Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Halloween is one of our favorite holiday's here. It has been a busy fun-filled weekend of activities and parties.

As the girls headed to the gym with Scott to kids club in their second costumes of the weekend, I was getting ready for my long run... 7 miles.

I was surprised to wake up and find it was not raining, cold and foggy but the fog was starting to clear. After freezing on Thursday's run in a short sleeve shirt, I opted for running tights and a long sleeve shirt to stay warm. This was a good idea as I was in the shade the entire run until about the last 1.5 miles.

I'm not sure there was any part of this run that felt good today, except maybe when I was told I had reached 7 miles. Okay, mile two was okay after my legs had warmed up, but miles 3 and beyond were just painful, my legs just pretty much hurt the entire time. I had Gu at the 3 mile mark and the 6 mile mark, so I never really hit a wall, but it was much harder than the 6 mile run I did two weekend ago.

The exciting part is that 7 miles is more than halfway the distance to the 1/2 marathon. While the training has worked well for me, I'm not going to kid myself, the next 5 weeks are going to require a lot of physical and mental strength.

Let's hope I have some leg left for trick-or-treating tonight!

Week end totals:

Run: 16 miles
Bike: 18.99 miles

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grape Stomp 5k

I have been both nervous and excited about this race. Excited to run a short distance in the midst of 1/2 marathon training but also excited because I felt I had something to prove to myself as well. My running has never really been planned, I always aim to run one 5k a month to try and ensure that I stay in shape, but I would at most really only run once a week and mostly on the treadmill. Training for the 1/2 has been my first real training program and has me running 3 days a week and working out 6 days a week. My times this year have all been slower than in years past, I weigh more which I know accounts for longer times as well. So today's 5k was to prove that I could be faster and that I could get it done.

I knew there was a strong chance that I would be running in the rain, that's what I planned for. I had my running tights, running jacket and a hat and even wore my sunglasses to help keep rain off of my face. It's always weird to be up and ready to run while it's still dark out and most are still cozy in their beds. I made my way to Robertson Park in Livermore with plenty of time to get through packet pick-up. Which apparently not everyone else did.

The1/2 started late, so in turn did the 10k and 5k. I decided to make one last run to the bathroom before the start of the 5k. Glad I did, but bummer that everyone for the 5k was already lined up. I tried to make my way through the crowd and managed to get in front of most of the strollers, it was chip timed so I wasn't worried about my start knowing it would be worked out. As the sent us off, it was excruciating. This was a pack of people that didn't want to run until they hit the timing mat, frustrating. The course was pretty narrow considering how many people were running today. To make matters worse, because of the rain there were huge muddy puddles that people were trying to avoid which caused more back-up and stress as I tried to maneuver around people who were walking, etc. Lets just say I used up a ton of energy trying to get around people, I was frustrated to say the least. I saw the 1 mile marker and was shocked that I was only a mile in, I had used a lot of energy in that first mile. Although I knew two more miles could be accomplished, I think it's safe to say I was frustrated.

At the water station I used this opportunity to run past many people. It's only a 5k, I didn't need water and this would help get past a lot of people, which it did. We were approaching a bridge that we were going to run under which meant downhill, flat, uphill. I took advantage of the downhill and blew by lots of people who were not taking advantage. I was strong and steady up the hill until the person in front abruptly halted to walk mid hill. I nearly cussed out load as I nearly collided into her. Once up the hill I could see the turn around, sweet. I still was bitter because my return trip felt much slower than the way out, I had really used a lot of energy the first 1.5 miles. I tried to find a nice pace where I could lower my heart rate a tad, I knew I would need energy for the last 1/2 mile that would be dirt and grass to the finish line. I was beat but I knew had some left in me for the finish line. By this point I was mostly by myself and was no longer battling through the crowds. As I rounded the corner and approached the grass I stepped into high gear and booked it across the finish line, passing the only person in front of me.

Damn, that felt good! Official time was 34:14. Not a PR, but my best time of the year. While frustration was the word of the day and I really felt like I had a 33 minute run in me, I'm pleased with this time. I proved to myself what I needed to today and that was that with all my training I could run faster than I have all year. Even though this training is about endurance and not speed, you better believe I was out to be faster.

Did I mention it didn't rain?! Could have gone with just a long sleeve shirt today since I didn't get rained on, oh well, better to be prepared. It didn't start to rain until about 10am when I left the park. 

Next up my very first ever 10k!

Week end totals

Run: 11:10 miles
Bike: 5.85 miles

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I did it!

I ran 6 miles today! I'm flabbergasted, I'm doing this because I know I can, but I can't help but be amazed that I actually ran 6 miles today, the furthest ever.

We went to a wedding last night and I had 2 glasses of champagne, the first alcohol I have had on 1 month due to being sick and medication. I completed my rounds of meds on Tuesday but wanted to be super safe and wait to have any alcohol as Flagyl and alcohol can result in serious vomiting and pain. I was surprised when we got home and I felt a little nauseous, maybe I should have waited longer.

