Never say Never?

So, about that marathon thing.   And how I said never.

This has been simmering for a while.   A long while.   January of 2015 saw my first (and only so far) 25K.  16 miles.   While that is still 10 miles short of a marathon, I was out there for 5+ hours.    That started me thinking.   Yes, I was still 10 miles short but whatever marathon I chose wouldn’t have 3000+ ft in elevation gain or involve actual mountains.    But a trail 25K was still a long way from a road marathon.   The seed was planted.

Then last fall, in the middle of my running funk, I read Ultra Marathon Man by Dan Karnazes.   That book will give you all sorts of crazy ideas.  Plus he eats pizza while on crazy long runs- how awesome is that?!   Now, a marathon was a crazy enough idea for me.  I wasn’t going to running in Antarctica or any 200 mile solo runs.   But even then it was still just a seedling.  It was still a maybe someday, far away.

New Year’s saw me stating emphatically that this was going to be the year of no goals.  After spending 2+ years chasing a sub 2 half and failing, I was burned out.  Some health issues added to that as well but I was feeling fried.   This was going to be the year to just enjoy running.  That is still the plan.   With a twist.

Running is a lot like shopping at Target... You intend to run only $30 5Ks and before you know it, you're registering for $175 marathons!!:

Back in January, in one long text message session with Ashley and Heather, we started talking about The San Francisco Marathon.  Ashley loved the race and Heather and I had always thought about running it.  So we made plans to all take a road trip and run one of the half marathons.  San Francisco has 2- the first half and the second half.  I joked that if I was going to San Francisco, I was running the Golden Gate Bridge.  So we were running the 1st half.  Cool, right?

Then a week or so later, they decided they wanted to run the full.  Well crap.  What do I do?  I had 2 choices- run my first full marathon or deal with public transportation in a very large city all by myself for the first time in my life.  Both were scary propositions.

I chose the marathon.

Never+say+NEVER+with+   anything++running+related...+   "Never+could+I+run+a+5k."   ....+DID+IT!+   "Never+could+I+run+a+10k"   ...+DID+IT!   "Never+could+I+run+a+   Half-Marathon."+   ....DID+IT!+:

Here’s my thinking- it was already in the back of my mind, so why not San Francisco?  I had 2 friends running it and it was a city I’ve been wanting to visit again for a long time.   The potential for hills was a little intimidating but I’ve said repeatedly that I hate flat courses, right?   Plus Golden Gate Bridge! And friends!

But I still wasn’t ready to commit.   Remember back in January when I asked for Excel help?  I was cobbling together a training plan.  I affectionately call it the McHig plan.  I took my customized McMillan plan from last year and worked it into a Hal Higdon Novice plan for marathon training.    I started training for SF the first week of February.  Surprise!

Before I would register though, I needed an escape plan.   My first 16 miler falls in the beginning of April.  I told myself if I completed it and hated myself or running after I would pay the change fee and drop to the half.  If I pulled it off and felt ok, training would continue.  Next step would be to complete a 20-22 miler in late June, early July.  Same rules applied-I could drop at the race expo before the race.   And lastly, if all hell breaks loose, there is a finish line at the halfway point.  I could call it there and Uber myself to the finish to meet Ashley and Heather.

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I had a training plan, friends to run it with and an escape plan -all I had to do was register.   Except when I tried to register in February, the website refused to cooperate.  It wouldn’t let me use my discount code- Ashley’s an ambassador!- and it kept throwing up an error message.   I missed a price deadline because of this.  Finally after a few weeks of Twitter conversations and emails back and forth with the staff of the SF Marathon, I was able to complete my registration.  Holy crap, I registered for my first marathon!!

I wasn’t going to tell anyone until post SLO half but I wasn’t very successful.    After some Twitter convos and IG posts, I decided to come clean.   I had my first panic attack after that blog post– ha!!  Shit just got real.  People know now- I have to follow through!  Also, now my crazy shoe buying lately seems a little more understandable.

