Loving this Light

I mentioned in my previous post that this week is inspection time at work.  I thought I was prepared but what I was not prepared for was for him to show at 8:05 on Monday morning.  Seriously?!!?  I hadn’t had my coffee or my soda; I was in a sudden panic that I hadn’t crossed my I’s or dotted my T’s.  Aargh!!!!   By the time the day was done, I was just stressed and cranky.  I needed to run but I knew it wasn’t going to be awesome; my brain was tired.

I may have been stressed but I was so excited to take advantage of the time change!   I changed after work and headed for the lake path that I haven’t been able to run since the time changed last year.    My commute is a narrow two lane highway going through a canyon which is prone to rock slides.  The road has no shoulders, blind corners and is heavily shaded.  Seriously I think my hips are bigger than the “shoulder”.  The speed limit is 55 but most treat that as a suggested minimum.  Imagine my surprise rounding one of the corners to find a man running with traffic wearing black.   Seriously, dude?!   I get that you want to make the most of the extra daylight, but this is not the road for it!

lakeCollageOnce I arrived at the park, the weather was amazing.   I was aiming for 5 miles.  The path is a little over a mile around so I was hoping that 4 laps would be 5 miles.  That would be perfect, right?  Not so lucky.  Lap 1 came in at 1.18.     Lap 1 included my warm up but I could tell I was sluggish.  I was ok with that because I just wanted to run.    I was also a little sore from Saturday’s long run, wearing new boots all day hadn’t helped either.

Miles 2 and 3 were a little rougher than I would have liked; this trail is flat after all.   I feel like it was just after mile 3 that I settled in.  Mile 4 felt good and 5 was better.   Since I was on the backside of the lake when I hit 5 I kept running until 5.5.  I figured that still gave me a quarter mile to cool down before hitting the exercise equipment that I use to stretch.   I didn’t have any real goals with this run, just to enjoy the weather and the path and run off some stress.  Mission accomplished!

IMG_3383The lake was not as low as I thought it would be.   We still desperately need rain but the ducks and geese had some water.  There were plenty of people taking advantage of the weather as well.   I saw other runners, walkers and plenty of dogs.   Some were running solo, some with friends.    Everyone was friendly too.   I had a conversation going with a guy as we passed each other on laps.  He was out walking and saw me pause to take pictures.  I told him I needed a little break.   :P     I also loved that there were 3 guys who looked like they had just come a jam session with their garage band doing laps.

A little traffic on the way out.

A little traffic on the way out.

Today, I had to remind myself that rest days count as training too.    The weather was awesome again.  The inspection is still going on and I am discovering the meaning of stress sweat (TMI?).   I have been through so many of these before but this one just seems intense.    Leaving work I had to go return the previously mentioned new boots.  They ripped yesterday, classy right?    Then driving home, I passed no less than 9 people out running.   Against traffic on wide roads, yay!  I was so jealous.   But rest is good, plus I had classwork to do.  :(    Besides tomorrow is another inspection day, more stress to run off!!!

Moving along

Moving along

I am thankful that the extra daylight brings the lake back into play.    It is outside and flat, both dirt and paved.   More fun than a treadmill but better for my ankle than all hills.   It also brings me back to be being a 3 town runner.  I don’t know why, but the fact that I can run in 3 towns on a weekly basis just makes me smile.  :)

I am 11 days out from the Wine Country Half and we are officially 46 days away from SLO Marathon.  I am so excited for both but I am getting nervous.    I still have a discount code for the SLO Marathon- anyone want to come run with me? Or faster than me?  :)   Check out the amazing town and people too!  Check out this bling for SLO Marathon-

Sweet!!!

Sweet!!!

Who is ready for hump day?

Anyone taken advantage of daylight savings yet?

Am I the only one who has formatting issues?  Thanks WordPress, thanks.

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?

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?

Sadness and Cookies

Thank goodness it’s almost Wednesday.

Monday started on a sour note, coming in to work we learned that our fish- Mo Betta- had joined the great guppy in sky.   He had been sick for a few weeks and we tried so many things but in the end nothing worked.   I admit I refused to even look in the fish bowl (punch bowl) I let the others deal with that.    We were all in a little funk after that.  Have I mentioned the awesome customers?  One felt bad for us and showed up a few hours later with a gift.  Say hello to this little guy-

Photo by Tee

Photo by Tee

Confusion abounded while we tried to figure out what to do with him.  A coworker refused to use the “death bowl” again and all we had were vases.  Luckily that same coworker had a large glass jar thing.  So that is currently his home, his name is also a work in progress.    Wish us luck that he stays feisty. 

