Monday, August 27, 2007

Muggy 16-miler

I wish I could come up with some clever titles. I added "muggy" at least. My weekly runs were few and far between this week. I started off fantastic with a nice tempo run on Monday evening. I figured I could get a nice run in on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Thursday happened, Wednesday definitely did not. Thursday I had to throw myself out of bed and out the door before I was even remotely awake. Unfortunately, it was still dark. So depressing. Where did summer go? [whine, whine, whine]. Okay, I feel better now.

Saturday's run ...
Mileage: 16 miles, some long, slight inclines.
Weather: Disgusting and drippy. I'm talking 99% humidity, 80s.
Locale: Glastonbury, East Hartford. Maybe even Manchester.
Pace: 10:30 min / mile

...started off muggy and defeating. The first four miles were an out and back route through what felt like a swamp. I was drenched by the end of the first mile and ready to quit by the end of the fourth. We took a pretty long break (at least 10 minutes) to regroup, get water, and inspect Jodi's gushing blister. She decided to head home for fear of infecting her entire foot.

Roishine and I took off to finish the other 12 miles and hopefully catch up with the rest of the group, now a few minutes ahead of us. We joked around a bit, which got us in some better spirits and took our minds of what we anticipated as 2+ hours of torture. We finally caught up with the rest of the group at Main Street. Getting back with them was a bit of a boost. It's bad enough when you're running and want to give up, but so much worse when you're at the back of the pack.

As we climbed Griswold and Long Hill, I started to get more into my stride and comfortable on my legs. The miles seemed to just chip away at that point. It was hot still, but the sun was tucked behind thick gray clouds, so I thought about how much worse it could have been out there. Long Hill felt short (ha), which was surprising as it's been my nemesis on other runs. We reached the top and finally reached the turn around. A big mental boost was that this run wasn't a single out and back, but two small out and backs and one large one. So, at that point, we only had about 5 miles left. Woo hoo. I could do five miles. I ate a few shot blocks.

Long Hill was down hill the way back, so Roishine and another guy from the group broke away and "sped" down. We grabbed some water at the last stop and poised to finish this up. The last couple miles took awhile, but I felt generally okay. My stomach was behaving, I was confident after running all those miles in the heat; nothing could break me. Woo hoo, 16 miles down!

I'm still sore, though. Funny how that works.

This week, we've got a 12 miler and I'm hoping to squeeze in semi-long run sometime.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

15 miler and the new garmin

Garmin is my new BFF. Seriously. BFF. I spent my first run using it - a 4.5 miler last Tuesday - with my eyes darting back and forth between the road and the watch. It's really freeing to just head out of the house and start running until I run the miles I planned, rather than guessing how far I'm running or planning out a route beforehand. And, of course, I'll be able to see how much I'm improving as time goes on (there will be no going the opposite way).

On Thursday, J went for a nice 3+ mile run, the first run he's been on in well over a year. It's good that he's getting back out there and I think he already feels better from that one run. Let's see if he can stay with it.

So, Saturday was our first 15-miler. I don't know about most people, but the 15-mile hurdle is a big psychological one for me. 13 feels like a lot, but nothing close to a marathon. 15 miles feels like that marathon is attainable - even though still a good 11 miles more. Plus, after two crushing 13-milers, my confidence level was low.

After last week's stomach woes, I made a strong effort to watch my food intake staying away from fiber and dairy. I made mashed potatoes and a tuna sandwich for dinner on Friday night and had my usual, pb on bread for breakfast. My stomach was already out of whack before I left the house on Saturday morning and I was mildly concerned. It's happened before and I've had great runs, so I wasn't terribly nervous, though.

The weather was prime running temps - 60s and clear skies - that morning. A lot of the group was absent with it being one of the last summer weeks and lots of people on vacation. Jodi, Roishine, and I started off slowly to keep some energy in the tank for those later miles. The first 3 or 4 miles flew by. Then we hit the hills. They lasted forever, but with only a slight incline, so we were able to maintain pace. Somewhere along this hill, I gave up on my fuel belt. (It's really been giving me issues with it riding up and bothering my stomach. I think I'm gonna have to shorten the belt. I definitely got the wrong size.) We hit the first water station and ate some animal crackers and set off again. We've been taking a long time at the water stops, which has me a bit nervous we're not preparing properly for the actual race. We'll worry about that later. We pressed on still feeling good. We ran, kept running, ran some more. Nothing too eventful. Actually, that was an event in itself. I was wearing new shoes, which felt great, and I was worried about heel pain that had surfaced earlier that weak, but feet were fine on all counts. Phew.

The route took us into some backroads of Glastonbury, beautiful country roads I wouldn't consider running alone for their lack of shoulder and surplus of sharp, hidden turns. Strength in groups, though, right? Oh, and there were hills. Lots of them.

The halfway point was at the top of the hill. I tried to eat some powerade gu chocolate (noting for future reference), but my stomach just wasn't into it, so I ended up carrying it through most of the next few miles. I ate little bits of it to try and get some calories, but my stomach wasn't feeling hot at all at this point. The next couple miles chipped away and we finally hit the last water stop. We hung around here for a bit. I just wanted to get going so we could finish this thing up. Those last couple miles stretched on and on. My legs were getting tired and my spirit flagging. 15 miles is just a long time to be on your legs, you know? We even took a short walk break on a downhill! That's just lame of us.

