A Little Taper and SLO Strategy

For the first time, I think I am fully embracing taper week.   Saturday’s race left me a little sorer than I thought I would be so taper has come at the perfect time.  However that also means that the SLO Marathon-1/2 is only 4 days away.   How did that happen?!  Where has the time gone?

After resting on Sunday, I headed to the lake on Monday for an easy 4 miles.    I completed 3.5 and they were not easy.   I don’t remember being this sore after last years Firehouse 5K.  I would have said that I was better trained this year but the calf tightness and overall soreness told me differently.  Not cool.   The first mile was rough, my legs were so not happy.   Mile 2 was wonky but a little less awkward.  Mile 3 involved a short walk- got a text message, it was the perfect excuse to walk a bit.  :)  That mile actually felt the best by the end.  3.5 miles brought me back to the car and I figured it was best not to push it, so I called it and stretched before heading home.

Felt sore, so I rocked the polka dots

Felt sore, so I rocked the polka dots

On Tuesday, I managed to wear heeled boots all day.  Sometimes I feel like heels help stretch my calves and ease them somewhat.  You know what else helped?  Foam roller and ice.  It was a rest day from running but I did some yoga poses and stretches and spent some time with my roller.   I also slept in a pair of compression socks.   :)     And  I  wore a pair to work today (under my dress pants) with flats.  Gotta change it up right?

Tonight I met my mom and the puppy at the lake path.  She had heard me talk about it had never really seen it.  It’s very dog friendly and I always thought the puppy would like it.    She loved it- so much to see and smell- she was in doggy heaven.  She was also very behaved.    I walked a 1/2 mile warm up with them before running ahead.   I felt a little lingering stiffness but was overall better.      Since we were planning on doing dinner after, I figured the same 3 laps as Monday (3.5 miles) would be good.  I finished up and saw them getting water at her car, so I turned off my Garmin.    My mom decided the path was fun, so we ended up doing another lap of jogging/ walking.   I hadn’t turned the Nike+ app off it so I let it gather mileage until 4.5 miles.

collage4-23

Why is that visor so purple?!

Tomorrow will be another rest day, loving this taper right now, so I am heading into SLO to pick up a cake from the Madonna Inn.  The Madonna Inn is also the finish line and expo location for the race. The cake is my thank you to my mom, since I have hired her as my driver all weekend.  :)  I think that’s a promotion from race photographer to crew chief, right?  I bought a bus ticket for the race on Sunday but I get antsy if I have lots of time to think.  The plan is for her to drop me off as close to the start as possible.  :)     This might mean a walk, but that’s just warming up right?

This will be the expo!

This will be the expo!

I am so excited for this race weekend to come.    I’ve accepted that this is probably not going to be when I break 2 hours in a race.  While the medication my doctor prescribed has helped me feel better in some ways, my system does not like it in other ways.  :(    My last dose will actually be Sunday evening.  Ugh.   My goal for the race is to hang out with the 2:00 pace group as long as possible.   I was in front of them for 9 miles at City to the Sea, so maybe if I start slower, maybe I will get closer to the 2:00 mark.  Fingers crossed!

In other news, I have vacation days coming up!!!  Friday and Monday, I will be sleeping in!!!!  Another thing to look forward to this weekend!!!  The day off on Friday gives me time to contemplate the serious things.  Like, what does one wear to a race expo where they are an Ambassador?  No really, I mean it.  I am looking forward to the expo, it will be the biggest one I have been to and I am excited to check everything out.  I am also looking forward to meeting all of the other ambassadors.

Happy Hump day!!!

How has your week been going?

What’s the biggest expo you’ve been to?

Firehouse 5K -Recap

I met my goal, but just barely.

Firehouse 5K offers packet pickup at the firehouse the night before and it was a breeze.  My only hesitation came when I saw the sign for an Easter Eggstravaganza being held in the nearby park on the same day.   I asked what time that started because I was concerned that it would affect parking.  It didn’t start until 10 so no worries there!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

I had laid everything out the night before but right before leaving the house in the morning, I grabbed a long sleeve layer.  It was foggy and a little bit cold but I was hoping it would warm up.  The plan was to head out with my mom and the puppy.  Since it was so close, my dad and brother were thinking about following later.    Once we arrived it was still foggy and I figured that since my lungs have become babies who don’t like weather below 50, I put on my long sleeve layer.  I also used the inhaler again before heading to the start line.   I have had 3 rough races this year for a variety of reasons and I didn’t want this one to be the same.

Fellow Ambassador!!!

