Big Sur Marathon Training-Week 9

Week 9… how is that possible?

Yikes.

Last week was odd.   I had to cover another location for a few hours on Monday, and my tire pressure light was on.  Not cool when you’re driving all over the county and it’s raining.  Oh and I had all my tires checked, rotated balanced the previous week.  Grrrr.   I was supposed to have 2 vacation days due to a tennis trip but it was canceled due to projected rain so I canceled of those vacation days.   The weather was hard to get a handle on as no app or meteorologist could it get it right.  There were other things that added to a very scattered feeling week.    I still feel like I am forgetting something.

Oh and after getting my air checked on Monday, my tires were fine until Sunday when the damn light came on again.  There’s a stinkin’ nail in my tire.

The Plan-

week 9.PNG

Life-

Monday -Wednesday- No Running There should have been but there wasn’t and right now I can’t remember if any of the reasons were actually really good reasons for not running.  I know one day work ran really late but as for the others?

Thursday– The vacation day I gave back. Boo.

Friday- 6 miles  The vacation day I kept as a kind of mental health day.  I slept in and headed out for a run in the afternoon.   It looked clear on the weather app but it lied.  It rained off and on the whole run.   I wanted 7-8 miles but I was so damn cold I couldn’t. 6 rainy miles were good for me.

Saturday- 6 AM miles, 11 PM miles-17 miles total  Hit the snooze button a few too many times and I knew I was splitting my run but it wasn’t supposed to be like this.  It was supposed to be 13 AM and 4 PM.  However, again the weather app lied.

I headed out in the AM planning for 13 but my legs were feeling a little sluggish and my stomach was a little off in a weird way.    At mile 4, I rerouted and reversed my middle loop so I would hit the park with the bathrooms around mile 6 instead of mile 10.  All hell broke loose just after mile 5.  It started with a few drops of rain followed by a few more then the skies opened and just dumped buckets of rain and hail.   Girls running a track race down the street past me started screaming, I tried to run for cover as hail was bouncing off cars.   My shoes were drenched with moments as well as both pairs of socks.    I had a choice to make- try to push on or bail.  It was the shoes that decided it for me.  I don’t want a blister with only 8 weeks of training left.  I also knew I’d passed the high school a mile back and my mother had a tennis practice that she was probably canceling too.  I had a small window to hitch a ride.   I called her as I ran for cover under some solar panels dodging giant puddles.

After lunch and a short nap, I headed out to finish my run.  Oh good lord, my legs were not on board.  This was struggle bus from start to finish.  The sun was out but half the miles were in a flippin’ wind tunnel and the other half had zero air movement.  It was a slog.  Nothing hurt, my legs just didn’t want to work and my little break had let me figure out what was wrong with my stomach, a surprise visit of the hormone variety, so my stomach was still not right and I was feeling more fatigue than usual so I just let it ride.   I basically crawled 11 miles.  Ok, it wasn’t that bad it just felt like it.   But I finished it.

Sunday – 3.5 mile trails  Took my shakeout run to the rails.  Went for elevation gain over pace.   Which was my original thought process back when I created my training plan but considering this is week 9 and it’s the first time I got my butt up a mountain- oops.  Every time I’m out on the trails, I remember how much I love getting my shoes dirty.

26.59 miles for the week.   So now if I could just figure out how to get the beginning of the weeks on track. 😛

How was your week?

SLO Ultra 5 Mile Recap

I say my legs love hills but this tested that theory.

I didn’t look at the elevation chart until the Friday before the race.

Walking to the start line, I could see the half marathoners on the first climb– no one was running.

At one point during the race, I heard a woman huff out- “rolling hills, my ass”.

At the end, a woman wearing a Leadville jacket is talking to another 5 mile finisher asking how she’s feeling.  She then says she would never do these races because if you are under trained  they’ll wreck you.  Ummm, what??!

Ok, backing up.  SLO Ultra is a trail races that offers a 50 mile, marathon, half marathon and 5 mile.  I had originally planned on running the half but then conversion month and the stupid antibiotic non running episode derailed me.  I figured I would downshift to the 5 miler.    I’ve done multiple trail races, how could this be worse than the 25K? I could handle 5 miles.