Did I bite off more than I can chew?  My plan is deliberately long, I know I will miss a few runs along the way.

Ever run San Francisco?

Words of advice?!!? Please!

Would You Rather…

Would you rather run a race in 2 days in–

A worn down pair of shoes that makes your arches sore

or

A new pair of the same shoes that leaves you bloody?

Great choices, right?

Ok, backing up.   This is week is a mess of doctor’s appointments so I was keeping my running plan fluid but since Monday was appointment #1 I figured it would be a rest day.  Plus Monday workouts rarely work in my favor.   Except the late afternoon appointment went faster than I thought it would.  Driving home I realized I had enough time to change super quickly and get in a run outside before it got dark.   Since I still don’t feel 100% I figured any more ventures into running in the dark would wait until next week.    I changed as fast as I could and was out the door.

My right shoe had felt off on Sunday’s walk but I figured I was cold and just getting over my sickness so I was probably walking weird.   I didn’t think about it until I was about 5 minutes from my house.  You know the feeling when you have a sticker or a burr in your sock?  That’s what it felt like.  1/2 mile in, I stopped at the top of a hill to adjust my sock and check it out…holy crap- blood!

No need to see the inside

My sock was bloody and there was a large red spot on my new shoes.  Well, crap, that’s not good.   I sat for a moment and debated what to do.   I didn’t see a blister, just a tiny hole.  Hmm.  I put my shoe back on and ran another half mile.  I stopped and checked again,  Hey look, blood was now down the inside of my shoe.   Ok, I get it, time to call it.  I rerouted to home.

 

tired shoes 😭
 
A 1.51 mile run is better than none right?  Except I didn’t like that.  So after a quick clean up, a sock change, I slapped on a band-aid and my old shoes and was out the door again.  I figured I had enough daylight for another 1.5 mile loop but I decided to run it backwards.   My foot felt ok so I added on a little more.  😃  2.19 miles for a total of 3.7 for the day.   I’m calling that a win in my book.  ✅  And that last 2.19 miles felt pretty good.   It was a great run mentally speaking.

  

What was not great was that 2 miles in old shoes was enough to make the arches of my feet start to ache.  Which was why I switched to the new shoes.  They are the same brand and model just a different color.   I have never had a blister problem in any shoe.  Any time I ever felt even the slightest hot spot it meant I needed new shoes or new socks.  A quick switch and the problem was solved.  So now what?

I have an 8.2 mile race on Saturday, I already knew it was going to be rough, being so undertrained and after a week of being sick.  I wasn’t anticipating pain with most of my steps though.  I don’t spend most of my time in the air like Usain Bolt.  😝  Do I wear the old shoes and suffer arch pain?  Do I wear the new shoes and hope for less bleeding?    I have an old pair of Mizuno’s but they made my knees and left calf hurt.  It’s why I switched to the Pure Flow’s.    I’ve even considered wearing my trail shoes.

So, in short- HELP!  Any tips on blisters?  Actually it still doesn’t look like a blister but that’s not the point.  Any suggestions on how to make the new shoes work?  Or should I run in the old ones?  So many questions!

 

 

 

A Few of my Favorite Things

Jumping on the bandwagon here!     And multitasking for the win. 😃    If you’re reading this on a computer, you may have noticed  a menu item called “Goals and Gears” up there to the left?  No?  Well, that’s good then as I forgot all about it and hadn’t updated it in about a year.   Ooof, it was rough.   As I was working on updating it, I realized it could be tied in with the holiday season.  🎁  Gift guides are the all rage right now so why not join in?     And if you’re looking for more details on my favorite things, check out my new page- The Slacker Runs With.

As runners we can all list things we would like to have, things we want, things we desperately need, etc.  I like learning what other runners love  though, what is their tried and true and keeps them running everyday?    There must be a reason right?  So before we get to the wants, how about-

A few of my favorite things-

Shoes– Can’t run without those!

