Posts Tagged ‘training’

My 200th Post Is About Me

So, remember when I said that I wanted to write my 200th post about how awesome my T2 runners were? Well, I’ve got a lot going on right now, including my A race last weekend, and I figured I can’t just keep my blog in limbo forever while I wait to find the time to write those folks the post they deserve. Are they inspiring? Hell yes. Let’s just leave it at that for now.

And talk about me.

Saturday I headed down South to Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, where hoop skirts still abound (just kidding. I WISH hoop skirts still abounded). Amy and I skipped work on Friday (which is why I’m still here at 7:30 p.m.) and made the drive through typical I-95S hell with prodigal CAR Kay. We got there just in time to hit the expo, where I needed to buy a new pair of sneakers for the race. Yes, you heard me right. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. New shoes are my JAM, and I will wear them in a race up to and including 13.1 miles until I die! If Brooks doesn’t want me to do it, then they should start making sneakers that last longer than 200 miles.

Anyway, my local running store had already upgraded to the 2012 models, which are fug. And I’m not crazy enough to run a race in new updated shoes. So even though Amy offered to pick some up for me at her LRS, I said no thanks, I’ll just get some fo’ cheap at the expo. (This is foreshadowing, people.)

On the way to expo, we started talking about how we were feeling. Amy was nervous, but I said I felt really zen. I didn’t feel anything–I was just going to go out and run. Well, when we get to the expo to find ONLY Sauconys and discounted Adrenalines in every size except women’s 10, I could feel that zen slipping away into sheer terror. Yes, I had brought old sneakers, but I didn’t even bring my most recent pair. I just grabbed some old ones, because I figured there was no way in hell they wouldn’t have my sneakers at the expo.

Luckily, Amy, as a member of the 21st century, was able to look up the nearest running specialty store on her smartphone, while I just held my phone in my hand and pretended to study its ultra-cool keyboard, which is useless for doing anything besides communicating directly with a human being. We made a quick run to the store, which closed in–oh look at that–1o minutes. But they had the 2011 version of my shoes, and I grabbed them and headed back out to the CAR team dinner.

That was really the scariest part of the weekend for me, so forgive me for spending so much time on it. I did run a race the next day though, and my feelings about it can best be summed up as ambivalent though mostly positive. And I figured out why I was feeling so zen before the race–I had nothing to lose. Unlike my last big 13.1, I wasn’t planning to lay it out on the line. I’ve been uber-stressed lately, and while I very much viewed this as a return to my racing form, as the race I needed to prove to me that I made the right decision about my hip and my training over the last year, I still spent most of my time training for this race by standing still while other people ran around me. And the times I did run, well, I averaged about 15-minutes per mile with my runners. It was far from ideal, but it’s the training that I was able to do and still live the life that I wanted to live. A year ago I gave myself over to the marathon, and it burned me badly. If I’m going to come back, it’s going to be on my terms.

And so I went into the race with a max long run of 10 miles. I figured I could hold an 8-minute pace thanks to targeted strength training and interval work. And that’s exactly what I did. I’ll cut to the good part–I finished in 1:44:29, a time that is only 10 seconds slower than my PR and a world away from that race. Going into the Philly RnR last year, I was a basket case. I felt like I had sacrificed my life, and I didn’t feel like I was any faster for it. I felt all kinds of pressure to perform, and while I gutted it out at the half distance, I crumpled a month later in the full. My goal was to make that pace feel easy, because I knew I was a baby when it came to the marathon distance. If I don’t have the raw speed, well, I’m not going to find it out on that course.

So Saturday I started out at 7:54 and decided to pull it back a bit. My next miles were 7:57 and 8:01, just where I wanted to be. I continued on in that fashion, with outliers at 5 and 8, like everyone else it appears, and talked myself into running 13.1 miles that day. I began to slip at mile 10, mostly because I thought I was still in mile 9. I spent a lot of the time willing away small aches and convincing myself that if I stayed comfortable, I could finish the race, that my time didn’t matter. It wasn’t until I got to mile 11 that I really believed it, and then I began to speed back up. I hit mile 12 and then began gunning for the fast last mile that Kay had promised. I saw Coach George right before I turned to the downhill finish, and he yelled at me to pick it up. So I did. In that last 3/4 of a mile, I used up everything that I had been holding onto and busted out a 7:08 final mile to finish my second-fastest half marathon ever with a huge smile on my face.

