Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 9 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Mason
Monday - 20 mile bike ride
Tuesday - 0
Wednesday - 4.75 miles
Thursday - 4 miles at the track (repeats)
Friday - 0
Saturday - 16 miles! The farthest I have ever ran...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Miles at the Track

Tonight I felt like switching it up and going to the track. It's been a loooong time since I've been to a track to run any kind of workout. I wasn't planning on doing anything too hard and thought I'd maybe just do a few miles there. I convinced Greg to go with me. It was very fun!

Greg running.

After briefly talking to Greg about what my ideas of repeats on a track are (from things I've read over the years and my own experience working with Fleet Feet's training programs), he decided he was going to do some 400's. I decided I was going to do mile repeats. That is good distance to repeat for marathon training, plus I wanted to work on my pace and form. I brought the camera along and had Greg take a few pictures of me so I could see what I look like while running. I have a tendency to bring my arms up kind of high as well as my shoulders. Start looking like a t-rex.

I warmed up 1 mile at a 10:00 pace. Then my plan was to do 3 miles at 9:30, and another cool down mile. The first mile I did was 9:00 – a bit faster than I planned. The second mile I nailed the pace at 9:30. I decided that was enough, since I'm planning to run 16 miles this weekend. So I ran one more cool down mile at 10:15 pace for a total of 4 miles.

Look pretty normal...

Look out small dinosaurs... here comes T-rex...raaaarrwww!

The track is so nice – soft and smooth. There was always a breeze at some point, even though it was 89ยบ when we went. Greg did awesome, running various distances repeatedly. I think he's going to be sore. His cool down is faster than my mile repeat. Yeah. I'm pokey.

After we ran, we took our shoes off and ran a couple of yards on the fake turf football field barefoot. It is squishy and felt great. I could feel the different muscles being used around my ankles.
Greg stretching.

So we are planning to try to go to the track on Tuesdays now. This will give me more time between possibly having a hard workout and running a long run on the weekend. It's fun that we can run together, even while we're clearly such different paces. I think I'll stick with mile repeats for the duration of the marathon training. I'll keep working on my form and staying strong when tired.


Hmmmm very very tempting...a duathlon at Hueston Woods...

That same weekend I'm supposed to run 9 - 10 endurance effort-wise I think it would be similar. When I rode my bike Monday, I did think about how much I miss duathlon and how next year I think I'd like to focus on it - getting faster at running and biking. Duathlons are just soooo much fun!! I might do it- we'll see.

Hump Day Run

I'm getting over a cold and haven't been sleeping all that well, so I didn't expect my run today to be all that stellar. I waited until I was nice and awake after doing some work before I changed and headed out the door into the bright sunshine. The weather was cool in the shade, but the sun really beat down on me in a couple of open parts.

Somehow I managed a 10:00 mile pace for 4.75 miles that felt like I was going 11:00 miles. Not because it was easy, but it felt like I was crawling. Not sure why I was so off on my judgment. Maybe my stride was just longer than usual.

I realized today that I am so glad running is back in my life. It is kind of like that fun side project that you always want to do, and that I get to work on every day (or almost every day). It is a constant – no matter what else is going on, the running is the same... be it a good run or a bad run. Even that is a constant: there will always be good runs and bad runs and runs that are just done. Right now that is a nice thing to know.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Book About Runners' First Marathons

Today I bought myself a half-way-there marathon present:

I've been looking for a book that just has interesting stories about running in general. It is the every day stories about running that I'm interested in. Not training plans or a bunch of numbers and formulas and how to get fast... just pure running. I have seen some while perusing the running section of bookstores in the past, but have never bought. Typically in magazines like Runner's World and Running Times there are only a few snippets of material that fit into this category – just enough to make me want to read more. First Marathons has stories from 37 different people recounting their first marathons. Some are elites and some are just every day people, so I think it will be very interesting and inspiring. And a good way to keep me focused these next few weeks.

Maybe after the marathon I'll write my own story... if it's interesting. If not that, I do think I should write an entry about why I run.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cyclometer Makes All the Difference

Beauuuuuuuutiful weather!

Greg took my bike to the Trek store today to get my cyclometer fixed. The battery had died, and when he changed it, it never worked right again. The people at the store ended up just replacing it for free, which was super nice. Excited to use it again, I decided to go on a bike ride tonight.

