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Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Recap, Long runs and dehydration

Let's start with Friday, which was a Rest day. I decided to make it an "active" rest day, so we took the Daughter and the Dog for a loooong walk. About an hour or so. It was awesome, and it completely tired out the dog, which in itself is awesome.

I did not account for this activity in my hydration, which came back to haunt me later.

Saturday I was up early and out the door for my long run. We were running in Mendon Ponds this week, on a notoriously hilly course. I thought I was ready for it. I had my handheld water bottle with a half a tablet of Nuun in it. I had an emergency Gu packet. I had a couple chews and some coffee on the way over. I was running with the 13 min pace group.

The run started off awesome, the pace felt good, and even when we hit some hills early, I was able to power up them without much trouble. I was able to talk and joke with the rest of the pace group, and was really enjoying the run.

About two and a half miles in, we were running along residential streets. You know the kind with those giant McMansions and absolutely no trees? Well it was starting to get kinda warm, and it was sunny. Our pace leader kept reminding us to Hydrate. So I was. I was sipin at my water and cruisin along feeling kinda awesome. Hot. Sweaty. But Awesome.

Around mile 4.5, we turned back into the park, with blessed shade, but cursed hills. Right around here, close to mile 5, I ran out of water.

This immediately became an issue. I was sweating buckets, and the hills were sapping everything I had left in me quickly.

I toughed it out for about another mile, and then, struggling up a long incline, I ran completely out of gas. I was way overheated. I couldn't seem to get my breathing to calm down. I dropped to a walk, and let the pace group pull away from me.

Not gonna lie, it was a low moment. There may have been a few tears of frustration.

A little while later I crossed the path of one of the coaches from the walk-fit group. He looked at me and asked if I was ok. I gave the so-so sign, and told him i'd run out of water. He handed me a bottle and told me to drink it. I took a swig and tried to hand it back. He told me to take it. About now, my brain wasn't working right, because I kept trying to insist I was ok. He told me to pour it into my bottle, he insisted. When I tried to open my bottle to transfer the liquid, there was a lot of fumbling and not a lot of progress. Which told me I was worse off than I thought. The coach helped me fill my bottle, then went on his way. He kept looking back to check on me though.

I remember looking down at my legs somewhere in here, and noticing that not only was every inch of my skin coated in sweat, but it was starting to actually run down my legs, and occasionally would drip from my elbows. I don't think I've ever been that sweaty on a run before.

I walked as quickly as I could, running the down hills when I could. I finished the bottle the coach had given me (I never got his name.) I was able to kick it back into a run for the last bit and finish out running, apparently about 30 seconds behind my pace group, and even less behind a couple of them.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who ran out of water. I talked to at least three people who had the same issue, and heard about several more. None of the people I had talked to had really trained in that kind of heat, and especially not in that heat on those hills.

As awful as the last part of that run was, I am really proud to have finished it out, and finished it out with a decent pace, even with the hills. I'm looking forward to the next long run, which will be significantly less hilly, and to which I will bring adequate hydration.

Sunday, I had a short run on the schedule, and was planning on doing it in the evening. We headed to the Zoo with a friend and her daughter in the morning. It was hot and sunny all day, and by the time we got home to put our daughter down for her nap, I was starting to feel all sorts of icky. I figured I was just tired, and passed out on the couch. The Hubs went upstairs after I had passed out and without meaning too fell asleep himself on the bed after lying down to "stretch his back." We didn't wake up until almost 4. So yeah, unintentional three hour nap mid day.

I woke up still feeling all sorts of nasty. I had a slight headache and I felt really warm. Turns out I was still dehydrated. I spent the rest of the day chugging as much water as I could, adding Nuun to most of it.

Obviously I did not go for my run. I decided three glasses of water into my re-hydration regimine to put Sunday's run off and run it instead on my rest day (monday.) I believe this was a sound decision, as I was still slightly dehydrated when I woke up this morning (I know right?!)

So lesson learned. Bring more water than you think you need.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sometimes, you really need to look at the Data.

Last night was supposed to be a 3-4 mile tempo run. I was supposed to run 3-4 mile repeats at Tempo pace. My target pace for tempo runs is between an 11:50 and 12:50 pace. I was worried about my pace, since my calves were bothering me before I even started running.