Brooks Pure Flow 4 – current fave with no aches or pains
Mizuno Wave Hayate-   For those times I want to hit the trails.

Socks– Did you know some people run without socks?  How does that even work?

I love my Pro Compression socks.  I’ve always been a bright and funky sock person and rock knee socks on a regular basis so these were just a match made in heaven.  Compression, knee high and awesome patterns? Sold!

Skirts– I never thought I would run in a skirt but I gave it a shot and they rock.  My favorites are both by LululemonPace Rival II and Pleat to Street.   I thought the pleats would drive me batty but then I discovered that there are 5 pockets. 5!   I also love their Speed shorts for training.

marathonfotobugsur
Lulu, PRO Compression, Sunski’s Fitletic all in one shot!

Belt  Fitletic I’ve owned 3 of these belts.  I’ve tried many others but I always come back to to Fitletic.  I hate bounce and wear my belt super low (like butt lift low- I got that comment at a race once😉) and this works great.  It fits everything I need and I can attach my pepper spray to it as well.

Hydration

For most runs, I grab whatever water bottle is nearest to me but for races I carry my own sports drink in an Ultimate Direction Jenny Handy 10oz.    I tend to over hydrate in races so this smaller size works for me. For hikes and trail runs, I have a Nathan Fire Catcher.   I don’t have a bladder for it, I just rely on the 2 10oz bottles in the front.

As for that sports drink- I love Skratch Labs.  I love the orange hydration mix.  Yum.  🙂  Plus it’s fun to say.  For some reason my mother finds it hilarious when I say I am out of Skratch.

WatchGarmin Forerunner 220.  I love numbers and everything it tracks.  Truthfully it probably tracks way more than I know.  I wish they still made real user manuals.  Am I showing my age here?

Sunglasses–  Sunskis  I have really poor eyesight and issues handling too much brightness so shades are a must.  I also tend to destroy sunglasses very quickly.   I love Sunski’s.  Polarized, very affordable and cool looking too?  Score!  And both pairs lasted at least a year.  Win in my book!

Security

Road ID– I don’t carry my ID when I run.  I misplace my debit card all the time, my license would probably run away just as quick.   This bracelet has my name, 2 emergency contacts and any medical alerts I might need them to know.    Stylish and smart all at the same time.  😃

Pepper spray–  Always be prepared.  You never know what you may run into.  They even make stylish colors now.  😊

Other ideas- Wants-

A new PR–  but we can only give that to ourselves, right?

Race entries–  We love our bling but those shiny medals cost a pretty penny- anything helps.  😝

Awesome running shirts–  In the last year, I’ve come to love shirts with sayings on them- inspirational and funny alike.  The internet is full of them.  My favorite?  Check out Pavement Runner and the #WeRunSocial gear.

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Once again, all my favorite things in one pic plus #WeRunSocial

Shoes!!!!– runners are picky- gift cards are awesome if you aren’t sure what their favorite.

Music– the right music can be a big part of running- help them add to their collection.

Go for a run with them!

and here’s an oldie from 2013 for you!

Santa Sweetie

What are your favorites?

What did I miss?

 

*I am not sponsored or compensated for any of the above.  Hell, the companies don’t even know I exist.  😏

I’m Cheating

So, is it possible to run yourself out of shoes?  And I don’t mean by putting too many miles on them.

When I first started running, I ran in Brooks.  A pair usually lasted me a year.   I was also barely doing 200 miles a year but that’s another story.  The shoes weren’t bad but I didn’t love them either.   I had a bad case of shin splints that would come and go as well.  After a few pairs of Brooks- Ravenna, I think- I switched to Mizuno.   Instant convert.  I loved my first pair of Wave Inspire 9’s.   I put over 500 miles on them.    I replaced them with another pair of Inspire 9’s.  Loved those too, until I didn’t.