Then I checked the website the Friday before and saw the elevation profile.  1500 feet and change over 5 miles, WTF?  Combine that with the abnormally busy Saturday I had ahead and I almost considered a DNS.    But I followed through.


The race was run on trails on private property out by Avila Beach but they all had staggered start times so my race didn’t start until 9:30.   I was able to still get parking on site about an hour before the start and slowly made my way the 1/2 mile or so further in.   As I said, I could see the half marathoners on the first real climb and it was not reassuring.    Hanging out near the start didn’t help.  I saw runners coming back through the start and they looked rough so I figured they were the marathoners finishing a loop (didn’t have enough gear to be 50 milers).  Nope.  Just the half marathoners finishing mile 3.     Oh crap.  Then it was time, so we all lined up.   Only to be warned the first 3 miles were Hard. Yay.

Mile 1- 16:37

We were off!  And we ran for all of .25 miles.  If that.  I take consolation that 95% of us slammed to a crawl.  There were still some speedy people out there (Pepe, Racheal I’m looking at you) but us mortals all were struggling just to power hike the damn mountain.   Like hands pushing down on knees trying to get leverage going up the hill.   We were all breathing so hard, it was a symphony of wheezing and gasping.  But the views halfway up?  Awesome.  But damn that thing was steep.


Mile 2-11:41

Does this climb ever end?!  Oh damn, I think something is in my shoe.   Oh look, downhill!  I shouldn’t run fast but, on your left!  Hey, this woodsy part is cool, let’s take a pic.  While running down a hillside.  Looks at watch- at a 9:20 pace- living dangerously.  😛  Oh- my first water crossing!  Ok, it was tiny but it still counts!  Then there was a portion of single track where some people didn’t have the best trail etiquette.  Stay on the trail!  This is why we can’t have nice things.


Mile 3-16.53

Another climb.  Not long but steep.   I made friends.    We were commiserating.  One woman asked her friend is she was doing the mountain bike races the next day, (same course) she was no longer sure.   Another asked if these hills were worse than those of the San Francisco Marathon, 3 of us shouted out Yes!  I cracked a joke that I don’t think this is what my doctor meant when he said to return to running slow and easy.   We had a downhill and I ran on to the flat and back to the start to the aid station but I was noticing a problem.  I couldn’t run the flats.  My legs were shot.  My Achilles’s were the tightest they have ever been and the flat surface felt like it stretched them out too much, kind of like they were going to tear.  So I backed it off and walked.


Mile 4- 17:02

Ok, maybe I backed off too much.   Yes, there was another big climb in this mile but I think I lost the most time on the flat section truthfully.  I chatted with a man I had been yo-yo’ing with most of the race.  My GPS had also been off since the tree covered section in mile 2 so I really had no idea how far I had left in the race.  Oops!


Mile 5- 8:40 pace

By mile 3.8ish I could see the turn around point at the aid station and I was done.  I jogged up to it, grabbed a cup of water, drank and then decided my legs had wings.   I almost ate trail in a section that was like running through a sandbox.  I hit the flat section and my legs suddenly felt ok so I kept going.    Slowed down so as not to face plant over the rickety bridge over the stream right before the finish line- almost did anyways- and ran through the finish.

1:09:43


So much slower than I would have liked but I survived!  And I was still in the top half of the pack so that’s how damn hard this freakin’ course was.   I am also having trouble walking 3 days later.  😛     Good thing about slower?  I never got misdirected like more than a few of the lead runners did.  Oops.

I will run this again, stronger and faster.  I think I can, I think I can.  Plus, that’s the only way I can get back on those trails.😊

 

 

 

 

 

Kick the Dust Up

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Horizon RTT  from Under Armour 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!”

Surprisingly enough, dirt and trails are a few of a my favorite things.    I say surprisingly because in some ways I am a huge germophobe and if I’m not in running gear, odds are high that I’m in a dress and heels.    Get me on a trail though and I turn into a 5 year old and run free.  Sometimes a little too free but that’s another story.


When I had the chance to try the Horizon RTT’s from Under Armour, I almost jumped for joy.   My current trail shoes were trashed and it had been way too long since I had run recklessly down a mountain.  I needed it.    Then they arrived and they were so pretty.  But hopefully they wouldn’t stay that way for very long, I wanted to get them good and dirty.

