Week 6 Recap- Really?

I know I picked a longer training cycle but how is week 6 over already?      Picking a longer cycle seems to have been a good choice so far with work being crazy, my odd leg issues and other various issues popping up.  The plan is detailed enough to give me guidance but flexible enough I can move things around.  And things moved this week.

Monday- Rest

Ahh, glorious Monday Rest day.  Coincidentally also Monday Pizza night.  😉🍕

Tuesday-  4 miles easy.

Like I mentioned in my last post, this run made me nervous.  While my leg ached it didn’t outright hurt.  I tried to focus on my form and make sure that my left leg was actually coming around and not just shuffling along.    I pulled off a nice negative split for the run but gravity helped that along.   :)

Wednesday- Rest

I have to start writing these recaps as the week progresses.  I can’t even remember what I did other than work on Wednesday.  I think pizza may have been involved.  Oh, I got my CT results.  Yeah, more on that next post.

Thursday- 7 miles long-ish run

I love half days.  Granted, they mean working on a Saturday but those extra few hours on weekday rock.    I decided to try and get my long run out of the way.    With my leg still being achy, I had already decided that instead of the 10 that had been on the plan I was aiming for 7-8 miles.     I headed to the lake path, while running multiple loops can be boring I would be near my car if my leg started hurting.  IMG_1265It was warm but not too bad.   There was one section of the lake that resembled the surface of the sun and I felt like I slowed in that section every time.   I completed the first 5 miles by taking a .10 mile walk break after each mile to shake out my calf area.    I noticed that walking wasn’t helping so for miles 6 & 7, I tried something different.    I stopped my Garmin and started a new run.  Instead of walking, I took a short 20-30 second pause if I needed to stretch.     My running pace dropped by 20 seconds and overall it only added 2 minutes to my run vs the 5 minutes walking.  Overall, I am not sure if I learned anything but it was an interesting experiment.   😏

Friday- Rest day

I lost the battle with the cookies.

Saturday- Active Rest day

The morning started with a drive out to Saturday work town.   I headed home after work as my mom and I had plans to head to the fair for the afternoon.   The fair comes once a year and runs almost 2 weeks.  The town goes a little insane but it’s fun.   I can usually hear the concerts out my window too, so bonus!  I’m not huge on crowds so I generally only go once.  I have to get my funnel cake and pretzel, it’s a fair tradition.  😄  We enjoyed our yummy fair food and took in all the sights.  I will never ride a fair ride but I love taking pictures of them.

I always try to go on a night where I wouldn’t mind hearing the concert a little better, too.  This year that was supposed to be Alice Cooper and Motley Crue.    Except they had plane issues so the concert was pushed back.    From what I could hear from home- Alice Cooper started playing after 10 and Motley Crue around midnight.   I wonder how many people stayed.     I wore my Fitbit to the fair and we walked well over 5 miles.   Plus that thing is notoriously short on steps.    I feel zero guilt for that yummy fair food.  Maybe for the purse I bought.

Sunday- 5.5 miles Speed work

Somehow I was up early for me and made it to the track by 10.  I wanted to try to complete the speed work I had skipped by running long on Thursday.  The plan called for a 30 minute warm and 8x 1:00 @10K pace with 1:00 recovery and then a 15 minute cool down for 1:10:00.  As I type this I noticed 2 things- 1) that math does not add up at all and 2) I thought it was 10x repeats so I did 10, ugh.    The 30 minute warm up turned into 35 and I rode the struggle bus the entire way.  I could not get my legs moving and my lungs weren’t much better.   I checked the temp during a water break and noticed the 65% humidity.   Ok, I get the complaining lungs now.   I really wanted to blow off the repeats but I figured I would at least start them and see how it went.    Since I didn’t want to see 500 splits with an odd overall average pace I ended my first run after the warm up and started a new one.   Honestly, I have no idea what my 10K pace should be but according to my PR 16 months ago it was around 9:00.     Didn’t think I had a shot in hell of hitting that.

1.  8:01
2.  8:13
3.  8:02
4.  8:12
5.  8:15
6.  7:55
7.  8:19
8.  8:21
9.  8:23
10. 8:21IMG_1398Well, that was unexpected.   No lie, I walked the recoveries.  I recently read another blog of someone much faster and stronger than me and they said they walked their recoveries.   I swear it was like birds singing when I read that.  😊    That being said, I have no idea how I hit those paces when I was feeling so rough.     I felt like a nasty, sticky mess when done so my cool down only ended up being half a mile.    I was done.    But all in all, it turned out to be a good run.  Plus I love the track.

