Saturday, May 29, 2010

0- the feeling of failure

I want to write this post now, while everything is really fresh.  I don't want to let time go by until I think more rationally about stuff or whatever.  Instead, I want to put it out there, how I am feeling right now.

Today, I ran the Bayshore Marathon.  My intention was to finally PR, run under 3:18.  I peaked and prepared for this race.  I sacrificed running well at Boston for this race.  I tapered for this race.  In the end, I ran a 3:49- almost my worst time in my 8 marathon life.

And the thing is, physically I was there.  I put in 80, 90, and 100 mile weeks in the weeks since Boston.  I did track work, tempos, hill work.  I tapered heavily this past week in order to feel fresh.  And yet, it didn't happen.  I'm not even completely sure what went wrong.  I didn't really check my pace after the first mile, which was admittedly too fast (7:10), but I basically knew I was falling fast.  My legs felt not heavy or slow, but like they were really strong but fighting me the whole time.  Like I was running downhill and my quads were bracing to slow me down, when in reality the course is relatively flat.  I thought by not looking at my Garmin, I would be less effected by my pace, but the thing is, in my head I knew that I was slowing down, even not looking at the numbers.  And I couldn't understand why.  I didn't look at my watch after the first mile until the halfway point.  I knew I was off pace, but the damage was done, and the second half would be even slower.  I just don't know what is going on with me.  I feel like I am training well.  Like I am doing all that I can do really, balancing training and two jobs.  And don't get me wrong, I love the training.  But I do it because I want results.  2 years ago, when I set my PR at this race, I was training at less than half of my current milage and with minimal intensity or eye to pace.  And I can't help but feel like it was a freak accident.  Like I am destined now to be a mediocre marathoner, when my heart wants to break 3 hours in the next 10 years.  I ran my 20 mile training runs at under 7:XX pace, and in a race that should be even easier to go faster! (adrenaline, competition). 

Needless to say, I'm bummed.  I put my heart into this, put it out there that I was going for it, and failed.  Miserably.  Not even close.  I think the more you want something, the harder it is when you don't succeed.  And with me, this is it.  This is what I do.  For better or worse, I define myself as a runner and gain quite a bit of my identity and self worth from being *decent* at it.  I feel like I'm in a funk, and that is tough.  I don't really know where I'm going with any of this, but it just feels like it's hard to take the sting out of how it went.  I'm really sorry this has turned into a pity party, but I just had to get this all out there.  I'm with my entire family, (who were all GREAT during the race) and it's easy to joke about how bad I did or brush it off.  But the truth is: it sucks.  I feel like the 'thing' that is mine I failed at.  And it may take a bit to get over it.

In more positive news: CONGRATS to my Poppy!  He ran his debut marathon today in 4:05- smashing 15 minutes off of his goal.  I am very proud of him and honored to be a part of the experience for him today.  My mom, sis, and bro-in-law were all there, and very helpful, so with that extent, it was a great day.

They had Coldstone at the finish.  I took one bite and threw the rest out.  If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know me and fro yo/ice cream are BFFs so that never happens.  That just shows you what a buzz kill of a day it was for me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

1- let's do this.

No more to say.  Race time tomorrow.  Bring it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2- driving with my pops

We are up north after a long workday, and a long drive!  It feels so good to be this much closer to the marathon!  My pops and I had a good drive up, chatting about the marathon, but not in a too stressful way.  I know he's nervous, but it is kind of cute!  I'm so hoping that we both have good days.

Life is a bit crazy up here.  My sis and bro in law are here, as well as my mom, but the master bedroom/bath downstairs in under construction.  So, my mom and I are in one bedroom, my sis and bro in law in the other, and my dad is sleeping on a bed in teh living room!  We are all kind of on top of each other and stuff is everywhere, but it is just so nice to be here with my fav people.

Ok, time for sleeps.  Tomorrow is packet pickup, and chilling with the fam, plus a 2 mile run.  Soooo close!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

3- direct relationship

So I have found that there is an direct relationship between the amount of work I get done and how busy I am, even though it seems like it SHOULD be an inverse relationship.  ie: When I am working/running very little (this week) I am getting NOTHING done because I am lazy.  When I'm running and working a ton, I'm much more productive and focused!  Alas....

Today, I met up with Mike for an easy 4 miler.  Honestly, this run really helped me.  Mike is so great and encouraging, and it really helped for me to babble to him about my fears/doubts for 32 or so minutes.  I told Mike that I wanted to do easy 8:30 pace, but we ended up running just above 8 min pace.  This was good because it felt really slow, so I'm hoping that is a good sign that my legs are gathering some pep in them.  Another 2 more days of this and I'm *hoping* they are feeling super-strong!

Tomorrow, I just have to make it through a long teaching day and then my pops and I are headed up north!  My mom is already up there, and my sis and bro-in-law are arriving tonite, so it should be a packed, fun, and full house!  I'm ready to get this party started!

Off to pack....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

4- R.E.S.T.

It is amazing how much extra time there is in the day when you aren't running!  Today I felt like a 'typical American' getting up, having coffee, going to work, coming home (to my own apartment) and chilling by the pool.  So weird to take a rest day like this, when my only rest day's the last few months are on Saturdays when I work my 6-2 shift.  Not necessarily bad for a change, but different.

I hate tapering because I love training so much.  I think I said this already before Boston, but I really am a person who loves the actual act of training so when I can't do that, I feel sad!  I'm actually pumped for post-marathon and having a chance to really amp up again.  I feel like I was just reaching a new level with my 100 mile week, and I'm hoping a summer of devoted training can take my running to the next level because I'm not feeling so confident about where it is at for Saturday....

Wow, I guess my life is really boring without running!  I'll cut y'all some slack and just end it here!  Tomorrow, I'm running after work with Mike and don't have to teach until the afternoon, so I have the whole morning to sleep in and get stuff done! Love. It.