I headed to the canal for the nice flat terrain, started up my shiny new mapmyrun+ app, and headed out. My calves were an issue right from the start, and about half a mile in, I was struggling to maintain my speed. I had set the app to give me my pace ever 0.1 miles, but it was giving it to me in miles per hour. I had absolutely no idea what the speeds translated to.

I hit one mile, paused my workout, and took my walk break. I really felt like I needed it for the first time in a long time. The second mile was even rougher, I could feel my calves dragging me down. I felt like I was going really slowly, and had to keep pushing harder to maintain my pace. I took a walk break at my turn around point so I could refill my water bottle, and the sloged it out until the two mile mark.

At this point, I had serious doubts about my ability to finish out the workout. I was very cranky about it, I may or may not have been on the verge of tears during this walk break.

For mile three I basically gritted my teeth, and pushed through. I let my pace drop to what felt like a shuffle. I knew I was going to call it at three, even though I should have been pushing it to four. I was getting these little lancing sharp pains in my calves, and was starting to worry I was hurting myself. So I slowed down some more, feeling like I might go faster walking.

As soon as I hit mile three I paused the workout and gratefully dropped to a walk. My legs were totally spent. I was really sweaty and very very tired. I felt completely defeated by the run. My thought process was somewhere along the lines of "Why is this getting harder?! It was only three miles, and it was a slow three miles. I shouldn't be in this rough shape!"

I was dreading looking at my phone and seeing awful splits, so I put it off until I got to my car. I just took my half mile (ish) cool down walk of shame, and then did a little stretching.

I really should have looked at my phone.

Apparently I was running really fast (for me.) No wonder it felt rough.

Just look at those splits! My first mile was under 11 minutes! I'm still stunned I could run that fast at all, let alone for a whole mile. The second and third mile were well within (or above) my target tempo pace.

Framed with the data, that was a great run. Yeah the calf pain is worrying, but it subsided by this morning, and I still haven't managed to get my hands on bananas yet, so I have hope that the banana's will be my magic cure.

Today is a rest day, a very welcome one, before another long paced run saturday morning. I'm planning on running with the 13 min pace group this week, instead of the 12's, but it's a notoriously hilly course, so I know i'm going to be suffering.

Hills build character right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wet, wet run

I decided around lunch time that my legs were feeling up to a run, so I had Hubs pick our daughter up from daycare, and headed straight home and out the door for a run.

I was testing out a new route, starting close to our house, running down to the river trail, along the river trail and back. I figured it would be a good route for us to take with the jogging stroller that wouldn't require us to drive anywhere.

About a half mile into my run, the skies opened up. There was thunder, there was torrential rains, there were puddles. I was doing a sort of Urban Trail Run, jumping onto lawns and dodging slick slate sidewalks. I considered turning back. Safety might have dictated doing so. But I was already out, and already soaked. So I pushed on, and by the end of mile one, the rain had tapered off.

I was DRENCHED. Water was running down my legs, dripping off the visor of my hat, and squishing in my shoes.

The sun came out a little while after that. By then I had reached the River Trail, and was running along a really gorgeous path, which was almost completely shaded by huge trees. The path was definately hillier than the canal path I'm used to running on, but that'll be good for my training.

My calves bothered me for about the first 2, maybe 2.5 miles. So I was running really slowly. Weirdly they stopped bothering me after I did my walk break at my turn around at 2.5 miles.

I even remembered to pause my workout for my walk break, so it didn't really affect my pace readouts.

Even with the sun coming out, I was still soaking wet by the time I got home. I looked like I had taken a shower with my clothes on. I'm glad today is a rest day, it'll give my shoes a chance to dry out.

All in all it was a great run, actually. The route was amazingly scenic, and even with a couple of hills, I felt good. Looking back at it, I am proud that I've gotten to the point where I can just be like "yup, gonna go out and run five miles, nbd."

I did some foam rolling afterwards, but my calves are still a little sore today. I've got my compression socks on again under my work pants, and I'm planning on more foam rolling tonight. Meg suggested bananas, so I'm going to pick some of those up soon and see if they help. I'm also contemplating a new pair of running shoes, as the ones I'm running in have got quite a few miles on them now, and I'm definitely going this weekend to try to find some flats for work.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Calf Cramping

Last night I tried to go to bed early, so I could get up for the morning group workout this morning. I was in bed by 10, but I could not, for the life of me, fall asleep. My mind just would not turn off. I think I finally fell asleep somewhere between 11 and 11:30.

