Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Running home, again

Running up the trail two days in a row, sigh.  We went to camp this morning and there wasn't much running, so it wasn't too tough to run home in that sense.  Averaged around 8:30s and felt okay, though not as easy as some weeks.  But all morning my feet have been sore.  I don't feel like my hamstrings are too tight anymore, but heels still hurt.  Adam suggested calf exercises, so I've been doing some calf raises.  If I'd gone to the gym for my run yesterday, I fully intended to seek out some calf machines, but alas, I ran in the rain, so my calf weakness remains.  Is the plural calves or calfs? 

So I totaled up my mileage today.  I beat June 2009 by 6.1 miles.  That means my 2010 YTD deficit is down to about 3 miles.  I could kill that tonight if I wanted!  But I think I'm on track.  July will probably be lighter than last year, but August and Sept could be a bit more intense than last year.  And if not, I'll make it up in Oct and Dec, which were both low last year. 

If I manage to qualify this fall, then obviously spring training would happen.  But even if I don't qualify, I've been thinking about running White Sands, possibly in the female civilian heavy division, though I've never done anything remotely like that before.  But WWII in general and Bataan specifically has always interested me, and I've heard the survivors are now in single digits, so if I want to do White Sands and meet them, I need to do it in 2011 or 2012.  So many ideas.  I need to go one step at a time, get hubby to do his 10 mile registration today and then get plane tickets for MTCM!!  And more immediately, I need to email Joy the plan for tomorrow so she can run with us again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June > 130 barring injury OR RAIN I should have said

Woke up to thunder this morning, along with pouring rain hitting the back porch door (having major exterior work done, so our glass overhang isn't there to shield the door).  I lay around trying to decide what to do and finally checked my email -- no group run.  Their rule is that running in the rain is good but running in lightning is bad.  Good rule.  So I finally got up and decided to go to the gym with hubby, since he was certain he was not going to run outside.  I knew I'd planned to do 7 miles this morning, but the schedule said 6-8 and I was going to give myself a pass to go only 6 miles if I had to do it on the dreadmill.  I got dressed (in a black running shirt, which I rarely wear for outdoor running so I'm more visible) and kept sticking my head out to see how much it was raining.  As he was getting ready to leave, I decided I'd just run the trail alone, leaving off the quarter mile at the bottom of the trail, which would put me at 7.2, so I grabbed a hat and headed out the door. 

The trail was deserted.  Didn't see a soul until about 2 miles in, and I probably only saw about 15-20 people total in all 6.5 miles on the trail.  I actually like running in the rain, and there aren't tons of opportunities to do so here since we usually have nice sunny weather.  It was a pretty steady but light rain for about 4.5 miles, just to my southernmost u-turn.  I made the turn and started heading home, and less than 3 minutes later it started to really rain.  I ended up turning on my ipod (disregarding Adam's questions about i-pods, rain and electrocution) around mile 5, and the rain started easing up by about mile 6.  But the damage was done at that point -- my shorts were sticking to my thighs, and my shirt was sticking to my belly.  Blech.  I made it home and was proud of myself for leaving clean dry clothes right by the front door so I could change (and fortunately because of the rain, I didn't have to worry about being seen changing by the workers). 

I was all excited b/c I figured I'd do some great stretching since I was home and wearing dry clothes.  But I was really thirsty since I had just used the fountains on the trail, so I hurried to make a smoothie and breakfast, and next thing you know, I was in the shower (after having driven halfway to my husband's work since he had forgotten his shoes AND had forgotten that he had a spare pair that would work in his trunk, which he fortunately remembered before I got all the way there), and I hadn't really stretched at all.  Oops. 

I was guessing my pace was going to be very easy, and started off around 9:30s for the first mile or so (to the top of the trail, where I started marking my exact mile splits).  I stayed pretty slow but steady then:  8:45, 8:54, 8:52 (included quick water), 8:50, and 9:05.  My overall pace (including 3 quick water stops) was 9:07.  The best part though is that I think I exceeded my 2009 June mileage today (and if I didn't I will tomorrow), so I'm now starting to make a small dent in my 9 mile deficit. 

