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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Good, Bad and Ugly of the past few weeks

Lets start with the good.

I got two AMAZING runs in while on vacation in Maine. The island where I was staying had some serious elevation (one of my runs hit both 4 feet above sea level and 93 feet above sea level, and fluctuated between the two often!)

The first run, I had some issues right off the bat with my phone not finding the GPS signal, and not giving me accurate information while I was running. I got a few "Speed: Not Moving"followed by crazy fast times. So I just kinda ran an out and back at a comfortable pace. It was our second day on the island and I figured it was a good way to get acquainted with running on the island.

Since I didn't really know where I was going, I just kept taking the left option at every fork I came to, regardless of whether it took me higher or lower. I was rewarded with some awesome long climbs, some stunning views, the discovery of where one of the "Swimming quarries" was, and (right around where I decided to turn around) finding one of the working farms on the island.

On the run back I stopped to take a picture of one of the stunning views, but other than that, I did not have to stop or walk at all on the run. I felt comfortable during the run. I was able to enjoy the views, and reveled in the distinct smell of pine forest and ocean air combining.


When I got back to the cabin I was pleasantly surprised by my distance. 5.34 miles. Not bad for my first run on the killer hills on the island.

The next run I got in was on Tuesday. My SIL was out and wanted to do a run, so I did a two mile out and back, dropped her off and then kept running. The first two miles ended up being really fast. I'm horrible at pacing and with someone else there, I naturally run a little faster.

She just started running, and hasn't done a lot of hills. I felt kind of bad when, at the turn around, she had to ask me to slow down for her. She hadn't shown any signs of needing to slow down before that, but I know how it is when you don't want to be the first one to ask for a break. She hung tough though, and finished out the two miles.

The views made the hills (mostly) worth it.
I dropped her off at the turn off for the cabin we were staying at and kept going. I ran until I ran out of pavement, then turned around and headed back. I was purposefully not avoiding hills, and when I was short of milage (I had a goal of five miles) I ran up and down the hill by the turn off for our cabin.


Both runs felt great. For the first time in...well ever...The hills did not sap my strength. I was able to power up them and (in the words of one of the running coaches I've had lately) "Float over the top." I felt powerful, and fast, and free. When I got home I was not exhausted or drained, I was energized.

I had plans for more runs on the island, but they got side tracked, mostly, by all the good things that come with a huge family and lots of places to hike.

Now the bad.

I haven't run since the island. Not a single step. Part of it has been that we got incredibly busy when we got back, both catching up after vacation and preparing for the next out of town excursion (This weekend, to Chicago, for my BROTHERS WEDDING YAY!!!!) The other reason is....

The Ugly.

I seem to have somehow injured myself. The day after the last run I did on the island, I noticed a shooting pain going up my shin when I walked. It was most notable when I was going down stairs. I didn't think much of it, figured I'd rest up for a day or two, and it would resolve itself. Except it hasn't. I still notice some pain when walking, and still get shooting pains up my shin when I'm going down stairs (landing on the balls of my feet.) I don't have time to see the doctor this week (see above note about my BROTHER GETTING MARRIED!!!!) so an accurate diagnosis will have to wait, however, I'm not taking any chances on making it worse. I'm going to try for some short runs this week/weekend (I really want to run the lakeshore in Chicago while I'm there.)

I'm almost definitely dropping out of the half marathon training group I'm in. With less than a month to go, there is no way I can sync back up with the plan and follow it through to the half marathon.

I think, if I heal up in the next week or so, I can get myself ready for the race on my own. Maybe. That's a call I'll have to make closer to game day. We'll see.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to Life, Back to Reality

We got back from Vacationing in Maine last night. I have so much to post about, I need to get it all organized and do a huge post.

There was a lot of hiking, relaxing, and lobster eating.

I actually managed to get two runs in during the week of vacation. That makes me a real runner, right?

Monday, August 4, 2014

A good couple runs, and a scare.

So I'm not doing the greatest keeping the blog updated...But I am managing to keep most of my running schedule.

