Thursday, June 28, 2012

Well hello there, double digits, we meet again...

I haven't run a double-digit run since exactly one month ago when I ran the Run to Remember half. If you have been following along (I don't really know why you would, my life is far from thrilling), I took an accidental run sabbatical and I've been working my way back to a normal schedule for the last few weeks. Today my schedule called for a 'general aerobic' 10-miler, so I told myself I'd do 8 or 9. But after I hit 6 I decided, why the hell not? What's another mile? And so I did it.

I also am being smart and following the book's prescribed method for these 'easy runs' - run easily for the first 3-5 miles, then pick up the pace to somewhere around 90% marathon goal pace. I had to loop back home for a quick pee stop around mile 3, and then kept it around a 9:15 pace until 5, and then climbed up to a peak of 8:11 for mile 9, and then back down around 8:40 for the last mile.


10.19 miles, 1:31, 8:52 avg. pace.

Also, fun things this week - I got chased by a turkey on Monday's 7-miler. I live in a heavily populated Boston neighborhood and the damn thing ran out of the bushes and scared the sh** outta me.

And then today, I almost got hit by a car. I was crossing the street when a car tried to make a quick left turn (although they did not have a turn signal!!!) and narrowly missed me. This has definitely been my least favorite part of living in Boston - the drivers fully live up to the Masshole moniker. It amazes me everyday how they just blatantly ignore the rules of the road and general act like their agenda is the most important thing in the world - more important than my safety as a pedestrian. /soapbox

I did a 90 minute yoga class yesterday - and was able to finally get side crow on both sides, and almost got a forearm stand. It's been a good week thus far!

Monday, June 25, 2012

To seek medical advice or not, this is the question...

So, I've been having some bizarre pain since May. I will preface this to say that I go to the doctor maybe once or twice a year, so I am not one to run out and see one every time I have an ache, pain, or sniffles.

On Mother's Day, I went to the gym with my sister while I was in Mississippi. I got on a treadmill to run, and within the first quarter mile, I felt a sharp pain on the far left side of my chest. Not like a heart palpitation - but more in my chest wall (pretty close to my armpit, in the area where the strap of a bra would meet the cup). I kept running, and I think I ran about 7 miles that day on the treadmill.

It hurts right here. 

For weeks after, it still hurt. Not in an excruciating way, but in way where I definitely notice it. I notice it while running, I really noticed it when I tried to strength train my upper body. It also bothered me if I was trying to sleep in certain positions.

Then I took my accidental run sabbatical for the first 3 weeks of June. And I can't say I noticed it then. I finally got back to running and going to the gym last week. I did a good strength session on Thursday - bench press, rows, flyes, overhead tricep press, nosebreakers, bicep curls. And the next day, bam, the pain came right back. , just as bad as it was on day one.

As I type this right now I can feel it. It's really annoying and I can't understand what it might be. Strained chest muscle? Some sort of tendon/connective tissue issue? (ha, that rhymed) Or something worse? I will also add I can feel it on inhale and exhale (more so on exhale).

I just don't even really know how to describe it to a doctor, and I feel like they are just going to tell me take ibuprofen and not workout, which isn't really an answer to me.

Any ideas?

Update: I schedule an appointment to see my primary care physician next week. I still feel silly about it, but I guess I wanted to be smart. I am not optimistic she will be of much help - she is very nice, but has doled out some rather antiquated advice to me before (like telling me I need to drink 3 glasses of milk a day).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

B.A.A. 10K

So sometimes, I surprise myself.

I have *barely* run in the month of June. I've probably logged less than 10 runs, and the longest one was only like 7.5 miles (at a slow pace). We had signed up for this 10K like 6 months ago, but I was SO not enthused about it. I barely slept last night (no real reason, just tossed and turned and only got about 3-4 hours of sleep). I finally stopped fighting it and got up at 5:30 (30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, mind you).

We dragged ass and got out of the house at 7, and to the race start line around 7:35. The bathroom lines were short (thank goodness) and they had a wave start, which was awesome after the BAA 5K cluster-ffff. I had no problem starting out fast, and there was little to no crowding out of the chute.

I had no intentions of trying to PR. First mile: 7:31. I thought to myself there was no way I'd be able to hold that, and started to waiver in my head. It was getting hot and I really didn't feel like running.

Mile 2: 7:44
Mile 3: 7:47

In those few miles I was really distracted with watching the elites and other super fast people run by (it was an out and back). I guess I got inspired or something (or maybe I just needed a warm-up?) because from that point I picked up the pace. I also spotted a guy who dropped his keys while trying to take his shirt off (it was getting really hot) and I was able to alert him. Good deed for the day!

