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...

"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