Monthly archives: August, 2014

Friday Five – Fall Preview

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

On this Labor Day weekend Friday (whew, we made it!), the theme is “Fall Preview”. You remember fall, right? Here’s some of what I’m looking forward to!

READ

I just bought Elite Minds to add to my mental race preparation collection – a lot of reading and visualization between now and Baystate!

I’m looking at some new interesting training books that are out now like 80/20 by Matt Fitzgerald (recently on RunnerAcademy podcast about this book) and The Well-Built Triathlete by Matt Dixon (I’m not a triathlete, but I believe many of the same principles apply). I’ll also keep an eye out for Fast After 50 by Joe Friel (December).

I’ve pre-ordered Older Faster Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer by Margaret Webb.

I’m also looking forward to a number of non-running related books, including:

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline and some cozy paperback mysteries. I’m sure there are other books I’ll want as soon as I know they’re coming out!

EAT

Fall brings with it more squash, hopefully the return of the purple-inside/purple-outside (Stokes) sweet potatoes.

purple/purple sweet potatoes

purple/purple sweet potatoes

It also brings me one of my annual treats, apple cider! (about one cup a year, from a local provider at a farmers market) I might try to make some baked paleo apple cider cinnamon sugar doughnuts/holes I’ve seen recipes for, maybe this one or this one or this one. If you have a recipe recommendation, let me know!  I think I still have that mini doughnut pan I bought and never used. Weighing against making them – my laziness, schedule and fear of eating the whole batch. (that’s what the freezer is for!)

I’ll likely make my “low fat pumpkin no pie” at least once. Basically, make the regular filing recipe with egg beaters and low fat “milk” of some type, limit the sugar, bake as a custard. If I make it, I’ll try to remember to post pictures and the recipe! It’s great cold, hot, as a vegetable, dessert, breakfast, mixed in oats/quinoa (if you eat them).

my favorite coffee mug - it misses me

my favorite coffee mug – it misses me

I’m not sure why, but I’m REALLY craving coffee lately. Probably my memories of the alertness and comfort factor more than anything else. I even thought about bribing myself with an iced coffee from Starbucks if I did something, but the logistics of bringing my own sweetener, not being able to use their milks, and so on made that less fun the more I thought about it. So did worrying about what the acid would do to my stomach or if my system could handle that much caffeine after all this time. I’m wondering if an Aeropress (recommended by MidpackBiped as making less acidic coffee) might work for me, with some decaf. If you have an Aeropress, do you find it makes less acidic coffee? Do you love it? I’ve given up on the dandelion “coffee” I was using (too much acid kickup after) so my only other option for coffee – or, since it’s fall, faux pumpkin spice and gingerbread “latte” drinks is the sugar free Torani coffee syrup mixed with another sweet syrup, and that gets too sweet.

I’m thinking about reasonable ways to get back to my race weight before Baystate. My snacking habits have added a few pounds since then, and I’m not happy about it. Also, my training was going well (possibly better than it is now, but I have more stressors outside running right now) and raced well at a slightly lower weight, so it’s possible that “just a few” has more of an effect than it used to. I love my snacks (and of course, emotional/stress eating and night snacking are challenges for me). So, I’m trying to come up with ways to address this and knowing I’m running short on time. Labor Day might be a good “last fling” before really bearing down on this aspect of my training. I have plenty of willpower, I’m just using it for more things, and it is a bit finite. But, this is about choosing what I want more over what I want right now, and I can try harder.

WRITE

As my training continues to ramp up and my day job/life is taking more energy, I may tweak posts, change post days, write about different things. I might also introduce some new themes (perhaps deeper subjects or some lighter, funnier or shorter ones) and join more or different linkups. I appreciate the feedback I’ve gotten to my questions about what YOU want on the blog, and I’ll be working to incorporate some of your requests and suggestions. Thanks for reading, responding and caring enough to tell me what you think. Please keep the conversation going and let me know what you like, what you want more/less of, etc.!

RUN

You know this already….more training and finally, races!! (that sounds more confident/excited than I am just at the moment, working on it!)

Baystate Marathon – Oct 19

Richmond Marathon – Nov 17 (I need to contact them to use my deferral from last year and register for this ASAP!)

Across the Years – Dec 28 – Jan 3 (need to register for this and make travel arrangements)

I’ve thought about doing shorter races in between, but likely will not unless I jump into a holiday 5k in November or December. The recovery from something like a half cuts into my training too much, and for me, the shorter races aren’t worth giving up training time right now.

Aside from the above things I’m looking forward to, I love fall’s colors, temperatures, the feel and smell of crisp air, and all the wonderful and fun things that are part of the fall season, which is my favorite season by far. Think of the chill in the air (great for runs!), the sound of leaves scudding down the street in the wind and the play of light through the colors, sweaters, fireplaces and wood smoke. The only downside of fall being my primary racing season is that weekend long runs/races and fall weekend getaways don’t mix (especially with my dietary constraints), and the training plan/race schedule must rule.

Here are some lovely fall photos and trips to whet your appetite for the special beauty fall brings….I grew up in the Midwest, so am partial to the reds and oranges there, but I’ve learned to appreciate golden hues as well. It’s all good.

What’s your fall preview?  What are you looking forward to?



Almost Wordless Wednesday – Pool Time!

It occurred to me the other day, probably when getting odd looks from small children in the pool locker room, that I must look like the Creature from the Black Lagoon to them! (not that they’d know what that is)

The thought amused me, so I decided to share a little of it with you…Below is me in my neoprene shorts, long sleeve rash guard shirt and wet suit jacket. Why do I wear those items? Because even the (supposedly) 84-85 degree water in the instructional pool is too cold for me when pool running. (and btw it’s not that warm, I know what that’s felt like in the past) I might be able to tolerate it in a suit for a short swim.

 

pool time

pool time

You’ll just have to use your imagination to add my missing head (which has a swim cap and mask-style goggles on, as well as my waterproof iPod holder/headphones which attach to my goggles or to a bungee cord I strap to my head) AND the spiffy aqua-jogging float belt, with extra float pieces….hard to get the full effect without it, but this is probably enough for a Wednesday giggle.