Monday, May 24, 2010

5- hot day- where do i live again?

Today it was so. hot.  And I like it hot, so for me to say that was crazy!  Since I'm not scheduled at the bakery at all this week, and I now have to go teach an hour later (score, seniors are done!) I decided to sleep in.  It is my plan to get tons of sleep this week, as much as I can.  Heading out to run an easy 4 miles at 10:30am when it was already 85 degrees = not smart.  This wasn't a very confidence building experience, as I struggled to hold 7:37 pace for 4 miles - slower than I want to run the whole marathon!  Buttt, I tried to blame it on the weather, and the hills, and the fact that I ran a semi-fast run later in the afternoon yesterday, and on anything else I could blame it on!  Yeah, whatevs.

The second part of my title refers to the fact that I am back at my parents' house.  I ran an errand for my mom after work and therefore came here to drop off said errand and crash, since it is so much closer to where I teach. It has been a lovely evening of watching the Survivor season final and eating fro yo for my dad and I. Except for the fact that my dad refuses to turn on the AC so that the cat can sit by the screen-door.  Yeah, this cat is so pampered!  And now my dad is on the phone with my mom, letting the cat 'talk' to her.  Oh man, my parents.....I love them!

I'm off to bed soon.  Tomorow = teaching.  That's it.  No running.  No second job.  Lots of rest.  Hoping it will pay off....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

6- better than Christmas!

Today was just that- better than Christmas!  I got 12 hours of sleep, got to grocery shop so I have more than rice cakes and PB to eat, got to run with friends, had a delivery of 4 running books waiting for me at my apartment, anddd it was 80+ degrees!  Love it.

Backing up....

I slept long/hard last night and felt like a new person this morning waking up at my parents.'  The morning was spent doing errands/cleaning up, then driving back to my town and my friends' house for the '5K' he was hosting.  It was totally cute- he had a real course around a lake by his house marked with flags, a finishers chute, post-race snacks, and prizes!  I was people from Thursday night group + their families.  I told Mike before we started running that I wanted to practice my marathon pace and run 7:30s - he never listens!  We ended up going out under 7 minutes and running the 3.21 mile course at a 7:10 average!  And it. was. hot.  I love the heat and I thought it felt pretty oppressive.  Overall though, my legs felt better than the last couple runs so I'm hoping this week with the additional rest they will continue to improve.  We ended up running the course again with a few friends to un-mark it + a bit to make it an even 7 miles.  More than I wanted to go, but the slower miles felt good. 

I'm now back at my apartment, enjoying having a bit of downtown.  I got some prep work done so I am *somewhat* ready to teach this week.  I have 2.5 more weeks of teaching and I seriously feel like my students- ready for summer!  I love my job, but I'm tired of prepping and looking forward to not having to do it! 

Off to eat a popsicle and crack open one of my new books on my deck! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

7- one week.

Oh man, I'm freaking out.  For some reason, I keep having these periods of intense nervousness that keep creeping up on me!  Even worse, now that it is T-one week.  I tried visualizing last night, which I think helped.  My marathon 'bible' says that you should practice visualizing 'bad' things happening during the race and then overcoming them.  For me, my main 'bad' things are: 
- feeling 'unfresh' in the first few miles and then freaking out mentally that my pace will get slow (even if I start out on pace)
- getting this weird hot spot on the bottom of my right foot (like a deep blood blister) that has been happening to me the last few marathons
- falling off pace and not being able to get back 'on'
- looking at my Garmin too much and freaking out

Now that I look at these, they are pretty much 90% mental- no surprise there.  I think alot of my troubles in the past year or so marathon-ing have been due to physching myself out mentally.  I believe this because my training is so much better/more intense than it was 2 years ago when I set my PR.  All of my runs are MUCH faster than then, my milage is almost double what it was, and I've included more speed/tempo stuff.  I say 'more' because it is not hard to put more when I used to do none!  Anyway, I really feel myself getting caught up in the numbers so much that it may be counterproductive.  I'm actually debating wearing my Garmin, because I am afraid if I see a single mile over 7:30 I'll freak out!  I printed out the splits (in wristband form) to run a 3:17 and I have to admit - it totally intimidated me.  Hense my feeling like I'm getting obsessed with  The thing is, my PR race was just the opposite.  I had in my mind that I wanted to qualify for Boston (after narrowly missing it at Chicago in 95 degree weather the fall, but other than that, I just RAN.  I didn't think about where I wanted to be at the 5 and 10 and halfway point.  I don't even remember thinking anything until I hit the half and someone told me I was in 7th place for women! (yeah, it's a small race)  But for some reason, that totally energized me and made me just want to GO.  I want that feeling next week so bad, but I'm having a really hard time believing it can happen.  Perhaps as race time gets closer, and my legs get fresher.  I'm going to keep visualizing too- it can't hurt right?  Ah ramble-age!

And today?  Finally a complete rest day after 4 weeks, which was about 1 week too long.  Unfortunately, it was still an early wakeup call and a full day at the bakery.  My legs feel dead, so I'm going to rest as much as possible for the next week, only running 3 or 4 times totally less than 20 miles.  I figure, I'm as trained as I'll ever be, now I just need the rest. 

And sleep.  Finally tomorrow.  I bought coffee and a yogurt on the way home so I'm all set for a relaxing morning of prep work and chillin out.  Running later when I drive back to my town where one of my running friends is hosting a '5K'.  He has literally set up a course with a chute and snacks and prizes and invited all of our running group.  Should be lots of fun!

Hope everyone has a good day! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

8 - 5 x outfit changes in one day

I'm going to sum this post up into blurbs because today was a marathon day and I totally felt like the pieces were each blurbs....