I did manage to wake up when the alarm went off at 5am, however immediately upon standing, I knew I was going to have to call it. Both of my calves were all cramped up and horrifically sore. It was bad enough that I was having trouble walking, and I knew if I went to the group workout, I was going to push it too much and hurt something.

So I called it, and crawled back in bed.

When I woke up again at 7 my calves were still all cramped up, but it was starting to ease, so I threw on my compression socks under my work pants, and I'm doing some stretching when I can. I'm hoping my calves feel good enough for a run later tonight, but if not I'll have to make it up tomorrow morning, early.

Part of my issue, I think, is that I wear heels to work. I'm going to try to find some nice dressy flats to wear to work on the days when my legs are burnt out from running. I think the additional strain of wearing heels when my calves are already tired is what's causing the cramping. It's worth a shot at least.

I'm frustrated, as yesterday was a rest day, so you'd think my legs would have had plenty of time to recover from any strain I'd placed on them over the weekend. The calf pain was worse this morning than yesterday however.

Anyone have any ideas what else might be causing my calf pain? Or ways to help ease or prevent it?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Recap

We'll start with the fact that I did not run Friday night. By the time I had time to run, it was late (around 8 or 9) and I did not want to stress my legs out that much before the early morning run on Saturday.

Saturday, I was up and dressed, had a moment of panic as our malfunctioning alarm clock told me it was 7 already (the run starts at 7 and was about 20 minutes away), realized it was an hour off, got myself ready and headed out to Durand Eastman Park.

I was nervous about running with the 12' pace group, since there were supposed to be hills on this route. My pace always suffers a lot on hills. But I figured, I need to train on hills if I'm going to get better so...off we went.

The weather was perfect, cool and mostly overcast. The views in the park were spectacular. We started out running along the shore of lake Ontario, then turned in towards the park. I was feeling alright with the pace, until we hit that first hill. It came almost immediately after we turned away from the shore line, and it was relentless. It was about a 100 ft climb over half a mile. By the end of that first hill, I had slid to the back of the pack and, along with about three other people, was struggling to keep from loosing the pace group entirely.

One of the pacers (there were three with our group because it's so large), hung back with the small group of us, and started making it her missing to pull us through it. I remember her asking me how I was feeling, to which I gave the "so so" hand wave, since I was feeling like talking might be a bad thing. Once we topped the hill, I told her basically that I suck at hills. That I can keep the pace until we hit a hill like that. At which point I kinda die. She introduced herself at that point, and started just...talking.

She coached me and the other runners up the hills, and kept up a constant stream of jokes, anecdotes and random tips as we ran. She never got more than a few steps ahead of me, and whenever we'd hit another incline, she'd talk about pulling me up the hill. She had some really good advice, stuff about keeping my arms pumping and my chest up. Keeping my eyes on the horizon, instead of dropping my head like I'm prone to doing.

When we finished out the six miles, I was totally done. I was supposed to do seven on my schedule, but I knew I didn't have another mile in me. I know I wouldn't have finished out the six if it hadn't been for the pacer (I think she said her name was Sarah, my brain wasn't working really well by that point.) After a brief conversation with her about the run next week, I think I'm going to drop back to the 13 minute pace group for that run, there are going to be a lot of hills apparently. I'm trying to keep my ego out of this, and train safe and appropriate.

Part of my decision making process for that was the fact that when I get home from a run, I still have to be a parent. I can't give all of my energy to a long run and then get home and pass out. It makes for a very cranky Hubs when I do, and things that need to get done, don't.

Sunday, I had an "easy three" on the schedule. I was still all sore and tired from Saturday, so I decided to run on the flatness of the canal path. I wasn't able to get out for the run until my daughter went down for her nap. I was worried because I was heading out to the path during the hottest time of the day. I put a half a Nuun tab in my handheld, and had a big water bottle with ice waiting in the car. I planned on taking it really slow.

I got out on the trail and tried to relax into my pace. I noticed that there was more shade on the trail at this point in the day, which was good.

