Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 6 and Ragnar Prep

12 miles felt great! After last week's tired 10 miles, I was actually a little worried going into my Thursday morning long run.  Last week, I hadn't eaten that morning (busy!) and had hardly eaten anything the night before so I was plodding a little more than usual but this week I was fueled up and felt great the entire 12 miles. Pretty sure I could have gone a few more. I also tried out the Clif Shot Bloks for the first time this week and I liked them! I had the strawberry kind and each little square basically tastes like a giant fruit snack. I tucked one into my jaw and slowly chewed on it while I ran. I'm just not really sure how often to eat them while I'm running. In that 12 miles, I had 4 of them and a bottle of Gatorade and I felt pretty good so I guess that was enough. When I have gels, I always have one after an hour and then another every 15-20 after that. Oh, and I tried Sports Beans last week and I have to pass on those. Way to hard to chew jelly beans and run. Just didn't work for me.

This week I am also in the midst of putting together a neighborhood team for the Ragnar Relay-Wasatch Back June 2010. It's a 188 mile race that you and your team run by each having 3 different legs of the course. It's challenging not only because of the mountain terrain but also because of the exhaustion of running through the night.  It may sound terrible but most people who have run it loved it! (Just more proof that runners are indeed crazy.) So far we have 6 definite team members and, like, 4 maybes. We need 12 so hopefully our maybes all come through. I'll be recruiting pretty hard for the next few days because we'd like to register our team before the end of the month.

Let's see. What else? Oh, only 4 more long runs before the marathon! 14, 16, 18, and 20.  The rest of my long-ish runs will be 6 or 8 miles, which will feel like nothing compared to the others. Anyway, when I thought of that today I couldn't help but see that light at the end of the tunnel for the first time. I am really about to realize this dream! Crazy! 77 more days!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 5

After dropping Cooper off at preschool at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning, I jumped on the treadmill just long enough to realize that something is wrong with my treadmill (oh no!) and I then hopped off as quickly as I got on, grabbed my Garmin and headed outside for my tempo run.  I love to run outside so this was no problem. I've only been running on the treadmill a little more lately to stave off any more IT band issues. So far, it's working. The tempo run was challenging, by design, but fairly quick so I was able to squeeze it in and get a shower before having to be at Coleman's school to volunteer at 10. I definitely didn't properly warm up, cool down or stretch, though. That's how it goes some days.

On Thursday, Will had the day off, Cooper still had preschool and Coleman was invited to a friend's to play so Will and I decided to do our 10 mile run together. It was really nice to run with him but I realized during this run how obsessed I am with my Garmin. I am a true running gadget geek! You see, Will wore it on this run because I was wearing this cute, new pullover with longer sleeves and little thumb holes in the cuffs. It's designed to keep your hands warmer while you run. Anyway, the Garmin would look weird over my sleeve so I asked Will to wear it.  But I realized really quickly how much I rely on that little piece of equipment. Every couple minutes, I was asking Will what our pace was or how many miles we had gone.  I just had to know!  After the first 3-4 miles, I calmed down and trusted him to keep us on pace and that he did!  He even pushed us to beat our sought after pace by an average of 5 seconds/mile.  Maybe running with a partner ain't so bad. :) Oh, and I also learned on this run that although these Sport Beans are really tasty it is NOT fun trying to chew and run and breathe all at the same time. I'm going back to Hammer Gels.

Today, I had 50 minutes to run at a moderate pace. I'm already noticing that my moderate pace keeps getting faster and faster each week. That makes me really excited because that just means I'm getting in better shape which is exactly what I want right now.  Today's run pace was helped out by fellow trail runner. I don't know her name. I actually don't know her at all.  I just saw a girl running up ahead of me, maybe about a half of a mile or so.  And I thought, "I can catch up with her."  So, I started running at a pretty good pace, pushing myself a little faster than normal to catch up to her.  She was pretty fast so she stayed ahead of me for a while but about 23 minutes into my run a caught up to her and passed her just before I had to turn around and head back. Ahhh! Sweet victory!  Am I the only one who competes with other runners to push myself?! Something tells me no.  In fact, I've had other runners pass me and I'm sure they felt the same way.  Bottom line- I ran today at a pace that was 22 seconds faster per mile than last week's moderate run. That's something!