What’s the goofiest you’ve looked/dressed for a workout? (I’m sure hoping this is my goofiest…..)

Happy hump day!



Training Recap Tuesday – Wk of Aug 18, 2014

The week of August 18th was supposed to be a “hard” training week, according to my training plan. I’d say the T/Th were hard in a speed way, but went better than I would have hoped, given prior weeks. The long run’s hard was “just” the duration but it was a mental and physical challenge.

Run57.2 miles!

  • T – 11.5mi with 8.5 at MGP!! (plan was 8mi MGP, but I wanted a little more)
  • W – 6 mi ez pace
  • Th – 11.25mi. Plan was 4-5x(1.25mi/0.25mi) in a range of 5s slower than MGP to 14s faster. I hit 4 intervals at faster than MGP, plus 0.25 faster than the 14s.
  • Sat – 22 miles.(if you read my weekend update Monday, this part is a repeat) Plan said 18-22 in long run pace zone.Actual: 22mi in long run pace zone! 1 mi 2+min slower than MGP, 1mi 1:38 slower than MGP, 5mi 1:29 slower than MGP, 15mi 1:20 slower than MGP. My (very detailed) notes indicate pretty good cardio (HR 140 at end), less thirst or perception of being hot than usual (really cranked the a/c down and it’s not as hot outside), and not too many niggles. One weird and new thing – my inner hamstring on the R side (not sure if muscle/tendon) wanted to cramp a number of times in the early miles. It eventually eased up, but felt almost like the beginning of a charley horse. Ugh. I’m thinking it might be related to my tight R VMO, which I did notice during the run and which, by the end (as chiro had warned it might) started to pull my R knee out of good alignment…ow. But I knew what it was and tried to tweak it back into place a bit, as I sometimes do my left.Wore my fuel belt again, this time with two flasks in the back pockets, each with 3 servings of gel (240cal), 2 servings water. I can definitely feel the discomfort/weight in my glute mins and hips. I started with both in the back, then when I wanted the first serving of gel, took the L one out and put it in the front pocket (b/c L glute min is more of a problem than R). I put it in the front pocket because it’s impossible for me to get the flask back into the back pocket on the run. (a shame, the only flaw in the belt) Though I took gel at 4 points (miles 5.8, 10.4, 13.4, 17.9), because it was mixed with water, I only used the one flask. When I finished that flask, I put it in one of the water bottle ports on the treadmill (because in a race I’d throw it away at an aid station) and pulled the R one from the back to the front. Ahh, my glutes and hips liked that much better. In a race I wouldn’t get as much relief, because I’ll probably run with 3 flasks, 2 in back and 1 in front. Thus I may never even move the final flask to the front.Got a sports massage 2h after ending my run (quick spin on the bike, some Myrtls and a light snack followed my run). Usually my massages are later in the day, was a late change. Not sure I loved it though it freed up the afternoon a bit. Did a little e-stim on my R VMO while watching TV. Skipped my Whartons as they seemed to being making me sorer and pulling painfully, figured the massage would have to do.
  • Sun – 6.55 ez/recovery pace miles. Finished up with 6x15s strides and Myrtls.

Bike: Monday 55min AM, 30min Fri afternoon, 20 min after Saturday’s long run
Core: 2 (M AM, skipped Wed, Th afternoon) 
Wharton flex: 6: Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri, skipped Sat (long run, then massage, Whartons just made me sorer), Sun 
Chiro exercises: Tuesday managed leaping Ohnos. Too sore on Th thanks to Coach Jay.
Coach Jay routine: Week 7 level. Holy cow. This is a real step up. Managed it Tuesday and was so sore I skipped Th. Did the “easy” day W.
Myrtl routine: 3
Calf stretches: T, W, Th, Sat, Sun 
Elliptical: None. 
Pool: 30 min pool run Tues eve (one of the few times I feel like I should have just stayed home), 1hr pool run Fri AM (this was good idea)
Walk: pre-run 15 min warmups
Drills: before every run – lunge matrix, high knees, skips, butt kicks, butt kicks moving in reverse, karaoke, added front & lateral leg swings
Other: No chiro (ack) as he was on vacation. Sports massage Sat afternoon 2hrs post-run. E-stim Sat night.
Nutrition: Working hard to eat only what I want when I want it (e.g., didn’t force much for on Saturday) and as small amounts as possible to satisfy me. Volume of food eaten (quantity) appears to affect how my stomach/hernia feels, how well I digest, etc. One more constraint/variable ore have to consider. Also trying to make sure that I plan for my evening snacking/stress eating calories so I stay within my calorie goals.

Bonus – one of the podcasts I listened to on my long run was Cloud259. They recently interviewed marathoner (and steeplechaser) Becky Wade, currently training with Deena Kastor and the Mammoth Track Club. Becky won her first marathon, CIM, in 2:30:41 – Runner’s World interviewed her last year. As you’ll note in both interviews, Becky is not only an athlete, but a multi-subject degreed researcher (from Rice University, DH’s alma mater). She spent a year on a fellowship, going to 22 countries outside the US  “to forge “an informally academic perspective of different runners and different running cultures.” Here’s her blog of her adventures.

Hope you’re having a great week!

 

 



Weekend Update – Aug 23 & 24, 2014

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – check out her site to see what everyone’s been up to! (training recap coming Tues)

Hope you had a great weekend! Please tell me about it in the comments.

During this past week, I got my newest Boston flowers planted!

newest Boston flowers

newest Boston flowers

But I still need to pick and freeze basil….(if you look closely, you can see the Boston flowers on the left and my red Subaru Forester, which recently joined the 100k mile club, in the driveway)

 

basil in terra cotta color pot

basil in terra cotta color pot

Runwise….

Saturday:

Plan said 18-22 in long run pace zone.

