Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taking a Few Rest Days

I have decided to take a few days off to rest. My left lower leg is just not doing great. I can't tell if it is shin splits, but it feels different than shin splits which makes me nervous. Although I have been taking ibuprofen, icing, rolling, it is still not feeling all that great. Normal walking isn't bad, but stairs are tough and certain movements hurt. So in the interest of staying healthy, I am going to take it easy through the rest of the week. Today and tomorrow no runs, then I will reassess on Friday, when I will most likely hit the elliptical for a few "miles". Next week I have a doctor's appointment and even if I am feeling a ton better I will probably see if I can get an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture. Like I have said, better to be safe than sorry!

So happy resting!! :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Big 10 Indoor Track Championship Heather Dorniden's 600m Race

I just love this video. It is such an amazing analogy for life in general! Don't let any setbacks keep you down! Just keep going!

They can't all be superwoman runs!

Run/Workout: 5 miles incl 16th street hill
Location: Astoria Riverwalk-East Side
Run Time (if applicable): 43:15: 8:38 splits
Run Start: Noon
Temperature: 39 degrees
Weather: cloudy and cold


I rolled out my legs last night, my shins particularly, which was agony. But, I woke up and my shins felt much, much better! I did the low-squat test and even that panned out well. So I decided to give today's 5-miler a try.

Today's run kind of sucked to be honest. My legs felt heavy and stiff even after a warm-up. I figured they would relax and things would feel good around mile 2 at least, but they didn't. The whole time I felt like I was trudging along, just dragging my body. Sixteenth street hill has never felt harder. I had to walk parts of it and even that felt like hell on my legs. At least I finished fairly strong, still with 8:38 splits somehow. It's funny how even when I feel really slow, my body has a certain comfortable cadence that it tends to keep.

I'm not sure what to do about my shins. It doesn't feel like normal shin splits. It feels like something is tearing a little bit. Not just sore, but tearing. I'm sure they are in the same injury family, so I am just going to do my best with icing and rolling and see if that helps. And I'm pretty sure my husband has compression socks that I am going to steal for my next run. I believe that if I can use compression socks, it will eliminate the swelling in my calves that is causing the shin trouble. Tomorrow is 3 miles and I think I will do it on the elliptical again just to be safe.

Better to be safe than sorry. The fastest path to injury is ignoring the signs and overdoing it. As for Friday's 10-miler, I will play that by ear as well. If I am feeling good I'll get out and do it, but very carefully, taking walking breaks, etc.

What I am excited about is that tomorrow is the last day of February which means a mileage check! Yay!! I will post it right after tomorrow's workout!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday...Must. Have. Workout

Mondays stink. Especially after a long restless weekend. But the glorious fact is that around 8:30 I get to go work out. Not "I have to" but "I get to."

Run: 30 minutes elliptical (credit 3 miles) + weights
Location: CCC weight room
Run Time (if applicable): 30 minutes
Run Start: 8:20 am
Temperature: N/A
Weather: N/A but it was cooooold outside today


This morning was one of those mornings. I forgot my armband and headphones to start with. So I figured instead of trying to map my run distance I could just run for 30 minutes and give myself credit at a 10:00 minute mile pace. (Easy math) But during warm-ups I noticed my left shin in particular having a weird twinge. I have been feeling it all weekend, especially when I walk down the stairs or squat really deeply. It might not be my shin, it might be my soleus, but either way I decided the best choice for me today was to get a good sweat going on the (low-impact) elliptical, then hit the weights. 

Have I mentioned how deathly afraid of injury I am?? I have had to deal with injuries before and it is not fun! So every little thing I can do to prevent them you better believe I am doing. This is precisely why I chose the elliptical today, and why I might start choosing it once a week or so to replace my 3-mile run. It is still just as challenging the way that I do it and works most of the same muscles, but without the impact of running. So...we'll see how that goes! At least the option is there for when I need it. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 5 Marathon Training

The plan for this week!

Monday: 3 miles (before A&P exam)
Tuesday: 5 miles (after A&P lab)
Wednesday: 3 miles plus weights
Thursday: Yoga I have to skip this week. I have to go to Portland for a Dr. Appt
Friday: Long Run-10 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Cross-train. I would really love to swim or bike perhaps. Maybe I will take today to do the yoga I missed.

