Saturday, June 29, 2013

Toxic mileage

Tox-ic Miles
/ˈtäksik mīlz /
a run that is too short to build endurance, to slow to build aerobic or anaerobic capacity, not hilly enough to build eccentric resistance, then it is toxic

Yep that sound about right. That sums up today's run to end my 2nd week of half marathon training. My schedule this week was:

Sunday - 5k race
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 4mi EZ
Wednesday - Yoga
Thursday - 5mi EZ
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 4mi EZ

Sunday was supposed to be 7mi, but I had signed up for a race that day, so I skipped it. The beginning of this week went well. I competed all I was supposed to in the ranges I was supposed to. Which brings me to today. I have been lacking on sleep lately, and I went to sleep last night at around midnight. So when I woke up at my normal weekday time of 5:45am, I thought it'd be better if I just went back to sleep to catch up on some ZZZ's. This was mistake number 1. When I woke up again at 8:00, I felt completely un-rested, groggy, and heavy, like I had overslept. I felt fine when I wok up at 5:45, I should just gotten up and ran then. My second mistake, not eating or drinking anything before I ran.

By 8:30, it was already 81 degrees out. I had to force myself out the door. The heaviness and grogginess was very present on my run. My breathing was sooooo out of control and my HR was through the rough! Near the beginning of my run, I dropped my phone, which is my GPS (I really, really need to get a watch), I dropped my phone. i picked it up and made sure it wasn't damaged, and continued to run. At some point a while later, I looked down to see how close to ending the torture run I was, when I noticed I'd apparently only gone .43mi (I'm assuming when I dropped my phone the GPS stopped) and the pace for the .43mi was 11:09/mi. Are you kidding me? That was the final straw. I threw in the towel right then and there and turn around and ran home.  I was supposed to do 4 miles today, but I have no clue how many I did. I'm positive I didn't make the full 4, but I definitely went more than .43mi. How can run 2:30/mi slower than my race pace feel so. excruciatingly. difficult? It is days like this that makes me wonder why in the hell-o kitty I run. On the hopefully flip side, usually after a disastrous run like this, I usually have a great run the next day which is good because I have a 9mi long run tomorrow.

Have you had a disastrous run recently?
How did you get back on your feet?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reno 5000 Race #2

I was really looking forward to this run. I signed up a while back, and for some reason, I though this was going to be my race. I had this great picture in my mind of 1st in my AG. I checked all of the races from the Reno 5000 (they hold 3 races a year) for the past 4 years. Even if I didn't PR in this race and just got close, i would place. They even have a podium and the Reno Gazette Journal took pictures of overall and AG winners 3 deep. Here is how the race went:

I woke up at about 5AM and did a shakeout run. I always hate shakeout runs, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. I'm not even sure if it helps, but I still do it anyway. After my shakeout, I normal pre-race breakfast is bagel with peanut butter. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy some last night and they don't make them that early, so I had to go with a piece of bread with peanut butter. I arrived at the race at about 7:15 (the race started at 7:40). I did a warm up of about .5 miles and 4 strides. This was a race of about 1000 people, and the last bigger race I ran I started out in the back and spent the next mile dodging walkers. This time I lined up near the middle frontish. When the race started, I tried starting my GPS, but it went to some weird screen. I tried backing out and restarting the app, but it went back to this weird screen. After some time, I was finally able to get it going. This particular race started and ended with one lap around a high school track. It took me the entire first lap to get my GPS going. I think this was my first mistake, because I was messing with my GPS, I was running really slow and a lot of people passed me.