Actual: 22mi in long run pace zone! 1 mi 2+min slower than MGP, 1mi 1:38 slower than MGP, 5mi 1:29 slower than MGP, 15mi 1:20 slower than MGP. My (very detailed) notes indicate pretty good cardio (HR 140 at end), less thirst or perception of being hot than usual (really cranked the a/c down and it’s not as hot outside), and not too many niggles. One weird and new thing – my inner hamstring on the R side (not sure if muscle/tendon) wanted to cramp a number of times in the early miles. It eventually eased up, but felt almost like the beginning of a charley horse. Ugh. I’m thinking it might be related to my tight R VMO, which I did notice during the run and which, by the end (as chiro had warned it might) started to pull my R knee out of good alignment…ow. But I knew what it was and tried to tweak it back into place a bit, as I sometimes do my left.

Wore my fuel belt again, this time with two flasks in the back pockets, each with 3 servings of gel (240cal), 2 servings water. I can definitely feel the discomfort/weight in my glute mins and hips. I started with both in the back, then when I wanted the first serving of gel, took the L one out and put it in the front pocket (b/c L glute min is more of a problem than R). I put it in the front pocket because it’s impossible for me to get the flask back into the back pocket on the run. (a shame, the only flaw in the belt) Though I took gel at 4 points (miles 5.8, 10.4, 13.4, 17.9), because it was mixed with water, I only used the one flask. When I finished that flask, I put it in one of the water bottle ports on the treadmill (because in a race I’d throw it away at an aid station) and pulled the R one from the back to the front. Ahh, my glutes and hips liked that much better. In a race I wouldn’t get as much relief, because I’ll probably run with 3 flasks, 2 in back and 1 in front. Thus I may never even move the final flask to the front.

Got a sports massage 2h after ending my run (quick spin on the bike, some Myrtls and a light snack followed my run). Usually my massages are later in the day, was a late change. Not sure I loved it though it freed up the afternoon a bit. Did a little e-stim on my R VMO while watching TV. Skipped my Whartons as they seemed to being making me sorer and pulling painfully, figured the massage would have to do.

Sunday: 6.55 miles at recovery/easy pace, finished up with 6x15s strides and then Myrtls. After a nice night of sleep (my bed was soooo comfy it took me ages to get up), my legs felt pretty decent. Surprising when they’d been sorer yesterday afternoon than after the last few long runs.

Non-run-wise…

Saturday pre-run, run and post-run took up all the time till noon. Then massage and transit took another couple of hours. Rain put the kibosh on porch time, so I read in the chair in the kitchen sunroom. Got through most of Build Your Runner’s Body by Pete Magill. Pretty good, I’d recommend. Some old info, but some details behind what you’ve always read as well as some new info, suggestions, exercises (with photos),  expertise from folks like Jay Dicharry, summations of pros/cons of different and competing theories/studies, recipes, some training plan ideas.

Saturday night was low-key. Didn’t feel like a big treat dinner like I usually go for after long runs (also DH was running long on Sunday), so made some grilled chicken and veggies with sun butter and coconut aminos. Watched a couple of TV shows then settled down to snack and read. AfterI finished reading, since it’s only 8 weeks to Baystate (!), I thought to myself “ok, in 8 weeks, you’ll be sitting in a a hotel room trying to relax and ready yourself for the race” and started some visualization of different aspects of the race.

Sunday

I slept pretty well Saturday night, both in the chair after reading and in bed. I woke up early but was so comfy that I just lazed for a while. Post-run, had a quick scoop of whey protein in water, put kabocha in to roast and went to the grocery store for Japanese sweet potatoes (they were supposed to get more Hannahs but didn’t, boo) and other veggies for the week. Was charmed by an adorable young girl (12-18months) with a binky and a doting father teaching her about fruits and veggies. She kept looking at me and laughing as I made faces with her for as long as we were both in the produce section. Came home, got beets started in the oven and had my sweet potato/nut butter and bacon breakfast. Did my food prep for Monday in the office and my supplement prep for the week while listening to a Mike Wardian interview on irunfar (good luck to him at UTMB!) and about half of the latest episode Talk Ultra, which had some interesting discussion of Six Days in the Dome with David Johnston (Iditarod winner) and an interview with Adam Campbell about the recent Hardrock 100. I’ll listen to the rest of it, with ultrarunner William Sichel on the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race (around 1 block in Queens NYC), during the week probably. Not as much kabocha made it into the containers for future meals as it should have – I kinda binged on it.  So good but so filling! (sometimes my trying to keep my eating low-volume just doesn’t work so well) Tonight, a little Baja Fresh grilled fish with some shredded carrots for dinner. (contain your excitement!)

The coming week is going to play havoc with my regular schedule…and we know how I feel about that! (boo, hiss) I have to be in the office on both my regular telework (and more importantly, long speedwork) days due to helping interview candidates. I’m hoping to telework Wed and Fri instead, but I’m not going to move my runs. Tuesday will be up early, my run and a little telework, then a visit to my chiro, then into the office after getting cleaned up for an afternoon interview. Wednesday, my old massage person is briefly in town (and I have one more visit on the package I paid for) so I’ll get a bonus massage only a few blocks from my house. Might make Thursday’s run interesting. Thursday, I’ll need to get up even earlier as I need to be in the office for a morning interview. Also hoping we can get a plumber to come this week on W or F – upstairs toilet is not safely usable. Thank goodness we have more than one!

Looking forward to the 3 day Labor Day weekend….but I can’t take all of Tuesday (day after) off as I’d planned, have to go in for an afternoon meeting. Or at least I feel like I have to, since I was asked to attend by my team’s boss and I did put in that application for the supervisor job (haven’t heard anything). You know how that stuff goes. But I should be able to telework in the morning, run very early and get into an earlier appointment to my chiro. Let’s hope that ends the schedule tweaks as the coming weeks are very important in my training plan!

Training recap post planned for Tuesday, all the details on how last week’s training went.

Tell me about your weekend in the comments! Plans for the 3 day weekend?

 

 

 

 

 



Friday Five: 5 Things to Love About…

Happy Friday! Reminder – get your flu shot NOW to avoid impacts to your fall training and racing!

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is “5 things to love about…..”

LIBRARIES!

This is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I may write more about libraries and books in the future, but for now, just know that I wouldn’t be who I am without reading (and thus libraries). Reading is that integral a part of me, from the age of 3 when I learned to read….hence its presence in my twitter handle and blog name.