We kept pushing and finally finished up. I'm not sure our actual pace because I let the garmin run through all the water stops, but I will be sure not to do that next week. I'd like to have a real idea what kind of pace we're running.

I feel so much better being able to check that run off the list, like we're officially into the big miles now or something. And what's even more of a confidence boost? I felt pretty darn good through that run (aside from the stomach) and only minimally sore the next day.

This week we have a 16 on Saturday and I'm just trying to get in some of the weekly runs. Getting up early is getting harder and harder for me lately. I'm just SO tired. I could probably fall asleep right now!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Birthday 10 miler

Yesterday was my 28th birthday and started off with a perfect 10 mile run.

Here are the stats:
Distance 10 miles
Time My watch said 1:50, but we took a couple minute break halfway. I think we averaged 10 min/miles
Weather Perfect. Nice and cool - probably 60s. I had a little trouble warming up after we stopped halfway (I consider this a good thing).
Location Glastonbury

A great run. The weather really was perfect, which was especially nice after the two steamy runs before. I was worried my hip would hurt and I would be lying if I said I didn't notice any pain (and also some twinges in my left shin), but nothing that impeded my performance.

We ran a couple out and backs starting with one down Hubbard and turning around at the park. It was a gradual uphill climb. We turned around, then ran out on another street to Hebron. We went back to the water stop at the park again and hung around for a few minutes. Almost too long a break as my legs started tightening up. One thing I took for granted about the warm weather runs the past few weeks, your muscles stay nice and loose, even with stops.

Overall a nice confidence booster of a run. My legs are tight today and I attribute it to actually running the whole time. The couple weeks before I took some breaks because of the heat, so I didn't make my muscles work as hard. It feels good to be nice and sore today:)

Ugh, one of my old running problems came back yesterday - stomach issues. I was in pain for a good couple hours after my run. I blame the broccoli I ate for lunch. NOte to self - no broccoli within days of running! Again, ugh.

For my b-day I got some great running gifts I can't wait to try out - the garmin 305 and a gc for some long overdue new shoes!

This week I'm gonna try to get in 3 runs before our 15 miler on Saturday. I can't wait to get out there with my new garmin!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

13 + some weely runs

it was about this time last year that my hip pain became unbearable, I took a week or so off, and went to the orthopedist. My hip pain is coming back. I'm hoping it's just a fluke or the result of pushing myself extra hard on my tuesday speed run, but this morning I took several walk breaks to ward off hip pain. I'll just have to up the stretching and keep it in check.

So this week I've done three runs...

Distance: 13 miles
Where: Glastonbury Training Run
Temps: Hot and Humid
Time / Pace: Over 2 hours - I'd guess an 11 minute pace, including walk breaks.
Goal: Distance

Saturday's run was hot, but not where near as bad as the previous Saturday. I was up late on Friday (11pm is late in my book) because we had a couple friends visting from Boston over, so I was running on a lack of sleep. We started the run in the mid to back of the pack. We were all feeling good, but wanted to stick together, Allison, Jodi and I, so we took it easy. We walked when we needed and ran when we felt like it. Obviously, we ran much more than we walked, but it was nice to have some walk breaks peppered in. Made me feel much stronger during the running. The run went slow and we quickly became the back of the pack. I would be lying if I said this didn' t bother me a little bit. Just once, I'd like to be a fast runner. I know that comes with a ton of work, much more than I've been able to commit to, but still. It would be nice.

We finished the first loop (10.7 miles) and crossed over the starting area where the fast runners were just starting to finish up. We hung around a bit, got some water, and took off to finish the last 2.3 miles. Jodi left at this point - this was her first run in a while and she kicked ass on the first 10.7. Allison and I set in for those 2.3 miles, which stretched on and on. This part of the run by the community center offered little shade and relief from the now blazing sun. We trucked in and finally finished at about 9:15.

Distance: 4.5 miles
Location: Elizabeth Park loop
Temps: 70s
Time / Pace: 42 minutes / 9.3 pace!
Goals: Speed
Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early (about 5:10) for a run. The run started off rocky - I always say this because the warming up seems to take forever). I picked up the pace with some intervals once I got onto Prospect, which really brought the run up for me. I did three (four) speed intervals, broken up with some slow running, then ran the last 1.5 miles home at a normal pace. I was hot and gross when I got home, but felt good after my first official speedwork ever. yay!

Distance: 3.5?
Time: I didn't really keep track, probably about 10 or 11 min/mile with walking.
Where: Center to Fern loop
Temps: 70s
Goals: Speed, but that didn't quite work out.
Floating on my happy bubble from Tuesday's speed workout, I though I would try the same for this run. the run started off well, it was temperate instead of the hot sticky weather I was growing accustomed to. By the time I rounded Farmington, i was feeling good. Half a mile later, my hip was hurting and lifting my leg to take the next step brought searing pain. i stopped to stretch a bit, then started. pain was still there. the running itself felt great, i just worried about exacerbating the injury. i walked a block, then ran more. I ran the rest of the run, feeling somewhat better, but still worried about my hip.

tonight, i'm gonna stretch it out, as well as tomorrow. hopefully, i'll be all good for saturday's 10 miler. I'll be taking some advil beforehand for sure, though!

Labels: ,