4.29.2009

3 more runs!

Just 3...then it's Taper Time, baby! Whoohoo!!! Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this taper. This training cycle has gone so much better than my training for Milwaukee (first Marathon) last Fall. Not battling chronic knee issues is the primary cause for this. And those knee issues made training for Milwaukee more than just physically stressful...the mental stress of dealing with a bum knee for the first half of training and being undertrained and stressed by the unknown (as a result) really made me feel so on-edge the last time around. This time I am mostly just tired from putting in the training. A bit physical, a bit mental, and ready to let my body recover and rebuild so that I can experience some amazing race day magic on fresh legs. My legs have definitely felt sort of heavy in the last week or two--perfect timing for taper!

This time I am enjoying still feeling relatively strong at the tail-end of training and sleeping well (REALLY well...like the dead--and eating like 10 women). I know that my training would be even better with more speed training, but this time I have wanted to concentrate more on getting the mileage up...next time I will incorporate more speed work--now that I know the mileage doesn't kill me. I must say that I look forward to the day that DS can be left alone for a couple of hours. I'd love to add a 6th day of running to my training schedule for the next 'thon, but it's too hard in the Summer with Dane around and Derek and I both trying to get workouts in and have one of us home to watch the rugrat.

Maybe I can do 6 days of training/week for a Spring marathon NEXT year. And next Summer Dane will be 9.5...so we can probably have him safely on his own for short periods by then (at his age my folks would run errands and have me watch my 2 younger siblings, so I know it's not exactly a huge risk). He's a good kid (doesn't play with matches or the stove, mix bleach and ammonia, or any of those other things kids his age are often known to do) and would probably not even notice us gone between the Wii, LEGO, and his books. :)
So I'm working on getting the gumption to run 10 miles (it's windy...again. I hate wind). Tomorrow DH has some teeth-pulling work to have done and I will be chaufferring the kiddo to and from school and DH home from the oral surgeon--no run. 5 miles on Friday, then my last 20 on Sat. (weather forecast looks AMAZING). After my 20 I expect I will sit in my tub of ice cold water with a protein shake...then shower and enjoy my first beer of taper. :D

4.28.2009

Doing what comes naturally

Any schmo can run a marathon

Humans, scientists say, are built for speed – or, at least, endurance. It's all in our shortish toes and big behinds

Apr 25, 2009 04:30 AM

CATHAL KELLY
STAFF REPORTER
For years, we've comforted ourselves with the thought that the Boston Marathon, which took place early this week, is the territory of dangerously maladjusted health nuts and masochists. Sadly, the latest anthropological research concludes it's you and I – the non-runners – who are letting down the evolutionary side.

To read the rest of the article go HERE

My personal favorite bits from the article:

"Humans are the best endurance runners in the mammalian world," says biological anthropologist Daniel Lieberman.

"A typical human being can run above the trot-gallop transition speed of most mammals. Humans who aren't particularly athletic can run marathons."


and

"It's a failure of imagination," Lieberman says. "I would love to be able to run the Boston Marathon. But the qualifying time for my age group is (three hours and 20 minutes). I can't get anywhere near that, and there are so many people who can.

"Millions of people out there run marathons – tall, fat, short, skinny, big, small. Are these people abnormal? Of course not. They're telling us something about human evolution."

4.25.2009

Where was I...?

Oh, yes...my last post was about chaperoning my son's class trip to Meijer Gardens. Weather ended up being quite lovely, though breezy and cool. But sunny and not rainy, so that was all good. Not too many butterflies, unfortunately. I have noticed that in earlier years that the last week or two of the exhibit is slim pickings as the butterflies begin to die-off and they are no longer releasing more newly-hatched ones from the little butterfly "nursery" in the atrium.

The kids also learned about the water cycle and the importance of conserving water. I learned some new things, too, like what a small percentage of the planet's fresh water is actually available for drinking and human use. I really overestimated what we have at our disposal. It's a precious small amount of the whole.

I also completed 34 miles this week...kind of a light week between 2 50 mile weeks. My body definitely needs these easier weeks now that my long runs are so, well, LONG. 1 more 20 miler in a week and then it's taper time.