I have been resting most weekends. With our family's schedule, I usually can't get out for a run. Thank goodness my weekday schedule is different! This week because I have a Dr appt on Thursday, I will just consider it a rest day instead. I have read that a rest day before and after a long run is very beneficial anyway.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nine Miles and a Congratulations From Paula Radcliff!

Run: 9 Miles, Long Run
Location: Astoria Riverwalk (a lot of it!)
Run Time (if applicable): 1:18:03, 8:39 splits
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature: 42 degrees
Weather: Cloudy


I will admit, all week this run stared back at me in my planner and I was intimidated! "Long Run-9 Miles" sounded painful, it sounded hard. It scared me to think I could hurt myself...was I ready? Was it "too much, too fast"? 

But all in all, if I want to run a marathon, I have to give this training plan a chance.  After all Hal Higdon knows his stuff! So I went into it with Jeff Galloway in my head once more..."go slower, give yourself permission to walk when needed". It was just about finishing the distance, not about speed. Okay.

The sun peaked out this morning and I was afraid to get false hope because the weather called for rain. So I dressed for rain just in case...and I wore a hat. I was not going to let the weather be an excuse for not finishing this important run. I felt blessed that I did not get rained on. 

Miles 1-3 were far east on the Riverwalk, past Pier 39, where the trail becomes quite rustic along the old railroad tracks. I enjoy this area. From the beginning my goal was to keep my pace "gentle" and to really be aware of how my joint were feeling so I did not push it too hard. 

Around mile 4 I got warm so I had to run with my coat tied around my waist. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't bad either. I kept thinking of this running jacket that I would LOVE from Lulumon... And at mile 4.5 I loved hearing the Nike+ tell me I was at the halfway point! 

Then around mile 7 the wind picked up and I started to feel cold so I put my jacket back on (exciting news, right?!?). Only two miles left! 

Then the Nike+ notified me when I had 400 meters left, 300 meters left, 200, then 100. That was pretty cool! But the best part was the personal congratulatory message I received upon completion! 

"This is Paula Radcliff. Congratulations on your longest workout yet!" That was so awesome! I felt like she was welcoming me into a secret club or something :)

Bummer was that I did not map my course very well and I had parked about 2 miles from my ending point. No, I don't count that part, I will still call this a 9 mile run. But those two miles were just a bit too much. I had started to cool down too much and my legs were just tired (understandably). I made myself stretch along the way to the car.

Hydration: I drank two tall glasses of water before bed, then one right after my morning cup of coffee. I had debated whether I should run with an amphipod bottle. I didn't end up doing it though, they drive me nuts. Apparently I did just fine without it because I did not feel any symptoms of dehydration. I guzzled down a bottle of Propel Zero right off the bat as I cranked the heat in my car. Then I showered, drank my chocolate protein shake (yum!) and went about my day. 

I'm pleased with how my body handled the run. I expected a lot of aches and pains. My left lower leg was feeling some shin pain but overall not too bad. At about mile 8 I started to feel the strain in my knees. But after I stopped any discomfort did as well. I will do plenty of stretching and rolling tonight, as well as re-hydrating and maybe I will reward myself with a killer bubble bath :)

And one last interesting thought...the marathon will be today's run times roughly 3!! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smelly Gym Clothes

Over a month ago, I asked some ladies that I know to give me their best tips on getting the "gym stink" out of your workout clothes. I thought these tips could be helpful so here they are!

Adding baking soda (yes, this has worked for me!)
Adding a T of Clorox 2 (also has worked for me!)
Oxyclean Free and Clear
Tide Sport
Always wash gym clothes separately(especially if they are synthetic material)
Pet urine remover
Combination of: ALL or Method Free and Clear, a scoop of baking soda, a tsp of Clorox 2 and fabric softener

Speed Work/Weights

Run: 3 miles, 2 increments, speedwork
Location: Treadmill (blah!)
Run Time (if applicable): Did not time myself
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature:  regular room temp
Weather: N/A


I am sick of contending with icky weather. Whether it is freezing or drizzling or I get poured on. I was just fed up with it today so I immediately dressed for the gym/treadmill. Funny thing was that the weather was quite mild, just cloudy and cold with peaking sun from time to time. But I still used the treadmill instead and tried something new. Here was my workout:

3 miles on the treadmill turned into 1.5 miles because my shins were taking a beating. Then I went ahead and did some weight training which felt really great. Then I felt like I had it in me to finish the 3 miles so I did another 1.5 miles.

