Tuesday, September 28, 2010

12- not having to go to work = priceless

Getting paid the same and not having to go to work = beyond priceless.  I don't think being salaried will ever get old....

Tonite I'm back at the apartment.  So glad I spent the early afternoon cleaning on Sunday before I left- I absolutely love coming home to a perfectly clean place!  I did a quick 5 miler this morning in POURING rain.  And since I had no jacket, I had to wear my dad's.  Which was a wee bit big.  By the end, I'm sure I looked like a drowd rat, and the oversized jacket weighed about 10lbs.  Sweeet.  Then, tonite I went to the running club that meet right by my place.  We did a 7 miler through some seriously wet and intensely hilly trails.  It was fun though.  Since this isn't my normal group (Thursday night group is a different group/different shop) I am much more quiet and reserved.  It is kind of nice just to run and listen to other people talk.  I'm very much a talker, so it is a good reminder just to chill out and listen!  I've come to realize that it is this groups MO to start off very slowly but pick it up each mile.  Which is tough because the last few miles are always uphill.  But it is good practice for me, because that is NOT my nature ever.

12 mile day = good thing.  Working EARLY at the bakery tomorrow = rough.  Especially when I've been sleeping in these past few days.  But, my shift is short.  And I have lunch with Mike planned to celebrate his Bday.  Should be a good day.

I'm off to watch Biggest Loser.  I'm hoping it gets better because I found last week's premier to be incredibly boring and repetitive.  Which stinks because NBC is one of the 2 or 3 channels I get in my cable-less world!

Monday, September 27, 2010

15, 14, 13 - SURVIVOR

True story: I came home to my parents' house last night to catch up on the next season of SURVIVOR that just started.  Yeah, they have Comcast and DVR and stuff I don't have, so I can catch up on the first two episodes.  My dad and I have been watching Survivor since the 2nd season when I was in 8th grade together.  We try to get together every few weeks and watch the episodes together when we can.  It is one of the only TV shows I really follow anymore, due to my life + the fact that I don't have cable and only get 2 or 3 channels at my apartment.  So this post will be quick so I can get back to the first episode before my dad gets home and we watch the second together.

My weekend was crazy, as usual.  But, my week is much more chill being off from teaching.  I actually got alot of prep work done today at my parents' which is good.  It is so nice to have a big table and 'office' to spread out in, as well as internet.  And copious amounts of coffee.  And Ollie the cat.  Something comforting about being at 'home' even when I am old and consider my apartment 'home' now.

Running wise, meh.  I'm trying to keep this week at around 50 miles.  Less than 2 weeks and at this point, I think less is more.  Today I did 8 miles total- 5 easy this morning on a nice familar loop, then 3 this evening with my mom when she got home from work.  I totally yammered on about the marathon and stupid stuff the whole time.  I love my mom for putting up with it!  It must have felt like a long 3 miles!  We went to the gym afterward, but I kept the strength training to a minimum and did some stretching because at this point I don't want to do anything too crazy/drastic and I've been doing zero strength training.

Tomorrow I'll hang out here for a bit, then head back in the evening and perhaps hit up the group run by my apartment.  I have to work at the bakery bright and early Wednesday.  Hopefully the prep will continue to go strong during the day.  Although I welcome suggestions for sweet 7th grade science activities!

Friday, September 24, 2010

17, 16 - enjoyment = up, productivity = down

Hmm, yeah, that title describes my last two days......I'm accomplishing stuff, but not nearly enough.  Must. Get. On. That.

Both days have been awesome though.  I've been 'working' but not at either job, which is lovely.  Yesterday began with a quick 6+ mile run at 7:44 pace.  Felt good.  Dirt roads were fun.  Then, I hurried to meet my friend for coffee at my favorite hippie coop downtown.  She is actually an old boss of mine at the restaurant I worked at for 5 years up north in the summer.  So fun to catch up!  Before we knew it, it was 2:30pm!  I was starving and my dad was stopping by my apartment to drop off my bookself, so I busted my butt home, got to see my pops for 2 minutes, and he was off.  My bookself looks awesome though, no more crap piled in the corner!  And so much more accessible.  And, my pops brought my Chicago confirmation....yikes......

Then, it was running group time! (see what I mean about productivity....)  Since Mike is still not able to run, I ran with some other people at a nice, relaxed pace.  We did 6.5 miles then had to 'packet stuff' again.  But it is actually really fun because everyone just chats it up and Mike was there too.  Him and I get really intense/competitive with the packet stuffing which ends up resulting in us laughing but also getting alot done!  It was kind of sad though, because we are prepping the stuff for "Woodstock" which is the 50K I did spur of the moment last year, and one of my first "real" posts.  You should read it! ;)  Anyway, I'm bummed because I won it, and would love to go back and defend my title, but a 50K two weeks before my marathon doesn't seem smart.  Last year I still had lots of weeks until Philly so it was OK.  But anyway....I guess you can't do it all!

I got home late from all those good times, ate a half of a squash for dinner (dont' judge) and passed out.

And then it was today!