Yesterday I ran 13 and got sunburned...d'oh! I KNEW I should have put on sunscreen, but it was overcast when I went out. 10 minutes or so down the road the sky cleared. Stupid, unpredictable Great Lakes weather. It was just generally kind of a craptacular run. Turns out those flashy white and orange shoes are not a good fit for me...at least not for longer runs. Same thing I have learned with my last 3 pair of NB stability shoes on their new PL-1 last, which is narrower and doesn't feel natural on my foot. Again I started to develop a hot spot on the ball of my left big toe and my arches were cramping...right ankle was feeling sore on the outside and inside edges, too. I woke this AM and my feet were still hurting...that usually doesn't even happen the day after a 20 miler.

It's hard to believe this shoe is in any way related to my last 2 favorite shoes--it's the next generation update, but it feels like an entirely different shoe (it's stiffer, heavier, narrower...huh?). At this point I am planning to stock up on 2-3 pair of the previous version, pick up pair of trail shoes using the previous last for my trail runs and races for the remainder of the year, and then will likely be done with NB unless they eventually revert back to shoes that fit wide feet well, again. I think they have lost a LOT of long-time fans over this massive redesign. They are already planning the release of the next update in Oct. (can we say FUBAR when there's only 6 months between updates?), but the sole unit will still be the same, so even if the upper fits better, it will still be a stiff shoe and not suited to my foot/gait.

Every time I think I have found the perfect shoe it gets changed. Minor changes can be lived with, but not this. I am dreading having to start this process all over, especially since NB made the only lightweight, mild stability shoe in wides. Usually this sort of shoe runs narrow, anyhow. But anything more structured have my outer arches screaming. Cripes, why am I still participating in a sport that doesn't seem to cater to people with atypical feet? Oh, yeah...'cause I'm nuts, apparently.

Today we've had intermittent lightning storms, wind, and random heavy rains, so I headed to the little fitness center in town to run 4 miles on the treadmill. I had planned on 5, but 4 is all I can tolerate on the motorized hamster wheel. I wore my new pair of persimmon-colored NB 903s...previous version of the troublesome shoes and update of my very favorite shoe (902). I still don't like them nearly as well as my 902s, but those are pretty much non-existent in my size. The 903s felt good...if my feet could have breathed sighs of relief, I believe they would have. So soft, flexible, lightweight...ahhh.... These should be perfectly broken-in with one 20 miler and several shorter runs by marathon day.

Now I debate...do I order 2 more pair and not have enough to get me through the end of the year, thus requiring an almost certainly frustrating trip to the nearest big running store an hour away, or do I buy 3 pair and be able to get through a couple extra months? I'm leaning towards 3. $77/pair is a lot to cough up at once, but not having to go through this godforsaken shoe search again (made all the more stressful by the "loss" of what was the #1 shoe manufacturer for people with oddball feets like me) until after the first of next year...priceless.

This morning I bailed on a half marathon a couple of hours away. My best friend ended up doing it (grossly under trained and after having been sick with the pukes yesterday...yeah, she's nuts). I decided about a week ago that I really didn't have much interest in doing the race. It means $ in registration fees and I'm at that point in training where the long runs are taking enough out of me that doing a HM race in the weekend between those long runs sounds like recipe for trouble--especially as nooby as I still am. I am planning to do a HM 4 weeks before the Grand Rapids Marathon, but by then I will have that much more fitness and mileage under my belt. And it's a really cool race. From the sound of things, the HM I missed this morning was not all that thrilling.

4.21.2009

April Showers

Heh...that will be me (the turtle, not the kitten) in about 4.5 weeks. :p
What a dreary start to the week. Yesterday I ran an easy 5 in the cold rain. The first few miles were pretty stiff and I considered cutting back to 4, but then I loosened-up and by the time I was done could have gone a few more. I did have to take a desperate potty break in the woods at 3 miles, though.

