December 31, 2009

Last Run of 2009 - and some year-end stats!

My husband and I met up with some new friends from our new running club and did an easy run at our local Metropark. The snow was still falling on the drive there though it quit before we started the run. It was just enough to make the trees along our path beautiful but not enough to make footing dangerous. The temperature was just above freezing - perfect!

The entire group, seven of us, ran together for six miles, or one loop of Stony, where three of the guys called it quits. My hubby hung on for another mile then turned back. My last two companions turned around a mile later. I once again did the longest run of the group - 14 miles. Fourteen wonderful, year-ending miles.

It was great to find this group. They run pretty close to our (mine and hubby's) pace. We did between 8 - 8:15s for the first 8 miles, after which I was on my own. Predictably, I sped up, unintentionally, to 7:30s for the next 4 miles. Then I did 7:20 and ended with a 7:15, feeling good the whole way. I like ending fast, even for easy runs. It was a good run to close out 2009 with.

Speaking of... here are some 2009 stats:

  • Total miles: 1862.7 (9 days and 21 hours of running)
  • Highest monthly mileage: August (231.2)
  • Highest weekly mileage: Week of Sept 21 (64)
  • Total races: 18 (4 of them trail races, 2 marathons)
  • Best race: TIE! I'm awfully proud of 2 races: Grand Rapids Marathon at 3:12:58 and Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5K at 19:37 (I won this race!)
  • Pairs of shoes purchased: 5 (1 pair of trail shoes)
  • Running friends made: too many to count - both online and off!! :-)

Here's to a great 2009 and wishing everyone an even better 2010!! Happy Running!!

December 27, 2009

How much longer until Spring?

Not so good run. The first loop at Stony out with the group was fine. The wind held off. Had great conversation with new running friends Jamie and Michelle along with my Matty. My new Nathan hydration vest was working well and feeling comfy - good news for ultra training. Then we finished loop one and I was on my own. That's when things took a turn for the worse.

I tried to get some gel from my new Nathan flask. Nothing would come out. What the?!?? Of course, it was well below freezing, so I'm guessing that was probably the issue. Hopefully the gel will flow freely in warmer weather. Guess I need to bring individual gel packets for winter training. Problem was, I didn't bring any today!! So I finally stopped running and squeezed with all my might to get the gel out of the flask and into my mouth. It worked, but it was quite an effort.

The next problem was also with the flask. It fits in a little mesh pocket at the front of my vest. However, there is no padding between the pocket and my ribs. The slight pressure I felt at the beginning of my run was turning into pain. I was finally able to adjust the fit of the vest so the pressure was no longer over my ribs. I also had to loosen the drawstring that holds the flask in place to make it more comfortable. That worked but also made me nervous the flask would bounce right out of the pocket! It didn't.

Then I finally reached the trail head. Was planning on making this a mixed road/trail run. As soon as my feet hit the trail, I nearly fell flat on my arse. The trails were pure ice. I didn't give up at first but tried running to the far edge of the trail where there was better footing and hoped the singletrack would be in better shape if I could make it that far. I did, but it wasn't. I didn't get far on the singletrack before turning around and heading back to the roads. I suppose I would have fared better with YakTrax, but I completely forgot to bring them.

I figured I'd finish my 16-miler on the paved loop I started on, but by mile 11 or 12, I was feeling very tired. I managed to run all the way back to my car, but that only totalled 14.25 miles, so I cut my run short by a good 1.75 miles. Not too bad, considering. I guess.

Oh, I almost failed to mention that the wind started picking up considerably near the end of the run. Weather-wise, I was fine until then! The running gods had it in for me today.

I'll write off today as a bad day. I suppose I was due considering my luck and how great yesterday went. Yesterday I did a 10 mile run with 6 at tempo pace, kinda. Splits were 7:08, 7:11, 7:03, 6:58, 6:55, 6:52. Felt strong and fast!

Better to end on a good note. :-)

December 24, 2009

Cat Psychology and Christmas Trees

My husband and I think there may be some sort of deeply buried dog issues within my cat, Newton. I'm not sure when these dog issues might have had time to develop since we've had him from kittenhood and he does not go outdoors, but they must be there. The evidence is on the Christmas tree.

One of my clinic's great clients gives Christmas ornaments to our staff each year. They are always pet themed. A few years ago she gave us reindeer ornaments made out of milkbones. Not sure why she chose milkbones seeing that we are a cat-only clinic, but they were very cute and clever and I always put the reindeer on the tree.

This year marks the first year in Newton's six years that he's managed to climb the Christmas tree. Now he can't get enough of the tree. He's in it daily. I've noticed over the past few weeks that he seems to frequent one area of the tree - the one where the milkbone reindeer resides. I didn't think much of it until yesterday I found the reindeer decapitated, the body still hanging in the tree and the head on the ground. Murderous cat.

I set the reindeer head on the corner of the desk with the intention of glueing it back on in the morning. Then my husband crawled into bed last night and told me that while he was sitting at the desk, Newton crawled up next to him, spotted the head and whacked it with all his might across the desk and back onto the floor. Reindeer head hockey.

This cat has milkbone issues, reindeer issues, dog issues, or all three. Either way, the reindeer is history. Newton wins.

And with that, I must get dressed for a 10 - 12 mile easy (but chilly!) run at the park - day three of Boston training. Day one was fantastic - a 9 mile run with 4 at tempo pace, which was supposed to be HM pace (about 6:55 - 7:00 for me). I felt so good that I did mile one right on pace at 6:59, then found myself at 6:44 for mile two and accidently got up to 6:34 for mile three AND four! Wooo! Of course, I was dying by the last 1/4 mile and will have to slow myself down for the next tempo run which is 5 miles.

Anyway, Boston training is off to a good start! I plan on enjoying today's run with my husband and then strength training at the gym afterwards.

Happy Winter to all!

December 13, 2009

Icy Roads and Indoor Runs

I woke up to roads that looked like sheets of ice. That made the question of whether to join the running club for a group run this morning an easy one. No way in hell!

Fortunately, the temperature rose to several degrees above freezing and the trucks did their jobs. Several hours later, the roads were in good shape and I made my way to the gym for a 10.75 mile treadmill run. Meant to do 12 - 14, but my knee had other ideas. It started bugging me at around 10.5 miles and I thought it best to stop there. It feels fine now. Glad I stopped. I wonder if it would have been fine had I been able to run outside. One will never know.

I almost felt like someone was trying to tell me not to run today. I had to make detours twice to get to the gym. Like I said earlier, by the time I went out, the roads were very passable, yet two of the roads I tried to take to get to the gym were closed and I had to make U-turns. Weird. That was the longest drive to the gym I've ever made.

December 12, 2009

Run Like the Dickens 10K recap (Holly, MI)

Well, I finally had a race that didn't go like I had hoped. I wouldn't necessarily label it a "bad" race, but it wasn't good either. It fell somewhere in between. After all, I was only 25 seconds off my PR on a hilly, slippery course (yes, a bit of snow and ice!). Also, I simply didn't feel like a strong runner today. I was surprised I came in just over 42 minutes. It felt more like a 44+ minute effort. So that says something, I guess. I held in there! But I knew well before I hit mile 2 that I wasn't going to break any records. It is still hard to argue with a top 5 overall finish (I came in 4th) and first in my age group. I also found out that I am ten years older than the oldest gal in the top 3!! Hope they can still run sub 42 10Ks in ten years! :-)

I was expecting (and they advertised for) hot soup, hot coffee, hot cocoa, hell! hot anything after the race. All they had (literally) was cold water, cookies and brownies. What the?!? They didn't even have bananas or bagels! I really expected more from a well-known race in our area with more than 1000 participants. Also didn't like having to dodge cars along the entire route. My hubby kept saying how much fun the race was, but I was quite disappointed. Not so much in myself - didn't mean to make it sound like that in the first paragraph - but disappointed in the traffic problem and lack of decent refreshments afterwards. Brownies!? C'mon!

At least I was able to take advantage of some awesome late-season sales on running apparel at the race. Bauman's Running Shop showed up with several racks of 50% stuff. I treated myself to an early X-mas and picked up two long-sleeved Mizuno tops and one pair of Mizuno loose-fitting long pants.

December 11, 2009

Last Race of 2009 *sigh*

The easiest of easy runs today. Felt good to just run comfortably for six miles. Did it on the beast again, but it was quite enjoyable today.

Tomorrow is, most likely, my last race of the year. Run Like the Dickens (love the name!) 10K in downtown Holly is tomorrow morning. Hot soup and hot cocoa after the race! Then we pick up my mom and treat her to Bob Evans!! Mmmm... We had some winter weather the last two days which made me a little nervous about road conditions, but the snow stopped and roads are pretty clear by now, so footing will hopefully not be an issue. Goal (if conditions allow): 41:30. Wish I had a santa hat to wear. :-(

Just got reminded of the New Year's Resolution Run right here in downtown Lake Orion. I could literally walk to the race. No, I'd jog there for my warm-up. I can't really pass that up, can I? Will have to run it by the hubby and see if he'll do it with me. What's even nicer is that it is at 10am. I can race and still sleep in!! Woo!!!

Less than two weeks until I am officially on my training plan for Boston. I chose the 55-70 miles/week plan from Advanced Marathoning. Lots of tempo runs the first few weeks. Then it transitions to lots of intervals. There are many marathon pace runs throughout. I'm going to tweak the long run schedule since it doesn't go as long as I would like. Doing several 20+ runs really helped me last time, so I plan on doing them again this time.

Keep warm all my fellow northerners!

December 8, 2009

800s on The Beast!?