So while at first I thought I would not finish my entire 3 miles I had scheduled, breaking it up was great because it became a sort of speed workout. The first 1.5 miles were at a brisk 8:30 pace. The weights in the middle exhausted my muscles, so the faster pace (around 8 minute miles) for the remaining 1.5 miles felt really, really tough. I considered it "last stretch" training.

Nutrition Update for February

For my PE class (and for my own benefit), I felt it was time for an update on how I am doing nutrition-wise:

Recap/progress of Nutrition Goals

1) Cut back to only 2 cups of coffee per day: I feel like I have successfully done this!
The benefits have been that instead of coffee I am drinking more water [see #2], and also thanks to less coffee, I don't have to deal with the caffeine high/crash that I was dealing with from time to time because of too much.

2) Drink more water: I have definitely been successful with this. I honestly have not had to give this much conscious thought because the more I run, the more I thirst. So I have been drinking anywhere between 48-64 oz of water a day easy. I have also noticed how hydrated I am makes a huge difference on the "heaviness" in my legs the next day. 

3) Substitute more veggie munchies for carb munchies: I have not been monitoring this much so I really don't know. I can say we haven't had much carb munchies in the house. I'm sure I have not been doing as great with this goal however.

4) Eat a more balanced number of calories throughout the day so that I do not overeat due to feeling "starved" by nighttime: This is going really well. Just having my routine set helps. I bring a lunch to school that is filled with a lot of healthy snacks so it is easy to grab something while studying. So while I don't really sit and eat a focused lunch, I do eat throughout the school-day and I am not super hungry once I walk through the door in the evening.

Nutrition Log:


1 cup of coffee
-half and half
-1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup whole oatmeal
1/4 cup (canned) peaches
1/4 cup craisins
2 T. milk
1 pint chocolate milk (post-run)
32 oz water (drinking all day, just up to this point)
1/2 pb sandwich on ww bread
1/2 apple (threw away the rest because it was kind of gross)
1 pineapple greek yogurt
1 cup whole grain baked chips
1 cup baby carrots
More Water

I have to admit that once I got home, I totally lost track. I know that when I got home I made a cup of coffee and for dinner we had a great pork roast that I had thrown in the crockpot, and I guess I didn't really eat any sides. I had a glass of apple juice with it. Then I snacked it up later with a bowl of chocolate cheerios, some strawberries and a cup of key lime pie yogurt-yum!. Maybe I would not have snacked as much but I completely forgot I was trying to keep track of a healthy eating day.

I can recognize that lately I have really craved chocolate, but I haven't bought many snacks or sweets in a while. But I think for the sake of my sanity I need to buy a few high-quality dark chocolate bars and have pineapple greek yogurt and key lime pie yogurt available as sweet treats. All satisfy my sweet tooth cravings in a sensible way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Tuesday

*I just couldn't think of a fun title...

Run: 4.5 miles
Location: Irving St-Hills
Run Time (if applicable): Did not time myself
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature: 45 degrees
Weather: Heavy Drizzle


I hated taking a 4-day weekend off of running. Man, a great run makes all the difference in the world! It has been dreary and icky lately, with very little sun. I have been feeling some S.A.D. I think and going for runs sure helps! We spent the weekend doing a lot of to-do's and broke in the trailer for our first camping trip. It was fun :) But then we got home, the house was trashed, I had homework to do and I just felt icky. Not to mention I tweaked my neck (like I mentioned) and that made me feel icky too. I am not really myself when I do not run.

So that being said, this run felt great! The hills were challenging as always, and I gave myself some "catch your breath" breaks. I would say, "10 deep breaths then get going" and it worked. I got rained on but with a jacket on it wasn't so bad. I have really found that tightly securing my hair back in two french braids makes a huge difference too! Maybe I won't have to cut my hair after all.

Once I got back, I celebrated with a pint of ice-cold chocolate milk. My favorite.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tweaking my neck and my schedule

I am writing this little post because it encourages me when I can write out what is coming up so I don't get stir-crazy waiting for my next scheduled run. I have taken a few days off for a few reasons...and honestly I can't stand taking days and days off!

