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Monday, December 30, 2013

Breaking in the New Shoes

Ooft. So the holidays totally threw me off track. After the Reindeer Run, I didn't find another chance to run all week.

I did get a lot of awesome running gear for Christmas, I am totally decked out now. The best part was the box I opened with an old shoe in it. Inside the shoe was money for me to go get myself new running shoes! So Saturday, having not run a step all week, I went to my local running store and got myself fitted for new shoes, for the first time ever.

Yes, this is the first time I actually went and got myself fitted for shoes. Yes, it was an eye opening experience. I would now urge any beginning runners to, as soon as finances allow ( real running shoes are expensive! ) go get yourself fitted.

First off, I apparently have been wearing shoes two sizes too small. Yes. Not a half size, not even one whole size, two entire sizes too small. Also, I over pronate (which I knew) and I also do something called "supination" or something, where I run almost entirely on the outside edges of my feet.

So now I have spiffy new shoes, that aren't too small and will help with the weirdness in my gait. Yay!

All of this new stuff needed to be used, so Sunday, after not running for an entire week, I dressed and forced myself out the door. I had decided, after the fiasco of the hills at the Reindeer Run, that I would do some of the hills around my house. Since it was warm-sh out, I decided I'd do that now, even though it was drizzling, with intermittent heavier rain. I live on a hill, a big hill, almost at the bottom of the hill. I planned my route to run up the hill, across the top and then up a big nasty hill and around the top of Cobbs Hill reservoir, and then back. When I mapped the route on Map my run it came out to right around 3 miles. When I ran it, however, I totally couldn't tell where I had started the loop at the reservoir, and ended up doing an extra loop. The run ended up being just shy of 4 miles.
Elevation chart for the run. Note the Hill of Doom.

The hill starting out was brutal. Again, I'm not used to running hills, and it really uses different muscles than flat running. Also, my lungs were burning, and I wasn't really running that fast! I toughed it out on the uphill, and recovered on a short down hill and a (relatively) flat stretch. When I got to the big, massive, hill of doom, I walked. I just couldn't take that long steep uphill yet. Luckily there are very nicely spaced "do not park" signs all the way up the hill. I alternated running from one sign to the next, and then walking for one sign. The loop at the top is almost perfectly flat, which was nice. It's also got an amazing view, both of the surrounding area, and of the partially frozen reservoir. I was really enjoying the run, and kinda forgot where I had jumped into the loop. By the time I had figured out where I needed to exit the loop to take the road back down, I was already another half loop around. Like I said, I ended up doing a full extra loop around the top. I did stop halfway through the second loop to take a couple pictures, but other than that I ran the entire time.

The decent on the hill of doom was surprising to me. For as little as I've ran uphill, I've done serious downhills even less. I had a really hard time controlling my run on the down hill. I had to stop and wait for a light close to the bottom of the hill. That was a new thing for me as well, this is the first time I've run along streets with actual cars  on them and intersections I had to cross. I was lucky with my timing though, and that one light was the only one I had to wait at.

I wasn't really paying attention to my speed, and my app screwed up so there's no information on my splits. However, it felt ok, and my over all time gave me an average of 12:20 min/miles. With all the walking I did on that long uphill, I think that averages out to my normal running pace when I was actually running.

I did notice a BIG difference running in the new shoes. My feet never hurt, for one. I did notice that the sides of my calves hurt a bit while I was running, and are sore today. I think that's from the change in my gait. I'm going to hold off on wearing these for a long run until I get used to them. Unfortunately that means I'll be wearing my old shoes a bit more, but I think it'll be better for my legs to transition slowly.

With all the gear I got for Christmas, I also got a bunch of different gels, chews and honey stinger waffles. My parents basically filled my stocking with all sorts of different varieties. I've been taste testing them to see which ones I'll actually use, but so far I've liked all the chews. I haven't tried the gels or the waffles yet. I'm thinking I'll take a gel with me on my long run this week, and maybe try a waffle right after the long run.

I'm trying not to focus on the lost weeks over the holidays, and instead just get runs in where I can. I still have plenty of time to hit the half marathon distance.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hills are my enemies, but I will make them my friends

I think those hills hit me harder than I thought. That or the additional strain of chasing my daughter around the Museum of Play for two hours was just too much.