Fellow Ambassador!!!

I managed to snag the same parking spot as last year so it was about a block and 1/2 to the start line.   As we were walking up, I heard my name being called.  Huh?  Looking to my right, I saw a couple walking up.  It was another SLO Marathon Ambassador!  It was Lisa from Runner In Training!  Both she and her husband were running too.  It was great getting to meet another ambassador :)

Can you see the singer all way up there?

Can you see the singer all way up there?

The start time had been pushed back to 8:45 for some reason but there was a group warm-up put on by a local sports therapy group.   Then the usual pre-race announcements, followed by the national anthem.  I love how they display the flag at this race, and the singer gets to sing the anthem from the top of the big truck!  I’m kind of jealous.  With a blare of the truck horn, we were off!  firehouse elevation

A little under 1/2 a mile is on streets up to the trail, then it’s about 200 yards until we start climbing.   This is where it gets tricky.  All of the trail section is single track.  2 miles of the race is trail, which means 2 miles is single track.  Which for the last mile is ok because the crowd had thinned out.  However, the initial, biggest climb was a crawl.    At one point, I was stuck behind 6 people walking.  The short length of the switchbacks made it hard to try and pass people.  I managed to get past a few but not all.   We were so on top of each other that I could have smacked the firefighter in front of me on the backside.  ( I didn’t!)

so close to finish!!!

so close to finish!!!

After finally getting to the top, I was able to get around some people.  It also leveled out briefly so I picked up the pace a bit.   Then we hit our first downhill.   We went down a different way than we came up, so the downhill was shorter than the uphill.  The trail is shale-like, with some bigger rocks and divets, so you had to watch where you were putting your feet.   I tend to have kamikaze tendencies when running downhill on trails, and I have fallen before.  I skidded out once but managed to reign it in.  Then there was another uphill.  This one was small but I was already tired from the mountain.  It also bottle necked again.    Then it was down hill back to the street.  Kamikaze me came back and I a hit a 6 minute pace for the entire downhill.   Then it was back to the street and across the bridge to the finish line.     I crossed the line and stopped my watch.  Final time- 32:59.  Really?   Yes, it was faster than last year but only by 32 seconds.

I really felt like I was running faster than that.  The only thing I can think is that I probably walked close to a mile of it, between the climb and the bottleneck.  And even me running downhill like a crazy person couldn’t make that time back up.    It was hard to go off my Garmin because it never matched up with their mile markers.    All I really used it for was current pace.    I have to admit that maybe it’s just that this race kicks my ass.

The brother

The brother

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This is a smaller race, only 3 years old, but it has been impressively organized each time I have run it.   The course is well marked and any time there was a trail split, there was always a volunteer directing which way to go.   There was only one water station but that more due to land constraints than poor planning.    There is also a small health fair.     The crowd was smaller than last year but there was a conflicting race in a nearby town that accounted for that.   The other race is a very popular 10k that draws thousands every year.   It really was too bad that they both fell on the same day.

She's in front of the camera!

She’s in front of the camera!

My family was at the finish line which was cool.  We took advantage of some photo opportunities.  And in keeping with last year’s failed selfie, I have a new one to add to the collection.  I tried to get a photo with my brother and he ducked.  So my dad photo bombed again-

selfie fail!

selfie fail!

Today my legs are feeling the results of my crazy down hill running.  That probably wasn’t the best idea the week before a half marathon, but it was a fun race.  Maybe I will try again next year.  :)   Running another 5 miles yesterday didn’t help either.  :)    But the pizza reward for lunch was amazing!IMG_3836

How was your weekend?

Happy Easter!

 

The Liebster

Happy Friday!

I was excited about getting this post up tonight, but I discovered that my blog has gone all wonky!  :(  All of my sidebars and widgets have completely disappeared and I can’t get them to come back.  Ugh.   So if you can see them when you are reading this, then I was eventually victorious.  If you see nothing, then help!!!liebster

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by HellyontheRun.   Thank you!  If you’ve never read her blog, head on over and check it out!  It’s great!  So here are the rules-

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.  Check!
2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.  Look below :)
3. You must pick 10 bloggers to nominate.  That’s a big number…
4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.  Gotta dig deep
5. You must go to their blogs and notify them of their nomination.  I admit that I am so bad about this…

And the questions provided by Helly-

1. When people ask you, “Why do you like running?” How do you respond?

I like knowing that I can and I love the feeling you get after a good run.    I also admit that there is pride involved.   The running community is vast and growing all the time, but there is still that look of mild disbelief mixed with a little bit of awe you get from occasionally from a non-runner.    I try to talk everyone I know into running with me.
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I  have always wanted to visit England but I think I would pick Kauai.   My grandparents used to live in Princeville and loved it.  I was able to visit once when I was young and have always wanted to go back.  My grandfather has passed and my grandmother is not well, so that just re-enforces my urge to go.  My mother and I have a quasi plan of going the year we turn 35/55 respectively but right now it’s mostly talk.
3. Someone received an award they cheated to get. Do you notify someone or keep quiet?

