Let the taper begin

Happy Monday!!

Saturday I was hoping to do an 8 mile dress rehearsal run.    Last longish run before my race and I was planning to wear everything that I want to wear for the race.    The perfect dress rehearsal would have been to run it in the morning but I had an early tire appointment and was still so tired from the week, that I slept as long as possible.   It wasn’t enough.   I was still dragging when I made it to the tire place.  After 10 minutes of running around, they informed me that the tires I had ordered never arrived and no one bothered to call me.

I have been told by family, friends, coworkers and former employees that I have a “resting bitch face” and sometimes I can make them feel like a bug that I am about to squash.  Yeah, those were their exact words.  :(   I have worked hard on improving my expressions over the years, especially since I work management in customer service.   I feel I’ve done a decent job, but Saturday I was tired and cranky and this was not the first time this tire place had messed up.   I think the bug squashing face came back because I left there with 4 new tires for the price I had been quoted (2nd quote because they lost the 1st one) for the 2 tires I had ordered.

Saturday's work view

Saturday’s work view

I fit in a few errands and lunch with my mom before I had to head out for a work function.    With drive time and the function itself, it filled up my afternoon.  It was good getting to see everyone and put faces to names and voices on the phone.    However put a few hundred people in the foyer of performing arts center and the acoustics make the din just shy of unbearable.   The headache I had for a week came back with a vengeance.   The auditorium itself was much quieter.  :)   It was a good afternoon.    Plus on the way down I was able to swing by the Running Warehouse and pick up a few supplies-

I showed some restraint

I showed some restraint

I made it back home by 5, changed and ran out the door to get in my 8 miles.  I knew I was tired so I was aiming for a steady pace.  My legs felt horrible; it was hotter than I would have liked and I was just so tired.  I lost track of how many walk breaks I took.  I have no pictures of the run because I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t get started again.   A former coworker drove past me and I thought about flagging her down for a ride home.  I should have just done 6 and called it a day but I am not the smartest and pushed to the full 8.   8 miles with an average pace of 10:22.  Which for a long slow run is ok but I was just beat.  I tested the new handheld on my run too.   So not a fan, I wanted to throw it.   I am going to try again just to make sure that’s it wasn’t just user error.  :)

I rewarded myself for completing my run by watching the new Veronica Mars movie.  Cue the inner nerd girl squeal!  Sunday I slept in, yay!!!! I thought about taking the puppy for a walk but I ended up helping my mother move rocks.  She is redoing their landscaping.  Let’s call that cross-training.  Lots of squats and bending and lifting.  Plus chasing errant rocks down the driveway before they went into traffic.    The backs of my legs ache in interesting ways today, haha.

They made the music for tonight's run

They made the music for tonight’s run

Today marks the beginning of taper week.  After work I headed to the lake to get in a few miles.  I was torn between 4 and 6.  I figured I would just start running and see how I felt.   My legs were stiff from yesterday plus breaking in the new boots I picked up over the weekend didn’t help.   I also made this my “uncomfortable” pre-race run.   Brand new shirt and shorter than normal shorts.  I like to try to prepare myself for wardrobe malfunctions on race day.    :)   My shorts were actually from Abercrombie’s new “active” line (haha) and I just figured they would be cute summer shorts but not actually good to run in.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.   They were light weight and airy and they never moved, never rode up.  Wow, I have never had a pair of shorts do that, I may have to try running in them again.

photo 5I started off a little stiff and told myself during mile 2 that I was just doing 4 miles.   Around mile 3.5 I finally started to loosen up, so I kept going.  Mile 4 was a little looser, mile 5 felt pretty good and 6 felt better.    I finished out a full 10K and walked back to the bars that I like to stretch on.   I knew I was looser and quicker towards the end but I didn’t know how much until I looked at my Garmin splits.  Negative split? Sweet!   Or should I call that a good progression run?

3-17-14What makes me laugh about this Garmin data is that I ran the opposite direction on the path tonight.   I usually go clockwise but tonight I decided to go counter-clockwise.  It felt soooo much harder.  I tried telling myself that maybe the elevation was slightly different the other way.  Who am I kidding?  The average elevation gain was 6 feet.  6 FEET!!!!!  Seriously, I must be a big baby.

This should have been up earlier, but the nerd girl in me again was yelling at the tv while watching Teen Wolf.

How was everyone’s Monday?

Who else has “crazy” elevation?

February Recap

February ended with a whimper.  I did not get in a run on Thursday like I hoped.  I decided that another rest day was smarter than just trying to add to my monthly mile total.    Plus by some freak chance of nature, the mileage came out perfectly even and I decided that was pretty cool-

The numbers geek in me is smiling :)

The numbers geek in me is smiling :)

Mileage- 70 Miles
Races- Super Fun Run 5k and Heart & Soles 10K  both of which ended up being way harder than planned.

Friday I was prepared for a 12 hour work day but it only ended up being 10ish.   No complaints here.  :)   Everything got done (hopefully) and we were home free.    Our area has been pummeled by rain the last few days.  While I’m not complaining because we desperately need it, driving in it is not so much fun, even less so at night.  Turn on your headlights people!!!

This made me smile

This made me smile

Today’s weather was more of the same but that didn’t stop me from heading to SLO for a little shopping, good food, and a trip to the Running Warehouse.    Lunch was the usual yumminess, and I was able to show restraint when shopping.  For the most part, I did buy two new pairs of running shorts.   :)  You can never have too many right?   Plus it occurred to me that I didn’t own a pair of black shorts, how did I let that happen?  Problem resolved.