Once I got started I was feeling pretty good, I soon got over that feeling. I am not sure why, but this was a rough run for me. My effort was too high, for not getting a PR! In the beginning, I tried staying with a group of runners, but I couldn't keep up. Then, one woman passed me who sounded super winded, I thought I could keep up with her because she was sounding so tired. I never saw her again. This "flat and fast" course, turned out to have more hills than I predicted. I don't do hills. Even the little humps on the sidewalk where a driveway starts, I think are too big of a hill. Needless to say, I struggled some. I usually get really excited and a surge of energy comes to me when I can see the finish. This was not true for today. As I entered the parking lot of the high school, a woman passed me. I tried so hard to keep her with me, with plans to pass her in the end, as we rounded the final lap of the track she took off, and I had absolutely nothing left. I found out later, that final woman to pass me was the 3rd place in my age group winner. I am bummed. I wanted a PR or AG placing so bad. I was so bummed, I didn't even partake in any of the post race goodies. I didn't even bother to have anyone take my picture.

I did however take a picture of my awesome personalized bib!

 I really need to work on my losing skills. My final time was 26:43 58th overall, 4th in age group. Oh well, in order to pick myself up off the floor, I singed up for another 5k on the 4th of July. It's good to have bad races because I learn so much more from a race I perceive as going wrong than I do from races I think I succeed in.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bring it on!

Today marks the first official day of my half marathontraining journey. Having never run more than 10 miles consecutively, I’m a little nervous about running 15 miles as my longest run. But I’m sure just like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

 I recently joined a running group I found on I was a little shy to start running with a bunch of people I've never met before, but then I remembered how much I love the running community and how accepting mostof them are. Yesterday, I went to my first group run. This “group” run turned out to be me and one other guy named Dale. Dale has been a runner since before my mother even had the twinkle in her eye. He has run over 52 marathons, his fastest being 2:34. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. However, he is now 60 years old, so that gave me a bit of a handicap. We ran a 2 mile loop 3 times and did strides for the last 0.5mi on the last 2 loops. He let me set the pace. Which was nice, but I felt like I was holding him back. I thought about pretending to have contracted some strange new virus that left me weak and unable to run as fast as I normally was capable of, but I decided to save him the theatrics and just run.

For my training plans, I use an app called Runkeeper. It has a plethora of training plans from 5k to a full marathon. It even has a training plan for just losing weight. When you choose a plan it automatically loads it for you when you run and tells you when to speed up, or slow down, etc. It even tells you the pace you should be maintaining during each run. The best part, it’s a free app for the iPhone!
 Ok, enough of the Runkeeper commercial. For the past 4 months I was using the sub 60 min 10k training plan. I loved it; it helped me go from a 10:00/mi 5k to 8:30/mi. So I am putting my faith in this program for my half marathon. I signed up for the sub 2:15 half marathon training plan. Although, my goal is actually a sub 2:05, they didn’t have a plan for that, so I will just run the suggested paces a little bit faster. Now, before I go completely off track, Dale said if I sent him my training plan, he would tweak it to my fitness level and goals. He has been a running coach for 16 years and has coached some really elite athletes. So I am very much looking forward to his input. I am excited to be part of this new running group. He told me about some of the other runners, they all sound like the American equivalents of Kenyans, but I’m looking forward to the challenge I think I can learn a lot from them. I will have to channel my inner “little engine that could” to get through some of their planned workouts, but all I've got to say (at least for right now while I’m feeling brave) is “BRING IT ON!”

Is anyone part of a running group?
How have you liked it?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Running Pop Quiz #1

I found the running pop quiz on hungryrunnergirl. She just came out with a running pop quiz # 2, which I will respond to at a later time, but I really liked the questions.

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
GU gives me a stomach ache, so i switched to energy chews. My favorite by far are the Energy Blasts by PowerBar. I feel the energy really quickly with no side effects. The ones with caffeine are the best.
2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I have only officially raced a 5k, but I have done a 10k in some of the relay races I have done, and I am currently training for a half. I am a sprinter at heart, so I have to go with a 5k!

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
I own each one of these, but my favorites are shorts, spandex shorts that is. I have bigger legs, so the loose shorts will slowly ride up in the middle, but spandex stays put. I really do like skirts though. I feel like I'm running free when wearing them.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
I don't think anything beats out, plain old fashioned cold water. It's what I crave!

