5.31.2008

Race Report: Run for Wings 5k

About a month ago I discovered a relatively new 5k race in my area that benefits a good cause (the event raises funds for an organization that flies patients of limited income to medical facilities outside the area). I saw that the first 100 registrants would receive tech Ts, so that was added incentive (I was #62).

It has been over 1.5 years since my last 5k. I don't like 5ks. I generally do better at longer races and hate feeling like the race is over before I've even found my stride. But I knew a PR would be relatively easy, as my HM PR pace was actually faster than my 5k. So I was semi looking forward to the race...until the last couple of days.

This Spring has been rough on me. My 25k earlier in the month was essentially a 2.5+ hour long asthma attack and I missed my goal in that race by over 6 minutes. During the week after that miserable race I saw my PCP who has put me on Advair, which seemed to be working well--until the last couple of days, when I was back to constant coughing, waking in the night hacking, and feeling like my lungs are in a vise (my allergies have also been extra bad, too, even while on 3 separate meds for that, so I'm sure that explains why the Advair isn't working as well. Damned trees can stop dropping all that yellow gunk ANY day now).  And that dumb knee issue of the last couple of weeks, but at least that has been healing really well during this past week with decreased mileage and extra quad-strengthening work, so the lungs were my primary stress going into this race.

Shortly before leaving for the race this AM I could hear distant thunder. By the time I walked out the door it was raining and it poured the 30 minutes it took me to drive to the race location. About the same time I parked the sun came out...and then disappeared 30 minutes later. By the start of the race the sky had gone very dark and the humidity through the roof. NOT a comfortable situation while having lung struggles. The Motion Based race time data as taken from the same airport where the race was run:

Weather Data: Average - Low - High
Temperature (°F): 55.9 - 55.4 - 57.2
Relative Humidity (%): 97.3 - 93.7 - 100.0
Wind Speed (mph): 7.4 - 5.8 - 9.2

I got 10/31 in my AG (124/278 overall) with a time of 27:45 (just one second off from my Garmin and 11 seconds short of a full 2 minute PR). I think that's the best relative placement I've ever had in a race. Without shit-fer-lungs I probably could have jumped a couple of spots, too (I'm guessing the crap lungs + humidity cost me at least 15 seconds/mile...maybe as much as 30--my legs definitely felt AWESOME and fresh from all of my recent rest). Makes me really want to find another 5k before the year is out...when my asthma issues are under better control. Hmm....

The tech T is nice, too...though REALLY long. I can pull it down and it covers my butt entirely (yeah...really REALLY long). At least I can wear it without fear of my belly hanging out with my low-rise running skirts. *wink* The graphic on the T is neat--looks like the basic MI license plate--life-size, even.

Tomorrow marathon training officially kicks-off. Gah, what in the hell am I getting myself into?!

5.29.2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

Kinda. More like me unloading a few running-related items on eBay:
running skirt, capris, shoes... 

The skirt/skort and capris are brand new. Shoes are gently used (NB size 8D/wide).

5.28.2008

Slowly, but surely

My knee is improving. I'm still not feeling that my knee is 100% better, but it's definitely benefitting from my reduced mileage and consistent quad strengthening work in the past week or so. On Sat. I have my first 5k in almost 2 years, so I hope it will be in good shape for that. Just to be safe I will probably keep the knee strap on to give it a little extra support. I'm hoping I am significantly faster then than I was today, though. I did a bit of a tempo run and it damned near killed me. I think I was actually faster a year ago on less mileage/training...that really stinks.

In addition to the knee issue I am noticing a slight increase in the tendonitis issues on the outside of my right foot (same leg as the knee garbage). It was a year ago that I was dealing with a pretty chronic case of this (as well as the same issues in the same knee). What solved it was moving from a moderate stability shoe to a mild stability, lightweight, flexible trainer. Since that worked in the past, I have ordered what is more-or-less the neutral version (NB 826) of my current shoe (NB 902/903). I've done some runs here and there in neutral shoes without any issue, so hopefully this will help. At the very least it will give me something a little bit different to rotate in--that should help keep my legs from always enduring identical stresses and help prevent some nagging injuries.