4:30am wake up at parents, feed cat, change into bakery clothes (#1), drive hour to bakery
6-11am work bakery shift, try spill soup all over, almost burn roast beef, drive to apartment, change into running clothes (#2)
11am- 1pm run 10 miles, don't wear Garmin, feel slighty better than yesterday (probs around 8 min/mile pace blah)  jump in apartment pool, have weird scetchy asphalting guys stare at you in your running shorts and sports bra all wet, change into teaching clothes (#3)
1pm- 4pm drive to teach, teach short day, drive 5 miles to nearby market, change back into jeans and bakery shirt in the parking lot (#4)
4pm-7:15pm demo at market, talk about rye bread and blueberry pie while giving out samples, people watch, wonder why the time is going so slowly.....
7:15-8pm drive back to parents, take a bad route and get caught in traffic.  buy TCBY for dinner.  wonder how you are subsisting on TCBY and PB rice cakes.  wish for some GF pizza....
8-8:15 shower and change into PJs (#5!), feed cat.  feel guilty about being gone for 15 hours.  realize he'll have to deal. 
8:15-8:25 write really lame blog post while thinking about how yummy TCBY will be once said blog is done being written.  get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.  back at bakery at 6am....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

9- dead legs, boo

I'm hoping it is just taper/prerace madness setting in, but today's runs were bad.  I seriously have no excuses, I had the day off form both jobs, got to sleep in, had very few things to do during the day, and the weather was HOT 80+ degrees, which I love.  I don't know what is going on.  Run #1 was an suposively 'easy' 5 miler, that I set out for around 10am after doing some chores around my apartment.  I don't know why, but my legs felt dead from the start.  I tried to keep the pace chill and just relax, but the whole 39:XX minutes felt like a struggle.  7:52 pace has never taken so much effort!  I was discouraged, but jumping in the pool immediately after (did I mention how much I LOVE my apartment) and drinking iced coffee helped a bit. ;)

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a few tasks and of course, falling asleep for 2+ hours.  I'm still catching up on sleep and am amazed at the fact that I can sleep so much when given the opportunity.  My mom also called me saying that I would need to drive home to my parents' house tonite to take care of the cat.  This was a bummer, only because I have to be back at the bakery at 6am tomorrow.  Alas, it is a good thing I love my parents and the cat!

Run #2 was at run club.  Mike couldn't make it, so I ran with another friend.  It was a short and sweet 4 miler at 8 something pace but it seriously felt so hard.  My legs had no pep in them at all.  I'm so bummed because they felt 10000x better last week in the middle of a 100 mile week, than they do this week in a 'taper' 50-60 mile week.  What gives, cuz I'm freaking out!

Drove the hour home to the parents, ate TCBY for dinner, and here I am, chillin with the baby cat.  Tomorrow = early drive back the bakery for my short shift, squeezing in a run, teaching, working again for the bakery doing a demo from 4-7, then back to the parents.  Should be a full day! :) 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10- unexpected hill-tempo

So tonite, I met my friend Mike at the track for a track workout.  Unfortunately, there was a meet rescheduled that we didn't know about, so we had to think fast.  I wanted a quality workout, so Mike suggested that we do hill repeats on a nearby hill.  This sounded perfect!  However, I had no idea that he would turn it into a pseudo tempo-hill run!  It started innocently enough, first mile at 7:29, but when we hit the first hill, he really started to pick it up!  It didn't feel too bad and we were still talking and all, so I just went with it.  It was super sunny and about 80 degrees (which I love) so we just kept the pace up through all of the hills.  Final stats, made me happy!

6 miles @ 7:09 pace
7:29, 6:51, 7:02, 7:03, 7:15, 7:17

Sometimes the best runs are unplanned!  Then our other friend met us for sommore easy miles (he is recovering from an injury).  We ended up chatting through a lovely 5 miles @ 8:07 pace.  Great 11 mile day.  I feel like I got a good workout, even though we couldn't get our track on.  Now, I'm feeling nice and tired, in the best way!  Love that feeling of being in the sun and working hard!

Time for sleeps.  Peace.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

11- taper on.

Good evening!

Finally, a spare minute to post.  The last few days have been crazy with everything going on and finally I have the time and energy to write things up!

Where to begin....

Well, as I mentioned, Sunday meant 5am 10 miler and then off to Cedar Point with my students.  It was a difficult run, mostly just because I wanted it over so that I could get on with my day.  Cedar Point was actually really fun.  The bus ride wasn't too bad (as I anticipated it would be with 50+ high schoolers) and the day flew by.  I arrived home late, tired, and starving because Cedar Point had pretty much nothing gluten free, so I subsisted on a frozen banana all day.  Lol, bad plan.

So, after my first 100 mile week, I started my 'taper' yesterday.  I was over the 3 week mark for a rest day, so I 'just' ran with my mom yesterday morning- no additional miles.  My goal this week is to cut out all doubles and pull my milage back to 60 this week or so.  So today was an easy 8 miles with Mike and another friend in the evening.  I also squeezed in a 2 hour nap today, which was amazing.  I really need to catch up on sleep because I feel so behind after all the running/working/activities of this past weekend and I am a person VERY effected by lack of sleep.

So on that note, I'm off to bed.  Tomorrow I'm headed to the track to meet Mike for a workout.  I think we are going to do a ladder like last week, except add more stuff to it.  Should be interesting......

Monday, May 17, 2010

12- plead the 5th

One more night of a no-post, post.  It's late (for me!) and I need to jump in bed before getting up early again tomorrow.  Thus is life.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

13 - exhausted

Just got in from Cedar Point.  Long day.  Got a 10 miler in at 5:30am, making it my first 100 mile week (120 miles in 8 days.)  I'm really proud of doing that, regardless of my schedule.  Will talk more later, for now I need to get ready for the work week.  Time for taper too!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

14- there aint no rest for the wicked.

So I'm about .5 seconds away from falling asleep because I finally sat down!

All I have to say is, Bayshore better be worth it for what I am putting into this race.....but lets back up.