#1 – BOOKS. FREE BOOKS. As many as you want (usually) on almost any topic you can think of or want to know about – even more so if you can do interlibrary loans. This is an absolutely amazing, mind-blowing concept if you really think about it. (I know, it’s paid for with resident taxes, etc. but still)

#2 – Non-book resources. Depending on the community, a patron may also have access to DVDs, CDs, e-books, magazines (physical and electronic) and even things like online training. These are all available to me in my current library system, and I take full advantage of it. We check out TV series, movies, travel shows and educational/athletic DVDs, music or book CD, access Consumer Reports online (gave up our subscription). I’ve looked at the French language classes online after being advised they were one of the few providers teaching Quebec French in addition to Parisian French.

#3 – Librarians. Fabulous folks, right up there with teachers for loving both knowledge and people, and wanting to share as much of the former with as many of the latter as possible! I considered being a librarian and went to my first year of college intending to be a teacher. Almost without exception, the librarians I’ve been fortunate enough to meet have been smart, helpful, creative, kind, funny and just all around good people to chat with about almost anything! And some of the displays at my local library, from book arrangements by theme or topic (including “books with blue covers”) to customizing the outside drop box for Valentine’s Day and Halloween, have just been a lot of fun as well as getting me to go look at an item I might not ordinarily have. They put a lot into their work, every day, in the service of others, and it shows. (thank your local librarian!)

#4 – Community. The first aspect of this is how, and how well, the library serves the community. My library system has book groups, children’s reading time (with dogs to help children!), foreign language conversation groups, public interest groups, support groups, and on and on. They bring in speakers, many who are noted authors. It’s also a place I see many children and adults being tutored, whether in math, a foreign language (or English), test prep. The library has gardening events, hosts art exhibits inside and outside (a new photography exhibit is lovely, the prior one was oil paintings by a local artist, and last year outside were metal flowers painted by local school kids). They want to be a place people are comfortable, people visit for many reasons, and people care about and cherish. I think they’re doing a great job.

The second aspect is how much people IN the community value their library system. The town I grew up in (50,00 population, 1.5miles by 3miles) had 3 libraries – 1 Main facility and 2 branches. Fantastic collection, programs and staff. I was amazed when I went to other places and the libraries weren’t of the same quality. The town I live in now has an excellent system, and residents have voted against cuts to library funding. That says something (good) to me.

#5 – Dewey Decimal System. (sorry to those who prefer Library of Congress Classification – but it’s not intuitive, and do they have their own rap song?) I loved being able to find a particular book, then browse the nearby shelves for books on the same or related topics. (629.45 – manned spaceflight, for example)

I have about 30 items checked out from the library right now. (serious) They include travel memoirs, biographies, friendship memoirs, fiction, mystery, narrative nonfiction, YA fiction and scifi, business or self-development, a TV mystery show, a travel show, travel guidebooks and health-related books. I may also have an e-book or two on my Kindle. I have another 25 on hold, easily.

Libraries are a magical place, with books being windows into almost any and every topic, experience and endeavor or interest you could possibly think of. It’s kind of like being able to try every flavor of ice cream in a store with unlimited flavors. Even if you turn out not to like one, there are others to try (and how bad can it be since it’s ice cream – or a book). If it’s not to your taste, you can find something that is. Once you find one you like, you can find others similar to it or related (thanks Dewey and the librarians!). Or you can just wander and see what looks good. And you can do it over and over again, as often and as much as you want (with none of ice cream’s downsides). I’m utterly spoiled (and tremendously grateful) by my library and its riches. I live 3-4 blocks from my local branch. Safe to say they see me often.

When was the last time you were at your library? Stop in over the weekend, and make a good weekend even better! 

 

 

 

 

I have been so incredibly lucky.

 

 

 

What do you love about libraries?

Have a great weekend!



Belated Training Recap – Week of Aug 11, 2014

Thought this auto-posted last week, but apparently not….better late than never? Recap for the week of the 18th-24th will be out later this wk.

The week of August 11th was supposed to be an “easier” training week. (or so my notes in my plan say) Not sure if it really was.

I discovered – as of Monday the 18th – my shoes have 444.72 miles on them! (started them 6/9, after the Heartbreak Hill Half) I usually start new shoes around 300, no later than 350. Yow! On the good side, I only had some foot soreness and a weirdness on Sunday’s run. On the less good side, worn out shoes probably aren’t helping me. I only have 4 pairs of the Adrenaline 13s left, so I’m a little worried – these need to last me through the end of the year at least, and I still want to ramp my miles up.

DH did have a good suggestion for my remaining Adrenaline 13s – run 300 in a pair, set is aside and start a new pair, repeat.  If I run through the 4 before I find a new shoe model, go back to the first pair and start putting another 50-100 miles on them while I shoe quest. I ran Tuesday’s run in the older shoes and will start a new pair Wednesday on an easier, shorter run. Wore the new pair around the house Tuesday afternoon and they felt ok.

Today, I managed to pre-order the Ariels from RoadRunnerSports – should have them soon-ish after the 9/1 release. Got a pair of the Adrenaline 13s in 10.5EE (usually 10EE) just in case those might work – and they were out of flat 10s. Found out that the Adrenaline 15s will be coming out soon – possibly as soon as Thanksgiving (though RRS only shows up to D width on that date right now, could be later). So maybe there’s hope.

