May 23, 2010
After the singletrack, all but Matty (who had to go to work), headed down the PCT for a nice and easy out and back. Longest ride ever for me! 37 miles! YES! I may try to get a short run on the trail later to see how the knee responds, but I also need to get this condo cleaned up. That's kind of a priority.
May 22, 2010
My knee only hurts when I run. In fact, it only hurts after I've been running for about 10 minutes. This means I have no way to gauge its healing except by actually attempting to run. So every 3-4 days I've been doing test runs. Today was my third test.
Today I did something different. Since I'm too cheap to go to a doctor, I thought I'd experiment with Matt's knee strap. (I should preface by saying I'm an extreme skeptic when it comes to running accessories of this type.) Not knowing the cause of my knee pain, I first tried it below my knee. As usual, ten minutes into my run, my knee started hurting again. Experiment 1: failed. Big surprise. Then I decided to try the strap above my knee just for the heck of it! To my amazement, it actually helped! The pain immediately went away and I was able to run another 2-3 miles before feeling anything. Even when the pain did come back, it was MUCH less than before. Better than nothing, I guess.
I refuse to get optimistic though. Something else will happen or this won't really heal or... who knows.
Time to ice, take NSAIDS and foam roll my IT band, just in case that is the problem. It sure couldn't hurt, eh?
May 9, 2010
Felt good to get a nice, long run in, despite knee pain. I felt great from the waist up. Didn't get tired except near the end of the first loop, and that was only because, as I found out later, Farra was pushing a pretty fast pace! We averaged about 8:27ish on the first loop but got the average down to 8:43 for the second. That's good cuz I would not have survived loop two if we hadn't slowed down!
Now for some well-deserved R&R and a shower. :-)
May 8, 2010
My knees feel much better today. They simply got a little extra work than they were used to. Nothing serious. After a 3 month running hiatus, every little ache is worrisome. I don't think I mentioned before that I'm totally revamping my training regimen for my 50 miler. I used to train 5-6 days a week. I'm going to be cutting that back to 4 days a week. I'm tired of getting injured. M, W, F are rest or cross-training days now. I'm willing to bet my body will thank me for it and my performance will not suffer. Quite the opposite, in fact. Quality, not quantity, my friends!
May 6, 2010
First time with Speedy, my mountain bike, on singletrack! Matt gently prodded me to try it out. It was great! In some ways easier than the moderate and easy trails. Matt taught me how to handle uphills (keep your butt in the seat!) and I got a lot of good practice at tight turns. Haven't tried much in the way of obstacles yet. I'll get there. Can't wait for the next ride!
May 4, 2010
PB pre-run = Disaster
PB post-run = Bliss
It kind of bums me out because PB is one of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews), along with whiskers on kittens. I was hoping to make PB&J sandwiches one of my go-to foods for ultra training. Gotta cross that one off the list. I do well pre-run with fig newtons, cereal bars and bananas, so I have a few things to work with so far.
It was warm today, much warmer than any previous run this year, but the heat didn't seem to affect me as much as I thought it would. Being in the woods helps with that! Yet another reason trail running rocks! (No pun intended.)
I'm planning about 17 miles this weekend. Really looking forward to it. Having runs to look forward to makes the work week go by so much faster. I'll be running with RUT again on a trail I've never been on. Sunday can't come fast enough. :-)
May 2, 2010
Snakes were well represented on the trails today. They weren't exactly moving very fast to get out of our way either! It wasn't even cold out! Slackers.
Matt and I decided to do as close to 15 miles as we could. Four of us had Garmins. None of them matched. LOL!!! Also, none of them were even close to the mileage on the map. My Garmin said 14.4 miles, Matt's was 14.0, Mark had us at 14.8 and I can't remember what Andrew said. The map said we did 15.9 miles!! I just uploaded my Garmin and called it an estimate. heh! Considering we ran 2 hrs 45 mins on a hilly, technical (muddy!) trail, I know I got in what I needed to get in, regardless of time or distance. I'll take it! Great run!
One of the best parts were the cookies Farra baked for us. Mmmm.... She's one of those "artistic" bakers who works sans recipe, so there's no way to duplicate.
