Real Running Conversations

Wow, I love all the comments on the last post.  I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who can get a little crazy while running.  :)

Tuesdays seem to be turning into a typical rest day for me.   I had briefly thought about trying to squeeze in a run before my doctor’s appointment but I didn’t get off early enough.  That was probably a good thing as it was pretty warm when I got home and I was still in a little funk from Monday’s rambling :)     So instead, I went to the doctor (yuck) and then just had an easy night.  And maybe some pizza.  :)

Yesterday, I had the beginning’s of a migraine but I was ready to run.  I knew I was meeting M after work to run a few miles.   I haven’t run with M since last fall, so I was excited.  Then I found out C was joining us-sweet!     As I drove up to M’s house, I had to laugh out loud.   They were both waiting on the sidewalk and somehow without planning it first, we all wore pink.  Like bright pink, so 3 blondes in pink tanks.  And blogger fail, I forgot to take a picture.  :(   We didn’t really have a route planned but it didn’t matter.  We ran when we wanted to, walked when needed and talked a lot.  It was great.  M’s just getting back into running so when we passed her house at 2.6 miles, she peeled off and C and I rounded it out to 4 miles.    Now if we can just make it a weekly thing.

While it was a great run, it still felt hard.  Granted, I don’t usually talk (out loud) and run at the same time.  Then a light bulb clicked- my doctor had ordered a bunch of lab work and I had the blood work done that morning.  That lady was a vampire!   Seriously, how many vials did she need?!   And she left me with a gnarly bruise.  That could have made me a little tired.  Oops.2.5miles

That headache that was niggling yesterday was a full-blown migraine when I woke up this morning.   It got so bad, that I actually took something for it at work.  Our first aid kit makes me smile, I took a “Pain Terminator” today.  I love the names they make up for their generics :) I also accepted that the planned 6 miler was not happening.  Instead I headed to the lake for a short 2 miles.  Sometimes, running can help my head.  Usually I would head to the gym for the treadmill but I figured the lake was just as good.  If my head was pounding after the first lap, I could call it done.   It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t horrible either, actually pretty speedy.  I finished 2 laps plus a tiny bit to hit 2.5 miles and headed home for the comfy chair.   Interestingly Nike says I ran through the lake tonight-

ummm, not so much

ummm, not so much

I did get an inhaler from my doctor on Tuesday but I haven’t noticed any difference in either run.  Then again I was never very good at using one.  :)   But in yummy news, we have awesome customers and I got to enjoy this today-cheesecake Anyone racing this weekend?

Any big plans?

 

Wine Country Nostalgia

When I line up at the starting line this weekend, it will be for my 4th Wine Country 1/2 marathon and my 6th 1/2 overall.   It has been making me feel a little nostalgic.

I ran my first 5K in the fall of 2010 and then turned lazy.  I drove NikeC down to run the Surf City 1/2 in February 2011 and watching all the runners, I noticed that they didn’t look like the stereotypical runner.  Sure, some of them did, but a lot of them looked like average joes; like me.    I decided “I can do this”.  So I started “training” and ran my first 1/2 marathon in April of 2011. It was only my second race.  I say training lightly because according to an old training log, I only ran/ walked 12 times before that 1/2 marathon.   Oops.

On race morning I had no idea what I was in for but that also gave me the benefit of not being that nervous.  I broke so many running rules that day.  I borrowed NikeC’s iFitness belt that I had never used before.  I also ran in a cotton t-shirt and heavy tennis shorts.   I really had no clue what I was doing.

My only goal for that day was to finish under 2:30:00.  I paced my run by song intervals.  Run 1 song, walk 1 song, and so on.  I remember that C’s husband was running as well but I didn’t really know him that well then.  He passed me at mile 5 and I never saw him again.   This was also the point that I learned how the HOB Fun Run (my very 1st race) had spoiled me.  As I was running, I felt a looming presence behind me.  Sure enough, there was a semi truck coming up the road.  Holy crap, the roads weren’t closed!!!  To this day, HOB is the only race I have run with closed roads.   Truthfully much of this race is a blur.  I know that by mile 10, I was feeling pain in hip muscles that I didn’t know existed.  My feet also felt so bruised and that feeling stayed for almost a week after.    I think my interval plan had faded to run 1 song, walk 2 but I really don’t remember.   The course is all rolling hills, and the one at the end was steeper and I was so tired.  As I rounded the last turn to the finish line, a volunteer yelled out that I should run faster; that I only had a little way to go.  Didn’t she know I couldn’t move any faster?!   I didn’t meet my goal but I was proud of what I had accomplished.  NikeC and my mom were waiting at the finish line for me.