Did my speedwork on the beast at Lifetime today. Was too chilled for an outdoor workout. Not because it was all that cold out, but because I hadn't been warm all day due to "heat Nazis" at work. Just couldn't stand the thought of running in the cold. It was kind of a strange phenomenon. It was only 37 degrees out, but felt so much colder since I was so chilled all day at work. Normally, 37 degrees is pretty warm for a Michigan winter and would have me running outside no problem. It was definitely a psychological thing. All I kept thinking was, "I need to get warm."

The treadmill workout wasn't bad. Only did 5x800 because my knee started feeling "wrong" and I didn't want to push it. Only intended 6 anyway, so I wasn't too far off. 6.5 miles altogether. The intervals were done at 9mph (6:39min/mile) and recoveries at 6.8mph (?min/mile).

Too tired to write in full sentences. Sorry.

December 6, 2009

The Application is in the Mail

I am quite proud of myself. I managed to get myself out of bed at 6:30am on a SUNDAY to meet up with the Stoney Creek Running Club members at the local metropark for a group run. Fortunately, each subsequent Sunday will see the time pushed forward an hour, so I can sleep in a little later. That'll help my motivation to get up and join them again because Matt and I really enjoyed the group atmosphere today. We ended up with only four people in our little running group by the time everyone else split off by pace and distance. Later in the run, Jamie and I broke away from Matt and Michelle because we wanted to add some mileage. Still, we had a chance to meet people both before and after the run. I think I could have met even more people if I hadn't done a 16-miler. I think Jamie and I did the longest run in the group! A lot of people were done running and socializing and left before we even finished our run.

The best part - there was FREE COFFEE in the clubhouse after the run! Mmmmm....

Our membership application will be in the mail on Monday. I'll officially be a member of a running club. :-)

December 4, 2009

Too chilly to type.

While I'm sitting here typing and looking at my blog picture of me at the beach, I have just finished my first sub-freezing run of the year. What irony. It was 28 degrees today for my 10-miler with 4x1 mile intervals (plus 1x1/2 mile for good measure! ha!). It was nice and sunny and I dressed appropriately and very much enjoyed the run. Well, as much as anyone can enjoy tough intervals, that is. Perhaps I should say I enjoyed the warm-up, cool-down and recovery between intervals! :-)

I haven't done intervals for a while. It has been probably over 2 months. I was very happy with how they went considering. Yes, they were a bit inconsistent. Yes, I started too fast. I'm still happy with them. So there!

2 mile warm-up in 15:52

  • 6:22 - Woah, red!
  • 6:26 - Slow down, kiddo!
  • 6:43 - That's more like it.
  • 6:43 - Sweet consistency.
  • 3:24 - a pinch to grow an inch?

1.5 mile cool-down in 12:19

10 miles total in 1:14:34.

December 3, 2009

Harassing Event Photographers??

Gah! Anyone else getting harassed by all the photographers from all the races you did this year?? "Bayshore Marathon Photos are Online!" -- ran this one in May, for goodness sakes!! "Photos for the Holidays!!" -- Who wants a photo of me running a race for Christmas?! "Crim Festival of Races - Cyper Monday Sale!!" '' -- huh? Every single day for the past few weeks I get several emails from the photographers who covered the races I did this year. Everyday!!! I just may label them as spam until the holidays are over. Sheesh!

Okay, the week from hell is nearly over. Three days in a row of working from open to close, 7:30a - 7p, Monday - Wednesday. At least that's what I was scheduled for. Got out 1.5 hours early on Monday, so I crammed in a run after work on the beast. Today I only worked 4 hours, so I got a great 12 miler in. Tomorrow is another 4 hour workday, then I'm done for the weekend! I refuse to ever allow them to schedule me three days in a row like that again. I just can't handle it physically or mentally. It is too draining.

Here's my log entry for my 12 miler today. Yes, I'm being lazy again. I'm tired, cold and need a shower. :-)

Overdressed! Since it was raining on my drive to Stony, I wore my North Face jacket. I was pretty cold so I wore a long-sleeved tech shirt under it. Shouldn't have done that. A short-sleeved shirt under the jacket would have been much more comfortable.

Had the same weird shoe problem with the Wave Riders today that I had with the Elixirs during the marathon - felt like there was this strange lump that developed under my toes in the right shoe after several miles. Now I'm wondering if it is a problem with Mizuno shoes in general or a problem with my foot!

Otherwise run went great. See splits for proof. :-)


November 30, 2009

Mill time and Marathon training plans...

First treadmill run of the season. I need to start weaning myself on to the beast anyway. Worked 7:30a to 5:30p today and it was dark when I got out of work. I won't run in the dark, so the treadmill was the only option if I wanted to run today - which I did! I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill, but a treadmill run is better than no run.

I swear to god all you people who say treadmills feel easier than running outside are insane. My easy pace outside is usually around 8:00/mile, give or take 5-10 seconds, depending on how I feel that day. An 8:00 pace on the mill feels more like a 7:30 pace if I were running outside!! Explain that. (My personal theory is that what you are used to doing is going to seem easier. I'm used to outside, not the mill, so outside feels easier. *shrug*)

Got 5 easy miles on the beast. Felt a little nauseous during the run which was odd. I never get nauseous during runs. Whatever... Next two days see me working 7:30a to 7p, so no more running until Thursday probably. Sucks. I hate working long days.

My goal this weekend: Decide which training program to use for Boston. I have a handful that all look good. Just need to make the decision. I'm leaning toward one of the programs from Advanced Marathoning, the 55-70 miles/week plan. But I keep thinking that the last plan I used worked so well, maybe I shouldn't change. I got the long run schedule for that plan from the Competitive Runner's Handbook and made up the rest myself, tossing in lots of Yasso 800s, mile intervals, tempo runs and MP runs. Part of me really wants to try something different though! Decisions...

Time to catch up on some sleep. I'll need it for the next two days.

November 29, 2009

It's the little things that add up.

Today's run:

Overall a nice run, but not great. I say that mostly because of new shoe issues. I picked up some Mizuno Wave Riders a few weeks ago - my first neutral trainer. Today was their 4th or 5th run. Because of previous heel slip, I tried tying my shoes in the "lace lock" manner, but that caused the tongue of the shoe to put too much pressure on my ankle which became painful at around mile 1! I tried loosening the shoe, but that didn't help much. Then I tried retying the shoe normally which helped for a while, but my skin was already bruised by that time. I managed to get the tongue to stay on the opposite side of the bruise by offsetting my bow and then had no issues, but it took a while to finally figure that out. Fortunately, I had no more heel slippage once I retied the shoes! I think the thicker socks I wore helped. Hopefully that won't be an issue anymore and I can go with normal lacing!

My other issue was more minor. The knee started bothering me just a little by mid-run. By the end of the run, it was feeling better. I refuse to get too worried about it. Several hours later it is perfectly fine.

Oh, the rain was a slight issue since I didn't have my baseball style cap. With no bill, the rain got in my eyes. Kinda got used to it after a while, so also a minor issue. But all these issues added up to make my run subpar. Cap is in the laundry. I tell you, those caps get so stinky so fast! And with the hat so close to my sniffer, I need to wash that hat often! Wish my tiny head weren't so hard to fit into caps, cuz I need to stock up. :-)

12 miles easy-


November 27, 2009

Inconsistency is the key???

I turkey trotted!

Okay. Here's the scenario. After my Oct. 18th marathon, I took a full 2 weeks off from running. That doesn't mean I didn't cross-train my butt off, because I did! But I didn't run at all. Zilch. Zero. Then right when I was starting back up with running, Matt and I go on vacation. I did several runs on vacation, but not nearly as much as I would have done at home. Once we got back, I got in only a few more runs before injuring my knee! That kept me away from running for another entire week. Back to cross-training. So, that adds up to nearly a month and a half of very inconsistent training. I expected my Turkey Trot 10K to end up being a training run. At best, maybe I'd run it a little faster than what I'd expect for a typical 6 miler down the Paint Creek Trail - perhaps 45ish minutes. What I didn't expect was a PR by over 20 seconds!!

How is this even possible? Not sure I really care! I'm just enjoying it! :-) This kind of consistent improvement can't last that much longer, so I'm going to keep riding this wave while it lasts!

red's new 10K PR: 41:45 at the 2009 Detroit Turkey Trot!

November 13, 2009

Great deal on Nathan hydration vest! I love expos!

Can't believe I almost forgot to mention in my last post one of the best things about my vacation in Traverse City. I got an $85 Nathan hydration race vest for only $15!!!! Woooo!!! I've been eyeing this vest for a long time - basically planning on buying it as soon as training for next year's ultra began. Then I accompany Matty to the expo before the Iceman Cometh MTB race and a Nathan dealer was there! I spot the vest and decide just to try it on. Then he tells me it is $15!!! I ask him what's wrong with it? He says it was a sample they sent to him and it does not come with a bladder. I know bladders are not that expensive and also know that one of the bladders from Matt's many Camelbaks or my North Face pack will fit just fine. So I say SOLD!! He also threw in a Nathan 5 oz nutrition flask (for gel) as a bonus which fits perfectly in the front pocket. I am now ready (and excited!) for ultra training!!

Despite my new shoe purchase yesterday, I decided to run in my Elixirs today. They had been feeling a little neglected. So tomorrow I'll break in the Guides. Today was the first day I wore the Elixirs since the marathon. I had been a little nervous about wearing them after my toe discomfort during the marathon. The Elixirs were entirely comfortable today for my 8 mile run. I wonder if the marathon discomfort was a toe problem and not a shoe problem. I'm thinking my toes would not have been happy in any shoes I chose that day. I'm back to liking my Elixirs. We're both happy about that! :-)

Today's run started out a little iffy. All the crappy (but yummy) stuff I ate over the vacation was coming back to haunt me, I think. Plus, I had a bit of stomach cramping issues on the drive home on Wednesday. At the beginning of the run, I was afraid the cramps would return, but I started feeling better the more I ran (just like the marathon! Running - the new cure for stomach ailments?). By mile 3 I was back to enjoying myself. My splits shocked even me. I can't believe I'm still capable of being shocked. Here they are:

  1. 8:12
  2. 7:47
  3. 7:34
  4. 7:22
  5. 7:37
  6. 7:26
  7. 7:36
  8. 7:28

November 12, 2009

Could my hip pain be due to wrong shoes? I hope so!