Mile 4: 7:25
Mile 5: 7:17
Mile 6:  7:35
last .2: 1:54 (6:58 pace)

Official results: 47:08, 7:36 avg. pace. This is more than 90 seconds faster than my best 10K to date! So it was a PR day after all. It certainly wasn't easy, and I wavered a good bit in my head. But at the end of the day I still really wanted it, and that is all that matters. Going into marathon training, I really need to keep my motivation high.

Otherwise, this week has come up short on mileage. This week was officially week 1 of marathon training, but since my mileage has been low (okay, really low), I didn't want to risk injury by suddenly jumping from 15 miles a week to 33, so I chose to reduce. I hope to be at 100% by week 3 or 4. I am really enjoying the Pfitzinger book and have decided to use their 18/55 plan (18 weeks, going as high as 55 miles a week). While I totally see the merits of the 55-70 plan, I do NOT want to risk injury. My highest mileage week of my life thus far has only been about 42 miles, so now is not the time to suddenly jump that high.

What I've enjoyed most about this training is that I feel like I am running with much more intention. I am not simply going out to acquire miles; each workout has its own pace and meaning, which I think makes me appreciate it much more. I also now understand how to obtain the physical gains they speak of in the book - and that means NOT always just running as fast as you feel like on that specific day. I realize now I've been running myself into the ground, and my training probably suffered. I am looking forward to finally doing things the right way!

Oh, and of course, obligatory (after) race photo:
Yes, aqua top, red shorts, yellow shoes. I cannot tell I lie, I love bright things.

Monday, June 18, 2012

7 years ago today...

I married this guy:

And I'm not a butterflies-and-rainbows-flying-out-of-my-ass person, but it's the best decision I've ever made. He is full of awesomeness (and he's pretty easy on the eyes). I think I'll keep him around for a long time.

And today also marks the day that our last house-guests have finally left. I have had my house full of guests for the last for the last 16 days. While it was super fun and I'm happy I did it, and I also very happy to get back into my normal routine. I think I only ran 4 times the last 16 days. I also ate 4 lobster rolls, went on 3 brewery tours, and ate more pizza and North End pastries than I care to think about. As someone who normally eats a pretty clean diet, this has wreaked havoc on my system and energy levels. I cannot wait to cook every night and not go to a restaurant for the foreseeable future.

I still have not finished reading Advanced Marathoning (see above, also, I am easily distracted) and I am supposed to start marathon training this week. We also have a 10K this weekend, which I am guessing will not be a PR effort, judging by my less than stellar training over the past few weeks.

Here's to eating vegetables and running again!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I miss you, running.

So I haven't posted in a while, mostly because I haven't been running. Specifically, I didn't even run a step for 5 days. I know.

My mom and stepdad were here for the last 5 days, making it impossible to run. They don't travel much and they aren't very self-sufficient, so I felt obligated to keep them entertained. We did do a shitload of walking and I played the part of a substandard Boston tour guide (with a Southern accent) for most of the time. I have to say, being a tourist is exhausting.
Yep, Supertourist with Mama & Stepdad

Yes, this was taken from a Duck Boat.

Not giant balls. Giant Vandergraff machine at MOS (which was terribly disappointing)



After making my 4th trip to the airport in 10 days (and I do not work there, nor did I ever get on a plane) via MBTA (a 60-75 min one-way trip), I got home yesterday and stayed on the couch for the better portion of the day. The best part is I have only a 48-hour reprieve, because my sister and her husband arrive on Saturday. AND the day after they leave, I have more friends coming to stay with us. Hotel CK is booked. 

How do you guys get your workouts in when you have houseguests? I am at a loss trying to figure out how to do it. I guess I just worry they will feel like they are wasting their vacation time waiting on me.

My husband also had a rough week - miltary full-time job + 2 summer term grad classes = he's running on fumes. I convinced him to come run with me yesterday and we did a slow 4 miles and talked (because we've barely even seen each other over the past 7 days). 4 miles, 9:00 avg pace.

I've been reading Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger. I am such a geek, because I find all this information fascinating. I'm only about halfway through the book, so I will refrain from speaking about it until I finish. But already I have to say I really wish I would have read it before I ever ran a marathon. The title is somewhat misleading, because this information would be useful to anyone looking to successfully run a marathon. Marathoning isn't just about getting the miles in - it's also about fueling, hydration, rest, and run strategy -all of which is covered in this book.

Marathon training doesn't need to begin for a few more weeks, so for now I'm just running casually (and slowly) and going to the gym, yoga class, and some spinning here and there.