And looking at my legs I'm not sure I really need stability, anyhow. From the back I don't have ankles that tilt in perceptibly, so if I do overpronate at all it's minimal and may not require any sort of medial post for control--especially as my legs continue to get stronger.

Tomorrow I have plans to put a few running-related items up on eBay. I have a running skirt and short tights that I bought last Fall in hopes that by Spring I would have dropped a few pounds and fit in them. *rolls eyes* I also have 2 pair of shoes that just didn't work for me (NB 786s were too stable/stiff and 755s didn't fit the back half of my foot very well, so I knew longer runs would likely mean blisters). I know I'm going to take a loss on the shoes, for the most part, but not wearing them and having them sit around nearly new is an even bigger loss.

I may also hit the garden center and grab a few more bleeding hearts and some ferns. I think that is what we will put in the uber-shady area near our front door that is death to anything that can't tolerate deep shade. Even hydrangeas and rhododendrons weren't happy there.

I'm still very happy with the Advair for my asthma. I've been on it now for just over 2 weeks and it's excellent. I still gasp a lot when I run hard (like today), but that's to be expected--I still have small lungs, so even with full function they are not particularly efficient. But at least I'm no longer waking with coughing fits and needing my inhaler...and this is even with peak pollen in the air. Good stuff.

5.24.2008

Holiday Weekend = Running Holiday

3 day weekend...gorgeous weather...perfect opportunity to do some long, blissful runs--right? Wrong. I did have a really nice 8 miler yesterday, but my knee seems to be getting no better while I attempt to keep my mileage up. So I'm making myself take a few days off from running (I had planned to take Monday off for a BBQ with friends, anyhow). In the meantime I will be hitting the quad work hard and getting yard-work and housework done. I want my knee to be in good shape in a week for my first 5k since Fall of '06. But even more than that I want to be able to start marathon training on 6/1 with no injury issues.

Last night I went with a friend to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I wish I would have saved my money. It wasn't terrible and was actually pretty decent until almost the end. Let's just say if I wanted to see a sci-fi flick I would have gone to a film that is billed as sci-fi. I loves me some X-Files, but IJ movies are supposed to be adventure with a little supernatural thrown in. Not beat-us-over-the-heads with Science Fiction. I'm going to pretend that the series ended after the 3rd film.

I must admit that I did like the casting (though I think Shia LaBoeuf needs to work on his angst...I'm not sure he can really do angst, personally. He still comes off as cute and awkward more than tortured). Harrison Ford is still amazing in the role and Marion and Indy still have such great chemistry. Nice to see Jim Broadbent, too, though his character was a very small part.

5.22.2008

Gah, it's ALWAYS something!

Today's run both sucked and blew. My right knee is still cranky and I could almost swear that my left one is complaining, too, but I don't think it really is, I'm just a mental case.

But worse than my right knee issues was the fact that BOTH lower legs were tight and sore. I'm not sure why, but for the past couple of days my calves both feel like they did when I first started running. I ran through some mild cramping for the first mile or two of my run on Monday and ever since they feel almost bruised. Add to that some mild shin splints today...WTF...HTFU, legs! Longest 6 mile run ever.

So now I am really regretting registering for that 5k next weekend. I don't like 5ks, but everyone has been encouraging me to set a new PR. Right now I'm wondering if I should bail altogether. This would be my second DNS/DNF for the year. I'd not have any doubts about running the race...except my marathon training officially kicks-off the following day. So the smart part of me is saying "whoa...danger, Will Robinson." But the dumb part of me will almost certainly win. :p

I'm being a good girl and doing my daily quad-strengthening exercises to help my knee, but my knee is still not getting better (not really getting worse, either, I guess). I think after tomorrow's run if it's still not feeling better I will take the holiday weekend completely off from running. 3 days of rest should help...not my waistline (especially with a holiday weekend of cookout and beer), but my knee is more important than weight loss at this point (I'm not really losing, anyhow...just not gaining).

