Thursday, August 29, 2013

One of the ugliest shirts I've ever seen :(

The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon published a photo of the shirt for runners this year. They used a new company and seem proud of the shirt. I have to respectfully disagree and judge it the worst race shirt in my collection. This is the ladies' shirt - aren't they normally v-neck???

It's so bad it makes me nostalgic for the 2012 Martian shirt that looked like Space Invaders. I just don't know what to say about this one. Since I don't have anything nice to say, Grandma would advise me to keep quiet...

Monday, August 26, 2013

18 miles - A two-step run

Saturday was another long run - 18 miles. It was also going to be really hot and sunny. Originally I was planning to run 2+ laps at Kensington before my niece's birthday party, but the idea made me cringe. One lap on that crazy loop is bad enough - I can't imagine doing two!!!

Luckily a better option arose - to run with Kelly at Willow MetroPark. We started at 8am and it was already hot! Yuck! She was having stomach issues, and I was seriously whiny and not wanting to run. Every time we ran into the sun, it seemed to get hotter and more miserable. I was seriously not feeling it!!!!

She had to do 15 miles. We got back to the car at 13.22 and I was good enough with that. I had gone with my friend who played disc golf while I was running and I didn't want to make him wait another hour while I finished my 18 miles. Besides, I just didn't want to! I was hungry, thirsty, dehydrated, bored. My shirt was dripping sweat, which is one of the worst feelings for me mentally. I could practically wring out the sweat. Ewwww!

Friend and I drove back to my house to get cleaned up for the party, and we were in the car maybe 3 minutes and I started feeling really bad about my run. I know I CAN run 18 miles, so I was super disappointed in myself that I didn't do it. It would make us late to the party, but I really wanted to finish my run, even though it was after 12 pm, and the sun was at its full height and strength.

But I HAD to do it, so I changed my shirt, left my friend at home with a dvd of The Walking Dead, and I went back out around my house. My left knee was a little stiff, but I wanted to try and see how far I could go, hopefully the final 4.78 miles.

Despite the heat, I left my water belt at home because it's too heavy and I don't like wearing it! Instead I cranked up the ultimate 4-hour cardio play mix, devised my strategy (run 0.45, walk 0.05) and went. I was able to get through the final miles to hit 18 and I'm soooooo glad I did. It would have been the easiest thing to stop at 13, so I was happy I pushed myself and did a really uncomfortable run :)

My final time was 3:20, or an 11:06 average, even with my scheduled walk strategy. Perhaps I could have gone faster, but between Kelly's stomach and my whining, 11:06s were good. They're 31 seconds slower than my race pace, and Hal says to train 60-90 seconds slower per mile than race pace. I was still 9 minutes faster than last summer, so it's all good.

Next up: "only" 13 miles haha

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another? WTH*??? (*What the HALF???)

I don't think for a second that my finishing time at The Legend trail half accurately reflects what I'm capable of running. I've run several half splits faster than that when I was conserving energy for the second half.

A few weeks ago Running Fit sent out an email about a race they're hosting - the Heroes on Hines 5k and half marathon to raise money to build the first responders memorial.

They may as well have just sent a picture of the medal and said "Do you want this?" Yes, I do.

Add in that it's a Running Fit event, so it'll be well organized, and it's on Hines Drive, which is practically my backyard and I often run there. Let's just hope it isn't flooded like it was at the Martian.

From their email: "The final mile will include an unforgettable run through an honor guard of police, fire fighters and other first responders along with their emergency vehicles!" Nice :)

The race is the week before Chicago, or two weeks before Detroit and Grand Rapids. Everyone and their brother who is doing Detroit will be running 12 miles that week. What's another 1.1? Hal wants me to do 8 and I really doubt he'd approve of me doing a half, but I also don't think he approves of doing full marathons on consecutive weekends. Besides I like the medal. Reason enough :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

16 - I'm not alone!!

I don't use facebook. I know, I know. I'm still living in the dark ages. I actually do have an account, for two purposes - to play Words with Friends, and to look at the postings on my race sites. I don't have any friends though, no pictures, nada.

Well last week a woman posted on the Free Press marathon site to find out about running clubs in the area. I responded about the ones in Allen Park and Grosse Ile, and mentioned I'd be happy to run together if she was interested, seeing as we're at about the same pace. We made plans to meet on Saturday. Whee!!!

Saturday was one of my four super-long monster training runs. Hal wanted me to run 17 and I absolutely had to do it, especially after the 15 miler got downgraded to a 5+ It was hot and I had stayed up too late on Friday night at the Tigers game, but I knew I had plans to meet up with a partner, so I couldn't miss that. Besides it was only going to get hotter as the sun rose higher and higher.

Hal wanted me to do 17, but she was only planning 10, so I figured I would do 3, do the 10 with her, then have to finish another 3 to get back to my car. So it would only be 16. Eh it's alright.

The first 3 by myself were terrible. I was seriously dragging, then when we met up, she had brought her husband and neighbor as well and they were all bright eyed and eager to run, unlike me and my tired legs.

