Run!, Slacker

Wear and Tear

Happy hump day!!

The weather man was predicting 100% chance of rain on Tuesday and while I highly doubted it, I moved my easy run to Monday evening anyways.    Tuesday did dawn rainy and it poured for a bit but just a bit.   It was sunny and clear by early afternoon.   Boo.  We needed more rain than that.

Running on Mondays always feels harder than it should.   It’s probably all in my head but I feel like I put out more effort and get less back.   My mom wanted to walk so I headed to the river path to meet up with her.  I walked with her for most of the first mile before running on.  She had a meeting to get to so she was turning back early.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to run yet.   It was also my third run in my new shoes.   4-7The run turned out to be a little too fast to be easy.   Oops!   I wasn’t paying much attention to my pace and took a couple of short walking breaks when I needed to.    I had just finished mile 3 and noticed someone about 1/4 mile ahead who looked like my mom.  Huh?  I thought she had turned around long ago.  Either I was moving faster than I thought or she had slowed down.    Turns out, it was a little bit of both.    She had done a ton of yard work that day and was feeling super sore.  I slowed and chatted with her a bit before running ahead to finish out 4 miles for the day.    The temp was dropping and my ears were freezing.  Had it not been for that I would have run more.  My ears are my weak spot, once they are a cold, I turn into a big baby.

As I stretched out, I noticed that my new shoes are already dirty.  What gives?!  They have less than 20 miles on them!  In other thoughts, how do I kick myself right there?

Do you see that spot?
Do you see that spot?   Not the best picture.

I think running a 25K and 2 half marathons in the last 65 days has caught up with my feet.  Oh and training for half marathon #3 of the year in 18 days added to that.    I think my one toe will never be the same.  It can’t decide if it wants to lose or keep a toenail, for now it has 2.    The same toe on the other foot is losing it’s nail per usual as well.  Yesterday I discovered a giant blister/ callus on my left heel.  How did I miss that?  I am trying to determine how much of it is from the consistent (for me) training and how much is from the new shoes.    Urrrgh.

I am so glad it’s Thursday. How has your week been?

How do your feet fare during training?

Weekend plans?

Run!, Slacker

Kick It Out

Monday came and went and I was in the oddest mood all day.   I was tired, like stupid tired but for some reason I wanted to run.  Which is odd in itself because Mondays are my rest days and I always look forward to just going straight home after the chaos that is Monday.   Thing is, Monday’s have only been a rest day since fall and darkness sent me into the gym in the evenings.   I refused to go to the gym on Mondays because of the crowds so I picked a Tuesday- Thursday schedule.   Last summer was more of a run when I felt like it kind of schedule.  isWatermarked

I kept it super easy on Sunday with a puppy jog, on more populated roads, so I optimistically packed my gear on Monday morning.  I still wasn’t convinced but figured if I stuck to the usual plan at least I didn’t have to pack for Tuesday.   🙂  Slacker at my finest, right?   After work, I was still dead on my feet but wanted to run.   So I changed into my gear and then just couldn’t decide.

I was like Goldilocks, I didn’t want to run at work because it was too windy and kind of chilly.  I drove towards run town but wasn’t feeling it either.  It was still windy and I wasn’t liking the temp my car was showing.   Which was sad because it was in the 60’s.  Plus I figured one lap of the lake and I would end up bailing the first time I passed my car.  So I headed home for the river path, opposite end of town from lion sightings.   Third time’s the charm?isWatermarkedI set out with the low goal of 20 minutes.  If I still wasn’t feeling it, I would call it and just go home.    As I walked my warmup, I noticed something.  The way the sun was going down behind me and where the pouch on my belt was, I had the perfect silhouette on the ground.  I first selfishly noted that my shadow looked thin, thank you tricks of the shadows.   Then I noticed my hips, well first the previously mentioned pouch and how it was moving.  My hips were all over the place.   Do they always do that?  I am trying to run for crying out loud not strut the catwalk!

