run · Run!

Thoughts

I live in a smallish town. 10 years ago when I started running, it seemed even smaller.

While I worked for the same company then ( and actually back in the same office now) I was in a more customer facing position. I remember customers coming in and telling me they thought they saw me running. Oh crap. My question would be “oh, really, where”? Which is how learned where a lot of customers lived, ha! Luckily, my only concern was that if they ever looked out a window again and saw me, they would see me running not walking.

It sounds silly and possibly egotistical but it’s one of the those I took fewer walk breaks. Especially when a couple of those locations slightly overlapped. The main bridge in town is similar. When I first ventured to runs where I was running across town, I had to use the bridge. The only way across town is by one of the bridges and this is by far the busiest. The bridge became my unintentional sprint zone. I could usually drop the pace of that mile significantly just on the bridge. Every time.

I ran that bridge this past Sunday for the first time in years. And I think I finally realized something. I no longer commute. I’m back where I started. I am older, I put back on all the weight I lost and added some for good measure. I am back to all the old, original running haunts and I can barely run.

So instead of being concerned that people would see me walking, I am now concerned that people will see me running. Or more like struggling to run. So I walk. Well, I walk when I finally lace up the running shoes and get out the door. Which, thanks to Strava, I know I only managed that 6 times in July. 6. Out of 31. That is not even 20%.

The question is will admitting it to myself be enough to change the bad habits?

Run! · Training

Upswing

Of course, the week after I express my concerns about my pace and where I am at fitness wise, I have a few good runs.

Not saying they were fast by any sort of scale but they didn’t suck.

For the first time in months, I actually kind of felt like a runner again. I know I am but sometimes I feel more like a farce these days.

Still working on getting back into my post work run follow through, so my first run of the week wasn’t until Wednesday. The weather was perfect- if a little windy- and I had new shoes to test out. I turned back on my run/walk intervals that I’ve been ignoring for weeks. Things felt pretty good.

Actually, I misspoke about the wind- it was stupid windy. The wind tried to take my hat multiple times, I was running with my head down more often than not. Maybe only visually seeing my route every few moments was actually helpful? I couldn’t see how much farther I had left to go, ha! 4 miles done.

I had planned on running Thursday but had to admit that I was feeling a little under the weather. Actually had been for a while but was ignoring it. It kept things pretty low key for the next few days, there may have been a few naps. And some random closet cleaning because that’s what you do when you’re feeling poorly, right?

I ventured out for my long run on Sunday, not sure how it was going to go. I had 9 on the schedule but wasn’t sure I was feeling that. I kept it at a brisk walk the first mile and a half just to see how everything felt. I once again ditched the run/walk app and decided to do my own thing. I headed for an old long run route that I haven’t seen in a long time. There weren’t any cows this time but I kept running! The wind was cuckoo again and I definitely felt like it was a long run but it felt pretty good. The only real issue with the run was the halfway point when I really needed a bathroom. The first set I tried at the nearest park had no stall doors. Ummm, no. So much for fixing that in the remodel. The second was gross and horrible but I really had to go! The way running lowers your standards. Ha! But, 9 miles done.

2 runs, both of them decent. Time to look on the bright side, right?

Run! · Training

Bad Math

I did pretty damn decent with my training plan the first 4-5 weeks. Well, by my standards.

Weeks 6-9? Well, those were another story.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into CDA Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was fine with how out of shape I am. I know it. I do. But even though I know this and I work with numbers everyday, all day, I was working bad math. It finally dawned on me during my failed long run last Sunday.

I set out for 8 miles on Sunday. Did I go early in the morning to avoid the very warm, i.e 90 degrees, May weather? No, of course not. I headed out around 2PM. Will I never learn??

It was so warm that my “run” soon turned into a walk. At first I thought that was fine. I mean, let’s be real, CDA is in 2-3 weeks, there was already going to be a lot of walking. And I would still be faster than I was at Napa in 2020. Except my brain suddenly learned how to do math again and I realized I wouldn’t be faster than Napa.

Sh**.

I finished Napa in 2:58:21. A pace of 13:28. A pace that included 3 or 4 bathroom stops as well as a lot of walking. But that pace also means there was a lot more running in there than I remember. I can’t maintain that pace by walking alone. I don’t even know if I can maintain that pace with running- I maybe haven’t been real with myself on how much I have been walking. Also the race has a measly 500 feet of elevation gain so I can’t even count on a boost from hills.

So do I try to work on my walking pace over the next few weeks or should I add in more running? Or just accept that my first live race in over a year will also be my personal worst? There are worse things I know but it’s still getting under my skin.

So, that’s where my running is these days.

Hiking-Trails · Run!

Dilemma

A week and a half ago, I did 18 ish miles in Yosemite. This past Sunday I did 5 at a new to me trail- Riconada- in my area. Both days my feet let me know that my new trail shoes were not winning any points. Boo. Which puts me in a predicament. I need shoes! And it’s not for lacking of trying.