A blog I read (Becca Runs Boston) had a new year's resolution mid-point check, and I thought that was a good idea.  I had 2 running-related resolutions, and 2 kind-of-running-related resolutions: 

First was to run 1300 or more miles for the year.  2009 tallied up at 1284, and I figured I could easily beat that by not completely slacking for the whole month of October (less than 100 miles in 2009).  Last year my April was really light (less than 40 miles), but that was the whole "getting married in Italy and then honeymooning in Europe" thing.  So I thought that might be another place to build in a little cushion.  But since we took such a big vacation for our first anniversary (furthest point from home was probably St. Pete or Moscow), I ran more miles in April than 2009, but slacked more in May, since we didn't come home until mid-May, and we'd come back from our honeymoon about May 8 last year. 

Second was a marathon time goal.  So I can't tell yet how I'm doing on that resolution.  I'm certainly doing the training so far, but it's so early in the season, and I've learned quite well (Chicago 07!!!!) that even the best training is worthless if they cancel the marathon mid-way through or something.  All it takes is one bad day.  But hopefully I'll run at least 2 marathons this fall, and hopefully I'll hit my resolution time at one of them. 

Third, more tangential, was to lose weight.  My goal was 7 pounds from my Jan. 1, 2010 weight.  Complete fail so far.  I went up about 4 pounds in March and now seem to be hovering about 2 pounds up for 1/1/10.  I was actually down 1 from 1/1/10 on Friday, but I think the dinner party and its aftermath destroyed that.   My weight has been within the same 5-pound range for a couple years now for the most part (a few freakish times up or down, but mostly steady).  If I want to get serious about losing the 7 (now 9) pounds, I could really try, but I don't think it's really a priority.  I kind of feel like I'm working out enough right now to maintain, and I eat pretty much whatever I want, so it's not worth it to me to sacrifice that to lose some weight.  I think I make healthy food choices most of the time, but a short time in Africa about 10 years ago has also made me kind of neurotic about wasting food.  So on the fairly rare occasions that we have dessert in the house (like now, leftovers from the dinner party), I can't bring myself to waste it.  My husband doesn't really like sweets, so that whole lemon pound cake is on my shoulders (actually, more on my thighs).  I also tend to overeat at things like an antipasto buffet (about once a month) or at my fave vegan Chinese Thanksgiving place (but that's only about 4 times per year).  At restaurants I make okay choices and usually eat till I'm full and take the rest home.  My husband is lucky we weren't together after I got back from Africa, when I was at the neurotic point where I'd basically pressure friends to either clean their plates at a restaurant, or take their leftovers with them, or give it to me for my box.  Even if I give the leftovers away to a homeless person, it's so much better than wasting.  Seeing people who really have so little changed my life completely from just hearing about it or seeing pictures.  Anyway, the other way I'm lucky in terms of my eating is because I don't grocery shop and my husband doesn't like junk food, so there's pretty much none in the house.  I'll get him to buy popcorn and white chocolate chips for me (to add to yogurt), but that's about it for snacks other than things like fruit, veggies and sandwiches.  So I should try to at least lose 2 pounds from today, to be back to my 1/1/10 weight, but I would guess that will happen naturally a week or two before the marathon, as it usually does.  So maybe this resolution is being kind of abandoned. 

My last tangentially related resolution was to improve my posture.  That should strengthen my core (and improve my running indirectly), but I pretty much never do it except for about 60 seconds per week when I happen to see the resolution.  Even at the beginning of this post, I looked at my list to see how many resolutions related to running, and I sat up straight when I saw that one.  But by the time I finished writing about the last resolution and before I started writing this one, I was already back to sitting slouched over.  No idea how to make myself do it.  At least I've stopped crossing my legs most of the time, which was a resolution last year I think (or it was the beginning of this year and I linked it to posture).  Either way, that one needs a lot of work. 

