Sunday, November 22, 2009

218th Regimental Dining Out 11/21/09
I had such a great day on the trails yesterday. I completed 23.3 miles, for a total of 56 miles for the week. I have 12 on Sunday, and then a recovery week. I need one. I've been building for 5 weeks now. Time for a break.
For this week's long run, I used Gu packs, and Cytomax. I timed it so that I had a Gu every hour. I ate a pb & j at 2 1/2 hours, and drank about 35 ounces of Cytomax. I noticed that I was about 25 minutes faster this week at the 20 mile mark, compard to last week. I also realized towards the end of the run, that I never walked. The only time I stopped, was to eat. I only took 8 minutes to eat my sandwich, change my Cytomax bottle, drink water, take out my old and replace the new Gu packs. Not a bad pit stop.
I did fall, however. I got distracted when I bumped my iPod shuffle, and replayed the same 1 hour techno. It would have been the third time in a row. I got frustrated because I was in a good zone. Then I had to go and fall. I only scraped my left leg a little, but it left quite a bump. I'm waiting for the bruise to appear.
My overall time was 1 minute faster per mile than last Saturday's run, and I went 3.3 miles further. I think I planned it right this week. It was such a great run. I love it when things work out.
Of course I had to go soak in the pool for 10 minutes. I didn't have any neighbors looking at me this time. Maybe they were hiding from me. Anyone who sits in a 50 degree pool has to be mentally deranged.
I did 12 miles this morning. This was an even bigger struggle than last Sunday's run. I started with loops around the apt complex, but after 7 miles, I decided I needed to take a 5 minute break. I went inside, and thought I just can't go back out there to run in circles again. So I grabbed my dog, Stephanie, and ran down highway 1 to a neighborhood, and ran there. I finished up the 12, but it was a struggle. I haven't felt like that in a long time.
Thank God for recovery weeks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The dedication of a trail runner.

It's always nice to try a new trail. I was prepared to go 23 miles on a trail I've never run before, having packed all my Cytomax, peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches (one for during the run, one for recovery), plenty of water, and my trail map.
When I parked, I was amazed at how many people I saw at the trailhead. Some were on bikes, some were coming off the trail after their run.
The first trail was Firebreak Trail West, very runnable, with pine needle coverings and leaves. It joined another trail for a while, and then split onto Midlands Mountain Trail. I took the second trail all the way to "Spiderwoman 2" trail.
I saw the sign directing me to the trail, but I saw 3 leading trails. OK, which one do I take? I gambled and took the middle trail. This one worked.
This one was very technical, but nothing I'm not used to. After about 10 minutes, I came up to the Broad River. What an amazing sight. It was high and running fast from the week's storms. I had to just stop and watch it for a few minutes. And then I moved on. That's when I realized that the map I had was not completely accurate. I looked at the map, and noticed that the trail I was on was not even on the map. Once I decided I would go on to see where it leads, since that is one of the joys of trail running (it eventually comes out somewhere), and then realized I had to turn around when I found a parking lot.
I found my way out of that trail, which I know will come easier once I learn it, and found the next trial, Stewardship Trail, which was a loop. I liked this one. I stopped here for a few minutes and ate some CarbBoom energy chews. These things are awesome! But I realized that maybe I had eaten them too late, since I was 1 hour 48 min. into the run. I was drinking Cytomax, so I knew I was OK.
It's funny how somethimes I will make a plan to get to a certain point on the trail, and know which way I want to go. Then I get there, and totally change my mind. I did this today when the Stewadship trail either went on to the left, or to the connecting trail, leading me back to the car. I decided to keep going on the trail, and get more mileage before I headed back for a pb & j.
Again, I had to consult the map to see where I was, and where I was going.
I did make it back to the car, and eat my pb & j. It was really good, chased by some cold water. I realized then, that 23 miles wasn't going to happen today. So I had some decisions to make. I could call it a day at just under 14 miles, which just wasn't an option. I have a recovery week in two weeks. I had to match at least what I did last week, 20 miles. So I filled up my Cytomax, and went back on out.
I did Firebreak trail West, running into Firebreak Trail East, doing a 4 1/2 mile loop. I knew I was getting tired, since I had twisted my right ankle three times. The last time stung a little, so I had to be extra carefull. I made it back to the car, and just had to finish my 20. So I just ran down the gravel road to finish it up.
I reminded myself that training is not ALWAYS about mileage. It's also about time on feet. I increased my time by over an hour from last week's "road" 20 miles. So I think it was a good day.
I had a great time on this run. I love the trails so much that I didn't use my iPod Shuffle until mile 15. There is such a difference between trails and roads. No cars to dodge, no stop lights, no tripping over sidewalks. Trails are more peaceful. More serene. Just like two weeks ago, I had some "God Moments" with my friend Susan on the Paris Mountain trails.
One of the benefits to temporarily living in an apartment, is that the pool is open year round. Ta da, instant ice bath. It was absolutely breathtaking. Oh, it was so cold. But it did wonders for my legs once I got past the convulsive shivering. Nice.
Next Saturday, I will hit 23 miles. I need to change some things, though. I need to eat a little more, and sooner. The Cytomax really helps. I need to get used to carrying 2 bottles, so I can always have water with me, too. I want to try some Gu packets on this next run. They're much easier to carry. I used them while training for Marine Corps Marathon in 2005, but I just had to take a break from them. I'm also going to try yet another new trail. Can't wait for that.
Sunday's 12 mile run was very difficult for me. I had to go early, less than 24 hours after finishing my 20 miles, and had to run circles around the apartment complex. It was such a mental struggle for me. I was tired, my legs were sore, and I just didn't want to do it. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew how mad I would be at myself if I quit, and how happy I would be when I got it done. So I just remembered relentless forward motion, and got it done.
It's such a good feeling to know that I'm one step closer to my goal of a 100 mile race. I still have 5 months to go, but it will all fit together in the end.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Very windy and rainy 6 mile run yesterday. It was the last of Tropical Storm Ida leaving. Today is a rest day.
It's funny, though. My husband said he would take our son to school, and my daughter does not have preschool on Fridays. So, I had a chance to sleep in. I woke up before 6:00 am. Could not go back to sleep. I haven't slept well since we moved. Maybe it's the spot light coming in through my window.
I got a little excited about looking up all the races I want to do next year. There are so many, but I have to put a cap on it somehow. My husband wants to do some mountain bike races, and I have to remember to give him time to do what he wants to do. It's not all about me, is it?
I have to do a 23 mile run tomorrow, and I think I'll try a new trail. I'm excited, but a little nervous. I'll be alone, but I think it loops around a few times, so I can always get back to my car easily.
I'll need to start trying new things for nutrition while I run. I might try some Gu. That's easy to carry. I like fruit and grain bars, too. I also used CarbBoom fruit snacks at my 12 hour race. They worked great. Cytomax works too, but it's getting old. I need to try some other sports drink, too.
I will enjoy me rest day with my daughter today. We need to go get a birthday gift for a party tomorrow. She gets to dress up like a princess. Don't know if she'll do that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. I registered for Umstead, my first 100 mile race, and was one of the lucky ones to get in. This will be my big goal. I started training, officially, on October 7, 2009. Right now I have about 5 months left. Seems like a long way to go, but it will go fast. That means I only have 20 long runs to do. That doesn't sound so bad. I only have to one a week.
I think this time my head is in the right place. I made a move to Columbia, SC when my husband went active duty at Ft. Jackson, but we have all adjusted well. Shelton has made a good friend in his new class, and Corrina is doing well in her 4th preschool. Good thing she's an outgoing child.
I'm excited about Umstead. It will be a great challenge, and it will be completed before my 40th birthday. Happy birthday to me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gettin' faster