Ok, let’s cover the technical details first-

UA Snip
from the website

Ok, first impressions.

This is a serious shoe.  So much sturdier than my previous trail shoes.   How was that going to feel on my feet?  Ok, where’s the dirt? 😀  My first run in them was a couple laps around the lake.    Not bad, nice traction, good grippy feel, I never felt like I was going to skid out in the loose dirt.


Next adventure- 3 Bridges Preserve, a new trail with a little more zig-zag up than I was expecting.  😛     The shoes felt good, kept me sure footed on the path and helped me explore a little more of what run town has to offer.


Other adventure- An unexpected illness turned a planned Bishop’s Peak hike/run into a calmer ocean trail adventure where I took the shoes over paved paths, hard packed sand,  sandy dunes, boardwalk, gravel and roads.    No problems at all.  And something else I noticed that day?  This hike was done with my mother and she had just purchased a new pair of trail shoes that day.  Her shoes and socks were full of dune sand when she took them off but mine weren’t!

Overall, I wore the shoes for about 20+ miles of mixed routes and surfaces since I received them.  Full disclosure, that unplanned sickness kept me from testing them in my favorite way.   My favorite part of trail running is careening wildly down a mountain side in a barely controlled fashion.  Yes, people usually look at me like I am crazy but I love it.  I need a trail shoe that grips tight so I can run free.  Being sidelined kept me from 2 planned mountains.  Boo.   So as soon as I can run crazily down a mountain, I’ll be back with an add on to this review.  And probably a big smile on my face.  😛

That said, I do have some thoughts on the shoe.  While the outsole is great for traction, I feel like it is very stiff on your foot.   Now maybe I have just become used to a more cushioned shoe lately thanks to my everyday running shoes.   I have a tendency for taking the wrong turn on trails and turning a 5 mile run into 9 or 10 and I think more cushion in the sole would be nice.  This can also probably be corrected with a good pair of inserts, I’ve just never had any luck with those. We shall see.   However I plan on putting in many more miles in these in the months to come.  😀

Want to hear more? Check out these thoughts by other Bibrave Pros-

TedrickLindseyJessicaCasey

How do you run on trails?

Week 32- Ragged

I was so glad that I didn’t have any races to worry about this week.

With all of the conversion craziness and trying to stay somewhat ready for Salinas Valley, I was beginning to feel a little run down.    As much as I want to run all the miles to get my numbers back up, I also need to not break myself.  And this was my thought process before the stomach flu tore it’s way through the office.  So glad I’d already decided to keep things chill this week.  😛


Monday- 3.55 miles  I had taken the day off as a vacation day post Salinas with the hope of getting some rest and catching up on some things I woefully behind on.  Umm, not so much.  But I did make it to the new trail in run town for a few miles up and down.   The trail is great, the drive to the parking lot though is ridiculous.

Tuesday- Rest Sticking to any sort of post work schedule has been difficult.

Wednesday- Rest  I am sure I did something but I don’t remember what it was. 😛


Thursday- 3.1 miles  I had zero desire to run after work.  None.  The long days were catching up to me.   But I changed and started driving towards home.     I ended up at the River path and told myself a mile was better than nothing.   I started out walking and had a hard time convincing myself to run but eventually I started.  I expected the crappiest run ever however I ended up running the smoothest, most consistent miles since marathon training last year.      I stopped once when I thought I heard a stray kitten.  If you follow me on IG then you might know that I spent a few moments looking for it in the bushes before thinking that this might be a good way for creepers to lure people into the bushes.  😛   Ok, the exhaustion is making me delusional.

Friday- Rest Yay, it’s Friday!  It was the first time I worked the late shift without opening too in months.  I couldn’t remember what time to set my alarm for, ha!


Saturday- 4 miles  After spending some time shopping in SLO, I hit up a path in work town that I haven’t been on since last year.   I love it but there are parts that I don’t feel comfortable by myself in the evenings.  This time it was the early afternoon and I took my mother along for the ride.  😛    The route is great and very scenic but about a mile from the car my left leg did that buckling in pain thing again.  WTH?!  I hadn’t felt it all week and I now I felt like it was going to knock me flat.   Grrr.


