Run!, Slacker, Stomach, Training

February Recap- Realizations

Well, that didn’t go according to plan.

 

Miles– 59.8 run
29 Miles Stationary bike

RacesSurf City 13.1- 2:28:24

Originally I was planning to ramp up training for SLO post Surf City.  Speed work was  going to make its first appearance this year and I was going to force myself to be a grown up and go run on the treadmill.   But, my lungs had other plans.  With 5 rest days leading up to Surf City and the 6 days following it, I missed out on a lot of running time.   And bike time, somehow I kind of forgot about the bike.   I see it on a daily basis but I only rode it 3 times.  Umm, oops?

So back to those pesky lungs.  I closed out February with a follow up at my doctor.  My chest x-ray came back clear.  So the current theory is to blame El Nino.   No, seriously.   The El Nino  weather systems have wreaked havoc on those with seasonal allergies.  So we haven’t yet seen the buckets of rain that were promised but hay fever and other assorted issues are in overdrive for everyone.   So, I have a shiny new rescue inhaler and still have to use a heavy duty, daily inhaler twice a day.   My thyroid is also messed up, so I have a new medication there as well.  Seriously, I am beginning to think I need one of those AM/PM pill containers just to keep it all straight.  Stupid stomach, whiny lungs and a lazy thyroid?  Grrr.

I also had some realizations in February.   I don’t remember exactly when I started running but my first race was in September of 2010.  So 5+ years of running and 16 half marathons later and I only just now realized that I suck at long runs.   For once I am not referring to the pace or the number of walk breaks, I mean doing the runs themselves.   If you had asked me I would have sworn up and down that I did a few 10 milers each training cycle and some 11 milers.  Ha!!  Remember in January when I ran what I said was my slowest 10 miler ever?  Something about that statistic on Smash Run made me do some research.     It claimed that it was my slowest 10 miler coming in at #13.  13?  That didn’t seem right.   So after Sunday’s more successful 10 miler I looked into my stats on the Garmin.  Then Nike+.

Holy crap, in 5 years of running I’ve only run 15 10 milers?  2 11 milers and 2 12 mile runs.  And I call myself a runner?  A few years ago I know I used to split my long runs up but I really doubt they would make those numbers look any better.   Well, that was a wake up call.  I didn’t think I was that bad of a Slacker.  #facepalm  Do people still do that?

 

Fave pic of February

So, I am chalking February up as a learning experience.   Or the clearing of the fog of denial I was living in.   Moving into March I would like to work on making the run a consistent occurrence.  Which is necessary as I have a 16 mile run on the training plan for the beginning of April.  I conveniently ignored that box on the plan during last years SLO race prep.   March also brings the start of daylight savings.  Which means the lake path is back in play and speed work may actually happen on a somewhat consistent basis. We’ll see how the lungs hold up.  Fingers crossed!

How was your February?  Any plans for March?

Am I just a huge Slacker?

Ever faced a sad running realization? 

 

 

Goals, Run!, Slacker

2014 Review- The Shiny and The Dull

I have been dragging my heels on this post because the pessimist in me really wants to call 2014 the year of stall.   Then I wrote a great version of this in my head one night trying to fall asleep.  Unfortunately I remembered nothing in the morning.

The Shiny-

So once I momentarily got over my cynical nature I was able to reminisce on all the good things I accomplished this year.  But how did I do on those goals I set for this year?

Run 14 races in 2014-  CHECK!
Run 750 miles- CHECK!

I completed race number 14 in November and also cleared 750 miles at some point in November.   🙂     One of my races was a virtual race and I am on the fence about how much those count.   I received a shirt for it though, so I am counting it!   I had the chance to be an ambassador for the SLO Marathon and it was awesome.  I loved that race, I didn’t do as well as I would have liked but it was a great experience.

woo hoo!
woo hoo!

This year I ran 7 5k’s, 3 10k’s and 4 half marathons.   I ran road races, a trail race or 2 and 2 races on the beach.   I age grouped placed in 3 of those 14 races.  And a benefit of running small, local races- I was first female finisher at my 5k in July.   I set a PR, finished strong even with my stomach and did it all while hearing Miley Cyrus sing Wrecking Ball for 27 minutes.   Stupid iPhone.

5K PR- 27:48Wild Run 5k
10K PR- 55:40Heart & Soles

Best Bling-  IMG_4010It’s a toss-up,  I love the SLO medal because I had been wanting to run the race for the previous 2 years.  Plus running it as an ambassador was pretty sweet!   As for the abalone medal- that thing is huge!  The race was rough, ocean = humidity, but it was on my birthday and I got to run it with a friend.  IMG_5535Strongest race-

Wine Country 13.1–  Before I got sick, only slight asthma issues, finished at 2:07:08 for a 7 minute course record for me.

