February Flew- Recap

And just like that February is over.  Blink and you missed it, I must have blinked.    I feel like I was just running in Huntington Beach but in reality that was 4 weeks ago!  So with that being said- here is my February recap-

February2015Miles -78.41

Races- Surf City 13.1

February was actually a pretty consistent month for me.  That said, the miles are lower than I would have liked but they’re still good.      I hit every run on my training plan save 2.  I missed one long run and one easy run by choice.  Some aches and niggles made me think that rest days would be a better choice.    Don’t they say that rest is training too?     Along with that, I cut this week’s weekday runs short, only around a 5k each time.      I know that those choices affected my overall mileage for the month.   I would have had another 20 or so miles, maybe.    I know I set a goal of 1000 miles in 2015 which breaks down to around 84 miles a month, I know I am behind.  However I am not going to break myself just to meet that goal.    See, I do have smart moments.   :)

After last week’s increase in my leg issues, I was very hesitant to head out for a run on Saturday.    And random note, I have run in pants more in the last week than I have all winter.  Our neck of the woods got a little bit chilly.   Bear in mind, I find the 40’s to be cold.    Big baby over here!    I finally headed out around 3 ish to test the waters.    My first mile included 8 minutes of walking and clocked in at 13:00 but it didn’t suck so I kept going.   Things were tight but not painful.   Things loosened up a bit over the next 2 miles but I still knew things were off.  I was planning on doing my short route- 3.8 miles- but when I got to split point between that and the point for 4.5 miles I was stuck.   The road ahead was blocked off by fire trucks and police cars.  Well crap, so 4.5 miles it was.   I slowed down on the way home but didn’t feel too bad.    I admit to over analyzing every twinge and every step.

I don't run through injury.   That would be stupid.     I simply refuse to believe   that the injury exists.   That's toootttallly   different!I still have not decided what to do about Wine Country in 2 weeks.   I want to see how I feel through out the week.     I also have to figure out how to dress at work.  I have heels, boots and flats.  And by flats- I mean flat- zero support.  I wore flats 3x last week and was aching most of the day.  Heels one day and I rolled my ankle and stumbled into a cabinet- new bruises- yay!     I do that all the time in those particular shoes though.  I really should toss them but they are cute.  And here returns the less smart moments.    :)  Oddly, I wore taller boots on Friday and it was the best my legs felt at work all week.   I may deal with the toe pinching of those boots if my hamstrings appreciate them.   :)

Onward to March!!!  Oh, that sounds odd.

How was your February?

Any shoe suggestions?  Anyone else as clumsy as me?

So This is Tight

I’m currently riding the line between denial and hypochondria.

I’ve been running for almost 5 years now, reading running magazines about the same amount of time, and running blogs for about 2.    I have probably read a hundred or so posts about people feeling tight and achy.  Achy, I understood.  Tight?  I would sympathize with the runner but honestly, I had no real idea of what tight was.     I can no longer claim that ignorance.FullSizeRender (3)I felt pretty good after my long run on Saturday but I know I didn’t stretch enough right after as I headed off to the movies fairly soon.  I was able to put my feet up while there and I stretched and rolled that night but Sunday was rough.    My hamstrings felt so tight and my left ankle was hurting.    I was torn between heading out for my easy run and taking another rest day.   The number hog in me really wanted the 5 miles, my ankle did not.   This week was scheduled as a recovery week- I could take an extra day off if I felt I needed it.   I finally decided to move that extra day to last week and I took Sunday off.  I spent the evening with an ice pack on my ankle.     IMG_9377I headed out on Tuesday for the easy 3 from work again.  I thought it would be better to push my speed work to the second run of the week.   Special me forgot to use my inhaler before setting out, so I had to take a break 1.5 mile in.  Ugh, butphoto op right?   Heading back turned into a pain fest.  My calves were so tight, my Achilles’s were (was?) hurting and my left hamstring was pissed.  No!    I made it back to my car and stretched before heading home and then stretching more and rolling.

And this is in my new book- I knew I hated that damn swinging pony tail!

And this is in my new book- I knew I hated that damn swinging pony tail!