Yet no one ever wants to be the wimp to keep stopping, so we went and it was great!!!! Over 10 miles we walked maybe 4 times for water. There were a few times I could have gone a little faster, but I wasn't giving up a running partner over a few seconds! It was hot and exhausting and the sweat had drenched my clothing and still kept dripping. Somehow, though, it's all more tolerable when you have someone with whom to complain and commiserate.

After she finished her 10, her neighbor did 1 more with me, then I had 2 on my own to get back to the car and it all fell apart those 2 miles. Together we were in the 10:00 - 11:00 range, but on my own I slipped back to 12:00s. Yikes!

We for sure have to run together again. I hadn't really eaten enough and my legs were exhausted from Friday's run, but I was able to get through everything and at a faster pace than I can on my own.

I can't do a great marathon on my own. I've always known this. When left to my own devices, I give in to the complaining and whining and the pain, but it's all more manageable when I'm not alone.

Talked with "Indy" via text after the fact.

me: 16 miles at 11:01 avg.

him: You go! You're going to kill your times this fall!

me: That's the plan :) Altho I had killer training runs last summer only to be undone by head cold and flu :(

him: But isn't this year faster? [I had to look it up]

me: So my 16 miler last year was 3:10. I rule! :) lol [Saturday was 2:56 for a 14 minute improvement. That's just about a full minute faster every mile!!!! Happy happy happy]

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A change in plans

Early in the year, I wrote down the five things I wanted to accomplish in 2013. Number 2 was a list of the ten races I planned to run, including the Woodstock 50k.

I've never run an ultra and had a great / terrible plan for it. Hal wants me running 20 miles that day anyway, so I was going to skip the run the day before and just change the 20 to 31.

Running Fit sponsored races are really good about publishing pictures ahead of time and here's the shirt and medal they offered:

The shirt is nothing special, but the medal is great! I could definitely picture one of those joining my collection.

Then at The Legend they had a table advertising the Woodstock races and the shirt is different and even better. The medal was sparkly and the size of a hockey puck. I picked up a registration flyer and part of me wanted to register right then, but I didn't have my credit card.

Then I started thinking the course could be like the Run through Hell, which is all dirt roads. That wouldn't be a problem. Yet it could also be like The Legend course, which isn't terrain I want to run again for a long time, certainly not 31 miles of it.

Then Stephanie commented about the terrain. Running Fit replied to my email to say Woodstock was even more technical than The Legend.

Stop. Change plans immediately.

I don't have any new plans though. Motivation has been a big big problem all summer and I was looking to Woodstock as a nice break, so it's not just another week, but something special and different. Different isn't always good though.

Part of me has been looking for a marathon that week to replace it and serve as a training milestone. Part of me says just go run the 20 on Hines for free and be done with it. I don't know.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 9 - The wasted week :(

If someone is trying to lose weight and train for a marathon, he/she should always lose the weight first THEN train for the marathon. How many times have I read this? How many times have I parroted this advice? Yet I fail to follow it :(

Technically I hit my goal weight the day after the Cincinnati marathon, but it doesn't really count because it was post-marathon so I was likely mega dehydrated. Besides, I figure I have to maintain it for five consecutive days to count.

I'm up 4 pounds since then and decided last week was the week to take care of the excess and hit my goal weight once and for all. Back to the Daily Plate. Back to 1390 calories a day. Back to eating food carefully doled out in measuring cups.

Everything was GREAT on Tuesday. I had 1 cup of Kashi, 1 cup of milk and a big handful of blueberries then had a really good 3 mile run at a 9:57 average pace. I felt inspired that night and went for my second run, which was even better - 4 miles at 9:12 average.

I "lost" 1.5 pounds the first day. More significantly I lost any ability to run. Wednesday I dragged myself through 7 miles, Friday I did 5.75 of the 7 Hal had prescribed. Saturday was the worst day of all. He said to do 15, I completely gave up at 5.23.

The three bad runs were all done in the heat of the day. Granted it was cooler than it has been, certainly cooler than last year, but it would have been much better to get up early or wait and go in the evening. I really don't like having a run hanging over my head all day, but it's just foolish to run in the sun if I don't have to.

The biggest problem was the complete and utter lack of energy. I know exactly what caused it - lack of calories. A calorie is a unit of ENERGY. Not enough calories = not enough energy. Duh. I KNOW THIS!!! Applying it is the problem.

I still have nine weeks to train before Chicago and can't have another week like this last one. Hmm I just realized I'm half done training. The last three weeks are for tapering, so there are only six serious weeks left, including the longest runs of 17, 18, 20, 20.

