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?

 

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 Twitchy Slacker

The Slacker in me is a little confused right now.   I decided to take it easy this week after the my painful race on Saturday.  Was that really just a few days ago?   Sunday was a puppy walk and Monday was an easy run.  What I didn’t mention before is that after that somewhat stiff 4.5 mile run, I went for another puppy walk.  Total miles for the day 7.5.  Not exactly low key.

So pretty!!!

So pretty!!!

Tuesday I did take a rest day, which I won’t lie was pretty nice.   By Wednesday I was itching to run.  The weather outside looked marvelous and I couldn’t wait for work to be done for the day.    I figured I could do an easy 3.5 miles in the 40ish minutes of daylight remaining.    This time I was prepared with my belt and my Garmin.   Just after starting my run I remembered what I had forgotten.   Wednesday was a high wind advisory day.  Holy crap, it turned a mild 58 into about 38.   My ears were so cold!!!!

same location, new angle

same location, new angle

I felt like I was crawling.  I was a little stiff and not loving that the route from work is pretty much all downhill and then uphill back.  I didn’t make it to the the 1.75 mark before turning around because I realized that would put me halfway down the blind curve-hill so I turned around just before.   Other than the wind, the weather was great and the views were awesome.  I stopped a few times to take pictures.   I stopped my Garmin around the 5k mark and walked the rest of the way back to my car.    Checked my Garmin while stretching- 29:14.   Big oops.

Oops

Oops

Like I said, a little confused.   I felt slower than that.   I made sure to stretch and foam roll really well last night.  At least as well as I could.  There’s something about the foam roller that makes me feel completely uncoordinated.  :)   My leg feels mostly ok today.  It doesn’t help that I have had a few meetings this week, so that has meant skirts and heels.  And I haven’t taken my comfy boots to the repair shop yet.  Even with a tall heel they felt like slippers.

Love the smell of eucalyptus

Love the smell of eucalyptus

Today was a rest day and tomorrow will be too.  I admit to feeling lazy and its making me antsy.  I know I need to rest a bit and it is annoying.  Luckily or not, next week will be really busy at work as well, so I am thinking maybe another step back week.  :(  My training should still be on track even with that.  My 2014 mileage goal is on track as well.  I was over what I needed in January and I should be above in February as well.   Now I just have to convince myself it’s not a bad thing to cut back next week.

Thanks for listening to my rambling twitchiness.   I should be working on a paper but I am channeling my inner Slacker and marathoning Netflix instead.   I’m on episode 4, I may have created a problem.  :)

How have your week’s been?

Can you believe there are only 8 days left in February?!

Aside

~A change in plans~

~A change in plans~

Today is my Friday and that makes me smile :)  I have the next 4 days off, woo hoo!  The original plan was to run a half marathon on a local army base on Saturday.  Packet pick up would have been tomorrow, so I took the day off.   They were also giving tours of the course.   However, with my ankle a little sore and getting the chance to be an Ambassador for the SLO Marathon, I adjusted my race schedule.  My first half of the year will be March 23 and this weekend I will be racing a 10K at a nearby college instead.   I will then spend the day enjoying SLO.    But I still have tomorrow off.  :)

Yesterday, I packed everything I needed to hit the gym after work.  I was planning on 4 miles with some sort of speed drills thrown in.   The weather was amazing throughout the day and I was dreading the treadmill.   On a last minute whim, I decided to chance it.  I didn’t have my Garmin, I didn’t have my running belt and I only had my Wave Riders.  I had never run in them outside only on the treadmill plus one puppy walk.   But I was running outside!

scenes from the run

scenes from the run

I checked the sunset time and knew I could get in 3 miles.    Maybe 3.5 if I pushed it.   I had an armband, so I shoved my phone in it and was off.   Seriously, I have never changed that fast and I was walking up the block before everyone else was in their cars.    I had a 3 mile route planned, out and back.     The first 1.5  miles are slightly downhill so in this route I am usually quicker going out than coming back.  The first mile felt a little rough, I was breathing heavier than usual.   I took that as a sign that 3.5 would not be happening.  That is until Nike chimed in at mile 1- 9:00.  Holy crap, that’s race pace not training!

Change in plans, now I wanted to run 4 and hold that pace.    Mile 2 came in at 8:57, then the turn around.  Here I did stop for a few pics, also to lose the sweatshirt I had started out in.    I ran past so many photo opportunities but I wanted to hold pace and beat the setting sun.   Then it was back the way I came, uphill.  I always walk a part of mile 3 as the road in the state park gets super narrow.  The return route has a blind corner on a downhill for cars, so I slow down to pay more attention to the cars.  I figure it’s easier to jump out of the way when I am not huffing and puffing.  :)

Heck Yeah!!!

Heck Yeah!!!

The sun set just past mile 3.  The last bit of uphill was hard and I knew I was slowing.  I hit my car and was only at 3.8 so I ran around the block again.  Luckily I hit 4 and stopped Nike before walking a cool down.  Which was cool because I was not running around the block and the police station again.   Figured that would look a little odd.  :)

I was so pumped after this run.   I had no idea I could do that in a training run.   I think racing the sun was a huge part of that.  That pace would not have happened at the gym.    Nor would it have been so pretty.  Plus I could smell the ocean and the eucalyptus while running.  I may have to try that again next week.

Poor Shoe

Poor Shoe

On an annoying note, today my favorite boots decided to lose a bottom.  I almost took a header while walking across the tile floor.   Now I am trying to decide if they are worth repairing or if they should be retired like a pair of running shoes.   They probably have a similar amount of miles on them.  :)

Now I just need to decide how to spend my four days off.  Is it bad that I kind of want to have an Austen marathon?  Jane Austen, that is.  Or maybe I can get my friend to actually go to the movies.  Hmmmm.  And somehow, I agreed to help my mother with tennis practice tomorrow.   One thing I know, I will be sleeping later tomorrow morning.  :)

Anyone have big plans for Valentine’s day?

Who’s racing this weekend?

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?