Finish time- 2:37:50.

Awww, my Federer hat, I miss that

Awww, my Federer hat, I miss that

My running after that was hit and miss.  I ran a few more races that year and then winter started.   I returned to Slacker status.   In 2012 I signed up for Wine Country again.   I trained slightly better for this one, 26 runs before race day.  :)   However they were all pretty short.  Then 2 weeks to race day, I woke with the worst stomach flu I can remember.  Like I was so sick I called in sick to work for 2.5 days.  This was the first time in almost 5 years that I had called in.  I managed 2 short runs over the next 2 weeks and still felt like crap.  To make matters worse, that lovely time of the month (sorry boys!) started the day before the race.  Race morning was wet and rainy and my ankle hurt.   Maybe I should have DNS’d but I headed out with the goal of just beating the previous years time, even if by just 1 second.

They changed the course from a loop to and out back.   I learned just how demoralizing out and backs could be.  I was barely at mile 5 when the runners were already passing me on the way back.    Waah.    I pushed on but I was miserable.  I had no idea what my pace or time was because my Nike+ app had malfunctioned and I didn’t realize until a mile and a half in.   Adding insult to injury, the clean up crew was picking up the mile markers on the other side of the street while I was on the return portion of the race.  Ouch.   Then at mile 12, I think I scared a race volunteer.  He was trying to be supportive and cheer us on, but he also said that it was 10:30.  The race started at 8:00.  There was no way I was running the last 1.1 miles in less than 7:50.  I burst into tears, loud caterwauling sobs and visible tears.   He had no idea what to do, I wish I could go back and apologize to him now.   The last mile was partially on a dirt path leading to the finish line, I cried off and on the entire mile.   Crossing the finish line, I realized that the race had started late and if I had pushed just the tiniest bit at the end, I would have hit my goal.  They also switched from medals at the finish line to wine glasses this year.

IMG280

Me and the pops

Fall of 2012 is when I started to get serious.  I broke :30 for a 5k and finally got under 2:30:00 for a 1/2 (City to the Sea).  My goal for 2013 was to get under 2:15:00 in a 1/2.  When I registered for Wine Country, I was glad to see that website said they were going back to the loop course of 2011.  I also knew that with how hilly the course was 2:15 was unlikely so I was shooting for 2:20:ish.     I lined up at the start line feeling nervous like usual.  5 minutes to start, they announced a course change.  Instead of the little killer hill at the end, we would be going all the way down to another street and then up.  This street was the little hill x10.  My car doesn’t even like going up the street.  WTH?!  Not cool!

This race felt better than the previous ones.  Even though work had cut into my training, (changing offices, longer hours) I felt more prepared.   Nike+ worked fine this time and even though I went out faster than I should, I maintained for the first 8 miles.   I slowed as the miles went on and I remember being jealous when the girl in front me had the energy to jump in the air for the photographer at mile 11.   I managed a smile grimace.   I hit the final hill and crawled up it.  But at that point with what Nike+ was telling me, I knew I could walk and still get under 2:20.   And walk I did.  According to Nike, the elevation gain was 200+ feet in .15 miles.   I am not sure how accurate it is.  Maybe it wouldn’t have felt so rough if it wasn’t 12.5 miles into the race.  I then walked a bit more at the top to get my heart rate back down.   I was so pumped to cross the line this time.

Finish- 2:14:04- woo hoo!!!IMG901

The pops again!

The pops again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I drove the course today, both to refresh my memory and take some pictures of the course.  The beginning seems hillier than I recall and the middle stretch longer.    With the last hill, I would have to hit mile 12 at 1:45 in order to break 2:00.   While I would absolutely adore doing that, I am not going to injure myself to do it.   I have another 1/2 in 4 weeks, so I have to keep that in mind as well.  As of right now, there have been no course changes announced this year.  The race did announce that half marathon finishers get a medal and a wine glass this year.  Yay!!!  It’s the little things right?