Friday I ended up skipping my 3-miler thanks to some problems with DH's schedule and adjustments needed in our weekend plans (I'll skip the long, boring explanation). Then this weekend I tweaked my already-tweaked neck/shoulders. So...I have taken the long weekend off. The hero in me says, "Just power through! Just get a couple of miles in!" and the mother in me says, "No...take care of your body or it will hate you!"

It is so hard to take breaks if you are injured in any way, shape or form, especially once you have found a nice groove in your training. Technically my "injury" is in no way running-related and won't sideline me for long. I just don't want it to get worse before it starts getting better (which has been the case).

I have been putting off getting chiropractic adjustments into my schedule. I have no excuse except I have just been procrastinating. *tisk tisk*  I am calling and getting that ball rolling Tuesday.

I am now officially following a marathon training plan. I noticed in the last couple of weeks I was only averaging 2-3 runs a week. Given that they were between 5-7 miles helped keep my mileage up but that still didn't seem like enough. As I apply my new training plan, I know I will be able to get out for runs more often.

We purchased a new travel trailer last weekend and went to pick it up this weekend. It has been a lot of work/time initially but we're so excited and know it is going to be such a great help for all of our adventures! We love getting out and love camping, but we found the first year we lived here that purely tent camping was just too exhausting with the kids. Everyone was always dirty, tired and miserable. There were a few times we got stuck in the rain, and once in a sand-storm! No fun. We will still bring our tents, but overall, it will be great to have the convenience of our trailer. We can go further with confidence knowing we have a comfortable place to recharge each night...and we can take it to race destinations and stay overnight the day before.

That all being said, my next planned run is on Tuesday afternoon. See you then!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Disneyland Half Marathon-SOLD OUT!!

The Disneyland Half Marathon SOLD OUT TODAY!! I can't believe it!! It is still 32 weeks away and it's sold out! It is either that awesome, or just that rare. Either way, I feel so special that I get to run it. We've already got our road trip planned for Aug/Sept including Crater Lake, Yosemite, Palm Springs(seeing family), Disneyland (3+ fun-filled days there) and Redwood National Forest on our way back. It should be a great way to end the summer :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Surprise-It's Marathon Training Time!

Somehow I just realized that the Hal Higdon marathon training plans are 18 weeks, not 12. So I am technically in week 3 right now! The good thing is that I have been completing the sorts of workouts on the plan already-phew!

I'm really glad. I was kind of looking for a little direction anyway ;)

Redemption Run

Run: 5.46 miles
Location: Astoria High School Track
Run Time (if applicable): 46:01, 8:25 splits
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature: 50-ish degrees
Weather: Clouds, drizzle


After yesterday I quickly came to the realization that I was going to have to be more flexible with my body. I usually do a pretty good job of listening to my body while running but since I haven't come up against too many problems this go around, I was thrown for a loop a bit when Aunt Flo knocked me on my butt. I was so bummed that it would affect me for several days each month. Well today I found redemption!

While I can anticipate that Aunt Flo very well may give me multiple challenging days per month, today was not one of them! I had to drop our Excursion off for some servicing at the Ford Dealership, just down the road from the high school. The counter service guy told me the servicing was an estimated 45 min-1 hour wait, and I said it was ok, I was just going to go for a run. His expression was so I was NUTS! Haha!!

In the interest of a cautious run, I planned on 3-4 miles, slower paced, and on the track so I could bail out if I started to feel icky. After 5 bouncy minutes on the track, I upped my goal to running for an hour because I was so jazzed that I felt good. In the end, I talked myself down to a reasonable 45 minutes in the interest of not overdoing it. I set my Nike+ on 'Time' setting for the first time and it was cool to hear Lolo's voice gently alert me every 5 minutes that passed.

I was properly outfitted today in case I got stuck in a downpour which felt so great! I was not intimidated by the weather one bit! It only drizzled though.

But the magic happened around 30 minutes into my run. I turned the corner and lifted my eyes forward (I am  really working on keeping my chin up for correct form), and two deer strolled right in front of TEN FEET!! They just stood there, unintimidated by me. It was the most amazing sight! I have seen deer before, this is the third time while running actually. But this was just awesome. I stood there dumbfounded, jaw-dropped, just staring. Then they pranced on forward and I couldn't stop smiling. How cool was that?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feelin' the Flo

Run: 1.5 miles
Location: Irving St.
Run Time (if applicable): N/A
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature: 34 degrees
Weather: very cold and foggy.


