they fit and felt, so much so that I laced them up the day after I bought them and took them out for 5 miles of speedwork. Friends, don't make the dumb mistakes that I do. These shoes are moderately minimal, with an 8mm heel to toe drop. The shoes I do most of my training in, the New Balance 890 and the Nike Pegasus, both have a 12mm drop (although I swear the New Balance shoes feel lower than that).

So cute. So dangerous.

I loved how light they were, and how the upper fit my bony, thin, narrow foot so well. I declared the run a huge success and packed them in my suitcase to head to an out-of-town wedding. Saturday morning I woke up in VA with a slight pain in my right foot, specifcially on the outside edge of my foot, almost directly below my ankle. It wasn't terrible, and anyone who runs a lot knows that little aches and pains are just part of the game. I am not a hypochondriac so I got up, laced up my shoes, and went for a quick 2 mile run before we had to hit the road again to get to the wedding site.

My foot got progressively more sore throughout the day, but I had cocktail attire to wear, and I was not going to show up to the wedding in flats. So I put on my very sensible 2.5" Easy Spirit peep toes (don't laugh, they are cute AND comfy) and partied the night away.

Who doesn't love a good wedding photobooth? Torture shoes not pictured
By the time we got back to our hotel room my foot hurt pretty bad. I got some ice and iced it for a while and went to sleep. I woke up at 5am and tried to get out of bed, forgetting about my foot, and doubled over in pain. From my awesome google skills, I determined that I angered some tendons in my foot:

The lower arrow marks the spot of OWWWWW
The peroneus brevis and/or the peroneus longus, to be exact. We spent almost all of Sunday driving (11 hours, FU thunderstorms!) back to MA. And I spent the day limping in and out of gas stations on the ball of my foot. I got cups of ice along the way and put my foot on ice for quite a lot of the ride. I got home and wrapped it up, kept it elevated, and took Aleve for the better part of 2 days. By day 4, 95% of my pain was gone. It was nothing short of miraculous.

RICE works, ya'll

So this all meant that I had to totally skip last weekend's long run - 18 miles. It also meant that I missed Tuesday's 7 miles as well. And now that I am able to play catch-up, it is hotter than an MFer outside and it's like 99% humidity. Not exactly ideal. Which makes me a super angry person. Oh, and did I mention that I'm supposed to do 20 miles this weekend? FML.

Marathon training in August sucks. Why am I doing this again?

On a not-complaining note: I have become an absolute Olympics junkie. I love all of it. Even synchronized swimming and table tennis. It also means that we've been staying up until midnight watching it, making it impossible to get up early to run. So I guess I'm to blame for most of my misery.

So the lesson here is apparently:

1) never switch shoes mid-training, and
2) stop staying up so damn late.

Learn from my mistakes!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Narragansett Blessing of the Feet 10 Mile Road Race

So last week I was just casually looking for upcoming races in New England. I love to run races, and I think they make me a better runner because otherwise I rarely run that hard. I happened to discover the Narragansett 10 Miler on Thursday - and the race was Friday night. The on site race fee was only $35, so we decided "what the hell" and drove down from Boston for it on Friday.

The weather ended up being pretty bad, and the race was actually delayed for half and hour because of downpours and lightning. But that worked in our favor, because it alleviated some of the stifling humidity. The race set off at 6:30pm on Friday night, which meant almost the entire town pulled out their lawn chairs and coolers to spectate. It was an AWESOME race. Beautiful ocean views, tons of cheering fans - people spraying us with their garden hoses to cool off, and even some dudes offering cans of Natty Light around mile 8. The last 1.5 miles was a steady downhill run as well, which is always nice.

I knew this race wouldn't be an all-out race effort for me, mostly because I'd run hard for the 3 previous days - 7 miles on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday, and 7 on Thursday. It was more of a tune-up effort - and to see how a 10 mile race felt on relatively tired legs. And I can say, it felt better than I thought it would. I mean, it wasn't my best effort, but I am certainly not upset with it.

Miles 1-3 were somewhere around 7:45-8:00, and then I dialed it back because a) we were climbing a long, steady hill, and b) the soreness started yelling at me. But then towards the end I got a second wind and turned it on, concluding with the last mile being my fastest - 7:35. It always feels awesome to finish a race fast - I passed what felt like 100 people in the last mile and sprinted into the finish - the crowd was roaring! That was worth the $35 alone.