I had upgraded to the paid version of mapmyrun, and had set it to give me my pace every minute. Unfortunately it was giving me my pace in miles per hour instead of minutes per mile, so I really wasn't sure what the paces were. I felt good on the run, my legs were sore and protesting most of the time, but the rest of me felt good. I drank my entire handheld on the way your, paused my workout to refill my bottle a little more than half way out, then turned back. I drank the entire water bottle again on the way back. I did not once feel overheated. I don't know if that was because of the Nuun, the shade or the lack of oppressive humidity.

Also big thanks to Sharon Andy Holderman and One Crazy Penguin for the suggestion of spandex shorts. I pulled an old pair of bike shorts out of the closet for this run and they didn't ride up once. Win! I'm going to go order a few more pairs now...

After my run we headed to my parents house and did some swimming in the pool, although it was more, floating/standing around enjoying not being warm than actual swimming.

Today is a very welcome rest day on my schedule. My legs are tired and a little sore, and I'm trying really hard not to eat everything in sight.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Speed work

On my training schedule for yesterday was a "tempo run." I have never done any sort of speed work before, so these kinds of runs are new to me.

I guess the way it was supposed to work was this:

1 Mile easy 
2 x 1 mile repeat (tempo pace is 11:40 to 12:30 
take 3 minutes recovery either walking or trotting) 

How it ended up looking was slightly different.

Hubs and Daughter at the end of the run.
The Hubs and daughter came along for the run. I tried to run slowly for the first mile, but it's really hard to run slow when your Husband can walk faster than your slow pace. So I went slow-ish, ending up with a 12'40" average pace for the first mile.

I was using the nike+ app for the first time in a long time, because I could figure out how to get it to give me pace feedback every minute, unfortunately, it was only giving me average pace for the whole run. Not very useful when I'm trying to hit specific pace targets for different miles.

Anyways, I hit one mile and cranked the speed. The feed back started ticking down, until it was giving me a pace around 12'20". I was feeling awful, because it felt like I was pushing really hard to maintain the pace, which sounded really slow. For reference, I'm in the 12 minute pace group in my training group. I shouldn't have been pushing that hard for a 12'20" pace. Spoiler, turns out I wasn't.

At two miles, I took my walk break, and forgot to pause my workout. So it caused havoc on my pace. When I started my run back up, it kept giving me paces in the 13's, then in the 12'50" range. So I kept pushing it, trying to bring my pace down. I kept thinking that I must be really off today, since this pace felt so hard. Right at the end I completely ran out of gas and let my pace taper off until I hit three miles.

Turns out I was running really fast. The splits showed up as 11'23" for mile two and 12'54" for mile three (with the walk break.) Looking at the nifty pace graph on the website, I was hitting speeds around 10'50" a lot, with my fastest pace around 10'14". Yikes. No wonder I was sucking wind.

With the information to reframe it, it was a great run. The temperature out was much more comfortable, and I wasn't dying by the end of the run. I'm not sure how successful i was at a tempo run, since I think I was doing my intervals a little fast.

I've since bought the paid version of the mapmyrun app, which will give me (hopefully) a more accurate picture of my pace when I run. I know that eventually I'm going to have to cave and get a watch of some sort, but I'm just not ready to invest that kind of money right now.

I've got another short, easy run tonight, and then a long run saturday morning.

I'm having a rough time adjusting to the increased number of runs a week, even though most of the runs are shorter, so my total weekly milage is right around where it was pre-half. I'm really looking forward to my rest day on .... monday...yikes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Feeling Hot hot hot!

After missing my first morning speed work run, I still had to do the mileage, so last night I headed out to the Canal for my three miles.
It was hot and muggy, so I chilled my water bottle, and planned a route that would give me a water stop in the middle(ish).

Snazzy Outfit
The offending shorts
The heat even trumped modesty and I took the plunge, going out running in shorts and a tank top. The tank was even appropriately emblazoned with the words "Be Bold." This was huge step for me, and one that didn't entirely work out. Mostly because I spent a good portion of my run worrying about the fact that my shorts kept riding up in the middle. Does that happen to anyone else? Anyone know of a way to prevent it?

Also, even with the snazzy outfit I was dying in the heat. I ended up having to take a lot of walk breaks, starting at one mile. Then at the turn around I stopped to dump water on my legs and over my head, and to refill my bottle, which I had finished off. On the way back I think I took three walk breaks before I hit my three mile target. You can also see on my splits that my pace took a nose dive after that first mile.