My alarm was set for 3am, but I woke up a few minutes before because I knew it would be going off soon.  I was out the door alittle past 3, driving the hour drive back to the bakery from my parents' house.  It was still so dark/I'm trying to be safe so I stopped off at my apartment to use the treadmill.  It actually wasn't too bad- "Spanglish" was on TBS and I watched the end (I've never really watched TV while on the tread, so it was a nice treat!) I was on a bit after 4am, did 5 miles, and was off.  Stopped back at my apartment to change and pack lunch, then bakery by 5:45am.  The shift was actually really long-feeling because I was covering for someone and hense forth doing two jobs (savory kitchen, and the shop).  I totally hit a wall around noon and the last couple hours were rough.  I knew I had to get my miles in for the day, but teh thought was painful. I debated where to do it for the last few hours of the shift- drive back to the parents (it's flat there!), pull off the freeway (new territory), go back to my apartment?  When I was finally 'released' I went back to the old standby and decided to do the bakery 8 miler usual loop.  After a quick parking lot change, I was off!  The first 1/2 mile was rough.  My legs were so dead and I was all around tired from being up early and on my feet all day.  It was 2pm and warm out (which I like) but windy (which I hate!)  I told myself just to go, and not stress about pace.  10 minute miles were fine.  I just wanted to get it done.

But then a funny thing happened.

I happened to glance at my Garmin 3 miles in and realized I was going sub 8 minute miles.  Somehow the knowledge that although I felt bad, I wasn't running bad, helped me so much.  Although it was the 102-110 miles that I've done in the past week, it was like my legs knew what to do.  Sure, they hurt and they were tired, but they got through it.  The run ended up great, last two miles in 7:17 and 7:29 and finishing up with a 7:38 pace overall. 

Then I drove back to the parents.  And I tried to shop.  I failed at getting what I needed, but instead spent money on stuff I 'liked' but didnt' need.  Oh well.

So tomorrow is the much anticipated (by my students') Cedar Point Trip.  (Amusement Park, if you didn't know)  Anyway, we're leaving pretty early, so I have to be up at 4:30am to get my run in.  Although, it should feel like sleeping in after today!  I really am taking it SUPER easy tomorrow morning though.  My legs are responding well to the milage, but I don't want to risk too much at this point.
Hope everyone had a great Saturday! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

15- work, run, repeat.

Title = my day..

Sometimes lately, when I am running, it feels like it is all I do.  Not in a bad way, but I just feel sometimes like I just run and work.  Take this week for example.  I ran doubles 4 out of 5 days to get my milage in, and I ran in all sorts of different places.  To the gym from my parents' house, around the neighborhood with my dad, home from my mom's work, with friends in my town, from my apartment, in the neighboring town where my running group meets, and tonite, back at my parents' house.  It's weird because it's the same me, doing teh same thing, just at a different time of day with a different outfit in a different place.  Hmm, I'm not making much sense.  Probably cuz I'm really tired.

Anyway, today was bakery time 6am-10am.  I love that short shift- it flies by!  Unfortunately, it leaves me with only about an hour to run so that I can get cleaned up and get to teaching ontime.  One hour = perfect amount of time for an 8 miler.  Although today's was a bit slower at 8:13 pace.  I'm trying not to be judgemental about my pace since I am doing more miles than usual, but I'd be lying to say that it didn't bother me to be above 8min miles.  Oh well.  No time to dwell- had to go to teach!

Post- school, I drove to my parents' house.  My legs were shot and it was super windy.  I headed out anyway after pounding back a PB&J cuz I was starving.  6 miles on my 'old standby' route at a 7:48 pace.  Not bad for an afternoon run (I suck at running in the afternoon, especially alone).  I'm pretty happy with how my legs felt overall, running 14 miles after a 27 mile day yesterday.  Now, I just need them to last  two more weeks. 

Tomorrow morning, I make the extra early trek from here back to the bakery for a full day's shift.  + running.  2 more 'hard' days before taper-age.  Atleast my 20 miler is done for the weekend because on Sunday I'm headed to Cedar Point! :)

Happy weekend! :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

20 + 7 = 27. miles.

Today was a great. day. 

Although it didn't start out that way.   I woke up to a T-storm and crazy rains/winds at 8am.  I knew that I needed to get in my 20 miler, although I thought of every scenario I could to avoid it, lol.  I decided to wait it out for a few.  I had a big(er) B-fast and let it digest while watching the Today Show.  I actually think this is helping my long runs.  Since I'm a morning runner, I'm very used to eating nothing or a banana and heading out.  I think eating a bit more calorie-wise is giving me more lasting energy.  Or atleast that is what I'm telling myself!

I headed out at 10am.  I wore shorts, and t-shirt, and a jacket because I didn't know if the rain would return (there were flood warnings for the whole day!)  Unfortunately, the jacket, although light, made me very hot during the run and it never ended up raining.  Buttt, I was prepared with it protecting my ipod and garmin just in case!  Overall, the run went by fast- until the last few miles.  I was rocking out and the first 10 miles were gone before I knew it.  I got to a trail head of a paved trail that I had planned to run because it hugs the river and it mostly flat (it is impossible to find flat anywhere around here!)  Unfortunately, a cop was blocking it because I'm assuming it had flooded out.   Mentally, this took a toll on me.  I don't like changing plans mid-run and I knew I would have to go way out of my way and reroute, taking me up a very steep hill.  This wasn't good, but I got through it.  By the end of the run, I was thirsty (nothing to drink this run and my jacket had made me sooo sweaty!) and my pace had dropped a bit.  Probably because I was tired in combination with the fact that the last 6 miles were all uphill.  Overall, good run.  20 miles @ 8:13 pace.  Not as great as Sunday, but the conditions were less than ideal and it is still under what I'm 'supposed' to be running as a long run.