I am very sad to report that my vacation is over.

Traverse City was awesome!! Matt had a great time at his mountain bike race, the Iceman Cometh, which I learned was the largest mountain bike race in the world with over 4400 participants! WOW! Yes, that many boys and girls on bikes on northern Michigan single-track!! Matt said it really wasn't all that crowded, relatively speaking. There were apparently only a few bottlenecks which is amazing considering the size of this race. They had a zillion waves that started 5 minutes apart. Still, MTB races do this odd type of wave start. They don't line up by pace but by age and category (beginner, sport, expert, elite, etc.) - which means there are often faster people starting behind slower people. Doesn't really make sense to me. I guess that is one more way running is better! hahaha!!!

That doesn't mean I don't want to try MTB racing though. :-)

Matt is going to tweak out his old Raleigh for me so I can see if my back has healed enough to handle riding. I don't think it has, but I really, really want to try. Wish me luck.

I got in several runs while on vacation. I relived part of my first marathon's route (Bayshore). I ran up the Old Mission Peninsula along the shore of Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan about 8 miles, then turned around and ran back. Nice run! It was sunny and 55 that day. Almost identical to race day last Spring. Memories...

A few days later I ran about 8.5 miles on the Vasa Pathway, a relatively non-technical but hilly and beautiful trail in the woods. There are many many more miles of trails up there that need to be explored next trip! Also, I'm pretty sure there is a trail race on the Vasa trails that I'll need to put on the calender in the next few years.

Most importantly -- I got new running shoes!!!

I had been running quite happily, or so I thought, in my Saucony Omnis. Well, my feet and lower legs were very happy, but my hips were not. I didn't really relate the hip problems to my shoes until very recently, and it is still only a guess, but that's all I have to go on right now. I was finding that after longer runs, my hips would get very sore (not the hip joint, but the very top of the hip bone (iliac crest?). I did all my long runs in my Omnis. That is, until the marathon. I wore my lighter performance trainers for the marathon and guess what? No hip pain. The performance trainers had much less support than my Omnis. Now I'm wondering if I really need to be running in a stability shoe. Anyway, I didn't want to jump from a shoe with moderate support to a neutral right away, so I took a smaller step down to the Saucony Guide. It still has a decent amount of support but not as much as the Omni. We'll see how it goes!

November 5, 2009

Garmin Design Flaw and the Iceman Cometh!!

Went for run #3 post-marathon today. Best one yet. Decided to do a ten-miler. The first two were 5 miles and 6 miles. It was time to add a bit more distance. Plus, for some reason, anything under 10 miles is just too short for me to really enjoy. I love distance. I absolutely loved today's run. :-)

The time I recorded in my journal is somewhat approximate as I didn't want to turn on my Garmin and wait forever for it to connect to satellites just to read my final time. Stupid machine. Why didn't they design it so we can turn it on and read past workouts without having it connect to satellites first. Who was the moron who designed the software!?? Fire him, I say! (or her) ;-) Hopefully future models will have this problem fixed.

Anyway, the run was great! And that's all I have to say about that.

Omnis are now over 400 miles. I will mourn them when they pass. They still feel great though. Time to suck it up and fork out cash for a new pair and start rotating them in. *sigh*

Heading to Traverse City tomorrow to watch my husband ride in the Iceman Cometh mountain bike race. I'm hoping to find some great running routes/trails up there, maybe even while I'm waiting for him to finish the race! This is one instance where having the Garmin is nice. I can just start running without having to map out a route first. I'll know how far I've gone and how long it took me, etc. So I shouldn't bash Garmin too much. I do like the gadget quite a bit.

Can't wait to enjoy my VIP treatment as a Subaru driver. We get a parking lot all to ourselves near the finish of the Iceman race. All other drivers will have to park in satellite lots and get shuttled in. I LOVE MY SUBARU! haha!

November 1, 2009

Short Update - 1st run post-marathon

Did my first run post-marathon today after 2 weeks off. Ran 5 miles at about 7:50 pace, which should have been really easy. It wasn't. It was only so-so. I'm not surprised. In fact, I expected it. Darn good thing I've been working my butt off at the gym. Think how much harder today would have been otherwise. Think of how much fitness I'd have lost. I'm actually quite proud of myself for what I accomplished the past few weeks and now it is time to get my running back on track. This upcoming week I plan on doing about 35 miles. The week after that probably 40-45. Then 45-50 for week 3. Once I build back up to about 50 miles/week, I'll have about a month before Boston training begins. It feels so odd not being in the middle of a training plan! Good thing I have a few 10Ks coming up!

Congrats, Meb!!!

Also congrats to my hometown team Hansons - Brook's Nick Arciniaga for an awesome Top 10 finish at New York!!

October 30, 2009

10K training advice?

I tell ya, it is MUCH easier not to run when it is voluntary as opposed to taking time off for an injury. I've actually enjoyed my 2 weeks off since the marathon and my muscles, joints and connective tissues are all thanking me as well! That's not to say I've not been working hard. I've been doing at least 45 - 60 min of cardio every day on the elliptical, bike, rowing machine or cardio wave machine (skating simulator) - and also keeping up my strength training. I'll still be in good shape to start running again on Sunday. I plan to make the first week all easy runs, then add speed work back into my routine once weekly after that. My shin, achilles and lower-abdominal muscle pains have all gone away. Here's hoping they don't return!

I've already registered for three more races including the Detroit Turkey Trot! This year they're giving away fleece gloves to the top 100 women and men. I won the fleece scarf last year, so I couldn't pass up getting a matching set of gloves this year! Goal: 40:30 -- next year I'll be shooting for that elusive sub 40. Small steps...

If anyone knows any good workouts to help me prepare for a few 10Ks coming up (Nov 26 and Dec 12), I'd appreciate the advice. I know how to train for a marathon, but I've never actually focused on shorter races! One of them is coming up too soon to really prepare well for, so any last minute sharpening workouts would be helpful. I might have better luck with my goal on the second one, I think.

Boston - registered and updated with my Grand Rapids finish time. I registered originally with my Bayshore time of 3:31, but absolutely couldn't pass up updating with my GR time. Besides, I needed to get into the same corral as Matty! Didn't want to make him move back!

October 23, 2009

Do I Feel Too Good?

blog post photo
A bigger version of my new blog photo (on Runner's World). It's me and Matty showing off our Grand Rapids Marathon medals. This photo was taken AFTER we changed out of our sweaty, freezing cold running gear and bundled up in warm clothes. It was only in the 40s by race end!

It's Day Four post-marathon and I'm still feeling on top of the world. My husband found this hilarious "Day After" video somewhere online that shows marathoners trying to get around the day after running a marathon. The people in the video couldn't walk normally, stairs were an insurmountable obstacle and the last image was a guy sitting down at his desk at work wearing a nice work shirt with two large, red nipple stains. While it made me laugh, it also made me wonder why I wasn't suffering the same way. I was walking just fine the day after the race.

I figured it is either a very good thing or a bad thing.


1) I was very well-trained and the result of all my hard work was an exceptionally quick recovery.


2) I didn't push myself hard enough. Could I have done a 3:10, 3:08, .... ???

I mentioned this to one of my elite runner friends (who came in 10th at Chicago this year!!!) and she reassured me that I did the right thing by running at the pace I knew I could handle and not trying to kill myself with an overreaching goal. There are always other marathons and you don't want to risk injury at any time. She said I should have felt the way I did finishing the race. Next marathon, set a higher goal and take small steps each time to get faster.

I felt much better after that talk.

I am so excited about how great Grand Rapids went that I want to run another marathon RIGHT NOW! How in the world am I going to make it through the slow winter racing season with no marathons at all? How will I make it to April???

By the way, my new goal is to run between 3:08 - 3:10 at Boston. If I do that, I'll make it into the first seeded corral at Chicago next Fall, so instead of having tens of thousands of runners in front of me, I'll only have a few hundred. How cool would that be!?

Next up... training plans. How to choose????

October 20, 2009

A Phew Photos

Wanted to post a few photos that Matt took with his phone. This first one is from the Grand Rapids Marathon. It was taken after we stripped off our sweat soaked race gear in the car and put on dry clothing. I've become very adept at changing in the car! The other three are from our trip to the U.P. for the Tahqua 25K trail race this summer.

October 19, 2009


I've looked at the results at least a half dozen times and I still don't believe it. But there it is...



That's my time for my second marathon ever - completed yesterday morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Holy crap! Did I really do that!?!? :-)))))

This race was amazing from registration to post-race celebration. I highly recommend it. Don Kern and his crew put on a great event. I mean, who'd want to miss a race with free Culver's custard, Wendy's chili, hot dogs, soda and free beer!? Yes, free beer!

Though I hate to admit it, there is one more thing that makes my accomplishment even more incredible. I was still feeling the effects of too much tequila from Friday night. What an idiot I was. Saturday was horrible. Most of the day I was wondering if I'd even be able to run a marathon, let alone kick some major marathon butt. My head was pounding and if there had been anything in my stomach, it would not have remained there long. I ate nothing all day Saturday until 3pm, when I forced myself to eat a Clif bar. It stayed down somehow. Saturday night I also made myself have dinner. It also stayed down. Somehow. So at that point it was about 12 hours until race start and I still felt awful. Dumb dumb redhead.

