Weekend Update June 6-7, 2015

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup! Visit her linkup page and check out how everyone spent their weekends.


Saturday – 11.15 miles, held 5 miles at a higher easy pace. That wasn’t the run I wanted or planned. Was hoping for 13.1 at least, if not up in the 15-16 range. My legs (especially glutes, hams and a bit of quads) were sore, heavy, and stiff, probably from the gait exercises (which are changing muscles, I have no doubt), continuing to try to adjust form on my runs AND adding speedwork back in this past week. It’s a bit frustrating though. Cardio-wise, I was ok. Perhaps I was a little tired, but mostly my legs just hurt and I wasn’t able to keep tweaking my form as much as I wanted. This run hurt from the start – didn’t get worse so I know it’s just the muscles adapting – and at some point, I decided there was no point doing more miles, wearing myself out trom the mental effort and not allowing my body to adapt to the physical stressors I’m putting on it.

I’m trying to trust the process and hoping that all these times I’m making the “smart” choices pay off with a massive PR at Baystate and by making me a faster, stronger, more durable runner in the long-term. Making these decisions and trying to have faith that this approach – slow build, improving gait, strengthening different parts – will get me the results I want is in some ways harder than just sort of bullying my way through and trashing myself.

Took Vespa before the run, and a Salted Watermelon GU at mile 6. I also took a FRS chew at mile 3 and mile 9 (had 3 before the run). By the way, I hear GU is introducing a Maple Bacon flavor 6/15. Suspect it’d work best for ultrarunning, but DH and I may each give a pack a try.

Listened to the latest ep of Marathon Talk, the Comrades special! Martin & his wife Liz (a two-time Olympic marathon runner) co-hosted (some amusing banter). Tom and his wife Helen chime in from South Africa where they were for Comrades. Helen (Hels) beat Martin & Tom’s time from a couple of years ago. She ran 10h 11min to their 10h 48min on an “up” year that sounds like it was quite hot and humid.

Tom talked to some other runners, some who finished (including Brett Larner of Japan Running News), some who didn’t. Seems like almost everyone wants to do it again. I think you get an extra medal – perhaps the second year’s – for doing back to back.

I’m also reading and enjoying posts from runners I follow about their experiences, whether Liza Howard writing about running the race to pace her husband Eliot (the 11 hour bus sounds good!) or Scott Dunlap, who finished 3rd American male and has great photos along with his writeup. I wish American marathons would adopt those water “sachets” – you could grab a couple and carry, less spillage….USA RDs, whaddya think? Scott also did a post for Inov-8 on the race.

I know Comrades is a favorite of Bart Yasso, and Mike Wardian likes it too. Actually, I’ve not heard/read anything negative about the race from anyone who’s done it. Seems like if I had a bucket list, Comrades might have to be on it. I don’t have such a list, but I think I want to do it….and for me to even think about the travel involved, you know the Comrades bug must have bitten me – seriously, the plane travel alone, the food, a hot, humid race….all stressors and not what I prefer. So many reasons NOT to do it. And yet I keep thinking about it  Since (work with me) I think I may be a better downhill runner than uphill runner, I think I’d try it in a down year. I don’t think I could be ready for 2016, and a 56 mile race doesn’t fit in with my quest for faster marathons in general and faster Bostons, so I think the earliest I would try is 2018. Good thing I renewed my passport.

Comrades is such a big deal in South Africa that it’s televised live throughout the country – from pre-start to the 12 hour cutoff, the WHOLE thing. (by the way, it’s gun to gun cutoff for the participants, not chip time) You can watch/find the whole 12 hours online. I want to watch part of 2014 to watch Eliie Greenwood win, and maybe I’ll watch some of 2015 as well. Watch this video from 2014 of the start – Shosholoza is so moving. (I need to learn the words.) The whole start is pretty impressive. Here’s a post (also great photos) from Ellie on this year’s race – an accident affected her training, but she managed to pull off 6th woman! She has a marvelous attitude. Don’t bet against her next year. She’s coached by (and coaches along with) Ian Sharman.

Anyway…..Did my Ohnos and glute exercises from the gait lab after the run, even increased some of the reps of glute exercises. Yow. Did Myrtl stretches.

Sunday – Woke up at 5:45. Decided not to try to go back to sleep as I did yesterday. It takes me a while to get moving, do my kitchen puttering (making tea), online catchup, get my shoes on, etc. so I didn’t even head to the treadmill for my warmup until 7. During my warmup, I had some moments where I got a sharp almost electric shock pain on top of my L ankle, sharp enough I’d pull my foot up and grab the treadmill arms. I retied my shoes and messed with my socks. Almost talked myself out of my run, but decided to at least start it, and stop if I had problems. (my mind was spiraling to all sorts of dark and scary places and well into the future….you know what I mean)

6.2 miles at recovery pace, 0% incline. That helped my hams some and worked my quads a bit. Tried to work on form more. Ankle was fine, so no idea what the weirdness was, but will keep an eye on it.

Listened to Jimmy Dean Freeman on Trail Runner Nation. Unfortunately he DNF’d at mile 39 of the San Diego 100 but seems okay with it.

Tried out this new bra from Asics, a Boston purchase (all the stuff I bought from them is now on sale, and of course I’m only just trying it….)