It’s also that lovely time of year that tempts all healthy eating plans.    Yup, these were delivered yesterday as well-

So amazingly yummy

So amazingly yummy

Girl Scout cookies!!!  So much for no gluten.   Not that I am allergic to gluten but it seems to be the easier way to manage this Low-FODMAP thing my doctor has me on since December.  At least 85% of the time, I told him I’m not giving up pizza or a hamburger once a week :)  He rolled his eyes.  And continuing on the healthy kick, I put spinach and kale in my smoothie tonight. Spinach!!! I hate spinach, have ever since I was a kid, can’t even stand the smell of it.   I managed to drink the whole thing so woo hoo!  :)

Little green specks!

Little green specks!

Today was rough for some reason.  I was dragging all morning.   I took yesterday as a rest day since I was still a little sore from Sunday’s run.  So I wasn’t tired from a hard workout.    Work turned a little crazy by the end of the day, too.  I originally had plans to go to the movies tonight with a friend but that fell through.  So I headed to the gym after work.

I told myself I would do an easy 4 miles to wake myself up and get me going for the rest of the week.   Once I got going, I felt pretty good.  I have been foam rolling often and I found a new (to me) yoga/stretching routine that seems to helping to.  Things never really hurt, just sometimes I feel a lingering soreness.   My easy 4 turned into an easy 5 for the night.  5 miles- 50:53.   Oddly enough there was a guy running on a treadmill near me who would throw boxing jabs while running.    That was interesting.   :)   I made sure to foam roll tonight as well, plus my newest torture device-

hurts so good

hurts so good

In other news, Run or Dye is coming to town in May.  I am on the fence about how I feel about these runs.  Having never done one, I can only speculate.   I am already stressing over the logistics of not staining my car seats or my shoes.   But I have always promised C that we would run a race in tutu’s and this seems like the perfect opportunity.    We actually have quite the team growing, C’s husband and NikeC and ME and more, so it should be a fun day.   And colorful.

How is everyone’s week so far?

Any thoughts on color runs?

Any helpful betta fish hints?

Intervals and a Big Oops

Hooray, it’s Friday!!!!

Who’s racing this weekend?

Today was a pretty good day.  I worked the early shift at work and was even able to get off a little early.   I have an awesome boss.  I mean I really do, yesterday, while parallel parking I bumped her car.   Like our bumpers were kissing.  I swear I checked before turning off my car.  I never felt a bump, apparently I am just that skillful at backing up. Ha!  No damage at all but it was a momentary panic attack.  Did I mention it’s review time?!  Part of today was spent doing battle with my usual Friday temptation-one day I will resist, I will be strong.  It just wasn’t today.

Cookie Friday!!!!

Cookie Friday!!!!

I have however been strong on the no soda during the week.  :)  I have not had any soda since I randomly quit at 10:00 AM Tuesday morning.  No headaches to speak of, but I have been draggggggging.   With that being said, I did make it to the gym on Thursday night for an easy interval run.

intervals

Prettier than a treadmill

Normally I manually change the speed anytime I want but I decided to try the interval option instead.   First question it asked was what my weight was?  Nosy much?  Why does my weight affect the speed settings on a treadmill?  And why do they call it jogging speed?  For the sake of all of our delicate egos they should call it something like “fast” and “lightening fast” not “jogging” and “running”.  Ok, mini rant over.  Having to push the button just once to change speeds was nice though.

My intervals looked something like this-

Length (miles) Speed
1.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.5 5.8
1.00 6.3
.50 5.8

Total- 5 miles not counting warmup or cool down.

(glad to hear I’m not the only one turns off the watch for those!!)

I admit to taking it slightly easy.  Even with having a cup of coffee in the morning, I am seriously missing the caffeine.   While driving to the gym that night, I told myself I only had to run 4 not the 5 that I planned.  Once I was running though, I figured I could run 5 and thankfully there was nothing freaky on the tv’s.   Whoever is changing the channels needs to stop, Wednesday night, the tv had Devour-Return of the Man Eating Snake on.  I thought I was going to have nightmares about albino pythons eating crocodiles.   Yuck!

All in all it was a good run, it felt like productive miles not just filler miles.  There were some runs in January that felt like mostly filler.  Today was like most Fridays- a rest day.   After leaving work, I fought the Friday crowd at Trader Joe’s- not a good idea- before heading home.   The mail delivered presents!!!!!

Oh, wow that's pink

Oh, wow that’s pink

I just ordered them Tuesday night so the shipping was great!  Have to say that these are my first pairs of compression socks.   Oh the shame  :)  Anytime my pics showed me in knee socks, they were derby socks.   I am eager to test them out on my long run this weekend.  The weather is calling for rain on Saturday so the timing of that run is a little up in the air.  The rain wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for my proclivity for slipping.   But we desperately need rain, so no complaints here.   Even if it means I have to dodge rocks on the road while driving to work  :)

Any one have big plans this weekend?

Any ideas on how I can learn to like coffee faster?