On a Thursday, a day late and a dollar short. That’s how I roll. 🙂 I got distracted last night watching a movie and didn’t finish.
As much as I want to get back to running 4x a week, I have held steady with running 3x. Which is putting me around 15 miles a week. I guess the entire month of May is going to be a recovery/ rest month? I made it out for 2 weekday runs last week. A 3.5 mile run and a 5 miler. Both were run around a 9:45 pace after my warm up. Not too shabby. Once again both runs were cold and windy. Grrrrrr. I haven’t run long since the SLO half. 6 is as high as I have gone. I miss the long run. I’ve finally mostly accepted May for what it is. However if I am running a half marathon in July, I really need to get back on track in June. I am going to hold off on registering just yet. The 10K might be the better fit right now. Which leads me to-
I am halfway through week 2 of the whole open to close thing. Monday through Friday only means an extra 45 minutes or so. Fridays hit 11 hours. I admit I am a little tired. I have been making myself go to sleep earlier and it helps a bit. The sad part is that earlier is still 11:15. 😦 But win for not upping my soda intake!! So, this is part of why I am ok with fewer miles right now. Don’t get me wrong, the numbers geek in me is crying but it’s just a small part. The surprising part is how stupidly positive I have felt. Being down 50% of the staff should freak me out but somehow I’m not alarmed. Yes, things are going to be rougher than normal for a month or so but it will all work out in the end. Who am I? Maybe that silly song is bleeding into other aspects of my life. Nothing-
This past Sunday, I planned on doing absolutely nothing. Not even running. Now, I’ve managed to run 1 weekend day each week so far in May but I planned to run both days. Not following through on those days I missed made me feel guilty and that stressed me out. So this Sunday I planned nothing. It was so awesome. I wasn’t stressed about missing miles or running around doing errands. I slept in, lazed around, worked on my bib scrapbook and started one of my Harry Potter swap crafts. Marvelous.
This little flare up hits a year on June 1st. Can it still be considered a flare if it lasts a year? Or is it just life at that point. I am still struggling with the Atkins diet, I think it helps but I need to work on consistency. While I feel like I am staying fairly calm with all the work stuff, I admit there has been some stress eating going on. Bad slacker! The weekend was not a great one for my stomach, even at the race. Oh well, moving on.
On the upside, the week is halfway over! *edit- Mostly over!! The wind is dying down and the temperature is finally warming up- woo hoo!!!! I am very excited to see temps in the 70’s and 80’s. And American Ninja Warrior is back!! It’s so nerdy how much I love that show. 🙂
Oh and if you are training for and running a fall marathon, head over to Hanna’s page and check out her fall marathon blog roll! It’s awesome. It almost makes me want to run a marathon just so I can join all the cool people. Almost. 🙂 I’ll stick to my 2 half’s this fall.
California is confused. The weather has been cold and windy for a month. It’s May and it’s California, what gives!? I have run in pants and long sleeves more in May than I did all “winter” long. Plus I put away all my “winter” clothing except for 2 pairs ofcapris so I have to keep washing them. Grrr. It was cold, windy and rainy tonight so I decided to stick to my original running schedule instead of trying the new one again. I am so over the wind. Wind aside, I did have a couple of pretty good runs this week.
I headed out Monday after work to get started on the whole 3x weekday running. Running on Monday seems so much harder but it wasn’t as rough as it was last week. I headed to the lake with my new shoes to get in some easy miles. You’d think the cold would make the gnats less annoying but no such luck. Every third mile or so, I ran with my arms flailing around my face trying to keep them away. But no such luck, again. After finishing my run, 3.5 miles at 10:04 pace, I stopped to stretch and take a pic or 2. I tried to get a selfie showing that I was actually wearing a race shirt- Surf City, long sleeves for the win!- but I failed. However I noticed a speck on my face later. I zoomed in and there was a gnat stuck to my sweaty forehead- gross!!!Sometimes I have to work on Saturday and when I do, I usually get a half day during the week. I love half days. 🙂 To me they seem like an invitation to run more miles. Sweet! I had a half day on Tuesday and I was looking forward to at least 6 miles after work. Thanks to a training meeting in my hometown that went 3.5 hours, I didn’t even have to drive to work town so I had even more time to run. However, my stomach laughed at my plans and I eventually gave up trying. I felt like it was a waste of a half day. 😦 But I did get some laundry done and took a small nap.
Work ran late on Wednesday (it started!) and then I spent 10 minutes looking for myFitbit. When I was changing into my running gear I realized that it had fallen out of my sock at some point during the day. Crap! Luckily I found it by the front door. I headed to the river path hoping for less wind. Ha! Luckily I found a headband in my car to cover my ears. I can’t stand cold ears.