I am beginning to worry.  I have a race in 2 weeks and SLO in 58 days.   Wednesday was a normal rest day and I made sure to roll and stretch really well.  I also completed week 1- workout 1 of my new Strength for Runners book.  I had a tempo/ mile repeats on tap for tonight and decided that would just be stupid.   I can feel my hamstring throughout the day every day.  Not necessarily pain but it’s not happy.   I have a pretty good pain tolerance though so I could be misjudging that as well.IMG_9403I headed to the lake tonight for some more easy miles.  I knew I was going to run out of daylight so I figured I may only get in 2 miles or so.  The plan was to run until something hurt or until I could no longer see out of my sunglasses.  I figured that would be a good way to measure the darkness.  :P    I felt achy at the start but felt better as I warmed up.  I pushed on for 3.25 miles.  I probably should have skipped the last lap of the lake.  It was pretty dark.    I stopped my watch .25 from my car and walked it back.    More stretching and rolling followed tonight.IMG_9400I am less worried about my ankle than I am the tightness.   I roll my ankles on a pretty much daily basis so I am used to that.  This tightness needs to go away.    Sometimes I feel like a sharp pull and I fear I might hear a snap.   I can’t decide which side to swing to- denial that it might be something or hypochondria and I am making a mountain out of a mole hill.   I know I sometimes have issues with my left leg.   Could this be more of the same?    And sadly even the comfy chair has betrayed me.  All tv watching, blogging, reading and attempts at crocheting this past week have happened while sitting on the floor.    Oddly enough, cross-legged on the floor is only comfortable position.

I haven’t actually registered for the half in two weeks.  I want to run it because it’s a race I love and this would be my 5th year running it.  I just can’t decide what to do.    I also feel super lazy that I have now skipped one easy run, shortened another and turned a 6 mile speed run into a 3 mile easy run.   This weekend calls for a 90 minute progression run and it makes me nervous.

So, thoughts?  Is it all in my head?

Have any other stretching or rolling ideas?  I have a foam roller, a stick and a tennis ball.

Would you run the half in 2 weeks?

And How Now?

For some reason I did not want to do any of my workouts last week.  For some reason I was just feeling super lazy and super whiny.  It was actually something that my boss said each day that got me to change and get in both workouts during the week.     Which was a great thing because both runs were pretty damn good.

Saturday dawned and I was feeling the same lack of motivation.  I so wanted to bail on everything.  We had a prediction of rain for Sunday so I knew I should move my long run up a day.  I’m all for a short run in the rain but nothing past 6 miles.   My second half marathon was run in the rain and between that and a myriad of other issues it was a miserable race and I burst into tears at mile 11.  So yeah, no long rainy runs for me.  Bad memories.IMG_9327I finally headed out late afternoon but I had no expectations.  I was going to run whatever I felt like doing whether that was 3 miles or the 12 on the schedule.    I wanted to keep the pace super easy and just go with the flow.  After a couple of miles I figured I would just do my easy 4.5 mile route and chance the rain the next day.  But then I turned up the hill again instead of down.  And then again and then up another hill.  Followed by down and around and back up that first hill, then a few loops.   Then up the hill again, then some loops of the school.  Dizzy yet?    IMG_9341I was tired and achy but felt pretty good otherwise so I just kept running.  I actually felt like my form was pretty damn good.  Usually by that point, I feel like I am starting slouch and need to remind myself to straighten up and pick up my feet.   On Saturday, I felt like there was none of that.   There were a few times I looked at my watch and saw my lap pace was in the mid 9 range. Woah Nelly, slow down!    Each time I saw that I would take a walking break.  Part of me was super stoked each time I saw that but I knew I should back it off.     I felt pretty good but still had achy spots in my legs, particularly my left.  After numerous loops, I finally called it when I hit 10 miles at the bottom of my driveway.     Once again, I hadn’t felt like running but pulled off a pretty good run.   Guess that was the theme of the week.

Hills, hills

Hills, hills

Other than the few times I saw that I was running too fast, I hadn’t paid much attention to my pace.  I just kept what I felt was a comfortable pace and walked anytime I felt I needed to.  So I was surprised to see that the 10 miles were completed in 1:47:53.  Only 8 seconds slower than the previous week?  And how now?  Especially when the elevation is taken into consideration.  The previous week’s run had an overall elevation gain of 85 ft over 10 miles.   This week was 780 ft.  Say what?   It was in the high 50’s as opposed to 80’s so that could have been a factor.   But otherwise I went out with the full intention of crawling a slow, shorter run.    But I guess part of me just felt like running.   Long run done!   :)comparision

That just left a 45-55 minute easy run for Sunday.  But yeah, more about that next time.

How about it?  Legs and head ever disagreed?

Do you like to run long in the rain? 