Run: 47.55 miles 

  • T – 11.25mi. The plan was for 80-90 minutes ez pace. Let my insecurity and ego get the better of me on this one. Ran 1mi w/u, 2mi increasing ez pace, then 1hr at “steady state” pace (my MGP for Shamrock), cool down for a mile or so. Got my heart rate up. Steady state wasn’t easy, but do-able. Took part of a serving of gel at mile 4. My acid kicked up after this run.
  • W – 6.3 mi: 0.5mi w/u, 5.3ish at ez pace, then picked it up for the rest till I was back at the steady state pace. R VMO not happy, L hamstring complained during speed at end. E-stim in the evening.
  • Th – 9mi. Did e-stim before run as R VMO quad was bugging me. R 1.2mi w/u, 0.8mi ez pace then 5x(0.65 at 12s faster than MGP with 0.15 recovery – took long recovery of 0.5 before last rep), c/d. Took about half a gel before the 1st & 3rd reps. R VMO did not like this run, and as I went along, the pain spread higher up. Reps were hard but not un-doable. Not horribly huffing and puffing but wanted to stop each time, and the recovery seemed short.
  • Sat – 16 miles. The plan said a 90min progression run (1/3rds) but that didn’t seem long enough and I wanted to try to do the 8mi of MGP on my plan for next Tuesday. (this is where a coach would smack me – I’m changing the workouts out of insecurity and lack of confidence because I haven’t hit all the MGP workouts I’ve wanted so far….supposed to be an easier long run/week!) R 1mi w/u, 1mi ez at 1:38 slower than MGP, 6mi faster ez pace (1:04 slower than MGP, 4mi MGP), 4mi ez pace (1:38 slower). Might have been able to push another mile of MGP, but legs complaining fairly loudly on whole run, just sore all over. Felt effort the most in MGP segment and 1st mile after. Wore my fuel belt (time to start doing this already?!) which didn’t help my stomach, it just doesn’t like pressure. Looks like I didn’t note in my log when I took gel (wrote it on a piece of paper that’s gone), but I think it was around miles 7.2, 10.4, 13.4. R VMO didn’t love me but it wasn’t too bad and the pain didn’t spread (yay).
  • Sun – 5mi recovery pace run. Had a sharp pain in the bottom of my L heel (just left of centerline) on and off during the first couple of miles. Kinda scary. Tried adjusting foot strike and changing gait a little and it seemed to go away. (now I’m thinking it’s that my shoes are worn out!) R VMO not too bad. Nothing unreasonably sore or tight, fairly minor. Low energy, but run felt easy-ish. Had a trigger point appointment where the therapist confirmed for me that it’s really hard to stretch the VMO on your own The best stretch is the assisted one my chiro does with/for me, despite its being quite uncomfortable. I’m making do with some props and other suggestions.

Bike: Monday 1h AM and 40min PM, plus 30 min after Saturday’s long run
Core: 2 (M AM, skipped Wed, Th afternoon) 
Wharton flex: 6: Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri, Sat, skipped Sun (had trigger point and just let it go)
Yoga: None. Unless you count my core routine. (I should just take this out….)
Chiro exercises: Tuesday managed 1st 2 sets of Ohnos with leaps, the rest with steps. Too worried about VMO on Th. 
Coach Jay routine: Week 5 level, T=hard day, W=easy day, Th=hard day (a little wimpy on this) Hard days Cannonball instead of Myrtls. My form on some of these is non-stellar, but I’m trying.
Myrtl routine: 3
Calf stretches: T, W, Th, Sat, Sun 
Elliptical: None. 
Pool: Pool run Fri AM for 45 minutes before an in-office day
Walk: pre-run 15 min warmups
Drills: before every run – lunge matrix, high knees, skips, butt kicks, butt kicks moving in reverse, karaoke, added front & lateral leg swings
Other: weekly chiro visit on Tues, trigger point massage Sun, plenty of e-stim
Nutrition: Sunday, I started taking a supplement of beef collagen powder, supposed to help with tendons/ligaments and joints – since tendons have been problems for me in the past, figured it was worth a shot. It’s 50 calories 2x/day – I’m starting with once a day. It doesn’t seem to be upsetting my stomach, not sure if it’s causing other GI issues. My hernia/stomach area (diaphragm, sort of at join of ribs) seems to be very sensitive lately to any large amount of food, core work, my pool running belt, sitting slumped, jostling during runs, fuel belt….you get the idea.

Bonus – an exercise recommendation from an ultrarunner who’s also a PT, Joe Uhan (his columns on irunfar.com are excellent).

Hope you’re having a great week!

 

 



Weekend Update – Aug 16 & 17, 2014

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – check out her site to see what everyone’s been up to! (training recap coming Tues)

Runwise….

Saturday:

Plan said 90min progression run in 3rds, but I wanted to pull in my 8mi MGP run scheduled for next Tuesday and 90 min felt too short (ego and insecurity warning lights flashing). Feeling a little nervous with not enough miles at goal pace yet. However, this wound up being sort of a hybrid run.

Actual: 16 miles. 1mi warmup, 1mi ez pace (~1:40 slower than MGP), 6mi faster ez pace (1:04 slower than MGP), 4mi MGP, 4mi ez pace. Good news: R VMO held up pretty well, started tweaking my knee toward the end a little. Less good news: my legs didn’t love much of anything about this run, and complained with whatever pace I ran. I might have been able to push one more mile at MGP, but the fear of injury looms big in my mind (as does the “you need to be able to run tomorrow, and to run this week” voice) AND my chiro is on vacation this coming week, so I didn’t try. This felt like more effort than it “should” be, having a hard time figuring out if I’m on target with my plan this time around.

This long run – 9 weeks from the race! – saw the return of my fuel belt. Say hello to my little friend, the UltrAspire Quantum.

Quantum - front

Quantum – front

Quantum - back

Quantum – back

It’s super light and stays in place pretty darned well. You pull it on or step into it. I can wear it below my shorts waistband, more on my hips than belly, which is important given all my tummy issues. My hips and glute mins don’t like it much though. I appreciate being able to use it but really prefer runs without it. However, train as you will race.

The pockets on the back are really made to carry gel packets, so wedging my Hammer flasks in there is tough. I start the marathon with 3 flasks, each partially filled with my gel of choice (First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot, vanilla) and a little water.

Quantum - front w flasks

Quantum – front w flasks

Quantum - back w flasks

Quantum – back w flasks

I start off using the one in the front pocket, pitch the flask when it’s empty and bring one from the back to the front. Makes me a little unbalanced when I do that, weight distribution-wise, but not much to be done about it.