Over all, not a bad training week.   I think I’ve finally accepted that I have some limitations right now so I am going to do what I can and see what happens.   Going forward I would like to add in cross training and I think the stationary bike is the best option right now, I just need to get my lazy butt to the gym.  Any bets on how long that will take me?

How was your week?  Do you like the track?

Ever been to a concert that started that late?  Would you have stayed?

What’s your fair food indulgence?

Mid Week Musings-3

Woo hoo, it’s Wednesday!   WordPress tells me this is the third time I’ve posted with my mid-week musings, so here we go.

D.E.R- Smart Choices-

As in Don’t Even Register.    I’ve never DNS’d a race because I register super late.  I figure I’d rather pay $20 more than lose the whole registration fee.   My post back in May laid out my summer race schedule.   It listed a 25K trail race on August 1.  Which I really, really want to run.   But let’s be real here, I haven’t been on a trail since April.     I am not in any kind of shape for a 3200’+ elevation gain.  And it’s by the beach.  Hello humidity.  While I was struggling through the last humid miles at Shoreline, I came to the conclusion that a humid 25K just might kill me.   That struggle bus was fueling some dramatic thoughts apparently.    So, I decided that a 12K with 1400′ climb would be fine, a little fun with a little difficulty too.   Then there was my leg and let’s be real there too, it’s been bothering me for a while now.  It’s not a new thing.    It’s not like I’ve never done dumb things before (i.e. Ventura half on heavy-duty antibiotics, a 5K after an asthma filled 10k -September makes me stupid) but I am trying to be smart here.  So from 25K to 12K to 0.     Which makes me cranky since our area has 2 trail races a year and this was the last long distance option until Fall 2016.  Waah!   Or so I thought.   :)   The one I ran in January is coming back in November.   7 days after the Big Sur Half.   Yup, I’m still crazy.  Just not running next weekend.   :)IMG_1230

That leg though-

After hiding from the lightning and thunder on Sunday, and the oppressive humidity left behind on Monday, I was ready to try running.   Seriously, I’ve never seen 95% humidity in home town and work was a lovely 100% when I arrived that morning, thanks Delores.     On Tuesday, I changed and headed back to home to run.  I met my mom at the river path which was cool because I was actually really nervous to run so I ended up walking the first mile with her.     From then on I tried to run and just keep things easy.  I focused on how my leg felt and worked on my turn-over.  I know my left hip drops and I need to work on my form.   And now with no races in August, I can work on my form, like back to re-form school for slacker runners.  Oof, that was bad.  :)  Anyways, the run was pretty good.  My leg felt achy but not in pain.  I paused for a stretch break after each mile and I made sure to stretch really well after my run and later.  I also iced my leg for a bit.  Now, let’s see what happens.

A Fab Choice?

Back on July 4th I finally caved to one of those Facebook ads and signed up for a Fabletic’s outfit.    They were offering an outfit for as low $15 so I figured why not.   After their little questionnaire, the site suggested a few outfits.   I didn’t buy any of those but finally chose one on another page.    Shorts, tank and visor for less than $20 after taxes.   I wore the shorts and tank on Tuesday’s run.  Somehow, I’ve already misplaced the visor.   :(     I sized up for both pieces which worked well with the shirt as I think my normal size would have been too small.  The waistband on the shorts feels super loose so a smaller size may have worked but damn they are short in the back.    The material felt slightly heavy when on and I was less than enthused with the shorts on that first mile.  They kept riding up.    Grrr.  Somehow running made all the irritation go away.    3 miles of running and both pieces were perfectly behaved.    I even forgot the shirt was new, it fit so well.      The second I started walking my cool down, the shorts went back to riding up.    WTH?!    So, overall I am not hugely impressed but not overly disappointed either.    More of a meh.   Why can’t Lulu be more affordable?

Tips for correcting form issues?

Ever tried Fabletics?  Thoughts?

Week 5- Oops

And here it is.   This past week did not go according to plan, not even close.   After a good day and race on Sunday I was optimistic for this week.  Or I was trying to be.   In reality I was in a funk.  No real reason for it, but I was feeling very woe is me this week.  Like I said, not sure why.  But let’s get to the training- or lack there of.

Monday- Rest

I was feeling a little sore post race so I figured a rest day was in order.  Monday was also a vacation day for me and I usually love running on vacation days but thought rest was best.

Lost runner?
Lost runner?