When I finished, I had two things on my mind: and ice cold coke (chugged that sucker!) and a swim in my apartments' pool.  As I chugged the coke while walking to the pool I realized how cold really was (~ mid 40s).  Upon jumping into the pool, 3 maintainence guys asked if I was crazy.  I think in saying that I had just run 20 miles didn't really help the 'crazy' factor.  The pool felt like a tame ice bath- I swear swimming helps my recovery sooo much.  The jacuzzi (sp?) was tempting after the chilly pool, but I kept it to my feet because I know hot water immediately post run = bad. 

I then proceded to clean my apartment.  All.  Afternoon.  It feels so much better now though.  Glad that I carved out this little personal day to catch up. 

But that's not all....

Thursday = running group night.  How could I resist?  My legs were feeling good all afternoon, so I went!  I met up with everyone, and since I normally run with Mike we decided to take it 'easy' since he is hurting a bit and I had already done the 20.  We set out at 8:30 pace, but pretty soon our competitive-ness started in and we picked it up a bit to drop the pack.  Before we knew it, we were running 7:30s pace and laughing about how it always seems to 'happen' when we are together.  It ended up being 7 gloriously fun/playful miles at 7:47 pace.  Great evening run in the sun/humidity that was left from the rains. 

My first ever 27 mile training day! :)

And now, I'm trying to pack for the weekend as I will need to go home again to the parents.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but they are doing major remodels that don't allow them to bring their cat up there, and since he is freaking pampered, I must come home.  I don't mind though.  It just takes some planning because I need clothes for my jobs + running + hanging out + sleeping and this weekend, the Sunday Cedar Point trip with my students.  So lots of planning.  And packing.  Guess I should get back to it. 

Sorry for the marathon of a post.  Life is good though here.  Hope it is for you as well! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

17- track workout and such

Hmm, what to say about today....

Not much out of the ordinary happend.  My running distance-wise was low because I worked both jobs today and had limited time.  I prioritized sleeping after a 19 mile day yesterday, over getting up at 3:45am to run.  Sooo, that left tonite.  Track workout night!  dooo doo doooooooo

I met up with Mike and a couple others at the track.  Mike told me to 'pick' so I decided on a ladder-type workout with limited rest.  We did 400, 600, 800, 800, 600, 400, with decent-paced 400 jog rests in between.  + wu and cd came to 7 miles.  The repeats got harder as we were more and more winded at the start of each one because the rest was so short/fast.  Overall, I think it was a good workout though because we had to practice being tired/out of breath and pushing through.  I'm hoping this will come in handy in oh, about 17 days......

Wanna know a secret?  I'm taking a "mental health day" tomorrrow.  I've been wanting to all year, and finally decided tomorrow is the day (because I will 'loose' my vacation days after this week).  Which means that I'll be running a 20 miler (knock on wood) because I can't this weekend as I am working and going to Cedar Point with my school.  The day will also involve copious amounts of napping, eating, and cleaning my apartment.  I'm so excited.  Finally, being a teacher is paying off!  It felt so good to turn in my sub-plans today and go, knowing that I don't have to drive back tomorrow.  Sometimes a girl just needs to regroup, ya know?  And my regrouping just-so-happens to involve running for 3 hours or so.....  :)

Have a good night/day all! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

18 - excuse me officer?

Today one of the most random things happened to me while running. 

So, I drove with my mom out to her work this morning, so that I could run home.  It was a rain storm out, but no thunder so I figured I was OK.  My mom did say that she felt kind of crazy driving her daughter 10-11 miles away from home in a rainstorm, then walking into work and leaving her to run her way home.  Aww, mom, I love you for it!  But I digress.....

The route home is an almost straight shot down a main road with sidewalks the whole way.  It is completely flat and well travelled by cars.  As I ran, the rain fell harder and harder.  Despite that, I knew my pace was not too bad, so I decided to keep pushing it as I could.  I was very absorbed in my ipod and feeling the freedom of the pace when I heard something come over what sounded like a loud-speaker.  I turned toward to road and realized that a cop car was driving along side of me, broadcasting something.  I must have jumped 10 feet in the air!  Behind him, cars were being held up as he drove next to me and continued talking into his cop-speaker thing.  I fumbled with my ipod, turned it off and looked at the cop, all while running.  That is when I realized he was saying "do you need a ride?"  I totally laughed in my head and just waved and shook my head 'no' and he drove off.  The cars behind him were thankful to finally be moving again, I'm sure!  Overall, it was funny.  The fact that he asked me that question on the loudspeaker means a) it was raining/winding harder than I realized and/or b) I looked really bad!  As I neared home, it started raining harder!  Boo.  But, I finally looked at my ipod with a couple miles to go and realized that if I hauled ass, I could hit pace.  I did my best, and hit 10 miles under 75 minutes, 7:29 pace.  Happy with that.

Then, tonite it was still raining, and even colder.  I met up with Mike and a couple other guys after work and we hit the roads.  Mike and I went up ahead after running with the group for the first 4 miles or so.  We were planning on running 8, but when we got back to our cars, my Garmin read 8.45.  Mike knows that I have an OCD about running 'even' miles (ie whenever the distance is over 0.3 mile, I have to run to the next mile), so he suggested a couple of loops around the parking lot to hit 9.  Overall, negative splits with 9 miles @ 7:54 pace.  19 mile day! :) :) Running makes me so happy.

Tomorrow, I have bakery + teaching.  Track workout in the evening too.  I think 1/2 mile repeats are the plan.  Should be good times as always!  I'm hoping the rain will stop by then!

And now, I'm off to watch my "marathon DVD" that came in the mail when I was gone over the weekend.  Yes, I'm that lame and ordered the DVD from my first Boston 2009, because I was in a sentimental mood right before Boston'10 and got suckered into it.  Apparently, it is supposed to have actual footage of me running the race (or so it the promise.)  We will see if that is actually true!