Went to bed fairly early Saturday night. I set out everything for the next morning. Pinned my bib on my shirt and attached my D-tag to my shoe. By then I thought I could probably run the race, but I was seriously thinking of making it an easy training run and I was wondering how I could possibly handle Gatorade and GU.

Sunday morning came and I was feeling MUCH better. I still wasn't 100%. My headache was completely gone, but my stomach was still a little bit queasy. I had my banana, granola and Powerade and they all stayed down. So far, so good. Got dressed and ticked away the seconds to race start.

We got to the start corral and found the Pi Pacers (3:14 pace team). I figured, what the hell... Matt was going to run with them regardless of what I did, so why not start with them and if Friday night rears its ugly head mid-race, I'll drop back. The race started fairly well. My stomach was not made worse by running, surprisingly. I figured the first aid station would also be a do-or-die test. I cringed as I poured the first cup of Gatorade down my throat, but it felt fine. As the race went along, my stomach felt better and better. Probably not what I deserved, but I'll take it! As it turned out, I stayed with the Pi Pacers until mile 24 at which point I just couldn't hang with them anymore. I had too much energy!!! I said goodbye and rushed ahead beating the entire pace team (though there weren't many left!) by over a minute!! In fact, my poor Matty fell off at about mile 22, but still managed to come away with a BQ time with 7 seconds to spare!!

Matty is going to BOSTON with me!!!!

Maybe I should make tequila a pre-race ritual??

One more thing to add for anybody thinking about trying a pace team. It was GREAT! It made pacing one less (major) thing to think about. All I had to focus on was fueling. The only problem I discovered with pace teams is crowding at aid stations. I quickly learned to drop back or run ahead just before the aid stations to help with this problem. I also found this became much less of an issue further into the race because so many people dropped away. The three guys who led our group were great. They'd take turns dropping back to motivate people or just chat. They always grabbed extra GU or other goodies at aid stations and passed them out if people needed them. It was awesome. It was like running with my own crew!

October 16, 2009

I need a pep talk.

Just finished my last run before the marathon on Sunday - an easy 5 1/4 miler on the back roads. Next time I lace up my Elixirs, it'll be marathon morning.

About two days ago, pre-race anxiety started setting in. Until then I was quite confident that I'd be able to run a 3:15 marathon. Not so confident any more! All those doubts are now seeping in. My training and race times from shorter races all point to a 3:15 marathon, but the enormity of this goal is weighing on me now. I mean, what am I thinking!? This is only my second marathon!

Going out with Matty and two other running friends tonight. Hopefully I'll get some good pep talks. :-)

Also, the race on Sunday will push me over 1500 miles for the year. Cool milestone.

October 11, 2009

Hidden Forest Trail Run Report

Did my last race before my 2nd marathon next weekend - the Grand Rapids marathon. Here's a short report! The race was the Hidden Forest Trail Run. We did the 8.5 Mile course.

Fun race, but it was kind of cold for me to enjoy it much (32 degrees!). I did like that they had 2 fireplaces going! I was stationed in front of them before and after the race! Just wish they had coffee!

The course itself was not technical at all. That isn't to say it wasn't challenging. The last loop (of three) was VERY hilly. No roots or rocks to avoid and the trail was always very wide, but the hills were killer. Especially the last loop. My pace was around 6:30-something for the first two loops, but dropped to 8:00 for the last!! Wow!

That pace still brought me in 2nd overall female. I was thrilled when I found out my pace for the first two loops. Sure didn't feel like I was running that fast. Also, Matty beat me in a race for the first time since Flirt with Dirt! Good job, babe! You're back on your game!! Watch out, GR, here we come!

I'd probably do this race again. It was very cheap! Only $17 for early registration with long-sleeved t-shirt and D-tag timing! The post-race refreshments were lacking, but that's okay since I always bring my own goodies just in case.

I'm ready for the marathon. Can't believe it is a week away. Here's hoping my pi pace team will bring me in under 3:15. I should have done a pool about how close to pi I come in. ha!

October 9, 2009

ramblings from red... and 50K suggestions?

It's about 9am on a lazy, Friday morning. I only have a four hour work shift today that starts at 1pm. It's a taper week with no run scheduled today, so I'm taking it easy and really enjoying it. Would enjoy it even more if Matty were around, but his work shift today is slightly longer than mine - 12 hours. Yikes!

Marathon in 9 days. I'm getting very excited again. Perhaps not quite as excited as I was for my first last spring. This is a different type of excitement as my goals and expectations are quite different. My training has been great this time around with no real injury - only minor aches and pains. Last spring I had to take several weeks off starting 16 weeks out from the marathon with an achilles injury and then try to build mileage back up and squeeze in enough 20 milers to even make it possible to finish the race. I did next to no speedwork. I still managed to BQ somehow. This time I expect much more out of myself. I expect pi! My goal is to run the entire marathon with my Pi Pace Team - to run a 3:14 marathon.

My goal after the race is to find the best local cheeseburger joint and celebrate.

I ran a half marathon last weekend! The second annual Brooksie Way Half Marathon. I planned originally to make it a marathon pace run, but after deciding to join the pace team, I realized I wouldn't have to worry about pacing myself and ran the race a little faster. haha! I know - shame on me. Still, I didn't really "race" it. I ran at a pace somewhere between MP and my half race pace. I made sure I was comfortable the entire race. Glad I did because I was still sore for a few days afterwards! How much worse would it have been if I had run hard!? Yikes!

What thrilled me about this strategy is I came in 2nd in my AG and 10th overall female. WOW! Also, my time was only 20 seconds slower than my half marathon PR (1:34:45 set at the Martian Half last spring). How did that happen when I wasn't running hard!?? And Brooksie is WAY hilly! It is definitely no PR course. It is a rollercoaster route. Now I need to find a nice, flat half marathon course and see what I can do! I wonder how much longer I will continue to improve like this. There has to be a plateau somewhere along the line... :-)

I have one last race before the marathon, an 8.5 mile trail run. I hear it isn't too technical, so hopefully I can really pick up some speed on the course. My last tempo run before the marathon?

Speaking of trails and marathons. Next year I'm most excited about... well, okay, I'm most excited about Boston, but not far behind Boston is my eagerness to do my first trail marathon, the Grand Island Trail Marathon. Then a few months after that, this little redhead will wander into the realm of ultras for the first time. Still haven't decided which race to do, but by this time next year, I will have a 50K under my belt!

So if any readers know of any good 50K trail runs around the Midwest, southern Ontario or Pennsylvania, chime in, please! Thanks!

September 20, 2009

Run Wild 5K Results - red is a winner again!

Last post I ended with Will I break 20:00? The answer... I blew 20:00 away!!!! Not only did I achieve my goal of sub 20:00 (I ran 19:37), but I was the overall female winner! That was certainly not expected, but a big bonus! What made this win even more fun - I got to break the tape! What a thrill it was to see them bring out a Run Wild finish line tape for me to run through. I threw up my arms and had the world's biggest smile when I ran through it! Then, before I even had a chance to catch my breath, two different people grabbed me for interviews. AHHHH!! Happiness overload!! Now, these weren't Channel 4 News interviews or anything like that, but it was still fun. In fact, I was so distracted I didn't even catch the name of the media people. Oops! Hopefully someone I know will see it and let me know!

Overall, I had a good day.

Even though the Lions lost.

Plus, I'm quite sure my vet tech team (Team Macomb) won the trophy back from Wayne State's team. I hope I did them proud!

Wish I knew what my splits were. I took splits for each mile, but I do not believe them at all. I'm quite convinced their mile markers were way off. If they were correct, I ran a 6:12, 6:38, 6:04. That's just not possible. I can't run a 6:04 after 2 hard miles. Ever. That mile was WAY off. The first mile may have been accurate, but mile 2 had to be long. Very long. Very very. Goofballs. :-) And this is supposed to be a certified course. Guess just the total distance has to be accurate!

September 19, 2009

Laundry is a workout!

Active rest day!

I used the indoor rowing machine for the first time in months. As I was sitting there pretending to be on the Charles in Boston, I started wondering about the wisdom of doing a relatively new activity the day before a race. Then I realized - too late now! You'll find out tomorrow morning! D'oh!!

I wisely decided not to do strength training for my legs today, seeing as I have a race tomorrow. But now I'm wondering if I should start counting laundry as a strength training session. We live on the third and fourth stories of a townhouse-style condo with the laundry room down in the garage-level entrance hall. That means hauling laundry down 2 1/2 stories to wash and up 2 1/2 stories back to our living space to fold and put away. I have 3 loads to do today! That's a workout! ;-)

So, Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5K tomorrow (might do the 10K too just for the hell of it) - charity run for the veterinary hospital at the zoo. I can't miss this run seeing as I'm a veterinary technician. It wouldn't be right. Bad karma and such. Plus, I'm running as part of a team with my old vet tech alma mater - Macomb Community College. The four tech schools in the area compete for a trophy. I'm not exactly sure how they determine who wins. I think it is a combination of participation and times seeing as they were quite thrilled that I'd be joining them this year! :-)

Will I break 20:00? Stay tuned...

September 18, 2009

Another rival crossed off the list!

I have two runs, my thoughts on which, I wanted to get on paper. So I thought I better get typing before another notable run happens and my mind gets too jumbled! Not hard to do.

Last Saturday (yes, a week ago) I ran the Mackinac Island Eight Mile race. For those not familiar with Mackinac Island, it is an island in Lake Huron within view of the Mackinac Bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. This island is reachable only by ferry and the only type of transportation on the island is by foot, bicycle, horseback or horse-drawn carriage! You often have to watch where you step if you're brave enough to walk in the streets. There are employees whose only job is to clean horse waste, but they can only work so fast and the "other" type of horse waste can't be removed with a scoop!