I woke up Sunday morning and my thighs ached. I took some advil, stretched, and went on my day. I had a busy day planned (we still had a bunch of christmas shopping left) so I was planning on doing my long run later after my daughter went to bed.

About an hour into shopping, the dull ache along the front of my thighs started to get worse. By the time we finished shopping I was actually starting to limp. Every now and then the dull ache would intensify into a sharp pang.

I kept hoping the ache would ease up and I'd be able to get at least a short run in, but no such luck. It's still a little sore today. I'm contemplating doing a short run later tonight if I have time, or just waiting until my scheduled run on tuesday and adding a couple miles on.

I've realized I may have trouble sticking to my run schedule over the holidays, so I'm going to try to stick to it as close as possible, but not be militant about it. Whatever happens I can just pick up again after the first and still have plenty of time to hit my distance goals by April.

The race this weekend was a real eye opener for me. On one hand, it was great to realize that I could run a 5k and not feel like I was totally dead afterwards. On the other hand, I'm really disappointed that the race took so much out of me. I do think most of it was that I had not prepared for hills....at all. So, i'm going to have to make sure to find a way to do hills in my training. Unfortunately the incline on my treadmill doesn't work, so I'll have to figure something else out.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reindeer 5k Race writeup

I was a little nervous about this race. We stayed out too late Friday night having a great time at a friends house. I also had two glasses of wine, which may not sound like a lot but wine really dries me out! I woke up with a slight headache, so I had some coffee and advil with my slice of toast and peanut butter.

When we got there it was cold, windy and drizzley. The crowd was HUGE! We met up with one of my friends and her kid who was running in the kids race after the 5k, and headed over to the start line. Me and my friend kind of squeezed our way into the corral, a bit back from the front, and struck up a conversation with a dad and his kids. His kids wanted to run the 5k instead of the kids race, and were super excited.

I didn't hear the gun go off, but when the pack started shuffling, I assumed we were starting. It took a long time for us to get to the chip mats, and a while after that even to get enough room to get up to speed. It seemed like every time I'd get some room I'd end up stuck behind someone again after a few steps.

Once we turned the first corner, and headed onto the inter loop, the pack thinned out a bit and I was able to open up my stride a bit. The rest of the first mile felt good. Me and my friend Jen spent it joking about the cold and wet and talking about work (yeah I know weird, but we work together and that's a big chunk of our lives.) Jen is a much faster runner than I am, but she decided to stick with me for the race, which made the race a lot more fun, and kept me pushing myself the whole way.

At the one mile marker they had someone calling out times. He called out 11:20 when we passed him, and I was bummed cause I felt like we were running much faster than that, Jen pointed out that was the clock time, our chip time was most likely faster than that.

There were hills. Hills I was not prepared for. I'd heard the course was "relatively flat." I would say yes, if you compared it to a race like the Firecracker Five Miler i ran, but flat it was not. There was a long uphill right before mile one, and another one shortly after. There were a few rolling hills and at least three steep uphills.

I was really feeling it by the time we hit the water station, and decided to walk through the water stop so I could actually drink some water. I'm sure that affected my time, but I still think it was a good idea.

I felt better after the water stop, until the next uphill. The hills really took it out of me. I think I'm going to have to do a lot more hill repeats in the future. When we passed the mile two marker I was really starting to have to push myself to keep a decent pace. Honestly if Jen hadn't been running with me, I don't think I would have kept myself running at any decent clip at this point.

Right at the end of the run, there was a nasty sharp uphill (it's actually an exit ramp up,) and I really started pushing. I lengthend my stride and as we rounded what I thought was the last corner, poured what I had left into my legs. Then I realized the finish line was juuust a bit past the start and around another curve.

I slowed up a bit, but my lungs decided to crap out on me. I started coughing, and once I start coughing, I'm done. I spent the run down the chute trying to to puke on the course, and just keep my feet moving. I slowed up a lot through the chute, and once I crossed the first chip mat dropped back to a walk. I walked past the photographer, but I did not puke on the course.

The run was cold (although once we got running I was ok), wet (my shoes are soaked), and I was completely unprepared for the hills.

Even with all that, I came away with a PR. 34:47, and 11.21 min/mile average, vs my last 5k time of 36:32 (11:46 min/mile average.)