I spent the first mile trying to talk myself out of running. I was cold, tired and my stomach hurt. And apparently feeling very whiny. 🙂 But I trucked on telling myself to get over it. I kept my watch covered with my sleeves since I really didn’t have a pace goal, my only goal was to finish 4 miles. I walked when I needed to and did pause for a break at one point for my stomach. Overall the run felt comfortably hard and I felt that was more due to the wind than the actual running. Then I checked my splits.
Say what?! My last mile came in at 8:15 and I didn’t feel like throwing up? My fastest mile since high school was 8:05, set last fall in broken down shoes, running in a straight shot, going downhill. I thought I was going lose my cookies after that mile. So how did 8:15 seem fairly comfortable? Still mostly downhill, but across 3 intersections and a couple of streets. Huh? How did I do that? Actually the last 3 miles were pretty speedy and didn’t feel horrible. Sweet! Can I do it again though?
As exciting as that last mile was, I was also very happy that I did not have to deal with any gnats. 🙂
I ended up taking the weekend of from running. It wasn’t the plan but hey, the name fits. On Saturday, I worked then napped then hit the movies to see the new Avengers. Awesome! I planned on running Sunday but I started a spring cleaning project that just grew and snowballed as the day went on. Suddenly it was almost Sunday dinner time and I hadn’t run yet. Oops! In other news, I have way too many pairs of running shorts. And pants.
Monday rolled around and I was looking forward to running. I want to transition to running 3x a week, Monday through Friday as opposed to 2x. So this week is my first attempt. Monday running just seems so hard to me, I don’t know why. I did it a few times during my training cycle but it was usually only because I had other conflicts I couldn’t reschedule. Instead of feeling fresh and ready to run, my legs just felt super heavy. That actually wasn’t horrible. What really irritated me was the wind and the thousands upon thousands of gnats.
We kind of skipped winter and the warmer weather (then) had brought a gazillion gnats. There are hordes of them around the lake path. I’ve mentioned it before but seriously it’s nasty. I alternate between flailing my arms around my face and blowing air out of my mouth or nose. I refuse to swallow a bug! I also think of the X-Files every single time. Anyone ever see that episode with the loggers in the forest from like first or second season? Where the creepy gnat-like bugs come out of the tree rings and web people in killing them? Blech. I think of that every single time.
Now for the elephant run. I think I’ve posted this before, but what is an elephant run? This is what I call these runs where things just feel off. Not a little off, a whole lot off. Like you feel more like a circus performer flailing about the street than anything remotely resembling a runner. It has nothing to do with pace, sometimes these runs are slow and sometimes they can be speedy. Most often I can hear my feet pounding the pavement and I sound heavy footed. Normally, you can barely hear my feet. I felt like my left ankle was dropping in, my right knee and lower leg felt all off kilter, like they were swinging out. My shorts which I have run in at least 1x a week for the last year suddenly kept trying to turn into underwear. My shirt was riding up under my long sleeved layer. I kept hitting the headphone cord and pulling them loose. I stopped every mile to fix some wardrobe malfunction or another. Oh and the wind! The last two miles were straight into a headwind. Ugh. I think winter’s cousin stopped by for a visit…in May! Temps have been in the 50’s and the wind has been ridiculous for weeks. Yes, everyone back east can shake your head an laugh at me. I have run in pants more in the last month then all winter. Which is a annoying since I just put all my “winter” stuff away. 20-30 mph winds just need to stop. I don’t even like driving in them. 😦
To further add to my elephant running, I crossed paths with another runner on my way back down the hill. I felt like an ungainly mess and was just getting irritated with everything, and here comes this shirtless Adonis running my way making it look effortless. Come on! Actually I have no idea what he looked like. I was running into the sun and he was slightly in the shade. So all I know is that he was male and shirtless. Apparently he wasn’t cold like the rest of us out there. 🙂
They weren’t pretty runs but I got them done. 🙂 That’s what counts right? I took today off since my legs felt so odd yesterday. This 3x during the week is going a little work to get used to.
Ever had an elephant run? Or something of the sort?
Has the urge to spring clean hit you yet?
Is it possible to have too many pairs of shorts? 🙂
I ain’t even mad, bro.😀. Actually my new motto might be “just hang on”. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the expo real quick.
Saturday dawned rainy and windy. Those running the 5k ran in the rain. The rain had cleared by the time I arrived to pick up my packet and attend the ambassador meet and greet. Picking up my packet was super easy and I wandered around the expo before heading out to the meet. I was there less than 10 minutes before I spent money at the Lorna Jane booth. Oops, but since that was the only thing I bought, I think I showed restraint!
The meet up was outside and it was so damn windy, I thought we were going to blow away. It was nice catching up with the repeat ambassadors from last year and meeting the new ones. A few of them I had been trying to meet since the Ventura half. It was so windy and cold that after chatting, getting our shirts and taking some pics, we all scattered to do our own thing. I headed home to rest a bit and figure out food. I had been having a mental struggle all week, going back and forth between following my new diet rules or following conventional running wisdom. Spoiler- I chose wrong.