I parked in Loveland and rode south this time. I haven't gone that way in a long time and wanted to switch things up. I think there are more smooth parts. The trail is riddled with bumps from where repairs were made in the asphalt after tree roots were pushing up the pavement. Some are good and others are hidden speed bumps that really jar you. It gets old after a while.

It was a gorgeous night. For the most part my speed was around 16.2 mph. I've joked before about hitting deer. Tonight is probably the closest I've ever come. It wasn't a close call or anything, but I definitely had to slow down a lot for the deer or I may have plowed into it. It moseyed out onto the path and stared at me while it crossed. I was probably going around 18 mph at this point and slowed down all the way to a stop. Ended up being only about 8 or 10 feet away from it and then saw two more fawns farther into the brush and another fawn on the other side of the path. They were all way too tame, just blinking their big eyes at me. We had our stare-down, then I got back on my bike.

I went a little ways past Milford area and then turned around. Coming back felt like it was all uphill. I guess I was just tired. But overall the ride was great. Having my cyclometer back made all the difference in keeping me occupied with checking my speeds.

When I got back to the parking lot, I coasted up to my car and unclipped my right foot. But for some reason I was leaning left and started to go over. No no no...Crash! It was the most ridiculous thing to be almost stopped and just fall over, not being able to do anything about it. I landed pretty squarely on my hip and also on my elbow and wrist. They hurt a little - we'll see how it all fares tomorrow! I can now mark that one off the list. It was bound to happen at some point.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Half Way There

This summer's weather has been ideal. The small bursts of hot weather have been enjoyed in a pool...and not enjoyed during what should have been a 16 mile run. But I really can't complain about the weather. This past weekend's temperatures were ideal for running, considering it's August.

I met Krista out at Miami Whitewater to run the almost 8 mile loop that is there.
Someone else's picture... This is pretty much what most of it looks like. Kind of barren, prairie-like with rolling hills.

We saw a lot of bikers, some walkers, and some other runners. The sky was cloudy for the most part, and there was a cool breeze. But neither of us had a great time, both with separate issues. I had just come down with a slight cold. I ran anyway, hoping to clear it out of my head because I felt fine that morning. But a few miles in, I was more tired than usual. When it was all said and done, I did get about 8.5 miles in and even felt really strong at the end.

So, 8 weeks down and 8 weeks to go. I'm feeling great and can tell I'm getting stronger. Not faster, but stronger. This weekend, if my cold goes away quickly and I feel alright, I'm going to try to do 15 or 16.

Week 8 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Mason
Monday - 12 miles
Tuesday - 0, rest
Wednesday - 4 miles
Thursday - 0
Friday - 3 miles
Saturday - 8.5 miles

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Registered!

It's official...

Dear Stephanie,

Congratulations! You are now registered for Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, Corporate Wellness 5K & Youth Red Nose Run. Please check the event's official website for updates:

The event name sure is a mouthful. It's like how our stadiums can't be called by a relavant, geographically descriptive name like "Riverfront" anymore, but instead must have a big corporate name preceding it. And I'm not really registered for all of those events... just the marathon. Haha. If we were in corporate-land, and it sounds like we are, we'd be referring to this as NBHCM-HM-CW5K-YRNR. Or maybe just CM...

CP1 (that's corporate person 1)>> Are you ready for CM this weekend?

CP2>> Yep! I got my gels, G2 and BG all packed! Can't wait!

CP1>> Sounds good. Let's touch base after the race and discuss your core competencies.

CP2>> Sure thing, I'm certain I'll have some great key learnings from this to share with the pricks team.

And so continues the adventure!

Monday, August 17, 2009

16, no make that 12 miles

16 hasn't happened yet. I was supposed to run it today, but I could only go 12 before I had to stop.


I was very much looking forward to conquering this distance as a boost for my confidence for the marathon. It was hot. It was humid. I started at noon, so eating wasn't prime. Plenty of excuses for why it wasn't stellar. I ran on the bike trail and never want to go back because I'm sick of it now. I repeatedly ran out 1 mile from a central point so that I was close to water and people. 1 mile to the north and back (yay 2 miles!), 1 mile to the south and back (yay 4 miles!), etc etc. BORING. It rained for a little bit, but not hard enough to come through the trees and give me a nice cool off.

