Saturday, January 29, 2011

The long slow run

Today was 5 miles, the farthest I've run since October. How was it? Long. Slow. More of a looooooooong sloooooooooow run. Ok it wasn't that bad. I finished in 52:41, slower than I wanted, but still, I finished. Besides, the focus was on distance. It's called a long slow run for a reason. I finished the whole shebang without walking a single step. Yay! How did I feel after? Tired, sore, alive.

Just for fun, here's a synopsis of my every thought for one sample lap: 28...28....don't throw up...28....I can do this!...28...28...32 to go...don't think about that...28...keep going...28...whew!...29...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All in all it's just another 4 miles

Just two weeks ago, 2 miles was difficult, 3 was challenging and 4 seemed near impossible. Yet I completed my second 4-mile run of the week this afternoon. Every step was awful, but the difficulty was all mental and I kept telling myself I could do it. On Saturday I finished in 40:30 and I was quite happy with that! Today, however, was 41:23. In the end, though, it's still four miles completed and it'll get easier every time.

Up next: 5 miles on Saturday!!! Can I do it? Yes I can!!!!! (and so can all of you!!!!!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shoes shoes shoes

I know the Vibrams need to be worn gradually and slowly slowly increase the distance, yet I never even considered that perhaps the Mizunos should be worn the same way. I looked at them as being interchangeable with the Vibrams and I would pop on the Mizunos then try to run 3 miles and wonder why my legs hurt.

Duh! My feet and legs need to get accustomed to whatever shoes I'm going to wear to run. So I took it easier for a week. I did my distance, but rather than do 3 miles right away last Saturday, I broke it into three 1-mile runs, with ample stretching in between each. It seems to have worked, because I did four miles today without any major issue.

Mizuno seems to change their shoe designs twice a year so I hopped on Amazon and ordered two pairs of hideous gray, purple and yellow shoes to carry me through the next year, even though my current pair is still in great condition.

A nice side effect is that they're on sale, then Amazon gave me a $20 promotion so rather than paying $89 a pair, I got them for about $54. I'll take it.

The irony is I don't even love this model. I preferred the Wave Inspire but the latest model is the one that messed up my hip. I switched to the Wave Rider and it works so I need to stock up while they're available.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lessons learned

I really had no clue what I was doing in the marathon, yet I very quickly learned some lessons that will help me with the half and the 2011 Detroit.

Such as, I need a running partner for the second half. I prefer to run alone, but it got really lonely and the second half was much more difficult, both because it was the second half and because all the good entertainment was in the first half. Thank goodness for the few others I kept running into.

For as much as everyone has made fun of fanny packs over the years, I would have really liked one, notably because I would have liked to have my camera. In particular, to shoot the ramps on the Ambassador Bridge covered with runners as the sun rose. Time to go back to the Salvation Army!

The shoes, of course. I actually wore a new pair for the marathon. I had the old turquoise pair that were guaranteed to give me shin splints, or the pink ones that had messed up my hip. The Vibrams were killer for shorter distances, but not for 26.2, so on Thursday night before the race, I bought a new pair. Either they would get me through the race, or I'd sit on the curb and wait for the last chance car to pick me up. Definitely not an uncertainty to repeat! Hence, the shoe drama recurring and being dealt with 10 weeks ahead of time.

I also would have liked some food. I had packed a few Clif bars, but I saw people eating caffeinated jelly beans and I really wanted some!!! I needed caffeine in general, but without the digestive effects of coffee, so I need to find me some of these jelly beans before the Martian.

Lastly - and this is major! - if I get hurt again and it doesn't heal within two weeks, it's not going to and I need to get to a dr immediately.

Anyone have other good advice to share that I missed?

ps: Today is day 51 of exercising at least 30 minutes
pps: The ultimate 4-hour cardio playmix has one new addition: The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Shoes. Again. Still. Ugh

I'm seemingly right back where I was in the last few weeks leading up to the marathon in that I have no idea which shoes to wear! I've been wearing the Vibrams and they feel great!!!! At least they do as long as I keep it under two miles. I did 2.5 miles on Thursday and I have residual next day upper foot bone pain.

Why did I wear the Vibrams for that distance? Because I wore the Mizunos on Wednesday and within a half mile - a half mile!!! - both my legs were getting charlie horses right above the achilles area. I didn't have the Vibrams with me so I ditched the shoes and ran barefoot. The cramps went away and I finished just fine.

What an absolute pain!!!! Shoes are just a tad bit important when it comes to running and I'm officially training for a race, with no clue as to which shoes work best for me. Argh! Frustration!

I also thought perhaps it's not the shoes - because the gray Mizunos got me through the marathon - perhaps it's overtraining and this is my body's way of saying 42 days in too many? To test that theory, today is a "rest" day from running, so instead of biking, I'm going to hit the weights and generally try to not use my legs today.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

And we're off!!!

Today is day 40 of the 100-day exercise challenge and day 3 of the half marathon training program. Day 3 and I already did 1 1/2 miles? I like this! It came immediately after 45 minutes of Zumba to make it all the more challenging. I already feel in so much better shape than I did training for the full.

I realized too that if I can learn to consistently run a 9-minute mile, I can finish in under 2 hours. My baseline goal is to finish, but I'll be happy to finish in 2:20 and I'll be really happy to finish sub 2 hours.

The ultimate goal is to finish the full in October sub 4 hours. A 9-minute mile isn't even that fast! I can do this!

Who's with me? Lizzie? Are you in for the Martian? Carrie?

Here's a parting comment from Glamour magazine that helps keep things in perspective: "My thighs may not be skinny-mini, but they're strong - and they helped get me through every race! There's a real power that comes from knowing that."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The important Q&As

I read this in The Detroit News and it's good and applicable to any athletic event.

These could have been my exact answers after the marathon, especially the last one.

My friends asked me millions of questions afterward: "How many people rode in the ride?" I can't remember now. "What place did you finish?" I don't know. "How long did it take you from beginning to end?" Forever, it seems. "How many hours did you put in training?" Not enough. "Would you do it again?" Yes, I will. But for me, there was only one question I wanted to be able to answer when it was over: "Did you finish?" Yes, I did, and for me that was enough.