Today = "long run" which now seems short because I did my last 20 miler last Friday so today was 'only' a 15 miler.  I decided to do it on the same course from last week, and just cut off the loop down to campus to make it 15 instead of 20.  The temps were in the 80s, and I was OK with that until the weather man told me there was a "wind warning". I didnt' even know there was such thing!  40mph winds were predicted with 55mph gusts!?!?!   Oh boy.....

The run started out OK.  My Garmin wasn't charged, so I had to go old school with my stopwatch.  The first 4 miles felt really fresh......until I turned and realized that was because I had been crusing with the wind at my back!  The next 7 miles were some of the toughest ever.  In two directions of the 'square' of the run, the wind was right in my face.  The first 3 of those 7 miles were hard- until I turned and realized that they were nothing compared to the next 4 miles I would face.  Honestly, I had to laugh when it started to rain horizontally!  My wrap-around ear buds kept blowing out of my ears, which really didnt' matter much because it was hard to hear my music over the wind anyway!  I knew roughly where the mile marks on the course were, so I kept checking my pace and realizing that it was decent- especially considering the conditions.   My quads were screaming though!  I just kept repeating "I am hard core" in my head the whole time.  Including when I almost got blown off an overpass....over the freeway...yeah, true story.  Good times.

I did a good job pushing the pace until the end.  I'm not sure exactly without mile by mile splits, but it felt pretty consistant, in spite of the wind.  Overall..... 15 miles at 8:13 pace.  Yeah, I'm actually really pleased.

My afternoon has been spent working at the coop...while blog reading.  Atleast my grading is done.  Reading papers written by 7th graders about "States of Matter" requires lots of coffee....and blog breaks......

And tomorrow is the market!  :)  Other than the 3:33am alarm, it promises to be a good day!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

20, 19, 18 - back to blogging

The combo of my buzz kill post Sunday, lack of time, and spotty internet made posting the last couple days not happen.  Hopefully this will be a quick recap.

Monday I ran.  Standard run.  Honestly, I dont' really remember much of it.  8:16 pace maybe?  Felt ok.

Yesterday was a good day though!  Did 6 miles in the morning at 8ish pace.  Then, busted my butt through traffic after work to meet up with a running group that meets at the running shop that is literally 1 mile from my house at 6pm.  It was really fun!  The pace started out reallly slow, so I worried at first because it was downhill at the beginning and I just wanted to *go*.  But, it was good self restraint for me!  I ended up just listening to other people's conversations for the first few miles.  Our leader led us down to these cool trails and this dam that I didn't even know existed, even though it ajoins to a park that I run in all the time!  So, that was cool.  Each mile we kept picking it up a bit.  Finally, I was pushing the pace with another guy who had recently done a 50 mile race.  Since this is on my horizon for sometime in the future, I grilled him about it!  We stopped at a water fountain about 5 miles in and from there, ran back to the shop.  It was ALL uphill including the mock "heartbreak" hill that I did repeats on last spring pre-Boston.  And have avoided ever since.  Me and the guy were still pushing at a 7:30 pace at this point up the 3/4 mile hill and I was trying desperately to keep up with the conversation while having it seem effortless because I am vain and like to look bad ass!  We finally crested the hill with less than a mile to the running shop and me and two guys really opened it up.  My legs were shot, but it felt great.  All in all, a great 8 mile evening run to round out 14 miles for the day.

Today I kept it short and sweet as I'm trying to hold my miles to the 70s this week.  I was at the bakery SUPER early ie: 4am, because there was a butt load of special orders and additional things on tap for the day.  I was out by 9am though and conviently I am off from teaching for awhile so I could head home and run.  I don't know if it is the combo of adrenaline from getting up early or the infinity of caffeine I ingest in the form of coffee at work, but these post-bakery morning runs seem to be pretty decent.  I headed out into the 80 degree/humid morning as summer seems to have returned to Michigan.  I headed downhill of course from my apartment, making up a loop as I went.  My shins are really killing me lately so I tried to hit up some dirt roads.  I actually felt *smooth* for a change.  Like my body and my mind weren't fighting me the whole time like usual.  Which was nice.  So I went with it.  I did 6 miles at 7:42 pace with splits between 7:27 and 7:50 the whole time.  Even on the uphills! :)  Then, I did two easy miles at 8:25 pace to shake everything out.  All in all, a pleasing 8 miles and I was done for the day. 

I'm still feeling the mental funk a bit, but trying to pull through.  I'm not sure if my running is making me feel bad mentally, or if my mental state/life stuff is making me think about/run bad.  Oh well.  I will give it time and see how it goes.

Good news is, I am off from teaching for over a week!  We start in the middle of August because of a break that happens now.  I need to prep for the next three months though (literally) so I am making myself work a set amount each day so I stay on task.  It is times like this though, when I am happy/fortunate to be a salaried worker.  Today I made the same amount as I do everyday! :)

Tomorrow I have a coffee date with an old/good friend.  And my dad will be in town so he is bringing a bookself I bought last week.  And run club at night.  Coupled with a morning run, should be a good day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

22, 21 the fire is flickering.....

Ok, update time.  I'll explain the post title in a second......