Why is it, though...I can run on relatively desolate roads, but as soon as I need to pee badly there are a constant stream of cars when I am in the sections with trees and shrubs to duck behind? Yesterday there were THREE friggin' school busses...criminy! When the road would be free of cars there were too many houses in sight of any tree shelters. By the time I was able to empty my bladder I was starting to envision the real possibility of running a couple of miles after peeing myself. Ha! Guess I didn't allow enough time between coffee and run. ;)
Today I plan to run 6...but am kind of watching for the rain to let-up a bit. It's not raining much at the moment, but an hour+ and I will still get pretty wet. And it's cold. I love running in the rain when it's in the 50s or warmer, but in the 30s...ick.

Hope this rain lets up tomorrow, but the forecast is not looking good. I will be chaperoning a field trip to the Meijer Gardens -- one of my favorite places in the whole world. Right now they have their "Butterflies Are Blooming" exhibit in the main conservatory. So cool. We've gone to this nearly every year since before Dane was born and now it's one of his favorite destinations. A couple of years ago we even had family passes for a year, but when gas prices reached $4 we could no longer justify the cost of driving an hour each way.

If the weather is bad it will still be a nice trip, but exploring the outdoor portions of the gardens and sculpture park will likely not be possible, unfortunately.

4.18.2009

50 miles in 5 days!

That's a mileage record of sorts for me. The most I've done previously in a span is 56 in 7 days...that was about a week-and-a-half ago. I capped off my 50 mile week with a 20 miler today. It went pretty well...still battling some respiratory gunk, so my lungs weren't completely on-board, but I told 'em to HTFU.

I'm also not "in love" with my new shoes...but I haven't been in love with any shoe since the NB 902 and these are the 904. The 903 really wasn't great for me, either (NB didn't change the sole for the 903, but cut the upper WAY baggy and they were a weird fit even after downsizing a half size)...hence I only had 1 pair of those and 5 of the 902.

The biggest issue with these 904s is that they are a hair stiffer than the 902/903--which makes my peroneal tendon running along the underside of my right foot cranky. I think running 50 miles in 5 days also is likely a factor, so I'm not blaming it entirely on the shoes...yet. It also took me a few runs to get the lacing right. I definitely need to use ALL of the eyelets and use the lace-lock technique (God bless NB and their super long laces). My shoes were a little loose through the rearfoot during my first 3 runs in the shoe (the previous 3 days), so that put extra stress on my arch and toe tendons while the shoe was too loosely tied.

I also developed a mild hot spot on the side of the ball of my big left toe, but it never actually blistered. This is not of great concern, as I had a similar issue with my first pair of beloved 902s when they were relatively new, then it never returned with subsequent pairs. I think the unique shape of any new shoe model coupled with the unique shape of my foot can equal weird fit issues before the shoe is fully broken-in and/or my foot has toughened-up over trouble areas or weird seams.

If the arch continues to be an issue I can probably find a pair of 903s, but I'd prefer not to. They are not significantly cheaper, even as a discontinued model, and I don't recall ever running anything much more than 14 miles in them, so they have not had the 20 miler test.

Off to find a beer.

4.16.2009

TIaRT

That's short for Take It and Run Thursday, a weekly feature over at the Runners' Lounge. This week's topic is...blogging.

I have been a blogger for a few years. Initially I started one as a way to keep family and close friends updated on what we were up to and out little rugrat. Back then I didn't use any particular service and hand-coded a pretty lame page on our mostly defunct family website.

From there I think I moved to MySpace...then Delphi, then here...I think. It wasn't long after I moved things here that I thought it would be fun to register a real domain, so on a whim I thought it would be fun to do a play on my RunningAHEAD.com username, zoom-zoom (which is in homage to my happy little Mazda 3 hatchback...completely unrelated to any running pace. plod-plod would be more appropriate given my typical running speed, or lack thereof).

Zoomylicious.com has been mostly a running journal from day 1. There's not a lot else to talk about as a SAHM, but running, talk of running, thinking of running (and associated gear-whoring) takes up most of my waking hours. It's amazing to me that 3 years after starting on this journey that I still have stuff to talk and think about. Running seems so simple...one foot in front of the other...repeat. But there's so much more to it than that. Every run is a new learning experience and with every race training cycle I pick up some new bits of knowledge that help me improve upon what I've already learned and done.