I really wish I could get my splits to see if what I think slowed me up is true (the walk through the water station, and the last bit through the chute,) but I think it was a solid race.

I'm going to work on adding more hills into my runs (yuck) so next time they don't hit me quite so hard.
Me on my way to the race, I am not a morning person!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Even a solid run didn't settle my nerves about Saturday!

I had a really good run last night. Watched the end of Avengers, More of Hellboy, and kept my average pace sub 11 minutes. I felt good, especially for the first couple miles. I was supposed to do Hills, but it turns out the incline function on my treadmill does not want to work. So I played with the speed a bit instead.

I only really felt it at the end of mile three and beginning of mile four. That was when I was switching from one movie to the next. You can see it in my pace on my splits. I decided to kinda punch it for mile four and just get it over with.

I'm more confident that I'll run a good race tomorrow, but I'm still super nervous about it. I don't know if it's just normal pre-race jitters, or the fact that I'd really like to PR, but I'm starting to get anxious. I mean, I know I can run three miles. I know I can run three miles faster than I did last spring. But I havn't been running outside. And the weather might not be awesome. And what if my legs feel dead? And and and...

I'm trying to stay positive, to keep it in my head that just this past sunday I ran seven miles. If I can do that, three miles should be cake.

Beyond the attempt at a PR, I've got some friends running this, so I'm going to try to have fun with it. I've got the Shirt and I'm gonna rock the Reindeer antlers. It's supposed to be cool, but not freezing, so I'll wear my long sleeve tech shirt under the t-shirt. I'm still going back and forth on long pants vs. capri's, that'll have to be a game day decision. It's going to be overcast so I don't think I'll need my customary hat or sunglasses, although it might be raining, so the hat might be a good idea. A lot of people dress up for this, but I didn't really think about it, so the reindeer antlers and shirt are going to be the extent of my "costume", maybe next year I'll think of something better.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Keeping toddlers happy can be great exercise.

Tuesday's run totally didn't happen. I had a sore throat all day, and by the time I got home it had developed into a deep chest-y cough. I contemplated toughing it out on the treadmill, but decided not to risk further illness, and let the run go. I'm 100% ok with my decision as I am now (as of thursday) cough free, and looking at going into the race on Saturday feeling good(ish.)

The only other thing of note was that my daughter was sick yesterday (Wednesday,) so I was home with her all day. Being home with a sick, but active toddler is exhausting. She's basically go go go all the time, and because not everything in the world is Toddler safe, needs to be watched. Also because she has this fascination with trying to knock all the needles off our christmas tree. So I spent the day in Amuse, Distract, Occupy mode. And then went and cleaned what I could in the house while she napped. So I think yesterday should count for something in the exercise department.

Tonight I'm hoping to get a nice solid 4 miles in so I can feel good going into Saturdays race. I'm super nervous about over using my legs and being tired on Saturday, but I'd rather get the run in then not.

Also, I'm facing a decision, I have a four mile run on the training schedule on Saturday, but the race is only (ha!) a 5k. Should I run the difference later?

Monday, December 16, 2013

A surprisingly awesome weekend.

We had a really busy weekend planned this weekend. And then the snows came. And a friend's kid got sick, and we miraculously found ourselves with a somewhat relaxing weekend.

Saturday we made some last minute plans to meet my Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law for brunch. This is notable for two reasons. One: some random strangers decided to pick up our check. They instructed our waitress not to tell us until after they left. It was such an awesome act of kindness, I'm still looking for a way to pay it forward. And Two: I had a delicious omelet that decided not to agree with my stomach.

So yeah I spent a hour(ish) curled up on the couch while my daughter napped. Luckily I was feeling good enough early enough to get my run in for the day before we went to my parents for dinner. It was a four mile run, on the treadmill. I continued my disjointed watching of the Avengers. About halfway through my run the really fun action in the movie started, and I was distracted enough that I almost didn't notice when I hit four miles. I've been having a decent amount of back pain after my runs lately, so I decided that instead of jumping straight into the shower to "ice" my legs, I'd do some yoga in the living room. My daughter really seemed to get a kick out of it, she kept climbing all over me and even trying to imitate some of the poses. I still had some back pain, but I'm hoping that if I make this a habit the pain will ease up.