I guess I'll be 4 pounds heavier than I want to be. Oh well. My clothing all fits, I'll be ok. More importantly I'll have the strength and energy to get through Hal's plan. I'm still following intermediate 1 and I really don't want to drop down to novice 2.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

A few bites of leftover steak becomes healthy dinner.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"The Legend" trail half review

Some people race and don't care what the medal looks like, or if they get one at all. Others - ahem this girl - will do a run specifically for the medal. I read a really good description at the entry blank
A single run can be chalked up to a fluke. But put all those trips on the road together and you’re looking at 1,200 to 1,500 miles per year for four years, and you’re looking at medals won and not won, and finishes where your place didn’t matter but the finishing did, and you’re looking at a habit, a lifestyle. The achievement is not in the singular medal but in the collection of medals. And yes, you can run all your life and never get a medal and still have the achievement of thousands of runs, but I like to have the record. Every one of those medals represents a time when I got out of bed instead of sleeping in and somehow made it to the starting line even if we were running so late it shouldn’t have been possible and then continued through to the end even if it was hot or freezing or I had a torn groin or I bonked or I couldn’t keep up with my nemesis. Sometimes I was by myself or with my mom or sister or Jack but in a race you’re never really alone. Every medal has behind it many more miles than the race itself. They’re all those days, collected, in view, in case I need a reminder that in fact I know how to do this.
The Legend had three things I was looking for: it was a half marathon, which Hal said to run next weekend, pink tech shirt, and a medal of the Headless Horseman. Sweet! I'd never done a trail run, but I didn't think too much of that. To be honest, I wasn't sure if "trail" meant dirt roads, or if "trail" meant a single lane through the woods, over grass, through mud and over countless tree roots.

It was hosted by Running Fit, so I knew it would be a quality race. It was a smaller one, but they always do a good job. I felt pretty clueless about preparing food and hydration in the morning though. Did I need as much as I would for a full marathon?

Woke up early, foam rolled and headed for Sleepy Hollow State Park which is north of Lansing. The main parking lot was already full when I arrived at 7:45, but the next lot was 1/4 mile away so no problem to take back my shirt after I picked up.
Registration was right next to the beach. I had looked up my number beforehand and they had a printed list for those who didn't know their numbers ahead of time. I got my shirt and a button. No flyers for future races, nothing else. I always look at the flyers, but I didn't miss them this time either. I saw Jeff from Detroit Runner and said hi. Ran into one of the teachers from my yoga studio. It's always good to see familiar faces.

There were shorter races that started first and Randy (below pic with his arms raised) organized us by approximate pace, then we were off. I took zero pictures during the race because I was more focused on not tripping over the branches and roots. I twisted both my ankles numerous times, but nothing was damaged.

The best part about the race - I ran and IT DIDN'T RAIN!!!!!! Actually the weather was great - mid 70s and sunny, but I was pouring sweat and seriously dehydrated. There were three water tables, but I needed tons more than that and really wish Randy had recommended bringing a water bottle or belt in his email. They had Gu at two of the tables, which was a nice surprise.

The last 0.4 miles or so were on concrete and flat grass and I was flying, after sludging through the course. I really think I'm more of a street runner. Trail running is completely different and I don't think it's my cup of tea. 

This presents the problem of what to do about Woodstock? I had been planning to do the 50k, but I'll need to find out about the course. Running Fit organizes that race as well, so I need to ask Randy about the course. Is it serious trail? Or just dirt roads?

Anyway, after the finish, a little girl and boy were running back and forth between a kiddie pool and the finish line to give runners bottles of water and I was so appreciative to see the girl meet me just steps off the course. I drained the water in about 40 seconds. They had bagels, bananas and muffins. Evidently they also had cookies, but those were long gone by the time I finished.

I had a 500-calorie-bomb muffin, refilled the water, chatted with the yoga teacher then got on the road! Somehow I always forget to pack dry clothing for the drive home, but I was in my convertible, so I dropped the top and air dryed. Ewwww!

The shirt is great!!!! It's pink! Whee!!!! More importantly it's a Brooks brand tech shirt that is women's cut. So often the smaller races give the same shirt to everyone, but I really prefer the gender fit. For what it's worth, the men's shirts were green.

The only logos are Running Fit and Brooks, which is great! I'll probably wear this as actual clothing, rather than just toss it in the exercise clothing basket.

Running Fit gives buttons to the participants, which I really like. They probably cost about 3 cents each and I really like the extra touch. I'm never sure what to do with them though. Right now this one and both Martian buttons are next to my computer. I have tons of pins on my backpack, but this style tends to fall off and I'd be really upset if I lost them.
The medal - meh. It's a cute design, but kind of cheap and flimsy looking. Although I paid under $50 for the race, so I can't complain too much. I don't have any room on my medal hanger and I don't know if half medals can go there anyway, so it's on top of the tv for now. Maybe I'll hang it after I get another hang bar, maybe I'll toss it in a drawer. I don't have to decide now.

After the race I felt tired, but not nearly as beat up as I do after a full. Bath, a late lunch and relax, then I had plans for a 40th birthday party for the guy I've been dating. It seems all the pictures I post on here are from right after a race when I'm exhausted and dirty and not looking my best, so here's a picture of me looking more like ME :)

Perhaps teetering around on 3" heels that night wasn't the best idea. The next day my left quad hurt, as if it was bruised, but there is no visible mark. Both calves are a little tender as well and I feel worse than after a 13-mile street run. I really think trail running will be a one-and-done experience for me.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"The Legend" half - PR!!!

Perhaps I should have done my first half on concrete since that's how I train.

Perhaps I should have done a shorter distance for my first trail run.

2:29:41 - goal was under 2:30 so I just barely eeked it out. Full review later.