I am not sure what to do now as far as the training goes...specifically I'm not sure if I'm supposed to try 16 the next time I am scheduled for a long run, or try it again this coming weekend. I guess waiting until the next long run makes the most sense since I did go 12.

No pics, so this one is a boring post.

Week 7 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Harbin
Monday - 14 miles
Tuesday - 0
Wednesday - 3.5 miles
Thursday - 0, walked a couple miles with Dexter
Friday - 6
Saturday - 0

Monday, August 10, 2009

14 Miles - check

Stinky, wet, and tired. That is me after running 14 miles in really humid weather.

My first 5 miles I ran with my running partner, which was so nice. I realized the full extent of how nice this was when I reached mile 7 and was pleasantly surprised that I was already half way done.

Sunrise after 5 miles.

I took a gel at mile 7ish. I had one bottle of my fuel belt filled with Gatorade and the rest with water. I was doing well sipping on all of them, interchanging the Gatorade with water. Straight up Gatorade is gross to me while running. Leaves my mouth coated and dry, so I always follow it with a water chaser. After a run I can drink it though.

The fuel belt. Ran out of water by the end...

Miles 7 - 10 were a bit rough. My legs and feet began to hurt. My new shoes (new since I've been training for this) have never been very comfortable. My shoes that I've had 5 different colors of have been discontinued [sniff] so I got fitted for a totally different style and brand a few months ago. Today was the ultimate test for them – see if I get blisters or not. I had a spare pair of shoes in my car in case they got really bad and I could go back and change them. I never got any blisters, but am forming some callouses on the insides of my feet that are annoying.

I followed a sidewalk during miles 9 - 10. After that I was on a two lane road and then back in a neighborhood with wide streets. While I greatly prefer running on the asphalt verses hard concrete, I found that running on the narrow sidewalks gave me the illusion that I was going a lot faster. I needed any help I could get mentally at this point and moved up onto the sidewalk.

I was nearly out of water and thought I'd finish up whatever mileage I had left to go at the high school track and hit the water fountains that I imagined would be on every corner of the track. But there was a football scrimmage going on and herds of boys and girls getting ready to run themselves, plus I never saw a water fountain. So I turned around and went back to where I would end, in a park that I knew had water fountains. I found one and filled up two of my empty bottles - one more to drink and one to dump on my head.

Finally, I was done. I walked around, dumping more water on me and cooled off. I couldn't wait to get home and drink a soda. Greg poured me a Sunkist over ice and I downed it in about 5 minutes. I'm sure this isn't a technique any coach or health professional would recommend, but I've found that as soon as I'm done with a long run, if I drink a soda, I recover very quickly. So I do it.

Done!!! Again, a happy face at the end of a long run, though this one was a little forced...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week 6 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 0, disc golf at Harbin
Monday - 0
Tuesday - 0... lots and lots of rain and lightning
Wednesday - 5
Thursday - biked 20 miles.
Friday - 5
Saturday - 0, day at the pool

A little less this week... somewhat due to the fact that I'm not doing my 14 until Monday.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

20 Mile Bike Ride

All day I couldn't wait to go on a 20 mile bike ride after work. I haven't gone that far in a long time and was going to up it a bit. I was really looking forward to it... until it was time to go. Maybe my sudden bad mood set the tone of the ride, or maybe my body knew something I didn't. Either way, the ride wasn't very good.

I realized when I got to the trail I had a monster headache. I almost hit a toad (that would have been gross). I just never felt right, it felt really hard to go a decent speed (what I perceived to be a decent speed anyway– I still need to fix my cyclometer). I never got comfortable on the saddle and I was soooo thirsty the entire time because I didn't drink enough during the day. I got to 10 miles out and gladly turned around. With about 9 miles to go, I hit a HUGE hole on the trail. It jolted me and I slipped off my seat a little, but didn't wreck. Luckily I was already going kind of slow due to a bad series of root repairs in the asphalt that have all bumped back up again. My eyes were glued to the pavement and I still missed seeing this dumb hole. All the force I hit it with went straight into my palms and it hurt. I looked back at the hole and noticed there was a faint orange paint on it. Guess it's time to put some fresh paint on it. I think my bike is OK. I haven't inspected it yet, but the rim still seemed to be perfectly round from what I could tell while riding back.

