Prepping for SLO

I’ve never been one to believe in the “taper crazies”.  Hell, I love taper.  An excuse to run less and eat more?  Sign me up! 😝  Yes, I know that’s not how it works but let a Slacker lie to herself ok?

I wasn’t really planning on tapering for SLO.   I did one speed workout this training cycle.  One.  Once I realized how few long runs I had actually done over the years, my focus turned to getting in the distance and time on my feet.   While I have done much better since that little epiphany, it still could have been better.

My plan for SLO was to treat it more like an epic long run.  Enjoy the race, enjoy my pace, take in the view, smile at the awesome crowds and maybe, just maybe take a decent race picture for once.     And now?

I had my weird hip/ IT thing on Friday’s long run.  That led to limping on Saturday and resting all weekend.   This week’s runs have been so-so.  Tuesday’s was actually pretty good.  But outside of that- my shins ache at random moments.  My calves feel tight.  Today it hurt my big toe to drive, seriously?!   There’s a tickle in my throat that feels like it wants to turn into something more.   Bring on the Airborne!!  I haven’t slept well in about a month.


Grrr.  I love this race, I do not want to stress about it.  As of right now, I honestly have no idea what my finishing time might be.  I feel unprepared for the hills.  My fault, I should have sought out more hills.    The hill I use for hill repeats has been a construction zone for the last few months.  No excuses. I should have found another one.   After last year I feel like I have unfinished business with this race.


Maybe that is influencing how I am feeling this week?  I have no idea.   So now, I need to calm down.  I need to make sure I am sleeping better (or trying to), I need to ensure I m still keeping my carb count low to moderate and I need to not stress.  I have been looking forward to this weekend for months.   There are so many people that I am looking forward to seeing again.   I enjoy looking around the expo, and really this is my favorite finish line.

More cowbell!!

Actually, I think venting about it for a few hundred words helped.   Bring it on SLO, let’s do this.  Now if only I could figure out what I am wearing.  😝

Do you believe in taper crazies?

Any tips?

 

Week 17 Training Recap

Upcoming race– SLO Marathon 13.1

Focus–  Keep working on the 4x a week and enjoy a step back long run.

Mission partly achieved.   As for the other part- uh oh?   For someone who has a propensity for colorful phrases, whether cursing or not, my training week ended with a very quiet, meek “uh oh”.

Monday- 3 miles  3rd day in a row and I was feeling a little tired.  However, that was part of the plan so I kept moving.    Mile one was super sluggish but I loosened up for mile 2 and 3.    I finished strong and headed home.  I did miss running with NikeC though.


Tuesday- 4 miles  4th day in a row?!  Who am I?  There is a method to my madness here, really.    By the end of the work day I was not feeling like running at all.   So I ran in work town; I knew that if I had to drive anywhere else, I would lose motivation and bail.   My legs are not used to 4 days in a row yet so they were feeling pretty tired.   I kept the pace easy and just tried to enjoy the view.  By the time I got to the eucalyptus trees and shoreline I was glad I had stuck to my plan.   Mile 4 felt the best to me which was funny as it is all uphill.  I was just shy of 4 miles when I hit my car so I figured another loop of the block would get it done.    Except I cut through the alley behind the police station.  Should be safe right?  And it was if you don’t count the crazy Husky that charged me.  Seriously, what is my luck these days?!  Someone called the dog off but he had the crazy dog look like he could snap at any time.


Wednesday- Rest  Except my mother had a random Wednesday tennis match so without pizza night or running, I felt a little adrift.  😝     Ha!  I ended up cleaning half of my car.   It still needs to be vacuumed though.

Thursday- Rest   I planned to run, I even changed into running clothes after work.   My mother wanted to reschedule pizza night but I said I wanted to run first.  Once again, she dropped the dad kryptonite.   So I enjoyed pizza in un-sweaty running gear.

Friday- 10 miles  I worked on Saturday and had plans to spend a day shopping in SLO, both of those things were stressing me out about my long run.    I was able to leave early on Friday though for a partial day.  As I was changing into my running clothes it started pouring in work town.  Boo.  I headed towards home hoping it would clear up on the drive.  When I parked it looked stormy and threatening but was not even raining.  A little rain is one thing, the pouring diagonal mess I drove in- not so much.

