8.23.2009

8/22 Garmin Data

I love my Forerunner 305. Here are the stats from yesterday's 18 miler...you can see my 7 miles at marathon-pace (10mm) or a bit faster. Yeah, I'm pokey, but those miles felt so strong. By the end of my run I was not gassed. It was excellent.

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Intervals (GPS Interval)
TypeDistanceTimeTotal TimePaceAvg HRMax HRNotes
Interval1 Mi11:08.4711:08.4711:09
Interval1 Mi11:09.8522:18.3211:10
Interval1 Mi11:16.3333:34.6511:17
Interval1 Mi11:14.944:49.5511:15
Interval1 Mi11:09.3955:58.9411:10
Interval1 Mi10:54.111:06:53.0510:55
Interval1 Mi10:55.991:17:49.0410:56
Interval1 Mi11:05.11:28:54.1411:06
Interval1 Mi10:01.541:38:55.6810:02
Interval1 Mi9:49.261:48:44.949:50
Interval1 Mi9:551:58:39.949:55
Interval1 Mi9:49.032:08:28.979:50
Interval1 Mi9:55.562:18:24.539:56
Interval1 Mi9:53.842:28:18.379:54
Interval1 Mi9:45.972:38:04.349:46
Interval1 Mi10:23.292:48:27.6310:24
Interval1 Mi10:21.452:58:49.0810:22
Interval1 Mi10:07.983:08:57.0610:08
Interval0.06 Mi0:33.373:09:30.439:17

One of these days I need to mess with the heart-rate monitor. I've had my Garmin for almost 2 years and haven't once used the HRM that came with it. It's just data that I don't really have need for...I know I'm running beyond my abilities when my asthma kicks-in...nevermind heart rate. I know I'm running easy when I can talk with a friend or sing a song. But I am curious to see what my heart is doing on a run with some pace miles thrown-in. My biggest concern is the very real potential for chafing. I am not exactly small-chested and am not sure how compatible underwired, heavy-duty sports bra and HRM strap would be...

Welcome back, Mojo!

Yesterday my running funk ended during a very wet and cool 18 miler...a run that absolutely rocked and will be one of those memorable ones that I will conjure-up whenever those rare, but miserable periods of seemingly endless crappy runs rear their ugly heads. The value of those bad runs is how much more fabulous they make the good ones feel.

In celebration (and because we were kid-free for the night) the hubby and I hit the beer tent at the Maritime Festival in town with our anniversary buddies, Heather and Tony (they were married the exact same day as we were and Heather and I are the same age). 1.5 mile walk with Diet Sierra Mist + a couple of shots of really crappy whiskey, then a couple of beers in the tent, then a couple more drinks at our favorite little bar (that's DH with the beer and Tony behind us mugging. In my hand is the super-strong margarita that was my apparent undoing). 5 hours later I was one hot mess. WTF?! Seriously, who gets that trashed off of so little booze? Oh, wait...girls who run 18 miles and eat very little during the remainder of the day/night, apparently (I had planned to get a snack at the bar, but the kitchen was closed by the time we walked in at 11:30).

Needless to say, I felt really awful for most of today. And alcohol in lieu of plenty of more hydrating beverages didn't help matters. Today's coffee went down with some Endurolytes capsules and Advil. But I feel much better now. Closing down bars and staying up until after 3am is no longer an activity that my body tolerates well. I thought I learned this lesson a month ago after the Domestic Problems show...guess not, heh.

This afternoon I joined DH and the JDRF cycling crew for their last post-ride party before they head to Killington, VT for the big group ride. Good food and company, though the weather was still a bit nippy for an outdoor picnic/beach party. Doesn't feel at all like August, but I'm not complaining much. This unseasonably cool weather is EXCELLENT for running. I felt so energized during yesterday's cold, rainy run...I was soaked, had pruney toes and squishy shoes...and it was marvelous!

It was nice to have a fun, light weekend. A couple of weeks ago Derek's grandma (89) passed away. She'd been steadily failing in the 5.5 years since his grandfather passed and her quality of life was so poor by the end. She died in hospice care and they kept her so comfortable at the end. This past Thursday was the memorial.

8.19.2009

I'm here!

Don't forget/worry about me! Haven't blogged in almost 2 weeks...just so much going on and I've hit one of those running slumps where every run feels sort of difficult and ponderous. But I keep on keepin' on--only a couple more months until Grand Rapids. I'll be back with an update over the weekend, I think.

8.08.2009

Phew...time for a well-deserved rest!

Today I ran 6 miles in the sauna otherwise known as West MI. It felt really good, which was surprising, as yesterday was a pretty miserable 18 miler (I walked a good share of that run...mostly due to exhaustion. The 18 I did a week ago felt FAR more comfortable and strong). Today's run was quite possibly my ONLY good run all week. I blame a tough week last week followed by inadequate/poor sleep this week. But I still managed to run my highest mileage week ever, 53.5 miles. Because I was so horribly slow and out of it this week it took me 10 hours to do so, but I did it.