Anyway, the calendar today says to buy plane tickets to Minneapolis!  That might get delayed until the weekend, but it's exciting to be doing the planning.  My husband is going to do the 10 mile race there, but he needs to do his registration this week before they open the lottery for the general public.  Tomorrow he can do that, then I'll get the plane tickets.  MTCM, here we come!  (Or in his case, MTC10-miler, here we come!)  I need to remind one of my brothers, my mom and some other family to enter the lottery next week.  The more runners, the better!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Since this is my first real blog (I technically write the content for another blog but I'm not the author, instead someone else posts it, long story), I figured I'd do a trial run of inserting a photo, since I just emailed my mom and one of our dinner guests a picture of it.  Anyway, a recipe from my mom, my birthday cake request for probably 15 years, and something I just remembered a few weeks ago and decided to try making.  One piece remains -- dessert tonight or lunch tomorrow! 

Easy Weekend

I was so relieved to be stepping back this weekend, only 10 miles on Sunday.  The dinner party on Fri night was so much fun that we were pretty much unable to move all day Saturday.  I don't drink very often, probably about 1 glass of wine per week on average, but I drank enough Fri night to last for the year probably -- between 8 of us, we had 1 bottle of vodka, 2 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of prosecco and 1 bottle of limoncello.  So Saturday was spent primarily on the couch.  I felt a lot better at 5 a.m. on Sunday, but I don't think more than about 12 miles would have been very pretty...  We ran an easy 10 to the trail, all the way down to the bottom, and then part of our camp route in reverse.  I didn't keep track of the total time, but it was probably 8:50-9 running average, probably more like 10s with stops.  I spent most of Sunday relaxing some more and had one glass of sangria last night at book club, and it was delicious but it was still too soon for me!  But fortunately all the (lemon pound) cake I ate at and after the dinner party didn't put me in cake overload, so I was able to eat a big piece at book club -- it was strawberry and incredibly delicious! 

I ran about 1.7 easy this morning at camp, a loop with Museum Way, and then in the parking lot.  Ran with Joy for the loop, which was nice.  Tomorrow is 6-8 easy, Thurs is more easy with strides, and then we have to run on Sat b/c Sunday is the 4th.  I'm not sure what to do about Saturday's run.  My original plan was to get dropped off, run the 14 with the group, and then add 1.5-2 miles solo at the end to run home.  But then I realized that there are some good local races that day, particularly a 10k at 8:00.  I really, really, really would like a 10k PR.  I think I'd just need to average about 7:45s and I'd have it.  The questions in my mind are could I do 7:45s right now?  Could I do it on top of a 14 miler?  Would there even be time logistically?  I guess I'll wait until I see the route for Saturday.  The problem is, the group 14 would start at 5:30, so even if we averaged 10 mins/mile including all the water stops, we'd be done around the start time for the race.  Maybe I'll just have to skip the racing this year.  Or maybe I can see if Katie wants to do the race and run a couple miles easy beforehand, and then a few easy afterward.  That would be ideal, but I don't know what her plans are.  I could also check with Joy, which might be perfect too.  I'd already asked about her plans for the 4th and they didn't really have any.  She might be willing to race the 10k and then run a couple easy, and I could do a couple solo before the race.  The more I think about it, the more I think one of those plans would be best.  Maybe if they're both interested in running that morning, I could do some easy miles with one first, then the race, then easy miles with the other afterward!  But that's all contingent on the race being worth it, if I can't bust out the 7:45s, there's really no point, instead I should just do the easy miles.  But this will be a great 10k course if it's not too hot.  And why would it be too hot in Dallas in July?! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Easy, peasy

Maybe the recipe to feel good again was to back off a bit.  We ran about 1.2 at camp (about 900, followed by a bunch of 200s), and then I ran up the trail toward home with Russell.  He stayed with me for just over 2 miles -- passed negative energy to the bridge.  I think the pace might have been a little faster than he wanted, but he didn't complain and it felt great for me -- 10:30s basically.  So nice! 

The soles of my feet are killing me.  I've been spending so much time standing in the kitchen getting ready for this dinner party tonight.  And then I couldn't sit during breakfast today because again, too sweaty.  I should get one of those padded/gel mats like Anna has.  Anyway, we're basically ready for tonight.  The to-do list for today is things like buying alcohol and flowers, stuffing the mushrooms, cleaning up a bit, and then heating things up and/or setting them out.  I'm planning to leave work a little early because I have a vision for tonight.  It's 6:30, I'm wearing a dress and perfume, sitting on the couch sipping my seabreeze and the doorbell rings.  Everything is done, the kitchen is clean, the dishwasher is empty.  Instead of the typical, I'm wearing what I had on at work, I'm drinking but I'm frantically putting things in the oven or taking them out, nothing is set out yet for appetizers (even though it's all prepared and just has to go into the bowls), and people come inside and ask what they can do to help.  I'm convinced that if I'm just chilling, there would be no need to even offer. 