Sunday was our scheduled brunch, and again I went and ate something I shouldn't have. I had eggs benedict, which was delicious, and I paid for it again. I was feeling so very off that I ended up passing out for about an hour. I haven't napped in the middle of the day in a long time. When I woke up I suited up and got on the treadmill for my long run. To be honest I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it. I wasn't feeling awesome, and seven miles sounded like such a long run.

I started a new movie to keep my mind occupied. I went with Hellboy, which I love despite the camp. Ron Perlman is awesome. As usual the first mile was a slog, well the second half mile really. I don't know what it is, but for some reason the second half mile of every run is when the "I can't do it" thoughts pop up. I pushed through that and focused on the movie. I remember feeling good after two miles, and three miles. At mile four I was starting to feel the distance, especially when I realized I was only a little over half way through my run. I buckled down and started playing with my speed, adding
in random short sprints to keep myself motivated. The last mile was tough, I was tired, and this was further than I have ever run. By the last half mile I was struggling, my legs just felt heavy. I suspect the fact that I did not have a water bottle had something to do with it, and I'm thinking
I may need to start doing a mid run refuel with my long runs now lasting more than an hour.

I finished out the seven miles and made myself go downstairs to stretch before hitting the shower. After a nice long hot shower I did some foam rolling and used my cool little spiky ball to roll my feet. I was REALLY thirsty when I finished my run, and I downed about half a glass of water right away. My stomach was not too happy with that, so I compromised and made myself a glass of chocolate milk and drank that, a little slower than the first half glass of water. It really did the trick, settling my stomach while also helping to alleviate the all consuming thirst I had developed.

I actually felt good after the run, my legs were a little tired, but I wasn't laid up or anything. I was even able to do the grocery shopping without feeling like I was going to die. I'm a little sore this morning, but nothing a little advil and some stretching can't handle.

I am still having a bit of back pain, I'm starting to wonder if it might have to do with my shoes. I know I am in sore need of new running shoes, I've put somewhere over 300 miles on the ones I'm running in now. (I say somewhere over because I haven't been the best on tracking the milage on these shoes.) I noticed when we were grocery shopping on Sunday that my hips were a little sore as well, which I've heard can be indicative of a shoe issue.

I had good news on the weight loss front as well. I had missed my weigh in last week, and I haven't had a lot of loss in the past month. I was actually feeling really down about that, and trying really hard not to focus on the numbers on the scale, so when I stepped on the scale yesterday I wasn't too hopeful.  I was completely overjoyed to see 169.8. I'm back in the 160's, and only about 5 lbs away from my next mini goal weight!  I'm still nervous about where I'll be by August (when my brother is getting married) but I'm trying to focus more on the fitness than the weight, and the running goals more than the size goals.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Nice Solid Run

I had a nice solid run last night. It was another one of those runs that could easily have not happened. Thursdays seem to be the hardest day for me to motivate myself (and find the time) to get my run done. Between making dinner and a toddler that has given up napping after daycare, I'm usually busy busy busy from the moment I get home until my daughter goes to bed. I ended up not having time to fit the run in until after 8:00.

I started up the Avengers where I left it after my last run, and decided right away that since it was a short run, I was going to run it fast. I started the treadmill out at the normal 3.5 (my treadmill's speed is off, my 11 min/miles are done at 3.5) then upped it quickly to 3.8. I ran most of my run at 3.8 with some quick minute long sprints up at 4.0 and once up at 4.5. I really pushed it and felt good about it. I was having fun with the random speeds, it kept the run interesting. I tried to time my sprints to exciting scenes in the movie, so I'd sprint through a fight scene, and slow back down for exposition. I was out of breath and tired by the end of the short interval sprints. By the end of the run, I was really pushing just to keep myself running and to keep my pace at 3.5.

I finished the run and took a look at my splits, and couldn't believe it. For some reason my app was showing my pace to be slower than the last time I ran, and not just a little bit slower, a lot slower. I'm thinking it needs to be re-calibrated.

I'm still happy with the run, despite the weird stats on my app. I know I ran it hard, and pushed my limits. I'm also happy to once again be at the place where a run happens, rather that having it not happen, when I'm faced with one of those "it's too late, i'm too tired" scenarios.