The gel only comes in 5 serving flasks – and they changed the design so they’re darned near impossible to get in the back pockets – or a big jug.

my gel

my gel

I buy the big jug and fill the Hammer flasks with the finger ridges, including a bit of water though the gel itself is drinkable. This way I ensure I get some water and it’s easier to get gel down if need to do it away from a water stop. For destination races where I’m flying, if I’m not checking a bag and I can’t pick up gel locally, I have to mail the sealed 5 serving flasks to my hotel ahead of time. I bring Hammer packets as a backup (reminds me, I need to try taking those to make sure they’re still tolerable if I had to take them – may try some of the GU salted caramel and jet blackberry too).

Sunday:

5 miles recovery pace. Good news: VMO still holding up decently, enough to allow me to do reasonable lunges in my drills. Tired but not exhausted, sore but not wrecked. Less good news: Low energy and a surprise (new) sharp pain in the bottom of my left heel – slightly left of center – on and off during the first couple miles. Not sure if this means my shoes are going, I stressed something, my gait was off….played around with my gait and foot strike, not sure if any changes made it stop or it stopped on its own, but it did stop. (Trigger point massage therapist didn’t note any particular soreness when she worked on it, said sometimes these things are just flukes…nevertheless, I’ll keep a watchful eye on it.)

Non-run-wise…

Saturday was kind of low energy, spent most of the day hanging out online whether in the kitchen or on the porch.

DH brought home some new flowers for my Boston planters! Plan to plant them on Tuesday.

headed for Boston planters

headed for Boston planters

Saturday evening brought the fun of episode 1 of season 3 of the British Sherlock. (Since we just started season 3, no spoilers please.) Those folks are so clever in how they put the show together, it’s a treat to watch. They did get a little enamored of some of the effects (how Sherlock thinks visuals) but I appreciate that they resolved the cliffhanger almost immediately. I think Watson is my favorite character on the British version. I respect and admire the talents of Cumberbatch, but he does so well at the way they’ve written the character – kind of cold and almost dislikable, though they’re obviously tweaking it – that I don’t like him much. (though I do think he would have made a fantastic Spock) I much prefer Jonny Lee Miller‘s Sherlock in the American show Elementary – of course, I think he’s an immensely talented actor (and an ultrarunner!).

Sunday morning, DH made a lovely puffy egg white scramble dish for breakfast, with some grilled artichoke hearts. Then there was bacon! I oven-roasted a lot of brussels sprouts and a kabocha that looked so good I had to have some as a snack before my trigger point appointment.

yummy kabocha

yummy kabocha

DH and I are trying this to help with my tendons and his knee problems. (supposed to help tendons, ligaments, joints)

 

collagen supplement

collagen supplement

Have read about it and there appears to be research that supports its use as well as a reasonable level of safety. It’s 100 calories a day at recommended dosage though, have to figure that in. Dissolves in liquid of any temperature. I took one dose in the leftover UCan Hydrate I started yesterday. Couldn’t taste it and my stomach seems okay with it so far. I may start with one dose a day instead of the recommended two, then bump up after the first week or so.

Then off to my trigger point appointment and a little bit of porch time before dinner, TV and off to another work week. Seems like this weekend was really short, maybe because work has been so busy. Allergies are flaring up here too (ragweed) but hoping we’ll peak and drop soon.

The coming week – a hard week in the training plan – I will be taking off work Tuesday and Thursday morning and all day Friday. I got 16 hours of time off as part of an award, and it turns out it expires after a year if you don’t use it! So, this is the last week I can use it, and I don’t intend to let the days expire. Better planning will be required for the more recent time off award I got. Seems silly to let so much time go by without using it, but you know how it goes….

Training recap post planned for Tuesday, all the details on how last week’s training went.

Tell me about your weekend in the comments! What does your coming week look like, training and life-wise?

I’d love to know what you think of the blog, and any suggestions you might have. If you haven’t already, see this for more details. Thanks, as always, for reading and for your feedback!

 

 

 

 



Friday Five – Free Friday Randomness!

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is “free Friday”. This translates to “post whatever you want”. After a busy week at work, my brain can’t come up with any interesting ways to set up 5s, so welcome to Random Things in My Brain/Life Friday! You’ll get to watch my associative (think link hopping) mind work in a stream-of-consciousness post, kind of a shorter, typed version of the Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcasts (squirrel!).

(side note: I’d love to hear your thoughts on the blog – see this post and leave me comments or tweet/email me – much appreciated!)

I’m so glad I bought a home e-stim machine. I’ve been using it a lot the last two weeks on my R VMO (pre-run, during conference calls, in the evening). My chiro is on vacation next week – for one of my harder training weeks, boo – so I’ve gotten extra sticky pads and checked my battery supply. (and scheduled both trigger point AND sports massages)

Speaking of massages, I’m starting to schedule them more frequently than I used to. Not sure if it’s harder training, being a smidge older, life/physical stuff or what, but I seem to need them more. Or maybe I just want them more often. It’s hard to know. I really WANT a deep, relaxing massage where I walk out saying “ahhhh” and things magically don’t hurt…but I always wind up asking for and getting one that’s more focused on my current areas of concern, meaning the massage hurts more and the next couple days are kind of ouch-y. This means giving up some of my porch time on the weekend to make sure I get them on Sat or Sun instead of say Thursday, which can affect my Sat LR. My old MT, who moved to Lake Tahoe, is going to be back in town in a couple of weeks, working out of a studio down the block and I have one massage left in the package I bought. She’s a very nice young woman and it’ll be good to see her again.

I’m in week 6 of Coach Jay‘s strength routine. Loving the Scorpion, really not having luck with the Hurdle exercise, so I must need it. Not sure what I’ll do when I get through week 8. Maybe go back to 5 and repeat. Also looking at other exercises: Greg McMillan has some core workout videos I have access to since I’m a PRO ($ but not bad) member of his site, and there are lots of others around. Jay Dicharry‘s book has some good ones, and I just ordered Pete Magill‘s new book (enjoy his Running Times Masters columns and heard him on Runner Academy podcast this morning, convinced me to buy the book). There are so many great options, it’s a matter of what I need, what fits together, what I have time to do and what I will do. (also on my list to read – Smilin’ Hal Koerner’s new book on ultrarunning, though I believe it’s trail focused and I’m road focused)

Speaking of McMillan, I’m seriously considering his Boston training camp in Phoenix – but it’s over Valentine’s Day, so TBD. I’m also thinking of his Boston VIP experience. (Any readers done one of his camps?)

