Sunday, July 30, 2017

No pint glass this time

The last Sunday in July is always the Electric Bolt 5k. I've done it twice and gotten second place twice. I really want to score a first place finish one of these days!

Today wasn't it :(

As soon as I started a warm up jog, I could tell I was wearing my slow shoes. Some runs are amazing and others are a lot of effort.

As I lined up near the front (no timing pad so we all have the same start time), I looked around and thought that within the 15-20 people near the front, there were 5 women I would guess to be right around my age, all of whom could potentially/probably beat me. They did.

It's a hard course, very hilly, with a monster hill of a traffic bridge at the end.

And somehow it's always extraordinarily humid. Within two minutes of finishing sweat was pouring down my face, then it got in my eyes so those started gushing as well. I was a mess!

The results went up and I finished 6th out of 13 in my age group. Overall I was 14th out of 84 women. I would have won the 30-34 age group, I would have won the 40-44 age group. I was just in a really competitive group today.

There were some good parts though:
I finished and didn't get injured
I sat down at the finish and watched other runners and walkers finish, seeing the joy and the pain in their faces
Almost immediately after finishing, a man said he had been following my pace for a long time and I had a strong fast start. That was the highlight of the race - No one has ever followed my pace, I'm always the follower, not the followee.
The run is done nice and early so I have the whole day to finish my book and binge a CW show without exercise hanging over my head.
I won't do another 5k until Cincinnati in May 2018 :D

There's always next year.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A great 10

Saturday's prescribed mileage was 10 easy. The forecast was horrendous - upper 80s and high humidity, a "feels like" temperature in the 100s. Yet heat can't be a reason to skip the mileage, especially on a "Something of substance" run. It was pleasantly cool in the morning and I saw several runners outside, yet we had things that needed to be done and couldn't be rescheduled. By the time it was run-time, I needed a different answer than running all 10 outside.

The boyfriend and I went to mom's house for a bit and my solution was to run to the gym - exactly 1 mile, run 8 on the TM then run back to her house. It was so crazy hot the first mile kept me slower and served as a warm up then later as a cool down.

On the TM, I ran ladders increasing from 11:40s to 10:30s then back down again. The TM makes it way too easy to go faster than the Hanson want. On a long slow Saturday they recommend 60-90 seconds slower than race pace.

It felt easy. My legs wanted to go so much faster than my brain was holding back. Halfway, I knew I was in the downswing and would be done in 50-55 minutes. No sweat, that seemed easy. At mile 7, I hit a groove and kept the pace at a steady 11:14 and started laddering the elevation.

When I finished my miles at the gym, I rinsed my washcloth in cold water for the run home. I was hot and pouring sweat, but I felt incredible! The next day my feet are good, my quads are good. My right calf is a little tight so I'll need to roll it. I was pouring sweat so I was wet the whole time and my thighs chafed a little as a result, but with body glide, that, too, is easily managed.

What a great great run!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Forgetting the good

For all its mind-sucking boredom, there is actually some good about treadmills that I had forgotten:

Climate control. It's still 90 degrees and 80% humidity as I type this at 10:30pm. The gym is always low 70s and lower humidity. It's always light, no heat of the day, no thunderstorms.
Predictability. I know exactly what's coming (nothing). No dogs, no squirrels to dodge, no bikers sharing the sidewalk, I don't have to lug around my mace.
Elevation. I run in the flattest city in the state, yet Chicago has that nice incline at the 26th mile. I can now train for that.
Tempo. It's a lot easier to push the tempo when the machine is doing it and my only job is to keep up.
Cubbies for my keys (and a sweat towel or water if I want it).
Besides, it never hurts to break it up with an episode of Jeopardy! mid-run :) I'm going to get my $$ worth this month!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I love summer, I love all the sunlight, I love that it's light out past 9pm. The only thing I don't actually like is the heat. I've been trying to run through it and toughen up myself. This week, however, has been oppressive. Wednesday had a heat index of 100+, Thursday's forecast was over 90 with crazy humidity. The next week doesn't look any better.

*Could* I run through it? Sure, I could also run at 4am, or I could always run at midnight. Just because I physically CAN do something doesn't mean I SHOULD. Biking works in an emergency but it's not a valid substitute for 7-14 days of training if I'm injury free.

So I called up Planet Fitness to ask about their very short term options. They're not great and I don't want to provide them my bank numbers to automatically debit the dues every month. I don't want to pay their $39 "member fees" on September 1st either. Theoretically it'll be cooler and less humid then anyway. I asked about signing up then immediately canceling, therefore giving myself a 5-6 week membership. That was certainly an option, but...

"I don't actually have a checking account," I said. "Can I pay cash?"

"We have a one month prepay option," Colleen said. Why did they not offer me this in February???? It's a lot more than their $10 a month advertised rates, but it works for me. So I signed up on Wednesday for 30 days and had a glorious run.

It was tempo Wednesday. I did 4 miles at tempo then kicked it up every 0.15 of the last mile. The incline ranged from 1.0 to 2.5. Then as I was leaving, Colleen pointed out the six treadmills that are set to "marathon mode" and have NO auto shutoff function for massive 60, 90+ minute runs. Awesome :)

I can't think of anything more stereotypically American than paying money to run in the air conditioning...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The waiting game

It's very humid, but not nearly as hot as forecasted and there's a nice breeze. There's also a huge storm north of Ann Arbor. I had time to run after work, if I ran directly from work and didn't come home first, but I don't eat much for breakfast so I wasn't fueled up for 7 miles. I'm stuck in a holding pattern. Waiting for the water department to fix the main break so I can use the restroom, waiting for the storm to pass, waiting waiting.

Several hours later, there is a fire hydrant two houses down that's gushing water. The department of water is still "working." Thank goodness Sears has clean toilets... Radar looks mostly clear, time to run. As long as there's no lightning, I'm good. A light rain feels better than 97% humidity anyway.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Page 1

The Hansons program is now online in a great calendar ready format. Obviously I printed it and carry it everywhere with me in my planner. Because I keep obsessive records, mine is color-coded, green if I did exactly what they recommended, yellow if I did something roughly equivalent, red if I didn't do anything. I had three yellow boxes on page 1, two when I counted wrong and thought I had one more week before training started, one when I waited for it to cool off, which it did by storming all night. Look at all that pretty green :)