The Warehouse was packed.  I had hoped that the rain would keep the crowds down, but I should have know better.  We runners are crazy, right?   I knew I was going to take awhile, so I was ok waiting.  I had come prepared and I had both my Inspire’s and my Wave Rider’s with me.   I explained everything to the guy who helped me.  I am pretty sure he has helped me before and he seems super knowledgeable and friendly.  I then ran on the treadmill in both of my current shoes.  I still over-pronate but only on the right foot.  The shoes didn’t make a giant difference either.    Apparently I do things backwards, my right foot is smaller than my left and also has a higher arch.  But it is my left that hurts.    Truthfully, it feels like my shin splints used to, so I know ramping up my mileage and pace were factors.  I am also come to realize that my left glute is weaker than it should be.  Which is kind of hilarious actually, not only am I a Slacker but I have a lazy ass to prove it.   :)

After the treadmill test it was time to try on shoes.  All the shoes!!  Haha, just 4 pairs.  I tried on the following- Mizuno Wave Inspire 10, Asics Something or other, Brooks Transcend and Brooks Adrenaline 14.     I guess that tells you how the Asics worked out.   :)  The toe box pinched in a way I did not think I would get used to.   Whereas the toe box in the Transcend felt huge, plus the price tag was a little steep.  The Inspire’s felt ok but not great.  The Adrenaline’s felt loose but more cushioned.   Each time I tried on a pair of shoes, I ran up and down the concrete walkway outside the building.  I am sure the people in the cycle store thought I was looney.   I have seen people doing it before but never have.  I felt like a weirdo but it was better than the treadmill.

I mentioned that the right Adrenaline felt very loose.  He tied my shoe in a way I had never seen that made it super snug.  They called it shoe-doo (shoe +voodoo).   I was torn, I wanted to stick with Mizuno out of principle and I had a knee jerk reaction to the Adrenaline’s.    Probably because the very first pair of running shoes I ever owned were Brooks Adrenaline.    In the end, I went with the cushioning and chose the Brooks.  As long as they work out, my shoe rotation will now be the Adrenaline’s and the Wave Rider’s.   So long to the pink Inspire’s that have not been so friendly.

photo 1My mother was with me and I took so long that the new Brooks Cascadia caught her eye.   She’s had the previous two versions.   She tried them on and loved them, so she left with shoes too.  I then treated her to dinner at Woodstock’s.  Today was my cheat day, so yum!

So very amazing

So very amazing

I didn’t make it home in time to run today.  It was already dark and my gym closes early on Saturdays.   I am anxious to finally get back out there tomorrow.  Both because I am getting twitchy and to try out the shoes.   I am hoping for a break in the rain because I would like to test them outside and not have them turn into a giant mud ball.    I need to get back into training!

Who raced today?

Anyone else ever feel like they are cheating on their shoes?

A little chalk art

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art

A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   :(  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot

Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  :)

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  :(

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?

Skillet and Donut Holes

This “trying to be more dedicated than 3x a week plan” is really making me tired.   The plan that I am following has been calling for 6 days a week.  With being sick last week and my inherent Slacker-ness I have been hitting 4.   Which is double what I did in December (oh the holidays) and 1 more than the Slacker Way.    Who knows, maybe 5 is next.  :)

Tonight I decided to try the Garmin on the treadmill one last time, and lo and behold, it worked!!!  I was thinking that if non GPS mode was based on accelerometer technology (seriously who makes up these words?), then a lot of that is based on arm movement right?  When I run on the treadmill, I wear my phone in an armband on my left arm.  For whatever reasons, I’ve noticed that when I wear an armband, I don’t move my left arm as much.   I have tried to correct it but not much luck.   So tonight, I figured I would try the Garmin on the right hand.  It was kind of awkward, I had troubles getting the watch tight, and pushing the buttons was tricky, but it worked!  It matched the treadmill exactly.  I still had Nike+ going on my phone just in case, but tonight they all matched.   I can’t claim to understand why Nike+ works on my left arm and not the Garmin, but hopefully this will correct the issue in the future.

After yesterday’s rest day- chosen by me not the plan-  today called for a 3 mile easy run.   My goal was 6 miles to make up for the run I missed yesterday.  After work, I got started later than I planned so 6 turned into 5.   I slept kind of rough last night so I was glad that today was an easy run.  Also thankful that the treadmill helps control your pace.  :)   I wore the Wave Rider’s again and I am liking them so far.  My shins and ankles were a little sore in the beginning and around mile 4, but no more than anytime I’ve changed shoes.    The shoelaces are freakishly long so I will have to fix that.

Untitled picture

I finished my 5 miles and walked a little more for a cool down. The run felt pretty good.   I made sure to not push either myself or the shoes but it felt like a good workout.  Which was good as a customer had brought us donut holes this afternoon.  Seriously, no restraint with that yummy, glazed goodness.

I can’t wait for the time change, I miss running outside in the evening.  The gym and the treadmill are great, but sometimes distracting.   Tonight there were 2 women on treadmills next to me carrying on a movie trivia game.  Which would have been fine if they weren’t so loud.  My playlist tonight was Skillet, and they are not a quiet band.  I had it pretty loud with both ear buds in and I could hear their conversation perfectly.   Then there were the guys on the ellipticals in jeans and cargo pants.  Isn’t there a dress code?

I stretched some before leaving.  I also made nice with my foam roller tonight.   Tomorrow will be another rest day then it’s a ten miler on the schedule for Saturday.    I’d like to be optimistic and say I will try for a few miles tomorrow but with later hours at work and having to get my tires fixed in the AM again, let’s say rest day.

And she won

And she won

Right now, I’m being stalked by a Comfy chair thief, so it’s off to bed for me!

How is everyone’s week?

Anyone else have any random gym stories?

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?