Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Running

So, I have had a heck of a time actually sticking to running over the summer.  I hate running when it's super hot, and since I live in Texas, I can do one of three things: 1) run SUPER early in the morning (like, before 5AM), 2) run late in the evening (it often doesn't get below 100* until 10pm, and I choose not to run when it is that hot out), or 3) run on the treadmill.  None of these options is appealing to me at all.  I have run on the treadmill 2 times, done a few night-time runs, and a few long runs on Saturday mornings around 7AM.

I'm training for the Spirit of Survival half marathon October 7.  I should really put training like this: "training", due to my lack of actual running.  Good news is I have added in weight lifting and I've only missed one session of that since we started 5 weeks ago.  I'm really enjoying my time in the (air conditioned!) gym, while I haven't been excited about running in quite a while.

I'm hoping that with cooler weather on the way, I will get back into a good running routine soon.  My goal this week is to run 3 times.  Hopefully I will do it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My recent runs

So last Saturday I did my first run post-San Diego.  I ran about 2.5 miles, nothing crazy.  My pace, however, was really strange!  I ran negative splits for the first 2 miles, and then ended up walking/running a lot slower the last half mile or so (partly because there is a big hill leading up to the end of the course I usually run on Saturdays, haha).  Anyway, I finished with a pace of 13:31, I believe, which is about a minute faster/mile than I've been running recently.  It was weird!

Monday I went on a bike ride, about a 10 mile loop with my husband.  I tried to do some running after that but only managed about half-1 mile because of the heat (and the rubber grippies on my bike shorts were pulling very uncomfortably on my skin!).

I've been slacking a lot in the fitness department lately, so I'm hoping to do better starting next week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Race Recap - San Diego!

So, I've been slacking on the blog a little bit the past week or so, but I feel like I have an excuse - I've been recovering from running the Rock and Roll San Diego half marathon on June 3!

The trip to San Diego was uneventful.  We got to check in to the hotel early, which was really nice, and then we had lunch at a nearby cafe.  Afterward we visited the expo and picked up our race packets - the shirt was the correct size, which is always a plus.  I was also happy to note it wasn't a dark color - in the past my RNR shirts have been black or navy, making them pretty much useless as training shirts, since they are too hot for sunny workouts and too dark for running at night.  This shirt is a nice light blue color. :)

My roommate for the trip ended up with a slight case of food poisoning, so I stayed in the room with her Friday night and Saturday during the day, taking the opportunity to rest, watch some TV, and read.  In retrospect I'm really glad I did this, even though I didn't get to see many of the sights in SD - my foot was trying to get sore from the small(ish) amount of walking that we did on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday we had to wake up at 3:30AM to make the 4:15 shuttle to the start line.  I am so not a morning person, but I managed to do OK, lol.  We went through the port-a-potty line a couple times, and then lounged in the grass while waiting for the start, which was at 6:15.  We lined up in the corrals after the start gun was fired and waited nearly an hour to cross the start line.

I ran with my friend for the first couple of intervals, and after that I took off on my own.  I've never raced a half marathon solo before (The Husband has always been with me in the past, barring Nike, when I had 3 teammates with me instead).  My intervals were kind of all over the place since I basically decided after the first couple of miles to just run and walk when I felt like it.  I kept up a pretty good pace, with a few faster miles here and there.

The worst part of the race was the highway on/off ramp section - there was nowhere level to run, even on the shoulders, so you were running at a slight angle.  Lots of people complained that their knees were bothering them because of this, and I was no exception.

Around mile 8 I caught my friend again and we did ~2 miles together before I had to peel off for a port-a-potty stop.  There was a good band where I stopped - Danny and the Tramp, which made the waiting in line more enjoyable.  Once I exited the "rest area"  I was ready to get to the finish.  I had about 3 or 4 miles left at that point, and this is where I started getting tired.  Mile 10 felt like the longest mile of my life, and by mile 11 my whole body was just sore and tired - especially my low back/sacrum area.

As I approached the finish line I started to feel a great sense of accomplishment - I did it!  I ran a half marathon (mostly) solo, and I didn't die, outpace myself, or anything!  It was pretty exciting.  I got my finish line photo made, grabbed some Cuties clementines, TruMoo chocolate milk, and headed for the Team in Training tent to get checked in.  Then I got a half of a PB&J and a chocolate chip cookie and got on the bus back to the hotel.

My watch time (I stopped it for my 2 port-a-potty breaks and 1 short stop where I was mixing some Gatorade with water because it wasn't dilute enough) was 3:10:49, which is about average for me.

I just registered for my 7th half marathon yesterday, which will be October 7 in Lawton, OK.  I'm taking some time to do other workouts right now, and training for that race starts in mid-July. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brick Gone Wrong

Yesterday I decided to do my second brick workout.  I went with The Husband to the usual place we ride, which is outside our city natatorium.  He was going to do some swimming drills, so I decided I'd run a mile or so while he did that.