One of my goals this year was to get faster. I didn't set a particular pace, just to get faster. I've been running around in circles every week (I flet like I was walking with a lean everyday), and putting in time with tempos. But I realized something this week. It's actually working!!!
I went for the first 4 miles of an 18 miler with Susan on Saturday, and we averaged a 9:04 pace, with having 14 to do on the trails. We must have felt good that morning. I had to finish the last 12 on the road (yuck!!!), but still averaged a 9:28. After Saturday's events, I'm suprised I could still do that.
I ran Monday night with my friend Robin, and averaged an 8:40 pace. Me? Really? Me? No way. But that's what GPS said. Wow. It felt really good to go faster. I had to go home that night and take Shelton, my almost 8 year old boy, out for a run. He's starting to get into it, too. I'm excited for him, because I know he will be really good at it. He's 7, and people think he's 9 or 10. He has body fat like Lance Armstrong. He's a machine.
I've always talked about those who do speedwork after speedwork after speedwork, only to get seconds faster. To the elites, that's a lot. To the middle/back of the packer like me, not so much. But realizing that having a 9:45-10:00 pace, it leaves a lot of room for improvement. I'm just tired of my runs taking so long. I want to run, but still have time for other things.
I can really feel the difference when I run. My stride is better, my form is better, I pump my arms better, my legs move faster. I felt like someone could look at me and say, "Wow. She's a good runner." I'm getting there.
I pretty much got rained out of my run this morning, although I tried. But I've run everyday this week, and have a 20 miler on Saturday. My hips were sore this morning when I started my run, so the rain was probably God's way of saying, "Not today." So I went back home, and did some weights and abs. As a result, my right shoulder is really painful again. I had a cortisone shot last Friday, and it seemed to help, but it really hurts today. I did really light weights, too. But this is another story.
I might have to break up my 20 on Saturday, since it's Corrina's very first soccer practice. She's turning 4 in April, and I really don't want to miss her first practice. I haven't figured out my strategy yet. It will all work out somehow. It's going to take some creativity to work in long runs around Shelton's and Corrina's soccer. All the games are on Saturdays, and I really like to watch. I'll break them up if I need to.
My race is in 5 weeks and 2 days. Not much longer. It will be my first race since I tried Holiday Lakes in February 2008. I fell just 1 week before the race, severely injuring my hamstring. I put in all the training and high mileage, only to DNF. I'm excited about this race, the Buncombe Trail 34 miler on May 3rd. It will be my way of getting back into the game.

Happy trails