My favorite :)
My favorite 🙂

I started feeling aches in my feet and achillles.   My 10K PR was set at 55:40 and I still don’t know how.  My left achilles hurt so bad throughout the race I came to a complete stop at one point to stretch it out.  And then there were the walk breaks.   I took a week off after that race and started looking at my shoes.   I had also been running in a pair of Wave Rider 17’s for my shorter runs and I felt better in those.   But they were neutral and I was supposed to be in support shoes, so back to the store I went.    They suggested a high cushion shoe to cure the aches and pains.   So hello, Brooks Adrenaline 14.   Holy crap, those were bricks.    Plus the right one was way too big and even shoe-doo’ing the laces didn’t help.  It was the first time I ever returned a pair of shoes.  I felt really bad about it- I tried to like them, I did- put about 100 miles on them but just couldn’t.   photo 1Back to the store again.   Another treadmill test showed I pronate the same in support shoes versus a neutral shoe so what was the point?   The employee helping me suggested I run in what was comfortable to me and not what “anyone” recommended.  Glory days!   I switched to running in the Wave Rider’s full time and it was smooth sailing from there on.  Over the next year I picked up a pair of Wave Hayate’s for trail running and Wave Sayonara 2’s for shorter, faster runs.   Things were awesome…until they weren’t.

Now, I admit I have odd feet.  The left is bigger than the right, one arch is high and one is medium.  Oh, did I mention they change size?    Legitimately change size, I have had them measured more than once each time I felt like they had grown or shrunk.   The shoes in my closet range from 8-10.     Some of them collect dust depending on what shoe cycle I am on.  Those Hayate’s and Sayonara’s that I love?  Too big now.  When I run trails, I wear multiple socks.    And my much loved Rider’s?  They’re not right anymore.  Something’s off.

4 pairs in and they make my legs hurt.  My knee aches, my shins and calves are tight, my ankles hurt.    I tried going back to supportive shoes and tried the Wave Inspire 11.  Yuck.  That was the second time I’ve returned a pair of shoes.  Sorry!  So I bought the updated Wave Rider 18.  What the hell.  They are awkward and make my left foot hurt and ache in odd spots.  I’ve tried reworking the laces but no luck.   If I wasn’t embarrassed I may have returned them too. 😂  So back to the drawing board.

Everything feels like a lot of shoe these days.  I was kind of embarrassed to go back to the Running Warehouse with my current issues.   I wanted to try things on but not have to bother anyone.    So I headed to Dick’s.   I tried on every shoe in my size that I could reach and put away on my own.   I made sure I didn’t leave behind a mess.   The only things I didn’t try on were Hoka and Nike.  I’ve never liked a Nike pair of running shoes and as for Hoka?  I have troubles picking my feet up as it is, let alone with that much shoe.  There were 2 options that felt good to me but I was still undecided.  I felt like I was cheating on my running shoes.   The shoes I liked were entirelydifferent than what I have been running in.  Decisions, decisions.

This is normal, right?
This is normal, right?

To help my choice, I ran a few runs in my Sayonara’s.   Too big yes, but overall so much better than my current shoes.   Before last Thursday’s run turned creepy I was experimenting with my shoes.  I ran 2 laps of the lake in the Sayonara’s and 2 in my Wave Rider’s.   I was going to change back to the Sayonara’s for one last lap but then creepy truck happened.   Grrr.