Final results: 10 miles, 1:21:24, 8:04 avg pace.

My husband was having some issues during this race and I actually finished ahead of him. Hello, bragging rights! I've been reminding him I beat him all week.

In case you didn't know, the one on the right is the winner in this photo

This race also had a festival/carnival at the end complete with seafood and beer. It was a great race, I highly recommend it!

Now this week is the time to put my big girl panties on - the training plan calls for 50 miles this week. GULP.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dirty Thirty

So I celebrated leaving the 2nd decade of my life in grand style. I subisted off a steady diet of booze and sweet potato fries, and stayed up until at least 4am every night. And I ran zero miles for 6 days. And you know what? I don't regret it at all. Who is lucky enough to get 12 of my friends to come to Vegas to celebrate my 30th birthday? Me!

Sizzling at the Pleasure Pool @ Planet Hollywood (seriously, it was 105 degrees)

My husband, the one man entertainment show

All the girls. Lots of shiny. 

Husband, wearing a much skinnier friend's jacket. Hilarious. "fat guy in a little coat"

Vegas. 30. 

We've been friends for 10 years. Love her.
And there you have it. I bet on 30 on the roulette wheel all weekend and laughed my ass off all weekend. Especially at the girls at the club wearing dresses so short that their Spanx were hanging out the bottom. Girl, that means it's not your dress!

I did a 7 mile run yesterday and was surprisingly fast considering how terribly I'd treated my body over the last 4 days. 7 miles, 8:10 avg. 2 miles in the middle with 10x100 strides.

I also came home with $25 in ones. Strip club, anyone? :) haha... I kidd, I kidd... (maybe)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Saying goodbye to my 20s...

Today is my last day to be 29. Sigh. Oh well. I'm going to choose to embrace it. :) It just seems like I could spend my 20s having fun and putting off big life things, and now it's all in my face. I can at least put it off for another few days because today we are flying to...

I'm going to go out of my 20's in grand fashion! Another friend of mine (who is 2 weeks younger than me) is also coming and it will be joint festivities. We'll be meeting 12 friends there to have LOTS of fun. Which means I probably won't be doing much running this week. :) More of this:

last year
This week's running was pretty successful.

Sunday - 14.41 miles, 8:49 avg/pace (5 miles in the middle at 8:15-20)
Tuesday - 9 miles, 5 at 15K pace (7:50 pace)

My knees were pretty sore after Sunday's run, and then were really sore after yesterday's run. Since I haven't trained for a full marathon in 3 years, I think it's just the unpleasant side effect of getting them stronger. Also, yesterday, I was wide awake at 3:30 am because I was STARVING. I finally caved and got up to eat something at 4:30. Another side effect of marathon training - RUNger. 

So considering the highs in Vegas are around 105 this week, I don't think we'll be doing any long runs at all. I packed my new running clothes - Thanks, K! - but I am unsure we'll be able to do more than a couple miles. The gym at our hotel is pay-per-use, and let's be honest, I'll save my dollas for martinis (I've got priorities). 

New stuff:

I swear my top and shorts match

Also, I got a lot of regular clothes too but I won't bore you with the details. Several dresses for my trip and some shoes (shhh, don't tell anyone they are Easy Spirits). Old age has already set it...

Talk to you next week!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Running while out of town and big life things (like entering new decades)

I spent most of this week in Connecticut visiting friends. It was glorious. A brief reprieve from the city, and laughing a lot with friends I haven't been able to spend any real time with in years. These girls were my rocks when we were all new to the life of being a submarine wife (rhyme, anyone?) in Hawaii. Now we are all old pros at this weird lifestyle and we can laugh and drink wine while exchanging our latest crazy stories. We refer to each other as 'husbands' since ours were always out to the damn sea (that whore).

yes to pastries and friends
I ran 6 miles (with 10x100m strides thrown in) on Tuesday, which conveniently landed me in the North End, so I bought pastries to take with me to CT. I might have been the most loved person in the room that night! I know the way to my friend's hearts - cannolis, whoopie pies, and cream puffs!