This was supposed to be a 4.5-miler but for some reason I couldn't get out of the "funk" I was in and find a groove. I decided to cut it short and call it a day. I had a stressful morning (as most of mine are-getting 3 kids out the door plus myself, plus all of my school stuff, gym stuff and any other random thing I have to remember...) but usually as soon as I drop Aaron off at school it turns around and I feel upbeat and ready to run. Not I was in a black cloud of funk. I figured I would just power through. For the most part my warm-up was good...and the run wasn't terrible necessarily. I just felt weak, and couldn't get it together. Then I realized what it was...

Ol' Aunt Flo had arrived. I have been blessed the last 5 years, not having to deal with Aunt Flo thanks to my Mirena IUD. But the time had finally come and Mirena had expired and it has been time to try something new, hoping it will help clear my adult acne. Long story short, I now have to deal with Aunt Flo, and I was not prepared for how it sucked my energy, my pep, just all of it. My day went better as I progressed through my classes and studying but as soon as I got around my family again (dirty house, needy kids, etc), the b**** in me sort of started to rear her head. Seven-thirty rolled around and I could barely keep my head up/eyes open.

I hope every month isn't going to be like this. I guess it is going to be something I will have to learn to deal with. I'm sure some sort of meds will help. Meds, good hydration, iron supplements.

I hope to make up today's mileage through Thursday and Friday through "easy" 3-milers. I guess we'll see tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Disneyland Half-I Made It!!

It's the Happiest Race on Earth!

In less than 7 months I will be running through...


Getting this beauty hung around my neck...
And soaking up some sun in...

Can you tell I am excited?? Happy Valentine's to Me! :-D

Monday, February 13, 2012

Race Calendar

Race Calendar
I find I am constantly updating this with the possiblities of runs that sound great or that I might be able to squeeze in. So if it seems as though my calendar is always changing, it is. But I am not necessarily running all of these (unless they are marked registered), but it is an easy place to come to pick and choose races as I see fit!

March 18th: Portland Shamrock Run 8K-COMPLETED!!
May 6th: Cinco de Mayo races, Portland, OR

May 13th: Run Like a Mother 5K and kids' 1-Miler

May 20th: Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon-COMPLETED!!

Sometime this summer...Climb Mt. Hood with Ben

June 2nd: Linear Trail 5K/10K, Banks OR

June 2nd: Newport, OR Marathon

June 3rd: North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon: Sequim, WA

June 9th: Helvetia Half Marathon/Widmer Bros 10K, North Plains, OR

June 10th: Cannon Beach Fun Run 5K*

June 23rd: Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon Out of Town

June 23rd: Running of the Trolls, Astoria, OR

July 20-21: Ragnar Relay, Northwest Passage*

July 21st: Seaside Beach Run 10K (-I try to do it every year)
August 4: My First Tri, Blue Lake Park

August 11th: Garlic Festival 10K, North Plains, OR

August 18th: Tillamook Bay Run 10K Trail Run*

August 19: Columbia Muddy Buddy, Portland, OR

August 26th: Eugene Women's Half Marathon Out of Town

September 2nd: Disneyland Half Marathon-Registered!

September 9th: Pints to Pasta 10K

September 15th: Prefontaine Memorial 10K, Coos Bay, OR (-I grew up there, and have always wanted to run this!)

September 22nd: Barefoot on the Beach, Gearhart, OR!barefoot-on-the-beach

September 23rd: Champoeg Half Marathon, 5-Miler and Kids' Dirt Dash (-we could camp and run!)*

September 29thColor Run 5K in Portland, OR

September 30th: Great Columbia Crossing 10K, Astoria, Or*

October 7th: Portland Marathon*

October 27th: Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, Lebanon, OR

October 28th: Columbia Gorge Marathon, Hood River, OR

November 10th: Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon (Coast to Coast Medal???)

November 25th: Seattle Marathon
December 1: Winter Wonderland of Lights

Disneyland Half-Almost Sold Out!

Ahhh! The Disneyland Half Marathon is September 2nd and is 79% full and filling up fast! I can't decide whether I am supposed to register for this yet! DH and I just bought our first travel trailer and we are trying to plan our summer trips! We are pretty darn sure Disneyland is in the mix, we just don't know when! Oh Disneyland Half, please don't sell out before we can get our ducks in a row and decide!