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
COLD!!! Anything more than 65 degrees, and I don't want to go outside. 

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
I am not very brand loyal. I have ran in Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. If they feel good, I'll wear them. 

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
Bagel and peanut butter is where it's at!

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
I say twice per week, but that's only because that's what my training schedule tells me to do. :)

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
If you asked me 2 months ago, I would have said I would never leave the house with my music but, since I have actually discovered that I enjoy running. I like to go without. Running is my time to get away from it all and focus on me. No distractions, just me and the road.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphin's  you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?
I love running, because I love to race. I am a very competitive person. I love the feeling of improving myself and seeing the actual improvements.  Oprah said it best when she said "“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Running Full Circle

Just finished my favorite type of training run...intervals on the track. I found this training plan online that had a great interval ladder training.
10 minute warm up, 1x1000m, 2x800m, 3x400m, 4x200m, 10 min cool down. I had so much fun doing this workout. Most people say they feel so free running, I couldn't agree more with that than I did today. I don't know why, but I swear, I feel invincible when I am running faster. Like no one can touch me. I feel like I'm riding top down, wind blowing through me hair. Even though I run as slow as snail snot, it's still great. I was really in the zone today. I haven't ran a 200 since high school, 10 years ago. (Side note, my 10 year high school reunion is in July and I am super duper excited!!! Now back to running matters.)

 All was going really well until a couple on bikes, for whatever reason thought it would be a great idea to ride around on the track. I don't get it. Is it really that fun to ride around in a circle? The neighborhood I was in was full of pike paths, parks, and sidewalks. Apparently, all the lovely bike paths the great city of Reno has invested in weren't good enough for them.I don't understand why they felt they felt the need to ride on the track, and go incredibly slow. I mean, I was running faster than them. Luckily they only went around twice. Okay enough of the ranting.


I averaged 6:48/mi on my intervals alone. Why can't I tap into that speed when I need to go longer than 1000m? After much deliberation, I have concluded that I lack stamina. I think after my 5k on the 23rd, I am going to have to start doing tempo runs regularly, to beef my stamina up. I hope I break some records on the 23rd...personal that is.

Gotta love my matching skills. Saucony visor,
Brooks shirt, Fila bottoms, and Asics shoes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running with the Cows Race Recap

This was my first 5k since the Safe and Healthy Homes 5k I did in the middle of May.

This was an interesting race. It was held in Fallon, NV (about an hour from Reno). This 5k was
a 5k for the rest of us". The way this 5k was set up was that runners started in waves according to their weight. The more a person weighed, the sooner they'd start. Each group started 2 minutes after the previous group, and the timer officially started with the last group starts. I was in the very last group, so I started 12 minutes after the first group took off. This was fun because, I was able to pass a ton of people. It's a good ego booster. I wish I would have kept track of how many, but I didn't. This was probably the first race ever where I wasn't passed.

I have 3 complaints about this race:

  1. It was way too hot! I know this wasn't the race directors fault, but it was a scorcher. I felt like I could have went a lot faster had we had some shade along the way.
  2. There were about 6 or 7 turns on the route. I think the best races are comprised of one big loop, or out and back. The entire time I was wondering where in the heck I was going.
  3. This was supposed to be a "flat and fast" route, not so. According to my GPS was a slow incline the entire way. I hate any type of incline. I am horrible at hills.
The cool things about this race were:
  1. It was only a $20 entry fee.
  2. We got Tech shirts and not the cheap cotton shirts.
  3. Everyone got finishers medals.
 I had a lot of expectations for this race because I just finished running the Reno Tahoe Odyssey. Which is a 12 person team relay race that covers 178 miles. During my legs I was consistently running sub 9 minute miles, so I really wanted to finish this 5k with an average of sub 9:00/mi. Mission accomplished. I finished with an overall time of 26:27. A new PR by 1:43 minutes! This averages out to 8:32/mi. Since I started running in February, I have shaved off about 5 mins from my overall time. 

I am excited for my next race, another 5k on June 23rd.

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