5.21.2008

Meow

Ha, I totally agree. I tried a pair of Crocs once and they lasted on my feet for all of 10 minutes. It wasn't so much how dumb they look (I tried them to help with some tendonitis issues I had in my foot a year ago), but the almost instantaneous slimy sweaty feel. Ick.  I'd much rather wear something like knock-off Birkenstocks if I need cheap, supportive shoes.  Actually, I think it was not long after I returned the Crocs that I purchased my beloved Keen sandals.  I adore those shoes...and they don't look or feel nearly so dorky.

In other cat news, our second-youngest and largest male, Thor, has been having "spraying" issues in the past week.  Not merely inappropriate peeing around the house, but actually shaking his tail and nailing vertical stuff.  There are probably several factors at play...outdoor strays hanging around our yard, peeing on our front stoop, and taunting through the windows, thus forcing Thor to feel the need to mark his territory (our old Gus had this issue late in his life, too), the recent move of all litterboxes downstairs (though they were all down there pre-Chase...we only moved one upstairs so that the cats would have access to one when we used to lock Chase--aka Mr. crazy-at-2am-kitten--in the basement for the night), and Chase's recent obnoxious behavior.

Chase is about 1 and while he is fairly diminutive for an adult male (not really any larger than our Female, Lola, but outweighs her), he suffers from a bad Napoleon Complex and typical young male cat insanity. Lately he is back to being wild early in the AM and especially prone to harass the older cats...I'm sure in his mind it's play, but they see it as taunting and don't always feel up to racing around the house at top speed--especially when they'd rather be lazy on the bed with their human peeps before the sun has made its daily appearance.

Thor isn't the only one with recent urinary/marking issues. A few weeks back I caught Erik/Ikky up in Dane's room in a corner doing #1. Ikky and Thor have both always been very good about using the litter boxes appropriately in the past. And Lola was just at the vet a couple of weeks ago for straining and passing only very little urine with some blood and mucous. The vet did an exam and looked at a urine sample under the microscope and could see nothing really all that wrong. She prescribed a week of antibiotics, but Lola is having issues again (so she's going to be switched to canned food...spoiled princess. She's already been on IAMS since the day she was on solid food and gets her meds 2x/day for her overactive thyroid). At the time the vet thought her problems could be stress-related.

So it appears that all of our cats (except Chase...hmmm...) are having some related problems with appropriate urination. In an effort to help the situation Derek picked up this Giant litter pan at PetSmart.

This thing is HUGE. I mean, seriously. It would have been a great bathtub for Dane when he was 1 or 2. Description is as follows:
Great household litter pan for larger, or multiple cats. This extra-large capacity litter pan measures 34.625" x 19.75" x 10". The tub itself measures 26" L x 17" W x 9" Deep. Compartments measure 4.5" L x 8" W x 8" Deep. Features a deep wall design to reduce litter scatter. Holds 30+ lbs. of litter.

Impressive. It's like 2-3 standard litter boxes. I hope our cats are as impressed as I am. I think that's bigger than the interior of the trunk of my last car ('97 Ford Escort). Seriously. We're gonna use one of those big buckets of cat litter to fill it. I hope our cats realize how lucky they are. A less humane pet "owner" would probably toss them all outside to fend for themselves, but they are family members. We can't toss our kid outside when he misbehaves...at least not permanently (as tempting as it may be...a LOT of the time).

5.19.2008

So far, so good...