Happy because the run is finished.
Even with finishing off the replenished water in my bottle, by the time I got back to my Inlaws for dinner, I was feeling really dehydrated. I finished off a small (about 12 oz) water bottle with Nuun in it with dinner, but I still ended up with a Migraine later that night. I've been making a point of drinking a lot of water during the day ( I keep a 33 oz water bottle at my desk that I drink all day ) so I'm not sure what else I can do to stave off the dehydration. I really felt like if I drank any more water on the run I was going to get sick.

Today is a (very) welcome rest day on my schedule. I may do some yoga later to try to work out some of the lingering soreness in my calves, at the very least I've got some time scheduled with my foam roller later.

How I really felt.
I'm trying really hard to keep a positive attitude about all of this right now, but I'm frustrated. Frustrated with how hard the runs feel, frustrated with trying to squeeze runs into rapidly shrinking free time, frustrated with my lack of weight loss (oh yeah that, remember I was trying to loose weight?) I feel like I've been at this forever, with very little progress to show.

I'm sure (mostly) that this feeling will pass as I get further into my training plan. I think it's mostly the fatigue of starting back into a serious training plan, combined with the unexpected effect of the heat and humidity.

I'm hoping soon that the runs will stop wiping me out. It's causing serious strife at home that I'm basically useless when I get home from a run, and the Hubs is having to pick up the slack.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Makeup Run, and missed morning group run

Last night I did a "makeup" run for my missed Sunday run. The Hubs and Daughter came along. We went down to the canal, in hopes of having a slightly cooling breeze to cut through the humidity.

It was hot. I was wearing one of my new pairs of shorts, ones with compression liners, so I figured my usual unhappiness with the shortness and the ride-upness would be combatted. Unfortunately, the compression part is not long enough for me, so I was still uncomfortable with the shortness. I really need to just buy compression shorts to wear under regular shorts I think. I'm gonna give them one more try and see if it's just my anxiety, or if they really are too short for me.

I was also wearing one of the hydration belts I got for my birthday, and again, not 100% comfortable with it. I don't like the way wearing it causes my shirt to do that pouf thing around my waist, like I'd tucked it into my pants and pulled it partway back out. I suppose I'll get used to it, since any hydration belt is going to cause this same phenomenon.  Either that or I'll loose enough weight that I'll start feeling comfortable wearing tighter shirts....

The run went ok, we had a couple of walk breaks, at one mile and at the turn around, and then Hubs dropped back to a walk around mile two. I kept going for almost another mile. I didn't have my phone with me, so I was estimating distances, apparently poorly.

It was definitely a slog of a run, but it felt awesome to have done it. To be out there sweating it out, and getting it done.

This morning however, I was unable to get up for the morning group workout. I just didn't have it in me after the run on Monday night, and then getting myself into bed too late (11pm), waking up at 5am just wasn't happening.

I listened to my body and got sleep, instead of forcing myself to get up and go run. I know it sounds like being lazy, but I honestly feel that I would have hurt myself if I had pushed myself out of bed on that little sleep and so close to the end of my last run. We finished our run on Monday after 7, so there would have been right around 10 hours between my runs, and only five solid hours of sleep.

So I've still got a run in me today. And after the day I've been having...I'll need it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Paced Long run

This past saturday was my first paced long run with my HFM group.

The run was scheduled to start at 7am, so I tried to go to bed early friday night. I emphasize the try because I didn't end up going to bed until after 11, and then, despite taking some melatonin, had a really hard time sleeping.

When the alarm went off at 6, I actually had to talk myself out of bed, but I got up, dressed, made some coffee, and got in the car.

When I got to the Culver Rd. location where we were meeting, I was directed to where to park and then sat in my car nervously for a minute before heading inside. My stomach was a mess, I hadn't been able to eat anything and had barely touched the coffee I had made.

The inside of the store was loud and crowded. Again, it seemed like a lot of people knew each other. I found my pace leader, but she was hanging out near an area of the store they kept asking us to keep clear, so I kinda just found somewhere to stand and kept an eye on where she was.