My first mile was super slow- more walking than running- I was mentally debating if I was going to run or bail.   I didn’t have a mile goal in mind at all anymore, I was just out running.  At every point where I could make the run shorter or longer, I would assess the situation.  How did my legs feel and what did the skies look like?    It was cold and windy but the storm clouds were holding.    My upper left thigh felt a little off, kind of like there was a band around it.   Nothing hurt, so I kept running.   I was keeping a pretty steady pace and while it was faster than it should maybe have been, it felt good.


I was coming down a hill about a mile from my car when I felt it.  Something in my left leg moved.  I felt it shift on the outside of my upper thigh.   I calmly said “uh oh” out loud and continued to run.  Smart, right?   It didn’t hurt but it felt very off if that makes sense.    Good news was that the band feeling had gone away.    I finished out 10 miles and stretched really well.  At least I hoped so.  I also attempted some butt kicks and high knees.   Things felt weird.  Oh crap.

Saturday- Rest  I still wasn’t in pain but things weren’t normal.  By midday, I was limping.   But it still didn’t hurt?  How does that even make sense?    I chose to skip my planned easy run.  Boo.  If I didn’t have a race (SLO!!) next week, I may have pushed it.

Sunday- Rest  For the most part, I felt better.  Every now and again, I would feel an odd twinge but overall it felt ok.    I spent the day schlepping around SLO and by the end I was exhausted.  I haven’t slept well in almost a month so even though there was plenty of daylight when I got home, I passed on a run.   I did however spend a very long time at The Running Warehouse, trying on all the shoes.   At least it felt like that.    The Launch’s and I broke up for good after that last cramp-tastic run.  I hate returning shoes but I also can’t keep giving them to my mom.  My budget is not that big!


So yeah, not the week I was hoping for but it could have been worse.   I wasn’t planning on tapering for SLO but that will depend on my leg feels on my first run this week.    It’s being weird so who knows?   Fingers crossed?

Funny story, Friday I was sitting at my boss’s desk talking to her.    I heard something behind me so I looked- crazy husky!!!!!  He was in the building!   Turns out he was looking for a treat.  Small towns, right?

How was your week?

Ever have an odd, weird twinge?   I’m thinking it’s my IT band.

 

A Cautionary Tale

And the lake path and I are breaking up again.   There are a few reasons but let’s chat about the main one.  Remember this post?

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So yeah.  I crack jokes at work that one of the unstated descriptions of my job is that I have to have stalker skills.     I need to be able to pay attention but not seem like I am totally creeping on conversations.    I like to think that some of that “talent” comes in handy when running.    I try to always pay attention to my surroundings and the people around me.  Being honest, 2 of the places I run can get a little sketchy at times.    I love them but there have been a few shady incidents.    If I run with headphones, I only have one earbud in and the other is usually tucked under my bra strap.   Lately, I don’t even run with them.   But I know I miss things.  Like tonight, when I ran by a house I don’t recall noticing before.  Oops.  But I do my best to keep an eye out.  As all runners should.

Last Tuesday I headed out for a run.  Still being super sore after Firehouse, I figured the nice flat lake path would be a good place to run.   Plus if it hurt too badly, I was always fairly close to my car.    Once I parked I realized that I had forgotten my running belt.  My belt has my pepper spray.   Oops.   So I ran with my phone in my hand.   It wasn’t horrible.   Full disclosure- I was running and tweeting at the same time.     I wanted to run and participate in BibChat at the same time.  Silly, I know but I was still paying attention to my surroundings.   I said hi to all the usuals and nodded to all the other runners.   I also dodged all the road construction (the other reason the path and I are taking a break).

I did my 3 miles and walked back to my stretching area.   The lake has 3 exercise stations around it and I love the ones with the parallel bars.     They are the best way to stretch my legs.  They hit me around mid rib cage.  So again, full disclosure- my leg gets kind of high, but I was also wearing pants.   However, even if I had been in booty shorts, what happened next was still not ok.

As I was stretching, I was listening to the people walking or running past.  They would pick up in volume as they grew closer to me and fade as they moved away.  One lingered longer than it should- it hadn’t faded and seemed very one-sided.    First, I figured I was overly paranoid but I looked around stealth-ily.    A man was standing behind a tree, staring at me.    He was on the cell phone so I gave him a little benefit of the doubt, maybe he didn’t realize how creepy he was being.

I made eye contact.  He noticed and starting walking again.  I went back to stretching but watched him out of the corner of my eye.    He got about 20 feet away, stopped, turned and stared again.  WTF?!     I made eye contact again; once again he moved on.   Another 20 feet, another stop and stare.   He moved on without my prompting this time but only to go another 20 or so feet before venturing down the side of the lake to stand behind a bush and stare some more.

