May 23, 2010

I mountain biked!

What a ride!! Went out with Matty and friends, Jaime and John on the singletrack at Addison Oaks and then an out and back on the Paint Creek Trail. Addison was very muddy and slick! It made a huge difference. Last time I rode Addison I did pretty well, but it was very dry. I think I fell four times today, but I kinda lost count. lol!! It's ok. I'm resilient. I lost a little confidence out there, but I'm trying to remind myself that the mud changed everything. Back to my beloved Bald Mountain next time to regain some nerve! (But not today!) Bald Mountain is MUCH less technical and is great for beginners. I think my new strategy will be to alternate between easier trails and trails that give me a good challenge. That way I won't get too frustrated (and scared!) and quit if I try the hard stuff too often.

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

I ran.

I've been gone again because I've been hurt again, believe it or not. Knee pain this time. I can't win.

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

Exploring new trails

First time trail running at Island Lake State Park. It was my second RUT (Running Fit's Ultramarathon Team) run. Trails there were pretty non-technical. It'll be a good place to run fast when I'm feeling up to it. Lateral knee pain in my right knee kept me in check today. It was in the same place it was bugging me Thursday on my road run and yesterday at the very end of my trail run. I'm giving it 3 days off now and icing! Grrr!!

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

red vs. the wind

Got up early today to sip coffee and catch up on online news. Matty's bike team is getting their team photos taken this morning. When he returns, we'll head on up to the mountain bike trails near my mom's house and get a few windy, wet running miles in before we head over to her house for a visit. Wind gusts in excess of 40mph, the report says. Those kind of gusts could pick up a lightweight like myself! Good thing we'll be in the woods.  :-)

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

Speedy met the Singletrack!


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!

Today was my first time running on pavement for a long time. Yes, I biked and ran today (running first, biking immediately after). I wanted to do a trail run today, but decided I needed to get on the pavement with a road half marathon coming up in a month! Glad I did because my joints definitely felt the difference. My knees were not happy about the run. They ached in different places. I wanted to do 6 miles, but ended up stopping at 5.6 so as not to harm my knees! And I took it really slow. No running tomorrow. Saturday will be my next run and it'll be back on the trails. I better plan on one day a week of pavement running to get used to it again!

Speedy rocks. Will definitely be biking again tomorrow.

May 4, 2010

Shoulda Known Better

Nice and easy trail run today! Ran with my Matt, our friend, Jaime and Shamus, the pooch! Per Garmin, did 6.3 miles in about 55 minutes.  That puts average pace at about 8:45, when I coulda sworn I was doing 9:30s. I was really making myself go sloooooow. I had to. I stupidly ate peanut butter before my run, which I know better NOT to do. PB pre-run is a no-no. It just sits there in my stomach like a rock and mocks me. Fortunately, this time it was merely a mild annoyance. It didn't ruin my run. I told my husband if he saw me reaching for the PB jar before a run ever again to slap my hand. Hard.

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

Running with the RUTsters!

I was so looking forward to today's run with my new RUT (Running Fit's Ultramarathon Team) friends, that thunderstorms on the drive to the park didn't even dampen (haha!) my spirits.  It stopped raining by the time we got there, but the rain left plenty of mud for us on the trails. It was great!

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

Surefire Diet Plan!! ;-)

I discovered a way to lose those few pounds I allowed myself to gain over vacation in Boston last week. Open my car door right into my jaw so hard that it hurts to talk and hurts even more to eat. Yep. That'll do it. Lots of ibuprofen and chicken soup for me!

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!
"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