I started to run and just felt off for the next half mile or so.  Nothing ached or hurt, it just felt awkward.  Maybe it was because I was thinking about it more?   It seemed like my left leg wasn’t fully engaged in the party.  So I decided to focus on my form for the rest of the out and back.   I ignored my pace and my watch buzzing at my usual walk intervals (I’m still using walk breaks on most of training runs) and just paid attention to my legs.   I tried to focus on bringing my left leg around but telling myself that didn’t work.   Next I told myself to bring my knee up a bit higher on each step.  No luck.  I was running tall but it wasn’t helping.   IMG_9828The word “kick” lodged in my mind around mile 2 and for the next 2 miles, I repeated that to myself every few feet.    I focused on how I kicked back each time my left leg moved- not sure if that makes any sense.   I felt straighter and any ankle twinginess I had went away.  I felt pretty good at the end of the 4 miles but man my brain was tired.  Trying to think about my form and run at the same time was hard!  But I felt better than I had prior to my run.   :0    I checked out my Garmin data later and noticed a few things.   Over the last 2 miles, my average cadence picked up and my stride length increased.   The cadence made sense but I felt like I was taking shorter strides.  Huh?  And my run inadvertently turned into a mini progression- 12:52, 10:04, 9:25, 8:30.  Double huh.

Now to see what happens next run.

Ever felt like your stride was just funky?  What did you do?

Ever been completely exhausted but felt the urge to run?

gear, Run!, Slacker

Let the taper begin

Happy Monday!!

Saturday I was hoping to do an 8 mile dress rehearsal run.    Last longish run before my race and I was planning to wear everything that I want to wear for the race.    The perfect dress rehearsal would have been to run it in the morning but I had an early tire appointment and was still so tired from the week, that I slept as long as possible.   It wasn’t enough.   I was still dragging when I made it to the tire place.  After 10 minutes of running around, they informed me that the tires I had ordered never arrived and no one bothered to call me.

I have been told by family, friends, coworkers and former employees that I have a “resting bitch face” and sometimes I can make them feel like a bug that I am about to squash.  Yeah, those were their exact words.  😦   I have worked hard on improving my expressions over the years, especially since I work management in customer service.   I feel I’ve done a decent job, but Saturday I was tired and cranky and this was not the first time this tire place had messed up.   I think the bug squashing face came back because I left there with 4 new tires for the price I had been quoted (2nd quote because they lost the 1st one) for the 2 tires I had ordered.

Saturday's work view
Saturday’s work view

I fit in a few errands and lunch with my mom before I had to head out for a work function.    With drive time and the function itself, it filled up my afternoon.  It was good getting to see everyone and put faces to names and voices on the phone.    However put a few hundred people in the foyer of performing arts center and the acoustics make the din just shy of unbearable.   The headache I had for a week came back with a vengeance.   The auditorium itself was much quieter.  🙂   It was a good afternoon.    Plus on the way down I was able to swing by the Running Warehouse and pick up a few supplies-

I showed some restraint
I showed some restraint

I made it back home by 5, changed and ran out the door to get in my 8 miles.  I knew I was tired so I was aiming for a steady pace.  My legs felt horrible; it was hotter than I would have liked and I was just so tired.  I lost track of how many walk breaks I took.  I have no pictures of the run because I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t get started again.   A former coworker drove past me and I thought about flagging her down for a ride home.  I should have just done 6 and called it a day but I am not the smartest and pushed to the full 8.   8 miles with an average pace of 10:22.  Which for a long slow run is ok but I was just beat.  I tested the new handheld on my run too.   So not a fan, I wanted to throw it.   I am going to try again just to make sure that’s it wasn’t just user error.  🙂

I rewarded myself for completing my run by watching the new Veronica Mars movie.  Cue the inner nerd girl squeal!  Sunday I slept in, yay!!!! I thought about taking the puppy for a walk but I ended up helping my mother move rocks.  She is redoing their landscaping.  Let’s call that cross-training.  Lots of squats and bending and lifting.  Plus chasing errant rocks down the driveway before they went into traffic.    The backs of my legs ache in interesting ways today, haha.

They made the music for tonight's run
They made the music for tonight’s run

Today marks the beginning of taper week.  After work I headed to the lake to get in a few miles.  I was torn between 4 and 6.  I figured I would just start running and see how I felt.   My legs were stiff from yesterday plus breaking in the new boots I picked up over the weekend didn’t help.   I also made this my “uncomfortable” pre-race run.   Brand new shirt and shorter than normal shorts.  I like to try to prepare myself for wardrobe malfunctions on race day.    🙂   My shorts were actually from Abercrombie’s new “active” line (haha) and I just figured they would be cute summer shorts but not actually good to run in.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.   They were light weight and airy and they never moved, never rode up.  Wow, I have never had a pair of shorts do that, I may have to try running in them again.

photo 5I started off a little stiff and told myself during mile 2 that I was just doing 4 miles.   Around mile 3.5 I finally started to loosen up, so I kept going.  Mile 4 was a little looser, mile 5 felt pretty good and 6 felt better.    I finished out a full 10K and walked back to the bars that I like to stretch on.   I knew I was looser and quicker towards the end but I didn’t know how much until I looked at my Garmin splits.  Negative split? Sweet!   Or should I call that a good progression run?