Got my long run for the week in (funny how easy a "long" run of 11 miles feels after completing a 16 mile "long" run just a few weeks ago). Thankfully my right knee held up just fine. It's a little cranky, but feels no worse after my run than it did before. I just need to keep up with the daily quad strengthening exercises to help pull my patella into the proper track through my entire gait cycle.

Actually, I was a little nervous for the first couple of miles...my calves were really tight and my left arch felt a bit sore, too. I haven't had either of those issues in ages. I chalk it up to babying my knee and running a bit unnaturally. Probably took me a couple of miles to warm-up and convince my legs that all was well. I did keep the pace down a little slower than usual, though--to not overtax my knee or my lungs.

I had a sort of unintentional "compliment" of sorts this afternoon. I had just finished 10 of my 11 miles and was plodding my sweaty butt home. On the bike path I met up with about half a dozen emo/goth kids all dressed in black and on scooters and inline skates. One of the kids asked me "hey, how are ya'?"

I told him "tired...10 miles will do that to a person."

His face got like this ---> 8^O and he said "TEN MILES?!"

I replied "yep, and I did 15.5 last weekend."

Kid was speechless...then he yelled to his buddies, "hey, this lady just ran TEN MILES!!!" The guys were pretty impressed. The lone female looked bored.

5.18.2008

Nippin' things in the bud

Over the past few weeks I have felt the slightest twinges of "runner's knee" coming on. So it's time to start hitting the quad-strengthening exercises hard--I have some corrective/preventative exercises that I can do a few times/day, so I need to make a point of actually DOING them regularly. I suspect my hams and calves are a bit stronger (relatively speaking) than the fronts of my legs (common in runners), so my patella is being yanked off-course and out of it's proper track. I've had some slight pains and snap, crackle and popping action from my right knee. Running on cambered roads a bit may also be a factor, though the bulk of my mileage is on roads that are flat--well, with the exception of MI potholes. Time to start doing more of my miles on the flat bike trail, I think. Now is not the time to be injured...not with official marathon training starting in 2 weeks.

Tomorrow I am hoping to run 11 miles--my longest run since my 25k last weekend. It should feel like a cakewalk...assuming my knee is cooperative. I feel pretty confident right now. I'll see how the first 3-4 miles feel and turn back early if need be. The weather looks like it will be gorgeous--high 50s, so I really hope I can take full advantage. Won't be long before it's miserably hot and I have to plan all my runs to finish before noon. I don't do well running once it gets much above 75. Heck, even 70 feels pretty hot while running at high effort and/or for long distances. Add humidity and asthma to the mix and it can be a real bear running in the Summer. Aside from the footing I'd rather run in the Winter, much of the time. I don't like heatstroke so much.

Still waiting for my asthma meds to take full effect. Generally it takes 1-2 weeks for the steroid drug (exact same drug as my Flonase nasal med for my allergies, incidentally) to really start working, so hopefully in the next few days I might start noticing markedly improved lung function. I can only hope. The bronchodilator does really help, though, so I have had some good relief since I started taking Advair. I'm sure things will improve once the trees are doing blooming and pollenating, too. Even with 3 allergy meds I still had to take a Benadryl in the early morning hours. Sheesh.

5.14.2008

Runs With Asthma

If I were to have a proper Native American moniker, a la "Dances With Wolves," perhaps this would be fitting. This AM I visited my primary care doc. and he seemed not the least bit surprised that my exercise-induced asthma has apparently move into the run-of-the-mill, persistent variety, especially since my mom and many other family members struggle with chronic asthma issues.

So he's got me on a month of samples of Advair (that round disc-shaped device filled with some powderized inhalable steroid medication). After 4 weeks I will go back in and if everything is working well he'll write me a full prescription. If it's not working as well as hoped we'll try another inhaled steroid medication. But I have pretty high hope. It seems that Advair is one of the most effective meds of its kind from things I read and what other runners tell me, so I've got my fingers crossed. Sure would be great to have noticeably better breathing in the next couple of weeks.