I had made the decision to not bring my phone on the run, so I wasn't sure what time anything really happened at, but after about half an hour of standing around they had us move outside and huddle up for another group picture.

We separated into our pace groups, and then they had us do a staggered start. My pace group (the 12 min/mile group) was one of the last groups, followed by the 13's and 14's. We started jogging through the parking lot, and then had to stop dead in a long line of the groups ahead of us waiting to cross the first intersection. After that we settled into the pace and I tucked myself in behind someone. There were a lot of admonishments to stay "two abreast" as we were running along roadways at this point.

I felt super tired and not at my best at this point, but the pace felt slow, and I spent a good deal of time beating myself up for not pushing harder at the time trial. I was also cold. I was the only one in my pace group wearing a jacket. Everyone else seemed to be in shorts and tanks. I have no idea how they did it, I was freezing at the start, even in my capri's and jacket.

Once we got about a mile into the run, I was settled in, and the pace started to feel comfortable. We were running through some nice neighborhoods at this point so I was kinda just enjoying the scenery and letting it ride. At one point we had to stop at a red light, which is apparently called a "red light social" (at least that's what some people were calling out when we stopped.)

Right around then I started to feel the pace.

I am apparently awful at pacing myself. I have, in the past, let my exertion level dictate my pace. I have never run a paced run like this, let alone one this far (five miles.)

A little under halfway through the run, I started having to work to keep the pace. My focus narrowed down to the three people around me, the two in front and the one next to me. I just kept focusing on keeping the woman's sneakers in front of me the same distance away. I started to worry about being able to maintain the pace for the full run.

I was starting to heat up, but I was still just on the warm side of comfortable with my jacket on. Especially when a breeze hit me, I was glad I had brought it.

Running along neighborhood sidewalks like we were helped keep me distracted from my growing discomfort at the pace, since the sidewalks were old, some even the old slate sidewalks. There was a lot of "Urban trail running" as one of the coaches running with us called it: jumping to avoid an entire pizza splayed out across the side walk, dodging lips and holes in the sidewalk, or planters and poles along it.

Somewhere around here I started hoping for another red light so I could stop and rest. I kept telling myself that this was why I was doing this, to get better, so I better get used to being uncomfortable. It was starting to really upset me that I was having such a hard time keeping the pace.

The next "red light social" we had was about a mile out from the finish of the run, and by that point i was actually warm enough to really want to take my jacket off. So I tied it around my waist, awkwardly. There has to be a better way to do that.

The last bit of the run included a nasty uphill, which I had to really push to get up, followed by a nice downhill back to the Armory. This is where I realized that the terrain affects my pace and perceived exertion a lot. I had been dying, struggling to keep the pace. As soon as we hit that downhill, I had to keep reigning it in to keep from crashing into the people in front of me. I also suddenly felt like I could run for a few more miles.

We finished out the run, the full marathon group headed back out for an additional three miles, and kinda milled around with the rest of the pace groups. They had some Nuun water for us to drink, and so I had a small cup of that and stretched a bit before stoping to thank my pace leader and heading out.

I was really dispirited after the run, worried that I've bitten off more than I can chew with the 12 min/miles.

I've got a better perspective on it now, looking back at it and taking a look at the elevation change on the route we took. I was expecting it to be easy, and it wasn't. Now I know I have to work for it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

HFM Training - Time Trial Day

Last night was the time trial for the half marathon training group I joined. I was very nervous, both because I've been kinda slacking on the running, but also because...well people.

I showed up early to the store where we were gathering and just...kinda stood around awkwardly in the middle of the crowd. It seemed like most people kinda knew a few other people. There weren't a lot of other people like me that I could see, just kinda standing around waiting to get started. This did not do anything to calm my nerves.

The entire group Pre-Time Trial.
The time trial was going to be a two minute timed run to get us set into our pace groups for training. We were supposed to run the two miles as fast as we could. We were told we were going to do a short warm up run to get to the half mile loop we'd be running.

As soon as we got outside I started to worry more. It was hot. It was sunny. It was humid.

I started out trying to keep a slow pace. I tucked in behind someone and just kinda cruised. A little ways into the "warm up" run, someone passing me wondered out loud if we had "started yet". It did seem like we had been going for a while. The girl I had tucked in behind laughed and said she'd done this before, they have us run one mile to warm up before the start of the loops.