The weather seemed cooler down there and I enjoyed my runs. It was slightly unnerving to run on quiet, residential roads with no real sidewalks, though. I did 5 on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. I think Thursday was my first official mid-week double digit run of this training cycle. I ran along the waterfront, which consisted of a lot of dilapidated houses (so sad, if only someone could save them) and then out to this beautiful point:
Ocean mist, ahhhhh
I liked the point so much I looped around it twice. Then we all went to the outlet stores for a little retail therapy. It was good week indeed. As much as I love Boston, sometimes you need to escape the hustle and get away.

So this is also big week in my life, I guess. I am in my last week of my 20s. I will be 30 next week. And honestly I thought I'd be totally cool with it, but suddenly I'm finding myself freaking out a little inside (and outside now, since I told all of you). I feel like I should have more things figured out by now; that generally I should have my shit together a little better than I do currently. I find myself thinking that maybe I dress to immaturely, or that I need to start up a new career. Basically, it's a a total mind game. I might write more on this later, but for now I'll keep my lamenting to myself.

We are going to Las Vegas to ring in my new decade (along with 12 other friends!), which probably means my marathon training will be shot to hell next week. Honestly, I'm not heartbroken over that. It's early enough in my training cycle that I think I might benefit from a little bit of a break. Now I just need to go shopping and find a really shiny, Vegas-worthy dress!

Also, big life things... sigh... I am seriously considering going off birth control. While I'm not quite ready to expand our family, I think it might not be in my too distant future, so I am considering pulling the plug on the pill. Has anyone else had any experience with quitting the pill while marathon training? I have not been off the pill in over 10 years. From what I recall, my periods were normal, if maybe on the heavy side. On the pill they are almost non-existent (like 2-3 days). This is certainly freaking me out, but I think it might be better to do it now. If anyone has any insight or experience, I'd love to hear about it.

It's supposed to be 90+ in Beantown this week so it's looking like Sunday's 15-miler will be done at the crack of dawn. I'm (not) looking forward to it. It exhausts me just thinking about it, but it's got to be done.

And on that note, I'll sign off.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Long Run Sunday & Week recap

I ran 8 miles on Friday, and aimed to do 4 miles at lactate threshold (15K-half marathon pace) but again wilted in the heat. Friday and Saturday were super hot and humid and I definitely suffered.

lots of sweat
I think I managed 3 at 8:10 pace and then had to slow down. I then realized I had a Gilt City deal for yoga that expired that day, so like an idiot I went to yoga after my super sweaty 8-miler. I told myself it was only a 1-hour class and it would feel good. Well the instructor must have sensed I was already exhausted, because she proceeded to inflict on us the hardest 60-minute yoga class ever. I think I sweat more in that class than I did on my run. 

Got this on both sides though!

By that afternoon was I totally exhausted and guzzling water like a champ. I rested and then realized we needed to get moving, so the only solution for my terrible hair was a braid. This is my most successful fishtail to date.

I'm so proud

We went to see Ted (which was totally hilarious) and then for cocktails:

jalepeno-infused tequila concoction for me, bourbon fest for Mr. K

We got some food and got home at a decent hour and went to bed. But the next day I felt like death all day, and I am positive it wasn't the cocktails. I think I just overdid it. I could barely walk around the harbor without wanting to stop and sit down.

So I guess today's medium-long run was pretty uneventful. It was hot, hot enough for me to take my shirt off and just run in a sports bra - which is really hot, because I hate my stomach. I am perfectly normal height/weight, but my stomach has always been meh. Will probably always be meh, and I've become okay with that.

Sidenote: I had a conversation with my husband a few nights ago about how running finally made me stop obsessing over food and my weight. It made me care less about what the scale said or the size of my clothes, and more about treating myself well so that I can perform to the best of my abilities. I have never been good at any sports, or been athletic at all - running has given me the experience to finally feel accomplished in that arena. I don't need to be a size 2 - I need to be strong so I can perform well!

So anyway, I set out to run today, and had a really hard time getting into it. I am not so good at short distances - it usually takes me a couple miles before I feel good and 'in the groove.' Today I would say I didn't feel like I hit my stride until mile 5 or 6. And I was right where I wanted to be pace-wise (about 90% of MGP) and then around mile 9, I misjudged my step and stumbled off the curb trying to accommodate an oncoming cyclist, and immediately felt I twinge in my general hip flexor/psoas area. It progressively got worse until I decided to throw in the towel around mile 12 and go home. I walked to Kenmore and took the T home. (sorry to those who were offended by my sweatiness)

12.12 miles, 8:47 avg/pace. First 3 miles were over 8, last 9 were under. Blah.