Yesterday was a normal, long, crazy, Saturday of market for 12+ hours and fitting tons of junk in around that.  The highlight was the fact that my parents' surprised me at the market because my dad wanted to see it!  So nice of them + they bought me some of my groceries including local squash, my weekly 1lb bag of spinach, head of broccoli, and peaches.  Sadly, the much of it has already been eaten in the last 24 hours.  Alas, thus is life.

Then I slept.  For a glorious 12 hours.  And I could have/would have kept going if I didn't actually have to get my crap together today.

Starting with my run.  Since I already did my 20 miler on Friday, today was a simple 10 miler.  Although I didn't "garmin" it, I think that it was just under 8 minute pace, which was good I guess.  But, here's confession time.  With running right now, the fire is flickering.  I think that analogy suits how I am feeling right now because I wouldn't call what I am experiencing a full-on burn-out, but I am feeling the cumulative effects of training on my physical and mental well being and it is tough. 

I got really honest with myself while running today.  Honest in the sense that I know I need a break from training.  It is not just the last 15 weeks of training for this marathon, or the 95-105 mile weeks I have put in during that time.  It is more of a culmination of almost 2 years of training consistantly (starting with training for my first Boston in 2009) with very little time off, even between marathons.  Heck, I ran my second fastest marathon this summer and then ran 12 miles the next day!  What I'm saying is not a 'yay me' party, but rather the opposite.  I am completely spent on every level.  For every 1 quality run I have, I feel as though I have 4 terrible ones.  My legs feel worse than ever, not from an injury standpoint, but from a deep and overall fatigue standpoint.  In my quest for my PR over the past 2 years, I have lived my the mentality of 'more, more, more.'  Adding more miles, training twice a day when I could, trying to get speedwork in.  Even more so, fixating my life around running.  And you know what?  I wouldn't change any of that.  I've honestly loved every minute of it.  But I feel myself getting obsessive and caught up too much in it all, thus exhausting me and making it harder than it has to be.  Here I am 3 weeks from my 10th marathon and I sometimes can't imagine getting to the starting line, not to mention the finish line.

And I hate saying all this because running IS ME.  It is who I am and defines me almost completely.  And again, I love that.  But I just feel like if I am ever going to reach my potential as a runner, and my lifelong goal of not only PRing and going sub 3:18, but being a sub 3hour marathoner, I need to take a step back.  I am proud of what I have accomplished, but I know as I keep pushing, I am making it impossible for me to accomplish even more.

I don't know why I am saying all of this really.  This is much more personal than I usual go on the old blog, and I know I don't have that many readers.  Everything just seems very hard now.  Teaching full-time and the drama that comes with it.  Keeping up with my part time job 2-4 days a week.  My 100-mile-a-day-in-traffic commute that is driving me nuts.  And oh yeah, trying to run 10-15 miles a day.  Hopefully I'm in a funk and will get over it, but right now I just want to crawl into bed for 2 weeks or so...lol.

So anyway....

I must get back to the mountain of grading that piled up last week.  Grading 7th grade science tests = mind-numbing. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

24, 23 dead legs, longggg run

I had full intentions of posting last night, but my spotty internet was gone again!  So annoying.....So, this is a double post!

Yesterday - bad day.  My runs were slooow and sluggish and my legs felt dead.  Starting with an 8 miler in the morning before work.  Then, my work day was terrrrible.  Lots of crap happened that I had to deal with as a teacher, and it basically bummed me out and infuriated me.  I won't bore you with the details, but lets just say sometimes my school drives me nuts.  Plus, on Thursdays I teach 6 periods in a row with no break besides 20 minutes for lunch.  And I don't have a 'classroom' so I'm running around between rooms and the gym (one period for PE)  And a particular teacher thinks it is cool to stick her Lean Cuisine in the teacher's lounge microwave for 10 minutes when I only need it for like 30 seconds.  Yeah, that's not cool.  So I have about .3 seconds to eat.  Buzz kill.

Then, because I had to deal with the crap of my day after work, I got on the road 15 minutes later than usual.  Which meant I SAT in traffic.  My commute took almost 2 hours, which meant I missed running with my running group.  I was so pissed that I just parked my car 6 miles from the store we meet at, and ran there.  Everyone was 'packet stuffing' for a race this weekend, which is something we all volunteer to do every few weeks in exchange for race entries.  So I got to hang out for a couple hours and chat, which was nice.  Then Mike drove me back to my car, which was also nice because my legs were totally wasted and I hit my 14 miles for the day already and it was 9:30pm.


So on to today.....

I had intentions all week of doing my long run today ie: my last 20 miler before the marathon because a) I didn't have to work either job and b) I HATE having to drag my tired butt out of bed Sunday morning after working a crazy long/tiring day at the market Saturday.  But honestly, I wasn't sure if I could do it today after this week of training.  My legs felt so terrible yesterday, I wasn't sure if it would be worth it if I was hitting 10 minute miles or something.  I slept in though, and decided to make the decision in the morning.  I was scheduled to have coffee with a friend at 2pm, but when I got up at 8am (yessss, amazing) she had cancelled.  I took it as a sign because this meant I had nothing 'scheduled' until 6:30pm tonite.  Although I'm over my head in grading....but that's besides the point.