Do you like pina coladas?  Sorry couldn’t help it, that last question sounded like a personal ad.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Missed the Boat

I feel like all I have done since February started is rearrange days on my training plan.  Which it says you can do but still, my little calendar is full of color from moving things around.   This week was more moving around.   I had a business mixer to attend on Thursday evening so I moved my 40-50 minute easy run to Wednesday after work.   It was also only 30 minutes.  However I am not at all irritated about that.  Why? IMG_9344I ran outside after work!!! Woo hoo!   While this was awesome, it also meant a shorter run since I was racing twilight.  Or in this case the marine layer.   I intentionally did not look at the humidity before I ran.  I knew it was high- hello ocean- but I was hoping outta sight, outta mind would apply.  While shopping in SLO on Monday I had picked up an obnoxious yellow long sleeve that I figured would work for the next few weeks when I run the work route.  85% of the route has wide shoulders or good sidewalks but the other 15% not so much.  In fact the road into the state park gets pretty sketchy.  I wanted to make sure I could be seen.    I knew I didn’t have a lot of time so I just ran to the state park and back.   I also abbreviated my warm up but you gotta do what you gotta do right?IMG_9289IMG_9342It was awesome!   Short and sweet and I got to see the boats and view that I had missed since last year.    Yeah, I was out of breath and had my asthma frog in my throat when I got back to my car but it rocked.     The frog could have been due to the 90%+ humidity (I checked after) or the fact that this is the elevation profile of my route from work-IMG_9343That hill isn’t huge but it kicks my butt every time.  Positive splits for the win!   But 3:36?  Haha, funny Garmin.  I can’t wait to run it again!  Moving my run actually worked in favor since my stomach was a jerk on Thursday.  I wore a very forgiving dress but I swear I was waiting for someone at the mixer to ask me when I was due.    :(

What’s a route you love?

Seriously though, what constitutes a hill?   Elevation or grade?  When is a hill a hill?

Anyone race today?  Or racing tomorrow? 

That’s What She Said

Anytime I have a day off during the week I like to rearrange my running schedule so I can run that day.  During the winter that means one less day on the treadmill and anytime I can straight home after work is a plus.    Since I have a business mixer on Thursday, I figured running Monday and Wednesday would work better anyways.   At least that was the plan. However when the alarm went off the next morning, the room was spinning.   I paused to notice the accompanying pounding headache and went back to bed.

It never fails, once a year in spring, usually on a long run, I get a little too much sun and feel like crap for the next 24 hours.  However it usually happens in late March, early April- not February.    I had a feeling I was going to regret not wearing a hat on Sunday.      So instead of running, I took my usual rest day and slept some more.  Then I spent the day doing a little bit of shopping in SLO.  I picked up some new toys-IMG_9292Tuesday was supposed to be the start of running outside instead of my easy treadmill run.   The sun didn’t get the memo and never came out to play.  Where was the cloud cover when I was doing my long run on Sunday?  Work ran over and by that time I had zero desire to head to the gym.   Particularly when I knew I had a tempo on plan as my other run for the week.   I’ve been trying to only look at the current week of the training plan.  That way I can con myself into following it- it doesn’t seem so intimidating that way.   :)   If I had noticed that I had a tempo two weeks in a row, I would have chosen the hill repeats last week.

It said a 15 min warm up, 3 miles at tempo followed by a 15 min cool down.    Yeah, I didn’t have that kind of time.    I started my new medication at the beginning of February and it has been an interesting experiment so far.  One of the things I’ve figured out is that I have to eat earlier, either that or don’t go to sleep.  Or skip eating dinner but that’s not a better option.  So I shortened my run.   I had 45 minutes so -10 minute warm up, 1 mile tempo, 60 second recovery, 1 mile tempo, 60 second recovery, .5 mile tempo, cool down.    Random, right?

Yeah, the recoveries grew a little.

Yeah, the recoveries grew a little.

Holy crap, it didn’t suck!!  In fact, it kind of rocked.   I was able to hit my paces and keep my breathing under control.  Yes, I should have skipped the little recoveries but I still maintained for 2.5 miles.  That half mile was faster but I didn’t push the lap button until after I’d slowed down.   If I hadn’t been pressed for time I would have completed that last full mile and my full cool down.

Oddly enough, I noticed a few things while on the treadmill this time.  Walking I felt fine, no real achiness and I was walking in straight line.   Hitting the tempo paces felt good as well.  No aches or pains and again running in a controlled, straight line.   And when I slowed down to a 10:30-12:00 pace?  I was all over the damn place.   Things ached and twinged, and I was bouncing off the sides again.  What gives?!   I tried to focus on my form throughout the whole run and I didn’t feel like anything had changed.   I am curious to see what happens on the treadmill next week.

It was nice to leave the gym feeling like I accomplished something for once.  I was still a nasty mess but I felt like it was a good nasty.   Usually I just feel disgusting and nasty.  What is it about the gym that makes me feel so gross?   Is it Daylight Savings time yet?

When was the last time you were surprised by a run?

Does your form change when your pace changes?

It’s almost Thursday!!!!