Sunday, August 23, 2015

Disappointed :(

The Hansons wanted me to run 5 miles today. Life had other plans. Granted, I could have made time to run, but I wanted to have a fun adventure, and I want to get more than 4 hours of sleep.

I didn't sleep great last night. I woke up at midnight with a few crazy minutes of sleep paralysis, then never really went back into deep sleep. Work started at 4am....

By the time I finished working, I hadn't gotten around to eating anything yet. Bill had mentioned going out for breakfast, so I waited and had a big breakfast with him. Then we had plans to go to the Civil War Muster (re-enactment) in Jackson. It was done at 3pm, so we didn't have a lot of time to dilly dally beforehand.

By the time we got back to his place at 4pm, I was so zonked that I crashed and napped for a few minutes. 30 minutes later I still had illusions of running my 5 miles, but I had to drive home, and I had to eat something! By this point, I hadn't eaten in over 6 hours.

Dinner was done at 6:30, work starts at 4am again tomorrow and there's a tornado warning. Yeah, I could force a run to happen, but the weather sounds questionable, driving to the gym would add 40 minutes, and it takes me a couple hours to wind down and sleep after a run. Besides, when I'm really really sleep deprived and run-down, I'm more likely to get sick, which would harm my running a whole lot more than 1 missed run. And I have 2 vacays coming up! I don't have time to be sick!!!!

I know skipping ONE run isn't the end of the world, and it won't kill my training. Tomorrow is another day and all that, but I'm still bummed. Grumble grumble complain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The comedy of errors 10k

I have amazing run routes mapped out - low traffic, shady, paved the entire way, sufficient places to stop for water, as needed, but after running the same routes for years, I get bored!!!! I've reached the point in my training that every Saturday is 10 or 16 miles, so it's the same route every weekend and it's sooooooo boring!!!!

On Friday I thought I should look for a race to do this weekend to break up the monotony! There was a 10k in Farmington Hills on Saturday that was still cheap the day before. Good enough for me!

I hate cutting it close at the starting time. I'd rather be there 30 minutes early and hang around waiting for the start. It started at 8:30, and was about a 30-minute drive, so I left home at 7:25. Plenty of time, yes?

I had forgotten my gps in Bill's car a few weeks ago, so I looked at Google maps ahead of time and wrote down the instructions. I'm pretty spatial, so I knew I'd find it. It began and ended at Shiawassee Park, which is off Shiawassee Road, easy enough. Unfortunately, there must be two Shiawassee Roads, or the two parts don't connect, but wherever Google maps sent me, it sure wasn't the race location.

After driving up and down Shiawassee, back and forth, I remembered a woman at registration had said I could take Grand River, so when I saw that, I turned down it, in the direction of Farmington Hills. Less than a mile later, the road was closed for an accident. Based on the number of police and fire and ambulance, it was a fatality. I had no idea how to detour around it, so I followed the car in front of me and we got back on Grand River.

Eventually I got somewhere near the park - the roads and parking had all been closed by that point. I parked on a side street, not even positive it was a legal spot, and started jogging toward where I thought the park was.

I knew ahead of time there was no starting time pad, that it was a small race, so everyone had the same "gun" time.

Unfortunately, I had to ask at the finish line "Where's the start????"

A nice man offered to help me. "Go up the hill, turn left, then turn right and you'll see the signs."

"Which hill?" There were two.

"It doesn't matter," he said.

"Up the hill, then left?" I clarified.

"Right," he replied.

"Right, as in turn right, or right as in I'm correct?" Who's on first...?

"I'll show you," he said. He got me to the approximate starting line, and sure enough, there were plenty of signs once I made the first two turns. By this point, however, I had given the other runners a 14-minute head start. Arggggghh!!!!! Based on the finishing times from last year, I thought I might be able to squeak into 3rd place, but instead, it became what it really was - a training run with a change of scenery.

Amazingly, even with a 14-minute head start, I was able to catch up to and pass some runners!!!! Out of maybe 100 total, I passed 12, and yes, I was counting :D It's the only race I've done - of ANY distance - that NO ONE passed me. I also managed to hit every corner and tangent exactly right lol

According to the finishing clock, I ran a 1:11:something 10k lol By my watch, it was 56:38. My PR is a 55:23. The course was gravel at parts, very hilly, and hot, so I'm really happy with my time, especially because I had only decided the night before to run it and still finished well under 1 hour. Heck yeah!!!!!

The winners in my age group finished in 53, 54 and 54, so even a PR wouldn't have gotten me in the top 3. Ah well, not this time.

I stopped on the drive home to ask a super important question: "McDonalds, are you still serving breakfast?" They were!!!! Whee!!!

As soon as I got home, I changed into a long sleeve shirt (for the sun), put on a hat, and with my belly full of McDonalds breakfast and coffee, set out to finish my 10 miles. I know that in running 6+4 does not = 10, but it's ok to split it up, as long as it's not an every time thing.

Plus, I got a shirt with a running goat on it - who doesn't love that??? Maybe it's a ram? Distinguishing similar animals isn't one of my strengths lol

Friday, August 14, 2015


Mom called earlier this week.