So I decided to try.

I knew that my 'other run' ie: what I will do on Sunday had to be 13 miles, and so I gave myself license to stop then if I wanted and do 20 on Sunday.  But honestly, who am I kidding.  There was no way I would stop at 13 miles!

So I set out on a 'new' loop that I only did once last spring as a 15 miler.  Honestly, my legs killed but the run itself went by really fast.  I ran by horse farms, almost got hit by oncoming traffic on a too-narrow county road shoulder, ran through fresh tar leaving footprints, and counted road kill (15 road kills in less than 10 miles including snakes, birds, racoons, and un-identifiable rodents.)  I also ran by this cool farm market that I ended up driving back to this afternoon and scoring some cheap, Michigan-grown produce!  14 miles in, I was back in town and grabbed a drink at a waterfountain in a park.  I hate waterfountains, but I make exceptions when running.  I realized how dead my legs were at this point and almost had a mental breakdown.  But, then I decided that 6 miles was nothing and I turned on my ipod for the first time during the run, which helped.  Having to run from town -----> my apartment pretty much all uphill at the end = not cool.  But I did it.  And honestly, that is what today was about.  When my Garmin hit 20 miles almost exactly outside my apartment, I felt proud.  Was it a fast run?  No.  Did I feel great?  No.  But I did it.  And honestly, you never regret a run.

20 miles @ 8:38 pace.  Today, that was all I had.

I then proceded to eat frozen grapes while soaking my legs in the freezing cold pool at my apartment.  Then, I was freezing so I jumped in the jacuzzi.  Good call. 

My legs?  Basically they are hurting.  I feel like I'm really tapped out right now from a physical and mental sense.  I'm a few days over the 3 week mark and my body feels very much in need of a rest.  I just hope I can hold on for a few more weeks.....

And now I must tackle the mountain of grading.  Market allll day tomorrow, which I get strangely excited about.  Other than the fact that it is an early, physically exhausting day, it is alot of fun.  Or maybe I'm just a dork?  Hmmmm

Happy Weekend! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

25- "You know I can't slow down, I can't hold back...."

Yes, that quote from Cage the Elephant's "Aint No Rest for the Wicked" pretty much summed up my day and my run. Good song too!

Well, the pre-4am hour dawned extra early today and I spent a good 5 minutes in bed whining in my head and feeling sorry for myself that I am a top-college educated person with a legit full-time teaching job, yet I still have to work a second job to make ends meet. Then, I got over it and got out of bed. Lol. My legs were not really sore, but felt super tired from yesterday's 14 total miles with 3x mile repeats at night. But, I view tiredness as a good thing. Means they were working hard!

It was a bakery morning, followed by the customary speeding commute to teach while changing in the car. Classy. Teach x 6 classes (made my middle school girls run today in gym...too funny!) then a staff meeting. It was near 5pm when I got done, and the thought of traffic was unbearable. So, I did what I usually do and pulled into the nearest parking lot by work, changed, and was off!

I knew my legs would be sluggish from yesterday's speedwork + my 12 hour workday, so I gave myself permission to go SLOW and SHORT. I had no pace or distance in mind, just decided to feel my way through town and hopefully get back to my car eventually. I decided to check my mile splits as they came, which I don't usually do, but I wanted to make sure I was going slow enough. Honestly, my legs felt totally dead. I felt embarressed because I was sure I was going so slow and cars were probably pointing and laughing. I missed my first mile split, but looked down in time to catch mile 2. I prepared myself to see upper 8's....


Seriously, you would think after running my whole life I would be better and knowing what pace I'm at. Honestly, it felt so slow and easy! I decided just to 'maintain' and not push my effort or not slow down and see what happened. I tried to keep everything really light feeling.

Mile 3: 7:42

And so they remained in the 7:40s for a few miles. It didn't feel hard, but I could tell that my legs weren't recovering necessarily. The route was very scenic, slightly hilly, but not too bad. Only bad when I ran out of sidewalk and was sandwiched running between overhanging trees and rush hour traffic for awhile. Ha. I made the decision at the 6 mile mark to run 10 miles. But, I decided that I would push mile 7, then force myself to do the last 3 easy.

Mile 7: 7:29 Sooo happy!

I stopped and reset my Garmin at this point. I had done 7 miles at 7:44 pace which I was pumped about considering yesterday and my day today. And how easy it felt. I told myself to do 8:30s for the last 3 miles. They ended up being 8:17, 8:22, 8:06. And since I was 'forcing' myself to slow down, they seriously felt like 9:30s.

So good run. I'm trying to appreciate it because I have been whining about my bad runs lately. This week has been good though, so I'm hoping it continues. Tomorrow I am REALLY making myself go easy because I want to be fresh for my last 20 miler this weekend. Yes, that is the plan.

And the best part....it was 6:30pm by the time this was all over. Traffic = gone. Drive home = 40 minutes rather than 60+ minutes. Yesss indeedy. I am easily pleased.