Speaking of books, I’m loving Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers and I didn’t think I would. Can’t believe I haven’t read it before as I love her columns. I really need a posse of female running friends like she has. That makes me think of doing some of the local Pacers store fun runs to try to find some! They don’t start till 5:30am though and they conflict with my XT days and my recovery run day…and as you know, I hate variation from my plan. They do send out their routes ahead of time (except Mondays, as the email always arrives Monday evening) so I can se distance and how many hills there are. I did one run with them last year that was fun, and I’ll have to make myself get out and do it again. It’s only blocks from my house. But it won’t be tomorrow as I’m going to try to drag myself to the pool as soon as they open. (ugh)

I’ve probably got 20 books out from the library: mystery, fiction and nonfiction. On my “owned” to be read pile, I have a stack of paperbacks, some hardcovers and a LOT of stuff on my Kindle (the limited unlimited as well as purchases). But I’m in a phase where I seem to want something exactly like what I’ve most recently enjoyed in any given genre, which is causing me to buy up series one book at a time and hunt around. Somehow I feel guilty getting more when I haven’t read what I’ve got – but it’s kind of like having a taste for something particular, nothing else will satisfy.

At some point when I have/make time (probably not till post-Boston), I think I may want to volunteer with Girls on the Run or at Pacers races or other events. For non-running volunteering, I might consider something related to reading/literacy. There may be a program through my employer. There’s also a neat organization called One Brick (that I found out about through this book) that has one-time volunteer opportunities so you can match an open window in your schedule if you can’t make a multi-week commitment. They have multiple chapters around the country (see the Chapters menu item). The challenge I have is that most of the opportunities are Saturday mornings, aka my inviolate long run time. I’ll figure that out later.

This is sort of like one of those coffee date posts – if one of us was drinking hot water with chemical-laden fake coffee syrup instead. (hey, it’s what I can have!)

I’m really loving these socks right now. I’m sleeping in them every night and I wake up with (actual, visible) ankles and decent feeling calves – and I can wear the toe separator so my bunion doesn’t get too aggravated. (many of the compression socks are so tight they put too much pressure on the bunion, which is not helpful)

I’m crossing my fingers for the Brooks Ariel 14s, release date Sept. 1 (according to them on twitter today). I love the wider toe box – and lighter weight – of the Adrenaline 13s, but in the 14s, they moved the trim to where it would blister my little toe (same way they screwed up the last Ariels, which caused me to go into Adrenalines). The Ariels are also more motion control, but I’m wondering now if that will be a good thing given the strengthening I’ve done since I last wore them. Could be overkill. On the other hand, I wonder if then I could get rid of my custom orthotics for running at least, which would allow me to put off longer finding someone new to do gait analysis or visiting my old chiro. Of course, I hate that I’ll have to be addressing shoe changes in the next 10 months with so many races. No more variables or risks!! I need to see how many pair of Adrenalines I have left – I think I might have enough to get through the end of the year. I AM tempted to order the Adrenaline 14s again just to make sure they won’t work (maybe I got a bad pair, though other folks have had problems) and maybe a pair of the men’s too. Perhaps I’ll order them all at once.

All my unread blogs at the moment are ultra blogs – think I’ll save them for Saturday during breakfast. This weekend’s porch reading will probably be finishing my July/August Marathon & Beyond and reading August UltraRunning. Plus Magill’s book if it shows up in time. Trigger point massage Sunday afternoon will cut down on porch time though, as will food prep for Monday work.

Work has been busy this week, interview stuff on top of a busier-than-normal phase with the various teams I support. While I haven’t heard back on MY application for my supervisor’s job (our crack HR staff at work…the stories I could tell, if I could tell you) I have had the chance to do in-person and phone interviews for the position at my level. I’m hopeful about one candidate in particular but the hoops and delays from trying to do this while people are on travel or August vacation are quite irksome. And we have to get this done by Labor Day, or we could lose the billet. That would mean 3 of us doing 4 people’s work for the foreseeable future, which none of us want (it took them a year to get me to replace someone who retired, and I heard how fun that wasn’t).

I need to find some bright yellow flowers that are heat/drought-tolerant (though we water daily) to put in my Boston blue planters. Ideas?

I need to get airline tickets for Baystate. Got an email from them saying the conference center where I got my reservation (5min walk from line!) is already sold out. I’m feeling not ready for Baystate. (I don’t mean ready to toe the line, I mean how training seems to be going) Not sure if I’m where I was at this point in Shamrock training or not. With so much going on in “life” (work, family, stress, body weirdnesses) I can’t really tell how I feel as well as I’d like. Just trying to trust the training process and the plan (based on McMillan, as I did for Shamrock). OTOH, being my own coach, I always wonder….

I need to get on the ball with the Richmond marathon folks and use my deferral from last year to register. Part of me wants to wait to see how I come out of Baystate (as I won’t do Richmond if I’m not recovering well) but I think there’s too much risk of a sell-out. (already have hotel) A couple pals are running the race – Christine who was so awesome to me at Shamrock, and Casey newly from RVA who runs for Team Massey against cancer – hoping we can all meet up whether or not we run together.

Need to check the dates for registration for Across the Years and start looking at hotels and airfare.

Less than 2 months till I can register for Boston!

Think I’m out of steam….So, after one more shameless plug to tell me your thoughts on the blog – see this post and leave me comments or tweet/email me – I’ll leave you to your Friday and wish you a terrific weekend. If you’re racing, hope it’s a great race! If you’re running, have a wonderful run. If you can’t run, you have my sympathies and I’ll think of you during my run, sending good, healing vibes your way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Questions for You, Dear Readers!

I started this blog about 5 months ago to be part of the large online community of runners, bloggers and blog readers. I wanted to reach out, meet new people and make new friends. I was also hoping to widen the circle of those I might be of benefit to, and maybe help runners, cancer survivors, or anyone I can be of service to in some way.