So, another good week of training. Luckily, the IT band held up all week with not even a twinge. (Yay!) And I'm feeling ready to start another week!

I leave you with a pick of the new run cap I bought this week. Love it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 4- How'd it go?

Well, week 4 felt good! I didn't run last Saturday so made up for it on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a rest day. The book says if you miss a day just skip it but I have a really hard time doing that. I don't want to miss I ran a little more than I was supposed to this week but I axed my cross-training day so I think it all worked itself out.

Yesterday, I ran a 10k just for fun.  I think I'll need to run one or two more races before the marathon just to keep up motivation and have a little bit of fun.  This race was challenging! It was 6.2 miles alongside Mt.Timpanogos, lots of hills on a dirt trail with loose gravel.  It's great fun to push myself so that part was perfect! But the race was so poorly organized that I don't see myself running it again.  First of all, there was a 5k, 10k, and 10k relay.  The relay teams were all confused about where they would trade off at. There was only one start time for both the 5k and 10k, even though we started 1/4 mile apart. We heard the gun go off over at the 5k start and the volunteer was like, ", go!" "What?!" See what I mean? So confusing. And to top it off, there was absolutely no water along the course. Just seemed crazy to me. The awards were only 2 deep, in 4 categories- 1st and 2nd men over/under 40 and 1st and 2nd women over/under 40. When I told Will all about it, he was like, "It's probably just their first race." But this was their 3rd year! Poorly organized races definitely make you appreciate the ones that are well organized. All that being said, at least they gave out nice t-shirts. Ha ha! (Update 10/13/09: Come to find out I actually won this race in the under 40 female division! They finally posted the results today and there I was, in first place. I didn't know it though because they actually gave my prize to someone else. Oh man...)

Here's a pic of the elevation changes in that race. Hills galore!

And a pic of the view of Mount Timpanogos temple from the finish.

On to Week 5!

Spirit of the Marathon

Just watched this movie and was moved to tears. I dare anybody to watch it and not want to run a marathon! 

I really identified with the woman (Lori, I think) who was running her first and trained on her own. I, too, love to run by myself. I just love the alone time. Just being alone with my thoughts and sorting out things in my head. I've lost miles where I hardly knew that I was running. Running is definitely my chosen form of therapy. Not sure how sane I'd be without it! ;) That being said, I'm thrilled that Will is going to be by my side on race day. If running a marathon is a metaphor for life than it wouldn't be right to do it all alone.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 3- finished!!

I ran the required 9 miles this morning and my 3rd week of training is now done! Feels SO good to mark a big X over the completed days of training on my training schedule.  Each run gets me one step closer to 26.2 and even though I feel like it will be an eternity before it actually gets here, breaking it up into weeks makes it more manageable. 

This 9 mile run was really my first attempt at running in cooler weather. It was in the 40s when I hopped on the trail and my fingers were frozen! (Note to self: wear gloves on next cold run.) I really thought I was going to have a hard time running outside in the cold because the last time I ran in the cold my teeth really hurt from all the cold air passing through. You see, I'm a total mouth breather. I've tried breathing through just my nose but I just can't! It makes me feel like I'm just a couple minutes away from passing out. Maybe it's a deviated septum? I don't know. I just know that I can't. Anyhow, surprisingly, no hurt teeth. No tight lungs. Everything went just fine. I am thrilled because the weather in January in NV should be pretty similar so I'm feeling confident that the temperature won't be an issue for me that day.

The rest of the week went well, too. I did miss my Monday run, though. It was just the worst day of my now subsiding cold virus. But no worries. I'm already feeling faster compared to week 1! I owe that completely to the interval training days. As much as I love the long, easy runs I think my heart is in the shorter, faster runs. I love to push myself faster and faster during those short bursts. That's when running really feels like running to me. I look forward to setting new 5k and 10k goals after the marathon is over.

Well, that's about it for this week. Pluggin' along. Oh, and I lost 2 lbs this week!. Yay! 8 more to go before race day!