Whatever med I end up on won't likely be cheap. At the moment there are no generic steroid meds. But the CFC-free Albuterol I have been using daily is also $$ and the Singulair that doesn't seem to do much is also not generic. So if I can get off of the Singulair and greatly reduce the albuterol, then we shouldn't be shelling out too much additional cash each month. And breathing comfortably and being able to run well is a pretty priceless thing, IMO.

5.13.2008

Can't deny it any longer...

I believe that I am no longer merely an "exercise-induced" asthmatic.  I think I am a true asthmatic...or at the very least EIA and allergy-induced.  For about the past month my breathing has been a struggle...I thought it was just from that cold I had a month ago.  But it's been a good 3 weeks since the virus was out of my system and I still feel like my lungs are heavy and constricted...and the coughing.  The nasal steroid spray and Allegra oral meds have done a lot to control my nasal allergies, but I'm still having to hit the albuterol at least once/day...every day.  Not just pre-run for the EIA.

I'm kicking myself for not having made an appt. with my PCP back when I had that cold and was struggling with my lung function.  Had I done so my race this past weekend would likely have had a very different outcome...I almost certainly would have gone sub 2:30 and had a fantastic race experience, instead of gutting it out and hitting the inhaler 3x in 2:36.

So tomorrow AM I am in to see my doc.  My online MD buddy has strongly recommended that I ask about Prednisone to combat this current attack (which is definitely the worst breathing issues I have ever encountered...or at the least the longest duration of lung struggles) and to start an inhaled steroid for the long-term.  My mom has had to go on a steroid regimen for her own asthma treatment and has had success with this, so I am very hopeful.

I'm really crossing my fingers that getting this stuff under control will make for a breakthrough of sorts in my running.  My mileage has increased in recent months to peak distances and my body feels strong--but I've not seen the increase in speed that I had hoped for.  I'm sure part of this is due to an inability to do much in the way of speed work.  I can run slow for hours, but trying to go fast with the lung funk has not been possible.  I really look forward to being able to train to the best of my ability and not have my breathing be the limiting factor.  At least I am finally tackling this beast a few weeks before marathon training starts up.  I want to be strong and at my best for those 18 weeks.

5.12.2008

Mother's Day Report

The highlight--my kickass little gift from the guys.  I have been wanting a new point-n-shoot for years...pretty much ever since DH purchased a POS Canon digicam for me for Mother's Day back when DS was 2 or 3 (not knocking Canon AT ALL--my 2 beloved DSLRs are Canon and are fantastic, but we have not had luck with the little ones.  We had extended warranty on that first camera and after 3 failed repair attempts ended up with a comparable Canon point-n-shoot with many of the same issues.  I think we simply ended up with lemons, since I knew several other people with those cameras who had beautiful results with theirs).  Hopefully this little Nikon serves us well.  So far it seems to work very well...fast focus, fast recording to the memory card, good color and crisp images (things the little Canon A-series cameras we had stunk at).

We did our usual Mother's Day brunch at the Double JJ Ranch resort near us.  Good eats, but we noticed a lot fewer people than in previous years and less variety of food.  My guess is that gas prices have made people from the Muskegon area stick closer to home, instead of driving a half-hour North for a meal.  Since we live only 15 minutes from the place it wasn't a huge stretch for us to make the drive.

After brunch/lunch we came home and vegged-out.  Felt good after the previous day's race.  I'm not too sore today and hope to go do ~5 miles.  This week I'd like to log 30 miles or so--a nice reduction from the 40 I did the week before last.  Just 3 more weeks until marathon training officially kicks-off.

I'm also waiting on a call from my PCP's office.  After my asthma issues during Saturday's 25k race I am realizing that my current drug regimen is not controlling things as well as I'd like and I've needed to use my Albuterol inhaler a lot more than I should be.  My primary drug for the past year has been Singulair, which doesn't work for a lot of folks.  I'm guessing an inhaled steroid will be my next plan of attack.  I don't want to run any more races where my legs are rarin' to go and my lungs are holding me back.  I don't want to train like a fool and then not be able to reap the rewards of said training come race day.