Tuesday- Rest

I woke up feeling pretty rough but managed to drag myself out to the high school.   My mother had a morning tennis practice and asked for my help.  All I wanted to do was sleep but I lasted for a little over an hour.   I never really felt better so I wasted another vacation day by resting.  I told myself I still had Wednesday and Thursday after work.   I did get further on my craft swap project though.   And I had a few helpers even if they were breaking the rules-

Bad cats
Bad cats

Wednesday- And…rest

Last week I was smart and made sure that the day I had blood work done was a rest day.   This week that common sense escaped me.   I had a CT scheduled for the morning but other than the fasting I had to do on Tuesday I didn’t think anything of it.    I went to work right after and felt fine.   It wasn’t until3ish that things went south.   I suddenly felt the opposite of fine, I thought I was going to pass out.  I spent the next hour sitting in the break room feeling very off.  I don’t know what caused it but it meant no running that day.  On the upside- my boss got me a great birthday gift-

:)
:)

Thursday- 3.5 miles

I was looking forward to this run.  After 3 days off, I really needed to run.  I changed after work and headed for the lake path.    My warm up walk ran a little longer as I missed a call from my dad.  It’s odd for him to call, so I made sure to call him back.  I didn’t want to wait so I just walked while I called.   Once that was done, I started running.   My goal was to keep an easy pace so I was obsessively watching my watch to make sure I stayed around 10:30.    I’d really like to get back to running without so many walk breaks so I know I need to slow things down.  However that wasn’t my biggest problem.  I hurt.   Specifically, my left knee, calf and ankle.  My calf was so tight, it hurt so badly.  I stopped after the first running mile and just tried to stretch it out.   I then attempted to run another mile.   More pain.  Both miles I ran were at a 10:30 pace but after completing the second running mile I decided I was done.     I spent more time stretching before walking back to the car.  Grr.

Stretching site- grr
Stretching site- grr

Friday- Rest

Started work early and since we weren’t open I wore my Sayonaras until we were.    I don’t run in them since they are too big but I may start wearing them more to and from work and on the weekends.   I need to figure out what is up with my leg.  I put them back on after work to run errands.  I was looking stylish.    :)

Saturday- Rest- sense a pattern here?

My mother was throwing a little dinner party for my birthday that evening so I knew I had to run early.     Except I woke up feeling poorly and my leg ached.  We had hoped to go on an 8 mile hike on Sunday, so I skipped another run.    :(   The party ended up being super small but fun.     My birthday is pretty much the only time I drink alcohol and I admit I was looking forward to sleeping really well that night.  Life of the party right?   It’s one of the reasons I rarely drink, I get super mellow and sleepy.    Mother Nature had other ideas.

We had the mother of all thunder storms roll through in the last 24 hours.   I don’t think I have ever seen so much lightning before.    The house rattled all night long.  So much for sleep.     The power was going and coming back making that lovely surge sound every time. Kimi somehow knew each time a really big batch of thunder was going to roll through and would start crying in warning.

Source
Source

Sunday- Rest

Running or hiking in the rain I can do.  Lightning?  Not so much.  There were reports of it hitting cars.  Power was out all over the place, lines were down and the flood damage was all over town.     And more rain was coming.   We received more rain in the last day than the last few years.   Which is amazing and needed but the land was too dry to absorb all that water.   The town is kind of v-shaped so the water flooded down to the river bed but so much mud and gunk are strewn across town now.   There’s still a flood warning in effect as I type this.   Grrr.

Weekly miles- 3.5

So yeah, that was less than stellar.    Luckily my goal race is in October so I have some time to figure things out.   I’ve also rethought my next few races but more about that in another post.  More rain is expected for tomorrow but hopefully I can get back on track this week.  Fingers crossed.

How was your weekend?

Do you like thunder and lightning?  There are very rare here. 

Best thing you did this weekend?

A New Role?

I volunteered for a race years before I ever thought of running one.   I worked a water table 3 years before I started running.  Back then this race was USATF certified and sanctioned so I can say I have actually seen elite runners up close.    They had no need of the water we were providing.   But it was fun watching them fly while we froze.   Seriously, for being September, I remember freezing the first 2 years.   Year 3, my station was at a different mile marker and was in complete sun.  So much nicer.  It was also in front of a grocery store.   I went in and bought all of us volunteers donuts.    So yes, the runners had to see us eating donuts.    :)

Then I started running.   So now I was the person grabbing a cup of water from someone with cold hands.    After a year of not volunteering, I shifted to working the registration/ packet pick up table the day before the race.    I gained a new found respect for anyone who works one of those.  Particularly when it comes to t-shirt sizes.     Now I think it’s funny but that first year I thought I was going to lose my mind.   I’ve done that for 3 years now and I look forward to it every year.