Wednesday there was no run. I really do not have time for a run on Wednesday, even with trying to get up early. I get up, the kidlet gets up, it's all over.

Thursday, I hit the treadmill late, around 8:30, after the kidlet was in bed. I had four miles on the schedule, but I had missed a seven mile run on wednesday, so I decided to see if I could cram in some extra milage. I started out keeping the treadmill on "slow and steady", but I was watching Fringe, so whenever an exciting chase would come on, I'd bump up the speed and cruise for a bit. I really wasn't trying for any sort of speed or interval pace, so I guess you could call this a Fartlek run? I ended up hitting five miles right around one hour in, and realized that it was getting late. I needed to get off the treadmill and try to wind down enough to fall asleep, so I called it at the five mile mark.

Saturday, I was supposed to go to the Long Group Run, however, I was in rough shape when I woke up. Friday Night we had opted to go out to dinner with friends, something we haven't done in a long time. It was awesome to get out without the child for a bit, however it resulted in a late bedtime (11:30) and apparently a hangover (Two drinks, really?!) So I spent Saturday recovering.

Sunday, I did my postponed long run. I had eight miles on the calendar. I started out on my normal "long run" route, from my house to my parents. The first mile sucked, and then I got into my rhythm, and the next four miles felt awesome. I kept thinking about the last run, and how awful it felt, and how much of a difference the weather made in my run. It was cool, humid, but cloudy, so the humidity didn't feel awful.

Around mile six I started having to work for it. It wasn't awful, but I made the decision to deviate from my normal route (Up off the canal path through the village and to my parents house) mainly because of the thought of facing the long uphill at the end. I decided to stay on the Canal path past Pittsford. Right after Shoen Place in Pittsford, the trail stops being paved and turns into a really nice, freshly graded, gravel path, with plenty of shade. I finished out my milage doing a short out and back along that part of the trail, then called my Dad for a pick up. I ended up walking an extra half mile-ish to meet my Dad.

I ran the 8 miles a little slow (average pace 13:24) but I ended feeling good, and without walking.

Then the scariness happened. So, I have some sort of undiagnosed vertigo problem. I've been to the doctor several times to figure out what it is, but they've, so far, been unable to figure out what causes my occasionally intense bouts of dizziness. The most recent thought was that it was migraines, sans pain. Last night, well after the run, (and a shower, and dinner, and grocery shopping), I stood up from the couch, walked about three feet, and promptly realized I was about to pass out. I managed to hold onto the baby gate between our living and dining room and put my head down long enough for the Hubs to come over and "help" me to the floor. I was sitting, leaning against him when I apparently did pass out. I came to lying on my back on the floor, with a very worried Husband checking my pulse. The dizziness was in full effect after that, and I ended up just going to bed super early to try to shake it.

I do not believe the dizziness was related to the run, although it may have had something to do with the soreness in my shoulders and back from carrying the camelback. However, this is the first time I have actually passed out from it, so I'm going to be calling my doctor and pushing for some answers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday morning, hit the ground running

Yes, I got up for another am run! I think this may be a record! Bad news, I did not get up in time for the group run in the morning, but I did drag my carcass out of bed early enough to get the five miles I needed done on the treadmill.

Part of me is really enjoying the treadmill runs. It may be because I'm actually interested in watching Fringe, and I'm not letting myself watch it except when I'm on the treadmill. So, I end up wanting to get on the treadmill to watch Fringe....weird, I know.

Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed with the "One hour of extra sleep isn't going to do you any good" argument, and well I wouldn't say "hopped" on the treadmill, more like, "hoisted myself onto" the treadmill.

I wasn't feeling awesome, so I started out at a "slow" pace. My calves weren't feeling all that great, I could tell my legs were still fatigued from Sunday's long run, so I tried to take it easy.

Other than the tired legs, the run was feeling good, until I realized that I was rapidly running out of time before I needed to hit the showers before work. So I cranked the speed and did some "intervals" trying to power through the last mile and change.