The Dull-

Goals-
Break 27 in 5K- FAIL
Break 2 hours- 13.1- FAIL

No lies, 95% of my races this year were rough in some form or another.  After years of nothing my asthma reared its ugly head and it took more than a few races for me to figure out that cold and humidity were big triggers for me.   My 10K PR was set under duress of an odd but severe bout of pain in my right Achilles.  I went into 2 half marathons on heavy-duty antibiotics.   My stomach, which had been fairly level for the last year or so, went psycho in June and has yet to level out.   While I was able to maintain my mileage somewhat, I came to the conclusion that a faster pace was not in the cards.  It made me cranky, it pissed me off and I wondered what the point was most of the time.

I went into Ventura, cranky, ill and medicated, knowing I should have deferred.  When it turned from running to walking 6 miles in, I had 7 miles to think and get my head on straight.   The rest of the year was spent backing off a bit and slowing down.  Getting back to basics and loving running again.  I’m not loving the time change but I am loving running.    🙂

Roughest Race (s)-

HOB Fun Run–  the 10K & 5K where people thought I was going to pass out.  Yeah, possibly not my best moments.

IMG_6534So why Shiny vs Dull?   Shiny is fairly obvious, and a Firefly shout out, but dull?  Dull things can be cleaned, buffed, fixed- given a little TLC, a something dull can be made shiny.   And that is part of my focus for 2015 but more on that later.

Thanks for joining me in my drama- issues- silliness- laziness- of 2014, I hope you stick around and see what happens in 2015.   🙂 

What was your shiny/ dull for 2014?

Eat!, Run!, Slacker

A Little Truth

Since I joined the blogging world almost a year ago, I’ve that there are some thematic posts out there.  Like What I Ate Wednesday, which I don’t understand.  I mean I get the premise behind it but most everyone posts in the morning.  So is it really “What I’ve been eating lately and I saved up the pics for Wednesday”?   I will probably never do this post because I pretty much eat the same thing every dang day thanks to my lovely slow stomach and there’s no need to bore anyone else with that.   I’m bored with that.  I do post pics of pizza though, because, well, pizza rocks.  🙂

Amazing goodness
Amazing goodness

Another theme is confessions.  I feel I’m pretty open and honest about things anyways.  I’ve always said own your faults.  Plus I’m pretty boring… and weird.  🙂  I won’t go as far to say that I am a stick in the mud but I am very set in my ways.    My mother can’t stand it.  But all that leads to this-

I have 2 little facts about me to share tonight-

  1.  I have never driven farther than 45 minutes for a race, at least not one I was running in.   I did drive NikeC to Huntington Beach for Surf City a a few years ago.  Does that count?
  2.  I have never booked a hotel room.  I can’t even remember the last time I stayed in one.  I am over 30.

Why do these matter? Other than I never get out apparently?  This is happening –

13.1 Here I come! source
13.1 Here I come!
source

Ok so, this race is not super far away so hypothetically I could have driven down super early on race morning.  My mother even offered to drive so I could sleep on the way.  However, I am too neurotic for that.  What if there was traffic?   So, instead we are making a weekend of it.  I am trying to talk ML into it but no luck yet.

Now, naive little me thought that I didn’t have to worry about the hotel part until later.   But I was bored some night last week, so I played around online.  Why are there so many booking websites?  I couldn’t remember which one I was using half the time.   I think I may have mentioned before that I have germophobe tendencies, so I was trying to find what looked to be the nicest hotel that wouldn’t break the bank.   The first 5 I checked were all booked.  Umm, what? Crap, I better get on this. After lots of searching and talking to people who “kind of” know the area, I chose one and booked.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t scar me for life.  I am still trying to figure out how to do Rock N Roll- Las Vegas this year.  That would definitely need a hotel.    Whoever said running was cheap was crazy.

A bonus for this race?  It’s primarily flat.    Holy crap, I may have a shot at finally breaking 2 hours!   I don’t see that happening in 3 weeks with all the dune sand; not that it won’t be fun.   🙂  The Ventura Marathon actually has a few perks that I think are cool.  They have the option to defer to 2015 if needed and offer race day pick up for a fee.    I haven’t seen deferment in a smaller race.   I felt a little more confident registering early.  I am usually a last minute registrant.   Now I am torn between wanting it to be September now and wanting time to slow down.  How is it almost July?!

Happy hump day!

What did you think of my little truths? How weird am I?

Any interesting facts you want to share?

 

 

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.

gear, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art
A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   😦  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot
Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  🙂

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  😦

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?
Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?