I am overly honest, so I would tell someone.  I tend to be a little blunt, so I might end up confronting them as well.  Hmmm, that might not end so well.
4. What’s your favorite food?

It says food not meal, so that would be pineapple.   I love pineapple, eat it almost every day actually.   I just don’t want it on my pizza :)
5. Do you speak any other language besides English? If not, what language would you like to learn?

I’m sorely out of practice now but I speak Spanish.   When I worked at the restaurant, I probably spoke Spanish more than English on a daily basis.
6. The Voice or American Idol? (or none)

I don’t watch either, but if I had to choose, it would be The Voice.  Why? Adam Levine.
7. What is the last book you read?

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
8. If you could time travel, would you go the past or future?

Can I have both?  Preferably with a mad man in a blue box that’s bigger on the inside

9. What are you most looking forward to this year?

Paying down my credit card bills, and running of course :)  Breaking 2:00 in the half marathon.
10. What is your favorite holiday?

Hmmmm, any holiday that the family is together and my mom made her Beef Stroganoff.

And for the nominees are-

Don’t Blink- Just Run

Tartan Jogger

Running From it All

Did that Just Happen

irishrunnerchick

Pink Elephant on Parade

BayRunner Jamie

The Blonder Side of Life

The Road to Physical Fitness

I feel like I am forgetting so very many blogs right now.  I will do my best to notify you all within the next day or two!

And my questions-

1.  What’s is something you’ve learned about yourself from running?

2.  Name that song or artist that you can’t admit you like but sing along every time you hear?

3. What’s the best movie you’ve seen lately?

4.  Name the best piece of advice you’ve received about running? Or anything?

5.  Now name the worst-

6.  What can you absolutely not leave the house without?

7.  If you won the lottery, would you keep your job?

8.  What is your dream job?

9.  Guilty pleasure tv show?

10.  Can you play an instrument?

Thanks again to Helly for the shout out!!!

Now it’s off to bed for me, I have a race in the morning!  At least Kimi approves the shirt and bag-Photo by slackerrunnerWho has big Easter Plans?

Any races or egg hunts planned?

Lies and squats

It’s Thursday!!!!!  (By the time I post this it will be)  :)

In keeping with the “get some rest’ theme, when work ran a little late on Monday, I kept my running gear in the bag and just headed home.   Sorry Garmin.     On Tuesday, 4 days off were making this Slacker feel a little lazy and a little puffy  :(    I went to the lake path for 3 easy miles.     This runner lies.  I either tell myself I am going to do an easy 3 and then do more or I tell myself that I am going to run and then don’t.    This night, my easy 3 turned into 4.5 miles followed by a cool down walk.   I did keep the pace relatively easy and took a walking break or 2.    I felt a little sluggish but that’s too be expected after 4 days off.   Plus I am still trying to work out the inhaler.  I am supposed to use it before running but I noticed it takes an hour before I notice anything even slightly different.    I need to remember to use it about a 1/2 hour before I leave work.   It felt good just be running, though. 415

Oddly my left ankle felt a little cranky during the run.  Which is leading me to think I forgot how to squat.  I used to do squats every single day but when I was having left leg issues back in February I took a break.     This past week, I was having an attack of vanity and noticed that my butt isn’t where it used to be (such a girl thing) so I started the daily squats again.  Aaaannnd, my ankle hurts.   Hmmm, think it’s related?  Ha!  So maybe no more squats until after next weeks half marathon.  And I should probably try wearing shoes too.  :)

Today, I had planned on running but a late doctor’s appointment and the almost 90º temp at my house after 5:00 put a kibosh on that one.   Plus I had to get to Target before the pharmacy closed to pick up a prescription.    My appointment today was a follow up to last weeks’.  Apparently I have been a fighting a lingering infection for the last month or 2.  Oops.    So now I am on antibiotics.   Which I will be on for both of my upcoming races.   I am still cleared to run; I just might not be at my best.    Which in one way completely sucks, but it has a glass half full side to it to.  Thanks for taking the pressure off Doc!! And the nurse who took my blood last week was a sadist!  This is my arm a week later-

Ouch!