My stupid legs are still twitching like crazy! Time for me to slap on my compression socks and jump in bed! So excited to 'sleep in' until 6:30am tomorrow morning and not have any bakery! :) Again, it's the simple pleasures....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

26- nice to meet you, speedwork

It has been much too long since I did any kind of formal speedwork.  With my running partner sidelined with a foot injury, my motivation to do anything formally fast declined rapidly.  Read: it hasn't been happening.  Buttt, tonite I changed that.

First, this morning.  It began with a glorious sunrise 8 miler around my parents' house.  It was 'chilly' in the 50s and although my legs were tired, the run went by fast.  I think it was an 8:13 pace?  I dunno.  I tried to keep it easy so I would have something left for tonite.....

Then, I molded minds all day.  ie: I taught.  Atleast tomorrow is the 15th and it is FINALLY our first pay day even though we have been working for 3+ weeks.  That's all I have to say about that.

Rushed home, dumped my stuff and changed, then sped to campus where my cities "Track Club" meets on Tuesday night to do workouts.  I met with them a few years ago in college for a few weeks, but then dropped off when I started running club for my school, and training for marathons.  Well, I looked them up online and tonite's workout read 3x1 mile with 400 jog rest.  Uh oh.

I did a warmup, met some people, then much too soon, the workout began.  My goal was just sub-7s for all of them because my legs have so many miles on them and I haven't done this short of speedwork in forever.  The first one felt effortless, and I hit it in 6:13.  Ooops.  Yeah, bad plan.  The second one was much harder.  6:32.  The third one, my legs were screaming!  6:50.  Crap.  I suck at pacing.  But, I was pretty proud of that considering everything.  I'll take it.

Randomly, I am getting internet at my apartment tonite.  Ironically so because I FINALLY bit the bullet and ordered wireless service.  So.  Much.  $$$$.  Alas, thus is life.

Alarm is set for 3:53am!  Bakery morning, teaching afternoon, run after it all.  Blah.  I hate doing things in that order!

Monday, September 13, 2010

27- split run(s), good run(s)

Ok, a couple minutes to blog....

Unfortunately, my crazy family weekend + the market + unexpectedly having to drive home to my parents' house last night so I could have my car brakes fixed today (hello $$$) meant that I got very little....read: no....prep work done this weekend.  So, I'm sort of taking teaching day-by-day this week.  Which I hate.  So I must get back to it!

But first: quick weekend run down!

Time with my sis and bro in law Friday night was fun!  Local burgers = epic.  The market dawned bright and early Saturday morning and I was running on about 1 hour of sleep after staying up later with my sis and bro in law + sleeping uncomfortably on the couch so they could have the bed.  Yeah, I'm that nice.  But, I do really like the long, crazy, market day and plus my sis and mom came down to visit + bought me veggies because I have zero time to 'shop' when I'm there, manning the booth.  When I finally got off at 5pm, I high tailed it home, then drove another 45 minutes to our family reunion thingy which was fun but lasted until almost midnight. Ie: by then I had been up for 20+ hours and was sleeeeepy.  Upon driving home, I realized that my brakes were messed up.  Awesome.  Atleast my sis kept me awake!

Finally getting to sleep at 1am, I set the alarm for 6:45am and woke up feeling horrible.  Hungover, even though I didn't drink??!?!  I considered blowing off my 10 miler, but after drinking some juice I felt better so I headed out.  I felt really good and speedy, but my pace sort of buzz-killed me when it came back as a 8:17 average.  Blah.  Post-run, my parents drove out and met my sis, bro in law, and I at this amazing high-class brunch buffet.  Yum.  I got my money's worth, but unfortunately got "glutened" somehow which made the last 24 hours or so...not very....pleasant.  But atleast it was delicious!  We celebrated my mom and sis's b-day so presents were involved.  Then, off they went back to Chicago.  My dad then determined my brakes were broke, which meant I drove back to their house so my dad and I could deal with the car today and I could still get to work.  (my dad and I work about 5 miles from each other!)  Lots of $$ later, it was fixed.  I guess that's the joy of the fact that I'm on pace to put 30,000+ miles on my car this year.  Oye.

Running today was supposed to be 12 miles, split into 6/6.  It was close to that, and honestly went really well.  This morning, I had very limited time after dropping off my car and driving my dad to work, before I had to get to work so I knew I had to go fast.  Here's how the 6 miler went down:

7:48, 7:34, 7:29, 7:40, 7:35, 7:11 = 7:33 average; pretty 'negative' splits for me!

Then, post-work my dad asked if I wanted to do 3 miles after we picked my car up.  But, he wasn't ready to leave work yet, so I did 3 miles right away around his office alone. 

7:53, 7:30, 7:15 = 7:32 average; one second faster than this morning! :p

Post-car pick up my pops and I did another 3 at a 8:25 pace.  It was really good chatting time, although lots was about my finances and future.  Thanks pops.

So yeah, that about catches everything up.  It is 8:34pm and I'm still not ready to go for tomorrow, and still haven't had dinner.  Time to get on that!