This was a great mental run for me as well. I was getting pretty tired being on my feet so long, even if we weren't moving that fast. Granted it was faster than I anticipated! They were not slow pokes! However, I needed to push past the fatigue and just keep going. That's the kind of training I need for a 50 miler. Part of the reason for the fatigue was due to leaving my GU in the car. I thought we'd be back at the car about halfway through. We ended up staying out on the trail longer, and I needed to refuel! I had Accelerade in my hydropack, but it wasn't enough. I know better now! Take the GU whether you think you need it or not!
I had such a blast today, I'm already looking forward to next week. Can't wait!
May 1, 2010
At least I did it in the parking lot of the gym after a good cross-training workout, right? (1 hour on the stationary bike and 20 minutes on the elliptical for a "tempo" workout). Although, now that I think about it, it almost seems like punishment for working so hard. Hmmm...
I've been driving for 20 years and have never done this before. How could I be so clutzy!? Now it is moving into my head and giving me a headache.
And, yes, I'm that short. ;-)
As long as it doesn't affect my running... <--- very appropriate
Long trail run tomorrow with my RUT buddies!! Can't wait! Will fill ya in later!
April 30, 2010
I'm cautiously optimistic about my return to running. I tried running a few days before leaving for Boston, but my leg still hurt. I gave my leg a few days off again and then tried running in the park near our hotel in Waltham, Mass. That was one damn, hilly park! Holy crap! Wish I could show you the elevation chart! Anyway, the run was horrid, hills or no hills. It just sucked. Lots of pain.
Took some more time off from running after the hill run in the park. My next run would actually be a race. Yep, that's right. A race. Don't ask. I ended up running Running Fit's Trail Half Marathon in nearly the same time that I ran it last year (with the same bib number too - weird). Only difference is this year, I did next to no running in the 3 months leading up to it. Huh. I do not recommend following my example.
The trail half was GREAT! I felt awesome during the entire run. No leg pain. The 3-4 days post-race were excruciating. ha!! But that passed too. I have run twice more since then pain free and will soon start running with my RUT friends (Running Fit's Ultramarathon Team) on their Sunday jaunts through the nearby parks, starting this Sunday. (See ya there, Kai!!)
As much as I hated not being able to run Boston, being a spectator for the first time was a treat! I got to watch the winners run by. We were only a few blocks from the finish line, which was clearly visible from our location. I never get to see the winners since I'm always racing! The energy in the crowd was amazing (and deafening)!!
I also picked up a copy of Mark Remy's book The Runner's Rule Book, which he graciously signed for me. Thanks, Mark! I read it in one sitting. Hilarious. One of my favorite parts was the illustration of a harmless dog vs. a dangerous dog. You'll have to pick up a copy to see that for yourself. Priceless.
As far as future plans go, I'm taking it one week at a time. I'm still planning on my 50 miler at the end of August but reserve the right to downgrade to the marathon if I don't feel like I can train safely for 50. The race will still be there next year!
I'll try not to let 1 1/2 months go by between posts next time.
March 6, 2010
I found out right away I need some real bike shorts. Chafing!! I've never chafed during my two years of running, but on my first ride, I chafed right away! Bike shorts that come down to mid-thigh should take care of that. heh.
I was thrilled to get my bike today but I did have one setback. During bike fitting at the shop, I was learning how to clip in and out of the pedals. Clipping in was no problem, but the torque placed on my left upper leg while trying to unclip found me screaming in pain. I thought I was healing up quite nicely, but now I know I have a long way to go. Perhaps unclipping will be a good gauge of the progression of my injury? :-)
Lots more time on the bike ahead for me!
March 5, 2010
Since I handled those lunges just fine and am finally walking normally, I'm going to give the elliptical a try again in a few days - maybe Tuesday. Elliptical is weight-bearing but non-impact, so it'll be a good transition. I'll still be biking for the majority of my cardio-training, but I'll slowly incorporate elliptical and maybe stairs as my leg allows.
The return to running is still not in sight.
Today I did the biking version of "cruise intervals" on the recumbent for one hour. It was great! It was one of the pre-programmed workouts. Glad I found it. The bikes have many workouts to choose from, but I'd never seen that one before.
After the speed work, I jumped over to the upright bike for another 30 minutes of easy riding to total 1 1/2 hours on the bike (26.5 miles). I feel good about that! Afterwards I did an hour of strength training.
Speedy is finally ready to be picked up from the bike shop! I go in tomorrow for bike fitting and then he comes home! Woooo!!! (Speedy is my new Trek 6700 WSD hardtail mountain bike) :-))))
February 28, 2010
Take that, Injury!!!! hahahahaha!!!!
February 26, 2010
It's been a full week now with no running and my left thigh feels only slightly better. My return to running is nowhere in sight. I've been at the gym nearly every day since I stopped running, mostly on the stationary bike, splitting my time between the upright and the recumbent. If my legs get tired on one, I'm usually able to switch to the other and keep going. That way I can get the same amount of cardio in that I would have had running, at least time-wise. I'm trying desperately to keep my fitness level up so I can at least complete Boston, even if my time goal is now impossible. There's always this fall at Chicago!
Today I even did an interval workout on the upright stationary bike. It was great! It really got my blood pumping and legs burning. I was a little worried about adding too much resistance to the bike, since the whole point in biking is to keep weight off my left leg, but I didn't feel any pain with the increased resistance, so I went for it. Now I know I can add harder workouts into the mix along with my "easy rides" and "long rides".
I tried doing the elliptical and stairmaster this week too. They were both a no-go. I could feel my injury. I also tried the rower. While my new injury didn't bother me on the rower, my chronically unhappy achilles were stressed, so I crossed that one off my list too. And since I hate swimming.... biking it is!! :-)
"Speedy", my new mountain bike, ordered well over a week ago, has still not arrived. They said it would be in within the week. So much for timing... I wish they had overestimated so I wouldn't have gotten so excited for nothing. Grrr.... I was hoping to be able to ride Speedy on our indoor trainer this Sunday during what would have been my long run. I was hoping to do a 3 hour ride. I could manage on Speedy because I could put in a movie while I ride. Can't do that at the gym! (No, I don't listen to music. Just not interested in music.)
So that's where everything stands after one week. I need more healing vibes sent my way, please. :-) Thanks!!
February 19, 2010
I hate typing that. But my aching thigh can no longer be ignored. It is gradually getting worse to the point that I'm no longer looking forward to runs, but dreading them. Today I had to stop and walk 2 miles back to my car because I couldn't take the pain anymore. Thank god it was unseasonably warm today (34 degrees) or I would have been in trouble.
The pain is a deep, dull ache that has been around for a few weeks now. No money for doctors or insurance means I'll never really find out what is wrong. My mind jumps to the worst - a stress fracture - which would mean no Boston and probably no North Country 50 Miler since I'd have to start training for that immediately after Boston. I'm going to take several days off and hope I'm wrong. I'll run again when I don't feel any pain at all in my thigh and see how it goes.
I guess I'm getting my new mountain bike at just the right time. I'll need it to cross train. I jumped on the stationary bike at the gym today and I can do that with no pain. Rode for an hour with low resistance. That's better than nothing, I guess. Glad I have the new bike to look forward to or I'd really be depressed.
Maybe I should just quit running since I seem to be so injury prone. This really sucks! I wonder how often mountain bikers get overuse injuries...
February 14, 2010
I'm getting a mountain bike! Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!!
Here's a pretty picture of the most likely candidate - the Trek 6700 WSD (women specific design):
Soon I shall be cross-training like crazy cuz I'm gonna be biking like crazy! Indoors on a trainer until the thaw and then I shall be riding the trails until I can't ride anymore!! :-)
And back to running... Boston training is going pretty well. Don't really have any specific run to comment on. I've done quite a few good runs since last post, a few okay runs and maybe one or two outstanding runs. I'm finding my hip injury is responding very well to ice, so I'm feeling more optimistic about it even though immediately after a run, it is still VERY sore. Thankfully, I don't feel much at all DURING a run. :-) Can't wait until the thaw so I can run the same trails I'll be riding (with my new bike! wooo!). My body's shock absorbers will appreciate the break from asphalt!
Less than 10 weeks to Boston... nerves are starting to set in. I am about halfway through the book 26 miles to Boston, which is a bit dated, but still describes the course pretty well. It also has some interesting historical facts about the race - a pretty good read, all in all. I'll be checking out RW's own Boston guide soon.
Honestly, I'm less worried about the run itself as I am about the logistics of getting to the race (and the expo), on time and ready to go. Boston is such a different universe than the good ole Midwest. I've been to the city many times, and know that driving there is hazardous to one's mental and physical health! Scary! Midwest roads make sense. Boston roads were built where the cows wandered and you can have 5-6 roads coming together in one intersection. GAH!!!
Off to watch the Olympics and enjoy some ice of my own (on my hip).
February 5, 2010
Wow! I needed that. Today's run was awesome. It sure made up for my last two dismal runs. I've never had two such bad days in a row. Usually if I have a bad day, I can expect the next day to go much better. Not this time. I had two horrible days. In a row. Ugh. Wednesday night I was feeling strong enough, but my injuries were bugging me, specifically my right achilles insertion and my left thigh (yes, the entire thing - it was more of a dull ache). I finished the run, thanking god it was only a 5 miler. The next day was supposed to be an easy 14 miler. It turned into only 12 and those 12 were torturous, even at a very slow pace. The injuries were not bugging me that day, I simply felt supremely fatigued. Ugh again.
I had high hopes for today. Surely the running gods would not let me have 3 bad days in a row, right? They came through for me! And thank goodness too, because today was speedwork day. I did 12 miles total with 6 at half marathon pace (I did 6:53 average). It was just right! I even ended with a 6:39! Way to finish strong, red! I really needed today's confidence booster run. I was getting a little depressed about the whole running thing and injuries mounting and doubting my ability to handle the mileage I'm asking of myself and my ability to run my goal time at Boston (3:08). Bit of a run-on sentence there. Sorry. haha! Anyway, now I'm feeling much better. :-)
Tomorrow is an easy 6 miler, then 20 for Sunday. Here's hoping for temps in the 30s. Bone-chilling long runs are getting old fast.
Oh, and Chicago is official. So is starting Corral B. Hoping that I can move up to Corral A with a strong run in Boston, if Corral A isn't already filled by then. No big deal if it is. Corral B is A-OK with me!
January 31, 2010
Had a decent run today - 21 miles total. Felt best on the last of three laps that I ran out at Stony Creek. Though my body and legs felt okay, the wind was brutal! Evil Old Man Winter! Near mile 19, my achilles insertion started bugging me. Got really worried and slowed way down, but it worked itself out somehow. Time to ice and anti-inflame.
I wore my Fuel Belt today and it was cold enough to form an ice cube in my water which clunked around quite a bit. lol! I also had ice around the tip of the bottle which forced me to unscrew the cap to take a drink. At least it only partially froze. The bottles with Gatorade froze a little too, but instead of ice chunks, I got slushies! Mmmm.... :-) It actually tasted better that way!
Don't you hate it when you're getting ready for a long run and find a tiny spot of mold in your Fuel Belt bottle?? Grrr.... Filled it with dilute bleach solution and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinsed VERY well and was finally all set to go! I swear I thought I'd cleaned that thing thoroughly before stowing it away last time. Now I'm going to be in super-inspection mode every time I get the bottles out to use them! Ick
This week was record setting, as was this month. Finished out the week with a total of 68 miles and finished out the month with 275.3. Nice. :-)
For anyone interested in running Chicago this Fall, don't forget that registration begins TOMORROW!! I'll be registering right away and getting my spot in the seeded corrals! Yay!
January 24, 2010
I won! I had to be talked into doing the race and I actually won it! haha!
My first Winter Wolf Run is in the books. Brief race report with pics....
Okay, so it wasn't really a trail race like I was led to believe. Probably less than a mile was on trails. Thank goodness too, cuz that short section was hard! I was right behind Matt until that point and then he had an easier time through the snow and took off on me. I never caught back up.
Running at night with the Yak Trax on pure ice and a head lamp for vision was just fine! I wasn't scared at all, could see well enough and the Yak Trax let me run fast and with confidence on the ice. I was very impressed with the Yak Trax. They even did fine on the sections of asphalt. I know you're not supposed to wear them on asphalt, but I wasn't about to take them on and off, on and off, in the middle of a race.
The river crossing was scary! They built an unsteady, double plank bridge over it. It was only about 10-15 feet across, but when you're as scared of heights as I am, that's a huge distance. The creek was down in this valley with very steep sides. It was a steep, snowy descent down to it and quite a climb back up on the other side. My hams were aching for about a half mile after that climb!
The vast majority of the 15 miles was on iced-over dirt roads or two-track, so that part was mostly easy going. Had chicky noodle soup with lots of saltines at the end. Chili was also available but had way too many evil tomatoes in it for my taste. No coffee though. What's wrong with people!? ;-)
After warming up a bit and waiting for other racers to finish, the awards began. Pics of my award, my hubby's award (he won his age group) and other random photos below!
Receiving Overall Female award. Nice shot of overloaded trash can there too. heh
My award is transparent.
A slightly better photo of the award at home. Hard to get good shots of transparent things!
It lights up!!!!
Matty and his original award. He traded it later for...
This is the award Matty traded for.
Pre race all geared up and ready to run! Proof Matty wears shorts in the winter. Goof. The other man in the photo is Dennis, a fellow member of RUT (Running Fit's Ultramarathon Team) which we just joined. Just met a bunch of the members last night.
Mmmm... post race chicky noodle. I was still shivering even after the soup.
January 19, 2010
Before tonight, I'd only run after dark once. That was in the summer on a flat rail-trail. I was running with my husband who had a headlamp on. We did maybe four miles.
Tonight I upped the bar a little. Instead of flatness underfoot and a warm breeze surrounding us, we ran on snowy (icy at times) wooded trails, both wearing Yak Trax and headlamps and bundled up from head to toe. It was awesome!
I'm not much of a night person. Once the sun goes down, if I'm in, I'm usually in for good. I don't see well at night (I know - who does?) and I never feel safe. Then my husband started talking about this trail race that starts at 6:30pm next Saturday - the Winter Wolf Run. Fifteen snowy, icy miles after dark with the Witchy Wolf in pursuit! My immediate response was, "No way! I'm out!" But more and more trail running friends kept talking about it and I was beginning to feel like a whimp! So tonight I asked my Matty if he'd go on a short test run after dark on the trails near our home.
Now I'm still not sure I want to do this race, but the run tonight made me slightly more confident. I now know I can run comfortably with a headlamp on my head and Yak Trax on my feet. I just wish the headlamp were brighter...
Here's a partial list of what the website has to say about this race:
Full of the moon January 23rd 2010
Surprises, some support, wild animals and more.
Headlight and taillight required.
Encounters with the wolf guaranteed.
Reward if you capture the wolf.
Notification of next of kin, if the wolf captures you.
Survival not guaranteed
Fun unusual awards and treats
Freezing temperatures and snow!!
Encounters with the wolf? Survival not guaranteed? EEP! :-)
This will certainly make for an interesting race report if I end up running.
January 17, 2010
That was MUCH better!
Last post I was whining about a bad run. The three runs since then were much improved. Today's run could even be considered phenomenal. Well, that might be a bit exaggerated. Still, it was a great run.
Today I did an 18-miler with 10 miles in the middle at Marathon Pace. I did a 6 mile warm-up with my Matty. Then I took off and ran the next 10 miles at or faster than MP. Goal was between 7:10 - 7:15. Here are the splits:
- 7:05 - oops
- 7:01 - oops
- 7:00 - oops. But okay for last mile :-)
Had a few "oops" moments when I caught myself going too fast. But I still completed the entire 10 miles, so I'm okay with it! If I had pooped out early because of running too fast, I would have been a little upset with myself, but I did it!! I felt on top of the world after this run. :-)
I used my Nathan hydration vest again today and I'm falling in love with the thing. Sure beats my Fuel Belt and I really like my Fuel Belt! There are two big advantages to the vest. One is not having to remove and replace bottles on the run. The mouthpiece is pinned up near my mouth. I just move my head a little and take my drink! The second is not sucking down so much air with each gulp. I get almost no air at all with the backpack. Just refreshing Gatorade! The vest is so light I hardly know it is there! I just hope it isn't too hot for summer long runs. If it is, I'll switch back to the Fuel Belt.
I also tried Just Plain Gu today. I was afraid to try it for the longest time. It tastes very nearly like Vanilla. Not bad at all!
Lastly - I had two friends finish 3rd and 4th at the Arizona Rock n' Roll Half Marathon today!!!! Wooo!!!
January 14, 2010
It was a nice, partly sunny warm day for running and my run sucked!! I felt drained and was a little sore from my leg strength training yesterday. The soreness I could have dealt with, but the fatigue was the killer. Plus, during the first several miles I was very dizzy. Almost considered walking because of it. Scary.
I've had the dizziness before during hot, humid summer runs and I figured the heat and humidity was a big factor. Now I don't know what to think! The dizziness went away after 5ish miles, but I was still so fatigued that the entire run was a huge effort. I was originally going to do 14, but barely finished 12 today.
Ugh. A run to forget.
January 12, 2010
GREAT RUN! Felt good throughout. Maybe too good! It was supposed to be a 6 mile tempo run, but the same pace that kicked my butt a week or so ago was too easy today. Four miles into it I realized I needed to make it harder. I considered upping the incline (was on the Beast), but chose to up the speed instead. I did the first four miles at 6:53 pace, then went to 6:48, then 6:43 and finished at 6:39 still not struggling.
Last time I did this workout, I only did 5 miles and had it at 6:53 the entire time and it was HARD. I kept wanting to slow the pace after every mile but made myself keep pushing. Either I had a bad day that day or an exceptionally good day today. Or... I just improved a lot over the intervening time???? Who's to say. Either way I'm way happy about today's run. Felt that runner's high for sure today.
Matty just bought me Reese's Valentine Hearts. Reese's seasonal peanut butter treats are the BEST! WAAAAY better than their regular peanut butter cups, and that's saying a lot cuz I LOVE their regular peanut butter cups. I think it is the PB to chocolate ratio. It is much higher in the seasonal treats like the Xmas trees, hearts and eggs. That must be it. PB is far superior to chocolate. I must now go indulge.
January 2, 2010
Real temp today was 8 degrees F. And it was windy. Not sure what the windchill was. Not sure if I want to know.
But... I was pretty comfy during my run, even a little too warm at times when the wind wasn't blowing. When the wind WAS blowing, my eyes nearly froze and fell out of my head. I even started getting a headache at one point from the wind hitting my forehead - the only area (including my eyes) not covered on my entire body. Made me wish I had ski goggles on.
I wore double layers everywhere but my head. That included two pairs of socks, heavy running tights covered by loose running pants, two long sleeved shirts and a vest, and gloves covered by mittens. On my head was my balaclava.
I tried wearing my Nathan vest again. Gatorade froze in my hose before two miles. Wow. I mean, wow! Thankfully, Matty brought two bottles of Powerade and we had plenty of GU and Hammer packets in the car, so we stopped and refueled after each loop. Not the best refueling strategy, but it was all I could do. Next time I'm at REI, I'll see if they have an insulating sleeve for my hose.
So that was my 16 mile long run today.
Can't forget to mention my first run of the year done yesterday indoors on the beast. Three mile warm-up then 5 miles at tempo pace. I set the beast at 8.7 mph (6:53) and stayed there for 5 miles. That was quite the workout! One nice thing about doing faster workouts on the beast - I can't fall off pace!! The beast is a great motivator. I cooled down for another mile and was finished. Felt great. Well, I felt great when I was finished. The workout kicked my butt!!
Runs 1 and 2 of the new year done! 25 miles so far this year - about 2000 more to go!