Anyway, I'm icing my feet now.  Stretched my hamstrings before bed last night and that seems to have helped.  No foot pain while running at all.  Sore ankles from camp though.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Running Greatness Streak Ends

Well, I had told Adam that I was worried about peaking too soon this year b/c I just had such a great streak of about 10 days of awesome runs (even though I tuckered out on the last time up Loving hill each week).  No worries now, the streak is over.  Hopefully to repeat in mid-Sept and then the first week of Oct! 

Felt pretty bad this morning and can't pinpoint why.  Best guess is lack of sleep.  We were up really late getting ready for this dinner party, making dips, setting the table, prepping other recipes.  Then we went to bed and heard noise from people camping outside our house.  This seems to happen about once a year or so, whenever there's a big release at the Apple store.  I guess a new phone comes out today.  Either way, one person started camping more than a week ago.  Then a few days ago, there was a second person.  But those two were camping right outside the store and the only ones in line.  Well, last night the line size grew exponentially, long enough to stretch for blocks toward the residential area.  I seriously don't get it.  I wonder if most people are going to resell them at a profit, in which case, depending on the profit and your circumstances, it might be worth camping.  Or are these people who just really need to have the phone the first day?  I heard the person in the second tent was paid $500 to wait in the line and I was like $500 for three days of your life?  Who on earth would do that?  I guess if I were in college or grad school maybe, but right now I can't see agreeing to that. 

Oh well, I saw the crowd this morning and at first thought it was people out running and was worried my clock was wrong and I was late.  But then I saw all the chairs and the semblance of a line and realized what was going on.  They all seemed very "up and about" given that it was about 5:10 a.m. 

The second bad factor was the heat.  It's Texas and it's June, it's always hot and I get that.  And I actually don't mind it.  It doesn't usually bother me when I run, unless I'm running in full sun and don't have a hat or visor (and sometimes even then it gets me, but if it's not sunny, I'm good).  But this morning before we even started running, it felt oppressively hot and humid.  As I understand, the temps are at their lowest just before sunrise, and our lows are about 80 these days, so it was probably only 83 or so.  Shouldn't have been an issue.

Anyway, the schedule was 7-9, which means 8 to me.  I felt like I was struggling before we hit mile 1.  So that made me think the problem also might have been last night -- I had a late sushi dinner, which probably isn't great fuel, even though mine had a lot of brown rice.  But one of the good things about running with a group is that I really wanted to keep up with them -- for the conversation and for pride.  We had a nice run out to the lake, and hit the water at 4.16.  A majority of the group decided to keep going to make it 4.5 (for 9), but I and two others u-turned then.  Within the first mile on the way back, I was struggling and when asked how I was doing, told them to go ahead without me, that I was okay and knew the route.  David said we'd just dial it back to 8:45s.  A few minutes later, the big shortcut came up, and I took it, along with Tony -- I again told him it was fine for him to go, and he said "you'll only hear birds chirping when you ask me if there are any complaints to walking a bit".  We walked under the bridge to the parallel road and then started walking up the hill while we waited for David to run up to the next road, go across the bridge up there, and then catch up to us.  He caught us right at the top of the hill, which means I got to score a whole uphill walk!  Just like back in my walk/run days!  I managed to stay with them the rest of the way, but I think the pace was much slower than on the way out.  I wanted to walk but realized that David would probably stop with me, and he had a flight at 8:50, so I felt the pressure!  We ended up just over 8 in 1:12, running avg of 8:37s (or straight up 9s if you include the water stop times).  All in all, fine. 