Though it is frustrating when I know runners who will log 70-80 mile weeks in the same amount of time. The catch-22 of running is that one must run more to get faster, but to get faster one needs more hours in the day. And there's that thing about diminishing returns--eventually more time on one's feet puts more of a toll on one's body...regardless of whether that means 50 mile weeks or 100 mile weeks. I'd just be happy to consistently log easy runs in <10>

This next week will be relatively easy. I am going to work on recovering from the last 2 weeks and getting more speed work in. I'm hoping to do 5 miles worth of mile repeats. This is something I haven't really done, but I think I may enjoy this more than a longer cumulative distance at race pace. I'm planning to do my mile repeats at closer to my half marathon pace. I'm really starting to enjoy the bit of speed work I have done in the past month and it's definitely seeming to bring my average run pace down. I think a big factor in my cramping issues during my first 2 marathons was the reality that my body only had one gear. Since the bulk of my training was all done at the same pace my muscles had no knowledge of any other speed.

This time around I am hoping to change that. Even if I only PR by 5-10 minutes it will be worth it. And if I can push cramping back a few miles or even avoid it entirely...that would be fabulous.

The Spirit of the Marathon - revisited

I saw The Spirit of the Marathon in the theater about a year and a half ago, shortly after I registered for my first marathon. At the time it was very inspiring, but the whole concept of 26.2 and the physical and mental challenges that come with training for the race and actually running it were still very abstract in my head.

Recently a running friend discovered that Hulu.com had the full length documentary online. Tonite I had the time to sit and enjoy it again. This time I found myself even more absorbed with the individual runners' stories and have a firsthand comprehension of what they endured in training and on race day. This time around I became more than just a little misty...by the end I was a blubbering mess. I am fully impressed by how well the producers displayed the personalities and hours of work the runners put in to train for the distance...whether at the elite level, newbies, or seasoned marathon vets. Each subject of this film expressed much the same sentiment at some point in the film: that there is no other athletic event to compare to the marathon. No other competitive event attracts such a wide cross-section of ages, abilities, and life experiences as this race.

If you have yet to see it, take a couple of hours and a beer...enjoy:

8.06.2009

Better Living Through Chemistry

This week caffeine is my drug of choice, via coffee. Damn, who am I kidding? Caffeine is ALWAYS my drug of choice!

All this week my kid has been at a nearby YMCA camp. Since it's daycamp I have been taking him into town to catch a bus out to camp. He's having a blast...coming home sweaty, dirty, and covered in a film of sunscreen and bug spray. But I am exhausted. I thought this would be the perfect week to hit my first 55 mile week, since I'm kid-free from 8:30-5...but I am finding that I am super exhausted from last week's 50 fast (for me) miles. And I'm not able to catch up on sleep by sleeping-in at all this week.

Plus our damned cats (4) have decided all this week that 5AM is a great time to start racing, fighting, begging for food, etc. I think I am averaging about 6 hours of sleep/night for the past 4 nights or so. Ow. I either need to start going to bed at 9PM or get my hands on a Marlin Perkins style dart gun to sedate the cats when they start rampaging. Dumb furbabies! Our almost-16 year old female is the worst. She is hyperthyroid and I swear she is also hypoglycemic. When she gets hungry she freaks-out if one of the other cats even looks at her. Then she jumps on the bed (on me) with all claws unsheathed.

Non cat people would probably ask "why don't you simply lock them out of your bedroom?" Ha! I wish. Cats locked out of rooms will scratch at the door and cry. Loudly. For hours. Our Ikky cat is the master of this practice. He figured out early in life that this behavior would get the door opened.

I think tonite they will get 2x their usual bedtime snack. Perhaps that will buy us an extra hour or two of sleep. Little f'ers. Too bad we can't leave food out for them 24/7, but Thor is already obese (and has even less portion control than I do), Ikky is rotund, Chase is chubby, and Lola is a puker (not something one wants to step in on a zombied trip to the bathroom in the wee hours--cat puke is equally nasty when it's fresh and steaming or cold and stale).

Yesterday I ran 11 miserable miles (with a fair amount of walking), today I have an ab workout and 6 miles on the agenda. Tomorrow I have 18 miles planned...I had wanted to do that run on Saturday (the following day), but the weather forecast is for HOT weather...tomorrow is only supposed to be in the mid-to-low 70s and mostly cloudy. MUCH more conducive to running. I can't wait to put this week behind me. The lack of sleep business is really killing me. Next week will be a relatively easy week with a 13 mile "long run." Phew. Just gotta get through this one, first...

8.04.2009

Zzzz...wait...wha...? *wipes drool from cheek*

Thank the deities that next week is a scale-back week. My last few higher-mileage weeks capping off my first 200+ mile month are catching up with me...that and not getting enough sleep to recover, apparently. I am TIRED! Next week will feel so good only running ~43 miles. This week I have 55 on the plan, but may cut one run a little short if need be.