"You're in a marathon ad in the Detroit News," she said. I was?????

"What am I wearing?" I asked, trying to figure out which year it was taken.

"Pink, I think. And a hat. You're near a fence." hmmm the only year I wore pink was in 2010 when I wore my Chauncey Billups jersey, and I had a bandana, not a hat. Not to mention I've worn a white visor a few times, but never a hat. Still, I had to see this picture!

I can see the resemblance, but it's definitely not me.

I heard or read somewhere that we all have a "twin" somewhere in the world. I've met several of them, and it's uncanny, especially when they have the same voice or same mannerisms. Here is my "twin." I saw this picture in the Detroit News when the old Tiger Stadium was being torn down. I looked at it and looked at it and looked at it, and finally thought "I don't remember standing on that bridge." Then I realized "I don't have that hat." Bizarre! She looks like me, she's standing like me, she's sad that the park is being torn down, but trying to hide it from the guys she's with. I could see myself doing that :) Not me though!

And here are two pictures from the Electric Bolt 5k. Another bonus of really small races - free photos!!! This photo is really of the guy in yellow (who was unofficially pacing me for the first half, whether he realized it or not :) I suppose I'm "photo-bombing" him, but I like it. I like how big and strong my arms and shoulders look. I like that my back foot is raised, so I actually look like I'm running, not shuffling :) I like the curve in my waist - I can be a crazy runner, but still feminine! I like that I closed my mouth - I'm definitely a mouth breather when I run, which leads to not flattering photos haha Power up that hill, girl!!!

Then just a few steps off the finish line - aah I'm so calm and serene!!! I like how the sun is hitting me and casting a shadow on the left half of my face, the slightly open mouth works here, I like how relaxed I look. The photo doesn't even show the sweat, and I was drenched! I sure don't look like i just scored a 2nd place finish :D

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2 months

Two months from today is the Chicago marathon. I feel surprisingly prepared for this point in my training. The awesome 15-miler on Saturday helped a ton. I wasn't sure what to expect last year, considering I switched to Hansons in August, but I've been with them this whole go-round and I'm ready to score a huge PR! I'm seeing sub-4:30 Bam! I threw down the challenge!!!! :D

Update: two months from yesterday. I don't know what happened to August 11th :) Two months from today it'll all be over. That's sad, and always a let-down. I train so hard and for so long, then in one morning, it's over?

Monday, August 10, 2015

July numbers

Total miles: 113.08
Number of runs: 23
Average distance per run: 4.92
Shortest run: 2.0 miles
Longest run: 8.25 miles
TM runs: 1 (speed workout)
Runs skipped: 3
Fastest average pace: 8:59
Slowest average pace: 11:54 (when it was 80+ degrees and 90% humidity)
Races: Ann Arbor 1-mile, Electric Bolt 5k, no new PRs
Money found: $1.84

Total mileage was double what I did in June, so that was pretty significant. Not a ton of long runs, but plenty of solid 3-5 milers. Skipped 3 runs and I'm ok with it. The first I was woozy and light-headed from either a cold or allergies, the second was the day before the Electric Bolt 5k and I didn't want to race on tired legs, the third was when Bill and I went on an adventure right after I finished work. The Hansons wanted 6 miles on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. I compromised and did 8 on Sunday, seemed like a good enough trade-off.

Marginally bummed about failing to PR in both races, but the focus is on Chicago, not on short races. Training is progressing according to plan. No pain, no potential injuries. The only thing bothering me is a callus on the front of my 4th toe, which hits my shoes, so I need to exfoliate it myself, or get a pedicure for the sole purpose of callus removal.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rocking out 15

The Hansons wanted me to run 15 miles on Saturday, which is a huge jump from the 10 they had me do last week. I wanted no part of it. I worked 4-8 am, thankfully from home, and had every intention of running immediately thereafter. I realized though, that it was cool and cloudy and I could run any time I wanted all day long. I was beyond exhausted, so I postponed the run and went back to bed. I never fell into a deep sleep, but had 3 hours of solid rest.

After I got up for good, I played with my cat, ate lunch, watched Quantum Leap, just putzed around all day. I started to reach the point where I HAD to run or I was going to run out of daylight. I had even tried to convince myself that I could switch the long Saturday with the shorter Sunday, but I know they have the runs on specific days for a reason.

Sigh. My work manager asked why in the world I was running 15 miles, was something chasing me? No, on some level I guess I enjoy it. I enjoy feeling stronger, I enjoy the endorphins, I enjoy the big race experience.

The first many miles I had to keep telling myself to slow down. Running programs and coaches all advise doing the long SLOW runs 60-90 seconds slower than race pace. McMillan seems to think I can do a 9:30 marathon, so I should be Saturday running between 10:30-11:00. My legs kept turning over low 10s though, and I tried and tried to slow down! hah crazy problem!

It rained at 2.5 miles, was done at 3.5. The temperature was mid 70s and cloudy, it was humid, but everything was ok. When I get bored, I retell myself the blog posts from my favorite races hah I just kept going.

