Slacker Reboot -Training to SLO (and beyond)

Back in February, I had a few issues with my legs not feeling so good. I figured it was caused by overuse as the training plan that I had been following was a little overeager. The mileage that it was calling for was a little intimidating. 40 mile weeks are great for some people and in theory I like them, but come on, Slacker over here. Weeks 2-5 hitting 40 was yowza! I never actually hit that mileage but I was running more than I was used too. After the ugliness that was the Heart & Soles 10K, I took a week off resting my ankle, Achilles and basically my left leg and started fresh with a new plan. A Slacker Plan. I tried using it leading up to my half in March and I am planning on continuing with it through SLO and for the beach half I want to run in May (doh!).

I thought about what worked for me before 3 days a week and then I considered the fact that I want to run more races this year and continue to improve my times ( sub 2 please?!). Plus there was my goal of hitting 750 miles this year. So I decided on 4 days a week and decided to call it 4-5-6-SLR.slackerplanAnd either 1 long run (L), or a track workout (S) or a race (R) on the weekend. Why does it need a name? Because I like names. Why so many letters? When I figured out the SLR almost looked like Slacker, I tried really hard to come up with a word for C or K, but no luck yet. :( Maybe someday I can graduate to 5-7-9 :)    Kind of random, but does anyone else remember that store?

There are no set days and I can switch of the mileage and work out when I want. Plus, with 3 different towns and a treadmill to choose from, I have a lot of flexibility. And I don’t get frustrated when I miss a Track Tuesday or hill interval Wednesday because I can do them on whatever day I feel like it. Now I don’t feel guilty for never running on Fridays. :) I would like to get to the point where a weekend long run is at least 10 miles; every week. I’m not there but I’m working on it.

Double rainbow!

Wednesday morning’s commute! Double rainbow!

So with that being said, after Monday’s crazy rain and a Tuesday rest, I headed out Wednesday for a quick 4 miles. I wasn’t feeling the run for some reason so I wanted it done quickly. I was aiming for as close to 5k race pace as possible. I had missed my Wave Rider’s so I ran in them that night. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I am faster in those shoes. My first mile included a little warm up and then I was off. Miles 1-3 felt good, I hardly felt like I was pushing. When my Garmin chimed at mile 3, I saw a chance to push. If I pushed- hard- I could pull off 4 miles in what was my very first official 5K time- 35:44. So I pushed. 4 Miles- 35:35-holy crap. This left me on the backside of the lake so it gave me plenty of time to walk it out and breath after. I was super stoked.

photo 3Thursday called for 5 easy miles. The first 2 miles were pretty good, but by starting my 3rd lap, I knew I wasn’t completing 5. My ears were freezing. I can’t stand cold ears, they hurt, so I figured one more lap would bring me to 3.5 miles and I would be done for the night. Which I was ok with because there were a few border collies out for an evening walk. They looked well-behaved, but then I never expected to be attacked by one in the first place a few years ago. I admit I never took my eyes off of them when I ran past and my hand may have strayed to my pepper spray. I had a 1/4 mile left to complete when I got to add a new animal to my animal encounter list-

Run for your life!!!

Run for your life!!!

Yep, these guys are actually pretty scary when they charge you and then try to follow you. Great for a strong burst of speed at the end but freaky. Then I realized they were between me and my car. Boo.

My weekend looks pretty clear. No complaints, I would love to sleep in. I need to get in a long run and an easy run at some point but other than that, nothing. I can’t even begin to say how much I am looking forward to that. :)
Anyone else have an aggressive goose (or any animal) encounter?
How was your week? Anyone racing this weekend?

 

Awkward recovery miles with a puppy

After Saturday’s painful PR, I took it easy on Sunday.  Well kind of.  I figured I could go and take Zoey for a walk.  That way I could test how my calf felt but not be tempted to run.    My parent’s yard is always in a constant state of revision and Sunday called for moving rocks.  So I helped move a few bucketful before taking the puppy out. Strength training!

Matching's not important right?

Matching’s not important right?