5.10.2008

Not livin' up to the Zoomylicious name...

Ugh. That both sucked and blew. I still PR'd, but missed my conservative goal time by over 6 minutes. A month ago I ran a blissfully awesome 15 mile training run at a pace less than 15 seconds slower. My goal for this race had been 2:30, which should have been easily attainable, given my training and HM times last Fall (in the 9:30 range) and my 15k PR on a brutally hilly, snowy/icy course back in March at roughly the same pace--today should have been a breeze, relative to that tough race.

But days after my speedy, comfortable 15 miler on 4/9 I got hit hard by a respiratory bug that has not fully released its grasp a month after the fact--my rough runs in the past month have far outweighed my good ones, ever since. Add to that peak allergy season and it made for a pretty miserable experience. Last year I hit my inhaler once, at the 11 miler mark. This year I needed it 3x over the course of the race and wasn't able to talk much at all (Eryn kept me entertained for the first 10 miles or so, but once she lost me I was really regretting not having my iPod--by that point in the race everyone was really quiet and I was sorely in need of ANYTHING to keep me motivated).

I also found that any time I dropped below the 10 minute/mile pace that my stomach rebelled (I'm suspicious that I may have eaten too much, too late last evening, as I was still feeling kind of full when I went to bed around 8:30pm). Typically I regain my appetite very fast after any race effort, but it's been over 5 hours since I crossed the finish and I'm still fairly queasy. Mother's Day buffet tomorrow isn't even something I am looking forward to at the moment--which is totally unlike me (as anyone in the weight loss group can attest). And I don't even want a celebratory beer (I got my free nasty Michelob Ultra, but gave half of it to DH's aunt)!!!

More telling evidence of my bad race was seeing the times of people I have typically beaten in the past year by ~3-5 minutes at similar distances. All were 2-7 minutes ahead of me...so hopefully it was just me having a bad day. I must say I'm not looking forward to marathon training, much less running the damned thing at the moment. I can't even claim any real injury for my pokeyness...legs and feet felt great, well-rested, and rarin' to go, but the rest of me was unwilling to go any harder.

Eryn and I were pretty bummed to only manage to find one of the RunningAHEAD crew (Mary/hopeful4ever...who happens to be neighbors with one of the local gals I have run with/against at several prior races in the area--small world!) pre-race. I kept my eyes open for Rick/rvelich and his wife, Tammy, during the entire second half of the race and was thrilled to pieces to see them less than a half mile from the finish...I really needed that. By that point I knew my goal time was gone and decided it was worth wasting a little of the gas left in the tank to mug for the camera blowing kisses (I did pick up the pace a little more after seeing that HTFU sign, thank you so much, you guys...it was just what I needed to go hard for the last few hundred yards uphill!). By that point any competitive drive I had was gone and I was just so relieved to be so close to being able to have that race behind me.

Next year we definitely need to have pre and post-race meeting spots better hammered-out, as well as exchange of cell #s. I am still really sad that I didn't get to meet Rick and Tammy in person, or Cory/corland, or marathonmanleto/Joe, mulks/Tony... Not actually meeting these folks face-to-face only added insult to injury--a do-over on the day would be great.

5.06.2008

My favorite rite of Spring!

(and best way to fend off the taper crazies)

Today was the perfect day to hit the local garden center, so that's just what I did. We have several azaleas that I planted about 3 years ago. They seem to shrink every year and only a couple still flower, so I think the spot I have them in is just too shady. We have one of those yards that is either shaded by big old trees or by the house, so a lot of plants don't do well--even things that are fairly shade tolerant, like azaleas and hydrangeas. If they do grow they never increase in size and tend to quit flowering. There is at least one surviving hydrangea from 2 years ago that needs more sun, as well.