Unfortunately it looks like the weather around me will not be cooperating this weekend, so I'll most likely be running on the treadmill for both runs. I'm a little gun shy about running in the cold right now. We're about a week away from the reindeer 5k, and I don't want to go into that week coughing like I did last week.

Speaking of the Reindeer 5k, I'm kinda hoping to PR. Seeing how my last 5k time was 36:32 ( or 11:64 min/miles) I am relatively confident that I can beat the pants off that. I'm a little worried about the weather not cooperating, I honestly don't know how cold/snowy weather would affect my pace but I know that not ideal road conditions will.  I'm kinda excited to try to run a race where I'm actually trying to hit a time goal as opposed to just trying to finish.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting back on track

I finally got a good run in last night. I jumped on the treadmill for my scheduled three mile run, put on the Avengers, and cranked the speed. I had kind of a self imposed time crunch, since tuesday is the night we do dinner with my in-laws, and even though my husband took our daughter over without me, I still feel like I should get there as fast as possible.

I made up my mind to push my pace, since I didn't get my long run in, and I was running on fresh legs. I started out at my normal speed on the treadmill, but almost right away started upping the speed, until I felt like I was working.

I had my first *ahem* incident, while running. My stomach got really upset mid run and I had to actually stop the treadmill, pause my workout and make a detour to the bathroom. Luckily after that one mid run pitstop, everything was fine for the rest of the night. I have this mental block on pausing my workout, or stopping the treadmill, or even taking walk breaks. It always feels like cheating to me. This time however it was a necessity, and even though I technically got a "break" from my run, I felt completely justified pausing the workout recording. You can see where I paused the workout as a dip in the middle of my pace chart.

The run felt good, I could tell I was working, especially towards the end of the run as I pumped the speed. I felt good after the run too, and after a quick shower, actually felt like I had a decent amount of energy left in me. I didn't feel overly tired or worn out from the run. I'm feeling pretty good today as well, not sore or sluggish.

I'm happy with the splits, although that middle split is most likely affected by the pausing of my workout.  I'm particularly happy to have kept my pace under 11 min/miles for the majority of my run. Also, the negative split there at the end looks nice and pretty.

I really needed a solidly good  run to get my confidence back. That run did the trick. I feel like I'm back on track again, and in good shape, training wise.

I have 19 weeks between now and the half marathon. Even doubling up the weeks on my training plan, I will hit the half marathon distance well before the race.

I think after the disaster last weekend, I'm not going to try doing runs outside for a while. I can't afford, mentally, to take myself out of my training again for that long. It really did a number on me. This kinda sucks, because I enjoy running outside a lot more than on the treadmill. I think watching an exciting movie helps a lot during my treadmill runs, especially the long ones. Watching the Avengers was good, because it's faced paced, exciting, and engaging (even though I've seen it before.) I'm going to try watching a movie like that on my next long run, and see if it helps. I'm not really looking forward to trying to run 7 miles on the treadmill.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The running week that wasn't. But I'm ok with it.

Ok, I'm just gonna get this out of the way: I did not do my long run on sunday. In fact, last week overall was a total running fail.

That said, I did grind out a grueling four miles outside on saturday, in the cold, and the wind. It was windy enough that the return trip on my out and back was slow enough where at one point I was sure walking might be faster. I'm not sure what my actual pace was, because right after I finished my run, as I was hitting "save run" on my app, my phone died. So no record of the run saved.

I do know my lungs and legs were burning by the time I finished. It was a miserable run, but i keep telling myself, an awesome training run. I pushed myself and that's when the magic happens, right?

After that run, and a quick shower, we were off to take my daughter to an indoor "winter carnival" with my parents. So I spent another two hour-ish on my feet chasing an excited toddler. By the end of that I was starting to feel not so awesome, and I was coughing occasionally, which I chalked up to just irritation from the cold air on the run.

Sunday, I was dead tired in the morning at a work "brunch with santa", and the coughing was more prevalent, although I was still sure it was just irritation from the run. The brunch was awesome, although my daughter would have none of santa, bursting into tears and clinging desperately to my neck. Because I was so tired, I figured I'd rest and do the run later after I felt a little better.