A "She's Been MIA All Weekend" Monday Run

Run: 7.24 miles
Location: Astoria Riverwalk out-and-back
Run Time (if applicable): 58:39, 8:05 splits
Run Start: 9:05 am
Temperature: 50-ish degrees
Weather: some clouds, but mostly bright and sunny!


I have been MIA all weekend, I know. In fact I could say I have flaked out completely for the last 72 hours. My husband and I have been planning for some time to head north for the Seattle RV show this past weekend. Our original plan was that we would stop in Longview, WA on the way up on Saturday so I could run the Heart and Sole 5k, then we'd hit the RV show with the kids the rest of the day. Then we'd stay in Seattle and hit the show some more Sunday before heading home...but my sweet husband surprised me instead! He told me that he had made some arrangements with his parents to watch the kids so he and I could spend the whole weekend together in Seattle sans kids. He was very understanding about my 5K and offered to work around it or to even forget his idea so I could run...but honestly I did not hesitate to scrap my 5K for a kid-less weekend away with my dearest love, no regrets. We don't get these opportunities often! So do not have a race report for you all on the Heart and Sole 5K, but it was worth it!

The weekend went amazing!! We purchased a travel trailer that I am beyond stoked about, had a great crab feast at The Crab Pot in Seattle (crab is my FAVORITE food!) Saturday night, then had brunch on top of the Space Needle Sunday morning! Magic! Honestly, I have always wanted to have a meal at the top of the Space Needle...and my hubby made that dream come true. So while I did not get any runs in from Fri-Sun, I'm so glad for our weekend.

So the moral of the story is...sometimes life has twists and turns that are not running you let guilt of choosing not to run get you down? Heck no! I believe you must allow yourself to have a myriad of interests, hopes and dreams...including NON-RUNNING ones. If foregoing a run means realizing a different dream...go for it! Just get right back to running ASAP once you get back to reality ;)

Alright, so back to the run!! This morning was awesome, a far cry from my soggy last run. The sun popped out of the clouds and shined down bright. When that happens I like to believe it is just for me :)

Like many runners, I write down my scheduled runs a week in advance so I can be sure not to miss one. If I don't schedule it, it is way too easy to find excuses not to do one at all.  Based on how I was feeling, having fully indulged in food and festivities all weekend, and not run a single mile, I figured maybe a 3-miler would be sufficient. You know, an ease-you-back-in run. Nope. I flip open my planner, and 7-miler is staring me in the face. A long run, and the longest I have run in my training thus far.

So I packed my gym bag (including my big girl panties) and went for it. Seven miles felt so great. My pace was good and I felt smooth. Nothing ached substantially except my left ankle from 5-1/2 miles on. What kept going through my mind at that point was the custom-fit orthopedic inserts you can get at Road Runner Sports. I know they will help because I pronate, and the aching always happens in my medial ankle. I started out slower and managed to gradually increase my pace. I really worked hard at keeping my chin up since I tend to stare at the ground in front of me. And I really worked on keeping my shoulders square, my arms at 90 degrees and pumping my arms (keeping them an active part of my run).

I reached 7 miles before the out-and-back was complete, but instead of pushing it, I stopped and did a nice complete warm-down. It is good to know though, that there is more path for my even longer runs that will be coming up in the following weeks. Two weeks until I start official marathon training!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've Picked My Marathon!!

Woohoo! I have finally picked my marathon! I have decided on the Newport Marathon in June, just two weeks after I run the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon in May. I've been told that from a training standpoint it is a good plan. The Newport Marathon is a smaller event and costs a whole heck of a lot less than the larger ones. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Soggy Almost-Six

Run: 5.96 miles
Location: Astoria Riverwalk, West end
Run Time (if applicable): 50:25, 8:27 splits
Run Start: 8:05 am
Temperature: 50-ish degrees
Weather: cloudy, then dumping rain...


Coming off today's run was tough. I made the mistake of assuming my run would turn out like my others have. Although the forecast called for rain, often when this is the case, I can get out and get my run in before the rains come. Today was not that sort of day...