Monday, May 10, 2010

19- Runs with mom and pops

Today was a good recovery day.  My legs felt not-sore at all (knock on wood for the second day!) after my LR yesterday.  I had the opportunity to split my 10 miler for the day so I did.  7 miles this morning.  4 miles up to the gym, then my mom and I did our 3 mile route around the gym.  I stretched for awhile while my mom strength trained because my SI joint has been alittle finicky lately so I decided against doing anything too crazy/different before Bayshore.  All and all, a refreshing morning!

Then, when I got home from work (back to my parents' house), I noticed my dad's car was there.  It was only 5:15, so this was ususual.  When I got inside, my dad had left a note that he was running his 20 miler today (he wanted to do it this week, but didn't know when.  He is the kind of person who just decides spontaneously and does it!)  Since his week was so booked up, he decided just to come home from work early and do it today.  The note said he left at 3:15 and would be back for water/snack at 5:15.  I quickly changed and he arrived, 14.5 miles into his run.  It was great to run 3 or 4 miles with him.  Although there really wasn't any conversation occurring, lol.  I knew my pop's was hurting, but I also knew that he was so capable of this!  We stopped back at the house to walk for a few minutes so he could eat a granola bar, then he was on his way to finish alone.  Overall, he ran 21 miles (I get my milage OCD from him for sure!) at a 9:22 pace.  His longest run ever!  Go pops!

Currently, he is in pretty rough shape laying on the couch, but I know he'll pull through.  I'm not sure if the run gave him confidence about the marathon, or just made him realize how much it is really going to hurt!

Alrightly, that's about it from here.  Tomorrow = lots of teaching, running, and being back at my apartment! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

20- LR success! At long last! Andd, a milage PR for the week!

Oh man, today was awesome!  FINALLY I had a great 20 miler! :) :) :)

The conditions were much better, as I mentioned yesterday.  It was cold and windy, and unfortunately, I went with the wind during the first half (so you know what that means for the second half!) but it was sunny at I didn't have to run at the butt crack of dawn.  Honestly, it was a total 180 from last week.  From the first 1/2 mile I felt 'on.'  The miles were just clicking by, and I was feeling fresh despite my milage for this week.  My mom met me at a park at the 10.5 mile mark and we ran 3 miles around the park together.  Then, I ran home.  On my way, I met up with a friend of mine who was running we ran a mile or so together (he was home for mother's day.)  It was fun, but it was super windy at this point, so we could barely talk!  I also tried some 'gu chomps' because I need to practice actually taking in some sort of energy during races.  I liked them, and they didn't bother my stomach, but they were a pain in that I had to chew them which threw off my breathing.

So now for the pace details.  As I've said before, I'm TERRIBLE at even splits.  I always go out too hard and die.  So, I've been trying to practice this more.  Today, I wanted to do the first 10.5 before I met my mom and whatever pace (under 8:15) then run 'slow' with her, then try to get the last 6 or so under 8 min pace.  Here's the breakdown:

First 10.5 = 7:40 min/mile average - this was PERFECT as this is the exact pace I would like to go out at.  I'm happy that my body settles here pretty naturally. 

~ 3 miles with ma = 9:22 pace - the park is rolling hills, and we were just chatting.  I wasn't worrying about pace.  As I mentioned before - running with my mom trumps everything.

Last 6+ = 7:48 pace - against the wind was hard(er) but I felt fresh(ish).  So happy to prove to myself that I could finish at a decent pace.

Overall = 20 miles @ 7:59 pace
Taking out mid-miles = 17 miles @ 7:43 pace

I am pleased with this.  Finally.  It really felt like the cumulative fatigue finally disappated some, and I felt strong, like I was reeping the benefits of my high (for me) milage training of the last few weeks.  Lately, I haven't been able to picture myself running a strong/fast marathon and have been having doubts about even coming close to a PR.  Today gave me confidence that I atleast have a shot, given the right conditions.  And, it was my first ever 90 mile week.  All good there.

The rest of the day was awesome, other than the fact that I did zero prep work and am starting the week behind again! My mom and I went to church, got some groceries, did a spontaneous shoe shopping trip at DSW which consisted of my mom picking out and buying me 4 pairs of shoes/flip flops for the summer (she was appauled at my shoe collection which consisted of gross broken down flip flops and runnings shoes!), hitting up the mall and frappachino happy hour at Starbucks (my mothers day treat- 2 for one Mocha Lite Fraps hells yeah), making hommade pasta sauce which watching the "Blind  Side", and chillaxin.  So it was a great day, running and otherwise.

Although I didn't do enough work this weekend, I feel waaaay better mentally about starting the week this week than last week because I had days off from work.  And I had a run that was a complete opposite from last weeks FAIL.  How I run seriously impacts my mood/day.  Just sayin'.

Ok, enough rambling!  I'm off to bed!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

21- 3 weeks! Woot!

Only 3 weeks until my big day!  Getting SO PUMPED for Bayshore! :)

Today is was like winter out there!  I ran my first run at 5:30am before my mom and I were off to the Science Olympiad thing.  The wind was gusting like CRAZY which was super-annoying for it being so early.  I actually felt really good though- 8 miles in 1:00:52, with mostly negative splits and the last one at 7:20.  So nice to finish strong for a change!

Then, my mom and I were on the road by 7:30.  The competition went well, and we should have been out by 12noon, but the scoring people messed stuff up and we had to stick around until after 2pm!  Then do a million errands on the way home.  By the time we got home it was post 4pm, and windier than ever.  I knew my mom wanted to get a run in, and I wanted to hit my milage for the day, so we set out on a 3 miler.  Windy, but good.  Plus, I'm obsessed with running with my mom.  I love it.  Grocery shopping and a good dinner out, and here I am.  I'm nervous because.....

I'm attempting my 'jinxed' long run tomorrow morning.  Remember how last week it was literally the worst run of my life?  Yeah, I'm trying really hard to not have that happen again.  I seriously think that I am cursed.  So I need to break that.  Although I'll still be up early-ish to do it, it won't be quite as bad of conditions as last week when I had to get up soooo early because of work.  So anyway, moral of the story is - please send your strenghtening/fast thoughts my way! :)

Hope y'all are having a great weekend and that the weather is better than 40 degrees/rainy/windy of here!