And injuries. There are always those nagging things to keep things interesting...and frustrating. As long as shoe manufacturers and Garmin keep changing their models and coming out with new ones there will be stuff to obsess over, too. ;)

"Cooking" for Endurance Athletes

One of the gals on RunningAHEAD.com posted this a while back. Tonite I purchased the ingredients and plan to give it a try during my 20 miler on Saturday. I'll post my reaction afterwards. I'm going to have to try to divide the dry ingredients to make 8 8oz. servings, since I don't really want to make 2 quarts all at once. I think I would need roughly 2 TBs dry mix to 8oz. water...that should be pretty close. I probably have a 1oz. scoop from a can of Gatorade powder floating around, even.

Faux Endurance Sports Drink

1/2 C. + 4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Morton Lite Salt
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 pkg. unsweetened "Kool-aid" mix (any flavor you like)

Mix with 2 Q. water to make 64 oz.

Each 8 oz serving has 56 Calories, 14 grams carbohydrate, 220 mg sodium and 85 mg potassium.

Gatorade Endurance Formula (8 oz) has 50 Calories, 14 grams carbohydrate, 200 mg sodium, and 90 mg potassium.

4.15.2009

Happy, Sleepy, Dopey Girl

Yeah...like 3 of the 7 dwarves rolled into one.

The sleepy bit...3 nights on the rock-hard slab of a guest bed at my MIL's place in IL (I swear, we really need to bring our memory foam topper when we visit...or buy one to leave there. Our bed is also firm, but that topper makes it like a whole new, luxuriously comfy nest). These 3 nights were followed by Easter morning with DS in the ER (he's just fine...long story, but he's no worse for wear), so we left about 5 hours later than planned and didn't arrive home from our road trip until 11pm. Plus the whole ordeal had me so tense, so I didn't sleep well Sunday night, either.

Last night I finally got a halfway decent night's sleep (though I did have to hit the inhaler a couple of times...'tis the season for Spring allergies and asthma), but ended up skipping Monday's planned 5 miler, since it was beyond my body's ability to endure that on top of severe exhaustion. Yesterday I had a decent, but really slow and mediocre 10 miler. After my run I showered, picked up the kid from school, ran some errands, and returned home to find my appropriately sized NB 904s waiting at the door for me.

My patience has been rewarded...I think I'm in love (this is the Happy/Dopey part). I was truly terrified that they wouldn't work...and it seems to be the only shoe on the planet that works for me and fits right (and there are no more to be found of older versions in my size...anywhere. I have looked). I have a super hard foot to fit and I'd heard a lot of complaints that the 904 was majorly on the narrow side. It is definitely snugger than the 903, which is a good thing...that shoe was actually too roomy with the upper cut too loosely. I could have gone down a width, but that would have meant my foot would spill over the sole. NB got the 904 right--it fits so much like my beloved 902s, just a hair longer, which is no biggie.

Took my new babies out for a 5 mile spin this afternoon...it was wonderful. They are so cushy and flexible...I still wish they weren't white, though. I felt like such a noob. But I got over it. It was easily 65º with full sun and a light breeze...gorgeous. I wanted to go more than 5 miles, but thought it wise to save my miles for tomorrow, when I think I will knock out 10 miles. Looks like the credit I have at Road Runner Sports will go towards a pair of the new trail version, too. I love that I will be able to wear this shoe for pretty much all of my runs in the coming months, including the trail relay I am participating in in mid-June.

After skipping Monday's run I figured I'd not be able to get my planned 50 in this week, but today's run felt so great that I think I may run 10 tomorrow, 5 on Friday, 20 on Sat. (which means that come Sunday I will be pretty much good fer nuthin'...that's 50 miles in 5 days for anyone more mathematically challenged than I). Weather is really too beautiful to stay indoors, even though I haven't done any ab or arm work in over a week. I just can't make myself work out indoors when it's like this. I think next week will be rainy, so I won't have such a difficult time staying indoors then.