Ouch!

My race this Saturday was never going to be a PR anyways.   When I ran this race last year, it was advertised as the toughest 5K in the county.  Which I chalked up to hype.  It was supposed to be part road and part trail and I figured I had run both types before, and knew the town as being flat, so how hard could it be?  I even talked my friend, Bix, into running with me.    We stayed together for about 1/4 mile before she told me to just run, that she was going to take it easy.   The first 1/2 mile was flat and on the street, so no surprises.  Hit the trail and still mostly flat, and then… what the frak?  Where the hell did the freakin’ mountain come from!  I now know that we gained 500 feet in about a 1/2 mile.   And the only reason it was even a 1/2 mile is because it was all switchbacks.   My first thought was- Bix is going to kill me, second thought- breathe!  My first 2 miles were in the 12:00 range, mile 3 (downhill and flat) was in the 9:00′s.   Finish time 33:31.  My only goal for this race this year is to be better prepared and maybe finish a minute or so sooner.    And have fun.    :)

Last year- post race.  This picture makes me laugh

Last year- post race. This picture makes me laugh

With the temperature’s steadily rising here, I need to get used to running in the heat again.   How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

How has your week gone so far?  Everyone get their taxes done? 

Anyone else been totally surprised by a race’s course?

 

 

 

freemont
Aside

Sometimes You Listen

In my March Recap, I likened March to a truck that had run me over.  Well, April is a freight train barreling through.   I have been trying to stay upbeat, particularly when I post but I am not sure if it worked.  :)

Work has been crazy busy since the beginning of March and it’s likely to stay that way through late August.   I did not think it would affect me as much as it has.   But I am tired, so very, very tired.  But again, I tried not to say much because, 1- who wants to read a Debby Downer all the time, and 2- my boss reads this blog.  (Hi awesome boss!)  I think with work being crazy and then trying to stay trained for 3 half marathons (plus 5k’s) in 3 months may have been a little more than this Slacker was ready for.   I still love my job, I’m just a little worn out and somehow when I was planning my race schedule, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention.  My next few weeks look like this-

This weekend- work/ long run*
April 19- Firehouse 5K -may be a 5K but there’s a 500 ft elevation in    less than 1/2 a mile
April 25-27- SLO Marathon weekend- half
May 3- Run or Dye
May 10- work

My last post mentioned an irksome migraine, and it hasn’t really left.  This is not horribly unusual; I average a lingering one around once a year. :(     Between that and being overly tired, I got a little emotional driving home on Friday.   There may have been some loud, off-key singing involved as well.  :)  Maybe a little Let It Go.

Saturday was a work day and I was trying to psych myself up for the 10 mile run that I needed to do.     Meanwhile, both of my co-workers were lecturing me that I needed to take of myself.  After work, I headed home for the usual lunch and errands.  It was while I was in Target with my mother that I had to face facts.   I jokingly mentioned that a nap sounded like a great idea.  She looked at me, paused and then said that it was a good idea.   Ummm, what?

Pinterest

Pinterest

My mother is not the type to suggest that.   Growing up, one of the things we argued about most was my inherent laziness.    If there are hours in the day then there are hours you could and should be doing something.   The name of my blog came from her; one day I said I didn’t feel like running, she called me a slacker.  So for her to say I needed a nap meant I must look like a train wreck.  Ha!

Even then I still thought about trying to get in my run.  I was telling myself I could start with 5 miles and see how it went.  Finally common sense prevailed and my planned *2 hours of running turned into 2 hours of napping.

slo

This will be the finish line in 2 weeks

I was still feeling a little rough today, so I took it easy again.  That’s not to say it wasn’t a good day.  I headed down to SLO for some more hardwood shopping with my mom, seriously, how long does it take to make a choice?  The choice was finally made, so now I just get to look forward to helping her rip out the carpeting in the near future.  My brother gets to install the hardwood.  :)   So that’s coming up in a few weeks too.

I ate some yummy food, didn’t buy too much and finally managed to get this shot-freemontThis is the local landmark that inspired this years medals for the SLO Marathon and 1/2.    I can’t wait to earn this crossing the finish line.  :)

Tomorrow, depending on how I feel, I will get back to running.   If I am still tired, I may rest another day.   I would rather feel rested and slightly under trained for the half than exhausted and sore.    Work is likely to be just as busy in the coming weeks, we will down a person, so I am thinking of dropping my training back to 3 days a week.  I need to think on it a little more though.

How was your weekend?