By the end of the day though, I was more sure that I might actually be sick. When we got home from grocery shopping the cough was deeper, more in my chest than my throat, and I was bone tired. I even tried my trick of dressing in my running gear to try to pep myself up, but after having a coughing fit while climbing the stairs, I called it. A run, especially a long run, was not an option.

So I've missed my first planned long run. I missed two runs from my plan last week, so I'm repeating the week, and I'm letting it go. I feel surprisingly ok with this. I think part of it is that I redid my math on my training, and realized that I have (a little over) four months to add to my distance to reach my half marathon goal. That's 16 weeks. I've been adding a mile a week onto my distance runs. That would have me running 22 miles on my long runs before my half marathon. I can back off on that, or miss a week or repeat a few weeks without feeling any pressure. And I'm still really proud of finishing that run on saturday!

I'm still not sure if I'm actually sick or if I really just did that much of a number on myself running in the cold on saturday. I'm drinking tea with honey and trying to take it easy today. Hopefully that will be enough that by tomorrow (tuesday), I'm back in running shape.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Missed run and a general funk.

Last nights run did not happen. There were several excuses reasons behind this: the kidlet went to bed late and didn't nap, dinner had to get made, and then eaten and given time to digest, but mainly I was just really, incredibly tired. Like the kind of tired where you find yourself falling asleep standing up, or worse, while changing the baby.

I realized that had I managed to get myself on the treadmill, I had a 50/50 chance of falling off of it, or injuring myself in some way. So I gave myself a pass on the run. Well not a pass, I'm going to try to make up the run tonight. I'm not sure how good of an Idea that is, but it's the only thing keeping me from completely beating myself up about the missed run.

I'm feeling very defeated about it all. I keep trying to refocus myself on how far I've come in the past few weeks, but the continual missing of (usually) single runs each week somehow feels awful. I keep reminding myself that April is a long way away (and october is longer) and the key is to build slowly on my mileage, a missed run every now and then is not that bad.

I have increased the distance of my long runs by one mile each week, which is a major accomplishment, and one that I'm very proud of.  I'm confident that I'm going to crush the Reindeer Run in two weeks. I've increased my pace significantly since I started this training plan as well, something I was not consciously working on.

I think some of this comes from the fact that I still think of myself as a fraud. I'm not a real runner. I'm pretending to follow a training plan. There's no way I'll ever be able to finish an actual half marathon. All that gear on my christmas list? A waste. It'll never get worn by a real runner.

I keep hoping these thoughts will go away. They are self-defeating and completely not helpful. I'm hoping a couple of strong runs this weekend will help chase them back for a while at least.

My other hang up today is that I feel all sorts of lumpy. Maybe it was the missed run, maybe it was the tasty frittata I made for dinner last night, but I feel bloated today. It's frustrating to have been watching what I eat and running like crazy and not to see the weight loss I had hoped for.

I realize I'm most likely just in a funk, and need to work my way out of it. Right now, I'm just trying to stay on track and wait for the cloud to lift.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Awful, no good, very bad run.

I may have lost my mind. Yesterday, in a fit of madness and optimism following my perhaps ill advised registration for the Wineglass Marathon, I signed up for my first half marathon - To be run in April.  I did some quick calculations, and based on my progress with my training plan so far, I will hit half marathon distance long before the race. I've felt relatively good at the end of each of my increasingly long "long" runs, even with the disaster of a run that happened last saturday, so I was feeling really (over)confident in my abilities when I signed up for the race.

Last night I had an "easy" three mile run on the schedule (I still am not entirely comfortable calling a three mile run "easy".) Our weekly dinner with my in-laws had been moved to my sister-in-law's place. My husband decided to wait for me so we could drive together and also so that we could get the highchair and all the paraphernalia a kid requires to their house. I was feeling some time pressure to get the run over with so we could get there, so I planned on trying to run the miles a little faster than normal to get the run over quickly.

I got on the treadmill and put on a movie and started running. My legs felt like crud. Not heavy or achey, just, like they had no umph in them.
At first I thought it was maybe that I wasn't into the movie I was watching, and so was focusing on all the ways I didn't want to be running, but the feeling persisted even after I switched to a new movie.

I focused on just getting through the run. I kept pushing the pace to try to just get it done. By the time I hit three miles, i was completely done, and totally demoralized. I had just signed up for a half marathon and here I was struggling with three miles.