Peace out! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

29,28 - i need a weekend from my weekend....

Nuff said.  10 mile run, lots of family time, broken car.  Boo.  back at it tomorrow.  blogging will resume.....

Friday, September 10, 2010

30- Long Run, short day

Where has today gone?  Between my long run, running errands, and cleaning my whole apartment...all 700 square feet, lol...the day has flown!  Now it is 7pm and I'm at a coffee shop waiting for my sis and bro-in-law to get here so we can go to dinner!  Long run = hungry me.

Butt, the run itself was not-so-great.  The route was nice, sort of a combo of roads and a long stretch through the network of parks for about 7 miles, then ending with a character-building three miles up "the parkway."  It actually got pretty hot out, since I left at 10am and all and the sun was intense and reinforced my sweet double watch tan (on wrist I have my 'always on' sports watch, and the other, my Garmin when I run.)  I actually went on a 'forbidden trail' that meant I had to hop through a fense.  And then I had to backtrack when a bunch of guys + a huge shovel-machine thingy were in the way.  Ha, oh well.  Sadly, I think the highlight of my run was a spontaneous popsickle.  I stopped to get a drink of water at mile 15-ish at the park at the foot of "The Parkway".  Suddenly, I saw that because the park is also a canoe livery, they have a snack shop.  I was deseperate for anything because water just wasn't cutting it.  I saw a popsickle and went for it.  I realized that 80 calories of popsickle on an 18 mile run probably aren't going to help a whole lot physically, but I was hoping for more of a mental life.  Not so much.  The parkway went by fast, but was tough.  I rallied to finish the last (uphill) mile in 7:52, but that didn't help my 8:32 pace overall that much.  Oh well.  I'm happy I did it, and now can enjoy my 12 hour market day tomorrow, then family time, and brunch on Sunday. 

Hoping that my sis will get here soon.  We are going to a place that serves all locally made/grown burgers!  Burger after a long run = perfection.

And my legs are still twitching like crazy, but I am going to go with marathonmaiden's suggestion that that means I'm building muscle.  I like that thought! :)

I'm off!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

31- changing plans and tired legs

Ahhh, a day off of work.  Niceeee.  It is times like this when it was worth it to start teaching 2+ weeks before all other schools so that we can have holidays off. 

So today....

It is amazing how much differently I can feel on runs from one day to another.  Today, I did 10 miles at 9:30am (probably my fav time to run) in cool temps and felt TIRED.  I did a route that I did lots of times when I first moved last spring, but hadn't done all summer.  It was similar in topography to yesterday's run in terms of downhill, then uphill.  I wish it felt as good as yesterday...but it did not.  Still, I rallied in the end for a negative split of 7:45 last mile and 8:06 pace overall.  So, not as great as yesterday, but judging by how I felt I was thinking more along the lines of 8:30s-8:40s.

About 5 minutes after I got out of the pool after running (and the jacuzzi :) I realized that I will not be able to do my long run on Sunday because I have plans with my family.  This bummed me out because I was planning to do the run with a running group that meets at the running shop about 3/4 of a mile away from my apartment.  Sooo, I must do it tomorrow.  Hopefully.

Then, for some reason, all plans for productivity went out the window when I realized how insanely tired I was after lunch.  I seriously had no power over the tiredness and passed out until 4pm!  And could have slept longer, but my legs kept twitching and it was driving me nuts!  Anyone ever have this happen?  I do every one in awhile, but I feel like my calves/hamstrings/quads have been twitching for two days straight!  I dragged my butt out of bed to go to the coffee shop to work (errr, blog read....)  I'm not running any more today because I really would like to have a quality long run tomorrow and I'm so exhausted, which is lame because I didnt' even have to work today.

In exciting news, my sis and bro in law are coming tomorrow night!  I haven't seen them since early July, so I'm pumped.  They are staying with me and we have this family reunion thingy on Saturday, followed by birthday brunch for my mom and sis on Sunday (hense the long run shift).  Plus I think they are coming downtown to see me at the market on Saturday.  Sooo, I should probably actually get work done now!

Send me your remedies for twichy legs!  They are driving me nuts as I sit here typing in my recovery socks!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

32 - love it or hate it

Today has been a lovely, semi-productive fall-feeling day!

When I last left you, I was at work.  On the way home, I pulled off the freeway to run in a random town.  However, my Garmin was dead so I had to run for time.  And my legs felt like lead.  So I did 4 or 5 miles and called it a day.  14 or 15 was good enough for the day!

Today = no teaching! :)  Today = 4:30am bakery :(  Today = leaving at 9:30am!  I got my evaluation at the bakery and my (amazing) boss was really complementary.  We talked alot about the market too, which was good.  And, I got out of work and didn't have to drive + teach and it was Wednesday, so I went to the farmer's market in town.  And scored some awesome broccoli.  Roasted broccoli = my new obsession.