It’s reasonably comfortable and note the gel pocket in front. I only ran 6 miles, but didn’t note bouncing of the gel or any real issues with the bra. (will try 2 gels next time) Between that and some shorts I’ve tried and think I like, maybe I can get away without a belt at Baystate. May buy another of these bras (or two) as backups.

Asics bra front

Asics bra front

Asics bra back

Asics bra back

Asics bra pocket

Asics bra pocket


Saturday – After my run and my exercises, I had two small Japanese sweet potatoes (JSP) with some Fastachi walnut butter (and a bit of honey), WF crunchy almond butter and some PF Nuttzo. I spent a little time online, then tried to contact some companies about disassembling and moving my treadmill. The movers we’re considering are smart enough to say “we don’t want to screw that up – appreciate the honesty. Wasn’t able to get any estimates yet though due to people not answering a 24/7 phone line at one place, and an email inbox being full at the other. Doesn’t build confidence, but I shall try again Monday.

Then I spent an hour sorting through some running gear, trying to decide what to give away (fuel belts that didn’t work, shoes I got for free, compression stuff bought in bulk or on sale that I’ve moved on from). Made a small pile, more to do. Tidied up a bit at least and have a better idea of some of what I have….more specific than “more than I need”…but still more to be done. Did that while listening to part of this ep of TalkUltra, which reminded me Nepal still needs help after their earthquakes. I listened to part of the Mike Wardian interview, saved part for tomorrow. I started to feel a bit wonky, so ate half a quest bar for protein and fiber. It didn’t really help enough, so I ate a frozen banana and took some MAP, then headed to the porch. I felt “off” enough that I just lay down for a bit, but couldn’t doze due to enthusiastic birds. The run seems to have taken more out of me than I’d have expected. Drinking some electrolyte drink in case that’s part of the problem – I could be out of balance or dehydrated.

While on the porch I finally started to warm up. I read part of the May/June Marathon & Beyond and skimmed the table of contents of Issue 4 of Like the Wind. Then I decided to start writing this blog post.

Dinner was foraging. DH has had to work (at home) part of this weekend on top of running and doing move stuff so we’re both a bit “knackered” and nothing much appeals. We have so much here anyway (leftover chicken from last night with veggies for me, chicken apple sausage for DH).

After dinner, took an Epsom salt bath and shower. I felt better for a bit, then got sore again as we sat and watched our DVR (Arrow, Grimm, Person of Interest)  Apparently the DVR missed a crucial ep of Arrow the week of Boston, so we went ahead and watched the next ep. We may try to pick it up the one we missed on Hulu though we’re now pretty clear on what we missed.

Sunday –

Seems like the Epsom salt bath did help some, as I felt better in the morning than I had Saturday night. Need to start making that a regular thing, and using my magnesium spray and lotion again too. Whatever it takes.

After my run and exercises, I changed into this shirt, bought at a running store on my one short trip to Boulder in 2009. (want to go back!)

running alien shirt from Boulder

running alien shirt from Boulder

For breakfast, me egg white puff on the porch with DH. Then pulled my so very yummy kabocha out of the oven and treated myself to a huge serving. (gotta love it’s ~40 calories per 100g, about half of what sweet potatoes are) DH got bacon from WF, but we forgot to cook it. I spent some time online then got hungry again, had some coco bread toast and jam before doing food prep and heading to my massage.

My massage therapist said my glutes weren’t as tight as usual! (got similar comment from chiro on my legs this week. Makes no sense to me as the work I’m doing is making me feel sore and stiff, but gotta listen to the professionals when they tell you stuff – even good stuff!

Got back, realized I was out of something that used to be on subscribe-and-save (messes me up when Amazon drops things) and needed to take care of that. Wasn’t looking to run errands. Because I am #solucky DH offered to go get what I needed so I could have more porch time! (he’s a keeper, don’t I know it!)

Then it was porch time!

Here’s our neighbor’s mimosa tree, which they do NOT prune sufficiently as every year it drops pretty but sticky flowers on both our cars.

mimosa tree

mimosa tree

Here’s how my Boston flowers are doing these days – quite tall. (is that what they call “leggy?)

Boston flowers in June

Boston flowers in June

Sunday night dinner was the bacon we didn’t eat this morning, a frozen Rockland’s burger and veggies for me, along with more TV. Felt like a short weekend, and not very productive re the move on my part. Well, that will have to change – need to do more during the week. After next weekend I’ll attempt to kick into higher gear, and maybe try to do a little during the week (a challenge, for sure).

Monday, back to the office. Tuesday telework and chiro with a few errands. Wednesday, office. Thursday telework. Taking Friday off. In looking at my calendar, I won’t be in the office many Fridays over the next few months – off for move stuff, medical and dental appointments and teleworking when I can.

Updating this post reminds me to keep thinking “relentlessly positive” (Marathon Talk) and being “pathologically optimistic” (Sarah) as well as taking positive actions. To quote Deena: “The practice of optimism has been the greatest source of energy to compliment my hard training. Optimism is more than believing in your training program, it is about choosing positive words and perspectives in every aspect of your life.”

And of course, reminding myself to choose, seek and spread joy whenever and wherever I can.

It’s effort, but it’s worth it.

Hope you had a great weekend!