We finally got to where we were running the loops and self sorted into how fast we thought we would run it. I stuck myself in the 12 min/mile category. And we were off.

The first part of the loop was really hot and sunny. We had been told to run all out, so I was letting my legs fly. I wanted to leave it all on the course. By the end of the first loop I could tell I was in trouble. I was starting to feel the heat, so I let myself slow up a bit, even though my legs still felt fresh.

Again the start of the loop was hot and sunny, and I started really struggling, and then I'd feel a little better on the back half of the loop, where it was shadier.

The third loop I started panicking, wondering what would happen if I couldn't finish. I was really feeling the heat. It felt hard to breathe, like I just couldn't get enough heat out of me. I let my pace slack again on the "hot" part of the loop, and then started pushing it on the back side. The fourth loop all I could think was "just finish it out. Just keep going."

I finished and they called out a time of 23:21, which puts me in the 12 min/mile pace group.

I walked around a bit trying to cool off, and joined the group cheering people in as they finished the loops.

I walked most of the "cool down" mile back to the store. I was feeling not so awesome about my running right about then. I really felt like I couldn't go as fast as my legs can go, because I was suffocating in the heat.

After we got back to the store there was about an hour of "orientation" and a talk from the Garmin guy about their watches. While I'm a fan, and wish I could spring for one, a $400 watch is just not in my budget for a while. Especially since my shoes are due for replacement soon.

Our first Paced long run is this Saturday. Five miles with our pace group at 7am. The training plan calls for five runs a week. Luckily for me and my weird schedule it looks like the rest days are monday and wednesday right now. That's good since wednesday is always a hard day for me to get a run in. Group runs are tuesday morning (at 6am! yikes!), thursday evening and saturday morning. I'm on my own for fridays and sundays.

I'm really nervous about my ability to stick to this schedule, and more than a little disappointed in my time trial. I'm trying to look at it as a base line. This is where I am now. This is what I need to beat.

The other part of my fear came true last night, almost no one talked to me. Like I said, it seemed like most people had come with friends. I'm hoping that'll change once we split off into our pace groups. It'll really suck if I'm still "running by myself" in a group.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Back on track Baby!

Last night's run was awesome. It feels so good to say that.

I got a late start as the Hubs was running late getting home from work, but I was determined to get a full three miles in. I headed to the canal trail, since it was overcast so I didn't think the lack of shade would be an issue, and I was looking for a nice easy run.

I started out too fast, and I could tell, but my legs felt like they wanted to run fast and I was on a deadline (the in-laws were waiting on me for dinner.) So I let it fly.

I didn't really start to feel it until somewhere after the start of mile two. I could feel it in my lungs mostly, and for the first time in a long time I started to get a side stitch. So I slowed it down and tried to ease into a comfortable pace.

I turned around at the next lock, which was a little further than a halfway point, and walked for about 30 seconds before cranking it back up again.

My legs felt easy and loose this whole time. Really it was my lungs holding me back, and with all the dogwood "snowflakes" in the air, it's no wonder. The air was full of them. It was really pretty actually, I wish I had gotten a few more pictures of them drifting around. The canal water was covered in large drifts of them too, which was neat looking.

I managed to not overheat myself on this run, which I'll take to mean I'm slowly getting used to running in the heat.

I'm pretty proud of those splits too. I feel like a few more weeks and I'll be back to where I was before the Half marathon. Which is awesome, because tomorrow is the first run with my training group!

I'm super nervous about tomorrow's run for a couple of reasons. Mainly because it's a group run. With other people. But also because it's the run that determines which pace group we're going to get placed in. I'm worried that I'll either push myself too fast and get myself into a pace group I can't keep up with, or I'll crash and burn and be one of the slowest people there.

Weird thing to worry about, right?

Same selfie spot as last time, Less of a hot mess!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The family that runs together...

Getting water after we finished.
I'm still here I swear. And I've been running, some. Not as much as I would have liked, but that will change when my training group starts up on Thursday.

This past Friday I went for a run with the Hubs and our daughter. We did two miles, first one with him pushing, second with me pushing, and then he slowed to a walk and I finished out a third mile.  We decided to run at Mt. Hope cemetery, instead of up at the reservoir. There is actual shade at Mt. Hope, and hills, and we wouldn't be just doing the same loop over and over.