3-17-14What makes me laugh about this Garmin data is that I ran the opposite direction on the path tonight.   I usually go clockwise but tonight I decided to go counter-clockwise.  It felt soooo much harder.  I tried telling myself that maybe the elevation was slightly different the other way.  Who am I kidding?  The average elevation gain was 6 feet.  6 FEET!!!!!  Seriously, I must be a big baby.

This should have been up earlier, but the nerd girl in me again was yelling at the tv while watching Teen Wolf.

How was everyone’s Monday?

Who else has “crazy” elevation?

Ambassador, Run!, Slacker

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.   😛     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.

Run!

Tired miles and a foam roller

I am so thankful that tomorrow is Wednesday.    Tomorrow will be a longer day at work, so I will be taking a rest day.  Woo hoo!  I love running but I am kind of sore and achy. Sundays long run took a little more out of me than I thought.   I have been very close to my foam roller these past few days.  🙂

Yesterday’s run was scheduled to be 5 miles.   I woke up tired, and it took hours to perk up.   Ok, I admit, a second soda did wonders for my perkiness.   My left calf felt extremely tight all day.  I wore my lowest heels hoping it would help.  When work was done for the day, I changed into my gear and headed for the gym.

The gym was super busy when I got there but I found a treadmill and after a small warm-up and some earphone troubles, started running.  Oh the tight calf was not my friend, not by a long shot.    I kept trekking along, after a little over a mile, it loosened up a bit.  I told myself I could stop at 3.   At 3,I felt ok so I pushed on for another mile.   I finished mile 4 and walked a cool down and stretched some before leaving.   I was heading to a cold smoothie, a hot shower and my foam roller.  I just had a little issue to fix first.

1-27-14

On the seriously irritating side, when I was getting out of my car before the gym, I noticed my left, front tire was flat.  What?!!  I was just at the tire place on Friday and they said they fixed it.   Maybe that irritation helped get me to mile 4.   What’s a girl to do when the same tire goes flat twice in 2 weeks?  I won’t lie, I called my pops.    I can change a tire but I have problems with the jack placement.   Plus he has all the fancy tools.  My dad changed it and using a flash light, we found the nail and drew a circle around it for the tire shop.  🙂  Then I threw it in the trunk and today was spent driving around on the donut.  Not cool.  I was driving a little slower than usual but still at the speed limit but so many people passed me.  Slow down, people!

After how stiff I was yesterday, I was thinking of taking today off.  I was able to make another tire appointment for 4:30 so I could get my tire fixed and firmly express my irritation that it wasn’t done the first time.  The tire shop is just a 5 minute drive from the gym.   I figured I was already going to be there so why waste the opportunity?  So I changed into my running gear before leaving work.  At the tire shop, they apologized numerous times and promised that it was fixed now.   So I headed to the gym.

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The schedule today had called for an 8 mile progression run but that was not going to happen.   My initial plan was for a minimum of 3 miles and see how I felt after that.   3 turned into nice steady 5 miler.  When I was running I thought I was doing a 5 mile progression.  A 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at increasing pace and a 1 mile cool down.   While I was running, I felt like I was doing that, however my splits told me differently.  Oops!   Steady but not faster, oh well, I’ll take it!   Obviously, I’m still a little tired, but it felt like a better run.  Afterwards was another date with my foam roller.   And maybe some pizza.  🙂

Sadly, the ear buds I have been using for the last few years died.   They were just the ones that came with my iPhone 4 a few years ago but I liked them the best.  Even over the ridiculously expensive Yurbuds I purchased but rarely ever wear.  My new iPhone came with ear buds but they are different and I haven’t tried them out yet.   Guess I will be now!

photo 2 (12)

On the upshot, I am really loving my daily lunches!   Not as pretty as Pinterest but seriously who has the money and space for all those plastic containers?

We’re almost halfway through the week, how is everyone doing?

Any calf massage ideas?