I would describe my feelings after the race as “pleasantly surprised.” Am I sorry I didn’t try harder? A little. But mostly I’m just happy to be in a place that allows me to run well without pain and too much suffering. Plus I have another half marathon in a few weeks, and I plan to really prove myself there anyway.

Random Friday Facts

1. This is my 199th post. I had to throw something up here so I can recap my T2 runners running MCM as my 200th. It’s a big deal!

2. I thought A LOT about making my 200th post the one in which I officially retire from blogging. But then Katie introduced me to Get Off My Internets, and I realized I’m not alone in all the things I hate about the blog world.

3. And don’t get me wrong, of course there are many blogs I love and friends I’ve made through this one that keep it worthwhile. But I think a lot of healthy-living bloggers have eating disorders. And if I listened to my body as much as they seem to, I would probably just sit on the couch about 20 hours a day.

4. Though I totes listened to my body this morning and slept through my tempo workout. (I’m lazy.)

5. In case you hadn’t noticed, my facts aren’t random. They can’t be! I’m not a computer.

6. I just looked something up in the AP Stylebook so I could comment about it on another blog.

7. I know how hard it is to keep posts completely error-free and that typos happen to everyone. But goddammit, how hard is it to use the right word?

8. I’m kind of sad that I’m not running a marathon on Sunday. But I’m glad that I can skip workouts when I want! (See #4.)

9. Though I’m signed up for a lot of races in 2012. That’s what 6 months free of injury will do to a girl.

10. Has anyone else noticed that That Thing You Do! is on the radio in stores all the time now? No? Just me?

11. I almost bought a house last month. Then I had a lot of panic attacks about it and let it go.

12. I just took a break from typing this to register for another spring race.

13. I went rock climbing last night! It wasn’t as fun as I remember it being.

14. I’m going to be Katniss Everdeen for Halloween. I’ve been waiting to be her for a year! It’s the one reason I’m glad I’m not doing a marathon on Sunday.

15. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! I’ll be out at mile 11 and 16 of MCM and cheering loudly for you!

Three Things Thursday

1. I came into work today to find an email from our CEO closing the office tomorrow! It’s a Labor Day miracle! Wes has already agreed to take the day off with me. This year I pushed my vacation back to September (well, and November and December, and maybe another small one in January), and I’m feeling BURNT OUT in a big way. But this long weekend will be just the thing I need to power through to the the end of the month, when I will get a week’s worth of rest.

2. My good hip is bothering me. I know, right? I’m going to blame it on my intense ramp-up in mileage (0-20) and back down a bit and go from there. The good news is that I’m running as fast as ever, and I’m still 10 weeks from my race!

3. I tried to sign up for drum lessons this week, but then I found out they were in Chantilly. Chantilly is far, son. But if anyone knows any drummers who give lessons in the close-in DC area (ok, Maryland is out too), let me know. And in other music news, almost all my favorite bands are releasing CDs in the next few weeks. That includes Ben Folds Five! I cried when I found out about that. Ben Folds Five is my absolute, A#1 favorite band of all time. They are the reason I love music, and I think you could argue the reason that my life partner is a musician. My biggest regret is never getting to see them play live (I was too young–and as the oldest child my mom wouldn’t let me have any fun), so I’m hoping that they decide to play out a few more times now. And now, before this post gets too weird and I tell you how I chased Ben down the streets of NYC, I’ll stop.

What’s Next?

So after seven weeks of racing, it was really nice to sleep in on Sunday morning and do an easy 6 miles by myself. I’m still living high off my triathlon last week and vicariously through Katie’s exciting half ironman this weekend. Maybe these triathlons aren’t so bad after all.

With that in mind, I’ve been eying up some Olympic-distance races with the hope that I can get my swim headaches under control before then. Today I’m planning on doing some longish swimming with earplugs to see how that works.

But the pics from Peasantman suggest something else that should maybe be worrying me. It looks like my bizarre swim-shimmy has moved over to my running as well. What can I say? My hips don’t lie. Also nice hair. (Also also, that’s gun time on the clock!)