SO…..now that you have had some time to read multiple weeks of blog posts, I wanted to find out what YOU think about the blog.

Here are some questions I’d love you to answer (any or all of them) – but please feel free to comment on anything about the blog. I don’t promise to make changes, but I do promise to consider your comments and appreciate your giving of your time and ideas.

  • What do you want to read more about? Less about?
  • How does the M/W/F posting schedule work for you? Enough, too much, need a weekend post?
  • Do you want more or less info in the training week recaps (and what kind of info, specifically). Are you even reading them?
  • What other running-related topics would you like to see? Running book reviews, training plan discussions, nutrition, broader topics?
  • Should I do more or less linkups like Friday Five or Weekend Update?
  • How would you feel about an occasional post being a collection of interesting links I’ve found? (I usually tweet them right away.)
  • Are you interested in non-running topics – for example, lists of books I’m reading (possibly reviews), a bigger window into my life, some deep-ish thoughts I might have from time to time? Other non-running topics?
  • What do you want the blog to be? What do you need?
  • What do you come here for? (running tips, humor, just keeping up with an e-friend)
  • What, if anything, do you love about the blog? What doesn’t work for you?

Thanks for reading and commenting. It really does mean a lot to me to know that you’re out there, reading my words (!). I get excited when I see comments come in or that you RT’d a post. I’m truly grateful for your time and your support.

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 



Training Recap – Week of August 4, 2014

PSA for the week for my fellow fall racers: get your flu shot NOW! It takes about 2 weeks to become most effective (and I sometimes have a few days right after of not feeling so great). The earlier you get it, the sooner you’re protected (before back-to-school perhaps) and the less risk to your training. My local Rite-Aid already has flu shots available.

Run: 52.25 miles, woot! Over 50 makes me happier even if not all the runs were exactly what I wanted.

  • T – 10 miles. Still not quite at that 4x2mi at MGP but at least this week is closer than last week. I did manage to get the average pace for this run to my old marathon PR (BQ) pace. Ran 2mi at increasing pace for w/u, then 3x2mi at MGP w/ 0.5 recovery, 0.5 cool. Now the question is, next week is supposed to be an easier week – do I try for the 4x2mi anyway? Looking at the following week, it might be a good idea….or it might not. The week of the 18th looks like a tough one (and my chiro is on vacation that week).
  • W – 6.5 ez pace miles, a little faster than I usually do my W run (which can also be done at recovery run speed). R VMO/quad complaining again. Arms tired from last night’s pool run and yesterday’s strength work.
  • Th – 7.5mi. Plan was EITHER 6-8 x (0.5mi at 13-26s faster than MGP) OR a leg speed workout including 10x30s leg speed intervals. So what did I do? Both! (This is what happens when I get cranky about not nailing workouts….ego boo.) Ran 1.1mi warmup then 6x (0.5mi at 18s faster than MGP with 0.25 recovery – I took 0.4 recovery the first time) then LS 10x(30 s at 50s faster than MGP, 1min recovery). I took about 50 calories of gel after the first 0.5 rep, again after the 2nd. Glad for telework! Did what I could of my chiro exercises (not much, my quad was still bugging me) and my Coach Jay routine before starting work. Fit in Whartons between conference calls, and my core workout on a lunch break from a call. And I e-stimmed the heck out of my R quad. I probably did it 5-6 times during the day, plus a session on my glute mins. Got a massage after work Thursday – massage therapist thinks my quad issue may be tight adductors pulling on quad/VMO.
  • Sat – 21 miles. Wanted this to be a 16-20mi progression run, legs not playing, so just went for miles. 1mi w/u, 7mi at 64s slower than MGP (legs really not happy with this pace), 12mi 91s slower than MGP, last mi MGP. Took ~4 servings of First Endurance Liquid Shot gel (320cals) spread out (some mixed with water) at mi: 5.8, 10.4, 13.4, 15.9, 17.3 (Baystate water stops). R quad/adductor was still bothering me, so did 15 min of e-stim on it before my walking warmup and pre-run drills.
  • Sun – 7.25 ez pace miles. Felt pretty decent especially given yesterday. Not that I wasn’t a bit sore and heavy-legged, but no surprises, no new crankiness, nothing worse. I’ll take it!

Bike: 1 (M) 1hr, plus 30 min after Saturday’s long run
Core: 3 (M AM, T eve, Th afternoon) 
Wharton flex: 6: Tues, Wed, Th, Fri, Sat, Sun
Yoga: None. Unless you count my core routine. 
Chiro exercises: Tuesday did the Ohnos. Legs wouldn’t deal with it Th.
Coach Jay routine: Week 5 level, T=hard day, W=easy day, Th=hard day (a little wimpy on this) Hard days Cannonball instead of Myrtls.
Myrtl routine: 3
Calf stretches: T, W, Th, Sat, Sun 
Elliptical: None. Teleworked all week (lovely!)
Pool: 3 pool runs! M eve – 30 min, Tues eve – 45 min, Fri AM – 1h
Walk: pre-run 15 min warmups
Drills: before every run – lunge matrix, high knees, skips, butt kicks, butt kicks moving in reverse, karaoke, added front & lateral leg swings
Other: weekly chiro visit, sports massage Th, Thai massage Sun, lots of e-stim Th-Sat.
Nutrition: keeping up with eating small sweet potatoes with nut butter at least on run days. Hoping it helps. You all will help me track it, right?

To those who were encouraging/nudging me to get my application in for my supervisor’s job, thanks for your support. I DID get it submitted, well ahead of the deadline. Now we wait to see if the magic federal jobs system flags me on enough keywords and HR puts me on the list of candidates it passes forward. That shouldn’t be a problem, but having dealt with HR, I don’t take it for granted as my hiring two years ago had some real oopses on their part. In the meantime, I’ll be doing my regular job and helping out with phone and in-person interviews for the person we hope to hire at my level. Kinda weird to be doing it thinking I might be a candidate’s boss, but could help me be more attentive. Looks like work will continue to be busy for a while, but so grateful to be gainfully employed with nice folks doing interesting work and having the insurance and flexibility I do – I’m really lucky!

Have a great week!