Sunday, August 14, 2011

14 Wet Ones

Today I had a 14 mile run with my Team in Training group.  Similarly to last week, it was raining.  Honestly, it was a good rain.  Basically a sprinkle for most of the run with a few stronger showers here and there.  I much prefer this to running in the heat, so I was pretty happy with the weather.

I tried out a new piece of running gear today.  The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Vest
I purchased this on sale for $35 at L.L. Bean.  I'm super happy with the purchase, but a few caveats if you are interested.  One it's super small.  Remember I'm 4'10"-4"11" (depends on who's measuring) and I had to get a size large.  I just checked L.L. Bean's website, and all the reviewers talk about how small it is.  It has a nice pocket in the back and a small one inside.  It's very bright and I know it will come in handy on my morning runs, now that it's not light so early in the a.m.  The biggest bonus of all is that it looks much more attractive and hip than the item in my running wardrobe it replaced.  

I guarantee I didn't look as cool as this guy on my morning and even runs.  Nor do I speak French, so that's a double win for him.  However, it got the job done for 2 years of marathon training and it will be retiring honorably.  

Overall, the run was a great success.  14 miles at about a 9:00 pace.  (still a wee bit higher than I'd like, but it's moving in the right direction)  I got to run with my friend Edwin the whole time.  Plus, no pains or upset tummy or anything like that.  

The best part of my run was when I was leaving; Coach Henry told me how much I have improved since he first saw me running with the team.  That really means a lot especially when I'm not feeling totally there speed wise.  Sometimes we forget how far we really have come.  

Hope everyone had great long runs, races and rides this weekend.  

Friday, August 5, 2011


Mentally this week has been a challenge.  Last week I put up (barely) more than 30 miles, which I was so excited about.  I did this in 3 runs: 10.1 miler, 7.2 miler, 13.5 miler.  When people ask "How much do you run?" and they aren't runners, I always answer: "30-60+ miles depending on where I am in a training cycle."  When I hit 30 miles again, I was thrilled, it was like I really felt like I was a runner again (I'm not discrediting people that run less than 30 miles a month, I just don't know how else to explain the feeling I had.)

Looking ahead, this week was a step back week for my long run.  We are only scheduled for 7 miles according to the Team in Training calendar.  I used this calendar for my first (technically 2nd) marathon and it worked well for me.  As I've run more marathons, I have changed the TnT calendar to meet my own needs and usually add on mileage.  This way I can get in 2-3 20-23 milers in a cycle.  I also don't always step back in mileage and I normally wouldn't step back after a 13 miler.

However, this is me being smart.  I think, for the most part, I will stick with TnTs long run schedule.  I think this especially makes sense since I don't even know if I'll run Hartford.  So since I'd be dropping back in mileage, I thought this would be a good week to go back to 4 runs a week.  I'd like to get back to 5, but I don't think it will happen this cycle.  So far I ran Tuesday: 5ish, Wednesday: 8ish and Today: 6ish.  That means I put in 19ish miles during the week (which is more than last week), but if you add that to what I will be running on Sunday, it puts me below 30 again.  It makes me want to add in another run so badly.  Why do I put so much emphasis on numbers!?

However, I'm listening to my body.  I know coming back is going to be uncomfortable and I cherish that feeling.  But I need to stay out of pain.  Mentally, I just can't take another injury (even if I don't have any major goals right now).  Therefore my mantra is going to be: The key to a comeback will be pushing my body when it whines, comforting it when it cries!  Honestly this is how I approach "being tough" in my classroom too.  Should be easy right...?  And yes, my body has been whining, but my shins are starting to need some TLC (as happens in the beginning of most of my running cycles if I take too much time off).  So, there will be no "extra" run.  I will be below 30 for the week.  I am still a real runner.  

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all have great long runs, races, and fun!  

Monday, August 1, 2011

July you get 100 gold stars

Totaling up my July mileage today I wondered would I hit 100?  It's so funny that hitting 100 miles in a month used to be nothing, no problem, a given.  Now, as I typed in each day's total, I kept thinking, "Am I back? Am I finally at 100 again?"  The answer 101.6.  Phew!  Yay July!

Do I really feel back?  Well, no.  My pace is still way off and I'm running 3 days a week and not 5.  Not to mention, 100 isn't anywhere near the 224 I was hitting in March.  However seeing a 3 digit monthly total makes me feel like I am on track.  Woo Hoo!  Someone's getting her running mojo back :)
 (these bars are delicious by the way)

Sunday was my "long" run for the week.  I'm up to 13.5 miles and don't really know how far up I'll go.  I think for now I plan on training with TnT up until Hartford, so I should at least get to 20.  After that, who knows.  Like I said, I'm not training with a race in mind, but if the Hartford Marathon happens, so be it :).

My run was pretty uneventful.  I went out at 7:30 and wished I had gone out earlier.  It was a bit sunny and of course I made my route pretty shadeless.  And not to mess with tradition, I also mapped out one hilly sucker!  I curse myself during these runs, but if I don't have hills, I end up with a VERY boring route.  My pace was around 9:40 and way higher than I want it to be.  However, considering the hills, I guess it's not so bad.

I did make myself an ice bath after the run.  I'm not sure 13.5 miles really needs an ice bath, but I think it's a good habit for me to get into.  We also didn't have much ice in the house, so it was kind of a wimpy, starter ice bath.  I thought my cat was going to join me at one point, and I think that would have done more harm than good.

Today was my first rest day in weeks.  I've been doing a lot of cross training and haven't felt the need for one.  However, I'd like to try running 4 days this week, so I decided to take today off.  It felt super weird and I'm pretty sure the cats were giving me looks that said, "what, you're not going to go to the gym today...?"