So I totally realized a couple hours ago that I signed up for a 5K that is tomorrow night. Oops? I am not sure that I will do it, and if I do, it certainly won't be a PR effort. We'll see. I also have my cardio echogram tomorrow. Fingers crossed I have a totally normal, boring heart.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And the medical advice says...

So, I saw a doctor today about my chest pain. They did an EKG and she said it looks pretty normal, and she is going to have the cardiologist review it. The little EKG stickers pulled off my self tanner so now I have white squares on my arms, legs, and chest. Cute.
My favorite part: being told to 'just relax' after being hooked up to a zillion wires

She thought she heard a slight heart murmur, but she thinks it's harmless, but scheduled a cardio echo just to be sure. I'll go back for that next week. She kept saying, "it's probably nothing" even though I assured her I wasn't freaking out.
cardio echo

No lumps/cysts - so the verdict is - she thinks it's muscular. She said I shouldn't lift weights or do strenuous upper body work for a while. Not sure how I feel about that, because I really like lifting weights and I really like yoga (especially arm balances). *super sad face*

So I was sent home with some lidocaine pain patches. At least she didn't tell me to stop running. We would have had words if it came to that.

I ran 8 miles this morning. Finally got up and went early. Not quite early enough - the goal was 10 - but I ran out of time. I'll squeeze in 2 more later today.

I was entertaining the idea of running a 4th of July 5K tomorrow - because I am never one to miss an opportunity to wear a red, white, and blue running outfit - but I may not. Perhaps I'll just wear my outfit anyway for my 4 miles recovery run.

Monday, July 2, 2012

We are in for a long summer...

In case you haven't noticed, or you live in some fabulous location where you are immune to heat waves (jealous side eye coming your way), it's HOT. And I do not run well in heat.

Yesterday my husband and I set out to run 13 miles, with 8 miles near goal marathon pace. We made the mistake of not waking until 6:30 and sort of slowing getting ready. We didn't get out the door until 8:00 or so. Dumb. We are so dumb.

My husband just finished a really stressful summer term of grad school, and hasn't run more than 10 miles a week all month. Yet he agreed to go on this run. I am not sure if he's awesome or slightly crazy.

Miles 1-4 were at around a 9:10 average, and we never really got near goal pace. Miles 5-8 were 8:20 average, and by that point it was really, uncomfortably hot. We both shed our shirts around mile 9 and then decided to call it quits at 10.75 miles. We then ducked into a running store to 'look around' (i.e. steal their air conditioning). After we cooled off we went into a nearby grocery store for coconut water and chocolate milk (well, coffee milk for me - SO GOOD!). And then we took the train home. I still call it a success, because we actually got out there and did something.

10.75 miles, 8:46 avg pace. 

I normally just use gels for fueling, but I took the Gu Chews yesterday - the Peach Tea flavor (2X caffeine, I am a caffeine hound). They were really good. K forgot to take gels (!) which isn't good because he's a big dude (6'1", 185) and needs to fuel more than I do. I shared my chews with him; he was very grateful. He didn't even tell me he forgot his gels - around 9.5 I was grabbing for some chews and asked if he wanted one and he yelled "YES!" in a super desperate tone, as if he was starving. haha.

We both returned home covered in a full-body crust of salt. Gross. We then subjected ourselves to the torture chamber - hot/cold contrast therapy. It works, but man, getting in a tub full of cold water is just cruel.

His face says it all, really.
So I hit my mileage goal this week - 5 runs, 36 miles. 

Today we finally cashed in a Gilt City deal and went to a RealRyder indoor cycling class. I've been once before, a few months ago. I used to spin 3-4 a week when I lived in CA; but since moving here, it just hasn't been a reality to do it as often. RealRyder bikes are meant to mimic the road bike a bit more, in that they move and you can make left and right 'turns'. It was a good cross-training workout, and I am sure that my ass will be very sore tomorrow.
Taint torture, right there.
So, do you other runners out there do other stuff for cardio cross training? I might hit up the gym a little later for a weight workout. We'll see.

Also, I'll be running at 6am for the rest of the summer. Guess I'll need to start going to bed at 9...