Three Things Thursday

I wouldn’t say I’m back so much as I had a few things to talk about that weren’t me running because 1) I’m not really running very much right now. And 2) I’m kind of rebelling against the narcissistic nature of blogs right now, mostly because I’m lazy and bored with them. So, with that ringing endorsement, I present three things that are me talking about me anyway!

1. I’m going to become a Spin instructor! I’m signed up for a class on March 20, and I’m cautiously optimistic about it. My secret plan is to accumulate as many gym memberships as possible, and this will enable me to afford that ridiculous goal. Hey, we can’t all save the world, amiright?

2. I’ve been working out for the past three weeks with Josef Brandenberg of The Body You Want in Georgetown. I bought a deal through Home Run for three weeks of membership to the gym and three personal training sessions for like $40, and it has been well worth it. I learned some really good foam rolling techniques from him, and that combined with physical therapy has my legs feeling really good again. My hip flexors are relaxing for the first time in months. I’ll put up a post eventually with all the new stretches/foam rolls I’ve learned.

My membership is up today, and I’m really going to miss having a trainer. I’m thinking long and hard about hiring one, but I also think about becoming one myself. But I probably need to wait on that until I’m making my memberships back in Spin classes. So Josef, if you’re hiring…

3. This weekend I’m running 6 miles in hopes of ultimately getting up to 10 before the National Half Marathon. My thinking is that if I can run 10, I can run 13 on race day. That’s pretty much exactly how I trained for my first half marathon–I was running once a week. It wasn’t until I finished that race that I got really hooked on running. I don’t recommend my strategy–it’s a good way to get or stay¬† hurt, but I have an irrational love for this race, so I’m going for it. Plus I’m an Ambassador, and I don’t want to be the only one of us who doesn’t run.

I’ll be hanging out at Pierce Mill on Saturday morning from 10:30 to noon with the race’s Cleveland Park training group, if you’d like to come out and learn more about the race and meet some of the great folks training for it. It’s pot luck though, so bring something to share if you decide to come.

Three Things Thursday: Back at It

1. Today I went on what I consider to be my first training run for the next marathon cycle. Even though I don’t think I’m going to run it to my full potential, I’d still like to do the Eugene Marathon May 1 to “practice” running marathons. That being said, my run this morning was rough. I went with some of my favorite partners, and we did 3 miles at about 9:30 pace, but that pace was challenging, and I was huffing and puffing–and hurting–the whole way. Something tells me I shouldn’t have gone for a run 12 hours after my chiro worked over my entire upper right leg with the dreaded Graston. (I had banned Graston from my treatment plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)

2. I’ve joined DC Tri in the USA Triathlon National Club Challenge something something! It’s like all the contests bloggers have, except you only get points for swimming, biking, and running. And each month has a different focus: December is swim, January is bike, and February is run. I’m going to try to take advantage of the swim incentive and get my butt in the pool almost every day. And I need to start swimming less-embarrassing amounts of yardage. 800 meters isn’t going to win me any prizes.

3. Today I’m having a root canal, but tomorrow I leave for Key West!

I Am Insane

No, seriously. I’m a crazy person. For the past three weeks or so, ever since my leg started acting up, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been doing nothing. Like I’ve done nothing but rest. And I had managed to convince myself that I had, therefore, completely lost all my fitness. I began worrying about finishing the race in under 4 hours, let alone under 3:40.

So with the achilles twinge, I simply started my taper early. I was out of town, so I took one rest day and still ran or biked every other day that week. And then I took another two rest days or so the next week–aka the first week of the taper. And I stopped all my extra workouts, and commenced freaking out.

Today, in hopes of calming myself, I went through and updated my training log, because I hadn’t been keeping track. I thought it might help to ease my mind so that I could see if I had indeed been doing enough work to hold onto some fitness. Because I really thought, in my mind, that I had been doing nothing.

I’ve been running about 30 miles a week. Which is, um, exactly right for the taper. And, apparently, more than I was doing two years ago when I set my PR. Who knew? I guess it make sense that since I was only working out once a day, instead of 2 to 3 times, that it felt like nothing.

So, ok, great. Maybe I can do this after all! I don’t know whether to be relieved or super disturbed at what my brain is capable of.