After a day of playing in the yard while everyone was there (puppy nirvana), she was not having any part of a walk.   We made it a little over a mile before turning around.  She kept just sitting on the ground and looking at me, like- nope.  The final straw was running into a family.  A couple was out for a walk with a baby in a stroller and their son of around 4.   The little boy stops and hides behind his dad, Zoey stops and hides behind me.  The dad apologizes that the son is afraid of dogs, I apologize and say that Zoey is afraid of kids.  This made us all laugh.  Once the little boy realized Zoey was more freaked out by him, he relaxed.   Zoey and I headed back towards the house, only to be rushed by a crazy dog thing about 3 blocks later.

A little relaxing

A little relaxing

Now, normally I think little dogs are cute, but this, I am not even sure what it was.  It was the size of a small Chihuahua, had a ton of brown fur like a poodle and a head like a monkey.   It came out from under a fence and charged us.  It was so small that Zoey and I just stared at it trying to figure out what it was.  As it got closer, I noticed it only had teeth on the right side of it’s mouth.  Ummm, no thank you.  We jogged away.  A guy 2 houses down was laughing at us, so I get the feeling this dog does this a lot.  The pup and I chilled a little in the grass at the school before heading home.  Total puppy miles- 2.2  Puppy time- 43:18.

Today, I slept in a little before running some errands.   Then I headed out for a short easy run.  The first mile felt weird.  Nothing really hurt but everything felt off.  Not sure if it was due to Saturday’s leg issue or the fact that my new shorts are a little shorter than I originally thought.   :)   I spent the next few miles taking it slow and paying attention to my form.   I made sure to take walking breaks if I felt more than a niggle from my leg.   I didn’t feel really normal until the end, and I picked up the pace just a bit for the last half mile.

slow4.5

I actually have a crazy week at work ahead, so I am thinking of taking a step back week.  Only doing short easier runs this week.  I really want this stupid leg thing to be a non-issue, so if I have to rest I would rather it be now than a month from now right before my half.    So I may need to spend some time on the stationary bike in the near future.  :(

Official race times were posted yesterday and my official time was 55:40.  4 seconds faster than I had, sweet!  Not so sweet was the worst race picture of me that I have seen to date.   Not only did I look larger than usual, I am full on grimacing.  Oh, yay.

I have really loved this 4 day weekend but where did the time go?  I have to go back to work tomorrow? Boo :(

Who else had today off?

How was everyone’s weekend?

A Wave Rider Interval

As Monday was a holiday, I was able to get in a good 5 mile run outdoors instead of having to head into the gym.   Prior to that I went to lunch with my mom and then helped her prune a bunch of oleanders.  We do this every year and we always use a ladder in ways we shouldn’t while holding shears.   This year was no different.  I always crack jokes that it’s a great arm workout.   Apparently a little too great, between that and puppy pulling on Sunday and Monday, my arms are so sore!  Hmm, maybe I should check out the other equipment available at the gym, not just the treadmill.

My training plan called for 5 miles on Monday.  I headed out early afternoon so I could get the miles in and then go get the puppy for walk attempt #2.    The first part of my route takes me past a cemetery and I run if no ones there but if people are visiting close to the side, I walk.  For some reason my mind thinks that more respectful.  :)  This day someone was blowing the roads in the cemetery and next to it with a motorized golf cart looking blower thing.    I ran into a dust storm!  I came to a hacking, coughing halt from all the dust I aspirated in.   My boss happened to call right then and I answered since I wasn’t running anyway, she thought I was dying sick again.  I had to convince her it was just the dust!  I ended up walking the first 1/2 mile, so I started off slow.

photo (3)

Even once I got going, I could tell I was tired.  Both my legs and my breathing felt labored.   The plan was 5 miles with 4 easy and the 5th faster.   My 4th was faster than mile 5, oops.   My legs felt heavy, and my stomach was telling me that lunch had been a little too big.   By the end of the run,  I could feel that I had a cranky toe as well.   Sure enough, it was a little bloody.  Ahhh, the joys of running.  :)