Matt and I visit Mackinac Island a few times each year. We just love it. Yes, it is a tourist trap, but for good reason. There is a lot of history on the island, GREAT fudge shops (almost every other shop is a fudge shop - seriously), lots of interesting geological formations and it is wonderful for road running, trail running and biking.

The Eight Mile race is a race around the perimeter of the island, which means we were within sight of gorgeous Lake Huron almost the entire run. From the west side of the island, the Mackinac Bridge was visible. From the south, the Round Island Lighthouse. Plus, several of the rock formations can be seen from the perimeter highway as well.

I had high hopes of breaking 54:00 - and I did!!! My time was 53:07. Fourth female and first in Age Group. YES!! I was pleasantly surprised that such a short race handed out medals to all finishers. That was a nice touch! But I also took home a trophy for my AG win. It is one of the cheesiest looking trophies I've ever seen. I'll try to get a photo up soon, but I can't locate our camera at the moment.

Another bonus from this run is I finally beat a woman who has placed ahead of me in every other race we've both run previously. We just seem to register for the same races and she always beats me! But not anymore! hahahahahahahahaha!!!! BOOOOYAAAAA!!!!

Also, now I know what she looks like - from behind, that is. haha! During the race, she was ahead of me up until mile 6 1/2ish. She was always just within sight and sometimes I lost her going around bends. She must have run out of steam because I wasn't running any faster when I crept up on her and passed her. I ended up finishing 30 secs ahead of her. I didn't find out until after the race that it was her - one of my arch rivals. hehe!! Another one crossed off the list. Who should I aim for next? ;-)

On to today's run. I am still, seven hours later, feeling the effects of the run deep in my chest - that sensation you get after a good, hard effort that lingers for a while and reminds you what you accomplished. It isn't a bad feeling. It's actually kind of pleasant. It makes me feel like a deserve to sit here and rest and type up my run reports.

The run was supposed to be a 15-miler with about 12 miles at MP. That didn't happen. What did happen was a 14-miler with 9 miles at a pace somewhere between half marathon pace and marathon pace. Not sure what to call that exactly! It was a great workout and I'm sure I reaped some good benefit from it. But... But I really need to figure out what MP feels like. I tried to slow myself down consciously but after each mile I ended up with the same pace. I was very consistent! Consistently too fast. I have several more MP runs coming up. I will try harder. I swear.

Here are the splits:

  1. 7:17
  2. 7:19
  3. 7:15
  4. 7:20
  5. 7:20
  6. 7:20
  7. 7:22
  8. 7:22
  9. 7:26 - this one was actually very close to the pace I had planned (7:25-7:30ish)! I only managed it here cuz I was so tired!

September 9, 2009

2010 Boston Marathon

"Your Boston Marathon entry has been received"

That was the headline in my inbox a few minutes ago after I hit the "submit" button on the Boston Marathon online registration page! It's official! Well, it will be after "verification of qualifying time."

Details... ;-)

I'm so excited!!

September 8, 2009

Good Run, Bad Run. A Balancing Act.

Icky, tough run today. Very humid, but not too warm at all. Can I really blame the humidity? I'm not sure. I did 10 miles with 4 mile repeats yesterday. Could that be why today was hard? No, the day after hard runs is usually not THIS difficult. I dunno why it was so crappy, but it was. Crappy, that is. For the first 2-3 miles, I was very light headed. Almost thought I was gonna pass out. (But did I stop? Of course not. Stupid, obsessed redhead.) This has happened a few times while running on Tuesdays after work. Only worked 6 hours though. Had plenty to eat. I always eat small amounts every few hours. Today I got up and had a bowl of Raisin Bran, then had coffee with yummy flavored creamer (White Chocolate Mocha), later a banana, then a Clif Bar, and lastly before the run (about 2pm), a bit of yogurt with granola. Made sure to keep hydrated today too. So no answers there either.

Shin only ached a small amount near the end of the run. Icing in a few minutes.

Since I mentioned the mile repeats... that run was the opposite of today. It was fantastic. Felt super - like I could fly. Did a 3 mile warm-up (I need lots of warm-up), then went into my repeats. I did 4 repeats with 1/2 mile jog in between. Here are my splits:

  1. 6:46
  2. 6:49 - Turn around! Having to stop, turn around and start up again always kills my time! Gah! :-)
  3. 6:43
  4. 6:36
So, bad run, good run. It all evens out in the end. Actually, no it doesn't. I do tend to have more good runs than bad runs!!

This weekend is the Mackinac Island Eight Mile. It will be another mini-vacation with a run included (extra mini this time - only staying 2 nights). Goal is 54:00! Wish me luck!

August 30, 2009

Lazy red did a 22-miler

I've become considerably lazy lately. Since I always do my training log entry first, I've started copying and pasting my notes to my blogs. At least I make pretty good notes. :-) The first line only makes sense if you know I checked the box for "rain". Here's how my 22 miler went today:

Okay, so there were only a few sprinkles of rain that stopped before I finished my first mile. It actually turned into a great day, for running that is. I froze at Matt's MTB race, even after changing into dry clothes with three layers on top!! Also, it was VERY breezy once I got to Stony!

The run was superb. Couldn't have gone any better. Felt so good I picked up the pace considerably at around mile 1.5 in the Stony Loop. Let's see... that's at about 17.5ish miles for today's route. Last few mile splits were:


Milestone - first 60+ mile running week!

Didn't get all the splits because I wasn't on a trail that had contiguous mile markers the whole time. I'm willing to bet most of my miles were between 7:45 - 7:55. Also, I didn't mention in the log that today's run was very flat as most of the run was on Rails to Trails routes. All my other long runs to date have been on Oakland County's roller coaster back roads. No wonder today's run seemed so easy!

August 29, 2009

I'm running 22 miles to watch a race!

Had an awesome trail run today. It felt effortless. I was flying over the trail as if the rocks and roots didn't exist. I think the low temperature made all the difference in the world. Most of my trail runs in the past few months have been in temps in the 80s and high humidity. Today was 70 and breezy. But all my efforts, pushing myself through training runs despite the heat have paid off. I think my fall runs will be wonderful because of it. Kind of like how my spring runs and races were great due to my hard work in the extreme winter weather. Of course, this winter I need to work even harder with Boston so early in the spring! Eek!

Tomorrow is my first 22-mile training run. The only other time I've run that far was my one and only marathon! I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the serenity on the trail, that feeling you get when you fall into the right groove and it seems like you can run forever, Espresso Love Gu, and my hubby waiting at the end of my run getting ready to do his own race - mountain bikes! I planned my route so I end at the park where his race takes place. I'll be sure not to forget to put a beach chair in his car, extra clothes and lots of Gatorade and fig newtons!! Oh, I'll probably need some naproxen too and perhaps an ice pack. ha! I bet I'll be the most pooped spectator at that race!

August 28, 2009

Giddy about Yasso 800s

I'm giddy, absolutely giddy about my interval workout today. Shun me if you must, but I've become a huge fan of the track. :-)

Wasn't looking forward to the workout today. The weather was crappy - rainy and cold. My shin started acting up again yesterday, so I was concerned about doing a hard workout. Plus, there's been quite a gap in time since I did my last intervals (scheduling just didn't work out), so I wasn't sure if I could handle my planned 8x800s. I decided to go for it anyway and headed out to the closest available track in Rochester Hills. I've never actually felt nervous driving to a run before, but I did today.

I think the tipping point may have been my new Mizuno Elixirs that I've been dying to try out. If I didn't have new shoes, I may have skipped the workout! That's how much I didn't want to do it!

So glad I did! I managed to pick just the right time to go. There was a gap in the rain, probably will be the only one all day. The rain stayed away until my 7th interval, then started up again only very lightly. It wasn't until I shut myself in my car that the rain started coming down significantly. Perfect!

Then there's the workout itself. Shin issues? Nonexistant. I felt fantastic from step one. The warm-up felt good and I felt more and more confident with each interval. My goal for my Yasso 800s has been 3:18s. I think I need to update my goal. I had too much fuel left after today's workout and only once got close to 3:18!! Here's how it went:

8x800 with 400 jogs (2 1/4 mile warm-up, 1 mile cool-down)

  1. 3:16
  2. 3:15
  3. 3:15
  4. 3:17
  5. 3:15
  6. 3:16
  7. 3:15
  8. 3:05

So despite the fact I haven't been to the track for a while, I managed to improve nonetheless. I'll take it! My ultimate goal for this workout is to do 10x800 at 3:18 (or less!) before my fall marathon. I have no doubt now I'll be able to do it.

-happy red

August 22, 2009

Quick Crim Update

Quick Crim update. Just got official results! I did great! 1:07:53. Placed 6th out of 626 in my age group!! It's a big race! Here's a copy of my training log entry:

Great weather for the race! Mom came out to watch. We stayed at her place the night before and she made Chiptee. YUM! She was nice enough to hold a backpack for us with our warm-ups in them. Thank god for that cuz I would've froze if I had to leave my warm-ups in the car.

The race was great! I felt very good most of the race. The hills slowed me down much more this year than last. Not surprising. I continued feeling strong until about mile 8. That's when fatigue set in. I still managed an amazing last mile of 6:30!! I probably averaged close to 6:50 the rest of the race.

Starting in the seeded corral made a big difference. It wasn't crowded in there at all. There was no separation between us and the elites. There were many more elites this year as it was the 10 Mile Women's National Championship race this year. Strangely enough, I beat a handful of those women! Go me!