Anyone have nostalgia for a particular race?

Happy Wednesday!!!

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?

A Long Not So Slow Run

The weather man was actually right and we had a very rainy Saturday.   Not complaining because we need it but it did push my long run back until today.   Saturday was spent building a cabinet for my mother for her garage.  Every time my pops goes out of town, I get a “honey do” list.  The cabinet was one of those MDF things you buy in pieces.  Some very colorful language ensued, I hurt my ankle, pinched a finger and realized that wood glue peels off your fingers just like Elmer’s did back in grade school.  :)    But it was built and muscled into place (weighed 200 lbs!), well mostly.  One door is out of whack.  :(  That counts as a workout right?

I don’t know why I tell myself I am going to run in the morning, I never follow through.  It is too cold and my bed is so cozy.   After a little lie in this morning, a late breakfast (or early lunch) and some errands, I headed out for my run.  The rain had held all day but I dressed for it just in case.   Full pants, tank and and long sleeved layer on top.  All topped with an ear warmer.  I was also wearing the ankle compression socks.   Ankle is a misnomer, they were more like crew, they went halfway up my leg.    It reminded me of when I played tennis in high school.  For some reason we thought we were cool wearing crew boys socks with our skirts.   Ha!

8miles

I was a little overdressed in the beginning but I forced myself to keep everything on, I knew I would be cold eventually.  Plus there was some more wind today than usual.   I had plans to get the puppy and take her for a walk, so I was only going to run 8.    The first 4 at a steady pace, last 4 at a much slower pace.   I started out ok and the first 4 went as planned.  Then it got a little tricky.

Where I forgot to pause the Garmin

Where I forgot to pause the Garmin

I was trying to take some pictures for the blog so occasionally I would stop and pause the Garmin and Nike and take a pic or 2.   Start them back up and keep going.   At the last shot I didn’t pause the Garmin so time kept running.   Oops.  Nike had paused fine and restarted fine.    Half a mile later, I noticed they were .30 miles different.  The Garmin was ahead but the pace on Nike seemed right so I just kept going.   The last few miles seemed hard, harder than a 10:30 should have been, which is what I thought I was running.   At the end, the Garmin showed 8.32 and Nike 8.02.  I must have had my Wheaties this morning, mile 8 was 8:47.  Say what?!

Thinking both devices had serious issues, I Google mapped it.   It showed 8.46.  Well crap.  Since I know the time on the Nike was accurate for time actually ran, I took that time and randomly chose 8.2 miles.   That is not the pace I was trying to maintain for a long slow run but I am stoked that I held it.  I later logged into Nike and was able to see where the signal drop happened.   I have never had a problem there before so I’m not sure what happened  :(

Gee thanks Nike

Gee thanks Nike

I then headed for the puppy and what I thought would be a nice stroll.    Except she was ready to go and wanted to run the whole way, I had to hold her back at times.  Plus she still randomly likes to just plop flat on the ground and I almost trip over her.   Another 2.7 miles in 38 minutes.   And I was done.    And cold, the temperature had dropped a bit.

photo

And she plops….

I later went to dinner with my mother.  This time I was wearing the full length compression socks under my jeans for recovery.    So far I like them but I am going to need a few more times wearing them to decide.  I must say that I thought they would be tighter.  Or at least feel snugger.   But then I wear knee socks or derby socks almost every day during winter and spring so maybe I’m just used to it?  Who knows.

I did not eat all the fries!!

I did not eat all the fries!!

First week of the reboot plan successfully completed and I feel pretty good.   I am hoping to maintain that through next week finishing with a 10K on Saturday.  :)   I was originally supposed to be running a half marathon but with my ankle being sore, I decided to try and be smart and not push it.  My first half of the year is still set for March and I will run SLO in April.

How was everyone’s weekend?

I know I need to just use 1 device but it’s so hard!  Anyone else use  2?

Tiny bit of business-

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Shopping and running, a few of my favorite things

I had planned to get my long run in on Saturday morning before heading out to do a little shopping for the day.   My alarm went of at 6:35, my head hurt and it was still dark.  My phone said that sunrise was at 7:07 so I rolled over hoping the headache would go away.  A second alarm went off at 7:08 and my head was just pounding.   Bloody hormones and that’s all I’m going say about that; so I chose to sleep more.

