Sunday, June 28, 2009

Highs and Lows

My apologies for the lack of updates again. I don't really have any excuses except laziness.

We've hit the longer miles sooner than we did last season, which is simply a factor of time. Last season, we had an extra six weeks to train, so the coaches had us spend a few weeks at the 6-8 range before hitting the double digits. Not this season! Six weeks INTO the season we're already at 8-10. Craziness.

Last weeks' run was an 8-miler along the Rillito River and what an awesome run it was. It was, do date, the best training run I've ever had. I found my groove, I settled in, and I hauled. Ok, well I hauled for ME. But even more? I was consistent- I'm pacing right around 10:30, which I am totally okay with. I'm aiming for a 4:30:and change time this race, which I'll need to maintain a 10:18/mile to achieve. I still have a ways to go, but it's a point of reference...

For my birthday, Todd gave me this awesome GPS watch that pretty much does everything except the laundry (damn!). I have it set so that I can run intervals based on distance- I run for a mile, it beeps and tells me to walk (it doesn't need to tell me twice, believe me), and then after 1 minute, it beeps again and tells me to run for another mile. Rinse and repeat 26 times. FUN!!

Since I've been training, I've been right around a 10:30/mile pace. Good runs, bad runs, runs where my foot cramps, I'm always at a 10:30! So now I need to take these numbers and figure it all out- I want to be smart about this. Last marathon, I lost a LOT of time walking. I was running a 7 minute run/1 minute walk interval, but also walked through the water stations, so I was walking a LOT. In hindsight, I should have blown off the interval walks if I'd just went through a water station, but I didn't know any better. I've heard that you always knock an easy 15 minutes off your first marathon time since you know the I'm hoping to do that and then just plain go faster!

So I changed my interval t0 1 mile run/1 minute walk to be somewhat consistent with water station placement, so that I can train to run all the way in between water stations, walk through them, and not lose any time walking in between (unless placement is more than 1 mile).......I don't know, it doesn't make much sense to me either.

I'm going to meet with Coach Rick to discuss "strategery" as I put it. He just ran a PR in Seattle yesterday, a 4:38! He turns 55 on Tuesday, the same day he's going to shave off HALF of his beard and wear until his half-Ironman in Vegas. He made a deal that if he reaches his fundraising goal by June 30, he'd shave half of his beard. Well, people waited until he was running the Rock N' Roll Marathon to donate, so when he came back to his hotel room to shower and rest, he'd discover that he had only two days left with his whole beard (which he's had since 1984). Its' last supper will be held atop the Space Needle.

So, armed with this new pace and knowledge that I might be able to achieve a 4:30 (it's a lofty goal for me, I won't lie), I set off to conquer some hills.....because, well, San Francisco might have a few I've heard....

Mentally? I came to a grinding, screeching halt.

I know, I know, I'm such a drama queen.

What happened? Sabino Canyon happened. Now, Sabino and I have a history. Last year, this was the place where I really did a number on my IT band, but didn't know it until a week later at my 18-miler, where I ended up having to stop at mile 16 in tears and a lot of pain. I made the mistake of running it in "dead" shoes. Shoes that LOOKED fine, but had logged way too many miles and weren't supportive enough. That among with other small physical things stopped me dead in my tracks about 6 weeks before race day.

Yesterday was my chance at revenge. I was in new(ish) shoes, my core was stronger than ever (thanks, Rohan!), and I had some intense chi running lessons under my belt......bring it on.

Well, I wake up to an overcast day, and it's muggy. At 6 am, it's already 82 degrees, and 40% humidity......not ideal. We start out, and I can feel the humidity just sucking the life out of me. First mile, not bad, 10 mins! Ok, slow down a bit, you still have 6.4 miles.....

Let me explain about Sabino Canyon- it's an out and back course, 3.7 miles each way, and going in, it's pretty much all uphill- with the last mile gaining about 340 feet. It doesn't SOUND like a lot, but holy crap, you really feel it.

So I just struggled with these hills, the humidity, the was certainly a wakeup call. I was all over the place mentally and just not really feeling great. I was so disheartened at how slow I felt like I was going, and how hard these hills were, and how would I ever be able to run hills in San Francisco if I couldn't run these, etc etc. I'd worked myself up into a pretty decent funk, and then I reached the top. Three older me who'd passed me on the last torturous stretch (and encouraged me along the way) were resting at the top. I asked them if this is where I was supposed to play the theme to "Rocky" and they started to sing it as I came around the little roundabout and raised my arms above my head.....

And then it was time to run down. Wheee!!!! I tried really hard to control the downhill part as to not overexert my IT band. I'd put on my knee brace as an afterthought and I'm kind of glad I did- it provided a little extra stability both mentally and physically.

Was I glad it was over? Yes.

It's going to take some mental "beefing up" for these hills. More than I thought. All day yesterday and today I've been mentally checking in with my knee, not knowing if it's injured or if I'm just being hypersensitive to it.....

My average pace for Sabino was an 11:30/mile. Less than stellar but not bad considering the circumstances, I admit. So now it's working on speed ON hills and not injuring myself in the process.

I think I can do that....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

6 Miles

Yesterday's run was interesting. I ran the entire six miles and only walked once about one mile into it so I could stretch out a little bit. The rest of the run I just felt like I was fighting it and really struggling to keep my pace and not just totally crap out.

It went quicker than I thought it would, and was greeted with a cold washcloth (whoever started doing that for the team, you have my eternal gratitude). I hit Trader Joe's on the way home and it was all I could do to not fall asleep on the way home- I was SO TIRED! I came home to surf our new cable channels (yes, we waited until the last minute to ditch our rabbit ears) and fell asleep for a few hours!

The interesting thing? When I downloaded my run and looked at my pace, I was only 14 seconds/mile behind last weeks' run (the run where I felt like a total badass). So I guess I wasn't going quite as slow as I felt....

I woke up early this morning and wrote my weekly mentor email and caught up on some other business (like watching the NASCAR race- pretty exciting!!). And wouldn't you know it, I fell asleep on the couch AGAIN (while watching Mythbusters of all things).

I have no idea why I'm so tired, but this napping thing is unusual for me.

Maybe next week will be a bit better. Call me sick, but I look forward to the longer miles. Next week is 8 and I'm eager to see what I can do.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rock N' Roll!!

Look what I just registered for!

Complete with run-through weddings and running Elvi.

I took a gamble and went all in. I signed up for the race but don't have a hotel or plane reservation yet! GAME ON!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meet Me Downtown Pictures

See? I told you I'd post pics!

Here's me and Teresa (Lil' T)- she was a mentor for my PF Chang's season. We're wearing matching Fleet Feet shirts, too! So....she ran 10 miles that morning (the race was at night) and she still managed to kick my butt. She makes running seem so effortless.
Notice that my arm is sparkly? That's compliments of......(see below)

My beloved Mashed Potato Queens (not to be confused with the Sweet Potato Queens)- they showed up in full regalia to support the race's cause (to bring business into downtown and support the Fox Theater). Plenty of glitter was shared.....and they wear shirts that say "Distill my beating heart". I've known them for years, and work out with several of them at my gym.

Todd took this photo (he's getting really good at this!) I love it because my form has improved so much (it's not perfect) and I really look like a runner!

The finish line went underneath a footbridge and Todd was waiting for me- I was seriously sprinting against the clock......

There I am trying to beat the clock! ARGH, I wanted to beat 29 so badly! Oh well, maybe next year. :) (I'm right below the N in "FINISH")

Overall, it was a great time. I can't wait to do it next year!