Saturday I headed back to the Running Warehouse to make a decision.  I asked for 3 pairs of shoes.   Mizuno Sayonara 3, Brooks Pure Cadence 4 and Brooks Pure Flow 4.     The Sayanora 2’s have been phased out and while the 3’s were awesome colors, I didn’t like how they felt on my fit.  To me they look and feel like an entirely different shoe.  Closer to the Rider 18’s actually but they felt wrong on my foot.   The Brooks Pure line is entirely different than anything I have run in.    I tried them on years ago and hated them.   This time they made the arch on my left foot happy.   One pair more so than the other.  So I left with a pair of Pure Flows.   What have I done?!  8 pairs of Mizuno and I left with Brooks.IMG_1532I am breaking them in slowly but so far I like them.  I am running differently in them but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.   My shins are achy but that’s happened every time I’ve switched shoes so I am not alarmed at the moment.   And my left leg joined the party!!  I’ve mentioned before that my left leg is lazy and usually the source of my problems.  I went for a short run on Monday and it was like my leg woke up.  Hey, where have you been this whole time?!  So now the problem is long runs.   I don’t feel adjusted to the Pure Flow’s enough to run long in them but my Rider’s make my knee hurt.    I’m trying to figure out how to change my shoes at some point during the run.   Hmmm.   Laps of the lake would work but I don’t want to go back for a few weeks.

So, thoughts?

Have you ever just stopped liking a shoe?

Am I the only one with odd feet?  😃

Thoughts on how I should attempt long runs?

Finally

Is Sunday already over?  Boo.   Weekends need to be 3 days long, they really do. EDIT- read this as if I posted Sunday evening- I was having internet issues- and then WordPress erased half of it- grrrr.

I finished the week out with a short 4 mile run on Sunday afternoon.     I think I am finally ready for this lackadaisical approach to training to go away.   Getting ready for City to the Sea starts tomorrow.  I will probably stick to the 3x a week plan until mid July.    By then we should be fully staffed and my hours can get a little shorter.   Fingers crossed.  But going forward I plan to have my runs be something of substance rather than just phoning it in.  Speaking of substance, I had hoped that Sunday’s run would be between 6-8 miles but I held off too long.   I headed out late afternoon when it was close to 90.  Oops.  I also didn’t have enough time as I had Sunday dinner to get to.    Another reason I have been trying to rearrange my long run days.    The run was warm but not too bad.   I walked the first 10 minutes though, it took awhile to get my head and legs into it. 😬. After that I averaged a 10:30 pace which for the temp and it only being my second run in that warmth, I say is pretty good.     Heat and slow pace aside, this run felt good.  I was dripping in sweat by the end but smiling.    It was the first run in a month where I was just happy to be running.   Yay!   And these might have helped too-   I decided to buy another pair of 17’s.   I know they are being phased out but I figured it made more sense than running in shoes that made my feet cranky.   Yes, I still felt the odd little niggles but overall they felt like slippers on my feet. 😃 Truthfully, I didn’t even try them on the store, I just told them my size and paid.   The Warehouse did let me know that they have about 100 in my size so I might be able to get another pair in a few months.   If only I had unlimited funds and a place to store them, I would seriously stock up right now!!   Orange wasn’t my first choice but it grew on me.     I think I was obnoxiously bright when I ran today-  In non running news- Friday was a sad day at work.  My fish died!!   I always greet him in the morning and my greeting turned into a shriek!   I was sad and didn’t know what to do.  😢    Customers asked where he was throughout the day and we had to tell them the sad news.   He had been a little under the weather for awhile but I was hoping he would pull through.

Saturday saw a family tradition when we went to see Jurassic World.   I really liked it, my brother was meh about it.    My mother liked it even though she made fun of parts of it too.   This also meant I decimated a movie popcorn but I was ok with that.  I also realized that I can no longer tolerate candy.   I was on such a sugar high, I felt ill.  Score one for Atkins.  I also had a similar revelation to pizza last week, boo.

I am finally eager to get back to training.   I really would like to break 2:00 in a half this year.  In order to do that, I have to put the work in first.    This also means that I am reconsidering my July race.  I keep going back and forth about what to do.  But that’s for another post.   I may need your help.  🙂  I also misplaced my training so I am trying an app this time.

How was your weekend?

What are you training for?  Do you train during the summer or just run?

Ever had a fish?  How do you take care of them?!