4.11.2009

Oh, my achin' back!

I miss my bed. Our mattress is nothing special...a bit too firm, but we have a 2" memory foam topper that makes it feel heavenly. If I don't sleep well at home it's never for lack of a comfortable bed.

But we are currently at my MIL's place for the Easter Holiday weekend and the last 2 nights have been downright painful. The mattress on her guest bed is rather slab-like. Were I a back or front sleeper I'd probably be fine, but I'm a side sleeper and I'm waking multiple times/night with sore shoulders, hips, and the middle of my back. At the very least I should have brought my body pillow to help keep my spine from twisting and to better help support and distribute my body weight while I sleep on my side.

Right now my planned 7 miler doesn't sound all that appealing, but an hour of yoga sure does. At least it's looking to be a gorgeous day.

Yesterday I ran 5 miles after the rain had passed and it really was nice, aside from some stiff winds. This part of Illinois is quite hilly, which is a good change of pace from the flatlands of MI that I am used to running. I'd love to live in an area with some real hills for training. I usually have to drive a ways if I want hills to train on...and I'm just not all that motivated to bother most days.

I'm also tired from our night at a little local bar with a couple of DH's HS classmates. It was nice to catch up with these guys beyond Facebook. But it meant getting in around 11:30 local time, falling asleep around midnight, then being woken before 7 by the noisy rugrat...which would have been no biggie after solid sleep in our own bed. I'm sure tomorrow AM will have him waking especially early, too, as there will be hidden candy-filled plastic eggs and an Easter basket to uncover...

Tonite I hope to meet up with a local running friend for an early supper. I don't imagine she will be up for a late night, since she is running a half marathon as I write this. I'm guessing she'll be ready for beddy-bye by 8pm...at least that's how I usually feel the night of big races. I'm looking forward to seeing her again, though. We first had the opportunity to meet in-person and share a run when we were staying with my MIL last Summer. I love that I can travel just about anywhere and find friends from RunningAHEAD.com to visit and/or run with. :)

4.07.2009

It's alive!

Our washing machine... A couple of nights ago we conclusively determined that random build-up of crap had plugged a port that connects to a tube that connects to a pressure sensor. With the port blocked the washer was never receiving the "full tank" message, thus continuing to fill. Hubby was able to clear it a bit, then we filled the machine with hot water, bleach, and dishwasher detergent. We let it run a bit, then stopped it to soak for about an hour. Then we finished out the cycle and everything has worked perfectly ever since. Wonder if we can coax another 12 years out of the machine...? ;)
Yesterday I did my upper body workout and tonite (after hubby got home, since the rugrat is on Spring Break) I ran 6 miles...but I felt REALLY drained all day. Lately I seem to have fallen into a very odd sort of cycle. I am drowsy all day, then about 10pm I get a second wind and am WIRED. Last night...er, this AM I didn't fall asleep until about 2. Ick. So I will be finishing this post and then getting my butt into bed.

Tomorrow DS will be going to a friend's house for a few hours to play while I get a 12 miler in. This friend is a couple of years younger than him, but they were "classmates" when Dane was at the Montessori early childhood school in our community. His friend's mom is a running buddy of mine and is running the trail relay on my team this Summer (as is her DH). She works full-time, but has a really nice babysitter who was happy to have Dane come over--he will likely make her job easier for a couple of hours as he plays with his pal.

The day after tomorrow we will be driving down to my MIL's place in IL (about 7-8 hours away) for a few days to spend Easter there and also see a couple of DH's HS buddies while they are in town. I also hope to see an online running friend of mine who happens to live in the area. She is running a HM out-of-town on Sat., so we won't likely get a run in, but I'd like to treat her to a beer, perhaps after she returns home from the race.

4.05.2009

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

Weather forecast for the next 2 days looks atrocious, so instead of taking today as my scheduled non-running/rest day I ran tomorrow's 5 miler today. It was nice. Cloudy and cool, but not windy...or rainy or snowy, which is what is in the forecast for the next 2 days. Ick. This is the sort of weather we expected a month ago, but not well into April.