Then, it was run time.  No expectations for my run today.  I had a route planned out in my head to try, but had no idea how long it would be.  I figured 9-10 ish.  So I strapped on my (newly charged) Garmin and went at it, deciding not to check the Garmin the whole time and just GO.  The route took me through the streets the long way to a park by the river.  Then, it followed a path through the park and came out at the mouth of the notorious "Parkway" (ie hill-tastic road).  The run to the park was nice, about 5 or 6 miles of gentle hills trending toward downhill.  Temps were nice too, 60 degrees ish, but REALLY windy.  Through the park it was against the wind, but I *hoped* the trees would block it a bit.  They may have, though it was hard to tell because the wind was still pretty strong!  I'm completely a road runner at heart, but this particular path was nice (and paved!) so it was good times.

Then, it was onto THE parkway.  I figured I was at 7 or 8 miles at this point.  This particular road is known by area runners because of it's upslope.  As I have mentioned before, basically all roads are uphill to my apartment.  Which is where the title of this post comes in.  I HATE hills, but I LOVE the fact that I know they are good and are making me a stronger runner in the end.  And it makes my pace feel more bad ass when I know I've done it on a hilly route!  The parkway has wide sidewalks on both sides, and is a huge 4 lane road seperated by a boulevard.  I ran on the opposite side than I usually do today, which actually was a huge mental lift.  It is a tough road in that at first, the upslope is gentle to the point where one may think that it is just tired legs causing that feeling fatigue.  But, the hill just gets steeper until the last 1/2 mile you want to cry.  Or die.  But I digress....

Finally, after conquering all of the hills and the parkway, I checked my Garmin when I was about 1/2 mile from my apartment.  This showed me that a) I was at 10.18 miles (which means I will go 11 because I always run to the next even number) and b) I was AHEAD of my virtual partner (ie 8 min pace) which I didn't think I would be.  Since I was barely ahead though, I had to push the last little bit.  Which felt good.  All in all, hit up 11 miles at 7:55 pace with the last mile at 7:32.  Not bad for a relaxed run.

Honestly, I think the weather helped too.  As much as I am a heat and sun worshiper, I ended today feeling good and like I didn't need to jump the nearest pedestrian for his water.  Which is always a good thing.

Anddd, now I'm 'supposed' to be getting work done at this coffee shop, rather than blogging/reading blogs.  Yeah, it will happen eventually.  My crock pot is cooking me soup full of local vegetable for dinner.  Thanks crockpot.  I actually laid down for 30 minutes this afternoon and it was amazing having cool fall air coming through my window, and the smell of soup cooking coming through my door.  Ahhhh, yes.

Oh! And the phone!  I finally got it last night!  I'm obsessed.  As in, I can't put  it down.  Although I dont' know how to answer it yet....I've hung up on my mom twice and had to call back.  Oh well.  Me and technology are still getting to know each other....

So before this post gets any longer/more random/more lame/more like me being a 13 year old writing in diary, I will go!  Work time for realz!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

36, 35, 34, 33 - ohhh man

Yeah, so apparently I gave up blogging for a few days.....ironically though because I actually have internet at my parents' house up north (unlike my apartment).  Butt, in my defense, I was too busy recovering from my crazy week....lol.

So yeah.  Recap time.

Saturday = market day.  It was sooo cold.  Ironically again, because the last few weeks it has been unreal-ly hot which stinks when you are loading and unloading a huge van full of tables, bread, pastries, cheese, etc.  But somehow our booth is in a wind tunnel and it was terribly cold allll day.  I did have my Boston jacket on which was bad ass looking, but not-so-warming.  So yeah.  Cold day.  Sales were insanely good though.  Unlike driving 4 hours after work.  But I got up north, which was nice.

Sunday was a good day.  10 miles that were effortless.  I did the first 6 alone, then met my mom for the final 4.  It was nice that I did my long run on Thursday, so I could just do the 10 and be done.  Monday, was good too- 8 miles around our lake....4 with mom, 4 with pop.  yeah, they drive halfway and switch the car...lol.  i love my parents.

Otherwise, the weekend was spent doing prep work, sleeping in, chilling out, and chatting with my parents' about my life goals and dreams.  true story.  Plus, seeing "The American" with some friends.  Terrible movie.  I'll leave it at that.  George Clooney is hot.  Nuff said.

So now, I'm back at it.  Luckily, I only have to teach one day this week..ie today...because of holidays.  Actually, I'm 'teaching' right now.  Awesome.  I gotta do the bakery thing tomorrow morning, but after that I got nothing 'scheduled' until Saturday market day.  And my sis is coming Friday!  Yay!  So, this week should be alot better than last week.  Time to get ahead on my prep work and hopefully bite the bullet and get internet for my apartment.

Oh!  And running!  Today, I did 10 miles before work around the flat-ness of my parents' house.  Tonite, I'm planning another 4-5 more, depending on my timing and motivation level.  Plus, a trip to Verizon to get a NEW PHONE.  Yeah, my phone is from high school.  True story.  This is an epic day.  Even though I've already been to 2 verizon stores today with no luck, I'm determined to make it work tonite when I'm back in my town.  Yes, this is the plan.

Ok, I gotta go finish my workday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

37- almost there....

One more day until I can finally catch my breath!  I can't believe that I've almost made it!