Sunday was supposed to dawn cold and windy, so I tried to prepare for that. I didn’t feel like I got enough sleep and my stomach was cranky but neither of those are new things on race morning so I didn’t pay too much attention. My mom was dropping me off so I didn’t have to catch the 4am bus to the start. I got to the start with 15 minutes to spare so I figured I would hit the port-a-potty line just to be sure. The lines were huge. By the time I got out of there, they had moved the corrals up to the start line, oops.
Miles 1-5- 9:25, 9:14, 9:20, 9:36, 8:31
The whistle blew and we were off- sort of. I ended up starting behind the 2:45 pacer. Rutro. My fault but the first mile and a half were spent bobbing and weaving. I dropped the 2:45, 2:30, and 2:15 pace groups when I decided I just needed to run my own race and not worry about catching the 2:00 pace group. In one way it was freeing not having to worry about keeping them in sight. It meant I had to pace myself and while I knew breaking 2:00 was unlikely, I was feeling strong and thought I could PR- sub 2:05.
We hit the first of the long hills and I still felt good going up. Last year at this time I was already sucking air and tiring out. Thanks to all the weaving I did at the start, my Garmin and the mile markers didn’t match so I just checked my total time at each of the course markers. I was feeling pretty good as we the flat section before turning up another long climb.
Miles 6-8- 9:36, 11:25, 9:29
About a 1/4 mile into 6, my stomach started to make itself known. I began to wonder if I was going to have an issue. But wasn’t even the biggest thing to happen that mile. Maybe it’s because I was focused intently on telling myself I was fine and not paying attention to much else, but the next thing I knew, I was airborne.
It’s still kind of blur but I remember hitting the ground and rolling. My water bottle ended up about 10 feet down the course. WTF?! About 5 different runners stopped their race to come help me. Some helped me up while one chased down my bottle. A bike medic was there in seconds. I was kind of in shock/ denial, so I honestly don’t remember if I thanked all of them. I posted a big shout out to them on my Facebook page but I feel bad if I didn’t say it right then. 😔 I assured the medic I was ok and kept running. It was few yards later that it all set in and then I was trying to talk myself out of hyperventilating myself into an asthma attack.
Eventually I calmed down and I was still on track to PR. Halfway through mile 6, my stomach let me know that I needed a bathroom and I needed it now. There were no bathrooms at that point. I had to start walking because it was either walk or embarrass myself. I walked the rest of 7 just taking deep breaths. I felt a little better by the turn around so I picked up the pace. I said goodbye to the PR hope but knew I could still beat last years course time even with the fall and the walking. At mile 8, I was 4 minutes ahead of a last year.
Miles 9-11- 13:01, 9:48, 9:54
Around 8.5, my stomach reared again. I was near an aid station so I looked for bathrooms. I finally found them off to side and back away and bolted for them. Not sure if I looked urgent or if he did this the whole race but there was a volunteer who directed me to which port-a-potty was open. Thank you!
After that snafu, I was back running but had slowed a bit. Shockingly enough I was still on track to beat last year’s time. I just had to stay under a 10:00 pace the last few miles. My legs felt strong; bruised and bleeding but strong. My mental game still felt on point as well. Despite the morning so far, I wasn’t defeated and I wasn’t giving up. We had a nice decline portion before we went from the roads to the railroad trail. I knew there was the suspension bridge and a few streets left before the finish line and I was still hopeful.
Miles 12-13.1- 10:37, 12:49, 2:17
Mile 12 slowed some towards the end thanks to my stomach again but I thought if I could a 9:00 for the last mile and sprint the .1, I could still pull this off. I shouldn’t have gotten cocky. My stomach threw a fit in the last mile. Why are there no bathrooms at mile 12.5?! Ha! There were 2 times I had to get myself completely off the road, out of the way and just stand still, focusing on deep breathing and calming my stomach. My fastest pace was now a jog but I was mostly walking.
It felt like more than 100 people passed me in that last mile. Including the 2:15 pace group. The last .25 mile is a paved path that goes around the pavilion at the Madonna Inn and I had been looking forward to sprinting it. I walked 90% of it before jogging across the finish line. Half marathon#12 done.
Where I wanted to sprint
Once I crossed the finish line and got my medal- which I feel like I fought for!- I was looking for a bathroom. I had wanted a finishers picture but the line had about 50 people in it and that was just not going to happen. I also should have stopped at the medical tent but I had other priorities. Plus, my arm warmers had done a pretty good job of drying the blood.