But I haven’t given up water tables.  The last 2 years I worked a water table with my mom and her tennis team at another local race.    This race hosts a marathon, half marathon and 5K and our station was on the marathon course.    So it was a very dark and cold early morning.    Then, I was lucky enough to be a SLO ambassador for 2 years so I was given the chance to work on my social media skills.   It was fun but let’s be honest- Twitter still confuses me- I just can’t keep up!  Which makes this new role a little nerve wracking.HarvestHeaderSay hello to the Harvest Marathon, owner of those early morning marathon water stations.    It’s a scenic race through winding back roads with vineyards lining the way.   There are some hills but what better way to train for Heartbreak Hill, right?   The proceeds of the race benefit local youth athletic programs.    I took these shots at last year’s water station-

What am I doing?   Social media, of course.  But not as Slacker Runner.   As the Harvest Marathon.    Eeek!!!  I am torn between “muahaha” and “holy crap”.    That’s a lot of responsibility.    And I feel slightly odd when I (Slacker Runner) shares my (Harvest Marathon) posts.  :)   Right now I am trying to grow their following but not post excessively.  So, I am posting twice a week right now.     I would like to step up to 3 but I want it to be natural.     I have some plans for future posts, I just need the time to make it happen.   I am trying to work on an Instagram as well.

So here are my questions.  Do you follow races on social media?  What types of posts do you like to see from them?    What would catch your attention as a runner?     Any suggestions on managing media?   I now have 3 Facebook feeds and 2 Twitter feeds.  Hootsuite isn’t letting me integrate the 2 profiles.  Grrr.   Any thoughts?

Help!

Have you ever volunteered for a race before? How?

Shoreline Half- Recap

Going into this race, I knew not to expect too much.    Partly because I had such an off May and June and I haven’t caught back up yet.   Also, the course description was flat and I don’t do so well on flat courses.  Then there was the humidity factor.   Humidity is a big trigger for my asthma and I haven’t had the best showing at races with high humidity levels.   Case in point-

Rock’n Around the Pier– 2:20:something and the first race I considered DNF’ing
Ventura- 2:34:something Granted there were other issues too, but I walked from mile 6.5 on.    I also felt broken at the end- I almost couldn’t walk back to the hotel.
Surf City– 2:19- 95% humidity? Seriously?

So of course, I head back to Ventura for more pain fun.   Different course but 85% humidity at the start.  I tried not to look but have finally learned I need to be prepared.   I was aiming to run a comfortable race and finish around 2:15.   I don’t know about you but humidity is never comfortable.  So here we go.

Race morning-

After 4 hours of sleep I was up at 3.   I had limited my carb intake since Friday and eaten less than normal pre-race on Saturday.   I did this for Wine Country and it worked well so I tried it again.  We were on the road by 4:15.  My mom drove so I dozed off and on along the way.   We arrived 30 minutes before packet pickup so headed to a nearby McDonald’s to use the restrooms and she and S had breakfast.  That place was sketchy.   IMG_1107 Parking was easy and we headed out to the start.    Packet pickup was actually easy.  I think I had birthday luck and got everywhere before lines formed.  I had good port-a-potty luck too.  :)  Exited one to find about 60 people in line.   They had a map of the course up and announcer going over it.   There were pacers for every 15 minutes starting at 1:30.    The start was self seeded with 4 waves- Sub 8, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00+.  In keeping with my plan to run a 2:15, I lined up with that last group.    Here’s where I had to contain my inner fan girl.  IMG_1109Earlier while hanging in the grassy area with my mom and S, a man walked past up wearing a McFarland singlet.    I pointed him out to my mom and wondered if it was real or just something they sold in association with the movie.   I then forgot about it as we headed to the start line.  The corral at the start was very tightly spaced and I looked right then snapped my head back.  The flippin’ McFarland running team was standing there!  At least part of it.  Say what!?  They soon squeezed their way through to the sub 8 group.   Then the gun sounded and we were off.

Miles 1-3- 9:14, 9:23, 9:34

So much for lining up with the 10:00+ pace group.  I went out too fast!!    The race has 3 or so miles on the boardwalk- at the start and end.  This meant amazing scenic ocean views, but it also meant running on concrete.   My left leg was pissed early on.  Nothing alarming, I just knew I needed to shake it out.   We switched to black top by the end of mile 1.   I shook off the pain by mile 3.  The next miles alternated between a black top bike path and busy roadside.   I was feeling pretty good but I also realized I was going to positive split this race in a big way.