The run started off pretty good though. I warmed up prior like I always do. In fact I really enjoy my warm-ups, and the gentle "waking up" my joints receive from it. I was warm and the temperature wasn't freezing so I left my Eddie Bauer shell behind. Big mistake. The first 2 miles were relatively easy. My shins and calves felt great, no burning. I didn't necessarily feel strong and I noticed that maybe my breakfast had not been enough fuel (coffee, toast w/butter, egg and 1/2 banana-should have been enough!)

 Then around mile 2.5 it started pouring down rain. I kept telling myself I was tough and that not everyone would get out there and run in the rain. I thought about my upcoming 5K on Saturday and tried to "feel out" the 5K of it and see how I might feel on Saturday when I run that distance full-out.  My soaked shirt stuck to me and my hat dripped as Rhianna's "We Found a Love" blasted in my earphones. Around mile 4 I started to feel colder, and miserable. Thankfully a really sweet homeless guy raised his beer to me and yelled something along the lines of "Good job!!" That was actually a highlight believe it or not.

I started to get where I wanted to quit because I was cold, wet and miserable...and mad at myself for not bringing my coat, which would have been a huge help. But when I start to feel like it is hard and I want to quit, I always tell myself, "Just keep running and get it over quicker." I also thought about the physiological danger of walking the remaining miles in the cold and wet. I needed to get to a warm shower a.s.a.p.!

After what was about Mile 5, the rain let up and I ran up 16th street and finished. By then my arms were starting to feel pseudo-numb. I grabbed my stuff out of my car and headed straight for the locker room and a hot shower. I started to worry that my temperature may have been a little dangerously low...but thanks to taking A&P, I worry about these things more often than I used to...

I drank my chocolate protein shake, guzzled 23 fl oz of water, showered and started to feel a bit more normal. I should have done a couple of cool-down laps and I know that. I was feeling urgent about the shower today though.  It's 4 hours later and I'm feeling it a bit. I'm more tired than I usually am after this sort of run. My neck is killing me because 3 nights ago I slept on it wrong and it still doesn't feel better. We really need a new bed.

The rain really took a toll. I am so mad at myself that I left my coat behind...I know better.

Last but not least, and on a positive note...I underestimated the mileage of this run like the others! Instead of being a 5.3-miler, it was a 5.96-miler.

Monday, February 6, 2012

4.52 Miles Monday

Run: 4.52 miles
Location: Irving Street, rolling hills route
Time (if applicable): 37.24, 8:15 splits
Time: 8:30 am
Temperature: 54 degrees
Weather: Absolutely gorgeous weather!


One of the things I love about the Nike + app is that it gives me a more exact measurement of how long/far I am running. Apparently my route that I had drawn out as 4 miles is actually 4.5 miles. I also understand that the Nike + tracks all of your run, so even the times you switch from one side of the road to the other, or your turn-around points. It's cool! It will make adding up mileage a bit of a pain, because I wanted to avoid decimals originally! But let's not be lazy...

Run went great! I feel so awesome, like I've reached that point of being a confident runner again. Six weeks is how long it has taken me, six consistent weeks. I have only missed 2 planned runs on the weekends. I have come to realize that weekends probably won't be running times for me regularly. I have too many family events going on. It's funny though, I really miss it on the weekend! Sunday it took everything in me not to lace up and head out for an "easy 3". But instead I spent hours washing and vacuuming my car out. A different form of exercise.

I'm loving my LunarGlides, they are turning out to be a great purchase. My calves and shins take turns burning pretty good for the first 20 minutes. I swear it is like soon as I feel the burning subside, I check my phone and yep, 20 minutes has gone by. So I have been considering trying out some compression socks if it doesn't get better soon. Those first 20 minutes sure are mental!

The weather is absolutely gorgeous today. I ran in capris and a t-shirt! At first I was a bit chilly, especially since the route was pretty shaded. But as the sun bathed more and more of the roads and hillsides, and my body worked, I warmed up and all was well. I enjoyed the freedom to wear a little less. Coats and longer pants do start to feel a bit heavy.

Dear Brain, Thanks

I have been studying the anatomy and physiology of the brain which is so incredible. So for fun, let me just thank my brain for it's involvement in my running lifestyle.

Dear brain,

I am thankful for the motor functioning of my frontal lobe, the cardiovascular, respiratory and vasomotor functions of my reticular formation in the medulla oblongata (as well as the pain modulation), the motor coordination and balance functions of my cerebellum, the thermoregulation, BP and heart rate homeostasis functions of my hypothalamus, and the function of coordinating motor movements of the basal nuclei deep in my cerebrum. Thanks, you rock.