I took off at my usual pace, and felt pretty good.  The sun was beating down on me a little, but it didn't feel too bad.  I ran longer than my usual interval, and everything was feeling pretty good.  I returned to the parking lot, dripping sweat and really, REALLY hot.  I pulled out my phone to check the weather and saw that it was 95*, with a heat index of 98*.  HOT.

I stood around waiting for The Husband to come out of the natatorium so we could ride our bikes.  Another friend was joining us, and once she and Tyler were there we started getting ready to go.  I put on my helmet, and within a minute or so I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy.  I gulped down some Nuun (Tropical flavor, which was new to me!) and tried to cool off.

After a few minutes I decided to sit down and removed my helmet.  We decided to skip the ride since I wasn't feeling too steady, and we went home.  I felt bad for making The Husband miss his scheduled ride, but it was definitely for the best.  We will try to make up for it this afternoon, but we're under a severe thunderstorm warning right now, so that may not happen.

Lesson learned - even if a run feels good, it takes some time to get reacquainted with hot-weather running!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last "long run"

Saturday I did my last "long" run before the San Diego Rock N Roll half this coming Sunday, June 3.  I was on my own for the first half of my workout, as The Husband decided to do a longer trail run instead.  I did pretty well keeping my normal pace and intervals going (my Garmin 110 doesn't have the built-in interval timer, so I look at my watch A LOT when not running with The Husband, who has our intervals set on his 305).

I spent the second half of my 5 miler walking with a teammate, who will also be my room mate in San Diego.  I noticed afterward that my back was pretty stiff, and the bottom of my two smallest toes on the right foot were a bit sore, but not blistered.  I noticed these ailments following the Cowtown half in February as well, and I think it has to do with walking more than running during a workout.  Strange!

This week I'm just hoping to get in 2 short runs, probably 2 and 3 miles.  I also want to ride my bike, but we'll see about that.  I've decided to nix the weight lifting routine until after I return from my race, because I want my legs (and the rest of me!) to be fresh and not experience lingering soreness during my travels and race.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mid-week update

So, Saturday we did a 6 mile "long" run.  I'm tapering for San Diego (June 3!), so I'm not too worried about mileage at this point.  It was a pretty good run, nothing special.

Monday The Husband and I went for our second trail run.  This time we did 3 miles around dusk (it was just getting dark as we finished up).  It was a pretty good run, except it was pretty warm and the humidity increased throughout the time we were running.  There were also some black buzzy insects that kept following us and buzzing really close to our ears, which is annoying.  And, there is this flowering shrub/vine thing, apparently ubiquitous around these parts, that is in bloom and the smell is AWFUL.  I'm sure someone would probably like it, but it's too strong and cloying, and it dries out my throat.  I think I may be mildly allergic. :-/

The evil plant looks something like this:
Abelia chinensis, courtesy of Kurt Stueber, under Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0
And can be found lining the trails and sidewalks in many areas, often right alongside the much nicer smelling honeysuckle plants.  The ones I'm seeing now aren't quite in full bloom like this, but they are already VERY fragrant.

As we were heading back to our car after the trail run we spotted a large snake.  It was dark in color, about 3' long, and 3" in diameter at the largest part.  Not sure what kind it was since it was getting dark (and, to be honest, I didn't want to get any closer!), but it was kind of creepy, haha.

Today I'm doing my first weight-lifting workout and then doing another brick.  Hope I can still move tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Brick Workout!

Yesterday I completed my first-ever brick workout.  I will be doing a lot of these until my duathlon in July to get used to the transition between running and biking and biking and running.

We did a bike/run brick around 6PM yesterday evening.  First, we biked for 10ish miles.  It was fairly uneventful, with a few good-sized hills thrown in for fun.  We saw some goats, cows, and horses while on the bike, since the route we took is in a semi-rural area.  At one point we turned on the wrong road, and as we were turning around, I was going a little too fast.  I ended up slipping off the edge of the asphalt (no curbs in rural areas, remember!) and nearly sliding down the steep edge of the ditch (no shoulder on the road, either!) while still mounted on my bike.  I managed to stop myself without falling down, but my pedal did scrape up (and subsequently bruised) the back of my right calf.  But, all's well that ends well, right? :)

Once we returned to the car, we had to put our bikes back on the car, so there was a bit of a rest in between the biking and running, but that's OK.  We ran about .75 miles, just so I could get a feel for what it's like.  It wasn't as weird as I thought it would be, but my muscles and joints definitely felt very loose and jello-y.  It was pretty warm compared to the temperatures I've been running in, so my heart rate was high and I had to walk more than usual, but it was OK.

All in all, I really enjoyed my first multisport workout experience, and I can't wait to do it again!  Tomorrow I'm doing 6 or 7 miles with the team.  I think we may go by the rec center tonight to sign up for memberships (The Husband gets a discount as a city employee), so hopefully I'll start lifting weights and taking classes, too!