So Tuesday's 6 mile race pace run will likely really stink...but that's more incentive to run at pace and get it over with. Weds. the weather should be more temperate and sunny, so Dane will be going over to a friend's house for a couple of hours so I can get my 12 miler in. Man, I am already looking forward to the end of Spring break in a week.

Oh, and the crazy thing I noticed on my running log...since I ran today (instead of my usual Sunday "day of rest") my mileage for the past 7 days is 53.2 miles...a record for me. Whew. No wonder I'm feeling pretty sleepy today. I'm not usually a napper, but right now am regretting not giving-in to the urge a few hours ago. I am tempted to make a pot of coffee, but I know I will regret that at 1am when I am still wide-awake. :p

We (heh, hubby) still haven't been able to conclusively diagnose our washing machine issues, but it's starting to look like the problem may stem from years of gunk built-up in the basin. We have SUPER hard well water...so combine that with soap residue, grime, cat hair, lint, and everything else that has collected over the course of 12 years and it's miraculous we've gone this long without problems.

If we can get things sorted out and fixed we will likely be changing detergent type and/or brand and doing some things to help prevent this in the future. One suggestion I have read in a couple of places is to occasionally run an empty load with a mix of dishwasher detergent and bleach...then let the solution soak in the machine overnight. This helps to dissolve all the built-up crusties and sludge, much like it does on plates.

If we aren't able to repair the machine then it's time for a new one. After 12 years we can't expect to always be able to perform simple repairs to keep a device like this working. Too bad the washer and dryer couldn't die at the same time--sure would be nice (though really $$, too) to have a stackable front-loading set. :D

4.04.2009

That REALLY chaps my hide!

So I have run "commando" for the better part of a year. I gave up trying to find a panty that didn't leave welts on my lower rear area (where the butt meets thigh). Even the most seamless ones would chafe bad. So I started going without (while running. The thought of going sans-undies any other time makes me shudder). This has mostly worked perfectly. Until today.

I have a pair of Mizuno half-length tights that I really love. They have a nice little stretchy pocket on the back that seems like it was designed for my tiny cell phone. The tights also don't have an inner-thigh seam that is perfectly centered, so no seams to be "dissolved" by chub-rub friction (I have no less than 3 pair of tights/tight shorts with trashed inner thigh seams due to my beastly legs).

What these tights DO have is a seam that runs straight up the back. Which doesn't seem a problem during short runs...but it seems that much beyond the 8 mile mark and things start to rub. Add another 10 miles and things get pretty raw. The perfect tight would have seams along the outsides of the thighs, then the inner thigh seam off-set just enough to avoid the maximum friction area at center inner thigh. Apparently no one actually makes a tight like this. Poo.

So I am REALLY hoping that Spring actually decides to truly arrive in 2 weeks, which is when my first 20 miler is scheduled. I would kill to wear one of my RunningSkirts.com skirts. I have worn them for everything up to a marathon without a single mark or hot spot. I roll a bit of SportShield on the chubby thigh bits and off I go. The built-in briefs under my skirts are so perfectly designed for running. Reverse seams and wonderful wicking stretch fabrics make up the "bum huggers."

On today's bright side...wore a pair of my beloved 902s for my 18 miler--with a new pair of Superfeet insoles. Felt better than my previous 18 miler in my baby-toe-blister-inducing 769s. No blisters...but I didn't expect any. That's the same model shoe I wore for my marathon last Oct. without any issue.

The run went relatively well. But I definitely am ready for a scale-back week (a whopping 34 miles is on the agenda next week) this coming week...the legs were lacking any fire. I'm now at the point in training where every other week is quite "easy"--at least compared to these 48+ mile weeks. Today's run capped-off my highest mileage week ever. Even while training for marathon #1 I never went beyond 43.5 miles, IIRC. Mostly due to scaling back to take care of knee issues that cropped-up 2 weeks before training started. This time the knee has been fairly well-behaved. Phew!