My first few years running trails, I had perfect shoes. First Mizuno Wave Hayate followed by a move into Under Armor Horizon HTT. Loved both of them with no issues but neither shoe is made anymore. Not only that, neither shoe company makes any trail shoes anymore. WTH? Which has started a 2ish years of trying all the trail shoes. Let’s recap-

First up- Brooks Cascadia. Anytime I say their name, I hiss a little and call them devil shoes. Pretty sure I broke my foot in the them during Spooner’s Cove back in Dec 2019. 2020 and my lack of running gave my foot time to heal and nope- I never went to the doctor. Did get rid of the shoes. Full disclosure- the rep at the store talked me into buying mens and they ended up being too big. I might like the woman’s version but can’t bring myself to order them.

Both my first trail shoes were pretty minimal and the Cascadia was a beast of a shoe so maybe that was my problem???

Next- Altra Lone Peak. Felt good up until 5 miles… and only on flat. My feet slid around like crazy when running downhill and I needed more cushion. I tend to run downhill like a 5 year old without brakes so I need my feel to feel secure. As for the cushion, I mean I am carrying 50ish more pounds than I used to so that may make sense.

3- Merrell SkyFire. Ok, ok, not bad. Nice blend of running shoe meets hiker. Ok, we may have something here. Until I ate trail going down the Grand Canyon. Son of a!

4- Topo Ultraventure. Kind of like a cross between the Skyfire and the Lone Peak. Traction was amazing, cushion felt good. Until my first 8-9 mile trail in them and I think I broke my big toe. Ok, dropping a bottle on it that night was probably what did it fully in but it was already severely bruised from that day. Returned.

5- Nike Terra Kiger– Nope. Never made it out of the house. Went back in the back and back to the Running Warehouse. For a person who wants snug shoes- this was a form fitting brick.

6- Altra Timp– Tried a size 9, felt way too small. There went that idea. Exchanged for a 9.5 (my usual size). Holy fire of arch pain Batman. Returned.

7. Brooks Caldera- good lord, that’s a cushiony shoe! It also made me about 2 inches taller and that it just too much shoe for me. Back to the store without running in them.

At what point does the Running Warehouse fire me as a customer? And before you @ me about buying from a local running store, the Warehouse is my local running store. Shout out to local businesses going big. But the storefront still hasn’t really reopened since COVID.

8- Merrell MQM Flex 2 I liked the SkyFire but wanted more traction so I searched the Merrell site for a possible other option. They started out good. I’ve put more miles on them then any of the other shoes. But I didn’t really test them until Yosemite. The path was basic so I didn’t really need to worry about traction but my feet were so damn sore, I almost tore them off. My bad toe even reared its head again. Then in Riconada, I slipped 4 or 5 times on the rockier parts of the trail. Which is most of our local trails. WTH again!

So now I don’t know what to do. What else is there to try? I know there is Hoka, but that seems like it will be way too much shoe for me. I’ve looked at Saucony but nothing jumps out at me as the answer. I have dreams of running a 50K but I can’t even begin to contemplate that if I can’t last more than a few miles or a couple of hours in a pair of shoes.

So seriously, if anyone has any tips- throw them my way!

Run! · Training

Wheezy

Last week, I learned that I could laugh myself into an asthma attack. That was new.

Friday rolled around and we were all little stressed, tired and slaphappy at work. I had been going back and forth with someone at another office, trying to get a document right and each version came back worse. I finally lost it laughing hysterically. Then the wheezing; followed by the struggle. My boss actually figured it out first and went for my purse. Which, surprisingly had my inhaler in it. I admit I rarely carry it in my purse. I have one in every running pack but I rarely need it at work. Oops. But like I said, I luckily had it that day.

Last week wasn’t horrible in the training department. Well, not sure if I can call it training yet.

I rode the spin bike one day and decide to keep my Peleton membership now that the 2 month trial has ended. I don’t have a Peleton bike nor does my bike even have an onboard computer but I do like not thinking. The instructor on the app tells me what to do and I do it. Not thinking is great.

I also made it out for a run after work! Which is kind of shocking as it is only the second time I have run after work since transferring to this office. 9 Months ago. Ouch. But I did it! I made it out for 3 miles on Wednesday. I also said goodbye to a favorite pair of crops that night as the mirror in the work bathroom let me know they no longer pass the see through test. Oops. I ran with a quarter zip tied around my waist. Ha!

On Saturday I was going to head to the high school to help my mother swap out a tennis net or 2 as they are finally starting high school sports. Then I was going to run my Napa Valley virtual mile on the track. Except the track was full of people. So I headed out for a short run from the school. Except I got trapped in the school and ended up having to jump a fence to get out. Didn’t break my face but my mile turned into a 15 minute joke. Whatever, I’m going with it. 🙂

Sunday was another adventure at the state park. We didn’t get lost but my new shoes failed the test. After getting lost a few weeks ago, I knew the Topo’s weren’t for me so I did some research and ordered a pair of Altra Timps. They were fine going uphill. Once we turned around, I damn near took them off and ran barefoot. It likely would have hurt less. Between the surprising February heat and the dumb shoes, we didn’t meet our original goal. The plan was to do Oats Peak which is 10.8 miles round trip trail. We turned at the last trail break at 3 and headed back. I changed my shoes in the lot and we did another mile-ish on the Bluff Trail. Also found a cool little hidden cove I had never seen before. It ended up being just under 8 miles for the day.

So not a complete waste of the week.