I then picked up the pup and drug her down the driveway.  Actually she trotted right down and halfway down the block before she realized what was going on.  Then she just plopped flat on the sidewalk.   With some coaxing and strong arming, we managed to walk a mile in 22 minutes.  Yikes!!!  I think people find us amusing.  There was a man standing on his deck at one point laughing as we passed.  Or as I drug her past.   We then walked past a bigger version of her and she wasn’t sure how to process that; it was so funny.  At the mile point, we turned around and took a slightly shorter route home.  Same as the day before, the second we were headed back, she was the model of a perfect puppy behavior.  We made the .84 mile back in 11 minutes.  And yes, I timed it this time.  :)

My reward for the almost 7 miles?  A super yummy homemade smoothie-

so very, very pink

so very, very pink

 

Today called for a 3.75 mile interval workout.   I knew it would after work and on the treadmill but I was ok with that because I still needed to actually run in my new Wave Riders!  I also had a new armband to test out.  I hate armbands as they usually make me bleed but I need one for the gym.    Plus since switching to the iPhone 5s, all my old ones had the earphone jack in the wrong spot.   I picked up a new one when I was at Sports Authority a few weeks ago.

photo 1 (10)

The shoes felt amazing while driving but kind of awkward while walking.    It made me a little nervous.   I don’t usually run 4 days in a row, so even though I was going to follow the interval that Nike laid out, I wasn’t going to push it.   Plus I wasn’t sure how the shoes would feel.  I ran a mile warmup- 2 minute walk then 6.2 for the rest.  Interval 1 was .75 of a mile at 6.6, then a .25 of 5.5.  This was followed by a planned .75 at 6.6.  I did all this then upped it to 7.1 for .25, not on the plan but I just felt like it.   Then is was a cool down of .75 at 6.00.  I shut Nike off at 3.75 and slowed the treadmill to 4 and walked until 4 miles or 40 minutes, whichever came first.  They came at the same time, sweet!!!!   The intervals were very smooth, now if I can just up the pace, I can hopefully break 2:00 this spring!

photo 2 (9)

The shoes felt pretty good actually, I need to get in a few more miles to really try them out.  Some street miles too.  The armband held up well too.  No bleeding so far, woo hoo!!!  It could have fit a little snugger, though.

Tomorrow is hump day and a rest day!!!!

How is everyone’s week going so far?

 

 

Conversations with a puppy

It is pathetic how sore I was after yesterdays run.    My thighs were making themselves known to me all afternoon and this morning.  They say you can take a week off with no real harm but that apparently applies to people much much fitter than myself.   This theory was reinforced today by the picture below.  Seriously, what kind of talent does it take to kick yourself while running?

I even got my sock dirty :(

I even got my sock dirty  :(

Today,  I succeeded where I did not yesterday and completed a full 4 miles.  And yes, this did involve running the street at the bottom of my driveway an extra time.  Other than that, I ran the exact same route as yesterday and was able to take 3 minutes off my time.  Woo hoo!     I still had to use a few walking breaks.   Normally, I wouldn’t take water for a 4 mile run but I did yesterday and today.  In the past whenever I have been sick, my cough tends to linger for a few months.  Nice, right?  So I will be taking water with me on every run now and especially to the gym.  I get to be the creepy person with the creepy cough now.  :)   I apologize to everyone in advance.

photo 3

Kind of redundant, but I love playing with new toys and apps

My run felt pretty good today.   Other than kicking myself coming down a hill at one point, it was a happy run.  Well, there was a creepily parked van at one point, but they were just lost, I hope.    After my run, I walked a bit and stretched out.  My mom hasn’t been feeling well, so the plan was for me to take Zoey on a walk after my run.

We made it just over a mile.   I actually thought it was less than that but Google maps says 1.2 miles, so yeah!   This was the first time she’s ever been on a walk without my mom and I think she was having separation anxiety.    I was literally pulling her at numerous points.   She would walk 10 yards and sit down, I’d finally get her going and we would start the process over.    About half a mile in, a runner passed us and Zoey was eager to follow her.  I asked her why she wouldn’t even walk for me but would run with a stranger.  The runner thought that was hilarious, and I realized I was having a full on one-sided conversation with a dog.   We made it to a nearby elementary school before turning around.  I managed to kick the same spot on my ankle again as well.