Very happy with my performance!

Almost forgot to mention Joan Benoit Samuelson ran today! She came in 2nd in the Master's division with a time of 1:00:34. Still kicking my butt even at her age!

August 21, 2009

Crim and Other Randomness

Crim tomorrow! Goal: sub 1:10 (for the 10 Mile). Weather looks like it should cooperate. No rain and the high tomorrow is only 70! So at 8am, we should be running in perfect temps!

Heading for the expo soon. I've been counting on this expo to get some good shoe and GU deals. I also could use more socks and a hydration waist pack for long trail runs.

This will be the first race where I've been "seeded". Not exactly sure what that means. Last year I noticed folks with different colored bibs. I wonder if they were seeded. Maybe I'll get to start in a corral behind the elites??

Speaking of elites, my husband's good pal, Luke Humphrey, a Hansons-Brooks elite runner, will be running tomorrow too. Good luck, Luke! Kick some Kenyan/Ethiopian butt! :-) Well, at least be the first American.

I'll need to make a separate post about the Tahqua Trail Run (25K) I did last weekend in the Upper Peninsula. It was amazing. It was tough. It was thrilling. I didn't win shoes, but I was still perfectly pleased with my result (3rd overall). Anyway, more on that later.

Will be having our pre-race dinner with mom tonight. It'll be an Assyrian dish (I'm half Assyrian - can't you tell? haha!! If I said I was Irish, I think I'd get more believers, but then I'd be lying.) The dish is called Chiptee, a tomato-based rice soup. It's a simple dish really, with very few ingredients. Besides the tomatoes and rice, the only other ingredients are paprika (LOTS of paprika), salt, pepper and meat-balls! It is one of those soups/stews where the longer it simmers on the stove-top, the better it is! Let the rice fall to pieces!! Mmmm...

August 9, 2009

I swam out the front door this morning.

Today is absolutely the hottest and most humid day so far this summer in Michigan. It has already topped 90 degrees and the humidity, last I checked, was 88%. HOLY CRAP!

Knowing this was coming, as they actually successfully predicted it, I got up plenty early to get my 15 mile run in, with as many miles at MP as possible. Turned out, there was no getting up early enough. At 6:30, it was almost 70 and the humidity was already in the high 80s. Sheesh! Well, hoping another hour wouldn't make too much a difference seeing as it was so uncomfortable out already, I made my coffee and mentally prepared for the run. I always enjoy long runs, so I was sitting there getting more and more excited. I didn't think running at MP was really going to be an issue. It should be a fairly comfortable pace, after all.

Boy was I wrong! I swam out the front door into the ocean of air that surrounded me and knew I was in for trouble. I've run several times in warm, humid conditions, but this was bordering on extreme. I did my first 3 miles at an easy pace, or what is usually an easy pace. Then I decided to go for it and kicked into MP. Actually, the first 3 miles at MP weren't too bad, but after that the stress of the pace and the humidity started wearing on me. I made it another 2 miles at MP before I had to slow down. Five miles at MP in 88% humidity - not too bad. I was hoping to do a lot more, but should be proud of what I did. I ran another 2 at easy pace before giving one more shot at MP. Did another 2 at MP and barely finished the last mile. Even the 3 easy miles to round out the 15 were killer. Wow, tough workout! Glad it is over and proud of what I accomplished!

Here are my splits (goal for MP was 7:30):

8:31 - 3 miles warm-up

7:38 - 5 miles MP
7:16 (oops! Can't let this happen during the race!)

8:29 - 2 recovery miles

7:36 - 2 more miles MP

8:08 - 3 miles cool-down

And this brings my mileage to 56.6 for the week which is also a new record for me.

August 7, 2009

"Morning After" Run and No T-Shirt Purchase Required!

Did a "morning after" easy run today. Morning after a tough 5K, that is. I did 8 easy miles and most of the time I was running very comfortably, as I should have been considering the race the previous evening. So mission accomplished! Fortunately, I felt not a single ache from the race the previous evening. So even though I pointed out how tough 5Ks are for me, there's one thing they have going for them - very quick recoveries!!

And here is more evidence of that "negative split mentality" my legs have in them with no help from the conscious part of my brain! Pretty cool, actually.


Every mile felt the same.

There is one thing I forgot to mention about the 5K yesterday. One of the reasons I decided to run this race is that I didn't have to buy a t-shirt!!!! Yay! That saved me $7. Not much, but if all races had this option, it would sure add up! If there are any race directors reading this - make your shirts optional!! You just might find your races much more popular! It would sure make me take a second look at your race! I'm a racer, after all, not a t-shirt collector.

August 6, 2009

The Great Pizza Challenge 5K Report

The Great Pizza Challenge! I'm the wife a pizza restaurant owner. How could I pass up a race with this theme?? Free pizza and soda after the race - so they advertised. Here's the rest of the story...

I was very impressed that this little race was using the D-Tag system. That was a bonus right from the start. Then I learned later that this is the only race timing system that is totally American. Double bonus!

The race took place is dear ole Flint, MI. I was born in Flint. Right at about the time that it was going downhill... fast! Going back to Flint always brings back memories. I immediately recognized the dilapidated building that used to house the University Club - an upscale members-only restaurant that my family visited every Wednesday night when I was a kid. The club was on the 19th floor - I'll never forget that. I remember those elevator rides quite distinctly. My twin sis and I used to love peering out the windows down at the city. I was always mesmerized by the nighttime city lights. I remember feeling a little anxious at the height and the idea that only a little glass was between me and a 19 story drop. I was then and am still quite afraid of heights.

The race start and finish were only yards from this building. It has barricades around it now. It is falling apart. I heard just today that it was recently purchased. I wonder if it will be demolished. I hate to say it, but it would be for the best - for Flint, that is. Flint needs revitalizing. The city is moving in the right direction, but very slowly.

The race itself was a nice, flat, paved course. There were only a few tight turns that I had issue with. There was also a curb that jutted out and surprised me. Disaster averted! Overall it was a pretty fast course and I accomplished my goal of sub 21:00. My time was 20:18 (6:33 pace). I am very happy with this! I still say short races are so much harder than a nice half marathon!! At least in a half marathon I am running at a fairly comfortable pace for much of the race and it is only that last several miles that hurt. In a 5K, I am hurting the entire time!! :-) Is the pain worth the age group award? (I came in 1st.) YES! heh.

The worst part of the race? The pizza. UGH!! Wow. It was downright horrible. What a disappointment. And get this. When it comes to pizza, for me, the more meat, the better! My fav pizza has extra pepperoni and super spicy sausage and perhaps some ham thrown on for good measure. If it used to oink, I want it on my pizza!! So I was scanning the paper plates on the table for the most meatful of the bunch. I walked back and forth several times. There it is! I thought I spotted it! Both pepperoni and sausage and not too overcooked. I grabbed the plate and got out of the line. When I found an open area to stop and eat my pizza, I looked down at my plate and was horrified. I had grabbed a veggie pizza!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!! Not only that, but it had chunks of tomato on it - the most disgusting veggie imaginable! I HATE tomatoes! How did this happen!!!???

Fear not. I have recovered. And I'll make up for it with a cheeseburger tomorrow.

August 4, 2009

1000+ "mile"stone today!

Hot and humid again. Went running anyway again. Got fatigued and tripped again. Bruised again. *sigh*

I've been running trails for 1 1/2 years and didn't fall until 2 weeks ago. I fell again today. What's up with that!?!?

Hmm, well, I suppose it could have something to do with the weather and the increased trail mileage I'm doing, eh? Yeah, that's it. Well, I guess my body darn well better acclimate cuz I'm not stopping!! :-) My 25K is in less than 2 weeks and I plan on winning it!

In other news, I went over 1000 miles for 2009 today! Did a really slow 10.5 mile trail run (with fall) to take me over 1000. Yes, I was running exceptionally slowly and still managed to fall. Woops! So much for other news...

Fortunately my race is several hundred miles north and in the morning. Temps in the mid-80s will probably not happen! Phew!

p.s. Sorry for the horrible wordplay in the title. ;-)

August 2, 2009

My husband to the rescue!

Ran my first 20-miler of this training plan in preparation for the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 18. The run was great! Finished in 2:46. I didn't take it easy on myself. The route was super hilly. It was rarely ever simply flat. There is very little flat in this area - unless you run on the Rails to Trails routes, which are nice but have become rather boring. I used them almost exclusively for long runs during my last marathon training session.

What made this run memorable was my sweet, sweet husband. I commented to him after my 18-miler a few weeks ago that I nearly ran out of fluids and was worried what would happen during my five 20+ milers. This morning he innocently asked me to show him my planned route which I mapped out on the RW training log (Orion Area 20-miler from Home). Sure enough, at about mile 17 I was seriously low on fluids again. But then I looked up and saw a very familiar Jeep coming around the corner right toward me! It was Matty! Bringing me an ice cold blue Powerade to refill my bottles. My hero! He calculated where I might be based on my pace and the time I left and he found me right away.

Of course, I don't know if he'll be available to bring me fluids for the rest of my long runs, so I'm still left with the problem of Fuel Belt bottles that don't hold enough for 20+ miles. I was fine with this belt when training for my Spring marathon, but those runs were in MUCH cooler temperatures! Summer long runs require lots more fluids. So now I need to either find larger bottles that fit my Fuel Belt or get a whole new belt. I know the Nathan Speed 4 has 10 oz bottles. Fuel Belt bottles are 8 oz. So 4 Nathan bottles would hold the same volume as 5 Fuel Belt bottles! That would do the trick! I also found a women-specific Go-Lite waistpack that has two 21 oz bottles. That might work too. Choices...