I’m out.  I headed back towards the lot acting like I was looking at my phone.     Dude changed direction and followed me.  I did my best to ditch him in the lot, found my car and bolted.  I watched the rear view mirror for the next 10 miles.

Could I be paranoid?  Yes.  Could it be coincidence?  Yes.   Either way, why risk it?  Bail.  No workout is worth it.   Move on and change your patterns.    I try to be careful about what I post.  I never post town names or even name the river or lake but if you know the area, you know where I am running.    I would like to trust everyone but unfortunately things are just not that rosy colored.   It’s life but I hate being reminded of it.

Every run now will be shaded by this. It may have been nothing but it’s going to feel like something for a long time.

Keep running and stay safe everyone. 

No questions today, just share your thoughts please.

Week 16 Training Recap

Upcoming race– SLO Marathon 13.1

Focus– Keep on with the 4x a week.

16 weeks into the year already?  How did that happen?  I am not prepared for it to be halfway through April.  I feel like the past few weeks are nothing but a blur.  There has been running, eating, some mindless tv watching and some staring into space.  I haven’t been sleeping well, I think the bags under my eyes are permanent features now.   Enough whining, let’s get to the running!

Monday- Rest  Ha!  2 days post Firehouse and I was walking a little crooked.   I thought I was hiding it well but the first thing an employee said to me was “are you limping?’.  Just call me gimpy.   Getting up onto my chair and then down was definitely amusing.    But in shiny news- Meet Mel!   

  The week before was actually my 9 year anniversary at work and they (my boss) got me a new fish!

  
Tuesday- 3 miles  After work I headed to the lake path to take things nice and easy.   The first mile was rough but miles 2 and 3 felt pretty decent.   I kept it short on purpose and I wish that was all I had to say about Tuesday but it’s not.   Next post will cover the excitement though.

  
Wednesday- 4.59ish miles   I was running with NikeC and somehow I accidentally paused my Garmin .25 miles in.  I didn’t figure it out until we hit the turn around point 2ish miles later.  Waah!!!  No!    I may not be focusing on my pace these days (yet) but I am paying close attention to my mileage totals as I am trying to do this whole marathon training thing smartly.   Luckily, she has the Runkeeper app on her phone.   Other than the technical issue, it was a good run.  My calves were a little achy but I expected that going in.   I am really starting to like running with friends.

Thursday/ Friday- Rest  Both of these days are a huge blur truthfully.   I worked and ate cookies.  More on that below.

Saturday- 13 miles- 11:16 pace  Going into this weekend, I knew I was overly tired, stressed and emotional.   I had originally planned for a 14 mile long run and a 6 mile easy run.  By Friday evening, I had decided that anything I did was more than fine even if I chose to do nothing at all.   That said, I headed out to attempt a long run early Saturday morning.  8:30 is early to me.

  
I was a little stiff the first few miles but soon loosened up.  Per usual, crossing the bridge was my fastest mile-9:48.  Slightly slower though as I had to detour through the Albertson’s parking lot due to road construction.    Miles 6, 8 and 11 were real struggles.  My pace dropped into the high 11 minute range.    I wasn’t 100% present.   By mile 8, I had also confirmed that my Nike’s are not long run shoes.  11 miles in and I was adjusting my stride because it felt like my entire right arch was turning into one huge blister.   Part of me wanted to stop and check but I was also afraid to.  My stomach cramped really badly in mile 12 and I walked most of it.   I recovered for mile 13 but I was thankful I had called for a pick up.   13 was way farther than I thought I was going to get in.  And my arch?  Completely fine.   I don’t get it, I felt like my skin was on fire.

 

Better shoe choice
 
Sunday- 4.2 miles   This was intended to be a run/walk with my mom.   It was a very warm day and we headed out in the afternoon so I knew it was going to be slower.    And it really was- in fact I only ran about 1/4 of a mile.   My left knee felt off and my left groin? area felt tight.    I decided walking was just fine.  I was outside, my legs were moving and I could use it to help me get used to the warmer weather.

All in all, not a bad running week.    I actually got in more miles than I thought I would.   I am going to call that a win for the week.