This easy week falls perfectly in-line with DS's Spring break, too. And a road trip down to my MIL's and to spend time visiting with a couple of DH's HS classmates in town. It will be nice to not have to stress about racking up major miles on semi-unfamiliar streets.

Another non-running thing to add to my list of things that chap my hide...our washing machine is on the fritz...again. Last night we were watching a movie and I remember thinking that the water spilling into the washing machine sounded extra loud. But this house has weird acoustics, so I ignored it.

After the movie ended I walked into the kitchen (washer/dryer are in a closet within the kitchen)...and a puddle. Awww...crap (luckily it somehow managed to stop and go into spin on its own...which we had to manually coax it into doing this AM--no agitation action, though, so no ability to actually wash stuff). We're not sure if the problem is a sensor or a stuck valve, but hubby is going to attempt to diagnose it tonite. We have had good luck doing this sort of thing in the past and ordering parts online. Sure beats tossing out an otherwise functional appliance and buying new. Our washer is 12, so it wouldn't be a tragedy if we had to replace it, but it's not really in the budget at the moment, either.

Tonite I "relaxed" at the laundromat with the wet and unclean laundry that I attempted to wash this morning. And was able to fill a jumbo machine with that and added running and cycling garb from the day. Now I am further relaxing with a beer.

Daunting

This is how these last handful of long runs on my marathon training schedule feel. I wonder if I will ever get to a place/pace where I don't sort of agonize over these runs. Perhaps if I were "fast" I wouldn't feel this way, but I am expecting to be out there for up to 3.5 hours of actual running time to cover today's 18 miler, not including potty break(s). That's a really long time to be moving. There are many people who finish the complete marathon distance at their "easy pace" in the time it takes me to run 20 miles at MY easy pace. I'd just be happy to be able to do my 20 milers in under 3 hours, rather than approaching the 4 hour mark.

I know losing 15-20 (or more...I could lose 25 and still be at a very healthy weight) would go a LONG way towards making me faster, but as long as these stupid food/candy-centric holidays keep cropping up at regular intervals this is not bound to happen quickly. I hope to be well under 140#s for my second marathon, which will beat where I was for #1 after taper bloat. But under 120#s would be ideal. Some calculators suggest an increase in speed of ~3 seconds/mile/pound lost. This would net me a pace increase of about a minute/mile...which would make my 20 mile runs 20 minutes faster...hmmm.... And the faster I run, the more miles I could cover in the same amount of time, which would make me faster still.

Now I just need to put on blinders when I walk by the Easter candy displays at the store. Man, I LOVES me some Cadbury caramel eggs! :p

4.03.2009

It's Spring, fer cryin' out loud!

So why do we still have snow in the forecast?! Grrr... I am looking forward to the 2-3 runs I will be doing in central IL next week, as they have WARM temps in the forecast and NO SNOW predicted!

At least the predicted weather for tomorrow looks pretty decent. I have an 18 miler on the schedule, to finish out my highest mileage week yet--48 miles. Next week will be a lighter week, with only 34 in the plan. That will feel positively lazy, by comparison. Then the following week will be my first 50 mile week, then 34, then 50, then 34, then 27, then 35.2...culminating in marathon #2. Whew.

Tonite I am planning to meet a local running buddy at the nearby fitness center to run on the treadmills. Today is the first day of Spring Break for the kiddo and it's really windy and cold, so 5 miles on the treadmill sound preferable.

Last night I got official word that Team HTFU! earned a spot on the docket for the 2009 North Country Trail Relay...woot! DH's uncle-in-law is the race director and pretty much assured me that we'd get a spot, as we were the 2nd new team in line on the waiting list. There are 6 of us on the team...4 women, 2 guys. The entire distance is nearly 80 miles and we are each responsible for a minimum of 10 miles worth of legs of the sometimes brutal course.

I'll be interested to see how well (or not) my legs have recovered from the Bayshore Marathon, as the trail relay is only 3 weeks later. I took a LONG time to recover from Milwaukee, but I also was less well trained for that race due to training through injury and cutting back on my mileage. Perhaps the severe leg cramp issues also caused more muscle damage to heal from, as well.