Once she figured out we were headed back to the house, she was the perfect running companion.   We did the return half mile in 1/4 of the time it took the first.    In the end she was very excited to see my mom.    Hopefully, next time we will get a little farther!

But I'm cute right?

But I’m cute right?

My goal this week is to get back on track with my training plan.  I am giving myself until next weekend to see I will be half marathon ready by February 15.   If yes, then I will register, if not, well I found a 10K and a 15K on the same day 30 miles in the other direction.  So a race will be chosen by next weekend.  :)

How was everyone’s weekend?

Any dog running tips? I so want to be able to borrow her for runs.

Creepy Running

I did make it to the track like planned on Sunday.  Headed out around 10:00 hoping to avoid the heat.  My legs felt tired before I even started so I set Mr. Nike for a timed run of 45 minutes.  Figured that sounded like a good amount of time for the day and I would just do as many laps as I could at a steady pace.     By the end of my 45 minutes I had done a little over 4.5 miles.    I maintained pace and by mile 3, my legs felt a little better.   So I walked a short cool down and stretched out.  I have no idea what the football players use this thing for, but I love stretching with it-

What the heck is this?

What the heck is this?

After my run, I headed home for a lazy day of eating way too much.   Seriously, I ran a half marathon not Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim.  But I still gave myself license to eat way too much last week.  The amount of times I ate pizza was just ridiculous.  Amazingly tasty but ridiculous.    Plus for work, we are having a candy crush October.  I have most of the treats for the crew in my drawer and have been snacking on them way too much.   Bad!!! They are not for me!!!  Plus my skin has decided to tell me that it is not happy with the unending string of junk food either.   Ugh.

Yep, that's true

Yep, that’s true

Yesterday I was pumped to get in a run after work at the lake.  I figured with the looming time change, this would be one of my last chances.  Getting out of work was a little delayed due a waiting for a big announcement that was supposed to come down the pipeline.  There’s always a moment when your stomach sinks hearing that but no need, it’s all good.  We’re expanding!! That was a good thing to hear!  But it did put me a little behind schedule.   I changed and started the drive towards the lake path.   The sun was behind the hill a little more than I planned when I got there but I still set out for a good run.

What was not cool was the creepy guy walking two dogs that was totally weirding me out.  Granted it could have been the border collie he was walking that was giving me the willies.   I love all dogs but not border collies, sketchy devils.    But the way he kept looking back and staring, not cool.  It may have even been someone behind that he was staring at but, ew.   I passed him quickly and tried to settle into a decent pace.   My legs did not like me so much last night.  I felt like I was mincing my steps.  I kept looking down at my form and it felt ok, but my legs were off.    I just felt funky.  Clocked mile 1 at 10:25, ok then.  The sun was even lower but I pushed on for another lap.    My legs still felt funny. :(

Coming through the park section of the path again, I swear I saw creepy guy sitting on a bench staring at the path.  But without the dogs… ummm what?!   I wasn’t sure if I was more skeeved out by him or the fact that there may be a border collie on the loose.  They’re the reason I carry pepper spray.  Yeah I was done.  I finished the lap coming in at just under 2.5 miles.  I stretched really quick and jumped in my car to leave.  Best way to get a negative split?  Run from something creepy.

Creepy!!!!!

The bottom of my left foot felt funny today.  Not painful, just kind of odd.    I had no problems at volleyball though, so who knows.  We won!!!!!  Well, 1 of the 2 matches, but woo hoo!  Both matches went to 3 games and now I feel a little bruised but it was fun.  Could have done without the second team of the night deciding to intentionally aim everything at me but I said bring it :)  Not sure what I did to them but oh well, women can be so bitchy. (myself included).  They were pretty vocal about it too.  Maybe the fact that we took the first game spooked them, there are the first place team right now.

Now I am relaxing in the Comfy Chair, watching The Biggest Loser and eating potato chips.  Wait, what?  Oops.   Why does this show make me want to snack? :(

Anyone else have any sketchy encounters while running?