Today was crazy like the rest of my week.  Starting with being at the bakery by 4:30am, followed be teaching, running, and rushing off to a work meeting.  And now, coffee shop blogging.  My run was actually really solid though.  I only had time for a 5 miler, and debated skipping it cuz I was so sleepy and I knew that was "all" I had time for, but I'm so glad I got out there.  I felt really good, and my splits were spot on: 7:46 pace; 8:02, 8:08, 7:47, 7:31, 7:20.  Y'all know that I NEVER negative split but it felt really natural today, which was nice.  And, I showered and was out there door to my meeting in about 3 minutes.  Heck yes.

Now, I have about 0.1seconds to do online stuff before heading back home and packing all my crap up.  Market day tomorrow.  The plan is to be all ready and packed so that when I go to work at 4:30am I can be ready to leave to drive up north when I get off at 5pm.  It is going to be a quick 2 day trip up, but I'm so excited.  I need to leave the stress of this week behind and regroup.  Happiness.

Ok, that's all I got!  Have a good one! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

38- is it saturday night yet?

Seriously, this has been the hardest week ever.  I don't want to turn this blog into a festival of  how busy and stressed I am (cuz c'mon, aren't we all?) but this week has been very tough.  Long hours at school, too many bakery shifts, plus fitting in runs. 

So yesterday....
Yeah, crazy.  I worked 4:45am-9am at the bakery, drove to work, had a TERRIBLE day teaching my students from 10-4:30 where everything just went *wrong* despite my best intensions to plan 'fun' hands-on stuff, drove home to my parents, was running alittle after 5pm, and was back at school by 7pm for "Back to School Night."  Spent 2 hours being intimidated by parents who are twice my age, while trying to pretend like all of their children hadn't driven my nuts today.  Then, got back to my parents' house by 10pm.  I think I was asleep by 10:30pm.  No joke.

The best part is that I planned to do my "mini" long run this morning, early before work around my parents' house.  I don't want to wait until Sunday because I'll be up north and I want to just do up north things and not worry about devoting 3 hours to running on Sunday morning (my one full day there).  So this morning was my only option.  I settled on a 20 mile day- 15 this morning, and 5 tonite back at run club with my friends.  So after my day from hell yesterday, I dragged my butt out of bed at 5:30am and went....

Let me tell you- it was a GOOD run.  I think maybe it was the fact that I just had to *run* for 2 hours and not think about anything, but I really was feeling "on" from start to finish.  I decided that I never felt *fast* per-say, but SMOOTH.  It is that smooth feeling that I have been lacking lately, and this morning I finally felt it.  I have a love-hate relationship with the area I grew up in - it is true suburbia, flat roads, concrete, and all the roads are in neat little square miles.  So it is always a matter of doing "4 squares" (4 miles) or "6 squares" or whatever.  Today, it was a 14 square with some tacked on at the end.  I felt so light starting out, but lately that has been the case and then I die 3 miles in.  Today, I told myself that I wanted to feel equally good at the end of the run as I did at the start.  And honestly, I did.  The only regret was that I didn't have more time to make it a 20 because my splits were consistant and I felt so good.  But, it was ok to sort of leave it at a good run.  My Garmin died at 14.91 miles, which was ironic, but OK.  Ended up being a 8:13 pace, but the best part is that all the miles were + or - 10 seconds, rather than starting off at 7:40s and ending at 8:40s as I have been doing.  Good run.  Very satisfied.

Oh!  Funny story- so I ran near the shadier Southeast corner of the city and found this coffee bar called "The Hot Spot".  Literally, it is tiny booth in the middle of a parking lot.  They were advertising "Bikini Thursdays" so I looked in the booth as I ran by (and cuz there was like 100 cars lined up in the drive thru line) and all the baristas were wearing tiny bathing suits!  Random much?  I guess that's one way to wake up in the morning!

The rest of my day was spent trying to do damage control at work from all the activities-gone-bad yesterday and trying not to kill my students...i kid...sort of.....

Then, I fought horrid traffic to get back to Thursday night group to run with a couple of friends.  We chatted through 5 miles, it was nice to be back.

Overall, good running day.  Finally.  Now, I just have two more crazy days until my 'weekend'.  I'm so ready.

One last thing.  Today, I was feeling super stressed and thinking about all that is going on while I was running, and I sort of just paused for a second and gave myself permission to be really happy and proud of myself.  Yeah, that sounds totally cheesy and it is!  But it made me feel so good.  How many people would have a day like my yesterday, and still fit a run in?  Then, get up extra early to run long before a full day of work?  And pick up extra shifts at the bakery to help out?  I really appreciated myself and my work ethic- something I never do, even inside my head because I think of it as being stuck-up or something.  Even though no one but me knows.  I say this not because I think I'm so great or anything, but because I know alot of you are like me, with big committments, crazy time schedules, and lots on your plates.  Take a minute to be really impressed with all you are tackling!  Is it silly?  Maybe.  But that's OK because only you have to know! ;)

Ok, alarm is set for 3:43am.  I gotta get home and to sleep!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

39- longest day of my life

See title.  I need sleeps.  Update tomorrow.