My mother found me fairly quickly and we headed for the back of the pavilion where the port-a-potties and UPS trucks (bag check) were. After that, I made it as far as the grass by the trucks and just tried to calm my rolling stomach. I wanted to try to find some of the ambassadors and see how they did but was just not up to moving. I had eaten nothing and had drank very little throughout the race as I knew my stomach was just not up to it. I let myself have a bit of the chocolate strawberry protein smoothie that Jamba Juice made for the finishers. It tasted like a Frosty. 🙂 We ended up leaving not long after that, I was feeling rough again and couldn’t handle another port-a-potty, so we headed to the McDonald’s down the street. Real bathrooms and I got an ice-cold Diet Coke. Oh the magical healing properties. 🙂
Like I said at the beginning, I am not mad or even sad. There were quite a few times throughout the race where I could have said screw it and bailed or phoned it in (see Ventura) but I knew I was stronger than that. My legs were feeling fresh, tumble not withstanding, my head was in the game and I was determined. I think that’s one thing that came out of my McMillan training plan that I wasn’t anticipating- the confidence. I knew I could I do it, and I still honestly believe that if it hadn’t been for my stupid stomach, I would have PR’d, hills, fall, headwind and all. Yes, the wind had picked up and was pretty bad but by that point it was the least of my concerns. 🙂 So with everything that race morning threw at me, I am damn proud of that 2:15.I love this race. I love the course and the crowds. The expo is still my favorite and the volunteers and staff are amazing. Seriously, I think the bike medic was there before I stopped rolling. I am already looking forward to next year.
Ever fallen while running? This was my first time.
It’s race week!!!! I hit 2 out of 3 planned workouts, that’s a good thing right?
My training plan called for actual workouts this week so that was new. Usually I embrace taper for all its worth and run lazily once or twice leading up to the race. However the plan wanted 2 easy runs and 1 interval or fartlek workout. Hmmm, ok. I headed out Tuesday and marked off my easy run. It was one of those runs that wasn’t awesome but didn’t suck so it was just meh. My one complaint was the wind. I am so over the wind. It has been windy here for two weeks- it’s never windy around here. It just makes things so much colder.
My stomach was feeling pissy, so I pushed Wednesday’s speed work to Thursday. Yay, more wind…and I ran in a tank top. I was so cold but this was also intentional. The forecast calls for rain on Saturday and wind on Sunday so I figured I may as well get used to it. Plus I was testing out a new shirt. Can’t find out where it chafes if it’s covered up. But I was the only loony out there in a tank. Everyone else was bundled up, jackets, gloves, scarves and hats. Yes, we Cali people hate the cold.
I didn’t really want to think about intervals so after a warm up, I decide to run a few fartleks. I forgot to even look at my watch for the first one so I wasn’t sure what time or mileage I started at- oops! Oddly enough, all of my fartleks ended up being of similar distance, time and pace without too much planning on my part. I called it at 3.5 miles though, I just couldn’t take the wind any longer. I may be rethinking my race day outfit to include some more layers.
The best part of Thursday’s run was the lake cat. For a lot of my runs at the lake, I often see a gray and white cat roaming the back of the lake. I am pretty sure I know which house he comes from but I have always worried that something might happen to him. Quite a few cars drive that road and don’t always pay attention. Plus there are lots of people and more than a few dogs, some dogs off the leash. The last time I saw the lake cat was that run that ended in horrible stomach pain. That was in March. I’ve been looking for him every time I have run there since but no luck. Until Thursday. I rounded a curve on the backside of the lake and there he was. I actually yelled “kitty” out loud. I had to stop and visit, so that was the end of my first fartlek. 🙂 I was so glad to see him.Which made me feel even worse when I got home to find that I had once again traumatized my cat. 😦 After I come home, I usually carry my purse, gym bag, lunch bag, shoes etc into the house to put away. Kimi would come to meet me and walk around my legs. One day I was carrying too much and dropped my boots…they landed on her. It’s been over 2 years and she still bolts if she sees me pick up a pair of boots. Other shoes are fine but boots and she bolts. Now she runs from me if I am holding her yellow food dish too. 😦
The other cat had to go on a diet, so I’ve had a bowl of the normal food for her stashed in the bedroom. The other evening, I went to get it out of a drawer and turned as she was running in. In my defense, she jumped headfirst into the bowl but now she bolts from the room and hides around the corner. Waah, I feel so bad!
I took a few days off around SLO- so today was a lovely vacation day. I planned on getting in my last run but I took a nap instead. 🙂 I tried to work on a new playlist and get this post up sooner but somehow the day ran away from me. I did meet a friend at the movies this evening. We went and saw The Longest Ride. I am not a fan of the books, but somehow we always end up going to the movies. She and I crack jokes that we are the only who can stand them. It was pretty good, not great but good, and luckily not as destructive as his movies tend to be. Which was fine by me since Grey’s Anatomy was rough enough last night. Now I should probably go to bed, I have an expo to go to tomorrow! 🙂