So, in general a poopy ride, and I'm not used to having poopy rides. I've never wanted a ride to be over before. (OK, maybe that's not true... I can think of a certain duathlon where I accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up on the Oly course rather than the Sprint course and couldn't wait to be done!)

I think I should go to bed early tonight - my body's trying to tell me something.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lady Distance Classic 10K and Getting in Twelve

Saturday morning I got up at 5:00 a.m. to run the Lady Distance Classic 10K with Krista, who I've been running part of my long runs with on the weekends. I was supposed to get 12 miles in this day, so the plan was to warm up for 2 - 3 miles, run the race, then cool down for 3 - 4 miles.

We parked and apparently this is what you do as soon as you get out of your car... pin on your number.

Ready! Pictures courtesy of Greg who got his butt out of bed to come watch! :)

I warmed up for just 1 mile. I hadn't found Krista yet and was kind of anxious about that, so I headed back to the shelter where I left Greg and looked some more. Eventually we found each other. Here we are pre-race.

The race is a lot bigger this year than when I did it about 4 or 5 years ago. The plan was to just finish it. This was Krista's first 10K, though she's ran a 7 mile leg of the Pig Relay before, but it had been awhile.

After the gun went off, the pack was pretty tight. We were going along at an easy pace. Not too far into the race came the psycho-stroller women. There is a jog stroller division which started with the walkers, 3 minutes behind the runners. Apparently there were some fast, competitive stroller runners. We began to hear "On your left!!" and "Move over!! Move over!!" from behind us off to the left. About 3 or 4 women pushing their kids in jog strollers were very rudely fighting to get through the crowd, which I might add was wall to wall people spanning the two lanes of the road. For some reason, they expected the sea of runners to part for them. A couple of them made it through. Then one of the women who was still stuck behind someone kind of veered off the road, catching the stroller in the grass (she was too close to the edge). The stroller tipped almost completely over and would have dumped her kid - she was at least intelligent enough to strap her kid in. She came to a halt, righting it. Now she was really pissed. She got back on the road and took it all out on a girl who just wouldn't move over (and was wearing headphones so that is probably why she didn't hear her yelling at her). Crazy!!! Krista said Psycho-stroller-ladies! and I began to have hard time breathing because I was laughing so hard. Since when is anyone supposed to make way for a stroller, even if there is a division for it? These women were ridiculous and dangerous. If you're that competitive, you should leave the kid at home and just run.

Anyway, after that, there wasn't anything else too eventful. Krista and I chatted away. We laughed when we passed the 5K finish turn-off... how tempting to just be done now!

Here we are after mile 4, feeling good.

The course doubled back on itself for a little bit. At mile 5 we climbed up a big hill, which we had previewed a couple of weekends ago when we came out to run part of the course. It was brutal. Conversation stopped. Krista did awesome and was ahead of me by quite a good distance. We rejoined at the top and here we are rounding a turn after that.

The last part of the course was a slow uphill. I was hurting. I began to wonder how I was going to run 5 more miles after this.

Here we are coming to the finish. Pushing!

We ended up finishing 1:05:31, which was a 10:34 pace. Krista did great!! We never had to stop and I think she felt good the entire time. Goal met!

After the finish.

After the race, we walked around the festival that was set up in the park for a little bit, but it was super crowded. I had a banana, a cookie and downed a bottle of water, since as you can see from the pictures I sweat about a bottle of water per mile. Then we walked back to our cars and headed home.

I still had 5 miles to run.

In the car ride home, I tried to think of where I was going to run. I knew I couldn't go in the house when we got home or I'd never go back out (I wanted a shower sooo bad). So I thought it would be best of Greg dropped me off somewhere 5 miles from home so I'd have no temptations of not going or turning around early. It worked.

The first mile was harder than I thought it would be. My legs were very tight. I losened up a little bit after a couple of miles. Just keep running just keep running... Finally I finished, really done now with running for the day! My pace for those 5 miles was 11:10, but it felt slower.

It was a very fun race! I don't think I would have gotten up the hills without Krista there! And I'm glad I got the 12 miles in even if it was broken up a bit.

Week 5 - Columbus Training

Sunday - 3.6 miles
- 0, rest
- 4.8
Wednesday - 2.4
- biked 15 miles
Friday - 0, rest
- 12 miles total, 1 warm-up, 6.2 Lady Distance Classic, 5 afterwords