Cutest Running Buddy Ever!

We took it easy too, since the Hubs is still nervous about his knee, and I haven't really done any hills in the heat yet. I also slowed waaaaay down when I was pushing. The last time I pushed the stroller I ended up pulling something in my calf because I was pushing too hard too soon, and it was warm out, and I am now gun shy about overheating. I tried to run by feel, since I didn't have my earbuds in, and therefore could not hear my phone telling me speed and distance. We actually were at 1.98 miles when the Hubs wanted to stop and I checked my phone to see how far he'd run. He decided he want to push through and finish out the two miles. Not my speediest run, but I'll take it. Especially since I know the speed is going to come with the training I'm about to start.

She looooves to run!

Luckily for us our daughter loves to run, so she was in heaven when we let her out of the stroller to run around while Hubs did his walk. She actually kinda fast too, so if you're not careful she'll get away from you. I hope she always keeps the joy she has when she runs now, laughing and yelling "I running!" back at me as she goes. Her joy while running is contagious too, which is awesome motivation. I'm trying to use her as a model for my attitude towards running. I really wish I could do anything with the pure joy and abandon that she runs with.
The 30 day challenges are kind of a bust, unfortunately. With everything else going on in my life right now, it's all I can do to get runs in three times a week. I've been doing the challenge work outs whenever I get a chance, but it's been sporadic at best.

I have been able to stick to a semblance of a good diet, however. Limiting myself to small portions and avoiding a lot of bad foods at several parties this weekend. So, small win there.

I'm planning on a short run tonight, but I'm going to try to take it easy so I don't burn myself out for thursday's intro to training run. I'm really nervous about it!

If you look close you can see one of the tall buildings of the Skyline through the trees.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Making progress

So far so good. I've managed to do Days 1 & 2 of both challenges I signed myself up for. (30 day Ab challenge and the 30 Day strong Arms challenge.) I kept myself within my caloric limit yesterday, even with eating the last piece of my birthday cake left in the fridge. Minor miracle right there.

I have not gotten a run in yet, but I'm planning on getting a short run in this afternoon. I'm a little nervous about it as it'll be my first run in some real heat.  

The Challenges are still relatively easy, although the reps are climbing fast. Looking down the line, I can tell that I'm going to start really feeling it by the end of the week. Last night was a close call for my newly minted routine. The Toddler was in full effect last night, and it took both me and the Hubs to get her fed, bathed and in bed. We were both so tired by the time she went down that it required an hour of television lounging to recover before we had enough energy to do our respective routines (the Hubs is working on doing some PT for his knee right now.)

The other energy suck was actually a positive one. I made the Chicken-Mango Fajitas out of the Runner's World Cookbook last night. It was the first recipe I've tried out of the book. We did make one change to the recipe, we used corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. It was not a good switch. I would stick with the flour tortillas. Also the mango I got wasn't entirely ripe, which was unfortunate. They turned out good, although I'm now planning on little tweaks to the recipe to make them greatSome great things about the recipe, it was really healthy, and it made enough that I have some for lunch today! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Putting June on Notice!

Conveniently the first day of June is a Sunday. Today is the first day of my "redemption month", and I'm jumping in with both feet.

For my birthday last week I got The Runners World Cookbook, and also a set of attachments for my Kitchen Aid for making pasta. (I also got a few other running related gifts, like a nathan hydration belt.)

This week I'm using both of those to start following a more healthy diet. I actually wrote out a rough meal plan for the week (it's mostly dinners with my lunches for work thrown in.) I've got a few breakfast recipes that I'm going to make tonight (grab and go stuff), and I'm going to start tracking what I'm eating again, starting on monday (hey it's sunday, and I've got leftover birthday cake to eat!)

Meal plan for the week. Stole the whiteboard idea from Skinny Geek!
Today is also day one for two month long challenges that I've decided to thrown down with. A 30 day Ab challenge and a  30 Day strong Arms challenge. Both of which I found on FaceBook. A few of the days have overlapping exercises, so on those days I'll be only doing one of the sets, whichever has the higher reps. (I have a sleeveless bridesmaids dress to wear in August!)

Next week, the Half Marathon training group I joined starts, so I need to get at least a couple of decent runs under my belt this week in preparation.

Bring it June.