Friday, May 7, 2010

22- end of the longest week ever!

Finally, the week(s) are over!  I'm home with my mom, we set up the science competition and are all set to go back and do it in the morning.  Both jobs + a run too today. My run was super short because I trying to squeeze it in between jobs.  Since it was really cold/stormy out, I took the opportunity to check out my apartment gym that is REALLY nice.  It was actually fun to run on the treadmill and watch the rain.  As I was running, I noticed a sign that said our pool was open!  I was sweating so much as I was running and looking at the pool and put the idea together in my head.  Done running -> out the door -> take off shirt -> jump in pool!  It felt amazing- rain and all!  I wanted to stay in forever, but alas, job #2 called!

Anyway, tomorrow will be a busy day with running very early, followed by the science competition all morning, and perhaps another run later with my mom if I don't have enough time to get my milage in in the morning.  I'm just happy to not be at either job tomorrow or Sunday.  Simple pleasures.

Off to enjoy some mom-time! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

23- tempo love

Oh man, can I just say that I'm SO READY for the weekend!?!?!  Tomorrow will be my 12th day of work in a row between the two jobs (cuz I had to work last Sunday which is usually my 'weekend.')  Good news is, once I'm done with bakery + teaching tomorrow, I get to go home to my parents' house and don't have to work Saturday!  Well, I am helping my mom with this volunteer Science Competition thing, but that'll be cool.  I'm just ready to NOT be teaching/at the bakery for a few days.

But enough of my whining, cuz y'all know I love being busy...... ;)

Today = some good runs.  Began the day with a lovely 7 miler through the country.  7:38 pace = not too shabby.  My paces are slowly dropping back down (since Boston) without me trying too hard, which is good.  I didn't want to do anymore than that because evening = tempo run with my friend Mike.  He told me to pick what we were doing, and I decided on a progressive tempo. 

The plan:
1 mile warmup - 8:30ish pace
Tempo miles = 7:15, 7:10, 7:05, 7:00
2 mile cooldown - 8:30ish pace

The actual:
1 mile warmup - 7:35 (yikes, I guess we were excited!?!?)
Tempo miles = 7:12, 7:04, 6:59, 7:01
2 mile cooldown - 7:57, 7:17!!
Total = 7:17 pace

So I was pretty pleased with this.  Honestly, it bugged me not to get that last mile under 7, but whatevs.  Our warmup and cooldowns were fast!  Our normal loop is a bunch of dirt roads that had recently been 'graded' which basically meant that every car that passed put up a huge cloud of dusk for us to choke on and the footing was really rocky and bad.  Overall, it was a good run.  14 mile day.  All good.

Tomorrow = bakery -> running -> teaching -> meeting my mom to set up the science competition  Hopefully some good eats in there with the mother! :)  I'm off to pack for the weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

24- positivity post

I was thinking on my run today that the last few post I have written have been rather negative.  Normally, I'm a really postive person, so I decided to focus on the good things during today's post.

Good thing #1:
I live in an AMAZING area for running.  Seriously.  I thought my town was great before, but now it is even better after I moved to the north side.  Today, I was running yet another new/amazing route on dirt roads, through cornfields, and more horse farms.  A couple miles later, I was in the hustle and bustle of the city.  It is pretty hilly 98% of the time, but apparently that is supposed to make you a better runner?  I dunno, the jury is still out on that

Good thing #2:
I'm feeling *mostly* not injured.  Little things that were cropping up post-Boston when I rushed back into training (ie nagging soreness, blisters, etc) seem to have resolved for the most part.  Now, my legs just feel tired, but not injured.  I'm really hoping that having quality (and high-ish) miles for a couple more weeks, then dropping back to a TRUE taper will make them feel fresh and springy.  Again, we will see.

Good thing #3:
My crock pot cooked me dinner last night and in doing so, lunch for today.  'Nuff said.

Good thing #4:
Teaching has been going really well (except for yesterday!)  I feel like I have a good relationship with my students, and I am well-liked.  And they make me smile and laugh everyday.  Both feel good.

Good thing #5:
Spring in Michigan.  ALMOST makes up for what we have to indure all winter.

Hmm, ok, I'll stop with my good things.  Today's run was a pretty good thing though.  I ran 15 miles with my big/hard repeat hill at the 11 mile mark.  That was character building!  Overall, kept it at a 7:57 pace.  I'm hoping because it is so hilly here and my upcoming marathon is not, pace will drop automatically.  It was still 10+ seconds/mile faster than last week's Wednesday 15 miler.  Success.

And I'll leave you with Good thing #6:
Although I'm behind on prep work, and my apartment is a mess, I'm going to crawl into bed and read for PLEASURE for a bit.  Reading = good thing!

Hope your day was filled with good as well! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

25- good runs, bad day

Today wasn't a great day- outside of running.  Stuff went poorly as a teacher, that left me feeling bad, although the situation wasn't my fault.  I seriously have trouble letting go of stuff.  So this is me trying to let go by stating it on the blog.....

But onto the run(s).  This morning was a glorious sunrise 10 miler around the corn fields.  Parts of this run felt so FREE(ing) which was good for a change.  7:45 pace, which I'm OK with although I'd like to get back to 7:30s more regularly.  I'm trying not to downplay the fact that it is really hilly where I'm running and my upcoming marathon will be mostly flat.  Besides, the pace felt like an easier effort than the last week or so.  So I'll take it.  I even managed to negative split.  Another good thing.

Tonite I met up with a few peeps at the track.  Everyone was feeling injured (besides me), so we just did an easy 5 mile loop.  That was OK by me because I want to get in really good milage/intensity in the next two days.  (not that a 15 mile day is not good milage for me)

Anyway, highlight of today was coming home to chicken sausage and tomatoes in the crockpot that I set up this morning.  Sooo much better than my constant dinners of sandwiches or frozen yogurt.  Sure made for a nice ending to a not-so-great day.