Love, Melanee

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Best Run Yet...and the Sun is Shining!

Woohoo!! I had the best run today, and the sun is out, it's a beautiful day! You really can't get much better, except the kids are out of school (although I am not), and my wonderful hubby took them all on a Guys Day of Fun! Can you tell through the computer that I am smiling? :-)

Run: 6.67 miles
Location: The Prom Out-and-Back plus "lollipop" on each end
Time: 8:30 am
Temperature: 54 degrees
Weather: Absolutely gorgeous weather!


The weather was absolutely perfect today. Temperature was great, there was a light gust every now and then, and Mr. Sun was shining in all his glory!! It was the first day in a long time that I was sure to slather on sunblock, and I got to leave behind my gloves and headband. I probably should have worn a hat but I didn't. I wanted to feel the sun on my face. I have missed it so much!

Today I synced up my Nike +  to give it a whirl. I love it! I love how during the run, all you have to do is push a button and you get your progress (time, mileage, splits). I also love that it ties in your own playlist right into your run. It's great!

Nike + stats:
6.67 miles, 52:23, 7:51 splits

One thing I have meant to mention is that I'm still in the training zone where my runs pretty much suck for the first 2 miles/give or take 20 minutes. I think physiologically it is because at first your body wants to work anaerobically and then your aerobic respiration system kicks in. Whatever the reason, it stinks, and I really have to push through. For about the same amount of time, my shins were pretty hot but they also chilled out into the run. I have been thinking about buying compression socks/sleeves for my lower legs to see if I like them, to see if it helps. I'm loving my new shoes though, they are great! My left lower leg tends to be problematic, whether my calf is tight, shins keep burning or my ankle is twinging. I don't know what it is, because last year my left IT Band was a disaster too. My poor left leg. I baby it as much as I can though, because I don't want to find myself in an official injury.

That last paragraph was really just details, because as you can see by my stats, I did not let it slow me down! I totally amazed myself today! 6.67 is the longest I have run thus far, and further than I had planned. Mapmyrun had my route at barely 6 miles, where the actual route was quite longer. Today I finally hit my "sweet spot" and my pace was awesome! I settled in and just kept going. I felt strong, fast and confident! It was so great! I was really surprised. I felt like I was going much slower, but when I checked my progress, it said my pace was 8:15-ish and it really gave me the confidence that I needed to keep pushing. By the last mile or so, I just left it all out there and even sprinted toward the (invisible) finish line. 7:51 minute-mile splits! Nike + even had my fastest mile at 7:28. Wow!  I am so pleased because honestly I'm not sure I believed I could really accomplish that!

It just goes to show you...don't short-change yourself on your goals! Reach for the stars, at at the very least, you will find yourself on top of the world ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February! Five-Point-Three in New Sneaks!

Happy February Everyone! Already one month down this year!
January Total Mileage: 56.8

Run: 5.3 miles
Location: Astoria Riverwalk West End + 16th Street
Time: 9:00 am
Temperature: 42 degrees
Weather: Cloudy and Mild, but then the sun came out!


If this post looks identical to my last one, that's because it was pretty darn close! Today was another run day and I decided I'm liking my route so much, I'd run it again. Sixteenth street felt much better today too. Man, that's a killer hill!  The best part of a run is always when the sun comes out. It peps me up and gives me a little bit of a kick in the pants. I'm friends with Mr. Sun. I miss him when he's gone for a long time.

On a great note, I got some new gear! Yay!! I bought a new pair of running shoes, some new Nike headbands and I snagged a pair of slim-fit workout pants in short, which hardly ever happens! I am loving them all!

I love my new sneaks. They are so comfy!.

So on a not-so-great note, someone stole my sweet water bottle and one of my Nike headbands! I had filled my water bottle up and set it in the grass by the building at the top of the hill. I ended up not wearing the headband, so I wrapped it around the bottle. I figured it would be great to have that water right when I conquered the hill, and never thought in a million years someone would touch it. Well when I got there, it was gone! Major bummer!! It totally stinks to lose both. I've got my eye out around campus to possibly find the culprit...but lesson learned. Always lock everything up! I think I was getting a little lax, but not now!