July 29, 2009

red goes to the track

Woo! Had the BEST track workout today! I'm building up my Yasso 800s. I want to be able to do 10 in the weeks before my fall marathon. Today I did 7! My goal pace was 3:18-3:20. I accomplished this nicely.(Fall marathon goal: sub 3:20)


  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 3:11
  • 3:15
  • 3:18
  • 3:21
  • 3:19
  • 3:17
  • 3:16
  • 1 mile cool-down

I was pooped when I was done! That 1 mile cool-down was hard. I don't think I could have done another repeat. In a few weeks it'll be time to attempt 8. I have some tempo runs and mile repeats between now and then. I remember when I first started doing these and 5 was hard! It is so cool to be able to see progress!

Tomorrow I tackle that trail that tackled me last week. It'll be the first trail run since my wipe-out. I'm not one to get psyched-out by things like that. I'm sure it'll go fine. My 25K trail run is coming up! This is the race I'm most looking forward to this year. August 15 is coming so soon! Yay!

July 25, 2009

Gopher the Gold 10K Overall Female. Yaaay!

Ok. Ok. I know I said today's race was not a PR course and I had little expectations. Boy, did I underestimate. It turns out that I not only got a 10K PR but ended up winning the race. It was a nice surprise!

Time was 42:07 (6:48 pace). This was no easy course. It had some nice hills and about 1/3 of it was on trails, though the trails weren't too technical. Since it rained the entire time, the dirt was rather slippery!

Here are some photos:

blog post photo
Me getting my trophy for Overall Female.

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Holding up the Finish sign. I thought it was sagging a bit.

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Me and Matty pre-race.

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My trophy!

July 24, 2009

Racing means fun.

I'm back! Those bruises still look like monsters but they are no longer send shooting pain up my legs when running. Now they are just ugly! Two days I was out. I'll take it! Not bad at all.

Ran 5.8 miles today in 44:15. It was meant to be an easy run originally, but after two days off my legs just wanted to run fast. ha!

Race tomorrow. Gopher the Gold 10K - raising funds for the Special Olympics. Did this one last year too. It is not a PR course as part of it is on trails. No goals for this race. Not sure what to expect since they changed the course a bit. That means I can't even compare my time from last year. Oh well. It's still a race and racing means fun. :-)

July 23, 2009

Monster Bruises

I've never had a bruise that has kept me from running before, but the monster bruises I picked up when I wiped out on the trails on Tuesday have me sidelined for the second day in a row. Walking is fine, but the pounding of running is just too much to bear right now. I wonder how long it takes bruises like this to heal enough to allow me to run.

I guess it is cross-training time again. I'll be pretending to be Andy Schleck for a few hours at the gym today on the stationary bike. :-) The weather is pretty crappy anyway. If I can't run, it is a good day to miss. Harry Potter later.

July 21, 2009

The dangers of trail running become painfully real - ouch!

Wiped out for the first time today. I kept saying my time was coming. Today was it. Clipped a root with my toe and hit the ground hard on the outside of my left thigh and back of my left shoulder. Those are good, padded places to land if you're going down, I guess. Got a nice abrasion and puffy bruise on my thigh about 2 inches in diameter. Doesn't hurt yet - it is still a little numb. Guess I better get some ice on it as soon as I shower all the dirt off my body.

It's funny that the first thing I was concerned about after picking myself off the ground was not the state of my bones, ligaments and tendons. It was getting away from the darned mosquitoes that started to swarm as soon as I stopped (suddenly). The fact that I was able to start running away from the mosquitoes was a good sign, I guess.

I was quite a bit shaken up. It was a hard fall. I started thinking about what would happen if I wasn't able to run away from those mosquitoes. I was probably a mile in by that point. Ah, well, we can't live our lives in fear, can we? Otherwise, we'd all just sit at home all day watching T.V. and begin looking like the average obese American. I WILL NOT EVER become like that. I'll take my chances with the roots and rocks and make sure my husband knows where I am.

Other than the fall, it was a great run! :-)

Though I'm still a bit shaken up.

Trail running rocks. Literally and figuratively.

July 15, 2009

Distracted by Wildlife

Yesterday during my easy run, I saw a group of these guys scampering along the rocky shore of Stony Creek Lake in the Metropark:

blog post photo

So cute!!!

There were five of them altogether. Must have been a mom and her almost-grown babies. I'm pretty sure they are minks. I've never seen these guys in the wild before and I've lived in Michigan nearly all my life. I stopped in my tracks to watch them for a while.

Perhaps I'll get back to blogging about running soon. I'm kind of caught up in watching the Tour de France lately and reading. I've been reading about running and I picked up a sci-fi novel, Timescape by Gregory Benford. So I just kind of got out of the habit of blogging for a while. Running has been going GREAT lately. Lots of great races, long runs and speed workouts.

Had my best race ever on the 4th of July - the Volkslaufe 20K. I did 1:27:33 (7:03 pace) and got 2nd in my age group (8th overall). So my old 10K pace (7:00) is almost my 20K pace now. Wow! :-)


June 28, 2009

red tests her legs in two short races

I am now officially a 1 Miler and 5K-er. :-) I ran both of these races today for the first time. I realized quite quickly that I like distance better! haha!

Short races are tough! Have to run FAST, FAST, FAST the whole time! And then they went and threw some hills in that there 5K. That just wasn't nice. Someone even had the gall to spray paint a yellow smiley face half way up the side of one hill that was nearly a 45 degree angle. Actually, that made me laugh out loud. It was hilarious. It was an evil hill and needed some softening. The whole course was rough. About half of it was on the high school's cross country course. The rest was on a mixture of terrains such as concrete sidewalk, asphalt, wooded trail, track surface and even a small part on a corner of freshly plowed farm field - swear to god!! Someone had way too much fun designing that course. Ended up with a 21:55 which I thought was pretty darned good considering. Got 1st in my age group, 5th woman overall. Not a bad start to my 5K career. :-)

The 1 Mile race was more tame. It had several sharp turns, however, which slowed me down slightly, but NO GRASS like the 5K! I hate grass. It is the worst surface to run on! Finished in 6:12. Very happy with this! 1st in age group again and 2nd woman overall.

I talked to a gal after the race and she told me about a 5K in Flint this October that I so wish I could do! However, it is the day before the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, so it is a no-go. :-( Anyway, this race is called the UofM/MSU Tailgate Challenge. It is a 5K that takes place right before the Michigan/Michigan State football game - huge rivalry in this state, as you can imagine. Here's an excerpt from the race website:

"Don’t miss this opportunity to run for your favorite school before the big game. U of M supporters will run or walk counter-clockwise and MSU supporters will run or walk clockwise on the two loop course. There will be lots of opportunity to “razz” the other side. Great shirt with your school logo and awards in your school colors!"

Now that sounds like a COOL race! GO BLUE!!!!!!!!

What really cracked me up was the following, also from the race website:

"If you do not have a school preference, please indicate on entry and begin race with MSU supporters."

Whatsamatter, MSU, can't get enough people on your own? Gotta let the neutrals swell your ranks? hahahaha!!!!!!

June 21, 2009

Almost Registered

Mom came to my rescue and pointed out that the Linden Summer Happenings website has been updated and now I have the info I need on the 1 Mile and 5K races next weekend. Registration form is printed, check is made out, everything is in the envelope and ready to be mailed!

Thanks, Mom!

Speed and Heat Don't Mix

Oh, boy! What was I thinking!

On Saturday morning I had to work until about 1:30 pm. I still had to fit in a 4 miler for my marathon training plan which just started (YAY!). Running before work is just not going to happen. I have to be there at 7:30 am and it takes 30 minutes to get there. That would require running at ridiculously early hours. I'm just not that obsessed. Or maybe I just enjoy my sleep and well-being as much as I enjoy running?

Anyway, I ended up doing my 4 miles when I got home. I only worked a half day, so running afterwards seemed like a good idea. However, it was in the upper 70s with high humidity. It was like running through a curtain of water the entire time. A very HOT curtain of water. Thank god it was only 4 easy miles.

While I was running I realized my fatal error in my marathon training plan. On Tuesdays I work the same shift as Saturdays, that is 7:30 - 1ish. I stupidly scheduled speedwork for my post-work runs every Tuesday. Did I seriously think I'd be able to do speedwork during the hottest part of the day during a summer training session!? Dumb, dumb redhead!! Ack!!

When I designed the plan, I was following the same outline I used during my first marathon training, but that marathon was in the spring and most of the training was in the winter. In that season, I need to wait until the warmest part of the day to run, but it is just the opposite in the summer.

The solution, of course, was very simple. I don't work Wednesday mornings, so I simply swapped my Wed easy runs for my Tuesday speed sessions. No problem. Now I can do my speedwork early in the morning when it is MUCH cooler.

Today was my first "long" run on my plan, though it was only a 12-miler. I ran on a "new" route today and thoroughly enjoyed it. I say "new" because it is a route I drive literally everyday. I simply never ran it before. I have always been a little road-shy and there are no sidewalks on this road, but it has very wide, soft shoulders, so I summoned up my courage and did it! It is a two-lane, paved, semi-rural road. Sunday mornings see light - moderate traffic. It has lots of hills, beautiful homes and greenery everywhere. It shows off some of the best that Michigan back roads have to offer. I certainly can't complain about my commute to work along this road.

The run out gave my knees and quads a workout as it was mostly downhill. The run back had some awesome uphills. This is going to be a great route once Boston training starts!

Oh, and my shin is feeling great lately! I'm hesitant to say it is almost healed. Hate to jinx it, ya know. If it still feels this awesome after a few weeks, I'll be more optimistic. Not to say I'm not optimistic now. I suppose I should say I'm hesitantly optimistic?