It started hurting around mile 12, but I was bored more than in pain. I desperately wanted to quit at 14. My iPod battery had just died and I was out of water. The extra mile didn't really matter, right? If I can run 14, I can run 15, no sweat. But I managed to not give up that last bit. I was already drenched in sweat, and it would only take about 10 minutes more, so I needed to do what I had set out to do.

When I finally dragged myself on the front porch, my little outside kitty (neighborhood stray) was waiting for me to come home. Nicey boy! (or girl, no idea)

When it's so hot and humid, I'm often faced with a dilemma - do I want water or shower first??? Most days, I wind up sitting in the shower with cool water splashing down on me, drinking a glass of water.

For the second half of the run, I had been thinking about what to eat afterward. It would be my "free" meal, and Cottage Inn pizza was tempting, but I decided what I really wanted was homemade taco salad and chocolate milk. Yum! I fantasized about opening the half gallon in the store and start drinking before I even paid for it.

But within 5 minutes of my shower, I was hit with the same nausea I had in Chicago. I know it's 100% because I'm so dehydrated and depleted, but the idea of eating or drinking anything turns my stomach. By that point I had burned twice as many calories as I consumed. You'd think it's a good problem, but makes me feel so sick!

I forced myself to drink an emergen-C, and eventually felt ok enough to venture out for food. Not gonna lie - my guilty pleasure is McDonalds, and they have chocolate milk, so I hit up the drive-thru for a happy meal with chocolate milk, and a caramel sundae. The milk was gone before I left the parking lot. It really is the best post-workout drink :) Sadly, my McDonalds doesn't serve breakfast until midnight.

Timewise, I'm really happy with the run. My average time was 10:24, slightly faster than where I should have been. The individual miles ranged from 10:06 to 10:52, which wasn't really that slow. I had stopped to wring out my headband and drink some water, and neglected to pause my watch. I had told myself at the start that I could quit if I got to 3 hours and wasn't done. Wasn't even close!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Raising the line

I've never bought a pair of running shorts. I got a pair of Danskin triathlon shorts before the tri in 2008, then liked them so much, I bought another pair. They were never especially flattering, but they were comfortable, had two pockets to hold my essentials, and the rubber grips at the bottom kept them from riding up. Last year I took one pair to the tailor when the seam was ripping. You'd think I would just buy a different pair, but they were still working - why change?

The white stripes!!!! hahaha
A few weeks ago, I did a 5k and it was extraordinarily hot and humid, so I was quickly drenched in sweat. I remarked to my bestie that I wished I was confident enough to run in just shorts and a sports bra, when it's that hot and an appropriate setting (ie a race, shirts are always essential when running around the neighborhood).

I later thought, it's not a confidence issue, it's that my shorts have a higher waist that gives me the appearance of a squishy belly, where there really isn't one. Not a huge one at least lol The shorts gave the look normally associated with "mom jeans" ewwww!

After work one day I stopped by Athleta to see about trying a new style of shorts, but the woman working was really snotty, and didn't help me one bit. I should have sent Bill - the ladies are quick to help him shop there! There is no shortage of stores to buy overpriced running gear, especially in Ann Arbor, so I left.

The next day I stopped by Lululemon and tried on every style of shorts. At the very end of the row was a skort, which I've been wanting for years. Everything was shorter than my tri shorts and I've always been reluctant to go shorter, fearing my thighs would rub together and chafe. Surprisingly, they don't!

The only problem is that I now have a wide 2" band of skin that hasn't seen the sun in years. Wearing the same shorts for 8 years has given me a perma-farmer tan right across the middle of my thighs.

Oh, the best part! The skort is available online in tall sizes!!! Whee!! I look like a real runner now :)

Mom said "don't you think it looks funny with gray socks?"
"no," I shrugged. It had never occurred to me.
Shoes = comfortable
Socks = comfortable
Good enough for me

Monday, August 3, 2015

Oops I skipped a run

Saturday morning was huge. I worked 4-8, then immediately went out for my run. I was exhausted, but I knew the longer I waited, the hotter it would get, and the likelihood of me napping while the sun was shining wasn't great. It was cool enough that I could wear a long sleeve shirt to help against the sun, I grabbed my heavy water belt, and got going! 10.25 miles later, it was great! It had passed 80 degrees, the sun was bright and constant, and everything was great :)

Sunday, the Hansons wanted 5 miles. It was another huge day for me. I didn't have any food, so it was either an early trip to the grocery store or to a restaurant. After Krogering, I did some yard work, at least while I could stay in the shade, then before I finished my coffee on the front porch, my neighbor came over to visit for a minute, then Bill was over.

Bill and I took a day trip to the African Safari in Ohio, then stopped by the beach at Maumee State Park. We got home close to 9, and I was beyond exhausted. I had zero energy to stay awake, forget run another 5 miles. So I didn't. The 10-miler was the important one, and life happens. It was more important to go on an adventure than one more run would have been. Besides, I did the Friday run. I figure the run before the big run is more important than the run after the big run. There are oodles of opportunities to run, skipping one isn't the end of the world.

Last year, I skipped 4 days in September when I was on vacation in Virginia, then three weeks later, missed another 4 consecutive days when I was sick and I STILL managed a PR in Chicago. Everything will be ok.