So today I picked up 5 bleeding hearts to replace the azaleas (which will be going to a more open, sunny area where I planted some hydrangeas last Summer that seem to be coming back better). I will also be moving the one surviving hydrangea (there is another that might still be alive, but I see no signs, yet...and here it is a week into May.

In addition to the bleeding hearts (I got 3 varieties that I know do well in our yard) I also found some pretty ground cover that should spread and do well in our shade. Hopefully we'll have some great curb appeal for this old house when the housing market improves and we finish all the projects big & small that we need to do before selling.

I'll be planting either tomorrow or Thurs., depending upon weather. I also picked up some of the rancid roadkill-smelling spray that keeps the deer at bay. Unfortunately we waited too long to apply it this year, so our hostas already have Bart Simpson crew cuts. :p

5.05.2008

It's my own damned fault, really.

Just as I suspected... My weight history since our Spring weight loss challenge started:

-5% = 7#s
Goal: 136

3/20 - 143
3/24 - 146.5
3/31 - 143
4/7 - 145
4/14 - 142.5
4/21 - 143
4/28 - 142
5/5 - 144.5

I only have myself and my big mouth to blame. *sigh* Over the past 2-3 years I have been very good at maintaining my weight, but not so good at getting the weight loss going again. My original reason for starting running was to lose my last 15-20#s, yet I have actually gained probably 5 (and, no, it's not just muscle, as I have had to move to bigger pants to fit my gut since then). So here I sit at 1.5#s over my starting weight for the challenge...and I am the group owner--sheesh, some example I set for my friends and fellow "losers".

This week I have GOT to be in control. Now I have at least 2 extra pounds to lug for my 25k race and I'm not going to be running very many miles before then to burn them off. I have to remind myself how much slower I just made myself. That's at least a few seconds on the clock and a few people that I probably won't pass. I've shot myself and my training in the proverbial foot over my dumb appetite.