It's been fairly humid the last few days, too, which doesn't help matters. My lungs don't tolerate heavy, damp air well at all. In my perfect world the temps will never go over 70ºF (at least not when I am running) and the humidity will always stay <50%. In my perfect world I also wouldn't have asthma, allergies, 20+ extra pounds of body fat, stretch marks, wrinkles, leg/pit hair, dysfunctional uterus and ovaries, zits, or wide feet. Sounds like Nirvana, right?

My long run could be kinda rough this week. I have been really fortunate to be able to do all of my long runs this Summer training cycle during cool, non-muggy weather. This week could be different. Not looking forward to 18 miles in 80º with high humidity. Makes the whole hydration thing a little tricky. One can only go so far on a single 20oz. bottle, but I am loathe to wear the 2 additional 10oz. bottles on my belt. I end up feeling too much like a pack mule while running.

So I'm on my 2nd travel mug of coffee for the day...and that is helping. Phew, so thankful for legal stimulants that also taste really good, heh.

16 months until the aforementioned Last Vegas Marathon (and 1/2) and we already have over 20 of us girls committed to go. I can't wait! We're talking about making custom technical shirts for the day. I have never before found myself eagerly looking forward to the month of December.

8.01.2009

Already planning next year's race schedule

Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon and Half Marathon, December (5?), 2010. Could be the most fun weekend of my 30+ years.

...at least I hope this is the case, woot!
I think the highlight of this event won't be the mega crowds of people (that part kinda freaks me out), the sights, sounds, or other race day niceties--though all good things. What I can't wait for is partying with a bunch of my fellow runner girls in Vegas from all over the US and overseas, baby! Rock AND Roll! (and running 26.2, too!)

We're already talking about arrival dates to give us time a day or two before the race, as well as a day or two afterwards where we can enjoy playing tourist and eat and drink too much while buying cheesy souvenirs or having equally cheesy mementos permanently etched to our tired flesh. This has the potential to make for some really wild and awesome memories (and snapshots) to last a lifetime.

19%

That's how much of my Girls On the Run Sole Mates goal I have raised, thus far:
Total Donations Collected:$282
Goal: $1,500

Someone needs to get on there and out-donate my brother (Grant Anderson). As it stands he is the top donor. He is generous, but also very competitive. He likes to see his name at the top of the list. It would be super funny if someone knocked him down a notch...the added $$ to GOTR is a nice bonus.

Thanks to everyone who has already donated. I am truly blessed to know so many charitable people--especially since I have met so few of my donors in-real-life.

I forgot to include in my last post the milestone I reached yesterday. July '09 was my first 200+ mile month. I ran 204 miles. No wonder I am so tired! This month and next should also be ~200 miles. Then Oct. will be a relatively low-mileage month between taper and recovery for the Grand Rapids Marathon.

All sorts of randomness...

Last night we attended Cruz'In -- the classic car parade that is the highlight of Summer in our small community. This year was a little less thrilling than previous years. "Burnouts" have been outlawed for safety reasons, so there was a great deal less squealing tires and revving engines. Poo. It was fun watching the parade with my running buddy, Heather, and her 3 kids, hubby, and dog, though.

My legs were pretty tired going down to the parade. We live about a mile from the parade route, so we rode our bikes down. This was after I ran 18 miles earlier in the day. I had a nice run, averaging about 30 seconds/mile faster than I have on similar runs in the past. I've been incorporating more speed work (mainly marathon pace/tempo runs) into my workouts in the past month and it is really making a difference in the average pace of all of my runs.

Today I'm feeling pretty wiped-out, though. I didn't sleep well due to overworked legs and a messed-up reproductive system. If recovery from a hysterectomy wouldn't put me out of commission for 6 weeks I'd do it today. Is it wrong that I am looking forward to menopause? Endometriosis for ALL of my reproductive life has really made things pretty miserable since age 12. And now my cycles average 23 days, so I'm dealing with this garbage way more than any woman should have to. At least I have my Advil liquigels. Those things are golden.

I just told DH that I'm thinking about making more coffee...he said "make it so strong that I worry about my heart." Yeah, it's that kind of day. It's also dreary, so that's not helping either one of us to feel more alert. I need to do an easy 4 miler at some point, but I'm in no hurry.

A couple of days ago I ordered a new Road ID product. My little velcro shoe tab is starting to fall apart and I realized that the work contact # for my hubby is no longer valid, so it was time. A friend of mine gave me a heads-up about a new Road ID bracelet that will be shipping later this month -- the Wrist ID Elite. I ordered mine with an orange strap, but since the straps are interchangeable I may later get some other colors...you know, so I can be all matchy matchy, heh. The wrist strap is more likely to be seen by paramedics in the case of accident, anyhow. Several people in-the-know have said that emergency medical folks don't pay much attention to a person's shoes when they arrive on the scene, they first look for medical alert bracelets.