Miles 4-6- 9:36, 9:50, 9:47

There was a tiny incline for miles 5 and 6 and I loved it.   It made my legs happy.  :)  Nasty looking dumpster aside, the course scenery was still awesome.  It was a clear, sunny day and the ocean looked amazing.   It was high 60’s, low 70’s which normally I would love but I could tell the humidity was getting to me.  It was no longer a question of if but when.  We hit the turn around for this section a little past mile 5.  Now I knew what I was getting on the way back so I was ready.    The course leaders had also flown by when I was around mile 4- they were flying!  I was pacing myself by following a tall man in front of me.  I did that for about 4 miles before I passed him.

Miles 7-9- 10:32, 10:47, 10:07

I took my first walk break during mile 7.   And another.    Grrr.  I was trying to make up my time in mile 8 when I had a breathing issue.  I had used my inhaler 3x leading up to race start but it wasn’t enough.  I haven’t mastered using my inhaler while running so that meant slowing to a walk, taking out the inhaler, using it and giving my lungs a minute or 2 to calm down.   I need to work on that but I don’t train in humidity.  Mile 8 is usually my favorite mile but I feel like I missed most of it.  I did find someone new to chase pace though.    Up ahead, I saw someone I thought I recognized but have never seen in real life- Hilary @ Embrace the Neon!   I chased her for the next 5 miles.   Running- the only acceptable way to chase people.  :)  I promise I’m not creepy, I just find someone to pace off of.  IMG_1091Miles 10-11- 11:13, 10:57

I had graduated to walking all the water stops.  I would drink half the water and dump the rest on my head or down my back.    I was so sweaty, it was hard to tell the difference.  Heading back to the boardwalk something funny happened- the arms at the train crossing came down!  I saw everyone ahead stopped but I didn’t want to stand still and wait so I slowed to a walk hoping the train would come through before I got there.  They lifted without a train ever coming through- what?  Then we were back on the board walk.  This is where things got dicey.

The boardwalk wasn’t closed so we were dodging walkers, non-racing runners, bikers, surfers, dogs, etc.    That took so much more energy, mental and physical, than I had.    One woman got off of her bike and parked it horizontal across the path.  I swear she looked at us racers like “deal with it” but that could have been the fatigue making things up in my head.   Another hard part of mile 11?  Running past the finish line.   We had to run past the finish/ start area to head the other direction for a 2+ mile loop before the finish.  Grrr.

Miles 12-13.1- 11:32, 11:00, 8:17 pace

And my lungs protested again.  Once more I slowed to use my inhaler.  I had troubles getting started after that.  I knew I was so close to the finish but I was hot and tired.  I was so sweaty, the shorties under my skirt started sliding- they have never done that.    I took more than a few walk breaks those last 2 miles.  Then it was back on the board walk for the final push to the  finish- dodging people all the while.  Somehow I mustered up energy for a final kick to the finish.

Finish- 2:14:39

We were given our medals and herded into the grassy registration area.  This is where my only real race gripe came about.  The race promised tacos and beer at the finish line.  Which were there but all I wanted was water.  I could not find a freakin’ water table! I looked everywhere, even my mom and S couldn’t find one when they met up with me.  I had read about other bloggers having this issue at races but had never experienced it.

I was so hot and sweaty and I just wanted to cool down.  I took off my shoes and belt and passed them to my mom.  I went down the beach, climbed over the rocks and walked right into the ocean.    I heard her yell that I had paid a lot of money for the socks I was now walking the beach in.  :)   It was seriously amazing.  If I didn’t have my bib or my Garmin on I may have just sat down in the water.   I hung out there for a bit before heading down the beach to the stairs back to the boardwalk.  I didn’t trust myself negotiating the rocks the a second time.

All in all, I really liked the race.  Even with falling apart at the end (thanks humidity) I managed to come in under my goal time for the race.  Granted it wasn’t comfortable but it was fun and a great way to start a birthday.   :)   After changing at a nearby In n Out (fries- Diet Coke!) we headed up the freeway to Santa Barbara for some birthday shopping.  S’s birthday was the day before.    My legs were feeling pretty good after the race but I kept popping my toes out of joint, grrr.  Sorry if you’re squeamish.    This isn’t something that’s new, I’ve had the issue for years it just seemed to happen multiple times yesterday.   I managed to restrain myself shopping wise but did come away with a new skirt and pair of shorts from Lululemon.    Oh and a purse from Macy’s.   A great but tiring day.  I was in bed by 10pm.   :)  IMG_1149

How do you celebrate your birthday?  I’ve yet to have any cake!

Ever had to dodge the public while running a race?