And here's where I realize I really need a new treadmill, or at least a good accurate watch for tracking my speed and distance on the treadmill. See my treadmill is all wonky, so I never know how fast I'm going. The Nike+ app gives me accurate distances, and somewhat accurate speeds, but for some reason it's not giving me my splits and now the graph thing is all messed up too. The distance markers on the graph only to up to mile four for some reason, even though the milage accurately reflects the five miles I ran.

So according to their chart, I was averaging around 11:30 min/miles for most of my run (the 'slow' bit), and did between 10:30 & 10:50 on my faster bits. Who knows how accurate that is though.

My legs still feel a little off, so I'm going to do some stretching and foam rolling tonight to hopefully get them sorted. I'm supposed to run tomorrow, but it's going to be hard for me to fit a run in around my work schedule (wednesday is my late day,) so we'll see if that happens.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Run Run Run in the Sun Sun Sun

So my running week was a bit spotty, but I'm not stressing it. I got most of the work done, and even slogged out a horrifically hot nine miler on Sunday.

We'll start with Thursdays run. I didn't have time to do a run until late late late, after the munchkin was in bed. So I started my run at 9 pm(ish), and since it was a four mile run, didn't finish until almost 10:00. Woooo hoo! I was using my nike plus running app again, which is still messed up, so I don't know my splits, but you can see on the little graph how I ran. Kinda kept it slow and steady for most of the run, then kicked it up at the end. The ups and downs on the chart confuse me, since I'm running on a treadmill at a set speed, but whatever. The run felt good, and I felt good afterwards.

Friday was a rest day, and then, Friday night, Insomnia struck, and struck hard. I didn't manage to fall asleep until well after 2 am. Which meant there was no way I was getting up at 5 to make the Saturday morning paced run. In fact, I was such a wreck from the lack of sleep, and had so much other life type stuff to do, no running happened at all on Saturday.

So my long run was Sunday. I was aiming for 10 miles. I set out as early as I could, which ended up being right around 11 am. I suited up, filled up my camel back, promised the Hubs that I would take it easy and call if I got overheated, and headed out the door. My plan was to do the route to my parents (nine miles) and tack on the extra mile running around their neighborhood.


As soon as I started I knew it was going to be a rough run. It was hot, and humid, and I realized as I ran how little shade there was on the route. In fact, I don't think there was any in the first two miles. Also I was running too fast, I knew that. Kept trying to dial it back, but was having trouble finding that "happy pace."

By the time I turned on to the canal path around mile two, I started thinking seriously that I might not be able to finish out the run. I slowed down even further and some point around here took my first walk break.

A lot of this run bleeds together in my head, because I was way overheated. I was drinking water like a fiend (I think I just about finished the entire camelback), but at some point that stopped really helping much.

At mile three I did stop at a water fountain to run water over my hands and wrists and splash some on my face and neck. That (and I suspect standing in the shade) seemed to help a lot, and I felt better for a while.

I kept on with the run walk, walking whenever I started to feel overheated, I would slow down and walk for a bit. I really am not sure how often I was walking, I was doing it all on feel, just trying to get as many miles in as possible.

I made a deal with myself to finish out five miles at least. When I got to the five mile mark, there was a water fountain. As I was walking up to it to splash water on myself, another runner came up to fill his water bottle. I asked him if he wanted to go first, and he told me to go ahead. He asked how far I was going, and I said 10 miles. He then told me, "I'm 13 into 20, and I don't think I'm gonna make it." I think he was glad for the excuse to stand around while I was splashing myself with water.

Of course I couldn't quit after that, so I kept up with the run walk, debating the whole time if and when I should call it. And I kept convincing myself to keep going. Even as the runs got shorter and the walks got longer.

I did call it at nine miles though. I just couldn't convince myself to do the extra loops to make the tenth mile. I dragged myself into my parents house, ate some ice chips, changed into my bathing suit, and got in the pool. I'm not going to lie, the thought of getting into that pool was what kept me going for the last couple of miles.