Overall, I'm feeling great about my upcoming training and race schedule. I'm going to see if I can find a way to post my schedule on my Blogger website. I'm currently most excited about my first 1 mile and 5K races coming up. That's right, my FIRST. I started at 10K races and just moved up from there. Next weekend there is a small community festival that is hosting a 1 mile and 5K. I'm having trouble finding info on it, it is that small! If I am successful in finding that info, I'll be there. I'll of course let everyone know how it went!

June 16, 2009

I blame my legs.

Now that I have a new running watch (YAYAYAY!!!) that actually will record splits, I now have PROOF that my legs have a "negative split mentality". I'm one of those silly runners who has a hard time with easy runs. I can't seem to run slowly. It takes a lot of FOCUS to run slowly, and even then, I usually end up getting too speedy for my own good (and the good of my shins, achilles, etc.). If my mind wanders at all, then I'm screwed. My little legs see their chance and take off! Traitors.

So here is that proof I mentioned. It was supposed to be an easy six. After all, I'm coming back from a mini-hiatus due to a sore shin and also trying to build back up slowly after my marathon three weeks ago.

The splits were:

  1. 8:26
  2. 8:05
  3. 8:00
  4. 7:50
  5. 7:45
  6. 7:30

I swear I was trying (at times) to slow myself down! I thought the heat today would even help. Today was my first run of the season with temps over 70 degrees. In fact, today it was 76! No such luck. The heat didn't affect me. I guess I just keep trying. :-)

Shin update: Felt pretty good after the run today. I'm headed downstairs momentarily to get some ibuprofen and ice, just as a precaution. I will keep doing this until I am sure it is okay.

June 13, 2009

Grand Rapids Marathon

It's official! I'm registered for my next marathon: Grand Rapids 2009! Training to commence in T-minus TWO WEEKS! Woo!!!

Matty is registered too and is going to BQ, baby!!!

Flirt Report

Flirt with Dirt 10K Trail Race 2009 is complete!

I had a great time! It did rain a litte, but the rain did not bother me at all. As one other runner put it, it sure beats the sun beating down on you (though in the woods, this is rarely a problem). I had a great run mostly due to the gal who I was using as a pacer for 5 1/2 miles. If it were not for her, I could not have run as strongly throughout the race. She gave me a goal - to keep up with her! And near the end, I even mustered up the energy to pass her. I made sure to congratulate her on a great race afterward and to thank her for helping me (unknowingly) run my best. Hope I didn't come off as condescending. I really couldn't have done as well without her!

Anyway, 1st in Age Group and 7th overall for me (Unofficial [watch] time: 46:43)! Even though my goal was Top 3 overall, believe me, I am perfectly happy with the results. I noticed if I had finished with this time last year, I would have been 2nd overall. There was definitely some better competition this year! I'm all for that!

The trail was in great condition - not one big mud puddle like last year. I didn't remember how flat it was for the first half. And then only a few hills in the last few miles. For a trail race, this one is pretty fast! I hope I can run it again next year. Flirt is a great race!

My shin is still hanging in there. It isn't great, but could be much worse. It did not get any worse today, not noticably, at least. I'm still holding out hope for a recovery.

June 12, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Good News: The weather was wonderful today and I got in a 5.6 mile trail run on the Bald Mountain single-track near my home. The run was perfect.

Bad News: My shin started bugging me more than usual when I got home.

Bad News: The new ice bag I just bought has a hole in it so I had to use a ziplock to ice my shin. That just doesn’t work very well!! The new ice bag was purchased to replace a similar bag that had a hole in it. What gives!?

Good News: The store let me return the ice bag and I got this nifty “cold peas” refreezable cold pack instead. It has pea-sized beads in it like those fake ice cubes that you can freeze over and over. Can’t wait to try it!

Bad News: I still need an ice pack.

Bad News: The Velcro on my watch strap decided to stop sticking today. So no watch on my run. No big deal, I guess, I forget my watch half the time anyway.

Good News: I went to Target and finally bought the Ironman Sleek 50-Lap running watch I’ve been wanting for months! I can record splits now! WOO!

And I will end with the good news.

Flirt with Dirt 10K tomorrow! Looking forward to it! My goal: Top 3 Overall (women, of course)

June 11, 2009

That did the trick!

Okay, I did it. I ran 3.5 miles on the trails at Bald Mountain. It was threatening to rain, so I got out ahead of the weather this morning. It was near perfect! The run did not affect my shin. That isn't to say I wasn't aware of my shin as it feels "off" even when standing still on it. But the running didn't make it worse. That is good news!

Also, I felt strong during the entire run, like I hadn't missed any running at all. No, scratch that, I felt even better running today, like the rest did my entire body (if not my shin) a whole world of good! It is good to be back.

June 10, 2009

My True Feelings Revealed

Tomorrow is the day. The hiatus is almost over. I will put on my Salomons and drive over to the Bald Mountain single-track for a test run on my not-quite-100% shin. My plan is to do about 3.5 miles at a conversational pace. Of course, running Bald Mountain is hard to do conversationally because there are very few flat sections. You are almost always going up or down hills, tripping over roots and rocks and dodging fallen trees, large puddles and thorny vines. It's awesome!

I'm simply going to have to cross my fingers that whatever is wrong with my shin will continue to slowly heal as I continue to run. It worked with my achilles - I never stopped running when they became painful and they healed up quite nicely. So I know it is possible with some injuries! I'll continue to ice, stretch, roll out my calves, strengthen my lower legs and hope for the best.

On to an entirely different topic...

I keep going over my marathon in my mind. Every time I do, I realize the dominant feeling I have is disappointment. How can I be disappointed with a time of 3:31 for a first marathon and a Boston qualifying time. What is wrong with me?? I mean, I ran this marathon less than a year after my very first race! I keep thinking to myself that the standards for women in my age group must be WAY too easy if I can qualify after walking for so many miles. Then it occured to me - maybe I'm the one with standards that are way too high for myself

Still, everytime I talk to friends or family about the race, I stop myself when I try to say, "I ran my first marathon." In reality, I didn't run a marathon. I ran most of it and walked the rest. One of my goals for the race was to run the whole thing. I'm not one who buys into the whole walk/run strategy. That may be okay for those who just want to complete a marathon, but I wanted to RUN a marathon. I just can't bring myself to believe that I did that.

I ought to be darned proud of myself. The vast majority of the world's population will never even register for a marathon. I not only completed one, but qualified for Boston - a feat that takes many seasoned runners several tries to achieve. I repeat - what is wrong with me?? I've tried putting on a happy face when talking about this race with others, but it really was partly an act. I'm trying to convince myself to feel how I ought to feel, but one cannot turn feelings on and off with the flip of a switch. It doesn't work that way.

So now I set my sights on the Grand Rapids marathon. Goal number one will be to run the entire race. I know I won't be satisfied unless I also PR, but that shouldn't be an issue if goal number one is reached! I can't imagine going to Boston without ever having RUN an entire marathon. This is why my fall marathon is so important. I hardly feel like a marathoner yet! I feel a little pang of guilt every time I see the 26.2 magnet on my car. Did I truly deserve it? Of course I did! See, part of me understands, but part of me is a stubborn, perfectionistic redhead.

Hopefully tomorrow will be an upbeat post on how great I feel after my trail run!

June 9, 2009

Nachos and Red Wings!

It is two days before I need to start running again to test out my legs and get ready for my next race and my shin really isn't feeling much better now than it did before this current running hiatus started. That is really bumming me out. I'll be running on Thursday regardless, but I was hoping for several days pain-free before starting. I should really say "discomfort-free", because, as I've said before, it isn't outright painful - just annoying and nerve-wracking! Why isn't it healing?? By now I would have expected the discomfort to be gone even if it isn't totally healed. Very, very frustrating!!

At least I'll be able to do all my runs on soft surfaces. Even the race is a trail race. If I need to run, that's the best way to do it, I guess.

Got in the pool again today! Again only did about 500 meters and even that was WAY slow! haha! I stink at swimming! But I'm going to plug away at it and get better! I discovered during these past two swims that I badly need a swim cap! This mass of red hair is all I see when I turn my head to the side to get a gasp of air.

Here's another spot of good news: The RW training log was FAST today. WOOO!!

Tonight: Matty's famous nachos and watching the RED WINGS win the Stanley Cup. Too bad they aren't home in Detroit for the win.

June 7, 2009

Elliptical Hopping

My cross-training for today consisted of elliptical hopping, the new "skating" cardio machine at the gym and my usual strength training. Elliptical hopping? Yes. Our gym is so big, they have, let me count... I can think of 5 different models of ellipticals. Swear to god! I've used all of them at one point or another, but couldn't remember which one I liked the best. So today I tried 3 different models before finding the one I liked best - LifeFitness!

The skating machine is unique! It kinda simulates ice skating in that you push the foot platforms back and to the side. Shweeet! And a good workout. This machine is brand new to our gym. They added two of them a few weeks ago when they closed down for a few days to put in new carpet and equipment. The trainers think they are going to be a hit. I agree. I wonder how much more popular they'll become with the RED WINGS kicking some major Penguin butt!!! (That was kind of on topic - skating machine.. hockey.. right?) :-)

I've been a good little injured runner. I've been icing my shin every opportunity I have (usually 2-3 times a day), taking antiinflammatories and recently started foam rolling my super tight calves (I'm suspecting they are part of my shin problem) and doing some lower-leg strength training. I am starting to feel some improvement and hope to be able to get back to running next Thursday for an easy run on a soft surface. My next race is next Saturday! Eep! But it is a trail run - so soft surface again. Phew! I'm actually really looking forward to it. I just checked the results from last year and I should be able to pull out a Top 3 Overall finish! That'd make for a happy redhead.

"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule