January 31, 2010

Gatorade Slushies??

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 eluded the Winter Wolf and won the Race! Photos included!

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!

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Receiving Overall Female award. Nice shot of overloaded trash can there too. heh

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My award is transparent.

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A slightly better photo of the award at home. Hard to get good shots of transparent things!

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It lights up!!!!

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Matty and his original award. He traded it later for...

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This is the award Matty traded for.

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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.

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Mmmm... post race chicky noodle. I was still shivering even after the soup.

January 19, 2010

Witchy Wolf in Pursuit!!

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

When 18 becomes easy... you throw in a marathon pace run.

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:

MP splits:

  • 7:09
  • 7:17
  • 7:13
  • 7:11
  • 7:12
  • 7:18
  • 7:05 - oops
  • 7:01 - oops
  • 7:09
  • 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

A run to forget.

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

Tempo Runs and Reese's

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

My eyelashes were frozen together!!


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!

"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