It was about this time that I realized I had forgotten sunscreen before my run, as there was a very visible line where my RoadID had been. Add to that that I also realized I was seriously dehydrated. Even with all the water I had been drinking I didn't need to go until around 9pm, which was the point where it really hit me just how dehydrated I had been.

Looking at it now, I should have called the run earlier, but I really felt like I had to make the distance, since I've been falling so far behind on my training schedule.

Looking ahead we've got a drop back week this week (long run of 8 miles) so I should be able to recover some ground.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Solid AM run

I got to bed early last night, and even managed to get my gear laid out so it would be quick to get on for the morning speed work session. My stomach had other ideas.

I was up at 5:30, which should have been enough time to get dressed and out the door and to the Armory (which is less than five minutes from my house.) However, three trips to the bathroom later, I called it.

Between the time constraint (I was most likely going to be late at that point,) and the likelihood of another necessary bathroom trip, I decided to do the distance option on the treadmill. It was five miles, so I set my pace to what felt easy, set up the next episode of Fringe, and just chugged along.

Side note: Chase scenes in Fringe are great for making you unconsciously run faster.

Around mile 1.5 I had to jump off the treadmill for a quick pit stop. I was very happy with my choice to use the treadmill at that point.

Towards the end of my run, I realized I was running out of time, I still had to shower and get dressed for work, and it was getting awfully close to 7:00 (I have to be at work by 8, but I can usually make it if I leave the house by 7:30, yay for short commutes!) So I pushed the speed a bit, cranking it out to hit five miles.

It felt good to get the run in before work, and even though I was horrifically sweaty (still need to find a fan to put in there,) the run felt comfortable. Not easy like I should have been pushing harder, but a comfortable level of effort.

My knee felt good on this run, but since I didn't really have enough time to stretch, my calves are not happy with me now. I'm going to spend some quality time with my foam roller tonight.

In other news, I got an email back from the Trainer for the training group and She basically told me that it was awesome that I was listening to my body and not trying to push it too hard. She said she wanted to discuss it with me in person before she switched up my training plan.

Thursday is the monthly Pub Run, and I'm going to try to get to that. If I do, I'll talk to her then, if not I'll have to track her down on Saturday at the Long Run. Either way I'll have a plan to move forward with after this week, which feels good.

After last weeks Whine Fest, this week is bringing the positive back!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Awful, No Good, Very Bad Week.

Last week was kind of a non-starter. I missed two runs entirely, and only managed three short runs all week.

Tuesdays speed work crashed and burned after the tempo repeats. My leg started bothering me during the last repeat so I cut out the "hill" section (sprinting for 20 seconds). Which left me with a short 2.86 mile run in the books.

Saturday, I was really busy so decided to move my long run to Sunday. I did a solid 5 miles. Nothing to write home about, but I did average 11'14" a mile. Unfortunately, there seems to be something wrong with my Nike+ app, so the splits are all messed up.

Sunday the weather was nasty rainy out, so I opted for a treadmill run again. I was going to try for the full long run distance on my calendar (13.1 miles), but figured I might have to cut it short due to time. (I could only really run until the munchkin woke up from her nap.) I settled into a nice 11 min/mile pace for the first 3 miles, just kinda crusin' and watching Fringe (I decided to start watching that from the beginning since I never really got into it before, I'm only on episode two right now.) Then my left knee (the bad knee) started bothering me. Not too badly, but just feeling kinda wonky.  So I slowed it down a bit, and kept chugging on. By mile five my knee was starting to complain loudly, so I made the call to finish out the hour and then stop (I was right around 50 something minutes at the time.) I ended up with an hour long run and 5.37 miles in the books.

I'm trying not to feel too defeated by my runs this past week, to just write it off as a bad week and move on.

Two weird things about the week, one is that I honestly think running on the treadmill is what's bugging my knee. I haven't had issues with it all season, and now it's acted up on two out of three treadmill runs. Also, I sweat a lot on the treadmill. I'm not sure if it's just because it's hotter in my house, or if I'm running faster, or the sweat evaporates better outside, but by the time I'm done on the treadmill, I'm drenched.

Ok, putting this behind me and moving on.