Needless to say I woke up with a small headache, probably not enough water yesterday, but was ready to fuel and get it done. Breakfast went over like a fart in church (as my husband likes to say). I could only eat half of it as I was really just not hungry. I downed an Expresso Love Gu (in the hopes of simulating morning coffee) and got on my way. It was cold this morning! I'm not complaining, because I love to run in the cold and once I had 1 mile in I was good. I followed my usual path to the Moraga Commons where I would pick up the trail. It actually started sprinkling on me! I though that maybe I should have worn long sleeves, but it didn't do much other than sprinkle. As I hit my turn around mark I knew I could anticipate a slight downhill back to the Commons. I took advantage of that and felt super strong! As I was getting close to the park I decided it would be a good time to consume a gu, so I could throw it away and not try to pack it back home and getting gooey. This was the first attempt at consuming gu while still running. It went pretty well, I consumed a Mandarin Orange Gu and tossed it at the garbage can in the park and downed some water. Wow, that was easy. The stretch of road between the park and Moraga Way is flat and once again I felt really strong. Once I hit Moraga Way I know it's the home stretch with about 1.5 miles to go. I pace myself as the last 1/2 mile of the run will be a slow uphill. I took advantage of the last downhill section on the pedestrian path and pushed forward. The last quarter mile was really tough, I was running so slow that I felt like I was stuck in molasses. I was talking out load to myself, verbal persuasions of "6 miles baby", "push", everything I could think of. Good thing on a cold Sunday morning all of neighbors were cozy in their homes not to hear my pep talks. 6 miles never felt so good, well at least at the end of the 6 miles!

I am super proud of myself and feeling confident that come December 5th, 13.1 miles will feel just as good!

Next up, Livermore's Grape Stomp 5k!

Week end totals:

Run: 14 miles
Bike: 12.76 miles

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1/3 of the way there

Can't believe I just finished week 4 of my training. That means I just ran 5 miles, the furthest yet! In fact Lance Armstrong congratulated me on my furthest run yet, thanks Lance!

This mornings run actually felt much better than I expected. After a Friday night, girls night out of dancing in wedge boots I felt like I was doomed. Fashion and training just don't seem to mix well unless we're talking about my Lululemon work out clothes. I had to put compression socks on last night because not only did my quads hurt but my right foot was trying really hard to cramp up all night. Needless to say the first mile of my run was painful but once my legs warmed up, the rest went pretty well. I even ran up my street, the furthest ever! Overall it felt like a really good strong run.

Off for another build week!

Week end totals:

Run: 12 miles
Bike: 5.72 miles

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 3 comes to an end

I woke up this morning thinking about running 5 miles. Scott looked at me and said "I don't think that's a good idea". I thought really hard about it. My legs were feeling better, the ice bath really helped, but my arms and shoulders and other parts were pretty sore. I remembered last weekend and how it took almost all week to recover from running 2 days in a row. I made the executive decision that I would rest today and that in the end that seemed the best decision for my body. Which means no 5 miles today. Next week is the same schedule to 3.5/3.5/5 miles. I feel confident that I'll be okay with my training to miss today, I pushed my body pretty hard yesterday and I think giving it a chance to recover is a good idea.

From here on out the training schedule has no other hiccups in it, all scheduled races are to plan and are part of my training.

Week end totals:

Run: 7 miles
Bike: 26.50 miles

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jan Lipson Memorial Ride

Lots of firsts for me. Today was my first organized bike ride, not a race thankfully. Today was also the furthest I have ever ridden my bike, and probably the most hills I have ever climbed as well.

The ride was a 25 mile course (this was the short option), I wasn't thinking I would do the entire 25 miles since I have a 5 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, but once we got there I realized the only way to shorten the ride would make it an 8 mile ride, which was kind of too short. So I trudged ahead to some serious pain. First off, props to my amazing husband who is more of a bike rider than myself for traveling at speeds of 3-4 mph with me while I used my very last gear to traverse the hills. At one point I yelled "why does it look like we are going downhill but it feels like we are going uphill!" Clearly delusional at many points along the way and a couple of points where I just wanted to cry. The SAG Wagon was amazing and was always around to tell us how much further and what the next hills were... really? More freaking hills. I do believe there was some cussing coming from me along the way. We for sure in the home stretch with 4 miles to go when I was told there were two more inclines to come. What? I was in brutal pain on the flat parts I didn't think there was anyway I could possibly make it back. My legs were cramping up and there was some frequent muscle spasms taking place. If I had any hope of running tomorrow or even next week, I had to throw my towel in. I officially rode 21 miles today, but the most important part is that I did it with friends and my hubby. Did I mention how excited Scott was for those last 4 miles and basically pushed it as hard as he could? He looks kind of hot going really fast on his bike.

At the top of the mountain, I'm smiling because I thought the next 9 miles would be easy.   

The pain on the drive home was miserable, there was no place that I could put my legs that was comfortable. As soon as I got home I took some Ibuprofen and used ice packs on my legs while Scott went to the store to get me a 20 pound bag of ice for my ice bath. The pain of stepping into the ice was probably worse than  the muscle pain I felt.

I'm not sure our nifty new whirlpool tub with lights was meant to be used as an ice tub
It still remains to be seen if any running is in my future for tomorrow. Currently waiting for my burger on a baguette with grilled corn. I'm sure it will make everything better.