5.04.2008

Recipe for a bad weigh-in

1 monster burrito
.5 bottle of dry German riesling
more servings of baklava (aka pastry "crack") than one person should be allowed
~~~~~~~~~~
Instructions:
Combine all of the above ingredients and ingest over the course of a single weekend. Eye scale with dread. Vow to eat like a pauper all week, especially since mileage will be greatly decreased in preparation for Saturday's 25k.

Ugh, tomorrow's weigh-in is gonna really stink! I have got to rein it in before marathon training. I would really like to only be 10#s over goal when I run that race, so I've got about 10#s to lose. I know from experience how difficult it is to train hard and well while on a calorie deficit. It's about timing...as long as I fuel well for my longest runs I can usually do OK, but it takes a ton of planning and self-control--things I have not done well with in recent years. I just have to keep in mind how much faster I will be with those pounds off, how much kinder it will be for my joints, and how much hotter I will look in those race pics! ;) I'd like to be able to buy my special marathon outfit in a smaller size, too--that would be a great reward for that effort.

5.03.2008

Running "Wardrobe Malfunction"

I encountered this same issue about a year ago with a New Balance Bonita running skirt of mine. Luckily (not for her) a friend of mine had had a rather embarrassing experience with a hydration waist pack where the back of the skirt sort of wrapped itself around the pack in the back, so after reading her tale of woe I became very paranoid when running with any skirt while wearing a similar pack. On my first run with my NB skirt I discovered that it was "incompatible" with my Camelbak belt and reserved that particular piece of clothing for shorter runs with no fluids or a hand-held bottle. Since both of us had had issues with skirts that had side slits and not with slit-free models we both chalked it up to that particular design feature. As a result I have avoided buying any skirts with slits.

Today I had a little wardrobe malfunction with my newest running skirt (good thing to ALWAYS do a "test run" of race day clothes BEFORE race day. Let's just say that the back of the skirt wanted to climb up under my Amphipod belt) and had to return home to put on a skirt I know won't bare my, ahem, assets. This was while wearing a SkirtSports.com "TRIKS" skirt, which is fairly similar in design to my favorite RunningSkirts.com skirt--neither has side slits, though the RunningSkirts.com skirt definitely fits me better, especially in the back. I'm now thinking that the height of a skirt in the back plays a role in its inherent embarrassment potential. The TRIKS skirts are also more straight, whereas the two skirts that have worked best (my other being an older NB model I bought 2 years ago) with belt packs are both more a-lined.

So for my race in a week I will be wearing the same skirt I wore last year. I kind of wanted to wear something new, but I'll save having a really fun new running outfit for my big marathon goal race in Oct.

Today I also achieved my highest mileage week, yet. Miserable day to do it, though...first I had the skirt issue and realized the problem after less than a minute of running, so had to head back to change. Then it started to rain as I set out and the wind picked up...then the temp dropped 10º (the roads even started to steam). 40º windchills aren't particularly conducive to wearing Summer-weight running attire, so I was pretty miserably cold and wet for about an hour (this is after running in pouring rain and dodging lightning bolts for the last 2 miles of yesterday's workout).

But now I get to enjoy an easy week before my race and then 3 subsequent lower-mileage weeks before the marathon training starts. Phew, just in time. This is the first week in a long time that I am starting to feel more physical discomforts (aside from the residual cold/allergy gunk that I've been battling for the past 3 weeks).

Last night was a special treat. One of the gals from Running Ahead who lives in NC was in the area for work. Since she had a free evening last night I was able to join her and another local running friend for a few hours of food and LOTS of talk. My throat already was sore (I think from running in weird weather and all the coughing I'm still doing, as I am feeling it again tonite) and by the time I rolled in the driveway at midnight swallowing was becoming a real challenge. I took a couple of Advil and that took care of things and allowed me to sleep well (just not enough, as I was back up pretty early...dumb internal clock).

We had dinner at one of our favorite TexMex joints in Grand Rapids, the Beltline Bar. In the 13+ years I've eaten there this is the first time I've had bad service. Our waiter was either new and overwhelmed, or a complete moron. But we weren't in a hurry, so it wasn't a big deal.

I'm really looking forward to our trip in Aug. down to Asheville, NC (DH is planning to do some volunteer work for our local JDRF chapter's bike ride. In Oct. he will be doing the Death Valley ride). "Cheffy" and her hubby are planning to try to meet up with us when we're down there--woot! :)

Ok, off to split a bottle of wine with DH. I really don't need the calories (especially after last night's burrito the size of my head), but it's been a long week.

5.01.2008

Phew!

Yesterday was my last and longest run before my 25k on 5/10. What a relief to have that behind me. Long runs STILL freak me out...even distances I have done before (so, yeah...marathon training is gonna make me a complete basket case). Yesterday I logged 16 miles. While it was a beautiful day and perfect running weather (full sun, ~50º), I just never found my stride. It was pretty much 2 hours and 50-odd minutes of mediocrity, unlike the 15 miler I had done 3 weeks earlier in the cold when I felt like I had wings on my feet...and then a few days later fell ill with a respiratory nastiness. I haven't really felt 100% since that hit, though I think by this weekend I should be pretty close--3 weeks after first feeling sick.

So I'm really looking forward to the next week of running...I enjoy short tapers. After a couple of hard weeks and months of working towards a goal, the idea of taking an easy week is very welcome. Though I may not be saying this before a marathon taper...2-3 weeks of decreased running is different than a little over a week. There's a reason so many experience "taper madness."

I'm also looking forward to supper tomorrow night. One of the awesome girls from RunningAhead.com is going to be in my neck of the woods for work, so we're planning to get together for dinner at my favorite TexMex joint in the Grand Rapids area (Beltline Bar). Hopefully a couple other peeps from this area can join us. :)