Sunday- Rest  I was still super tired and with my leg acting all wonky, I decided not to push it.    There are races I would like to run in October and I can’t do that if my leg is still giving me fits.    Stupid leg.  Where’s my foam roller?

10.65 miles for the week.  Not great but not too bad either.  I stayed upright during the stomach flu epidemic and my leg didn’t start screaming until Saturday, so I was able to get in some decent short miles.    Now if I could just figure out what is going on with my leg.

How was your week?

Any tips for odd leg pain in the groin area?😛

Random thoughts on the run?

 

Week 28- Too Many Tabs

Upcoming Races-

  • Rock to the Pier 10K?
  • Salinas Valley Half Marathon

This week was so much better than last week but there were numerous points when I felt like an internet browser with too many tabs open.  Not just any internet browser- Internet Explorer.😛

The week leading up to system conversion was just as crazy as I anticipated and I didn’t make it to half of the training meetings that I had on the schedule.  I managed to have everyone else stick to the plan but me not so much.  Adding to the chaos, I was greeted Monday by a dead computer.  Yay.   With the computer change coming, I didn’t the point in bugging IT when they were already stressed to the max so I just stole pieces from other computers until I was working, haha.   This actually prompted someone to tell me that I was surprisingly positive.  😛

Oddly enough, this week, I was.   Don’t get me wrong, there were times I felt completely underwater but somehow stayed positive.  At least I think I did.  Maybe I should with my  coworkers.   I was exhausted but kept trucking.  Ran more miles than last week but still fell short in a big way.  Oh and that 10k?   Ha!

Monday-  Rest   I had an early morning conference call and afternoon meeting at the south end of the county.  The meeting ended early but instead of heading home, I headed back to the office which turned out to be a good thing as even with me, we still got out an hour late.    No running for me.

Tuesday- 4 miles First run in 4 days.  And a source of amusement.  I was a little accident prone this week.   How I did not cause actual harm to myself on this run, I have no idea.   It was a slow run but it was a nice stress release besides all the drama.  😛

Wednesday- Rest The day was chaos.  It was also my birthday.    Neither meeting really panned out.   My coworkers brought me donuts, Taco Works and Starburst’s.   Aww, they know me.   This system conversion is going to make my pants tighter. 🙂

Thursday- 3.6 miles  The tiredness was setting in. I was beginning to realize that Saturday’s 10K was not a good idea.  I really did not want to run.   I changed and headed for home town trying to talk myself out of running the whole way.   However I parked, changed into my shoes and told myself I could do a 5K.   I ended up running a little more that but it wasn’t pretty.   I was sluggish and stopped more than necessary for a short run but it was done.

Friday- Work We’re just going to call it that.   I think I left work after a long day a little after 7.  Maybe later.  It’s hard to remember.

Saturday- 4.2 miles trail  Ok- no 10K race because- 1) the thought of an early morning alarm made me want to cry, 2) the idea of driving to work town 12 days in a row, mmm, nope.   So instead my mother took me shopping for my birthday- new shoes!- and then we did a little trail run in the afternoon.  The trail is awesome and very friendly to tired Slackers like me.    I considered running 6ish miles when I got home to finish a long run but it was 100+ still and there was another fire so we had a smoke advisory.   Boo.

Sunday- Work  Here’s where the 12 days in a row would have come in.   I actually went in to work in running clothes with my shoes and pack in the car but we ended up being there so much longer than planned.  I also found that while I had managed to get a computer working for me during the week I didn’t come out so pretty on the other side of conversion.  A lot of my settings and links were unrecoverable. 😢 It’s cool, I didn’t need those anyway right?  Fingers crossed.  I returned home to temps of 104.  I still planned on trying for a few miles but I ended up passing out for a long nap instead.  Oops.

11.8 miles for the week.  Again so much better than last week but kind of missing that 10 mile long run.   I am hopeful for the coming week but I know that it’s going to be another intense week at work and that needs to be my top priority.     I think I can, I think I can.   I also don’t want to disappear into a hole.  I feel like I barely read or commented on your blogs last week- well I think I read them but I’m not sure what happened after that.  Like I said- I was kind of hazardous.  😛

How was your week?

Do you ever have accident prone weeks?  Moments?