It was prettier in person

It was prettier in person

I made myself face the day a little before 9.  I got ready and headed out for some retail therapy.   The plan was for window shopping, I didn’t really need anything.   It’s just fun to hit SLO and enjoy the weather and the shopping and the food.     The weather was great and the food was yummy as usual.  Shopping was actually very budget friendly.  :)  I couldn’t even find anything to buy at Dick’s, it was sad!!!  I did buy Kimi a new blanket, and what does she do?  She sleeps in the bag instead!

Not cool!

Not cool!

Shopping ran later than planned, so I didn’t get out the door running until 4:30 so the long run was not an option.  Want to know a good way to run a Tempo run?  Try to beat the setting sun.  Great motivation.   My legs felt a little tired but it was a good run. Thanks to my persistent cough, I still had to take a few walk breaks.    However, it actually turned into a progression run instead of a tempo.   For once each mile was faster than the one before it.  Sweet!  I made it back to my driveway just as the sun was dropping behind the hill.  It may not have been what was planned but a solid 4 miles to end the day.

photo 5

This morning I was planning on running yesterday’s 10 miler.  I had mapped out a route last night- from my driveway with lots of loops, finishing by running crosstown to the high school.  I was aiming to only have to do 1.5-2 miles on the track.   After that the plan was to meet up with my mom who was working on the tennis courts and she would give me a ride back.   Since I have been rather tired this week, still kicking that stupid sickness from last week, I figured I would aim for an 11:00 minute pace.  Get the distance in but take it easy.

I had a slightly later start than planned and then when I was trying to get out the door, I found out that my mom was heading to the courts sooner than planned.  Wait, she’s my ride home!!!  The first three miles of my run I was recalculating in my head.  Do I keep my route the same and just hope it takes her that long or do I throw in more loops and head back home.  That was when I noticed my time, mile 3 had me under 31 minutes.   Well, that was faster than I was aiming for.  So plan B, could I maintain that pace for all 10 miles?  I am faster in races but never before held that in a long training run.   It would only save me 10 minutes but that just might be enough.

photo 1 (3)

Why do I live is such a hilly neighborhood?  Why did I plan my route by running one of the hills 3 times?  Granted it wasn’t the worst but still, I must be crazy.  I slowed down in mile 6 because while trying to get my long sleeved top layer off, I skillfully tangled myself in it.   :)  Just call me Graceful.   After finishing all 3 loops, it was down to the bridge and across town.  I hate running across the bridge, it’s a little too on display for me.   Luckily its not huge.  After the bridge, there’s a few shopping centers and traffic lights before the last small hill and then the high school.   With the traffic lights, I was able to test out the auto pause feature on the Garmin.   Pretty cool but I felt like it was a little slow on the restart.   I made it to the track at 8.5 miles and finished out the 1.5.   And I was done, whew!  And thankfully, my mother had waited for me.

I have no idea what happened in mile 4, barely even remember it

I have no idea what happened in mile 4, barely even remember it

After lunch and grocery shopping, I joined my mother in walking the puppy.  It was supposed to be short, like a mile,  so I was rocking my new Wave Rider’s and skinny jeans.    Bad idea.  It turned into 2.5 miles and the puppy decided that she wanted to move fast today; she was dragging us.   Seriously, where was this dog last week?  I do not recommend jogging in skinny jeans without a proper sports bra, just don’t do it.  The shoes felt great though.  :)   The evening was finished off by the whole family going to The Olive Garden for dinner, yummy.

better than last week!

better than last week!

Training wise, I didn’t do too bad this week.   29 miles out of a scheduled 34.  5 days running.  I still can’t do 6.   And some of the planned runs I am unable to fit in my schedule, so I am adapting it a bit.   Next week only has 5 scheduled days with my long run on Saturday,  That will have to be a 2-a-day, as my first race of 2014 is that morning!!  It’s a 5K that I am looking forward to.

Plus I hope to have some exciting news to share soon!!!  I am waiting on one last email to confirm, I always like to be doubly sure before sharing something important.  I am so excited!!!

How was everyone’s weekend?

What’s the most awkward clothing you’ve ever run in?