Life-  Sometimes real life rears its head.  I admit that I don’t deal well when that happens.   My family has been dealing with some bad news, but part of that was waiting for the inevitable, final bad news.    The last few weeks have all blurred, I got all clenched up every time I saw my cell phone ring.   That call came Friday.  I’m still not processing well.  I don’t know when I will.

That’s not really how I wanted to end this post but I seem to have written my way into a corner.   At least for now.

How was your week?

Anyone race this weekend?

Tell me something shiny!!

 

 

2016 Firehouse 5K Recap

I love this race but I knew going in I was unprepared.   I don’t think I’ve ever been prepared for this race.  Even know what is coming doesn’t help.  I thought I was last year but it ended up being slower than the previous 2 years.  Oops.  The last few months I have been more focused on getting in the long runs than I have speed work.  I’ve done 1 speed workout this year, 1.   Guess it’s a good thing this is not a PR possible race for me.

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Packet pick up was a breeze.  The town is on my way home so it was easy to stop by the day before and pick it up.  New this year- no bibs just a shirt.   Our county has odd rules about what makes a race versus a fun run and that can affect the permits.  I was fine with not having a bib as they never really mattered in this race.    The race is gun timed not chip timed and times are recorded via post card handed to you as you cross the finish line.   The race is almost free ($25!) and the money raised by the firehouse goes to local charities.   

post race

 Race morning dawned early and dreary.   Cloudy but no rain, I’ll take it!    Since the race is short and close, my dad usually comes too so we all headed out early.    My legs were still feeling the cramps from Thursday so I though about running a short warm up but I was afraid it would hurt.   The sun started to come out as we all lined up.  After getting stuck in the back last year, I had learned my lesson and moved up to the front.  After a few announcements from the race director, we were off!

Mile 1-

The race starts with 1/2 mile on neighborhood streets before we hit the trail.    My legs were feeling pretty good actually and my lungs were happy which surprised me as I ran an 8:30 pace for that portion.  Then we hit the trail, passed the one water station, and started climbing.   The trail is single track and switch backs up the hill for a 1/4 mile.  I ran 2, then walked 2 and repeated until we were out of that section.  I passed some people and some passed me.  My lungs were on fire.  I ran without music and all I could hear was my breathing.  It sounded more like panting.   I also realized I was overdressed and lost the top layer.  Then I just kept trucking.   11:22

Mile 2-

Just keep climbing, just keep moving.  I passed a few people but then got stuck behind some people walking.  I could have tried to pass but I honestly didn’t think I had enough in me to pass and then maintain.  I wasn’t going to be one of those people who surges around and then comes to a stop.     I stayed behind the pack until we hit the teardrop.   The tear drop is a tiny out and back we run at the top.  Except it’s not the top.  There’s one more climb and it’s steep and short.   From mile .6-1.5, we gained 500+ feet.   I happened to see my lap pace at the top of the mountain and it said 18:something.  What?!

Time for my favorite part- the downhill.   I seriously throw myself down the mountain.   Which is what trashes my quads but I don’t care.  I did keep it a little calmer as there is a marathon looming in a few months though.  ☺  I only skidded out twice.   However the damage was done,  I maybe should have passed earlier.  12:25

 

To the finish!
 

Mile 3-

More downhill- woo hoo!!   At this point I was hauling but I knew there was one last hill lurking.   I took a walk break on the hill but overall maintained until the last downhill where I tried to open it up.  Unfortunately I was hung up behind some people and it took a bit until the trail was wide enough for them to get over so the person in front of me and I could pass.    Then it was out of the park, back on the streets and trying to finish strong.  I won’t lie, I was tired.   The finish line seemed so far away.  9:45

Finish- 34:23

I felt like I was crawling to the finish but my watch claims I was running an 8:20.  I crossed the line and my legs were shaking.   I was smiling but I was whipped.   I noticed that my index card said 52- so I was about 15 people further up in the field than I was last year.  I put my name on the card and checked my watch as I left the chute.   Well crap, I was slower than last year by almost 30 seconds.  Yay for a course worst!!    I am not mad, a little bummed but I love this race and just running it was awesome.    I know a few places I could have shaved some time but it wouldn’t have changed how I felt about this race.   I will be back for more pain next year.   ☺

And major shout out to this woman-

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Meet Peggy.  She ran the race in full turn out gear.   That would be bad ass at any race but this was a mountain!   She does it to raise money to fight cancer.   4 days later and I am still sore.  How does she feel?!

See you gain next year, Firehouse.  Maybe I will be fully prepared.   😛