With a little distance between me and the run, I realize my legs were most likely still shot from the weekend. This run should have been a "recovery" run, and I should have kept the pace nice and slow. I did however end up with negative splits, which I'm pretty happy about.

My legs feel fine today, and today is a rest day on the schedule, so I'm hopeful that tomorrow's run will go much better than yesterday's.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A lot of runs over the holiday!

Ok, so a lot of running has happened since my last post! I managed to get all of my runs in, although one of them turned out a lot shorter than it should have been (according to my training plan.)

Thursday, I had a nice short 3 mile run on the schedule. My last three mile run had felt too easy, so I decided to push my pace for this run, and see how fast I could go. I've been slowly increasing my pace on my outdoor runs, but for the most part my indoor runs have been right around 11'20"/mi pace. I was beyond thrilled that I was able to get under an 11 min/mile for my average pace on this run! After that run, I didn't feel so guilty about thanksgiving dinner!

Saturday, I had a four mile run on the schedule. The weather was nice enough, a little cold, but clear with very little wind. I decided to try for an out door run. I bundled up and headed out to the canal path where I normally run. When I got there I found it had not been cleared, and was instead a mess of snow and ice. If I had been smart, I would have either headed home and done the run on the treadmill, or tried to find somewhere outside that had been cleared. I however decided to try to run the path. It was awful. It felt like running through deep wet slippery sand. I had to constantly watch where I was putting my feet, and even then would occasionally step wrong and my foot would roll or slide. I turned around way before the two mile mark, I had no idea how far I'd run at the time, only that I had already hit the one mile mark. 
I had hoped to hit at least three miles, but by the time I had reached my start point, I was so very done with that run. I called it and walked for a bit to try to stretch out my legs, which were really not happy with me by that point. I was disappointed with my distance and pace, 2.68 miles at an average 13:59 pace, but was kinda proud of myself for doing that slog of a run. I paid for it later, while I was at my parents house for dinner, my right knee (my "good" knee) was really stiff and started to ache a bit. I took some advil, propped my leg up and plopped a heating pad on it to ease the stiffness. It was feeling much better by the end of the movie (we watched Red2), and was feeling normal by the next morning.

My legs on the other hand were not. Sunday morning my legs were really sore.  I had changed my training plan already so that I had a six mile run scheduled (instead of the seven mile run on the plan, since I'm doubling up on this week - week 3 on the schedule.) I started having my doubts I would even be able to do that. After brunch, at which I unwisely chose a delicious eggs benedict, my stomach was almost as unhappy as my legs, and my run was in serious risk of not happening at all. I decided, once again, just to get dressed and on the treadmill. I decided I would try to just work out some of the soreness and see how it went. No pressure to hit a distance, just get something logged. After about a mile, my legs started feeling good. The ache kinda worked out and I hit my stride. I wasn't running very fast, I had set the pace slower than usual, but I kinda just let myself watch the movie that was on netfix and forget about how far I was going, since I was no longer aiming for a distance. When I hit three miles, I decided I felt good enough to go for four. At four miles, I figured I was close enough I should round it out to five. When I hit five miles, my legs were starting to get tired, and I thought about calling it, but I realized I was only one mile away from six miles, and I would be really upset with myself for not finishing it out. So I pushed through that last mile. I ran six miles. Further than I've ever run before. On tired, sore legs. Boo. Ya.

Sunday night we went to a concert, which required standing for hours (and because I love the band dancing quite a bit.) By the time we left my legs were pretty close to shot. Luckily my knees never really acted up. Today I am really sore, and really incredibly grateful that I have a rest day on the schedule today.

While we were at the concert waiting between the opening act and the main band, I checked facebook and saw that registration for the Wineglass Marathon was opening this morning. The Wineglass was my dream goal for this year. I'm aiming for a half in april, and I thought, maybe a full by October. I was a little panicked that registration opened so early, and it would sell out long before I made up my mind about a full.

After talking to a few running friends, I made the leap and registered for a full. Apparently if I decide later I won't be running a full, I can switch my registration to the half, but hopefully I won't need to. I'm not telling anyone I registered for it. I don't want the pressure of people knowing it's one of my goals. I'm a little terrified that I actually signed up, but my recent ability to up my distance consistently has given me a lot of confidence that I will be able to hit that distance in time.