And I'm off!

Monday, May 3, 2010

27, 26- the worst run ever, and the day after

I was going to put off this post another day until tomorrow because I have to go through 2 days in one because my internet (that I mooch from a neighbor) wasn't working last night.  Which stunk.  Because......

I'm not an overly dramatic person, so when I say this, you better believe it is true.  Absolutely everything went wrong on this run and it left my confidence shaken.  I had planned 20 miles, but ended up with the slowest, most panstaking 11 miles of my life.  Literally.  And when I mean everything was wrong, I mean EVERYTHING.  I had to wake up at 5am to do the run because I had to work on Sunday, which I never do.  I HATE having to rush into a long run (unlike other shorter runs that I do at the butt crack of dawn all the time.)  I was starving when I woke up, however, I realized later that it was more dehydration than anything from the day before and my tummy troubles.  Anndd, my blisters that I got from some new shoes I'm trying were throbbing before I started.  I gulped down some yogurt (which I always eat without a problem before runs) and headed out pre-6am.  It was dark, but 1/2 mile in it started thundering and lightening.  I had my ipod on, but was waiting to turn it on.  Before the mile mark, I was absolutely drenched.  Everything.  I must have looked ridiculous running in the rain/storm, at 6am on a Sunday, completely soaked.  Around this time too, I started to feel REALLY nauseous.  I can't remember this ever happening to me before on a run.  I tried to fight through it and quicken my pace, but everytime I did, the feeling just got worse.  I pushed on, but knew I wouldn't make 20 miles because a) I felt so horrible and b) I was running so freaking slow I would run out of time.  6 miles out, I stopped to stretch under a tree while trying to ring out my shirt.  I couldn' t even turn on my ipod to distract me because it was soaked.  And I felt even more sick when I stopped so I didn't know how I would get home!  I started running again and felt really angry at everything.  Mad that I had to work (ie no weekend) so I couldn't do my run at my ideal time.  Mad that I had to drive so much during the weekend to help my parents out (babysitting the cat.)  Mad that I was running at a pace that I literally didn't think I was capable of.  Mad that my awesome training week last week would be overshadowed by the total RUN FAIL of that day.  Somehow I made it back home.  I had to stop a few times along the way because I thought I was going to puke.  I think my last mile was 10-11 minutes.  Unreal.  By that point, I really had stopped caring.

Needless to say, I've been questioning my ability ever since.  The main thing I need to do in the next few weeks is having quality long runs, and I blew it.  I'm slowly getting over it, but it is taking time.

26- Today was much better.
I considered chucking my phone at the wall when the alarm went off at 4:45am.  My 4th day at the bakery in a row (my Wednesday shift was switched to today).  It was tough because I'm not at all prepared to teach this week because I was working/driving all weekend.  Anyway, my problems were solved by the infinity of coffee I drank between 6am-12pm at the bakery.  Usually caffeine doesn't effect me, but I was seriously shaking on my drive to teach.  After teaching I met up with my pops for a run!  As I mentioned before, we work in the same area.  I ran 2 miles to warmup while he changed and then we ran 8 together.  Both of us had dead Garmins so we just did the 8 miles as 72 minutes because my dad is consistent with the 9min/mile training pace.  I'm happy to report that it felt EASY.  Which is good considering my runs are 7:30-8min pace.  This slightly helped my confidence.  Plus it was so nice to run with my pops!  I'm not sure if I have mentioned it, but he is running the same marathon as me- it is his first (and he says ONLY) marathon!  Soooo excited for him.

Ok, this post is getting ridiculously long.  Today was a long day, but better than yesterday.  Sorry if this post turned into a bitch session about my life.  Everything is really good overall, and I know I am fortunate, but sometimes I just get fed up with how hard I am working at everything (ie running, jobs, money making etc) for so little, and wonder if it is all worth it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

28- Obama- mania!

Today was nuts at the bakery/in town in general, as President Obama was the commensement speaker at my college's graduation.  Sadly, I don't even remember who our speaker was last year....hmm, wasn't too memorable..... Anyway, the city was jammed and there was lots of security and traffic.  Luckily, I got to work (in a crazy lightening storm!) before it all began.  Annd, since I got out of work at 2pm and there was still lots of traffic to get out of town (I had to drive back to my parents'), I took the opportunity to do my "bakery loop" run.  I ran from the bakery down to campus.  It was super hot and windy, which felt nice and summery.  I purposely tried to keep my pace slow because my legs were feeling so dead and I have my LR tomorrow morning.  It was fun seeing parents' sitting on couches in nice clothes on front porches of student ghetto houses, looking awkward and uncomfortable.  Seeing the graduates also was another reminder of how happy I am to be DONE with school and how much I fully love the 'real world.' (vs. the 'student' world).  The tail end of my run was a bit...uncomfortable...due to some digestive distress.  I just hope I get it all out of my system (literally) before my LR tomorrow.

Tonite is all about accomplishing stuff.  As I mentioned I have to work for the Bakery again tomorrow.  I say 'for' because I won't actually be working there, I'll be doing a 'demo' at a local upscale market that sells our products.  This means talking it up with people with lots of $$ for four hours/giving out samples/trying to sell stuff.  Good times.  The worst part is, the market that I'm going to is right by my parents' house.  Sooo, I have to drive an hour to pick up the stuff from the bakery, drive and hour back to the market, demo for four hours, then drive an hour back to the bakery to drop everything off!  It wouldn't bug me so much if I didn't have to do my LR BEFORE hand.  Looks like it will be another wakeup in the 4s....

It's all good though.  Working is good.  Demos are fun.  Making money is necessary to the extreme right now.  Waking up early is character building ;)

Looks like I'm destined to be in bed when the sun is still up.....again.....