Tight left hamstring when stretching afterward, still some heel pain on both sides, mostly on the right. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Running Home from Camp

We had a tough camp this morning, including 30/30 hard/easy intervals for about .7, then 6 mins of hard on the trail broken up with an exercise every minute, then a bit more running after the trip on the trail.  I was in a group of 6 and we were insanely lucky when we had to roll the dice for our exercises -- rolled 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 3, leaving us w/o ever getting a 5 or a 6 (50 hindu squats or 60 cherry pickers).  That meant doubles of 10 spider lunges and 30 squat hops, but it could have been way worse.  And they were all honest rolls! 

Anyway, I ran home solo after camp up the trail, felt like I was struggling to stay at my goal pace of 8:30ish, but ended up at 8:18 and 8:23, plus a 4:11 to finish.  Not bad, but I was completely soaked by the time I got home.  For some reason I seem to be a million times sweatier after an hour of camp and a few miles of running, than I am after about 8 miles of running.  So curious! 

Drank a G2 at home and had cereal for breakfast, all standing up b/c I didn't want to sweat on anything.  Normally I could put down a towel and sit at the table, but the table is all set (with both leafs in it) for a dinner party we're having this weekend, and even the bathroom towels are clean and fresh, so I couldn't use them w/o having to do more laundry.  So I ate while standing.  Plan for tomorrow is 7-9 easy (hopefully 8), and then I'll pick up a couple easy miles on Fri after camp to run home with Russell, which will be a first in more than a year.  I think if I hit my plans for the next week or so, I'll finish up June at about 132, which is just over last year's 130.  That will put my YTD deficit at 7 (currently at 9).  But I expect July and Aug to be lower than last year, so I might need to push through in Oct more than last year.  Goal for the year is 1200 I think. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Scheduled to run 6 on hills today, and we did a modified three bears loop that avoided a blind curve.  We did the loop twice and it ended up short, we came in at 5.6.  So I stretched, esp the hamstrings, and then went home and headed out for the trail for a bit extra.  I ran to the trail and then south a quarter mile past the marker, and then back home, for an extra 1.2.  I stretched more at home too but in talking with Adam, I think I need to incorporate calf raises and good mornings back into my routine to strengthen my legs a bit more.  I'm icing my hamstrings right now and did the soles of my feet today as well.  Yesterday I iced only once, and will hope to do it a couple more times today. 

Plan for tomorrow is XT and then a run home up the trail for another 2.8, aiming for 8:30s.  Might have company for some or all of it if former XT buddy meets me there, and will be so happy to have the company that I'll let his pace dictate.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sore Feet for First Post

So I started a blog. Journey toward MTCM this year on 10/3/10. I'm about 3 weeks into training. My scheduled easy 13 for Sunday turned into 15.6, as generally expected. We ran up to Meadow and across the Tollway just barely (about half a mile past water), then returned. Just before the 9 mile water stop, I caught up to Tom, who was running with Rebecca for the first time I'd seen. It was fun to run with them, even though the group picked up the pace more than I wanted. The best news was Tom said they'd woken up late and therefore were going to run a few extra miles afterward on the trail -- I asked if they'd keep me company for part of the run home, and they agreed. So it was worth the struggle to stay with them back to the finish, then get some water and head back out, because I didn't have to run home all alone. They turned around after about half a mile on the trail, leaving me with about .8 alone back to the house. I ran about .5 more, then walked the rest. It had been so nice to have company! I got home and drank my Accellerade. I stepped tenderly the rest of the day, including at ikea...

The bottoms of my feet are VERY sore, a bit more so on the right. Adam suggested it could be tight hamstrings, and I'm now willing to bet he's right. Hammies definitely feel tight, not sure why I didn't connect that to the bottoms of my feet, guess I just didn't know how long those muscles are. I tried some stretching last night, and then opted not to run at all this morning. Instead I did lots of shoulder work... But I also stretched today and I've iced the bottom of my right foot once at work so far and will hopefully do a couple more times.

Tomorrow is 6 on hills, probably two loops of the new "three bears." And Joy is joining again!

P.S.  This is an odd first post.  The blogger who kind of inspired me to start writing, Bella (linked on the side), suggested I just write about whatever suits me.  Some days it's a run recap, some days something else.  Anyway, I added an About Me tab, which is a better indicator of this blog than this first post is.